Boris: “I Am Not an Outer”

boris-st-george

Stories in two newspapers this morning suggest that two so-called Eurosceptics will not in the end campaign to leave the EU. The Express claims Boris held talks with Tory MPs about leading the Leave campaign but turned the role down. They quote him as saying: “The trouble is, I am not an outer”

Quentin Letts in the Mail describes how once prominent outer Philip Hammond has gone native in the FCO, a point Guido made in June:

“He used to be a prominent Eurosceptic (indeed, his scepticism was one of the reasons he was appointed). Now he is mid-restyle. Having sensed that his own political survival may be in peril unless he sucks up to 10 Downing Street, he is turning himself into a Europhile… The Hammond of old is quickly being replaced by a Hammond who gives Europe the benefit of the doubt, a Hammond who is striving to keep Britain IN the European Union, a Hammond who with a superior lifting of the eyebrows, a tone of settled worldliness, asserts that he finds EU-sceptic position options to be unappealing. ‘Doesn’t look like a good plan to me,’ he murmured yesterday, perhaps a mite too ostentatiously, after hearing someone mention Norway’s position outside the EU. Equating Britain to Norway is a worn Europhile tactic.”

Looking at Guido’s guide to Cabinet Eurosceptics, the only three who seem dead certs to campaign to Leave are IDS, Grayling and Theresa Villers. May, Gove and Saj are all on the fence, and Cameron’s new rules gagging ministers from making pronouncements on Europe until the renegotiation is complete mean that isn’t going to change any time soon. Where is the X-it Factor?

Carwyn Jones’ Brexit Scaremongering Busted

Carwyn Jones’ scaremongering about Brexit during last night’s debate included the claim that businesses would leave Wales if Britain left the EU. Citing the examples of Toyota and Airbus, the Welsh First Minister said: “They’re interested in a market of 500 million people… These are all companies that are in Wales because it’s a European base for them.” When Farage disputed this, Jones insisted: “Nigel, I speak to them, what do you do?” So, would Toyota and Airbus quit if Britain voted to leave?

This is today’s FT splash:

And this is a BBC headline from June:

More Remain campaign myths busted…

EU Debate Nigel Farage v Carwyn Jones

Cameron Gags EU Rebel Rebels

The PM has written to his ministers outlining a series of strict rules by which they will have to abide during the referendum. Eurosceptic ministers will be gagged from speaking out until the renegotiation is complete:

Once the renegotiation is complete, ministers will be allowed to back the Leave campaign but they will not be permitted to deviate from the government’s position on “all other EU or EU-related business”:

Outers are ordered not to air their views in Parliament. Oddly, Cameron suggests ministers wanting to Leave must have “long-standing and sincerely held views”.

The restrictions on SpAds say that Outers must advise their ministers “in their own time”:

Finally, Cameron orders his ministers to “treat each other with appropriate respect”:

This letter is going to go down like a cup of cold sick with Eurosceptic ministers…

BSE’s Cheeky Stitch Up Attempt Goes Wrong

The In campaign is already resorting to naughty tricks to get one over on the Outers. Guido has seen an email sent by the BSE press operation to members of Economists for Britain, a Eurosceptic group of economists. The scurrilous missive asks if they are “comfortable being associated” with the Vote Leave campaign, asking them to “get in touch” if not. It looks like a fishing expedition for a non-existent story about Vote Leave losing the support of economists.

From: Will Cousins 
Sent: 06 January 2016 
To: 
Subject: Economists for Britain

Dear Professor xxxxxx

My name is Will Cousins, and I work in the press office of Britain Stronger In Europe, the main cross-party organisation campaigning to keep Britain in the EU in the forthcoming referendum. I emailed you shortly before Christmas.

You are listed as a supporter of Economists for Britain, part of the Vote Leave campaign which wants Britain to come out of the EU.

I wondered if you were comfortable being associated with that campaign? Economists for Britain describes itself as giving “a voice to Britain’s economists who want to see fundamental changes made to the terms of our EU membership.” If it is your view that the EU requires fundamental change but that the answer is not for Britain to leave, do please get in touch.

Yours sincerely,

Will Cousins

Press Officer, Britain Stronger in Europe

Instead of the economists agreeing to give BSE ammunition, the email ended up in Guido’s inbox…

UPDATE: Vote Leave say:

“We are disappointed the BSE campaign have kicked off the new year with a dirty tricks campaign, rather than engaging in a positive debate.”

New Shadow Europe Minister’s Links to British Influence

Corbyn supposedly used the reshuffle to mould the Shadow Cabinet in his image by appointing a unilateralist as Shadow Defence Secretary, to go with his vegan Shadow farming minister and commie City spokesmanYet he also quashed once and for all any lingering chance that the PLP might be dictated to from the leader’s office on Europe.

New Shadow Europe minister Pat Glass is as Europhile as they come. She founded the pro-EU PLP group and works closely with the Labour Yes campaign. Glass is also chair of the APPG on the European Union, the secretariat of which is British Influence, the pro-EU lobbying group backed by Peter Mandelson, Danny Alexander and Ken Clarke. We know where Jez’s heart is on the matter, he voted to stay out of the European Community in 1975 and holds the traditional Bennite view that the EU is a bosses’ and bankers’ union. A view on which he has sold out completely…

At Last! PM Gives Ministers Referendum Free Vote

Cameron has shelved collective responsibility for the referendum, meaning ministers will be free to campaign for either side once he the renegotiations are completed. That frees up Saj, Priti, IDS, Grayling, Whitto and Villiers to campaign to Leave. Eyes on May now…

Star Wars Politics

STARWARS-SIE

Everyone seems to have a take on the politics of Star Wars, was it a Cold War allegory, with the Empire as the Soviet Union? Now that death star has been destroyed the Empire is being re-cast by some as the European Union – after all Princess Padmé Amidala (played by Natalie Portman) in Revenge of the Sith is engaged in a trade treaty dispute at the Galactic Parliament. Her people of Naboo, a small constitutional monarchy, could perhaps be the British, which makes Nick Clegg a political Jar Jar Binks.

James Delingpole makes some sound points about the Star Wars fight for freedom, Tyler Durden too over at Zero Hedge makes a case for Star Wars being an example of libertarian myth-making. The New Statesman’s Stephen Bush seems to accept that the heroes are counter-revolutionary freedom fighters against an oppressive galactic state. He even calls the Jedis “Tories”…

One thing is for sure, these are not the Jedis you are looking for:

corbynista-jedis

YouGov have asked the British public which Star Wars character political leaders identify with:

Clearly they think politicians are baddies…

Migration Data Suppressed as “Unhelpful to Renegotiation Process”

Migration wonk Jonathan Portes has been trying to get to the bottom of the disparity between official immigration statistics and the number of new National Insurance (NI) numbers issued. It is a crucial point because the rate of new active […]

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Largest EU Poll Puts Brexit Ahead By 9%

survation-poll

A new Lord Ashcroft poll has shown that 47% of of voters back Brexit versus 38% opting to stay, and 14% undecided. The new poll is the largest of its kind and comes just after this week’s Survation and ICM […]

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Leave Leads By 2 Points in 10,000 Person Survation Mega-Poll

Two more polls on the referendum today. Leave has a 2 point lead in this 10,000 person mega-poll from Survation:

Survation poll

While Remain is ahead by just one point with ICM:

ICM

When undecided voters aren’t included ICM has both Remain and […]

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More EU Sockpuppetry From IPPR

GDFS

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has today released a pro-European briefing outlining the minor renegotiations on Britain’s EU membership that it thinks would warrant staying in the EU. Titled “Unlocking the EU Free Movement Debate”, the document […]

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