The state of the European Union

Mr Juncker’s speech yesterday about the state of his Union contains few surprises. He confirms that “the Euro is meant to be the single currency of the Union as a whole” and sets out a way to make it so. He reasserts the primacy of all EU law and of the European Court of Justice. He wants more majority voting to settle issues. He proposes a European Minister of Economy and Finance. The European Parliament should become the Parliament of the Euro. He wants a “fully fledged European defence union”. When I and others foretold this by quoting EU statements and websites before the referendum we were often told by Remain spokesmen that none of this was true. They thought it was still just primarily a single market.

What was more interesting in Mr Juncker’s speech was what he left out. He left out the UK altogether, save for one expression of regret towards the end. He referred throughout to the 27 members of the EU as if the UK had already left. I thought we had to stay in until March 2019, and thought we were still the second largest contributor to his salary and all the other costs of the organisation. I can forgive him misusing tenses and looking to the future without us. I cannot excuse him from issuing a new policy of the state of the Union without discussing the loss of a major member and setting out what future relationship he would like with that country. He might have given some indication of how they intend to shape their budgets without us, just as he clearly is impatient to consolidate Euro government into EU government once the main non Euro country leaves.

More bizarre still was his treatment of the topic of trade. He sets out a policy for the EU to negotiate and sign more Trade treaties in the future than they have managed in the past, yet manages to say nothing about whether that includes a Treaty with the UK! If we are to take his new Union enthusiasm for free trade seriously surely he will want to accept the UK offer of a comprehensive zero tariff low barriers trade Agreement with what is the EU’s single most lucrative and important export market. Instead he holds out the prospect of doing trade deals with New Zealand and Australia, knowing that they are keen to do deals with the UK as we exit the EU

Mr Juncker may also be personally ambitious. He proposes merging two of the 3 EU/Euro Presidents by offering to amalgamate his role as President of the Commission with the role of President of the Council. Step by step the EU is edging towards the idea of a single President with a world profile. As a reminder that Germany still retains disproportionate influence, he grants Mrs Merkel’s wish that they will not proceed with Turkish membership after all. It was not so long ago they signed a comprehensive Partnership Agreement, opened their borders to Turkey and looked as if they were speeding up preparations for membership.

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184 Comments

  1. Horatio
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    We need to be ready to aggressively pursue a low tax , business friendly economy . Ministers all over Europe had seen their worst case scenario mooted, now they laugh at how Hammond’s socialism and May’s timidity may see an exodus of city clients leaving for unashamed offers of golden hand shakes and bribes across the continent

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      We’ve got to reform/regulate the city. Unfettered capitalism just doesn’t work. It has to be properly regulated (nothing to do with politics or economics – just common sense, because human nature is what it is, whether you are working class, middle class, or an upper middle class banker). Unfettered capitalism was the main reason for the crash of 2007 that has been disastrous for our country.

      And we can’t rely so much on the city, important as it is. We’ve got to focus more on building up our high-tech manufacturing industry and other types of services not just financial. Too many eggs in one basket.

      Lastly, Hammond isn’t a socialist. He’s a soft capitalist.

      Reply There is no such thing as hard or soft capitalism. What we have and b believe in is the market under the rule of law, with government intervening to deal with social and economic issues that matter to us

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        It was less capitalism that led to the crash than the knowledge that government intervention would abound if it all went wrong.

        Capitalism requires failure but these banks knew they would be bailed out if their risky operations turned bad.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 17, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          There are all sorts of people in capitalism who will get up to mischief if they can in order to make an extra penny or two. To deny this is to deny basic human nature.

          The exact same can be said for socialists, social liberals and everyone else who inhabits this planet.

          Because we’re ALL (me included!) flawed human beings. And so we all need to be regulated in some way, whether you’re working class, middle class or upper class, whether you’re addicted to whiskey, sex or money.

          (And sure, regulation or regulators are imperfect as well, but better than to have an anarchic form of capitalism where anything goes).

          It’s just down-to-earth, bog standard common sense!

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        There is Mr Redwood, sir.

        (None of us are perfect, of course. Much of the time, I’m a hard capitalist, but I want to be a soft one). Here are soft and hard capitalism in their EXTREMES (again, we’re all a blend of the two from one degree to another – in what we do and/or what we want – unless we’ve opted out of modern life):

        HARD CAPITALISM: Unregulated. Based on greed. In old times, led to slavery and Satanic Mills. Now it leads to financiers who are in jail for white collar crime. It contributed to the great crash of 1929 leading to depression, Nazis and war. And causes economic instability, in long-term, in general. It also destroys patriotism because it is all focused on the gain of money for the glory of the individual as opposed to earning money through hard work for the benefit of family as well as for one’s duties towards country (helping the vulnerable, supporting nature and the arts, and so on).

        SOFT CAPITALISM: Regulated. Based on work ethic. In old times, led to Quakers creating and running famous UK businesses. Now, or more recently, led to businessmen such as the famous Frits Philips, loved in Holland (voted Netherland’s greatest entrepreneur of the 20th century) for both his business skills and for providing so many jobs, being a very fair employer, and being a generous patron to the people of his locality.
        Soft capitalism leads to stable, long-term growth in the markets.

        It’s not just a moral thing. It’s just as much practical. Because, soft capitalism, with its work ethic (as opposed to greed and envy) makes people happy (as individuals, families, neighbourhoods, and a country in general). Happy people work hard and this in turn reduces the need on public services, and so taxation falls as a result. And you get a more stable economy, reducing the risk to political instability, public violence, war and so on.

        I simply fail to see how anyone could disagree with this? However, I might be wrong. And open and willing to be persuasion.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          And when Boris Johnson preaches about ‘greed being good’, he’s talking absolute shit. Greed isn’t good. Never. I can be greedy. Really greedy. I wish I wasn’t. But I am. And try and fight it. But I don’t want Boris Johnson encouraging me to be greedy. I want him to say: ‘Work hard. Be inspired by the work ethic of people such as the Quakers who helped to make this country great by the businesses they helped to create and run.’

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      they are leaving because it makes no sense not to have access to 450 million consumers and an open financial market, it has very little to do with Bribes, wake up

      • Edward2
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Why won’t they have access?
        Are you claiming all trade between the UK and EU is going to stop.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          this was in reply to some of the banks leaving the UK not about not having access to the EU from Britain

      • John
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        Mostly low paid, many countries with an average wage under £10k which is partly why they don’t buy much from us. We need free access to the global markets on more favourable terms.

        Also are you sure the EU is going to ban us from trading with them, think you will find that flouts WTO rules and probably others.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          John,

          Of course we will continue trading with the EU , free access to the world markets we have more or less had for long time within teh Eu as well

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        Dearest Hans–“Access” at a mind-blowing cash cost don’t forget–Funny how you EU maniacs always manage not to bother to include that in the equation

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

          Leslie

          I was not aware that I am an “EU maniac”, the cost is £140 million a week and the trade is half of our or hundreds of billions, so I would suggest you start getting out you calculature before you start talking about maniacs

  2. Mick
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    He also went on about creating a eu forces, the remoaner snowflakes of London want to think themselves lucky on that one because you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be a conscripted armed forces

    • Count of Full-Monty
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      “…you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be a conscripted armed forces…” A very good point.

      • hefner
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        21 out of 27 EU nations have abolished the draft. Only Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece (and Norway) have kept it.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

          It could easily be reintroduced if necessary, as we have seen in the UK during two world wars and as is now planned in Sweden:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_Sweden

          And also in the UK those who have served voluntarily are treated as reservists who can be compulsorily called back for a number of years, which happened in 2002 on a small scale:

          https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/mar/08/september11.afghanistan

          “In their first compulsory call-up since the 1991 Gulf war, 49 reservists from a squadron based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire will stand in for regular air force personnel deployed in forward air bases, including Karachi in Pakistan and Oman in the Gulf.”

  3. Duncan
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    This man can’t help himself. The arrogance, the temerity, the sheer audacity of this politician. His contempt for national democracies, their sovereignty, their nationhood, their independence and their histories. His belief that all this can be discarded, swept away without recourse to referenda.

