Fisheries and the complexities of international treaty law

On 29th March, Mrs May invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Article 50 is very clear:- after two years, the treaties (and regulations} cease to apply – at least as far as the departing member state is concerned. The treaties will still apply to the remaining 27 members but not to the UK. However, the “withdrawal agreement” specified under Article 30 section 4b will be applicable to all.

As far as Article 50 is concerned, there are no grounds for any legal challenge, because the UK was only following the treaty obligation by invoking article 50, to which every other member has agreed twice – once when the Lisbon Treaty came into force and once when Croatia joined the EU.

The problem arises because of the need for a “withdrawal agreement” and the Westminster Parliament’s plan to take the EU acquis across into domestic legislation. If no exceptions are made, as far as fisheries are concerned we would have left the CFP through article 50 only for our Parliament to all intents and purposes to subjugate us into what is in effect the CFP in all but name, especially by bringing regulation 1380/2013, (which contains the percentage share-out – otherwise known as Relative Stability – and historic rights) across into domestic legislation as part of the “agreement”.

When the negotiations are finished and the “agreement” done, it will have to be presented in some legal form or other – a treaty or something similar, as the EU is under a treaty obligation to secure a “withdrawal agreement”.

By coming out of the EU legally through Article 50 and then basically going back to what we have just left through the “agreement”, then according to the Vienna Convention on Treaties we could have problems at a later date. as the UK has on its own accord secured the other 27 EU Members’ continuity rights to fish in its waters. These would be very difficult to remove at a later date, even though invoking Article 50 will make the EU treaties and regulations cease to apply to the UK.

It is possible HMG is unaware of this dang­erous situation, but we can be certain French EU negotiator Michel Barnier will know, therefore it is imperative regulation 1380/2013 is not repatriated into domestic legislation, but will cease to apply on Brexit, as per the treaty obligations within Article 50.

Given we will hopefully see the removal of historic right in the 6 to 12 nautical mile zone by terminating the London 1964 Fisheries Convention, it would be tragic if our Westminster Parliament reinstates the present rights enjoyed by EU fishermen to take 59% of our UK resource and thus accelerate the demise  of our coastal communities.

In connection with the “withdrawal agreement” the following Articles of the Vienna Convention apply:-


  1. Subject to Article 103 of the Charter of the United Nations, the rights and obligations of States parties to successive treaties relating to the same subject-matter shall be determined in accordance with the following paragraphs.
  2. When a treaty specifies that it is subject to, or that it is not to be considered as incompatible with, an earlier or later treaty, the provisions of that other treaty prevail.
  3. When all the parties to the earlier treaty are parties also to the later treaty but the earlier treaty is not terminated or suspended in operation under article 59, the earlier treaty applies only to the extent that its provisions are compatible with those of the later treaty.
  4. When the parties to the later treaty do not include all the parties to the earlier one:

(a) As between States parties to both treaties the same rule applies as in paragraph 3;

(b) As between a State party to both treaties and a State party to only one of the treaties, the treaty to which both States are parties governs their mutual rights and obligations.

  1. Paragraph 4 is without prejudice to article 41, or to any question of the termination or suspension of the operation of a treaty under article 60 or to any question of responsibility which may arise for a State from the conclusion or application of a treaty the provisions of which are incompatible with its obligations towards another State under another treaty.


  1. Two or more of the parties to a multilateral treaty may conclude an agreement to modify the treaty as between themselves alone if:

(a) The possibility of such a modification is provided for by the treaty; or

(b) The modification in question is not prohibited by the treaty and:

(i) Does not affect the enjoyment by the other parties of their rights under the treaty or the performance of their obligations;

(ii) Does not relate to a provision, derogation from which is incompatible with the effective execution of the object and purpose of the treaty as a whole.

  1. Unless in a case falling under paragraph l(a) the treaty otherwise provides, the parties in question shall notify the other parties of their intention to conclude the agreement and of the modification to the treaty for which it provides.

My reading of these articles suggests that we would be back to square one, making the share out and rights a treaty obligation once again.


  1. The consent of a State to be bound by a treaty is expressed by ratification when:

(«) The treaty provides for such consent to be expressed by means of ratification;

(b) It is otherwise established that the negotiating States were agreed that ratification should be required;

(c) The representative of the State has signed the treaty subject to ratification; or

(d) The intention of the State to sign the treaty subject to ratification appears from the full powers of its representative or was expressed during the negotiation.

