It is very surprising that so many mistakes have been made during our negotiations to exit the European Union, when you consider how many ‘experts’ we have on the subject – and I am not including any politicians in that statement.
Today, the media big boys are all very wise after the event and tell us what SHOULD have happened and HOW the negotiation should have been conducted. Yes – Nick Ferrari, Andrew Neil….and even Piers Morgan plus many others appear to have the answers.
The sad fact is that the job was left to badly-led British politicians who for some reason agreed to negotiate with an unelected EU bureaucrat. There was never going to be any REAL negotiation and so it has proved to be the case – especially bearing in mind that the EU’s Chief Negotiator is a French (Gaullist) politician whose default position is ‘Non!’ .
Here’s an example of how the present shambles is viewed abroad. This expert is Sky’s Peta Credlin. In spite of its very high cringe coefficient, it is worth watching as it delivers a very eloquent summary of the British government’s biggest cock-up since the Conservative Party’s election of Theresa May as leader.
Apparently, the #EU Summit is opened by President of the European Council , Donald Tusk who always begins the meeting with a prayer, then asks for the lights to be dimmed as he invites the spirits to join the circle. He then asks everyone present to join hands and close their eyes and recite selections from the Maastricht Treaty.
The group then attempts to contact those on the ‘Other Side’ – for instance the United Kingdom and others who have ‘crossed over’. This is followed by pre-prepared questions about all sorts of important-sounding stuff.
Then it’s lunch.
After lunch the meeting continues (This is known as the ‘Graveyard Session’). Those still sober enough to vote for something which was agreed at the previous meeting, raise their hands – or have their hands lifted for them by a flunkey.
Meanwhile, The European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker staggers around the table, kissing every delegate, telling them that he REALLY loves them and that they are his best friend.
Then a group photo is taken and Mr Tusk presides over the Ceremony of the Communique (written last month) as he reads out the traditional Holy Positive Words about the future of the European Union.
Yes, all you Corbyn supporters – he is a decent man.
Unfortunately, decency is no substitute for competence and unfortunately, Corbyn is to leadership what Osborne is to fiscal credibility.
Let us hope that Jezza does not suffer a protracted political death but a surgery that is swift and clean.
And let us not forget that Cameron’s Westminster equivalent of a Dignitas booking was already in the diary well before his sniveling performance at the No 10 microphone last Friday. It’s just been brought forward.
Remember that in two attempts, he was not able to secure a decent parliamentary majority: Once against the lame duck Brown and then opposite the gawkily wackadoodle Miliband.
Cameron’s management shortcomings have never been better exemplified than by the fact that with at least six years’ warning, he went into a referendum WITHOUT having prepared a Brexit plan!
It’s all very well for the country’s thickos to keep repeating… ‘Those Brexit Winners don’t have a plan. They never had a plan….’.
It is NOT their job to produce a plan.
Government Plans are produced by a government. It is a government’s responsibility ….and the Brexit plan should have been in place for years. It’s not as if the referendum was a surprise!
We are now being treated to the very unedifying spectacle of Cameron gathering his Cabinet today (27th June 2016)….for what appears to be the very first meeting(!!) to decide on a Brexit strategy.
Chancellor Gideon, who referred to the Brexit campaigners as economically illiterate and ill-informed (probably in a vain attempt to establish some common ground with them), has added: “It’s not the outcome I wanted but I respect the decision of the British people and will do all I can to make it work.”
There is only one way that Gideon can make it work…..GO quietly.
Cameron and Osborne in their now customary Bob the Builder fancy dress of hard-hat and high-viz jacket, dispensing their fabulously entertaining post-Brexit comedy “facts” designed to scare the crap out of the British public. Priceless!
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reciting his ‘Remain’ speeches with all the enthusiasm, delivery and expression of a bipolar Santa undergoing a prostate examination.
I am still in shock! Not because Great Britain is leaving the European Union, which, in spite of all the post-referendum whinging, was definitely the correct result …..but by Cameron’s reaction.
