A veto is not just for Christmas


            It was typical of Mr Miliband that he used a good phrase out of time and when it was not true. Mr Cameron used the veto , refusing a UK signature on the proposed new Treaty before Christmas, and then renewed the same veto this week. He has made it crystal clear that the UK will not sign the proposed Treaty, will not surrender more powers, will not submit its budgets to Euro style controls. I for one am relieved Mr Cameron was doing the negotiating rather than the Labour leader. Labour in office gave away huge powers at Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon.

             Some smell treachery nonetheless, saying that Mr Cameron should also have made sure the European Court of Justice  will not adjudicate in matters arising from the Treaty of the 25 proposed this week. Labour, of course, negotiated the UK into an arrangement under the existing Treaties where the Euro area requirements of the 17 are under the ECJ and serviced by the EU, even though 10 other states are not members. They allowed the idea of “enhanced co-operation” to become established. This means they do already have Treaty powers to run a club within the club.

                I and my colleagues have no wish to see  new powers gained by the ECJ as a result of a Treaty of the 25. We have been told by Mr Cameron that he has placed a veto on any new ECJ powers over the UK, and would resort to legal challenge if the UK felt the ECJ was acting incorrectly  in pursuit of a non EU Treaty by the 25. Many of us will be watching progress on just this.

               Some of us will also be very surprised if this Treaty comes to pass in anything like its current form. It will presumably need the referendum approval of the Irish and maybe others. The front runner for French President says he wants to scrap the current version and wants fundamental revision. Other countries are keeping a low profile but may have ratification problems ahead if it comes to that. The Czechs have jumped ship since Christmas.

                        This one will run and run. It is good that the UK has consistently placed a veto on any of this applying to us. The UK now needs to play its hand well over any extension of ECJ power over other members.



  1. lifelogic
    February 1, 2012

    So the UK would resort to legal challenge if they felt the ECJ was acting incorrectly in pursuit of a non EU Treaty by the 25. What sort of legal challenge and to which court JR?

    The ECJ has a clear history of ruling basically in favour of a single socialist super state of Europe who makes the appointments to the ECJ after all.

    Reply: Indeed, a fundamental weakness of our current position under Lisbon which Labour signed. If the ECJ does one day find against us, we might need to amend the 1972 European Communities Act to override – if we can find enough MPs with the political will to do that.

    1. lifelogic
      February 1, 2012

      Will Cameron be giving us a new “cast iron guarantee” that he will amend the 1972 European Communities Act to override. Would anyone believe him if he did anyway?

      1. Disaffected
        February 1, 2012

        I suppose you can rely on it as much as Osborne saying he will not give any of our taxpayers’ money to the EU or indirectly through the IMF. He is talking as if it is inevitable at the moment.

      2. eddyh
        February 1, 2012

        @ lifelogic
        1) Yes 2) No

    2. Disaffected
      February 1, 2012

      John, you forget Cameron was going to do something about the Lisbon Treaty, one of his first, but many, cast iron U turns. As I understand an article in Conservative Home by Ms Leigh, the Treaty will come into effect in the UK within five years whether the Treaty is signed by the UK or not. As I recollect, Cameron was also going to use this as a bargaining chip to repatriate powers. At the time the German finance minister dismissed Cameron’s claims and clearly stated he was not going to get anything from the EU. It looks like the Germans were correct and Cameron acted like a compliant poodle.

      I am afraid John the game is up. Like so many other people I have NO faith in Cameron whatsoever. His cast iron U turns is what he will be remembered for. he had a chance and failed miserably.

      Reply: The UK can maintain its veto in 5 years time.

      1. Disaffected
        February 1, 2012

        Desperate John, desperate. By then Lisbon and all its nuances will be in full swing. No chance.

        Reply: Perhaps you could tell me what Mr Cameron could have done more than insisting on a UK veto so we would not be part of this.

        1. lifelogic
          February 1, 2012

          He clearly should have won the election with a proper Tory agenda against the sitting duck Brown and then have held a referendum on the Lisbon treaty then renegotiated or left the EU.

          As he initially pretended he would. Now he has no credibility left you clearly need a new leader for the next election.

        2. matt
          February 1, 2012

          I’ll tell you what he should have done John….

          He should have said that the people of the UK must be consulted on EU membership through a referendum. Simple.

          Cameron and anyone else in power who refuses to give the people access to democracy is a Quisling. Simple.

          1. lifelogic
            February 2, 2012

            Perhaps Quisling is a bit strong, we will see, but I certain wish I had more confidence in him. It seems to me he need to regain some credibility after loosing the last sitting duck election with his green socialist agenda and all his EU U turns.

        3. Jon Burgess
          February 1, 2012

          I’d suggest he should have honoured his pledge to hold a referendum on the Lisbon treaty, or hold an EU referendum and things may have been different for us all.

          But then again that is not his, nor conservative party policy now that your party is in a position to act.

          I do appreciate, though, that your view is not conservative party policy either.

      2. Acorn
        February 1, 2012

        Cameron vetoed an EU TREATY. What is proposed now is an INTERGOVERNMENTAL TREATY (IGT). Germany only has to get this ratified by the 17 EZ States. Sixteen EZ States are scared stiff of Germany as they depend on it to absorb what little exports they manage to achieve. The ECB wants this IGT because it will give it the firepower to become a proper Central Bank.

