Angel of the North recruited for Brexit
Vote Leave recently set up a rather creative stunt, projecting their message onto the Angel of the North
Anger as Osborne recruits the OBR for the Remain Campaign
The Mail and the Telegraph report the anger of Brexit supporters in the House of Commons after George Osborne claimed, while presenting his budget, that the opinion of the OBR (Office of Budget Responsibility) was that Brexit would damage the economy. The whole point of the OBR is that it presents unbiased advice, on which both sides of the debate may rely. That purpose is undermined by Osborne’s approach.
In fact the OBR had leaned over backwards to present a neutral position. The Telegraph even headlines “Brexit may be positive, says OBR, despite Chancellor’s warning”.
The Obama endorsement
The resentment against President Obama’s plan to come to the UK and to speak in favour of Remain continues to cause lively debate. And rightly so. The Americans would not take kindly to foreigners tampering with their constitutional arrangements, and suggesting that the USA subject itself to supranational institutions, and yet that is exactly what Obama proposes to do in Britain.
Apparently he proposes to exploit “the feel-good factor” of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday – and Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary – to “reinforce his plea”. I should have thought that two such quintessentially British institutions as the Monarch and the Bard would have the reverse effect – but we shall see. Come to think of it, Shakespeare himself has given us his answer: “England ……. is now bound in with shame, With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds: That England, that was wont to conquer others, Hath made a shameful conquest of itself”.
Hostility to the EU from Black and ethnic minority voters
The Times reports high levels of hostility to the EU, and a propensity to support Brexit, among ethnic minority voters. Race equality activists say they are surprised at the extent of anger about the EU driven by resentment over large-scale migration from Eastern Europe and support for neo-Nazi groups on the continent.
British Asians see Eastern Europeans, with no connections with the UK, coming freely, while they themselves have difficulty getting a short-term visa for a relative to attend a family wedding.
Yet another European Council on migrants
Today and tomorrow, heads of government will meet in Brussels to try to finalise the bizarre deal with Turkey, under which Turkey gets some major benefits (€6 billion, visa-free Schengen access (is Schengen still there?), and fast-track EU accession, in exchange for a migrant swap which doesn’t reduce numbers in Greece, and which probably will prove impossible to implement. There have already been serious objections from the UN, on Human Rights grounds, and also from human rights NGOs.
I suspect it will be difficult to reach a credible agreed settlement. But the parameters from which they are starting are so bizarre and counterproductive that failure might be a relief.