Referendum – framing the choice

Those who want to stay in the current EU will seek to pose as the champions of the status quo. They will doubtless propose all sorts of lies over what might happen if we left.

The true choice is rather different. If you vote to stay in under the current treaties you will be taken for a ride to political union. Being in is not a stable status quo, but a wild ride to more Brussels control, more EU interference, less UK democratic power. There will be more and more areas where UK voters will not be able to elect politicians to Westminster to settle matters for them as they wish.

Leaving the current treaties is not turning our back on Europe or saying good bye to French wine, German cars, and trips to the Spanish costas. Our trade is not at risk, our travel will not be impeded, our friendships will not be altered. Many of us will find it easier to be friendly with our neighbours when we no longer have to row with them over how they want to boss us about within the EU legal framework. Few can think further EU integration, visible in the Eurozone, has been good for friendly relations between Athens and Berlin.

Those of us who wish to leave the Consolidated Treaty need to explain just what a radical, activist document it is. It is not a steady state but a constant journey. It is progress towards ever closer union, or the road to a single state. That is why the UK finds it all so difficult and why Mr Cameron is right to want to take ever closer union out. If he succeeds, he also needs to take us out of the treaty architecture than locks us into the non Euro parts of ever closer union.

The government is beginning to frame the negotiating challenge as being can a country like the UK live outside the Euro without the Euro area coming to override and rule us. They are themselves clearly worried by the way new controls over banks, remuneration, trading, new taxes and other items are coming from the Eurozone and encroaching into the so called single market. They need to understand this is just the latest version of an old problem with the single market. It has long been used as a Trojan horse to establish EU controls over many areas of government that are not strictly needed to buy and sell cars or soapflakes. We need to change not just our future relationship with the ever more powerful Eurozone, but also with past treaties which have usurped our government in many fields.

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  1. Brian Taylor
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    In 1975 I voted for a Common Market!!!!
    In this Referendum I will vote to get a Common Market!!!!
    This looks more and more likely that I will vote NO although I am not sure our MPs or our Civil Servants have the backbone to negotiate this IF the UK vote to leave.
    Not long to go now.
    Thank God for Social Media unlike 1975!!!!!!!!!

  2. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Yes, but do you agree that there is no chance whatever that Cameron will recommend Out and that what he keeps telling us about renegotiation is nowhere near the fundamental change needed? Immigrants’ benefits is second order: the problem is the immigrants not their benefits.Without hope of Treaty change it is all a waste of time and somehow we have locked ourselves in to Treaties to change which the agreement of 27 other countries is needed–not exactly likely.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      We don’t know. The EU is prepared to be extraordinarily flexible when needs must – look at Greece. So long as Conservative MPs remain united in support and encourage Mr Cameron in his renegotiation there is a good chance of a suprisingly good deal. We will have to see.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        Dear Richard–First, as regards possible Brexit, there is no “must”, meaning that while the EU might prefer on balance to see us stay, dare I say that if needs must they would just let us go. Secondly, are you saying that Cameron may be able to negotiate more, much more, than what he has asked for and while staying In as he clearly wants? How could that be? Now if we were Out it might be different but not with Cameron in charge is that remotely possible.

        • Richard1
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          David Cameron has been consistently under-estimated by the right – see numerous blogs on this site viewing it as a certainty that he would lose the election / rat on the referendum promise etc. If I was in his shoes I would under-promise and over-deliver.

          • Hope
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

            Richard, do not be ridiculous. There are so many examples where he has not kept his word no right minded person could believe a word he says. EVEL on the steps of Downing Street last October, now he is pretending that EVEN is somehow as good! He will not pay the extra £1.7 billion to the EU for nothing in return. He did pay up for nothing in return while making cuts to public services at home. No ifs or buts to cut immigration to tens of thousands, when he knew he had no control over EU immigrants! Anothe 318,000 came to the UK last year, what has he done about it? We have an immigration crisis, not a housing problem. He was party to the new EU emissions targets at the EU summit while talking about the green crap at home. No ifs or buts to cut immigration to tens of thousands, when he knew he had no control over EU immigrants and currently having the navy ship many more from outside Europe to Italy! The UK needs to be able to control its borders not have some trifling deal about benefits which he could change by domestic legislation! He cannnot be believed or trusted. EAW? Current negotiations, what are they? Read Simon Heffer’s article in the DT yesterday. Wake up and smell the coffee Richard.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

            Dear Richard–You will be saying next that Cameron wasn’t forced to promise a referendum and to deliver–no credit to him whatsoever. Re the elections there is a great deal of truth in the idea that Miliband lost it rather than Cameron winning it. Under-promising and staking out a negotiating position have nothing to do with each other.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

            The election was won despite Cameron’s wet soft lefty, green crap, big state agenda – not because of it or him. He would have won more easily had be been a real Tory.

            It was won because (the would be landlord thief) Miliband was rather hopeless, UKIP voters voted tactically for Tories to stop Labour/Libdems and almost no one in England wanted a Miliband dog wagged by an SNP tail.

            Furthermore because he was forced to offer an EU referendum against his will.

            Cameron was just not quite as unpleasant as the alternatives.

            I certainly did not consistently under-estimated him. Indeed I thought he would just scrape back in as he did.

            Furthermore he is clearly ratting on his referendum promise by not conducting a fair referendum. One with a fair (not an affirmative answer) question, fair control of government propaganda, a purdah period and equal funding for the two sides. Plus controlling the absurd bias of the BBC and his control of the referendum timing.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

            Some people who had been minded to vote UKIP decided to vote Tory instead, some others who had been minded to vote Labour decided to vote UKIP instead … I’m sure I’ve seen an article counting up seats where the victory of the Tory candidate seemed to have been the result of the latter rather than the former, for what such calculations are ever worth, but I can’t locate it at the moment.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 7:11 am | Permalink

        @Richard1 – In general principle yes, but I think Cameron has gone in much too low with his initial demands giving him no room to manoeuvre and achieve what most on this blog need to see in order to vote to stay in the EU.

        Mind you, if he had gone in with more demands, he probably wouldn’t have even got through the front door… 🙁

        • Richard1
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

          As JR has pointed out many times, the EU has a very strong desire indeed to keep the UK onside whatever public statements are made. We will have to wait and see. The renegotiation will certainly go to the wire, as these things always do.

          • Hope
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

            No we do not have to wait and see while he is rigging the in campaign ie question, money spent, purdah etc. He should be open and transparent, as he claimed it was the best disinfectant. The public have a right to know what is being negotiated in their names.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink


            Indeed making his bottom line clear would strengthen his negotiation hand hugely. Not doing so surely shows he has no intention of demanding anything substantive at all. We only have the (biased) referendum after all because Cameron was forced into it.

          • Richard
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            Yes, you are right, the negotiations will “go to the wire”.

            If you want the UK to get the best deal possible then I suggest you vote for “no/out” because the EU will not accept a “no/out” result and, as they have done in the past, will insist upon a second referendum.

            This will mean (further ?) concessions will be made prior to this second vote.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

            Hope, I have asked JR which parliamentary committees will be following the negotiations and periodically asking Cameron et al what they are up to, and whether there should not be a special committee set up for that specific purpose, but he has not replied.

            Reply Until the Select Committees are up and running we do not know which of them will wish to do this. European Scrutiny will have an obvious interest, as may Foreign Affairs.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

            Thank you.

            By the way, please could you tell your system that having asked me several times whether I am human it’s probably now safe to stop asking me?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      But the alternative to treaty change requiring unanimity would be treaty change through a system of majority voting, which was actually mooted at one point during the early discussions on the EU Constitution but rejected. As the UK makes treaties as a sovereign state it would clearly be a denial of our national sovereignty if we agreed to a treaty which could later be changed by a majority vote against our wishes; and of course those who put forward that proposal were seeking just that, the end of the national sovereignty of the EU member states and their legal subordination within a European federation, which they also mooted could be called the United States of Europe.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Indeed, but will the voters in the referendum see this or will we just end up being sunk for evermore in the disaster of an anti-democratic EUSSR. Pushed in by the BBC, state sector propaganda and the Lib/Lab/SNP/Plaid Cymru/Green/Con?

    Christopher Booker is spot on again today I see.

    • stred
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Re. His Holiness. The Roman Catholic church was a creation of the Roman Empire, with HQ in the same place and its leader has ruled from the same place. It is not surprising that Frank has decided to join the EU green battalions and push its policies. They even hope to expand into the countries which split into the Orthodox part of the empire. Food production cannot keep up and emigration to the old Roman Empire areas will be the only escape. According to Peter Sutherland, the UN leader on the subject, economic migrants should already be considered refugees, the situation is so bad.

      The irony about his pontification about poor peoples is that the greatest threat is overpopulation. The productivity of food production in Africa has actually increased recently, as rain patterns have changed and CO2 is feeding the crops. The enormous increase in population is not mentioned. In the countries around the Sahara and in West Africa a present population of over 400m is forecast to double over the next 12-25 years.

      In Ireland overpopulation and over reliance one one crop was the ‘accident waiting to happen’ which caused the potato famine. The efforts to provide food to the poor was not enough and even some landowners suffered trying to help. Only the cynical profited from it. His Holiness should visit his cathedral in Lisemore and read the exhibition on the subject there. Contraception was not available then but how can the RC church be set against the best way to avoid disaster for poor people? At least they have a climate where solar energy works, unlike the Northern countries, where the poor he worries about will freeze if the present unworkable policies continue.

      • stred
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Sorry. the Food production part should have been at the end of the 2nd para.

    • Hefner
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Why don’t you quote Tim Stanley also from the DT? Could it be that some DT commentators are more in line with your biases?

  4. petermartin2001
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    If you vote to stay in under the current treaties you will be taken for a ride to political union.

    I’d add monetary union too.

    Just as ‘yes’ vote in 1975 was taken much further than it was ever intended to be taken by the then electorate, a ‘yes’ vote in 2016/17 will be taken to mean YES to the adoption of euro too.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    This is too uninteresting to get the millions of people you need to get out of their homes to vote Out.

    There is only one issue which will do this but you won’t talk about it.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      The Eu like other powerful regimes and despots has always fought hard to suppress free speech – they know that to maintain their authority they must close down argument and free expression.

      Try complaining about the opening up the borders of a relatively prosperous and small island nation to many millions of much poorer economic migrants and Mr Shultz will suggest you are a hate filled racist.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Indeed that is indeed the gist of their approach.

  6. David Murfin
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    “Few can think further EU integration, visible in the Eurozone, has been good for friendly relations between Athens and Berlin. ”
    And still less between Moscow and any EU capital you might name.

  7. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Most British may realise that there is very little to worry about. If in future treaties some power moves from national to supranational (instead of the opposite which could also happen) then there will be a referendum in the UK and Ireland and probably more countries. The last UK government has established through research that the current division is more or less ok. That doesn’t mean that a reformed EU wouldn’t be a good thing, it will. So let’s work towards that. Not many British will have themselves framed by eurosceptics I expect, once they see the simple reality of current cooperation in the EU.

    • Hope
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      You must be utterly deluded to make such a suggestion. There is much too worry about a new Soviet style dictatorship that ordinary citizens cannot get rid of. Look at Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Homelessness, loss of business, destitution high unemployment for a few power freak politicos who want an EU superstate.

