Daily Debrief May 17th

37 days till Independence Day

EU Commission admits that Turkey deal will allow criminals into Europe

EU leaders have admitted that the proposed visa-waiver deal with Turkey, due to come into effect at the end of June, will allow criminals and terrorists easier access to Europe, and increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks. Foreign terrorists and criminals are likely to seek Turkish passports to facilitate entry to Europe.

Dearlove warns in immigration, Turkey and the EU

On March 24th, on the comments of Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, who argued that Britain’s security would not be compromised by Brexit, and indeed that in some respects (e.g. border control) it would be strengthened.  Yesterday he spoke in the BBC’s day of Radio 4 programmes on immigration, and he made some telling remarks.

The EU/Turkey migrant deal, allowing Turks visa-free access to the Schengen Area in exchange for Turkey seeking to control immigrants, is “perverse”, and he likened it to “storing gasoline next to the fire you are trying to put out”.  He has a point.  In order to stem the flow of migrants, we give 79 million Turks the right to come to Europe.  Folly, or what?  For good measure, he added that unless the EU got a grip on immigration (and it shows little sign of doing so) it would face populist up-risings.  Let’s hope someone out there is listening.

Sir Roger Carr’s “Big Battalions”

In contrast to Sir Richard Dearlove, we have Sir Roger Carr, Chairman of BAE Systems, telling us that we should stay in the EU because “We need the big battalions to help buttress Europe’s peace dividend”. There is a great deal of emotional waffle about the Second World War, and the benefits of peace, which he attributes to the EU rather than the Transatlantic Alliance.  He speaks of “the prospects for prosperity, security and global authority offered by EU membership”, and “the value of collective strength”.  Strangely, despite seventeen years in Brussels I have never been aware of these benefits.

Only one point he’s missed in his analysis.  The EU doesn’t have Big Battalions.  NATO does.  That is why NATO matters as a defence alliance, and the EU does not.  Stalin famously and sarcastically asked “How many divisions does the Pope have?”.  We could ask the same question of Brussels.  But the Commission exerts considerable patronage, and no doubt Sir Roger has in mind the business opportunities for BAE in Europe.  He needs to be singing from the Commission’s hymn-sheet.

“Mass immigration costs Britain £17 billion a year”

The Express leads on a report from think-tank Migration Watch, claiming that mass immigration is costing Britain £17 billion a year,  or £63 per household.  (Google asked me if I meant “million”, not billion.  No guys.  Billion).  The report claims that Britain could save £1.2 billion a year on these costs by leaving the EU.

Boris Johnson says that mass immigration has led to NHS waiting times that are “a scandal”.

David Cameron’s plot to keep us in the EU

The Daily Mail reports a secret letter claimed to show that David Cameron was plotting a campaign with big business (and government suppliers) to keep Britain in the EU, at the same time as he was assuring the House of Commons that he “ruled nothing out” and could be prepared to campaign for Brexit. He is said to have asked FTSE 500 companies to put warnings against Brexit in their annual reports.  The Mail piece quotes Gisela Stuart MP accusing the PM of being “knee-deep in conspiracy”, and Steve Baker MP: “This is proof that big corporates are being asked to gang up on hard-working British families to try to bully them into staying in the EU”.

Osborne sails close to the wind

George Osborne has said that the bank of England’s analysis “proves beyond doubt that a vote for Brexit is a vote for a poorer UK”. This assertion is not merely false.  It amounts to a deliberate lie.  Osborne knows, or ought to know, that a rather large number of highly respected business people and economists take the opposite view.  Osborne is entitled to have his own view, but it is downright false to say that his view has been “proved beyond doubt”.  It is in fact strongly disputed.

Osborne also accuses Leave campaigners of being “conspiracy theorists”.

