Daily Debrief April 18th

“Brexit will cost £4,300 per household”

The Treasury has fired its big bazooka.  It is publishing a substantial report and economic analysis concluding that Brexit would reduce GDP by 6% by 2030 (on where it would have been), and so cost every British household £4,300 a year.  Bear in mind that the mastermind behind the Treasury’s elegant façade is none other than arch-Remainian George Osborne, so never mind 200 pages of analysis – what this boils down to is Osborne’s opinion.  Both the Times and the Telegraph lead on the story.

The technique is reminiscent of that used by Lord Stern in his deeply misleading “Stern Report” on Global Warming. And it’s very simple:

1              You look at all the conceivable downsides

2              You ignore any possible up-sides

3              You wilfully exaggerate the possible impact of the downsides

4              You add up all the negatives, and Bingo! You prove your point.  Or as the Romans used to say, Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

Has the Treasury looked at the benefits of reducing excessive regulation?  Of implementing rational energy policies for lower prices? Of eliminating the EU’s Common External Tariff?  Of setting up tailor-made trade deals between the UK and fast-growing economies around the world?  I suspect not.

For balance, let’s remind ourselves of Professor Patrick Minford’s analysis in his book “Should Britain Leave the EU?”, published by the highly-respected Institute of Economic Affairs, which estimates a Brexit benefit of £9,200 per household.   And Professor Minford’s offering comes with the added bonus of freedom, self-determination and democracy.

Ministers call for Cameron to stay on after a vote to Leave the EU

Perhaps surprisingly, two pro-Brexit Ministers, Chris Grayling and Theresa Villiers, have called for Cameron to stay on and lead the Article 50 negotiations if/when Britain votes to leave the EU.  This contrasts with Ken Clarke’s proposition that “Cameron wouldn’t last 30 seconds” in the event of a Leave vote.

Of course Cameron won’t stay on – Clarke (for once) is right.  We need someone to lead the Leave negotiations who understands the issue and supports Brexit.  Cameron fails on both counts.  It became a joke recently to say that Cameron’s so-called “renegotiation” of our membership terms demonstrated that he was much less successful negotiating in Brussels than Turkish President Erdogan, who got €6 billion and promises of visa-free travel and accelerated EU accession in exchange for nothing very much.

Cameron would give way on free movement, on paying for “access to the Single Market”, on accepting EU rules and “legislation by fax”, until we looked like a larger version of Norway.  We have to have a lead negotiator who understands that we are an independent country and a major economy.  A negotiator who understands that WTO rules, the Lisbon Treaty and sheer economic and commercial imperatives require the EU to negotiate a fair free trade deal with its largest external customer.  If it can’t be Nigel Farage, how about Liam Fox or Boris Johnson?

I know that both Chris Grayling and Theresa Villiers (who served as an MEP alongside me for several years) are persons of integrity.  But I can’t help wondering if their call for Cameron to stay on was made with one eye on their future career prospects in the Conservative government.

Grayling: “Obama doesn’t understand the UK/EU relationship

Grayling is prominent in the news today: he has said, rightly, that US President Barack Obama simply doesn’t understand the UK/EU relationship.  If he did, he would see that such a relationship would be anathema to the United States, and he would understand our desire to leave.

First government minister to share a platform with Nigel Farage

Grayling again.  The Indy reports that today he will become the first government minister to share a platform with Nigel Farage.  In the same report, it says that French Minister Macron has said “You (UK) will never be able to do a trade deal with China because your domestic market is very small compared to theirs”.  In terms of people, Minister Macron, maybe.  But not in terms of money.  And maybe you’d like to explain how Switzerland (pop 8 million) and even Iceland (pop 323,000) managed to do their own trade deals with China?

The Indy article covers a lot of ground, and mentions that Boris has described David Cameron’s EU “renegotiation” as “perfunctory”.  An understatement, I’d say, Boris.

