Post-Referendum Debrief August 9th

BBC: “Brexit: The Battle for Britain”

I approached Laura Kuenssberg’s highly-anticipated “post-mortem on Brexit” yesterday (BBC2 9:00 p.m.) with some trepidation. Frankly, I was expecting a hatchet job, with a re-hash of all the scraps of negative comment that have become familiar in recent weeks.
So I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be not so much a hatchet job as a (reasonably) fair-minded account of the campaign, with both sides represented, using extensive archive clips. There was something touching and poignant in seeing Peter Mandelson saying (in effect) “We wuz robbed”. I was particularly impressed by his metaphor “We were sent to a knife-fight armed with a spoon”. Of course the defeated Remainians were looking for a scapegoat, and all fingers pointed at Jeremy Corbyn. You could argue (and they did) that Corbyn made the difference, and delivered the Leave vote, whether intentionally or not.

They used several clips of Nigel Farage. He said that he realised the turning point in the campaign had arrived when Boris Johnson and Michael Gove called for an Australian-style points system for immigration — something UKIP has been calling for for years.

My concerns ahead of the programme had been heightened by Vicki Power’s comment in (of all places) the Telegraph Review programme notes: “She (Kuenssberg) also looks at how the national vote exposed a gulf between Westminster and parts of Britain who felt isolated from the benefits of the EU”. Oh yes, Vicki. And what benefits would they be? Low growth? High unemployment? An irrational energy policy undermining industrial competitiveness? Higher prices from the EU’s Common External Tariff? Take your pick.

Telegraph not impressed

Telegraph reviewer Gerard O’Donovan thought that the programme “taught us very little”. Not sure it was intended to be pedagogical, Gerard.

McTernan attacks Corbyn

John McTernan writing in the Telegraph claims that Jeremy Corbyn “sabotaged” the Remain Campaign. And, adds McTernan for good measure, he is also sabotaging the Labour party.

More woes for Hinkley Point

The Guardian and Telegraph carry reports that French trade unions are demanding that the proposed Hinkley deal be declared “null and void”. They argue that the EDF Board knew about the probable delay by the British government before they voted on the deal, and that (say the unions) should be grounds for re-running to vote.

Meantime the BBC reports a warning from China that UK/China relations are poised at a “critical juncture” over the Hinkley issue.

I believe we need nuclear power, but that Hinkley may well be the wrong project. I am also concerned that the UK seems unable to reach a decision on critical infrastructure (nuclear power, London airport capacity) unless it makes the wrong decision (HS2).

Time for Carney to go?

In the Express, Leo McKinstry calls for Bank of England Governor Mark Carney to go, accusing him of mistaken forecasts and political interventions.  Certainly Carney was a key proponent of “Project Fear”, but arguably he was only doing the bidding of the man who appointed him — George Osborne. Nonetheless, Central Banks need to be careful what they say if they want to retain credibility, and Carney has been sailing close to the wind.

Switzerland bullied by Brussels “as an example for Brexit”

The Express reports that Brussels is brutalising Switzerland over its (very reasonable) reluctance to keep its borders open to the EU’s “free movement”, and is threatening trade sanctions. According to the Express, Juncker is eager to “send a message” to the UK. But there is no read-across, I’m afraid, Jean-Claude. Switzerland is a small country totally surrounded by the EU, and dependent on a complicated array of sectoral trade deals. It is rather vulnerable to threats from Brussels. Britain, on the other hand, is a great global trading nation. And Britain is not tied up in a cat’s-cradle of trade deals with the EU. We demand no more than a free trade deal. And we will get a free trade deal, because the EU needs it more than we do. Brussels simply doesn’t have the leverage with London that it has with Switzerland.

A tale of two Theresas: Villiers tells May “We must have border controls”

Theresa Villiers was a Cabinet Minister in David Cameron’s government. She campaigned for Brexit. As it happens, she was also an MEP during my first term in Brussels (1999/04). She turned down the offer of a Cabinet post in Theresa May’s government.

She has now called on Theresa May to demand proper border controls, insisting that Brexit means independence, and that Britain must be able to control its borders. No fudge. No “emergency brake”. Theresa (Villiers) has proved to be a woman of principle. Well done that lady.

“Bring back the Navy to police the Channel”

Dover MP Charlie Elphicke has called for the Navy to be recalled from the Mediterranean (where, as I would argue, it is effectively promoting people trafficking by facilitating the rescue of illegal migrants and their delivery to European countries) and instead deployed in the Channel to protect our shores from illegal immigration.