    Direct democracy across the EU is slowly and surely being strangled by a clique of powerful politicians (Merkel and JCK being the primary drivers) who are absolutely determined to centralise and consolidate EU power

    I can foresee an all powerful EU nation in 20-25 years time with ‘Germany’ at its core and the remaining constituents becoming nothing more than vassal regions

    I also believe that Poland (along with Hungary) will not tolerate the destruction of their democracy, their sovereignty, their parliament and their independence. I believe they will leave the EU at some point barring intervention from Soros in some shape or form

    I am content that Juncker’s been so open and brutally direct. It confirms to millions of British voters that their decision to vote to leave the EU was the right one

    Thank you Jean Claude for being the best Brexit recruiting tool we have had for many a year

  4. Bernard from Bucks.
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    He wants a “fully fledged European defence union”.
    And as a matter of interest will Britain be part of this and more importantly, will I as a Tax payer still be contributing after 2019 towards Mr Juncker’s goal?

  5. Richard1
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    It would have been most helpful to those of us who were floating voters in the referendum to have had this speech beforehand, it would have made totally clear – a point of dispute during the referendum – that the EU is heading towards federalism. For the UK, it is more than ever clear that remaining would have meant an endless, and almost certainly futile, effort to obtain vetoes and opt outs.

    On the subject of trade I can highly recommend Prof Kevin Dowds short and excellent paper on the benefits of unilateral free trade, available on the IEA website. Also this very sensible article yesterday by the Australian High Commissioner to the UK:-

    Australia can profit from Brexit, provided Britain stays open

    Alexander Downer

    Read the full article at:
    https://www.ft.com/content/30d68852-8e5b-11e7-9580-c651950d3672

    • Fairweather
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      A federal United States of Europe was well publishised before the referendum-
      “A fundamental Law of the European Union ” is a published book and summarised on the Internet . This is a sequel to the Lisbon Treaty.
      Also the 5 presidents report which was well talked about
      We talked about these things on our street stalls during the referendum campaign and now it’s all coming about

    • old salt
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      The following was available during the campaign.

      https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/5-presidents-report_en.pdf

      Should have been made more widely available.

      Reply I also devoted considerable space to the 5 Presidents Report and took the matter to Parliament to get it noticed.

      • Richard1
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        I read the 5 presidents report before the referendum. I know one other person who did. Almost everyone I spoke to had never heard of it.

        Reply The media were very reluctant to report all that I said and wrote about it, but I did weave it into some interviews. Check this website’s back history on the topic

        • Richard1
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          Yes I remember you talking about it. But few others did & not the govt as I recall.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted September 15, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      JUst because Mr. Junker has big ideas does not mean that most nations support them , let us just make that very clear and most nations among the 27 do not

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Full steam ahead from Juncker, what a misguided fool he is. He has learned nothing from the UK’s Brexit vote.

    His proposals to fund one sided EU propaganda perhaps the most offensive. More countries will surely leave thank goodness we made the right choice and let us hope hapless socialist May will actually deliver. “When it becomes get serious you have to lie” as he put it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:18 am | Permalink
    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Come on. May’s a soft capitalist. The alternative is hard, unfettered capitalism which was responsible for great crash of 1929, the great depression, the rise of the Nazis, and WW2. Hard, unfettered capitalism is just as bad and dangerous as socialism.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Capitalism at its worst destroys individuals, families and countries (in the long-term). And does nothing to build up patriotism and love of people and country in general.

        Capitalism, at its best, provides individuals, families and countries with interesting and stable prospects (in the long-term). And can be used to finance projects with nature and the arts. At its best it’s more about work ethic than greed (like the Quakers building our great companies of the past). Where people enjoy their jobs and treat others well. And people don’t feel used. Everyone is happy. This brings down cost in NHS, and other public services as people become more independent, less needy of the state.

        Hard Capitalism doesn’t work. It’s bad and boring.
        Soft Capitalism can work. It can be good and interesting.

      • Richard1
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        The principal cause of the Great Depression was reciprocal Protectionism. The UK economy at least recovered well from The 29 crash, showing strong growth from 1933 – under small govt capitalism. Contrary to leftist mythology, this was a period of rising prosperity and rapid development. WW2 was caused by the aggression of a German dictator wanting European domination, not by capitalism.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          This quote sums up pretty well what happened that caused the Wall Street Crash of 1929:

          “We are reaping the natural fruit of the orgy of speculation in which millions of people have indulged. It was inevitable, because of the tremendous increase in the number of stockholders in recent years, that the number of sellers would be greater than ever when the boom ended and selling took the place of buying.” – The president of the Chase National Bank.

          To be denial of this, is just to be in denial of basic, human nature. And that is that we’re all motivated, from one degree to another, by greed, envy and so on. Now I’m not calling for Utopian. That’s impossible. All I am saying, however, is that we need to be aware of the dangers of Hard Capitalism (greed, unregulated economy, and so on). Again, I’m a capitalist who can often be greedy, envious, who can be lazy instead of diligent etc). But that’s not good for me. And it can be dangerous for our country as a whole if lots and lots of individuals act like this without being challenged in some shape or form enough).

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        No she is clearly a socialist who believes in tax borrow and piss down the drain, building on EU workers rights, expensive green crap energy, endless red tape, government intervention on gender pay, the gig economy and endless other damaging things. She wants dire virtual state monopolies in health care, education etc. and misguided & misdirected taxpayer subsidies for green crap, farming, trains, pointless degrees in absurd subjects …..

        In short she does not want the UK to be competitive. She even seems to like the absurd 15% stamp duty turnover taxes on houses and taxes on non profits for landlords and thus tenants.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, but you make competition out to be some kind of mystical virtue.

          Competition is either bad or neutral (or even good in a sense). Excessive competition leads to greed (and envy) and the damage this always causes in one form or another.
          Neutral competition is just a way of life, providing a framework for people to work hard and do well. But not at any cost. Greed has to be regulated at every level, whether you’re a alcoholic who could cause harm to people on the roads (hence we have traffic police) or a person addicted to money, in any walk of life, and the damage this could do to others if this addiction is not regulated in some way (in the context it can do to others not the individual). And regulated in a myriad of different ways and at different levels.

          It’s just common sense. This isn’t really about politics or economics. It’s really just about human nature.

          Regards

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 15, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

            ‘Neutral competition’ – or mild, fair-play kind of competition, I mean (this doesn’t mean you don’t allow people to work hard to do well, but not in a way that encourages, obsessive,
            aggressive competition, at any cost, type-thing.

            In the long-run, Hard Capitalism just causes more problems than it solves through unintended consequences. The lives of individuals and of nations in history books is littered with the negative, long-term effect of hard capitalism (and of socialism and social liberal which are just as bad for similar and different reasons).

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          Let all drive Trabants then (after say five years waiting for delivery) then perhaps have to wait 2-6 years for your hip operation, who needs competition when the state sector and the state sector unions can look after you so well?

  7. Tasman
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    “If we are to take his new Union enthusiasm for free trade seriously surely he will want to accept the UK offer of a comprehensive zero tariff low barriers trade Agreement ” …

    Here you go again. The UK has made NO such offer, and that fact is not changed by your repeated attempts at misinformation.

    • David Price
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      The UK did make an offer in the Article 50 letter, page 5 section 6.

      “We also propose a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union …”

      The EU has refused to discuss the proposal let alone any details.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Here you go again, repeating the same falsehood …

  8. Helena
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    It is very strange. Juncker barely mentioned the UK. But we know from you, Mr Redwood, that the EU will lose far more than the UK from Brexit. So why the silence, eh? It’s almost like the UK has made itself irrelevant!

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Well Helena ,

      If the prospect of being part of a self determining UK does not appeal to you then please up sticks and move to the continental mainland as soon as possible .

      I genuinely wish you good luck over there . You may even be happier for doing so .

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Dear blinkered little European, a country is not “irrelevant” just because it is not part of your beloved EU. There are 160-odd countries around the world in that position, do you foolishly suppose that they are all “irrelevant”?

    • DaveM
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      As long as May is PM the UK will be largely irrelevant.

    • Vera
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Of course he’s not mentioning us, and of course the EU will lose far more than us, which is why Juncker is not acknowledging that, nor is he acknowledging how they will plug the financial hole we will leave. He still believes the EU is Utopia so any topic which doesn’t promote that is kicked under the carpet.

  9. Kenneth Morton
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Junker may be dreaming of a legacy of Euros 100 billion from the United Kingdom on our departure. A windfall sum to finance his new EU army! Fortunately this is never going to happen.

