Leave message: Lord Owen bashes TTIP and the failing Euro.
Remain message: The Fujitsu chairman calls UK the centre of the EU.
Cut through: Rebel Tory MPs backing an anti-TTIP amendment to the Queen’s Speech.
Odds: Remain 2/7 Leave 7/2
Latest poll: Remain 44%, Leave 40% (YouGov, online). Poll of Polls is now Remain 53%, Leave 47%.
Yesterday’s Ipsos-Mori poll effect on financial markets:
David Owen has launched a surprise attack on Obama’s planned pre-referendum visit, warning “as emotions mount in our referendum debate it would be better for the President to respect diplomatic courtesies and democratic conventions”. Quite.
“Mr President, before you tell us how to vote, please recognise that some of us are determined, if and when outside the EU, to further expand our trade from EU markets, as we are doing already, but much faster to the rest of the world, achieve greater economic growth and improve our productivity. We intend to restore cuts in our worldwide presence and return to blue water diplomacy. With savings from the pretence of EU ‘common defence’ we intend to focus the UK’s defence effort on ‘hard’ defence within NATO. We are convinced we must learn from the mistakes our politicians and senior military figures made in the aftermath of the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.”
The zeal of the convert…
The SDP founder says in a statement he is backing Vote Leave:
“To remain in the EU is in my judgement a more dangerous option for British security in its deepest sense – economic, political, military and social – than is being admitted or even discussed in the wake of Cameron’s failed negotiations…
This UK referendum is, like all previous referendums, a once-in-a-generation opportunity. There are many positive aspects to leaving the EU. We will make our own laws again in our own parliament. We will rediscover the skills of blue-water diplomacy and rise to the challenge of global markets. It could be the spark we need to re-energise our nation.
The pre-eminent need will be to become more productive and competitive, something driven by investing in research and training and through welcoming immigration from people from different countries who can contribute most to our economy and to our quality of life. These are changes that have a cost attached to them but they are necessary in or out of the EU. They have been largely ducked by political leaders in all parties in recent years. They cannot be ducked any longer if we decide to leave. That in a nutshell is the case for leaving: a challenge and an opportunity.”
Also handy for Vote Leave in terms of the designation stakes…
Younger readers will not know that “Guilty Men” was a book written by Michael Foot, Frank Owen and Peter Howard, published in 1940, attacking the leading establishment figures of the day for their appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. As denunciations go it is the classic and an equal to Émile Zola’s J’accuse. Peter Oborne and Francis Weaver have entitled their new pamphlet to be published by the CPS tomorrow “Guilty Men“ in a conscious echo of that great score settler. It is a coruscating attack on those who would have entangled Britain in the disastrous euro.
Their premise is that “Very rarely in political history has any faction or movement enjoyed such a complete and crushing victory as the Conservative Eurosceptics. The field is theirs. They were not merely right about the single currency, the greatest economic issue of our age — they were right for the right reasons.” This is not a mere opus of a gloat, they name and shame the establishment figures who shamelessly exaggerated, lied and eulogised on behalf the euro and the European Project and have yet to apologise for the disaster they would have wrought. The institutions who are guilty include the CBI, BBC and of course the Financial Times. The guilty men include the shameless pundits who smeared their opponents, for example David Aaronovitch, who compared David Owen to Oswald Moseley and Enoch Powell because the founder of the SDP had become sceptical of the wisdom of the euro currency. Andrew Rawnsley, Chris Patten, Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, Michael Heseltine, Ken Clarke, Charles Kennedy, Danny Alexander and from business Niall FitzGerald, Adair Turner and David Simon figure among the guilty men. It is instructive and amusing to remind ourselves of the hysterical claims and wild accusations made by these europhiles. Though this isn’t referred to in the text, it occurs to Guido that many of the same guilty men are currently making the same kind of hysterical claims about global warming.
Oborne has employed his usual panache in delivering the charges. It is well worth reading if you enjoy the thought of europhiles squirming guiltily.