What are the best arguments for leaving the EU, if there is no good deal on offer?

For me the negotiation and referendum is a win win. If the negotiations creates a much better relationship for us that is progress. If it does not, then we can simply leave. To me it is all a question of how do we restore our democracy.

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to seeing the advantages of leaving the EU.

Out of the EU we will be freer, more democratic, and better off.

Out of the EU the UK Parliament will be able to settle the immigration and welfare policies we want without the EU stopping us.

Out of the EU we will be £11 billion better off as we end the net contribution to the EU.

Out of the EU we will be able to spend the £5bn that gets spent today by the EU in the ways we want.

Out of the EU we will not be dragged into subsidising the Euro area or standing behind failing banks in the Eurozone.

Out of the EU we will be able to set our own levels of VAT, and avoid any new taxes we do not want.

Out of the EU we will be able to decide how much regulation to impose on business trading in the UK or the rest of the world outside the EU.

Out of the EU the UK will be able to accelerate free trade agreements with the USA, China, India and the other important growing markets of the world.

Out of the EU we could go for cheaper energy, to allow us an industrial revival.

Out of the EU we can decide our own criminal justice policy, and who to deport.

Out of the EU we can decide our own foreign policy, and not get sucked into the EU’s conflicts with others.

Out of the EU we can be a democracy, restoring the sovereignty of the British people. We can live again in a country where if the people want something from government, Parliament can deliver it whether the EU allows it or not.


  1. Lifelogic
    June 11, 2015

    We are indeed spoilt for choice when it comes to seeing the advantages of leaving the EU. You have covered the main ones.

    There is also the huge bonus in compliance costs through having the potential for a huge simplification of regulations, the absurd tax system and the multi level (slow expensive & often almost random) legal system.

    Also the ability to have selective immigration of the skilled & hard working people we actually need rather than open doors to all from the EU regardless of merit as currently.

    Westminster is far from perfect but surely rule from there is always likely to be far better than undemocratic rule from the EU, by people who often do not even know or understand the UK, have little interest in the UK nor even speak its language very often.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 11, 2015

      I see Boris has called for a treaty change to allow the UK to restrict benefits to migrants. Cameron is not even calling for this it seems. Anyway this is totally insignificant in the scheme of things, a pathetic worthless fig leaf even if we got it.

      We need far, far more than trivia, in fact we need self rule to be returned and just move to free trade and cooperation.

  2. alan jutson
    June 11, 2015

    Out of the EU and our Government/politicians also lose the ability to blame/hide behind somebody else.

    Your post today would make interesting headlines in the media.

    I wonder if any source will pick it up and use it.

  3. Peter van Leeuwen
    June 11, 2015

    To me, the restoration of UK democracy is far more a national affair which won’t be resolved at all by leaving the EU. I expect that negotiations will result in some kind of deal. The most important vote about such a deal, to precede the referendum, is a vote in the European Parliament to establish whether it would be acceptable to the rest of the EU. More than the disproportionate H.o.C or the unelected H.o.L the European Parliament is a democratic institution: UKIP is fairly represented. So are the Dutch Freedom party, the French National Front, the German Greens, etc. etc. Only if a concocted deal is acceptable to the rest of the EU, i.e. both European Council and European Parliament, the British government can submit it to its own people. Most prime ministers in the European Council will also need agreement from their national parliaments. All these required agreements will put limits on the kind of deal that can be offered to the UK. If, ten years after leaving the EU, the British people realise that their democracy still hasn’t been restored, it will be more than ironic.

    1. Edward2
      June 11, 2015

      I like our democracy Peter. Its the version that is developing in the EU I don’t like.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        June 11, 2015

        @Edward2: You make me smile. Have it your way, not my problem.

    2. Richard1
      June 11, 2015

      Not sure you’re right there Peter. the generally sceptical Nordic countries will agree with the looser free-trade model favoured by the UK. Eurozone countries – no disrespect intended – will do what the dominant power, Germany, decides is good for them. It might be tough to cut a purely trade-based deal, but I don’t buy the argument that ratification in all countries is a big impediment, once Germany is on side.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        June 12, 2015

        @Richard1: Would a purely trade-based deal not be the same as moving to EEA (Norway) of re-entering EFTA (Switzerland)?
        I might agree that, as long as there is no privileging of the UK, other countries (parliaments) may go along with a separate deal for Britain.

        1. Richard1
          June 12, 2015

          Yes I think that’s right. If the UK cuts a Switzerland type deal while remaining nominally ‘in’ the EU I think many countries would say good. The eurozone could then proceed with the integration undoubtedly needed to make EMU work, without the UK complaining at every turn. Trade relations would remain the same as they are now, and personally I’d be perfectly happy if the freedom of movement etc did as well. I just don’t see it as that big a deal.

    3. stred
      June 11, 2015

      Unfortunately, the EU MPs wanted to have a debate about the US/EU trade deal and the various problems , but the unelected president barred it yesterday. They kicked up a stink but were ignored. At least the EU parliament can parl, even if no-one takes any notice. PR for the MPs but zeroR for the electorate. Great for big business. How much do they pay propagandists?

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        June 12, 2015

        @stred: Schulz is not an unelected president, and you really ought to know such facts. This uproar in the European Parliament actually shows the force of public opinion through various NGOs and also through some national parliaments. The fear was that e,g, the ISDS would slip through a parliamentary vote and I think that this calling off the vote (because of 200 amendments was the excuse) is a sign that the European Parliament is not such an easy hurdle to take.

    4. petermartin2001
      June 11, 2015


      You consistently misrepresent UK democracy. I would say we are all aware that the representation of minor parties in Parliament is probably unfair. I would redress the imbalance by having an upper elected chamber elected more on PR lines but that’s another topic for another time.

      Imperfect as our FPTP the post system may be it does have a good track record of delivering stable government. So, should we jeopardise that in the interests of fairness? The result from the referendum on that question showed that the electorate wanted the system left as it is.

      We might not all fully agree with that decision but that’s our democracy so we have to accept it.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        June 12, 2015

        @petermartin2001: China also has a track record for stable government, hardly a proof of being democratic. Apart from the obvious distortions this time round you have had minority parties exercising majority power. Maybe that the reason that UK governments tend not to take responsibility: it wasn’t the UK government that bailed out RBS, it was “Labour’s fault”, it wasn’t the UK government that signed up to Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon, it was “Labour”. In the Netherlands that is viewed as quite pathetic behaviour by British politicians on TV.
        In a “real, proportional democracy” one would have known that that was the will of the majority of the people through their expressed vote at elections.

        1. petermartin2001
          June 12, 2015

          As far as I’m aware China has never had a referendum on its preferred voting method so that comparison is somewhat childish.

          I’d leave the voting method for the Commons as it is for the time being. There may be another look at AV at some time in the future, but AV might not do much to help the minor parties.

          To give them some representation in Parliament, we could have an Upper chamber which was partially elected using a system of PR. I think that would work, with or without AV and wouldn’t mean that governments would be any less stable than they currently are.

          I’m sorry if the UK system isn’t to your liking, but I don’t believe we need any help from the EU, or from non-UK citizens, in making whatever changes we may decide upon.

        2. Edward2
          June 12, 2015

          We are entitled to criticise the elected Governmnent still in the UK Peter.
          Labour were duly elected and many felt their performance on issues you have just mentioned and others were poor.
          And that is why they lost power at the following election.

          Nothing wrong in doing that or will the EU make that a non democratic act one day?

    5. lojolondon
      June 11, 2015

      Peter, unlike the Netherlands (where the people voted to NOT join the EU and were ignored) we think that a democracy means being represented and ruled by the people we vote for. so if the politicians of 20 nations in Europe think it is a good idea to destroy British fishing rights, or our financial services, against the will of the British people (and against the will of the British Parliament) then we do not have democratic rights. Of all John’s points above, the last is the most important – democracy and freedom from tyranny.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        June 12, 2015

        “the Netherlands (where the people voted to NOT join the EU”
        If yo start telling lies, should I read on???

        1. petermartin2001
          June 13, 2015

          I don’t think lojolondon is “telling lies”

          He might mean this:


          I’d say an over 60% vote against the consitution would mean that the Dutch didn’t wish to join the EU at least under the terms offered.
          Remember we are talking about the EU, and not the EEC or EC which were relatively successful trading blocs.

          1. Peter van Leeuwen
            June 14, 2015

            @petermartin2001: There WAS no vote to join or not to join the EU, but on a proposed constitution.

            Read this, from September 2005, 3 months after the constitution referendum:
            “Three-quarters of all Dutch (77%) feel that it is right that the Netherlands is a member of the European Union. This is well above the European average (54%). Furthermore, two thirds
            of all Dutch (67%) feel that, all things considered, the Netherlands benefits from its membership in the European Union. This, too, is well above the European average (55%).

