Pound and UK shares rally on news of backfiring punishment budget

Today UK shares are up and the pound has rallied a little against the dollar. That is probably not what the Chancellor had in mind.

Despite all the efforts of the Treasury, other world governments, the IMF and various economists to talk the UK down on fears of Brexit, markets are just not doing what they wanted them to do.

Remain  seems to have given up on their short term forecasts of higher government borrowing rates, as these rates have plunged along with other sovereign bonds around the world. Clearly there is no strong Brexit affect on UK ones.

The pound hit a low this year of $1.385  at the end of February when the markets did not think Brexit at all likely. Now they think Brexit is much more likely, with a probability to them of around 40%. This would imply the pound should now have fallen around 40% of their  anticipated fall for Brexit, but instead it is at $1.41 today, still above its February low.

The share market hit a low of 5536 (FTSE 100) on February 11th this year, well before markets thought Brexit possible. Today it is at 5973.



  1. Antisthenes
    June 15, 2016

    If lying was a criminal offence and for every lie a politician or expert made was a mandatory sentence of one month in prison then I believe many of the stayers would be serving life by now. Totally impractical of course as how do you differentiate between a lie, an opinion or a genuine held belief. The tragedy is that a matter as important as our membership of the EU may well be decided by people who have set out to deliberate bully, deceive and mislead the British people. Never be able to prove it of course.

    1. Timaction
      June 15, 2016

      I agree. The remaniacs have sunk to new lows. The Tory Party leadership is awful and a bunch of proven traitors. They should be removed as they are not fit to hold public office. I cannot understand why Cameron etc cannot be charged with malficence in public office?

      1. Hope
        June 15, 2016

        I read in Guido Fakes a picture of London Mayor Khan at a remain event in Manchester with men at the front and women allowed to stand at the back! Is this the Britain we want? Is this the future for Londoners? Is this why Osborne wants a forced mayor in Manchester? etc ed
        No more EU regionalisation and no more mayors.

      2. Lifelogic
        June 15, 2016

        What about Blair, Major, Heath, Osborne & Brown first. Osborne, in particular, with his absurd misuse of the treasury and his office as a propaganda device (backfiring hugely it seems).

        It is surely all over now. Brexit is surely home and dry. The next problem is to get Parliament to actually deliver I doubt they will without force being applied.

        Cameron is already shifting his position, in clear expectation of a Brexit vote.

    2. Lifelogic
      June 15, 2016

      Were it a prospectus to raise money from the public they would be rightly locked up for these lies.

      It is actually far more serious than a mere business prospectus.

      Osborne may well be a fool and an economic illiterate (indeed that is the most charitable explanation for his words and actions) but even he cannot really think that he is telling the truth.

      He certainly cannot think he is “keeping his promise” on IHT, as he still claims, or “repaying the debt” either. He is just trying to keep his job. The Brexit tide and democracy is going to sweep him away just as I hoped and thought it would.

      His pathetic threat to voters that “I will mug all of you again with another huge budget tax grab if you dare to vote leave” will backfire hugely. The man is beneath contempt.

    3. hefner
      June 15, 2016

      Should this apply to JR? He tells us that shares are up today (the FTSE100, I suppose), but forgot to tell us they had dropped by 2% the day before. What a selective memory? The poor man must be exhausted.

      He might be more respected outside this blog if he were abstaining from such silly commemts (see also his comments about bonds two days ago).

      I always acknowledge shares and currencies go down as well as up, and argue it us usually for reasons other than Brexit. Yesterday was however significant as it was the first day the markets could respond to the unexpected news of a dramatically different UK budget from the Chancellor. Clearly the markets did not believe any if it.

  2. ferdinand
    June 15, 2016

    As Britain turns the key to leave,the wolves of Europe howl.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 15, 2016

      The EU are probably already thinking of what new deal to offer now before the vote again referendum. Whatever this is it should be rejected unless it is simply free trade and voluntary cooperation.

      1. Hope
        June 15, 2016

        Is Frankie Howard a remain supporter, we are doomed we are all doomed!

