Gesture Politics

James Chapman, founder of the new anti-Brexit party “the Democrats”, is worried about lost marbles. Well, quite.

Remoaners Lose as Voters Strongly Back ‘Hard’ Brexit

Remoaners have lost their battle to derail Brexit as the public overwhelmingly backs a ‘hard’ exit from the EU. A major new study from the LSE and Oxford University shows even remain voters now generally reject the ‘soft’ Brexit policies advocated by the remoan lobby. The findings refute the often-repeated claim that Britain is deeply divided over Brexit: in reality, both leavers and remainers are broadly united behind a ‘hard’ Brexit on almost every major issue. The study, seen by BuzzFeed, shows:

  • 67% of people surveyed prefer the so-called “no deal” outcome to a ‘soft’ Brexit
  • 68% of people surveyed would choose a ‘hard’ Brexit over a ‘soft’ Brexit

Remain voters tend to support so-called ‘hard’ Brexit positions on most major negotiation points:

  • The majority of remain voters oppose the continuation of free movement. Instead, they tend to back ‘some’ or ‘full’ control over UK borders, even if that means lower EU immigration levels than now;
  • Remain voters do not want the UK to be subject to ‘all EU laws and all ECJ decisions’;
  • Remain voters tend to support paying a smaller rather than larger divorce bill to the EU, and would support paying no bill at all;
  • Remain voters do not support continuing massive payments to the EU;
  • Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru, and Lib Dem voters only marginally preferring a ‘soft’ Brexit to a ‘no deal’ outcome (by around 60/40).

Professor Sara Hobolt of the LSE said:

“Overall… there is on aggregate higher levels of support for outcomes that resemble the ‘hard Brexit’ position put forward by the government. Remain voters are willing to acknowledge that there are key negotiation outcomes – e.g. limits to freedom of movement – that they may not like, but that these outcomes still respect the referendum vote and are therefore legitimate. In other words, Remain voters concede that the features that lead them to prefer a particular negotiation outcome do not, in fact, respect the referendum.”

The study will be seen as a bodyblow to the metropolitan remoan class whose views are evidently not shared by the country as a whole. This exposes die-hard remainers as having the extreme position relative to the ordinary population. In all but 11 of 42 possible Brexit scenarios presented to the 3,293 participants, remain and leave voters were within five percentage points of one another. Conclusive proof that the public backs Brexit…

Rees-Mogg vs Chapman

James Chapman, the former pol-ed, turned SpAd turned lobbyist putting the potti into Bell Pottinger, claims that the Tories will never win an election again and that Cabinet ministers sympathise with setting up a new centre party, “the Democrats”Chappers sounding crackers

City Envoy Slams “Bewildering” Brussels

The City’s envoy to the EU has slammed the “bewildering” approach of Brussels to Brexit negotiations. In a dossier of dispatches seen by City AM, former LibDem Home Office minister and City of London Corporation special representative Jeremy Browne wrote:

“The inability of Brussels to comprehend British politics, or read the British character at the most elementary level, is bewildering… [there is] a recognition of the scale of the City of London, and acknowledgment that inflicting excessive harm on London would have negative consequences for the EU27 as well as for Britain”.

Browne said that EU efforts to pick on the City were motivated by:

“[a] supervisory and quasi-nationalistic desire to prevent business continuing as usual in London post-Brexit… they are affronted by the idea of London remaining brazenly unaffected.”

Tough…

Joly-Gone Maugham Deletes Centre Party Plan

Twitter’s most learned troll, the insufferably pompous Jolyon Maugham QC, has quietly deleted his widely-ridiculed plan for a new centrist political party from his website. Maugham jumped the shark back in April, posting his vision for ‘Spring The Party’ on his personal blog. Everyone in SW1 just laughed – not least because the plan read like satire:

“Step One: Jolyon announces to The Maidenhead Advertiser that he’s standing. It filters out to the National Press. The website goes up, with a short biog, a teaser, a ‘register’ button and a ‘donate’ button.

“Step Two: We announce the festival and some acts.

“Step Three: We begin to release policies. What next There is a lot to do. But. If you build it, they will come.”

