How Eurosceptics including UKIP could help sort out the EU mess

Mrs May’s decision to opt the UK out of 133 criminal justice EU measures is most welcome. All sensible Eurosceptics should support it, and help her achieve it. Unfortunately Eurosceptics are in a minority in the Commons, though it helps a lot to have Conservative Ministers with us on a big issue like this.

In order to make a success of this policy we need to ensure it is voted through Parliament. We also need to protect against opting back into various measures. On Monday in Parliament Dominic Raab and I proposed that we should co-operate with other EU countries over extradition, police intelligence and the like, but do so through Memoranda of understanding as we do with non EU countries. That way we retain control over our side of the agreement, and can repeal or seek to amend it at a later date. These matters would not become justiciable in the European Court, as they will if we opt back in.

It would therefore be a good idea if Eurosceptics would lobby federalist MPs in the LIberal and Labour parties to vote for the opt out, and lobby to prefer co-operation with the rest of the EU by means other than opt in and submission to the Court.

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  1. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, the larger picture: if Der Spiegel is a fair reflection of German opinion, then it appears that Germany has given up on the UK and has had it with Britain. I’ve even noticed similar opinions in the Dutch media recently, which are usually UK-friendly. It would be ironical if the change of mood on the continent will give eurosceptics in Britain the support that they need and fasten the UK’s exit from the EU. Still early days but a change of mood is perceptible, at least for me as a reader.

    Reply I thin more people on the continent now accept UK people do not want to be part of their union

    • Alex Powell
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      I presume you’re talking about the same Union that simply ignored the French & Dutch when they voted NO to the Lisbon Treaty?

      The Dutch people were never consulted over joining the Euro and now they’re beginning to see the consequences, the Politicians responsible should be put on trial.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, just like the Dutch people were never consulted over allowing the UK to join the union, and now they’re beginning to see the consequences.
        However, failure to grasp the essence and workings of a fully proportional and thus representative parliamentary democracy like ours, should be no excuse for calling for trials. You won’t find any sane Dutch person asking this, but they haven’t been on an anti-EU drip-feed for decades, so no offense taken.

        • Christopher Ekstrom
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink

          What sort of narcotic are you imbibing to imagine a nation of England’s greatness should wish to join a club for histories Losers?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

            Yet you joined. When England kept asking to join it was even “greater”, as it was only half-way it period of imperial decline (1945-1997).

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:08 am | Permalink

          General de Gaulle vetoed the original British application to join the EEC as it then was in 1963. His grounds were the UK’s strategic links with the US on defence, which de Gaulle felt were incompatible with a European outlook. What was noticable was that Enoch Powell said that de Gaulle had held a mirror up to us so that we could see ourselves as we really are.

          De Gaulle got it right and the UK people are not Eurosceptic because of “an anti-EU drip feed for decades” but because it is our basic attitude. The aberration was the 1975 referendum result, which resulted from the undue deference that the British electorate feel towards their leaders – plus the fact that they were lied to.

          There should not be too much difficulty in negotiating a new relationship with Britain. What is much more difficult is our wish to avoid a 17 nation federation with political, fiscal, monetary, defence and foreign policy Union forming on our doorstep. That, whether you like it or not, is the German agenda.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink

            Not just 17; eventually at least (N – 2) and at most N, where N is the final number of EU member states, which could get as high as about 40, and only the UK and Denmark having treaty opt-outs from ever having to join the euro.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

            @Lindsay McDougall: You may think I’m to bias with this drip-feed remark, but having an English spouse I have read both British and continental media for over 40 years and I cannot honestly withdraw that remark. I do realise that there are other factors at play as well, which makes the UK a difficult partner in the EU. I think a special relationship could be negotiated (UK being large enough for special treatment) but it really would work better from a freindly and cooperative attitude. I don’t see much of that really.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      “Germany has given up on the UK”. Why is this? Is it because they can see a country whose people object to having their effective government removed from them without their approval? Is it because they can see that we don’t want to continue bailing out countries whose problems are exacerbated by the doomed euro? Are we not subservient enough to the EU masters? For us it would not be ironical if this attitude hastened our exit, it would be liberating.

      • Mark W
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        Indeed, very liberating.

      • peter davies
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        At least it shows their getting the message. It would help if the Westminster bubble now got into the real world and act in accordance with the wishes of their constituents rather than “towing the party line”

        The likes of JR need to keep up the pressure and expose the EU for what it is

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        @Brian Tomkinson: You obviously haven’t read Der Spiegel yourself.

        • Christopher Ekstrom
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

          Don’t we all simply devour it upon arrival?

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Very many on the continent sensibly do not want to be any part of it themselves either.

      • Mark W
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        I can say friends I have from Holland are becoming sceptical now as to the point of the EU

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted October 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, there are eurosceptics in the Netherlands and they have REAL parliamentary power. Since the last election (12-9-12) they’ve lost quite some seats though.

          • A different Simon
            Posted October 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            Peter ,

            Here in the UK we have only a handful of Eurosceptic members of parliament and the position is career suicide as it destroys any chance of ever becoming a cabinet minister .

            You say Eurosceptics have real Parliamentary power in the Netherlands .

            How is this possible ? Is it due to a different voting system ?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        @lifelogic: Of course there are those. I can only see they are minorities so far.

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      @Peter Van Leeuwen. ” it appears that Germany has given up on the UK and has had it with Britain [sic – UK surely?] .”

      And, maybe UK has ‘had it’ with the whole pantomime (including Germany) that the EU has become?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        @nicol sinclair: I didn’t intend to suggest that Northern Ireland was somehow excluded, just didn’t want to repeat within the same sentence. Apparently N.I. sportsmen were part of “Team GB” so I did get the idea the Britons are rather flexible on which term they use.

        • Sean O'Hare
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          Yes because “Britons” are people from the British Isles, which includes the island of Ireland. “British” on the other hand refers to people from the island of Great Britain.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      What is amazing (but considering contemporary German history nothing should still amaze) is how thick the whole lot are. Englishmen are born to freedom.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        @Christopher Ekstrom: So tell me who’s been thickest? The UK singed up for a 1957 treaty in 1972 in which the very first sentence spells out “ever closer union”, and that even in English!
        Nobody, really nobody outside the UK forced it to become a member of this voluntary union. If the UK is that convinced about this “born to freedom” why didn’t it have the guts or courage to repeal the European Communities Act, 1972 in its “supreme” parliament. Not a sign of overriding “freedom” to me.

        • Disaffected
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

          Because there is a disconnect between what the people want and what are corrupt politicians want.

        • A different Simon
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          Peter ,

          You are right .

