What does remain look like?

I have taken part in a good many debates now ahead of the referendum. One of the most striking things about the Remain advocates I have faced is how little they like or even understand the modern European Union. None of them have come out defending monetary, political, capital markets, banking, and energy union. None of them have advocated the EU army or defended the EU/Turkey and EU/Ukraine policies. None of them have wanted to discuss open borders and the  migration policy. Several of them have stressed the fact that they dislike much of the bureaucracy. Most stress the way the UK is opted out of the Euro and Schengen.


Most of them wish to live in a 1970s style world where the EU (EEC) is primarily a so called single market, and the only things we need to discuss are trade arrangements. It may be inconvenient to Remain that the EU now sees itself as a  foreign policy force in the world, that its founding principles include the free movement of labour, and the Euro is the most important step to full union it has so far taken. The 5 Presidents Report is not mentioned as a proud Manifesto for future ever closer union, but dismissed as unlikely or remote.


If I believed in a united Europe then I would be telling people how today’s EU is but a stepping stone on route to a more united future. I would be talking about pan European solidarity, about the obligations we owe to the poorer parts of the Union, and about what I wanted the Union to do in the world as its power grows. Where is the UK advocate of the type of European Union most continental governments  wish to help fashion? Why is it just in the UK that the pro EU people are in denial about the current nature and future aims of this binding legal grouping of states?


The future agenda will have to ensure bigger transfers of money around the EU to tackle poverty and unemployment in the badly affected areas. There is a growing  wish for fairer sharing of the migrants coming into southern and eastern Europe. There are demands for much more political integration, to buttress the single currency. The EU has a big agenda to take more control of taxation, to spend more of our money, and to represent us abroad. They are well on the way to controlling fishing, farming, energy, transport and much else.


Far from In being the stable status quo, it will indeed be a wild ride to political union. Do those who wish to remain want to veto, opt out or compromise with the next Treaty?


    May 28, 2016

    “… One of the most striking things about the Remain advocates I have faced is how little they like or even understand the modern European Union. ”

    Media interviewers never ask Remaindians anything about the life and times of people living in European EU states. Can you imagine the BBC in the run up to a national election only asking Labour MPs questions relating to London…nothing about Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Cardiff? Never mentioning Scotland or Wales?

    In truth, our biased media, is aware, painfully conscious that Remaindians know nothing at all about anything relating to the EU outside UK borders. Though they’ve suddenly discovered Calais but need to visit there to touch it …to see if it is real.They know that our people do not know much either,- nor care to know.

    In economic downturn, which periodically happens, there will be massive job losses in retail, catering, hotels. and the myriad of associated enterprises. If we Remain in the EU the Mayor of London is going to get his wish for more accommodation and lower rents but they will remain empty , many will fall into disrepair. People will not afford even lower rents for they will be unemployed or returning to their homelands. Negative equity for those still tied to London. Mr Khan is probably rehearsing a speech blaming President Trump.

    1. Hope
      May 28, 2016

      Most of them will not tell the truth, they actually want all the points you highlight but voters would turn against them. Hence why they lie, deceive, avoid then real issues or intentions of the EU.nif Cameron’s apocalyptic warnings Re true why did he not get more from his alleged negotiations? A Br like the veto that never was. What EU institutions did he prevent Eorozone countries from using? None! When is the debate about the Five Presidents report? The debate on the benefits of the Lisbon Treaty? How Maastricht helped the UK? Why Cameon has made many false statements yet still supported by the Tory party when he even advocates to ignore your supporters, associations and MPs? What about Cameron’s cash for questions from the trade unions? Why the negotiations with the zeal were not in good faith because of letters exchanged with Serco? Cameron questioned on his views of the Lisbon Treaty? Cameron is avoiding a debate at all costs,nforce his hand- sack him now, make accusations public so that he had no choice.

  2. Lifelogic
    May 28, 2016

    You correctly say:

    One of the most striking things about the Remain advocates I have faced is how little they like or even understand the modern European Union.

    They just have a feeling they like being part of European Club, perhaps because they they have had a few nice holidays or means in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece in their time.

    As you say:- None of them have come out defending monetary, political, capital markets, banking, and energy union. None of them have advocated the EU army or defended the EU/Turkey and EU/Ukraine policies. None of them have wanted to discuss open borders and the migration policy. Several of them have stressed the fact that they dislike much of the bureaucracy. Most stress the way the UK is opted out of the Euro and Schengen.

    They just have a gut feeling about it and and never think much beyond that.

    They are rather like the greens, the climate alarmists, the anti GM people, the anti Nuclear people, the anti runway people, the renewable energy enthusiasts, the national minimum wage loons, the magic money tree loons, socialist, and the rest. They just have a gut feeling for these issues. but have no understanding of the science, engineering, economics or any consideration of the cost/benefit analysis.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 28, 2016

      Why do the BBC keep inviting Vicky Pryce (C Huhne’s partner in crime) to give us her ill considered views on the EU and economics? On Question Time again this week. Could it be because that her view are exactly the same as those endlessly pushed by the BBC?

      Were she on the leave side I imagine she would probably not be invited at all and certainly (if she were) would be introduced rather less politely than she was.

      1. Andy
        May 28, 2016

        Given her past she should not be asked. Simple as that.

        1. Hope
          May 29, 2016

          Who would trust what she says. A convicted liar.

      2. graham1946
        May 28, 2016

        Presumably because she is pro EU and not British (she is Greek). Why do they keep inviting Caroline Lucas on QT and next week Any Questions, whilst Carswell for UKIP does not get a look in? I thought Jonathan Dimbleby was splendid as the extra Remain speaker, slanting all his questions (why does he have questions anyway?) in favour of the Remain members of the panel. Also on Any Answers Anita Anand kept up the BBC view by shutting down any sensible Leavers whilst letting the Remainers run.

        1. Lifelogic
          May 31, 2016


    2. Lifelogic
      May 28, 2016

      Vicky Price, on Any Question made the point that immigrants are net contributors – some are but probably most are certainly not. As an economist you might have thought she would know rather better. They may pay more in tax than they get in benefits, but that is a very long way from making them net contributors. The majority (about 60%) are on low pay and contribute far less in taxes than they get back in benefits, housing, schools, police, roads and all the rest of the bloated inefficient state sector.

      Why is she trying to fool us? We want selective migration from all of the World taking the best on merit, but not everyone regardless. It this really such a hard concept to grasp?

      1. Tad Davison
        May 28, 2016

        Exactly, but fool us they do, or rather they fool the politically unaware – the ones who can’t be bothered to search out the truth, or find the subject of this nation’s very future much too heavy.

        That’s the scary part. We on the ‘out’ side need therefore to make it clear to everyone ever more forcefully what the EU is, and where the thing wants to take us if we stay in.

        We have a very biased media to overcome however, that seems to want to concentrate on the message of the corporate interests only, and what would be good for the likes of Branson rather than the ordinary British citizen. Over the centuries, we have fought hard for our nationhood, and we now have the chance to secure its future. We must take it from the grasp of the anti-democratic institution that is the European Union.

