Q: Just say it is late 2018. Britain and the EU have just agreed a Withdrawal Agreement (WA) with us largely under EU control until 2021, losing existing voting power. The future relationship declaration is non-committal. Would there be a second referendum?

 

 

Sacked minister Justine Greening wants a complicated referendum with 3 options – accept the deal, leave with no deal or remain in the EU. Voters would also get a second choice! Sammy Wilson MP responded that voters had already had referendums to reject the EU and Alternative Voting!

BIRDS OF A FEATHER? Greening (Times) and Mandelson (Guardian) both urged a second referendum, but their articles made the same error on being unable to influence EU rules. As former Trade Commissioner Mandelson would know better – this points to their articles being orchestrated.

The government wouldn’t want a referendum. Apart from splitting the Conservative Party and reviving deep public tensions from 2016, it would take up precious Parliamentary time. Organising a poll and appointing official campaigns would be on impossibly tight timescales unless the Brexit date was put back.
The uncertainty might not actually appeal to the EU either! Bureaucrats in Brussels are overloaded with trying to get EU legislation through while the current European Parliament and Commission are still in place and would not relish the possible disruption to their preparations and extra work. However, it was noted that EU leaders quietly agreed to keep MEP seats for Britain in the event that we did not leave before July 2019!!! So, the possibility can’t be ruled out.

The EU (Withdrawal) Act doesn’t repeal the European Union Act 2011 until we leave the EU, but as current plans won’t give the EU new powers, no referendum should be triggered.

It’s a hard call how MPs would vote on the WA. Most Leaver MPs would probably vote for it to ensure Brexit, salving their consciences that it is only a temporary deal and their vote keeps Jeremy Corbyn out of power. Although Tory Remoaners will bawl “worse than EU membership”, they typically fall into line in practice.

With their 2017 manifesto preaching the benefits of the Single Market, Labour MPs might think twice about voting down legislation that kept Britain in it. On balance, a soft Brexit would probably get passed.

Greening’s line that “the final decision” should be for the people and “out of deadlocked politicians’ hands” is a joke. The deal being voted on is only interim (Transition) and the final deal should be ready towards the run up to the 2022 General Election.

Article produced by Brian Mooney of Resistance

Hold on to your hats!

The terms proposed by the EU for a transitional deal, even if this had only lasted for 21 months, are totally unacceptable, as we have pointed out. Our fishing industry would be decimated. However, it seems that the government is now talking about this arrangement lasting more than 21 months.

Opposition  to any transitional agreement on these terms in growing. Mrs May recently received a letter signed by 62 Tory MPs reminding her of the “red lines” in her own Lancaster House speech. These include:-

  • Take full control of UK tariff schedules at the WTO with the power to change them without sign-off from the EU27
  • Enjoy “full regulatory autonomy” with the ability to change British laws and rules unilaterally
  • Be free to start trade negotiations immediately after leaving the EU, which may involve ensuring the UK has the power to discuss the division of the EU’s Tariff Rate Quotas with non-EU trading partners bilaterally
  • Have the freedom to negotiate and sign other trade agreements during the implementation period in line with WTO principles

There has been a much greater level of disquiet about the EU’s terms among backbenchers, as these four points (and other vital issues, such as the end of any role for the ECJ) would not be permitted, but some other MPs were bought off by the assurance that it wold only be for 21 months and then all would be well. The Cabinet meeting at Chequers today could be rather turbulent.

Now this is looking less likely, we could be entering a period of far greater political turmoil. It is hard ot predict what will happen next. Although the majority of Tory MPs supported remain, real headbangers like Anna Soubry are a small minority and most Tories know that they will face electoral oblivion if the government botches Brexit. The stakes are clearly getting higher. However, it may require some senior heads to roll if the transitional blind alley is to be averted. It is a case of holding on to your hats.

Perhaps rather ironically, the combination of the narrow margin of victory in last June’s general election and the remainer-inspired initiative to give Parliament a vote on the final deal may work in our favour. Mrs May dare not force through the transitional deal relying on Labour votes, but she looks unlikely to get it through otherwise. Hopefully, a discreet change of tack will take place to avoid what would be an unmitigated disaster for the PM.