          My gripe is not with the EU , which is what it is ; an anti democratic project towards a totalitarian federal superstate and ultimately part of a larger world government .

          There are plenty of people in the UK who want that , not just the political establishment but many Guardian readers .

          These people are intolerant of people who do not share their opinions and will derive pleasure from informing on their neighbours when the mechanism of the police state is activated .

          Yes there are a few left-wing libertarians (I know one) but not many .

          My gripe is with UK (and mainland European) politicians who are signing their formerly sovereign nations up to this without having the mandate from their people to do so .

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

            @A different Simon: You asked if the Netherlands has a different voting system, it does. We have more parties with different programs. For one seat in the 150 seat parliament a party needs fewer than 70,000 votes nationally. There are quite a few different positions on European issues. The party which like UKIP wants the Netherlands to withdraw from the EU altogether, used to have 24 seats (= 16%), but now has 15 (10%). All eurosceptic parties together hold about 28% of the 150 seats. (NB any system has advantages and disadvantages – on EU issues you may get 11 different opinions in the Dutch parliament)

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      That Spiegel article is here:

      and to me it reads like German government propaganda reflecting Merkel’s arrogant presumption that everybody in Europe must want what Merkel wants, and even if they don’t want it they should have it imposed upon them.

      It does however make a fair point:

      “If Cameron also wants to bring other powers from Brussels back to London, it will openly contravene the preamble of the EU Treaty, which the British ratified. In the preamble, all member states pledge “to continue the process of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe.” ”

      It should be said that as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon Article 48 TEU on the revision of the EU treaties does now allow for the possibility of treaty changes that head in the opposite direction to “ever closer union”, by reducing the competences conferred on the EU, but nonetheless this is why I’ve suggested that the British people should be asked directly in a referendum whether they wish the UK to continue further with the process of “ever closer union”.

      Not whether they want to leave the EU, or whether they want some powers to be repatriated from the EU, or whether they want to stay in the EU on supposedly improved terms negotiated by Cameron, but to get to the core of the matter whether they really want to continue further with this relentless, limitless process of “ever closer union” or they’ve already had their bellyful of it.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        @Denis: Do notice please that there never was a specific time frame attached to this first sentence in the Treaty of Rome and subsequent treaties. A closer union in 200 years would not contradict the treaty.
        Ironically, the London inspired “anything goes” revolution since the nineteen-eighties (I won’t mention her name not to hurt anybody’s feelings), which helped to cause the global financial crisis, also demonstrated that the eurozone had clear design faults, which now spur on this closer union, at least in the eurozone.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:11 am | Permalink

          Oh, I see, “it might never happen”.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            🙂 you wouldn’t mind it never to happen, would you?

    • forthurst
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      Here’s another reflection of German opinion for you, Peter:!

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        @forthurst: Isn’t it a sign of democracy that people can protest against a railway and urban development project, called the Stuttgart 21?
        Maybe demonstrations are unheard of in Britain? What is you point? It is not a demonstraion against the EU or against the UK, it’s about a local issue.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      I am so glad that you had lunch with Stephen Barclay of Cambridgeshire. When I contacted him, he told me.

  2. alan jutson
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    This is how our relationship with the EU should always have been.

    We should have total control over our own affairs, and co-operate with other countrys with a sensible non legal arrangement.

    We simply do not need to be a member to do these things.

    • Atlas
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Alan – agreed.

    • Mark W
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      As the WTO covers many areas that the Common Market was sold to us as, I see little purpose of remaining in it. The problem with the Eurosceptic position is that it still wishes to offer referendums or just reducing EU influence.

      We need to be out. A referendum could then be held a few years later once we’ve had the benefits of non membership. Remember the ERM, we were going to hell in a hand cart if we had to leave that. Imagine if there had been a referendum campaign on that at the time. The BBC and all three political parties scaring people witless. Attempting to paint campaigners for an “out” vote as little Englanders, frothing at the mouth unhinged right wing loons etc etc. Then look what happened when we left the ERM, unprecedented growth.

      If we ever get liberated, I hope the other contries get their freedom too. Then we can all be good neighbours and friends without the need for a job for life for failed politicians.

      And on that subject. I’ve noticed certain mainstream publications are finally paying attention. They are speculating about Nick Clegg taking an EU commissioner job in 2014. (Blindingly obvious). But a disgrace. He should face the constituents of his seat and take the shame of a crushing loss. This is the real purpose of the EU. A retirement job for domestic political failures.

      Nick Clegg should stop wasting time saying sorry and rule out ever taking an EU job. That’s the real fiddle in politics. Shame on him.

      • peter davies
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        Even without WTO rules I understood EFTA was the vehicle used by the likes of Norway to trade with the EU – There is a big deficit when you discount the Rotterdam trans-shipments (which is ROW trade) so I really don’t understand why leaving would be such a problem.

        The only major stumbling block might be the need to setup free trade agreements specifically for the UK which are in place for the EU.

        The other scare stories about security, etc are just tosh

      • uanime5
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        If leaving the EU is so good for the UK then why is no one in the City calling for the UK to leave? So far they’ve only objected to the Financial Transaction tax.

        • Mark W
          Posted October 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          Do I take it that you now have a strong faith in the city as a good source of judgement. I’m rather surprised.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:31 am | Permalink

          The City doesn’t like uncertainty. When the UK puts forward a coherent plan to negotiate a new relationship with the EU, it will begin to come round. That is why the content of the Conservative Party manifesto in the next General Election is all important.

  3. lifelogic
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Indeed all cooperation with other countries in the EU (and other countries) should be on the basis that we cooperate when it suits us and not when it does not suit us. Out courts should remain the arbiter.

    I read in Delingpole’s blog that Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and John Hayes, the new Minister of State for Energy are actually saying sensible things on “green” quack tax payer funded energy.

    Owen Paterson, said wind developers should “stand on their own two feet” instead of asking for money from the state also, green technologies such as wind farms might actually have a worse impact than climate change, because they are causing “public insurrection”. Better late than never, I suppose, it’s just a shame that half the country has already been covered in bird chomping pointless rotating crosses.

    I am please to see the sound, Dominic Grieve QC, has told Parliament he intends to apply to the High Court to quash the controversial accidental death rulings at Hillsborough. I suppose too, he had to stop us from reading Prince Charles’s spider letters to ministers on architecture, fisheries policy and quack medicine. The wholly unaccountable heir to the throne should copy the Queen and keep out of politics. Especially as his, do as I say not as I do, anti science views are so daft half baked and hypocritical.

    Dominic Grieve does however cuttingly say that, the 27 letters containing “particularly frank” views could be a threat to Charles as King. Let us hope Charles changes tack, he is after all 63 now, not 16.