    What WILL happen is that countries such as the Baltic states, Poland, Hungary, Sweden and Ireland will wake up to discover how little say that they will have in determining their futures. Mr Farage and perhaps yourself JR may have a bright future advising these countries on how to escape the tyranny of the EU while they still can!

  10. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Obviously, I’m still a student of the British mindset! Little had I expected that after I mentioned (day before yesterday) the hilarious assertion that Britain was the second most powerful nation in the world, it was taken up 200% seriously by this blog! I’m not going to argue with this assertion, recently I had resolved to being nice to the British.

    Juncker is not the most powerful in the EU, neither is Mrs Merkel. The collective of 27 (for now 28) leaders of democracies are, be it that both Mrs Merkel and Mr Juncker are influential.

    For Brexit, the UK is in the driving seat at the moment, not the EU, which has to wait for the unified UK position on the envisaged future relationship, one possible position being expressed over and again in this blog.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Good Morning Peter,
      Understandably you appear to be in denial about where the once great nation of the Netherlands is heading. Please understand, this is all at the instruction of Germany. As you should know from the English, ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune’, Germany will soon be the only paymaster. All the smaller nations of the EU will soon disappear, they are economically and politically irrelevant to an EU, an irritation to be rationalised. Do you wish to lose your monarchy and statehood? Come and join us on the outside of the undemocratic EU!

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        @Peter Wood: Somehow, I don’t get the idea that you’ve made much study of how the EU really operates.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        “All the smaller nations of the EU will soon disappear”

        Well, I don’t know about the “soon”, but that is clearly the direction of travel as the man who is now President of Germany predicted a decade ago:

        https://www.allianz.com/en/press/news/commitment/community/news_2007-01-15.html/

        “”The era of small nation states has passed,” declared Frank-Walter Steinmeier in his first major political speech since Germany took over the EU Council presidency.”

        “In his closing remarks, Steinmeier noted there is much work to be done, conceding that visions for Europe are projects that will take up the next 20 to 30 years and citing a future European army as an example. He also noted that this century could well see the disappearance of national foreign ministers, that the “German foreign minister” is probably a dying breed.”

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper: Thank you for the interesting article. My interpretation is that Steinmeier includes also Germany in his statement about the past era of small nation states – obvious from his closing remark: “German foreign minister” is probably a dying breed.”
          These remarks were made 10 years ago, even before Catherine Ashton was appointed to coordinate foreign policies.
          I appreciate that the UK is not ready for such sovereignty sharing. With Brexit you won’t need to worry about it anymore.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 16, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

            My comment was addressed to my fellow citizen.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      If I was a citizen of a non euro country remaining in the EU I’d be very worried by this speech. Who now can deny the express federal destination of the EU? Perhaps it’s what people in many EU countries want, in which case fine. But it’s abundantly clear such a vision has no more than small minority support in the UK. The EU should therefore welcome the UK’s departure and get on with agreeing a sensible open trading relationship for the future.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        @Richard1: The other non-euro countries have all committed to enter the euro area at some stage. That may still be decades away as the fundamental euro problems haven’t been solved as yet and there is no particular hurry. Juncker himself may sound like a federalist, but I can well imagine that the EU will take another sixty years before we reach that stage if at all.

    • Timaction
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Why do you come on this blog to be rude to us Mr EU?
      Many of us are confused by the European mindset of surrender and do as you are told. Happy with being ruled by unelected technocrats. From our perspective we have been kind and generous to you on the continent. We even went bankrupt to fight and rescue you in your hour of need. Now we are just given threats (You will regret Junker) to (We will teach the British lessons Barnier). We have only been a net recipient of EU funds once in 45 years and now you claim we owe you 100 billion Euro’s. Be gone with you.

      • Andy
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        Well said. Considering the loss in blood and treasure made by this country within living memory so the likes of Peter Van Leeuwen don’t live under an oppressive jackboot their attitude towards the United Kingdom is shameful and disgraceful.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

          @Andy: I never hear the Russians brag about WWII, while they sacrificed at least ten times more to ending the third reich and Hitler.
          Neither do I hear America or Canada about it.
          Strange . . .

    • Mark
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      The EU has yet to express any position worth calling the name. So far it has simply put forward the idea that the UK should pay an even larger share for no benefit. It is keeping its head in the sand.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        @Mark: it is nothing more than just settling the accounts, and official EU negotiators have mentioned NO figure. The official UK side has already stated that it would pay what it legally and morally owes. Forget the media, just give them time to work it out.

        • Andy
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

          To ‘settle the accounts’ has to be based on Law. The demand for anything over and above the payments made AS A MEMBER, or beyond the period of Membership are contrary to the Law. Go and read the Treaties. The EU has Legal Personality and as such any spending commitments it makes are its responsibility, not the individual member states.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted September 15, 2017 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

            Mr Davis stated that the UK would also pay costs it felt morally obliged to – that is different from “based on law”

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      “the hilarious assertion that Britain was the second most powerful nation in the world”

      The word used was ‘influential’ not ‘powerful’ and it certainly wasn’t taken 200% seriously on this blog and certainly not by our host.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        @Anonymous: Your media (defense journal, the Sun, the Mirror, the Daily Express) all speak of ” most powerful”. I wasn’t pointing so much at the host as at all the contributors

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          Contributors ? Sorry. I didn’t see that here either – certainly not 200%.

          I wouldn’t come here if (with a couple of obvious exceptions) contributors were so delusional. Remainers are also guilty of making some of the more outlandish and elaborate comments – Newmania for example.

          Euroscepticism is not confined to the British. In fact it is widespread on the Continent too.

    • skiggy
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Junkers has now stated what the Brexiteers have stated since 2015 but they were called, mad, misguided, wrong fools. Perhaps now those people will see we were right and what they were heading for and get behind Brexit to make it succeed. For those who do not think that Junkers is the powerhouse behind the EU, you are deluding yourselves. Think back over the last 18 months, who has had most prominence in the media? Merkel (quite a bit), Macron (only laterly), Junkers, everyday without fail giving some dictat or other which is not surprising since he is the head of the EPP party, the biggest party in the EU Parliament by far, which means whatever he says gets rubber stamped by the EU Parliament, ergo he is the boss of the EU.
      It is ‘The Caudenhove – Kalergi Plan’ coming to fruition. Europe ruled by one government with one president using the EU army to put down any rebellious factions, (Poland,Hungary etc). They need to get out now while they can or it will be Occupation all over again.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        @skiggy: A greater and earlier thinker about a more united Europe than von Coudenhove-Kalergi may have been the Englishman William Penn (1693 pamphlet) before he crossed the ocean and started Pennsylvania. I’ve regarded Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi a bit more of a lonesome idealist, although I must confess not knowing much about him.
        I doubt that the EPP is federalistic (even though Juncker is a bit), and even in a “federalistic partygroup like ALDE there are different opinions. “Occupation” now you’re confusing with the British Empire, the EU is a voluntary club!

    • Bob
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      @PvL

      “the UK is in the driving seat at the moment, not the EU”

      yes, I believe that is correct, although the quisling BBC would have us believe otherwise.

    • Anglo-Saxon Plus
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      JR knows a bit about English usage. He wrote ” It was amusing… to read yesterday morning that the UK has emerged as the second most influential country in the world after the USA in some new assessment of power, influence and diplomatic success in the year after Brexit.”
      First, JR indicated “It was amusing ..” which opens up the later content as some form of joke. Then “in some new assessment of power,..” The “some” in this particular context strongly indicates, in the sub-language, if you like, of a source without any important or believable credentials, necessarily”
      You know Peter, I have heard a number of foreigners say “Oh English is easy to learn, it is a very simple language” . Yes, well that is a perspective.

      • hefner
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        That might the reason for so many problems in the UK-EU discussions. The use of subtexts or sub-language as you call it must obviously be different for an English-native speaker and a foreigner, as good as their English might be. That might also explain why even English-speaking continentals have difficulties with the English humour.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        @Anglo-Saxon Plus:
        “This position can be strengthened if the UK sees through Brexit in a positive and outward looking way” appears to me as a serious sentence, not a joking host’s comment. Neither did I get the impression that all other contributors were taken this study as something non-serious.
        (I don’t find any language particularly easy.)

    • Monza 71
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      We are ready.

      We’ve offered to continue unrestricted free trade, continued cooperation in security and policing and friendly relations.

