Daily Debrief May 28th

Only 26 days to Independence Day!

Cameron rows back on Project Fear

Our Prime Minister has a track record of saying one thing in the UK and another overseas.  In Istanbul, he’s Turkey’s strongest supporter for  EU accession.  In London, Turkish accession won’t happen until the year 3000.  In Britain, Brexit would be an economic disaster and cause a Third World War. But in Tokyo, it’s a different story.  In Japan at the G7 yesterday, he insisted that Britain could survive outside the EU.  Reminded of his previous statements (months ago) that Britain could thrive outside the EU, the Express reports he said “I withdraw absolutely nothing of what I’ve previously said”.

So there you have it: Dave is going soft on Project Fear (though he denies allegations that he’s a closet Brexiteer).

All these Project Fear Doom-and-Gloom stories are based on the idea that Brexit would damage the economy.  If you start from that point, then you can select almost any group or organisation in our society, and say it will suffer too.  That’s why we’ve had all the “Brexit will damage pensioners/universities/science/the-NHS/small-businesses/jobs/cancer-sufferers/whoever-you-like”.  But the economic case is built on two very questionable assumptions: that the Pound will devalue, and that trade will be reduced.

Neither of these claims is particularly credible.  As I have argued before, the Pound looks a much better prospect that the disastrous €uro.  And trade will continue: we’ll keep buying BMWs and Mercedes, they’ll keep buying Toyotas and Jaguars.

Voting to Remain could hurt your pension

Turning the tables on George Osborne’s hysterical claim that Brexit could cost pensioners £32,000 each, pension experts are pointing out that voting to Remain could hurt your pension.  The EU’s Solvency Directive has already reduced annuity rates in the UK, and will do so further.  Moreover if we stay in the EU, we will not be able to avoid the costs of a €uro collapse – even though we’re not in the €uro.

The same article quotes a former HSBC boss making the economic case for Brexit, saying it could protect the UK from the inevitable €uro meltdown; reports that a committee of MPs has savaged the Remain claim that Brexit would cost every family £4,300 a year; and highlights Cameron’s unfortunate suggestion that mass immigration was “a price worth paying” to avoid an economic meltdown.  Sorry, Dave, we don’t have to have either the meltdown or the mass immigration.

Armed Forces Minister confirms: if we Remain, we’ll have to join the EU Army

First they said that EU Army was a Eurosceptic fantasy.  Then they admitted it would happen – but we could stand aside.  Now the redoubtable Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt lets the cat out of the bag: if we stay in the EU, we’ll be dragged into the EU Army.  As I’ve said before, I don’t see too many members of our armed forces voting to be commanded by German (and other) officers.

Priti Patel: only Brexit can prevent immigration chaos

Another Minister weighs into the Brexit debate, saying that Brexit is the only way to prevent immigration chaos.

Obvious, but worth repeating.  And refreshing to have a Minister from an ethnic minority background making the case: that’s a rebuke to Gordon Brown and his racist slurs.

Boris reassures British farmers on agricultural support

Boris Johnson, speaking on the BBC’s Countryfile, has reassured British farmers that farm support will continue after Brexit: there’s life after CAP.

Almost all advanced countries operate a system of farm support of some kind, and the EU’s CAP is by no means the most generous.  It’s in the middle of the pack in terms of percent of GDP.  We had a farm support régime before we joined the EU.  We’ll have one when we leave.  Obvious, but worth repeating.

Post-Brexit planning

If our own government has failed to take post-Brexit planning seriously, it seems the same cannot be said of EU leaders.  The Independent reports that core EU countries are looking at how to handle the aftermath of Brexit, amid concern that it could lead to “contagion” (in other words, if Britain can recover independence and democracy, other EU member-states might take a similar approach). This story comes with the usual warnings that we in the UK can’t expect a good deal, because that might encourage other defectors..  But when Brexit happens, sheer economic imperatives will overwhelm any punitive ideas.

And another reason why Brussels fears Brexit

Ron van het Hof, chief executive of Euler Hermes in Germany, says that Brexit could cause an increase in insolvencies in Germany. He too is making the highly questionable assumption that Brexit would harm trade between Britain and the EU.  But when German or French politicians argue against Brexit, they’re not just thinking of our benefit: they’re thinking of their own.  (Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, for example, wants to ensure that British tax-payers’ money keeps flowing to French farmers).