Instead of coming to the Downing Street microphone, conceding graciously and then outlining his government’s plan to take our country out of the toxic, over-administered and failing EU, he sniveled like a 1st former telling his housemaster that a senior boy had nicked his bag of sherbet lemons in the tuck shop queue……and did anyone notice that there was no EU exit sequence offered to the nation? No plan. He is just walking away!
It is NOT Boris Johnson’s or Michael Gove’s job to have a plan. It was up to Cameron to have a contingency plan ready – but then , it is easy to forget that he works on expediency and not organisation. Plus his own vanity would have prevented him from even considering having some sort of ‘exit road-map’ ready – just in case.
Nevertheless, it is still hard to believe that the United Kingdom does not have an off-the-shelf exit timetable ready. Even that incompetent, overpopulated, self-serving Brussels bureaucracy which underpins the EU certainly has a plan…….. and by having a plan, it, yet again, has placed itself in the driving seat.
Both Cameron and Osborne are ‘fair-weather’ managers who, as I have suspected for several years, would be utterly useless in a crisis – even one of their own making….and I have finally been proved right.
Make no mistake, all you Remainers…..it is NOT the electorate’s fault that we are leaving the EU. The fault lies with Cameron, Osborne and their advisers.
No more “I love my country” bollocks please, Mr Cameron. If you really loved your country above yourself and your career, you would NOT have resigned.
You would be eyeballing those Brussels Commissars across a table and explaining the new facts of life to them…….and NOT sneaking off like a thief into the night and leaving others to clean up YOUR mess.
“Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy“ states that in any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always gain control…… and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy will gradually have less and less influence and often will be eliminated entirely.
The #EU administration in Brussels and Strasbourg is such a bureaucracy…….and if it continues to be ‘fed’, it will soon exist for its own sake and behave like a quasi State.
In fact, it is comparatively easy to see that the process has begun and is already at quite an advanced stage.
As a UK taxpayer, ask yourself whether you are happy with continuing to contribute so very generously to the salaries and pensions of the 85,000 (and counting) unelected employees temps, contract staff, family and friends within the #EU bureaucracy as well as subsidising their homes, offices and vehicles. At least 10,000 of them are now receiving over €70,000 per year. The top grades earn up to €20,000 per month. A “President” earns about €350,000 per year plus an allowance for a residence equal to 15% of salary as well as other allowances including allowances for children’s schooling and household expenses – say about half a million euros – NOT counting expenses.
Incidentally, you may not know that the EU pension scheme is a ‘defined benefit’ (final salary) scheme of the sort that we in the UK have decided is unaffordable…. and many EU functionaries will be retiring on up to 70% of their final year’s salary. Look out for inevitable ‘pension hole’ in the not-too-distant future!
If you are happy with the above numbers and honestly believe that we are TRAPPED within the EU for ever, you should vote for us to Remain.
If however, you believe that those fabled EU excesses mean that it is time for the CTRL+ALT+DEL buttons to be pressed simultaneously, then it is definitely time for BREXIT.
I find it terribly sad (but not surprising) that so many senior British politicians feel themselves incapable of governing our country without the ‘support’ of the 85,000 Brussels Bureaucrats who are bleeding-dry an organisation which began as such a great concept.
Our politicians’ blind panic is all too evident in the words of doom and misery which they have been spraying around since the EU referendum campaign launched only a few weeks ago.
Yes, standing alone can be scary but many of us do NOT believe that we should remain purely because Cameron is telling us that we are PERMANENTLY TRAPPED within the EU – which is exactly what the all REMAIN campaigners have (wrongly) concluded.
Judging by the words words of trepidation and hopelessness we have heard over the last few weeks, it would also appear legitimate to assume that Cameron and Osborne are no more than Sooty and Sweep to the Banking Establishment’s Harry H Corbett.
By nominating themselves as the main spokesmen for the EU referendum IN-vote, Cameron and Osborne have made a gross error of judgement.
Not for reasons of personality or presentation skills – those are abundantly evident 🙂 – but because they have come to believe their own publicity.
Let’s spell it out: The Conservatives did NOT win the last General Election either because they were liked or even because voters believed their rather flaky economic predictions and even flakier claimed economic achievements.
