The new EU deal does not safeguard the City

One of the most important parts of the UK/EU negotiation was the attempt by the UK to gain guarantees that the UK as   part of the EU will not be drawn into Euro related regulation of the finance sector nor into the financial consequences of the Euro.


The UK began by asking for the Union to be described as a “multi currency Union”. The final text allowed instead “not all member states have the euro as their currency”. It  also drew attention to the fact that all but two countries (UK/Denmark) do have to adopt the Euro in due course.


The UK sought a repetition of past assurances that the UK will not be responsible for any bail outs of Euro members. The text states “ Emergency and crisis measures designed to safeguard the financial stability of the Euro area will not entail budgetary responsibility for Member States whose currency is not the euro, or as the case may be, for those not participating in the banking union.” The EU is allowed to bill the administrative costs to the EU general budget, but other costs from any emergency will be reimbursed, implying that the UK may  have to make an initial contribution,as it did with the Greek loan in the summer of 2015.


The UK sought to keep its own rule book and ability to supervise its own banks and financial institutions, given the drive to common regulation and control in the Euro area.  This produced the following balanced text:


“The implementation of measures, including the supervision or resolution of financial institutions and markets, and macro-prudential responsibilities, ………(for non Euro countries)…is subject to the requirements of group and consolidated supervision and resolution, a matter for their own  authorities and own budgetary responsibility, unless such member states wish to join common mechanisms…

This is without prejudice to the development of a single rule book and to Union mechanisms of macro-prudential oversight for the prevention and mitigation of systemic financial risks in the Union and to the existing powers of the Union…”


In  practice the UK will come under an increasing volume of EU financial regulation, both as new Directives and regulations are passed, and as the ECJ and the European Central Bank augment their powers as need arises and individual cases dictate. There are no new mechanisms to prevent Euro area member states using their power to form new EU regulations and outvote the UK.


The UK also gave new ground to the Euro area by accepting the following limitations on its future actions:


“In order to fulfil the Treaties’ objective to establish an economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro, further deepening is needed……It is acknowledged that Member States not participating in the further deepening of the economic and monetary union will not create obstacles to but facilitate

such further deepening….”


The intention to create a single currency area with full monetary, capital markets and banking union is clear, and the UK has agreed to not to impede it. As a result there will likely be an increasing number of issues over the common rule book and EU wide regulation of the finance sector. In recent years there have been several important disputes between the UK and the EU over these matters. The UK had to dig in to secure protection against possible  loss on its share of the loan to Greece in 2015. The government withdrew its court case against EU rules limiting bonuses in the financial sector, on the grounds that the case was “unlikely to succeed”. The UK has been worried about the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive with its capacity to drive hedge funds away from the EU altogether, but unable to stop it. The UK was also unable to block the restrictions on short sales introduced by ESMA.

The UK has so far impeded the Financial Transaction Tax which some EU member states wish to impose. This could return to pose difficult issues over where and whether  the tax could be charged  on a trade were the continental countries to reach an agreement to press ahead without UK consent. Would London have to levy the charge on a German-French transaction handled through London? What if a UK person or corporate were one of the parties?


Living alongside the Euro area as it moves to complete its full banking and capital markets union will pose problems as the EU intends to use the legal authority of the whole Union, not just the Euro area,  for many of the measures it thinks it needs. The Union as a whole has a defined legal personality and well established decision making institutions which are not matched by the Eurozone. Much of the Eurozone’s business has to be cleared through the EU.  The general  EU budget also could become an issue.Whilst the UK has the promise that this will not  be used for emergencies and bail outs, the Euro itself may require larger regional programmes, administrative expenditure and other items where the general Union budget will be used.




  1. The Active Citizen
    March 4, 2016

    One of the issues which is provoked by your very good article is the fact that the control of money is fundamental to any nation. The EU plans to centralise this under EU control, whereas the UK wishes to have full control over its currency, and fiscal and economic policies.

    As the EU centralises still further on its way to a superstate, the UK will be marginalised year by year and its interests will inevitably be overridden.

    It doesn’t matter what the current Treaty says, nor what the PM’s absurd renegotation says, the EU is moving in a direction anathema to our interests and the EU will not let these interests get in its way.

    Remaining in is a leap in the dark… Ah, wait, didn’t someone recently use that expression?

    1. JoeSoap
      March 4, 2016

      In the event of a Remain Vote, we will clearly need a proper Treaty to be organised by a different clear headed leadership. How many favours will Cameron be called on to repay?

    2. Hope
      March 4, 2016

      Very good analysis JR. However, the conclusion you must reach is that Cameron Failed to deliver Fundamental change to reform the UK relationship with the EU on every level and Failed to act upon his failure to rule nothing out- whatever that weak phrase means. You should not allow him to take the debate away from what he pledged to scaremongering, hold him to account that he failed. If he does not budge, get rid of him. IDS uses Cameron quotes in his article today to highlight he has failed to act on his word from previous speeches i.e. bloomburgh. He lamely stood by smiling when a French president was making veiled threats to the UK! He then visited the graves of those who fell at the Somme. They would turn in their graves for his cowardly behaviour. Cameron demonstrated he is not fit to hold any form of public office irrespective of his Europhile views. We expect our political leaders to stand up for our nation and the people of this nation. He is a disgrace to the memory of those who died at the Somme.

      1. Denis Cooper
        March 4, 2016

        I wonder if there is any historical precedent for a British Prime Minister who is so determined to get his way that he issues a threat against his own nation, the people to whom he owes his position:

        “Vote the way I want, or I will allow your country to be flooded with illegal immigrants.”

