Post-referendum Debrief July 7th

There’s not too much EU news today.  The papers are dominated by the Chilcot report,  and the sports pages by the achievements of the Welsh football team (well done those guys – you had a great run).

The phrases “I’ll be with you whatever” (Blair to George W. Bush), and “I can’t say sorry – I’d do it again” feature on the front pages.  One might have some sympathy for the man if he’d said “Look, at the time I sincerely believed that Saddam’s WMD were a real and imminent threat, and I also believed that after the Iraq War, peace and democracy would break out in the country.  I was wrong, but I had good intentions, and I’m sorry for the errors”.  But to insist, with 20/20 hindsight, knowing what we know now, that he’d do it again, is borderline bizarre – indeed practically deranged.  Clearly Blair can never again be called on to serve his country in any capacity.

China open to UK free trade deal

In the post-Brexit period we’ve heard too much synthetic anguish about market volatility and far too little news about the new opportunities opening up.  China has trade deals even with Switzerland – and tiny Iceland – but none with the EU.  The Telegraph  reports that Chinese officials have raised to prospect of a post-Brexit China/UK trade deal – so we could well have a trade deal with China years before the EU manages it.  A number of other countries including New Zealand and Australia have made similar approaches, and there is a bill in Congress calling for a UK/US trade deal.  As we promised, there’s a whole new world out there which is keen to trade with the UK, and these opportunities are a direct result of the courageous decision of the British people, in defiance of Project Fear, to vote for freedom.

Sterling slides

While the FTSE as I write is well over 6,000 – a good level compared to recent months – Sterling is languishing at levels not seen since the miners’ strike – or so says the Times.    In the Telegraph, however, Ambrose Evans Pritchard has an excellent comment column in which he points out that on a trade-weighted basis the Pound is just about where it was in March 2013 when, as he says, most people were not aware of the exchange rate.  He starts his piece “Britain faces a frightening array of economic risks if Parliament makes a mess of Brexit, but a sterling crisis is not one of them”.  He goes on to argue that a lower currency is the Holy Grail of central banks around the world, that a Sterling devaluation will help us to cope with the recession that he believes would be coming with or without Brexit, and will also help to cushion any adverse shock from the Referendum vote.  Of course Osborne’s promise of lower corporation tax will reinforce that effect.  So the Sterling slide may cost us a few bob in terms of petrol prices and foreign holidays this year – but it may be a blessing in disguise.

The vultures gather

The FT reports that Germany is making a play for London-based financial technology companies who may be looking to relocate following Brexit.   Meantime France is joining the party, and dangling tax incentives for London’s financial executives to move to Paris.    Given the hostility of President Hollande to financial services and banks, and the punitive tax levels that recently drove many French executives to London, I think France has a tough sell.  Moreover before financial companies take on the upheaval and cost of relocation, they’ll want to see how the UK/EU relationship develops.  The markets will stabilise, the sky will not fall, trade will continue, and they will conclude they’re better of where they are, amid the critical mass of financial, accounting and legal services which makes the City a leading global financial centre.

Fighting talk from Theresa May

Turning criticism to her advantage, Theresa May has picked up the accusation from Ken Clarke that she’s “a bloody difficult woman” She announces that “Yes, I am a bloody difficult woman, as Jean Claude Juncker will soon find out”. I’m not rooting for Theresa, but it was a good line, and shows a little more spirit from the dour Home Secretary than we’re used to.

Meantime Cathy Newman writing in the Telegraph believes that the organised and concerted attacks on Andrea Leadsom, apparently orchestrated by the May camp, may be counter-productive, and give her a “plucky underdog” image that could play well with Tory members in the final ballot.  Certainly the scale of the attacks on Leadsom suggest that the May camp is worried, and it’s clear that May thinks Gove is easier to beat than Leadsom.  Interesting times.  We should have the second round result – and know which two names are going on the final ballot – tonight.

Two appeals to MPs

Lieutenants of Tory Leadership hopeful Michael Gove have been appealing to Tory MPs to support Gove in order to block Andrea Leadsom (who clearly stands a better chance than Gove in the up-coming membership vote).   Conceding that Theresa May was most likely to win, the messages appealed to MPs to back Gove, and to keep Leadsom off the final two, for fear she just might cause an upset.  The Gove team has apologised, claiming that Gove himself knew nothing of it.  Interesting, though, that they believe that Leadsom could pull off an upset in the membership vote if she gets onto the ballot.  I think they may be right.

In a still more preposterous move, a European Commission official in London has written to MPs calling on them to do all they can to reverse the Brexit decision, and casting doubt on the validity of the Referendum.  While this does not seem to be a formal initiative from the Commission (which is, after all, calling on the British government to get on with it and invoke Article 50), it is still a fairly disgraceful interference in a British decision.

