Post-Referendum Debrief June 30th

The World beats a path to our door

Leave.EU reports that many countries have already expressed an interest in setting up new trade deals with a newly-liberated UK.  It lists the USA, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, India, Ghana and Iceland, for a start.  This is powerful good news only days after the referendum result.

In the USA, House Speaker Paul Ryan has called for a free trade deal with the UK,  as has the Heritage Foundation.


New Zealand offers help with trade negotiations:  A real problem for an independent Britain will be our loss of trade negotiation skills, now that we’ve let the EU negotiate our trade deals (very badly) for 43 years.  Rushing to the rescue comes New Zealand, to offer the loan of their top trade negotiators, who would relish the role of helping what they used to call “the Mother Country” to get good trade deals with the EU, and with other countries around the world.  Meantime Australia is hinting that a trade deal with the UK might take priority over a trade deal with the EU.

I sense that the world is losing patience with the EU – its preaching, its patronising, its posturing, its virtue-signalling, its persistent attempts to impose its own ideological priorities on its trading partners.  There is perhaps a touch of schadenfreude over recent events.  There certainly seems to be a healthy appetite to resume positive, practical and pragmatic trade relations with the world’s fifth largest economy, and the first major economy to break free from the EU – a newly liberated UK.

No compromise on free movement

Yesterday we had Cameron’s “ultimatum” that the EU must find ways to control immigration.  Today, the big Non from Brussels.  No surprise there – that has always been their line.  Face it Boris.  And Dan Hannan.  The one fundamental promise of the Leave campaign was control over our borders.    We’ll see your heads on pikes at Tyburn Hill if you renege on that one.  And that finally rules out the Norway Plus model (= “membership in all but name”) which you’re contemplating.  Brexit means Brexit.  Free, independent, but with an EU FTA.  That’s what we voted for.  That’s what we expect to get.

There seems to be one dissenting voice.  The Mail reports that France has said the UK could have a trade deal and also control its borders.  We’ll see if Merkel will agree.

Sturgeon woos Brussels

Nicola Sturgeon is using the Brexit result in Scotland to agitate for Scottish independence “within the EU” (as though that were not a contradiction in terms).  She was firing off in all directions, threatening to dump the Pound and join the €uro (scarcely a vote winner, even in Scotland).  She seemed to imply that Scotland could sashay smoothly from UK status to “independence” in the EU, so Scots could vote for independence secure in the knowledge that the morning after they would wake up as EU citizens again, and all their pounds would magically turn into Euros.

This dream was kyboshed by EU officials, who say that Scotland would have to achieve independence first, and then re-apply for membership. Like other new members, they would have to accept the whole EU acquis – losing the opt-outs that successive British governments have obtained.  There is simply no mechanism in the treaties for a part of a member-state to leave the EU, with another part remaining.  The period of uncertainty between Scotland leaving the UK, and an independent Scotland joining the EU, would be challenging, and fraught with the very uncertainty that Sturgeon is trying to avoid.

Sturgeon is coming to Brussels this week, and had requested talks with Council President Donald Tusk.  He has observed the proprieties and said that he cannot begin discussions with her until the British government triggers the Article 50 process.  Parliament President Martin Schulz has agreed to meet her, while Juncker has taken a middle course – he said he was prepared in principle to talk to her, but right now his diary is a bit congested.  Then he found her a few minutes.  But she will find great resistance to Scottish membership from other member-states fearing their own regional secessionists.  Spain and Catalonia spring to mind.

It will not be a very happy position for Brussels to lose the UK, a major budget contributor, and find it replaced by Scotland, which is likely to be a net recipient.

Today’s Telegraph reports that both François Hollande and Mario Rajoy of Spain have said Non to Scottish EU accession.  Back to the drawing board, Nicola.

