Whom to believe?

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Horrible grammar, but a good thought

In the last few days we have seen a report from a respected German think-tank, the Bertelsmann Foundation, saying that Brexit (a UK exit from the EU) would do huge damage to the British economy, and could cost up to 13% of GDP, (bear in mind that several serious analyses of the cost of British EU membership suggest it’s already costing 10 to 11% of GDP).

Yet almost simultaneously, the highly respected and prominent American Think Tank, the Heritage Foundation, says exactly the opposite.  It urges the UK to leave the EU , arguing that the EU is “doomed”, and that the UK will thrive as an independent trading nation.

So whom to believe?  It’s always worth checking the antecedents of this type of report, to see who might have an axe to grind.

And lo and behold, we discover that the Bertelsmann Foundation had a banner on its web-site “The United Citizens of Europe”.  And we find that Board of Trustees includes none other that Vivian Reding, until recently a European Commissioner.  Last year she called for a full United States of Europe. Even our own pro-EU foreign office has described her as ‘an unrepentant federalist’ with ‘no understanding of the EU’s deep flaws’.

One of the two authors of the report is Ulrich Schoof,  who used to work for the European Commission and also for the European Parliament. We can hardly be surprised that the ‘proof’ this ex-eurocrat offers that leaving the EU would be a blow to the British economy is no more than a slim eight pages long. Serious studies in Britain on the effects of Brexit run to hundreds of pages. Many of these studies show that Brexit could lead to increased UK prosperity.

In short, it would be fair to see the Bertelsmann Report as little more than a propaganda exercise by committed European federalists.

But perhaps you’re wondering — doesn’t the Heritage Foundation have any axes to grind?  Well they’re certainly committed to free markets and free trade — and there’s nothing wrong with that.  And they are of course, as you would expect, committed to the US national interest.  But there is no consensus in Washington as to where the USA’s interests lie in this debate over the UK’s EU membership.  The Administration says it believes that it is in the interests of Britain, the EU and the USA that Europe should remain united and that the UK should remain in the EU.  (Whether it says that because it believes it, or because it doesn’t want to disoblige Brussels, is another question).  But many Americans — including Heritage — believe that the UK would be a stronger ally and a more prosperous country as an independent nation than as a Brussels satrapy.

And for the avoidance of doubt, I should add that I am more inclined to agree with the Heritage Foundation than with Vivian Reding.

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20 Responses to Whom to believe?

  1. David H. Walker says:

    If the sun never sets on the UK then, yes, then the UK can function as an “independent trading nation.”

    However, it appears the UK has done to itself as has the US; strangled the productive classes with crisis construction, red tape, taxes and licensure to the point of being a “has-been.”

    • catweazle666 says:

      “However, it appears the UK has done to itself as has the US; strangled the productive classes with crisis construction, red tape, taxes and licensure to the point of being a “has-been.”

      Mostly at the behest of the EUSSR, of course.

      Which is why we must extract ourselves from the political element of it ASAP.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        I just received an email with this info, It from a usually a good source, can anyone comment on it?

        Britain will be forced by Brussels to accept Mediterranean refugees.”
        Report in the paper today.

        And there’s actually nothing our government can do because on 21 November 2014, immigration and border control was just one of many policy areas that was moved from “unanimity” to “QMV” (Qualified Majority Voting) a rather important change that our politicians and mainstream media didn’t feel it worth mentioning during the election.

        Here’s what happened – In the EU, the Council of Ministers is supposed to make a lot of the key decisions about the main legislation to be passed by the EU.
        In the Treaty of Nice, many of the areas where the EU wished to legislate required unanimity of the Council of Ministers.
        So Britain had the option of vetoing any legislation it disagreed with.
        But, in order to ‘improve the quality of decision making’, the Lisbon Treaty moved a huge number of areas from ‘unanimity’ to “QMV”.
        Moreover, the threshold for QMV was lowered from countries with over 70% of the EU’s population to countries with just 65% of the EU population.

        So, Britain can now be outvoted by Merkel and her stooges on virtually any EU decision.
        The areas which moved from ‘unanimity’ to ‘QMV’ are all of these:

        Area of decision-making Nice Lisbon.