Elphicke also calls for armed guards on Channel ferries to protect passengers and deter people-smuggling. He contrasts the major efforts which are rightly being made to combat terrorism in London with the lack of appropriate measures in the Channel.

Good news, bad news

I thought I saw evidence of a Damascene conversion. A piece in the Indy (of all places), entitled “Twelve reasons not to panic over Brexit”. I thought they were starting to see the light, and to tip-toe away from their strident Remainian position.

But it was not to be. The piece might have been better entitled “Twelve ways to undermine Britain’s Brexit decision and keep the UK in the EU”. Some hope. But it represents a timely warning: Yes, we won the Referendum. But we still have work to do to make Brexit real, and there will be those trying to stop us. No surrender. No back-tracking. Independence means Independence.

The view from Italy

Italian journalist Paolo Barnard reflects on the damage that EU membership has done to his country, and congratulates Britain on its “near miss” in rejecting EU membership. Worth a read. If EU membership has been bad for Britain, it has been an unmitigated disaster for Italy.

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35 Responses to Post-Referendum Debrief August 9th

  1. terry sullivan says:

    why is independent and its stable mate so anti UK? what is the owners agenda?

    telegraph is a rag–not worth reading


  2. Dung says:


    Laura Kuessberg has been a good egg ever since she first appeared on the BBC and yes that is surprising ^.^
    What would I not give to have been a fly on the wall when May met Villiers after the vote?
    I hope you go on writing this debrief forever Mr Helmer sir!

  3. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Actually we don’t need the frogs. N. Koreans will do as in Polish tomato pickers for Tesco Poland and crap clothes made in Malta. C4 Dispatches last night and its all properly checked and upheld….apparently? One way to get your weapons like Marcos and her shoes, forced remittance!

    Pity about Italy…it really, really is. I’d never have thought years ago that the Central Europeans (mentals) were waiting to ruin that country. Along with the rest of S. Europe.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Let me be clear:

      Polish tomato pickers are in UK…picking our junk.
      N. Koreans are doing their job in Poland + a few Filipinos and Bangladeshis and….

      I grow my own because I don’t want cheap, damaged, transported run of the mill crap.

  4. ian wragg says:

    I enjoyed Brexit last night but was miffed that all the credit was going to Elliot and Cummings. I believe we won in spite of Voteleave. here in the East Midlands it was the Leave Alliance, LeaveEU and UKIP doing the markets and leafleting.
    Boris has gone back to his pre referendum guise saying we must accept some formof free movement to access the single market.
    How much free movement does the USA, China and South Korea have with the EU. Naff all. and that’s what we want..
    Switzerland is in quite a strong position as it makes some high quality engineered goods for the EU. If they retaliated by stopping supply of spares then I’m sure Brussels would back off.

    • terry sullivan says:

      i like boris but i do not trust him

    • Alan Wheatley says:

      Mathew Eliot was given a long spot on The Daily Politics shortly before the programme’s Summer break. In response to friendly questioning he explained how wonderful their “Vote Leave” campaign had been.

      He spoke of having to fight on three fronts, one of which was UKIP! No wonder Nigel found it impossible to engineer a coherent band of forces in favour of Leave. It seems to me the one thing the conservative Party were more scared of than anything else was that UKIIP should get any credit for anything!!!!

      He, and The Daily Politics, completely ignored the efforts that I and very many other UKIP Members put in promoting the Vote Leave message once they had been designated the official Leave organisation.

      Not only did Vote Leave change their tack of placing the economy first to the UKIP policy on immigration, but they also nicked Nigel’s “I want my Country back” slogan. I think the leave vote won despite Vote Leave’s incompetence.

      I would like to cast Mathew Elliot into the political darkness, never to return!

    • Frances Fox says:

      I enjoyed Brexit but agree with you that other areas were not praised especially as many people like myself delivered leaflets. I even told two men who questioned Vote Leave all the treaties that took us into the EEC, EC then finally the EU were all detrimental to our Country.They were impressed that I knew what I was telling them without looking at paper to tell them.