The shibboleth of the Single Market

The Single Market seems to have acquired a special place in the hagiography of the Brexit debate.  Everyone (more or less, except UKIP) seems to believe it’s beyond criticism, up there with Motherhood and Apple Pie.  Anyone who questions it is committing a dreadful social gaffe, and is really beyond the pale.  I remember when I was a very new Tory MEP, around the turn of the century, I would give speeches criticising the EU, and often someone would ask “But isn’t there anything good about the EU?”.  And thinking it would be churlish to say “Nothing”, I used to reply with the Central Office mantra: “The Single Market is a great Conservative achievement”.   But now I put my hand up.  I was wrong.

Not a free trade area: Many people seem to think that the EU is about free trade.  Nothing of the kind.  The EU is an old-fashioned, 19th century-style Customs Union, modelled on Bismarck’s “Zollverein” which he used to unify the diverse principalities of Germany into a single state (with dire consequences for the 20th century).  This is the exact pattern conceived in the EU to unify Europe’s nations.  But the Customs Union is an inefficient economic model – so much so, that the EU is the only substantial Customs Union remaining on the planet.  Free trade areas work much better.  This is part of the reason why the EU is also the only major economic area in the world in long-term relative decline (and the second slowest growing continent – after Antarctica, as BoJo likes to say).

Higher prices: A Customs Union has a “Common External Tariff”.  This means that on all goods imported from outside the EU (except from those countries with which the EU has a free trade deal) we pay over the odds.  Above world market prices.

Protectionist: The Single Market is (and is designed to be) protectionist.  All those lefties who weep crocodile tears over the plight of third world farmers should understand that the EU, and the CAP, are keeping those countries poor.  If you care about the third world, forget about “Fair Trade”, which is fiddling at the margin.  Instead, campaign against the EU and its protectionist Customs Union.

Over-regulated:  The EU’s Single Market is grossly over-regulated.  Often its regulations are well-intended, but involve expensive over-kill, undermining competitiveness, and adding enormously to the costs of doing business.  This doesn’t mean we want to scrap employment protection, as the Remainers argue.  Measures like REACH, the chemicals directive, do little for safety but add massively to costs.  The EU bans substances that have been used safely for years – often prompting a switch to alternatives that may be more expensive, less effective and even less safe.  EU regulation often blocks innovation, like GM crops.  And it has decimated markets like fine art auctions and clinical trials.

“Access to the Single Market”  This is one of those phrases which are entirely ambiguous.  It’s used by Remainers to mean “Membership of the Single Market” – which we can only retain if we accept free movement, EU budget contributions and EU regulation.  I agree that access to the European market matters – but every country in the world, virtually, has access.  The biggest three suppliers into the Single Market are the USA, China and Russia.  They have access alright – although none has a special trade deal with the EU.  Then there are dozens of countries with a free trade deal with the EU.  They have duty free access.  Finally, there are members of the Single Market, who of course have unfettered access – but are stuck with all the baggage I’ve described.

We in UKIP reject the Norway model which BoJo seems to want.  We simply want a free trade deal, which is quite enough access.

This discussion applies to goods.  The position is rather different on services – though as even the Remainers admit, the EU doesn’t have a Single Market in services.  I have discussed elsewhere how the City’s loss of “passporting” could well be offset by the enhanced global competitiveness of avoiding EU financial regulation.  In any case, coming down the track we have TISA, which is a sort of WTO for services, and will be a far better agreement than a narrow regional deal in the EU.

British Commissioner Lord Hill resigns

Lord Hill, perhaps the most important man you’d never heard of, was the British EU Commissioner, and by all accounts was doing a decent job with his financial services brief in the Commission.  He has chosen to fall on his sword, which is curious.  I should have thought that the one time we really need a Brit in the Commission is when we’re negotiating Brexit – though maybe Lord Hill, as a Remainer, would be the wrong man.  At the Parliamentary debate on Brexit on Tuesday, he attended and was warmly applauded, though he seemed actually to be in tears over the turn events have taken.  Yesterday we read that despite his short tenure, he is to get a severance package of £250,000.  Crying all the way to the bank, no doubt.

