Juncker: Britain Doesn’t Need the EU

“We need Britain. Personally I don’t think Britain needs the European Union.”

Nigel Farage is quick out of the trap, “I want to buy Juncker some champagne. I have always had a personal liking for Jean-Claude Juncker even though we have political differences.” 

POLL: Juncker’s office is claiming he is being misquoted and that he said “I do think Britain needs the European Union”. You decide!

More EU-Funded European Movement Links to “Stronger in Europe” Campaign

Yesterday we revealed that the holding company for the remainers’ campaign was set up by Laura Sandys, chair of the European Movement backed with the EU’s millions. Contradicting the emphatic claim made by Lucy Thomas, the remainers’ campaign spin chief:

Except here is the signature of the European Movement’s Laura Sandys on the incorporation application setting it up:

laura sandys We were also sent a curt denial statement:

“Britain Stronger in Europe does not receive funding from the EU, it’s nonsense to suggest that we do, and it reveals the truly desperate tactics of the Vote Leave campaign. We are registered with Companies House as ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’. We are not linked to the European Movement. Our registered address is St Bride’s House, Salisbury Square, London, EC4Y 8EH.”

They really need to get their story straight, here is the invitation to Monday’s “Stronger in Europe” launch from the youth wing of the European Movement (which gets €10,000-a-week from the EU).

The European Movement’s youth wing seems to think “Stronger in Europe” is their campaign. Possibly because in fact their boss set it up. Out of the mouths of babes…

Why Nothing About “Quitters”?

The media was briefed last night that Stuart Rose would call the Leave campaigners “quitters” five times in his speech – in the end he did not mention the word once.

Guido thinks he knows why they dropped the phrasing – it gave the true author of those words away too much – famously he’s “a fighter not a quitter”:

Maybe Stuart Rose didn’t fancy being the ventriloquist’s dummy?

Rose-Tinted: In Campaign Claim Each Person £480 Million-a-Year Better Off

BSE chief Stuart Rose seemed to be struggling with his notes at today’s campaign launch:

“Being in Britain saves every person around £480 million a year.”

Proof these Europhiles just make up their numbers as they go along…

Lawson v Mandy

“Time and time again I recall him saying that if Britain didn’t join the Euro this will be a disaster for this country. He’s now changed his mind. He now says if we left the European Union it would be a disaster for our country. Ladies and gentlemen, he was wrong then and he’s wrong now.”

Mandy’s face is a picture…

“In” Campaign Chief: Voters Should Do “Menial Jobs” Not “Complain” About Immigration

The ‘In’ campaign will be called Britain Stronger in Europe – which means it has the rather unfortunate acronym BSE. It is already being mocked as the Mad Cow campaign…

It’s choice of chairman is an own goal, too. M & S boss Stuart Rose has claimed that voters concerned by immigration just “complain about their lot”. The multi-millionaire businessman sayslife is tough for everybody” and told Britons to do “menial jobs” rather than protest immigration:

“If these people want to come here, and work the hours they are prepared to work for the wages they are prepared to work for, then so be it. It’s up to people to decide what they want to do. I think there are a lot of people who complain about their lot. Life is tough for everybody at times. I know people will look at me and say “It’s alright for you” but I started off with pretty well nothing, I did a lot of menial jobs when I was young. I didn’t worry about the status of the job, I was more worried about my self esteem and the fact I had a job. I would look myself in the mirror and say “I’ve earned a few bob”.”

That line of argument will not go down well with people wary of a “Bosses’ Europe”…

Rose has also been a staunch critic of the EU in the past, arguing: “Business faces ever more burdens from Brussels and the single market in Europe has not yet been fully realised”. He also says we’d be fine outside the EU: “I think it’s ridiculous to suggest that everybody is going to suddenly go offshore, I don’t believe that for one moment”. Rose’s name has regularly appeared at the bottom of Open Europe epistles attacking Cameron’s renegotiation as too weak. Now he says we should stay in at any cost…

Vote Leave, Take Control

The business-backed Vote Leave campaign has hit the media today. The messaging has been tested and aims to commiunicate that staying in the EU is not without risks and costs. The In campaign is going to try to re-run the Mark II version of the Scottish independence referendum’s “Project Fear”, it is a key objective of the Out campaign to counteract the scaremongering from the same people who said we would face economic disaster if we didn’t join the €uro. The In campaign will launch their pessimistic message of doom next week…

Vote Leave: Everything You Need to Know

The cross-party ‘Vote Leave‘ campaign launches tonight. Here is what you need to know.

