Posts Tagged 'Brexit'

I admit it. I got it wrong about UKIP

It is time to hold my hands up.  It seems I got it wrong about UKIP.

Thanks to the example of an excellent manager I had early in my career, in the work place I’ve always encouraged those who work for me or with me to readily admit when they have got something wrong, correct it, and take from the experience anything that can be learned to apply in the future.  I’m doing that right now.

Yesterday I gave credit to UKIP for embracing the reality of what Brexit from the EU will entail.  Janice Atkinson, speaking in Brighton a day earlier, made clear that extracting ourselves from the EU will take years and would have to follow Article 50 of the EU treaty being invoked to force a negotiation.

The elements of her remarks carried by the Guardian were sensible and measured.  There was no talk of the UK just up and leaving the EU without putting in place a negotiated settlement that covers access to the single market and trade agreements that have been put in place by the EU on behalf of all member states.

Yet just hours later, we see this article that was published on the UKIP website.

UKIP MEP candidate for the south east Janice Atkinson today put out a statement rebutting stories in two Labour-supporting newspapers which claimed she believed it would take years for Britain to leave the EU and that jobs could be at risk.

Mrs Atkinson said: “Of course it is possible for Britain to leave the EU very quickly by repealing the 1972 European Communities Act and effectively declaring independence.

Media outlets hostile to UKIP are clearly seeking to sow the seeds of discontent on this one.

But in the ebb and flow of a live question and answer session, I did not give as clear an explanation as I might have done.

So has she changed her mind, or has she had it changed for her?  Either way, I was wrong.  I let down my guard and I was taken in.

UKIP has not dumped the dangerous delusion of just up and leaving the EU and kidding itself that in matters of trade there will be no consequence – also known as the Gerard Batten, Tim Congdon, line.  Janice Atkinson herself makes this clear…

Trade between Britain and other EU countries is safeguarded by our membership of the EEA and by the WTO.

There is also the important fact that Britain runs a substantial trade deficit with the rest of the EU – i.e. they sell much more to us than we do to them. The idea of Germany wanting to provoke a trade war that will hamper its biggest export market is quite frankly ridiculous. So British jobs are not in danger.

Time for a reality check here.  If the UK just ups and leaves, without following the Article 50 route, which Batten has once again argued in a magazine article is a ‘trap’ and without a negotiated settlement, trade between the UK and EU will be impacted and jobs would be at risk.  We would cease to be members of the EEA and would not be protected in the way some ‘kippers keep suggesting by the WTO.

It is completely and utterly irrelevant that EU countries sell more to us than we do to them.  Without following the rules regarding exit from the EU and without having access to the single market agreed, the UK will become a ‘third country’ to the EU.  Yes, the WTO rules would apply – but those rules mean that as a third country the UK would have imposed on any exports to the EU the same tariff rates that apply to all other third countries that trade with the EU.  If any third country has tariffs imposed on them, the UK would have them imposed too by default.  Anything else would be a breach of international trade rules.

As an example, the 10% tariff on cars entering the EU for sale would then apply to cars made in the UK for the European market, affecting our export competitiveness.  Jobs could be lost.  The UK would likely retaliate and impose tariffs on EU goods coming to us.  Any tariff we impose on an item would then have to be imposed for similar goods from all other countries with which we trade, affecting the cost of imported goods to UK citizens.  UKIP’s favourite example, Germany, may not like it, but those are the rules and they would not be changed, certainly not in anything like a short time frame.

The WTO does not safeguard free trade for former members of a customs union with the remaining members, it just permits discrimination within a customs union that makes tariff-free trade between its members possible.  As such the WTO does nothing to help the UK if we exit the EU without Article 50 and an agreement on trade. No ifs, no buts, no maybes.  That is how it works.  UKIP’s claim otherwise is just wrong.