Cameron urged to ratify Paris

David Cameron is being urged to ratify the Paris Climate Deal before he leaves office.  But if he can’t invoke Article 50 for fear of binding his successor, he certainly shouldn’t ratify the crumbling Paris deal.  It’s an expensive nonsense that will undermine our economy while doing nothing for the environment.  Vastly expensive gesture politics.  Don’t do it, Dave.

BBC: Always looking for the downside

The BBC carries the story of the plight of American ex-pats in London who find that remittances to the USA to meet mortgage payments or student loans have suddenly got more expensive as the Pound has fallen (never mind that it’s on its way back).   Nothing about UK companies repatriating foreign dividends and finding they buy more pounds.  Or UK ex-pats living abroad who find remittances cheaper.  It’s really disgusting the way our national, publicly-funded broadcaster tries to do the country down at every opportunity.

Brexit benefits

You’ll die of boredom waiting for the BBC to offer good news on Brexit.  The Telegraph business pages are a happier hunting ground.  Brexit may boost British based insurers, because of freedom from “dreadful” EU regulation. Rolls Royce says poll decision “has no impact” (although it recommended employees to vote Remain).  Brexit could boost Ocado’s chance of securing an international tie-up.

Straw in the wind?

Yesterday’s Times carries the following diary piece: “Does the Electoral Commission know something that we don’t? On leaving the referendum count in Kettering, Jonathan Bullock, a UKIP official, asked if he could keep his security pass as a souvenir. He was refused. ‘We might need them for the next referendum’ they said”.

Yesterday’s Matt cartoon:

“Corbyn may have voted Leave, and I hear a rumour he was cheering for Iceland”.  And today: “We need migrants to do the jobs Brits can’t or won’t do. Like Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition”.



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31 Responses to Post-Referendum Debrief June 30th

  1. Please read EUReferendum blog.
    The Liechtenstein solution is there for the taking. Also today there is a good article on how flexible the EU can be made to be by skilled (New Zealand?) negotiators.

  2. charles wardrop says:

    Political neutrality for BBC is an urgent need, and perhaps could be adopted by would-be Tory leadership candidates. After all, it is a Charter requirement.
    Is advertising for BBC staff restricted to the left-liberal press?
    The Corporation has been inappropriately indulged for years.

  3. terry sullivan says:

    Sturgeon needs locking up–she is barking

  4. Bernard Hough says:

    Most of the reporting in the media about Brexit is involved with the financial side.
    and reports of attacks / racial abuse against European migrants and others in the UK.
    Surely our concern should not be about Polish, Palestinian, Syrian, Spanish or any other nationality, it should be simply the spread of Islam, ie. This is not a race it is a religion and people who comment should not be called `racists`.Are the people who demand Shariah law in the UK and Europe causing this unrest working for Isis and sent here for this purpose?
    Hidden among genuine refugees.
    A lot of poor immigrants seem to have found thousands of pounds to pay people smugglers!.
    Europe has allowed these problems to develop in the UK with their lax control of not making asylum seekers claim asylum in the first safe country they landed in.

    • terry sullivan says:

      there are very few genuine refugees

      • Bernard Hough says:

        When the UK is finally out of the EU we shall no longer be commited to paying millions into the EU`s unaudited coffers. I suppose the members of the EU parliament will have to take a pay and pension cut?
        We can make payments to help foreign countries in need if and when we can afford it.
        Any deliberate revenge measures by the EU can be balanced by not buying any more German or French vehicles and only purchasing ones built in the UK providing jobs in the industry and building new factories, I cannot see this being allowed to happen.
        After all the Japanese and far east in general export tons of electronic equipment and cars / clothing etc. and they aren`t members of the EU.
        We can stop buying rolling stock from Europe, we can build our own power stations stop buying wind turbines and solar panels, traffic lights etc. from Germany, remember within the EU any projects the UK intended could not just be given to UK tenders but had to be thrown open to the whole of the EU and given to the lowest quote.
        What of the future? A future which could consist of an Islamic State of Europe simply by the outnumbering of the native populations, it has already happened in Sweden I believe and in some German cities.
        How many immigrant MP`s, mayors and local councilors are there?
        Think also of the future for our great grandchildren, especially the girls and gays, if Sharia law becomes more widespread.
        I am not being critical of people here, it is the simple process of outnumbering.
        With regard to referendums, why is it that when the Scots voted to remain within the UK
        there was immediate talk of another referendum, if they had voted to leave there would not have been a `cat in hells chance` of one? And the same applies to this EU one, vote to leave dah we`ll have another onei vote to stay `on your` bike. ( it`s not democratic!
        More people voted to leave! This is not a communist or fascist country! Does democracy mean nothing to anyone involved in the EU


