The business community wants to hear the Leave case

I have done many debates and briefings for the business community in recent weeks. They all have some  things in common. There is a strong wish to learn, as many in the business community have  been starved of honest accounts of what powers the EU has and what policies it is following. There is an ignorance of the Leave campaign, as the media crowds out our positive message by endless aggressive interviews asking us to rebut the latest absurdity of project fear, or they seek to turn the whole thing into a Tory split story. The business community and many others are getting fed up with this silly treatment of a big national issue.

 

The first thing few grasp is this is about much more than trade rules and how easy it should be for Germany to sell us her cars. It is about who makes our laws, who levies taxes, who spends our money, who controls our borders. I have to explain just how much power the EU now has over VAT, Corporation Tax, energy policy, business regulation, criminal law and much else.

 

The second thing I notice is even the big  banks and foreign investment houses who say they analyse economics do not understand the need to analyse the favourable economic impacts of saving a £12 bn outflow on balance of payments and a £11bn contribution which is spent on the continent which could be spent at home. When I point out we get a 0.6%boost to GDP from spending our own money no one disagrees but no one  includes this  in their analysis.

 

The third thing I notice is they assume we will follow the Article 50 route out if the EU but do not then realise that means no change for the first two years. They are usually unsighted on the UK Parlianentary route allied to a faster negotiation timetable.

They find it difficult to understand that Article 50  is designed more for the convenience of the Union than of the leaver. That’s why using UK legislation to restore our veto before entering a faster negotiation would give us more leverage.

Many of them  assume we will do a Norway and seem not to have heard the clear  statements of the Leave campaign that we will not pay contributions in or have free movement once we have left.

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104 Comments

  1. stred
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    The main way that firms and individuals find information is on the internet. If I google ‘EU referendum facts’, the list starts with websites giving supposedly neutral advice and, of course, BBC ‘facts’. Reading through this I find – any money spent bailing out EZnations will be reimbursed’, ‘treaty change is promised’, net contribution is 8.8 or 5.7bn, ‘maverick isolated state’, brits abroad ‘forced to prove they can speak the language’, Brits ‘to be considered illegal immigrants, ‘seizing homes in the EU. etc

    Google does not find ‘Conservatives for leaving’ or any other Leave campaign. If you need to know how to come on the list and maximise cover, I can put you in touch with people who work in this area.

    • hefner
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      stred, my search gives, in order:
      BBC, Telegraph, TheWeek, EUreferendum, FullFact, Guardian, ibtimes, EU-rope, poynter, capitalandconflict.
      You might be fixated on the BBC, but when doing a search, you are not forced to read the first site out!
      Maybe you simply do not know how Google works. It will show you the most read, not “websites with them supposedly neutral advice” .

      It is up to the reader to decide for themselves what they want to read. No need to think about conspiration.

      • hefner
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        conspiracy!

        • stred
          Posted March 27, 2016 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

          Hefner. I was not suggesting conspiracy. It is a question of finding key words and paying. Some of the quotes were from the other sites. BBC are slanted by not putting the full leave side and mentioning the worst opposite case without refutal.

          I have family who work in optimisation for internet sales.

    • Hope
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      We read the useless Jetemy Hunt make ridiculous claim the NHSwould somehow collapse if the UK left the EU! It clearly demonstrates how he is unfit for office and does not have a clue how to run the World Health Service. Has he actually achieved anything to prevent NHS abuse from people all around the world at the cost of the U.K. Taxpayer? Like Cameron, May and Osborne they are not fit for the office they hold. Is anyone in the 1922 committee going to get to grips with these idiots. In the last week, immigration and security scare because of May’s useless ineffectiveness over six yeas, Osborne giving away billions of pounds of our taxes while cutting disability benefit to the most vulnerable in society, Cameron continuously lying we are safer in the EU! Come back Gordon you are the saviour of prudence and sovereignty compared to these looney tunes.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        Funny how the NHS managed perfectly well before we went into the EU! It’s just a case of managing properly, something which they seem unable to do now. Go back to Matron on the wards and run it like we used to.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    The lack of information is probably largely due the BBC & the government’s endless misinformation that is dripped onto the nation daily.

    We will indeed get a boost from the UK spending our taxpayers money on our own needs directly without the expensive and hugely inefficient EU middle man misdirecting it.

    We could have a further & bigger boost by leaving the money with the taxpayers who made it themselves. They would spend and invest it even better the UK government. It is not that difficult to use it better than Osborne and this Libdem, tax borrow and waste Government does.

    Other boosts could come from massive deregulation and control of immigration so that only people who were a clearly needed and an asset to the UK were allowed in. Assuming we can get some sensible UK government for a change that is. This might not be that easy though, give that there are so many Libdims in the Conservative party and they are currently in control.

    .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      And cheaper (non greencrap) energy.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        I don’t see that we would get cheaper non greencrap energy post Brexit. Milibands climate change act was home grown, and was supported by all parties in Parliament including the Comservatives. I think it’s true to say only 5 MPs voted against it. All the expensive energy policies in the UK flow from this piece of legislation.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 27, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          True, but we will hopefully get a sensible government post Brexit.

        • forthurst
          Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

          “I don’t see that we would get cheaper non greencrap energy post Brexit.”

          Really, so what’s all this c**p about then:

          “The EU and its member countries – 15 at the time the legislation was adopted (the ‘EU-15’) – went beyond this and committed to an 8% cutfor the bloc as a whole.”

          http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/strategies/progress/kyoto_1/index_en.htm

          Anyone who wants to know why this is being inflicted on Europe and nowhere else, then they need to understand what this scam is all about:

          Dr. Ottmar Edenhoefer, “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

          Got it? It’s about destroying Western economies in order to assist the third world to catch up and overtake. Therefore anyone who assists this activity is committing treason and should be subject to the most grievous penalty that treason inherently deserves.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

          But it doesn’t have to be this way just because an idiot like Miliband/Blair said it does. Agree with Lifelogic. Get sensible ministers in and change it all because it is almost too late now.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      It seem Osborne’s bonkers sugar tax may cost twice what it brings in! Another own goal from the man which damages the economy and does not good at all – except perhaps for lawyers and bureaucrats.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/12205059/EU-referendum-Fluff-and-nonsense-from-both-Remain-and-Leave.html

      • Bazman
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Dreamworld stuff. How much does mssive subsidy to landlords add in that case?

  3. stred
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Just tried ‘Conservatives for Britain’. Click- all I get is an invitation to sign in- a big turn off. The click ‘blog’. Pictures of people holding banners up with the title over, making it hard to read. Lots of pictures of you looking like some mad psychiatrist in close up. You really need someone who can design a friendly website. Suggest you don’t put this on and email me for info on how to do it as cheaply as possible.

  4. The Active Citizen
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    I agree that business people currently seem reluctant to consider any of the positive economic aspects of Brexit, such as the Balance of Payments bonus which you’ve been highlighting for a long time.

