The European disunion

Yesterday we saw yet again just how dysfunctional the EU has become. Far from creating union, peace and harmony, it is creating rows and conflicts between European countries. Germany and Greece are showing great dislike of each other in public and have no ability so far to compromise and to understand each other’s point of view. Greece cannot accept Germany’s austere economics, and Germany has no wish to send financial assistance to a part of her currency zone with mass unemployment, deep recession and much reduced pay. France is at loggerheads with Italy over migrants admitted by Italy. France and the UK disagree over Calais and the Anglo-French border. The EU supporting part of Ukraine is fighting a hot war with other parts of that country as the EU stands and watches. Euro outs are getting a bad deal from Euro ins, southern states feel hard done by the richer northern states, the richer north has no wish to subsidise the south. The UK and Denmark opted out of the common approach to migrants.

Meanwhile the EU damages national democracies by preventing them taking action or legislating in ways they wish without providing a good working democracy of its own. There is no official opposition to the EU government. No-one has the duty at Council meetings or in the Parliament to expose the problems with EU policy, lay bare the waste or to show which policies are doing harm. As we saw last night, trying to govern by needing the agreement of 28 countries is absurd. They spend hours just having one round setting out their different attitudes, and then more hours as the hapless Chairman and Commission try to broker compromises between the more extreme views around the table, in the hope that tiredness will eventually cause all to give in and agree with something, however modest or inappropriate or vexatious.

The people who say we should stay in the EU whatever the EU offers us confine themselves to just two main arguments.

The first is the lie that 3 million jobs would be at risk if we left.
Our trade is not at risk, as Germany has made clear.
The day after we leave Germany will still want to sell us her cars and will make sure she can do so with sensible free trade rules.
Under WTO rules which we have automatically trade can flourish, as the rest of the world shows when trading with the EU.

The second is the EU guarantees us peace in Europe. If only. The EU has intervened clumsily in civil wars in former Yugoslavia and now in Ukraine, in ways which often make things worse.
Meanwhile it is obvious that the peace has been kept amongst the main powers of Europe and Russia since 1945 by NATO. The UK will remain a leading member of NATO, and NATO will continue to guarantee our security.

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  1. agricola
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Absolutely agree with all you say, but would add that the EU is heading for a crash it refuses to see coming, a result of, as you say, no opposition within their system of governance. Said crash will come from the bottom and middle up as do most political revolutions. I sincerely hope it is painless.

    After your leader’s humiliating crawl around the capitals of Europe, ending in Brussels it should be demanded by Parliament that he makes account of his actions. Specifically, what is it in the EU that he finds so compulsively desirable, followed by what is it he is supposedly re-negotiating. He should be reminded that he is merely a political leader acting as our representative. He is not imbued with any special powers, he should be accountable. Please demand his account in Parliament. We should only accept so much humiliation at the hands of these EU popinjays.

    Reply The UK still has some flourishing democracy left despite EU membership. I expect Mr Cameron will report on the Summit on Monday in the Commons and be cross examined on it.

    • DaveM
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      To reply – I’m sure he will report on it. But Agricola’s sentence:

      “what is it in the EU that he finds so compulsively desirable, followed by what is it he is supposedly re-negotiating?”

      is exactly what I’d like to know and exactly what he won’t answer.

      • Henry Kaye
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        It’s what every thinking person in the country would like to know. If only we could get rid of him!!!

        • Boudicca
          Posted June 26, 2015 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

          It isn;t just a question of getting rid of the Europhile Cameron. The British Establishment and the Conservative Party Elite are obsessed with the EU and destroying our Sovereignty on the alter of supra national union.

          Anyone interested in democracy has to look outside of the Establishment parties to see the issue even acknowledged.

      • Duyfken
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Those are undoubtedly two vital questions and Cameron should be pressed hard on them.

        Furthermore, he should be compelled to explain the terms of his continued support for our EU membership. At what stage, if any, would he switch to support withdrawal from the EU?

        Nevertheless, it is not just Cameron but all of his EUphile coterie – such as Lidington, UKREP executive, the FCO, and some of his limp Conservative ministers and back-benchers. All of these should be examined as to their good faith in what I see as surrender (nigh on treachery) in relentlessly and actively facilitating the transfer of the nation’s authority to foreigners.

    • Hope
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      JR, reports today that other European leaders say Cameron was not asking for anything of substance! No treaty change, yet it could treaty change could happen when they wanted a fiscal pact- and Cameron let it happen without anything in return. Predictions of his sham renegotiation are coming true.

      IMF admits to bending all the rules to save the Euro and hence the EU project. Cameron is no different. I think it is time you and your colleagues accept the con and PR spin that Cameron is creating together with the rigging of the referendum. It shows that he cannot be trusted and you cannot believe a word he says. Cameron was ranting on camera as if he achieved something in confounding his critics. He has no shame in saying things that he knows are not true. Perhaps he could tell us he halved the deficit again, untrue, but he seems to not care whether it is true or not.

      • Hope
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        I should have added that he achieved accepting more immigrants! As if we have not had enough this year.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted June 26, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          Agree with Hope. Britain is filling up by the minute, people are being harassed at Calais and all we hear is that Britain hasn’t got to take a quota of migrants. Really?!! When they all get EU citizenship they will all just get on the ferries and the tunnel and come to the UK legally. So much for the benefits of staying in the EU!!

    • Frank salmon
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      David Cameron could yet be the winner. If they give him nothing, he will have to support leaving the EU. If they concede, he can take the glory. The possibilities could be win win…….. With Europe in turmoil and possible civil war, lack of growth, more bailouts, disintegration, financial chaos, Cameron could be well placed to do for Europe what Thatcher did for Britain. Won’t the Scots just love it?
      Cameron just needs to feel the hand of destiny on his shoulder……

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        But Cameron is asking for nothing. Temporary restrictions to migrants benefits is totally trivial and even that is meeting huge resistance.

        He can already usefully address this just by making the system depend on certain prior contributions anyway.

        We need to get out or to have just “a common market” and no more.

    • bigneil
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      “so compulsively desirable” – he wants a seat at the top table – as his reward for keeping us in – and that achieves the destruction of this nation.

  2. Old Albion
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    And the PM of the (dis)UK is now going to offer us an in/out? referendum on the possibility that there may be some treaty changes at some unspecified time in the future, because the EU has said it may possibily have a think about it.
    You couldn’t make it up……………………..

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      But there’s no need to make it up, because it has already happened on a couple of occasions.

      The Danes rejected the Maastricht Treaty in a first referendum, but then voted to accept exactly the same treaty in a second referendum, the only difference being that they were promised that the treaty would be amended to their satisfaction the next time that there was a revision of the treaties for other purposes.

      Likewise the Irish rejected the Lisbon Treaty in a first referendum, but then voted to accept exactly the same treaty in their second referendum, the only difference being a promise that an “Irish protocol” would be added later.

      To be clear, these promises made by EU leaders that the treaties would be changed “to address the concerns” of the Danes and Irish, as they put it, were no more legally binding than the promises made by party leaders in an election manifesto.