        Enforcing this IGT will be tricky and will take some Teutonic style. EU institutions such as the ECJ and European Commission can’t have formal roles in any agreements outside of the EU Treaties.

        The next problem will be keeping the Franco-German axis together; particularly the Sarkozy half of it. Will Merkel save his arse from the voters this May?

  2. Mike Stallard
    February 1, 2012

    Just as you (we) feel that the EU’s power is threatening our very existence as the British people with our unique history of freedom and fair play, so the people of Europe who run the EU are quite convinced that they alone know what we need and they are determined to bring it about by stealth, by playing for time against regularly elected governments and by, yes, lies and chicanery.

    They are very, very clever indeed. They have been at it, let us remember for at least a thousand years. If not three or four millenia. They want the Roman Empire back with guess who as the Romans? To them, it is just common sense. They do not believe in fair play. (See Roger Helmer’s blog today).

    Please, please keep your eyes open. Please. You are more or less all we have.

    1. Max Dunbar
      February 1, 2012

      While I sympathise with your sentiments and patriotism Mr. Stallard the “they alone know what we need” comment would apply just as much if not more so here as in Europe. I am quite sure that many Europeans detest the Leftists who dominate the EU just as we do. The problem for us is here within Britain. The Labour regime of Blair/Brown did immense damage to our country. Unfortunately, the Tory Party have felt obliged to follow Labour and operate within the framework that was created by them over some 20 years. They seem powerless to escape. It must be extremely frustrating for Mr. Redwood whose loyalty to Cameron is presumably stretched to the limit. The Conservative Party website and PC language used in it is enough to convince me that something has gone very wrong. A turn-off. Remember the colonel in “Bridge on the River Kwai”? Mr. Redwood mentions treason – a very British treason.

    2. Mazz
      February 1, 2012

      …’You are more or less all we have. …’

      Yes, John, plus a few others e.g. Douglas Carswell and Daniel Hannan. Have you signed the peoplespledge.org petition?

  3. Paul Danon
    February 1, 2012

    Many thanks for this post. We can guess what the ECJ is but it’d be helpful in future if you kindly told us before using the abbreviation. I suppose the UK can profit from this shambles. We need to propose special treaties for (a) us and the Czech republic and (b) us and the other nine non-euro countries, and we need to use the union’s administrative apparatus to run the implementation of those treaties.

    The treaty-structure for the non-euro 10 would be a model for a looser, EFTA-style trade-area which the rest of the union could well migrate to if the euro fails. The first migraters could be Greece, Portugal and Ireland when they get their currencies back. The split would thus be 14/13.

    We might also propose a new treaty on migration and border-control which could run in parallel to the Schengen-area. Rather than throwing frontiers open, it could allow countries to cooperate better on the movement of peoples and thus secure their borders better. Schengen-countries (such as France after mass-migration from north Africa) might want to join.

    If euro/Schengen countries object to Brussels’ being used for these new treaties, we could propose a second EU capital in, for example, Birmingham just by the new HS2-station.

  4. Stephen Almond
    February 1, 2012

    If I was constantly fighting to change or retain the rules of a club – I’d probably leave the club…

    1. lifelogic
      February 1, 2012

      Especially as the EU “command economy” rules are so absurd and damage, not just the UK, but the other EU members countries, the third world and world economy in general. Surely it is our moral duty to leave.

      1. Disaffected
        February 1, 2012

        It looks from John’s reply that the Eurosceptic Tories have given up and are going to quietly go along with the socialist EU takeover. UKIP for me.

        1. APL
          February 1, 2012

          Disaffected: “that the Eurosceptic Tories have given up ”

          Good old George Eustace, that was a real hard struggle.

        2. lifelogic
          February 1, 2012

          UKIP really is giving up as they clearly will never hold power.

          1. APL
            February 2, 2012

            “UKIP really is giving up as they clearly will never hold power.”

            I am not sure what that has to do with anything. I have advocated more than once voting for independent conservative candidates, so I hope you will accept at face value that I am not proselytizing for UKIP.

            Even if we have a caucus of Redwoods like people, George Eustace et al*, they are still in the thrall of Conservative Central office.

            Conservative Central office is utterly compromised, nothing less than the provisional wing of the EUro internationalist movement in the UK.

            As is the Labour equivalent.

            * George has gone mysteriously quiet, cat got his tongue?

            Reply: In what way am I in the thrall of Conservative Central Office? They did not want me voting for an EU referendum.

        3. Max Dunbar
          February 2, 2012

          UKIP Scotland were deeply disappointing. They have had plenty of time to get their act toghether.

  5. alan jutson
    February 1, 2012

    I do not think I would put much hope on a legal challenge if it all goes pear shaped.

    Our record of success is very poor.

    The fact that it will be necessary to keep an eye on what is going on, suggests the Government is less than convinced that even more manipulation will not take place.

    This is how the EU works, bit by bit, little by little, it erodes and nibbles away at any opposition to its Socialist dream.

    When will we learn.

    Gaining a referendum on our continued Membership of this very expensive club here at home is a priority.

    1. alan jutson
      February 1, 2012

      Off topic

      I see our £1 Billion aid package to India has not helped our aircraft sales.

