Nick v Nigel

Clegg has decided to martyr himself for the European cause, challenging Farage to a debate on the EU on LBC this morning. Ironic that the LibDems are actually showing some principle for once and are only going to be punished for it…

It’s a win win for Farage, but will also help Nick’s differentiation strategy. If the event is high-profile enough, it could also help Downing Street’s goal of a one on one debate with Miliband at some point… 

UPDATE: UKIP have responded. Farage is not agreeing to a debate yet…

Marr: Boy George and Barroso

Dobbs Bemoans Lack of Whip Action Over EU Bill

As Lord Dobbs prepares for the launch of Season Two of House of Cards on Friday, Guido can report a Machiavellian plot worthy of his characters. The progress of the EU Referendum Bill came to a grinding halt when the Lords voted against it. The vote turnout was a surprisingly low 310 out of a potential 800, on a subject that really brings old Tory lords to life. Some 90 Tory Lords were missing during the vote. Dobbs led in the Lords for the Tories and has privately voiced his dismay to friends at the lack of effort put in by the Tory whips in the Lords. Cynical old hands suspect that it suits Dave only to be seen to be pushing for a referendum bill with opponents voting it down.

It highlights to the public that it is the Tories and not UKIP which can bring about a referendum and unites Tory MPs under one banner in an endless war. You might say that actually passing the Bill would mean the PM would be closer to actually having to do something about the EU. Guido couldn’t possibly comment.

Quote of the Day

EU Commission vice president Viviane Reding speaking in London:

“The most powerful parliament in Europe is the European Parliament. Seventy per cent of laws in this country are co-decided there. There will be no repatriation of EU powers.”

The War of Jenkin's Dear

The Times Diary is tipping Andrew Lansley for our next EU Commissioner, with Andrew Mitchell still owed a favour, however Guido hears another name is in the frame for the job. Staunch Tory Eurosceptic Bernard Jenkins’s reputation took a big hit after he mistakenly claimed 95 Tory MPs had signed a letter to the PM demanding powers be clawed back from Europe only for the letter not to arrive and dozens of the alleged signatories deny they had even put their names to it. Now revenge is in the air. Bernard Jenkins has been heard to openly opine on Cameron’s lack of female ministers and the “unconscious slights to women”. The joke doing the rounds is that Jenkin’s wife Anne, the Tory Baroness Jenkin of Kennington, could be made a government minister. Or better still replace Cathy Ashton…

US Assistant Secretary of State: "F**k the EU"

According to Kyiv Post, this is a leaked recording of US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt and US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland discussing a plan for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to help sort out the situation in the country:

Assistant Secretary of State Nuland: “That would be great I think to help glue this thing and have the UN help glue it and, you know, f**k the EU.”

Ambassador Pyatt: “Exactly.”

Always good to hear our transatlantic allies share our values…

Wharton Bill Dead

Labour and LibDem peers have voted 180-130 to adjourn the Wharton bill, effectively rendering the attempt to secure a referendum dead. So no law requiring a referendum in 2017, unless the Tories decided to invoke the Parliament Act. Incidentally, the Euro elections are in 111 days…

UPDATE:

Yet More EU Waste

The European Commission’s Anti-Fraud Division looks like a fun place to work…

Lords Kill EU Referendum Bill

Wrecking amendment after wrecking amendment laid down in the Lords today, with George “Fatty” Foulkes trying every trick in the book to stop the public from getting a say on Europe. The Tories are accusing Labour and the LibDems of organising an unofficial whipped vote against the Bill, with Bill Cash now saying it is dead. Tellingly, in a barely literate press release, Foulkes says of the filibuster amendments that he himself tabled:

“most amendments do not represtent Lord Foulkes’ [sic] opinions/wishes.”

The Tories blocking Lords reform doesn’t seem so clever now…

The ‘People’s Peer’ Who Doesn’t Want the People to Have a Say

Crossbencher Lord Hannay has been doing his best Peter Mandelson impression in the EU referendum debate this morning, moaning that the current question “isn’t on a level playing field”. For some reason this leading negotiator in Britain’s membership application of the then EEC, not to mention our Ambassador to the EU, doesn’t want to give the people a say on Europe. He has his name down on eight wrecking amendments trying to scupper the bill. Which is particularly ironic given he is a so-called ‘People’s Peer’, having applied for the grandly-titled role himself back in 2001…

WATCH: Taking the Fear Out of Brexit

A teaser for David Campbell Bannerman’s documentary investigating the myths surrounding Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

Farage is Prime Time Greek Hero

Greece has taken over the EU presidency and Nigel Farage welcomed it in style. His speech attacking the Greek political classes got shown on prime time news in Greece. With hundreds of thousands of views the YouTube of his speech telling Greece’s Prime Minister Antonis Samaras that his country is now under foreign control “run by Big Business, Big Banks and Big Bureaucrats” has gone viral in Greece…

Osborne Europe Speech Wordle

Click to enlarge.

“We can’t go on like this…”

SKETCH: EU Referendum Bill It’s in the Lords: Will it Ever Come Out?