The Express reports that Nigel Farage will warn of “a tidal wave of new laws if we vote to stay”.  He is absolutely right.  In an earlier Debrief I mentioned how I had heard Commissioner (and Commission Vice President) Sefcovic promise “a tsunami of new legislation”.

71% of voters say we have too many migrants

The main story in the Express is a new poll which found that 71% of voters believe we have “too many migrants” in the UK, and only 12% think that “EU citizens” should have a right to come to the UK.  It reports Priti Patel as saying “The truth is that for as long as we remain a member of the EU we are completely unable to control the numbers of people coming to this country.  And with another five countries — Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey — in the pipeline to join the EU the problem is set to get even worse”.

“The EU is killing refugees by neglect”

The “i” newspaper (I understand it doesn’t yet have a web-site) devotes its front page to the striking claim that “The EU is killing refugees by neglect”.  The Express has the same story. It quotes a report by a Charles Heller, “Death by Rescue”, saying that the EU’s current rescue mission is deploying fewer boats, and has resulted in an additional 1500 deaths.  (A purist might argue that the migrants and traffickers are responsible for the deaths, not the rescuers).  Personally I’m in favour of rescuing all the migrants we can on the high seas – and returning them to their starting point.

No thanks to the EU

Christopher Booker’s column in the Sunday Telegraph should be required reading for Brexit campaigners. He points out that many of the policies for which the EU claims credit are in fact made by the institutions of global governance (UN, WTO etc etc).  And many of the benefits which the Remain Camp tell us we would lose by Brexit would in fact remain in place under international rules.

Two good examples.  One of the great “benefits” claimed by the EU is the end of mobile phone roaming charges.  But these, says Booker, were driven by the International Telephone Users’ Group (INTUG), by the OECD, by the International Telecomms Union and the WTO.  Far from driving the programme, the EU dragged its heels and only gave way late in the day after pressure from these international institutions.

The Remain Campaign says that disabled rights would suffer after Brexit.  But these (says Booker) are enshrined in the 2010 Equality Act which gives effect to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Disabled – nothing to do with the EU.

You may say “So even if we leave the EU we’ll still be stuck with a load of international rules?”  To an extent, yes.  But at least we’ll have a seat at the table (as in the WTO, for example) where today we are represented by Brussels – and our national interests go by default.





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35 Responses to Daily Debrief April 18th

  1. Andrew Chapman says:

    Dear Roger,

    I cannot find an online version of the dodgy dossier, but in all the newspaper reports I have looked at, including the FT, I haven’t found any mention of the contribution to the economy which would be made by the hundreds of thousands of people in Britain who, like me, have business plans ready to go, but who can’t or won’t put them into effect because UK membership of the EU puts to balance of risk firmly on the “Don’t” side of the scales.

    Keep up the good work ! Thanks for finding all the energies you are putting in.

    Andrew Chapman

  2. Alan Wheatley says:

    One of the issues arising from a Brexit vote with respect to Cameron is that if he immediately resigns as Conservative party leader we are immediately into a leadership furore, which will have to be settled before anything much happens in relation to Article 50 negotiations. You say “if not Nigel”, but why not?

    The sensible thing for Cameron to do would simultaneous announce that he is prepared to stand down as soon as an orderly process to determine his successor is completed, AND that he is appointing Nigel to represent the UK in its negotiations with the “27”. That way the leadership issue is divorced from the negotiation; and the person best placed by a mile to negotiate the best deal is in charge and can get on with it without delay.

    • rfhmep says:

      I’d be delighted to have Nigel appointed as chief negotiator for Brexit. My fear is that the House of Commons might take a different view!

    • John S Churchill Jnr says:

      While in the medium term, Cameron should not lead our renegotiation (even if he stays as PM), it is he who (seemingly) has no plan B in place upon the Leave vote. He should be obliged to suffer the indignity of the hubris of this oversight and revisit all those he persuaded to agree to a ‘reformed’ EU to tell them it was all in vain.

