If not now, when?

I read that the government does not think the current Euro crisis is the best time to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU. Sometimes we are told there is no urgent need for a new Treaty, so there is no opportunity to renegotiate. Sometimes I read there will be changes to the Treaty, but it is not right for the UK to make demands, when these changes will apply to Euro area members, not to us. We are told we should not stand in their way as they try to patch their troubled money.

I disagree. It is the German and French intention to press the Euro states into a much closer union. There will be budget controls, much more intensive surveillance of spending and taxing, more rules and regulations. The 17 will meet more often. They may develop a passion for settling things between themselves, and then pushing them through the 27 member EU where necessary. They will be able to outvote the UK and her few allies.

They may do this through Treaty changes. They might do it through a new agreement of the 17. They might simply try to do it without changing the formal powers of the Treaty, as they are in a hurry and have a phobia about referenda which some countries would need for a new Treaty or Agreement.

This requires a new relationship for the UK. We cannot be at meetings of the 17. Our interests in an open market throughout the EU are different and much more limited than their plans for common government. The UK needs guarantees or opt out facilities to protect herself from adverse law making and decisions taken by the 17 alone, or taken by the 27 on the insistence of the 17 against our wishes.

The official line is to keep more things in the 27, for fear of our exclusion from any new grouping of the 17. I would find a new organisation for the 17 liberating. We would not have to follow its rules as we would not belong. We could then at leisure negotiate about what was left for the 27 to do. The government seems to think an agreement by the 17 is a threat to us, one to be avoided at all costs. I do not think they could easily do it. It would take time to establish the new architecture and legal framework. It would presumably need referenda decisions in several Euroland countries. From the UK perspective it would leave no doubt that the costs, duties and laws surrounding the Euro are for the 17 alone, and not for us. We would need to negotiate what we can by way of protection from abuse of the law making of the 27, but we have to do that anyway in the context of a stronger Euro group within the 27.

I still think negotiate and then vote is the right UK approach. To those who say this is not the right time, I ask “If not now, when?”
To those who fear a Treaty of the 17 I say “Bring it on”. It will makes things much clearer and will highlight the need for the UK to sort out its position vis a vis the budget, taxing and law making powers of the EU.
And to those who say just withdraw, who claim the EU will not negotiate, I say let the people decide. If the EU will not give a better deal more people will vote to come out altogether.

PS: I see the English Democrats claiming a great success in coming second in a Rochford by election. They took half the Lib Dems vote. Was UKIP asleep for this one, or are the English Democrats taking over in second place elsewhere?


  1. Antisthenes
    December 5, 2011

    Closer integration by the 17 is going to be very messy as it throws up all sorts of political and legal problems. No doubt the technocrats are working day and night on how to achieve it in a way that involves the least amount of democracy. A two year old can see that this is very much a defining moment for the EU as a whole. If all the states do not set their requirements on the table now and sort out how the powers of the EU are to be distributed and create a new treaty(binding constitution) to put before citizens to accept or reject then the opportunity will never arise again. No doubt the technocrats want to just bolt on a new integration deal onto the existing framework. In practice that will mean that power will rest firmly with the 17 and the 10 will have no further influence. After which the only choice left to the 10 would be the timing of joining the 17. As this would not involve a treaty change any government can take that decision without their citizens approval.

    1. Disaffected
      December 5, 2011

      I read over the weekend that Mrs Clegg has secured a (amount deleted -ed) EU consultant (words left out-ed) type job while her husband was on TV claiming he was going to get tough on chief executive pay. Could he not start with his wife?? Or was this part of the EU buttering up to support Eu integration/takeover? IDS has come out in the press to push for a referendum on the EU as he, like the rest of us, clearly sees Cameron (pushed by Clegg) try to wriggle out of an EU referendum. John, you are absolutely right. There cannot be a better time to renegotiate. As I have previously written- Cameron does not want to do this. His Europhile advisers Heseltine, Major, Clark and the Lib Dems (minority view) will do everything they can to spin, use sophistry, flannel, lie or whatever to prevent a referendum from taking place. You need to gain support from Boris Johnson, Bill Cash, George Eustice and Ian Duncan Smith to dispose Cameron from office. We learned in the DT last week that Osborne spends more time in Cameron’s office than the Treasury sorting out the financial mess they keep talking about but are doing so little to bring about change. About time Osborne pulled his finger out or cleared off.

      1. lifelogic
        December 5, 2011

        There is surely a clear conflict of interest here with all those confidential papers around the house – but as Mrs Clegg is reported to earn £500,000 the best solution seems very clear Nick Clegg should go and become a house husband or something – perhaps encouraging Huhne to do so too.

    2. Mike Stallard
      December 5, 2011

      I would like to look at this problem historically.
      During the time of the French Revolution, we were firmly allied with Portugal and Russia with Prussia, Austria and Spain from time to time.
      At the end of the nineteenth century, we were firmly allied with Russia and France against the central powers.
      Before the Second World War, we were allied with Poland and France, and then (1941) with Russia and USA.
      And so on.

      Today we seem to be totally isolated. France and Germany, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Spain and the rest of the 17 are virtually one country and we are isolated on the outside with no friends at all.

      We need to rectify this very unhistorical situation very fast.

  2. Martyn
    December 5, 2011

    Excellent summation, thanks John. The government’s “Now is not the time” position, if held, will see the UK swept into yet more binding EU diktats without being in any way able to negotiate our way out of them.
    Dithering around on the edge of the 17 as seems to be happening at the moment will soon become fatal to UK interests and I cannot believe that the government are unable to see that. Are they all in denial, or what?
    The bottom line must surely be, when could there be a better time to renegotiate and protect our position within the EU if not now?
    OT, just seen in the DTel that Mr Cameron’s favourite soap is ‘Eastenders’. In my probably worthless view, that particular soap is completely detached from the real world and unwatchable at the best of times. Which perhaps gives me an indicator to the Prime Minister’s mindset.

  3. Mike Stallard
    December 5, 2011

    When the BSE crisis was on, the French delighted in taking full advantage by banning our beef, against EU regulations. The Spanish have delighted in buying up our fishing fleet and I personally have bought tiny Hake in Spain. The GErmans are after Frankfurt and the Tobin Tax.
    Meanwhile, Mr Cameron just goes on smiling.

    1. Dr Bernard JUBY
      December 5, 2011

      The French Press kept very quiet aboiut the fact that BSE was actually rife over here. We knew of local farms which had outbreaks of it.
      It was kept so quiet from the French public that my French daughter-in-law and I nearly came to blows when I pointed it out to her.

  4. Peter van Leeuwen
    December 5, 2011

    “Now” may not be such a bad time for changing the UK relationship with/in the EU, but the window of opportunity will be there for quite a while. A few problems:
    * Where can the UK require something in return? The UK cannot veto 17 national laws for balanced budgets nor 17 national 20y redemption funds as the German finance minister proposed. It must become a little clearer when, which and how much formal UK cooperation is required.
    * There is spectrum of opinion in the UK. For the UK to speak with one voice, factions need to come to some agreement ( a Camglegg strategy, just like the expected Merkozy proposal?)

