The Spanish election

According to the BBC and others the Spanish socialist party won a famous victory. It is true they are the largest single minority party in the new Parliament, and have the first chance to try to form a government.

“Winning” means they got just 28.7% of the vote and 123 seats in a 350 seat Assembly. This is fewer seats than the centre right Popular party got in the previous election when they had 137 seats. They were unable to create a stable government in coalition with others to last a full term.

The conservative PP plunged from 137 seats to just 66 seats. Their vote share almost halved from 33% to 16.7%. They lost votes to the right of centre challenger party Ciudadanos who increased their position to 57 seats and to the new force of Spanish nationalism, Vox, who took 24 seats from zero before. The right of centre parties commanded 42% of the vote and have 149 seats between them.

The left of centre parties took just 1% more of the vote, at 43%. They captured 165 seats between them, with the PSOE (socialists) on 123, and Podemos on 42. This leaves them short of a majority.

The biggest third bloc comes from Catalonia. There are 22 MPs from that part of Spain where many voters wish to leave the Spanish union. Neither the left nor the right coalitions will be that keen to do a deal with the Catalans, as Catalan nationalism is unpopular in the rest of Spain whilst remaining popular in Catalonia. It is likely Spain will remain without a government pending the European and local elections. Neither the PP led coalition nor the PSOE led coalition was able to govern effectively in the last Parliament owing to the arithmetic of support.

These kind of outcomes are now very common on the continent where the main centre left and centre right parties no longer command enough support to form stable governments in the way they used to. It probably suits the EU, as it means there is no strong challenge or power centre in most member states capable of disagreeing or pressing successfully for a change of EU policy.

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260 Comments

  1. Pominoz
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    So perhaps the EU is looking on excitedly at the prospect of the UK parliament being equally ineffective following May’s trashing of the Conservatives.

    Changing the subject slightly, Sir John, I do hope you can help. I am becoming concerned. I’m not sure whether others are also concerned. I am wondering whether I should file a missing persons report.

    The last confirmed sighting appears to be during a North Wales holiday over Easter. Since then I have become aware that she has failed to appear at certain events where much of the population of the UK would have expected her. Those ongoing talks with Jeremy Corbyn resulted in a no-show, leaving the vitally important negotiations to the de facto Deputy Prime Minister. There seems to have been no mention of her on any TV channel in connection with the local elections and references to the upcoming Euro elections also fail to mention her. Even the BBC, who in the recent past seemed to have her on their screens almost permanently, have not featured Mrs May.

    I need your guidance, Sir John. Is it now time to contact the police?

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      Pominoz, Great post. Great laugh too. No good reporting it to the police. They’re either out supervising Greta and her mob or looking into incorrect PC comments online. I expect this site is being monitored!! Perhaps today they are practicing their trampolining skills.

      • Ginty
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        At least it proves that the police do give a toss.

        • Hope
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

          We read today in conhome all MEPs and those likely to be associated with Brexit are to remain absent and silent before local elections.

          The Tory had three occasions to sack Traitor May but decided she was the best person for PM. Not sure what the purpose or sentiment of JRs blog actually achieves. May will stay in office for the next election. JR and chums have not used their power or influence to get rid of her or force no deal. Sadly, they put party first before nation. Even at this stage they could make influence by a supply and demand agreement. Instead they continue to add Ct like rabbits in the highlights waiting to be hit by May again! They should have learnt from experience by now.

          Brokenshire on radio with Iane Dale today stating he did not have all the facts, nor read the transcript nor speak to Roger Scruton before sacking him! Utterly basic decency stuff. This is the low level clueless virtue signaling type of idiot minister in government. He also made it clear he would not reinstate him as he appointed someone else!

          • Hope
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

            JR, Lewis makes threats to party members while traitors Rudd, Gauke and Greg Clarke remain in government!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      If I thought for one moment that May had gone AWOL through sheer embarrassment for her abject failures on the EU and much besides, I’d say we were in with a chance of changing her course. Alas, robots haven’t yet been sufficiently developed to feel human emotions.

      What kind of a person is so thick-skinned they are totally impervious to criticism or cringe-making humiliation on a regular basis and doggedly pursues policies that nobody really wants?

      We’re not talking about a person who is a strong and resolute leader. We’re really talking about a person who is psychologically unsuitable to be in such a lofty position.

      • KMILLS
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        ………pursues policies no one wants…….sounds very EU does it not.Maybe is very likely on an EU catchup course in order to fortify her for the last bit of their stitch up. I’m sure her reassuring face will appear again shortly having achieved the required pass mark.

        • margaret howard
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          KMILLS

          “………pursues policies no one wants…….sounds very EU does it not.”

          Don’t you ever wonder how the EU managed to become the world’s most successful trading bloc and its 2nd biggest economy after the US?

          • Steve
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

            Margaret Howard

            “Don’t you ever wonder how the EU managed to become the world’s most successful trading bloc and its 2nd biggest economy after the US?”

            I did once wonder that. But realised the answer is; because of idiots running this country.

          • NickC
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

            Margaret Howard, Sorry, is that a reason to be ruled by the EU? You’d give up UK independence for the “privilege” of buying a German car, that can just as easily be bought in the independent USA? Your position is asinine.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

            Expansionism and inducement Margaret. Not very progressive is it?

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

            And certainly not organic

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Why not talk about a party where the median voter and the median party member have very different views on a single topic (Brexit), the Parliamentary Party is too fractured to be disciplined, Cabinet Ministers use the media not to inform about government policy/achievements but instead spouting whatever increases their of their friends’ chances of becomeing leader.

        That does not look like a party that can be governed so what would you expect from tghe poor should that happens to occupy the leadership position. The best thing Mrs May can do is call an election but that would not make things better. Sewcond best would be to yield to someone who is popular with the membership, but that would lead to enough defections to enable a Labour vote of no confidence and possibly, a Corbyn government. Also unlikely to achieve much, but still worse than the status quo. So stop complaining and think rationally. Brexit is not the only thing that matters but the most difficult politically.

        • Hope
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          RH, It is.

          Being in the EU detrimentally affects our daily lives on everything. We should have left 32 days ago. Betrayal of democracy is very important. We had a civl war over it.

          • Steve
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

            Hope

            “We had a civil war over it.”

            …..and we’re not that far away from another.

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

            Hope

            “Being in the EU detrimentally affects our daily lives on everything”

            Can you give us a few examples?
            And was that the civil war that landed us with a dictatorship and a subsequent return to the former status quo of an(unelected) monarchy?

        • sm
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          Rien, your first paragraph is quite correct in its analysis of the current Tory Party – it has been heading for the rocks for many years because it has refused to be decisive about being pro or anti EU membership, and now it is foundering.

          The ‘best thing that Mrs May can do’ is NOT to call an election but to resign.

        • NickC
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          Rien, Leave may be difficult for the thick, uneducated, Remain MPs in Parliament (or the EU), but it was taken in its stride by ordinary decent Brits who weighed up the competing arguments and opted for Leave. All MPs have to do now is obey the people’s instruction, just as they do for a general election result. There, that’s not so difficult, is it?

          • Steve
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

            NickC

            It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the government would cancel the next General Election, and declare a state of emergency.

            The next GE is where the Cons will become defunct and be forced to disband.

          • margaret howard
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

            NickC

            ” but it was taken in its stride by ordinary decent Brits who weighed up the competing arguments and opted for Leave.”

            Half of us didn’t. Where does that leave democracy?

            EXIT BREXIT!

          • NickC
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

            Margaret Howard, No, half didn’t. It was 48%. And that’s how democracy works. Or didn’t you know?

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

            NickC

            No, that is NOT how democracy works in modern democratic states but only here where a FPTP system ensures that minority governments rule over the people.

            It belongs to the dustbin of history.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          I’ll let you into a little secret. I am just about the most rational and level-headed man on the planet. I think clearly even in a crisis, and you would be amazed who comes to me for advice. I agree that Brexit isn’t the only problem, but it sure is one we need to solve, and soon. I disagree that that is difficult. Actually, it is quite easy, and any decent politician could carry out the mandate given fairly by the people – just leave. With the right politicians in the right jobs, the rest will take care of itself. Present incumbents need not apply as they have a poor track record and are thus under qualified and most unsuitable.

    • matthu
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      Is she vulnerable or underage? If not, the police will hardly be interested at this stage. Does she have any friends you haven’t already contacted? You could try contacting homeless charities or drug centres. Sometimes strange behaviour of this nature is completely inexplicable but don’t give up hope.