    • Boudicca
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      I think Grieve’s ‘judgement’ on Charles’ letters makes it perfectly clear that if they WERE released there would be a storm. He has obviously been blatently interfering in matters of a political nature when he should keep schtumn.

      It isn’t enough for the Head of State to appear to be politically impartial – he/she SHOULD be politically impartial. Charles obviously isn’t and we should be able to see just how biased he really is.

      It has been apparent for many years that he will be a disasterous Monarch. No wonder Her Maj won’t abdicate.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Well if the Queen lives as long as her Mum did he might well not be King and not for long. I think we can all imagine the sort of green, homeopathetic, anti science, defending his personal interests, do what I say not what I do, type of agenda that is probably in the letters. No doubt composed as he flies around the world in helicopters and planes.

        Perhaps it is time he grew up and listened to his excellent parents. No green energy, drivel for his father I note.

        • Boudicca
          Posted October 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          I continue to hope that his mother outlives him.

      • Jon Burgess
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        As long as he is politically impartial when he is monarch, that’s all that matters isn’t it? Incidentally, why would the Queen abdicate?

    • Disaffected
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      As Lord Tebbit reported on the Tory conference, Cameron should have swept the carpet with Grieve for his views on remaining in the ECHR as the UK could be viewed as a pariah state. On the other hand, it is what we expect from Europhile Cameron and the luny tune Greenies. He has surrounded himself with Europhiles. Any chance of Milburn, Ebdon or Cable recommending a bit of social engineering in the cabinet to rid an overwhelming number of Oxbridge socialist liberals? A Tory or six would not go a miss.

      Which magazine is correct to write to the PM about household energy costs through the hidden obligation to environment charges. All because the Lib Dems can have wind farms and comply with unproven science for the EU CO2 targets. We cannot afford this lunacy. Canada will not entertain it and the US have made a dramatic U turn. How can industry be competitive with energy costs so high?? It is claimed the economy is their number 1 priority. Cameron and Clegg should stop hiding behind the energy companies and accept responsibility for the costs they are imposing on all of us.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        The economy is their number 1 priority? Perhaps it is their number 1 priority for kicking, taxing, not bank lending to, rendering uncompetitive with fines, red tape, high energy costs and silly employment laws.

        What about the tax system that lets Starbucks pay almost no Corporation Tax yet the small cafe up the road does have to so they end up selling up the a chain in the end.

        I think D Grieve is sound but tied into knots by the Cameron wets and the Libdems that Cameron has lumbered the party with re. the ECHR. I see that BBC favourite Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty has been trumpeting the HR act for protecting the hacker from extradition. We do not need the act and the ECHR to do that just sensible judges with some discretion, in the UK and sensible extradition agreements in place.

        • Sean O'Hare
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          “alleged hacker” please!

          • James Sutherland
            Posted October 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

            Not ‘alleged’, he confessed early in the process (which is what made all the quibbling about “probable cause” versus “reasonable suspicion” completely irrelevant in this case). Indeed, the widely-reported rational was “he did it looking for UFOs” – which would be rather hard to state without admitting it (“I didn’t do it, but if I had it would have been to get UFO information”?)

      • Liz
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Why do media journalists grilling and blaming the energy companies never pick this up aggressively? Presumably they think green energy taxes are a good thing in which case they should be frank with their audience and explain what percentage of bills these taxes are. Not only is energy getting too expensive it is going to run out in a few years time.
        On Europe – any unaccountable Government that can concern itself with such trivial matters as to whether the British WI and other charities can re-use jam jars does not deserve to survive. Why was this not picked up when the directive was
        b. implemented by our commotose Civil Service – who probably did not even think of any consequences.
        This sort of unnecessary interference in a supposedly Soverign country’s affairs is what enrages us and will lead to its downfall.
        Perhaps all those federalist, Europhile MPs should be remindeds that their views do not represent those of their constituents.

    • Muddyman
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      With respect to Charles , as we do not know what is in the letters it is not reasonable to agree with Grieve, it may be that he is resisting what would be of public interest (and possibly of agreement!)

    • Bert Young
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      The best thing would be for him not to become King !.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Will nuclear, oil, and gas also lose their subsidies and have to “stand on their own two feet”, or is green power the only one being handicapped? Let’s not forget that all forms of power generation receive subsidies.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        What on earth do you mean all that all forms of power generation receive subsidies? Many are taxed very heavily – what subsidy for petrol, coal, gas, oil?

      • Disaffected
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        Nuclear and Gas are not dependent on wind farms. Where as wind farms are dependent on gas, nuclear and coal power stations. Wake up, there is going to be a shortfall in energy because of the green crap agenda.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      More pretend objectivity from Dingbat and his disciple lifelogic.

  4. Sue
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    I will give it a go but they don’t listen to us. They think they know best and that we are just “populists”…

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      We are populists and right and they are unpopular and wrong. Role on the greater Switzerland/Norway plan.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        I sometimes don’t catch a lot of the drivel especially from the government but did Cameron or indeed anybody else come up with even the slightest justification of his to me incomprehensible comment about “greater Switzerland”? Let’s hear for William Tell.

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

          No perhaps he thinks having better crime figures, 60% higher GDP and a sound currency is not a good think?

          Maybe he will tell us, one day and perhaps he may even say why he likes the undemocratic EUSSR so much – but I rather doubt it?

          He could even tell us why he like tipping our money down the PIGIS and green energy drains too.

        • zorro
          Posted October 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          No he has maintained radio silence on this issue, a bit like at PMQs today when he looked slightly riled when asked about his email correspondence with a certain person and refused to answer a question…..


      • Bazman
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        What about all the absurd regulations, taxation and cost of living in green clean, welfare support, that exists in Switzerland? This question will not go away. Your ideas are based mainly on a belief of little or no state. How do you square this off? By telling yourself lies about how Switzerland is run. I suspect so.

        • JimF
          Posted October 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          These have all been voted in by the Swiss in referenda.

        • Wonky Moral Compass
          Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

          Have you ever lived in Switzerland? I have and I can tell you that they do have some absurd regulations and that it’s a very expensive place to live. On the plus side, they do tend to have a rather good standard of living and some say over which regulations they want to inflict on themselves. Unlike some other countries we could name.

      • Bazman
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Norway cost of living just one of many sites saying the same. Eye watering does not cover it. It must be their socialist ideas huh? Square that one off.

  5. Boudicca
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    My MP, Sir Paul Beresford won’t take the blind bit of notice. As the Bruges Group website shows, he votes for the EU every time anything comes up in the House – but still has the effrontery to call himself a ‘Eurosceptic. ‘

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Perhaps why he is a Sir?

