The UK will be more secure outside the EU

The security of the UK rests primarily on the vigilance, hard work and success of its own people. Outside the EU the UK will be freer and more prosperous, freed of the EU taxes and rules that hold us back.

Our main defence will be strong, based on the UK military and our continuing membership of NATO.

We will be able to avoid being pulled into conflicts and insecurities which the wider EU shares.

The UK’s security has been weakened by EU energy policies designed to increase interdependence in a continent which is short of energy. The EU will have to be careful about its reliance on Russian gas.

The EU’s policy towards Ukraine, fostering a bigger divide between the two parts of the country, gave opportunity to Russia to exploit western weakness and seize Crimea. The UK has been dragged into this conflict whilst the EU has shown no ability to retrieve the damage done. All the UK in the EU can do is to protest loudly about the Russian action.

The EU border policy has failed to police the external border or provide a legal and orderly framework for deciding who can come and who cannot. Whilst the UK is protected from some of this by being outside the Schengen common frontier policy, the free movement of people means that anyone accepted anywhere else in the EU is free to come to the UK whether that meets with our wishes or not.

The free movement of terrorists over EU frontiers as we saw in recent French tragedies is worrying if we stay in.


There is not a shred of evidence for this proposal.

They cannot name a single way in which the EU has made us more secure. Far from doing so it has made our borders less secure, and pulled us into dangerous foreign and energy policies.

They say the European Arrest Warrant makes us safer. Outside the EU we would have similar procedures through normal extradition relations. We would continue to share intelligence as we do with some non EU countries like the USA as well.


  1. Lifelogic
    February 6, 2016

    As you say not a shred of evidence that we would be safer in the EU than out, and much evidence that the reverse would be the case.

    If we continue on this death spiral to being a mere region of the sclerotic, socialist and anti-democratic EU we will not even be in control of our own defence forces. Does the EU have a record of doing anything efficiently, fishing, CAP, energy, employment laws, immigration systems, accounting, dealing with corruption within …….. anything at all they do well?

    Is it it likely to make us safer having some unelected & disinterested, bureaucrats in Brussels decided on the UK defence policy or indeed its non defence?

    Might they not be rather tempted not bother & just save the money? Perhaps to use it to boost bureaucrats pension and their salaries still further or augment their empires?

    1. Lifelogic
      February 6, 2016

      Mind you the UK defence and defence procurement is dreadfully managed too, but it would certainly get even worse the more influence the EU has in the matter.

      1. Hope
        February 6, 2016

        Economic security- look at the vast amount of unemployment across EU countries. France declared an economic emergency two weeks ago. Hannah pointed out that the UK made £36 billion in spending cuts and gave away £87 billion in the same period to the EU! Which part does Osborne not understand about these numbers and how the money could be better spent in the UK or reduce our public spending by stop giving away vast sums to the EU? Tax collection and other powers given away to the EU which are not in our national interest. Freedom to trade with the world curtailed by the EU.
        EU freedom of movement is an actually threat to our national and personal safety. Paris attacks graphically illustrate the stupidity of this founding principle that Cameron has not asked to change nor will be given any ground to alter it. Criminals have come to this country and committed serious crimes including murder. There is no supervision or monitoring of convicted EU criminals. We read today the EJC will not allow Abu Hamza’s convicted criminal daughter-in-law (terrorism and kidnap) to be deported. There are many other examples.
        Cameron supports the EU Border and Coastal force. Why? More EU by stealth? EU army buy the back door? He should not be using the Royal Navy as a ferry for potential terrorists. Like Australia the boats should be retuned from whence they came. It saves lives. UN could create safety camps in their own country. What action has Cameron taken against Germany for breaking the EU law? How has he used the unilateral breach for his alleged negotiation?
        Energy security at risk because of the EU. The Climate Change Act, introduced by Miliband and gold plated by Cameron, included in his last manifesto. It is costing jobs causing additional welfare claims.
        The political game is to rid EU states of any form of national identity. This is the central purpose of mass immigration. They think it will rid all forms of nationalism or feelings of nationhood. This will make it easier to become an EUSSR, a citizen of EUSSR, allegiance to EUSSR. Cameron is placing our safety and prosperity is at risk by remaining in the EU. Vote to leave.

  2. Lifelogic
    February 6, 2016

    We have after all had the aircraft carriers without aircraft and now I read about power failures on the £billion type 45 destroyers (due to the generators being unable to cope with the demand it seems).

    I assume Amber Rudd/Huhne/Davey/Cameron types and the bonkers department of Energy and Climate Change will be encouraging them just to fit a few solar cells on the roof and a wind turbine or two on the bridge. Perhaps even have the navel staff cycle on power generating stationary bicycles at peak times or row a bit. Maybe even a return to full sail tall ships.

    The navy might even get some tax payer carbon saving grants to help fund them.

    So bonkers and lacking in any understanding of engineering, science and economics are these green loons, that I would put nothing past them.

  3. stred
    February 6, 2016

    The European Arrest Warrant makes us safely transportable to countries anywhere in the EU, some of which still have very corrupt legal services and appalling prisons. Imagine being extradited to the Ukraine when this country joins. No questions. The plods arrive and you are off. As brought to us by the May/Eural McCameron partnership.

    1. Jerry
      February 6, 2016

      @stred; The problem with the EAW is not the concept but the lack of checks and balances, that no evidence needs to be laid before the accused home courts. Had there been an effective British ‘opposition’ in the EU parliament when this policy was being driven through by British Libdem MEPs many of the problems could well have been sorted out from the off, but instead both the Conservatives and UKIP were to scared to be constructive in case they appeared to be supportive of the EU, thus a shoddy opposition in the EUP allowed for a shoddy EAW.

      But lets not start chucking babies out with the bath water on this, it is often noted that those who oppose even the concept of outward extradition via a EAW are all to pleased when the same system is used to quickly return people to the UK, such as that person who fled to Italy after trying (but thankfully failing) to copy the attacks of 7/7 a few years back…

      1. Ted Mombiot
        February 6, 2016

        Various MEPs tried try to make changes but we failed to get a majority vote carried.
        Just one or two nations in 27.

