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BREXIT NEWS  (Latest appears first)
BBC gives rare chance to UKIP MEP
for simple ‘clarification’ of the Brexit bill question
UKIP MEP and Agriculture Spokesman, Stuart Agnew, was allowed a rare opportunity by the BBC to give a Brexiteer’s views on Michel Barnier’s comments following the latest Brexit negotiations last week. In the 3 minutes he was on TV, Mr Agnew made an impression.
This video may be taken down, so you might want to watch it before it is.       © BBC / YouTube
The BBC’s Christian Fraser asked Mr Agnew: “First of all the financial settlement. He is looking for clarification –”
Stuart Agnew MEP: “Well I can give him clarification. We owe them nothing. We don’t even owe them this [holding up one penny], a penny. There’s nothing in the Lisbon Treaty about a financial settlement at all. This has been pulled out of thin air and now they’re trying to run with this as though it’s an established fact. We don’t owe them anything.”
BBC interviewer Christian Fraser: “Those countries are going to have to pick up that bill. They have to vote this agreement through for it to work and there’s going to have to be compromise on all sides.”
Stuart Agnew MEP: “No, there doesn’t have to be compromise on that at all. They have been net recipients, a lot of those countries. In fact the 20 smallest countries in the European Union, their economies combined don’t match ours. The European Union is going to be losing a massive partner when we go. They should be down on their knees to us, not telling us that we have got to do this, that, and the other.”
The BBC man raised the question of the tone of the language being used by Mr Agnew (“down on their knees”) and by the Foreign Secretary (“whistling for their money”). Christian Fraser suggested that this kind of language is not helpful, and this is certainly a familiar refrain from all Remainers when – rarely – terms like these are used by Brexiteers.
In fact these Remainers should try working in Brussels, as Mr Agnew does. They should try sitting through the interminable committees and plenary sessions of the European Parliament, and hearing the nonsense on offer every day.
Remainers could even try going through as much EU material as we do on a daily basis. Then maybe they might understand the sheer frustration engendered by exposure to EU-babble. They might also learn a thing or two, and maybe they might even start to realise that the European Union that they think exists, does so only in their imaginations.
We defy any rational British person with a ‘normal’ job, to spend a week working in Brussels – at the EU Commission or parliament – and not come back reeling from the illogicality and insanity of it all. Eurocrats and Euro-politicians simply don’t live in the real world.
Some of the craziness from the EU is so crazy that the only effective way to combat it is by being as 'un-English' as possible. We completely understand why Stuart Agnew was direct in his language. He has learnt that if you are polite in the face of patent absurdities, the person uttering them will never realise how ridiculous their views really are.
Naturally we generalise just as Mr Agnew did last week, but that’s because he and we have to make quick and simple points. We live and work in a world dominated by Remainer opinions being seen and heard on the television to the detriment of all else.
It can often be difficult to get through to the public with the reality. Thank goodness for the internet.
Your comments are welcome, as always.
Please consider supporting us financially. We get no funding from any organisations and desperately need your support to carry on fighting for a clean Brexit.
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[ Sources: BBC ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.05am, 24 July 2017
UK’s debt position improves, ‘despite Brexit’
At the end of the first quarter of 2017, the government debt to GDP ratio in the Eurozone stood at 89.5%, a worsening compared to the end of the fourth quarter of 2016.
Chart © Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2017
This is according to data released last week by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, and analysed by Facts4EU.Org.
The highest ratios of government debt to GDP at the end of the first quarter of 2017 were recorded in Greece (176.2%), Italy (134.7%), and Portugal (130.5%).
Compared with the fourth quarter of 2016, the worst performers in the last three months were the Czech Republic (+3.1 percentage points – pp), Luxembourg (+3.0 pp), Croatia (+2.6 pp) and France (+2.3 pp).
Conversely, and ‘despite Brexit’, the UK’s ratio improved by -1.3 percentage points.
The EU’s statistical office doesn’t record its feelings about the performance of its home base (and home of the EU Commission). Unfortunately the ratio in Belgium is an unhealthy 107.7%. That’s worse than in the previous quarter and 19.7 percentage points higher (worse) than the UK.
