Boris: Rise Up and Turn TV Off Next Time Blair is On

BoJo adds for good measure that Blair’s speech was “insulting the intelligence of the electorate” and points out he would have taken Britain into the Euro and “dragooned” us into the Iraq War. The Labour and Tory leaderships are united in condemning Blair’s speech…

Labour Condemn Blair’s “Contempt For Democracy”

Following Tony Blair’s speech, a senior Labour source tells Guido:

“No wonder we are still trying to recover from Tony Blair’s legacy when he has such contempt for democracy. What he doesn’t seem to realise is people voted Leave precisely because they felt let down by 13 years of Davos leftism he’s still trying to flog.”

Would Labour be any better off under a democracy-rejecting Blairite Remainer than they are under Corbyn? 

Remain Campaign Deputy Director Slaps Down Blair

Tony Blair’s call for Remainers to resist Brexit has been slapped down by one of the leading figures in the Remain campaign. Lucy Thomas, who was deputy director of Britain Stronger in Europe, delivers this reality check to her old colleagues:

A split among BSE alumni between the delusional Open Britain / Roland Rudd fundamentalists and members of the reality-based community like Lucy…

Number 10 Considering Article 50 Migrant Cut Off Date

Theresa May has been clear she wants to guarantee the rights of EU citizens currently living in Britain to stay, so long as Britons abroad are given the same guarantees. The question being considered by Number 10 is the date at which this right to remain ends. Three possible dates have been looked at as a cut off point after which EU migrants’ rights are no longer guaranteed: the date of the referendum, the triggering of Article 50 and the date of exit itself. Each of these options has its difficulties.

Awarding the right to remain to new EU migrants up until the date of exit would likely lead to a surge of new EU immigration over the coming months. Thousands of Romanians and Bulgarians rushing into Britain while they still can is not going to go down well with voters. It would be gold dust for UKIP. Next week’s immigration statistics will focus minds in Downing Street.

What about using the date of the referendum? Removing the right to remain from EU citizens before we have formally begun the departure process has obvious legal difficulties. If the government backdated the right to remain to 23 June 2016, Remainers and various EU partners would kick up a fuss and there could be consequences for Britons abroad. This option is probably popular if tricky.

Some prominent Leavers like Gisela Stuart have suggested using the triggering of Article 50 as the cut off date. This has the advantage of preventing a surge, as well as being more reasonable for EU countries. It is an option being considered by Number 10. They know that the longer they leave it, the less likely it is Theresa May will be able to ease the public’s fears on immigration before the election…

Save the (Tax Free) Link

Ju­lia Reda, the Ger­man Pi­rate Party MEP, is the most vo­cal op­po­nent to the EU’s pro­posed neigh­bour­ing right: “neigh­bour­ing rights al­ways have a broader scope than copy­right, be­cause they don’t have a thresh­old of orig­i­nal­ity. Whereas sin­gle words or very short sen­tences can­not be pro­tected by copy­right, they would fall within the scope of the neigh­bour­ing right.” She adds that “the pro­posed new right would make links to news ar­ti­cles sub­ject to a fee, even if only the head­line is re­peated in the link. That’s a se­ri­ous threat to free­dom of in­for­ma­tion on­line.”

On September 14, 2016, the EU Commission tabled a directive proposing the worst copyright rules in the world. These include unprecedented new link tax powers for publishing giants. The EU is proposing to tax web links, Google, Twitter and Facebook would have to pay a fee to display the headline and preview snippets to online links. This is absolutely crazy.

The only organisations that want this tax are failing publishers who can’t cope in the digital age. The EU is once again showing its protectionist colours, effectively proposing a new digital tariff…

Labour MP: “A Whole Government Full of B*******”

Potty-mouthed Neil Coyle tries and fails to sneak one past Mr Speaker…

Top City Lobby Group U-Turns and Embraces Brexit

Number one square mile lobby group TheCityUK has performed a complete u-turn, abandoning its Remain position and instead embracing Brexit. TheCityUK – which represents major banks and professional services firms – said leaving the EU is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” and declared:

“TheCityUK is a strong believer in the potential opportunities that the UK’s departure from the European Union will offer.”

Before Brexit they said:

“A Brexit risks damaging our industry in the UK through uncertainty, reduced market access and a loss of influence over trading conditions. Major global businesses also come to London to access the Single Market – but that position is dependent on the legal freedoms made available by the Treaties and Single Market legislation. The overall competitiveness of the UK as a place to do business would therefore be threatened by Brexit.”