        So many times we hear those who wish to remain say the EU isn’t perfect and we wish to change it, yet they never expand upon that and tell us what this ‘reformed’ EU would look like. So they expect the British people to support something the remain campaign cannot even describe, or indeed if their idea of the EU is even achievable. It hasn’t been achievable thus far, and steamrollers over everyone and everything that gets in the way of an undemocratic and lop-sided way of working.

        The campaign for ‘out’ is the only logical one. I suggest we make it more forcefully. The only way the ‘in’ campaign can win is by pedalling misinformation. The only way the ‘out’ campaign can lose, is if we let them.

        Tad Davison


      2. Denis Cooper
        May 28, 2016

        There are two rather complicated charts here:


        in which immigrants are divided into five categories to show whether or not they have been paying in more than they have been taking out in tax credits and child benefit, and over the past five years only one category has been paying in more on that very narrow basis.

        They are the “Recent EU15/Other EEA” – by which is meant those who have arrived from the old EU member states plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland since 2001 – and their case seems to be the source of that mechanically and uncritically repeated £2.5 billion a year claim.

        All the others are a net fiscal cost even on that inadequate assessment, adding up to a net cost now of £13 billion or £17 billion a year.

      3. Lifelogic
        May 28, 2016

        We also want democratic control of it at Westminster, and decisions made in the interests of the UK voters, not the interest of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

      4. graham1946
        May 28, 2016

        If they are contributors, why have any controls at all, from anywhere? Surely we would be better off with a population of 100 million by next year instead of struggling along with the 65 million we have (unofficially more like 70 million). Why the wait.? Throw open the borders, most incomers will be high earners, bringing huge amounts of capital with them, clever and probably doctors and nurses for the NHS anyway. For the rest, we can’t get too many car washers or baristas, they add enormously to saving the lazy indigenous population from doing their own.

    3. Hope
      May 28, 2016

      They are aware but do not want to discuss it as people would vote out. This is not about economics, but they have turned it into the main discussion. Alex Salmond tried to deflect a woman’s concern about housing saying there was not a connection to immigration we should build more houses! How many times do we need to say there is not a housing crisis it is an immigration crisis and invasion that has effected housing and public services. You cannot have 800,000 people coming here each year and provide enough services and welfare for them. The short-term stayers are constant and are using our public services to say otherwise is dishonest.

      The remainers do not have a positive argument to put forward so they are using fear to scare people to vote to remain in the EU. The most potent being money in your pocket. So lies continue without proper challenge from the media, which I find the most astonishing of all.

      1. Lifelogic
        May 28, 2016

        Indeed, certainly no one on the BBC questioning ever the remain side sensibly. While trying to brand “Leave” as racist at every turn.

        Wheeling out dire people like John (still no apology for the ERM) Major to give us his unquestioned words of wisdom all the time.

      2. backofanenvelope
        May 28, 2016

        I acquired an ‘O’ level in Economics in 1953!!! We spent quite a bit of time debating the Laws of Supply and Demand. I watched the Sky News’ pet doctor the other day, whining about the pressures she faced as an inner city doctor. But they had no connection, she said, with immigration. The Leave campaign needs a big poster pointing out the laws of supply and demand.

  3. eeyore
    May 28, 2016

    “None of them have advocated the EU army or defended the EU/Turkey and EU/Ukraine policies.” Nor, perhaps, the EU identity number we shall soon all be given, ostensibly for tax reasons but in reality for who knows what dark purpose. Perhaps Mr Redwood would look into that too, before June 23.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 28, 2016

      I assume the EU identity number will be a micro chip implant, like the ones for dogs.

    2. Denis Cooper
      May 28, 2016

      Have a care here, because I find that’s not new but started at least as early as June 2012 with a Communication from the EU Commission, and there was a public consultation in February – May 2013.


      We must have missed that at the time …

      I don’t know exactly what was voted on in the EU Parliament recently.

    May 28, 2016

    The Remain Camp just toss soundbites out ” We do X amount of trade with the EU” as if we should all wonder at it. We buy a load of fireworks from China too but we’ve always managed to hold Bonfire Night without their input.

    It is embarrassing to listen say to American Congressmen and women getting blasted by reporters. Their replies are so upfront and knowledgeable. Then we see Remaindians on Question Time. It ought to be called The Cringe Factor. Especially when half the audience whoop, shout and clap loudly when one of them says…admittedly the more green Remaindians..” We need immigrants, we need many millions of them, utter tosh we’re overcrowded. 95% of our land are just fields growing food and grazing cattle.

  5. Ian Wragg
    May 28, 2016

    And whether we like it or not we will be expected to contribute to these massive financial transfers. Just wait till we are subsidising Turkey and the remaining Balkan states.
    These remainiac clowns will bankrupt us

  6. MikeP
    May 28, 2016

    John is it conceivable that these changes could get through without a future new Treaty or changing the latest one?
    And could they be construed by this pro-EU government as not transferring powers to Brussels so as to avoid the Referendum Act?
    The whole atmosphere pervading the ‘Stronger In’ campaign, not airing the issues you cite, and the apparent delays to proposals being announced by Brussels, has a distinct whiff of vote-rigging.

    reply Given the EUs history anything is possible

    1. Denis Cooper
      May 28, 2016

      Well, here’s Hague in November 2010:


      “William Hague: no UK referendum on EU treaty changes”

      “Changes to the fundamental rules of the European Union will not lead to a British referendum, William Hague has insisted.”

      “The Foreign Secretary said the Coalition will reject the demands of Conservative MPs for a popular vote on proposed changes to the EU’s treaties.

      David Cameron has signalled he is prepared to give his consent to a German plan to alter the EU’s basic rules to support the euro.

      The Conservatives have promised a referendum on any transfer of British sovereignty to Brussels, and some Tory MPs will this week demand such a vote.

      Ministers insist that the German plan does not justify a British vote because it affects only eurozone countries and has no impact on the UK.

      Mr Hague insisted that the Coalition does not intend to grant a referendum on the changes put forward by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor.

      “As proposed, it would not give rise to a referendum,” he said in a BBC interview.

      “What is being proposed by Angela Merkel does not affect the United Kingdom and the powers of the United Kingdom.””

      And here’s Lidington in October 2011 explaining how Hague had used one of the loopholes in his newly passed “referendum lock” law to avoid a referendum:


      “This Treaty change will provide a solid legal basis for euro area members to set up the European Stability Mechanism to provide financial assistance to euro area countries in crisis.”

      “Speaking today the Minister for Europe said:

      “This statement is the first stage in the enhanced public and Parliamentary scrutiny of EU Treaty changes introduced under the provisions of the EU Act 2011. As this Treaty change Decision relates to a provision that only applies to euro area Member States, it does not fall within section 4 of the Act and there is no requirement for a referendum.

      “The UK supports the euro area’s stated commitment to do what it takes to ensure the financial stability of the euro area as a whole. The establishment of the ESM is part of that response. It is important that national approval procedures of this Treaty change now take place. If ratified by all 27 Member States, this will enable the permanent stability mechanism to be established by the euro area members as planned.