Committee of MPs condemns claims on both sides of the debate

The “i” leads on the criticism by the Commons Treasury Committee of claims made on both sides of the debate. Their conclusion seems to be “a plague on both your houses”.

Delia Smith cooks up a wrong answer

Delia Smith has a thoughtful piece on the front page of the Guardian, lamenting the ding-dong debate over Brexit, complaining of scare tactics, and asserting that those tactics are not working – the public is inclined to ridicule them.  That’s true – and arguably more damaging for Remain than for Leave.

But she makes one salient error which reflects a dangerous strand of thinking in the Brexit debate.  There are still people (including Delia) who seem to think that the EU is some sort of international friendly society or social club, where we all get together to help each other.  And who wouldn’t want to do that?  As Delia puts it, “The much-maligned European Union is in essence a group of democratic countries attempting to work alongside each other”.  If only, Delia, if only.

The EU is in fact a supra-national level of governance.  It requires us to surrender our right to govern ourselves to an unaccountable, undemocratic, self-serving technocratic élite who clearly do not have the UK’s best interests at heart.  Moreover it is a form of governance that, despite its pretensions of technocratic excellence, proves to be simply unable to deal with major challenges like mass immigration, or Turkey, or the €uro, or mass unemployment across southern Europe.  In short, it is utterly dysfunctional.

We on the Leave side are all in favour of good relations and trade and voluntary intergovernmental cooperation.  But we also believe we have both a right and a duty to govern ourselves in a democratic country.  We want to be good neighbours, not bad tenants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 Responses to Daily Debrief May 28th

  1. MIKE MAUNDER says:

    I have no liking or respect for David Cameron. I gave my vote last year for Conservatives, due only to the assurance of a in/out referendum on the E.U. I think many did the same thing, for the same reason, but our P.M. – Numb Nuts, probably thought he was popular ! Now that the outcome may well be to Leave the E.U., we see this guy, running like a punter into the Bookies, to place a bet on each horse, in a two horse race, with the cry ‘ I won’t be defeated ! ‘
    Samantha probably did some tidying at their home, and lost the lie sheet that he has been updating and sticking to. Panic then takes hold of him, and he starts to put forward the message of ‘ Stay in the E.U., but if you want to Leave, I will pull you through as P.M.’ IN OTHER WORDS, BRITAIN CAN MAKE IT ALONE NOW, SAYS DAVID CAMERON, who is now happy for us to LEAVE, so long as he keeps the job of Prime Minister ! ( NUMB NUTS ! ).

    • Ken Dickenson says:

      Dodgy Dave is trying to learn from his master, one Tony Blair. That is, just say what your current audience want to hear (according to your advisers). It doesn’t matter if your audience and thus your “beliefs” are for your next speech, your tax-payer-funded advisers will tell you what to say.
      And you can always go and “work” for Tony when you get kicked out of Downing Street.
      Dodgy Dave and his neighbour the Wallpaper carrier and towel folder.

      • Ken Dickenson says:

        “Dodgy Dave and his neighbour the Wallpaper carrier and towel folder”
        What on earth has the UK sunk to?.

    • Anyoldiron says:

      I was going to make a comment, but truly, he is not worth writing about-you see, I remember a truly GREAT Prime Minister-one Winston Churchill, and had we not had that truly GREAT Prime Minister, many around TODAY might never have been born. Oh how I longed for another truly GREAT Prime Minister-sadly, it seems there was only to be ONE.

  2. Shieldsman says:

    I think we are at a crossroads, I still believe Brexit will prevail,but we have the problem with vote.leave, Cumming’s and Elliott.

    We need to ask the question again – why are we having the referendum – because David Cameron said the EU is not working. In his manifesto he painstakingly listed what was wrong, what we did not like and what he would do to fix it. We could then decide if he had fixed it and then vote accordingly.

    Well we all know ‘I have REFORMED the EU’ is a big con, but no one has produced legal opinion that without Treaty change this was impossible.
    A promise to include a clause at a future date to the accepted exemption to ‘ever closer union’, does not change anything, it is not a veto and does not prevent the other 27 members from closer union and any changes the European Parliament makes. The UK will not be exempt from EU directives.