      Looks like a £13 billion order is now going to France.

      Perhaps if we had given no aid, but taken £1 billion off the price we may have been more successful.

      As it is, the Indians can now use our £1 billion to aid the purchase of aircraft from elsewhere.

      When, when, when, are we going to realise that just giving money as aid is pointless.
      If we are going to give aid at all, then make it a condition that we use British goods and British labour for all projects, at least that way we help our own people with employment at the same time.

      1. Winston Smith
        February 1, 2012

        India will fuel these aircraft with oil that it buys from Iran. The whole game is a joke, and once again the English net taxpayers are the losers. Keep voting for Con/Lib/Lab socialist corporatism if you want this to continue. Me, I’m giving UKIP a try.

  6. Brian Tomkinson
    February 1, 2012

    JR: “…and would resort to legal challenge if the UK felt the ECJ was acting incorrectly in pursuit of a non EU Treaty by the 25.”
    I don’t find this reassuring. How would such a legal challenge be made and to whom? Would the ECJ be the judge of the legality its own actions? If not, then who would adjugicate? My impression is that Cameron has softened his stance. Perhaps it was done to placate Clegg and the EU fanatics in the Lib Dems or the Whitehall mandarins exerted their influence. Whatever the reason I now feel that his previous action was a blip and that we are back to business as usual with the EU – compliance.

    Reply: Yes, the ECJ is a federal court. I can’t see that we are in any worse a position with it after this week than before. It is a huge problem, owing to powers surrendered by past governments in past Treaties.

  7. lojolondon
    February 1, 2012

    John, the problem is that when Cameron goes to court to decide matters, the ECJ will be the forum. So AT LEAST 25 out of 27 judges will be under severe pressure to find for the EU.
    Bearing in mind that the ECJ does NOT employ Judges and Lawyers to make judgements, but apparatchiks who have been gifted a job for life, and you will understand that a Zimbabwean court is more likely to follow the law than the ECJ.

    As is our experience.

  8. Caterpillar
    February 1, 2012

    Perhaps there could be (at least a perception of) a nagging doubt over the PM’s aims in no more power going to the ECJ.

    The PM seems to desire a large public sector, an unaccoutable BoE, and Govt interference over private sector reward packages. Where is power eventually going to lie?

    {Sorry to sound so cynical, but I wonder whether in the end the UK may need the EU to protect it from itself? Small Govt, support of capitalism, due process not political interference …}

  9. JohnOfEnfield
    February 1, 2012

    I am surprised that no one seems to face up to the facts that: –

    1) the Greek body politic, the Greek economy and the Greek culture are incompatible with a Eurozone that includes an advanced economy such as Germany.
    2) There is no lender-of-last resort in the Eurozone banking system.

    Until these issues are faced, they can throw trillions of Euros at the problem and draw up treaties until they are blue in the face, the fundamental problems will not be solved.

  10. Bernard Otway
    February 1, 2012

    Just play REAL HARDBALL,I am 66 now soon to be 67,and bad life experiences have taught me that the only way is HARDBALL.My family know it,my friends do,and some are no longer
    friends or family as a result. I KNOW I have lost NOTHING,and wish that I was like this from the age of 21 onwards,because some of the bad things [in fact MOST] would not have happened,the ripples of some will be felt long after I am gone.

  11. oldtimer
    February 1, 2012

    I trust there is someone with sharp eyes, not to mention a lot of stamina, who reads the small print of the drafts of new proposals. Even more important is someone to watch the last minute changes that get inserted into the texts in the early hours of the morning after all night negotiating sessions. The EUligarchy is not to be trusted on these matters.

    The other possibility is that it gets overtaken by events. I hear that Portugal`s 10 year borrowing rates went up to c14% earlier this week.

  12. Sir Richard Richard
    February 1, 2012

    Oh come on, John.

    Dave ‘Heir to Blair’ Cameron didn’t use any veto, he said he wouldn’t sign a treaty. Then he allows the fiscal union members to use the institutions; the very aspects of the treaty that we were objecting to.

    What’s the result? Cameron got rid of the pressure for a referendum just before the treaty by convincing backbenchers that he’s not a spineless creep, and he’s given into the EU’s demands anyway…

    I recommend reading Peter Hitchens and Mary Ellen Synon regarding David Cameron’s useless nature.

    Reply He did veto an EU Treaty. They cannot now have an EU Treaty, and they have legal problems to tackle as a result.

    1. Disaffected
      February 1, 2012

      Spot on. The ploy for the treaty that never was was to stop a referendum in the UK and to placate Tory backbenchers. This means the Treaty will go ahead without any Treaty being signed to avoid a UK referendum. Tory backbenchers were done up like kippers.

      Reply: Mr Cameron could only veto it for the UK, and Euroscpetic bakcbenchers as I keep reminding you do not have a majority in Parliament, so we are in no position to amend the 1972 Act or take other retaliatory actino against the EU

    2. Anoneumouse
      February 1, 2012

      Mr Redwood, trickery with words is deception.

      Reply: Indeed it is. It is trickery to say the UK using its veto to make sure it is not subject to a new Treaty is not using the veto!