      “Today, the Foreign Secretary has laid a statement before Parliament to the effect that, in his opinion, the decision made at the European Council of 24/25 March 2011 to amend Article 136 TFEU does not fall within section 4 of the Act and no referendum is required in the UK.””

      In any case if the government ran out of plausible loopholes in the Act it is not in any way entrenched against normal repeal and could easily be over-ridden.

      1. Chris
        May 28, 2016

        Well researched Denis, and a very timely contribution. I wish you had been able to counter the claims of another commenter in another thread yesterday extolling the virtues and safeguards of the referendum lock!

      2. bluedog
        May 29, 2016

        One has to accept that there are some government ministers and former ministers who will go to any lengths to ensure Remain. We know who they are. Their careers were built on the enlargement and aggrandisement of the EU and nothing will change their view of its essential worth, they will die for their country, Europe, and never the UK.

        What is so interesting is that Cameron now appears to be using various back channels, most recently Steve Hilton, to try and shift his own position into neutral ground on the EU matter. No doubt this is a precursor to a complete back-flip in order to save his own political skin. Cameron is shameless.

        Then there is the gathering revolt in the Parliamentary Conservative Party as the message being offered by our blog host and his colleagues finally gets traction. That it has taken until the eleventh hour is testament to the effectiveness of forty years of pro-EU propaganda.

    2. Hope
      May 28, 2016

      Cameron warned us of the dangers from the Lisbon Treaty one of them being that treaties could be made in our name without us having a say. Why is he not warning us of the grave dangers as he did then? Look on YouTube and watch what he says and compare to what he says now! An utter shyster. You cannot believe a word he says.

      1. bluedog
        May 29, 2016

        The Sun and the rest of the Murdoch press would appear to agree that Cameron is an utter shyster. Are Murdoch himself and Mrs Brooks, too, inclined to support Cameron in any endeavour? Possibly not, for their own reasons.

        It’s purdah time. With the cat away, the mice may play.

  7. Antisthenes
    May 28, 2016

    We do not even need to be a member of the EU for trading and cooperation purposes. It may have been true once but not any more. Other EU members have every incentive to come to an amicable trade and cooperation agreement with the UK within the two year withdrawal process. All the problems that stayers say will occur if we leave are fiction. The only obstacle is the bureaucratic nature of the EU but a sensible take it or leave it approach by the UK can overcome that. The EU has far more to lose than the UK from not coming to a mutually beneficial agreement.

    May 28, 2016

    “…What does Remain look like?”

    Click on to the latest news from France…burning, riots, running battles with the police by trades unions protesting new Labour laws in an EU “which underpins workers rights” ..Corbyn and Eagle

    # It should be pointed out to Remaindians that France is a country and it’s that bit where Calais is.

  9. Richard1
    May 28, 2016

    No we do not have many open defenders of federalism in the UK. Floating voters at least are focused on the undoubted economic disruption from Brexit – I meet no-one in European business who thinks Brexit would be anything other than a disaster (except for one French friend who hopes it could lead to the collapse of the euro). Also, there is a feeling that maybe we can come back for another bite at a later stage.

    Max Hastings sums it up well:-


    Reply There could only be disruption if Germany and France deliberately created it, as we will not disrupt anything to do with trade or jobs. Fortunately international law, WTO membership and self interest means they will not disrupt our trade as it is their jobs!

    1. DaveM
      May 28, 2016

      I don’t thing France or Germany would create it. It’s the unelected brigade in Brussels who would do it for fear of losing their unwarranted power.

    2. Denis Cooper
      May 28, 2016

      David Davis writes well about this today:


      “Britain is not like other countries – even the EU will be forced to treat us fairly”

      There is also a clip from Question Time when he crushes Miliband by explaining that “the country we will be like” after leaving the EU is not Canada or Norway or Switzerland or Albania but, guess what, “Great Britain”.

      Still, there is a small, irritable and highly irresponsible part of me that says if the French or the Germans do want to be bloody stupid, and they do decide to ignore Obama’s recent rather sanctimonious injunction that trade should not be used as a political weapon, and they resolve to cut off their noses to spite their faces, then so be it – they can keep their things and they can suffer the 5 million job losses, and they can wait a few years for the ECB to decide what to do about that, and wherever possible we will go back to producing for ourselves whatever we now buy from them, and we will sell what we have to other countries around the world rather than them, and with a bit of luck the whole EU shambles will disintegrate.

    3. Richard1
      May 28, 2016

      I don’t think it’s about government actions, it’s about actions – or lack of them – from companies and investors. The London deal market is currently in the deep freeze pending the outcome of the referendum. Could be if it happens people will just adjust to the new situation and wonder what all the fuss was about, but at the moment there’s a lot of concern.

      Reply The pound has gone up against both the dollar and the Euro since February, and the stock market has rallied. There is no evidence of a great Brexit effect – UK markets have performed similarly to US and other leading markets. The Germans launched a bid for the Stock Exchange despite the Brexit uncertainties.

      1. Richard1
        May 29, 2016

        Reply to Reply: the market expects a Remain vote, and as ever, prices in the balance of expectations. I am sure you must know from your extensive contacts in the business and financial world that much investment activity – and hiring activity at professional firms – is currently on ice. I don’t advance this as an argument for Remain, just to note that there seems to be overwhelming support in business for Remain – at least from internationally-facing businesses.

        Reply Just not true. There has been a general slowdown in the US, EU and UK in the first part of this year. The slowdown in US and rest of EU is not Brexit related. Have you noticed the huge gyrations in currencies, commodities and worries re China? The UK top end property market has been deliberately hit by the UK government, and the rest of the Uk property market distorted by the Stamp Duty and buy to let changes, leading to slowdown.
        Most businesses are pressing ahead with recruitment, investment and existing expansion plans. Vacant space is being taken up. Try reading the actual growth and employment figures which show continued expansion.

        1. Richard1
          May 29, 2016

          Reply to Reply: I’m sorry you are mixing different factors. I agree the slowdown is global, I agree the point on currencies and I agree the top end of the London property market has been hit – by c 15% according to my info (no surprise!) – by stamp duty. I am not talking about the aggregate growth and employment figures. But anyone active in the London transaction market – your former colleagues at NMR eg – will confirm to you that deal / investment activity at the moment is on ice due to Brexit uncertainty. I am not making this point as an argument for Remain but as illustration that international business & financial types, rightly or wrongly, are greatly concerned by it.

    4. Bob
      May 28, 2016


      “Max Hastings sums it up well”

      He’s sounds like the students on the BBC EU debate that would give up their democratic rights (paid for in blood) for cheaper roaming charges.

      All these scare stories and veiled threats were tried on the Norwegians and they ignored them, and now they’re thriving.

    5. Anonymous
      May 29, 2016

      I was talking to a senior very-expensive-razor-manufacturer employee today

      He “As a manufacturer we think leaving the EU would be bad for British people.”