They were elected because the alternative (Miliband) was TOO horrible to contemplate. It was not Sir Lynton Crosby who won them the 2015 General Election, it was Ed Miliband.
There aren’t enough high-viz jackets, hard-hats or factory production lines in the country to convince the average British voter that there is some sort of “connect” between themselves, DC or his sidekick.
Cameron and Osborne should stop all the nonsense of posing among ‘ordinary’ workers in factories owned by aspiring ‘Sirs’ and spouting their dystopian EU piffle.
They should both go back to Downing Street and wait.….and a couple of phone calls to Pickfords wouldn’t go amiss either!
Have you ever wondered HOW the handling of the EU referendum by Cameron and his Cabinet is perceived in Europe….and indeed, by many in the United Kingdom? (See above)
Sadly – it’s quite justified.
Now that the experts have finally realised that every TV appearance by Cameron OR Osborne adds 100,000 to the Brexit vote, we may not be seeing so much of them or hearing any more of their transparently Munchausenesque pronouncements.
Hopefully it’s not too late to persuade the wavering voter that if we leave the EU, life in the UK will NOT look like Chernobyl after a weekend visit by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Cameron’s tales of Pestilence, Famine, War and Death have been grossly exaggerated for dramatic rather than factual purposes.
As the magnificent FDR said during his inaugural address :
Apocalyptic predictions of a dystopian destiny, fuelled by supposition and opinion-derived numbers masquerading as unvarnished statistics, has been our diet for several weeks. Political reputations have been damaged as has the blimpish and flaky right-wing coalition that is the Tory Party……………Meanwhile, the Labour Party continues to flip-flop aimlessly from principle to principle, whilst trying to decide who it despises more – Corbyn, Cameron or Kim Jong-un.
Prime Minister Cameron has only just realised the dangers of following Osborne’s lead and regurgitating farcical “facts” and predicting a Mad Max future for the British people, should they choose to exercise their democratic right and abandon the moribund #EU.
Hopefully our Prime Minister will now have a crack at looking and sounding like the heavyweight statesman he imagines himself to be, rather than a 1950s second hand car salesman.
Let’s face it, the Brexit debate HAS to rely on opinion and conjecture because by definition, there are no facts about the future.
Nevertheless, it is a shame that the debate has taken on all the characteristics of a religious argument, with only faith, dogma and prophecy to fall back on.
The next four weeks will not-only be interesting from the debate point of view but after the ridiculous initial Brexit skirmishes, one wonders whether certain politicians will take the opportunity to look beyond the vote and attempt some reputation-mending and maybe extinguish some of those burning bridges.
Listening to many of the Brexit-related vox pop on the news, especially from the older generation makes you realise that not only are many of the interviewees a bit thick , but that many do not appear to read past the headlines…… and that is exactly what Cameron and Osborne are tapping into.
They fully realise that all they have to do is trot out a few memorable short sentences containing lots of “Could” and “Probably”, in the knowledge that all the audience will hear is “job losses”, “recession”, “lower house prices”, “self-destruct” etc with the latest suggestion being that leaving the EU would be “immoral”.
Heavy shit! Of course, that is exactly what it is….Shit.
We are listening to two guys whose prediction record matches that of Dr. Dionysius Lardner who said in 1830: “Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”
Or as recently as 1977, when Ken Olson, chairman of The Digital Equipment Corporation predicted: “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”
Neither Cameron nor Osborne has any idea what is going to happen next month. Never mind in twelve months’ or five years’ time.
Because of their tactical rather than strategic mentality, they are predicting what they think will happen to the British economy in the year or so following Brexit.
Proper leaders would be thinking very long-term but of course Dave and Gideon only have to frighten this generation of voters and will not have to apologise to future generations who may find themselves unable to escape from the economic and sociological straitjacket of EU membership.
The fact is that neither Cameron nor Osborne is capable running the United Kingdom without the reassuring comfort of Brussels and its rapidly mushrooming and already considerable population of commissars.
We should also notice that no one who is in favour of remaining within the EU club is even attempting to describe the socialist utopia which is being created right under our noses.