Hours later, Maugham backed down, having taken counsel from “friends in the music and creative industries” who apparently said the party couldn’t be launched in the “available time”. Now the plan has disappeared altogether, only accessible via web archive the WaybackMachine:

Exhibit A, your honour, the archived copy of ‘Spring The Party’…

EU Mired in Summer of Food Safety Scandals

Europe’s egg contamination scandal is finally making headlines in Britain after a small batch tainted with a toxic insecticide reached the UK from the Netherlands. On the continent, the situation is worse. Millions of eggs have been withdrawn from sale in Germany, and around 180 Dutch farms have been shut down. The German government has called the scandal a “criminal case”; the Belgian government admitted it knew about the contamination in June but didn’t speak out. It is only the latest in a number of food safety scandals to hit the EU this summer…

Poland – Europe’s biggest poultry exporter – is in a salmonella crisis. By the end of July this year, 29 cases of salmonella from Polish chicken had been reported, compared to a total of 27 during the whole of 2016. Poland’s public health institute says 4,247 patients have been so far treated for salmonella contamination, the highest number for ten years. Calling for more EU regulation isn’t an answer: EU legislators are already stuck in administrative deadlock over the use of formaldehyde to prevent the disease spreading further. The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed has been considering the question for more than two years…

Meanwhile, the European Food Safety Authority was slammed in an independent report which found it is plagued by financial conflicts of interest. Close to half of the scientists on its expert panel have a financial relationship with one of the firms the EFSA regulates. A study by the Corporate Europe Observatory found: “46% of [EFSA] panel members have at least one financial conflict of interest with a regulated company.” Elected MEPs in the European Parliament have been telling the EFSA to address the problem for four years, but to no avail. What was all that about ‘chlorine chicken’?

Juncker’s Junkets: Commissioners Spent €500,000 on Travel in Two Months

The eye-watering travel bill racked up by unelected European Commissioners was finally made public today after campaigners waged a three year battle to access their expenses claims. The hard-won disclosure reveals the 28 Commissioners spent almost half a million Euro on visits during the first two months of 2016 alone (the only period for which documents have been released). A dossier of claims submitted by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker includes an astonishing €27,000 bill for a two-day trip to Rome on a private jet. A good wine list no doubt…

Juncker, based in Brussels, also claimed nearly €2000 for a one night trip to Berlin (a single ticket on a budget airline costs around €25 Euro). He even claimed for minor excursions despite his €324,377 (£275,275) salary: he was paid €48 in ‘daily allowances’ to attend a meeting in Germany with Martin Schulz. Wonder what that went on…

The data, which can be viewed thanks to a campaign led by Access Info Europe, shows the Commissioners enjoyed 261 official trips in January and Feburary 2016. Britain’s former Commissioner Jonathan Hill spent €422 on food and drink and €1017 on hotels during a two day trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Tax-payer funded extravagances included splurging on ‘air taxis’ – chartered planes – by foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, who spent €75,000 in a single trip to Azerbaijan. Christos Stylianides, the commissioner for humanitarian aid, claimed €11,000 for a trip to Somalia and Turkey. Makes a change from using planes owned by lobbyists…

Despite the embarrassing release, the Commission still has the brass neck to resist further disclosures covering the remainder of 2016, saying this would impose an “excessive administrative burden”. For three years the EU has tried to block transparency on Commissioners’ expenses at every turn. Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe, said:

“Giving 120 requesters only two months’ worth of expenses data is a token gesture…The real cost here is not the cost of processing data, but rather it’s the cost to the credibility of and trust in the European Commission when it refuses to publish basic information about the spending of taxpayers’ funds.”

Thankfully the British taxpayer will no longer be funding Juncker’s junkets…

BBC Silent on Arch-Remainer’s Background

The BBC had former Foreign Office mandarin Sir Simon Fraser on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour last night: his comment that Brexit negotiations have ‘not begun well’ is doing the rounds in the remainstream media this morning. While the programme was straight about Fraser’s background, the BBC News website’s front page write-up bills him as “a former head of the diplomatic service… who now advises businesses on Brexit”. This description is being widely lifted and copied by newspapers and the wires. No mention of the fact that Fraser openly campaigned for remain…

Fraser is such an arch-Europhile that it is laughable not to contextualise his views. He worked for Peter Mandleson as a Brussels trade Eurocrat, was seconded to the European Commission and was head of the FCO’s Europe unit. A week before the referendum vote he wrote a remain-backing piece for the Telegraph headlined: “Leaving the EU means retreating from the real world into a self-absorbed fantasy”. The BBC website, which enjoys huge news traffic, keeps doing this

Irish PM Proposes New Customs Union or “Deep Free Trade Agreement” With UK

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar proposes a new UK-EU customs union on the Turkish* model, and suggests as one alternative a “deep free trade agreement” instead of membership of the single market. He is sympathetic to a long transition period. It has been Guido’s view since the referendum that Ireland will be of necessity an advocate for a good deal between the UK and the EU. A punishing deal by the EU for the UK will hurt Ireland even more. Irish politicians are very transactional in their approach, they will want a deal that is in Ireland’s best interests. Ireland’s best interests are served by a prosperous neighbour with whom it trades freely.