      Me “But you pay revenue to ***** USA where you are registered and you shipped out our factories to Eastern Europe 13 years ago, because we were in the EU. You can’t do any more damage to working people than you’ve already done. They might have to switch to cheaper (but good) razors which should help with our trade deficit.”

  10. Denis Cooper
    May 28, 2016

    “Do those who wish to remain want to veto, opt out or compromise with the next Treaty?”

    Part of Cameron’s so-called “deal” is a promise that the UK government will not impede further integration of other member states. If we vote to stay in then that is one part of the agreement which will be observed even if nothing else ever goes into effect.

    So it would not be a veto, and there would be no threat that if other member states went ahead with an intergovernmental treaty outside the EU treaty framework then the UK would stop them using the EU institutions for its purposes. That threat was tried with Merkel’s “fiscal pact”, but the UK government backed down.

    Nor would it be much of a compromise, probably; if it was agreed that the UK could temporarily opt out of the new treaty, and so its provisions would not apply to the UK, then there would be less need for compromise over their nature and moreover the British people could be denied a referendum on it, see Section 4(4)(b) of the European Union Act 2011, Hague’s much-vaunted “referendum lock” law.

    The prize for the countries which want further integration would be that they got it enshrined in the EU treaties as the new EU norm, as the euro was enshrined in the EU treaties as the EU norm, with the expectation that in due course laggards like the UK could be brought into line.

    So my best guess is that the UK would agree to allow others to go ahead as they wished while itself opting out for the time being to ensure parliamentary approval and avoid a referendum, and then later we would find that “an opt-out is also an opt-in”, to recall the rather cryptic comment from the then Commission Vice-President Margot Wallstrom back in July 2007, that “an opt-out is also an opt-in”:


    “First of all, on the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the European Commission does not like opt-outs. We would have preferred not to have any opt-outs. But what was the real political choice here? It was a weakened charter without legal force or a charter that is legally binding for the EU institutions with an opt-out, or preserving the full text of the charter. Then, I prefer to have a charter which is legally binding, and an opt-out is also an opt-in so this is not cast in stone.”

  11. agricola
    May 28, 2016

    As you say, there is no glorification in the Remain campaign of the “Five Presidents Report”. Why ?, because it is too toxic for the electorate of the UK. They fear a backlash in the UK to the effect that ” We are not having any of that”. Remain are being dishonest by omission.

    If the EU wishes to mirror the USA and UK, then all Euro participants must abandon their sovereignty to the USEU. In financial terms it cannot work any other way.

    The real question is, do the national populations of all those Euro participants really want it, are they prepared to be absorbed in this new superstate concept. Will they even be asked.

    We the UK, on voting Brexit, might be the light on the horizon, giving impetus to those movements of left and right in Europe who do not subscribe to this utopian vision. If the EU cannot carry the people willingly to this vision, then it is doomed from the outset. We all know that historically the EU has never sought people approval and when the people demand it in the form of referendums they find ways to either ignore or circumvent the result.

  12. alan jutson
    May 28, 2016

    Absolutely spot on post today John.

    The choice is not the EU now against leave, but the EU as it will become against leave.

    The Remainers say we can change it from within, really, how successful have they been in the last 40 years, when more and more power has been taken away from our National Parliament.
    With more countries joining our influence year by year gets smaller, not greater, we are now one of 28 how long before we are one of 34, and when Turkey Joins (and they will be invited) they will be the largest Country in the EU.

    You may have had lots of debates, and I am positive you will have made all of your points well, but how many of these debates have reached the main media, or been recorded for circulation on the internet ?

    The Remainers are presently running the topics/scare stories they like on a daily basis, they are taking the headlines, and the leave camp always seem to be playing catch up.

    We now have 4 weeks to go, and the leave camp need some big hits soon, need to take the fight to the other side, to be proactive with their arguments, and to get more momentum going.

    Your post today shows you have enough ammunition, its a question of many more (but only those who are really clued up) using it properly.

    Leave must remember this is the most important vote for decades, and this time all single votes count.

    Reply I take up any offers of debates and media to supplement the daily material here. Others can help – if you like what I write get it out there. This site offers free material for others to use.

    1. alan jutson
      May 29, 2016

      reply – reply

      Rest assured I do circulate your postings, and you now have a number of new readers.

      But when these debates do take place, in which I am sure you are always inevitably good at getting your points/arguments across, it would be so much easier to circulate if they were recorded, as it often shows the absolute weakness of the other sides argument, without a recording only those fortunate enough to be present see it.

      A picture paints a thousand words !

      Reply I agree and have asked at my debates for them to be recorded. Even Reuters where I did my last one failed to record it! I think Remain are probably not happy to have them recorded.

      1. alan jutson
        May 29, 2016


        Remain perhaps not happy ?

        Any person with a smartphone could do so, it does not need expensive equipment, unless of course all filming/photography is banned, and a statement made beforehand.

  13. […] What does remain look like? I have taken part in a good many debates now ahead of the referendum. One of the most striking things about the Remain advocates I have faced is how little they like or even understand the modern European Union. None of them have come out defending monetary, political, capital markets, banking, and energy union. None of them have advocated the EU army or defended the EU/Turkey and EU/Ukraine policies. None of them have wanted to discuss open borders and the  migration policy. Several of them have stressed the fact that they dislike much of the bureaucracy. Most stress the way the UK is opted out of the Euro and Schengen. Most of them wish to live in a 1970s style world where the EU (EEC) is primarily a so called single market, and the only things we need to discuss are trade arrangements. […] Far from IN being the stable status quo, it will indeed be a wild ride to political union. Do read the whole entry – it’s brief and to the point! […]

    May 28, 2016

    “What does Remain look like? ”

    Not seen as many reportages of children and custody for some time. There were always the odd headlines for eg:- ”
    ” Mother skips off to say the USA and leaves British father bereft of his children. ”

    OK Mr EU, with all these shenanigans and legal movement within the EU in the Schengen Area and OK Mr Cameron…with your 600,000 ins and outs of our country per year…how many fathers are separated from their children; how many mothers are separated from their children;how many children cannot see one or more of their parents because of distance or cost or both or time considerations or their ability to travel alone?
    How many divorces and separations and temporary live-in relationships resulting in children with an absent mother or father?
    Don’t say its in the tens..or hundreds, don’t.
    The reality of life in a country and countries with such extravagant mobility of population is not quite as good as it might seem.
    So what are the figures? The numbers?The Remain camp has not even thought about it. If you are going to agree to such demographic change and you do and you promote it enthusiastically, then you should think about the consequences for all concerned. So what are the consequences? Is it the odd headline case of :
    Mother of nationality A has child with Father of nationality B in the UK and each go back to their respective countries but are in and out of the UK and Germany for work? Or, aren’t there letters enough in the alphabet in any one month to describe the horror of what is happening? Could be a problem for kids couldn’t it, especially when they start speaking not English as before learned in England but forget it and can only speak German.
    The Remain camp should stop being so blasé. They are not playing Happy Families.