      1. JimF
        February 1, 2012

        Will the Member States of the EU use the intitutions of the EU, paid for by British taxpayers, for any business relating solely to the Euro, a currency not in circulation in Britain, or will they not?

  13. Anoneumouse
    February 1, 2012

    If the European Union Institutions & Buildings are going to be used for this “non-eu” treaty, then the UK should get a rebate on its EU contribution.

  14. backofanenvelope
    February 1, 2012

    It doesn’t really matter much what Mr Cameron does or says. The Eurozone is going to crash because of its built-in contradictions. The Fiscal Union will fall apart as they construct it. Its quite simple really, the Greeks, Portugese, Spanish, Italians; they all like their lifestyles and their country. They are NOT going to work harder, work longer and pay their taxes. The Germans are not going to impoverish themselves supporting them. And finally, the French will screw the whole thing up. They always do.

    So, I suggest we relax, keep our heads down and try and avoid the bits of debris.

    1. APL
      February 1, 2012

      backofanenvelope: “I suggest we relax, keep our heads down ”

      Pretty much Tory policy on the EU for ever, always looking for some other benighted country to ‘do our dirty work’ and always getting let down and then just buckling under and swallowing the latest EU impost.

      A cynic might think it was all planned by an Europhillic Tory party masquerading as Eurosceptics. Because if the true nature of the party became apparent their supporters would LEAVE IN DROVES.

      The race: can the political establishment entrench their preferred party system by thieving public money to fund their activities before the general public completely withdraw support and their party organizations collapse?

    2. Winston Smith
      February 1, 2012

      I think the UK could be hit before the Euro. There is too much vested interest in the Euro, they cannot let it fail, by hook or by crook.

      Correct me if I’m wrong, My quick search shows the UK had the 3rd largest deficit as a % of GDP in the EU, last year. It has the highest private debt by GDP in the World. Its public debt by GDP (including off balance sheet liabilities) is comparable with the PIGS. Its real unemployment is not far off Spain’s. It has a commitment on defence spending, not matched by other EU nations. It has the highest level of criminality in Western Europe; hence last summer’s looting and arson spree. It tops most of the worst health tables in the EU, and has an unsustainable NHS. Its welfare spending is astoundingly high. Osborne’s 5yr plan is already off-target and there is no contingency for any external factors, such as a major war, market meltdown, natural disaster or Scottish independence. It has a large balance of payments deficit and is a net importer of energy. The economy is regionally unballanced with large swathes of the Country reliant on State employment. What woudl happen if we had Greek or Irish austerity?

      The saving grace for the UK is the long-term component of its debts. When these renewals get closer, do you believe any of the above factors will have improved substantially?

  15. matthu
    February 1, 2012

    “The aim is to incorporate the fiscal compact into EU law within five years of its entry into force, said Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council president who chaired the Brussels meeting.”

    I would have thought that this is already an strong indication that the 25 members signing up to the treaty are meddling in affairs that are not inter-governmental in nature. By what authority do the 25 flesh out an aim that encompasses the whole of the EU?

    And why isn’t Cameron already objecting?

    Reply: Mr CAmeron has said he does not intend this Treaty to apply to the UK, nor does he intend to sign it.

  16. mart
    February 1, 2012

    I have failed to understand
    – what legal challenge would be possible
    – what redress would be possible, and
    – to whom application for redress would be made.

    Shouldn’t application be made to the UK Parliament?

    Said application should read: please begin once more to assert the UK’s right to decide these things here in Westminster.

    Reply: Mr Cameron has said he would mount a legal challenge. He has not said how. I would strongly recommend not pursuing a petition in the European Court, as that is a federalist court. I would proceed myself by amendment to the Euroepan Communities Act 1972 in the UK to disapply EU matters with which we do not agree.

    1. APL
      February 2, 2012

      JR: “I would proceed myself by amendment to the Euroepan Communities Act 1972 in the UK to disapply EU matters with which we do not agree.”

      Don’t amend it, abolish it.

      But you could do a lot for Parliament if you removed the clause that permits European Union inspired legislation from going through as statutory instruments and thereby not receiving any Parliamentary scrutiny.

      That would be a start to recovering some credibility for the Tory party.

      Reply: There is no current majority to amend it, let alone repeal it!

  17. javelin
    February 1, 2012

    Greece is now unravelling – as to be expected – it is starting to fall (and following economic physics ) after being kept in the air for a couple of years by politicians hot air.

    The assumption that Greece is a liquidity problem (which it is not) is now coming home to roost. Treating Greece a liquidity problem and lending it more money or more austerity is only making the problem worse – because it is a solvency problem – and the debts will get bigger and still not get paid off. No amount of extra borrowing or austerity will stop Greece from defaulting.

    They could devalue. They could also default hugely and stay in the EuroZone and write off 90% of their debt – this may help them if (and a big if) they can cut their tax deficit to zero the next day because no one will lend them a dollar for at least a year. But then Portugal and Spain and Italy will want to do the same the next day too. If Greece leaves the Eurozone then the other PIIGS may want to too. Either way the Euro is a busted flush.

    Up until yesterday EU politicians were still blowing hot air and pretending that Greece chould be saved from default. The Guardian is reporting that the negotations have effectievly broken down and “crisis” meetings are being held.

    The sooner this bubble bursts the better.

