Deutschland discombobulated


unnamedA German confused:  On January 18th we had one of those tediously formal debates in Straz to review the results (such as they were) of the Dec 15th European Council meeting.  Not surprisingly, Brexit was on the agenda.  The first speech on behalf of the political groups was given by German MEP Manfred Weber, the leader of the EPP Group.  He’s a perfectly agreeable guy, but he seemed deeply confused over the UK’s Brexit plans, despite the admirable clarity of Theresa May’s speech yesterday.  I tried to intervene and ask a question under the “Blue Card” rule.  But the newly elected President of the parliament, German MEP and former Commissioner Antonio Tajani (whom I have quoted so often) decided that in the interests of timekeeping he would take no Blue Cards in the debate.

A poor second-best, but I decided to write to Mr. Weber later.  I thought you might be amused to see my e-mail.

Dear Manfred,

Today you spoke in the debate on the outcome of the European Council of December 15th, and you made some comments about Brexit.  You said that the EU was at heart a Common Market, and you understood that Britain wanted to leave this Common Market, but then to agree a new trade deal that effectively brought it back in.  You added that therefore you could not understand whether Britain wanted to leave the EU or not.

 I am sorry that you found our Prime Minister’s speech of yesterday so difficult to follow.  For myself, I thought it had exemplary clarity.  She said that we will leave the EU.  We will leave the Customs Union and the Single Market.  We will be a fully independent country (like most countries in the world).  We will not be subject to free movement, or European Law, or the European Court, and we will not pay into the EU budget (unless voluntary agreement is reached between the UK and the EU on specific and limited programmes).  She also made it clear that as an independent country we would seek to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU.

 You will be aware that the EU has existing free trade agreements with close to fifty countries around the world.  And apart from the special cases of Switzerland and Norway, none of these agreements involves free movement, or EU budget contributions, or subjection to the European Court and European law.  I believe that Mrs. May envisages a broadly similar deal for the UK.

 Do you clearly understand that these countries with which the EU has free trade deals – Korea, for example – are not in any sense members of any common market, or of the EU Single Market, or of the EU Customs Union, or indeed of the EU itself?  You know, for example, that there is no free movement agreement between the EU and Korea?  Do you in fact understand the difference between a Free Trade Agreement, and membership of a common market?  And if you do, why do you feel any confusion about the UK’s position?

 Best regards.   ROGER HELMER MEP


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20 Responses to Deutschland discombobulated

  1. Simon Blanchard says:

    What did come out from Theresa May’s speech is a Brand name for the new deal called Global Britain. There was a speech by Boris last December with the same name in the title. Viewing the text of May’s speech it is clear what they are calling this new trade deal.
    Maybe Manfred has a point if “Global Britain” is not leaving the EU at all, but is associate membership/Norway Option/EEA etc. Is T May telling a few Porky pies like every predecessor has done since Ted Heath?
    So has he let slip the truth or is he confused?

    • mike5262015 says:

      Well Simon, I think the new meaning for GB, being GLOBAL BRITAIN, is a big move in the right direction. Maggie May’s speech was in the main, unambiguous and much welcomed by me, but as a voter taken in by Heath, I am somewhat uneasy with all the old parties members right now.

      • Simon Blanchard says:

        Yes Global Britain sounds like a great direction. What is concerning to me is Maggie May has made her speech that sounds more UKIP than UKIP, which IMHO is designed to keep Brexiteer’s off guard and unprepared for what comes next, when later she delivers quite something else that Kenneth Clark, Clegg, Soubry and an army or Remainers would like. No mention of getting our fisheries back or leaving EU Military Union, quite the opposite.
        What May and Hammond are still doing is merging our military with the EU, in a move that is being compared by many as having the same significance as joining the €uro and political union. If we are leaving the EU why is our military going to be controlled by the EU who will follow EU foreign policy? All quiet on the Western front when you ask about this.

    • I’d like to believe that May genuinely intends to take us out of the EU (and the SM and CU). On “Global Britain” — I’ve been saying we want to re-establish ourselves as a “great global trading nation” for years. And check the web-site

      • terry Sullivan says:

        everyone who can should go to stoke

        if you cannot pls donate money–we really need to go flat out for this seat–it can be won–especially after todays sc decision

      • Simon Blanchard says:

        I’d like to believe in fairies too. The Tories are offering up something they know we want to have to throw us off guard, using assuring words in their announcements and on their website, so we give up and go home, but behind the scenes are fixing it for something that resembles what we have now. Half in/half out to half out/half in ie Associate membership of some sort that would only need a stroke of a pen to be a full on EU member again.

        I take the Article 50 farce as case in point. The Supreme Court have now upheld the High Court decision so now Article 50 cannot be invoked until Parliament is happy with any pre-negotiation position. They will decide what will be on the table and will insist any “deal” forged is agreed in parliament taking not 2 years, but many decades.

        Is there any sign at all that the government is withdrawing from from the EU?
        ie EU military union? No, quite the reverse, they’re digging us in deeper. This is on a par with joining the €uro and political union. Has any of this been debated in parliament? No. We the people have voted to leave the EU, yet on it goes. Next we’ll have French and German planes on the flight decks of our 2 new aircraft carriers, flanked by French frigates, operating EU drones with a mixed crew of EU military crew, under EU military command carrying out EU foreign policy.
        I can’t see the EU military defending our fishing waters we are allegedly getting back, or defending the Falklands, or any other UK over-seas territories.

        The Yanks are members of NATO, I don’t see them merging military forces with fellow NATO members. Cooperate yes, but merge? Not in a million years. If the Yanks even suspected their military was being controlled by foreign forces, no matter how friendly, there wouldn’t be a scaffold high enough for perpetrators responsible which includes their president.

