Twelve days to Independence Day!
We’re ahead! Brexit surges. Cameron and Labour panic.
The Independent and the “i” cite a new poll giving Brexit a share of 55%, weighted for likelihood to vote. This is the biggest lead we’ve seen in the campaign, and clearly shows that (as our American cousins say) “The Big Mo” is with Brexit. With less than two weeks to go, this clear shift in public opinion could be decisive, though as Harold MacMillan put it, we should still be concerned about “Events, dear boy, events”. It’s no time to let up – we must drive the trend to June 23rd.
Desperate strategy: Attack Boris. The panic reaction of the Remain Camp is to personalise the Campaign, and to “take out” Boris Johnson. We saw this a couple of nights ago on the ITV debate, when the Leave side presented a convincing case for Brexit, while the Remain side stuck to personal attacks on the former London Mayor. I suspect that the ploy will backfire. Boris is popular. The attacks will be seen for what they are – an admission of the bankruptcy of the Remain strategy.
Labour also in panic mode: Labour Grandees are warning that Remain could lose, and are seeking to galvanise Labour supporters for Brussels. Good luck with that one, guys. If the referendum has highlighted splits in the Tory Party, it’s now doing the same for Labour. Many Labour voters want nothing to do with Remain, and feel their Party has betrayed them. I don’t often cite the Morning Star (in fact I think this is the first time), but its headline tells the story. “EU stance could lose Labour an Election”.
“Panicked Labour at war over EU”: The Mail reports that Labour is in uproar over the referendum campaign. Two Labour MPs, John Mann and Dennis Skinner, have declared for Brexit. Meantime Labour strategists and activists are finally starting to understand the depth of antipathy to the EU amongst ordinary Labour voters. Labour is a largely working class party led by a smaller group of middle-class ideologues. The former are predominantly for Brexit, the latter for Remain. And the two are coming apart. Meantime Jeremy Corbyn continues to take stick for his lacklustre efforts promoting a policy he clearly doesn’t agree with.
Both Labour and the Conservatives will have to face up to a major problem. Large numbers of their voters and activists are instinctive eurosceptics, and are being alienated by party leaders backing Remain. Win or lose, many of these people will be very tempted to swing to UKIP in the aftermath of the referendum – the only Party which is absolutely unequivocal on the issue.
“Arise Sir Remain”
This punchy headline leads the Daily Mail’s report that the Prime Minister is handing out gongs for loyalty to the Remain camp (and is also, as we know, desperately trying to subvert pro-Brexit Tory MPs – like Sarah Wollaston).
I suspect that this story, repeated elsewhere in the press, will discredit both the Remain Campaign, and the Honours System, in the eyes of voters. Not a smart move, Dave.
“Migrant Crisis to cost £20 billion” – OECD
The Express reports an estimate from the Paris-based OECD the that current migrant crisis will cost the EU £20 billion. Countries with a large migrant influx, like Sweden, may find it costs close to 1% of GDP. It is also (they say) undermining confidence in the European project (as Brussels will realise on June 24th). Interestingly, it says that Brexit could have implications for the EU’s economy – in what appears to be a sharp toning-down of its previous apocalyptic warnings of economic melt-down.
Turkey roasts Osborne
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”. We have already noted that Cameron is Turkey’s strongest ally for EU accession when he’s in Ankara – but it’s “not till 3000” back home. Now Osborne has insisted that Turkey won’t be joining the EU at all, apparently unaware that his comments might actually be reported in Turkey – where they have caused outrage. They should also cause outrage amongst UK tax-payers, since we have a team in our Embassy in Ankara helping with Turkey’s accession bid – and we are providing millions in pre-accession aid to Turkey.
Sir James Dyson declares for Brexit
A couple of days ago we had Lord Bamford of JCB, one of the UK’s largest manufacturing companies and exporters, come out for Brexit. Now it’s Sir James Dyson – perhaps the UK’s most successful entrepreneur and innovator. So don’t believe it when they tell you that the whole of industry backs Remain.
Bizarrely, the Remain Camp is spinning it that “Dyson wanted to join the €uro. He was wrong then, he’s wrong now”. Does it occur to you, guys, that it’s precisely because he sees he was wrong on the €uro that he doesn’t want to make the same mistake again? Well done Sir James.