The Conservative Manifesto and opposition to EU measures

The Conservative Manifesto in 2015 could not have been clearer. It said we will “reclaim power from Brussels on your behalf and safeguard British interests in the single market”. It went on to say “No to ever closer union. No to a constant flow of power to Brussels. No to unnecessary interference”. I agreed with all that.

I now seek to implement it. It means not voting for Directives and regulations, as each one of those transfers more power to Brussels. It means opposing judgements of the European Court, like the one that will force us to put VAT up on green products. It means opposing the anticipated Treaty of Political Union in its entirety.

Because Mr Cameron’s renegotiation succeeded in getting no important power back from Brussels, surely it also means voting to leave the EU. I don’t see how voting to stay is compatible with the clear statement that we must get powers back and stop unnecessary interference. Mr Cameron did not even wrestle back the power to choose our own welfare policies, let alone the power to control our own borders and implement our crucial pledge on migration numbers.

I and a good number of my colleagues have stayed true to our Manifesto, by opposing a succession of EU measures. We will continue to do so all the time we remain in the EU. We do now need to leave the EU to do the democratic job properly which we promised at the last election.

We have a few more days left to explain to more voters just how much power has already gone and why it matters.When I write to constituents and explain that Westminster cannot right wrongs they suffer because we no longer have the power, they often express surprise. All those in government and the media who over the years have refused to talk about the EU and refuse to cover the stories of the huge transfer of powers have left the public debate denuded of important information now needed to help people make up their minds about how they wish to be governed In the future?
It is difficult to understand how Ministers can support the very truncated powers many of them now enjoyl

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Indeed Cameron got nothing of any substance from his “renegotiation” so why on earth is he backing remain? It was however rather clear that (despite all his statements) that he always would do anyone who appoints Lord Patton to chair the BBC trust is clearly a wrong’un. You cannot trust a word the man says.

    The BBC news channel has “Osborne warns BREXIT will lower house prices” revolving, for hours on end, at the bottom of the screen. If Cameron does succeed in conning the voters it will be the appallingly biased BBC what lost it.

    Charles Moore puts it well.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      Also we have:

      Who would want to stay in a club with leaders who issue such absurd threats to the UK? Post Brexit countries will act in their own interest, as they largely do now. It will be in their interest to trade so they will do. They will have less power to damage the UK anyway, once we have left.

      Excellent pieces by Alastair Heath, Charles Moore too.

      • Hope
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        We learned from your colleague IDS last week it was not what he gained but what he gave away in his failed negotiations. He gave away the veto to pitical and fiscal union without anything substantive in return. He refusing S to show the letters to business that would prove if he was misleading parliament in February. A Tory PM accepting cash for changing a Union bill that was also in your manifesto! He also made disparaging remarks about Labour for doing the same thing!
        We saw with gay marriage your manifesto and Cameron’s word was of no value. The Russians drew the same conclusion over Lybia after given assurances it was not about regime change! Then the propaganda against Putin!
        I will not pay the extra £1.7 billion to the EU. He did he paid £2.9 billion! And another £1.7 billion this year!
        No ifs or buts cutting immigration, he knowingly covered up the figures of 670,000 each year from the EU while telling us it would be cut to tens of thousands knowing he had NO power to do so. This was a blatant lie. Why do you persist to think he might tell the truth or his EU Tory MP followers will act with honour to the public and bring an end to his lies? He needs to go now before he resigns. Gove and Grayling do a disservice to the campaign by saying he should stay if we vote to leave. I dread to think the damage that Gove might do to public opinion if he says this on 3/6/2016 on TV.
        Like Cameron’s word your manifesto is meaningless.

        • Hope
          Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          Cameron now says Turkey joining the EU is not on the cards. Previously he claimed, per Guido Fawkes, he would pave the way from Ankara to Brussels! He is also giving away £2 billion of our taxes to speed up the process. Why is he lying now? To con the voters? How are we expected to believe anything he says?

      • Hope
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Why are our armed serviced vehicles on manoeuvers on Salisbury plain displaying EU flag emblems on the doors? This an EU battle group exercise in our country! Get Fallon to explain. This is totally unacceptable. Again more lies by Cameron and chums about EU army. No military personnel should serve to an unelected anti democratic institution. They swore oaths to the crown of this country not Junker, Shultz or Tusk!

        • Hope
          Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          Clegg needs to be nailed for his lies in the TV debate. A bit like his student fees lies.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      @LL; So presumably Mr Lifelogic you would prefer the UK to ‘Remain’ in the EU, just in case Mr Osborne is correct and the value of your property investments crash?!

      Well many are hoping not only that we do get a Brexit but also Osborne is correct, indeed we are probably far more likely to get a Brexit now for his comments have been seen by the left (and those who think property prices are obscenely high, thus out of reach for the younger generations) as a reason to vote for a Brexit!

      Also how was the BBC, and all the other broadcasters and print media outlets, being bias for simply reporting what Mr Osborne has said, your complain appear to have all the hallmarks of being a complaint about the wrong sort of bias – in other words you love bias, just so long as it is in favour of your beliefs…

      • Edward2
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        I’m surprised
        I thought you were for Brexit Jerry

        • Jerry
          Posted May 23, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

          @Edward2; “I thought you were for Brexit Jerry”

          I am! Try actually reading what I say…

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        If the BBC flash (on the bottom of the screen for hours on end) – Osborne claims property values will fall following a Brexit – without any sensible balancing views then they are giving Osborne a hugely valuable free advert for his absurd propaganda.

        House prices are about supply and demand. More homes or fewer people will bring house prices down. A stronger economy, which will clearly follow post Brexit, will tend to push prices up.

      • Bob
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        The BBC could report it in a more positive way by saying that the government’s aspiration to provide more affordable housing would be achieved by Brexit, “according to Mr Osborne”.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 24, 2016 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          @Bob; That would amount to political bias, unless Mr Osborne had said those words, it is not -or should not- be for broadcasters to spin-doctor re-interpret comments in to a “more positive” message!

