How European do people feel?

The UK identity is a complex matter these days. Some people want to be Scottish to the exclusion of their UK identity. Northern Ireland has long been divided into a majority proud to belong to the Union, and a minority wishing to join the Republic of Ireland. Many people are happy to be both UK and English, or UK and Welsh and see no conflict.

Yesterday I was speaking to a school sixth form on their chosen topic of British values. At the start I asked them to tell me how they felt about their identity. I asked them to say how they would answer a foreigner who did not know local UK geography where they came from? How did they feel about their own identity?

I offered them four choices. They could say they were European from the EU, British from the UK, British from Great Britain, or English from England. Just four opted for European, and just three opted for British from GB. The large majority opted fairly evenly for UK or England. It demonstrated that English identity is becoming much more prominent and popular. It was inconsistent with those who say young people see themselves as European. I have had similar results over a choice between European and British elsewhere with student audiences.

I find when out and about campaigning there is a growing awareness of the high costs of staying in the EU. We are gradually getting over the point that they spend £10 billion of more money that we could better use at home. We are not yet getting over the equally important point, that we will be able to afford to pay all the monies currently paid to UK people and institutions by the EU on top of the £10bn bonus, as all the money we get back we are sending to Brussels first. Please tell all famers, university people and others you meet the UK can pay every penny to them that the EU pays, because it all comes from us in the first place. As far as the UK is concerned, Brussels has no money. Every penny we get back we first sent to them. Then there is the £10bn we don’t get back which we have to send them as well.

A senior scientist yesterday on the media implied that we would not get grant money for universities out of the EU. Some of the university grants and collaborative programmes are European programmes not organised by the EU, so we would remain eligible. Any so called EU money that was discontinued is our money which we sent them in the first place, so we can simply pay our own universities with that money which no longer has to be sent to Brussels. Our scientists will continue to work with scientists from many other countries including member states of the EU after we have left, as universities are rightly collaborative on a global basis across national frontiers.


  1. The Active Citizen
    February 27, 2016

    JR, goodness knows how you find time to address schools with everything else you do, but I doff my hat to you for that! I start very early and so I know roughly what time you write your article of the day. It’s been said many times, but your public service does you enormous credit.

    Please tell all famers, university people and others you meet the UK can pay every penny to them that the EU pays, because it all comes from us in the first place.

    Absolutely. However among the many excellent readers’ posts on here in the last couple of days, several people have made the point that key messages are simply not being delivered by the Leave campaigns, or aren’t being delivered consistently and effectively.

    I agree and have been saying this for months. The comment in your article about EU grants which will continue post-Brexit only reinforces this. Where’s the policy statement from Leave campaigns on this important subject?

    I’ve started sending short pieces to one of the Leave campaigns and if we all did this maybe it would help. (Example in my next post.) Many of us have the impression that there’s no coordinated briefing of spokespersons and MPs – at the very least by email – on a daily basis. Where are the “key messages of the day/week”? Where are the standard rebuttals of untrue Remain claims? Where are the daily morning press conferences?

    I’m sure all Leave people are working hard, but right now it appears to many people like me that the operations are rather amateurish, I’m afraid. We’re the ones ‘on the outside’ and perhaps our views are indicative of what comes across to the public. I’m more than happy to debate this with anyone from a Leave campaign reading this.

    1. getahead
      February 27, 2016

      We don’t have the media, Active.
      The BBC, our main broadcaster, is a raging Stayer.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 27, 2016

        The bias of the BBC on the EU is overwhelming, but they they are always biased on issues. They desperately wanted Obama, Bliar and even Ed Miliband. They want Hillary Clinton now and despise Trump.

        They also endlessly bombard us with warming alarmism, renewables/unreliables guff, the wonders of trains & bikes, absurd nonsense about the alleged gender pay gap and “discrimination”, magic money tree economics, the joys of ever higher taxation, over regulation of everything and the huge benefits of open door non-selective one million every three years or so immigration.

        The interviewers with perhaps the sole exception of Andrew Neil are surely all “BBC think” libdims to their very cores. It come out in nearly every PC lefty question they ever ask.

  2. The Active Citizen
    February 27, 2016

    EU immigrants and NI numbers – Summary
    You had many good posts on this yesterday JR.

    Here’s what we know: From 2012-2015, over 2 million NI numbers were granted to EU immigrants enabling them to work legally in the UK. This is more than double the total of 979,000 net EU immigrants (working or not) quoted by the government in the same period.

    I’d summarise the soundbites for the Leave campaigns to use as follows:-

    According to the Office of National Statistics’ data and at current trends, in 4 years’ time the UK will have an extra 1.9 million EU immigrants with NI numbers enabling them to work here legally. And of course many of them will bring their families. Even if some of them don’t stay forever, that’s a huge number.

    With so many jobseekers, imagine the effect on wages for UK workers. And how will we house these people, school their children, give them GP and hospital care?

    EU freedom of movement laws mean that our Government is literally powerless. The only way to stop this massive influx is to leave the EU.

    Sources: Based on Feb 2016 tables from Office of National Statistics, and Feb 2016 tables from the Dept of Work & Pensions. ONS tables can be downloaded here. DWP tables can be downloaded here.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 27, 2016

      If the possibility of multiple fraudulent applications is disregarded surely the only way to reconcile those statistics is that over the period 2012-2015 about 2 million new people from the rest of the EU came here and needed NI numbers while about 1 million who had come here earlier and got NI numbers went back home?

      1. Lifelogic
        February 28, 2016

        Well clearly the government knows full well how many of these NI numbers are actually active and still paying so why do they hide these numbers?

        They could perhaps also let us know the average salaries too. So then we could see if they were paying enough tax to cover all the extra costs of schools, social care, housing, health, benefits, police, roads, defence and other services?

    2. Anonymous
      February 27, 2016

      J Portas explains about 2 1/2 minutes into the Daily Politics Show how the Government is refusing to disclose its information on the disparity between NI numbers issued (some 650k) compared to official immigration figures (250k)

      The original reason given was that the information could threaten Mr Cameron’s EU negotiations.


      The real reason is that such information could swing the referendum to Out.

      How could you belong to such a party, Dr Redwood ?

      1. Lifelogic
        February 28, 2016

        Indeed lies, lies and yet more lies. Freedom of misinformation when it suits them to deceive.

  3. Antisthenes
    February 27, 2016

    It speaks volumes about the uphill struggle we leavers have in convincing people that we would be considerably better off out of the EU. If they cannot work out for themselves that EU money received by the farmers, academic and scientific institutions and the like is in fact their money that is part of a larger pot confiscated by Brussels. That is just another bureaucratic waste machine laundering our money whilst skimming off the top as it does so.

    The man in the street perhaps can be excused not understanding if we stretch a point. However surely not academics and scientists who have had the education and presumably have the intelligence to think this sort of thing through properly. If that is the calibre of our top people then I despair.

    Some of the arguments for remain and leave are more complicated than this rather simple and easily understood one. In fact most are philosophical and abstract in nature as hard evidence and facts are not there for comparison. Some of those though are obviously correct and self evident. Self determination and sovereignty for instance should be clinchers on their own for leaving. As it in simple terms boils down to freedom or servitude. Who in their right mind chooses the latter. But no people do not even understand that line of thinking so what chance do leavers have of convincing them to vote out.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 27, 2016

      Yes, year after year for nigh on a couple of decades we’ve been trying to get it across to the general public that any “EU money” received here is just a part of our own money sent to Brussels and then returned with strings attached, and yet somehow that message doesn’t seem to have got through, not even to academics!

      1. Lifelogic
        February 28, 2016

        Especially not to academics, they are alas so easily bought with the odd EU or government research grant here or there. Also so many are enthralled by the greencrap, catastrophic warming religions, this despite the what the real science and evidence indicates.

    2. Anonymous
      February 27, 2016

      Many people I speak to are convinced that the EU protects their jobs and working conditions.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 28, 2016

        What protects your working condition is the availability of an alternative job to go to if dissatisfied. you are thus far better of out of the anti-competitive, over regulated, over taxed, straight jacket of the EU.