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is still pushing “The Prime Minister has secured a new settlement for the UK, which delivers on the Government’s commitment to fix the problems that have frustrated people in Britain. The Government believes Britain is stronger, safer and better off within a reformed European Union. The Prime Minister has secured a new settlement for the UK, which delivers on the Government’s commitment to fix the problems that have frustrated people in Britain.”

    My answer to this, I believe the opinion of the eight German professors projects the way it will be if we stay in the EU.
    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.
    Whether Britain needs the EU just as much, is a choice for the British people. 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.

  3. Shieldsman says:

    A week or so ago I had contact with a share investment tipster (Capital &Conflict) in which I explained that the odds depended on the money being placed and in the case of BREXIT not on the polls. The book is made so that the bookmaker in theory cannot lose, and definitely not in a two horse race.

    They have followed this up with The Conspiracy Theory
    From what we gather, the roots of the conspiracy theory can be found in an article published last week that indicated 63% of the bets placed with the UK bookmaker William Hill were for Leave but 72% of the money waged was on Remain. It also showed the odds in favor of Remain had fallen to 3:10. The combination of large bets on Remain vs. more bets on Leave and the low odds aroused some suspicions. The odds have since fallen further with some bookmakers quoting 1:6. In other words, you would have to wager £6 to win £1. Money pouring in to bet on Remain so far ahead of the referendum at such low odds appeared to give rise to the conspiracy theory.

    Which of course follows through on making a book. In this case a few large money men are gambling on REMAIN, whilst the man in the street, the small punter (a larger number of voters) is backing leave.

  4. Ex-expat Colin says:

    If we want a war there is one or more almost available here:
    “Putin: Romania ‘in crosshairs’ after opening NATO missile defense base”

    https://www.rt.com/news/344642-putin-visit-greece-tsipras/

    Thats after some recent demonstrations of how stuff gets done. With Trump perhaps the funding for this game may dry up. Just wish it would all cease!

  5. Shieldsman says:

    Armed Forces Minister confirms: if we Remain, we’ll have to join the EU Army.
    The Telegraph Editorial: Ms Mogherini’s document apparently suggests that the EU can manipulate the Lisbon Treaty in order to bypass the UK’s traditional veto on defence matters. Brussels’ fantasy generals reportedly believe that Lisbon contains the necessary mechanism to allow a group of nine or more member states to create a military headquarters regardless of Mr Cameron’s wise objections. If true, this would suggest that the Remain campaign’s insistence that continued EU membership gives Britain powerful decision making influence is, on this critical aspect of policy at least, very much in question.

    The Leavers need to do some more reading.
    On 20 January, European Parliament Committee on Constitutional Affairs rapporteurs Elmar Brok (EPP-CDU) and Mercedes Bresso (S&D-Partito Democratico) submitted their draft report. The final text is expected to be adopted by the Parliament before the summer break.
    German MEP Elmar Brok is chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and a member of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs.
    The Parliament’s constitutional affairs committee is currently assessing your report, which bears the lovely title “Improving the functioning of the European Union building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty”. Is it really possible that many of the EU’s existing problems with the Lisbon Treaty could be addressed? Or are the proposals laid down in your report just the first steps towards greater reform?
    We are preparing another report, authored by Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE), to do with treaty changes and where they are necessary. But, we first wanted to demonstrate the fact that we need quick solutions and that there is still a lot of wiggle-room left when it comes to the Lisbon Treaty, as well as dispelling the mind-set that things can’t get done because we can’t change the treaty. That is why we have collated a number of examples of what is actually possible under the current treaty: from majority voting to new foreign and security policy, as well as the issue of EU headquarters and the possibility of a Commission vice-president also serving as president of the Eurogroup, among other matters.
    Several of your report’s proposals call for the ‘passerelle clause’ to be activated, so that national veto rights can be circumvented and qualified majority votes counted instead. Is it not too optimistic to expect national governments to agree to this?

    We then go onto the actual document (PDF) – DRAFT REPORT on improving the functioning of the European Union building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty (2014/2249(INI))
    Committee on Constitutional Affairs Rapporteurs: Mercedes Bresso, Elmar Brok

    91 & 92 I quoted related to the creation of a Permanent Military Operational Headquarters.
    Not much use without an Army to command.

    Wasn’t this one of the things David Cameron said he would fix by saying NO to? No to a constant flow of power to Brussels. No to unnecessary interference. And no to participation in eurozone bailouts or notions such as a European Army.

