Politics

Why won't Cameron seize his chance on the EU?

No prime minister will ever have better circumstances for changing the meaning of membership

4 July 2015

9:00 AM

4 July 2015

9:00 AM

Few European leaders have been luckier than David Cameron. First he was sent Ed Miliband. Now events in Greece may be about to present him with a solution to the thorniest problem of his second term: how to negotiate a new form of EU membership for Britain that the Tory party can rally behind come the referendum.

The Prime Minister’s critics delight in claiming that his European problem is of his own making. Two years ago, he promised a referendum on EU membership before the end of 2017. But he couldn’t have survived without making such a pledge. It was his way of stopping his party arguing about Europe; without it, he could not have gone into the election claiming that he led a united party. It was also a way of wooing back those Tory voters who had gone to Ukip — without Cameron in No. 10, they could be told, there would be no referendum. Tory MPs in marginal seats say that the promise was a great help in their efforts to squeeze Ukip support in the final days of the campaign. Still, that won’t make the coming referendum campaign any easier.

Last week, Cameron was confronting the challenges he will face in the coming months. First, he had to concede that there was not enough time for him to achieve actual treaty change before 2017. Instead, he would have to go to voters with details of the reform that has been promised but not yet approved. All of this makes the case for a further confirmatory referendum. The Prime Minister has also sketched out his list of demands, which has underwhelmed many Tory MPs. There is much grumbling that he isn’t sticking with all the reforms he set out two years ago.

Finally, there is the No campaign. A few weeks back, the No side looked like being the Prime Minister’s ideal opponents. Nigel Farage and Ukip were threatening to scare off moderates from other parties. The campaign was preparing for a pitched battle on ground of Cameron’s choosing, a straight in/out fight come the referendum. But the arrival of Dominic Cummings, the man who led the successful push to keep Britain out of the single currency, has changed all that. Cummings plans to fight a guerrilla war. He is busy going around London explaining to people that a No vote wouldn’t mean that Britain would be straight out of the EU. Rather, it would just be a rejection of the deal that Cameron had negotiated.


This makes backing No much more appealing to those who would like to hurry Cameron out of office — those close to him say that the Prime Minister would like to leave No. 10 in late 2018 or soon after — but aren’t so sure about leaving the EU. It is perhaps telling that Boris Johnson is said to be flirting with the idea of voting No, safe in the knowledge that another vote would follow before Britain actually quit.

But the consequences of events in Greece could offer Cameron a way out. Eurozone leaders have been clear that if Greece votes No to the bailout in Sunday’s referendum it is voting, in effect, to leave the euro. At the time of writing, it is impossible to predict with any confidence what the result of the ballot will be — or even whether it will take place. Any vote is likely to turn on who the Greeks blame for the banks being shut and strict capital controls being imposed: their government or its creditors? Equally important will be whether they believe Syriza’s argument that No wouldn’t mean Greece leaving the single currency, but would instead strengthen its negotiating hand.

One factor that shouldn’t be underestimated is the emotional pull of the word ‘No’ — όχι. The Greeks have an annual ΌχιDay, which marks the rejection by Prime Minister Metaxes in 1940 of the Axis powers’ demand to be let into his country. Syriza is calculating that saying no to the demands being made by the German government in Berlin and the European Central Bank in Frankfurt will have a patriotic pull. Those who have repeatedly told us that European integration is the way to deliver peace and stability across the continent should reflect on how the straitjacket of the single currency is stirring up old animosities.

A Greek departure from the single currency would force the eurozone to change dramatically. It would have to move fast to integrate further if Portugal, Spain, Italy and even France are not to be pushed towards the euro exit the next time a fiscal crisis hits. (There is a reason why Paris is trying so hard to broker a last-minute deal for Greece.) This may well require a new treaty to complete economic and monetary union.

Such a development would in turn give Cameron, armed with the British veto, greatly increased negotiating leverage. The crisis would force the EU to accept that the dream of Europe-wide integration is now dead. What is more, the huge number of Greeks who would leave the country to seek work elsewhere in the EU would further test other countries’ commitment to the principle of freedom of movement, making it more likely that Cameron could win concessions on immigration — the aspect of EU membership that most concerns the public.

Cameron’s defenders would argue that, when people call him lucky, what they actually mean is that he seizes his opportunities. But so far he has shown a marked reluctance to take advantage of Europe’s troubles to secure a better deal for Britain.

Politicians are fond of quoting the words of Barack Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel: ‘You never let a serious crisis go to waste.’ Emanuel’s next line, however, is even more apposite: ‘And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.’

Should Greece be forced out of the euro, Cameron would have a glorious opportunity to craft a looser form of EU membership. He could prevent a split in the Tory party over Europe and settle the question of Britain’s position in the EU. He must seize his chance.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • Sign me up for OUT!