  1. The consent of a State to be bound by a treaty is expressed by acceptance or approval under conditions similar to those which apply to ratification.


I think Article 14 section 2 is dangerous, because we would be bringing the acquis across and turning it into a treaty. Likewise Article 30 section 4b which would mean that the UK has re-established mutual rights and obligations.


  1. A treaty shall be considered as terminated if all the parties to it conclude a later treaty relating to the same subject-matter and:

(a) It appears from the later treaty or is otherwise established that the parties in tended that the matter should be governed by that treaty; or

(b) The provisions of the later treaty are so far incompatible with those of the earlier one that the two treaties are not capable of being applied at the same time.

  1. The earlier treaty shall be considered as only suspended in operation if it appears from the later treaty or is otherwise established that such was the intention of the parties.

Comparing moving the acquis across into domestic legislation with the independence of Ireland and India is of only limited help as both these events predate the Vienna convention.

We are entering uncharted waters in dealing with the EU is untested, as we are not dealing with a sovereign nation but a group of 28 member states, where only one is leaving. It is HMG’s desire to bring the acquis across, the thinking being it will create a smooth transition, which in many cases it will. As far as fisheries is concerned, however, all it will do is re-establish a right for EU vessels to continue to take UK resource on the same excessive scale. .

The only way resource should be allowed to EU vessels over and above equal reciprocal arrangements is through Article 62 of UNCLOS3. Unless HMG is prepared to start with a clean sheet with a policy policy designed for our mixed fishery, fisheries Brexit will never be achieved.

What we now know and what we don’t know

Mrs May has finally delivered he much-awaited speech setting out her Brexit plans.

So what do we know?

We know that she has set herself a very ambitious timetable if she is to secure a deal within the two-year timescale stipulated by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, especially as she has promised a Parliamentary vote on the final deal.

Some of the points she mentioned come as no big surprise. We will no longer be subject to the European Court of Justice. “We will not have truly left the European Union if we are not in control of our own laws”, she said. We could also have taken it as read that she does not want to see any hard border reinstated between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

It was no surprise that she expressed a determination to restrict immigration, openly acknowledging that it was a big concern for many during the referendum campaign. “The message from the public before and during the referendum campaign was clear: Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe. And that is what we will deliver.

So how does she propose to deliver this greater control? The balance between immigration control and access to the Single Market was  the most keenly-awaited aspect of the speech. The answer is that she wants maximum access to the EU for our companies without being a member of the Single Market. The Norway and Liechtenstein options appear to have gone out of the window. “I want to be clear. What I am proposing cannot mean membership of the  Single Market….Being out of the EU but a member of the Single Market would mean complying with the EU’s rules and regulations that implement those freedoms, without having a vote on what those rules and regulations are. It would mean accepting a role for the European Court of Justice that would see it still having direct legal authority in our country. It would to all intents and purposes mean not leaving the EU at all.”

So what will replace our single market membership which will enable us to maintain our trade with the EU? These were her words:- “Instead we seek the greatest possible access to {the single market} through a new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement. That Agreement may take in elements of current Single Market arrangements in certain areas – on the export of cars and lorries for example, or the freedom to provide financial services across national borders – as it makes no sense to start again from scratch when Britain and the remaining Member States have adhered to the same rules for so many years…..I …want tariff-free trade with Europe and cross-border trade there to be as frictionless as possible.”

However, things start getting a bit confused at this point. “I do not want us to be bound by the Common External Tariff.  These are the elements of the Customs Union that prevent us from striking our own comprehensive trade agreements with other countries.  But I do want us to have a customs agreement with the EU. Whether that means we must reach a completely new customs agreement, become an associate member of the Customs Union in some way, or remain a signatory to some elements of it, I hold no preconceived position. I have an open mind on how we do it. It is not the means that matter, but the ends.” Her options as far as the customs union is concerned may be very limited. Interviewed on BBC Radio Four’s World At One programme, the German MEP Elmar Brok was adamant that there could be no “associate membership” of the Customs Union.  