      2. Hope
        June 15, 2016

        JR, aft the appalling budget threat today is it not time to rid Cameron from your party? Osborne will follow.

        Osborne reminds me of the scary child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! Lolly pops and sweeties for those who stay locked up in a dungeon for those who wish to leave.

  3. Denis Cooper
    June 15, 2016

    One thing that was mentioned on TV last night was that stock markets across the whole of the EU had fallen, not just London. So my alternative conclusions are that either:

    a) This has little or nothing to do with the prospect of Brexit, and is being driven by some other factors affecting the whole of the EU, in fact the whole of Europe; or

    b) It has a lot do with the prospect of Brexit, but investors are reckoning that if we did take an economic from it then so would the other countries in the EU.

    Well, maybe they’re really not bothered if is b), maybe they are prepared to cut off their noses to spite their faces; if so, why would we want such stupid, vindictive, childish and untrustworthy people to have a large hand in the government of our country?

    1. eeyore
      June 15, 2016

      “For anything I see, Mr Johnson, foreigners are fools.” – a Mr Meynell, quoted in Boswell’s Life of Johnson.

  4. Dioclese
    June 15, 2016

    I am seriously beginning to question the motives of George Osborne. He can’t possibly believe what he’s saying can he?

    1. Anonymous
      June 15, 2016

      Only if he is truly vindictive to the British people if they disobeye him.

      I am also dismayed by the Remain’s “If the result is close for Brexit then we must have Brexit lite and not the full thing.” Oh. So will we get EU lite if it is a close call for Remain ? Or full fat EU if it is a large swing to Remain ?

    2. Lifelogic
      June 15, 2016

      He is like Cameron a pathetic, career politician, so of course he does not believe what he says nor does what he says.

      Unless he is very dim indeed, he cannot possibly think that he is keeping his IHT threshold promise (as he still claims) or that his national living wage will not destroy countless jobs, or that his landlord, pension pots and tenant muggings will do anything but huge economic harm.

      He cares not one jot he even kept 50% income tax which damaged the economy and raised less tax for political reasons. He wrongly thinks there are votes in his absurdly moronic and economically illiterate, fiscal agenda.

      Hopefully they will both be history next Friday. But I still doubt that we will escape the EU. Cameron promised just now that an out vote means out but promises from him have zero value, anyway he will be gone.

      Another better (how could it not be) deal and referendum will follow as night follows day.

      1. Lifelogic
        June 15, 2016

        If only the Tories had had a sensible, pro Brexit, leader then the vote would be more like 70/30 for Brexit and the Tories would be way ahead in the polls. As it is it will only be 55/45 or something but that is enough. Hopefully the mess Cameron has made of the party can be quickly repaired. At least there is only Corbyn to beat with his “lets be like Venezuela” agenda.

        How on earth did Cameron ever delude himself in thinking he could win with the pathetic non deal he negotiated.

        Lots of thanks to Mandelson, Major, Brown, Darling, Osborne, Cameron, Blair, Sturgeon, Natalie Bennett, May, Hague, Hammond and the rest of the remainers for helping the Brexit side so much with their patently absurd arguments and childish attempts at lies & deception.

    3. acorn
      June 15, 2016

      I have said previously, several times, Osborne is not compatible with Brexit. Unfortunately, that is the way right wing, dyed in the wool, Conservative Party members think. The Dickensian era was their finest hour; to which they long to return. For me, that is, by far, the biggest risk of voting Brexit. But, a risk I am prepared to take.

    4. formula57
      June 15, 2016

      He is about to become a former future prime minister and so may well be raging against the dying of the light.

  5. Caterpillar
    June 15, 2016

    One of the calmest appraisal’s of Brexit I have seen is in the Australian Business Review, ‘Brexit Wouldn’t Be So Bad’ by Adam Kohler,

    “Any further decline in the pound as a result of Brexit would make UK industry and tourism highly competitive. The claim that Britain would “go to the back of the queue” when it comes to exports to Europe would be quickly overcome by price, and UK manufacturers would steal market share from the Germans.”

