EU foreign policy

The EU claims it bases its foreign policy on the wish to promote democracy and the freedoms of countries and people living near it. If they mean this it should be good news for us as one of their neighbours.Under the Treaties the EU is required to be both friendly and to promote trade with neighbours.

They pursue something called a European Neighbourhood policy towards the countries to the east of the EU, and the Middle Eastern countries to the south. For these groups of states they encourage political association, economic integration and increased mobility of people. The Eastern Partnership of the EU with Moldava, Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Georgia has proved fraught. Russia is worried by aspects of it, and the EU’s intervention in Ukraine has not proved well judged.

To the south the EU intervenes in Syria and Libya, both troubled countries. It seeks peace between Israel and Palestine based on a two state solution. It is concerned about the Iranian nuclear programme.

The EU sees itself as giant as it has a large collective economy, but it is not of course a military giant. It has two battle groups available to intervene on a small scale when it wishes, but relies for its bigger force on contributions from member states. In practice the EU cannot defend itself against a serious enemy without NATO support and the security guarantee provided by the USA.

So far EU foreign policy has not been successful in either the east of our continent nor to the south in the Middle East. The EU borders some very troubled states. Its proximity to Turkey and the Association Agreement it signed with Turkey has also caused difficulties, leading to Mrs Merkel’s recent harsh words about Turkey. She is now seeking to stop Turkey’s application for EU membership proceeding, after years of the EU encouraging Turkey and signing an Agreement for close relations.

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80 Comments

  1. Posted September 11, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    There is nothing more dangerous than poking the Russian Bear. How would they like it if Russia laid claim to Lithuania?
    And Sga Mogherini and before her, Baroness Ashton both poked very hard.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Baroness Ashton – what sensible person would appoint such lefty, sociology graduate to do such a job or indeed to do almost any job.

      • Ron Jedward
        Posted September 12, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        @Lifelogic Still, not as bad as appointing a serial liar like Boris to Foreign Secretary, or electing a Home Secretary who failed at controlling immigration to PM, and expecting her to do a less pisspoor job.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Politics has become disconnected from military realities.

      Modern politicians misunderstand power. Some of these clever dicks think knowledge is power.

      No it isn’t.

      POWER is power.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Indeed,Stalin’s famous response to criticism by the Vatican :”How many divisions does the Pope have?”

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 11, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

          Stalin should have been more careful, because the Vatican played a key role in the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union (and Communism in the Soviet Union only lasted 70 odd years. Where as the Vatican has lasted for over 2,000 years, and still very much going, with a membership now of over 1 billion+ souls).

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 11, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            And the Vatican is (spiritually) strong not because of human strength but because Christ said to St Peter, ‘And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’ Well, the ‘gates of Hades’ have not overcome it – for 2,000 years+. Because it – we – are protected by infinite Divine power (and ALL are invited into that power – where it’s extremely joyful, peaceful, and fun to be, albeit with sufferings along that way, but then no-once can escape that!).

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 11, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

            Apologies for proselytising below.

          • Mitchel
            Posted September 11, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

            No,not the Soviet Union(whose historic religions were principally Eastern Orthodoxy,Islam,Judaism and Buddhism) but the Catholic Central European members of the Warsaw Pact. Stalin actually brought back the Orthodox church back into official being during WWII,albeit in a highly controlled fashion.

          • Norman
            Posted September 11, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

            Mystery Babylon? (Revelation 17)

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 12, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

            @Mitchel, i appreciate Soviet Union is largely Orthodox Christian, but what happened in Catholic Poland had an important influence in the Soviet Union (and I’m not arguing the Vatican was the main or only reason for the fall of Communism).
            Regards

  2. Mark B
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    When you have 28 individual voices, you can potentially have 28 individual differences of opinion and policies. Than is not good ! So what you do, eventually, end up with is a compromise, and a compromise which really suits no one.

    As Germany becomes more and more the dominant power in the EU, so EU foreign policy will be in that countries best interest. This, like so much else about the EU, will lead to tensions within the Union. I mean, look at what is happening between Poland, Hungary and the EU over immigration of those people, Chancellor Merkel has invited in and now wishes to disperse.