Mrs May did not go into too much detail about future cooperation with the EU on criminal justice issues. “A Global Britain will continue to cooperate with its European partners in important areas such as crime, terrorism and foreign affairs…..With the threats to our common security becoming more serious, our response cannot be to cooperate with one another less, but to work together more. I therefore want our future relationship with the European Union to include practical arrangements on matters of law enforcement and the sharing of intelligence material with our EU allies.” Hopefully the end of our  membership of Europol, no more welcome for any Eurogendarmerie on UK soil and the end of our involvement with the flawed European Arrest Warrant.

Her insistence on a phased approach – an orderly Brexit (the final point in her speech) – suggests that she is keeping some cards up her sleeve. She insists that “it is in no one’s interests for there to be a cliff-edge for business or a threat to stability” and although ruling out “unlimited transitional status” she did not specifically exclude  a limited transitional arrangement.

Furthermore, although rejecting EEA membership, she said nothing about a shadow EEA arrangement – in other words, behaving as if we are in the EEA, which is an agreement and not an organisation. This would mean applying EU standards to all our exported goods. As she plans to repatriate the acquis, this is by no means impossible as the EU standards would still apply. Under the rules of the World Trade Organisation, if exports conform to the standards of the country that it is being exported to, their entry cannot be refused. Since 1992 the EU has been legally bound to accept global standards, so if it refused to do so, we could take it to court.

Another option which has not been openly discussed but should not be ruled out would be to use Australia’s relationship with the EU as a model. In 1997, Australia’s government signed a joint declaration on EU-Australian relations, followed two years later by a Mutual Recognition Agreement. The UK could do likewise, or make a unilateral declaration, up to and including a commitment to full regulatory harmonisation.

In short, there is more to come. She has clearly not revealed her hand totally and some commentators reckon that the what has been dubbed a “hard” Brexit may turn out, as further details ares revealed, to be not as “hard” as some have concluded. Anyway,  we will await further developments with interest.

“Repatriation” of EU law into UK law – what does it mean?

Although the proposal to “Repatriate” EU law into UK law has been made both by the hardest of Brexiteers and by the Prime Minister, many independence campaigners are still distinctly uneasy at the idea that large parts of the “Acquis Communautaire” being incorporated onto our statute books as Britiish legislation, for later amendment,  replacement or repeal if thought desirable.

Perhaps this note will help to explain the reason why this is necessary and dispel unfounded fears.

We are in a similar position to the newly-independent Parliament of the Irish Free State in 1922 when it enacted its constitution. Although the situation of  the United Kingdom government and Parliament vis a vis the institutions of the EU is by no means identical to that of the Irish Parliament of 1922 to the British government of the day, there is sufficient similarity in the situation, as a Great Repeal Bill is promised and its wording will be scrutinised.

With regard to the “nationalisation” of EU laws to the British statute book, Act No.2  of 1922 in the newly independent Irish parliament adopted all the laws from the Westminster Parliament to be effective in the Irish Free State and enforced by its institutions. To have done anything less would have left an impossible legal vacuum.

A similar thing would happen here on a lesser but significant scale, if (as some suggest) we simply repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and abrogate the treaties.

Amongst other things, there would be no laws at all to protect food safety and no legal basis for the Customs and Excise.  These both presently  stem from regulations made in Brussels, not Act of Parliament and would instantly cease to exist if the U.K. simply “walked away” from its treaty obligations and repealed the European Communities Act 1972.

We do have time during the two-year negotiating period of Article 50 to highlight some legislation to exclude from the “nationalisation” of EU law, in particular fisheries, where there is no need to pursue a shadow version of the disastrous Common Fisheries Policy. Unlike, for example, food safety or bathing water standards, where we would have no laws at all if we did not incorporate the acquis into UK law, we are in a different position with fisheries. Making an exception gives us complete control over our national waters and than chance to bring in a much better  fisheries management system.  Similar considerations apply with agriculture.

See also the attachment A Time Like Never Before from our last CIB members’ newsletter. The Prime Minister has decisively rejected any harebrained scheme to renege on treaty agreements and also promised a Bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972  when the agreed settlement is in place. We will then finally be out of the EU which, after all, is our main objective. The tidying up can come later!

An open letter to the peoples of Turkey, Albania, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro


Dear citizens of countries considering joining the European Union,

We wish to distance ourselves from Boris Johnson, our Foreign Secretary, who recently said he will continue to support Turkey’s desire to join the European Union.