        The Telegraph editorial today says:

        “The British would simply send everyone without the proper papers back.”

        but the very clear message from Cameron is that while the UK government could do that it would not do it while he was Prime Minister.

    3. oldtimer
      March 4, 2016

      The agreement is indeed a wedge that, over time, will be hammered home to splinter off more and more of the UK’s control over its own financial affairs and the city.

  2. Mark B
    March 4, 2016

    Good morning.

    I have long argued that these so called ‘renegotiation’s’ were nothing more than an attempt to protect the City and its money makers. It has nothing to do with leaving the EU or sovereignty. As always our Government is more interested in its own interests rather than those of the people.

    We have our referendum and, should we decide to leave, pray God, then I fully expect BREXIT !!

    1. acorn
      March 4, 2016

      Punch and Judy have been putting on a good show so far. I fully expected all MPs, inners and outers, to have a good old, back slapping, piss up in the Westminster bar after the Panto was over, June 23. Now it appears that the script is being re-written with a much darker theme; or, civil war is actually breaking out on the Tory benches!

      When we get the result, I am expecting the losing Ministers to step down and be replaced by winning side fodder. Or, are we going to have a coalition government till 2020? A coalition of Europhile and Europhobe Conservatives.

      If Brexit prevails, we surely can’t continue with a non-Brexit Cameron / Osborne “executive”; a general election must follow immediately???

      Or, as usual, will all these MPs expect to have their cake and eat it too; plus expenses. If so they are likely to get away with it in our sham democracy.

    2. Anonymous
      March 4, 2016

      Sadly Project Fear will work.

      It isn’t directed at sceptics but at the masses who do not pay much attention.

      Once it is an IN vote the mandate is confirmed and sceptics may as well give up. “The people have spoken and they want ever closer union.”

      1. DaveM
        March 4, 2016


        “It isn’t directed at sceptics but at the masses who do not pay much attention.”

        Rather than being defeatist, how about doing what the rest of us do? Spread the word to those who don’t pay attention, attach links to your email signature, hand out leaflets, and so on.

        Most of all though, use the facts Mr R posts here to inform the less well informed the truth about the EU and its ambitions. Just sitting and moaning about BBC bias and Cameron’s lies and treachery won’t win anything.

        1. Anonymous
          March 5, 2016

          I do those things, Dave.

          Project Fear is overwhelming and what seems incredulous to us is very much believed by those who don’t read about the issues.

      2. yosarion
        March 4, 2016

        I read a comment by a EUSSRphile that to BREXIT would be akin to returning to the 1950s, I would sooner leave and end up in the 1950s, than stay and have to confront another 1640s.

      3. Leslie Singleton
        March 4, 2016

        Dear Anon–Verily there is, or unfortunately was, a case for three options, vis First Leave, Secondly Remain as is (ever impossible) and thirdly “Remain” with Ever Closer Union. The idea that Cameron has achieved anything to stop number three is a not very funny joke. He however still seems to be talking about a “Reformed” EU. How can he be allowed to do that? Bring back Attainder I say, which BTW was a Legislative rather than a Judicial process, unlike Impeachment, with all that that difference entails.

  3. Roy Grainger
    March 4, 2016

    Several Remain MPs, notably Greg Hands, are hopelessly conflicted over the EU and Eurozone. On the one hand they boast about how much better the UK economy is doing than the Eurozone but on the other hand they say how catastrophic it would be for UK to free itself from financial regulations which, as you note, UK will be unable to prevent being imposed by the EU.

    It is also quite sad to hear Remain MP Sajid Javid saying he will still be a “EU Basher” even if Remain wins – he needs to understand that if Remain wins it’s over, no amount of complaints or “bashing” from him are justified or (more importantly) likely to have any impact at all on the EU. He can’t have it both ways, you can’t campaign for Remain and then keep moaning if Remain wins.

    1. JoeSoap
      March 4, 2016

      Indeed, Javid is yet another reason why voting for many Eurosceptic Tories at the last election was a mistake. Whither his UKIP opponent now, who no doubt had to argue with him over who was the strongest opponent to Rurope not 12 months ago! I’m still not quite sure how an otherwise intelligent man could have been turned into such a jelly-bellied turncoat.

      1. A different Simon
        March 4, 2016

        The sad truth is that the number of genuine patriotic Conservative MP’s can virtually be counted on one hand – of a boxing glove .

        You can’t believe them on the EU so why believe anything else they say .

        The Conservative party can finally be seen for what it really is – a total Europhile fake .

        etc ed

    2. Loddon
      March 4, 2016

      To Roy Grainger:

      I hope you have written to Javid MP making this important point.

    3. Hope
      March 4, 2016

      Javid is trying to put a foot in both camps for his career. Sadly his lack of conviction will be seen for what it is. He needs to look in the mirror and realise he is not up to the job of being an MP, let alone a minister. He ought to resign.

    4. a-tracy
      March 4, 2016

      Absolutely Roy, then we’d be like the SNP constantly whining and moaning, everyone knows how unedifying that is. Plus unlike the UK government bending and bowing to Scotland’s wishes and demands our European Masters will just shut the door in our face, they have said as much.

      This is our only chance to get out and unlike Alex Salmond who told everyone the same thing, what’s becoming clear to me is that this will be our last chance!

    5. Tad Davison
      March 4, 2016


      An MP friend of mine recently gave a short intervention in the House of Commons in which he declared for ‘in’ for the sake of the future of his five grandchildren. He believes his position is determined by the ‘facts’ and is therefore very dismissive of anyone who disagrees with him because he feels their arguments are illogical.

