Coffee House

Boris Johnson’s European crusade to save the Tory party

3 August 2014

The Sunday Telegraph has news that Boris Johnson will give a speech next week in which he will throw his weight behind a report, published by Volterra, calling for Britain to renegotiate its membership of the EU. The Telegraph reports:

The capital’s gross domestic product (GDP), currently £350 bn — or just over a fifth of the UK economy — would grow to £640 bn by 2034 if Britain stayed in a reformed EU and adopted policies encouraging more trade with the world’s fastest-growing markets, the report will say. 

But if the UK left the EU, while pursuing its own trade-friendly policies regardless, the London economy would still grow to £615 bn over the next 20 years. 

Staying in an unreformed EU would see London’s GDP expand to just £495 bn by 2034, Volterra estimates.

Boris Johnson’s economics advisor Gerard Lyons told the Telegraph: ‘Britain can only achieve meaningful EU reform if it’s serious about leaving.’ There are fears that Jean-Claude Juncker’s commission will seek financial reforms that are inimical to the City’s (and Europe’s) interests. Boris is expected to lay out where and how Britain should renegotiate, with the consequences of failure or half-measures made clear to Juncker et al.

This economic announcement is laced with political intent. The future of the Conservative Party, the most successful and resilient political movement in democratic history, is bound up in Britain’s membership of the European Union. Those familiar with Boris Johnson’s thinking on the matter say that Boris believes the party – in a broad sense of the term – is split on the issue, and that only a referendum on a renegotiated membership package can heal the fissure. As Mayor of London, and self-appointed guardian of the City’s nationally vital interests, Boris is well-placed to lead the renegotiation effort.

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Show comments
  • global city

    Ask any prospective MP who supports our membership of the EU that you come across or correspond with why they expect you to vote for them when they only want the job part time with much of the serious stuff hived off elsewhere.

    Ask them to justify you giving them your vote rather than it going to one who wants to do the job full time and take on responsibility for all of the legislation that impacts their ‘constituents’!

    Can the Spectator take up this cause? Ask every europhile MP why they think that they are not up to the job that ALL MPs could do before 1972. Ask any prospective MP why they feel that they are not up to doing a proper job as a legislator.

  • beenzrgud

    There will be no reform, and hence no reason to remain a member.

  • EschersStairs

    I’m not sure I understand how an individual who is determined to look as Boris does can even be a politician in any self-respecting country.

  • Ordinaryman

    Johnson is a self promoting glory hunter with a fancy turn in the classics. That’s all. A vote for him is a liability the country can do without.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Yeah Yeah yeah. Boris can throw his not insignificant bulk behind such a plan but words mean nothing when it relates to the Tories and Europe. Its delivery that matters and from our original entry into the EEC to Maastricht to the ERM to the upcoming opt in to the EAW on balance what the Tories have delivered is bad for this country!

    Remember the 2nd rule of politics:

    You Can’t Trust The Tories Over Europe

    • Ordinaryman

      OK, I’ll buy it, even though I think I know the answer. What’s the 1st rule?

      • Wessex Man

        Don’t trust Labour?

  • JulianTheSceptic

    Obviously it has not been possible to read an unpublished report, but the models are only as good as their underlying assumptions.

    EU reform is in practice a No-No; not just because the EU is wedded to bureaucracy and politically-motivated empire building. The whole EU legal architecture stands against repatriating any powers – its top court, the ECJ, has ruled that the loss of sovereignty is permanent. Quite chilling.

    There is no chance of rolling back ‘ever closer union’, as this is the fundamental purpose of the European project; its members and institutions must legally commit to supporting further integration.

    And before anyone suggests Jean-Claude Juncker (with whom Cameron has quietly made up after June’s spat for domestic consumption) is really open to giving us ‘national competence’, this is just play with words.

    As a former Brussels correspondent of the Telegraph, it will be interesting how much Boris Johnson has actually grasped about the nature of the EU beast.

  • Bob Thomas

    More absolute b*llocks from the king of meaningless twaddle. The United Kingdom cannot act as an independent sovereign country while we remain an EU member.

  • David B

    In a nut shell we need capitalism not socialism to make us better off

    • Brigantian

      We need neither: we need the freedom to engage in Free Enterprise.