We believe that, instead, he should have been telling his Turkish hosts that we voted to leave the EU in last June’s referendum because the EU is not a good organisation to belong to.

We are not the only people who don’t like it.

  • British holidaymakers visiting some parts of Italy found themselves cheered by the locals because of the Brexit vote. They want a referendum too and if they are given one, it’s quite possible they would vote to leave.
  • In France and the Netherlands, parties critical of EU membership have seen a massive surge in support during the last few years.
  • In the Czech Republic, less than a decade after the country joined the EU, their former President,   Václav Klaus, published a book saying that his country should leave the EU

Why, then, do you want to join a club of failures that is falling apart?

Why do you want to surrender control of your country?

  • If you join the EU, you will not be able to send your own representatives to many international bodies. Instead, someone from the EU will attempt to represent yourselves and the present 27 countries. How can one person be a voice for so many conflicting interests? Rest assured, your concerns won’t get much of a look-in
  • If you join the EU, you will eventually have to adopt the €uro, which has caused widespread unemployment and misery in countries like Spain and Greece.
  • If you join the EU, you will find yourselves plunged into a heated debate about migrant quotas which is causing bitter division between the old EU countries and some new member states
  • If you join the EU, you will have to put something like 170,000 pages of the EU Acquis Communautaire onto your country’s statute books
  • If you are a small country, your voting weight in the EU institutions will be pretty limited.
  • Yes, you will receive some money from the EU’s various funds, but don’t be fooled. You are being bribed to give up your freedom.
  • Your national political institutions will be progressively hollowed out, with more and more power being handed over to Brussels
  • You will be subject to fines from the European Court of Justice if you breach EU rules
  • You will find yourselves fighting a rearguard action to prevent powers to tax and spend being taken away from your own elected representatives,

Is this really what you want?

We voted to leave the EU because we believe there is a better way forward

We voted to leave because we don’t think the EU is viable in the long term – and with good reason. Just look at Belgium, the country where so many EU institutions are based. Its two main constituent communities, the Walloons and the Flemish, still don’t get on after over 180 years. What chance, then, of building a successful stable federal superstate with 30 or more different countries?

If you want to trade with the EU, why not join the European Free Trade Association, which could offer you access to the Single Market without getting sucked into a political project?

Its four members, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, know they are better off outside the EU.  Iceland and Switzerland were potential candidates for EU membership for some years, but have now withdrawn their membership. It has nothing positive to offer them

We voted for Brexit on June 23rd because we know we will be better off outside the EU

So please don’t take any notice of Boris – you will be better off too!

One final point:- If you ever join the EU but later have second thoughts, think of our situation. One expert has described the complexity of the forthcoming Brexit negotiations as “mind-boggling.”  We’re not in the Euro, not in Schengen and had more opt-outs from EU legislation than any other member state. If it’s going to be challenging for us, it will be worse for you. Best keep well away and not join up in the first place.

Yours sincerely,

The Campaign for an Independent Britain

An interesting read while we wait..

While we await the conclusions of the European Council meeting and wonder what exactly David Cameron will emerge with,  this article by Lord Lawson which appeared in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph (slightly amended here), sums up how far the Prime Minister has fallen short of his original objectives.

The Prime Minister has clearly failed to achieve his objectives, and  the time has come for us to leave

In four months’ time the British people are likely to be asked to take the most important decision for the future of our country in their lifetimes. It is not about Europe as such. It is about whether we should remain within a deeply misguided and troubled institution known as the European Union. No one could have been clearer about the problem than David Cameron, in his Bloomberg speech three years ago, when he committed himself to securing a “fundamental, far-reaching reform” of the EU. He has conspicuously failed to do so.

He committed himself to ending the notorious ratchet, and ensuring that “power would flow back to the member states, not just away from them”. He has conspicuously failed on this front, too: not a single power is to be returned to the United Kingdom; and the doctrine of the so-called acquis communautaire, which holds that powers once transferred to the European Union cannot be taken away, remains firmly in place.

He also promised that whatever he did achieve in his negotiations would involve “proper, full-on, Treaty change”, without which they could not be legally binding. No Treaty change has been secured.

