Daily Debrief June 22nd

Tomorrow is Referendum Day!  Tomorrow we can make it Independence Day.  But this is probably our last chance for many years.  Let’s make it happen.

 It’s “too close to call”

Many of the papers say, rightly, that the referendum result is “too close to call”.  The Indy headlines “24 hours to go and it’s too close to call”. The Metro. Certainly the polls are well within the margin of error, and there’s all to play for.

Latest YouGov poll shows 51/49 for Leave

Good news that the latest poll shows Leave ahead – but the margin is so small that it’s a statistical dead heat.  I still believe that a dead heat in the opinion polling will translate into a Leave victory tomorrow, based on differential turnout.  In trend terms this seems to represent a swing back to Leave from the last YouGov poll.  Perhaps the initial shock of the Jo Cox tragedy is being seen in more perspective.

BBC’s Great Debate

Last night Boris Johnson, Gisela Stuart and Andrea Leadsom lined up against Scottish Tory Leader Ruth Davidson, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and the TUC’s Frances O’Grady.   There was an especial piquancy in pitting the former and the current London Mayors against each other.  All the panellists gave a good account of themselves.  Khan was articulate, but seemed to rely too heavily on massively pre-scripted and repetitive statements (“You can’t take control of A, and B,and C etc, over and over again ad nauseam).  Ruth Davidson was unduly rude and aggressive.

Leave repeated their “Take Control” mantra almost too often, until it elicited groans from the Remain half of the audience.  But Boris’s closing statement was a cracker.

Two of the Remain side were from Scotland and Ireland.  Two of the Leave side claimed immigrant lineage (Boris & Gisela).  So who won? The Indy calls it for Remain.  I thought Leave had it – but perhaps I’m biased.  The Telegraph’s poll showed a strong rating for all the Leave side, and especially Boris, with negative ratings for Khan and O’Grady, about evens for Richardson.  But I guess that reflects their readership.

The Times: 1200 business leaders support Remain

The Guardian publishes a letter from 1200 business leaders supporting the Remain Campaign. Of course we knew that a majority of business leaders (and especially large businesses) support Remain, so it is scarcely surprising that the Remain Campaign should have mobilised a group of them for the letter.

I was amused that last night on the BBC’s “Great Debate” the TUC’s Frances O’Grady repeatedly attacked “the big banks who trashed the economy”.  I wonder, Frances, are these the same big banks, like Goldman Sachs, who are currently backing and bankrolling the very Remain Campaign that you are supporting?

It’s worth asking why so many large companies back Remain.  Of course we know that business leaders like stability and instinctively oppose major changes.  It also seems to be the case that they assume that Britain after Brexit would face barriers to trade in the EU, and haven’t thought through the economic imperative which will force Brussels to agree a trade deal with the UK.  But also let’s not underestimate the power of patronage.  These large companies lobby the European Commission and negotiate with it.  They’ll get a pretty dusty reception in Brussels in future if they support Leave in the referendum campaign now.

Sweet news:Tate & Lyle backs Brexit: Tate & Lyle have written to their 800 employees in favour of Brexit.  The company has suffered very badly from the EU’s policy on sugar (as have low-income countries growing the sugar cane on which we relied before EU membership).  Gerald Mason of Tate & Lyle writes “We pay as much as €3.5m of import tariffs to the European Union on some of the boats of cane sugar that unload at our refinery, only for the European Union to then send that money to subsidise our beet sugar producing competitors in Europe.”

“If you believe in Britain, vote Leave”

The Mail devotes most of its front page to this headline, adding “Lies. Greedy elites.  Or a great future outside a broken, dying Europe”.

Cameron says “Think of the grandchildren”

“Cameron appeals to older voters” reads the newspaper headline in the Herald Scotland (he doesn’t appeal to this older voter, I have to tell you) “to think of your grandchildren”. Yes Dave.  I do indeed think about my three grandsons, their future and their opportunities, and that’s why I’m campaigning for Leave.

Cameron “Investment surge if we vote to Remain”.  Cameron is claiming there’ll be a surge of inward investment if we vote to Remain. I predict that there’ll be long-term growth in inward investment after Independence, as companies see that the UK is still a good base to service European markets, that we have a free trade deal, and we have a much more business-friendly environment.

