What kind of a renegotiation do we want with the EU?

I do not want the UK to play New York State to Euroland’s USA. I would rather we played Canada. The Euro area is rushing towards political union. It has to take more powers to the centre, and redistribute tax revenue more fairly around the zone. The UK does not wish to join that. That is why we need to negotiate a new relationship, based on trade and friendship, that excludes us from political union

I have one simple requirement for the negotiation of a new relationship. I wish to restore the sovereignty of  UK voters, so that their UK Parliament can make the important decisions they want.

The Prime Minister rightly said in his Bloomberg address that national parliaments are the fount of authority and the bodies to whom government must be accountable. I agree.

I do not favour a negotiation based on a list of items where we currently do not like EU laws and common decisions. Even if we could get all of the worst ones right this time, there will be occasions in the future when existing EU laws prevent us governing as the people wish.

Today people want us to restore control of our own borders, and reduce the numbers of new migrants to lower the pressure on homes and public services. In future it might be the EU’s dear energy policy, or their foreign or criminal justice policy that causes us trouble. In some case we have opt outs, and we have the right to veto future proposals. In other cases we do not. Our veto has been under remorseless erosion for many years.

Now is the time to build a new relationship based on trade, co-operation and a series of mutual agreements about things that cross borders. The rest of the EU will not want to damage their profitable trade with us. They might like to be free of our reluctance to sanction further deeper union.  There is a new relationship to be forged, as the Euro turns into full political union for its members.

We should restore our national democracy whilst they create their political and monetary union, based on benefit and tax transfers around it as they clearly  need. The UK will be part of the trade system but not part of the common government.

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  1. DaveM
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    You used the right expression:

    “a relationship WITH” the EU, not “PART OF” the EU.

    Sovereignty is everything.

    End of story.

    • bigneil
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      “WITH” doesn’t get Mr Cameron his reward from Brussels of a seat at the top table for surrendering this country ( and all it’s money).
      “PART OF” (i.e. being ruled by) does. “PART OF” also means (substantial migration ed) from Africa and Asia. Where does this current £8bn for the NHS come from when a large portion of new customers won’t ever contribute to anything? – but all need keeping.

      • Hope
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        Heseltine writes a piece in the DT, however the contributors view is spot on the money- Cameron has set about the Balkanisation of England to weaken resistance and make it easier for the EU to absorb it. Once more, it is good see Cameron only taking advice from Europhile fanatics. A better view is written by Lord Tebbit in the same paper. A wise person able to see through the deceitful fog.

        • Chris
          Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

          Yes, agreed about the balkanisation. Don’t other Eurosceptic politicians see what he is doing? Apparently not.

          • Hope
            Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

            I suggest all Tory MPs voted and stood for it a couple of weeks ago. Manchester is mentioned for devolution upon the forcing of the mayor upon the public, even though the electorate already rejected it. EU tactic.

            Similarly Police commissioners were forced on the electorate even though there was only about 10 percent turn out. The building blocks for devolution and regionalisation of our country. Now the Tories want to introduce labour laws with a 50 percent turn out! I wonder why the nasty Tory party is still unable to get rid of its label, might it be that there is no change in their underhand arrogant pompous behaviour? For example, under hand behaviour to get rid of Bercow, where are your friends when you need them Andy Coulson, Grant Shapps thanks for his campaign work? Broken promises to your own MPs over EAW. Then of course the Flashman Cameron remarks in the HoC to his own MPs!

            Reply Mr Bercow was elected Speaker unanimously.

    • ChrisS
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      I could not agree more !!!!!

    • Colin Pritchard
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      If only Blair had said (and delivered) Sovereignty; Sovereignty; Sovereignty.

      Sadly sovereignty is an abstract concept and thanks to the education; education; education delivered since the advent of Comprehensive Schools it is beyond the understanding of most of the electorate.

    • Atlas
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Agreed !

    • Jerry
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      “DaveM; “Sovereignty is everything.”

      I’ve never understood this argument, yes I understand the argument that the UK parliament should be making our laws and not the EU, it seems more of an emotional argument than a practical one. Surely no country (unless occupied by another using force) can lose their “Sovereignty”, so even if the UK was fully signed up to be a part of the USoE, even if we had adopted the Euro etc, at any time the UK could decide to leave, and do so – United Nations Charter, Article 1.2

      • DaveM
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it is emotional to an extent. But then if China offered us lots of business opportunities and promised to make us all millionaires with the proviso that we did what they told us I still wouldn’t want it. And regarding your lines on freedom to leave a union, that’s what the confederacy thought…….no UN then, I know, but who pays any attention to that dead duck anyway?

  2. matthu
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Dear John

    This is all sensible stuff.

    But are the EU-sceptics any closer to developing a strategy, deciding on who the spokesmen will be, planning a campaign, developing a co-ordinated response to any outcome David Cameron’s negotiations?

    I realise we cannot know in advance the detail of Cameron’s response or how he will launch the referendum campaign, but we must know a fair deal about what it will not contain. And we must also anticipate that the government will probably write an emotional appeal to every household along the lines of the last time.

    So how ready are we to respond?

    It was good over the weekend to see the chairman of JCB supporting the possibility of Brexit. How many other business leaders are prepared to do the same?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      I agree and well done to the chairman of JCB, I suspect most of the rest will keep their heads down.

      It all rests on Cameron actually asking for & insisting on a sensible deal. He shows little sign as yet of even asking for much. It seems highly unlikely that he will get anything of substance.

      • agricola
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        Well said David Bamford. The big boys in the CBI like the EU because they can collude with their counterparts in the EU to formulate the rules for their particular industry. They are a negative force of little use to small and medium size business, where in fact our industrial strength and future are.

        Once you understand the situation the UK is in you will realise that there is no pick and mix deal of value or available. We are in or out, and if the latter, we discuss trade from a point of strength and cooperation where it suits us or where the ultimate authority sits above that of the EU. Maritime Law for one.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          I tend to agree we have to get out. It will be rather hard with the BBC, CBI, Lab/Lib/50% of Con/SNP & Greens all wanting for in.

  3. Old Albion
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    “I have one simple requirement for the negotiation of a new relationship. I wish to restore the sovereignty of UK voters, so that their UK Parliament can make the important decisions they want”

    Seems to be about right to me. But there area couple of problems;

    1) Cameron has no intention of going that far. He’ll be happy with being allowed curved cucumbers again.
    2) The “UK” parliament is withering away slowly. Scotland is now a SNP stronghold. The Scots hate being in a ‘Union’ with the English. But yearn to be in a deeper Union with Europe. They will vote against any renegotiation. The Welsh will copy the Scots. This leaves the English who probably would vote ‘out’ But as we don’t exist in Westminster. Whatever MP’s who ‘work’ in English constituencies say. The British will ignore them.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      I believe that we’re already allowed curved cucumbers again, at least more curved than before, by the grace of the EU Commission. Or maybe by an arbitrary diktat of the EU Commission in defiance of EU law, I’m not sure about that one.

    • DaveM
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Not sure the Welsh would follow the Scots.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      ‘Scotland is now a SNP stronghold. The Scots hate being in a ‘Union’ with the English’.
      Scotland is in an SNP stranglehold to be more accurate. It is not true that we in Scotland reject the Union and England. The Conservative Party increased its vote in Scotland and so did UKIP. In fact the UKIP vote was, in many respects, quite spectacular rising from 17000 at the last election to 47000 at this election. We also have a UKIP MEP and stand a very good chance of electing UKIP MSPs next year.
      Please do not tar us all with the Far-left SNP brush.

    • agricola
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      DC’s intentions could well be a matter of political wind direction. A broad reach might be more to his liking than hard on the wind.

      Yes at the moment the SNP may hold sway in Scotland, mostly I suspect because the canny Scots saw Labour as part of the London Metropolitan Elite with whom they felt little in common. I do not believe they have suddenly increased their desire for independence. If English MP’s articulate what is at stake from continued membership of the EU, then we have every chance of a firm no vote. It all depends on whether DC wishes to play it clean and open or not. Votes for UK passport holders only, no funding from the EU, CBI or any other vested interest, a neutral BBC, and freedom given to every MP to argue for what they believe in. Remember it is nothing less than our sovereignty that is at stake.

