A letter to Angela Merkel


Dear Mrs Merkel,

You will be made most welcome in the UK today. Many of us wish you well in your battles to improve financial discipline within the Euro area, to sort out the problem debts and deficits in the zone, and the remaining substantial difficulties  in Eurozone banks.  We would like the rest of the Eurozone to enjoy similar growth and prosperity to Germany’s, based on hard work, enterprise and business success.

As you know, the UK did not join the Eurozone, for both economic and political reasons. Seeing the damage the European Exchange Rate Mechanism did to us and others on the continent, we showed ourselves to be good Europeans by staying out. Had the UK entered, with a banking system and economy that was not harmonised with the rest, we might well have brought the whole Euro crashing down in the crisis of 2008. Who would have stood behind the UK banks at risk when we no longer controlled our own money supply and money markets?

We also stayed out because the UK electorate and government have no wish to be part of a common government from Brussels. The UK entered the EEC  after the founder members, and did so to belong to a common market. It was such a concept that the voters approved by referendum in 1975. They did not consent to ever closer union, and more common government. They were reassured by the Labour government at the time that we would not lose sovereignty.

Today UK voters want reform in many areas. They want benefit reform, better control of our borders, cheaper energy, better flood protection, less interference with small companies and enterprise. In each of these areas the UK government is blocked or diverted by EU laws.  Increasingly we feel we suffer from having two governments for the price of three, with high taxes and high energy prices limiting our ability to compete with the USA and Asia.

The UK is of course willing to back Germany in any sensible moves to tackle the problems with dear energy, open borders and welfare reform on an EU wide basis. However, at the same time many in the UK want a new relationship with the EU. We have no wish to stand in your way as you go about your necessary task of leading the Eurozone to reform and greater economic policy control from the centre. As non Euro members we wish to go in the opposite direction, and need to protect our interests as an independent trading nation.

We of course have no wish to impose any new constraints on German exports to the UK. We appreciate the importance of the UK market to you , with many here enjoying  buying  German goods. Similarly we are sure Germany would not wish to impose any new barriers against UK exports to the continent.

I wish you a happy stay, and trust we can make progress both in general EU reform and in establishing  a new relationship for the UK as a non Euro member wishing to restore its national independent democratic government. Many of us who are English would also like our country to be recognised and to be proeprly considered in debates, instead of being pushed off the map of Europe altogether.


Yours etc


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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Indeed the UK electorate have no wish to be part of a common government from Brussels. The UK government however is a coalition between the Libdems who clearly do wish to ruled anti-democratically by Brussels and the Tories who are spit with about 60% of them (and clearly the heart and soul leadership) also in favour of this. Though they are under pressure electorally from the sensible wing of the party and UKIP to make occasional sceptical noises.

    The leadership have clearly decided that the next election is lost either way and seem to have simply thrown in the towel. All that is needed to win is believable promises on cheaper no religious energy, controlled immigration, less EU, less government, more freedom, fewer regulations and lower taxes. One might have thought this would not be a problem for real Tories. But then believable is very hard for Cameron to deliver with his record of endless ratting. His long grass tactic of renegotiation and a referendum in 2017 is very clearly a con. Then we have the BBC with its anti-democratic, EU driven, fake green, left wing, ever bigger government agenda. Reinforced hugely by Cameron’s appointment of Lord Patten.

    Mrs Merkel has an almost impossible job but I wish her well.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      Reading Tony Hall’s recent vacuous speech on the BBC he seems to be yet another dreadful “BBC think” person to the very core. He resist the sharing the licence fee as if only the BBC has a right to it.

      He has said:

      “Part of this story about value for money – what makes it possible – is a constant emphasis on efficiency” Yea sure, BBC staff are hugely overpaid, over paid off and over pensioned in an area where many thousands of competent people would work for nothing.

      “The people of this country make a bold and generous commitment in paying for the BBC” – how can it be generous if they have no choice one wonders? He even claims it is owned by the British people. Well where can they sell there shares or influence the BBC?

      It is a propaganda unit for fake greenery, ever more EU, ever more tax, more regulation, more fake equality, more uncontrolled immigration and ever more government all funded unwillingly by the people they mislead everyday. He is, needless to say, yet another Oxford PPE man.


      • Hope
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        The visit in respect of any renegotiation is a farce. Two weeks ago Cameron spent £18 million pounds of taxpayers’ money for propaganda to promote closer union to the EU. This is fact about his actions not false jam tomorrow promises that we hear from Cameron.

        We learnt yesterday of how there appears to be a blur between the executive, judiciary and law. How can an amnesty be given to potential murderers without the consent of parliament, its people or the agencies who enforce law, who so called act independently? Did Blair give a presidential pardon? Robinson, who was present at the Good Friday Agreement appears to know nothing about the pardons? It also raises what other secret deals were done ie in relation to Iraq, Kelly’s death or the secrecy behind the closer union of the UK to the EU without public consent. A public inquiry is required how politicians can behave like this and if at all possible brought to justice themselves. This is not within our constitution, and if needs be perhaps it is time for a written one where it is clearly spelt out that MPs cannot abuse their positions in such a way.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

          Indeed and we still have attacks on the UK defence forces, even in Clifton, Bristol just a few days back with several small incendiary bombs – though rather little reported I note.

          • arschloch
            Posted February 27, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

            What you mean this? Presumably its the same bunch (words left out ed) who were also giving TESCO the runaround in Stokes Croft recently


            The BBC “undemocratic” thats news to me. If I remember it was their correspondent Gilligan who was leading from the front with claims of a “dodgy dossier” while a load of MPs kept drinking the Kool Aid on Iraq, though strangely enough not Kenny Clarke

            Reply Not necessarily the same people – if they have committed offences then they should be charged and prosecuted.

