Bring home regional policy from the EU?


        The cross party group on repatriating powers from the EU this week launched a piece of work on regional policy. They pointed out that the EU structural funds  account for Euro 348 billion over the seven year budget period, the second largest budget head in the EU accounts.

          The UK is the third largest loser from these funds, after France and Germany. We contribute Euro 35.9 billion over the 7 years to these funds, and receive back just Euro 10.6 billion. Much of the money goes in circular flows, being sent to the EU only to return to the original contributing country, or even circulating within the same region via Brussels.

           In the case of the UK 70% of our overall contribution goes to other member states. 25% of our contribution is given back  to the same region that raised the tax and sent in the money in the first place, with 5% being sent back to a different UK region.

           Apparently the last Labour government looked at the possibility of changing the EU policy by limiting regional transfers to sending money only to regions with average incomes more than 10% below the EU average. Most EU countries would be better off as their contributions would fall substantially. The three largest winners would be France, Germany and the UK.

           Within the UK at present only two areas are net recipients of funds from the EU structural programmes – West Wales and the Valleys, and Cornwall. The rest are part of the money go round, getting a portion of what they send in back. It is returned as   EU approved project payments, often spending money on less valued projects which we not choose for ourselves.  Regions with relatively low incomes per head like Northern Ireland, the West Midlands and Merseyside, are net contributors to structural funding elsewhere.

           It was good to see a cross party consensus emerging that we should push to repatriate much of this policy. We could make savings on the expensive double administration at present. We could then  make choices about how much of this spending we want at home, where we want it, and how much we should spend  on the whole programme.


  1. Bernard from Bucks
    January 28, 2012

    “…….they send in, back in EU approved project payments.”
    Yes, and then they have the nerve to fine recipients (withhold further payments I assume), if they do not declare the source of the funding and fly that awful blue excuse for a flag!

    1. Javelin
      January 28, 2012

      You missed the headline figure.

      The UK gives 25 billion to Other EU countries.

      What do we get in return – a financial catastrophe. OMG!

  2. lifelogic
    January 28, 2012

    Indeed were we not promised “subsidiarity” by John Major. In fact we get virtually the exact opposite.

    1. lifelogic
      January 28, 2012

      Not, of course, that any one sensible believed a word he said. In his, I am addressing rather dim 5 years old’s so I will talk very slowly manor of addressing the public.

      This particularly after the dreadful Maastricht Treaty. Then he pushed Thatcher into the ERM as chancellor and set of the chain of events ending as it did in the burying the party for 3+ terms of socialism and the current coalition socialism.

      Perhaps he could now finally apologize and explain why almost nothing is decided other than at EU level. “Subsidiarity” was clearly simply a ruse to deceive the public.

      1. APL
        January 28, 2012

        lifelogic: “and set of the chain of events ending as it did in the burying the party”

        Your story ends there Lifelogic, the Thatcherite Tory party is dead and buried.

        If we want right of centre policies, we need another party.

      2. Disaffected
        January 28, 2012

        It is reported today that Cameron has dropped his objections to the 17 Eurozone countries using the EU institutions. Another cast iron U turn. The EU wants more taxpayers money via the IMF. We were told this definitely would not happen. Watch this space for another U turn.

        1. lifelogic
          January 28, 2012

          Indeed what was the much hyped veto of – nothing?

          1. zorro
            January 28, 2012

            I also see that the Germans/EU have decided to politely ask the Greeks to hand over complete fiscal control of their economy….Maybe my term ‘vassal’ economy was accurate….


    2. lifelogic
      January 28, 2012

      It is reported that “Osborne says 50% income tax rate is temporary”. I assume, translated, this means it will certainly not go in this budget. Why on earth not when it is clearly shooting the economy, growth and a positive vision in the foot and is reducing tax revenue too?

      Nothing is so permanent as that initially sold as temporary – income tax, for example, introduced in 1799 to help fund the Napoleonic wars.