    1. Disaffected
      December 5, 2011

      No, there is a better alternative. The UK leaves the EU altogether. The Irish PM told his countrymen of the budget imposed by Germany and the italian Finance Minister started to cry when she told her countrymen of the German impose austerity measures.

      Cameron would not blink if he was in the same position as the Irish- we know this from his cast iron guarantees-not. Osborne is likely to cry because it has been his rich boys (word left out) dreams to be in office and he will be the architect of this crashing disaster.

      1. uanime5
        December 5, 2011

        So the Irish and Italians don’t like the German austerity measures but are quite happy to take the German bailout. I guess they still haven’t learned their lesson about why it’s a bad idea to borrow money instead of fixing structural problems.

      2. Peter van Leeuwen
        December 5, 2011

        @Disaffected: Leaving the EU is always possible.
        Germany doesn’t impose budgets. You might be confusing its role with that of the financial markets (Italy) or IMF/ECB/EU (Ireland).

    2. Paul H
      December 5, 2011

      It can stop writing cheques every month – I’m sure it would get something in return then!

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        December 5, 2011

        A summons to court?

        1. Paul H
          December 5, 2011

          Oh perleeeese. So we don’t pay the fine. What then?

          1. Peter van Leeuwen
            December 5, 2011

            You will lose your tripple x rating 🙂
            (treaty breach never pays off in the long run)

          2. Bob
            December 6, 2011

            They would extradite Dave and George and sentence them to 10 years in a Greek jail. Then Nick Clegg would assume leadership of the coalition and immediately pay all the fines and sign up to and implement any whim of the Boys in Brussels.

      2. APL
        December 5, 2011

        Paul H: “It can stop writing cheques every month ”

        Yes. But as our host keeps telling us there are too many Tory MPs in Parliament that wish to further the subversion of our British Constitution and further the aims of a foreign power within the Realm of the United Kingdom.

        Such luminaries of the Tory Party as Ken Clarke, David Cameron for example.

        Much as I admire our host, he voted for David Cameron, tried to persuade us on his very own blog that David Cameron was an EUrosceptic when it was apparent to all and sundry that Cameron had sold out hook line and sinker to the EU. He even wants to stay in the European Union, when there are plenty of alternatives available to give us what we need with out the extortionate subscriptons to the European Union.

        Reply: I voted No in 1975 anbd want another referendum now.

        1. Peter van Leeuwen
          December 5, 2011

          You may not get this referendum, if I heard David Cameron correctly just now. But then, thee is a purely democratic manner of getting what you want: Get a majority!
          Now that I’ve seen your 1975 referendum pamphlet, it clearly spell out the continual parliamentary sovereignty:
          “Fact No. 3. The British Parliament in Westminster retains the final right to repeal the Act which took us into the Market on January 1, 1973. Thus our continued membership will depend on the continuing assent of Parliament.”

  5. norman
    December 5, 2011

    Not sure what you mean by the last paragraph. The only recent election I could find in Rochford was on the 1st December (http://www.rochford.gov.uk/council__democracy/elections/election_results.aspx) with a turnout of 22% and about 750 people voting. There were only three candidates, Tory, Lib Dem and a ‘none of the above’ candidate in the form of the English Democrats chap.

    You’d imagine English Democrat supporters would be motivated to turn out to a small election like this, where every vote really does matter (in the electoral sense, not in the sense that this election will make a whit of difference to anything), so I wouldn’t try and read anything into this and the dig at UKIP is uncalled for.

    I know many UKIP supporters on this site try and drag your name through the mud (I’m not one of them and it’s uncalled for, in my opinion) but tit for tat isn’t the way to go.

    1. libertarian
      December 5, 2011


      I’m sorry if UKIP don’t put up candidates for something like this then what point is there in them? I think its a very fair question, what were UKIP doing?

      1. norman
        December 5, 2011

        ‘what point is there in them?’

        Speaking for myself, to try and keep the Tories honest.

        I imagine I’m not so much different from other UKIP members / voters – right of centre, fruitcake, little Englander, ex-Tory members (‘shits’ I believe is the collective noun currently in vogue) waiting for the call to come home. I’ve no illusions about UKIP every becoming a party of government, or even getting an MP, so that they don’t behave every time as a ‘serious party’ ought I really couldn’t care less.

        That they’re now being viewed by the likes of John Redwood and yourself as a serious political party (and being criticised as such) rather than as a flash in the pan here today gone tomorrow protest party shows what a dreadful job the current Conservative leadership is doing to woo us back – if indeed they want to, which I don’t think they do, getting rid of the fruitcakes / bastards / shits / little Englanders (have I missed of any of the slurs?) all part of ‘deconaminating the brand’.

        1. libertarian
          December 5, 2011

          Yes you missed answering my very simple question, which was why didn’t UKIP field a candidate?

          I do not consider UKIP a serious UK political party I’m afraid. They are a European election protest vote party, one man band. I did vote for them in the GE though as a protest vote against the 3 socialist parties on offer

        2. Dave B
          December 5, 2011

          I think UKIP should definitely be looking for MPs at the next election. They’ve been consistently growing their GE vote, and the current government have made clear that the Conservatives are not eurosceptic, and have no intent to reduce gov’t spending. Wide open goal.

      2. Single Acts
        December 5, 2011

        Labour didn’t put up a candidate!

    2. A.Sedgwick
      December 5, 2011


  6. zorro
    December 5, 2011

    If you listen very carefully, you can hear the sound of Mr Cameron squirming as he wonders how the hell he is going to keep his party with him as he tries to please the EU and keep his career prospects open.

    Bearing in mind his previous referendum ‘challenges’, there must be some midnight oil burning in No.10……


  7. zorro
    December 5, 2011

    He’ll have the Camel Corps wittering on about ‘seats at the table’, and ‘influencing decisions’, and becoming ‘second division’…….What will he do?…..Well, the EU will say if you want those things, submit and join the Euro. But, of course, wavy Davy would never contemplate that…..would he?


    1. ChrisXP
      December 5, 2011

      Sadly I half suspect that is exactly what he is doing. Caught between a rock and a hard place, I think it’s called. Suddenly, at some point in 2012 it will become “in the nation’s interest” to join the euro, to maintain this seat at the table and we’ll start seeing euros in our change. No, I don’t want it to happen, but these politicians play clever chess, using distracting moves to get their chess pieces where they wanted them all along

      1. Sean O'Hare
        December 5, 2011

        That will be the day I cash in all my Stirling investments/savings and buy gold.

        1. Single Acts
          December 5, 2011

          Many people have already done so.

  8. lifelogic
    December 5, 2011

    Cometh the time cometh the man (or woman in absurd lefty BBC speak) alas no sign of either just Cameron with the addition Libdem handicap he inflicted on the Tories.

    Now is exactly and perhaps the last chance to escape all the EU insanities. It would also be electorally popular and would hugely assist growth – why is Cameron so determined to avoid this at all costs? Just to hand the next election to Unison and their mouth piece Miliband?

    Will he then I wonder, after his failed leadership period, sulk like Heath on the back benches for 50 years or so? Or will he take a job in Europe where he does not have the indignity of having to respond to the needs and wishes of the electorate at all?