  4. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    The Euro area is not “rushing” towards political union. Most of the continental m EU members are proper democracies and, as e.g. Mrs. Merkel pointed out in a speech to MEPs years ago, the EU can only move as fast as it members will allow it. For instance, unlike in the UK, anti-EU parties in the Netherlands have proper representations in parliament and constitute significant minorities. That also is the case in other proper democracies on the continent. In my view, full political union is unlikely to ever happen, the EU will always remain a hybrid of supranational and intergovernmental cooperation.

    “We should restore our national democracy” – splendid idea, but it would require massive electoral reform (English parliament, proportional representation, etc. etc.). Judged by how fast the reform of the the House of Lords is progressing (after one century of trying, still many unelected hereditary life-long peers) such reform may take time.

    • DaveM
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:43 am | Permalink


      Agree with most of that. However, if what you say is true, what’s the point of having an expensive EU that just annoys various sectors in various ways? Why not just go from agreement to agreement as required? Let’s face it, unless anothe Adolf turns up we’re more likely to get on than not.

      And regarding your second paragraph – YES we do need major constitutional change, and as much as I don’t particularly like the SNP, I’m hoping and praying they provide the catalyst for this.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        @DaveM: I don’t consider the EU as at all expensive, and equally cheap for you (UK) as for me (Netherlands), i.e. only 1% of our GDPs, to be spent for the EU as a whole. Compare that to the USA, where I believe 35% of GDP is centralised (federal).

        “EU that just annoys various sectors in various ways?”
        Take this morning on TV – a Norwegian online entrepreneur who sells to 6 EU countries, but who has to be almost a tax-wizard to deal with the various tax regimes in these different countries. Completing the single market as to include online trade would require more EU regulation, not less, a challenge still lying ahead and one that Britain would benefit from. I don’t expect that UK hostility will end with a Brexit (and then going from agreement to agreement), only that EU-scapegoating will become a bit more difficult for you.

        • DaveM
          Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

          Once again, it’s all about the business. If someone could explain what I get out of it I might agree with you.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

            @DaveM: You personally may not get something very tangible directly out of the EU, although once I’ll be able to phone and internet all through the EU without these ridiculous roaming charges, it will be achieved by the EU against the “interests” of national operators. Business largely agrees that the UK benefits a lot from its access to the single market. That would require the UK to have am EU relationship, not more distant than Norway or Switzerland. Possibly an more tailor-made solution can be found to accommodate Britain and British business. What will not work is seeking preferential treatment as a country.

          • DaveM
            Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

            Realistically, my life would not have been affected by the outcome of the recent GE, and likewise the UK’s future relationship with the EU won’t affect me unless I get sent to fight some ill-conceived and unsupported war in E Europe.

            I wouldn’t dream of seeking preferential treatment. But what you’ve said there sums it up Peter – preferential treatment by some superior (foreign) power. The nature of self-determination and sovereignty is that a country shouldn’t have to go asking for preferential treatment from anyone – it should be free to determine its own destiny, and free to float or sink through its own actions and decisions. Free to decide its own foreign policy (particularly relevant to me), free to decide where it sends its charity, free to decide how it treats its criminals, free to decide who it allows to live there, and even who plays football there. Free to decide how many fish it catches (and where). The list is endless.

            I may not like all the old laws in the UK but I abide by them because they are made in the UK and (generally) reflect the needs and nature of UK citizens. I don’t want to be restricted by stupid laws made by foreign bureaucrats which don’t reflect my nature.

            That’s my problem with the EU. That’s why I don’t like it, and why I never will.

        • libertarian
          Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

          Peter van Leeuwan

          You’ve not heard of the EU imposed VAT MOSS then? Which requires micro and small businesses WITHIN the EU to register, charge and pay vat in EACH EU country they sell so much as 1 product to, EVEN if they don’t qualify or need to actually register for VAT. They don’t need to do this anywhere else in the world. Therefore a lot of them have just banned the sale of their products to EU countries.

          If i were you Peter I’d stay well away from claiming any kind of useful business advantage to the EU for SME’s.

    • A different Simon
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Peter Van Leeuwen ,

      The policies on offer at an election are to some degree mutually exclusive .

      Nobody voted for the coalition we had did not work very well at all – wasted 5 years and failed to provide clear policy direction .

      P.R. and coalition govts appeal to timid people who are not brave enough to make decisions or take risks .

      Compare the U.S. and China which are self confident and very good at making decisions with Europe and the UK which are very good at talking .

      In this election , more people voted for the Conservative’s “vision” of the future than any other option .

      Isn’t it right that the country should take that road for the next 5 years ?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        @A different Simon: What you then chose for is that a minority government has been given parliamentary power as though it were a majority (which, as you know, I consider less democratic). It may seem innocent to give the largest party (representing 36% of the people) full power to try their policies for 5 years. But it also leads to zig-zagging if an alternate minority gets a go for the next 5 years. Take a large coalition (and thus compromise inclined) country like Germany with a more stable and predictable course than the UK. People like it better. Business likes it better. And at the same time there is more chance for new political movements to be included, even under the German treshold requirements for new parties. I don’t think this is a matter of “timid”or “brave” , rather of “sound” or “ideologically driven”.
        “Society”- in Dutch is “samenleving” = “living together”. More harmoniously living together is what I believe we achieve over here.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      We had a referendum recently in changing the UK electoral system to a version of PR (AV). It was rejected overwhelmingly by the British electorate I. Favour of our current system.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        I never quite understood this AV system. It wouldn’t necessarily lead to more proportional representation. One may also wonder how much the British people understood it and so they voted against it.

        • Richard1
          Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          You sound like all those media / academic / clerical lefties bemoaning the Labour defeat – the people must be too stupid to realise what’s good for them! AV would have given a more proportional result – but not in the very well informed opinion of the British electorate, a better or fairer one.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Hardly anyone voted – apart from the sheep who vote Tory and Labour. And they voted for a continuation of the great deception – aided and abetted by the media.

        Let’s have another one with a proper discussion – now we have a Tory majority government. Every Labour, UKIP, Liberal and SNP supporter will vote for PR – now that Labour never look like getting into power again.

      • Old Albion
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        Maybe the alternate on offer at the time, was no better than the status quo?
        There are other systems.

      • forthurst
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Richard, I think I can help you on that so you won’t need to repeat that misunderstanding again. From the Electoral Reform society website:

        “AV is not proportional representation and in certain electoral conditions, such as landslides, can produce a more disproportional result than First Past the Post (FPTP)”

      • Sean O'Hare
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        AV is a preferential voting system and in no way proportional. It results in “winner takes all” in the same way as FPTP. AV+ is classed as semi-proportional, but that wasn’t what was on offer. One has to ask why? Could it possibly have been because people might have voted for it? Surely not!

      • A different Simon
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        I voted for FPTP because I thought the alternative offered was capable of generating some bizarre results .

        If a better flavour of PR had of been offered I might have voted for it but the last 5 years has convinced me that coalition govts are no good .

        If the referendum was rerun now the margin may well be wider .

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        And the appalling conduct of that AV referendum, held on May 5th 2011, the same day as elections for the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly, and various local elections, should be seen as a warning on what will happen during the EU referendum, which will most likely be held on May 5th next year.

      • Hope
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        AV is not the same as PR.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Yes, half of those who voted in Scotland gained 56 out of 59 seats for a party whose ultimate aim is the destruction of their own nation.
      You say that we don’t have a proper democracy here. I can’t really disagree with that. It’s got much worse in Scotland since the SNP first gained power in the Holyrood Parliament (under a partly proportional system) but Scotland has always been run as a one party state anyway and the reins of power have been handed over directly from a socialist oligarchy to a more dangerous regime with dictatorial tendencies.

    • petermartin2001
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:50 am | Permalink


      “We should restore our national democracy”

      John Redwood did not say our perfect national democracy so you have no basis for criticising JR’s comment on the basis of any alleged imperfection.

      We might all have different ideas but I wouldn’t equate PR with perfection. The Westminster does have many features which are desirable. One of which is the ability of every voter to vote for a person rather than a party. I, personally, wouldn’t wish to have to express any preference on party lines at the ballot box.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        @petermartin2001: I’m not suggesting that you move to the Dutch election system, but that you look at the systems which your devolved parliaments use. If I’m well informed they try to combine the personal MP contact with a degree of proportionality. I totally agree with you that no systems are perfect.

