New direction in the EU?

The possible new leaders of the EU have not received great reviews from the press and public commenting so far. The EU Heads of government took a long time to make up their minds who to recommend to the Parliament. Their decision dumped the spitzenkandidat system they were meant to be following. Instead of recommending Manfred Weber, the leader of the EPP grouping in the Parliament to be EU Commission President, they recommended Von Leyen, the Defence Minister of Germany, who was not in the frame for such a post prior to the election.

The lack of direct democratic accountability of the Commission President is a worry for some supporters of the EU. That is why they invented the spitzenkandidat system. Under this approach the leaders of the main party groupings contesting the European elections appear on public platforms and debate the future of the EU so the public can see what they would do if they won the European election and if their candidate became Commission President . Whilst it is not as good as making the post directly elected, it could provide more accountability than the behind closed door recommendation made after the election.

Von der Leyen is an unknown politicians when it comes to the EU agenda. We are told she is an EU enthusiast who will presumably wish to support more steps to European integration. She is also a German conservative, who may not want to commit  more German tax revenue to grants and transfers around the Euro currency union. She may find herself in disagreement with Christine Lagarde, the French former Republican, who is proposed to be the next President  of the European Central Bank. Lagarde is also likely to be keen on more European integration, and may advocate a bigger EU budget with Germany making a bigger contribution to that budget.

Charles Michel, the former Belgian PM, becomes President of the Council. Known for seeking to reconcile opposites and to weld a coalition out of very different forces, he will need dark arts to construct alliances and coalitions for policies that can command majority support in the Council of Ministers and the Parliament.

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189 Comments

  1. GilesB
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Ursula Von Der Leyden is also a strong supporter of an EU Army and a United States of Europe. She is on record as saying that ‘A European Army is being formed’. Were all the Remainers who claimed an EU Army would never happen liars or naive?

    • Emily Jones
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Every member state has a veto over any such proposals. That is why it is a very good thing to be a member state of the EU. It gives you power. Much better than turning your back and being ignored as irrelevant.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        Have you not heard of Qualified Majority voting and the reducing powers of vetoing by individual member nations Emily?
        Next year even more restrictions kick in via the Lisbon Treaty

        • Emily Jones
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:28 am | Permalink

          Defence and security is always by unanimity, Edward. Always.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            It is at the moment Emily.
            Wait a while and see it change.
            The leaders have a plan.
            Read the Five Presidents Report.

      • Original Richard
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 3:29 am | Permalink

        Emily, Ever heard of QMV and how this was increased by the Lisbon Treaty for which we were promised a referendum ?

      • NickC
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Emily Jones, If a nation is not in the EU, that nation does not need the “power” of veto – the EU cannot tell that nation what to do in the first place.

        You evidently have not read the Lisbon treaty, to which all sub-states of the EU have already signed up to:
        Article 42/1: “The common security and defence policy shall be an integral part of the common foreign and security policy. It shall provide the [EU] with an operational capacity drawing on civil and military assets. The [EU] may use them on missions outside the [EU] …”.

        You know as well as I do that it would be extraordinarily difficult for a member state – having already signed up to Lisbon – to vote against the further creation of a common defence policy and military capability. Political pressure, concessions in other areas, and bribes of defence contracts will be brought to bear. It’s all the usual tactics of the EU. And even if some sub-states refuse the rest will continue with the implementation of an EU military via bi – or multi – lateral arrangements as Germany and France have already done.

    • Andy
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      No – we were correct.

      Even if she does want an EU Army she cannot create one. It is not a decision for the EU Commission President.

      It is a decision for the EU Council and the 28, soon to be 27, heads of government. And they would all have to agree. And they don’t. Most do not want it.

      Please explain how you will get 27 prime ministers and presidents to agree to something nearly all of them do not want?

      • Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        How naive you are, Andy. And with so much at stake.

      • formula57
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

        @ Andy – the explanation has been given hitherto by our leader Mr. Juncker. He is quoted as having said: –

        “We decide on something, leave it lying around and wait and see what happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don’t understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back. ”

        One can understand perhaps how N. Clegg was misled.

      • Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:37 am | Permalink

        This is accomplished with monotonous regularity as any observer of the EU will have noted over the years.
        Hell they even got Catholic Ireland to vote for abortion! An EU Army approval will be a walk in the park.

        • hefner
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          Lynn, could you explain how RoI voting for abortion is related to the EU. Thanks in advance.

      • Mark
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

        Read the Treaty of Aachen. Macron and Merkel have already agreed. Between them they account for most of the EU military capability post Brexit.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      German army using brooms as rifles. 100% of German submarines Incapable of going to sea due to lack of funds.
      80% of German aircraft unservicible due to lack of spares.
      Of course she wants an EU defence force so they can buy German arms denied their own forces.
      As for the rest of the corrupt non entities, words fail me.

      • bigneil
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        They want a GEUrman army – paid for by everyone else.

      • Steve
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Ian Wragg

        Well this is the thing, they don’t have their own so they want to get their hands on ours.

        Especially considering the EU’s hell bent desire to have a crack at Russia, can you possibly imagine a British PM so absolutely stupid enough to potentially let the EU get their hands on the British nuclear fleet ?

        I can, she’s called Theresa May.

        No Sir, one of the first things we MUST do on Oct 31st is rip up anything that woman signed with the EU.

      • Posted July 6, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        Andy will explain it all to you, Mr Wragg. He can tell you why this is all a Good Thing.
        I’m sure his/her children have been running around with brooms as rifles, the better to get to grips with their roles had conscription been their fate. (Had our own democracy not intervened.)

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        Ian Wragg

        A quick check revealed that Germany is the world’s 4th biggest arms exporter (after France, Russia and the US) with an income of $1.27b

        Are you trying to tell us the world spends that sort of money on broom handles or submarines without spare parts? Or that their own army has to go without? Or are you just making it up?

        Incidentally we are in 8th place at $741m. Is it broom handles only for our forces?

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      GilesB

      “Were (sic) all the Remainers who claimed an EU Army would never happen liars or naive?”

      Remainers have as many different opinions as any other entity. I was always in favour of a European army ever since we were duped into supporting the USA in their illegal wars in the Middle East starting with the disastrous war in Iraq which has destabilised the whole region leading to the biggest refugee crisis since WW2 and Europe being forced to deal with the consequences.

      • Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:41 am | Permalink

        So you will have been pleased to see the RAF in the air with the Luftwaffe bombing our wartime anti-NAZI allies – the Serbs? And Germany’s unilateral recognition of its wartime NAZI ally – Croatia – whose football supporters to this day form the Swastika in the stands (google for pics).

    • NickC
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      GilesB, Nick Clegg was the Remain politician who notoriously likened the idea of an EU army to the Moon landings being faked. He has looked a fool ever since. But then the basic Remain position is extremely foolish.

