Daily Debrief May 23rd

Only 31 days to Independence Day!

Treasury Forecast: Brexit shock will trigger year-long recession

The FT’s lead story is the Treasury forecast – which will no doubt be released, nugget by nugget, through the week.  But compared to the threat of a Third World War, they’ve  moderated their ambition – it’s only “a year-long recession”.  Not quite the usual Apocalyptic nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless.  They take the worst possible assumptions, and conjure up a scare story.  The Leave Campaign is confident that Brexit in the medium/long term will deliver above average growth for decades.  This report is widely carried in the press – for example, in the Times.

We need to be clear about this Treasury forecast.  The Treasury reports to Osborne.  This is not a balanced, dispassionate view – it’s plain Remain propaganda, incorporating all the most negative assumptions.

“Treasury claims are risible”:  The Telegraph carries a story citing leading economists and former Chancellor Lord Lamont, saying that the Treasury’s claims are “risible”.

Steve Hilton backs Brexit

In a major intervention, Steve Hilton, described as “David Cameron’s Guru”, has come out for Brexit.  This is the man credited with master-minding Cameron’s ascent to Number Ten, so his support for Brexit will cause shudders in Downing Street.  Writing in the Mail, in a piece entitled “Why we must leave the EU”, Hilton warns that Britain will become ungovernable if we remain, adding that we have to take back power from the EU’s “self-serving élite”.

He says that Brussels’ refusal to grant rather modest concessions to Cameron shows there is no appetite for reform, and warns that the EU “will punish the UK with new diktats” if we vote to Remain.  This is a key point that needs stressing.  We have little enough influence in Brussels as it is. If we vote to remain, we’ll have none.

Italian socialist to order British Army into battle?

Yesterday I reported on the war games on Salisbury Plain.  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.  The paper quotes Liam Fox: “They will try to say this has nothing to do with an EU Army but the truth is that, bit by bit, they are creating  the mechanisms that will make it possible.”  The only consolation is that any war would probably be over before the EU’s ponderous administrative structure could agree a plan of action.

Row over Turkey accession veto

Penny Mordaunt, a Defence Minister, made a small error: she said on air that we should be unable to stop Turkey’s accession to the EU.  She is a bright lady and a redoubtable campaigner for independence, but in this case, she got it wrong.  Easily done, considering the huge range of facts related to the EU.  In reality all member states will have a veto.  But the Remain Campaign, and our Prime Minister, have gone into overdrive, accusing the Leave Campaign of deliberate lies.

Cameron’s position is utterly cynical.  He wants to score cheap points by accusing Ms. Mordaunt of “lying”, when she made a small and forgivable error.  But Cameron, his party and his government are committed to Turkish accession.  Cameron has assured the Turks that he’s their biggest backer on the issue.  So the question of whether we have a veto becomes almost irrelevant – even given that we have a veto, Cameron won’t use it.

Making Britain less safe:  Penny Mordaunt has also pointed out that the five proposed accession countries, Turkey plus Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania, have higher crime rates than the UK, with gangs and terror cells, as well as challenging levels of poverty.  The Remain Camp has dismissed her comments – despite the fact that they are clearly true.

The backlash: Cameron’s attack on Penny Mordaunt has provoked a strong backlash from the Leave side:

Paul Nuttall MEP: Cameron wrong on food prices

The Prime Minister has said that household bills and food prices will go up if we leave the EU.  He’s just plain wrong.  Read UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall’s robust rebuttal.

“Brexit would harm cancer patients”

This is yet another example of Remain campaigners assuming that Brexit will damage the economy, and seeking headlines by pointing out group after group who would suffer. If the economy collapses, it will damage the NHS and cancer patients might be worse off.  But we believe Britain will prosper as an independent country, while remaining in the EU will condemn the UK to long-term decline.  So cancer patients (and everyone else) should vote for Brexit.

Even the Indy questions the EU’s economic  prospects

The Indy carries an interesting piece headed “The EU and IMF deal over Southern Europe hangs over the Brexit debate” reporting the view that the EU may be “the new Japan”, and that the UK may be Better Off Out.  Good thinking.  Someone should tell Osborne and Cameron.

Vote Brexit to liberate Europe!

Geert Wilders of the Dutch Party for Freedom is often regarded as being on the wilder fringes of politics, and I would certainly not endorse or quote much of what he says.  But his recent comments on Brexit are bang on the button, and are well worth repeating.  Bear in mind that Wilders’ Party is currently leading the polls in Holland, so it’s hardly a fringe party.