    Outside the EU the UK can pursue its own foreign policy and act in its own interests. Hopefully we will not have too many Suez, Iraq, Afghanistan (when will we ever learn) and many more silly and pointless interventions.

  3. Tabulazero
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Please…

    The EU foreign policy for all its numerous failing is at least trying to address issues such as immigration, the middle-east or Libya.

    This is in stark contrast with the Foreign Office under Secretary Boris Johnson which literally has nothing to put to its name… Not a single major policy initiative since he is there.

    Crafting a foreign policy & negotiating it with relevant parties is hard work. That is probably too much to ask from Secretary Johnson.

    If Brexit was a vote for irrelevance, I simply did not expect it to start even before the negotiations are over.

    • formula57
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      @ Tabulazero – “Not a single major policy initiative since he is there” – so no destablizing of neighbouring states in some ham-fisted attempt to appease and supposedly advance the interests of 28 constituent actors? Good for him!

      (In any case, the people’s Boris will be too busy secretly negotiating the Johnson-Lavrov Non-Aggression Pact, the need for which is made plain afresh by Mr. Redwood’s words today since it will do something effective to reign-in EU adventurism.)

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        From a 18/19th/early 20th century perspective a UK-Russian “pact” would be a screamingly obvious development against the concentration of power on the continent,but it won’t happen whilst we are a client state of the US and the neo-cons retain influence.

        • Stuart K
          Posted September 11, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          I agree. The U.K. and Russia should be natural allies given their respective geographies. Instead, our myopic politicians have adopted a Cold War mentality that is completely counter-productive to the national interest.

          • Andy
            Posted September 12, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            Well we have a common enemy: Germany.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        On the subject of relations with Russia,I saw a very interesting comment in a review of the new(and much lauded) biography of Mikhail Gorbachev last week).

        When the USSR was disintegrating in 1991 Mrs Thatcher phoned President Bush snr to say : “We’ve got to help Mikhail…Just a few years back Ron (Reagan) and I would have given the world to get what has already happened here.If the West did not come to Mr Gorbachev’s aid,she argued,”History will not forgive us”.He declined.

        History’s verdict is coming in.The Lady had great foresight.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Given how badly our last policy initiatives worked out in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan etc. it is quite refreshing not to have had any recently. Just incidentally, as we are still part of the EU then shouldn’t we share the credit for the way they are addressing the issues you list ?

    • David Price
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      “Please…” Please !

      You euphilics have spent years claiming how much the EU is a force for peace, democracy and stability. During the Brexit process you have lectured us how the EU has exclusive competence in trade and treaties yet the slightest hint of criticism sees you trying to deflect the issue

      The EU has fomented trouble on three of it’s borders if you include their alienation of the British people. It’s mishandling of immigration has probably destroyed the Europe we grew up with and certainly damaged the UK. Much of this has been down to she who would be empress now aided and abetted by a god king.

      The EU is a continuing saga of failure, puffed up vindictive lightweights with dreams of empire. You couldn’t make this tragi-comedy up.

    • stred
      Posted September 12, 2017 at 5:49 am | Permalink

      Gillipolices. The EU has been operating UN policy of facilitating migration by operating a ferry service from 12 miles off Libya. Boris has been out there meeting the various mafias and trying to agree a peace deal. No other politician has been doing more and certainly not Junker and his bunglers, who think they can bung loads of cash south of the Sahara to encourage people to stay in poor countries.

  4. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    EU foreign policy is based on bribing countries with our money to accept is doctrines…

    The EU was almost totally responsible for the way Russia reacted to the events in Ukraine – if the EU hadn’t actively been pursuing a Russian spring there would not have been any action by Russia.
    The EU is a pigmy when it comes to understanding world politics – it believes it can change everything to its own image, but that is just its juvenile attitude to everything!

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      In the meantime much of the EU is gradually turning into Gazpromistan!

      I’ve just finished reading “Oilopoly-Putin,Power & the Rise of the New Russia” by Prof Marshall Goldman.If you are interested in the historical background to Russia’s oil & gas industry,how Putin has taken back control from the Oligarchs and how he uses it strategically(and how many times Western interests have got their fingers burnt in dealing with Russia),I can thoroughly recommend it.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted September 12, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        Thanks Mitchel

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Does EU ever do anything actually in the interest of its member state citizens and do it well?

