Yes, Norman Smith, a Brexit vote does mean changes to government policy

Now Vote leave is getting some coverage for the many positive things we wish to do for our country once free of EU controls, Norman Smith, Assistant Political editor of the BBC,  pops up to complain that it is as if Brexit is offering some kind of alternative government. He seems to think we are not allowed views on what we do once we are free. On the contrary. The whole point of seeking our freedom is to govern the UK better, spend our own money on our own priorities, set our own taxes and make our own laws. Of course the Leave campaign can and must set out what laws we wish to  change, what taxes we want to  repeal, what spending we will undertake once we are an independent country again.

The policy he most objected to was the new policy announcement of a quota system and points to control numbers of migrants. This approach is designed to be fair to migrants from the rest of the world as well as from the EU. Far from undercutting the present government, leaving the EU is the only way to have a chance of implementing the hugely popular policy of reducing net migration by around two thirds that helped the Conservatives win the last election. Brexiteers wish the government to keep its promise. We have come up with the means to do so. Far from overriding the Conservative Manifesto, we are helping achieve it.

He also seems worried that we want to abolish VAT on certain items. I have news for Mr Smith. Mr Cameron agrees that the tampon tax should go. His problem is the EU still will not let him do that. Again, Brexiteers come to the aid of the government by offering a way for us to simply abolish the tax.

Then there is the VAT on domestic fuel. The Conservatives in the last election campaigned for cheaper fuel, and for measures to boost the living standards of those on low incomes. What better way to achieve  b0th aims than to remove VAT?  We need to leave the EU to do so.

A post Brexit government will of course be different from a Remain government. It will be able to deliver promises made, and be able to boost public services and incomes of people at home when we get our money back to spend as we see fit. We do need to set out what we want to do, and a post Brexit government will need to implement the mandate of the referendum result. Post Brexit, if that is the people’s wish, the government will get on with the 2015 winning Manifesto as strengthened by the proposals mandated by the  Brexit vote.


  1. Lifelogic
    June 2, 2016

    Indeed it was an absurd line of attack by the biased BBC. First Brexit are criticised for not spelling their plans out in more detail, then when they do so they are criticised for “offering some kind of alternative government”.

    One that might actually try to keep to Cameron’s no if no but promise/lie. Something that he knew, perfectly well, he could not deliver from within the EU even when he made it.

    1. Richard1
      June 2, 2016

      I think this is a mistake. Leave is not an alternative government, this is not a general election, and people on the Leave side are bound to disagree as to what priorities should be. Therefore we see frequent criticism that Leave can’t agree what post-Brexit Britain should look like. E.g. Some leaders of Leave appear to believe, absurdly, that we should multiply the number of nurses x3.

      I have a question for Leave now we are on policy: Leave want immigration < 100,000. Presently we have c 200,000 non-EU immigrants pa. the U.K. Govt has full control over these. Could Leave now please set out which sort of non-EU immigrants we are now taking, which has nothing to do with the EU, we would not want in future.

  2. Lifelogic
    June 2, 2016

    “Stronger safer and better off” the remain advert said last night. A Brexit is clearly the best way to deliver stronger safer and better off – so what are they on about? Then we got the completely bogus £4300 worse off figure again. They also suggest you permanently give away the young babies (Simon’s?) birth right to any self determination and democracy.
    Is this really the best “Remain” can come up with?

    Mrs May looking rather tired and drawn was also dragged out to say that the Australian points system takes more immigrants per head than the UK does. So what dear? Perhaps they need more and so choose to organise their points system in that way. They have rather more space and resources. The UK points system can be rather different designed for the UK needs, perhaps she has not worked this out?

    Mrs May’s department after all has a points systems for outside the EU, so clearly she likes them here what is special about EU migrants what we have to have such a clearly racist system in place.

    Then she says “controlling migration is difficult”. Well it certainly is if you just give up you rights to do so within the EU and simply do not try. This despite the blatant lies from Cameron of “no if no buts to the tens of thousands” and her strutting up and down at the party conference, in rather silly shoes, going on about controlling immigration but without having any mechanism at all to so do.

    There is no control at all without Brexit, despite her absurd claims to the contrary, she knows this very well indeed.