      A forced amalgamation of nations by stealth for a few despots is not needed to trade or be friends with each other. The misery deliberately inflicted on ordinary people must stop.

      It took 70 years for the Soviet Union to break up, let us all hope that sanity will prevail and the EU is brought to an end much sooner. Every country has the right of self determination, even if others inside like Clarke and Heseltine, or outside like PVL disagree. We can then all lead our lives based on who we vote for not who is imposed upon us.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        @Hope: nobody will deny that in some countries there are probems since the financial crisis, but why do you think that you’d be as bad as Greece, instead of as succesful as Denmark, Germany or the Netherlands. Aren’t they closer neighbours?
        Where is your invented “dictator” and your fanatasized “despot”? Nobody over here sees them, but then, we don’t have your nightmares.
        Just an important difference with the Soviet Union, which extended its power over regions and nations by violent force. The EU is a voluntary club any country can leave. The opposite has always been happening – countries ask to join the EU.

        Reply Fine. Why then are you so against us leaving it?

        • Hope
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          PVL, countries cannot leave voluntary as Greece is finding out by the threats of the EU and IMF. Nor the countries who had repeated referendums with the ever burdening threats of what might happen if the country left or name calling if it did so. Even you make mention of tarrifs and such like as a veiled threat. The World Trade Organisation will not allow the tarrifs you write about. As for dictators and despots, look a little closer to the comments made by the unelected EU bureaucrats calling themselves EU leaders! Schulz last week claimed the UK belonged to the EU, no it does not. Moreover, if this dictatorial calamity was voluntary why all the secrecy and changes by stealth to deceive the public? We did not vote for the subordination of our country to the EU, we did not vote to allow politicos to give away our sovereignty or independence as a nation that our forebears fought and lost their lives to prevent. The politicians simply had no right.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

            @Hope: Why not read the treaty of the EU , article 50 for yourself. You can always leave! Until that time, by your own wish to be part of the EU, you indeed belong to the EU. (which doens’t mean that the EU “possesses”you)

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          Reply to reply: To summarise – some damage to the Netherlands economy and much more than that, the UK economy, according to the sources I read. With an in between solution, which will be discussed I believe, this may be prevented. Although I think that for the longer term future, a fully committed UK-EU membership would be best (for you too! ), it’s up to the British to commit, just stay, or leave.
          If the Netherlands and Germany and Denmark can “go global” while being EU members, why not the UK?

        • Timaction
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          ………..any Country can leave. We were never asked if we wanted to join! The legacy parties just lied and lied and lied. It is only now we’re starting to get the truth from the quislings. Its a straight choice. United States Of Europe under a dictatorship V Out and our sovereign democracy returned. It was never about trade as we could have a simple trade and friendship agreement. We don’t want or need the rest with an annual £77 billion trade deficit and £14.5 billion net costs!

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

            @Timaction: YOU requested to join! In a country like the UK your government speaks for you. Any problems with that are your national problems, not to be blamed on the EU.

        • Ken Moore
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          The Europhiles wish to convince us they represent a political class that is in no way despotic or dictatorial.. then this happens…

          “You cannot have a relationship with yourself. The EU is and Britain are one thing. The UK belongs to the EU.”

          etc ed

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

            @Ken Moore: Isn’t that obvious to you? I’m surprised! Maybe it is the use of English by a German, but it is the diffeence between saying
            “Scotland want a different relationship with the UK”
            “Scotland wants a different relationship with the REST of the UK”
            The latter is correct.
            Up to now Scotland BELONGS to the UK and you cannot have a relationship with yourself, says Schulz.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        This ridiculous language about a soviet style dictatorship does nothing for the eurosceptic cause. People can see what drivel it is.

        • Hope
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          The Eurpopean Commission is a dictatorship, as pointed out by Hoey in Parliament. They do not listen or need to listen to the views of anyone least of all MEPs.

    • David Price
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      We have not had a referendum yet despite all the treaties and creeping changes imposed on us.

      The end goal of the EU is an undemocratic, single government for Europe, all actions, power moves and grabs by the EU are focussed on that single objective. Based on EU behaviours and outcomes to-date even reform won’t ever make that a “good thing”.

      The simple reality of cooperation in the EU is that we must do what they say, our representatives have no influence are always overruled by the council while increasing funds and resources are demanded with nothing in retrun . This is not cooperation it is subjugation and it is not “more or less ok”

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        @David Price: Dear David, where do you read such nonsense beside perhaps in eurosceptic press? There isn’t even an end goal for the EU. It will always be based on democratic institutions such as the European Parliament and the various councils of ministers, including the European Council. Just like Cameron, Juncker was elected. Similar to in the UK where none of the ministers are elected but all appointed, the rest of the European Council are appointed after national candidates have been put forward.

        Contrary to in the past, you now have a referendum law which ensures that you will be entitled to a referendum in future in the cases I described.

        Collective decisions are not “we must do what they say”, but “we must do what we together decide”

        Your contribution this time appears full of myths and misunderstanding.

        • Hope
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

          There is nothing democratic about EU institutions as we the UK public did not give our politicians the right to give away our sovereignty. They have done so until now by stealth and deceit. Your comments are utterly ridiculous and without substance.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

            @Hope: if what you say is true, then you must conclude that there is nothing democratic about the UK! After all, the UK public did not give its politicians the right (to give away your sovereignty, and still they did!)
            That deceit then has to be blamed on the UK politicians, by your own assertion.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

          I didn’t realise we were to become the European Health service, that our benefits system could be claimed almost as soon as you land with the right advice, I got this information from Channel 4 documentaries are they in your list of eurosceptic media as I certainly don’t find their news and documentaries of a biased nature, just reporting the facts.

          The sharing out of migrants and the assistance by France and other ports in aiding the people to come to the UK why would they need to if Denmark the Netherlands and Germany are so much more successful and not only that but more welcoming and pleased they’re finding their way to work in their boom conditions?

          We didn’t realise that our children with families would be on social housing waiting lists for four years because of people with no claim on our Country being given priority treatment. Then the EU says they want us to take more, why not set up an EU fund to rehome them in Africa?

          Was Juncker an elected MEP? Are there a people somewhere in the EU that can vote him out?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

            @a-tracy: Juncker was the leader-candidate of the EPP (spitzenkandidat) in the European elections and by voting on an EPP candidate in any country the electorate could have made his party the largest, which they did. The same way that in voting on a conservative candidate in Bath increased the chances for Cameron (spitzenkandidat for the Conservatives).
            In constituencies where no Conservative candidate was standing or had any chance it wasn’t possible to increase Cameron’s chances of course.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

            Except of course that people in Bath who voted Tory knew that if the Tories got enough seats then Cameron would be the Prime Minister, with very few exceptions, whereas many of the people across the EU who voted for EPP parties didn’t even know that the party that they voted for was an EPP party, and it was those voters who knew anything about the “Spitzencandidaten” who were the exceptions.

        • Timaction
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          When did we elect Junker? He’s the head of the dictatorship Peter.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            @Timaction: At the European Elections. Didn’t you see him campaigning??

          • stred
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

            Schultz was only elected by German socialist voters. Having more MEPs, they were able to choose him as President of the European Parliament. As President of the parliament, when it was not going his way, he was able to terminate a debate and vote on the trade deal with the US, which is of course being negotiated by the unelected Commission.

            Schultz also tried to become the President of the Commission. He initiated the EU approach to Ukraine 2 years ago. EU taxpayers now have to pay for that disaster. How to EU voters in general have any say in the appointment of such individuals to a position where they can cause so much damage to their interests?

          • Timaction
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

            No. It was reported we were 2 of 28 who didn’t want this fool. In fact never been allowed to vote on any of the Commissioners, hence, Dictatorship!”

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

            Timaction, Juncker is the President of the EU Commission because Major agreed that the EU Parliament would have a veto over that appointment and the MEPs agreed among themselves that it had to be him if the EPP won the greatest number of seats. And despite what Cameron said it was not a power grab, it was just a fuller exercise of power already granted by the governments of the member states through their treaties, and the original grant of that power was not through Lisbon, nor Nice, nor Amsterdam, for any of which the Tory party could blame the Labour party, but through Maastricht as agreed by the Tories under Major.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

            @stred: All these unelected ministers of the UK government take decisions all the time and can also be involved in negotiations. What’s the big difference?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

            @Timaction: there obviously WAS a vote, how otherwise could we know that it resulted in 26 for and 2 against? 🙂
            Apart from that , the European public made his party the largest party, just as the UK public made Cameron’s party the largest party.

        • David Price
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Do you only read the press that praises and never crticises the EU? Is the EU incapable of error, bad judgement or simple wrongheaded actions? Don’t be so purile.

          We only elect MEPs and they have no power or influence.

          The referendum lock you allude to is worthless, it hasn’t stopped the EAW for example and cannot de-construct the impact of the acquis communautaire ratchet, only leaving the EU treaties will do that.

          According to a recent paper from Business for Britain our subscription has increased by 200% over the last 10 years though our economy only grew by 14%. Our influence however has declined in the European Council (UK staff down from 9% to 5%), the EP (20% of votes down to 9.5%), the Council of Ministers (17% of votes down to 8%). From the BfB paper we have been unable to block a single proposal in the Council, this means that despite it being important enough for our representative to go so far as to block a proposal 55 times this has never happened. So despite such a huge increase in our contributions and costs we get almost no benefits or influence in return.

          Misunderstanding? So the EU did not appropriate our fishing grounds on our application, we haven’t lost our rights with the EAW, The EU has not continually sought to expand it’s competencies, the UK Attorney General did not accuse the EU in 2013 of attempting a power grab on the UK legal system, the EU did not attempt a power grab of UK ports, their administration and how they charge last year.

          Myths? The EP president’s statement that “the UK belongs to Europe” is a clear indication of attitude while the Treaty of Rome makes crystal clear the goal of the EU from the beginning as ever closer union, something our EU partners refuse to change.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

            @David Price: I have a lot of criticism about the EU and so does our press and so do many of our politicians, that is natural. I don’t think I was puerile here. The EAW existed before the referendum lock. The BfB document is a good thing for th eurosceptics. Let us see if more studies from the europhile side will be published ahead of your referendum. Britain wanted to (re)join the EAW, that is a UK decision! Britain is part of the EU which collectively decides about fishing policies and other policies. If you find cooperation difficult, then there is always article 50 in the TEU.
            A closer union between the “peoples” of Europe, can be interpreted in very soft ways. If you prefer animosity and hatred between the peoples of Europe, you and I would clearly have different ambitions.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          Peter vL

          Who is the leader of the opposition in the EU? By how many votes did he/she fail by in order to get the democratic vote. Where are the transcripts of the official leader of the oppositions speeches arguing for/against the rules/laws and directives passed by the EU?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 22, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian: the opposition depends on the subject matter debated, there is not just ONE leader of the opposition. That British democracy is less developed by comparison is not my fault. Always having the same opposition frankly sounds a little primitive. What happens when you oppositions agrees and part of the own backbenchers dissagree, making them the opposition for the item being discussed?

      • yosarion
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Lord Empey made a speach the other day in the Lords, in part of that speech he said that when he was an EUSSR puppet it was EUSSR policy to “promote and to Protect the regions,” say’s it all.

