Daily Debrief March 16th

Ann Widdecombe backs Brexit


Ann Widdecombe has recently accepted a rôle as head of the Campaign Group “Christians for Britain”, a pro-Brexit Group.  She seems quite realistic about it.  She doesn’t argue that Christians have a God-given duty to vote for Brexit, nor does she argue that Brexit by itself will enable us to control immigration (though in my view, it will help).

She’s just doing what she thinks is right.  She has been out of front-line politics for quite a while, but she still has considerable name-recognition, and commands the respect of many voters.  I’m delighted that she’s put her head above the parapet from Brexit.

Terrorist event in Brussels

There seems to be a strong link between Brussels and Paris when it comes to Islamic Terrorism.  Yesterday there as a shoot-out between terrorists and police in Brussels, reportedly as part of a mopping-up operation related to the major ISIL terrorist event in Paris in which 130 people died.  One terrorist died in Brussels yesterday, and several policemen were injured.

Of course we can’t suggest that the UK is immune to terrorism.  But it does seem that the large numbers of migrants admitted to continental countries are facilitating terrorist activity.

Could expats swing it for Brexit?

In an earlier life I spent a dozen years in East and South East Asia as an Expat.  But I continued to take a keen interest in UK politics.

Asa Bennett in the Telegraph believes that two million British expatriates have the ability to swing the referendum – and he seems to believe that on balance they will vote out.  The timing of the referendum, June 23rd, means however that few have a chance to register to vote.  So a group of Expats has gone to the High Court to demand a delay, so that they are not disenfranchised.

Reportedly Cameron is very concerned about any possible delay, because he expects the migrant crisis to get worse through the summer.  He’d much rather have the vote on June 23rd, than (say) in October).  Personally I’d like it settled as soon as possible.  But if a delay helps us to win, so be it.

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15 Responses to Daily Debrief March 16th

  1. I’m an expat out of Britain for more than 15 years so inelegible to vote (though I can vote in Euro elections. Odd that the millions of us who actually live in the place can’t vote on our future in Europe.

    On immigration and terrorism. The perpetrators of the Paris attacks were Belgian/French citizens of Moroccan origin. Nothing to do with the current wave of immigrants. A key factor in the Paris attacks (often overlooked) is the estimated 15-20 thousand Kalashnikovs currently in France, largely from the Balkans, and easily imported because of the Schengen no border policy. They are used in armed robbers (often of Eastern European origin) and drug dealers (often of North African origin).
    It’s only a guess, but I’d wager that fantasies of wielding a Kalash figure more prominently in the motivation of terrorists than reading the Koran.

  2. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Shes’s dead right and I personally don’t like this very scary prospect:

    “This is going to be the only opportunity in my lifetime and possibly for generations to come to give Britain back its independence.”

    France is totally blind to its ghettos and looks like Belgium also. Its on its way here in the UK cities..places I won’t go. If the IRA can/did get weapons into UK so can anybody else…and they have been caught at it recently. Spain is not known as a place full of friendly expats either!

    I don’t think expats should be considered by us in UK…they opted out of UK and likely have a VI approach to anything. And thats not necessarily for the UK good I think.

    Am trying to work out what a mafia is in Berlin…BOOM!

    • Jane Davies says:

      I haven’t opted out of the UK…..I would very much like to come home in the next couple of years but if the UK stays in the EU……maybe not. Some expats don’t give a rats rear end about what happens back home but not all of us. I have family back home and expats are still liable to pay UK tax so have a right to vote….although this is a shambles. I tried voting by snail mail and it is yet to dawn on the powers that be that at least two weeks are required to get ballot papers to Canada and back again so unless you appoint a proxy then your right to vote is denied to you.
      I hope Ann Widdecombe has some influence, she ignored my letter about supporting the end to the frozen state pension scandal, I was spurred on by an article she wrote about fairness and equality but like a lot of politicians this does not extend to the British citizens who live in the Commonwealth and have worked hard and paid their NI contributions just the same as everyone else.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        Jane…non resident for tax purposes. Me bad..again! Trouble is though, its them in the EU I’m very wary of. They’ll not be too pleased about the WFA stopping fairly soon.

        Pretty sure she couldn’t influence much these days. Most heads in the trough..and thats it.