          Again, you (like so many political bloggers) seem to want the BBC to be biased, just so long as it favours your arguments…

  2. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    If they were honest the ministers concerned would tell you that they are not really bothered whether they have any power at all. To them running the country is just a form of suspended adolescence, a continuation of what they used to get up to at the Oxford Union. They have no clue of the world around and how to change it. To them politics is just showing how clever they are in getting one over their opponents in a debate, preferably on TV to reflect their narcissism . Just consider this, while around 20% of school leavers are functionally illiterate, Cameron thinks one of the major issues of the day instead is that UK must have a spaceport.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      A spaceport and in Newquay!

      Can we just have a new runway at both Heathrow and Gatwick please!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:07 am | Permalink

        A space port in Newquay, a happiness index, biofuels imported from the US, laws preventing the low paid from working legally and a “lagoon” in Swansea!

        We are governed by complete and utter socialist loons.

        • Hope
          Posted May 22, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

          And the U.K. Has food banks while he gives away £14 billion on overseas aid to help mating programmed for endangered fish in the Carribean, work experience for Siberians, billions on Oxbridge consultants to tell them how to waste the money, our taxes, and elderly dying from EU fuel poverty. The best he can come up with is gay marriage and a spaceport, what an absolute tosser he is.

          • lifelogic
            Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            If you give things away for nothing (or less than their value) you do tend to get a lot of demand.

          • Stephen Brodie
            Posted May 22, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            But how do we get ride of this tosser ?

        • lifelogic
          Posted May 23, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

          How do we get rid? We vote Brexit of course

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Here is your starter for ten. Where does NASA have its launch facilities. Florida or somewhere in the USA that has weather system like that of the Newquay?

    • JoeSoap
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Twas ever thus.
      John Major and his Dome.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Dear Joe–I am no lover of Major either but he wasn’t in the same league as our present apology for a PM when it comes to not telling it straight and just plain lying. What Cameron just had to say re Turkey’s accession was hard to take. For a start was he not once in favour of Turkey’s joining, though you would never guess? Secondly we have had vetoes in the past and UK governments either allowed them to be taken away or just did not exercise them. Does he think it impossible that a left wing government, perhaps another coalition, might replace this so-called Conservative effort and fancy another flood of left wing voters? And that’s giving Cameron the benefit of the doubt by assuming that the right wing of the Conservatives are able to stop the EU-at-any-cost brigade in their Party who might gladly do anything to appear at the heart blah blah. It is the most reasonable worry imaginable to think that, by whatever route, Turkey might well be part of the EU in the next few years. Like pouring petrol on a fire I have heard it said. The only way to be sure is of course to get Out.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          Postscript–And of course the EU is working on a deal right now, a big part of which gives a boost to Turkey’s accession hopes. Does Cameron really believe that, even if he or his successor wanted to veto (“I forbid”) Turkey’s joining, he would be allowed to do so? That’s for the birds, as they say.

          • bluedog
            Posted May 22, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

            Of course Turkey is joining the EU. Why else would the EU be spending billions of Euros upgrading Turkey’s border controls? Does Cameron think we are utter fools and unable to draw conclusions from observable facts?

          • JoeSoap
            Posted May 22, 2016 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

            You have it all wrong
            Cameron was in favour of Turkey joining when he spoke to Turks in Ankara.
            In the UK he says the chance of them joining is nil.

            Many of us have known for quite a while no that what he believes depends on the audience. Sadly our host and other Eurosceptic MP s have taken longer to cotton on, or they would have brought this matter to a head substantially earlier.

        • miami.mode
          Posted May 22, 2016 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

          LS. I wish some of these interviewers would take issue on points such as Turkey. David Cameron has already said that he will not be PM by the next election, so why do the interviewers not put it to him that his successor may well be in favour of Turkey joining. His denials are worth nothing, as we already know that Germany is keen to do deals with Turkey.

  3. Antisthenes
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    The problem is that government has become too big and does too much and what it does it does badly and people feel let down by it. They feel ineffectual and powerless which generally they are. So they don’t care who governs them Westminster or Brussels is all the same to them. It is not institutions they are putting their trust into these days but individuals who offer solutions that they can empathise with. The Trumps and Corbyns and the like. A dangerous path to tread which will in the end not end well.

    The real answer is not to put their trust too much in anything other than themselves. Be rid of the EU and big government the real reason for their discontent. Stop the demand for more government because something must be done and another cause needs more money. It has become a vicious cycle the more government does the more problems that are made and the more the demand grows that government should do more.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      You say “So they don’t care who governs them Westminster or Brussels is all the same to them.”

      Surely they do. The big difference is the Westminster ones are elected, can be kicked out, they speak English, live in the UK and hopefully have the UK’s interests at heart. Anyway we clearly do not want both the levels of government. This plus all the regional ones on top. Government needs to be halved in size (at the very least). They deliver virtually nothing of any real value and inconvenience & tax everyone hugely.

      • Hope
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        Brexit the movie makes it clear how the state, and in our case the EU, has caused far too much bureaucracy and slowed/stopped growth and prosperity.

      • Antisthenes
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Surely they do not. If they did remain would not be ahead in the opinion polls. In fact way behind because what is more important than sovereignty and self determination our democracy, freedoms and civil liberties and so much more depend on them.

        Have the British become the Eloi to the Brussels Morlocks where we gladly feed ourselves to Brussels in exchange for their largess. A largess that was taken from us in the first place. A trick already practised by our own ruling class already since the left become dominant I know. However some relief from it can be had every time we return a right leaning government to Westminster but never possible with the Morlocks of Brussels.

      • DaveM
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        LL: “…hopefully have the UK’s interests at heart…”.

        You ARE joking?!! The only interest they have at heart is themselves. Our host and one or two other notables excepted of course.

        It’d be interesting to see (hypothetically), if Cameron decided to bat for Leave, how many of them turned out to be “Leavers at heart all along”!!