      All HMG’s pronouncements seem predicated on a policy of “Splendid Isolation”. Is that the best he expects to be achievable?

  3. Alan Wheatley says:

    And while on the subject of what should happen after a Brexit win, the Government should immediate put a one-line bill before Parliament repealing the 1972 European Communities Act (I think that is the name – or some such thing) that took us into the EEC on 1st January 1973: the repeal bill to come into force on (or before) 23rd June 2018.

    The last thing we want is the Article 50 process to be open ended. Anything that can not be decided within two years is not worth having, and the “27” need to know that.

    And the other thing the Government should start immediately is speaking to many other countries around the World about mutual trade, in particular Commonwealth Countries. Commonwealth policy is to encourage trade, they are setting up organisations to support and facilitate such trade. And in any event their report has shown the average cost of bilateral trade between Commonwealth countries to be a fifth lower than where one trading partner is not a Commonwealth country, “the Commonwealth Advantage”.

    The more we show the EU that we are not dependent on them the more they will want to give us a good deal.

    • John S Churchill Jnr says:

      But that would still leave in place the EEA agreement in its entirety. This would retain the Single Market rules on trade and any ‘rights’ that come with it. It would also leave in place the freedom of movement of people. How then could Cameron reduce nett immigation to tens of thousands? HMG propaganda is ignoring this fact.

      Can someone tell me what Act authorised the UK to sign the EEA agreement in the first place and futhermore allowed someone to sign us up for the later amendments? Repealling the ECA 1972 will not be enough to completely disengage from “Le Projet”, that Act too would have to go and we are not being asked to give our permission to do that!

      But that fact entirely demolishes the Remainians scare-mongering because trade terms will be unaltered unless the EEA rules are broken by others.

  4. Shieldsman says:

    Osborne and the Treasury are at it again. Remember when Danny Alexander was at the Treasury.
    Open Europe fact check
    “As set out by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Treasury estimate that 3.3 million jobs in the UK may be related to exports to other European Union countries. This figure is based on the assumption that the share of UK employment associated with UK exports to the EU is equal to the share of output that is exported to the EU, making allowance for the composition of the UK economy. It is not an estimate of the impact of EU membership on employment.”

    Then Osborne has the doom and gloom merchants, head soothsayer – Mark Carney ably assisted by the the (unsuccessful) clairvoyant Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde. Disaster will strike from within the EU.

    Cameron and Osborne should be showing more concern for the ‘Debt Time Bomb’. The Adam Smith Institute’s analysis of the Whole of Government Accounts found ‘crippling’ liabilities of £1.85 trillion on top of the national debt, two thirds of which is made up of ‘unsustainable’ public sector pensions.
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3545479/The-Government-s-hidden-time-bomb-debt-cost-Briton-astonishing-53-000-defuse.html#ixzz46Aigy7yd

    Political satire is a weapon that needs to be deployed. How long can Whittingdale survive the call girl scandal. Shades of the Profumo and Keeler affair. If Cameron was a proper Prime Minister he would have told Whittingdale to resign at once.

    The Arch Federalist -Kenneth Clarke has issued a clarion call to the Labour left to boot Cameron out by voting to leave the EU. Surely the Barber’s, McCluskey’s and the shop stewards aren’t so stupid as to believe Comrade Corbyn a “bonfire” of workers’ rights. They cannot have any faith in Labour ever returning to power. Migrants and their low wage acceptance presents the greatest problem to the trade unions and the workers they represent. The infrastucture is buckling under the growing population numbers, with resulting diminishing standards. So why stay in the EU.

  5. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Norman Tebbit today:
    “Last week, just before the rules imposing limits on expenditure by the authorised Referendum campaign organisations, that faction splurged more than £9 million on the distribution of its dodgy dossier to every household in the country”


  6. ian wragg says:

    Gideon is very specific about our loss by 2030. This is the man who has failed every target since 2010.
    This is the man who has had his budgets torn to shreds as they don’t add up.
    This is the man who couldn’t predict that the oil price would drop $100 in a few weeks BUT he knows what life will be like in 2030.
    I predict by then we won’t have a Chancellor, it will be an EU prerogative.