Brussels plots to cut finding to eurosceptic parties

Furious about the British Brexit vote, and angry at criticism in the European parliament, it now seems that Brussels wants to cut funding to anti-EU political groups.   This would be a typical Brussels reaction.  It would also be an affront to democracy.  Voters are perfectly entitled to vote for eurosceptic parties – and are doing so in ever greater numbers (I see that our Five Star colleagues in Italy are now leading in recent opinion polls).  And taxpayers are entitled to expect that when their money is disbursed to political groups, it is done fairly, based on levels on public support, and not on the basis of arbitrary tests of commitment to European integration.

Brexit hard or soft?

Mark Mardell writing for the BBC identifies a new fault line in politics.  He believes that most politicians will come to accept the Brexit decision, so the new debate is whether we have a “soft Brexit”, a sort of “Norway-lite” option which leaves us in the Single Market, perhaps with some curbs on free movement, or whether we have a “hard Brexit”, effectively leaving us as an arm’s length, independent nation (like most countries in the world).  As my colleague the Earl of Dartmouth, UKIP’s trade spokesman, has repeatedly pointed out, dozens of such “arm’s length” countries successfully sell goods into the EU’s Single Market, whether or not they happen to have EU free trade deals.  We’re told that we have to have “access to the Single Market”.  I agree.  But the fact is that everyone has access to the Single Market, and so shall we.  I believe we shall also have an EU/UK free trade deal.  Why? Because that is in everyone’s interests – and especially in the EU’s interests.  As the dust settles and the shock recedes, more and more people in Brussels are starting to talk about “a mutually beneficial relationship”.  That’s what we want.  That’s what we’ll get.  Good neighbours, not reluctant tenants.

The end of Schengen?

The European parliament has voted to reintroduce border controls in a way that undermines the Schengen model. Increasingly, we see that idealistic EU policies just don’t work in the real world.

Germany toughens rape laws after Cologne attacks

In the wake of the Cologne sex attacks, Germany is set to pass new legislation that broadens the definition of sexual assaults, affirms that “No” means “No”, and will facilitate the expulsion of foreign nationals committing such offences.



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32 Responses to Post-referendum Debrief July 7th

  1. RobtheFox says:

    The fact – if it is fact – that sterling is at the same level as March three years ago is not a good yardstıck at all – irrelevant in fact – and if you think that people were not bemoaning it then where have you been hiding?
    What is relevant is that it is at its lowest in over 30 years and while it may add a “few bob in terms of petrol prices and foreign holiday this year” it has, sınce 23rd June knocked over £12.00 a week off the oveseas pensioner on the basic pension and, of course, equally affected all those millions of UK citizens working abroad with their income sourced in the UK.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      I can’t say I’m that bothered about pensioners overseas. Exchange rates always vary +/-. What is UK supposed to do..up your pension due to such fluctuations? FFS

      • RobtheFox says:

        No, I appreciate that you have no concern for your fellow UK cıtızens living abroad and am fully aware of fluctuatıons ın exchange rates. What I am saying is that before making such comments as Roger did about “a few bob” he and others need to reflect properly on the affects and, of course, the current savings to the UK economy of over £4,000 per year for each pensioner living abroad will be lost should they be forced to return.

      • Jane Davies says:

        Many of us in Commonwealth countries, those countries who stood by the UK in times of war, have our state pensions frozen for no reason that the DWP can justify. So a reduction of an already meagre pittance makes a big difference. We should all care about the welfare of our seniors who have spent a lifetime paying NI and UK taxes whilst working and where they spend their hard earned retirement is irrelevant and should not be a reason to discriminate against just 4%. Maybe if the seniors living in the EU are threatened with a frozen pension then just maybe this whole injustice will come to the forefront, their I’m alright Jack attitude in the past and their refusal about supporting the victims of this scandal, when asked in the past, will now make them stop and think.
        “This could be me, I should have joined the fight for justice”.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        This years CPI calculation for pensions is -1%. So no rise and they are nice enough not to deduct…yet! Thats all Govt and many company pensions…and I know on both fronts.

        Military pensions are cr* p as was the salary up to the point I bought myself out in 1977. I have no love for that bunch and its masters.

        My view is if you did not cover your ar*e adequately/early then its troubling times money wise for some. I was conned for 15 yrs in the RAF…not again after.

        Its unfortunate but neither Govt or its related ministry gives two monkeys! You’d be more successful robbing a bank and they defo need robbing!