Meanwhile, Anti-Brexit campaigners are planning a six-week blitz in the Midlands and North of England, according  to the Financial Times.  Predictably, George Soros who was neither born in this country nor lives here, is involved.  If anyone comes across such groups canvassing,   we would ask them to be polite, even though it is very tempting to behave otherwise! Thankfully, although remainiacs have been trying to subvert democracy for over 18 months now, there is little evidence of any significant shift in public opinion. As one London street newspaper vendor said recently, most people are sick of Brexit.

In these troubled times, it is encouraging that a group of pro-Brexit academics have come together. We would commend their website Briefings for Brexit to your attention and you may, in particular, enjoy reading this piece by Professor Robert Tombs of Cambridge, which points out how ill-advised the remainers are and that far from being a position of stability, EU membership exposes us to considerable uncertainty. Perhaps one should add that the uncertainty may have increased still further next week with next Sunday’s Italian General Election unlikely to usher in a government with much sympathy for the federalist vision of France’s Emmanuel Macron

Going back to the academics, these people are brave individuals, who have had to take far more flak that most of use here. They will need thick skins, says Dominic Lawson. He mentions one academic who said,  ‘I can’t come out as pro-Brexit, it would make my life impossible here.’
How sad that in many of our once great universities, the very sensible and rational idea that we should once again be self-governing seems to engender such hostility.
But then this reminds us of one important reason why many of us voted to leave the EU. If successful, it could and hopefully will be the start of a massive and long overdue shake-up  of our society, including politics, the media and our entire educational system. The latter will be a particular challenge, but it is encouraging to know that there are a few sane voices out there.

Photo by ™ Pacheco

Hard & soft remainers, education and Brexit

There is no doubt that the vote to leave the EU delivered a very serious kick up the backside to an arrogant establishment so convinced of its monopoly on truth and righteousness that it did not remotely expect that the referendum might show that a majority of the population held a different opinion.

The degree to which even now, “hard” remainers are refusing to come to terms with the result is quite staggering. A recent low was a piece by the Remainiac John Lubbock. Writing in the Independent, he had the audacity to claim that because the EU was founded with the intent of preventing a World War 3, “if you voted to leave the EU, don’t bother to wear a poppy.”  The implication is quite clear. Leavers claim to honour the victims of war but are opposed to the very organisations which were set up to prevent war.

The Independent seems to have established an annual tradition of bashing Brexiteers around the time of Remembrance Day. Last year’s variation on the same theme by Robert Fisk was even worse. “The Entente Cordiale which sent my father to France is now trash beneath the high heels of Theresa May – yet this wretched woman dares to wear a poppy“, he wrote.

Barry Shearman, a Labour MP who has proved a bit of a troublesome individual over some recent Brexit votes, has brought out another odious side to the remainiacs. He recently claimed that “‘The truth is that when you look at who voted to remain, most of them were the better educated people in our country.” There is a very simple reply to this:- such a predominance of remain votes among university students is a damning indictment of our education system. Those who leave school at 18 are spared three years’ additional propaganda on top of the brainwashing they had already received at school and are thus more capable of independent thought.  The Russell Group of Universities, once regarded as the leading further education institutions in the UK, is now among the worst when it comes to restricting freedom of speech, being plagued by no-platforming, safe space policies and many of the other forms of madness which are producing a generation of young people unfit to run a whelk stall, let alone the country.  Thank goodness they won’t have to face the task of leaving the EU.  They would be totally out of their depth. The current government, all educated before this nonsense ruined so many good universities, is making heavy enough weather of Brexit.

And there is no doubt that they will continue to face challenges, as this piece on the likely challenges to the EU (withdrawal) Bill warns us.  However, I would like to make one point which needs to be made in the light of the many concerns I receive that a government led by erstwhile remainers will never deliver Brexit:- some of them have had second thoughts. These include Liz Truss, who said that the turning point for her was when the Treasury’s ‘dire’ predictions of life after the vote failed to materialise. William Hague, hasn’t had quite such a volte-face but said that if a second referendum was held, he would be more likely to vote leave because “you can’t keep changing your mind.”

