Sunday, 27 March 2016

Talking Heads

In the last couple of weeks there have been people making comments of dubious veracity about the European Union.

On the Leave side is Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. He is a man who until recently was not really in favour of leaving the European Union at all. It is my belief that he is using the current campaign as a dry run to challenge for the leadership of the Conservative party. 

Mr Johnson's comments on the European Union have not been helpful to the Leave cause when 'Stronger In' can state the following: "Leave campaigns directly contradict themselves within a matter of days. We can't believe a word they say on Europe" and then Stronger in Europe able to quote two directly contradictory statements Mr Johnson has made within 10 days of each other. 

Mr Johnson also made what is widely reported as 'train crash' appearance in front of the House of Commons Treasury Committee where he did not know his brief and was caught out on several occasions about his public statements. My message to Mr Johnson is that this is not a campaign for the leadership of the Conservative Party or to be Prime Minister. It is far more important than that. 

This is a campaign for the future governance and independence of the United Kingdom. So Mr Johnson: Keep Quiet, you do not represent anyone but yourself.

Then there is the remain side.

Gideon Oliver 'George' Osborne is up there in the pantheon of the misleaders. In the budget he said that the OBR - the Office for Budget Responsibility said  "a vote to leave in the forthcoming referendum could usher in an extended period of uncertainty regarding the precise terms of the UK’s future relationship with the EU. This could have negative implications for activity via business and consumer confidence and might result in greater volatility in financial and other asset markets." 

I would urge readers to note the use of the conditional word 'could' and the important 'might' in the above sentence. 

None the less the OBR has said that it has been quoted out of context: "The watchdog would disagree, pointing out that it is required by Parliament to make its economic forecasts without considering "alternatives" to the "current policy of the current Government" – i.e. continued EU membership. "It is not for us to judge at this stage what the impact of ‘Brexit’ might be on the economy and the public finances", it stressed.

The OBR is meant to be independent and it shows what a low life Mr Osborne is in trying to call the OBR's words in aid of his contention that the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union and yet quote them out of context

Then there is Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service is reported in the Sunday Express to warn against Brexit: "Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has warned that a Brexit would lead to a "bureaucratic nightmare" which would increase Britain's security risk while police powers will be damaged.
He said: "We've got the European extradition warrant which is a very effective, consistent, simply way between 20-odd countries of extraditing people.
"I suspect if we did come out you would have to have a similar bilateral arrangement with 20-odd countries. I doubt the system would change but you've got bureaucratic nightmare."
Now the important words in the above statement are "I doubt the system would change"
Meanwhile Moody's, the credit agency says the damage to the United Kingdom economy of leaving the European Union would be 'small'.
In other words there are lots of talking heads making dire warnings about what would happen if the United Kingdom left the European Union. Their only positive seems to be the fear of leaving.
This referendum is not about the CBI, the OBR, the Government, the leadership of the Conservative Party or anything else.
This referendum is a decision of the people, of the electors, the individual in their own judgement.
If you want to be governed in Brussels or Strasbourg by a supranational German dominated state where your voice counts for nothing and where you can be outvoted and ignored under Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) then vote to remain.
If you want to be governed by the people of the United Kingdom who loan power to their elected representatives and have the opportunity to reject the party in power; if you want to live in an Independent Sovereign State which has a loud independent voice in the United Nations and the places of World Governance then vote to leave the European Union.
Nothing will change the day after a vote to Leave. The Civil Service and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will simply get their copy of "The Market Solution"
off the shelf (it took me 3 hours to read the booklet - I recommend it) and implement it. Flexcit, The Market Solution gives the United Kingdom a soft landing in the event of a Leave vote.
There is nothing to fear from a Leave vote. Do it for the generations that follow. If you want to be the one that governs and not the one that is governed then:
Vote to Leave the European Union.


Friday, 18 March 2016

FLEXCIT - The Pamphlet

This is a direct copy from The booklet can be read on line or bought for £5. I have purchased one which I will give to my Member of Parliament. Go to your constituency surgery and give your MP a copy. We must at least try to educate the ill informed! 

The entire credit goes to EUReferendum, Richard North and the other contributors for this pamphlet. It is really easy to read and I will have read it by the end of the weekend.

"After much labour, we have finally produced the Flexcit pamphlet. It is available as a free download from this link, or the permanent link on the sidebar. If you want hard copy, it can be ordered from the Bruges Group for £5.00 including p&p.