Cameron says the Leave Campaign is “stoking intolerance”:  It used to be the Left that shouted “racist” at any legitimate attempt to debate public concerns over immigration.  Now David Cameron is joining in.  This is a bit rich, when (A) The current immigration policy under this government clearly discriminates in favour of white Europeans and against often non-white immigrants from elsewhere; and (B) The immigration policy urged by Leave is a points-based system which will be completely colour-blind.  How do you justify your ethnic discrimination, Dave?

BBC says EU will give UK a tough time

The BBC reports a great deal of sabre rattling by EU leaders threatening the UK with a tough deal after Brexit.  But the they would say that, wouldn’t they – until economic reality bites their ankles. French Minister Emmanuel Macron says Brexit would make Britain “a little country”.  OK, Emmanuel – but still bigger than France.  Quite difficult to see how the world’s fifth largest economy can be “a little country”.  Soon they’ll be saying that the USA will continue to be a bit trivial until it applies to join the EU.  Macron seems to have a limited knowledge of geography.  A couple of days ago he said that the UK would be “like Guernsey”.   Guernsey is a great place for a holiday, but as an economy, it’s a little smaller than the UK.

 Economic experts “like Nazi propagandists” – Gove

The Telegraph reports that Michael Gove has compared economic “experts” who dismiss the UK’s chances of success outside the EU as “Like Nazi propagandists”.   Whoa, Michael old boy.  The lesson of the campaign is that David Cameron can refer to Hitler, but anyone on the Leave side who mentions Hitler or the Nazis morally bankrupt.  Go carefully.

So far as I can see, Gove never even used the word “Nazi”.  He compared the orchestrated support for Remain with the German scientists in the pay of the German government who attacked Einstein at the behest of the German authorities. But a mischievous sub-editor couldn’t miss the opportunity to put “Nazi” in a headline.

Weather votes Leave?  The same page that carries the story above also says that the weather could favour Leave.  Forecasters predict rain on Thursday – which could accentuate the differential turnout that I have been predicting for some time.

Express suggests “Her Majesty’s sympathy with Leave”

I am deeply uncomfortable with political arguments based on the alleged views of members of the Royal Family, but I report the story in the Express for what it is worth.  They say that her Majesty invited dinner guests to suggest three good reasons why the UK should remain in the EU.  Maybe the story is false.  Maybe Her Majesty was merely seeking to start an informative conversation.  Personally I have always felt deeply uncomfortable with the idea that our Sovereign Queen should be a mere citizen in someone else’s polity.  Today the Sun features the story on its front page.

Why Europe is to blame for the UK’s energy failures

By an enormous effort of self-restraint, I have (mostly) avoided writing about my pet subject – energy – in these debriefs so far.  So it’s nice to be able to point readers to another source making the same points I usually make.  Tony Lodge at the Centre for Policy Studies knows his way around energy issues better than most.

His main points: the EU has mandated the closure of reliable and economical generating capacity which had previously given us secure and affordable electricity.  It has overturned the economic logic of the market-place, so that investors are frightened away from the sector.  And the only way to solve the problem is to Vote Leave, because we cannot solve these problems under EU rules.

I would add that EU policy is closing down energy-intensive businesses across many industries.  It’s not just steel (think Port Talbot).  It’s aluminium, chemicals, petroleum refining, fertilisers, ceramics, glass, concrete and others.  And these industries are going to places like China and India where they emit more CO2 than they would have in Europe.  It damages our economy but does nothing for the environment.  Like so much that the EU does, good intentions lead to disastrous outcomes.

Tony Lodge makes the case that energy policy would be enough by itself to justify voting to leave.  But then so would the EU Army.  Or immigration.  Or the Financial Transaction tax.

Notts TV debate

Yesterday I debated the Brexit issue with two MPs, Mark Spencer (Con) and  Lillian Greenwood (Lab), plus Nottingham Businessman Ewan Lamont.  It was broadcast last night at nine, and will be repeated tonight at eight.  Available on Freeview Channel 7.

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25 Responses to Daily Debrief June 22nd

  1. terry sullivan says:

    BBc is running a eulogy to murdered mp–subtle undertone is that its to do with referendum–bbc has to be sold off

  2. foxbarn says:

    Brilliant Roger.

  3. RODNEY OLLEY says:

    ‘They lied about Turkey they lied about the European army’. It is impossible to lie about these and other things as all the while we are members of the EU they are a real constantly present possibility. The Remainers cannot dispute this, all they can do is to tell you is they will not happen next week, but they cannot give you a guarantee for next year. None of the benefits we get from membership are encased in stone and could at any time be removed or changed without our agreement. If you vote for remain on the basis of the prospect you are presently being offered you are constructing your future on sand and you only have to take a look at what is going on in Europe at the moment to know it. Mr Corbyn who is an honest man has freely told us that movement of people cannot be subjected to any control while we are in the EU. I note Turkey is today extremely annoyed to be told second-hand that their membership is to be delayed for decades.