      • Alison
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Actually, I sense she is vulnerable emotionally. I remember seeing Seema Kennedy and Andrea Leadsom comforting her in the HoC one time, with taps on the shoulder and arm, when she was having to make a speech, on the defensive, to a hostile chamber. Mrs May was obviously fragile.
        So it’s possible she’s not so well.
        However, it’s also possible she is extremely busy. I’ve been worrying that the prospect of imminent skids under her will make her intensify her efforts to tie us to the EU in any way she can.
        My own view is that she should have the decency to step down.

        • NickC
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          Alison, The damage that Theresa May has done to this country is so immense, I have little room for sympathy. She is a person whose obstinacy vastly exceeds her sense. What she has done will have century long repercussions.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Indeed do nothing if possible is the standard police response. Unless there is a motoring or other fund raising fine you can collect that is.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        I haven’ t given up hope – that she is lost and will never be found.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      I was thinking precisely the same thing, then quickly realised that this was infact a blessing, and that the police have far more important tasks to do.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      She is implementing her coup de grace for the CP, get her WA stitched up with her new best mate, tell the electorate – I have delivered Brexit in accordance with the wishes of the people – and exit stage far left.

      • graham1946
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        With 30 pieces of silver?

    • Christine
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      She’s keeping out of the way until after the local elections. Next week she will drop all her red lines and form a coalition with Labour to get her dreadful treaty through. She’s just biding her time as she gives away control of our armed forces under PESCO. MPs are so bogged down with Brexit that they can’t see what’s really going on. She’s not taking us out of the EU but trapping us in it forever.

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Christine

        ” She’s just biding her time as she gives away control of our armed forces under PESCO.”

        Pity then that we are leaving as this will mean we shall be forever committed to follow the United States who have already led us into illegal wars in Iraq, Afghanistan which have destabilised the whole Middle East and led to the dreadful refugee crisis Europe has faced.

        All this without any right to participate in its decision making process as the US does not allow outsiders to have a voice in its affairs.

        • Steve
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

          MH

          “…..United States who have already led us into illegal wars in Iraq, Afghanistan”

          Slight correction Ms Howard; It was Blair.

      • mancunius
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it must be the first time a party has ceased to campaign at all, in the hope voters may forget its existence and absentmindedly vote for one of its candidates by accident.

        Rather as in the Sufi story of Nasreddin Hodja, who hides under the bed and keeps quiet when he hears burglars downstairs, refusing to go down and disturb them because, as he says: ‘There is nothing in the house worth taking, and the burglars may accidentally leave one their valuable tools behind them’.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      @Pominoz “So perhaps the EU is looking on excitedly at the prospect of the UK parliament being equally ineffective following May’s trashing of the Conservatives.”

      Indeed, but how much more ineffective could a government get than what we have now? – With so many rabid remainers, the EU elite already have all the support they could possibly need…

      • L Jones
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        Elite = ”a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society”

        ”EU elite” – an oxymoron, surely?

        • Bryan Harris
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

          Spot on I’d say L.Jones

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Pominoz

      No wonder she is not showing her face, each time she does the Conservative vote goes down, she is that toxic now.

    • John Fitzgerald
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Perhaps she has taken refuge in the German Embassy?

    • bigneil
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      She’s in Brussels for the fitting for her made-to-measure seat, like they have done for Formula 1 drivers. The EU wants her to be comfortable when she’s sat there at the top EU table, rewarded for the destruction of the UK to German rule.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        exactly. With Freedom of movement, she has likley been made a job offer, currently taking gardening leave, but without resigning or being sacked.

    • David Maples
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Ah, you must be referring to the the captain of the ‘May[rie] Celeste, mysteriously disappeared into a No. 10 lifeboat.

  2. J Bush
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Spain is now a shadow of what was once a force to be reckoned with. Is this the abyss the recent ‘conservative’ leaders culminating in the abysmal May are trying to take the UK for their beloved EU?

    • NickC
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      J Bush, Probably so. We have Tony Blair piping up again blaming Brexit for the SNP. I wonder if he will blame Catalonia on Brexit too?

  3. J Bush
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Whereas we in the UK appear to have 2 main lefty parties, one leans toward communism, while the other is increasingly showing its cultural marxism fanaticism. Trailing in their wake are other assorted rabid lefties. That is until recently and we shall have to see what the Brexit party are really made of.

    • Bob
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      “we shall have to see what the Brexit party are really made of.”

      Just have a look at their manifesto, it won’t take long.

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      It’s like Stalin and Trotsky all over again.

      I demand that ice picks be banned immediately!

  4. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    The EU policy, referred to in the last sentence will come from:
    The Spanish prime-minister in the European Council
    All Spanish ministers in the Council of the EU
    All Spanish MEPs in the EU parliament
    All of them collectively with their counterparts in 26 other EU nations
    The EU civil service will have a Spanish commissioner, but he/she will sit there in a personal (not national) capacity (compare Julian King)

    In the EU election debates, like the one in Maastricht last night reported in Politico.eu it becomes clear that for all major issues and challenges, “together” (EU27) will be much better than “alone” (UK).

    • agricola
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      Did Germany agree that they were happy to pay for “together”. That is the reality of the EU. Around 8 countries are nett contributors. That leaves 19 dependants. Dependants, Turkeys, do not normally vote for Christmas.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        @agricola: for some time the Dutch have been the largest EU net contributors per inhabitant, but how are going to help Poland and a number of other countries to grow their economy if we don’t lend a hand?

        For all countries the contribution has been only a mere 1% of their GDP (in the UK’s case even less because of a major rebate).

        • Jagman84
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

          Ever though of simply buying their produce and removing import tariffs on items that cannot be produced in-house? Thought not. It’s all about German power over the EU27.

          • Jagman84
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

            * thought 😉

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

            @Jagman84: ???
            You ought to know that in the single market there are no import tariffs, a market which Poland entered when admitted to the EU.
            On top of that they receive financial assistance for which the net contributors help paying.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          Carefully avoiding mention of the responsibilities for the huge debts in the ECB which Germany stand first in line.

        • Dave
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          Our chocolate industry was shut down and transferred to Poland, all paid for by EU loans. How much more of a helping hand can we afford?

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

            @Dave:
            That can happen. Can’t the 5th largest economy in the world not cope with that? It may have been transferred by its British owners?

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          Dear Peter

          The Netherlands is one of the countries that is highly vulnerable to the economic consequences of Britain’s planned exit from the EU. As the Netherlands’ third-biggest trading partner, the UK accounts for roughly 3.3% of total employment and nearly 3% of nominal Dutch GDP through trade.

          Preliminary government studies posit that Brexit could shave between two and three percentage points off nominal GDP. Negative effects could extend, however, beyond that. The contribution of net exports to GDP growth in the Netherlands has grown over the years at the expense of private consumption. Private consumption, in addition, depends in large part on the performance of export-related sectors, so the economic fallout of Brexit is likely to extend beyond the loss of net export income.

          May I conclude Brexit has real unpalatable consequences for the Netherlands? Best you start pushing your home nation to befriend the UK again, post haste!

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            @Dennis Zoff:
            The calculations have been made, but the Netherlands’ stake in the single market (e.g. its exports to the rest of the EU) is far, far greater.
            I’ve often written on this site: “trade there will always be” and Dutch exporters are smart enough to keep selling products and services in the UK, as we do in many “third countries”.

          • Steve
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

            Dennis Zoff

            “The Netherlands is one of the countries that is highly vulnerable to the economic consequences of Britain’s planned exit from the EU.”

            Best we hurry up and leave then, It’d be nice to stick it to the little Hollanders. You know, as payback for PvL’s insults to our country.

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

            Dennis

            “May I conclude Brexit has real unpalatable consequences for the Netherlands? Best you start pushing your home nation to befriend the UK again, post haste!”

            Your arrogance is staggering.

            Compared to PvL’s polite and thoughtful postings many right-wing contributors here are rude and pompous and mostly unable give a balanced response.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            Peter VAN LEEUWEN

            QED

            “I’ve often written on this site: “trade there will always be” and Dutch exporters are smart enough to keep selling products and services in the UK, as we do in many “third countries”…..I quite agree”

            Ditto…applies to the UK post Brexit too…you are getting the message; perhaps you can now convince Margaret?

        • agricola
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          Use what figures you wish, see what the German electorate feel about funding this dream. For it to work you must accept the death of the nation state, and I do not think the EU nations are ready for it. The principal only works in the USA and UK. For a suitable consultancy fee we will tell you how.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            @agricola: I speak and read German and follow their media. In most countries there is a minority which objects to funding other EU nation states, which by the way are very much alive and won’t face death within the EU.
            The British simply don’t understand the EU, so I wouldn’t hire you as consultant for this.
            You’d be better in consulting about cricket, another game with complex rules and one which you British do understand.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

            Peter VAN LEEUWEN

            I speak, read and live in Germany too; my second home….my German family, friends, associates, and colleagues give freer private examples of real life in Germany, unhindered from the PC brigade. Additionally, my Dutch family and friends do not share your assertions?

