Matthew Parris

OK: I’m convinced: one EU referendum might not be enough

The terms of our leaving should be put to us, just as the renegotiated terms of our staying will have been

17 October 2015

9:00 AM

17 October 2015

9:00 AM

We now have to take seriously the possibility that in the EU referendum Britain will vote to leave. I had hardly contemplated that. At the time (in January 2013) I saw the Prime Minister’s pledge to consult the electorate as a tactical move, designed to conciliate his party. It may well have helped David Cameron hold off the Ukip at the last general election, and secure the winning edge his party achieved.

But those of us who supposed (as did I) that the electorate would never vote to leave, so a referendum was a pretty low-risk gamble with our membership of the EU, may wonder now if we were right. The polls are more volatile than had seemed likely; meanwhile the underlying strength of the appeal of EU membership — which rests upon the underlying strength of the EU itself — is taking a big knock. On Greece and on migration the institution is looking thoroughly incompetent. Our continent feels less settled than it did two and a half years ago. There’s danger in the air.

On balance, I still think we’ll vote to stay, almost come what may. But in uncertain times, and given the propensity of senior figures on the continent to say and do things that on this side of the Channel appear as red rags to the Europhobic bull, it’s becoming possible to imagine the whole referendum thing careering out of control. On the stay or leave question, both sides need to accept that the other could win.

So I think we should look again at a proposal that Dominic Cummings, a former special adviser in the Education department and prominent critic of the Prime Minister, put forward earlier this year. In June, Mr Cummings (a fierce Eurosceptic now attached to one of the groups campaigning for a ‘leave’ result) floated the idea that if Britain voted to reject Mr Cameron’s new terms of membership, a second referendum should be promised, to take place after our government had negotiated with our European partners the proposed terms of our departure.

In this second referendum (suggested Cummings) voters would be asked whether they accepted those terms. All agree that the coming referendum is to gain democratic assent to the terms the government has negotiated for staying in the EU. The Cummings plan extends that logic, arguing that terms for our departure should likewise be put to the British people — if, that is, they vote not to accept Mr Cameron’s terms for staying.

Cummings made no bones about his motivation for advancing his plan. People would be less scared of voting in principle to leave (he reasoned) if they knew Britain’s exit would not automatically follow: not if we didn’t like the terms then negotiated for leaving. His double referendum proposal was designed to boost the ‘leave’ vote by making it feel safer because it wouldn’t be the last word.

Boris Johnson showed interest in the plan, but quickly fell silent on the subject. The reason occurred quickly to me and doubtless to some of Cummings’s allies, and to Cummings (a powerful intellect) himself. I set it out in my Times notebook on 24 June, and repeated it in an online post beneath Mr Cummings’s blog on 21 July.

‘What,’ I asked, ‘if we voted No to staying in, then, in the second referendum, No to the terms of leaving?’ Some weeks later Mr Cummings responded. ‘We would be in confusing and unknown territory,’ he wrote, adding, ‘there might be little/no time to fix what the public disliked. Hopefully having won the first No a new government team would negotiate a sensible deal and it would be popular…’

After that ellipsis (so far as I can discover), silence. Maybe his interest in his own proposal ended there. Round One (I claim) to me. But Round Two to Dominic because on further thought I’m coming to believe he was right. His proposal was a ploy for securing a ‘leave’ result that otherwise looked as if it might be beyond his reach. It may not now be beyond his reach.

So I’ve started to ponder more carefully his logic — and it’s hard to resist. A ‘stay’ vote would be a clear popular endorsement of a published plan: the government’s renegotiated terms of membership, agreed with the EU. But of what plan would a ‘leave’ vote be a popular endorsement? Wouldn’t we have to start a negotiation with our partners to agree the terms of Britain’s exit, including the terms of our access from the outside to the EU and its single market? In which case, shouldn’t the terms of our leaving be put to us, just as the (renegotiated) terms of our staying had been put to us?

Imagine, for instance, that our EU partners got into a strop about Britain’s planned departure and (cutting off noses to spite faces) decided to erect barriers to trade. Or imagine we were to be invoiced every year, as Norway is, for some of the privileges of continued open-market access. Imagine we were asked to pay towards the running of selected EU institutions that oversee the single market. Imagine our exporters were required to submit to oversight from Brussels to ensure that we did not undercut EU producers by regulating our own producers more lightly, or giving British workers fewer rights and benefits.

Think it through. Whatever may be the democratic case for putting the terms of our staying, the case for putting to the people the terms of our leaving is much stronger. Despite his claims, the terms on which we stay are unlikely to be profoundly altered by David Cameron’s renegotiation. The terms on which we leave could affect us deeply. So I’ll stick my neck out. If Britain votes to leave, there will have to be a second referendum. And we will have to have the opportunity to relent of our first decision. Dominic, you were right.


eu1The Spectator is hosting an evening discussion ‘Is the EU bad for business?’ at 7pm on Tuesday 20 October at The Royal College of Surgeons, WC2. Speakers include: Dominic Cummings, director of the ‘No’ campaign and Will Straw, executive director of the ‘Yes to Europe’ campaign and is chaired by Andrew Neil. For tickets and further information, click here.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

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
  • EnglandLaments

    It is the EU way – if the people give the Wrong” answer at first asking, ask them time and time again until they give the “correct” answer.
    Cummings did not do those of us who want to Leave, any favours with his muddled intervention – the Europhiliacs are now grabbing the proposal as a comfort blanket for themselves!

  • Paul

    no thanks, typical EU – make people vote and vote until they get the answer they wanted in the first place.

  • sandy winder

    Here we go. If the plebs don’t give the right answer the first time make them vote again until they do. I could see this coming a mile off.

  • Jack Rocks

    Another opportunity to scare the plebs into staying in, even if you lose the vote? Could you be any more cynical?

  • Frankfurt 13

    “We now have to take seriously the possibility that in the EU referendum Britain will vote to leave. I had hardly contemplated that.”
    Just proving that you are totally out of touch with the people of the UK.

    • LoveMeIamALiberal

      Well, he could have asked some of his friends in Clacton….

      • goodsoldier

        Or his charlady.

  • global city

    In every are of ‘competence’ that the EU claims for itself it has been utterly incompetent. Fisheries, agriculture, energy, competition and state involvement in industries, coal and steel (Scargill and Thatcher were not as central to the wipe out of those industries in the UK as is claimed) and environmental. So, why Parris only mentions Greece and the Euro as areas were the mandarins in Brussels have shown to be arrogant and hubristic is beyond me.

    Rule by ‘high Ideal’ has always proven to be extremely detrimental to the wellbeing of the public at large. We only have to look at the Warsaw Pact alliance to remind ourselves of this.

    • EnglandLaments

      You have not mentioned the complete disaster of the migration crisis in your above list. The invasion of Europe is continuing apace, it is the most frightening thing to occur in my lifetime and it threatens to destabilise previously stable democracies!

      • global city


      • Abie Vee

        So, er, git the wagons in a circle Pa?

  • Richard Eldritch

    No thanks Mathew, We’re happy with one if it’s all the same to you.

    • Abie Vee

      You’d be “happy” to leave without knowing the terms? I think the British voters are not that silly.

      • Richard Eldritch

        Oh I can assure you that we are. Ya see we want to run our own affairs and be able to throw out our Politicians if we feel like it, perhaps even smash their windows. It’s called soveriegnty and democracy, not terms that the EU understand of course. The fact is that we don’t fancy being ruled by frogs and goose stepping sausage munchers.

        • Abie Vee

          Dick. How apt.

          • Richard Eldritch

            Ah! the old ” You’re a penis because your name is Richard” gag eh? Never gets old that one does it love?

          • Abie Vee

            Of a piece dear: Dave; people who shag dead pigs. George; inveterate liars. Boris; men not to be trusted with either your wallet of your wife. Jeremy; PPS students who can recite whole pages of The Hobbit.

            It’s perfectly obvious that their (and your) parents knew a thing or two.

          • Richard Eldritch

            That’s nice Love. Now get my sandwich there’s a good girl.

          • Abie Vee

            Just because you are one, you don’t have to be like one. You cannot change your dickish nature, but you can chose to behave differently.

            Up to you.

          • Richard Eldritch

            Nah, I’m happy as I am thanks Abie but please feel free to throw yaself under bus ( after you’ve made my sandwich of course)

          • Abie Vee

            If I ever took the trouble to cater for you, you’d be well advised not to eat it, Dick.

          • Richard Eldritch

            Don’t forget to cut the crusts off.

          • Abie Vee

            No doubt you’re well used to gumming large mouthfuls.

          • Richard Eldritch

            Is that a homophobic slur Abie? Not very European is it?

          • Abie Vee

            Does the truth hurt?

          • Richard Eldritch

            Nah not really love.

          • slyblade

            That’s all they have, petty insults as they cannot mount a serious argument for staying in. Churlish side swipes is the best they can offer

      • goodsoldier

        Matthew Parris is silly and sly. So is Boris, that’s why he flushed pink when it was suggested to him. They are having fun with us but are actually very afraid that the Leave Eu will win and their world will come crashing down all about them. Our freedom from tyranny scares them, and rightly so. A lot of macho Brits they don’t like will be tempted to come back to Britain.

      • blandings

        How would you know what british voters think about the subject?

        • Abie Vee

          Like you; from engagement, and from experience. Turkeys do not normally vote for Christmas. In London, UKIP gets nowhere; they rarely make even 10% of votes cast. The Scots seem intent upon staying in the EU (if not in the UK). I would expect Wales to follow the same reasoning. The outer regions of England, Cornwall, Cumbria and Northumberland do rather well out of EU investment, as do the nation’s landowners and farmers.

          It will come to dawn on people that this ludicrous posturing by Hameron isn’t in the national interest… it is all about a last-ditch desperate attempt to stop his Party from imploding. The National interest and Tory Party interests are not one and the same thing.

          • peter6218

            You obviously don’t know much about this country or its people Abie. The people of Cornwall voted strongly for UKIP in last years Euro elections.

            Your mixed ‘ hood is not England.


          • Abie Vee

            I know quite a lot about England. And I know also that voting in the EU elections meant diddly-squat to most people. The majority of the electorate didn’t even bother. And I also know that mid-term elections are a wonderful opportunity for blowing loud raspberries at all politicians, without much fear for the consequences… the luxury of the harlot throughout the ages: power without responsibility.

            But when push comes to shove, and the consequences are brought sharply into focus, naught schoolboy parps from offstage are no longer an option .

          • peter6218

            Yes I know quite a lot about Iran and the middle east. I will always be a foreigner in their eye however and rightly so. Likewise one may know a lot about England but those who wear Niqabs here must realise that they will always be regarded as foreign by the English people..

          • Abie Vee

            “Always” is a very big word. The historical evidence suggests otherwise.

          • peter6218

            Always is not a big word . Do provide the historical evidence that those who wear Niqabs are regarded by the English people as opposed to the BBC or mass media as none other than foreign.

          • Abie Vee

            Early days. Always: adverb… at all times, all the time, on every occasion.

            Yup, that’s a bid word right enough. Too big for you obviously.

            In the strange land where I live (London) Niqabs largely pass by unregarded. I’ve no idea why I should have any opinion on how people dress themselves (or undress themselves)

            You’ve no idea have you.

          • peter6218

            My people ie the English have been ethnically cleansed from north London , so I can’t really comment . Only 50 years ago it was an English area ;the changes were unwanted by the English and are resented.

          • Abie Vee

            No, not quite right. No one was forced out: people fled from London; people of a certain age. The exodus began in earnest with Thatcher’s Right to Buy legislation. Council houses were sold to sitting tenants for a song. Over the next twenty year these self-same people cashed in their huge profits and fled to cheaper parts of the country… where they languish today, pining for the old communities, pubs, schools and streets they helped to destroy.

            Of course, we do have proper social cleansing now, thanks to the Tories pernicious bedroom tax. So the cosmopolitanisation of our great city continues apace… by government fiat.

          • Andrew Cole

            You talk about knowing this from engagement and from experience yet continually dismiss what I experience and know massive amounts people in my region have experienced as anecdotal or not reflective.

            Why is your engagement and experience more reflective than mine?

            I see the problems this has caused through people being pushed out of their jobs, from Eastern Europeans moving into every Council House that becomes available and then filling it with extended families, from the whispering on street corners, from the looks people give each other, from the back up of ‘need an interpreter’ when it suits.

            I live in this environment day to day, living alongside people who used to work for many different food processing companies in this region.

            Do you have any real experience of this or is it just the selected viewpoint of what you see or hear when you engage with these communities. Massive difference between actually living in this world than talking to people or even visiting people in this world.

            If you actually live in a council estate you will know that face to face things are pleasant but there is more and more whispering, bad mouthing and ill feeling and it is currently a pot that is simmering. I hope it doesn’t reach boiling point ever but I can see it coming because people are being fobbed off with politicians either using stats/research to heide behind or they really do believe what they are saying.

            If it is the latter then I fear for this country because there are far too many people who do not have to experience what life is really like on the estates yet think they know all about it and deny that any common perception is real. They should stop denying things are happening unless they really start to listen to people’s real world experiences not look at stats that give percentages and ratios.

            This is the real world and people are telling the truth not passing on chinese whispers. People like me losing our jobs are not imagining it happened. It did happen. Why? Because the employers saw a chance to lower the pay down the NWM and get a workforce that would work all hours without protest and utilised every tactic they could to achieve that target as quickly as possible.

            You lot keep talking about workers rights and benefits being wiped away without Europe. What about the rights we used to have of not having to work overtime if we didn’t want to? What happened to people being able to choose to spend evenings and weekends with their families? What happened to employers not being able to change shift patterns on a whim? To choose not to work double shifts?

            We used to have these rights and it is these rights that partly made us less desirable as a workforce to the migrants that will work whatever hours the employer says they want them to.

            Lose rights and benefits, you make me laugh. We have no rights or benefits. If we choose to exercise those rights and benefits we are carefully pushed towards the exit door.

          • Abie Vee

            Bully for you. I live in the most racially diverse city on the planet. 50% of our residents are from overseas. And the eight million of us bumble along extraordinary well. You’d scarce believe how much little racial tension there is. And why? Because we are all too damned busy minding our own business and working our nuts off.