  7. auralay says:

    You quote “Cameron wouldn’t last 30 seconds” in the event of a Leave vote.
    I suspect he won’t last 30 seconds even if there is a remain in vote. Even his supporters must hate the heartache and uncertainty he has caused them.
    In the immortal words – This is a dead PM. He has gone to join the choir invisible. (Or at least the red benches, almost the same thing.)

  8. Dung says:

    Cameron and Osborne are playing the classic game of watch the thimble but with a twist. In their double cheat version of the game, the real prize is never under the thimble at all. All of the possible negatives real or imagined that might be experienced after brexit do not weigh in the balance at all against freedom and democracy.

    • John S Churchill Jnr says:

      6% loss of income could well be worth it to regain our freedom & democracy. It’s equivalent to having to work an extra 2 hours a week to make good the loss of this worst case scenario.

  9. catweazle666 says:

    I’ve just been listing to that patronising mendacious little plonker Crabb on R4 wittering on about the Treasury report.

    What really pisses me off about him and his ilk is that they clearly regard anyone whose opinion to theirs as being pig thick, utterly uninformed and as thick as two short planks, and make no secret of the fact.

  10. RODNEY OLLEY says:

    I agree with the government ministers that we should for the time being say that Cameron should lead the negotiations following Brexit and I think it both impolite and divisive to accuse them of self-serving. I believe that come the day enough pressure can be applied for him to rule himself out. His volte face from saying last year he would be prepared to campaign for Brexit if he did not get the concession he wanted to his present position has already discredited him.

  11. Shieldsman says:

    catweazle666, the likes of Crab are the thicko’s, they cannot think for themselves, they have been elevated beyond their abilities and have to mind their p’s and q’s. Repeating the no.10 scaremongering propaganda is mandatory or it’s the chop.

    Charles Moore has a interesting proposition: The EU oligarchs will despise us even more if we Leave. That’s reason enough (leaving the rest unsaid)
    Its actually a powerful argument to ignore the advice of all those CEO’s and political appointees whose careers depend EU membership and those receiving financial sponsership with our money.
    If there is one thing the EU is good at, it is providing career opportunities, summit meetings, conference circuits and pensions for administrative and political elites.
    the EU is an oligarchy – a form of permanent, supranational government by a relatively small mutual support group of highly educated people which has worked out how to stay in power without the boring task of submitting itself to general elections.

    I would disagree with the wording highly educated, they are smart, crafty unethical people looking after their own self interests.

  12. MIKE MAUNDER says:

    I think we pay the wages of Cameron and Osborne, and when both of their erroneous missives are proved wrong, maybe by 2025, could we claim the costs back from them ?
    Roger, your four point explanation of Osborne’s drivel, needs no further comment. It is 100% correct, and deserves the full stop of Q.E.D. – ( As proved. Now shut up ! ).
    Since it is plain that THE OUT OF E.U. group, with others able to muster a little mental dexterity for this referendum, are pushing for LEAVE. Is it not a worry that the two top jobs of Government are held by mental retards ? They don’t seem to have caught the wishes of the people, and I always thought that it was that that made an M.P.
    I won’t quote the figures given, due to the stay-ins calling me names, but the two BREXIT guys that delivered my 8’x 4′ placard and do duty with the LEAVE CAMPAIGN stall here in Northampton, told me the split of ins and outs was just incredible for OUTS, and that was in leaflet distribution on the Market Square ! ! !

    • Dung says:


      I am sure that in reality you know full well that Cameron and Osbourne are only interested in public opinion if it supports their personal ambitions.

      • MIKE MAUNDER says:

        Yes, I do know, but they are headed for a fall and I want to do my bit to blow them away.