      2. Dennis
        February 6, 2016

        So without the EAW the Italians would have been quite happy to have that person remain there and not sent him to the UK?

        1. Jerry
          February 6, 2016

          @Ted Mombiot; They might have tried but they also failed due to having no support, perhaps having no political favours to call in, you know the sort of things that happen when people cooperate and build working friendships, not just political foes..

          @Dennis; That is not what I said, the EAW allowed a far quicker return, less time for the “human rights” type lawyers to claim this or that and thus hold up extradition back to the UK for perhaps years.

          @Narrow Shoulders; Irrelevant,. how many Libdem MEPs did the UK have back then, yet they were able to build support amounts other MEPs/groups and thus get their idea not only debated but made into EU law.

      3. Narrow Shoulders
        February 6, 2016


        How many MEPs does the UK have? Are you claiming that their intervention would have made one iota of difference? You take us for fools.

    2. James Matthews
      February 6, 2016

      Yep. An EAW to Ukraine would be very worrying. Turkey even more so.

    3. lifelogic
      February 6, 2016

      Exactly, not much in the way of human rights seem to apply in these circumstances, even if they have completely the wrong person or a they have a complete misunderstanding of the facts. Perhaps held for months, even if you are later found not guilty of anything at all.

  4. The Active Citizen
    February 6, 2016

    Another very good piece JR, and on an important subject. It’s important because the Britain Stagnating (Staying) in Europe campaign have the following 3 themes: Stronger, Safer, Better Off in Europe.

    Know thine enemy… Here are BSE’s opening three statements about safety/security:
    “In today’s world, many of the threats to Britain’s security are global in nature – like the aggression of Russia, terrorism and cross-border crime.
    “Being in Europe, working with our closest neighbours and partners to tackle these threats, makes Britain safer.
    “Whether it’s implementing sanctions against Russia, sharing intelligence about terrorists or arresting criminals using the European Arrest Warrant, there is strength in numbers.”

    (See BSE’s website.)

    I would like to make four fundamental points about security.

    1. When it comes to international security cooperation, who amongst western nations would conceivably not want to cooperate, regardless of membership of a club? The idea that we wouldn’t all continue to cooperate with each other post-Brexit is just ludicrous. Imagine if there were a terrorist plot against the UK, uncovered by the French DGSE, does anyone think they wouldn’t tell us immediately?

    2. The EU’s track record on developing common intelligence and crime-prevention systems and on dealing with international crises is demonstrably appalling. You only have to look at the admitted intelligence failures between France, Belgium, Austria and Germany over the planned Paris attacks. Or the EU’s disastrous policies towards the Ukraine resulting in an increasingly dysfuntional state under continued threat from Russian interference and territorial ambition.

    3. The EU’s avowed intention is to create an EU army (and navy, and air force, and coastguard, etc). I really don’t think we need to ask the British people if they’d feel safer with Angela and Francois directing our forces, or if they’d prefer to have our own boys and girls continuing to take care of us.

    4. I’m sorry to have to say it, but we must insist that Mr Cameron starts telling the truth about basics in this debate. It’s NATO and the nuclear deterrent that has kept the peace since WWII, not the EU. The (first) Cold War was primarily won by the USA and the UK, not the EU. Let’s not forget that thanks to our efforts, the two Germanies were able to be unified.

    For many years my late father flew fighter jets protecting continental and British skies, against continuous incursions by Soviet MiGs testing our resolve. It’s an insult to his memory and to the diligence of our servicemen and women today, that Mr Cameron and the Remain camp are attempting to rewrite history and the truth.

    We should stick with what has served us well for generations.

    The UK will be safer and more secure when we control our own destiny as a free and independent country, with all decisions being taken in the interests of ensuring the security of the people of the country – which is the first duty and obligation of the Government.

  5. Horatio
    February 6, 2016

    We often talk about the £20b a year we give the EU but not the 5.5m jobs in Europe dependent on trade with us. We mention the £60bn trade deficit that we have with the rest of the EU but on the TV I rarely seen the simple point being made that the rest of Europe can’t afford to buy the masses of German cars that we do or that the Frogs would never cripple their wine and dairy market by imposing tariffs on our valuable industries that would be immidietly reciprocated.

    Let’s not also forget that the PM has been outvoted under QMV rules 42x since 2010. Hand brake anyone?

    This split in the OUT campaigns is becoming a farce and is disrupting all interviews with the MSM. Rather than saying ‘who wanted an emergency brake that doesn’t work, we wanted the ability to control immigration full stop’ or ‘don’t be deceitful Emily (or any other BBC bod) the French would would never cripple their dairy and wine industries by imposing tariffs on us that we would immediately impose on them’ it’s ‘yes there are splits in the campaign, no we’re not campaigning for a cohesive vision of what the world be like post brexit, actually Theresa May was never a Eurosceptic, yes we’re suing each other’ etc..

    On a side point; of the two issues that most irk English people only one of them is of the EUs making, though we do pay twice through Europe for the second.
    1 immigration. 2 Foreign aid. I’m seriously considering not voting Tory in the next election as I hate to see under funded, inadequate flood defences and a lack of support for veterans and the homeless in this country whilst I read that we are sending another billion to the Middle East. It is unconscionable!

  6. Leslie Singleton
    February 6, 2016

    Given the waves of invaders currently having little or no trouble getting in to the EU despite being unarmed (the internal borders scarcely merit a mention these days) just think what it would be like if they had weapons. At least we would have some chance of holding the line at the channel.

    1. Mike Stallard
      February 6, 2016

      They are already getting knives and cutlasses in the jungle apparently.

  7. Antisthenes
    February 6, 2016

    The idea of the EU was to create a more secure, prosperous and harmonious Europe. An intention with considerable merit but good intentions have the propensity to not deliver the intended outcome. So it is with the EU as you point out it has achieved none of those things.

    It all went wrong when the founders of the EU decided that statism through the construction of a European wide government was they key to success. They did not understand that by doing so they would be building a monolithic structure that would be wasteful, inefficient, authoritarian. inept and cumbersome. It would deprive Europeans of their independence, freedom of choice, increase their tax burden and cause economic turmoil for many of them. Would make many of them less secure and prosperous not more.

