Daily Debrief April 23rd

The Backlash from Barack – The only referendum news of the day

Much of the news this week has focused on the visit of President Obama, and the views he was inevitably going to make on Brexit (which were initially going to be given only if he were asked). Well he chose not to wait and began yesterday with an opinion piece in the Telegraph, in which he attempted to give justification for him voicing his view on the referendum. As you have to pay to read the letter online, I shall instead direct you to an excellent piece in the Express which reports on the letter, and it’s fall out.

The often touted special relationship card, usually taken out of the drawer to suit a political purpose on one side of the Atlantic or the other, was  “forged as we spilled blood together on the battlefield” he has written. He then went on to suggest that the sacrifice made by American service men and women during World War II made it perfectly reasonable for him to weigh in on the argument. He’s quite right that a bond was forged during that conflict, but surely he realises that his forefathers gave their lives to defend free and sovereign nations against an oppressive, undemocratic regime obsessed with the domination of Europe. The irony of President Obama now using that sacrifice to defend the existence of the EU shouldn’t be lost on any of us.

His headline moment however came at the end of the day, as he gave a press conference with the Prime Minister to outline why it was vital for Britain’s future, that it remain a part of the EU. The line that stands out from the conference was that should Britain leave, any attempt it might make to forge its own trade deal with the US would put it “at the back of the queue”. Truly disgraceful behaviour from a man whose Office is supposed to protect and guard the rights of democracy.

Britain’s survival during WWII was in large part down the unwillingness of her peoples to be dictated to and dominated by foreign powers. It now seems as though the attempts to subvert and dilute our democratic freedoms are coming from both sides but I’ve every confidence in our collective ability to see through the hollow rhetoric and bring about a restoration of our true democracy as we move to make 23rd June our Independence Day.

As for President Obama, I believe he has misjudged his influence in Britain spectacularly, and I’m not the only one. In a brilliant article by Tim Montgomerie, you can read of how this latest foray into the politics of another nation state is “typical of his arrogance”. In the words of Conservative MP Dominic Raab he is no more than a “lame-duck American president doing an old British friend a political favour”. With Presidential elections fast approaching in the US, let us be glad that it’s the last such favour that this President will ever be able to give.

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28 Responses to Daily Debrief April 23rd

  1. Shieldsman says:

    Is Cameron panicking – doesn’t he believe Lynton Crosby and the polls?
    I object to the modern habit of manipulating History and dictionary meanings for political purposes. Cameron in that interview with Marr tried to change the meaning of sovereignty.

    In addition to Tim Montgomeries ‘Obama’s Brexit overreach is typical of his arrogance’, the Spectator had ‘Will Barack Obama’s ‘back of the queue’ threat backfire? by Fraser Nelson.

    Although I did have one comment bumped, I did get two in. This is one comment I made: –
    I cannot see how the Government and BSE can start acting honestly, they have no real positives left. They can claim statis quo, but that never has been the aim of the EU. The PM in his three year lead up to the referendum set out the faults (the EU is not working) he saw in the EU and the changes he would make. The Brussels deal was a charade he did not reform the EU there was no Treaty change. The social care emergency brake and the red card will only go before Parliament if we stay in and certain MEP’s have said they will vote against it – so assent is not assured.

    How did David Cameron get himself into this position where he is not allowed to acquiesce to a leave vote being successful? He obviously never had a plan on how to exit the EU. The position is if the vote is to leave Cameron is left holding the baby, he is responsible. Its no good saying we cannot leave because the Brexiteers do not have a plan of which I approve. He has rejected the Norway option as a starting point or a plain EFTA. People can put forward ideas, but it will be up to the Government and whoever is appointed to do the negotiation. Making out it is impossible because he is under orders is a nonsense.

    I think Jean-Claude Juncker’s statement to the European Parliament is dynamite. The BBC did not think it newsworthy – I wonder why? Boris and Michael Gove should concentrate on items like this and the reformed EU that never was. Juncker did not mention it.

    • John S Churchill Jnr. says:

      The ‘Norway’ option IS the same as EFTA. The EEA agreement, between 31 Sovereign (at the moment) States is structured with two pillars. The tallest pillar has 28 EU members, the shorter one 3 EFTA ones. The European Single Market terms are set out in this agreement. The EU Treaties replicates this just as the ECHR rules have been incorporated into them. Any changes to SM terms are (initially) dealt with at EEA, rather than EU, level. Norway (as would a Brexit UK) therefore does get a say!

      Changing our allegiance by moving from the EU pillar to the EFTA one (as the agreement permits) leaves our unfettered access to the Single Market in place. It also leaves in place all the obligations associated with it e.g. the famous four freedoms.

      The reason for the “Norway Option” expression is that there is a separate protocol for Norway wherein she has ‘voluntarily’ (as something of a supplicant at the time of her agreement) accepted to make payments to newer EU entrants towards their structural change costs. This is achieved outwith the EU budget, albeit that the EU acts as a Bursar to disburse the payment to the recipient member states, causing to appear as if Norway is paying the EU. There are also payment she makes towards EU-inspired projects (e.g. Erasmus) in which she chooses to participate. Again, this is not a ‘Treaty’ obligation but a conscious choice.