      A few days ago, he sent out his monthly appraisal of political events in which he denounced the people who wanted to leave, but he gave very shallow and incomprehensible reasons why he supports David Cameron. And that worries me, because it shows just how ill-informed even members of parliament can be as to what is really going on. And incredibly, he still describes himself as a Eurosceptic!

      I sometimes wonder if it’s worth arguing with his kind. I could nail every single one of his pro-EU beliefs and assertions, but I know it wouldn’t make a scrap of difference in his case because he is blindly loyal to the ‘official’ line. I despair, but to paraphrase, for ill-informed people to succeed, all well-informed people need to do, is nothing at all. It is vital then, we keep up the fight, but perhaps target people who are willing to listen, and not try to ‘flog dead horses’.

      I could be rude and suggest my friend joins the Labour party or the Lib Dems, because they are full of intransigent folk who won’t listen to a strong, unassailable argument. And history is littered with such people who regard a different opinion as heresy, without really trying to see things from both sides. They all should read these pages. They might learn something!

      Tad Davison


      1. Hope
        March 4, 2016

        What about his Tory association? What dd the tell them to get their nomination? If he is voting for something in contrast to what he told them he needs to walk. This is where the right to recall should fully rest with his constituents. It is also why Cameron failed to deliver on this pledge and gave a useless SOP instead.

        I am at a loss why the Tory MPs have not called for a leadership contest. It is in the best interest of the party if it is to survive. Cameron is going, he will not care about the party, the nation only himself. he has already said he will not lead the UK out of the EU. I do not understand why some think he could stay in office if the country votes to leave. Moreover, after his disgraceful conduct standing by Hollande while he made threats to our nation is beyond belief. it should tell all the Tory MPs the way he negotiated for his scraps- and unsurprisingly failed!

        1. Tad Davison
          March 4, 2016


          I consulted my old mentor and wise old sage this evening, and he put it very succinctly. In essence, we need to keep telling the truth, whilst they on the ‘IN’ side keep peddling half-truths, non-truths, and downright myths. The truth will always out. Just as long as we get that message across before it’s too late.

          I’m afraid I haven’t got a lot of time for David Cameron, and his lasting legacy could be the destruction of the Conservative Party from within. It is said the Prime Minister is completely out of kilter with many Conservative associations, and it seems he now wishes to emasculate those he cannot control or convert to his thinking.

          They’re not against the EU for nothing! They can see the wood for the trees and are principled people. They recognise how dangerous the European Union is. I cannot reconcile the Eurosceptic label some Tory MPs afford themselves whilst wanting to stay in under Cameron’s terms.


      2. bluedog
        March 4, 2016

        And history is littered with such people who regard a different opinion as heresy, without really trying to see things from both sides. ‘

        This is where salesmanship comes in, and the first step is to listen intelligently to what the other party is saying. There is usually one core issue that supports the entire edifice of their convictions. Find it. The next step, having identified that issue, is to devise an argument that challenges the core. At no point should you say or infer, ‘You are wrong, I am right, believe me’. Incremental shifts are essential and the other party must be gently encouraged to take each step on the path to salvation. If you get push back, stage a tactical retreat and change the subject to an area of common agreement. All this takes time and cannot be done with a single ruthless demolition of the other party’s position.

        A egotistical clash is to be avoided at all costs. If the other party is the typical alpha-male, bring a woman into your negotiations. Feminine charm and a razor sharp mind are a combination that very few alpha-males can defeat.

        The essential step is to ensure that the other party buys the deal of their own volition. Having taken ownership, they will become an important ally. Of course, in the heated context of the very short Brexit debate, these subtleties are difficult to implement. The press coverage will be critical.

    6. Anonymous
      March 4, 2016

      We’re going to Remain and this will be as a result of underhanded scare stories. Mainly emanating from our own Government and PM.

  4. JoeSoap
    March 4, 2016

    This seems like, to quote an Osbornism, “fixing the roof with a sieve”. The whole text seems to run with “caveat emptor”- it is open to misinterpretation in almost any and every way. Just as an example, would we be impeding monetary union by not contributing to Eurozone bail-outs?

  5. Lifelogic
    March 4, 2016

    Indeed the agreement is virtually worthless and could in fact even have negative consequences. There is no doubt we should leave. I think the public will vote for Brexit.
    They were sensible enough not to vote in a Miliband/SNP disaster, despite Cameron wet Libdim agenda, they surely will not fall for the pathetic, choreographed threats from Cameron and the disastrous French president M. Hollande.

    It if likely to be the last chance for the UK to escape the death embrace of the EU, restore UK democracy and keep control of its borders.

  6. Loddon
    March 4, 2016

    I am posting this for as many as possible to be reminded of one of the most scurrilous actions by the EU and the EuroBank to cause damage to the EU. I hope the “Leave” campaign refer to this matter in forthcoming discussions and published material.

    The EU Bank loaned money to Turkey at very favourable rates (at a time when inflation in Turkey was running at 9%) so that Ford could build/expand/equip a factory for manufacturing Transit vans. This lead directly to the Ford Transit plant in Southampton being closed with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

    It is also said that the EU helped export jobs from the UK involving (named companies I haven’t checked ed) in a similar way.

    How does this policy of taking work and jobs away from British businesses and workers helping the UK?

    This is good enough reason in itself for the UK to Leave the EU?

  7. Mike Stallard
    March 4, 2016

    The five Presidents’ Report was very vague on all this, but I sensed that they are trying to head the entire European Project into one huge Eurozone. In which case, we will have to pay for Spain, Italy, Portugal and, of course, Greece. Ireland doesn’t look too healthy either. And they will have their fingers in the London Banks too under the influence of Frankfurt.
    We have got to accept the offer of Associate Membership. We have got to make sure of our membership of the EEA and EFTA.
    Above all, we have got to get some people into Brussels who understand that simply giving in all the time is going to lead to disaster on the scale of appeasement.

