The IMF blunders on the UK economy

Yesterday I honoured my speaking commitments which had been planned with the referendum in mind but talked about other matters. The student debate became a discussion of our democracy, and a business audience were happy to think about the global economy. Today Vote Leave and I have cancelled the walkabout and speech by Michael Gove planned for Wokingham Town centre.

My newspapers tell me that the IMF despite the change of mood in the UK has decided to release its assessment of the UK economy. It has produced a flagrantly political intervention, claiming a bleak future if we leave the EU and a continuing good future if we stay in. I read its own website, which flags the UK report with a picture of Westminster in the rain at its mast head. This is a most unfortunate decision, which demeans the institution.

The forecast assumes that the rest of the EU will be willing and able to impose new barriers on their trade with us in an act of self harm, at a time when the IMF thinks the Euro area economy is weaker and more exposed to troubles than the UK one. I think this very unlikely. No-one explains exactly how and why they will do this. The German government has never said it wants any new tariffs or non tariff barriers, and they tend to lead the EU’s response to such issues.

It assumes there will be a confidence affect as well, when the leading inward investors to the UK with factories here have made clear they are going to stay as the UK workforce, domestic market and export base suits them. They have the contacts they need with the rest of the world through our airports, seaports, the English language, our liquid financial markets, and high standards of corporate governance and dispute resolution. So far the various short term forecasts cited by the IMF to talk down the pound, to talk interest rates up and to talk the UK into an early recession have failed. Sterling is a bit higher against the dollar than at the end of February when the referendum campaigns got into gear, and government borrowing rates are well down on the opening levels of 2016.

The IMF rightly highlights the weak UK balance of payments position as a negative for the economy. It does, however, point out that part of the reason for this is low returns on UK investments abroad, which it thinks might improve in due course. The IMF does not point out the UK’s large net contributions to the EU are also an important part of the balance of payments deficit which would immediately improve once we cancel the contributions, as we will if the country decides to leave. Nor does it stress that the UK enjoys a trade surplus with the rest of the world, but a large deficit with the rest of the EU. This again underlines how any new barriers to trade would be more damaging for the EU than for the UK.

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  1. Cheshire Girl
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    This morning, I see that ex Defence Chief Lord Guthrie has come over to the Leave side. He says he is worried about the prospect of a European Army. Rightly so, in my opinion. This is on the BBC website.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Indeed a very worrying prospect indeed. An army controlled by unelected bureaucrats who have made a mess of almost everything they have ever touched.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        @LL; Most of the MOD is filled with “unelected bureaucrats”, most of Whitehall is filled with “unelected bureaucrats”, as is the US Pentagon and Capitol Hill – your point was what?…

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

          My point is simple. Unelected bureaucrats that are not under any direct democratic control by democratically elected ministers with UK interests at heart. The only democratic control at all in the EU is very indirect and inefficient indeed. It comes from all the member countries governments. These countries have very diverse interests that might well be the complete opposite of those of the UK. Indeed they often are.

          Is this not rather obvious?

          Worse still some “democratically” elected government in the EU are in effect controlled or selected by Brussels un-democratically anyway.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

            @LL; Sorry to repeat my self but, you must then surely wish the UK to remove its self from NATO? After all NATO is controlled by unelected bureaucrats whilst some of the national governments are under the influence of USA political policies.

            Also, would this ‘EU Army’ not also be under the command of NATO, nor would it remove a nation states ability to have their own “National Army” or defend its own borders.

            Your comment appears more like a knee-jerk reactions to anything and everything “EU”.

            See my replies to others who have commented on by question to you as well.

        • IM
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:42 am | Permalink

          The point being made is that the UK Armed forces are ultimately loyal to the Monarch and nation, directed by the Government and subject to votes in Parliament. An EU army has no such loyalties or controls.

          How would servicemen be deployed? By qualified majority voting or an unelected and unaccountable EU Defence Commisioner?

          Consider too the unqualified mess that the EU has made of foreign conflicts in the last decades. It is most likely an attempt to undermine NATO and subvert UK & French hard power to wider EU objectives.

          The first duty of any Goverment is to defend its citizerns, which rather shows you where the EU bureaucrats are going with this proposal doesn’t it? Without the right to defend itself any member state ceases to be independent and becomes rapt best a region or federal state of the EU; such as Brittany in France or Bavaria in Germany.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 18, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

            @IM; “Armed forces are ultimately loyal to the Monarch and nation, directed by the Government and subject to votes in Parliament. “

            No, the Armed forces are ultimately loyal to the leader of the elected government, nor is there a need for parliament to vote on using the military, indeed how could that happen within 180 seconds – think about it. Also when was the last time a UK Monarch sent an Army into battle?!

            “An EU army has no such loyalties or controls.”

            Well if correct then the NATO covariance is about as much value as a chocolate tea pot in the desert!

            “Consider too the unqualified mess that the EU has made of foreign conflicts in the last decades. “

            Err, pardon me but is not a past EU president who many wish to see put on trial in the Hague for war crimes, but a past UK PM, I suspect that we had a EU army back in 2003 there would have been no (second) Iraq war nor the recent bombing (of the wrong side) in Syria – if any.

            “The first duty of any Goverment is to defend its citizerns, which rather shows you where the EU bureaucrats are going with this proposal doesn’t it? [../etc/..]

            Well one could also claim the same about NATO too, only today some European countries have accused NATO of sabre rattling towards Russia, almost certainly at the behest of unelected bureaucrats and a right of centre USA government.

          • Esa
            Posted June 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

            Well said!

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

            It’s about who has control Jerry
            Trust of others is fine
            Our armed forces are under the control of our elected leaders
            I do think you are arguing this point for the fun of it
            I and many others would never volunteer for an EU controlled UK armed force.

        • bluedog
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          At a guess, the point being made is that there is no accountability to a democratically elected government in the EU. If you are not aware, British civil servants report to a democratically elected minister. US ministers are appointed by, and responsible, to a democratically elected president although the ministers are not necessarily a member of either house…

          Hope this helps…

          • Jerry
            Posted June 18, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

            @Bluedog; Does your reply help, not really as you are making huge assumption regarding how any “EU army might be controlled, and how a future USoE might work politically. I assume you also would like the UK to withdraw from NATO as that doesn’t meet your apparent ‘democratic’ tests either

          • bluedog
            Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

            Not at all. NATO is indispensable to the security of the UK. The proposed EU military will need its own command structure and HQ, rivalling that of NATO. It follows that the emergence of a force that competes with NATO presents a direct challenge to NATO and to the US power structure in Europe. Through NATO, the UK acts as a bridge between the US and Europe, something that will continue in the event of Brexit.

            You say ‘you are making huge assumption regarding how any “EU army might be controlled, and how a future USoE might work politically. ‘ My assumptions are that the political arrangements within a US of E would be a formal federation with the EU military controlled by an EU government headed by an appointed president. That is the likely final destination of ever-closer union. None of this speculation detracts from my earlier comment, but reinforces my concerns.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

            @bluedog; What nonsense, remove Canada, the USA and arguably Iceland from NATO and what is left, an “European Army” in all but name, with most member countries within the EU, the EEA or EFTA.

            NATO and national military forces already share joint command & control centres, so no any ‘EU Army’ would not need a third layer of command.

            Oh and before getting to heavy on ‘unelected presidents’ do remember that the UK has a/. an unelected Head of State; b/. an unelected Prime Minister; c/. the governing party rarely holds more than 40% of the popular vote.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            Come on Jerry that is pedantic nonsense on a high scale.

          • bluedog
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

            One cannot remove the US from NATO, it is the instrument of US power within Europe, and the ultimate guarantor of peace within the European peninsular, a term that allows inclusion of Russia. The US pays 70% of the bills for NATO, largely because so many of the members, with the exception of ourselves and the French, are militarily feeble. Your argument fails on the grounds that a hypothetical you quote (removal of the US) cannot be a fact in practice. But posting logical fallacies has never yet deterred you.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 7:59 am | Permalink

            @Bluedog; One can not remove Europe from NATO either, your argument fails on the grounds that a hypothetical you quote (removal of the European forces and land-mass) cannot be a fact in practice.

            The anger against the proposed ‘EU Army’ is political, not military.

          • bluedog
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

            Jerry @ 0759, now you’re miss-quoting me. You say: ‘your argument fails on the grounds that a hypothetical you quote (removal of the European forces and land-mass) cannot be a fact in practice.’

            Nowhere do I make this claim! It is frankly bizarre that you should suggest that I do. I can only conclude that this debate is beyond your comprehension.

            Furthermore, the ‘anger’ against the proposed EU military, which will be more than merely an army, is both political and military. Why duplicate NATO which is 70% supported by the US? It makes no sense. Read the comments by General Guthrie who has switched to Leave having been bounced into Remain by Cameron. Guthrie clearly holds most EU militaries in contempt, and he speaks from experience. Guthrie opposes the EU ambition to set up its own military. So does Cameron, but we can completely discount his disapproval.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          The ultimate authority for our Armed Forces rests with the Prime Minister (elected by us).
          There are checks before the PM can take us to war.
          The Cabinet need to be in agreement and post Blair our Parliament nedds to have a majority of MPs (voted by us) in favour.
          This is reasonably democratic.
          Even so with hindsight mistakes have bern made and our servicemen and women have lost their lives as a result.
          The EU armed forces would be arranged very differently.
          A council of defence ministers would vote.
          There are 28 ministers from each member nation.
          Most do not contribute to the EU budget and some will not be putting any of their citizens into battle.
          It does not strike me as democratic as NATO either.
          Like Lifelogic the thought of a day in the future ehen UK armed forces have to risk their lives on behalf of the United States of Europe fills me with horror.

          If you reply Jerry, please avoid “Oh and…”
          And “Oh so you…”
          Its getting irritating.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 18, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “There are 28 ministers from each [EU] member nation.”

            NATO has 28 members too, so what?!

            “Like Lifelogic the thought of a day in the future ehen UK armed forces have to risk their lives on behalf of the United States of Europe fills me with horror.”

            That says far more about you than it does the prospect of any EU army, indeed was it not basically that scenario that took the UK into WW2, perhaps you might have preferred had we not done so?

            Oh and… @Edward2, I will phrase my comments as I wish, only one person can tell me otherwise, that is our host,m the person who pays for the web hosting.