Where is the talk of increased incomes, a recession-free United Kingdom, more employment, a prospering NHS – all the things which are the corollary of the doom-infused nonsense which we are being fed?
Is it because negativity, doom and ruination are not-only more memorable but stick in the mind like s*** to a blanket?
Always beware of any sentence uttered by a politician which contains the word “percentage” – especially if that politician is Chancellor Gideon.
The latest bit of statistical fantasy saw Osborne suggesting that if we leave the #EU, “house prices COULD fall by Up TO 18 %.” (!)
Obviously, he has a plan!
Does he intend to stop dodgy Russian oligarchs, newly-minted Chinese billionaires, corrupt African despots and tyrannical Middle Eastern potentates and politicians from driving-up UK house prices by buying up London properties and paying silly money for the United Kingdom’s historic country houses and estates?
Mind you, it’s all a great distraction from the NHS, the tanking economy and our unmeasured, out-of-control immigration.
A recent survey has indicated that most companies based in the eurozone believe a British decision to leave the European Union would hurt the region as it struggles with a sluggish economy and a migration crisis.
79% of firms based in the eurozone said a Brexit would be bad for the area, with less than 4% saying it would have a positive impact, according to the report from accountants Grant Thornton.
“What’s abundantly clear from our research is that European business leaders overwhelmingly view a Brexit as a negative development for the EU,” Francesca Lagerberg, a senior tax partner at Grant Thornton, said.
She said business confidence was strong considering the various potential threats the region faced from low growth, high unemployment, migration and a potential Brexit.
“Any one of these flaring up over the next few months could see that optimism wobble if the economic shocks undermine business leaders’ ability to plan and invest,” she added.
The survey was based on interviews with more than 2,500 senior executives conducted in January and February.
The result is in keeping with the view of senior business leaders in Britain who are largely in favour of Britain staying in the EU. Most economists expect an exit would deal a blow to Britain’s economy in both the short- and longer-term.
The Grant Thornton report showed 68 percent of British-based firms believe Brexit would have a negative impact on Europe.
Parts of the eurozone have struggled with a debt crisis in recent years which, on the heels of the global financial crisis, has stifled growth and left many unemployed. Unfortunately, quite a high percentage of Europe’s unemployed appear to be headed for the UK.
In addition, many recent migrants to the EU stated their first choice of refuge as the UK. Many of those will be arriving here in a few years….when Germany and other states hand them EU citizenship.
The region as a whole remains at odds over how to contain the continuing flow of migrants to the region.
It is regrettable that neither the UK political leadership, nor the Brussels Commissars have any idea about Managing Change on a macro scale because the sociological change within the #EU is probably they biggest issue that will need to be addressed within the next five to ten years.
Both sides are doing their best to frighten the electorate into voting for their point of view. There has also been an attempt at what can only be described as The Blackmail of a Nation – especially by the IN camp and the leadership’s foreign banking and political friends..
The fact is that BOTH sides have valid arguments but instead of helping the average UK citizen to make a reasonable choice whilst at the same time preparing for change, BOTH sides prefer to persuade through the medium of fantasy rhetoric, insinuation and slur.
Meanwhile, mainland Europe, surrounded by the Ring of Chaos, which encompasses Ukraine, then east to Turkey and south to North Africa, sits and waits for more handouts and UK opportunities for its unemployed.
After two years of detailed statistical analysis, the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance has been published and concludes that superbugs will kill someone every three seconds by 2050 unless the world acts now.
The rather alarmist review sets out a plan for preventing medicine “being cast back into the Dark Ages.”
The report calls for a revolution in the way antibiotics are used and a campaign to educate people.
The battle against bugs which are resistant to antibiotics has been described as “as big a risk as terrorism”. because we are simply not developing enough new antibiotics and we are wasting the ones we have.
We now await a statement from the Prime Minister to confirm that if we retain our #EU membership, the risk will be greatly minimalised “because together, we are stronger!” and a counter argument from the #Brexit camp that increased EU migration will doubtless contribute to even more infection ! 🙂
Cameron’s ‘in crowd’ has expanded offshore to include the foreign senior banking community. Here in the UK, the ‘IN’ conspiracy has now recruited some senior corporate ‘suits’.