    “Moreover, the financial sector would benefit from the removal of heavy-handed regulation from Brussels, so that money management and insurance businesses would undoubtedly prosper in the long term — after the initial shock.”

    “So, economically and financially, Brexit would be disruptive in the short term, but beneficial in the long term in my view”

    1. Roy Grainger
      June 15, 2016

      I have had meeting with several significant people in the financial sector. While personally they are probably Remainers they have all said they think in the medium-term Leave or Remain look about the same for the economy.

      1. Leslie Singleton
        June 15, 2016

        Dear Roy–Well, they would say that wouldn’t they, given that they haven’t a clue so far out as the medium term. Given that, all they can say is that they wouldn’t bet against anything changing much, which is equivalent to their saying nothing. In my experience most such “significant people” just sit around like the rest of us and have another cup of coffee. Put another way, it’s five of one and seven of the other but nobody knows which.

      2. Caterpillar
        June 15, 2016

        Which really does make one wonder why the PM is supporting Mr Osborne’s behaviour.

  6. Yosarion
    June 15, 2016

    FTSE put its head above the 7000 (7087 high) mark briefly last summer going to an all time high, however the previous high was on December 30th 1999, so it took fourteen years of peaks and no more Boom and Bust to get there, and today we are 1200 points of the high again.

  7. ian wragg
    June 15, 2016

    Last night I was listening to some BBC punter saying how shares had dropped do too the threat of Brexit.
    On that day all Europe, America and Japanese shares fell but no mention of this.
    If Leave win and we get rid of Cameron and Gideon, I do hope the BBC charter is revisited and its made into a full subscription channel.
    Their bias knows no ends.

    1. Timaction
      June 15, 2016

      I agree. The Marr show last week and extreme bias so obvious. I complained as it made me feel better but know nothing will change!

    2. Lifelogic
      June 15, 2016

      The BBC bias is appalling and they are wrong in all their biases too.

      Pro ever more EU, anti-science, pro climate alarmism, pro the EU, pro ever more tax, regulation and government, anti-landlord, pro ever more equality laws, pro a criminal justice system without deterrents. anti business, anti real science, pro bikes and trains and anti cars and trucks. Guardian/Clegg think on every issue. Just wrong, wrong and wrong on every singe issue.

      I was told this morning that one disabled person has brought 40 claims for disability “discrimination” and won all of them. Quite a career one can make of this activity it seems.

      Lots of money for lawyers too I suppose. Must do wonders for UK non productivity.

  8. Atlas
    June 15, 2016


    One hundred percent support for signing that letter concerning Osborne’s “Punishment Beating if you Brexit” Budget proposal. A step too far by him.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 15, 2016

      Way too far, the man is history find some one competent to replace him as soon as possible.

      1. Leslie Singleton
        June 15, 2016

        Dear Lifelogic–Nadine Dorries has his and Cameron’s measure. I’m not holding my breath, but if she wants to marry me I’m available

  9. Elsey
    June 15, 2016

    All the propaganda and downright lies from government institutions (that are supposedly neutral and subject to the will of the electorate) are exposed. Our own establishment is revealed as working against the interests and desires of it’s people. This has been the case for decades. Now the question is whether the elites would allow a Brexit even if there is a large majority vote for it. If they don’t then British democracy is shown to be an absolute sham.

    1. SumSense
      June 15, 2016

      That is indeed the next question.
      We need a government elected by the people for the people, not against the people.
      The more Osborne makes these silly statements, the more people are wising up.

    2. Lifelogic
      June 15, 2016

      We will be told to vote again.

      1. Chris S
        June 15, 2016

        Unless any new deal offers a clear end to FOM, restoration of vetoes in all areas we choose, the end of the common fisheries policy and no more net contributions, they might just as well not waste their breath.

        Almost Forgot : we also want freedom for British pigs to fly throughout EU airspace.

      2. Leslie Singleton
        June 15, 2016

        Dear Lifelogic–Has not Cameron said that such is for the birds–Surely you cannot be saying you doubt him.