    Hi . in your news letter you advocate the introduction of GM food. I for one am against the use of GM food and crops and I know a lot of people are of the same mind regarding this matter. Could you expand on the reason why you are for GM Food when the soul purpose is to eventually replace natural grown produce with GM food. I’ve tasted GM food and there is definitely something not right with it Les Beaumont

  6. Ex-expat Colin says:

    And This:

    Mark Reckless AM ‏@markreckless Jun 28
    Just elected Chair of Welsh Assembly Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee. Much work to do, e.g. Brexit and Welsh farming

  7. Shieldsman says:

    There can be no doubt of the legality of the referendum result, no wriggling by pro EU MP’s can change that. The EU Council has accepted that we are leaving and must trigger Article 50.
    All the argy-bargy about our future trading relationship with the EU cannot be settled until we do.

    Any talk of compromise on freedom of movement in exchange for access to the single market is ludicrous. David Cameron tried that in his letter to Donald Tusk.
    4. Immigration
    The UK believes in an open economy. But we have got to be able to cope with all the pressures that free movement can bring -on our schools, our hospitals and our public services. Right now, the pressures are too great.
    The issue is one of scale and speed. Unlike some other Member States, Britain’s population is already expanding. Our population is set to reach over 70 million in the next decades and we are forecast to become the most populous country in the EU by 2050. At the same time, our net migration is running at over 300,000 a year. That is not sustainable. We have taken lots of steps to control immigration from outside the EU. But we need to be able to exert greater control on arrivals from inside the EU too.
    Britain has always been an open, trading nation, and we do not want to change that. But we do want to find arrangements to allow a Member State like the UK to restore a sense of fairness to our immigration system and to reduce the current very high level of population flows from within the EU into the UK.

    Tusks reply:
    4. The fourth basket on social benefits and the free movement of persons is the most delicate and will require a substantive political debate at our December meeting. While we see good prospects for agreeing on ways to fight abuses and possibly on some reforms related to the export of child benefits, there is presently no consensus on the request that people coming to Britain from the EU must live there and contribute for four years before they qualify for in-work benefits or social housing. This is certainly an issue where we need to hear more from the British Prime Minister and an open debate among ourselves before proceeding further.

    European Summit Conclusions Feb 2016, what did that amount to:
    Two parts of the Settlement state that they will be incorporated into the EU Treaties at the next
    opportunity for Treaty revision. Some elements of the Decision (e.g. limiting child benefits, the
    emergency brake on in-work benefits, stricter rules on marriages of convenience) will have to be passed by separate secondary EU legislation before they can take legal effect. This would be done using the Ordinary Legislative Procedure, involving QMV in the Council and a simple majority of the EP for approval. The Court of Justice could be asked to rule on whether the threshold condition for the emergency brake had been met.stay in to legislate on the proposal of the Commission.
    The Emergency Brake Legislation will only go before the European Parliament if we vote to stay in.
    As we are leaving this is now dead, meaning Cameron got nothing on immigration control.

    Trying to say that the LEAVE vote was not entirely for EU immigration restrictions is avoiding the truth. Let’s go back to Cameron’s manifesto:
    Our commitment to you: Our plan to control immigration will put you, your family and the British people first. We will reduce the number of people coming to our country with tough new welfare conditions and robust enforcement.
    We will: keep our ambition of delivering annual net migration in the tens of thousands not the hundreds of thousands. Control migration from the European Union, by reforming welfare rules. Reform the workings of the EU, which is too big, too bossy and too bureaucratic
    When immigration is out of control, it puts pressure on schools, hospitals and transport; and it can cause social pressures if communities find it hard to integrate,

    This was what the LEAVE vote was for, especially in the Labour heartlands.
    David Cameron has confirmed that freedom of movement is a non starter in Brexit negotiations.