  15. DaveM
    May 28, 2016

    Maybe they ARE all aware of the EU’s ambitions for the future and agree with them, but like the EU itself (with its arrogant contempt for democracy) are also aware that people don’t want that and are therefore keeping it as quiet as possible.

  16. David Price
    May 28, 2016

    Pick an EU net contributor country and that is the best the Remainers can expect – Germany, Nederlands, France all have major economic and social issues caused by EU policies and actions. With the attitude the EU leadership has towards our country however, you would really have to look at the alternative, any dependent, net recipient country such as Greece for an indication of our true fate because the EU will surely suck us dry.

  17. Brian Tomkinson
    May 28, 2016

    All along there has been a deliberate policy of ignoring the true destination of EU – a country called Europe. The ‘elite’ who want this know that the people, for whom they have scant regard, would not vote for it. Consequently it is done in regular stages without reference to them. The idea has always been that when people finally realise what has been done to them it will be too late for them to do anything about it.

  18. oldtimer
    May 28, 2016

    I think that what we are seeing is a replay of the earlier referendum playbook – pretend it is all about trade when in reality it is all about control.

    So far Cameron appears to be winning the game among the undecideds. It was suggested on politicalbetting.com the other day that Saatchi and Saatchi was test running an ad on twitter with a picture of crossed fingers and the words “The Leave Campaign” underneath. That would indeed play to the fears of risk involved in voting Leave. Of course crossed fingers could and should also be applied to the Remain campaign but with added blinkers. Let us hope that the Leave campaign comes up with an even more compelling image and message.

  19. agricola
    May 28, 2016

    There is much talk that being part of something big is beneficial just because it is big. This may be advantageous to very large companies because they can control the playing field. In terms of reward it may also be. The salaries of any CEO in a top FTSE company or a member of the ruling elite in the EU would confirm this.

    My instinct is that I would prefer to be on a destroyer where everyone knows the captain and the captain knows the crew and their families. The option of being on an aircraft carrier as one of 4000 does not have the same appeal.

    We extol our small and medium sized companies as being the largest employers and drivers of innovation and the economy. I am not in a position to quantify it but instinctively go along with it, because the timescale of response, action and reaction are so much shorter. Responsibility is also identifiable. This comes from personal experience.

    We in the UK are already in a monetary and fiscal union. I see no need for us to subsume ourselves in a larger, totally untried one, that to date cannot get it’s head round the basic requirements of a monetary and fiscal union. There are ever increasing signs that it lacks the support of it’s own citizens.

    Were we to remain, be in no doubt, the EU would require us to contribute to the USEU were we in the Euro or not. At present we are not in the Euro , but our contributions increase annually under whatever pretext they care to dream up and whatever Cameron is prepared to lie down for.

    At present our voice within the EU is one in twenty-eight. There is no evidence that our greater wisdom and experience, if it exists, carries any more weight than that of any other member. The only influence that seems disproportionate is that of Germany. Why does the UK, the fifth largest economy in the World, feel it has to dilute itself within an untried concept.

    Were we ever within such a monetary and fiscal EU, our standard of living and quality of life would be reduced to what would be the average between Germany and Albania. I can only guess at where that position might be, but for sure it would not be an improvement on what it is now.

    Whatever the pros and cons of Remain or Leave, the cruncher for me is the democratic deficit within the EU. If it cannot have the spontaneous support of European people via referendums and elections, it is doomed to failure.

  20. acorn
    May 28, 2016

    What does remain look like? Hopefully, nothing like anything the dismissive; pompous; arrogant, “you correctly say” Lifelogic professes. That guy, on this site alone, must have recruited more votes for “remain” than we “loons” will ever know. Who the hell wants to live in a country, where everything is subject to a cost / benefit analysis?

    1. DaveM
      May 28, 2016

      Quite. I agree with the guy on Brexit the Movie. Grass soup from England tastes better than tainted belgian chocolate.

  21. alexmews
    May 28, 2016

    After many years of avoiding it – i watched QT on BBC iPlayer last night. Very impressive and straight talk from Steve Hilton (a good week for him!) and to some degree also David Davis. The audience seemed significantly on their side. By contrast – Caroline Lucas talked exactly what is referred to as above –> broad, emotionally charged wishful thinking. Ditto Ed Miliband who did not make a positive statement but whose most impassioned charge was trying (completely fatuously in my view) to get Davis to ‘admit: ‘…which country is it that you are modelling ourselves on when leaving the EU..? Norway? Switzerland?… Canada…?’ As both David and Hilton bluntly replied – well – ‘…we will model ourselves on the UK….’ (and they could have easily and childishly added – DUH’ at the end as it was such an obvious point….)

    The wild ride to political union if we Remain is obvious, chilling, and has little going for it. If one is happy for the UK to be the equivalent of New York State or California or Texas in the United States – then great. Just remind yourself that even that outcome is not on offer. There is no ‘Ever Closer Union’ ratchet in the USA; the role of the States and the Feds is changeable but clearly defined. There is also far greater democracy at all levels of the system in the US than in the EU. You may not like Trump – but you cannot argue that he is not democratically accountable. The EU is fundamentally anti-democratic. I want no part. Out. Thx as ever, John, for continuing to articulate this so well.

  22. Mark B
    May 28, 2016

    Good morning.

    I would like to thank our kind host for posing this question. For me, too many people focus on life outsidd the EU, but ignore, or unaware of the alternative – IN

    The next thing I would like the BREXIT campaigners do, is to challenge the Remainiacs on this and ask them to deny, that since we are legally committed to EVER CLOSER UNION, how can they ever guarentee that the UK will never be art of a Federal Europe ?

    And let us remember, that despite all past promises, they have never been able to stop the EU integration juggernaut.

    1. DaveM
      May 28, 2016

      I think it has got to the stage where both futures need to be laid out in full, warts and all, on both sides. Then field questions. Then let people decide
      At the minute politicians are just making people hate them more than ever with their pathetic and childish behaviour.

      If someone knows the EU’s true intentions and believes in a USE it’s their entitled opinion.

      I’m personally disgusted by a large number of people on both sides with their lies and insults.

      Stop treating the electorate like mugs. We’re not.

  23. NickW
    May 28, 2016

    The reason why Europhiles do not discuss Europe’s transition to a superstate is that they and the EU know that deception is the only way that the electorate can be led into the state of supine acquiescence necessary for the EU to abolish Nation States in general and the UK in particular.

    “Leave” will have to do the explaining and expose the deception.

    1. NickW
      May 28, 2016

      A clear message to the electorate is needed;

      “This is what the EU doesn’t want you to know”.

      “This what they are not telling you”

      “The Remain campaign relies on deception”.

  24. Shieldsman
    May 28, 2016

    It has been obvious to me for a long time that as a Country (from the Prime Minister down) we know so little about the workings of the EU we are not qualified to make a decision on REMAINING IN. It was the BLIND leading the BLIND when we JOINED and has been EVER Since.

