Problems in eastern Europe

One of the most disappointing things about the high strategy of the EU has been its approach to Eastern Europe. Today there remain substantial problems on the eastern frontier of the Union.

In Turkey the President is seeking referendum endorsement for more centralised power. The President wants more control over the appointment of Judges, the ending of the office of Prime Minister and general rights to run the country as he sees fit. The EU clashed with the President over the recent coup attempt and they have been critical of his record on human rights. It looks as if after years of offering Turkey the prospect of membership of the EU, Germany and the others are cooling on the idea. Last year’s promise of accelerated progress in achieving Turkish accession has been replaced by a distinct distancing. Instead of it being possible to get over the obstacles, EU sources seem more inclined now to play up the difficulties in the way of membership.

On the one hand Mrs Merkel and some of the other leaders seeking re election at home may find it convenient to distance  themselves from their previous decision to speed up Turkish membership. On the other hand they face a big problem anyway, thanks to the EU/Turkey Association Agreement. This creates freer movement of people from Turkey into the Schengen area of the EU. The Turks are becoming unhappy about the lack of EU support for them in their task as acting host to more than 3 million refugees from the Middle East. Were they to encourage many of those people to head westwards into the EU Mrs Merkel would have a major problem on her hands.

In Serbia the EU has also been negotiating possible membership. Last week Serbia was to initiate a new train service into Kosovo, which had emerged from the various talks with the EU over how there could be some rapprochement between Serbia and Kosovo after their separation in 2008. The decision of the Serbian authorities to implement this idea with a train that had painted prominently down its sides the message ” Kosovo belongs to Serbia”  led to a furious exchange with Kosovo. Serbia had to  accept  the train would not be allowed over the frontier. Clinton and Blair are remembered fondly in Kosovo for assistance in their struggle with Serbia. What is the EU going to do about the tensions that have flared again between these two?

We have often discussed the EU’s approach to Ukraine and their role in the run up to the illegal annexation of Crimea by a Russia which both saw an opportunity and felt a threat to its naval presence in Crimea. There are no signs of any resolution of this dispute either.

The EU has to be careful not to overstretch. Its long and weak eastern frontier is the source of instability, at a time when the western countries are wanting to turn their backs on migrant flows and the problems of the Middle East for electoral reasons. I was interested to see that meanwhile, out of Schengen and soon out of the EU, the UK is seeking to build a good trade relationship with Turkey for after our exit.



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  1. Peter D Gardner
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    The fundamental difference between collective action through NATO and the EU is that the latter takes sovereignty and insists all its members abide by its decisions equally whereas NATO preserves national sovereignty and goes to some lengths to respect it. NATO’s Article 5 is often misinterpreted as equivalent to the EU’s solidarity, if one is attacked NATO requires all to commit forces to its defence. It is not and does not. In NATO led operations the political control of forces remains at all times with the nation state. In NATO the nation state is sovereign and that is its strength. The EU has it upside down and that is its fundamental weakness.

    Co-0operation between states is stronger if they are volunteers confident they can withdraw if they wish, allied by a common interest for a particular purpose, rather than if trapped against their will in the permanent embrace of an over-bearing, unsympathetic and disrespectful power demanding sacrifice in the name of friendship and the greater good of itself.

  2. Drinkomat
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Mrs May stated yesterday there would be no chance of sanctions against Russia being dropped until the Minsk accords were met in full. In reality, this means we are not going to trade with Russia until the end of all time.

    Therefore,to save considerable money long-term, it would be best if the UK downsizes its Embassy staff in Moscow with a view to closure as soon as possible and whatever other institutions closed in Russia. Also withdraw staff in a non-confrontational manner.

    As for tourist visas to the UK, this administrative task can be handled, if willing, by the Embassy of the Republic of Ireland or the Canadian Embassy in Moscow. Our diplomatic staff can be redeployed to a country where they have it in them to work more smartly and succeed.