  5. Maureen Gannon says:

    All of this is interesting but I am more concerned about the party called UKIP ,unless the party wakes up and elects a leader of worth we will lose our true meaning ,which I always believed that it was for a fairer and sensible governing of the country , until we were faced with what is turning into a debacle over a leader equal to Labour., the country as a whole do not know those who are the front runners , whereas talking to people the one name that keeps recurring is Suzanne Evans must add some have called her Suzanne whatsername ,they have been impressed by her dignity when on TV and do not understand why she is not being allowed to run , apart blatant males egos being dented nor do I . It will be a sad day if all is lost when it should be the turning point in this countries new beginning,
    Should add a couple have said or that Roger bloke with the tash.

    • Frank says:

      Well said Maureen! It is incredibly disappointing to see UKIP fall into disarray as is the case with Labour. S.Evans is a highly credible leader – if the egos in UKIP could give way.

    • terry sullivan says:

      Evans would be a disaster–another kilroy-silk–me me me–evans is ex-tory and ex–bbc–i would never vote for her

    • Roger Turner says:

      Maureen, I`m with you most of the way.
      I think it is criminal what is going on in the higher echelons of UKIP at the moment, but even more criminal what is NOT GOING ON.
      Are we effectively holding St.Theresa`s toes to the furnace of TOTAL BRexit?
      Is there anybody promoting UKIP policy in the media?.
      Who in UKIP is responsible for overall policy,?
      Do UKIP have a policy on anything at all?
      To me,. there`s a great big yawning political vacuum, UKIP is still the only organ/disorgan -isation, that was and is 100% for BRexit, the Legacy parties are still infected with Remain longings and dogma.
      I would have thought that UKIP should be following the anti establishment political demands of 4million (plus many more) Grass Roots supporters who distrust the legacy lot and want a complete political change.
      I feel it is up to UKIP plus the and GOoooooooooo CROSS Party organisation to take the lead and formally put together a party which will be the true voice of the People. But if we are to be the ones to fill the vacuum -BE QUICK ABOUT IT.
      UKIP is and always was a revolutionary pressure group. Now is the time to become a Political party – time to move on and change. – I`d vote for Kate Hoey to lead it.
      Just a small final comment.
      I heard a women journalist on Sky News Review last night say that
      “Carsewell and Suzanne Evans represent the “RESPECTABLE” element of UKIP”
      If that is the general MSM view and perhaps the body amongst us that claim tuition and adherence even allegiance to YBF, then I am with Terry Sullivan, they are the ones who have fostered the dissention within the party – perhaps Grass Roots populism is too strong meat for their delicate alimentary systems.
      Although UKIP is a mixture of previous Conservative/Labour/and other ideologies, I`m afraid we UKIPers are unique – we think more freely and previous beliefs and practices must of necessity be left at the door..
      The big problem is that running a successful political party costs loads of money and it cannot all come from subs – wealthy backers always have demands, so we cannot be completely free spirits.

      • Maureen Gannon says:

        Kate Hoey would get my vote, a coalition sounds good lets face it that’s what got us the result.

  6. barrymx5 says:

    The largest omission by Kuenssberg was surely the feet on the ground which Leave had and Remain did not. Of course the vast majority of these foot soldiers were UKIP. Nor did she mention (surprise surprise) the biased reporting by TV stations for Remain – not only BBC but Sky.

    • Sheila says:

      I am only relying what I have had said to me , they are people who I believe probably used us as a haven vote and have now become interested in going further but as they know I am UKIPper so ask questions.

  7. Frank says:

    Well said Maureen!

  8. “John McTernan writing in the Telegraph claims that Jeremy Corbyn “sabotaged” the Remain Campaign.”

    A surprisingly airey-fairey piece that showed primariy that he still doesn’t understand why we voted Leave. His comments on the disastrous economic consequences (quite how you do that amid a tsunami of good news is beyond me) of Brexit seemed bewildered — except economics wasn’t the reason people were voting for or against Brexit. It barely featured on lists of people’s concerns.

    The thing I found most bizarre was his comment on how it’s northerners who will be most affected when northern industry is no longer protected by EU tarriffs — John McTernan actually thinks protectionism is a good thing?

    If other countries can produce better quality for lower prices, wouldn’t it be wiser for British industry also to learn how to make better quality for cheaper, rather than charging the public high prices for rubbish?

  9. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    Thank you for the encouraging news about BBC reporting. I fondly remember when BBC news was above question.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Yep..started May1922. Seeing the commercial potential of radio broadcasting, Marconi’s company was in talks with wireless set manufactures and other interested organizations to set up more broadcasting stations around the country under an umbrella organization called the British Broadcasting Company (BBC).

