Daily Debrief May 21st

33 days to Independence Day!

Gove warns of pressure on NHS and 5m more migrants by 2030

Justice Secretary Michael Gove has warned of a possible five million additional EU migrants by 2030 if we vote Remain. He bases this on the possible accession of five new member states, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Turkey, and warns of the huge additional pressure that these numbers would put on the NHS (never mind schools and housing). Of these five countries, Turkey is far and away the biggest with a 79 million population.

The Remain side has countered that Turkish accession is unlikely in that time-frame. David Cameron is of course schizophrenic on Turkey. In Istanbul, he claims he is Turkey’s strongest champion on EU accession, while here at home he assures us that Turkish accession is decades away and that we should ignore it on June 23rd. The Remain side may be right that Turkish accession is unlikely in the short term, but the European Commission has explicitly committed itself (and therefore us, if we remain) to accelerated accession for Turkey.

Nonetheless Gove is absolutely right to worry about the pressures of immigrant numbers on social infrastructure. The NHS is already reeling from increasing demand, and even the current level of net immigration at 300,000-plus a year is unsustainable.  At this rate, even without new accession states, we can expect close to five million new immigrants by 2030.

Juncker rattles his sabre

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has started sabre-rattling over Brexit.  If we leave, we will face “consequences”, he says. We will be “treated as a third country”. (But I thought that was the whole point?). We will be regarded as “deserters”, and “not treated with kid gloves”.

It is quite wonderful how far away Juncker is from the real world. He doesn’t seem to understand that by making this sort of threat, by allowing the mask to slip and showing the ugly face of the Brussels machine, he is likely to drive anti-EU sentiment in Britain. He doesn’t understand the economic imperatives which will force the EU to reach a positive trade deal with the UK. He’s forgotten that trade with “third countries” is subject to WTO rules. He even seems to have forgotten the terms of the Lisbon Treaty’s Article 50, which requires the EU to reach favourable trade deals with neighbouring countries.

Brexit campaigners are entitled to be angry with these comments. And to be motivated to greater efforts.

How safe is Cameron’s “EU reform package”?  Last night I was debating Brexit in Leighton Buzzard against Tory MP Andrew Selous   He insisted that Cameron’s renegotiated EU Reform Package (for what it’s worth, and that’s not a lot) was absolutely rock-solid and guaranteed, and had been confirmed as such by international legal experts.  I disagreed.  But today’s Telegraph reports Juncker as saying that the package “will not be easy to deliver”, and that key measures will have to be passed by the European parliament.  Nice to be vindicated in the next day’s paper.

Osborne’s extraordinary claim that Brexit could take 18% off house prices

George Osborne gives us a glimpse of the Treasury’s next apocalyptic report on Brexit, saying it could cause house prices to fall by 18%. (It’s remarkable that such tenuous guesswork can come up with such precision).

His chain of reasoning seems to be that Brexit could cause a violent economic shock (if it does, it’ll have been caused by his own scare-mongering), and that this will increase interest and mortgage rates, and depress consumer spending. Mortgages will become more expensive, fewer people will afford them, demand will fall and house prices go down. Answer: 18%.

Two points in response: firstly, every stage in his chain of causation is hugely open to question. Secondly, there is broad agreement that UK house prices are excessively high. Many economists (and many first-time buyers) would find the prospect of cheaper houses rather attractive.

Cameron still facing “running scared” taunts over TV debates

The Express reports that Prime Minister David Cameron continues to face accusations of “running scared” as he resists head-to-head debates with key Brexit figures, including Boris, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage. Instead, he insists that he will face audiences of voters and take their questions. My guess is that the public would overwhelmingly prefer proper head-to-head debates.

Now the Remain Camp complains of BBC bias!

Pity the poor BBC. It’s accustomed to eurosceptics complaining (with some justification) of persistent pro-EU bias. But now the Remain Camp are up in arms over a programme by Jeremy Paxman that show-cased the absurdities of Brussels. Apparently criticism of the EU on the BBC during a referendum campaign is just too much to take.

Previously Paxman had an EU article pulled from the Radio Times because it was deemed to be too critical of the EU.

