Tag Archives: Renegotiation

Dear Donald, Jean-Claude, Martin & 28 Others

Well, here’s my letter setting out my demands for a reformed European Union – says David Cameron – and you will notice that, in common with ‘everything EU’ where reform is suggested, it is set out in very ‘broad terms’,; ie, nothing too specific; well one might be but as you can see I am open to diluting that if necessary. You will also note there is no mention of fishing, agriculture/farming, working time directives, energy or taxation in all its forms – to name but a few where repatriation of powers is concerned, which would then enable me to waffle on further about sovereignty – not bad, eh; coupled with the fact that I hope you will agree I have not ‘rocked the boat’ too much.

That sums up the contents of Cameron’s letter to Tusk and his speech today at Chatham House. As a result, one can but echo Bernard Jenkins’ question to David Lidington, following the latter’s statement in Parliament today: After all the statements made by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Europe, the Foreign Secretary, and the former Foreign Secretary about being in Europe and not being run by Europe, and after all the pledges to restore the primacy of national Parliaments and to get an opt-out from the charter of fundamental rights to restore our borders, is that it? Is that the sum total of the Government’s position in this renegotiation? Normally I do not have much time for Bernard Jenkins but on this occasion he is ‘spot on’ with his question.

In conclusion Cameron really should have mentioned farming and in particular sheep – after all he’s going to need a lot of them to produce the amount of wool he’s trying to pull over our eyes!

 

St. George & The Dragon

Today we had David Cameron’s speech to the CBI, together with various articles suggesting that were his December European Council meeting to ‘go well’ it may be that the promised referendum could happen in June 2016; or at the latest in September.

June is ‘pie in the sky’ for one simple reason: did not the Electoral Commission state there should be a six-month period between the referendum being called and the actual vote? Then of course there are Scottish, Welsh, local and London Mayoral elections in May 2016; plus the EU referendum bill is still in the House of Lords and the matter of whether 16-17 year olds can vote has yet to be resolved. If the Lords gives the government another bloody nose, it is highly unlikely redrawing the electoral register to widen the franchise would be achieved by June.

Of course we can also forget September too: To change ‘Ever Closer Union’ and the ‘Four Freedoms’, for example, will require treaty change – a process that takes two years. Just where do these ‘all-knowing’ journalists come from? Ye Gods!

We also need to remember that the contents of Cameron’s infamous letter to Donald Tusk is due to be released tomorrow, no doubt preceded by the speech he is scheduled to give – probably a ‘padded-out’ version of the relevant section of that which he said to the CBI.

If we look at what Cameron has said on the subject of ‘renegotiation’ with regard to this country’s membership of the European Union – from ‘Bloomberg’ to today – it is obvious that his demands have become ‘watered-down’ by the day.

When we consider Cameron’s demands and his renegotiation process it is perhaps relevant to consider a section of the speech Winston Churchill gave, after dinner, at the Royal Society of St. George on 24th April 1933:

…….I have to speak to you about St. George and the Dragon. I have been wondering what would happen if that legend were repeated under modern conditions.

St. George would arrive in Cappadocia, accompanied not by a horse, but by a secretariat. He would be armed not with a lance, but with several fexible formulas. He would, of course, be welcomed by the local branch of the League of Nations Union. He would propose a conference with the dragon – a Round Table Conference, no doubt – that would be more convenient for the dragon’s tail. He would lend the dragon a lot of money for the Cappadocian taxpayers. The maiden’s release would be referred to Geneva, the dragon reserving all his rights meanwhile. Finally, St. George would be photogaphed with the dragon (inset: the maiden).

On Churchill’s part, a rather good prophesy of the charade we are about to see unfold.

Just saying………………………