    I am surprised he has not had a photo opportunity with the Giant Panda’s in Scotland yet – in the Heath style.

    1. lifelogic
      December 5, 2011

      Now I read in the telegraph that Clegg says “We should be asking millionaire pensioners to perhaps make a little sacrifice on their free TV licence or their free bus passes”

      So yet more pointless and expensive means testing and complexity. Anyway no one should have to pay for the BBC unless they choose to nor should they get free bus passes – it is unfair competition for other TV companies and other modes of transport. They should spend their own money as they chose not have Clegg and government tax them then decide their needs for them and give a little back that they can only use on TV and Buses.

      Is anything that comes from the Libdems ever remotely sensible – apart from the odd civil liberties idea perhaps?

      1. Disaffected
        December 5, 2011

        There are 370,000 households where no one since the age of 16yrs has ever worked and Clegg insisted before the Autumn statement to get welfare lifers another 5.2% rise. His Eu integration also secures free university education for EU students paid for the taxpayer even though they are our competitors. He wants more immigration and the mass uncontrolled immigration continues to rise higher than Labour achieved. He is a roaring Lib Dem success. They could not achieve this in opposition. Weak Dave helps them unreservedly.

      2. Paul H
        December 5, 2011


        1. alan jutson
          December 5, 2011


      3. lojolondon
        December 5, 2011

        No. Nothing sensible ever comes from the LibDems. Plus they are demonstrably neither Liberal nor Democratic. Just crazed by political correctness.

      4. Single Acts
        December 5, 2011

        Perhaps we could ask Millionaire TV presenters to stop demanding poll tax TV licence payments from the poor?

        You have to ask, if Mr Cameron can’t even abolish this nonsense, what is the point of voting conservative?

        1. APL
          December 5, 2011

          Single acts: “You have to ask, if Mr Cameron can’t even abolish this nonsense, what is the point of voting conservative?”

          Cameron isn’t a Conservative, and while people like him and Ken Clarke are in control of the party there is no point voting conservative.

      5. Sean O'Hare
        December 5, 2011

        You are right of course, but what’s the odds of them reducing taxes before withdrawing bus passes and abolishing the BBC tax?

    2. lifelogic
      December 5, 2011

      I see that Members of Parliament will, this evening, debate and vote on the UK extradition treaty.

      I hope they kill it dead and go on to kill the even worse EU one. No one should be extradited and often jailed before trial to anywhere without the need to demonstrate very substantial evidence and certainly not to some of the dreadful unbalanced legal systems that pertain in parts of the US and Europe.

      Reply: Some of us will be voting to get the government to change the US Treaty and the EU Arrest Warrant

      1. lifelogic
        December 5, 2011

        And certainly not to countries that clearly permit torture.

        1. uanime5
          December 5, 2011

          The European Court of Human Rights feels the same way. That’s why they won’t let countries deport illegal immigrants to other countries where these people may be tortured. Though some politicians oppose this and are currently trying to use their presidency of the Council of Europe to change the law because they hate the courts interfering with their political point scoring on immigration.

          1. Jon Burgess
            December 5, 2011

            Or alternatively, they might want to try to stop failed asylum seekers/ convicted illegal immigrant criminals clogging up their courts, delaying and eventually avoiding deportation by claiming that the country they are being deported to is too dangerous and uncivilised.

            Just imagine that – an illegal imigrant being sent back to whence they came! The inhumaity of it!

      2. Alan Wheatley
        December 5, 2011

        A friend of mine had a valuable and historic motor car stolen by two mainland-EU nationals, found guilty in an English court. They failed to return for the sentencing hearing and were given an extra six months and ordered to return the car. They are still living openly and have not returned the car.

        I would have though this was and open and shut case for the EU arrest warrant to automatically kick in and achieve justice, but even in such circumstances the UK does not get a benefit.

        1. lifelogic
          December 5, 2011

          They doubtless do not want them back as it might cost them money in court and prison costs.

        2. uanime5
          December 5, 2011

          The EU arrest warrant is designed to extract people in one EU country for trial in another EU country (usually because the accused has fled the country where the crime was committed). So unless the crime was committed in the UK and these mainland-EU nationals have left the UK the EU arrest warrant can’t be issued.

          It’s also difficult to issue the EU arrest warrant if you don’t know which country these people are in.

      3. davidb
        December 5, 2011

        Our citizens should never be extradited to a foreign jurisdiction to face trial for something which is not illegal here. Further, since witnesses can give evidence via videolink I would suggest that if one of ours is living here and is suspected of something that would be illegal here that they be tried only in our courts.

        The extradition treaty with the US seems particularly badly thought out. ( I am most certainly not anti American I hasten to add ).

  9. Pete the Bike
    December 5, 2011

    The UK government will, once again, fail to act in our interest and meekly submit to whatever ridiculous and undemocratic lunacy Brussels comes up with. Dave has shown no evidence of having any backbone and I doubt he’ll grow one now.

    1. lifelogic
      December 5, 2011

      I fear you are right he will I fear take the duff line of most civil servants, the Libdems and the BBC I feel he does not have the courage to do otherwise.

    2. lifelogic
      December 5, 2011

      I see Clegg & Cast Jelly Cameron are already trying to position themselves ready to wriggle round the (carefully worded) referendum law enacted by the Coalition as a sop only months ago.

  10. Duyfken
    December 5, 2011

    This is a time for decision, not just by the government but others in UK also. Were Cameron to fail in the matter, I suggest this may well be a moment of truth for many Tory MPs including one JR perhaps. How would they/you react – resign from the Whip? Or is that too indelicate a question?

    Reply Why do so many of you want to destroy what Eurosceptic representation there is the Commons? I was elected as a Eurosceptic Conservative and will vote and speak as one. I have no intention of resigning and fighting a by election – what would that prove?

    1. Duyfken
      December 5, 2011

      I suppose the reason is simply frustration. In the same way that Blair conned the Labour Party from its traditional ideals to form New Labour, Cameron & co have done much the same, subverting the Tory Party by double-speak and dissembling. He became leader without declaring his true colours, not just about the EU and Euro but in other ways also, so I find it difficult to understand how a traditional Conservative member can support this regime. As a voter, I cannot, but do appreciate that MPs and MEPs have many considerations to address before any precipitate action. Meanwhile I must remain frustrated!

    2. lifelogic
      December 5, 2011

      To reply: As you say it would achieve absolutely nothing beyond a day or two of newspaper headlines.

      1. Duyfken
        December 5, 2011

        Forgive me please, lifelogic, since I find your response a trifle sycophantic. I did not suggest JR and others should resign the whip, neither did I suggest JR should seek re-election in a by-election – that was his assumption. I asked what JR and other like-minded Tories might do in the event of Cameron failing to gain anything useful for UK from the present Euro catastrophe. For instance, such MPs and MEPs might go back to consult their constituency associations; they might even consider a putsch to be rid of Cameron; they might … whatever! Is there nothing that can be done other than bleating about it all? Perhaps IDS may push his luck further but I’m less than optimistic.