He says that on June 23rd, Britain has an opportunity to liberate Europe for the second time in a century (by implication, he’s suggesting the same comparison between the EU and Hitler that has got Boris into so much trouble – indeed he refers to the EU as “another totalitarian monster”).  He believes that a Brexit vote in Britain will lead to a “Patriotic Spring” across Europe, and an outpouring of popular discontent against Brussels.  He believes that it would be quickly followed by a referendum in the Netherlands.

This popular discontent is illustrated by the possible election of an Austrian Freedom Party President in Austria, and by the rise of the anti-€uro Five Star movement in Italy, which has recently topped the polls.  Also riding high are the Swedish Democrats, and even in Germany the anti-Brussels mood is rising with the popularity of AfD.

I have always said that I want a Europe of independent, democratic nation states, linked together solely by free trade and voluntary intergovernmental cooperation.  Some people still imagine that that’s what the EU represents.  They could not be more wrong.  The EU is a protectionist Customs Union governed by a power-grabbing technocratic élite in a system that deliberately denies democratic accountability and treats voters with contempt.  We can give our verdict on the EU project on June 23rd – and we have an opportunity also to save Europe by our example.

The British industries destroyed by the EU

Sunday’s Telegraph carries a thoughtful piece by James Bartholomew which is well worth a read.  Under the title “Few realise Brussels has destroyed some of our most prosperous industries”, he does an audit of the damage.

First fisheries.  Not only the British fishing industry, but arguably fish stocks as well, have been decimated by the CFP.  Then the fine art auction business – a major British industry, until the EU introduced its 75 year “droite de suite”, which pays a royalty to the artist’s estate until 75 years after the artist’s death.  Jolly good thing, you might say – but the result is that the market has moved to New York and elsewhere, and Britain’s share of the global market slumped from 36% to 16% in just five years.

Britain is a world leader in science, and used to conduct 12% of the world’s clinical trials.  That’s down to 1%, following the Clinical Trials Directive. Bartholomew quotes Matt Ridley: “(The Directive) destroyed clinical trials in Europe”.

There’s the Port Services Regulation, designed for state-owned continental ports, which will be hugely damaging to privately-owned British ports.

And the big one: The City, and financial services, slowly being strangled by well-intended but destructive EU regulation, where Brussels rules are replacing national control.  In this global market place, it’s not the risk of the business going to Frankfurt – it’s the risk of it going to Hong Kong and New York.

One omission: I was surprise that Bartholomew did not mention EU energy policy, which has forced up prices and driven energy intensive businesses out of the EU altogether.  It’s not just Port Talbot and steel: it’s aluminium, chemicals, fertilisers, petroleum refining, cement, paper, glass.  Yet Brussels is making matters worse: I myself have sat in innumerable meetings where the discussion has been about increasing energy prices by tweaking the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme.

Did Brussels deliberately set out to damage the UK? asks Mr. Bartholomew.  He answers his own question “I don’t know.  But rules were made in Brussels by people who at best did not care about the damage they’d do”.

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34 Responses to Daily Debrief May 23rd

  1. Kevan Chippindall-Higgin says:

    Thus far, Brexit has been all about us. I would like to introduce the French Fire Service into the mix.

    On the really big stations, fire staff have company flats for which they pay minimal or no rent. The deal is that they have two levels of duty. The first level is actaully in the station, raring to go. The second level is at home, in uniform, on call. What they are doing at home is their affair, but they cannot leave the premises while on call. If the bleeper goes, they leg it across to the station, which takes under 2 minutes, pile onto the subsequent appliance(s) and attend the incident.

    They do not get paid fro being on call, but if the bleep goes, the pay clock starts. This is a sensible arrangement that suited everybody down to the ground until the EU stepped in with its duty hours directives.

    The EU has ruled that being on call is the same as being on duty, despite the fact that they might have been painting the spare room or mowing the lawn. The result is that costs have soared and there are now huge arguments about new employment terms surrounding the almost free flats, for which rents are now to be charged. Even worse, because wages have soared to the employer, the actual earning time has remained the same, so it is a perfect lose/lose deal.

    If we did a poll of the French fire service, I reckon every last one of them would vote to get out of the EU! I will have a meeting there next month. Should I ask them?

      • MIKE MAUNDER says:

        Mr. Juncker is on record as saying that the E.U. meddles too much in the affairs of its member states. We all agree with him on that, so how would he see this French Fire Service matter ? Something works well in France, so the E.U. meddles with it, and makes a pigs breakfast of it, due to a working time directive. Is this not an example of just what is wrong with the E.U., and why it is doomed to failure ? Just in passing, is Mr. Juncker taken no notice of as head of Commission ? If so, then why have this Commission ? Why have an E.U. in this form ? Seeing what is taking place, why have our MEPs, of all Parties, not banded together, brought in other sections of the so called Parliament, and sacked the entire Commission, and then re-drafted the working time directive, and Treaties at the same time ? ……….. There are just too many items with question marks, and our action must be to LEAVE THE E.U. NOW !