        • James Matthews
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

          The unelected bureaucrats in Whitehall are (currently) subject to the direct control of the British Parliament and Government. Those in Brussels are subject to rather more limited control which is shared with the governments of twenty seven (and counting) other states.

          Looks like a substantial point to me.

          • Stevie
            Posted June 18, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

            The unelected bureaucrats in Whitehall are (currently) subject to the direct control of the British Parliament and Government? Are they, the cabinet Secretary Sir Cover up refused to supply papers required for a recent Chilcot Inquiry or is he not part of the unelected bureaucrats in Whitehall?

        • Phil D
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          @Jerry: I imagine what LL meant was that an army doesn’t decide who or when to fight, only how. In a democracy, who and when is the prerogative of elected politicians. The prospect of the gaggle of unelected incompetents who lead the megalomaniac EU having to power to launch military action is truly terrifying.

          • DaveM
            Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:02 pm | Permalink


            You’re right. Additional to this argument may I also point out that the members of the AF have the vote as well.

            As it stands at the moment, members of the UK AF (who do more operations than most other EU nations combined) are a completely voluntary AF – stand by for EU conscription if the “project” continues on its current trajectory.

        • Hope
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

          Oh Jerry, drivel again. Those people you refer to are accountable to politicians, the unelected EU are not accountable to the Brtish public. Very obvious point made by LL.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 18, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; Well if I do speak drivel then I assume you wish the UK to withdraw from the NATO covenant, as France has done in the past?…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            It is drivel Jerry
            NATO is controlled by just a few key nations all of whom have to gain approval of their own MPs and cannot be forced to take part.
            The EU propsal is a very different system.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; I suggest you read the NATO covenant!

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

            I suggest you read the plans for the EU Armed forces!

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; The EU Army sounds like NATO minus the USA and Canada, almost certainly sharing much the same staff (you do know which European city NATO HQ is in don’t you?), I bet if it had some other name no one would be batting an eyelid, seeing that any such ‘EU Army’ and its constituent national military forces will almost certainly still maintain NATO!

            But perhaps I’m not reading the same Brexit briefing notes as you are…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

            Very different command and control structures.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; No it is not, by design! It is why different countries military forces can, within hours, fully integrate into a NATO operation, everything from the tow hooks on vehicles to central command installations – that is the whole point of NATO.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

            Tow hooks
            Honestly Jerry
            The most hilarious post from you for ages
            What has that got to do command and control?
            Keep wriggling

        • Gary
          Posted June 20, 2016 at 6:59 am | Permalink

          Bravo Jerry !

          For exposing with cold logic the rank hypocrisy of Brexit.

          Out ,we still print money , we still are financialized, we still are not sovereign. We are de-facto vassals of the USA ! Many of these Brexit types are actually Atlanticists and are still desperate to belong in a union, they just want full membership of the USA/NATO union.

          True independence, for me, would involve sound money(ie zero inflation and therefore de-financialization), truly free markets, proportional representation(or local govt only), true land ownership and not merely a 99 year lease arrangement. The Brexit crowd would have a heart failure with such freedoms.

          The in/out struggle at the highest level is merely a fight between two groups of financialists for ultimate control. A pox on both their houses !

          • Edward2
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

            We live in a democracy
            You have your vote as we all do.
            Lets see how popular your manifesto is.

      • Hope
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        We also read the Eurozone is very weak and on the brink of collapse. Apparently the IMF thinks it is no reason to leave the EU! The Greeks are in desperate trouble, people are looking through bins FFS. The Euro is the cause and the people must oust its govt to break free. Mass unemployment across the Eurozone, destitution and loss of business. But the EU will not reform or change its course. Time to say thank you and goodbye, we will trade and be friends.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          Time indeed to say thank you and goodbye, we will trade and be friends.

          We will no longer be serfs to the EU we want our democracy back and Great Britain back. We want this for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren. It will be better for the EU too as we will show others the way to go.

          Switzerland and Norway have worse deals than we will get, and they very sensibly do not want to join. Who would join the appalling mess that the EU is with the financial liabilities of the EURO disaster and uncontrolled migration still hanging over it?

      • Horatio
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Doubtless, just as in nato, it’ll be us paying for German, Belgium, Spanish defence etc. No equality of contribution. Just another ruse to make us pay on blood and treasure

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 19, 2016 at 4:01 am | Permalink


      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        I see that a French minister has said “Brexit would make Britain like Guernsey”.

        So that will be rather richer per head than Britain currently, with much lower crime levels, hardly any unemployment, far lower taxes, no inheritance tax, capital gains or VAT, more sunshine, now higher rate income tax, a tax cap and about twice as rich as France per cap. then.

        Does he think this will put voters off voting for Brexit?

        But is the minister suggesting the population of the UK will fall to 1/1000 of its current level? What is he planning?

  2. NickW
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    There is a letter in the Telegraph which reports that establishment scaremongering was used in France, Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland and Norway to make the electorate vote in the desired fashion.

    In every case the scaremongering turned out to be unjustified, untrue and willfully misleading. (It’s about fourteen letters down).

    “SIR – From many EU referendums we are familiar with the tactics the British people are currently experiencing.

    Whether the UK leaves the EU or remains is entirely for the British people to decide. But we know from our own experience that the EU system and the government apparatus will do everything possible to inject wild fear about the consequences of daring to oppose them.

    The disaster stories, of lost jobs and a plummeting pound, if the UK dared leave, sound desperately familiar from EU debates in our countries.

    Before the referendums on EU membership in Norway in 1994, the Norwegian people were told that industry would flee the country and 100,000 jobs would be lost if they voted No to the EU. The reality has turned out to be quite the opposite. Since 1994, the Norwegian economy has grown much more than those of EU member states. The management of the Norwegian fisheries, for example, has been a great success.

    In Denmark, too, scaremongering is a familiar part of pro-EU campaigns. Before the Danish euro referendum, we were warned that a Nej to the euro would mean fewer jobs, less welfare, more expensive loans and many other bad things. In the last Danish referendum in December 2015, on the EU’s supranational justice policy, there were also many unfounded threats. Nevertheless Danes voted No to both. And Denmark is doing much better than most EU countries.

    In many other European countries we have seen the same Establishment scaremongering. It was the case in Sweden before joining the EU, and in the Swedish euro referendum. So it was in Ireland before its many referendums. Even Greenland found the same when it too voted to leave. In all cases, the promised cataclysms failed to materialise.

    We are sure the UK will also manage well if the British vote Leave, and we are also sure that if the UK goes for Brexit, it will inspire other nations to vote on EU membership. But it will then be a vote based on fact, not fear.

    Rina Ronja Kari MEP
    People’s Movement against the EU, Denmark

    Patricia McKenna
    Former Green MEP, Ireland

    Kathrine Kleveland
    Leader, No to EU, Norway

    Pierre Lévy
    Editor-in-chief, Ruptures, France

    Paul Ruppen
    Editor-in-chief, Europa-Magazin, Switzerland

    • Horatio
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      There are great youtube clips of directly related eu threats to norway and now to the UK. The British people are not fools, regardless of what Cast Iron Dave and his mandelson-lite George Osbourne think.

      According to AEP in the telegraph, Spain is next in line to become a net contributer if the UK leaves. How utterly hilarious, with what money and such high unemployment??

      In such a situation I rather hope for the EU to impose tarrifs. I like English, californian and Australian wines and Japanese cars with excellent MPG and safety standards are competing strongly already in the British market. South Korean white goods are just as good as German ones and my contacts in America suggest that producers and industries out there are ready to aggressively fill any voids created by tarrifs. With Spain replacing us as a net contributer tarrifs would be hilarious and would help our pivot to the world.

      Friends working for hedge funds are also eyeing opportunities to back boat building and share in the post brexit expansion of the fishing industry. There are plenty of entrepreneurs and business brains with stacks of cash to back the British brand!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        Indeed my UK businesses will benefit hugely from Brexit. Getting rid of tax borrow and piss down the drain, pension muggers & IHT ratter Osborne is another big bonus on top.

      • formula57
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

        Spain will fund its contribution by borrowing from the ECB (circumventing the rules of the Eurozone/EU but made possible by first the Spanish government obliging Spanish banks to buy its bonds and then second the ECB QE programme buying those same bonds soon after in the secondary market). QED – quite easily done!

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          QE – quite easily done!

      • oldtimer
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        I think you make sound points.

        If the EU were to raise tariff walls and trade barriers against the UK post Brexit, then there are several other countries that would be ready, willing and able to take any opportunities on offer in trade deals with the UK to replace EU suppliers. Indeed, far from being at the back of the queue on negotiating a free trade deal, it would not surprise me if the USA might want to change its mind on this and push the UK to the front of the queue.

        • Horatio
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          Absolutely, it’s only Europe that has forgotten the free market exists. The Americans, Chinese and tiger economies will flood in.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        “The British people are not fools” hopefully not.

        But with all the lies and endless propaganda from the BBC, the remain side, Labour, the Tory leadership, Cameron, Obama, Angela Merkel, the greens, the Libdims, the BoE, the Treasury, all the various (bought) tentacles of government, much of academia, many charities, schools, most of the state sector and the rest of the usual suspects, plus the milking of this totally irrelevant tragic murder perhaps they will be fooled.

        I still think not.

      • graham1946
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Another aspect of Leave, is the income from import duties from third countries. We will get to keep them instead of paying them over to Brussels. Also if the EU put up tariff barriers against us we will do likewise and therefore every German car, washing machine etc bought will add to our tax income. I’d prefer to see zero tariffs worldwide, but if the EU put up barriers against us, we are more likely to make money out of it than they are bearing in mind the huge disparity between the value of what we ship and what they ship to us.
        People assume that a tariff barrier would hit our exports. Maybe, but not necessarily. People buy British because they like he product, not just the price and many of our products and services are unique, like software, foods, scientific items music, arts etc. instead of the old fashioned tin bashing we used to do.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      “In 1995 Patricia McKenna won a case in the Supreme Court of Ireland, in which she argued successfully that it was unconstitutional for the Government of Ireland to spend taxpayers money promoting only one side of the argument in a referendum campaign. Following the McKenna case, the first Referendum Commission was set up for the Amsterdam Treaty referendum.”