      • Ordinaryman

        I hope I’m about to learn something. What’s the difference between capitalism that’s not manipulated and free enterprise?

        • EschersStairs

          I’m feeling disappointed already.

          • Ordinaryman

            What a pity and we’ve hardly got to know each other. Never mind though, my wife often says the same thing to me for some reason.

            • MrsDBliss

              I thought eschersstairs was aiming his comment at brigantian.
              As regards your wife, have you thought of removing your socks?

              • Ordinaryman

                Oh!! Now you’ve really hurt my feelings. Would I be so crass as to leave my socks on?

                • MrsDBliss

                  My sinecure apologies sir. I really don’t know what I was thinking to suggest such a thing.

                • Ordinaryman

                  Thankyou! I feel so much better now. It’s been nice to talk to you.

              • EschersStairs

                Indeed, I was commiserating with Ordinaryman’s hopes dashed by Brigantian. I presume they are not married?

  • HookesLaw

    ”financial reforms that are inimical to the City’s (and Europe’s) interests.” — thts why we need the renegotiations and one way or another we need them to succeed, because if we cannot square the circle we need to get the bet deal we can outside thew EU. But overwhelmingly it will not be much dofferent to being in. We will require access to the single market and that will mean sticking to EU rules. This may be better for us, or not, but no one will notice much difference.

  • whs1954

    Oh fuck off, plugging that inane blithering twit Boris for PM.

    I cannot believe how, in an age of information technology and 24 hour news and Blackberries pinging information over the earth and God knows what, today’s journalists are so much more credulous than their predecessors. Boris is thinking of maybe giving a speech that might hint towards possibly pulling out of the EU = all hail Boris! Nigel Farage goes into another pub and has another pint = all hail Nigel!

    Get behind the PM, eh, who is our only hope of keeping Milipede out – not Boris, and not that twit Farage who will manage zero MPs at the next election, whatever internet warriors may say.

    • cambridgeelephant

      Bollox ! Cameron is a proven liar and has burnt far too many bridges to turn things around now. If UKIP get 9% of the vote in 2015 your little prediction will come true.

      But if they manage 20% nationally and 35% in target seats, the breakthrough arrives. And that is more than do-able.

      • Andy

        You will give us a Fascist Government. And that might take quite a bit of removing.

        • Brigantian

          Not that the UK Government has been anything other than Fascist since 1979. Or should that be 1973 ?

        • EschersStairs

          Care to define Fascism?

    • Brigantian

      Hello pre-Mousterian man. I see your language has not improved in the last 300,000 years. It is somewhat of a surprise that you know about the internet, but not that you resort to obscenities and stone clubs in support of your argument. The use of a thorn bush to comb your hair is also outdated, although with some notable exceptions!

  • Lady Magdalene

    The headline says it all.
    BoJo European crusade to SAVE THE TORY PARTY.
    They are finally cottoning on that UKIP voters aren’t fooled by Call Me Dave’s posturing and aren’t “coming back” for fear of Miliband.
    The Conservative Party is finally going to face the consequences of betraying the British people and conspiring to take us in the EEC and keep us in until it became a European Superstate.
    They never had a mandate for any of it and if the Party splits and becomes un-electable, it will be justice delivered.

  • global city

    I see that the headline composer has been suffering the same strange computer problem that I often do.

    I’ll be writing and then discover that the cursor has moved of its own accord to another part of the page, often destroying huge pieces of what I’d already written.

    When he wrote
    Boris Johnson’s crude masquerade to save the Tory party, it somehow came out the way that we can read it above.

    I wonder if David has noticed yet? I hope he gets to fix it soon.

  • In2minds

    BoJo, he looks like a crab!

  • Agrippina

    1.08.14-report from Civitas found that large-scale immigration will have a negative effect on standards of living as any economic benefits will be outweighed by pressures imposed by a much bigger population.

    In a report on economic consequences of immigration, Cambridge University economist Robert Rowthorn said any gains would be small compared to strains placed on amenities such as housing, schools and hospitals.

    The 85-page report says that as a result gross domestic product would grow as a whole but GDP per capita would be only marginally affected by projected population growth forecast for the coming century.