  2. Mike Goodall says:

    Hi Roger


    Tell Osborne to put this comment into his pipe and smoke it!!!!

    Keep fighting the polls are wrong. However, often if the wrong side is winning in the polls more of the opposing voters turn out and the wrong sides voters stay at home (because the polls show they are winning)

    Mike & Nicky Goodall (Out Voters)

  3. Alan Wheatley says:

    Also destroyed by the EU is the British system of hallmarking precious metal products. You do not have to watch the Antiques roadshow for long to realise how critical hallmarking is for knowing what you have got, where it was made and the quality.

    This is another example of the EU enforcing uniformity across all member states for no good reason other than to extend EU centrist power and control.

  4. vera says:

    Penny Mordaunt is not wrong about Turkey joining the EU. Visa free access is practically the same. Do you really think once they arrive in the EU, they will then decide to go back home? With Merkel dealing with Turkey there is every likelihood they’ll join, it’s her bargaining tool and the President of Turkey is far too smart to let Merkel get the upper hand with him. When Merkel invited all migrants to come, whose permission exactly did she ask? Name someone? When the EU changes or ignores the rules whenever the rules don’t suit, we cannot guarantee we or any other nation will get a veto on anything. The only way to deal with deceivers is to walk away.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      I pretty much agree with what you say. As such I could not trust the EU to manage this invasion properly. It’ll be more guns, gangs and drugs as it almost is now.

      Amazing really, that way back Germany paid such people (Gastarbeiters then) to leave…now paying them plus a lot more to come in.

      There’s some land on free offer in Russia:
      “Why so many Brits would be happy to quit UK for Russia”


      You just bloody wonder really!

    • Today I Tweeted: “The fact is that Turkey IS JOINING the EU, piecemeal, in all but name. Customs Union, visa-free access, official Language, Standards Agency”.

  5. Alan Wheatley says:

    Re Penny Mordaunt: the “overdrive” link returns “page not found” so has the “lies” criticism been judged OTT?

    Cameron is claiming the Single Market is good for the UK services sector (speech a few days ago broadcast on the Parliamentary Channel) so, given that as I understand it services are not part of the Single Market, is he deliberately lying?

    • Kevan Chippindall-Higgin says:

      Services are part of the Single Market but local vested interests ensure that the skills are not transferable. For example, a British qualified ski instructor cannot use that qualification to teach in France. The French qualification must be passed. This is one that I know about. Doubtless there are countless more.

  6. Wilfred Aspinall says:

    Add in bricks and tiles. All these new houses we are going to build in the UK will want bricks and tiles coming from Belgium and even Turkey [Oh according to the Remainers we can’t trade with Turkey unless they are in the EU single market]

    Wilfred Aspinall
    Former Member
    European Economic and Social Committee

    • John S Churchill Jnr says:

      The single market is not the property of the EU, it’s the property of the EEA. Just as with the Charter of Fundamental Rights (contained within the Lisbon Treaty) that the EU has adopted, these rights originate in the ECHR, a creature of the Council of Europe.

    • John S Churchill Jnr says:

      The Internal Market is a subset of this and belongs to the EU as part of its Customs Union (CU). It levies the Common External Tariff. Participants in the Single Market who are outwith the EU’s CU are free to make their own arrangements for such tariffs. See my contributions elsewhere on this blog.

  7. Shieldsman says:

    The polls – what is going on – are they being used in an attempt to sway the Public into believing voting LEAVE is a lost cause.

    The DT editorial said a couple of days ago – 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.
    What do they base their figures on? Is it on line polls of its readership or have they other sources

    Cameron and Osborne keep telling ever bigger whoppers (lies) so they are still at panic stations. The tide cannot be turning in their favour, or so their intelligence is telling them, the BSE are a fickle crowd. The trouble with telling lies is that one lie begets another and another. Why believe any of them?

    Whilst the BBC continues to back Cameron and Osborne the media do print BREXIT articles.

  8. John Poynton says:

    Well that’s funny. Last time the pound devalued, following the exit from the ERM in 1992, it set up twelve years of solid economic growth culminating in Britain becoming the fourth largest economy in the world! Have the laws of economics suddenly been reversed or something?

    And here’s another thing. Obviously we will establish the same import tariff regime after Brexit that the EU operates now, else we will have nothing to negotiate with at subsequent trade deals we are involved in. This will NOT affect imports from countries outside the EU because they already pay these tariffs to Brussels. All that will change for them is that London gets the money instead of Brussels.
    Imports from the EU will of course face these tariffs, and which will help reduce the huge trade deficit we have with the EU, which just exports jobs from the UK.