    However we must remember that business people (like me) are just as prone to herd instinct as others. I know many people in business who are smart as hell, but just haven’t had time to investigate the real EU debate. There’s such a temptation to go with the ‘consensus view’ in your own sphere of activity, be that business, science, academia, or whatever.

    This is often led by heads of associations of such special-interest groups, and I hope no-one minds if I generalise in saying that such heads are often bureaucratically-inclined and therefore minded to support an undemocratic organisation like the EU.

    This is one of the reasons why I never joined any business group of any kind. I was too busy growing businesses to particpate in such things. I’m sure there are thousands of business owners like me out there, who choose not to have a voice through organisations like the CBI et al.

    It’s my hope that more people in special-interest groups will start to question the accepted view of their own branch of ‘the establishment’, dig for the real facts, and then speak out.

    JR, your efforts with the business community – as with so many other areas of life in which you campaign – are appreciated as ever.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Indeed the head of special interest groups often have an agenda different to the group they supposedly represent.

      For example groups supposedly representing landlords actually benefit from endless new over regulation of almost everything. This as it means they are more needed to guide landlords through the maze and charge for services, legal advice, insurance, safely tests etc. in these areas.

      The interests of the group can often by totally at odds with those of their members and usually are.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        In a similar way the agenda of MPs can be totally in conflict with the interests of the country, the voters or the party membership.

        Also the interests of EU bureaucrats can be totally in conflict with the interests of EU citizens or member countries. It usually is as they always want more & more power, more taxation and more regulation of everything. The citizens would benefit from far less of this.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      T A C

      Its not just the business community that is starved of facts, the General Public are also in the same position.

      Intelligent people seem to be completely unaware as to the power and money we have given away over the decades to the EU.

      Few know that out Budgets and tax raising/reducing powers are affected.

      Few are aware that EU financing of our farmers and universities is actually our own money back.

      Few realise that much workplace regulation is EU based.

      Few realise that real facts are about, but perhaps hard to find.

      Few realise that you need to put in effort to find the real facts, they expect it to be handed to them on a plate.

      Such has been the total control of EU propaganda over the years with stickers and badges on many projects (our own money back relabelled as EU Funds) that the population has been slowly brainwashed.

      Virtually no one I have spoken to knows about the Five Presidents report let alone what is contained within it.

      As I have said many times it is not comparing the EU now with leaving it is comparing what the EU will become with leaving.

      The leave teams are trying hard, and whilst some info is getting through, it seems to be having little impact.
      The biggest impact is still people seeing thousands of foreign people marching towards us on their TV screens, when their own children cannot get into schools or get decent housing.

      The fact that our Prime Minister has to go begging for some power back does not yet seem to resonate.

      Thanks JR for your efforts, I constantly recommend people read this site for better information and logical comment, and am at least getting some success with that.

    • Steve_L
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Businesses don’t get a vote. This referendum isn’t for businesses, it’s for the people. The people will make the decision. Of course the economics of the situation, including the effect on businesses is a factor, but the issue is much more fundamental and wide reaching than that.

      Also consider that what is in the interests of (particularly big) businesses isn’t necessarily good for individuals.

  5. Cheshire Girl
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Apologies, as this is off topic. – but I would just like to wish you and your Family a very Happy Easter. I hope you have a very pleasant day.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      And I would very much like to echo this sentiment:
      Happy Easter!

  6. oldtimer
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    This ignorance, I believe, is partly due the way the timetabling is structured by Mr Cameron. It has given him and the government a head start over the Leave campaign. It would not surprise me if there was a change of tack from him and BSE once the official Leave campaign is designated.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Cameron is clearly doing all he can to slope the field of play. Lacking any valid arguments for “remain” he doubtless feels he must do.

      He is surely backing the wrong horse as usual. The UK voters will surely not miss this last chance to escape? Do they really want to be mere regions of an anti-democratic, sclerotic, economic basket case. A socialist super state with open borders and huge and totally non selective, net migration?

      Do they really want their pay depressed, appalling stretched public services and a huge shortage of housing.

      I see that many doctors surgeries will not not even allow you to make an advanced booking. Leaving people to scramble for the available slots at a set time each morning as if they have nothing better to do with their time.

      What sort of a complete joke of an NHS service is this? Cameron priority in three letters he assured us!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        It is clear that Cameron (and indeed IHT ratter Osborne) do not seem to think that telling the truth is important. Nor it seems is running a decent heath service that actually works.

        Do they see these as a “Christian values” I wonder?

        • Bazman
          Posted March 27, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

          Not ratter to most of the population who do not pay IHT. Many would argue to increase the amount and scope and for good reason. Yet to hear you defend it instead of just bleating about the wealth relatives of the deceased having to pay on money they often have done nothing for instead of it being used for public services such as the NHS you are also whining about being underfunded. Funded by taxes amazingly allowing the population to have some degree of heath in order to fund massive housing benefit bills to landlords also funded by taxes.
          How ‘Christian’ is not paying for this via IHT and instead by increased taxes and cuts on the poor?
          Not one thought on this have we? Repeating the Osborne ratter line like some sort of chant.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 27, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

            Just increasing IHT to allow for inflation.
            It’s money tax has already been paid on once before.
            Envy of others does not make you happy.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

            Osborne is increasing taxes on the poor hugely! This as the tenants will clearly have to pay higher rents to cover his extra 3% stamp duty and the new interest non deduction rules and other landlord muggings/rule changes he has introduced.

            Ratter as in not keeping his promise on IHT (and worse still lying that he is keeping his promise). What a contemptible man Osborne is.

            Then there is his bonkers sugar tax and his misguided & counterproductive attacks on NonDoms too.

          • alan jutson
            Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

            Bazman

            You are correct, perhaps few people relative to the percentage of the whole population pay it, but perhaps rather more suffer from it (those families who are due to inherit) than is realised.

            I see Probate fees are also going up in massive amounts shortly under Mr Osbourn’s new plans, yet another charge that no one can escape which has to be paid in advance of an estate being settled.

            It would be helpful if all Politicians actually told the truth when setting out new policies, instead of hiding it in the small print and only being revealed in its full form days or weeks later.

            A certain Mr G Brown was also an expert in this tactic.

            Life is complicated enough with all of the usual twists and turns of normal living, without the complication of Politicians being economic with the truth.