Therefore the ‘immediate exit’ approach is nothing less than a scorched earth policy.  This fact alone, when explained to voters, would be sufficient to bury UKIP at the polls, given the British people have expressed their desire to retain free trade with the other EU member states and businesses would likely lose market share with costs driven up.  Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

Why do we have this ludicrous state of affairs?  The reason is UKIP has a serious, perhaps existential problem.  The party is comprised of factions.  To keep the peace Nigel Farage has not grasped control of the policy and the message.  Yes, he has an iron grip on the mechanics of his party, but in trying to be all things to all men, keeping everyone under the same umbrella and preventing a party split, the factions have been allowed to establish and push their own messages and de facto policies for a long time.  Now Farage is trying to put together a message, the factions are not for turning.

That is why we have the Batten line in Freedom Today completely contradicting Farage’s recently adopted line from the UKIP party conference on Article 50.  That is why we have Janice Atkinson walking back her comments from Brighton and pushing the delusional scorched earth approach, just so as not to piss off a minority yet in party terms heavyweight faction that Farage won’t take on.  Party intrigues affecting principled policy.  This is the core reason why party politics is not the route to successfully leaving the EU.

So there you have it.  UKIP has no defined policy, its senior members are at odds on what approach needs to be taken to achieve Brexit, the leader is hamstrung into inaction in case he creates an argument that splits the party, and the media is handed a large cudgel with which to bash the party repeatedly for its incoherence, contradictions and incompetence.

Yesterday I gave UKIP a bit of credit.  I wanted to encourage what appeared to be some realism and common sense.  But after that they showed loud and clearly why my doing so was folly.  I was wrong.  Mea culpa.

Giving UKIP a little bit of credit

Catching the eye yesterday was a Guardian piece telling readers that UKIP accepts that an EU exit could take several years.

Ukip will have to negotiate a withdrawal from the European Union over many years and the party still has to work out the details of how it would secure such an exit, a leading Ukip MEP candidate in May’s European elections has conceded.

Janice Atkinson, who is number two on the party’s candidate list in the South East England constituency, admitted it would be impossible just to walk away from the EU.

Naturally the Guardian takes advantage of the absence of hard policy to give UKIP something of a whack, but also underlines its EUphile stupidity by referring to ‘Article 51’ when reporting Atkinson’s explanation that our way out of the union is by invoking Article 50 of the EU treaty. It does not seem to be an error on Atkinson’s part as there is no (sic) included in the text to indicate the error was on the part of the person whose words were being reported.

It is something of a relief to see a high profile UKIP figure making such a comment.  Of course it doesn’t tell the whole story, because this does not fully borrow from some painstaking research to explain how Brexit could be achieved within the two year period following Article 50 being invoked and what needs to happen in the years that follow.

Nevertheless the direction of travel here is welcome to see.  It is certainly a substantial departure from the dangerous approach pushed by a hard core minority in the party that the UK can simply up and leave on a whim, after which everything will somehow right itself as the fallout settles, because the Germans will still want to sell us cars. That kind of politicial illiteracy destroys any credibility the EUsceptic side builds up.

While welcoming this small step, it is worth noting UKIP is still a long way behind the curve in bringing these issues to the fore on the platform it has.  The party has never replaced the depth of knowledge or expertise in understanding the processes of Brexit and the risks of exiting in the wrong way, that it had with Richard North on the team.

Lifting and using external work might seem like a simple way to address the party’s deficiency in dedicated and exclusive research and understanding it used to have, but there is far more to it all than that being copied off the web.   The often complex reasoning behind the approaches advanced is lost without party spokesmen being educated to speak with authority on the subject – thus being able to rebut accurately and defeat the FUD thrown by the EUphile side.

So while this is a step forward, it is only a very small one.

The Carswell conversion gathers pace

At this rate Douglas Carswell, Europlastic extraordinare, will soon be fighting for the UK to remain in the EU, such is the pace of his efforts to toady up to Cameron and the Tory leadership.

A piece in the Telegraph reports on a study by Capital Economics (commissioned by Geert Wilders) into the likely impacts of the Netherlands leaving the EU.  It concluded that the Netherlands would be better off out of the EU, explaining:

Over that 21 year period, the benefits of Nexit to Dutch national income would have accumulated to between €1,100 (£913bn) billion and €1,500 billion (£1.3 trillion) in today’s prices.

