Coffee House

Gove: I’d vote to leave the EU if referendum held today

12 May 2013

10:18 AM

12 May 2013

10:18 AM

In a firecracker of an interview on the Andrew Marr Show, Michael Gove confirmed that if an EU referendum was held today he would vote out. But he followed this by saying to James Landale that he backed the Prime Minister’s plans to renegotiate and hoped that a satisfactory form of membership could be agreed.

Significantly, Gove indicated that David Cameron would set out the Conservative ‘negotiating platform’ before the next election. This has been a key demand of Euro-sceptic Conservatives but one that Cameron has resisted. He is reluctant to provide anything akin to a renegotiation scorecard.

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Gove’s intervention changes the terms of debate. It means that every Conservative Cabinet Minister is going to be asked what way they would vote if the referendum was held today—one Cabinet Minister estimates that nine people around the Cabinet table share Gove’s position. It’ll also increase the pressure on Cameron to say that he would back leaving if Britain received little back in the renegotiation.

Landale also pushed Gove on what his happening to the government’s childcare policy after it emerged on Newsnight this week that Nick Clegg has withdrawn his support for ratio changes. Gove claimed that Clegg had done this to show a ‘bit of leg’ to Lib Dem activists and secure his position prior to any leadership maneuverings on Vince Cable’s behalf. This claim is bound to infuriate Clegg and those around him. But it is a demonstration that with only two years to go to the election, the Conservatives are more prepared to play hardball politics inside the coalition.

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Show comments
  • http://twitter.com/bbcgoogle Rockin Ron

    These Ministers (Gove, Hammond, May) have discerned that Cameron is a dead man walking with about as much chance of winning the General Election as Nick Clegg remaining as the LibDem leader. So, they are thinking past Cameron, whilst still trying to show some solidarity to him. Pathetic really – they have discounted him, but don’t want to give up power. Gove makes me sick.

  • http://twitter.com/TheRedBladder The Red Bladder

    I don’t care what you say about the boy Gove, he makes me laugh.

  • David Webb

    “if an EU referendum was held today he would vote out”. James, why not write good English instead? If a referendum WERE held today, I would vote to LEAVE. Did you attend secondary school?

    • Abhay

      He did, but was often found listening to his Ipod.

    • http://twitter.com/TheRedBladder The Red Bladder

      Good English? Is that a distant relation of correct English?

  • Abhay

    Things are getting warmer!

    Gove, along with May and Johnson, has larger political goals. His conservative credentials too are more solid. So what he says is serious stuff. Which makes me wonder whether there will be an outright insurrection amongst the Tories on the EU issue against DC? Any bets on this, dear readers?

    • Daniel Maris

      Tut-tut…you shouldn’t have put a full stop after serious stuff – you should have put a comma. Are you sure you went to secondary school? 🙂

      • Abhay

        Focus, Daniel, focus!
        🙂

  • foxoles

    ‘Germany and France have warned UK Prime Minister David Cameron that Britain cannot pick and choose EU membership terms after he pledged a referendum…

    Germany said the UK could not “cherry-pick” while France said “a la carte” membership was not on the table.’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21159368

    • Abhay

      While they are right, the UK should just exit!

    • ButcombeMan

      If Cameron had the guts he would deal with this in outspoken clear language that all of Europe would understand. Not rudely, just stating the self evident facts. A call to arms.

      Europe, as constructed, is not meeting the needs and aspirations of its people.

      The EU project is broken, the Euro project especially has exposed the shallowness and the lack of intellect of those that drove it and still drive it.

      It is no longer acceptable for large numbers of people in Greece, Spain etc to be out of work. It is no longer acceptable for them to mostly be the young, it is no longer acceptable for the EUs political leaders to keep kicking the can down the road, Mcawberish.

      Dramatic change is necessary.

      The French and Italians are rudderless.

      The Germans are run by a hausfrau, naturally interested, only in the interests of Germany. She will anyway come under increasing domestic pressure

      Something must be done or civil unrest is some countries will get completley out of hand.