  8. stred
    March 4, 2016

    Your last paragraph points out that the EU, as a single federal country, will not only use emergency bail outs but have to transfer funds to the couries suffering from the single currency, such as Spain, Portugal, Greece and soon Turkey. There is nothing to insulate the UK from this general expenditure.

    Mme Lagarde was at the meeting which obliged Gideon with the forecast of shock and disaster if we left and joined the World instead. As the IMF boss, she has considered Ukraine a good bet and lent them a lot to overcome the wrecking of their economy by the EU peace winner’s initiative. How is that going?

  9. alan jutson
    March 4, 2016

    The more you unpick this so called deal, the worse it seems to get.

  10. Beecee
    March 4, 2016

    I see that Flashman now has Frank Hollande pushing out the Project Fear boat?

    What nice people our EU amis are!

    With friends like these …………..

  11. stred
    March 4, 2016

    countries- no couries.

  12. eeyore
    March 4, 2016

    Somewhat off topic, I fear: yesterday we saw a British Prime Minister listening sympathetically as a French President made serious, deliberate threats against this country to his face.

    We did not see Mr Cameron stiffen, bristle and suggest – with a hint of steel in his tone – that Her Majesty’s Government expects and requires France to adhere to international agreements which it has signed.

    Mr Cameron had just given £17m of British taxpayers’ money to France to enable that country better to carry out its treaty duties.

    How many votes the Prime Minister’s humiliation will hand to the Leave campaign is not easy to estimate, but it must be quite a few.

    I find it painful to write this about Mr Cameron. The job of Prime Minister is not an easy one and incumbents, in my view, deserve a generous measure of understanding and support.

    1. turboterrier
      March 4, 2016


      For his behaviour yesterday and nothing else the man (I use the word with difficulty) should have walked off the stage or when the conference was over walked into the channel and drowned himself. He is totally beyond belief. So much for his love and pride in this country

  13. stred
    March 4, 2016

    Your last paragraph points out that the EU, as a single federal country, will not only use emergency bail outs but have to transfer funds to the countries suffering from the single currency, such as Spain, Portugal, Greece and soon Turkey. There is nothing to insulate the UK from this general expenditure.

    Mme Lagarde was at the meeting which obliged Gideon with the forecast of shock and disaster if we left and joined the World instead. As the IMF boss, she has considered Ukraine a good bet and lent them a lot to overcome the wrecking of their economy by the EU peace winner’s initiative. How is that going?

  14. turbo terrier
    March 4, 2016

    Very good entry as usual John and I do not think I have read anything that makes the possible changes to the City operation more cleare if we remain in.

    If one treats the EU as a massive corporation with business units, how many times has massive companies have crashed because they were too big and unwieldy and to survive they were reorganised into smaller manageable units which then bought about cost effectiveness.

    The EU is at that point in its existance now and the inclusion of Turkey will just add to the problems. Everything being planned and considered by the EU is nothing more than moving deck chairs on the Titanic.

    How can we be expected to stay with an organisation that still hasn’t signed off its books. If the UK tried to pull that stunt you can just imagine the fallout

  15. Antisthenes
    March 4, 2016

    Our absolutist PM has done what British monarchs have done often in the past when their grip on power was under threat. They turned to a foreign power for aid. That foreign power was usually in the form of the French and once again their support has been enlisted shamelessly. A French economics minister and Hollande himself have been brought forward to issue Armageddon type threats in the PM and stayers defence.

    In the past assistance was often offered but apart from hot air was not in the end given. So is it is with the current situation their threats should be seen as nothing more than that. The PM of course has on this occasion not only got the backing of one but many battalions of foreign powers in the form of the the EU commissions and most of the EU membership as well.

    The PM has a formidable defensive array against the leavers which will take some superhuman effort to defeat. We have in the past resisted or expelled foreign domination. The Roman catholic church and Spain and her armada to name but two. Those monarchs who would in the past see foreign domination of Britain would in the end be defeated and exiled. So it must be with David Cameron he must not be allowed to win and be sent packing. No doubt Brussels will give him sanctuary and a cushy little sinecure for him like France did in the past for many of Britain’s deposed monarchs. Although one did have his head severed from his body and not receive the luxury of exile. I would not of course wish that of anyone.

    Not related to your article I know but the stayers and the PM in particular tactics are so reprehensible, bullying and deceitful that anger alone cannot describe what I feel about the means they are using to win the referendum.

  16. Know-dice
    March 4, 2016

    Off topic, but worth a read.

    Yesterday’s debate in the House of Lords, particularly the contribution by Viscount Ridley.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 4, 2016


  17. Lifelogic
    March 4, 2016

    Iain Duncan Smith is quite right today in the Mail. The absurd behaviour and endless scare stories from the remain side just show how weak the remain case is. Doubtless it will get worse over the months to come. But the people will surely see through Cast Iron, no if no buts, IHT, immigration and pension ratter this time.

    It seems Osborne is very likely to make himself even more unpopular by ratting yet further on the election pledge not to attack the now miserly pension tax reliefs.

    No one can surely still think that we should give away our democracy and border controls to the failed anti democratic EU now can they?

  18. agricola
    March 4, 2016

    To a layman it would seem that the EU wishes the door to remain ajar on financial matters, such that they can re-visit them as needs arise. My gut feeling is that as long as we remain in they will always be looking for ways of extracting money from the UK to cover their inability to finance the EU and Euro themselves. They are in an unholy, many faceted, mess of their own making which as a spectator grows by the day.