  6. WitteringWitney
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Writing as a non-member or supporter of Ukip, I find it a tad ironic that you castigate that party and dismiss them ‘out of hand’ – but now seek their help.

    Just saying…….

    Reply: I do not recall “castigating” UKIP. I have often questioned their tactics of concentrating on removing the Eurosceptic MPs we do have in Parliament, instead of concentrating their attacks on federalist MPs. This is consistent with that approach.

    • Boudicca
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Those Eurosceptic MPs have the option of signing Better Off Out. Then UKIP wouldn’t stand against them.

      Unfortunately, we have seen many times with Conservative MPs that whilst they claim to be Eurosceptics (witness my own MP, Sir Paul Beresford) when it comes to the actualite, they do just what the Whips order and vote in favour of the EU at every opportunity.

      Words aren’t enough any more – if they ever were. We need action.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      UKIP should not stand against the (rather few) sound Tory MPs in my opinion.

      • zorro
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        That would make eminent good sense, and hopefully would promote a sweeter mood music. There is no point in continually dredging up old ground, it’s important to look forward at practical cooperation. Some UKIP people are unnecessarily confrontational, but John also harks back to losing some colleagues (David Heathcote-Amory) at the last election. What does that achieve?


      • Disaffected
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense it is time for change and that change will not come unless a concerted effort is made by the public to change the existing rot we have now. Provide two lists of what Cameron has achieved in reducing costs or powers from the EU against those he has welcomed and allowed. The “sound” MPs are not effective.

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 17, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          The “sound” MPs are not effective I agree, they are in a minority. But getting rid of the sound ones and replacing them with some Labour and Libdems ones is not going to help one bit is it? We need more not fewer.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Well, if the sound Tory MP in question has a safe seat, let us say as a random example with a majority of 13,492 at the last election, then UKIP is unlikely to do any harm by putting up a candidate and the UKIP candidate may tell the electors things that even the sound Tory MP may be reluctant to tell them.

        Whether it would be the best use of UKIP resources is another matter.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      How Eurosceptic is surely the question? I am no expert, John, but I do not recognize the picture you paint, my memory saying instead that it has been the Conservatives who would not co-operate with UKIP. If that idiot Cameron had been as accommodating and helpful to UKIP at the last election as he was to the Liberals we would be out of the EU by now.

    • Sue
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      “concentrating on removing the Eurosceptic MPs we do have in Parliament, instead of concentrating their attacks on federalist MPs”.

      The trouble with that statement is, who do we trust? Cameron, a self confessed Eurosceptic, is no such thing. How do we know that these MP’s aren’t going to stab us in the back once they’re elected. At least with UKIP we’re onto a sure thing.

    • WitteringWitney
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      Your analysis may well be true, however if:

      was not a ‘castigation’ of Ukip and all that they attempt to do , then I must have misunderstood that post.

      As I said at the outset I am not a member or supporter of that party, but for you to infer that they are useless, that they have failed in their aims – and then to inlist their help to bring about a situation that you and your party seem unable to accomplish on your own, I find a tad disenegenuous and, dare one say, hypocritical.

      Again, just saying……….

      Reply: I do not castigate UKIP people, n or castigate their stated policy aims. I do continuously point out that as they have no MPs and very few Councillors they cannot help achieve the things they say they want to do. I of course disagree with the UKIP tactic of wishing to get Eurosceptic Conservative MPs thrown out of the Commons!

  7. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    JR: ” It would therefore be a good idea if Eurosceptics would lobby federalist MPs in the LIberal and Labour parties to vote for the opt out, and lobby to prefer co-operation with the rest of the EU by means other than opt in and submission to the Court.”
    What about lobbying federalist MPs in your party too? Please don’t pretend there aren’t any – Ken Clarke is still in the cabinet I believe! Although your proposal for Memoranda of understanding is a good one I doubt that you will see much support from cabinet members of your own party. Anyone voting to opt back into various measures in the EU will show beyond doubt their contempt for public opinion and determination to press on towards the country called Europe of which they dream.

    Reply: By all means write to Mr Clarke as well, who is no longer in the Cabinet.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply
      He still attends cabinet meetings. He may be Minister without Portfolio but we all know he will never be without the one he carries for the EU.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      I thought he was a ‘Minister without portfolio’, i.e. free to interfere and make unhelpful comments to the media about any policy.

      Reply: Yes, but not in the Cabinet

      • outsider
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Dear Mr Redwood, There seems to be some confusion about whether Ken Clarke is in the Cabinet.

        The Parliament website (updated Sept 6) lists him as one of the 24 inside the Cabinet rather than the seven outside who normally attend Cabinet meetings. Does Mr Cameron know? Is Lord Hill of Oareford still in the Government? Does it matter who is in the Cabinet since it obviously is not a decision-making body?

        There seem to be people in the “outer seven” who are probably more influential than those inside. For instance, I would guess that Francis Maude has more say than David Jones. Frankly, it all looks a bit of a shambles. And, of course, no-one in the 24 or the 31 whose main responsibility is European affairs.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply
        He may not be in the cabinet but he attends the meetings which allows him to spout his own views. Why have him there if not to allow him to speak? As for writing to him, what is the point when he boasted that he never read the Maastricht Treaty even though he supported it wholeheartedly?

    • APL
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Brian Tomkinson: “Ken Clarke is still in the cabinet I believe!”

      JR: “who is no longer in the Cabinet.”

      Minister without portfolio, what does that mean?

      That he can swan around any department he chooses to interfere in, with the perks of a ministerial role all the perks, and a government salary ( twice what a back bencher is paid ) but with no responsibility?

      Nice work if you can wrangle it!!

      I see Clarke too thinks the reshuffle was a ‘comic shambles’, I agree but not for the reasons he thinks. It was simply a case of non jobs for Kenny boy.

      Clearly with comments like that and Kenny’s record of fraternizing with any enemy that is conveniently handy. Cameron probably thought it’d be better to have Clarke in the tent’ pissing out’ rather than outside the tent pissing in.

      By the looks of it, it ain’t been a successful strategy.

    • Mark W
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      I’m afraid even though I wish to be out of the EU, I’m also a fan of Ken Clarke. He has always been honest about his position on Europe. I think he’s utterly wrong but at least he is honest.

      If I had a vote on the Tory leadership in 1997 then it would have been Clarke for me. I wonder with his blokish charm and ability to hit hard whether the Labour majority would have been reduced far more in 2001 and then possibly returned to office in a 2006 election. I could have lived with his pro EU stance for the greater good at the time.