            If we were to go a little deeper about the referendum (over a glass of beer or a cup of tea), I could show you that research showed that most of the Dutch didn’t vote on the constitution. Many felt that things were going “too fast” in the EU (in 2004 the membership went from 15 to 25 in one go!). Others voted against their not too popular national government. About 31% were motivated by the constitution as such and voted against it.
            Referendums aren’t the best instrument available as they are usually decided on “gut-feelings”rather than informed debate . A representative parliament may take a more informed decision.

          2. Peter van Leeuwen
            June 14, 2015

            P.S. my quote is from the Eurobarometer 63, the 63rd periodic research in all EU countries. In the newest eurobarometer (82) I read that just over half the Dutch have confidence in the European parliament and in the European commission, while 64% feel themselves to be European citizen. (in spite of whole scale anti-EU campaigning by the Dutch Freedom party)

    6. Ken Adams
      June 12, 2015

      You do have a point Peter, but as democracy is essentially about choice, the first and essential step is to to leave the EU, otherwise there is no hope whatever of restoring our national democracy, as agreements at an EU level remove choice and bind future governments.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        June 12, 2015

        @Ken Adams: I very much doubt that. You can change your H.o.L or H.o.C. without any EU interference, I cannot see how the EU could possibly interfere. Same in the Netherlands where there are also discussions about the national democratic institutions. Also, in a proportional H.o.C. the SNP would be a lot smaller, posing less constitutional risk in case of an exit vote.

    7. Denis Cooper
      June 12, 2015

      “The most important vote about such a deal, to precede the referendum, is a vote in the European Parliament to establish whether it would be acceptable to the rest of the EU.”

      Peter, even if you must insist on constantly interfering in political debates within a country of which you are not a citizen, on the spurious grounds that you have relations who are actually citizens rather than aliens like yourself, you should try not to write such tripe.

      Firstly it is absurd to suppose that those selected by their national parties to sit in the transnational EU Parliament, a mere figleaf, could ever say whether any deal of any kind “would be acceptable to the rest of the EU” rather than “acceptable to the party bosses who put them high enough up on their lists of candidates to pretend that they actually represented ordinary people across the EU”.

      Secondly you know as well as I do that under Article 48 TEU the EU Parliament, like the EU Commission, would be no more than a bit player in the process of “full blown treaty change” that Cameron has said he wants, whether by the ordinary revision procedure or a simplified revision procedure.

      Thirdly it is virtually inconceivable that a deal which had been unanimously agreed by the EU heads of state or government on the European Council, as it would have to be, would then be rejected by an EU Parliament dominated by members effectively appointed by the governing national parties.

      One of the minor advantages of leaving the EU will be that we will no longer send anyone to the EU Parliament, and so we will no longer have disaffected MPs at Westminster falsely implying that it is now more important than the sovereign national Parliament of which they are actually members.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        June 14, 2015

        @Denis Cooper: If you have to assert that your Nigel Farage doesn’t represent the opinion of ordinary British people, that’s up to you ( I don’t agree), but in the Netherlands and I guess in most EU countries that is different.

        You are right that, again unlike Britain, the majority of MEPs will align with their national governments, but certainly not always, demonstrated by the voting results over time, which are all available online. There is not going to be any “full blown treaty change” any time soon, as continental democracies won’t have it, and they are by far in the majority.

  4. Martyn G
    June 11, 2015

    I agree totally with your statements, John but there is more, much more that ought to be considered. For example, we are now almost totally dependent on electrical power from across the channel to keep the lights on at peak hours. What if that source is doubled in cost if we leave the EU or, worse, withdrawn?
    I wonder also if the state of our nation after decades of being in the EU with its relentless drive for ‘ever closer union’, unrestricted immigration and our government busy in regionalising the UK has now so seriously weakened any sense of national identity and social cohesion that it will be impossible to gain a consensus to leave the EU come the referendum. One does not have to look very far to see what has happened over the past decades, much of it driven or imposed by the EU aided and abetted by our governments, such as the imposition of continual and often unnecessary changes to create doubt and confusion in people (cucumbers, bananas, water!), interference with our legal system (the EU arrest warrant overturning habeas corpus) and so on. The list might well be endless so far as I can see but, ultimately, I suspect that we are so embedded and dependent on remaining within the EU that unless it itself collapses, there will be no exit. At which I despair……

  5. Old Albion
    June 11, 2015

    Absolutely agree JR. But when Dave presents his smoke and mirrors fake renegotiation to the public, I expect the sheeple to fall for it, again…………….

    1. Man of Kent
      June 11, 2015

      We seem to have forgotten how un-democratic the EU is .

      Their accounts have not been passed for umpteen years now .When CMD declared war on corruption I thought ‘great he’ll have a go at this dreadful state of affairs ‘ but no he’s thinking about tin pot dictators who receive our ‘aid’ and then spend it on themselves.

      Has FIFA been cast in the model of the EU or is it the other way round ?

      They both encourage a greater membership through (financial incentives ed)at the decision stage then keep their little members onside by allowing them handouts paid for by the few net contributors to the system .

      In the EU that’s us and a few others who pay in to the budget ,in the case of FIFA it is the big sponsors eg Coca Cola.

      Meanwhile both lots pay themselves fat salaries , and /or exempt themselves from tax ,with generous pension rights etc ed this becomes ingrained in the system .

      Or am I being unfair to FIFA ?

    2. Timaction
      June 11, 2015

      I agree with everything you say Mr Redwood but there is only one Party who wants this apart from a minority of Europhiles in your Party…………………UKIP!

      1. Jerry
        June 11, 2015

        @Timaction; “but there is only one Party who wants this apart from a minority of Europhiles in your Party…………………UKIP!”

        Hyperbole on stilts, but if you are correct and it’s only UKIP who wants to leave the EU then let’s all stop wasting on this lost cause, with something like 4m votes at the last election we might as well be debating the weather of what makes a good ‘high tea’ as a Brexit!

        1. Edward2
          June 11, 2015

          4 million votes for UKIP is significant Jerry.
          The SNP who are having a large amount of TV time and many seats in this Parliament got there with many fewer votes.

          1. Jerry
            June 12, 2015

            @Edward2; “4 million votes for UKIP is significant Jerry.”

            4m votes might be significant to UKIP but compared to how many are on the electoral role, ~46.5m, it isn’t even a drop in the ocean if “Timaction” is correct and the vast majority of 42m are of an europhile opinion.

          2. Edward2
            June 12, 2015

            It was politically significant for the SNP Jerry.
            Just getting a small proportion of the total vote got them to be the third biggest party.

          3. Jerry
            June 12, 2015

            @Edward2; Utter nonsense. For one thing Scotland is a much smaller country and thus smaller electorate! Even if all those 1.5m SNP votes, plus the 4m UKIP votes (plus the anti EU hard left parties such as the SLP) were added together will not mean a Brexit if the other 40m on the electoral role are europhiles. Stop gilding the lilly, do the maths man…

          4. Edward2
            June 12, 2015

            It is not utter nonsense Jerry its raw facts.
            The SNP got over 50 seats with their number of votes
            UKIP got one MP with 4 million votes.

          5. Jerry
            June 13, 2015

            @Edward; But a referendum doesn’t win seats, it is the number of votes that count, the greater number ‘wins’….

          6. Edward2
            June 13, 2015

            You count the 46 million on the electoral role Jerry but as you know only about half ever bother to vote
            4 million UKIP voters can be relied on to vote No
            And a large proportion of Conservative voters even if their MPs do not.
            And even some Labour voters.
            Recent opinion polls show the vote is close.
            And with the Greek crisis to come before the referendum it could well go in favour of leaving.

        2. Jerry
          June 14, 2015

          @Edward2; “Recent opinion polls show the vote is close.”

          Which, if true, tends to fly in the face of “Timaction’s” assertion that UKIP is the only real Brexit party in town from were votes will be obtained, which is what I was pointing out when you jumped (in and started to argue once again)… OK I did so rather to sarcastically perhaps, loosing some of the audience, but the facts are the facts, that UKIP still only got 12.6% of the vote, where his broadly so called “pro-EU membership” parties got 83.7% of the actual cast vote from the 66.1% turnout.

          “only about half ever bother to vote”

          Actually, on average, since 1945 it’s between 65 & 70%

          Thus, obviously then, if those opinion polls you mention are correct UKIP are not the only party to have eurosceptics voting for them…Phew!

          “with the Greek crisis to come before the referendum it could well go in favour of leaving.”

          More wishful thinking, not that the Greek crisis will not come to it’s head before our referendum, but that the end result will empower the Brexit camp, a ‘successful’ resolution to the Greek/Euro crisis might actually empower the europhiles, EU and ECB…

          I wish Greece well, I fear that there are some Europhobes who would quite like Greece to be humiliated, kicked out not only from the Euro but the EU too, and declared bankrupt by the IMF to boot as it would bolster their own (Br)exit self interests – not just those in the UK but in other EU member countries to.