    • blandings

      Made up your mind then?
      Me too, but I think that the INS will win. Better the devil you know and all that.
      I think we will have to wait until the whole thing falls apart.

      • Kel

        Better the devil you know…..that’s like staying on the Titanic even though you know it’s sinking just because it’s bigger than the life rafts 🙂

        I’m voting OUT for definite, no one can fail to see (I could be wrong) just how much control Germany & the EU commisioners have over everyone else. The fact that the Eurozone is on the brink of meltdown and that elected officials are being forced to accept ridiculous austerity measures which dont work shows that the EU is no place for Democracy. Who want’s their country’s elected politicians told how to run their lives by a load of bureaucrats and financiers?

        Every closer union is a key policy for the EU, that’s undeniable. So one way or another Britain will be asked to make the choice between joining the Euro or leaving the EU – why wait until then, just vote OUT now so we can start building a positive GLOBAL future and get some solid foundations underneath us.

      • The thing is we dont actually know these devils and no one really elects them anyway and that is the problem.

      • Mary Ann

        Closer union.

        • blandings

          Closer union.
          Bigger divorce.

  • Caps Lock

    According to Forsyth “A No vote wouldn’t mean that Britain would be straight out of the EU. Rather, it would just be a rejection of the deal that Cameron had negotiated.” Rubbish. If we vote NO, then I expect us to leave and not have another referendum and so does everyone else. This is Cameron stooges preparing the ground for reneging on the referendum decision when they lose.

    • milford

      Yes, they’re doing the good cop bad cop routine, Boris being the good cop because people like him but he’s as treacherous as his mate Dave.

  • beenzrgud

    Why won’t Cameron seize his chance on the EU?
    That’s an easy one to answer, his heart is not in it.
    He has neither the spine nor the motivation.

    • David

      The answer is that he’s a passionate believer in the EU project.

      He knows, and has likely already told all the other EU country leaders, that this is a sham negotiation which he hopes will be just enough for a vote to stay in. Then the EU project can proceed as normal… A ‘London Treaty’ in 2020 perchance, forming an EU army and harmonising taxes across all ‘EU regions’ (i.e. ex-nation states)?

      • milford

        Austria want out now. Almost 250,000 signatures in a few days on an online petition to force an IN/OUT referendum 🙂 Bring it on. Please.

        • Mary Ann

          You sound as if you would like the EU to collapse, even though there are more people who want to stay in the EU as it is than want to leave.

          • milford

            Yes I’m a Eurosceptic. The Euro is collapsing and I hope the EU follows. I’m not keen on being ruled by foreigners. Call me old fashioned, it’s just how I feel. I don’t trust them to rule us fairly and prefer we be an independent country with our own government in power.
            It just makes sense to me.

          • Bertie

            Call you old fashioned – you’ll be lucky if those Quislings on the Left/ Centre/Centre Right call you that. You’ll most likely be called a Little Englander by those limp wristed effeminate wastrels at the Grauniad or biased Broadcasting Corporation.

            You;re spot on though. many feel the same way but feel unable to say so for fear of being hounded out of their livelihoods.

          • milford

            Or a racist and bigot. It’s a topsy-turvy world when you can’t like your own country without being shouted down as a racist by supporters of one of the most racist groups in the world. It’s a mad mad mad mad world.

          • wibbling

            Everyone sane wants the Eu to end. It is a pointless, expensive, corrupt, thoroughly useless edifice that is destroying the economies of European nations.

          • Bertie

            There are more people that want to stay in than want out for the simple reason that most EU members are NET RECIPIENTS of money. Ergo They know which side their bread is buttered.

          • milford

            Yes and these are people we never thought in our worst nightmares would ever be in the EU, like Bulgaria, Latvia, Croatia and Romania.
            Putin must be laughing his you-know-what off as the EU has taken all of these failed states off Russia’s hands. Now they’re our problem, not his.

      • global city

        he also shares the understanding that everything they may ‘concede’ he will be happy for them to regain, one our position in the project has been secured for ever.

    • Jannerman

      Nice one beenzrgud. I was just about to write the exact same comment and then saw that you’d beaten me to it. Up arrow for you!

    • wibbling

      He’s a desperate europhile. Of course he won’t say ‘do as we want or we’ll take all the cash you want to give to Greece away…’

      That would end the grand project. Of course he won’t consider it.

  • Callan

    Ah yes, forge a looser form of EU membership. Not close the borders though. Not have control over who comes here and who doesn’t. No means of refusing entry to the tens of thousands, soon to be hundreds of thousands arriving from North Africa and being directed from Italy through France to soft touch England. Especially as we have HMS Bulwark ferrying them safely across the Med.