        • Richard1
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          In the light of this fiasco and the fact that we hear that all sorts of IRA terrorists and murderers have been let off, there should be no question of any prosecution of any member of the UK armed forces or police for historic events as is apparently, grotesquely unfairly, contemplated following the Bloody Sunday enquiry. Conservative MPs must insist on this and force this out of the govt.

      • David Ashton
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic, I am surprised he said it was owned by the British
        people, because the BBC refuses FOI requests based on it being a independent/private enterprise.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Net migration to the UK rose to 212,000 in the year to September 2013.

        Why does Cameron make promises he simply cannot keep without leaving the EU? Meanwhile is is damaging the economy by heavily restricting some valuable non EU migrants and students.


        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          And this is only the ones they know about.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      The outrage over a judge’s absurd 4(=2) year sentence on a killer shows the need for independence on judicial issues. It is clear the judiciary is now stuffed with politically correct judges from the Labour years. Judge selection processes according to barristers I know now focus on things like how many courses in equality and diversity they have done. So Parliament must set stricter sentencing guidelines, we can’t leave it to judges of this sort. People who attack others or burgle houses need to face long prison sentences. At the moment any such move would be overturned by the ECJ. Getting back Parliamentary sovereignty on this should be a key objective in any renegitation. This is also excellent territory for Conservatives, as the public are well to the right of all parties on these issues.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        It always seem to me that if you punch someone (and they then die as a result) you have committed the same offence as if you punch someone in the same way and they are not seriously injured but could have been. Perhaps we should treat all violence more seriously. The police usually do virtually nothing, in my experience, for the latter. Always looking for reasons to do nothing.

        In the same way if you drive drunk & dangerously & crash you car at 80 mph into a bus shelter (but by luck no one is waiting as the bus has just been). Have you not committed the same offence as if you kill several children who were waiting there? Just that you were more lucky.

        If you mug some one and they chase you across the road and die for example is it worse than any other mugging.

        I have in the past left my hand brake off in error, but fortunately the car did not run off a sand bank on to a beach and kill anyone.

        • Jennifer A
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          Lifelogic – You really need to see the footage (Mr Redwood too.)

          There is no doubt that it was a punch with killer potential and the most wicked intent.

          Walking away from someone in such a distressed condition was a crime in itself.

          What is more frightening is the way the judge has behaved.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted February 28, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            I agree it was a horrible crime my point was that had some one done exactly the same punch (but the person had not by chance died) then they have surely committed the same horrible crime in essence and it should also be treated very seriously.

            Not, as now, often just ignored by the police.

        • Richard1
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

          There were 3 bits of criminal justice news yesterday: The secret let off for IRA terrorists; the absurd sentence for the killer yob; and further coverage of the £millions trial of Rebecka Brooks.

          The criminal justice system needs to focus its resources (trials, police time, prison places) on people who are a danger to the public.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted February 28, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink


        • Hope
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          Immigration at 212,000, kjellystrom admitting most laws made effecting peoples lives come from the EU and Merkel saying she is not about to allow wholesale change to EU rules. Now what part of this failure on all matters relating to the EU do Tory MPs not understand or why would they believe Cameron?

          How could he make a promise on immigration when freedom of movement in the EU with the incentive of free public services and non contributory welfare and a free house does Cameron not understand. It was reported by the ONS a large influx by Romanian and Bulgarians, Cameron lt said it was reasonable! If the majority of laws are made in there EU, claimed by an EU official, affect our daily lives how does Cameron hope to achieve any sensible renegotiation? The most powerful country in the EU is not going to let it happen. Based on this why does Cameron not have the EU referendum now, he does not need the Lib Dems any more?

          It appears the Tory party are up the creek Without a paddle before the May elections, I note they are asking for people to vote by post.

        • uanime5
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

          It always seem to me that if you punch someone (and they then die as a result) you have committed the same offence as if you punch someone in the same way and they are not seriously injured but could have been.

          Under the law the former is either murder or manslaughter, while the latter is GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm) with intent or GBH. It may also be ABH (Actual Bodily Harm) if the damage is minor.

          Unless the sentencing guidelines have changed for murder you get an automatic life sentence, for manslaughter and GBH with intent it’s a maximum of 25 years for a first offence and a life sentence for a second offence, for GBH it’s a maximum of 5 years.

          You need different sentences to reflect the different intentions and levels of seriousness. Having the same sentence for minor and serious offences just encourages people to commit serious offences since they won’t be treated any worse.

          In the same way if you drive drunk & dangerously & crash you car at 80 mph into a bus shelter (but by luck no one is waiting as the bus has just been). Have you not committed the same offence as if you kill several children who were waiting there?

          By that logic you could claim that anyone who crashes their car is guilty of manslaughter because they could have hit someone. You can only charge people for the crimes they’ve committed, not what they could have committed. Though a judge can give a harsher sentence to reflect the seriousness of the crime.

          Also it would be manslaughter rather than murder unless you can prove that the driver deliberately tried to hit people.

          If you mug some one and they chase you across the road and die for example is it worse than any other mugging.

          As your action wasn’t the direct cause of their death you can’t be charged with murder or manslaughter. Though the judge may be more likely to impose a longer prison sentence.

      • Colin
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Four years for manslaughter following a guilty plea is perfectly in accordance with sentencing guidelines. You may think he should have got longer (and presumably you’re happy to pay to feed and house prisoners for extended terms) but you can’t blame the judge for applying the law.

        It’s odd that you say this “shows the need for independence on judicial issues”, then say you want stricter guidelines set by Parliament. Make up your mind!

        “People who attack others or burgle houses need to face long prison sentences. At the moment any such move would be overturned by the ECJ.”