        1. lifelogic
          December 5, 2011

          Sorry I was responding more to the reply – but I still do tend to think that any progress can only really be made through the Tory party they are the only hope. We have to work with the political voting and power system as it is – alas.

      2. Jon Burgess
        December 5, 2011

        Not my call, obviously, but if and when Cameron avoids the next call for a referendum through the carefully crafted words of the referendum law so recently enacted, Iwould hope that there is a bigger conservative revolt and they change their leader. Failure to do so would be letting down the British people. Just my opinion, Mr Redwood…

    3. Single Acts
      December 5, 2011

      It might prove to Cameron he should take you seriously and can’t ignore the right of the party anymore?

    4. sjb
      December 5, 2011

      JR replied: “Why do so many of you want to destroy what Eurosceptic representation there is the Commons? I was elected as a Eurosceptic Conservative and will vote and speak as one. I have no intention of resigning and fighting a by election – what would that prove?”

      Do you remember Dick Taverne, MP? He was deselected by his constituency Labour Party in 1972 because he was pro-EEC [forerunner of the EU for younger readers]. So he resigned, stood at the by-election … and won!

      Reply: And what then happened to the SDP?

      1. sjb
        December 6, 2011

        The SDP eventually fizzled out when David Owen became leader. But with the Liberals they achieved a 25% share of the vote in their first general election (1983) and arguably brought about policy change in the Labour Party. Wouldn’t any breakaway Eurosceptic group from the Conservative Party be delighted to do as well in their first general election?

  11. Steve Cox
    December 5, 2011

    I think you’re painting far too rosy a picture on this one, John. Portraying the situation as the 17 evil united Eurozone states versus plucky little Britain with her 9 brave allies makes for a nice fantasy tale, but it doesn’t reflect the legal reality of the EU. Of the 10 countries currently not using the Euro, 8 are legally required to enter ERM2 and after a two year period to adopt the Euro as their currency. Only the UK and Denmark have legal opt-outs from Euro membership, and Denmark has evidently got cold feet as it has joined ERM2 this year. Sweden has a temporary opt-out on a technicality, and given its booming economy it’s not surprising that its government currently shows little interest in entering ERM2 – but legally, at some stage they will have to. So given that Denmark looks likely to eventually either join the Eurozone or else whatever currency Greater Germany adopts if the Eurozone breaks up, and Sweden’s current opt-out can only be temporary, the actual situation in the new United States of Europe will be 26 counties in the Eurozone and only 1 – us – outside it. Now that picture is an awful lot scarier than the one you have painted, and I doubt that any amount of treaty renegotiation will be able to properly and effectively protect Britain’s interests against the wishes and demands of the other 26 nations, sorry, I mean Eurostates. There’s only one way I can see to ensure that we are fully protected, and it is to leave the EU, not to waste time and energy and make endless concessions on renegotiations.

    Reply: I entirely agree that it will not be 10 versus 17. I still think it should be negotiate then a referendum

    1. Alan Wheatley
      December 5, 2011

      26 v 1 will make a referendum “OUT” result more likely.

      1. Steve Cox
        December 5, 2011

        I’d guess that would depend on how the politicians spin the saga at that point. If all three main parties united, as they did over the recent referendum debate, then it is all too easy to imagine a mangled referendum that didn’t actually ask the question that most people would want to hear. Never underestimate the mendacity of government and its shadow counterparts. Just get Peter Mandelson and Alistair Campbell to draft the referendum questions, and I feel sure they could manipulate whatever result they wanted out of it.

        Or maybe the 26 Eurostates would just tell us to go back and vote again if we gave the wrong answer? ROFL

    2. Mark
      December 5, 2011

      If the Eurozone of 17 has failed, what makes you think a Eurozone of 26 can succeed? Writing things in Treaties hasn’t made them happen. Is there any EU country that hasn’t been in default of Maastricht criteria on its budget deficit and debt (perhaps Luxembourg with its ability to garner taxes from evaders in France, Germany and Belgium)?

  12. Man in a Shed
    December 5, 2011


    The English Democrats have been very strong in that area of Essex for some time. Other regular local election results confirm this.

    The people in South Essex are an independently minded lot who make up there minds based on what they see.

  13. alan jutson
    December 5, 2011


    The EU is one big family.

    France and Germany are the parents, and the rest are naughty children.

    When the 17 get their own little (large) Club, the rest can go take a jump.

    Just remember that of the 10 outside of the Euro at the moment, as I understand it 8 of those are pledged to join it sometime in the future, that means a central core of 25 with just 2 on the fringes with no say whatever.

    Yes ok negotiate if they will let us, but the chances of us getting anything worth while are very, very slim.

    If Wavey Dave does not hold a referendum on these latest proposed treaty changes when they happen, then the Conservatives are done for.

    What is it about Europe that gets into many politicians brains, surely it cannot just be the possibility of a future job with lots of perks can it.

    1. uanime5
      December 5, 2011

      Denmark has agreed t join the Euro so it will even up with just the UK on the fringes. Though our MEPs will ensure we have a say in European law.

      1. APL
        December 5, 2011

        uanime5: ” .. so it will even up with just the UK on the fringes”

        Ha, what a Zenophobic viewpoint.

        In fact, Europe is at the fringe of every other country in the World that has it’s own currency.

  14. colin
    December 5, 2011

    Get rid of Cameron.He is not a Conservative but has used the party and coalition to promote his real objectives– Common Purpose and the One World Marxist Order.He will not pursue UK interests this week, or any other time

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    December 5, 2011

    There can be no confidence that this government will take any action to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU- after all who said they wanted to? The best we have been offered if you believe it is no more transfer of power to the EU without a referendum. I am afraid that the real EU sceptics in the Conservative party are just being led on by Cameron who I see as a phoney EU sceptic. What will you do when it becomes abundantly clear, even to those who still put party loyalty above all else, that you have been conned? By then of course he will have agreed to all sorts of further measures intended to end in the United States of Europe and we will be told that this once great country is incapable of existing successfully outside this anti-democratic organisation and consequently incapable of governing itself.

  16. oldtimer
    December 5, 2011

    The Coalition government is incapable of renegotiating anything because of (a) the presence and influence of the LibDems and specifically of arch europhile Mr Clegg and (b) of Mr Cameron who gives the impression of being a fellow traveller. The problem you define is inherent in the Coalition and will only be overcome when the Coalition is ended and a new government is formed under new leadership that is committed to the reforms in the UK-EU relationship which you seek.

    1. lifelogic
      December 5, 2011

      Which is unlikely now, until perhaps 2020 thanks almost entirely to Cameron’s lefty, big government, fake green and pro EU stance at the last election and his consequential losing of the election against the sitting duck Brown.

      1. Robert Christopher
        December 5, 2011

        Talking about “fake green”: here is a good summary of the recently released Climategate II emails, which follow on from the original Climategate emails from two years ago:


  17. Alan Wheatley
    December 5, 2011

    The more the EU and the UK’s relationship with it is kept in the forefront of public debate the better. Renegotiation would help to do so; at least it would if the issues are put to the people rather than discussed behind EU closed doors and results eventually presented as a “victory” for the UK. The trouble with “negotiation” is that it is a process with a multiplicity of possible outcomes, any of which could be spun as success on the basis that it is better than an alternative.