In reality, while the majority of Tory MPs backed remain, the number of hard-core Remainiacs is actually quite small. There has been much debate about the degree to which Theresa May supported staying in the EU in last year’s campaign, but it is quite clear that the answer was “Not enough for David Cameron” as her contribution to the remain cause was very limited and only took place after quite considerable pressure, earning her the nickname “Submarine May”. After John Major’s bruising battle with the Maastricht rebels in 1992, the party desperately tried to avoid “banging on about Europe” with the resultant internal wrangling which inevitably would ensue. This meant that, especially since David Cameron became party leader in 2005, attempts were made to push the EU issue as much into the background as possible and outright withdrawalism was discouraged.

In the end, Cameron was unable to maintain this uneasy status quo. He conceded the referendum and the rest is history. His successor and her ministers are having to live with his legacy.  It now matters little which side members of her government took in the referendum. The very survival of the Conservative party depends on delivering a successful Brexit. They must sink or swim together.

A Wake-up call

In June’s General Election, a majority of young people voted for the Labour Party. It is hard to prove this statistically as votes are not analysed by age group, but we only have to look at our university towns, which are increasingly Labour strongholds, for evidence. This June, Canterbury, which boasts both the University of Kent and Christ Church University, turned Labour for the first time since the constituency was created in 1918.

From the Brexit point of view, Corbyn’s strong showing – and thus likely survival as Labour leader for the time being – is good news inasmuch as he is at best lukewarm about the EU. On the other hand, those young people who turned out in large numbers to support him are far more Europhile than their new hero, and what is more, the many areas where they do agree with him are a cause of great concern. They revolve around an ideology which, if it was ever implemented by a future Labour government, would take us out of the frying pan into the fire. The uncomfortable reality of how close Mr Corbyn came to No. 10 should act as a wake-up call to those of us who voted for Brexit because we value our freedom.

When I was the same age as Corbyn’s young admirers, the Labour Party contained a solid bloc both of MPs and members whose roots lay more in Methodism than Marxism. A pro-soviet socialist element could be found, but it was widely mistrusted both inside and outside the Parliamentary party. The collapse of the USSR may have been a blessing for the inhabitants of Eastern Europe, but it allowed something equally odious to creep in almost unnoticed – the so-called “Cultural Marxism” of the Frankfurt School. This influential group of Marxist academics came together in the 1920s to analyse why the 1917 Russian revolution failed to spread round the world. They decided that the principal obstacle was Western society, with its Christian foundation. By the 1960s, they had drawn up their battle plan to conquer it, described by one of their young acolytes, Rudi Dutschke as “the long march through the institutions” – subverting society by a gradual take-over of the professions, including educational establishments. The Blair government may have taken Labour away from the planned economy beloved of classic socialists but instead brought political correctness, a typical weapon from the Frankfurt School’s armoury, out from the fringes of so-called “loony left” councils to the mainstream.

Corbyn and his associates, while seeking to bring back the classic tax-and-spend and planned economy of Socialism, are also very much in tune with Cultural Marxism. The thought of such a man seizing power is truly worrying for anyone who values our historic liberties – regardless of his lukewarmness towards the EU. But 40% of the electorate and a still higher proportion of young people voted for him on June 8th. This is the hard fact, even though many of them would not have realised what a Labour victory would mean. After all, many university graduates voted Labour over one issue – the party’s promise to abolish university tuition fees. Many of them would have had no idea of the link between socialism and tyranny because of the way history is taught these days and even fewer realise that it would have been their generation which would ultimately have to spend the rest of their lives footing the bill if Corbyn’s la-la-land spending policy had ever been implemented.

Some, we hope, will become wiser on getting a job. After all, Winston Churchill once said, “If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain.” However, such has been the infiltration of these toxic ideas into our schools that something drastic will be required to rescue our young people from the consequences of the indoctrination they have suffered. Furthermore, Corbyn’s supporters are not just confined to the young or inhabitants of our “vibrant” cities. Evidence even from the pleasant rural neighbourhood where I live points to all too many people with “no brain”, even though they themselves would be badly affected. One study forwarded to me recently suggests that Labour’s proposed land value tax would have resulted in everyone around here being asked to cough up at least £5,000 per year in Council Tax, including my Labour-supporting neighbours.