  4. alan jutson
    February 27, 2016

    Question time on Thursday was a prime example of people on the panel, and even Dimbleby himself confusing figures, not knowing the difference between gross and net payments.

    Very often £50,000,000 a day (gross) is used as the cost, and sometimes £10 billion a year (net) so no wonder the confusion.

    Perhaps all of the leave campaigners should always quote gross figures first, followed by net figures after all payment are received back, and then explain that £10 billion (£27 ,000,000 a day) is after all rebates/ subsidies/grants etc.

    I know its long winded but it needs more explanation if it is to be clear to the majority.

    Far far too many people do not connect EU rebates with SOME OF OUR MONEY BACK.

    It is similar to Government spending here, again the Government have no money it only has to spend what it takes from the taxpayers.

    I see Guido Fawkes highlighted yesterday that the EU donates over £200,000,000 to UK charities.

    No wonder these charities (some paying high salaries) sing the EU praises in public.

    But the EU has donated absolutely nothing, it has all come from the UK taxpayer. !

    Over the years the EU has done a great PR job for itself, requiring flags and signage to be fixed to all so called EU funded projects, if only the general public knew the truth.

    1. Duyfken
      February 27, 2016

      I agree that this needs to be clarified for us all. Rather than my expecting someome else to do so, perhaps I should try to find an analysis of our expenditure to the EU and the subsequent income as the EU deigns to provide us. But don’t hold your breath …

      1. acorn
        February 27, 2016

        It is all available on Eurostat budget site in great detail. Did you now that the UK national audit office has previously said, that the UK government’s own national accounts, would not pass the EU audit rules without “qualification.

        “It is similar to Government spending here, again the Government have no money it only has to spend what it takes from the taxpayers.”.

        Nonsense, you really should try and understand how the economy actually works. Taxes don’t pay for anything. They just cancel government spending when they get back to the Treasury. Government spending is fiat, it is not real money.

        1. alan jutson
          February 28, 2016


          I did say similar.

          If there is absolutely no connection between tax income and government spending, then why do we bother worrying about deficits and debt, and increase and decrease tax rates.

          Very well aware that Governments can manufacture money at the click of a button, and very well aware that a lot of creative accounting takes place, where debt can be cancelled or delayed at a stroke, with more and more borrowing.

          But you cannot run these sort of fake policies forever, without some sort of eventual correction or gross devaluation.

    2. Lifelogic
      February 28, 2016

      Many charities are clearly no such thing.

      They are just another part of government and EU propaganda.

  5. Lifelogic
    February 27, 2016

    Indeed and the money that does come back from the EU is often poorly directed, and even has damaging political aims (you often have to advertise the EU funding for them) often endless other strings attached, or greencrap agendas that make if far less efficient too.

    Nearly everyone who was English use to say English for “country of birth” and British for “nationality” then the forms started “suggesting” UK instead. About the same time as they came up with the absurdly thought through and pointless racial category questions – White English, White Irish, ?………White other, Black …. etc.

    The was a clear government attempt to get rid of the very words England and British and break England up. Just as they attempted to stop people saying they were six foot one and fourteen stone two and wanted two pounds of apples and half a pound of Cheshire cheese.

    My word even David Owen is becoming wiser. At 77 has finally come round to the conclusions I did as a teenager all those years ago at the last common market referendum and want to leave.

    Who next, perhaps the wrong on nearly every issue over their life times and BBC favourite “thinkers” Shirley Williams. Polly Toynbee, John Major, Ken Clarke or even Nick Clegg!

    Next thing they will all be in favour of more selective schooling, selective immigration, sensible real criminal justice deterrents, lower simpler taxes, smaller government, a health system that charges but actually works, some extra runways at Gatwick and Heathrow and cheap no greencrap energy if it goes on like this.

    Well done to Sir John Nott a past defence minister too. The “here today and gone tomorrow politician” as Robin Day put it, before he walked out. We are certainly far less safe in the EU with open doors. Cooperation of course, defence and rule by the ever incompetent EU never.

  6. Margaret
    February 27, 2016

    Firstly it is good to see that the ceasefire is holding which may encourage people to stay on their home ground and dare I say it, encourage some to return.
    I am aware that the English language evolves but as I am becoming a grumpy old woman I don’t approve of the expressions taken up such as ‘innit’ Language is far more important than just communicating one thing from one to another in a simplistic way . It gives us our identity. Why do we have to follow trends ? Why can we not stamp our Englishness in a tasteful way ? One may ask what is taste? I will leave the linguistic departments to analyse this , but I get a feeling of home when I see the older TV presenters and hear good old English spoken . These two recent expressions really wind me up :- ‘in terms of ‘ and in a presentation constantly saying ‘does that make sense’

  7. Lifelogic
    February 27, 2016

    So a further renegotiation post Brexit is “fiction” according to Cameron. No it is just highly likely speculation.

    The EU and the establishment will not give up the UK that easily. Hopefully it mean we will no longer have to pay for all those specially taxed and bloated EU pensions to dreadful people like Lords Kinnock and Patten. Better still if they were just stopped on a leave vote.

    I am quite sure further renegotiation will happen if we vote leave, unless the vote is totally overwhelmingly for out. I am fairly sure now that the referendum will be for leave. The more the remain people appear on TV the more clear it becomes that they simply have no rational argument to put.

    No one at all should vote to stay in the first referendum unless they just hate the UK, not even Shirley William. A better deal will ensue but we should leave anyway.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 27, 2016

      Paradoxically a further renegotiation if we vote to leave the EU is fiction, but on the other hand if we vote to stay in then future Prime Ministers may well be able to get further opt-outs. Did I say “paradoxically”? I meant “nonsensically”.

  8. DaveM
    February 27, 2016

    I’m always surprised when I hear people talking about EU indoctrination – I have 2 kids aged 19 and 16 and neither of them have ever expressed any nationality or identity other than English – they may utter the dreaded ‘B’ word during the Olympics but that’s about it.

    1. graham1946
      February 27, 2016

      Perhaps, Dave, your youngsters have yet to fill in an official form from government? Maybe they follow football?

      They will not see ‘English’,on forms, but ‘White British’ ‘Caribbean’ and all the other ‘right on’ origins the government holds dear. England is and will be eventually, if we remain, erased from history altogether and be just a province of the EU except maybe for football. The regions have already been numbered and logged for future use. by the EU.

  9. Lifelogic
    February 27, 2016

    Academia is indeed a hot bed of support for the EU. The otherwise very sound Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz for example was dreadfully pro EU when I spoke to him recently. Perhaps the influence of his Welsh and Polish backgrounds.

    They should not be. There will be rather more money to fund them without the EU payments and with fewer daft strings attached. Also with an easier, cheaper and more local application process. They will also be able to recruit the best staff and students from all of the world, with a sensible point based immigration system. They can still participate in collaborative ventures, they are very rarely EU only projects anyway. They could also charge EU students the market rate if the wanted to do so. So they will make more money there too.

    Having said the there are far too many people going to university anyway, to do duff and rather worthless courses. Many would be far better off trained as builders, plumbers, electricians, technicians and the likes. People should pay for their own hobbies after all. The last thing we need is any more lawyers, media studies, sociologists, women’s studies, politics, magic money tree economists or Oxford PPE graduates.

    I see that A levels are now so dumbed down and totally unable to separate the top candidates that Cambridge are now having to reintroduce an entrance examination system.

    1. Qubus
      February 28, 2016

      I have posted this before, but it seems relevant today.

      I am not very clear what the great advantages are to UK universities for us to remain in the EU that vice-chancellors tend to bang on about.

      In the teaching area, there is a limited exchange of undergraduates under such schemes as ERASMUS and SOCRATES, but the flow is predominantly of students from the EU to the UK, rather than vice versa. This is of because, regrettably, few UK students are sufficiently proficient in a foreign language, Whereas, on the other hand, English is very widely spoken in the EU; although I have to say that I am aware of very few EU students coming to the UK apart from Germany, France and Spain. These aforementioned courses are predominantly for one year, or even for one semester. Don’t tell me, I know, some EU universities now offer undergraduate courses where the lectures are all in English. However, this is a relatively small number. In any case, I get the strong impression that the vast majority of foreign undergraduate students these days are from China. They would still come, were we in the EU or not.