  3. The Active Citizen
    June 2, 2016

    A beautiful demolition of the inconsistency of the pro-EU BBC, thank you JR.

    By far and away the best example of a BBC journalist who questions both sides with impartiality is Andrew Neil. Smith just isn’t in his class, nice chap though he seems to be.

    Andrew Neil is also by far and away the best informed, having bothered to do his research before each interview. What a shame these standards don’t apply across the Corporation any more.

    1. Mitchel
      June 2, 2016

      You are right about Andrew Neil being well briefed and incisive but I do deplore the fact that his Thursday night programme has become more entertainment oriented in recent years,with the dressing up and campery and padded out with the opinions of comedians,actors,models and pop stars(usually promoting a tour or a book).Is there deemed to be no audience for straight forward,serious discussion at that time slot any longer?

  4. Dame Rita Webb
    June 2, 2016

    Whats the value of a points system when its does not stop anyone turning up and claiming asylum? The biggest problem the UK faces is that international law forces us to take in people of whom we have no knowledge of their state of mental/physical health or if they have a criminal record or not. If their claim is rejected the lawyers make it difficult to a get a rid of them. While the countries from which they came generally do not want them back either.

    Last year Germany added Albania to the list of countries from which it would not accept claim of asylum from its citizens. It even went so far as to publicising this fact in the Albanian press. Why is the UK not following Germany in this respect?

    1. graham1946
      June 2, 2016

      The lawyers may make it impossible to deport them, but surely the government don’t have to support them? Why pay dole, housing, give NHS treatment, schooling and all the rest. We need to just say ‘O.K. if you want to live in a shed and work for an illegal gang master, go ahead, but you’ll get nothing from this country’. No NI number without proper legal documentation. That is where our problems start – slack officialdom, backed by weak government.
      Of course the lefties will bleat as usual ‘punishing the children’.
      Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind and we can’t afford it anymore or our own children will be the ones going without.

      It would stop illegal immigration very quickly if there is nothing to come for.

  5. Dame Rita Webb
    June 2, 2016
  6. Jerry
    June 2, 2016

    Once again the BBC is used as the whipping boy…

    Other media outlets have been saying similar things for weeks…

    Oh and is it not a little hypercritical to campaign for a zero VAT rate on energy, considering that many of those doing so were close to or in the Tory government that abolished the then zero rate (not only that but wished to impose the then full 17.5% rate), had that not happened energy bills would still be zero rated today. This was a domestic decision by the then Tory government, not something imposed by the EU. More own goals from Vote Leave…

    1. Edward2
      June 2, 2016

      How can the zero rate of VAT be “abolished” as you claim when many things are still zero rated ?

      1. Jerry
        June 2, 2016

        @Edward2; Stop trying to pick another silly argument, it is obvious to all (except you it seems…) that we are debating VAT on domestic energy, the clue is in our hosts diary entry, try reading it. Of course if our host is wrong….

        1. Edward2
          June 2, 2016

          I’m not trying to pick an argument
          Stop being so sensitive
          Patricks post below show how wrong you are on this matter.
          Showing your bias by trying to blame the Tories for VAT on energy when all along its the wicked EU
          tut tut.

          1. Jerry
            June 3, 2016

            @Edward2; See my reply to Patrick. Oh and how clever of you to jump onto someone else’s comment before they made it, no, your comment above was just another of your silly arguments, as indeed has been your reply.

          2. Edward2
            June 3, 2016

            So will you now agree that there is a minmum 5% VAT rate on energy bills for member nations in the EU ?
            Having stated previously this was not the case
            Or are you going to carry on bwing pedantic and insulting other people who simply point out you are wrong.

          3. Jerry
            June 3, 2016

            @Edward2; No I will not agree that there was a directive imposed at the time of the zero rate was removed, why, because it wasn’t stated at the time [1], nor was it necessary to impose a 8% rate never mind the intended 17.5%.

            The problem is, and here is why I suspect some might be getting confused, once a zero rate has been abandoned then EU rules do indeed prevent a lower VAT rate than 5%, but that is not the same as stating the EU forced member countries who had such a zero rate to remove it – prove me wrong by alll means, but you will need to cite the relevant directive or what ever.