            I have some small financial interest in a food packaging company in the fens. The manager of the plant says that without immigrant labour he would go out of business. In the nearby village pubs I met many locals who moan that “the East Europeans are running all the farms around here”. Yup… that’s what they say, and I’ve no reason to disbelieve them. But as the conversations wear on, they also admit, grudgingly, that they “do a damned good job of it too”. They also add that they are not interested in that type of work for themselves, or their children. And why would they? A boy could as easily train to be a plumber as a pea-picker, their wives and girlfriends do office work in nearby towns and cities, and the men are busy doing other better paid work. Why, even the itinerant Tinkers do not want this type of seasonal and low-grade work anymore.

            And you need to get your head around a few facts; in this free country of ours, the large supermarkets tell us what they will pay! They don’t ask, they tell! And if we get stroppy, they always have the option of importing food from around the world. Thus our prices are pegged at a low level, to suit the supermarkets and the housewives. Thus we are restricted in our ability to pass on wage increases to attract those few remaining locals who want the work (and there are very few of them).

            I have been in and out of this city (and country) for close to 70 years. Give me some cred.

          • Andrew Cole

            You chime on about those locals. They weren’t doing those jobs before. The unskilled were being bussed in from the towns and cities to the rural areas to do these jobs.

            Yes the kids in the estates could, can and indeed are trained to be plumbers, sparkies etc. What about those that are above 24 years of age that are not helped with training?

            There is a lot available to the 18-24 demographic if they want it. there is nothing to help the 24+ demographic to upskill and these demographics typically have families to work that training around as well.

            People from London do not understand what goes on outside of London.

            Your food packaging manager is correct. The food companies do rely on immigrant labour. They themselves made that a reality though. They weren’t reliant on immigrant labour before they chose that route. Its a very easy charade to hide behind. Without any labour any plant will go out of business but you then have to look into the back history. Was this business running pre 2004??? And where were the workforce from, What happened to them. Did they suddenly decide they didn’t want to do it anymore? There is a lot more to this than you are choosing to believe.

            As for the supermarkets and pricing I agree with you. They do dictate how much they pay. Does that mean it was OK for the processors to dump their ‘expensive’ English workforces in favour of a cheaper ‘immigrant’ alternative?

            When we worked there we were constantly told that the company was only just breaking even. That doesn’t justify what they did to us. People need to look into this and not believe the BS that they hear.

            So the short answer
            Will these factories go out of business without immigrant labour?

            Yes because it would be impossible to get a workforce of natives in place and fully trained to continue with their operations without losing their contracts.

            Would they have gone out of business if free movement of labour hadn’t happened?

            No – They already had a workforce and eventually you and I would have had to pay more for our / your food.

            Would that have put more on the poverty line?

            No because we would not be paying out so much in welfare, housing benefit, tax credits and rents/house prices would have been much lower without the super bouyant buy to let market fuelled by a seemingly infinite influx of renters from the EU.

            For someone nearly 70 years old you seem to believe what you hear and read without questioning it. Live in the East Midlands council areas and experience things, then ask them their experiences. You will hear my story from many many different mouths and they are not making things up.

            Rights and benefits – Wake up and smell the european coffee

          • Abie Vee


            Those over 24? The Tories did away with technical colleges, night schools, and skills centres. That’s what happened to them. At school I was taught technical drawing, woodwork and metal work from the age of 12 to 15. I believe that no longer happens either.

            The food industry has always relied on immigrant labour. East Europeans, Portuguese and Irish. And as you say, unemployed temporary workers.

            “Dump”? There’s no evidence that the indigenous labour force are at all interested with that low paid (always was) seasonal, back breaking, monotony anymore. So, in a word ” yes ” it does make perfect sense. It is, after all, not high tech. It order to meet the demands of supermarkets and the British demand for cheap food, and the importation of foreign produce, there are no alternatives (other than bankruptcy… in which case the entire country loses out).

            The poverty line is a fatuous argument. You would like to see British firms go out of business at the expense of cheap food imports over which we have no control. That hardly makes any sense at all.

            It is you who is a hostage to your truths. Thatcher sold off 2 million council properties which were never replaced. Those properties have ended up in the buy-to-let market. The problem is quite simple; since 1979 we have abandoned our responsibility for providing decent levels of cheap affordable properties and left it to the property market to decide. And they are not interested in cheap..

            What else do you want putting right on?

          • Andrew Cole

            Technical drawing, metalwork and woodwork. Got rid of? Are you for real? They are still there just with different names and mostly amalgamated for the modern world.

            I have no idea what they are called this year but when I was at secondary school a mere 25 years ago I did Graphic design & Technology which was your technical drawing using proper boards with the slidy rulers and suchlike. It was about the time schools started to get computers when I left school and that sort of thing is done on CAD now.

            I did metalwork and woodwork. I would assume those aren’t lessons on their own anymore but I saw both of them in pictures in the prospectus for my son’s new school so I assume he will be doing them.

            Seasonal? I worked there for 5 years – all year long. Others had worked there for 10,20 years – all year long.

            The food industry has not always relied on immigrant labour. Why do you dismiss my experience as if it is the result of an LSD induced hallucination? When I started work at a food processing factory in 2000 there was 1 Russian girl and 2 Srilankans from a workforce of 240. My wife was one that came from Portugal in 2004. The Eastern Europeans flooded in later that year and by the time I left in 2005 there were only 12 British left on the shop floor. So No I do not accept your ‘correction’ because it is BS.

            The bouyant rental market is because we have seen 4 million renters enter the country in the past 10 years. That has fuelled the property bubble and the bouyant buy to let market feeding from it. Your statement on Council Housing is relevant however not the whole story. How many of those houses that were bought are sold on? How many of those people would have still been in that council house renting if they hadn’t bought them? Just because Thatcher sold off 2 million does not mean we would have 2 million more available because they would still be living in them just renting.

            I wouldn’t like to see British firms go out of business no but you use that to justify dumping workforces in favour of the cheaper option. Why are owners of these companies so rich when they are not making money?

            I agree on the not interested in cheap and affordable. Both under Blair and Brown and the Tories developers have reneged on their deals to build affordable homes and ammenities as part of their planning permission and have not been pulled up on it.

            EU imported stuff is already cheaper than the British stuff. If it were as easy as that why would supermarkets be bothering with the British stuff?? Because believe it or not there is a prestige about a product being British and all the supermarkets know it and plaster the Union Flag over the packaging. Therefore the customer must be demanding British Produce. If it were purely down to cost the Supermarkets would have moved to EU imports already.

            Maybe Edwina should come back to invent equivalent to the Lion on the eggs to stop imports completely?

          • Abie Vee

            Of course, time moves on. We never had smart phones, calculators, computers and all the modern skills needed for today. We were factory-fodder. It’s work the kids today are largely taught to ignore.

            So why did your indigenous workforce all up and leave? Presumably they weren’t sacked, they quit. And now they, you, long for the old days. It’s all BS innit. The old days are gone, thankfully; and I’ll bet my fat ar5e your kids AND their kids don’t want them back.

            Again you miss (deliberately?) the point. The 2 million AFFORDABLE rented properties were never replaced. Simple. End of.

            They bother with the British stuff when they can get it at the right price. That’s all. What happened to British apples? With modern containers they can import tomatoes from Spain and apples from Oz cheaper than we can grow them!

          • Abie Vee

            Give them time. Britain now imports 40% of all the food we eat, and that figure is rapidly rising.

          • blandings

            “The National interest and Tory Party interests are not one and the same thing.”

            Oh I know that.
            They would turn my country into a third world rat-hole if they thought that there was a buck in it.

  • Another stupid idea from the Cummings. The possibility of a second referendum – this one on the terms of the Art 50 deal – came originally from Flexcit. But Cummings picked it up as a means of avoiding having an exit plan. His group not being able to agree one, he decided that we could leave the plan to government, and then vote on the government exit plan in a second referendum.

    Like most of Cummings’s half-baked ideas, it has the germ of sense, but is not rooted in the real world.

    What he hasn’t worked out, of course is cwhat happens if the government come up with an exit plan that no one likes, and we vote “no” in the his second referendum. The effect would be catastrophic, as the UK would have to go back and start all over with the European council, most likely requiring an extension in time, which needs unanimity.

    Far from “de-risking” the first referendum, as he hopes, it would add another degree of uncertainty, and highlight the fact that Vote Elliott doesn’t have an agreed exit plan.

    That was why my original idea of a second referendum came in the context of us having an exit plan. The idea was to keep the government honest.

    Effectively, within the first referendum, there would be implied consent to the exit plan floated by the official “leave” group. We would then expect the government to make this the basis of its Art 50 negotiations, with us then using the second referendum as a restraint, with the threat of voting “no” if the government deviated substantially from the plan.

    Cummings hadn’t read fully that bit of Flexcit, though – and had no idea of how Article 50 worked (his grasp to this day is probably still slight). He simply wanted to justify his group’s inability to produce a plan, so this became his “genius” idea that supposedly gets everybody off the hook.

    His idea won’t work, and is fraught with danger.

    • Critic Al Rick

      May I complement the above by stating the following:

      A sane and practical referendum campaign for Britain’s leaving the EU would include not only reasons for leaving and the potential gains to be made after leaving but also the exit strategy required in order not only to avoid the potential pitfalls of leaving but to fulfill those potential gains. Flexcit is a refined form of Brexit which uniquely incorporates a detailed exit strategy.


      • JabbaTheCat

        Flexcit predates Brexit…

      • LostLeonardo

        May I complement the above by stating the following:

        Problem (supranational subordination and bureauractic governance); outcome (intergovernmental co-operation and democratic governance); solution (a structured process for achieving British EU exit—Flexcit).

        • big

          FLEXIT is the product of a bruised ego.When Mr North was blown out of the IEA Brexit competition it was simply beyond his comprehension.”How could they do this to me! ,the great Dr North?” Of course he went into a hilarious rage about the whole thing ” It’s mine, all ,mine” The trouble with Mr North is he can’t come to terms with his marginal status.He is a bitter , angry , amateur blogger who thinks he’s an academic.FLEXIT is a product of his bitterness, the main purpose of which seems to be to attach UKIP ,or anyone else.

  • misomiso

    As long as we are not subject to EU law, and that British law is supreme, any deal would be fine for the outers.

    From that everything else flows, and by returning to Common Law we can fix anything that may come up.

    • frank davidson

      Can’t see the EU agreeing to that, but you maybe correct.

      • fubarroso

        If we leave it doesn’t really matter whether the EU agrees or not.

        • Abie Vee

          Believe me it does. The terms dear boy, the terms.

          • fubarroso

            Are you suggesting that the EU can dictate whether or not we leave? The worst that can happen is that Article 50 negotiations fail and we end up in the same position as most of the rest of the world when it comes to trading with the EU.

          • Abie Vee

            Are you suggesting that the EU can dictate whether or not we leave?

            Er, no. I’m saying they will dictate the terms.

          • fubarroso

            They can state their terms and we can state ours. That is what negotiation is all about. If we have a decent negotiating team, admittedly unlikely if Cameron has anything to do with it, then we will either end up with an acceptable deal or no deal.

          • Abie Vee

            No. It doesn’t work like that. We will be told, not asked. The remaining 27 states will agree between themselves what terms will apply. As the leaving party, the UK will not take part in those negotiations.

            Yet more wishful thinking piled upon wishful thinking. It’s ALL you have!

          • goodsoldier

            You’re just trying to scare and confuse people into voting in. It won’t work. The EU is not frightening even if it has a sign that says No Exit. Unless you are insisting it is a Roach Motel: you can check in but you can’t check out.

          • Andrew Cole

            Abie Vee is right unfortunately. It is written into the Lisbon Treaty that if a member decides to leave then their exit strategy must be agreed with by the EU.

            The only way out of that one is to stick the Winstons up to them, blow a raspberry and walk away.

          • fubarroso

            I refer you to para 3 of Article 50:

            3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned unanimously decides to extend this period.

            To me the clause “failing that, two years after the notification” means we walk away without an agreement after two years of trying. What does it mean to you?

          • Andrew Cole

            But that means that if we do not come to an agreement within the 2 years then we are stuck with whatever they decide.

            I am all for exit and hope it happens however I do understand that we do at least need a decent agreement on the exit and how trade deals are going to work.

          • fubarroso

            You’re right that it would be better if we can get a deal. That is why I agree with Richard North’s Flexcit plan which involves a number of stages. The first of which is that propose EFTA/EEA membership during Article 50 negotiations. While not ideal this results in us no longer being EU members although still signed up to free movement of people it would be a transient phase and at least gets us out of political union. The main attraction as far as I can see is that it allays the fears of those that listen to the siren voices about job losses.

        • frank davidson

          I’m all for leaving

  • frank davidson

    Last throw of the dice Mathew?

  • wycombewanderer

    The only chance to exptract meaningful changes in Europe and the UKs relationship with it is if the possibilty of Brexit, becomes a probability.

    Europhiles who want change would be better off saying they will vote no and force the EU hand, if they subsequently change their minds and accept the package on offer so be it.

    But the EU will give nothing willingly.

  • Brian K

    If the second referendum could mean that there’s an option to stay.

    a) This would be seen as a standard EU referendum where ‘No’ doesn’t mean ‘No’ after all. All sorts of people would say things like ‘Well the British voted No but what did they really mean?’

    b) Secondly it would be seen an an opportunity to ‘game’ the result. We don’t want the British to leave therefore we’ll offer a deal that they must refuse.

    No. A vote to ‘Leave’ must be unassalable and if that means we need a plan describing what we’ll do on the day after a successful vote then so be it.

    • Abie Vee

      Yes. And, er, where is this “plan”? I haven’t seen hide nor hair of it. But are you seriously suggesting that we should vote to leave with no terms agreed? That will undo you knight.

      • Brian K

        It’s not possible to ‘vote to leave with terms agreed’ in advance. You vote to leave, give notice according to Art. 50 then negotiate with the EU over the following 2 years or longer with agreement.

        Most if not all groups would want to negotiate on the basis of ETFA and EEA, with access to the single market. The existing EU and single market laws and regulations cannot be unraveled overnight so the best process appears to be to adopt it whole into UK law and sort it out over a period of time.

        A comprehensive plan does exist here and a sorter version is in production.

        There’s a short video presentation here

        • Abie Vee

          “It’s not possible to ‘vote to leave with terms agreed’ in advance. ”

          So off we go and hope for the best? NOT on your Nellie.

          There are no better terms on offer than those Norway secured. But she still has to follow EU trade rules and regulations, join Schengen, pay an annual membership fee, and has no democratic input into EU voting procedures. Her main export to the EU, fish and fish products, is price-fixed by the EU at high rates so as not to undercut the EU’s own fisheries fleet.I’ll leave it to you to explain to the watching public in what way that deal is better than the full membership we enjoy.

