The government at this summit needs to grasp how big the EU ambition is


           Mr Barroso made clear in his recent speech in Brussels to the European Parliament that the EU needs more integration. To him  the answer to every tension and problem is more EU central power.

            The Commission plans a “single coherent framework for the better economic governance based on the community method. …The proposal will ensure the compatibility between the euro area and the Union as  a whole.. It will be done in a way that aims to integrate the Euro Plus Pact because coordination and integration must be carried out on a single Community level. ….It is essential that we do not create a division between the 17 members of the Euro area and the 27 members of the EU – most of whom wish to join the euro….”

This is a bureacratic way of saying the EU wishes to control the UK economy as well as Euroland ones.


 His detailed measures include rapid implementation of the 6 pack (economic surveillance and budgetary control) and incorporating them into the “Community” method, as opposed to just confining them to the 17 euro members.

            Despite UK government messages to the contrary, much of this work programme applies to the UK. The banking system measures apply to the UK, even though the UK authorities say they have done the job and all is fine. Mr Barroso wants more EU financial regulation which will affect us, and still of course presses the Financial Transactions tax which the Uk government says in certain circumstances it will oppose.

               Mr Barroso says “We have to complement the monetary union with a real economic union”. “We will further reinforce the role of the Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs in full respect of the Treaty”  … “we urge for more discipline, more integration. It means more Europe…”

                 This is all clearly on the public record. The UK government has to wake up to this reality. It has to say we cannot possibly go along with this. This huge push for more control and more power is why the UK needs now to negotiate a different relationship.  Mr Hague’s burning   building is well on fire. We need to be well outside the burning Euro building, and  keep it well hosed down to stop  catching light to the UK. We need to control the hose ourselves.

               The latest YouGov poll shows 67% of the public are for the motion on Monday and only 16% against. It also shows that 74% think MPs should defy their 3 line whip if they wish, and only 15% think they should obey it.  47% want to negotiate a new relationship with the EU, 28%  want to pull out, and only 15% want to stay in on current terms. It will be interesting to see how many MPs are in tune with public opinion in all three main parties on Monday.


  1. lifelogic
    October 22, 2011

    You say “EU wishes to control the UK economy as well as Euroland ones” – not exactly a great surprise.

    Given the current position the (supposedly skeptic pre election) Cameron position on the EU vote and the three line whipped vote is totally unbelievable.

    He is putting himself in a position where he could not lead the party at the next election as his credibility has gone.

    The words of Mr Barroso “We have to complement the monetary union with a real economic union”. “We will further reinforce the role of the Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs in full respect of the Treaty” … “we urge for more discipline, more integration. It means more Europe…” are totally chilling.

    The last vestiges of democracy are to be given, happily, away by “Euro-skeptic”, “Cast Iron” and “triple lock” Cameron.

    1. lifelogic
      October 22, 2011

      Mr Hague writes. “As a Conservative, I want to bring powers back from Europe, as we set out in our election manifesto. But a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, especially at this time of profound economic uncertainty, is not the answer.” Many things (like a cup of coffee for example) may not be the answer to the mess the EU has created. It does not mean you should not have them.

      Apparently even a free non binding vote in parliament is to be banned – Hague’s position is totally unbelievable the government needs some new leaders and a new direction now.

      No one, given this, can surely now claim, with any credibility, that the UK remains a democracy it is more a partial EU enslavement colony.

      1. rose
        October 22, 2011

        Our only hope is for the PM to take the risk he did with the AV referendum: have it now, in the face of establishment and media opinion brainwashing the public, and then, by dint of strong leadership, carry the electorate with him, out of the EU altogether. Who would have thought he had it in him to come out strongly and ensure that AV result went so resoundingly against the liberals and the established orthodox view? But he did.

        I understand his caution over this referendum, and the fear that the public might give the wrong answer at a time of anxiety, but the house is on fire and we need to be led out quickly.

        Also, there are cracks beginning to appear in the BBC and establishment line: some presenters and reporters are breaking ranks, giving open support to realism. So, although the subject may appear more daunting than AV, he should have an easier time of it, despite the Liberals crying foul again.

        1. LJH
          October 22, 2011

          This is our last best chance at regaining control of the economy and selfgovernment. If the MPs throw this away they are declaring their allegiance to Brussels.

          1. Denis Cooper
            October 22, 2011

            Sad to say that it wouldn’t be a completely new development, as MPs did it in the last Parliament during the debates on the Lisbon Treaty, see Division No 120 on the evening of March 5th 2008 here:


            “New Clause 9

            Supremacy of Parliament

            ‘Notwithstanding any provision of the European Communities Act 1972, nothing in this Act shall affect or be construed by any court in the United Kingdom as affecting the supremacy of the United Kingdom Parliament.’.- [Mr. Cash.]

            Brought up, and read the First time.

            Question put, That the clause be read a Second time: –

            The Committee proceeded to a Division.

            The Chairman: Order. I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the No Lobby.

            The Committee having divided: Ayes 48, Noes 380.”

            But glad to say that JR voted on the right side.

          2. rose
            October 22, 2011

            “But glad to say that JR voted on the right side.”
            And so did a certain J Bercow.

          3. rose
            October 22, 2011

            And then didn’t in the important bit.

        2. lifelogic
          October 23, 2011

          Rose you say: “Also, there are cracks beginning to appear in the BBC and establishment line: some presenters and reporters are breaking ranks, giving open support to realism.”

          Where are these cracks I have not seen them at the BBC much on either the EU issue, the too fast risking double dip or the great green exaggeration?

  2. Boudicca
    October 22, 2011

    Mr Redwood – your Leader isn’t listening.

    His contempt for the British people, and the members of his own Party, will be on display for all to see on Monday.

    There is no way to be in the EU and not be controlled by it. The idea of repatriating powers is a chimera – it doesn’t exist and it never will. The only way to free the UK from the EU is to get OUT and, as Messrs Cameron, Clegg and Miliband are about to demonstrate, that means supporting UKIP.

    1. Kevin Dabson
      October 22, 2011

      You state that Dr. Redwoods views are not being listened to in No. 10. I guarentee they are!.

      PS. How come a Dphil at Oxford is not recognised as a Ph.D in other professions? The smartest people at Oxford were always in history subjects. An MD in medical science is not a phd as we all know.

      I have met and know loads of doc’s and they are not superbrains!. Their can be some exceptions though.

      PS. Wish we had a spell checker on the blog.


    2. lifelogic
      October 22, 2011

      UKIP have no chance of even being elected let alone achieving this under the current system.

      It does seem absurd the the Scots can it seems have a referendum or several on their democracy and interfere in ours but the English are not allowed even though at the parties promised one.

      Cameron sees it as the distraction from the Chaos Heath, Major, Blair Brown and the EU bureaucrats have created.

      I assume he will seek some other distraction from this key issue of democracy – royal succession gender rules or similar no doubt – as is his usual practice.