            Just look at the recent PIP fiasco.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 28, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

            As you laughably and without irony point out lielogic the tenants will pick up higher rents due to increased stamp duty. Can any other bussiness just pass on any increased
            taxes and costs to the customer instead of taking the hit themseves? Osbourne is not directly doing so though can ultimatly take the blame and its touching of you all to be so concerned of theplight of relatives having to pay tax they have often done nothing for obtained from the back of corperate welfare, property price inflation and housing benefits.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic, in our doctors surgery this is the norm. Having to phone on the morning of the day you want an appointment and having to keep phoning because it is always engaged and then being lucky to get a slot so that you get answered. Sometimes I am on the phone for around half an hour before I get through. Alternatively, I could get in my car and make a round trip of 9 miles to get an appointment. Then we never get to see our own doctor. Usually a locum who knows nothing about your illness or your medical history. Great! It can only get worse. A nearby surgery cannot get doctors and the last remaining doctor is retiring. Our surgery will have to cover and there is another surgery in the same situation nearby. Where will it all end? No wonder people go to A&E. It’s often the only way to get seen.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. Well Cameron/Osborne seems to like open door immigration and think the NHS and other services should be open to the whole world regardless of any contribution to it.

          But do not worry is is Cameron’s priority in three letters!

          A bit like Blair’s education, education, education lie!

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        At this rate there will not be a single church or cathedral standing in Britain in 100 years.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    I see that DAVID CAMERON has used his Easter message to call for Britain to stand together and defend its “Christian values”. We must stand up for Christianity.

    Why? I tend to think far less religion and irrational belief systems would be a very good thing, especially given recent events.

    Rather less prayers and some more practical action is needed.

    Christian values, has he read the Old Testament? Religion and such cleavages in society should surely be kept out of politics and schools as far as is possible.

    As the physicist Steven Weinberg put it:

    Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

    Blair being perhaps a good example.

    • hefner
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Thanks for that.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Well it’s a shame that our flag is not allowed then on marches when other flags are!! Perhaps a sense of national pride is needed. Assembly with prayers and hymns have been discontinued in a lot of schools for fear of offending. Offending who? Anyone coming to live in this country knows we are a Christian country and so should not be offended. If they are then I suggest they go back to another country where their religion is practiced. Their choice.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Strange comments connected to religion. I can remember a time when we attended assembly in school and evil was never on our minds when religious prayers and hymns were sung. What has happened?? Multi- culturalism!

        • hefner
          Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          What country will I go, if I do not have any religion?

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

            Just stay where you like. It will make no difference to those who choose to have a religion if you don’t decide to make trouble for all around you. Religion is fine as long as you accept other people have religious beliefs too. That is what we allow others to do in this country yet it is they that choose to attack us.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Religion is not the root of all evil but is responsible for the majority of it. Christian values are sometimes a hindrance rather than a help as some other religions doctrines are not so pacific. The new testament doctrines at least command us to have pacific ways. The old testament quite the opposite. It could lead us to believe that we have two gods one that is benign and all caring the other angry and vengeful.

      When Christian values clash with those who religious values are not the same and conflict ensues then Christians are fighting with one arm tied behind their backs. It was not always the case as moral rectitude was not allowed to get in the way of winning as is the case today. If things carry on as they are then we Christians(those with Christian values that is as we atheists are still influenced by them whether we like it or not) will have to re-evaluate how far we can allow our religion to influence our actions when it comes to our security.

    • Bazman
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Practical action meaning doing less in your do nothing world?

    • stred
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Guidance for Father Eural McCameron,

      Do not bear false witness- especially during project fear.

      Do not kill- especially bad news about migration numbers.
      .
      Honour the Sabbath- keep Sunday special and God doesn’t mean for shopping. Remember what Jesus did to Temple traders.

      Honour thy mother- and stop closing her voluntary aid centres.

      Do not steal- especially inventing stealth taxes and taxes on unearned profits.

      Marks out of 10 so far 0. Must try harder.

      Happy Easter- and could we stop moving the date around please.

      • stred
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        And for Gideon the probate thief,

        Do not covet your neighbours office.

    • Hope
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Disagree totally. Christianity is the bedrock of our society, laws and social convention. Loose it at your peril. Watch the liberal, so called neutral elite, allow religious extremism to take over. Tolerant of other religions, yes. Forgiving, yes. Taken over, no. Scared to say anything, no. Wiped out, no.

      You cannot believe a word Cameron says.mhis view appears in contrast to his recent defeat on Sunday trading. Even his beloved boss Merkel has not forced Sunday working in Germany, it is still very much rest day for the family. Not corporate EU day for cheap labour to improve growth for GPD!

    • Dennis
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      “Christian values, has he read the Old Testament?” Christian values are only in the New Testament.

      • stred
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Didn’t Saul and Luke still use the Old Testament, especially for Jewish converts, and wrote the New bit with added salvation. We can now chose whether to use ‘an eye for an eye’ or to ‘turn the other cheek’, depending on circumstances. Bomber Command chose the formerin WW2.

        Personally, I think it is all made up, but provides a sort of human guide from accumulated wisdom, but obviously can go very wrong if interpreted wrongly.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      sorry – fewer prayers

  8. The Active Citizen
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Thank you to those who commented yesterday on the new fact-based EU Referendum website which JR allowed me to mention, and thanks to those who contacted us so far.

    I just wanted to clarify that JR is not responsible for the management, financing, or content of third-party websites like ours. He sometimes allows mention of other websites but this does not imply his recommendation or endorsement. JR runs the site you’re reading and he is also VP of Conservatives For Britain, both of which are excellent.

    Our new site serves a slightly different purpose and we would still welcome offers of help.

    Come on Denis Cooper and others who post interesting facts on here, why haven’t you volunteered as Editors yet!? We need all the help we can get to populate the site with great facts, as well as help with editing and moderation. 🙂

    Happy Easter to everyone.

    • Bazman
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      How do you respond to this very astute view of charlatans like Boris Johnson being for the Brexit.
      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/26/boris-johnson-mendacious-eu-referendum-next-prime-minister
      Interesting Britain with him as Prime Minister of a Tory government with no effective opposition. You are seriously telling us the average persons interests will be at the top of the agenda.
      This is reason enough not to vote for a leave. Vested interest supported by crackpots in my view. Much like your websites.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        We all have a vote.
        You will get the Government those who can be bothered to vote decide.
        I have a feeling your views are in a minority.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        While there are no charlatans opposing Brexit …

    • ian wragg
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Your link doesn’t appear to work.
      Johns site is excellent and there are other blogs which are very much in the leave camp.
      It is interesting to follow the comments on some of the newspaper sites as they are overwhelmingly for Leave.
      Each blog seems to have its own version of PvL who obviously work for Dept. 10 of the Brussels mis-information directory and they usually get torn to shreds.
      Keep it up John and Happy Easter to you and yours.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        Agree and happy Easter John in a Christian country.

    • ChrisS
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      I sent in an offer to help out in both the areas you mention above so you might care to look it out.

      I’m the website and magazine editor for an Association in a different field and act as a moderator on another forum. If you can’t find my offer, I’m happy for JR to pass on my email address to you.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      I’ll have to think about that.