        PS, Mr R – OT; house prices dropping by 18% – brilliant. I’ll start looking for a house now.

        • Hope
          Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          Brexit the movie gives a good point about how govt began to over regulate after both world wars rather than let innovation and competition take its natural course. In contrast Germany did not regulate etc and the minister responsible stayed in office until 1963 where the real power house of industry was left to flourish without govt interference. The EU adds to the bureaucratic burden of all industry and has a suffocating effect on the economy.

          You have to laugh because our chancellor can only be bothered to work part time in the job while creating fear at No. 10 for most of his time! No wonder he has failed to achieve any of his targets or predictions. £74 billion deficit, £1.6 trillion debt! He claimed there would be a balanced budget by May last year, yet all forecasts doubt he will achieve his target by the of this parliament!

  4. Richard1
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    The strongest argument for voting Leave as far as I can see at this point has just been illustrated again by the G7 finance ministers. We are informed that Brexit would be a global economic shock. That being the case, should there be a vote to leave, presumably the G7 and all the other global powers that be will heap immediate & massive pressure on the EU to come to a rapid accommodation with the U.K. Which would be acceptable to the majority. A Swiss-type deal under which we remain nominally ‘in’ the EU, bung them a few £bns (but less than now) but restore parliamentary sovereignty and get clear carve outs from all the integration measures we don’t like would seem the best outcome. Then, as every other time the EU has been threatened by a popular vote, we can have a second referendum and approve a proper renegotiation.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Dream on.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      @Richard1; Well if we are to have a “Swiss type of deal” then why vote Brexit, better in the room and having the ability to contribute to the rule book rather than just be told to follow the rule book or else, Brexit should mean exit – not just switching from being half-way pout of the room to being half-way into the room!

      As for the silly comments by the G7, of course a Brexit will be a shock, but the world economies will survive and accommodate just as they always have, otherwise I take it that the G7 would have been against the fall of the Berlin Wall, fall of the Warsaw Pack and of the USSR its self, of China coming in from the economic cold, or the modernisation of the BRIC nations etc?…

      • Richard1
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        The Swiss have a good arrangement as far as I can see – free to set trade deals with whomever they want, no CAP, no CFP (n/a for them anyway). I’ve never seen a windfarm there i think. Much lighter regulation. True they chuck the EU a few €bns – but if you want to live there you have to apply for residence and meet certain tests, inc an ability not to be a burden. I’d swap that for our arrangement. If Cameron had played a longer game he could have got there – especially given everyone seems to think Brexit such a disaster.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 23, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          @Richard1; You miss the point, if the EU tell the Swiss to jump the only question allowed is “How high?”…

          Also I’m not so sure that you are correct about their residence tests, the Swiss have an open border with the EU (for holders of EU member state passports/documentation, the Schengen Treaty in other words…), hence why the Swiss referendum in relation top limiting immigration has caused treaty issues – the outcome of which is still unclear as far as their relationship with the EU is concerned.

    • Dioclese
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Farage has already been told by Cameron that if the referendum is marginal to remain then it’s still binding and his call for a second vote is “pie in the sky” but I wonder if his view will change if it’s marginal to leave?

      • Jerry
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        @Dioclese; But will either Farage or Cameron wish to “do an SNP”, if they do then will that not bolster the SNP’s own calls for a second iScotland vote, never mind the fact that (especially for Farage) seeking another vote because the people have not in his opinion chosen the correct answer will be compared to how the eurocrats behaved towards Ireland etc when voters said No – Farage and UKIP would be finished…

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Apparently not, it seems they would prefer to precipitate global economic meltdown rather than agree that the UK will continue to trade as now but will no longer take part in the “wild ride to political union”, as JR so neatly puts it.

    • Peter Davies
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      To me the best way to do this is revert into efta then begin the process of re negotiations of things we don’t like etc. It’s no point being in any club if you don’t agree with its objectives…..

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Why should we bung em a few billions. How much does China or America bung them. No we need to trade with them under the same terms as the rest of the world.
      Mail on Sunday giving oxygen to captains of industry (shop keepers) warning of post Brexit armageddom.
      Just who are these people.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    You say:-

    The Conservative Manifesto in 2015 could not have been clearer. It said we will “reclaim power from Brussels on your behalf and safeguard British interests in the single market”. It went on to say “No to ever closer union. No to a constant flow of power to Brussels. No to unnecessary interference”.

    Indeed but with people like Cast Iron in charge you can not trust a word the manifesto says. Read the one for 2010 and 2015. They are written to win support in the election and forgotten the day after the election.

    We still await the £1M IHT threshold and bill of rights that were promised. Did they not promise to improve the NHS and reduce congestion too?

    • JoeSoap
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      “We did get fooled again”, and again.

      • Hope
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        No we did not, don’t blame me I voted UKIP. If everyone voted with thier conscience UKIP would have stopped this nonsense by getting the Tories to the negotiating table. If you voted for a turd what did you expect?

        • JoeSoap
          Posted May 22, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          Happily I voted for UKIP also. I meant the national “we”.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 23, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          @Hope; Oh do stop the pro-UKIP hyperbole, it might go down well within UKIP but outside of that Clique it just comes over as sounding stupid and devoid of reality. Otherwise put some facts behind your sound-bite, for example explain how UKIP obtained the forthcoming referendum with at best just two MP’s?!

          • Hope
            Posted May 25, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

            Jerry, it is a simple fact, those who voted Tory are reaping their just rewards. Your comment, as usual, is drivel and lacks any substance. People should not complain if they get what they voted for!

          • Jerry
            Posted May 25, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; “those who voted Tory are reaping their just rewards.”

            The simple fact is that those who voted Tory got a UK government that has given us a referendum on our EU membership.

            “Your comment, as usual, is drivel and lacks any substance.”

            The only person talking drivel, with no facts, is you @Hope.

            “People should not complain if they get what they voted for!”