          Or you might like to look at Switzerland’s deal? The one which excludes her from swathes of the lucrative EU Financial Services market.

          No… it’s pig in a poke you’re asking us to buy.

          • Brian K

            Norway is a member of EFTA and signed up the the EEA and has a lot of input into EA rules. Naturally they contribute to the cost of the EEA as they do EFTA, why wouldn’t they?

            They also decided to be a member of Schengen which given close relations with Denmark and Sweden is understandable to some extent.

            However, they also are fully voting members on WTO, UNECE and a host of other bodies that decide on regulations that are passed down to the EU, in that they arguably have more influence than we do.

            You should have a look at the direction that the EU is heading. There is a new treaty on the cards with a white paper to be issued in spring/summer of 2017 and a treaty 2021 and ratification following on. This will formalise a two tier EU with us in the lower tier. This has been dubbed ‘Associate Membership’.

            The magnificent EU marches on!

  • PasserBy

    And if Scotland had voted ‘Yes’ to leave the UK, would we be asking them again to vote?

    I don’t bloody believe so.

    • Abie Vee

      Perhaps. The point is: you don’t know so!

  • ScaryBiscuits

    The referendum is perfectly clear. If we vote stay: the status quo. If we vote leave: we leave the EU as a member. What politicians (whoever is in charge at that point) do after that is up to them and to future electorates. Future trade deals (of which there will obviously be one given how many German cars etc we buy) are for the future and there is no precedent of them ever having been the subject of a referendum.

    Both Cummings and Parris should perhaps stop thinking out loud. It doesn’t do either any good.

    • Abie Vee

      You cling to our overdraft in manufactured goods like a drunk clinging to a lamppost. Unlike a lamppost it gives us no leverage whatsoever!

      • ScaryBiscuits

        You seem to be the one who’s scared of facing the big wide world.

        • Abie Vee

          Quite the opposite. By virtue of our membership of the EU we have preferential trade agreements with over 90 other countries. Those beneficial agreements will all cease to apply on the day we are no longer a member state of the EU. We will then have to start negotiations all over again from scratch. In which case, it beggars belief that an entity of 65 million people (assuming Scotland stays) can negotiate trade terms superior to those agreed with an entity almost ten times the size! Now these preferential agreements do not only concern trade in manufactured goods, that’s the least of it! They include access to lucrative service industries and inward investment.

          And it gets worse: we are rapidly falling out of favour with the South American countries because of our obduracy over the Falklands. The other BRICS are in sharp decline, with the possible exception of India. It is highly likely that, despite the narrative, the UK will in fact be LESS outward looking outside of the EU! Thus, at the same time as we are tightening immigration from India (her students have largely deserted UK Universities already because of draconian visa regulations) and everywhere else in this so-called “rest of the world” fantasy, we will be going cap in hand begging these self-same countries to buy more of our goods.

          No… it just does not add up.

          • ScaryBiscuits

            If the Swiss can have free trade deals with with China and the US, it’s not hard to imagine that we could. The difference is that these would be suited to the UK rather than the very different economies of the continent. They would therefore be a lot more preferential to us than the protectionist fortress EU arrangement today.

          • Abie Vee

            Gosh… those economic giants would eat you up for breakfast. But then again, there’s no evidence the Americans are even interested in the UK anymore. They have said several times that NAFTA is not for us. Period. And as Kissinger said; When I want to speak to the EU, who do I call? Well it isn’t Cameron that’s for sure.

            All wishful thinking, that’s all you people have got. It really is pathetic to watch. BTW, Germany exports twice as much to China as we do. Whose fault is that do you think?

          • goodsoldier

            Why are you so afraid? Relax, your shift is over, go home.

      • ScaryBiscuits

        You seem to be the one clinging to the overdraft, unable to face reality.

        • Abie Vee

          I’m more of a realist than any Kipper or sceptic I’ve ever met. You are just dreamers… you actually have nothing in the bag. Nothing.

          Do you people seriously expect us to follow Moses Farage into the wilderness for the next 40 years, begging-bowls outstretched? Yeah right.

          • goodsoldier

            Medication time. You are weak and paranoiac, afraid to leave the prison of EU captivity. Chill out, man, or you will ripen and rot..

          • Abie Vee

            Nothing is forever. All compounded things are impermanent. However, the EU is the best place to be for now.

            I’m scarcely interested in metaphysical concepts like sovereignty and freedom… they are little more than philosophical abstractions. I’m free only in the sense that I must do as I’m told: pay all due taxes and obey the law. I can’t see that changing in or out of the EU. Can you?

            As for sovereignty, the world is held together with ink thesedays; as an “independent” country we will still be bound by international laws and treaty obligations to which we are signatory. I can’t see that changing either.

            No mate; you keep your Taiwanese-made little plastic Union Flag… I’m not interested at all in such fripperies and folderols: they are of no use to me.

          • peter6218

            I m interested in the concept of freedom as well. I would like my people and nation to survive and prosper ; you Abie would likewise like your own people to survive and prosper. My people are at present facing an existential crisis due to the burgeoning number of people from alien lands and cultures who are colonising my country

          • Abie Vee

            “my people and nation”? Are you The Queen, dear? I’m honoured indeed.
            I share the same wish as you… increased prosperity for all (irrespective of whose people they may be)..

          • peter6218

            Abie you represent the aims and wishes of your own people and that’s ok by me . I have only one country and one land.

          • Abie Vee

            Indeed. But the idea that we share a common culture, mores, ambitions and outlooks is laughable. Whenever I hear you people on about our shared values I reach for my Kalashnikov!

            We may ( some of us) have a shared geographical location and a shared history and language but that’s about it. I’m never going to live in a Palace, I’m never going to Eton; I don’t care for The Royal Opera or Drury Lane or the fripperies and folderols of the flatulent rich. My history is the history of the working man.. a tradition of hard work, early death and above all struggle. My heroes are Wat Tyler and Oliver Cromwell and all those unknown men who struck out in rage at the establishment.

            Who owns that land? Not you, nor I… two dozen well-placed and interbred families and a gaggle of off-shore anonymous gangsters.

            Your own people my ar5e.

          • peter6218

            With that diatribe you show that you are clearly a stranger to reason and mentally unbalanced.

          • Abie Vee

            It must come as a terrible shock to you to know that we don’t all march to your tunes! Some people march to a different drummer.

          • Andrew Cole

            TBH honest I think a lot of people in this country are not particularly bothered about what the conditions are afterward. They just want their old job packing food for Tesco and Sainsburys (and Lidl) back.

          • Abie Vee

            What are you saying? There are 10 million immigrants in this country… are you thinking of mass deportations? YIPPEE… bring it on! I can hardly wait to see Parliament in flames, and bankers hanging from lampposts! I will die a very happy man.

          • Andrew Cole

            Of course not the country would fold. It is an extreme and silly view to think or even consider that we could just deport people like that and even UKIP do not suggest that. Simply an end to the open door policy. There will be a fair amount of natural migration back to home countries though and over time Lower skilled Brits can fill vacancies doing the jobs they used to do.

          • Abie Vee

            Such day dreams you have. From personal knowledge I can tell you that the British people do not want to work at the bottom of the pile in low paid dead end jobs. They are more than content to let immigrants do the dirty work.

            Your whole comment is nonsense from beginning to end. It will take up far too much of my time to enlighten you. But to start you off, I’ll point you in the direction of the “lump of labour” fallacy. A leader in the NYT lumps of labor 2003/10/07 will be a good place to start you off. Happy reading. You need it.

          • Andrew Cole

            You said: From personal knowledge I can tell you that the British people do not want to work at the bottom of the pile in low paid dead end jobs. They are more than content to let immigrants do the dirty work.

            This is BS. They do want to work. Maybe Londoners don’t I don’t know. Up here a lot of people do want to work. I’m not going to argue with you about this anymore. You obviously have a very poor opinion of your fellow Brits and no amount of people telling you that you are wrong would change your mind.

            The lump of labour fallacy does not apply. I am not saying there is a fixed amount of jobs. Of course there aren’t. What I am saying is that there are just as many people coming into the country as there are jobs created so eventually unemployment will start to drop. It is normally the skilled ‘natives’ that come off unemployment though because the flood from the EU are straight into work within days through their agencies.

            You do have to start to question that unemployment is falling. There are over 5,000,000 self employed in this country. Do you really believe that 1/12th of the population is self employed?

          • Abie Vee

            Not nonsense. My manager said he has tried and tried to get suitable UK employees. And he can’t. And that story is told throughout the industry.

            I do have a low opinion of a man who languishes on the dole at home with mum and dad rather than doing an honest day’s work. I would also say that if an able-bodied person is unable to secure and hold-down such employment, he’s obviously not worth employing.

            Don’t go round in circles. If “obviously” employment will start to drop means that you do subscribe to the lump labour fallacy.

            There are three quarters of a million job vacancies throughout the UK today. .. 5000 alone in the London Ambulance Service. I’m with Norman Tebbitt… don’t sit at home whinging about foreigners, get on your bike!

            Self employed or not: the one thing I do know is that they do not receive unemployment benefit, and yet they survive. As I say, its a way of forcing people off the dole.

          • Andrew Cole

            Well your manager must be BSing you. When I was a kid we worked on the land, we worked in the factories, we worked on the farms. Was very hard work, was back breaking. We did it though.

            I have a low opinion of men who languish on the dole at Mum and Dad’s home too. I do not have a low opinion of people who used to work and cannot get work anymore because they have no skills and for 10 years no-one as offered them training to upskill because they are older than a headline young demographic.

            You are assuming that able bodied people are able to get these jobs in the first place. Your comment r.e. ambulance drivers are these unskilled jobs that these Brits can do?

            It would start to drop quicker if more labour wasn’t coming over the channel all the time.

            The self employed survive on full tax credits for claiming 30 hours work no matter if they earn nothing in that 30 hours.

          • Abie Vee

            I think you’r the BShitter here. They point he was making, is that they don’t want to do it anymore!

          • jameske3001 .

            Totally with you on this. Similar experience. People want to work but they are being overlooked. And it is quite simply wrong.

  • Neil Foss

    Shouldn’t the UK be stating what it wants after a leave vote? It seems everybody is saying the EU has the upper hand but they export far more to us than we do to them. We can dictate the terms of their access to our markets and if they don’t like it we can offer terms to other groups like BRICS. Now that would well and truly put the wind up them.

    • Abie Vee

      Childish nonsense. DO grow up! (have you SEEN how the BRICS are doing lately)

  • stag

    I see what you mean, Matthew, but I don’t think it is correct that democratic principles *demand* a second referendum. A vote for No is a vote for whatever settlement is reached. The fact we don’t know all the outcomes in advance should favour your side, just as it favoured the No side in Scotland.

    • Abie Vee

      Not quite. An exit vote requires detailed analysis of the terms of that exit. In the Scottish referendum the Better Together campaign could promulgate any old rubbish they liked… bluff, bluster and braggadocio. In the event that the vote had gone the other way, that vainglorious teenage posturing would no longer have been open to them.

      During the Scottish campaign, the EU Commission offered to provide a considered legal opinion on the repercussions, costs and likely outcomes an exit vote would have meant for Scotland (and, by implication, the UK). There was one proviso.. the UK Government would have to formally request such a report. Cameron declined the offer. I wonder why?

      “We don’t know all the outcomes” you say? It’s worse than that, far worse: we don’t know any of the outcomes!

      • stag

        It’s a political campaign – both sides are, of course, going to engage in “bluff, bluster and braggadocio”.

        An exit requires an exit vote. That’s it. Details of exit terms would be very desirable in advance of that vote, but their absence would not somehow invalidate it.

        We do, of course, know many of the outcomes. The terms of exit are only one of the things to be weighed, after all.

        • Mary Ann

          How can the people of Britain make a sensible decision about whether or not to leave without any information about the consequences. Talk about a jump in the dark, as bad as Salmond saying that Scotland would continue to use the pound.

          • goodsoldier

            A jump back to Merry old England, etc. What’s so scary about that? Britain will be the He-man of Europe. Your type. We must put away childish things and become a man again. We promise to be nice to Matthew. We’ll keep a night light on for him.

          • stag

            You might think the consequences of staying in are clear enough, and that whatever settlement is reached post-Brexit is likely to be better than what we presently have.

  • Oddsbods

    As the EU has never contemplated that any member could want to leave, there are no regulations for leaving. That means we can just leave and that is enough for a start. We stop paying into the EU pot, and they will undoubtedly stop paying out. As trade works in both directions (we buy more from them) trading arrangements can be left in place until new regulations are agreed and implemented.

    No second referendum, one vote for “out” should mean out.

    • Brian K

      As I understand it, under international law if there is a process in a treaty that describes ending/leaving it then you must use it.

      The Lisbon treat does have a process in it that we should us.

      1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

      A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European
      Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the
      European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement
      with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking
      account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.
      That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of
      the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be
      concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified
      majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

      The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the
      date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that,
      two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the
      European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned,
      unanimously decides to extend this period.

      4. For the purposes of
      paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the
      Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate
      in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions
      concerning it.

      A qualified majority shall be defined in
      accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of
      the European Union.

      5. If a State which has withdrawn from the
      Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure
      referred to in Article 49.

      • Abie Vee

        Well said. The Sceptics are trying to sell the British public a gigantic pig in a poke. “It’ll be alright on the night” they twatter… yeah right it will.

      • rudy_mental

        Yep sounds good if the member in question is a legitimate member. Unfortunately as this nation is not a legitimate member since there was no joining referendum hence no mandate for membership, we aren’t members and those rules do not apply.
        As a EU skeptic, proud Briton and believer in democracy, I’m prepared to continue to this technically unwarranted referendum purely to observe the full democratic process and the highly likely outcome of rejection of this false EU membership.

        • Mary Ann

          We had a referendum, the in vote was about 70%, that was a good majority, you can’t scrub it from history just because it doesn’t suit your agenda. As for leaving the EU without one, the majority of MPs realise that we are better off in the EU so the question of actually holding a referendum would never had been raised if Cameron was not afraid of the right wing of the Tory party, even the majority of Tories think we should stay in Europe.

          • rudy_mental

            What referendum? Do you mean in the 70s? EEC ? Not the same animal

          • Stu

            Where you around then? Yes we had a referendum. It was sold to people as joining a trading block called the Common Market and it was MP’S from both parties that lied to us at the time as to the nature of what we where joining.
            The facts at the time as we now know them may not suit your agenda but they are the facts.

      • Oddsbods

        In short form, “Get out and make sure the details are regulated somehow”?