            Respectfully, I believe you are not up to speed..there is a lot of hidden anger. Just last week while in Germany I was surprised to see even media outlets/TV programmes are prepared to discuss the very real issues of immigration and economic slowdown? It is not what it seems, people are becoming more vocal and starting to challenge the political status quo..and not just the AfD?

        • David Price
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          And you keep very quiet about the rebate the Netherlands and others get – the one the Netherlands and others attacked the EU on over their plan to eliminate the rebate (reported in the FT 2nd May 2018)

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

            @David Price: Point well made. I know about our rebate and I kept quiet about it. Mind you, the Netherlands with rebate is still a major net contributor per citizen.

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

        agricola

        “Did Germany agree that they were happy to pay for “together”. That is the reality of the EU. Around 8 countries are nett contributors. That leaves 19 dependants”

        Leavers often talk of looking forward to form EU-type trading partnerships with the Commonwealth which contains some of the poorest countries in the world like Bangladesh, Nigeria, Tonga, Swaziland and many others with unstable democracies.

        Will we have to support them as well?

        • Edward2
          Posted May 2, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

          No just make them better off by trading with them.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      The EU Parliament is a worthless talking shop, at best a mere rubber-stamping organisation to lend the dictats of the Commission a veneer of democratic respectability.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        @Roy Grainger: why not make a study of how the EU’s decisions are made, the whole process, independently from what you are fed in UK papers?
        Reality would prove to be somewhat different.

        • miami.mode
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          But, Peter, surely you must agree that legislation can only be instigated by the EU Commission and the parliament then votes yes or no, notwithstanding the fact that the parliament can perhaps make suggestions. The main power of the parliament seems to be that they can sack the Commission under certain circumstances.

          Perhaps after our EU elections we will be treated to Nigel Farage standing up and saying “You’re fired!”.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

            @miami.mode: Actually I cannot wholly agree with you.
            The so-called “right of initiative” is rather misunderstood. Usually the civil service (European Commission) is asked or told (by the European Council, the council of the EU, the European Parliament or by a successful citizens initiative) to develop certain proposals which may involve broad consultations (white and green papers) before a draft is submitted to both the EUparliament and the Council of the EU. If no yellow or orange cards are given by member states it is up to these two enities (ministers council and parliament to amend, redraft, etc. to come to a mutual agreement. The European Commission (civil service) is no longer involved unless a stalemate occurs between these two democratic institutions. I call the Council of the EU (= council of ministers) democratic because your minisers are the result of a national democratic process.
            I realise I still give a simplified description of a complex process, but all is available online and in English.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

          Give us a list of legislation directives rules and regulations introduced by the Commission the EU Parliament has refused to pass, Peter.
          There must be thousands according to you.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2:
            Time and again you prove a little bit lazy (no offense meant though)
            You can do your own research, as all votes in the European parliament are in the public domain.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

            Sorry Peter to appear lazy but you seem so well informed on all this EU stuff so I thought you might have been able to give us a few examples.
            It appears not.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Peter VAN LEEUWEN

          I am at your disposal to discuss all things EU…I have personally been at the pointy end of the EU’s ludicrous decision making bureaucracy…not a pretty sight.

          However, I am willing to learn the positive points of the EU that you so passionately speak of? The floor is yours, make me proud…..

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

            @Dennis Zoff:
            This site is not very suitable, and mailadresses are kept private.

            Moreover, isn’t this a little too late? You (the UK) are leaving and IMHO that would be best for you and for us, in spite of the damage. I add that I have no strong feelings about it, so if you were to revoke article 50, that would still have my sympathy.

            Better though in the grand scheme would be to leave, remain very close partners and get some (say ten years) experience of life outside the EU.

          • margaret howard
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

            Dennis Zoff

            Can’t think of a single EU country that has taken 3 years to implement a referendum result and still not come to decision – much to the amusement of the rest of the world.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            Peter VAN LEEUWEN

            “Better though in the grand scheme would be to leave, remain very close partners and get some (say ten years) experience of life outside the EU.”

            I agree with you…shame our Dutch friends can’t join us?

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

            margaret howard

            These EU countries you speak of, would not have duplicitous Remainers managing/damaging/using nefarious chicanery to negate a real Brexit!

            The Rest of the World is not so naive that they cannot see the real skulduggery taking place in Westminster, who are indeed the laughing stock? I get about a bit globally and they do not share your assertions!

            Once the Remainers have been cleared out of the way, the UK will steam full ahead!

        • NickC
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          PvL, I did just that because the majority of the British news media is too much in the EU’s pocket – literally so for the BBC.

      • agricola
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        Agreed, but this EU election has the virtue of acting as a political weather vane. A 2nd referendum in a different name. When it is over it becomes irrelevant for the UK.

    • Dominic
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      Yes, I agree. All ‘alone’ in a similar fashion to the US, China, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, NZ, Canada, Cuba, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia, India and on and on and on……….

      EU27 equals little more than the destruction of sovereign democratic nations and the construction of the German economic empire

      EU27 is meaningless rhetoric. Mere words on a page.

      EU27 is a political device designed to suck power away from domestic institutions and towards a centralising all powerful political body run for the benefit of Germany

      Democracy is the enemy of the EU.

      The EU chimes the death knell of democratic accountability

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        The EU is a phase of centuries of continental history where empires and power blocks ruled largely unchecked by democracy. It is in the DNA of all the players in Brussels.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        @Dominic:
        Actually, our national democracy is alive and kicking! So are most other EU democracies I believe.
        Can you say the same about current UK democracy?

        • agricola
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          EU and individual nation state democracy in most cases within the EU has barely reached puberty. It will be a long time before it’s true meaning dawns on them.

        • NickC
          Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

          PvL, No, Holland’s national democracy is actually expiring. Why? Because Declaration 17 states that EU law has primacy over your laws. So Holland’s prime laws are made by a combination of EU apparatchiks that no one elects, and around 95% of politicians that Holland doesn’t elect. Some democracy.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

            @NickC: I beg to differ. EU law has always had primacy over Dutch law, that is why we help to make them, together with our 27 (soon 26) partner countries. Is that so strange?
            Don’t forget that we also (through the EU process) make laws for the other countries. If I’m well informed, strong Dutch and Belgian support helped to get laws about LGBT rights, which now are gradually enforced in EU countries which would not have made these laws themselves. Our net influence is much larger than if we had been a third country as “together” beats “alone”
            Look at your own sovereignty. If you, in your constituency could vote for Theresa May, I’m think you would have deselected her already, but you depend on the cooperation of other constituencies to get anything done. UK voters didn’t seem not particularly powerful over the last year.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        Dominic,

        There is very little we can do to help you become better informed, if this is what you think more than 500 million Europeans are increasingly supporting as a way forward

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          You don’t actually mean better informed. You mean better indoctrinated. Not the same thing.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          Carefully ignoring the recent rise in political parties who eith want radical reform of the EU or are in favour of their own referendum to leave.
          I think the EU disdainfully calls them populist.

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

            Edward2

            Can you name a few? I know you are rather reluctant to do your own research but do try.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

            I can yes.
            Do you not read newspapers watch TV or go on the internet?
            It us all there for you Margaret.
            I am only reluctant to do unpaid research for others.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          hans christian ivers

          You condescending speak of Brits as living in an unknowledgeable island vacuum….there are many on here that have intimate knowledge of European people, their politics, culture, businesses, weaknesses and strengths, and personal drivers.

          The 445 million (post-Brexit) do not all think as you do….there are very many that do not. Mostly they are subjugated by their nefarious Politicians seeking free money! When money is to be made those that benefit most are blinded by greed!

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

            Dennis,

            Being a Brit myself I will ignore those comments if you do not mind

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

            hans christian ivers

            “Being a Brit myself I will ignore those comments if you do not mind”

            Whether you are a Brit or a European is immaterial, I am also speaking in the third person and stand by my comment!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      The Spanish have but one voice out of 28 Peter in those institutions you mention. How can that truly represent their interests especially when distracted by national issues.

      To be ruled by such a disparate organisation can not be the best way for a single nation. Compromise after compromise leads to a sullied relationship.