  8. Cheshire Girl
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    On Question Time on Thursday night, David Davies said it was ‘complete rubbish’ that we would lose thousands of jobs if we left the EU, and that is good enough for me. It was noticeable that most of the young people in the audience were in favour of staying in. If they are allowed to vote in the referendum, they, together with businesses, will in my opinion, ensure that we stay in. I think we will be ‘softened up between now and the referendum with constant reminders and dire predictions, as to what will happen if we vote to come out. I’m not hopeful as to the result.

    • Hope
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      5 percent of UK businesses export to the EU, 100 percent of business have to comply with EU rules and regulations!

      The UK is permanently a small outnumbered voice in the EU, 1/28. If the UK resumed its seat at the World Trade Organisation the UK would have a voice at the top table! The WTO would prevent punitive tarrifs or punishments by the EU on the UK, if the UK chose to leave the EU. The same as other countries around the world. The UK could negotiate its own trade deals with super powers that suited British business. Unlike now where it has to fall in with the interests of 27 other countries! Which actually might not be in the auK’s best interest.

      The UK does not have to be in a neo Soviet styled dictatorship to flourish. It is not in the UK interest to give up its independence and sovereignty for feigned prosperity of a single market. Which in any event the UK could be part of even outside the EU.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        Actually there is a job related issue with BREXIT. Trouble is the pro EU mob can’t tell you what it really is……but I can. We won’t loss one single JOB by BREXIT however we will LOSE 400,000 workers. Thats the real issue, but of course if they told you that the OUT vote would go through the roof so they make up a completely fabricated story about 3 million job losses. So next time one of them tell you that,you can tell them this. 85% of economic activity is WITHIN the UK. 9% of trade is with the EU and less than 4.7 % FOUR point Seven percent of UK companies trade with the EU.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

          Given that we elected the MPs who agreed that our government could allow and encourage mass immigration from other parts of the EU it would be totally unreasonable for us to then say that this was a mistake and they all had to leave, and moreover take their British-born children and any aged relations with them.

  9. Richard1
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Succinctly put. Could you at some point set out what you think an acceptable result of the renegotiation would look like which leaves the UK ‘in’ the EU? Or maybe there isn’t one – it’s a simple choice: in or out?

  10. Douglas Carter
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    …’It is enjoyably ironic to hear John Redwood, the turbo-Thatcherite former cabinet minister, expressing comradely solidarity with Greece’s Marxists.’… – Andrew Rawnsley.

    Generally my view is that any observer who uses the term ‘Europhobe’ is an imbecile, and Rawnsley uses the word gratifyingly early in this article, so as a whole this article has little merit, and that is in common with most articles from this writer these days.

    Thought you might wish to be made aware of this comment in case you might wish to pen a refutation of that John. Guardian articles on this subject lean very heavily on caricature and misdirection – Nick Cohen’s articles depend almost wholly on those tools. However, many readers of that Newspaper lap it all up as if it was gospel. I don’t mind having an honest and sober debate based upon actual facts, but if our opponents intend to subsist on a diet of such caricature, imbecilic language and long-disproven myths (…’three million jobs’….still clung to by Mr. Clegg…) then at least that ought to be pointed out to them in advance of the Campaigns to come? If they don’t wish to present themselves as credible, it’s reasonable to treat lend them that deserved mantle.

    • Michael Walzer
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      I am afraid people get the press that they deserve, the Daily Telegraph for the imbecile “intellectuals”on the right and the Guardian for the imbecile “intellectuals” on the left. And that is specially true of the commentators in both newspapers. Each tribe is blind to their own biases and very little sensible discussion is therefore possible.
      And do you really think that pouring your discontent (to stay polite) on this blog will make one iota of difference? I doubt it.

  11. agricola
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    The so called ,but as yet undefined re-negotiation, is down to the sincerity and honesty of one David Cameron. He generally tells people what they wish to hear so his speeches in Europe are often at variance with those he makes at home. Knowing that his stated aim is to keep us within the EU I doubt his intention to offer a fair ,open and honest referendum. His recent manoeuvring suggests he will use every dodge to ensure it is skewed.

    When there are off the shelf solutions in the event of a vote to leave, I feel that his re-negotiation is a smokescreen, designed to keep us in. As he will not tell us what he is re-negotiating, I doubt he will tell us what he has achieved outside a few bland assurances.

    The outcome will never be as good as EFTA/EEA for instance where the only item in need of change is free movement of people. This could become free movement of those we want. One thing is for sure, when the EU are in a corner they are happy to change the rules for their own convenience. Financial limits on economies being but one. Let’s see what they cobble together for Greece at the eleventh hour.

    It will be down to MP’s in Parliament being prepared to put our future before any party considerations. Very necessary when you have a government, civil service, EU, BBC and CBI all prepared to spend our money in shed loads, either directly from us or via the EU to keep us in. This is the responsibility for all MPs who believe in our sovereignty.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      I’ve been giving the EFTA/EEA option some thought, and while I have objections I am inclined to the pragmatic view that it may be the best option which could be offered as the alternative to EU membership and convince some sections of the electorate that it would be safe to vote to leave the EU, while also helping to ensure the willing co-operation of the other EU member states so we can make the transition. Regarding the problem of the freedom of movement of persons within the EEA, I think it has to be recognised that by the end of this decade the horse will have already well and truly bolted for mass immigration not just from the 2004 EU accession states but also from Romania and Bulgaria, and it would then be unjust, inhumane and impractical to start deporting people who have been so long legally settled here with the consent of our government and who in many cases have already started to put down roots with children at school and so on, so we will just have to try to make the best of what was undoubtedly a bad job. On the other hand we would have a veto on the accession of new member states to the EEA, which effectively would be pretty close to still having a veto on future enlargements of the EU despite no longer being a member of the EU, and we could possibly make our consent to any such enlargement conditional upon very long, or even open ended, transitional arrangements to restrict immigration from any poorer countries which may later join the EU.

  12. Alan
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I wish Mr Redwood would stop calling people who support being in the EU liars. I am not a liar.

    I do not argue that staying in the EU will establish an unchanging status quo. I do argue it is not “a wild ride to Brussels control, more EU interference, less UK democratic control”. I don’t think Mr Redwood is lying when he states that as a fact. I just think he is partly exaggerating, partly has a different interpretation of how the EU works, and partly has a different understanding of the effectiveness of UK democracy.

    I do think the EU provides a better way of running this part of the world than negotiations between about 30 nations. The total failure of that method was, in my view, horribly demonstrated in the first half of the twentieth century, and indeed at the beginning of the nineteenth. I appreciate other people may see history differently, but they shouldn’t say I am lying when I state my belief, just explain why they don’t believe it, or don’t think it relevant.

    Surely we should be able to discuss what is the better way ahead for the UK without resulting to abuse of our opponents? In the end, whoever wins the referendum, all of us in the UK ought to live together and it does not help that if we stir up animosities now. Some people, on both sides, will make statements that their opponents regard as untrue. Some statements will actually be untrue. But most false statements will, I think, be the result of false beliefs or poor logic, not of a deliberate attempt to deceive others. I think, we should treat people’s’ mistakes as misunderstandings or errors or differences of opinion, not as convincing evidence of evil intent.

    Having re-read what I have just written I wonder whether I am being a bit uncharitable to Mr Redwood. He clearly feels very strongly on this subject and has a need to express his view forcibly. Maybe I should be more thick-skinned about insults, that I realise he does not mean personally. But ‘liar’ in an unparliamentary word and I think it has become too common in current political discussions.

    • Douglas Carter
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      You’re being a tiny bit defensive.

      John isn’t calling people who support EU membership ‘liars’. He’s calling people who lie ‘liars’. He’s addressing the individuals and groups of whatever inclination or nature who use plainly falsified or discredited pseudo-factoids to justify their stance. In the main the use of such misdirection and misleading information goes unchallenged due to a media which won’t assimilate themselves with the detail needed.

      He’s also a person among similarly-minded individuals who have been saddled with insults such as ‘swivel-eyed loon’, ‘racist’, ‘xenophobe’, ‘anti-European’ et al, for unfashionably daring to critisize the construction of the Single Currency at the time it was being legislated for, and when something could have been done about it’s legion inbuilt weaknesses. Principled anti-EU campaigners have been compelled to put up with such language and practice for decades. That it needs to be pointed out will hopefully be noted by some on the opposing shores. But on personal historic observation, I won’t be holding my breath in anticipation.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Well, Alan, perhaps you could explain precisely what you think happened “in the first half of the twentieth century, and indeed at the beginning of the nineteenth”, which means that the British people, of all the peoples in the world, should have been prepared to surrender their national sovereignty and democracy.

      But I would advise you to be very careful with your words, because that line of argument may not only be double-edged but highly inflammatory.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 21, 2015 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: Most British will also realise that “surrender their national sovereignty and democracy” is a rather pathetic exaggeration, which would only be believed by those who repeat it endlessly. Sharing a small part of your sovereignty with many continental partners (only 13% of your legislation has an EU earmark) is a modern concept, only 60 years practiced and with rather great success, shown by the many countries that applied to join in that time. The comprehensive Balance of Competences study carried out by yourselves has shown that the current balance is more or less ok, and if a new treaty were to change that the British would get another referendum to stop that if they want to. Sharing is not surrendering as any child will tell you.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

          Firstly, it’s not 13%, it’s about half of our new laws are imposed by the EU counting all the regulations which have direct effect and in most cases don’t have to go anywhere near Parliament, not even to be nodded through, plus there are the ECJ judgements and the EU influence pervading many other laws.

          Secondly even if it was just a single law being imposed against the will of our sovereign Parliament, because it no longer has the right to veto it, then that would be unacceptable.

          Thirdly if the Dutch people truly wish for the extinction of their country as a sovereign state and its legal subordination within a pan-European federation then that is up to them; I would only note that when it came to voting on the EU Constitution the majority did not seem to share your enthusiasm for that prospect.

        • Timaction
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

          65% and Dictator Redding says more! Forget the balance of competencies rubbish. We don’t want to be a star on YOUR flag!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

            I saw Boris Johnson saying in the Telegraph:

            “It has been recently estimated by the parliamentary authorities that about 65 per cent of all legislation passing through Westminster either originates in or is heavily influenced by Brussels.”

            But as worded I think that must be incorrect, given that so much EU legislation in the form of regulations has direct effect and immediately becomes law in this country without
            ever “passing through Westminster”.

        • David Price
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          Are you really expecting people to believe such twaddle that many countries joined the Eu to share their individual sovereignty? You don’t think the free money the EU offered them as net recipients wasn’t attractive?

          I am c0nfident you haven’t read the balance of competences review or if you have you seem to think no one else has. There is no single view that it is “more or less ok” as you put it. For example, on the single market, which was what we were sold as the basis of entry, the observati0n of the legal regime supporting the single market is that;

          “The evidence also indicates that the standard of implementation and enforcement of legislation varies greatly across the EU and that this forms a significant barrier to UK firms’ ability to take advantage of the Single Market’s opportunities in practice”

          That sounds like a “very not ok” perspective to me.

          Even if the civil servants were “ok” with the situation in various areas what makes you think the private sector and private citizen are so accepting and sanguine.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          Peter vL

          Not sure what rock you’ve been living under if you think sharing your sovereignty is a modern concept. I guess you never heard of the British Empire ( Victorian), The Soviet Union CCCP (early 20th Century )etc etc. Imperialism is dead, technology superseded the need for large conglomerate government. You seem also blissfully unaware that whilst some very poor and impoverished governments would like to suckle at the teat of German taxpayers and wish to join the EU there are currently 19 separatist movements in Europe demanding autonomy.