Greek Judges tell Syrian refugee “Turkey is unsafe”

The BBC reports the story of Greek Judges who told a Syrian Refugee that Turkey is “unsafe”.  Amnesty International was quick to assert that the decision put the whole EU/Turkish migrant deal in question. If Turkey is unsafe, then the European Convention on Human Rights would prevent the deportation of migrants from the EU to Turkey. But safety is, of course, a matter of degree. Nowhere is totally safe, so it becomes a judgement decision whether any particular place is deemed “safe” or not. If in doubt, try watching “Midnight Express”.

Would Brexit kill off big projects?

This is the title of a piece by Ross Hawkins on the BBC’s web-site (funded by you and me). The article discusses fears that loss of funding from the EIB after Brexit could put major infrastructure projects in jeopardy. The article itself is reasonably balanced, putting the case for both sides. Yes, we’d probably be unable to access EIB funding – but there are plenty of other options. The headline, however, sets the tone, and comes straight out of the “Project Fear” play-book.

Remain campaign cites Martin Lewis without permission

Martin Lewis is described as “a consumer champion”, and in one poll was found to be the most trusted voice on the Brexit debate. The Mail reports that he choked on his cornflakes when he found a quote from himself in a Remain leaflet. He’d never given his permission. And while the quote appeared to back Remain, Lewis insists it was taken out-of-context, and that he himself wasn’t supporting either side in the debate.

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11 Responses to Daily Debrief May 21st

  1. Shieldsman says:

    Both Cameron and Osborne are dragging the political class into ever deeper disrepute, if that is possi8ble!! Scaremongering in an attempt to rig the referendum result and by claiming with the aid of the BBC that the Government knows best is akin to gerrymandering.

    Even the Telegraph editorial writes against Cameron:
    Many people might have thought that with threats of war in Europe and references to Adolf Hitler, the EU referendum debate had reached unsurpassable heights of hyperbole. David Cameron yesterday proved those people wrong with the most absurd claim of the campaign thus far, suggesting that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, would be “happy” if Britain votes to leave.
    That is not just offensive but politically ill-advised. Roughly half the electorate, and most of the Conservative Party membership, back Brexit. They do so honourably and because they believe that is best for their country. Yet Mr Cameron has suggested they are giving succour to a death-cult guilty of mass murder, rape and enslavement. If the Prime Minister faces bitter recriminations from voters and Tory colleagues after the referendum vote, he will have only himself to blame.

    Osborne must be a nutter. I am sure that most people that would agree that the high current rate of house price inflation is unsustainable without a massive rise in wages. the only people who always win are the Estate Agents.
    A levelling-off, even a reduction in value and rise in interest rates would restore some normality to the market. It might even curb Government borrowing.

  2. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Ch 4 News last night…Two women from either side of the argument and one was a ranker at South Bank Centre. That arts thing and yes they’re scared that funding is going to die down on Out. I hope it does and to the BBC as well…hardly is it entertaining or arts for that matter.

    There might be some good stuff performed but its much drowned out by the junk around it. And it is the EU using our money to keep these luvvies happy.

  3. Shieldsman says:


    Tory MP Andrew Selous appears to have blind faith in what Cameron preaches, he obviously, like so many in the Westminster bubble do not have clue on what goes on in Brussels.

    If we go back to before that non-event agreement, the Independent printed on the 16th February David Cameron’s EU deal can’t be legally binding, EU Parliament president Martin Schulz says. “No government can go to a parliament and ask for a guarantee about the result,” the German politician said. “This is a democracy. Once the frame is agreed, we will start the legislative process. This is not a veto.” David Cameron’s package of EU reforms cannot be made legally binding before the British public vote on it.

    We then had – Lawyers for Britain, The Renegotiation – “Ever Closer Union” . Followed by Cameron’s renegotiation is nothing more than a rebranding exercise, EurActiv.com 3 Mar 2016.
    Then came Graf Lambsdorff: EU ‘clearly went too far’ in Brexit concessions, EurActiv.com 11April. For the emergency brake to come into force, the EU directive on free movement has to be modified, which can only be done with the consent of the European Parliament.

    Yesterday I repeated: 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’.

  4. Jane Davies says:

    I’m hearing from a friend back in the UK that the Leave campaign is a shambles which is giving the Remain group the edge. I hope this is not true.

