Daily Debrief March 21st

Tory Civil War

There’s only one real story today, and it’s the Tory Civil War.  First it was splits over the Referendum, but now they’re fighting like ferrets in a sack over The Budget, and George Osborne, and the IDS Resignation.  The serious papers are remarkably consistent.  Indy: “IDS twists the knife”.  The “I”: “Explosive exit of a quiet man”.  Guardian: “Tories plunge into open warfare”.  FT: “Cameron fights to calm civil war”.  Mail: “Civil War engulfs the Tories”.  Nonetheless, the Daily Express manages to find an EU angle, headlining “New Boost for EU Exit Hopes”, making much of the damage that the Tory Turmoil will do to the credibility of the Remain Campaign.

They are surely right.  At the very least, this is a massive distraction (in referendum terms) for the two main protagonists of Remain — Cameron and Osborne.  Both are diminished personally, and are less able to inspire a confident vision of a future for Britain in the EU

CBI Study: Brexit to cost £100 bn and a million jobs

Several papers carry the story of a report commissioned by the CBI from accountants PwC which estimates that Brexit would cost £100bn, and a million jobs.  If the reference to the CBI didn’t ring any alarm bells in your mind, then the suspiciously convenient round figures perhaps ought to.

The way firms like PwC operate is rather like a computer model — indeed I’ve no doubt that PwC has a very sophisticated computer model of the British economy.  You feed in assumptions and one end, and Bingo!  Out come the predictions at the other end.  There is perhaps a read-across here from the climate industry, where predictions of computer models have been undermined repeatedly by subsequent experience.  But as any computer buff will tell you, there’s a basic rule: “Garbage in, Garbage Out”.  Someone has to make the assumptions, and plug them into the system.  The consistent approach of the Remain side has been to make the most adverse assumptions possible, and to present them in the most damaging light.  Running them through PwC’s econometric model doesn’t validate false assumptions.

The CBI’s earlier claim that “Brexit will cost every British family £3000 a year” was comprehensively trashed by the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee. They seem to be looking for a way to recycle it in different words.

But Brexiteers should take encouragement: for fifteen years they’ve been telling us that leaving the EU puts three million jobs at risk.  Now it’s only one million.  That’s progress.

In any case, the EU is a job-destruction machine.  We are “Creating an industrial massacre on Europe”, as former Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani remarked.  Plants are closing, energy-intensive businesses are moving aboard, taking their jobs and their investment with them.  The CBI should be worrying about the jobs we’re losing here and now, because of EU polices, not about biased predictions on the threat of Brexit.  Ask the steelworkers.

“British expats back Brexit”

An interesting little story that cropped up yesterday.  The assumption is always that British expats back staying in the EU.  They too have been bombarded by extreme threats of what Brexit would mean.  They’d become “illegal immigrants” overnight.  They’d be deported in droves.  They’d lose access to healthcare and social welfare and so on.  And as for pensions….!

A related point: Remainians love to say “OK, maybe we have two million European immigrants in the UK.  But don’t forget that there are two million Brits living across Europe.  It’s a two-way traffic”.  What they forget to mention is that many of the Brits in Europe are well-heeled and middle class, who sold a nice stock-broker home in Esher and took the proceeds to Spain, whereas many (not all) of the European immigrants in Britain are poor and unskilled Eastern Europeans.  The numbers may be in broad balance — the net worth is not.  There were British expats living perfectly happily in Spain before we joind the Common Market in 1973, and there will still be British expats in Spain after we leave

But the news is that while, indeed, many British expats will vote to Remain, many more will vote to leave.  Some of the groups that Remain thought were in the bag — expats, the Asian Community — are still in play.





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26 Responses to Daily Debrief March 21st

  1. I just want to thank you, roger, for taking the time to fill us in with these Daily Briefings. They are very much appreciated.