Roger Bootle on Group-Think

In a thoughtful piece for the Telegraph, engagingly entitled “Yes – the IMF and 200+ economists can be wrong”. Bootle says “They aren’t umpteen different voices – they’re victims of group-think” (and, I would add, the Emperor’s Clothes syndrome).  He particularly reminds us of the famous 1981 letter in which 364 economists (one for each day of the year, nearly) assured Margaret Thatcher that her policies were a disaster – just as the economy turned the corner.  And it’s also worth recalling that much more recently the IMF was spectacularly wrong over Osborne’s “austerity”, and had to eat humble pie and apologise.

In fact all the usual suspects who fifteen years ago warned of the dangers of staying out of the €uro are at it again.  Wrong then.  Wrong now.

Mark Carney adds a helpful comment, saying that Brexit campaigners are “in denial” over the economic risks.  But of course Mr. Carney is in denial over the opportunities.

Bank of England does contingency planning

The Times reports that the Bank of England is holding daily meetings with British banks to ensure that they are prepared to deal with any market volatility resulting from Brexit.  My first thought was “There they go – spreading gloom and despondency, talking up problems not opportunities”.  But we should be glad that they recognise the real possibility of Brexit, and that they’re seriously looking at the practicalities.

Why media folk should back Brexit

The Telegraph reports that the EU’s plans for a Digital Single Market could cost the media industry “billions”. It could result in a dramatic reduction of investment in TV production, and Britain, which has a leading position in the industry, is most at risk.  While the EU will claim that the move will be good for consumers, the industry expects higher prices and  a poorer range of content.  Let’s get out before we get hit.

David Cameron – stop digging!

Around a hundred Tory MPs are expected to launch a no-confidence motion in Cameron after the referendum, win or lose. While they might lose the confidence vote, they could then paralyse the government’s business (it has a tiny majority) unless Cameron agrees to go well in advance of the next General Election.  The objective is to get a new, Eurosceptic leader in place in time for the election.

The usual advice is “When in a hole, stop digging”.  Cameron has dug himself into a hole over the EU, and can’t find a way out.

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Daily Debrief May 17th

  1. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Our special relationship with the US is military aka NATO. Thats the one Trump wants to knock on the head somewhat.Since BAE has competed with the european arms manufacturers in the past a drop in the special relationship likely means they had better win more european (german) contracts. Tricky?

    Wonder what the MoD are doing…not interested in Hammond. He has silly problems trying to over fly Spain.

  2. Phil O'Sophical says:

    The header above today’s blog on the email, mentions “Nigel will be speaking at an event about the European Arrest Warrant … which will be filmed by the UK news broadcasters pool, so keep an eye out for coverage on BBC News and Sky News”

    Surely you mean keep an eye out for LACK of coverage on BBC News and Sky News. They’re certain to find plenty of trivial spats or comment pieces on the Leave side to show their balanced coverage, and allow them to ignore any real Leave information getting across.

  3. Shieldsman says:

    Yesterday we had what might in past times have been the three stooges. Michael Deacon rather takes the mickey with ‘Sir Vince and Ed Ball held hostage with a one-way ticket’.
    Their speeches even contained his new soundbite. Listen to the three parrots.
    “Leaving the EU is a one-way ticket to a poorer Britain,” said Mr Osborne
    “Leaving the EU is a one-way ticket to a poorer Britain,” said Mr Balls
    “Leaving the EU is a one-way ticket to a poorer Britain,” said Sir Vince

    Whenever Cameron and his cronies appear a sign should flash up – ‘This is a wealth warning’
    you must vote to stay in the EU for my benefit, not for yours!!!

    The Daily Mail with a daily circulation of 1,589,471and Daily Express with 408,700 average are really influencing the OUT vote. They both allow comments which are almost 100% for brexit.
    Lynton Crosby received a knighthood and is paid to promote the Government (Cameron’s part), so what he writes in the Telegraph should be taken with a pinch of salt.