      • MikeTV

        “As I understand it, under international law if there is a process in a treaty that describes ending/leaving it then you must use it.”

        And if we don’t? What do they do? Kick us out?

        • Andrew Cole

          The best chance is to challenge the original vote in the courts seeing as it was sold to the public fraudulently to get it through.

  • Abie Vee

    Well said. That has been my point all along. How can the British people be asked to form a considered opinion on Brexit without knowing the terms of that exit? It’s preposterous is it not… bordering on insanity!

    It has been the black hole of the Europhobes argument all along: OUT they twatter, but “out” to where, I ask, and upon what and whose terms? Aye Mat.. there’s the rub: they do not know!

    • rudy_mental

      That’s the most disingenuous comment I’ve read. . Scaremongering. It’s not out to the unknown, it’s a return to the sovereign state which is ours.

      • Mary Ann

        It’s amazing how many laws parliament seems to pass when we are ruled by Brussels, I wonder why we continue to have General Elections. You are the one who is scaremongering.

    • Richard Eldritch

      Out on any terms Abie. We want to do our own thing just as we have for a thousand years if it’s all the same to you.

      • Abie Vee

        Death before dishonour, eh?

        I’ve no doubt you really don’t care about the future. I’ve no doubt that very soon you won’t be around to worry about anything at all!

        Meanwhile, you like to have it, ahem, both ways: you’ll argue a financial case, but when that gets blown out of the water you have the luxury of saying it isn’t about the money!

        • Andrew Cole

          Considering it is the City of London that is propping up this country and the EU wants to get in on that act by fair means or foul I don’t think there is much of a choice.

          Leave and keep control of the City and the money that subsidises the rest of the country. Remain and the EU will get their hands into that pie and make things worse for us all.

          Fear of change is always hard I know but you must try and get over it. We are still the 5th largest economy in the world!!!

          • right1_left1

            City of London propping up this country !!!
            Assuming you mean ‘finance’ thats the biggest larf Ive had this millenium..

            The UK survives due to the ability of banks and the government to create/borrow money to finance consumption and living standards.

            If the cost of borrowing rises so that interest throughout the economy rises then serious economic dislocation will result.

            Translation: UK standard of living will collapse.

          • Andrew Cole

            You are looking at it very simply. London’s GDP is the largest of any city in Europe. If the GDP created by the financial services industry were not to be there we would be in a much worse state than Greece.

            London IS propping up this country. The GDP of London is over 20% of the UK’s total GDP.

            People need to be sensible about this. If it weren’t for London we wouldn’t be getting the favourable rates on the money we are borrowing.

            As for standard of living. This country has been living in dreamland for a long time with people living way above their means propped up by the extra money thrown at them by Blair and Brown and it is time that money was diverted to those that are really struggling at the bottom rather than spread to those who think it is their right to keep up with the jones’ .

          • right1_left1

            A major reason that the GDP, whatever that really
            means,of London is high is that the spending of tax revenue and borrowing is focussed there.

            The arts, rent subsidies and the national football stadium being glaring examples.

            The financial market is a giant Ponzi scheme
            ie more money has to be created/borrowed to sustain the abilty to borrow/create more money in order to maintain living standards.

            It will eventually collapse.

            The payback of the Private Finace Initiatives costs involved in hospital construction and future unfunded public sector pension commitments should shorten the time before serious economic dislocation occurs.

            The sellout to the city initiated by Thatcher and continued by Blair/Brown has had and will continue to have dire negative consequences for the UK as a whole..

            Osbourne scoffing at Corbyn over potential future UK debt due to his , Corbyn’s , policies demonstrates the unreality of the mindset of those who rise to influence in the UK political system

          • Abie Vee

            The only way to ensure that Frankfurt doesn’t get its hands on The City is to remain in the EU and fight our corner. Running away will play directly into their hands.

            Are you really THAT misinformed?

          • Andrew Cole

            No they want to regulate things in a way that London would not be as attractive as it is at the moment so that they can get their share.

          • Abie Vee

            That is what they want. And so far we have been highly successful in thwarting their ambitions. However, leaving the field of battle will play straight into their hands. The City will immediately be neutered!

            How do I know this? It’s no secret; about a year or so ago the CEO of Goldman Sachs (the largest employer in The City, and the free-world’s biggest investment bank) wrote a letter to Cameron reminding him about the EU’s importance to them (and to the other 100 foreign banks based in The City) saying:”there are no scenarios whereby we will not be fully participating in that market”. I think you can draw the conclusions from that.

            It is not a case of if and when those banks will leave the UK… the only matter for debate is where they will relocate to in the EU. Frankfurt appears to be favourite for now, but I’m hoping that they plump for Dublin.

          • Andrew Cole

            Do you really think they are going to leave the World’s biggest financial market? They are not here for the EU they are here because of the Prestige of London and because they benefit from being here.

            You do listen to a lot of bluster but in the end these companies and the these countries are doing what is best for them. They are in London because it benefits them to be in London not because they want access to EU markets. They do not need to be in London to do that, they could do that from the US. I am sure the US would prefer them to be there and cater for that too.

          • Abie Vee

            Indeed I do think they are going to leave. They have said as much. And they are here for the EU. It amazes me how much you people seem to be unable to grasp a hold of the fact that we ARE the EU! That is why they are here. And if we are no longer the EU they will go elsewhere (at the click of a mouse)!

            And, er, no.. you cannot do it from the US. For foreign banks to operate fully in the EU they have to be based in the EU. Which is, of course, why they are here in the first place. D’oh!

            You people. Your infantile “It’ll be alright on the night” approah is mere whistlying in the dark.

          • Andrew Cole

            They are never going to leave the prestige of London and the FTSE to base themselves in Frankfurt. That prestige of London is why most of them are here.

          • Abie Vee

            That’s just sheer nonsense. Nonsense of the very highest order. These people owe us nothing. They will go wherever it best suits themselves. At the moment that is in the EU. If we are not in the EU they will leave. Bet your house on it!

          • Andrew Cole

            I didn’t say the owe us anything and yes they will go wherever suits them and being in London gains them prestige so it benefits them to appear the big player in the big major markets. Why do you think Japanese car makers open factories in the UK and then ship the cars back to Japan with a union flag on the boot to sell at a prestige rate?

            Why do you think fashion chains put London Paris Milan New YOrk on their labels? BEcause they are the ‘style’ capitals.

            Finance is New York and London. The others are smaller and less prestigious. Bank have their offices in London and New York because it gives them prestige and gets them more business. It certainly isn’t because the leaseholds and property prices are lower.

            It is the prestige that keeps them in those 2 financial centres because they are the 2 biggies.

          • Abie Vee

            They are not interested in London’s prestige… being the world’s largest investment banks carries enough prestige of its own. It is access to the EU markets they want. Which is primarily why they are here. And that access will be curtailed in the event of a Brexit. Which is why they will vanish before your eyes with a click of a mouse at the first whiff of a Brexit..

            Most of these banks have set up secondary offices on the Continent in preparation for such an event. London suits Wall Street because of the common languge and the time-zone positioning mid way between NY and the markets of the Far East. That is all. Europe has those advantages too.

    • ScaryBiscuits

      Out to the rest of the world. Feel the fresh air, not the stale back rooms of Brussels. Britain has no need to hide behind trade barriers erected by the Germans or the French. We’ve always been a confident and open country. The rest of the world isn’t a black hole. You don’t need to be afraid.

      • Abie Vee

        Yet more wishful thinking. The world is organising itself into ever bigger, evermore powerful trading blocs while Little England wants to sail away in the opposite direction. She will be eaten alive!

        • ScaryBiscuits

          I don’t share your pessimism. The UK is the 5th largest economy in the world and more than capable of standing up for itself. Europe is less than half our exports and declining rapidly. The future is global.

          • Mary Ann

            Of course it might help our exports if we made things.

          • Andrew Cole

            We do make things. We make money. The City is our economy and Germany via the EU is trying to put a stop to that.

        • Mary Ann

          Europe has done it, Asia is doing it, the Euroskeptics are living in cloud cuckoo land.

        • goodsoldier

          Little Abie Vee, afraid of the big bad world he never experienced, nurtured on the cold steel teat of the EU.

        • Andrew Cole

          The world is busy looking after it’s own interests whilst pretending it cares about a ‘global’ aspect just as it always has been. Every country is still looking out for No1 No matter what they say to the cameras.

          Just like us, Georgie charges off to China to strike deals for the UK not for the EU. Germany does the same because Germany IS the EU and when they strike deals between the EU and other nations they know they are going to be the main benficiary.

    • sfin

      The fact is that the world is turning English. English is the first language in human history where non native speakers outnumber native speakers. There are 350 million English speakers in Asia and The British Council predicts that the number of adults in English language training, worldwide, will exceed 2 billion by 2020. 80% of digital information, worldwide, is stored in English.

      Allied to that we have another big export – our system of governance. There is a large family of nations out there who share the same queen as us and owe their system of government, and large parts of their culture, to the UK (and I include the U.S. in that).

      We probably have the biggest, potential global network of any nation on the planet. And we cannot make bi-lateral deals with any of them because we are stuck in a non democratic, overly bureaucratic, failing (as all socialist systems do) technocracy.

      I am an expat, living in Paris and I want out!

      • Mary Ann

        So you are not worried about having to pay the full cost of health care and double taxation, you must be in a well paid job. There will be a lot of pensioners with their income taxed in Britain and again in France and paying the full cost of health care who will have to go back to Britain, what will that do to the NHS?

        • sfin

          Nope! I am in receipt of a British military pension, taxed at source in the UK. I pay French national insurance and medical insurance.(I get to choose what medical care I receive).

          I am quiet happy to pay my own way in the world, in fact I categorically do not want “a state” to pay for me. All state welfare systems are giant Ponzi schemes which are entirely unsustainable as they require year on year population growth. The current immigration “crisis” is no such thing. It has been deliberately engineered by EU, social democratic systems to maintain state welfare (and power) in the face of collapsing indigenous birth rates.

          The pensioners you speak of will maintain their property rights and even if they do have to return (highly unlikely) to swamp the NHS – then that will only be a good thing.

          The NHS is evil, it killed my Father and I want to be around to see its destruction.

    • right1_left1

      The terms of Brexit will be known.
      Whether they wil be honestly presented is another matter.

      You talk as tho’ the referendum should take place today when in fact it will take place tomorrow.
      Is that too deep for you ?

      We want out to independence thats what we want.
      What do we want…independence.

      • Abie Vee

        The terms will not be known. This is getting far to serious for such vacuous lies. The negotiations which will apply to the UK in the event of a government decision to leave the EU will not even begin until after the UK has served the EU with a formal notice of her intention to leave. That is to say, after Parliament has decided what to do in the event of an OUT vote.That is the fact of the matter.

        By the time of the referendum all we will know is what additional concessions the EU has given Cameron (if any). And THAT is what we will be asked to vote upon… the terms of a full disengagement are a whole new ballgame about which we will know nothing in advance.

        Independence, like sovereignty, is a mirage. International laws and treaty obligations just don’t disappear because you might leave the EU. How quaint.

        You people really and truly have not thought this through. Or perhaps you have, and imagine that sunny optimism (it’ll be alright on the night, trust us) and simple sloganising will carry the day. I hope not.

        • SocratesWept

          ‘Independence, like sovereignty, is a mirage’. Maybe, but I’d rather be walking the streets than chained to a radiator in a basement. There are better and worse outcomes..

          • Abie Vee

            You aren’t ever given that option. Are you even following this thread? All you are free to do is to pay taxes and obey the law. Leaving the EU will make no difference to that.

        • right1_left1

          If what you say (when will the full consequences of Brexit be known ) is true it demonstrates the dishonesty underlying Cameron’s intentions and can easily be solved by delaying the referendum until the FULL terms are known.

          We should be intending to reclaim our national sovereignty, albeit run by silly unworldly public school boys, therefore we will not accept onerous provisions imposed by anyone.
          Leastways we shouldn’t.

          Lies were told prior to the previous referendum
          No doubt that will happen again.

          • Abie Vee

            That cannot be done under EU procedure. In order for the remaining states to agree what terms they will apply, the UK has first to serve notice of intention to quit To do that, the UK referendum has to be held beforehand, in order to give the government that authority.

            National Sovereignty is very largely a myth. Ask the Greeks.

            China eh? Dream on. Where’s your sovereignty then? They’ll swallow us whole.

          • right1_left1

            Asserting one’s sovereignty means just that Mr Vee.
            We tell the EU what we intend to do !
            Just as the USA does not recognise international legal interference with military matters so we will not recognise EU interference in our political affairs.

            IOW we abrogate EU procedure based on a properly constituted referendum decision.

            The Greeks got themselves in a mess by borrowing on fraudulent terms.
            The consequences are the fault of irresponsible leadership.

            The Chinese honoured the agreement over Hong Kong and have never presented a threat to the UK..
            We have no reason to believe that will change providing our do gooders do not start to interfere in Chinese internal affairs.

            Did you see the Chinese ambassador to the UK (urbane professional) fly swatting Euen Davies (scruffy heckler) last night Fri 16th on Newsnight

            Were it not for Chinese manufacture plebs like me would find life more expensive than it already is.

          • Abie Vee

            Not so. If we trade with the EU as a non-member, we will have to abide by their laws. No sovereignty there. That goes for the Yanks and Chinese too.

            I’m not arguing how the Greeks got there. That would take up another weekend explaining it to you. The point that I was making is this; their democracy was unable to confront the demands of the IMF, World Bank, and the German Banks. That, despite an overwhelming democratic mandate to do so.

            If there is no safety within the EU, by what peculiar mechanism do you expect to be safer outside of it? The UK will be at the mercy of global finance and global capitalism.

            You’re a dreamer. Like the rest of you people. China? Do me a favour willya?

          • right1_left1

            (1) trading with the EU
            Dingbat we import from the EU more than we export.
            When BMW Sales reduce attitudes will change.
            If they dont tuf titty.

            (2) re Greece
            You intoduced the impositions imposed on the Greeks indicating what could happen to the UK
            You are are deceitfull twerp !

            I never said China needed anything from us
            Get a grip.

            The UK is a busted flush precisely because of gutless spineless weak kneed individuals like you
            Be gone forthwith!

  • A particularly stupid idea from the Second Cummings …

  • CheshireRed

    Out. Leave.

  • Tom

    The EU are inept whenever faced with a crisis and it is in decline with little chance of a revival.
    Our exports over the last 12mths have shrunk 4.6% while increasing 26% to the rest of the world now is a good time to leave with confidence.