        P.S. I also realise that Mr. Redwood meant something different with his statement, as he believes that the UK has lost national democracy to the EU. The concept of pooling/sharing democratic decisions is maybe more difficult for people living on an island than people living on the continent. Every time I travel to Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, (no passport control no other currencies, apart from Spanish I speak their languages) these countries start feeling more like home. It is no different for my children or my British wife.

        • petermartin2001
          Posted May 19, 2015 at 12:45 am | Permalink


          There’d be less opposition to the EU if it were economically successful. Get unemployment down to similar levels as in the UK or USA and any opposition would melt away. The flow of migrants into and ou of the UK would be closer to balance. The advantages you mention in no way compensate for 12% unemployment in the EU. Simply there aren’t anywhere enough jobs for UK workers there.

          If Britain and the USA can manage 5.5% that why not the EU?

          I posed a question to you about Holland and Germany’s surpluses, which is at the heart of the problem IMO, on the “search for the elusive middle ground” posting but maybe you didn’t see that as it was several posts old at the time.

          • A different Simon
            Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            “There’d be less opposition to the EU if it were economically successful. ”

            Yes but the economic effects are a side issue for many of us .

            Britons err towards protecting the individual from abuses of the state , most Europeans err towards protecting the state from the individual .

            Consequently we want to keep our superior and far more evolved legal system . When a new country chooses a legal system it is likely to be based on English Law .

            Europeans don’t mind being governed by a foreign power so long as the foreign power does a decent job of it .

            Whilst Briton’s are currently unhappy with Westminster , they abhor being cannot stand being subjugated to a supranational govt .

            Europe is a place to go on holiday and do business .

    • PaulDirac
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      The EU is not democratic and since it has taken over a large part of each country’s legislation and ability to act by laws legislated by each country – it made all of us non democratic.
      Restoring democracy in the UK doesn’t require ANY of the issues you raise, we need to replace or amend the laws introduced by the EU, by UK laws, as we are going to do in the case of the (HRA) Human Rights act .
      Where do you get PR, and “English parliament”, those are simply your invention without any foundation.

    • agricola
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      The people of Europe may not be rushing towards a political union, but de facto they will get it. Those doing the rushing are the European Commission, unelected, and whose first loyalty is to the EU cause. Numerous unelected bodies all striving to the same end. Why, because it is the only way they can make the Euro work. They need overall political control to allow the distribution of wealth created in the north to filter to the impoverished in the south.

      They have shown in Cyprus, Greece and Italy that they consider the individual democracies of those countries to be only a temporary set back to their overall plan. Yet again they disdained the results of referenda in Holland , France, and Ireland, effectively renaming the voted on proposal the Lisbon Treaty and then imposing it.

      As I have said earlier, you are dealing with an undemocratic, totalitarian organisation more akin to the old USSR. Wake up before you are suckered in.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        @PaulDirac: People like me have reason to argue that the EU is more democratic that the UK, not less. You don’t need to believe me, but at least you can see that it gives fair representation to parties like UKIP which are anti EU. For human rights, you probably mean the Council of Europe (47 countries, NOT the EU) or its European Court of Human Rights.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        @agricola: As you may very recently have witnessed, NONE of the British ministers were democratically elected as minister, ALL were appointed by the winning spitzenkandidat (leader of the largest party). They won’t even be examined (vetted) by your parliament and possibly be sent home before they assume duty.
        A degree of political union will most likely happen over time, and I agree that if countries don’t want to be part of that they should negotiate to find a form of cooperation which would better suit their needs.

        Reply All UK Ministers answer very directly to Parliament and lose their jobs if they cannot keep the majority in Parliament in support.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      The EU can move faster than its members want – now they have Qualified Majority Voting.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        @Mike Wilson: Most decisions in the European Council are not taken by QMV but by consensus.

    • acorn
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Mixed Member Proportional voting, as per New Zeeland, looks like a good fit for the UK voter intellectual capability. It will take a considerable amount of voter education mind you! UK numpties trying to handle an Open List Proportional system, a la the continent would be too difficult. http://www.elections.org.nz/voting-system/mmp-voting-system

      Frankly, the only bit of the EU I wish to survive is CEN, the European Committee for Standardization. The association that brings together the National Standardization Bodies of 33 European countries. If you want to trade in Europe, you have got to adhere to CEN technical standards. The EU is now large enough to dictate, world wide, the “standards” of products and services it will accept as imports. Be the UK in or out of the EU, if we want to trade with the EU, the EU will set the standards we will have to adopt. Ask the Chinese if you doubt me.

      Meanwhile, the EU is going nowhere while it is being run by the “troika” and its stupid austerity pogrom. The sooner the Eurosystem is shutdown the better for Greece and the whole of the world economy. The little people are yet to understand that the EU, in its present form, is killing any global economic revival.

      Reply Changing the voting system will not be on the government agenda for this Parliament, and is unlikely to be Labour’s policy or Conservative policy at the next GE.

  5. Jerry
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    In short we probably need to reduce our membership back to a member of just the EFTA to be honest, and even then there might will need to be changes to how that treaty works in more ‘modern’ times – for example, Schengen (possible support from Switzerland perhaps?).

    Interesting comments, reported by the media today, from the Chairman of JCB with regards trade, the EU, and a possible Brexit.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      I am asking you to visit EUreferendum blog and take a look at the Flexcit video. They are saying the same thing as you are, backed by a welter of research.

      • Sean O'Hare
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Not quite Mike, Richard North proposes transient membership of EFTA/EEA. Unfortunately this is unacceptable to many EUsceptics because it requires agreeing to Schengen and free movement of people. Personally I am quite happy with it providing it truly is transient. I would hate to think that we were jumping from frying pan into fire. Having been increasingly enmeshed with the EC/EEC/EU for forty years it will seem unlikely to many folk that we can just walk away on day one. Flexcit provides the assurances against the EUPhile propaganda so it could, and should, provide a very useful tool in the “out” campaign’s war chest.

  6. ColinD.
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    You wish to restore sovereignty. Excellent aim! But first you have to win the vote in the referendum. Someone must therefore devise a list of criteria against which anything that Cameron negotiates can be tested – a sovereignty test : pass or fail. The sovereignty test criteria must also hold true against what we have already lost e.g.can Cameron guarantee recovery of our fishing rights, if that is what Parliament wishes?

    • Sandra Cox
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 4:17 am | Permalink

      “The sovereignty test criteria must also hold true against what we have already lost e.g. can Cameron guarantee recovery of our fishing rights, if that is what Parliament wishes?”

      And how about the long-awaited reform of the CAP as “negotiated” in 2005 by Blair in exchange for our rebate? Proof, if needed, that the EU is not to be trusted and, by association, the politicians who have succeeded him and paid over our membership dues without a murmur.

      • Sandra Cox
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 4:24 am | Permalink

        I should have said “a large proportion of our rebate”.

  7. agricola
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I now know where you stand on this vexed question, and I am totally with you. The EU has systematically created a Rubic’s cube to the power of ten to destroy the sovereignty of nation states and create a united states of Europe. All controlled by a labyrinthine web of undemocratic bodies, largely only answerable to each other. It would be more than Alan Turing and Colossus could unpick. It no way resembles the democracy of the USA, being more akin to the USSR.

    If our aim is trade and cooperation then there are two possible routes.

    1. Repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, which would in effect cancel all treaties with the EU after that date.

    2. Invoke Article 50 of the Treaty of European Union.

    Whichever route we take, after a referendum result in favour of leaving, we are then free to negotiate whatever trade agreement we wish and other areas of cooperation.

    If you all really wish to understand the full horror of continued membership of the EU then read and digest “Everything you wanted to know about the EU, but were afraid to ask” Robert Oulds ISBN 978-1-909698-05-5 I rest my case.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      I am asking you to visit EUreferendum blog and take a look at the Flexcit video. They are saying the same thing as you are, backed by a welter of research

  8. Douglas Carter
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    At first principle, it’s important to recognise the UK is where it is in the EU not because of the EU itself, but due to the actions (and inactions) of previous UK Politicians and Governments.