    The level of debate organised by the BBC is childish, it is not an adult debate. We get the youngsters more concerned about the spoof information being fed them by politicians who should know better. We did not need visas to travel to Europe before we joined the EU, so why should we need them if we leave. The reduced roaming charges arranged by a WTO organisation (not the EU- Christopher Booker) will go up if we leave.

    Those speaking for the remainders are more concerned about their own political agenda than what the impact of remaining in the EU will be. They have fallen into David Cameron’s trap, all those arguments why we should leave the NON REFORMED EU have been forgotten, it is now why we can’t leave the NON REFORMED EU. Remember all those promises made in the Conservative Manifesto VOTE for ME and I will forget all about them.

  25. English Pensioner
    May 28, 2016

    Why doesn’t the leave campaign put more emphasis on the points that you list, instead of simply responding to ‘remain’ arguments? Why don’t they shout about the things that are on the way if we remain, like the European Army or Foreign policy, as if it were a single country?
    I was alway6s told that ‘attack is the best form of defence’, why doesn’t the leave campaign attack the real long term issues which don’t get talked about?

    1. alan jutson
      May 28, 2016


      Exactly, at the moment remain are running the topics.

      I have made further comment (awaiting moderation.)

  26. NickW
    May 28, 2016

    The European elite have been allowed to condemn all democracy as “Populism” and something to be sneered at; it is time for this to be challenged, not least because we cannot allow the referendum to be dismissed as “mere populism”.

    Democracy is what the Swiss do well, their citizens calmly and unemotionally consider what is in their own and their Country’s best interests when they participate in Switzerland’s frequent referenda.

    Populism is based on emotion not reason and its danger is that emotion in a “crowd” is both contagious and unthinking.

    What Cameron and the EU want is to instill fear into the British electorate so that the populist response is a flight to perceived safety. Cameron and the EU know perfectly well that there is no proper and valid reason for Britain to stay in the EU and surrender our Sovereignty; instilling fear is a deliberate tactic used to drown out reason.

    There is a necessary distinction between threats and warnings, and what we are getting from the EU is very clearly a litany of threats.

    That is cause enough for the Leave campaign to ensure that fear becomes anger which is the correct and necessary response to threats.

  27. Bert Young
    May 28, 2016

    As the number of EU countries increases the demands of support of one sort or another also increase . This expansion can only be made at the expense of the nett contributors ; so far Germany has refused to commit its surplus . At the moment Greece can only pay the interest it owes providing the ECB provides the means of doing so . Example after example can be added to the Greek case with only one conclusion – disaster .

    Linking ourselves to the EU cause when so much of its outlays have been refused to be signed off by its auditors points to the mal-administration and lack of effective follow up from Brussels . We cannot subscribe to this system and allow our efforts to be wasted . Those who believe we should “remain” are not aware of the truth ; presently they have been scared into following Cameron’s line .

    The referendum is a wake up call to keep ourselves clean of the EU mess .

  28. Atlas
    May 28, 2016

    I could not agree more, John.

    I wonder why the Remainers are hiding their head in the sand over the way the EU is going to change?

  29. Kenneth
    May 28, 2016

    We already have a taste of what Remain will look like:

    1. More centralised power going to an unelected Politburo
    2. Beneficiaries of this power grab enriching themselves
    3. Mass displacement of cultures across the continent, against the wishes of the people
    4. Mass unemployment

    We already have a taste of what Remain will look like: USSR

    1. bluedog
      May 29, 2016


      In a stroke of genius the US political commentator Peggy Noonan has devised the terms ‘Protected’ and ‘Unprotected’ to describe the division in Western societies today.

      In your own post, Groups 1 & 2 are clearly Protected. Groups 3 & 4 are the Unprotected, and it is the Unprotected who are voting in the US for Trump and Sanders.

      The challenge for the Leave campaign is to exploit this clever definition.

      Voting Remain is a confidence trick by which the Unprotected are persuaded to vote for the Protected so that the Protected can retain their privileges at the expense of the Unprotected. Voting Leave is an exercise in which the Unprotected reject the self-serving leadership of the Protected, and have the confidence to find their own solutions in a free society.

      It well be seen that paradoxically the Protected have a better chance of survival under a Leave scenario. There is very real possibility that at some point in the near future the Western Unprotected will take matters into their own hands and reject even the ballot box as a means of addressing the growing imbalances. The US may well be the canary in this particular coal-mine. One senses a growing unease and emotions that are running high. Of course, the Protected cannot hear the sounds of dissent.

  30. Anonymous
    May 28, 2016

    If we’re lucky Remain might get to look like the Balkans.

  31. BigD
    May 28, 2016

    If nothing else, the current debate demonstrates how fully Brussels has turned so many of our business & political leaders into followers. They all seem to have forgotten the fundamental principle of English law that everything that is not forbidden is allowed and have adopted the European mentality that, unless it is expressly set out in detailed regulations & agreements, it is forbidden, hence their child-like inability to understand how any form of international trade activity can take place without explicit trade agreements etc.

    It was also interesting to see the recent Bloomberg panel discussion on the EU Referendum, which included Lords Lamont & Lawson & Romano Prodi, during which several times the French participant, Maurice Levy, CEO of Publicis, said that things would go badly for the Brits post-Bexit as the European people would be very angry & hit out at having their dream of Europe attacked in this way. This is the problem of the EU, it is a typically French, philosophical concept that works only in theory, not in practice, a utopian dream.

  32. miami.mode
    May 28, 2016

    Unfortunately many in the UK are quite complacent about politics and often just follow a party along tribal lines. They rely on their chosen politicians to make the right choices for them and only change their minds when something drastic happens. Because of our recent history of relatively peaceful living, democracy is taken for granted. Few seem to realise how many thousands, indeed millions, have died throughout the world in a quest for democracy and yet so many in the UK are prepared to give it away for free.

    Why so many supposedly intelligent politicians want to give our democracy away and preserve the status quo and why Labour is so much in favour of the EU is a mystery. It speaks volumes that Jeremy Corbyn has been anti-EU for years and then suddenly changes his mind for party unity. Criminals rarely have a conscience and perhaps some politicians lack the same feeling. Labour says that the EU preserves workers’ rights etc but surely they must have noticed the unrest in France recently, caused by proposed changes to employment conditions. Where is the EU on this?

    Most Conservative voters are probably, quite rightly, against the EU and it goes without saying where UKIP voters stand. Hopefully traditional Labour and left-wing voters will see through the perversity of the EU on democracy and the adverse effect it has on their way of life and will vote accordingly.

    Because we

    1. miami.mode
      May 28, 2016

      Apologies. Forgot the last two words were left in.

  33. Anonymous
    May 28, 2016

    From the comments sections in papers on the deployment of a new Royal Navy ship to the Mediterranean – to assist Operation Sophia – no-one is under any illusions that this is part of an EU ferry service for economic migrants, despite what the PM tells us.

    Excellent news for Brexit.