    Dame Judy Dench on radio 4 today. Needless to say she got her attack in on Brexit – not even a trace of any ration argument, just a feeling in her waters one assumes. What is it about the theatrical profession that make them almost all so dreadfully misguided, lefty, fake green, PC, big state, high tax borrow and waste, pro EU, magic money tree, climate alarmist luvvies, they do not even seem to thing they have to have any rational reasons. Could it be all those state subsidies for “the Arts”?

    Then they go on to a discussion of public sector pay – but never any mention of the fact that, when pensions are included, they are paid nearly 50% more than the 80% in the private sector that pay fund them! Half of them do little on any use anyway and many do positive harm – like HS2, Hinkley C, aircraft carriers without aircraft, the greencrap agenda, mugging motorists, gender pay gap red tape and other such stupidities.

    • rose
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      They seem to have a left wing luvvie on most days, scolding and insulting us over Brexit, in order one presumes, to feel good. They never ask these recklessly irresponsible people how many immigrants they are housing themselves, and what do they consider the optimum population for these islands to be?

    • Prigger
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Dame Judy Dench has every right to have and express an opinion. Do wish though she would stop playing Elizabeth I in absolutely every screen role she does. James Bond’s boss is Elizabeth I. Victoria & Abdul…Elizabeth I again.

      • rose
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        To me, the actress just plays herself, over and over and over again. As does the other one, Vanessa Redgrave.

      • James Matthews
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        Doubtless she has a right to express her political opinions, just like the rest of us. perhaps she should be invited to comment on this blog.

        Not sure, though, how being a rich and successful actress makes those opinions any more valuable than those of any random member of the public and thus worthy of an airing on national radio

    • NickC
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic, You ask about the luvvies predilection for simplistic ideologies. The reason is emotionalism: they are good at it, which enables them to be good actors. It doesn’t mean they are rational, or clever, or bright. More, they have killed sentiment in favour of sentimentalism.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        And they are exploited by cleverer,politically motivated interests.I think it was Brecht(though I’ve also seen it attributed to Trotsky) who said:-

        “Art is not a mirror to reflect life
        but a hammer to fashion it”

      • Tom Rogers
        Posted September 12, 2017 at 6:00 am | Permalink

        Except that Judi Dench is not a good actress. No doubt she is adept on stage, but in film she is wooden.

  6. hefner
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Boris is it again on the Today program, lying. There were weather forecasts of Harvey, Irma and Jose ten days in advance. The Dutch had a rescue ship starting from Curaçao last week, the French one ship from Guadeloupe. The British ship is still not yet on area.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      According to the government a British ship, RFA Mounts Bay, was already there, having been pre-positioned in anticipation of the hurricane season.

      But of course you need not believe that, you are free to automatically believe whatever mendacious tripe is being propagated by political opponents of the government and dismiss out of hand any conflicting claims by ministers.

      However their claim does seem to be borne out by this from Friday morning:

      http://www.forces.net/news/tri-service/rfa-mounts-bay-arrives-british-virgin-islands-after-hurricane-irma

      “RFA Mounts Bay Arrives In British Virgin Islands After Hurricane Irma”

      “UK supply ship RFA Mounts Bay is now in the British Virgin Islands region to help with the relief effort following Hurricane Irma.”

      “RFA Mounts Bay stopped in Anguilla on Thursday, where troops went ashore to help repair local infrastructure and cleared the airport runway which has now reopened for emergency flights.”

      “RFA Mounts Bay was already in the region and according to the Ministry of Defence “can provide a high level of capability and flexibility during disaster relief operations”.

    • Mark
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Sorry, you are wrong. RFA Mounts Bay has already been to Anguilla, and is moving on to the British Virgin Islands:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4865176/Royal-Navy-relief-crew-lands-hurricane-hit-Anguilla.html

      Of course these days our Navy is so depleted we were unable to spare more support on station on the off chance of a Category 5 hurricane hitting British interests, but the Navy’s largest ship – HMS Ocean – has now been diverted. You may question the value of its previous mission in the Mediterranean.