            [1] Eurosceptics on both side would have had a field-day with that one; The EU sends pensioners into fuel poverty…,

          4. Edward2
            June 3, 2016

            Admitting when you are wrong is a good thing to do.
            Instead you wriggle and introduce further pedantic red herrings and change the subject.
            You should go into politics Jerry you would be a hoot.

            5% is the minimum allowed rate on energy bills in the EU
            The UK cannot have a zero rate unless in leaves the EU

          5. Jerry
            June 3, 2016

            @Edward2; But everything not exempt or zero rated has, under EU law, a minimum VAT rate. That does not prove your assertion that the EU in the early to mid 1990s forced the removal of domestic energy from member countries zero rated lists, as you claim. So do us both a favour, cite an EU directive or what ever, even a referenced page from Wikipedia will do… 🙂

          6. Edward2
            June 4, 2016

            I’ve said this before Jerry, I am not your unpaid researcher.
            Look it up yourself.

          7. Jerry
            June 4, 2016

            @Edward2; Next you’ll tell us all that you are a Doctor and we that should simply take your word that you are… You @Edward2 made an assertion, it is for you to prove it.

    2. Patrick Geddes
      June 2, 2016

      Did you reslise Jerry that every EU member state is obliged to charge VAT on energy bills?
      The UK has the minimum allowed, 5%
      Your claim that we could have had a zero rate is not correct.
      Unless we leave the EU.

      1. Jagman84
        June 2, 2016

        I believe that the EU receives £2.5bn of our VAT receipts each year. Therefore, any reductions in rates levied are not on their agenda. I am happy to be corrected on this but it would explain the failure of our PM to achieve any concessions.

      2. Jerry
        June 2, 2016

        @Patrick Geddes; Fine, so why did the 1992-97 government originally want to set the rate at 17.5%, putting first to 8% as a transitionary measure, when according to you the rate only ever needed to be 5% had the government only been imposing the tax due to EU rules – Oh and if this EU rule was in place why did the Labour party even attempt to suggest that they would put the rate on domestic energy bills back to the zero rate – the Blair government might have been many things but even they would not have made such an error, and thus have it used against them as a brickbat. Oh and why didn’t Tory Euroscepts use this rule at the time to highlight their cause.

        Reply Today’s needs are different because energy prices are so much higher. Why shouldn’t we have the power to set our own tax rates?

        1. Patrick Geddes
          June 3, 2016

          Oh and why are you so pedantic Jerry.
          There is a requirement for energy to have VAT added.
          That requirement comes from the EU
          The minimum is 5%
          The UK adds 5% onto it’s energy bills
          Therefore the only way to have zero tax on energy bills is to leave the EU

          1. Jerry
            June 3, 2016

            @Patrick Geddes; So you keep asserting, but not not citing, see my reply to @Edward2.

          2. Patrick Geddes
            June 3, 2016

            I’m not your researcher.
            Go on the Internet and look it up

          3. Jerry
            June 3, 2016

            @Patrick Geddes; What a feeble reply! You, like, Edward2, are making nothing but an assertion. As for you offering a citation, won’t or can’t?…

            Oh and you miss the point anyway, even if you are correct and the EU did impose a 5% VAT rate on domestic energy the Major government chose to rise that by another 3% (wanting to eventually impose a 17.5% rate) – thus 1/3rd of the tax you say was imposed by the EU on domestic energy bills at the time was actually imposed by our own government because it went to HMT, not the EU.

          4. Patrick Geddes
            June 4, 2016

            I have looked it up thats why I know you are wrong.
            5% is the minimum level of VAT allowed by the EU on energy bills.
            If any EU member decides to put a rate of VAT on a particular item that is their decision as an elected government.
            I object to the EU imposing a minimum tax rate on us.

          5. Jerry
            June 4, 2016

            Patrick Geddes; “I have looked it up thats why I know you are wrong.”

            Then you will have no problems in proving me wrong will you…

            “5% is the minimum level of VAT allowed by the EU on energy bills.”

            But that is NOT the point of argument, the whys and wherefores of the UK’s removal of the then zero rate is, was it a UK government decision or a EC/EU imposed directive as @Edward2 calms.