Campaigns on board: Business for Britain, Conservatives for Britain and Labour Leave

Donors on board: Tory donor Peter Cruddas, Labour donor John Mills, UKIP donor Stuart Wheeler

Politicians on board: Steve Baker (Co-Chairman, Conservatives for Britain); Douglas Carswell (UKIP); Kate Hoey (Co-Chair, Labour Leave); Kelvin Hopkins (L); Bernard Jenkin (C); Owen Paterson (C); and Graham Stringer (L)

Vote Leave say they will focus on “technological and economic forces“, broken European institutions and the failure of politicians to win reform in Brussels. They will argue: “A vote to remain is the riskier option“. Their main arguments will be:

“Technological and economic forces are changing the world fast. EU institutions cannot cope. We have lost control of vital policies. This is damaging. We need a new relationship. What happens if we vote ‘leave’?

We should negotiate a new UK-EU deal based on free trade and friendly cooperation. We end the supremacy of EU law. We regain control. We stop sending £350 million every week to Brussels and instead spend it on our priorities, like the NHS and science research.

We regain our seats on international institutions like the World Trade Organisation so we are a more influential force for free trade and international cooperation.

A vote to ‘leave’ and a better, friendlier relationship with the EU is much safer than giving Brussels more power and money every year.”

There will be a salary cap of £99,000 for everyone working on the campaign “so those giving money to the campaign know that the money is going to the campaign – not to huge six figure salaries”. The SE1 based group says “This campaign cannot be won from a London headquarters.”

Leave.EU, Arron Banks’ rival ‘out’ campaign, say in a delightfully passive aggressive press release:

“LEAVE.EU and I’m sure all the current groups under our umbrella, The Bow Group, Bruges Group, Global Britain, Get Britain Out, The Democracy Movement, The Campaign for an Independent Britain and UKIP are extremely pleased to welcome Business4Britian to the ‘out’ side.”

Hopefully the two campaigns will now be able to put aside their differences and unite behind the cause, Guido says optimistically…

#CamsCon: New UKIP Attack Video

UKIP HQ have released a new attack video today to coincide with the launch of cameronscon.com, a site soliciting donations for UKIP’s referendum campaign.

Guido has seen higher production values…

Javid Mysteriously Misses EU Debate

More than 500 people queued around the corner for the hotly anticipated proxy EU referendum debate at Tory conference. To their disappointment, the star speaker, Sajid Javid, mysteriously pulled out just hours before the event, citing a “diary clash“. Javid had earlier finished his speech to the conference hall with the slogan: “Standing up to Brussels. Standing up for Business. Standing up for Britain.” He was instead replaced on the panel by the arch-Europhile bore David Lidington, who read out the government’s lines to take.

Sources close to Saj insist it was a “diary issue“. Though given it had been in his diary for three months, a cynic would think someone didn’t want a eurosceptic Cabinet minister addressing a room full of Outers and hacks at this so far very well-behaved conference…

Nicky Morgan: I Would Never Campaign to Leave EU

Optimistic Nicky Morgan is speaking at more fringe events than any other member of the Cabinet this week, kicking off last night with a panel hosted by the group Ambition. She has already effectively kneecapped her chances with the Tory grassroots by telling the HuffPo fringe she would never campaign to leave the EU, under any circumstances:

“I will want to be staying in, other people will want to put forward different views.

[Could you ever imagine yourself campaigning to leave?]

Personally not.”

That would appear to rule out her leadership ambitions…

One minister tells Guido: “I think she’s got no chance. Delusional”. A second minister who Guido text for his thoughts on Morgan’s chances replied simply: “Haha“. And a senior Tory backbencher says:

“I think it is premature and displays a lack of judgment with respect to timing. An unwelcome distraction from the conference.”

NiMo 2020 off to a good start then…

Leave.EU Warn: “This Can’t Be Won From SW1”

The Leave.EU campaign have just fired off a punchy press release having a pop at Lord Lawson and warning the referendum campaign “can’t be won from SW1”:

This may or may not be true, however at the bottom of the press release is the address of the Leave.EU headquarters:


Errr, guys, have you thought this line through?

UPDATE: Leave.EU tell Guido that “SW1 is a state of mind.” Hopefully the postman knows that…

YouGov Poll Puts Brexit in the Lead

YouGov for the Times shows 40% of voters are backing Brexit, ahead of those who want to remain in by 2 points:

timse yougov poll

It’s on…

Big Gas and Coal go to War over Carbon


A group of European gas giants are attempting to kneecap their coal rivals by lobbying for higher carbon emission taxes. Six energy companies with small coal investments have launched a massive lobbying operation in Brussels, led by the CEO of Italian gas behemouth Eni, Claudio Descalzi. In an extraordinary interview this week Descalzi explicitly called for the coal industry to be curtailed in order to allow the renewable and gas industry to flourish:

“We cannot continue to pay $73 billion per year in Europe to promote subsidies for renewables, and then open the door to big coal. It’s not consistent”

Coal emits around twice the CO2 that gas does. By pushing for higher carbon prices, the gas companies are willing to take higher taxes in order to push coal out of business. Gas CEOs might be advised to read up on the Pyrrhic War…

“The Know” Campaign Rebrands to “Leave.EU”

The unfortunately titled “The Know” campaign have sensibly decided to rebrand following the change to the EU referendum question. They will now be known as “Leave.EU”, with Arron Banks explaining: “The new campaign slogan better represents the question and fits with our strap line – Love Europe, Leave the EU”. Just one problem…


The press release tells readers to click through to the brand new “Leave.EU” website, which isn’t up yet. Sources on the campaign team promise the site will be up and working to be revealed at the Labour Party conference…


Red, Red, Whine: Greek MEP Moans About Half Hour Plonk Wait

MEPs on the Brussels gravy train have been treated to a revamped gourmet catering service. The new menu features delights such as ‘Chavignol crottin cheese with bacon, thyme and honey’ for a starter, followed by ‘Striploin limousin with roquefort sauce’ and then ‘Chocolate moelleux with salted butter’ for dessert.


Though not everyone is satisfied.

Greek MEP Eleni Theocharous fired off a lengthy complaint airing her grave concerns about the quality of service, copying in the entire MEP mailing list for good measure:

“I hope that the new provider will principally give priority to the food quality and to the service. What we need is good quality food, fresh and clean ingredients, no processed, conserved food. Speaking for the MEPs Restaurant, many times most of the buffets suggestions are harshly recognisable and sometimes with no taste at all. Gourmet kitchen is excellent but not at the expense of quality. Simpler is better… and healthier!”

Going on to moan about suffering an appalling thirty minute wait for a glass of vino:

“As for the service, most of the personnel is kind and they try their best, but especially at the MEPs Restaurant, the provider has to hire more people. We are people on the run all the time, we have little time to eat and many times we use this restaurant for professional reasons. We cannot wait for a glass of wine or a dish for 30 minutes…”

Lucky Greece doesn’t have any more pressing demands at the minute…

In Campaign in a Legal Pickle

in campaign site

The In Campaign are advertising for a Director of Compliance to help them fulfil their regulatory and legal obligations. By the looks of things whoever takes on the job will have their work cut out.

A quick browse through their new website reveals that they are collecting internet cookies but are not declaring that they are doing so. In breach of EU regulations.

They don’t disclose their registered company name anywhere on the site. A criminal offence.

And they don’t display a privacy policy, despite collecting names and addresses. A breach of the Information Commissioner’s Office’s guidelines.

It also appears that they haven’t registered a data controller with the Information commissioner. Another criminal offence. 

Perhaps they should have hired that compliance director before they launched?

EU Delete Damning Transparency Report From History

The EU has curiously removed from the internet a report on lobbying transparency that they themselves wrote. ‘Lobbying in the EU: the cost of a lack of transparency‘ was published this month and could be found on the EU’s website until two days ago. It has since mysteriously vanished…

In the briefing, the EU criticises itself for the way it handles lobbying, reporting a “lack of official (and reliable) estimates of the number of interest groups that lobby the EU institutions“, a “deficiency of reliable information on the typology of EU interest groups“, a “shortage of information on lobbying expenditure” and “conflicts of interest“. In the interests of transparency, the Guido has published the report in full below…

Covering up its own report on transparency? The opaque EU strikes again…

Corbyn Gives Cameron His Blank Cheque


Earlier in the week Corbyn would not commit to campaigning to remain in the EU, insisting “we can’t just give Cameron a blank cheque whatever he comes back with“. Speaking to Laura K on BBC News last night, he repeated the blank cheque line. This afternoon he has just emailed this to Labour MPs:

“Labour will be campaigning in the referendum for the UK to stay in the European Union… regardless of the outcome of the Government’s renegotiation.”

His first major u-turn. What will he sell out on next?

H/T Jack Blanchard

EU Blows €767,000 Telling Students to “Put on a Jumper”

Brussels has splurged €767,196 of taxpayers’ money funding a National Union of Students scheme promoting energy efficiency on campus. The NUS project offered such illuminating advice to students as “switch off lights and appliances“, “don’t overfill the kettle” and “put on a jumper or a nice jacket“.[…] Read the rest


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Quote of the Day

Jacob Rees-Mogg on Number 10’s customs partnership:

“It’s completely cretinous… it’s a betrayal of good sense, I cannot understand why government is faffing around with this system. I’m on the same side as Mr Barnier on this, god bless him.”


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