  4. davidbuckingham says:

    The key argument that I find makes a difference to waverers in London who suspect we’re trying to build a wall around us, pull up the drawbridge, at least mildly racist and pretty angry is homing in on democracy and self-government and explaining how Brussels/Strasbourg is anti-democratic. Remainers claim shared sovereignty is the way forward together and voluntarily entered into. Pooled or shared sovereignty means we have 1/28th of a say in making decisions about our own affairs instead of complete control. I tell them I’m pro-immigration and love cosmopolitanism, want to cooperate with the whole world including Europe. But Europe needs to be saved from the soviet-styled EU and the Euro. It’s about where the power lies, not about any particular policies. The EU might seem ok to a left winger while the EU pursues their goals, but they can’t be kicked out if they go against your wishes. UK democracy is imperfect and incomplete – the House of Lords always comes up – but we are able to change it through the ballot box. No such luxury with the EU top-down authoritarian elite. Our democracy should be more localised and responsive to individuals not more remote in a one-size-fits-all 500 million collective.

    • Martin Reed says:

      But does being pro immigration, uncontrolled as it must be in the EU, make sense when the infra structure of this country is literally at breaking point in so many areas and when that infrastructure is freely available to millions who never paid a cent for it?

  5. Anyoldiron says:

    As I look at it Two World Wars have been (won and lost?) in foreigners trying to dominate over all and especially the United Kingdom. The EEC/EC now EU is a different attempt to dominate over all its present Member States, and this way, not only do they Govern us-we PAY them to do so. I wish I had the brains to get some one to pay for my way of living too. I was in that WAR and living then near (very near) the much-used Manchester Ship Canal we were eventually bombed out. One highlight though after that war, was eventually visiting Berlin while the WALL was still up, visiting both East and West Berlin. I wish it had stayed that way too. I also realised that while Berlin was divided I knew there couldn’t be another war. Sadly, we now PAY those foreigners to do so. What is the point in having ANYONE in those two Houses of Parliament when all THEY can do is obey and pay those foreigners to Govern us. If we remain in the EU there is absolutely no point at all in having ANYONE IN THOSE TWO HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT-for even THEY have to obey the TREATIES they between themselves have ratified-without ever allowing the people of this GREAT Country a SAY before ratification..

  6. terry sullivan says:

    TUC and Ireland receive monies from eu

  7. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    Let freedom ring!

  8. Martin Reed says:

    The Graun may well publish letters from gullible left-leaning business people, but who actually still reads the rag nowadays (apart from school teachers)? Of course unlike the rest of the industry the paper doesn’t need its readership. Selling its stake in AutoTrader provided hundreds of millions to enable it to continue pushing out its far left nonsense irrespective of the huge losses it makes every year.


    GB/UK IS TERMINALLY ILL WITH A CANCEROUS TUMOUR ON THE SPINE : The only way to save this patient is to remove the tumour, but that will take the skill of the best surgeon in the world, but this surgeon’s time is taken up with so many other things. …………… This Nation is the patient that is prevented from being all that it could be, by a spinal cancer called the E.U. The best and only surgeon in the world, are THE BRITISH PEOPLE, and the day has been set for this operation. – IT IS TOMORROW. – We can only hope all goes well for this patient.

  10. RODNEY OLLEY says:

    As a Brexiter there is one thing which annoys the hell out of me that is the failure of our reps to make obvious responses to faulty Remainder assertions. Space will only allow for one example. ‘If we leave no one knows what the outcome would be’. The obvious reply to this is that if we remain we have far less idea of what our fate will be because whatever it is it will not be within our control. Most of the more important decisions as to our fate will be made elsewhere, as they are at the present time. At least if we leave control will be back in our hands and there is no contestable reason why we should not prosper. As Mr Corbyn has told us no matter how high the figure we will have no control over the extent of our population if we remain; that fact on its own could be a destroyer. Overpopulation could easily become the fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse.

  11. Shieldsman says:

    We have our two reluctant Conservative campaigners Johnson and Gove who tried to make something out of a disorganized Vote.Leave. They have it would appear already prepared their truce with Cameron. If we vote to leave tomorrow who is going to arrange our terms of exit?