      There are a few EU postgraduate courses, as opposed to research, on offer to all EU students, including,of course, the UK, but, again to a large extent, the flow is basically in one direction due to the language problem.

      Finally, there are research grants and cooperations that are directly involve EU funding. Probably the main and best-known of these is the High Energy facility at CERN, but that, of course, is in Switzerland! And what about all the recent excitement about gravity waves, i.e. the LIGO experiment. All the actual measurements were made in the USA. Only data analysis and some software design was done outside the USA. This could have taken place whether we were in or out of the EU. The amounts of money involved here cannot be so large that it would not be quite feasible for the UK to fund our contributions such that they could continue post Brexit.

      Maybe UK universities get funding that I have not mentioned and am not aware of. Can anyone enlighten me?

      It goes without saying that international research and teaching cooperation is a good thing and to be encouraged, but I fail to see why is should not continue unabated after an exit of the EU. It certainly existed before the EU existed.

  10. Jerry
    February 27, 2016

    “I asked them to say how they would answer a foreigner who did not know local UK geography where they came from? How did they feel about their own identity? I offered them four choices.”

    You asked these kids a loaded question [1], to tell you how they felt with regards their (national) identity, and then told them what your ‘acceptable’ answers would be! There are many regional identities in England, and surely that is what true localisms is about, why did these students have to opt for “English from England” when they might actually identify first and foremost with their own (cricketing) county, if not their (footballing) Town? Making them opt for “England” (as the next best ID to what they might actually feel) proves very little other than your own pigeon-holing…

    Nor does it prove that people do not feel “European” because you have not asked them to stack their identities (County, England, UK, European, or what ever), how many might have opted first for their county but then missed “England” or even both England and the UK out, choosing to stack their European identity next.

    As for your later point about the cost of the EU, indeed, but then there is also a growing awareness of how much our own government costs compared to how much the average tax-payer gets back in return from the state in the way of support or infrastructure expenditure or the like – at times the UK governbment S/N ratio on apparent waste must rival that of the EU. Not a good point to raise in the referendum unless, like here, one is talking to a predominately right-wing audience!

    [1] specifically about the UK and not the geographical land-mass known as Europe, of which the UK (England, Wales Scotland and N.Ireland) is a part

    Reply Noy a loaded question. People have local and national identity and I made clear I was asking about national. Regional identities would not poll well where I come from.

    1. Jerry
      February 27, 2016

      @JR reply; But “England” is its self made up of (old national) kingdoms, and indeed I have mentioned Wessex before, whilst one person posts to your site using “Mercia” as their user ID.

      Nor did you allow the kids to choose any of the four UK nations, just “England”, how do we know if some opted for “England” (or even one of the two “British” options) simply because this is were they currently live and have been raised but their family roots are Scottish, Welsh or NI [1] and thus might actuality feel less English or UK than your results suggest? I suspect you were not speaking to six formers in Corby (known for a long time as ‘Little Scotland”) but how many families with family roots in south Wales could be living along the M4 corridor is anyone’s guess…

      Also how do you think these kids would have answered had you asked them to say how they would answer a foreigner (perhaps from the southern hemisphere) who did not know northern hemisphere, or more specifically Eurasia, geography. How many might have described themselves as European but not necessarily meaning any EU notion of “European”?

      Sorry John but you did needlessly lead your audience, pity.

      [1] nor did you allow for Commonwealth and protectorate identities

      Reply I did ask them to frame their answer as if replying to a foreigner with no knowledge of UK geography to emphasise I did not want to cover local identity. I can assure you there is practically no regional identity where I live.

      1. Jerry
        February 28, 2016

        @Mercia; “My screen name is certainly not an endorsement of [EU regionalism policies]”

        I never said it was, in fact I was hoping it would be taken in the way you indicate, and as I said people can be “European” without being EUropean.

        As for the use of the word “Kid” – Stop the world I want to get off! – next you’ll be expecting us to converse in Shakespearian English… The word ‘Kid’ has been acceptable, even affectionate, slang for well over half a century.

  11. Javelin
    February 27, 2016

    If you need convincing that 27 countries cannot agree anything and why it is bad economically for the UK to stay in the EU then this wiki page showing how many major trade agreements the EU has managed to agree around the world should convince you.


    1. Dennis
      February 27, 2016

      From that link I count 26 FTAs in force.

      1. Dennis
        February 27, 2016

        And 20 provisional applications, 7 signed but not applied and many in negotiation with many concluded.

        They are taking a lot of time though.

  12. Mick
    February 27, 2016

    I’m English and proud of it, not British because the word British is given away to freely to anyone who comes to this great country,

    1. Duyfken
      February 27, 2016

      Although some of my forbears were English, I cannot claim to be so, yet I am British and alway have regarded myself as a “British subject” as shown in earlier passports. Much as it is to be commended your being proud of English citizenship, I fear it is unproductive to emphazise the division from other countries within the UK. We need to garner support from all of the United Kingdom to see off the menace of the EU.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        February 28, 2016

        I always think of myself as English first and British second. Why is it that the Welsh, and Scottish have their own national anthems but the English had to sing God Save the Queen at the rugby yesterday??Why do the English have to sing the national anthem of the UK? It’s about time we had our own..

  13. agricola
    February 27, 2016

    Your observations are correct. I feel English wherever I am. I started that way and will remain that way. I am quite sure that my Spanish and German friends identify with Spain and Germany while realising that they live in a Continent called Europe.

    I think that in the coming months we must totally separate our attitude to Europe from our attitude to the EU. They are very different animals. We have an advantage over our near neighbours in that we are sufficiently distant but can still see over the fence and differentiate between the two.

    In Europe they are becoming aware of the difference. When this awareness grows, the bureaucratic construct of the EU will collapse because it has no democratic legitimacy. It has no answers to the needs of the people of Europe. It may serve the vested interest bubble, but not the people.

    I have a maybe idealistic , perhaps fanciful vision of Europe as a trading bloc. I wish to see for the foreseeable future a group of distinctive countries in control of their own destinies within this trading bloc. This , in my view, means the end of the Euro or it’s contraction to countries of similar economic performance. Additionally an end to the manic drive to a USEU.

    Were I a conspiracy theorist I would say the Euro was created and spread in the knowledge that for it to work there would have to be a USEU with a common fiscal system throughout its area. Something they are openly talking about right now. The Euro is the cement in a USEU. In reality I do not think they were that clever, but now realise that it is the only solution to the mess they have created. When the numerous nations within the EU understand that they are on the verge of being swallowed the dissention will grow.

    Make sure that the NFU and every farm in the shire counties knows that they will not lose out financially, and nor will the universities. I’m sure they all have websites that can be contributed to for this purpose.

  14. Antisthenes
    February 27, 2016

    The Guardian is telling us that the G20 draft statement asserts that Brexit would damage the world’s economy. The Guardian or the G20 or both are insulting our intelligence as they gang up to spout any old rubbish to help their pal David Cameron. One of their own.

    How on earth can Brexit cause such a thing China, the EU and the like are a much greater threat to world economic stability than Brexit is or could ever be. The UK at the moment is one of the most stable of countries economically. Although trouble is brewing which is obvious without George Osborne telling us with his dire warnings about what he must do in the next budget.

    And why is trouble brewing because it is because of the EU with it’s ill conceived euro currency zone that is causing widespread misery. Coupled with the downturn of the Chinese economy. If the G20 is saying that Brexit is a threat then another reason has to be to make fingers point away from their incompetent handling of their economies and make Brexit the scapegoat.

    We have already had the outrageous claim that the pound is weakening because of Brexit. It is doing no such thing just reacting to world economic weakness in general. No doubt more outrageous claims are to follow. Brexit will be blamed for every conceivable economic ill past, present and future. And probably climate change as well.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 27, 2016

      Still it’s good to see that there is such a high level of international co-operation, even if it is only directed towards helping our leaders deceive their own people rather than some other more honourable and useful purpose.