The Prime Minister cannot be blamed for the abject failure to achieve his objectives. The European Union is adamant against any change other than further integration. What is unacceptable is presenting the so-called concessions he does appear to have secured, which range from the wholly inadequate to the completely meaningless, as constituting success.

Let us have a look at them. He claims that he has secured a “red card” system to prevent new EU legislation that is damaging to the UK. Some red card! The draft agreement states that this will only come into play if and when more than 55 per cent of the EU wants it to – a highly unlikely state of affairs in the first place – and, even if it does, all that follows is that the presidency will put it on the agenda for “a comprehensive discussion”.

He claims to have addressed the serious problem of uncontrolled and uncontrollable levels of immigration by securing what he likes to call “an emergency brake”. Some brake! All that is provisionally agreed is an offer by the EU to allow us to bring in a temporary reduction in the level of some benefits (which no one who has studied immigration into the UK believes would make any significant difference, anyway). This is an offer which the EU would be free to withdraw at any future date – such as after a vote by the UK to remain within the EU.

And as for the City of London, and our ability to flourish outside the dysfunctional Eurozone, we are sternly told that we must “refrain from measures which [in their opinion] could jeopardise the attainment of the objectives of the economic and monetary union” and that “the existing powers of the Union institutions to take action that [in their opinion] is necessary to respond to threats of financial stability” remains untrammelled. We have been warned.

So what was presented as a drive for fundamental reform has turned into an exercise in damage limitation: how to limit the damage that EU membership inflicts on us. And even that has scarcely been achieved. The only way to end the damage is to leave.

As Chancellor, I became increasingly aware that, in economic terms, membership of the EU did us more harm than good. And that was before the arrival of European monetary union, which occurred after I had left office, and which has had such a disastrous economic effect on the EU.

But it is unsurprising that it brings no economic benefit, for the European Union has never been an economic project. It is has always been a political project, with a political objective which we in the UK do not share. That is the fundamental reason, above all others, why we must vote to leave.

That objective is the creation of a full-blooded political union, a United States of Europe.

That is what “ever closer union” is all about. As the 1983 Solemn Declaration on European Union makes explicit, this is not simply a union of the peoples of Europe but a wholehearted political union of the member states.

That is what monetary union is all about. The father of European monetary union was Jacques Delors, the former President of the European Commission. I knew him very well, since before he became President of the Commission he was France’s finance minister and my opposite number. He fully understood that you cannot have a workable monetary union without a fiscal union, and you cannot have a fiscal union without a political union. That was the object of the whole exercise.

Hence the proposal, in the European Commission’s so-called “Five Presidents’ Report” of June last year, for a single Eurozone Finance Ministry and a single Eurozone Finance Minister by 2025. This is clearly not right for us, and we must leave. Otherwise, although we have a notional “opt-out” from the political union, we will still be obliged to accept EU laws framed with this object in mind.

I have been asked “what, then, is your alternative to being in the European Union?” A more foolish question is hard to imagine. The alternative to being in the European Union is not being in the European Union. Most of the world is not in the European Union – and most of the world is doing better than the European Union.

So far as the detail is concerned, the morass of EU regulation, much of which is costly, unnecessary and undesirable, would become UK regulation, which we would then be free to accept, repeal or amend as our national interest requires.

Above all, we would become once again a self-governing democracy, with a genuinely global rather than a little European perspective. We would prosper, we would be free, and we would stand tall. That is what this referendum is all about.

The Common Fisheries Policy – Part 3

We have established in parts 1 and 2 that Parliament itself is the danger to our nation. Parliament has become a middle tier of management through which EU legislation passes (via the European Communities 1972 Act and its additions), to be then administered and policed by the Nation State.

As we observe Prime Minister Cameron do the rounds, for whatever he wants to portray as his reform package to bring about this second tier, it is important to compare what is happening now, to the beginning, 43 years ago, by another Prime Minister – Heath.