      Remain contends that the UK cannot be independent of the EU, which is daft enough. But then – having given up the principle of independence – Remains insist we cannot choose to be part of, say, the USA, rather than part of the EU empire.

  2. Mark B
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    It does not matter who or how they are ‘selected’, we (the people) still cannot elect or unelect them.

    All those that have been mentioned here have, to put it mildly, interesting histories. Histories that, if they were running for the position of Conservative Leader would have the Liberal Chatterati having a collective fit of the vapours.

    All candidates for the top jobs go to Euro Federalists, not people who want to offer an alternative directions. So it is always going to be more, EVER CLOSER UNION. It’s just at what pace of such UNION happens.

    I wish, hopefully soon, that such shenanigans will be well beyond us and we can look upon these things in a ‘real detached’ way of such a curious spectacle.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWN
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      @Mark B: How do you imagine 500 million people unelecting Von der Leyen if she makes it to head of the EC? Would it not make more sense to leave that to the representitives which you have elected on 23 May? Whole EC commisions have been sent home before.
      How much power did you personally have to deselect Mrs. May, once she didn’t have your personal support anymore?

      • Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Our country did ‘deselect’ Mrs May in no uncertain terms. I have a vote for the `leader of the Conservative Party because I’m a member. I will work of that party and consequently that Leader to be in power. If the leader or the party displeases me (as it has done for 23 years) I am free to withdraw my support and vote and deploy it elsewhere to deprive the party of power. I have done all of those things and in unison with the nation we control our lawmakers.
        It’s pointless expecting 500million people to ‘deselect’ – instead they should propose candidates and elect them. (An alien concept on the Continent I know).

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          @Lynn Atkinson: The UK electorate didn’t propose any candidate for becoming your next PM.From your description it appears that it is not just your knowledge of the continent or the EU which appears to be lacking here.

          • NickC
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            PvL, Don’t be even sillier than normal. All UK MPs, including subsequently the prime and other ministers, are elected by their constituents. Von der Leyen was elected by no-one. Moreover the UK PM is under permanent threat of a vote of no confidence within the wholly elected House of Commons, which itself has the sole power to propose legislation. The EC and the EC “president” has none of those democratic attributes. The EU is like the GDR – the public can vote (occasionally) but it makes no difference.

      • Steve
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        PvL

        This is why things are changing.

        And to say it’s too much bother to obey the wishes of a 500 million majority is not an excuse.

        However, when the EU collapses you will see things differently.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

          @Steve: Sorry for my bad memory, when again did you expect the EU planned to collapse?

          • steve
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

            PvL

            Read history books and judge for yourself. My bet is within the next two decades.

            You cannot perpetually oppress peoples, as history shows at some point they rise up against their oppressors……..this is the fate of the EU.

      • James Matthews
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Well quite. Five hundred million people had no direct say in her election and therefore will get no say in her removal. If the EU had a demos with the necessary common bonds of loyalty, culture, language, values, beliefs and identity to be a legitimate democratic political entity it would certainly be feasible and preferable for her to be directly elected and be required to submit herself for re-election after a limited period. Those conditions do not exist, so a fudge is the only way for the institution to continue – with the real power permanently out of the electorate’s reach.

        The problem is not so much the members of the Commission as the Union itself. That is why, god willing and weather permitting, we are leaving.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          @James Matthews: Then let me wish you good “leaving” weather ASAP.

      • NickC
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        PvL, Theresa May was elected by her constituents, as every UK MP is. Von der Leyen was not. English kings were appointed more democratically than Von der Leyen, over a 1000 years ago.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

          @NickC: Candidate Von de Leyen can be vetoed by the directly elected parliament. I doubt that your kings could be vetoed in your parliament.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

            When was the last time that actually happened Peter?

          • sm
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

            Actually, Peter, it is a little known fact that English monarchs must be approved by Parliament before their succession can be confirmed; this has been a fact for many centuries.

          • NickC
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

            PvL, Even Juncker is not too happy about your “candidates” and the way they have been “selected”. Your EU is undemocratic, corrupt and rotten. Face up to it.

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 8, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

            Peter VL I thought Britain (DC) tried to use the veto against Jucker’s appointment and the veto didn’t stand up? He was elected without Britain’s support.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

          NickC

          “English kings were appointed more democratically than Von der Leyen, over a 1000 years ago.”

          Really? I think you will find if you study history more closely that they just had their heads chopped off.

      • Alison
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        @Peter van Leeuwen, Two points:
        One, I assume you don’t mind nine hundred thousand people voting for one MEP – because that’s what happens in the UK .. on average, one MEP in the UK represents 890,000 people. So for the heck of it, let’s get half a billion to vote for a Commission leader.
        Two: Martin Selmayr is still in his job in the EU Commission, despite the investigation into his appointment – finding internal rules were broken, ignored, and a resolution by the EU Parliament, for him to go. A resolution which the Commission simply ignored. EU Parliament powerless.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          @Alison: Why ask half a billion people to vote for the head of the EC, when you don’t ask 65 million UK citizens to directly elect their prime-minister?

          Not just directed at you, but . . .it’s quite amusing having the English lecture the EU on democracy! Even more amusing them continuing this lecturing in 2019! The whole world watches Britain. You should really try and levy some “entertainment tax” for us watching you! 🙂

          • steve
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

            PvL

            “You should really try and levy some “entertainment tax” for us watching you!”

            Yeah well, you’ll be laughing from the other side of your face when the whole rotten corrupt lot comes crashing down after we have left.

          • sm
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

            Because a Prime Minister is not a President, Peter. A President is a Head of State – the UK has a monarch in that role.

          • NickC
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

            PvL, You are right that the EU loves democracy – the EU keeps making the plebs vote until we get the right answer. The problem, of course, is that voting in the EU is like in the GDR – you can vote but there’s only one outcome – in the EU’s case more EU, and an ever closer union.

          • Alison
            Posted July 8, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            @Peter, The British do elect their prime minister, through the general election system.
            One benefit of the first-past-the-post system is that the voters in each constituency elect the person they believe most appropriate and able to look after their interests. Each candidate is scrutinized.
            I would agree that the spectacle in and around the House of Commons has been far from edifying at times in the last eight, nine months, with some MPs crassly working against the state will of the people, and against their own pledged word.
            But you have been able to watch the House of Commons proceedings and the various Parliamentary committees live. You have been able to read the transcripts. In the EU, we cannot do any of this for the EU Commission, the Council, the various committees. Nor does the EU Parliament offer much by way of live proceedings.
            Transparency? Accountability?

      • Mark B
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:21 am | Permalink

        Hi PvL

        How do you imagine 500 million people unelecting Von der Leyen . . .

        The same way that 1.3 BILLION Indians can unelect, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

          @Mark B: That would require the EU being one country (USE) which it isn’t, it is a union of nations. “Unelecting” VdL would be more akin to a vote of vote of no confidence, like you tried in your your parliament against Mrs May.
          At this stage, the European Parliament first has to approve of VdL, say a “vote of confidence”.