    3. Disaffected
      October 22, 2011

      Your views are spot on. Interestingly I read that the Uk will not be part of the 17 countries who extend the Eu bail out fund. However, it will be part of the capatalising of EU banks. John, is this a back door method for the UK to indirectly support the EU bail out fund through Eu banks?

      Cameron is so arrogant he cannot see the woods for the trees. An inexperienced schoolboy out of his depth.

      1. lifelogic
        October 23, 2011

        Disaffected you say:

        Cameron is so arrogant he cannot see the woods for the trees. An inexperienced schoolboy out of his depth.

        Indeed perhaps had he done a paper round or similar, as the youth, he might have had more of a clue.

  3. Mike Stallard
    October 22, 2011

    People (especially Mr Blair) simply assume that everyone in the world is British. When they say “democracy” they mean a parliament where people shout, mutter and sit opposite each other so that they can join in. Col Ghadaffi is just a misunderstood Prime Minister who can be understood and worked with. The IRA is just a student protest like the ones in Trafalgar Square. The European Parliament therefore is just Westminister in a different building and the President just like the Queen.

    What arrogance!

    People (on Newsnight) speak of “the democratic deficit” as if they were describing a sort of margarine. If (some hope) we were able to actually have our British system in Europe, then we would allow real leaders to emerge, real discussion to take place, real dangers to be faced up to. Sort of like the USA.

    As it is, we have a second eleven battling against fearful odds, not very successfully. And there is no way of getting rid of them or even questioning their assumptions which, like those of the Colonel, those of the IRA, those of Salazar, Weimar and Louis XIV are very different from our own.

    1. Jose
      October 22, 2011

      I like what you’ve written Mike but I’ve got one grumble. We don’t want the existing British system in europe as it’s ‘broken’. At least Barroso is telling the truth as he sees it which is more than the likes of Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and countless predecessors who have persistently deceived us. The willing abrogation by us to the HoC to govern the country is no longer working as there is a democracy deficit. When an overwhelming majority of the electorate say they want the relationship with the EU to change and yet only a very small number of our representatives are prepared to do anything about it then I’m afraid to say there is something seriously wrong with our democracy.

      1. Mike Stallard
        October 22, 2011

        I will not question any of that!

        But, come the election, we can at least choose the team which we want.

  4. JimF
    October 22, 2011

    Extending the metaphor, you don’t hang around in a burning building, arguing over whether or not to use the fire extinguishers. This appears to be what is happening.

    I’d rather be dealing with the burning building from the outside, helping those within recover and assisting any others who wanted to leave, but with the power not to help those who insisted on dragging me into the flames, which would help nobody.

    A major concern when we become semi-detached from the inferno is over our trading relationship with EU countries. Switzerland, whilst on the face of it being bullied just a little by the EU (and USA), still at least maintains a veto over its own deals. People want to buy Rolex watches, Gruyere cheese, precision made parts for their Mercedes, and so on from Switzerland. We have to develop more our own “branded” products, over and above our tourist attractions, to maintain our commercial identity and hence strength in negotiation with our European neighbours. Supply side, not demand side economic efforts need to be made to get us into this position over the coming years. The consumption party in this Country is over. We need to be the first to invest, not spend, our way out of this turmoil.

  5. lojolondon
    October 22, 2011

    My question is : I saw this happening, so did millions of UK citizens, that is why we want a referendum and why we support UKIP.

    BUT – where is Mr Hague? Why did Mr Hague not notice this happening, take action or say something? What happened to the Mr Hague of 1997? Was that the real Mr Hague, or is this the real Mr Hague? Because they cannot be the same person!!

    Because, John, when the Tories took over from useless Labour, I had no doubt that two areas would be immediately improved : the economy and the EU.

    Well, the actions on the economy have been clear to see, we are not moving in the right direction yet, but at least the rot is slowing down.
    But in the area of the EU, I daresay it is impossible to tell the difference between Tories and Labour – both do exactly as directed from the EU, no thought for the British people, no defence of us, in fact no spine at all.

    1. Tarfu
      October 22, 2011

      But lojo, that is exactly the point made by Boudicca earlier. If you are in the EU, you are controlled by the EU. Directives issued by the EU are precisely that, you just implement them, no discussion necessary. The only alternative is OUT.

      1. Mike Stallard
        October 22, 2011

        Mr Hague wrote a piece for the Telegraph this morning. He is utterly against a referendum. He is still plugging the idea of in Europe but not controlled by it.

        Has he not even heard of the Acquis Communautaire? Has he never heard of the Directives?

        Actually his, and Mr Cameron’s conversion are some of the most depressing things.

  6. Kevin Dabson
    October 22, 2011

    Just read on the Telegraph website that Bercow may stop amendments on the EU debate but Cameron will try use time in the HoC to limit debate.


    “David Cameron will tomorrow attend an EU summit in Brussels to grant European banks more capital. His ministers are trying to contain a Tory rebellion, with dozens of MPs threatening to back on Monday a motion to hold a referendum”

    Why is he giving euro banks more capital ? Those countries never helped our banks!

    Beggars belief.

    1. alan jutson
      October 22, 2011


      Yes just read the same article in the telegraph by Hague.

      Afraid our government Minsters have really lost the plot, perhaps they are thinking about who will pay their pension in the future, not their wages now.

      Whilst I understand your support and reasoning for a renegotiation instead of a straight out John, the fact of the matter is, I would not now trust any Government politician to fight and deliver such.

      The only real way is to simply get out altogether.

      Surely the Government can see that if they hold a referendum and the population vote either out, or renegotiate, the the governments hand is STRENGTHENED when talking to the EU.

      This I am afraid is yet another example of where commercial negotiating skills of many of our government Ministers is shown to be lacking.

      Bercow may just be the saviour for once, if he refuses planted government ammendments and spoiling motions.

      Given seeming reluctance of our PM to stand up and fight for this Country against the take over by the EU, perhaps he ought to consider the purchasing of a white flag to fly over No 10 instead of the union jack.

      Reply: My proposal gives the British people the final decision, as I would be put the renegotiated package in a referendum.

      1. alan jutson
        October 22, 2011

        reply to reply

        John if you were handling the negotiations, and had the power to organise further referendums, then I may well support your view as it is logical and a sensible way to approach the situation, but face facts.

        The present PM does not even want one referendum that would STRENGTHEN his bargaining powers in negotiation, let alone two (or more).

        So for that reason I am out.

        All I can see after attempting to renegotiate (if he ever does) is that he will come back all mealy mouthed and say we have won a great victory, but nothing will change.

        Meanwhile we have to suffer the absolute nonesense of a strategy of a so called referendum lock, which decides and gives us absolutely nothing, because they cannot even agree on what constitutes a policy change, a transfer of power, or a change to an existing treaty.

        Reply: And how are you going to get out? That requires a vote in the Commons or a vote in the Commons for an In/Out referendum folloowed by a No vote. Any signs of those happening?

        1. Jose
          October 22, 2011

          Cameron will probably appear at the top of the plane steps waving his piece of paper…..

        2. alan jutson
          October 23, 2011

          Reply to reply

          John I will simply vote for out if we get a single referendum.