    They should have known better because the lessons of governments is that they cause far more problems than they ever solve. They do have roles but for the good of all they should be very few. The larger they get and the more roles they fulfil the more power they take unto themselves and therefore the more likely they are to abuse and misuse that power.

    They can be somewhat excused that mistake as they are not alone in believing that statism is the panacea of all our ills. The left have been preaching that for more than a century and despite the evidence to the contrary that points to centralised command and control leading to economic and social ruin most still believe it is the right method to govern. An understandable belief as such governments bribe their citizens into compliance with their own money.

    It is time to wake up see the fallacies and failings of statism and reconsider what type of government is in our best interests. Of course I say it it is less government and we should work towards achieving that and start by leaving the most overarching of them all the EU. Then get on with reducing the size and scope of our domestic ones.

  8. Dame Rita Webb
    February 6, 2016

    “We will be able to avoid being pulled into conflicts and insecurities which the wider EU shares.” Thats a bit ingenious as due to their overlapping memberships an EU security problem is going to be a NATO one too. I do not seem to remember the EU having anything to do with us being dragged into Afghanistan and Iraq. You will remember France and Germany stayed well away from that one. Its also been noted here that the West’s response to events in the Ukraine (or even main driver of events) is Mrs Nuland. In fact you might remember her very strongly worded comments about what she thought about the EU.

    Remember we can also make our borders very secure when we want too regardless what Brussels thinks. For years the Gurkhas were told to go away and the Hong Kong Chinese were told to get lost too.

    1. Dame Rita Webb
      February 6, 2016

      should be disingenuous

    2. DaveM
      February 6, 2016

      Both Germany and France had large contingents in Afghanistan and lost a fair number through enemy action.

      I was also on the ground with Estonians and Danes. And there were Romanians and other E Europeans there. The Italians and Spanish pulled out early though.

      True they were there as part of the NATO ISAF force but European troops didn’t “stay well away”. I’m glad the EU didn’t lead on those conflicts – the EU answer would probably have been to give them all tickets to Europe, give them free houses, then let them run amok in our towns and cities.

    3. forthurst
      February 6, 2016

      “Remember we can also make our borders very secure when we want too regardless what Brussels thinks.”

      We do not have the right to challenge anyone with an EU passport nor would we know anything about them or have any control over who is issued with one; at a pinch we could probably stop a ‘German’ Daesh terrorist and protege of Mad Merkel provided he was also packing heat. The Treaty of Lisbon binds us into to the European Court of ‘Human Rights’, mainly those of terrorists and their relations. In the EU, our borders are porous.

      1. Denis Cooper
        February 6, 2016

        And this is before some daft future government of whichever party decides it would be in our national interest to give up our present treaty opt-outs from Schengen and the EU’s common asylum and immigration policy.

  9. Richard1
    February 6, 2016

    Do you agree with Goldman Sachs that a Brexit vote would likely trigger a 20% fall in sterling? What measures should the authorities take to ensure confidence in sterling & do you recall what forecasts were made by proponents of the euro if we didn’t join EMU?

    Reply No of course not. The 20% fall in both the balance of payments deficit and the state deficit that not paying contributions triggers is bullish for sterling.

    1. Dame Rita Webb
      February 6, 2016

      Hang on though if a currency is sort of like a nation’s share price why would you want to hold the £ especially when it disengages itself from the EU? Out on its own anybody like Soros might be tempted by the fact the national debt has doubled, the government continues to deficit spend and the off balance sheet liabilities continue to increase. Sterling is also losing its place as a global trading currency too e.g. its proportion of the IMFs SDR being reduced to make for the Chinese Yuan. So why not try and pick it off? Goldman’s were spot on with regard to their forecast on the price of oil. Their $20 target does not seem so outrageous these days.

      Reply People will buy sterling if the UK runs its affairs well. Just look at the strength of the Swiss franc.

      1. dame rita webb
        February 6, 2016

        Problem is though we not just look at the ever increasing levels of public and private debt

      2. Denis Cooper
        February 6, 2016

        “So why not try and pick it off?”

        How? This is not 1992, the government is not trying to defend some fixed exchange rate against attacks by speculators.

        1. Dame Rita Webb
          February 6, 2016

          Go and see and how many billions the Chinese government is spending right now trying to defend their currency. You need not ask who is trying to have a go

          1. Denis Cooper
            February 7, 2016

            Only because the Chinese government wishes to dictate to the world what the Chinese currency is worth, which the UK government no longer attempts to do for the UK currency.

    2. Lifelogic
      February 6, 2016

      I agree that the fundamental post exit would be for a stronger sterling as it would clearly be more competitive without all the dead weight of the EU, the expensive energy, the huge membership fees, the absurd multilevel legal system, the expensive open door immigration and over regulation of everything.

    3. agricola
      February 6, 2016

      To elaborate, I would maintain that Goldman Sachs saying our leaving would lead to a 20% drop in Sterling is a scare tactic. I would add that the current drop of about 8% in Sterling is due to dealer discounting in the near certainty that the Pound will soar on our exit from the EU Such are the routes to profit.

      The real question is not the value of Sterling, but that of the Euro without the support of the UK economy. Since mid January, Sterling has been increasing it’s value against the US Dollar. Both currencies exist in relatively successful economies. The Euro is in a diminishing economy to be further diminished by Brexit.

      1. Denis Cooper
        February 6, 2016

        Actually the sterling trade weighted index has not fallen much – this past week it ranged between 88.2 and 89.0, while in the corresponding period last year it was between 88.3 and 89.4 – so I am waiting to see if there is a significant downwards trend developing or it is a short term fluctuation.

      2. Dennis
        February 6, 2016

        What?The £ has been losing value against the Euro and Dollar for months.

        Last August the £ got you $1.55, now only $1.42
        and £ E1.42 now only E1.30

        Anyway I thought everyone loved a cheaper £ as it ‘helps’ our exports.

        1. Denis Cooper
          February 7, 2016

          Well, you can run your eye down the figures for the sterling index:

          As I say, I am waiting to see if there is a significant downwards trend developing or it is a short term fluctuation.