  34. zorro
    May 28, 2016

    It is and always was going to be difficult for the Leave campaign to have a single view on what would be the outcome of a Leave vote. By its nature, that would be democratically arranged by ourselves to our benefit as a country after the vote. The Remain campaign were campaigning very negatively on a project fear basis for a nebulous status quo without looking at what the EU had in store in the near future on

    People need to be mature and not risk averse. As always risk = opportunity/threat wherever you are.

    Reject those weak people who downgrade and rubbish our ability to thrive as a democratic, sovereign nation free to trade on an international basis with any country on agreed terms. We abide by WTO as all must and will thrive in our ever increasingly connected world.


  35. Denis Cooper
    May 28, 2016

    Off-topic, I had cause to look out this graph of net immigration going back to 1970:


    That was a couple of years ago, and there now be several additional green bars rising up even higher, up to 330,000.

    It should be understood that when the Tory party first stated a target for net immigration it was not to be “a bit under 100,000”, as it is now being presented, it was to be “tens of thousands”, and that meant “the levels we saw in the 1980’s and 1990’s”, as for example Cameron repeated at about 5 minutes in here:


    And that graph shows that this would be maybe 30,000, or 20,000, or 40,000, but certainly not 100,000, let alone 330,000.

    I look at that graph with some bemusement wondering how our politicians could dare to treat us with such contempt.

  36. graham1946
    May 28, 2016

    We’ve been in the EU for over 40 years and yet we still think there is need of reform. Cameron’s pathetic effort of course reforms nothing. If after 40 years the thing is still not to our liking, when will it be? Another 40 years? If we vote to stay in, the EU will take that as a mandate for the full blown project, Euro as well. It just needs someone like Cameron to agree to that bit and its done forever. You may be sure that any further changes be they major or minor will not be done by treaty, as they will not risk another referendum even though it is enshrined in law, they will just be done probably as a ‘tidying up exercise’ like they tried to persuade us the Lisbon treaty was.

    Time for the gloves to come off and stop worrying about Cameron’s job after the Vote which loads of Tories seem bothered about. We need the truth from Remain regardless of which political ego gets bruised, but it seems unlikely when they still seem to be worrying more about the Tory party after the event. They have always been split on this issue and always will be. Whoever wins, the other side will still snipe.

    1. bluedog
      May 29, 2016

      Time for the gloves to come off and stop worrying about Cameron’s job after the Vote which loads of Tories seem bothered about. ‘

      Cameron has already announced his retirement, very prudently in the view of this writer. There can be no room for sentimentality, and a new leader will inevitably need a few years in which to play him or herself in. The sooner a start is made, the better. These comments can be made irrespective of the EU referendum.

      However, the referendum sharpens the debate on the timing of Cameron’s departure. One can argue that he would be wise to jump before he is pushed. Hopefully if Cameron does not jump before June 23rd he will be pushed out anyway. There is really no need to wait until 24th June.

  37. Tad Davison
    May 28, 2016

    Not totally unrelated, I thought I would share an email with you. It is one of many I continue to write in an attempt to influence the debate, especially where it relates to our membership of the EU.

    I won’t name the recipient, but it is self-evident the person in question is under some illusion that David Cameron is the person to lead the nation after the result of the referendum. I therefore felt it was time to let others know just how much Cameron is held in contempt by people on the ground who aren’t detached from the realities of what we are actually fighting for, and whom we are fighting against.

    Dear xxxxxx

    I have long been an admirer of yours and an adherent to many of the important political messages you espouse. It is unfortunate therefore, that the very first time I contact you, is to voice a disagreement.

    You said recently that you hoped David Cameron will continue as Prime Minister whatever the outcome of the EU referendum. That may be the general consensus within the Parliamentary Conservative Party, but I assure you, the feeling on the ground at the grassroots is very different. He is seen as slippery, untrustworthy, and toad-like, and one who harbours a secret agenda, turning his coat with the prevailing political wind at the time. How on Earth anyone can still have faith in what he says, is beyond the bounds of credibility.

    Cameron often portrayed himself as a true blue Eurosceptic to get elected, as did many Conservative MPs, but now we can see where his true loyalties lie. His true allegiance is to an alien foreign power, and the British people will never forgive him. He has also done much to alienate many a constituency chairman, and in many places, the Tories are lucky these days if they can get enough people even to deliver leaflets. I myself have pounded the streets, made phone calls to constituents, and helped out at election time, and could never envisage being so critical of the Conservative Party, but those days have long gone. I would still help honourable men like Iain Duncan Smith or John Redwood, but they can keep all the Tory Europhiles. I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole, and they are now very much the political enemy.

    The damage those people have done to the party is incalculable, and it is little wonder so many Conservatives have switched their allegiance to UKIP. And now we see instances where it alleged that electoral fraud has taken place in an effort to keep UKIP out of Westminster lest they are given a Eurosceptic platform to influence public opinion. We want none of that thank you very much! To deny debate is to deny democracy. If someone has something to say, we want to hear it, not have a political machine use highly dubious and disreputable chicanery to silence their voices.

    It took eighteen years for the British people to dare to trust a majority Conservative administration after the 1997 drubbing, and Cameron is going to destroy that faith all over again just as one John Major did at the behest of people like Clarke and Heseltine. People expect better of their leaders, not to get sold out to a foreign master that overrides and diminishes what should be an independent sovereign parliament.

    I wish you well, but the Europhile wing of the Conservative Party go and can rot. Cameron needs to be purged along with all the other pro-EU toadies who manipulate the campaign for their own ends and employ some outrageous means to influence the EU debate their way. And the strength of feeling to that effect is very palpable here on the ground. The Parliamentary Conservative Party ignore that at their own peril.

    Yours sincerely

    Tad Davison


  38. The Prangwizard
    May 28, 2016

    The dangers of remaining get greater and greater.

    We have semi-secret plans, supported by the duplicitous PM Cameron, to create an EU army and navy, and EU levied taxation; this week it was announced by an EU committee that there is to be an EU imposed personal identification number for every individual across the whole of the EU nations, 500 million or so.

    Were there not riots when the Poll Tax was introduced here? Where are those on the Left who opposed that with such ferocity? Are they in favour of this, or will they keep quiet because it comes from a Left dominated source; happy to be hypocrites and still vote to stay in?

    This is a deeply sinister move and should in itself be sufficient justification for anyone to vote to leave. This is what is coming down the road. Vote LEAVE.

  39. zorro
    May 28, 2016

    Another lasting impression from the campaign for me is how much more David Cameron has compromised his position than ever before. I know that there are various theories as to why he has gone out on a limb for the IN campaign bearing in mind his previous cited Eurosceptic positions and how he mentioned only six months ago that the UK would be perfectly dandy outside the EU. Perhaps he is on a promise…..? The result of his position, I think, is as follows:

    1) He has fatally undermined his position as UK PM no matter what the result. His poor negotiating strategy in light of the negative, fear campaign has been wilfully exposed for all to see. He will be unable to negotiate anything seriously within the EU in the future which is not in line with what the European Commission wants. Britain’s view would most definitely be neutered.

    2) His gross exaggerations, scaremongering, and clearly false arguments have undermined what residual confidence anyone might have had in him.