  18. David Williams
    February 1, 2012

    Another step forward for the German empire.

  19. Mactheknife
    February 1, 2012

    I cant help but feel, despite a positive spin from John, that Camerson is back-tracking. The big test will be the IMF funding, which will ultimately go to Europe. What will Cameron and Osborne do ? Moreover what will Conservative MP’s do if George wants to hand over large sums to the lovely Christine to squander on the Eurozone ?

    Reply: If they do that I will vote against it, as I did last time. I think they are wrong on this issue.

  20. Ben Kelly
    February 1, 2012

    Your post, Mr Redwood, is unbecoming of you. It is apologetic for the lack of action by your government.

    It is not enough to complain that Labour sold us down the river we must wrest back control. The time for blaming Labour has passed, it is time for government action or silence.

    Labour are still complaining about issues from before their administration began that they did nothing about. Please do not become like them.

    Reply: I reflect the reality. A large amount of UK power for self government was surrendered in the Labour years. The Conservatives campaigned to get pwoers back. Now they are in Coalition nothing is happening to get powers back, despite the strong wish of many of us to do so. There remains a Lib/Lab/nationalist federalist majority.

  21. Mike Stallard
    February 1, 2012

    The tone of this blog is now changing in a quite sinister way.
    No longer is Mr Cameron being given the benefit of the doubt. And this is spreading, I can see, to our host who is forced into defending him.
    The 70 or so people on the back benches who are standing up for fair play, for decency and for free speech are all we have between us and the Commissioners who have, frankly, a very different idea of what politics is all about.
    That is the hardball which we are playing. Maybe half a loaf….

  22. Steven Granger
    February 1, 2012

    What a disgraceful piece of spin. Cameron said in December that he had vetoed the treaty and would not allow the use of EU institutions without safeguards, to the rapturous, desk banging applause of you and your quarter witted friends on the tory “Eurosceptic” wing. He then dropped this without so much as a whimper without such safeguard being included. The text of the proposed IGT itself makes clear that is will be “folded” into the EU treaty structures in 5 years at the latest. All Cameron has acheived is avoiding a Referendum on it, which is is sole purpose. You ask in a reply to another comment what you can do given that there is no “eurosceptic” majority in the commons. Well there are allegedly more than 100 of you with like minds which is more than the entire number of Lib Dem MP’s. If you were serious about doing anything, you could easily bring Cameron to heal. The fact that Cameron’s statement to the commons was received with barely a whimper says everything.

    Reply: The referendum was lost by a very large margin, thanks to Labour voting with Coalition Ministers and Lib dems.

  23. Quietzaple
    February 1, 2012

    Preshumably shome irony … ?
    As there was no veto, for nothing was formulated to the point where it could be vetoed.

    When truth was the price of Cameron’s survival it perished long ago. Around tge time of His then boss Lamont’s defenestration.

    Evident Ed Mili cuts the Recession-DebtObsessive-Tory/Falange caucus to the quick.

  24. BobE
    February 1, 2012

    I also like the different lifestyles of the european countries. I do not want it to become one homoginous mass of people. I love the Greek relaxation the Italian choatic(Only an Italian would get off his ship before the passengers, but that is how they are, chaos is normal to them). The tiny French cafes and restaraunts. Viv la difference. Belgium chocolate shops. I want to continue to visit to enjoy each countries ways and mores. Only a buracrat would want to make us all the same. Provided we don’t fight each other then we should cherish our differences.

  25. Captain Crunch
    February 1, 2012

    Everyone in my family wants to go out for a Chinese dinner.

    I don’t like Chinese and want us to stay in so I veto the decision.

    Everyone else goes out to dinner and eats prawn crackers without me.

    I stay home and feel happy I successfully vetoed a family outing, didn’t I?

    Reply: No, but you did avoid having to eat the Chinese dinner yourself, and you turned a family outing into a group outing minus you.

  26. Peter Davies
    February 1, 2012

    I’ve never understood and still dont understand why an institution such as the ECJ has been allowed to intermingle with EU Treaties. I thought the ECJ was for human rights preventing torture etc after WW2 and was binding on all signotaries many outside the EU or EEC – nothing to do how countries were run unless they were acting like Russia or Libya.

    This whole thing smells a bit like something that could be forced upon the UK via the backdoor.

    So Mr Cameron has refused to sign a treaty, they are going ahead anyway with an IGT – fair enough, it doesn’t apply to the UK but the ECJ has many binding powers on the EU based on previous treaties agreed by labour which they can use – is there a set of weasly words in previous treaties giving the ECJ powers to enforce this?

    There must be some lawyers reading this blog that understand the Lisbon Mastricht and whatever else has been signed.

    Are the players in the EU using this as a stop gap in the hope that labour will come back in and just sign more powers away like Blair did when he gave away the many opt outs?

    And if EU institutions are being used for this, who is looking at the numbers for usage or non usage of EU institutions and will the UK get a rebate?

  27. uanime5
    February 1, 2012

    As long as the Treaty of the 25 doesn’t apply to the UK and the ECJ doesn’t have any more power over us then it won’t be a problem. After all the UK was able to opt out of the Euro without any problems.