          • Andy
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

            So make VdL be subject to confirmatory votes in every member states national Parliament.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      MarkB

      “Histories that, if they were running for the position of Conservative Leader would have the Liberal Chatterati having a collective fit of the vapours.”

      Really?

      According to the former MI6 head Sir John Sawers we haven’t got much to be proud of:

      “We are going through a political nervous breakdown here in the UK.

      “We have potential prime ministers being elected by the Conservative Party now, [and] in the shape of the leader of the opposition, who do not have the standing that we have become used to in our top leadership.”

      Wish we had somebody with the standing and dignity of Ursula von der Leyen instead of buffoon Boris and ‘bring back fox hunting’ Hunt.

      • Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        ”Standing and dignity”? Really, Ms Howard, you do make yourself seem to be rather a dupe.
        For these terms read: arrogance and entitlement.
        Perhaps you should read ”Der Spiegel” in the German to see in what regard this person is held in her own country. So why is she being foisted upon the rest of Europe?
        Do tell – because you seem to have a different take on all this from the rest of us.

      • Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:45 am | Permalink

        ‘We’ are certainly not going through a nervous breakdown in the U.K. the erstwhile servants of the EU may well be. They backed the wrong horse and may well lose even their ‘eating money’.

  3. Pominoz
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    A very interesting article today by Tom Colsy about Christine Largarde on BexitCentral.com.

    A failing institution deserves leaders like those now likely to be confirmed. We must be well clear of it all before everything hits the fan.

    • Dabs
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Pominoz
      I was not able to find the stynesrobert. simplesite web page you posted on 5 July about progress of the English Democrats court action. It sounded like a useful link. Please confirm the web link. Thanks.

      • Pominoz
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        Dabs,

        I have tried just now to revisit the link which I had saved in my ‘favourites, but get an error message. I tried ‘Googling’ “Brexit English Democrats Court Case” which provided a link to stynesrobert.simplesite.com/442061665
        but following the link again led to the error message. It looks therefore as though, for one reason or another, access to this useful source is being denied (by someone?)

        An alternative, but more formal, info source is:
        http://robintilbrook.blogspot.com/

        Try this and hopefully it will work for you.

        • Pominoz
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 2:33 am | Permalink

          Dabs,

          I have now read Robin Tillbrook’s site in further detail. It suggest there that a mistake was made in the identification of the judge who had ruled on the English Democrats case. This is the likely reason the stynesrobert site has been removed although the Tillbrook site still reveals some questionable goings on.

    • Andy
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Tom who?

      How is he qualified to comment on one of the the most successful women in the world?

      Oh, that’s right. He’s not.

      • Nigl
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Why don’t you critique the article pointing out the flaws rather than the author.

        Ah yes you are Mr ‘negative no solutions, no hope’ Andy. I hope you don’t manage people. You must be a bundle of fun.

      • Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        Do you mean ‘successful criminals’ in the world `Andy? 😂😂

      • mickc
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        So…..like any other commentator or “journalist “…

      • Jonathan
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Actually the only thing which qualifies or disqualifies people to comment is the quality of their argument. And belittling your opponents, as you do here, is no argument at all.

      • Steve
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        Andy

        Oh and how are you qualified to comment on anything while you’re still wet behind the ears ?

        Oh that’s right – you’re not.

      • sm
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Well, Mme Lagarde was certainly successful at not getting punished, despite being found guilty of certain large-scale financial ‘mishandling’!

        • hefner
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          sm, please tell me all you know about Mrs Lagarde’s large-scale financial handling. Thanks in advance.

          • sm
            Posted July 8, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

            Hey, just a little fuss over a 430 million euro deal involving Bernard Tapie and a French court finding Mme Lagarde guilty of negligence in 2016 in the matter, you can check it out for yourself.

      • Posted July 6, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        It’s all right, Andy. You wouldn’t like him, if you knew him. He’s one of our YOUNG, well-informed and well-educated Brexiteers. You know – one of those who doesn’t exist in your world.

      • NickC
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Like you?

      • Zorro
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        LOL 😂 …. You are having a laugh. She failed to gain entrance to the ENA by exam and was found guilty of negligence in 2016. However, I am sure that she knows enough to grease the wheels!

        zorro

        • Caterpillar
          Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

          Zorro,

          It is I treating that she failed to get in twice, but has managed to create a narrative of learning from experience. Also serious were all the criticisms when she was given the IMF position that she was a conventional textbook monetary policy person without broader flexibility. I think this has been confirmed by her practice. This may well make her fit the ECB role, though it is probably not what the ECB need.

      • Glenn Vaughan
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        If you don’t know the author then you aren’t in a position to judge if he’s qualified to comment on Ms Largarde.

        Typical idiocy from “Andy”- the high priest of the remain squad.

  4. Nigl
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Presumably Macron has installed Lagarde to get at Germany’s money and Merkel has put in Vin der Leyen to stop it with Michel as the ref.

    With a potentially disruptive Parliament, interesting times. I think this works to our advantage because the sooner they can get rid of our Brexit MEPs, the better/easier life becomes.

  5. Pete S
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    It looks to me like, the smaller countries objected to the first favourites. But the big power countries are going to have a representative no matter what. Do the lesser countries think, while I am sucking on the EU Euro teat, I will just go along with it.

    Saw almost the last ‘This week’, with Andrew Neil interviewing a prominent European Journalist. Her arrogance seemed to reflect the arrogance of the EU.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      Benedicte Paviot it was – unbelievable anti-democratic views she has. Needless to say she is endlessly on the BBC for newspaper reviews and the likes. Almost as often as that no nation socialist Ken Clark is on Question Time or Any Questions. On again last night with no Brexit person or non socialist person on at all I think.

      We have the highest (and most idiotic) taxes for 50+ years yet Clarke seems to want to increase them yet again NI for pensioners and he regards the TV licence for the elderly as a give away as he gets a free one.

      The TV licence is a tax we have to pay so that the BBC can endlessly push left wing, pro EU, big government, climate alarmist, tax to death drivel in the Ken Clark mode on the nation.

      The appalling John Major was on Hard Talk last night too. The usual misguided drivel he comes out with. He is never asked about his gross incompetence in government and the ERM/EURO he wanted nor his burying of the Conservative Party for 3 + terms. Labour 418 seat and Major’s Conservatives 165 it was. May was clearly trying to out do this Major disaster by following the same socialist, pro EU, tax to death lunacy – against the expressed will of the voters and her manifesto promises.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        Clark seems proud of inventing the fuel tax escalator and his airport departure duty. Indeed he seem mainly proud of endlessly increasing taxes and inventing new ones.