Meanwhile, Boris is looking increasingly shambolic and isolated plus, he does not appear to be appealing to the great unwashed.
The two main messages are either “Watch out for hordes of migrants and we could do it alone if we wanted to” or, more worryingly: “The UK is effectively imprisoned within the #EU with no way out without damaging EVERYTHING!”
Both messages are negative – especially now that it would appear that the Cameron camp has admitted that even if we wanted to leave – we can’t. We’re trapped!
Today it was the turn of Spain’s 800,000 permatanned British residents to have the fear of God put into them…..as if the Spanish economy would even think about risking the loss of such a vast slice of revenue!
The one aspect of the debate I cannot agree with and that is the perceived danger from millions of low-level migrants. Once the UK economy collapses, no-one will want to come here.
Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the ECB’s Mario Draghi to pontificate.
Good to see the Cameron #EU ‘In-Crowd’ adopting the official government policy of spouting meaningless and spurious statistics in order to try and prove that being a member of the European Union is compulsory if one is to maintain economic success , which, incidentally, is something which continues to elude the United Kingdom – in spite of Chancellor Gideon’s creative use of percentages.
Here are some more numbers:
Six out of ten of the world’s biggest economies are not members of the EU. If the UK Brexited, SEVEN out of ten of the world’s most powerful economies would not be members of the EU.
According to Bloomberg , of the world’s top ten fastest-growing economies, not one is a member of the EU.
If we look at real GDP growth rate, the highest performer within the EU is Ireland and is placed only 44th(!) in the world.
What Cameron is REALLY saying is very simple: He does NOT believe that he, Chancellor Gideon and the rest of the current crop of Westminster PPE and History Grads have the collective ability to run an economy without the bureaucratic and legal crutch of the Brussels Commissars.
She says that Brexit would have “assez mauvais to très , très mauvais” consequences but was not particularly specific.
“Pretty bad to very, very bad” is once again a judgement and not a prediction….and if she wants to see “very, very bad”, she should keep a closer eye on Greece’s problems!
Make no mistake, just like Mark Carney before her, prior to issuing her predictable statement, she would have been on the phone to Chancellor Gideon or David Cameron for approval of this latest piece of the well-choreographed scaremongering pro-EU referendum jigsaw. So WHO is next to have been recruited by the ‘IN’ camp?
One suspects that either this weekend or possibly on Monday, it will be the turn of the ECB’s Mario (il Papa) Draghi to instil a bit of ‘panico’ among us gullible Brits!
It started with Obama and they’re travelling East……..
The (hired by Chancellor Gideon) totally impartial Governor Mark Carney of the oh-so independent Bank of England said today that if the United Kingdom left the Bruderschaft of the oh-so economically-stable #EU, the risk of leaving “could possibly include a technical recession”……….which by implication suggests that if we stay firmly wedged in Bundeskanzlerin Merkel’s ample #EU cleavage, the risk of recession will be gone! Good news !!
David Cameron then said the warning amounted to “a very clear message” of the dangers of Brexit.
Some have declared that the Governor was spouting unwarranted and unmitigated bollocks with several calling for him to be sacked.
In reply, the Governor’s spokesperson said the Bank had “a duty to make its judgments known.”
As the Bank of England has been so incisive and accurate in all of its previous economic judgments and predictions – the 2008 economic collapse, the subsequent recession and the collapse of RBS, to name but a few – I cannot think of any reason why we should not take Governor Carney’s latest prophecy (it’s NOT a prediction!) VERY seriously. 🙂
I do wish that @bbclaurak at least made an EFFORT to be non-partisan in the #EU in-out referendum debate. She’s never struck me as a #Cameron groupie….or perhaps she just has issues with that other great champion of the poor and oppressed, #IDS?
Believe it or not, I have no particular view as to whether or not we should remain within the European Union but if we are minded to believe the sharp suited Westminster Europhiles (and Jeremy Corbyn), we should not take what is looking increasingly like the foolhardy and dangerous option of Brexit………. Of course, the other team is busy painting a picture of an economic Utopia, unencumbered by the tyrannical drag-chute of EU integration.