Sadly, neither does Eurostat explain how it is that the UK - the bad boy of the EU and a country which by now should be on its knees financially - saw an improvement in its ratio of government debt to GDP in these latest figures.
Let’s just say that again for any Remoaners who may be listening: ‘The Brexit Kids Done Good’.
‘The Bad Brexit Boy of the EU’
Macro-economic data is produced all the time and it goes up and down. The main thing to draw from the data since the UK voted to leave the EU is that Brexit has not resulted in the immediate economic car crash confidently threatened by Messrs Osborne, Cameron, and their friends in the entire British and international Establishment.
The vast majority of economic news in the last year has been positive, despite the concerted and repeated attempts by so many commentators (not least at the BBC) to suggest otherwise.
Now there’s nice thought to enjoy on a summer Sunday in our great country.
Your comments are welcome, as always.
Please consider supporting us financially. We get no funding from any organisations and desperately need your support to carry on fighting for a clean Brexit.
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[ Sources: Eurostat ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.40am, 23 July 2017
    WE SAY TOM-AR-TO....
Jointly-produced document shows the gulf between the UK and the EU27
on citizens’ rights.
Following the second round of Brexit negotiations last week, the combined UK-EU Working Group on citizens’ rights was the only one to produce a paper showing each side’s positions on all the key elements of any future agreement between the UK and the EU27.
You can download the document here, but for those with limited time we have prepared a screenshot which demonstrates the amount of disagreement between the two sides.
Graphical representation of all the 'red' areas of disagreement
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
In the language of EU bureaucrats:
“Green indicates convergence, red indicates divergence and yellow indicates where further discussion is required to deepen understanding”
In normal language:
“Green=Okay, Amber=Some compromise is possible, Red=Forget it”
If this were a business negotiation, we would hone in on the red issues to see if there were any way a deal was going to be done. If it rapidly became clear that no deal was possible, this would save a great deal of wasted time on minor issues.
The biggest red issue on citizens’ rights is the EU’s demand for jurisdiction of the CJEU (European Court of Justice). It is - and always will be - unacceptable to have any EU court or similar body exercising judicial power in the United Kingdom.
The British people voted to leave the European Union, meaning the United Kingdom will once again become an independent and sovereign nation, like the vast majority of the 200-odd countries around the World.
For the EU as a foreign power to demand to exercise any judicial authority in the UK’s affairs is wholly unacceptable and is not something on which compromise is possible. For the avoidance of doubt, this also excludes any idea of a quasi-EU body such as the EFTA court or similar having any role.
EU citizens living in the UK should be perfectly happy to be governed under UK law, just like the citizens of the UK itself. There can not – and should not – be two laws operating in the UK.
The UK government needs to make this point very loudly and very clearly, so that negotiations can then proceed with the EU being fully aware that this is the case.
Your comments are welcome, as always.
[ Sources: DExEU | EU Commission ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       08.05am, 22 July 2017
Name: Anon Reader, UK      Date/Time: 22 July, 08.44am
Message: I would go further than this. The EU citizens rights no longer exist after March 2019 when the UK becomes a non-EU member state. All rights given to them (whether equivalent or not) would be enshrined in UK Law and need to be regulated by UK Law. The ECJ should have no involvement whatsoever.
“That sounds like a deal, Michel!”
Barnier’s evidence to the Lords Select Committee is published
The House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union © House of Lords 2017
The House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union travelled to Brussels last week, to take evidence from the EU's Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier and some of his colleagues.
The evidence was published yesterday. Below are three key points, and you can read the full transcript here.
1. Lords agree there should be a Brexit bill payment to the EU
“The media made a big story about the fact that in our view there was no legal obligation, but they did not read the rest of the report, which said that there should indeed be a payment... which I hope, like you, will be sooner rather than later;
“I feel your frustration that they are not coming up with an acknowledgement that there should be a payment.”
Right: Baroness Falkner of Margravine
2. Lords wanted to go back with a deal agreed

Committee Chairman, Lord Teverson
“If you say 12% to 14% and I say 15%, we can discuss it, can we not?” asks Barnier.
The Chairman, Lord Teverson: “That sounds like a deal, Michel!”
