Fury of pro-Brexit ministers denied access to papers. Cameron launches ‘Project Fear’.

The Times reports the anger of pro-Brexit Ministers, who are now graciously allowed to campaign for Leave — but denied access to relevant Cabinet papers.  It is preposterous and unprecedented that Cabinet Ministers should be denied papers in their own departments.  Not content with splitting the Conservative Party from top to bottom, Cameron now seems intent on driving a wedge between Ministers and civil servants.

The Prime Minister’s provocative, petty and partisan policy on this issue is undermining the respect due to his high office.  It is also reflecting very badly on the Remain campaign which he is leading.  Voters will take a dim view.

Ten years of uncertainty? Not sure about that

Cabinet Office Minister Matt Hancock has said “Britain will face ten years of uncertainty if we leave the EU”.  He argues that it will take this long to negotiate new trade arrangements.  This contrasts with Digby Jones’ opinion that after Brexit “We will have a UK/EU Free Trade Deal in twenty-four hours”.  Under Article 50, we will have two years of orderly negotiations on a free trade deal with the rump-EU.  We will have the protection of WTO rules.  We have the EU’s obligation under the Treaty to negotiate favourable terms with neighbouring countries.  Most important of all, we have the overwhelming economic logic that as the EU’s largest customer, the EU will be obliged to seek good terms of trade with the UK.

Even if Matt Hancock were right, some might feel that ten years of uncertainty was better than decades of uncertainty and subservience in a dysfunctional and declining European Union which is clearly heading to the scrap-heap of history.

In the case of existing trade deals negotiated through the EU with third countries, we should expect to see those deals grandfathered to the UK in the short term, and subject to renegotiation in an orderly way if and when we and the third party choose to do so.  (But no doubt British ministers will be frantically lobbying those third countries to make negative noises about post-Brexit trade — as they have done with the USA).

And post-Brexit, we shall be free to negotiate trade deals with the rest of the world, where the growth is.  Like China.  And the Commonwealth.

Finland: the new €uro victim?

The economy of Finland is in trouble.  Apple has eaten Nokia’s lunch.  Increasing internet use has reduced demand for paper (a major Finnish export).  Turmoil in Russia — plus Russian sanctions — has damaged the Finns’ export business.  If the Finns had kept their currency, they could have adjusted to changed circumstances.  But Tuomas Malinen, an economist at Helsinki University, pulls no punches.  : “The main blame for our economic woes should be placed where it belongs, namely on the euro membership.”

BoJo a hypocrite?

Boris Johnson is “a hypocrite” for backing Brexit at the same time as he celebrates Crossrail/The Elizabeth Line, for which the EIB advanced a loan of £1 billion, fumes theHuff Post. Biting the hand that feeds him.

It may have escaped the attention of the Huff Post that the money we get back from the European institutions is our money, and every pound of it costs the British economy around £3.  So after Brexit, we’ll have more funding available for infrastructure, not less.  They should also consider the fact that the government is well placed to borrow for long-term projects, at very advantageous interest rates.

Meantime the improbably named Caroline Pidgeon, the Lib-Dem mayoral candidate, warns that Brexit could deny London billions in infrastructure investment – making the same point about the EIB.  Same answers apply.  Plus the fact that major investors, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds are only too eager to find major, viable infrastructure projects to invest in.  Sorry, Caroline, but another paper tiger just bit the dust.

Norway again

It’s clear that the stay-mongers are going to keep talking about Norway – because there are obvious down-sides with Norway’s position that wouldn’t apply to an independent UK.    I was particularly struck by Thérèse Coffey MP on BBC Any Questions last weekend.  She launched into the usual stuff about Norway.  Paul Nuttall responded in robust terms that we didn’t want to be like Norway.  But poor Thérèse clearly couldn’t find the “Pause” button, and just carried on regardless.  We must shoot this one down mercilessly every time they bring it up.

Cost of benefits for jobless EU migrants to hit £1 billion?

The Express publishes a report  claiming that the annual benefit cost for jobless EU migrants is headed to £1 billion.  Of course these costs will be unaffected by proposed changes to in-work benefit payments.

Roger Helmer

Don’t be taken in by Project Fear – staying in the EU is the risky choice

The Remain campaign, including HM Treasury, is actively talking down Britain’s prospects

British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a media conference after an EU Summit in Brussels

David Cameron wants to stay in the EU  Photo: AP

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Are you frit? Are you frightened? Have they spooked you yet? It is now obvious that the Remain campaign is intended to provoke only one emotion in the breast of the British public and that is fear.

They want us to go to the polls in such a state of quivering apprehension that we do the bidding of the Euro-elites, and vote to stay in the European Union. We may accept, intellectually, that the system is unreformed, and often corrupt, and increasingly anti-democratic. We may recognise that if we were asked to join now, for the first time, that we would not dream of doing so. We may at one level understand that if we vote to Remain, we will continue to sit trapped like passengers in the back seat of some errant minicab with a driver who cannot speak English and who is taking us remorselessly and expensively in the wrong direction.