      • Nigel
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        I read that French evacuation flight took only French nationals from St Maartens, and refused to take Brits. So much for the value of having an EU passport, and being part of the EU.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Hefner
      Position your ships in the wrong place as the hurricane approaches and you risk losing them and their crews.

  7. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    What a stupid woman upsetting Turkey. What will happen to the agreement over illegal immigrants now? Watch this space. Personally I would have preferred if Turkey hadn’t joined in the first place. Mrs Merkel is her own worst enemy..

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      She’ll be re-elected.

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Its Mutti or Schultz. Pity the German people.

        • rose
          Posted September 11, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          That is why it will be Mutti.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Two weeks ago President Erdogan launched an extravagant celebration of the 946th anniversary(he obviously couldn’t wait for the 1,000th!)of the Battle of Manzikert near the Armenian border.This was a crushing defeat inflicted by the (Seljuk) Turks on the Byzantine Empire and paved the way for Christian Graeco-Roman Anatolia to become by conquest and mass immigration the Islamic Turkish heartland we know today.

  8. Norman
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Thank you for that helpful overview, which has a huge bearing on everything else.

  9. Prigger
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The pound/dollar exchange rate is not mentioned at all by our media in the last month or so.The highest since 1st August 2016

  10. Bert Young
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The pretence of the EU is that of a united group of countries that will always follow its central policies and actions ; in reality it is nothing like it ( witness the dissent from the Czech Republic , Slovakia , Hungary and , to a slightly lesser extent , Austria ). Greece has been the most disenchanted member from an economic point of view , followed by Portugal , Spain , Italy and Ireland . If this amounts to a strong large organisation wishing to have its clout recognised in the world , then I am a misguided idiot ( bloggers please don’t confirm this ! ).

    What is true is the increasing dominance of Germany . It has used the EU to bolster its growth and influence ; were it not for the Euro , its reserves would not be what they are today . History has shown that whenever Germany was able to flex its muscles it was always to the detriment of Europe and its neighbours . I regard them with the utmost reserve and suspicion .

    • Andy
      Posted September 12, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      And you are right to do so. There has been nothing but trouble in Europe since Germany was unified in 1871.

  11. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    The EU is the equivalent of the playground bully. All mouth and no trousers.
    Militarily it is a mouse and no doubt Putin quakes in his boots every time Drunket speaks.
    I see today you are squandering £290 million on offshore windmills.
    For that money you could get a gigawatt CCGT plant which would operate 8000 hours each year at full power when you need it.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg

      Yes, they are bragging that wind provided enough power for every Scottish home last month. I was looking at the wind farms around us today and due to high winds they were all turned off. I wonder where the power was coming from? Could it be reliable fossil fuels?

  12. Prigger
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    An eerie tune haunts the EU. The Green Man, rather than Henry VIII. Thousands of years of a pagan mindset. Germany was and is the champion of it. It is the true Irrational in Politics. Always present. You see it in the SNP, “nationalists” irrationally paying homage to multinational forces of the EU outside their domain: the Labour Party demanding Mr Multi-Capitalist EU should be fought for.Irrational. It is just their innate desire to be dominated spiritually, economically and politically by “A Great Mysterious Force” outside and independent of their control. The EU is their Green Man.

  13. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    “Under the Treaties the EU is required to be both friendly and to promote trade with neighbours.”

    Not just with neighbours, but around the world.

    To repeat part of an earlier comment on this:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/08/30/mr-draghi-wants-more-free-trade-so-why-not-accept-the-uk-offer/#comment-886295

    “Apart from the general Article 8 TEU on the EU’s neighbourhood policy, mentioned above, here is a list, not necessarily exhaustive, of other relevant provisions in the EU treaties:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/228848/7310.pdf

    Article 3(5) TEU: the Union “… shall contribute to … free and fair trade … as well as to the strict observance and the development of international law, including respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter” – which must include the UN prohibition on the unauthorised use of economic sanctions to attempt to coerce another country into changing its political policies.

    Article 21(2)(e) TEU: the Union shall “encourage the integration of all countries into the world economy, including through the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade” – which cannot include unnecessarily reintroducing restrictions on the two-way EU-UK trade which have long ago been abolished.