            Indeed, UKIP voters should not complain!
            As I said @Hope, if I’m wrong and talking drivel perhaps you can state some facts rather than hyperbole hot air? I’m sure that students of politics will love to read how the one UKIP MP managed to vote through the Referendum Act single handed when -should he wish to do so- to get a vote of thanks to Her Majesty would require the support from at least some Tory MPs.

      • DaveM
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        That would be an ideal slogan, seeing as they’ve been suggested here a lot recently:

        “1973. 1975. 2010. 2015. Vote Leave – don’t get fooled again.”

  6. eeyore
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    “When I write to constituents …” May we who do not live in your constituency hope you will be able to assist other pro-Brexit Conservative MPs to draft a similar letter to their own constituents?

    My MP is for Brexit, and no doubt a worthy and honest chap, but he is not active as you are. I think he, like many other similar Members, needs your help and encouragement.

    • DaveM
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      I live in an area which had a Lab MP for years and years. She was mostly absent, and didn’t show her face during the GE campaign, assuming a sense of entitlement. The Con cand who won was on the streets every day for weeks, leafleting, engaging, and spreading his OPTIMISTIC message. He knocked on every single front door in the constituency.

      Can I suggest all those who live in constituencies with pro-Brexit MPs bombard them with messages to do similar for the next few weeks?

  7. Cheshire Girl
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    At the time of the last GE, I bought a copy of the Conservative manifesto, so that I could see what promises therein were kept, or otherwise.

    I see in the papers today, that 4 former heads of Sainsbury, Tesco, M & S and B and Q have said that if we leave the EU, our grocery bills will go up by £120 per year. I respect their views, but wonder how much it is costing taxpayers per year to pay for migrant benefits and expenses( and all the associated costs of membership). I see that the PM is happy to join them in their warnings, but pretends that there are no downsides to our continued membership.

    Still voting Out!

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Looking at the “shareholder value” two of them returned whilst they were running their respective former employers I think we know what their advice is worth. It does not matter how much bills go up by if you lost your job or lost out on a job to someone from Eastern Europe. It shows that they are just as clueless now about their customers as they were when they were running their businesses in to the ground.

      • Hope
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        The supermarkets cannot remember the EU food banks while people were starving in the world or paying extra money for food in the UK. They are lying and wrong. If you went to Swindon at the time warehouses were full of grain and other foods. Left to rot!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Of all the many absurd scares & “arguments” put forward by the remain camp the idea that shop prices will rise on Brexit is perhaps the most absurd of all.

      They will certainly fall, without the common entry tariffs. Energy costs could halve without all the greencrap and with a bonfire of the EU red tape businesses (of all types) would save billions on top. Patrick Minford is exactly right (as he nearly always is). Rather unlike most of the economists and politicians on the remain camp who were wrong on the EURO and wrong on the ERM. Wrong on tax levels, tax complexity and absurd wage controls too.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      On the day we get more Project Fear from ex supermarket bosses , we get a leaked memo from a Whitehall assessment saying that protectionist nations in the EU are blocking trade deals in an attempt to protect their farmers from competition, which is costing us £2.5 billion.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Well, Cameron has done his sums and he predicts that the cost of food and drink would rise by 3% if we leave the EU. Not 2%, or 4%, but 3%, and to be frank I’m a little disappointed that he couldn’t be more precise with (say) 3.217%. We could sack all the members of the MPC at the Bank of England and just let him use his crystal ball, it might be more reliable.

        As for the potential to increase trade with Latin America by £2.5 billion a year, I would quietly point out that the increase in GDP would be much less than that increase in the volume of trade, and also quietly point out that in 2014/15 our GDP was £1809 billion.

        • Dame Rita Webb
          Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

          So what bills go up by £120 p.a. by coming out every family saves around £250 p.a. Another sign of genius from Cameron, who like George H.W. Bush, seems to have be born with a silver foot in his mouth. It says a lot about the leave campaign though if they could not shoot that claim down immediately in a similar fashion

    • graham1946
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      ‘Our Grocery bills will go up by £120 per year.’

      They say these things, but produce no evidence. It is generally reckoned that being in the EU, behind the protective tariff wall against the rest of the world, food is 20 per cent more expensive than need be, plus of course we pay into the CAP to featherbed EU farmers and inefficient producers. Thus EU prices are higher than necessary. Outside of the EU we could buy at world prices, without the CAP add- on. These people rely on the public not knowing anything and putting their trust in the unreliable people making these statements.

      Professor Patrick Midford has done all the calculations and even assuming the EU erect barriers against us and we make them at zero from our side, we will still be quids in. Tariffs only increase costs to our own people in order to protect the big vested interests. Zero tarfiffs on goods coming in to the UK would lower prices to our consumers who would be able to spend more in the economy here and boost GDP. Tariffs here do nothing to help our exporters. Free Trade world wide must be the aim to make the world more efficient.

      • miami.mode
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

        g1946. I hope Harriet Harman is reading this, as on the Sunday Politics she was under the impression that the EU would impose tariffs on goods they export to us after Brexit until Andrew Neil pointed the absurdity of her comment.

        Additionally when he indicated that all the top jobs in the EU were filled by men, she said that he had simply picked a random selection!

    • Peter Davies
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Jeremy Paxman’s documentary summed it up nicely the other day even though the focus was narrow. For Europeans it’s about peace and security, for the UK it’s about economics and we know the Disadvantages outweigh the benefits. Add the democratic deficit and I see no other option but brexit

  8. sm
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    John, I listened to you very carefully in 1992 (re Maastricht) – your arguments convinced me then, and still do; I wish that other Parliamentarians would think with their heads, not with their hearts (or with their cynical career trajectories in mind).

  9. agricola
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    That of which you complain was possibly a ploy to keep elements such as yourself and the electorate quiet at a time of general election. Just as Cameron would betray the country at large, so would he betray his own conservatives to facilitate a return to power. Saying one thing and then pursuing his own agenda is in his DNA. Should we vote to leave, his position is untenable.