          Sharing is voluntary and done willingly and does not need to be forced by law as all children also know. Sharing involves sharing and NOT taking something away and giving it to someone else ( thats called socialism, not sharing)

      • Alan
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        I was referring to the two world wars in the twentieth century and the Napoleonic wars in the nineteenth.

        The world wars were, I think, partly brought about by a failure of communication between the European nations and a willingness to resolve differences by war.

        It can be argued that the Napoleonic and the European wars of the 18th century maybe illustrate that using war to establish how Europe should be run never produced a satisfactory conclusion and cost many lives and much misery. The diplomatic negotiations after the Napoleonic wars did a better job but their benefits were thrown away when France and Germany decided that war was a better method of furthering their ambitions.

        But I agree that the lessons of history are nearly always double-edged. You could argue that Britain would be better off if it had never taken part in the European wars of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Presumably that would have resulted in a French empire covering much of western Europe that would have become tyrannical, then been overthrown by revolution, and then become a democratic western European superstate, but I don’t know anything like enough history to argue that.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          Alan, you have to go back to the early 17th century to find England launching any war of aggression on the continent – elsewhere in the world, yes, but not on the continent – since when English or British
          involvement in continental wars has been basically defensive in nature, reacting to the aggression of other countries and of course one in particular in the last century, and at great cost in lives and money. If to prevent it starting another war any of the countries in Europe deserved to be stripped of its sovereignty and have its territory permanently placed under the control of foreign powers and preferably dismembered then I think we both know which one that would be, and it would not be us.

    • Hope
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Not correct. The FCO paper makes it perfectly clear deceit was at the heart of the stealth to closer ever Union to create the EU superstate. Suggest you read it. Contrary to your charitable view on life politicos have lied to achieve their aim.

      • Alan
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        What FCO paper?

        From what I remember of the previous referendum there was plenty of discussion about the extent to which we were losing sovereignty. I don’t remember much discussion centred on the construction of a fully integrated superstate. It seemed a remote possibility at the time, but then that was 40 years ago. It’s not surprising that things have become clearer since then.

        • Timaction
          Posted June 22, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

          30/1048 from 1971. Read it and weep.

      • Chris S
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        I totally agree.

        Prime Ministers have lied aboutr the EU starting with Edward Heath whose onw memoirs confirm that he knew all about “Ever Closer Union but deliberately lied about it.

        With the possible exception of Margaret Thatcher, who must have thought she would be able to keep Britain’s involvement under control by sheer stregtrh of willpower every PM since has maintained the lie to the British people that we were / are not on a one way ticket to integration.

        Some, like Blair, clearly had no problem with it surrendewring vetoes and giving away our hard-won rebates for vague promises over agricultural reforms that the French would ensure were never going to be delivered.

        Cameron has, to his credit not peddled the same line and does at least say that the current deal is unacceptable. However, the jury is out.

        He needs to negotiate some meaningful opt outs and future guarantees which are, frankly looking impossible to deliver. We will have to see what he achieves and how he presents them in the referendum debate.

        I doubt whether he will even attempt to lie because the No lobby will be full of vocal people like us and led by intelligent, well regarded politicians such as our host.

        The Yes lobby will have to resort to fear and spin to win the argument but unfortunately the outcome is somewhat stacked against us.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      I’m quite happy to call anyone who claims ‘3 million’ jobs depend on our Eu membership liars. Chris Bryant Mp on BBC question time suggested car manufacturing jobs in his area would be at risk if we withdraw from the Eu – he is another stranger to the truth on the Europhile side in a very crowded field.

    • petermartin2001
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink


      I wouldn’t normally use the word ‘liar’ myself, at least not lightly, but if we look back at what was said by the YES campaign in 1975 then I think we all can see that we were lied to then, and we’ll very likely be lied to again in 2016/17. On the other hand, the arguments of the then NO campaign have turned out to be an understatement.

      The consequence of that YES vote were much further reaching than we were assured it would be. Why would you expect it to be any different next time?

  13. Excalibur
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    A vivid and accurate interpretation, JR. Meanwhile the ‘Telegraph’ reports that an agency has been hired to launch a PR and advertising offensive to publicise the merits of leaving the EU. It is gratifyuing to learn that the BBC, and political fellow travellers of all parties, will not have it all their own way.

    The ‘Telegraph’ also reports that campaigners are demanding ‘an immediate review’ of the Royal family’s contribution to ‘austerity’. It confirms, for me, that the English, riven by divisions of class, political ideology and envy, are among the meanest people on the planet.

  14. JoeSoap
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I really don’t understand why you remain in a party wedded to renegotiating a few details and staying in the EU when this is your view.

    Cameron has already proposed
    -a biased referendum question
    -no halt to funding to support a Yes vote
    -that he prefers to stay in and questions any need for treaty changes, let alone leaving them.

    Had you persuaded others of a similar mind 1,2,3,4 or 5 years ago to quit and join a party who supported this point of view, we might now be in a different place. As it is, you are playing for Chelsea but cheering for Man U.

    • Hope
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      And purdah as well!

      A bit like cleaning up Westminster or his recent speech about corruption. All hot air and no substance. etc ed

  15. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The concept of renegotiation remains totally flawed, just as the EU and most visibly the Euro are. It is a political expedient for Mr. Cameron that has developed a life of its own. Any genuine negotiator has a serious list of requirements, perhaps his has eluded me. A serious list would negate any viable negotiation e.g exit from CAP and CFP so his evolving notions of removing us from the EU undemocratic stranglehold remain delusionary. Already he is biasing the debate with the referendum question wording, non purdah and funding, all of which will gather pace as the vested interests fully declare their hands and financing.
    Generally as a great admirer of your reasoning and logic I remain baffled how you are still taken with the Cameron line. I feel it is time the EU out Conservative MPs took the gloves off with Cameron as I wrote a few weeks back to which you replied in a very dismissive fashion. Unless he is made aware that the playing field has to be totally level the chances of a fair debate and the full implications for future generations being revealed are small and the UK staying in large.

    Reply I want to win the referendum – you seem to want to narrow the appeal of Euroscepticism to a small group of people who pass your purity test

  16. James Winfield
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    So those who disagree with you will be proposing “all kind of lies” and those who agree with you will just be dealing with cold, hard facts?

    • matthu
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately they do have form.

  17. Matt
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I’ve spent a fair amount of my time over the last week debating this with pro-EU folk and undecideds on my favourite on-line forum. It’s quite depressing.
    They dismiss the “ever closer union” thing as they think we’re out of that by being out of the EURO and the financial transaction tax. They also think it’s just words and has no legal status.
    They think it’s straightforward to get powers back, and they think that a transferred competence is less significant than transferred power as it supposedly only applies to trans-national matters. I used the renewable energy directive as an example that it’s not but I didn’t really get anywhere.
    They trust the referendum lock to hold back future power transfers to Brussels. I pointed out that we just recently opted into the criminal justice measures in Lisbon and that a future UK government can ignore or repeal the referendum lock on a whim. Didn’t seem to help.

    There are plenty of potential undecideds who have been scared into voting for In because they don’t want to risk economic upheaval.
    Above all the pro-EU people keep telling me that we’re going to stay in the EEC either way so there’s no escaping EU directives, or fees; so what’s the point in giving up our voting power. I didn’t think we had to stay in the EEC, but they won’t have any of it. They tell me that if were not in the EEC, all we get is WTO rules. That’s nonsense, but it’s hard to prove that.

    They also labour under the delusion that without the EU, there would be a substantial failure to cooperate amongst European nations when it is their best interests to do so.

    Any tips from our host or other eurosceptics here?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      “They also think it’s just words and has no legal status.”

      It’s a solemn commitment stated in the very first line of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, and still preserved in the present treaties, and reiterated in the preamble to the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, also preserved in the present treaties.

      In case anyone claims that these preambles are not parts of the EU treaties, an argument I have heard in the past, then the answer is that the preamble to a treaty is always treated as being part of the treaty, see for example Article 31(2) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties:

      “The context for the purpose of the interpretation of a treaty shall comprise, in addition to the text, including its preamble and annexes: …”

      If your interlocutors still believe that these parts of the EU treaties, these solemn statements of determination on the part of all the EU member states, are no more than words with no legal status, what do they think about other parts of the EU treaties? For example, what do they think about the words in the UK’s euro opt out protocol, stated to be an integral part of the treaties, which they think in some mysterious way also opts us out of the general commitment to a process “ever closer union”? Do they think that protocol has no legal status?

      In fact the positioning of this commitment in the preamble means that it must be given high priority in the interpretation of the rest of the treaties, and that is just what happens. The members of the EU Commission, which regards itself as the “guardian of the treaties”, look at that first line in the 1957 treaty which created their institution and quite correctly they take it as a direction from the member state governments on how they should proceed, and so they seek to perform that duty, and likewise the lawyers on the EU Court of Justice, which is the final arbiter on the interpretation of the EU treaties and laws, believe that they are doing no more than loyally complying with the collective will of the governments, as expressed through their treaties, when they weight all their judgements in the direction of promoting “ever closer union”.

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I repeat again that if we are so foolish as to vote to remain in the EU the next step will be adoption of the €. This is inevitable unless the € ceases to exist before then. There is no way that two countries, UK and Denmark, will have any meaningful role in the EU when all other members are either already in or obliged to join. This point should be brought out clerly in the debate and those in favour of staying in should be confronted with this.
    The positive case in this referendum is the one that sees this country once more independent, self-governing and trading with the world. In fact, showing the world, once more, that we believe in democratic governance not dictatorial rule by those over whom we have no ability to elect or remove from office.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      I think you can probably discount Denmark, most of whose political elite are still firmly wedded to the idea of joining the euro and are only being held back for the time being by the need to convince the Danes in a referendum. In the end if they cannot get popular consent they will find some crooked way to dispense with that requirement and join the euro whether the people like it or not. That is how the EU works, as we know.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      Thanks; that makes UK position 1 in 28.
      You could say that political leaders of the UK’s main Westminster parties share the same position as Denmark, just not telling us yet.

  19. Bill
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this.

    1. Can I suggest that someone needs to deconstruct and expose the oft-repeated Nick Clegg view that x thousands of jobs are dependent on our membership of the EU? What is the basis for this calculation? Show us how the figure is reached.

    2. Can I suggest that the remarks of political speakers from net-recipient countries like Poland be treated very differently from those of net-donor countries like Germany?

    3. Can we treat any remark made by any member of the Kinnock family with suspicion?

    • Ken Moore
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      The ‘3 million jobs myth’ has already been comprehensively debunked by the Institute of EconomicAaffairs in a recent report. Turns out that the claim was a politically driven pile of tosh to aid the threadbare arguments of the Europhile camp :-

      “It can be said with certainty that three to four million jobs are not at risk in the event of a Brexit. It’s high time that politicians and commentators stopped scaremongering, and recognised that jobs are associated with trade and not the membership of a political union.

      Are they listening.. Mr Clarke and Mr Bryant..or Mr Clegg ?

    • David Price
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      On item 1 it appears the “3m jobs at risk” is a misrepresentation of a decade+ guesstimate from the Treasury which takes the proportion of output that goes to the EU and applies that proportion to the number of people employed here. The Treasury clearly stated that it is not the impact of EU membership on jobs.