  • Mary Ann

    ‘Giving our workers fewer rights or benefits’ sounds like a good reason for anyone not over working age to vote to stay in, also explains why so many right wingers want to leave.

    • blandings

      Worker’s rights are of little value when imported blackleg labour is used to drive wage rates through the floor.
      That’s the trouble with left wingers Mary: The don’t care what happens to working people as long as they get their servants on the cheap.

  • “We now have to take seriously the possibility that in the EU referendum Britain will vote to leave. I had hardly contemplated that.”

    As the author knows, the plan is to have the EU leave a Scotland free UK, not a Scotland free UK leave the EU…

    The so-called ‘War on Terror’ is an operation being carried out by the Marxist co-opted governments of the West in alliance with the USSR and other Communist nations, the purpose being to (1) destroy the prominence of the West in the eyes of the world, where the West is seen (i) invading nations without cause; (ii) causing chaos around the globe; and (iii) killing over one-million civilians and boasting of torture; (2) close off non-Russian supplies of oil for export, thereby increasing the price of oil, the higher price allowing oil exporting Russia to maintain economic stability while she modernizes and increases her military forces; (3) destroy the United States Armed Forces via the never-ending ‘War on Terror’; the ultimate purpose of the aforementioned to (4) bring about the demise of the United States in the world, opening up a political void to be filled by a new pan-national entity composed of Europe and Russia (replacing the European Union), a union ‘From the Atlantic to Vladivostok’; which will (5) see the end of NATO.

    Now you know how Bolshevik Russia survived in 1917; how the West ‘lost’ China to the Communists in 1949; why the Eisenhower administration turned a deaf ear to the anti-Communist Hungarian uprising in 1956; why the Eisenhower administration in 1959 was indifferent to the Castro brothers’ Communist fidelity, actually used the CIA to overthrow the Batista government; why the Nixon administration abandoned Taiwan for Communist China, and signed treaties/provided economic aid to the USSR; why the Nixon administration refused to tell the American People that over 50% of North Vietnamese NVA regiments were actually Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers (attired in NVA uniforms, and proving that the Sino/Soviet Split was a ruse, as KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn told the West back in 1962), thereby (1) ensuring the Vietnam War would be lost; (2) destroying the prominence of the United States abroad and at home; (3) breeding distrust between the American people and their government; and (4) securing Communist victories in Southeast Asia. Working in the background within the political parties of the United States and Great Britain were Marxist agents doing their best to (1) ensure the survival of Communist nations when they popped up; and (2) sabotage any policies that would bring down a Communist nation. That’s why after the fake collapses of the East Bloc nations and USSR there was no mandatory Western verification process to ensure the Communists weren’t still in control.

    The following is a discovery I made in April regarding the fake collapse of the USSR, and what that fraudulent collapse proves about the institutions of the West…

    When Soviet citizens were liberated from up to 74 years of horrific Marxist oppression on December 26, 1991 there were ZERO celebrations throughout the USSR, proving (1) the ‘collapse’ of the USSR is a strategic ruse; and (2) the political parties of the West were already co-opted by Marxists,* otherwise the USSR (and East Bloc nations) couldn’t have gotten away with the ruse.

    ZERO celebrations, as the The Atlantic article inadvertently informs us…

    Notice, however, the Kremlin staged anti-government demonstrations that took place in Russia (and other Soviet republics) in the years immediately preceding the ‘collapse’, yet ZERO celebrations after the ‘collapse’!

    For more on this discovery see my blog…


    The West will form new political parties where candidates are vetted for Marxist ideology, the use of the polygraph to be an important tool for such vetting. Then the West can finally liberate the globe of vanguard Communism.

    Now you know why not one political party in the West requested verification of the collapse of the USSR, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the ‘alternative’ media. When determining whether the ‘former’ USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the ‘former’ USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

    The fraudulent ‘collapse’ of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Marxists, which explains why verification of the ‘collapse’ was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”.

    It gets worse–the ‘freed’ Soviets and West also never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested/de-mobilized the 6-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior and police control the populations of the larger cities during the period of ‘Perestroika’ (1986-1991)!

    There can be no collapse of the USSR (or East Bloc nations) without…

    Verification, De-Communization and De-mobilization.

    The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.

    Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Soviet minister of foreign affairs Eduard Shevardnadze on the upcoming new European union with Russia:

    “Editor’s Note: The phrases ‘From the Atlantic to the Urals’, ‘From the Atlantic to Vladivostok’ and ‘From Vancouver to Vladivostok’ are interchangeable in the strategists’ lexicon. In the course of his Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, delivered in Oslo in June 1992, Gorbachev said: ‘Our [sic] vision of the European space from the Atlantic to the Urals is not that of a closed system. Since it includes the Soviet Union [sic], which reaches to the shores of the Pacific, it goes beyond nominal geographical boundaries’. Note that Gorbachev, who had been out of office for six months, referred to the Soviet Union, not Russia. In an interview on Moscow Television on 19 November 1991, Eduard Shevardnadze continued speaking as though he was still Soviet Foreign Minister: ‘I think that the idea of a Common European Home, the building of a united Europe, and I would like to underline today, of great Europe, the building of Great Europe, great, united Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, from the Atlantic to Vladivostok, including all our territory, most probably a European-Asian space, this project is inevitable. I am sure that we will come to building a united military space as well. To say more precisely: we will build a united Europe, whose security will be based on the principles of collective security. Precisely, collective security’. These statements by key implementers of the strategy reflect the central strategic objective of asserting ‘irreversible’ Russian/Soviet hegemony over Eurasia, thus establishing the primary geographical component of the intended World Government.” — ‘The Perestroika Deception’, by KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn.

    …and here’s more on the upcoming “Atlantic to Vladivostok” union…

    …and here’s Vladimir Putin in 2012 (the year before the anti-Communist Ukraine emergency erupted—the eruption due to the weakened security situation, where a critical number of Ukraine Ground Forces were in Turkey preparing to enter Iraq—placing a hold on the EU collapse operation) pushing the new union with Europe…

    “Russia is an inalienable and organic part of Greater Europe and European civilization. Our citizens think of themselves as Europeans. We are by no means indifferent to developments in united Europe.

    That is why Russia proposes moving toward the creation of a common economic and human space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean – a community referred by Russian experts to as “the Union of Europe,” which will strengthen Russia’s potential and position in its economic pivot toward the “new Asia.”‘

    When the new “Atlantic to Vladivostok” union materializes, Communist strategists will have achieved two goals, (1) the further isolation of the United States in the world; and (2) the disbanding of NATO.


    * The failed socialist inspired and controlled pan-European revolutions that swept the continent in 1848(1) taught Marxists and socialists a powerful lesson, that lesson being they couldn’t win overtly,(2) so they adopted the tactic of infiltration of the West’s political parties/institutions. In the case of the United States…(continue reading at DNotice)…

  • right1_left1

    Its obvious to me we need as many elections as are required to produce the correct result.
    For me that is… leave the EU but maintain open trade only borders.
    Also try and avoid declaring war on Germany.

    I voted NO in the original referendum and I was right.

  • Douglas Carter

    In the past you’ve written more than once that you don’t even agree with the holding of Referendums as a matter of practical politics, Matthew.

    Now you’re a cheerleader for two consecutive such Referendums?

    Make your mind up?

  • toonpaddymal

    Matthew Parris’s conversion to a 2nd Referendum, is only made convincing if he accepts of the principle that underscores it, that of democratic consent . Should not Mr Parris therefore, begin to argue that democratic consent is now required as the ongoing condition of all aspects of our future involvement in the EU and that if the terms of our renegotiation don’t achieve that fundamental reform, then we should, on principle, Leave?

  • Happyin Herts

    Staying in the EU is not a vote for the status quo. It will be interpreted as a mandate for ‘ever closer union’ and eventual adoption of the euro whatever David Cameron negotiates. Btw Matthew, I have not forgotten or forgiven your attack on the good people of Clacton for daring to vote UKIP. Until you apologise for that I will take your musings with a pinch of salt.

    • Abie Vee

      The wording is: an ever closer union between the peoples of Europe. Seems fair enough to me.

      They good people of Clacton? I have been there. It’s a derelict dump at the end of the line; a town full of retired publicans and dog-shit; a last resting place of the lost and lonely and no-hopers and losers: yesterday’s news. In fact, perfect UKIP territory!

      Ave Nigel! Nos morituri te salutamus!

      • peter6218

        Clacton might be a dump but it is an English dump . I can go around there and am unlikely to come to any harm. Whereas in Stockholm the multi kulti paradise of your dreams the crime rate has exploded and it is now the rape capital of Europe.

        • Abie Vee

          I have lived in London off an on this last 70 years and never come to any harm (that wasn’t of my own making). I’d wager that Soho at three in the morning is as safe as Clacton!

          The Swedes have different laws about what constitutes rape than we do. They readily allow rape between husband and wife in marriage and in long-term partnerships (we are far less likely to). It seems that their default position is to take each and every allegation to court; you’ll actually find (if you care to research) that their acquittal rates are extremely high.

          But that doesn’t fit your narrative.

          • Tellytubby

            How do you “readily” allow rape between a husband and wife?

            You either allow it or you don’t. A man can rape his wife here. A man can rape his wife in Sweden. Both are rape. Both are crimes and can be prosecuted. It is however extremely difficult to take one person’s word against another’s and for a court of law to condemn someone of one of the worst crimes a man can convict when one person swears they did it, and he himself swears otherwise.

          • Abie Vee

            The point being that each and every case allegation automatically procedes to court in Sweden. In this country it only does so when the DPP decides there’s a case to answer. That’s the reality bit.

            What else do you want to know (and, er, what is it that stops you researching your arguments in depth for yourself? Presumably the facts won’t fit your narrative).

          • Tellytubby

            And what good does that do? The case merely has a higher threshold of proof to pass through once it reaches court (known as the criminal standard of proof) where if it was to fail through a lack of evidence it would fail at that point. The DPP don’t ignore claims where there is evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute simply because they don’t think they’ll get a conviction – all they require is for it to be realistic. You advocate pursuing unrealistic, spurious and made up allegations straight to court, dragging innocent peoples names through the mud and judging them in the court of public opinion when it is absolutely unrealistic to expect a jury to convict them of what they are accused of because there is no evidence to support it (and if there was then it would indeed go to court!) ?

          • Abie Vee

            Don’t ask me what good it does. I don’t know (and I don’t actually care). I assume that, in the manner of things today, they are following some feminist politically correct line of reasoning.

            I merely point out that you are trying to compare apples with oranges. You’re grabbing headline rates, rather than conviction rates, to better suit your racist narrative.

            That is all. Goodnight,

          • Tellytubby

            What? You talk of a (in my mind at least) wasteful legal system, I give you my opinion that it isn’t a great system and it would do nothing to remedy low conviction rapes for rape in this country and you call me racist?? Ok pal.

          • Abie Vee

            Racist? “… Stockholm the multi kulti paradise of your dreams the crime rate has exploded and it is now the rape capital of Europe.”

            That sounds pretty much like dog-whistle racism to me.

          • Tellytubby

            Did you even look at the name of the comment’s author before you went off on your little polemical essay about me? I didn’t say that.

          • Abie Vee

            In which case I apologise. I’m very busy of a weekend (they let them out you know.. care in the community) and I’m juggling three sites in the air…. sometimes five. It’ll calm down on Monday when they are returned to a place of safety, sedation, and observation.

          • Tellytubby

            Not at all my good man. Apology accepted.

          • WTF

            Both systems have serious flaws when it comes to justice and its still very true that money buys the best form of justice as it always has done.

          • Tellytubby

            To a point. Some excellent work is done on what is left of legal aid, and a lot of very talented advocates do important pro bono work. But for the main part, with the assault on legal aid continuing unabated, and the restriction of it into fewer and fewer categories as time goes on, I fear you are right.

            Even without that, peoples natural prejudices can condemn a man who is poor when a rich man would have been found not guilty simply because of the defendants poor choice of clothing at trial which makes him “look guilty”, but that issue is more a class problem that is not exactly new to our society.

          • WTF

            I agree that legal aid should be available to far more people but those who are denied justice the most are middle England. As with most things, if you’re rich, you can afford whatever you like including paying for top flight lawyers who in many cases will get you off and at the other end of the spectrum, if your on benefits, you’ll get free legal aid on many situations. Those in the middle wont get free legal aid nor can they afford to pay for legal assistance so they are denied justice.

            What should be the case is a graduated scale of charges linked to disposable income to ensure justice for all. I had an occasion where I wanted to take action against a Spanish town hall over planning permission issues but when I weighed up the potential legal costs with no guarantee of winning or recovering costs, justice was denied.

            Allegations of rape are an extremely sore point for innocent males with limited resources as your name is dragged through the mud even before a court case, if you employ legal counsel its costly and there is no chance of recovering costs or suing a woman who lied. Basically you have a consensual f*** but then get f***** !!!

          • WTF

            Isn’t this exactly the problem with the EU that we have a common European arrest warrant but very disparate legal systems !

          • Abie Vee

            It was the case. The UK has since forced Judicial overview into the procedure. The issue of compatibility now arises in each case. That’s one of the advantages of being inside the EU. Outside you are powerless to implement change.

            Lets hope our government is emboldened under Gove to address the gross inequality of the UK/USA extradition treaty. You never know, stranger things have happened.

          • WTF

            Outside of the EU we don’t have to apply a EU arrest warrant as we can do what we want but that doesn’t stop us having bi-lateral extradition agreements that we’ve had for decades. We actually have more power to influence a specific country by this mechanism than being ruled by Brussels and hoping we can make them look at any points we want to make. Decisions made by large committees are usually flawed compared to bi-lateral agreements. Your argument doesn’t stand up to reality !

          • Abie Vee

            So you witter, without producing a single shred of evidence.

            Yes indeed, we had bi-lateral arrangement for decades. They didn’t work. That’s why the Costa’s were full of British gangsters. That’s why the UK was full of continental wobbers and wapists! That’s why ACPO is so supportive of the current arrangements (which go much further than mere extradition warrants).

            And you talk to ME of reality? … I’m lost for words.

          • WTF

            What part of bilateral agreements don’t you understand. Of course we don’t have to follow the rules of a club if we’re not a member, we can negotiate our own bi-lateral agreements where it suits both of us. We did before and we can again. That’s not wittering, that’s historical fact !

            The ACPO would support anything that makes lives easier for them rather than do their job properly. I hardly think that is a good reason to support a European arrest warrant that can drag a Brit from the UK to another country which does NOT have the same legal checks and balances as the UK. If there were a EU wide legal system, I would support the EU wide arrest warrant but there isn’t, that’s the issue.