  13. Jane Davies says:

    Regarding Chris Grayling and Theresa Villiers in suggesting Cameron stays on after Brexit there is the danger that they shoot themselves in the foot as it raises the question of their judgement and credibility. Are politicians so out of touch with the people that they think that this would be a good option? If the vote to leave wins then that alone signifies that the majority do not agree with Cameron and his bunch of crooks and liars and the last person that should be doing the job is this man, who has proven to all and sundry that he couldn’t care less about the country or the people who pay his wages. He needs to go with immediate effect, the country needs a strong negotiator, someone with a backbone who will take the country forward and out of the cesspit of corruption that is the EU and Nigel would be ideal. He is not afraid to talk the talk and walk the walk on behalf of the people and Cameron and his fellow traitors need to be banished….hopefully never to be seen or heard from again. If they had the slightest shred of intelligence or decency, and the fact that there is no plan B, then this would be a no brainer and the correct thing to do.

    • MIKE MAUNDER says:

      Short and sweet Jane. I agree with every word, and I voted for them last May !

    • John S Churchill Jnr says:

      There is no Sanity Clause, there is no Status Quo and there is no Plan B!

    • Heather says:

      How about another Nigel – Nigel Lawson – he has been a chancellor and knows all about the underhand tricks of the EU. I think he would make an excellent negotiator.

      • Alan Wheatley says:

        A good method for decision making is to consider all the possibilities and having weighed them one against the other to choose the best.

        Or, in this case as we already know the answer, Farage it is.

  14. John S Churchill Jnr says:

    My wife asked me to look up some ingredient of toothpaste she liked, on the Internet. I told her it had been approved but don’t take it as gospel. To which she added that’s something (product safety) EU membership provides. I had to tell her that such decisions are made outwith the EU. “Not a lot of people know that!”

    • Jane Davies says:

      Yep….we are relatively safe here in Canada. In fact probably safer without interference from the EU bureaucrats!

  15. Anyoldiron says:

    The people in this Country have fought two World WARS to prevent FOREIGNERS Governing us, and the last World WAR I remember very well because we were indeed bombed out of our House living as we did then, quite near the much used Manchester Ship Canal. The EU is and always will be just another way for this Country to be governed by foreigners-for yes-most, if not all have ratified each and every EEC/EC/EU Treaties that has come to be. Not one was put before the people to allow them to “have their say”. I f the coming REFERENDUM is used exactly like a General Election-on a Thursday-and the count done as soon as the booths are closed- all may well be OK. However, if the count is held over until the week end-as once was so done-Oooop’s who know eh. The coming REFERENDUM should and must be done exactly like a General Election.

  16. Pingback: Daily Debrief April 19th | Roger Helmer MEP

  17. SmokedKipper says:

    Crosby is right. The “Vote Leave” campaign is losing ground because it refuses to talk about immigration. That’s because a bunch of useless establishment Tories have hijacked the referendum that UKIP achieved!

    If Vote Leave doesn’t take a definite stand on reducing immigration we’re going to lose. We don’t need endless debates on the rights and wrongs, we simply need the Leave campaign to have a clear position that leaving the EU means proper British border controls and big reductions in immigration. That’s what the vast majority of people want from a Brexit.

    I am sick of seeing bloody Tories all the time. They’ve monopolised the Leave and the Remain campaigns. We need to see UKIP, Labour and independent people on the TV.

    • Alan Wheatley says:

      I, too, and fed up with too many bloody Tories. They are very much the second string when it comes to the EU.

    • catweazle666 says:

      “The “Vote Leave” campaign is losing ground because it refuses to talk about immigration.”

      Given the amount of coverage that the MSM are giving to mass invasion immigration in Germany and Sweden, plus the terror attacks by the Jihadis mingled amongst them, I really don’t think there is much need to emphasise it.

      It is painfully self-evident even to Guardian readers.

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