    4. oldtimer
      February 6, 2016

      It sounded like scaremongering to me, possibly prompted by the US government which wants the UK to remain in the EU. Devaluation might even be beneficial to the UK balance of payments by spurring exports, making imports more expensive and even by encouraging more on-shoring.

    5. Leslie Singleton
      February 6, 2016

      Dear Richard–Aren’t the American Bank to which you refer the crowd that – not much over a year ago – spouted that oil (then at 110) would, based on their ever so profound analysis, having noticed that it was then going up, be 200 by now? They’re no mystics so don’t worry.

      1. Denis Cooper
        February 6, 2016

        They advised the Greeks on how to blag their way into the euro.

        That turned out well, for the eurofederalists if not the Greeks.

    6. forthurst
      February 6, 2016

      The FT is accusing some major British businesses of ‘complacency’ over their failure to plan for a Brexit: Rolls-Royce said, “We do not see a business reason to do so at this time.” Could it be that R-R does not in fact believe that 3 million jobs could evaporate or that their working relationship with Airbus would be harmed should we leave?

    7. Richard1
      February 6, 2016

      I agree I can see no reason there should be a sterling crisis unless there is panic selling of sterling assets & why would there be? We do not see a reluctance to invest in the Swiss franc or Norwegian Krona versus comparable currencies. What it comes down to is what sort of government and policies would we have post Brexit? If – like Switzerland and Norway – we had balanced budgets, then sterling could be a safe harbour, as both those have been (albeit the NOK is much affected by oil).

      1. Denis Cooper
        February 6, 2016

        But we no longer have sterling crises, they went out when the government stopped trying to tell the world how much the pound was worth against other currencies rather than letting the world decide.

        1. Richard1
          February 6, 2016

          True in the traditional meaning but don’t underestimate the potential political effect of sharp depreciation of Sterling. If there is a Brexit vote it will be critical for there to be robust statements of policy to ensure confidence – focus on balanced budgets, competitiveness etc

          1. hefner
            February 7, 2016

            “robust statements”, yeah just the usual bla bla bla, but at the end the “market” will decide, and I am not convinced that anybody knows for sure what will happen.
            The slump in oil price is presently making some UK oil service companies to change their outlook and make them bet there is more money to be made in decommissioning the UK Continental Shelf oil fields over the coming ten-twenty years than in supporting the industry. Who would have thought about this eighteen months ago?

            What will be the new flavour of the day to explain the economic situation? the “output gap”? or a new explanation of the relationship between such an output gap and inflation (or the absence of it)? or whatever?

          2. Denis Cooper
            February 7, 2016

            As I said in an earlier comment, the sterling trade weighted index fell by 29% during the course of 2007 and 2008, from its all time (over-valued) high of 106.8045 on January 23rd 2007 to its all time (under-valued) low of 73.7560 on December 30th 2008, with much of that drop concentrated just into December 2008, and that was neither a crisis nor a catastrophe.

            Reply And last week as polls came out saying Leave could win sterling rose!

      2. Original Richard
        February 6, 2016

        “What it comes down to is what sort of government and policies would we have post Brexit? ”

        It can equally be asked :

        What sort of EU government and EU policies would we have if we remain in the EU ?

        And in this case we cannot remove any EU government if we do not like their policies.

  10. Jerry
    February 6, 2016

    …and to think that the Brexit groups used to be the ones complaining about europhile scare stories. 🙁

    “Our main defence will be strong, based on the UK military”

    Any weakness in the UK military is not down to the EU but government spending cuts or domestic politics, if Mr Corbyn & Co. ever gets to remove our nuclear deterrent it will because of domestic elections not EU decision making. France has no problems, nor does Germany (even with their reluctance to be seen as a modern, capable, military force.

    “and our continuing membership of NATO. “

    Has anyone claimed otherwise, that remaining in the EU would require us leaving NATO, are there not many EU member countries (ones within the Euro and Schengen areas even) who are members of NATO and who intend to remain so, hasn’t the EU been actively encouraging not only expansion of EU member states but membership of NATO eastwards?

    “We will be able to avoid being pulled into conflicts and insecurities which the wider EU shares.”

    Which are? The last ‘EU conflict and insecurity’ must have been Kosovo (and even that intervention was driven by the UK via the UN), every conflict and insecurity the UK has been pulled into since has either involved NATO (9/11) or -our over?- closeness to US presidents and/or their domestic politics (Iraq and now Libya/Syria).

    “The UK’s security has been weakened by EU energy policies designed to increase interdependence in a continent which is short of energy. The EU will have to be careful about its reliance on Russian gas.”

    Oh and the UK wasn’t a lead on the dash for gas, due to environmental issues, back in the 1980s?! Also the likes of COP21 is as much the fault of the UN and its IPCC, as the EU, even countries not in the EU and never likely to be are being adversely affected by the UN and their IPCC.

    “The free movement of terrorists over EU frontiers as we saw in recent French tragedies is worrying if we stay in.”

    Indeed but I seem to recall we had much the same problem between N.Ireland and Southern Ireland, it is what happens when the geographical landscape is so entwined and there are no natural borders such as seas or mountains. Free passage will always be easy when, in the case of France and Belgium one side of a street can be in France and the other Belgium, don’t believe me visit Google maps (and their street view).

  11. Mike Stallard
    February 6, 2016

    The idea behind the EU was for a group of elite politicians all of whom had the same grandiose ideas to guide Europe away from its terrible history of warfare and imperialism towards a unified and peaceful future. That was getting on for a century ago and now the world has moved on.
    None of my grandchildren thinks of themselves as British or English like I once did. London is no longer the centre of the world as it was when I was young. The Empire has gone and with it our world view. Three of my own four children live happily abroad – two in Muslim countries. Their children are quite at home there too.
    Different times need different solutions.
    And Fortress Europe under an unelected, unaccountable Commission whose power is nil and whose idea of running a vast, sprawling mess of totally different economies stinks, is definitely not the way forward.

  12. DaveM
    February 6, 2016

    Good morning.