      I recall that in 2009 during the campaign for the second Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty I started to refer to “harmonisation of lies across the EU”, with all kinds of EU bods chipping in to dupe the Irish, now that has gone global.

    2. old salt
      February 27, 2016

      Could it just be the thought of Remain winning being a contributory cause of the pound weakening.

  15. Denis Cooper
    February 27, 2016

    I think it’s easy enough to say that whatever is now being paid via Brussels will continue to be paid but direct from London, and that is guaranteed for the foreseeable future until such time as the payments are subject to the normal revision process.

    Obviously it would not be desirable to say that the present cash sums will be preserved forever – apart from anything else that would imply no increases to adjust for inflation, let alone changes because higher or lower payments would be merited in certain cases – but nor can that be guaranteed for payments now coming from the EU.

    I think of much greater concern to the Leave campaign is the news that if we hadn’t been in the EU the author of the Gruffalo books would have had to find another illustrator, as the chap who has been doing it may not have come from Germany to study art in London if the UK hadn’t been in the EU:

    This is a major body blow to those of us who wish the UK to Leave the EU, in fact I may have to reconsider my own longheld position on that.

  16. stred
    February 27, 2016

    The point about the money for farmers and science needs to be hammered home by others in the Leave camp too. In fact the big arable farmers make millions from the CAP but the smaller ones in dairy and livestock together with smaller veg producers are having a tough time. They have more votes. The EU puts up high tariffs on dairy and if they were foolish enough to put them on our farmers the supermarkets would have to buy their milk and cheese more from our farmers and somerset Brie would have to increase productiion. They aready put totally unfair bans on beef, thankfully for us, as we can eat British beef for them and it is a far better product. Promise small farmers a better deal than they get from the CAP.

    One of the main problems in scientific research is that the Home Office interprets EU regulations rigidly. Prof Dalgliesh was saying how his leading cancer research became impossible and went to others in the US. And even in the EU France and Italy bent the rules with an opt out. This is self inflicted and would not be necessary at all if we left. Mrs May note please- not that she seems to be able to control her disfunctional department.

  17. Horatio
    February 27, 2016

    Absolutely right JR. it was horrific how badly briefed the panel was on QT on the subject of money and subsidies. It should have been an easy win for leavers but they were absolutely muddled and Dimbleby shut it down. This should be the easiest of lies to smash. It is a pity thst there is still no coherent campaign; it beggars belief that there are no daily briefing notes for all leavers in the public eye, no standard question and answer briefings sent out daily. Did no one attempt to call or email the three panelists on thursday? I know i am spoilt as i read your blog but some people end up doing more damage than good. Remainers are mostly well briefed. It should not be that difficult to put together even a two page document of typical lies and their rebuttals, you do it yourself every dayin wonderous style. I certainly find your blogs to be the foundation of all my arguments as i doorstep or even seek to persuade in the pub. I often find that the best opening is to ask those i am conversing with what they would do with the extra money..

    For all those who wish for a second referendum, think again: The new terms would surely just be an acceptance of CMD’s original thin gruel, which bore no resemblance to his Bloomberg speech. It would reinstate no vetos, offer no reform of the CAP that was promised to Bliar in exchange for our rebate. It would also be negotiated on the UK side by none other than Cast Iron Dave himself.

    I can’t see it happening mind. The Greeks have already threatened to sink the present deal, in a desperate attempt to be supported and treated fairly, and who would blame them? The East Europeans are currently painting the present farce as a win and would surely block any reversion.

    It is vaguely astonishing though. If you take away £11bn and rising of UK contributions to the rest of Europe and an add a loss of trade (we’ll surely buy more foodstuffs, more cheaply elsewhere when free to) you wonder why they don’t try harder to keep us in. Net recipients can only lose from the loss of the second biggest contributer and the (Germans ed)can’t be excited about balancing (French ed)economic stagnation and their deficit alone.

  18. Mike Stallard
    February 27, 2016

    What pleases me no end is the way that children of immigrants become English AND Baltic, African, Portuguese etc. (Words left out ed)
    We have lots of farmers round here and a university in our county too (Anglia Ruskin). All of that depends on EU handouts. So your remarks are very welcome about keeping the hand-outs when we are independent again.

    We in the LEAVE camp need to be nice, to see the problems and how to deal with them. We do not need to be the (extreme ed)Party shouting and yelling and demanding.
    Smiles sell. Truth sells. The customer is always right.

  19. Ian Wragg
    February 27, 2016

    I’m sure Gideon would like to have the £10 billion to play with as the deficit reduction becomes a work of fiction despite issuing nearly three quarters of a million N.I numbers to foreigners annually.
    I don’t understand why tax receipts are so low when we keep importing these engineers, doctors, dentists and accounts from the 3rd world.
    The policy of open door immigration is failing and I have to wait 2 weeks for a doctors appointment. I’m English by the way.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 27, 2016

      Well most are on fairly low wages so pay less in taxes than they get back in benefits, housing, services, schools, health, police, social services, child benefits, dentist, medication and all the rest.

      They also depress the wages of others by increasing supply of labour. We need to be selective and take only those who will earn circa £40K or more and not all their elderly relatives and extended families either.

      But ‘no if no buts’ Cameron thinks that one million or so (low paid or unemployed) migrants once every two of three year is just fine.

      1. ian wragg
        February 27, 2016

        But when they are interviewed on TV they are invariably doctors, engineers or accountants. never are any women interviewed who are nurses, secretaries or bank tellers. Surely we are not employing them below the going rate.
        Or could someone be misleading us………………………

    2. zorro
      February 27, 2016

      Because they are mainly low wage earners/declares and prospective tax credit recipients…..


    3. getahead
      February 27, 2016

      Ian did you work in Qatar?

      1. Ian Wragg
        February 28, 2016

        Yes. 18 years. MEW. Do I know you.

    4. graham1946
      February 27, 2016

      This is not so much a conundrum as an outright lie by Cameron and co.

      As LL says they are mostly not doctors, engineers etc but low paid and getting benefits, whereas the govt and their cronies maintain they mostly don’t get benefits. They then quite conveniently miss out the fact that every time an immigrant sees a doctor or has his child educated or walks the streets un-molested by criminals they are receiving a benefit paid for by the rest of us, but this is not counted. Regarding the 10 billion,this is real money, whereas Giedon managed to find 27 billion down the back of the sofa last year, but is only now discovering that it did not really exist at all, it was just an exercise in figures by his ‘independent’ Office of Budgetary Responsibility to get him out of a hole temporarily.

  20. alan jutson
    February 27, 2016

    I always tended to view myself as a resident of the UK.

    Now when I get the chance (filling in forms etc) I state I am English, for the simple reason that I believe England is trying to be erased as an identity.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 27, 2016

      It is.

  21. stred
    February 27, 2016

    Newsnight was a classic EUBC effort on Brexit last night. We were treated to Emily, Toby the token almost Outer and two female Medias. The Medias and Emily spent the whole time talking about how it had been about personalities and that there were no figures and facts to help clear their poor confused minds. This on a day when they could have looked into the huge discrepancy beween published net migration figures and NI registrations, the refusal of HMRC to release their numbers and the instruction to the civil service not to even give any cooperation or files to Outer ministers, let alone the public. It was worthy of a Pravda broadcast in the 1950s.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 27, 2016

      Indeed it will get worse too.

    2. zorro
      February 27, 2016

      Pravda was never as bad as that, almost a model of fair programming in comparison!


  22. Lifelogic
    February 27, 2016

    Cameron’s project fear continues:

    You could see interest rates rising, food prices go up and family finances threatened. Well indeed you could, but all this is all far more likely if we stay in the sclerotic and very expensive EU with its open door to all migrants, top down dictatorship than if we come out of the EU and have no fees to pay, sensible management of the economy and a rational immigration policy.

    Anyway the biggest threat to family finances is his IHT ratter, a new tax before every meal, pension and landlord thief, tax borrow and piss down the drain chancellor George Osborne and his forthcoming budget. I see George is rightly no longer the favourite to replace Cast Iron/no if no buts/at heart a low tax Conservative (I think not).