        He fails to see that high taxes damage the economy hugely as the government spend money so very much less efficiently (and on totally the wrong things) in general. They kill the golden goose and at least half strangle her.

    • Andy
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      I saw that interview. The film was basically a huge ‘I hate the UK’ fest, but when she was crossexamined about her view hailing the appointments she had nothing to say at all. It was all high blown rhetoric and empty piffle, not even a reasoned argument as to why these individuals would be good for the EU.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Pete S

      ” But the big power countries are going to have a representative no matter what. ”

      Like in Britain with England dominating Scotland, Wales and Ireland?

      C’est la vie!

      • Fred H
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Marg….if you mean dominating the wealth creation? which helps to subsidise the others, you are correct.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard,

        Scotland has its own parliament but remains over represented at Westminster.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        England dominating? Scotland, wales and Ireland all have their own parliaments and devolved powers. England does not have its own parliament. Their subjects are far better off financially compared to the English. Try living in Scotland on the minimum wage. It goes a hell of a lot further than it does in England. They all need to be careful what they wish for. They are living in cuckoo land.

      • Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:52 am | Permalink

        Is there such a place as ‘England’? I have not seen it on a map or heard it referred to for decades! If you mean that group of regions that funds Scotland and Wales and defends Protestant Ulster from the aggression of the catholic provinces of Ireland – say so like a good European.

  6. Thomas Browne
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    All these potential EU leaders require democratic approval from the European Parliament, the directly elected voice of the people. It is an admirable process. What a contrast with the undemocratic farce currently taking place in this country

    • Shirley
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      Do you think they will get more than one candidate to vote for, this time around? The European Parliament votes are a sham when there is only one candidate. Likewise in the UK, when we were only given choices of pro-EU parties.

      Join the EU and lose your democracy. You are no longer allowed to vote for who governs the UK (you can only vote for the box tickers).

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      The new leader of the Conservative party also requires democratic approval from our elected representatives, via the no confidence motion Corbyn will table – why is that a farce ? Oh … because you are a Remain fanatic so you blindly support anyone you agree with ? Even Juncker has condemned the corrupt backroom deals which resulted in these failed politicians being appointed – etc ec

    • mickc
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      The Tory membership is electing a leader. So did the Labour party. Both seem democratic to me.
      As Leader of the largest party in the House, if that Leader can form a government which can command the confidence of the House the Queen will appoint him as her Prime Minister. The key point is being able to command the confidence of the House, a body directly elected by “we, the people “.
      I fail to see what is undemocratic about this process. In particular, there is no certainty that the Tory leader can form a government which can command the necessary confidence, in which event there will be a General Election.

    • Longinus
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Parliament can’t vote against individual Commissioners.

    • NickC
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Thomas Browne, Yes, the EU likes democracy so much, it makes you carry on voting until you get the right answer.

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:56 am | Permalink

      😂 even the EU ‘Parliament’ says it’s a sham! Surely they should know and surely a good citizen would not contradict their ‘Parliament’? Incidentally it’s not a Parliament because it cannot propose, enact, amend and repeal laws. To call such a body as the EU ‘Parliament’ a Parliament does violence to our language. There is not one Parliament in the whole EU! Suck on that!

  7. BCL
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    No one seems bothered by Ms LeGarde’s conviction for negligence 3 years ago. I’d have thought that ought to disqualify her but such considerations apparently apply only to us ordinary mortals and not to important EU officials.

    • Shirley
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      Looking at past presidents of the EU, it seems having a dodgy past is a prerequisite.

      • Original Richard
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 3:44 am | Permalink

        The most important prerequesite is to be a failed politician in one’s own country so as to hate that country’s electorate enough to support the EU rather than one’s nation when working for the EU.

        This continues afer reirement as the EU ensures ex employees toe the line through threats of cancellation of the pension.

        Just look at the our politicians who have been EU commissioners.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Droit de Seigneur applies!

      • hefner
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        What sexual harassment has to do with it? What about you learning to use a French-English dictionary?

    • James Bertram
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      BCL – This reminds me of ‘the 40 hidden horrors lurking in the Withdrawal Agreement’ Spectator article:

      The Mandelson Pension Clause: The UK must promise never to tax former EU officials based here – such as Peter Mandelson or Neil Kinnock – on their E.U. pensions, or tax any current Brussels bureaucrats on their salaries. The EU and its employees are to be immune to our tax laws. (Article 104)

      Furthermore, the UK agrees not to prosecute EU employees who are, or who might be deemed in future, criminals (Art.101)

      I wonder whether Theresa May, in tenaciously pursuing this abominable deal, had in mind becoming an EU employee herself, sometime in the future?

      Merkel and her Bilderberg chums might still want to express gratitude?

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:02 am | Permalink

      The first President of the EU was Walter Hallstein, who fought for the Nazi’s. He held the office from 1958 to 1967 and is the only German so far to serve as president of the European Commission or its predecessors.
      Hallstein famously described his role as “a kind of European prime minister” and regarded national sovereignty as a “doctrine of yesteryear.”

  8. J Bush
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    European Commission President: Ursula Von Der Leyen.
    Previously Defence Minister Problems surrounding the German military’s readiness. She also faces an investigation into suspected wrongdoing surrounding its use of outside consultants, including Accenture and McKinsey. The Bundestag, the German parliament, is also currently holding hearings into the affair, including accusations that von der Leyen’s office circumvented public procurement rules in granting contracts worth millions of euros to these firms. Those hearings have taken a dramatic turn in recent days as testimony from key witnesses appeared to confirm suspicions of systematic corruption at the ministry

    European Council President: Charles Michel
    Former Prime Minister of Belgium who was ousted in a no confidence vote last December, refused to go and still ‘interim Prime Minister’ more than six months later.

    European Central Bank President: Christine Lagarde
    Evidently the EU didn’t decide that being criminally negligent with €400 million of taxpayers’ money was a barrier to giving her the keys to the Central Bank.

    High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs: Josep Borrell
    Spain’s Foreign Minister and one-time European Parliament President has been embroiled in scandals. He was forced to resign from the European University Institute over an undeclared €300,000-a-year conflict of interest.

    He was fined €30,000 just last year for a “very serious breach” of insider trading rules on the Spanish stock market, his defence was that it was only 8% of his portfolio.

    He’s also hawkish over Gibraltar and says that the UK will split before Spain.

    It would appear that being a failure, corrupt or even having a criminal record for financial negligence while in office, makes them acceptable for high positions in the EU. Or is it perhaps because of it?

    Speaks volumes why most of our ‘politicians’ want to remain in the EU

    • hefner
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      So, J Bush, are you saying that “most of our politicians” are as bad as the lot recently promoted to the EU upper echelons? In such a case, is it not a shame that the UK is leaving the EU as a number of these bad UK politicians might have had a future in the EU? Could your comment apply to Nigel F, a MEP for twenty years, and the recently recruited Ann W?