      • Andy
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        Spoken like a true North Korean. The north is, after all, the only country which truly understands sovereignty. Standing, as it does, alone against ghastly international institutions which dilute its say.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

          Very silly post Andy.
          Can do better.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          Andy

          I believe you have chosen a rather silly example, North Korea indeed..since when has a despotic driven country ever been used as an authority on sovereignty?

          Citizens are sovereign not its leaders….North Korean leadership has no truck with pesky plebs, their sovereignty or otherwise!

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          Wow Andy, that is what you took from that post. Genuinely speechless.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        @Narrow Shoulders: Not my experience. There are of course people in my country who think more like you.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

          Acknowledging that others in your country share our view is a win in my book. Let us see the vote split in your (wonderful) country on the day.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

            @Narrow Shoulders: I forgot to add “minority” (who think like you). Actually a small minority.
            The Dutch remain among the most supportive of EU membership, at the same time critical about its functioning.

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Narrow Shoulders

        “To be ruled by such a disparate organisation can not be the best way for a single nation. Compromise after compromise leads to a sullied relationship.”

        Compared to the enviable system here which has brought this nation to a virtual standstill and has opened a divide never experienced here before?

        It is ludicrous to hold our system up as an example. I would not wish it on my worst enemy and it has made us the laughing stock of the world.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted May 1, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

          @Margaret

          Frustrated though I am that the result of the referendum is not being enacted by our politicians and appalied as I am by their hypocrisy I am nonetheless delighted that our procedures and freedom allows such debate and delay.

          If only our Parliamentarians and civil service had used such democracy for the last 40 years instead of rolling over to gold plate every EEC /EU directive we may not have needed to leave.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      One voice in 28 which includes tiny States like Malta, Luxembourg, and a few more besides. We have the 5th largest economy in the world Peter. I repeat the 5th largest economy in the world. Equivalent to the combined economies of the 19 smallest EU Nations. We are not represented by size or real voice, ignored and abused for our taxes over decades. Always over ruled in any legal position by the ECJ. Fined constantly and contributions upgraded to include things like prostitution in our economy. Other Countries like Germany and France never prosecuted for non compliance (VW scandal). Under represented in every field and employment area and constantly abused as we have seen with Barnier, Drunker and the rest. What sensible British person would want to remain in that type of club?A sham of a democracy where a Parliament cannot make laws and only rubber stamps them. Commissioners appointed and laws dreamed up in private, for what?
      No, we don’t want any of it. Trade and friendship only, thank you. If you don’t want that we’ll take our business elsewhere!
      Besides this is none of your business sir!

      • Andy
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        By the end of the year we will probably only have the 7th biggest economy – as India and France will overtake us soon.

        Within 10 years we will probably not be in the top ten economics. Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia will all overtake us. Egypt and Nigeria will follow in the decade after that.

        We are, contrary to your claim, rarely overruled by the ECJ. In an almost 20 year period we were only faced challenges in the ECJ about 80 times. We won many of those. The biggest losses usually concerned environmental failures.

        And, with respect, you and your ilk destroying our country because you refuse to engage with reality is all of our business.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          If you seriously think that France is going to overtake us, Andy, then I’m afraid you’re completely deluded! Have you been to France in the last 40 years?

        • Edward2
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          Andy
          You fail to realise that the UK is still growing, so as a nation we are developing.
          You should be pleased that people in the nations you list are improving their standards of living.
          It is because of free trade under WTO rules this story of success happens.
          The UK will be able to trade successfully with them in the future.
          PS
          Didn’t notice and EU nations in your list.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

            Edward2

            About 10 of them or more have more growth than we do

          • Edward2
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

            10 out of 27 isn’t anything to boast about.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            it is actually 12

          • Edward2
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

            12 out if 27 isn’t anything to boast about.

        • graham1946
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          Can you give us next week’s winning lottery numbers?

        • Timaction
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          What a patriot and totally negative about your own Country and its abilities. When did you say you were leaving? Destroying my Country. Hardly you fool. I’ve always been a tax paying contributor mostly at the higher rate with a small business, despite the Government and Brexit!

        • Fred H
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

          Andy….well for the moment you still have time under Freedom of movement to go and find work or benefits in one of the growing examples you give – France. Seems for your peace of mind you should do it. When faced with such a miserable future – change it man, change it.

      • Julie Dyson
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        Great post, Timaction — nail-on-the-head stuff. Water off a Federalist’s back, of course, but a worthwhile reminder of why any sensible Brit is still digging his or her heels in and determined to Just Leave. Bravo!

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        @Timaction:
        “I repeat the 5th largest economy in the world.”
        Better keep repeating it for the time being, because later this year 5th becomes 6st. 🙂

        • graham1946
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          Even at 6th or 10th, still way ahead of the EU average.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

            @graham1946:
            The euro area GDP is 5 times larger than yours. (tradingeconomics.com).
            And the single market economy (of which I have no figure) larger still.

          • NickC
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

            PvL, You appear transfixed by size. I am transfixed by independence, as are 17.4m other Brits.

        • acorn
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          Peter. Did you know that California, one of fifty states that “together” (not “alone” you understand), form the federalised USA. That state now has a GDP greater than the UK, with only 60% of the UK’s population; and, despite sharing a common currency, called the US Dollar, with the other forty-nine US states!

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          Not importing enough people obviously as that has been our preferred growth strategy

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Timeaction,

        This is a democratic and well argued web-site and Peter is a much entitled as the rest of us to give his contribution, whether he has a British passport or not as long as it is about the future of the EU.

        • Hope
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          No he is not. This is about UK democracy effecting U.K. Citizens after legally submitting their democratic right to vote to leave a supranational undemocratic body. It has nothing to do with his country or its citizens. Holland decided to ignore its voters in facour of the EU ruling over the Ukraine. That is a democratic issue he should concern himself with. What the citizens choose to do in exercising their democratic right being denied by Traitor May is none of his business or yours.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

            Hope

            Being a British citizen I will use that democratic right as well as Peter

        • Ian wragg
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          PvL

        • Timaction
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          The website is not democratic as our host is the editor! As for Brexit we’ve had that vote and it is not for Dutch people to tell us how we should think, do or say. The EU ignored the Dutch with their referendum but we wont be ignored. Apart from insults haven’t seen any links re our shrinking economy. I think you must be mistaken with Germany, Italy and France. One of these already in recession.

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 12:06 am | Permalink

            Timeaction

            ” The EU ignored the Dutch with their referendum but we wont be ignored.”

            If you are referring to the 1992 Danish referendum the vote was 50.7 against 49.3 – a tiny majority

            After which the EU provided Denmark with four exceptions which eventually led to them ratifying the Maastricht Treaty in the following year.

            That’s what democracy is all about.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      I can almost feel a song coming along.

      So why can’t “together” also include the US, Japan, and poorer African and other third world countries? Why are they excluded from your trading “club” and togetherness? Why are you willing to negotiate a free trade agreement with far away Japan but not with your nearest neighbour UK?

      Lots of un-togetherness in this “together”, isn’t there?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        @Sir Joe Soap:
        “Why are you willing to negotiate a free trade agreement with far away Japan but not with your nearest neighbour UK?”
        Why start a FTA negotiation with a country unwilling to pay up its previous commitments?
        The country, once famously describing itself as “we have no friends, only interests” would be lacking trust.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          @PvL

          “Why start a FTA negotiation with a country unwilling to pay up its previous commitments?”

          As one of the 9 that actually pay in more than they take out, IMO the UK has already more than paid up for its “previous commitments”

        • Edward2
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          Send us an itemised bill Peter.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2: another example of “laziness”. You must know that these figures have been discussed in dpth between the negotiation teams and then agreed between them.
            Your government has all the information.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

            Have you got a link to all this information Peter.
            Sorry to trouble you.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          Let’s see the listed invoice then we’ll talk about it.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

            @Sir Joe Soap:
            You (the UK) HAVE already talked about it in detail and agreed a sum of 39bn.
            The EU has better things to do now.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

          Peter VAN LEEUWEN

          You are right, all previous agreements should be paid on both sides, in good faith!

          Perhaps you could outline these previous EU commitments the UK is liable for, which you so enthusiastically speak of?

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

            @Dennis Zoff:
            E.g. think of all the (700 ?) contractors who have been awarded work for the current planning period and who have based their implementation on this.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            Peter VAN LEEUWEN

            Perhaps you can share with me one or two of these 700 contractor names you speak of?…one or two of them (or their divisions) may even be one of my companies operating throughout Europe?

            I have a generally good knowledge base of contracts awarded throughout Europe (Private or Public), with a group of people that search for business opportunities in the Private and Public sectors. Therefore, I am deeply intrigued by your comment?