          1. Edward2
            June 14, 2015

            You assume Jerry that the 83.7% who did not choose to vote for UKIP are all pro EU
            I do not think this is correct.
            We shall see at the referendum.

            I wish Greece well too and hope their future brings them prosperity.

          2. Jerry
            June 15, 2015

            @Edward2; Try reading what I said again, I actually made a point of stating that there MUST be non UKIP voters that are at least floating voters, otherwise your suggested opinion poll is nothing but s statistical lie!

          3. Edward2
            June 15, 2015

            Sadly yes, I have had to read what you have said.
            Now you are talking about “floating voters”
            Which was not your original point
            Which was that there were only 4 million UKIP voters who could be relied on to vote for leaving the EU

            My point was that the recent polls were close, so people who vote Conservative and some others must be in favour of Brexit.

            There are a large number of currently undecided voters and this is where the battle lies.

  6. David Murfin
    June 11, 2015

    Which of those advantages do you see stemming from a negotiated “better relationship”, and how long do you expect them to last when the EU continues towards ‘ever closer union’?

    1. Lifelogic
      June 11, 2015

      The choice is in or out. Cameron is not even trying to get anything remotely significant. Anyway he has destroyed his own negotiating position by indicating he wants to stay in come what may – any fig leaf concessions will be totally trivial and probably temporary anyway.

      The UK relationship with the EU will be far better if we are well out of it.

  7. APL
    June 11, 2015

    JR: “if there is no good deal on offer?”

    The EU makes the UK pay a ‘shedload’ for the privilege of being ordered around by its bureaucrats.

    What would a good deal be? The EU makes the UK pay a smaller ‘shedload’ for the privilege of being ordered around by its bureaucrats. With the EU option of increasing the amount at a later date.

    There isn’t a good deal!

  8. Jerry
    June 11, 2015

    There is only argument, one based on the economics, talk of sovereignty and constitutions, whilst important are woolly semantics, ask a million people about either and you’ll get a million different answers -what is more, some, such as the nationalist parties (even perhaps religionists, such as some from Cornwall) might actually see the EU as their saviours.

    1. Edward2
      June 11, 2015

      I wouldn’t describe the question of who do you want to be governed by, as woolly semantics Jerry
      Pretty fundamental I would say.
      Although I agree the economic argument is important too.

      1. Jerry
        June 12, 2015

        @Edward2; Sovereignty and constitutions, who do you want to be governed by, are woolly semantics if the person you are trying to persuade about the desirability of a Brexit doesn’t care (any more) [1], or might actually approve of the socail propaganda put about by the europhiles. Many will need to be persuaded, many non europhobes (and I suspect this includes many in the Tory party and business owners) would be happy to remain within the EU if only it wasn’t run the way it is, hence why some believe that it only needs reforms and/or opt-outs, a good economic argument and assurances could see then converted.

        [1] what is the difference between a MP and an MEP anyway, or one ‘parliament’ and another, and what of the unelected eurocrats, our own civil service nor the Lords are elected either!

        1. Edward2
          June 12, 2015

          You underestimate the intelligence of the electorate Jerry.

          And if you personally feel who has governing power over you in the future, is of trivial importance then I am surprised in you.
          Millions of our brave men and women fought and died in wars to keep our island governed by its own people.
          For better or for worse.

          1. Jerry
            June 12, 2015

            @Edward2; “You underestimate the intelligence of the electorate”

            Far from it, and as I’ve said before, who is the rightful government to rule us, ask the SNP and you might not like the answer given and what about those who want independence for Cornwall, what about those who want a revived self-governing Wessex. Sorry Edward but it’s people you who are underestimating the intelligence of the electorate, you seem to think that a “Little Britain” type argument will swing-it, as indeed it most likely will, towards the europhile group…

            “Millions of our brave men and women fought and died in wars to keep our island governed by its own people.”

            If that sort of argument was going to swing a vote then why did UKIP only get a mere 4m votes on the 7th May, a 70 years to the day since VE Day?…

          2. Edward2
            June 12, 2015

            Well you are entitled to your view of course Jerry.
            I’m not the kind of person who shouts “utter nonsense” every time I see a post I don’t agree with.

            Who governs us will become more of an issue as the referendum campaign develops, but I accept economics will always be an important issue.

          3. Jerry
            June 13, 2015

            @Edward2; “I’m not the kind of person who shouts “utter nonsense”

            No you don’t, like some others you just question others intelligence. On the other hand is quite possible to be intelligent but utter nonsense when the heart overtakes the mind, as one scientist demonstrated only this week.

          4. Edward2
            June 13, 2015

            I will question the intelligence of an argument but unlike you I try hard not to attack the person posting.
            There is a difference.

          5. Jerry
            June 14, 2015

            @Edward2; “I will question the intelligence of an argument but unlike you I try hard not to attack the person posting.”

            More dirty pots and pans on display, attacking the intellect is attacking the persons thought process, why not just question the (mistaken, in your opinion) facts – which if wrong does make the mistaken belief, and thus comment, “nonsense”! This has become a circular argument.

          6. Edward2
            June 14, 2015

            I dont understand your post Jerry
            But at least its polite.

  9. JJE
    June 11, 2015

    What happens if Scotland votes to stay in and England votes to leave?

    Reply If the UK votes to leave we leave, whatever the distribution of out votes.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 11, 2015

      It is the UK that votes as a whole – Scotland voted to be part of the UK that is the end of the matter.

    2. John Fitzgerald
      June 11, 2015

      Reply If the UK votes to leave we leave, whatever the distribution of out votes.

      I have an idea that Sturgeon will disagree with that statement!!!

      1. fedupsoutherner
        June 11, 2015

        Tough on her! The SNP disagree on almost everything Westminster does just because they can.

        1. DaveM
          June 12, 2015


          99% of the Scots I know (from all over the country and from both sides of the religious divide) have the following philosophy:

          1. They would like Scotland to be an independent country with its own government, currency, etc. but they know this is going to reduce their influence in the world to something akin to Iceland’s, and they want to be able to project themselves in a far wider sphere than in Scotland alone.

          2. They know it comes down to a choice between government in Brussels with a failing Euro (and with minute Scottish influence), and government in Westminster with a reliable pound (and considerable Scottish influence). And they’d rather be part of a UK and have a big voice than part of an EU with a tiny voice in a foreign language.

          3. In spite of the ancient animosity between our two nations, they recognise the interdependency of the two countries, including the fact that nearly all of them are related in some way to English or Welsh folk, and many of their livelihoods are dependent on UK plc.

          In short, they are not stupid. Neither is Sturgeon stupid, but her hatred for England and her obsessive and rabid anti-nuclear stance has created a stubborn blinkered attitude whereby she’d tear apart the country she purports to adore and hand it to Brussels rather than have an Englishman or woman in charge. And she seems to have forgotten that the Scottish independence referendum – which was lopsided in nearly every way (no anglophile Scots living abroad allowed to vote, 16 and 17 year-olds allowed to vote, a question which favoured a Yes vote, etc) resulted in a NO vote.

    3. Denis Cooper
      June 11, 2015

      Actually, JR, the government’s Referendum Bill is completely silent on what will happen if we vote to leave the EU, so you have no grounds for saying “If the UK votes to leave we leave”.

  10. Ian wragg
    June 11, 2015

    I agree on all the points but your boss and the establishment is for reasons we may never know are determined to keep us shackled to this corpse.
    I see Dave has agreed to a vote on children voting. He knows he’ll lose but he can hide behind a handful of Tory wets and Liebor.
    Next will be letting EU citizens vote. Why can the Irish vote. I didn’t get a say in their referendum.

    Reply He has not given in! The government cannot stop the opposition tabling an amendment on 16 year old votes, so of course there will be a vote on it.

    1. ian wragg
      June 11, 2015

      reply to reply. He doesn’t have to give in, it was a manifesto pledge that the GE roll should be used.
      He is quite happy to see the indoctrinated kids vote.
      Again I say, the HoL will probably get the EU citizens to vote and secretly Dave will be chuffed.
      We really are not that stupid you know.

    2. Richard1
      June 11, 2015

      labour are advancing the argument that children >16 should get a vote on the grounds they will have to live longer with the result than older people. Indeed. The same is true for 3 year olds. Should they get the vote as well?

      If there is to be a change in the law to make 16 not 18 the age of legal responsibility and voting it should be subject to a referendum as is now recognised to be the right mechanism for a major constitutional change.

    3. Jerry
      June 11, 2015

      @JR reply; “The government cannot stop the opposition tabling an amendment [..//..]”

      Indeed and it would be a very sad day for democracy if they could.

    4. Anonymous
      June 11, 2015

      Why not 10-year-olds ? Is it not their future too ?

    5. Hope
      June 11, 2015

      You carry on trusting him. Any right minded person can see the distorted bias Cameron is applying to stay in. He should not have let Salmond allow 16/17 year olds to have the vote it is simply ridiculous. Goodness me, Patterson spelt it out in the house this week when you there!