3. The Lords want to work for the EU to achieve this
Lord Teverson: “Thank you, Michel. It is good of you to give us a task, un travail, to take back to the United Kingdom. You mentioned the admirable idea of coming over to the UK and shedding light on Europe and what goes on. I think there would be consensus among everyone from the remain and the Brexit campaigns — from both sides — that that is exactly what the referendum failed to do during the campaign.”
Baroness Kishwer Falkner: Born and raised in Pakistan, Kishwer Falkner worked for the Lib Dems in the House of Commons and at Party HQ. She became Baroness Falkner of Margravine in 2004, having been appointed by Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy.
Baron Robin Teverson: Lord Teverson was a Lib Dem MEP who lost his seat in 1999. In 2006 he was appointed a Baron by Charles Kennedy. He currently chairs the Lords Select Committee on the European Union.
The other four members of the Lords Committee who travelled to Brussels were Lord Crisp, the Earl of Kinnoull, Baroness Suttie, and Lord Woolmer of Leeds. They were equally pro-EU in their discussions with Michel Barnier.
These Europhiliac peers should be ashamed of themselves. They quite clearly support the EU over the interests of their own country. Frankly it was nauseating having to read their sycophantic twaddle as they verbally genuflected before Michel Barnier.
Despite failing to come up with any legal justification for the UK to make a ‘single financial settlement’ to the EU on Brexit, they nevertheless are strong proponents of the UK paying a large Brexit Bill.
During the course of M.Barnier's testimony, it was clear that these peers would work in any way possible to secure the best possible deal for the EU, not the UK.
It is our opinion that if these peers of the realm feel the way they do about their country, and if they feel that the European Union is a superior culture and government, then they should immediately apply for Belgian citizenship and start househunting in Brussels.
Your comments are welcome, as always.
Please consider supporting us financially. We get no funding from any organisations and desperately need your support to carry on fighting for a clean Brexit.
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[ Sources: Houses of Parliament ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.10am, 21 July 2017
Name: Paul A, UK      Date/Time: 21 July, 7.12pm
Message: Just how many reasons do we have to have before the House of Lords is consigned to the dustbin?
Name: John Nolan, UK      Date/Time: 21 July, 12.35pm
Message: Its a fallacy that the UK no longer has the death penalty. In fact the death penalty still exists for the crime of treason, hence the lack of prosecutions by the CPS of jihadists returning to the UK because the Crown knows that a guilty verdict would lead to a sentence of death which the public would demand be carried out. All MP's, Lords and other ministers etc, who act against the will of the people are in fact committing acts of treason against the Crown (as Her Majesty is the guardian of the will of the people), and as such should be charged with treason and if found guilty taken out and publicly hanged. These people deserve no pity or mercy and in the very least should have all of their wealth and assets derived from employment with the Crown confiscated.
Name: Andrew, UK      Date/Time: 21 July, 5.48pm
Message: Sorry John Nolan, but you are wrong. Until 1998 the sentence for High Treason (Treason Act 1351) was indeed death. However, that was abolished in 1998 so Blair could sign Protocol 13 (I think it is) of the ECHR. The last working gallows at Wandsworth Prison were demolished.
Name: J Smith      Date/Time: 21 July, 10.01am
Message: These particular Members of the House of Lords have no business trying to influence the negotiations. They are unelected and only have one vote, the same as the rest of us. The current EU negotiations are being conducted by the elected representatives of the British Government, in accordance with the majority Referendum vote to leave the EU. These Lords have no legitimate mandate to interfere. As they obviously like the EU way of doing things, undemocratically, perhaps they should give up their rights to a British passport and move to Brussels immediately. Their persistent whining, just because they did not get their own way, could well lead to calls for the dismemberment of the House of Lords.
Name: Steve R      Date/Time: 21 July, 09.44am
Message: It sounds like things are getting explosif in the Assemblee hommes as well as the Commission's. We can't say M. Barnier didn't warn us. Stay well away and sign no cheques. If the Lib Dems in the House of Cronies want to chip in personally, they are welcome.
says French Economy Minister
French Economy Minister giving evidence to Economic Affairs Committee yesterday. © Assemblée Nationale
“The United Kingdom has a remaining balance to pay to the EU budget of €100 billion.” [£88 billion]
French economy minister issues bizarre red-line demand to UK.