    Cameron cannot remember (or so it appears) what he said 6 months ago to the CBI. I am being selective but it comes from the transcript:

    So today I also want to debunk an argument that is sometimes put around by those who say ‘stay in Europe come what may’. Some people seem to say that really Britain couldn’t survive, couldn’t do okay outside the European Union. I don’t think that is true. Let’s be frank, Britain is an amazing country. We have got the fifth biggest economy in the world. We are a top ten manufacturer, growing steadily strong financial services. The world wants to come and do business here, look at the record of inward investment. Look at the leaders beating a path to our door to come to see what’s happening with this great country’s economy.
    And I hope that British business will back me in this negotiation because, frankly, the status quo isn’t good enough for Britain. We need to fix these challenges, fix these problems. That’s what the negotiation is about and then we can throw ourselves headlong into keeping Britain in a reformed Europe. But as we do so, no duff arguments, no pretending that Britain couldn’t survive outside the EU, of course we could. The fifth largest economy in the world, the great economy that is getting stronger and better.

    Question
    Thanks. Good morning. Prime Minister, for all your doom-laden talk of ruling nothing out, most people here, most people in Brussels, believe that you will end up leading the campaign to stay in the EU. How can you succeed in a negotiation where everybody thinks you’re bluffing?
    On Europe, I couldn’t have been more clear with my colleagues. I’ve been to every single president and prime minister, and I’ve very patiently set out what needs to change. But patiently setting out a list of very sensible changes shouldn’t be mistaken for a lack of resolve. If these things can’t be fixed, then Britain would then naturally ask, do we belong in this organisation? In a way, you can boil down all of my negotiations to one word: flexibility. Is this organisation flexible enough to make sure that countries inside the eurozone can grow and succeed, and countries outside the eurozone, like Britain, can find what they need as well? If it’s flexible enough, we’ll stay. If it’s not flexible enough, we’ll have to ask ourselves a very profound question, is this organisation for us? I think people in Europe know I’m deadly serious about that, and that’s what the negotiation that we’ll be launching tomorrow is all about.

    6 months later with false claims of miraculously having changed the EU without any treaty change, that is status quo for the time being , we have to keep paying £55 million per day for nanny EU to hold our hand.
    He is taking the Public for fools.

  4. Jane Davies says:

    Taking a section out of Cameron’s speech above…….

    ” Britain is an amazing country. We have got the fifth biggest economy in the world. We are a top ten manufacturer, growing steadily strong financial services. The world wants to come and do business here, look at the record of inward investment. Look at the leaders beating a path to our door to come to see what’s happening with this great country’s economy.”

    Then why does this government still freeze the pensions of 4% of state pensioners, saying that they cannot afford to pay for indexing, even though these pensioners have paid their mandatory NI contributions just the same as the 96%, why is this government still cutting essential benefits causing life altering hardship for the disabled and why are they still banging on about ‘austerity’?
    Well I know the answer, they steal from the poor and vulnerable to give to their rich buds and taxpayers are paying for migrants at 17 billion a year and rising and all the billions that go overseas in so called aid, into the pockets of corrupt governments, and that’s not counting the EU subs and fines of hundreds of more billions. STOP THIS MADNESS……PLEASE.

  5. MIKE m says:

    I do like the comment that Cameron is knee deep in conspiracy. and as for Boris with his true comments about Hitler, I think we can trade that off with Cameron’s threat of WW3. Boris was foolish to make the comment to a wide audience, and likewise Cameron. As for attracting the votes from the Left, or Labour, it should be enough of a disgrace for a Labour voter to support a discredited Conservative Prime Minister; taking his nuts out of the fire ! and in any case there is a big question for Labour voters, as to how a Labour back bencher with anti E.U. views, gets to be leader, and then wants to keep in the E.U. Drinks£ all round I think !

  6. Shieldsman says:

    I did wonder why Vote.leave keeps missing the target, one almost wonders whether Gove and Johnson are frightened of losing their positions in the Conservative Party (demoted and deselected).