On the 17th. February 1972, during the debate in the House of Commons during the second reading of the European Communities 1972 Bill, the Leader of the opposition Harold Wilson, after talking about sugar and New Zealand stated: The fisheries ‘Transitional arrangements’ (Article 100 of the treaty) allows members until 31st December, 1982, to restrict fishing in waters under their sovereignty or jurisdiction. Beyond that date the Commission has the initiative in making proposals, and then the Council: acting on a proposal from the Commission…shall examine the provisions which could follow the derogations in force until 31st December, 1982. It does not say it will or must. The derogation is in force until 31st December, 1982, and the Council has to decide. Unanimity rule? Veto? Whose veto? It really is New Zealand again in the case of fisheries, except that it takes effect a few years later. There is no automatic continuation of the temporary provisions, with a veto on attempts to end them, but the working out of new and conceivably entirely different provisions which could follow. It is worse than New Zealand because with New Zealand there is some commitment to do something. How much is not stated. Here there is no commitment whatever which could follow.”

Wilson was nearly there, but he clearly did not know what happens when a transitional derogation ends. That is, you revert back to what you were derogated from.

Prime Minster Heath replied: “The Leader of the Opposition must surely agree that we cannot go into Europe and take decisions unilaterally, on our own. The question, therefore, if one is dealing for example, with fisheries as far ahead as 1982, is how we can best protect our rightful interests. If it is to be done on a majority decision, then there is a possibility of being outvoted. But if it is a question of a unanimous decision and we have the right of veto, then we have the ability to protect our essential interests. [Interruption.] With respect to hon. Gentlemen opposite, we have the right of veto.”

The Prime Minister seriously misled the House. Instead of explaining how the system works to the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister confusds the issue further, by stating we held the veto, which we didn’t. All the other Members held the veto to stop a replacement derogation being created, which can again only be transitional, (No longer than the original) not permanent.

At the end of Prime Minister Heath’s winding up speech he stated: “If this House will not agree to the Second Reading of the Bill tonight and so refuses to give legislative effect to its own decision of principle, taken by a vast majority less than four months ago, my colleagues and I are unanimous that in these circumstances this Parliament cannot sensibly continue. I urge hon. Members to implement the clear decision of principle taken on 28th October last and to cast their votes for the Second Reading of this Bill.”

So Prime Minister Heath gave the House of Commons false information during the debate on the Second reading, and threatened to dissolve Parliament. He won the vote by 8. If he had told the truth he could have lost.

With Prime Ministers Heath and Cameron it begs the question, did/do they understand Accession Treaties, derogations, and the acquis communautaire? I believe they did/do, but deliberately pull the wool over our eyes.

Heath is now history concerning sovereignty, but little is known about his antics over sugar, New Zealand, and this subject – Fisheries, but he certainly covered up on derogations and made them appear the absolute opposite of what they really were. .

Cameron is doing the same with the acquis communautaire. When he went to Poland recently he gave the attitude of being equal partners.

Mr Cameron was forced to admit that the two nations have not managed to reach agreement on key elements of his renegotiation plan ahead of the Council Meeting

Why should they? If a subject that Cameron wants changing is part of the acquis communautaire, Poland can sit back and do nothing. Why should she negotiate away something that is hers by Treaty, a Treaty signed and endorsed by the British Parliament and voted for by Cameron? Heath gave the impression he held the veto to renew a derogation, Cameron gives the impression that he can make another EU member change the acquis communautaire, when that member was obliged to fulfil, without exception, the acquis on joining.

Remember Poland on joining, was in a similar position to Spain, which had a 16-year transitional derogation against her to stop full rights on fishing. Poland had a 7-year derogation against her for the free movements of workers, but the UK, via Westminster MPs, decided to waive it.

During the second reading of the European Union (Accessions) Bill, on 21st. May 2003, that endorsed Poland’s terms, not one MP voted against.

In that debate Michael Ancram said: “We made it clear all along in this House that we believed in accession and wanted enlargement of the European Community. That was the position of the Conservative party and it is exactly what we have said all the way along.”

The Minister for Europe – Denis MacShane said: “I refer to the free movement of workers. Once the 10 new member states are full members of the EU, all EU citizens will be able to travel freely. People will come and go as they please. Those who want to work here must have jobs to go to.”

and The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – Jack Straw said: “It will attract the workers we need in key sectors. It will ensure that they can work here without restrictions and need not be a burden on the public purse. It makes sense financially, as we can focus resources on the real immigration problems, rather than trying to stop EU citizens enjoying normal EU rights.”

What is it about our Prime Ministers, that they appear incapable of telling and acting within the bounds of truth? They happily sign Treaties and legal documents, then want to renege.