The pamphlet summarises in 48 A-5 pages the online book which has now had in excess of 50,000 downloads. It sets out how the UK can leave the European Union and is intended to show that an orderly exit is plausible and practical, and can be largely risk-free. 

Leaving the EU, we acknowledge, is a big step. There can be no serious dispute that a botched process could have dire results. Export of goods and services is vitally important to us. Even in trade with the rest of the world, the EU is often the regulatory portal through which we access other markets so it has a huge influence on non-EU trade. 

Any major disruption could do serious harm to our economy, well beyond just our trade with EU Member States. It could even drive us into recession. There is no margin for error. We cannot afford to get it wrong. 

To achieve a trouble-free exit, we must have an exit plan. Without that, we believe the "leave" campaign will not succeed. But we expect our plan to have more than just an effect on the campaign. It would have a direct impact on the subsequent negotiations, if we decide to leave. 

Our plan, therefore, has to be accurate, honest and pragmatic. And we start with a basic premise. After nine treaties and 40 years of political and economic integration, there can be no clean break. Unravelling in a single step is not going to happen, and certainly not without compromises. This is a point that cannot be made too strongly. 

Behind the scenes, having been deliberately shunned by the major campaign groups and the media, that idea has already gained considerable traction. Thus we get the Telegraph today reporting that, "according to one analysis (i.e., Flexcit), developing a Britain-specific deal is likely to take five years, running way beyond the two-year period between a country triggering the Article 50 exit clause and it being released from the European treaties".

"As such", the paper says, "it is likely the UK would adopt a model similar to Norway’s as holding position, before gravitating to a more bespoke arrangement, according to one scenario under discussion" – the scenario posited almost exclusively by Flexcit for the past two years.

This reflects a crucial point in our plan - that negotiations will not take place in a political vacuum. Nor will they start with the formal exit talks. Rather, they will be continuation of a political process that will have started well before the referendum. 

This means that our negotiators will not have a free hand. Theirs will not be "blank piece of paper" exercises where shopping lists are drawn up without restraints. Nor will there be room for theoretical assumptions. Negotiators will have to deal with the political realities of the day. And they will be forced to respond to the limitations imposed on them. 

Another point is that these will be negotiations – i.e., a process which involves exchanges of views. It starts with each of the parties setting out their opening positions but, to achieve a satisfactory outcome, both sides will have to listen to each other. Compromise will be essential. 

Commentators who suggest blue sky options that do not take account of these political realities are being unrealistic. Proposals cannot be taken seriously unless they are politically attainable and publicly acceptable. They must have regard to the political constraints and be acceptable to those with whom we are negotiating. To expect otherwise is pointless. 

With this in mind, we stress that great care should be taken with exit scenarios based on economic models. Estimates cannot be any stronger than the assumptions on which they are based. Weak assumptions are poor foundations for any plan. Dazzling predictive models and complex calculations cannot remedy inherent flaws. 

Then, we must point out that all solutions must fit with others. There is no point defining certain policies if they create irresolvable problems elsewhere. Partial solutions are not an answer. An exit plan has to work as a whole, even if that requires adopting sub-optimal policies in some areas in order to achieve the larger objectives. 

Within these constraints we have to face some unavoidable realities. Firstly, the plan has to ensure continuity of trade with the EU and the rest of the world. No matter how attractive the eventual outcome, exit will never be tolerated if the immediate effect is to damage trade and plunge us into recession. 

In our view, that means we must – in the short to medium term – stay in the EU's Single Market. However, the EU has made it abundantly clear that if we want to stay in the Single Market, acceptance of the principle freedom of movement is non-negotiable. We can abolish freedom of movement or we can stay in the single market. We can't do both. On that basis, we have come to the conclusion that, in order to leave the EU and secure the medium and long-term gains that accrue from so doing, we must accept a short-term compromise over freedom of movement. 

To add to all this, there is the timescale to consider. Under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which defines the exit procedures, negotiations are set to last two years. Although we could get an extension, we believe it would be unwise to rely on a longer period. 

This creates an inherent problem. Complex trade negotiations usually take a long time to conclude – sometimes a decade or more. Thus, we suggest adopting an off-the-shelf solution rather than a bespoke agreement. 

That confronts another reality. Brexit presents an existential threat to the EU. If it concedes an exit deal to the UK that is better than it could achieve within the EU, other Member States might be tempted to leave. A "better deal for Britain" could collapse the entire EU. For that reason, it will never be offered. 