        2. Jerry
          June 3, 2016

          @JR reply; Sorry but taxation is taxation! A minimum 5% rate was always going to be less burdensome for the average household than the imposed 8% (never mind the planed increase to 17.5%…) rate was, even more so when imposed on non-discretionary items. If 5% VAT on domestic energy was a EU mandate at the time then that extra 3% was always about HMT revenue how ever one looks at it!

          As for being able to remove taxes, I totally agree, but seemingly jumping on a bandwagon (first started by Labour in the mid 1990s) looks more like opportunism and thus will be seen as an own goal – those on the right-of-centre Brexit campaign can imply that demotic energy taxes -like any other- could be removed post a Brexit without actually mentioning it specifically. It’s not the policy but the message I have problems with. The eurosceptic right are always going to agree with your John but they are not the voters you need to win over, nor is it the undecided Tory vote, the Brexit message has got to win the support of the undecided/disaffected left…

          Reply I did try to stop the fuel taxes when first discussed in government, so I am being consistent in my view

          1. Edward2
            June 3, 2016

            It is a simple fact worth repeating by Brexit that taxes are increasingly being controlled by the EU
            Tax harmonisation is an ambition as set out in the Five Presidents report
            Minimum VAT levels on energy bills and women’s sanitary products and green building products tax treatments are recent cases where the UK has had to follow the EU’s rulings.
            It is something voters should be made aware of.

    3. Brian Tomkinson
      June 2, 2016

      You might just as well argue that if it wasn’t for Heath’s Conservative government there would be no need for a referendum. Remainiacs, however, have nothing to offer but project fear if we re-establish our independence and self-governance. Brexiteers see an optimistic future released from the control of the anti-democratic EU.

      1. Jerry
        June 2, 2016

        @Brian Tomkinson; Many Eurosceptic do blame Mr Heath, there was one such person only the other day claiming that he acted unconstitutionally. Thus wanting the whole 1972 EEC Accession Act declared void!

    4. Lifelogic
      June 2, 2016

      The BBC bias is appalling – but I agree they are not alone just the most influential. Why are they so keen to end UK democracy for ever?

      VAT should go completely and be replaces by a lower, simpler, more sensible sales tax – on other than essential goods. It would save industry billions just on compliance costs. VAT is absurdly complex and time consuming.

      1. Jerry
        June 2, 2016

        @LL; Only if you still think the BBC is “influential” [1]. How many now get their news via the BBC is questionable, not only is Sky News a major influence but so are the many other satellite (and to a lesser extent Freeview) news channels, but then there are the various on-line news feeds, some direct to peoples email boxes or mobile phones, never mind what news/gossip they subscribe to via the likes of Facebook and Twitter etc. Oh and do not discount the print media either, and many are distinctly europhile…

        This is why I take exception when people complain about bias and then only seem to think the problem exists with the BBC.

        [1] in the way it was back in the days when if Panorama said that Spaghetti grows on trees 3/4 of the nations population are talking about wanting to grow a “Spaghetti tree” the next morning!

    5. a-tracy
      June 2, 2016

      On the contrary Jerry, if we don’t like what our domestic government do with taxation, vat etc we can remove them at the next election and make an issue that bothers us a major manifesto plan. With Europe we have no say and no way to change course. The other day I heard there were 40 laws passed from the EU Commission to the European Parliament, the UK voted no to all 40 of these, all 40 were agreed.

      Who do you know that understands what the Council of Ministers do and that Lord John Prescott and Rt Hon Alex Salmond are just two of our 18 members, just what does this group do and who elected them?

      No-one that I have spoken to even understands there are three main bodies in the EU not just one elected Parliament. That the Commission that creates the law isn’t elected and is unfairly represented to the larger countries who pay more in because every member no matter how small gets one of the 28 commissioners. No-one when questions knows who our appointed commissioner is, they can’t even name a previous high profile commissioner when I ask them.

      We all vaguely know that the EU Parliament is useless, that’s why turnout to vote is only 35% and the turnout all around the EU is dropping and is less than 50%. Do you know if there was any new legislation put forward by the European Commission in the past year that was successfully overturned and which nation managed to lead the charge on repeal and what the UK stand on that legislation was?

    6. Anonymous
      June 2, 2016

      Jerry – Whatever the situation was when the zero rate was abolished has changed. The EU can overrule our government now and that is wrong.