        I assume you mean the ECHR, and this is simply untrue. People are already given long sentences for serious crimes, and the ECHR does not interfere with that.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Very well said Richard1.
        It’s time that the judiciary was examined a bit more closely along with the Crown Prosecution Service. They seem to have been immune from criticism so far although, as you say, ‘stuffed with politically correct judges’.
        It was disturbing to hear the judge in the Lee Rigby case state that there had been ‘….a betrayal of Islam’. This suggests that not only does he speak for Islam but that he is an authority on and for Islam. It also means that instead of Islam being possibly an objective component of this case, it is being defended by the judge subjectively in that the judge has stated an opinion of his own in a matter surely not directly relevant to the case in law. He seems to have gone beyond his remit in order to appease Muslims by attempting to separate Islam from criminal violence committed in its name.

      • uanime5
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        So Parliament must set stricter sentencing guidelines, we can’t leave it to judges of this sort.

        Parliament already does this. However when Parliament has created an offence that has many levels of severity and creates sentencing guidelines that act as though there was only one level of severity it’s no surprise that sentences have such variation.

        People who attack others or burgle houses need to face long prison sentences. At the moment any such move would be overturned by the ECJ.

        I think you’re confusing the ECJ with the ECHR, which said that sentences should be reviewed every 25 years. Just how long do you want to keep burglars and people who commit GBH with intent in prison for?

        • Richard1
          Posted February 28, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

          Yes possibly its the ECHR. Sentences for acts of violence and home invasions are not nearly enough either to act as a deterrent (this yob was on a suspended sentence) or in relation to other crimes. Perhaps we should have a national opinion poll and see what the public think?

        • Hope
          Posted February 28, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          A bit longer than those found guilty of trivial offences and in proportion to those not having a TV licence or law makers found guilty of perverting the course of justice or law maker so ound guilty of fraud/ obtaining property by deception.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Cameron gave a bad answer to Miliband’s fatuous attempt to expose divisions in the Conservatives on global warming. Cameron should have objected to Miliband’s asking why there are ‘climate change deniers’ in govt, and simply said that the Govt’s current scientific advice on the issue is what it was under Labour, but that there are dissenting views amongst scientists and others. An example is the Met Office’s confirmation that they do not know whether or not the recent floods were caused by global warming. This would allow him some wriggle room as the evidence mounts that global warming hysteria has been exaggerated, and allow him room to dump some of the expensive green crap foisted on us by Miliband’s climate change act.

      Cheaper energy and industrial competitiveness is another potential Conservative vote winner. Parroting green platitudes is not.

      • Man of Kent
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        His answer was just awful.
        There was no balance and a chance to differentiate CON from Lab was lost.
        I found the whole basis of the Miliband question very scary .
        If you do not believe in CAGW then you are not really part of the Labour Party .
        They will do everything possible to make energy more expensive and indulge huge quangos like the EA.

        • David Ashton
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink

          Very scary indeed. My fear is that if Milliband becomes PM not ionly will he exclude Climate Sceptics from his government, but he will
          also purge them from the civil service.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          The phrase “climate change denier” is absurdly meaningless just a form of abuse with very unpleasant overtones.

          Everyone knows the climate changes and that mankind has some effect on it. Some people (mainly in the climate change scare industry) think it might be catastrophic if we do not limit C02 emissions but clearly not most sensible scientists. Wind, PV and electric cars do virtually nothing to limit world Co2 output in any event. Miliband should grow up, as should Cameron – and get real.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the hysterical (can one still say this on the BBC as it derives from from Latin hystericus “of the womb) CAGW exaggeration is absurd. Anyway even if you do believe in the Carbon Devil religion the best course of action is still to scrap wind farms, PV nonsense and spend the money on sensible engineering, dredging, clean water, basic medical care and other things that actually do work.

        The Met office thought this winter was going to be dryer than usual I understand, but they still want us to believe their 100 year soothsaying!

      • uanime5
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

        An example is the Met Office’s confirmation that they do not know whether or not the recent floods were caused by global warming.

        That’d because they don’t know exactly why the wind blew so much rain towards the UK, resulting in the wettest winter since 1776. While there is evidence that global warming resulted in more evaporation from the sea and more moisture in the air it’s not know why the jet stream push so many rain clouds towards the UK this year.

        • Richard1
          Posted February 28, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          Corrections: there have been several wetter 3 and 4 month periods in the last century. Scientists have expressly said there is no evidence the alteration in the jet stream has anything to do with climate change / global warming. So there are no grounds at all to blame the floods on global warming, you might as well blame gay marriage like the UKIP buffoon.

  2. arschloch
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    I hope she does not reply complaining about the UK and its American “ally” spying on everybody and disrupting the international system with its illegal war in Iraq. Let alone sending everyone on a wild goose chase in Afghanistan, which has achieved nothing but the needless death of many German soldiers. Perhaps she may even be miffed at how the international economy is distorted with excessive QE and why the Anglo-American banks are still allowed to run wild? To be blunt about it looking in the other direction the EU would probably be better off without the UK.

    • Hope
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      The EU would be financially better off without Germany.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Hope–Germany is still expiating its guilt so cannot and does not act fully rationally

        • arschloch
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

          Speaking of acting “rationally” its nice to see that RBS has lost the £46 billion the taxpayer has used to support it. When is Osborne going to take it outside and shoot it? The “bonuses” are particularly annoying, but some will say that comes from the “investment bank” part that makes a profit. Even a chimpanzee with a dart board can make money in these markets if the Fed is currently providing $65 BILLION PER MONTH in liquidity. If you really had a talent for that sort of thing why would you work at a bank that would be vaporised as soon as the state support was switched off?

        • Hope
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          Not sure about guilt or trying to control Europe by another method. No compassion shown for the destitute, unemployed, stealing people’s savings, homeless or those having to emigrate to earn a living.

          There is no reason for the UK to be part of the EU only huge benefits in leaving.

        • Max Dunbar
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          The Germans seem to have the insight of a large dog that has been beaten and learned from pain and fear only, incapable of even drawing the wrong conclusions.

