Peer says that the General Election could mean that anti-Brexit Peers have committed the “ultimate act of political hara kari”

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)                                                                                          

News Release

 

19th April 2016

 

House of Lords “badly served” by anti-Brexit Peers as it faces threat to its powers from General Election

 

The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has reacted to the announcement of a General Election by pointing out the threat it is to the future of the House of Lords, following its opposition to the Government’s Brexit legislation.

Lord Stoddart said:  “The House of Lords has been badly served by those Peers who have threatened to delay or block Brexit completely, because their threats have certainly contributed to the Prime Minister’s decision to call a General Election.  Undoubtedly, the Tories will include a manifesto pledge to clip the wings of the Lords by sharply reducing the period by which Peers can block legislation.  They could also propose a reduction in the number of Peers or restrictions on their eligibility to take part in votes.

“Standing up to the Government is one thing but seeking to invalidate the will of the people cannot and should not be tolerated.  Opposing Brexit as strongly as they did may go down in history as the ultimate act of political hara kari by Peers who should have known better.”

Ends

 

The Government will fail the first Brexit test by not scrapping the London Convention

Release: Immediate

 

Words: 382

Contact: Alan Hastings – 07827 399 408

Fishing for Leave recently highlighted the immediate need for the government to denounce the London Convention.

DexEU and DEFRA’s response that “in regard to historical access to waters, no decisions have yet been taken on the UK’s position” and that “we endeavour to reach an agreement…. by the time the two year Article 50 process has concluded”  is pitiful and suggests they have no intention of acting.

As lovely as it was to hear the government reiterate its position of caring for our fishing and coastal communities their response scarcely backs this rhetoric.

The London Convention must be denounced now to secure all access to our waters and obtain the strongest possible diplomatic hand.

This Convention gives historic rights for European vessels to fish in UK waters but only between 6 and 12 nautical miles from our shores.

Failing to scrap this Convention would allow the EU ‘back door’ access to this narrow strip as the convention will still apply to the UK upon withdrawal.

As the Convention requires two years notice it must be denounced immediately, and before Article 50 is triggered, to avoid an overlap allowing EU access to UK waters.

For 8 months there has only been rhetoric and no results. The government is well aware of this issue and their failure to act suggests they have no intention of securing our rich fishing waters.

Why are they not fully committed to securing this strong hand by controlling all access?

If the government does not act immediately on this easy and simple test of Brexit then it evidently has no intention of making a serious stand. The government and MP’s are about to fail this first test on Brexit.

It would show the opportunity of automatic repatriation of an industry, that could double to be worth approximately £6.3bn annually, is to be betrayed a second time. Fisheries will symbolise whether we’ve “taken back control of our borders” and will therefore be the “acid test” of Brexit.

The government must serve notice to denounce this Convention immediately. To demonstrate that it really does intend to repatriate and safeguard the nation’s greatest renewable resource.

If it does not then it looks like we’re going to have a backslide and betrayal of Brexit and that the government is all mouth and no trousers.

There is still time to lobby your MP to act on this – if you want to see our fishing grounds secured please send the letter in this link to them – http://www.ffl.org.uk/letter-to-mp/

Peer reminds House of Lords that “Brexit means leave” and the Government should “get on with it”

Speaking in a debate on the Government’s statement about the G20 summit (07.09.16), the independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has reminded the House of Lords that “Brexit means leave” and that the referendum vote was an instruction to the Government “to get on with it.”

Lord Stoddart made his remarks after listening to a number of Peers making speeches spreading doom and gloom about Brexit and the state of play regarding the preparations for withdrawal.  He added that the electorate “were asked whether they wished to remain or whether they wished to leave. They decided that they wanted to leave. That was an instruction to the Government to get on with it. The great disgrace is that the Government and the Civil Service had not prepared for either alternative. That, of course, is the problem we are facing now.”

The full text of Lord Stoddart’s remarks is as follows:

Hansard – debate on the G20 Summit statement 7.09.16

Lord Stoddart of Swindon Independent Labour

My Lords, I have listened to the debate with great interest. A lot of noble Lords do not appear to know what Brexit means. Brexit means leave. That is precisely the question that the electorate answered. They were asked whether they wished to remain or whether they wished to leave. They decided that they wanted to leave. That was an instruction to the Government to get on with it. The great disgrace is that the Government and the Civil Service had not prepared for either alternative. That, of course, is the problem we are facing now.

But it is not all doom and gloom. There is a great future ahead, as there has been a great, historic past. We should take hold of that. We should not be supplicants; we are a great country and we should use our power for the good of this country and the rest of the world.

