The negotiation begins

Mr Cameron has reaffirmed his promise to get migration down to tens of thousands, from the net figure of more than 300,000 currently. It is a popular pledge, but it does mean he needs to get control over our borders and welfare system from the EU. I look forward to seeing more of the detail of what he wants for the UK.

The mood has changed in the rest of the EU. Now they know there will be a referendum in the UK on EU membership, many are desperate to keep us in. They want us to carry on sending them a large financial contribution every year. They want to carry on exporting large quantities to us, which I can assure them is not in doubt even if we do leave. They say they value the UK’s general political contribution to the EU’s presence in the world, though they do not seem to want to implement anything like the UK’s vision of what the EU should do, and how much less it should boss us around.

The good news is the bulk of the EU is in the Euro and needs to make more progress to its political union which we cannot possibly join. This means we need to define a new relationship, where they are governed more from Brussels and we are governed less. We also need to call a halt to the black propaganda of some, saying that a Brexit would be a disaster for us and a catastrophe for them. Brexit should mean a freer more prosperous UK, and also mean the rest of the EU can make more rapid progress to the transfer union, common taxation, common budgets and the rest that they need to make a success of their currency. It means the UK could negotiate its own trade treaties with the faster growing parts of the world, decide who to let in to our country, have cheaper energy, and regulate in ways that help people and business.

Mr Cameron has said he wants more control for our national Parliament, has said borders and welfare should be under out control and has reaffirmed his migration target which requires that. Let’s see what he now proposes in more detail to implement a vision of national Parliaments as the main decision takers, as set out in the Bloomberg speech.


  1. Peter van Leeuwen
    May 23, 2015

    Indeed, me and most of my countrymen are totally desperate that Britain might leave the EU! I have also come to believe that the UK is the only democracy that counts, although I was shocked to find out that all UK ministers are unelected officials! Almost as bad as that Brussels monter! If I’m misinformed, I would still be shocked because how could it be that Mr Redwood, with so many followers among the British had once again lost the ministrial elections? Finally, I really fear for any trade negotiations after Brexit, because our EU trade with the UK could be as much as 11% of our EU foreign trade, while it would only be 50% or less of the UK’s foreign trade. Another reason to tremble. 🙂

    Anyway, on a less playful note, there are many things that Cameron wants which he shares with continental partners. There is also a case to be made for a different arrangement for the UK if it choses not (never) to join the inner core of the EU. Interesting times ahead.

    Reply Silly comment. If we only were able to trade as the rest of the world does with the rest of the EU there would still be a decent trade. The extra tariffs imposed would be less than our contribution to the EU!

    1. bratwurst
      May 23, 2015

      Why should there be extra tariffs when we should be leaving the EU but remaining part of the single market, at least in the short to medium term?

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        May 23, 2015

        @bratwurst: there are various wishes among the declared out-voters I believe. Those who want to stay within the EU’s single market will get a situation not unlike Norway. Of course no extra tariffs will be levied then, but the detested contribution will still be there and equally “high” (about 50p per UK citizen per day 🙂 )
        The point I treis to make (in vain) is that the EU in any post Brexit negotiations will not be a weak one, as though we are desperate to keep the UK in.

    2. Peter van Leeuwen
      May 23, 2015

      Reply to reply: That position suggests that you don’t want to be part of the EU Single Market anymore, a position which would also count for your (financial) services sector and digital online trade (once the single market will have fully included these).
      I’m curious to find out how many of your countrymen share that position.

      1. Mark B
        May 23, 2015


        Please do some research on the ‘Four Freedoms’ of the EEA / Single Market. Two of them relate to money, only one relates to people.

        We only need a reformed EEA. You can keep the EU as it is and go your own way. And good luck with that.

        1. Peter van Leeuwen
          May 23, 2015

          @Mark B: I’m not sure though that you could take any of the four freedoms out of the EEA (reform?). E.g. you know that both Switzerland and Norway are member of Schengen, which allows free movement of people..

          1. Denis Cooper
            May 25, 2015

            Switzerland is not actually in the EEA, but in any case we are not Switzerland.

      2. Kenneth
        May 23, 2015

        Peter, the ‘single market’ may have been a good idea at the beginning but it has been hijacked in order to ‘harmonize’ product specifications and input requirements (e.g. environmental requirements) resulting in the large corporations freezing out the minnow competition.

        It is not a large stretch of the imagination to envisage the single market of the future with a few too-big-to-fail Soviet-style factories churning out the same products to the same wholesalers.

        The eu is taking the ‘market’ out of the single market.

        1. Peter van Leeuwen
          May 23, 2015

          @Kenneth: Harmonising is not about making all products the same, look at the variety of cars on the road for an easy example. Harmonising however would forbid companies like JBC to have poisonous chemicals in the paint of its vehicles and forbid harmful coolants in its radiators. Actually , it will still be forbidden, even if JBC were to succeed taking Britain out of the EU.

      3. Denis Cooper
        May 23, 2015

        I don’t want us to be part of the EU Single Market.

        Firstly, as the President of the EU Parliament, Martin Schulz, was quoted as saying yesterday, here:

        “The EU has the four freedoms – of movement, persons, goods capital and services. We will not change that basis of the European Union.”

        So I would much prefer the UK to be outside the EU, with a normal trade agreement which did NOT supplant our national immigration policy by extending to the unrestricted free movement of persons – and it is, always has been, “persons” in general, not just “workers” as some pretend.

        I feel sure that the EU already has trade agreements with third countries which do not include the unusual feature that all their citizens have the automatic right to come and live and work within the EU, or is it the case that the EU has agreed to unrestricted immigration from, shall we say, China, with its 1.4 billion population, many of whom would be very happy to exercise that legal right?

        Secondly most of the EU decisions about the Single Market, and whatever other EU decisions can possibly be squeezed in as being about the Single Market even if they are not really about the Single Market, are now made by transnational majority voting without our national Parliament being able to exercise a national veto, in flat contradiction of the promise made to the people during the 1975 referendum.

        Hague and Cameron have come up with the idea of fooling the British people through the introduction of a “red card” system whereby national parliaments would be able to block EU proposals; but the important point to note is that it would be a group of “parliaments”, plural, which could come together to exercise a joint veto, it would not be the case that each individual parliament, including the UK Parliament, could exercise its own national veto; it would in fact be just another system of transnational majority voting, doing nothing to reassert our national sovereignty.

        1. Peter van Leeuwen
          May 23, 2015

          @Denis: this is a perfectly consistent position, leading to taking the UK completely out of the EU. Whether it will be shared by most of the UK population remains to be seen.

      4. libertarian
        May 23, 2015

        Peter vL

        I would avoid any mention of the screamingly stupid digital online trade that the EU has just made a monumental mess of with their totally illegal change in tax rules made purely to support large corporate interests.

