Eleven days to Independence Day!
Brexit surge: The panic rolls on
The Express headlines “Panic grips Downing Street – ‘Toxic’ Cameron told to take a back seat”. Emergency plans are being hatched to win over voters at the last minute and save the Prime Minister’s career, it reports. Yesterday there were reports that Downing Street wanted to “take out” Boris Johnson. Now it seems they want to take out the Prime Minister. Too late, guys.
Brexit benefits workers: Paul Nuttall MEP has a cracking article in the Express “Time for Labour to admit it – Brexit would benefit the working class”.
After all Lord Rose, the Leader of “Stronger in Europe” (what happened to him, by the way?) is on record saying that Brexit will mean higher wages.
Cameron warns on pensions: David Cameron has warned that Brexit could damage pensions. Yet again, we see generalised claims about economic damage particularised to one policy area: in this case pensions. We don’t buy it Dave. After Brexit, we’ll be better off. We’ll have more money, not less, for the government to spend on desirable social objectives.
Archbishop Welby backs Remain: The Archbishop has announced he’s voting In. I’m sure he does so sincerely believing it’s the right thing – but he encapsulates a fallacy which is all too widespread. Too many people seem to think that EU membership is about friendship, cooperation, goodwill, neighbourliness and Christian values. If only. It’s about a dysfunctional model of government which is making us poorer and less democratic and less free. We on the Leave side are all in favour of goodwill and cooperation. But we’re not in favour of abandoning democracy to foreign technocrats – especially to institutions with such a dire record of failure on all fronts.
Football fans for Brexit
The Express reports that England fans at the Euros football tournament have been heard singing anti-EU songs. Despite their ripe language, their hearts seem to be in the right place.
Sweden warns of Brexit contagion across Europe
Margot Wallstrom, Sweden’s Foreign Minister, fears that the UK Brexit referendum could spark demands across the EU for similar challenges in other member-states. As a former EU Commissioner (with a Commissioner’s pension) she is appalled by that idea. Just think – other people might start asking for democracy and freedom! What a terrible thing. She might look closer to home. The traditionally liberal Swedes have been spooked by mass immigration, and there is unrest in the ranks. The Eurosceptic Swedish Democrats are riding high in the polls.
UK plan to admit a million Turks
While Cameron and Osborne tell us that Turkish EU accession is a thousand years away, the Times reports a secret (but leaked) plan to allow a million Turks into the UK even before any Turkish accession, under the terms of the visa-free deal being negotiated by Brussels with Turkey. Worth keeping in mind on June 23rd.
UK voters “would back Norway-style Brexit”
The Telegraph reports that a new poll commissioned by the Adam Smith Institute shows that UK voters would back a Norway-style Brexit by a margin of two-to-one. Norway is an admirable country, with a very high per capita income, and a massive Sovereign Wealth Fund based on the proceeds of their North Sea Oil. But the problem with the Norway model is that it involves on-going EU budget contributions, free movement of people, and obeying a proportion of EU rules. These are things we’re trying to get away from.
The other problem is that our referendum offers simply an In/Out choice, with nothing to say about the new relationship we might want. My preference is for a clean break and a free trade agreement, but some say the Norway model is worth considering as an intermediate stage.
Why a Norway model can’t work