      Apart from the Fench & Germans, the UK remains the dominant economic player.

      We should be telling it as it is, yes it will be uncomfortable, the European patient needs us to do something, no other nation can.

      We have been here before.

      We had a proper leader then.

      • Andy

        The problem is the Euro crisis is probably now beyond a solution which preserves it. I doubt there was ever such a solution. And it is the damage it has wrought in Greece, for example, which I doubt most of us will ever see repaired. Most blame the ‘lazy Greeks’, but all the problems have a common theme: credit bubbles.

        The UK has so often save the Europeans from themselves. Quite how we do it this time God only knows. I doubt we can.

        • Abhay

          It will end in tears. But its an ideological project so they will pursue it till they are resolutely stopped.

        • Magnolia

          Andy, I think the problem is ‘funny money’.
          There’s funny money all over the world.
          The Euro is funny money, so is the USA $ now and our own GB£ and the Chinese currency are ‘well controlled’.
          Funny money everywhere.
          I don’t think the solution will be to go back to the gold standard because that’s too punitive on those who fail to succeed in the global economy.
          We must have sound money to form the basis of trade between nations. If we move to a one world global economy then the race will be to the bottom and the winner takes all (perhaps literally).
          The elites of yesteryear (I include Dave and Tone here) believed that strength and power lay in size of economy and that size was what mattered in an increasingly shrinking world. Even the free democracies, who saw what happened to the gigantic USSR still carried on expanding their sphere of influence (and control). China has proved that a form of communism can lead to economic improvement all be it paid for with funny money on our side. I know the clever bods talk of industrialisation but ours was produced on the backs of the poor as well.
          I propose a solution that moves us away from big and towards smaller.
          We’ll start with getting back our sovereignty and nations will once more be able to govern themselves. Then we need tax advantages for the unproductive within nations and between nations. Free floating currencies between nations, and free floating tax systems within them.
          We all know that in the real world you have to live within your means and if you don’t then you are living off someone else (perhaps in the future) but modern austerity seems to be unproductive on its own. Labour want an inflationary bust because they would print and tax to infinity but I would turn that on its head and instead give tax cuts to the poorer regions, if necessary paid for by cuts in those region’s public services. That would raise their productivity immediately. I would ask the charity sector and the richer areas to step in to help. I would not punish successful regions at all. They should be left alone, out of government interference.
          Having visited the City of London recently and felt its energy and excitement, I would just leave them to get on with it but what we cannot have is a state subsidised, nationalised industry of banking because that would be as destructive as the nationalised industries of the 1960s and the 1970s and we know what Mrs T thought about that.
          Leave the city boys and girls alone but cut them loose from the state to fail or succeed on their own merit. They would soon start to change their behaviour then.
          I’m still waiting to find out how the debt bubble will end also.
          One final thought in this overlong haze of thinking is that it worries me that there are out of work single mothers who are only left with £10 a week to feed themselves and a child after living expenses are taken out of their benefit. How did we (ie. the last Labour government) allow living expenses to get to such an amount that there is no money left over for decent child rearing and health giving food for people who exist on benefits? (from a story in the DM)

  • West Ham Utd

    Leave the EU and on day one reduce corporation tax to 10%, CGT to 10% and employers NI to 10% and get the shale flowing. Then tell Clegg that his so called three million job losses was in fact just 57.

    • Abhay

      Another one – cancel TV licensing (the whole island will be jubilant) and break up BBC and sell the parts.

  • James

    The UK is already the no1 destination for foreign direct investment in Europe and London is the no1 city. Furthermore, China is investing into East London to create a business park for Chinese firms to locate European headquarters – do we honestly believe scaremongering we need the EU?

    • peterbuss

      And how iunterested will foreigners be in investing in us when we leave the EU?

      • Abhay

        Enough, I would say.
        Do you think they have been investing here because they were deriving comfort from the EU factors?
        Greece is in EU as is Cyprus – no investor seems to be in a rush to get there. Not when I last checked.

        • James

          Not to mention London is no1 for both leisure & business tourism despite being the most expensive – nothing to do with EU.