  28. Denis Cooper
    February 1, 2012

    Daniel Hannan has a perceptive article in the Guardian today:


    A crucial excerpt for those who always believed that at some point Merkel would want EU treaty changes, and that would give Cameron the opening to bargain for the repatriation of powers implictly backed up by the threat of a veto over the treaty changes she wanted:

    “In one important sense, we are now in a worse position than we were before December. We have set the precedent that, if some integrationist states want to go further but fail to gain the approval of all 27 EU members, they need only sign an intergovernmental accord among themselves and carry on using EU institutions. This, in effect, means that there can never be any more vetoes – ever.”

    Of course some of us already knew that when Cameron had the opportunity to demand a quid pro quo for a major EU treaty change demanded by Merkel, this EU treaty change formalised on March 25th 2011 as European Council Decision 2011/199/EU:


    he chose to just give her what she wanted, asking for and getting nothing substantive in return.

    That EU treaty change was actually touched upon in a Lords Written Answer on Monday, Column WA289 here:


    “Treaty change has been proposed to provide that euro area member states may set up the ESM.”

    “An Act of Parliament will be introduced to ratify the treaty change decision as soon as practicable.”


    In the autumn of 2010 Merkel was insistent in her demands for that EU treaty change:


    “European leaders have given way to German demands for a change to the European treaties, but the procedure for the change and its size has been calculated explicitly to avoid the danger that it could provoke referendums in some EU states.

    In a significant victory for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, early on Friday (29 October), EU prime ministers and presidents backed “a limited treaty change” to deliver tighter fiscal discipline and allow for the creation of a permanent bail-out fund for members of the eurozone.”

    But why waste Parliamentary time on approving this EU treaty change so that the UK can ratify it and it can come into legal force, when clearly Merkel has now decided that if she can’t get what she wants legally then she will have no great problem about getting it illegally?

    What difference would it make it Cameron decided not to introduce the Bill?

  29. Anne Palmer
    February 1, 2012

    What was on the table when Mr Cameron walked out, was not-as I understand it as reported-a TREATY.

    Reply: It was a draft Treaty

  30. Barbara Stevens
    February 1, 2012

    As I understood it, the veto was to stop the 25 using the institutions within the EU, without safe guards for the UK; and have the new rules within exsisting treaties. Creating a new treaty for the 25 they can now adopt all they wish. The UK is not in the new treaty, therefore is exempt from it’s laws. However, Cameron agreed to let them use the exsisting institutions already available in the EU, so as not to stop the eurozone settling their problems. This appears reasonable to me. However, they have a habit of encrouching on countries quietly and laying down the law, we distrust them intensely. I think this is what worries most people. What we have now seen is an element of trust take place, we will see if this is a mistake or not in the future.
    I don’t like the EU and all it stands for, or it’s institutions. It’s overbearing and silly. Not needed in a true democracy. As for the Tory backbenchers, yes, they will need to be watching more closer and I’ve no doubt they will. WE are depending upon them more than ever, and if they fail us we are more or less doomed. I think we should extend our faith to them and give them the will to carry on, not berate them. They are after all the last port of call for the defence of this realm and it’s people. That’s a tall order for any group. I just hope they live up to the faith we have given them. The Tory party as always been for Queen and country, as some of the Labour party have, the Lib Dems I won’t mention. Looking at our history, and most of the saviours of this country have been from the Conservative ranks. They now have a big responsiblity on their shoulders, and it should be them, for it was themselves who took us into this monster over the Channel. It appeared a good thing a the time, trade, the Europeon Communtiy. We have been decieved therefore it’s the Conservatives who should get us out. Its getting all of them to face up to the horror they present that is the problem. I wish them all good luck.

  31. Jon
    February 1, 2012

    There is a lot of scaremongering or atleast anti the stance that David Cameron took.

    In the real world was the Eurozone area going to set up duplicate institutions for the euro that is unstable. Spending billions of those same euro’s on buildings decked with Carrara marble as they would also have to be?

    The UK could not stop in the way of the euro area wanting to take action it wants. The veto was used but we can’t realistically stop the other countries from doing what they feel they need to. That’s just unrealistic.

    Yes it presents a risk but less of a risk that if Cameron hadn’t used the veto and this new treaty.

    What other option was there? That’s what I haven’t heard, a feasible alternative action open to us?

  32. Martyn
    February 1, 2012

    I believe that EU lawyers have some doubts that the kind of euro-zone fiscal union within the EU now getting under way is actually legal under the terms of Lisbon. Monetary union is already regulated extensively in the Lisbon Treaty, so reform can only be implemented within the existing legal framework, so it may all come to naught quite soon.

    Unless, of course, the EU chooses to implement the same financial controls by amending one of the supporting clauses to the Lisbon treaty which can, I understand, be decided by qualified majority voting (QMV) without needing to amend Lisbon. In which case, no matter what Mr Cameron says or does the UK will be bound by the new financial control arrangements and if I was a betting man I would put my money on the EU getting what it wants this way.

    Interestingly, I see that the French Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande has already announced that he would not accept any incursions into national sovereignty. No wonder Mrs Merkel is backing Mr Sarkozy in the run-up to the French elections!