    I could never see Osborne as a leader, he is far too wooden (and too slow on his feet). Also hugely and quite rightly unpopular due to his vast and endless tax increases, his blatant IHT ratting (while even falsely claiming to have delivered) and his endless waste, absurd tax complexity. Also for allowing an incompetent, inept, bloated government, with absurd energy policies and a dysfunctional NHS to continue.

    We saw how popular he was at the Olympics, when they put on that absurd joke NHS glorification pantomime.

  23. Anonymous
    February 27, 2016

    “A return to normality, not a leap in the dark.”

    Is the best soundbite I’ve heard so far. (Leo McKinstry)

    1. Jerry
      February 27, 2016

      Anonymous; Yes that is a very good, non committal, sound bite for it can be used by either side, those sitting on the fence, never mind the political weathervane fence jumpers…!

      1. Anonymous
        February 27, 2016

        It is the Ins who keep accusing the Outs of wanting to leap into the dark, Jerry.

        The soundbite can only be used by one side.

        1. Jerry
          February 28, 2016

          @Anonymous; Read without any preconceived ideas it can be read either way, because for the many people here in the UK (those under 55 years of age certainly) ‘normality‘ is membership of the EEC/EU…

          Now had the sound-bite been say; ‘A return to (economic) neutrality, not a leap in the dark.’ you and Mr McKinstry might have a point.

    2. Denis Cooper
      February 27, 2016

      And “normal politics will be resumed”.

  24. fedupsoutherner
    February 27, 2016

    I find this subject really hard to get over to people John. Supposedly intelligent people just can’t seem to grasp the fact that all EU funding has been provided by us in the first place and without our contribution (more of which goes to others) there would be no funding. I was incensed this morning to hear how the BBC Breakfast programme was telling everyone that because of the Brexit case, the pounds has fallen against the dollar and the Euro and so their holidays will be more expensive. This may be the case but they didn’t mention the money markets are up in the air and just wanted to lay blame at the EU debacle. They quoted a cup of coffee in Venice saying it would cost £5 and then right at the end of the programme told us it was in one of the most expensive cafes where most ordinary people wouldn’t go anyway and was a specialised coffee!!! Talk about biased!

    1. alan jutson
      February 27, 2016


      £5.00 for coffee in St Marks Square is cheap, if that is where it was.

      It was £10.00, some 15 years ago.

      Everyone knows its the most expensive place in Venice, (because its the main Square with usually musical entertainment and people viewing taking place)

      1. fedupsoutherner
        February 28, 2016

        Yes, agree, Was there myself last year. My point was that of course it was expensive coffee bought in one of the most expensive areas of Venice. We managed to eat and drink quite cheaply a stone’s throw away from St Marks Square. But Brexit is not the reason the pound has dropped slightly as JR pointed out. If you listen to the BBC it is the only reason.

  25. Lifelogic
    February 27, 2016

    Good to see the bright sixteen year old in the audience on Question Time clearly pointing out the absurdity of Liz Truss’s pro EU “arguments”. Good to see she is going to go on to study sensible A levels too. Good luck to her.

  26. Denis Cooper
    February 27, 2016

    As far as identity is concerned, there has always been some flexibility whether somebody who is Welsh insists that they are Welsh, and definitely not English or even British, under all circumstances to the end of their days.

    A strong Scottish nationalist living in England may wish to constantly assert his Scottish identity, ad nauseam, but if he says that he is Scottish not British when he is abroad then he may confuse the locals, including local officials, and he may find that he is having to go on to explain that, no, Scotland is not part of England, but both are parts of Britain and the UK, and by the time he’s sorted out the unnecessary problems he’s created for himself the Germans will have bagged the best places around the pool …

    As for European identity, apart from extreme circumstances where the Europeans have to hole up together to survive an anti-European storm raging around them while awaiting a relief force to come and save them, see for example the Boxer Rebellion, there is so little European feeling, so weak a sense of a pan-European “demos”, that it makes an obvious nonsense of the idea of pan-European “democracy”.

    This has been found year after year in the EU’s Eurobarometer surveys, albeit they try to put the best gloss on their findings. On page 21 of the spring 2015 survey, here:

    the usual question “Do you see yourself as …?” was asked, and the breakdown of the responses, across the whole of the EU, was as follows:

    Nationality only – 38%
    Nationality and European – 52%
    European and nationality – 6%
    European only – 2%.

    This pattern is not dissimilar to that found in the last censuses for the old Yugoslavia before it broke up: in the 1981 census, only about 6% of the population of Yugoslavia chose to identify themselves as “Yugoslavs”, all the rest as Croats and Serbs and so on, and as the federation started to disintegrate that dropped to 3%.

  27. Denis Cooper
    February 27, 2016

    Incidentally, the distribution of responses to that question across the EU countries is given in a table on the following page 22:

    and there is no country where more than 7% of the population see themselves as just “European” or more than 21% put European identity ahead of national identity.

    As might be expected the UK does stand out for the unreconstructed nationalism of its inhabitants:

    British only – 64%
    British and European – 31%
    European and British – 2%
    European only – 1%.

    We really should not be part of an organisation founded on the proposition that the only permitted, desirable, nationalism is pan-European nationalism.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 27, 2016

      Europe is not a sensible demos upon which any real democracy can rest.

  28. Amanda
    February 27, 2016

    I am English from England first. (I still also identify by the English county of my birth !!).

    Closely followed by British from the UK – but the use of this by all and sundry, andnews such as a British Jihadist has done x,y or z, puts me increasingly off this. I don’t identify with a group that can includes people with vastly different cultural values and ‘inherent’ degenerate behaviour.

    If in another continent, I may, perhaps, just identify as an European.

    I would absolutly never in a million years identify myself as coming from the EU, and never will to my dying day !!

  29. Old Albion
    February 27, 2016

    Having been born a few years after WW2 I grew up as British. By 1998 and the devolution bill, I knew I was no longer British. I reverted to my true birth nationality English. I will now die as English and English only.

  30. agricola
    February 27, 2016

    Last night I watched Wales versus France on TV. Rugby, a game played at little short of open warfare within an arena of very passionate, partisan spectators. All of them, as always, having a beer and getting on happily together. The result pleased some but not all, but they had watched a great game and looked forward to the next encounter before going to the pub.

    Politicians could learn a lot from such an event, played under one set of rules none of which impinged on the national character of either side or their supporters.

  31. oldtimer
    February 27, 2016

    You make good points and sound arguments.

    Meanwhile over at the BBC this morning it trivialised the issue by complaining that the cost of a cup of espresso in Venice had risen, cue shock, horror, to £5 because of the devaluation of the pound. This it was later explained because the £ had devalued by 10% – we were left to assume that before the devaluation it was a perfectly acceptable £4.50.

    Yesterday Forthurst provided a link to the car crash interview on the Daily Politics with George Galloway which tried to focus on personality issues rather than on the central issue of the referendum – namely control and who exercises it, the British voter or an unelected EU bureaucracy.

    That interview and the piece today about the price of a cup coffee in Venice signal the BBC’s intent to muddy the waters, to scaremonger and to talk about anything but the central issue of control. Like the many NGOs who also receive money from the EU, and for whom the BBC is the foremost mouthpiece, sock puppet and willing accomplice, it is not to be trusted. Indeed the NGOs themslves are a group who should not continue to be directly funded by the UK taxpayer in the way they are funded by thge EU. For they are part of the problem. They work in the shadows, furthering the EU control agenda and embedding their own pet ideas and projects in the laws and regulations that then become next to impossible to change. The result is creeping sclerosis of the body politic. It can and will only end badly.

  32. JoeSoap
    February 27, 2016

    Yes we need answers for how replacement monies will be channelled to farmers, Universities etc., also that they are aware of the 2 year period during which we will remain contributors and members. We need to cover exactly what switch over day will look like.

    1. eeyore
      February 27, 2016

      What Switch-over Day looks like will depend on Tory MPs. If they send the suits in to Mr Cameron it might be rather messy. If they don’t, even messier.