    6. Lifelogic
      June 11, 2015

      Cameron was foolish to allow under sixteen’s to vote in the Scottish referendum. It has rather set a precedent.

      Government would be far better, I suspect, were people only able to vote when over 25 (or only after they had already paid at least £20000 in income tax perhaps).

    June 11, 2015

    Out of the EU, our TV will not need to lie by repeatedly saying “Mrs. Merkel is the most powerful woman in the world.” We do now say some American guy who also we did not elect, is Leader of the Free World, but lets down one totem pole at a time.

  12. DaveM
    June 11, 2015

    The UK’s strength over the past 3oo years or so has been its global reach via diplomacy, military power, trading alliances, the Anglosphere, etc. It now feels like our 360 degree vision has been blinkered and we only look one way, and what we’re looking at is becoming totallly insular and tied up with its own internal problems. Freedom from the EU means freedom to become global again, pursuing our own agenda and making alliances through diplomacy.

    Freedom from EU rules also means the ability to close borders temporarily and take a year or three to reconfigure our infrastructure to accommodate a population of 60 million+ as opposed to 45 million. And of course, as you say, the £billions which will remain in our coffers will go some way to achieving this.

    1. Simon Payne
      June 11, 2015

      Great post.

      Many I’m sure would dismiss it as harking back to the good old days but the reality is that we have always punched above our weight in influence and trade.

      We have good relations with many countries around the world, it speaks our language when it comes to business and we need to be reminded that we are big enough, and deep down have the courage, to stand on our own two feet and make a real impact on the world.

      The rhetoric that is used for wanting us to stay in the EU is so akin to the language of bullies that I’m surprised more don’t call out against it.

      If we leave no one will like us, no one will talk to us, no one will listen to us and we will become a nothing.

      The globe is shrinking and global trade is aiding that. We’re clever, we’re resourceful and we could find our confidence again if we just stopped looking in one direction and stopped being afraid of our own shadow.

      1. DaveM
        June 12, 2015


        Regarding your line “If we leave no one will like us,” I would like to refer you to the Millwall Football Club signature song!!!

  13. formula57
    June 11, 2015

    An appealing list but my concern is that too many will think them trumped by the notions that: –

    1. the UK cannot “go it alone” in a world of alliances etc. (see clueless ex-foreign secretary Miliband’s recent remarks: “It’s almost like Britain would be resigning from the world.”).

    2. the EU knows what it is doing (in broad terms at least and because of multi-country influences over its actions it will not do serious harm) and it will in any case curb the daft or excessive ideas of local politicians and hence protect us from our own.

    I do not agree with those points and think them dangerous but those who think them will be unimpressed with winning freedom to tinker with regulations as we wish and adjust VAT rates.

  14. Nick
    June 11, 2015

    16bn cost equals 5p off income tax with no cuts

    Vote no for 5p off your tax

    The yes vote are asking for 5p on tax

    It is a winner

    1. bigneil
      June 11, 2015

      I do not pay any income tax – but i’ll still vote for OUT.

    2. DaveM
      June 11, 2015

      Fine. Assuming your maths is correct:

      5p is very little. How about we increase that to 10p?

      BUT – instead of giving it all to the EU, we could spend that £32 billion on the NHS, Defence, education, paying down the defecit and the debt, etc etc.

      No doubt someone will produce a balance sheet which shows that within the EU we reap more than we sow. Even though another accountant could probably produce a balance sheet with the same figures showing the absolute opposite.

      However, a few extra quid in the short term which might be gained from EU membership (with no guarantee of long term continued growth or security) equates to a few pieces of silver in exchange for the sovereignty of the UK and the forced changes to our demography, culture, society, and the future self-determination which is the birthright of my children, their children, and so on. Our politicians do not have the right to give away that sovereignty – it’s not theirs to give; they are supposed to protect our democratic rights as REPRESENTATIVES, not play fast and loose with them in order to secure their own futures and fulfil their own personal ambitions as if they are gods who know better than the mere mortals who put them in power.

      There is only one answer to John’s question: total, unpolluted, complete and absolute Sovereignty. PvL will no doubt criticise our democratic system at some point today, but even though it may be flawed, it’s OUR system and ours to decide.

    3. Lifelogic
      June 11, 2015

      Plus the cost of the green crap energy at 2-4 times the real price, plus the cost of all the daft regulations plus the import tariffs …….

  15. Douglas Carter
    June 11, 2015

    There’s an awful lot that can’t change when or if we leave the EU since a large deal of the legislation and regulation blamed on the EU actually emanates from bodies well above the EU in administrative pecking order. Sadly, whilst once the UK had membership and full influential voting rights in these bodies, in many cases, that seat has been surrendered to the EU. So, advantage one, recovery of those seats in those cases – the UK will have its own involvement direct in the formulation of these legislative articles (some known as ‘Diqules’) and regulatory conducts.

    But in main, it means recovering, closer to the ballot box, the accountability of Parliament and its MPs. To take a specific case which illustrates that well, my own view on the EU changed irrevocably upon the imposition of VAT upon domestic energy supply – to be advised it was ‘impossible’ to reverse. Well, no. Not ‘impossible’. When the final index of all world history is concluded, I suspect it will have been proven to be ‘impossible’ to teach the Loch Ness Monster to Tap-Dance. Reversing a political decision takes only the right political will, and in that VAT case, it was a cynical exercise in intentionally making an alteration in a Government decision irreversible in administrative terms. ‘Not us Guv – it’s the EU, innit?’. I’ll happily remove that caveat from Parliamentary figures and compel them to answer for their own conduct without hiding behind the EU’s skirts.

    It’s about democracy and accountability – in particular many of our erstwhile HoC inhabitants use intentional lie and obfuscation to justify EU membership. Anyone who STILL is taken in by the ‘three million jobs’ lie clearly lacks the fundamental information to hand to pass any form of competent judgement on the EU.

    To quote something I’ve said before, quite apart from the legion advantages of EU membership, we need to look to the reasons that – apparently – EU membership is a good thing. Nick Clegg helpfully disclosed them in two public debates in March and April of last year, in an intervention described by many influential observers at that time as ‘statesmanlike and substantial’.

    The EU (According to Clegg) is a good thing because:-

    Nigel Farage thinks the Moon landings were faked.
    Nigel Farage thinks he’s Geronimo or Sitting Bull.
    Nigel Farage thinks we should return to the Nineteenth Century.
    Nigel Farage thinks W.G. Grace should open the Bowling for England.

    There would appear to be less to the EU than meets the eye, on those considerations….

  16. Michael Walzer
    June 11, 2015

    Good, but your last paragraph would only make sense if the electoral system were to be changed to something more proportional. As for the UK getting richer, you do not have any way of forecasting that: (re-)read your Popper and Hayek, and avoid any platonic “Pretense of Knowledge”.

  17. mick
    June 11, 2015

    Good Morning Mr Redwood
    Couldn`t gree more on all your statements, but we still need a figure head to lead the out campaign because we all know the IN camp are going to chuck the kitchen sink at the public to stay in, i also think Mr Cameron will go for a referendum next year on the back of the European football tournament, there as been alot of coverage lately of immigrants getting into our country you can bet your bottom dollar that coverage will drindle out would`nt want the voters to notice it

  18. agricola
    June 11, 2015

    When you speak of leaving the EU I am not clear as to what you mean or what degree of relationship we have with them in the future. Please clarify what you mean by out.

    During the referendum debate you sat behind Kenneth Clarke displaying body language suggesting that much of what he said was misleading and not to your liking. I concurred. When speaking of the Norway option, EFTA/EEA he attempted to rubbish it, but I found him less than convincing. below I clarify the EFTA/EEA option.

    Comparison Information EU/EEA EFTA/EEA
    New Regulations PA. 1000 350
    Approx Financial to EU PA. £6 Bn £3Bn
    Accounts signed off by auditors Never to date. Every Year
    Employees 10,000+ 90
    Control over fisheries EU UK
    Control over agriculture EU UK
    Responsibility for home affaires. EU UK
    Responsibility for justice EU UK
    Free movement of goods in the EU Yes Yes
    Free movement of services in the EU Yes Yes
    free movement of capital in EU Yes Yes
    Free movement of people in EU Yes Yes
    Member of EEA Yes Yes
    EU taxes apply Yes No
    Approx. total of EU and EEA regulations 19,500 4,500
    2EU parliaments Yes No
    EU arrest warrant Yes No
    Est. cost of EU & EEA regulations as % of GDP 5% 1.5%
    Office in Brussels Yes Yes
    Website Yes Yes
    Member of NATO Yes Yes
    Freedom to trade Worldwide No Yes
    Key legal document Treaty Convention
    Pages in legal document 200+ 30
    Countries currently UK Norway
    Approx. unemployment rate. 7.5% 3.5%
    Time required to switch from EU to EFTA/EEA N/A Weeks

    It would seem to me that EFTA/EEA would give us all we require. I cannot see what DC is hovering about at with his so called re-negotiation. I conclude that it is a smokescreen behind which he is determined to stay in for a doubtful one in 28 seat at the table. I think this slight of hand should be exposed for the fraud that it is.

