Brexit – media muddle and rubbish galore

At first glance, headlines in a number of papers proclaiming “No Brexit until late 2019” sound thoroughly depressing. Has some new hold-up to triggering Article 50 suddenly appeared on the horizon? Not at all. In spite of a spat between Boris Johnson and Liam Fox over whether the Department for International Trade or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office will head up UK foreign policy, Theresa May has insisted that  it is full steam ahead in the preparation for invoking Article 50 early next year and has told the two men to “stop playing games.”

If her plans go according to schedule, the two-year negotiation period would take us to early 2019. Factor in even a short delay in preparing the ground or a mutually-agreed extension to the negotiations and we will find ourselves in the second half of 2019 without having gone through the Brexit door.  With France and Germany both holding major elections in 2017,  it is quite likely that there will need need to be an extension even before the complexities of negotiating a succesful divorce are taken into account. A change of incumbent or government could result in previously-agreed changes having to be revisited if the leadership in either of those countries change – a distinct possibility in France, where President Hollande’s popularity ratings are very low.

Is business going to suffer as a result of June 23rd’s vote?  Well before the referendum, we predicted a short-term blip in the event of a Brexit vote, particularly a drop in the value of sterling. We pointed out that the economic gains were fore the longer term. House prices have fallen in the wake of Brexit, dropping by 2.6% in London and 2% in the South East. Is this a calamity? Ask any first-time buyer about the absurd prices they are having to pay to get onto the housing ladder and you will not hear any sadness on their part.  Another report claimed that businesses had become “pessimistic” as a result of the Brexit vote. Read the article in full, however, and it states that 36%  of companies are planning to increase staffing levels now compared with 40% before the referendum. A slight fall in optimism, but hardly evidence of widespread business gloom.

It is frustrating that some remainers still seem unable to accept that we voted to leave – and with good reason. Avinash Persaud, writing in the Economic and Political Weekly highlights the supposed correlation between voting to leave and lower educational qualification. Those of us with degrees who voted to leave are becoming utterly sick of being characterised as ignoramuses. If anything, the number of graduates who voted for remain is an indication of the woeful inadequacy of our educational system as opposed to any correlation between intelligence and support for the EU.

Mr Persaud, like many other commentators, also links support for Brexit to disenchantment with free trade and the reforms that began under Margaret Thatcher. This again is simplistic twaddle. During the course of the Brexit campaign, one of the most frequently repeated advantages of Brexit was the prospect of beginning to take control of our own trade and escaping the protectionism of the EU. I  for one was accused in one debate by my pro-EU opponent of advocating “Singapore on steroids”.

While the Brexit vote was strong in white working classes areas, the wonderful result on June 23rd was achieved by their alliance with frustrated small businessmen, some trade unionists, a few Labour MPs, a few more Tory MPs and a selection of educated professional types unhappy with the loss of our sovereignty, control of our trade and the top-down nature of the EU.

Of these unlikely bedfellows, the most uniquely British component is the strongly Eurosceptic centre right – one of the legacies of Thatcherism.  Peter Mandelson’s claim that Jeremy Corbyn somehow sabotaged the remain vote  just does not stand up to scrutiny.  Undecided centre-right voters were never going to be  won over by a Labour politician, whether Blairite of Corbynite. Somehow, Mandelson and his ilk still seem unable to come to terms with the fact that plenty of highly educated intelligent people studied the arguments on both sides of the debate and decided that we would be better off out.

Nor, sadly, are they giving up in their attempts to overrule the will  of the people. The European Movement, which was a recipient of substantial CIA funding in the past, is organising a  “March for Europe” on 3rd September. “We need to send a message that 16 million people voted to remain” says their propaganda. Well, we have a message for the European Movement:- over 17 million people voted to leave and we won. That’s called democracy.

Lord Stoddart, a patron and former Chairman of CIB,  recently issued a stark warning to Lord Mandelson and other  Europhile members of the Upper Chamber:-

“My colleagues in the Lords would do well to remember that the Brexit vote was the largest vote for anything in the history of our nation.  According to a study by the University of East Anglia, had Vote Leave been a political party, it would have won a huge landslide of 421 Parliamentary seats.  That would equate to 65% of all seats and 73% of seats in England and Wales.  Mess with this massive mandate at your peril!”

Photo by Brian Smithson (Old Geordie)

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John Petley

John Petley

John Petley is Operations Manager for Campaign for an Independent Britain

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  1. Ray CatlinReply

    The suggestion that we wait for new governments in France and Germany to be elected in 2017 is shortsighted and will only play into the hands of the Remain camp. To await new governments with a fresh mandate is to court problems. They will then gain the level of positive credibility which the British government now has. To act now is the politically astute option. Both Hollande and Merkel need to go to their electorates next year saying that they have already secured the position of their countries exports to the UK. That means they need to play ball on our terms, not the sort of EU oriented terms they like to play by.
    In fact we should simply repeal the 1972 Act of accession and thereby trigger Article 50. We should include in the Repeal legislation a timetable to review EU law in UK law for its review and removal with effect from end of 2019. All this can and should be settled before the May 2020 General Election. We should be setting deadlines in accordance with our interests – [and there is no good reason to go beyond May 2020 with this] – and emphatically not await foreign developments in the vain belief that will give us a better agreement. It won’t. The Franco-German hegemonic agenda has gone on long enough. Time now that the UK called the shots, for once ! We voted out to protect our interests, on every level, so let’s get on with it and use the politically strong position we are currently in before it starts to seep away.