    In the short term the UK should allow the eurozone countries to do what they think they need to do PROVIDING the UK’s interests are not compromised. Over the medium term we can debate the future of he UK in and out of the EU. The pros and cons of being out of the EU is as important as the pros and cons of being in.

    Those of us who believe we already know the answer need to remember that for many people the EU issues go over their head, and it will need an approach that engages them long before the run-up to a referendum.

    1. uanime5
      December 5, 2011

      Given that voter turnout in the last general election was 61% and it has been constantly decreasing the problem isn’t that too many issues go over the voter’s heads but that they feel that voting is a waste of time.

      1. Winston Smith
        December 6, 2011

        No. You must know that is not true. I guess you keep posting rubbish on here, hoping nobody will notice.

        2010 65%
        2005 61%
        2001 59%

  18. oldtimer
    December 5, 2011

    Since my earlier post, I read that Mr Clegg said on Marr that the Coalition agreement (and the legislation) only provides for a UK referendum if there is “an additional surrender of sovereignty” to the EU.

    To the man in the street this sounds like a replay of the weasel words we have heard so often previously from politicians. Blair was a master of the weasel word, convincing the casual listener that he meant one thing when, in fact, he said and meant something very different; it must have been his lawyers training.

    This play with words is on display again here. My own view is that the formation of an EZ voting bloc capable of dominating majority voting in the EU would constitute just such a transfer and would require a UK referendum on any related treaty change.

    1. Damien
      December 5, 2011

      If we were unable to win the referendum motion six weeks ago in parliament what is the chance of persuading the government to go after one now? Is it better to wait and see the new treaty, consider its implications and then respond with perhaps a better chance of securing support for a referendum?

  19. backofanenvelope
    December 5, 2011

    The appearance of Jacques Delors last week was no coincidence. He bewailed the fact that if “they” had stuck to his plan “they” wouldn’t be in the mess they are today.

    The German government will attempt a re-boot of the Euro. The French government will support the installation of German-approved governors in the countries currently on the naughty step. The Euro will be relaunched and the governors will make sure everyone sticks to the rules.

    We are irrelevant to the whole business.

    1. Robert Christopher
      December 5, 2011

      “The appearance of Jacques Delors last week was no coincidence. He bewailed the fact that if “they” had stuck to his plan “they” wouldn’t be in the mess they are today.”

      Spoken like a true socialist!

      1. Robert Christopher
        December 5, 2011

        Jacques Delors, that is!

  20. sm
    December 5, 2011

    Indeed when. Most likely never.

    Sometimes real power does not show itself and acts through proxies both at the EU and state level. I for one do not think the EU is democratic, but nor do i believe the UK is either. The people are always between a rock and a hard place by design. It is strange that the one of the smallest of the European states, Switzerland, seems to be the only one where its politicians are firmly under control of the people.

    The question is can the UK regain its democracy as sovereign or as a statelet.

    Do we still have a liquidity problem in the banking system or is it an inherently unstable design which allows private interests to create money then charge interest for private profits. Unfortunately most cannot see that this is the major dynamic that can be exploited by those in control.

    The problem will remain the fractional reserve banking system which license’s the monopoly powers of money creation to the private sector. This should be strictly a state function and the funds created must be used for state purposes within the UK. (roads,grids,resovoirs,windmills). The problem as always is politics and would be ensuring the creation of money is controlled and the spending decisions are seperate.

    Back to positive money.

    1. Kevin Dabson
      December 5, 2011

      sm writes:-

      “The problem will remain the fractional reserve banking system which license’s the monopoly powers of money creation to the private sector. This should be strictly a state function and the funds created must be used for state purposes within the UK. (roads,grids,resovoirs,windmills). The problem as always is politics and would be ensuring the creation of money is controlled and the spending decisions are seperate.

      Back to positive money.”

      I agree with your first few paragraphs regarding a democratic deficit, but this idea above is ridiculous – full state control of money issuance. It would mean nationalising the banking system or by implication the economy! We do not want the economy run by the state. It’s incomprehensible to me to see how this could work. I am not talking about some govt owned banks, but full issuance of money by the state.

      Do you mean non debt based money? Can you give us an example of any modern economy that has worked successfully like that? I will have a read.

      And why would you want the money issuance spent only on state projects? the govt has enough money through taxes to do this already, and can issue long term bonds for capital infrastructure projects. What about the productive private sector?

      I personally do not see any problems with fractionally reserve banking provided it’s is well regulated/supervised in respect to leverage ratio’s, capital reserves for downturns and liquidity buffers etc. Plus the books are properly checked by regulators for risk weightings and also fraudulent accounting.

      (removed unsubstantiated allegations re RBS-ed)
      Low inflation is very important to minimise a type of theft from poor to rich and maintain sound money. I totally agree with that, and the gold standard maybe better in that respect, but it may suffer liquidity problems ie printing money when it’s desperately needed. I am not sure on that one.

      Maybe I should read Ben Bernanke’s doctoral thesis afterall…

      Best Regards


  21. Bryan
    December 5, 2011

    There will be no referendum regardless because the main Party politicians fear what the public might say.

    Instead we shall get the chimera of firm opt-outs

    Plus, of course, the ‘big player’ seat at the table

    Clearly the coalition agreement was a godsend for Mr Cameron and his sycophants.

  22. Historian
    December 5, 2011


    I smell the wiff of another Munich piece of paper.

    For once I agree with IDS: we require a referendum.

  23. Mactheknife
    December 5, 2011

    Cameron has a monkey on his back in the form of Clegg and the LibDems in general. However my reading is that he will essentially do nothing to enhance our position with the EU, whilst spinning that it affects the 17 and not us, no need for treaty change and / or referendums etc etc. If he does this I see some form of back bench challenge either in the form of a rebellion or maybe even a challenge to his leadership?
    The one saving grace for Cameron is that he has Milliband and Balls in opposition, which means he will get tacit support for EU proposals and little opposition from the lefties.

    1. Robert Christopher
      December 5, 2011

      “The one saving grace for Cameron is that he has Milliband and Balls in opposition, which means he will get tacit support for EU proposals and little opposition from the lefties.”

      He is not getting much support from IDS, if the headline in the Times (article behind a pay wall) is anything to go by.

      And is there anything to the left of Cameron, the H2B?

  24. Peter van Leeuwen
    December 5, 2011

    Good news from the eurozone: late August I wrote here about Mr Witteveen’s (ex-IMF, 90 years of age) proposal for a special IMF fund like in the seventies after the oil crisis, and now Die Welt and Der Spiegel report about such a special fund being planned for seriously.
    If (big if) the financial markets were to stabilize, that wouldn’t be bad for the UK’s economy either, and a calmer market would actually give more scope to discuss another UK relationship with the EU, as it weakens the argument of those eurosceptics who think that now is not the time. (As a foreigner, it’s not my business, but I hope the UK would stay in the EU)

    1. Mactheknife
      December 5, 2011


      There are very few who want to leave the EU altogether. However there are many who want changes in our relationship with the EU. We have totally unecessary interference by the EU and their numerous directives in our everyday lives, which are affecting social cohesion, economic policy, UK law and many other areas. Going back to a trading block as opposed to a politcal block is the prefered option. Its not that we are “Little Englanders” we just don’t want the burden of EU directives and legislation dictating how we run our country or our own lives.