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

            @Dennis Zoff:
            Naming contractors or other benefitting entities wouldn’t be that simple, because the list which was published online at the start of the negotiations, which no doubt someone like you will have seen, is not what the negotiations ended with.

            Maybe best that I refer you to your own H.o.C. library :
            in http://www.parliament.uk:
            “Brexit: the financial settlement”
            Published Thursday, March 14, 2019

        • NickC
          Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

          PvL, The UK has already paid for all its previous commitments (and how!). When we leave we have no commitments. You sound like a particularly ineffectual whining highway robber – he didn’t give me all the money I demanded, blub, snivel, wail!!!

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Major issues and challenges “together”.
      How is that working with the refugee crisis?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        @Dave Andrews: Point well made – it is indeed sorely lacking in the refugee crisis and in migration as such. I just hope that new governments and parliaments will come to their senses and see that we need to work together on this major challenge.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          Total waffle Peter
          A politicians answer which translates to….carry on do nothing.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

          PVL …A crisis made by Merkel, stating all are welcome, just come. So they flew, drove, boated, drowned, walked, rioted…and when Greece etc complained they were paid off – out of EU funds. Thousands walked across borders until several countries tried to stop this mass walk-through of economic migrants, few real refugees. Somewhat similar to the 0.5 million French who abandoned France to live and work in London. Perhaps you don’t know? Hundreds of thousands of Polish, Romanians, Spanish, Portugese, Italians, and even Dutch have come to the UK. Odd that, for such an intolerant failing nation.

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            Fred H

            “A crisis made by Merkel, stating all are welcome, just come.”

            Made by Merkel?

            We illegally invaded Iraq with our American ringmasters destabilising not only individual countries killing their leaders but destabilising the whole Middle East. Millions of desperate people fled for their lives leaving Europe to deal with the crises.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

            She did encourage one million in one year to come to Germany.
            It is all on the internet for you to research for yourself margaret.

            Yet again it is worth remembering that the UN Refuges Act says nearest place of safety.

      • Ginty
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Which has all gone quiet lately.

    • Al
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      “All of them collectively with their counterparts in 26 other EU nations”

      So the Spanish government, and therefore the Spanish people, will have one twenty-sixth of a say over the policies that will run their country? Further, as there’s no strong government at the national level, there is no one to push back against rules that will adversely affect Spanish industry, livelihoods, or more, to the benefit of other countries.

      This suits the EU very well. A similar situation with ineffective governance in Britain at the current time is certainly to their benefit.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        Al,
        I would suggest you work a bit on the readings of the function of the EU

        • Al
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

          I studied those while dealing with EU VAT. It was both impressive and rather terrifying how easily Commissioners can suggest rules for their own convenience in areas they are unqualified and ill-informed in.

    • Original Richard
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Now that the total QMV votes from the net recipient countries is greater than those from the net contributors it is obvious to where the EU budget will be heading, and this is before the EU expands to include further poor eastern European countries.

      A majority in the UK voted to end our reparations for hindering the attempt to unite Europe under one government in the middle of the last century.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Indeed I suspect it will suit the EU to have weak government. It probably will not alas help the Spanish people very much.

    I see that Cambridge University is now going completely mad. Not content with rescinding its offer of a visiting fellowship to Jordan Peterson (standing next to someone in a T shirt) it now launches inquiry into slave trade links and historic racism. At least they have not banned investing in fossil fuels quite yet! Not likely to do much to encourage would be donors. Give to Cambridge University and we will waste your money on PC drivel and other lunacies.

    Meanwhile when are we to be rid of the appalling May & Hammond, attain a real Brexit, move to sensible low tax smaller government and avoid the dire prospect of Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP?

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      L/L The SNP will be too busy with their independence referendum to be any use to the country. On the other hand it will spur them on to be more of a nuisance than they already are in Westminster. Watch out for the bigger than ever freebie handouts to the feckless when Sturgeon and Corbyn get in. Taxes will rise for those in work and for those who love to loll around in the sunshine or attend protest marches for a living it will be a God send.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      The price of SNP support for Corbyn will be another independence vote – let’s hope this time the Scots vote out – we could do with the £39bn divorce payment down in England.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      There needs to be an enquiry into whether celebrated monuments like the Parthenon in Athens and the Collosseum in Rome were built by slaves. After all, generations of Greeks and Italians have benefited financially from tourism and some of the slaves probably came from Britain, in which case I might be wanting compensation.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        it is almost certain those were built by slaves from all over. Amazing that reparations, indexed over rather a long time, without benefit of employment protection, have not been paid out yet.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      We seem to be already de facto rid of May – see Pominoz comment above. Now we need the magician David Copperfield to work similarly on Hammond, and all will be well.

    • Alison
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      L/L, SNP members have been complaining (eg on Twitter) that the BBC, in particular BBC Scotland, put the Spanish election news first, ahead of a report on the SNP conference held this weekend. True.
      The thought of the SNP getting three MEPs, even four, makes my blood run cold. (THey have two at the moment. I fear it is possible, through tactical voting and higher turn-out. But also because the SNP campaign machine is very strong)

    • acorn
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      LL you say “… move to sensible low tax smaller government …”. What exactly are you proposing? This fiscal year the OBR is saying the government will spend circa £840 billion with a projected GDP 0f circa £2,130 billion; government spending circa 39.4% of GDP.

      Government sector spending plus private sector spending equals Gross Domestic Product; got it?

      By how much are you planning to reduce the UK’s GDP via reductions to public sector spending? The favourite reductions persons of your ultra right wing disposition would make, would be from the welfare and state pensions budget (DWP), some 38% of current government spending. Next, your easiest target would be a cull of public sector spending on education and health services.

      I will be fascinated to read your detailed proposals on this site tomorrow.

      • NickC
        Posted May 1, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Acorn, Apart from money printing, the government can only spend what it takes out of the economy in taxes (borrowing is future taxation). The government then puts the tax money back into the economy. So for total GDP the position of the dividing line between private and state is not relevant.

        However, a well known principle is that a government dollar is only worth 50 cents. So beyond a bare minimum (internal and external defence) more government spending means lower wealth. You can see this effect in communist countries. However most countries choose to lose some GDP for political and social reasons – hence mixed economies like ours.

        • acorn
          Posted May 2, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

          Utter nonsense NickC

  6. Adam
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    If the EU maintained higher standards for Spain, bullfighting might cease.

    • Andy
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      I abhor bullfighting. It needs to be banned.

      But here’s an interesting thing. You blame the EU for not banning it.

      If the EU had banned fox hunting here you’d all have been outraged at the interference.

      Double standards methinks.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Rather a silly argument andy because our own government banned it, so your point is totally irrelevant.

      • Ginty
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        We banned fox hunting ourselves and did not need the EU to do it for us. In fact we are better on many things.

      • Adam
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        The EU is low value. We are leaving them to their own.

    • agricola
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      That is a matter for the Spanish and the tide of support is ebbing. Catalunia has already banned it. We do not welcome the EU telling us to do anything, the Spanish are no less a proud nation.

  7. agricola
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    It is indicative of an electorate searching around for solutions to their problem. They are well aware of the problems, they live with them every day. To date there has been no coherent thought on how to resolve them.

    Throughout it’s life in the EU until very recently Spain has been a financially dependant country. Dependants are rarely courageous enough to walk away from their income stream. It is like the challenge of becoming self employed. They are therefore wedded to the EU and the Euro. It will remain so until the electorate realise that it is the EU and the Euro that come with German inspired austerity that is producing the levels of unemployment that they suffer.

    Another problem they have is the economic mix they have in their economy. Their biggest industry is tourism and other nationals choosing to live in Spain based on climate and quality of life. The attitude of the Eu to the UK re Brexit and some in Spain to Gibraltar is hardly likely to enhance their tourist industry. There are now too many viable alternative destinations in the World. Manufacturing is largely confined to the Basque area and Catalan. They fund Madrid and have always resented it.

    Their market garden and citrus fruit industry is highly vulnerable post Brexit again due to the EU wishing to punish the UK and the reality that there are multiple sources throughout the World. Technology allows the UK to produce much more for itself and citrus fruit is in profusion from wherever.

    Until a coherent solution to Spains financial situation is evolved by one of their political parties they will remain in a politically confused state. At the moment the parties are only voicing what they do not like not viable solutions.

    • agricola
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      What has happened to moderation. This piece has the virtue of being on subject.

      • agricola
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        I note you still havn’t got sround to reading it.

    • agricola
      Posted May 1, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      Like all politicians, if you can’t be bothered to publish why should we bother to give you our opinions or vote for you.