    • Kel

      Indeed EFTA and EEA still have the 4 freedoms of the EU attached. I think Switzerland has a veto on Freedom of movement of peoples but it’s a handbrake mechanism and not fit for purpose

      • David

        We can do better than Switzerland, we are the fifth largest economy in the world and the only European-area one that is booming.

        South Korea (a smaller economy than us, but a similar sized country) has a free trade deal with the EU. It doesn’t need to open its borders, so why should we?

    • 4194

      Close the borders to EU workers, you ain’t seen nothing yet. 1 million+ Med migrants heading to Calais. The French will eventually get exasperated and probably scrap the border deal with us and then we’ll see crammed full boats crossing and nowhere to go but here.

      • Mary Ann

        Oh yea, your source of information please.

        • 4194

          I make the ( if exaggerated) point to illustrate the vacuous idea that the UK could regain full border sovereignty by leaving the EU.

    • Mary Ann

      In case you have forgotten Cameron has refused to take them.

      • Callan

        Refused to take them? Perhaps someone could tell the thousands queuing up at Calais to come here, soon to be joined by tens of thousands more from Italy whom Cameron “has refused to take”. They, like the tens of thousands before them will find a way through our porous borders Cameron’s refusal notwithstanding.

  • pobinr

    TWO NEW HOMES HAVE TO BE BUILT EVERY SECOND IN THIS COUNTRY DUE TO MASS IMMIGRATION
    The UK population grew by 500,000 last year
    That’s aprox 250,000 more homes needed in one year alone.
    There’s 50 x 40 = 2000 working hours a year for the building industry.
    2000 x 60 = 120,000 working minutes each year
    120,000 minutes / 250,000 new homes
    = A new home needs to be built every 0.48 seconds in this country = 2 every second

    Not to mention 100’s of schools & hospitals, more roads, more traffic, more pollution, more electricity needed, more waste to dispose of more sewage to treat, more queues, more crowds & more urban sprawl into greenbelt.

    Our country is gradually being destroyed.

    Most of these migrants are just low skilled low paid. So they qualify from more in benefits than they pay in tax in the form of child benefit, social housing, family tax credits, NHS, subsidised nursery care, translators

    Yet articles on overcrowding, rising rents & rising house pricess never mention immigration
    So now you see just how dumbed down, PC & or naive OUR media hacks are http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33266792
    And now you see the damage done by weak government, loss of sovereigny to the EU and feeble leadership by the likes of Cameron who bow and scrape to the likes of Juncker.
    This country has been virtually leaderless ever since the days of Winston Churchill.
    Time to get our country back.
    Time to leave the EU

    • Geronimo von Huxley
      • WarriorPrincess111111

        Ah! But those houses do not keep the huge building corporations in business, thus creating more taxes being paid to the Government, and they do not require thousands of immigrant workers to be employed to build them. There are millions of empty houses all across the UK – but the mortgage incentives are heavily biased toward new builds only.

        • Aberrant_Apostrophe

          Not to mention they all probably fail the EU’s Directive on energy efficiency. Can’t have newly arrived immigrants from warmer climes catching pneumonia or freezing, can we?

          • Mary Ann

            They will probably be the smallest houses in Europe.

          • Abie Vee

            Meanwhile, back on Earth, thousands of UK pensioners are treated for hypothermia every winter.

            But don’t you worry your little head about that: your sneering and snotting will keep you warm. It suits you too.

        • wibbling

          This is not only wrong, it is silly.

      • wibbling

        The reason those houses stand empty is walking in front of them. The areas have been destroyed through crime, disenfranchisement and social destruction. Quite simply, no one *wants* to live there because they’re horrible places to live *as a result of* the people who Labour brought in.

        It’s the same reason countless hundreds of thousands are moving out of London. They don’t want to live in the third world.

      • Alpha Farnell

        Twit.

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      Is it two new homes every second or two new homes every minute?

      • Mary Ann

        Keep the building trade happy.

        • pobinr

          Corporatism
          The EU is anyone’s whore

          • wibbling

            Yet another reason to dismantle the wretched thing. It breeds corruption like mould.

          • Gilbert White

            Well I agree re reading Merkel she seems to be saying rather grouchily that if you do not like her long term principles she has plenty of different short term principles to give!

      • pobinr

        every minute of the working week. Two more homes needed due to mass immigration

    • Mary Ann

      It seems a sad reflection on our society when only 2 people on average are living in one home, especially when most houses have three bedrooms.

      • wibbling

        Why? It’s a market. If you can afford three bedrooms, then three bedrooms you will have. If you can’t, you won’t.

        Do you believe other people should be forced to pay for others to have what they cannot? Where in the crazed Left wing mind is that remotely ‘fair’?

        Why is it a ‘sad reflection’? It’s mine. I bought it, I pay for it. I don’t see why some waster smoking scrounger should have an automatic right to something on my cash just because he wants it or worse, because you want him to have it.