        Initiatives of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs- was Unanimity now QMV.
        Rules concerning the Armaments Agency Unanimity – QMV
        Freedom to establish a business Unanimity- QMV
        Self-employment access rights Unanimity- QMV
        Freedom, security and justice – cooperation and evaluation Unanimity- QMV
        Border checks Unanimity – QMV
        Asylum Unanimity- QMV
        Immigration Unanimity- QMV
        Crime prevention incentives Unanimity- QMV
        Eurojust Unanimity- QMV
        Police cooperation Unanimity-QMV
        Europol Unanimity- QMV
        Transport Unanimity- QMV
        European Central Bank Unanimity QMV (in part)
        Culture Unanimity- QMV
        Structural and Cohension Funds Unanimity- QMV
        Organisation of the Council of the European Union Unanimity-QMV
        European Court of Justice Unanimity- QMV
        Freedom of movement for workers Unanimity- QMV
        Social security Unanimity- QMV
        Criminal judicial cooperation Unanimity- QMV
        Criminal law Unanimity- QMV
        President of the European Councilelection (New item) QMV
        Foreign Affairs High Representative election (New item) QMV
        Funding the Common Foreign and Security Policy Unanimity-QMV
        Common defense policy Unanimity-QMV
        Withdrawal of a member state (new item) QMV
        General economic interest services Unanimity- QMV
        Diplomatic and consular protection Unanimity QMV
        Citizens initiative regulations Unanimity- QMV
        Intellectual property Unanimity QMV
        Eurozone external representation Unanimity QMV
        Sport Unanimity QMV
        Space Unanimity QMV
        Energy Unanimity QMV
        Tourism Unanimity QMV
        Civil protection Unanimity QMV
        Administrative cooperation Unanimity QMV
        Emergency international aid Unanimity QMV
        Humanitarian aid Unanimity QMV
        Response to natural disasters or terrorism (new item) QMV
        Economic and Social Committee QMV QMV
        Committee of the Regions Unanimity- QMV
        Economic and Social Committee Unanimity-QMV
        The EU budget Unanimity-QMV

        So, on 21 November 2014 we said goodbye to the UK as an independent country, because after 21 November 2014, Britain was no longer be able to block any legislation which was against our national interests.
        No wonder Cameron, Miliband, Clegg and all their self-serving sycophants in the mainstream media never mentioned 21 November 2014.
        After all, if we plebs had understood how our quisling leaders were handing over control of our country to Germany, more of us might have supported UKIP.

  2. Ffred123 says:

    Words of wisdom David, so they will fall on deaf ears ,those above only listen to themselves or the spin / focus groups we employ for them ..

  3. Anne says:

    We do not need to believe either Roger. We know exactly what our very own Constitution states quite clearly, in that it forbids us obeying foreigners, for we have our very own longstanding Common Law Constitution, and as you well know, that to destroy our Constitution is indeed TREASON, and a few, especially after that last World War-which was all about fighting to prevent foreigners Governing us, paid the ultimate price, death by hanging.

  4. ian wragg says:

    I just hope when we eventually leave this monstrosity or it implodes, the people responsible for keeping us in will be prosecuted and charged with treason. Italian lamp post being the preferred solution.

  5. David says:

    Ill go with or AMERICAN CHUMS.

  6. Brin Jenkins says:

    Where has our EU troll gone?

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Need to view his/its IP address Brin. Not necessarily proof of residence (wherever) but may give a clue.

      Each time this USA stuff comes up I am suspicious of the strange foundations that push money around. Clinton for one. There has to be an axe grind somewhere or a VI…same thing?

  7. Mika says:

    Roger, the debate has moved on now.
    Of course we cannot just leave the EU! We are bound in by treaty for one thing. For another, a lot of trade takes place with what is still the second largest trading bloc in the world after China. We cannot just walk out: it really would ruin a lot of businesses and affect the banking system.
    On the other hand, most people are agreed that we have to get out of the way of the political juggernaut of the EUSSR as soon as possible.
    Trade – must be uninterrupted.
    Political Union – must be escaped.

    But HOW? That is the real question and Ukip are not giving us the answer. I truly wish they were.

    • Roger Helmer MEP says:

      Mika, Thanks for giving me the opportunity to challenge your preposterous assumption that Brexit “would ruin businesses”. What you’re saying is that our trade with the EU depends on membership of the EU. This is simply nonsense, and damaging nonsense at that. Do you know which countries export most to the EU? China, Russia, and the USA. None is a member. None (at this time) has any preferential trade deal with the EU. Non-membership is not a barrier to trade.

      The EU could not afford to stop EU/UK trade: when we leave, we will be their largest external customer — in both gross and net terms. Bigger than the USA. There will be no attempt at punitive trade sanctions, but if there were, it would be in breach of WTO rules, of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty — and of common sense.

      All too often we see this lazy and ignorant assumption that Brexit would damage trade with the EU. It’s just plain wrong.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      If businesses fail to look wider than the EU then more fool(s) them. Never rely on a single market in total. Simply don’t!

      Banks are highly mobile and will re arrange their chairs to suit new rooms/furniture as required. New banks can be formed and should have been.

      It appears the EU wants to grant itself the power to launch crime probes in Britain by creating a European Public Prosecutor:


      Can’t say the sight of these people in uniform impresses at all. However, its whats behind it thats a worry.

    • Jane Davies says:

      Mika, don’t fall for the lies from the other lot! Their only wish is cling on to the EU gravy train. The UK was fine as far as world trade was concerned before joining the EU disaster and will be just fine once the shackles are removed.