    3. Mitchel
      June 15, 2016

      Our democracy was turned into a bureaucracy long ago-and it had very little to do with the EU,that was the fig leaf.We obviously need to get out of the EU so the fig leaf can be ripped off.We will then see the bureaucracy for what it is- nakedly self-serving,parasitic and working against the interests of both the entrepreneurial and working classes.

    4. Lifelogic
      June 15, 2016

      British democracy clearly is a sham, one vote every five years for the least bad option of perhaps two or three possible candidates. People who usually say whatever they think will get them elected, but then do the complete opposite in power.

      Still it is far better than the anti-democratic EU. At least we can kick them out.

  10. Dave
    June 15, 2016

    And in other news yesterday, a Swiss firm made a cash offer to buy out electronics components distributor Premier Farnell. They are paying a 50% premium for the company . Would they really do that if they were worried about any potential damage to the UK economy if we left the EU*? Premier Farnell are a bellweather for the UK economy.

    The general tone of warnings about the end of the world coming from Remain is getting rather annoying.

    (*Of course they could just think we are going to vote for Remain…)

  11. Mick
    June 15, 2016

    Just been watching the most pro eu PMQ’s, about 90% of the questions were to stay then the out of touch MP’s wonder why the public have had enough of the Westminster select, well get use to your short stay because the people are going to speak and come our withdrawal from the dreaded eu hopefully a GE will follow and install people to Westminster who speak for the general public

  12. Chris
    June 15, 2016

    There ws a complete taking apart of Ed Vaizey by Andrew Neil on Daily Politics re Osborne’s planned budget. Jacob Rees Mogg featured early on with wise, measured words. John Mann gave no support whatsoever to Vaizey – it seems as though Labour have disowned the budget and that Darling supported Osborne off his own bat. (An aside from Mann was fascinating. About surprising number of Scots voters voting for Leave).


    1. Chris
      June 15, 2016

      Apologies as link above invalid. See below instead.

    2. Leslie Singleton
      June 15, 2016

      Dear Chris–Absolutely right that Scots (of whom I ken a few) happy to leave

  13. ian
    June 15, 2016

    Wet & mad has a budget nearly every summer now anyway because he is always falling behind on his targets and has to make more cuts and tax increases.
    Everything country and the people have got is going end up in this black hole anyway and last year he borrowed 76 billion and sold assets of 29 billion without the cuts and tax rises on top.
    The reason for this is simple back when labour was running things they borrowed 30 odd billion a year and sold assets of 5 to 6 billion a year and most of that money went on wars in work tax credits and housing benefits schools and hospitals to deal with the extra people they wanted to come into the country but even with all that extra money they could only manage 2.5 percent growth a year and today you could say 2.5 growth a year but with all borrowing and assets sale as above, so with growth slowing this year and assets sales not going well this year wet & mad needs more money from you and more services cut to put into the black hole in or out of Europe.

    To get out of the black hole you need growth of over 4 percent a year and that will not happen if your still inside Europe.
    As I keep telling you, the tax system needs to done away with and new one bought in, people cannot shoulder all of the tax and the country cannot afford to keep selling all of it assets.
    77 pounds a week for single person out of work in the 21st century is wrong and that’s without sanctions, it should be 120 pounds a week for a person over the age of 25, at the end of the day somebody has to do the job of being out of work and if they have more money to spend it will oil the wheels better and the best part is it would not cost more than a billion pounds, if you have no quality of life what is the point

  14. Anonymous
    June 15, 2016

    Bob Geldoff used to protest against the establishment. Now, Bob Geldoff IS the establishment !

    (Nigel Farage has just said similar regarding the counter protest to the trawlermen on the Thames today.)

    1. DaveM
      June 15, 2016

      I don’t recall seeing hordes of abusive brexiteers shouting at the various In demos there have been.

  15. Cheshire Girl
    June 15, 2016

    May I highly recommend listening to a 15 minute video of a speech by Jacob Rees Mogg, which is on his website. It is a calm reasoned assessment of the advantages of leaving the EU.

    Sorry, I dont know how to post the link.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 15, 2016

      Indeed he was good. As he says:- it is democracy that has created economic wealth in the UK not the other way round.