      There is still no absolute guarantee that HMG will respect the verdict of the sovereign people, who will be profoundly perplexed if it doesn’t.

      Switch-over Day has all the makings of high political comedy.

    2. Denis Cooper
      February 27, 2016

      Most likely the EU treaties will cease to apply to the UK from midnight, and rather as Nehru said in his famous speech late on the evening of 15 August 1947:

      “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”

      Then the next day, the first day of our release and most likely a public holiday, will be much like a New Year’s Day, but possibly with worse hangovers.

      Nothing traumatic will happen the day after we vote to leave the EU, and nothing traumatic will happen when we actually leave the EU, why should it? So many countries around the world have achieved independence without the actual event being catastrophic, why should it be thought that we would be incapable of doing all the necessary preparations to achieve a smooth transition?

      1. bluedog
        February 28, 2016

        Good note from Joe Nehru, Denis.

        1. Denis Cooper
          February 28, 2016

          It’s reckoned to be one of the greatest political speeches of the twentieth century, and made in English by an Indian.

  33. JoeSoap
    February 27, 2016

    What’s becoming apparent is that the present team of politicians and civil servants are frightened that they won’t be up to the job of looking after the UK by themselves. I’d say that any “remain” MPs should selectively be placing themselves for re-election in the event of a Leave vote, so that we can replace them with folk who believe themselves capable.

    1. majorfrustration
      February 27, 2016

      Yes that had crossed my mind – if the UK were to leave the EU they would find themselves accountable to the UK voters shock horror – I think also they might be wondering where their next job would come from if we left
      JR you are making the case for Leave with both substance and logic – what concerns me is that the facts are just not getting out to the general public

  34. Kenneth
    February 27, 2016

    Any attempt to artificially increase the demos to a much larger block of many countries is likely to end in failure unless the federal power has a very light touch.

    Examples where this worked are the Roman Empire and the USA. where the federal governments recognised that individual states should run themselves in most areas.

    Examples where this failed are the USSR and the eu, where the federal government tried to dictate policy from the centre. The U.S.A is now in danger of a similar break up as the federal government is now attempting to take more power.

    There may one day be a European ‘demos’. It may take 100’s of years. However the eu is not Europe, despite what the BBC tells us. If there is to be a European demos it will not come about because of the eu.

    Ultimately the eu is anti-European.

    1. Maureen Turner
      February 27, 2016


      Couldn’t agree more. The whole construct of the EU is artificial in that it is being created by diktat and not evolving naturally. Will it crash and burn. Yes. Let’s hope it does no without creating conflict.

    2. Denis Cooper
      February 27, 2016

      The USA failed!

      More Americans died in the civil war than in all other wars put together.

  35. Bob
    February 27, 2016

    “A senior scientist yesterday on the media implied that we would not get grant money for universities out of the EU.”

    Yes John, I heard this fellow on R4 last evening. What I didn’t hear was anyone pointing out the obvious as you have done above.

    This reminded me of the comment you published here yesterday by “Anonymous”

    “The BBC inflicts the damage on the Out case and the Outs thereafter play catch-up on obscure blogs like this one, which few of the television watching public read.”

    I have been warning for years that the BBC is a danger to our national security and urging people to stop giving money to them. Are you ready to join me yet?

  36. graham1946
    February 27, 2016

    Re universities, surely it depends on whether what they are doing has any value. If they are just fiddling figures and computer models to prove climate change for instance, I’d say that’s a good area for cuts. We need to have a proper look at what goes on and not just promise to make up what they may lose from the EU.

    Same with farmers, those who need it to produce food competitively against foreigners who are subsidised by their governments should be supported, but do we really need to pay the East Anglian prairie farmers who all seem to be millionaires anyway?

    1. matthu
      February 27, 2016

      Same could be said then for certain so-called charities.

    2. fedupsoutherner
      February 28, 2016

      And do we really need to pay farmers subsidies who are raking in millions from wind turbines on their land? Surely one or the other but not both!

  37. a-tracy
    February 27, 2016

    When asked I used to say I was British or from Great Britain, for some reason we’re expected to drop the “great’ now? I now say I’m English from the United Kingdom.

    I read this morning that Britain leaving would have a severe financial impact on the world economies, so why are we constantly on blended knee to them, never getting a proportional benefit or say, handing over the reins constantly to an aggressive and bullying French and German axis of control, with self-protective Brussels weakly putting their oar in with their threats all the time, our easy going nature allows this until we blow. As the popular to show Gogglebox showed last night people are just in the dark, they have no idea what the benefits are or even if there are any, and they certainly don’t know the down sides.

    Cameron’s flat earth predictions, just believe me statements, are frankly weak, we all know we can’t trust his cast iron guarantees when it comes to the EU.

    1. matthu
      February 27, 2016

      If anyone in the government argues that a Brexit vote would put world economies at risk – we need to ask them what planning they are making for the aftermath of a Brexit vote?

      Standard reply from Cameron is that there are no plans. In those circumstances, he has no claim to lead our country following a Brexit vote.

    2. zorro
      February 27, 2016

      So let me see….. First we are a small country dependent on EU trade to avoid living in caves and eating berries, but now if we Brexit, we will produce a global financial shock!!

      What is it even?! I am just waiting to hear that Cameron will say that he has received a terrorist threat of an alien invasion if we Brexit! Who knows what they will come up with in the next few months…….


  38. Denis Cooper
    February 27, 2016

    Off-topic, the latest tally:

    “Europe. How Conservative MPs break down. Latest Remain estimate – 159 Tory MPs, 87 on the payroll, 72 not”

    Also: “Of the 126 for Leave, 30 are on the payroll and 96 are not.”

    I have to say that at least nearly half of the Tory MPs have come out for Leave, while over on the other side only a few Labour MPs have done so and the rest seem intent of copying their leader, including attempts to reduce this issue to a matter of party politics.

    Reply Yes, Leave will have more than that quite soon

    1. graham1946
      February 27, 2016

      I can’t see why people are surprised that Labour support the EU. It is a socialist construct and fits naturally with their world view and dreams.

      What is surprising is that any Tory supports it, but they do, and now your post seems to explain why some do – these people are putting self-interest above national interest and have no business being in a British parliament at all. Why the rest are so in love with the EU is a mystery, unless being a Cameron sycophant is the answer. Could be, as the new cohort seem unwilling to declare and maybe are waiting for Dave to get kicked out. Hopefully, their constituents will take note and deliver their verdict at the next General Election.

  39. Bert Young
    February 27, 2016

    My 8 year old daughter says she is English and when I discus the mixture of my background and her mother’s , she then says , “Well I am a mixture” . Of course this is true , she then follows up and says , “But I live in England “; interesting that she makes no mention of being “European”. By and large the emphasis is on England and English .

    Yesterday there were important contributions to the “Leave/Outs etc” campaign . Michael Howard’s contribution was a voice from the past making his presence felt again – it was almost like he was making Cameron stand in the corner like a naughty boy . He followed the voice of Lord Owen – who was equally damning of the “deal” – here were two men of experience emerging and showing their judgements . Experience has a great deal more weight in an argument over ideals – one of the reasons we cannot ignore the value of history .

  40. a-tracy
    February 27, 2016

    Do we get money back from our EU contribution towards the cost of educating European students and funding the student loans with UK taxpayers taxes? Or do we pay twice.

    Are our total contributions a % of something? If so, a % what? What are we allowed to offset. Why are we told we can’t fund our own old peoples care whilst being asked to pay in more and more, surely we can offset our own Uk social costs against turnover (GDP)?

    Compared to the funds Wales get back from the EU from our contribution how much does the NW of England and the NE of England get?

    George Osborne was asked last night by Laura (I think her name is) why did your party have a referendum if it’s so important we stay in, his answer was weak. Because he forgets the success of the UKIP campaigns, and how many people wouldn’t have voted Conservative without this promise in the European elections and the national elections because as we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks too many Tories like Mrs May speak out of both sides of their mouth when it suits them and we can’t trust them.