    My data is a copy of page 19 of The Bruges Group EFTA or EU Q/A report. Maybe it could be updated ,but is essentially the position on which a decision could be made that would heal the Tory party, and satisfy our country’s needs.

    1. agricola
      June 11, 2015

      It would seem that your site does not accept tabulation. However there are two situations EU and EFTA/EEA to each line so you should be able to work it out.

      1. Hefner
        June 11, 2015

        Very useful. That’s the type of real information MPs should be providing. Thanks a lot.

    2. bigneil
      June 11, 2015

      Dc wants to stay in because DC wants to be sat at the Dictator’s Table in Brussels.

      1. Jerry
        June 11, 2015

        @bigneil; Silly comments like that, read by undecided voters, never mind exploited by the europhile media, will do far more damage than good for the Brexit campaign…

    3. Denis Cooper
      June 11, 2015

      But membership of the EEA would mean our Parliament still having no control over immigration from the rest of the EEA, which of course is mostly made up of the EU member states including the poorer eastern European countries which are the real source of the problem of legal mass immigration from the EU. Therefore I cannot see it as an option, not even as an interim arrangement.

      1. agricola
        June 11, 2015

        I do not see it as such a big problem because they go to the UK to work. Providing they are not paid less than the going rate, and pay their taxes I do not have an issue with them. They are doing work that our unemployed are under qualified to do or have no wish to do because it is easier to live off the backs of the taxpayers. They enhance GDP.

        Changing the social payments rules could deal with those benefit tourists. The under qualified are a result of an abysmal state education. The process is somewhat Darwinian. If the economy cannot provide the work then they will not come.

        The real worry is at the other end of the problem, many EU countries deprived of the talent they have created and need because they cannot provide them with stable careers. I remember visiting Rumania two weeks after they shot their president and his wife. I met doctors of aeronautical engineering earning around £12 per month. It is no surprise they want out.

        As a final comment, I know that Germany has the same problem so it is not impossible to anticipate a solution long term.

      2. Ken Adams
        June 12, 2015

        Richard North disagrees and sees an interim arrangement the best and only way forward because it clearly protects our trade interests and undercuts all the pro EU scare stories, loss of 3 million jobs and banks leaving us in droves.

        He sees membership of the EEA and EFTA as an essential first move that would give us time to negotiate the deal we really want with the EU.

        1. Jerry
          June 12, 2015

          @Ken Adams; The problem is that many will fear (or want) the UK getting stuck in this “halfway house”, with many of the on-going problems of EU membership without any direct influence yet little onward stimulus for a full Brexit.

          Both the EFTA and EEA are options if the UK wants to stay in the EU in some form, if the EU can’t or won’t agree to meaningful renegotiations then reducing our membership to either of those two groups as the ‘Stay-in’ option in the coming referendum would be one possibility.

      3. Denis Cooper
        June 12, 2015

        I readily agree that most immigrants, from both inside and outside of the EU, come here above all else to make a better lives for themselves through their own efforts and not through battening on our welfare system. No doubt there is a small minority who do plan to live a parasitical existence if they can, but it is only a small minority and that is very much a secondary issue, not the main issue as Cameron keeps trying to pretend. Even the availability of in-work benefits is not actually a major factor determining numbers compared to the powerful economic driving force to move here from a country with a very much lower standard of living. However it is a question of numbers, quantity, and also the type of immigrants, quality, and the fact is that if we were still in the EEA then our Parliament would still not be able to exercise any control over either quantity or quality with respect to citizens of the other EEA member states including the very much poorer EU member states in eastern Europe, or indeed any new EU member states such as the remaining Balkan countries, Ukraine and the countries in the Caucasus and above all Turkey.

        “They enhance GDP” – but not per capita GDP, where the effect is likely to be slightly negative, and nor do they bring in capital to help pay for the expansion of the various forms of infrastructure which is necessitated by their addition to the population, and of course they will age and ail.

      4. Denis Cooper
        June 12, 2015

        Ken, I’m aware of Richard North’s view on this, which he has put forward in various ways including through this paper for the Bruges Group:


        Which while very useful in other respects barely touches on the question of immigration, a major flaw that enables any eurofanatic to say*:

        “Norway has a higher proportion of other EU nationals compared with Norwegians than we have compared with Brits”

        *Commons Hansard 9 Jun 2015 : Column 1076, here:


    4. forthurst
      June 11, 2015

      One might have thought that membership of the EEA outside the EU would supply our coutry’s needs, however, on closer examination, the tentacles of the EU stretch well inside those countries that agreed to this arrangement:

      “The EEA is based on the same “four freedoms” as the European Community: the free movement of goods, persons, services, and capital among the EEA countries. Thus, the EEA countries that are not part of the EU enjoy free trade with the European Union.”

      “The non EU members of the EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) have agreed to enact legislation similar to that passed in the EU in the areas of social policy, consumer protection, environment, company law and statistics. These are some of the areas covered by the European Community (the “first pillar” of the European Union).”

      “The EEA and Norway Grants are the financial contributions of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reduce social and economic disparities in Europe.”


      What do we want with the EU? Trade, full stop.

  19. MickN
    June 11, 2015

    Good morning John,

    I realise that you will probably not be able to go into any detail, but do YOU know what the Prime Minister is attempting to negotiate for our better deal with Europe?

    1. MickN
      June 11, 2015

      I’ll take that as a no then .


    2. Lifelogic
      June 11, 2015

      Indeed it does not look to me that he is doing anything of the sort. He surely approved of Obama’s foolish pro in intervention. Which rather helped to undermine any negotiating position Cameron had.

      He either has not got a clue about negotiation or he does not want anything substantive at all.
      Which is it JR?

      1. zorro
        June 11, 2015

        He’s probably not confided his golden negotiation nuggets with John yet…..


  20. Sean
    June 11, 2015

    Spend a week in the EU parliament listening to stupid socialistic policies like this below is one stupid but good reason to get the hell out of the EU hell hole.

    Louise Bours, MEP for the North West, was opposing a resolution in the European Parliament urging the European Council to pass legislation on balanced representation of men and women on company boards.

    Among other things, the legislation would allow sanctions such as the dissolution of a company if the non-executive board does not reach an arbitrary quota target imposed by the EU.

    Labour MEPs voted for this resolution.

    Bours said in the debate: “You don’t fight discrimination with discrimination, bringing in quotas is demeaning for women, the women who have worked hard and made it to the top of their professions.”

    “To top things off, in the explanatory statement the resolution even says who should be doing the housework. If I can quote directly from it, ‘men will have to devote more time to the housework.'”

    “This is yet another reason to vote no to the EU in the upcoming UK referendum and regain our freedom and independence from meddling EU bureaucrats.”

  21. bratwurst
    June 11, 2015

    So why bother “negotiating”? We will never achieve very much of your list of freedoms by that route. Negotiating is a Europhile strategy & will almost certainly leave the ‘No’ campaign with only days to mount an effective approach as Cameron announces his negotiations a ‘success’ a few days before the referendum.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 11, 2015

      That is exactly what will happen I suspect. It field of play is hugely slanted by Cameron.

  22. Shieldsman
    June 11, 2015

    You have just described how leaving the EU is a WIN, Win situation.
    Cameron and his Ministers are playing blind man’s buff, they cannot identify what they do want to change. Recommending to stay in the EU is for status quo and worse.
    Hammond is all at sea. First he says we need Treaty change. Then: “If we can get a decent package we will be selling hard the advantages, not just of staying in the EU but of stepping up,”
    “We should be thinking of the EU as an organisation that we can shape, that we can shape in an image that we find attractive. That is the prize here, we get to get the British people thinking positively about our engagement in Europe again.”
    Now that’s a laugh a minute. I have read that the success rate of making any change to the EU bureaucratic Empire has been Nil- zero.
    In a further statement he said the Eurosceptics would not get what they wanted. Which has been obvious all along.

  23. Hooe
    June 11, 2015

    JR, Guido highlights how the government departments are fu ding the opposition to fracking! Could you clarify why govt dept. are doing this when they are meant to be cash strapped?

    You advanced one of the best reasons for leaving by negating the business and loss of jobs nonsense.

    Control and sovereignty over our parliament and country. Unelected European Commission makes decisions without regard to MEPs or anyone else! The public should be able to elect its governors and to dispose of them. We cannot do this with the EU.
    Our forefathers fought for freedom and independence, Europhiles are giving this away and disgrace those who lost their lives for our freedom.
    Cost to business nd individuals ie energy policy that Cameron is still pursuing but trying to hide from public gaze. As he did last October with creating the false I will not pay the extra£1.7 billion nonsense.
    To protect our way of life. It is important that all nations have an identity and culture. We can be friends and respect everyone. Is does not mean we have to change to their way of life!