  10. Mick
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Where abouts in The Conservative Manifesto in 2015 does it say the public should except thousands of more migrants each year, I know Cameron as said Turkey will not be a member of the eu while he is PM, hopefully not for long after 23rd June , But any successive PM will with abit of arm twisting and God forbid if it’s the Labour Party they’ll let every body in. Can only hope and pray the miss guided inners see the eu for what it is, a cancer which is getting out of control
    Sorry Mr Redwood as much as I respect you but your leader and his followers should be put on trial for starting the destruction of our great country

  11. Alan
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I think the Eurosceptics are doing a lot of damage to the Conservative Party. It now looks quite likely that they will take it over if they win the referendum. Ironically the one thing that they fought so hard for – the referendum – is now perhaps one way that they could be defeated. If the Eurosceptics lose the referendum those in the Party who support the EU may be able to pursue what I would regard as more sensible policies, more aligned with the UK’s interests and more able to have an influence for good in the world, and slowly drive back the tide of Euroscepticism. So I hope very much that Remain wins.

    The Party now seems bitterly divided and could turn into a far right nationalist party. An effective opposition would have no difficulty in defeating that. Even Mr Corbyn may be able to do it.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      I fail to understand your logic.
      Over three quarters of the Conservative MPS are pro EU
      How can the minority “take it over” ?
      And I do not recognise many with a “far right” agenda amongst Conservative MPs

    • rjkbe
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink


      I couldn’t disagree more. The Europhiles are the ones who have done serious damage. Tory Party members are overwhelmingly Eurosceptic so the leadership is simply not representative. For me, Major’s bulldozing through of the Maastricht Treaty without allowing a referendum finished my faith in the Tories. I know many “natural” Tories who feel the same and who can no longer vote for them. I think that the Tory party members (and Tory voters) Eurosceptic majority includes a large proportion who are passionate about getting out of the EU whereas the less numerous Europhiles have a smaller proportion who are passionate for their cause. If the remainers win, there will be far more trouble ahead in the Tory party than if the leavers win – and it will probably mean large desertions into UKIP thereby making it impossible for the Tories to win future elections.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Utter rubbish. We need a proper right of centre party not a wishy washy liberal like Cameron and his mates.
      The EU will never do anything in Britains interest. It is a Franco German con.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      And what of your country ? Does your party mean more to you than freedom, liberty, the rule of English Common Law and, above all, democracy ?

      This referendum is more than about who gets to govern the UK and spend its taxes.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Actually its David Cameron doing the damage.

      DC is still fighting the battle that Major lost, and that battle is to wipe out the eurosceptic right of the party…. and move the Tories to the left.

      In both of these DC is totally misguided

    • libertarian
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink


      That would be the current Socialist Conservative party you’re talking about right ??

      Oh I see it was satire !!

  12. Mark B
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    “Once a power is ceded to the EU, it can NEVER be returned.”

    What part of the above does the political class, the media, business and the establishment, not forgetting the general populace, do they simply not understand ?????

    The whole point of the EU is to destroy, or at least, subjugate national governments and national will (ie the people) to the all powerful central bureaucracy of Brussels.

    The problem is, business, and especially German big business, has done very well out of playing the system. France did very well out of agriculture, and all the other have, and are, doing well out of a closed market which protects their market share.

    We the consumers are a captive market. We cannot buy cheaper good from abroad. We pay for all the unnecessary costs of the EU, both within our shores (eg housing) and on the continent, by paying for housing they do not need, airports and roads. With my taxes and none of it benefits me, just big business.

    OUT I say, OUT !!!

  13. oldtimer
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    The voters were conned by the government in the previous referendum. They are being conned now in this latest referendum.

    The talk of a “reformed” EU, that there “could” be armageddon if we vote Leave, that house prices “could” increase, that household bills “could” go up are calculated to create a sense of fear. For many, who do not dig deeper to search for the substance and the assumptions that lie behind these claims, Project Fear will likely work.

    Perhaps instead of what “could” happen some time was spent on describing what “will” happen if vote Remains wins.
    1 The EU status quo will end.
    2 Immigration and refugee policy will be set by Angela Merkel not by David Cameron (after all it was she who insisted that the principle and practice of freedom of movement be preserved). Even Mr Osborne’s Treasury report accepts that at least another 3 million migrantscan be expected to come to the UK with huge consequences for health services, schools and housing, not to mention social stability.
    3 UK ability to influence EU decision making will decline (as the EU proceeds to implement the Five Presidents’ Report and QMV favours the members of the EZ who hold a controlling majority).
    4 UK gross (currently c£20 billion) and net (c£10 billion) annual contributions to the EU will increase. In the near term because the UK economy is expected to grow, triggering extra contributions, and even more in the medium term as the UK’s rebates are whittled away and as the EU exercises its powers over VAT.
    5 The UK parliament will be powerless to stem the never ending flow of Directives and regulations that permeate more and more areas of private and public life.
    6 The UK Supreme Court will be confirmed, in practice, as the UK Subordinate Court as the ECJ encroaches more and more into areas now covered by Common Law.

  14. Paul Cohen
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Mr Cameron has wrecked the notion of a fair and impartial referendum and has to explain his volte face on the pledge in the Conservative manifesto – he needs be challenged at every opportunity to justify his actions, hopefully this may make for a backlash of voters intentions.

    Most of the daily soundbites for remain are just conjecture, and will be seen as such.

    Paxmans recent expose of the EU were illuminating. We saw the overweening complacency and sense of entitlement that abounds, the insoucience, also the extravagence on display in what looks like La La land.

  15. Bert Young
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I understand from the content of an e-mail I have just received that we responders to John’s blog are all likely to finish up in some European jail ; it states that if we raise a criticism and complain about the European Commission or the ECJ , we are guilty of an offence and will be punished under European law !(words left out ed) If the communication I have received is true , then it should become headlines in the Brexit’s campaign . I trust John will throw some light on this .