  2. pirate3012Reply

    Ray. We are not ready to invoke A50; we don’t have the negotiators at our disposal. We cannot simply repeal ECA72, it would be to damaging to our reputation. You ought to read what Dr North has been saying; he is far more knowledgeable than most (possibly all) on this subject and other commentators are way behind him in their understanding.

  3. Phil JonesReply

    I agree with Ray. In the end the UK will never get any agreement with the EU that doesn’t include some type of ‘free movement’ provision. It’s a total waste of time for the UK to spend precious time trying to work out an agreement with the EU. Canada has spent 7 years trying to work out a trade agreement with the EU, and still nothing. The remaining 27 provinces of the EU all have their own little agendas and priorities on any UK/EU agreement, and there will be stall, stall, stall no matter what the UK proposes, particularly if it has no ‘free movement’ provision included — which should be the case if the UK is not to change from EU province to glorified EU province. I voted for British Exit which to me meant just that, namely, that the UK becomes once again an independent country in full control of its borders — and not a place where Germans or French or other EUers have a better right of entry than Americans, Australians, Brazilians, Russians, etc. If I were Mrs. May, I’d invoke Article 50 just as soon as possible — certainly no later than the start of 2017. And if the EU puts up trade barriers, the UK should put on tariffs. And we’d see how quickly companies in the EU would be after the EU to reach a trade agreement with the UK. It’ll be stall, stall, stall by the EU no matter what the UK proposes as an agreement, so I’d go ahead with the Article 50 notice just as soon as possible and let the cards fall where they may.

  4. John Petley
    John PetleyReply

    Following the posting of this article, a spokesman for Theresa May said “The PM is providing the kind of leadership you would expect to confront this serious and very complex task and the full weight of the machinery of government has been put behind it….Article 50 notification won’t happen before the end of 2016,” (See )

    We may have our ideas about how best to exit, but ultimately, the government will make the decision. We can but hope it is the best one for us.

  5. John BridgerReply

    All the time Remain had the majority, Leave campaigners complained, moaned and campaigned ceaselessly for their cause. It is a bit hypocritical for Leave campaigners to criticise Remain supporters for doing the same.

  6. PIPReply

    Its hardly surprising that the remain camp are piqued and organising action groups.
    Voters were split into two camps 1. the awake or intuitively aware of the insidious scam by the EU to create a neo fascist state (leave) and 2. the utterly deceived wallet heads and luvvies who bought into the lie that the EU is a democratic partnership of equals(remain).
    the EU is NOT Europe! it is a political organisation that will stop at nothing to gain absolute power without accountability. The primary beneficiary being Germany and its opportunist lackey France
    We see the concomitants of the actions of the EU and they are disastrous. I see no merit on invoking Article 50 -why leave on their terms? And as it will become increasingly clear the EU positively hates GB’s guts for daring to say thanks but no thanks.
    It’s all very well to have these talking shops but I see little action by those with a democratic mandate to exit from the EU– to drive home the vote
    Anyone who has taken the trouble to study the political rise of the EU could not fail to see how the people of Europe have been seduced and deceived by the EU and its hidden hegenomous agenda.
    The EU is pathological in personality, paranoid ,possessive and power obsessed.
    We are fighting for the democratic freedom of our children and for their right to exercise their free will -its as simple as that.
    Repeal the 1972 Act and negotiate as a sovereign nation -now!
    Short term pain long term gain not the other way round
    We need to the message across of how people have been deceived- why isn’t that being distributed through every letterbox???

  7. Gordon WebsterReply

    It is my understanding that the Accession Treaty was signed under Royal Prerogative, and so could be removed in the same way. It is also my understanding that the Europeans Communities Act was passed with little debate, and with lies being told to the Commons regarding its meaning and consequences to Britain (Lord Kilmuir). It is an Offence under Constitutional Convention (leges non scriptae) to lie to the Commons. It is further my understanding that The Single European Act was passed in the same way, while The Maastricht and Lisbon Treaty consequences were also not fully explained to The Commons or the British People. Those consequences demanded a Referendum for the Treaties.
    My understanding of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, of Britain and other Members of the EU are signatories, invalidates The EU and its Treaties ( Articles 46-60 I believe are relevant.
    Britain could remove these Treaties from Statute without fear, favour, or International Repercussions.

  8. PIPReply

    Hollande Merkel Renzi meet on an Italian Island to show solidarity
    What a dead give away
    Where were the other 20 odd EU members????
    that sums it up- France and Germany presuming to represent Europe
    How grateful we should be!
    They really are running scared and clear a sign that the wheels are coming off this disastrous political
    piece of social engineering

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