The endless gloom from the remainstream media stems partly from the media’s frustration with the government’s understandable unwillingness to show its hand in negotiations. This will abate as negotiations proceed, as openly stated positions become more realistic and rational, as transitional arrangements are agreed and compromises are made. Pressure will increase from corporations in the EU which fear having their business models disrupted if there is a punishment deal. Ireland’s business and political elites are far from being the only ones in Europe with a vested interest in making a good deal. It will become blindingly obvious that the only people in favour of a punishment deal are swivel-eyed europhiles and those seeking to derail Brexit…

*Turkey has 18 other Free Trade Agreements and is negotiating at last count 13 more.

Gove’s U-Turn Smells Fishy

Michael Gove’s comment that EU boats will be able fish in UK waters after Brexit has gone down badly with leavers. Reports quoted Gove saying during a visit to Denmark:

“Danish fishermen will still be able to catch large amounts of fish in British waters, even if the British leave the EU… Britain has no fish cutters and production facilities enough to catch all the fish in British waters.” 

If you think that sounds like a fishy excuse, you’re not alone. The cry of “Tory betrayal” is ringing out, UKIP’s fisheries spokesman Mike Hookem says:

“It does not matter a damn that the British fishing industry may not currently have the capacity to process all the fish caught in British waters. This is nothing more than an excuse!”

Gove’s u-turn is particularly galling since he was suggesting the opposite as recently as two weeks ago. He said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show:

“When we leave the EU we’ll become an independent coastal state and that means we can then extend control over our waters to 200 miles.”

Guido is no fishing expert, why can’t we just leave the uncaught fish in the sea?

August Kicks Off With Brexit Good News Hat-Trick

August kicked off with yet another triple-whammy of good economic news for booming Brexit Britain. In the City this morning Moody’s lifted the ratings of several major British banks and building societies. CityAM reports:

“Santander and TSB banks and Nationwide, Coventry and Nottingham building societies have all had their deposit ratings from negative to stable, while the stable outlooks for three issuers – Close Brothers, West Bromwich Building Society and Yorkshire were maintained.”

Before the referendum, Moody’s warned that Brexit was likely to have a long-term negative impact on bank credit ratings. No need to be so moody after all…

Staying with the banking sector, Deutsche Bank yesterday signed a 25-year commitment to a new London headquarters. The bank has signed up for a minimum of 469,000 sq ft of office space and has taken an option allowing it to expand further at a later date. About 5,000 employees will move to the new office when work is completed in 2023. That’s the same Deutsche Bank that just last month stoked up remainstream media headlines with its warning that it would downsize its London operation. Actions speak louder than words…

Last but not least, British manufacturing continues to strengthen: the sector grew at a faster rate last month than EU countries including France, Spain and Ireland. British factories are on a hiring spree as they scramble to keep up with a booming global order book. The IHS Markit purchasing managers’ index rose to 55.1 in July, from 54.2 in June. Manufacturing number-crunchers said they saw a “significant boost” in activity. A cracking summer to be had in booming Brexit Britain

George Monbiot Fowls Up on Chlorine Chicken

Guardianista eco-warrior George Monbiot will be in a fowl mood today after he was caught out employing underhand statistical wizardry in an attempt to bash Brexit. Monbiot used his Guardian column to heavily hint that chlorinated chicken could be a factor behind poultry-borne infection rates which he claimed “four and five times higher in North America than in Europe“. He wrote:

“[The Adam Smith Institute] says that figures from the World Health Organisation reveal that salmonella and campylobacter infections there are “not out of line” with rates in the European Union. I checked the source: the WHO study the Adam Smith Institute cited. While the incidence of campylobacter is similar, it shows that the burdens of infection per head of population from the two species of salmonella it analyses – Salmonella typhi and Salmonella paratyphi – are, respectively, four times and five times higher in North America than in Europe. I cannot state that this is caused by chlorinated chicken, as the WHO doesn’t provide such detail. But I can state that the Adam Smith Institute’s claim is false.”