  9. Peter VAN LEEUWN
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    A mother of seven as the new head of the EU civil service (European Commision)? Interesting choice, if she manages to be be voted in by the European Parliament. After all, the collective of heads o state (European Council) can only nominate a candidate. The newly elected parliament (including your directly elected Brexit MEPs 🙂 🙂 ) must vote for her. In the end, both democratic bodies will have to agree.

  10. Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Even Juncker admits that the ‘naming of von der Leyen as EU executive chief not transparent’
    This is as good as saying that (a) There was something a little crooked about the whole process.. (b) It was Germany’s decision..
    Will the EUP approve – Of course they will.
    WE can look forward to a hardline commission – no change of direction, just more of the same only more so.
    Behind the scenes are a good number of Germans in key EU positions, and at the helm another German… None of this will be good for the EU, especially not for the UK, and certainly democracy will get pushed further to the dustbin of history.

  11. Mick
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I don’t really care if they had voted Daffy and Donald Duck and the cast of Sesame Street in we are leaving on October 31st 2019 hopefully, the Eu is going to implode then watch the rats leave the sinking ship

  12. Mick
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1149822/brexit-news-eu-no-deal-tory-leadership-cabinet-ministers-philip-hammond
    It’s bloody obvious which direction these quislings are going, and that’s to stop Brexit so as to get in favour with the Eu , we should have a high level investigation into politicians and lords to see if any of them have a conflict of interest because it’s not Great Britain ‘s interest they care about

  13. StephenJ
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    I like that Charles Michel, he was great in his role as Henry VIII!

  14. Dominic
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    ‘European governments are actively discussing nominating Bank of England Governor Mark Carney as the next head of the International Monetary Fund, according to a person familiar with the matter’

    Bloomberg.

    And this Ladies and Gentlemen is how your treachery is rewarded. Betray another man’s country and you are awarded a promotion

    • Fred H
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      he’s proven to be a pushover to the boss who dictates what he is going to say.

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    https://euobserver.com/tickers/145379

    “Juncker: ‘I was first and last Spitzenkandidat'”

    “The outgoing EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said Friday (5 July) at a press conference in Helsinki that the nomination of his successor, Ursula von der Leyen, and others to the EU’s new leadership “was not very transparent.” Juncker said that the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process of nominating the parliament election winner to the top commission job “unfortunately didn’t become a tradition”. “I was the first and last Spitzenkandidat,” he quipped.”

  16. Tabulazero
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    It’s funny that for a man who professes to hate Europe, you spend an inordinate amount of time writing about it.

    You are leaving comes October 31st or even sooner should you be inclined to vote for Mr Hunt.

    What happens in Europe is none of your business. Your opinion does not matter and you do not get to have a say anymore.

    So why bother ?

    Goodbye.

    Reply I do not hate Europe. My country is still a full paying member of the EU and I have every right to an opinion. I also express views on the USA, China etc as they gave an impact on our lives and economy too,

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Views on the USA? Biased no doubt since I remember you voted for us to join them in their illegal war against Iraq.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        If you have evidence it was illegal then you should report it to the Police.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      I do not deny you the right to have an opinion or to express it. It is just that it does not matter because the UK will loose influence in Europe more than it has already come October 31st.

      • NickC
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Tabulazero, Good. And you will lose control over us. Which is even better. So why do you spend so much time whinging about us leaving, when it is none of your business?

  17. Peter Parsons
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    If the best option for the President of the EU Commission is to have them directly elected, then surely the same holds for selecting a new Prime Minister in the UK.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Well, the new PM is at least an elected MP – no such qualification for our new EU president.

      • hefner
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        UvdL was elected to the Parliament of Lower Saxony in 2003, and had the Social Affairs portfolio. She then was Minister from 2005 in the various Merkel’s governments. Obviously she was not a UK MP, as that appears to be the minimum requirement for you.

    • Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      The PM is never directly elected. We do not have a Presidential System.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        Lynn

        No indeed we don’t. We live in an oligarchy whose members are at this moment imposing our new PM on us and we will have no say in the matter until the next election in 2022.

        Apart from that we have an unelected head of state whose son/daughter will inherit the title (imagine President Trump/Macron having their children inherit their jobs!)

        An unelected house of lords, civil service…..what a glorious democracy we live in!

        • NickC
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, No, we don’t live in an oligarchy. You are thinking of the EU empire which is run by an oligarchy. The UK electorate voted for the Conservative party as the largest party – by some way – in the House of Commons, which is the seat of legislative power. The equivalent power in the EU is held by the Commission, the members of which are not elected. The PM is elected by his/her constituents, as every MP is. All the EU “presidents” are unelected.

    • Zorro
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Not really how it works old chap. We elect MPs from relevant parties. They just have to command working majorities. If not an election is very likely.

      Zorro

    • agricola
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Not a parallel situation. The Conservative Party is choosing a new leader, so it is confined to CP members. It is coincidental that he will be as CP leader the new PM. You wil get your chance to approve or otherwise at the next GE. It is not a unique situation, it could happen in any party that decid5es to shed it’s leader mid term.

  18. Dennisa
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Christine Lagarde is also keen on pushing the “global warming” meme. She was a member of Ban Ki Moon’s “High Level Panel on Climate Finance” after the Copenhagen UN Conference of the Parties in 2009, along with Lord Stern, Chris Huhne and George Soros, amongst others. They were tasked with coming up with ideas for the Green Climate Fund, intended to garner $100 billion per annum from western nations for “green” development.

    She got on well with George Osborne, who I gather has thrown his hat in the ring to replace her at the IMF.

  19. Andy
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    It is desperately amusing watching you all complain about this.

    Five EU jobs have been up for grabs. Here is how the EU process works for each compared to the U.K. equivalent.

    President of the ECB – selected by the EU Council, approved by EU Parliament.
    Governor of the Bank of England – picked by the Chancellor/PM, approved by the Queen.

    High Rep on Foreign Policy – selected by the EU Council, approved by EU Parliament.
    Foreign Secretary – picked by the PM.

    President of the European Parliament – elected by MEPs.
    Speaker of the House of Commons – elected by MPs.

    EU Council President – selected by EU Council.
    Cabinet Secretary – the last one was picked by the PM with no process.

    EU Commission President – selected by the EU Council, approved by EU Parliament
    PM – the next one will be picked by mostly elderly white men, some with two votes.

    It is a simple fact that there is no less democratic accountability in Europe than in the U.K. The systems are different, yes, but you get no more say here than you do in Brussels. It is simply false to claim otherwise.