I found the second paragraph of page 3 very interesting. Does it mean that the Government are moving towards syndicalism?

 

The benefits of Brexit via the EFTA Route

A fast track two-step Brexit, starting with EFTA Single Market + Opt Outs and then negotiation a Free Trade Agreement could accelerate the UK economy and living standards within 12 months. The European Free Trade Association (www.efta.int) , including Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein enjoy standards of living almost 40% higher than the UK, and also have an economic arrangement with the EU. The Single Market countries have an opportunity to use article 112 and 113 to control immigration, for example:

  • New Eastern European immigrants only get a 1 year working visa, no children, and a points skills system for staying longer ( so reducing downward pressure on wages)
  • Any other Single Market country, has free movement, unless their unemployment rate is 7% or more, in which case, new immigrants only get a 1 year working visa, no children, and a points skills system for staying longer ( so reducing downward pressure on wages)
  • Anyone with a non-UK passport wishing to buy a residential property needs to have lived in the UK for over 5 years ( so reducing rent and house price rises)

Increasing prosperity for the many by:

Ensuring wages rise faster than rents and house prices, so increasing disposable income and spending in the economy

This could be implemented now.

Q: What are other hidden benefits from upgrading to democracy, from our current EU membership?

A: The hidden costs of EU membership can be reduced and realized with self-government, including:

Business – better business cash-flow, since with economies controlled by large cartels, who can pay suppliers late and cash flow problems, then with easier entry into markets, smaller companies can also gain profits in the supply chain, enabling more investment and more even spread of pay, so reducing government benefit spending and so lower taxes

– The EU poor role model will be eliminated, of endless meetings, duplication (e.g. another Parliament in Strasbourg), poor communication, interfering without expertise (e.g. landlocked countries having influence in fishing industry countries), long decision making time, only top down ideas instead of listening to ideas at all levels, wasting public money on big projects that cost more than benefit, groupthink with censorship of other ideas and other problems

– decentralizing of power, could help to also have less large cartel companies – maybe demergers – and more smaller/medium size companies, so helping innovation and productivity increases, and so pay

– incomes rising faster than rents and house prices – so more disposable income, including lowest paid people, instead of current policy of rents and house prices rising faster than pay

Helping low income countries – low income countries could benefit as EU the is protectionist, for example only allowing raw coffee beans into the EU from Africa, to protect EU coffee roasters, so preventing African countries moving up the value chain by adding value and raising standards of living

– easier ability for Eastern European countries economies to grow as controlling new immigration will help keep skills in their countries, including management skills, engineering, legal, building, scientists, health, entrepreneurs, businesspeople

– shift world centre of gravity to democracy and people’s vote makes a difference, in making, amending and repealing any laws

– less interference and distortion in elections in countries, since with less aid money, those politicians in power can get credit at elections for money that came from outside, so deluding people into thinking policies are working, so less aid can help with better policies and less corruption

– better human rights, since respecting boundaries leads to better human rights, for example after the end of communism, people found that those countries that did not respect private property rights (Communism) had a loss of life in the 10 millions, while those that did respect private property rights (military dictatorships) had a loss of life in the 10,000s – all terrible losses – a significant difference

Better government – less corruption in government, with lack of accountability with some EU spending, thus being a poor role model in countries, where public prefer honest government, and no corruption

– better value for taxpayers money, with more competition, as the EU public procurement directive results in lots of new paperwork that small companies cannot afford, so don’t bid anymore

– better global regulations, as individual countries can lobby for regulations which make sense for the UK economic sectors

– higher morale in public sector organisations with regulations that suit the service being provided and less people are promoted with political connections –like the EU system – and more with merit

-less government debt and lower taxes, as less money is used for big projects that are wasteful experiments

– public can look up to their leaders, instead of now, where people look down on leaders – as the EU Parliament is more important than national Parliaments, so restoring self-government could alos help with better people going into politics

– simpler regulations, since the regulations made are only relevant to each country, and not a one-size-fits-all

– maybe help with children’s attention in schools, as countries have noticed a fall in education standards and respect for teachers and adults, since joining the EU. EFTA countries haven’t had many such problems

– less vote buying by politicians, since the EU has signs saying ‘funded by the EU’ when in fact, the money either comes from the country itself or from another country, who does not currently get recognition for aid

– new ideas looked at, since the ‘one party state’ thinking is gone and the ‘EU mind guards’ are gone, so simple questions like ‘what did we change?, what did we used to do?, what do other countries do?, what off-the-shelf alternatives are there? How are we evaluating the positives and negatives of any changes? Who benefits from the previous changes, who loses?’ can be asked.