      However, in the second round of that Election for Tory leadership 1997 we had that golden chance of a dual bid from Clarke/Redwood. I wish that idea had come together in the first round.

      So pardon me for being a little bold with this request. I’d be very interested to hear from JR on how that might have played out had it happened. Or maybe its be wrote about already, I’d be grateful for direction.

      Reply : I had to choose between voting for Mr Hague and Mr Clarke. Mr Clarke promised me that I could make the policy on the Euro – which for me was to say we should never join – whereas Mr Hague said he had to leave open the question of whether we joined. It was as simple as that. It was the consequence of coming third and being eliminated for the last round of the leadership election.

      • Mark W
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Thank you Mr Redwood.

        The rest, as they say, is history. Missed opportunity. Out of all the contenders at the time I believed that Hague was the worst choice. I reread some of the news at the time at it’s always pleasent to see what your memory held on to and what was forgotten. The Press had you wrote off in round one and then you came third. Would you have done better without them writing the result for you in advance. (their magic did it for Cameron).

        I forgot Thatcher came in for Hague. I’m guessing you don’t take that personally, can’t see her being a member of the K Clarke fan club.

        As you have to work with him you can’t say too much, but the villain of the piece to me was Lilley who failed in 1995 and again in 1997 to back his beliefs over personal ambition.

        Reply I thought Michael Howard and Peter Lilly had agreed that whichever one of the three of us got the most votes in the early rounds would receive the full support of the other two and they would do their best to persuade their supporters to switch. If I had come fourth or fifth I would have switched to back Peter or Michael (whoever was third)and urged my supporters to do likewise. They did not do the same in turn.

        • Mark W
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          Thank you again. I didn’t expect you to be so frank about this.

          I imagine that had Portillo not lost his seat he’d have been the front runner of the “cabinet B’stards”. Anne Widdecombe and Matthew Parris did little to help you or Howard, but I didn’t realise that Howard was of the right wing too. In the way yourself, Lilley and Portillo were.

          I guess that Howard’s carreer is long gone now but I’ll always carry a slight grudge against Lilley for his part. I may be wrong, but Labour may not have been in power 13 years if a better candidate had been in place in 1997.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      No point in writing to Clarke he surely won’t bother to read it – he has not even read the treaties he advocated and lumbered us yet has he?

  8. zorro
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    We will still have to manage cooperation on judicial and investigative affairs carefully. A lot of our ability to exercise immigration control depends on our relations with the French and Belgians. Wev have juxtaposed controls in both those countries and they are a cost effective way at stopping people arriving in the UK and claiming asylum. Th numbers have come down to more manageable levels from the turn of the millenium. We also have joint investigation units with some EU countries, and it will be important to ensure that these relationships continue. If we withdraw or rely on dealing with people when they come here rather than dealing with them outside of the UK where possible, we will probably spend more on dealing with issue and be less effective based on past experience.


  9. oldtimer
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    This is a sensible idea. The recent Spiegel article on German, specifically Merkel`s, attitudes to the UK reinforces your case. The EZ crisis and the measures now proposed by the German minister, Schauble, to preserve the EZ intact makes a parting of the ways more and more likely. The issue is how this will happen and with what damage to UK-EU relations. Almost certainly it will not be on the terms and to a timetable that Mr Cameron wants.

  10. Steven Whitfield
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Uncle Redwood,
    It’s good to hear that you have has shifted your position slightly from one of hostility more towards co-operation and friendship towards UKIP members – you are natural allies. A wise move and a step in the right direction in my view.

  11. Jerry
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Totally agreed with Mrs May on Monday but by Tuesday she seems to have decided to opt out of all other extradition methods too, but I digress…

  12. merlin
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    The faster we can become independent the better, I would leave the EUSSR yesterday if possible. I am absolutley sick of the EUSSR calling the shots. WHY should we ask for anything from THEM, they are and always will be old enemies, we owe them nothing, we give them £50,000,000 a day to contribute to the gravy train that is the EUSSR. I totally agree with getting powers back, but I read we are going to be fined in some way if that happens. Personally I hope it all goes wrong and we end up with a YES/NO referendum. Frankly I really don’t care at all if the Dutch or Germans don’t want us in it, all I’m concerned about is the return of the nation state which HAS Kept the peace in Europe for the past 60 years, not all this eurobrainwashing nonsense that we have to put up with. Great Britain managed for over a 1000 years as an independent nation, remember the British Empire which ruled the world. Once we get out of this stalanist institution called the EUSSR the whole country will breath a blessed sigh of relief and we can start to build again for the future as a we did before when we were taken into it by the traitor Heath. Bring on the YES/NO referendum and get behind UKIP.

    • Mark W
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      I apologise for coping and pasting this from my previous reply but I really think and believe a referendum is not enough….

      We need to be out. A referendum could then be held a few years later once we’ve had the benefits of non membership. Remember the ERM, we were going to hell in a hand cart if we had to leave that. Imagine if there had been a referendum campaign on that at the time. The BBC and all three political parties scaring people witless. Attempting to paint campaigners for an “out” vote as little Englanders, frothing at the mouth unhinged right wing loons etc etc. Then look what happened when we left the ERM, unprecedented growth.

      • Jerry
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        @MarkW: So you wish to be as undemocratic as the EU basically! The only mandate for the action you suggest would be if one of the anti EU parties (UKIP, SLP, BN) gained a majority government and thus withdrawal was a manifesto pledge, but as the UKIP (never mind the other two) hasn’t managed to get a single Westminster MP elected -not even a close second- in 18 years of trying it is clear that there will have to be a referendum.

        Continued short-term membership of the EU, because the UK is not within the EZ, is not causing anything like the problems that membership of the ERM caused, yes the eurocrats can huff, puff and try to fine us for non-compliance or joining in their ‘happy-clappy’ rendition of “Ode to Joy” etc. but the more they do the more chance the people of the UK will vote to leave their nonsense. As Des Spiegel pointed out in this recently cited article, it is clear that opinion have started to change, they are now taking the possibility of a UK exit very seriously, thus eurocrats will be very foolish to rock the boat even more…

        • Mark W
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

          Jerry. I don’t believe it is undemocratic to just leave on a simple pariliamentary vote. We don’t have a big history with referendums (is it latin) anyway.

          The ambition of the EU is ever closer integration. The Euro has failed but they are making life very difficult for many in the south just to keep their little toy afloat. We had no referendum on Nato, Iraq, Afghamistan etc so why on the most expensive piece of foreign policy we follow, The EU.

          We elect MPs to make these decisions. How much they are swayed by the possibility of a job for life, I can only suspect. But the EU is not the benefit it was sold to us as. It has little direct accountability. Even if the EU parliament was the sole vehicle and executive it would be hard to know who to support as in the press the candidates would be too remote. US states have more independence from Washington in some respects.

