32 days to Independence Day
“EU Trade Wars costing Britain billions”
The Remain Camp makes much of the trade opportunities offered by “the EU’s negotiating clout”. But a leaked memo, reports the Telegraph, shows that Britain is losing £2½ billion a year in trade because internal squabbles in the EU are delaying trade deals. The problem is that France, and some other countries, are seeking to protect industry sectors, and especially agriculture, and are therefore blocking the EU/Mercosur deal with South America and possibly other deals too.
This is confirmation of the point I have made repeatedly: the EU is fundamentally protectionist. Far from giving us “extra clout” in trade negotiations, it stands in our way. On the EU side, we have to resolve endless conflicts between the interests and aspirations of 28 disparate member-states before we can even sit down with potential trade partners and start negotiating. After Brexit, we will be free to pursue relations with China, India, the USA, South America in a single-minded way that serve the interests of Britain, not Brussels.
Boris’s “Hitler” row rumbles on
Arch-Europhile Michael Heseltine, the bane of Margaret Thatcher, is still causing trouble, with his deliberate misinterpretation of Boris’s remarks, and his synthetic indignation and hyperbole. Let’s say it again: Boris is an amateur historian. Indeed he’s semi-professional, having written books on the subject. He was looking at the broad sweep of European history over 2000 years, from Roman times, and he remarked, quite rightly, that there have been repeated attempts to unify Europe over that period, and those attempts include Napoleon, Hitler and the EU. He did not say that “the EU is like the Nazis” (though some might argue that both were engines of German dominance). He did not say that Brussels is planning gas chambers for minorities. His remarks were perfectly sober and reasonable, and as for Heseltine, let’s quote Clement Atlee: “A period of silence on your part would be appreciated”.
The exchange rate threat: Remain is flogging it to death
The Remain campaign makes the very questionable assumption that Brexit will result in the pound falling dramatically – and keeps highlighting particular problems that would arise in consequence. It crops up again and again in different guises. I have argued elsewhere that given the existential problems of the €uro, and the poor economic performance of the Eurozone, the Pound Sterling looks to me a much better bet in the medium term. We accept that there may be some temporary volatility (largely driven by the Remain Campaign’s scare-mongering), but when the markets realise that trade is continuing, that the sky hasn’t fallen, and that an independent Britain is vigorously pursuing new trade deals, I’m betting that the pound will appreciate.
On the other hand a lower pound is by no means all bad news. After all, Central Banks around the world are playing a competitive devaluation game, hoping for a trade advantage. A lower pound would help our exporters. It would favour British goods over imports and help our chronic balance-of-payments deficit.
Major retailers warn of higher prices: Four leading retailers, M&S, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and B&Q warn of higher prices in the shops – based on the assumption that the Pound will fall. They have perhaps forgotten that there will be an immediate saving on imported food – we will no longer have to fork out for the EU’s Common External Tariff. We will have much more freedom to source food imports. Worth noting also that another major retailer, Simon Wolfson of Next, takes the opposite view: “Business will be better outside Europe”.
Cameron warns of higher prices: Exactly the same point, dressed up differently. Cameron too is failing to admit the benefit of leaving behind the Common External Tariff.
And the silly season prediction: Thisismoney headlines “A threat to John Lewis Partnership bonuses”. There is of course no special Brexit threat to John Lewis. It’s merely the “lower Pound and general economic effect” argument in yet another guise. If you imagine the economy will suffer after Brexit, then most people will feel the pinch. If you expect growth to be faster, most people will benefit.
The Express has proof of an EU Army
But of course we no longer need proof, because Brussels’ plans for an EU Army are pretty much public. Germany and the Commission have spoken. Nonetheless, the Express reports (with photos) on an exercise on Salisbury Plain that looks very much like a European Army in the making. Let’s not pretend it isn’t happening (this means you, Nick Clegg.
12 million Turks want to come to Britain
Under the EU/Turkey migrant deal, Turks could get visa-free access to the Schengen zone within a few weeks. OK, so we’re not in Schengen, but don’t imagine for a moment we’ll be immune – they’ll find a way across. Now an exclusive poll for the Express, conducted in Turkey over all 27 provinces, shows that given the opportunity, twelve million Turks would consider coming to Britain. Remember that Cameron tells us to forget Turkey on June 23rd – Turkish accession is just too far away. But Brussels has agreed to accelerate Turkish accession, and Cameron has declared himself the strongest advocate for Turkish accession. In the EU, the second stage of bad news is “OK there’s been talk about it, but it won’t happen any time soon”. The third stage is “Sorry guys. It’s a done deal. Nothing you can do about it now”.
A quarter of UK students say UKIP should be banned from campuses
Remember when freedom of speech and thought and debate were fundamental to higher education? No longer, it seems. We’ve heard too much about “safe spaces” where the poor little darlings can be protected from anything that might offend, where even a hand-gesture may be grounds for expulsion. Now the Express reports a poll showing that 25% of students believe that UKIP should be banned from campuses. I’m happy and proud to say that I’ve been able to speak at many universities, and to explain in a measured way that UKIP is about common sense policies that matter to voters up and down the country.
Give a dog a bad name – and hang it
The BBC (and other media) report that Austria may be about to elect a far-right President, Norbert Hofer of The Freedom Party. The liberal/leftist media love to hang that “far-right” tag on parties they disapprove of. The Austrian Freedom Party was indeed a bit beyond the pale in its early days under Jorg Haider but it has cleaned up its act, and in my experience its MEPs in Brussels are serious, sensible and responsible people.
Like the Swedish Democrats, and the German AfD Party, the Freedom Party is reflecting genuine public concern about immigration. They all receive the “Far Right” tag from the media. They don’t deserve it. Good luck to Norbert Hofer. As his opponent in the run-off is a Green, I’m hoping Norbert wins.