  8. formula57
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    The main point for us about the Spanish result is that Spain will remain one of our Evil Empire enemies and we can expect more of its antics over Gibraltar.

    • agricola
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Have you just survived Trafalgar.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Much talk on dealing with the burning injustice and social mobility by Damian Hinds on the Today Programme just now. How about abolishing the Social Mobility Commission (and other such daft QUANGOs) and giving tax cuts with all the money saved for the low paid and the businesses that employ them. Another good way of dealing with it would be to stop saddling people with £50,000 of student debt for worthless degrees. Perhaps 50-75% of degrees are I suspect. 50% of people going to University seem to have 3Ds or less at A level. Surely these people should either resit, learn on the job at night school or learn something practical and in demand. Avoiding the £50K ball and chain of debt for a worthless degree.

    I am far more concerned by the social injustice that deprives people of jobs by having the highest and most complex taxes for 70 years, restrictive employment laws, endless red tape, expensive mad energy systems and having tax to death, PC, socialist fools at numbers 10 and 11 working hard to give us a Corbyn government. That will destroy even more jobs.

    • Ginty
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      And even those with good degrees end up on a higher tax rate far too early in their careers – just as they can afford a mortgage.

      Better off dropping out and going on the social – especially young mums.

      • Ginty
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        The most socially mobile and wealthiest people I know are tradesmen. They got into property developing and/or set up of their own businesses. Not a degree among them.

        Sending 50% of young people to university is NOT working.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          Indeed.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

          Ginty….a masterstroke from Blair. Encourage all these kids who will be unemployed for years, driving the electorate mad with them living at home playing computer games all day. A flash of inspiration ! Get them all to go to uni….spread the story, debts you never repay, parties every night, meet lots of new friends in the pubs, clubs. Exams? Lectures? mostly a breeze. Fail exam? Resit, switch course….lots of things to put off ever working.

      • mancunius
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        “even those with good degrees end up on a higher tax rate far too early in their careers – just as they can afford a mortgage.”
        Yes, that’s a good point, Ginty. Just as they’re able to afford to buy a property, they’re hammered with the 40% rate, so their net take-home pay fails to keep pace with real inflation and their outgoings.

    • agricola
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      In my notes on the failings of the May government, I have a whole raft of areas due attention. I do not anticipate her government,which you may consider an exageration of the term, addressing any of them. They would however form the basis of a Brexit Party manifesto for all those who might accuse it of being a single idea movement.

  10. Kevin
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    “According to the BBC and others the Spanish socialist party won a famous victory.”

    An election should be reported like a sports contest to the extent that people would like to know the number of points scored by each participant. Additionally, before the contest takes place, some people would also like to discuss who is playing, particularly if they are underdogs but have the potential to score points. It makes it less of a suprise when the favourites get defeated. In that regard, I think there is an interesting contest to be had in the constituency of North West England in the upcoming elections to the EU Parliament.

    • Mark
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Taking the YouGov mega poll at the weekend the forecast result for the NW is

      NW: 3 Lab 2 Brexit 1 Green + 2 seats between Lab/Con/Brexit

      No other party (Lib Dem, CHUK, English Democrats, UKIP, UK European Union Party) or candidate (there are two independents) is close to a seat. The last two seats are a three way fight that will doubtless prove interesting.

      The Conservative list header is arch remainer Sajjad Karim, who may lose out to Labour and Brexit.

  11. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    The people are revolting, the government is not very good either !

  12. sm
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Off topic: I was interested to read the comments on your article about Brexit in the DT (28/4). Not only were very many supporting your views, but the writers also referred to you warmly by your first name (which is unusual) and many wished that you were at least in the Cabinet, but preferably were PM.

  13. Everhopeful
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Seems to me that Europe is back to pre WW2 situation of communists v nationalists.
    Only difference is that the communists have the upper hand now.
    Funny how those everyday folk who support socialism etc always ( initially) see “freedom” in the extreme far left.
    Nothing could be further from the truth. Unless, I suppose, one is in charge.

    • Ginty
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Greenism is the Communist’s cause with Communist solutions. Greta Thunberg is their human shield.

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      I don’t quite see it that way.Nuclear war induced dystopia aside,interconnectivity is here to stay.The choice is between a politically integrated (supposedly)values-based globalist West controlled by the American financial system and the developing economically integrated Eurasian system of sovereign states championed by the Russians and Chinese-they couldn’t care less about values or political ideology.

      Eurasianism is spreading in influence-you can see that through the 16+1 format(China and 11 east-central and 5 Balkan countries) and Russia’s ASEAN+ Russia format(upgraded to “strategic partnership” level last autumn).

      Talk of a new German Empire is a nonsense unless Germany/EU is prepared to wean itself off the Americans (payment systems,NATO,etc) whose creation the EU essentially was.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        A new German empire? Collapses as soon as Russia pulls the power plug. A great way to build a new empire.

        • Mitchel
          Posted May 1, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

          Germany’s Russland-Komplex will see it slide into Russia’s arms eventually.

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

            Mitchel

            Germany’s Russland-Komplex?

            After they saw what ‘Russland’ did to the eastern part of their country I don’t think there is much of a danger there.

            And I can’t remember that the country ever had any wish to slide into Russia’s arms in the past either.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 1, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          Fred H

          “A new German empire?”

          Their last one lasted a thousand years. Rather longer and more successful than the British empire.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

            Being a UK citizen don’t you think that might be a worry for you?

          • Mitchel
            Posted May 2, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

            Margaret,I suggest you study the admittedly complicated relationship between the various Germanic states and Russia over the last three hundred years-little realised for instance that the Romanovs were actually “German” after the death of the Empress Elizaveta,childless,in the 1770s-her successors were actually of the House of Holstein im Gottorp,rebranded.

            And as a matter of fact,Russia is actually more popular in the East than the West of Germany – despite what happened in the past.

            Your thousand year Reich,the Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy,nor Roman,nor an Empire.No proper German empire (depending on how you choose to treat Austria-Hungary) has had staying power-the Russians do empire so much better!

  14. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Why is it that so meany media like the BBC, get so jubilant about socialist parties – From the propaganda you would imagine that this was a new start, a turning point, but it’s more of the same…. and the socialists have nothing to offer but negative prospects.

    Oh yes, This kind of result does suit the EU elite, not just because there is no strong leadership to press for rationality, but for the reason that the country is fractured in to smaller manageable groups. I wonder how the result would have been different with FPTP, as PR is so clearly designed to make weak governments.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      I think we’ve had enough of FPTP Governments and the abuse it has caused us over the last 40 years. It relies on honesty and integrity of those elected officials. I think the Brexit debate and Parliaments refusal to deliver a clean Brexit reveals its personal and collective failings and need for drastic reform so smaller parties can bring about the will of the electorate. Not Party interests.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        TBH – I don’t think that PR does anything but weaken democracy – The current system isn’t broken – but what is broken is the way we select people to serve us and make decisions… This would still be a problem no matter what voting system was used.

        Other than that, we do need a new contract between the electors and the elected – More referendums and more open honest discussions, but mainly we need the means to dismiss parliament when they become as corrupt as this one has regarding Brexit.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Ryan Harris

      Actually , thinking about society being fractured into smaller groups. Look how over time, Britain, has to a lesser extent, become the same. We have had, through the education system, indoctrination of how wonderful the EU is, political correctness has crept into society, hate crime, freedom of speech has been challenged in lots of areas. Look how pathetic university students have become with safe spaces, refusal of allowing speakers with other views, embarrassment at our colonial history – history is almost being re-written to fit a new narrative. The BBC et al have kept a tight rein on what can/cannot be broadcast, there are also only certain views being shown on some programmes…..Even the police force has been infiltrated (at the top), and their is no longer policing as we know it.

      However, thankfully, only a proportion of society think culturally Marxist, the vast majority are still very British in their views. But that is why the Marxist thinking politicians have been so shocked at the result of the referendum. They thought all that Britishness had been eroded! Which is why, we MUST, MUST win the battle for freedom from the EU empire-in-the-making.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        @Sharon – Yes – and one way we can achieve it it to enhance our Britishness – Resurrect those things, like common sense, that were almost lost… Let’s be our practical selves – Ignore the damned socialist propaganda, and live our lives as rational, thinking happy people – The more we get to smile, the more pain those working against us will suffer…

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 1, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Sharon

        The British disease was a derogatory term given to the United Kingdom and its economic stagnation in the 1970s. Fortunately our EU membership rescued us.

        But now it has been replaced by a blame disease whereby everybody and everything, but especially the BBC, are being blamed for all that is wrong in this country.