      But even that hasn’t stopped the Irish government abusing public resources to support one side over the other in subsequent referendums, they just cannot help themselves. Now we have the Irish Prime Minister interfering in our referendum, trying to marshal support for EU membership among the resident Irish citizens who our government insisted must be allowed to vote even though only Irish citizens are allowed to vote in Irish referendums. And of course our government welcomes this intervention, there is no question of quietly and politely asking him or any other foreigners not to interfere.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      I also like the letter saying how much better it would have been for Cameron has he played a straight bat and stayed about the fray rather than picking the wrong horse. Leaving him a broken and hugely disliked man, regardless of the outcome.

  3. Jerry
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Well just look at who heads the IMF, ‘nough said…

    But, why are Brexit assuming that the EU27 will be willing to enter a trade deal, isn’t one of the underpinni9ng messages from Brexit that we don’t need the EU because after Brexit we would be free to trade with who ever, out of the EU into the world or some such slogan, if the UK can trade buy and sell our products in the RotW then why not the EU27?!

    reply We trade successfully with many non EU countries with no trade deal.Many non EU countries trade well with the EU with no trade deal, so we know it can be done. However we start with a comprehensive set of trade arrangements already negotiated via our membership. I doubt they will want to change those.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      @JR reply; But those existing agreements also have to many strings attached, and the EU will surely (out of spite or fear of setting president) wish to enact the same or greater number of strings in any new or reaffirmed agreements – they have shown this in the way they treat other member countries within the EU already.

      Brexit should mean exit.

      • Patrick Geddes
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        When you say Brexit should mean exit are you saying we should not trade with the EU and they with us?
        Why should an independent nation like the UK not negotiate trade arragements with any other nations it wishes?
        If Germany and France want to punish us for voting Leave by imposing restrictions well two can play that game.
        And it will to their disadvantage as they sell billions more goods to us than we do to them.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          @Patrick Geddes; “When you say Brexit should mean exit are you saying we should not trade with the EU and they with us?”

          Of course not!

          “Why should an independent nation like the UK not negotiate trade arragements with any other nations it wishes?”

          Because they are not needed, so the Brexit pushers keep telling us, so just why are some seemingly so ready to fall over backwards to sign up to them?

          “If Germany and France want to punish us for voting Leave by imposing restrictions well two can play that game. And it will to their disadvantage as they sell billions more goods to us than we do to them.”

          Isn’t that the point, hence why do we need to sign up to a trade agreement, unless of course not trading with the EU will damage us far more than it will damage them (at least in the short term), I suppose it depends on just how quickly the UK can either turnaround and make ‘widgets’ ourselves again or find an alternate supplier, not forgetting that whilst sea and air freight are not overly expensive they still add to the shelf-price for every extra delivery Km required.

          • Patrick Geddes
            Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

            I fail to understand your reply
            Much vague waffle in my opinion.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            @Patrick Geddes; “I fail to understand your reply”

            A selective lack of understanding most likely…

            Ask yourself why we import so much from the EU, is it simply our good natured charity to buy goods and services from our ‘impoverished neighbours’ or do we spend £bn’s each year on such imports because we no not make the items ourselves but need them all the same?

            Make no mistake, the EU will not wish to make it easy for a Brexit UK, why would they, it will merely encourage others to follow our lead.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

            Tell the German and French car industry Jerry when we place retaliatory tariffs on their car industry and our citizens buy home made cars instead.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; What home made cars, or perhaps you mean DIY made cars?!

            You make assumptions that (m)any will remain if the manufactures have to pay a hefty import duty in to the EU for every car they make in the UK and then send currently across the English Channel, North Sea or Irish Sea to the rest of the EU, will they not simply do what Ford did with their Transit production, BMW already have factories in Eastern Europe making Minis.

            You seem to forget that many of the car factories we do still have in the UK were set up here not just because our expertise (and the availability of development funds) but our easy access to and membership of the EU’s single market, any trade war will affect them too. Some factories build more LHD vehicles for European ‘export’ than they do RHD vehicles for the UK market. Not to mention that some factories are either 100% owned or are partially owned by European companies who might take a very jaundice view of their operations. You do know that Renault currently has a 43.4% percent fully voting stake in Nissan don’t you, what impact that will have on the Sunderland plant no one knows until decisions are made post Brexit.

            The European car industry sell something like 1 in 5 cars to the UK, they can quite easily find a ready market for those cars, what is more they will likely be cheaper to make as they will not have to build RHD cars.

            On the other hand how many of the cars made in, or imported into, the UK for sale comes from manufacturers who will be based in the post Brexit EU. When Mr and Mrs A.N.Other can not order their new Renault, PSA Peugeot Citroën, VW, Merc, Skoda, SEAT etc. or are told that there is a six month waiting list and a import tariff to pay (at what ever the rate is upon delivery), what are you going to tell them, when they walk, already in a state of disgust, into a car dealer of Far Eastern automotive products and are told that whilst the price has dropped the products are in very short supply as the factories can not keep up with demand for UK spec vehicle and thus they will need to wait 9 months, what will you tell that family -same for household white goods etc.

            How will you stop such people voting for Mr Corbyn at the next election on the back of his promise of “Keynesian” economic theory and the re-industrialisation of the UK, with perhaps the nationalisation of certain means of the production and supply?

            So, getting back to my point about trade agreements, indeed we do seem to need them, so why do we need to Brexit, considering that we would almost certainty have to sign back up to the same problematic Four Freedoms to keep/get such a agreement. So other than solely political reasons, basically which political ideology is most likely to have power in or out of the EU, just what is the rational for Brexit?…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 22, 2016 at 7:10 am | Permalink

            What UK made cars you say?
            There are dozens to chose from.

            The rest of your Project Fear essay is a ridiculous fantasy.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 22, 2016 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Your comment above proves that you only read the first line before penning your reply. 🙁

            What do you not understand, there are hardly any UK owned car manufactures now, those that do exist are in the niche market, no the mass market.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 22, 2016 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            Still waffling on Jerry
            Your obsession with ownership is border line racist.
            What have you got against world trade and people from other countries investing in the UK and UK people investing millions in countries abroad
            Very old fashioned

    • forthurst
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Membership of the Single Market is not necessary for tariff-free access; there are many countries with such an arrangement. There is not really anything to negotiate other than the continunce of the status quo ante.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        “In fact, all European countries outside the EU have tariff-free access to the EU single market under FTAs with the exception of Russia and Belorussia.”

      • Jerry
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        @forthurst; That is the point, why do we do need to “negotiate the continuance of the status quo”, to do so would likely mean having to accept many of the same directives etc. that Brexit are so against! All we would be doing is an about turn in the doorway, and perhaps worse if we accepted either a Norway or Swiss style agreement!

        • forthurst
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          Yes, my response was ambiguous; I meant vin respect of free movement of goods only, not murders and rapists.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

            @forthurst; But we will not get a EU Free Trade agreement without much of what the Brexit campaign say they do not like nor wish to comply with, both the EEA and EFTA members have to comply with significant EU treaties. This is why I find it so strange are the 11th hour so many Brexiters are now seemingly willing to do an about turn in the door way and sign back up! What is more, to get a post Brexit trade deal we might actually end up loosing some or all of our current opt-outs.

            Brexit should bean exit, otherwise we are better off inside the room, feet under the table, banging our fists on said table and perhaps even using our veto – not merely saying “Yes Mr EU president, how high do you wish us to jump”, all in the name of ‘free trade’ that we could have had anyway.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Many of the 27 are economic basket cases.

      Why limit ourselves to a market 500 million people when the world has 8 billion ?

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Indeed we will surely be far better off out, no fees to pay, cheaper energy, far less red tape, far less command economy one size fits all socialism, selective quality only controlled migration, some real democracy, nimble government acting in the UK’s interests, Osborne gone, far less government, free trade with all the world …… what is not to like from the point of view of the economy?

    I see that Cameron, in paying tribute to Jo Cox, actually uttered the words:- “The fact that we should value and treasure our democracy” with a straight face. What a consummate politician the man is. He is the man who is trying to bury our democracy permanently in six days time. The remain side are milking this tragedy for all it is worth to help their cause to help to kill UK democracy.

    Meanwhile Corbyn mutters on about “hate” and “wells of hate”. People with mental health problem often murder people randomly off the street, or even their close friends, relatives and carers. It is just how mental illness can often be and “wells of hate” rarely has much to do with it I suspect.

    Why do the BBC always refer to the NAZI party the National Socialist German Workers’ Party as right wing?

    • Jerry
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      @LL; You are the one who seems to misunderstand the concept of democracy, not Mr Cameron, if the nation does vote to remain in the EU then that in its self will have been democracy at work, just as a Brexit vote will be.

      Yes, mentally ill people do sometimes kill (not just fellow humans), but few do so without provocation. Put it like this, it’s a bit like being in a room with a constantly and noisy dripping tap, the vast majority of us will soon mend the dripping tap, those unable to mend the tap will leave the room and seek the help of a plumber, but a small minority of people will rip the complete sink and tap off the wall in a fit of rage, even less people will upon entering a room proceed to rip the sink and tap off the wall regardless of a dripping tap or not.

      PS, I suspect that comments directly associated to the murder of Jo Cox MP are now unwise, seeing that a suspect has now been charged.

      Regarding your last sentence, because it was a political party with a (far) right-wing ideology! The name was a simple PR exercise, whilst the, much later, alliance with the USSR was simply a military strategy.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        If the nation does vote to remain in the EU then it will be democratic suicide. The end of democracy.

      • A different Simon
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        The old USSR was a highly stratified society as was Nazi Germany .

        They both killed vast numbers of their own population .

        Socialism is essentially feudalism .

        The only real difference is that in feudalism , the King/Lord of the Manor is the master and in socialism , The State and it’s leaders are the masters .

        I’m not a royalist particularly but have always been struck by the irony that socialists seek to replace with monarchy with committees of experts .

        In many socialist states they don’t even bother to assemble a committee , they just appoint their own monarchy ; Lenin , Stalin , Mau se Tung , Hitler , Chavez , Castro .

        They even on occasion retain the hereditary principal ; Neil and Glenys Kinnock/Stephen Kinnock , Jack Straw/Will Straw, Kim Jon Il/Kim Jon Un .

        I’m sure they all claim to be anti-Royalists but I would rather live under a constitutional monarchy than effectively an absolute monarchy under socialism .

        • bluedog
          Posted June 19, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

          A different Simon, You make a very pertinent point. Under the Marx-Leninist model the intellectuals dominated the Party with instructions for the proletariat whose opinions were considered irrelevant. In essence, the intellectuals simply assumed the role of the aristocracy.