    Preamble to the TFEU: “DESIRING to contribute … to the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade” – not their reintroduction.

    Article 32 TFEU: “In carrying out the tasks entrusted to it under this chapter the Commission shall be guided by:

    (a) the need to promote trade between Member States and third countries”

    Article 206 TFEU: “the Union shall contribute … to the harmonious development of world trade, the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade and on foreign direct investment, and the lowering of customs and other barriers.”

    Deliberate creation of unnecessary obstacles to free trade, especially with a neighbouring country, runs directly counter to commitments made by all the EU member states through their treaties; and doing so as a form of economic sanctions against a country for political reasons, without any justification, runs directly counter to UN rules; moreover I note that the EU and its member states have actually signed up to a new WTO initiative to facilitate trade:

    https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tradfa_e/tradfa_e.htm

    even while they are threatening to actively disrupt existing trade with the UK.”

    In other words, the EU is run by a bunch of untrustworthy hypocrites, and we should make sure that this is fully understood by governments around the world.

    • ian wragg
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Denis, the EU doesn’t want FTAs as it will severely reduce their revenue. The CET is 13.6% of the income for Brussels and the lions share of that comes from the UK. If we get an FTA they will have to make up even more income. If we trade on WTO terms at least they will get the revenue from our exports too them.

  14. bigneil
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    “the wish to promote democracy and the freedoms of countries ” – Sorry John – never got past that – Hilarious.

  15. Kenneth
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    What concerns me is the tendency of eu policy to coerce other cultures to take up practices that the eu approves of.

    I find this supremacist streak in the eu to be grossly distasteful and dangerous.

    For example, what right does the eu have to wag fingers and tell other cultures they must send their girls to school?

    • hefner
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Euh, sorry. But don’t girls have a right to go to school? Or at least to receive as much education as boys? This to cater for some home-schooling parents.

  16. Eric Sorensen
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    For Juncker & Co. priority one is to further the Union. Fair and reasonable trade arrangements to suit a leaving member and thus show that departure is a possibility is not in the interest of the Union.

    Consequently, there will be no trade deal unless the UK can drive a wedge between business interests on the Continent and the Union creators. The debate in Continental media is very open and clear that the exit door must be shut. Hence, the silence on part of the UK, acting carefully to not be seen as interfering between the 27, is looked upon as mildly naive.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      You may be right. I think the EU Council meeting in Oct will be revealing. If EU leaders decide not to force the Commission to start serious trade negotiations with the UK, the UK Govt should assume there will be no deal and should announce that it is planning for a future based on WTO rules. It should at that time announce 1) a unilateral right for all current EU citizens in the UK to remain (except criminals, terrorists etc, if any); 2) an intention for continued soft border with Ireland (like the Sweden-Norway, US-Canada borders etc); and 3) that zero will be paid to the EU following Brexit. The UK Govt should then say that it is open to new negotiations with the EU on trade and other subjects whenever the EU are ready, but unless and until all issues are on the table, there is nothing to discuss.

      It will be a sad result if this is where it ends up, and not in the interest of either the EU or the UK. But it would validate the argument of the Leave side that the EU is a dysfunctional and ambitious empire which UK voters were right to want to be rid of. Of course alternatively the EU could take a sensible and neighbourly view of optimal future relations…..etc

  17. Epikouros
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    The Western political model works for the people of the West but we should not have the arrogance to believe it will work for everyone else or even that they want it but we do so we try to impose it upon them. This attitude of we know best drives most of us to individually and in groups all the way up governments to impose our will on others. If we did not most of ours and the world’s ills would disappear or not ever occur. The well meaning busybodies and morally righteous are the bane of our existence. “Live and let live” and “let sleeping dogs lie” should be the yard sticks that we live by and if we did the world would be a much better kinder place.

    • NickC
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. And if we are right we will be successful. And if we are successful we will be copied. We cannot do more than that. And nor should we.

      • Norman
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Isn’t that, to a large extent, exactly what has happened?