  3. SM
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    At the time of the Maastricht debacle, I came across the concept that the European Union was in many respects an attempt to create a modern version of the Holy Roman Empire.

    As I have followed the twists and turns of EU development, and its relationship with the UK, the comparison seems even more valid: Turkey appears to be reverting to the style of the Ottoman Empire, while Serbia and its neighbours snap and snarl at each other.

    I feel that Britain will be yet again called upon to maintain a balance of power in Europe for as long as possible, and very much hope that it won’t be called upon to fight a war – but it must be prepared to do so, which means strengthening NATO and rebuilding our armed forces.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 3:21 am | Permalink

      Dear SM–“Not Holy, Not Roman, and not an Empire”

  4. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Overall I thought Theresa May’s visit to the US went very well indeed and with care and a bit of luck it will do our country a lot of good in the future, but her continued commitment to the EU’s policy on Ukraine is one of a number of flies in the ointment.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Well let us hope she picked up some reality on the climate alarmism religion, the need for far smaller government, far less regulation and lower/simpler taxes.

      She had a huge amount to learn. Indeed she is still heading in totally the wrong direction.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Thankfully President Trump knows full well that the BBC does not represent the majority in the UK.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes.Asking Trump to choose between a rapprochement between the Emperor of the West and the Emperor of the East and acceding to the wishes of a supplicant may not result in an advantageous result!

    • Chris
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      and commitment to all the climate change legislation, and her apparent commitment to the liberal elite’s globalisation doctrine.

      • Hope
        Posted January 28, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        The Tory party has implemented all of Ed Milibands policies based on EU strictures. How farcical that May is now advocating an industrial strategy without altering the white elephant, and nonsensical, EU energy policy that she follows. Come on, let us get real she will deliver, if an Thing, EU light or an option to go back in at a future date. Use Cameron as the template to follow from his Falae Bloomberg speech to his failure to submit article 50 after the referendum. This is what the Tory party wanted and now May was appointed by them to remain as close as possible. Why would her press team appoint BBC to ask Trump questions?

  5. Anthony Makara
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Recent events in Turkey demonstrate it is far from being a mature and stable nation state’. In fact Turkey is a powder keg, liable to go off, with its religious, cultural, regional factions and the very deep state itself all adding to the instability. Turkey is not ready to join the EU, in fact its membership would eventually signal such a shift in population movement that it would lead to the death of Western Europe as we know it.

    The EU’s fantasy about democratizing Turkey is dangerous.

    Equally the EU’s expansion and ‘Nation Building’ is putting Europe’s very existence in peril. As its enlargement sweeps eastward and southward its catchment areas are all hotspots, all places of recent bloody conflicts. The EU is endangering the very security of Europe.

  6. Des
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Considered and coherent as usual.
    My comment reflects Bismarck’s preference for princes over parliaments.
    I think he meant that decisions made by groups often for ideological reasons, where there is no clear leader can be dangerous . There is a collusion of anonymity when there is no individual who personally carries the burden for all the consequences. A prince (better, an elected leader) who bears responsibility can act as a break to inappropriate action.

    I know we can look at different examples, it’s just an observation as to how dangerous groupthink for ideological reasons can be. I am concerned about the EU’s adolescent ardour for expansion.

    • rose
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Since Bismarck’s time, there has been work done in the psychology department of Bristol University showing that groups make more extreme decisions than individuals.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        By your theory we should be better of with a single dictator rather than an elected Govt.
        I’m not so sure.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Group think certainly does seem to prevent them ever changing their collective minds. Even when the mistakes they have made are very clear to almost everyone sentient.

        As examples the recent counterproductive wars, the EU itself, the EURO, the ERM, HS2, Hinkley, retaining of John Major (or Corbyne) as party leader, the current absurdly high tax rates, the endless red tape, the no win no fee litigation, the climate alarmism religion, the gender pay/equality agenda ……

  7. alan jutson
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Turkey has a key negotiation hand with the EU over migrants, it’s not only Germany that would have a problem John, its all Countries within the EU if they open the floodgates,
    hence the reason the EU is paying Turkey vast sums of money to keep those routes closed.

