Port Talbot – a victim of the EU
The decision of Tata to sell off the Port Talbot steelworks is a disaster for the workers and for the town. It is also a direct result of EU polices. We need to see it in context. Port Talbot is merely the latest closure. All over Europe, energy-intensive businesses are closing. Steel; aluminium; petroleum refining; chemicals and fertilisers; glass and ceramics. Jobs are being lost. Investment is moving offshore, in search of cheaper energy and more realistic regulatory regimes.
As I said in yesterday’s Debrief. there are three main reasons for the Port Talbot closure, and they all result from EU policies: Energy Costs; Anti-Dumping measures; and Short-term state aid.
It is sickening to see Anna Soubry, Minister of State for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, in the media insisting that “the government is doing all it can”, when she knows it can do practically nothing. Even more sickening to hear her arguing for Britain to remain in the EU, when she knows (or ought to know) that EU membership is closing down energy-intensive businesses across Europe.
UKIP is the only party prepared to face up to this situation, and the only party with practical policies to offer hope to workers under threat.
Gus O’Donnell “It could take more than two years to negotiate a new deal with the EU”
Former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell joins the scaremongers, warning that the two-year renegotiation period provided by the Lisbon Treaty could be too short. While the period can be extended by mutual agreement, he implies that we could find ourselves “out in the cold”. The answer is the same as it’s always been. With our balance of trade with the EU, they simply can’t afford not to have a deal in place. BMW and Mercedes and Audi have business plans. They cannot accept that those plans should be thrown into chaos by politicians’ failure to establish positive trade terms.
If anything, I see another threat. If agreement were reached to extend the period, negotiations could go on indefinitely. They could continue past the next UK General Election, and an incoming government could claim that its electoral mandate superseded the referendum result. We must not let that happen.
Prime Minister’s astonishing rant against Syed Kamall MEP
Conservative MEP Syed Kamall MEP is leader of the ECR Group in the parliament, and recently declared for Brexit. I had hoped and expected that he would, since I knew he was opposed to EU membership, and I regard him as a decent and honourable man who would put country before career. But the Mail reports that when Cameron heard that Kamall was leaning to Brexit, he launched into an extraordinary rant. Among other things, Cameron told Kamall that his career would be “finished”, and that he would be ousted as leader of the ECR Group. He is quoted as saying “I made you, and now you’re finished”. Cameron’s extraordinary conceit and hubris still have the power to shock.
Of course party leaders and prime ministers have considerable influence over selection procedures. But in the Tory Party it is the members who select candidates, and of course the public who vote in General Elections. And if there were a new election in Brussels for leader of the ECR Group, I suspect that Syed would win at least as strongly as he did last time, and perhaps better.
If Cameron proposes a vendetta against pro-Brexit Tories, he is effectively declaring war on his own party. I believe he could destroy it, since the majority of Tories (I believe) would support Kamall against Cameron on Brexit. Cameron may also like to reflect that if we vote to leave, there is likely to be a new, pro-Brexit leader of the Tory Party. I know that Syed Kamall would dearly love to have a winnable Westminster seat, and I suspect that after this, rather a lot of Tory constituency associations would like to have him.
“UK coasts unprotected as patrol boats are sent to the Med”
The Express reports that the UK’s shoreline is unprotected as coastal patrol boats are sent to the Mediterranean to control migrants numbers. A very sad reflection on the state of our border forces. Maybe some of the £10 billion we hope to save in EU budget contributions should go to coastal protection. And maybe protecting our shores should be a higher priority than protecting Greece.
Charities to campaign for the EU
The Charities Commission has “clarified” its advice regarding charities involving themselves in the Referendum debate. Lawyers could argue over the exact meaning of the advice, which seems to me to change little. Nonetheless it is clear that some charities now feel they are off the leash, and can use public funds to promote Remain.
They should understand that the money they receive from Brussels is our money, not EU money, and that with the cost savings and prosperity which Brexit will generate, we shall be better able to support charities. Meantime Brexiteers may choose to boycott any charity which is seen to be promoting Remain.
the War Brexit”
Bank of America has instructed senior staff not to use the term “Brexit”, not to offer opinions nor assume a particular outcome, and not to be involved in campaigning. Encouragingly, they have also reportedly cancelled a decision to donate £100,000 to the Remain campaign (perhaps for fear of backing the wrong horse). Well done those guys.
“1.6 million EU migrants settle in Britain in the last nine years”
The Mail reports that 1.6 million EU migrants have settled in the UK in the last nine years, and as they helpfully add, that’s the population of Manchester and Birmingham combined. There are those that will argue that these migrants will contribute to the British economy, and maybe that’s so. But consider: if we’d been able to select those migrants for the skills we need, and to exclude the indigent and the unskilled, wouldn’t that have been a better deal for Britain? And that is the policy UKIP argues for.
“You pay for Roma Gypsy Palaces”
The Express reports that UK welfare payments are helping to build “palaces” (or at least large mansions) in Romania. It quotes a small town, Tandarei,where 200 additional “mansions” (£500k+) have been built in recent years. Some may be offended by the use of the term “Roma Gypsies”. If so, please suggest more acceptable terms which the Express might use. Answers on a postcard, please…..
Why can’t we have a reasonable EU debate?
New paper “New Day” by-lines a piece by Matthew Norman entitled “Why can’t we have a reasonable debate on the EU?” I was amused to see it illustrated on the front page with a picture of Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. ‘Nuff said.