    • Ken Dickenson says:

      “The Leavers need to do some more reading”
      The ‘Vote Leave’ need to start including Nigel Farage and UKIP, the people actually on the scene who know what happens in Brussels (and repeated once a month in Strasbourg, so the French can think they have influence).
      Then they might be able to put up some sort of argument of which the UK voters might take notice.

  6. Ex-expat Colin says:

    oh..a big worry came up on BBC QT last week. Some woman said she was worried (scared?) about a UK government suddenly being totally in control again. If it were Brown/Clegg then yes…be very worried. Cameron…out with the trash soon.

    It is a worry really…imagine, our own festering Govt instead of there’s. Vote of No Confidence might fix it?

    • Jane Davies says:

      Well I would hope somebody pointed out to that woman that at least if a new government made a Horlicks of ‘governing alone’ the voters have a say in removing them and electing a government that can do the job. Which is not going to happen once the EU take over total control (which will happen if the UK remains) and the ancient Houses of Parliament and Number 10 and 11 Downing Street are added to the list of tourist attractions along side the fictitious home of Sherlock Holmes.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        I couldn’t look at it too long because Caroline Lucas and Ed Milliband were on the panel. It all gets rather bothered around those two..as if they are always right?

        there’s = theirs…. I think?

  7. Shieldsman says:

    Q.T. I gave up on that last year, my television set was in danger of being permanently broken.
    The PC politicians, you know what they are going to say before they open their mouths. They follow their own political agenda, whether it is Independence for Scotland or ban all fossil fuels (and nuclear). The EU is great but they can’t tell you why Cameron found so many things wrong with it that he wants to stay in.

  8. Jane Davies says:

    To quote your first sentence Roger….
    “Our Prime Minister has a track record of saying one thing in the UK and another overseas.”
    He has no doubt heard the saying “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” but has not grasped the concept that this is a myth. Social media has the ability to broadcast ones comments before one has even thought of them and to listen in on private conversations when off the cuff remarks reveal so much more. Maybe the PM still hasn’t learnt about the workings of this technology lark having at one stage thought lol meant lots of love which he used wrongly until someone pointed it out to him.
    As for him going soft on project fear maybe it has dawned on him that come next month his bits and bobs will be packed into boxes and loaded into a plain white van and the back door of Number 10 will slam shut behind his retreating rear end. He will now be panicking and doing some back peddling in a vain attempt to convince the voters that he is the man to govern an independent Britain, too late Mr Cameron, you have shown that you are NOT that man……start packing.

  9. MIKE MAUNDER says:

    Jane; David Cameron is I think, unique in the line of Prime Ministers. I can’t remember any other P.M. that wants something both ways, and at the eleventh hour, tries to say that whatever the outcome, he will be happy to lead. A bright light has illuminated this silly man standing under the SIGN of SELF INTEREST, which is why I stated earlier that I have no liking or respect for him. Can you imagine Neville Chamberlain, after Poland was attacked, saying O.K. we will just let them get on with it ? – No, he declared war and then let the real man take over.

    • Jane Davies says:

      Absofrigginglutely……….old Winnie must be spinning in his grave about the public schoolboys who have failed and let down the citizens of this once great country. (I include the last lot of self serving egotists, Blair et al.) I know Churchill was from that background but he had a backbone and he was the right man at that time to see off Hitler.
      To be a good politician one must have spent a few years living in the real world, we have to ban career politicians who are from elitist backgrounds from applying.

  10. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Get the youth to vote IN otherwise Brexit will win?
    UK News ‏@UK__News 11h11 hours ago
    EU youth unemployment:

    Greece: 48.9%
    Spain: 45.3%
    Croatia: 40.3%
    Italy 39.1%
    Cyprus: 30.5%
    Portugal: 30%
    GB: 13.4%

    • Jane Davies says:

      I think they have got that message. Apparently when Boris was in Winchester last week he was drowned out by placard waving students shouting that were voting for Remain.

      • John S Churchill Jnr says:

        Why were those placards not banned on H & S reasons. Personally I’d ban anyone who wants to ban things!

  11. Anyoldiron says:

    We fought a full scale WAR in 1939-1945 to PREVENT foreigners Governing us. Those in our Houses of Parliament TODAY, PAY those foreigners to Govern us ALL-which may well be FOREVER, IF WE VOTE TO REMAIN IN THE PRESENT EUROPEAN UNION (EU).

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