      1. Robert Christopher
        December 5, 2011

        To add a new angle:
        There are very few who want to integrate further into the EU.

        To paraphrase:
        There are many who want changes in our relationship with the EU.
        We have totally unnecessary interference by the EU and their numerous directives in our everyday lives, which are affecting social cohesion, economic policy, UK law and many other areas.

        Its not that we are “Little Englanders” we just don’t want the burden of EU directives and legislation dictating how we run our country or our own lives.
        So going back to a trading block as opposed to a politcal block is the preferred option.

        And to conclude:
        The only way we can do this while Germany, France and many of the other EU countries want further integration is to leave the EU, which is a political entity, and establish trading agreements with the countries within the EU, either individually or separately, depending on the restrictions applied by the EU on each of the member countries.
        We will then be rid of the political element of the EU and we will be able to trade with the rest of the world, unhindered by legislation from any third party which may or may not have agenda detrimental to Britain and her allies.

        What part of this does the H2B not understand?

  25. Matt
    December 5, 2011

    Germany is looking for treaty changes, or heads of agreement for treaty changes down the line, all to maintain the Euro and her competitive position.

    The UK should, my view, use this opportunity to gain concessions to enhance our competitiveness.

    If we don’t take this chance we will lose our “influence” and carry the entire burden of EU membership.

    1. uanime5
      December 5, 2011

      Given that Germany has to obey the same EU laws as the UK and is a major manufacturing nation it seems that the UK’s lack of competitiveness isn’t due to the EU but due to national problems.

      1. Mactheknife
        December 6, 2011

        The reason Germany is fighting so hard to keep the Euro is that is provides them with low cost export of goods…hence their economy is doing better than everyone else.

        1. sjb
          December 7, 2011

          The graphic below [1] show how much sterling has depreciated against the euro – so why has our economy performed worse than Germany’s?

          [1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/4140916/Euro-vs-sterling-graphic-showing-how-the-euro-has-fared-vs-the-pound-GBP-since-1999.html

  26. Antisthenes
    December 5, 2011

    It is a strange world. While communist/socialist societies have moved towards capitalism and prosperity capitalist societies have moved towards socialism and impoverishment. The concept of the EU has little to fault it and if it had been built on capitalist principles instead of socialist ones would have no doubt worked and most would have been happy with it. It would have cushioned the disparities between developed and developing by giving a large home market, be able to influence the world in the same way as China and USA does and unite a continent into peaceful coexistence. That is now not going to happen and we shall all have to sink or swim alone most sinking. The truth is we became successful only to squander that success in decadence, arrogance, greed and selfishness.

  27. Robert Christopher
    December 5, 2011

    If not now, when?

    There is a headline in The Times (with the article behind a pay wall):

    Live: Downing Street slaps down IDS over euro vote

    So, only guessing(!) what the article contains, as far as Number 10 is concerned, apparently not now.

    1. Robert Christopher
      December 5, 2011

      No need to guess now; when the facts change, at least reconsider:

      14.27 Sarkozy: Whatever has happened must never happen again, and it’s for this reason we want a new treaty. This is what Germany and France want.

      It’s what Merkel and Sarkozy want. (L’état, c’est moi et elle.)

  28. Tim Robson
    December 5, 2011

    The sadness is that it appears that underpinning the whole UK Government approach is an effort to avoid a referendum. Our policy is being dictated by our willingness to please the other EU states and avoid an embarrassing situation rather than standing up for Britain.

    John – I understand your logic of allowing the 17 to press on to have an obvious demarcation between us and them (and so perhaps trigger further independence) my worry is Cameron et al will not push our advantage afterwards and we will have thrown away our best bargaining chip.

    Better off out.

  29. Damien
    December 5, 2011

    Obviously negotiations are on going however the recent failure last month to secure the referendum motion is a matter of record and was a democratic decision taken by our parliamentarians. Merkosy negotiators know we are divided on this and so we have a weak hand to play.

    The last government here and others around the EU show that they cannot be trusted to set budgets that are balanced and instead cook the books in order to try to buy votes before elections. It is no wonder non elected technocrats are being parachuted in to clean up the mess. If taxpayers are to be punished for feckless government spending then Merkosy will are strict oversight must be written into the treaty.

    Our position is further undermined because we have a coalition that is deeply divided on greater EU intergration. The very best that we can hope for is to win the argument with rational debate. If the euro fails then the EU is finished and there will be a banking collapse. We have the second biggest financial sector in the world. It will be the UK taxpayers who have to bailout the banks if that happened. This is a time for cool heads and thinking thru the consequences of our actions.

  30. Liz
    December 5, 2011

    Who is Mr.Cameron listening to?
    His deputy?
    His cabinet and backbenchers?
    The conservative constituency?
    The public at large?
    The man on the phone (President Obama)
    Other non EU world leaders?
    EU leaders?
    Does he really believe in democracy in Britain?
    We will soon find out the answers to all these questions.

  31. Dr Bernard JUBY
    December 5, 2011

    I fully agree with a comment made earlier – who would continue to buy shares in a company that cannot balance its books.
    We should stop paying until they agree to do so and, in the interim, demand that we renegotiate our position.
    How many times will this cloth-eared Cabinet shut its ears to the public clamour?

  32. uanime5
    December 5, 2011

    Regarding the 17 Eurozone members either we work with them or they will work without us. I doubt that they will give the UK any concessions unless they get something important in return.

  33. forthurst
    December 5, 2011

    It is absolutely clear that this government acts not in the interests of the English people but in the interests of those lurking in the background with financial and strategic support and with effective control of the MSM and the people through the thought crime laws they have assiduously instigated, acting as surrogates for the central malignancy that is trying to create a one world government with themselves in total command and whose major source of wealth is banksterism. Acting through organisations like the Tri-lateral commission and the Bilderberger group, agents of change are selected to act (against their country’s interests-ed) on behalf of this (word left out) enterprise and directly against the interests of those they were elected to serve. It is quite obvious that lists are kept and individuals are groomed so that their behaviours in office will not surprise or upset the international (…) syndicate which they serve. Such people will always use the political skills for which they were chosen to hoodwink their electorates whilst effecting further EU integration, unlimited immigration, more neocon wars. It matters not if the policies are so unpopular that the party is booted out at the next election because the replacement government will act on behalf of the same people in the same way.

    It would be perfectly possible to create a patriotic government from the Tory Party; unfortunately that will be prevented so that such as JR will be ignored and those like Enoch Powell will be vilified and driven out. In order to defeat an enemy it is imperative firstly to recognise who he is.

    In terms of agents of change, those in favour of a referendum are patriots and those opposed are traitors and enemies of the English people but of course for the traitors there will never be a ‘right’ time to follow a course which might lead away from their masters’ assigned direction.