        The UK HMRC announced last week they will massively downgrade the need for British companies to comply as its almost totally unworkable.

        Another EU failure and the vast majority of micro digital business has already ceased doing business in the EU. Oh and the Americans aren’t very happy with you either.

        Oh the irony Peter whilst I agree our democratic systems in UK are poor, its not going too well in Holland either is it?

        1. Peter van Leeuwen
          May 24, 2015

          @libertarian: It seems my earlier reaction got lost, here again: I agree the Dutch may have some stagnation in their Senate, but that is all part and parcel of democracy. The voters usually punish breaking parties so I expect there to be some compromises and progress in the coming months.
          If the EU is performing badly w.r.t. digital economy they should be criticized for it and do better. Progress between 28 countries is bound to be slow.

          1. APL
            May 25, 2015

            PvL: “Progress between 28 countries is bound to be slow.”

            You tell that to our competitors, I’m sure they’ll wait for us to get our house in order.

      5. Timaction
        May 23, 2015

        We pay £14.5 billion in net fees for a £77 billion trade deficit. I,m currently in Paphos Cyprus walking most days too the harbour. All the seafront protections, barriers, sluices, showers and tourist fronts paid by. … British taxpayers via the EU structure funds! This whilst we have 900000 people using foodbanks in the UK and pensioners in fuel poverty due the EU energy policy of windmills and renewables. All our health and public services at fullstretch. In the meantime we have over 2 million people unemployed and we pay them benefits whilst importing 3 million from Eastern Europe on minimum wages and pay them billions in in and out of work benefits. Cameron again told the lie this week that we have1.5 million in work in Europe. We do NOT. Very few Brits work in Europe, most are retired living in France, Spain and Cyprus! Most Brits emigrate to the Commonwealth and the USA. Your intrepid leader indicates surrender before negotiation.

        1. Timaction
          May 23, 2015

          Peter, We want free trade and friendship nothing more. We love Europe and its peoples. We loath the EU dictatorship. We don’t pay to trade with rest of the world. Why EU. They need us more!

          1. Peter van Leeuwen
            May 23, 2015

            @Timaction: As UK you pay only 1% of GDP just like any other EU member. It works out in the order of some 50p per UK citizen per day, which is not much. It helps to develop your market for export in the poorer countries ( the net recipient countries).
            You say you loath the EU dictatorship but the EU is no dictatorship. We don’t need you more than you need us. You may leave if you chose to.

          2. Edward2
            May 25, 2015

            If all 28 members just paid in 1% of gdp that would be an improvement Peter, because that is not the real situation.
            Many are and have been members who only ever take out.
            Only a few are members who only pay in.

            If the voting system was based on one vote for every euro net paid in, plus some adjusting figure for the size of population then we might get a sense of fairness and democracy from this club of 28

          3. Timaction
            May 25, 2015

            Peter, £14.5 billion is more than the entire payhead of the police ….for England and Wales with £6billion change. Our Government is cutting that budget at a time we are most at risk in a generation.
            When did we elect Messrs Junker or any of the other Commissioners? How can we remove them if we disagree with their laws? With over 65% of our laws dictated by the unelected dictators what would you define as a dictatorship?
            It does not develop our shrinking export market with the EU. We do more trade elsewhere. The EU is a political project for the creation of a superstate by incremental stealthy treaty change. 30/1048 Peter. Google it. It explains all prophetic deatail hidden from the people of course. There is no argument for keeping us in.

      6. ian wragg
        May 23, 2015

        What a silly comment Peter. Norway and Switzerland are part of the single market and not in the EU.
        Ther biggest trading partner with the EU is China a I don’t recall them being in the EU.
        We lived before the EU and we will live after.
        Etc ed

        1. Peter van Leeuwen
          May 23, 2015

          @ian wragg: Of course you’ll live after the EU, whether you chose to be like Norway or like China (outside the EU all together). Just don’t assume we need you more than you need us.

          1. Timaction
            May 25, 2015

            £77billion trade deficit. £14.5 billion annual trade deficit. Our own trade deals with the world. Our fishing grounds returned and 400000 jobs created as a consequence. No cap to reduce food bills. Not having to pay for millions of minimum wage earners health and public services. In and out of work benefits. Stop building on our greenbelt. Saving our culture and heritage. Just saying!

      7. Sean O'Hare
        May 23, 2015

        It isn’t the EU’s Single Market – It’s the EEA Single Market. You don’t have to be part of the EU’s political integration to participate in the Single Market. As @bratwurst suggests that would suit us fine for the time being.

        1. Peter van Leeuwen
          May 23, 2015

          @Sean O’Hare: If you want to be in the EEA but not in the EU, that still gives you full access to the EU’s single market, I’m not disputing that.

    3. agricola
      May 23, 2015

      Well no need to get excited, our ministers including the PM are all first elected by the people, as on May 7th past. The PM is selected by the party in Parliament. and his position can at any time be challenged. The PM then selects his ministers and Cabinet from the pool of talent available. Not quite the way the EU operates

      As our host implies, were our World trade governed by one to one agreements under the auspices of the WTO we would be in a better position. Being one of twenty eight in an EU that is controlled by the WTO slows things down and does not necessarily give us the result we want.

      Our parliamentary history is peppered with men of great talent who do not always become ministers when their country needs them. Churchill only got there by the skin of his teeth. John is one of this exalted band. Rather ask yourself why the EU ends up with the unelected failures of some of it’s component states.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        May 23, 2015

        @agricola: I understand your electoral system well, and that is why I’ve made my clarification that your ministers are unelected as ministers. Even before that they are only elected by a few thousand people as MPs. The candidate commissioners sent to Brussels all have been elected as well (except your Lord Hill), and usually by many more people that the UK MPs. Your functionaries are thus more “unelected” than those in Brussels, besides being unvetted before taking office. A fact that tabloid-poisoned Brits haven’t grasped yet. If you feel that the UK will be in a better position outside the EU, I may disagree on that analysis, but please go, nobody is stopping you.

    4. James Matthews
      May 23, 2015

      Indeed a very silly comment. No one sensible expects the EU to tremble, but trade is trade. Try looking at the value in Euros of your 11% and whether the people who now gain from it will be content to lose it, bearing in mind that tariffs work both ways.

      No doubt most of the people who doing the negotiating on behalf of the EU will share your mind set, however, so serious concessions are unlikely to be on the cards. That is excellent. It increases the chance that the UK will vote to leave and return to political independence, in the process regaining control of it, amongst other thinks, it fisheries and its borders.

      If there is an economic downside it will be a price well worth paying.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        May 23, 2015

        Independent studies, like that of the Bertelmann institute show that the damage that UK will do to itself will be 8,5 times the damage it would do to my country. Eurosceptics may dispute that, but sooner or later sound analysis will win over wishful thinking. Equally interesting is the benefit which the UK has had from entering the EU, an extra GDP growth of 25%: just look on the internet for “The benefits of Brentry”, the Economist, Apr 12th 2014.