    Now did Cameron reform the EU, I think we have the answer here: –
    27 April 2016 A critical view of the EU deal, from Germany to Britain, By German professors group

    The EU is facing two unprecedented crises: a never-ending currency and economic crisis, and an unprecedented migration crisis which threatens the foundations of the welfare state and the long-term social stability of its member states.
    And, as so often, when the EU is facing problems created by premature integration, and no one knows what is to be done, Brussels, Paris and Berlin are responding not with plans for less, but for more EU integration. This is the message of the so-called Five Presidents’ Report which sets out the agenda for full-scale eurozone integration with important implications for the EU as a whole.

    In the 1990s Britain, wisely decided not to join the common currency and she never became part of the Schengen ‘open borders’ regime. David Cameron has long called for fundamental reform of the EU. In February, with considerable political skill, he negotiated an EU-UK Agreement which confirms Britain’s opt-outs under the existing Treaties. In the circumstances this is probably the best deal that could be secured. But can the EU-UK agreement be the nucleus of much needed wider reform within the EU? Here we have doubts.

    There are four principal areas to the UK-EU Agreement.
    First, the provisions on economic governance and competitiveness. They generally do not go beyond vague commitments and otherwise merely confirm the UK’s non-participation in the eurozone banking union and future eurozone bail-outs. The Agreement also provides some assurance to the United Kingdom that further eurozone integration will take account of the special position of non-eurozone EU members, although, in turn, the United Kingdom agrees to sincere cooperation in facilitating further integration within the eurozone. As for the promises to improve economic competitiveness and reduce regulatory burdens, one only has to look back at the launch of the EU’s Lisbon Agenda in 2000 which was aimed to transform the EU into “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion by 2010.” As the year 2010 approached, references to the Agenda were progressively expunged from EU documents and websites, and it now primarily survives on Wikipedia and in fading memories. First, the provisions on economic governance and competitiveness. They generally do not go beyond vague commitments and otherwise merely confirm the UK’s non-participation in the eurozone banking union and future eurozone bail-outs. The Agreement also provides some assurance to the United Kingdom that further eurozone integration will take account of the special position of non-eurozone EU members, although, in turn, the United Kingdom agrees to sincere cooperation in facilitating further integration within the eurozone.

    Second, there is the symbolically important declaration that the UK is not committed to ‘ever closer union’. However, there is not a single important judgment where the European Court of Justice has relied on this formula as the exclusive legal basis for driving EU integration, and it is difficult to see how, in practice, the UK could in future escape the uniform application of future judicial activism in the EU except in areas where the UK already enjoys pre-existing opt-outs.

    Third, the Agreement envisages a legislative ‘red card’ for national parliaments. This is an innovation of potentially wider significance. However, it would only work if there were a mass revolt of national parliaments against their own majority governments.

    Finally, the new ‘emergency brake’ would limit access to welfare benefits by EU migrants for up to four years for individuals and seven years in total. The ‘emergency brake’ could potentially save the UK Treasury a few hundred million pounds in total, but there will be administration costs and the net benefits are difficult to quantify at this stage. Further, there is an open question whether time-limited differential access to in-work benefits would, in the long term, significantly reduce EU immigration into Britain. Most EU migrants come to work and not, primarily, to claim benefits in Britain. Moreover, once non-EU immigrants are naturalised in Germany and elsewhere, there is nothing to prevent them from exercising their right to free movement and cross the Channel legally, not illegally. Thus, even if the United Kingdom is not part of the EU’s common asylum policy, no country will be able to escape its consequences.

    We believe that the EU needs the United Kingdom and her voice of reason, all the more at present when almost everyone appears to have quit reason. Whether Britain needs the EU just as much, is a choice for the British people. 27 April The Agreement cannot do so because it does little to reform the EU and does not exempt Britain from the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice and the uniform application of its pro-Union approach to judicial decision-making.