“The UK must pay what it owes – that’s a non-negotiable condition at the start of the discussions.”
The French economy and finance minister (the equivalent of the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer) is Bruno Le Maire. Yesterday he was giving evidence to the Economic Affairs Committee of the Assemblee Nationale, the French parliament, when he made his extraordinary statements.
The intervention was clearly deliberate, as he switched into stilted English to say:
“We want our money back”
This was a rather clumsy reference to Margaret Thatcher’s fight to secure a rebate from the UK’s very high annual payments to the EU in the 1980s.
Right: Former Prime Minister, Lady Thatcher
Earlier in the session, M. Le Maire talked about France and Germany making quick strides towards economic union, which we will report on tomorrow.
It remains the case that the EU has been unable to come up with any legal justification whatsoever for its demand that the UK make a ‘single financial settlement’ to the EU, on Brexit.
For the EU to want money to help to get itself out of a hole is quite understandable. After all, the UK has been bankrolling the EU every year and the EU27 will certainly miss the UK’s largesse.
However, wanting money and being owed money are two different things. Given that there is no legal justification at all for the EU’s strange demands, we take a similar view to that of the Foreign Secretary regarding the suggestion of the EU whistling for it.
Mr Barnier may hear the sound of a clock ticking. We hear the sound of a desperate organisation on its uppers, clutching at absurd arguments which the rest of the world will find bizarre.
Your comments are welcome, as always.
Please consider supporting us financially. We get no funding from any organisations and desperately need your support to carry on fighting for a clean Brexit.
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[ Sources: L'Assemblée Nationale | Reuters | Le Figaro ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.

       6.05pm, 20 July 2017
Name: Paul A, UK      Date/Time: 21 July, 7.16pm
Message: Perhaps we could present them with our invoice for rescuing them in WW11 up to to the day we walk out of the EU?
Name: John Nolan, UK      Date/Time: 21 July, 12.41pm
Message: These demands are the demands of the desperate. The French politicians know that after Brexit their fishing and agriculture industry will be virtually destroyed and many farmers and fishermen will go bankrupt. This in turn will cause mayhem within France and the French government's promises to the French population about how well they will protect them and how they do not need UK or UK markets etc will be clearly shown to be bunkum. They fear this discord and wish to blame the UK for the crash of these industries just like they sought to blame the UK for deserting them at Dunkirk. It's a great excuse with theatre.
A Facts4EU.Org Opinion
Not a day goes by without the fundamental nature of the decision of the British people to leave the EU being questioned in some way.
When former Prime Ministers talk of needing a second referendum to correct the mistake of the first, and when the enactment of the majority decision is referred to as ‘the tyranny of the majority’, it is clear that we mustn't stop fighting.
“It can be stopped if the British people decide that, having seen what it means, the pain-gain cost-benefit analysis doesn’t stack up,”
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair,
speaking to the New Statesman.
“The tyranny of the majority has never applied in a democracy and it should not apply in this particular democracy,”
Former Prime Minister John Major,
speaking to the Times.
“We should give every youngster under 30 a weighted vote of twice the value of everybody else, because it’s their future.”
Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg,
speaking in Derbyshire July 2017
3.3 million more voters voted for Brexit, than for any government in the last 30 years.
It was the single biggest mandate in the UK, ever, for anything.
The message to the Establishment is simple: You lost. Now get over it and get behind your country as it negotiates its way to a bright new future in the World.
Below is a reminder of what a decisive mandate looks like.
The above shows the number of votes for the winning side in the national votes of the last 30 years
[ Sources: Electoral Commission | House of Commons Library | The Times | New Statesman ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.

       05.35am, 20 July 2017
Regular readers know that we cover the full range of issues in relation to Brexit. In the last month we've written more stories than usual about defence.
A reader emailed to request that we produce a summary of links to recent defence pieces and we're happy to oblige below.
SPECIAL REPORT: How the UK government signed up to EU defence forces post-Brexit
Regular readers know that we cover the full range of issues in relation to Brexit. However in the last month we've written more stories than usual about defence.