    I guess it will be NATO or the UN that eventually will have to police the eastern European borders should that area start getting into difficulties, which means the UK will be involved.

    Rather than try to set up its own protectionist forces, why don’t the Countries in the EU make a proper contribution to NATO.

    Trump certainly has a good point on NATO contributions.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      I’m of the opinion that NATO is obsolete but like all such bureaucracies seeks to perpetuate itself despite its raison d’etre having disappeared.In fact I’m totally against all formal alliances;ad hoc coalitions are much better.That would encourage individual countries to spend on their own defence.I don’t even mind the idea of a EU army-if the EU is becoming a state,it makes sense although given its likely components I don’t see it being terribly effective.The bigger issue is that much of western Europe appears to lack the will to defend itself and that’s not a military question.

  8. oldtimer
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that the EU is already suffering from “imperial” overstretch. Sooner or later it infects all empires. It was the cause of Britain’s loss of the North AmerIcan colonies in the 18th C, the collapse of Hitler’s Third Reich, the USSR in the later 20thC and now we are seeing the early signs of the failure of the US bid for global hegemony. Running out of money is usually a common factor. Of course the invention of QE has enabled those in charge to kick the can down the road for a few more years. Will China attempt a take over? It is too early to say but it looks a stretch even for China. When attempts at supra-national hegemony falter, there is a reversion to smaller organisations – a working nation state if you are lucky. Failing that you get chaos.

  9. MickN
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    “In Turkey the President is seeking referendum endorsement for more centralised power.”
    That should not pose a problem as it is a well known fact that referenda are purely advisory. Ask Ken Clarke, Anna Sourpuss or Nicky Morgan.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      In the UK they are, unless explicitly stated otherwise in law – which ours was not.

      Best go Swiss on that one if you want all your referendums to be binding.


      • getahead
        Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        Now you tell us!

        • Mark B
          Posted January 29, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          Err. If you had been following me for many YEARS, then you would have known 🙂

          Unless that is you are being ironic. In that case, fair play 😉

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 3:35 am | Permalink

        Dear Mark–The Swiss get by: having won an election by no means equates with having judgement so I see no reason to concentrate decisions in the hands of a band of electees, who are after all just an inaccurate sample of the real thing

  10. Iain Gill
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Bulgaria and Romania should not have been allowed into the EU or NATO. I would not want my son to die defending these places. They are not natural allies, for them it is simply about the massive economic boost they have had joining, and mostly taking bread from the table of British workers at that.
    And the even more uncontrolled immigration here it is part of are destroying parts of this country.
    Where is our trump fighting for this country?

    • Mark B
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      The Eastern European countries are realising that membership and all that FREE MONEY comes at a price. ie You cede sovereignty to the Supranational body.

    • Jack snell
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Patience a few more weeks the button will be pushed and we’ll see then who are our natural allies in europe..when mrs may calls in messers davis, fox and dear old boris and gives them the bounce by way of a cabinet shuffle…when trumps bluff has been called and we realise all the bluster was just a puff of smoke..will you then accept that the empire and special relationships with the us and whomever has long gone and that india has other things to whre are the new markets gonna be..america..i don’t think so? It’s all a puff of smoke as we will shortly find out

      • Iain Gill
        Posted January 28, 2017 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        I’ve spent a lot of time in the countries we are discussing. Bulgaria is still flying MIG jets in her air force. I don’t think we should be in a military pact with them. We need to be a lot more selective.

  11. Bert Young
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Eastern Europe is more about Russia than the EU . Those countries bordering on Russia have always been a bit of an elastic band ; economies and cultures have mixed over a long period of time – this history is now ingrained . The EU will not get better necessarily simply by getting bigger ; Turkey , Serbia and Albania have nothing really in common and will simply add considerably to the equalisation of wealth . As one responder has said ” I would not want my son to die defending these places “. Frankly , I don’t see how the EU can continue .