  8. Roger Helmer MEP says:

    A second point, Mika. You say we can’t leave the EU because “we’re bound by Treaty”. Again, I’m afraid, you’re just plain wrong. There are at least two routes. A simple bill in Westminster repealing that 1972 European Communities Act. Or the procedure prescribed under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. We may be bound hand and foot, but we’re not bound forever.

  9. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Here’s John Redwood on his blog today:

    The other three parties would fail to address the real issues which are already upon us over our membership. As non members of the Euro we are finding that regulation and control of our large financial services and banking sector is increasingly under EU law and administration in ways which can be damaging to business. We are finding it impossible to run a low priced energy policy thanks to EU energy rules, making our wish to expand UK manufacturing more difficult to deliver. The EU wants the UK to stand behind the debts of the banks and states of the Euro area. We need to resist this. Any likely government but a Conservative one will not stand up for UK interests, and will not seek to resolve the growing tensions between Euro and non Euro members.

    I assume Redwood meant the 3 other parties to be Lib/Lab and any other except UKIP… Dunno? Apart from that we know that 3 parties (Con/Lib/Lab) are distinct switchers…ah but, yes but and on and on!

  10. Thomas Fox says:

    UK trade in goods with EU is in billions of deficit per year and rising so maybe more trade needs to be done without the commission,s shackles and let it progress with its United Citizens of Europe

  11. Anne says:

    Mika, you should surely know that the date proposed by Mr Cameron for a REFERENDUM is for 2017, which however, may well require ‘all the other Countries in the EU to agree to allow us out of the EU’, In other Words=, we can indeed get out of the EU. However, to make sure we actually DO get out of the EU, it is proposed that we use the General Election as the REFERENDUM and fill that House of Commons with UKIP. As we know-without doubt- promises have been made previously that, “if we elect the Conservatives, “we would be given the promised REFERENDUM-which we all know has never once come to be since 1975 even though other promises have been made by those we have indeed elected. However, to get out of the EU, ALL must put their Country before ANY POLITICAL PARTY and fill that House of Commons with UKIP in the coming general Election. Proof? We have not been given a referendum on the EU since 1975. Once again, I repeat, the EU looks far ahead and already has Directives etc for 2020, 2030 and a couple for 2050 and one for 2060-do any of YOU want to remain in the EU until then to see exactly what may have taken place by then? You either take the upper ground and use your election vote or you may well be in the EU-forever,-ALL OF WHICH IS INDEED CONTRARY TO OUR CONSTITUTION which so many gave their lives for in that last War.

  12. DougS says:

    I’m sure that the Germans don’t want us to leave the EU. They’d have to pick up an even bigger tab for the net recipients of EU ‘largesse’ – and there’s plenty of them!

  13. Anne says:

    Do you remember that on 12th November 2014, the British Parliament lost competence (control) over the 43 areas of government listed below that are needed to manage and keep safe your lives.
    They are now the subject of QMV within the EU.
    The British Parliament now has to seek approval from the EU for any laws that they wish to pass on these 43 areas.
    The British Parliament also lost the right of veto in those areas.

    The EU can of course, introduce legislation in those areas, of it’s own.

    There was a big fuss in the media over this at the time, but it seems everybody has now forgotten , as they had hoped I suspect.

    You have been purposefully sheltered from the effects of these changes so far, in case it disturbed you prior to the forthcoming election.

    Read the list below, and see just how far the EU has now got it’s claws into you.

    Just imagine what is going to happen, once this election is over.

    1) Administrative cooperation
    2) Asylum
    3) Border Controls
    4) Citizens initiative regulations
    5) Civil Protection
    6) Committee of the regions
    7) Common Defence Policy
    8) Crime prevention incentives
    9) Criminal judicial cooperation
    10) Criminal Law
    11) CULTURE
    12) Diplomatic judicial cooperation
    13) Economic Social Committee
    14) Emergency International aid
    15) Energy
    16) EU Budget
    17) Eurojust
    18) European Central Bank
    19) European Court of Justice
    20) Europol
    21) Eurozone external representation,
    22) Foreign Affairs High Representation Election
    23) Freedom of Movement of Workers
    24) Freedom to Establish a Business
    25) Freedom, Security, Justice, cooperation & evaluation policy
    26) Funding the Common Foreign & Security Policy
    27) General economic interest services
    28) Humanitarian Aid
    29) Immigration
    30) Intellectual property
    31) Organisation of the Council of the EU
    32) Police cooperation
    33) President of the European Council election
    34) Response to natural disaster & terrorism
    35) Rules concerning the Armaments Agency
    36) Self-employment rights
    37) Social Security Unanimity
    38) Space
    39) Sport
    40) Structural & Cohesion Funds
    41) Tourism,
    42 ) Transport
    43) Withdrawal of a member state


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