      Here is one perspective on the matter –

      On item 2 I believe Germany and the Netherlands get a rebate on the extra they have to pay because of the UK rebate whereas if we stopped paying their obligation would be much greater. I don’t think you can therefore view the opinions of Germany and the Netherlands as more objective than the net recpients.

      On item 3, I always have.

  20. Sean
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Tell us something new, we have known that the EU were plotting to build their empire, yet we were called little Englanders. I foresee a lot of unrest in the future, mostly down to the stupid party ( Labour ) yet the Tories aren’t far behind them.

  21. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    “Leaving the current treaties is not turning our back on Europe or saying good bye to French wine…….ah but:

    They are after killing our cider making and its export for sure. Ships to USA and Russia. My local wine/cider maker is to expand numbers of apple trees and related jobs. This combines a number of nearby growers/brewers of Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

    I think Brown lowered taxes on certain cider volume producers and then along comes the one fits all gang negating major effort and investment. Its a real problem when natural CO2 produces big crop yields…my strawberries are on schedule and very big. Or was it the black gold or both?

  22. Jerry
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    “Those who want to stay in the current EU will seek to pose as the champions of the status quo. They will doubtless propose all sorts of lies over what might happen if we left.”

    I have not met a europhile who has lied, they are quite open about wanting “more Europe”, of course few have been as open as the former MP for Rotherham was (and probably still is)! On the other hand I have met quite a few europhobes who have proposed all sorts of lies over what might happen if do not leave, from being over run by migrants to being ruled from/by Germany.

    “The true choice is rather different. If you vote to stay in under the current treaties you will be taken for a ride to political union. Being in is not a stable status quo, but a wild ride to more Brussels control, more EU interference, less UK democratic power.”

    No doubt the same was argued by some in Texas before and during 1845 with regards the “Union”. Is anyone, other than some within the Tory and Labour parties, actually trying to hide the fact that continued membership of the EU will mean further political and socail assimilation and integration with mainland Europe?

    “Leaving the current treaties is not turning our back on Europe or saying good bye to French wine, German cars, and trips to the Spanish costas. Our trade is not at risk, our travel will not be impeded, our friendships will not be altered.”

    Yet some within the Brexit camp seem reluctant to put the economic argument, preferring -as I’ve said before- woolly semantics about “Sovereignty”, when it means a million different things to different people – hence why some believe that the UK is now a disunited Kingdom from Lands End to John o’ Groats and beyond.

    “[the EU] is progress towards ever closer union, or the road to a single state.”

    We’re back to what many Texans probably thought about the “Union” in the mid to late 1800s, yet the Texan economy today is the second largest in the USA, whilst producing several presidents of the Union. Without a coherent and overwhelming economic argument I doubt many floating voters will choose the Brexit option, and a opinion poll [1] (I know, but if Denis Cooper can cite then as a ‘fact’…) by Ipsos MORI on Friday showed that 66% would vote to stay in.

    [1] Reuters: British support to stay in EU at highest level in 24 years – poll

    • Edward2
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      I remember many “lies” from Europhiles Jerry over the decades.
      From Heath assuring us it was just a common market and it would not reduce our powers to govern ourselves, to other who claimed we would always have the power to veto EU legislation, to others who claimed major treaties were minor tidying exercises, to those who repeatedly said we would retain control over our borders.
      The list of misinformation goes on and on.
      Those who spoke out at the time were abused by the pro EU establishment and called little englanders etc.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      “When asked about preferences for Britain’s future role in Europe, one in three (33%) would like to return to being part of an economic community, without political links, while 31% would like it to remain broadly as it is at present. Fourteen percent would like closer political and economic integration and 13% would like to leave the EU altogether.”

      The question is whether when it comes to the actual vote – in the future, not now as asked in that opinion poll – the 33% and the 31% will fully understand that nothing agreed by Cameron will give them what they want, instead it will be the 14% who still have cause for satisfaction.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:33 am | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper; Err, the only groups who will not get fully what they want will be the 13% who wish to leave come what may, the only question is now many of the 33% (broadly happy but want a less political EU) will feel the need to bolster the ranks of the Brexit group, but even if every single one of them did so that is still only 46% for a Brexit… Thus the vote will be decided by the “don’t knows”, and by definition they are not particularly (pan-)nationalistic political people (otherwise they would already be in either the Brexit or Pro-EU groups) so only a strongly made economic argument is likely to cause then to become ‘decided voters’ rather than stay at home non voters.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          You seem to have completely missed the main point of JR’s article:
          that under the present EU treaties there is no static status quo, it is an inexorable process of integration rather than any kind of final settlement. So unless that is changed the 31% who would like the EU “to remain broadly as it is at present” will also not get what they want, whether or not they realise that before they vote.

          There is another poll today:

          which has support for a Yes to the government’s preferred question at 55% and support for a No at 45%.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 24, 2015 at 6:29 am | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; On the other hand Denis you seem to think that any, including our own, political entity is a “static status quo”, never evolving, what has been will be what will always be just so! Are most peo0ple like you, I don’t think they are, simply because most are not obsessive nor dogmatic in their politics – yes perhaps they are willing to be lied to, but by who, willing to lead down the garden path to see the fairies and Nirvana, but again by who…

            People 40 tears ago might have been sold a lie about a “Common Market”, but there can’t be many in the last 20 years who have not tumbled to the political nature of the EU, heck the EU its self has not been hiding their wish for a ever greater political. legal; and socail union.

            As for the cited opinion poll, quite possible, which just re-enforces what I said about floating/stay-at-home voters and thus the need to a strong economic argument as those people by definition are not strongly (pan-)nationalistic in their thinking meaning that woolly semantics about who runs the England, Scotland, Wales and NI are irrelevant.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 24, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, if people sampled in an opinion poll say that they would like the EU “to remain broadly as it is at present” then presumably that is what they want, for the EU “to remain broadly as it is at present”; not for the EU “to continue to evolve into something radically different from what it is at present, thereby fulfilling the hidden potential of the EU treaties about which they know little”.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 24, 2015 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; Ambiguous or what, “to remain broadly as it is at present” can have at least two different meanings, to stop and thus stay as things are now (in the same way as Nelsons Column does), or keep travelling along the current road to the pre-prescribed destination – and as I’ve said, and you have not disagreed, the EU’s road map of ever closer (political and socail) union has been well publicised for at least the last 10 to 15 years [1] at least, and quite possibly the last 25 years considering what Mrs Thatcher said about the Delors commission.

            To a eurosceptic their answer will mean STOP!
            To a europhile their answer will mean Keep travelling.

            [1] the Constitution for Europe

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 25, 2015 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

            Wriggle as you may, Jerry, the fact is that the question was whether they wanted the EU to stay the same, not whether they wanted the EU treaties to stay the same.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 7:56 pm | Permalink


      just about every pro EU politician has said that UK will lose 3 million jobs on exit, that IS A LIE. There is not one shred of evidence , not any likelihood whatsoever of that happening. You never heard the phrase In Europe not ruled by Europe thats another lie. Blimey mate you are on sticky wicket there.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:16 am | Permalink

        @libertarian; “just about every pro EU politician has said that UK will lose 3 million jobs on exit, that IS A LIE.”

        Indeed it is an example of how the europhobes twist what has been said to suit their own agenda! What europhiles and pro EU politician actuality say is “3m jobs will be at risk” from a Brexit, not quite the same.

        There is not one shred of evidence , not any likelihood whatsoever of that happening.”

        Yeah and in 1984 the government said that they had no plans to close 70+ pits, the rest is history as they say – mind if I take your ultra-capitalist proclamations with a pinch of salt! Even more so when many of the decisions that will affect such jobs will be made in non UK boardrooms away from the influence of UK politicos etc. One only has to look at the way Ford chose to move its Transit van factory, and that happened whilst the UK is still all but a full member of the EU.

        “You never heard the phrase In Europe not ruled by Europe thats another lie.”

        That is a bit like saying Texas is in the USA but not ruled by the Congress or the White House! Their trick is to have influence in both and thus get what is good for Texas – something the UK is not very good at within the EU due to having been at least halfway out of the door for most of the last 20 years, if not 40.

        “Blimey mate you are on sticky wicket there.”

        Not as sticky as the wicket the ultra-capitalist europhobes will be on if they can’t come up with a strong economic argument for a Brexit by the referendum…

        • David Price
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          The “3m jobs” comes from a December 2003 Treasury guesstimate of jobs linked to exports to the EU, specifically;

          Ruth Kelly: The Treasury estimates that 3 million jobs in the UK are linked, directly and indirectly, to the export of goods and services to the European Union. This figure is based on the assumption that the share of total UK employment associated with UK exports to the EU is equal to the share of total UK value added (GVA) generated by UK exports to the EU. The information necessary to apply the same method to derive comparable estimates for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is not available.”

          The guestimate did not say the jobs are “at risk” merely linked and as this number was not based on real analysis of real jobs there can be no assessment of risk.

          So the EUphiles are twisting what was said to suit their agenda

          • Jerry
            Posted June 24, 2015 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

            @David Price; “The guestimate did not say the jobs are “at risk” merely linked and as this number was not based on real analysis of real jobs there can be no assessment of risk.

            So the EUphiles are twisting what was said to suit their agenda”

            As are the europhobes too then if “there can be no assessment of risk”…!

            One fact is known and remains (and it is a fact), a lot of those 3m jobs are in companies and industries were management and/or (dis)investment decisions are taken outside of the UK, or are in UK owned and managed companies whose contracts arereliant on those non UK based companies. If a company in Germany needs a million widgets a week (JITM) to keep their own staff and production flowing, it will not matter to them if they contract out the supply of those widgets to a company in the UK or a company in say Spain, put any possible complication in their way and that German company WILL go with the safer option.

            Reply The UK would not suddenly become unsafe outside the EU

          • Jerry
            Posted June 25, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

            @JR reply; May-be and hopefully not, but that assessment is not up to us here in the UK to make that judgement call, it will be for those outside of the UK.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          Clegg said in the election debate on TV that 3 million jobs will be lost if we leave the EU.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Any advance on (a provable) single person – anyone?…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            Jerry you actually stated in your post:-
            “What europhiles and pro EU politician actuality say is “3m jobs will be at risk” from a Brexit, not quite the same.”

            My quick example shows this is not correct.
            I can give you other quotes but Clegg was one of the more important pro EU voices as Deputy Prime Minister in the Coalition Government

          • Jerry
            Posted June 24, 2015 at 6:40 am | Permalink

            @Eward2; Then go ahead, if you can cite such naming and shaming then I’m sure our host will not have problems…

            My point is that there has been anything from blatant lies to miss-speaks, never mind miss-quotations, on both sides of the debate – lets not allow the forthcoming referendum debate to become bogged down in claim and counter claims about whop said what when and where, no surer way of ‘average Pleb’ to switch off and that can only be a disaster for the Brexit group.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

            I would refer you to my post directly above Jerry.
            Simply that what you said was not correct.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 24, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; What ever, but I’m sure that any europhile will equal or better your one examp0le of “a lie” with something some europhobe has said, nor have you shown that it wasn’t just a miss-speek either – and let’s not get bogged down in what was said in TV debates as there was a certain europhobic party leader who said some rather unpalatable (and damaging to the anti EU cause) things in the heat of the moment that were later retracted with apologies.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 25, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

            That is a straw man argument Jerry.