    It’s also important to recognise that the EU makes few ‘Laws’ as such of its own, it nominally acts as an intermediary for agreements already taken at the Global level by other bodies – bodies which almost invariably have membership of individual nation states. The most important of which being UNECE but there are a couple of dozen others. Bodies which the UK already has individual membership and input. So in that case of Globalisation, the EU coordinates rules to which the UK has already effectively signed up, but provides a unified wording to which the national Governments provide their respective legislation. There’s no need to be in an EU which does what our own Government and Parliament could do and thereby be to greater and more direct account on.

    Much of the efforts of the Europhiles are conducted in attempting to verbally pretend the Single Market is the same as the EU. Or even more childish, Norway is ‘isolated’ in such limited minds. Norway has national influential rights, votes and input on the Single Market whilst remaining outside the EU and in spite of the desperate attempts to portray Norway as losers in this, unfortunately that misleading propaganda continues unchecked. 70% of the Norwegian financial contribution to the EU is an annual voluntary contribution to the ongoing research framework programmes – even Israel has that input, and the last time I looked, Israel is not a member of the EU.

    Having disentangled the UK from the political intent of the EU, the UK is going to have to continue on the path of reform of its own politics. The body which took us into the EEC under such eccentric terms and forms needs urgent reform so it cannot do so again. That’s of greater importance than even than withdrawal in the long term. How we vote, which voting system is of less importance than holding who we elect to proper account, and ensuring their intentions and programmes are properly disclosed to the electorate in advance of elections to ensure an electorate is properly equipped to make electoral determinations.

  9. Brian Taylor
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    What you suggest is spot on.
    Richard North has with others written a 400 page work called FLEXIT.
    Would all those who wish to see The Common Market I voted for in 1975 get behind FLEXIT and Win an Exit from the EU.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Ahem – I made this mistake and was rebuked by Dr North no less!


  10. Richard1
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    That presumably needs an over-arching agreement that the UK Parliament can at any time choose to exempt the UK from any EU agreement at all? I wonder whether this is remotely achievable in a renegotiation. It sounds like a proposal to simply leave the EU and sign up to free trade and other agreements like Switzerland. Is that your view?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Let me remind you of what the Wilson government said in 1975 in its pamphlet delivered to all households urging us to vote to stay in the EEC:


      “No important new policy can be decided in Brussels or anywhere else without the consent of a British Minister answerable to a British Government and British Parliament.”

      “The Minister representing Britain can veto any proposal for a new law or a new tax if he considers it to be against British interests.”

      • Richard1
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Yes it is clear that whilst there is a veto there is an effective put out. But mainly thanks to Labours federalising treaties, the veto has been given up in many areas.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 18, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          Come along, old chap, you must know by now that Thatcher started the process of abolishing vetoes with her Single European Act, and despite having vigorously campaigned to stay in the EEC in 1975 on the basis that Parliament would always have a veto she didn’t think that we should be asked whether we agreed with the abolition of the veto in many areas of decision making, so setting the precedent that the government and Parliament could agree to the abolition of vetoes without consulting the people in a fresh referendum, the precedent which was followed by Major with the Maastricht Treaty and then later cited by Blair and Brown for the Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon treaties.

          • Richard1
            Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

            In the 1980s Thatcher rightly saw the single European act as a bulwark against the return of socialism to the UK – then a very real threat. That it came to be used as a federalising tool rather than an instrument for free markets wasn’t really her fault.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

            It was always a federalising tool.

      • outsider
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Dear Denis Cooper, Your quote shows succinctly just how far we have come.

        Our Number one negotiating priority should be to get back as near as is feasible in a 29 member EU to the reality that Harold Wilson claimed — and for all member states, not just the UK.

        1) For the generality of European Commission/Council decisions, the qualified majority required should be the majority presently required for any proposal made by anyone other than the European Commission. The lower majority needed for EC proposals should disappear.

        2) To prevent the eurozone bloc acting as a steamroller against the perceived interest of the “outer” non-euro nations, all EU-wide moves should require a majority of the votes of non- euro nations. And there should no longer be a requirement that every member nation, apart from the UK and Denmark, should eventually adopt the euro.

        3) For EU Laws and Directives, we need to recreate a “qualified veto” that could be exercised either by any nation or group of nations with 10 per cent of the population/votes, or by any six member states. In effect, France,Germany, Italy and the UK would have this veto, as would any combination of the Netherlands, Poland and Spain or, say, the six Baltic Sea members acting together.

        Harold Wilson’s assurance would still not apply but we would be as near as practicable. The Commission and the European Parliament would of course say no to all this but I fancy that our fellow member nations would generally agree – at least in private.

  11. Anthem
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Call me naive but do EU Member States not currently trade with countries not in the EU (USA, China etc)?

    If this is the case then why can we not leave the EU and set up trade agreements with the EU Member States in the same way?

    This whole renegotiation thing sounds a lot like wanting your cake and eating it to me. The Tories want to be a member of the Club but not abide by the same rules as all the other members.

    Don’t be too surprised when the people running the Club tell our Dave to go forth and multiply with himself.

    • Bob
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink


      – China’s exports to the EU run to the hundreds of billions.

      – The UK runs a huge trade deficit (56b in 2013) with the EU, so the idea that they would want to erect trade barriers against the UK is ludicrous.

      – Official statistics on UK’s exports to the EU include goods being shipped to Rotterdam for onward connections to non-EU destinations.

      – Southern Ireland is counted as an EU export.

      One leading economist estimates that leaving the EU could save us £450 million per day overall, taking into account all the bureaucracy, red tape, CAP, membership fees etc. etc.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        The problem is this.
        At the moment all trade agreements are fixed by the EU negotiating for us in the world. They are slow and the best trading partners are not on the current list of trading partners.
        All standardisations too are handled by the EU negotiators and then passed on to us in the form if Directives which by-pass parliament on statutory instruments.
        We need – badly – to take part in this world negotiation ourselves and not hand it all over to EU negotiators some of whom have opposite interests to ourselves.
        Let us stop throwing figures around shall we? They are not clever and they are not funny.

    • agricola
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      EU countries can only trade within agreements set up by the EU. The UK cannot buy and sell to Afghanistan if the EU have no trade agreement with Afghanistan.

      We can leave and set up our own trade agreements. I have explained how elsewhere.

      As you infer, DC’s re-negotiation is a dog’s breakfast and is going nowhere.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Yes, they really don’t want to sell us all those Audis, Mercedes, BMWs, Volkswagens, Citroens, Peugeots, Fords (made in Belgium, Germany and Spain), Vauxhalls, Skodas, Seats etc. etc. They’d rather we all bought the Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans, Land Rovers, Jaguars and (BMW) Minis made here.

  12. alan jutson
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Trade and co-operation, yes that will do fine, as long as we are able to choose (our elected Government is always able to choose) what gets included in the co-operation element in our own Parliament on a case by case basis after we have an agreement.

    Whilst it may sound blindingly obvious to most, we also need to renegotiate our financial contribution, and risk as well.
    No point in being only a member with trade and our choice of co-operastion, if we are still required to be paying for full membership and all of the obligations and bailouts that go with full membership.
    I mention the above because no one has yet suggested a reduction in cost if we stay in, only a saving if we leave completely.

    It will be interesting to see the team that Mr Cameron has in mind to complete the hard slog of negotiation, if he is sensible he would include some from the Eurosceptic side of the Party.

    Clearly if we are able to negotiate much better terms for ourselves, then we may well have the start of a two tier EU.
    Those with the Euro, and those without.

    • agricola
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Who do you know who chooses to leave a golf club , but continues to pay the membership fees.

      • alan jutson
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink


        I know of no absolutely one who leaves a golf club and continues to pay for membership.

        But we are talking EU here, where unlike a golf club, subscriptions are charged at different rates for individual members, where the rules are also different for some members, where the benefits are different for some members, where some obey the rules of the club, and others do not.

        In addition, some members get their annual fees back, plus a bonus, others do not.

        I rise the question because no one has talked about not paying, if we are still members of the club, but with only trade and co -operation,a bit like a social membership, where you still pay something each year just for the privilege of spending money in the bar.