The only unsurprising phenomenon about the whole debate is that because we know of no other way, two teams were hastily put together and, as is the case with every other debate, confrontation has been the order of the day.
I would have considered David Cameron far more statesmanlike had he addressed the nation in a far more neutral way, outlining the pros and cons for both possible outcomes. Unfortunately, we only know one way and that is through the medium of opinion-fuelled conflict. Hence the Boris and Cameron camps both treating the debate more like a prizefight rather than what could have been a comradely discussion.
The most outrageous claims have come from the ‘stay in’ camp.
‘Each family will be £4300 per year worse off’, ‘mortgage rates will increase’, ‘house prices will fall’, ‘we are safer within the European Union.’ etc. are all no more than conjecture.
The fact is that whether we are in or out will make little difference to the average man in the street and given the politicians’, pollsters’ and economists’ track records on any sort of prediction, we should all be wary of all the nonsense which has been produced as implied ‘fact’.
Sadly, most of the United Kingdom’s voting population is not very ‘politically-bright’ – hence the outrageous claims made by both sides. It is the only way that they are able to communicate with the slack-jawed Mr and Mrs Average because proper economic and sovereignty arguments are far too complicated without being reduced to single sentence soundbites.
If only the government had had the foresight to produce a single ‘for and against’ document, clearly showing that the argument is largely opinion rather than fact-based, Mr and Mrs Average would not have to be subjected to the increasingly hysterical rhetoric of the Westminster wide-boys.
However, tell someone that their property value is going to fall and contrary to world trends, interest rates are mysteriously going to increase, you begin to understand that scaremongering by both sides is the only way forward.
What is it that we are being asked to keep or abandon?
What is in place at the moment is a self-amplifying bureaucracy which has arrived at the stage where it exists to perpetuate itself rather than be there for the good of the European Community. We have a European legal system whose main function appears to be to impose itself on EU member states plus a European economy which continues to be in terminal decline. There is a massive migration problem-without-end, with the prospect of an increased internal EU migration issue as a result of the proposed future membership of Turkey and Albania. That is the organisation of which we are currently a member.
The question is very straightforward: Do we want to belong to a totally unaudited association of failing and near bankrupt economies, overrun by unwanted (yes!) migrants and presided over by an inwardly-focused, self-amplifying bureaucracy – or should we be looking outwards to the rest of the world whilst maintaining relations only with the European states we can and WANT to do business with – without worrying about regulations governing what we eat or the amperage of our hairdryers and toasters!
The MOST frightening aspect of leaving the European Union is no more than a quite natural fear of CHANGE.
With very few exceptions, politicians have clearly demonstrated that they are incapable of preventing crises and they are certainly very frightened of being accused of creating a crisis such as they imagine might occur if we left the EU.
They surmise, quite correctly, that they would not be able to deal with it, and it is no accident that both David Cameron and George Osborne are at the desperate forefront of trying to keep us in the European Union because they would be the ones expected to deal with any Brexit fallout for which they are not professionally equipped.
Their motivation is fear, whereas the leaders of the Brexit campaign are driven by no more than a misplaced ambition to rule.
The stakes within the EU debate have very little to do with pragmatism or principle. They are to do with power and we as voters would do well to remember that.
The subtext of the Brexit debate is a battle for the leadership of BOTH of our main political parties.
All that Chancellor Gideon has achieved by stating that if the UK leaves the #EU, MORTGAGE RATES will increase, has been to highlight his stupidity and total lack of understanding of the mortgage market. Presumably he is implying that if we remain in the EU, mortgage rates will NOT go up?
However, it was good to see that in preparation for any backlash, he made the point that his weasel words were, in fact, quoting what “The Americans” said.
Remember that whatever your opinion, whether it’s the #EU hokey-kokey debate or Mr Cameron and his deep and (so genuine!) offshore love for his father, it all depends on where you’re standing …your POV……………… For instance:
Dog: ” I love the way I’ve trained that nice Dr Pavlov to smile, make notes and give me a treat every time I drool”
This is what is happening while #Cameron dispenses platitudes:
German newspaper Rheinische Post has reported that Tata Steel is in advanced talks to buy a stake in Thyssenkrupp’s Steel Europe, sending shares in Thyssenkrupp 5.2 percent higher to the top of Germany’s DAX index …………Thyssenkrupp declined to comment, as did a European spokesman for Tata Steel.