The problem with Monbiot’s wizardry it is nonsense. As the ASI comprehensively demonstrates:

“When you compare developed Western Europe, where we use the farm-to-fork approach, to developed North America, where they mostly chlorine wash at the end, the rates of the two types of salmonella seem higher in the US. But what Monbiot doesn’t report are the actual numbers. Salmonella Paratyphi A and Salmonella Typhi infections are so rare in both subregions that the difference Monbiot highlights is trivial in the context of total infections, which the WHO weights according to the disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost to them. The figures are 0.1 and 0.4 DALYs per 100,000 in North America versus 0.02 and 0.09 in Western Europe, respectively. But even those average estimates are misleading: the 95% confidence intervals on those numbers all touch zero, and include the rates of the opposite countries. That is: the stats are statistically insignificant from each other. When you drill down to two such specific sub-figures, relying on imperfect sources, you can’t draw a clear result. It’s like rolling two dice three times and arguing the one with the higher number is loaded: you haven’t got enough data to make that conclusion.”

Monbiot tried to hold out on Twitter, rudely dismissing those who politely pointed out he was wrong:

These rather unfortunate tweets have been deleted and he has now belatedly admitted his mistake:

You can’t just wing it on chlorine chicken, George…

Amazon, Mini, EasyJet in Brexit Good News Hat-Trick

A hat-trick of #DespiteBrexit good news today, as three major employers strengthen their commitment to Brexit Britain. EasyJet has announced its largest ever intake of new cabin crew, recruiting an enormous 1,200 extra staff. More than half of that number will be based at London Gatwick. EasyJet became notorious for its sky-high levels of Remain rhetoric before the EU referendum; chief executive Carolyn McCall said Brexit “would not be good at all” for the airline. Good for those extra staff, though…

From the skies to the roads: BMW have announced that the new electric model of the iconic Mini will be manufactured in the UK, not in Germany. The car will be built at the firm’s Cowley plant, near Oxford. Business Secretary Greg Clark said the move was a sign that the UK is now “the go-to place in the world for the next generation of vehicles“. BMW were involved in a letter from car industry executives ‘leaked’ to the Guardian which claimed:

“For BMW Group, more than half of Minis built and virtually all the engines and components made in the UK are exported to the EU, with over 150,000 new cars and many hundreds of thousands of parts imported from Europe each year. Tariff barriers would mean higher costs and higher prices and we cannot assume that the UK would be granted free trade with Europe from outside the EU.”

But now BMW is building its new Mini in Britain…

Amazon, meanwhile, is undertaking a massive expansion of its UK headquarters. The online retailing giant says it will take up the entire 15 floors of a newly constructed building near the City. The firm had planned to only occupy 11; now 450 new staff will work there. Doug Gurr of Amazon UK said:

“The U.K. is a fantastic place to find talent and we feel good about building a global R&D center here. We’re very confident we’ll be able to recruit everyone we need.”

In a staggeringly self-contradictory sentence, Bloomberg reports:

“Amazon is expanding its space in the new building, which features a roof garden and surrounded by new cafes and restaurants, amid nervousness in the property market created by uncertainty over the nature of the U.K.’s divorce from the EU.”

Three more reasons to believe in Brexit Britain…

City Confident as Hiring Rates Rocket

City employers’ confidence is high as hiring rates rocket and more roles are available than this time last year. The Robert Walters City Job Index finds the number of Square Mile jobs rose 17% in June compared to the same month in 2016. Chris Hickey, Robert Walters’ chief executive for UK, Middle East and Africa, said:

“It is extremely encouraging to see that the number of roles has risen following the election, as has the number of jobseeking professionals, suggesting an increase in confidence among both candidates and employers.”

