Sunday, 25 November 2012

Boris Rejects In/Out Referendum

For anyone who has followed Boris Johnson for some time the above news will come as no surprise whatsoever, as I've previously noted here and here Boris is a Europlastic. Boris signed the People’s Pledge for an In/Out EU referendum in March of this year but now that an EU referendum is increasingly on the cards he has backtracked. The Spectator has the interview from 5live:
Pienaar: Would you still want an In/Out referendum?
Johnson: Well, I’ve always said… I think we’ve been now, what is it? 75 was the last referendum on the European Union: I certainly think that if there were to be a new treaty, for instance, on a fiscal union, a banking union, whatever, then it would be absolutely right to put that to the people.’
Pienaar: What about In/Out though?
Johnson: Whether you have In/Out referendum now, you know, in the run-up to 2015, I can’t, I have to say I can’t quite see why it would be necessary. What is happening, though, John, is that… the thing that worries me, and I’m going to be making a speech about this pretty soon, the thing that worries me is basically the European Union is changing from what it was initially constituted to be: it is becoming the eurozone de facto, and the eurozone is not something we participate in, and I think it’s becoming a little unfair on us that we are endlessly belaboured and criticised for being the back marker, when actually this project is not one that we think is well-founded or well-thought through. It is proving to be extremely painful and difficult, and so I think, if the and when the eurozone goes forward into a fiscal, banking union, into a full-scale political union, then I think it is inevitable, given the changes that will entail to the EU constitution, that you will have to consult with the British people about what kind of arrangements they want, and in those circumstances, yes, you should jolly well have a referendum.
Pienaar: A yes/no, In/Out, that’s got to be part of the deal?
Johnson: Well, certainly, whatever arrangements we strike with our partners, I mean, you see, I don’t think it’s as simple as yes/no, In/Out, suppose Britain voted tomorrow to come out: what would actually happen? In real terms, what would happen is that the Foreign Office would immediately build a huge, the entire delegation would remain in Brussels, UKrep would remain there, we’d still have huge numbers of staff trying to monitor what was going on in the community, only we wouldn’t be able to sit in the council of ministers, we wouldn’t have any vote at all. Now I don’t think that’s a prospect that’s likely to appeal. What you could do is think of a new arrangement, new areas of the treaty that we decided we didn’t want to participate in… that is where people are thinking, now, so I don’t think it is, I mean, with great respect to the sort of In/Outers, I don’t think it does boil down to such a simple question.
Well quelle surprise. Boris no longer thinks Britain’s relationship ‘does boil down to such a simple question’.

'Wait 'till Boris gets in', is suspiciously like 'wait 'till Dave gets in'. Worried about the increasing clamour for a straight in/out (which will produce the wrong result) with an impending EU treaty, Tory after Tory after Tory are lining up for a strategy of staying put in the disguise of renegotiation, which as Christopher Booker today rightly points out can't happen unless we exit first.

This strategy has even led to Dan Hannan arguing for exit on November 21st:
Our presence in the EU is the single most common cause of conflict with our neighbours. British withdrawal would make everyone get on better.
Followed by a u-turn a day later, when he argues for renegotiation instead as pointed out by Richard North:
Considering that the [Dan Hannan] is supposed to be a life member of the "Better Off Out" tendency, it is entertaining to see his latest volte face which offers us a complex package of powers to put on the repatriation list, amounting to a partial withdrawal from the EU – which actually means that we remain members.

So complete is the conversion that the [he] dares not spell it out openly, relying on puzzled readers to work out the thrust of his ideas which put him firmly in the "fairies-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden" camp, headed towards never-never land. 
Boris Johnson is a fraud, Dan Hannan is a fraud, the whole Tory party is a fraud. No wonder they have never won an election since the passing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.


  1. I don't mind being shot down in flames but I see his statements a bit differently.
    He is a smart puppy and would not be so stupid as to jump for an in/out if he wanted to be the new boss.
    He is probably aware that article 50 is the only way out and a negotiated exit is the only ordered way to go.
    I'm certain that he would not push for it but as a politician would bend in that direction if it would put his name in the books with Churchill and Thatcher.

  2. @mikebravo... This was a popular attitude held by conservatives clutching at straws when Cameron "emerged" as the new leader. It was wrong about Cameron and it is wrong about the amoral, ambitious charlatan Johnson.

    Oh and I disagree with Richard North again when he suggests that repeal of the ECA would not be sufficient...

    Of course it would be fine, the existing agreements and EU law, would just become part of our law until some more sensible politicians come along and change it (be a long wait), however at least it will be OUR politicians.

    Of course what is really needed, is Harrogate.

  3. I don't disagree with you one jot. Johnson is no different to any of the self important puffed up bastards. Harrogate is indeed what we need.
    We will leave the EU one day and a politician will jump on the bandwagon and claim to be our glorious leader.
    Problem is that the people of this country will not go against their tribal instincts. They will vote red, blue or yellow even as the muslim hoard are putting them to the sword.

  4. He's off my Xmas list on two counts now.

  5. @mikebravo, a good blog post to read is this one about Boris and his europhile family...

    Boris has every intention of trying to stay in, I'm not sure tbh that a politician will jump on the bandwagon. I remain of the view that they will still be bleating on about 'being Europe not ruled by it' etc, when the whole thing has collapsed.

    @right_writes "amoral, ambitious charlatan Johnson." I can't disagree with that ;-)

    @James Higham Only off your xmas card're a very forgiving chap ;-)

  6. Thanks for the link TBF. I have no doubt that he is as europhile as cast iron himself.
    I have his lousy brother Jo as my supposed representative in parliament. He was parachuted in on the Dave A list and is now repaying the favour by being an assistant whip.
    At least i get to wind him up occasionally by asking him to make an anti EU stance (as my supposed
    MP)- fat chance. His replies are utter drivel as you would expect, filled with balony about cast irons euroscepticism and how the useless tories are fighting daily for our liberties.
    Piano wire and lamp posts is the way forward.