            In the UK we have that quaint idea that anyone accused of a crime has to be charged within a short time or in terrorism cases, apply for extensions. NO such protection applies in places like Spain or Portugal or even to Brits in the UK arrested by Spain or Portugal on these arrest warrants.

          • Abie Vee

            You make at least two vital assumptions: One, that we can negotiate bi-lateral agreements that are more advantageous to us that those we already enjoy courtesy of our membership of the EU. Quite how you imagine that an entity of perhaps 60 million has the leverage to secure better terms that a monolith almost ten times the size is, frankly, beyond my comprehension. Maybe you’d care to explain? Two; there’s an assumption that these unspecified countries are actually interested in dealing with us at all. How do you know? Who are they? And what are they screaming out for?

            Er, you DO have to follow the rules even if you’re not a member. Foreign countries cannot dump any old stuff they wish into the British market. Import duties are applied, as are quota limitations and embargoes. The USA pays a 10% automobile tax on its exports here, and many of its food products are banned from the country . Any products imported here have to conform to our safety standards; manufactured goods, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers and so on.

            You people are fantasists… as your childish and curt dismissal of ACPO (without a single shed of supportive evidence) admirably demonstrates.!

          • WTF

            I make one assumption based on fact that as we import way more from Germany than we export to them, a bilateral agreement under existing conditions could easily be made and coming from a position of strength we could even improve on it. Its not like we each have a hidden hand of poker as we both know what the trade imbalance is.

            Quite why you have this quaint notion that the free market is incapable of delivering a better deal over a contrived EU trade deal orchestrated by committee is beyond me. Having a substantial balance of trade imbalance gives us strength which you refuse to acknowledge. I’ve used personal strength against employers when they’ve tried to disadvantage me and as I came with strength on my side, I won the day. The UK can do the same.

            Do you really believe that the EU would risk serious levies on German & French cars by the UK if they tried to be difficult. We have a very strong bargaining hand to play with.

            As for rules, all bi-lateral agreements set rules and tariffs, there’s nothing strange about that and if the UK was outside of the EU and they applied tariffs on our goods or services then we’ll reciprocate.

          • Abie Vee

            What has our woeful trade deficit got to do with anything?
            In what way does it give us leverage?
            It’s like a drunk man thinking his overdraft gives him some strength with his Bank.

            You’ll be surprised just what the EU will do. If they banned UK automotive products, say, the French, German and Spanish motor industries would be absolutely ecstatic!

            There’s only one way we could impact the French and German economies: a trade war. And as I have already said, that would be suicidal for rUK. An instant economic catastrophe.

          • WTF

            A trade war ? Bring it on I say as they have more to lose than us.

          • Abie Vee

            TW@! What they lose is spread between 27 nations of 500 million people… plucky Little England bears the entire cost alone. Tell me… are you right in the head?

          • bramhall

            It is not difficult – just automatically assume the he husband is guilty which is often the assumption that is made.

          • Tellytubby

            The assumption is often made by the police, the media and the public in general yes, which is why the Swedish system is not in fact so different from ours. An accusation will often land a man in court regardless simply because it is such a serious matter it is decided it should be tried. Juries however, remain oddly stubborn and resistant to the notion that they shouldn’t actually carry out their civic duty to the best of their ability. Its one of the few things that gives me hope our country hasn’t completely died yet.

          • WTF

            I hardly think that Assange believes that the Swedes think rape is a trivial matter !

          • Abie Vee

            You require some joined-up thinking. Allow me: Rape itself is never a trivial matter. But some claims of rape certainly are malicious and/or fabricated: in fact, judged by the high acquittal rates in Sweden, the majority are!

            Assange has offered to be interviewed by Swedish investigators in the UK , a not an uncommon practice: they have declined the offer. He has also offered to return voluntary to Sweden providing the Swedish government would give him assurances that they would not immediately hand him over to the Americans. This too they declined.

            He will not return to Sweden because he knows full well that the Swedish government will receive an extradition request from the USA to which, like all good puppies, they will meekly accede. And once in “the Land of The Free” they will lock him up and throw away the key.
            And not for rape, but for telling the truth!

          • WTF

            Did I say rape was a trivial matter ? No.

            Blah, blah, blah, yes we all know about the background to Assange as its old history but the swedes have an even worse liberal sense of rape than we have. The original post by Peter6218 was referring to places like Malmo which even exceeded Rotherham where ethnicity trumped criminal sexual abuse for 10 years and it was that which triggered me to make the point about Assange. Quite apart from any ulterior motive in trying to bring him to Sweden they have one f***** up country that more than likely will be the first EU country under Sharia law. I wonder how the EU would deal with that ?

          • Abie Vee

            Not often one reads such tripe. I’ll bet you my house against yours that Sweden NEVER comes under Sharia law. The very notion is absurd, pathetic, cretinous nonsense. Muslims make up under 4% of Sweden’s population. Tell me, by what mechanism do you think this tiny minority will outvote the overwhelming majority? Hmmm?

            As an SNP supporter, If you can suggest a way, I’d be delighted to hear it!

          • WTF

            Its called breeding !

          • Abie Vee

            Calm down dear… you’re frightening yourself. Global research shows, unequivocally, that reproduction rates are in decline around the world, in all cultures. As people become more prosperous over time, they they to have fewer children.

            You didn’t know that did you. Do some research before you show yourself up.

          • WTF

            “As people become more prosperous over time, they tend to have fewer children.”

            That statement presupposes that (a) they will get more prosperous and (b) they are educated to a level that allows them to become more prosperous. All we’ve seen in the EU is ethnic ghettos propagating the status quo of poverty and uneducated peoples that will never get prosperous. The only Muslims that are really prosperous are ones that happen to be sitting on an oil well.

            Western welfare benefits reward those with more kids so that’s not going to change and the evidence is there to support that right now whilst there is none to support your belief that they will get more prosperous.

          • Abie Vee

            Nonsense. You are in profound denial. I suggest you do some research on the subject, rather than making a complete fool of yourself. Why don’t you? Can’t you handle the truth? You’re happier wallowing in your own half-baked theories obviously. Google has a million pages on the subject… Europe is slowly dying, and Japan, and China, and almost everywhere else.

          • WTF

            You really are a lazy s*** when it comes to simple research as it took me just a few seconds to substantiate my last post that prosperity for Muslims will not increase and will actually get worse. Maybe for you its a lot more ‘complex’ to google some research.

            That being the case, baby production will increase even higher in Muslim communities globally and deprivation will increase. In fact, in Islamic states the mortality rate is astronomical for Muslim infants compared to Muslim infants in the west and even in the west, it is higher than non Muslim infants. That’s despite a generous welfare and healthcare system. I’m not in denial of anything as I have nothing to deny, see below, but you are definitely in denial of the facts as its common in ALL Muslim areas of the world.

            Regions of poverty in the UK are Tower Hamlets, Leicester, Manchester and the IFS predicts it will increase by 40% by 2020.


            Stats on Muslim literacy shows that in the UK, they are the lowest of any group and aren’t getting any better.


            Poverty of Muslims in India


          • Abie Vee

            Try not to be a tw@ all your life. I happen to know that the average wage in Tower Hamlets is way above the national average (as it is in all London Boroughs).

            My point is reproduction rates. And on that point there are one million pages on Google which confirm my view. Parp!

          • WTF

            You have no problem in finding plenty of rhetoric
            & insults but not one URL backing your lies & spin unlike
            the several factual links I have supplied. Do you honestly believe
            that others believe your Biased Unverifiable
            Lax Logical Substantiation of Hegemonic
            Ideological Truths or is it you’re just a lame
            troll stirring the pot in between jacking yourself off.

            Libturds like you subscribe to the misplaced notion that “all people
            are basically good”, and build their foundation for activism and
            “improving the human condition” on that faulty premise. Unfortunately when infants of 2 years of age are brain washed with extreme anti-social behavior, a good number of them will become homicidal killers when they grow up. Because
            you deny the real facts about human nature, your “reasoning” is
            diametrically opposite to common sense.

            I rest my case !

          • Abie Vee

            I’m not your secretary; find your own url links to the points I raised. It isn’t at all hard to do. And when to discover to your shock and horror that I’m right, you can come back and kiss my arz.

          • WTF

            Just proves my point that its all lies your spouting. No self respecting poster asserts their position without backing them up by facts unless they are libturds !

          • Abie Vee

            The facts are of no interest to you. That’s quite obvious, otherwise you’d have researched them. There are a million pages on Google concerning global population figures… you haven’t taken the trouble to read even one! But, hey, that would confound your ignorant narrative… pop your bubblewrap.

            You’re a fraud and you know it.

          • WTF

            Any opposing facts would be of interest to me if you had the courtesy to supply any verifiable links but as I keep repeating, libturds like you make bull s*** assertions but are always incapable of backing them up.

          • Abie Vee

            Your bluster and juvenile braggadocio fools no one but yourself. You’re just an empty vessel… a fraud. Spend a little less time gobbing-off, and do your own research instead .

          • WTF

            I always substantiate my own assertions with many links whilst you’re the one gobbing off because you’re too frigging bigoted, racist, idle and lame brained to provide even one substantiated fact. Its the onus of the person making a point to supply proof but as we all know here, you can’t !

          • Abie Vee

            What you actually mean is you can’t (or rather, don’t dare) to research you nonsensical claims.

            A quick Google glance at “countries with falling population growth” will show 14,800,000 results. That should shut you up once and for all.

            Off you go, Brains.

          • WTF

            Proof ?

          • Abie Vee

            My my… what a tsunami of verbal diarrhea.

      • Richard Corbett

        The completely full wording of “ever closer union among the peoples of Europe” in the Treaty preamble goes on to say in the same sentence “in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity” – the principle that the EU should be as decentralised as possible. This is the very opposite of the “centralised superstate” that some seem to fear. The text was negotiated by John Major at Maastricht (remember “game, set and match for Britain”?) . Putting major effort into changing this wording is a red herring!

        • Abie Vee

          Subsidiarity. is nothing to do with decentralisation; it is the principle that some competences are the province of member states. Like, say, social security benefits, income tax rates, pensions, the military, the education system, the NHS, the civil service and etc.

          The effort was well worth it for John Major, else the Treaty would have read “an ever closer union between the nation states of Europe” A different matter altogether.

      • Ivan Ewan

        What’s the difference? Only that the dream is even more utopian, even more dangerous and even more foolhardy.

        It means they want to create the “New European Man”. A bit like your “New Soviet Man” of yore, I suppose.

        But the “New European Man”, I suppose, harbours the efficiency of the French, the flexibility of the Germans, the dependability of the Italians, the generosity of the Dutch and the intelligence of the Irish.

        And what sense will any of that make without one European nation called?

        • Abie Vee

          If you are unable to tell the difference, there’s litlle point in me talking to you is there.

          • Ivan Ewan

            Your reading comprehension is as hideous as ever, I see, since I actually answered my own question in the very next moment.

            You clot.

          • Abie Vee

            It’s true. I regularly do get lost in the dense and tangled, meandering, self-referential, magical mystery tour through the impenetrable undergrowth of your thought processes.

          • Ivan Ewan

            You could hardly say anything else without losing face, though, could you?

          • Abie Vee

            The truth shouldn’t hurt dear.

          • Ivan Ewan

            Since when have you had anything whatsoever to do with truth, goose-stepper?

        • WTF

          And the profligacy of Spain & Greece !

      • Vera

        Ah so the lost, lonely, no hopers and losers are beneath your consideration. How enlightening.

        • Abie Vee

          My consideration? Strange word. I do consider them; I consider them to be misguided, mostly.
          It is often said that a country always gets the government it deserves. In which case, I’m of the opinion that anyone who falls for UKIP dog-whistle racism, and Tory neo-liberal Corporatism deserves all the mayhem that comes to them.

          But: one man, one vote, of equal weight, is my belief.

          • WTF

            So you’d have no problem if the UK exit was voted on despite being “UKIP dog-whistle racism”, your words not mine. Sounds more likely you would welcome the libtard approach of one man one equal vote as long as they vote your way !

          • Abie Vee

            Funnily enough, I wouldn’t have very much of an immediate problem one way or the other. I think it’s best for our country if we stay in, and work to reform the EU from within. If we choose to sail away , back to the dimly remembered past on our own, I will live the rest of my life, what’s left of it, either in the newly Independent Scotland or Australia… and happily leave you insular people to your well-deserved fate.

            In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter a toss: all compounded things are impermanent. Including you.

          • WTF

            Problem is, you can’t debate with liberal fascists whether they are in the EU or at home but their time is numbered thank goodness. You’re welcome to Scotland and unless you’re an Australian, good luck with being allowed in permanently.

            “all compounded things are impermanent”, still in your ‘complex’ mode I see by trying make out things are far more difficult than they really are. If prehistoric man had followed your mantra we’d still be living in caves !

          • bramhall

            UKIP are always claiming that we can have the same sort of relationship with Australia (being close kith and kin) that we have with he EU. I:e Freedom of movement, work and residence and countries such as Oz this will replace the EU countries as our closest friends. Are you now telling me that I cannot just take a plane to Australia and start work or go and retire there?
            Surely if Britain leaves the EU, than all restrictions in employment, residence or retirement on British citizens in Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada and other English speaking countries will be immediately lifted.

          • WTF

            Of course there are rules about immigration to certain countries but having been born in the UK, lived in Spain for 10 years and now living in America, its a fact that English speaking cultures are very similar, have similar legal systems and bureaucracy and do not have corruption embedded at all levels of governance when compared to bankrupt Med countries.

            Despite issues in America, Australia & the UK, they are a lot more transparent and honest for joe public than say Spain where even the Spanish admit corruption is part of the system and you have to live with it.

            As far as your first line, I have never heard of UKIP claiming we can have freedom of movement with any ‘commonwealth’ country and that’s a figment of your imagination. Trade agreements yes, but even before we joined the EU you had to apply to become an Australian resident and citizen and that is true whether we are in or out of the EU just as I had to apply for US residency. You’re conflating two points, basic immigration rules will not change and nor have they to these countries for decades..

          • Abie Vee

            How amusing. A mini-tsunami of stereotypes, invective and hypothetical claptrap. If you’ve nothing coherent to say, why bother? (certainly, why bother me?)

            And yes, real life is complex darling. Nothing is ever quite as it seems. I wish I had your ovine instinct to follow the flock. Life must be very simple and uncluttered for you. In some ways I envy that.