    Mr Rowthorn, Emeritus Professor of Economics at Cambridge University, said: “Unrestrained population growth would eventually have a negative impact on the standard of living through its environmental effects such as overcrowding, congestion and loss of amenity.” Stop voting for the trio of troughers who want to keep us in the EU.

  • The Masked Marvel

    Whatever secures Boris more power, eh?

  • the viceroy’s gin

    “Boris Johnson’s European crusade to save the Tory party”


    Even the title of this gibberish is confused, and merely raises questions.

    What is the nature of this “European crusade”?

    Why does the Tory party require somebody to “save” it? This question in particular would require answering, before any salvation efforts are to be contemplated.

    What could a blowhard albino poshboy possibly have to contribute to any of the above?

    The same electorate that is soon to mount Call Me Dave’s head on a spike isn’t about to cotton to a Londonistan bankster bumboy, is it?

  • Jacques Strap

    Build the garden cities in Poland!!

  • @PhilKean1

    I mean, the agony inflicted on intelligent patriots just keeps on coming.

    Ok, belatedly, as it is – Boris is just playing the hand that SHOULD have been played by David Cameron.

    Oh yes. One man, David Cameron, who would NEVER consider taking Britain out of the EU, or allowing circumstances to arise that could inadvertently LEAD to Britain’s extrication – being upstaged by another man, Boris Johnson, who – if we are to believe our instincts and Louise Mensch – is ALSO totally committed to EU membership.

    This hurts more by the day. The VERY top echelons of British Government unable – and unwilling – to grasp a simple fact: that the Socialist EU is a dangerous, no exceptions political project that can NOT change, and that Britain simply can NOT remain part of if we are to retain the mechanisms necessary to guarantee our ability to remain prosperous and free.

    So when I hear infantile, deceitful uttering such as these : “I would vote to leave if there was a referendum tomorrow” – and – “I would vote to leave if the EU remains on its current trajectory” – and – “I would vote to leave an unreformed EU” – I say to myself, it would be less painful to take multiple kicks in the stones than have to suffer any more of these mindless gibberings.

    Because surely all, intelligent, decent, honourable patriots – must already know that it isn’t – or SHOULDN’T – be possible to stay in the EU, no matter what fudge, concoction, farce, deception and trickery is negotiated to persuade the British people that their sacred democracy, prosperity and way-of-life would no longer be under threat from people they have no way of removing from office.

    • Wessex Man

      add to that fact that the markets have slipped because of the Ukrainian situation and the stark warning from the IMF that the eurozone is heading for deflation and sanctions against Russia could cause even more of a crisis and we need to leave now not at some fanciful date in the future if Call me Dave gets re-elected which he won’t.

    • rtj1211

      Boris is interested in one thing and one thing alone: Boris. Boris being Prime Minister. Boris being President of Europe if it were possible (it isn’t). Boris being President of the USA (it’s more likely).

      If you start from the position that everything Boris says and does is about Boris, you’ll not be deceived in any meaningful way……

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …so he’s similar to your boy Clegg, then?

      • ButcombeMan

        Exactly, this is Boris “showing a bit of leg” to dissaffected Tories and Kippers.

        Boris is, if anything, even more untrustworthy than Mr Slippery.

        Would you leave your attractive wife, unaccompanied, for very long, anywhere near Boris?

        The Tories cannot now, regain the trust of those who want out of the EU.

  • Archibald Heatherington

    Time to leave. It’s been time to leave since we joined. I want our laws to be made by Etonians, not Estonians!

    • rtj1211

      I think you’ll find that US Multinationals have quite a bit to do with lawmaking in the EU….

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Of course, fascist corporatism is what you socialists are all about these days.

        • EschersStairs

          It’s funny that they don’t quite understand that fascists confused themselves with socialists in the beginning.

    • Brigantian

      Are they not one and the same these days?
      You don’t get many Englishmen called Boris.

      • Archibald Heatherington

        His first name is Alexander, actually. ‘Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’ is his full name.

        You’re right, Englishmen tend to be called Mohammed now.

  • Ray Veysey

    Johnson is no more trustworthy than Cameron, which puts him below zero on any scale.