          You can see this tendency towards aristocratic assumption in the attitude of French intellectuals such as Sartre and Foucault. In the earlier French Revolution, having abolished and murdered its monarchy and aristocracy, the French allowed intellectuals to become aristocrats. Only the means of entry into the privileged class changed.

          The European Commission follows the same model with its Commissioners, they are in effect the same as the Electors of the Holy Roman Empire.

          No wonder the likes of Peter Mandelson talk of a ‘post-democratic society’. How else to keep the racket going free from scrutiny and accountability?

        • Jerry
          Posted June 19, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          @ADS; You seem to be muddling up “Socialism” and “Communism”.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

            You end up living under a dreadful dictatorship with both.
            Or do you mean democratic socialism the first stage towards the latter.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Nonsense, but if true and by your logic it then follows that a right wing government is also a one-stop-shop towards a dreadful right wing dictatorship – what is more many on left-wing blogs will no doubt agree…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

            What do you mean nonsense?
            Every socialist dictatorship in history has been a living hell for its poor citizens.
            There is a difference between the ambitions of the Labour Party And the Conservative Party operating in our democratic system and truly socialist parties in other nations who change into one party dictatorships.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 7:50 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Once again you seem to be mixing up Communism and Socialism, but back to the point you seem to be trying to make – but as indeed has every right-wing dictatorship in history, ask Germany, ask Italy, ask Chile, ask Argentina, to name just four examples.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            With each system of dictaorship you end up on the same train to a gulags.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      “The fact that we should value and treasure our democracy” with a straight face.

      That man and most of his followers would not recognise democracy if it walked up to them and smacked them in the mouth. They are all totally remote from the real world.

      Hopefully Lord Guthrie action will highlight the real massive threat to our armed forces if we remain in.

      • graham1946
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        If you cannot elect or dismiss your government, you are not living in a democracy. That is a dictatorship. Europe is very familiar with that concept and maybe answers the question of why they tolerate the EU.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          @graham1946; Many disaffected voters here in the UK on both sides and in the centre will identify with what you say, they feel that there is no point voting in elections because they can not elect or dismiss a government of their choosing, all they see is a revolving door government, the faces change but the policies do not, to them that to is a “dictatorship”. This feeling is not helped by the fact that under the FPTP system it is common for there to be more people who did not vote for the elected government than did.

          Perhaps before trying to correct the democratic faults within other European countries or intergovernmental organisations the UK should correct our own democratic deficit first?

          • bluedog
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

            Perhaps before trying to correct the democratic faults within other European countries or intergovernmental organisations the UK should correct our own democratic deficit first?’

            There is no democratic deficit in the UK. Every one over 18 has a vote, and that voting age is flexible when the political class regards it as expedient to do so. We saw this with the Scottish referendum.

            There is no democratic deficit in the FPTP voting system. Voting is optional, not compulsory. If those who do not wish vote and do not do so subsequently complain, they have the option of getting out of bed earlier next time. However it would undoubtedly help participation rates if general elections were held on Saturdays…

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink

            @Bluedog; Why do you think that there is no democratic deficit, because your flavour of politics is favoured perhaps – come on, what real chance does the hard left, the hard right, centrist or green parties have in obtaining any proportional representation in our national parliament, even UKIP wants PR, wants the current democratic deficit sorted out – only in a yes-no referendum dose the UK have true democracy!

          • bluedog
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

            Jerry @ 10.53 am, FPTP gives a far higher chance of a rapid and conclusive result, and therefore a stable government, than does any form of proportional representation. In countries where proportional representation is used, the vote counting process is frequently prolonged by the exhaustion of preferences, and a decisive result is often dependent on referral to a court of disputed returns.

            Fringe parties love PR because by swapping preferences they can potentially gain a legitimacy they would otherwise never deserve, let alone achieve, through FPTP. In situations where the government has been persuaded to subsidise political parties on a sliding scale dependent on their previous electoral success, running a political party becomes a tax-payer funded small business. Is that what we want?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

            If the people really wanted to elect a particular alternative party instead of the current favourites they can do so.
            4 million voted UKIP
            If 14 million did they would gain power.
            You are in favour of PR
            That’s fine
            But I am not

          • Jerry
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 7:59 am | Permalink

            @bluedog; @Edward2; Both of you are against PR because you know your favoured political parties would loose influence, you do not thus believe in a true democracy, just one that at a causal glance appears to be true but gives undue weight to certain parties. I’m unsure on PR myself, I voted against it in the referendum because I do not believe that our main parties can ever work properly together, any party leader who tries will not be party leader for more than one term, but I also acknowledge that we do not have proper democracy under FPTP, and that was my point.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

            Is “true democracy” when under PR some fringe party with few seats can hold the power over parties which have hundreds of seats.
            Or where you vote for a party’s manifesto and most of is dropped due to coalition demands.
            Or where you get given an MP after an election.
            PR has weaknesses too

    • turbo terrier
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink


      In dictatorship Scotland we have a Nationalist Party obsessed with Socialism.

      It ain’t looking very good for us then.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        True but the Scots can remove them, and will do when they see what a disaster it will be and come to their senses.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Charles Moore has it spot on in the Telegraph today ending:

      It is a very serious decision but not, I would argue, such a terribly difficult one. Is there anything in the shape of the modern world which tells us that when we vote to be run by a distant oligarchy, we thrive? Is there anything in our history which tells us that when we vote to govern ourselves, we go wrong?–but-not-a-terribly-di/

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Another excellent article by Alastair Heath. Osborne’s stamp duty at up to 15% is hugely damaging, almost as damaging as his national minimum wage will be and his inheritance tax ratting. The man is a disaster for the economy and must go on the 24th to be replaced by someone at least vaguely competent.

  5. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    There is a good article in the Mail today about Greece. This is the country which with German help has been bankrupted.
    Considering the IMF didn’t spot the 2008 recession I think a period of silence would be appropriate.
    I see the BBC is making as much political capital out of the tragic murder no doubt trying to convert some voters

    • Jerry
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg; Or perhaps the BBC, like the other unbiased media outlets, are just reporting the facts, that unfortunately sit uncountably for some.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        No the BBC is hugely biased on the EU, and indeed on the climate alarmist, greencrap, ever higher taxes, ever more government, magic money tree economics, socialism in general and ever more regulation of everything.

        The BBC hold Great Britain back hugely all the time and have done for years.

      • bluedog
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        The BBC is a tax-payer funded political movement with its own agenda. Scarcely unbiased…

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          @bluedog; Not that sully chestnut again, as are all broadcasters that air commercials, to one degree or another, just look at the State owned Ch4…

          • bluedog
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

            How on earth can the practice of broadcasting commercials be regarded as a political act? Or should we abjure all commercial activity in the interests of artistic purity within the media?

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            @bluedog; Its called dumbing down to the lowest common, to ensure maximum audience figures, thus maximising the amount of income. Few will buy advertising air-time for an audience figure in the 100s, they will pay very good money for an audience in the 10 of millions – hence why when Ch4 was far more a true alternative PSB broadcaster (to the BBC) it required subsidies to operate, but since becoming more or less a fully self funded commercial broadcaster it has become less so, less cutting edge, pure ratings are now far more important than content. ITV, Ch5 and Sky etc are just the same.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            Jerry thinks whenever you buy any product, if it advertised on radio or TV or not, you are paying for commercial TV and radio just like the TV licence of the BBC
            I know it is a bizarre argument but thought you ought to know

          • Jerry
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

            @Edwasrd2; Stop showing up your utter ignorance of how commercial broadcasting works, or multi brand companies fund advertising.

            Oh and you still have not explained how someone who doesn’t have a TV, and thus has no need to pay the TVL fee, does not fund commercial TV broadcasting when they pay for their shopping, how do they not pay for those soap power or breakfast cereal adverts for example

          • bluedog
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

            Edward @ 5.32pm. I see what you mean!

          • Edward2
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            How would the consumer know a product existed if it was not advertised somewhere.
            You fail to consider first the tiny fraction of purchase price marketing can be and how advertising can lead to vastly increased salesand then increased profits and no additional cost to the consumer.
            Don’t accuse me of “utter ignorance” not only is it bad manners it is wrong
            Having spent decades involved at Director level looking at costs of products it is you who is displaying a lack of knowledge

          • Jerry
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 8:20 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “How would the consumer know a product existed if it was not advertised somewhere.”

            We are discussing TV (and radio) adverts, how did they manage before ITV was created in 1955 – duh…

            “You fail to consider first the tiny fraction of purchase price marketing can be”

            The TVL fee works out at about 1p per day, that is far less than what most people pay via the check-outs to fund commercial advertising, many could pay that per branded product!

            “Don’t accuse me of “utter ignorance” not only is it bad manners it is wrong”

            Well until you prove me wrong it is not bad manners to point out your utter ignorance nor wrong to do so. The truth obviously hurts you.

            “Having spent decades involved at Director level looking at costs of products it is you who is displaying a lack of knowledge”

            Sorry, don’t believe you, your zero facts comments suggest you have never been involved in advertising never mind commercial broadcasting in any way, shape or form – other than perhaps approving someone else’s campaign proposals and budget etc but you have never actually been involved at the sharp end of the industry, even less in commercial broadcasting.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            Resorting to schoolyard insults with your “duh”
            “Utter ignorance” used again by you.
            Refusing to accept what I say
            ie You are actually saying I’m lying

            Very poor standards Jerry
            You just do not understand the basic rules and conduct of debate, sadly.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          Indeed it is. Institutionally pro EU, climate alarmist, full of lefty green crap, for ever more government, magic money tree economics, endless PC drivel and full of second rate art graduates.

      • eeyore
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Jerry – with respect, other media outlets have no public duty to be unbiased. If you think the BBC is free from bias just ask yourself when you last heard a news item beginning “Fears of Brexit …”. Then ditto for the words “Hopes of Brexit …”. Personally, I have yet to encounter the latter.

        I suspect the problem stems from the corporation’s understandable preference for educated urban journalists who, as elsewhere in the media, are disproportionately likely to be Scots. Thus they tick four important boxes for left-liberal pro-EU types. Add the facts that they are on the public payroll and recruited from ads in The Guardian, and bias is hardly to be avoided.