  3. Sue
    January 28, 2012

    All talk and no action. That’s all you conservatives do.

    Cameron’s done another U-TURN over fiscal policing of eurozone. We will get ambushed into signing this treaty and majority voting will kill what’s left of our country’s economy.

    Osborne will be promising our grandchildren’s money to the IMF to prop up Merkel’s new Vaterland and Iran is going to stop selling the EU oil (did you really think they’d wait 6 months for an embargo to begin). Fuel prices will rocket and then you’ll get civil unrest.

    And all you’ve got left to debate is the price of chocolate oranges.

    Aren’t you getting sick of covering for this lot while they hand our democracy to these tyrants?

    Do you really think the EU are going to let you take anything back? The only way will not end up ceding power to the EU like Greece and Spain have to, is by leaving.


    Reply: Some of us voted for that referendum and remain dedicated to recovering our freedoms.

    1. APL
      January 28, 2012

      Sue: “Osborne will be promising our grandchildren’s money to the IMF ..”

      Sue, the political establishment are incapable of responding in an innovative way to the economic situation.

      You may take succor from two things relating to your grandchildren.

      1. The debts this country have run up will never be paid off.
      2. The collapse when it comes will free them from their obligations.

      Problem is, it will be very hard to readjust to the new paradigm. Back in the ’70s when the BBC did science, there was a Horizon programme about something then called ‘Catastrophy theory’, it had nice graphics too, but no ‘docudrama’. In short I think we are on the top lip of the graph, move much more and there is a precipitous drop to the equilibrium state.

      Everything the BOE, EU, ECB, FED are doing, is in an attempt to stave off that scenario, they can’t and by failing to deal with the problem three years ago, they are now confronted with a scenario much much worse.

      My worry is that our society has been transformed to such an extent – thanks to the malignant Blair – that in this worst case scenario, it will loose all social cohesion.

      The only consolation in that scenario is that our neighbours will be in a similar situation, too preoccupied with their own troubles to much mind what goes on here.

      Eventually, we may have a chance to rebuild something on the ruins.

      Sue: “And all you’ve got left to debate is the price of chocolate oranges.”

      And when you hear about things like that, honestly, it can’t collapse too soon.
      These people are the lowest of the low.

    2. Disaffected
      January 28, 2012

      This is simply not enough John. Your actions are a drop in the EU ocean of dictatorship.

      As I said before, it is time for your party to get rid of Europhile Cameron. He does NOT reflect the nation’s views on Europe or that of the majority of his party. Like Sue, I am sick of hearing a lot of talk without action.

    3. lifelogic
      January 28, 2012

      To reply indeed and we are grateful – but will it make any difference in the end? I hope it will but have my doubts.

    4. Sue
      January 28, 2012

      I know you did Mr Redwood, that’s why I asked you if you weren’t sick of covering for the traitors in your party.

      1. APL
        January 30, 2012

        Sue: “that’s why I asked you if you weren’t sick of covering for the traitors in your party.”

        No, Party before country.

    5. Mike Stallard
      January 28, 2012

      Well noticed.
      Allow me to add two riders.
      1. Marta Andreasen refused to sign off the EU accounts. I do not think they have been signed off since. this, surely makes every single one of the figures so carefully garnered above just moonshine, doesn’t it? Or am I missing something here?
      2. Regionalism is right there in the German, Italian and Spanish constitutions because their histories are so very different from ours. We English do not need it. It has done already enormous damage in Scotland. It has done nothing for Eire.
      I am not blaming Mr Redwood. His hands are clean.
      I am blaming successive British governments though. Especially Mr Prescott.

  4. John Wilkinson
    January 28, 2012

    Why not keep all our cash in the UK?
    Do you not see that regional control is part of the EU grip on us?
    We should leave the EU now.