          If we had the oportunity for two referendums, the second on the result of any renegotiation, then I would vote for renegotiation in the first one. My second vote would depend uponwhat we gained. It would then be in or out.

    2. Denis Cooper
      October 22, 2011

      I read that and I was struck by the word “grant”.

      Not even “lend”, but “grant”.

      “grant Definition

      Bounty, contribution, gift, or subsidy (in cash or kind) bestowed by a government or other organization (called the grantor) for specified purposes to an eligible recipient (called the grantee). Grants are usually conditional upon certain qualifications as to the use, maintenance of specified standards, or a proportional contribution by the grantee or other grantor(s).”

  7. Freddy
    October 22, 2011

    “Mr Hague’s burning building is well on fire. We need to pop into a side room and keep it well hosed down to stop it catching light. We need to control the hose ourselves.”

    Umm … would any professional firefighters like to comment on this strategy ?

    1. Woodsy42
      October 22, 2011

      The correct strategy is quite obvious to non-professionals – get outside and run away to a safe distance!

    2. APL
      October 23, 2011

      Freddy: “would any professional firefighters like to comment on this strategy ?”

      Yea well it’s completely bonkers.

      The fire is inside the structure of the building, what you see in the open spaces is just the symptom of the conflagration, the supporting superstructure has been destroyed and pretty soon the whole thing will collapse on anyone inside, crushing them to an infernal death.

      With or without a hose in his hand. [slightly Neroesque]

      By the way, the same applies to the Tory party. This time it is woodworm infestation, it has gone too far. Looking at it from the outside you see what appears to be a substantial building.

      But the roof the first and second floors are supported by nothing. If you started rampaging around inside with any sort of DIY tool, the whole thing would collapse.

      This would be a GOOD THING, that site on the political landscape has value but what occupies the site is currently a liability. Knock it down clear the site of the infestation and redevelop.

  8. A.Sedgwick
    October 22, 2011

    The message is very clear, the end game for Barroso et al is – in the Euro, complete fiscal and effectively national integration or not in the Union at all. The German people are baulking at the prospect of forever bailing out other countries and there lies the survival of the whole edifice. This pendulum decision should be realised by those who think that there is a halfway position within the EU – quite simply there is no such option.

    1. backofanenvelope
      October 22, 2011

      I have spent quite a bit of time in various European countries. I have yet to meet anyone who has forgotten their historical experiences with the Germans. Many Germans remember them with distaste as well. What will happen when the Germans find themselves running countries such as Greece? I think the German people take the same attitude most English do. We don’t want to run other countries – and we don’t want them to run us!

  9. Rebecca Hanson
    October 22, 2011

    We need to be presenting a clear and coherent alternative to this.

    How else could Europe be structured?
    Would it be possible to leave a core of countries with this level of monetary and political union and a looser framework for the rest?
    Could a robust and economically sustanable system be created?
    How would it look? What would be the justification for it?

    These are the kinds of questions you need to be asking and exploring on the European discussion forums. Mr Barrosso won’t give you the answers you are looking for but others will. There is substantial concern about the Euro from highly educated people across all countries who would engage constructively and creatively with such a dialogue. You would also encounter Europhiles and become practiced in engaging with their points and countering them.

    An alternative route would be to set up your own forum for pan-European discussion and network through the other forums to explain your agenda and bring people in.

    We can’t create and alternative vision of how Europe could look with just UK input and a coherent alternative is needed.

    1. alan jutson
      October 22, 2011


      You can talk all you like, but those on power and who’s hands are on the tiller simply do not listen it their way and only their ay.

      Its not even their way or the highway. they want us in because they want our (your and my) money, no other reason.

      Time to take action.

      1. Rebecca Hanson
        October 22, 2011

        Talking is about coming up with one of more coherent ways forward which address issues across Europe in more intelligent ways than either ignoring them or pulling the UK out completely.

        I am happy to provide assistance with the practicalities of doing this through online discussion forums should anyone wish to work with me on this. I don’t have the level of expertise on Europe to host intelligent debate myself but I do have substantial expertise on making online discussions efficient, effective and productive.

        Online discussion alone would not be enough to create such plans but it could be a very useful part of the process.

    2. Denis Cooper
      October 22, 2011

      “a looser framework for the rest”

      Eventually there would be no “rest”.

      Angela Merkel is certainly not envisaging that there would be a “rest”:

      “Merkel: “Our goal must be that all EU member States join the euro one day””

      Out of the present 27 EU member states, only 2 – the UK and Denmark – are free from the treaty obligation to join the euro at the earliest opportunity, and that same obligation is imposed on all new EU member states under their terms of accession to the EU – indeed Hague has just agreed to it being imposed on Croatia.

      1. Rebecca Hanson
        October 22, 2011

        How many other Germans have you listened to Denis?

        Angela Merkel is a politician with a shaky grasp on power whose country is facing vast problems because the people demanded they suddenly stopped their nuclear power generation, despite the economic and contractual realities of doing so.

        The German public don’t yet have a clear voice for an alternative plan for Europe but there is substantial opposition to Angela Merkel’s vision.

        Many Germans would be interested in discussing alternatives which are well considered and are in the best interests of the European public.

    3. Mark
      October 22, 2011

      That is indeed what our diplomats in EU capitals should have been working on ceaselessly. Realistic alternative plans for the inevitable problems that the Euro was creating should have been a priority for UK governments ever since the Euro came into bmzeing. If we had the plans in place we would be in a strong position to get them implemented. Now we’re having to start the thinking as if the whole breakup of the Eurozone couldn’t have been contemplated as a possible scenario.

      I did have the opportunity to have a close view of the break-up of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates at the time of the Smithsonian Agreement: I met a number of those directly involved at the time. Perhaps their insights made me naturally suspicious of the Euro ever since the days of the ERM.

      1. Rebecca Hanson
        October 23, 2011

        Then you would be an excellent person to be involved in such a discussion forum.

        The thing about public discussion forums is that everyone has the opportunity to see where discussions are getting stuck and to try and get them unstuck. It’s startling what such transparency can achieve.

        If it isn’t possible to shift the blockages then everyone becomes clearly able to see what those blockages are, what their implications are and what the remaining options are.

    4. APL
      October 23, 2011

      Rebecca Hanson: “How else could Europe be structured?”

      Friendly autonomous cooperating countries.



      PS. Haven’t you given up on trying to plan things?

      1. Rebecca Hanson
        October 23, 2011

        What does FACC mean?

        It’s not simple.

        Freedom from political integration makes it possible for countries to have policies which enable them to steal an unfair competitive advantage over each other.

        Some countries may wish to retain the Euro and may be able to robustly sustain a smaller Eurozone and why shouldn’t they?

        How do we get from where we are an alternative structure?

  10. Greg
    October 22, 2011

    The only answer to the EU is NO. We need to get out whilst we still can. If only we had a Conservative prime minister.

    1. uanime5
      October 22, 2011

      Didn’t Thatcher and Major support the EU, or aren’t they Conservative enough?