        It is an unconscious imbalance, of course, with the best of motives, except that like Dr Johnson they doubtless “take good care that the Whig dogs should not have the best of it”.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          @eeyore; With respect, at times of elections and referendums yes they do have exactly the same public duty to be unbiased – its the law!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          Exactly, or the endless the government needs to invest more in X Y and Z.

          Never of course recognising that governments can only “invest” by taking money off others who would almost always have invested it better.

          Or the endless call for more workers right which just reduces the choice of jobs they have and is thus totally counter productive.

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        They are reporting feelings rather than the facts- a process that dates from the early Blair years when much of the media adopted the “emotional intelligence” agenda to manipulate opinion.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          @Mitchel; “They are reporting feelings rather than the facts”

          That style of reporting existed long before the Blair government, what is more it was first used in the tabloid print media and then ILR commercial radio broadcasting. Although the latter was held under much tighter controls until regulations started to be reduced from the 1980s onwards.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Nothing to do with Islam. So why not nothing to do with Brexit ?

      • Edward2
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        No mention of the long term failures of NHS mental health care in the community in the Remain supporting media I note.

      • Mike
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        I presume you are being sarcastic,
        Unbiased BBC ! It is riddled with bias. Should have been shut down years ago.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          @Mike; You are allowed your opinion, but who said that your own opinion is not its self biased.

          But if you have proof then make an official complaint. better still, if you have proof that the BBC has been biased in relation to the current referendum then complain to the electoral commission or direct to the police, but you will need to have some actual evidence and not just an opinion…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

            Bit like you then Jerry

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 10:47 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Indeed, you are finally starting to understand, there are no single answers, no ‘correct’ answers, just opinions!

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            Glad the penny is dropping for you
            Maybe you will be little more accepting of others opinions in the future.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Unlike you I welcome opinions, and unlike you I also welcome the debate it brings, you seem to think that unless one agrees with the expressed opinion people should not post a comment, when for example have you ever disagreed with an opinion from our host?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

            I suspect you like playing devils advocate on here Jerry with your endless picky and contrary posts
            I just find it dull.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Greece needs a break. After 7 years of austerity things are worse than ever and they have no chance of improving whilst Germany keeps turning the screw. They need a moratorium (not forgiveness) on their debts of say 20 years without increases in interest. Of course they were profligate, but the EU encouraged it and allowed them to join the Euro, but continual punishment is not solving anything. If austerity worked, they would have recovered by now. You cannot bankrupt your people into prosperity. There will be bloodshed one day when they can take no more.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        graham1946; “If austerity worked, they would have recovered by now.”

        Indeed but isn’t that also what Mr Osborne keeps being told too?…

        • Edward2
          Posted June 19, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          UK is growing Unlike Greece
          And a strange austerity in the UK when State spending is continuing to rise.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

            @Edwarsd2; But how is the UK doing compared to Germany, after all Greece is doing a lot better than Venezuela…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            UK is doing well compared to Germany considering the advantage the unfair exchange rate of the Euro gives them.
            Low unemployment
            Decent growth
            And a great future if we vote Leave.
            Greece is in real trouble due to the Euro like many previously stable Eurozone nations
            Venezuela has been wrecked by bad government based on a Marxist sytem

          • Jerry
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Tell me how much we export to Germany (or any of the other EU27 for that matter) compared to how much we import. sorry but you are economically illiterate if you really think the UK is doing as well or better than Germany! As Brexit keep pointing out, we have a massive trade imbalance with the other EU27.

            But yes, the GBP is far to strong, although how a weaker GBP would help us seeing that our imports would more expensive, and that’s the point about Brexit, if we do not re-industrialise (which is what we should have done before Brexit, not after) we are better off both in the EU and with a strong GBP.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

            I didn’t say we are doing better. Read what I actually said.
            You raise a false argument and then criticise me for things I did not say.
            And it is rude to accuse me of economic illiteracy.
            Unecessary and bad manners.

            Your point about imports forgets that if imports get very expensive Then consumers swop to UK made products and it encourages the very revival of UK industry you call for.
            Out of the CAP our farmers might be able to grow stuff instead of being paid for not growing stuff.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            Edwartd2; “You raise a false argument and then criticise me”

            More calling the kettle black…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      People who get things hugely wrong rarely ever shut up. They just come out with their next absurd projections and try to rewrite history. Look at the dire John Major, Ken Clark, Nick Clegg, C Huhne, G Osborne, Mathew Parris, the IMF, the treasury, the climate alarmists, the BBC and all the greenloons.

      It is just the same with the BBC’s horse racing tips too. Who would keep betting on them but a fool?

      Given me the people who were proved consistently right on the ERM, migration level, on the EURO and all the rest please.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Also from Hillary Benn an attack on Jo is an attack on democracy. This from another man who is campaigning to kill UK democracy for good in 6 days. A shame his father is not still here to put him right.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      @LL; Perhaps, just maybe, Hillary Benn already knows what his father would have said, both in public and (perhaps more importantly) in private? One thing is for sure, what ever the result, and just like in 1975, if the voters chose to remain Tony Benn would have accepted the democratic decision of the electorate – sorry to say but I’m not so certain that some on the current Brexit side will do likewise on the morning of the 24th, they will thus make ‘democratic’ fools of themselves in the same way as the SNP have.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        As Tony Benn said:-

        “In the course of my life I have developed five little democratic questions. If one meets a powerful person”…… “ask them five questions: “What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.”

        If it is lost is will be because Cameron the BBC and the rest of the state has sloped the pitch hugely, deceived & cheated. We will have to accept though, at least until we get a proper Tory/Ukip party elected to take us out in a few years time.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

          @LL; As I said, some will no doubt make democratic fools of themselves on the morning of the 24th, if not before…

      • libertarian
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink


        I agree, Hilary probably does know what Tony thought, why does Hilary have to agree with his Dad, my kids dont!! I think you are right, but sadly if in the unlikely event that we did vote for Brexit do you really think that the left and the remainers would accept that? They would go into massive you’re all fascist , nazi, lizards mode.

        My decision to Brexit is based on just 2 things. Both economically and democratically we will be better out. As it happens as per my user name I’m a firm believer in the free movement of people . I posted an economic analysis as I see it on social media ( with no mention of immigration at all) . Since then people and some I called friends have called me a scumbag, a racist, a David Icke, Donald Trump wannabe , a lizard , a murdering nazi. etc etc . The virtue signalling left and their remainer friends outnumber Brexiters 4 to 1 for offensive posts on social media platforms amongst my large following.

        I have been thoroughly disgusted by how this campaign has been played out by both official camps and their supporters. Lies, misinformation, abuse, personal attacks, sneering and completely illogical and contradictory arguments. When the dust settles on this we need to take a long hard look at politics and the media in this country . In my opinion neither are fit for purpose any longer

        • Jerry
          Posted June 19, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

          @libertarian; Actually I suspect the left will welcome a Brexit if that is what is decided, why, because they will see it as an opportunity of a lifetime, remember that the left were always traditionally europhobe, what is more any rift within the Tory party will encourage them.

          Those who will start screaming insults post a Brexit vote will be those who subscribe to the old Kinnock and Blairite leaderships, the Pink or Blue-Labour philosophy, their power bases is/was within the EU.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            The Left will be very unhappy with a Leave vote
            The more Left they are the more unhappy they will be
            Apart from a few notable exceptions and the extreme fringes

          • Jerry
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink

            @Edward2 seems to think that Blairites are left-wing!

          • Edward2
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

            They are of course.
            However the current left in the leadership of the Labour Party are the most left wing since Foot

          • Jerry
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; That comment says far more about were your own politics lie than it does Blairism, Tony Blair was as close to being a Conservative (on the left of the party admittedly) as one could get without actually joining the party. Whilst the Labour party under Mr Foot wanted a Brexit, even wrote it in into their 1983 election manifesto, is that the current Labour party policy?

            Try actually reading my reply to @libertarian, before replying again, you have jumped in with both feet without actually understanding what was being debated once again.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

            Policies carried through under Blair were very much in the Labour tradition.
            Socialist revisionists in the party hate Blair despite 3 election victories and 13 years in power.
            I think they are happier as a protest party in opposition.
            Which they be until they elect a more voter friendly leader.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 22, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Actually many of the policies Tony Blair held true whilst in office could have been quite at home in the post war Conservative party up to the disastrous Heath leadership – and that is why true Socialists despise Tony Blair, and indeed Kinnock too.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 22, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            Well you better get used to a long period in opposition for the Labour Party

      • Edward2
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        Another unjustified slur on those who have a desire to vote Leave from you Jerry.
        They are just as democratic as those who have a desire to vote Remain

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          @Edwartd2; Whilst your reply was a unjustified slur on the democratic process!

          “They are just as democratic as those who have a desire to vote Remain”

          Yes, but my comment was about the acceptance of the outcome, not the right to vote.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

            Which is just a prediction of yours.
            Without any facts to back up your slur on those who want to Leave.
            There has been no comments from any Leave campaigners saying they would rebel or refuse to accept the referendum result.
            Only slurs from Remainers.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

            Edward2; “There has been no comments from any Leave campaigners saying they would rebel or refuse to accept the referendum result.”

            Except that Mr Farage has, in the first half of May, nor did he deign such reports.


            Sorry Edward but you really should broaden your reading away from just Brexit and Vote Leave briefing notes!

          • Edward2
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

            But what power does Farage have
            He is not even an MP
            More straw clutching Jerry
            You were stating Leave will rebel and take to the streets
            When challenged all you’ve got is a weak quote from Farage

          • Jerry
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “But what power does Farage have
            He is not even an MP”

            Except that he is leader of his party who does have both a MP and members in the Lords, and is also both an MEP [1], he is leader of the ADDE group in the EP.

            But if you are correct best then we ignore what our host says, after all what power does he have, being just one of about 50 MPs out of about 630, 560 odd who appear to be euro–neutral or europhile. Oh and when challenged I had a fact, not just an assertion like you.

            [1] currently, that will likely change this Friday though, seeing that he has burnt his EP boats the other week

            Reply Your numbers grossly understate Eurosceptic opinion in the Commons, and which will presumably have a majority for Brexit if that is what the public wants.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 22, 2016 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            @JR reply; Anyone can claim to have been for the popular will of the people after the event…

            Oh and being “Eurosceptic” doesn’t necessarily equal wanting a Brexit (just that they are sceptical about the current EU), for that reason the word is not best used to describe those who will vote to leave – hence why some prefer to use the term europhobe, as ugly as that construct is.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 22, 2016 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            Your views are always right Jerry
            Even a polite steer by our host and you still feel you are correct.
            WHu not start your own blog? .