      Peter, your supremely arrogant EU leaders, and especially jumped up little idiots like Verhofstadt, seem determined to break their own treaties which call for them to have friendly relations with neighbours and promote free trade.

      Their current “just give us the money” negotiating strategy can only be intended to achieve precisely the opposite.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        @Monza 71: Our 27 supremely arrogant EU leaders???
        After all, Barnier is only carrying out the instructions that the 27 heads of government have given him (and he never mentioned any figure yet).

        Maybe you rely too much on English media? I don’t see any unfriendliness towards the UK. Once you’ve left a free trade deal will be negotiated, I’m pretty sure about that.

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

      Please don’t be nice to us PVL. Instead try refraining from offering unwanted and unrequested advice. Nothing more is necessary.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        @James Matthews: Which advice have I given recently? Giving an opinion is not giving advice. You may not like to read certain opinions, that is another matter.

    • Hope
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      JR, this should be music to your ears and further evidence how the remainers were trying to deceive the public by lies. We recall what Clegg and the likes of his said on TV. However, the worry should be why is May not responding, or as Dennis has said many times why has DD not got an effective apR unit to ram this home to all of the U.K. To unite us in our opposition for these fanatics? I am still convinced May is not behind Brexit. She allowed every obastacle to be placed in the way when she could have acted otherwise. Her useless speech wa as empty as Cameron’s before her. Why your party allows to be duped baffles me.

      Maud is right about the civil service. A good clear starting with Haywood is long overdue and along the lines Tebbit recommended.

      Rees- Morgan correct on the radio about the vile comments of Osborne and what a bitter person he is. Shows why he was never fit for public office let alone high office. Also his attack on the police while in offic which has come back to bite the whole Tory party at the last election.

      Unfortunately there is no leadership of the kind required at the moment. So over to you and colleagues to force May’s hand.

    • DaveM
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Haven’t you read the news PvL? Juncker is planning to effectively remove the 27’s veto so he can just push through any legislation he wants.

      He’ll be like Andrew Jackson; 26 ayes, 1 no…the nos have it

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 4:10 am | Permalink

        @DaveM: You overestimate the EC’s (and Juncker’s) power. Some more QMV may come at some stage, but in line with the very slow process of continental countries better aligning their policies and not before every country has specifically agreed to such an increase in QMV. Nothing will happen before the UK has left, so much is clear anyway.

        • NickC
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

          PvL, But that is the problem. Every (so far) country will specifically agree because the only alternative is to leave. That is the beauty of the EU control ratchet – each concession individually by a member state is of less significance than leaving the EU is.

          That worked with the UK too, until the overall accumulation of EU power grabs became too much for us to accept. Never mind, we are trail-blazers, as usual, and we will help you out if you want to retain your national identity. Again.

          • hefner
            Posted September 15, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            In past centuries till the two WWs, there was no doubt about the trail-blazing quality of the British people.
            Since then, the trail-blazing is rather limited to particular British industries and relatively small number of people. It might please you to think you are a trail-blazing individual, but all British people? Having seen numerous instances of British tourists in non-English-speaking countries (in Asia and South America) complain about native shop-keepers not being able to address them in proper English makes me somewhat doubtful of this intrinsic trail-blazing quality of the Brits.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Nobody asserted Britain was the second most “powerful” nation in the world. The report you are apparently quoting said no such thing.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        @Roy Grainger: Most people read the media rather than the report itself, and your media like the Mirror, the Sun, the Daily Express all mention “most powerful”.

        • NickC
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          PvL, But that’s not what you originally claimed. You said: “… the hilarious assertion that Britain was the second most powerful nation in the world, it was taken up 200% seriously by this blog! …”. No it wasn’t taken seriously by this blog, 200% or otherwise.

    • john barnes
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      I am afraid you are deluded if you think the 27 countries have a say in the path of the EU superstate

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        @john barnes: I’m afraid you don’t understand the process of EU policy development and EU decision making.

    • Vera
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Mrs Merkel not the most powerful – well you could have fooled me. Mrs Merkel, though not a bureaucrat of the EU, but just the German equivalent of our Mrs May seems to run the EU. She is the one they run to when in a quandary and she seems to be the only one who can ignore or change EU rules, or make new ones without any of the other 27 needing to be involved. Remember how Cameron was always sucking up to her, now replaced by Macron. The end game is Germany/Merkel in total charge of the EU.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        @Vera: Sorry but I think that you confuse UK media reporting with reality. If you follow the process a bit more in detail yourself, including the expressed opinions of all the other leaders, you will see that the media tell an oversimplified story.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      PvL–Your mindset assuredly makes up for any deficiency on our part–You know how it goes, and it’s not far wrong, viz we Netherlanders are so small and insignificant that we have to throw our lot in to a hateful construct that is simply not working, and which would only become worse with, Horrors!, the likes of Juncker in sole charge. As I say, not far wrong, but, as ever, What’s that got to do with us? To help with your understanding I promise you that there isn’t one single person in the UK that wanders the Earth thinking we are second most powerful–A perfectly daft thing to say and entirely made up (perhaps so that the likes you can squawk)

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        @Leslie Singleton: As mentioned to others already “second most powerful” is only something I read in the British press – I have given three sources of that – and not in any Dutch media.
        The Netherlands with its open export oriented economy does very well out of the EU cooperation. That will continue post-Brexit whether or not we’ll be on WTO rules with you or something more like the Norway model.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 17, 2017 at 12:40 am | Permalink

      It’s not that long ago that, in response to EC criticism of France’s fiscal deficit, M Hollande said that France’s budget was sacred. Also, Victor Orban is extremely pissed off at being told by the EC (in reality by Angela Merkel) what Hungary’s immigration policy should be. Not much unity there, then.

      Perhaps the real need is for a statue of Robert E Lee to be erected in Times Square, Brussels.

      A good example of European cooperation would be for Germany to run a shuttle service for African and Islamic immigrants, with ships taking would be immigrants from Pireas and other Mediterranean ports directly to Hamburg. That would ensure that they would stay in the country – Germany – that theoretically wants to admit them.

      It was as recently as 2015 that Mrs Merkel wanted to admit over a million such immigrants to Germany in a single year, followed by half a million in each subsequent year. The German people had a different opinion and Mrs Merkel then invoked the German moral imperative ……. “WE MUST …..”, trying to impose her opinion throughout the EU. We really will be well out of the EU. With friends like that, who needs enemies.

  11. Nig l
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    He has certainly done Brexit a great favour with both the timing and the content setting out clearly his federalist undemocratic ambitions, that had of course been set out in previous positioning papers but which were denied by pro EU supporters in the U.K. It makes Cameron’s comments in the past about the EU finally getting it, more concentration on the nation state, less federalism look as frankly stupid as the claims in Project Fear.

    It certainly won’t do much for those who want a second referendum albeit look out for a stream of statements saying that if we had stayed in we could have shaped this to our advantage.

    Yes some odd omissions and childish threats but a clear indication he accepts we are not turning back.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted September 15, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      just because Junker has some ideas doe snot mean that most of 27 nations will accept them and they actually will not, so let us hold our horses

  12. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Nothing new here – they have always disregarded UK aspirations – they didn’t like us because we had different opinions, something socialists and communists cannot tolerate.

    Time to really strengthen our borders, because if Turkey lives up to its promise of saturating Europe with immigrants, the EU will be in trouble…

    Great – so just one president in the future – that will really cut the salary bill! That will hack off blair as he was after one of those jobs.

    • Oggy
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      @Bryan Harris –
      ‘Time to really strengthen our borders, because if Turkey lives up to its promise of saturating Europe with immigrants, the EU will be in trouble…’

      Juncker also hopes to ‘recruit’ the Balkan States to join the EU, (Macedonia, Serbia, Albania plus many more) of which many of their citizens joined the long streams of illegal immigrants marching towards Germany to claim asylum – until Hungary quite rightly closed the border.
      The EU integration of these poorer states will mean they will be exporting their homeless, jobless and criminals to the richer western European nations.
      I wonder what Mrs Merkel thinks about having to pay for all these countries too.
      I hope all you remoaners are taking note.

      http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/balkan-states-back-high-on-eu-agenda-juncker-09-13-2017

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Nothing new here in the sense that the EU project has always been about setting up a pan-European federation with the full panoply of federal powers.