  12. Antisthenes
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    The EU’s foreign policies are just more failures to add to the many others. That is what happens when idealism controls thought and deed. The EU was born out of a vision that millions of people could be bonded together into a like minded union. That those outside that union could be influenced advantageously with reason and persuasion. A forlorn hope as it has proved as in their arrogance they forgot that people have the irritating habit of doing other than what they are instructed to do.

    The failure of the EU visionaries to take into account the flaw that intent does not necessarily lead to desired outcome because of the vagaries of human behaviour has lead to an EU that is not fit for purpose. To Brexit, the rise of discontent and non compliance inside and outside the EU. Progressive and socialist thinking both suffer the same weakness and as they were both adopted by the EU to progress it then they have contributed to it’s dysfunction.

    • getahead
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      “The EU was born out of a vision that millions of people could be bonded together into a like minded union.”

      And here was me thinking it was just a Common Market.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Much like the fore runner of the EU, the EEC, EC and ECSC the Common Market, which is not a market in any sense, is just a means to and end. The means to get member countries to cede ever more power to the central authority, ie the Commission.

  13. Jean Claude Juncker
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    If we want to promote a more peaceful world, we will need more Europe and more Union in our foreign policy. This is most urgent towards Ukraine.
    The challenge of helping Ukraine to survive, to reform and to prosper is a European one. Ultimately, the Ukrainian dream, the dream of the Maidan is European: to live in a modern country, in a stable economy, in a sound and fair political system.
    We have already done a lot, lending €3.41 billion in three Macro-Financial Assistance programmes, helping to broker a deal that will secure Ukraine’s winter gas supplies and advising on the reform of the judiciary. The EU and all its Member States must contribute if we are to succeed.
    We will also need to maintain our unity.
    We need unity when it comes to the security of our Eastern Member States, notably the Baltics. The security and the borders of EU Member States are untouchable. I want this to be understood very clearly in Moscow.
    We need more unity when it comes to sanctions. The sanctions the EU has imposed on Russia have a cost for each of our economies, and repercussions on important sectors, like farming. But sanctions are a powerful tool in confronting aggression and violation of international law. They are a policy that needs to be kept in place until the Minsk Agreements are complied with in full. We will have to keep our nerve and our unity.
    But we must also continue to look for solutions.
    I spoke to President Putin in Brisbane at the G20, in a bilateral meeting that went on into the early hours of the morning. We recalled how long we have known each other, how different times had become. A spirit of cooperation between the EU and Russia has given way to suspicion and distrust.
    The EU must show Russia the cost of confrontation but it must also make clear it is prepared to engage.
    I do not want a Europe that stands on the sidelines of history. I want a Europe that leads. When the European Union stands united, we can change the world

    • Edward2
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      And I want a European leader who is elected by all the people of Europe not anointed by a few of your mates.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        I do not want an leader, I want a paid public servant to act for and on my behalf.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 29, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          Are you going to appoint him or her yourself?
          Or would you prefer just a small elite should choose.

    • ian wragg
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      When the European Union stands united, we can change the world

      Dream on Sherlock, everything the EU touches turns to dust.
      Your answer to every problem is more Europe.
      More Europe – More heartache

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr Junker,

      When we joined the Union we did not expect it to become an expansionist project extending to the Russian border and interfering in its territories.

      It is you who are taking us on a path that is unpeaceful. Brexiters want no part of it.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      JCJ????? Is this for real?? Not only the post but what he is saying? Oh yeah, the European Union has changed the world but not for the better. Get out of your dream world and get back into reality. The sooner we are out of your union the better.

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 28, 2017 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

        Yes. It’s for real.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 3:43 am | Permalink

        Dear fedup–I too am having trouble believing this is real–Was it not the EU that wanted to expand to the Urals, or was that just Cameron, so not worth paying attention to? Not that I am an expert but given that “European Russia” (the bit to the West) is unquestionably Russia how was that supposed to work never mind be achieved?