          I’m just sick to the back teeth of “little europhiles” trying to force this political block on to completely diverse countries.

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      I hesitate to get into Yah Boo! but please don’t put your faith in UKIP. They are similar in their dirty tactics to the LibDems, in other words they are not to be trusted. I believe also there are major splits now in the leadership.
      Time would be better spent trying to change the minds of existing EU Federalists. I suspect it will be far easier to get them to ‘come out’ than to back a party like UKIP which is just a one issue pressure group.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      I’ve got a feeling that a yes/no referendum could go horribly wrong for the UKIP supporters and many others who want out of Europe complete. As many see the race to the bottom being allowed to continue unabated, by fantasists who do not have to do what many would recognise as a days work or a days unemployment. Health & safety would be out of the window for a start and and the erosion of benefits and work rights, to blame and incentive the unemployed and under employed thorough the lack of jobs or personal circumstances would be given almost religious zeal. Usually happens like this. Yes it does! What will the the ones who so believe the vote will be a no vote do then? It is not in their nature to accept the democratic process as they fundamentally do not believe in it allowing it to be sold to anyone who has the money to make threats This idea that a non EU Britain could stop immigration is another fantasy linked to the belief in desperation creates work. Do tell us how and how more desperate British will do this work. Of course they cannot as their arguments are based on believing not fact and argument. Take a look at the posts on this site. In general with a few exceptions and interesting posters, any reasoned argument is ignored and where possible made to be wish washy without giving any reasons why. ‘Feeling’ something is right might work in the pub or at work or when talking to children. Not here or by your employer or by the voting population. Ram it. You might just have to.

      • Jerry
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Bazman, there are many on the left of the Labour movement who want out of the EU, it’s just that New Labour either silenced them or forced them out of the Labour Party, so don’t assume that just because the top brass of Labour Party see the EU in a good light that all on the political left (both within politics or the trade unions) do likewise. Don’t mistake making use of EU legislation to take an agenda forward as support for the EU, that is simply playing the rules, both left and right have done this and indeed UKIP’s very presence in the EU Parliament only exist because they are ‘playing the rules’ that they wish did not exist.

        Please stop scaring people with lies about H&S, such legislation in the UK largely pre-dates the UK’s membership of the EEC and long before the eurocrats in the shape of the EC/EU started to interfere, there is nothing what so ever to suggest that non membership of the EU would change such legislation. The UK has a long association with safety at work, why would we suddenly change 200 years of history?

      • Mark W
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        Jerry is correct.

        H&S predated the EU. H&S is not the scare story the Daily Mail (I don’t read it) tries to say it is.

        H&S scare stories are the work of shyster companies that set up to intimidate small companies into signing up with them at great expense. Consultants etc. As an employer, in many areas I go into detail beyond the advice of the HSE as it’s a duty of care to my staff. I realise that laws are required, but the HSE is quite relaxed in its approach. They hammer neglect, and rightly so. It takes only a little care and effort to stay up to date with the HSE website or go on a course to stay on the curve.

        But we do not need the EU for it.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

          Much of the ‘regulation’ the anti EU business lobby is against, is health & safety and employment rights and laws, believing if this is lessened by leaving the EU, then more jobs will be created. When questioned on why less rights and less H&S will create more jobs have little to say. The real reason being that they believe desperation creates work, but of course if they said this would find themselves out in the open to be trod on. Take the building industry as an example. Self regulation? What planet are they on?
          It’s not about the EU but making it easier to exploit the workforce or at least the desperate ones allowing the not so desperate to be put under pressure.

          • Mark W
            Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

            I believe you may be believing too much “Daily Mail” type ranting about regulation. I know too little of the building industry to comment, but I generally get the impression that it is time consuming paper shuffling that is the problem, not the main thrust.

            Health & Safety is not the great beaurocratic nightmare its gets coverage as. (This is dubious consulatants scaring small businesses into part with large sums for needless work).

            Examples of red tape are waste disposal. Now it is quite obvious that people shouldn’t tip engine oil down drains or throw sheets of asbestos in the dustbin. Straight forward law enforcement could deal with this, instead of an enviromental agency wasting my time with needless form filling to dump, err…. paper and plastic cups.

  13. Duyfken
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    You suggest the UK cooperates “with other EU countries over extradition, police intelligence and the like, but do so through Memoranda of understanding as we do with non EU countries.” For clarification, I presume you mean that the memoranda would not be with the EU (a la the Swiss agreements with the EU) but with each country within the EU.

  14. Steven Whitfield
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Logical thinking is needed to sort out the EU mess. I commend this website to those exploring the EU arguments.

  15. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Please can I also point out that some of our MEPs have worked relentlessly to sort out European fisheries policy and are facing problems because UKIP simply won’t turn up and vote. By their actions it seems they’d rather create failure and further damage our fishing industry so that they have ammunition to fire at the EU than actually turn up and vote so that a successful outcome is achieved.

    I’d be grateful if UKIP supporters who post on this blog could make it clear to their leader that this is not what they want.

    This 49s YouTube is a clip from the European Parliament which gives insight into this issue. It Chris Davies talking about the Fisheries committee.

    • Rebecca Hanson
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Do I take it then that UKIP do believe that it is best to sabotage our industries and political infrastructure by working to prevent intelligent policy being ratified?

      That’s vile.

  16. Barbara Stevens
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    The problem is Mr R, the Conservatives don’t really know how the country really feels on the EU or chooses to ignore it. They believe the next election is in the bag with their welfare reforms, they may have a shock. The EU and immigration is still a large issue, neither have been addressed by Cameron, in fact the former as not even been touched, and the latter ineffective. As far as I see it we are still not far off from where we were three years ago.
    Making statements about some 133 laws we don’t want, is nothing after all this time, and in fact is all about pandering to the eurosceptics who are making waves and being heard above the leader. UKIP is making great in roads into the voters, they hear them loud an clear, and the like what they hear. Activists for the Conservatives is at an all time low, and membership the lowest for years, yet, still they allow Cameron to pursue policies that will lose them votes. Talking about a referendum in the next parliament is foolish when people won’t trust or believe Cameron again. Immigration is still rising, and with a housing crisis on our hands, benefits to all and sundry, health tourists not paying for treatment, all this is where the anger is festering. Top that with the resentment about the EU and our right to have a referendum denied, the Conservatives will lose big time, and they only have themselves to blame. Ignoring the electorate is a dangerous game, Labour did that and look where it got them. Has for the Lib Dems, forget them they have had it, and who with any commonsense would allow them into parliament again, mad green polices, making cost rise beyond affordablity, their insistance on Europe against the countries wishes. Know wonder UKIP are rising like a free bird.