  3. Mark B
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    John Redwood MP said;
    “The UK entered the EEC after the founder members, and did so to belong to a common market.”

    NOT TRUE !

    “They were reassured by the Labour government at the time that we would not lose sovereignty.”

    The Conservative Government gave the same assurances, you remember, the one’s that signed the Treaty of Rome which precipitated our membership.

    “Today UK voters want reform in many areas.”

    No ! We want to leave. And you cannot reform the EU. How many more times do you have to be told, not only by members of the UK electorate but, by the EU itself ?

    “Many of us who are English . . . ”

    Steady there Mr. Redwood MP, you do not want to be caught using the dreaded ‘E’ word. Das ist vorbotten !

    Bloody hell ! I remembered some German from school. The way things are going, you never know when it might come in handy.

    • Hope
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      FCO paper 30/1048 makes clear the treachery was promoted by both parties to hide the truth from the public. Heath included the word “essential” so that he would not be caught out lying when he said the UK would not lose essential sovereignty and independence (sic).

      • Timaction
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Indeed treachery of the highest order by the LibLabCon legacy parties. There should be a public enquiry to show once and for all the lies and deceit that the mainstream political parties have practised on its citizens……….no loss of essential sovereignty…..tidying up exercise!
        Laws should be made to ensure that politicians are held to account like everyone else.
        Renegotiation? What renegotiation? Can’t be done in the timeframe claimed by Cameron and he won’t be in office anyway. He’s only there to fulfil his ambitions before he walks away in 18 months

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          Yes but 14 months now.

  4. Mike Stallard
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Well written!
    Do you know what? The EU is really really bad with prospective members and it is arrogant, and stupid with existing ones.
    When Iceland was thinking of joining, they were distant and would not make concessions about the all important fish industry. Iceland stayed out. Now Ukraine is splitting itself in half over the EU. And the EU? I have caught sight of the Lord High Representative, Baroness Ashton’s face four times on tv, I think; I have no idea what she wants or how far she is prepared to go. Have you?
    Mrs Merkel is being given the humiliatingly abject sucking up treatment today (unlike M. Hollande who just got the pub.) I wonder if she will be at all interested in anything M. Cameron says before she taxis off to have a long talk with Mr Miliband.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Indeed she would clearly be better spending any time she has talking to Miliband – only 14 months now. Only three months until Cameron comes a very poor third in the MEP elections.

      Is Cameron angling for an EU, post May 15, job perhaps.

  5. Old Albion
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Nice try JR.
    I’m sure Ms Merkel will pop that in her handbag. It might come in useful should she need to visit the lavatory during her stay.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Maybe if Dr Redwood wrote it in German it would get read in the lavatory first? Also be a challenge for his Blogsgenossen here.

  6. alan jutson
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    If Mr Cameron is lost for words, perhaps he could do no worse and read this to Mrs Merkel, or even give her a copy.
    Then he could say;
    This is from one of our rather more outspoken Eurosceptic party members who is concerned about our continued membership, I believe it sums up rather nicely the situation we find ourselves in, and it even proposes some solutions to our problem.
    What are your thoughts?

    I just wonder how close to real German thinking this perhaps really is, as I am sure their citizens are not overjoyed at constantly being used as the financiers of the rest of the Euro Zone.

    Would be nice if some German newspapers got hold of a copy, but then perhaps it would be better if they saw a copy on here, and then decided to run with the story a little bit themselves.

    Reply I have just published this open letter so anyone can get hold of it!

  7. Douglas Carter
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    …’We also stayed out because the UK electorate and government have no wish’…

    Ultimately, Mr. Redwood, whilst your comments all represent perfectly sound reasons for not joining the Single Currency, they are not the reasons we did not join at the time our political classes had decided we would. Those reasons are relatively mechanical, and little to do with actual politico\economic obstacle and sequence.

    The Blair Government – the only Government in that historical period which could have signed the UK up – was hell-bent on signing up to every dot and comma of EU integration, no matter how insane it was. He was blocked from joining the Euro first – according to Blair’s own accounts of three years ago – by Rupert Murdoch. At the time of the News of the World scandal at the time of Milly Dowler’s hacking revelations, Blair was interviewed in a TV documentary with regard to his relationship with Murdoch. He clearly indicated at that time that whilst he saw no obstacle to UK membership of the Euro, that Murdoch would campaign against him had there not been a pledge to hold a Referendum. It was his clear inference that the Referendum was a concession to Murdoch within that interview.

    Second, that it was an internal war between Blair and Brown (who essentially held himself to be a parallel Prime Minister in all but name) which also blocked Euro membership and of course the intervention into the debate by Jimmy Goldsmith who was the vanguard of the campaign by the majority of the UK press in pressing for keeping the pound.

    There are plenty of political figures who were contemporaries of that danger period – 1996-2006 or so – who have never conceded that their aspirations were wrong, indeed, still maintain that the UK should join the Euro. (Blair and Ashdown the main public figures). There are still some unfortunately influential figures (in their swansong years) who feel the same in your own party John. I also don’t believe that any vote rejecting the Euro by the electorate at that time in a Referendum would have resulted in a Government respecting that vote, so I wouldn’t count on the sentiments of the electorate being permitted the UK keeping the pound.

    The people who were assiduously intent on joining the Euro were rugby-tackled a little before the final line by spectators who fouled the pitch. It had little to do with politics at the time. That we remained out is more miracle than conclusion.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes, we had a lucky escape, and it should never be forgotten that Blair was not the first British Prime Minister who wanted us to join the euro and would have taken us into the first wave if he hadn’t run into a bit too much opposition in his own party. Although he would not have done that “willy-nilly”, see the article below from July 1996, he would have done it if he could.

      “John Major has deliberately kept his options open. There is no commitment by the government to join it willy-nilly.”