      1. lifelogic
        October 22, 2011

        Major is clearly not a conservative – he should never have been given any job above being a hotel porter or similar.

      2. Alan Wheatley
        October 22, 2011

        Thatcher found herself PM of a country in the EU, and tried to play the game. Over time realisation came that the game she thought was to be played was not the same as the game being played by the other EU states, and having tried to do here best, such as the rebate, came to the conclusion that the game wasn’t worth the candle. But the euro-fanatics in the Conservative Party prevailed.

  11. Steven Granger
    October 22, 2011

    The words of Barroso illustrate very clearly where the EU is going and they are using this Crisis to take further control. Your pathetic leadership is bending over backwards to make sure we go along with this. Yet you continue to perpetuate the utterly dishonest notion that that we can negotiate a new relationship with the EU. The vote on Monday would change nothing even if it succeeded. The vote has everything to do with Tory MPs in marginal seats wanting to appear Eurosceptic so that they can attract eurosceptic votes at the next election and absolutely nothing to do with trying to get us out of this EU mess. The wrecking amendment put forward by Eustace, the leader of the so called Eurosceptic group of Tory MPs tells everything you need to know about the true colours of the modern Tory party. Cameron, Hague and Osborne will sell this country down the River and the likes of you, Cash and Hannan will do absolutely nothing to stop it. In perpetuating the renegotiation myth you are part of the problem and not the solution.

    Reply: If the UK says clearly it can no loner accept the current relationship and wants something different, there will have to be a renegotiation. Those who want to move straight to leaving the EU would also need to negotiate their way out of it, given all the links and ties and common law there now is. Be realistic.

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      October 22, 2011

      But no one in the government will say: “it can no longer accept the current relationship and wants something different”. They are signed up to the EU “project” completely as their actions, if not their duplicitous words, show so clearly.

    2. Steven Granger
      October 22, 2011

      No one is saying that getting out would be a simple process and I think most people would accept that the process would involve a considerable amount of negotiation and co- operation. What you are saying though is that we can negotiate a unique position for ourselves where we retain sovereignty over our own affairs whilst staying inside the EU. Such a process would involve treaty changes that would have to be agreed by the EU and ratified by all 27 member states. Are you seriously suggesting that, given Barroso’s words that there is any likelihood of that happening? Are you seriously suggesting that, given their words and actions to date that the likes of Cameron, Hague and Osborne have any serious intention of fighting for such an option? If yes to either, can I suggest John that it is you that is being unrealistic, not me.

      Reply: Don’t always try to make difficulties when I am trying to find a way through this mess. I recommend negotiating to see if we can develop a relationship based on trade and cooperation. That entails tackling the issues a direct move to pull out would have to tackle anyway. If it proves impossible to negotiate a solution then the British people have a tough choice to make in a referendum. I always say the British people should decide, but surely it is a good idea to see what the best offer is first? Do you want a trade agreement with the EU?

      1. Damien
        October 22, 2011


        From my observation there is a need for a treaty amendment however the weekly crisis summits to attempt to find a solution are incrementally leading to a catastrophe. It is my firm belief that this scenario will be used as justification to force fiscal integration without asking the people or their representatives to opt in or out.

        The issue presently is will the 100,000 petitioners be fairly and faithfully represented by their MP’s in the vote?

    3. Max Cross
      October 23, 2011

      If the UK politicians are forced to go to the EU and say a reorganisation is necessary, the EU will kill themselves laughing and say ‘no’. There, fixed if for you John.

      The Conservative party has just lost the next general election by a country mile: eveything else for the next few years is just noise. We are legion and we will not forget this.

  12. Iain Gill
    October 22, 2011


    What are your thoughts on the badly named EU/India “free trade” deal? Which will force the UK to print even more work visas to Indian nationals? (words left out-ed) With no reciprocal rights for Brits in India?

    And of course the UK will be disproportionately (affected -ed) because most educated Indian nationals speak English and thats makes it easier for them to work here than other European countries where there is a natural langage barrier?

    (words left oput-ed)Isnt that agreement between the EU and India a bad deal for us?

    India seems to win all round in these negotiations while we are being let down badly by whoever is negotiating on our side


  13. A different Simon
    October 22, 2011

    Remember the Great Fire of London got out of control because Bureaucrats would not allow their houses to be blown up to prevent the fire spreading .

    Sound familiar ?

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    October 22, 2011

    The government knows full well how big the EU ambition is and will do nothing to prevent it, even if they wanted to. In fact Osborne is encouraging a strengthening of the eurozone into a fiscal union which is part of the EU ambition. When this is achieved, who really believes that our present bunch of duplicitous political leaders would do anything other than surrender to the new EU centre? Writing in today’s Telegraph, William Hague (amazingly still referred to as eurosceptic in the media) wrote in an article opposing an EU referendum: “the EU brings advantages that are enjoyed daily by people and businesses across the country and that are important for our prosperity: nearly untrammelled free trade across 27 countries, enforceable legal rights to work in all those nations, and combined clout in trade talks to open new markets for our goods and services.” He went on to say : ” The entire Government is agreed that we must first make sure that eurozone integration would not allow countries in the single currency to impose decisions on countries outside it and, second, ensure that Britain’s leading position in financial services is recognised and protected.” How Barroso et al must be chuckling at this – Hague looks like a lamb to the slaughter. The government clearly has no regard for the views of the people. If they were really serious about repatriating powers they would utilise the strength of hostility to the EU, not stifling it. Whether just useless negotiators or just cynically duplicitous, it is clear that the remorseless move to the complete surrender of our dwindling sovereignty will continue unimpeded by this government.

  15. Alan
    October 22, 2011

    What you say of Mr Barroso’s views may well be right, but I get the impression that he is not very influential in the current debate. It is Mrs Merkel and Mr Sarkozy who are making the decisions – Mrs Merkel arguing for less EU control (although more supervision) and Mr Sarkozy for more.

    It is a pity that Mr Cameron is not being consulted and putting forward a UK view. These decisions will be important to us and we are not affecting them. This is not a successful foreign policy. We should be more active and more involved.

    This crisis is far too serious to close doors and hope that others can put out the fire; we should be taking part in the fire fighting. The doors you are closing are not fireproof.

  16. oldtimer
    October 22, 2011

    The question now is, with the difficulties facing the EZ, what power and influence the eurocrats retain and are able to project. The resolution of the crisis appears depend on negotiations between Merkell and Sarkozy; the role of everyone else appears to be to ink and apply the rubber stamp to whatever they finally agree. My opinion is that Germany will not agree to “economic governance based on the community method” – their Bundestag and the constitutional court will not agree to it.

    Maybe Osborne and Cameron know this, via their meetings with Schauble in the past week? Even if they do, Cameron`s opposition to the Monday debate is ill-advised.

  17. Bob
    October 22, 2011

    I am truly astonished at the number of people who were taken in by Cameron’s flim flamery. He’s a Lib Dem imposter, I spotted it as soon as he put his head above the parapet. Even even described himself as the “heir to Blair”!
    And if anyone believes this “repatriation of powers” nonsense then their is no hope for you, it’s just another platitude. To be honest, if we are to be governed from Brussels we may as well save the expense of employing 650 MPs at £65k+ each p.a., as they appear to be nothing more than an expensive fig leaf for EU dictatorship.

