Daily Debrief March 30th

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could continue past the next UK General Election, and an incoming government could claim that its electoral mandate superseded the referendum result.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.

“Don’t mention 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.

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13 Responses to Daily Debrief March 30th

  1. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Last Night BBC TV Coast….Scallope wars of N. France. Know of it until the French Govt decided to ban such fishing by frenchmen from May thru Sept. Preserve stock which appears wise. Of course the Brit fisherfolk continued despite that ban and under EU law (whatever) which permitted it. So the Brit Govt had to ban the Brit fisherfolk. Question…whats the point of the EU again?

  2. John Poynton says:

    As I have said before and doubtless will say again, we do not need any new deal with the EU. We will get a devaluation on Brexit – just like the exit from the ERM in 1992 which created an export-let recovery and twelve years of strong economic growth. Let us suppose it is 5%. It may be more. That is 5% to offset any tariffs raised against us. The EU cannot raise tariffs under WTO rules by more than 5% except for motor vehicles and agricultural produce, which represent only a minority of our exports to the continent. There probably won’t even be any need to raise retaliatory tariffs against them as the devaluation will be greater than most of those tariffs; a net gain!

    But here’s another twist. Suppose we were to respond only with 10% tariffs against motor vehicles ourselves. We may have to apply those globally, but we import very few vehicle from outside the EU. Most Japanese cars are made here anyway, so it would probably only affect the Koreans. But suppose we then said to both the the Koreans and the continental manufacturers that we will not raise any tariffs on spare parts and components worth less than 10% of the value of the whole. They would then have a strong incentive to set up final assembly plants here, creating lots of new jobs in the UK as well as enabling them to continue tariff-free trade to us. Wot’s not to like!

  3. auralay says:

    The energy policy is a result of our own climate change act, 2008, which goes well beyond EU requirements.
    How did Mr Carswell vote as a (then) Tory MP?

  4. Kevan Chippindall-Higgin says:

    The Charity Commission watering down the ban on political campaigning is a disgrace, but only to be expected in this unscrupulous stay campaign. I would hope that anybody giving money to a charity that actively campaigns in either direction seriously consider where their money is being spent. CEO salaries and benefits and political campaigning is not the reason why people donate in the first place.

    The steel situation is a disgrace. Regardless of the rules, I cannot imagine the French or the Germans allowing the likes of Port Talbot or Redcar to close. They would have found a way of funding them. Given that the EU does not do double entry accounting, it should be easy enough to slide something through on the sly.

    As for our shoreline, I am horrified but unsurprised that 40% of our coastal cutters are being sent to help the Greeks. I have no problem with helping the Greeks – it is in our interests too, but to discover that we have just 5 cutters to protect our entire border came as a rude shock. Then again, given that none of our destroyers work properly, why am I surprised?

    Where does the money go? Forces, fire, police have all been slashed yet there is still a huge national debt and black hole in the budget. There is never any mention if cuts in departments that administer swathes of EU laws. That is where the axe needs to fall and the abuse of the Enabling Act stopped at once. Actually, remove it altogether. Let Parliament scrutinise what is coming out of Whitehall at the behest of the EU and make it fit for purpose.

    As for Article 50 and indeed the whole ‘renegotiation’, if Cameron actually meant what he said, all he would have to do would be to say to the EU that if the deal, upon which the referendum is being fought, fell through, he would repeal the European Communities Act 1972 on Jan 1st 2020. Now it is up to them. This will never happen and the lies keep coming.