      It beggars belief that a man who in 1996 was keeping his options open on whether to scrap our national currency, someone who could even contemplate doing such a thing even if not “willy-nilly”, is now invited to give advice to the man who is the present leader of the Tory party and our Prime Minister.

  8. Gary
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    The general consensus seems to be that we don’t need the EU, but the truth is that we came crashing out of the ERM in 1992 because our economy was not up to it. Speculators seized on this economic weakness and sold the pound short until we broke out of the ERM. We then embarked on an unfettered money printing orgy , the attendant inflation almost all going into the gilts and mortgage markets while we racked up the largest total debt to GDP in the developed world. This was sold as a victory and “proof ” that we did not need the EU.

    Meanwhile the EU has had a particularly painful restructuring operation , as it should be after a credit binge, and they have suffered high unemployment as a result. We have just continued to build a debtberg to the sky, printing money and keeping zombie companies, employing zombie employees on life support.

    This is going to end very badly and the euroskeptic brigade is going to be shocked. The may even beg to be readmitted to the single currency.

    The political dictatorshop of the EU is and always will be a problem, but I don’t see that we are any better off with our particular form of political dictatorship.

    Reply Plenty of lies in this piece – Japan, Italy etc have much larger debt to GDP ratios than the UK, which is similar to Germany/USA
    We did not get driven out of the ERM by our poor economic management, but because the ERM had forced the UK to print a lot of money to try to keep the value of the pound down!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      To reply indeed:

      Good old John Major with his brilliant plan as chancellor to enter the ERM, all those “experts” who thought it was a good idea. Did Major (personal attack left out ed) and has he ever apologised yet? I have not heard him.

      Just like the government scientists and government “experts” on renewable and global warming now.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        He cost me hundreds of thousands of pounds and countless staff their jobs and people their houses all with his idiotic ERM experiment, can I not even tease him?

    • arschloch
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Hang on JR what about getting the exchange rate to the DM completely wrong. any competent Chancellor should have got that right? If thats out of kilter you do not need to be Soros to work out that there is money to be made on betting that Lamont could not keep it up. It appears there is only me and Gary here who realise what is around the corner. You would be providing a worthy service to your constituents and the punters here, especially those living on a pension, if you put your professional head on and told them whats really going on. If not I would advise people to read your fellow FT columnist Terry Smith’s stuff. He is honest enough to say he cannot predict the future but he does point out its not going well and real companies (not banks on taxpayer funded life support or internet businesses with P/Es of 500+) are finding it really hard to make a profit

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        “Hang on JR what about getting the exchange rate to the DM completely wrong. any competent Chancellor should have got that right?”

        There was never a correct exchange rate to the DM which could be fixed for all time without major problems eventually arising, just as previously there was never a correct exchange rate to the US dollar which could be fixed for all time without major problems eventually arising.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      JR – wrong. Thatcher screwed it up by going into the ERM too high. The markets instantly recognised the utter folly of Thatcherite economics dressed up as patriotism. “you cannot buck the markets”. Remember.?

      Reply Not so. During our early period in the ERM the pound was under upwards pressure as the markets thought the price too low. Only after they created a lot of money and credit to keep it down did the inflation kick in and the wish of the market to lower the price. There was no right price for joining, as I had explained before we went in. It was obvious before hand it would be a disaster, and some of us predicted just that at the time. It was a major part of the EU’s damaging policies towards us, which destroyed countless jobs just as the Euro is now doing for the southern countries foolish enough to enter.

      • yulwaymartyn
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        JR – I remember it as this:

        The government determined to shadow the deutsche mark at around 3 marks to the pound. This was quite successful in the beginning. The economy however started to oveheat and the government allowed the pound to rise. We entered the ERM in September 1989 with a 6 per cent leeway or fluctuating margin instead of the 2.5% margin for countries already in the ERM. I can hear Mrs Thatcher even now saying “3 marks 10”. She was more interested in the top band than the bottom. She saw the top band as a mark of the UK’s economic prowess and virility. That top band figure was already clearly overvalued – the writing was on the wall and I suspect JR you probably knew that in September 1989. (Oh the danger of politicians mixing patriotism with economics).

        Then the Danish referendum and then the rest is history.

      • margaret brandreth-j
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        So you would agree that the refusal to let Kosovo join the EU due to opposition by Russia is in Kosovo’s own interest?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        Indeed “there is and was and new will be a right price” the right price today is the wrong price tomorrow and yesterday. Just as if you had linked the price of Rolls Royce share to those of Coca Cola.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          Indeed “there is and was and never will be a right price”. The right price today is the wrong price tomorrow and yesterday. Just as if you had linked the price of Rolls Royce share to those of Coca Cola.

    • ian wragg
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Tut Tut John. The pound went into free fall and interest rates went up to 15% to try and restore the ERM value. Please don’t try to rewrite history as many homes and businesses where lost do to Majors and the Tories stupidity.
      I am sure history will repeat itself if left to CMD and the other 2 clowns.

      Reply Yeas it did, but only after a period when it was under great upwards pressure which is why the government had to print too much money and create too much credit through the banking system to try to keep the pound down. Do look at the whole roller coaster ride, not just the disastrous end. I was a consistent critic and opponent of the ERM.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        JR is quite right on this. It is like trying to tie together two huge tankers moving is different directions on different tides with a thin rope.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      “The political dictatorshop of the EU is and always will be a problem, but I don’t see that we are any better off with our particular form of political dictatorship.”

      I do, and it should be obvious to you as well: potentially we, the British people, can change our particular form of political dictatorship, including making it a more democratic system, without any need to mount transnational campaigns to seek the agreement or support of people in other countries, foreigners; we just need to wake up and decide to do it for ourselves as a nation.

      • yulwaymartyn
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Nonsense Denis. You are talking labels. A British dictatorship is no different from somebody else’s. You are foolish to talk about the word dictatorship in this context.