            Remember you claimed the 3million statement which is an important propaganda plank for pro EU people, was never said and that just ” at risk” was what they said.

            This is not correct as I pointed out with one simple example of many available.

            It would be good if just once you recognised you were wrong.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 25, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Remember you claimed the 3million statement”

            No I did not, libertarian did, try actually reading the debate…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 25, 2015 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

            This is your original reply to libertarian who originally said pro Europeans were saying 3 million jobs will be lost:-

            “What europhiles and pro EU politician actuality say is “3m jobs will be at risk” from a Brexit, not quite the same.

            It has been shown that libertarian was right when he said what he said.
            Again I say it would be nice if you would recognise this fact for once.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 10:32 am | Permalink

          Clegg said 3 million jobs will be lost if we leave the EU during the televised election debates.

  23. formula57
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Well said!

    Consider though that many people might be content to “be taken for a ride to political union”, enticed by the prospect of a strong EU, powerful in the world, for they suppose that (1) there would be a satisfactory end, that the EU could create a demos and unified political culture, and (2) they and the UK as a whole could rest content in whatever was the result.

    The EU’s anti-democratic culture and the huge difficulties resting on cultural, political, economic, and historical differences that will likely frustrate the creation of any political union worth its name might need to be explained too.

  24. Hope
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Excellent article by Simon Hefer in the DT. Articulated very well the futile endeavours of Cameron against the Soviet styled bullies of Brussels.

    Good to see business leaders creating their own campaign. It will give credibility to ordinary people who do not trust politicians. People like you JR need to get involved in the background to advise.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      @Hope; Excellent article by Simon Hefer in the DT

      Anything you want to hear will be “Excellent”, whether it is actually or not!

      Oh and ask the average ex-citizen of the GDR, who was an adult before 1990, is they think the eurocrats in Brussels are anything like the Soviet styled bullies they tried not to cross on a daily bases, if they valued what little freedoms they had if not their lives – (Mr Heffer and friends ed) they lack any credible argument… 🙁

      • David Price
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        First Texas and now the GDR? We are not talking about the GDR who may have gained a lot compared to their previous experiences. The only concern here is what people in this country believe and how they compare the situation now with what there was before.

        Perhaps you should ask those of us who were fishermen, steel workers in Corus, those with families in the Commonwealth, those in SMEs who have attempted to do business in the EU …

        • Jerry
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:46 am | Permalink

          @David Price; I wasn’t the one to bring “Soviet styled bullies” into the debate, I was merely replying. Oh and as if the Europhobes do not use examples of other countries to illustrate their arguments, even the USA at times, especially the USA, a favoured location for the UKIP leader to be interviewed by their right wing media no less…

          • David Price
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

            Surprised you didn’t try to bring California in to the discussion, but then you’d have to contend with the inimitable Zorro so I guess it’s understandable.

  25. Bert Young
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more . The Brussels controls and edicts are not for us ; our independence and democracy are the uppermost of my concerns and I want no outside interference in our way of life . We created an international voice of our own a long time ago and our customs and procedures have been models for the world to follow ; co-existence is part of our national characteristic particularly with other European countries . In my working life I had offices in London , the USA , Brussels , Amsterdam , Paris , Frankfurt , Lausanne and Tokyo all of which worked harmoniously together serving international clients ; there was never any interference from anyone anywhere .

    Voices that cry claiming we will suffer if we withdraw from the EU have little experience in international affairs ; if you do something that is worthwhile , is valued , is competitive , maintains leading edge technology and is inspirational , you know full well it will be demanded . We have not lost that condition and the world is our customer . The sooner we return to our own controls the better .

  26. Kenneth
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    The problem for those who want is to stay in is that most of their arguments are abstract as they cannot point to anything that the eu has done that has helped the UK. Unfortunately for them, the list of the damage done by the eu is tangible and very real.

    I would suggest that, whenever the OUTs and INs are brought together in debate, the IN-ers are asked one simple question: list all of the eu’s achievements

    In their efforts to find something tangible, they are reduced to saying that the eu lowered roaming telephone charges and reduced aeroplane ticket prices.

    Is that it? It looks like it. 2 pieces of false economy market intervention are all that the IN-ers can point to.

    The rest is all abstract theory with no proof:

    I admit, as we have been in the eu for so long, all of the OUT arguments are theoretic. However, just look at the problems caused by the eu:

    The catastrophic unemployment rates across Europe
    The tension between the richer and poorer countries
    The inability of people to exercise their democratic will
    The rise of extremism
    The high levels of immigration
    The high cost of energy
    High costs to small and medium sized businesses
    High tax rates

    These are tangibles and not just abstract. In order to provide positive arguments, all we need to do is reverse the above list to see what life would be like outside of the eu:

    Less unemployment
    Improved co-operation between nations
    Restored democracy, less extremism
    Reduced immigration
    Lower energy bills
    Lower costs to small and medium sized businesses
    Lower taxes

    There are hardly any positive tangible arguments on either side. However there are plenty of tangible negative effects of staying in. As such, the OUT-ers have a much more positive story to tell.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      @Kenneth; It would not need more than a few words changed/added and those lists might be describing the USA (and any other developed economy in the free world), you seem to have listed the definition of economic downturns and upturns in ther capitalist world!

      • Kenneth
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, whether I agree with you or not (which I largely do not), the fact is that most nations have a list of good things to go alongside the bad things.

        We tend to see a state’s main roles as security and economy, yet the eu has made both of these worse. By contrast (and taking your example), the U.S., for all its faults, has provided a decent economy and security for its citizens over many years.

        NB Even today, we have the real threat that Greece may look towards Russia (something that Churchill took great efforts to avoid) and, due to the Euro crisis, a real possibility that the NATO covenant could be broken in an emergency, such are the bad relations between Greece and some Eastern European states.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

          @Kenneth; “the U.S., for all its faults, has provided a decent economy and security for its citizens over many years.”

          Has it?… The entire U.S. southern boarder with Mexico is as porous as a sieve, probably more so than the EU’s boarders, whilst there are whole swathes of the world were citizens of the USA need to tread very carefully is at all, and in the last 30 odd years they have had to deal with home grown security risks just as any other country, such as the Oklahoma bomb to the Boston bombs etc. and now the atrocity of a few days ago in SC. The USA have also had both housing bubble crash, the last one leading to the start of their banking crisis, along with a reoccurring problem with relatively high rates of unemployment – not helped by much totally decrepit industries, such as their motor industry of old.

          “NB Even today, we have the real threat that Greece may look towards Russia (something that Churchill took great efforts to avoid) and, due to the Euro crisis,”

          But that has not been brought about my the mere existence of the Euro nor the EU, had Greece not been in the EU or the EZ they could have found themselves ion the same state due to over eager bankers and financiers, Greece will not the first ever country to default on its debts should that be the road it is forced.

          “a real possibility that the NATO covenant could be broken in an emergency, such are the bad relations between Greece and some Eastern European states.”

          Well that has always been on the cards, it was one of the arguments those on the hard left (such a Tony Benn) used, posing questions such as would the USA really risk it’s own people and homeland if a limited nuclear attack upon western Europe by the Soviet block ever happen thus breaching tyhe NATO covenant. So I’m not quite sure what your point was, other than perhaps to suggest that Europe, never mind the world, is a very different place to the one Churchill departed 50 years ago.

        • Ted Monbiot
          Posted June 24, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          I agree Kenneth in particular with your point about the USA.

  27. sjb
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    JR wrote: They [pro-EU supporters] will doubtless propose all sorts of lies over what might happen if we left.

    Well, an effective rebuttal would be to provide authoritative details about what life would be like outside the EU. Consider trade; why not get an independent organisation to canvass the opinion of one hundred exporters on the new procedures they will need to adopt to trade with China, EU, India, US etc.

  28. Pete
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    If we are worried about sovereignty in our own country why is the UK government in favour of TTIP? That agreement totally negates national laws in favour of large US corporations that can sue any government that passes or enforces laws that disadvantage them. Are to vote to leave the EU in order to run our own lives only to give it away to big business?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      “If we are worried about sovereignty in our own country why is the UK government in favour of TTIP?”

      Obvious, because unlike those of us who are still worried about sovereignty in our country the UK government is not, and has not been for half a century.

  29. Shieldsman
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Totally agree, status quo will mean a wild ride to more Brussels control, more EU interference, less UK democratic power. There will be more and more areas where UK voters will not be able to elect politicians to Westminster to settle matters for them as they wish.

    I am at a loss to understand why the Labour Party wishes to remain in the EU. They are are ignoring what their grassroots told them when canvassed on the doorstep for the GE.

    Left wing groupings including the Unions are anti TTIP, but can only lobby in the European Parliament. Labour MP’s have no say in this foreign Parliament.

    In two major speeches the Labour leadership admitted mistakes in past immigration policy. They promised to regain control of our Borders, even carving it in stone ‘Controls on Immigration’.
    Article 45 – Freedom of movement and of residence is part and parcel of the Lisbon Treaty and EU Membership.
    They castigated David Cameron saying: David Cameron made a promise before the last election. “No ifs, no buts”, he said. He told us he would get net migration down to the tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands.

    This was part of his contract with the country. He even invited us to kick him out of office in five years if he didn’t deliver. But net migration rose to 298,000 last year. That’s a rise of 50,000 since 2010.

    Martin Schulz President of the European Parliament made a speech on Freedom of Movement and EU Citizenship three days ago. Article 45 – Freedom of movement and of residence was not specifically mentioned. Some of the claims suggesting that leaving the EU would impact on freedom of travel and UK revenue are questionable. However did we manage to holiday and live and work on the Continent prior to the EU?

    No Prime Minister can control our borders with Europe whilst in EU membership. Immigrants from Africa and Asia crossing the Mediterranean once granted citizenship can enjoy their rights under Article 45. Social benefits may be a pull factor, but lack of them will not stop the human flow.

  30. acorn
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    “It is as if Europe has determined that elected finance ministers are not up to the task of mastering the technical details; a task best left to “experts” representing not voters but the institutions. One can only wonder to what extent such an arrangement is efficient, let alone remotely democratic.” (Yanis Varoufakis).

    • Jerry
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      @acorn; Funny, I seem to remember the UK Labour Party making our BoE independent of government, cheered on (eventually) by the Tories, and thus allowing unelected “experts” to set significant economic policies were the democratic will of the people might actually be different – of course this ‘independence’ might just be all smoke and mirrors. Thus I’m not sure what your point was?…

      Reply Conservatives exposed and opposed stripping the Bank of bank regulation as part of so called Bank independence.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        @JR reply; So presumably I missed (both in 2010 and 2015) the manifesto pledges to reverse those Labour changes to how the BoE operates then? Or perhaps it will be the surprise announcement within the forthcoming emergency budget then, seeing the Conservatives were and presumably still are against such changes, considering that they now have a clear majority to make any changes they feel is in the best interest of the country. If nothing changes then it is fair to say that the current Conservative front bench do not think to dimly of those Labour changes!

        Reply We did reverse those changes in 2010! We abolished the FSA and the tripartite arrangement, and gave full powers of bank regulation back to the Bank of England. Do try and follow the topic if you want to comment.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:55 am | Permalink

          @JR reply; So the BoE in back under direct control; of the UK government, thus Mr Osborne directly sets UK interest rates and the such, as was pre-1997 ?