  8. Alan Wheatley says:

    Re: “The World beats a path to our door”

    This is good news. A UKIP campaign slogan was out of the EU and into the World. The more and sooner we embrace World-wide trade the more people will realise that the future of the UK is not totally dependent on whatever the deal we get with the EU turns out to be. The rump-EU will also see the increasing weakness of their position.

    Remember that at the Commonwealth Conference in Malta last November all 53 countries signed up to the initiative to promote more trade between Commonwealth countries, a benefit of such trade being the 15% reduction in trading costs compared to where one country is not in the Commonwealth.

  9. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Just had a video message from Mercedes Benz London. Thanks for buying the car blah blah…we are here to flog you another at anytime. Or words to that effect.

    Just need to get the discount right…thanks!

  10. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    Congratulations, Roger, for your part in initiating disintegration of the totalitarian, one-world government that rose from the ashes of WWII and deceived society for the past seventy years to “save the world from nuclear annihilation.” After successfully hiding the source of energy that destroyed Hiroshima from the public for the past seventy years – NEUTRON REPULSION in cores of heavy atoms, ordinary stars and galaxies – Nature’s news reporter, Elizabeth Gibney, acknowledges today the heavens are filled with a mysterious source of energy:

    Click to access 534610a.pdf

  11. Roger Turner says:

    They say a week in Politics is a long time and hey! it`s Thursday.
    Who would have thought it Vote LEAVE Leader – Boris – gone
    Apparently one newspaper has put it that all he achieved was to smash up the shop and then b*gger off..
    In the quest for the new Leader, who among them is going to honour the overwhelming demand of 17million plus voters to LEAVE the EU.??
    That`s LEAVE in total, lock stock and barrel.
    There will not be one single “Competence” left in EU hands
    That the European Court of Justice will have no jurisdiction over any aspect of British Life and that in order that we can be certain of making our own laws, our Supreme Court will be Supreme.
    That our Fishery waters will be for our sole use.
    That Multi Nationals will pay their full whack and not be allowed to register in other countries.
    That TTIP if eventually signed by the EU will have no effect in this country (i.e. no subsequent deal made independently by this country and the USA will incorporate elements of that deal)
    That we will pay no further subscriptions to the EU or be held beholden for any future impositions.

    Unless any or all the candidates are not prepared to confirm their full adherence to that concept, then I would submit they are not qualified to expect the subsequent support of the majority of the 17 million voters who were led to believe Leave meant Leave in totality.

    I would add in my opinion, there is no reason for prolonged negotiations, the task is to avoid uncertainty and the paralysis which accompanies it and the whole process should be complete by 31st December 2016 (New EU financial year commences 1.1.2017)

  12. Bernard Hough says:

    I have just been watching the latest news reports.
    A lot was made of `hate crimes` commited against Polish and other European immigrants.
    In the area of the north of England that I live we have many immigrants of all nationalities.
    And from my personal experiences we get along fine.
    I have never seen any indication of any kind of `hate crime` displayed.
    Personally if I were an extremist or a sleeper for Isis I would be posting comments like these in prominent places in order to cause unrest and take the attention from me and my like.

    • rfhmep says:

      I have worked with foreign nationals all my life — including several years managing a company in Malaysia where I was the only Westerner. We certainly had racial problems there — not between me and them, but between Chinese and Malays, and it was my job to try to keep the peace. For the last seventeen years in Brussels and Strasbourg I have worked happily with other nationalities, and had many of those other nationalities — EU and non-EU — working in my office. So I get a little irked when I’m accused of being a xenophobic Little Englander.

  13. Jane Davies says:

    Just heard on CBC news over here that Boris is out of the running for new leader…….
    This week just keeps on giving!