  24. John S
    June 11, 2015

    ” Out of the EU we could go for cheaper energy, to allow us an industrial revival.” Cameron and his Energy Secretary Amber Rudd are committed to this lunatic policy of renewables whether inside or outside the EU, the Swansea lagoon being the latest example which has an upfront cost of £6500 per house hold.

    1. Hope
      June 11, 2015

      As above, the govt departments are paying the opposition to fracking while claiming they are cash strapped. The departments should not be allowed to waste taxpayers’ money in this way for their respective bias towards UK energy or govt policy!

    2. Hefner
      June 11, 2015

      Have you ever thought (if this is something that you can do) that the UK, given its long history of technological and industrial developments (unfortunately dimming out with every day passing), could have been developing various renewable-energy-related technologies. Instead of which, China, Germany, the Nordic Countries, the U.S. and France are now the providers of all instruments linked to solar, PV, wind, tidal, and nuclear energies.

      Wouldn’t it have been more sensible to be a player in these developments? Or are you so ideologically blind to this type of questions?

    3. Denis Cooper
      June 12, 2015

      Neither Cameron nor Rudd will be in government forever.

  25. Chris
    June 11, 2015

    And don’t forget the fish!

    1. Chris
      June 11, 2015

      Mr Redwood, please can you sort out the problem of two commenters using the same name. I have been posting as Chris on this website for some years, and now suddenly the comment above appears under my name, and I certainly did not post it. In this instance the comment does not pose problems, but basic identity issues such as security of identity is paramount and this lack of this basic security on your website could lead to serious problems. You obviously have the commenter’s email address and could contact them to choose a different name. Reputable/secure websites simply do not allow a username to be used twice, with applicants receiving a message that “this user name is not available”.

  26. They Work for Us?
    June 11, 2015

    Very good stuff and all true. I only hope this can be made clear to the public before the referendum.

    The first letter in today’s Telegraph (not written by me) extends this, lists the EUs features and basically says “why would we want to be in this organisation at all?”.
    An approach might be to follow the money and ask who benefits.
    Any answers to any of these out there.

    1. Denis Cooper
      June 11, 2015

      The first letter in the Telegraph says that the end of EU integration is undefined, when it has been clearly defined for more than sixty-five years since the Schuman Declaration of May 9th 1950, and it is a sovereign European federation, a federal United States of Europe to parallel the federal United States of America.


      “The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe … ”

      “By pooling basic production and by instituting a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and other member countries, this proposal will lead to the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation indispensable to the preservation of peace.”

      As explained on that EU website:

      “The Schuman Declaration was presented by French foreign minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950. It proposed the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community, whose members would pool coal and steel production.

      The ECSC (founding members: France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg) was the first of a series of supranational European institutions that would ultimately become today’s “European Union”.”

    2. acorn
      June 11, 2015

      If we come out of the EU, the Spiv City of London stands to loose a lot. The Spivs bankroll the core operating system of the Conservative Party; they are not about to let some referendum by the “peanut gallery” and its own Backbenchers, interfere with multinational corporate profits and, the wealth of the 0.1% of the global population that currently own the planet. (The 24,000 Families).

      The ECB Target2 Interbank payment; clearing and settlement system is on its way to becoming the global hub of such systems. The next stage is T2S which does the same for Securities trading, it starts to go live this month. Spiv City will have to migrate to Frankfurt. https://www.ecb.europa.eu/paym/t2s/html/index.en.html

  27. Bert Young
    June 11, 2015

    I believe as strongly today as I have over many years , that the only way for us is “out “. The , so called , ” we will have no respect and value in any international dealings if we were independent of the EU ” is ‘ hogwash ‘. We were capable and respected in the past and there is no reason why this should be different in the future .

    At the moment our democracy has gone and the ability to control our affairs is meaningless ; we have allowed demeaning standards to enter our lives that are created and controlled by bureaucrats . The EU is a shambles that – were it not for Germany , would not exist . The rot has now set into the EU and it is a simple matter of time for it to crumble . The best thing we can do is to further accelerate the process .

  28. Philip Rogers
    June 11, 2015

    What good deal could possibly make staying in the EU preferable to the advantages of leaving that you list?

  29. aricola
    June 11, 2015

    Apart from the facts and figures there is an even more basic argument for leaving. From Magna Carta to the eventual creation of parliamentary democracy it is apparent that top down imposed governance does not work. This is what the EU has become and is following a failed pattern such as that of the USSR.

    It is total anathema to the psyche of most of the UK people and is therefore the essence of the argument to leave. The fact that it can be done without the trauma that such as Kenneth Clarke predict is a bonus. Please note, it is the EU we should leave not Europe which on most counts is very agreeable

    I think we have a moral obligation to all Europeans to show them that there is a better way forward than the path that Brussels has set them on.

  30. margaret brandreth-j
    June 11, 2015

    It reads like blank verse . Still not sure about dirty fuel though . I agree with everything else.
    We needto record and publicise the reasons why we should come out and why we need to renegotiate, for if there is nothing which is negotiable then that aspect in itself is a facet of dictatorship.
    Stating reasons to come out is the only rationale approach.

    1. Margaret Brandreth-J
      June 11, 2015

      Rational ;without the ‘e’ of course.

  31. sjb
    June 11, 2015

    JR wrote: Out of the EU the UK will be able to accelerate free trade agreements with the USA, China, India and the other important growing markets of the world.

    Please provide particulars about the terms the USA, China and India are proposing. How long do each of these countries think it will take to conclude the agreements? Where can UK businesses, particularly SMEs, get info about the paperwork they will have to complete under the new arrangements in order to export to these countries?

  32. Atlas
    June 11, 2015

    A good and compelling list. The next important thing, though, is to find somebody who can lead a No position who will get support from all parts of society.

  33. bigneil
    June 11, 2015

    Slightly to one side but still involved with being in the EU. Could you get someone to explain how , when we have thousands of extra people arriving, legally or not, every year, the Welfare Bill is going to be reduced? The EU has ruled that they are to be treated equally – and we all know that is impossible. A country cannot have a relatively small amount creating the money – – and half the world coming here demanding to live on it.

  34. nigel
    June 11, 2015

    All good stuff, but you will need to explain in detail how we renegotiate membership of EFTA (or some such similar arrangement) in order to counter the argument about lost jobs etc. that are already being put forward.

  35. ChrisS
    June 11, 2015

    All of us here already know that the re-negotiations are going to fall far, far short of addressing the real concerns of the majority of voters.

    Some form of re-negotiation is necessary in order to demonstrate to many voters that an attempt to stay in has been made however in respect of the two key issues, net immigration and sovereignty, the re-negotiation has already demonstrably failed because the PM is not even asking for the minimum that is needed :

    I have the severest doubts as to whether the PM has any intention at all of reducing the level of net migration to “tens of thousands” as he has stated on more than one occasion.

    Only an end to FOM will reduce the 150,000 pa net influx of migrants from the EU. Concentrating on benefit claimants is most definitely not going to solve the EU part of the immigration problem, it’s tinkering around the edges at best.

    We have yet to see Cameron come up with a credible policy to reduce the other net 150,000 of immigrants that come in from outside the EU. Surely it would not take too much effort to introduce an Australian style points system ?

    So far there has been no sign of that whatsoever ? Why not ????

    When it comes to the issue of Sovereignty, the PM is not even asking for an overall veto on future legislation. Philip Hammond has said openly that it’s undeliverable.

    So, on these two issuers alone, the renegotiation has clearly already failed. We should start straight away concentrating on preparing a solid case for Brixit because that’s what we will inevitably be campaigning for.

    Our starting point has to be to make it clear that Cameron is not demanding enough change at present. This won’t undermine his strategy, it might actually help it by giving him some more backbone. If we are successful and the polls start to show that he’s not demanding enough, he will be forced to change tack.

    As our champion in Parliament, John, could you please start by asking the PM and Foreign Secretary a simple question :

    How they are going to achieve a satisfactory settlement if they aren’t even demanding a solution to the two key issues ?

    The 2015-2016 “renegotiation” is going to be a necessary sham but we can only hope that Cameron is not able to pull the wool over the eyes of voters as Harold Wilson did forty years ago.

    Our task, starting now, is to convince voters that the outcome has not addressed their key concerns and they should get ready to vote to leave the EU.

  36. BobE
    June 11, 2015

    John can you tell us what is the fascination that many MPs have with being in Europe?
    Is there a case to stay in?

  37. Denis Cooper
    June 11, 2015

    I want to leave the EU for the very simple reason that:


    It’s really no different to getting on a train and having a dawning realisation that you’ve been misinformed and you’ve got on THE WRONG TRAIN; instead of taking you where you want to go, it will take you somewhere else where you don’t want to go.

