Post-Referendum Debrief July 28th

“Fed shrugs off Brexit”

Times Economics Editor Philip Aldrick has a story headlined “Rate rise on the cards as Fed shrugs off Brexit”.  Admittedly this reflects confidence in the USA, rather than confidence in post-Brexit Britain.  But remember that we had President Obama urging the UK to stay in the EU, and all sorts of international experts insisting that the uncertainty created by Brexit would affect the global economy.  One more failed prediction from Project Fear.

Meantime – good news on the UK economy

The Telegraph headlines “Britain enjoys post-Brexit bounce” while the Express runs with “NO STOPPING BOOMING BRITAIN –Why we must speed up EU exit”.

We’ve had a series of major companies announcing big new investments in the UK – including several who had previously warned against Brexit.  These include Siemens, GSK (on which I reported yesterday) and INEOS.   We have Softbank’s enormous £24 billion bid for ARM .  We expect EDF to confirm the go-ahead for the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant this week.  (We in UKIP have reservations about Hinkley – but the EDF decision confirms confidence in the UK).  The CEBR predicts strong house price growth despite Brexit.

And as icing on the cake, we heard yesterday that UK second quarter growth has come in at 0.6%, well ahead of expectation – despite the over-hyped “uncertainty” caused by the Brexit referendum.  An interesting point: have you noticed that generally speaking all the good news on Brexit is based on hard fact, whereas all the doom-mongering is based on forecast and estimates?  Those forecasts simply reflect the prejudices of the forecasters.  And they’re wrong.

Typical Guardian pessimism: Right on cue, along comes the Guardian with a story of future problems, quoting Philip Hammond as predicting a slow-down in the economy.  As I Tweeted yesterday. “I wish Philip Hammond would stop talking about the challenge of Brexit, and start talking about the opportunities”.  Hammond has been hugely pessimistic about the Brexit outcome.  Shades of Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh.  Maybe somebody ate his thistles.

Article 50: “We never intended it to be used”

Ever since Lisbon, I’ve argued that Article 50 is a bit like “subsidiarity”. It’s a trap for the naïve and a lure for the unwary, a mere sop to eurosceptic opinion.  But just as subsidiarity is constantly talked about but never happens (name me one single EU competence that has ever been handed back to member states under the rubric of subsidiarity), so Article 50 was mere window dressing.  It enabled Brussels apologists to say “You sceptics should support the Lisbon Treaty because it gives you an exit door”.  But in their worst nightmares they never expected that door to be opened.

So it was gratifying to read the report in the Indy that the author of Article 50, Giuiliano Amato, a former Prime Minister of Italy, who subsequently worked with the European Commission, admits that it was never meant to be invoked.  We have it straight from the horde’s mouth, as it were.

“I wrote Article 50, so I know it well,” Mr Amato told a conference in Rome, according to Reuters. “My intention was that it should be a classic safety valve that was there, but never used. It is like having a fire extinguisher that should never have to be used. Instead, the fire happened.”  The Article was explicitly intended to placate the British, and to prevent the British government from complaining that they had no way to leave the EU.

So, sorry about that, Mr. Amato.  You gave a hostage to fortune, and the British people just called your bluff.

EU appoints Michel Barnier to head Brexit negotiations

Michel Barnier, a former EU Commissioner and French Foreign Minister, is described in several papers as “a man who resents Britain”.  He is said to believe that he unfairly copped the blame for the French “NO” vote in the Constitutional referendum in 2005, and blames eurosceptics for the loss of his job.  In 2010 the Telegraph described him as “The most dangerous man in Europe”.  His appointment is said to represent the Commission’s determination to “play hardball” in the negotiations.  But given that the UK imports over 800,000 German cars a year, Mr. Barnier may find that we have harder balls than he anticipates.

Sir Malcolm sees the bright side: Former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind insists that Barnier’s negotiating agenda will be set by Merkel and Hollande, not Barnier.

Lembit Opik warns of “punishment”:  Yesterday I debated the Brexit outcome with Lembit Opik (remember him?) on BBC Radio Essex, no less.  He insists that the EU will have to “punish” Britain for Brexit – otherwise, he says, other countries will want to follow suit.  This raises some interesting points.  Should we ever have joined a club that takes a punitive approach to former members?  If Britain succeeds after Brexit, and other countries choose to follow, doesn’t that show that the EU has outlived its usefulness?  Wouldn’t we be better off with a European free trade area rather than a political union?  But the more fundamental question is whether the EU has the means to punish us anyway.  Given that we have a big trade deficit with the continent, any action Brussels takes will hurt the EU a great deal more than it will hurt us.  And in the current parlous state of the EU economies, they just can’t afford it.  As I asked Lembit, does Angela Merkel really want to see thousands of unemployed German auto workers in Stuttgart and Munich in an election year?  I think not.

Terrorism worries in Britain

The Mail headlines “2000 terrorist suspects in the UK” (as I reported yesterday) “but only one under curfew”.  Easy to state the problem – but maybe less easy to solve.

Islamic hate books found in prisons: The Times reports that Islamic hate books have been found in British prisons, despite being banned. Well I suppose if they can smuggle drugs and mobile phones into prison, they can smuggle books as well.  But I suspect that there are few credible sanctions that prison authorities can apply to Islamic prisoners.  The Express lays the blame in Imams.

