Conservative Party members received a letter from the Prime Minister today. She is trying to sell her Chequers plan, and on the reverse of the second A4 page are quotes from senior Conservatives under the title of "The right deal for Britain". Liam Fox commented that "this deal will give the UK the freedom to sign our own, independent trade deals". We know that under this plan we are not going to be able to to sign independent comprehensive trade deals. He must be hoping that members are going to fall for it. I have a message for him: they're not stupid. Continue reading
Lord Stoddart hammers ‘ill-informed and one-sided’ Police & Crime Commissioners for getting political over Brexit
The independent Labour Peer and Freedom Association Council member, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has strongly criticised the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners for their interference in the debate over Brexit. The Eurosceptic peer described their letter to the Home Secretary as an “unwise and unpopular political intervention from an organisation representing a deeply unpopular layer of bureaucracy that has been an undistinguished addition to the cost of policing in the UK.” Continue reading
German MEP: "EU should have been allowed to take part in the referendum campaign in the UK to help guide the British electorate to the correct answer"
Populism is spreading all over Europe, and with condescending MEPs like Elmar Brok it is not difficult to understand why. Brok is a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and is also the Brexit Coordinator of the European People's Party. Take a look at this from the Telegraph. "If there is no exit agreement by March 29 2019 a hard Brexit will occur. So a referendum in December or January...could avert a hard Brexit," he said. He then went on to say that the EU should have been allowed to take part in the referendum campaign in the UK to help guide the British electorate to the correct answer. He remarked that it was a mistake that the EU followed David Cameron's wishes and kept out of the debate. Continue reading
The following is a guest post by Roger Helmer. Roger was a MEP representing the East Midlands from 1999-2017, and is a former chairman of The Freedom Association. We’re accustomed to hear Michel Barnier (and others in Brussels) insist that the UK can’t “cherry-pick” its trade agreement with the EU. It’s a term they seem to apply to anything short of total acceptance of the acquis communautaire, since almost by definition any agreement will address some issues and not others. Yet Monsieur Barnier is the biggest cherry-picker of them all. He has said he’d be prepared to offer the UK a Free Trade Deal (FTA) on goods, but not on services. Well of course he would. The EU has a massive trade surplus in goods with the UK -- £95 billion in 2017, according to the Commons Library briefing. So free trade in goods is massively to Brussels’ advantage. On the other hand the UK has a much smaller surplus in services with the EU -- £28 billion. So an FTA in services would benefit Britain – but far less than the EU’s benefit on goods. Any sensible British negotiator might have said “OK – we’ll talk about an FTA covering goods and services, even though that’s a huge concession on our part, given Brussels’ overall trade surplus with the UK. But you can’t cherry-pick goods, which work in your favour, and exclude services, which work in our favour”. Continue reading