Euro troubles

Today at the European meeting David Cameron should allow France and Germany to impose new controls on the budgets and economic policies of Eurozone members – they need them. You can’t have an effective single currency without having a single economic government. The borrowings of one are the borrowings of all to some extent, so all need to be able to help control the borrowings of each. The price for Uk agreement should be to remove any liability for UK taxpayers to help bail outs within the zone, and powers back for the UK.


  1. JohnRS
    June 17, 2010

    But can someone as pro-EU as Cameron summon up the spine to cut that sort of deal?

  2. Tim Hedges
    June 17, 2010

    Presumably it will require a new treaty, although they have weaselled out of this before. Without doubt Cameron's price will have to be withdrawal from the working time directive.

    1. StevenL
      June 18, 2010

      WTD is unenforceable, it's the least of our EU worries.

  3. Max Van Horn
    June 17, 2010

    David Cameron should tell them that he intends to engineer an exit, and that our intention was to be part of a free trade zone, not a socialist federated collective.

  4. Norman
    June 17, 2010

    I think we're a bit too far down the road of ceding powers to Europe for David Cameron to do anything but 'allow' the Eurozone countries to do what the EU commissioners want.

    As for the UK saying that we won't contribute to bailing out the Eurozone – Mr Darling tried that one once before, the EU simply invoked a provision of the EU Constitution (emergency something or other – they could use the powers of the Constitution to add more rules anytime they want though so it's a moot point) and we were landed with an £8bn bill – this was hailed as quite the success at the time!

    Unless a PM is willing to go to the precipice of threatening withdrawl from the EU anything else is empty bluster that is designed to play to voters.

    How is the drafting of the UK sovereignity Bill coming along? I hope you're having plenty of input into it. Maybe things will change for the better once it is passed and the other countries see that we are more than a toothless talking shop.

    1. Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
      June 18, 2010

      Although back in November, in a speech entitled, "A Policy on Europe that Peolpe Can Believe In," <a href="http://(,” target=”_blank”>(, Cameron said "We will introduce a sovereignty bill," this had somehow transmogrified in the coalition agreement into a pledge to "examine the case for" a sovereignty bill.

      What's to examine? It was necessary in November. Cameron said so. Suddenly, it appears to have become questionable whether we actually need a sovereignty bill or not.

      So I wouldn't hold my breath, if I were you. This has the sweet, sweet aroma of bovine excreta about it.

    2. Denis Cooper
      June 18, 2010

      They wrongly invoked Article 122(2) TFEU, which was intended to allow emergency assistance to a member state in the event of "natural disasters or exceptional occurrences beyond its control".

      Only a few weeks before, on March 26th, Merkel herself had rejected the use of this provision:

      "The emergency caveat covers natural disasters and doesn’t provide a basis for a bailout, Merkel told reporters in Brussels today, citing an analysis by government lawyers."

      Darling should have said that he could only act within the powers granted by Parliament when it approved the treaties, without being able to alter as much as a comma in them, and he was not empowered to turn a blind eye to this breach of the treaties irrespective of whether or not it would entail financial cost for the UK.

  5. Derek Buxton
    June 17, 2010

    Reasonable idea but wrong, they intend an EU economic zone controlled by the EU and including the UK. That is a single EU state governed by Brussels, the EUro being the currency and the unelected commissioners the rulers and we shall be a collection of regions. England…RIP.

  6. Demetrius
    June 17, 2010

    When the Euro was first introduced it was inevitable that at some time it would trigger a common approach to national budgets and their fiscal and spending implications. You are right if that is what they want then we want out of such a common approach.

  7. gac
    June 17, 2010

    He should also ask for the money back that Mr Blair gave away on the back of a false promise by the EU to cut the cost of CAP.

    He should also threaten to hold back future contributions until the EU produces a set of Accounts the the Auditors are willing to sign without adverse comment.

  8. Daniella
    June 17, 2010

    John Redwood, what do you think about the Government cancelling the loan for Sheffield Forgemasters? I as a Conservative think this is completely wrong. This is the kind of business/industry we should be supporting. Good high quality, skilled jobs. Please make as much noise on this issue as you have on CGT.

    1. JimF
      June 17, 2010

      So good profitable manufacturing businesses should pay Corporation Tax instead of investing that money in their own business to instead give it to Sheffield Forgemasters?
      Yes that makes sense, not.