  18. Bryan
    October 22, 2011

    Mr Cameron clearly does not keep his election pledges and hiding behind the Coalition is no excuse.

    Most Conservative MP’s will follow his diktat on Monday to keep the prospect of a ‘job’ alive. It has ever been so, surely?

    Consequently the Conservatives will not win the next Election with Mr Cameron as leader. UKIP will promise to negotiate UK’s withdrawal from the EU, replacing it with a trade agreement, and then hold another Election.

    They will win the first and lose the second to Labour.

    Time Mr Cameron realised the the EU is his Goliath!

  19. Mark Johnston
    October 22, 2011

    John, how will you be voting on Monday? Towing the three line whip and voting for, or using your own sensible judgment and voting against?

    Please remember the vast majority of the electorate who want a referendum and not the orders of Dictator Cameron when casting your vote.

    Reply: How many more times do I have to tell you? I have signed the motion, offered public support and will be voting for it on Monday.

    1. Mark Johnston
      October 22, 2011

      Apologises. I have not read the blog for a few weeks, so was uncertain of your position on the referendum issue.

  20. NickW
    October 22, 2011

    Given that the debate on a referendum is non-binding on the Government and that a vote for the motion would enormously strengthen the Government’s hand in renegotiation, why in the name of all that is Holy are Cameron and Hague determined to prevent a free vote?

    Hague’s article in the Telegraph argues the case superbly well for having the referendum, and having a clear mandate to renegotiate.

    Without a decisive input from the electorate Cameron and Hague’s request for renegotiation is simply going to be refused; everybody can see that.

  21. Publius
    October 22, 2011

    I no longer trust this government.

  22. Acorn
    October 22, 2011
    1. Denis Cooper
      October 22, 2011

      Very interesting, and I think this is particularly worth highlighting:

      “The further you move from Germany the less this pattern holds. Capital availability shrivels, management falters and the attitude toward contract law (or at least as defined by the Germans) becomes far less respectful. As such, Europe’s peripheral economies – most notably its smaller peripheral economies – have normally faced higher borrowing costs. Mortgage rates in Ireland stood near 20 percent less than a generation ago. Government borrowing rates in Greece have in the past topped 30 percent.

      With that sort of difference, it is not difficult to see why many European states have striven for inclusion in first, the European Union, and second, the eurozone. Each step of the European integration process has brought them closer in financial terms to the ultra-low credit costs of Germany. The closer the German association, the greater the implicit belief that German financial resources would help them in a crisis (despite the fact that EU treaties explicitly rejected this).

      The dawn of the eurozone era prompted lenders and investors to take this association to an extreme. Association with Germany shifted from lower lending rates to identical lending rates. The Greek government could borrow at rates that only Germany could demand in the past … “

  23. Gareth Jones
    October 22, 2011

    I appear to be missing something here. What is the point of setting up a system where the public can insist that Parliament debates a topic if the government then not only expresses its view (reasonable I think ) but then is is allowed to use the whip system to force a majority of MPs to vote as they dictate? This shows that the public petition route was purely a token public relations exercise designed to keep the plebs (aka voters) happy.

    1. Damien
      October 22, 2011

      Quite !

    2. James Clover
      October 22, 2011

      Keeping us happy? Not, surely, the intention. Ask what people would like, and then deny them very publicly and obviously?
      The whole business is an embarrasssment to Cameron, who is stirring up more resentment over this one issue than any in his short “reign”. I suspect a lot of people who vaguely supported him as more palatable than the socialists are now willing to ditch him in sheer despair. Whoever you vote for, you get the same left-leaning, pinkish, liberal Blair-like fake. Why bother?

    3. APL
      October 23, 2011

      Gareth Jones: “topic if the government then not only expresses its view (reasonable I think ) but then is is allowed to use the whip system to force a majority of MPs to vote as they dictate?”

      An interesting question. In a representative democracy, you would think that the cabinet, drawn as it is from the people would nearly reflect the views of the people. That is what is presented as fact to us and largely we take it at face value.

      What we actually have is a cabal that is the PARTY, that sits on the levers of power and orders the representitives with threats and blandishments ( failure to get the plush ministerial post, the expenses system).

      The result is a ONE PARTY STATE. Yes the faces on the stage have changed recently, but ask yourself, has there been any substantial change of policy?

  24. backofanenvelope
    October 22, 2011

    Sooner or later the Germans will realise that most of the EU’s problems can be solved by expelling France!

    1. Damien
      October 22, 2011

      The Germans should know if you wish to destroy a nation you must corrupt its currency. They are the masters of their own fortune.

  25. forthurst
    October 22, 2011

    Barossa the Maoist:

    Can a leopard change his spots? European politics is riddled with Marxists, who by definition are also authoritarians; they always know what is best for everybody else and will use any means to achieve it, as to them the end always justifies the means. They always invoke some purported constituency like the ‘workers’ or, as now when they have all transmuted into Cultural Marxists, ‘minorities’ for whom they are striving mightily, when, in fact, they are using them as a bludgeon to weaken and ultimately destroy the existing order. Their objective is to create a EUSSR in which they will be the Nomenklatura with ultimate authority over what can be said or what may be done, whilst their chosen constituency is unlikely to be invited in out of the cold. (These is also a plenitude of these people here, in the Labour Party, the Liberal Party, the BBC.)

  26. Steven Whitfield
    October 22, 2011

    John Redwood – “The UK government has to wake up to this reality”

    Mr Redwood, do not be so naive. The government know the reality of Europe’s agenda. They are wicked not stupid.

    The ruling elite despise this country, it’s history , traditions and institutions.
    Their view is that further integration is both desireable and inevitable.

    The only concern of David Cameron’s government is how to conceal this truth from the British People. They will fight tooth and nail to stop the referendum.

  27. GJ Wyatt
    October 22, 2011

    In putting out a three line whip the government only proves its naïvety vis à vis the EU. It should use the vote to show our partners the strength of feeling over here on the issue. They will then more readily concede the powers we wish to repatriate, after all they don’t want to encourage a pure in/out referendum.

    1. lifelogic
      October 22, 2011

      Indeed they should have had one on Lisbon, post election, instead or the absurd AV as cast iron initially promised – to strengthen their hand clearly they do not want a strong hand.

      1. A David H
        October 23, 2011

        Yes, that was my conclusion too. To not want a strong hand must mean?

  28. Norman Dee
    October 22, 2011

    I tire of making the same obvious comment, you say that UKIP are no hopers because they have no MP’s, if the 60 to 80 true sceptics who will vote for the motion tomorrow, were really serious and determined, then UKIP would have 60 to 80 MP’s overnight. Then UKIP could be reorganised to become the conservative party we all want, change the name if it makes you feel better. Or start a completely new one, it doesn’t matter, but lets see some money in the same location as the talking.