        I guarantee if we ever did just get trade and co-operation, many would still want us to pay an annual fee to the EU.
        I also guarantee our Government would accept that as a price to pay for trade daft though it sounds to you and me.

  13. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I see no prospect whatsoever of an Out vote in the referendum irrespective of what superficial concessions are negotiated. Farage’s antics have put paid to the slim chances of that. However, I think we WILL eventually leave the EU by accident when another country decides to leave and it implodes.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      “Farage’s antics have put paid to the slim chances of that.”

      That’s right, blame UKIP for the sins of the Tory party.

      I see no prospect whatsoever that Cameron will be campaigning for an Out vote irrespective of what superficial concessions are negotiated, and his support for staying in will be much more important than Farage’s antics.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Of course Cameron will be campaigning for an In vote because that’s what he believes. I remember the previous referendum, the NO camp was hopelessly split with people like Benn and Foot even refusing to share a platform with Enoch Powell even though they were on the same side of the campaign. It will be the same this time, Labour and TUC No campaigners will not go anywhere near Farage, and I imagine plenty of Tories won’t either, he is totally toxic for running a broad NO campaign in a way that (say) Douglas Carswell wouldn’t be.

      • outsider
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        You are right Denis but, leaving Mr Farage out of it, so is Roy Grainger. It would require at least one of the main UK Parliamentary parties to back a Yes vote for that to be achieved. And I imagine that Mr Cameron will be given some ammunition by way of concessions: perhaps formally excluding the UK from the “ever closer/stricter union” clause (pretty meaningless) and some fudge over welfare benefits to non-UK citizens.
        I do hope, without much expectation, that Mr Cameron will make a serious effort to negotiate a big reform of the EU. Otherwise, Brexit will merely be delayed.

    • Graham
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Please be gracious enough to at least acknowledge that we wouldn’t even be in this ballpark without ‘Farage and his antics” – yee of deliberate short memory.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Roy – ‘Farage’s antics’

      It’s a sorry state when a man can’t speak simple common sense without it being called ‘antics’.

  14. Alan Wheatley
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    “a new relationship, based on trade and friendship” – now where have I heard that before. Ah yes, I recall Nigel Farage using those very words on many an occasion.

    Reply Probably after I had spoken them first – I have been using them for years.

  15. Mondeo Man
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    There really are only two options on the EU:

    In with the full project or out with full sovereignty.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      And how exactly do you propose to do that then?

      • agricola
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Read my first submission today where I spell out the two options.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        Mike – I did my bit by supporting and independence party.

    • Chris
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      You are right, MM. Why is this apparently so difficult for “eurosceptic” MPs to understand?

  16. Leslie Singleton
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Agree with what you say but what about what you don’t say, viz that you are unfortunately much too sanguine about how ready the 27 will be to allow (remember we need their permission–all of them, right?) anything like Canada? The reason for this is that most of the 27 and all of Brussels (not to mention the daft Strasburg) believe in the dreaded, “You have to be In or Out”. I am not all that sure why they believe that but they most certainly do. Nevertheless, something like Canada should be our goal. Last I looked 75% of Canada’s exports go to the USA–and why not??

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      And the $64 question is this:
      Is the EU morphing into the United States or into something much more sinister? A detailed look at the way the constitution works is, to say the least, rather against it.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Postscript–Mondeo above has just proved my point–I regard what he has said as simply not true–There is no reason at all why we should base what we do or don’t do in relation to the EU project as it stands–Switzerland and Norway and indeed ourselves as regards the Euro prove that irrefutably–Apart from all else the EU might not even exist in anything like its present form in the near future–I for one certainly hope it collapses but actually as long as they butt out of our lives I could not care less what happens to it

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        Leslie – Where do you see us 20 years hence ? Outside the Euro, if it still exists ?

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          Dear Mondeo–I see the foreigners on the Continent joined together with capital Brussels and with us the Hell out of it. I then see the UK having something along the lines of NAFTA agreed with Brussels and we can all be happy. Having once lived on the Canadian border I am seriously unable to find any objection whatsoever to such an arrangement. Ask any Canadian and they will fall over laughing at the idea of their giving up their sovereignty in the same manner that we have.

  17. agricola
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    My first post today covered the mechanism of detachment from the EU.

    I would like to add that the referendum, if it comes, is our very last chance to vote for democracy and our continued sovereignty. It is that serious. It is not about immigration, housing, over pressed education and health services. They are symptoms, not the underlying disease.

    When DC rabbits on about re-negotiation, I seriously wonder:_

    1. Does he understand what we are involved in, and the impossibility of a satisfactory outcome from re-negotiation which by definition cannot cover the future.

    2.- Is it all a subterfuge to cover the fact that DC wants to be part of this expensive, undemocratic, totalitarian monster in the final push for birth.

    It is long overdue that DC spells out his position just as you have done. If it is anything less than you want, his explanation had better be a very good one. He is in the headmasters study on this one.

  18. Sean
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    A common market is all we need and want.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Once again I point out that the Common Market or EEC was not some run of the mill free trade area for the exchange of goods, services and capital, because it always extended to a fourth freedom, the free movement of persons, right back to Article 3(c) of the 1957 Treaty of Rome.

  19. M Davis
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    … I wish to restore the sovereignty of UK voters, so that their UK Parliament can make the important decisions they want. …

    Hear, hear!

    Message to David Cameron, “Take note”!

  20. oldtimer
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    This would be a sensible outcome if it can be achieved. Such a practical outcome would probably require some presentational fudge to save faces all round if the parties wanted avoid the description of Brexit being applied to it. Time will tell.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      EU Referendum blog has the answer to your unspoken question: look for Flexcit.

  21. James Matthews
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    A full restoration of sovereignty is exactly what is required. It isn’t really credible that we could achieve that by a “renegotiation” which does not involve leaving the EU.

  22. Iain Moore
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    We are told by the EU fanatics that renegotiation of EU treaties is unacceptable, and from the structure of the EU, which would require unanimity of 27 nations, it would seem it is an impossibility.

    When we live in a time that requires Governments to respond to changing circumstances, to be locked into treaties that cannot be changed is to be locked into the past. The EU has fossilised our democratic process into unchanging treaties, it is not only as disaster for our future, but all European nations futures.

    The only renegotiation I want is the one that leads to our exit from this disastrous EU venture.

  23. ian wragg
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    But of course CMD doesn’t agree with you. He is quite happy to continue to hand over sovereignty to the EU all be it slowly as with the EAW. The end destination will be the same only a couple of years later.
    When history is finally written on this failed experiment we may come to know why so many quisling politicians continued to lie and deceive the populous. We may find out who is pulling what strings and why.
    You only have to look at the appointment of Rudd as minister for power cuts too see the direction of things. I see you are very quiet on this John.
    CMD will be judged on his actions which up to date are nothing short of treacherous.

    Reply So far Rudd has pledged to end onshore windfarm subsidies and go for shale gas. I support both those policies and am happy to say so!

    • BeeCee
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply. But not off-shore windfarms which are even less efficient and much more expensive. They make a wonderful sight off Thanet on a clear, calm winter’s day with their arms akimbo, waiting patiently for a breath of air, but becalmed they remain!

      • Hope
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        JR, you support the Climate Change Act, you stood for parliament based on the Tory manifesto. On shore wind farms is only a part of the act. You must be clear to people. You support the Tory manifesto which continues to support the Clinate Change Act, you will be whipped to vote for the party policy. You abstained the last time it was voted on.

        Rudd will be the minister to implement the Climate Change Act and EU emission targets! Be realistic.

        Reply No, I do not support the Conservative Manifesto where I have made my own view clear and it is different.I am against the Climate Change Act and said so at the time.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply. Only because she was instructed to do. Watch the feet dragging and obfuscation. I bet facking isn’t up and running by the end of this Parliament. She says there’s not a fag paper between her and Liebor on the climate change act. Says it all really.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Yes, but John, how long before Cameron actually does it? We can’t take anymore in Scotland and want an end to it all. If it takes a few years to achieve this then we are doomed here.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      Dispite what our Prime Minister has said it would appear that Miss Rudd Energy Minister is, if the papers are to be believed going off on more than a tangent.