    2. JimF
      June 17, 2010

      and please explain to me why this Company deserves a Governement loan which clearly the Banks won't give it when thousands of smaller Companies who just happen to be in the wrong part of the Country,wrong constituency, or too small to be important, don't????
      This loan and other handouts like it were a scandalous piece of Labour electioneering and one of the best reasons for not voting for them or any other Government which taxes successful businesses to prop up lame ducks.

  9. Mike Stallard
    June 17, 2010

    AND – not to fudge the issue of the corrupt and unaccountable and unelected commissioners vetting our budget before our very own Parliament, elected, historic, accountable, sees it first.
    I am frightened that this will end up in just another fudge over the "English Breakfast" and all the glad handing at which the eurogravicrats are so adept.
    It is the first real test of our new government.

  10. Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
    June 17, 2010

    AAAAAARGH! I've spent the last half hour just trying to post my comment, but every time it tells me that it's too long.

    By how much? By one word? By half? How much do I need to cut before it becomes acceptable?

    What is it with IT people and the urge to fix what ain't broke? The old comments system worked okay. Nobody had any problems with it, so far as I was aware. So you decided to upgrade it, and as a result, people now have problems.

    Way to go!

    1. Andrew Johnson
      June 18, 2010

      Dear Brave Warrior,
      I've had exactly the same problem and even sent a four word sentence without success.

      1. Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
        June 18, 2010

        I'm pleased to see a Welsh-speaker on these boards 🙂

  11. Rob
    June 17, 2010

    Sounds like good advice to me. What did he say to you when you mentioned it to him?

  12. NickM
    June 17, 2010

    "The price for UK agreement should be to remove any liability for UK taxpayers to help bail outs within the zone …"

    Oh, for crying out loud. When, oh when, are UK politicians actually going to put the UK first?

    Here's what to do:
    State flatly that Britain WILL NOT underpin the euro/eurozone economies.
    When the EU complains/threatens, threaten back. Examples of retaliatory threats would include referendums; withholding payments; or even withdrawal.
    The EU doesn't want us out because we (with Germany) are substantial net contributors.

    Try it for once. Please.

    1. Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
      June 18, 2010

      Yet again, we have a PM crowing that he persuaded the Eurocrats to drop a couple of outrageous demands, having secured nothing back. Cameron is vowing to be "very" engaged in Europe (be afraid), and not a word about repatriating powers.

      Same old, same old. A new PM vows to cooperate — which usually translates to giving teh Eurocrats pretty much everything they want — just to prove what a good sport he is. Eventually, he will learn, like all his predecessors eventually did, that if you act like a whore, you must expect to get shafted. We can only hope that he doesn't give away too much sovereignty in the meantime.

      We can probably rest assured that he will transfer at least some powers to Brussels. The EU's demands for budgetary reviews were so unreasonable, one suspects it was included in the agenda simply so they could drop it again. That way, everybody can quietly agree to hand over powers to Brussels, but still go back to their electorates proclaiming that they'd fought their country's corner and forced Europe to yield.

      Be careful. Instead of focussing on what Cameron claims to have achieved, look at what he's agreed to.

  13. Freeborn John
    June 17, 2010

    Its going to take 10 years to fix this problem. 5 years before we can vote Cameron out and then another 5 years of Labour before there is any chance of electing a prime minister who will get us out of the EU mess. Why did you elect a pro-EU party leader who sold out at the 1st opportunity to Brussels?

  14. Denis Cooper
    June 18, 2010

    The price for UK agreement to treaty changes to legally permit intra-eurozone bailouts should be much more than just exempting the UK, and all other non-eurozone states, from any participation.

    1. The establishment of a mechanism for the orderly withdrawal of an EU member state from the euro if it decides that it wishes to restore its national currency.

    2. The removal of the obligation to eventually join the euro which has been imposed on new member states through their accession treaties.

    3. Amendment of Protocol (No 15) so that the UK will not be permitted to join the euro unless that decision has been approved in a national referendum.

    Regarding 3, while it would stick in my craw to use an EU treaty as a means to entrench a British law, at present the Protocol states:

    "RECOGNISING that the United Kingdom shall not be obliged or committed to adopt the euro without a separate decision to do so by its government and parliament,"

    to which words such as "endorsed by a national referendum" should be added.

    Likewise paragraphs 1 and 9 should be amended to entrench the need for prior approval through a national referendum.

  15. christina sarginson
    June 20, 2010

    I know I will not be popular for saying this but we must not come out of Europe. We could not survive on our own we do need the European community to stay together the treaty has been signed we are here now let us get on with it.

  16. […] culture Berlin has insisted could never be a part of the single currency.’As John Redwood observes ‘you can’t have an effective single currency without having a single economic […]

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