      Right from what the EU itself regards as being the starting point, the May 9th 1950 Schuman Declaration:

      https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/symbols/europe-day/schuman-declaration_en

      “The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe … ”

      “… this proposal will lead to the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation indispensable to the preservation of peace.”

      Our politicians knew that, and they knew that the British people did not and would not want to be part of it, but they still went ahead and dragged us into it.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        Indeedy – the only issue being that the British public were sold something other than the EEC was intended to become – lied to by PM’s and MP’s, and some are still at it.

    • BertD
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Yes bryan nothing new here so we had better move along..they don’t like us because we come accross as being too arrogant, unfriendly and hostile, not to mention disagreeable, and so yes we should really strengthen our borders and take some time out for reflection and maybe then consider how we want to move forward because in time and in our present awful frame of mind we are going to appear the very same to other future trade deal partners..nobody will be good enough for us.. It is not the empire time again and the natives are not going to lie down and take it- those days are well and truly gone.

      As far as Junker is concerned he will be there until November 2019 only and then presumably there will be a new brush- but it won’t matter to us

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

        A new brush, but same old arrogance and policies I will wager.

        We seriously need a new blueprint for our future.

  13. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Deep down Brussels is pleased we are leaving except for the loss of our money. Hence the trick of keeping us paying long after we have left.
    I hope Mrs May doesn’t intend capitulating to their outrageous demands.
    I wonder what Clogg et al have to say about a USE with its own armed forces and their role in interfering in sovereign nations to uphold security.
    Come remainiacs wake up and smell the coffee.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      With the connivance of our own politicians over more than four decades Brussels has used us to help further their eurofederalist, “non-imperial imperial”, geopolitical ambitions, but increasingly we are getting in the way of those ambitions and so for them it’s actually best that we now leave. And in that regard it’s best for us as well, because just as we could not trust our politicians over this in the past so there is no reason why we should expect to be able to trust them in the future and if we stayed in we would be dragged further and further into the eurofederal project.

    • Poppy
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Yes, Guy Verhofstadt was beaming with delight. I thought he would spit through his teeth at our leaving.

    • Monza 71
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      What they want is us out but to keep the flow of money from London for the longest time possible. At least until the present lot of political leaders leave the stage and they can leave the problems of the budget black hole to their successors.

      Together with a determination to punish us for voting to leave , this appears to be the sole objective of their negotiation strategy.

      We should just walk away in March 2019

  14. The PrangWizard
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I wonder what all the remainers, the EU fanatics, and the politicians and others who are putting it about that we can and should stay in the EU, or parts of it, are thinking this morning as they realise their hero, the EU and its leadership, has written them out of the script already. I trust they will feel rather foolish.

    Juncker even directs a threat and an insult in the direction of the UK.

    As far as I am concerned we can’t get out fast enough and I don’t want to be let down on that. If Mrs May makes concessions she is committing political suicide, for herself and her party.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Mrs May has already committed her own political suicide, albeit delayed, by calling an unnecessary GE. She is PM on sufferance only until the end of Brexit negotiations. Such lamentable poor judgement won’t be given a second chance at another GE!

      As for her party’s political suicide? That depends on the quality of Brexit. If her party delivers a proper 100% humdinger of a no bullshit Brexit, it will survive.

      There are millions of traditional Labour voters, who put aside their previous allegiance to vote ‘Leave’ in the national interest at the referendum.

      What do former shipyard workers in the North East, former textile workers in the North West, and engineering workers in the West Midlands have in common with professors of Political Correctness from Hampstead, Islington, or Camden? – Nothing! – And they know it!

      Especially when they see Opposition spokespersons trying to baffle them with bullshit, such as remaining in the SM & CU, as well as ‘doing the right thing’ by paying Danegeld!

      The support of all patriots voting in the National Interest for Brexit is there for the taking. But HMG has to be seen to be working come hell of high water to deliver the above meaningful Brexit!

      If not, we may be signing a leaving card and organising a whip-round for Dr Redwood. – It is as serious as that.

      • Doug Powell
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        PS

        To be more precise regarding what Labour ‘Leave’ voters truly know:

        “That their Brexit Vote is NOT safe in Labour’s hands!”

  15. sm
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    And when there is only one President instead of three, how long will it be before someone decides that it would only be appropriate for that title to gracefully elide into Holy Roman Emperor?

    • Norman
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Exactly – complete with ‘Pantheon’, and religio illicita. ‘For the fathers’ sakes’, perhaps we shall be spared yet one more time…

    • WC Field
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      They are thinking of making Roman laurel leaves as a motif on all future toilet seats in the EU Parliament. An apt wreath for its future sinking demise.

    • Vera
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Oh goodness! You have made that position even more inviting for Bliar. With a title like that he could rival the Pope.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Given that the title “Holy Roman Emperor” was an illegitimate invention by a Pope in 800AD,using a Vatican-forged document,to reward someone who had saved his skin(Charlemagne),a most appropriate development for Mr Blair.

  16. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    John

    Mr Juncker is sounding more like the arch villain from a James Bond film with every absurd utterance. His sole reference to the UK was about us soon regretting our decision to leave the EU. Was that a threat or a warning? Bonkers either way.

    Of more short-term significance is the debate in the Commons scheduled for 16th October re. abolishing the TV licence fee. I hope you will rally the troops and remove this pernicious tax once and for all.

    • Bob
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Of more short-term significance is the debate in the Commons scheduled for 16th October re. abolishing the TV licence fee.

      Yes, finally, I hope our host can make room in his busy schedule to participate.

      This could be the first step towards dispensing with the daily diet of Cultural Marxism.

    • Mark
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      I think it is a clear indication that Juncker believes we will change our minds and Brexit will never happen. Perhaps he doesn’t want to admit to himself his role in promoting the Leave vote.

      • Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        Really, I think, it’s just a continuation of the attempt to discourage others from following our example [eg German voters].

        I should think that a lot of this is theatre and they don’t really expect a big bundle of exit money, not do they expect a punitive trade agreement.
        Just continue to make the 27 feel that they’re safe where they are.

    • Horatio
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately most politicians are so scared of the BBC that they will hold back.

    • Vera
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      As long as we don’t have to make up the short fall from our taxes.

  17. Sakara Gold
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    It may be that Mr Junker will shortly have to deal with a major Russian incursion into eastern Europe as they undertake their massive “Zapad” (western) military exercises. The only thing that Russia understands is strength and they have been testing UK responses to provocations such as an amphibious naval assault group running the Channel last year and constantly flying nuclear capable bombers over Scotland inside our airspace.

    I was not impressed with his speech yesterday but if, once again, we have to stand against an aggressive fascist regime maybe we should not burn our bridges when we finally leave the EU.

  18. Bob
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    When Nigel raised the prospect of an EU army on the live TV debate, Nick Clegg said that was a “dangerous fantasy”.

    Perhaps Mr Clegg should say the same thing to Mr Juncker.

    • MickN
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      I seem to remember that he accused Nigel Farage of lying about it.
      This EU army will not be to defend the EU from attack from outside, rather to put down uprisings when other member countries see the light and dare to want to leave.

      • Andy
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Exactly. If you allow the likes of Juncker to control military force then you are three quarters of the way to tyranny.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Main reason why Junker’s plan is fantasy is that you need a leader to lead anything, whether it be a village fete, a business, an army or a country, and especially, something as big and complicated as a group of countries.
      This is where good British common sense cuts into the whole EU debate thing. Saying that, common sense also says that the single market has created prosperity in Europe, overall, making the place a safer place for us (as prosperity and peace and security are closely linked), and more close, prosperous partners for us to trade with (Ireland is a great example – from relative poverty in 1970’s with violence in N. Ireland, Ireland is now provides decent trading opportunities for us, whilst there is now peace in N. Ireland – all thanks to increased prosperity which the EU played a key role in in N. Ireland).
      So it’s a case i think of getting the balance right between common sense and the big picture and/or between national politics/economics and geopolitics.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Apparently there’s no need to worry about the military leadership:

        http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/05/22/germany-is-quietly-building-a-european-army-under-its-command/

        “Germany is quietly building a European army under its command”

        “Berlin is using a bland name to obscure a dramatic shift in its approach to defense: integrating brigades from smaller countries into the Bundeswehr”

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

          I totally oppose EU military leadership (I only support close economic and cultural ties with Europe as well as non-legally-binding partnership on security matters where necessary). Not sure why you directed this at me?!