      • Andy

        Why do you think they wont invest here ? Remember the rest of the EU has a trade surplus with the UK. They need our markets. Trade is a two way street, not a one way street.

      • alexsandr

        probably very. our cost base will be smaller with the deregulation that ensues.

      • James

        Why would any power economy like USA, Brazil, UAE, China, Russia, India or anyone really care? And it wouldn’t stop European companies either.

  • Wilhelm

    Gove said he would abstain if there was a vote, translated by the media into hyperbole, he wants out.

  • echo34

    Can we have a referendum, if the no’s have it, invoke Article 50, negotiate or leave and wait for them to come crawling back pleading us to rejoin.

    Why has the UK lost the courage to be proactive in international relations as opposed to reacting to all and sundry?

    • ButcombeMan

      “Why has the UK lost the courage to be proactive in international relations as opposed to reacting to all and sundry?”

      Cameron is weak and pathetic, that is why.

      Can we imagine a Thatcher sitting idly on her hands in the Euro crisis?

  • Andy Mcrae

    Manoeuvrings, we are not American.

  • http://twitter.com/PhilKean1 @PhilKean1

    .
    There’s only one certainty for the British people –

    – that their political elites are committed to EU membership, and so will do whatever it takes to keep Britain locked in.

    But just how determined are those who seek to deny the British people their right to choose who governs them?

    Nick Clegg.

    Who watched this week’s Queen’s Speech debate? Did you see Nick Clegg sitting behind David Cameron when he was speaking?

    Did you also see what Nick Clegg did when David Cameron made this statement (not verbatim) – “the Conservatives are the ONLY party offering the British people a referendum on EU membership” ?

    Amazingly, shockingly, shamefully, Nick put on a smiley, bemused, semi-embarrassed look, and half-heartedly shook his head – as though to signal that, actually, the Liberals are also willing to offer one.

    Well, considering that the Liberals were, indeed, the ONLY political party to offer an EU referendum in their 2010 manifesto, which was quickly withdrawn from their website once that pledge faced its first test, one might well imagine that they would be unwise to try the same trick in 2015.

    And who among us doesn’t know with absolute clarity that, when it comes to the matter of British Sovereignty, the Liberals are very much batting on the side of the EU.
    .

    • telemachus

      Clegg does not have much going for him but his support for Britain’s best interest being in the EU is laudable
      Were Camseron to have such courage
      Instead he dissembles that he thinks we are being screwed that he will sort them out and then give us a referendum
      This is why his stock falls daily
      He will lose courtesy of Farage in 2015 and then hopefully we can get back to meaningful dialogue with the EU to our mutual best interest

      • Abhay

        Stop fantasising. 2015 will be a hung parliament with a coalition. I just hope UKIP gets enough seats to drive a good bargain.

  • Russell

    Gove is similar to Farage in that he gives a straight answer to questions unlike any Labour MP shadow minister or Cameron and a lot of Conservative Ministers and MP’s (Shapps in particular).
    His description of what the slimeball Lord Oakshott was up to was also extremely candid and accurate.

    • Colonel Mustard

      That’s why the left hate him and Farage so much. Because the left habitually deal in lies and deceit. Their whole edifice is a pack of false cards built on a combination of dissembling, lies and intimidation. It’s finally beginning to topple.

      • Russell

        And Hammond on Sunday Politics is equally as clear as Gove and Farage, straight answers.
        Pity we can’t have a government where all ministers are like Gove,Hammond & Farage.

        • realfish

          Farage? Straight? Give me strength.

          I’m afraid Farage is a slippery as a tube of KY Jelly. When confronted about his continual misrepresenting of Cameron’s ‘cast iron guarantee’ his response is to laugh and say that it’s a mere detail.

          He’s about as straight as the odious and aformentioned Oakshott

          • Andy

            But it isn’t ‘cast iron guarantee’ is it ? How is it ‘cast iron’ ??Farage wants the British People to have their say. To have a choice, which at the moment they never have because all the political parties (or at least their elites) are ardent pro EU.