  5. Stewart Knight
    January 28, 2012

    But John….what about all those jobs shuffling the paper? [sic] [sic] [sic]

  6. Iain
    January 28, 2012

    ” It was good to see a cross party consensus emerging that we should push to repatriate much of this policy ”

    I am sorry we have been led up this hill so many times I have no faith anyone in Parliament will ever find their backbone and get something done on this issue. Until backbenchers are prepared to put aside their party loyalty, and prepared to bring down Governments, any Parliamentary group that is seeking to repatriate sovereignty is just a paper tiger. Parliament isn’t on the verge of a new world where we repatriate any of our sovereignty, we not even in a new world where the loss of our sovereignty has stopped, as far as I can see the life blood of our democracy is haemorrhaging away as fast as it ever was. Cameron’s ‘non’ was just a false dawn , we now see the resolve crumbling away as usual.

    Parliament is just a talking shop, I have no faith in it ever redressing this EU issue.

    1. APL
      January 28, 2012

      Iain: “Parliament is just a talking shop, I have no faith in it ever redressing this EU issue.”

      Of course it is, it has deligated all its authority to EU institutions. Parliament is an empty shell.

      1. APL
        January 29, 2012


        ‘delegated’ is the wrong word, since it implies lending authority to a subordinate in the hierarchy. The EU of course is set up to be supreme nor will it willingly release any of the authority it has gained.

        So people who talk about (try to hoodwink] us with talk of renegotiation are part of our problem.

  7. Alan Wheatley
    January 28, 2012

    The cross-party consensus was only good for those who see the UK’s future as being in the EU. There is no merit in winning a skirmish and loosing the campaign.

    The only good I can see that might come out of this initiative is that it will get nowhere due to opposition from the Brussels (if the UK wins then there must be losers elsewhere), there by opening a few more eyes to reality and lending weight to the case to leave.

  8. Boudicca
    January 28, 2012

    I have a good idea. Howabout we stop paying 70% of our contribution to other states and spend it in the UK, building up our own infrastructure and improving our own regions. Why on earth should I, r any other British citizen, pay tax so that foreign states can benefit when I have NO democratic control over the process whatsoever.

  9. Leslie Singleton
    January 28, 2012

    I abhor any and all aspects of euro (forced) harmonisation. If I want to feel at home I can stay at home. Always there is the emphasis on Economics but I believe that Europe’s problems derive more from trying to mix the various cultures histories and God alone knows how many languages in to the same pot. Is it not pathetic to hear Merkozy speak half one foreign language and half another? Comparisons with US are fatuous. There the States grew up together and, besides, the individual States are spread over such a wide area they have room to breathe and do their own thing. Even then the only way the States were held together was by a long-ago war. Even now (and I have lived there) there are many who would like to see the US broken up.

  10. alan jutson
    January 28, 2012

    Amazing given that we exceed to fund entirely, Our own so called European Aid Projects, in our own Country,with our contributions to this fund.
    We must still say it is paid for by the EU and show the EU Flag together with a large sign saying, funded by the EU.

    Talk about brainwashing.

    When Oh when is this absolute garbage of everything EU going to end.

  11. Steven Granger
    January 28, 2012

    What a thoroughly depressing article. I could point out the flaw in your continued nonsensical waffling about ” repatriation of powers” and how anyone with even a basic understanding of the aims and purposes of the EU knows that this is never going to happen. But there is no point. You and your idiotic mates on the so called Eurosceptic wing are so caught up in your own hubris and self importance you will never understand and will continue to blow hot air in that building laughingly referred to as our parliament to no effect whatsoever. You even refer to Northern Ireland as a “region”. What have we done to deserve politicians of this calibre?

    Reply: Assuming you want out of the EU, I ask again how can you organise this when the Parliament you despise has the power to veto a referendum and the power to say No to exit?

    1. backofanenvelope
      January 28, 2012

      Well, JR, you can’t. I expect that you and Mr Granger both know that. What would be nice would be for Mr Cameron to stop saying he is going to repatriate powers when we all know he can’t. Unless, of course, he adopts the Gordian Knot approach and just says no. And tells Mr Clegg to stick to the plot.