        Reply Nonsense. The UK is clearly worse off thanks to the costs of membership, the extra burden of regulation and the diversion of activity to slow growth EU.

      2. Lifelogic
        May 24, 2015

        If fact there would be an economic up side.

    5. alan jutson
      May 23, 2015


      Aware that first paragraph is tongue in cheek, but perhaps some of your Politicians may feel a bit as you describe, after all we pay in more than we get out, so someone has to make up the difference.

      Also fewer places for the refugees/economic migrants to go with us out, and you lose a large commercial market for your goods, if you take commercial action against us.

      Perhaps you (your politicians) can get the Ukraine to take our place, and see what they can contribute and bring to the party ?

      You are lucky we have Mr Cameron completing the negotiation on our behalf, because he will never ask or push for enough sure as eggs are eggs.

      The simple solution is for those in the Euro to go one way, and a second tier membership if there is to be one, just with trade and co-operation, with perhaps a very, very small fee, a bit like the much reduced social membership of a golf club which is normally 5% the cost of the full membership.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        May 23, 2015

        @alan jutson: I know reasons for which e.g. politicians in Germany and my coutry prefer to keep the UK inside the EU, but they haven’t really been mentioned yet in the blog (or I have overlooked them). The EU is run on 1% GDP contributions from EU members, I don’t expect that to really change. Some currently benefitting countries may receive a bit less support. Ukraine and UK have part of their name in common, but not much more than that. I agree with your last paragraph, and such a second tier should be created in a fair, non discriminatory way, but it won’t come much cheaper. The contributions per person in Norway and eurozone members are quite similar, and Norway is also in the outside tier.

    6. Max Dunbar
      May 23, 2015

      You said just a few days ago that you don’t consider Britain to be proper democracy. Surely, you would prefer real democracies like your own to remain as components of the EU so why the desperation that we may leave?

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        May 23, 2015

        @Max Dunbar: I had hoped that my irony was clear. Maybe not for you? Of course I’m not desperate.

    7. petermartin2001
      May 23, 2015

      Peter Van Leeuwen,

      Which ministers do you have in mind who are unelected as you suggest? It is constitutionally possible for ministers to be unelected. But it is unusual and many, of all shades of political opinion, would favour putting an end to that. It’s not unusual with EU commissioners though. None of them are elected.

      If membership of the “inner core” of the EU is so advantageous, (presumably you mean those countries in the eurozone?), why is their economic performance as poor as it is?

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        May 23, 2015

        @petermartin2001: Actually all your ministers are unelected as ministers. They are just selected and appointed by your prime-minister. Being elected as MP by a few thousand people is being elected for quite a different job. All these candidate commissioners (e.g. like our minister Frans Timmermans) were also elected and probably by far more people. Then they are all vetted by parliament before they can take up office as commissioner. The only unelected exception was the British candidate, Lord Hill.

        I agree with you that the inner core (eurozone) still has problems with its economic performance. It has performed better than Britain in bringing down its deficit. Maybe that will help in the longer term.
        If youth unemployment is a factor in economic performance, on that aspect the Netherlands is doing rather better than the UK.

        1. petermartin2001
          May 25, 2015

          Yes I should have made it clear that I meant British commissioners were unelected. At least I don’t remember ever being asked to vote for one. I don’t remember ever voting for or against Junker either and I’ve no idea how we might go about getting rid of him.

          I’d also question the democratic legitimacy of any politician who wasn’t elected personally but was elected on a party list. There’s at least 50% of the candidates in every mainstream political party that I would not wish, under any cicumstances, to support. I wouldn’t want to support any politician who was unconditionally pro-EU for example or was in favour, or had ever been in favour, of the UK adopting the euro.

          The Netherland does relatively well in the eurozone because it runs a 10% of GDP trade surplus. I’d just ask why all the highly paid politicians, economists, and technocrats employed by the EU don’t have the collective wit to know that for every country running a surplus, another country has to run an equal deficit? Its inevitable.

          Why isn’t the eurozone designed with the laws of arithmetic in mind? What about the countries that can’t run a surplus? Why are they destined to accept double digit levels of unemployment?

  2. David Murfin
    May 23, 2015

    Please tell me how a “new relationship” with UK remaining in the EU as you describe would be better than that which would arise if UK simply used Article 50 to leave and negotiate its “new relationship”.
    If we remain in, would not the kind of arrangement described in your last paragraph always be subject to continuing future pressure as the EU as now uses existing powers to generate new measures which push on towards “ever closer union”?

    Reply I did not say it would be better – we will need to read the detail and see, and then also weigh up what the voters will support. There is no majority to move straight to Article 50 exit and polls say people would not vote for that in a referendum if attempted. I am trying to achieve something. This is not a theoretical competition to have the purest Eurosceptic view, but a discussion of how you get change in a country with a wide range of views.

    1. agricola
      May 23, 2015

      Well David , one possible new relationship could be a duplicate of that of Norway, described as EFTA/EEC. It amounts to freedom of trade with Europe, freedom under the WTO to negotiate other than trade with the EU, and most important of all a return of our sovereignty to control all those matters we wish to control.

      1. Gary
        May 23, 2015

        We keep hearing about Norway and it’s a lousy example. Norway has so much oil, it could be on its own in outer Mongolia and still be rich.

        Let’s list the problems with the EU:

        1. It is undemocratic. So is the UK. The party with less than 25% of the eligible vote gets 100% of the power. The party with the third highest vote gets 1 seat and the party with the 5th highest vote gest 56 seats. That is no democracy.

        2. It is expensive. Compared to our welfare state, we can quibble all day which one, pro-rata, wastes the most money.

        3. It is bureaucratic. Compared to Westminister it may be a model of efficiency.

        4. It allows in immigrants. Right. All the immigrants end up here ! Why ? Because we must have more bloated handouts than the vauted EU.

        5. We can’t trade with the world in the EU. One word : Germany.

        Really, the EU is a political monster, but the EU skeptics are pathetic. Their real , unspoken fear is to lose The City and be subsumed by Frankfurt, or they just want to be an island. Their arguments are specious and illogical. If we left the EU we would still have a non-democratic, bloated, immigrant riddled mess. But let’s blame the EU, it’s easier. The EU is the dog that can always be kicked, the politicians gift.

      2. acorn
        May 23, 2015

        I think you mean EEA EFTA. The agreement than combines three of the four EFTA states (not Switzerland), with EU states, into the single market. The four freedoms still apply but several policy areas an left out. points 4&5 particularly.

        1. agricola
          May 23, 2015

          Yes you are quite correct it should be EFTA/EEA. However all the rest I have said about such a relationship is factually correct. It is the most hassle free way to effect our return to being a sovereign power and retain the trade link. The Swiss option apparently took nine years to achieve. Using Article 50 would require us to re-negotiate every dot and comma, so is a route of last resort.