  9. Antisthenes
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Only big businesses gain from being in the EU not because there is economic advantage for them any more than not being in the EU. It is because of the deluge of rules and regulations that pour out of Brussels that cause restrictive practices and impose heavy costs on businesses. Smaller business are crowded out of the market because they cannot cope and absorb costs as well as the larger companies can. So it’s suits big business because it reduces competition. Proved in the fact that government is always looking for exemption for small businesses from the EU’s draconian rules or protect them from them in other ways. Which tells us that the EU way is damaging and dangerous and not just for business.

    So the market is not working as it should it is in fact not common or free it is not truly competitive as it leans heavily towards protectionism. This is because it does not follow Anglo-Saxon ways that is based on free trade and competition but the continental way which is to protect their business from competition. At the same time give them advantage over those who do not practice what they do. The French are the biggest motivators for this type of behaviour and as the EU was in large part designed and built by them it is no surprise that it acts the way it does. If we cannot trade freely inside the EU what is the point of being there just as well to trade with it from the outside at least that way we can decide how we regulate our businesses and not have it imposed upon us.

    I do not see leaving the EU has to be a big deal unless the wrong people with the wrong vision of the future are in charge of the process. Any option that includes keeping ties and obligations with the EU will not work. Norway or Swiss option is not the best solution but may be a stepping stone to it. Although going that route may mean that the UK never gets passed that stepping stone. The ideal would to be totally independent with a special relationship with the EU. We have a trade agreement hammered out by the WTO and the EU ending with either tariff free or low ones as I am sure the EU does not want to restrict it’s exports to us. We agree to continue to cooperate in mutually beneficial ways on things like security and other specific areas that are of interest to us. Perhaps we could tag them onto our foreign aid budget to help them help themselves to get out of all the crises and messes they get themselves into. Freedom of movement will have to be replaced with allowable movement. That way movement of people between the UK and the EU will continue but it will not confer automatic rights of residency or any other rights. We have bilateral agreements already on this France and UK have one on health cover. There are others and we can continue to build on those when it is mutually beneficial. Leaving can be painless and the end result I believe will not only benefit the UK but the EU and the rest of the world to a lesser degree as well. We get our sovereignty back and a new engine for economic growth, the EU gets rid of a thorn in their side and can get on with their vanity project and and the world is better off because the UK re-enters onto the world stage. A win, win, win, situation.

  10. Ken Adams
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Statements from the leave campaigns are meaningless, they will not be in power to do anything. Unless he resigns it will still be Mr Cameron who is well versed in the problems that need to be addressed during the leaving process and has already said they will use Article 50.

    If we vote to leave we would expect our government to negotiate the safest rout out of the EU without making their scare stories a reality. It has taken over 40 years of continuous integration, only a fool would expect that to be unpicked overnight without creating massive problems.

    Yes we know article 50 is “designed more for the convenience of the Union than of the leaver” but it is an agreed treaty which we will be breaking if we do not use that method of leaving. Simply changing the accession treaty in the British parliament wont address any of the questions that the remain side have asked.

    The media are in affect right it is a Tory split we have the Prime Minster who is leading the remain campaign and it looks very much like Boris Johnson is going to become the leader of the designated leave campaign.

    Not that anyone who really wants to leave the EU would have chosen him, he seems to have elected himself and is going to bumble us out of any chance of winning the referendum. Because apart from his toxic history which is already being used to smear the leave campaign, he simply is not on top of his brief and is only a very recent convert to Leave. In fact he is so bad, one wonders if he is part of a 5th column camping controlled by no 10.

    If we vote leave we will have a situation where those who are now warning us of the dangers of leaving, will be the ones who will have to find ways of averting the Armageddon they have prophesised.

    The Norway option as a stepping stone is the best rout out as it returns many powers to the UK government, repeals CAP and CFP, removes us from the political union cuts our cost in half, returns 75% of the laws to our own parliament, whilst protecting all of our trade interests in the short term, and allowing us time to negotiate a bespoke settlement.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      @Ken Adams; Two points;
      1/. The likely use of Article 50 will be dependant on the size of majority for a Brexit, it will also be dependant on any relevant policy announcements from Labour post such a vote, as waiting two years before any possibility of leaving under A.50 would take the Tory party far to close to the 2020 GE for comfort and would only risk splitting the party in the same way as it became split before (and after) the 1997 GE.

      2/. The UN (and WTO) Charters trump any treaty the EU has imposed, thus the EU could not stop any member country leaving if there has been a clearly called democratic wish to exercise self determination.

      • Ken Adams
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        We are not so much concerned with being able to leave the EU but the best method of doing so.

        Only this in order to reassure people that it will safe to vote leave, that the economy wont fail, we wont all loose our houses the NHS wont collapse and all the other scare stories we are hearing.

        I do not believe we should launch into this campaign without having a fully worked out plan of action in the event we win, simply saying it will be alright on the night, will in my opinion be counter productive.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 28, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

          Ken Adams; “simply saying it will be alright on the night, will in my opinion be counter productive.”

          On the other hand we should not try and place irrelevant barriers in the way of a exit plan as you (and others) are doing when you keep talking about A.50 and its timetable, as that is perhaps even more counter productive.

          The EU can not, under international law, prevent a member country from leaving at a time that suits that country if that is earlier than the EU would wish – on the other hand the EU could stop such a country delaying their exit.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 28, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          And there is actually no need for any falling out over the best method, because it will be necessary to take action on BOTH fronts, it is not a case of either repealing ECA72 or invoking Article 50 because they are on different legal planes.

          Legally our membership of the EU does not depend upon ECA72 or any other domestic legislation passed by Parliament, but upon the instruments of ratification of the successive EU treaties which have been deposited by the government.

          Take for example the last amending treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon, the one that Cameron pretended no longer existed as a treaty:

          http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:12007L/TXT

          Article 6 in the Final Provisions:

          “1. This Treaty shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Government of the Italian Republic.

          2. This Treaty shall enter into force on 1 January 2009, provided that all the instruments of ratification have been deposited, or, failing that, on the first day of the month following the deposit of the instrument of ratification by the last signatory State to take this step.”

          However if the government had just gone ahead and deposited its instrument of ratification of the treaty without prior approval by Act of Parliament – which was well known to be the UK’s constitutional requirement – then the other High Contracting Parties would have asked how they could have any confidence that we would meet all our obligations under the treaty when our domestic law had not yet been changed to ensure that.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Cameron and Osborne will have to go if there is a leave vote. Cameron has said he is going shortly anyway. He is out of touch with the party and the country.

      Osborne can never be the leader. He is a dreadful tax borrow and waste Chancellor. His childish political gimmicks – sugar tax, to national living wage, his attacks on tenants, non doms and his IHT ratting are all hugely damaging. A Chancellor who cannot meet even his own lax targets and anyway is far too wooden in his delivery. He is hugely unpopular in the country too.

      Yet another good reason for everyone to vote leave.