        But hurrah, along came Brexit and all will be well again.

        Oh dear!

        • Edward2
          Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

          The British Disease was a term used to describe militant trade unions and their wildcat unofficial strike action taken without secret ballots.
          It ruined many good companies and especially their customers who were let down went elsewhere for the goods and services they wanted.

    • agricola
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      The BBC is infested with left wing Guardiaistas, end of story.

      • hefner
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        agric, have you ever considered that your “end of story” comment might simply show that you do not have any further argument, not even anything more to tell us. Isn’t that defeating the purpose of what you were trying to convey?

  15. Tomas
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I can promise you that when Spanish political parties need populist policies, it is Gibraltar that will be the focus. You Brits are being given good hiding by the Irish right now, but you have seen nothing yet. Still – your choice, no one forced you out of the EU family, no one forced you to choose powerlessness.

    • agricola
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      I always considered the Spanish to be more pragmatic than to adopt Galtieri type diversionary policies. They have a vested interest in keeping Gibraltar as it is. Gib employs around 10,000 from the pooest province in Spain, Andalucia. Do they wish them to become unemployed, I doubt it. We all know what happened to Galtieri. I would not wish that on my Spanish friends.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      British people WANT out of the EU, it is only the lies from our soon to be deposed PM that has kept us in for the last 2 years. Missing you already!

  16. hans christian ivers
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    An interesting theory on the EU and how that might mean no changes or few.

    However, with right and left wing parties on the fringes like Vox in Spain, it is more likely that the composition of the European parliament will have implications for how the EU policies will look in the future.

    • mancunius
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Since the European parliament cannot initiate any legislation, it has not the slightest effect on future policies. It is a very well-paid echo chamber.

      Which is why it is essential that 73 Brexit PartyUkip MEPs from the UK take their place at the table to question the value of that quasi-parliamentary non-discussion.

      • hefner
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        If the future 73 Brexit Party MEPs are as efficient as the previous 24 UKIP MEPs, I do not expect much questioning given the rather lamentable level of attendance of these in the EU Parliament.
        Can you give me a name of such a MEP and the topics of their interventions (date and content) apart from Nigel Farage?

        • NickC
          Posted May 1, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          Hefner, What part of the EU parliament “has not the slightest effect on future policies” do you not understand?

          • hefner
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

            As you said the EU does not have the slightest effect on future policies, I was just wondering why you are so keen on having 73 BrP/UKIP MEPs attending such a useless convention.

  17. ChrisS
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The EU might think weak government is in its interest but the smaller parties of the right and left that are steadily gaining ground tend to be anti-EU.

    Brussels should be careful what it wishes for : while the members of those Eurosceptic parties of the left and right will never have enough in common to form a government, as long as veto powers remain in place, there may well be enough of them in national parliaments to block further EU integrationist legislation by joining forces across party boundaries.

  18. Everhopeful
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Off topic
    In quest for zero carbon by 2050 will the govt ban BBQs and fireworks?
    I believe that 12’ trampolines produce a lot of co2 as well!!

    • agricola
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t realise that flatulence was a byproduct of trampolines. I thought it was just broken bones.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Where I live parents are reported to Social Services (on grounds of cruelty) unless they install a trampoline.

  19. Mark B
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    As the nation states slowly surrender more sovereignty, ie power, they become increasingly incapable of solving local and national issues that affect the electorate. This means their relevance comes into question and, as new parties emerge promising reform and a better outcome so the electorate switches alligence. That is why these parties are referred to as Populice Parties, they and their solutions appeal to them. The problem is, these parties offer false hope all the while the nation state remains shackled to the EU.

    This why we voted to Leave, so that we can make decisions for ourselves and in our own interest.

    • agricola
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      You got it in one. However with so many states within the EU being dependency states it is a difficult sell. They are mostly very young to democracy so it could be a while before the penny drops. While they gestate the EU may realise that plan A is not going to work and opt for a re-think. It is a disparate stew that could become Beouf Bourginon but equally could be the dogs next breakfast.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 1, 2019 at 4:59 am | Permalink

        Leaving would have thrown the cat amoungst the pigeons. Once the EU whipping boy was gone they would have quickly turned on each other.

  20. Chris
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Tom Newton Dunn‏:
    Excl: Theresa May becomes first Tory leader in 185 years to face a grassroots vote to oust her. PM was told today that an association chairmen’s petition has succeeded and Emergency General Meeting will be triggered in June (1/3)

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8966455/theresa-may-first-tory-leader-185-years-emergency-grassroots-vote-demanding-resignation/
    PAST HER PRIME Theresa May becomes first Tory leader in 185 years to face emergency grassroots vote demanding her resignation.
    The Prime Minister has been branded ‘no longer the solution’

  21. Julie Dyson
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    An interesting analysis, Sir John. As with many other European elections it does seem to highlight the inherent dangers of a PR system versus FPTP, potentially leading to precisely this sort of situation in which no single party is able to form a majority government. With each such result I always find myself asking, is that such a bad thing?

    in less fractious times, FPTP has a better chance of providing a majority government, but at what cost? One inevitable side-effect is that huge swathes of the populace are left feeling that their vote doesn’t count for diddly-squat — especially if living in a “safe seat” while fundamentally disagreeing with the policies and aims of their own MP (*hand raise*).

    One thing for certain in that Spanish election is that perhaps 95%+ of the electorate won’t be feeling the same, disgruntled and disillusioned, way as I will inevitably be feeling at the next GE here. For all the difficulties they may or may not now face in forming a new coalition government in Spain, I cannot but envy the fact that their democracy seems so much fairer than what we have here.

  22. Doug Powell
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC

    I see that the Tories are embracing the current trend of bringing comedy into elections! A report in today’s Times says that Tory candidates in the local elections are being told not to mention ‘Brexit’ for fear of alienating voters.

    This reminded me of the occasion when Basil Fawlty had German guests and told his staff ‘not to mention the war’.

    One can imagine SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED addressing assembled candidates saying:

    “Don’t mention Brexit! – I did, but I think I got away with it”!

  23. Mark
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    The Spanish election proves the corollary to Duverger’s law: under PR no-one gets the government they want. Of course that also applies to the EU.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Correct Mark
      Then Presidents and unelected Commissioners hold the power in the EU.
      It is how the USSR was run until it ran out of money and collapsed under the weight of its own bureaucracy.

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      The EU is Not a government – it is a trading bloc, the most successful in the world membership of which turned this country round from being the ‘sick man of Europe’ to its 5th largest economy, now alas already dropping into 7th place.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        This is the central point Margaret.
        Once upon a time it was indeed a trading bloc.
        It was called The Common Market.
        Now it has been hijacked and turned into a supra national government and soon it will be re named again as The United States of Europe.
        It has a President, a flag, an anthem, some ambassadors and soon an armed force.
        It makes laws, it has it’s own currency and central bank.
        Sounds like a government to me.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 1, 2019 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

          Extract from the official 1975 referendum leaflet:

          Aims of the Common Market are:

          Bring together the people of Europe

          Raise living standards/improve working conditions

          Promote growth/boost world trade

          Help poorest regions of Europe/rest of the world

          Help maintain peace/freedom
          ==

          That’s exactly what we’ve got.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 2, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

            The original idea of the Common Market with 6 similar independent nations.
            Which many like me supported but was hated by the left of politics who called it a rich bosses club.

            No mention in those vague lofty aims of law making powers over member nations, of having a President, of having open borders, having one currency, a flag, an anthem, an armed force, over 30 member states, it’s own foreign policy, it’s own ambassadors and it’s own central bank and renaming itself several times on route to becoming The United States of Europe.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        Really. Go look at there own website and see all the competencies they control. Trade is a minor issue exaggerated by remainiacs. Once seen come back and apologise to us all!

      • Ginty
        Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        Ted Heath dubbed us ‘sick man’ in the first Project Fear.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 1, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        margaret….in name only. At a practical level what Germany says, goes. Macron has the good sense to cosy up to try to get a vote on the table of currently one.

    • Sean Dolan
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Yeah right, whereas in the UK we get Mrs May and Arlene Foster. That is what you voted for, is it mate?

  24. ukretired123
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I never hear Theresa May supporting Gibraltar. Perhaps she was glued to the Spanish elections on TV for some tips on how pear shaped things are going to be in the EU.

    My advice to TM echoes Sir John’s in spirit:
    Honesty with the voters is the best policy – really and truly respect the Referendum.
    Anything less is annihilation.

    Change is the new norm and lots of remainers think the EU won’t change the country profoundly as have not studied it in depth only superficially. I would recommend Sir John’s DT article yesterday – especially his sources researched.