          We should be trying to play a leading role in influencing what goes on on the content and not leaving it all up to Germany and France to play all the cards, whether the EU existed or not!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 15, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

            Because of your first sentence which specifically mentioned leadership of an army: “… Junker’s plan is fantasy … you need a leader to lead anything, whether it be … an army … “

    • Prigger
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Bob
      Fairs fair. The person you mention in referencing Farage is no longer a politician. You are right in the quote. However, if that person is made a member of the Lords, well…power to your elbow and we must hope that when the Commons is refurbished the Lords is sold off piecemeal. Their benches would look really royal in Hyde Park for example. What’s more they would be useful!

    • Man of Kent
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      It looks likely to become a ‘dangerous reality’

      Given the EU aim of a future more aggressive foreign policy supported by its own Federal Army it is but a short step to using its Army to put down rebellions in say Hungary to preserve the Union .

      Tragically we seem to have signed up to the EU policy and have already given away a large bargaining chip with nothing in return .

      We have always based our foreign policy on keeping the balance of power in Europe .This has now been replaced by siding with federal forces .

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        In your scenario what would happen if Hungary requested military assistance from Russia?What would NATO do?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Dear Bob–Better yet, he should be forced to stand up and comment on just how wrong it is possible to be, and not just on the explicitly hoped for EU Army–Was he not one of those assuring us that we would remain in statu quo in general?

  19. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    I agree.
    Looks like Junker is making up fantasy board game.
    One main reasons for EU was peace + security in Europe. Don’t need political union for that (sows seeds for conflict). Just build up Europe’s prosperity in general through close trade agreements (look at how increased prosperity was main reason for peace in N. Ireland).
    Saying that, need to protect single market (businesses want this too), and create closer ties with Europe through closer commercial and cultural ties – not political or legal ones.

  20. Mark B
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Out comes the cry: “More Europe !”. For that is is all they know. And now we see what the term, EVER CLOSER UNION means.

    What worries me though, is that our little lot will one day try to sign us up to this monstrous idea once more or, at least, some sort of ‘Associate Member’ status. They already have us signed up to the EU Defence force.

  21. A different Simon
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Juncker may be sozzled half the time but he is just about the only personality the EU has .

    He has a sense of humour and can see a bigger picture and understand where ordinary Briton’s are coming from (even if he cannot admit that) .

    Take the old man away and what are you left with ?

    Answer) a collection of humourless nobodies and under achievers which would shortly lead to a power struggle and then onto a fully fledged tyranny . After all the apparatus is all in place , it’s just a matter of flicking a switch .

  22. Newmania
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    It was a terrifying set of aspirations and plans for the UK . Mr Junker has no more power to centralise the EU today that he did yesterday. Such developments will be agreed between Nations at Council and he is a minor player in that process
    He does have considerably power of existing arrangements and it would appear the EU understands all too well it is now in competition with the UK

    This is a competition we can only lose .The psychology involved shows us what remain always said to Brexit zealots:

    ”Don`t assume the EU is any less small minded unreasonable aggressive and bigoted than you are “

  23. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Mr Juncker’s comments yesterday came as no surprise to many who voted Leave in the referendum. Indeed such developments were part of their antipathy to membership of the EU.On the other hand many prominent Remainers were in denial about such plans either genuinely or deceitfully. Their devotion and subservience to the EU is rather like a form of religious belief and commitment rather than a rational analysis of democratic governance.
    I hope that Mrs May’s speech in Florence next week is not going to be a capitulation to the extortion and bullying tactics of the EU. She was correct when she said that no deal is better than a bad deal. She needs to maintain her resolve.

  24. Bert Young
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Juncker skated around detail to avoid the obvious . He is obviously not a believer in democracy ; he simply wants to dominate from the centre . Any intelligent leader would be – and ought to be , mindful of his words . Farage was reported to have accused him of ” not learning “- the evidence of the dissent from Poland and the Eastern members of the EU is lesson enough .

    The EU will not succeed simply by admitting new member countries ; if its size does increase , so will its difficulties . There is no way that a central tax regime would work for the EU ; so far there has not been a willingness to share all and the attempt to create a common economic discipline has failed .

    The 2nd World War is still a sticking point for European countries ; dominance from the centre will be its forceful reminder . Peaceful co-existence rests entirely in the recognition of national identity and the differences that naturally exist ; bureaucracy will not overcome this .

    • Bert Young
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Is there anything offensive or ridiculous in this posting ?

      • Bert Young
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        It’s not too long ; it’s to the point ; it was posted in good time ; I’m confused !.

        • Brian Tomkinson
          Posted September 15, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

          Bert, You’re at the back of the queue with me. Perhaps the EU’s representative here seems to take up too much of our host’s time?

          • Oggy
            Posted September 15, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

            Not as far back as I am !

  25. Beecee
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    If we are being disregarded now by the EU, de facto therefore considered having already left, then we should stop all payments to it immediately!

    And why are we reading that Mrs May is going to admit in her expected statement that the UK will pay a divorce settlement?

    Surely not?

  26. JoolsB
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Slightly off topic John but there is a union much closer to home that will be in greater peril post Brexit if your Government continues to deliberately ignore and discriminate against the biggest part of it, i.e. England. May has promised substantial new powers for the Scots & Welsh Governments post Brexit and yet as usual no mention of England whatsoever let alone any mention of any powers for them, not even a taste of any of those powers already enjoyed by Scotland and Wales.

    Once we leave the EU John and the English see even more powers going to rest of the UK that are denied to them and they continue to be used as a nothing more than a milch cow, how much longer do you think they will allow 650 self serving UK MPs in the UK Parliament to deliberately continue to ignore both the English Question and the West Lothian Question???

    Reply Our Union looks a lot stronger after the recent Election. Scotland will benefit from more devolved powers when the transfer from the EU occurs.

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 15, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      John, I cannot believe the reply you have just given me. As someone who purports to speak for England, what about England? Yes of course Scotland will be very happy, and Wales, but your Government are making a grave mistake if you think they can carry on ignoring England and the rotten deal it gets both constitutionally and financially.

  27. Yossarion
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    There they go again, More Europe solves all, We have known for years this was the agenda, the Lib Dems and Blair frantically trying to stop a two speed EUSSR to keep us in the Salami slicer. There seems to be a lot of Popcorn sales.

  28. James Neill
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    For a start Mr Junker is not going to be there himself indefinitely, at some time he will be replaced, and anyway what he is proposing is to combine the president of the commission with that of the council and not the parliament. In his speech he did not mention Brexit very much either because of the ongoing exit talks and because nobody really knows just what the UK wants with europe in the future so I suppose at this stage there is no point. My view only- if we keep with the stance that no deal is better than a bad deal or that people can go whistle etc- well?

    He talks about the EU 27 and not 28 only because he is looking to the future and UK won’t be there so that makes sense as well- his hopes for trade deals with OZ and NZ etc are legitimate as well and I am sure that the UK would have been mentioned as well if only anyone knew what the UK plans and hopes for the future were?

    Let’s get real here- we are in the middle of serious talks about our departure from the bloc, the EU is hardly going to include us in any way as regard their future plans.

    Lastly he is correct when he says that the UK will regret, but in a way he has left the door open for a future generation of Brits to renegotiate and reverse if there is not too much damage done- I believe- but it will be long after Farage’s time-

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Did he say anything about:

    “If the British government wishes we could have fresh discussions on how the UK could unilaterally limit immigration from the rest of the EU, and we have learnt from our mistake and would certainly offer far more than we offered to David Cameron in his negotiations, and so perhaps we could avoid the disruption of the UK leaving the EU”?

    No, I thought not.

    Ed Mahoney, and some others, take note: you may want “reform” of the EU but the only kind of “reform” you will get is that which has been outlined, which follows on from the kind of “reform” that Merkel put into her “Reform Treaty”:

    From 2007:

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/merkel-says-reform-treaty-will-strengthen-union-1.1212387

    “Merkel says ‘reform treaty’ will strengthen union”

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 15, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      @Denis

      The big flaw in my argument about ‘reform’ is that it is, I agree, a mammoth task, and there isn’t, perhaps, the individual in politics today to who could accomplish it.

      (Can I just make clear or clearer what I’m arguing in reform: Preserving / supporting 1. Close trade links with Europe 2. Close cultural links with Europe – which benefits the UK and the EU in terms of the economy, peace and security. Getting rid of: 1. Political union 2. Legal union).