    I read that Hollande was strongly hinting yesterday that France might put increasing problems our way should we leave, call it burning animal carcass syndrome. It might pay us to have contingency plans for increasing shipping to Belgium, Holland, and Spain in such event. He should be reminded that the tunnel is a two way route and could be closed to French exports very easily. Behind it all for France is the fear that the EU budget minus our billions will not be able to finance the CAP of which they are the greatest beneficiary. I do not see the rest of the EU rushing to make up the difference.

    1. sm
      March 5, 2016

      As an island trade from the ROW can be managed via other Ports in countries which act reasonably and without obvious ill intent.

      I trust voters in France may think different and deal with Hollande. We should deal with our leader and lack of democracy problem.

      There is no shortage of capacity in this area for sea trade with the ROW. That with the end of CAP could spur some growth and confidence.

      No wonder then that those that wish to dictate are now looking to centralize control of UK ports and probably close a few. No doubt by chance favouring of EU imports and other EU ports.


  19. Lifelogic
    March 4, 2016

    I think we are already well beyond “tarnish” Iain, and it can only get worse as Cameron, Osborne and the rest of the no nation, Libdim faction get more and more desperate. Perhaps if they could just come up with one sound reason for remaining they might do a little bit better. Other than the joke reasons of “they will be even more nasty to us if we leave” and the nonsense of “the 50% of our trade and 9% of theirs. The people can see they simply have no clothes.

  20. Ian Wragg
    March 4, 2016

    Yesterday I posted how much of the competition in the Power Industry has been stymied by the EU. The same tactics will be used for financial services with everything gravitating to Frankfurt or Paris if we vote to remain.
    The Franco/German stitch up which is the EU will eventually destroy Britain and with our political connivance.

    1. agricola
      March 4, 2016

      As most of our power supply is based on companies who are German, French or Spanish it is a no brainer to guess who most influences it.

  21. William Long
    March 4, 2016

    Your very lucid article exposes to the full how very little has been achieved by this so called renegotiation; after all, protecting the city was one of the key requirements, and the paragraph making those outside the Euro ‘facilitate such further deepening’ underlines how powerless we will be.
    The Euro cannot survive without eventual complete, not just ‘ever deeper’, union, so it is easy to see why the eurocrats want it: they must have it. But that should make it clear to all that the EU we are talking about now, is nothing to what it will be in a few years time. This is not just a risk of staying in; it is a certainty.

  22. Shieldsman
    March 4, 2016

    The European Summit Conclusions. A Group called Lawyers for Britain produced a treatise – The Renegotiation – “Ever Closer Union”
    “Ever Closer Union” will remain in the Treaty and the summit deal makes no difference to the UK’s legal obligations.
    Despite wild and misleading media spinning leading up to and during the summit, it should be stressed that none of these are new rights for the UK and none of them have been “won” by David Cameron in his negotiations. The inclusion of references to these existing opt-out rights, which are not enlarged in any way, seems to be pure window dressing for political purposes which does not produce a legal effect.

    This is a promise of a treaty change at some indefinite time in the future. The European leaders gathered in the European Council cannot legally bind their own member states to deliver a treaty change, since this depends upon fulfilling national constitutional requirements in each State. This sometimes for example involves the need for a referendum and/or ratification by the legislature, in some cases by special majorities or processes.

    Conclusions: It can be seen that the provisions of the summit “deal” on “ever closer union” and “sovereignty” are almost totally devoid of substance. For the most part, they make no alteration of any kind to the existing legal rights and obligations of the UK but are simply reiterating the existing legal situation for purposes of political effect and not substance.

    Every time David Cameron opens his mouth out it comes – The Reformed European Union. His con – I have reformed (changed) the EU. They say if you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth. Who is going to challenge the PM?

    1. M Davis
      March 4, 2016

      David Cameron, in my opinion, is going to end up like a certain past Labour MP (plus family), with a lucrative role in the EU along with a gold-plated pension, all at the expense of the British Tax Payer and the British People. At least the other guy was a Labour Socialist. I stopped voting for the Conservatives when Cameron was made Leader and I will never vote for them again, unless they get back to being the REAL Conservatives that they used to be.

      Reply There is no evidence to support the idea that Mr Cameron’s family is after EU posts, nor that Mr Cameron himself is already career planning an EU job. The other member states and Commission are far from pleased with his referendum! If he wanted an EU job he should have just got the UK to do whatever they expect us to do without fuss.

  23. Bert Young
    March 4, 2016

    Foraging into the legal documents created by the EU is like walking across a minefield . Making a slip in any direction is likely to cause one’s death . I admire the fact that John has dug long and hard into the intricacies of the various documents coming from Brussels ; the simple fact is , however , that we should only be concerned by our own laws and not by those created elsewhere .

    Bureaucrats in Brussels ( who do not represent their electorate ) have long ago created limitless paper cementing their jobs into well paid and pensionable conditions . After years of exposure to this sort of quagmire administration I closed my offices in Brussels , Paris , Dusseldorf and Amsterdam ; I had had enough of outside meaningless interfering nonsense . In contrast other offices in the USA and Japan thrived and added much to the professionalism and success of our clients .

    Ian Duncan Smith has today made a significant contribution in his article in the Daily Mail . He has highlighted the dangers of the biassed campaign coming from Cameron and for the need of straightforward presentations in the arguments for “Leave” and “Remain” .He has rightfully pointed to the longer term damage to the Conservatives that Cameron is creating ; my view is that the 1922 Committee should meet and decide how to rid itself of this danger .