    I don’t know if you saw it, but I watched the GO public meeting last night. I would have watched the Vote Leave meeting but they don’t appear to have had any of any significance. Whether you like it or not, they present a united group of cross-party, veteran politicians and new politicians, not all English by any means, who are combining all their efforts to produce a meaningful campaign.

    Nigel Farage’s speech was inspirational. Kate Hoey’s speech was outstanding. David Davis’ speech was excellent. Funnily enough though, everything they said was practically a script of what you write in your blogs.

    I would suggest that they should be the main Leave campaign. At the moment, the BBC is broadcasting (with lip-licking delight) any arguments there might be in the “official” Leave campaign organisations, any Hilary Clinton victory, and any Donald Trump controversies and setbacks. GO are sending people out – and instilling enthusiasm – to deliver leaflets and publicise their arguments at “street level”.

    I absolutely agree with one of your replies not long ago which stated there should be a multitude of voices from across the social spectrum. Michael Caine for example, and others of that stature in showbiz and business, sport and the arts. You seem to be the kind of person who could reasonably and successfully persuade people like that to speak up. How about it John? How about lending your incredible intellect, experience, and powers of reasoning to a group which is actually doing something proactive and positive for Leave? They have all the arguments for getting people to feel they are being shafted by the EU – what they really need is some hardcore publicity and a presentable vision of what the UK will be like when it leaves, and someone of your ability to work behind the scenes producing meaningful, truthful, backed-up arguments. I would happily forego the daily pleasure of reading your Diary if you dedicated time to helping a group of principled and patriotic people who are trying very hard to get their message across. (As long as you started blogging again when it was all over – remember, next phase is fairness for England!!)

    Reply I am speaking, writing and appearing on the media at every feasible opportunity. I do not intend to be drawn into stories and arguments about different leave campaigns, but will appear as and when invited.

    1. matthu
      February 6, 2016

      I agree that the Grassroots Out public meeting in Manchester is well worth watching. Available here:

    2. Chris
      February 6, 2016

      Reply to Mr Redwood about some of your colleagues.
      It seems that many are getting frustrated with eurosceptic MPs and their choice to put themselves/their careers opps/their Party before the country. This is being expressed openly – QT audience member, on blogs, and in the media. The latest challenge is from Simon Heffer (who incidentally spoke extremely well last night at GO, Manchester).

      I believe that Simon Heffer is right that Conservative MPs have to “take on” David Cameron over Europe – a completely different level of engagement, and far more effective, than speaking when invited or writing blog entries. I think many appreciate what you do, Mr Redwood, and I am included in that, but many also feel that far more effective action is needed. It is not melodramatic to say that the future of the UK is at stake and yet we are apparently being deliberately taken into the EU superstate not by fair means but by foul.

      Reply There is no single silver bullet. I did ask the PM a tough question thus week when I could.

      1. Ken Moore
        February 7, 2016

        Indeed David Cameron does indeed need to be ‘taken on’ this is too big to worry about petty matters of party loyalty and individuals careers. We will have a lifetime to reflect upon what could have been if influential people continue to sit on their hands.

        For my money John Redwood and others all need to have Geoffrey Howe moments in the House of commons and call out Cameron publically for his con trick. A good starting line would be ‘this isn’t good enough for Britain….

        I am grateful to Mr Redwood for the many hours he spends writing this blog, travelling to engagements and preparing speeches.
        But there does need to be stronger LEADERSHIP and UNITY in the OUT campaign and it is down to the most senior members to show it.

        Why was Dominic somebody heading the EU OUT campaign and not John Redwood? – a name and face many more people recognise and respect ?

    3. Anonymous
      February 6, 2016

      Why this fixation with building what amounts to an Out party.

      The electorate are being duped into thinking of this as the election of a leader. It is nothing of the sort.

      In fact disparateness is a mark of the healthy free thinking we want returned our country.

      The highly organised, contrived and money-rolled Stay campaign is the one that should be arousing ridicule.

      Whenever a journalist suggests “Your campaign is fragmented” the answer should be “This is not an election. We are not electing a party. There is no need to be united and many people are free to present their many different ideas as to why we should leave.”

  13. Ex-expat Colin
    February 6, 2016

    Why do the pro gang keep on about saving Europe from another war? Not the one the EU/NATO is trying to kick off with Russia that I was in the business of preventing…earlier.

    Has anybody detected in the past the desire for any West European country to boot WW3?

  14. agricola
    February 6, 2016

    Yet another myth being peddled by the Stay In campaign when the simple application of logic and examination of the facts tells us that the opposite is the reality.

    In a military sense our three services either alone or as a major part of NATO are our greatest assurance of safety. Historically it has always been we the UK that has intervened to restore the security of Europe from it’s flirtations with absolute power. When faced with absolute power Europe has always caved in. I suspect and hope that our leaving the EU will force a re-think of their direction of travel without shots being fired.

    In an internal security sense Europe is a joke, not because of the lack of will of it’s people , but because of it’s weak and venal political leadership. Thank God for the English Channel. Our own leadership has been unbelievably useless in this respect, just like their friends in the EU. To allow an estimated 600,000 illegals to exist in London of an estimated 2,000,000 throughout the country is a monument to their incompetence.

    The political doctrine of multiculturism is the breeding ground of our own internal lack of security. I would maintain that were you to take 100 people from each national group now residing in London, mix them into one mass, lead them onto the pitch at Wembley, you could then observe them splitting back into their own national groupings before your very eyes. Multiculturism does not work because it allows and glories in division. This does not mean that every Muslim is a terrorist, but it ensures you have a divided ghetto society that has no common language or ethos.

    There are elements in the UK that like being in the EU. The CBI and banks like Goldman Sachs for instance. It gives them control of the market along with their EU partners and minimises competition arising from small and medium businesses. I can only logically conclude that your leader and many of his fellow cabinet colleagues are beholden to such organisations for their future careers. Their irrational desire to stay in would seem to confirm this. Labours enthusiasm possibly stems from the labour relations legislation they see coming from the EU as advantageous. The fact that in the EU in particular it has been seen to destroy jobs rather than create them is overlooked in their doctrinal euphoria. They also seem to turn a blind eye to the less than living wage slavery of the 2,000,000 illegals and the effect this has on the wages of their traditional supporters. Similarly with the crime and prostitution many legals bring with them from impoverished eastern Europe.