  5. Anyoldiron says:

    What a can’t understand-and never will, why are we paying ALL those in those two Houses of Parliament to Govern us by and through our own Common Law Constitution that so many gave THEIR lives fighting for in TWO WORLD WARS, when all THEY can do is obey those EEC/EC/EU Treaties, they, between themselves have ratified-without ever puting one before the people and BEFORE THEY RATIFIED THEM. So many gave THEIR lives in those two World Wars to prevent foreigners Governing us. Even now they have suggested we have a NEW BILL OF RIGHTS which indeed will go through and in so doing will over-ride our very long standing Bill of Rights, and yes we fought a WAR to SAVE our very own Common Law Constitution.

  6. Nigel Greaves says:

    Anyoldiron, someone posted a link to a YouTube video which I think helps explain what’s happening. It was called ‘A message to the British people’ and Sir Patrick Moore did the introduction.
    There was a bit towards the end where a Russian explores similarities between the USSR and the EU, and he mentions an ‘intellectual gulag’ here in the UK. My understanding of this is the way the establishment pushes one agenda forward and tries to marginalise anyone who goes against it. A good example is in AGW, where they have now taken it to the stage where they say that the argument is won and AGW is a given, despite the fact that a lot of people are still sceptical. Respected scientists lose funding and are ostracised if they don’t conform.
    I have experience of something similar myself, although I don’t claim to be a scientist.

    The frenzied efforts of the Remain campaigners in the last couple of weeks have made this ‘intellectual gulag’ become almost tangible through the media. They will keep wheeling out an unending list of celebrity ‘experts’ for the remain campaign . If enough people repeat the same line, whether it is true or not, it eventually becomes the public perception.
    Some of the TV interviewers appear confident that its getting near that stage and are increasingly scathing towards anyone pro Brexit.

    We need that wartime bulldog spirit again to save our country’s sovereignty, thats what Boris was trying for before the hysterical outbursts over those factual statements he made; the remainiacs don’t mind rewriting history to suit their agenda, but Brexit needs a boost and it needs it soon.

    • Anyoldiron says:

      Hi Nigel. As we as a family were indeed bombed out in that last WAR, living as we did not far from the much used then Manchester Ship Canal, we were indeed bombed out. Strange indeed to look across the fields to see the great big ships, as if going through the grass! After that war, we were fortunate to visit East and West Berlin while “The WALL” was still up. I hoped that, that WALL would remain up for all time, for I felt then that there could be peace-indeed there was for a while. We had a meal in one Hotel in EAST-Berlin, and everything in there seemed to be from the era of Days gone by for it even had a “sopha” (Probably spelt that wrong!-left school at age 13 and a half-it was bombed out too!) which it only needed Marlene Dietrich to come and lie down and sing “Falling in Love again” to complete the scene. It truly was a very strange evening, but i would not have missed it for the World.

  7. Francesca Macfarlane says:

    In Any Questions on Thursday the ever impartial BBC lined up four Remainers (Rudd, Cooper, Farron and Mason) against just one Leaver (Paul Nuttall).
    As Charles Moore noted in yesterday’s Telegraph, “With its future assured, the BBC is now happy to toe David Cameron’s EU line”.

  8. davidbuckingham says:

    I hope someone is cataloguing the various claims of armageddon laid against Brexit and all the claims of benefits as part of the EU – it could come in useful down the road, whether we’re in, out, hit with a second referendum to get the right answer, or pursuing one as part of a regrouping. When we see the coming EU catastrophes erupt or the tsunami of regulations hit us in the [unlikely] event of a post-Remain Britain we’ll need them carved onto a Milliband slab which we can then use to pulverise the intellectual gulag et al.

    I don’t get him but stridently left-wing Paul Mason’s take was pretty tortuous – giving a strong case for Brexit because of its anti-democratic setup then saying when it comes to it he’ll probably vote Remain to stop the establishment Tories. Previous Q-Time panels have been fairly balances with some articulate Brexiters. Now it’s getting down and even dirtier I guess those frivolous days of free expression are over.

  9. John S Churchill Jnr says:

    “Today the Express expands on the story saying that British troops could be sent to war by the EU’s Foreign Affairs Chief Frederica Mogherini, an Italian socialist.”

    That explains why HMG did not want Parliament to have a right to a vote if we were to go to war. It would be left entirely to an EU-compliant Government!

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