  24. Antisthenes
    March 4, 2016

    We knew David Cameron would achieve nothing but claim he had but then not fight to remain based on the content of the deal. As he knew that the deal exposes that the UK’s only safeguards against ever encroachment in UK affairs were the ones the UK already has. And those are turning out be thin gruel that the commission and ECJ tend to brush aside whenever it suits them and will continue to do so until they control everything.

    It also exposes that no reforms have been achieved and that in fact that they never can be. The EU only has one goal and that is the creation of the United states of Europe regardless of any harm it may have to the interests of any of it’s members. Harm it must have to many especially the UK as it is designed to copy French and German economic, judicial, political and social ways of do things. Ways of doing things that are alien to Anglo-Saxon models which is based on far more freedoms.

    The UK is in fact is being targeted for harm as the EU cannot hang together if the UK influence is allowed loose on the continent so it must be brought into line and made to conform. Anglo-Saxon liberal (using the real meaning of that word) ideas are dangerous to the project and Brussels does not want other members to be infected with it. Even home grown progressives try and to some degree succeed in suppressing it so that they can shove their socialist ideology down our throats.

    The EU only wants the UK as a member for it’s wealth not anything else as that would be very problematic for them. It is therefore fair to say that thought the EU likes having the UK in it is for the wrong reason and that the UK staying in is only allowing the EU to exploit us and give nothing in return and is indeed dangerous for us to do so.

    1. Mark B
      March 4, 2016

      I would only add one thing to your last paragraph on otherwise excellent post.

      The EU also needs the UK for its position in the world. We are a very close friend of the USA, have links to the Common Wealth and a seat on the UN Security Council.

      Even in those terms, we are very valuable member and they will regret losing us if we leave. I of course will not lament our leaving. I’ll be too drunk !

      1. M Davis
        March 4, 2016

        Mark, I agree with you on praising Antisthenes excellent post, plus also your addition, and I too will not lament at our leaving and although I will not be too drunk, I will have drunk enough to be very merry!

  25. Graham
    March 4, 2016

    I find it disgraceful that this Government is not able, or unwilling, to provide an independent in/out assessment with regards to EU membership thus leaving the whole thing subject to a morass of rumours and lies.

    History will judge Cameron as a stupid misguided individual looking to enslave the UK in a near communist cabal – and the worst thing about it is the general population cannot insist on any rational debate.

    The grand failure of our educational system will come to the fore in a big way in June?

  26. ChrisS
    March 4, 2016

    I agree completely that the slightly altered arrangements accepted by CDM are so far a way from being satisfactory that they are a joke. I will no longer refer to it as a “deal” because that implies there are benefits for both sides, which there are not.

    However, I don’t believe that the Eurozone as presently constituted will ever complete the necessary integration. Ultimately, the citizens of the member states will not accept the total loss of sovereignty that this implies.

    German citizens will not be prepared to pay the tax required to fund the massive transfers needed to ClubMed. In fact, even if there was the political will, I very much doubt whether the very few successful economies within the eurozone could find the necessary money to send south and east to make it work.

    As for the politics, the French in particular will not accept the kind of economic policy and controls plus real competition that Berlin will insist upon in return for subsidies the french need within the existing single currency. We must also remember that none of the Euro’s structural faults have been remotely addressed.

    Of course the dreamers within the Brussels elite will try their usual trick of ignoring the democratic process but in this case they will not succeed. Push too hard in that direction and they will see LePenn elected in France and that will bring down the whole rotten edifice.

    If France doesn’t scupper their plans, Merkel will take fright having already seen that political support can evaporate when you suddenly introduce a migration policy that is likely to fundamentally change the country in which your people live. They only have to look at some of our cities and towns to see what the end result will be.

    We already have evidence of the political problems that large fiscal transfers would cause. Remember the Greek Crisis ? When Merkel realised that she could not get her taxpayers and their representatives in the Bundestag to write off a few billions of Greek debt, she constructed the ludicrous fiction of rescheduled loans that nobody in any country believes can ever be repaid.

    Because it solved nothing, in fact, it made things worse, another even bigger Greek debt crisis is just around the corner. This time it will be impssible to come up with any arrangement that will not require enormous write-offs. There will then be recriminations every bit as divisive as Merkel’s migrant crisis. Hopefully we will be OUT before the inevitable impact with the fan.

    As for the future of currency unions in Europe, a single one cannot survive because the internal stresses are too great. Within 10 years there are possibly two scenarios :

    The first is a return to National currencies. This is not the problem it once might have been. We now have electronic banking and the widespread use of debit and credit cards. As any Brit going aborad knows. there is no longer any need to obtain cash for each country visited and for businesses, computer software can display prices in the currency of a visitor to any website. We can already see this on many European websites where a UK visitor sees the prices in Sterling automatically.

    The more likely outcome will probably be a consolidation into three of four different Euro-style currency areas. That scenario will bring more business to London as the neutral centre where the trades between these various European currencies will be done.

    However it works out, there is a lot of turmoil ahead and we will be better off out of it.

  27. bigneil
    March 4, 2016

    John, I can’t believe you used the word deal in the title without putting inverted commas either side of it. I’m not sure what it actually is – but a “deal” it certainly isn’t.

  28. Bob
    March 4, 2016

    “The UK has so far impeded the Financial Transaction Tax which some EU member states wish to impose.”

    This is designed to increase the UK’s contributions to the EU coffers, it’s like having an EU tax on Lancashire Hot Pot or Yorkshire Pudding.

    1. matthu
      March 4, 2016

      The definition of what constitutes a Financial transcation will be gradually extended until then scope encompasses every credit card transaction, every PayPal transaction …

      That is also of course why they want to ultimately eliminate the banknote in your pocket.

  29. Bob
    March 4, 2016

    Do you think that the British Pound can extend its strong advance against the US Dollar and the Euro today Mr Redwood?