      To vote remain is to reject democracy and accept rule by incompetent bureaucrat you can never remove.

  16. J M
    June 15, 2016

    Has Osborne taken leave of his senses?

  17. Richard1
    June 15, 2016

    Can we at least start here a wish list of measures for the Punishment Budget:-

    1. Cancellation of HS2
    2. Reduction or cancellation of £10bn EU contributions
    3. Cancellation of green crap
    4. Reduction in £12bn spent on Overseas Aid. Incorporation of DFID into the C&FO or MoD and spending only to be made where the UK’s interests are furthered. Any remaining net contribution required in any post-Brexit deal with the EU to count as Overseas Aid
    5. Administration and cost savings from central bureaucracy, TBC

    1. Lifelogic
      June 15, 2016

      A good start also:-

      State sector remuneration and pensions to be brought in line with those in the private sector who have to pay for them.

    2. Lifelogic
      June 15, 2016


      IHT abolished
      Income tax top rate 40%
      Stamp duty abolished so people can move
      Relaxation of planning
      A bonfire of red tape
      A law that says red tape can just be ignored if it is clearly absurd (so 75%+ to go immediately)
      Quality controls on immigration & no rights to stay for ever until fully earned.

  18. ian
    June 15, 2016

    Wet & mad will never get borrowing under 30 billion a year and will continue to put up taxes and cut services and sell assets to no avail and as I tell you voting for parties is suicide because they have their own agenda WHICH DOZE NOT INCLUDE YOU.

    June 15, 2016

    The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs speaking in Parliament today said he feels it factual that all world leaders think the UK should Remain in the EU.
    He did not give a moment of mature thought and think it singularly odd our countries economic competitors would be in favour of what he probably feels “A Better Stronger UK in the EU ” China wishes the EU to stay in the EU, for example.
    Is it not China that is thought to be a massive economic competitor and threat with steel dumping and dumping of all other commodities?
    Of course Mr Hammond is responsible for some matters relating to our military relationships.He has such a blind faith in foreigners and foreign opinion that we should hope and pray the President China and the President of Iran do not give him their wise counsel on defence matters, in general. Is he taking advice on British military morale building from the Prime Minister of Italy?

      June 15, 2016

      correction UK

  20. Peter Stroud
    June 15, 2016

    Frankly, Osborne has made himself look like a complete idiot with his threatened budget. Of course he will never deliver another budget, should we vote to leave the EU.

    1. Roy Grainger
      June 15, 2016

      It is worse than that though, he has shown that Conservative manifesto promises count for nothing at all as he is planning to break a number of them if he can – the next Tory manifesto will be held up as worthless by the media and Labour party because of that irrespective of the outcome of this vote.

    2. A different Simon
      June 15, 2016

      If Cameron and Osborne wanted to help the Remain campaign they might try resigning before the vote .

      Mrs Merkel and Oliver Letwin may yet order them too .

      It’s a definite possibility .

    3. Lifelogic
      June 15, 2016

      Indeed he is appalling. His fiscal decisions and central wage control agenda is hugely damaging. He is the one who is economically illiterate and a damn fool to boot.

  21. Lifelogic
    June 15, 2016

    I see that Osborne has described anyone who disagrees with the two treasury reports as ‘economically illiterate’.

    This then would include five of his Conservative predecessors as Chancellor or shadow Chancellor (Lawson, Lamont, Howard, Lilley and Portillo).

    It is going to be rather hard to hold the party together, post the Brexit vote. Cameron and Osborne have played it all wrong, they should have stayed above the fray.

    June 15, 2016

    According to one Reuter’s article today, fears of Brexit have caused the oil price to go down. These economics “experts”make themselves look unemployable. Much like Mr Osborne, Chief Tarot Card reader and monkey bone tosser.

    1. MickN
      June 15, 2016

      I think it has little to do with monkey bones !