            • alexsandr

              but its all chan :)ged now hasnt it? We have UKIP 🙂

            • realfish

              You make my point, having it seems, swallowed Farage’s dishonesty.

              Cameron gave his ‘cast iron guarantee’ that the people would have their say on The Lisbon Treaty – but it was implicit that this could only happen if Lisbon remained unsigned. And remember it was Brown who reneged on a commitment to a referendum – not Cameron.

              http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/273758/Cameron-Ill-give-EU-a-vote.html#ixzz275bjKQV1

              By the time Cameron was elected, Brown had signed Lisbon, ratified it and it had come into force when the Czech’s finally ratified in 2009. Do you realistically say that Cameron should have spent £12m on a meaningless referendum on something that had already been done and dusted?

              Cameron, said that never again would a surrendering of powers be allowed to take place without the British people having their say – he kept is promise with the ‘triple lock’.

              http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2715055/David-Cameron-vows-to-keep-Britain-out-of-an-EU-state.html

              BTW, the triple lock was something that another odious Lib Dem, Jo Swinson, tried to take credit for on QT last Thursday when confronted by the Lib Dem’s pre-election commitment to an ‘in / out’ referendum that they had u-turned on. Dissembling for all she was worth Swinson tried to claim that the Lib Dem commitment and Cameron’s triple lock were one and the same thing. They weren’t.

              Britain’s interests lie in having a strong trading ties with a heathly, modern open Europe – not being part of, or being controlled by a European super-state and an EU elite. Britain is best served by attempting to re-boot our relationship with Europe and Cameron is the only person that can attempt this – not Miliband, not Farage, not a gang of malcontented backwoodsmen. That said, Cameron should be upfront about where he will take Britain if he is not successful.

              It’s time to cut Cameron some slack, and for the UKIP tendency to look beyond the end of their nose…or we will repeat the mistakes of 1997, when those calling for less Europe got considerably more

              • Tom M

                “…Brown had signed Lisbon, ratified it and it had come into force…”
                A point I’m sure which figured in the calculation made by our Dave when he promised the “cast-iron” referendum.

              • Andy

                I think you could add the LibDems to your roll call of dishonour. They too promised a referendum – as I recall in the 2010 manifesto it was an ‘in/out’ job – but now the chips are down you can’t see ’em for dust.

                I am well aware that there was nothing Cameron could do once the Treaty was ratified, except I suppose un-ratify it. But that doesn’t alter the political damage the commitment did to him and the Tory Party. The people do not understand, nor are all that interested in, the details of Foreign Affairs. What they saw was a promise made and then taken away. It is very important that he does not do the same thing again.

                I totally agree that our interest lie with having a strong trading relationship with Europe (the continent thereof) but not being involved in the European super-state nonsense. How easy it will be to arrive at that conclusion I wouldn’t like to say. I do believe Lord Lawson was right to say that any renegotiation would get you little – ‘inconsequential’ was the term he used. He is right. But if we leave then it is a different matter. They want to sell us BMW’s, Wine and Olive Oil so they have a vested interest in having a friendly relationship with us. After all aside from BMW’s, which are not all they are cracked up to be, much new world wine is better and so is the olive oil !

              • 2trueblue

                Cameron had every opportunity to use his eloquent grasp of the language to make clear what he meant at the time and he did not. That is where his problems started. He then faffed around and has evaded adding clarity to the situation. He has been on the back foot from the onset, and it is all his own doing.

                • realfish

                  I don’t agree. I think that it is perfectly clear what Cameron said. His words and meaning continue to be twisted by people like Farage for their own purposes.
                  Don’t you think it strange that Farage isn’t attacking Labour – the people who actually signed and ratified the Lisbon Treaty in defiance of their promise to consult the British people and an impending GE?

                • 2trueblue

                  Liebore spent 13yrs promising and not delivering the promised referendum, Cameron has been all over the place about the EU and needs to be clear about what he will/will not do. He has form and has lost ground because of it. Farage is quite rightly taking advantage of that.