  30. Wingsovertheworld
    March 4, 2016

    I think the salient point here, is that the UK’s membership fee to the EU will inevitably increase. What is the likelihood we hear of VAT reaching 22.5% before the end of 2017?

  31. ian
    March 4, 2016

    The weather is now turning after putting on blog a few time, it not going to be that bad just doing it to slow the growth so wet & mad has to pump more in, as you might of notice we have had the warmest winter in past 100 years apart from Scotland, all good for the poor which this government and most people dislike intensely.

  32. A different Simon
    March 4, 2016

    A lot of people are going to vote STAY precisely because they fear the influence of The City will be even greater in an independent UK .

    The LEAVE campaign must clearly put the failure to regulate the banks in the aftermath of the GFC squarely at the feet on the STAY campaign , as exemplified by Nulabor , the Coalition and the current Conservative govt .

    Much of The City is a force for good , for instance insurance underwriting but the majority of it is very much as double edged sword .

    People are ashamed that their capital city is the money laundering capital of the world and that HM Govt helps promote this .

    Politicians are going to have to learn to believe in other areas of the UK economy and stop selling it short .

  33. ian
    March 4, 2016

    I see that wet & mad is giving 40% off London property for chosen few, he said it going to be a lottery but what he means is, if your name not on the list your out of luck, all good for the establishment like quangos and a like who have kids who want to work in London and carry on supporting the elite.

  34. ian
    March 4, 2016

    The USA has not had a civil war for over 150 years now, with d. trump leading the election it only means one thing the people in the USA are starting to wake up to what going on, I know that if dose not win and carry out what they want another civil war will be coming.

  35. ian
    March 4, 2016

    As for hear the chances of winning a out vote are very slim, I do not care one way or another, the main thing for me is get them to over reach themselves and bring the elite down by there own hands, this is going take sometime because the people hear are thick.

  36. ChrisS
    March 4, 2016

    Here is the response from the BBC to my formal complaint about the Today Program on 18th February and their entirely sympathetic interview with Neil Kinnock.

    At least I received a reply. It would certainly help if as many of us here as possible send in a complaint when we see or hear such blatant pro-EU bias on the BBC.

    Dear Mr S

    Thank you for contacting us about our Radio 4 Today programme, 18th February 2016.

    We recognise that some listeners were unhappy with Sarah Montague’s interview with Lord Kinnock on the subject of the EU referendum and his views to stay ‘in’. The editorial team on the programme have been made aware of your concerns.

    The interview started following a roundup of events regarding different aspects of the EU negotiations by Europe Editor, Katya Adler. Lord Kinnock then came on the line having listened to the update from Katya, and spoke on wider implications of the ‘in versus out’ issue.

    He was asked how much he thought the deal in Brussels mattered to the vote, the details of the deal and what it would mean to leave the EU. Lord Kinnock expressed his views regarding the economic and political significance of both positions; he gave statistics regarding goods exchange and spoke of inward investment and effects on services.

    While it was clear which camp he was in regarding this issue, we felt that as former EU Commissioner and Vice President of the European Commission, Lord Kinnock was an appropriate contributor to the conversation on this issue.

    In a short interview it is not unusual to have just one voice giving a particular opinion. Across the day, we featured different voices making other arguments. Across the day therefore, we gained a full range of opinions on the EU referendum. This we feel helped to give an overall, well rounded balance of views on this issue.

    Thanks again for contacting us.

    Kind Regards

    BBC Complaints

    1. agricola
      March 4, 2016

      It is not acceptable that the BBC say they provided balance across the day or for any other period for that matter. Each programme should have balance. As an ex commissioner of the EU no doubt Kinnock is in receipt of a sizeable pension from them and it is believed that most of his immediate family are also in receipt of EU largesse. He and his family are entitled to their view, but it is incumbent upon the BBC to provide an alternative view on the same programme.. It appears they did not . Therefore that programme was biased.

      1. ChrisS
        March 4, 2016

        I totally agree with you but I would go further : The Today program has two key slots. after 7am and after 8am. Given the need to get to work, a substantial proportion of the audience will only get to hear one of the two.

        Normally it is the top interviewee that gets the coveted 08:10 slot.
        Lately I’ve noticed that they invariably put on a Brexit spokesman in the earlier slot ( if at all ) and reserve the prime 08:10 slot for a Remain supporter. There was one exception last week when Grayling was on after 8am.

        In the case of Today, the BBC either need the two protagonists to debate the subject together or they need to put one on immediately after the other.

        I believe that it is a condition of receiving a Brussels pension that the recipient continues to support EU policy. It should therefore be made absolutely clear to the audience when the interviewee is in receipt of payments from the EU including pensions.

    2. Richard1
      March 4, 2016

      It was a very inadequate interview but to be fair to Sarah Montague why couldn’t get a word in edgeways. Lord Kinnock droned on, but was as incoherent as ever so I don’t think he message will have much effect.

    3. Brian Tomkinson
      March 4, 2016

      I have complained many times over the years to the BBC and cannot remember one occasion where they didn’t reply in the same manner as the one you received. They never concede but always uphold and defend their position about which you have complained.

  37. ian
    March 4, 2016

    As for Europe the same way by there own hands, Germany is going fail badly as years go on.

  38. BobE
    March 4, 2016

    If the UK remains and we eventually join a superstate then there will no need of Parliament or those who work in it. Does that not worry MP’s and staff?
    When Brussels decide the laws why have MP’s.