    2. ian wragg
      January 28, 2012

      We thought people like yourself would leave the non tory party and set up a party dedicated to the needs of Britain .
      Instead you continue to tell us there will be jam tomorrow.
      People are getting restless with all the lies and deceit.

  12. sm
    January 28, 2012

    We need to resolve the WLQ immediately. An English Parliament or equivalent will also stiffen the resolve of any English representatives sent to any UK parliament to properly represent the electorate regarding the EU. Which they unfailing FAIL to do.

    Can we consider writing into all public UK/HMG pension arrangements a similar clause which the EU inserts in its restrictive covenants so as to best ensure EX-EMPLOYEES future actions are in not contrary to the interests of a sovereign UK or a sovereign or devolved UK English parliament.
    With forfeiture clauses in place relating to pensions and any EU pensions paid funded indirectly from the UK.

    Also make such clause null and void in the UK and demand the removal of the below as a condition of further contributions into EU. (Annonenouse link below)

    The UK may survive but then it would mean countries would need to opt in and end this EU (UK elite) driven putsch.

  13. David John Wilson
    January 28, 2012

    The same principle should be applied to money collected by our government, particularly that derived from licences (or similar charges under a different name).

    Why do we need VED? It is avoided by a large number of people. It creates a disadvantage for home registered commercial vehicles over thaose coming from abroad, We now have a new stupidity of charging vehicles that enter the country. Get rid of it and collect the money lost on fuel tax. There will be a hidden saving of police and court costs.

    Why does nearly every household in the country have a television licence? Again there is the cost of chasing offenders. Add the money needed to council tax, reduce the grants to councils by that amount and pay the BBC etc. directly from the exchequer.

    There are also numerous stupid licences that at best can be abolished and at worst combined. For example shotgun licence, gamekeepers licence, licence to take game, licence to sell game. These in some cases cost more to administer than they are to buy and they are purchased from different sources.

  14. stred
    January 28, 2012

    During my trip t ancient Olympia in Greece I used the new motorway and was unable to find the quite adequate old road via Ephesus. The road rose up into the mountains and was two and three lane, with long artifically lit tunnels. I passed perhaps two cars and a truck in an hour. Then I stopped at a service area that had shops with regional produce but no customers. There was a large dining area that was being used by the regional council for a meeting.

    In Northern Spain there is a motorway across the northern foothills of the mountains, again with tunnels and viaduct every few miles. Again, traffic was light, even during the summer holiday period.

    Arriving home we ran straight into traffic jams on our smaller inadequate roads.
    What a distortion of priorities by EUSSR commissars.

  15. Bernard Otway
    January 28, 2012

    Regarding your answer to Steven Granger,in particular and others.
    How many men were in the Sierra Madre mountains with Fidel Castro as a % of the population of Cuba in the late 1950’s. I am driving a Taxi at the moment and my own Poll
    from my passengers,is overwhelmingly of people exceedingly ANGRY and rebellious against
    ALL politics and Politicians.There is a realisation that their only way of taking control of their destiny is by non conformist means,especially the over 40’s,they realise the clock is ticking EVER FASTER and the hills on the horizon called retirement are now actually quite
    close,AS FOR the over 50’s they KNOW they actually have NOTHING to lose by actually
    being rebellious,in many different ways ,at least 50% do not pay their TV licence and say
    damn the consequences ,that is just one little example,as for the man Hartnett of HMRC
    and his admonishing of tax avoiders,my straw poll indicates 100% work cash in hand at all times IF they can.I have a question for you , What legitimacy would politics have if
    the turnout at elections was close to only 40% OR BELOW,like the recent Feltham bye
    election,I have relatives living there who say in their opinion the MP is in their eyes
    illegitimate seeing as 70% of the populace DID NOT VOTE.
    In my opinion that is the direction we are headed AND FAST,unfortunately good MP’s
    like you and all other 81 rebels are going to be caught in the slipstream.
    I am ok because in a few more months I am out of here for good,AND I WILL NEVER RETURN,BUT BUT BUT I do feel for the sensible people who will still be here and cannot
    leave.In another 50 years the combined populations of AUS/CAN/NZ which will be about
    125 million of which about 10 million will have come from here in these next 50 years,
    probably more,WILL HEAVE A HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF AT THEIR GOOD FORTUNE IN ESCAPING. AND AND AND AUS/CAN will be in the top 10 economies and maybe only germany will be in Europe,WE will be close to 30.