        • Mitchel
          Posted January 29, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

          It was intended by the neo-cons that Russia would be broken up into three parts -Russia,Siberia and the Russian Far East.They made no secret of it-you can read the papers produced by their think tanks;they just forgot to ask Russia’s permission.

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Perhaps a cut-and-paste by someone else. I got over excited. Sorry.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      Of course Juncker is a true believer. He spent most of his adult life as the PM of Luxembourg which in the grand scale of things isn’t much more important than a city mayor. If it wasn’t for the EU he’d be an irrelevant local politician who has no affect on the world.

      If you’re a Brit you can affect the world through the FCO, GCHQ, the UN Security Council, or even as a widely read BBC journalist. As a Brit you have a lot of options but a Luxembourger only has the EU.

  14. yulwaymartyn
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Trade should always take priority over human rights considerations. Vote Conservative.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Well, if we actually had a Conservative Party I am sure many more would.

      And where the bloody hell have you been ?

  15. fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    When will it ever end? There seems to be problems all over Europe at the moment. When Merkel decided to let in all these ‘refugees’ she opened the floodgates to the whole of the world and now it is coming back to bite her on the bum. Having to keep Turkey as a friend will be very difficult indeed and so we will get an influx of these people into Europe which is why we are best off out of it so we can control our borders. What are the remainiacs thinking about wanting us to stay in? All this European integration is proving to be a disaster. I don’t know about us elderly voters making life difficult for the youngsters. I would think we are doing them a favour.

    • hefner
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      “I don’t know about us elderly voters making life difficult for the youngsters. I would think we are doing them a favour.”
      Not representative obviously, but this is not a view shared by my seven children/grand’children, all of them Remainers, in largely (52+) Remaining towns in the South of England, all of them inflamed by the future likely vote of their Conservative/Labour MPs to go on with Art.50 based on the drab text of the referendum question.

  16. rose
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Turkey has always been reliable as an ally and in agreements. The EU is not. It is not paying the sums agreed, and it is plainly not keeping the agreement to accelerate Turkey’s membership. It is not even allowing the visa free travel it promised. It doesn’t keep its own rules inside the EU. And yet this dishonourable, out of control organization continues to assert its moral superiority over Turkey – and now the US.

    On Serbia, how will people feel in a few decades time when London demands home rule? It is already being hinted at by Mayor Khan. London belongs to England we may say. As in Kosovo, the sacred places are there, and the national buildings of importance. But as with the Serbs, the English have largely left. Think about it.

    • getahead
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Je pense, donc je suis.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    When we joined the EU (EEC) in 1973 it bore little geographical resemblance to that of today.

    There was no hint that this was going to happen.

    For this alone we should be free to walk away without any complications.

  18. Mitchel
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    There has been a serious division between West and Eastern Europe since the 8th century when Charlemagne,encouraged by the Pope,assembled a short lived new Germanised “Roman” Empire in the West as a challenger to the continuing Roman(Byzantine) Empire in the East,at a time when the doctrinal differences which lead to the Great Schism between the Orthodox and Catholic churches were becoming marked.Every attempt at Drang Nach Osten since has ultimately proven a disaster for those undertaking it-usually the Poles and the Germans.The Teutonic Knights lie at the bottom of Lake Peipus after their failed attempt to conquer-and convert-Russia,Poland was wiped off the map for a long time and East Prussia,the beating heart of Prussian militarism,is now -in part-Kaliningrad.

    I believe more people died in the East in the ten years after WWI then died in the West during it as a result of what Churchill called the “pygmy wars” that few people here seem to be even aware of.The East is best left alone.

    • getahead
      Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      the “pygmy wars” Did he mean the Balkan wars.?

      • hefner
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Those following the disappearance of the Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Turkish empires around 1920.