      Such a promise may indeed be embedded in a legal act of the Union, a Decision of the European Council, and it is true that such a Decision is legally binding, but it still remains open to EU leaders to subsequently amend or repeal it; so in effect it is binding on others, who cannot change it, but not on the EU leaders who are free to change their minds about it.

      Having said that, in those two cases the promises made by the EU leaders to secure approval in the second referendums were actually fulfilled, and even though some of the persons involved had changed in the meantime.

      This is one reason why it is a mistake to assume that it would be technically impossible for Cameron to hold the referendum next spring, as was explained here five weeks ago:

      “The Danish Solution for David Cameron’s EU Plight”

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

      • English
        Posted June 28, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Given Cameron’s track record for not always telling the truth, i doubt the majority in Britain will take any notice of a promised cooked up by him and the EU.
        The PROMISE is for trivialities anyway.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Another point to be made here is that some journalists are muddying the waters by saying that there is no hope of a new treaty being “agreed and ratified” before the UK referendum takes place.

      This is unhelpful muddling of different separate stages through which a new treaty would come into force.

      When an EU treaty is agreed and formally signed by EU leaders – which in Brown’s case with the Lisbon Treaty meant turning up late after all the other leaders had been photographed ceremoniously signing it and skulking in a side room to add his signature – that fixes the text of the treaty, down to the last comma, but in does not give it any legal force.

      Some relatively minor international agreements can become binding on a party just through the signature of its representative, but for EU treaties it is necessary for each of the countries to then approve the signed treaty through its own constitutional procedures and deposit its instrument of ratification saying that it formally consents to be bound by the treaty, and the treaty can only come into force when all the parties have done that.

      From July 2008, about the Lisbon Treaty:

      “Under the UK’s ratification process, both houses of Parliament must pass the treaty.

      The Queen then gives Royal Assent, and signs goatskin “instruments of ratification” along with the Foreign Secretary.

      These are then sealed, bound in blue leather, and deposited with the Italian ministry of foreign affairs in Rome.

      A spokesman for the Foreign Office said all these stages had now been completed.

      “The documents were lodged in Rome yesterday,” he said.”

      As the alleged main purpose of a new treaty would be to make the British happy to stay in the EU it would be illogical to ask twenty-seven other countries to put it through the full process of parliamentary approval and formal ratification before it was even known whether the British would vote for it in the referendum, so it should be expected that the British would be voting on the basis of a treaty which had been agreed and signed by all EU member state leaders but had not yet been formally ratified by any of those other countries.

    • Hope
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Yes he does make it up. Last month treaty change was required. Now he accepts it will not happen and then goes on TV to rebut his critics to say that the process has begun! How when he knows his own end goal cannot be achieved! I am sure this helps his own aim of being successful at achieving nothing and staying int he EU no matter what.

      If the immigrants are accepted by the other EU countries. Under free movement of people it is difficult to understand how they will be prevented from coming to the UK. Only a slight a delay. Today we see the vast mount of people at Glastonbury, double it and that is the amount of people entered the UK last year! What has Cameron done about the immigration crisis in the UK and the harm it is doing to the overstretched public services? Demand that we build more houses when the Tory party has already done a U turn on the railway infrastructure pledge in the manifesto! I suppose the EU project for HS2 will continue together with £14 billion give away to the EU and another £12 billion on overseas aid! Perhaps you could not make that economic give away madness up. Don’t blame me I voted UKIP.

  3. agricola
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    According to The Telegraph today, Cameron’s plea for treaty change in the EU, after our referendum has been held, is bordering on farce. Numerous national figures within the EU have been quite categorical in stating that treaties are not up for re-negotiation, end of story.

    If he thinks he can sell continued membership of the EU on a jam tomorrow promise, he must consider the electorate to be very stupid. One, he is most unlikely to get such a promise with any substance attached to it, and two, his record on promises is already shot through. I await Monday’s report in the Commons with interest.

    • Hope
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      He does think we are stupid and he will spend vast mounts of our taxes to con everyone he has achieved something. He will also use all the govt machinery to do so as well as the BBC.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Indeed the two argument you suggest the “in” supporters have are both patent nonsense. The only other one the “in” lot hint at is that if we come out the EU will gang up on us in some way or other. But clearly with a seat at the table (where we are outvoted as often as not) and under the yoke of EU law and EU courts they can (and do) gang up far more effectively on the UK and with legal enforcement.

    The green energy agenda and the need to have open door migration cause huge damage. We clearly need selective immigration (of just the people we want, need and can fund themselves) regardless of where in the world they come from.

    The EU restrictions (for example on work times of doctor) and the fact that female doctors tend to work fewer hours and take more career breaks means that we need to train nearly twice as many doctors as previously just to get the same work hours out of them.

    The attacks on the City from the EU can be far more damaging if we are stuck with the legally enforced lunacies of the EU.

    The latest bonkers suggestion seems to be that people taking films or photos outside should pay all the designers for any of the images of art works, statues or buildings they might catch in the film or photos!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      I see Michael Gove is talking of a ‘Creaking’, two-tier criminal justice system is failing crime victims. There civil justice system is rather an expensive, slow joke too. Failing its users hugely will charging them through the nose.

      Perhaps Gove should stop being a bit of a grammar/style facist and sort out the legal system instead.

      He tells officials to write “make sure” instead of “ensure” and to avoid using the word “impact” as a verb. He is also unhappy with the use of contractions, such as “doesn’t”, and the deployment of “yet” and “however” at the start of sentences.

      He even suggest Matthew Parris as a good exemplar. Perhaps he does have good style, but alas he is nearly always completely wrong in substance which is rather more important. Perhaps he should concentrate on the logic of his position rather than style for a change.

      Cars can now be made using less than 1/100 of the labour input they used to and yet the legal system seems to have become rather less efficient over this period. It is a system clearly evolved mainly for in the interests lawyers. Very expensive, arbitrary, multilevel, with silly demarcation restrictions, daft wigs and very slow too. Also a system designed to encourage endless actions using a biased balance of risk/reward and costs. It just acts as yet another tax and inconvenience to the productive.

      Perhaps the “great grammar style arbiter” Mr Gove should ensure he comes up with some measures to impact upon the UK legal racket and finally sort it so it acts in the interest of users for a change. Yet he should ensure he doesn’t give up until he has achieved this goal.

      After all his other job of sorting out the E.C. of Human Rights appears to be dead in the water.

      • Colin
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        “It is a system clearly evolved mainly for in the interests lawyers.”

        Naturally as a lawyer I would love it if this absurd caricature were true, but given the numbers of lawyers now going bankrupt or giving up to pursue careers which actually enable them to pay a mortgage, I’m afraid it is even less true now than it ever was. Clearly you know very little about the justice system, although you seem to have some kind of obsession with insulting lawyers. Messy divorce, was it?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

          No divorce for me yet thank goodness (the damage lawyers can do there is indeed huge, the last thing they want is a quick clean happy agreement).