We've done this principally because the British public are not being informed of what's being done in their name. The issues are complex and regrettably they are almost never covered on the TV news - which remains the principal source of news for most Britons.
We hope you've found the articles useful. Your comments are welcome, as always.
[ Sources: EU Commission | NATO | EU Council | UK Parliament | Veterans for Britain | and many other bodies ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.

       04.00am, 19 July 2017
By David Banks of Veterans For Britain, writing for Brexit Facts4EU.Org
© EU Commission
1. It threatens UK autonomy in defence procurement decisions
How? UK companies are tied into defence procurement deals which require adherence to EU defence policy and European Defence Agency (EDA) membership. When the UK leaves these, it regains defence autonomy. But the companies will be hostages to EU policy and political pressure from Brussels.
2. It gives the EU new leverage in the Brexit talks
How? The agreements are an additional set of UK commitments. These will be harder to unravel post-2019. They cover defence command structure, intelligence, defence finance and defence procurement.
Once signed up, the UK loses its ability to negotiate a deal that best suits an independent country.
Worse, as a key military power the EU wants our support, but we will have handed it over without gains in other Brexit areas in return.
3. It commits the UK to legal merger of defence capabilities for at least two years
How? It means refusing to even begin discussing UK disengagement from recent defence agreements until after March 2019. Exit talks first, future relationship second. That could take months or years and will keep the UK tied in for the duration of a transition deal, during which the UK will still be a member of the European Defence Agency and applying Common Defence Policy.
4. It hinders our exit from the European Investment Bank, the EU state bank, created to "further EU policy goals"
The new EU policy means linking UK membership of the European Investment Bank (EIB) to defence, making it more difficult to leave the European Investment Bank, which is an organisation closely association with supporting EU policy with considerable UK financial assets but for limited UK gain.
5. It adds a ‘gravitational risk’ to the UK for the start of defence talks in 2019, which are intended to take us closer to EU defence union
How? Since the UK is already part signed up, it feeds future calls for the UK to remain in the EU's centralising military strategy, removing the UK's ability to take independent action in defence and defence procurement to save jobs and expertise.
6. It threatens NATO
The European Commission's European Defence Action Plan repeatedly asserts the EU's 'strategic autonomy' in defence.
"The EU will continue to work closely with its partners, particularly with the United Nations and NATO, while respecting the autonomy of the EU’s decision-making processes."
The EEAS's Security and Defence Implementation Plan, as well as the EU Council conclusions from March, May and November 2017, repeatedly refer to the development of EU strategic autonomy in defence.
The EU is pursuing four separate funding streams that partly claim authority over member states' national defence budgets and joint financial assets. The decision making over these funds and their conduct will be done within the EU remit, not through NATO.
The protagonists of EU defence union have outlined areas in which NATO has not served the objectives of then EU. Ursula Von Der Leyen, German Defence Minister, justified EU defence union by citing NATO 'inability' to intervene in the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Africa. This helps explain why the EU is moving towards developing common pooled EU assets. It already has collective assets such as its Satellite Centre, and a Space Policy to go with it.
7. It is completely unnecessary for the UK to be involved, yet EU Commissioners have
    told the UK Govt it is expected to "play its full role".
Denmark, an EU member state plays no part in EU defence because it opted out. The UK should have insisted on the same deal.
Diplomats and Ministers thought they were "nurturing good will" by playing along, but that's not how the EU works. It's an acquisitive project that exploits every opportunity behind momentary consensus.
The EU Commission has told the UK that because "decisions over EU Defence Union were taken unanimously", the UK is expected to "play its full role while it remains a member".
By David Banks of Veterans For Britain, writing for Brexit Facts4EU.Org, published 3.30am, 19 July 2017
Name: J Allen, UK      Date/Time: 19 July, 08.23am
Message: As we are now defence wise, effectively joined up by the hip, thanks to this bounding. Is there a exit clause, a way out or has our idiotic government permanently bound our defence with the EU?
Recently the EU revealed the true extent of its confusion about its existence. It published 5 options for its own future and asked for people’s opinions on which way to go.