      • Jerry
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        @LL; Why would Cameron and Osborne have to go? Who would replace them from the Tory MPs, who has to be electable in the eyes of the party that. You seem to forget that if there was a eurosceptic majority in the party they would never have made Cameron leader in the first place! I seem to recall that a lot of MPs voted for the EU Referendum Act, not necessarily because they want out, but because they want the air cleared and the matter settled.

        Do stop trying to make this about Tory party regime change and a leap to the right policy wise, it is not and the more people like you push for it to be so the greater that one or both the following will happen; 1/. the eurosceptic left, who the Brexit side need, will either sit on their hands or worse vote to remain, for fear of what the right wing will do after a Brexit. 2/. Cameron will be forced out but the next leader will be even less desirable to those wanting a ‘good’ Brexit…

      • Bazman
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        The attacks on tenants are being carried out by landlords passing the additional burden he has put on them, because they can. The IHT ratter chant is getting tiring. Most support IHT as just and fair tax and the minimum wage is necessary due to low wages paid by companies whilst making ever larger profits in many cases and housing becoming ever more expensive. Less money will mean less housing benefits and subsidy for landlords as the tenants will after a certain point just come out in mass non payment. Then what? The state funds the legal costs and evictions? I doubt it.
        State funded when you benefit like many right whiners and corporate welfare socialist scroungers.

    • acorn
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Norway is a small nation with five million population. It has a GDP per capita at two to three times the levels most countries can only dream for. It has to separate its oil economy from its non-oil economy, because, its current account surplus, is even now about 8%; it was 17% back before the GFC.

      Norway, has more more foreign currency assets in its sovereign wealth fund, than it knows what to do with. Paying an “associate members” fee to the EU, for market access, is peanuts for its Treasury budget, which is running a 9% surplus; AND, still has near 5% unemployment for reasons which are not clear.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Norway is a net exporter to the EU, while the UK is a net importer from the rest of the EU. If anybody is going to pay for market access then by rights they should be paying us for access to our lucrative domestic market.

  11. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    “That’s why using UK legislation to restore our veto before entering a faster negotiation would give us more leverage.”
    Let’s get some things clear, shall we.
    1. The parliament at the moment is totally opposed to Brexit. The Foreign Office and Civil Service are totally opposed to Brexit. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are totally opposed to Brexit. After we have won the referendum for LEAVE, what changes can we realistically expect here?
    2. If we do not abide by Article 50, after we have won the referendum, then we will break a treaty. Is this British? Won’t it really upset our neighbours in the EU so that they will not want to negotiate with us?
    3. Will we really drop our membership of the EEA (Common Market) WHILE WE NEGOTIATE? Honestly can you see us doing this?
    4. The Spinelli Fundamental Law and M. Juncker in his State of the Union Address both admit that Britain is a problem. It is not fitting in. Associate membership has been suggested. But therein lies a real opportunity for all the disadvantages of Brexit with none of the advantages. Negotiations could continue for years – decades in the case of the Swiss. If we insisted on joining EFTA before negotiations begin, surely this would allow everyone to accept our off the peg solution. They would know where exactly we stand.
    5. As we negotiate our way out, our trade, our business links and all our current arrangements would be in place, but we would be free to explore the rest of the world and to make our own arrangements with the international standards boards too. Then, as the EU turns into the Federal Republic of the Eurozone, we could quietly show ourselves out.

    • Bratwurst
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Excellent comments Mike.
      Unfortunately the main leave groups have no laid out exit strategy apart from airy-fairy wishful thinking along the lines of ‘well, of course they will agree a great trade deal with us’.
      This approach will almost certainly lose us the referendum.

    • Duyfken
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      I am nescient of the best path to be followed after a Brexit vote win. Perhaps it is not necessary (for me) to know this now either—a Brexit win will at the very least set the intended pattern of a reverse direction from ever closer union, despite any in authority being unhappy with that circumstance.

      Possibly the route to be taken is to both repeal or amend the European Communities Act 1972 and also give notice under the terms of the Articles of the Lisbon treaty. Then if the EU were to play hard-ball, delaying or otherwise being obstructive in our negotiations for withdrawal, the UK could justifiably walk away disregarding the EU’s sets of rules.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      The simple solution Mike is for those who are in favour of us staying, should not be allowed to have anything to do with any future negotiations at all.

      They backed the wrong horse and that is the price of failure.

      I do not know how the above would be possible, I guess there are some Party protocols which need to be used or established, but it has to be this way because no one will have any confidence in the stay team negotiating anything let alone leaving terms/timescale.

      At the same time we should have a team starting immediately to negotiate new trade agreements with all other Countries World wide, including the EU.

      Cameron will of course try to hang on, but a vote of confidence should be held on him and his position, the very next day after the referendum result to leave.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      If you read the text of Article 50 , it states that: “1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.” If that, in the case of the UK, means revoking the European Communities Act 1972 (and all its amendments to date) that is how we can proceed and still honour our treaty obligations.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      “If we do not abide by Article 50 … then we will break a treaty. Is this British?”

      By approving the Treaty of Lisbon in 2008 our government and Parliament agreed that we would be bound by all its terms, including the insertion of the new Article 50 into the Treaty on European Union. And as Cameron did not have amendment of that article on his list for EU “reforms” we must assume that he accepts it.

      So we should not decide to ignore that agreed Article 50 procedure without good cause, without being able to offer the world some reasonable justification.

      Reply If we vote to leave we vote to exit the treaties. Best done by agreement on new relationship, but staying under the current treaties is not an option.

      • ChrisS
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        Nor should it be

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Of course staying in under the current treaties is not an acceptable option, but we need to reassure voters that there would be a smooth, seamless transition to better arrangements after we had left. If we tell them that they could expect a period of chaos then many will not vote to leave in the first place.

    • Ken Adams
      Posted March 27, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Sorry Mike changing the accession treaty in the UK parliament will not give us a veto in the EU. Our parliament has already voted to make EU law superior to our law and its court superior to UK courts, from the EU perspective that would be an illegal action, hardly the best opening gambit in negotiation.

      We are attempting to convince enough people to vote for leaving the EU, to do that we need to address the very real questions posed by the remain camp based as they are on the worst possible scenario. Just saying it will be alright on the night, wont cut it, not when Mr Redwood is suggesting an exit process that will make them a reality.

      In any case Cameron has already said he will use article 50 so the point is mute.

      We need to be able to show with a reasonable level of certainty that leaving will be problem free.

      What I see if we vote leave is that our government would look at the various options open to it and use the exit rout that will create fewer problems and that is very likely to be the Norway option in the short term.

      Agreed we don’t get everything we want on day one, but we do regain substantial powers, our farming and fishing, we stop dead any thoughts of political integration and set the process of leaving in motion.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      “Will we really drop our membership of the EEA (Common Market) WHILE WE NEGOTIATE? Honestly can you see us doing this?”

      Of course not, that would create not just uncertainty but total legal and practical chaos, and nor would that be expected under the Article 50 procedure:

      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:12012M/TXT

      “The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.”