    Keep hammering home the logical message, Better Off Out.

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    February 6, 2016

    I attended an excellent Grassroots Out rally in Manchester last night. All speakers united in putting country before party, whether Conservative, Labour or UKIP.

  16. mick
    February 6, 2016

    The fight as started, let the show begin, for a start the cabinet ministers should resign there posts if they are for leave the eu and put there country first and not there careers and forget all this cobblers that they are waiting to see what cameron can get from the eu because he is going to get nothing to shout about, and all the other mp`s should start shouting from the roof tops LEAVE THE EU,

    February 6, 2016

    Yes the Stay Campaign tries to frighten people.

    It believes the German police are too inefficient and downright stupid not share to information when we leave the EU. As if the European countries relish the idea of the UK becoming a haven for every European Crime Lord.

    Mind you, Germany even now, hasn’t a clue who are living and travelling in its country. How many are in its forests let alone its hostels, sleeping on its school-hall floors,whole armies sleeping in tents in its parks and recreation grounds, in church halls. Perhaps not in Cologne Cathedral now, unless the police battered down door has been mended by the always industrious German workers.

    Actually, virtually open borders are the dark muddy waters criminals love….money being sent from one country to another “to support relatives”…money and drugs, contraband of all kinds carried physically over unguarded borders.
    Terrorists are already using the EU as they do Middle-Eastern countries. Just making use of borderless lands to carry guns and fighters to our very heart. How they must laugh as we feed and house them. Taking pictures of how they are getting rained on. Handing them free raincoats, hoping our Global Warmed snow storms and frost do not freeze up their trigger fingers and clog up their gun barrels . And do-gooder Stay campaigners insisting we’re better off with them in, and how we are racist for not carrying their grenades and ammunition belts for them.

  18. acorn
    February 6, 2016

    Then the Lord [of the Eurosceptics (not yet determined)] said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh [Tusk] and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord [still not yet determined] says:- “Let my people go”, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs [redesignated “a bunch of migrants”] on your whole [27] countries.

    European Parliament president Martin Schulz says “UK is testing EU’s patience”. Discrimination against EU migrants in the U.K. remains unacceptable for the European Parliament, while many in the assembly now think “if the Brits want to leave, let them leave,” he warned Friday.

    “Proposals which cater to narrow self-interests risk undermining the common good,” Martin Schulz said at the London School of Economics, adding this would set a dangerous precedent for a “Europe à la carte.”

    JR, with friends like these you can’t lose. The Anglo-Saxon capitalism has never fitted into the continental model. Remember? “Grexit is not an option,” said Mr Juncker. “If we were to accept, if Greece were to accept, if others were to accept that Greece could leave the area of solidarity and prosperity that is the eurozone, we would put ourselves at risk because some, notably in the Anglo Saxon world, would try everything to deconstruct the Euro area piece by piece, little by little.”

    IMO, that last sentence describes the best thing that could happen to the Eurozone. The Eurosystem has major design faults, it needs a total fiscal rethink with a federal Treasury with a federal tax base. Such a structure is decades away, if ever.

    Brexit, could actually do the world a favour. Yes, it will hurt the UK (possible rUK) for a couple of years; but it will recover. We have our own currency which will need a lot of “deficit spending”, to keep the economy afloat, while it adjusts to a wild balance of payments ride.

  19. Bob
    February 6, 2016

    People in the EU want to have a free trade area with some light touch border control, while retaining their own cultures. It’s the politicians that want have a superstate where the population don’t get a vote and don’t even know the names of the unaccountable nomenklatura that rule over them.

    Joe Public think that they get a vote and that MEPs make the rules, thanks to years of dumbed down education, and dis-information from our media and public broadcaster, whose job description by the way includes a duty to educate and inform (major fail).

  20. Bert Young
    February 6, 2016

    The points made today are as valid and effective as the ones yesterday the day before and the day before that . The underlying factor is that Cameron has not only lost the plot he has also done a good job destroying the Conservative Party . Yesterday I responded (not published – I wonder why!) that a friend of mine had resigned his membership due to Cameron’s advice his MPs should , if necessary , ignore his constituents . My friend was indignant and asked the Agent to make sure his comments were passed on .I considered this advice to be the end of our democracy .

    In the last second I have just received another call ( from a close friend in Sonning ) congratulating me on another response I had made two days ago . He agrees that the Conservative Party now faces a considerable dilemma . He advises me to watch the 7s rugby as very rewarding !.

    The “Outs” now have all the evidence necessary to win . The response from Brussels is very clear that the “red card” will need a very considerable period of time for it to be discussed and agreed ; in fact the observation continued it was most unlikely to succeed in the end .What more could be piled on the plate for the campaign to be championed ?; polls yesterday also showed what the public thought of Camerons’ efforts .

  21. Atlas
    February 6, 2016

    The European Arrest Warrant – it is more for the convenience of paper pushers than for the justice of our People in the UK. That Mrs May signed up to critical bits of it again amply demonstrates that she in not a Brexit supporter.

  22. alan jutson
    February 6, 2016

    Certainly if we get out of the EU and really control our own borders, then we should have less of a terrorist threat.

    Having said that, we have to stop getting involved with wars in the middle east, and stop hanging onto the USA’s coat tails.

    Our real security is with NATO, which has absolutely nothing to do with EU membership, although many in the stay in camp do not seem to realise this, given the amount of lies they tell.

    The much maligned United Nations is also a small help, such a shame this organisation has become rather a pussy cat rather than a Lion.

  23. Ken Moore
    February 6, 2016

    Will John Redwood be joining his colleague ,Mr Bone in the GO grassroots out campaign ?

    Reply I am willing to speak and be interviewed on any sensible platform to advance the cause. I have no wish to fuel media discussion of the details of the 3 campaigns now on the Leave side, as I wish to concentrate on the big issues of the referendum and regard the arguments about the differing campaigns as at best a side show that is unhelpful.