  29. Denis Cooper
    October 22, 2011

    I think we have to be aware of three distinct routes for supposedly “eurozone only” measures to have an adverse impact on the UK.

    1. The first route, with immediate impact, would involve a measure which was initially trailed as being just for the eurozone but which was actually drafted so that it would apply to all EU member states.

    In cases where the UK still had a veto it could stop such a measure, but where the measure could be pushed through by qualified majority voting then the UK could be outvoted.

    2. The second route, which may have a slower impact, would involve a measure which in legal terms did apply only to the eurozone states and not to the non-euro EU member states, but which in practical terms led to adverse effects spilling over to the UK.

    If that measure was implemented through an intra-eurozone treaty or agreement then the UK would not be a party to that treaty or agreement, would have no say over it, would have no veto to exercise or threaten to exercise, and nor would the UK Parliament be asked to approve it or even be informed about it except more or less as a matter of courtesy.

    Hence the extreme risk to the UK in any radical EU treaty changes such as that agreed by EU leaders on March 25th, which would set the eurozone states free to go off and do whatever they may think fit without the UK government retaining “reserve powers” to intervene and block an undesirable intra-eurozone arrangement.

    3. The third route, which represents the longer term and most deadly threat to our national interests, is through the legally required expansion of the eurozone until eventually the UK would be the last EU member state still outside the euro, or one of a very few, whereupon a future government would bounce us into the euro, whatever it had said or not said at the general election and if necessary without a referendum.

    In my view that will be the almost inevitable outcome unless steps are taken now to cut the eurozone down to size and contain it; and when that happened of course everything which had already been imposed on the eurozone would also apply to the UK.

    1. oldtimer
      October 22, 2011

      I think you make sound points. On this basis UK interests are better served by a euro breakup now, requiring the renegotiation of existing treaties involving several countries, not the consolidation of the EZ area wanted by Cameron and Osborne and a return to calm in the markets. There will be economic mayhem, no doubt, but also a political opportunity not to let a good crisis go to waste. With luck, markets will decide for the politicians what the fate of the euro will be. However on present evidence, our present coaliion government would not be minded to seize the opportunity; there must be doubt whether they have even conducted any contingency planning for this outcome. Monday`s vote is, therefore, very important for identifying those MPs able and willing to seize the initiative if/when the opportunity arises.

    2. NickW
      October 22, 2011

      From what you have written here and elsewhere it looks as if the Treaty change would allow the EU to impose a Tobin tax on the UK, whether we like it or not.

      The EU will be totally determined to destroy London as a Financial Services Centre, and Hague appears to have given the EU the green light to do it.

    3. Martyn
      October 22, 2011

      Too late, I fear. England has been removed from the map of Europe and what remains of Alfred the Great’s idea of England has been subordinated to the EU dictatorship. The voice of the English peoples diminished in the noise created by uncontrolled immigration and now, after a 1000 years of English history we are consigned to history. And that is what Heath started and others have continued with, Blair and Prescott in particular triggering our downfall with reducing England into no more than a set of EU regions. Cameron and the others are bent on finishing us off. No one now can claim to be English, we are a disenfranchised people and of no account within the EU….

  30. Sam
    October 22, 2011

    The EU wants to do the UK what the Germans could not and that is to take us over.
    They have already destroyed our Fish Stocks, ruined our Agriculture with their Common Agriculturial Policy and are now trying to destroy the wealth that the City creates for the UK by bringing in a transaction tax. we should get out now and let the Euro and Euro collapse.

  31. Neil Craig
    October 22, 2011

    As a Scot I couldn’t quite emulate Leo Amery’s call to Arthur Greenwood to “Speak for England, Arthur” in the debate that brought down Chamberlain but approve of the principle.

    Also, of course, nobody could accuse Miliband of being the equal of Arthur Greenwood.

    We will see what size of minority within the Conservative party believe in democracy and keeping “cast iron” promises. We know virtually none of the Labour/Pseudoliberals do.

  32. The Talking Clock
    October 22, 2011


    Now that Cameron, Hague and Eustice have turned the Conservative Party into a busted flush and seriously damaged your party’s relationship with – if not all of the grassroots – a large number of them and a large number of potential supporters.

    How will their attempted affront to democracy win back the couple of million voters that Lord Tebbit notes have been lost?

    Anyway, praise for yourself. We’ll judge you on your voting record (positive) and it’s just a shame you are STILL associated with a party (negative) led by Cameron and Hague (negative).

    Sadly, I don’t think you can save the Conservative Party from the fifth columnists who now clearly control it.

    I tried to keep the expletives out of this post, but I’ll let you guess where I’d have placed them 😉

  33. frank salmon
    October 22, 2011

    John. This vote is of enormous importance. When the motion is forgotten the people of Britain will remember the betrayal of our government, our parliament, our sovereignty, our brithright, our nationhood, our freedom, our democracy, our commonwealth, our economy, our children, our future, our identity….. for a very very very long time.

  34. RCS
    October 22, 2011

    Do you believe that there will be a tipping point that will cause mass civil unrest? An EU tax might be one. I am getting the feeling of real anger about the EU and what appears to be the Conservative line to our relationship with it.

    I know that “nobody cares about the EU” but I sense a change and the problem is beginning to surface in the public consciousness. I really believe that Cameron’s stance on the debate in the HoC may well damage him and certainly indicates that UK politics is well and truly “broken”.

  35. Electro-Kevin
    October 22, 2011

    If we get a referendum and – so long as it is run fairly – the people vote to stay in then us Eurosceptics will shut up for good.

    The simple fact is that the EU has changed beyond everything that my generation’s parents voted on and we have not had a say about it.

    And no. We did not vote for all-party Europhile MPs deliberately. The EU issue was bundled up with other important issues and it seems that tribal loyalty to the mainstream parties over the years has been a big mistake by the majority including many Tory voters.

    Our loyalty has been taken as a mandate for all sorts of abuses and far from being one of the ways out of recession the EU is one of the main causes of it.

    The recession hasn’t quite hit hard enough yet. When it does people are going to utterly loathe the EU. As they should already.

  36. Colin Adkins
    October 22, 2011

    It is not so long ago when the people in the countries which were part of a large federation, governed by a bankrupt political system which sought principally to feather their personal nest whilst suppressing oposition by any means, finally broke up despite the most brutal oppression. Does it ring any bells?
    How long will it be before a European defence force is brutally crushing opposition in countries that are not happy with the non democratic system imposed on them?
    Secondly, given that the current mess in Europe was so widely predictable how come that we are expected to believe that the same people are now going to create this new wonder federation of a land of milk and honey.
    It beggars belief that our party leaders could all be so stupid!
    Have I missed something???

  37. BobE
    October 22, 2011

    The third European War is being fought by burocrats armed with power point presentations. Who will win? Will Germany finaly become the leader of the EUSSR?