  41. Lifelogic
    February 27, 2016

    Why is Boris now saying leave means leave? I very much hope leave does mean leave. But there is almost certain to be a better deal offered by the EU, in a last ditch attempt by the EU to hold on to the throat of the UK and grab its money.

    Such negotiations are bound to ensue, as it will be very much in both sides interest to have them. They after all have history on this ‘vote again and get it right this time’ approach. Given this everyone should vote out. Cameron’s existing deal is just a pathetic joke and not even a legally binding pathetic joke.

    Free trade is all we need and want and this is in the EU’s interest even more than the UK’s. Even if we do not get free trade (without tariffs) it does not really matter as we can have matching tariffs and would then raise more than we pay out as we import more than they do.

    Anyway we could also divert our product to other World markets or just to home demand. Buy fewer BMWs, Ferraris and Mercs and more Aston Martins and Hondas or Nissans.

    1. matthu
      February 27, 2016

      If we vote for a Brexit, there will HAVE to be further negotiation.

      But Cameron will still be trying to engineer something akin to associate membership and WON’T want to risk a further referendum to (in)validate his negotiated outcome.

    2. Dennis
      February 27, 2016

      “Free trade is all we need and want ..” with some or all of Africa too? The EU doesn’t want free trade with Africa but dumps subsidised food on them to ruin their farmers, so I have been told.

  42. Denis Cooper
    February 27, 2016

    Off-topic again, there is a recent article here:

    entitled “EU membership: The true cost to Britain’s economy – and the unrealistic assumptions you need to make the numbers net positive”.

    On the benefits of the Single Market:

    “Unfortunately, there is a distinct shortage of robust estimates for the impact of the single market … The European Commission’s own studies suggest the overall impact of these effects has been around 2 per cent of GDP.”

    I keep pointing out that this 2% is a one-off increase in GDP which has been achieved over a period of some years during which the natural growth of the UK economy has averaged about 2.5% each year. So basically the benefits of the EU Single Market, without any allowance for its costs, are equivalent to less than one year’s average growth.

    Putting that another way, even if we had to leave the Single Market when we left the EU any economic loss would be made up in less than a year.

    So really the only reason for wanting a new arrangement which kept us in it is to provide reassurance to those who accept the europhiles’ grossly exaggerated view of its economic importance, and who will therefore be more inclined to vote to stay in the EU.

  43. A different Simon
    February 27, 2016

    John ,

    I think you omitted to say how large the sample size was at the sixth form .

    Roughly how many students in total did you pose the question to ?

    Were they aware that the EU’s “ever closer union” ultimately means emergence of a new EU country and deprecation of existing nation states ?

    If so did it sadden them ?

    Reply I think over 100

  44. Chris
    February 27, 2016

    Regarding University funding there is a very detailed analysis of this by R North on his eureferendum site. I believe it provides all or most of the “ammunition” a Leaver could possibly want.
    I give two quotes below, one concerning research funding, and another regarding the amounts given to the UK (of our own money essentially) to fund policy direction of the EU itself i.e. connected with the further growth of the grand project. This includes such things as the Horizon 2020 project and FP7, which North gives details about. There is further money devoted to policy research e.g. on “Europe as a global actor”.

    First quote:
    “Of the total of about £7 billion research income, the actual payments from the EU (funded from the UK contribution to the EU budget), amount to a mere £690 million – a tiny fraction of the industry’s total income, comprising a mere 2.3 percent. Charities, incidentally, contributed £1.1 billion to UK research in 2012-13.

    Here, it is worth noting that, compared with the £690 million (of our money) the EU sends to the UK, £3.8 billion comes from fees and accommodation from non-EU students – more than five times the EU research figure.

    A further £3.4 billion went on goods and services bought off-campus and the total export earnings from non-EU students (2011-12) were estimated at £10.7 billion. In fact, nearly 20 percent of the output generated by the higher education sector can be attributed to the recruitment of non-EU students – accounting for 18 percent of the jobs generated.

    Yet, for a mere 2.3 percent of the industry’s income, we are being told that continued British membership of the EU is essential – so fantastically important that it must over-ride all the constitutional and democratic implications. One might venture that the advocates of this stance have lost their sense of proportion. This has to be a classic case of the tail wagging the dog….”

    Second quote:
    “In short, the Commission tells us, the Horizon 2020 programme “aims at fostering a greater understanding of Europe, by providing solutions and support inclusive, innovative and reflective European societies with an innovative public sector in a context of unprecedented transformations and growing global interdependencies”. In short, the research programme is a gigantic policy generation machine.

    This aspect of the European Union is rarely understood. Apologists claim that the Commission employs less staff than a local authority such as Birmingham City. But the reason it is able to keep numbers down is by outsourcing much of its policy making.

    Policy development is being funded through the research programme, with academia co-opted as a fully-fledged partner. And for this and 2.3 percent of its income, the Higher Education “industry” wants us to stay in the EU.

    The irony is that, should we leave the EU, we can retain participation in the EU’s research programme, as does Norway and Iceland – and even Israel. But there is another twist. The EU research cash devoted to policy development is directed at securing “European” solutions, leaving the UK effort depleted. …”

  45. Chris
    February 27, 2016

    Simon Heffer has just written “Shame on the academic EU scaremongers” in D Tel. which I believe relates to your comments regarding university funding and research
    (I do not have a subscription so cannot access the article):

    1. M Davis
      February 27, 2016

      Could you not open a new Private window in your Browser? This is what I do when the DT tells me that I have used up all of my alloted monthly views. It works every time!

      1. Chris
        February 28, 2016

        Will try. Thank you!

  46. Stuart Saint
    February 27, 2016

    Leave must continually make the economic case for exit, any weakness here will be used against via project fear.

    Balanced this with the enormous changes (chaos?) that again must take place within the Euro zone to centralise financial control with consequent further loss of sovereignty and democratic control.

    I t is worth making the point that, should we stay in, many more demands will be made of us – immigration quotas, increased contributions, EU direct taxation even.

    The case and tone for Leave has to be positive however.

    1. Jerry
      February 27, 2016

      @Stuart Saint; “Leave must continually make the economic case for exit, any weakness here will be used against via project fear.”

      I’ve been saying that for months, if not over a year on this site, the trouble is it is the Brexit side who seem intent on using fear (of migration, or lack of EU democracy etc.) rather than the sound and concrete economic argument – and yes those brickbats are being turned upon those who want a Brexit for all the correct reasons.

  47. forthurst
    February 27, 2016

    What needs to be explained is why official questionnaires do not allow people who are English, such as myself, so to declare themelves. It is both inconvenient and inappropriate to have to use the ‘Other’ box to describe the identity of a member of the indigenous population of England of which those who are not entitled so describe themselves are foreign immigrants at some point but all seem to have their explicit degrees of foreignness available for identity or the alternative possibility of hiding behind a cloak of ‘Britishness’.

  48. lojolondon
    February 27, 2016

    Hi John, “Every penny we get back we first sent to them.” – a better way is to say for every penny we get from them we sent them three pennies, they kept two and sent back one.

    PLUS, a lot of that money ‘sent to the UK’ is spent on areas that we would never waste our resources on – like sending EU money to organisations like the CBI who use that money to lobby to stay in the EU, like sending money to charities to advertise to stay in the EU, and to the BBC to create programmes that explain how good it is for Britain to stay in the EU, and how ‘dangerous’ it would be to leave.

  49. Richard1
    February 27, 2016

    Yes Sir Paul Nurse’s intervention seemed as poorly thought through as his interventions on global warming, also a subject in which he is no more expert than the rest of us. If he chooses to speak about botany, in which he is an expert, we should listen carefully.

    But I am a bit surprised by how much you focus on this possible saving of £10bn. It’s real money alright, but less than 2% of govt spending and less than 1% of GDP. The government happily spends such sums and more on such nonsense as green crap, overseas aid and HS2. Nor is it clear we would save the whole amount. If we wish to have the single market access over and above simple tariff-free trade (passporting in financial services eg) we may well have to go on making some contribution, as the Swiss do. Surely this is a trivial issue in the great question of whether or not the UK should leave the EU?!

    reply There is no need to pay anything to be able to import German cars!