    2. Mac
      June 16, 2016

      “The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.” J. R. Galbraith

    June 15, 2016

    Off Topic: BHS
    Yet another horseshoe-shaped table full of questioners in a Parliamentary Committee this time with Sir Philip Green.
    One early question posed to him:-

    ” What is a company? ”

    It was painful listening to the questions. The Committee appeared to have a notion of “a very large business” as operating like a 19th century top hat manufacturer:.. Mr Moneybags sitting in his office at one end of the factory with cringing minions entering from time to time and doffing their caps to Master.

    Sir Philip had to spend a very lengthy time indeed trying unsuccessfully to explain to largely unresponsive and seemingly non-informed members the nature of business in this century.

    I don’t blame the government for not employing an army of economic and business”experts” to form the committees. We’ve heard too much of “experts” in the Remain Campaign—frying pan to fire… But these committees in Parliament are using up a lot of resources and they don’t look up to much.

    1. A different Simon
      June 16, 2016

      Politicians seem to be under the impression that businesses should last forever .

      They don’t seem to understand that many businesses , like other living things , have an intrinsic lifespan and eventually die .

      If they did they wouldn’t burden businesses with administration of vocational pensions schemes .

      Defined benefit pensions must have originated as a means of attracting staff .

      No company can make financial commitments to it’s current staff 70 years into the future because so much will change in that time and most companies will not last that long .

      MP’s seem wedded to the idea that it is a companies job to look after it’s ex employees until death rather than pay them the going rate for the job now .

  24. graham1946
    June 15, 2016

    On World at One today, Nick Robinson (ex political editor of BBC) surprisingly said he thought Cameron is toast win or lose. He said if they lose then he obviously must go and if he wins, the Tory Party will never forgive him this nasty, party splitting campaign and regard him as another Heath.

    Lets hope he is right. If Cameron goes, Osbourne must as well. He has dug a big hole for himself and has received in effect a vote of no confidence as 57 Tories plus the Labour Party have said they will vote his ‘punishment budget’ down. Austerity has been a failure and more of the same won’t be accepted. If he can’t get a budget through, then his authority is shot.
    No doubt he got this idea from his Bilderberg mates. . He didn’t attend this year, but will have received his instructions. Christine Lagarde went, so expect more from her soon. The IMF will have been instructed on what to do as well.

  25. Ian Bland
    June 15, 2016

    I used to have a business selling digital content on the internet and honestly, nothing made me smile more than the pound falling. Who can forget the harm caused by the high “ERM” pound?

  26. DaveM
    June 15, 2016

    At the end of the day, an economic wobble is temporary. Loss of sovereignty and loss of control over your lands is forever.

    June 15, 2016

    Just seen Michael Gove on the Question Time series devoted to the Referendum. He did very well.

    It’s of some concern about the oft mentioned “balance” of political orientation in such audiences. Yes the BBC has certain guidelines which I dare say they honour. But sometimes the Beeb oddly comes up with questioners whose jargon is too particular to spring from balanced members of the public. They use terms such as “white privilege ” or “fractional reserve banking” which may ring a bell with fellow Commenters here but I believe one would have to have a very long high street indeed to bump into a Joe or Josephine Bloggs who recognise the terms but vaguely. Even if the jargon is not particularly rare, the intensity of some of the questioners almost suggest they must have been with some strange social cult for a month’s “holiday” in Wacko or Brighton.

  28. ian
    June 15, 2016

    The only two things that have gone up because of globalization since 2000 are the elite money and power also co2 up by 40% and the money spend on green crap which made no difference in world output of co2 and with more people can only increase, now if what they say is true about co2 why have the politician and elite let go up by 40% in 15 years by moving from low co2 country to high co2 country ?.

  29. Anonymous
    June 15, 2016

    I am convinced (by the conduct and language of the Government and Remainers in general) that a Brexit result will be followed by wrecking and violent disorder.

    1. DaveM
      June 15, 2016

      No, anon, the sky will fall and great monsters will emerge from the oceans and consume God’s children. Where have you been these last few weeks?!

