Can you trust this man?
If indeed the Prime Minister has broken no law and has paid all taxes due, then he’s had rather a hard time in the press (but he should also fire his PR man – as always, it’s not the facts, but the dodging and diving that do the damage). Nonetheless, the Scottish Herald reports that Cameron’s approval rating is now below Jeremy Corbyn’s. Quite an achievement. And if the public don’t trust him on tax, will they trust him on Brexit? Cameron has now been referred to the Parliamentary Standards Office
Fury over £9.3 million leaflet
There is huge anger among Eurosceptic Tory MPs in Westminster over the government’s plan to send an expensive pro-EU booklet to 27 million homes. Some are reportedly threatening to make government business “grind to a halt” by voting against all government bills until Cameron backs down. With his small Tory majority, this is a credible threat. The situation is not helped by the Electoral Commission’s condemnation of the plan. Or the fact that the leaflet is printed by a German company which has received grants from the EU Commission. Michael Gove has been prominent in attacking the £9.3 million spending – and in attacking the EU’s schools propaganda (see below).
Petition against the pro-EU leaflet has 173,260 signatures
The petition against the government’s EU leaflet has 173,260 signatures as I write. If you haven’t signed yet, please go to – https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/116762
The EU Commission floods our schools with crass propaganda
The Sun reports that the EU Commission is using its £158 million propaganda budget to flood British schools with crass pro-EU comics ahead of the British referendum – despite explicit promises from Jonathan Faull, the Commission’s point-man on the Referendum, that the Commission would not interfere. I shall write to him about this.
More preposterous scaremongering from the Remain Camp
Michael Fallon, usually half-sensible, has suggested that we may be unable to fly to European cities after Brexit. Meantime the Telegraph, in an analysis of the claims in the government leaflet, points out that Europe-wide flight agreements already cover many non-EU countries, and would certainly include an independent Britain. For heaven’s sake we can fly to Sydney and Singapore and San Francisco – is it likely we won’t be able to fly to EU destinations? Fallon’s claim is about the equivalent of saying “Channel Tunnel will collapse after Brexit”.
IEA: “Brexit could increase national output by 13%”
We’ve heard all the apocalyptic claims from the Remain camp of economic damage that might be caused by Brexit. In response, I like to quote Tim Congdon and Patrick Minford, who have both concluded independently that EU membership costs the UK 10 to 11% of GDP. So I was delighted to see the estimate from the authoritative and highly respected Institute for Economic Affairs that Brexit could increase UK national output by a whopping 13%.
“Farmland prices hit by Brexit fears”
The FT reports that farmland prices have taken a quarterly dip, based on concerns about Brexit and fears of a loss of farming subsidies.How many times do we have to say it? Britain had a perfectly good (and much less bureaucratic) farm subsidy régime before we joined Europe in 1973, and will have one afterwards. We contribute £6 bn a year to the CAP, and get only £3 bn back. Better a farm subsidy régime designed in Britain for British farmers than a farm subsidy régime designed in Brussels for French farmers. And if we stay in the EU, farmers will find more and more CAP money going to poor countries in Eastern Europe (and maybe Turkey and Ukraine eventually), with less funding for the UK.
Belgian police finally get their man
Belgian security forces have reportedly arrested Mohamed Abrini, believed to have been a key player in the Paris attacks, and also strongly suspected of being “the man in the hat”, the third man in the Brussels Airport bombing, the one that got away. We shall all sleep easier in our beds.
Latest poll-of-polls puts the Referendum on a knife-edge
The latest poll-of polls shows exactly 50/50. All to play for. And I believe that differential turnout will give Brexit the edge.
120 more migrants returned to Turkey
On Monday we saw 202 migrants deported from the Greek Islands to Turkey. Then no more until yesterday, when 120 were returned. At this rate, our grandchildren will be watching the final deportees.