    1. Electro-Kevin
      January 29, 2012

      I know that when my taxi driver expresses his views my response is usually “Yeah. Yeah. Oh right… Yeah – blimey.”

      Are you confusing this with political concensus, Bernard ?

      I don’t speak politics in real life.

      Yes people are grouchy if you prod them. However, so long as they have TVs, sofas, central heating and takeaways they’ll continue in bovine acceptance.

      When the money runs out though …

  16. Denis Cooper
    January 28, 2012

    What’s the point of discussing the repatriation of regional policy when we have a Prime Minister who surrenders to Merkel at every turn?

    “The prime minister has abandoned his pledge to block the eurozone from using common EU institutions to police a new regime of fiscal integration and stiff German-style rules for the embattled single currency.

    Ahead of Monday’s summit of EU leaders, which is due to finalise “political agreement” on the fiscal compact treaty, the government signalled that it would not challenge a role for the European commission and, more sensitively, would also allow resort to the European court of justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg to enforce new debt ceilings and fines for fiscal miscreants in the eurozone.”

    “Berlin insists that the Luxembourg court should be empowered to rule on whether the new “debt brakes” are being properly enshrined in national law across the eurozone and applied.”

    Why is Cameron allowing Berlin to use a treaty between some EU member states, a treaty outside the EU treaties, to extend the competence of the ECJ beyond that conferred by all EU member states through the EU treaties?

    Has he never read the EU treaty articles on the basic principle of “conferral”?

    In particular, Article 13(2) TEU on page 22 here:

    which unambiguously states:

    “Each institution shall act within the limits of the powers conferred on it in the Treaties”.

    Having duly approved “the Treaties” through its Acts, will Parliament once again stand by in subdued silence while the Prime Minister allows them to be broken at the behest of the German government?

  17. Anne Palmer
    January 28, 2012

    We have been recently witnessing “News Papers”, the TV news, and others hounding Stephen Hester to give back, or to encourage him to refuse to take the “bonus” for the job that he was asked to do and being PAID to do. It seems to have stooped to the level of a Bull Fight with people chanting and shouting for either the bull to be killed or the Bull to win by tossing the Matador high in the air. Yet here on this page is the talk of repatriation of POWERS from the EU that should never have been given away in the first place. Maybe you John, got your ball back when it was lent to others to play with, but I never got mine back at all.

    Is the hounding of Stephen Hester to take minds off all the many billions we have wasted in paying foreigners to make our laws while stupidly we continue to vote for BRITISH MP’s to allegedly Govern us according to our long standing Constitution that Mr Cameron at last recognised we had when he spoke about it in a recent speech? Isn’t it about time the people had THEIR money back until all our MP’s can actually do the job of Governing this Country, truly Govern it without fear of fines if not done correctly? Bring home the Regional Policy? What could we have done with that 35.9 Euro eh? What has the EU done with the 25.3 billion? We could have had our own HS2 a long time ago.

    Make ENGLAND one whole again John. Each EU Region is being “picked off” one at a time for the people to see if they want an elected Mayor, not realising this is another layer of EU Governance they will have to pay for, along with the billions that are already paid to the EU. No wonder our debt is at an all time high.

    I wonder when the people will be clamouring for their money back from our own Politicians that can only obey EU orders like the rest of us, in the same way the papers have hounded Stephen Hester? Will each REGION have its own flag? Will the name ENGLAND still be on the map where ENGLAND used to be? If you want to see the new regions you live in, try this. This is what the children are now being taught.