  2. Ex-expat Colin says:

    When exactly is this Tory Govt going to crash and burn? The majority of Tories despise it I’m pretty sure. Redwood on it today:


    I think Canada is going to expose Greenpeace globally by the sound of things…its about forests.

  3. davidbuckingham says:

    I’d like to double up on Mike Stallard’s comment – these briefings are invaluable…. by way of payback – have you seen Jean-Claude Juncker’s “The EU needs the UK more than UK needs the EU” ? Pure magic.

  4. Lee calvert says:

    Keep them coming good to c u on question time …..kicking ass and putting people in there place about the eu…..roll on the 23rd and FREEDOM ….

  5. falcons1988 says:

    Regards the steel industry (my father was made redundant last week), apart from the energy taxes as you quite rightly mention. What about the dumping of steel on the market by China? The Americans slapped a 266% tax on Chinese steel to protect its own economy. Our parliament cannot do that because the EU controls our trade policy.

    I would like to make another point why the EU will keep trade with Britain when we leave. It is in part down to the £89bn trade deficit. The state of the Euro, the EU will go to great lengths to keep the EZ together (as shown with Greece). I don’t think the EU would risk thr consequences (social, political and economic) of ceasing trade with the U.K. Not while youth unemployment is sky high, the rise of eurosceptic parties across the continent. Ceasing trade would only make things worse for them and in a massive way.

    • Jeremy Wraith says:

      Dear falcons1988 and all, You are absolutely right about the EU needing us more than we need them. I have calculated the current accumulated value of our balance of trade with the EEC/EU since 1973 to be a DEFICIT of well over £1 trillion. Conversely the current accumulated value of our balance of trade with the rest of the world from 1973 to2012 was a SURPLUS of £245 billion.
      When you consider the high unemployment rates (especially of the under 25’s) in the eurozone it is no wonder that the EU is desperate that we do not leave. Firstly because of the vast net payments we have given them , after all they are our competitors, and secondly after Brexit we will be free to import much cheaper goods from the Commonwealth and elsewhere further damaging the eurozones feeble economy. Regards Jerry Wraith.

  6. Diana Pinnell says:

    Re expats: I retired to France 9 years ago, belong to the French health system and pay French taxes but can’t vote for French government. I still have a UK vote for the Referendum, but many like me lose this right after living away for 15 years. How sad that the few who actually live within the EU so are probably better informed about it than most UK voters, can’t vote – or is this the idea…..?
    None of us has any idea what Brexit will mean for us – will we still be able to use the French health system, will we be allowed to live in France at all? Will we need a visa to go home to France after visiting our kids in the UK? Rumour mills are working overtime but neither side can actually tell us anything.
    Don’t think for one moment that because we have chosen to live in the EU we don’t care about the UK, nor that we are passionately loyal to the EU. I love Europe and the Europeans, but not the EU!

  7. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Energy and Denmark – A Drama?

    Strangely the BBC4 drama series Follow the Money showed a 2 part fictional(?) piece on criminal activity around windfarms and energy trading…in Denmark. This was a Danish subtitled piece and very well informed. So well informed that I think the Danes have noticed the huge scam that this business is and dramatised some of it. None of it appeared to me to be in anyway fantasy.

    Part 1 & 2 are here:

    Whats covered:
    employment of Ukranian labourers on Windfarms ..the welfare/safety thing
    energy market trading – con artists and big sums of money
    corporate games – wind/solar insider trading
    criminal activity in Denmark – car theft to order
    police department interaction – the near lack of

  8. Nicola Harrison says:

    Fantastic ! Keep up good work ! Nice video , just hope this country has enough cleaver caring people left to win a majority leave vote !

