Down to single figures: just nine days to independence Day!
The Sun backs Brexit!
In a remarkably well-written and convincing editorial, The Sun makes the case for Brexit. And gives it a huge splash on the front page. That should be worth several points in the polls.
Britain on course for Brexit
The Times has a heartening headline “Britain on course for Brexit”, citing a YouGov poll giving Leave a seven-point advantage, up three points since last week. The momentum is with independence. The poll also shows a Brexit lead amongst women, and amongst 25 to 49 year-olds. The Mail headlines the story adding that the Remain Camp is “in a panic”. The Guardian also leads with the story.
The Telegraph tells the same tale, adding for good measure a reference to the BBC which asks the question : Is the EU holding back unpopular new measures until after the referendum?”. I can answer that one. I was in a meeting in Brussels where EU Commissioner and Commission Vice President Sefcovic promised “a tsunami of new energy regulation” in the autumn. As if they haven’t done enough damage already. But it is interesting that the BBC should report (however tentatively) a proposition which is disobliging to the Remain Camp.
Dan Hannan has an excellent article “Ten things they won’t tell you till after the Referendum” in the Mail. Worth a read.
I agree with Tim Farron: The Lib-Dem leader has said “We have less than ten days to save Britain and make sure we stay an outward-looking nation, standing tall in the world”. (See Guardian link above). That, Tim, is exactly the objective of the Leave side. But we achieve it as a great, democratic, independent, global trading nation, speaking for ourselves in international fora. We can never achieve it as a star on somebody else’s flag, as an off-shore province in an inward-looking, self-referential, protectionist, dysfunctional EU.
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council claims that Brexit could lead to the destruction of the EU (great, if it’s replaced by a simple free trade area), and, more improbably “the end of Western political civilisation”. I think that Mr. Tusk perhaps attaches too much importance to his dysfunctional European political model.
George Osborne claims that Brexit may be OK for the wealthy, but will hurt the poor. But given that just about everyone agrees that mass immigration causes wage compression (even Lord Rose, who used to head the Remain Campaign), I believe that Osborne has got his prediction diametrically wrong. The lower paid have most to gain.
Gordon Brown speaks for Remain
Now that the Remain Campaign has realised that David Cameron is not quite the asset they thought he was, we see him replaced as the lead campaigner by Gordon Brown. Not a great improvement, you may think. Brown makes all the usual points from the Remain side – but also promises “a positive campaign” in the last few days. About time. Unfortunately Gordon is denying that EU membership is a main cause of mass immigration, and as this flies in the face of both the facts and public opinion, it can do little for his credibility. He reportedly claimed that UK immigration was “managed, not uncontrolled”.
Ed Balls contradicts Brown: Former shadow Chancellor Ed Balls flatly contradicts Brown on immigration, saying that Cameron’s renegotiated deal to curb EU immigration is insufficient, and that the EU should restore proper borders.
Hilary Benn also speaks (I thought of titling this “Also Sprach Hilarius”): Hilary Benn, son of Wedgewood Benn, has also been on the stump for Remain. His father would be turning in his grave. Wedgie Benn said “The test of a democracy is whether you can fire the people who make your laws”. Tell that to Hillary.
Priti Patel: Turkish accession could bring another 100,000 migrants a year
Employment Minister Priti Patel, a leading Brexit campaigner, has claimed that Turkish accession to the EU could bring an extra 100,000 migrants a year to the UK – and that by itself would breach the commitment to “tens of thousands” made (but not delivered) by David Cameron. Remain counters that Turkey won’t join “until the year 3000” (as the PM puts it). But they can’t have it both ways. There is an agreement in place between the EU and Turkey, signed on our behalf by the European Commission, which promises Turkey “accelerated accession” – and for good measure, a visa-free travel régime more or less immediately. Maybe Juncker is lying – who knows? But British voters have every right to keep these facts in mind on June 23rd.
Migration Watch predicts five million net immigrants by 2035
The think-tank Migration Watch – which has a remarkably good forecasting record – anticipates five million more net immigrants by 2035 – over a quarter of a million a year for twenty years – if we remain in the EU.
“Proof we can’t stop migrants: 5m given EU passports since 2009”
The Express runs this headline, reporting that nearly 900,000 migrants were given EU passports in 2014 alone (data from the EU itself), and five million since 2009. This dramatizes the scale of the problem, which is simply unsustainable.
The BBC reports that Sterling exchange rate is suffering unusual volatility, as the markets digest the news that Brexit is edging into the lead. We had predicted a degree of Sterling and FTSE volatility around the referendum, so this is no surprise – especially after the tsunami of scare-mongering we’ve seen from economists and politicians. The markets have a herd mentality, and cannot be unaffected by such defeatist talk. After Brexit, and when they realise that the sky hasn’t fallen, the markets will stabilise.
The media are blaming stock market volatility on the Brexit referendum – but since the falls seem to be global, rather than primarily UK or European, it seems that global factors rather than Brexit fears may be in the driving seat. OK – we’re the world’s fifth largest economy. Nonetheless “World stock markets retreat on Brexit fears” sounds just a tad hubristic.
Greek €uro crisis on the boil
Greek Central Bank Chief Yannis Stournaras has called for a re-working of the latest Greek bail-out deal, arguing that the proposed terms are “socially unacceptable”. They’ve been trying to keep the lid on this one until after the Referendum – but it’s boiling over anyway.
Leading economist rubbishes Treasury forecasts
In a report published by the Cass Business School, economist David Blake rubbishes the Treasury’s scare-mongering forecasts, calling them “grossly exaggerated” and speaking of “extraordinary abuse of economic models”. He claims that the Treasury ignored “waves of research” showing that leaving the EU would have little effect on the UK economy. Let’s hope George Osborne reads it.
Police seek to “move on” Leave campaigners
Breitbart rather disturbingly reports incidents from Wales where the police and local community officers have tried to “move on” Leave campaigners. This is not merely outrageous – it could constitute grounds for a post-referendum challenge if the outcome is tight.