          1. acorn
            May 24, 2015

            Certainly agree with your suggestion, it does look the simplest way. In fact, you could imagine the whole of the EU becoming the EEA, and with the Swiss, just getting back to the original and best EFTA.

            Perhaps we should start a new movement in Europe? All the required management structure is already in place.

    2. majorfrustration
      May 23, 2015

      Presume the so called Group of 100MPs will eventually get off the fence and tell the voters what they think rather than faffing around iffing anf butting and thinking of their Ks and possible HoL appointment. This country needs to rule itself – its that simple so plse JR stop playing with words and have some political moral fibre

      1. APL
        May 24, 2015

        majorfrustration: “called Group of 100MPs”

        Will they be led by George Eustace MP?

  3. Tony Harrison
    May 23, 2015

    It will be interesting to see whether, or to what extent, the leaders of major EU states like France and Germany modify the rejection of any possibility of serious “renegotiation” they have expressed openly & consistently for years. I never believed Cameron was sincere in suggesting that he thought such renegotiation likely.

    1. Jerry
      May 23, 2015

      @Tony Harrison; “I never believed Cameron was sincere in suggesting that he thought such renegotiation likely.”

      I take it you would prefer to stay in then! Otherwise what’s the problem, if the major EU states won’t or can’t budge (in at least allowing the UK to opt-out of significant areas of the Lisbon Treaty) then surely the government recommendations will be to leave or at least the majority of the press will take it upon themselves to advise that.

      1. Denis Cooper
        May 24, 2015

        “then surely the government recommendations will be to leave or at least the majority of the press will take it upon themselves to advise that.”

        As you will be well aware, Jerry, slipping in that word “surely” does not make either of those contingencies even remotely likely.

        1. Jerry
          May 24, 2015

          As you will know Denis, hypothesising about UKIP spin and hyperbol doesn’t make any of the usual anti Tory/Cameron rhetoric posted to our hosts site any more likely to be correct…

          1. Denis Cooper
            May 25, 2015

            You forget that I have been carefully observing Cameron for nearly ten years now, and reading the newspapers for much longer than that, and my knowledge of their patterns of behaviour in the past does provide some basis for predicting their behaviour in the future.

          2. Jerry
            May 25, 2015

            Denis Cooper “You forget that I have been carefully observing Cameron for nearly ten years now [../etc/..]”

            Bully for you, and others have not?!

  4. agricola
    May 23, 2015

    As to chapter 1., you and me both.

    Yes they like our money, but not our vision for Europe, particularly in the case of curmudgeonly France.

    I ask you ,what is wrong with an EFTA/EEC relationship. Trade and cooperation, but no political union. It has the advantage of a relatively easy switch and the return of our sovereignty.

    Our World trade could be governed by the WTO, a higher authority than the EU. We could then do it on a one to one basis rather than the pedantic one of twenty eight basis.
    Freedom to trade in our time. The potential gain in terms of energy, food sourcing, fishing, and border control is enormous, In truth I do not think it would make a vast difference in numbers coming to the UK, but we could welcome those we required until such time as we could produce what we need ourselves . A growing vibrant economy attracts people. We would be free to get rid of all the elements we do not require, mostly in terms of terrorism and criminality.

    Norway has such a relationship with the EU and it works. There is no shortage of Norwegian citizens in my part of Spain all contributing to the Spanish economy and enjoying life.

    My option would give Cameron and the country what is required, freedom without divorce. Lets go for it, no more hanging about in the changing room.

  5. DaveM
    May 23, 2015

    “They say they value the UK’s general political contribution to the EU’s presence in the world”

    In other words, as shown quite recently, they see the UK’s permanent seat on the UNSC as the EU seat (and presume to instruct our reps on which resolutions to push and which to veto), they want to use the UK’s military and diplomatic experience and capability, and they like the fact that we can talk to the Americans without anything being lost in translation.

    As always, the EU leaders want what they can GET FROM the UK, and have no interest in what it can give, or how some of its policies are damaging to our infrastructure, culture or security.

  6. Andrew S
    May 23, 2015

    Talk of holding a referendum in 2016 is concerning. There surely cannot be enough time for renegotiations and then to have a proper public debate in this country on the outcome, if the vote were to be next year.
    Is this an attempt to rush an “accept” vote through?
    By the end of 2017 was promised so in 2017 please. Scotland was allowed a good length of time to prepare for their independence vote, so should the UK public be for this one.

    1. Denis Cooper
      May 23, 2015

      How much time will be needed for the renegotiation will depend on what changes are sought, and how and when they would be implemented, and then there is the separate question of the stage at which the UK electorate would invited to vote on their acceptability.

      There are stories that EU treaty change is always a slow and lengthy process, and some people even cite eight years for the last major treaty to go through, but forgetting that the first version, the EU Constitution, was rejected in the French and Dutch referendums and then the second version, the “Reform Treaty” later renamed the Lisbon Treaty, was rejected in the first Irish referendum.

      In contrast the apparently small but very important EU treaty change to provide a firm legal base for the European Stability Mechanism took only five months from when Merkel publicly demanded it at the end of October 2010:

      “‘Small, small, small’ EU treaty change to deliver ‘quantum leap'”

      to when it was formally signed on March 25th 2011:

      “EUROPEAN COUNCIL DECISION of 25 March 2011 amending Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union with regard to a stability mechanism for Member States whose currency is the euro (2011/199/EU)”

      If that EU treaty change had been put to a UK referendum, as it should have been, then the referendum could have been held at that stage of the finalised formal agreement of March 25th 2011. It would not have been necessary to delay the referendum until the UK Parliament had passed the Act to approve the treaty change – a separate Act just to order the referendum to be held could have been passed very quickly – let alone wait until all the other EU member states had gone through their national approval procedures and finally ratified it before asking the British people what they thought about it.

      Then there is what is being called the “Danish” option or solution:

      “The Danish Solution for David Cameron’s EU Plight

      There will be no treaty changes before the U.K.’s in-out referendum”

      Whereby the UK referendum would not be held on the basis of formally agreed treaty changes as such but only on a formal promise by all of the current EU leaders that agreed treaty changes would be made at some point in the future, perhaps as part of a wider revision of the treaties.

      Plus, there is the possibility that many of Cameron’s requirements could be seen to be met without the need for any treaty change, through secondary legislation under the existing treaties or just through political declarations of intent.

      Therefore just from a technical point of view it would seem quite feasible to get to the point of the UK referendum being held next spring, May 5th 2016.

    2. ian wragg
      May 23, 2015

      Of course it is a desperate measure to bounce us into a yes vote. What’s the betting EU citizens get to vote, hence the flooding of England with immigrants.
      Then watch CMD cave in and say all parts of the union have to agree effectively giving Scotland a veto.