            I come from a different viewpoint… it’s my opinion that when we all agree on something, it usually turns out to be wrong. I question everything… if a politician told me today was Monday 19/10/2015, I would double-check my calendar if he shook my hand, I would watch my back, and check my pockets.

          • WTF

            Real life is complex if you want to make it complex as apparently you do. In reality, real life is very simple as the motivator for most people is to provide shelter, food, clothing and comfort for oneself and family. Studies supporting this have been carried out for decades and its really very simple as once you have these 4 basic requirements of life, it then becomes ‘complicated’ over which electronic gadget or toy to purchase with your spare cash, then it becomes complex although unimportant.

            Life is very simple for me after 40 years of full time employment because I make it so. Even when I worked for a living it was relatively simple as those 4 basic needs were still the same as now. Trying to make out life is complex that requires a ‘brain the size of a planet’ as you’re pretending to have is pure BS. Life is essentially well established cause and effects with some unknown variables thrown in for good measure like the weather.

            If anyone told me it was Tuesday today I would know they are wrong because I know its Monday. I don’t need to be paranoid like you in double checking everything I hear as the majority of things I know to be fact already through other information channels. As far as groups agreeing on something and it being right or wrong, it very much depends on who that group is as to whether I would agree with their conclusion.

            If its a bunch of libtards who use emotion rather than facts, I would check the facts independently and 99% of the time I’d find they got it wrong (or lied more likely). If on the other hand its a scientific body without any political agenda that comes to a conclusion, I would more than likely agree with them commensurate with any caveats they might have based on the facts presented.

            The key word here is ‘facts’, politicians distort facts making them meaningless, liberals don’t use any facts so they have no valid case and some scientists like the global warming or is it climate change now, like politicians have distorted the facts so I treat them with suspicion. However, when the facts state that 90% of men abusing underage in Rotherham are Pakistani men, its pretty obvious there’s a problem with the culture and religion of that ethnic group that needs looking at.

            The biggest lie so far are the facts over EU membership & immigration as politicians have so far refused to be completely honest over the cost in money, culture and community relations over these two issues. What little that has been ‘extracted’ from government shows enormous factual costs and nebulous non factual ‘benefits’ to the country. If you just to stick to available and proven facts and disregard rhetoric, the balance clearly shows we are the losers being in the EU and mass immigration has cost us dear. If more facts could be obtained, the picture I’m sure would be much worse. This is where UKIP have won the facts argument whilst the usual suspects are floundering in their own lies.

          • Abie Vee

            Sure the basics of life are are simple. You breath in and out, eat, shjt and procreate. After that is where it starts to get complicated.

            You check facts do you? Good for you. So do I. Check this: for every thesis there is an antithesis.

            Then you go on to demonstrate just how complicated it really is. Shoot and foot spring to mind.

            “mass immigration” (a subjective remark if ever there was one) “has cost us dear”. Not according to any official government report I have ever read. The consensus is unanimous: immigrants are net contributors to the UK economy. In which case, taken as a whole, immigrants cost nothing.

            Flounder on that!

          • WTF

            As I said before life is basically simple and its only those that stand to gain some reward who try to make out its difficult. Back in the days when small holdings or even homes produced crops, there was a thriving trade in barter of potatoes for say tomatoes and it was common place. Now of course its rare to see that happen as we all expect everything to be available at a supermarket. The ‘complexity’ of managing this doesn’t involve us any more, we just buy our goods with money.

            However, move into the legal world or esoteric areas like multiculturalism and you’ll find a self serving ‘complex’ arrangement artificially designed to enrich its sharp practice ‘closed shop’ operators (legal) or liberals trying to substantiate their position. The stock answer just like yours is “its too complex for us mere peasants to understand”

            In law self representation is discouraged if not outlawed and the excuse we hear from lawyers is its too complicated for us to understand therefore we have to employ experts to figure out the man made complexities. I experienced this first hand with my divorce years ago when it should have been a simple slam dunk based on asset value and nothing else. No kids to support, no serious assets and an accountant could have drawn up the split in 1 hour. Instead of that I was told by my solicitor I had to produce a affidavit of my married life despite fault playing no part of the asset split. This low life milked it for all he could get from me until I demanded an itemized bill of his time before I paid him any more money. It wasn’t forthcoming and I told him to take a hike and to this day I never paid him the balance.

            We see this in government also but seeing as most politicians are lawyers its
            not surprising that legislation that the electorate wants is always too difficult and complex to pass but their own pet projects have no problem.

            Mass immigration is a tad more complex than simple monetary concerns but broken down its still very simple. Government figures do not tell even a fraction of the real story even in fiscal terms. Its well documented that single mothers who are baby factories can live a far better life than a family of four where the working father only grosses 30k a year. As for migrants, they know all the tricks and benefits they can claim as its advertised in their original countries on what they can apply for so its no surprise they all
            want to come to the UK.

            Problem is, its not just the money its the costs of their culture
            that is the problem which is never costed out by governments in
            issues like Rotherham. Obviously the trauma that 1800 underage girls went through by being gang raped had no cost in your eyes or the death of Lee Rigby, the FGM of infants. Immigration is not particularly complex when you break it down even if you look at the costs that you’re avoiding !

            Here’s a link to the BBC over all benefits
            that could be available and in some ethnic communities over 80% of
            men are on benefits and several even have multiple wives on benefits as

            Your turn to flounder I think unless you can counter my facts.


          • Abie Vee

            What a lot of words. What are you trying to say? Backwards to the future? Is that it? An allotment for every house? Good fkin grief. We import 60% of our foodstuff. Why? Because its cheaper than growing it!

            Apart from your garrulous hyperbole, all we can ask of any inhabitant of this country is this: pay your due taxes and obey the law (or face the consequences).. Nothing more, nothing less. Same for you, for me, and Abdul.

          • WTF

            The usual libtard response, can’t debunk the argument that “life is simple” so lets change the subject !

          • Abie Vee

            I thought i debunked it rather well. Don’t you? A) We import 60% of our foodstuff because its cheaper than growing it B) The law must take its due course.

            Too simple for your simple life?

          • WTF

            That’s exactly the point that escapes your feeble brain in that we have leverage against the EU due to an imbalance of trade. They need us more than we need them and any tariffs they might try and put on our lesser exports to them will hurt France and Germany on reciprocal tariffs applied to their cars.

            However, you seemed to have strayed away from your original post about UKIP and every other point I’ve made,as I said, “The usual libtard response, can’t debunk the argument so lets change the subject”

            So what exactly is your point about UKIP, complex issue, allotments and mass immigration when its really all about having nothing to lose over leaving the EU and probably a lot we can gain. So far you’ve failed substantiate any point you’ve turned too !

          • Abie Vee

            When you people start talking about our culture I reach for my Kalashnikov. Do you mean our culture of enslaving tracts of the world? Or our jolly habit of bombing and starving hapless civilians to death?

          • WTF

            Most if not all colonized countries did pretty well from Britain unlike the places that have and are still being destroyed by Islam and that also includes parts of our own real estate. Some like Zimbabwe unfortunately f***** it all up by letting a dictator run the country but heh, thats like most of Africa. You can lead a horse to water or democracy but you cant make them take advantage of either.

            “enslaving tracts of the world” – Moral equivalence along with terms like racist and bigot are over used and worn out excuses that liberals trot out whenever they are losing the plot. Its irrelevant comparing ancient historical events with what is happening today and the majority of people know it.

          • Abie Vee

            Pretty well? There’s historical revisionism for you. Ask the four million Bengalis Churchill starved to death (or the Irish for that matter).

            Plundering the world’s natural resources for our own aggrandisement, Enslaving the world. killing millions of people… that’s our culture isn’t it? Or have I missed something?

          • WTF

            Even if I accepted your point which I don’t, its old history. Whats happening now in the world of Islam as has happened since its birth is genocide, barbarity, homophobia, sexism, slavery and the subjugation of women.

            There is no moral equivalence of Islam today to the west previously and only those with no case to make, try lazy assertions like that.

          • Abie Vee

            I have some friends in the Zimbabwean community in London. Much as they loathe Mugabe, they aren’t calling for a return of Mzungu! Not one of them.

          • WTF

            Libtards love trying to second guess what they wish their opponents were thinking or saying and once again you’ve done that. I certainly didn’t intimate that blacks in Zimbabwe were calling for the return of white rule although its a given they were better looked after under Ian Smith when there was work for most, shelter food and health care. Additionally, there was no inter-tribal conflict where latterly Mugabe would ‘disappear’ his political opponents.

            From reading your posts I wouldn’t be at all surprised if your Zimbawean friends were henchmen of Mugabe so they wouldn’t know about lack of healthcare, food, shelter and work if they belonged to Mugabes tribe. Southern Rhodesia used to be called the bread basket of Africa and produced an excess of food for its own people and was unique in Africa for exporting grain. Mugabe put paid to that.

            As my grandfather lived there I’m quite well up on the history of Southern Rhodesia / Zimbabwe but to help you out to get a non biased view I suggest you google this link. You might actually learn something instead of having your eyes wide shut in typical liberal fashion.


          • Abie Vee

            But, er, what “worth” do you put on freedom Mzungu (as opposed to slavery)? Aye… there’s the rub. Being a free-born Englishman, you’ve not the fainest idea of what it means to be owned. As one girl said to me… you bred us like cattle!

      • WTF

        Meanwhile Hungary has erected razor wire to keep out the locusts hordes and Czech is threatening a possible exit. Looks more likely EU countries are setting the stage for a resounding UK exit of a failed social experiment. What then, France deteriorating in front of us as we post and Germany trying to hold its own under the weight of thousands of young male economic migrants raping their way through the very few girls that were brought along as ‘comfort’ women. Sounds like a good prospect for the future of Europe, NOT !

        • Abie Vee

          You’d better have a nice hot mug of Horlicks before you go to bed. It could give you a good night’s nightmare-free sleep (and save you a few bob in laundry bills too).

          • WTF

            You’re the one most likely to have nightmares since libtards like you have been exposed for what you really are and I have a very peaceful nights sleep.

    • A very good point. (The first bit I mean, though the bit about Clacton is also true)
      I think the question in the referendum should be:
      Do you want to
      1. Leave the EU or
      2. Stay in, eventually adopt the Euro and become part of a Federal superstate. Well until that superstate runs out of money and collapses anyway.

      On balance, that last part could maybe be left off…

  • BigFatTory

    I’m relatively pro-European, but I’d welcome an initial referendum result that indicated a desire to leave – that’s when the real discussions will begin. If the European mob still won’t play ball and concede some serious ground, then Mr Cameron should lead the country out of the EU with his head held high.

    I’d call the Scots bluff too and timetable a second Scottish independence referendum to run concurrently with the Scottish 2016 elections. If the Scots vote for independence, we could always relocate Faslane on the river Tees and bring some well-paid jobs to that area.

    • Abie Vee

      Just like that eh? The Government says such a move would take “many decades” and be financially prohibitive. The Yanks have a number of suitable mothballed submarine ports on the East Coast. My guess is that , for cheapness, these useless infernal weapons will be parked over there. And jolly good riddance.

      • BigFatTory

        That’s one view. I like Ms Sturgeon and I think England has nothing to fear from a strong, independent Scotland, but we need to know what the score is prior to the EU referendum taking place.

        The UK’s independent nuclear deterrent should be based in the UK and if the Scots take issue with it remaining in Faslane – which is their prerogative – then are plenty of places that would welcome the employment and finance.

        • Abie Vee

          I’m glad you have no objections.

  • David B


  • jeffersonian

    I know nothing should surprise us any longer when it comes to the perfidy of Europhiles in their maniacal obsession with ‘ever closer union’ and the EU project. Forget the lies told in 1975 that this in no way would infringe on our sovereignty. Forget that the Irish people, the French people and the Dutch people ticked the ‘wrong’ box in the EU Constitution/Lisbon Treaty referenda and were promptly either ignored or bulldozed as a result. Forget ol’ cast iron himself and his promise of a referendum on Lisbon (which he managed to slither out of). Forget by all means that the *only* reason we have begrudgingly been promised a referendum on membership is because of the spectacular popular success of UKIP and its implied threat to DC and his fan club. Now the wettest of wet Tories suggests we hold two referenda instead of one (just in case we don’t vote ‘right’ the first time).

    At least Mr Parris will feel right at home in Brussels or Strasbourg should it come to that.

  • See how they prepare to defy the result of an “out” vote ahead of time?

    • Abie Vee

      How’s Lady Day?

  • PeterS

    The double referendum strategy has long been posited as a risk-free and voter-informed approach to Britain’s decision making over EU membership. It is the ‘Exeunt’ procedure:

    This same strategy also fully recognises and exploits the mechanisms made available within Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. In doing so, it rejects any so-called ‘exit-plans’ from the process of British withdrawal and instead identifies the two year negotiation period made available by Article 50 as the exclusive means by which the framework for Britain’s future relationship with the EU will be formed and concluded to an Agreement. It is a choice between this Agreement and continued EU membership which voters will decide upon in a second referendum.

    • WTF

      Having read your link that plan seems quite sensible if it can be accomplished peaceably. However in any ‘divorce’ the divorce can be mutual or very acrimonious and I fear the latter from comments we’ve heard from vested interests in the EU like Juncker and others. When money rears its head in a divorce and carving up the spoils begins or defining future fiscal matters (duties in this case), things can get quite nasty. I would argue we still need a secret ‘nuclear’ option that only needs to come out if sensible negotiations fail and we are not a part of the EU in any shape of form.

  • John Andrews

    Parris writes about “the referendum thing careering out of control’? Whose control? The EU’s? Parliament’s’? He seems to worry about the British people taking control of their own destiny. I don’t share this worry.

  • spiritof78

    He’s absolutely right. Irrefutable logic

  • NMS

    There are of course major problems with the logic taken here. Firstly, any major changes for the UK would require approval from all other members. In the case of Ireland, this would require a referendum, which would be difficult to pass. Would such a referendum be held prior to or after a UK referendum?

    As such all changes are likely to be marginal because major amendments, i.e. Treaty changes, requiring complex approval, are unlikely to be approved by all other members.

    The idea of then negotiating a special exit treaty, one which would require amendments to the core Treaties, is laughable. It will be EEA terms or nothing. The late Hugo Young’s book, “This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair” still remains the best book describing the English? discomfort with the European Union. As Scotland, Wales & NI are likely to vote strongly in favour, there is likely an appalling vista ahead.

    And if you remember the appalling vista Lord Denning described was true. The police and security services did lie to convict innocent UK nationals, from Northern Ireland!