        • Mitchel
          Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          Yes,including civil wars and uprisings together with inter-state conflicts,around 27 of them.

      • rose
        Posted January 29, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        No, not the Balkan Wars, but Eastern Europe’s Bloody Wars, 1918-1923. The Russian Civil War, Freikorps in Latvia, The Soviet-Polish War, The Hungarian Soviet War, and The Galician-Polish War. More Baltic than Balkan but not entirely.

        We should teach our children about these as well as the Second World War.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    “Theresa May has announced a £100m deal for the development of fighter jets for Turkey, following trade talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”

    Must be some of those trade talks we can’t have until we’ve left the EU … seriously:

    “… Mrs May said Britain and Turkey will “prepare the ground” for a post-Brexit trade deal by setting up a joint working group.”

    Which may perhaps come up with a “Memorandum of Understanding”, just laying out a “Heads of Agreement”, and not signed but only “initialled” and then only by officials.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Yep ! That’s the way to do it 😉

  20. APL
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    JR: “Last year’s promise of accelerated progress in achieving Turkish accession has been replaced by a distinct distancing.”

    Turkey joining the EU was always a British invention, no one on the European continent wanted it. And now the UK is on its way out of the European Union, why should the EU continue to play that silly game?

    Reply The whole EU offered Turkey accelerated progress to EU membership with opening of new chapters for agreement last tear

    • APL
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 12:11 am | Permalink

      JR: “The whole EU offered Turkey accelerated progress to EU membership ..”

      Of course it did. But the pressure for Turkish membership of the EU came from Britain.

      Once we’re gone, so is the impetus for Turkish accession.

      Thatcher only wanted it, as a means to slow down other aspects of the EU. Like Topsy it just grew and grew.

      Things are the same, until they’re not!

  21. Original Richard
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    It is the EU’s madness in expanding to include so many eastern European countries, together with Mrs. Merkel’s invitation to ME and African migrants to come to Europe, which will eventually cause the downfall of the EU.

    The differential in incomes between eastern and western European countries has meant enormous migrant flows in one direction only.

    There are now more people from just one eastern European country in the UK than Brits in the whole of the EU.

    This migrant flow is neither good for the donor country as they are losing the very people they need to improve their economy and neither is it good for the recipient country as it struggles to cope with the rapid population increase.

    The EU, despite these problems, in so obsessed by enlargement that it now intends to expand to include Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine and all the “stan” countries “from the Atlantic to the Urals” (Mr. Cameron’s Kazakhstan speech July 2013).

    Fortunately we are now on a path to leave the EU.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      The ONS has now done a careful study of the numbers of foreign EU citizens in the UK and the numbers of UK citizens elsewhere in the EU, reported here:

      Yes, there are more Poles living in the UK – 916,000 – than there are UK citizens living anywhere else in the EU – 890,000 – while the number of UK citizens living in Poland is so small that it has been lumped into the roughly 40,000-strong “Other EU” bar in the chart.

    • hefner
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      See on Wikipedia “Future Enlargement of the European Union” to get a more up-to-date version of OrigRich’s penultimate paragraph.

  22. Smile
    Posted January 29, 2017 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    How did Mr Nadhim Zahawi MP for Stratford-on-Avon fare when President Obama banned
    Iraqis from entering the USA for a period of six months in 2011?
    How does President Trump differ from President Obama in the eyes of Mr Zahawi? Is it their body language? Perhaps their tone of voice?

    • rose
      Posted January 29, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      And how does the list of countries differ from Obama’s list that he got approved by Congress?

  23. Dennis Perrin
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Russia and Ukraine are capable of handling their own relations. Crimeans welcomed Russia. In any case differences are between Russia and Ukraine. EU interference was mostly about opening up Ukraine to ECB loans thereby creating another satellite EU state. There’s a “UK mantra” regarding Russia’s “illegal occupation” of Crimea. Understand it from a Russian point of view where the EU and NATO expand and threaten.

  • 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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