          “Do try and follow the topic if you want to comment.”

          I might be very rude and suggest the same of you Mr Redwood, I was not talking about banking regulation but the status of the BoE.

          Reply In 2015 The Bank of England maintained its independence on interest rates, and regained its powers over banking regulation that Mr Brown took away

      • acorn
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        The point is, the situation has arisen because western style politicians, must always have at least one, preferably two, Quangos between themselves and any possibility of blame, should something go mammaries up.

        Varoufakis is an academic, who has written some interesting books. He has never had to deal closely with the species of reptile that become western politicians; congenital liars and fakers.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:59 am | Permalink

          @acorn; So he is a academic “theorist” then, unlike both Friedman and Keynes for example!

  31. Julian
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    It look like the turmoil in Greece will increase and aid the out vote.

  32. BobE
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    John, please can you explain why so many politicians are so enthralled by us being in the EU?

    Posted June 21, 2015 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Terribly interesting the Bank of England has already stated the Referendum should take place quickly, soon as possible, to remove “uncertainty” in the Market. Such tosh. There is no such place or entity as UK Plc. It is an angler’s maggot box of of interacting interests, threats and opportunities. As much can be gained as lost by short-term speculators from an IN/OUT scenario. Some firms will prosper by an out decision beyond their wildest dreams, others not.
    OUT campaigners should publicize a very long list of companies and countries in Asia and Latin America who when EU tariffs are removed can “dump” huggins of cheap food, textiles, agricultural chemicals, computer software and technology, as well as giveaway priced solar panels in the UK. and provide our own companies the power and means to massively undercut every EU export to those countries. Yes, there are many countries in this world who obstruct and even ban several EU imports. Not just the colossal Russia.

    The Bank of England with its wretchedly blinkered ongoing month by month pro-EU stance, also brain-dead to political consequences, guesses very well the imminent UK downturn. Mr Cameron and B0E would love the Referendum to be early. For, 18 months hence, the economic pressure cooker within Europe and indeed the US is likely to change the frame/considerations of just about all nations in the EU.

    Poor EU countries are already clean out of doctors and nurses, cockle pickers and sandwich makers to send to the UK. Little to no provision has been made in the UK for the cheap labour well-hole drying up.

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Off topic, a clutch of items which have come to me through my google alerts:

    The IMF has been accused of hypocrisy because it is taking a hard line with Greece while saying that it will continue to fund Ukraine even if the Kiev government fails to agree on the kind of “debt restructuring” deal, aka “default”, with its private creditors that Greece had in 2012, which wiped 100 billion euros of the Greek government’s debts and left only about 17% of the debt being owed to private investors:

    Charles Dallara, the chap who emerged from nowhere to act as the representative of private investors during that 2012 Greek “debt restructuring”, has resurfaced saying that it could be “a bloodbath” if Greece left the euro:

    And finally the Greek government is now agreeing with JR and others that the IMF should never have been involved in its bailouts and it doesn’t want the IMF involved in the future:

    “Athens says Europe ‘doesn’t need IMF’ on eve of crunch summit”

    “Greece does not want any more help from the IMF, minister of state Nikos Pappas said Sunday on the eve of a summit which could determine whether the country crashes out of the eurozone.

    “I am one of those who think that the IMF should not be in Europe. I hope we find a solution without its participation,” Pappas, who is close to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, told the daily Ethnos on Sunday.

    He claimed that Europe “has no need” of the Washington-based institution, which has an “agenda which is not at all European” and “can continue without it and its money”.”

    “He set out Greece’s demands, which include the exchange of 27 billion euros of Greek debt held by the European Central Bank to be transferred to the eurozone’s crisis-fighting fund, the European Stability Mechanism — an idea first floated by Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.”

    That’s the European Stability Mechanism set up on the basis of the EU treaty change demanded by Merkel in the autumn of 2010, to which Cameron gave his assent without even asking for anything substantive in return.

  35. forthurst
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    “They will doubtless propose all sorts of lies over what might happen if we left.”

    They will also doubtless propose all sorts of lies about the significance and extent of what they have ‘renegotiated’ and its future inviolability from ever closer union and the final destination (until disintegration), of the European superstate whose ultimate extent is hinted but never formally declared.

    There are only two types of people who want to keep us in the EU, liars and fools. The fools are those who are too unintelligent to see through the lies; the liars have a variety of motives, none of them honourable, and none which they would be prepared to declare in public, so they will stick to lying about the economic consequences of an exit.

    The extraordinary thing about the liars, is that they see nothing paradoxical about this or that little nation being viable as an independent state and not need grafting, for its survival, onto a larger entity, but they continue to suggest with an entirely straight face that the fifth largest economy in the world would struggle to prosper, be allowed to continue trading with the EU, with which it has a massive structural trade deficit, consequently supporting far more jobs in Europe than vice-versa, or be able to forge its own trade links with the world outside Brussels’ purview.

    What is certain is that, if we stay in, we can wave goodbye to our existence as a nation state, our traditions, our landscapes, our fishing and farming industries, our sense of being a unique people with their own unique history, our possibility of ever having governance that did not spend its total effort trying to overcome the consequences of too rapid population growth and demographic change. Our island will become nothing but an international corporatist honeypot with its population dependent for jobs on those who can remove them at the stroke of a pen, even more than it is now. Is that what we want?

  36. Ian wragg
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    John. If the EU hadn’t been invented you certainly wouldn’t invent it today
    It is a perceived solution to a 1950s problem. The trouble is too many people are getting very fat out of the European population and wish that to continue. It is a repository for failed politicians and retirees funded by the largesse of others.
    Why CMD and the majority of Westminster want to continue with this charade is beyond me. Maybe you can give us an insight.

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Some say that removing the commitment to a process of “ever closer union” from the EU treaties would be no more than a gesture and would have no practical effect in bringing the process to an end. Strange then that it has already been made clear that some other EU member states, notably France and Germany, would not tolerate any such change to the treaties. They might tolerate the same commitment being reworded and accorded a somewhat less prominent position, which is what was done with the EU Constitutional treaty, but they would not tolerate the removal of the commitment.

    As it happens I agree to some extent that simply removing the commitment from the treaties would not entirely solve the problem, because it needs to be not just removed but replaced with a contrary statement making it clear to the EU institutions, and in particular the Commission and the Court of Justice, that at least some of the member states now reject that previous treaty commitment to “ever closer union”, do not wish to become legally subordinated parts of a pan-European federation, and instead intend to remain independent sovereign states in perpetuity even while co-operating with the other sovereign member states on a voluntary basis.

    If the peoples of some other EU member states genuinely wish to merge their countries into one or more federations then that is their affair, but I believe that irrespective of whether we are in the EU or out of the EU we have a legitimate interest in insisting that the decisions to do so must require not just proper democratic consent but properly informed democratic consent. It is not on for the Estonian government to belatedly tell the mass of the Estonians that they cannot have a referendum on whether to join the euro because they already agreed to do that when they voted to join the EU, or for the EU Commission to tell the Poles that it would be pointless to hold a referendum on that issue, for the same reason that Polish popular consent to join the euro had already been extracted by stealth and could not be rescinded, or indeed for the UK government to attempt to disguise the true purpose of the EU Constitution from the UK electorate by getting the word “federal” removed from its text:

    There is talk of a “multi-speed Europe”, but personally I have no wish to see my country reach the EU’s projected end destination at any speed; rather I want a reversal of all the moves in that direction which have been agreed by our politicians without even asking us directly whether that is what we wanted to happen, let alone behaving like democrats and obtaining our fully informed and properly considered majority consent. What is needed, in my view, is not a “multi-speed” but a “multi-directional” arrangement.

  38. PaulDirac
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    In my opinion one of the most important arguments for an OUT vote is the fact that at some distant time in the future Labour + SNP will win an election here.
    If we stay in, they can easily reverse all the good stuff which may be achieved by the current government.
    If we are OUT, moving back IN will be impossible without a true referendum.

  39. David Eteson
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Those wishing to stay IN will be intensifying their campaign by telling us what would happen if we cut all ties with Europe and this will, I am afraid, convince many that disaster looms. As you repeatedly point out that will not happen because Europe needs our trade more than we need theirs. Some kind of free trade area will satisfy us and the rest of Europe but can we counter the barrage of propaganda which the IN lobby will launch?

  40. Boudicca
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    All you need to remember is:

    1. We do not need to be in the EU to trade with it. We don’t even need to be in the EU to be in the Single Market.

    2. In the EU, we cannot be a Sovereign, properly functioning Democracy. The EU is above our Democracy; it can and does dictate to us.

    Nothing Cameron is proposing will change either of those two basic facts.

    Trade will not cease if we leave the EU. But if we stay in, we will be increasingly controlled by an unelected cabal of mostly foreign politicians and bureaucrats.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      And the mantra “The EU needs the UK more than the UK needs the EU”…

    • Graham Wood
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      “We will be increasingly controlled by an unelected cabal ……..”

      Indeed so, as at present. We, the British electorate vote governments into office and under our system into power to govern. MPs and ministers whole raisin d’être is for governance, NOT to enter into negotiations with other foreign governments for permission to define in what areas we should be allowed to govern our own country.
      Nothing could be more nationally humiliating than for Mr Cameron with cap in hand assuming the role of supplicant begging for powers that actually belong to the British people already.
      What is at stake here are two mutually exclusive views of democracy.
      I prefer the British version, and we must fight to retain what is ours by constitutional and democratic right. That was what our elections are about.

      • Timaction
        Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        ………………….Nothing could be more nationally humiliating than for Mr Cameron with cap in hand assuming the role of supplicant begging for powers that actually belong to the British people already………………

        Hence UKIP. They lied, lied and lied again on their true intentions on creating a United States of Europe and NOW, finally NOW people are waking up to the truth, only given by UKIP!

        • Jerry
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

          @Timaction; Mr Cameron is not asking for the return of the UK’s right to self determination, such as the right to repeal of the Treaty of Accession, the EU have never and can never ask a member country to surrender such a right, at least according the UN!

          As for the supposed information given by UKIP, well many already knew what UKIP have “informed us about”, in fact didn’t one Mrs Thatcher stand at the despatch box and inform the nation of the then Delors Commission wish for the (future) EU to become the Executive in her No! No! No! speech?…

  41. DaveM
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    My instincts on election results have been pretty much correct since 2005, and my instinct is that the UK will vote to leave the EU, provided the OUT campaign is fronted by a sensible grown up bunch of people who present a non-bickering, logical argument. The scare tactics and hysteria presented by those who know that their claim to victory or power is tenuous, has been demonstrated time and time again to fail.

    At present, the OUT campaign’s propaganda is writing itself in Greece, Italy, the Med, and Calais. Unfortunately, the source of this propaganda is deeply worrying, and this could be the one time that the countries of the EU really need to pull together and defend their continent under a strong, pragmatic, and united leadership – it seems, though, that faced with any kind of crisis, the so-called leaders become defensive and selfish, and bury their heads in the sand of economics and petty politics. Which is even more worrying.

  42. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted June 21, 2015 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Proposing that someone will tell lies is not tantamount to calling all EU supporters liars.The generalisation smacks of the the typical EU non individual approach to affairs within the union.
    As a proposal is being framed we must also look at the written words and the various possible connotations, for this is where we think we know what is meant , but could be underhandedly be twisted to mean something else. Decide for yourselves if all the 29 languages and various nuances can be exactly represented in one statement.They may not be overt lies , but lies will be told in the semantics.