      All that good work ended somewhere about 1960. So we now pay a TV licence for endless repeats of digital crap. Allegedly BBC Radio is free…yeah right!

  10. apparently says:

    Yes I agree with the commenters above who believe that the Vote Leave contribution to the referendum was more incidental than pivotal…

    It was UKIP,, GrassRoots Out and in particular Nigel that built everything from the foundations right up to the second fix…

    Indeed for a while, I was convinced that Vote Leave was there to sabotage the efforts of the above mentioned.

    Might I add, it’s still not too late for them to mess it up, and we have to be vigilant, which is why I am so concerned at the behaviour of the NEC… We need someone competent that can handle the media, and I don’t see any on the current list, even though some of them are pretty competent…

    …Such a shame.

  11. mike5262015 says:

    The prospect of having UKIP in the Commons, and maybe even Government, had me excited by the idea of a Party putting GB/UK first. In the 50 years of my voting, I have never had membership of any Political Party, but I am a UKIP member now. I have already lambasted the NEC for showing up the Party in the Leadership arrangements, and have read, agreed with, and offer my apologies to their reasoning. However, the Party has received the sort of damage that the media has delighted in, and a more professional approach to this is needed. If Roger Helmer sees this, could he perhaps be interested in Leadership ? It would be well worthwhile !

    • kim Terry says:

      UKIP have a real chance now to get into the mindset of the people and lead the way on how to get out of the EU. We have voted and UKIP was a big part of the reason we voted out. They did a really good job but are now letting themselves and the country down. They must understand that politics is not about them – it is about the country and the people. We became members because we believed in them as a party. That is being slowly eroded by the antics of the NEC and some members. My membership is due for renewal in November but I am unimpressed at the moment and will expect to see big improvements before I actually spend any more money on what I see as a failing party. Professionalism is what is needed but it seems in low supply. GET A GRIP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. ALL THAT HARD WORK COULD GO TO WASTE.

      • Dung says:

        Patience folks 🙂
        All the parties are having or have just had a leadership contest, so we can not deny UKIP the same opportunity. I think Farage should get a divorce and come back ^.^

      • Maureen Gannon says:

        MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY. I do hope they listen the country needs them .

  12. For the sake of Brexit and Britain something needs to happen quickly within the ranks of UKIP, it is all a bit of a mess at the moment when we should really be focusing on what the present government are or are not doing.

  13. Derek says:

    Roger Helmer would have been a great choice to lead UKIP, but I know that he does not want to do it, and I completely understand why, at his age, he would not want to take on such a huge role. It will be very hard to replace Nigel, but maybe someone relatively unknown can step up and make a success of it. They will need huge reserves of energy along with charisma.

    As to the Brexit programme, I thought it was a good overview, but would have liked to hear from a few more of the main protagonists, such as IDS, Andrea Leadsom, Chris Grayling. I also agree that the difference was the huge volunteers that worked for the Leave campaign, whereas Remain had no popular campaign. Many who voted remain only did so out of fear.

  14. Anyoldiron says:

    It is time to realise that the BIG battle is just beginning-that is if indeed you want your Country back.

    • I cannot understand why more prominent members of UKIP such as Gerard Batten are not standing for leader, as they are better known and have a sound history with the party. I am a bit concerned about the calibre of the present ones standing and their levels of professionalism.

  15. I cannot understand why more prominent members of UKIP such as Gerard Batten are not standing for leader, as they are better known and have a sound history with the party. I am a bit concerned about the calibre of the present ones standing and their levels of professionalism.

  16. Anyoldiron says:

    Class this as the third WAR because if ALL the people do not start to get together to “fight” once more for their Country-it may well be lost forever. Do not take this lightly-for I mean it.

  17. Anyoldiron says:

    If the EU changes next YEAR we will not be able to get out of the EU. Is it indeed true that we cannot leave the EU AFTER MARCH 2017 and no country can? Is that TRUE Mrs May? All of us should ask Mrs May. Is it indeed correct that after 31st March 2017 we lose right to use Article 50 to leave the EU and the right to repeal European Communities Act1972? Surely, if that is correct the UK will then be completely tied by the EU forever? We are indeed FORBIDDEN by our own Constitution to obey Foreigners-that was why we went to WAR in 1939. Our sworn allegiance is to our Monarchy and Country and it will never be to foreigners. So many gave THEIR lives for our Freedom in that 1939-1945 World War.

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