– with the top-down thinking from the EU gone, people could feel free to suggest ideas again to managers and team members – instead of thinking it would be  a waste of time – so helping improve service, quality, productivity and morale

– better chance of politicians listening to people’s opinions including the majority opinion, since the EU role model is poor with, for example, the UK only having 10% of seats, so 90% have other interests – so with self-government, 100% of politicians make the laws, and avoid special interest groups/cartels overruling majority opinions

– ability to have direct democracy, petition/referendum, since the results cannot be overruled by the EU

– each country is a unique ecosystem, with unique history, culture written and unwritten rules, evolving in its own way

As we can see from government actions, that spending on ‘white elephants’ to give contracts to cartels is still happening even after

In short, liberty is something that cartels of power, economic size and wealth do not easily release, so taking the initiative with promoting an alternative, EFTA, and a step-by-step approach to local MPs and media, can help the Brexit process speed up and realise benefits soon for all income groups, and the people who voted Brexit.

The anger about that Government leaflet

Understandably, we have recently received a number of e-mails from people furious that the Government is going to spend £9.3 million of our money producing a 14-page colour brochure telling us how good the EU is. If you wish to sign a petition against it, here is the link. Already over 100,000 people have signed, which is sufficient to oblige Parliament to “consider” the matter for debate but regrettably, it is not likely to have any effect.

On a more positive note, we are very thankful to those supporters who have directed their anger into a donation, enabling us to produce more material to counter the government’s arguments.

What does the brochure actually say?  From what others have gleaned, much of it extols the virtues of the Single Market, which, of course, we could continue to access from outside the EU by re-joining EFTA and availaing ourselves of the European Economic Area agreement. EEA/EFTA also knocks on the head the predictable fear tactics which the leaflet contains, e.g.,

“Voting to leave the EU would create years of uncertainty and potential economic disruption. This would reduce investment and cost jobs. The Government judges it could result in 10 years or more of uncertainty as the UK unpicks our relationship with the EU and renegotiates new arrangements with the EU and over 50 other countries around the world.”

Unfortunately, any pro-leave group without a credible exit plan is going to be vulnerable to this sort of tactic, as Richard North argues.

Remarkably, we are still hearing of undecided voters who are coming down in favour of withdrawal, but a convincing victory is going to be very challenging as long as this vulnerability remains. Some people may distrust the government so much that they won’t believe a word of the brochure, but not enough. Withdrawal from the EU can be risk-free with the EEA/EFTA option, but unless our fellow-countrymen are made aware of this, all too many of them may fall for the Government propaganda.

European Odyssey by Edward Spalton

From Moderate Support to outright Opposition to the EU Project

 I was a few years younger than this audience when I first heard about the institution which is now the European Union. I was on a school trip to Germany and the German boy, who was my host, asked “Have you heard about our Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft? It will guarantee our living standard”.

Neither his English nor my German was up to translating the word, so an explanation had to wait until we got home. When I mentioned it, several other boys said that their hosts had asked exactly the same question. So it was obviously something they had been taught in school. It was 1958.

Our teacher explained that the word meant “economic community” and it had been created the previous year by a treaty between Germany, France, Italy and the Benelux countries. We talked about it for a while and thought it was a great idea that these former enemy countries were getting together to co-operate with each other and improve their lives. Most boys had fathers or uncles who had been in the war and it seemed a hopeful sign of future peace but we didn’t think of it as something we in Britain would be joining.

“But remember” said our teacher “This shows a big difference between the traditions of England and Germany. You would not be taught a political opinion as fact like that in a British school”.

Of course, when we came to our conclusion that the EU (then the EEC) was a good thing, we did so in total ignorance. We didn’t know what the treaty contained, what institutions (if any) it set up and what its political objectives were. For many years people called it “The Common Market” and thought it was a co-operative trade agreement between sovereign countries.

When I went to work in the Sixties I studied calf rearing and animal feed production techniques with a Dutch company with which our firm made a technology sharing agreement. The Dutch are quite like us and so were their farming and feed production but all their prices for foods were very much higher than ours – things like wheat, beef and milk powder. As an industrial country, Britain had a free trade policy for food with the whole world. The Dutch were in “The Common Market” and their prices were driven up by the high levies and customs duties imposed on food coming from outside Europe. This was the Common Agricultural Policy.