  5. mike5262015 says:

    Following a successful Brexit. Why will it take two years to form a new trade deal with the E.U. ? One year only please, and that’s too long. It is incredible how I voted Conservative in May, (For this Referendum, as I’m no Tory), and I now see this Party falling apart, with a leader who has made a fool of himself in Europe, and now threatens fellow Tory members. Is it not possible to force Cameron into a broadcast with Farage, given reasonable time for this very important and hopefully instructive programme, with both in separate booths, so that heckling is done away with ? Our P.M. is the main engine for stay in, and must surely have the facts to hand, and he would have the opportunity to correct people like me who calls him a liar. Farage would also be put on the spot. IT WOULD BE A CHANCE FOR FACTS, NOT FICTION, and debate would cover just membership of the E.U. ( NO TORY PARTY / UKIP MANIFESTO ! ). Now I’m fairly sure Farage would be up for it, and Cameron, having made so many claims on this would hopefully want the chance to lead and correct the people. A REFUSAL BY ONE OR THE OTHER SHOULD BE MADE PUBLIC, EITHER SPEAK UP, OR SHUT UP ! Otherwise a guy like me will just have to go to VOTE OUT, led by his heart, guts and historical wishes.

  6. mike5262015 says:

    ROGER HELMER: Re job loses by direct connection to the E.U. – This is so correct, all the E.U. job creation has been for poxy Politicos. ( Sorry, not you Roger ! ).
    It crossed my mind, and I wondered if you had come across THE CASTLE OF LIES. A book that has not much of a story, but a catalogue of failed businesses in the U.K. since we joined – The Common Market. Having read it, I passed it on, so I have no record of Publisher or the Author. Have you seen it ? It could be useful today, and shaped my opinion of E.U.

  7. Shieldsman says:

    Where do the newspapers find them? Abi Wilkinson, just got out of school?
    Stubborn old people who want to leave the EU are condemning the rest to a lifetime of uncertainty
    Like Nicki Morgan she knows nothing about the EU or where it is heading.
    Abi is a freelance journalist based in London who writes about politics, inequality, gender and internet culture, among other topics.

    Formerly at Mirror Online, she now contributes to a range of publications. She has discussed news stories from a feminist and left wing perspective on Sky News, London Live and BBC Radio and also sat on panels and delivered lectures at Polis, LSE’s journalism and society think tank..

    One of the best comments on the article:
    jamesAD Praxidike
    It’s precisely because people do care about the country THEIR CHILDREN will be living in that they are voting out. Clearly you are convinced that everyone over the age of 30 is an imbecile. But just consider this: They have seen far more of life than you have. They have experienced a world outside of the EU, which you haven’t. They grew up in a time before the dumbing down of education and devaluing of qualifications. They either experienced or had direct contact with people who experienced the reality of global war; seen their towns and cities destroyed and loved ones killed. Yet you, sit in judgement and dismiss their views as selfish and worthless because you want to go and get drunk on a beach in Spain with your mates. You are pathetic

    The real question is whom would you trust to make the wisest decision a twenty year old or a 60 year old with a lifetime of experience?

    • Jane Davies says:

      I have more or less said the same thing as the comment writer, too many people with “influence” do not remember when Britain was great, in other words an independent country. I hope us seniors will make up the majority of the voters because anyone under 40 cannot be trusted to do due diligence before making a decision. My family lost everything to Germany’s bombs in London and even though I’m a baby boomer life was still a struggle for my parents well into the fifties, I still have my ration card even though I wasn’t born until after the war had been over a few years. We worked hard to make Britain great again and we paid off the war debt with sky high interest rates for decades. All those lives lost and years of hardship and then the lying politicians in the 70’s gave away the country to dictators.

      Prosperity, Not Austerity—Let’s Leave The EU.

  8. Oliver Manuel says:

    Below is a pdf file of the message sent to the UN Secretary General, Presidents of the US National Academy of Sciences and the UK’s Royal Society, and the Editor of Nature earlier today:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Ethics_and_Human_Rights_in_the_Scientific_Revolution.pdf

    The intent is to remove any doubt about the intentions of these holders of high offices.

  9. Reblogged this on Paul J Chapman and commented:
    Some on-point thoughts from Roger Helmer MEP this morning;

  10. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Astonishingly a second steel train past me today from P.Talbot….whats that, rolled Chinese steel? Cos they are rail wagons of the rolled shape….as usual…or was usual?

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