          Most of my dealing with lawyers is on company acquisitions/sales and property transactions. I just see that in most industries productivity has increased hugely and that in legal matters (and indeed tax) things get more and more complex, slower and much more expensive. It is not always the lawyers who are too blame it is the system and the politicians too. If you make cars more efficiently you sell more cars and make more money. With law often the complete reverse is the case.

          The are many very dopey lawyers, carrying out simple tasks and being charged out at £300 per hour or more (not to me fortunately). Why does the UK need to have 17 times more lawyers per head than Japan? It is the system and balance of risk that is wrong – politicians are as much to blame as lawyers and judges. But incentives to make the system good for users are simply not there.

          • Colin
            Posted June 27, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

            “Why does the UK need to have 17 times more lawyers per head than Japan?”

            This letter in the New York Times suggests this is not actually true:

            Unsurprisingly, the definition of “lawyer” may not write across directly from one country to another.

            In any case, a free society is often a litigious society, because people have rights and are enabled to enforce them. That’s what lawyers do. We don’t make the laws, politicians do that.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 28, 2015 at 5:27 am | Permalink

            Perhaps the 17 times figure is a slight exaggeration (for the reasons he suggests) but fewer lawyers, less litigation and more engineers and wealth creators would surely be better for all but the lawyers.

            Litigation, by its very nature, only benefits lawyers at the expense of the public taken as a whole – it generates virtually no net wealth – I suppose it generates some public amusement on occasions.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          Colin you say “Naturally as a lawyer I would love it if this absurd caricature were true”.

          You seem to be implying that all lawyers would love it if the system were designed to enrich lawyers at the expense of their customers.

          Do you have such a low opinion of Lawyers’ morality?

          • Colin
            Posted June 27, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

            It’s what people familiar with the English language call “sarcasm”.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 28, 2015 at 5:15 am | Permalink

            Perhaps too close to the truth for sarcasm? I may have studied Maths/Physics and later Engineering at Universities but I think I am still reasonably familiar with the English language. Certainly more so than many arts graduates seem to be with basic science.

      • Hope
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        This week two stories highlighted how two criminals convicted for murder are released after only serving 14 years. Pathetic sentence for the most wicked crime. The EAW does not prevent these types of criminal from the EU freely entering our country or to be monitored in any way. But are entitled to claim benefits like host citizens. Cameron did not even fulfil his promise for the debate on the EAW and became vindictive towards the speaker, underhandedly trying to get rid of him as his last act of the last parliament, when he highlighted this.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Good to see the government have shelved promised and upgrades to major rail lines in the Midlands and the north of England. Hopefully HS2 next. Trains are subsidised far too much already.

      Sort out the roads and stop deliberately & constricting blocking them and get on with building a five runway Heathwick instead.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        I think that they have got this the wrong way round…

        1. Abandon HS2 (just imagine the over runs that’s going to have).

        2. Kick Network Rail out and get somebody in that can fix the railways.

        I’m not adverse to train subsidies as long as it goes to sort out the problems rather than somebody’s totally undeserved and unjustified bonus.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

          Why should trains be subsidised and road users over taxed? They could compete on a level playing field.

          Trains are simply less efficient (and far more expensive) door to door in the main.

          • Hefner
            Posted June 26, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

            LL, How often are you boarding a train? Tell the commuters between Reading and Paddington that their trains are less efficient than the M4 and so heavily subsidised (when they have had a price increase in their annual ticket above CPI and RPI over the last ten years).

            Fine to shoot from the hip, but a bit of common sense before aiming at all and everything would not go astray. At times you are simply ridiculous.

          • stred
            Posted June 27, 2015 at 5:26 am | Permalink

            The other hopeless government owned company, with officials paid salaries and bonuses as though they were running competitive ones, is the Highways Agency. Last year they installed the expensive computer system at the Dartford crossing and took away the toll booths on the southbound side, The 10 mile queues stopped for most of the time.

            On the tunnel side they kept the toll booths going up and down and divided the 2 approaching lanes into 5. The result was crashes, as the 5 merged into 2 again. Queues were usually a mile long. How many crashes were recorded over the six months?

            Then recently they finished the work and took away the toll booths and had 2 lanes coming into the tunnels. Just in case the queues disappeared, they have installed a safety system with traffic lights to check lorries before they enter the tunnels. Whether it is this or for some other reason, we now have had 10 mile queues every day. They sign the delay as 10 minutes 10 miles before, but it actually takes an hour or more. On Thursday we reached the entrance but were stopped for another 15 minutes while a van took Agency staff to do a repair at one side. Both tunnels were shut. They just do not seem to care about wasting motorists time and fuel.

            Could some MPs ask questions about this please?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 27, 2015 at 6:24 am | Permalink


            Not that often. Occasionally the Gatwick Express and tubes in London and to Cambridge and Tonbridge Wells. Clearly on certain commuter and intercity routes they can make sense exspecially as these routes are already built.

            But it does not really not make sense to subsidise them. Let them compete on a fair tax/subsidy playing field with cars, coaches, boats, walking and roads. Let the traveller decided without tax/subsidy bias.

  5. Mick
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Mr Cameron will come back waving a piece of paper saying i have got treaty change for 2025, this will be the biggest con so far, let’s not forget Cameron as already said he’s gone by 2020, I do you honestly think you will have a chance of winnig the 2020 GE, we cannot trust the con’s/lab or the dreaded EU , we must all renite in sticking together to get out of the EU and convince the British people we are better off OUT, renegotiations are not going to happen, so we should fight the pro European MSM tooth and claw, the lies and spin will come from the MSM but we have to be better, our country deserves better and better is OUT of the EU

  6. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Yes, very good but (there’s always a but) I think you are OTT in your outright castigation of the alleged “3 million jobs risk”, meaning that although I detest anything and everything to do with the EU and want Out no matter what there are bound to be some job losses because the remaining EU will be resentful or worse and put up tariff and other barriers, albeit that they might be lower than in the past. The WTO helps more than it did but best I understand it is almost totally toothless.

    Reply Its not in their self interest to put up tariff barriers. Can you see Germany wanting a retaliatory tariff on her cars exported to the UK?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Lost of job losses for EU and UK bureaucrats could result from leaving and would be a jolly good thing too – both for the economy and for the deficit.

      Released to get a productive job instead of one inconveniencing the productive.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      It’s OK, the Queen (or her heir and successor) will tell them that it is vitally important that Europeans remain united, even if the best way for us to remain united is actually for the European nation states to separate enough for each of them to be able to run their own national affairs according to the wishes of their national electorates, rather than becoming united ever more closely in a federal United States of Europe which we certainly do not want. And she did promise in her Coronation Oath that each of her realms would be governed according to its own laws and customs, no mention there of this realm instead being governed according to laws collectively imposed upon us by twenty-seven other European countries or by federal European institutions.

    • Henry Kaye
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      There’s no way the EU countries would impose tariffs on our exports – we would simply reply in kind – and they export more to us than we to them.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink


        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted June 27, 2015 at 8:38 am | Permalink

          Dear Lifelogic–Except that the percentage of EU’s to us is much smaller than ours to them. This means that the EU as a whole pretty much couldn’t care less as regards relative trade.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 27, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

            Even if they did retaliate we can switch out exports to other markets or to supply more of the home market anyway.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Dear John–Germany may not have as much clout as you assume in a matter such as this. I can easily see France for instance wanting barriers and Germany will only go so far to alienate other Eurozone countries.