Hungary taunts Merkel: Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has launched an astonishingly sharp attack on Angela Merkel and the EU immigration emergency, saying “Our problem is in Brussels, not in Mecca”.  But the Mail reports that German police are starting to take a tougher line against suspected jihadists:

A blow to Sturgeon

A pro-Independence think tank in Scotland has claimed that the country would need reserves of at least £10 billion to back an independent currency.  Tough call.





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19 Responses to Post-Referendum Debrief July 28th

  1. Ex-expat Colin says:

    I note the fisher folk up in Fraserburgh got an airing on this UK TV thing last night. Cannot see the EU lard brains fixing their plight fast,,,but we could? Likely would spark wee ecks mate off, a good thing really because she needs to be extinguished.

  2. alexr64 says:

    Superb roundup but why isn’t this going to UKIP’s vast database of members? I know of several UKIP councillor candidates who aren’t even getting these. UKIP aren’t even in control of its own broadcasting but complains of BBC bias endlessly. Well, seize the opportunity to wrong foot the MSM! Get your mailing databases sorted!

    Today, hidden in the financial press: “BRITISH POUND/US DOLLAR A renewed if subtle tendency to see the Japanese yen as a safe haven has resurfaced, despite PM Abe’s best efforts, and can be seen in other currency pairs. Note that a recent survey by EY showed that of the top 20 investment banks in the UK half were neutral on Brexit, 15 per cent stating the impact would be negative, and all state there is no single logical alternative location for their businesses”.

  3. Francesca Macfarlane says:

    Roger wrote:- “2000 terrorist suspects in the UK” (as I reported yesterday) “but only one under curfew”. Easy to state the problem – but maybe less easy to solve.

    The Mail bloggers are not short on suggestions eg –

    “It is not difficult to get them all off the streets for the sake of the majorities safety. Set up a prison on a remote Scottish island and ship them there, to live in tents and huts until they build the accommodation. Forget about their Human Rights ours are more important”

    “We have incitement to race hatred laws. We also have incitement to religious hatred laws, passed by the last labour government. These laws are not protecting the majority of peace loving British people. We ought to have incitement to hatred of ones host country, aka treason laws.”

    “Round up the 2000 fanatics ship them to Guantanamo for interrogation.At least they would be all in one place and easier to keep track of instead of huge burden on our security forces.”

    “..the police can’t find the fanatics, the rest of us know they are all sitting in coffee shops in Walthamstow “

  4. ian wragg says:

    I think the new Scottish currency should be called the “whinge” with a picture of wee Kranky on the front.
    Maybe we could pay Scotland to take all the undesirables, that should swell the coffers.

  5. ian terry says:

    Why is it beyond the realms of common sense for the SNP politicians to stop and have a really good look as to how the EU is really performing financially cause they ain’t. Come the elections over there in 2017 give it a couple of years and it will not exist as it is today or better still not at all
    First rule in abandoning a sinking ship make sure the lifeboats are sound.

    • Jane Davies says:

      I agree, usually one leaves a sinking ship, not paddling like crazy to climb on board!

    • charles wardrop says:

      The UK politicos and media, e.g., “Grauniad”& BBC should throw off their dogmatic ideological attitudes to the EU so as to allow a re-evaliuation, since their committmrnt to it is blinding them, like the misguided, dud SNP’s fatsl attraction, based on anglophobia.

      • KennieD says:

        The Grauniad is just about bankrupt but unfortunately, the BBC has just been given permission to carry on as before with more tax-payers’ money. Courtesy of the former culture secretary before May sacked him.

  6. June says:

    5 weeks since we voted to leave and Theresa May has not done anything except to say she keeps an open mind. Does that mean she will retain all the EU reasons for staying in the EU? 17.4 million of us want BREXIT now, not next year, 5 years away and eventually never. NOW. Bring on Alternative to Article 50. Introduce a Bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and all its amendments. The people have spoken and we do not want to be betrayed by our leaders again. We were lied to while our leaders negotiated behind closed doors and then told us we were only joining the Common Market. This deception should be illegal. That means we can walk out NOW. It is up to Theresa May to get us out NOW. Our leaders do not seem to have the will to do so and will delay and delay on any pretext until we are shackled to the EU forever!

  7. Frances Fox says:

    Thank you for your post and appreciate all the work you do for our Country. Am concerned that Brexit should not be delayed any more and be carried out. My MP is Stewart Jackson and is Secretary to Brexit David Davies which is good and although not a Conservative like my MP I give him credit where it is due that he is against the EU and joined UKIP in Town when we had stalls there for Vote Leave.

  8. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Aleppo is under siege. Pop of 300K is mostly women, children, elderly and invalids

    If only 1M Syrian men hadn’t run away to Europe…

  9. Richard111 says:

    With regard to the problems in Turkey, please read the link below for an explanation of what is happening and possibly why the EU is only making matters worse.

  10. John in France says:

    When I was seven my father dragged me indoors to hear Mr Chamberlin announce that Britain was now at war with Germany. I do not recall that he gave Hitler two years notice. All we need do is to is announce we have left and then get on with the necessary disentangling.

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