But the Remain camp clearly calculate that when it comes to the choice – between exit now, or an ever-more constricting entanglement – we will funk it; we won’t take the risk; we will stick with the devil we know. To encourage us in that decision, they are making a series of questionable assertions.

We are told that there would be a threat to the UK economy. We have just had the curious spectacle of HM Treasury insisting on the rewriting of a G20 Communique to include a reference to the potential “shock” from Brexit – surely the first time any country has used an international forum actively to talk up threats to its own economic prospects.

The agents of Project Fear – and they seem to be everywhere – have warned us that leaving the EU would jeopardise police, judicial and intelligence cooperation. We have even been told that the EU has been responsible, over the last 70 years, for “keeping the peace in Europe”. In every case the message is that Brexit is simply too scary; and the reality is that these threats are so wildly exaggerated as to be nonsense.

Indeed I am ever more convinced that the real risk is to sit back and do nothing, to remain inertly and complacently in an unreformed EU that is hell-bent on a federal project over which we have no control.

Take the so-called economic risks. Remember when you weigh them up that the people now issuing the blood-curdling warnings against Brexit are often the very same (as the former governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, just pointed out) as the people who prophesied disaster if Britain failed to join the euro. In fact, the opposite turned out to be true. It was the euro that proved to be a nightmare, an economic doomsday machine that is still causing low growth, high unemployment and real misery in some European countries.

Mervyn King

Sir Mervyn King  Photo: Bloomberg

The single currency is also the cause of tensions between European countries, and rhetoric of a virulence and nastiness we have not seen since the second world war. We have had anti-German riots in Greece; we have seen Angela Merkel burned in effigy in Greece. In France, relations with Germany are said to be at a post-war nadir and support for the National Front is at an all-time high. Instead of recognising this disaster for what it is – the result of an over-centralising plan to fuse diverse economies into one – the EU is determined to keep going in the wrong direction.

Francois Hollande is calling for a new federal parliament of the eurozone, and there are explicit plans to try to save the euro by creating an ever tighter political and fiscal union, with legislative consequences that would embroil Britain even though we are out of the eurozone.

We stand on the brink of another huge new centralising leap – a leap in the dark, to coin a phrase – which means less democracy, less accountability and therefore a greater risk of disillusion and eventual political eruption. It isn’t Brexit that presents the economic risk; it is the euro, and the federalising attempts to save it that are the real long-term threat to security and stability.

As for the notion that the EU is somehow the military guarantor of peace in Europe – remember what happened when the EU was entrusted with sorting out Yugoslavia. Remember Ukraine. It is Nato and the Atlantic alliance that underpins our security, as Maj Gen Julian Thompson outlines elsewhere in this paper today. EU pretensions in the area are at best confusing and at worst likely to encourage American disengagement.

It is simply untrue, finally, to say that leaving the EU would make it impossible for us to concert our activities in intelligence or counter-terrorism or policing. All these operations can be conducted at an intergovernmental level – as indeed they used to be, until fairly recently.

On the contrary, it is the European Court of Justice, with its vast new remit over the Charter of Fundamental Rights, that is making it harder month by month for the security services to get on with their job – whether it be expelling murderers or monitoring terrorist suspects. It is the border-free Europe, obviously, that makes it so much easier for our enemies to move around. As Ronald K Noble, the former head of Interpol, has said, the Schengen area is “like a sign welcoming terrorists to Europe”.

Whatever the risks of Brexit, they are eclipsed by the problems of remaining in a political construct that has changed out of all recognition since we joined in 1972. What we need to do now is screw up our courage and go for change. We need a new partnership and a new deal with our friends in the EU, based on trade and cooperation, but without this supranational apparatus that is so out of date and is imitated nowhere else.

It is a once in a lifetime chance to energise our democracy, cut bureaucracy, save £8 bn a year, control our borders and strike new trade deals with growth economies that are currently forbidden. Vote Leave would be good for Britain and the only way to jolt the EU into the reform it needs. Let’s call it Project Hope.



3 Responses to “Fury of pro-Brexit ministers denied access to papers. Cameron launches ‘Project Fear’.”

  1. ian says:

    Exactly what they did in the Scotland independence vote. Scaring the sh1t out of the TV lovers.

  2. Lynn says:

    Blackmail and corruption, runs this banana republic of ours..no one cares to speak for the people. We have to stand up to this total sell out fake prime minister. It really is getting beyond insane now.

  3. Lynn says:

    It’s a dirty game they play. The man we call PM is a gatekeeper. Playing a role. He has no power or influence. His pea brain has no clue of duty. He is doing the bidding for his masters. We are dumb watchers. Powerless and dependant upon this sham charade.

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