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)

“Stand up to this bullying and threatening PM by voting Brexit” says independent Labour Peer

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon

(Independent Labour)                                                                                          

 

13th June 2016

 

“Stand up to this bullying and threatening Prime Minister by voting Brexit” says independent Labour Peer

The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, has been scathing in his criticism of the David Cameron’s latest attempt to bully elderly voters into backing the remain campaign, in which he has threatened the future of state pensions if there is a Brexit vote on 23rd June.

Lord Stoddart said:  “Can there be anything more morally repugnant than the Prime Minister trying to bully pensioners for short term political gain? He is talking about  pensioners who may well have fought in the war, lived through the blitz, lived through rationing or lived through all three. All of this in the cause of resisting perhaps the worst bullies of all – the Nazis! A Prime Minister who behaves in this mendacious manner toward elderly voters is misusing his office.

“Mr Cameron has also been accusing supporters of Brexit and regaining self-government for this country of being ‘quitters.’   The irony of making such an argument when he has long ago announced his intention to quit at the end of this Parliament is clearly lost on him but voters should be aware that, from 2020, he won’t be around to account for the results of his actions.  In regard to the EU, quitting is no bad thing when you are on a sinking ship!

 

“We don’t like bullies in this country and we have a long history of standing up to them.  We should stand up to this bullying and threatening Prime Minister by voting Brexit on 23rd June.”

 

 

 

 

Peer’s shock at Labour joining PM’s ‘conspiracy’ against working people

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)                                                                                          

News Release

 

17th May 2016

 

Peer shocked to see Labour Party joining PM’s “disgraceful conspiracy of the elite against working people”

The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has strongly attacked the Labour Party over its support for the Remain campaign in the debate over Britain’s future in the EU.

Lord Stoddart said:  “As a life-long Labour man, I find it shocking to see the Labour Party ganging up with Cameron and Osborne to talk Britain down in favour of shackling our country to the EU, an organisation which is hell-bent on destroying nation states in favour of a bureaucratic, centralised corporate state, in a country called ‘Europe’.

 “How can Corbyn and co expect to be treated seriously in their attacks on the Government whilst it is joining them in a disgraceful conspiracy of the élite against working people, engineered by David Cameron?  Labour has become wedded to what can only be described as a one party state and has betrayed the very people that they claim to represent.

“Labour supporters should vote Brexit on 23rd June, to save their country, their jobs and their livelihoods because their Party isn’t going to be able do it for them, if we stay in the EU.”

“toadying” Cameron supports Obama’s “bullying and blackmail” of British voters

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)

 

News Release

 

25th April 2016

 

The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has taken great exception to the intervention of President Barack Obama in the EU referendum debate.

Lord Stoddart said:  “First, we had the spectacle of a British Prime going on bended knee to the German Chancellor begging for her help in conning the British people into remaining in the European Union.  Now we see him toadying up to Obama, who is reviled and detested by so many in his own country, while he threatens the British people with dire consequences if they dare to vote for freedom and independence by leaving the EU.  It is the worst kind of bullying and blackmail from a President who will be out of office in a little over six months.  No British Prime Minister should have sanctioned this disgraceful treatment of British voters, never mind actively supported it!

“What this blundering intervention has done is confirm exactly what the ‘special relationship’ really means.  ‘Do as we say or you will be punished.’ That is the status of a satellite – not of a partnership and the British people, as citizens proud of their country and its thousand year history, should give Obama his answer by voting for Brexit on 23rd June.”

Ends

Hypocrisy of PM eulogising the Queen while abolishing her realm

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)

 

News Release

 

22nd April 2016

 

The ‘hypocrisy’ of a Prime Minister eulogising the Queen while trying to take away her realm

 

The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has taken exception to David Cameron’s eulogising Her Majesty the Queen on the sovereign’s 90th birthday, while he is simultaneously leading a campaign to abolish Britain as a nation state.

Lord Stoddart said:  “It is the most nauseating hypocrisy for the Prime Minister and other political leaders to eulogise Her Majesty on the occasion of Her 90th birthday while, simultaneously, organising a national and international lobby to bounce the British people into voting to remain in the European Union at the referendum on 23rd June.  This is an organisation, whose policy it is to abolish nation states, including Her Majesty’s own realm.

“They have already made Her Majesty a citizen of the European Union without consulting her.  Anyone with genuine respect for the Queen should vote to leave, which will protect her and our country from the EU’s aggressive empire building.”

 

Ends

Peer says PM is ‘grossly overstating his powers’ in claiming that the Britain will never join the euro

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon

(Independent Labour)                                                                                          

News Release

 

29th March 2016

 

PM is ‘grossly overstating his powers’ in claiming that Britain will never join the euro says Peer

 

The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has taken the Prime Minister to task for claiming that ‘Britain will never join the euro’, pointing out that Mr Cameron is ‘in no position give such an undertaking because it is not supported by our constitution, which makes it perfectly clear that no Parliament may bind its successor.’

In a written question to the Government, Lord Stoddart had been asking whether Parliamentary approval would be required for any decision to join the eurozone and why the Prime Minister has stated that the UK will never join.

Replying for the Government, Lord O’Neill of Gatley said:  ‘As set out in Protocol 15, the United Kingdom is under no legal obligation to adopt the euro as its currency. Under the EU Act 2011, a decision by the UK under Protocol (No 15) leading to a decision by the Council under article 140 (3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union would require an Act of Parliament and a referendum result in favour before a Minister of the Crown could support it.

‘The Prime Minister has been clear that Britain will never join the euro.

Lord Stoddart said:  ‘I am not sure whether the Government either understands or respects the constitution.  The constitutional position is clear – no Parliament may bind its successor.  It is perfectly possible for a future government, of whatever colour,  to repeal the EU Act 2011 and take Britain into the euro, without even bothering to hold a referendum.

‘For the Prime Minister to categorically state that ‘Britain will never join the euro’ is palpably untrue and grossly overstates his powers.  Therefore, despite what Mr Cameron says, there is no question that remaining in the EU is a serious threat to the future of the pound.’

Ends

The full text of Lord Stoddart’s question and the Government’s response, is as follows:

Lord O’Neill of Gatley, HM Treasury, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL6811):

 Question:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether parliamentary approval would be required for any decision to join the eurozone, and if so, why the Prime Minister has stated that the UK will never join the eurozone, in the light of the fact that one Parliament cannot bind its successor. (HL6811)

Tabled on: 08 March 2016

Answer (22nd March 2016):

Lord O’Neill of Gatley:

As set out in Protocol 15, the United Kingdom is under no legal obligation to adopt the euro as its currency. Under the EU Act 2011, a decision by the UK under Protocol (No 15) leading to a decision by the Council under article 140 (3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union would require an Act of Parliament and a referendum result in favour before a Minister of the Crown could support it.

The Prime Minister has been clear that Britain will never join the euro.