      • pobinr

        What’s wring with space & peace & queuet

    • Abie Vee

      MY LOCAL COUNCIL BUILT FOUR! YOU GOT IT, FOUR COUNCIL HOUSES LAST YEAR! They sold off hundreds, by the way.

      We live in a Ponzi scheme which will break over our heads in a matter of a year. No doubt numb-nuts like you will blame it on foreigners. It’s funny how nothing is ever our fault.. “Spanish flu'” “German measles” “Delhi-belly”… don’t ya just love our capacity for self delusion? We can never be wrong: we’re God’s chosen people.

      • pobinr

        Selling off council houses doesn’t alter the ratio of houses to population & thus the over all shortage of homes does it?
        Mass immigration does that.

        • Abie Vee

          No that is not what it does, it does this: it alters the ratio of cheap affordable rental properties to private property. That is what it does. It takes houses out of the public sector (theft) and places them into the lucrative private sector.

          Hence, my old sock, the increase in Housing Benefit from £1 billion a year when Thatcher took office, to the £25 billion this year (plus£14 billion in tax allowances) a staggering annual sum of £39 billion.

          Now this is a direct transfer of public funds into the pockets of property owners (the buy to rent market). The hapless tenants themselves, exploited by the rigged system as they are, do not see one penny of this extraordinary generosity, this largesse.

          I’m presume you’re in favour of huge public subsides and generous hand outs to the property owning class. I’m not. I’d prefer the money to be spent on decent affordable rental property for those without the means or ambition to saddle themselves with a lifetime’s debt by gambling on speculative asset bubbles!

          • pobinr

            The housing shortage espcially affordable housing ashortage is due to mass immigration

            Do the maths

            TWO NEW HOMES HAVE TO BE BUILT EVERY MINUTE IN THIS COUNTRY DUE TO MASS IMMIGRATION

            The UK population grew by 500,000 last year

            That’s aprox 250,000 more homes needed in one year alone.

            There’s 50 x 40 = 2000 working hours a year for the building industry.

            2000 x 60 = 120,000 working minutes each year

            120,000 minutes / 250,000 new homes

            = A new home needs to be built every 0.48 minutes in this country = 2 every minute

            Not to mention 100’s of schools & hospitals, more roads, more traffic, more pollution, more electricity needed, more waste to dispose of more sewage to treat, more queues, more crowds & more urban sprawl into greenbelt.

            Our country is gradually being destroyed.

            Most of these migrants are just low skilled low paid. So they qualify from more in benefits than they pay in tax in the form of child benefit, social housing, family tax credits, NHS, subsidised nursery care, translators

            And the poor low population density countries they come from are just made poorer by losing their workforce & younger generation jjust to make min wage employers here richer.

            Yet articles on overcrowding, rising rents & rising house pricess never mention immigration

            So now you see just how dumbed down, PC & or naive OUR media hacks are http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33266792

            And now you see the damage done by weak government, loss of sovereigny to the EU and feeble leadership by the likes of Cameron who bow and scrape to the likes of Juncker.

            This country has been virtually leaderless ever since the days of Winston Churchill.

            Time to get our country back.

            Time to leave the EU

          • Abie Vee

            500,00? Just over half of the growth was accounted for by change … births minus deaths, while net migration represented 46% of the rise. 500,000 x 46% = 230,000.

            Around here, where most of the increase is, a normal terraced house like the one I live in can quite comfortably accommodate eight people: mum, dad two kids ground floor, same again second floor, one old guy in the garret makes nine, occasionally ten .

            And a nice peaceful quiet place it is (apart from me).

            So assume that the natural growth is already housed. This leaves 230,000 divided by ten (for argument) = 23,000.

            The point though is this (figures are all mumbo-jumbo): the brownfield sites are there, the conversions are there, even the money is there… what is missing is the will! And why? Because the land-owning and property-owning classes like it this way! It suits them. Buy to let landlords (of which you are one, so you should know) received £25 billion in Housing Benefits last year plus £14 billion in tax-breaks… that’s £39 billion directly from the tax-payers to the likes of you.

            Is it any wonder they don’t want this scam, this theft, to stop?

          • pobinr

            Mass immigration isn’t only casusing a housing crisis
            It’s causing an infra structure crisis
            100’s more schools & hospitals needed, more roads, more traffic, more pollution, more electricity needed, more waste to dispose of more sewage to treat, more queues, more crowds & more urban sprawl into greenbelt.

          • Abie Vee

            Yes dear: populations grow… that’s what they do (barring disaster). There’s simply no going backwards in time. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

            On the island of Honshu, over 100 million people live happily together. We’ve a long way to go yet… I think you’ve peaked too soon. And our crumbling infrastructure merely reflects the outcome of the post-war consensus. Which of course had nothing to do with immigrants ot immigration.