      1. Jerry
        June 3, 2016

        @a-tracy; Not sure what any of what you said has to do with the Tory right wishing to remove a tax they (in the eyes of many a voter) imposed in the first place. As for your comment about EU elections, I’m not sure that you can imply that voters think MEPs are useless simply because there is a low turn-out, some Westminster by-elections, never mind local and district elections have just a low turn-out too, does that mean voters think that a mid-term elected Westminster MP are ‘useless’, local and district councillors too? I suspect that, in our busy lives, many just (wrongly believe) those elections are less important – a subtle but important difference. When local or EU elections fall on the same day as a GE participation in the local and/or EU ballots increase, even though no one is being forced to place their crosses on those other ballot papers.

        @Anonymous; You know that, I know that, most people reading this site knows that, but those are not the people who need to be convinced. I wasn’t disagreeing with the policy, just the message.

        Brexit is in danger of doing a “Labour 1992”, ahead in the polls, confident of victory, just the last few floating voters to convince, but one thoughtless comment or incident can reverse the polls overnight.

        Reply Either way careless comments can cost votes.

  7. alan jutson
    June 2, 2016

    You know you are onto a winner when the BBC starts to complain.

    I hope to see many more SENSIBLE pledges by the Leave campaign.

    So good to see Leave are for once in the driving seat and on the attack, rather than on the defence and fighting the Remain agenda.

    It looks like the Leave momentum is now starting to grow again, lets keep it going until polling day is over.

  8. Mick
    June 2, 2016

    Norman smith is typical of the dreaded pro eu reporters, I bet they wouldn’t be so keen to promote the eu line if they were waiting for days to see a doctor or hours waiting in a & e to be looked at or if there job was under threat,
    Off topic it’s about time these people smugglers were tried for treason or such and all there money’s and belonging taken off them, also are these so called migrants shipped straight back across the pond back to main land Europe or does our soft government keep them here

    1. Man of Kent
      June 2, 2016

      I emailed the BBC yesterday to complain about :

      A . A ridiculous assertion by a ‘professor ‘ at Marbella University that if we left the EU then there would no longer be free medical treatment for expats since we would not be club members.

      The fact is that we [ the British taxpayer ] pay for the service and , when we can get round to it ,charge Spain for reciprocal treatment here .

      I think we paid around £450 million last year and received something like £45 million back.

      This is a Govt to Govt arrangement not an EU one .

      B. The tone of sneering incredulity adopted by Norman Smith – like commentators
      to any Brexit idea in contrast to the factual reporting of Remain Treasury propaganda as received wisdom .

      I doubt I’ll get a reply before 24 June !

  9. Leslie Singleton
    June 2, 2016

    Another little point, a universal truth in fact, is that one only regrets chances that one fails to take . And to hell with the engineered warnings about the shock to us, to the EU, to the globe, to Mars and to the rest of the Universe. A shock, and the bigger the better, is precisely what is needed. Only such a shock can force EU types in Brussels out of their cosy entrenched high paid and pensioned sinecures.

    1. Anonymous
      June 2, 2016

      Leslie – The point of a Brexit result is not just to leave the EU but to deliver a message to the federalists that they have no mandate.

      Thereafter The People have no obligation to obey them.

  10. Ian Wragg
    June 2, 2016

    I watched the resident hand wringer on the BBC explaining why a points system won’t work. It seems that anything which is in the interests of Brits is not possible but anything to our detriment is a must.
    How about an announcement that in work benefits will stop immediately and no child benefit will be paid to foreigners.
    Just watch the Leave vote rise.

  11. Dioclese
    June 2, 2016

    I had a comment on my blog this morning from a man who emigrated to New Zealand. He had to have a job to go to, prove financial security, got though police and mediacal checks. Yes, he said it was a burden but worth it. Surely it would be worth going through something similar if you want to live in the UK?

    As regards VAT on energy bills, I seem to remember that the EU prevented us from zero rating it because it’s not allowed to move things between bands? I might have that wrong but isn’t that why we invented the 5% rate to get around the problem.

    Of course the right thing to do would have been to say “Well, we’re going to do it anyway whether you like it or not because it’s a domestic issue!” Our ‘leaders’ need to grow a pair. Where’s Margaret Thatcher when you need her…?