Thus, we feel that holding out for unachievable perfection runs the risk of losing the referendum and staying trapped in the EU. We make whatever compromises are needed to get out quickly and resolve outstanding issues once we have left. 

Taking all that into account, we propose six stages to our plan. Its very essence is that it is split into stages. We arrived where we are by a series of graduated steps. It makes absolute sense that we should leave in the same way. To manage the process, our six stages work as follows:

Stage one: this deals with the immediate split, for which there are several broad possibilities. There are the options we set out in the of what we also call "The Market Solution", there is what we call the "Swiss" (bilateral) option, or there is the World Trade Organisation (WTO) option. 

Our first stage comprises three options, all aimed at ensuring continued participation in the single Market. First is the "Norway Option" in which we rejoin the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and trade with the EU through the European Economic Area (EEA). 

Whatever initial option we choose, we have to remember that membership of the EU involves much more than trade. We cooperate in a huge range of activities, from student exchanges to the management of airspace, and much else. Before reaching a final agreement, we have to decide on the activities we want to continue, and the terms. 

Once we have the right exit option and have defined the areas of post-exit co-operation, we have enough to finalise an exit agreement with the remaining EU Member States. But this is only the start of a longer process. 

Stage two: looks at immigration and asylum. Since we have to keep freedom of movement for the time being, we have to work out how better to manage the flow of people into our country. Here, there are many things we can be doing, to pave the way for a longer-term solution. 

We will need to take action at a global level to deal with third country immigration, seeking amendments to the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Refugees, and the 1967 Protocol. We will also have to change or withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. We can also limit immigration from the EU by addressing the "pull" factors that make it so attractive to come to this country. 

Stage three: here we deal with the drawbacks of EEA membership. We start with the dominance of the European single market by Brussels. As long as the UK is on the edge and Brussels is at the centre, we will have a subordinate status. This is not acceptable in the longer term, so we propose a more equitable market structure. 

What we want is a community of equals in a "European village". To administer the market, we propose replacing Brussels with the Geneva-based United Nations Economic Commission Europe (UNECE), on the lines proposed by Winston Churchill in 1948 and again in 1950. UNECE already plays a prominent role in global regulation and trade and is the logical choice. 

Stage four: is one of rebuilding independent policy. Illustrating how an independent UK might operate, we look at foreign and defence policy, agriculture and fisheries. We also explore environment policy, and then the linked subjects of climate change and energy. We conclude with financial services and the so-called "digital market". 

Stage five: we suggest a new framework for our global trade policy, with an evaluation of areas that are ripe for improvement and exploitation. This is organised into an eight-point programme which opens the way for us to break out of the EU cul-de-sac and rejoin the global trading system. 

Stage six: here, we argue that there is little point in leaving the EU if we then return powers to a Parliament which gave them away in the first place. We must stop this happening again. Thus, we offer ways of restoring democracy, bringing both central and local governments back under the control of the people. 

In conclusion, we explain how leaving the EU becomes a process requiring continuous and flexible development - from which Flexcit takes its name. That repeats our central point: leaving the EU is not a single event but a multi-stage process. 

Even after we have left the EU, the process may take many years to complete, as we seek a steady, measured divergence rather than a "big bang" separation. The aim will be to keep the best of our agreements with the EU while freeing it to follow its own path. 

In short, by leaving the EU, we are not ending a relationship. We are simply travelling separately. This is not isolation but an agreement to do many of the same things in a different way, all to our mutual advantage."

This is about the governance of the United Kingdom.

Leaving is not a leap in the dark - this is the road map.


Vote to Leave the European Union

Tuesday, 15 March 2016


The Leave Alliance launches tomorrow 16th March 2016

"To mount an independent counter-mainstream EU referendum campaign"

This post is unique in asking readers of this blog to give what they can afford to 'The Leave Alliance". You see all these adverts for 'just £3 a month' to various good causes. Please give this to the Leave Alliance but, as they need the money urgently, please give the monthly contribution in advance.

Please, if you can afford it, send 'a tenner' (£10) to the Leave Alliance. 

If anyone deserves the honours for FlexCit (The Market Solution) then it is Dr Richard North. Much of the work is his with contributions from readers of his blog

His blogs and incites are unrivalled and just a unique source of reference to those opposed to membership of the European Union. His book, 'The Great Deception', with Christopher Booker is simply a must read.

If the Leave campaign wins on 23rd June 2016, then much of the credit should go to Dr North. He is not interviewed on the television partially because, in my opinion, he is not of the SW1A 'bubble' nor is he a 'luvvy'. He may be ignored because he is perceived to be a threat to the bureaucratic 'elite'. More strength to him.