    • Geronimo von Huxley

      White man stupid. White man believe white man have choice. White man know nothing. Fat blond white man do pau wau, brown hair clone man do dull speech. They member of same tribe. Now Geronimo take scalp.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Hey Geronomo, the Skull and Bones society at Yale have your skull stashed down in their dungeon somewhere. They nicked it from your tomb one night, in a drunken binge. Now, the Bushes and Kerrys and the rest of the gauche American stumpjumpers make sport of it . Which is too bad, because I’d be pleased to see you scalp the fat blond guy and the brown hair clone.

      • AJH1968

        Geronimo need less fire water, methinks

  • swatnan

    Careful BoZo; remember what happened to Icararus who flew too near the SUN; his wings melted and he came crashing to the ground.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Funny how that never seems to apply to gobby, gobshite lefties…

  • Denis_Cooper

    I recall attending a public meeting about the euro which had been billed as a “debate” involving Boris Johnson and the then Europe Minister Keith Vaz, and there was hardly any difference between their positions. He’s a Tory pseudosceptic, like Hague.

  • Cooper1992

    Money, money, money, money, money. Do these politicians ever talk about anything else?

    Why can’t they talk about sovereignty, democracy, openness, independence,immigration, community cohesion, English and Scots law, cultural identity, Asian and American connections, legitimacy, and patriotism.

    No amount of research reports from City of London think tanks are going to change my view that I have absolutely no connection to the European Union whatsoever

    I would never pay taxes to it. I would never go to war for it. I would never pledge allegiance to it. There is NO social contract between me and the European Union.

    • you_kid

      Excellent post – “no connection to the European Union whatsoever”.
      Says it all, really.

      In fact, your post is so good I am going to uptick that, just like you did.

      • Wessex Man

        Well I was going to until reading your post, how vain to give yourself an uptick, thank you.

        • Jacques Strap

          Well if you wrote something and likes it, then why not?

          Unless you like the self loathing attitude of the left?

          • Wessex Man

            Don’t talk rubbish if you think your argument is so poor you have to give yourself an uptick you shouldn’t be putting the argument forward.

            I would never call myself left wing being a member of UKip, I agree that we need to get out but we don’t need hysterics.

            We already pay taxes to the EU in the shape of our ‘contributions, we already submit to it’s rules out passports now carry European Union above the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

            If we stay in much longer our armed forces will become part of he European Army, which already has it’s own uniform and raised the much larger EU flag above national Flags at the ‘State Opening’ of the European Parliament.

            I won’t be giving myself a an uptick and couldn’t care less if you do or don’t.

            • telemachus

              I would never call myself left wing being a member of UKip, I agree that we need to get out but we don’t need hysterics.

              • Wessex Man

                You lying commie mouthpiece as usual you seek to cloud every remark with bu******!

                I personally have not said ‘we are going after the Labour vote, there is no such thing, you have to earn the votes of people.

                Your aimless toothless Union controlled mess isn’t real Labour and come the GE peole who used to vote Labour with take thier votes elsewhere, hopefully in the direction of Ukip, just as in 1979 they took them to Maggie Thatcher!

                You have always been a lying **** and I don’t suppose you will ever change. Unfortunately for you and yours the electorate have changed and had enough of your lies

              • girondas2

                “Wessex you keep telling us that you tramps are going for the Labour vote”

                The votes don’t belong to “The Party”. It is this kind of arrogance that is fueling the move to UKIP

      • Jacques Strap

        Well he has 15+ other ticks!

        • you_kid


          • the viceroy’s gin

            …I especially find it amusing when your sockpuppets give each other upticks, troll.

          • girondas2

            You laugh like a hyena

      • the viceroy’s gin

        GFY, troll.

    • Lady Magdalene

      No need for me to post. You said it for me.

  • berosos_bubos

    Why would people building a socialist super-state ever want to reform ? Socialism is only ever built on delusion (and other peoples money).

    • rtj1211

      And capitalism is never built on swindles pilfering other people’s money??

      • the viceroy’s gin

        It is if you socialists have any say in the matter. That’s the whole point of socialism, to feed parasitically off others.

      • EschersStairs

        Depends on how much socialism the judiciary and the executive embrace.

  • global city

    Cue rush of stupid lefties over to the EU banner.

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