  30. Margaret
    June 15, 2016

    I don’t believe it , now we are being threatened with breaking the rule of law … EU law! what more evidence do wee need of these despotic tactics

    June 15, 2016

    Off topic; Tonight
    Sky news’ clip of Mr Islam’s to-do with Mr Gove featured Mr Islam saying Mr Gove’s father was and I quote: “not unique in losing his job..”.etc
    One recalls Mr Islam’s insensitive and churlish reposte was ” He ( Mr Gove’s dad ) was only ONE man ” with the implication his dad’s singularity and relationship with his son Mr Gove was of no importance.
    A bit different : but sky news is not without its Pravdaesque scribblers who can’t stop saying TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP etc ed

  32. Chris S
    June 16, 2016

    Times Article on the EU Diplomatic Service.

    An article today in the Times on the growth in the EUs “External Action Service” and the way it is competing with the extensive Diplomatic representation around the world of the U.K. and France.

    Whether or not we vote for Brexit we have to have decide whether we want to remain the fifth strongest power in the world or not.

    This will require UK politicians to adopt a different mindset. They will have to project the UK once more as a World power, not a bit part player on the European Stage.

    That means a rapid reversal of cuts made to to our own diplomatic service over the last 15 years or so and a boost to our military forces, particularly the Navy. It is no good having two big, expensive new aircraft carriers if we don’t have sufficient surface ships and submarines to form a battle group to defend even one of them ! (Assuming, that is, that we do actually get some aircraft to fly off them ! )

    Cash for building up the diplomatic service can come from our ludicrously bloated foreign aid budget, much of which is wasted funding inept projects or corruption. This is caused largely because civil servants can’t find worthwhile projects on which to spend the huge amount of money quick enough.

    I would like to see a US-style approach to foreign aid where most aid is only granted to countries that are already or could potentially be persuaded to come “on side” with the US and on condition that it is spent on US-manufactured goods. Construction projects have to be managed and built by US contractor using a proportion of local labour.

    Why, for example, was the 100% UK-funded airport on St Helena built by a South African company employing largelyThai labour ?

    The F&CO could again become an attractive and much more interesting place to work when we are free of constraints imposed by the EU and its continual mission creep.

  33. Chris S
    June 16, 2016
  34. Chris S
    June 16, 2016

    A well argued piece in the Telegraph this morning by senior Conservative Brexiteeres.
    It’s totally unlike anything produced by Cameron and Co being completely devoid of hyperbole and threats :


    If only the whole campaign could have been conducted like this !

    But then Remain would have been even further behind in the polls because, with no rational arguments to project, particularly to address concerns over immigration, they had little option other than resort to Project Fear.

    It seems increasingly clear that the attitude of Brits towards the EU is only a little ahead of the curve in respect to that of the electorate in other member states.

    The elite in Brussels are not the slightest bit interested in changing course and even many national politicians like Merkel, who, unlike Junckers, have to face the wrath of the people, still aren’t budging. While he could expect no help from Hollande, who is himself facing eviction in less than a year, It was probably quite reasonable of Cameron to believe that Merkel might have helped him out over immigration after her disastrous migrant blunder last year.

    Her UK-based diplomats must surely have warned her of how high feelings were running here over FOM and, as a scientist she was more than capable of reading and analysing UK attitudes herself from the evidence of numerous opinion polls. Yet she wouldn’t lift a finger.Whatever Brexit brings for the UK, there can be no doubt that Germany will have lost an invaluable ally in pushing the free trade agenda.

    The Eastern block countries, including Poland have been equally short sighted in ruling out any concessions over FOM. For these net recipient countries, the loss of our £10bn a year is not insignificant given that the leaders of Germany, France, Finland and the Netherlands will find it very difficult to persuade their taxpayers to make up the loss.

    As a result, they and the European Parliament might well have to accept a reduction in the next EU budget and the consequential reigning back of infrastructure projects. You never know, self interest could also cause current recipient states to veto the accession of any more poor countries such as Serbia.

    Our leaving could well be the beginning of a fundamental change of direction for the EU.
    Sadly, this will not be well managed from the top down but will come in the form of a series of shocks, maybe starting with the French Presidential Election, now less than a year away.

    All the evidence shows that those in the Ivory Towers of Brussels will carry on regardless.
    We would certainly be better off out of the direct line of fire.

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