  18. Derek Emery
    January 28, 2012

    I can’t see anything will be done because all parties are enraptured with being in the EU regardless of any financial or economic considerations. UK politicians are so infatuated with the EU they could never face even contemplating a dispassionate analysis of a cost comparison between staying and being a trading partner.

    Switzerland did this in 2006 and found the costs of membership were between 6 and 9 times the cost of being a partner see “Cost Benefit Analysis.”

    The EU elite has such a slight understanding of balance sheets that they cannot see why the UK objects to paying another £20-£30 billion in FTT to the EU see
    Remarkably, the European Commission’s own analysis concluded the tax would leave the EU worse off, yet such is its hatred of the City that it still supports its imposition. It estimated it would raise €25bn-€43bn a year (depending on the extent of the collapse in trading) and cut EU GDP by 0.53 per cent (€86bn) to 1.15 per cent (€186bn).
    (assumed 80% of the FTT will fall to the UK)

    Our current export balance of trade is 60% to the rest of the world and 40% to the EU. The UK in 2010 had a £10 billion surplus to the rest of the world and £46 billion deficit to the EU see
    Predictions are that the economies of the rest of the world will double over the next decade whereas the EU will be flat. This equates to a future ratio of 75%/25%

    The EU has had low growth since the 1970s and now the rest of the world is overtaking the EU. In the 1970s the EU represented 40% of the world economy, now is 20% and by the end of the decade will be about 10% .

    The question for our ruling elite is for how much longer are they prepared to pay ever-increasing costs to be a full member of club EU which will continue of its path to economic insignificance, rather than become a trading partner. If we stay we must be locked by their policies into long term economic failure for the UK.

    Even George Brown realises the long term plan of the EU is one towards utter economic insignificance see

    The EU elite do not understand economics so cannot see why their plan to continue the failed eurozone will fail. See
    “A country that runs a large current account or trade deficit (i.e., it imports more than it exports) must ultimately be a net importer of capital; this is a mathematical identity called the balance of payments. In other words, a country that imports more than it exports must either decrease its savings reserves or borrow to pay for those imports. Conversely, Germany’s large trade surplus (net export position) means that it must either increase its savings reserves or be a net exporter of capital, lending money to other countries to allow them to buy German goods”

    How then can the PIIGS manage to stay in the narrow limits for debt and deficit? They is no way Germany will will ever lend them money because they do not see they will get it back.
    Unfortunately the UK does not have a pro-business government because we follow EU thinking.

  19. Barbara Stevens
    January 28, 2012

    It looks as though anything to do with the EU, it’s institutions, are hated here. So, how can any Chancellor and PM agree to give money to this failed system via the IMF. It looks as though Osbourne is giving in although he as to come to parliament for MPs to vote upon it. Now, will they vote with the country or for themselves and their party? I hope, John that we will see the true colours and mettle of those we voted to rule us on this. NO more money should be promised in fact what he should be saying is enough is enough; no IMF money should be used to prop up a currancy, nations yes. It will be used for the eurozone and saying it won’t is blatently telling this country lies. Unforgiveable.
    Cameron and Osbourne will reap what they sow over this, if they fail us now it won’t be forgot. Its time to show the EU we no longer are it’s keeper, its their currancy and they should show responsiblity, and those who sit in the driving seat, Germany and France should be the moneylenders, not us. We are suffering here, cuts to disabled people causing severe problems, the elderly not able to keep warm with a cold blast due; somehow I think it’s time we drew up the drawbridge and protected our own.
    We have several areas we moan about, Human Rights Act, Justice, why do we keep jawing and talking, why is we are not allowed to have the choice any other country as already had, a referendum. This country spouts out that its the mother of democracy, but fails its own citizens when they ask for choices to be made by themselves. Something is very wrong here, and it stinks, of wealing and dealing, and party politics and democracy as been pushed to oneside. I’m fed up with the lot in parliament, and come the next election many more will follow suit, and vote accordingly.