  2. ian wragg says:

    The remainiacs desperately wany en EFTA/EEA type agreement. Then we aren’t actually out and have a springboard for re-entry.
    There was nothing vague about Mays speech. We are LEAVING the single market and customs union.

    • I do wonder where in the world all this euro-love suddenly sprang from. It didn’t exist on June 23rd. I know this because I was a Vote Leave activist. Some people wanted to leave but were voting Remain out of sheer terror. Some people felt that EU membership was worth the downsides, but absolutely NOBODY was remotely inclined to rally with placards saying “I love EU”

      Then in the early hours of 24th, they all realised that the EU was soul of their whole universe, even though none of them gave that much of a toss 24 hours before.

      We saw the same with Trump’s election, of course, when the opposition went from “Love Trumps Hate” to burning cars within 24 hours. Are we witnessing the advent of a new class of wiener?

      • Simon Blanchard says:

        Yes it’s George Soros and associates payed activists class. I do wonder if it’s true that Trump will make him an enemy of the State.

  3. I bet you don’t get an answer!

    What’s more, I bet he’s still the same thing the next time he talks about Brexit.

  4. Joseph Croft says:

    I have been posting this on facebook for ages as some people seem to think the single market is the be all and end all of trade , ________________________________________________________________________________ 35 countries trade with the EU , China , USA , Russia , Turkey , Japan , South Korea , India , Brazil , Vietnam , Canada , Taiwan , Malaysia, Saudi Arabia , Algeria , Mexico ,Thailand ,South
    .Africa , Singapore , Nigeria , Kazakhstan , Indonesia , Bangladesh , Hong Kong , Israel , Ukraine , Morocco , Iraq , Azerbaijan , Australia , Tunisia , United Arab Emirates , Chile , Argentina , Angola , Serbia . None are members and none have freedom of movement , so why cant we be the 36th , Fake” Brexit is a defeatist, unpatriotic counsel of despair. “Real Brexit” is a reassertion of faith in our nation

  5. Linda Hudson says:

    Plain as the nose on your face!

  6. Jeremy Wraith says:

    Letter to the Prime Minister and all those stupid people who say that we are courting economic disaster by “leaving” the “single market”.

    CONGRATULATIONS! You have done exactly the right thing by leaving the “Single Market”. The table below proves unequivocally that being in the EU is a colossal impediment to trading with the EU.
    The overhead cost of £185 billion/annum is a vast drag on our exporters to the EU and more importantly, to the rest of the world.
    Abolishing the free movement of people will also greatly reduce increasing costs and the overburdening of our services and infrastructure.
    However, we MUST leave the EU ASAP in order to take advantage of the vast benefits of leaving.
    Jeremy Wraith



    Rank % growth Exports/month in 2011 Cost of Being in EU
    in US $(1993) In US $bn(2011) in £ Billions (2014)

    1 Vietnam 544 0.4 0
    2 Qatar 496 0.3 0
    3 Ukraine 446 1.1 0
    4 China & Hong Kong 429 15.3 0
    5 United Arab Emirates 402 2.8 0
    6 Russia 377 7.8 0
    7 India 367 3.4 0
    8 Brazil 357 3.4 0
    9 Turkey* 295 6.2 0
    10 Nigeria 250 1.1 0
    11 Australia 243 2.6 0
    12 South Africa* 224 2.1 0
    13 Chile* 198 0.6 0
    14 Korea* 197 3.0 0
    15 Mexico* 176 2.1 0
    16 Morocco* 170 1.5 0
    17 Singapore 163 2.3 0
    18 New Zealand 147 0.3 0
    19 Canada 142 2.3 0
    20 Bangladesh 129 0.1 0
    21 Bahrain 129 0.1 0
    22 US 126 22.2 0
    23 Switzerland* 114 11.8 ?
    24 Saudi Arabia 114 2.3 0
    25 Norway* 114 2.7 ?
    26 Kenya 99 0.1 0
    27 Egypt* 96 1.1 0
    28 UK 81 23.9 185
    29 Israel* 51 1.5 0
    30 Japan 51 4.7 0
    31 Taiwan 50 1.5 0
    32 Iceland* 48 0.1 0
    33 Thailand 48 0.9 0
    34 Kuwait 21 0.3 0
    35 Indonesia 12 0.6 0

    Source: database Monthly Statistics of International Trade
    * Countries with trade agreements with the EU.
    The table above is taken from the report “Where’s the insider advantage”? by Michael Burrage, published by the think-tank Civitas, except for the fourth column which has been added by this author

    On 16 January 2017 at 03:02, Jeremy Wraith wrote:

    Dear Mrs May

    Please note the comments below. I trust you will take note of them and do all you can to get the UK out of the EU ASAP.

    Jeremy Wraith

  7. Jeremy Wraith says:

    sorry, the table did not come out correctly.

  8. KennieD says:

    This Weber chap is not confused or even ignorant. He is being deliberately obtuse and mischievous. He is therefore more aptly described as stupid and dangerous.

  9. Rowena Julian says:

    Brilliant letter, Roger Helmer.

    I hope it becomes one of those text pictures that go round on Twitter. Fast!

    Keep up the wonderful work. People I know are hard at it, doing what we can to ensure the full implementation of that superb independence vote.

    Rowena Julian


  10. terry Sullivan says:

    tajani is italian?

  11. DICKR says:

    I still don’t trust May, she’s still jumping to every command from Brussels , how many third world Immigrants ,showing freshly minted EUSSR passports will be waved through our borders , how much more diktat will be absorbed into English law, how many more billions of pounds will be poured into their pockets before we are free from this unelected marxist dictatorship.

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