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Actually after the Scottish No vote the SNP won by a landslide in the next general election. A Remain vote next week will provide a similar democratic boost to UKIP I imagine. A new EU referendum is inevitable anyway as the EU want treaty change.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          A new referendum is not inevitable even if there is treaty change; the important thing would be to make sure that none of the treaty changes needed by other countries also “applied” to the UK on paper, and then the government could use the same loophole in the “referendum lock” law that Hague used to rule out a referendum on the EU treaty change that Cameron agreed to give Merkel, free gratis and for nothing, in March 2011:

          “EUROPEAN COUNCIL DECISION of 25 March 2011 amending Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union with regard to a stability mechanism for Member States whose currency is the euro (2011/199/EU)”

        • Jerry
          Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          @Roy Grainger; UKIP are likely finished either way, but certainly if there is a Remain vote, unless they wish to ride roughshod over democracy – as the SNP has, in all but demanding a second referendum at various times since the iScotland vote.

          It is utterly undemocratic to state that you accept the result but then demand a second go at getting your way, after all is that not what eurosceptics said about those eurocrats who bullied Ireland etc. into having second and even third referendums until the people voted the ‘correct way’…

          reply Were Remain to win they could not complain about Leave voters becoming more European and demanding a second vote as The EU does when it loses!

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

            @JR reply; You seem to be acknowledging that democracy is irrelevant in this vote, neither side cares about what the voters want, just what politicos want for themselves – power or at least a power base!

            If either side start shouting about wanting another vote it will be a plague on all your houses, the only possible exception to this is if the result is a tie or a 49/51% margin either way.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

            Oh so if the vote is close Jerry is in favour of a second referendum despite arguing it is undemocratic inany previous posts.
            Make your mind up!

          • Jerry
            Posted June 19, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Do try and understand what I actually said, no I do not think that but what else can one do in a tie, toss a coin! Whilst 1% is so small (especially if a high turn-out) there would be so many recounts upon recounts, never mind possible legal writs flying about, the result might not be known until this time next year. The lesser of the two evils, but that is quite different from a clear cut result and then some group demanding another vote simply because they lost.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

            So Yes then Jerry

          • Jerry
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; So a toss of a coin it will have to be then, perhaps the chief returning officer should use a one Euro coin! 🙂

    • Mark B
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Hilary Benn. A man who voted to send our armed forces into a conflict which has nothing to do with us. A conflict which, sadly, many people are already dying.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:37 pm | Permalink


  7. ferdinand
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    It is always the same, government organisations that claim to be independent are not. The IMF is just that and has an agenda which if upset by the actions of countries carried out in their interest always regard such activities as negative and having a bad effect on those countries economies. There never seems to be an upside unless countries act entirely in line with IMF views. It is a bad reflection on the IMF that they feel a need to decry our wish to leave the EU.

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      After a Brexit vote I’d like to see the UK do what Mr Putin has done by kicking out these undesirable CSO’s (civil society organisations a.k.a. NGO’s) .

      They are not just charities .

      Many people are unaware that NGO’s can gain consultation status with the U.N. and that legally obliges governments which are signatories to the U.N. Convention to consult the NGO’s whenever making legislation which impacts the NGO’s area .

      I.E. the WWF , Greenpeace and the rest of the mostly “…….NGO’s are intimately connected with the U.N. to the point of being part of it and the U.N. being part of them .

      Typically they are part funded by the globalists etc ed

      Why do we want to remain a signatory to the U.N. anyway ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      My rule of thumb is that any organisation that feels the need to call itself “independent” never is.

  8. oldtimer
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    In my opinion this intervention is made in cahoots with Mr Osborne. It is calculated to take advantage of the pause in domestic campaigning after the murder of Jo Cox MP. Very shabby. But Madame Lagarde has form in these matters as a committed Europhile, supporter of the euro and the European project.

    The murder of the MP is a dreadful but timely reminder of what this referendum is about, namely to return to Parliament and to its Members the powers that have been salami-sliced away over the years to the anonymous, unelected dictatorship that is the Brussels bureaucracy.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      The murder of the MP is nothing of the sort. (A reminder of what the referendum is about)

      Some random loon went berserk.

      The peace loving Brexiteers are appalled. It has nothing to do with Brexit. And he ain’t no Brexit bruv.

      • oldtimer
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        The murder of the MP was an attack on the democratic process by someone who sounds deranged. Brexit is about the full restoration of the democratic process.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        indeed it is say but nothing whatsoever to do with the referendum.

  9. Caterpillar
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    1, Didn’t Herr Schauble state that there would be no free market access (Der Spiegel ? ) ?

    2. It surprises me that the IMF and WTO don’t call for continued free market relationships between a post-Brexit UK and EU. If everyone is so worried about the global effects then it would be more helpful to be putting pressure on the EU to guarantee that this doesn’t happen.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      You say “It surprises me that the IMF and WTO don’t call for continued free market relationships between a post-Brexit UK and EU. If everyone is so worried about the global effects then it would be more helpful to be putting pressure on the EU to guarantee that this doesn’t happen.”

      Well indeed but is is clearly a lie just to deter a Brexit vote. Post the vote they will of course act in their own interests and do a deal.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      The most important statement from Schäuble was:

      “If the British do actually vote to leave the EU, it will be important to remain calm and offer the markets some orientation on which way the road will lead. Then we would have to say: “We now have a decision that we did not want, but let’s make the best of it”.”

  10. forthurst
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    It was with great and continuing reluctance that the EU fell in line when ordered by the USA to impose trade sanctions on Russia, in furtherance of its warmongering and supremecist Brzezinski Doctrine. As the USA cannot claim we have invaded anybody, there would be very much more reluctance on the part of the rest of the EU to do far more damage to their own economies by voluntarily impeding trade with Great Britain.

    As the EU unveils its ambition for its own military capacity, the idea of a nonentity appointee ‘High Representative’ as we had during the Ukraine debacle having such a force to back up their stupidity and ignorance in confrontation with major powers, we should realise we need to be on the outside as soon as possible, hopefully, having removed the traitorous CMD, so that we can offer a wise and experienced independent voice to international affairs.

    The EU is already suffering what could transpire to be terminal decline, not only from its inane economic policies, but also from (large scale migration ed)

  11. formula57
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    As is widely recognized, the IMF fell from grace when it broke its own rules and intervened to save a currency rather than a country.

    Ashoka Mody, late of the IMF’s European and Research departments, suggests that the arguments that leaving the EU would cause permanent damage to the UK are not supported by evidence, stating: –

    ” ..economics is neutral on whether to leave or remain. The battle for Brexit must be fought on other grounds.”

    His short article is found @

    His main points are on Trade, with him asking “So the claim that Brexit will impose a huge cost rests on the twin beliefs that British trade with Germany will go down sharply and trade with the United States will not increase. Is that reasonable? “ and answering that it is not in terms that will be familiar to readers here.

    He then deals with transition costs and the impact upon GDP and productivity and notes “So how do the Treasury, OECD and the IMF conclude that Brexit could reduce GDP by between 6 and 10 percent forever? The vast bulk of those large estimates come from the further assumption that reduced trade will shrink British productivity growth. This is disingenuous. There is simply no evidence that less trade lowers productivity growth – and there is not even a logical connection between productivity growth and a shift in trade from Germany to the United States.”.

    He next deals with investment plans and panic and notes that “The Bank of England’s claims are the most outrageous of all. The Bank says that fear of Brexit is holding investment back and, thus, causing growth to slow down in anticipation. How can it know that? British GDP is slowing for so many reasons.” and goes on to explain that the world economy is slowing but “The Bank of England is cynically exploiting its authority by claiming to detect Brexit-induced anxiety in the cloud of short-term data.”. Mody then notes “But more outrageous is the Bank’s warning of mayhem if Britain votes to leave. Nobel Laureates George Akerlof and Robert Shiller have explained that people act in accordance with the narratives they live. The Bank is, in effect, building a narrative of panic, which could become self-fulfilling. The central bank’s proper role is to reassure and stand-by to stem panic.”

    Mody concludes with the troubling comment: –

    ” Since 2010, official agencies have repeatedly promised global recovery. The forecasts fail because they all disregard inconvenient evidence. Now, the official consensus on the economic costs of Brexit has crossed the line into groupthink. A numerical illusion is masquerading as a “fact.” And when those in authority distort facts, they also subvert the cause of democracy.”

  12. Ken Moore
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Why has this walkabout been cancelled? – campaigning has been suspended for a day it’s now time to move on. How could anyone in their right mind possibly be offended by a debate…

    The idea that the out campaign somehow bears some responsibility is utterly contemptible – if we get into a situation where any discussion of difficult issues or personal character is seen as the ‘thin end of the wedge’ which could possibly provoke a mentally ill person…well that is a very dangerous state of affairs for our democracy.

    Of course the death of a popular MP is tragic and deeply sad …but it seems a strange way to honour and remember her by temporarily shutting down debate and democracy – the very things that she sought to defend as a working Mp.

    Why are we not demonstrating that the ballot box and debate is infinitely more powerful than guns and violence?. The answer as with the Eu referendum isn’t less democracy. ..

    • rose
      Posted June 19, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      And what has happened to decency, respect, dignity, good taste, and our world famous British reserve?

  13. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    We are told that the IMF is an independent, well-respected, organisation, and we should pays serious attention to what they say.

    Well, maybe at some lower levels there are attempts at impartiality, but not at the top with managing director Christine Lagarde.

    She was in Vienna yesterday, where she gave this speech which is worth reading:

    It’s the speech of an unabashed eurofanatic, and it’s hard to see how the analytical work of her subordinates can’t be coloured by her political prejudices, just as the work of the Treasury and the Bank have clearly been coloured by the prejudice of their boss.

    Just some points picked out:

    “Europeans confronted their legacy of war and hatred; they embraced the ideal of Unity in Diversity” – the proposed motto of the EU – “and they managed to secure peace and foster economic and cultural prosperity”.

    “This is a serious challenge for the European project. It is high time to confront this negative vision with a new perspective for those citizens who feel left behind. Those who believe that only a united Europe can be prosperous and dynamic need to step forward and speak up. Certainly that is the case I intend to make today.”