      • RobtheFox says:

        The CPI in September 2015 and on which calculatıons are based was – 0.1% and not -1.0%.
        I, too, am personally affected by the Civil and Public Servıce pensions limitations but the point I was making and that Jane Davies seems to be endorsing, relates to the State Retirement Pension and of course the sterlıng crısıs whıch has hıt all pensıoners overseas and is even more devastating for the 560,000 frozen pensioners.
        As far as the frozen pensioner is concerned it is a question of the continued dıscrimination against them without any justification and the resultant denial of their earned entitlement.
        I won’t go into the background of the Frozen pension scandal but I do suggest that you do some research on the subject before trying to lay the blame on the individual when it lies fairly and squarely on the shoulders of successive governments.
        As far as the non frozen pensioner is concerned the reduction in value of the already meagre State Pension is simply exacerbated by the Britexıt decision.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        ok..its -0.1% and likely stays that way for a long simply gets worse in my view. Any research I do on frozen pensions is pointless. I saw enough of Barclays earlier. As I said those in Govt don’t give a monkeys! I’ve had experience of the DWP on a couple of different occasions….pffft

        I can sympathise, I can relate to personal responsibility…neither produce the desired result! I can’t imagine many on the Remain side supporting pensioners and in particular the younger. They think we the aged have robbed them. They’ll find out about that at pension time.

    • catweazle666 says:

      Stop whining. It’ll come back up again – and then some.

      • RobtheFox says:

        It is not whining Catweazle666 but simply pointing out the facts that Roger so glibly overlooked with “his few bob on petrol prices and on foreign holidays this year” comment. The implications go far far deeper than that not just for pensioners and others abroad but in trading too. But as you know it will “come back up and some” perhaps you can advise the date when the exchange rates will once again be on a par with those of 23rd June 2016, and by how much “and some” will amount to.
        It will be of great help in assessing how long the current weekly loss of over 12% of my income and that of the millions who are abroad, either temporarily or permanently, will have to be endured….or do you intend that these losses should be funded from the mythical £350 million?

      • catweazle666 says:

        “or do you intend that these losses should be funded from the mythical £350 million?”


      • RobtheFox says:

        Setting aside the insulting manner of your reply I take that to be a “No”.

      • catweazle666 says:

        “Setting aside the insulting manner of your reply…”

        And the patronising manner of yours…

      • RobtheFox says:

        Nothing patronising in polıtely rebuking someone’s rudeness.

  2. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Pee-ing on ones own matches comes to mind. Who’ll be first within the EU and I hope we don’t have to. However, we have plenty of other places to go to.

    Many of us small traders have our own deals with China and they are deals that vary fairly frequently as our market and their production charges vary. Main annoyances are shipping costs which always says to me bring some production home. And of course knock the CCA on the head at the earliest.

    Some mention of RWE Germany going bust today…getting too spendy on Nuke dismantlement.

  3. ian terry says:

    Drip by drip it is slowly happening the EU club is developing cracks that will eventually fall apart. Eu countries cannot sustain the bail outs that will be required. Too many of the members are dicing with bankruptcy.

    Then I ask myself “what will all the people in the UK who voted remain say then”?

    It will be like dictatorship Scotland once the oil price crashed a case of “we didn’t need it anyway”

  4. Ex-expat Colin says:

    “M&S clothes sales crash 8.9pc in ‘soggy start’ to the year”

    Expensive cr*p now to get more expensive…LOLs. More production here please!

    • ian wragg says:

      Considering they have clothes manufactured in sweatshops costing a fraction of the retail cost, who cares.
      Most of it is tat and the lousy summer is too blame. Ask my wife, she’s In retail and is hardly selling any summer clothes.
      Nothing to do with Brexit more too do with a mild winter and cold wet summer.

  5. Josephine Hill says:

    The shock wave of the U.K. voting to leave the EU is still resounding, Cameron made the decision to have the referendum early because he was so convinced the Remain camp would win and had, no doubt, told the EU Parliament not to worry about the result. What he did not consider was how alienated the Governments of the last 20 years have become from the voters who have been treated like ignorant children unable to make any decisions for themselves. Well the voters have fought back and won and future governments better take note that they are there to serve the people of this the U.K. not dictate to them.
    As to all the furore over making a trade agreement with the EU and the various threats, especially from France, that a deal will be on EU terms only should be totally ignored.
    In my opinion the U.K. should start making trade agreements with our own Commonwealth, which we shamefully abandoned in favour of the EU, and the rest of the World first and if the EU want to continue to trade with us then let them make the first approach. The U.K. buys more from the EU than they do from us and already Mrs Merkel has heard the warnings from Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen that they do not want to lose one of their largest markets.
    No doubt the French President has also heard the same thing from French car manufacturers as well.
    Do not rush into any trade agreements with the EU who will want freedom of movement to be part of any such agreement, the EU need us more than we need them and be in no doubt if any future prime minister attempts to include freedom of movement in any deal, he/she will meet with the fury of the people of this Country at such a cowardly attempt to undermine the democratic referendum that clearly showed that unlimited migration was not an option.