        • Mark B
          Posted February 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          He is not talking nonsense. You only need to open both your eyes and your mind to the world around you. Our Government acts in its own narrow interests and does not seek the views of the people that elected it. It does not keep the promises that it made. I am still waiting for my vote on whether or not I accept the Lisbon Treaty, you know, the one that Labour promises if reflected. And so too is this with the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. I see the Lib Dems have not fulfilled their election promise to pay for tuition fees, but can find the money to send to third world countries.

          In short, once elected, we have no control over these people. They can, and do, as they so please. If that is not a form of dictatorship, then we need a whole new word.


        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 28, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          Quoting from Gary, didn’t you notice that?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Looking beyond the external value of sterling just against the basket of currencies that made up the ECU, the trade weighted sterling index does the same thing for its external value against a basket including other currencies around the world, and its values since January 2nd 1990 are tabulated here:


      Major chose to take us into the ERM during one of those periods when sterling is over-valued, with the index at or above 100; immediately after the ejection of the pound from the ERM the index fell below 90 and eventually it ended up as low as 80; five years after so-called “Black Wednesday”, guess what, it was back up to around 100; and it stayed around 100 give or take a percent or two for the next decade; that is until the end of 2007, when it want into another cyclical decline, fell through the 90 level again and bottomed out at around 74 at the end of 2008; after which it recovered to about the 80’sh level and bobbed along there for the best part of the next five years; now it seems to have started on an upswing, often edging above the 86 level that it hasn’t seen since November 2008, and possibly it is now heading back up towards that over-valued 100 level.

      The point is that this is what the pound does when it is allowed to float free, it floats up and down against other currencies – or of course it could be said that they are floating up and down against the pound and against each other – and it would be as daft to try to permanently fix the external value of the pound when it was under-valued as it was to try to fix its external value when it was over-valued, which is what Major did; and nor does it serve any great economic, rather than political, purpose to attempt to do that.

  9. acorn
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Dear Angie

    Nice one with the Euro. Imagine at what level the Deutschmark would be at now and how much we poor Brits would have to pay for a BMW M5. We would appreciate if you would keep buying up any spare Pounds Sterling around, to keep our currency value up, so we can afford to buy more BMWs; Merc AMGs and Audi R8s.

    Again, nice one with the Eurozone trick. I have always said that the best way to export your unemployment, is to have a currency union with countries with lower productivity than your own. No worries about exchange rate mismatch and the importing countries currency going south, leaving all them BMWs on their docksides.

    I notice that you are not planning to reduce your Debt to GDP ratio, this side of 2030 and will continue to use your 6% surplus on your BoP Current Account to run a government budget that is only slightly in deficit. Unfortunately, we in the UK are running BoP CA circa 4% deficit and George thinks he can copy you and reduce the Debt. As the Balance of Payments has to ….. er balance, we will eventually run out of London mansions to flog to Johny Foreigner.

  10. Gina Dean
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Why was there such a long lead time given before a referendum would be held. Surely it would be better to give a referendum immediately after the general election. Not much has been done to put together the list of concessions we require here in the UK.
    the EU has said along there will be none. It’s time we stopped being the figleaf for Germany.
    They have attached dominance in Europe.
    What were the Meps doing voting to allow the EU to raise taxes Conhome are running this story.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      2017 is the Year in which the UK hold the Presidency of the EU. This would allow Cameron to do a bit of grandstanding. A few minor concessions will be made and it will be presented as a great coup for Cameron by a compliant media. We will be asked to vote on full-EU membership or EU-Lite. It will not be an IN/OUT like our host like to tell us, especially if the populace might ‘vote the wrong way.’

      The EU is moving in a full on Federal direction, with full fiscal, economic and POLITICAL UNION on the cards. Those who are unable to fully commit, will be left behind in a sort of Euro-purgatory, this is the EU-lite or Associate Member status. Remember those words Gina, they are going to crop up a lot over the coming years.


    • Mark B
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Still waiting for my rely to Gina to be published. Perhaps it sot lost in the ‘Internet post ? ‘

      Or was it too close to the truth ?

  11. Bert Young
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Your very politically polite letter highlights many of the key issues of our problems with the EU , what it should have emphasised was our determination not to be governed by the EU or to have our independence marred in any way . The behind the scene view is that German dominance and control 0f Europe is still a major suspicion ; while memories of the 2 wars are still in existence it will be difficult to dismiss this suspicion . I have always enjoyed my personal, business and sporting relationships with the Germans , I like their country and I admire their culture of discipline , their follow up engineering is second to none , but , deep in their nature is an underlying arrogance that does not take a lot for it to come to the fore . For this reason we must not be put into a position of “concession” , we must stick to our very British independent way of life and maintain a subtle friendship with our “closest” economic ally in Europe . I hope something good comes out of this visit .

    Reply I have phrased it as I did because the British people keep electing pro EU federalist Parliaments, though I agree that I think the majority are with me in wanting to restore UK democracy.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      And your Party keeps putting up Europhile/Federalist candidates and elects the same to positions of high office.

    • Hope
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      The public do not vote for pro EU parliaments. Most do not know what the parties really stand for, not supping as most us specious phrases, deceit and lies. If that does not work they fail to honour what they pledge int heir manifestos. As Kjellystrom let out of the bag today, most people do not realise most laws effecting their lives are created in the EU! Will Cameron admit this in his manifesto, Miliband or Clegg?

  12. Gary
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    We have the largest TOTAL debt to GDP in the developed world. That is much more crucial than govt debt to GDP.

    You are just plain wrong, which is rather worrying, since you were there at the time in govt, I believe.

    When we crashed out of the ERM ,the speculators were selling the pound short, the British govt was buying the pound to attempt to support the value of the pound.