This is equivalent to between €7,100 (5,893) and €9,800 (£8,134) per household each year. But even if the Netherlands is unable to negotiate a status akin to Switzerland’s, the economy would be better off out of the union than in.

Naturally the Telegraph scampered off to the prestigious Carswell for comment, and he didn’t disappoint Conservative HQ with his contribution (emphasis mine):

This report is significant because it has been produced by a credible City research group. It cannot be easily dismissed.

It shows we are no longer alone. It is not just us Brits who have come to realise that European integration is fundamentally flawed. We’re very like the Dutch, a small country that has prospered by trading globally. Think what countries like ours could be in a different type of Europe.

‘In’ a different type of Europe?  That’s not the same as leaving the EU, it sounds more like Cameron’s Deludophile ‘reform’ agenda at work.

It seems that when it comes to the EU, the Carswell residence is playing host to a huge exhibition of the hokey cokey.  One minute he wants out, then he wants in.  It’s amazing how the prospect of being outside Cameron’s wigwam of trust can focus the mind on career and electoral prospects.

But then, Carswell is a politician and the political class across Europe wants a piece of the EU action to service their own interests, regardless of what the voters think.

While 55% of Dutch voters surveyed say they would vote to leave the EU if the stated benefits could be achieved, the Dutch finance minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, immediately dismissed the idea as ‘very unwise’.  It seems he will soon be able to count Douglas Carswell as a kindred, pro-EU spirit.

The delusion of some UKIPpers undermines their party

Boredom is a terrible thing.  It can lead to doing things one shouldn’t do, such as scanning through the letters page of the Telegraph.

For it is there we find a UKIP Euro election candidate talking unmitigated rubbish (no, really) about trade after a UK exit from the EU.  The claim made is an old canard that seemingly remains a sacred truth among some ‘Kippers, despite it being debunked in several locations over many months.

Should the media choose to put its microscope over this particular claim about free trade under WTO rules, Janice Atkinson will crumble under it just like her leader crumbled under a little cross examination by Andrew Neil.

If a British exit would result in a free trade agreement within days with the EU under WTO rules, how is it that the US and EU are so far unable to cement a free trade agreement?  How come China and the EU are unable to sign a free trade agreement?  How come a free trade agreement with Canada took around five years to complete?

Why is it Janice Atkinson thinks the UK is solely capable of establishing a free trade agreement with the EU in a matter days after a Brexit, when every other country in the world requires years of painstaking negotiation, internal lobbying by industry and special interests, disagreements over the terms and reference backs, to establish such a deal?

Perhaps Ms Atkinson is banking her hopes on a two-year negotiation with the EU initiated under Article 50, which will primarily focus on governance, having satisfactorily concluded everything that needs to be addressed from a trade perspective?  But then, she doesn’t refer to Article 50, so who knows what her vivid imagination visualises a Brexit will look like and how it will take place.

It is ludicrous assertions like that by Atkinson that have anyone who has ever been involved in any kind of business or trade deal, shaking their heads in disbelief at the sheer ignorance and wanton stupidity of her position.

Only on Planet Atkinson, an entity fuelled by the self deception and immature delusion that denotes UKIP, could a trade deal of such complexity and intricacy between the UK and a bloc of 27 other countries with varying interests and demands – across a wide range of industries and sectors – be concluded more quickly than a transfer negotiation between two football clubs for a Premier League footballer.

Cameron’s trivial sideshow must not distract us from the real issue

The Daily Mail reports that, ‘millions of pounds in child benefit paid to families living outside the UK will be axed under David Cameron’s plan to claw back powers from Brussels.

Cameron has insisted that it was wrong that the British taxpayer is giving cash to 40,000 children who live elsewhere in the European Union, and went on to reveal that stopping migrant workers in the UK from claiming child benefit for their offspring back home would be a ‘key demand’ of his plans to renegotiate a fresh deal with the EU before staging an in-out referendum by 2017.

This of course underlines the vacuous nature of the supposed renegotiation.  The whole thing is a complete sham.  If the detail above is a key demand, we can see that the essential issue of ‘Who should run Britain?‘ will remain a no-go area.  There is to be no change, the UK will remain firmly under the control of Brussels and parliament will remain a hollow, rubber stamping shell of its former self.

