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 NI numbers appears to be dramatically higher than the numbers officially coming into the country. So, Portes fired off an FOI to HMRC asking how many new NI numbers issued to migrants are active.

HMRC are refusing to release the data, giving this extraordinary excuse:

“… following the General Election, there is an active negotiation process at an international level in which UK Ministers and officials are engaged to secure support from the European Commission and other Member States for changes in EU law governing EU migrants’ access to benefits in the UK, in line with the Government’s manifesto commitments. The information is being used to inform the development of policy options as part of the negotiation process and therefore relates to the formulation of Government policy. HMRC continues to believe that releasing information in the form requested would, at this stage, be unhelpful to the negotiation process.”

This is shocking on two levels, it is a candid, honest response from a government department and clearly denies voters the finding out the truth ahead of the referendum. HMRC has data on how many new migrants are active in the workforce, yet won’t release it because it would “be unhelpful to the negotiation process”. Releasing data on the true level of recent immigration is only “unhelpful” for the government because the numbers are embarrassingly terrible. Hundreds of thousands of EU immigrants have come from Romania and Bulgaria rather than the “few thousand” the government forecasted…

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 polls that indicated that the vote was neck and neck, putting extra pressure on Cameron to secure meangingful reform. Another favour Lord Ashcroft has kindly done for the PM then…

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 Leave on 50%. It’s all to play for…

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 […]

+ READ MORE +

Chatham House: Brexiteers Potless, Thick, Coffin Dodgers

CHATHAM HOUSE

Chatham House haven’t exactly dispelled the notion that the Remain campaign is lofty and metropolitan this morning. The establishment think tank’s new briefing on “What drives Euroscepticism” dismisses pro-Brexit voters as old, uneducated and poor:

“Our analysis of around 30,000

[…]

+ READ MORE +

EU Renegotiation Latest: “No Consensus”, “Substantial Political Differences” Remain

EU REFORM

This is European Council President Donald Tusk’s letter to member states about how Britain’s renegotiations are going:

I am writing to let you know where we stand on the issue of a UK in/out referendum before we address it at

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Listen: Leave.EU’s Official Anthem

Let the river run,
Let all the dreamers
Wake the nation.
Come, the New Jerusalem.

Silver cities rise,
The morning lights
The streets that meet them,
And sirens call them on
With a song.

Its asking for the taking.
Trembling,

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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