      1. John C.
        May 23, 2015

        You are right in suggesting that there are 2 probable arrangements that will cause intense anger to many English voters especially:
        1) Non-British citizens being allowed to vote on the question of Britain’s independence and sovereignty
        2) Scotland (or indeed Wales or N.Ireland) being allowed to veto a withdrawal if they voted to stay in and England voters wanted out- unlikely, I feel, but a possibility.
        I have a feeling that, given the lack of any real determination to give England fair representation in our present arrangements, these 2 further insults are very much on the cards.
        And what will we do about it? Nothing.

    3. Jerry
      May 23, 2015

      @Andrew S; “Is this an attempt to rush an “accept” [to stay in the EU] vote through?”

      Well it could be, but then it might be a realisation that the EU isn’t going to budge in any meaningful way and thus why wait until 2017, such time would be better spent in negotiating an earlier Brexit. Why do so many europhobes always think their glass is half empty?

    May 23, 2015

    Russian speaking Latvians born and bred in Latvia(approx 20% of its population ) are denied a vote in national elections and denied citizenship. Easier for Mr Cameron to negotiate with less people.

    The Latvians with whom he CAN negotiate have been depleted in number from 2.5 million to 2 million within the last 10 years. Statistics vary. Some say from 2.75m to 1.75m. I guess the anomaly is a consequence of whether one counts in Russian or Latvian or English. And whether one believes in basic democracy or tyranny in Europe.

    Latvia’s Trade Union of Health and Social Care Employees protested on the same day as the Mr Cameron’s meeting, pointing out 50% of graduates from its medical universities and colleges seek employment outside Latvia each year; two of its largest hospitals are on the verge of insolvency.

    It is Lativia’s youth, skilled and educated leaving. Old, sick, disabled, vulnerable remain behind.A demographic disaster.
    Wonderments like this are happening in Lithuania and Estonia and all EU countries poorer than the UK, Germany and France.

    Why Mr Cameron has to “fight” and “negotiate” an immediate or long-term end to “Freedom of Movement” needs an explanation.

    Clearly, the Baltics “NHS”s and those of Greece, Spain, Portugal and others, are not so much in meltdown but vaporized.

    If Mr Cameron cannot “negotiate” an end of Freedom of Movement within the next seven days with the EU then he should tender his resignation by email to the UK governtment from his hotel room in Riga and pray he does not fall ill whilst he remains.

  8. Lifelogic
    May 23, 2015

    Any detail at all from Cameron would be good so far he seems to have asked for nothing remotely near what is needed.

    All I hear is endless pro EU propaganda from the BBC and the other likely suspects and now leaks from the Bank of England.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      May 23, 2015

      Yes, I find the fact that they ‘accidentally’ released their findings to an International Newspaper very hard to believe. More likely it is full of bad news to scare the public into voting to stay in. Accidentally leaking it makes it look very innocent on their part and possible more realistic to many. Do the banks ever do anything that is good for the country? Do they ever tell the truth and how much can we trust them? You can bet your last penny that whatever they come up with will be good for THEM!

    2. Frankfurt13
      May 23, 2015

      That would be the same BBC that receives EU funding?

      1. Bob
        May 23, 2015


        “That would be the same BBC that receives EU funding?”

        Are you suggesting that such largess could influence the BBC’s attitude towards the referendum issue?

  9. alan jutson
    May 23, 2015

    As you say John, let us wait and see how negotiations work.

    I am not convinced yet that Mr Cameron is asking for anywhere near enough.

    I fear what he gets will be dressed up as acceptable by all europhiles.

    I fear the stay in campaign will be fixed/funded with EU propaganda money which will convince (drive fear into) the “not a clue” voters.

    I see how the propaganda has already started (Question time ) when most of the guests on that show say we will automatically lose half of our trade if we leave, and we will be alone in the World.
    Not a single sole in the audience or on the panel, not even the Conservative Minister present, challenged this lie.

    1. Cheshire Girl
      May 23, 2015

      Ruth Lea, a respected Economist, stated some months ago, that ,in her opinion, we could survive and prosper, outside the EU. Frankly, I would listen to her opinion any day rather than that of the politicians. I watched Question Time and we heard the same old opinions, as we always do whenever there are politicians of different parties on the panel. The same was true of the Immigration question.

      1. Lifelogic
        May 25, 2015

        Indeed Ruth Lea is one of very, very few people who ever say anything remotely sensible on Question Time.

    2. willH
      May 23, 2015

      Yes, what a state morality is in, when politicians and the BBC are prepared to lie in this way to foist their EU propaganda on those gullible enough to believe it. Is it too much to ask for those paid by our taxes to have some integrity and tell the truth ? If the facts of in or out of the EU were presented honestly and the people left to decide then no one could complain at the result.

      1. John C.
        May 23, 2015

        While there are facts and figures available, there will inevitably be speculation about the effects of leaving; it cannot be an exact science. It is an unknown. For this reason, I feel that the natural cautiousness of the British, combined with a barrage of propaganda from the Government and the state Broadcasting Corporation, will lead to a “safe” Stay In vote.
        Not what I want, just an early forecast. Things may change.

  10. turbo terrier
    May 23, 2015

    The mood has changed in the rest of the EU.

    Very well said John. For far too long the UK has tried to play the game to the laid down rules whilst others seem to have a different version.

    All the time that the UK produces quality, competive products we will always prosper.

    It is time for the Uk to be playing the game on an even field.

  11. Richard1
    May 23, 2015

    I don’t think it will be possible to call any halt to the ‘black propaganda’ regarding Brexit. We should expect comments like: we export 3.5x as much to the EU as we do to the US (Lord Patten); many major businesses will look at relocating HQs and operations (the CBI, Deutsche Bank, numerous companies); the EU is great is it protects workers rights (trade unions, Labour politicians); we need to be in the EU to solve problems like ‘climate change’ (the green blob and numerous others); we should not be insular and xenophobic (numerous floating voters with a generally favourable view to international relations); we need the EU to cooperate in science (scientists in yesterday’s Times). Advocates of Brexit will need to have very clear and coherent answers to each one. The weight of opinion saying don’t take the leap in the dark is at the moment overwhelming.

    1. A different Simon
      May 23, 2015

      Richard1 ,

      What you say is correct . An OUT vote is unachievable at the moment .

      As the election gone showed UKIP do best in the over 45 age group .

      The younger generation has been subjected to indoctrination and saturation brainwashing and never saw how much better it was before the EU really got into it’s side .

      What a crime to perpetrate on developing brains .

      Those of us in the OUT camp are in the minority – Whitehall and Westminster have won by socially engineered the population they want .

    2. John C.
      May 23, 2015

      Sorry, I made my comment above just before reading your much fuller and more detailed argument. I agree with all you say.

