Labour Select Arch-Remainer in Copeland

Labour have selected an arch-Remainer as their candidate in the Leave stronghold of Copeland. Gillian Troughton, who beat the Corbynista contender Rachel Holliday last night, campaigned strongly to Remain in the EU and publicly supports Gina Miller’s attempt to frustrate Article 50 through the courts. She has promoted social media posts calling for the referendum result to be “declared void”. The day after the referendum she wrote on Facebook that “Our children’s futures have been needlessly gambled and lost”.

Copeland voted 62% to Leave…

Corbyn said last night: “I am delighted that Gillian Troughton will be Labour’s candidate”. The feeling is not reciprocated. Troughton strongly supported Owen Smith in the Labour leadership election, writing in Facebook messages to friends that Smith was “easily the best candidate”, promoting tweets saying “it’s political madness to vote for Corbyn” and tweeting articles titled: “Corbyn’s past will destroy Labour’s future” and “Jeremy Corbyn literally makes no sense”. Bet he’s delighted indeed…

Welcome “Westmonster”

Arron Banks is backing a new “anti-establishment” news and comment website to be run by Nigel Farage’s former spinner Michael Heaver. Westmonster” will apparently be “modelled on the Drudge Report”, so expect plenty of external links aggregating Brexit/UKIP news stories. This is Heaver’s second attempt at an aggregator website. Certainly interesting to see if it takes off – Heaver can tap into the social media following from Banks’ Leave.EU so he will be starting with a very decent Facebook presence. The site is not to be confused with the Westmonster which launched in 2007 and went bust a year or so later.

Westmonster will enter the crowded ideological media space ocupied by the likes of Breitbart London and Conservative Woman, offering op-eds and hot takes starting with Farage today. There is a niche for alt-right style viral news and opinion, and as Breitbart have found it brings a lot of trash traffic. Tough to maintain credibility while chasing those sorts of clicks though. So what can readers expect? Links in the Westmonster ‘trending’ section this morning include “Brits want burka banned”, its first blog rails against “wall-to-wall bitching and whining from Remoaners”Guido wishes them well…

Gisela Stuart: Don’t Mention the War!

Wise advice from Boris’ former Vote Leave comrade…

Leaving the Protectionist Union’s 12,651 Barriers to World Trade

The EU’s Common External Tariff comprises 12,651 different taxes and quotas imposed on goods from the rest of the world. This is what the Customs Union amounts to, a protectionist barrier to free trade with the 162 countries outside the EU. Don’t fall for the hype that it reduces trade barriers.

Garlic has a 200% external tariff to protect French farmers, tariffs double the price of sugar cane imported by Tate & Lyle from outside Europe. The policy was designed by the EU to boost beet sugar producers in 19 EU countries – at the expense of companies like Tate & Lyle who use cane sugar instead. Some US jeans face a 26% tariff, shoes face 17% tariffs to protect Italian cobblers. Some agricultural products, e.g. beef and dairy, have very substantial tariff rates, 54 dairy products alone have tariff rates of more than 75%. Just a few examples out of thousands showing how British consumers’ best interests are sacrificed to protect European producers from global competition…

Regional deals tend to divert trade rather than create it. Although they do lower some barriers, most do nothing to tackle the highest tariffs and each deal tends to enshrine the preferences of its largest members, making it harder to bring regional blocks together within a cohesive set of globally liberalised rules. The EU’s Customs Union only liberalises internal trade within the EU. Free trade will allow us to import raw materials from outside the EU at lower cost and without the tariffs designed to prop up inefficient European industries and high cost agriculture. The single market is really an internal market for 10% of the world’s population, the global market is a much bigger opportunity to be seized…

Davis: Transition Could Take Years

Speaking on the Today programme, David Davis said he expects a free trade deal with Europe to be agreed in two years though warns the transitional period could take longer. How long?

DD: “At the end of two years we will have our deal. What may take longer is implementation… It won’t be a long time. It’ll be practical.”

JH: “What are we talking? A year? Five years?”

DD: “A year or two. The thing you’ve got to understand is those interim arrangements will be determined by what the final outcome will be. If the final outcome is very like where we are now, they won’t be very long. If they’re very different, they’ll be longer.”

JH: “So it could be five years?”

DD: “I doubt it.