  12. robpbyw
    June 2, 2016

    “Of course the Leave campaign can and must set out what laws we wish to change, what taxes we want to repeal, what spending we will undertake once we are an independent country again.”

    Why haven’t you done that then? To me, this is the no. 1 reason to vote against Brexit.

    I would vote for Brexit is there was a strategy in place for what to do after “exit”. The Brexit campaign has no Plan B and does not even have a Plan A.

    (I have suggested a Plan A some time ago).

    Reply I have set out exactly what we wish to change in my Brexit budget and my comments on taking control of our borders.

  13. JimS
    June 2, 2016

    To those of us who aren’t politicians there is little to choose from in the Westminster marketplace. Could this be because the real government has been unchanged for the last forty years?

    The Japanese have a quality mantra about ‘draining the river and revealing the rocks’, (rather than adding more to hide the problems). If we cut down the layers of government we would be able to see where the ‘rocks’ are.

  14. Liz
    June 2, 2016

    Norman Smith is not worth listening to – too full of his own opinions which are obviously to the left and firmly in the remain camp on the referendum. He couldn’t give an even handed commentary even if he tried. Yet he is on the BBC news practically every day.

  15. The PrangWizard
    June 2, 2016

    Indeed this shows just how closed the minds of the media establishment elites are. As you wrote a while ago we are ruled by groups who are unable to imagine a different world from the one they inhabit; they believe that they have all the ‘right’ arguments, that everyone should follow them. They are lazy, complacent.

    It comes a shock to them to realise that there are other ways of thinking. We are getting through.

    Only by leaving the EU can this country enjoy a renaissance where change can be achieved; economically, politically and spiritually.

  16. Bert Young
    June 2, 2016

    Norman Smith’s head is in cloud cuckoo land if he believes that post “Brexit” things in Government will still have the same restrictions ; for one thing Cameron will not survive and the composition of the Cabinet will change to reflect the vote . Obviously if VAT can be removed from wherever it can , it will be removed – “Brexiters” will keep their pressure up and show that promises made will be fulfilled .

  17. forthurst
    June 2, 2016

    We need a complete change of policy on all fronts; Dyno-rod will need to be summoned to deal with the unflushable turd in the Cabinet Office so that we can start to implement sensible and forward looking policies without a focus on the ‘special needs’ of minorities, multiculturalisation, mass immigration and savetheplanet nutters.

  18. graham1946
    June 2, 2016

    Right on the nose with your statement that the whole point of seeking freedom is to govern better. How, with Cameron and his crew in charge? Cameron and Osborne are in general, I think, despised and were it made known that he would have to go after Brexit, I’m sure many more votes for Out would come in for this alone. It is obvious that this is the case, but it should be articulated. We cannot have a win and keep Cameron, it just won’t do.I cannot fathom why an intelligent man like Michael Gove insists Cameron should stay and negotiate the Brexit deal after the shambles he produced last time and his anti British views that we cannot cope without the EU. What is going on?

  19. Kenneth
    June 2, 2016

    I just knew this would happen. We cannot win.

    The BBC constantly asks “what does Brexit look like” while ignoring all of the positive visions that have been put forward and then, when it does at last puts some ideas on the air it complains that Brexiters are making policy.

    So which vision is right? The obvious answer is:

    The future inside the eu is whatever the eu wants it to be
    The future outside the eu is whatever the British People want it to be

    June 2, 2016

    I’ve never heard of Norman Smith. I once knew some Smiths living in Sultry Street at the back of the Town Hall. A huge family, 15 kids. But they all became brickies, even the three girls, so it can’t be on of them.
    His take and political analysis seems about right for our belov-ed media. Like 1930s Pravda but without the interesting curious Cyrillics and, in colour. If we are still allowed to use the word colour. It could be a C word. The O of Orwell has so far survived, but I’ve not seen or heard today’s news.

    June 2, 2016

    I guess the UK is one of the few or perhaps is unique in the democratic world in having too many of its populace across the range of political hues who are convinced rightly or wrongly that one (ex western leader ed) should be (examined at the Hague court for alleged war crimes ed).
    Norman Smith, don’t know him, but one has to be careful how known you get in this country.

  22. Dennis
    June 2, 2016

    On the Today programme this morning Alistair Darling and Patrick Minford were being interviewed by Nick Robinson.

