Tag Archive: Owen Paterson

Open Europe – holed below the water line?

When Owen Paterson, in his speech today, highlights the ‘power’ of Norway vis-a-viz that of the United Kingdom where the setting of global standards is concerned, Open Europe decides to reproduce a blog on the subject of Article 50, posing the question of whether that article is a trump card or a joker.

One can only ask which idiot persson (no, it is not a typo) allowed the following once again to appear:

  • A Norway-style deal – effectively single market membership but with no formal political influence – is likely to be rejected by EU partners and is in any case a bad deal for the UK as it amounts to “regulation without representation”.

Never mind April Fool – more like November Fool, methinks.

Update: In an article about Paterson’s speech Open Europe today write:

 It has been argued previously that Article 50 could be used to trigger a full renegotiation of the terms of the UK’s membership within the EU. However Paterson’s proposal is more straightforward – he wants to immediately start to negotiate Brexit terms in 2015 so that a clear proposition is on the table for the 2017 referendum. That may have the benefit of providing the clarity that has so far been lacking in the ‘out’ case – but has three obvious drawbacks. (of which #1 is):

  1. What happens if the other EU states do not wish to negotiate prior to a referendum outcome – they cannot be forced to.

Er, once a formal application under Article 50 is lodged, they have a choice?


Just level with us – please? (2)

In one respect this post contains a ‘mea culpa’ on my part as earlier I wondered what Owen Paterson’s speech would contain; intimating that I hoped it would not be similar to other Eurosceptic speeches containing nothing but ‘waffle’.

At last we now have a front-line politician acknowledging that the EU is but a law-factory churning out decisions made by global bodies, coupled with the fact that membership of the EU is not necessary to trade with the EU but that membership of the EEA is; and that, contrary too what Cameron would have us believe, Brussels is not the ‘top table’.

It is also refreshing that also, at last, a politician has acknowledged that by attempting a move to EFTA/EEA membership, allowing time for a fresh ‘arrangement’ to be formulated (as proposed by FlexCit) is the way to proceed; and at no detriment to British business.

What our media will make of Paterson’s speech – and how much publicity they will give it – at the time of writing is difficult to prophesy; however if the Daily Politics programme today is any guide, it will be a tad dismissive. Jo Coburn obviously had not read Paterson’s speech exhibited by her general demeanour towards him.

Paterson’s suggestion to David Cameron that he invoke Article 50 is, I would suggest, a forlorn hope with Cameron’s already stated belief that we should retain our membership of the European Union – and with that statement Cameron has already ‘boxed himself into a corner’.

He has also done that with his response to my dossier when in his reply he wrote: I am afraid that I cannot agree with a number of the points that you make in your report; and as readers will know, in my response to his reply I asked him with which did he agree. (As an aside, not one comment picked-up on this point – neither did any other eurosceptic blog – which makes one wonder if anything is read and digested – but I digress).

As a final thought on the subject of how much coverage Paterson’s speech will receive in our media I do not hold out much hope as the relationship twixt our political class and the media – and vice-versa – is a tad insidious, to say the least.






Told you so – and a little “beef”

When it came to Cameron’s statement in the HoC on the recent EU budget council meeting, sick buckets were most definitely required with Conservative MP after Conservative MP rising to pay their adulation to their leader.

An interesting exchange took place between William Cash and David Cameron (col576 Hansard) about the sovereignty of Parliament and to whom accountability rests. It can be argued that the root of our democracy and accountability lies not in Parliament but with the people and it is to them Cameron and Parliament should answer – but I digress.

It was a pleasure to watch Owen Paterson at work later when he was updating the HoC on the nagging question about the ingression of unwanted elements in the food chain. I will not comment on this as Richard North, EUReferendum, has done – and is continuing to do – an admirable job, suffice to say that for Mary Creagh (col610/613 Hansard) on behalf of the Opposition, to attempt to make cheap political points does neither her, nor the HoC, any favours. That she was put firmly in her place by Paterson was a joy to behold. That time and again Paterson had to remind MPs that food was an EU competence beggars belief and one really does have to wonder at the level of intelligence of some who sit on the green benches.

Article 50 – and a “nag” or two…….

There has appeared on the blog of The Boiling Frog three articles on the above subject which should be required reading for all those interested in matters EU.

Besides being highly informative TBF debunks the arguments which are raised, should the UK invoke Article 50, about “punitive” laws being imposed on us, which as he states would be against the fundamental principles of the treaties and spirit of the EU and the Single Market. In dealing with the two-year period stipulated within Article 50 (it can, as TBF, states be shortened or lengthened by agreement) he explains how such punitive laws could not be imposed due to the timescale that the formation of law takes. In the final part TBF deals with the matter of possible retribution measures that might be taken by the EU for failing to implement any such law – were it able to be passed –  or, come to that, any law passed within this two year period.

There are two further points worth making at this juncture, one of which TBF covers in his articles. The first of these points is to do with the “repeal the ECA1972 and with one bound we are free” meme, one that once again John Redwood was proposing just a few days ago – a post within which when challenged by me in the comments section he refused to accept that he was wrong, although he did have the grace to concede that exiting from the EU via Article 50 was another way. With such “leading lights” as Redwood within the eurosceptic camp, one is left with a sense of foreboding where the success of the ‘No’ campaign is concerned.

The second point worth making is that Farage and Ukip, among others, are clamouring for a referendum now and until a week or so ago – on the occasion of Cameron’s speech – Farage had not mentioned the magic words “Article 50”. Having at last done so, why did the content of TBF’s three articles not appear on Ukip’s website? Why does it take an independent blogger to do this type of work?

On that last point, let me move onto the “matter du jour” – and no, it is not the EU budget “agreement”, another story on which the media have it so wrong – namely the question of horse meat having been found to enter the food chain. Richard North, EUReferendum, has three posts, here, here and here which are also “required reading” on this subject. Again, one has to query why it should be an independent blogger who provides all the “detail” and information? Just where are the MSM? As Richard North points out, this entire matter has arisen through a checking system introduced by the EU and which relies purely on a “paper trail” and as such is a massive failure by the EU. Food is an EU competence, as Owen Paterson has stated, consequently the UK cannot take unilateral action to solve the difficulties that the problem has thrown up which means that the incompetents that caused this problem – the EU – are now involved, something which does not give one much confidence in the new measures that will surely be forthcoming. One also has to ask where Ukip and Farage are on this matter as their silence has been rather noticeable – should they not be at the forefront of the condemnation, explaining how and why it has arisen?  At the time of writing, this is Ukip’s home page:

Neither the political class nor the MSM have the slightest understanding of the word omnishambles when they use it, which no doubt they will once they realize the true extent of this problem that presently nags at our attention. In plain, simple English it is not an omnishambles, it is a complete disaster, as is the European Union, politics in the UK and they system of democracy under which and by which we are governed.

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