Vote Brexit to save the NHS!
This is the very clear, credible and cogent slogan with which Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are kicking off their Leave campaign. It’s a simple proposition: instead of sending £10 billion a year to Brussels, let’s use it to rescue the NHS. In terms of simple, punchy and believable messaging, it would be hard to do better. Perhaps worth mentioning also that UKIP’s Health Spokesman Louise Bours MEP has been making this same point for some time.
Remain campaign: Let’s talk about the economy
The Remain Campaign, meantime, wants to talk about the economic consequences of Brexit. Great. Very apt and timely. One of the UK’s leading economists Professor Patrick Minford has just up-dated his estimate of the total cost of our EU membership. Not just net budget contributions, but regulatory costs, the Common External Tariff, misallocation of resources and so on. And he puts the figure at 13% of GDP. That amounts to over £9000 per household – an eye-watering figure, and a massive drag on growth and prosperity.
But of course Brexit is not just about the benefits for today and tomorrow. In the longer term, a British economy freed from the deadweight of unnecessary EU red-tape, and able to look outward to the rest of the world where the growth and opportunities are, able to make its own trade deals with the growing economies of China – and India, and the rest of the Anglosphere – will create wealth and prosperity. It will conspicuously out-perform the moribund economies of the €urozone. That, indeed is one of Brussels’ greatest fears.
Time to work together
Now that the official leave designation is decided, it is time for all Eurosceptic groups to come together and focus on the key issue: the independence of our country. The campaign starts in earnest (without seeking to belittle all the fine work that has gone on already). Boris Johnson and Michael Gove plan to lead a “Brexit Blitz”, and five sceptical Cabinet Ministers will be campaigning. The IB Times reports that Nigel Farage has been busy brokering a truce between the various Eurosceptic factions. Nigel will be sharing a platform with Chris Grayling MP, Leader of the House, in Stoke next week.
Greek Bailout “unrealistic”
Not exactly the most striking news of the day – but a timely reminder that the Greek crisis – and the wider €uro crisis – have not gone away. IMF Chief Christine Lagarde says that plans for the next Greek bailout (there’s a dreadful inevitability about Greek bail-outs) are “unrealistic”. I haven’t been following it closely. But I’m prepared to believe her on this one.
Brexit threatens City’s Forex trade
The FT carries an awful warning from a very senior financial executive that the City of London risks losing control of its Forex trade in the event of Brexit. But the senior executive in question is John Cryan, who happens to be Chief Executive of …. Deutsche Bank. Another Mandy Rice Davies moment. “He would say that, wouldn’t he?”.
ECJ further weakens UK immigration controls
The Sun reports an ECJ decision that the UK must admit non-EU family members of any EU citizen. This will be a huge embarrassment to David Cameron, who has explicitly stated that it is “extraordinary” that it is easier for an EU citizen to bring a non-EU spouse into the UK than it is for a UK citizen – and having just recently promised to take a tougher line on immigration.
This is bad enough in itself – but more broadly it proves that whatever the Remain camp may promise, they are simply unable to deliver.
The Sun also reports on a document “Rights and obligations of EU membership” which confirms (though we knew it already) the supremacy of EU law in our country. In a recent debate in Strasbourg on the migrant crisis, Socialist Group leader Gianni Pittella was asked whether EU member-states should be forced to take quotas of migrants in defiance of the democratic will of their populations. He replied “Yes – you have to abide by the obligations of EU membership”. Let’s not say that no one ever warned us.
Jeremy Corbyn makes his big EU speech – sort of
Jeremy Corbyn yesterday gave his much anticipated pro-EU speech, insisting that “there was nothing half-hearted about Labour’s support for the EU”. Nonetheless his speech was so heavily larded with caveats and excuses and exclusions that it possibly did the Remain side more harm than good.. With friends like that, who needs enemies? Corbyn reportedly said that his EU policy was “Remain and Reform”. Has Jeremy not been awake these last forty years? The EU doesn’t do reform. Let’s say it again, but louder. The EU doesn’t do reform.