      If someone promises to stop subsidies the clue is in the word. DECC is totally responsible for this mess and we all know how was running that show for the last five years. A lot of us out in the real world really do wonder if they have any idea on the total turbines that have been installed, the same could be said about Solar Panels and Bio Mass Boilers.

      With the 4000 turbines already installed and another 3000 in planning has anybody actually costed the real financial implications on all consumers and especially industry, no matter where they might live?

      It is a fact that people living outside towns and large villages will not stand a hope in hell of getting properly heard as all the RE developers wave the promise of hundreds of thousand pounds to the larger communities who will be totally unaffected by such installations.

      Does the figures of potential turbines as listed above take into account all the single units that are growing like weeds across our countryside?

      It has been stated that solar farms get 50% of their revenue from subsidies and that some windfarm operators claim they can be operated profitably with no subsidies.

      Someone is not smelling the coffee.

      With the massive influx of Scottish SNPs at Westminster, the real victims of this madness is in Scotland as they have no one to turn to. The SNP wish to cover (destroy) Scotland and all its iconic scenery with turbines and solar where suitable.

      With all these combined turbines, solar and bio mass already installed has not the UK nearly, or even passed its total of renewable units required to meet its target.?

      The minister must call a moratorium. First collect all the data and costings before allowing anymore subsidies and constraint payments in any form to be agreed. Secondly issue a closing date that any turbine installation not fully installed and connected properly to the grid will not receive subsidies or payments in any shape or form. January !st 2016 would be a good starter for ten. We would prefer October at the latest.

      Like the NHS we can not afford to keep throwing money at RE. At the moment I believe that nobody really knows the true cost. It is a totally irresponsible bordering upon illegal act to allow continued planning for the installation of plant that has no way of being conected to a grid that cannot accomodate its power produced and then also get paid to shut down when the grid is overloaded. Energy companies can buy surplus nuclear power from France which in reality loads the grid, which then stops their turbines from being connected when they are being productive with the wind blowing.

      It is without question that the PM will have his work cut out withe the tarten army and it could well be a completely new look at subsidies and constraint payments etc will place them on the back foot especially if a white paper was to be produced highlighting all the pitfalls of our present way of dealing with RE. It could come out at about the same time as a white paper on full fiscal powers to Scotland!!

  24. Bert Young
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Your last sentence says it all . I have only voted to join a Common Market ; at the time there were no other alternatives on the table . The introduction of the Euro and the subsequent politicisation has not worked ; there are too many extremes in culture , economics and geography making cohesion impractical .

    The gradual inroads that have resulted in our loss of independence and sovereignity have made a mockery of our democracy and the punitive membership costs have prevented many other inspired public investments .

    In the old days the friendships I forged with Europeans are still intact and I do not believe that if we do Brexit they will fall apart . Germany is not the threat any more to a peaceful relationship across Europe ; countries can – and should return to there own self inspired ways .

  25. petermartin2001
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    The Euro area is rushing towards political union

    I’m not so sure about that!

    It has to take more powers to the centre, and redistribute tax revenue more fairly around the zone.

    Yes it does. But, try explaining that to German taxpayers or even Angela Merkel or Wolfgang Schäuble! I don’t believe their understanding of economics is good enough to accept reality on that point. As far as they are concerned, they have lent Greece money and it’s down to the Greeks to repay it.

    Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, has possibly not gone about the renogotiations in the best of ways. From reports it appears he might have tried to explain macroeconomics to various European finance ministers as if they were backward students in his university tutorials. But, nevertheless, what he is saying is quite right. It is no more realistic to support Greece with loans than it is for the USA to support the states of Mississippi and Louisiana with loans. They’d never be able to repay them.

    But, anyway, the conclusion is the same. The eurozone is a mess which has all the potential to bring down the whole of the EU in its present form. The UK will do well to keep that as much at arms length as possible.

    Reply Germany and the others are providing a massive subsidy to Greece via the large loans now being made through the ECB. (Euro 80 billion and rising) The UK does not wish to pledge its money in this way.

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      To reply.Are we not shareholders in the ECB with Blair signing us up in anticipation of our joining the Euro eventually?What liability does this entail?

      Reply Our shareholding is not paid up – our actual shareholding is tiny

      • yosarion
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        I would sooner be a shareholder in JCB

      • Hope
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        The UK pays into the IMF and it has helped Eurozone countries, does it not JR? Cameron pledged not to bail out countries directly or indirectly. The we Ireland and IMF. Another reason not to trust him.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      No. We use the IMF to lend them money
      And then they lend them money to repay themselves. I’m not very bright but that seems stupid to me. Then again most things EU do.

      • yosarion
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Sounds Ponzzi to me

  26. Liz
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I think things have become more complicated since the election with the SNP situation. Even if we get all we want in renegotiation – a restoration of British democracy being the No 1 requirement – it is not certain that a referendum will be won. If it is won in England and Wales but not in Scotland ,which does not want to leave, then that will create another constitutional crisis.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Which is why Cameron and the Tory party, and also Labour and the LibDems and the Greens, will not need to devote a lot of effort to campaigning for an “in” vote in Scotland. That can be left to the SNP, which a) is in the ascendant, and b) is lead by people who strongly support the EU, even to the point of wanting the euro, and c) have a very powerful incentive to get a stonking great Scottish vote for “in” to contrast with a weaker “in” vote in England, ideally an “out” vote in England, to fuel a constitutional crisis and provoke the break up of the UK.

      The only question is whether the SNP could deliver the most emphatic, and potentially decisive, vote for “in” if the EU referendum was combined with the elections for the Scottish Parliament next May 5th, or it would be better from the “in” point of view, and also the SNP point of view, to separate the two and hold the referendum later, and overall there would seem to be significant advantages for the “in” side in having the two combined on the same date.

  27. Antisthenes
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    As a euro-sceptic I am in total agreement in what you say but to achieve what you advocate means in practice leaving the EU and having just a trade agreement. Political co-operation would still be necessary with either the EU or individual member states from time to time few of which would be permanent arrangements.

    There is nothing in that arrangement that could be to the disadvantage of either the UK or EU despite what europhiles claim. Unfortunately the europhiles make outrageous claims that are spurious at best and totally misleading and deceitful at worst. They tend to go for the latter more often than not.

    Renegotiation of course is necessary to start the process of disentanglement from the behemoth that is the EU with it’s antidemocratic, authoritarian, technocratic and centralist ways. If those negotiations are conducted in an open, transparent and serious manner then either the EU will allow change to the treaties that returns sovereignty to member states, a strong and truly free trade market and a loose pick and mix political union or it will not. The latter is most likely but if Mr Cameron is not really committed, which he appears not to be to gain that which is in the best interests of the UK then a fudge will be arranged that will be touted as a total success. Unfortunately with europhile backing that will be sufficient to convince most to say yes to remaining in the union.

  28. me3
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    You’re in the wrong party.

  29. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    The EU has been/is a blinding sign that no member state is competent to manage itself. Start with the Southern States and work up. Why do we have to replicate the USA?

    Saving Europe from fighting itself (war) is nonsense, particularly in the case of interference in the Ukraine. Was that in 10, 20, 50 years or centuries?

    Deciding to destroy a few old boats and a bunch of inflatables and then having to seek permission of the UN is a joke. Includes a bit of business model destruction?

    Good to hear Bamford voicing about it all.

    Any questions from the SNP about Faslane yet? Should be plenty

    • turbo terrier
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Ex Pat Colin

      Especially with the news coming out of North Korea about having the ability to launch ICBM from submarines within 5 years.

      I am always amazed that in a country where the lowlands were contaminated from the Cheynobel power station all of 3000 miles away, they never stop to think of the number of nuclear power plants within a 1000 mile radius. How many nuclear powered vessels are out there on and under the sea? Scotland will just have to hope that the wind is in a favourable direction in the event of another accident.

  30. formula57
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    You are most assuredly right not to favour “negotiation based on a list of items where we currently do not like EU laws and common decisions” as indeed it would represent only temporary respite.