      • John C.
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        You seem to imply that the sovereignty of our country, our independence as a country, which will assuredly be lost if we vote to stay in the E.U., is of less importance than the fear that we may have to pay more if we insist on buying already overpriced German cars.
        Who, in our long history, would have believed we have come to this?

    • libertarian
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Leslie Singleton

      Nope sorry there not only will NOT be any job losses when we leave the EU there will be job GAINS. Currently a net 90,000 EU citizens arrive to work in the UK each year since 2004. Freeing SME businesses who only trade internally from over regulation will create more jobs and we also still have an unfilled 750,000 jobs as well as being on course to create another 1.5 million jobs.

      The fact is that the Pro EU mob know but can’t tell you is that the job situation will be dramatically hit when we leave BUT its a loss of workers NOT jobs that we’ll suffer. Of course they can’t say that so they lie about job losses instead

    • acorn
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Worry not Leslie. The large exporting German manufacturers, are not going to let Merkel or any of her Leutnants and Oberleutnants interfere with generating profits and maintaining the 7% trade surplus. Those Mercs; BMWs and them 300 Megawatt Gas Turbine electric making machines, will still be available; probably with “vendor” financing via the ECB.

      While I think of it JR, Cam seems to jump in front of a TV camera, finding it necessary, to comment on any and every world event at the moment. Today, he even managed to make it on the box before the Tunisian Prime Minister and comment on the shoot-out. Frankly, he is starting to look a bit of a prat.

      PS. If you want to read how to break-up a currency union, have a read of this (the full report link), from some number crunchers:- .

      PPS. Should we not bring the IN/OUT referendum forward now? There seems little point in waiting; the EU will be putting Cam, well and truly “behind the eight ball”; this side of 2018.

      Perhaps we could do it Channel 5, “Big Brother” style, with seven-a-side “inners” and “outers” and let the nation vote to evict and get an IN or OUT winner person. Channel 5 has the production company to do the job easy. They even have a mobile phone app’ to vote with!

      Alas, sadly, Westminster’s Punch & Judy club, would spend the next two years trying to decide the terms and conditions for which mobile phone owners would be allowed to vote; on what day; at what age; how big the fine should be for e-ballot stuffing. I am sure that our own GCHQ and the US NSA, will know exactly how everybody voted and corrected voting mistakes where required.

    • Monty
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      “…remaining EU will be resentful or worse and put up tariff and other barriers…”

      That would be analogous to throwing lighted matches at your adversary, while you are soaked in petrol and he isn’t.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted June 27, 2015 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Dear Monty–Those of us old enough to remember know that that was precisely the position and the main reason why so many voted to join the then Common Market in the first place.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 27, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          That and the blatant Heath lie that there would be no loss of sovereignty.

  7. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I agree with what you say John:it is a simple matter of too much diversity, but I don’t agree with what agricola says.Diplomacy in such circumstances must be the most difficult job to undertake. DC cannot go around various capitals rubbishing everyone . Aggression in the form of inflammtory exclamatory remarks about the EU is not the way forward. To lay out what the UK does not like about the EU and try and cooperate with all nations is not humiliating. It is the work of a statesman.
    Things can only get worse as cultures attempt to dominate in this flux of backgrounds, history and languages .We see in our own workplaces how negative competition can stifle production , slow progress down and put us in a condition of stasis.From this particular to the general of the EU it must be seen that Orwellian fiction is increasingly raising its three division world into a static reality.
    As far as DC not being aware of what the people want;I simply cannot imagine this and am sure that he even reads agricola’s comments from time to time.

    • Henry Kaye
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      If he is aware of what people wants then he has a funny way of showing it.

      • margaret brandreth-j
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Awareness does not mean that it is the correct way to procede .

        • Margaret Brandreth-J
          Posted June 28, 2015 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          “proceed “agh! Why do you publish these aberrations of English ?

      • bigneil
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        He doesn’t care what people want – HE wants to be one of the EU rulers, so HE needs to sell this country and nation to the Devil.

        • willH
          Posted June 26, 2015 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          Exactly bigneil, born with a silver spoon in his mouth , he`s used to having everything handed to him, Eaton, Oxford, Conservative leader , Prime Minister. What does England matter as long as he can pose for the silly photos with Angela Merkel and the rest in Brussels. He doesn`t care if some innocent Briton spends two years in a Greek gaol, like Andrew Symenou so long as he can attend all those EU junkets.

  8. Richard1
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    A report has been published by a former foreign office mandarin, whose ultimate sponsor seems to be Lord Mandelson, asserting that if there is a No vote it will take 10 years to put alternative arrangements – trade treaties etc – in place, during which there will be huge uncertainty and a threat to foreign Direct Investment in the UK, much of. Which comes from EU counties. Does this seem likely?

    Reply Silly scaremongering. The rest of the EU will be bound by the treaties which require them to trade freely with neighbours, and by WTO rules which ban most tariffs.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      This is a strong reason for planning to stay in the European Economic Area at least as an interim arrangement, which although much better than being in the EU would still be imperfect in some respects, but could act as a bridge to a better final arrangement developed over a longer period of time.

      • forthurst
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        “[The EEA] would still be imperfect in some respects”

        The four freedoms? The principle that in order to trade with the EU, a nation like the UK has to adopt EU legislative imperatives and accommodate all those who wish to come and live here is hardly a halfway house.

        As for the views of a friend of Mandelson, the Scottish-sounding Gregor Irwin, who apparently was awarded the CMG in the 2014 New Years Honours for services to “economic analysis in foreign policy” as Director, Economics and Chief Economist at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, they are a reminder that many of those hansomely rewarded for serving our English nation are not necessarily sympathetic to our ambitions as a people.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 27, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          I am taking the pragmatic view that we must win the referendum, and if that means being prepared to accept the EEA as an interim arrangement then so be it, despite its imperfections.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 27, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          I’m taking the pragmatic view that we must win the referendum, and if that means being willing to accept the EEA as an interim arrangement, despite its imperfections, then so be it.

          • forthurst
            Posted June 27, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

            I understand that, but my fear would be that we could be stuck in the EEA, permanently, unless there was a predefined schedule for final exit, in which case, how much harder would it be to leave immediately?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 29, 2015 at 7:01 am | Permalink

            I share that fear, but on the other hand I reckon we should cross that bridge when we come to it, and we will only come to it if we win the referendum.

      • David Price
        Posted June 27, 2015 at 5:07 am | Permalink

        Agree, the EFTA/EEA has to be a key element of the transition process because it provides trade agreements which are the fundemental basis to actually trade whereas WTO etc only require few or no barriers. Even authority for all the rules and regulations were moved back to the UK government there would still have to be a process and agreement for continuing acceptance of compliance testing and approval.