  14. Shieldsman says:

    Can Theresa May be trusted, she’s no Maggie Thatcher.
    Of the two reluctant Brexit campaigners Gove was the sincerest. Johnson probably saw it as a ticket to No.10, but is no longer sure of being successful in exiting the EU and the hard work it will entail. Better to leave it to another time.
    Gove probably with Johnson’s approval realises he has been left holding the baby (Brexit). He is one of the few honest and sincere eurosceptics to take on the task.
    The Conservative Party was ill prepared for a leadership contest. George Osborne the heir apparent scuppered his chances with all the scaremongering.
    So will they get it right and find a unity candidate. Mrs May appears to have been pushed forward by part of the Party to ‘Stop Boris’. Her record in office has not been that good and does she the qualities to succeed.

  15. Sue Stuckey says:

    So what is next for UKIP? Aaron Banks reported as wanting to start another political party – a right wing version of Labour’s Momentum. He seemed to be saying Nigel Farage won’t be leader. As for the next PM, I’m for Andrea Leadsom.

    • catweazle666 says:

      “As for the next PM, I’m for Andrea Leadsom.”

      I’m not.

      She’s a Watermelon for one thing.

      • rfhmep says:

        Not sure about that, Catweazle. My impression is that she has a healthy scepticism of greenery. And she certainly isn’t a socialist on the inside. To Sue: What’s next for UKIP? Two or three years keeping the government honest on Brexit. After that, we’ll see.

    • Bernard Hough says:

      I`m for UKIP replacing Labour with the patriotic Nigel as leader.
      I wonder if all the other MEP`s would give up their positions for their country.
      Thank You Nigel,,Paul and all for your` selflessness.

      • rfhmep says:

        Speaking for myself, Bernard, I shall be happy to do so. I concluded many campaign speeches: “I appeal to you to vote on Jun 23rd to give me my P45!”

  16. Anyoldiron says:


    Should Scotland become independent?
    Under the watch of our Conservative PM?
    Will he forever be known as “The Wrecker”?
    Never to be listened to ever again?
    Do all the Scottish people want isolation,
    Surely their Country is indeed free?
    Yet would eagerly join the European Union,
    Lose Sovereignty for ever, is THAT what is to be?

    To break away from the spoken English?
    And freedom at last be won?
    To join up to the European Union,
    The Devils work at last be done.
    Twice before in loving memory,
    Just one hundred years ago,
    To conquer and destroy our sovereignty
    Recorded in history, be it ever so.

    Does Scotland want to keep our Stirling Currency?
    Yet all three Parties did strongly declare,
    That no way could they use that again
    For the Euro is waiting for them there.
    For the EU thinks well far ahead,
    It knows exactly what it wants,
    Although it has taken many years,
    To be in control of us and ALL the Continent.

  17. dave roderick says:

    the article 50 must be triggerd before march 2017 as if it is not we will be locked in forever as to get out would need all 27 nations to agree our release and they will not be in any hurry to let go of the milch cow please read the following article courtesy of the slog

  18. Roger Turner says:

    Re:St Theresa I`m afraid I don`t agree she is the one. I seem to remember she had a chance a while ago to continue some opt outs and her resolve collapsed.
    I also think I heard her say that if we remained we would be able to negotiate better terms from inside. To me that that was a lame excuse and in the circumstance the insistance that anything could be got back when in the clutches of the EU is preposterous
    ……………and my wife couldn`t stand her – something about “kitten heels”
    I like the look and sound of Steven Crabb – plays the right shape of ball for me.

    • Heather says:

      Choosing a PM because he plays rugby must be one of the worst reasons of all. Do you know what he stands for?

  19. Bernard Hough says:

    Does this seem like a possible scenario?
    There are three candidates for election as MP or local government for a certain area.
    One Tory, one labour and one liberal.
    One of them is an immigrant.
    Each one obviously gets the votes from his parties supporters.
    Does the immigrant who can vote and probably does not support any of the political parties automatically vote for his fellow candidate?
    If this does happen then the other candidates won`t stand much of a chance.

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