    A recent LSE Europe blog by Michael Emerson discusses changes to the UK/EU relationship and casts doubt upon the notion that renegotiation is necessary or would have worth, saying inter alia: –

    “Cameron’s demands to the EU institutions and other member states will most likely fall under the three key words he has been using: repatriation, renegotiation and reform.”

    and then dismisses the point of the first two, saying: –

    “Repatriation in any strategic sense means deleting competences from the Lisbon Treaty for all member states. But Cameron’s own Balance of Competence Review went into this question thoroughly, and found no instance where there was a sound case for repatriation.”

    Renegotiation related to “secondary legislation” is not needed since “unnecessary or obsolete regulations and directives “ are being dealt with in any case (evidently by Frans Timmermans, first vice-president of the European Commission).

    Where renegotiation “means changing the specific terms of the UK’s membership “ he says because the UK wishes to advance the single market, has previously won extensive opt-outs, and enjoys a veto in many remaining areas, then scope for needed change is very limited. As for the issues of immigration and benefit tourism, he says “The UK can recalibrate these criteria on its own responsibility, without requiring any renegotiation. “.

    As for the third criteria, “reform “, he suggests there is a “very substantial agenda “ but sees it as resting upon previous endeavours related to financial services, energy and climate, agriculture and fisheries, the digital sector and the EU budget. He does suggest Cameron could opt to be ” a leading proponent of a more effective European foreign, security and defence policy “.

    (Link to LSE blog @ http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2015/05/11/britains-political-earthquake-will-create-aftershocks-for-the-uk-and-europe/ )

    All of that suggests to me that talks aimed at “repatriation, renegotiation and reform.” would not lead to a favourable outcome.

  31. fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I’m quite happy to go back to just free trading with the EU which is what we all thought we were signing up to in the first place, however, how do we know all the new negotiations we have gained won’t disappear again in a few years after we vote to stay in??

    • turbo terrier
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Me thinks that you do not trust them. Very sensible

  32. David Cockburn
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    A very wise and perceptive post from JR. I do hope there are enough other members of the party who agrees with him to make our relationship with the continent work for us.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 3:37 pm | Permalink


      You, I hope are not holding your breath on having enough like minded members to support our host?

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I, and others independently, have concluded that Cameron will call the referendum for Thursday May 5th 2016, if he can possibly do that. So those who want an “Out” vote had better start getting their act together now, rather than run the very high risk of being wrong-footed by a referendum at a much earlier date than they had assumed.

    It is possible that the Lords would make that date impossible by holding up the Bill for the referendum, in which case it could be no earlier than the autumn of 2016. But I believe they will be open to the argument that the earlier the referendum the greater the chance that the result will be what the great majority of the Lords want, “In”.

    Likewise it is possible that the governments of some other EU member states will hold up the process of renegotiation, but again there is the same argument that the earlier the referendum the greater the chance that the result will be what they want, “In”.

    • Peter van Leeuwen
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Not that I particularly care, but shouldn’t you warn your pro-EU countrymen as well to get their act together? At the moment, they are much more disorganised than the antis. 🙂

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Are you accusing the British government of being disorganised?

  34. ChrisS
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    As a result of the General Election we could not be in a better position to achieve an acceptable renegotiation other than if we had a genuinely Eurosceptic Prime Minister.

    However, the arch-schemers in Brussels will not be put off by the mandate DC now has.

    They will be even more determined to give Britain the absolute minimum they can get away with that they think Cameron can sell to the electorate. It will be a cynical exercise in brinkmanship on their part and what will be on offer will inevitably be less than satisfactory.

    There was far too much talk about “Red Lines” during the election but for the Referendum there definitely needs to be some. Unfortunately some of the most important are ones we already know will not be conceded :

    Free Movement

    A reinstatement of the veto on all existing and future legislation. In other words a return of full Sovereignty.

    An adjustment to the way our net contribution is calculated.

    Exclusion of British Waters from the Common Fishing Policy.

    These have to run in tandem with acceptance that the ultimate legal authority in the UK should rest with our own Supreme Court which has to follow the law as decided by Westminster. Otherwise the European Court will use every opportunity to chip away at the concessions and tie us back in.

    In the unlikely event that they concede all of these Red Lines, I would be happy to remain part of the EU. However we know that that is not going to happen. It is inevitable that I will be actively campaigning to leave.

    The Eurosceptics amongst us must move quickly to ensure that it is us that sets the agenda for the forthcoming debate. We cannot leave it to the Prime Minister, because he will set objectives which fall far short of what the country requires. We need to put him in a position where he has to argue that what we are demanding is too much.

    If we don’t succeed in this first step, he will be able to fly back from Berlin, climb down the steps from the aircraft and wave an ominous piece of paper describing a half-baked solution as a triumph.

    Peace In Our Time it will not be.

    Rest assured, for the future of England and what might remain of the UK, this is a far more important event that the similar one in September 1938. We won the conflict that resulted from Munich but if Cameron is allowed to settle for half measures, this time we will have lost our Sovereignty with no possibility of ever getting it back.

    We will then be at the mercy of the Brussels establishment and the very left of centre social democratic majority in the European Parliament.

  35. Tony Houghton
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink


    In the current political climate I very much doubt that we are going to get the answer you want in the referendum. Labour will not support anything set up by the Conservative government just out of spite. The LibDems will vote for staying in and the other parties are too small to count.

    What do you think the chances are for getting a result the Euro Scetpics will be happy with?

    Reply If Eurosceptics start at last to work together we will achieve a happier outcome than if they continue to row amongst themselves.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      This is billed as an “in-out” referendum, and it’s going to be very difficult to form a coherent and effective campaign for “out” when there are:

      A: Some people who are already quite certain that Cameron will not be able to get adequate “reforms” to the EU and the only answer is to leave, but who may not be prepared to work together for various reasons.

      B. Some people who will wait to see what “reforms” he does negotiate, and then decide that they are not adequate and the only answer is to leave, but who may not be prepared to work with each other or with some of the people in group A for various reasons.

      C. Some people who will wait to see what “reforms” Cameron negotiates and then declare them to be inadequate and so sign up for the “out” campaign, but then supposedly have a change of mind in the light of the debate, after a lot of heart searching of course, and come out for “in” in the middle of the campaign.

  36. Elliot Kane
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Completely agree, John.

    What Britain wants is EFTA, not the EU. The thing we, our parents, grand-parents, etc thought they were signing up for originally.

    If the people of the many nations of Europe want to sign up to a federal Europe, we should wish them well and leave them to it. Such a thing is not for us.

  37. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Your government opted us back into the European Arrest Warrant – under which a teacher on holiday in Greece was extradited to Greece and endured months of hell – because someone happened to photograph his hire car near the scene of an arson – a field being set on fire.

    Yes, teachers often go abroad and start bush fires. An English magistrate or judge should have been able to say ‘you have no prima facie evidence, he is not being extradited.’

    But, no, you gave that right away. The first duty of a government is to protect its own citizens – and you have abdicated that duty.

  38. Max Dunbar
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    A lot of this discussion seems to be based on the premise that Merkel is a constant and that Germany will continue to bear the brunt of the costs involved in maintaining the EU.
    Merkel is not popular in Germany and she leads a coalition government which has forced her party left. There is a massive immigrant problem in Germany now and in the east of the country despite the fact that they have tiny numbers of so-called asylum seekers to cope with, large numbers of ordinary Germans have taken to the streets in protest.
    We could witness big changes in Germany and this, more than anything else, will decide whether the EU has a future or not. Many Germans are not happy with the EU. Events in Europe may overtake our referendum debates here and render them unnecessary.

  39. Matt Davies
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Well said Mr Redwood, I agree entirely. My only concern though is that people like you in the Conservatives talk a good game, but when it comes to the crunch, you are found wanting. Maastricht for example, where you surredered like no other has surrendered before. Can we trust you have changed now?

    Reply I resigned from the Cabinet and challenged for the leadership over the single currency and Maastricht I seem to remember!

  40. javelin
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    What you’re wanting is to “cherry pick” the laws. The EU would never allow that.

    On a pragmatic note, do you

    (1) Expect the UK to pass laws bringing the EU laws into UK law or
    (2) Expect the UK to be able veto EU laws when we don’t like them?

    I suspect (1) but that would mean the Government having lengthy discussions in Parliament for every law we adopted – and what would happen if we wanted to amend just a bit of the EU law – would that mean we are compatible with the EU or not?