The separation of the political from the economic is the only way to ensure people see the real issue that has to be addressed – yet which the political class is determined to keep off the table.

There are various economic settlements that can be negotiated to mutual EU-British benefit to ensure concerns about access to the single market are mitigated in the event of a Brexit, but political control of the UK is a binary condition… either the British have self determination, or we are ruled by a foreign entity.  That is the only issue and we must not allow it to be kept off limits by focus being diverted to trivial sideshows such as Cameron’s pledge today.

This is a little more encouraging, but only a little

In all my criticisms of Nigel Farage and UKIP, I have always made clear that I would prefer to be praising them for pushing the right agenda.  So it’s nice to be able to say that Farage’s op-ed in the Telegraph this evening represents something of an improvement for the UKIP leader.  It’s far from perfect, but it is better than much of what we have seen in recent months.

The major and worrying problem is that Farage is still riding his immigration hobby horse and trying to suggest that leaving the EU is the antidote to this country’s migration issues.  This is disingenuous and risky for EUsceptic credibility because, as has been explained at a superficial level on this blog but in greater detail on EU Referendum, leaving the EU will not resolve our immigration problems.

No one is proposing leaving the Council of Europe (which includes a much wider range of countries that are not in the EU),  and we are still party to conventions and standards of the International Labour Organisation (contrary to the understanding of the UK’s Attorney General).  UK involvement in both of these means even after a Brexit we will still be bound to observing certain conditions on immigration.  This is another example of the global governance agenda that makes the EU little more than ‘Little Europe‘ – a proxy for handing down regulations and directives that the UK has had no opportunity to shape at the global top table where they originate.

Further, because it would be political suicide to attempt to sell to the British people the idea that the UK should not be part of the Single Market now or after Brexit, we would almost certainly have to maintain Single Market access through membership of the EEA – perhaps via EFTA – which would mean we would still be bound by the ‘four freedoms’, which include the freedom of movement and freedom of establishment.  As Richard has explained, this means the UK would be required to permit Bulgarian and Romanian workers to take up residence here in any case.  Farage is only outfoxing himself by not understanding this and shaping his policy accordingly.

But at least Farage has dared once again to reference leaving the EU.  He has at least aligned that imperative with the fact that as EU members we are effectively powerless and cannot change rules that cause this country harm or our people frustration.  He needs to go further in stressing the core issue as being about ‘Who should run Britain‘ and he needs to get off the immigration bandwagon because under scrutiny people will discover his ‘solution’ is nothing of the sort.  It’s a lot more complicated than simply leaving Brussels behind.

Farage’s time would be better spent countering the EuroFUD on economics and dragging the debate and argument to where it should be, on governance.  The whole Brexit issue is about one thing – sovereignty.

The whole EUsceptic side needs to rally around that issue, own it, hammer home the reality continuously to expose and deconstruct the lies of the CBI, Open Europe ad the other proxies for the EUphile side, and make ‘Who should run Britain‘ the defining issue of the campaign.  The current immigration focus may be convenient for Farage to score some easy hits, but it will damage UKIP eventually and that represents a huge risk to the EUsceptic cause; because as Farage clearly has no comprehension of our true situation, it follows that he can have no credible solution either.

Cameron channels his inner Clinton with ‘I feel your pain’ moment. But nothing will change

David Cameron, no doubt a huge fan of of former US President Bill Clinton, has said in response to public unease about the possibility of a large number of Romanians and Bulgarians coming to the UK without restriction from 1st January, ‘I share those concerns’.

Great!  That should do it.  Thanks Dave.

OK, in fairness, there’s more.  Cameron is attempting to construct a legend for himself by giving the impression he is going to reform the EU.  But for Cameron to achieve what he claims he wants, that ‘reform’ would necessitate tearing out the very foundations of the European project, by changing one of the Four Freedoms that underpin the march to ever closer union – namely the freedom of movement of EU citizens within the bloc.

