Only 24 days to Independence Day!
“Britain’s wide open borders”
The Daily Mail highlights the massive new immigration problem in the English Channel (or for my readers in France, in “La Manche”). It quotes the French Coastguard Chief saying “The Channel is the new Med”. Apparently we have just three patrol boats for 7,000 miles of coastline, as a second boat-load of Albanians is found trying to land in the UK. The Chief Inspector of the Border Force said that the failure to secure large stretches of coastline was “leaving the back door open to Britain”
Meantime 700+ migrants drowned in the Med in a few days.
The Express headlines “Migrant crisis in the Channel”, warning that the migrant problem can only get worse as long as we stay in the EU.
The Mail also runs a story that two Albanian illegal immigrants to Britain were deported to Germany – which then released them to try again. Germany, with its massive numbers of migrants, invited deliberately by Frau Merkel, is the big threat. It may give them an amnesty. Sooner or later it will give them German passports – and if we vote to Remain, they will all be free to come to Britain. Note that Albanians are (presumably) merely economic migrants, not refugees or (legitimate) asylum seekers.
Green Belt will be buried under housing if EU migration continues
Chris Grayling wades in with a migration-related point, arguing forcefully that Britain’s Green Belts, already under threat, will be “buried under housing” if EU migration continues – which is inevitable if we vote to Remain in the EU.
“Yet another signpost to the Superstate”
The Express reports that the EU plans to give every EU Citizen a “taxpayer number” as part of a move to “a common corporate consolidated tax base”. This has been characterised by UKIP MEP Stephen Woolfe as “another signpost to the EU Superstate”. Personally, I don’t choose to regard myself as a “European citizen”, and I certainly don’t want an EU tax-payer number.
Tory rift escalates
The Guardian reports that the Brexit rift in the Tory Party has widened as prominent MPs call for Cameron to go.Both Nadine Dorries and Andrew Bridgen (who’s appearing with me on E Mids BBC Sunday Politics on Sunday June 12th, against Ken Clarke & Glenis Willmott) have called for Cameron to quit. The Telegraph reports that Sir Bill Cash has joined them. It was an extraordinarily hubristic and risky move for Cameron to set himself against the bulk of his party. These chickens will come home to roost.
Postal voters “told to vote Remain”
A row has blown up over an explanatory leaflet sent to postal voters. It helpfully illustrates the ballot paper – but shows a pencil clearly over the “Remain” box. Bias, or what?
Border controls in Ireland?
The Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny raises the hoary chestnut of border controls in Ireland after Brexit. But there were no border controls before we joined the “Common Market”. Difficult to see why we need them after we leave.
The £ will drop on Brexit? Why? asks Liam Halligan.
Influential economic commentator Liam Halligan has a thoughtful analysis of issues surrounding the €uro in Sunday’s Telegraph. He discusses at length the crisis facing the Italian economy and Italian banks. Like Greece, there is no solution to Italy’s travails as long as it stays in the eurozone, and several political parties are now toying with the idea of leaving the €uro – including the Five Star Movement, with which we sit in the European parliament. But he also comments on the Pound in the context of Brexit, and makes exactly the same point that I have made more than once on these Debriefs: “Almost every commentator, for instance, accepts without question that Sterling will “fall sharply” if there is a Brexit vote, as that’s what the Bank of England says. Really? Why, then, during recent weeks with the polls neck and neck, has sterling risen sharply against the euro, to stand at a four-month high?”. (And why, you may ask, has inward investment hit a record high?)
He goes on to argue that the €uro can only survive with large-scale fiscal transfers and consolidation – but that such an outcome is politically unlikely. The €uro is not by any means out of the woods. The crisis is far from over. And if we vote to Remain, we’ll be caught in the back-wash.
Boris and Antarctica
Boris Johnson comes up with a striking claim: “The only continent with lower growth than the EU is Antarctica”. He rightly describes the EU as a “graveyard of low growth and unemployment”, and asks why we all genuflect to the EU’s much-vaunted “Single Market” when it has conspicuously failed to deliver growth. Good question, Boris,
Ex WTO chief “Brexit will be a huge blow to UK economy”
The BBC (who else?) features yet another dire Brexit warning, this time from Peter Sutherland, a former Chief of the WTO. Sutherland is described as “an Irish International businessman”. He was also – you guessed it if you didn’t know already – a European Commissioner in the 80s, so he is (I suppose) in receipt of an EU pension. No conflict of interests there, then.