    Your wishes don’t make any sense when it comes to implementation.

    When you get down to the details the only option is to pull out or commit to further integration.

    • Mercia
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      (2) Expect the UK to be able veto EU laws when we don’t like them?

      I do not want us to be forever having to fight off the imposition of big government. I do not want men and women sitting around dreaming up new laws and regulations, whether in London or Strasbourg/Brussels. I just want small government and for the political class to leave me alone.

    Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Mr Chuka Umunna several months ago in an intense TV interview insisted such things as Child Benefit were in the complete control of the UK government and, quoting a technical aspect of the law, indicated there was absolutely no need contrary to popular belief to “negotiate” with the EU to end this benefit for migrants.
    This echoed what the now ex-President of the European Commission Mr Jose Manuel Barroso said impishly on his retirement from his post in 2014 that “…the UK has always had it within its power to limit or eliminate benefits for migrants. But it was their ( the Uk’s ) decision to award benefits…” I believe Mr Barroso was in fact referring to all types of benefits as they were in a sense discretionary. However, I read in the Sunday Telegraph ( 17/05/2015 ) ( still tragically absent of the late Auberon Waugh) that Mr Barroso appears to have changed his tune and says for example that a 4-year waiting period in regard to awarding benefits to migrants was ” likely… to be incompatible with European law ”
    The point seems to be just exactly what measures really are necessary for negotiation. Would it not bring things to a head if the UK merely acts on certain measures and awaits the EU to plough throw barrow-loads of legal chaff and bumf to find out even for itself whether such measures are in fact legal? The fact Mr Barroso uses terms such as “likely” and “might” in regard to EU law indicates massive weakness and intense fear of a UK withdrawal from the EU.
    Oh and as for “freedom of movement” of workers in the EU: this really seems equivalent to ramblers’ “Right to Roam” but minus the obligation each and every time to shut the darned gate after going through it. Better to replace the gate with a very high stile appropriate only for the more fleet of foot.

  42. MPC
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I agree strongly with your emphasis on sovereignty rather than individual issues. I recall Steve Hilton, before he went off to work in the USA, saying that our government spends about half its time implementing the constant flow of new EU regulations/directives, often via delegated legislation. Restoring the primacy of our parliament would prevent a resumption of this practice by a future government. (Incidentally, Steve Hilton could be a good man to have on board for the referendum campaign).

  43. turbo terrier
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    A very good entry John

    But in the light of past decisions and promises can you really believe anything they say. At least when the same happens in Westminster we all get the chance to put it right at the next GE.

  44. The Prangwizard
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Yes, but how exactly will it be done?

  45. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Your idea of renegotiation is actually a notice to quit and form a new relationship with the EU. I would support that but there is no way that your leader nor the majority of your parliamentary party would nor would they see that as the terms of renegotiation. They want to stay in the EU; for some reason they like to be run by unelected bureaucrats and lobbysists in the EU whilst pretending they are governing this country.
    You will need to make your case far more clearly than you have to date because upto now you have played along with the Cameron line on renegotiations which is to tinker with some issues in the hope of conning people that real change has been made, just as Wilson did in 1975.

    Reply I have done no such thing. I have always been clear my aim is the restoration of pour democracy.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Do you agree that you do not want a renegotiation for the UK to remain in and under EU government but you do want the negotiation of a new relationship between an independent, self-governing UK and the EU?

      Reply Yes of course. I have always said I want a democratic self governing UK. Why do you find it so difficult to accept that is what I want?

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        You have always supported Cameron’s renegotiation plan even though he wants to stay in EU and his renegotiation would never achieve what you say you want.

      • Chris
        Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        Reply to Reply: renegotiation of our existing terms with the end goal of staying in is Cameron’s goal. Cameron has been repeatedly told that any changes can only be minor and cannot bring back sovereignty nor change the rules on free movement of people and labour and services i.e. the fundamental pillars of the European Project are immoveable. Tinkering around the edges will be all that happens. So Brian T is right to question your definition of renegotiation – what you are referring to Mr Redwood can only be achieved by invoking Article 50 in order to leave the European Project of ever closer union, and instead to set up a new trading agreement.

        Reply It is pointless recommending a course of action which will not b e on the agenda of this Parliament, unless people vote for Out. I have helped get you a referendum, so please help win that instead of complaining that the UK electorate did not vote for an immediate exit.

  46. margaret
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Apart from a decisive referendum I am not sure how we get to that point of renegotiation . What are the steps involved in getting to the the European table to discuss a new relationship.
    Canada has always been in’ my blood like holy wine, it tastes so bitter yet so sweet’, and as the song goes’ I could drink a case of you and still be on my feet ‘ Canada has so much to offer the UK. ( excuse the elated tangent)

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Article 48 TEU starts:

      “1. The Treaties may be amended in accordance with an ordinary revision procedure. They may also be amended in accordance with simplified revision procedures.

      2. The Government of any Member State, the European Parliament or the Commission may submit to the Council proposals for the amendment of the Treaties. These proposals may, inter alia, serve either to increase or to reduce the competences conferred on the Union in the Treaties. These proposals shall be submitted to the European Council by the Council and the national Parliaments shall be notified.”

      And so forth.

  47. lojolondon
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    John, I totally agree with you, except I believe we should go further. It is absolutely clear that many Europeans despise the UK, and are jealous of our hard work ethic and success, also they depend heavily on our handouts, and resent that. We will never be free of their interference and legislation strangling British industry, look no further than the Dutch and Spanish ships taking British fishing quotas, delivering the stock to Dutch and Spanish harbours, while the British fishing industry is decimated.
    I believe we should have nothing to do with European laws and arrangements, we will buy their cars, wine and cheese, and they can bank here if they so choose.
    PS I keep hearing that some business leaders say it is important to stay in Europe, if that is the case, how come Britain has recently lost several large car manufacturing plants to Turkey. Note also, that Britain contributes to the EU, and the EU subsidises these factories (against the interests of the British economy), despite Turkey being outside of the EU!!?

  48. Iain gill
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    We don’t want EU “free trade” deals with other countries, such as India, which commit us to issuing work and other visas. These are in any case not free trade deals in anything but name.

  49. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, Juncker is working on a fudge to keep Greece in the eurozone:


    “Leaked Juncker plan seeks to avoid Greek default”

  50. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    In what way would what you propose differ from leaving the EU and rejoining EFTA?

    If the answer is essentially ‘None’ then we move on to the next question:

    Can the UK afford to allow the formation of a powerful German dominated European Federation based on the Euro to form on its doorstep?

    If the answer is ‘No’, then we need a two ring solution. There would be an inner federal core – not too big because it will be a threat to its neighbours – and an outer free trading ring. It follows that Greece should be the first of many EU Member States to leave the Euro Zone.

    The UK’s Foreign Office, instead of behaving like a nest of vipers and traitors, should be actively investigating this possibility through diplomacy.

  51. petermartin2001
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    I’m just wondering why after the election result is known, and therefore after the virtual confirmation of the EU referendum it suddenly becomes possible and even imperative that the referendum is held next year in 2016?

    Weren’t we told by the anti referendum advocates, before the election, that it would take at least two years to negotiate any change in the UK’s relationship with the EU? So why the sudden change of tune?

    So, yes have the referendum as soon as possible, but let’s take the necessary time to negotiate the best possible deal. We don’t want to come out having negotiated a bad deal when we could have stayed in with a better deal had we just taken that extra time.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Some people said that it would be impossible to complete negotiations within two years. Others said that it depended on what was negotiated.

  52. Jon
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    “I do not favour a negotiation based on a list of items where we currently do not like EU laws and common decisions. Even if we could get all of the worst ones right this time, there will be occasions in the future when existing EU laws prevent us governing as the people wish.”

    Well put. We are dependent on our international financial services which we know the EU wants to rage a war on. It would have to be an extraordinary well worded caveat that protected us from future EU moves to destroy it.

    If the debate centres around immigration then I think it will falter. Much of what we want is the right to choose quality immigrants from around the world as opposed to anyone from the EU. Not being part of the EU will not necessarily reduce immigration by large amounts, it just means more wealth creators which will allow us to better manage housing along with a modest reduction.

  • 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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