As Richard explains over on EU Referendum, an article in the press today sets Cameron, a committed EUphile, at odds with the central tenets of the EU:

That piece is headed, “Free movement within Europe needs to be less free”, with David Cameron colliding head-on with the most fundamental of all the EU treaty provisions, one that goes right back to the 1957 Treaty of Rome.

With the Mail telling us that Mr Cameron “will today unveil sweeping new restrictions on access to benefits for EU migrants”, we learn that he “will insist that he shares the public’s ‘concerns’ about a renewed wave of migration from Europe”, declaring that “the founding EU principle of ‘free movement’ for workers has gone too far”.

Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall, he writes in the Financial Times, Britain has championed the case for bringing nations which languished behind the Iron Curtain into Nato and the EU.  That is important to their prosperity and security – and ours.

Britain, he says, has also been one of the strongest supporters of a single market. It is in our interests for that it should grow, and for our citizens to have the opportunity to work in other European countries, he adds.

But, he now says, “things have gone wrong”. Since 2004, we have witnessed the biggest migration in Europe outside wartime. In Britain’s case, one million people from central and eastern Europe are now living here.

There is much more in a similar vein that Richard extracts and shares.  But then this leads us to an issue I raised recently where the EU is being blamed for inaction on the part of the UK government.

Where Cameron says he is, “changing the rules so that no one can come to this country and expect to get out of work benefits immediately; we will not pay them for the first three months”, he is only seeking to apply rules that the UK could have applied a long time ago.  Continuing with his theme, Cameron says that:

If after three months an EU national needs benefits”, he adds, “we will no longer pay these indefinitely. They will only be able to claim for a maximum of six months unless they can prove they have a genuine prospect of employment.

But again, this is what other EU member states already do.  Cameron is still constrained by EU law.  Brussels is not going to be the least bit concerned about the UK doing what, for example the Netherlands, already does.  Even where Cameron talks about testing benefit claims by migrants, it has always been the case that if EU nationals are incapable of supporting themselves in another member state, they can be returned home.  The UK has failed to apply such sanctions, something that UKIP has consistently ignored thus missing another open goal for attacking the failings at a UK level of both Labour and the Conservatives.

So there is nothing new under the sun when Cameron says that if people are not here to work, if they are begging or sleeping rough, they will be removed. They will then be barred from re-entry for 12 months, unless they can prove they have a proper reason to be here, such as a job. Those are the existing rules the UK could have long since applied, but failed to.

We have to get through all this nonsense and verbiage before we finally see Cameron get to the heart of this issue, which he has sought to bury as deep as possible in the detail, when he points out what EU Referendum has long explained and this blog has tried to reinforce – that all this is what we can legally do within the limits of the treaties Labour signed up to.

So after a trip around the houses, Cameron brings us back to his ‘reform’ agenda for the EU and that now is the time, he says, for a new settlement which recognises that free movement is a central principle of the EU, but it cannot be a completely unqualified one.

Having pointed out that other countries already see free movement as a qualified right, as the interior ministers from Austria, Germany and the Netherlands have said this to the European Commission, Cameron is actually showing us the EU has not changed its fundamental freedom and that his demands for reform come a long way behind those of other countries.  Quite how the EU can ‘return the concept of free movement to a more sensible basis’ when that freedom was always intended to be absolute and never existed on a more sensible basis, is curious.  But then, this is Cameron and he only has a passing acquaintance with reality.

Clinton felt the pain of an AIDS campaigner and Cameron is sharing the concerns of ordinary people who are paying the price for politicians giving away this country’s independence.  But ultimately nothing changed for the AIDS campaigner and nothing will change for the British people.  Not, that is, unless the UK asserts independence and frees itself from the political construct that has cost us so much for comparatively little benefit.

The EU calls the shots and its bureaucrats will continue to have their own way.  Some countries are frustrated and their people angry.  But that is cancelled out by other countries being delighted at the largesse lavished on them in return for joining the club and extended the control the EU enjoys.