      ‘There isn’t, perhaps, the individual in politics today who could accomplish it.’ Actually, i take that back. I think someone such as Mr Redwood could (i don’t flatter him, I mean it, sincerely, although he’s welcome to take it as a compliment!).

      (I’m pretty sure Churchill would be arguing and fighting for this – reform of the EU. And, yes, Thatcher too – I think she would have been swayed, eventually, out of Brexit – and she would NEVER have supported remaining in the EU without reform, I agree 100%).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        Ed, the big flaw in your argument is that the most powerful players in the EU do not want the same kind of “reform” as you envisage, they never have and as far as I can see they never will.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 17, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

          @Denis,

          I agree, big task. And probably requires a Churchill to accomplish. Or a few really imaginative, brave and intelligent men and women working together to accomplish the sort of things Churchill could achieve on his own!

          Again, a reformed EU (economic and cultural union but NO political union) with us in it, controlling it as much as Germany and France, is profoundly better than Hard Brexit or remaining in the EU as it is now with political union.

          It’s not just what i think, but what many others think – both Brexiters as well as Remainers who weren’t given this third choice. Not only better for our country (and Europe) but also for the Conservative Party (uniting it – and keeping socialism and socialism liberalism out), and for international geo-politics because a strong, stable Europe is good for the rest of the world as well.

          Regards

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 17, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          Also, Dennis, Hard Brexit will solve some issues, I agree. But open up a whole bunch of new ones – can of worms.

          Brexiters want to be heroes. But they’re fighting the wrong fight. Brexiters will only become the focus of people’s anger for years to come as new problems are created. So nothing exciting to look forward to. Just same old, same old, but in a different (and similar) form.

  30. Epikouros
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    The question should be asked what benefit is there to European citizens and the world to have an EU state that has a common currency, open borders and political and economic union. Especially if the cost is loss of democratic control and self determination that nation states already have difficult with as their citizens look increasingly to localise that process. Devolution and/or calls for succession on the increase.

    Open borders are a bone of contention as people fear rightly or wrongly that their jobs and cultures are under attack. People are becoming more disillusioned with the establishment and bureaucracy and already believe they are taxed enough so a superstate only magnifies those problems and puts greater burdens on taxpayers. Why a new military force when acting together voluntarily through the auspices of NATO does the job adequately. Just another unnecessary expense and is likely to become a stick that is controlled by the EU elite to be used to impose it’s will.

    A common currency has already proven to disadvantage many countries who have embraced it so increasing the numbers of holders of that currency can only be even more damaging. Mr Juncker has expressed that which may of us already knew the updated aims of the EU although they are not new. What he tells us is that the EU’s own Star Chamber the ECJ will continue to punish any who disagree with him and his colleagues. That the vision that brought the EU into being and drives it although ill thought and and fantastical is to be pursued with vigour. None of it makes rational sense. Fortunately the UK has belatedly realised that and are leaving thus making Junckers and his colleagues and supporters ideas even less affordable.

  31. Iain Gill
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    maybe a “state of the nation” on the following would be useful

    healthcare
    homelessness
    national debt
    immigration
    our national intellectual property
    the old industrial heartlands which are still jobless wastelands

    just a thought…

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      add paying for old age care and confiscating old peoples homes and property to pay for their care to this list, since its one of the reasons the election result was so dire maybe some reflection on the state quo and why its still so bad…

  32. Prigger
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Juncker left out Russia. She was joining the EU in 2024.This was thought during EU-Russia negotiations as being the lynch pin, the make or break, of any possibility of an EU superstate.
    The EU concluded Russia is a bad egg.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 15, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Much more likely remnants of the EU will be joining Russia when the former implodes and the subsidies are no longer available but cheap Russian gas is.

      Back in 1922 one of the better German writers,Herman Hesse,talked of a future when there would be “a staggering back of the tired European spirit to the Asiatic mother”!

  33. Peter
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Refreshing to see a former head of the Bank of England make a case for walking away with no deal:-

    “I think that you need a separate team who are responsible for ensuring that if the negotiations do break down in some way, and we can’t control that, that depends on the other side and we have no influence on that, we are capable of saying that if you don’t want an agreement, we are capable of leaving and trading with you under WTO terms.”

    And on BBC’s ‘News night’ of all places.

  34. hans chr iversen
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    John,

    Your underlying assumption is wrong you are assuming that the 450 million consumers in the EU and the EU , think the UK is very important after expressing regret for us leaving, but this is not the case and therefore your hypothesis on the importance of Britain in this context is plain wrong.

  35. Chris S
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Very few posting here ever had any doubts as to the direction the Eurofanatics intend to take the EU, despite the disgraceful lies continually spouted by Clegg, Osbourne and Cameron amongst others.

    Juncker has just laid it out in stark terms that even the most naive EU enthusiast will understand.

    Thank gooodness the average British voter had the sense and determination to vote with their feet, despite Project Fear.

    How much bigger would our majority have been if Juncker had come to Britain and made that speech during the referendum campaign ?

    I suspect very substantial knowing that by fair means or foul we would have been forced to join the Euro, our armed forces absorbed into an EU military force and our economic and foreign policy effectively decided in Berlin.

    We would even have had to bow to President Juncker or, even worse, President Blair.

    Truly a horrific prospect.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted September 15, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      just because Junker has grand ideas it does not mean the remaining 27 will support them and a majority does not, so let us just cool down

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 16, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Nothing to see here, move along please …

  36. Chris S
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    We can expect a backlash from Sweden following Juncker’s speech. There is a widely held view amongst the Swedish electorate that they do not want to join the Euro, this despite the enthusiasm of their politicians who are largely fully signed-up members of the Brussels fan club.

    They have been pedalling furiously backwards to avoid meeting the convergence criteria required for them to join the Euro to which they are legally committed. This has been conveniently ignored in Brussels but, if Juncker is to be believed, this policy will now end and he intends to get tough.

    I’ve always thought the Swedish electorate would be the first to follow us out. The fool Juncker might just have started the campaign for them.

  37. E.S Tablishment
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Our media response regarding the EU of late is spending more of its precious time showing, listening and representing EU official views. Giving air time identifying persons whom if the EU had functioned properly, would already be household names. They and the leftie-liberal elite are too late. Theirs is a belated “getting to know you”
    Also, Junker and Co spoke of the need to “Reform the EU” . What an admission! An historically new entity progressing “democratically” day-by-day..and it needs reforming???!!
    Here in a real country, in a real state, we may speak, perchance, of reforms when even now we relate to Henry VIII laws. I do not think Auld Henry would have married Juncker in the first place. No chance!

  38. Patrick
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Haven’t seen this point picked up in a major way since Juncker’s speech yesterday and I’m perplexed why not.

    Mr Juncker said during his speech;
    “STRASBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union wants to launch and conclude free trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand in the next two years”

    Unless I have been living in a parallel universe for the past 15 months both the Eurocrats and UK remoaners have stated repeatedly, as a matter of indisputable fact, the sheer impossibility of concluding a fta within this type of timescale.

    How is it possible for the EU to talk about concluding, from scratch, a fta with countries which are not harmonised meanwhile it’s impossible to conclude a fta with a country which is already 100% harmonised.

    I suggest the UK negotiating team repeat this nugget at the start of their next face to face with Mr Barnier.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 15, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Well spotted, worth making a note of that for the next time the euromaniacs pretend that it will take the UK the rest of time to make any trade deals.

  39. I have no TV x 100
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    petition: “Abolish the tv licence, it shouldn’t be a legal requirement.” The debate is scheduled for 16 October 2017.
    If you have paid your licence fee the BBC may and only may televise it.

  40. acorn
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Naturally Jean-Claude is a bit pissed with the UK, Brexit has interfered with his great eternal plan for the United States of Europe.