  18. Prigger
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    On TV, just prior to the referendum Harriet Harman, a very senior Labour politician, could not identify four large images of EU leading lights even though a set number of names were provided from which to choose.We could laugh. But don’t. Let us instead try understanding. She is extremely well educated,intelligent, occupied senior roles within her Party.She is for Remain. Again, unless she is a closet Brexiteer, unlikely in the extreme, how was it possible?

    There is a Mystery surrounding Labour, LibDem and SNP support for EU membership. Given their historic party principles, whatever which way you rub Aladdins lamp or touch the philosopher’s stone, their position cannot make sense to the human mind.

    #Possible answers to this conundrum on a Comment or Reply please.

    • Chris
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      The EU seems to embody/promote cultural Marxism in its outlook, the pursuit of power, and holding onto that power, so not surprising that leftwing organisations now seem to support it. Look at The Euro Probe website, article entitled “The toxic origins of the EU”.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Money

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 12, 2017 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      There are two groups of EU supporters.

      The first group simply do not want sovereignty for the UK believing the UK should be run by another country or people. These were communists in the early part of the 20th century and hardened EU supporters today. They believe that EU membership is the route to power.

      The second group benefit financially from EU membership and this overrides UK sovereignty.

      Some benefit personally from either EU grants/projects/jobs which the EU has cleverly built up over time using our own money and there are companies who benefit from FOM depressing wages and eliminating the need for capital investment and/or training.

  19. Duncan
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    This wasn’t EU foreign policy it was German foreign policy directed from both Berlin in conjunction with Obama. The aims pursued by both Merkel and Obama were many and included the deliberate provocation of the Russians to force through fear certain nations westwards and into the EU sphere of influence

    Second, to undermine Putin in Syria and dilute his military and financial resources

    Third, to provoke a refugee catastrophe allowing the German govt to import cheap labour to prop up the tax base of an ageing German population

    And who did Obama visit before he disappeared into obscurity? Yes, it was Merkel
    etc ed

  20. Prigger
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Thursday 28th March 2019 we are not foreign for the EU.
    Friday, 29 March 2019 we are foreign for the EU

    The bitter truth is you not born in the EU. No-one is. It is not your country.

  21. James Neill
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    As far as Turkey goes, it has taken a turn for the worst with Erdogan’s coup of last year. For that is what it was- the wily old fox knew that a small section of the armed forces were planning a takeover so he sat back and waited then went in with full force – a text book case right from Hitlers and Stalin’s 1930’s. But in any case there was always a whiff of suspicion about Turkey amongst the people of the countries living nearby- they have long memories, and remember from history about the Ottomans of a few hundred years ago when Vienna itself was under siege on two occasions. Had the Turks succeeded then it is very likely that the make up of Europe would look very different today.

    People don’t change in one or two generations and even in one or two centuries, the same traits can linger and mix that with a religious zeal, superstition and ignorance and then we have a dangerous mix. So that is why I believe the EU project is so very necessary for Europe – to shine the spotlight when errant leaders and people stray from the path. UK might be OK by itself but is not helping anyone including our european neighbours by leaving which I believe is unfortunate for the rest of us.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Apparently it was the Russians who tipped him off about the plot and clever Mr Putin has used it,amongst other things, to draw Turkey into his Eurasian network.

    • Norman
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      But you are wrong: Europe is very much a religious project, albeit this is largely hidden. You have to remember that everything nowadays is via stealth, through proxies.

  22. Richard Butler
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Another rebuff to the forecasting skills of experts;

    IMF reveals expert Economists, almost 100% forecasting failure rate.

    As I try to tell the likes of LBC over and again, Project Fear ‘we’ll all be £4300 poorer’ was a work of fiction ;

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/sep/02/economic-forecasting-flawed-science-dataPrakash

  23. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Following on Keir Starmer saying that we could stay in the EU Customs Union indefinitely we now have Jeremy Corbyn saying that we could stay in the EU Single Market … why don’t they just c0me out and say that they don’t want us to leave the EU at all, in fact they want us to stay in and be totally absorbed and subjugated in the planned EU federation?