  • 5 possible EU’s proposed by EU Commission in White Paper
  • Remoaners can’t say which one will win
  • Decision to be made in 2019 – after UK has left
  • Voting ‘Remain’ could have resulted in any one of these 5 ‘destinations’
  • No EU citizens will get a vote on this
As President Jean-Claude Juncker said of their current navel-gazing exercise: “This should help the European Council draw first conclusions by the end of the year and decide on a course of action to be rolled out in time for the European Parliament elections in June 2019.”
British voters will therefore not know which EU they would have been staying in, until the second half of 2019. Some of these ‘destinations’ would involve massive changes to the EU, and if any of these are chosen it would take decades after that before such a revised or reformed EU could be delivered.
Right: EU Commission President Juncker
Here are the 5 options, as described by the EU Commission:-
1. Carrying On:
The EU27 focuses on delivering its positive reform agenda
2. Nothing but the Single Market:
The EU27 is gradually re-centred on the single market
3. Those Who Want More Do More:
The EU27 allows willing Member States to do more together in specific areas
4. Doing Less More Efficiently:
The EU27 focuses on delivering more and faster in selected policy areas, while doing less elsewhere
5. Doing Much More Together:
Member States decide to do much more together across all policy areas
Below is an EU Commission schematic, showing the effect of each type of EU on various policy areas. [Please note that this has been worded very carefully by the Commission and we would have written it up very differently.]

© EU Commission 2017
The EU Commission wrote a 32-page White Paper setting out the five types of EU in more detail. You can download this White Paper here.
Ah.... We’re sorry but voting isn’t possible as this would involve an exercise in democracy. The EU isn’t that keen on democracy, particularly after the British were allowed to vote in an EU referendum in 2016.
The French, the Irish, and the Dutch were also given the opportunities to vote on various aspects of the EU over the past 10 years, and in each case they voted the wrong way and were forced to vote again. (Or their vote was simply ignored by the EU.)
So no, voting will not be possible. Instead you can send the EU Commission an email, telling them which version you prefer and why.
As a public service, Facts4EU.Org is providing the link to the page where you can tell the EU Commission exactly what you think of their 5 alternative versions of the EU's existence. Please note that despite the form’s initial appearance, you can submit your thoughts anonymously. You are not required to give your name or email address.
Here’s the link – now ‘fill yer boots’, as they say.
[Nb Please restrict your comments to the alternative versions of the EU on offer and resist the temptation for a general rant. It will probably be some young intern who monitors this inbox, not Jean_Claude Juncker!]
We’ll end with a question for Remoaners and anti-democrats like Nick Clegg, Tony Blair, David Cameron, and most of the Establishment:
If you won’t accept our decision to Leave,
and you want to impose another referendum on us,
which of the five EUs will we be voting to stay in?
Your comments are welcome, as always.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       7.00am, 18 July 2017
Name: J Slater      Date/Time: 18 July, 1.57pm
Message: What a comedy. Whatever will the 'waste of timers' come up with next? I can just see the EU Bureaucrats coming up with this list of 5, all sitting around the Mad Hatter's tea party, Junker upside down in the teapot seeking alcohol, Barnier the Mad Hatter looking down his aquiline nose at all the rest. 'How many Destinations shall we have?' asks one. Five days later, a decision is made. It will be 5. 'What will our 5 'Destinations' be?' asks another. 'Well, I've always fancied going to Russia,' suggests one hopefully. He gets a biff round the ears. 'We'll have to ask Angie Baby M. We cannot think for ourselves. We have been programmed n o t t o t h i n k.' Snores all round. Meanwhile, with the downfall of Europe, under the heel of the EU Tinpot Jackboot Dictators, will be simultaneous with the rise of Nations in other parts of the World. Will Europe ever rise from its watery grave? I doubt in our life time, if ever.
 Exclusive to Facts4EU.Org
Between them, they’re re-organising European defence
Federica Mogherini and Jens Stoltenberg are true and passionate believers in the EU ‘project’. This would not necessarily be a problem if they weren’t also the biggest players in the fast-changing landscape of European defence.