  12. Alan Wheatley
    May 23, 2015

    Listening to the news yesterday about the EU Summit I had this silly thought; Cameron was setting the bar high so renegotiation would fail and he could campaign for OUT in the Referendum. This U-turn for Conservative Policy would not be blamed on him as he had tried to make IN work, but on the 27 who would not cooperate.

    Margaret Thatcher initially embraced the EU and tried to make it work for Britain. She eventually realised this was an impossibility, changed tack and got sacked for her pains. Perhaps Cameron has travelled the same path, but more quickly. I wonder what fate awaits him.

  13. Bert Young
    May 23, 2015

    The most and only important thing is to regain our sovereignity . Unless we achieve this goal we will no longer have a democracy .

    I am always horrified when I hear and see that we are more often than not unable to get rid of foreign criminals when they are protected by “human rights” conditions imposed by the ECHR . There are other , more petty , things that are imposed by them which , I am given to understand , is not even an EU created body !

    We are Europeans and our links to the Continent are many and valuable . We created a trading relationship that enabled organisations to integrate the creation of products and services able to compete in international markets . There is no reason why this system has to finish if Brexit occurs . It works both ways and the balance of our trade is evidence of who gains the most .

    The politicisation of Europe is not our affair any more than the Euro is . Germany does pull the strings through its economic strength and will have to dig deeper into its resources when and if we leave . I suspect the Germans will ultimately feel the pinch of this in their pockets and will react when the consequences hit home .

  14. mick
    May 23, 2015

    i dont trust the EU one little bit, they will proberly give in to Mr Camerons wish list but a few years down the line screw Great Britain again, this is going to be a battle for Britain with the MSM, nearly all TV companys, most of the village of westminster, bank of england and big buisness wanting to stay in the dreaded EU

  15. oldtimer
    May 23, 2015

    We should wait and see what emerges. Nevertheless if the start point is to accept the free movement (even if qualified as meaning) of working people, then control of the borders, and thus immigration, will not be achieved with the predictable consequences with which we are all familiar.

    Meanwhile the will they, won`t they, Grexit drama continues to play. The latest noises off stage suggest that the EUrocracy is concerned about the wider implications of a potential Grexit. If they are worried about Grexit then they should be even more concerned about a potential Brexit.

    They also need to recognise that it is not Mr Cameron who will make the decision, but the rest of us, the great unwashed that is the British electorate. The recent GE has confirmed that the British electorate is not stupid and is capable of spotting phony offers. It is the electorate that must be persuaded.

  16. Shieldsman
    May 23, 2015

    Having read, I then went onto read the3556 plus comments.
    Considering it is a Tory flagship newspaper who are its reader.
    Well the readers commenting had no hesitataion in saying that mass immigration had been an unmitigated disaster. The diverse religions and ethnic groups had failed to integrate, Fraser Nelson must be wearing rose tinted spectacles.
    The mood appeared to be that we must get control of immigration and if this involved leaving the EU so be it.

  17. forthurst
    May 23, 2015

    CMD has already announced he will be conducting the ‘negotiations’ behind closed doors, much like the EU with TTIP, in which American Corporations are negotiating to overthrow the rights of governments to protect their citizens from unsafe products and environmentally damaging exploitation, as they have done already done to Canada and for which the damning evidence is already in the public domain in the shape of legal actions for ‘loss of profits’ conducted by New York lawyers on behalf of ‘investors’ in the actions who make multiples of their ‘investments’ as payouts.

    What CMD will be doing behind closed doors is agreeing on a raft of ‘straw men’ which will be presented as great victories allowing us to remain in the EU for ever whilst CMD’s ‘promise’ on immigration will be carried forward endlessly for future delivery.

  18. English Pensioner
    May 23, 2015

    As both Germany and France have made it clear that they won’t allow any changes to the principle of free movement within the EU, what is the point of any negotiations? It is the mass immigration from countries within the EU that is a major problem, leading to all the other problems with our infrastructure such as housing, schools and hospitals.
    Cameron should publicly state what changes he wants from the EU before starting negotiations so that we can, in due course, see how successful he has been.
    As it is, I expect he will secure some minor concession on some trivial matter and this will be presented to the British people as a great victory.

  19. Denis Cooper
    May 23, 2015

    Somewhat off this topic, but apropos some recent discussions here, apparently there is now a row between the Greek government and the governor of the Greek central bank, which as a national central bank within the eurozone is supposed to be fully independent from political control, with ministers saying that he is failing to follow the “national line” and should resign. For those who are interested there are more details here:

    Of course this is a case of caveat lector, or caveat emptor if you believe that Deutsche Welle may be trying to sell you something on behalf of the German government.

  20. A.Sedgwick
    May 23, 2015

    In short we need to exit.

  21. Mark B
    May 23, 2015

    Good morning.

    Mr Cameron has said he wants more control for our national Parliament, has said borders and welfare should be under out control and has reaffirmed his migration target which requires that.

    If there ever was a statement which reaffirmed the levels to which we have fallen as a sovereign self governing nation, then the above is it.

    No other nation outside the EU would ever consider having to ask back that which is its by right.

  22. Kenneth
    May 23, 2015

    It is a silly notion to suggest that trade sanctions would break out between eu member states and the UK should we leave the eu, especially as the other eu countries would suffer far more than we would.

    Why, in that case, is this incredible scenario being used by the “IN” camp, which surely undermines their credibility?

    Any why is the BBC reporting this? I can see why they want to balance arguments, but to use such an unlikely scenario undermines the BBC itself.

    The “INs” need to get real. They may have some valid arguments, but damage to our exports is not a credible one.

    1. A different Simon
      May 23, 2015

      The Brussels Brainwashing Corporation is openly funded by the EU .

      Isn’t it time that was stopped ?

      Conservatives have never needed much of an excuse to flog off the family silver . The BBC is a success story so why not monetise it now ?

  23. Douglas Carter
    May 23, 2015

    On topic – just barely, but more or less relevant.

    A conversation I enjoined half-way through whilst I was out with the dog this morning – people ARE talking about this. One phrase that can be quoted unedited was ‘they’re taking us for fools’.

    A person might ‘accidentally’ Email a photo of their hamster to Dominos Pizza delivery. They might ‘inadvertently’ Email their most recent online Credit Card statement to that bloke in the local rowing club. ‘Innocently’ resend a snippy comment from the ex-wife to your brother. You don’t ‘accidentally’ Email critical strategic Economic information to a politically-active newspaper?

    If I – totally by chance – accidentally disclosed Royal Navy Submarine patrol routes to the Naval attaché in the Russian Embassy, I would rightly have my collar felt in double-quick time. Because that would be defined as disclosing ‘Military Secrets’ – thereby critically pivotal intelligence.