    • stred
      Posted September 12, 2017 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Starmer probably told Corbeau he would have more chance of implementing Marxism if we stayed in the EU, after all, Mz Mogherini is an ex? commie and Barrosso was. What organisation is more like the USSR? -re Gorbachev, the man that ruined what Corbeau admires.

  24. Michael
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Things must be hotting up alright with Tony Blair doing the rounds on behalf of the EU and our host JR going on German TV, not to mention IDC and others who are forever available to the news media to put whatever spin is needed. There are even a few recruited by the Policy Exchange Think Tank group spinning over in Ireland, one of them an ex Irish ambasador to Canada who, according to himself, would like nothing better than to see an Irish exit from the EU so that we could join UK and make up a quorum outside to frustrate EU solidarity . But to quote a phrase from M Barnier “that is not going to happen”. Throughout time there has always been the few in Ireland usually media types who were in the pay of the British estsblishment and today is no different. Lucky for us that we can see straight through the smoke

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    JR, I have taken a quick look through the various parliamentary committees as presently set up and I cannot identify one whose role would explicitly include examination of all the UK regulations which the government will be proposing under the EU withdrawal Act and make recommendations on how they should best be processed. The Commons European Scrutiny Committee “assesses the legal and/or political importance of draft EU legislation deposited in Parliament by the Government”, and surely what is needed is an analogous committee doing the same job for the draft UK legislation proposed under the Act. This task does not appear to necessarily fall within the present remit of the Brexit committee, which is to “examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Exiting the European Union and matters falling within the responsibilities of associated public bodies.” Surely the complaints of the opposition parties against the Bill might be partly allayed if the government proposed the creation of such a committee.

    Reply Probably not, as I think they just want to oppose for the sake of it. There are discussions about scrutiny methods, which are ultimately a matter for Parliament, not for the government.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Well, yes, they do just want to oppose for the sake of it, and shout and bluster and make mountains out of molehills. I saw a Labour MP falsely claiming that the Act itself could be amended by ministerial fiat, and even when he was referred to the appropriate restriction laid down in Schedule 7 he just ignored that and carried on yelling out the same falsehood. However I think there is a strong case to improve the way that the secondary legislation necessary under the Act will be handled, indeed how all secondary legislation is handled. I saw Sarah Wollaston suggesting that this could be done through Standing Orders rather than legislation.

  26. David Price
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Politico has you on their list of 40 Brexit Troublemakers.

    Brace for incoming trolls.

  27. Prigger
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    The MPs who voted to remain in the EU via the Referendum as viewed in Parliamentary debate today have no shame. Their grandchildren in the future will see them squirming and side-winding and slithering this way and that on whatever TV looks like then with some young cocky journalist picking fun at the ways they “cleverly”advocate dictatorship.

  28. ferdinand
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    And we require all 27 countries to agree a plan ? Think again.

  29. acorn
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    JR, how come you are only 36th out of the top 40 Brexit Troublemakers on Politico? http://www.politico.eu/list/brexit-40-troublemakers-ranking/

    Reply Ask them. I do not see myself as a troublemaker

  30. Bursy Throwup
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Yatter in the House of Commons on the European Withdrawal Bill right now, proves as far as those who still obstinately struggle against the democratic decision of the British people to leave the EU, that compost can indeed be made from absolute garbage. At least it looks and sounds right but would in fact kill off even Japanese knotweed.

  31. Big John
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    I voted out the EU, and I am not a believer in AGM.

    I have just got a statement from my electricity provider.

    Apparently last year I used (From real readings) 5,801 kWh
    This has cost me £833.05

    My supplier is estimate my next year cost

    On some weirdo assumtion that I will only use 5,198.72 kWh !!!

    And on this estimating, they are saying my bill will be £1002,50 !!!!

    (why? ed)

    Obviously, to anybody who understands science, the whole AGM belief is bollocks.

    The AGM believers, call anybody that doen’t follow their region (Climate denier), but these people are Science deniers.

    Nobody has denied the climate is changing, this has being happening throught the history of earth.

    But the current blaming CO2 BS, needs to be recognised as BS.

    As it is not hard to Produce proof of this.

    Can you point me in the direction of a list of MP’s who voted for this c*ap.

    As everybody involved in this AGM scam needs to be investigated, and all assets confiscated.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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