      • wibbling

        What stinks is that the state controls the demand and supply. It floods the country with foreigners (for political reasons) then demands builders build, paying top rate for half those houses (instead of letting the market decide it) and then fills them with difficult people amongst which the few who could afford to live there, now priced completely out of the market would not want to live.

        The state is destroying housing, communities.

        • Abie Vee

          Of course, talk about stating the bleedin’ obvious. This isn’t about the laws of supply and demand at at all (as those with hidden agendas like to imply)… the market is rigged! And it’s rigged in favour of the big landowners (most of these millionaire mansions in London are leasehold, from the Cadogan, Grosvenor and Crown estates: the very richest of the uber-rich).

          Once again we see the rigged market overheating (supply artificially low by design; demand high as result) and a property bubble expanding… a dash of inflation later in the year, and the rotten edifice tumbles with all the resultant pain and chaos..

        • Tellytubby

          Its the requirement that all new housing plots also contain “community housing”. No one wants to live next door to the oiks – so that drives down housing prices which in theory means more people should be able to afford to live there.

          It’d be nicer for the communities if the social housing was on a different plot somewhere else – but that’s beside the point.

      • pobinr

        The social housing queue in Southampton is over 8 years long now since ‘Gordon British homes & jobs for Polish people Brown’ opened the floodgates.
        Every other name on the maternity unit costs is East European. Yet you say it’s nothing to do with immigration

        • Abie Vee

          Indeed I am. At the very start of New Labour’s term they conducted a review into the pitiful state of our housing shortages. This review concluded that the UK need 4 million affordable rental properties. Nothing happened of course. It suits land owners and property speculators to have demand outstrip supply: trebles all round!

          Nothing whatsoever to do with immigration: successive governments have absolved themselves of their responsibility to ensure the population is decently housed, and sub-contracted that responsibility to the market.

          Well if there’s one thing that we know for sure it’s this: left to it’s own devices the market will implode! And they certainly are not interested in building low-cost rental property.

  • misomiso

    The problem is this James: Even if Cameron does what you say and goes for a big renegotiation and is successful, he STILL will not able to deal with the issues that matter both to the country and to the politically active Eurosceptics.

    Even in a best case scenario we will still 1) not be able to sign our own trade deals 2) not control our own borders, 3) not have dealt with the democratic deficit of the EU. The ECJ will STILL have precedence, and with each ruling it makes it will suck more power to itself, and there is nothing the UK courts can do about it.

    You guys at the Speccie seem genuinely to want the EU to reform, and you think that if Cameron would just be braver then the Tories will not split and we will stay in, but it is what the EU ‘IS’ that is the problem. No matter how you spin it, it is not in the interest of the British people to be part of an undemocratic inflexible customs Union in the 21st Century.

    And think on this. All the intellectual political energy in the UK is with the Outers. They are the ones wanting to reform the UK state in the interests of it’s citizens, and they are the David against the Goliath undemocratic bureaucracy that the EU has become. They have the moral high ground – just look at the purdah issue.

    Better for the Spectator if you embrace our Global future, and join the Outers and start Campaigning to leave.

    • David

      Precisely. The only type of ‘EU reform’ that would work for Britain would be an EU without Britain in it anymore.

      There’s a long list of things wrong with the EU but for me the key one is the ability to control our own trade policy again – even during a bad year (last year) China’s economy grew at 7.5%, while the EU managed, ermm, zero.

      We need a free trade deal with China and the Commonwealth – on our terms – not negotiated by some protectionist Belgian worried about the harm it might do to Italy or Germany…

      • Mary Ann

        It’s not hard for China to have a high growth rate, when they are coming from a peasant economy. Especially when they can get away with paying low wages.

      • 4194

        China only wants free trade deals on ITS terms.

    • WarriorPrincess111111

      We are now told that the UK may consider alternatives to the EU. Such as EFTA/EEA – that Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein use. I do not see why the UK has to abide by any outside agreements – is our government not capable of running the country on its own? The EU has not presented any favourable trade agreements, and the EFTA/EEA have also had so many problems many of its members have dropped out. Surely any trading is preferential on a unit basis for better deals – by employing outside agents to manage our trading, results in much higher costs than otherwise.
      By a very simple illustration – it is more cost effective to hire a tradesman from a small highly experienced company than it is to hire a tradesman from a corporate company because of the extra costs of the larger company.

      • Mary Ann

        EFTA/ and EEA both require freedom of movement which seems to be the main reason people don’t want to be in the EU, it also means obeying EU rules without any say in what they are, so most Euroskeptics will be worse off, the fact that more people want to be in that out doesn’t seem to matter to some people.