            • Hookeslaw

              They are not ‘ardent’ pro. Cameron as said he wants to see it reformed and is promising a referendum. How is that ardent?
              You are ardently misrepresenting the truth.
              And the lies about the cast iron guarantee which you and other UKIPers continually misrepresent are about the tory position during the last Euro elections and before Lisbon was agreed by labour. And which the tories voted against – how is that ‘ardent’?

              Everyone is perfectly entitled to vote OUT when it comes to a referendum, not least if the EU has determined to move to an ever closer political and fiscal union. (such a move will make an OUT vote more likely) but lets no delude ourselves that there will be some amazing difference. We will still be in the EEA still be in the single market still obeying single market rules and still making payments to the EU cohesive funds.
              The EU will still exist and we ill still have to make choices in dealing with it.

              • Wessex Man

                You are so right Hooky, the EU can’t do without us as they export more to us than we do to them and zzzzzzzzz

              • alexsandr

                why do you say we will still be in the EEA? That surely hasn’t been decided yet. Once it is established we are out then we, the british, decide upon our relationship with the rest of Europe.

              • an ex-tory voter

                You are deliberately misrepresenting the situation regarding the single market.
                If the UK leaves the EU it will have to comply with single market rules only on the small part of it’s exports which go to the EU. The majority of the UK’s exports go to the rest of the world and will not have to comply with single market rules.

                • 2trueblue

                  You are right, but the big lie is that we export 50% to the EU. No, we do not. It goes to Rotterdam and goes out to the rest of the world from there….. sounds good though, so the parrots keep saying it.

            • Makroon

              There are a lot of ruffled feathers about whether Cameron’s “cast-iron guarantee” is strong enough.
              What about Red’s cast iron guarantee of nothing much except more nodding donkey behaviour with each new, vindictive, EU binding of the British state – does that ever enter your head as a concern ?

          • Abhay

            I don’t know which programmes you have been listening to. Farage is actually liked for his straight-talk!

          • Colonel Mustard

            I think your position is ably demonstrated by your long comment below.

            Yawn.

          • peterbuss

            You’ve got it in one.

      • Shazza

        Hopefully

  • Andy

    And so he might.

    What is important is what WE think. And no one bothers to ask us.

    But then again we are only the bloody Voters; only the long suffering Taxpayers.

    • Hookeslaw

      The will be renegotiation and a referendum.
      So why get worked up?
      The trouble is the EU is an outlet for your prejudice. Once out you would find something else to polish the chip on your shoulder.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        CMD’s ‘negotiation’ will follow the same route as his mentor’s.( It’s not a ‘European Constitution’ it’s a ‘Tidying Up Exercise’). I wonder if the H2B will have as many ‘red lines’ and will we be told about them? – apart that is from the one where he will never negotiate or campaign for an exit?

        It isn’t a negotiation. It will be a stitch up between two sets of Europhiles. It will be a marketing exercise on how to sell a stitch up to the British.

        • Archimedes

          Well, you say all this, but it seems to me that the referendum is timed exactly for an exit — so, clearly, the possibility has not been dismissed. Exiting EU states have to give two years notice. A referendum in 2017, resulting in an exit, would mean that the actual exit would occur some time in 2019 — just before a general election, probably securing a majority, and enabling the subsequent parliament to be spent handling the fall-out.

          If I were Cameron, and I wanted to engineer the easiest exit I could, I would probably do much the same thing that he has done so far. In Europe, and in the UK media, he is able to blame everything on pressure from his backbenchers, which means that he is able to cast himself as a moderate. When Cameron moves to the right he is “calming his backbenchers”, not being a nut-job.

          Cameron would have watched the Maastricht episode and realised that the backbenchers could immensely strengthen the Prime Ministers hand in Europe. I wouldn’t be particularly surprised if Cameron were prepared to exit Europe — if negotiations failed to deliver anything of substance.

          • Hexhamgeezer

            ‘If I were Cameron, and I wanted to engineer the easiest exit I could,’…..you wouldn’t be be cameron because he doesn’t want an exit.