    Authors and signatories:
    Gunnar Beck, Barrister (EU law), Temple, London
    Charles Blankart, professor (economics), Berlin
    Gerd Habermann, professor (economics), University of Potsdam
    Hans-Olaf Henkel, MEP and former president of the German Federation of Industry
    Dietrich Murswiek, professor (public and EU law), Freiburg
    Alfred Schüller, professor (economics), Marburg
    Joachim Starbatty, MEP and professor (economics), University of Tübingen
    Roland Vaubel, professor (economics), University of Mannheim
    This article is an exclusive for CapX, and is available for syndication. Please contact editors@capx.co to discuss details.

    Look at the date 27 April, has it been hiding somewhere?
    The significance of this paper is that is signed by a Barrister (EU Law) and a professor (public and EU law), which says:
    But it is not a choice between change and no change. Rather, it is a choice between leaving or remaining in an EU that would remain committed to further political integration, and there is nothing in the EU-UK Agreement that can offer the UK any permanent legal safeguards against being dragged along the path of further integration albeit with provisos and reluctantly. The Agreement cannot do so because it does little to reform the EU and does not exempt Britain from the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice and the uniform application of its pro-Union approach to judicial decision-making.

    This blows Cameron’s claim of having reformed the EU and his other claims right out of the water.
    The agreement merely states the statis quo.

    Come on wake up you useless lot Cummings and Elliott.

    • John S Churchill Jnr says:

      I agree with your last sentence wholeheartedly. And why have we not heard about this on the BBC? (Ha! bloddy ha!)

  7. Jane Davies says:

    Boris Johnson says that mass immigration has led to NHS waiting times that are “a scandal”. So true….. I have a friend who is in dire need for a new hip, he is in constant pain, because he cannot walk properly he drags his foot along the ground and he wears through shoes at an alarming rate, his last pair he bought the beginning of April and the affected one has worn out already and he is falling on a regular basis. This is an otherwise very fit man in his early seventies. He waited more than a year to get an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, in that year his condition rapidly deteriorated but at last his appointment came around and instead of getting on the list for surgery he was put on a list for “a review” in a year. Having worked in the NHS I can more or less bet my boots that in a year he may be put on a list for a hip replacement and then wait another year meanwhile this man who worked and paid his taxes for more than forty years has no quality of life now let alone in another year or two, this is an outrage!
    I’m trying to get him and his wife to be more assertive and demand they get this surgery done, I know from experience that the squeaky wheel get the oil.

  8. John S Churchill Jnr says:

    EU costs met by Aid Budget

    Some readers may have heard about the “Norway Option” being touted as an alternative to our EU membership. This is rejected by the Remain campaign because, so they claim, Norway has to pay a huge amount into the EU budget for the priviledge of free trade access to the EU’s single market. The inference being that for the UK, pro rata, the amount would be crippling.

    This claim is a travesty of the truth. First, the European Single Market is a creature of the EEA agreement, not the EU. The forthcoming Referendum is about leaving the EU not the EEA – we are, and will remain, part of that whatever way we vote. And within this agreement is a protocol for Norway that defines contributions to specific Development Aid projects* she makes to new EU members as they adjust to comply with EU membership criteria; a transient process!

    Should HMG consider this option and be obliged to follow suit, such payments would be of the nature of Overseas Aid and would come out of that already allocated budget, at some other country’s expense, not ours.

    *Look up the “Norway Financial Mechanism” for details and proof.

  9. The Remain campaign appears to be based on ‘higher population = higher GDP’.

    This, of course, does not make any individual richer.

    It also, leaves the government pledging lower immigration while cheering on higher immigration.

    I would hope that the Leave campaign could highlight this fundamental contradiction and weakness in the Remain argument.

  10. Bernard Hough says:

    I am told that the problems within our health service are because I and people like me are living too long!
    Nothing to do with the vast increase in the population, not just directly with the influx of immigration but also the overall increase in birth rate which is never mentioned!
    At what point will our island reach saturation point? Will it be about the same time as the continent of Europe? If we stay in that is.
    Also may I point out that every terrorist attack both here and on the continent have been made whilst we are in the EU.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s