  9. Ian wragg
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    So the Emperor returns with no clothes and is on the news today spinning what a success his negotiation has been. Farage is spot on about being asked to vote on a post dated cheque which will obviously bounce. Still we don’t know what he is negotiating. Mushroom treatment for the sheeple.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Indeed all the other EU promissory have proved totally worthless.

  10. Richard1
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Interesting interview with the French economy minister a day or two ago. He said the UK cant have its cake and eat it (paraphrasing). If we want the advantages of the EU we have to accept all the rules. There can’t be special cases. He went back to the 1984 Fontainebleau agreement on a rebate for the UK and said (I think) that it was a disaster, as others now ask for rebates. they ought to give Brown and Blair a Legion d’honneur for giving up the rebate.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      “want the advantages of the EU” – what are these exactly?

      • John C.
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        The great unanswered question of our time. I remember, seeing the interview that this is exactly what crossed my mind. I must be very simple as I can only see problems in being told what to do by unelected foreigners.
        I gather industrialists like the ease with which they can export, but given the disastrous state of the balance of payments, it seems that it’s foreigners who benefit form being able to export to us.
        No doubt the mass of cheap labour from poorer countries also aids said tycoons, but it seems to disadvantage indigenous workers. But who cares about them?
        I’m still waiting for other “advantages” to be explained.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Amusingly he said this just as the rest of the EU countries were deciding which of the rules they would or wouldn’t accept on handling the migrant crisis – it is just every man for himself. As the rules (eg. on agriculture) favour the French of course they want to keep them all.

  11. Douglas Carter
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    With regard to the justifications advanced for continued EU membership, your colleague Damian Green has offered just such an essay in The Spectator in recent hours.

    This is where Party politics becomes self-harming, since for reasons of public observation, any adverse comments made about that piece by the pro-withdrawal section of your party will be leaped upon by the press as a glorious ‘Conservative Party Split’ story, easy pickings for mediocre hacks.

    It’s a shame, since from first word to last, Mr. Green’s piece with specific regard to his EU ‘advantages’ is absolute rubbish. It’s a lazy-minded litany of habitual misdirection, myth and visitations by Aunt Sally which is crying out for a ritual humiliation at the hands of one of Mr. Green’s peers. Because if that doesn’t happen, as per usual, it will publically stand unchallenged. Which accounts for a good part of the reasons for which EU withdrawal is not making headway with the polling figures.

    A reader could be charitable, and wonder whether Mr. Green is merely misinformed; but in the longer term if commentators such as he decline to acknowledge their arguments have been variously demolished or rendered obsolete elsewhere, it’s reasonable to conclude they’re intentionally attempting to mislead the public?

    • Hope
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      He knows quite clearly that he passing misinformation in the guise of a held belief. As a former minister, he must know that he is advocating getting rid of the country’s independence and sovereignty, which in times past would amount to treachery. Why did our forebears fight and lose their lives for independence and sovereignty of the country for people like him? His comment about local authorities highlights that all tiers of government are bound by regulation and directives from the EU and in fact the country is far more controlled by EU laws which he and his like continually deny. As a former minister, he should openly provide the public with a balanced informed view of the actual facts. He is an intelligent man who appears to be using his wit to pull the wool over the public’s eye, particularly those less intelligent than himself. He should be ashamed.

    • Kenneth
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Quite. Mr Green is out of step with many on the IN side who have admitted that we will continue to trade with other European countries.

      His colleagues realise that repeating the ‘3 million jobs’ mantra makes them look silly and does them more harm than good.

  12. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Another for the Labour party to explain – why would they want to be part of an organisation which, based on yesterday’s antics, is so anti-migrant ? Inevitably with the rise of populist/nationalist parties in Europe the EU will start to impose policies which Labour don’t like – if we are still members and Labour is in power in UK then what ?

  13. Iain Gill
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    So we have opted out of accepting the new migrants? In 3 years they will all have been given EU passports and they will be free to walk in unrestricted.

    • Boudicca
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Precisely. It’s why the Somalian population in London has exploded in recent years …. they have Dutch passports…………… They are benefiting from our welfare state.

    Posted June 26, 2015 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    If Parliament calls an Emergency Session before Mr Cameron returns it will just have time to appoint a goodly crew of door-to-door Parameter Readers. Yes he will return and triumphantly announce he has held important and meaningful lengthy discussions and established the Parameters for further in-depth negotiations to be held Lord knows when.

    Personally, I shall now look online for all the synonyms of “Parameter” which Mr Cameron may also use. But it is virtually the same word in German, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese like the word “Idiot” and “Dictator “. Who says Europeans and British do not have a common culture.

  15. Ken Moore
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Well said Dr Redwood – the arguments for staying in cannot be discredited often enough.

    Indeed Bernard Jenkin Mp made the point that under existing rules (article 30), the Eu states would have to make a trade deal with us should we leave.

  16. John E
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I see the talks on sharing out the refugees ended in acrimony with the Italian PM reported as saying “If this is the EU you can keep it”.

  17. Richard
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Many Europhiles believe that an organisation such as the EU is necessary to be able to deal with global migration.

    Recent events have shown this belief to be false.

    If Greece and Italy were not members of the EU they would by now have reduced the migration crisis by refusing to allow the migrant boats to land on their coasts, or if the migrants are rescued at sea, then by returning them to their port of embarkation.

    They would have followed the Australian course of action.

    Because Greece and Italy are members of the EU they are willing to accept the migrants on the basis these migrants will be eventually dispersed throughout the EU and mainly to countries such as the UK.

    The migrants, knowing that landing in any Southern EU country will enable them to access northern European countries, are thereby further encouraged to make the trip across the Mediterranean Sea.

    If the EU did not exist and European countries were still separate states without open borders and the free movement of people the migrant crisis would be a fraction of the problem it is today.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood,

      Why is it that Eu migrants wish to pass through France to reach the Uk ?
      Both countries are subject to the same set of Eu rules where it applies to benefits and asylum applications etc. So why the discrepancy in the way in which immigrants are treated ?. It cannot all be down to the Eu that the Uk is viewed as a ‘holiday camp’.
      For the sake of overcrowded schools and hospitals and the sake of migrants that are tempted to make long and dangerous journeys, why cannot the Uk offer the same deal to economic migrants and asylum seekers as the French ?.

      Reply They mainly come for the jobs, whereas unemployment is very high in France. France has a more contributory based scheme of benefits than the UK.

      • Ken Moore
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Reply They mainly come for the jobs, whereas unemployment is very high in France. France has a more contributory based scheme of benefits than the UK.

        Thank you John Redwood.

        That begs the question why migrants are being allowed to work? .. as asylum applicants (if that is indeed the draw factor) and those here illegally shouldn’t be allowed to work by any reputable employer . Few employers would risk a £10,000 fine employing someone that entered the Uk on the back of a truck.

        My understanding is that migrants are supported while having their status assessed but this doesn’t happen in France . We are constantly being told it’s good to have ‘common arrangements’ by the Europhiles so why cannot Mr Cameron announce he is going to treat migrants (from outside the EU) the same as the French ?.
        Nobody is complaining that France is wrong, cruel or unkind?
        If Mr Cameron announced an end to free social housing, NHS, and benefits today many lives would be saved and Calais would look less like a third world warzone.