      So the UK government negotiates new treaty arrangements for after we have left the EU, and all the time the negotiations continue we are still in the EU; and if the new treaty comes into force before two years have elapsed we leave the EU then, at that same instant, in a seamless transition; or if the negotiations go more slowly then that two year period can be extended, and all that time we are still in the EU; it would be very much a last resort for all concerned to have the EU treaties cease to apply to the UK with no new treaty in place to take over.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Richard Branson wades in with a warning that easyJet will be unable to get flight paths and access to EU airports.

    It will be interesting to see which way the ‘great’ British public vote on this. Whether to save their country or whether to save their holidays (spoilt babies that a lot of them are.)

    If so then we will be able to say:

    Never, in the field of human leisure, has the sacrifices of so many, been squandered for the leisure of so few !

    Then ban every one of them from the vicinity of the Cenotaph and town memorials.

    That this level of decision making is a very real prospect (at least Branson thinks so) utterly appals me.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Branson knows very well that it is not an EU or even an EEA agreement.

  13. DaveM
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    My daughter (19 and a student) simply reads the leaflets dropped through her door. Leave.eu did a simple 4-pager with about 10 bullet points which were far more precise and positive than those on the BSE leaflet. It took her 10 minutes to read them both and she made her mind up pretty much there and then.

    My local (Con) MP spoke to constituents after the GE, having won in a traditionally Lab seat, and found that his bullet-pointed leaflet had more sway than anything else apart from standing in the shopping areas and chatting. The Lab flyer was weak and the candidate wasn’t seen anywhere in the constituency.

    I know it would be difficult to leaflet and speak to all businesses, but that would be the most effective way to get through I think, along with semi-formal briefs and coffee mornings where well informed people like yourself could brief comprehensively and factually as well as answering questions posed by those business folk who have only heard the CBI scare stories.

  14. agricola
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Why business people , as you contend, are ignorant of the issues is something of a mystery. Whatever, they are small in number and only have one vote. I suspect it would be counter productive were they to tell their workforce how to vote. The workforce are more likely to have day to day experience of the downside of belonging to the EU. Directors are less likely to suffer the wage restraint, difficulties with school placement , being dependant on the NHS, and the problems of being able to afford accommodation.

    I read that Richard Branson has declared that budget airlines, such as Easy Jet, and Ryanair, are terrified that they might lose access to EU airports. Utter drivel. Ryanair are an Irish therefore EU airline. Easy Jet , based in Luton, have an associate in Switzerland. Do we buy into the idea that all EU airports, and the micro economies they create, would be happy to see them go. Does the EU wish to end the tourist industry that keeps much of it afloat in it’s southern states. Would Airbus sit back and see an end to all their aircraft orders. This is all (wrong ed etc)
    In or out of the EU our Overseas Aid budget of £12 Billion needs auditing and drastically reducing. Chance to add another £6 Billion at least to the £12Billion bonus from leaving the EU. The amount of taxpayers money that gets misdirected in the UK is grotesque.

    By all means rescind the 1972 Communities Act if it fast tracks an exit, but how are you going to get it through the commons and House of Lords who are deadest against leaving the EU. Do you anticipate a damascene moment after a Brexit vote.

  15. bigneil
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Off topic
    Having heard that the Border people are now not allowed to use the large x-ray machines to check lorries for illegals ( because it may harm their health) and now hearing of T.Mays cuts to the UKBA ( which will inevitably lead to yet more unwanted freeloaders laughing their socks off as they get out of lorries here) can we assume that Mr Cameron’s pledge to get immigration down to “tens of thousands”, and also to control our borders is just another of his fantasy world lies? His intention to destroy the English people and nation by sheer numbers is shameful, clearly this traitor does not care.

  16. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Historically, the Conservative Party in national elections has quoted the opinion of some business leader or other to validate its case. The Labour Party would quote a recently returned union leader from some conference in Moscow to “up the workers” case. Then Labour MPs found they had a bob or two in their bank accounts and started quoting business leaders who attended different golf clubs from those of the Tories.

    The point: Business leaders and union leaders certainly have opinions. But if either of these two categories of people had been historically right about economics and politics we would either still have a British Empire and genuinely British owned companies in the UK or the red flag with hammer and sickle would be flying over Parliament: we Commenters on here would be languishing alongside trade unionists, religious people in concentration camps.

    British people do not actually take much credence of Business leaders who do not “lead” anyone at all, have no electorate except those continually plotting fellow board members and have succeeded only in losing their companies to foreign shareholders. If our pension fund managers were not legally obligated to invest in these UK blue-chip companies they would invest in more profitable companies, few of them in the EU which are very unstable indeed and backed up by an old Weimar Republic/Zimbabwean/EU currency printing press.
    The mass number of votes in the Referendum will come from non-business leaders and non-trade unionists.
    It is highly unlikely we will convince UK business leaders of the case for Leaving the EU. They have a history of utter and humiliating failure.

  17. Mike P
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the most common misunderstanding (or deliberate ambiguity?) seen in all the media coverage is the use of “EU Funding” that we would lose. I have lost count of how many times you and others have pointed out that, as a net contributor, any funding that our farms, firms or universities receive is really our own money that we’ve managed to get back from the EU machine.
    And isn’t it a bit rich (no pun intended) that the BBC seems to make light of our net contribution being “only” £8-£10bn a year despite the many uses such a huge sum could be put to, and their Reality Check Twitter feed using 2014 figures despite more recent data being available from the HoC. The sting in the tail is that our economic success leads to higher and higher contributions compared to the struggling EZ countries. And Cameron has the bare-faced cheek to say we won’t bail out the Eurozone!

  18. formula57
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Thank you for refuting the tiresome notion that the UK can only exit the EU through use of Article 50. As (if I recall correctly) you once said, we are out when we say we are out.

    As for breaking an international treaty, oh the pure wickedness! Let us be naughty for once (or for the nth time)!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      “we are out when we say we are out”

      The EU is still an international organisation established by treaties between its sovereign member states, and while not all treaty organisations follow exactly the same pattern that for the EU has been the same from the Treaty of Rome right through to the Treaty of Lisbon – there are Final Provisions saying that each of the signatories to the treaty shall complete whatever domestic procedures are legally necessary to permit final ratification, and then deposit its instrument of ratification of the treaty with the Italian government, and once all the signatories have done that the treaty shall come into force, binding all the signatories to its terms.

      It follows that we are not actually out of the EU until the UK government either revokes its previous instruments of ratification of the EU treaties, or it ratifies a new treaty which supersedes the EU treaties as far as the UK is concerned.

      It is not down to Parliament to deal with those instruments of ratification, which are diplomatic documents*, and however many times MPs voted to leave the EU, or Parliament as a whole passed Acts to repeal its previous Acts to approve the EU treaties, we would still be in the EU and still bound by the terms of the EU treaties until such time as the government, not Parliament, took the necessary action on the international not the domestic plane.