    I understand the Eurosceptic wing in your party is keeping a diplomatic distance from rocking the boat over the EU right now – I understand that – but this matter, if you’ll pardon my foreignese, is taking the p*55. ‘Accidental’? Do such important figures believe that people are literally THAT gullible? They may claim innocence. I don’t believe a word of it and nobody else with any amount of sentient comprehension should have that level of forgiving credulity.

    I’m writing a complaint to my own MP and to the electoral commission and will make my comments with those people also, but I will be requesting of my MP that he might seek to complain to the Police – an Economic Crime could well have taken place here. We all know about ‘Insider Dealing’ and if this matter turns out to have been less than inadvertent, it would resemble insider dealing on a Global Scale in strategic potential. For that I understand why you may not be able to publish all, or some part, of this contribution, I hope at the very least that responsible Parliamentarians will not take this complacent dismissal of a cynical act of political machination lying down – this is a definitive ‘heads-should-roll occasion. Any official who comes into contact with strategic intelligence of this kind who treats it thus cannot be trusted with it in future.

    Taking us for fools, indeed.

  24. formula57
    May 23, 2015

    Some, no doubt unkindly, might say you are achieving Brownian levels of inappropriate Vow making when you state, “They want to carry on exporting large quantities to us, which I can assure them is not in doubt even if we do leave”.

    Whether trade continues as freely as it does now will depend surely upon that outcome being negotiated. With the UK suffering a large trade deficit with the rest of the EU at present, being assured of such continuance no doubt will be an acute concern to a worried EU and a key objective for it in the negotiations.

  25. Kenneth
    May 23, 2015

    What I find odd is the insistence that the eu has certain fundamental principles such as the freedom of movement.

    The eu is not a religion. It is not even a state. It is (supposedly) a trading bloc.

    The very fact that some people are talking about these fundamental principles suggests that this eu thing has already gone too far.

    1. Denis Cooper
      May 24, 2015

      Well, there is religious fervour, and it’s more like a “cult” than a cosy “club”.

      But was there from the very beginning, unless you are prepared to believe that back in 1957 when the leaders of the founding countries made a treaty starting with the words:

      “DETERMINED to lay the foundations of an ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe”

      they didn’t really mean that, and that when that determination was reiterated in the Maastricht Treaty thirty-five years later:

      “RESOLVED to continue the process of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”

      those involved didn’t really mean that either.

      Some try to minimise the importance of those statements of intent, saying that they are only symbolic, but they condition everything done by the institutions which owe their existence to the treaties, and it is proper that they do so.

      If the Commission decided not to pursue further integration, and the judges on the Court did not weight all their decisions in favour of further integration, and the Parliament started to try to obstruct or reverse integration, then they would not be doing what the EU political leaders have said they should do.

      So when Cameron said on Friday:

      “There’s the concern that we’re being driven towards an ever closer union. That may be what some others want, but it is not for us.”

      the inevitable implication is that his predecessors, and Parliament, should never have agreed to treaties setting that out as the paramount overall objective.

  26. Francis Lankester
    May 23, 2015

    I’m afraid we can see the way negotiation is going from the comments on Newsnight & other programmes from ‘advisors’ who come from Open Europe, an organisation which previously posed as Eurosceptic but now promotes ‘In.’ They keep say stuff like “what is most important to people is benefit tourism immigration” when what people are really exercised about is the sheer numbers and the principle of controlling our own borders.

    For the Conservative Party this minimalist approach (if this actually transpires & I very hope it does not) is dangerous as DC can be painted as Wilson Mark 2.

  27. MickN
    May 23, 2015

    For the life of me I cannot see me ever voting for anything other than an exit from the EU. I am not convinced that Cameron is whole heartedly behind these negotiations but alright lets give him the benefit of the doubt and say that against all the odds he manages to obtain major concessions from the EU to such a degree that I like what I see and could possibly vote to stay in. The issue now settled what are the safeguards to stop subsequent governments handing these concessions back over time as Blair did with part of Mrs Thatcher’s hard won rebate.

  28. Mercia
    May 23, 2015

    I am still hoping the negotiations are just us being polite and it is all a charade with the express intent of escaping this growing nightmare. By even conceding that negotiations are possible with such a project. Then the ideological opponents to everything the EU stands for have already surrendered to the assumption that big intrusive supra-national government is a natural thing (Nick Cleggs narrative etc).

    It is therefore vital Mr Redwood repeats as often as possible what real Conservatives are supposed to ideologically believe in, incase they all forget. Otherwise we have no one representing us in government at all.

  29. Mercia
    May 23, 2015

    John Redwood “We also need to call a halt to the black propaganda of some, saying that a Brexit would be a disaster for us and a catastrophe for them.”

    It seems to be this is mostly coming from the BBC, where it is relentless and manipulative.
    The strategy will be a scare strategy and it will probably work.

  30. Shieldsman
    May 23, 2015

    I have yet to read what Mr Cameron wants to renegotiate, does he have any red lines. Will it be a charade were he produces a minor concession out of the hat and claims a great victory
    There were some fine words in the Bloomberg speech, but in many respects rather vague and nothing has happened since.
    What does the Conservative Party want to change?
    Back in 2013 the BBC reported ‘Fresh Start’ is Conservatives’ new vision for Europe. If you want to know what the Conservative Party really thinks about Europe then Fresh Start will give you a fair idea.
    It’s been an 18-month project, led by South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom, who says she’s “desperate” for a better relationship with Europe.
    Take a look, its still available to download under ‘Fresh Start Project’.
    You will find their are 10 chapters including:- Trade, CAP, CFP, Financial Services, Energy, Criminal Justice, Immigration and Defence.
    All probably a bit too much for David Cameron to take on board.
    I believe we gave part of our rebate away for the changes to the CAP, so will we have to give the rest away?

  31. A different Simon
    May 23, 2015

    The objective on immigration should not be to reduce net immigration .

    It should be to stop inwards migration of people we don’t want/need and to retain people we want to keep / eventually return .

    The more concessions Cameron get’s the more likely we are to stay in .

    Ultimately the UK Establishment wants to stay in and the referendum will be a pretense that in all likelihood will return the results they want .

    Look at the allegations of vote rigging in the second Irish referendum , if there was by some miracle and OUT vote I am sure the establishment would have a contingency plan to doctor the counting, collating or report of the result .

    The only way out of the EU is to get kicked out .

    1. A different Simon
      May 23, 2015

      The EU is a lobster pot as Heath and his successors knew as they were plotting the demise of Britain .

  32. agricola
    May 23, 2015

    Possible the most heinous crime against democracy was the imposition of the European Arrest Warrant on the British people by the last government of which Cameron was a major part.

    I have no problem with any European country asking us to apprehend anyone they consider to have committed a crime in Europe. I draw the line at there being no recourse on the part of the accused to be heard in a British court. The accuser must produce convincing evidence in a UK court before any extradition can be considered.