  33. Jon
    February 1, 2012

    …and what will those disgruntled eurosceptics hope to achieve. They may just start to seem unrealistic, out of touch and extreme. I am eurosceptic but don’t want that view to start being seen as the home of unrealistic extreme crackpots. Euroscepticism needs to stay in the mainstream. John Redwood has a measured balanced view here, some other MPs need to take heed.

  34. Jon Burgess
    February 1, 2012

    This was written by Christopher Booker for the Telegraph on 17th December. He suggests that Cameron’s veto was a veto that never was. Now that the dust has settled, I’m minded to agree with him.

    “Eleven years ago, I stood in pouring rain at the foot of Nelson’s Column addressing 10,000 people who had marched to Trafalgar Square to say “no” to Britain joining the euro.
    Mayor Ken Livingstone had just proposed the removal of the two statues of 19th-century generals on each side of Nelson. If they were to be replaced, I suggested, one should be with a small statue of John Major, for winning Britain’s opt-out from the single currency; the other with a rather larger statue of Sir James Goldsmith, whose intervention in the 1997 election had prompted our three major parties to pledge that we could only enter the euro after a referendum. One day, I predicted, this would come to be seen as the beginning of a separation from “Europe” which would lead eventually to our leaving the EU.
    After the recent dramatic European Council meeting in Brussels, many people’s thoughts have been moving a similar direction. But it cannot be said forcefully enough that the events surrounding David Cameron’s supposed “veto” were not what they seemed. In fact, it is hard to recall any recent political event having been so widely misreported and misunderstood.
    The general belief is that Mr Cameron somehow “stood up for Britain” by vetoing a treaty that everyone else wanted. (Put “Cameron veto” into Google and it returns more than 80 million results.) But there was no veto, and there could never have been one, because a veto can only apply to the final text of an EU treaty, following lengthy negotiations. No such treaty exists.
    What Mr Cameron did should have been no surprise, because – as my colleague Richard North explains on his EU Referendum blog – he had already indicated as long ago as May 2010, when visiting Angela Merkel in Berlin, that he would oppose an EU treaty to set up a fiscal government for the eurozone.
    Instead of stopping an EU treaty which everyone else wanted, what happened in Brussels was precisely what Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy wanted all along. The only people in favour of such a treaty were the European Commission and President van Rompuy of the European Council.
    What Merkel and Sarkozy were after was just what Mr Cameron allowed them to have: an intergovernmental agreement whereby every country in the eurozone would accept such drastic curbs on public spending that it would prohibit them from running up a budget deficit ever again. Yet even this would take far too long for all the national parliaments to ratify to have any effect on the euro’s imminent breakdown. And, far from Mr Cameron being in a minority of one against 26, at least six countries have already indicated that they are now reluctant to go along with this plan.
    So the euro is not going to be saved. Mr Cameron did nothing to protect Britain’s financial sector from the deluge of EU legislation which threatens to inflict such damage on the City. And he has not returned from Brussels as a “born-again Eurosceptic” because he, just as much as Nick Clegg, remains wholly committed to Britain’s continuing membership of the EU.
    All that happened in Brussels was another contorted attempt to postpone the euro’s inevitable fate and another downward lurch of the European project towards its eventual disintegration. By the time the new year arrives, it will dawn that we are all just as much trapped in a disastrous mess as we ever were. All we can say with any certainty is that the frustration and rage of the peoples of Europe at this whole catastrophic experiment will be greater than ever. And as this unhappy story continues, that “veto that never was” will come to seem quite irrelevant to the way it unfolds.”

  35. Jon Burgess
    February 1, 2012

    Whilst we’re at it, here’s an extract from Peter Hitchens latest blog. Needless to say, I’m a bit of a fan. Is he right, or what? Come on UKIP.

    ” The first, of course, is the Prime Minister’s wholly predictable capitulation to the European Union. There is supposed to be a large ‘Eurosceptic’ faction among Tory MPs. The Prime Minister is not just their opponent, but their enemy, and he has just proved it quite spectacularly, an act made all the worse because he pretended to be one of them. Why are they silent? Why, when the subject came up for debate on Tuesday, did they hang back from full-blooded wrath, leaving all the Parliamentary sketchwriters to say –rightly – that Mr Cameron got away with it?
    What are they for? Why, having been so completely misled, will they not now rebel? If not now, when? It is all very well acting pleased and credulous when Mr Cameron staged his fake triumph. That could be explained tactically – though it seemed to me that the ‘Eurosceptics’ looked all too genuinely taken in at the time. But they must surley break with him now if their bleiefs mean anything at all.
    They were shamed by Dennis Skinner, a proper Labour MP recently childishly mocked by Mr Cameron. As a ‘dinosaur’. I do not agree with Mr Skinner about anything, but he has the sense to know that EU rule means that his voice and vote will count for nothing, as everything important will be decided elsewhere.
    He also knows where to stick the rhetorical razor-blade in the rhetorical potato, saying: ‘There’s a word for it, it’s called appeasement, and if this meeting had been held in Munich you would have been coming back waving a piece of paper.’
    As I noted in a posting here on 17th December, there are parallels between Mr Chamberlain’s ridiculous welcome on his return from Munich, when few understood the true nature of the Munich agreement, and Mr Cameron’s equally hysterical and misplaced welcome back from Brussels, when few understood the true nature of the supposed ‘veto’ . But if the Tory Party were any use, they would have been making those parallels, not leaving the job to Dennis Skinner.
    Yet millions still support this appalling, useless party which even ahs useless rebels who don’t rebel . People still write to me moaning about how awful the government is and, when I ask them how they voted last May, they drone, like hypnotised beings, ‘I voted Tory – we had to get Gordon Brown out’.
    Well, as it happens –and as I point out to these ridiculous, easily-led ninnies – they now have Gordon Brown with an Etonian accent . And while Mr Brown and Ed Balls can truly claim to have saved the Pound from Anthony Blair’s plan to join the Euro, who can be sure that Mr Cameron would have done the same, or can be trusted with the currency now? I might add that Mr Brown would never have dared to devastate the armed forces as Mr Cameron’s government has done. Our military decline under this supposed patriot is as bad as the days when the Dutch sailed up the Medway. It is not just that the defence cuts are huge. It is that they have been wielded carelessly and without thought.”