    What EVERYONE HAS MISSED is that this tariff income is worth around £25 billion a year extra for the taxpayer! Or is Remain just planning to throw this money away for nothing? The question must be asked.

    • Your point about devaluation is well made. But I don’t think that imports from the EU will face tariffs into the UK. They certainly won’t during the Article 50 two-year negotiating period — and after that, we’ll have a free trade deal.

      • Alan Wheatley says:

        Roger, I agree with your prediction that we will have a free trade deal. But I wonder how many people, especially the undecideds, understand that this is a reasonable and logical prediction rather than, as Remain would have it, simply wishful thinking.

        To me it has always been obvious that if the EU put tariff barriers in the way of UK exports to them, then we simply do the same to their exports to the UK. And as they export more to us than we to them it is in the EU’s interests not to have these barriers, and the logical end position is free trade, not higher and higher tariffs. But while the disparity in trade has oft been cited it has not been accompanied by the explanation that out of the EU we can put up tariff barriers. This may be obvious, but not to all. So I think it is worth emphasising this further point.

    • Alan Wheatley says:

      John, Excellent post. I would welcome some elaboration re last paragraph.

      As the EU tariff barrier is at the borders of the EU, is the £25 billion the figure for the EU as a whole?

      Who collects the tariff, and who gets the money?

      Is there a “reverse-Rotterdam” effect: goods imported into the UK with a first port of call inside the EU at Rotterdam count as import to Holland, UK or EU?

    • John S Churchill Jnr says:

      Is that the level of the amount of Common External Tariff that UK purchasers pay to the EU for goods bought from outside the EU?
      I think there is some confusion as to your meaning. If it is, and we maintain it only for to be used when bargaining our own overseas deals, then you are correct. This amount (though I am dubious of the figure but stand to be corrected) will still be levied, but be deposited in the UK’s Consolidated Fund, not the EU’s. No wonder they want to keep us locked in!

  9. Sally Culling says:

    David Cameron, 2010, speaking in Turkey:

    “It makes me angry that your progress toward EU Membership can be frustrated as it has been.”

    “I will remain your [Turkey’s] strongest possible advocate for EU membership.”

    On Mon, May 23, 2016 at 3:56 AM, Roger Helmer MEP wrote:

    > rogeroffice posted: “Only 32 days to Independence Day! Treasury Forecast: > Brexit shock will trigger year-long recession The FT’s lead story is the > Treasury forecast – which will no doubt be released, nugget by nugget, > through the week. But compared to the threat of a Third W” >

  10. David, 14 years a kipper) says:

    One week ago our small village had an EU debate between our local (exit) MP and Richard Corbett who I’m sure Roger has crossed swords with more than once in eu so called parliament, about 160 folk there, vote was 96 Brexit, 32 remainians, rest didn’t vote, so a great victory for out
    So I hope its back to working Sooty for Corbett..

  11. David, 14 years a kipper) says:

    Mike Manders, Its not a proper Parliament, Neil Kinnock admitted this after avoiding the question a good few times. That’s why the commisars get this junk through.

  12. Francesca Macfarlane says:

    Regarding Steve Hilton’s intervention, this should be the most explosive development yet in the Brexit debate. When Cameron’s former guru and best friend states “.. as long as we are members, our country cannot be ‘run’. Membership of the EU makes Britain literally un-governable”, then everyone should take note, but it seems to have been ignored by all the media outlets so far except the Daily Mail. Johnson, Farage, Gove etc must force Cameron and Osborne to respond to Hilton’s above assessment”.

    A further extract from the Mail interview with Hilton: “…a democracy is based on the notion that the people — or their directly-elected representatives — are able to decide issues for themselves. And yet membership of the EU brings with it constraints on everything from employment law to family policy, all determined through distant, centralised processes we hardly understand, let alone control”.

    • Jane Davies says:

      Yes, democracy means if those making the decisions, politicians, are making bad ones the people get to voice their opinion at the ballot box. Not so with the EU. Yes there are MP’s in the houses of parliament but they are impotent when it comes to important decision making which affects people lives. If the people cannot vote then it is not a democracy it’s a dictatorship.

  13. 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!

    Forgive me I posted this inadveretntly in the May 21st box

  14. John S Churchill Jnr says:

    “Penny Mordaunt, a Defence Minister, made a small error: she said on air that we should be unable to stop Turkey’s accession to the EU.”

    Sorry Roger, she said we (the people). The Government may have the power of veto but there is no loss of power involved to trigger a Referendum, so WE get no say. Discuss!

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