    That said, I have long believed that the roles of the EU Commission Presidents and EU Council President should be merged and that they should be directly elected. Indeed such proposals were knocking around a decade ago. But the same people – like loony Farage – who claim the EU is undemocratic objected that idea because it would make the President too powerful. With you lot we are damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

    Anyway – enjoy the Tory leadership contest. It seems like some of you will be able to vote for both candidates – or maybe you will vote for Boris twice. It will be amusing if we get more votes returned than there are Tory members. Your journey to create a full on banana republic (which, thanks to Brexit could have a shortage of bananas) will be complete.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      Yes I do notice whenever I’m outside the EU that you can never find bananas. Odd isn’t it? They aren’t grown in the EU but that’s the only place you can buy them. Shortages of all sorts of food and medicines all over the world in all those countries at the bottom of the cliff edge. Terrifying. Amazing their populations are so dim they don’t all want to join the EU.

    • NickC
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Andy said: “It is a simple fact that there is no less democratic accountability in Europe …”. I shall assume you mean the EU, not Europe.

      The reality is there is almost zero democratic accountability in the EU. The EU “parliament” is largely a rubber stamp, with the power in extremis of dismissing the Commission. The Commission originates and writes EU laws. Apart from the ‘in extremis’ check, the Commission has no democratic accountability.

      The EU Council may consist of elected politicians, but 27 of them were not elected by the UK electorate. We can only hold 1 out of 28 accountable. Together that means laws which control the UK are made in Brussels by politicians/eurocrats, most of whom are not elected by the UK demos, and some of whom are not elected by anyone.

      On the other hand if we applied to the USA for membership, we would join the most powerful and rich democracy in the world. Much more democratic than the EU. If, as you maintain we cannot be independent, then you cannot argue against the USA.

  20. PrezlesB
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Don’t know why you bother, nothing to do with us anymore

    • Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Thank God!

    • Tabulazero
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Fully agree. Out means out. What happens in Europe should not be of interest and in any case the UK has lost the means to influence it.

      • Richard1
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        Of course it’s of interest just as what goes on in other countries around the world.

      • dixie
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:52 am | Permalink

        don’t be silly. We will still have trade and cooperative arrangements with rational elements in Europe where there is mutual benefit. It’s just the EU we must be wary of.

    • steve
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more

  21. Newmania
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Nice of you to opine; as of now, of course what you or I may think about Europe is irrelevant as is what we think about the rest of the world .
    America is turning to the East where the largest markets are and we are cut adrift from Europe. No-one cares what anyone in Britain thinks about anything any more and the reputation we once enjoyed for reliability is also in tatters are the rest of the world watches us dance of a cliff renege on our debts and tell, eachother lies unworthy of an infant .
    I used to be amused, now I am often disgusted above all I am ashamed.

    • steve
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Newmania

      No one gives a toss what you think either.

      • hefner
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        So do I with your not even half-baked nor original thoughts.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      There is not the slightest chance the UK will ‘renege on its debts’. The UK will of course pay what, if anything, is owed to the EU under the treaties. I hope however, that unless there is something in return, we don’t pay any more than is owed. I imagine you behave like this also in your business & personal life?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, who cares what you think? You’re another one that cant say anything worth while about your own country. If you’re that ashamed then go away and hide in France or another beloved EU country.

    • NickC
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, So you’re ashamed that we will no longer be an EU colony? That really is twisted.

  22. Lifelogic
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    What on earth is Sir John Sawers on about? Clearly another daft civil servant who dislikes democracy. He say Cameron made a big mistake in calling the referendum. If fact Cameron only won the election by promising one and could not get out of it by blaming the Libdims. The mistake Cameron made was in supporting remain after coming back with his thin gruel. Also in not being the Cast Iron EUSkeptic, low tax at heart Conservative that he lied that he was.

    Sir John even thinks that Civil Servants are the people ” who have devoted themselves to serving the interest of this country”. In fact most have devoted themselves to ending the UK as a Nation State and to taxing the regulating the country to death by taking public expenditure to nearly 50% when it should be more like 20%. They preside over dire virtual state monopolies like the NHS and the Education System that cause huge net harm. They are also about 50% over paid and pensioned compared to comparable people in the private sector.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      I looked him up on wiki – assuming he was another Oxford PPE or Law person but no. He read physics and philosophy, albeit at Nottingham he really should know rather better.

  23. Alex
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Failed politicians with histories of corruption, mismanagement, nepotism, anti democratic views. In short an ideal reflection of the values and likely direction of the EU. I forsee more disaster, failure, social upheaval and quite possibly conflict in the near to middling future of the EU. As an impartial observer of the human condition it entertains me to watch all the ways supposedly intelligent beings think up to make life worse for themselves. Like a Greek tragedy re written by Monty Python and acted by the Carry On cast. You have to laugh or you’d cry.

  24. acorn
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    “Ann Widdecombe’s political exhumation adds insult to ignorance in Strasbourg. Bad manners and unprovoked aggression are clear elements of the emerging Brexit party style.” (Marina Hyde Guardian) Spot on MH!

    Have a look at the Quarterly Sector Accounts from the ONS. It is not a pretty sight.
    https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/bulletins/quarterlynationalaccounts/januarytomarch2019

    Particularly Part 3. “The UK was a net borrower from the rest of the world in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2019, with net borrowing at 5.6% of gross domestic product (GDP); up from 4.6% in the previous quarter and the highest since Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2016 when they were net borrowers of 6.5% of GDP. This means that the UK spent and invested more than it received in incomes, suggesting a need to sell off assets or build up further liabilities. It is the 82nd consecutive quarter starting in Quarter 3 1998 in which the UK has been a net borrower.)

    It is the ONS’s job to perpetuate the government borrowing myth. The UK did not borrow its own monopoly currency from anybody. What it did do was export its own sovereign monopoly currency to the rest of the world in exchange for imports.

    Figure 1 shows that apart from non-profits, all other sectors were running deficits to pay for the imports. The government’s austerity plus plan shows its budget deficit is far too small for the state of the economy. As long as the rest of the world is happy to hold sterling assets; cash or Chelsea mansions, we can keep getting away with it,

    • acorn
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Sorry you got the wrong link, trying to do too many jobs at once. The correct one is https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/uksectoraccounts/bulletins/quarterlysectoraccounts/januarytomarch2019

    • dixie
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:59 am | Permalink

      Turning your back on someone is not an aggressive act, quite the opposite, it is a non-aggressive way to show displeasure and disrespect.

      If anything the libdem playground gesture was the height of bad manners and disrespect towards people they were elected to represent. Such clothing is prohibited in that chamber and if the eurocrats sanctioned it then the Brexit Party MEPs did not go far enough.

      • dixie
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:07 am | Permalink

        my mistake, it turns out such clothing is not prohibited though we are still left with the libdem rudeness towards the UK electorate.

        Speaking of which “Sorry you got the wrong link…” is an odd phrase, do you normally blame everyone else for your errors?

        • acorn
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

          Sorry, I sent you the wrong link. How’s that. I thought my original was perfectly obvious; and, much clearer than any phrase Boris utters.