This is THE most important vote since 1975. 

The Leave Alliance needs about £50,000 to mount an effective blog and campaign. It is registered with the Electoral Commission. This blogger has sent what they can afford - please will you?

Leave the European Union MUST win. This is about nothing less than the governance of the United Kingdom.

Support the Leave Alliance

Vote to Leave the European Union.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Foreign Interventions

It is reported that President Obama of the United States of America is to visit this country in the next few weeks and is to urge the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union. Boris Johnson has said that President Obama is hypocritical:

Meanwhile Philip Hammond MP, the Foreign Secretary,  wants to hear foreign leaders views in the European Union debate.

Turning to the last statement first, WHY does Mr Hammond want to hear foreign leaders' views? Doesn't the remain side in the United Kingdom have enough arguments of its own without calling in aid foreign leaders views? Incidentally the remain side have not made any positive arguments of their own as far as I can see - it is all fear and uncertainty if we leave. 

There is NO Fear and No Uncertainty if we Leave. If we vote to leave we adopt Flexcit (The Market Solution) an off-the-shelf gradual path to complete independence written by Richard North and others. 

Now to the United States. Of course the United States will state what it thinks in its own self interested geopolitical view is the right decision for the United States. Why wouldn't it? That does not mean that it is the right geopolitical view or position of the people of the United Kingdom i.e. the electorate. 

If what has been reported as being said by President Obama and Hillary Clinton amongst others about the United Kingdom, its leader and its political class generally is true, there does not seem to be much of a 'special relationship' left to preserve. 

However, this is not a decision that is in the gift of the United States. How the people of the United Kingdom vote is none of the business of the United States. This is a vote of the electors of the United Kingdom. It is our vote.

How the people of the United Kingdom are governed is a decision for us, the United Kingdom elector. 

This referendum is about who governs the United Kingdom. Either a supranational German dominated European Union and a path to Economic and Monetary Union, the Euro, being outvoted 90% of the time and having to accept and enact decisions received by fax from Brussels. This is the Remain Choice 


Reclaim our politics, tell our Government that power lies with the people and is merely on loan to them; become once again a vibrant, independent, Sovereign state with a FULL voice (not a 28th of a voice) - a FULL voice at the top Global table (the UN, UNECE, BASEL) where the electors of the United Kingdom call the shots - the Leave opportunity.

Do you want to be a servant of Brussels? Do you want to be a 28th part of a German dominated European Union?

If not, ignore the views of foreign leaders. Ignore the President of the United States.

Vote to Leave the European Union

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Political Meanderings


Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) will 'undertake a fresh drive for Scottish Independence'

and is also reported to have said that if the United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union then that would almost inevitably lead to another referendum in Scotland for Independence.

Now Ms Sturgeon and her predecessor Alex Salmond are canny operators. Whatever you think of them personally they certainly seem to have obtained the engagement of the Scottish electorate in politics. I am sure Nicola Sturgeon is sincere in wanting an Independent Scotland. Whether Scotland would be truly independent as a separate nation in the European Union is another issue.

I am curious about Ms Sturgeon's position. I think that Ms Sturgeon would be a more powerful leader of an Independent Scotland OUTSIDE the European Union. Personally, I think Scottish Independence is inevitable sooner rather than later anyway. If Nicola Sturgeon wants Scottish Independence sooner rather than later, she would urge her constituency to vote to Leave the European Union since that would lead to a second referendum quicker. The question is why wouldn't she want a Leave vote.

Dave's Dodgy Deal

Dave's dodgy deal is dependent on future Treaty change which President Hollande of France says is not required and is therefore not on any horizon. The deal is worthless on that score alone. However, we are told that the deal was between the 28 heads of Government and the deal is valid for that reason. Since Dave came home with his worthless, legally invalid deal which requires future treaty change that won't happen, there has been a General Election in Southern Ireland. Enda Kenny failed to secure another term in that election and, according to 'The Guardian', the Irish Parliament (the Dail) failed to elect a new Prime Minister and Government.

No Government can bind its successor. Since there is no Irish head of Government and Mr Kenny is not now the taoiseach, does that mean the deal has fallen apart before the referendum in the United Kingdom has even been held? Any International Law experts reading this who could enlighten me I would be grateful.