    1. Chris
      February 6, 2016

      Reply to Mr Redwood
      If you addressed the big issues of the referendum on the platform at these meetings of GO, you would reach a very significant audience as it is livestreamed. I would think considerably more than read your blog. I wouldn’t worry about the media as they prefer to concentrate on petty squabbles, and avoid the real meat of an argument when it is aired. Hence you are unlikely to cause them any excitement if you stick to the real arguments (which I am sure you will!).

      Reply. Fine I have not been invited to speak at a Go event I can make do far. I have done several big debates do far on public platforms, and gave more in my diary.

    2. Ken Moore
      February 7, 2016

      Thanks for your reply Mr Redwood.

      I agree the construction of the OUT campaign must not be turned into a ‘side show’ that would deflect attention from the main issues. That’s why I was hoping John Redwood would be centre stage in shaping the OUT campaign.

      My fear is that 3 separate campaigns competing for attention and resources is going to become a shambolic spectacle – with so many different strategies, with talent spread thinly, gaffes, unforced errors and own goals are going to be inevitable.
      It’s just going to be 3 campaigns that will be less effective than 1 united campaign but with 3 times the chance of screwing up…

      What is the problem with all operating under one campaign – surely ego’s, political differences and other matters can be put aside for just a few months…

      Reply Some people clearly do not want to work with others. I am happy to appear on various platforms.

      1. Ken Moore
        February 7, 2016

        Reply Some people clearly do not want to work with others. I am happy to appear on various platforms.

        Thanks Mr Redwood . I do believe these people aren’t seeing the big picture – they are looking at the campaign from the top down rather than how it looks to the people on the ground. ..which is what matters.

        People clearly need to be locked in a room until they have sorted out their differences. It’s hugely depressing that at this pivotal moment more willingness to cooperate isn’t being shown.

        The IN side seem to be able to unite around their shared hatred of Britain and ignorance of facts and reason.
        Why can’t the OUT side all unite around the shared goal of saving Britain from economic and political slavery?….what more incentive could possibly be needed ?.

  24. Original Richard
    February 6, 2016

    Europe is being invaded by migrants from the Middle East and Africa and the EU has been completely incapable of dealing with the situation.

    In fact, one person, Mrs. Merkel, the German Chancellor, has unilaterally encouraged this disaster.

    We need to be out of the EU to protect ourselves.

  25. Chris
    February 6, 2016

    With regard to Cameron’s claims about “legally binding” and “irreversible” it is highly significant that these claims are being called “a lie”, and that he is guilty of misleading the House of Commons:
    Why are not all MPs challenging this? North praises Bill Cash for his attempts yesterday, but he seems to be one of the few. These claims by Cameron are fundamental to a deal being accepted, and if they are bogus, then the electorate has to know. It is the duty of MPs to hold Cameron to account on this, and I am not impressed by their action (or apparent lack of action) so far.

    Reply I have set out the position as I see it on this website and always point out when opportunity presents that without treaty change no other change under the EU can be binding.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 6, 2016

      The language being used is very similar to that used in Ireland in 2009 to help persuade the Irish to vote for the Lisbon Treaty in the second referendum, even down to the “it will be lodged with the United Nations” bit, as if that would make the slightest difference if EU leaders decided to go back on the promises.

      The Irish were promised a treaty change, a protocol to be attached to the EU treaties at the time of the next accession treaty for a new member state to join the EU, and even though Andrew Duff MEP said that would be impermissible:

      they did actually get it, and for example the UK Parliament approved the protocol alongside the accession treaty for Croatia:

      “European Union (Croatian Accession and Irish Protocol) Act 2013”.

      So that can be, and is being, cited as a precedent for Cameron to get us to vote with just the promise of changes to be made at some indeterminate point in the future, after the referendum of course; but there is another precedent which they are not citing, and that is the protocol promised to the Czechs in October 2009 as a part of the efforts to get President Vaclav Klaus to sign off the Lisbon Treaty.

      That promise was made in writing by the European Council:

      “… taking into account the position taken by the Czech Republic, the Heads of State or Government have agreed that they will, at the time of the conclusion of the next Accession Treaty and in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements, attach the Protocol (in Annex I) to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.”

      But that one didn’t happen, mainly because in May 2013 it was rejected by the EU Parliament, with the same Andrew Duff MEP leading the charge:

      “With a vote of 574 to 82, MEPs for the first time used their right not to support an amendment of the EU treaties.”

      Technically the EU Parliament cannot prevent the EU governments changing their treaties however they may want, but this was a practical demonstration that MEPs can be sufficiently obstructive that a proposed change will die the death unless the governments are really determined to push it through.

      As far as secondary legislation is concerned, MEPs do have a veto.

    February 6, 2016

    The UK Parliament led by Mr Cameron and effectively Mr Benn, voted to take more literally blind offensive military action in Syria and Iraq. This was despite a 22 million Syrian population and 33 million population of Iraq doing nothing but run away against 35,000 ISIL insurgents ( CIA estimate ) with more than 10 technologically advanced air forces blasting the 35,000 to…well nowhere at all. It would seem the RAF “Brimstone” missile consists of a brimstone headed match, covered with silver cigarette packet foil over the red bit and another lighted match , perhaps held by a low ranked aircraftman, to achieve breathtaking ignition.
    Will an exit from the EU make the British people safer? Yes, if the RAF is left in Syria and Iraq out of anyone’s harms way. And the British Territorial Army to sort out all 35,000 ISIL if they are brought in by British Charity workers in their car boots via Calais. Shouldn’t be hard. Leeds United Supporters Club could sort out the 35,000 if they were equipped with so much as a rattle, pop-gun and whistles.

  27. Ex-expat Colin
    February 6, 2016

    AK47’s in Dublin..delivered to you by open borders and empty heads!

  28. Denis Cooper
    February 6, 2016

    Going by reports which have even filtered through to the conventional mass media, I doubt that women across the continent are feeling safer thanks to the EU when they are at risk of being molested by the untold numbers of illegal immigrants invited by Merkel.

