Daily Debrief March 9th

 

The Queen and Brexit

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The Sun leads with the dramatic story that Her Majesty is backing Brexit.  This turns out to be based on second-hand conversations from five years ago, when Her Majesty is said to have disagreed with Nick Clegg on the EU.  The Palace has since denied that the Queen stated such a view, and maintains that She is politically neutral, and that the EU issue is a question for the British people to decide in the Referendum.

This has placed Nick Clegg in a difficult position.  To fulfil constitutional convention, he should have replied “Any conversations I may have had with Her Majesty are privileged, and I am not able to make any substantive comment”.  But I guess he saw that this would be taken by the hacks as confirmation of the story, so he has fallen back on – how shall I put it? – diplomatic nuance? — and denied any recollection of such a conversation.

I am not sure that it is appropriate for us to speculate about Her Majesty’s possible opinions, and I do so with some trepidation.  But given the exemplary way in which she has fulfilled her obligations to our nation for many decades, and given also her strong sense of our country’s long history and of Her own rôle within it, it is difficult to believe that our Sovereign would be content to be a mere citizen in someone else’s country, or a star on someone else’s flag.

Carney takes a one-sided view

The “i” newspaper headlines “EU exit biggest risk to stability, says Carney” (Mark Carney, Governor of The Bank of England).  Actually he said it was the biggest domestic risk.  He seemed to think that in global terms the slow-down in China was more serious.

But this is a very partial analysis.  He has looked at the downside risk of Brexit, but seems to have ignored the off-setting up-side opportunities.  And while commenting on the risks of Brexit, he has ignored the risks of staying in the EU, which are arguably much more serious.  Let’s consider:

The down-side risks of Brexit:  Of course there is a down-side risk to any major new development.  But in the case of Brexit, the down-side risk is small, because we have a safety-net in the form of WTO rules.  Many countries trade successfully with the EU on that basis, including the USA, Russia and China, the three largest sources of imports into the EU.  Even this down-side is unlikely to occur, however, because economic reality dictates that we will very rapidly – certainly within the two-year disengagement period envisaged in the Lisbon Treaty Article 50 – will have a free trade agreement (FTA).

The up-side opportunities:  These include the FTA, which would leave us with duty-free market access, but also free of EU regulation and interference; the opportunity to make new and advantageous trade deals around the world, including with the Commonwealth; less regulation; lower energy costs; and an economically-relevant immigration policy.

The risks of staying in: If we stay in a dysfunctional and declining EU, we shall certainly be affected by the EU’s poor economic performance. We will be dragged into the €uro’s problems (despite our opt-out); we have just been hit with a £500 million bill to help the Turkish issue; immigration will increase – Merkel will give passports to a million migrants, and the EU proposes to fast-track Turkish accession, which will mean more migrants and less EU funding.  In my view the risks of staying aboard the sinking ship outweigh the risks of getting into the lifeboat.

Carney on immigration

It seems that the Governor of the Bank of England is supporting (or has been pressured by) the Remain camp.  Not content with his “Risks of Brexit” position, he has also said that open-door immigration from Europe is “has boosted the economy“.  There has been much debate about whether the net effects of immigration have been positive or negative, with views expressed on both sides.  And quite apart from the strict economic numbers, there are legitimate questions about social cohesion and social infrastructure, about pressures on schools, hospitals, housing and so on, about health tourism and about wage compression.

What cannot be disputed, however, is that if we were able to select those would-be immigrants with skills we need, and reject those without (the much-cited “Australian Points System”), we would have a better outcome than we have from the current free-for-all.  The current arrangement discriminates against skilled immigrants from the Commonwealth.  And as I love to say, I’d rather admit an Indian dentist than an unskilled Romanian.

UN questions legality of EU’s migrant deal with Turkey

Jean-Claude Juncker has called it “a game changer”.  It’s not.  It’s a zero-sum game.  The EU/Turkey proposal is a one-for-one migrant swap.  One “genuine” Syrian migrant allowed into the EU from Turkey, in exchange for Turkey accepting the return of one non-Syrian migrant from the Greek islands.

It’s a bizarre (and rather pointless) idea, and could prove difficult to implement.  Several papers report fears that attempts to round up and return migrants to Turkey from the Greek Islands could result in violence.  But now the BBC is reporting that the UN’s Refugee agency is questioning the legality of the deal.

It has declared that any collective expulsion of foreigners is “not consistent with European law”.  For good measure, Amnesty International called the plan “a death blow to the right to seek asylum”.  Yet again, the EU proves utterly ineffectual and impotent in the face of an existential crisis.