    It will be particularly ironic when the Queen goes to Runnymede to celebrate Magna Carta, no doubt with half the Cabinet in attendance, in the knowledge that one of it’s major tenets is being abused by the appearance of the EAW in UK law. This abuse of our fundamental rights must go.

  33. Old person
    May 23, 2015

    If Mr Cameron and the Chancellor are fast on their feet, there is one easy way to get net migration down in the forthcoming July budget.

    The Abbott government down under have introduced a ‘Backpacker Tax’ of 32.5% with no tax free allowance.

    As most Australians come to Europe as a right of passage, now is the time for the UK to reciprocate with a similar tax and counter measure.

    It should be interesting to see, if Australia wins tonight’s apolitical Eurovision Song Contest or just gets the dreaded ‘nul point’.

  34. Javelin
    May 23, 2015

    Freedom to work anywhere in the UK is not up for negotiation.

    That is why the vote will be 2:1 to leave

  35. Ian Scott
    May 23, 2015

    I’ve two thoughts to share on the EU referendum.

    Firstly I’ve not one idea what success will look like for Cameron when he’s finished his negotiating. No one in the press will spell out their expectations and even Euro-sceptics won’t tell what they think a win consists of. There’s talk in the general about repatriation of power and benefit tourism but I really want hard details. What are the specifics that would convince someone to vote in instead of out.

    Secondly – as JR states above – Prepare for the Black propaganda against a Brexit. It’ll flow one way, be vindictive, bordering on outright lying and be relentless. Whatever Cameron brings back or says will be the biggest victory since VE day and will be splashed over the newspapers like a Royal Wedding. Eurosceptics should prepare to feel like Ed Miliband and the Labour party in the run up to May for the next couple of years followed by inevitable defeat. You can’t beat the establishment supported by the press.

  36. Javelin
    May 23, 2015

    There is an important point to make.

    Voting to stay in the EU is voting for closer union. That means an EU president and full subjugation under EU laws.

  37. Brian Tomkinson
    May 23, 2015

    What you must do is ensure that Cameron doesn’t set the bar so low as to enable him to achieve next to nothing but claim a great success and recommend staying in the EU just as his mentor Harold Wilson did in 1975.
    You surely can be in no doubt that he intends to keep us in, by hook or by crook, and with all the money from the EU, large corporate business and his pals in the media behind him he will have a powerful propaganda arm.

  38. ian wragg
    May 23, 2015

    How did the BofE accidentally send an email to the Guardian. Do they think we were born yesterday.

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      May 23, 2015

      I think they do!

  39. Jerry
    May 23, 2015

    “but it does mean he needs to get control over our borders and welfare system from the EU.”

    He will also need to get a grip of the UK’s unskilled/lowskilled workforce and those jobs that need filling, otherwise the Home Office, the UK boarder Agency and employers are going to be busy processing nothing but work permits or points based immigration applications…

  40. Margaret Brandreth-J
    May 23, 2015

    Nick Clegg’s analysis of losing out in business if we leave lingers in the back of my mind, but I do realise that there is a big world out there.

  41. A different Simon
    May 23, 2015

    We have Austria launching frivolous legal challenges to the EU’s approval of UK guarantees to Hinckley Point .

    This is a country with a population of one eighth the UK’s and having 39% of the population density .

    All they have ever given to the World is National Socialism and Niki Lauda .

    Britain needs to rearm .

    No matter how much British people try to integrate into the EU , they will always be considered second class citizens .

    Europe with the exception of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia was almost entirely Axis during WW2 and we will never be forgiven for standing in their way .

    1. They Work for Us?
      May 23, 2015

      The EU relies on a Franco German stitch up aimed at allowing themselves to benefit against our interests. We are one of 27 -28 countries none of which do anything other than put their narrow interests first. Do we rally have any genuine friends there?
      France is a natural historical rival that resents what we did for them in WWII. We took in De Gaulle and helped liberate them from the Germans only to be shown intense ingratitude and hostility by de Gaulle and others afterwards.
      Germany wants to dominate the EU economically havin failed in two wars to do so. Both France and Germany covet the success of the City of London and are trying hard to get the work to Paris and Frankfurt.
      Spain is such a good European to us that they want Gibraltar and quietly support Argentina against us over the Falklands.
      Italy wants to pass on the migrants it is collecting.
      Other countries are economic supplicants to the EU to which we represent the meal ticket. Many of them want to export their unemployment and generate remittance men to support the old country,their loyalties are not to the UK.
      I could go on.Why oh why can we not have a PM that puts our interests first and recognises that the people are sick of Parliamentary subjugation to a foreign power and also recognises our little island is getting overcrowded and pressure on health, education and other services is real. The dilution of our culture would be better expressed by gross migration but govt is frightened to publish it. Let us be out of the EU with a trade only agreement.

  42. Vincent Mayor
    May 23, 2015

    Are we really naïve enough to believe that leaving the EU will end mass immigration? People seem to have forgotten how we took in millions from the Indian sub continent long before the Eastern Europeans came over in their millions. Renegotiation or even an EU exit wont stop immigration because politicians over generations have shown that they lack the will to control immigration. We should leave the EU, on economic grounds, but it won’t stop mass immigration in the slightest.

    1. Denis Cooper
      May 24, 2015

      You are right about the will of most of the politicians we have elected since the Second World War, which has been and still is to maximise immigration in the teeth of popular opposition, arranging to get in as many immigrants as possible under all possible pretexts until the voters start to react.

      But you are wrong about the scale of previous waves of immigration; according to this Briefing Paper from Migration Watch:

      “The massive increase in the level of migration since the late 1990s is utterly unprecedented in the country’s history, dwarfing the scale of anything that went before.”

      And a large part of that – sometimes much more than half, sometimes less than half – is immigration from other EU countries, over which our Parliament has for the time being relinquished control by approving the EU treaties.

    2. Iain Gill
      May 24, 2015

      Indeed much of the out of control immigration is non EU.

  43. Mick
    May 23, 2015

    After watching the Eurovision Song Contest and the votes we got from the other EU country’s why o why would we want to stay in the EU , bit funny that the eastern block don’t vote for us but they cannot wait to come to our wonderful country, says it all really

  44. Mercia
    May 24, 2015

    Politicians seem to believe growing the economy the easy way is more important than saving our Protestant Christian culture, although I am non denominational, I know the Westminster Confession was the closest organised Christianity has ever got to complete Scriptural truth. That to me is something worth defending.

  45. James Marrs
    May 25, 2015

    As a UK citizen living abroad im totally disgusted that im not allowed to vote on the EU referndum. I have heard your comment on the bbc and ex pats MUSt get a vote. Changing the status canm effect over 2 million brits living in the EU and we must have our say. I mean it could happen that we lose our rights to live in the EU and be deported back to the Uk claiming benefits (not freely) and doing exactly what the govt doesnt want is taxing the NHS and benefit system!

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