    The Conservative manifesto John refers to was one that gave us all heart and reason to support them in the General Election ; it has since been buried and dismissed by Cameron just like the way he has sidelined the Bill of Rights Bill . Conservatives have turned away from him and resigned from the Party in droves as the result of his “lefty” leadership ; he represents disaster to the Conservatives in any forthcoming election unless things drastically turn to the right .

    Reply I l know of no such law

    • Jagman84
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      The European Court of Justice, case 274/99, ruled it was illegal to criticize the EU.

  16. Kenneth
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I agree that there is general ignorance about the amount of power that has already shifted to Brussels. The BBC has been shocking in this regard.

    It happened in 1975. We have since learned that we were duped then as we were not fully informed.

    There was then as there is now, plenty of information out there to allow an informed debate. However, the BBC is the main platform for this information and because it is not being put on the airwaves most people are being left in the dark.

    I don’t blame campaigning politicians. I blame the messenger: the BBC.

  17. Tad Davison
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    ‘The Conservative Manifesto in 2015 could not have been clearer. It said we will “reclaim power from Brussels on your behalf and safeguard British interests in the single market”. It went on to say “No to ever closer union. No to a constant flow of power to Brussels. No to unnecessary interference”.’

    So what is new about Conservative Prime Ministers saying one thing, then doing another?

    At one time, holders of such an office were people of principle. I could never envisage being so critical of a Conservative leader as I am of this one. But it isn’t just him. There is seemingly a corrupt and underhanded political process at work on the ‘IN’ side in this campaign. On a personal level, I am spending the greater part of my waking hours countering the lies and misinformation of the ‘IN’ campaign, and trying to cajole leading figures on the Brexit side. But my efforts are just those of one self-motivated individual.

    The debates seem to show that Brexit has the most powerful arguments in their favour, such as demonstrated in The Spectator Debate, and the one conducted by Bloomberg, and those arguments are made very eloquently, but I tend to think we now need to augment those great messages with someone with some good-old working class grit to put the case more forcefully.

    The Brexit campaign needs to come out swinging because people like strong leaders. I wish somebody would let me loose with Cameron for an hour. I wouldn’t pussy-foot around with that man, I’d make him look absolutely stupid, if not downright dishonest and in very short order. I see he wants to give Nigel Farage a wide birth in case the UKIP leader takes him apart as he did with Nick Clegg!

    Cameron must have utter contempt for the voters when he can say so many things to so many different people. Yet he gets away with it!

    The lies of the ‘IN’ campaign need to be countered. Somebody with a higher public profile needs to get their finger out and take the gloves off!

    Tad Davison


    • Hope
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      TV will not air it Tad, this is the problem. People need to show people power to advertisers by stop buying particular goods and make it clear so the sponsors of ITV and Sky realise our power is greater than theirs. Choose a product to demonstrate to all the move onto others.

  18. DHEWokingham
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    What a poor campaign LEAVE is running! In each round we seem to be on the defensive. Most of the forecasts of doom from STAY seem to be based on the fact we no longer trade with Europe on the existing basis. JR has pointed out time after time that countries of the EU (especially Germany) would never allow tariffs and trade barriers to be introduced; they have too much to lose. We must challenge STAY to describe the scenario within which these forecast catastrophes would occur. Clearly it is based on the unlikely (or impossible) total cessation of trade with the other 27 members.

    • Alan
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Of course the Germans and others in the EU will introduce tariffs. We have much more to lose than they do, Something like 40% of our trade is with them, less than 10% of their trade is with us. They can tolerate tariffs far easier than we can because they will lose less. Most EU countries could not care less whether we trade with the EU or not, and each country will have a veto on how we are treated. You have to be realistic. Try convincing Spain that they should give up their fishing rights so that Germany can sell us cars. Trade won’t stop, but it will be less profitable.

      • bluedog
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 6:35 am | Permalink

        Percentage of German exports to China: 6. Percentage of German exports to the UK: 7.5. Now, which is the more important market for Germany and why would they discriminate against either of these two? Bear in mind that 47% of German GDP is directly dependent on export trade. It is no exaggeration to say that if Germany loses access to the British market for its goods, a severe recession would follow, in Germany. Consequently, Germany will not be losing the British market, indeed, we have them over a barrel. You merely need to analyse and understand the vulnerabilities of the German economy. Your comment ‘They can tolerate tariffs far easier than we can because they will lose less.’ is manifestly not the case.

        As Germany is the hegemon within the EU and also the leading creditor nation to the PIGS, including Spain, if it is in the German interest to ignore the fate of Spanish fishermen, they are doomed. In short, the smart money would be on German industry, not on the Spanish fishing fleet.

        You need to find a more compelling set of arguments to persuade this writer of the merits of your case.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 6:56 am | Permalink

        And if they try to add a 10% tarrif on the UK Alan, then we put a 40% tariff on them.
        Bye bye German cars.
        Let’s see who actually has the power.

      • libertarian
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 3:02 pm | Permalink


        I’d give up now as you clearly dont have a clue about business, trade or economics .

        You might want to read up on WTO Uruguay talks on tariffs

        You’re posts are funny and amusing though

  19. Caterpillar
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Dr Redwood,

    In the simplest terms, do your comments mean that the Prime Minister is failing to follow his party’s manifesto commitments under which a majority was achieved?

    Without wishing to distract from the more fundamental and long term Brexit issue, the consequences of what you write would seem to be either that the Conservative Party cannot trust its leader, or the electorate cannot trust the party – which is it?

    • JoeSoap
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      The logic actually has greater repercussions for any MP who presents it than for the Conservative Party itself. Surely any MP saying that his Party is dishonest in government should resign and fight the subsequent by-election under a different party/leader a la Carswell, or accept that he is a willing party to that dishonesty?

    Posted May 22, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Leave/Remain MPs visualise the EU debacle primarily through the prism of the technicalities, whirrings of governance….Party manifestos, Bills before Parliament , Select Committees and orchestrated political presentations such as BBC Question Time. A gentlemanly verbal cricket match. How nice.

