“The Serious Fraud Office has agreed that tax payers money should not be handed to a criminal enterprise, excuse me, what this means is that the Serious Fraud Office has been told that funds belonging to the tax payer are being handed to a criminal enterprise“. “It’s worse than that, it gets worse, the reason it’s worse is that the British Government, is handing over your money, our VAT money, to a criminal enterprise, but excuse me, the Serious Fraud Office has stated that this is a criminal offence. It therefore follows, not only that the European Commission is a criminal enterprise indefinetly, because it cannot correct its accounts, it also follows that the British Government is engaged in defrauding you the tax payer on an ongoing basis and, will continue to do so. The British Government is engaged in criminal fraud, it is a co-conspirator and, an accessory to the fact of handing over British tax payer money to a criminal enterprise ” (Christopher Story).
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Revealed: How Cameron will warn exiting the EU is ‘risky’ as part of ‘firm aim’ to stop Britain voting to leave
- Leaked note reveals Cameron’s plan to keeping Britain inside the EU
- He has demanded ‘proper, full-on treaty change’ to guarantee reforms
- But PM now accepts there will not be time to hold vote by the end of 2017
- Instead he will accept an ‘irreversible lock’ or ‘legally-binding guarantees’
- Labour and Ukip warning voters will have to accept a ‘post-dated cheque’
David Cameron plans to warn British voters that anything other than remaining in the European Union would be ‘risky’, it emerged today.
Leaked details of the Prime Minister’s talks with other EU leaders reveal he has set himself the ‘firm aim’ of keeping the UK in the EU, in a move likely to infuriate Eurosceptics.
Mr Cameron hoped to use a two-day summit in Brussels to boost support for his reform demands, but has been forced to admit he will not secure treaty change before his planned in-out referendum.
And his pitch to the leaders of 27 other member states was reduced to a 10-minute speech during a marathon dinner dominated by a row over how to deal with migrants flocking to Europe from north Africa.
David Cameron, speaking at a press conference today, has been trying to persuade other EU leaders to back his demands for reform
The Conservative government has pledged to renegotiate Britain’s membership of the EU before holding an in-out referendum on whether to accept the new deal or go it alone.
After defying the polls to secure an overall Conservative majority in May’s election, Mr Cameron believes he has a mandate to deliver serious reform.
Since returning to power, he has embarked on a whirlwind diplomatic push to persuade other EU leaders to back him.
Now a document detailing the Prime Minister’s negotiations with one of his European counterparts has been obtained by The Guardian.
It suggests Mr Cameron wants to hold the in-out referendum next year ahead, of his self-imposed deadline of December 2017.
He believes that people will ultimately vote for the status quo if the alternatives can be made to appear risky,’ the note states.
The tactic would be a repeat of the ‘Project Fear’ method used to convince Scottish voters to stay in the union by highlighting the risks associated with leaving it.
The note also claims Mr Cameron’s ‘firm aim was to was to keep the UK in the EU’. Ukip leader Nigel Farage seized on the comment, saying it showed the Prime Minister’s renegotiation of the terms of Britain’s EU membership was ‘a complete con job’.
The Prime Minister also suggested German Chancellor Angela Merkel and and Italian Premier Matteo Ranzi had responded positively to his proposals.
But he admitted that the French were ‘warier’ about free movement and welfare reforms.
The note said: ‘The PM said that he had deliberately not produced a lengthy shopping list and had been careful in formulating his wish list, but he needed to get satisfaction on these reform demands.
‘He said that he needed to win the middle ground and, if he is to achieve this, then moderate people needed to feel that the things that bother them about the EU have been dealt with.’
In response to the leak, a No 10 spokeswoman said: ‘We have said there would be noise during this process. We are not going to give a running commentary on these negotiations.’
Speaking at a press conference after the end of the summit, Mr Cameron said he thought his talks had ‘gone well’ but stressed there is still ‘a lot of work to do’.
‘I think people can see that Britain has got a legitimate set of questions and a legitimate set of asks,’ he said
Mr Cameron has dismissed the claims yesterday, saying he was pushing for substantial reforms and planning to fight a ‘wholly positive’ campaign for the referendum on EU membership.
He suggested he wanted to get back to a version of the EU that was more like the ‘common market’ Britain originally joined.
He said: ‘Our membership of the EU will once again have a common market at its heart. We will have got off the treadmill of ever-closer union.
‘We will have addressed the issue of migration from the rest of the EU. And we will have protected Britain’s place in the single market. It will not be the status quo.’
Mr Cameron, pictured arriving at the summit in Brussels today, has declared himself ‘delighted’ to have kicked off the formal renegotiation process which will pave the way for an in/out referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union
He gave his strongest indication yet that he intends to campaign for Britain to stay in the EU, saying membership was beneficial to the national interest.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, he said: ‘Particularly during the eurozone crisis, people in Britain were looking at Europe and seeing economic stagnation and problems, and asking, “Is our membership of this organisation beneficial for Britain?” I believe it is beneficial, but I want to make it more so.’
Mr Cameron also appeared to confirm he is taking a softly-softly approach to negotiations, saying he was ‘not kicking over tables’ during discussions. The approach will alarm some Tory MPs, who believe Britain should be tough to secure the best deal.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the MP for North East Somerset, said Mr Cameron should model his tactics on those of Greece in negotiations about its debt crisis.
He added: ‘He should be extraordinarily ambitious. It seems that the more difficult Greece is, the more it gets. We should model our negotiating strategy on the Greeks.’
It comes after it emerged voters in the referendum will not know for certain that Mr Cameron has got a better deal.