The debate was good enough to shift obdurate, entrenched and virulent opinion (I speak for myself).

In the end the summary seems to be: good idea, bad bill/bad idea, bad bill.

In the blue corner, the democrats who say that it is the settled will of the British people that there be a referendum (Lords Owen, King et alia). In the red corner, the lofty lefties who think the people should act in their higher interests by doing what they’re told.

In the middle, peers who may be for or against a referendum but who prefer to wallow the filthy politics of it. For them it’s a partisan Bill, it’s designed to get Cameron out of a hole, it’s pandering, it’s probably the result of global warming.

Lord Liddle (Lab, obviously) got a great shout of laughter when he described the deep divisions in the Conservative party on Europe and claimed, “Labour does not have these visceral internal divisions to manage.”

Noble Lords: Oh!

“Oh!” may need translating. I leave that to Commentators, below.

Continue reading

Lords EU Referendum Debate Running Order

Main business

European Union (Referendum) Bill – Second Reading – Lord Dobbs

Speakers:

L Dobbs

L Liddle

L Strathclyde

B Falkner of Margravine

L Hannay of Chiswick

L Crickhowell

L Radice

L Roper

L Kakkar

L MacGregor of Pulham Market

L Mandelson

L Taverne

L Howell of Guildford

L Turnbull

L Garel-Jones

L Grocott

L Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

L Owen

L King of Bridgwater

L Kinnock

L Shipley

M Lothian

L Willoughby de Broke

L Finkelstein

B Quin

L Bichard

L Vinson

L Monks

L Tugendhat

B Liddell of Coatdyke

L Hennessy of Nympsfield

L Wakeham

L Anderson of Swansea

L Crisp

B Oppenheim-Barnes

L Giddens

L Wigley

L Balfe

L Foulkes of Cumnock

B Suttie

B Hooper

L Whitty

L Jay of Ewelme

L Inglewood

L Tomlinson

L Armstrong of Ilminster

B Browning

L Harrison

L Stoddart of Swindon

L Spicer

B Goudie

L Watson of Richmond

L Cormack

L Davies of Stamford

L Bowness

L Lea of Crondall

L Selsdon

L Grenfell

L Kerr of Kinlochard

E Dundee

L Berkeley

L Thomas of Swynnerton

L Howe of Aberavon

B Farrington of Ribbleton

L Teverson

L Lawson of Blaby

L Triesman

B Warsi

L Dobbs

The Empire Strikes Back Un-Elected Euro-Loon Scaremongers About ‘Future’

Eurocrat-ess Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, has lashed out at David Cameron:

“I am mostly frustrated about the political leaders [in Britain], because what is leadership if you just try with populist movements and populist speech to gain votes. You are destroying the future of your people.”

Those ‘political leaders’ are also elected and accountable to the public unlike you, Ms Reding.

Via The Times.

IMF Contemplating Mass Expropriation in €-Zone

IMF-exproriation

Christine Lagarde the French chief of the IMF narrowly escaped being charged recently. Her candidacy’s main cheerleader for the IMF was George Osborne, Guido had his doubts at the time. The IMF is searching for a solution for debt laden European states to stop the €uro collapsing. Stop spending more than you tax is considered naive – how will the ruling elites get re-elected if they stop bribing the electorate with their own children’s money? Option 6 in the IMF’s discussion paper on the subject is brutally straight-forward. The final act of financial repression is to steal from everyone who has savings with a 10% wealth tax.

You have been warned now – just like Cypriot political insiders were – don’t keep any capital in €urozone banks. The IMF argues that the element of surprise is essential for the success of a capital levy…

"A Labour Government Would Not Have a Referendum"

Former Labour spinner and one time librarian John McTernan has let the cat out of the bag speaking about Europe on the Daily Politics.

JM: I think a referendum is ridiculous.

DP: People want it…

JM: I don’t care if people want it. People want lots of things…

DP: Do you think it will actually happen?

JM: No I don’t, no. I think that a Labour government would not have a referendum.

Guido would wager that McTernan is channelling, accidentally or otherwise, Miliband’s exact thinking there.

That Tory Opposition to Lords Reform in Full

Guido cannot help but notice the irony of the very same Tory MPs who voted against Lords reform now complaining that peers should not be allowed to derail the EU referendum bill because they are unelected and unaccountable. Not only has the Tories destroying Lords reform resulted in the death of the boundary review, severely hindering their chances in 2015, but it also damages their chances of actually getting an EU referendum as well. Slow clap.

I Call EU App

Taking a policy straight out of The Thick of It, the European Commission is offering €800,000 in prizes to whoever can design the best smartphone app. Students, geeks, Romanians and Bulgarians are invited to take part in the competition, with €400,000 going to the finalists and winners of each of the two categories: Smart Cities and Smart Business & Industry.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Former public schoolboy Chuka Umunna told the  ‘Exit From Brexit Dinner’…

“Remainians, Remoaners, I don’t care what the label is, I’m proud. It’s fashionable to label everyone in this room as the liberal metropolitan elite . . . This caricature is promoted by a bunch of former public schoolboys!” 

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