Daily Debrief May 14th

Today’s front pages have little EU news – they are mostly dominated by the recent Court ruling that parents can take children out of school for holidays.

Christine Lagarde lines up for Project Fear

The Head of the IMF Christine Lagarde speaks in the most undiplomatic language of the UK’s prospects after Brexit.  “Bad, or very very bad”.  It could prompt a stock market and house price crash.  But let’s remember who Christine Lagarde is.  She’s French.  Very very French.  Former French Finance Minister.  Former French Agriculture Minister.  Former French Commerce Minister.

There is a close identification between the IMF and the EU.  Heads of the IMF are usually European (while the World Bank gets Americans).  At the very least, Lagarde is simply part of the mind-set of the European project.  Her opinions are those of the European Commission.  At worst, she could be thinking primarily of the interests of France (we pay – French farmers get the money).  She certainly isn’t thinking of the best interests of Britain.  Let me say again: we want to leave the EU because our economic prospects will be enhanced.  We shall be relieved of total costs (including regulatory costs) estimated at over 10% of GD (Minford, Congdon).  We shall take a more engaged view of global trade.

We should give the same credence to the claim by French Finance Minister Michel Sapin that French Banks would quit the City after Brexit. The City depends on a critical mass of skills which exists nowhere else in Europe, rather than the goodwill of French Ministers.

For an excellent summary of the economic benefits of Brexit, read Howard Shore’s piece “The EU is holding us back”

Boris fury at threat to Cameron

In a press release following the spat over the Cameron/Farage debate, the Vote Leave team suggested that “Number Ten won’t be there long after the referendum”.  Naturally for reasons of internal party politics Boris cannot be associated with any call for Cameron to go, or any suggestion that he might have to do so.  In reality, of course, Cameron is on a hiding to nothing.  Clearly he cannot stay on as PM if the nation votes for Brexit – it would represent a personal failure on a grand scale.  But if he wins and we stay, he will have earned the undying animosity of a good half of his party.  Tories who have campaigned for Independence for years will see him as a traitor to the cause.

Brexit campaign hits the streets

Of course Brexit and Remain campaigners have been on the streets for weeks, but today looks set to be the biggest day so far. Remain Campaigners say they’ll have a thousand street events.  David Cameron will unveil a poster showing a “bill” for £4,600 per household, which he claims is the cost of leaving the EU.  He has nothing to say about the costs of staying in, estimated by serious economists at 10%+ of GDP

European parliament gets it right (for once)

This last week the European parliament (with the support of UKIP MEPs) voted against giving “Market Economy Status” (MES) to China.  This all sounds a bit technical, but briefly, MES would make it much more difficult to apply anti-dumping measures against China (though the EU has been extraordinarily dilatory in applying them on steel.  The USA moved quickly, which is why the EU has become China’s favourite dumping ground for steel exports.  Hence Port Talbot).  The British government, strangely, has been in favour of giving MES to China – as a result of its eagerness to get investment in Hinkley C, and Chinese investment generally.  China is not a free market economy, and we should not pretend that it is.

On the subject of Hinkley C, France’s Energy Minister Ségolène Royal has warned of the “colossal cost” of Hinkley C.  It’s not yet a done deal.


Big Donation for Leave

Peter Hargreaves of Hargreaves Landsdowne has donated £3.2 million to the Leave Campaign.  Well done that man. It will help to redress the Remain Campaign’s huge spending bias .

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5 Responses to Daily Debrief May 14th

  1. Shieldsman says:

    I have to disagree with you over Minford, give up manufacturing, especially Engineering and you become a third world country. Finance and the City of London can only be part of our economy, look what happened in 2008.

    Christine LaGuarde needs to pay more attention to the health of the EURO and restoring the economies of the Southern European member States. Is she trying to shore up the EU, when there is no love lost between Cameron and Hollande. He said “II n’y a pas eu de derogation aux regles du marche unique, il n’y a pas de revision prevue des traites” (There is no exemption from the rules of the Single Market, no change for-seen to the Treaties).

    Why do all the Westminster have-beens (grey 0nes) want to stay in the EU, I suppose it must be that they cannot admit that they got it wrong in railroading the British Public into the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties.

    Cameron is really desperate, apart from the BBC the MSM are beginning to be critical of his scaremongering and running their own IN/OUT internet polls. Before the Telegraph closed down
    its comments facility, its polls for leaving were running at over 80%.

    I should be a natural Conservative, but then Cameron does not lead a Conservative and Unionist Party, he leads a bunch of Social Democrats, akin to Clegg and his lib/dems.

    • rfhmep says:

      I agree with Francesca — I don’t think anyone mentioned “giving up manufacturing”. The City is important. But so are industry. And agriculture.

  2. Sarumano says:

    Mr Helmer, you don’t mention that printed beneath the article proclaiming Christine Lagarde’s activities is an article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard totally refuting her.
    I suspect the Daily Telegraph may be beginning to see the holes in the Remainians’ case, but are determined to try and remain neutral – despite their online readers mostly being Brexiteers.

  3. Francesca Macfarlane says:

    I don’t think Patrick Minford has ever suggested that the UK should depend entirely on finance and the City for its income nor that engineering should disappear as a subject from our great universities. But as countries become more advanced it is research, design and innovation that become bigger earners at the expense of manufacturing which can often be done more cheaply in developing countries.
    For example JCB manufactures its products in 22 countries around the globe, but it still depends for its incredible success on its home-based technical expertise which earns millions for the UK. (NB JCB chairman, Lord Bamford is strongly in favour of Brexit).

  4. Derek says:

    Hi Roger you seem to have posted today’s summary twice. Also one extra item worth noting is the appearance of “Brexit the movie”. Even though you aren’t in it, it is a very powerful film by Martin Durkin and deserves as wide a viewing as possible.

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