  • Teacher

    Peope will vote no if they think it will stop freedom of movement and uncontained immigration. I don’t think anyone cares much about any other issue at the moment.

    • Mary Ann

      So you think they will vote to curtail their own freedom of movement? works both ways.

  • Rallan

    This article is just cheap propaganda to exaggerate Cameron’s strength and prepare the ground for Westminster to renege on an OUT vote. The negativity of UKIP, the leadership of Cummings, the assertion that an OUT referendum result isn’t binding and claims of Cameron’s great leverage in the EU? It’s all obvious bullsh1t.

    If Cummings is promising that an OUT vost isn’t binding then he’ll destroy his own reputation. If it’s an OUT vote but Westminster refuses to leave the EU there will be hell to pay. It the mainstream thinks UKIP have been tamed they’re in for a nasty shock. If Cameron’s throws his weight around in the EU at any point during this year, even slightly, he’ll get nothing but hostility.

    • Mary Ann

      Not a lot we could do if we wanted to, vote Labour, they are pro. Europe vote ukip, most people wouldn’t sully their pencils.

      • Rallan

        Huh?

  • WarriorPrincess111111

    There are excellent reports about the UK exiting the EU – unfortunately, these are banned and people are not allowed to discuss them.

    See: “Diplomat who won EU exit essay prize silenced by government”
    If this post is allowed by The Spectator to publish. We need something like Caroline.

  • sal1958

    out

  • VeronicaKHillis

    22222Ultra Income source by spectator < Find Here

  • Richard Eldritch

    We are ruled by Belgians. Think about that, Great Britian is run from Belgium and it’s laws are made in Holland. It’s a f-ing disgrace.

    • ohforheavensake

      I don’t think there’ll be a better accidental Partridge on these threads all day.

      Well done.

      • David

        Aha! Even a stopped Partridge is right twice a day…

    • milford

      It really is.

    • dolusbonus

      Even worse we are dictated to by a pipsqueak from Luxembourg… which is a hick, one-horse statelet …

    • Mary Ann

      So what are they doing in Westminster?

      • KingEric

        They’re not ruling us. Half the laws they pass are simply to comply with EU dictat.

      • Tellytubby

        Nothing of importance any more. Power has “migrated” or being devolved from Westminster to elsewhere.

  • WarriorPrincess111111

    The EU has never been able to gain favourable conditions for any trading. The EU is incapable of resolving the immigration crisis. It does not need to! The EU and the US have one focus only. The US is busy infiltrating and taking over one side of Eastern Africa while the EU, is initiating unrest in other parts of Africa. Check it out!

  • bufo75

    Does anyone seriously believe that the Greeks will vote “Oxi” on Sunday ?
    After a week without money they’ll accept what the EU has on offer, thus allowing a slightly modified “can” to be kicked down the road again.
    “The Europeans” and the Greeks themselves recognise that they’ve had several months of a Vlachocracy ( Government by Clowns) and they’ll soon re-elect somebody (anybody) that “Europe” can talk to.
    Those of us “kippers” who were hoping for a Grexit can forget it.
    “Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas .”
    (I hope I’m wrong, of course !)

    • milford

      Austria want out as well now 🙂 An Austrian citizen started an online petition and got almost 250.000 signatures in a very short space of time to push for an IN/OUT referendum on EU membership. The ships going down…..

  • Why won’t Cameron seize his chance on the EU?

    Because he is a pussy who doesn’t want to upset his boss in Germany, Angela.

    • Mary Ann

      No, because he knows what’s best for Britain.

      • Its best that we are dictated to by Germany? Its best that all our trade deals are designed for Germany? its best that our immigration policy is designed to cut the dole numbers of Easter European countries so we pay more taxes?

  • jim

    Why oh why oh why ?!!..The author beseeches in exasperation….Give me a break. Cameron is a europimp. He has been dragged kicking and screaming to a referendum. The idea of reform is a con. He likes the EU just as it is. No one here is fooled .

    • milford

      And when he’s finished his two shredded wheat as PM here he’ll be off to the trough in Brussels. The Frau has probably already promised him a position. The EU has become a nice little earner for ex-PMs.

      • Mary Ann

        I though that everyone wanted to leave the EU because they don’t like Britain being ruled by Europe, in that case all the Prime ministers would want to leave Europe to gain more power for themselves.

        • milford

          Good point, but being a PM is not a job-for-life. A government has a five year term in office and cabinet ministers can and do turn against their leader and throw them out before the five years is up. If they are lucky, and most aren’t, they’ll get a second term in office. Tony Blair got three. However, it’s a lottery, and afterwards they need a job. This is where the EU comes in. It offers them very lucrative jobs indeed within the EU and there’s hundreds of roles they can create out of thin air for LOYAL ex-PMs.
          Cameron has declared he doesn’t want a third term, probably because Frau Merkel has got him a nice job to go to in Brussels.