    “The UK government attempted to
    prop up the sinking pound to
    avoid withdrawal from the
    monetary system the country
    had joined two years previously.
    Major raised interest rates to 10
    percent and authorised the
    spending of billions of pounds
    worth of foreign currency
    reserves to buy up the sterling
    being sold on the currency
    markets but the measures failed
    to prevent the pound falling
    below its minimum level in the


    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      I never think of it as crashing out of the ERM, nor do I think of Black Wednesday. I think only of getting out from under the yoke and of White Wednesday.

  13. Neil craig
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    If we leave the EU and achieve world average growth we will do far more to encourage reform than we ever could inside the EU.

    “Britain has saved herself by her exertion and will save Europe by her example” as was said in the time of Napoleon.

  14. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    What an excellent letter. If only the Prime Minister had written it.

  15. bigneil
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Apparently Frau Merkel has returned your letter, as it wasn’t set out to EU approved specification and printed in 49,000 languages. (You have to have a laugh don’t you, only bl**dy thing not taxed yet).

  16. Iain Gill
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Immigration figures are up again today.

    This is a bigger issue with the voters.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 1:26 am | Permalink

      Game over.

  17. Atlas
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    … best of luck with your letter ! …

  18. cosmic
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Thank you for your long and interesting letter. I have yet to get to grips with your notoriously zany English sense of humour, so I may not fully have appreciated what is probably a knee-slapping satire.

    There will, of course be no fundamentally changed relationship for the UK while staying a member of the EU, or reforms of the EU which your party is hinting at. It is quite impossible. Even if I believed in these things, which I don’t, I would be in no position to grant them, or even offer worthwhile support.

    Your choices are to stay in the EU or get out of it.

    Yours etc.


  19. forthurst
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink


    Germany is most fortunate to have as his Chancellor, a Physicist who would therefore be able to understand a paper by her fellow countrymen and fellow Phyicists, Prof. Dr. Horst-Joachim Lüdecke and Prof. Dr. Carl Otto Weiss, who having analysed the historical climate record, do not detect any hockey sticks but rather a combination of two cycles of 208 and 65 years based upon solar activity and the Atlantic/Pacific oscillation; the climate recently has been warmed by the Atlantic/Pacific oscillation, not by the fumes from your lignite power stations, but will now be cooling from the action of the 208 year cycle.
    Is not the best way to protect Germany’s excellence in science and engineering , to use that same excellence to examine Climate scientifically yourselves, rather than depending on nitwits in the Met Office and the University of East Anglia, to achieve a scientifically rational energy policy?

  20. Leslie Singleton
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    The Torygraph first leader, no less, today has it that [Cameron] has always said that he prefers Britain to stay in and will campaign for it to do so in a referendum. This is one helluva way to start a negotiation. He has an odd way of not knowing when he should and shouldn’t dissemble. On this, I should have thought that Negotiation 1.01 would have told him that he should not have declared his hand so soon in order, of course, to give him as much chance as possible to force the EU (scilicet Merkel) to be accommodating.

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    While your pro-EU leader is fawning at Merkel’s feet, the Telegraph has some interesting news for true Eurosceptics: ” Net migration soars over 200,000 despite David Cameron’s pledge. Official figures show a net flow of 212,000 migrants to Britain, up nearly 60,000 year-on-year, with a surge in arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria.” Is it any wonder we don’t believe a word that man says? The mystery is that you do and compound that error by trying to mislead us into believing him too. Your party is doomed.

  22. Bob
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    So a Tory Prime Minister will be sucking up to a German Chancellor again.
    History repeating itself.

  23. Leslie Singleton
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    And I read in the Business section that Britain’s biggest banks have warned the Chancellor that the UK’s continually low savings rate risks throwing the nascent economic recovery off course. Well, Gee, Golly, Gosh, I wonder why on earth savings could be low. Tricky one that.

  24. John Wrake
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    I quote your reply to Bert Smith at 9:54 ” I have phrased it as I did because the British people keep electing pro EU federalist Parliaments, though I agree that I think the majority are with me in wanting to restore UK democracy.”

    How do you square that statement with your frequently repeated statements that the Conservative Party is a Eurosceptic Party, unless you are prepared to state that the Conservative Party has consistently lied to the electorate about its intentions in order to get votes at elections?
    Do you seriously contend that a majority in Parliament want to restore UK democracy? Who are you trying to convince that you know what is best for the nation?

    John Wrake.

  25. Antisthenes
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    If only the EU could be just a common market with a considerable amount of cross border cooperation. Your letter if even read by Angela would I suspect not be heeded and with Liebour and Illibib-Dims being staunch supporters of integration, command and control economies and more government not less and RedEd headed for no 10 there is no hope that the UK electorate will be given a vote and even if they are voting to leave. Eurosceptics will just have to watch as we all become impoverished politically, socially and economically and pray that the big mistake collapses of it’s own accord.

  26. Max Dunbar
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Having just read a biography of Enoch Powell, it would appear that your party knew from the very beginning that the EEC was both a political as well as an economic entity with the obvious consequences. It was your party from the early 1960s that pushed for membership with the full knowledge of eventual political union. Enoch Powell and the Labour Party were against joining what became the EU. Powell, as a nationalist, wanted to retain our sovereignty. Your party under Heath and not the Labour Party must be mainly responsible for the existing arrangements. I understand that the general public were mislead at the time. Pro EEC propaganda prevailed.

    Reply Some Conservatives opposed it in the Commons in the 1970s and I voted No in 1975 when Labour gave us a vote.

    • Ed Smith
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:56 am | Permalink

      I do remember Heath and then Ripon, on TV, declaiming loudly that there would be no loss of sovereignty prior to them signing us up to it. I remember Ripon cringing on TV as he insisted that ” ‘everybody’ knew” [that political unity was the goal]. Did Heath ever admit it, too?

      • Mark B
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Yes he did. Not that it would have mattered much by then. He was an old man who made sure that his legacy to the nation (make my stomach churn just writing about it) was assured.