    1. Tedgo
      December 5, 2011

      I was listening to the radio a few weeks back, a senior Barclays banker was talking about the new Italian prime minister Mario Monti. They apparently met at a Bilderberger conference.

  34. Bernard Otway
    December 5, 2011

    Dissaffected was [ED. again that word] for repeating words that I as well read in the weekend press ,as I keep saying they are NOW in the Public Domain [the words] ,WHAT are you stopping,IMHO you are running the risk of us getting fed up with this,as it smacks of the
    touchy feely health and safety obsessed,politically correct MATRIX put in place by the left,and
    described very well by Orwell in his book 1984 ,the THOUGHT CRIME is in place by stealth.
    The movies Serenity and Equilibrium encapsulate this,look at their endings as I do and you see the same happening,the BACKLASH against this will be HORRIBLE,and will have been SELF INFLICTED,I for one will have NO SYMPATHY and if I go then at 66 I have had a good run.That is the description of the mindset crystalizing out here ,the powers that be don’t think so BUT just listen and the murmer will grow to a SCREAM.Also the comment of resigning the whip I think meant ,staying in parliament and being part of
    an alternative opposition supporting proper conservative policies and not the ones with regard to the EU in this present farrago.IMHO IF there are say 150 tory mp’s who want a
    drastic change in our subordination to the EU then HO must listen and know that with regard to the EU they will vote accordingly,and take the risk that LIEBOUR ambushes them in a vote which is LOST in the house,THEN their minds will be concentrated to know that the fellow Conservative MP’s are MORE IMPORTANT and NUMEROUS than the
    LIMPdems.A GE right now will see no more than 20 LIMPdems returned,the TAIL is truly wagging the dog.

    Reply: For heaven’s sake, try to understand the arithmetic of the Commons. 81 Conservatives voted for a referendum, with 9 abstaining on pricniple against a 3 line whip. We were trounced by the combiuned forces of the Coalition, Lib dems and Labour. This is still a federalist Parliament. I cannot change that. It was chosen by the electors. It only changes if Labour takes up Euroscepticism, or if Coaliton Conservative Ministers change their mind on various EU matters.

  35. BobE
    December 5, 2011

    A report written by Tim Shipman
    (Quote)”The moment of truth for Cameron”
    The news emerging from Paris is that both Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy would like a new European treaty, agreed at the level of the 27. That means all countries in the EU. That means Britain will have a say. Which means David Cameron has to make a decision that will define his premiership.
    At the Lobby meeting this morning, we hacks were led to believe that HM government was expecting a clever little twist which would see some sort of treaty amendment or codicil among the 17 countries in the Eurozone. David Cameron would have been able to argue that the changes only affected the 17, not the other 10 nations in the EU outside the single currency.
    But now we’re in a different game. At Friday’s summit in Brussels the Merkozy double act will go around the table and ask other leaders whether they want a say in a new treaty.
    Mr Cameron has a binary choice. Agree to a treaty, threaten the veto and, unless Britain wins repatriation of powers, face the demands for a referendum from the Eurosceptic right of his party. Face possibly years of strife and political misery.
    Or he can go along with it, hope that Merkozy doesn’t subsequently seek to neuter the City of London, win back some powers over employment legislation, but duck the historic confrontation that much of his party wants.” (End of quote.)

    1. Martyn
      December 5, 2011

      So it looks as though Friday may sort wheat from chaff and Merkozy will then know if it is to be a 2-stage Europe or not. If they can persuade all 27 to agree to a new treaty you can bet your shirt that it will not contain any powers of national veto, otherwise they will not be able to impose the centralised and undemocratic control they wish for of the economic and financial control of every country that signs up to it. I fear that Mr DC and his cohort will probably go along with that and claim that it will not be in our national interests, or that it be positively harmful to our interests to hold a referendum. He probably has in mind what happened to the last national leader who said he was going to hold a referendum….

  36. BobE
    December 5, 2011

    Friday will be interesting!!

  37. lojolondon
    December 5, 2011

    Better to be outside the EU where they can fight with you then inside where they can (and will) poison you!

  38. Sue
    December 5, 2011

    We always seem to get the blame for being obtuse but surely the other 10 countries can’t be happy at the prospect of being outvoted each time by a qualified majority?

  39. Anne Palmer
    December 5, 2011

    RE the proposed new treaty (A Treaty within a Treaty?) for the 17 members of the Euro Zone that allegedly does not make any difference to the remaining ten. All 27 Countries are tied/bound to all that is in the Treaty of Lisbon.

    The Convention on the law of Treaties makes very clear about that plus the two years since it was ‘lodged’ with the Convention has now passed.

    The Treaty of Lisbon sadly applies to all 27 Countries. Any new Treaty for 17 of those Countries which intrudes or changes the Treaty of Lisbon, would I respectfully suggest, affects ALL.

    The whole point in 27 once separate Countries ratifying such as the Treaty of Lisbon was to bind those 27 together to all that was agreed within those Treaties. Change anything in them and all 27 States surely, according to the Convention, would have to agree. That obviously would result in giving those 17 States morte power for them selves.

  40. Paul Danon
    December 5, 2011

    Although the Europhiles are infuriating, the voters put them there. Pretty well every constituency will have had a sceptical candidate, but so few were elected.The party-system and the televised debates make voters think they’re actually choosing the prime minister. However, we have to treat people s adults. A treaty covering just the 17 nations would surely need to be ratified by all 27. Mr Cameron needs to wave his veto now so that the continentals are clear that we mean business.

  41. Robert Christopher
    December 5, 2011


    … THE LEADERS of Germany and France today declared a federalised Europe is the only way to solve the sovereign debt crisis gripping the continent.
    … After meeting in Paris, they announced that an unprecedented bilateral agreement between the two countries will be sent to the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, on Wednesday.
    … Mrs Merkel said: “It’s a historic choice.
    … We both believe that the most important thing is friendship between France and Germany.
    … Mr Sarkozy added: ….. Therefore we want a new treaty, to make clear to the peoples of Europe, members of Europe and members of the eurozone, that things cannot continue as they are.
    … Speaking at a press conference in London, [David Cameron] said: “Clearly, there are negotiations going on in Europe. I will be part of those negotiations on Thursday and Friday.

    Thursday is a bit late, mate. Thursday is after Wednesday!

    The deal has been done … and dusted. We are being run by Europe: that is what ‘unprecedented bilateral agreement’ means.

    Britain needs its referendum.

  42. john w
    December 5, 2011

    John,merkel and sarkozy are going to give the guvnor a headache.The referendum loving men in chicken suits will give him nightmares.The man who likes his peas is saying good things.If you have 650 copies of the classic SPARE US THE FIBS,then could you please leave them in the library.

  43. Robert Christopher
    December 5, 2011


    “If you go for treaty change at 27, you cannot avoid the convention,” said a senior EU official involved in the discussions, referring to the negotiation process.

    You cannot say we’re entering a new stage of fiscal union and at the same time that it’s only a limited treaty change that doesn’t need a convention. The parliament will never take that.”

    You wanna bet!