    • Mary Ann

      That’s because he doesn’t want to go down in history as the idiot who took us out of Europe.

      • jim

        You mean he’d rather be the idiot who could have but didn’t?..Let me guess: you wanted to join the euro too? Don’t you people ever get tired of being wrong?

  • Ron

    Whatever Cameron’s personal thoughts are on the EU his Government’s line is to become a full member. Again he is hamstrung by Obama wanting an inside line on what European leaders are up to and the strange relationship with Merkle who wants the City finance global markets. His technique is just debate as university taught him he has no real desire to upset the multi nationals or they odd alliance of the Upper class. The Referendum is going to be watered down whatever happens.

  • MrJones

    The Cameroons are 100% europhile and always have been.

  • mike_in_brum

    Immigration from EU is a massive problem and we must fight it. EU migrants are largely parasites and have brought poverty and crime all over the country. The don’t do any good to us. We don’t want any more of them and those who are here won’t go away unless we kick them out.

    • Mary Ann

      What a load of rubbish, EU migrants put more into the system than they take out and there are 2 million EU immigrants in Britain and 2 million British emigrants living in the rest of the EU.

    • Mode4

      Most of the immigrants come from Southern Asia not the EU.

  • 4194

    The EZ may be heading towards federalisation and fiscal transfers, thus the Tories are probably unsure of the economic consequences for the UK whether we stay in or leave.
    Either way a semi-detached EU
    membership seems the destination, or just a free trade arrangement without a seat at the EU table. And simultaneously
    big trade deals such as TTIP and TPP and China are in the offing which could also seriously impact the EU. No wonder Cameron is in a dither, and his eurosceptic colleagues only add to his woes.

    • Mary Ann

      Free trade arrangement equals following the rules without a say in what the rules are.

  • 4194

    Cameron’s

  • global city

    When you’re inside the Westminster bubble it must be impossible to see treachery for what it is…. putting it through the ypher of party tactics above everything else…and seeing this as fine.

  • vvputout

    Business for Britain’s 10 points must be DC’s basis for renegotiation

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/11686444/The-EU-commandments-10-things-David-Cameron-must-change-in-Europe.html

    Failure to get close to these should result in a recommendation by the government for BREXIT.

    A vote by the UK for BREXIT may result in the breaking up of the UK. England will prosper without the burden of Scotland, Wales and NI.

    • Mary Ann

      Without any recommendation at all Britain would stay in the EU. None of the political parties believe that we are better off without Scotland, look at all the fuss they made over the Scottish referendum.

    • 4194

      The UK with a large current account deficit needing vast amounts of FDI
      to try and raise productivity and competitiveness, the consequences of
      ‘in or out’ of the EU our largest market are unclear, potentially made
      more problematic as the EZ federalises and negotiates big free trade
      deals with TTIP,TTP and China etc. Hence Cameron’s dithering I suspect.

      • pobinr

        Tiny Iceland just negotiated their own trade deal with China

        • 4194

          A deal that cheaply gives China a strategic foothold in the Arctic in exchange for lower tariffs on a fish products and a few trinkets on manufactures from China. Hard to see tiny Iceland having much say.

          More important are the EU-China BIT negotiations now well advanced but China still has a negative list of sensitive issues around an open economy.

          Hence my point on the merits of in or out the EU for the UK and the risk of being dominated by China as a junior satellite.
          The EU is our biggest market by far and we need to keep a seat at the table. The EU already has scores of good free trade deals, so I can’t see a potential ‘free lunch’ in going it alone on free trade deals.

          • pobinr

            Honda UK just laid off 800 staff due to poor sales to the depressed Eurozone.

            Meantime we sell more & more Range Rovers, Jaguars etc to China & India Norway & Switzerland are two of the richest countries per capita in Europe & are out of the EU.

            Question – What do Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, & Mexico have in common?
            Answer – They trade freely with Europe, but they are not in the EU
            Countries like Korea & Japan have complete control over their borders & they trade with the world.

            As Lord Digby Jones said the other day. When Brit business men are competing with Chinese ones for business in Brazil the EU poltiburo is an irrelevance. The other day I bought a large RC helicopter off Ebay from Hong Kong. Again what do I need parasitic power grabbing EUrocrats for ?

            The best free trade agreement is a blank sheet of paper.

            Daniel Hannan ‘The single market is 5 times as expensive in compliance costs as it is in benefits. Countries don’t do business with each other. Business’s do. The best thing governments can do is keep out of the way’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx1HxYzJ2As&feature=fvsr

          • 4194

            China only does FTA’s that serve it’s own interests and is dominated by SOEs. All depends on whether China wants to open up trade beyond commodities and food stuffs.However the EU is in the early stages of negotiations with China, likely to follow the US-TTIP.