Can anything be done to save us from this situation? It is very worrying that we are turning out young people unfit to run a cockle stall, let alone the country. What happens when government will fall into the hands of “Generation Snowflake” with their “safe spaces”, no-platforming and propensity to go into meltdown whenever their iPad malfunctions? It would be a gross generalisation to portray all young people – or even all young Corbyn supporters – in these broad terms, but the pathetic pro-EU student demonstrations we saw after the referendum vote a year ago points to there being all too many of them.

What is more, things are getting even worse in our schools. We are now seeing primary schools introducing gender-neutral uniforms or even allowing five-year-olds to decide whether they want to be boys or girls. What will happen when these confused young children turn into adults?

One thing is clear:- these developments have only reached such alarming levels because of either cowardice or complacency  – or perhaps both – within the Conservative Party. Even UKIP has been contaminated, with Suzanne Evans describing herself on her personal website as “Deputy Chair”. Sorry, Suzanne, but in my books, a chair, whether deputy or not, is something you sit on.

The only way to take on this poisonous ideology is to tackle it head on, find its weak spot and assault it on every front. This general election offers yet further proof that no other tactic works. You can’t win battles by offering a diluted version of your opponent’s ideology. The 1950s-style interventionism of the Conservative Party’s latest manifesto not only failed to compete with Corbyn’s 1970’s-style socialist revivalism but did little to enthuse the party’s natural supporters. Mrs May’s team made a mistake in trying to tack left that nearly proved fatal.

So what is the weak spot? It boils down to one word which permeates everything in the Corbynite Left’s thinking – loathing. Given the Frankfurt School’s mission was to subvert Western society, they must have realised that a contended, culturally cohesive prosperous nation was never going to show much enthusiasm for their project. In a country like ours in particular, this therefore called for extreme measures. We must be taught to loathe ourselves and our historic values. Chris McGovern, the Chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, has written extensively on how the school history syllabus has been radically amended with this end in view. Children are taught all about our role in the slave trade but not about our subsequent efforts to stamp it out. Our country’s great heroes like Winston Churchill are airbrushed out of history. In 1995, to mark the 50th anniversary of V-E Day, the Department for Education sent a teaching video about World War 2 to every school in the country. The primary school version lasted 34 minutes   but allocated only 14 seconds to Churchill, stating only that, “People thought he helped the war end in Britain.” The video did emphasise, though, “It was quite sexist in the war.”

And this leads onto another form of loathing – towards all those traits not in conformity with political correctness. The loathing is displayed in a particularly venomous form towards anyone who manifests them today. Try engaging with the PC zealots on the internet and you will know what I mean. The left has hijacked the high moral ground and regards it as its own exclusive property. Anyone who challenges its nostrums must be attacked and if open abuse fails to change their minds, they must be visited by the boys in blue and sent on an equality and diversity course.

Naturally, a generation brought up to believe they are citizens of a country with a loathsome past are not going to believe it has the resilience and resourcefulness to survive as a self-confident self-governing nation, hence the Europhilia of so many young people. Patriotism is anathema. Let us not think that Corbyn’s lack of enthusiasm for the EU somehow makes him a patriot. His refusal to sing the National Anthem and his long-standing close links with the IRA are sufficient evidence to refute any such notion.

Christianity, in particular, is to be loathed although for some strange reason, not Islam – even in its most extreme forms. When the left-wing polemical atheist Christopher Hitchens began to attack Islam, he faced strong criticism from others on the political left. Hichens’ great sin was being consistent with his atheism, but in so doing, he broke a foundational principle of the Frankfurt School – the need for toleration of minorities, even if some of these minorities treat women badly or commit terrorist acts. This redefinition of tolerance pressurises any majority, especially if it holds strong principles, to loathe itself for its alleged blinkered, prejudiced attitudes.

And of course, self-loathing is encouraged in other ways. What is the desire for a sex change but self-loathing? It is unsurprising that, according to the World Health Organisation, suicides have increased by 60% in the last 45 years. In the UK, far more men than women commit suicide. In a world of strident feminism (another Frankfurt School creation), men should loathe themselves, well, just for being men.