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        To Reply

        ….which means that asylum seekers in France receive very little support whilst their application is being processed,effectively they are destitute,whereas here they are housed and feed throughout the whole tortuous process.

      • Ken Moore
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Dr Redwood for your remarks – I made a mistake in my previous post and was refereeing to non EU migrants.

        If the promise of work is the draw factor, those here illegally shouldn’t be allowed to work by any reputable employer . Few employers would risk a £10,000 fine employing someone that entered the Uk on the back of a truck.

        My understanding is that migrants are supported while having their status assessed but this doesn’t happen in France . We are constantly being told it’s good to have ‘common arrangements’ by the Europhiles so why cannot Mr Cameron announce he is going to treat migrants (from outside the EU) the same as the French ?.
        Nobody is complaining that France is wrong, cruel or unkind?
        If Mr Cameron announced an end to free social housing, NHS, and benefits today, many lives would be saved and Calais would look less like a third world warzone.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      If these Calais immigrants are really fleeing from extreme poverty and war, where are the women and children?. Some could be convicted murders or terrorists that may wish us harm.

      Why do so many appear to have mobile phones and designer sports gear if they are fleeing ‘extreme poverty’. ?.

      And if these migrants are coming in from outside the Eu leaving won’t help in this case. We just need to stop appeasing middle class lefties and the human rights lobby and stop being such a soft touch.
      It’s a disgrace Cameron’s feeble response – sending a few more border staff over the channel isn’t going to solve the problem. It’s as if our own leaders despise us and wish to wreck this country.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted June 27, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        Indeed, mobile phones don’t seem to be a problem for those fleeing poverty and destitution… overheard locally man on mobile in the past few days-

        ” So you made it to the promised land?”

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I hope that you will give the PM a very rigorous examination when he reports on the Summit. According to press reports his contribution concerning the renegotiation was very brief (5 minutes?) and he has accepted that there can be no treaty change before the EU referendum. He is now looking for legally binding guarantees. How soon before that ‘demand’ is diluted too? Not an auspicious start but unsurprising to many of us here.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Well, “legally binding guarantees” are what the Irish government sought as a way to appease the Irish voters after they had rejected the Lisbon Treaty. And in Irish idiom they had to be “copper-fastened”, as opposed to “cast-iron”.

      And those “legally binding guarantees” did their job of “addressing the concerns of the Irish people”, who duly voted for Lisbon on the second time of asking in the autumn of 2009, although I think that the economic climate may have had more effect upon the thinking of many who were duped into believing that the Lisbon Treaty would make it easier for the EU to save Ireland.

      Interesting that wikileaks has something about this(quote removed ed)

  19. MickN
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir,

    I seem to remember, though I am afraid not the details, that many moons ago the UK attracted a disproportionate amount of inward investment from outside the EU.
    This was in no small part due to our regime of light touch rules and regulations. This was generally seen as unfair and so for a long time we have been deluged with more and more rules and red tape that has made us as uncompetitive as many other countries in mainland Europe, indeed they have spent years levelling the playing field in their favour.
    Another up side to leaving would be that we could redress this and restore the situation to give us the competitive edge that we once enjoyed

  20. Javelin
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    David Cameron wants to hold a referendum without a treaty change but have the cast iron promise of a treaty change even though other countries must vote for that.

    I thought the UK also needs to hold a referendum on any future treaty changes – so this means we need a second referndum to agree the first one.

    What happens if we reject the second referendum? Does that mean we must leave the EU.

    What a cock up. You couldnt make it up.

    Reply Report

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      “I thought the UK also needs to hold a referendum on any future treaty changes”

      That is not so.

      To my knowledge there have been four EU treaty changes since the Treaty of Lisbon came into force on December 1st 2009, and obviously none of them have triggered a referendum in the UK.

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

    Everything said this morning – by JR , by the media , by the bloggers , confirms what a mess the EU is in . Summit get togethers are a complete waste of time and money ; at these meetings there is absolutely no chance for anything new or reasonable being discussed or agreed upon . I had a good laugh when I read that Cameron was delighted with the progress he had made and , at the same time , taken in the statements of other EU spokespersons that treaty change and “pick and chose deals” were not available .

    Cameron can come back and gloss over whatever he likes , he can PR his statements to try to make us believe he will get what he wants ( by the way , what is it he wants ? ) , nothing will penetrate my own belief that we must get out and stop wasting our time and money . Farage has hit the nail on the head and once again reminded us of the stupidity of it all . We must wake up !!.

  22. bluedog
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Cameron’s treaty renegotiation programme must be dead in the water, having been overtaken by Greek events. Whether Cameron recognises this and can admit that his timing could not be worse in his report to the Parliament remains to be seen. The deportment of the Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond during Cameron’s address will possibly be a talking point.

    As it stands we are clearly on the brink of an extremely serious financial crisis. There seems no prospect of a reasonable and amicable resolution of the Greek debt crisis, but then there never was. The central issue has never been financial, but political, and that is the case because the Euro has been a political project from the outset. The Greek debt crisis is therefore being resolved politically, and the objective of the EU is to crush the Greek government by refusing their terms and consequently destroying their credibility in the eyes of the Greek electorate. Once the Greek government is seen to be incapable of acting out its mandate from the Greek people, it becomes possible for the EU to engineer regime change. This has happened before in both Greece and Italy some five years ago, while we are still living with consequences of the EU’s recent Ukrainian coup d’état.

    It seems unlikely that Cameron will ever understand exactly how dangerous the EU has become. But once the democratically elected government of Greece is destroyed, an alarming truth will become self-evident. The EU will attempt to destroy any nation-state that opposes it and seeks to break free. The United Kingdom is not immune from this logic, despite HM Queen’s insouciant enthusiasm for ‘unity’.

  23. DaveM
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Donald Tusk said words to the effect that there would be no compromise to the values of the EU and any changes would take place only if it was “safe” for the whole EU.

    Are these the values which allow whole communities to be taken over by sharia-toting preachers which produce people who cut people’s heads off in France? The same values which mean a currency project will be pursued ruthlessly even if if means huge unemployment in southern European countries? Is this the safety which is ensured by having no border controls either externally or internally, leading to influxes of people about whom we know absolutely nothing?

    Greece is bankrupt. That’s all there is to it. They cannot afford to pay money back without beggaring their own people. Face the facts and sort it out somehow. For God’s sake, we’ll have a bloody whip round if it gets this utterly tedious story off the front pages just for a day.

    There is an uncontrolled influx of illegal migrants which we cannot and do not particularly want to cater for.

    The best and most motivated E Europeans are abandoning their own countries for more money in W Europe, while their own countries could really do with some energetic young souls.

    Putin laughs as he sees the EU squabble like a bunch of weak kids who have found themselves in an empty playground.

    In the meantime, the so-called EU leaders…wait for it…..have dinner.

    But never mind – our own illustrious leader is “delighted”.

    An expression often used at my place of work – “If you’re IN charge, TAKE charge”. Any chance anyone at all is likely to do this before Europe sees the worst crises it has ever seen outside of two World Wars?