  • MathMan

    Surely, as in Ireland, there will be multiple referendums (referenda?) until the correct EU/Cameron decision is reached.

  • Nick

    Having read this article and a couple of others with the same argument I admit that I do not fully understand the logic behind them.

    Therefore, my instinct is telling me that the reasoning of Mr.Parris is rubbish and he is full of – – – -.

    • WTF

      Full of s*** designed as a lame attempt to try and show that leaving the EU is either (a) logistically impossible or (b) would cost us dear. Neither of course is true.

      • bramhall

        You have infallible extra sensory perception not available to ordinary mortals, I suppose?

  • The Old Man Of The Sea

    Why is Parris making something that is so easy seem so difficult? If the people of the UK vote to leave, work should begin in the HoC the very next day. All that is required is the repeal, in reverse order, of all EU/EC/EEC constitutional acts of parliament and we’re out. This approach allows the UK to dictate terms. Payments to the EU stop immediately and CAP and CFP become null and void overnight.

    Other EU ‘laws’ will remain on the on the statute book but the repeal bill for the 1972 ECA should include a clause that allows any minister subsequently to remove them as and when practicable. Given that Parliament was never allowed a vote on the incorporation of these directives, it really cannot object on their removal by the same means. Of course, there are some that have been passed into law with their own AoP. These can be repealed at a later date.

    Once the UK is free, it can then negotiate with the EU on weightier matters that require further discussion. It will of course do this as a full and independent member of the WTO.

    • bramhall

      “Once the UK is free”? The first consequence is that if Britain wishes to retain access to he single market it will haver to accept all he EU regulatory framework as it exists and new measures as they arrive . There will be no negotiation on this, as we will not be part of the decision making process.
      Secondly there will be a big EU hit on Britain’s Financial Services industry as the EU will enforce its own laws in Europe to give preference to EU financial centres such as Frankfurt,
      Thirdly inward international investment will dry up as investors seek to place their investments in the EU to get the favourable trade terms that would provide
      Fourthly the diaspora of British workers and retirees will be put in an impossible situation as workers will require visas and retirees will find that they may not be able to remain in their adopted country and will have to return to he UK (for reasons of the additional cost of health insurance and additional social impost). This will require many tens of billions of pounds to be spent on them to provide them with an acceptable home and income, in UK as a very high cost of living country.

      • The Old Man Of The Sea

        Bramhall, you display all the negativity and defeatism of Parris. Trade with the EU will not stop nor the City wither and die if the UK leaves the EU. There is too much for both sides to lose. The UK will not be isolated. On the contrary, it will have the whole world to trade with.

        However, I am not sure if you quite understood what I was suggesting, which is that all current EU arrangements would stay in place but negotiation would follow on the bigger and more difficult matters. The trivial and petty regulations that harm British businesses, especially those who trade only domestically, can be removed at the stroke of pen.

        The matter of UK citizens abroad is one of those more difficult subjects. You say Britons abroad will require visas and retirees may be forced to return home. Well, that works both ways, though it certainly correct to say that there are far more UK retirees abroad than there are EU retirees in the UK. Given that access to health and welfare are still domestic matters, it really ought to be up to each EU country to decide whether it wishes to force UK residents out, whether working or not. In other word, they will decide whether or not those UK residents are good for their economy or not.

        If UK retirees do come back, they will bring with them their pensions which they are currently spending abroad. If they are forced to sell their properties, then they will also bring back capital.

        If the UK and EU were to negotiate terms of withdrawal ‘up front’, it would go on for years with the EU dragging its feet. By the method I suggest, the UK immediately stops paying £10 billion a year into this corrupt organisation, regains its fishing grounds and takes control of employment, company, environmental and agricultural law.

        • cecile10

          //it will have the whole world to trade with//

          What prevents us from trading with the whole world at the moment?

          China, for example, does way more trade with Germany at the moment than we do and France does twice as much. What’s stopping us doing better already?

          • bramhall

            You said it before me.

        • bramhall

          “On the contrary, it will have the whole world to trade with”
          Like Germany and France which are incredibly successful trading with countries such as China, Britain already has the whole world to trade with. Perhaps you can explain why Germany is so much more successful trading with the rest of the world and Britain is less so, considering the fact that it is probably the most enthusiastic member of he EU.
          How exiting the EU is going to make British companies suddenly get off their backsides and start exporting in a much bigger way, is a total mystery to me.

  • plainsdrifter

    The ‘no’ vote will win. Some of the consequences will hurt. And that will do us good.

    • bramhall

      I am glad the prospect of increasing national pain is a good thing. The Spartans also thought that.

      • plainsdrifter

        Hmm, a somewhat simplistic interpretation, but it’s allowed. My point is that middle management (lazy bastards) and upper management (who think the world owes them a living) will find it tougher to export to new markets and tricky parts of the world, which the Germans, French, Italians, Chinese, et al, are infinitely better at. If it weren’t for the City, EU ‘your bed is ready made for you’ and our ridiculous property market we’d be way down the league. So if they wake their ideas up, should be OK.

  • slyblade

    Mr Parris like all progressives think their metro elite ideology should be forced on the lower classes beaten in with words like racist and xenophobe , even the middle class should be subjected to their progressive thinking. Locked in their so called intellectual ivory towers these left wing leaning panjandrums believe that all who do not aspire to their multicultural rainbow illusion should be condemned as heretics. Yet the ideology they espouse is in complete contrast to those who they wish to save. If Mr Parris thinks for one second that the mass of people flooding into Europe will support his chosen life style then he is a bigger fool than i take him for. As all EU apparatchiks he simply refuses to see the argument from the out side. He cannot mount any serious cohesive argument so all we are left with a rambling sophistry full of vacuous EU parti pris that is as vapid as it is untrue. The kind of supercilious progressives as we witnessed on question time this week when the sneering historian Simon Schama attacked Rod Liddle shows us all how these progressive think their so called intellectual superiority gives them the given right to shout down any argument that they disagree with. Mr Parris et all are a small clique of progressives that feel they not only should be heard but obeyed, this failed Politician views are as fatuous. I cant help wonder if Mr Parris were to live in Syria as it is now how long would his views take to change.

    • cecile10

      //If Mr Parris thinks for one second that the mass of people flooding into Europe will support his chosen life style//

      At what point in your life did you choose your lifestyle, I wonder. I presume you had to choose and agonised over which way to go……….

  • WTF

    “those of us who supposed (as did I) that the electorate would never vote to leave, so a referendum was a pretty low-risk gamble” forgot about Macmillans famous quote “events my dear, events” !

    Since Farage has long ago started pushing for exit there’s been a lot of events coming from across the channel reinforcing the call for a UK exit from the EU. There’s been the ever present new demands for money via the back door to steal cash from us to prop up the Euro of which we aren’t a part. There’s been demands we have a quota of economic migrants imposed on us by Merkel & Juncker and even (a slip of the tongue perhaps) Juncker suggesting we’d be better off outside the EU.

    However you slice and dice it, we import far more from the EU than we export to it, mainly Germany and we contribute far more in contributions than most other EU countries. Not only that but our contributions are calculated on GDP without taking into account debt levels further disadvantaging us. Threats of tariffs if we were outside the EU are frankly hollow as for every duty added to what little we export to Europe would be offset by draconian import duties that would hurt France & Germany more than anyone else as they would hit Renault, Peugot, Mercedes, BMW, Porche the most and especially VW & Audi assuming they don’t go bust first.

    VAG going under is unlikely to happen as Merkel & Juncker will finagle some EU bail out (breaking support rules again) to avoid a backlash from their workers whilst thousands of economic migrants are put up in ‘holding camps’ reminiscent of earlier years. Naturally we will be expected to contribute towards this bail out via the back door as the EU project cannot be allowed to fail despite Czech threatening to leave and Hungary putting up security fences around its country for protection against EU driven migration.

    The outlook is good for a UK exit as there’s plenty more ‘events’ likely happen before the referendum and none of them bode well for the europhiles !

  • bramhall

    I do wish those campaigning for Britain’s exit would be at least a little honest and admit that their motivation is emotional and not formed by any consideration of the economic effects.
    There will be two effects – the economic effect and the so called freedom effect.
    Of course we should have freedom if we exited from the EU and this is the argument that Brexiters put forward. Whether the ability to make national decision is splendid isolation from others is beneficial, may be debated. It certainly was beneficial in the high days of he Empire when our naval power was paramount. Whether it could be re-created is open to debate.
    I think however that the economic effects would be disastrous and Britain would sink to a rather economically insignificant island which no-one would take much notice of. However it seems that those most enthusiastic for Brexit, are not really interested in any economic effects, but have an emotional attachment in an idealised vision of “Freedom” which apparently has been now lost, but which in the old days made us great.

    • cecile10

      I agree. That warm feeling could prove very expensive.

  • English Aborigine

    It’s a tragedy that the electorate were conned by Heath’s deception into joining the then Common Market
    It wasn’t made clear Britain was abandoning The Commonwealth and historic trading ties
    By now our countries would have the greatest trading group on earth, in fact an Empire
    That couldn’t be allowed again could it
    Vote out, and make a start on the future prosperity for many millions of people that were disgracefully abandoned

    • cecile10

      The Commonwealth is a relic of Empire and never was a trading group, A trading group might have emerged eventually but equally Australia might have begun looking to Asia and Canada begun focusing on trade with the rest of North America.

    • bramhall

      All we have to do is increase our exports by about one or two thousand percent to Australia (They are currently about one third of those to Belgium alone); tell the Australians that they must substantially cut down their trade and links with Japan, South Korea and China and back it up with threats if they do not comply.
      Trade with all the Commonwealth is miniscule compared to that with Europe. Your plan, based on a lack of appreciation of facts, would cause the ruination of Britain.

  • Jacobi

    I have great sympathy with you as the crass concept of us leaving the EU actually becomes a possibility, however remote. But then everything else seems to be falling apart so why not the EU, and of course, the UK.

    You have the nationalists in Scotland to blame of course with their policy of
    “vote as we we want and vote often – until you bloody well get it right”.

    Polls can be manipulated. The timing can be so crucial. Passing fashions will
    sway large percentages. Simple majority decisions will ensure only that a resentful large minority is left to lick its wounds and decide on the next stage of dissolution. Personally I am for an independent Edinburgh ( and Borders of course) . I mean what on earth do we have in common with the rest?

    The nationalists up here understood this concept of catching the moment and it seems the anti-EU lot are catching on.

    Make no mistake about it once the slide starts it will continue. EU, then UK will fall apart. Wales will probably hang on as some sort of tax haven entity
    a bit like and in competition with the Isle of Man. As for Northern Ireland, well I’d rather not care to consider that.

    And of course on the horizon even greater dangers loom

  • Jean de Valette

    Matthew Parris said: “We now have to take seriously the possibility that in the EU referendum Britain will vote to leave. I had hardly contemplated that.”

    You had ‘hardly contemplated that’ we might vote en masse to leave the EU?
    Good GOD man, you really are living on another planet aren’t you?

  • Faith

    I fear neverendum!

  • cecile10

    //imagine we were to be invoiced every year, as Norway is, for some of the privileges of continued open-market access//

    …….or if we were obliged – for access to the single market – to sign up to Schengen, as Norway and Switzerland are.

    Haven’t the ‘outers’ considered these – almost inevitable – conditions? Surely they have – but they breathe not a word.

    It would be a pity if people only discovered the likely conditions attached to life after EU membership after a first referendum.

    • Kingstonian

      “…….or if we were obliged – for access to the single market – to sign up to Schengen, as Norway and Switzerland are.”
      You mean like the Americans, Canadians, Indians, Chinese, et al are all obliged? Or not.

      • Pacificweather

        Yet despite our EU membership, the Chinese control the distribution of electricity in London and will be partially responsible for its nuclear generation. How much of Britain will they control if we leave the EU. VW designed cars built in Shanghai and dumped on the British market will replace our car manufacturing industry no doubt as they dump their steel today.

  • “On Greece and on migration the institution is looking thoroughly incompetent.”
    The EU is thoroughly incompetent on far more than just Greece and migration Mr Paris. It is incompetent, dithering, corrupt and undemocratic on just about everything that it does. Worse than its incompetence is the complete disregard for our views on just about everything. When some nations like the French and the Irish were granted a referendum on treaty changes and voted against them, they were obliged by an oligarchic elite to think again and say yes. What more do you need to convince you that we must get away and save our skins? When Frau Merkle in order to stem the swarms of Syrian migrants that she herself invited a month ago, now makes a deal with the Turks and in so doing opens the door for a far greater number of migrants, you must know that we are in the hands of lunatics.

    • Pacificweather

      I was with you until you said ‘undemocratic’ because I remembered the justification for the House of Lords was that the Lords had all been appointed by democratically elected Prime Ministers, just like the EU commissioners.

      • I am as appalled as I think you are that the Lords broke a hundred year convention by voting down a finance bill agreed by the elected Commons. Their powers need to be curtailed. Blair made more peers than any other Prime Minister ever. Most of them were Labour types of course. This mess needs to be cleared out. The lib Dems have 112 peers in the Lords and 8 MPs!!! If that doesn’t need neutralising, I don’t know what does.

        • Pacificweather

          It is so gratifying to find some else who wants to live in a democracy.

  • John Williams

    Once again, an article by a man whose star has waned cannot give a number of positive reasons to remain within the European Union. Clarke, Blair, Heseltine and Mandelson are of the same ilk. Their ( and your,) obsession with massive job losses, declining trade issues and the ostracisation of the United Kingdom just don’t ring true. The ‘Leave’ lot are being helped massively by the influx of illegal immigrants, economic migrants, and the very small percentage of genuine refugees that are invading Europe, and the charisma of the leaders of the campaign make me believe that the result is likely to be to leave by 20% points.

  • 22pp22

    You penned a nauseatingly anti-white article in the times in which you drooled over a Sri Lankan man. If we are such an abomination, put your money where your mouth is and jump off a high building and take Cameron with you.

  • Shadeburst

    Ah! Ingenious! They’ve created a new bogeyman to scare the voters. “Terms of departure.” What does one do when a facepalm simply won’t cut it?

    • Pacificweather

      I would have no concerns about the terms of departure if it wasn’t Cameron and Osborne doing the negotiation. We need to campaign for someone who is actually interested to do the job.

  • Kennybhoy

    ” Our continent feels less settled than it did two and a half years ago. There’s danger in the air.”

    Oh fuck of Parris! Europe has been in crisis bordering on the pre-revolutionary since 2008! There is a stench of Weimar in the air! You are either a liar or fucking delusional!