Is there anyone who can step into the breach? Thankfully there is. The discussions between the Tories and the Democratic Unionist Party has put the spotlight on a party about which many may have previously known very little, due to a tendency to shy away from the complexities of Northern Ireland’s politics. While the political left is spitting blood at the prospect of any deal which will bring them into the government, here are a group of politicians who have refused to play their silly games. Self-confident and patriotic, opponents of abortion and gay marriage, the DUP is like a breath of fresh air in the confusing political atmosphere of Westminster at the moment. It stands up for our armed forces, supports grammar schools and proclaims patriotism, individual freedom, law and order. When assaulted by the PC brigade, it stands firm. Although not above controversy and the occasional scandal, it has conveyed a far greater impression of responsibility and integrity than any UK mainland-based party in recent years.

In recent conversation, I have heard more than one wistful comment to the effect that, “If the DUP were to put up a candidate here, they would get my vote.” There is a lesson here for all of us. A totalitarian ideology based on loathing can be conquered by people of integrity and conviction who offer an optimistic future.

After one of her resounding election victories, Mrs Thatcher expressed a hope that Labour may never again win power in this country. Some were hoping for a similar result when Mrs May called this snap election. It didn’t come anywhere near happening, but could yet come to pass if enough people wake up and recognise that the big gap in UK politics is not in the mythical “centre ground”, but for a party of freedom and enterprise; a party proud of our country and its great history; a party prepared to expose the lunacy of the left, take its assaults on the chin and battle on until our young people are reclaimed from the Corbynite abyss. Will the Tories finally pick up the long-discarded mantle of Margaret Thatcher? Could UKIP arise from the ashes? Should the DUP step in and field candidates in mainland UK constituencies? Time only will tell, but the full benefits of Brexit will be lost unless there emerges a party unequivocally committed to replacing the politics of loathing with sanity, hope and pride in our country, its historical values and institutions.

This article first appeared in the Euro Realist bulletin.

Sorry, Douglas, but you are a bit premature

Douglas Carswell resigned from UKIP last month and now sits as an independent MP. On his resignation, which was announced a matter of days after Mrs May triggered Article 50, he said “It’s a case of job done…..we have achieved what we were established to do.”

In other words, he felt that UKIP had served its purpose – a theme to which he returned yesterday during a speech at an event hosted by the Institute for Government:- “I think we’ve done our job, and I think we should award ourselves a medal, or a knighthood, and take pride that we’ve won….if you’ve won a battle or a war you disband and you go home”.

But is Mr Carswell right in saying that the job is done? Winning the referendum last June against all the odds was an amazing achievement and the triggering of Article 50 last month to begin our divorce from the EU was a truly significant milestone for our country, but there are still hard campaigns to be fought in the next two years if Brexit is truly to be Brexit.

Many readers will be aware of the campaign by Fishing for Leave to  see a swift denunciation of the 1964 London Convention and the exclusion of all CFP-related legislation from the “Great Repeal Bill” so that we will regain control of all our waters once we leave the EU. While there have been a few positive signs that the Government is listening, a long, hard battle will need to be fought if we are to secure a Brexit that truly means Brexit for our fishing industry.

An equally fierce battle will need to be fought to extricate the UK from the European Arrest Warrant. Chief Police Officers support continuing UK participation in this odious scheme and they have the backing of the Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Last month, the Campaign for an Independent Britain hosted a meeting where legal expert Torquil Dick-Erikson highlighted the grave flaws in the EAW and mentioned some of the miscarriages of justice which it has engendered. Thankfully, there is a growing awareness of this issue among Leave-supporting Tory MPs and Peers, but it will not be easy to force Ms Rudd to climb down.

A third critical issue is foreign policy. Our friends in Veterans for Britain are seriously concerned about our being far too closely linked to the EU’s military policy even after Brexit.  On independence, our foreign policy will inevitably diverge from that of the EU. There may well be instances when we will wish to work alongside them, but we need to keep our distance from the European Defence Agency if Brexit is truly to mean Brexit.

If that is not enough, the battle is not won when we have taken the UK out of the EU. The EU needs to be taken out of  many UK citizens, especially young people. Those of us who took part in debates in schools and universities were made all too aware of the damaging effect of years of pro-EU propaganda. Of course, some europhilia among our young people is very shallow and superficial, revolving around the ungrounded fear that Brexit will stop them travelling around Europe. Such concerns can be easily dissipated by older people relating their experiences of inter-railing in the 1960s, years before we joined the EU.