      • Jane Davies says:

        Those expats in the EU would of course vote to remain in it’s only natural they would put there own life/interests before the good of the home country. This is not a criticism of them, they can foresee that their lives and businesses in the EU would be at risk. I think once again the UK government have shot themselves in the foot in not seeing they would have around 2 million votes to remain in the EU by not thinking ahead. But no surprise there as an Eton education is not a guarantee of intelligence!

  3. Shieldsman says:

    Daily Telegraph: Voters are undecided on the EU because they don’t have all the facts
    SIR – The most worrying statement from Sir Lynton Crosby’s analysis of the polls on Britain’s membership of the European Union is that nearly half the electorate say that they need more information in order to make a choice.
    Surely somebody in the corridors of Whitehall has done a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis for the Cabinet of the consequences of a Remain vote.
    It could hardly be asking too much to trust the British public with this information.

    Andrew Walker
    Felpham, West Sussex

    Poor soul, hasn’t he noticed that the Prime minister has personally taken on the task of informing the Public of all the problems associated with leaving the EU, as researched for him by Whitehall.

    It does not appear we will get an honest appraisal from the media, certainly not from the BBC.

    Certainly I do not think many people understand the workings of the EU, least of all the occupants of the Palace of Westminster. It has all got quite beyond us, so let us make things simple for our selves and leave.

    We do have to put forward an argument for the likes of Andrew Walker.
    Cameron spent three years slagging off the EU, pointing out its faults and what he was going to do to put the right.
    What did he say in his Bloomburg speech:
    People feel that the EU is heading in a direction that they never signed up to. They resent the interference in our national life by what they see as unnecessary rules and regulation. And they wonder what the point of it all is.

    Put simply, many ask “why can’t we just have what we voted to join – a common market?”
    Now – while the EU is in flux, and when we don’t know what the future holds and what sort of EU will emerge from this crisis is not the right time to make such a momentous decision about the future of our country.
    The European Union that emerges from the Eurozone crisis is going to be a very different body. It will be transformed perhaps beyond recognition by the measures needed to save the Eurozone.
    But I agree too with what President Barroso and others have said. At some stage in the next few years the EU will need to agree on Treaty change to make the changes needed for the long term future of the Euro and to entrench the diverse, competitive, democratically accountable Europe that we seek.
    I believe the best way to do this will be in a new Treaty so I add my voice to those who are already calling for this

    Here we fast forward to: The rest of the EU is working towards significant Treaty change to increase EU powers after June 2017. Were we still to be in the EU that would trigger another referendum for the UK under our EU referendum Act, agreed by all three main UK political parties in Parliament.
    The 5 Presidents Report mapping the future of the Euro and the EU is quite clear on these matters. It states that in the first phase of completing the Union, up to June 30 2017, they intend to “build on existing instruments and make the best possible use of existing treaties” to increase central power and convergence by member states. In Stage 2 commencing in June 2017 they propose “concrete measures of a more far reaching nature…. The convergence process would be made more binding”.

    On15 Mar 2014 – David Cameron wrote in the Telegraph : the EU is not working and we will change it. This is an ambitious agenda for a new European Union. It will require a negotiation with our European partners. Some changes will best be achieved by alterations to the European treaties – others can be achieved by different means. But when we achieve it, we will have transformed the European Union and Britain’s relationship with it. I would then campaign for Britain to remain in this reformed EU in 2017.

    In the 2015 Election manifesto Cameron said: Conservatives believe in controlled immigration, not mass immigration.When immigration is out of control, it puts pressure on schools, hospitals and transport; and it can cause social pressures if communities find it hard to integrate. We have seen many more people from the EU coming to Britain than originally anticipated, principally because our economy has been growing so much more rapidly and creating more jobs than other EU countries. As a result, our action has not been enough to cut annual net migration to the tens of thousands. That ambition remains the right one. But there is much more to do. The EU is too
    bureaucratic and too undemocratic. It interferes too much in our daily lives, and the scale of migration triggered by new members joining in recent years has had a real impact on local communities.