We started to pay these needlessly high prices from 1973 when we joined the “The Common Market”. In 1993 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said “an average family of four in Britain pays approximately and extra £940 a year as a result of artificially high agricultural prices. It will be more today. Just think how much that has come to over your lifetime. Your parents might well have been able to get you through university without a student loan, if they had been able to keep the money in their pockets.

It was this wicked waste of resources – the grain, butter and beef mountains caused by guaranteed high EU prices which first started me questioning the European project.

Those food mountains were dumped on the world market at well below the cost of production, putting many Third World farmers out of business and thus increasing the likelihood of famine as their countries were less able to feed themselves. The cost of that evil has also been borne by your parents’ taxes. Britain’s fishing fleet was destroyed at the same time and is now a shadow of its former self.

So what was the political programme driving this strange policy? It certainly was not merely establishing a “Common Market” – not even one with the rules of a lunatic asylum. I now quote from Jean Monnet who has been called “The Father of Europe”. Addressing the Washington Press Club on April 30 1952 he spoke of the European Coal and Steel Community, the fore-runner of the all-embracing “Common Market”. He said “In this challenging time we are naturally encountering difficulties. THEY ARE THE BIRTH PANGS ATTENDING THE CREATION OF A UNITED STATES OF EUROPE”.

A German politician expressed his view rather more robustly in 1951. Dr. Seebohm, Minister of Commerce in Dr. Adenauer’s government said “Will free Europe join Germany? Germany is the heart of Europe and the limbs must adjust to the heart, not the heart to the limbs”. Germany has continued to be very successful in making the nascent European state to serve its requirements ever since.

“The Common Market”, freer trade between member states and so on were all part of a gradual step-by-step process – abolishing the national democracies of Europe and making them into mere provinces under a single European government with no pretence of democratic accountability. Or consent. That was, is and ever more shall be the aim of the continuing process of European integration as the unelected Commission in Brussels and other institutions gather ever more power to themselves.

As early as 1947 Peter Thorneycroft, later Chancellor of the Exchequer and chairman of the Conservative party wrote in “Design for Europe”

“No government dependent on a democratic vote could possibly agree in advance to the sacrifice that any adequate plan must involve. The British people must be led slowly and unconsciously into the abandonment of their traditional economic defences…..They must not be asked”.

And that is how the EU project has always progressed, running away by stealth from democratic responsibility to the people, to undemocratic institutions in Europe which remain in power whoever you vote for.

Here is a time line of deceit and arrogance by Edward Heath, the prime minister who took us in

1970 THE LIE DIRECT “There will be no blueprint for a federal Europe”

1971 “There is no question of any erosion of essential national sovereignty”

“There are some in this country who fear that in going into Europe we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears, I need hardly say, are completely unjustified”.

1975 “There is no danger of a single currency”.

Yet on 1 November 1991 in an interview with Peter Sissons

Sissons: “The single currency, the United States of Europe: was that on your mind when you took Britain in?”

Heath: “Of course, yes

The deceitfulness of politicians is not uniquely Conservative . Whose election manifesto do you think I am quoting here?

“We’ll protect British industry against unfair foreign competition”

“We’ll negotiate a withdrawal from the EEC which has drained our natural resources and destroyed jobs”. That was Tony Blair’s manifesto in 1983. Gordon Brown’s was the same.

The EU has destroyed British jobs. The cumulative adverse balance of trade amounts to some £300 billion – so our most successful export to the EU has been British jobs – mostly skilled, hi tech, well-paid British jobs. In exchange we have got shelf stacking and spanner and screwdriver work. This is why your job prospects are so poor today. .

The majority of laws passed by our Parliament today are required by the EU. The EU tells the government what laws it must make and the government whips its MPs to vote for them. So it looks democratic but it isn’t. We and our interests do not come into it at all. No wonder the main parties all ratted on their promise of a referendum on the EU constitution, renamed the Lisbon treaty! Parliament is a marionette. We can vote to change who sits there but whilst we remain in the EU, it is not we the people but Brussels which pulls their strings.

Mark Leonard, a convinced Europhile explained the process very well under the heading “How the EU deceives its way to power”

“Like an invisible hand, the EU operates through existing political structures… There are no European courts, legislatures or business regulations on display in London. The British House of Commons, British law courts and British civil servants are still there but they uphold and implement European law. By creating common standards that are implemented through national institutions, the EU can envelope countries without becoming a target for hostility

Does it matter? Mr. van Rompuy, Baroness Ashton, Senhor Barroso and the EU Commissioners are our real government for many of the major policies which affect us all – from world trade and climate change to the way our dustbins are collected and the permitted curvature of our cucumbers.

