EU Proposal opens the door for haggling and bargaining


I welcome European Council President Donald Tusk’s proposal this morning, as representing, without any doubt, a ‘substantial change’, as the Prime Minister has already said, to Europe’s position on the concessions it must and will make to keep the UK inside the EU.

This is a day when those who said the Germans and the French would laugh at us, and move not a metric millimetre to accommodate our demands, must swallow their words and sneak back into their isolationist holes, hopefully never to emerge again.

This is indeed a proud victory for Britain in Europe, but I call this a proposal only, because there is much more negotiating to be done now that we have them on the back foot.

The so-called ’emergency brake’ on benefits is a good start, but there is more to be had here, and I don’t think David Cameron has any intention of easing up the pressure until he’s knocked over all the obstacles to getting what he wants, especially on not paying benefits to new migrants.

The red-card system is also a good start, and will not only give the UK a realistic chance of smashing ridiculous EU laws that threaten to undermine the power of our parliament.

But, even more than that, by setting up the red-card mechanism it will create a strong, chilling effect against stupid, selfish and partisan laws ever getting anywhere near the statute books.

Personally I would like to see a lowering of the 55 per cent threshold, just to be sure!

And I believe the last thing Mr Tusk wanted to hear this morning from the PM’s mouth was that there were still ‘details to be worked out!’

Because, despite what the quitters of the various squabbling ‘Leave’ campaigns will have you believe, we haven’t lost our culture since we joined Europe, but they have learned a thing or two about British understatement.

So it’s a case of get ready for some serious bargaining on things like the pound having the same status as the Euro; of us being exempted from any future Euro-zone bailouts, and a decent set of targets on getting rid of Brussels meddling in our affairs with its tiresome and unhelpful kilometres of red tape, which strangles UK businesses.

Quite frankly, in this proposal the dictatorship of Europe and the wider – now practically dead – political project, are over and the EU is well on its way to again becoming the world’s largest trading block, and a club we cannot afford not to be inside.

In the words of my tailor Andrew Ramroop, why, if you have your foot in the door to a market of 500 million potential customers, where 200,000 UK companies do business, employing more than three million people and creating 229 billion quid of income a year, would you let that door close on you, so you can beat on it with your fists so those inside will let you back in?

Complete madness, the kind that the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, described the other day as entrusting your economic future to the ‘kindness of strangers’.

About Charlie Mullins

Charlie Mullins is the archetypal entrepreneur having started Pimlico Plumbers from scratch and building it into a multi-million pound enterprise. Always opinionated and often controversial, Charlie’s common sense attitude has earned him a reputation as one of the UK’s most outspoken entrepreneurs.

  • John Hunter

    According to Charlie all is well, the leopard has changed its spots overnight!
    Now we can drive forward and achieve all we ever wanted in the EC!!
    The United States of Europe project is now dead! “Hip Hip Hooray”.
    The vast majority of people in the UK do not believe anything that emerges out of the mouths of the Brussels unelected council, this is from previous experience.
    Please remember the referendum in the Republic of Ireland, when the first vote was not to the liking of Brussels they changed the wording, put it on the long finger and had another vote!
    I think that the people of the UK were prepared to give the EC a fair go but enough is enough of this money wasting bunch of highly paid bureaucratic non entities.
    Seriously the Euro itself is a basket case built on sand with most of the member states, who joined originally, not making the budget qualifications set by the EC itself at the time but still they continued on to reach the position they now find themselves in, a financial disaster area!! This is indisputable !!!

  • cliann

    We cannot believe what comes from Brussels any more than we can believe what comes from Cameron His latest scare tactic is we will have an influx of asylum seekers if we leave the EU. Is he saying that as the de facto government of this country they are not capable of securing our borders? It is the open border policy of the EU that has caused the immigration problem.