    When that happens a normal, sane, person doesn’t usually decide to stay on the train anyway even though it is taking him off to a wrong destination, and moreover one where he very definitely doesn’t want to go, just because it might upset some of the railway staff if he was to get off at the next stop and catch another train back towards where he really wanted to go, or even because possibly he might have to pay for another ticket.

    As said in another comment, the end destination of the EU, the ultimate objective of all that constant process of “ever closer union”, has always been and still is a pan-European federation, and if we stay in then our country will end up legally subordinated as a part or parts of a sovereign federal United States of Europe.

    Personally I think it’s a perfectly legitimate viewpoint that the UK should cease to be a sovereign independent state and should instead be subordinated as a part or parts of a sovereign pan-European federation*, but what is not legitimate is to deliberately disguise that from the British people and inveigle them into unwittingly surrendering their sovereignty.

    * Or, as it was explicitly put in the referendum in the Crimea, become “a subject of” a pan-European federation:


    “Do you support reunifying Crimea with Russia as a subject of the Russian Federation?”

  38. forthurst
    June 11, 2015

    …Out of the EU, we would be outside the CFP and the CAP, designed very successfully to hamstring our fishing and farming industries for the benefit of our foreign competitors and for no other reason.

    Out of the EU no longer will we be umbilically connected to the war zone in Eastern Europe, as we were previously to that in the Balkans, and through that connection with the EU, further connected to the war zones in the ME and N Africa whose refugees, the EU wishes to ‘resettle’ here.

    1. stred
      June 11, 2015

      Peter Sutherland expressed such an opinion recently. He is the UN spokesman. UN/EU/US State dept- are they composed of the same experts there to ensure that we are governed properly?

  39. Bill
    June 11, 2015

    Like the other contributors to this site, I am inclined to favour Brexit. The only comments I have are:

    a. this is a matter of finance and of principle
    b. we could decide on finance alone or on principle alone but would be best to decide on a combination of the two.
    c. the argument on principle concerns the kind of nation we expect to be in, say, 2030: are we to be homogenised with the rest of Europe or will we have some continuing identity with our past?
    d. the argument on finance concerns comparing what we have if we remain inside the EU as against what we have outside the EU: but in both cases there are uncertainties. There are more uncertainties outside the EU but there are also uncertainties inside the EU. My preference is to take the risk and come out but to do so without rosy tinted glasses.

  40. Denis Cooper
    June 11, 2015

    JR, the Telegraph reports on Osborne’s Mansion House speech, when he thought it was appropriate to make two major policy announcements which should have been made to our elected representatives in the House of Commons first, rather than to invited guests at a London dinner party, and quotes him as follows:

    “It’s in our interests that the Euro is a successful, strong currency. So we’re prepared to support the Eurozone as it undertakes the further integration it needs. But in return, we want a settlement between the UK and the Eurozone that protects the single market and is stable, fair and lasts.”

    Please could you ask him at some point:

    1. Why he was willing to go along the Prime Minister’s decision to just give Merkel the major EU treaty change that she demanded in the autumn of 2010, to provide a legal base in the EU treaties for the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism, without asking for anything in return?

    2. Why he is not saying that all the non-euro countries should have the same treaty right to stay out of the euro as the UK and Denmark, even though he is aware that only those two EU member states have that right under the present EU treaties?

    3. Why he is not considering that the peoples of some of the present 19 eurozone states might prefer to make an orderly withdrawal from the euro rather than submit to the federalising measures which he is seeking to impose upon them?

    1. formula57
      June 11, 2015

      Re. points 2. and 3., pursuing those comes close to pulling others’ chestnuts out of the fire – and when they have not even asked!

      1. Denis Cooper
        June 12, 2015

        Well, firstly, we helped to put their chestnuts into the fire when Major not only agreed that the EU could start issuing its own currency but that every new country which joined the EU would have to accept a treaty obligation to join it, on the sole condition that we could have an “opt-out” from that treaty obligation. It was pointed out to Cameron that this is what he had done to Croatia, by agreeing that it could join the EU but with that legal obligation built into its treaty of accession as a standard feature; however he seemed to think that the Croats could decide to stay out of the euro if they wanted despite having accepted a treaty obligation to join it.

        And it is also worth remembering that Denmark only has a similar euro “opt-out” to the UK because while the Danish government agreed to join the euro the Danish people rejected the Maastricht Treaty in a referendum, and they only voted to accept it in a second referendum on the promise that Denmark would have that and other “opt-outs”.

        And, secondly, their chestnuts are also our chestnuts insofar as we will become increasingly minoritised if we stay in the EU with all of the other present non-euro members bar one, and all new EU members, gradually fulfilling their treaty obligation by joining the euro; and the end is fairly predictable, that eventually we would be left as the only member state of the EU which had not adopted its currency, or one of a few with the others in the process of adopting it, and then it would engulf us as well and all of the federalising measures now supported by Osborne would apply to us as well, not just to them.

        And, thirdly, in 2011 the government of one of the non-euro states, the Czech Republic, did ask to be relieved of the legal obligation to join the euro, or more exactly it mooted holding a referendum to authorise the unilateral abrogation of that treaty obligation:


        “We should allow non-eurozone members – such as my country the Czech Republic – to decide again whether they wish to enter. We signed up to a monetary union, not a transfer union or a bond union in our accession treaty. This is the major reason why the Czech Prime minister wishes to call the referendum on this matter”

        But despite the ODS supposedly being an “ally” of the Tory party Cameron studiously ignored that plea, and similarly he remained silent when seven new member states together said that they should be freed from the obligation to join the euro:


        “Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania said the euro zone they thought they were going to join, a monetary union, may very well end up being a very different union entailing much closer fiscal, economic and political convergence.”

        Of course it is now too late for Latvia and Lithuania, both of which have since joined the euro bloc lined up against us in the EU, unless they and all the others are given the right to make an orderly withdrawal.

  41. NickW
    June 11, 2015

    What the “No” side needs to be doing now is determining and publicising the red lines for renegotiation.

    It is highly unlikely that the EU will allow the UK to make any meaningful changes to our relationship with the EU. Following the EU’s rejection of sensible and constructive changes to our relationship with them, the “No” vote will then have the weight of common sense and public opinion behind it.

    Cameron cannot be allowed to trick the electorate with a handful of meaningless non-existent concessions cooked up by the rest of the EU.

  42. Brian Tomkinson
    June 11, 2015

    Not forgetting agriculture and fisheries, who could want for any thing more? Those wanting to keep us enslaved in EU have nothing to offer except pessimism, lack of self-belief and subservience.

  43. fedupsoutherner
    June 11, 2015

    Here’s one excellent reason for leaving the EU John.


    Another useless policy originating in the EU and continued by ill informed governments in the UK.

  44. Ken Adams
    June 11, 2015

    ” if there is no good deal on offer” IF IF!
    Sorry Mr Redwood I do not understand why you want to give Cameron control of the debate in this way. We already know that he is not talking about a different destination but speed of travel. We either stay on the train and eventually end up at the predetermined destination or we get off, there is no middle way.

    Unless there is wholesale renegotiation of the treaties and we already know there will be no such fundamental treaty change all the rest is window dressing concocted to keep us in.

  45. agricola
    June 11, 2015

    A further thought on the future of the UK which I consider very significant.

    Compared with EU/EEA members, where we are, a country in EFTA/EEA has equal representation to that of the EU on all international bodies. These international bodies are where the rules are increasingly made on trade and numerous other subjects.

    The reality is that Norway, being EFTA/EEA has equal influence to that of the EU. The UK has no say except as a 1 in 28 part within the EU.. Were the UK to be a member of EFTA/EEA their representation and influence on international bodies at a global level would equal that of the EU.

    The argument that being a 1/28 member of the EU/EEA puts us at the top table is totally spurious. In football terms we are a member of the first division, but all the decisions affecting the first division are made in the premier league. Contrary to all the propaganda coming out of the Europhile camp, as EFTA/EEA members we would be operating in the premier league.

  46. MPC
    June 11, 2015

    Thank you for an excellent summary of the benefits of leaving the EU. A supplemental approach could be also to keep asking ourselves ‘how do we counter the arguments in favour of staying in the EU on precisely or substantially the present terms of membership’. I personally find it useful to look at websites such as ‘Left Foot Forward’ where there is some interesting discussion. A main theme, especially from Trade Union contributors, is that leaving the EU would jeopardise some welcome pan European worker or citizen rights such as those resulting from the Working Time Directive, and from other measures. A cynical view of this would be that ‘the Left’ simply wants pan European socialism through EU membership, but saying that sort of thing in discussions with pro EU people could come across as being ‘right wing’. We need to counter these views persuasively in the eyes of the uncommitted. I don’t think that’s especially difficult (no Eurosceptics are suggesting removal of existing such rights, a future non-Conservative sovereign UK government could propose strengthening such rights, and even suggest them to the European Commission for wider application, etc etc).