    While the Article 50 clock runs out, have a look at where the UK stands in the EU, for both internal (intra) and external (extra) trade. Post Brexit, the trade deficit is going to need some attention. Also London is a major hub for multi-currency payments in and out of the EU to the Americas and to the Asia/Pacific. The EU would very much like to get that lucrative business onto its home territory; that could reduce Sterling as an international trade invoicing currency.

    http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Intra-EU_trade_in_goods_-_recent_trends
    http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/International_trade_in_goods

    • Mark
      Posted September 15, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      The currencies in which goods are invoiced are largely a matter of tradition. For example, the base chemicals industry was dominated in the early 20th century by German companies, which led to a tradition of using DM for pricing that transmuted to the Euro. Oil remains dollar priced globally. Metals are often priced in sterling – thanks to the LME, and likewise coffee and tea and sugar. It is the London commodity markets that influence the choice of invoicing/pricing currency in international trade. It is hard to see the EU having much influence in those matters, as it produces only a small share of most of them.

      • acorn
        Posted September 16, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        The share of commodities the EU / UK produces is irrelevant. It is trade in goods and services that matters. Trades occur in the currency the seller wants, and the currency a buyer wishes to offer. If the two don’t match, the trade does not happen. The US Dollar is involved in about 50%; the Euro 30% and the Pound 4.5%.

        Post Brexit, keep hoping that foreigners selling us stuff to satiate the UK’s compulsive importing; are prepared to keep taking Pounds Sterling; and, continue using them to buy up UK Government Bonds; UK Private Sector Factories and Chelsea Mansions.

  41. stred
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Junker confirmed the EU foreign and economic policy for migration. It is necessary for an ageing continent apparently. Countries with a growing young population will be pleased to comply with his wishes. Big business rejoice. It has to be ‘legal’ though and they will make it so.

    I wonder what the Japanese think about the Europeans planning to replace their population with a different population which believes in having as many children as possible, while native young people can’t even afford a house, let alone children. But hang on a minute, they all think the sun shines out of Junker’s derriere don’t they.

  42. Bob
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    International rules mean Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos islands cannot get handouts despite being flattened by the storm.

    It’s time we took back control of our foreign aid budget, it’s our money and we should be able to decide when, where and on what it is spent.

    UKIP were right to propose changing it to “emergency aid” only.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, this is exactly the situation that it should be used for…

    • Mark
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Surely there is a group of MPs with the wit to table a motion calling for a reduction in the aid budget and a concomitant increase in the assistance budget of the FCO.

      I was surprised to find that in this case, allegedly the OECD is the organisation that supposedly binds us. It should therefore be the task of the British Delegation to the OECD to get them to see sense and change the rules. They might well find common cause with the Dutch and French.

      Either way, it is clear that the public want to see action in support of the poorer elements of those islands, and believe that disaster relief is precisely what we should spend aid on.

  43. Tim L
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Juncker’s statement hasn’t come out of the blue, it’s always been the ambition. The fact he got so much applause says it all.

    The remain arguments are falling way, if he wanted to help their cause he should have said he wants to keep the status quo!

    I’d like Mr Clegg to clarify what he meant when he said ‘dangerous fantasy’. Did he mean Farage was a fantasist for imagingan EU army was happening? Or prhaps he meant the EU having such ambition was a dangerous fantasy? Either, Clegg was proved wrong yesterday.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Tim L

      People always laugh at Farage but he has always spoken common sense and tells it like it is. Perhaps it’s about time people started to listen????

  44. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I think there needs to be a debate in the Conservative Party about whether we follow Soft or Hard Capitalism. Whether there is a debate to be had or not? I think there is. A really important one. And I think it’s an important debate to be had because it’s all about trying to create a great United Kingdom, where people love their country (their people, nature and arts etc ..) as well as creating a strong, united Conservative Party, able to fight, effectively, both social liberalism and socialism, and stand up for traditional British values.

  45. Yorkist
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Mr Javid is in full voice “Local Housing Needs Statement” (BBC Parliament ) .Crisis ongoing. ONS figures figuring big reduction immigration post 2019 Brexit ( theoretical ) will not end the housing crisis.
    No thought of better enabling our population British, migrants, across the board in leaving the UK. One recalls the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme created in 1945 for Australia.
    But the government still will not accept London is overpopulated, but just under-housed.
    At best it thinks farming the population to Up North is the answer. No thanks. We don’t want battery-farm housing up here. It stops us laying.

  46. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    President Juncker is trying to paper over the loss of a major contributor by setting out bigger, better shiny things for the smaller EU in the future. When ordinary businesses do this they are often on the way out.

    A solution for the last century’s problems. It won’t happen quickly but perhaps the idea of the One Size Fits All EU Empire is over.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Emperor’s new clothes and Verhofstadt is leading the admirers…

  47. melD
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Thongs are hotting up alright when james dyson an avowed brexiteer has been encouraged to come out again and to talk up about how great things will be..a bit like michael gove who famously said that things will work out..so long as we take the right decisions?.. and then there is Tim Martin, very quiet of late, he of the famous pub chain who will be equally happy i suppose when we finally leave because it will be all the better presumably for filling his pubs up..after austerity sets in

  48. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I am rather concerned that Theresa May plans to go to Florence to give an important speech about the progress of our withdrawal from the EU.

    Firstly if this really is an important speech about the future of our country then probably it should not be delivered in any foreign city. This is a bad habit which our politicians have developed over recent decades: see for example how David Cameron traveled to Astana in Kazakhstan to declare his desire for the EU to stretch from the Atlantic to the Urals, rather than announcing that to our representatives in the House of Commons.

    Secondly back in January the Prime Minister gave a speech in Lancaster House in London outlining our plans for Brexit, including it may be said a perfectly clear offer of tariff free trade with the EU:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-governments-negotiating-objectives-for-exiting-the-eu-pm-speech

    and there must be a concern that she intends to resile from what she said then.

    Reply She will not resile from the Lancaster House speech. She will speak in Italy because she wishes to speak to the rest of the EU about the state of the negotiations.

  49. Andy Marlot
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Juncker displays every single negative characteristic possible in a bureaucrat. Delusions of grandeur, total lack of interest in democracy or the common man, arrogance, xenophobia (towards Britain), complacency, stupidity, dishonesty, corruption and complete ignorance of basic economics to name just the most obvious. When he finally leaves the EU (hopefully in disgrace) he will be a certain candidate for the Olympic Committee. Absolutely superb example of why we should have left the EU 15 minutes after the referendum not wait years to do so.

  50. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Here’s yesterday’s reassuring tweet from No 10 again:

    https://twitter.com/Number10gov?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

    Out of the EU, out of the EU Single Market, and out of the EU Customs Union.

    • Chris
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      The fact that Theresa May has one of the recommended links on her twitter feed as Barack Obama speaks volumes.

  51. Turboterrier.
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Slightly O/T

    John have just read your speech for the Finance Bill not being shown on today’s entry.

    Words fail me,. FFS give the opposition a chance!! Never have they been shown to be so inadequate. Our future relies on these sort of people? They are having a laugh, Before you enter the lions den to sell or debate anything “DO YOUR HOMEWORK” old saying off my first sales manager.

  52. CharlesE
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Reading these comments i think our host JR and followers devote an inordinate amount of time and intetest in EU matters given that we are about to leave.

    Shouldn’t we be looking more to the future rather than back at the EU. In a few years time we’ll hardly remember the name Junker?

  53. Freeborn John
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    I do hope Mrs May is not preparing yet more unilateral concessions for her speech in Florence. This is no time for her to go wobbly.

  54. Chewy
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    A sobering thought.
    Imagine if the referendum had gone the other way, the level of arrogance if combined with the defeat of the Eurosceptic candidates in France, Holland and Austria, if a Remain vote had happened in Britain. It would have been taken as if the U.K. had fully endorsed the EU project. Juncker would have made the same speech! But we’d have been locked into it.
    In reality there is no serious opposition to the EU these countries. In the three aforementioned countries the defeated Eurosceptic candidates were Fascists. Imagine the Conservative Party overwhelmingly dominated by MPs who’s views were similar to Ken Clarke’s, no UKIP and the only anti EU party being the BNP, and you have the sad state of democratic affairs that exists across the Channel.
    Feel very proud of this country; its traditions and democracy, with real debates and the ability to change things.

  55. Prigger
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    BBC Question Time is back and the news from the Labour Party is the rich are getting richer and the poor ( fill in the missing blanks )
    The Labour Party has been saying this every week for the past one hundred years of its history and…well, why haven’t the poor starved to death by now???

  56. Freeborn John
    Posted September 15, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    The EU treaties had Article 50 in them as an escape. There must be a similar article in the treaty that the UK government is now negotiating with the EU27 or we will be locked into something that is very similar.

  • 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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