    Mr. Clarke said the idea that Mr. Cameron could remain in place to lead renegotiations with the EU after a vote for Brexit is “farcical”.
    “The Prime Minister wouldn’t last 30 seconds if he lost the referendum and we’d be plunged into a Conservative leadership crisis, which is never a very edifying sight,” the veteran Tory told BBC Radio 4’s the Week in Westminster.

    Would any of the people voting to leave want him to, there is already a lot of distrust over the Government taking over the Remain campaign with its £9.3 million biased leaflet. Handing the official campaign to the Conservative Trojan horse appeared fixed.

    Will remaining heel the wounds of the Conservative Party? Cameron playing dirty, has like Blair brought politics into disrepute. MP’s like John Redwood are very knowledgeable on business and the EU, although intensely loyal to the Conservative Party that may not extend to Cameron. The grassroots were loathe to forgive Cameron for the same sex marriage act which was a storm in a teacup by comparison.

    The Labour Party and the TUC want to stay in the EU with the ‘Robber Barons’ for no logical reason. Hilary Benn said I want to be in the single market, so hard luck, you are stuck with uncontrollable immigration from the EU (Corbyn).

    Either way there will be no peace at Westminster on Friday.

    • No peace, yes, but indefinitely until, at least, the Cameron, Clegg, Cable types in effect currently guiding the “Tory” Party are removed, to be replaced by real Conservatives.

  12. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Angela Leadsom response

    Andrea Leadsom MP ‏@andrealeadsom 3h
    Disappointed that my colleague @RuthDavidsonMSP would accuse me of lying. The facts from @commonslibrary are clear.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:


    • Francesca Macfarlane says:

      Why didn’t she point this out during the debate?

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        She said it was 61% yesterday…if I remember right? Anyway, its oft stated as that elsewhere before. The SNP Tory lookalike for Remain (not in uniform anymore) said it was 15% (HoC Lib?) and I don’t think thats been verified since yesterday?

        If the 5 presidents say it …we are gonna get it. Unless we are OUT.

  13. Martin Reed says:

    Thanks to the Europhile nature of the Cameroon Tory Party a majority vote to reject EU membership will still only be a beginning. We can be sure Cameron will do everything in his power to impede, derail and sabotage Brexit unless he is unseated and replaced by someone more trustworthy who is prepared to serve this country and its people rather than Brussels. But who is there within the Tory Party when the obvious contenders still continue to swear allegiance to the wretch?

  14. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Old Holborn ✘ ‏@Holbornlolz 1h
    Juncker: No more reforms, no more renegotiations

  15. Jane Davies says:

    I managed to see some of the debate here across the pond on CBC news. I was dismayed when I saw Mr Khan wave a leaflet about that the Leave side had spent “taxpayers money on” and he berated the Leave side about this use of taxpayers money……why then did not one of the Leave side not point out that the Remainers has spent over 9 million of taxpayers dosh on a glossy booklet about why we should vote to stay? Or was that down to editing in the newsroom?

    I thought that Scottish woman was awful…….was she the rent a gob person because she certainly managed to shout over the opposition, dreadful woman.

    Rule Britannia!

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      She needs to be harsh..cos she’s running against Nicola Sturgeon to bring back the Tories in Scotland. Only its a mutual suck up to Brussels with those two.

      • Jane Davies says:

        I realised after I wrote that comment if a man said that he would be accused of being sexist! But I would say the same whatever the gender of the shouter was.
        I bet those two sparring with each other is something NOT to behold!

  16. Shieldsman says:

    The readers of the Sun laughed at Cameron saying if we stayed in he would negotiate better terms.
    From the Independent: – EU referendum: No new reform deal for UK after vote, Jean Claude Juncker warns
    European Commission President’s comments will be seized upon by Leave campaign as evidence of EU leadership’s intransigence over Britain’s terms of membership
    There will be no further renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the EU after the referendum, European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker has said.

    In a last minute intervention that will be viewed as deeply unhelpful by David Cameron and the Remain camp, Mr Juncker said the Prime Minister had already “got the maximum he could receive” from his pre-referendum negotiation in February.
    Mr Cameron has said repeatedly this week that he will use a Remain vote to push for further reform of the EU, particularly around freedom of movement rules.

    What he got in February was nothing, but no one wants to come out and say so. The Conservative eurosceptics are not prepared to call Cameron a liar and a Con-Man with his ‘I have reformed the EU’

    The Germans in the European Parliament are not going to let him have ‘the emergency brake’.

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