Tata Steel wants to dump Port Talbot and get into bed with our German friends.
David Cameron is about to send his Christmas EU wish-list letter to Brussels.
As he licks the stamp, he should perhaps reflect on the fact that this is the third renegotiation since Britain joined in 1973 and our second referendum on membership.
It’s not even as if the United Kingdom is negotiating from a position of strength. The rather flaky economic recovery which Osborne thinks he’s sold not only to a gullible British public but also to the EU, is looking shakier by the day.
The much-promulgated “We’ve managed to get the deficit down to 5% of GDP!” may sound good in isolation but the much-maligned Eurozone has a Deficit-to-GDP ratio of only 2.1% ! (The UK figure is actually well over 5.0%). The only three coutries with a higher Deficit-GDP ratio are Croatia, Spain and Cyprus.
If you listen very carefully to Cameron’s referendum rhetoric, you may notice that he has moved from being pro-EU to very neutral. You will also notice that he’s chosen four very flabby areas on which to “negotiate”:
Integration: Allowing the UK to opt-out of any EU Superstate nonsense
Benefits: Restricting access to in-work and out-of-work benefits to EU migrants.
Sovereignty: Giving greater powers to national parliaments to block EU legislation.
Eurozone vs the rest: Securing an explicit recognition that the euro is not the only currency of the European Union.
He has totally ignored our two biggest gripes: The £6-20 BILLION (depending on who you talk to ) net annual contribution to the EU and that obscenely inflated money-pit that is the Brussels bureaucracy. THAT is where the changes ought to be!
However, we can take comfort from the certain knowledge that WHATEVER our Prime Minister “negotiates” will be proven statistically to be a great (statistical) victory for the UK taxpayer.
David Cameron and George Osborne both appear to think that meeting other politicians somehow creates international trade. The fact is that politicians have very little influence on commerce and none at all on corporate trade-related decision-making.
The three months to September 2015 saw British exporters experience the weakest growth in orders since the second quarter of 2009 when the country was in the grip of recession.
Admittedly, manufacturing represents only about 10% of GDP but nevertheless it is worrying to see the UK’s export drive going into reverse at exactly the time when the government is dispensing such positive economic mood-music.
Yes, we understand that the UK economy is in better shape than most other European countries but then again, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man IS king!
Our overall economic growth has slowed to 0.5% per quarter but it is most likely that almost all of that growth is as a result of domestic demand – which is certainly not particularly encouraging within the global economy.
A Markit survey published yesterday shows that in spite of the rhetoric, the construction sector also slowed in October.
If you ask the average British person why they are dissatisfied with the nature of the UK’s membership of the European Union, the items which are always near the top of the agenda are: 1. The scale of our national contribution. 2. Migration fears. 3. The wastage on the bloated Brussels bureaucracy.
That is why it is strange to see that David Cameron’s tediously anaemic ‘negotiation’ shopping list does not mention TWO of the above. Here’s the list:
Securing an opt-out from the principle of ever-closer union
Protecting the rights of countries outside the eurozone
Regaining more powers for national parliaments
Overhauling the existing welfarerules in relation to migration
If Cameron does not deal which what is really bothering the UK voter, the 2016 EU referendum already has a foregone conclusion.
Chancellor Osborne is off to Germany next week to outline how he wants to protect London’s financial services industry in a reformed European Union. The fear is that ever-closer integration of the eurozone could leave London sidelined in financial policymaking, affecting its banking sector. In fact, London’s status as a European financial centre has already been compromised by Cameron’s dithering and inability to put down on paper the exact changes he is (apparently) negotiating. The continuing lack of detail on his demands for new EU membership terms, is causing both frustration, bemusement and a level of confusion among EU leaders. Cameron has now had to “do a Chilcot” by promising to send them his wish-list by next week.