        • Hookeslaw

          You are reduced to pathetic speculation in the face of the fact that the tories have promised a referendum following renegotiations. This is a road that Cameron started on many months ago.
          Why are you suddenly afraid now of a referendum? Continue to peddle the UKIP line and you will get a pro EU labour govt in power at just the time a fiscal union treaty is being decided on.

          • Wessex Man

            Come now Hooky, the referendum Call me Dave is offering is based on him negotiating terms with people who won’t, then on him getting to be Prime Minister, which stands as much chance as an ice lolly in the Sun and then persuading the Commons to approve it! If cats could fly there would be no birds.

            This if you vote UKIP you get Labour is becoming tedious, we’ve got Labour mark three now.

      • Dicky14

        Not quite Hooky as the Tories need a majority and for Germany to accede to renegotiated (unspecified) changes. And if you are on the payroll, it’s not a great idea to belittle the voters in public, leave it for the rooms, eh?

        • Hookeslaw

          Who is belittling the voters. Not me. There will be a referendum and can vote.

          Why are you so upset?

          • Wessex Man

            sounds to me that it is you who is upset Hooky.

      • echo34

        Please Hookey, tell us which part of the current EU treaty allows for negotiation?

        • Noa

          Article 50.

          We should give notice now. Never mind a time wasting referendum.

          • telemachus

            Glad you mentioned Article 50 sadly ignored by you and your UKIP colleagues.

            “!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.”

            *

            So then as a supplicant Nation at the feet of a hardball economically strapped EU do you imagine any trade agreement will be to our benefit
            *
            And we sorely need such an agreement given the lack of growth as a result of the crazy coalition polocies including scapping all capital investment on accessinon.

            • ButcombeMan

              Article 50 has not been ignored. Check back. I have mentioned it several times. As have others

              Accuracy is clearly not your strong point.

            • Noa

              polocies?
              scapping?
              accessinon?

              Life is far too short to waste in attempting to make sense of your serial illiteracies and general inanity.

        • Hookeslaw

          The next EU treaty allows for negotiation.

          • Wessex Man

            oh the next one, what’s that one going to take from us?

          • Abhay

            The devil is exactly where it has always been found – in details!

            It depends what bits are up for negotiation. No admin machinery can cope with so many special deals if all the component states like UK start asking for renegotiations. The EU will become even more absurd. It is not designed for that.

            Details – in the name of harmonisation, the EU pushes laws and regulations where national institutions end up surrendering sovereignty to EU regulatory institutions. It is happening in a big way as we exchange thoughts here in banking and finance. Because EU needs to control them.

            EU is a super-state hegemon. If it doesn’t subsume nation states it cannot survive. Hence, it is probably the biggest issue facing European nation states and people should be allowed to vote in / out.

            • telemachus

              You are correct that there will be no piecemeal conclusion of terms with the UK for our convenience. Cameron would be given a few Wilsonian Carrots and dress them up as Thatcherite cauliflowers.
              But Farage will unfrock all that and he will become a laughing stock
              Fortunately for his psychological and historical wellbeing he will be spared that by the voters

              • Abhay

                Farage – the ones who were laughing at him were humiliated just over a week ago.

                • Vindice

                  stop feeding the troll!

                • Abhay

                  Vindice, troll aside, tele suffers from socio-political delusions. I believe that he can still be corrected though.

                • Vindice

                  nope – he’s trolling, nothing more.

                • telemachus

                  Yes but the net result of his efforts will be to split the vote of the right and deliver a socialist victory

                • Abhay

                  That will remain a boring dream.

                • telemachus

                  OR an exciting reality

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  No socialist filth wanted here thank you.

                • telemachus

                  Join the famous march of reason

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Somewhere, a village is lamenting the loss of its idiot so perhaps you should think of returning.

              • UKSteve

                “….Wilsonian Carrots and dress them up as Thatcherite cauliflowers.”

                Do you have a clue of what you’re on about?

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I can assure you absolutely that this idiot was thrown out of his village for being too stupid.