  25. rose
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    It suits the EU to have the national governments weakened and of course it suits the Corporatists too.

  26. Sue Doughty
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Very poor journalism from the BBC, they just used what they’d been sent.
    Mainland Europe countries were given constitutions by the allies after WW2 designed to make sure no warlike nation can never again have strong government – PR.
    Not for us to gloat or comment on but I did notice the socialists saying not losing as much as they’d feared was a victory. That’s socialism.

    • hefner
      Posted April 30, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Have you checked that your comment applies to all countries in Mainland Europe? A quick check on Wikipedia shows that your assertion is only partially true.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 1, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Sue

      “constitutions by the allies after WW2 designed to make sure no warlike nation can never again have strong government”

      Warlike nations?

      A Study of War by Prof. Quincy Wright, shows that in the period from 1480 to 1940 there were 278 wars involving European countries whose percentage participation was as follows:

      ENGLAND 28%
      FRANCE 26%
      SPAIN 23%
      RUSSIA 22%
      AUSTRIA 19%
      TURKEY 15%
      POLAND 11%
      SWEDEN 9%
      ITALY 9%
      NETHERLANDS 8%
      GERMANY (INCLUDING PRUSSIA) 8%
      DENMARK 7%

      And that doesn’t include our many colonial wars when weaker countries were ruthlessly invaded and taken over.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        margaret howard

        Perhaps you can show the % of actual destruction caused by these nations. You will be pleased to see Great Britain drop dramatically down your pecking order!

        …..stats, stats and more stats do but deceive?

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 1, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

          Dennis

          Well, you will have to address that question to Prof Quincy Wright who is the expert in these matters.

          I’m not. Are you?

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 2, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

            margaret howard

            Please do some extra reading on stats. It may surprise you to learn that there are many stats experts out there…its how they earn a living…but does not necessarily make them completely right? Btw, I employ some!

      • Edward2
        Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Pointless post Margaret.
        It is 2019.

  27. ian
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    The UK has been in gov coalitions for the last 10 years apart from 2015 to 2016 when the con party offered a ref on the EU and that is set to be the norm from now on, the last time the UK people voted for FPTP gov was in 2005.

    The only party that may be able to break that is the new Brexit party who have a parental 52% of the vote at the ref, 6% of them had never voted before and more non-voters will join them when the time comes, you also know that the con party is losing voters at record speed and all going for the new Brexit party and even paying money into the party.

    Con party could lose 50 per cent of their vote or more at the next GE depending on their next move, they have failing to win over voters with their liberal socialist policies since 2010 and Brexit has managed to top it all off for their voters.

    As for labour, they are also under threat of losing votes to the new Brexit party of between 4 to 5 million voters.

    What voters will be looking for is a party that does not mind breaking international law to take them out of the EU completely.

    So, John, my work is nearly done here now, the people finally see the light of freedom and a new start in their country history and a beacon light will go out from these shores for all to see. Brother and sisters, we are winning, never had it so good, don’t worry about their silly political games, the next GE is yours for the taking as more non-voters come on board.

  28. mancunius
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, Spanish youth unemployment is 32.4%. The extreme left and right vote would probably be considerably higher is there were not so many young people who had left Spain to search for work elsewhere.

  29. Shieldsman
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    If the Conservative Party survives Nationally then they can return to local politics next time. Local Government carries on regardless of the political spectrum of the Councillors.

    This time they will have to take the hit. It being the only way the Conservative Brexit voter can get their disenchantment across to the cloth eared Theresa May and MP’s.

  30. Dennis Zoff
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Local elections.

    Well, I had my local Conservative Candidate hopeful around today (I think he was a little taken aback that I appeared at the front door (thankfully my wife was away shopping).

    Decent enough chap; retired, late sixties, polite and to the point. Credentials: School Governor; ex RAF; ex-Senior Business manager (how did he pass the Remoaner age gap?) asked if I would be interested in supporting his candidacy, without initially announcing he was from the Conservative party. Upon his replying yes to my direct question I immediately said no and explained my reasons.

    He said he did not wish to discuss Brexit, as his primary objective was to address local issues only (obviously a Conservative Campaign Headquarters script). Incidentally, issues the previous incumbent had not addressed in 10 years! He asked if I would be supporting Labour…I presume my immediate negative expression gave him my answer.

    All in all an interesting, albeit brief discussion. However, his body language was clearly uncomfortable around a Brexit argument, which most probably underlined a rather difficult day!

  31. mancunius
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    “if there were not so many” etc

  32. margaret
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Local elections are coming up and it may seem unreasonable to some , but I will not vote for any individual who does not put British / English interests first and has upmost loyalty to being British. This is not racist: it is loyalty. Don’t tell me that people who partially live in another Country and here off the state will be thinking British . Denial of this is just beyond belief . If I were in another Country, for Instance Saudi , I would go there as wages are better than ours and send the money home;however following all the ethical blunders by Saudi , the sheer barbarism of beheadings ; that would overrule any decision to go there.

  33. BillM
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I do wonder if this new Spanish government will still attempt to harass the Gibraltarians? Especially when there are more important problems to address in the mainland.
    I believe around 20,000 jobs in South Western Spain are attributed to Gibraltar yet Madrid has ignored their plight and regularly effectively closed down their border at La Linea depriving these unfortunate people of their work.
    It is totally hypocritical of past Madrid regimes to claim Gibraltar belongs to them, despite the fact that it was ceded by Spain to Britain in perpetuity under the Utrecht Treaty of 1713. Since then the Gibraltarians, in a 2002 Referendum, elected to remain under British Sovereignty, a point that remains valid under UN Article 1.2 and within International Law. Hypocritical because Spain was “GIVEN” the MOROCCAN enclaves Cueta and Mililla by the PORTUGUESE, yet Spain will never ever allow Morocco to take them back!
    So Spain ‘handed’ us Gibraltar by legal treaty but wish , against the wishes of the inhabitants, to take back control BUT they refuse to allow the Moroccans to recovered their lost enclaves that were given to Spain by the Portuguese invaders. Spain now, should think more about straightening out their dire youth unemployment problems and the OTT National debts before any other business! Perhaps shunning the Brussels dictatorship will help their cause too.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 1, 2019 at 12:25 am | Permalink

      “It is totally hypocritical of past Madrid regimes to claim Gibraltar belongs to them, despite the fact that it was ceded by Spain to Britain in perpetuity under the Utrecht Treaty of 1713.”

      So was Minorca in the same treaty but in 1782 the Spanish regained control of the island, after a long siege.

      Nothing is written in stone.

      Looking at my maps I must say that to the untrained eye Gibraltar looks more like being attached to Spain rather than to England -:)

      • Edward2
        Posted May 1, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

        Shall we ask the people who live on Gibraltar what they want?
        Or is that a bit populist for you margaret.

        • BillM
          Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          Like most anti-Brits the fact that the indigenous people voted to remain within British Sovereignty is irrelevant. What is also forgotten with regard to Minorca and the Balearic’s like the Canaries, the indigenous folk would rather be independent of Madrid.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 1, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          Edward2

          “Shall we ask the people who live on Gibraltar what they want?”

          Well, 96% of them voted Remain. Will they get their wish?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 1, 2019 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

            No as they were told before the referendum it is a total vote.
            I live in an area where a large majority voted to leave.
            Will we get our wish?

      • Mitchel
        Posted May 1, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Margaret,Minorca was not a prize asset-we offered it to “our good sister,the Empress of All the Russias”(ie Catherine the Great) if she would help us out by sending Cossacks to put down our rebellious American subjects or using her navy to disrupt hoastile Franco-Spanish naval activity.

        Catherine decided it was in her interests that Britain was separated from her American colonies so declined the offer;furthermore she published our entreaty causing great embarrassment to our government.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 1, 2019 at 4:48 am | Permalink

      The real hypocracy is that Spain is in possession of Portugese territory. But you do not hear the Portuguese endlessly moaning about it.

      Gibraltar is a useful tool for failing Spanish governments, for obvious reasons.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 1, 2019 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        Seeing that Gibraltar voted by 96% remain how is our democratic system going to deal with that?

        • Edward2
          Posted May 2, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

          Gibraltar was told before the referendum that like Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland the referendum votes would be added up and totalled.
          Those were the well understood rules.

  34. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 1, 2019 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    With electorates such as those in Spain and Italy, the European Commission is hopefully going to find it difficult to create a Federal European SuperState. A Federal immigration policy is already proving difficult – the views of Angela Merkel and Victor Orban are hardly aligned and M Macron is having difficulty persuading his electorate that his version of a sustainable transport policy is desirable.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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