    “Immanuel Kant was right in thinking that nations should be able to settle their differences through international law” – which she and others brazenly breached in the spring of 2010 with an illegal bailout of Greece, as she herself later admitted.

    “The Single Market has become an economic powerhouse of more than 500 million people who generate about a quarter of global GDP. Trade within the single market doubled to about 22 percent of combined GDP over the past two decades, bringing greater choices for consumers and companies and creating millions of new jobs.”

    Footnote: “The Single Market helped create almost 3 million new jobs between 1992 and 2008 (European Commission: 20 Years of the European Single Market, 2012).” But that’s 3 million jobs out of 223 million, just 1.3% of all the jobs in the EU in 2008:!data/labour_market/employment/total_number_of_employed_people/1892415090|chart/line&countries=eu

    “The Single Currency has added a new dimension to the old mindset of “my flag, my anthem, my money”— and that is “one market, one money.”” Except, of course, for the UK, in Cameron’s publicly stated vision, because the UK must and will be in the market but it will never have the money; what he calls a “special status” but others might see as an “anomalous position” which cannot be allowed to endure forever.

    “And think of the transformative effect of EU expansion. New members from Central and Eastern Europe have been catching up rapidly to European income levels.”

    Footnote: “Income per capita in “transition economies” has risen from around 30 percent of EU15 levels in the mid-1990s to about 50 percent today (IMF Regional Economic Issues Report: 25 Years of Transition, 2014).” On which basis it will take another 20 years for them to catch up to about 80% when the economic driving force for mass migration should start to weaken.

    And much more, including elaboration of this claim: “There is, in my view, a clear case as to how the U.K. has benefited — and will continue to benefit — from its membership in the European Union.”

    If you ask an organisation headed by a eurofanatic whether we should stay in the EU then it would be foolish to expect a dispassionate, impartial, response, and that is true whether the organisation is the IMF or the Treasury.

    • Hope
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      It is just a shame she cannot add up. You would have hoped a person in her position was good at sums or forecasting . Regretably the IMF, like the Treasury , appear very poor at what they do despite huge salaries and big public announcements. I never hear the press being called to hear the IMF say sorry we mucked up, again.

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Oh, and there’s this letter in the Telegraph today:

    “SIR – My own published analysis of the Treasury’s two Brexit models (Measurement without Theory: On the extraordinary abuse of economic models in the EU Referendum debate) confirms the view of the four former Tory chancellors and party leaders, Nigel Lawson, Norman Lamont, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard.

    I concluded that the “Treasury reports are two of the most dishonest and deceptive public documents I have ever read. The whole exercise should therefore be seen for what it is – an elaborate charade. What is happening is no different from Tony Blair’s ‘dodgy dossier’ on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.”

    Professor David Blake
    Cass Business School
    London EC1”

    I’m glad they’ve printed that, because when I’ve written letters pointing out that going on the EU Commission’s own estimates the EU Single Market has added about 2% to the collective GDP of the member states, and it’s probably more like 1% for the UK, then they haven’t wanted to know and they haven’t published the letters.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Indeed I agree.

      “The Treasury reports are two of the most dishonest and deceptive public documents I have ever read. The whole exercise should therefore be seen for what it is – an elaborate charade. What is happening is no different from Tony Blair’s ‘dodgy dossier’ on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.”

      This is surely very clear indeed.

    Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    The IMF, according to one report, was very much aware and how could they not, about the momentary cessation of the Referendum Campaign. The IMF outburst was not galaxy- shifting, nor anything different in essence from their already indicated view. Therefore it was a deliberate intrusion by unneeded repetition/propaganda into our internal affairs and quite distasteful given the reasons for the temporary halt to the Campaign.
    The IMF of course is a foreign body. One has grown used to such bad behaviour from shaky positions outside our borders.

  16. acorn
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    The IMF is one of numerous UN agencies that the world could do without. It ceased to have any useful purpose, when the world came off the Gold Standard in 1971. Unfortunately, Denis Healey gave it a new lease of life, as an arm of US foreign policy.

    The US State Department then, as now, was on a global mission of installing puppet governments by “regime change”, where ever it found a left wing government. Hence, exit Callaghan, hello Thatcher. Bill Mitchell is currently telling the 1976 UK/IMF story in much detail at “The conspiracy to bring British Labour to heel 1976”.

  17. Bert Young
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The IMF is tied to the EU due to its support of the ECB and Euro . It knows full well that the EU economy is declining and that the financial weight it has provided is at risk . Future prospects for the EU are not good ; the proposed expansion includes countries whose standards fall a long way short of those elsewhere putting an extreme extra burden on the existing infrastructure – Germany cannot and will not put its reserves to work in order to balance things out . To this add the woes of Greece , Spain , Portugal and now , Italy .

    Of course Lagarde and Osborne are hand in glove with their statements . The timing of the latest comments are , to say the least , disgusting . A dignity has recently been installed in the referendum debate and this should be respected by all parties inside and outside of the UK .

  18. Atlas
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    What was it that Margaret Thatcher said about economists in her cameo on Yes Minister?

    Something about ‘abolishing them’ ??

    Posted June 18, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Off Topic:
    There are efforts moving ever closer, firstly to call opposition to the EU as right-wing, extreme right-wing and then to paint “right-wing” as intrinsically outside the maelstrom of regular and normal political life.

    As far as I am aware, all UK “extreme” right wing parties and groupings mentioned by the media are in fact legal. Not proscribed. So too, “extreme” left wing positions.
    Yet, we now see that a person’s extent of right-wingedness or even reading or possessing “right-wing” literature is an indication, presumably rising incrementally, to a propensity to indulge in vile acts of murder.

    The point:
    Given the Referendum may be lost by the Leave Campaign, I feel a number of people may think that the powers-that-be have been over-influential in the run-up to the vote ( and they have ).That such a Referendum outcome may influence them to move to a more resolute or robust ( “right-wing” ) position. …and that position, by preemptive anti-free speech strike has been labelled ” Violent “, even ” Murderous”

    Of course the media/establishment are defining what is meant by “right-wing” and “extreme”. For my own part, I do not think of myself as the least bit right-wing or extreme. I occupy the very middle ground of being absolutely correct.

    One can quite envisage the EU eventually outlawing all meaningful opposition to itself. That is its direction of travel. It is a mortal danger .

  20. graham1946
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Well, well well. Mrs Lagarde comes hotfoot from the Bilderberg conference with another doom message. Who’d have thought it?

    In case any readers don’t know about Bilderberg, it is a group of the most powerful corporate, government and bureaucrat leaders in the world. They meet once a year in total secrecy, locked down for the duration of their talks, no reporters allowed and no minutes taken, so no-one outside can know whats been said or decided. The best you can get is a list of attendees, which they can’t very well not issue unless they can magic their way into the conference, unseen. Make what you will of that.

  21. bluedog
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Another day, Dr JR, and yet another example of blind panic by a member of the global elite.

    We are fortunate indeed that the Eurofanatics never seem to have learned the law of diminishing returns, and that the answer to every problem is not more Europe. One suspects that the IMF report was in fact directed at the French, where the Pew Research Group’s findings would have the pro-EU lobby aghast. If 61% of the French despise the EU, any competent political entrepreneur can use that sentiment to win power very easily. It follows that a Frenchwoman committed to the ‘International Community’ is getting in a first strike to demoralise the Resistance and save France for servitude to the EU.

    Britain is already a lost cause in terms of the EU, whatever the outcome on Thursday. The referendum campaign ensures a permanent state of semi-detachment even if Remain temporarily prevail. Our own Resistance movement is simply too strong to be defeated and too deep-rooted to fade away. In Brussels they will dread the sight of the Union Jack.

    Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Off Topic; then again, not

    In the early hours,I watched LIVE on the internet a Trump Rally in Woodlands near Houston, Texas. Trump said “Put America First” and repeated slowly “Put… America… First”.
    I was reminded of our media the previous day when a journalist attributed “Put Britain First” or “Britain First” as akin to a N-word and, idiotic though it seems in the British context, remarked that Mr Trump says a similar thing when he proclaims “Put America First.” It is apparent that thinking one should love to the exclusion of all others is a sin; a murderous sin, a violent sin, an extreme sin; and, American
    God Bless America!

  23. Vanessa
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I think the IMF is misnamed. It should now be renamed the EUMF as its leader is obviously ONLY concerned with the European Union and does NOT seem to regard the rest of the world as anything to do with it!

  24. ian wragg
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I see from Open Europe that Tusk is saying if we vote to leave it will take 7 years. He also says that if we don’t go through Article 50 route the ECJ will suspend us.
    Bring it on, every utterance from these clowns must get us some more votes.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      That Tusk is wrong is easily demonstrated by the fact that it only took two years to get the Lisbon Treaty ratified, and it would have been only one year it the Irish hadn’t delayed it through their first referendum.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 19, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg; No he did not say that. Mr Tusk thinks that our Brexit agreement under Article 50 will take 2 years but any post Brexit trade deals etc. will take another 5 as they could/would not be carried out concurrently with our actual A50 Brexit, hence the quoted 7 years.

      In an interview with Bild, European Council President Donald Tusk says that Britain’s post-Brexit deal with the EU could take up to seven years to negotiate. “Cancelling all Treaty obligations and connections would be very sad, but relatively easy. It would take about two years. It would be much more difficult to negotiate the new relationship afterwards, he said. “Every single one of the, then, 27 EU member states plus the European Parliament would have to agree on the overall settlement. This would take at least five years, I am afraid, and without any guarantee of a success.”

      • Edward2
        Posted June 19, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        Then the EU is a dictatorship from which leaving is nigh on impossible.
        If any article has confirmed I am right to vote leave then this statement by an appointed failed politician who I never voted for is it.
        For once thanks Jerry

        • Jerry
          Posted June 19, 2016 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; No the EU is an internationally recognised legal entity, and Mr Tusk was laying out the likely legal process of a Brexit. Don’t forget that even the Vote Leave side are talking about using Article 50.

          Of course we could simply leave, by repealing the 1972 accession treaty and latter amendments, using the UN’s fundamental charter (the right of any nation and/or it’s people to self determination) but that will not be a lot of help to us if we wish or need to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement, or perhaps even just avoid an old fashioned tariffs war!