The only solution is for the UK to leave.  But that is something Cameron will never do.  He is the classic empty vessel.  As for his promise to remove jobless EU migrants, we’ve heard it all before

BREXIT: We were wrong

When Richard North submitted an EU Referendum blog crowdsourced entry to the IEA’s competition for writing a Blueprint for Britain outside the EU (Brexit) – covering the process of withdrawal from the EU and the post-exit repositioning of the UK in the global trading and governance systems – neither of us thought the judges would shortlist such a radical submission, which counters and corrects a number of long held yet badly considered assertions and assumptions about the subject.

We have been proved wrong. The entry has been included on a shortlist of 20 from 149 submissions received by the IEA from around the world.

Credibility is everything in blogging. In an effort to maintain that credibility, I want to be seen as big enough to admit that I was wrong.  Very well done to Richard and everyone who contributed to the submission.  Your efforts have seen to it that a well researched and groundbreaking submission that will correct so many misconceptions, will be aired before a substantial audience.

Congratulations!

As with this initial entry, Richard would welcome any help: advice, ideas or direct assistance, and in particular he would appreciate views on how we deal with costing out the options we might present.  These can either go on the EU Referendum forum, on The Boiling Frog’s comments page, on the AM BREXIT page, or you can e-mail Richard via the blog, with your observations.

Farage on Brexit: ‘The only mechanism by which we can withdraw is Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty’

It is noteworthy that when it comes to discussion about how the UK should go about leaving the EU in a legal and structured manner that , the only place where the mechanism was properly considered and investigated was by Richard North on the EU Referendum blog with support in the Telegraph and Daily Mail from Christopher Booker.  The conclusion was that the UK must invoke Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon.

After many discussions with Richard and reviewing the information about the process, it became clear Richard was right and the legal exit process was clear and defined, even if it is only the start of a long and complex process.  It is the only provision that guarantees and requires the EU to discuss with a member state withdrawal from the union and negotiate what relationship that member state will have with the EU after exit – thus ensuring the UK can protect its economic and commercial interests, particularly with regard to trade.  Hence this blog began to advocate the Article 50 route in addition to a number of other blogs that had weighed in with support and additional analysis to advance the case.

So it has been frustrating thereafter to see a number of vocal Eurosceptics arguing that Article 50 is a ‘trap’ and arguing behind the scenes – only occasionally breaking cover on forums – that the mechanism for exit should be a simple repeal of the European Communities Act (ECA).  Overnight, via this scorched earth approach, the UK would be independent in so much as all treaties that bind us into adhering to EU law would fall.

However, it would also mean the UK would have no trade agreement with the EU – or any country or bloc with whom trade agreements have been made by the EU on the UK’s behalf – and no customs arrangements enabling our goods to enter the customs union.  ‘Ha, it doesn’t matter.  They sell more to us than we do to them, so a trade agreement would be in place within 24 hours,’ runs the argument of the scorched earthers, pretending the complexities of international trade and product standards with a bloc representing 27 other countries can be sorted out in a day.  In fact, Lord Digby Jones, the former Labour trade minister in the House of Lords, made this very argument at the UKIP conference the other day, demonstrating a capacity for delusion and level of ignorance that is truly breathtaking and disturbing in equal measure.

North’s hard work and detailed argument was however of interest to many Eurosceptics and UKIP members.  Ploughing a lonely furrow for a long time, EU Referendum (with minor assistance from Autonomous Mind) continued to explain the merits and protections of the Article 50 route to raise awareness among those who wanted to answer that longstanding question about Brexit – how it could be done. It was therefore extremely gratifying to see at Farage’s Q&A session at the UKIP conference that the first two questions raised by UKIP members concerned the ‘how‘ and focused on Article 50.

It was a measure of North’s success in bringing the mechanism issue to the forefront of the Brexit agenda, when even UKIP’s leadership was refusing to define the approach it endorsed and was planning for.  In answer to the question, Nigel Farage finally came off the fence and told the UKIP audience (as you can see in the first five minutes of the video below):


“The only mechanism by which we can withdraw is Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.”

Farage did explain he is not comfortable with it because the Lisbon Treaty was not put to the British people, and applied a caveat that if the EU messed the UK around he would make a Unilateral Declaration of Independence, but he accepts it as the only appropriate and legal mechanism for starting Brexit.  This is a huge step forward.