  29. Denis Cooper
    February 6, 2016

    Personally I think that some getting fugitive British bank robbers back from Spain is much less important than preventing an entirely innocent Briton being carted off to Spain on an EU Arrest Warrant so he can rot in some awful prison for many months. However it seems that my MP disagrees, she is willing to see that happen to any of her constituents.

  30. The PrangWizard
    February 6, 2016

    What plans does the government have to prevent boatloads of illegal immigrant invaders attempting to cross the channel when the better weather in the spring and summer comes? They won’t come paddling across in inflatables. Do we have any fast patrol craft to intercept them? Have any been specially ordered, and I don’t mean a few extra ‘ribs’ that have been mentioned; they are effectively useless for such tasks.

    We need boats of similar size to the old MTBs, fast, with a strong fixed armament to back up small arms, and with a towing capability. We need many because our shores are almost without defences at present in any event. The few coastguard boats are not good enough nor fast enough, the constantly breaking down destroyers are of course completely unsuitable.

    What is to be done with any boats and people who are intercepted? Are the illegal invaders to be taken back to France, Belgium, Holland or wherever they come from, or will they be landed here? Clearly they must be not be landed here.

    How are our shores harbours and beaches to be protected?

    Will someone ask Cameron soon at PM Questions?

  31. Anonymous
    February 6, 2016

    Even if it is less secure out of Europe – so what ?

    Life is more secure with my Mummy and Daddy. Far more secure, in fact.

    It doesn’t mean that I want it though !

    The big problem though, is our governing class. And as an ordinary adult raising a young family I can tell you it’s bloody scary when your Prime Minister seems to love mass immigration.

    I suppose he’ll never have to worry about his wife going to a municipal swimming pool like many Europeans now do.

    We understood what Mrs Thatcher mean about us having to compete but competition -when its for our own homes and hospital care and schools etc, in our own country – is taking it all a tad too far, don’t you think ?

  32. DaveM
    February 6, 2016

    How about another one of your analogies?

    My house is safer with closed doors and security guards around the outside, and with my right and ability to eject anyone who abuses my hospitality. I can grow crops in my garden when I want, catch fish in my pond when I want, buy things from, and sell to whomever I choose.

    With my doors open and with me facing fines or imprisonment for taking care of myself, how is that secure?

    The problem is, Mr R, your govt (whether hamstrung by the EU or not) is favouring the criminals and the “enemies”, not the people who voted it into power and paying its wages.

    February 6, 2016

    Several months ago asylum seekers/refugees/migrants were walking across Greece,Serbia etc etc. Many were asked: Where in Syria are you coming from? Most of them who were Syrian answered ALEPPO.

    They were escaping, they said, horrible terrorists who were shooting and bombing them. Hmm. Now it seems in this last week another batch of asylum seekers/refugees/migrants are heading towards Turkey from Syria because, so the media says, they are escaping the shooting and bombing of Russia and her allies who are attacking the occupying “moderate” forces. Nasty , nasty , nasty Russians.

    But wait a cotton-picking- minute: wasn’t it those “moderates” who were said to be shooting and bombing the escapees from ALEPPO from what the asylum seekers/refugees/migrants said to cameras in Greece and Serbia etc etc months ago? Yes they were.

    Let us hope on leaving the EU the BBC which is financed against our will by the licence fee and, by the EU, finds itself redundant. It is the Ministry of Misinformation and has a goldfish memory of its own propaganda. Giving wrong and misleading information does nothing for cohesion in this country or anywhere else.

  34. bluedog
    February 6, 2016

    Well said, Dr JR.

    England/Great Britain/the UK has faced many attempts at invasion and subjugation in recorded history. The current attempt at invasion and occupation is by myriad individuals who share a common goal and a common set of values utterly alien to our own. Previous attempts at invasion have been by nation states that sought our subjugation. The current threat is amplified by the subjugation of the UK to the EU, a transfer of power negotiated by a very small elite and never explained to the electorate, let alone ratified by the electorate. The defeat and repulsion of invasions is only ever effected by an efficiently managed defence backed by the overwhelming will of the people. The British people remain confused, some seeing the EU itself as benign, others genuinely believing that the would be invaders present not threat. There is no co-ordinated defence because the threat has not been clearly defined.

    Marshalling the will of the people can only be done if their leaders are honest about all aspects of the problem and offer a credible solution. In Cameron and other Europhiles we see blatant dishonesty. Their lives have revolved around an assumption that the supranationality of the EU is benign and they cannot adjust to a different reality. Corbyn is the same. His life has revolved around the assumption that Marxism is benign and to the betterment of the proletariat, and he too cannot adapt.

    Until these two deluded leaders are recognised as dangerous failures, the risks remain. Clear sighted individuals are needed who can identify and articulate the problems before offering solutions.

    It is to be hoped our blog host has a suitable hat in his wardrobe that he can one day throw into the ring. Cameron must go.

  35. JoeSoap
    February 6, 2016

    We need to think about the immediate aftermath of a Leave vote-

    Which rules and regulations would we be able to dispense with, and how quickly?
    Would we be able to immediately install new border security and rules to prevent a “pre-closure” rush by EU wannabee immigrants?

    I can see an embarrassed emasculated government dilly-dallying just so they can point to what was happening as justification for their Remain position.

    Given Cameron and Co’s “surprising” prediliction for a Remain vote, can we push for an immediate resignation by him and his cabinet, and then General Election?

    Also for an immediate suspension of EU immigration and parts of the EU rulebook and payments?

  36. hefner
    February 6, 2016

    I see that “there is not a shred of evidence” in the arguments put forward by the BSE campaign.
    But could JR tell us what quantifiable outputs and more qualitative outcomes he would accept the Out campaign to be judged on, say, six months, one year, three years after Brexit.
    Obviously on this blog, most contributors are convinced to start with by what are only promises, but what solid engagements could he put forward as benchmarks for declaring that the UK out of the EU will have been successful?

    I know perfectly well that such engagements from politicians are generally not worth the paper they are written on (or the corresponding bits of electronic data), but I would appreciate such engagements to be spelled out, if only to be able in the future to see whether these quantitative objectives will have been attained.

    Reply International body seats regained, free trade treaties in negotiation, money saved on EU contributions, gains in GDP

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