  24. The Prangwizard
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    With all its faults, anti-democratic beliefs, incompetence and corruption, who with any sense and dignity would wish the UK to stay in the EU even if the changes being talked about are obtained, which is of course extremely doubtful in any event? EU promises will not be honoured no matter how they are guaranteed.

    The only way is OUT.

  25. Kenneth
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I would add that NATO and the west are in danger of losing Greece as it looks elsewhere for new friends.

    IN the last century the UK went to great lengths to keep Greece within the western orbit but the chaos caused by the Eurozone is undoing this work.

    The eu is like a bull in a china shop. Trouble is, it will no doubt fall to the U.S. and NATO to put the broken pieces back together again.

  26. Tad Davison
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Well said and absolutely true, but the flat Earth society will still argue to the contrary. One of those put forward an argument recently that the EU was great because we didn’t have to queue at airports, and changing money when they go on holiday was easier. Is that really the best they can do?

    We on the right side of the argument predicted that one day, the EU would implode. I hope and pray we are now witnessing the beginnings of that collapse – for everyone’s sake. 1950s solutions to 1930s problems, were never the right way to go.

    Tad Davison


    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      They also said phone roaming charges! They really are clutching at straws!

      • Tim L
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Roaming charges. A discount for business travellers, well healed tourists and EU funded folk.

        Just like car insurance the masses have absorbed the costs of the few.

      • Kenneth
        Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        According to Dan Hannan, bills were increased for domestic users to make good the loss, so the jet set have been subsidised by everybody else.

        Another market intervention that backfired

    • John C.
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      Tad D, It’s certainly true that managing currency on a touring holiday is now much easier. This strikes me as the only convincing case for the existence of the E.U.

    • Alexis
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      They really said that?

      £33m/day is an expensive way to make it easier to change your money on holiday!

      Plastic makes that obsolete anyway. But the EU’s supporters are pretty much stuck in the 70s.

  27. Pete
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    NATO is certainly not a peace keeping influence. It has been instrumental in starting many conflicts in recent years and is consistently used by Washington as cover for their aggressive interventions. It was far more involved in ruining Yugoslavia than the EU and played a major part in wrecking countries whose citizens now clamor for asylum in the UK. Roll on the day when it collapses and can no longer provide legitimacy to violent war criminals in western governments.

  28. Bill
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    JR, if you have a research assistant I should still be grateful if you could set him/her to work on analysing the basis for the estimate of 3m job losses if the UK left the EU. This figure is (a) suspiciously round (b) has been around for a long time, and therefore likely to have been based on projections that have now proved wrong (c) sounds as if it comes either from the civil service or some sort of think tank or, worse, from the LibDem ‘research department’ (hollow laughter).

    Is the figure simply made up from the grants the UK receives from the EU each year – even though those grants are simply giving back a fairly small part of what we give the EU? We could imagine that 3bn might indeed equal 3m jobs. If that is how the calculation is made, of course, it is a complete fraud.

    Denial of the 3m figure carries weight but denial with deconstructive analysis carries more weight.

    Reply No I do not have a research assistant, I do my own research. 3m will be roughly right for the number of people working on exports to the rest of the EU. The error is in saying they will lose their jobs.

  29. bigneil
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    “Greece cannot accept Germany’s austere economics” – why not the EU’s economics? – is this an admission that Germany actually rules the EU? I thought it was supposed to be a union, where all were “equal”, or is it, as we really know, Germany wants to be, and is, a LOT more “equal” than the rest.
    The EU is looking more like what it really is – A street gang with a big (boss ed) at the head.

  30. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink


    • Margaret Brandreth-J
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      I presume that is test the evidence and don’t make wild calls ?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 27, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Just so I could see my comments still in moderation, so maybe “Test” was not the right thing to write.

  31. ChrisS
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    If Cameron pushes ahead with the referendum without everything guaranteed and cast in stone he will lose it.

    Nobody is going to trust the EU to deliver on a new deal unless necessary treaty changes are made first.

    We can be very certain that the Federalists will use the European Court to reverse any promise changes we are offered.

    • John C.
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Chris S.
      You are assuming that people will vote after considering the case that Cameron will present. I suspect that this is too optimistic. People vote nearly always to defend or improve their financial position, and they will be told in a massive propaganda campaign that we will be poorer if we leave.
      They will troop into the booths hoping to maintain their standard of living, and will vote away a 1000 years of nationhood.
      Of this, I am fairly sure. Look on my words, and despair.

    • matthu
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Cameron will be banking on the fact that by the time it comes time to deliver on that promise, he will be long gone.

      No longer PM.


      And none of the others who are helping him to pull the wool over the eyes of the British people (yet again) will still be in office either … although some would have been promoted to the House of Lords.

  32. Atlas
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    A couple of dog analogies:

    1) The Greeks are like a terrier yapping loudly as they back away from their adversaries;

    2) Cameron is like a poodle just doing what he thinks the rest of the EU will put up with, compared to what we in the UK want.

  33. mike fowle
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I do have a sense of deja vu. I could never understand why John Major refused a referendum on Maastricht, the outcome would surely have strengthened his hand either way. He could have gone back to Europe and said the voters have rejected the terms – they will need to alter. Or have been able to say to the British – you have endorsed the terms – that is the democratic will. Although Mr Cameron has offered a referendum, there aren’t many people who don’t feel it will be a fix, and the resentment will continue.

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Because Major is a raging Europhile and doesn’t believe the people should have a voice. He is one of the Clarke gang who think the referendum is a distraction.
      Still no apology from Major to the thousands who lost homes and business due to the stupid ERM and he still wants to sign up to the Euro.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      I’ve always assumed that Major refused a referendum on Maastricht because he feared that he would lose it. It was one thing for voters in a small country like Denmark to reject it in a referendum and then be forced to vote again on the promise of a protocol to give Denmark various opt-outs, including, but not only, from having to join the euro. It would have been a different matter if voters in the UK had rejected it, then it could not have gone ahead as Major wished. So then no EU, and no euro, and no possibility of the UK eventually being pushed or pulled into the euro as Major clearly hoped would happen in the long term.

    • Wireworm
      Posted June 27, 2015 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Major was not a free agent in these matters as he had ceded European policy to D Hurd and the FCO as quid pro quo for becoming Tory leader.

      Reply That is not Mr Hurd’s view.

  34. Ken Moore
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    If the Calais immigrants are really fleeing from extreme poverty and war, where are the women and children?. Why do so many appear to have mobile phones and designer sports gear if they are fleeing ‘extreme poverty’. ?.

    And if these migrants are coming in from outside the Eu leaving won’t help in this case. We just need to stop appeasing lefties and the human rights lobby.

    It’s a disgrace Cameron’s feeble response – sending a few more border staff over the channel isn’t going to solve the problem.

    • bluedog
      Posted June 27, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Quite right. It’s hard to believe that an individual who has financed his travel from the Sudan across northern Africa and southern Europe to reach the UK is seeking ‘asylum’ or is a ‘refugee’. Was every single country through which he passed a threat to his life? Possibly not. Only the hopelessly naïve could let their hearts bleed for this sort of illegal immigrant. Send them straight home.