  25. Gareth Warren
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    The fact that Ursula Von Der Leyden presided over a military that sent their troops to the artic to practise with broomsticks is shameful. The state of the German military is a disgrace, no submarines are fit for service while the failing of a single spare part grounds most of their airforce.
    Worse still they have almost no logistical capability and so rely completely in wartime on the US to provide the planes and support to allow them to serve abroad. This is the reason Mr Trump believes Germany and others do not pay enough.

    On a side note, we too lack in key areas relying on the US for anti submarine flights in the north seas, something we should take responsibility for.

    She also publically wants a united states of Europe like USA or Switzerland. Some here say her appointment is to ensure German money is not given away, I do not believe this is true. Because politicians like her have no respect for taxes raised, like many MP’s in our parliament who are happy for taxes to be given away for all manner of frivelous reasons.

    I expect German money will continue to be given away to purchase an ever closer union, I also expect that they will replace our payments with new debts raised each year, but article 50 will be rewritten to ensure these debts fall heavily on any nation seeking to leave the union.

    I am glad we leave in October, Boris has this one chance to prove his word by delivering a real brexit, if he delivers I will write a letter of thanks of sorts at the ballot box.

  26. bigneil
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Off Topic.

    What is the opinion on the forensics place paying a ransom to computer hackers. Won’t they just do it again?

  27. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    What a lovely organisation to leave.

  28. Steve
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    France, Germany, and Walloon Land (Belgium) all vying for the driving seat of the EU.

    Yep, there’s trouble ahead…..it’ll be fun to watch when we’re out !

    My bet is France sticking one in Germany’s back, while Belgium sits on the fence. Add to that the rise of the AfD and far right in Germany.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      Steve

      ” Add to that the rise of the AfD and far right in Germany”

      Well they have a long way to go. They were overtaken by the greens in the last election -:)

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        MH. The threat is still there.

        • hefner
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          10.9% at the federal level, of reasonable strength in only three of the 16 Laender, unfortunately the poorer ones from former East Germany.
          Looks a bit like the UK and it’s NE, don’t you think?

      • steve
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        MH

        German far right doesn’t need elections.

      • NickC
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, The greens are far-right in the sense you mean. You’ve never heard of “green fascists”? Greens certainly want to get rid of billions of people to “protect” Gaia.

        • hefner
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          Nick, the Greens would certainly encourage woman emancipation and information on contraception in a non negligible number of developing countries, particularly in Africa. As for getting rid of billions of people to protect Gaia, did you read that in Beano?

  29. Tony Sharp
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Presumably Mrs May supported this approach and the actual appointments when she attended the Council – having cut a Cabinet Meeting – the previous week?
    Never mind about democratic deficits in Europe, it is much closer to home that we have to sort out first. Incidentally, is it not time to split the Tory Party or frankly expel the likes of Grieve, Stewart, Hammond, Letwin and that crew who clearly put the EU before Party let alone Country?

  30. BillM
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    How can the EU ever claim to be a democracy when it is run with a distinct lack of direct democratic accountability?
    When we Leavers make such a statement, we are howled down by the Remainers as “Little Englanders” or told we are “living in the past” or “we are banging on again about the war”.
    Well, I want to go back to our past to reach our future, when we were an independent Nation and without that war, NONE of the Europeans would be living as freely as they are today. I find those who think the war should be forgotten, disgusting, because they seemingly want to ignore the sacrifices made by the Nations across The World in the name of Freedom and Independence. And that is all WE want for our country again.
    We need the EU and its anti-democracy Commission about as much as we need a new war.

  31. Norman
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    How incredible that a former head of MI6 should be publicly commenting on national policy and government leadership issues. Unbelievable! And a further sign of the reprobate mindset into which our wonderful country is descending.I know only one Man who can reverse this.

  32. margaret howard
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    JR

    “Whilst it is not as good as making the post directly elected, it could provide more accountability than the behind closed door recommendation made after the election.”

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we had some accountability to appoint a new prime minister rather than one ‘elected’ by some 120 000 establishment figures until the next general election in 2022?
    And ours is a government, not a trading bloc.

    • steve
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      MH

      Fully agree.

      I don’t like the way it’s done either.

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:08 am | Permalink

      I have never been called an establishment figure before! Quite the reverse!

  33. Posted July 6, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Well we have been here before, and no the Germans will not be playing with broomsticks for long.
    As for the French woman in charge of the Central bank, when are these people ever right about anything, take our own incompetent in our own central bank, he is no Mervin King
    Look at Osborne , well look at Hammond.
    I am sorry but these people must be picked because they will do just what The Establishment wants , well we are all glad that The Establishment has a lot of egg on its face after there last PM , she was so good that she at there bidding has brought this Country to its knees, I so hope they get there comeuppance

  34. Grant
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I think it is a good system and far better than the US where only one is directly elected, ìe. the President, who then for the most part appoints everyone around him without scrutiny.
    Here in Britain the heads of the civil service and armed forces police BoE etc are all appointed so don’t know what is so different about the EU civil service

  35. formula57
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    O/T – your pal Johnson is quoted as saying “I think the Barnett formula must stay and we must support our precious union, support it financially”. Have a word would you please?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      Agree. How about some support for the English? I am fed up seeing the devolved nations getting large bungs here and there while we pay for everything. We are just cash cows.

  36. Bob
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    We shouldn’t interfere in EU matters. These are internal issues for them to deal with.
    Our membership ceased on the 29th March, despite our governments reluctance to accept the fact. Mrs May had no authority to extend UK membership.

  37. Cromwell
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Having direct elections for UK PM will probably mean Labour PM’s would be as rare as unicorns

  38. steve
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Off topic

    Just discovered previous comments don’t show until logging in. Any ideas JR ?

    • steve
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Oh found out why, silly me.

  39. David Maples
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Totally agree with you that the EU bureaucracy masquerades as a democracy.

    There are two dangers, post Brexit, that we need to be aware of. The first is the likelihood of this country pursuing treaties of compliance with Brussels after we leave, which will lead in a few years time to us, effectively, being ‘back in the USSR'(Lennon & McCartney)! I can see this happening, and even maybe, a formal application to re-join.

    Secondly, it is a mystery to me, how the euro, when the British public is in the market to buy this invented currency, is virtually at parity. Why is the London FX market so keen to buy euros? Are we funding the weaknesses of this extremely dodgy Monopoly money, and if so why, and will it continue post Brexit.

    • Pominoz
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      David,

      Re your last paragraph. It amazes me that the FX market is keen to write down sterling on any evidence that WTO et is more likely. After we get out cleanly, I suggest that in a years time, Sterling will have strengthened considerably and the Euro will be starting to show signs of cracks due to the weak foundations on which it is built – eventually to implode completely.

      Perhaps the FX markets are acting to make short-term profits whilst essential buyers of Euros still exist.