    A time ago: with Catalonians seeking separation from Spain, some of what now are the Remaindian MPs thought they would introduce what they must have imagined was a goody-gumdrops slur upon all people in the UK who wished to leave the EU. They called us “Separatists”. What for them was a taunt,an insult they very quickly dropped from their pro-EU lexicon. I guess they figured in many a British heart a possible antonym of Separatist is Traitor.

  21. Peter Davies
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    You do a fantastic job on this blog informing those bothered to read it but it’s now obvious from the conduct I’d certain people at the top of the party that they are part of what seems an establishment stitch up

    To do what you have promised needs 2 things, an out win in the refendum and change of mps and civil servants at the top

    Posted May 22, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic: Another failed EU trade agreement.

    1.Is Thailand a member of the EU?
    2. Is it applying to be a member of the EU?
    3. What is a SENIOR MEP? An MEP drawing an OAP pension?
    4. How many non-democratic countries exist in the world? Now c’mon, genuinely non-democratic despite their official constitutions and voting procedures? Party members going round villages counting raised hands is only democratic or rather “democracy IN-CONTEXT” as defined by Ex Lib Leader Mr Steel referring to the iffy South African ANC elections post apartheid.

  23. John Bracewell
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    The Remain side like or at least do not mind being governed by the faces at the top of the EU. So, it seems rather incongruous that Hapless Harriet Harman (campaigning for Remain) did not know and could not name any of the men in the top 7 EU jobs when shown them on the Sunday Politics show. It just shows how blind these people are to what they are campaigning for the UK people to vote for. If there is a Remain vote, then it will not be worth voting for MEPs because they do not have much influence or power, it will also be not worth voting for MPs because their power is being continually and swiftly eroded by the elite (not MEPs) in the EU, there will be therefore be a considerable gulf between the electorate and those who wield influence over their lives, not a happy position for anyone except the EU elite. The people will feel even more remote from those who govern them and turnouts in all elections, not just EU elections, will fall. I do not think the Conservative party will or should heal the deep rift between the 2 sides in this referendum after a Remain vote, it would make more sense for a redistribution of politicians between new parties, UKIP and Leave Conservatives setting up a new and proper Conservative party, the Remain Conservatives merging with the other EU party the Lib Dems to create a Centre Right party, the Corbynistas to form a Far Left party and those known as Blairites to form a Centre Left party. That would reflect the views of the people in the country more accurately but would still be ineffectual since the UK would be subservient to the EU and all that entails. The only hope then would be the UK people would vote out of the EU when the Treaty change comes for creating the United States of Europe(USoE), if the current law giving the UK an In/Out vote if there is Treaty change has not been repealed before then. To those who think the UK will be immune to the Treaty for the USoE, just wait and see!

  24. Anonymous
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    John – It’s your party that’s up to it’s neck in the EU.

    Mr Cameron says one thing to the British people and another to the Turks.

    He tells us that our veto will stop Turkey joining the EU and yet he tells the Turks that he wants them in the EU as soon as possible and that “We can’t have you guarding the camp and yet not allowed to come in the tent.”

    We did not want Turkey guarding our borders. We did not even want Turkey to be the extent of our border !

    If we stay in the EU I blame the Tory Party entirely.

    • stred
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      To adapt Boris’s winning poem in the Spectator,

      There was a man talking to Anakara,
      Who was really a bit of a Wankara.

      He says one thing here,
      And another elsewhere,

      But as with the president,
      The truth is not evident.

  25. Richard1
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I find it very odd that civil servants – the latest being Mr Stevens, the CEO of the NHS – have joined the political campaign. In an interview today mr Stevens advanced these arguments for Remain: we won’t save £10bn the actual net contribution is less than that (Q: is this his area of expertise?); if the economy goes into recession the NHS will suffer (Q: what if it performs better as Leave argue – would he then be in favour of Brexit & is this in any case also an area of his expertise?): the NHS employs lots of EU workers (5-10% it seems) (Q: would Brexit stop it doing so, couldn’t we just as well recruit workers from outside the EU if we needed them?)

    I don’t know whether Mr Stevens is a good CEO of the NHS or not. But he seems to have gone well outside his area of knowledge with these bland speculative comments on economic issues, and I wonder why as a civil servant he is permitted to do so.

  26. peter davies
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Given that modern mainstream politicians from differing parties often look the same and do the same things behind their party rhetoric, why don’t we just scrap their red and blue party hats and create 2 new ones, the pro EU party and the Anti EU party then we’ll get a more honest understanding of what voters are voting for during elections.

    Labour vote against everything the Tories try to do domestically but ignore the fact that Regulations and Directives which underpin most of our laws are left to flow through with no challenge then there is really no point having them as an opposition, they may as well group up with the Wet pro EU Tories who are no different to half the labour party.

    Proper Euro Skeptics should become the real opposition and JR as someone who intricately understands the issue of the EU and its implications you should lead it.

    Also it truly amazes me how politicians campaign and vote against matters EU all their careers until they get a top post in government or opposition then somehow change the tune of their rhetoric and suddenly become EU luvvies – civil service influence perhaps?

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Cameron is now saying that Turkey may not join the EU before the year 3000.

    So would that be within a lifetime, the period he has said must elapse before we can have another EU referendum? Because we sure as hell won’t get a referendum on whether we agree to Turkey joining the EU, any more than we got one on Croatia joining even though that was after the much-vaunted “referendum lock” law had come into force.

    • DaveM
      Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Cameron just makes stuff up as he goes along. Everything he says is said to appease whomever he thinks needing appeasing at the time. He’s so weak it’s scary.

      • Hope
        Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        He also said he would pave the way from Ankara to Brussels! He is also sending £2 billion to speed the process. I believe his first statement not his lies that Turkey will not join.

    Posted May 22, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    The USA and EU have so much embargoed banned, threatened, confiscated bank accounts,bombed, conspired against, infiltrated arms into, supported internal dissenting groups, rendered people Persona non grata that it is little surprise the two of them are up to their necks in debt and are frantically swapping one another’s big-wigs like Obama and his Grace the Ex-Prime Minster of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg ( population 502 ) Jean Claude Juncker the First to call Leave Campaigners: déserteurs,desertores,disertori, deserteure and other foreign words.