We now have clarity about the mechanism and the approach UKIP accepts must be taken, contradicting the scorched earth approach pushed by UKIP MEP Gerard Batten and UKIP’s economic adviser and former leadership hopeful, Tim Congdon.  An important part of the battle has been won.  The persistence of one blogger, supported by some other blogs and a continuously growing number of Eurosceptics convinced by arguments for Article 50, has brought us to this point.  Richard deserves recognition and huge thanks for this.

The next step is for UKIP to start work on understanding what issues need to be negotiated and establishing the position the UK needs to take to get what it wants out of the negotiation.  It needs to engage people who understand what needs to be negotiated to ensure the UK is not adversely affected by withdrawal and formulate the approach to follow.  This has two benefits

  1. UKIP can genuinely declare to voters that it has a plan for leaving that does not harm UK interests
  2. UKIP can assure the business community that after exit, companies will not lose access to their European markets or ability to hire skilled employees from Europe

Only a high level explanation needs to be given, to give people confidence that there is a detailed plan behind the summary that covers the areas that concern people.  Polls have shown consistently that the greatest fear people have of Brexit are negative economic impacts.  The Europhiles have played on this remorselessly with spin, conjecture and outright lies to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt.  But if UKIP steps up, this FUD can be countered and more people will be reassured to vote to leave the EU should a referendum take place.

The comments made in a few moments from a stage in London might just now trigger a fightback by the Eurosceptic side, one that is backed with truth and evidence that destroys the arguments of the Europhiles.  This could be a seminal moment in the Brexit campaign.  It is now up to UKIP to use its platform to push this up the agenda for the benefit of the whole Eurosceptic side.-

Perhaps, just maybe, hope has been restored.  We have to wait and see if this Damascene conversion by Farage becomes more than words.=/

EU FUD Watch: Speaking truth to propagandists

Update: The comment thread over on EUobserver (linked below) has seen a couple of Euroweenies trying to hold their fatuous line, but they are having their arguments systematically broken. This is what happens when people challenge ludicrous EUphile claims with facts from the real world.  They have no answer.


EUobserver describes itself as, ‘The trusted source of EU related news and information. Editorially independent, open-minded and balanced news about the European Union.’

In other words it is a propaganda organ of the EU, publishing stories with that service the EU view of itself and the world.  As usual, the party line is followed to the letter today by EUobserver‘s resident Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) spreader, Benjamin Fox, who gleefully tells readers:

Japan has become the latest economic power to urge the UK not to leave the EU, warning that the move could put over 100,000 jobs on the line.

The warning comes as the UK government prepares to publish the first batch of audits on EU policy making this week as part of its ‘balance of competences’ review.

This is a story that Richard has already covered on EU Referendum.  The fact is the EU and the single market are different things.  The EU is political, the single market is economic.  We can leave the EU and still remain part of the single market, so none of the FUD about jobs being on the line or our export markets being closed to us is justified.

Given its readership, it is worth the effort to correct the record in the story’s comments section, in other words speaking inconvenient truth to the propagandists.   Being uncertain of EUobserver’s treatment of voices that challenge the party line, it remains to be seen if the comment will be permitted to stay online.  But just in case it doesn’t, a screenshot of it is shown below:


The media is determined to ignore the truth and deny a platform to those who want the British people to know and understand that leaving the EU does not mean we cannot still be part of the single market, membership of which is extremely important to UK businesses that export to other single market members and import goods we want to buy from within the single market.

Leaving the European Union is about extracting this country from political control by the bureaucrats in Brussels.  Nothing more.  There is a mechanism for it that enables us to negotiate an agreement to remain part of the single market.

An independent Britain will have the opportunity to take a seat at the ‘top table’ where rules and regulations are made at the global level – before they are handed down to the EU to implement throughout its member states.  An independent Britain can strike its own trade deals that suit British interests, rather than accept compromise deals borne of the muddled and contradictory interests of 28 competing EU member states.  This is the reality the politicians don’t want the British people to know or understand.

So spread the word loudly, far and wide.  There is a beneficial alternative to the status quo.  There can be a brighter future and a new world of opportunities for this country – and the enabler is leaving the EU.


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