      • Pominoz
        Posted July 6, 2019 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

        WTO exit

      • Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

        Yes! They need excuses to fluctuate – that’s how you make money.

    • Emily Jones
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      A mystery? Well, allow me to help. The people who understand economics and trade – the people who make their living from understanding economics and trade – judge that the euro will prosper and that sterling will weaken. The main reason for this is a decision taken by the UK in 2016 which has led, day by day, to the weakening of the UK’s economy. Mystery solved?

      • Edward2
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Since 2016 the UK economy, contrary to all your Project Fear 1.0 predictions, has not weakened.
        Unemployment is down. Youth unemployment is down. Record numbers in work. FTSE index is up.Growth has continued. Inward investment continues at high levels and huge numbers of people remain keen to want to make a better life here.

  40. BR
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    You omitted to mention that one of them was convicted of insider trading/fraud and another of negligence.

    The German defence minister has been seen as a failure by most commentators.

    Leaving has never seemed a better idea.

  41. Fred H
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    It all resembles the European Song contest. In this case anybody who is not German/French supported gets NIL POINTS. The winning song sounds dated and awful, I watch this contest with a little interest, thinking it would be boring, but now the candidates offer some amusement as it all goes pear shaped.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      Fred H

      ” The winning song sounds dated and awful,”

      Is that why we sent Engelbert Humperdinck in 2012 (I think he was then in his 70’s) as our cunning plan to beat all these no-hopers?

      • Fred H
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Song contest – my daughters organise a get together and compare bets on which countries vote for one another. I’m only interested in the points. Totally predictable points allocation. In fact I think it is still true that the UK pays the most to stage it – madness. Comparison to EU?

  42. agricola
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Time will tell who is pulling their strings. Their reaction to our departure will be indicative. Ultimately they are answerable to their industrialists.

  43. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    It looks as though the moderator by accident deleted my post, so let me try again:

    A mother of seven as the new head of the EU civil service (i.e. the European Commision). Interesting choice. . . if she manages to be be voted in by the European Parliament!

    After all, the collective of 28 heads of state (European Council) can only nominate a candidate. The newly elected parliament (including the UK’s directly elected Brexit MEPs 🙂 🙂 ) must vote for VDL (Von der Leyen). In the end, both democratic bodies will have to agree.

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      I commented on this post – look for it further up the list.

  44. Bill
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    How can the EU ever claim to be a democracy when it is run with a distinct lack of direct democratic accountability?
    When we Leavers make such a statement, we are howled down by the Remainers as “Little Englanders” or told we are “living in the past” or “we are banging on again about the war”.
    Well, I want to go back to our past to reach to our prosperous future, when we were an independent Nation . Without that war, NO European would be living as freely as they are today. I find those who think the war should be forgotten, disgusting, because they seemingly want to ignore the sacrifices made by the Nations across The World in the name of Freedom and Independence. And that is all WE want for our country again.
    We do not need the EU and its anti-democracy Commission and more worryingly we do not need another war. The proposed new EU Army to takeover NATO is ominous.

  45. Javelin
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Ask yourself, what’s the problem with EU voters electing a President ?

    Who goes in the ballot?

    Who controls who goes on the ballot?

    Imagine East Eu and the PIIGS voting for their leader?

    Ahh – Now there’s the problem Germany and Francev want to retain control because they pay the most into the pot.

    • Javelin
      Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      This is why the EU will never become a country.

      It will always remain a dictatorship of contributors.

  46. Mark
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if Europarl will reject the new Commission. VdL has a poor reputation in Germany as a minister who has presided over several scandals and failures.

    They ought to if they’re protecting their constituents’ interests.

  47. Harka
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Strange people determined to leave the biggest richest economic bloc on the planet in a few months time who are still banging on about the the mechanics of the EU makeup instead of getting out there and drumming up business for the future, building suitable deep sea ships and erecting refrigerated warehousing. Strange people who should be dredging all the old ports, ejecting the fancy yachts from the marinas and getting it all back together like it was in the 1960’s

    • Longinus
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:49 am | Permalink

      Nonsense. EU makes up 15% of world’s economic output and this share is falling year-on-year. UK makes up about 4% of world total and US about 25%. NAFTA is 28%.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Take away the biggest (economically) four countries in the EU and tell us what is left ?

      • Fred H
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        basket case economies?

  48. mancunius
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    The EU – a ‘rules-based’ system that breaks, bends and even permanently alters its own rules on a whim, and even has its own ‘court’ (admittedly, more like an autocratic monarch’s court than a court of law) to justify the unjustifiable.
    And its own pet ‘parliament’ – a modelled on the Reichstag of the late 1930s, (which was discreetly dubbed by Germans of the time: ‘Germany’s most expensive Gesangsverein’)
    In the EU Parliament, only one song is allowed, and all must sing it in unison, or else.

    The irony escapes them all that Schiller’s Ode was not to Joy, but to Freedom. A tyrannical German state forced him to change the words to praise Getting Drunk With Your Mates instead. How appropriate that it has been…appropriated by Herr Juncker and his mates.

  49. ukretired123
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    The 70 years of EU hypocrisy and paradox continues unabated rising to its zenith deception whereby intelligent folks are deceived into thinking that all countries are equal until new leaders are chosen by proxy by the real powers behind the schemes France and Germany.
    Britain was only allowed in after all the rules were created by these two on condition she followed their plan, gave away our fishing grounds, gave away our preferential trading terms with the Commonwealth countries and subsidised inefficient French farmers via CAP.

    Rather than argue and deal with the real issues of advantages and disadvantages of the EU in an adult and objective way many here resort to personal subjective perceptions, which is completely negative to their reason why on earth we should stay with the dysfunctional EU.

    If folks would give honest, memorable and serious reasons to stay, fine but just as the EU has deceived us we need to be convinced objectively not bullied by personal petty nonsense. We need to rise above this “Onward and Upward!” not going round in ever decreasing circles.

  50. nhsgp
    Posted July 6, 2019 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Will Germany be kicked out of the Euro in an attempt to save it?

  51. Yorkie
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    “The possible new leaders of the EU have not received great reviews from the press and public commenting so far. ”
    Before any real threat of leaving the EU, our media did not speak of EU leaderships at all.
    Very few people were interested or cared a jot..

    Even now, most people will have heard of Junker and Tusk but only because Farage gave us the names as persons in existence.

    I’m interested in politics, yet I do not know what these people do day by day. Nor care.
    The new ones.?
    It’s doubtful even most Remain voters can put a name to five of the leadership including those of the day before yesterday. Nor care..
    They live and work abroad on foreigny things that always go down well with street demonstrations in Berlin and Bonn. ‘Nough said. We don’t have total amnesia. We instinctively know what comes next or should.

    • Yorkie
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 3:33 am | Permalink

      Europe as Remainers often say made a Great Civilisation and we should relish joining the EU and soaking in the culture of European nations.

  • About John Redwood


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

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