    Posted May 22, 2016 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    At first I thought the ASEAN countries who are siding with the EU against Thailand and holding back an EU trade deal were in fact for the most part independent countries and maybe including China. No, they’re West-controlled countries beholden to the US for Security and trade except perhaps Vietnam and Burma ( Myanmar ) . So the probable aim , given the careless “democracies” in the region, is merely a brick in the wall against China and of course much more quietly, India.

    The UK should of course Leave the EU and not get roped into pre-war or low-key ( as yet ) pre-military advancements against China using trade war weapons on the perceived weak and potentially manipulated countries in the region.
    The EU was quite happy to buy fish from Poland’s General Wojciech Jaruzelski ( and coal ) ( and steel ) 1989 which should have been impossible first, because it was a communist dictatorship and second, it was a junta.
    The Remain Campaign, should think somewhat more clearly about what The Rt Hon Chris Graying, MP,Leader of the House of Commons said in the Chatham House EU Debate on 16th May; namely, that on 23rd June we will vote not for the present EU but what the EU will be in 10 years time.

    Looking back to 1989 when the EU quite readily traded with a nasty Poland, its present position is suspicious. The EU is not a trading community. It is a political military bloc which is throwing its weight about in a world of people who have more than a colonial spear to fight back. It is attempting to engineer, in my opinion, a military-trading sphere of influence first done tariff-wise by Britain, France and the USA on pre-Second World War Japan but this time on mighty China which according to a BBC documentary interviewing the then Singaporean Prime Minister 30 good years ago would “disintegrate within the next 10 years” because of its “poverty and internal contradictions” He must have done his Tarot Card training at the BoE or IMF think-tanks.

  30. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    John – Totally agree with your comments.

    Getting the right information across to those that don’t understand the EU is the real issue IMVHO.
    There are plenty of people who got on with their lives without becoming familiar with what the EU was all about – now they are asked to make a decision, and they remain confused.

    As well as providing data on the various issues, it would really help to highlight the very nature of the EU, which in my opinion, should explain more clearly why we want to leave this club.

    For example:
    – The structure of the EU – the unelected commission that doesn’t answer to anyone and are immune from prsoecution, no matter their sin;
    – The parliament that is predominantly socialist by nature, means they are only interested in making new laws that contain socialist dogma, and they do so at a large rate – conservative policies are not implemented;
    – Looking at what the EU does, rather than any half promises made – it’s ability to deceive, its cronyism, its general nature and its secrecy are all traits that will destroy democracy;
    – What does the future hold – Just extrapolate from where we are and it won’t look so nice.

    There are many things wrong with the way the EU works, and its our challenge to make this real to those still sitting on the fence….

    Posted May 22, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    The Rt Hon Hilary Benn in the recent Chatham House EU Debate indicated the EU economic sanctions against Iran and Russia were highlights in EU benefits to the UK.

    Well the Iranian exports to the EU in 2008 was €11.3 billion and imports from the EU was €14.1 billion. Iran concentrated on developing its own automotive industry selling vehicles to India, China, Russia and Third World countries whose average car buyer can afford a cheap A to B car but not a VW or Ford with its automatic stick-your-finger- in- cholesterol-monitor and stick-your-foot-in foot-warmer. Continued selling oil to India and China and provided enthusiastic and loyal troops to kick ISIS out of most of Syria in one 4-week month and each went home with a carrier bag full of duty-free perfume and Turkish Delight for the Missus.
    EU sanctions against Russia had no effect except to induce Russia and China to sign a mutual trade pact and buy even more Iranian cars and textiles. Also impoverishing Polish Romanian, Bulgarian and Latvian farmers and fishermen for which the UK paid compensation. Hurrah for the British Labour Party: sit down, put your feet up and dip your bread in.
    So, shooting yourself in the foot is a Bennism. Etc ed

  32. Hooray
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Just read in the Guardian. The Left’s in. ( Out that is )

  33. Hooray
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Sorry. Express not Guardian. Good news though. Lexit its called.

  34. rick hamilton
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I used to ask why governments of both sides were so keen to give away our sovereignty (ours, not theirs) to Brussels. Why would politicians who largely wish to wield power surrender it so casually?

    Now I get it. The EU is a conspiracy by the political class to wield huge power without the need to seek approval from the electorate. Cameron is not our representative at the EU at all, but one of them through and through.

    The EU will end up as a totalitarian one party state in which the needs and ambitions of the EU itself take precedence over those of the poor devils who pay for it all. Gulags and secret police will not be needed – massive regulation and crushing debt will keep the dissidents in line.

  35. Vanessa
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha !!! That is what most of us who read and arm ourselves with true information think.

  36. Bill
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    There’s certainly a lot to know about this topic.
    I really like all the points you have made.

  37. Androcles
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    The PM and Chancellor know that they are free to forecast all manner of disasters if we leave the EU because their predictions will only be put to the test if tbey lose the vote, in which case they will be gone anyway. I thought they might also be trying to spook the markets or poison pill a leave victory but the whoppers have become so absurd – think of a number and double it – that they have made themselves laughing stocks. The contrast between the economic forecasts on brexit before a referendum was likely and those being made now are remarkable.

  38. bluedog
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Comical PR from Cameron and Osborne about a DIY recession in the event of Brexit. Their claim should be rephrased -‘Large numbers of our immediate circle are dependent on the EU for their luxurious lifestyles and are worried that they may soon be unemployed’.

    Heartbreaking, really.

  39. Anonymous
    Posted May 22, 2016 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    As I have long predicted. The Daily Mail would turn against Brexit and in today’s Mail on Sunday editorial it has started to do so. On the eve of the referendum it will be “We ask readers to hold their noses and …”

    Pull the plug on the Con-servative goverment now, John. Time is running out.

  • About John Redwood

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

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