    As Darling is a practised MP, whenever Nick said ‘OK’ to stop him to ask something Darling just carried on – this happened many times and Nick just let him continue uninterrupted for up to 1 minute one time.

    Minford stopped talking when Nick interrupted as he is a normal person and his point was interrupted.

    I have timed the total length of the two speakers:-
    Darling – 3 mins 35 seconds
    Minford – 2 mins 34 seconds so Darling spoke for nearly 40% more. I bet the Remainers are pleased.

    June 2, 2016

    The ignorance and bias of the BBC rather than a function of adversarial interviewing is observed in 1st June 2016 interview in “HARDtalk” of Beatrix von Storch (née Duchess of Oldenburg ) MEP for Germany , Deputy Leader of Alternative for Germany (AfD)
    I do not know the political manifesto of this Party. UK TV says it is “right-wing” and I have heard some call it Neo-Nazi.
    Therefore, I’m not in a researched position to defend or promote Ms Storch or the AfD.

    The point: The EU recognises the legitimacy, legality and democratic mandate of Ms Storch as one of its constituent nation-state MEPs. Germany recognises Ms Storch and the AfD as a legitimate, legal and democratic Party and Ms Storch as a non-criminally behaved Germany citizen.
    In the latter part of what was a bizarre line of questioning when a political party ( AfD ) was accused for highlighting one aspect of political life and others at different times, the BBC interviewer Mr Sackur said that “European leaders” say that they will have nothing to do with far-right Parties and that such a “European leader Juncker” says “there will be no debate or dialogue with far-right parties.”
    Juncker is an EU leader.Not as far as I am concerned a “European leader” The EU is NOT Europe. The leader of the CBI or the UNITE union are similarly not European leaders. Mr Cameron is a European leader albeit a poor one and is suffering from malnutrition with accompanying hair and tooth loss as a British leader.

    If non-democrat Juncker and his non-democrat posse do in fact hold such non-democratic views as indicated by Mr Sackur then perhaps the BBC would do well not to repeat them. Free speech should not be curtailed but advocates and promoters of undemocratic behaviour such as those of Juncker should not be used by a responsible broadcaster seeking to make some valid democratic and wholesome point.
    On Brexit, it might be an idea to run the BBC through with a Christmas tree. There is so much wrong in the BBC .It is not worth a penny in licence fee

  24. Chris S
    June 3, 2016

    Of course we all know that a vote for Brexit means a change in direction and objectives for the British Government. It has to, as our host points out.

    However, while leading Conservatives campaigning for Brexit can’t state it openly, the new direction will, without any doubt, be implemented by a new Prime Minister and Chancellor.

    As a negotiator, particularly with the EU, CMD has not a shred of credibility left. We all know it so the very thought that he could remain in post and that he and Osborne could lead us out is unthinkable.

    At the very start of the campaign, on the first weekend after Gove came out for Brexit, I saw him give a speech in Southampton. He was asked who would be in charge after Brexit and came out strongly supportive of his mate Dave. Bearing in mind this was before any of the lies and half truths that have made us all so angry, the audience, of business people, reacted very strongly. It had to be obvious to Gove that nobody in the room wanted CMD to stay and be in charge of the negotiations.

    I believe he will be gone in a week, whatever the outcome.

    I hope our host has his letter to the 1922 ready And waiting.

    Reply I have always made clear I think Mr Cameron will go if he loses

  25. VagabondTrader
    June 3, 2016

    Brexit is fundamentally about whether we want to live in a society where the laws are made by governments that can be voted out of power every 4 years if we don’t like them, or be governed by an unelected, undemocratic dictatorship. If we vote to remain in Europe this is the legacy we will leave our children and our grandchildren because once this is decided on June 23rd it cannot be changed.

    BREXIT – THE MOVIE details how Britain has been getting shafted by the EU since 1973 and is well worth a watch.

    Of 163,000 people who applied for asylum in Sweden last year, less than 500 landed a job. Will this be our destiny too ?

    The EU have passed legislation that will fine member countries 250,000 Euros for every “refugee” they refuse to accept. Google it.

    Swiss village Oberwil-Lieli fined 300,000 Euros for not accepting “refugees”. It has started already. Google it. This will happen in Britain if we remain in the EU.

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