    Fingers crossed

  9. MIKE MAUNDER says:

    FIRST, MY THANKS TO ROGER HELMER FOR THE DAILY BRIEF. To think that only last May, I voted for this Conservative rable of Government ! The main reason was that Cameron took the UKIP ace of a referendum, and had every chance of being elected, thus bringing referendum into being. I’m no Tory, and have shifted my vote through the parties. ( Not Lib/Dem, but Liberal in the days of Jo Grimond.). I made my mind up about the E.U. back in the 1980s and have been waiting for the chance to get this country OUT OF THE E.U. So far I have been angry at the LIES told about leaving, and although I hold no brief on I.D.S., he has certainly been useful to show us just what a mess Cameron and Osborne are in, and the poor thinking of Government, which includes their wish to continue in the E.U. ALARM BELLS SHOULD BE HEARD BY ALL THE PEOPLE, when all Party leaders are singing the same song. Choice is only given by those M.Ps who have used their intelegence, rather than just do as the whips command. In the last two weeks I have joined UKIP, because the old Parties are to my mind, stuffed full of Career men and women, with only a few exceptions. A Government made up of M.Ps who have a wide knowledge of life, and have worked in non Party employment, would be a welcome change ! – If you have the slightest agreement with the foregoing, PLEASE VOTE OUT ! Thank you.

  10. Shieldsman says:

    On March 16th I had this to say:
    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.

    Roger, as an MEP you know what goes on in the EU, seeing what the future planning is. Cameron, his Cabinet and the Westminster bubble are as blind as bats.

    The remainders have the idea that statis quo is available if we stay in. They are ignorant fools.
    They could start by reading Breitbart:
    Elmar Brok ‘That The EU Will Not Advance Any Further Is False’ Declares Merkel’s Brussels Ally
    The man described by Nigel Farage as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Vicar on Earth in Brussels”, Elmar Brok, has served notice on those who believe the advance of the European Union (EU) has been checked by Britain’s membership renegotiations.

    German Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs Elmar Brok has been working on a report for the European Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs. It investigates “improving the functioning of the European Union building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty” (read) and is expected to be adopted by the Parliament before the summer break.

    In an interview with EurActiv published today, the experienced and well-connected Mr. Brok said his report shows: “The idea that the EU will not advance any further is false.”

    There are lots of scary plans in there, and Cameron’s deal will not stop them taking place

  11. bob nielsen says:

    The Remain camp continually lies when using figures. These often go unchecked and thus become media accepted (and even you Roger have picked up one of their lies inadvertantly). John-boy Major uses false figures as does CBI and PwC. Below are 2 examples from the PwC prejudiced propaganda piece (they deliver the PR that the customer orders – If Brexit commission PwC to do the same report the answers would be dramatically opposite!! They are only a PR firm after all).

    The report claims that the UK only accounts for a tenth of the EU’s exports (p.6). In fact the UK accounts for 16% of the EU’s good exports according to the European Commission’s own figures (NIESR, November 2015, link).
    The report claims that the average UK gross contribution from 2010 to 2015 was 16.8bn. It was actually £17.4bn (ONS, Pink Book 2015, Table 9.9, link). In 2014 alone the UK’s gross contribution to the EU budget was £19.1bn.

  12. Jane Davies says:

    But surely Roger expats are not going to be able to vote. I don’t expect to vote from Canada but even those who live in EU countries are not going to be allowed to either.

    • Jeremy Wraith says:

      Jane please check the website Myvote to see if you are eligible to vote. If you are an pat who has lived abroad less than 15 years you are entitled to register and vote in the referendum. Please check and support the leave campaign. We need all the help we can get as ex pats living in the EU have the same right, so if you can convince Canadians living in the UK and more ex pats in Canada to register you will be helping us all Many thanks Jerry Wraith

      • Jane Davies says:

        I will check Jerry, I still have the right to vote as I have not hit the 15 year cut off. I assumed that expats not in the EU could not vote in the referendum.

      • Jeremy Wraith says:

        Good for you Jane. ALL expats throughout the world are (I believe) entitled to vote in the referendum. Our problem is getting them to register and vote LEAVE! Bless you.
        Regards Jerry

      • Jane Davies says:

        Well I’m gobsmacked…I can vote from Canada. Thanks for suggesting I check Jeremy. I will have to line up my proxy as snail mail is useless, it is beyond the intelligence of the folks who handle postal votes to get the papers here on time let alone allowing time for return!