  38. John Wrake
    October 22, 2011

    How we confuse ourselves with a multiplicity of routes to an impossible renegotiation. We need to remember that the treaties since the Communities Act in 1972 specifically rule out renegotiation except by agreement of all 27 members. To expect that is unrealistic.
    Our membership of the E.U. was brought about by leaders of both main political parties, egged on by the third party, signing treaties containing agreements which were unlawful, because they were unconstitutional.
    Now we have the same three parties seeking to deny to M.P.s the freedom to vote as their consciences demand – that is those M.P.s who entered Parliament to serve the nation, rather than as a career move.
    Monday’s debate will be very revealing. Who will stand for the freedom from dictatorship which our historic constitution was built to protect and which has suffered so many attacks from those who want only our subservience and our money.

  39. norman
    October 22, 2011

    If you were to draw a Venn diagram of the 67% of the public for the motion, the 85% who think that things can’t go on as they are and the ~40% of people minded to vote Conservative I wouldn’t be surprised if the 40% lands almost completely in both of the other camps.

    I’m sure Cameron and his spads / spinmeisters knows this so why he is abjectly surrendering without a fight is puzzling. I realise many people won’t switch their votes to Labour or the Lib Dems, a couple of percent might go UKIP but how many will stay at home next time? With things as tight as they are and the economy spluttering you’d have thought every vote was critical and he should at least try and pretend he’s fighting for Britain even if the end game is abject surrender.

  40. Alan Wheatley
    October 22, 2011

    It comes as no surprise that nearly half (YouGov poll) want to renegotiate: dissatisfied with the status quo and apprehensive about leaving, a sort of half-way house has an obvious appeal in the sense that “something must be done but I’m not sure what”. Further, “renegotiate” can mean anything you wish it to mean, so is likely to find wider appeal, and is probably why such an option was included in the motion in the first place.

    But to my mind “renegotiate” is a nonsense option. For a start, where as “in” and “out” are end points, “renegotiate” is a process with an infinite number of possible end points. It also needs to be born in mind that it takes two to negotiate, and much as the UK might wish to embark on such a process the rest of the EU may want to have nothing to do with it.

    While the pressures of the moment may make this a good time for the UK to get its way, such advantage may only be with the UK in the short term. It is easy to imagine that the rest of the EU would feel decidedly miffed at having to concede that which they did not want simply to get the UK to agree to other changes which to them are vital. Subsequently there may come a time of reckoning when the UK finds itself in a minority of one and gets well and truly stuffed in an act of joyous revenge.

    And how could the EU work with all but one country heading in one direction and the UK trying to head in a different direction? It makes no sense. It would be creating the conditions for an ongoing clash of ideals.

    However all this is probably irrelevant as there seems little likelihood of there being a referendum. What the motion calling for a referendum has already done is to push the issue of the UK’s relationship with the EU way up the UK political agenda, and in that respect it is very welcome.

  41. English Pensioner
    October 22, 2011

    Seems that you are spot on if if this news item in the Telegraph is to be believed.
    A single Treasury for the whole of the Eurozone – If they get their way they will achieve what Napoleon and Hitler both failed to manage !

  42. matthu
    October 22, 2011

    What I want to know is IF only a small number of Conservative MPs vote in favour of a referendum, can the CP ever lay claim to being a eurosceptic party again?

    Or, put more simply, which party should a eurosceptic voter support?

    1. A David H
      October 23, 2011

      Good point. Maybe UKIP or BNP could answer that at greater length.

  43. Kenneth
    October 22, 2011

    Mr Redwood, your post is spot on.

    I am all for the aim of having a referendum on our relationship with the eu.

    However I am not so sure about the tactics because:

    1. The eu sceptics will lose the vote. The executives of the three main parties can claim that the referendum issue has been decided for now and can park it for some time to come. You may inadvertently delay the referendum.

    2. I don’t believe that enough has been done to create a lobby across both the Conservative and Labour parties. Both parties have eu sceptics yet they seem to maintain a separate existence. You risk being painted (unfairly) as a rump in Parliament. This could be maddening in light of the fact that popular opinion appears to be on your (and my) side.

    3. This may be portrayed (unfairly) by the left wing media as a ‘Conservative Party’ problem when it is not confined to the Conservatives. Defying the whip worsens this perception.

    4. Mr Cameron will make a powerful argument stating that the People voted for a coalition. They did not give the Conservative Party a full mandate. A eu referendum of this nature is not coalition policy. As a democrat, how do you counter this powerful argument? You and other sceptics risk being portrayed as narrow minded and Mr Cameron will portray himself as a statesman. This, for me, will be infuriating since all your utterances (and those of Bill Cash and others) are so very statesman-like and you are more in line with public opinion.

    Having said all that I support your decision to vote for a referendum (for what it’s worth) now that your mind is made up. Best of luck. You are truly a patriot and a defender of democracy (an increasingly rare breed these days).

  44. Steven Whitfield
    October 23, 2011

    With demands for more power, come demands for more money it seems.

    So with this in mind , I have prepared a handy letter that could be used by Her Majesty’s Coalition Government to politely turn down requests for more funds to prop up the Euro-zone.
    I know it can be a tricky business when old friends ask to borrow money when you just know you won’t ever see a penny of it back….

    I would be grateful if Mr Redwood could forward this on to Mr G Osborne .
    Mr Hague also seems to be a little embarrassed when it comes to turning down requests for money = perhaps he should also have a copy?.

    Mr Gideon Osborne
    HM Treasury
    No 11 Downing Street,

    Dear Mr/Mss __________________________ (insert name of the head bureaucrat of the EU organisation seeking funding)

    I was saddened to hear of the financial trouble in the Euro-zone. Despite not being a member of this elite club , we in the Uk feel your pain deeply.

    Being part of a very new and modern Conservative government, under normal circumstances I would be more that willing to help out financially and do our bit. However on this occasion, it is with regret I will have to turn down your request for additional funding of £ __________ _______________________________________________ (insert number of millions requested here)

    To put it bluntly we are flat stony broke. The cupboard is bare. We are up to our eyeballs in dept.
    We have already seen a devaluation of Sterling of 25%, tried quantitive easing (twice) and kept interest rates at rock bottom. But nothing seems to be working which is a bit of a puzzle . But hey ho.

    I am however proud of the fact that throughout this difficult period I have been able to broadly maintain the levels of investment in public services that my predecessor Mr. Gordon Brown maintained. Investment in our NHS services and international development has increased.

    I am however getting a great deal of sniping from some vocal right wing critics saying I need to cut waste . Fools!. How can money be wasted when it is being invested in public services ??. God help us if that lot ever get in charge eh.

    It’s the same rotten people that wish to balance the books on the backs of the poorest people. My colleague Mr Mitchell gets very cross about this.
    But don’t worry about them , Nick Clegg and David Cameron will soon have them whipped back into shape!.

    No doubt, the next time we meet it will be back to business as usual.

    In the meantime, all I can do is offer my best wishes for a swift resolution of your financial difficulty.


    Hm Treasury

  45. Peter van Leeuwen
    October 23, 2011

    “better economic governance based on the community method”. . .
    will increase the UK influence on the eurozone economies, as it has a say on what will be agreed at this community level. The UK can then help to define how future fires are to be prevented rather than extinguished and it can help to define in which way to get new growth in the economies.

