The UK’s liabilities to the financial mechanisms of the European Union

Independent research, commissioned by the Bruges Group from acknowledged expert in this field Bob Lyddon, shows that the true extent of the UK’s potential exposure to the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Central Bank (ECB) and EFSM (European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism) is over £80 billion. If the crisis in the Eurozone continues this already high figure could increase massively. Far from Brexit being an economic disaster, as Mr Osborne has claimed, it could be hugely beneficial, extracting us from a large potential black hole.

The UK carries huge financial liabilities as an EU Member State, liabilities that could translate into calls for cash far higher than our annual Member cash contribution. These are created through various funds and facilities of the EU itself, and through shareholdings in the European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank. Each of these bodies engages in financial dealings on a large scale, with the Member States acting as guarantors for sums borrowed. The main recipients of funds are the Eurozone periphery states: Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

The UK, being one of the largest and most creditworthy of the Member States, is looked at as one of the guarantors most able to stump up extra cash as and when demanded, demanded, that is, by a Qualified Majority of Member States with no unilateral right of refusal. Such calls can be expected if another crisis blows up in the Eurozone.

The UK’s leaving the EU would relieve us of these considerable risks and liabilities. This independent research shows that Britain should leave the European Union. To download it, please click here.

Project Fear 1975 style

We have already highlighted the fear tactics used in Norway’s 1994 vote on EU membership. In the 1975 referendum campaign in the UK, similar tactics were used, just as they are at the moment. Here is Peter Shore’s stirring speech at the Oxford Union debate 3 days before the 1975 referendum debunking “Project Fear”. Well worth a listen, according to our President, George West.

(image courtesy George Libbet, the Guardian)

The final push – some useful tips and general comment

This could be the week for which many of us have longed and campaigned for years – the moment when the “Brexit door” will finally swing open! Of course, a “leave” vote will only be the start of a process to disentangle us from the EU, but it would still be the occasion for a great celebration after all the hard work so many of us have put in – sometimes stretching back over many years.

The polls suggest that things are very tight. We seemed to be on a roll last week, but the tragic murder of Jo Cox seems to have slowed our momentum as campaigning was almost completely stopped when the news was announced – and rightly so. However, the worst possible result would be a narrow win for “remain” driven by a mixture of an emotional response to the actions  of a madman and a fear campaign that would still leave the fundamental issue of our dissatisfaction with the EU unresolved.

This must not happen for our country’s sake and it is apparent is that there are still undecided voters out there who can and must be won over. Many of them are still ignorant of the nature of the European project and I have received many comments that the “headline” campaign featuring prominent politicians has done little to inform them.

This does present us with a great opportunity. A poll published by the Sun a couple of weeks ago found that people were four more time more likely to trust a stranger than a politician to tell them the truth about the EU.  We, as ordinary people, can make a real difference and indeed are doing so. Support for leave among the Roman Catholic community in Northern Ireland is rising, although it is unlikely that either this group or Scotland  will deliver an overall “leave” vote.

London has also been something of a stronghold for Remain, but a new “London for Leave” group has been working behind the scenes to sin support in our Capital. You can watch a short video produced by the group here and an event is planned in Soho tomorrow. If you are able to support it, please contact Ayumi for details.

Brexit the Movie continues to attract viewings, with over 1,380,000 to date.  Its left-of-centre counterpart Lexit the Movie is also receiving a lot of hits considering it was only launched a few days ago.

For anyone looking to provide their friends with a balanced view giving both sides of the argument, James Bacon’s helpful website is a very useful resource. James does support leaving the EU, but reached his decision after much patient analysis of the pros and cons. You will find none of the hot-headed claim and counter-claim that has put so many people off the whole debate.

Our final leaflets have been mailed out now. You are still welcome to download and print pdfs from our leaflets page and we will are also offering two window posters (large and small) which you can print off.

A couple of final tips:- Don’t forget to circulate your freinds and colleagues by e-mail and to update your Facebook pages, etc. explainig why we should leave the EU. I have been surprised by the positive response to an e-mail I sent out to  some old friends over the weekend.  As mentioned above, there are undecided voters out there and you can help them decide to leave.

Also, it is worth contating your local “leave” group to see if you can help with transporting voters with limited mobility to their local polling station on Thursday.  To reiterate, every vote counts!

This evening, the final weekly e-mail will be sent before the referendum. We  will post further articles to the website in the coming days, but hopefully, the next weekly e-mail will include a celebration of a great victory, won by ordinary people against the odds.

Finally, you may enjoy the poem below, sent by one of our supporters:-

‘Won’t you join our Common Market?’ said the spider to the fly,

‘It really is a winner and the cost is not too high’

‘I know De Gaulle said ’’ Non’’, but he hadn’t got a clue,

‘We want you in, my friends and I, for we have plans for you. 

‘You’ll have to pay a little more than we do, just for now,

‘As Herr Kohl said, and I agree, we need a new milch cow,

‘It’s just a continental term, believe me , mon ami,

‘Like ‘’Vive la France’’ or ‘’Mad Anglais’’ or even ‘’E.E.C.’’. 

‘As to the rules, don’t worry friend, there’s really but a few

‘You’ll find that we ignore them – but they all apply to you.

‘Give and share between us, that’s what it’s all about,

‘You do all the giving, and we all share it out. 

‘It’s very British, is it not, to help a friend in need?

‘You’ve done it twice in two World Wars, a fact we must concede,

‘So climb aboard the Market Train, don’t sit there on the side,

‘Your continental cousins want to take you for a ride’

The Left of centre case for leaving the EU – new Video

Following on from Brexit the Movie and Flexcit the Movie, we can now announce the Lexit the Move – making the Left of Centre case for leaving the EU.

It lasts just over an hour and can be watched here. It features archive footage of the late Tony Benn and  more recent interviews with Kate Hoey and George Galloway. It highlights the long-standing tradition of left-of-centre withdrawalism and mentions that some trade unions, including the Bakers’ Union and the RMT, support Brexit. Helle Hagenau (pictured above), a long-standing friend of CIB, points out that in Nordic countries, EU-scepticism is very much a centre-left phenomenon.

It is good that we are hearing a strong left-of-centre pro-withdrawal voice in this debate. This video has come at an ideal time, with John Cryer announcing his decision to back “leave” only yesterday. It is ideal to show to any left-leaning voters who support remain or are still undecided. It has a long way to go to catch up with “Brexit the Movie”, which has been downloaded over 1,200,000 times already, but the more views it receives, the greater likelihood that we will see a decent “leave” vote next week.