  44. Tedgo
    December 5, 2011

    If Merkozy get the Lisbon treaty changed to 85% majority voting on all matters, that would surely be a significant shift of powers to Brussels. Cameron would have to give us our referendum.

  45. Jon Burgess
    December 5, 2011

    The English Democrats claim to be putting England first. Now there’s something that your lot haven’t tried for a while, Mr Redwood – might even catch on, eh?

    Reply: Is that why they lost to the Conservatives?

  46. Jon Burgess
    December 5, 2011

    This is from Peter Hitchens Mail on Sunday column from 29th October, in case it passed you by at the time. He challenges the ‘rebel 80’ to actually do something and stand up against Dave’s liberal putsch. How many carefully avoided referendum fudges does it take to turn a rebel into a statesman, Mr Redwood?

    “Why are the 80 Euro-rebels still in the Useless Tory Party? They know that they were right, and David Cameron was wrong. They also know that if they stay under his command he will carry on treating them like insects.
    Some will be threatened. Some will find their seats have vanished thanks to Mr Cameron’s creepy reform plan. As long as they submit to him, they have no future. They will achieve nothing worth having for themselves, or for those who voted for them.
    The things they believe in will still be scorned by the cold, ruthless liberal clique that runs the Tory Party.
    Britain will stay trapped in the burning building that is the European Union, gaining nothing and losing independence, liberty and prosperity.
    But look at what happens to the mere 57 Liberal Democrat MPs who voted for the EU on Monday. They are much loved by Mr Cameron and his circle. They need only to whisper a desire and it is granted – the latest being the ghastly plan to make us all live on Berlin Time.
    Unlike the principled Tory rebels, these Liberal Democrat MPs stand for very little. They are mostly in Parliament because of what they are not, and what they don’t think or don’t say, rather than because of who they are or what they believe in.
    If 57 soppy anti-British, pro-crime, anti-education, pro-immigration, anti-family nonentities can push David Cameron around with the constant unspoken threat of walking out of the Coalition, think what 80 pro-British, anti-crime, anti-immigration, pro-education MPs could do to him by actually walking out of it.
    He would then have to face a proper opposition – after all, David Davis disagrees with Mr Cameron much more than Ed Miliband does, and about far more subjects.
    But to have any impact, the 80 must quit the Tory Party, which last week finally and irrevocably turned its back on its voters. As long as they stay inside it they are powerless serfs. Worse, they are a human shield protecting Mr Cameron from the emergence of a proper patriotic movement.
    Following the example of the ‘Gang of Four’, who nearly 30 years ago came within an inch of destroying and replacing the Labour Party, they should declare independence.
    From then on, if Mr Cameron wants their support, he will have to ask for it nicely, rather than by threatening, insulting and bullying them. And such a grouping would at last provide a real alternative to the three near-identical BBC-approved parties that nowadays compete for our votes.

    My guess is that such a breakaway would do well at any by-election in an existing Tory seat, and by 2015 would be at least halfway to replacing the sordid and treacherous official Unconservative Party. Then we might have something to hope for.
    What is there to lose? Its potential leaders know who they are, and how to act. Now is the time to do so. ”

    Reply: This piece fails to grasp the arithmetic. 80 Conservatives prepared to vote for a referendum were badly defeated by the Lib Dems, Labour and Coalition Conservatives. If we left the Conservative party we would still be outvoted massively. IT would not help the cause.

    1. Anne Palmer
      December 5, 2011

      I believe that the 80 Conservatives that were prepared to vote for a referendum are true Conservatives. The rest are not. “To thine own self be true”.

    2. Jon Burgess
      December 5, 2011

      But wouldn’t you be the second largest group in the coalition? Bigger than the lib dems?

      Lab 258
      Con 227
      Rebel Con 80
      Lib Dem 57
      Other 28

      The point of the article is that the Coalition would have to garner your support, or not be unable to govern. So instead of bullying you, there might have to be concessions to the right. Whats wrong with that?

      You were badly defeated – by most of your own party siding with the political enemy to shamefully avoid the possibility of a non binding vote for a referendum!

      If you stay you change nothing, you will keep getting defeated on this issue and you gain nothing for the majority of us who want a say on the EU. If you leave, you just might bring about the coalescence of a new anti EU conservative opposition. Dave has no chance of ever gaining an electoral majority without you, and the Tories might come to their senses and get rid of him. All positives in my book.

      1. Norman Dee
        December 6, 2011

        No reply possible, sat on hands waiting for voice recognition software to arrive.

  47. Javelin
    December 5, 2011

    Oh dear. I’ve been posting on the blog for several years and had not had a bad word for Cameron. Unfortunately tonight Cameron has lost my moral support. And I think I speak for the majority of Conservatives and those in the middle ground to say he has broken his word and is not a completely trustworthy leader.

    You simply cannot have the scale of treaty changes without the changes effecting the UK in a serious way. Europe, and Mr Cameron have turned their backs on democracy in a attempt to vainly centralise power to preserve a broken system. History shows democracy will turn it’s back on any leaders who behaves like this.

  48. Adam Collyer
    December 5, 2011

    You might think that “negotiate and then vote is the right UK approach”, and I might indeed agree with you. But David Cameron will never do that.

    Do you understand how many sincere and committed Tories are so repelled by Mr Cameron and his clique that they are now opposing the party?

  49. Norman Dee
    December 6, 2011

    So Camerons Munich moment is happening, already we being told that there will be no changes that require a referendum, and all the so called leading Eurosceptics are investing in voice recognition software, so they can continue to sit on their hands, and blog all the “meaningless without action taken” complaints about the EU.

  50. Mike Chaffin
    December 6, 2011

    Not really on topic I know so forgive me…

    You recently posted the figures on higher ranks in the armed services. More Admirals than ships and enough colonels to man an infantry regiment if memory serves…

    What then of the NHS? Are there any figures for the distribution of pay grades? How many staff in the NHS are actively involved in clinical care or support compared to the higher earning managers and whatnot? I’m sure a rough comparison could be made to the officer grades in the armed forces.

    Might make interesting reading….

  51. Bernard Otway
    December 6, 2011

    If the huge majority on here don’t convince you then I am gobsmacked,forget about the
    “arithmetic” you quote against me ,Hitchens and others,what we are talking about is a Gang of 81 NOT 4,and IF a free vote had been allowed on that monday the number would have been
    at least 150 [nearly THREE times the limpdems],the anti eu liebour side would have been
    25 at least,AND IDS would have voted for a referendum as would other members of the cabinet.Unless the conservatives who really are wanting us OUT do something then things will get worse and worse for them and they will be forced to stand at the next GE as independant conservatives,whereas IF you depose Cameron ALL conservatives will be
    extremely tough on the eu and you will get back about 1500000 voters me included who now are UKIP.As has been said AD INFINITUM another million votes on May 6 and there would have been no need for coalition,AND the limpdems would have got ONLY about 40 seats,my two next door constituencies Sutton and Carshalton would definitely have been
    Conservative and not limpdem.

  52. Bickers
    December 6, 2011

    Mr Redwood,

    Given the direction the EU/Eurozone is likely headed can you put forward any reason why we should, or need to stay a member of this ‘club’ please?

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