The Prime Minister today claimed he was ‘delighted’ after raising his reforms at last night’s dinner, but he has been told he will not be able to change the EU’s complex treaties before the in-out vote.
Critics said it meant the British people will have to accept a ‘post-dated cheque’ because any reforms Mr Cameron achieves could be unpicked by other countries before being written into a new treaty.
Mr Cameron was seen deep in conversation with Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel on the second day of the EU summit today
Mr Cameron had demanded ‘proper, full-on treaty change’ to ensure his promised reforms could not be reversed.
But with some EU leaders it could take 10 years to negotiate a new treaty which some countries would have to put to a referendum, Downing Street now accepts it will not happen before 2017.
The Prime Minister is now saying he would accept an ‘irreversible lock’ or a ‘legally binding’ guarantee that EU law will be changed at some future point to accommodate Britain’s renegotiation.
Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland are all expected to hold their own referendums to approve any change to the EU’s treaties.
Labour accused the Prime Minister of retreating in the face of opposition from other EU states.
Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn said: ‘All year the Prime Minister has been saying that change to the treaty was a definite requirement and yet now, faced with entirely predictable opposition from other member states, he is signalling retreat while pretending that all he ever wanted was a post-dated cheque.’
Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: ‘It sounds like a post-dated cheque. There are so many big things happening that a promissory note of some kind to Britain may well finish up not being honoured.
‘Post-dated cheques can bounce and one suspects that any post-dated cheque that was given to the Brits would be given by presidents and prime ministers in office now.
‘By the time it came to be honoured there would be different prime ministers and presidents elected on a ticket saying we won’t honour this note. It doesn’t work any way you look at it.’
Key demands include curbing access to benefits for migrants, ending the concept of ‘ever closer union’, giving national governments the power to veto Brussels diktats and securing protection for the interests of EU members, like the UK, which do not use the euro.
Speaking as he left the talks at around 2.45am, Mr Cameron said: ‘I am delighted that the process of British reform and renegotiation and the referendum we are going to hold – that process is now properly under way.
‘People always say to me these things aren’t possible, we will never get them done. Once again, we have proved we will get them done.
‘We have started that process and it’s under way.’
But other leaders have warned against long drawn out treaty negiations.
Michael Roth, the German Europe minister, said in a speech in London yesterday: ‘Let’s not deceive ourselves. This process won’t be easy. Negotiations on treaty reform are complicated and usually take a long time. The last round of reforms that led to the Lisbon treaty lasted ten years.’
Estonia’s Prime Minister, Taavi Roivas, who was at last night’s Brussels dinner, said treaty change should not be a goal in itself.
He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘We first of all have to agree what we want to achieve and then we will find the appropriate way.
‘Treaty change would probably need referendums all around the EU and that would cause some difficulties as well.’
David Cameron – with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels – has accepted he is unlikely to win ‘full-on treaty change’ before holding an in/out referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU
LEAKED NOTE: CAMERON’S KEY DEMANDS FOR EU REFORM
According to The Guardian, the note gives details of key areas where the PM is seeking changes:
EVER CLOSER UNION
Giving the UK an exemption from the EU’s commitment to forge an ‘ever closer union’ of the peoples of Europe. The Prime Minister reportedly said the opt-out was needed because the European Court of Justice has used the commitment to push through integrationist measures.
VETO OVER EU DIKTATS
Giving national parliaments the ability to club together to use yellow or red cards to block EU proposals.
FOCUS ON GROWTH
A renewed focus on competitiveness and economic growth by freeing up the service sector and promoting trade.
PROTECTING NON-EURO COUNTRIES
Ensuring fairness between eurozone and non-eurozone members so countries outside the single currency cannot have new rules in the single market imposed on them.
Imposing restrictions on EU migrants claiming benefits. According to the note, Mr Cameron said it was not fair to present his demands as discriminatory – as some eastern European countries have suggested – because it was not unreasonable to expect new migrants to wait for benefits.
NO TREATY CHANGE
The note also suggested the PM might be prepared to accept a protocol to incorporate the reforms into EU treaties, rather than the ‘full-on’ treaty change he has previously said was necessary.
FURY OVER UK’S MIGRANT OPT-OUT
The Prime Minister angered his German and Italian counterparts yesterday after refusing to take part in a programme to relocate 40,000 Mediterranean migrants.
British sources said David Cameron was confronted during dinner in Brussels by both Angela Merkel and the Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi after insisting he would stick to the UK’s opt-out on the issue.
Yesterday Mr Cameron said he had warned EU leaders that the relocation plan would be ‘counter-productive’, as it would send a signal to migrants in Africa that it was worth attempting the perilous journey across the Mediterranean.
He said he had urged action to tackle the problem ‘at source’, including measures to dismantle people smuggling gangs.
However, British sources pointed out that Mr Cameron had already quietly agreed to expand a ‘resettlement’ scheme for refugees from Syria and other war-torn regions in recent days. A source said the UK would now take ‘more than a thousand’ refugees a year. The figure is expected to include around 800 refugees from Syria over the next three years – around three times the original plan.
EU leaders traded insults over the issue during an acrimonious seven-hour dinner meeting that finally ended at 3am yesterday.
Mr Renzi was pitched against countries including Hungary, Poland and Lithuania, which were reluctant to accept mandatory quotas of refugees.
He accused opponents of lacking ‘solidarity’, adding: ‘If you don’t want to take the 40,000 you are not fit to be called Europe.’
÷ Labour leadership hopeful Andy Burnham has called for major reform of immigration and border rules across Europe to prevent ‘mass movements’ of people to Calais. He also backed limits on free movement within Europe to stop people coming to Britain to claim benefits.
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