 

 

 

 

 

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13 Responses to Daily Debrief March 9th

  1. Ex-expat Colin says:

    BoE recent track record…J. Redwood today:

    Why should we believe Mr Carney on Brexit?
    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2016/03/09/mr-carney-is-wrong-again/#comments

    Its another gang that likes long big lunches…a magic money tree amongst many others.

  2. Ex-expat Colin says:

    EU Commission Interference Alert
    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/03/08/italy-france-portugal-have-excessive-economic-imbalances-commission/

    Time for a few fines and not quite yet. Wonder why?

  3. Shieldsman says:

    Mark Carney entering the fray on the side of Cameron shows he has not got his eye on the ball.
    He should have been asking the question – can we afford to be in this expensive, wasteful bureaucratic empire.
    Problems are mounting with our home accounts, so will the printing presses be working overtime to stock the mythical money tree.

    I refer to Peter Oborne’s: The truth is Osborne’s profligacy makes Gordon Brown look like a miser
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3477664/PETER-OBORNE-truth-Osborne-s-profligacy-makes-Gordon-Brown-look-like-miser.html#ixzz42PaziY4Q
    George Osborne is facing the defining test of his six years as Chancellor. In 11 days time, he will deliver the annual Budget — and I predict that he will have to make a violent U-turn in policy which threatens to leave his credibility in shreds. It will see him reining back on the expansionary spending plan he announced in November, when he pumped an extra £27 billion into the British economy.
    The fact is that Osborne has no choice but to slam on the brakes with an acrid stench of burning rubber. For he has been responsible for Britain plc accumulating a shockingly large national debt.
    The national debt (the amount owed by the Government) is three times higher, and the deficit (the difference between its everyday expenses and its revenues) is bigger, too.

    But this failure comes as no surprise, because Osborne has been at best a part-time Chancellor — having devoted too much time as Britain’s chief negotiator on the future of the EU — another role he has fumbled. As a result of Osborne’s negligence — about which the Mail has warned time and again — the Government is unprepared for the impending financial crisis.

    So what’s another £500million for the EU to Osborne. He found that November 2014 demand for £1.7billion from somewhere.

  4. Alan Wheatley says:

    Re the Queen and Brexit

    One thing I think we can say for sure is the the Queen is very pro the Commonwealth.

    When in 1975 I voted to stay in the Common Market I naively thought that the UK was adding EU free trade to existing trade with the Commonwealth. I did not appreciate that joining the EU would throw a spanner in works of Commonwealth trade.

    As Head of the Commonwealth the Queen must be – shall we say “disappointed” – about the EU’s negative impact on the Commonwealth’s ability to achieve its objectives for its 2 billion members.

    • Jane Davies says:

      Me too….I assumed trade with the Commonwealth countries would continue….I suspect that piece of information was left out at the time and the lies told by Heath took centre stage.

      As for the Queen….she’s not daft, she knows the writing is on the wall for the monarchy if the UK says in. She only needs to look at what happened to the Romanov’s, I’m not saying they will all end up at the bottom of a well but redundancy would be on the horizon.

  5. Alan Wheatley says:

    Re Carney on Immigration

    One of the consequence of a job vacancy being filled by an immigrant is that a UK citizen remains unemployed. I can not recall this cost ever being taken into account, but it is real enough.

  6. David Ashton says:

    An example of how uncontrolled immigration has detrimentally affected the jobs market for British workers. The guy who carries out my house maintenance work (a bricklayer who does roofing, paving etc.) for years worked the summers as a self employed builder. In winter, when building work dried up, he signed up with an agency as an HGV driver, there was plenty of work and he was paid a decent rate. But a few years ago the agency massively reduced rates of pay to little above minimum rate, employing mainly East Europeans. I find the Polish people really nice, but that is not the point, British jobs should be filled by British people, at the British market rate

  7. Richard111 says:

    A good read and an informative post. Thank you Roger.

  8. Talking to a tree farmer (yes there are such) yesterday he told me in the later 80’s it would cost £100 day to hire a good trained man with a chain saw, always an English man. Through immigration swelling our labour market he can pay the same for £80 day. With Browns economic miracle house prices in Truro have risen from £30.000 (1986) to £200.000 today. Wages fall and the ability to own property is diminished. Welcome to the Brave New World as planned by the Fabian and Hegel Societies.

  9. Pingback: Daily Debrief April 21st | Roger Helmer MEP

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