Screech…

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

Timetable here. An historic moment…

UPDATE: Brexit Secretary David Davis:

“The British people have made the decision to leave the EU and this government is determined to get on with the job of delivering it. So today we have introduced a Bill in Parliament which will allow us to formally trigger Article 50 by the end of March. I trust that Parliament, which backed the referendum by six to one, will respect the decision taken by the British people and pass the legislation quickly.”

Labour Stoke Candidate Backed Turkey Joining EU, Called Brexit “Massive Pile of Sh*t”

Labour have selected an ardent Remainer who backed Turkey joining the EU as their candidate in the Stoke-on-Trent by-election. Gareth Snell, a councillor who used to work in Tristram Hunt’s office, was the most vocal Remainer on the final shortlist. He has tweeted dozens of times about his opposition to Brexit, calling it a “massive pile of sh*t” and tweeting in support of Turkish membership of the EU. That sound you can hear is Paul Nuttall celebrating…

MoD Perm Sec: EU Operationally Irrelevant to UK Security

Before the referendum Downing Street coordinated a letter from 12 former military chiefs to the Telegraph claiming that remaining in the EU was “in our national interest”. It quickly fell apart when it emerged one of the generals hadn’t actually signed it and another had decided to back Leave. The letter argued:

“Will Britain be safer inside the EU or outside it? When we look at the world today, there seems to us only one answer. Within the EU, we are stronger… In a dangerous world, it helps us to safeguard our people, our prosperity and our way of life. We therefore believe strongly that it is in our national interest to remain an EU member.”

11 months later, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, Stephen Lovegrove says the EU is operationally irrelevant to Britain’s security. This is an extract from Lovegrove’s interview with the new issue of Civil Service World:

EU membership is operationally irrelevant to the multinational and binational arrangements through which the UK currently insures itself, Lovegrove stresses. And, to demonstrate the primacy of NATO over the EU in the UK’s military relationships, he points to a map showing the flag configurations of recent NATO deployments in Poland and the Baltic states. “These are obviously all European countries, but you will see that of the four lead nations, two of them – Canada and the USA – are not European nations. And, before too long, three of them won’t be.”

Lovegrove adds that there is little administrative burden on the MoD caused by Brexit and that few defence policies are “directly affected”Almost as if the last government got the whole establishment to put their names to a load of Project Fear nonsense…

White Paper Brexit Blockers Represent Leave Constituencies

The latest attempt to frustrate Brexit comes in the form of Tory MPs seeking a white paper so there can be “greater debate” in the Commons, a demand being made by Remainers Anna Soubry, Alistair Burt and Nicky Morgan. Worth looking at how their constituencies voted (numbers from Chris Hanretty). Soubry’s Broxtowe voted 52% to Leave. Burt’s North East Bedfordshire voted 53% to Leave. Morgan’s Loughborough local authority also voted to Leave, though her seat estimate is bang down the middle 50-50. There have already been murmurings of disquiet among Broxtowe Tories upset with Soubry’s decision to defy her constituents, while in Loughborough the Tory association deputy chair has said of NiMo “I’ve no idea what she’s playing at”. That local unrest is only going to get worse…

Leave Tories Expect 400+ MPs to Back Article 50

Some more excitable Brexiteers are claiming that the Supreme Court decision means the public has been “overruled” and that Article 50 “could now be blocked”. This is bluster. Leave Tories in the Commons who Guido has spoken to today expect to secure the votes of over 400 MPs to trigger Article 50. They envisage around 80 Labour MPs voting against or abstaining, the SNP voting against and a handful of Tory abstentions. In other words, a large majority to trigger. The government rates its chances of winning the Article 50 vote at “100%”. As you can see on Guido’s spreadsheet, there are currently only 80 or so MPs actually planning to vote against. Brexit is not under threat from this morning’s decision.

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…

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…

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”There it is at last.

And May confirms 15 minutes after it was announced to parliament:

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.

Unfortunately Sion is not a ‘proppa blogger‘ so he doesn’t realise that nothing ever really disappears from the internet:

“Until June 23rd I will be focussing on the campaign for the UK to remain in the European Union.”

Can’t think why Simon, an MEP on a fat Brussels salary remember, would campaign to Remain. Nor why he suddenly wants to pretend he didn’t…

May Speech Pre-Briefed Quotes

Since everyone else has broken the midnight embargo, here are the pre-briefed quotes from Theresa May’s speech. Nothing really new, though we’re finally, slowly, nearly getting there on the single market and customs union.

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

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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