  43. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 22, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    You can formulate a powerful argument for No but it will be undermined by Nigel Farage and his strident anti-immigrant rhetoric – putting someone who couldn’t even manage to get elected to parliament in a seat he specifically chose in a leading position in the campaign guarantees its failure. Though he brings with him a largeish % vote it needs the likes of Dan Hannan (who Farage rubbished the other day) to bring in the free-trade/libertarian voters too.

    • DaveM
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Agreed – Paterson, Hannan, Mr Redwood, a couple of other politicians, plus some hard hitting businessmen and a few others presenting a solid backed-up logical argument is the way forward. No need to emphasise the immigration issue – people are aware enough of that as it is.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted June 22, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        It is instructive to read about the last referendum in 1975 – the “Out” campaign was fatally split between the far-right and the far-left who even refused to share a platform with each other. Having Farage prominent will repeat this mistake, no Labour or Trade Union “no” campaigners (of which there should a be a few) or “moderate” Tories will go near him. They may not anyway of course even if someone like Douglas Carswell took the lead for UKIP. I see all the Labour leadership candidates say they won’t share a platform with Cameron on the “Yes” side so both sides have this problem. I will be interested to see which side Boris comes down on, someone with genuine cross-party appeal (as demonstrated by his London mayoral votes) will carry great influence.

    • David Price
      Posted June 22, 2015 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      I agree, Mr Farage has already convinced 27% (is it) of the voters in the 2014 elections though that didn’t translate in to an equivalent number in the 2015 GE. Now there are the remaining 25+% to convince and that will need cooperation and support amongst a wider leadership and political spectrum.

  44. Vanessa
    Posted June 22, 2015 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    There is no reason for any country to join a “club” with a vast “membership fee” to be allowed to trade with another country. We are the second largest contributor to the EU funds (after Germany) and yet they buy very little from us but we have to buy vast amounts of food etc. from them. No choice is given, we cannot trade, as we used to with the Commonwealth or the rest of the world. This is no FREE trade agreement no matter how they dress it up.

  45. stred
    Posted June 22, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Your HoC debate about productivity seems to have disappeared again. Tax credits are in the news today and must be one of the biggest reasons for productivity lagging. The UK has much the highest and many EU immigrants working here depend on them. The more children the better. Try via tax credits in Europe. Lawyers are advertising advice on claiming tax credits while the children do not live here, but with spouse or even ex-spouse in other EU countries or Switzerland. No wonder low paid jobs pay in the UK when the kids can live cheaply at home and generous tax credits and child allowance is paid- unlike to rich UK skilled and professional class contributors to the pot. Housing benefit too and now the prospect of a £100k discount on a low rent house.

    It beggars belief that a conservative PM and Chancellor have taken 5 years to realise this. How much longer will it take before they sort out the reasons for around 500,000 inward migrants while 200,000 skilled emigrate.

  46. Jon
    Posted June 22, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I sense that the people will be given a promise from the EU and the PM on what they intend to deliver but what if it doesn’t follow through? Could it end up like the Scottish ‘neverendum’ if the promise doesn’t come about.

  47. Ken Moore
    Posted June 22, 2015 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    The No side need to make the campaign clear and simple :-

    Do you want uncontrolled immigration? NO.

    Do you want the EU making our laws? NO.

    Do you want to subsidise foreign governments’ spending on infrastructure? NO.

    Do you want to give “loans” to EU students which they don’t pay back? NO.

    Do you want the European Court of Justice over-turning British law? NO.

    Do you want to subside French farmers? NO.

    Do you want EU criminals to have the freedom to move to the UK and commit more crimes? NO.

    Do you accept that Claude Juncker is your President? NO.

    Do you want to join the Euro? NO

    Do you want the UK to participate in a European Army? NO


    • Jerry
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Ken Moore; “The No side need to make the campaign clear and simple :- “

      “Do you want to give “loans” to EU students which they don’t pay back? NO.”

      Well man UK students might never pay their loans back either!

      “Do you want the European Court of Justice over-turning British law? NO.”

      The implication of that is to also disregard the ECHR which the UK was the founding member and wrote its first charter after WW2…

      “Do you want to subside French farmers? NO.”

      But presumably it’s OK if the EU subside UK farmers…

      “Do you want EU criminals to have the freedom to move to the UK and commit more crimes? NO.”

      Tell me how many illegal migrants are there in the UK currently, and surely without cross boarder co-operation how will we know if that EU citizen entering the UK ostensibly on holiday is a ‘criminal looking to commit more crimes’, even full passport controls can only ever do so much.

      “Do you accept that Claude Juncker is your President? NO.”

      But what if it was a Thatcherite British politico, would that be OK?

      “Do you want to join the Euro? NO”

      Perhaps not, I’ll give you that one, but what if the Euro was working better than the USD or GBP?

      “Do you want the UK to participate in a European Army? NO”

      We, in effect, already do, it’s called NATO, and has been on active service as a “European army” within the last 20 years to so it is not a theoretical military force either.

      “We want to leave the EU because our economy will be very much stronger outside and here is why….[can a europhobe please fill the rest of this essay in before the referendum PLEASE!]…..”

  48. John Archer
    Posted June 22, 2015 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Very nicely argued, Mr Redwood. For what it’s worth I fully agree with you.

    Incidentally, you show remarkable restraint. But then that virtue has been amply demonstrated on the many occasions I have seen you when you appeared on the BBC.

    … but my idea of my country, the United Kingdom, is that it must be a democracy at peace with itself, and can only proceed as a happy and successful democracy if it has the consent of most of the people most of the time to…

    That should be the template for every issue, not just the present one concerning Scotland.

    Unfortunately that’s not the way our (so-called) democracy works or has ever worked, not when it matters anyway.

    Mass third-world immigration has never had popular consent. But far worse, every effort has been made to suppress popular expression of opposition to it. The Race Relations Act 1965 was the first to put some muscle behind that suppression, and we’ve been progressively muscled ever since. Anyone who has the sense, as you do, to query such important matters as the potential split of past accumulated debt, clearly sees the demographic implications. What then for popular consent when significant proportions of the populace no longer recognise each other as fellow countrymen (if a large proportion of Scots feel that way what hope is there with these others and indeed ourselves)? What then? That will never ever happen? “No, it’s hypothetical and I don’t answer hypothetical questions — I deal in facts” … or whatever other non-reply springs to mind. Now I’m not suggesting for one minute that I’m quoting you there, or anything like it. Indeed, I believe such evasiveness couldn’t be more out of character for you. Your honourable colleagues on both sides of the House however … well, we all know them well enough.

    Popular consent was evaded when we were deliberately lied to in the 1975 referendum on the ‘Common Market’ and then subsequently and inexorably shoe-horned into the EU. Where was the popular consent when MacBroon signed the constitreaty of Lisbon? And Cast-Iron’s promise on it — a nod and a wink to popular consent but otherwise not worth a light.

    Popular consent was evaded in England when the Scots were granted that referendum on their independence. There was a natural question on the flip side — whether we still wanted them. But we were never asked.

    So much for “the consent of most of the people most of the time”. We don’t have democracy in this country. But then you never said we did, not in this piece anyway. I see you choose your words very carefully. 🙂

    I used to vote Tory and did so with Major in 1992 even though that crowd stabbed Thatcher in the back, among other things. That was the last time. I don’t envisage a next. In case you’re wondering, I’m not a member of UKIP or any other party.

    Haha. I’m now currently watching Ken Clarke on Newsnight being interviewed with a member of Syriza on the euro. There’s beeboid balance for you. Now I’m restraining myself.

    • John Archer
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      My apologies. I posted the above in error. I should have posted it on the ‘The debate on the Scotland Bill‘ thread, which I have now done.

  49. Si Ian
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    “Our trade is not at risk, our travel will not be impeded, our friendships will not be altered.”

    As a long term Euro-zone resident I can comfortably say that, whilst the first two propositions are highly questionable, the third, over unaltered ‘friendships’ is simply untrue. Only amongst the amongst the xenophobic far-right would Brexit be seen as anything other than turning your back on your friends and allies. Many would consider it a betrayal. Relations would be deeply damaged for years.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      @Si Ian; It is one of the worries I have about a Brexit, and something few eurosceptics seem willing to debate, the prospects for the UK ex-pat communities when we get europhobes demanding that such and such people from such and such EU member countries should have long standing rights removed once the UK is free of the EU, never a thought that whilst countless numbers of EU citizens will no doubt be leaving Dover or Gatwick etc, countless UK ex-pats could be flowing in the opposite direction as their own long standing rights are removed tick-for-tack ion their chosen country of residence (perhaps even work), and many of these people might will be both elderly and/or indeed of emergency accommodation, perhaps having left anything more than a carry-on bag behind – certainly the larger pieces of home-ware.

      Please do not think it couldn’t happen, as it has been happening (for mostly wholly economic/personal reasons) on a limited bases for some time as elderly ex-pats find they can no longer cope, especially if their have medical issues.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 23, 2015 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        I shoudn’t worry yourself too much Jerry.
        Most of the posts you write you seem to be confident of and in favour of the UK staying in the EU
        Whist at the same time you will have us running a buy British campaign to boost our home industry and legislating to stop those pesky foreigners buying into our companies.
        Best of luck.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 24, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; Sweeping uncomfortable home truths (in this case the possible plight of the UK’s ex-pat communities within the EU, post any Brexit) will not stop such problems from possibly occurring – you might like jumping from one frying pan to the next without knowing how hot things are before hand but I would suggest that most of the electors do not, hence why they tend to vote for the safe option even if they do not necessarily agree with (all) the detail.

          I (like the many will) want a road-map, I know what to expect from remaining in the EU, I know which road the EU is heading down even if I do not agree, I have no idea what sort of future there will be post a Brexit because so few europhobes pushing for that exit will say what economic plans they have or envisage, yet I’m being expected to make a ‘yes/no’ choice! All europhobes keep on about is UK Sovereignty and ruling ourselves, yet they seem nonplussed about the prospect of non UK owned companies in effect controlling much of the UK’s future economic destiny – at least in the 1970s the unions, by then unofficially running the UK’s economy from Congress House and writing political policies for government to enact, were run by UK passport holders with a vision of were the nation should go (even if it was mistaken)…

          Oh and yes, if we do leave the EU, why not buy British made goods, and even better if they are from companies owned by and run from Britain!

          Reply Companies do not run or govern us. They compete with one another for our custom and our employment.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 25, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            @JR reply; If you say so….. and my birthday must be the 24/06/2015 then! If you are correct then what was all the recent electioneering rubbish about how Labour policies would be bad for businesses, if you are correct then it wouldn’t make one jot of difference which party had won as dare as business is concerned.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 25, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          No one can accurately predict the future Jerry.
          You like everyone else will have to weigh up the arguments on both sides and vote as you see fit.
          You may be nervous of our future if we left the EU and that is understandable.
          But there are still many nations around the world who are not joined up in a union with other nations and they live their lives grow and prosper.
          My negativity towards the EU has grown over recent years due to its lack of success.
          I voted yes in 1975 with optimism but I am very disappointed.

  • About John Redwood

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

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