The Conservative Party

The one thing that this referendum should NOT be about is the Conservative party. We already know that David Cameron has absolute contempt for his core base, the members of the Conservative party. Today, 13th March 2016, in the Mail, David Laws, a former coalition government minister, has less than flattering things to say about Mr Cameron's views on his colleagues: 'Gove is nuts, Boris is after my job'

This campaign is fast becoming a run for the leadership of the Conservative Party. It is clear that Boris does indeed want to become leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. (Heaven forfend)

One of the good things in this referendum is the sight of the treacherous Conservative party tearing itself apart - it couldn't happen to a nicer organisation!

In my view David Cameron is finished as Prime Minister whatever the result of the vote. If the Remain side wins and it becomes evident that they won on a lie then I believe that Conservative Associations (before they are neutered altogether) will pressurise their constituency members to oust Mr Cameron. 

If the Leave side wins then I believe Mr Cameron's exit will be even quicker. Lord Tebbit has suggested that Mr Cameron cannot remain if the Leave side succeeds.

This referendum is NOT about who leads the Conservative Party. It is about Governance of this Country. As Peter Hitchens asks in his blog on Sunday 13th March 2016, the question is:

Do you want to be a servant of Brussels?

If the answer is NO (as I hope it will be) then

Vote to Leave the European Union

Sunday, 6 March 2016

The PROCESS for withdrawing from the European Union

It has been quite a week with the publication by the Government of a paper entitled 'The Process of Withdrawing from the European Union'

This states, as EUReferendum has been arguing for years, that "a vote to leave the EU would be the start, not the end, of a process".


The report states that Article 50 "is the only lawful way to withdraw from the EU". It would, it says, "be a breach of international and EU law to withdraw unilaterally from the EU (for example, by simply repealing the domestic legislation that gives the EU law effect in the UK)". 

The vote on 23rd June is just the switch which is the start of a process. 

The first step of the process after the 'Leave' switch is activated is for the Civil Service to formulate a plan of what the United Kingdom will look like after it leaves the European Union. Since Mr Cameron refuses to allow the Civil Service to have a contingency plan now in the event of a 'Leave' vote, one will have to be drawn up after the vote is cast.

Although David Cameron states that the British people would expect the Government to start an Article 50 process 'straight away', I do not see that this is the case. A contingency plan would take a while to be drawn up and agreed. The plan would need to be debated. That would take, say, a year.

The second step in the process is the Article 50 notification. This would start a 2 year negotiation window to achieve the first part of the Civil Service contingency plan. 

At the same time as negotiating with the European Union, the United Kingdom would start negotiations with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) to join EFTA. 

In order for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union with as soft a landing as possible, it means, in the short term, joining the European Free Trade Association (the EEA/EFTA option) so that we maintain access to the single market. In order to retain access to the single market means that we need to accept the pillars of the single market, one of which is the free movement of people. 

We would thus leave the the European Union and join EFTA at the same time, maintaining access to the single market and all the trade deals to which we currently subscribe. Relying on the accepted principle in international law, of presumption of continuity, we can continue with existing trade deals. There is no need and no great pressure to renegotiate them. 

Current European Law would be repatriated to the United Kingdom and over the following few years, members of the House of Commons and Lords could actually earn their salary by discussing those laws which are essential or necessary to keep and those that can be repealed.

As outlined in THE exit plan Flexcit (The Market Solution) 
leaving the European Union is the risk averse thing to do if we do it in a series of ordered steps.

"A vote to leave the EU would be the start, not the end, of a process". 

It is quite possible that a vote to Leave the European Union would mean that we did not ACTUALLY leave until, say, June  2018 at the earliest (if an Article 50 notice was issued straight away) or possibly not until May 2020 if the Government chose not to issue an Article 50 notice until May 2018 so that any deal would be subject to a General Election.

A vote to Leave the European Union on 23rd June 2016 is a process to regain governance of the United Kingdom so that it becomes an Independent Sovereign State at the top table in the Global Governance bodies. Places such as the United Nations where instead of having a 28th of a voice we would have (like Norway)  our own National voice.

This vote is in our hands. A vote to leave the European Union is not a leap in the dark or even a leap of faith. Leaving the European Union is essential if the United Kingdom is ever to stop being part of the drive to 'ever closer (European Union) union'

It is a process. It can be achieved through negotiation. There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

Vote to Leave the European Union.


Thanks to John Blake for pointing out my error in the original post which is corrected above. The United Kingdom is already in the EEA (European Economic Area). We would need to join the inter-Governmental European Free Trade Association (EFTA)