      * For example, for the Lisbon Treaty:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7465665.stm

      “THE RATIFICATION PROCESS

      Parliament approves bill to ratify treaty
      The Queen gives Royal assent
      The”instruments of ratification” are drawn up by the Foreign Office
      These documents – three pages of goatskin parchment – are sent to the Queen
      The Queen signs the front page and a warrant authorising them
      The documents return to the Foreign Office and are signed by the foreign secretary
      They are sent to the Crown Office in the House of Lords who affix the great seal
      The documents return to the Foreign Office, are tied in a blue ribbon and bound in blue leather
      They are sent to the British Embassy in Rome and then to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
      Only then is ratification complete”

      Reply So what? If people and Parliament vote out then the government will rescind the treaty. On your analysis there can never be change. You could have explained how the USSR could never break up legally or how the Republic of Ireland could not leave the UK, but they did. This one will be done peacefully and easily.

      Ps I have deleted your post with a mock letter from a constituent of mine and a mock reply, as it was so far from the truth and purported to be my letter.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 28, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but they were both hugely disruptive events and the last thing we want to do is tell people that if we leave the EU it will be hugely disruptive. We can safely leave it to the Remainders to tell them that; our job is to reassure the voters that there will be a smooth, seamless, orderly transition.

  19. Kenneth
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    We pay a fortune to have a national broadcaster with the duty to inform.

    There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that the People feel they are not being informed about the issues around the referendum.

    The BBC needs to get its act together and replace the gossip with the service which it is obliged to provide.

  20. Bert Young
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    The referendum is about people and if the companies they work for attempt to influence the way they vote , they must face the potential of their employees leaving . Many many years ago and fresh out of university , I was approached by a Union representative to “sign up”; I could never see the sense in leaving my fate in the hands of a “Union” , so I said “No” and paddled my own canoe . It was a good decision – one I have never regretted .

    The people of this country are , by and large , an independent lot ; they do not always take advice the way we would like them to ; that is a good thing . I have much faith in the common man ; I believe they will vote for the good of this country and maintain its democracy .

  21. Mark B
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Article 50 is just a starting gun. We have signed Treaties, that none of the 3 main parties allowed we, the UK public to have a say on. Yes I know our kind host and others argued and voted against, but even so, once signed we could not go back on our word. Remember, we are fined every time we break one of its clauses so we could be fined, or worse, if we do not follow correct procedure as laid down in the Lisbon Treaty.

    It is also important to know that the UK will need time to re-adjust to life outside the EU. Much like a child leaving home, they will find thing tough at first but will soon adjust. We could use the time in the EU post Art. 50 to good effect.

    We would not necessarily be subject to any erroneous EU legislation as, I fully expect the ECA 1972 to be either repealed or, suitably amended so that any law that the EU wishes to impose on the UK could very well be held up in committee. By the time the EU and the ECJ get their collective acts together, we would have been well gone.

    The so called; “Norway Option” is not considered even by its supporters as a long-term solution, but merely a ‘halfway-house’ until the UK can negotiate suitable treaties, both with the EU and the rest of the world.

    Natural and steady progression is what is needed as we do not want to upset people and business.

    Simple !

  22. Margaret
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    By staying in we are simply boosting Germany’s surplus and not our own . It is good to see that we have a surplus with the rest of the world , but the lack of financial power in Europe is not a position any country should be in. Whilst there is no equal ability to make a unified surplus then we should compete with the rest of the world and Europe on our own terms. We should be less beholding to others not more.

  23. Graham Wood
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Mike Stallard asks what changes can we realistically expect after a Brexit vote?

    Answer : it certainly cannot be to resort to the EU’s two year plan to “re-negotiate” UK/EU trade terms via Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Why should we go down that uncertain if not tortuous route, subject to possible prolonged procrastination whilst being the hostage to fortune it would present for two years?

    As one commentator put it:
    “Article 50 is not really a process designed to facilitate the exit of a
    nation state from the EU – it is an attempt to build a process that is so
    risky, politically and economically, that no country would dare invoke
    it’.” …… While a deal can be struck by qualified majority under Article
    50, some of the content that the UK would want for such a deal –
    including aspects of a free trade agreement – would need to be ratified
    by all member states.” Do we really want that?

    Of course the PM, a majority of parliament, FCO, Cabinet and Civil Service may at present be opposed to Brexit, but you do not seem to understand that after a leave vote all that would dramatically change, for that vote would be the defining moment for the “fundamental change” in the UK/EU relationship that the PM originally sought to obtain, but failed in his negotiations. It would be a direct mandate by the British people to government to effect that change.

    You state: “if we do not abide by Article 50 after we have won a referendum then we will break a treaty”. What utter nonsense! After such a vote to leave the ALL the treaties culminating in Lisbon will simply have run their course after we have repealed the 1972 European Communities Act. No treaty is ever set in stone, and a vote by the British people will re-confirm once again that no parliament can ever bind its successors.

    Your point 5 “As we negotiate our way out” is also contradictory – any ‘leave’ vote will actually effect the UK’s departure de facto and de jure, once the Act is repealed.

    We then negotiate any future trade deal with the EU from a position of strength, not as a weak supplicant, which no doubt will hasten to secure such a deal from its 2nd biggest net contributor to its budget without delay!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      “Why should we go down that uncertain if not tortuous route … ”

      To avoid chaos, that’s why, legal chaos and consequently practical chaos. We are too deeply intertwined with our neighbours through the details of the present treaties to simply cut all those bonds without first making new arrangements to take over at the same instant as the final severance.

      If you really want to frighten large numbers of people into voting to stay in the EU, which of course the government does, then you should carry on saying that we would not bother to secure new arrangements before we terminated the existing arrangements. If on the other hand you want to reassure large numbers of people that it would be safe to vote to leave the EU then make it clear that we would not be pulling up any drawbridge the day after polling day and we would not be taking any precipitate action to terminate the present arrangements without first getting a new agreement to ensure a smooth transition.

      “After such a vote to leave the ALL the treaties culminating in Lisbon will simply have run their course after we have repealed the 1972 European Communities Act.”

      As I have commented above:

      “It follows that we are not actually out of the EU until the UK government either revokes its previous instruments of ratification of the EU treaties, or it ratifies a new treaty which supersedes the EU treaties as far as the UK is concerned.

      It is not down to Parliament to deal with those instruments of ratification, which are diplomatic documents, and however many times MPs voted to leave the EU, or Parliament as a whole passed Acts to repeal its previous Acts to approve the EU treaties, we would still be in the EU and still bound by the terms of the EU treaties until such time as the government, not Parliament, took the necessary action on the international not the domestic plane.”

  24. Tom William
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    A problem for those who want more information about Brexit, and who do not read your website, is that there are so many anti-EU websites to look at. Many are amateurish in style and content. One of the major Brexit websites does not update the information and seems almost totally concerned with getting registered supporters so that it can claim it should be the lead organisation.