    Reply I voted against more money for the IMF when it was last considered, and remain against IMF bail outs of Euro countries.

  20. uanime5
    January 28, 2012

    You plan could work as long as three thing occur.

    1) The net contributor countries, such as Germany and France, save money.

    2) The net recipient countries, such as Greece and Hungary, don’t lose money.

    3) The money that would have gone from the UK to the EU, then back to the UK for EU structural programmes still goes to these programmes. It would be a false saving if money was saved by in effect cancelling these programs.

  21. Frances Matta
    January 28, 2012

    At a Diamond Wedding Anniversary party I met a chap I hadn’t seen for 30 years.
    Still “employed” by the EU and currently handing out cash in Romania for their all new infrastructure.
    As I’ll probably never meet up with him again and I’ll never go to Romania, how will I ever know if all that money did get spent on Romanian infrastructure?

    1. APL
      January 29, 2012

      Frances Matta: “I met a chap I hadn’t seen for 30 years.”

      I have a cousin who worked as something in the commission, retired at 45 twenty years ago.

  22. Do we need the BBC?
    January 28, 2012

    EU contributions are overseas aid, by definition, as a majority of the money goes to other countries voluntarily.

    Problem: Cameron and Clegg need invited to North London dinner parties after they cease the part of their political careers that involves elected government. They won’t get invites to these dinner parties if they renege on their promise to achieve 0.7% of GDP in overseas aid.

    However, wasting taxpayers money on aid to some of the countries currently receiving ‘Overseas Aid’ is clearly insanity. Wasting it on some of the poorer countries is even worse, given that much of it gets spent on the Champs Elysée by the president’s wives and their entourage.

    Solution: If you tell Nick and Dave that they have already achieved the 0.7% of GDP target once we include the overseas aid to Romania, Slovenia, Latvia, Spain and Portgual given via the EU, they can stop subsidising the Indian space programme and such like via the ‘Overseas Aid’ budget.

    We can then spend that money on sensible things. Like reducing employer NI contributions in unemployment blackspots in the UK. We can even call them ‘enterprise zones’ if we really must.

    We used to called such policies ‘Conservative’ policies.

  23. Geoff
    January 28, 2012

    Why even try to reform a broken institution? Just leave.

  24. BobE
    January 28, 2012

    An English Parlement would garantee a Conservative Government. Scotland would end up with a Lab/Lib coalition. Just look at the votes distribution from last time.

  25. Adam Collyer
    January 29, 2012

    “We should push to repatriate much of this policy”…”we could”…”we could”.

    No we couldn’t. The EU is a nascent State. Repatriation of powers would be completely alien to it. We either accept ever closer union – which means more powers for Brussels not less – or we leave. There is no other choice.

    By pretending that repatriation is possible, you mislead people and reduce support for leaving. You are playing into the hands of the Eurocrats.

  26. Genesis Waldman
    January 29, 2012

    Fantastic blog. Really Great.

  27. Phil Richmond
    January 29, 2012

    John – you are one of the very few politicians I admire which is why I read your blog.
    However whilst it is admirable that you vote in Parliament against the EU tyranny it isnt making a blind bit of difference.
    Yourself & others like you need to remove Cameron. Nothing is going to improve in this country until we leave the EU and Cameron is a lying Europhile.
    What gives you the right to do this and the authority is that the people want out of the EU. I hope in the future your name will be mentioned as the courageous leader who was the catalyst for Britain leaving the EUSSR and becoming a very prosperous nation again.

  28. Phil Richmond
    January 29, 2012

    I have noticed your usual reply to the frustrations on here against the EU and Cameron is that well I voted against it.
    Maybe your not up for it – I understand that, but if there isnt somebody with some leadership, spine, morals & charisma who is prepared to risk their career in removing Cameron then this country is going to cease to exsist very soon.
    Have you ever thought what the WW2 veterans must be thinking about all of this in their twilight years?

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