    1. alan jutson
      October 23, 2011


      So we can look forward to the system working as well as their present accounting system can we.

      No Audit for now how many years, is it 14 or 15.

      Will the accounts ever pass an Audit ?

      They cannot even control their own overhead expenditure, how well will they control 17 Country’s finances.

      1. APL
        October 23, 2011

        Alan Jutson: “They cannot even control their own overhead expenditure .. ”

        Don’t worry Alan, Neil Kinnock, now ‘Lord’ was on the case in 1999 he was the EU Commission’s Vice President in charge of cleaning up its affairs after the corruption scandal that forced the resignation of the entire EU Commission in 1999.

        So the EU should be sorted by now …..

        Just be patient.

      2. Peter van Leeuwen
        October 24, 2011

        @alan jutson: Note that these are unrelated issues. Blaming national corruption on the EU is not the way towards its eradication. Supporting the EU would work better: if all ministers of finance were forced to follow the Dutch example (providing formal guarantees on EU expenditures in their country) the EU accounts would pass the audit. (read:

  46. Steven Whitfield
    October 23, 2011—X—sixth-form-debate-Chief-Whip-accused-bully-boy-bid-kill-EU-vote.html

    It’s been reported in the Daily Mail that ‘rebel’ Mp’s have been threatened with a range of sanctions by Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin over their support of the EU referendum. If it’s true this is truly disgusting behaviour in my view.

    The ‘threats’ include :-

    Banning MPs having extra time off at Christmas.
    Giving their seat to a rival MP.
    A four-year veto on becoming a Minister

    Mr Redwood, as an insider, have you a view on the use of such tactics ?

    This account, by Peter Hitchen’s is deeply troubling. Doesn’t it just underline the fact that the pro EU side know they have lost the argument. So they have to hide behind bully tactics ?

    ” Two Tory MPs are so scared of David Cameron’s pro-EU thought police that they have hidden their identities when giving radio interviews on the subject.
    One said that wanting to leave the EU was ‘the love that dare not speak its name’.

    ‘Both knew that the Tory whips would destroy them if their names became known.

    So their words were spoken by actors, as if they were dissidents in some foreign dictatorship.
    This extraordinary behaviour, broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s ultra-respectable Analysis programme.

    The tactic is clearly divide and rule – surely if the George Eustice group stick together and speak with one voice – they can avoid being ‘picked off’ by Mr Mcloughlin ?.
    If the coalition fails this isn’t the ‘nuclear option’ The Liberal debate has collapsed and Labour are flat lining. The coalition’s hand is weak – I just hope that the referendum voters use this rare occasion to show strength not weakness.

  47. Max Cross
    October 23, 2011

    According to today’s poll, less than 15% of people want to remain in the EU on today’s terms. The Conservative party have just allied themselves firmly to this 15% and alienated the rest. I doubt 1 in 20 of those 15% will ever vote Conservative. The closest analogy I can think of in political terms is Mr Foot’s decision in 1983 to campaign on the basis of unilateral nuclear disarmament, but even that doesn’t do it justice in terms of electoral suicide. I doubt 150 Tories will survive the next election to sit in the next Parliament.

    1. sjb
      October 23, 2011

      The 1983 Labour Party Manifesto also included the following:

      “We will also open immediate negotiations with our EEC partners, and introduce the necessary legislation, to prepare for Britain’s withdrawal from the EEC, to be completed well within the lifetime of the Labour government. ”


  48. Quietzapple
    October 23, 2011

    While the UK can just leave the EU, and negotiations would be likely to occur over disputed matters, we are not in a position to insist on gaining a Common Market position with the other EU states.

    Do not previous agreements require various consultation and agreements with ALL the other states? Anyone seriously imagine they’d go with our fair accomplis AND agree on giving us what we think we want?

    The middle option in this “Referendum” is utterly bogus, and merely a ploy to wavering Tory MPs and dullards in the electorate.

    Honest EUphobes will join UKIP.

    1. Electro-Kevin
      October 23, 2011

      The problem is that an In/Out debate will result in scare tactics from the monied and better resourced Europhiles.

      It worked in the ’70s and might work now.

      The difference is that now we have the benefit of hindsight and know the true nature and aspirations of the EU.

      No amount of money can buy the publicity to hide that.

      Either way. This is all bad news for David Cameron who has not played this very well.

      Gaddafi is forgotten about already. This was not a Falklands moment and will not detract from the problems ahead.

  49. Alan Wheatley
    October 23, 2011

    As I understand it, the government line is that repatriation of powers from Brussels is the objective but now is not the time to have a referendum on the EU. To my mind NOW is exactly the time to have a referendum if renegotiation really is the policy.

    If the polls are correct, then the option that will receive by far the most support will be to renegotiate. What better endorsement does the government want in support of its policy and with which to go forward to achieve its objective?

    As to timing, the referendum would not be held for a while, and then negotiation would not start for a while after that. If by then the EU has still not solved the Euro crisis then there will not be any worthwhile body left to renegotiate with!

  50. Steven Whitfield
    October 24, 2011

    With demands for more power, come demands for more money it seems.

    So with this in mind , I have prepared a handy letter that could be used by Her Majesty’s Coalition Government to politely turn down requests for more funds to prop up the Euro-zone.
    I know it can be a tricky business when old friends ask to borrow money when you just know you won’t ever see a penny of it back….

    Dear Mr/Mss __________________________ (insert name of the head bureaucrat of the EU organisation seeking funding)

    I was saddened to hear of the financial trouble in the Euro-zone. Despite not being a member of this elite club , we in the Uk feel your pain deeply.

    Being part of a very new and modern Conservative government, under normal circumstances I would be more that willing to help out financially and do our bit. However on this occasion, it is with regret I will have to turn down your request for additional funding of £ __________ _______________________________________________ (insert number of millions requested here)

    To put it bluntly we are flat stony broke. The cupboard is bare. We are up to our eyeballs in dept.
    We have already seen a devaluation of Sterling of 25%, tried quantitive easing (twice) and kept interest rates at rock bottom. But nothing seems to be working which is a bit of a puzzle . But hey ho.

    I am however proud of the fact that throughout this difficult period I have been able to broadly maintain the levels of investment in public services that my predecessor Mr. Gordon Brown maintained. Investment in our NHS services and international development has increased.

    I am however getting a great deal of sniping from some vocal right wing critics saying I need to cut waste . Fools!. How can money be wasted when it is being invested in public services ??. God help us if that lot ever get in charge eh.

    It’s the same rotten people that wish to balance the books on the backs of the poorest people. My colleague Mr Mitchell gets very cross about this.
    But don’t worry about them , Nick Clegg and David Cameron has a 3 line whip to take care of any troublemakers.

    No doubt, the next time we meet it will be back to business as usual.

    In the meantime, all I can do is offer my best wishes for a swift resolution of your financial difficulty.


    Hm Treasury

  51. shaon084
    December 1, 2011

    I am looking for such a post, thanks for sharing such valuable information.

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