    Reply: If you really wanted to help us win the European argument you would concentrate on how UKIP can replace federalist Labour and Lib dem MPs – that is the important challenge.

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      And federalist conservatives?

  17. Vanessa
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    UKIP has been shouting about this for about 18 months and I wrote David Davis informing him the cut-off date was 2014 and urging him to opt-out of this horrific law. At last some tiny smidgen of action from the tories on the EU. You are right; we should certainly NOT opt back in to anything.

  18. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Merkel & Cast Iron view themselves as playing the hand dealt by a US financial crises. Playing for time, as events in the US play out, is their only “strategy”. Ironically if Romney is elected he may yet save their wretched EZ agenda. Nobama, again ironically, might be better in the long term as his incompetant & baldly left-wing policies will fail. Though my hope is Romney will slay the stealth socialist dragon it remains to be seen if he is the US “Cast Iron”. The separation of powers will allow truly Constitutional Conservative Senators & Congressman to keep Romney in line.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Would you find it acceptable to be forced to go to a Romney meeting by your employer and then have your pay docked for not being at work in this case a coal mine? Could give details, but lets find out first if you agree with this in principal or threats from employers to employees to vote ‘the right way’ or face ‘lower living standards’ and Romney telling employers that their employees need to vote ‘the right way’ in a phone conversation. Tells you a lot about who Romney is and who’s interests he has close. The interests of the employer are the same as the the employee? Ram it Chris.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    No point in me lobbying my MP, although I suppose I could write and congratulate her on her very welcome decision.

  20. peter davies
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Some real sense at last – not just talk

  21. Paul
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately my federalist MP is Conservative. I remember asking him whether he would vote for an EU referendum last year and he did very well to write one full side of A4 without answering the question. Unsurprisingly he voted against it. I’m undecided whether to vote Labour or UKIP at the next election. I detest Labour but want them to win the next election so the Conservatives will wake up and ditch their useless leader.

  22. Iain Gill
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Andrew Mitchell not gone yet?

    Deary me how to throw votes away by the millions

    How not to run a party lesson

    Come on John you know you want to come out and say he must go…

  23. Peter Richmond
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I find it interesting to reflect here on the way Ireland finally achieved a reconciliation. During the latter part of the 20th century, politics was dominated by moderate parties, the SDLP led by John Hulme for the Nationalists and, on the other hand, the Unionists led by David Trimble. Both admired by many in the community and respected figures within the establishment of the Republic and the UK respectively. However ultimately it took the election of two who were considered to be extreme figures, namely Ian Paisley of the DUP and Martin MacGuiness of Sein Fein to resolve the key issues. Extreme people can be fanatical and maybe dangerous but it is important to listen to them. St Paul may have killed many people but in the end he was a great leader. Are we in the UK at a similar crossroads vis a vis the EU and perhaps different leaders will be needed to bring about the change many people are clearly hoping for? Discuss…..As the say in class.

  24. uanime5
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Other than the European Arrest Warrant and the Schengen Information System (SIS) does anyone know what the UK is opting out of? If not then how do you know it’s a bad thing, other than the old “it’s from the EU therefore bad” rant?

    Also the disabled are likely to have their benefits cut when universal credit is introduced:

    • Jerry
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      @uanime5: We won’t know what the UK has opted out of until we know what we are opting (back) into, think about it….

      • uanime5
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        You do realise that there’s a list of what these proposals entail so it’s quite easy to know what the UK would opt into. I was pointing out that a large number of posters are praising the UK from opting out when they don’t even know what the UK has opted out of.

        • Jerry
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          Sorry “uanime5”, run that past us again, we know what is in the list yet we don’t know what is in the same list?!…

          The fact remains though, until the government has actually opted back into what ever we will not know what has been opted back into, unless someone amongst us is a mind reader, it’s even possible that our host won’t know much before the EU, parliament and the media are told.

  25. Bill
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    I have recently been reading Dominic Sandbrook’s excellent book on the Heath government (State of Emergency) and have also Chris Patten’s Not Quite the Diplomat (2005). For Heath the reason for going into the Common Market, as it then was, was to prevent any future European war. I saw him speak at a televised Oxford Union debate just before the referendum that took us in and this was the point that made him most eloquent. For him and his generation the slaughter of 1945 was worth avoiding at any price. Macmillan would probably have taken the same view. Helmut Kohl, who lost a brother in the war, believed the same thing.

    Of course, the Common Market has turned itself into a bureaucratic monster…but that is not how it once was. I think it would be quite reasonable to make this point to the federalists. We voted in 1975 for something quite different for what we now have. The Common Market was intended to produce peace and prosperity but not a lumbering quasi-state full of bureaucrats and with annual accounts that are never signed off.

  26. Jon
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Whilst the Labour and Lib Dem leadership is pro EU I sense there are many MPs there that don’t favour the EU like their constituents.

  27. Alte Fritz
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Euroscepticism becomes a bit repetitive after the first ten years or so. Almost forty years on and the adamantine untruthfulness of EU enthusiasm compels one to argue on. Even in our more or less rigged referendum in 1975, the vote was to remain in a free trade area. And now?

    Germany’s Euro elite remains in flight from a past which is almost beyond living memory. It’s time to move on.

  28. Merlin
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    @prangwizard you are obviously misinformed about UKIP, it is the fastest growing party in the UK when the 3 party’s membership is on the decline-why don ‘t you attend a meeting and find out, you would be amazed at the real enthusiasm there is for Great Britain as a Nation State. Your other comment about leadership problems is also completly wrong.

    • Jerry
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      @merlin: “prangwizard” wasn’t commenting on membership numbers, read his comment again, in fact many of UKIP’s (reported) internal problems quite likely stem from such a large and quick increase in membership, for a long time UKIP has been either a one-man-band or not much more than a quartet or sextet…

      • Mark W
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        I think many miss the purpose of UKIP, or the only real purpose it can possibly have.

        It is a shambles. (Kilroy Silk?? Lord “well briefed” Pearson)

        It is a one man show, (Nigel Farage)

        It has no MPs.

        It’s share of vote had gone up dramatically at last General Election.

        It’s share of vote will go up again, I’ll imagine, as a result of people like me and many I know that voted Tory in 87, 92, 97, 01, 05, 10. And always remained in support. (I and a couple of others moved to UKIP in EU election but that is all, never threatened to not vote Tory in a General Election).