    Reply: THe 26 wanted the UK to co sign the new Treaty so it was an EU Treaty. He played the veto, the Uk has not signed it. What part of that can you not understand?

    1. Jon Burgess
      February 2, 2012

      “But there was no veto, and there could never have been one, because a veto can only apply to the final text of an EU treaty, following lengthy negotiations. No such treaty exists.”

      Those are Christopher Booker’s word, not mine. I haven’t said there was no veto, but I am willing to listen to others views on this.

  36. Elli Ron
    February 1, 2012

    If you posit the fact that Cameron has no mandate (without the Lib-Dems), then it’s obvious he can’t pull us out of the EU, he did the best he could for us.
    It is worth your time to have a glance at the new 25 country treaty itself; The content is pure rubbish, the terms impossible and what is more completely undesirable except in utopia land.
    Economys do need to run a deficit over a cycle to boost demand when base borrowing is reasonable, they are trying to express the entire economical knowledge as a 30 page law.
    This is unreasonable even for the Euro fools.

  37. Elli Ron
    February 1, 2012

    If you posit the fact that Cameron has no mandate (without the Lib-Dems), then it’s obvious he can’t pull us out of the EU, he did the best he could for us.
    It is worth your time to have a glance at the new 25 country treaty itself; The content is pure rubbish, the terms impossible and what is more completely undesirable except in utopia land.
    Economy’s sometimes do need to run a deficit over a cycle to boost demand when base borrowing is reasonable, they are trying to express the entire economical knowledge as a 30 page law.
    This is unreasonable even for the Euro fools.

  38. matthu
    February 1, 2012

    Is there any reason that my question
    appears to be stuck in permanent moderation?

    Reply: I cannot find it

  39. Andrew Smith
    February 1, 2012

    I simply do not believe what JR has writtien and I do not think he does either.

    Reply: What do you think is wrong with it? I was not asked to write it!

  40. Lindsay McDougall
    February 2, 2012

    ‘Labour in office gave away huge powers at Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon.’ The list is incomplete. The Conservatives gave away huge powers at Maastricht. In our next manifesto we should be seeking a two ring Europe, with a federal Eurozone core and a non-federal, non-Euro outer ring.

  41. Bill
    February 2, 2012

    I still have some confidence in Cameron. If I didn’t, it would be time to emigrate. I think he has a difficult hand to play. He has to keep the Lib Dems on board and he has to do what he can to ensure the Euro does not sink beneath the waves dragging the UK economy down with it.

    I agree that the Labour Party has done immense long-term damage to the country both financially and in other ways. When did the rot start? I don’t know but I note that even Mrs Thatcher was forced to cede Hong Kong…but that is another topic. Hong Kong has been absorbed into the People’s Republic while we look as if we may lose Scotland.

    I don’t think UKIP is a realistic proposition since it only weakens the Conservative majority in the same way that the breakaway bunch of Labour MPs (Jenkins, Williams, Owen) did for Kinnock.

  42. frank salmon
    February 2, 2012

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading these posts, and I must thank you John for being on hand to moderate and reply as you have. Can I just add that I think it’s can’t be easy for Cameron. He is clearly pussyfooting between the EU, Nick Clegg, the skeptics (of which I am one), and the media etc. I just wish he had added that if the Eurozone, or the ECJ added to our burden of membership in any way, there would be an immediate referendum on membership, contirbutions and EU laws.

  43. Alan Wheatley
    February 3, 2012

    The proposal that the 25 could use institutions of the 27 begged the obvious question as to what is currently the situation for the Euro member countries, but in the main stream media that I saw this issue was not addressed. Therefore I am pleased to read here the answer.

    So for this issue it is not unprecedented but one of following precedent, and therefore much more difficult to resist.

    The concern from the UK’s point of view must be that a federalist European Court of Justice will not prove to be a safe haven for British interests, no matter how vigilantly events are monitor and eloquently our case is put.

    Reply: Indeed, that is the problem throughout – we have a federalist court which can assert a lot of power against the UK thanks to previous Treaties. It has suited Labour and UKIP to play down the big transfers of power made by the last government through Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon, but the transfers were large. They have always wanted to blame the Conservatives for Maastricht, as if that was the only Treaty that surrendered powers, where we did at least opt out of the main point of the Treaty, the single currency. I also remember that Labour did not help the Conservative rebels to stop Maastricht altogether.

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