  13. Sandra Aveyard says:

    Indeed these daily briefings of yours are invaluable Roger. It must be extremely difficult for you not to get dispondent with the constant knock downs when you attempt to overturn or amend proposals. Also difficult the other British MEPs who favour leave and taking yourselves out of a job. (I would like to think that is everyone but appreciate there will be those who wish to stay to enjoy the financial gravy train). Please keep your well balanced and very astute observations coming. We need to be able to get these into the mainstream but it is so difficult with the bias of the BBC and some press.

  14. Flying Pineapple says:

    I speak to many French, Dutch and Belgian people. The general feedback I get is that they would also like the opportunity to get out of the EU. France has quite serious economic problems. Mainly due to Hollande, but working in the EU environment compounds the problem.
    I cannot imagine the problem in UK, In 5 years or so after this latest immigrant invasion will qualify to move on from their host countries. With English as the international language, where are large numbers of them going to move on to?
    Flying Pineapple

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Thats the stuff they don’t want us to know in UK. The state and other broadcasters should go round the 27 countries and ask…at random. They won’t!

  15. Edward Spalton says:

    Last year, Dominic Grieve the former Attorney General warned British expats that they would become “illegal immigrants” overnight if the UK were to leave the EU. Now Dominic Grieve is an eminent lawyer, a QC, and former Minister of the Crown so many people will take whatever he says at face value. There are provisions in international law called “acquired rights” for foreign residents regardless of treaty change which would protect people with established rights of residence. There is a House of Common briefing note on the subject.

    Soon afterwards Russia Today ran a programme with some very worried British people in France who had established a small business and claimed to be in fear of being compelled to sell up their house at a loss and move back to the UK if Brexit occurred. Russia Today is usually a great deal more realistic about the EU than is the BBC so I felt this was out of character with the programme and complained.

    This is a message which is getting through to people and you cannot blame them for being worried when the Leave campaign is so uncertain and obviously ill-informed about the means of exit as Boris Johnson has been . See Booker column in Sunday Telegraph of 20 March.
    Breezy assertions are no substitute for a well-researched, realistic and quickly attainable exit plan.
    It is not just retired people but highly educated people with high-flying careers who work in other EU countries – just the people whom the surveys show most likely to be pro-EU. I think we need to persuade them (and their friends and relations) that the bigger risk is staying in – as there is actually no status quo on offer. Polling experts reckon that the effect of the status quo is between 10 -20% in referendums . People may feel inclined to leave but, when they get into the polling booth “better safe than sorry” tends to take over. If someone, whether in the UK or expat, had a mortgage and a job in a firm dependent on EU trade, I could well understand them opting for “Remain” on the present state of play.

    We need arguments to move the undecided, not the sort of bold assertions and slogans which raise applause or a cheer at independence rallies.

  16. bob nielsen says:

    Im fed up with hearing lies on the media that the £ goes down when Brexit has a good day (repeated today on BBC radio4 news during Today Prog. When The referendum was announced the £ went, over a few days, from $1.42 to $1.38 ($ strengthened against all currencies so probably not related to referendum anyway.) £ then reversed and rose up to $1.44 while the odds at bookies improved for ‘Out’, The £ is now at $1.43, higher than when referendum was announced during which time the bookies make ‘out’ more likely.
    No-one knows where the £ will be whether in or out – its more dependant on state of USA economy and whether Osbornes faking of GDP numbers gets revealed (he now includes prostitution and drug trade in our GDP!!! – how does he measure them??!! Drugs should be a negative to GDP!).
    Letting the media/remain speculate that Brexit will be bad for the £ should not go unchallenged. £ may go either way – £ is up on the Euro since Referendum announced!

  17. Jane Davies says:

    I’m just loving the fall out and hope so much Cameron is hung by his own petard……


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