  35. Tim L
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Farage has articluated the migrant issue rather well this week.

    The recently employed UK opt-out on the migrant crisis is useless.

    Those countries who have just accepted thousands each are going to issuing citizenship to all of them.

    A rather large number of them will then legally make their way here exercising their newly granted freedom of movement.

    Some opt-out.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted June 27, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      There must be a limit to the number of fruit pickers, coffee servers, burger flippers, hand car washers etc. one smallish island can sustain. Much of this country’s infra-structure was planned by the Victorians – yet the fools in charge seem to think we can go on absorbing unlimited numbers despite what they say in public.
      Either the politicians get a grip now or they will go down in history as the generation of leaders that reversed living standards. Their choice.

  36. matthu
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    In January, Cameron claimed that “proper full on treaty change” was needed before he could recommend to the British people that they stay in the EU.

    Another case of “no ifs, no buts” treaty change then?

    Cameron would do better to realise that he is not going to be able to negotiate anything meaningful with the EU. He may as well jump ship and save himself.

  37. Alexis
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    I agree. You despair to watch.

    This :

    They spend hours just having one round setting out their different attitudes, and then more hours as the hapless Chairman and Commission try to broker compromises ….in the hope that tiredness will eventually cause all to give in and agree with something, however modest or inappropriate or vexatious

    is exactly how it comes across. That they will thrash out some vague fragment of a decision just to get out of there and get some sleep. Normally a decision to meet again.

    I don’t know how anyone deludes themselves that this expensive, combative fiasco promotes peace or prosperity; or that it ever will in future.

    Or that leaving it poses a risk.

  38. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Obviously there are more and better reasons for the UK to stay a full EU member, but allow me to wait a little until the debate starts (after the current negotiations) and people will get interested in serious information.
    Enjoy your EU-disunion for the moment while it lasts.

  39. matthu
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, in another embarrassment for the government, the shadow transport secretary, Michael Dugher, has written to Cameron:

    “It appears that despite you and your ministers, knowing that these [HS2] projects were in serious difficulty before the election, you decided to wait until after the election to reveal the extent of the problems before reneging on the commitments you had previously made.

    “The public have a right to know if they have been deceived and if members of your government knew for months that these projects would not be delivered as promised.”

    This letter comes after information is released following a FOI request that was long held up and defended by the government, before finally being released only after they realised the game was up.

    Well, who would have suspected it. If they can’t be trusted to be straight with us over HS2, how can we trust them to be straight with us over the EU?

    Silly me.

  40. petermartin2001
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Is there any evidence that any country, anywhere in the world, has higher unemployment, than it would otherwise have, by virtue of it being excluded from, or being unwilling to join, a neighbouring trade bloc?

    I can think of plenty of examples which show the contrary, especially when countries make the mistake of sharing their currencies with each other and so lose control of their own economies..

    Does the argument that we need ever closer union to prevent European wars have any real substance? Does our hope that the USA, China, Russia and Japan don’t somehow find themselves engaged in some future disastrous military conflict rest on their forming some similar arrangement to France and Germany? Possibly by sharing a common currency?

    That, IMO, is highly unlikely! So we need to be looking at other ways to keep the peace in the world. Wars are much more likely to result from economic failure than economic success. That’s what we need to concentrate on.

  41. Boudicca
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    It’s YOUR party and YOUR Prime Minister who insists we must stay in the disfunctional and failing EU.

    You are propping it up.

    Ever taken a long, cold look in the mirror?

    Reply I have spent the last few years making the case for out or a fundamentally different relationship and getting you a referendum. There’s gratitude for you.

    • Margaret Brandreth-J
      Posted June 29, 2015 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      John , you will never get gratitude from the constant big ‘I”s . I am grateful for a voice and an opportunity to understand why some appear to be so bigoted in their views.This is learning; not simply about politics and financial matters, it is learning about how people behave with each other when removed from face to face communication. How people integrate, interact , perceive and demonstrate their beliefs is perhaps the most important aspect of universal politics. We are extremely lucky that so many have taken art degrees to enable them to understand the human condition.Learning is not about one thing or another . It is about all things and is a continual process.
      What I do not understand is how you manage, how you have enough time to keep on top of everything every day and manage to stay so detached.

  42. David Price
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    “Under WTO rules which we have automatically trade can flourish, as the rest of the world shows when trading with the EU. ”

    This is too blanket and blase a promise. I doubt WTO rules gurantee trade will flourish since there are still separate agreements between countries that must be established. I was involved in commercial product activities that relied on international standards within the EU where you would expect no barriers at all, but that still did not prevent parochial and local practices effectively blocking our business.

    The WTO is absolutely no guarantee that trade will happen let alone “flourish”

    We will need trade agreements with the EU as do other partners in the world, so it would be more sensible and practical to rely the existing or augmented EFTA/EEA agreements within the context the WTO. These will take time.

  43. David Price
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    The 3m jobs at risk narrative is a lie because it was a a rough guesstimate in 2003 based on the proportion of exports to the EU. So it never had the basis of rigorous analysis and is out of date anyway.

    The simple fact is that the numbers of jobs that will be lost, gained and changed if we leave the EU are difficult to estimate. Another factor is that it won’t be a clean break anyway as article 50 offers a 2 year timeframe for the split no doubt followed by years of trade negotiations. Our transitioning via EFTA/EEA adds another wrinkle and then you would have to allow for spiteful behaviour on the part of certain EU elements.

    You can analyse and predict employment dynamics until doomsday but the simple fact is you do not know and cannot really predict it. The key mitigation for this uncertainty will be the attitude of our government, policitians and civil servants. If they demonstrate an attitude and success in maintaining our sovereignty and trade position then people will trust promises and support decisions of either direction.

    But the current attitude is to sacrifice everything and everyone to stay in the EU for no good or even apparent reason, to pay out enormous sums of money and give up all rights we thought we had with no thought of the consequences on the rest of us.

    The 3m+ narrative and debate is important not as a number but as an indication of attitude and based on the presented attitude I currently have no confidence in this government or parliament whether we stay in or leave.

  44. Gareth J
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    I for one would like to hear his explanation as to the reforms and what he’s agreed to prior to the in out vote. I would like to see if anyone in the Government uh as the balls to question his actions and his authority in making any deals for and on behalf of the people of the UK. As stated he is our representative not our leader. He heads the Government, the Queen heads the country.

  45. bluedog
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Congratulations to the Greek Government, Dr JR, for their astute decision to call a referendum for July 5th to enable the Greek electorate to decide on their nation’s continued use of the Euro. Only by resetting their mandate in this manner can the Greek government retain both the initiative and legitimacy in their negotiations with the EU. Without question, the EU creditors of Greece will only be satisfied by the unconditional surrender of Greece to all EU terms. This has never been a conventional exercise in negotiations between creditors and debtors. The EU has purely political objectives and is cynically using debt as an instrument to control the Greeks. Presumably if the Greek electorate reject the idea of leaving the Euro, their intelligent and courageous government will resign.

  • 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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