    1. zorro
      February 27, 2016

      Why on earth do you think that we as the 5th largest economy in the world actually need to pay for free trade to an organisation which is currently exporting more to us than we do to them? It is against common and economic sense for them not to do so. This is the EU mindset which has convinced people that it is actually necessary.


    2. Richard1
      February 28, 2016

      That’s probably right if all we want is tariff-free trade. But if we want dozens of arrangements – passporting in the financial sector being one example – as the Swiss have, we will probably have to pay something. I don’t see a big problem with this, it doesn’t seem to me to be decisive one way or the other, but I question whether Leave will be credible to say there will be a £10bn saving.

      Reply US and Japanese financial institutions don’t pay for passports for services, They just brass plate in an EU country. Most UK managed OEICs are already administered from Dublin or Luxembourg do they would be fine if we leave, for example.

    3. Qubus
      February 28, 2016

      Yes, I think Sir Paul Nurse made a very unconvincing argument.

  50. David Orton
    February 27, 2016

    The EU always make it clear when they make a grant to farmers, university people, business people and others that the grant comes from the EU.
    It is essential that recipients of largess from the EU realise that they are receiving back a proportion of the amount the UK pays to the EU.
    You state the net figure returned by the EU is £10m. Presentationally I think it would be much clearer to the public if we stated the amount paid over by the UK is £15m and the amount received back by way of grants is £5m. We need to agree on what the right figures are and always quote them. Giles Fraser got into a bit of a muddle on this point on Question Time.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 27, 2016

      £Billion surely!

  51. Dennis
    February 27, 2016

    Yes I heard that fellow being very heated on his views that the UK science fraternity would be in effect shut out of any collaboration with EU colleagues and what a devastating disaster it would be for the UK to leave the EU.

    I didn’t catch his name – I hope you, JR , have had the opportunity to set him straight.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 27, 2016

      We should cooperate on scientific research worldwide. It is a nonsense argument that we would be cut out from anything. Why would they want to? Especially if we are prepared to contribute financially. Most have nothing to do with the EU anyway.

      1. Qubus
        February 28, 2016

        Just count the number of Nobel prizes that the UK has won in the last decade or so. There is no way that the EU would not continue to collaborate with us.

  52. PaulDirac
    February 27, 2016

    There is a set of people who are currently for “Stay” due to subsidies payed directly to them by the EU, (incidentally, using our own contributions).

    Those are farmers and some university and science projects (and others) which enjoy direct EU grants, it would make sense for the “Leave” campaign to neutralize those concerns by promising to continue those grants at the same level for say 5 years.

    The reasons are obvious, by leaving the EU we save some 18Bn a year, we can afford to invest them in the same level of subsidy and thereby reduce the potential personal loss for those who are in the “subsidy class” and making them more amenable to the “Leave” arguments.

  53. Chris
    February 27, 2016

    With regard to University research funding by the EU, there is a very detailed analysis on R North’s website. There is enough information for any Leaver to expose the flaws in the pro EU arguments which University academics “Scientists for EU” are making. I have apparently not been permitted to post the exact link, or quotes from the article, which is entitled EU referendum: Skating on thin ice.

    1. Chris
      February 27, 2016

      Apologies, my earlier comment now posted.

  54. Pud
    February 27, 2016

    If asked my nationality I always reply English because I was born in England and have always lived in England. My wife replies British because her dad was Scottish and her mum English.

  55. zorro
    February 27, 2016

    It is beyond contempt for an elected UK PM to do this to supposedly win his argument. It smacks of their desperation, and you can smell the fear. He must fear the consequences of him not carrying out his masters’ wishes……


  56. Maureen Turner
    February 27, 2016

    How European do people feel? If the findings of a recent survey are correct then it’s not very much.

    I am Scot to denote my geographical location and British in all other respects. However, I do enjoy having this unusal dual citizenship of a kind as it can come in handy at times, especially when travelling abroad eg., the days of the Auld Alliance still linger on in France so I usually include a little piece of tartan in what I wear to break the ice and it really works.

    Over recent years the N. Irish, the Welsh and the Scots have been encouraged to celebrate their nationality but for some weird reason this hasn’t been the case for England. You wouldn’t as a taxi driver be prohibited from flying a small Saltire from the wing mirror of your vehicle in Scotland – football match or no football match. Even our local authority has its own flag but for some reason or other the sight of the Cross of St. George gets your
    LAs all hot and bothered.

    Of course it’s not for some reason or other it’s the need for conformity to the aims of the EU where any sense of nationality in their populations must be removed. Ode to Joy or a blue flag with stars on it won’t make us EU citizens but no doubt those in Brussels will press on with the Project regardless because just like the banks in 2008 – it’s to big to fail.

    Reply We are now allowed to put the English flag on our number plates rather than the standard EU one. I recommend all do so if buying a new vehicle or changing number plates. I have English number plates now, as I wanted to change from the EU ones on my car.

  57. graham1946
    February 27, 2016

    This is another lesson that we know already, that Cameron does not care for democracy. He is lobbying the whole world and even intends to invite President Obama over before the referendum to lecture us about the USA’s (actually Obama’s) belief that we should stay in. This used to be taboo. No foreign interference in a sovereign nation’s elections was permitted, but people like CMD are watering this down because they have such a weak argument. You can imagine Obama’s reaction if our government told USA voters they should vote for Trump, which is no more ridiculous.

  58. Monty
    February 27, 2016

    Whenever we hear this kind of bleating from a special interest group, it’s important to remember this: They are fighting to preserve their revenue stream. That is their over-riding priority, it shouldn’t be yours. Furthermore, they don’t want to rely on a democratically elected National Government for that money. Presumably because they fear being held to account, and being assessed according to our own priorities.
    In other words, we pay the EU a net £10Bn a year to take our money and dispense it with no regard to our needs or interests. These bogus “reasons” for staying in, generally turn out to be grounds for getting out ASAP.

  59. PaulDirac
    February 27, 2016

    Germany’s iron hand.
    The VW cheating (re diesel emission scandal) is huge in the USA, VW customers are getting refunds, their diesel cars are being recalled, there is talk about fines of many billions.
    What about Europe?
    Most of the cheating was done right here, but there is not a whisper about a similar government action against VW, I wonder why, did Frau Merkel issue an unofficial request (more like command) to our PM?

  60. ChrisS
    February 28, 2016

    I lived and worked in Germany for five years, drive both a German and Italian car and for the last 14 years have had a house in the centre of rural France where we spend 8-10 weeks a year.

    Nevertheless, I have always thought of myself as being English first and British a distant second. Never for one moment have I ever described myself or thought of myself as being “European”.

    Of more importance, I don’t know anyone at all of any generation that thinks of themselves as European. That applies to those I know in Germany and France, both locals and ex-pats. It’s another perfect example of the wide disconnect between our current masters in Brussels and the people who live within the EU.

    PS – the first thing I would do after the Brexit vote, if I were Boris, would be to offer a free replacement UNITED KINGDOM passport with the traditional navy blue cover to every citizen of the UK. Before the SNP ask, there would not be English, Scottish, NI or Welsh versions either !

    The Treasury can take the cost out of the first year’s £10bn.

  61. BobE
    February 28, 2016

    This will happen in October.
    Turkish citizens will be allowed visa-free access to continental Europe as part of a deal which could see the country join the EU in exchange for helping with the migrant crisis.
    EU leaders on Sunday signed a deal meaning that Ankara will take back deported migrants from European countries in exchange for visa restrictions to be lifted and talks on Turkey joining the EU to be accelerated.
    The agreement, which will be worth €3 billion (£2.1 billion) to Turkey, calls on Ankara to do more to stop refugees illegally travelling to across to Greece from its western border.
    However, it means that Turkish people will be given the right to travel to EU countries in the Schengen zone – which Britain is not a part of – from next year.
    The EU also said that it will re-open talks on whether to allow Turkey, which has a population of more than 70 million, to join the EU.
    Critics have warned that allowing Turkey to join the EU would result in large numbers of migrants attempting to travel to the UK.

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