    Did the deal struck on 19th February change anything – NOT according to: Lawyers for Britain – The Renegotiation – “Ever Closer Union”
    Euractiv.com :Cameron’s renegotiation is nothing more than a rebranding exercise. There is nothing of substance to the United Kingdom’s renegotiation agreement, but it has been sold as a full revision of the country’s EU membership, write James Bartholomeusz and Daniel Schade.
    Having conceded to rising Eurosceptic sentiment in his own party and the British public more widely for over five years, he could not be seen to support continued EU membership in its current form; however, it was also abundantly clear that other European countries had no appetite for British special pleading, beset as they were by a chain of crises and impatient with Cameron treating European Council meetings as a series of domestic media opportunities rather than as forums for serious diplomacy. There was only one solution: to launch a ‘renegotiation’ that
    would change next to nothing, but sell it as a wholesale rewrite of Britain’s membership conditions.

    The decision to remain in the EU was made many months ago, all the documents needed time to prepare, so were ready waiting on return from Brussels for the triumphal declaration ‘I have reformed the European Union’ and recommend we stay in.

    This is what the Public need to know, but when will the press pick up on the fact that David Cameron did not reform the European Union. It was all part of his ploy, his confidence trick. The charade was complete when he came back from Brussels saying I recommend we stay in this reformed European Union.

    Returning to our pre-EU days might not be all plain sailing. It will mean we do not have to do what the other 27 in their long drawn out procedures decide we have to. David Cameron appears to like his grandstanding, doesn’t it hurt when he keeps knocking his head against the EU brick wall.

    • “Returning to our pre-EU days might not be all plain sailing. ”
      IF we nail down our EEA (Common Market membership) and join EFTA, then everyone will know exactly where we stand.
      We then negotiate our position with the EU from that position. We can make our own standardisation and tariff agreements – just like Iceland and Norway do today. We can discuss all those expat – police – broadband – electricity sharing – sort of problems and then, as the Eurozone takes over in Europe, leave by applying Article 50 if we have to.
      Bingo! a painless withdrawal.

  4. Kenneth says:

    Will expats loose there pensions if we leave eu

    • Jane Davies says:

      In a word….no!

      • RobtheFox says:

        No, they will not lose their pensions in all probability but they could well suffer if the frozen pension polıcy is implemented and index linking is wıthdrawn – the pension, like many UK benefits and allowances, is only payable currently because of EU regulations, not UK law.

  5. John Poynton says:

    If we stay in the EU we may lose the protection of GCHQ, MI5 and MI6. Current events show what a difference they make to our security.

  6. Graeme Chegwidden says:

    One more thing everyone should know about the EU: It was founded as a means to prevent Germany ever rising up again on the path of European conquest. Initially it involved the unification of the French and German coal and steel industries as the German war machine was dismantled. By 1948 the concept had developed into a plan to turn Europe into one large federal state, with the national identites of its “member” states dissolved under one flag, one currency, one central “authority” (the EU Commission, then the European Parliament). The plan was to implement this slowly by stealth – it was acknowledged that the voters would never have accepted surrendering their independence and national identities knowingly. The organisation which put this together was in no way elected or accountable to the electorate. It was done largely in secret, although the documents and people who did it are now publicly known. It is an ongoing process and will not be stopped by any prime minister attempting to negotiate. PM’s come and go. Those who control the execution of the Monnet Plan are there for life.

    This can now, as far as Britain is concerned, be halted. That is the biggest thing about this referendum. All else is secondary and flows from it.

    The question is not whether we like the status quo or not, as that is going to change anyway. It is like choosing to continue in an abusive marriage until the “evil” partner destroys you as an independent person or walking out that front door right now to freedom. Yes, its a bit difficult at first working out how to live your new independent life. But after a while it will be fine. We will be just like any other independent country. Free to choose our friends and to decide how we live.

  7. Jane Davies says:

    If one lives in a country one was not born in then, yes you are an immigrant. I have dual Canadian/UK citizenship but I’m still an immigrant to Canada. As are all of those Brits who live in France or Italy or any other EU country.

  8. Bellevue says:

    it was Tony Blair who arbitrarily decided that if you had not lived in the Uk for the last 15 years, you should not be allowed to vote.
    I am now disenfranchised, despite paying taxes in the UK.
    I think you would be surprised at the strength of the Leave vote amongst expats. We know that we have aquired rights and are completely safe. Furthermore…… does the UK government want some 3 million expats to suddenly appear on their doorstep, demanding housing, NHS, schools and benefits? I think not. But we would be entitled to all that from the get go. No, the government will negotiate some continuing arrangement to keep us all safely in our retirement place……… and continue to milk us for our tax contributions.

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