  6. Fascinating amnesia on a Blair scale from you: When i asked you and other UKIP MEPs if you would accept an In vote, you told me that a second vote would be pushed for. Nigel Farage even said that a 52/48 result for In would necessitate a second vote. Now, you tell us that the result should stand!

    As for the nonsense about trade with China and the UKP, you simply reveal your economic ignorance. This is the table of Chinese trade:

    It is not the fault of the EU that we don’ty produce much that anyone else wants.

    As for the UKP, it is the “share price” of a country and has collapsed to e1.17 from e1.40 last December – you know, that terrible European currency going nowhere (according to UKIP!).

    God help us if you clowns get anywhere near the levers of power with “dodgy CV” Leadson.

  7. Anyoldiron says:

    We fought two World WARS to PREVENT foreigners Governing us. Today’s Politicains PAY them to do so.

  8. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Nigel Farage..saying as it as and might be?

    “Nigel Farage: Brexit – Let’s Get Things Started – Press Conference 6 July 2016”

  9. Shieldsman says:

    Chilcot is out so who do we blame for the Iraq War, naturally Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell and the legal advice.
    But what about all those MPs who voted for the Iraq War.
    Some 414 MPs voted for the war in Iraq on 18 March 2003 including most of the Labour and Tory benches. Despite three general elections and several deaths and resignations, 139 of them are still serving in parliament—66 Labour and 69 Tory.
    These include 58 members of the Labour cabinet and 62 of the Tory front bench that backed the war. Many of them now serve as ministers in David Cameron’s government or lead the attack against Jeremy Corbyn in the Parliamentary Labour Party.

    Theresa May – Maidenhead (front bench) voted for the Iraq war.

    Why did so many MP’s not question not question the dodgy intelligence and the lack of planning for the aftermath, taking Blair’s word without question.

    We are currently in the situation where the majority of MP’s want to remain in the EU against the democratic vote of the Public, and are endeavouring to overturn it.

    The Parliamentary Conservative are attempting to stitch up the leadership contest. The only contender capable of beating Theresa May in the Membership Ballot is Andrea Leadsom and they do not want that.
    Gove cannot beat May, but if he can edge Leadsom out May is home and dry.

    Are we witnessing the Conservative MP’s in Parliament saying we know best, and will decide if, how and when we leave the EU.

    • RobtheFox says:

      Settıng aside the history lesson and who was who in the last parliaments – not sure of the reason for including it – the main point of your comment seems to be a distrust organisation of the Conservative Party Leadership election. As with all elections there will be some claim and counter claim about the merits of the contestants – witness the Labour leadership contest and, of course, the Ukıp leadership contest for the Welsh Assembly.
      However, you need to bear in mind that the final decision between the two candidates polling the most votes today will be made by the the members of the party, not the MPs….May, forgive the pun, may well not be home and dry.

    • Flyinthesky says:

      The key issue here is the MPs voted for the war in Iraq, not on the actuality but on evidence presented. Most MPS would not be privy to the whole situation.

  10. Ex-expat Colin says:

    The stacking shelves and sandwich thing might work but skilled stuff?

    “Majority Of Millions Of Migrant Arrivals Unemployable, Just 54 Have Jobs With Top Firms”

  11. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Didn’t realise that so many Gambians were living in Birmingham and some getting flattened in recycling yards…they are Spanish nationals. So now you know how it works….borders/barriers…pffft!

  12. Richard111 says:

    So Jean Claude Juncker believes aliens are upset by the BRexit vote. Good thing such a sensitive person is in charge. /sarc

  13. Pingback: Post-referendum Debrief July 8th | Roger Helmer MEP

  14. John Poynton says:

    Lord King, in his recent book “The End of Alchemy”, traces the origins of the banking crisis to the development of trade deficits around the world as globalisation took off. It is clear that we must take trade deficits much more seriously than we have in the past, and Brexit now gives us a golden opportunity to eliminate our own, principally with the EU.

    But this will not happen if we clamour for trade deals. We MUST put our own import tariff regime in place before we even consider such deals, (you don’t after all throw away your bargaining chips before entering the casino) and remember that increasing export volumes is only one side of the coin. Import tariffs reduce imports thereby reducing the the trade deficit, and this can create jobs far more easily than increasing exports. Further we desperately need the £25bn or so of fiscal revenues they will provide.

    Given we have these two substantial deficits, it is likely that only the very best, most strongly and carefully negotiated deals will be in our interests – if then. It would be safer to set an embargo on all new deals until a new UK import tariff regime has settled down.

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