      Repealing the ECA 1972 would not alter the 31 State EEA agreement in any way. It is moot whether we would be permitted to set ourselves up as a one state third pillar, but the separate EFTA Treaty terms would be acceptable to the UK (Leavers) and signature should not take long to conclude. While that arrangement endures, there would be no disruption to trade patterns that could be laid at the Brexit door!

      This leaves only the question of whether the UK would be obliged to conclude its own separate (arm twisting) protocol which would oblige some degree of payment. I can find no such obligation in the current text of the EEA agreement.

    • Ken Dickenson says:

      Tim Montgomerie’s article was spot on. It should be copied onto bill-boards in every street and motorway across the nation.(and perhaps some in USA as well, just to make the point).
      Also for highlighting:
      That picture of Cameron & Obama in the golf buggy should be merged with the picture of the Blair creature with (then) president Dubya Bush. The double picture could be underlined by Peter Hitchen’s article “Can you tell the difference between these two”

  2. Excellent post as usual however why did you not point out that Cameron stood by and said nothing when these insults were aimed at us?

  3. Dung says:

    The above comment should be signed by Dung

  4. Hi Roger, I think that Obama forgets, that at the start of World War II the USA didn’t want to participate or get involved with a European war! It was only the attack on Pearl Harbour that they had no choice but to ‘join’ in. It has been said that Churchill may have orchestrated this, but it is only a rumour!! Regards Michael

    Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2016 14:25:54 +0000 To: themanwiththebag@msn.com

    • MIKE MAUNDER says:

      WW2 was conducted between a very wise man, Churchill, and an oaf named Hitler who was backed up by thugs. I can’t go along with Churchill tampering with Japan, to bring in the U.S.A. but it shows what an oaf Hitler was, to open a front with us, and without concluding that front, he opens a front with the Soviets ! There seems to have been no contact, Japan to Germany and the oaf was caught out when U.S.A. entered the war and had the use of GB/UK.

  5. Shieldsman says:

    The opposition is in the doldrums and the Conservatives are split with Cameron claiming the majority and to act as the Government.
    So David Cameron is heading for a hollow victory in the EU referendum, In winning the vote, he could well lose his party by James Forsyth is interesting.

    I did add a comment which disappeared, briefly – But reuniting the Conservative party will take more than a ‘reconciliation reshuffle’. It will require the articulation of a clear Tory agenda that his MPs can unite behind. He can whip his MP’s, but the actual party members (the older members of Society), the Conservative and ex-Conservative voters are not for whipping.
    The supposed Government case that the PM reformed the European Union is turning out to have more holes than a kitchen colander.
    The treaty change that never was is exposed in the following documents: –
    Lawyers for Britain – The Renegotiation – “Ever Closer Union” “Ever Closer Union” will remain in the Treaty and the summit deal makes no difference to the UK’s legal obligations.

    The most recent ICM phone poll suggests that more Tory voters will back ‘leave’ than ‘remain’. So Cameron will need a large Labour vote for ‘remain’ to win the referendum, which explains his willingness to be photographed with Neil Kinnock last week.

    The Conservative leadership has long hoped that the party could be put back together after the referendum. The idea was that the consoling prospect of a decade in power if the party stayed united would overcome the bitterness of the EU debate.

    Even Jean-Claude Juncker, the current European Commission president, admitted this week that ‘one of the reasons that European citizens are stepping away from the European project is that we are interfering in too many domains of their private lives. And too many domains where the member states are better placed to take action and pass legislation.’ But there is little chance of him doing much to fix the problem.

  6. Jane Davies says:

    Once again Cameron has displayed how out of touch with the voters he is, he lives in this bubble where the real world floats by on a cloud. If he deigned to take notice he would understand that Obama is the most unpopular president the USA has ever had, if I believe many of the comments that are out there, and this support for the UK to remain in the EU is based on the fact that it would be better for America if the vote to remain wins. He actually said this, so he doesn’t give a rats rear end about Britain or the British citizens and this mutual back slapping could well backfire as the British people take offense at a foreigner coming over and telling them how to vote. Also smacks of desperation by Cameron who is clutching at any straws that float by his little cloud.
    How dare an American tell the people to put up with a foreign dictatorship, would he and his fellow citizens allow unelected Mexicans to tell them what to do? I think we all know the answer.


    • Harry Royle says:

      Jane: You write “this mutual backslapping could well backfire as the British people take offence at a foreigner coming over and telling them how to vote”. Well, you’re absolutely right – this morning (St George’s Day) some 20 of us were out leafleting for LEAVE and every one of us had a tale to tell afterwards of voters saying something along the lines of “What finally convinced me to vote LEAVE was when Barack Obama opened his big mouth and told us how to vote!”

      • Jane Davies says:

        Well…there you go! I love it when a politician’s cunning plan mis-fires and implodes.

      • MIKE MAUNDER says:

        It’s not so much a cunning plan, as a guy that hit the top as Prime Minister of Britain, but did not have the soul of a British Man ! It’s like being made Captain of English Rugby, but going to the French team and others, with the words, ” You could be 30 – nil at half time, so please, can you take it easy on us for the second half ?” It is so bad, that every time I type Cameron, I have to wash my hands. He is just nasty low-life !