    I feel we have to acknowledge the concerns of many in the Pro EU camp and address them in such a way that allays the concerns and also those of of any ‘3rd parties’ looking in who are weighing up the arguments and looking for guidance on which way to vote in the Referendum.

  47. Tad Davison
    June 11, 2015

    Very articulately put John, and I wholly concur, yet I see the dyed-in-the-wool supporters of the EU crawling out of the woodwork, still flapping and floundering, and struggling to find a convincing counter argument. Nothing it seems, not even an irrefutable case, will ever make them change their minds, and that makes me wonder about their psychological make-up. The Lotus fruit eaters really have had their surfeit and swallowed the EU bait, hook, line, and sinker.

    Tad Davison


    1. Denis Cooper
      June 12, 2015


      There is no argument which will change the minds of the small minority of hard core eurofederalists in this country – who make up just 4% of the population, according to the opinion poll cited here:


      the 4% who opted for “Work for single European government” – because they are convinced that we have had our day as an independent sovereign state and should therefore be prepared to become a subject of a European federation, to borrow the accurate phrasing of the question posed in the referendum in Crimea:

      “Do you support reunifying Crimea with Russia as a subject of the Russian Federation?”

      Take the Right Honourable Kenneth Clarke, Conservative MP for Rushcliffe, one of the Vice-Presidents of the eurofederalist European Movement in the UK, who argued as follows during the Commons debate on Tuesday:

      “We are 1% of the world’s population and we represent 3% of the world’s GDP. As a proportion, we are declining yet further. On the question of being in the European Union, we need to get across to people that our effective voice in the world, insofar as we have one, is best deployed as a leading and influential player in the European Union.”

      It is true that we are now only 0.88% of the total world population, which overall is still increasing faster than our population here on 0.16% of world’s land area, despite the best efforts of the government to import as many as possible of the other 99.12%, so, yes, that proportion of the world’s population will continue to decline; and it is also true that our GDP is now only 3.0% to 3.8% of world GDP, depending on how it is calculated and by whom, and, yes, that proportion will also continue to decline as the poorer parts of the world develop.

      But what Clarke omitted to say is that there are numerous countries around the world with smaller populations and smaller GDP’s, whose citizens do not feel the same need for their country to give up its national sovereignty and independence to become the subject of a larger federation within which it will be no more than an “influential player” even regarding its domestic affairs.

      I don’t think it will be possible to convince these dyed-in-the-wool defeatists that we can still have a future as an independent sovereign state in the world, and that the democracy we want is true national democracy, not some transnational pseudo-democracy within a European federation lacking any semblance of a unified European “demos” – as indeed the German constitutional court openly recognised in one of its judgements – and our main task is to stop them infecting the rest of our fellow citizens with their supine, defeatist attitudes.

      1. Tad Davison
        June 13, 2015

        You’re right Denis, and please be assured, you have no need to go onto Twitter or Facebook, your words are read by those who matter, and you are rightly accepted as an authority on the subject.


        1. Jerry
          June 13, 2015

          [in response to Denis Cooper] @Tad Davison; So “those who matter” are the already converted, no wonder Denis can get away with often citing other europhobes and their self-opinion or suspect opinion polls (as all are) – and as for “[an] authority on the subject”, again if only reading what you already agree with is being that then 99% of the population are authorities on their chosen obsession!

          The Brexit group face an uphill struggle, there are uncounted thousands of undecided voters who, when push comes to shove and they are being asked to state an opinion (on the ballot paper), only know what the EU has “done for them”. Indeed some will be those who think they have no job or home to call their own because of all those migrants, but many will only know the EU because they can travel freely with the minimum of fuss when on holiday, bring back almost unlimited ‘duty free’, even go and work or study in another EU member state. One needs to be over 50 years old to have clear memories of the UK and continental Europe before our entry into the old EEC – the Brexit group best not forget it, we need to preach to the undecided, not the already converted complete with much metaphorical and virtual back slapping in faux praise…

          1. Tad Davison
            June 13, 2015

            Oh dear……….you make our case far better than we ever could, and you can’t see it.

          2. Jerry
            June 14, 2015

            @Tad Davison; But what case is that, perhaps not the one you think!

      2. Edward2
        June 13, 2015

        Thank you for your excellent post Tad

        With a growing world GDP it gives the UK more opportunities to trade worldwide rather than less.
        I dont see the EU or especially those in the Euro achieving much in the way of world trade growth or prosperity for their citizens.

  48. Slim Jim
    June 11, 2015

    I do hope that people like you Mr. Redwood, and others in the ‘No’ camp will campaign in a coherent and unified way. You need to start anticipating the Europhile positioning and start rebutting their arguments in a powerful way. I would suggest themes like: Sovereignty, Trade, Immigration/Freedom of movement, Agriculture, Fisheries, Taxation and Law for starters. It should be relatively easy to explain that an independent UK can more than cover these issues without being shackled to a supranational body with an abundance of undemocratic decision-making and imposition of unnecessary regulation, etc. Finally, I would like to suggest that the overarching theme should be the promotion of a FREE STATE and DEMOCRACY, and ignore the shroud-wavers – the same people who wanted us to go into the Euro!

  49. Michael Walzer
    June 11, 2015

    11 June 2015: Out of the EU, we will, we can, we could …
    So the Pythia has spoken. This is certainly a post to keep preciously and see how things will turn out after 1 January 2018.

  50. petermartin2001
    June 11, 2015

    I’d say the 1975 referendum gives the best argument for voting NO. Then we voted YES to a common trade agreement between the UK and 7 other countries: France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, the Netherlands, and Ireland.

    Look at what we got! We voted the EUophiles an inch and they took a metre.

    What are they going to take if we vote YES again?

    1. petermartin2001
      June 11, 2015

      PS I forgot Denmark! Should be 8 other countries.

    2. Denis Cooper
      June 12, 2015

      And nary a referendum on the admission of any one of the additional countries as new parties to the contract, from Greece in 1981 through to Croatia in 2013.

      1. Jerry
        June 14, 2015

        Denis Cooper; “And nary a referendum on the admission of any one of the additional countries as new parties to the contract, from Greece in 1981 through to Croatia in 2013.”

        …and many a UK Pleb is thankful for the ease at which they can own a holiday or second house in one of those member countries, never mind travel between or through such countries.

        The Brexit camp needs to provide reasons to leave, not remind people of the advantages of staying in!

  51. Oscar De Ville
    June 12, 2015

    The simple , most commendable and heart-felt content in your Diary entry seems to m to lie in the last line of your first paragraph :- “To me it is all a question of how do we restore our democracy”.

    But do you not perceive that our “negotiator” is no negotiator, having declared from the start that he is fully in favour of the other side`s position ?

    Do you not also feel that you and DC`s loyal party colleagues are falling for the classic tactic of getting people to address the question of “How?” rather than “Whether?” or “Why?” It buys time. It weakens resolve. It provides beguiling academic debate. It distracts. It gives scope for endless compromise. In the end it corrupts, and the real battle that you favour is lost.

    Can there be no energetic plan to counter this already long-standing drift to the loss of the SOVEREIGNTY you so prize ? Is there no powerful seasoned John Bull-like leader to put the Heseltines and Clarkes to shame ? Too much time has already been slyly lost and the will eroded with DC sadly as a perhaps unwitting aide.

  52. Theo Brzoza
    June 13, 2015

    Dr Redwood,

    Would you be willing to take up in parliament a question I have raised in my blog and reproduce below?

    “Will voting ‘Yes’ at some later point be considered a sufficient mandate from the British people for Britain to join the Euro, or would that require an additional referendum? It is not unfair to say that what the British public voted in favour of in 1975, the common market, has become a very different beast, whose involvement in the electorate have up to this point not been asked to express an opinion on. This mission creep and the feeling of being deceived which arises from it, underpins a great deal of the opposition to Britain’s present involvement in the EU. A guarantee by the Prime Minister that another referendum would be required before joining the Euro, if that were to become a possibility in the future, would go some way towards assuaging the doubts of persons like myself, as any future PM would be bound by it, in spirit if not in law. Yet is David Cameron willing to give such a guarantee

    Theo Brzoza.

    Reply If you are worried about future drift of powers hen vote for out.

  53. sm
    June 14, 2015

    Be very specific at a lower level as well , about what could be done to help the average Joe.

    Making clear that Fishing etc returns back to UK control , which could then be considered for delegation to other levels subject to oversight. X number of direct jobs , x number of indirects.

    That EU spending on our behalf will be back under UK control and thus help to fund any devolution type settlements and bolster UK interests. Specific to undermining SNP and EU fanatics.

    Removal of absurdities – and plain unfairness etc student fee’s etc

    Then point to Greece as being the destination of voting to remain in the EU.

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