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

 

Brexit blockers – or not??

Mrs May’s few hints about her proposed Brexit strategy have been enough to cause a slight fall in sterling and to generate a great deal of media speculation. In reality, she has given so little away that in CIB’s opinion, the wisest course of action is to wait for her to provide some more detail rather than trying to second-guess her plan and probably getting it wrong.

It is inconceivable, as we pointed out a couple of weeks ago, that a lady with a reputation for studying the facts carefully before coming to a decision, is unaware of the possibility of retaining single market access while limiting freedom of movement – the so-called Liechtenstein compromise. We will hopefully not have too long to wait before she will give us some idea whether or not this is to be the holding position she will adopt to get us through the Brexit door.

Still, one definite and positive piece of news is the announcement by Lord Fowler, the speaker of the House of Lords, that peers will not obstruct Brexit. “The Lords recognise the primacy of the Commons based on the fact that they are the elected chamber and we are not,” he told the Daily Telegraph last week. “In return most MPs value the check that scrutiny by the Lords provides. We are not here to sabotage legislation – we are here to improve it.”

It would be refreshing if the mood of realism which has taken hold of both major parties in the House of Commons rally has now spread to the Upper Chamber too. One major fear among Leave voters was that the Lords may try to block Brexit, especially given the number of peers who held senior positions in the EU institutions and the general europhilia of the Upper Chamber. Our Patron, Lord Stoddart, has often found himself having to battle hard for the cause of Brexit among largely unsympathetic colleagues.

Before the referendum, a major reform of the House of Lords was in the pipeline. Since the Brexit vote, this appears to slipped down the list of government priorities. Given the consensus that some changes are required to the size and workings of the Upper Chamber, peers may well have realised that obstructing the will of the electorate over Brexit would gain them no favours at a time when some have even suggested the total abolition of the Lords.

If their Lordships may prove more collaborative than some of us expected, the same cannot be said for some sections of the academic community, particularly scientists. Our attention has been drawn to a recent article in Nature magazine written by Colin MacIlwain of Edinburgh. Calling Brexit voters “a loose coalition of dissenters, doubters and right wing jackals”, he says that “researchers together with other groups threatened by Brexit should fight to keep a foothold in the European Union.” So what about democracy, Mr MacIlwain? Over 17 million people voted to leave the EU and we did it because we didn’t want to be governed by remote control from Brussels. Mr MacIlwain wants to find “a route that will keep Britain in Europe where it belongs and forestall its drift to becoming some sort of mid-Atlantic Singapore.” This is the usual remoaner claptrap confusing a political entity with a continent. We may be leaving the EU soon, but for all the lack of detail of her Brexit plan, we can be pretty confident that Mrs May isn’t planning to relocate the country. Dover will still be 21 miles or so from Calais after Brexit!

And why do remoaners love to denigrate Singapore? International Monetary Fund estimates for 2015 put its nominal GDP per capita at US$ 52,888 compared with US$ 43,902 for the UK. The tiny island state has been one of the great success stories of the last 50 years  – and what is more, its springboard to success was its separation from a political union – in this case, Malaysia.

Mr MacIlwain is not the only scientist wanting to overturn Brexit. Anne Glover, a former chief scientific advisor to the President of the European Commission, said that scientists should continue to fight to overturn the vote “by every means necessary.”

One can appreciate the concern of those individuals who feel their jobs may be threatened by Brexit but, as the MacIlwain article points out, the government has promised to provide an extra £2 billion to cover the shortfall in funding of scientific research. To call the Brexit vote a “flight from Reason” as one of his fellow-columnists did in an earlier issue of Nature, is sour grapes, while “we will lose access to EU funds” is merely the pathetic bleating of bad losers. In a fallen world, life is never perfect and no Brexit campaigner ever claimed that leaving the EU would be trouble-free for all and sundry. However, should a nation with a great history like ours be complaining that it can no longer go to a foreign country with a begging bowl to ask for alms?

Peer says UK is no longer a democracy of the people

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)                                                                                          

News Release

3rd November 2016


High Court Judgement a ‘body blow to Brexit’ says Peer

“The UK is no longer a democracy of the people”

The Independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, has described the ruling by three High Court judges that the decision to trigger Article 50 must be voted on by Parliament as “a body blow to Brexit which confirms that the United Kingdom is no longer a democracy of the people because their decisions can be overruled by an arrogant, self-serving elite.”