                • UKSteve

                  Figures :-/

          • 2trueblue

            The only person who really understood how to conduct a negotiation was Thatcher. She did her homework and went prepared, seems that others are not so well prepared.

        • Makroon

          That’s the problem, isn’t it ?
          People like you who think it’s a legal issue.
          It is about politics and power – screw the Eurocrats and their dogma.

      • Andy

        Who cares what you think ? We all know Hookey is merely a EU Fascist. The prejudice is with you. It is you and the likes of you who have constantly denied the British People of voice on the EU. It is you that constantly insults anyone who dares challenge your glorious Fascist Project.

        If the British People eventually vote to leave the EU you only have yourself to blame. It is your arrogance and stupidity that has created Eurosceptics. As ye have sown, so shall ye reap.

        • Hookeslaw

          What a joker you are
          I have repeatedly said that I do not care if we are in or out. I just do not see what the point is of splitting the tory party over issue is and letting in pro Euro labour
          There will be little difference between being in (as we are now) and being out. I am sanguine about it. We are going to have a referendum and yet you still rant on hysterically.

          Everybody who disagrees with you is a fascist. You are a nasty piece of slime for bandying that word out at people.

          • Archimedes

            “I have repeatedly said that I do not care if we are in or out. I just do not see what the point is of splitting the tory party over issue is and letting in pro Euro labour”

            But surely you realise that the Tory party cannot survive inside an European federal state?

          • Wessex Man

            oh dear Hooky too much Beer with the Sunday Lunch?

          • Andy

            That has not been what you have said over and over again on this site. You disparage any who dare to give a Eurosceptic point of view. You do so consistently. It is you that is the nasty piece of slime for your attitude towards Eurosceptics who hold a perfectly honest and honourable point of view. I expressed such a view but was accused by you of being ‘prejudice’ and having a ‘chip on my shoulder’. Yes I am ‘predudice’ towards Peace and ‘prejudice’ towards preserving Parliamentary Democracy, both of which the EU threatens in its current form.

          • an ex-tory voter

            Correction, there is a vast difference between being “in” and “out” as is amply demonstrated by the two richest nations in Europe, Norway and Switzerland.
            Both of these nations has a seat and an equal voice on the international committees whose decisions are then implemented by the EU regardless of the wishes of its vassal states. The UK has no seat on these decision making bodies and no voice in defence of its national interests. Instead, we must accept whatever is negotiated by the EU on behalf of its member states, regardless of whether or not the agreed decision is in the best interests of this nation.

            • MichtyMe

              Once out, will we be required, like Norway, to join Schengen or will we have the trouble and expense of a visa application when we wish to enter the EU.

              • an ex-tory voter

                It will be my pleasure to fill in and pay for a visa application.

                • MichtyMe

                  And patience, there will be a long queue to exit after separation.

              • monty61

                Schengen? Rubbish. If the Taiwanese don’t have to queue for a Schengen visa any more then we won’t either.

          • ButcombeMan

            Hookey, I had to reprimand you on the 8th May because youre deploying the wortd “bigots” about those who oppose you.

            The truth is Hookey, that you have , rather like Cameron, become increasingly bad tempered as the weight of numbers and rational argument turns against your position.

            Lay off the wine at Sunday lunch if you cannot keep calm.

          • http://twitter.com/ChristopherRed6 AllSeeingOracle

            We are going to have a referendum?

            Must have missed that in the Queen’s Speech – do you have the minutes?

            Seem to remember that Blair took the wind out the sails of the Referendum Party by promising a referendum, but he lied – a common habit when it comes to MPs and Prime Ministers in particular.

            So then, reassure me again that there will be an in/out referendum, and not some half-way house ballot on the terms of some renegotiation.

            If you believe that there will be ‘little difference’ between being in or out it puts you at odds with the Europhiles who forecast an apocalypse, and ‘end of days’ when it comes to trade with Europe, which makes one wonder how the Asian economies have decimated European manufacturing without having to become members of the EU.