            The Chinese stock market is tanking at present and a slump’s on the cards, so probably fortunate we don’t rely heavily on that market, and so is Brasil.

            Whether UK setting up scores of FTAs rather relying on the EU negotiating strength is more advantageous is shear speculation, and would still have trade compliance costs not least ISO standards.

            Range Rover etc., most of our strong exporters are foreign owned companies, liable to shift production wherever more profitable.

            Hannan’s europhobic judgement is highly political. I would prefer to wait for business opinion to settle down on the merits of EU/UK relationship.

  • Zionist lackey

    This implausible piece which asks us to understand Cameron’s predicament in his retraction of earlier promises; has little credibility outside of his parliamentarian party and among those of his party’s membership that have not yet deserted to Ukip; as well as the Spectator. He has the requirement of any Tory leader to hold his party together.

    But what does this matter to us Eurosceptics who have little faith in him. We know that he is not in any way sceptical about the way Europe is going. His only wish is, through the rhetoric of meaningful reform, to keep the Conservative Party a party of government.

    Cameron is personally a believer in a European Federal Union. His latest sceptical manoeuvres are only directed toward the continuance of the Tory Party as a party of government. He will use all kinds of euro-sceptical rhetoric to keep himself in office, as all politicians from whatever party seek to do within the UK.

    Cameron is no Eurosceptic. He is a Europhile trying to keep his party together; and the sooner the Tory Euro-sceptics understand this; then the sooner they will not become disillusioned by the unfolding events.

    • John

      Well said !

  • Mary Ann

    At the moment there are more people who want to stay in the EU than want to leave, all this is about pacifying a minority, changing the rules when the majority are happy with things as they are.

    • John

      And your evidence is………?

  • jmshigham

    Flawed understanding of politics, the eternal Tory notion that Cameron can change anything his EU masters do not want changed. This political punditry has us believing we have any say with the Merkels who run the country.

  • John

    “Should Greece be forced out of the euro, Cameron would have a glorious opportunity to craft a looser form of EU membership.”

    This is the whole point though;Cameron is a committed Europhile who thinks the EU is fine and dandy as it is – he has no wish to change the status quo.
    He has been forced into this position by the rise of Ukip. Does anyone seriously believe he would have offered a referendum otherwise ?

  • greggf

    “Few European leaders have been luckier than David Cameron.”

    True James, but the chance he must seize is the strategy that the referendum, and its baby brother the one in Scotland, will determine, especially for the Tory Party.

    If the referendum on the EU yields a Yes, the GE in 2020 will produce a UKIP majority, certainly in England, and decimate the Tories like the SNP did to Labour.
    Only if Cameron campaigns on a No vote and wins it might the Tories retain a majority in 2020.

    Do you think Dave will see that chance, let alone seize it….?

  • John P Hughes

    “The huge number of Greeks who would leave the country to seek work elsewhere in the EU would further test other countries’ commitment to the principle of freedom of movement, making it more likely that Cameron could win concessions on immigration — the aspect of EU membership that most concerns the public.”
    Actually this probably is one ‘migration’ that wouldn’t worry other European countries, or people in Britain. Greeks have been coming to study or work in Britain for decades and speak English (they won’t come to Britain if they don’t). Middle-class Greeks’ education and culture fits them in well with English-speaking countries – many people will know Greeks who live here, not just from Cyprus.
    There are only 9 million Greeks living in Greece, and if 300-400,000 left to work elsewhere in Europe they would tend to spread around the countries where English is used at work (GB, Ireland, Benelux, Scandanavia, and Switzerland). And they would keep their properties in Greece and go back when the economy at last recovered.
    Greeks are not like Eastern Europeans. They wouldn’t be a problem any more than the French, Dutch and Germans who work live in Britain for work purposes, but keep their links (and property) back home.

  • Roger Hudson

    Cameron is a cunning devil.
    I read that on Monday he will host Bakir Izetbegovic , who the Guardian call ‘President of BiH’.
    BiH has three presidents and the current chairman is the Serb, on Saturday it changes to the Muslim. If Cameron had chosen the nearest day to the Srebrenica memorial (Saturday) he would be hosting the Serb, Mladen Ivanic.
    Cunning Cameron.

  • mike_in_brum

    Apart from the African invaders, now we should expect millions of Greek spongers queueing at out Jobcentres. Please evacuate your Council flat to make room for a big fat Greek family.

  • Ron

    Cameron was trained to debate and his tutor said he wished he hadn’t taught him because Cameron doesn’t have a sense of being English but he sees himself on the great European stage, not unsurprisingly just like Blair.

  • global city

    Because he doesn’t want to. He is a fully paid up member of the EU elite and looks forward to them all reaching the end point (of ever closer union) together.

Close