  39. stred
    March 4, 2016

    An idea for the Go side. On an ITV talk last week Germaine Greer was sying that she favoured supranational government in order to make tax law applicable to companies which dodged our taxation. The other side were not allowed a reply- such as did she realise that the president of the EU used to be PM of Luxembourg (which offered an attractive tax regime ed). This morning Nigel farage said that we are currently unable to write our own tax law and that firms are allowed to chose the lowest tax regimes in the EU. If we were out, we could make our own law. This surely is one of the potentially most appealing points for the Out side.

  40. Ian Pattinson
    March 4, 2016

    I don’t see what’s so great about the British record on financial regulation. The disaster of deregulation was the root cause of the crash in 2008, which led to billions of the country’s money going to bail out the banking sector. Money that, somehow, it is now the responsibility of the poorest of us to pay back.

    I’m all for anything that punishes the bankers who lose billions and think they can get away with it. It’s obvious that’s not going to come from the current government, who are weak on the concept of responsibility when it applies to the rich. If some measure of sense in the financial sector has to be enforced by the EU, then so be it.

  41. Dennis
    March 4, 2016

    A very good article JR. Presumably you have sent it or spoken to Mr Cameron of it so look forward to his comments. Mr Cameron is aware of these points isn’t he?

    Please get back to us.

  42. Dennis
    March 4, 2016

    What’s all this? “every Member State (minus the departing State) to vote in favour.” etc., etc.

    From Executive Summary; The Withdrawal Process:-

    2.11The process begins when the Member State that wishes to leave notifies the European Council. The European Council, minus the departing State, then agrees by consensus the guidelines for the Commission to negotiate the withdrawal agreement. Consensus requires every Member State (minus the departing State) to vote in favour.

    2.12The final agreement would need to be agreed by both parties: the EU side and the departing Member State. On the EU side, this would require an enhanced qualified majority among the remaining Member States. This means that no single Member State could veto the deal, but that it would need to reach a critical level of support. (Specifically, it would need to be agreed by 20 out of 27 Member States, representing 65 per cent of the population).

    2.13The European Parliament would also need to approve the deal. This would require a simple majority of its 751 MEPs. (MEPs from the departing Member State would probably be allowed to vote, because at this stage it would still formally be part of the EU).

    Can you please clear this up for me?

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 4, 2016

      Article 50 in the Treaty on European Union, here:

      What in particular do you need to have cleared up?

  43. Iain Gill
    March 4, 2016

    Poor line of argument John, most of the country hates the city with a passion. The way it has been propped up by state manipulation while other areas of business have had the opposite problem, and so on
    Better avoid this line of argument.
    Better to show some pictures of the coach loads arriving at Victoria coach station from international destinations far and wide now entitled to stay here when we are already over crowded enough.

  44. ian
    March 4, 2016

    I see the media keeps on about pensions but one thing is for sure government workers and council workers will not be seeing any cuts a specially at the top, most these people will be for in the EU and when you think that there is going on for 8 million of them and then you take into account the ones that have retired, a few more millions and they always vote, the out vote have there work cut out.
    Its the us and them story, with the age for retirement going to 80 if you have not got a
    government job or council job or work in a company boardroom.

  45. ian
    March 4, 2016

    All workers can still retire at 60 in the government.

  46. ian
    March 4, 2016

    I call then coffee shop workers and nail polish workers because when you walk in that what they doing making coffee and drinking it and polishing they nail for 30th odd years till there pension comes due at 60 and get old ages pension on top when it comes due, they are unreliable.

  47. Denis Cooper
    March 4, 2016

    “There are no new mechanisms to prevent Euro area member states using their power to form new EU regulations and outvote the UK.”

    There is the possibility of delaying the process by a referral from the Council of Ministers up to the European Council, where Cameron could argue his case and try to persuade the other EU leaders to drop or amend a proposal, but he would have no power of veto.

    That is explicitly stated in the summit conclusions:

    “Any such referral is without prejudice to the normal operation of the legislative procedure of the Union and cannot result in a situation which would amount to allowing a Member State a veto.”

  48. Denis Cooper
    March 4, 2016

    Last August I had an exchange with an Open Europe chap, here:

    in which he said:

    “While I didn’t mention it explicitly in this piece it is very clear in our Blueprint that we believe as part of the reform the EU should become a multi-currency union with the obligation to join the Euro removed. We hope that Cameron will put this forward and will continue to argue in favour of it.”

    Well, clearly that rather pious Open Europe hope has now been disappointed, and even with Cameron’s “deal” we would still face a gradual process of increased minoritisation within the “reformed” EU as more of the non-euro countries fulfilled their continuing treaty obligation to join the euro, until such a point that a future UK government of one party or another declared that this was no longer a tenable position and bounced us into it as well, with or without a referendum as it saw fit.

  49. ian
    March 4, 2016

    I see that refuges coming to the UK is going up to 50,000 by next year and as usual will be jumping the housing waiting list in council areas all over apart from con party areas, well I think they all be sent to con party areas this time, with nearly 2 million people needing housing in this country all ready and thousands sleeping on the streets I think our own people should be class as refuges and sent to Europe for housing like Spain with over 1 million housing and flats empty,

    I think the plight of the british homeless should be taken to human rights court of justice and the UN and there plight and treatment by this government be laid bare, hundred thousands of british people lives have been put on hold for years with all the suffering and mental anguish and lives lost, I think the need of british people in this position may be just as great or greater as the refuges that they are bringing in to the country and should be held to a count.

    There are loads of empty flats and houses in Europe and there no need for politician and dogooders to keep clamouring for them to come hear to the UK, they committing crimes against they own people.

  50. M Davis
    March 4, 2016

    Another excellent post, JR, and some excellent comments, thank you! How to get all of this across to the unknowledgeable philistines in the public at large?

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