  27. zorro
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    John, a slight variation on the subject of the EU, and bearing in mind the recent Snowden revelations on alleged GCHQ disinformation campaigns against bloggers….. I thought the following link from Guido might raise a chuckle….. http://order-order.com/2014/02/27/eu-spends-2-million-on-trolling-online-euroscpetics/

    Now, who could possibly be a candidate for an EU backed troll on this blog baiting Eurosceptics…..?

    zorro 😉

  28. waramess
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    The government is a Europhile one and any attempt to suggest otherwise is a nonsense. Cameron pays lip service to his right wing but is quite clear in his intentions to vote for staying in Europe under any circumstances, if there is a referendum.

    If that is the view of your leader then that is effectively the view of your party, as the sheep, who are all desperate for a ministerial job, all follow.

    Best to just get over it or get out. With or without Cameron you are a member of a pro EU government. Period.

  29. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I feel, although it may be seen as simplistic, that the UK tries too hard to be involved in all that is global . We need to be aware of what is going on elsewhere, yet we cannot dabble in everything and come to a sensible conclusion. We cannot put ourselves in the shoes of other countries and think how they would act or react in such a situation . There are too many different mindsets.
    You touched upon the need for difference to prevent any domino effect from causing general collapse, but surely this needs to be applied to simple collective psychology.
    Having gone through marriage, divorce ,gain and loss of money in my personal life , surely what we all need is comfort in our own homes and macrocosmically comfort in our homeland ,wherever we make our home .Why then don’t we English simply focus just on that.

  30. Edward Spalton
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    You are right that the Foreign Office knew in 1971 that the EEC was far more than a “common market”. The Conservative leadership had know from Lord Kilmuir’s advice since the early Sixties that it was a developing super-government. Yet ministers who had taken a most solemn oath as Privy Counsellors to uphold the sovereignty of the Crown against absolutely every foreign power went ahead with Maastricht and made the Queen herself an EU subject. All along the way, they lied and deceived – as they still do. A soldier who disregarded his oath of obedience would be severely punished. Yet the ministers who send him in harm’s way break their oath every day they remain in the EU and remain at large.

  31. miami.mode
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Very laudable and praiseworthy JR but it looks to me rather like The Westminster Bubble versus The Real World – similar to the wrestling we used to get on ITV on Saturday afternoons. Grappling fans knew it looked real but deep down also knew that nobody would get badly hurt unless something went seriously wrong. It couldn’t have been that bad for their health as Mick McManus died recently aged 92 and this was probably partly due to a broken heart as his wife had pre-deceased him by a few months.

    If we do get a referendum doubtless the Eurosceptics will be done unto as Alex Salmond and his cohorts are currently being done unto.

    I feel our best hope of getting out of the EU is if one of the southern countries finally gets fed up with the penury they are being forced into and threatens to leave the Eurozone. The ECB will then have to come up with Eurobonds or QE which will have dire consequences for Germany, or the Eurozone will have to break up.

    • Bob
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Grappling fans knew it looked real but deep down also knew that nobody would get badly hurt unless something went seriously wrong.

      Hence the title of Jackie Pallo’s autobiography “You grunt, I’ll groan”

      We see the same choreographed tussles between the establishment politicians all the time.

      In the EU corner we have the Liblabcon Party
      and in the UK Independence corner we have…

  32. petermartin2001
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Of course, Ms Merkel should be treated with courtesy and as a friend when she visits. But, there are times when friends behave badly and it shouldn’t be left
    unmentioned. Germany’s 7% trade surplus in the Eurozone is simply Germany acting blatantly in its own self interest. For every surplus, there is a
    corresponding deficit. They are effectivley exporting their own unemployment problems to the weaker members of the Eurozone. Instead of pressing austerity
    economics upon what should be their trading partners, not their trading victims, they need to work towards establishing an effective mechanism for recycling
    those surpluses. That’s what happens in the USA and that’s what has to happen in the USE, or the Eurozone if you prefer, too.

    The alternative is that the populations of the deficit countries will be pushed beyond endurance and turn to the political extremes. Mr Cameron might want to
    suggest to Ms Merkel she looks up the recent history of her own country for evidence of that assertion.

    In the friendliest possible way of course.

  33. uanime5
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Today UK voters want reform in many areas. They want benefit reform, better control of our borders, cheaper energy, better flood protection, less interference with small companies and enterprise.

    The best benefit reforms will be to go back to the system we had before IDS started punishing people for being unemployed or in low paid jobs. So no bedroom tax, 3 year long benefit sanctions, attempts to redefine poverty, or Universal Credit and the Work Programme (both are expensive failures).

    Given that net immigration has increased it seems that we won’t have better control of our borders even if we leave the EU.

    We won’t have cheap energy as long as the energy companies are allowed to sell power to themselves at high prices, then claim that they’re only making 5% profits by selling it to consumers.

    How exactly is the EU preventing the UK from having better flood protection? I though we had problems with our flood protection because the Conservatives restricted the amount spent on this as part of their deficit cutting plan.

    Finally aren’t most of the laws relating to small companies made by Parliament rather than the EU?

    • Mark B
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      The EA has by far the biggest budget of all the EA’s throughout the EU. Its not the lack of money that created the floods, it was a combination of factors, such as not dredging rivers because the EU Directive decreed that this was high level waste and need to be dealt with in such a way as to make it too expensive. They (EA) also gave priority to wildlife through the use of EU funded schemes and more directives.

  34. Jennifer A
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Perhaps you’d be so kind as to write an article explaining why this country isn’t doomed, why it is still worth voting Conservative and what purpose the political class serves.


    • Iain Gill
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      I second that motion

    • Mark B
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Yes, I too would like to see what it means to be a Conservative living in the UK and whether or not the current crop match up to that criteria.

  • 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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