    You, JR, kindly allowed me a few weeks ago to mention “Brexit the Movie”. It is now being made and will be premiered at The Odeon Leicester Square on 11 May before being launched nationwide. Aimed at the general public rather than big business.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    “They find it difficult to understand that Article 50 is designed more for the convenience of the Union than of the leaver. That’s why using UK legislation to restore our veto before entering a faster negotiation would give us more leverage.”

    It’s long been obvious that Article 50 is technically flawed, and of course it is untried so we don’t know exactly how it will work out in practice.

    However there is absolutely no reason for those who wish to leave the EU to fall out over whether to use Article 50, or to put a Bill through Parliament, because it is not a case of one or the other.

    The two will operate on different planes – the Bill on the national plane, Article 50 on the international plane – and in fact action on both planes will be needed for legal completion of our departure from the EU.

    Obviously the UK government will not leave it to the media to inform the governments of the other EU countries and the EU institutions of our planned withdrawal from the EU, apart from anything else that would be discourteous and undiplomatic.

    Whatever formal notice is sent in, couched in diplomatic language, may be taken as the notification which is required to initiate the Article 50 procedure.

    At the same time the UK government could draft a Bill to amend or entirely repeal the European Communities Act 1972, which would then wend its way through the successive stages in both Houses of Parliament.

    The passage of that Bill could take a few weeks, or even just a few days; but should the unelected legislators-for-life in the Lords foolishly decide to defy the expressed will of the people the Commons would have to invoke the Parliament Acts, and then it would become more like eighteen months.

    I foresee the two processes running in parallel, at least for some time, and I don’t start by assuming there will be any conflict between the two. However if the governments of some other EU member states started to mess us about over the Article 50 procedure we would have the backup of the Act passed and just awaiting a commencement order.

  26. ian
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    First thing you must have is control of parliament to get out of the united states of Europe even if you win out vote, parliament does not have to go the route of article 50 they can vote for any route they want.

    They can still vote in and pass EU laws even with the out vote in place and the idea that they will stop paying money to the EU is not going to happen because with free vote in parliament on EU matters your out number by 9 to 1 , you have 30 odd con party MPs for out and maybe few more now and again.

    You have allowed your party to be taken over and have no support in parliament at all.

    I have looked at your site CFB, it got no story of how EU came about, how long we been paying into it like from the second world war, why we were paying into to it even when we were not members to 1973, who set it up like USA, you no back ground.
    At the end of the day with no control over parliament you can not tell the people what is going to happen.

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s a mistake to say “we will not … have free movement once we have left”, when in truth there is little pressing need to restrict the existing free movement of the citizens of many of the other EU countries.

    Have proper border checks, efficiently and speedily run, yes, so that undesirable individuals can be picked up, and have the right to exclude and deport those undesirable individuals, yes, but as far as almost all of the citizens of most EU countries are concerned we really do not need to rescind their rights to come here, and live and work here, and be treated reasonably, which our Parliament has previously granted.

    Just as the EU’s single currency is based on the false idea that “one-size-fits-all”, when it doesn’t, so also the EU’s fundamental principle of free movement is based on the false idea that a “one-size-fits-all” immigration policy is appropriate, when clearly it is not.

    But to say that there will be no free movement once we have left is to make the same kind of mistake of devising a “one-size-fits-all” policy.

    Running my eye down the list of countries in order of per capita GDP:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

    it seems to me that problems with excessive migration to the UK don’t start to kick in until the country has a per capita GDP below about 80% of that of the UK, which applies to only about half of the EU member states.

  28. ian
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    The only thing that matter in this in out vote is not do to much damage to the party, winning the out vote come second.

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I see that the government is now threatening to slash the NHS budget and so deprive us of proper medical treatment unless we vote the way Cameron wants.

    So now we can add that to all the other threats of what our own government will do to us if we dare to defy them – let the French flood the country will illegal immigrants, make it easier for terrorists to blow us up, arrange for 3 million people to lose their jobs, etc.

  30. ian
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    MY mission has nothing to do with your EU mission, MY mission is to hand this country parliament to the people and no parties, no world institution, world companies or world country interfering in the peoples parliament as is the case now.

    I am just the messenger so it makes no difference to me what happens, I have nothing to gain and I stand alone.
    The idea is that it start in this country and will spread like a light around the world.

    If I fail my mission it over and out for the world.
    I am the last man standing and the leader of my very small tribe and they do not even know me.

  31. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    If we want to avoid the tyranny and 2 year delay of the Lisbon Treaty, the thing to do is repeal our Act of Accession to the Lisbon Treaty. This will require replacement of the present Prime Minister and the appointment of 500 Eurosceptic peers. You and your fellow Eurosceptics should be making the necessary preparations right now.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 28, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      A 2 year delay before we finally leave the EU worries me far less than another 40 years in the EU because we’ve helped to frighten people into voting to stay in.

  32. Iain gill
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Dover Calais needs to be kept open for legal decent honest trade and people moves, even if we spend a few hundred million increasing our policing of that border? Then leave is the best choice.

  33. hefner
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Completely off-topic: BBC Radio4, Money Box, on electricity and gas smart meters.
    It was again pointed out that 1. they are not compulsory, 2. even if encouraged by the EU, the model chosen by the UK (not the EU) is one of the most expensive on the market, 3. the average benefit of a change in behaviour in gas and electricity use is forecast to be £26/year.
    Also repeated was the £11bn cost for setting up all UK households, cost very likely passed to the consumers by the energy companies.
    Unfortunately, even if one refuses such smart meters, one will have to share their cost to the rest of the UK households via increased tariffs.
    Finally, such smart meters are the pre-requisite to tariffs modulated during the day as a function of use, temperature, output of energy plants, etc.

    Interestingly it was said that Germany will restrict the use of smart meters to only companies and industry.

  34. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad that we are now doing calculations on the financial consequences of leaving. I have twice on this site advocated achieving a rapid Brexit by early April 2017 and presented a schedule for doing so. I would like someone to show a 7 year cash flow calculation of Brexit under the following assumptions:

    – Saving of £14 billion a year from elimination of net payments to the EU
    – Additional net revenue from recovering our fishing rights (gross revenue minus navy patrol costs)
    – Payment of limited EU external tariffs resulting from from a Canadian style trade agreement with the EU. Under such an agreement, tariffs on industrial goods would be eliminated within 7 years
    – Zero change to GDP growth and the offset of EU export opportunities by export opportunities to non-EU countries

    That should be a simple calculation for trade and financial experts.

    The other item I would like to see is an exposition of what exactly is the EU Single Market in services. I can recall in the mid-nineties seeing a copy of the English language version of the European Journal. In it, a major contract cleaning services contract in Italy was advertised. The description was thorough and the terms were clear. The only snag was that it finished …………….. “Italian language only”. Is that typical of this market?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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