      • 2trueblue

        That chip is shared by a large proportion of the country. And when will we get this great referendum? The voters actually want clear, up front promises. No ifs, no buts, and they want it before the next election. Cameron has created the problem and now the electorate are looking more closely at the wording and also looking at other potential replacements for Cameron as fails to express clarity on a large number of issues.

  • ButcombeMan

    There is a tide in the affairs of men.

    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

    Omitted, all the voyage of their life

    Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

    On such a full sea are we now afloat,

    And we must take the current when it serves,

    Or lose our ventures.

    • Magnolia

      May the great God, whom I worship, grant to my country and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious victory: and may no misconduct, in any one, tarnish it: and may humanity after victory be the predominant feature in the British fleet.

      For myself individually, I commit my life to Him who made me and may His blessing light upon my endeavours for serving my country faithfully.

      To Him I resign myself and the just cause which is entrusted to me to defend.

      Amen. Amen. Amen.

      • Magnolia

        All down ticks are voting against Admiral Lord Nelson.
        Just thought the uninformed ought to know.

        • ButcombeMan

          And Shakespeare Magnolia.

          There are some truly ignorant people posting here. No doubt the products of the sorts of education, Gove is, manfully, trying to do something about.

          The last line of this explanation below is exactly where Cameron is.

          He is dithering and fudging. He has not understood the quality of those who are not with him, he has pointlessly disaparged opponents. He has fought battles he should not have fought and missed the gathering storm cloud of public opinion about Europe, (as also, have Red Ed & Clegg to be fair). . As Andy says, in the top post, what about the voters?

          Cameron will indeed be stranded in “miserable shallows”. Every day that passes shows how totally unsuitable he is to lead the UK, or any political party. No one will follow him over the top, they do not trust him, they do not trust his judgement.

          He is going to destroy the Tories for a couple of generations, through his crass stupidity.

          He should be leading a mass rebranding and right of center movement, with identification of the UK as a free people, trading openly with the world. He should be saying we saved Europe before we can do it again, but the best way of doing it is an Article 50 declaration. He should be explaining the Article 50 principles to the nation.

          Europe needs that sort of leadership. Other countries will follow and the whole corrupt, undemocratic, unelected edifice will crumble.

          Watch Cameron’s body langauge and his eyes when in Europe, it is telling, he is frightened to do what he must do. The bluster of PMQs is nowhere to be seen.

          *****

          Julius Caesar Act
          4, scene 3, 218–224

          Brutus and Cassius are discussing the final phase of their civil war with the forces of Octavian and Marcus Antonius. Cassius has been urging that they group their forces at Sardis and take advantage of the secure location to catch their breath. Brutus, however, advocates heading off the enemy at Philippi before Octavian can recruit more men. Brutus’s main point is that, since “the enemy increaseth every day” and “We, at the height, are ready to decline” (lines 216–217), he and Cassius must act now while the
          ratio of forces is most advantageous. “There’s a tide in the
          affairs of men,” he insists; that is, power is a force that ebbs
          and flows in time, and one must “go with the flow.” Waiting around only allows your power to pass its crest and begin to ebb; if the opportunity is “omitted” (missed), you’ll find yourself stranded in miserable shallows.

          • Magnolia

            Absolutely, BM.
            Of course Shakespeare.
            I was looking at his portrait in the NPG yesterday!
            Also some of Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I, (my child and I row about Cromwell).
            How can a degree in PPE prepare anyone for government?

        • Colonel Mustard

          They are the same sort of people who think Mary Seacole is the most important figure in British history.

        • Hookeslaw

          What down ticks – and no need to tell your grandmother how to suck eggs

          • Magnolia

            That down tick wasn’t me.

        • Wessex Man

          Love you Magnolia.

          • Magnolia

            I just thought I’d tell them off.
            Hey wallies you’ve dissed Nelson!

  • alexsandr

    wonder how he will vote on the queens speech amendment?

    • Russell

      He said he will abstain as the time is not right until an attempt at getting back some EU controls has been done.

      • alexsandr

        Thanks. I posted while the original article was incomplete. events have overtaken my post.

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