          Oh and as for unelected politicos, many, if not most, people in the UK never voted for Mrs T or her party either. Nice to see your contempt for democracy never mind international law Edward, you seem to want to pick and choose when it suits. In 1983, one of their best ever results, the conservatives only received the support of 43.5% of the entire UK electorate, and only 30.8% of those who voted.

          Reply Vote Leave is against using Article 50

          • Edward2
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

            Your point about the Government of Mrs Thatcher is stupid
            Every Govt post war, except for Atlee, gained a Pariamentary majority with less than 50% of the total.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; You seem to want it both ways, you are unconcerned that for many the UK government has no legitimacy because they do not hold a majority of the popular vote (more people did not vote for them as did) but you find unelected eurocrats beyond contempt.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

            Another illogical argument which shows your lack of knowledge of the British Constitution
            Plainly we vote in a Government and if it can create a majority it governs.

            EU officials who hold great power are unelected.
            I have no such problems with MEPs who are elected .

          • Jerry
            Posted June 22, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; You are still showing your own lack of understanding and knowledge, wanting it both ways as well. One can not claim democratic legitimacy if less than 51% have voted for a government, all that can claimed is that they are the legal government under the law, that goes for both the UK government and the EU.

            Also there are thousands of unelected people in the UK influencing or making policy decisions, from the entire UK civil service to unelected special, political and policy advisor’s.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 22, 2016 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

            But at least I’m not a black kettle or pot.

            Where could you live where a nations voters give well over 50% to the winning party
            Any examples Jerry?
            And under PR?

  25. Mark
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    This link (even if dating from 2013) offers considerable insight into the way in which the Treasury is deeply involved in the work of the IMF via UK delegations (and DFiD in that of the World Bank), which can hardly be considered as truly independent organisations:

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      So there are no practical difficulties about collusion then, just pass the message from the Treasury to the UK’s seconded civil servants to pass on to the others, asking for a bit of help in duping the UK voters, if they could be so kind.

    Posted June 18, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Off topic:
    One hears MPs at the moment I write are being advised by the police about personal security. Those MPs feeling the need of the advice and more importantly requiring the advice should be advised to resign immediately.

    At that level of government, the people who vote to bomb other countries and provide armaments on knowledge far above their pay-rates and self-education, should instinctually know they are in grave danger at all times for the rest of their lives. So too their families , friends, neighbours, colleagues and anyone and everyone in places they visit, constituency offices, town halls, schools, garden centres, and in some cases hanky-panky establishments.

    Well, I’ve heard the term “normalcy bias”. Well, OK, people, even MPs I guess can self-hide the realities of life deep into their sub-conscious minds. But an ideological belief in the luffy-duffinesses of persons from a wide and sometimes desperately hungry and poor culture should not be at the top of their beliefs. Nor the patience of what these ideologists term an ethnic mixture of Vikings, Saxons, Angles, Celts and Norman French.
    History tells us that these diverse ethnic minorities were warlike, vicious, nasty, territorial. Know thyself. A hundred mentally , socially scarred and withered petals does not make the perfect rose.
    So, let the kids resign from Parliament. Constituency MP selection procedures should ensure non-idealistic awareness of realities in this extremely unforgiving world.

  27. James Matthews
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I am somewhat concerned as to how long normal Leave campaigning is being suspended in the aftermath of Jo Cox’s murder.

    Parliament being recalled on Monday will effectively stop campaigning on that day, leaving only two days before the vote. Given the trend before the murder it appears that the suspension of campaigning favours the Remainders (they are certainly behaving as though that is what they believe).

    However tragic the death of Jo Cox may be it should not be allowed to determine Britain’s future.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 18, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      The Remainers believe suspending campaigning will underline their belief that the campaign and the murder are connected. Actually the statement by the accused in court when asked his name indicates they are right. However that shouldn’t be a reason to vote differently but it probably is for some.

      I see that great political thinker Billy Bragg is voting Remain because “Although all Leavers are not racist all racists will vote Leave”. This idea of voting on the basis of virtue signalling is a novel idea but he has omitted to say that the anti- Semitic racists in and expelled from Labour will actually be voting Remain

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Let us hope that Jo Cox’s legacy is not to bury (for ever) what remains of UK democracy.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    The Telegraph report on this is here:

    and it ends with:

    “Gerry Rice, an IMF spokesman, has said that the IMF was “doing its job… [and] in an objective way, in an impartial way”. Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, has previously warned that a UK withdrawal from the EU would be “pretty bad, to very, very bad” for the British economy.”

    Yes, that’s the very same objective and impartial Christine Lagarde who gave a speech in Vienna yesterday extolling “the European project” and quoting the EU’s proposed* motto “United in Diversity”.

    * Proposed insofar as it was in the article on “Symbols of the Union” in the rejected EU Constitution, but that was one of the few parts which Merkel did not have decanted into her “Reform Treaty”, deeming it to be too provocative, but nevertheless 16 countries attached a non-binding declaration as follows:

    “Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic declare that the flag with a circle of twelve golden stars on a blue background, the anthem based on the “Ode to Joy” from the Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven, the motto “United in diversity”, the euro as the currency of the European Union and Europe Day on 9 May will for them continue as symbols to express the sense of community of the people in the European Union and their allegiance to it.”

  29. NickW
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Immigration is the issue that has turned this referendum into a left/right confrontation and allowed the left to seize what it believes to be the moral high ground. The debate needs nuancing to illustrate the fact that the left’s position is untenable.

    In order to defend women’s rights and protect minorities from persecution, it is necessary to ensure that the rate of immigration does not exceed the rate of integration into our society. Uncontrolled immigration will result in the eventual loss of women’s rights and the persecution of minorities.

    It is clearly right that we should help people in distress, but if we try and help everybody, our resources will be over run and we will end up able to help nobody. I donate to charity, but I cannot donate to all charities; I have to say “no” to many of them.

    The issue of democracy and the right of European youth to have opportunities for employment are not issues which provide the left for an opportunity to defend the status quo. Why does the left condemn the non existent austerity in this country, and remain silent on the real and utterly inhuman austerity in Greece?

    Lastly, there is an organisation called Labour Leave, to which I have happily donated,

    which demonstrates that the left wing media’s adoption of the remain stance as its own domain does not have the support of all on the left. The existence and activities of Labour Leave need publicising in order to undo the left -right polarisation of the debate.

  30. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, even though we are supposedly in the purdah period and even though the referendum campaign had supposedly been suspended, Constitution Minister John Penrose has this article in the Telegraph yesterday:

    “David Cameron’s end to Europe’s ‘ever closer union’ means Britain should Remain”

    Which is flatly contradicted by this legal analysis of Cameron’s “deal”:

    “With the parts of the Decision relating to “ever closer union”, it does not matter how binding or non‐binding they are because, as we shall see, none of the terms when read carefully produce a substantive change in the legal position of the United Kingdom.”

  31. Jumeirah
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    ENLIGHTEN me here: M.Carney – Canadian and Republic of Ireland National and Governor of the Bank of England:-
    1) When does his term of Office end and how soon after can we get rid of this (words left out ed)man so that we no longer have to put up with misleading and allegedly inaccurate facts coming out of the Bank of England regarding the Bank’s perceived ideas of a Brexit which he sees is his duty to inform us about? What we don’t want here is a foreign national in a position of ‘some power’ endeavouring to influence what should be an ‘honest’ Political debate based on solid and irrefutable (is that the right word?) facts! We’ve got enough (people with wrong judgement ed)of our own doing this without importing more from outside.
    2) Notwithstanding that he lives here, as a foreign national what right does he have to vote in the UK’s referendum? As I understand it entitlement to vote in this Referendum is restricted to citizens of the United Kingdom only.

  32. Audun Sigurdsson
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    This political economic forcasting by the IMF reminds me of similar situation in Sweden during the national referendum on whether Sweden should take up the euro. After the Swedes rejected the euro the then priminister, Göran Person, was asked by the press when the Swedish economy would collapse as he had repeatedly threatened during the campain. His answer: “Did I say that? I can not recall that.”

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Rather belatedly I’ve been reading this Civitas report from May:

    “Economical With The Truth”

    “A review of HM Treasury analysis: the long-term economic impact of EU membership and the alternatives”

    By Michael Burrage, who also authored this short article last Sunday:

    “Why study the predictions when one can read the record? The Single Market doesn’t drive trade growth.”

    “The use of expert opinion to shore up support for the EU is part of an attempt to prevent ordinary voters weighing the evidence for themselves. The average voter is not equipped to contest economic forecasts. But they are in a position to judge the empirical evidence of what has gone before – and that demonstrates beyond any doubt that the Single Market has never been the engine of trade growth that its cheerleaders claim.”

    The Civitas critique is 39 pages long and rather technical but well worth reading; it calls into very serious question whether the economic models being used by the Treasury, and by others, have any predictive value at all.

    “An earlier occasion when HMT made use of a gravity model is not reassuring. It happened at the start of the debate on the merits of the euro, when a UC Berkeley
    professor, Andrew Rose, announced that his gravity model showed that “… countries with the same currency trade over three times as much with each other as countries with different currencies.” … Supporters of the euro in the UK were naturally delighted to hear of his findings …”

    “Over the next few years, as trade in the euro could be measured, the predictions of increases that might be attributable to it were progressively scaled down until one
    thorough study in 2008 decided that aggregate trade in the eurozone had been “boosted by about 2%‘” and “trade with non-members by 3%.” Rose himself remained silent on the subject for many years. In June 2015, however, with one of his co-authors Reuven Glick, he made a startling mea culpa saying that, after studying 15 years of EMU trade data “we find no consistent evidence that EMU stimulated trade … Indeed [by one of their methodologies] the net effect of EMU on exports is negative.””

    And so forth.

  34. Percy Openshaw
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Sir, many commentators have pointed out three things which I wish to emphasise: first, that the campaign has been “suspended” for too long; second, that it has been suspended on one side only; the IMF not to mention other organs of establishment opinion (Fred Carney’s Bank of England, for example) have been pushing their agenda throughout. Finally, the tragic death of an MP has been shamelessly and ruthlessly exploited by a swarm of Remain supporting journalists and public figures in such a way as to smear the responsibility for it all over the Leave campaign. By eliding the unjust hatred undoubtedly felt by the murderer with the justified anger of millions with excessive immigration, the Remainders are seeking once again to close down that debate. When is Leave going to reply to all this?

  35. Monty
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    When is this hiatus in the campaigning going to end? It strikes me we all need to be back in the fray.

  • About John Redwood

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

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