    3) He has clearly conspired with foreign powers (Hollande/Obama) to frighten the UK electorate into voting one way by the issuance of specific and non-specific threats to the country’s wellbeing. In the face of these threats, he has stood with these same people smirking and saying nothing whilst tacitly nodding his head. This sort of behaviour is unacceptable for a UK PM and needs to be dealt with one way or another.

    Cameron’s days, in light of his behaviour, are numbered no natter what the result.

    However, I still believe that on 23/06 the majority of the UK populace will vote for self determination and throw off the yoke of growing EU servitude.


  40. Thomas Sharpe
    May 28, 2016

    My last comment is not necessarily for “publication” more of a private note but I leave it to you.

  41. rose
    May 28, 2016

    How easy will it be to reverse the environmental damage the EU has done to this country (as it has also to Eastern Europe)? The first thing it did to us was to overturn our laws against oversized lorries. I don’t see how we can get back to the smaller ones now. Then it imposed diesel on us (as if petrol wasn’t poisonous enough). Then there was the-over-the-top packaging, including hard bubble plastic on things that used to come to us loose. Finally there is the population increase. We should be about 30-35 million to be sustainable in these islands. When we were 55 million we were heading down towards the 35 million figure naturally. That would still have been about 7 times the size of a nordic population. Where will our food security be when the Eurozone collapses and global warming kicks in?

    1. rose
      May 29, 2016

      I should have included noise pollution: there is an EU directive which forbids unnecessary noise; but it is trumped by another which says everything which can be mechanised must be. Go to Japan to experience the tranquillity which is possible in an advanced country without this latter directive.

  42. Jack Soames
    May 28, 2016

    For the REMAINERS, it’s not about needing to know what the reality of a future actually entails.

    It’s about enjoying feeling warm and fuzzy about the EU (and therefore being a nice person).

    And avoiding the uncomfortable feelings associated with separation/divorce, being nasty to foreigners and realism about migration (and therefore enjoying feeling righteous, kind and morally superior.)

    It’s similar to how most voters identify with left or right: Left = caring and altruistic, and therefore kind. Right (or Tory) = selfish, callous and uncaring – therefore, unkind, loathsome, hateful.

  43. Chris S
    May 28, 2016

    An interesting article in Der Spiegel International which does not appear to have been reported anywhere in the UK :


    Here is an extract from the report :

    “With just weeks to go before the referendum on whether Great Britain will remain a member of the European Union, the European Commission has threatened legal action against the British government for breaching EU equal treatment laws. Two years ago, the country imposed a toll for large trucks as it simultaneously lowered the vehicle excise duty for British trucks, effectively penalizing foreign trucks driving on Britain’s roads.

    In an April 13 letter to German Transportation Minister Alexander Dobrindt, who had sought to implement a similar levy on passenger cars here in Germany, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief of staff Martin Selmayr expressed his concerns about the legality of the British model under EU law. The letter also states that the Commission will initiate legal proceedings against Britain”.

    There is also a lot of evidence in Der Spiegel articles on Brexit of efforts being made in Brussels to keep proposals and decisions made under wraps until after our referendum.

    These include :

    A proposal on military and diplomatic convergence to be presented by chief EU diplomat Federica Mogherini. It’s called “EU Global Strategy” and the draft text includes ideas aimed at exploring stronger joint European defense, a thinly disguised euphemism for a EU army.

    It was to be published around 7th June but has now been rescheduled for the 24th. Pure coincidence, of course.

    Leaders of the member-state had originally planned to hold their regularly scheduled summit, organized months in advance, on June 23 and 24. There is certainly no lack of pressing issues, but because of the referendum, the summit is now taking place a week later.

    A planned European Commission recommendation for CO2 emissions for road transport has been delayed until after 23rd June.

    The Commission’s proposals on controversial issues like legal migration to Europe are also largely completed, but it remains unclear whether they will be passed and presented as planned on June 7. “That is a political decision,” sources say.

    Dr Spiegel also reports that ” The Commission’s proposals on controversial issues like legal migration to Europe are also largely completed, but it remains unclear whether they will be passed and presented as planned on June 7. “That is a political decision,” sources say.”

  44. Peter Gardner
    May 29, 2016

    The Brexit campaign is not making enough of the Five Presidents Report. It needs to be coupled with Cameron’s holding the rotating presidency from the start of Phase 2 (July 2017) to steer through the necessary treaty changes and, as he promised Junker, docking UK firmly in the EU. Cameron’s desperation in the campaign is because Brexit would deny him his historic legacy. So what can we expect to happen during Cameron’s Presidency of the European Council? 1) UK will join Schengen, 2) UK will join the other EMU states adopting the euro (26 plus the accession states), 3) Article 50 will be removed or time limited. 4) Uk will join in the EU ‘Army’.

    Nobody has even questioned the Remain leaders on this.

    If Cameron wins the referendum we can also expect him to repeal the European Union Act 2011 on the grounds that no further referenda will be necessary. Why is nobody questioning him on this?

    Another aspect: the lesson of history is that no better form of government than sovereign parliamentary democracy has ever been shown to work. So the Remain campaign must be challenged on why they think supra-national government that is largely undemocratic and unaccountable (plenty of public pronouncements that the EU does not get its mandate from the people) will be any better. If there is a case to try it out it should be restricted to a small number of countries, not 500-600 million people all at once. Far too risky.

    Why is nobody challenging Cameron on this?

    Reply Because we do not get to debate with him. I will not get any radio or tv time to cross examine Mr Cameron, and he rarely debates in the Commons on a general enough topic to draw out these matters. We do all this in other debates where they usually field a middle ranking Foreign Office or Home Office Minister and try to keep it all low key to avoid publicity.

    1. Chris S
      May 29, 2016

      Our host has hit the nail on the head full on.

      Unless we get an opportunity to cross examine Cameron or any other senior Remain campaigners on these issues there is a risk that they could simply win by default.

      However, I suspect we may be in a similar situation as in the general election. In a telephone poll last week Remain won by a substantial margin but online polls put Brexit ahead or on an equal share to remain.

      In the General election, people directly questioned were reluctant to admit that they would be supporting the Conservatives but online polls where the people answer the question unanimously, had no such inhibitions.

      Could a similar situation exist now ? Could it be that many of those supporting Brexit are reluctant to admit this in public ?

      We will know soon enough but I suspect that there may well be more closet support for Brexit than is evident.

      Question is, will all those supporting Brexit go out and vote for it ?

  45. shout out
    May 29, 2016

    Brilliant post by Peter Gardner, my heart leapt.
    Some others above also great.

    A tiny unelected few at the top of the EU cabal are deciding the worlds future.

    There’s an ad on local radio at the moment saying
    I used to think somebody should …( build a playground etc)
    until I realised I am that somebody.

    We all need to actually DO something according to our ability.

    1. Excalibur
      May 29, 2016

      Endorsed, shout out. Now we know the reason for CMD’s desperation; something that has long puzzled me.

      What is even more dismaying though is JR’s reply to Peter Gardner.

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