  7. Ex-expat Colin says:

    The establishment joins up…simple as that really.

  8. Dung says:

    Jane! Please please try and integrate more with our American friends: Obamah does not give a rat’s arse about the UK but then neither does Cameron ^.^

    • Jane Davies says:

      I’m British through and through (I’m assuming your comment was tongue in cheek!)…many of my American friends are saying they will come across the border to live in Canada if Trump makes it to president because they are horrified at the descent of their country into madness. I would one day like to come home and spend my dotage back in old blighty but if the UK remains in the EU I will have to seriously think about staying here, I have dual citizenship anyway so that would not be a problem.

      • Ken Dickenson says:

        So your American friends think that Shouter Clinton will make America wonderful do they?

      • Jane Davies says:

        You know I think many do……..what a choice eh? Between a rock and a hard place.

  9. Derek says:

    Just had the letter below published in the local paper (Southampton Echo)
    It’s now or never
    Our fathers and grandfathers had to fight to preserve the democratic freedom of our country. Many gave their lives for it. Back in 1975 we were told that there would be “no essential loss of sovereignty” when we voted to remain in the Common Market. Today, over forty years on, we can see what a great deception that was, as time after time we are ordered to obey the EU directives by the European Court. Whether it is deporting a foreign criminal or terrorist, or setting a limit on the fish we can catch, or even supporting our struggling steel industry, we are tied down with EU rules and regulations.
    So, although today we are not faced with bombs and bullets, our country is still under a threat of being taken over. The takeover is very slow, but the cumulative effect is that we are losing our independence. We cannot even make our own trade deals with other countries; it has to be done through the EU.
    Now at last we will have a one and only opportunity to vote for freedom and independence if we have the courage to take it. We are being bombarded with scare stories by those who want us to cling to the EU, but in reality the opportunities that freedom gains us are far greater. The EU would be very foolish to refuse to have a mutually beneficial trade deal with one of its biggest export markets – the UK.
    If our forebears were prepared to give their lives to secure our independence then surely we can risk a little temporary financial turbulence as we adjust to our new won freedom?
    In the end it comes down to confidence. Either we have confidence in our country and ourselves, or we have become feeble and need to downgrade to be a province of the EU. That is what is at stake on June 23. I will vote for freedom. We will never get another chance if we vote to remain.

  10. Dung says:

    Well said Derek

  11. catweazle666 says:

    So Britain will be “at the back of the queue” will it?

    Given that there are currently around a million US citizens working in the UK and a similar number of UK citizens working in the US, that we do around fifty-six billion dollars’ worth of trade with the US and are engaged in a number of collaborative scientific and military projects, not least involving building critical components for the F35, I think he’s telling porkies.

    In any case, it won’t be up to him, he’ll be long gone before it becomes an issue.

    • Jane Davies says:

      Good comment catweazle…..Obama, just another lying politician who now has no credibility having agreed to do Cameron’s bidding.

  12. MIKE MAUNDER says:

    WE VOTERS ARE BEING KEPT IN THE DARK ON SO MANY THINGS; IT’S APPALLING ! Obama and Cameron’s Foreign Office show, was probably enjoyed by people wanting to stay in the E.U., and made us LEAVE THE E.U. PEOPLE, seething and angry. I just cottoned on to the threats made by Obama, and considered him to be rude and misguided. He shows himself to be very foolish, and even anti-democratic, for the head of a foreign Nation to give a performance like that, ahead of our National vote, is gross interference, but there has to be a reason !
    American friends of mine, have told me that Obama’s Presidency has not been the domestic success that was hoped for, and that his place in history will be just as the first coloured President. As his term of office winds down, he wishes to have an item of success, and that was gifted to him by Cameron. TTIP is what this is all about. This Trans-Atlantic deal is worth a mountain of money to the E.U. and U.S.A. – Not the people, so much as vast Corporations on both sides of the pond, and I’m sure that Corporate gratitude will be shown to both ‘ Leaders.’ The only good thing of the Obama’s visit, was their birthday salute to Her Majesty, The Queen.

  13. Shieldsman says:

    With enthusiasm fading TTIP could be in the queue forever.

    • Ken Dickenson says:

      Big demonstration in Germany today (Sunday) against the proposed TTIP agreements.
      Of course Obama won’t see anything of it.
      Much the same as he won’t be told about the prosecution (on Merkels orders) of a comedian for telling his truth about the Turkish president.

  14. Shieldsman says:

    I felt sorry for the Queen and the Royals the other day, having to put up with Cameron and Obama on her birthday. Still I am sure she is well used to it and sees it as her line of duty.

  15. catweazle666 says:

    Incidentally, concerning Obama’s comment about ten years or some such, it is worth remembering that the EU/EC/whatever has been faffing about with trade deals with the USA for around six decades now, and as far as I can tell is no nearer a conclusion.

    • Jane Davies says:

      It took seven years to complete a trade agreement with Canada….I think our new PM has just signed off on it.

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