For some, however, their love of the EU goes deeper and will require somewhat more intensive de-programming. A re-vamp of our GCSE history syllabus is essential as so few young people have any knowledge of our development as a nation. This, of course, will be mean challenging the far too prevalent self-loathing mentality which likes to talk about racism and slavery and generally to demean our great country, ignoring our many remarkable achievements over the centuries which prove that we have the capacity to manage our own affairs – and indeed, to run our country much better without the EU’s “help”.

Mr Carswell’s comments were directed primarily towards his former party. While this website is not the place to debate whether his assessment of the state of UKIP is correct or not, we can but hope that he and those who agree with him will resist any temptation to put their feet up as far as the battle for independence is concerned. The referendum result and the triggering of Article 50 were indeed causes for celebration, but the battle for independence is not over yet.

My old teacher is spinning in his grave

I read an article in Nature journal yesterday.

Now, I don’t want you to run away with the idea that I spend my time browsing the academic scientific literature. I don’t. I prefer history. No, this article was pointed out to me by a scientist friend who was apoplectic about it.

And with reason.

Remember that Nature is regarded by many as the premier scientific journal in the world. It was founded in 1869 and prides itself on being the most cited journal on record. Scientists compete ferociously to get published in it, knowing that their work will be taken seriously as a result.

But the article I will draw your attention to is entitled “Scientists should not resign themselves to Brexit“. It is written by a chap called Colin MacIlwain, a freelance journalist with a degree in “Economics and Social Change in Britain”. You can read the whole thing HERE if you like, but to save you the trouble I will summarise. He says that Brexit will be bad for science, that scientists are jolly clever people, that science is very important and that therefore Brexit must be stopped to make life easier for scientists.

I will leave it up to you to decide if a decision voted for by more than 17 million people should be overturned for the convenience of a few thousand working in one particular industry; I’m more interested in the column itself.

Nowhere does the author offer any evidence that Brexit will be bad for science. Will UK universities suddenly stop doing science? Will vast numbers of scientists be made redundant? Will British industry stop doing research to develop new products? Facts? Data? Nope, none of that.

Instead he falls back on emotional feelings. “The mood in science departments is universally grim”, we are told. And other people are upset too: “It isn’t just EU-born students, postdocs and staff who are unsettled: countless spouses and offspring feel dejected and unwanted in the United Kingdom, too.”

Again, no evidence or data. We just have to take the author’s word for it that a few thousand people are feeling a bit upset.

Helpfully, the author makes his own feelings very clear. He tells us that there was a “loose coalition of dissenters, doubters and right-wing jackals who voted to leave Europe”. Has the author gone out and surveyed a representative sample of Leave voters to reach this conclusion? Apparently not. He is just telling us his views.

But does Mr MacIlwain want to know about our views or our feelings? Obviously not. “Commenting on this article is currently unavailable” we are firmly told.

Sadly this attitude is all too prevalent among the more extremist remainers. They consider themselves better than we Brexiteers, or at least better able to understand the complex issues involved in Brexit. They sneer at us – I particularly like that bit about “right-wing jackals”. They believe that their views should take precedence over ours. They despise the democracy that puts great issues into the hands of the people.

Well, they are entitled to their views. What I find puzzling is that a prestige scientific journal such as Nature should publish an article that is so short on fact and so long on feelings and opinions.

When I was a lad my science teacher was a strict old boy. He caned more of our class than all the other teachers put together. And he had a saying that he drummed into us endlessly. “Facts! Facts! Facts! Science is about facts. Leave your emotions at the door, boy. Here we deal with Facts!”

How he must be spinning in his grave.

Rupert Matthews

Rupert Matthews

Rupert Matthews is a freelance writer and historian. During the recent EU Referendum campaign he served as Campaign Manager for Better Off Out and spoke at meetings from Penzance to Aberdeen, Belfast to Dover. Rupert has written over 100 books on history, cryptozoology and related subjects. He has served as a councillor for 8 years and has stood for both the Westminster and European Parliaments. You can follow Rupert on Twitter at @HistoryRupert or on Facebook as rupert.matthews1.

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