        But I will vote UKIP in a General Election, with the full knowledge that UKIP will most likely not win a single seat. Why? to throw the Tories out and let the EU federalist Labour back in power. Do I want that? No. Will I still make a rational decsion to vote for that? Yes. The Tories do not deserve office if once they hold it they do nothing for their supporters.

        And before cries of LibDems comes up, the referendum vote did not have 307 behind it when it failed. If it had failed with 307 I’d still vote Tory, (and the child benefit attack on stay at home parents too).

        • Jerry
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

          @MarkW: The Tories can’t do anything if not in power (as seems likely if people such as you do as you suggest in 2015), they can’t do as they wish is they lack a majority and thus have to ‘shack-up’ with a Europhile party (as happened due to the UKIP vote in 2010), sorry but the polling booth actions you speak of also go by the phrase; “To cut your own nose off to spite someone else’s face” – pure stupidity in other words. 🙁

          • Mark W
            Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

            You haven’t addressed why all 307 Tory MPs failed to vote for the referendum or why Cameron dropped the Cast Iron guarantee.

  29. Merlin
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    I listened to Mr Slippery at PMQ’S,s today and he stated that he was in favour of staying in the EUSSR and re-negotiating within this Stalinist regime was the best deal for Britain and it would be good for the British people. This is what will be in the next election manifesto. So if re-elected we will be in the EUSSR for another 7 years, after this I think it is seriously possible it will be the end of the UK as we know it. No political party in the UK , apart from UKIP , will give you the opportunity to leave. A serious consideration for the future of democracy in the UK. It so reminds me of Chamberlain returning from Berlin, anybody remember that?

    • Jerry
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      @Merlin: “I listened to Mr Slippery at PMQ’S

      When did UKIP manage to get a MP (elected or otherwise)?! 🙂

      Merlin, your constant use of silly and/or insulting language does nothing for your arguments, just makes you sound the crack-pot without a clue – even more so if you are seriously suggesting that the EU is anything like the old “Stalinist regime”, when did the EU start taking people from their beds, shooting them or sending them to the frozen north etc to work in the gulag’s?

      • Mark W
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, I think you’ll find Mr Slippery is a term coined by Peter Hitchens for David Cameron. EUSSR is becoming a more frequently used insult to the EU. Both seem resonable. No more rude than “little Englander” or other idiotic terms for those of us that wish to be free of the EU.

        The EU seems unlikely at present to resort to gulags or a great terror, but they do seem keen on confiscation of wealth by high taxes. This is always the great error of the left. When silly misdirection like “writing a cheque of £40,000 to millionaires” is used, it misses the whole point of the money not being the state’s property in the first place. And to earn a million doesn’t make you a millionaire. You have to do it for two years as you’d be some what short of the mark in year one.

        • Jerry
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          The only people who use such terms are those without anything more intelligent to say (or should I say, rant about), the sad fact is the news paper Mr Hitchens writes for all to often has nothing better to say than have a anti-EU or right-wing rant whilst peddling half truths/facts and preaching the already converted. It was this face of journalism [1], as found in these sorts of tabloid titles, that the script writers of “Yes Minister” were taking the p!ss out of…

          [1] perhaps that should be ‘this farce of journalism’

          • Mark W
            Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            Mr Hitchens writes for The Mail on Sunday. Not the Daily Mail.

            Insulting terms add a little colour to debate and there’s no harm in preaching to the converted. It can help galvanise your support. Mild insults are fun, it’s when they become aggressive ad hominem it is time to show restraint. What fun would there be on these threads without the pleasure of being told to ram it. I may disagree with some of Bazman’s contributions but I enjoy the spirit in which he writes.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            Mr Hitchens writes for The Mail on Sunday. Not the Daily Mail.

            Sorry, right house wrong room!

  30. Jon Burgess
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    What is the point of being a Eurosceptic Tory, or being Eurosceptic within the Tory party? Your leader gave the clearest indication yet today that he DOES NOT WANT THE UK TO LEAVE THE EU. He is in favour of an in/ in referendum, so that is what will go in your manifesto.
    Your party leaders (like labour and the lib dems) do not want us to have the chance to decide this for ourselves and will conspire to avoid an in / out vote for another 40 years.
    If given the chance. Renegotiation is just another smokescreen to avoid the real issue of in or out, with the knowledge that the longer we are in the harder it gets to come out.
    But they like to have you on the sidelines making noises off that allow them to claim the cloak of Eurosceptism when it suits them, where none really exists. Does it ever occur to you that by remaining in your pro EU party you are helping to perpetuate this false image? I implore you – either ditch Dave or join a properly anti EU party before the chance of securing an in out vote is lost for another generation.

    Reply I voted for an In/Out referendum so I am not your problem. The problem is the 450 plus MPs who voted against. I did not see any UKIP MPs there to help me.

  31. Mr. Bubbles
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Would be interested to hear if you think Andrew Mitchell should go, John. And your general thoughts on today’s 1922 meeting (since much of it has been leaked anyway).

    Says a lot about the present leadership of the party that 1) the Prime Minister seems incapable of making a decision on the matter, 2) that Mitchell has no honour (but then we knew that from his days of giving our billions of pounds of our money for his own personal aggrandisement), and 3) that the attitude he showed towards the police and the great unwashed is seemingly endorsed by it.

    This toxic issue is doing your party a heck of a lot more damage than I think Cameron realises (I would say ‘our’ party, but I stopped voting Tory for the second time in my life at the last local elections and won’t be back whilst this lot are in charge).

  32. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    I am not sure that writing to LibDem and Labour MPs who are not my MP will produce much of a result. However, I might write to my MP James Arbuthnot, a middle of the road Conservative who is interested in defence and is not standing for re-election. It is important to maximize Conservative support for your ideas.

    I think that you might be better placed than us to identify LibDem and Labour MPs who have a component of Euroscepticism in them. In Labour, Graham Stringer and Austin Mitchell come to mind, while I simply refuse to believe that a majority of the people of the west country, a LibDem stronghold, are in favour of a federal Europe. Are there no Conservative MPs in the west country who can stir them up a bit?

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Yes indeedy! James Grey, North Wiltshire has an excellent voting record on matters EU. Unfortunately, due to the last round of boundary changes I am now stuck with a LibDem.

      • Sean O'Hare
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Sorry that should have been “James Gray”.

  33. merlin
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    I concur with other contributors on the John Redwood website, I thoroughly enjoy the contributions from Bazman, Uanim5 and Jerry, they add interest and make you think. They have on many occasions attacked my contributions and I sometimes feel as though I am in a gladiatorial arena, keep it up guys, and I look forward to furthur combats. I wish the 3 of you all the best to all of you.

    Reply: Yes, I think the variety of views is healthy and keeps us all on our toes.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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