Lord Stoddart, added:  “If the decision of the British people had been to remain in the EU, I am certain there would have been squeals of horror and outrage from this same arrogant elite, if the leavers had gone to the courts to set aside a clear decision of the electorate.  The legislation that prepared the way for the referendum passed both Houses and on 23rd June the British people gave the Government unambiguous instructions to withdraw our country from the European Union. This could now be ignored. Our democracy is in serious trouble.”

 

“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.”

 

 

 

 

Our Referendum Review exposes Cameron’s latest “deal”

DoYouBuyItDarkerScan(c)MWestrop2015-2

As some of the details of David Cameron’s draft agreement with European Council President Donald Tusk have been published today, the final page of our Referendum Review underlines how poor a deal it will be.  Of course, it is only a draft agreement. It has to be agreed by the other 27 member states at the forthcoming European Council, something which can by no means be guaranteed. However, even in draft form, Cameron’s proposals are nothing like as substantial as what he initially claimed he would be seeking, nor as ambitious as the Conservatives’ promises in their election manifesto. The Conservative MP Steve Baker said what was on offer was so trivial, he accused ministers of “polishing poo”. He is correct. As the chart in the Referendum Review shows clearly, there is no substantial change in our unhappy relationship with the EU. We would do far better by leaving.

Lord Stoddart said today:-

“It is quite obvious that in his haste for a rapid public relations victory, the Prime Minister has allowed himself to be fobbed off with vacuous promises that amount to little or no substantial change and abandoned most of the key commitments he has previously made.”

Lord Stoddart continued:  “So many things are missing from this ‘deal’ that I hardly know where to start.  We were promised that we would regain control over social and employment policy, we were promised an opt out of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, we were promised an end to the EU overriding our common law, we were promised an end to the rulings of the European Court of Justice taking precedence over our criminal law, we were promised treaty changes before the referendum, and reform of the CAP and of EU structural funding.  None of these things appear in this so-called deal.

“Mr Cameron has not even been able to put an end to child benefit being sent abroad to support children who will never live in this country, something about which he was particularly passionate.  The best he has been able to achieve is for the payments to reflect local living standards rather than those prevalent here but the point is that large amounts of money will still be siphoned out of our economy and sent as well as spent abroad.

“It is particularly humiliating to see the Prime Minister begging for our freedom in so many areas and being treated with such contempt by the EU.  If he expects the British people to vote to stay in the EU based on this watery brew, then he is taking the electorate for fools.  If this deal is a victory for Britain, I would hate to see a defeat.”

Government reveals £78.9 billion deficit in trade with the EU in 2014

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)  

News Release

19th November 2015

In response to a written question from the independent Labour peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, the Government has revealed the 2014 figures for UK trade with the EU and which expose a £78.9 billion deficit with the EU.

Responding for the Government , Lord Maude of Horsham, from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said:  ‘The UK’s trade in goods deficit with the EU was £78.9bn in 2014. The overall trade in goods and services deficit with the EU was £61.7bn.’

Lord Stoddart, commenting on the Government’s response, said:  “We are constantly told that EU membership is vital for our trading interests.  The Government’s answer exposes it as a deceit.  The EU countries sell far more to us than we do to them, so we can see who really benefits from EU membership.  Even more seriously, the deficit has to be financed and it is quite clear that much of it comes foreign companies buying up British businesses.  This is not a bottomless form of funding and cannot be relied on indefinitely.  Our trade deficit with the EU has been going on for decades and is something the public needs to understand, when considering how to vote in the forthcoming referendum on EU membership. We need a simple free trade agreement with the EU, not the whole panoply of membership and the huge financial and regulatory costs that come with it.”

Ends

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

From: Written Parliamentary Questions and Answers
Sent: 17 November 2015 17:53

To: STODDART, D Lord
Subject: Written answer to your QWA HL3451 received from Lord Maude of Horsham, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Lord Maude of Horsham, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3451):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the deficit in trade with the EU in 2014 in (1) goods, and (2) overall in goods and services; and how that deficit is financed. (HL3451)

Tabled on: 09 November 2015

Answer:
Lord Maude of Horsham:

The UK’s trade in goods deficit with the EU was £78.9bn in 2014. The overall trade in goods and services deficit with the EU was £61.7bn.

The UK’s total trade deficit is financed by a net inflow of investment in the financial account, for which data is not available on a geographical basis. The UK’s financial account surplus was £89.4bn in 2014.

Source: ONS Pink Book 2015