Having lost the battle on the single market, the continuity Remain campaign will switch to trying to delay Brexit. Paul Nuttall said yesterday that the transition must be over by the 2020 election, Michael Gove has said it must take months rather than years, Gisela Stuart and Change Britain have said it must be swift and time limited. Now the phoney war on the single market and customs union is over, this is a key Brexit battleground…

Pound Soars 2% Against Dollar

The pound has soared 2% against the US dollar and is now moving towards its biggest intraday gain since October 2008. It is also rallying against the Euro, now 1.45% stronger against the single currency having been flat before the speech. Who was predicting that this morning?

May’s Brexit Plan – Speech in Full

A little over six months ago, the British people voted for change.

They voted to shape a brighter future for our country.

They voted to leave the European Union and embrace the world.

And they did so with their eyes open: accepting that the road ahead will be uncertain at times, but believing that it leads towards a brighter future for their children – and their grandchildren too.

And it is the job of this Government to deliver it. That means more than negotiating our new relationship with the EU. It means taking the opportunity of this great moment of national change to step back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be. Continue reading

May Speech Key Points

The main points from Theresa May’s speech. Brexit means…

  • OUT of the single market: “I want to be clear, what I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market”
  • OUT of the customs union in its current form: UK will either seek a new customs agreement or become an “associate member” of the customs union. UK must be able to seek new trade deals with the wider world.
  • End to contributions to EU budget: Gave herself leeway on making “an appropriate contribution” to parts of the EU budget, though made clear “the days of making vast contributions will end”.
  • Transition: There will be a “phased process of implementation” to “avoid a disruptive cliff edge”. No word on time limit.
  • Threat to EU: Makes clear she will walk away if Brussels seeks a punitive settlement: “no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal”. Repeats Hammond’s threat to make Britain the tax haven of Europe: “We would have the freedom to set competitive tax rates.”

Brexiters will be happy with that. Key battlegrounds now are what the new customs deal looks like and how long this “phased process of implementation” will take. Brexit really does mean Brexit…

Full text here.

Hammond Beats May To It: UK Out of Single Market

Philip Hammond informs parliament of the government’s announcement on the single market before Theresa May’s speech, telling Tory MP William Wragg at Treasury questions: “we will go forward understanding we cannot be members of the Single Market because of the political red lines around the four freedoms”. […] Read the rest

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New European: Leave Voters are “Lager Louts of Europe”

The New European newspaper has been a forum for Remain ultras to grieve – it is the Alastair Campbell / Eddie Izzard version of bonkers Scottish fake newspaper The National. This week it publishes an article by Cambridge University professor Nicholas Boyle branding all 17 million Leave voters “lager louts” and “ruffians”.[…] Read the rest

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Sion Simon Deletes Pro-Remain Statement From Website

Yesterday Guido reported on how arch-Europhile Sion Simon was impersonating a Brexiteer to win votes in the West Midlands mayoral election. Sion has been busy deleting pages from his website so he can keep up the charade. A statement he published back in June explaining his support for Remain has mysteriously vanished.[…] Read the rest

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John Woodcock’s Fake News

Labour MP John Woodcock tells his 26,000 Twitter followers this morning that “Brexit campaigners promised we would stay in” the single market:

This is just a lie. Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom from Vote Leave all said Brexit meant leaving the single market.[…] Read the rest

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IMF Revises Growth Forecast Upwards Again

The IMF has significantly upgraded its growth forecast for Britain in 2017: it now expects the UK economy to grow by 1.5% this year, up by 0.4 percentage points on its October estimate. It has recorded 2016 growth at 2%, up from 1.8%.[…] Read the rest

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Sion Simon Impersonating a Brexiteer

Judging by the campaign material above, you’d think Labour’s candidate for West Midlands mayor is a Brexit backer who wants to stick it to the Westminster elite. Vote Leave slogan? Tick. England flag? Tick. Platitude about how “Politicians in London have learnt nothing”?[…] Read the rest

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Hammond: No Deal and I’ll Make UK Tax Haven of Europe

Fighting talk from Phil Hammond, who tells German paper Die Welt he will make Britain the tax haven of Europe if the EU refuses to agree a reasonable Brexit deal:

“If we have no access to the European market, if we are closed off, if Britain were to leave the European Union without an agreement on market access, then we could suffer from economic damage at least in the short-term.

[…] Read the rest

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Benn’s Brexit Committee Bunfight

Hilary Benn’s Brexit select committee has descended into its first inevitable bunfight after it published a report demanding a significant transition arrangement before we fully leave the EU. As Guido reported yesterday, Remainers want to use a ‘transition’ lasting several years to buy time and prevent a real Brexit.[…] Read the rest

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David David responds when asked if he’s confident he can make a success of Brexit:

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