They may be the kindest, wisest people with only our best interests at heart. But if they or their successors are not endowed with wisdom and good judgement and they do not have Britain’s best interests at heart, what then? They were not appointed democratically and we cannot get rid of them democratically – whoever we send to Parliament, whoever lives in No 10 Downing Street – not as long as we remain locked inside the structures of the EU. So, if you have a form of government and policies which you cannot alter by voting, what have you got? Senhor Barroso calls it an “empire” and we are in one of its provinces.

He should know. He’s president of the EU Commission.

In exchange for giving up any real democracy by imperceptible stages , they promised us economic growth and stability. We haven’t got it, have we? Ask the people of Ireland and the people of Greece. We would be suffering as bad a fate as theirs – destruction of public services and unemployment on a scale far greater than anything we have here, if we too were shackled to the euro currency with an exchange rate and interest rate which did not suit our economy.

When the euro was founded, it was claimed it would be as sound as the Deutsche Mark and no country would be responsible for another country’s debt. Look at it now! We knew then that Greece and the other “Club Med” countries had lied about their finances to get in. So did the EU authorities. This tragedy for these countries is seen as an opportunity by the EU to bring in a single, Europe-wide economic and fiscal government which will be even more anti democratic. The present crisis was foreseen and intended. It is what the EU calls a “beneficial crisis” – for the advance of EU power, that is.

The countries of Europe, however they organise their relationships, amongst each other will always be important trading partners for Britain.

We can be on perfectly good, neighbourly terms with them without being part of a European state. We do not have to become a state of the union to trade with America, nor a province of China to trade with China. It is a big, wide world out there with economies offering far greater prospects than the sclerotic, over regulated economy of the EU, distorted and tortured by the political imposition of an unworkable currency union. Even the EU commission admits that the cost of its regulation is over 5% of EU GDP whilst the claimed economic stimulus of the Single Market is said to be around 1-2%. So, even by its own figure the EU is a drag on all the economies of Europe, equivalent to the whole production of the economy of the Netherlands.

Exports to the countries of the EU account for about 10% of our GNP (although it is declining) and a roughly similar amount goes to the rest of the world (although that is increasing). The remaining 80% is purely domestic and internal. So we are bearing the huge dead weight of EU regulation on 90% of our economy quite needlessly for the sake of what we send to Europe.

The great selling point of the EU was security, prosperity and stability. That has proved to be an illusion. It hasn’t worked, it doesn’t work, it can’t work.

For a timid, obscure, offshore province of an inward-looking, economically declining European Empire, the future is decidedly bleak. Benjamin Franklin wisely remarked that a country which tried to trade freedom for wealth would end up possessing neither and deservedly so.

There is a great, wide world out there, full of opportunity for a confident, free country, trading with the vibrant, rising economies of the developing world and renewing its links with the Commonwealth countries which were so shamefully treated when we joined the EU.

As we have seen, the EU will not bail us out. We are expected to bail it out.

Back around 1983 when Tony Blair committed himself to getting us out of the EU, Ken Clarke remarked “The great thing about Europe is that it makes most of Labour’s policies illegal”. That was Old Labour, of course. It is often forgotten that the principle of market competition is built into the EU, into everything. That is why we have ruinous Private Finance Initiative in the NHS and elsewhere. According to the EU, the NHS is part of an EU market for health services, geared to the interests of corporate business. So is the Post Office and every other public institution.

Even that bastion of the free market, the United States does not have that written into its constitution. So Labour or any other government has no choice but to go along with privatisation. There is an unholy alliance between government and corporate capital, enforced by the EU. New Labour was the EU’s obedient slave. As long as it was wedded to the EU it really had no choice but its enthusiasm for the corporate trough was decidedly unseemly.

This alliance of the power of the state (in this case the EU super state) to that of big business has a name – corporatism. It was how Mussolini defined fascism. Henry Wallace, the 33rd Vice President of the United States knew it well and described its aims thus in the 1940s

“Their final objective, towards which all their deceit is directed, is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection”.

Before we throw away more money (which we haven’t got) into the insatiable, unappeasable maw of a nasty authoritarian state and crucifying currency system, we need to renew our own institutions, especially our Parliament as truly sovereign, responsible to us alone and worthy of respect. Then we can take our place in the world as a moderately sized, decent, independent democracy on good terms with everybody and at ease with ourselves.