The news comes in stark contrast to the ‘brexodus’ from the City widely predicted by remain campaigners; the survey went unreported in the remain press. Funny that…

Green Brexit Means End to MadCAP Waste

Britain’s ‘Green Brexit’ will set the “global gold standard” in environmental policy and protections, Michael Gove pledges today. The Environment Secretary this morning addresses green group WWF, where he will tell his audience:

“Leaving the European Union means leaving the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), leaving the Common Fisheries Policy, taking back control of environmental policy… Indeed, outside the European Union there is scope for Britain not just to set the very highest standards in marine conservation, but to be a global leader in environmental policy across the board…”

Gove will refer to himself as an environmentalist as he outlines the UK’s freedom from the CAP, meaning post-Brexit subsidies can be restricted only to those who meet rigorous standards determined by Britain not Brussels. The CAP, under which the EU allocated funding based on the size of landholdings, led to staggering examples of waste. Last year BBC News revealed £400,000 of taxpayers’ money was being dished out to the Newmarket farm of billionaire Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah al Saud. The prince’s farm is used for breeding racehorses. The CAP also meant nearly £800,000 in taxpayer subsidies being granted to the Mormons. It encouraged a pratice called ‘slipper farming’: farmers simply bought up vast tracts of land to get the subsidies attached to it. Britain’s freedom from this madCAP scheme will make Europe’s farmers green with envy…

Ed’s Balls on Single Market

Ed Balls claimed on last night’s This Week that “many people on the Leave campaign were saying they wanted to stay in the single market“. He was then unable to name one (because there weren’t any). As Nigel said in response: “every single leading player, all the way through the referendum, could not have been clearer, a vote for Brexit was a vote to leave the single market.Still the hardcore Remainers perpetuate this myth…

Aldi Creates 4,000 New Jobs #DespiteBrexit

After the referendum Remain soothsayers predicted disaster for Aldi. The FT reported:

Aldi and Lidl face threat from weak pound – Aldi and Lidl face having their advance against the Big Four supermarkets checked… A fall in sterling will push prices up for everyone who sources products from Europe, but Aldi and Lidl will be affected more than most

How’d that one work out? Aldi today announced it will create 4,000 new jobs after a “surge in sales”. Aldi also said it remains on course to open 300 new stores, taking its presence from 700 to 1,000 shops by 2022. CEO Matthew Barnes emphasised the business’s growth prospects:

“We need more high-performing individuals to help us achieve our growth plans.”

The Remain dinner party class should pop down to Aldi…

Beeb Hypes Up Gloomy Ex-Sainsbury’s Remain Campaigner

Tonight BBC Panorama will investigate ‘Britain’s Food & Farming: The Brexit Effect’.The publicity clip and an article on the BBC News website this morning both lead with the the gloomy prediction of ex-Sainsbury’s boss – and ardent Remain campaigner – Justin King, who says:

“[Shoppers will face] higher prices, less choice and poorer quality. Brexit, almost in whatever version it is, will introduce barriers. That makes it less efficient which means all three of those benefits – prices, quality and choice – go backwards.”

Yet British supermarkets won’t put their name to King’s analysis. The big four and other major retailers declined to speak to Panorama – the Beeb couldn’t get any of them to join in the doom-mongering. Opposing arguments have been given little play in the trail. King’s comments also seem at odds with the much more nuanced views of the current Sainsbury’s CEO. Mike Coupe said in March:

“I don’t think Brexit negotiations will change trends we are seeing in customer shopping habits. The basic premise of the business is to adapt to the changing world.”

Remember King represented the Remain campaign on the BBC Great Debate’s supplementary panel. And now his personal, quite outspoken opinion is a headline on the BBC News website…

Rees-Mogg: “In Is In, Out Is Out”

“You are either in the European Union or you leave it. This is not only my view, this is the view of Donald Tusk, one of the Presidents of the European Union, who said: “there is no such thing as hard and soft Brexit, there is being in the European Union or out.” If we are out of the European Union, we cannot have our laws by the European Court of Justice, we cannot have all our regulations set by being in the internal market and we can’t lose all our trading opportunities by being in the customs union. And this was clear at the election. I brought a quotation in case this came up, from Wolfgang Schäuble, a very senior German politician. He let the cat out of the bag after the referendum because he said he’d been asked to say this by one George Osborne, the then Chancellor. And he said: “If the majority in Britain opt for Brexit that would be a decision against the single market”. In is in, out is out. We knew what we were voting for, we voted and democracy must deliver.”

The Mogg gets it…

Juncker: European Parliament is “Ridiculous”

Guido could have told Jean-Claude that years ago…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Jeremy Corbyn on Big Ben Bong Ban

“… if we have to miss Big Ben in reality for a while so that work can be done, well, that’s something we have to go through. It’s not a national disaster or catastrophe.”

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