The one on the left runs EU Defence & Foreign Policy. The one on the right runs NATO.
             Photo © NATO 2017
Both individuals are responsible for dramatic changes in the way European defence is being handled.
“We have established a single command centre in Brussels for European militiary training missions. And we are removing the obstacles to the deployment of the European rapid reaction force, the Battlegroups.”
“Over this past year our common [EU] defence has advanced more than in the previous 60 years.”
EU High Representativefor Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Official 2017 video
“So we have concluded more arrangements in the past three months than in the previous thirteen years. And I think that indicates that we are making progress in the EU-NATO cooperation.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the European Union, 20 May 2017
ABOVE: EU High Representative Federica Mogherini with one of her generals
LEFT: NATO has now agreed 42 combined actions with the EU
It is highly unlikely that the man or woman on the proverbial Clapham omnibus could put a name to her, but Federica Mogherini is the most powerful woman in the whole of the EU’s massive bureaucracy.
She studied political science in Italy and France and did her dissertation on Islam. She spent the first eight years of her political life as a member of the Italian Communist Youth Federation and only changed to become a member of the Youth Left when the Italian Communist Party dissolved. She has only ever worked in politics.
No friend of the UK, Ms Mogherini has said she’s looking forward to ‘having the file’ on Brexit as soon as the UK becomes what the EU refers to as ‘a third country’. Third countries instantly come under Ms Mogherini’s vast umbrella of job titles. She is High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Head of the European External Action Service. As such, she will be in overall charge of the EU’s relationship with the UK.
Jens Stoltenberg is a Norwegian who started his political life following a revolutionary Communist group called Red Youth. Later, for 4 years he was the leader of the Workers' Youth League, before eventually rising to become a minister in Norway’s Labour government. He was Prime Minister from 2000-2001 and from 2005-2013.
A fervent Europhile, he twice campaigned – unsuccessfully - for Norway to join the EU.
Stoltenberg the Remain Campaigner
Extraordinarily, Mr Stoltenberg intervened in the UK’s Referendum, most memorably on the day before the vote itself. On June 22nd Stoltenberg gave an interview to the Guardian, in which he said the following:
“What I can do is tell you what matters for Nato, and a strong UK in a strong Europe is good for the UK and it’s good for Nato, because we are faced with unprecedented security challenges, with terrorism, with instability and an unpredictable security environment, and a fragmented Europe will add to instability and unpredictability.”
“The arrangement [Norway] now has with the European Union is that we pay a huge amount of money to the European Union. We implement EU decisions and directives, but we don’t have a say. We are not at the table,” he said.
ABOVE: Typically friendly (and unnecessary) Tweet from Jens Stoltenberg to EU Presidents Juncker and Tusk
“Norway actually receives more migrants compared to its size than the United Kingdom … significantly more, compared to the size. So even if you stay outside the European Union you are affected by decisions made inside Europe, and so I think it’s better to be at the table influencing those decisions and those developments instead of being outside but being affected by decisions by the European Union.”
We find it deeply disturbing that the defence of the continent of Europe is being shaped by two individuals like this. Both former Communists, both fervent supporters of the EU project.
There is something very disturbing about the thousands of pages on the EU’s website which refer in some way to the work of the EU’s External Action Service. It is hard to find a page without at least one photo of Ms Mogherini. For an unelected person, who has never been subject to a popular vote in the EU, she seems to be very keen to promote herself. Either that or the EU is now engaging in the cult of personality. Try it for yourself and see if it unsettles you as much as it does us.
With regard to Mr Stoltenberg, we found his behaviour last year wholly unacceptable for someone in his position and we felt that he should have resigned (or been fired) after his disgraceful attempt to influence the Referendum result in the UK.
Putting that to one side, we feel that his passionate europhilia makes him a unsuitable person to be involved in discussions with the EU over its massive defence ambitions.
Here is Mr Stoltenberg on 3rd May at the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Sub-Committee on Security and Defence Committee:-
“I don’t know exactly what to say about the Norwegian model because to be honest, I fought strongly for in favour of Norway joining the European Union back in 1994. We had a referendum in Norway and as you know, Norway is the only country in the world that has negotiated an accession treaty with the European Union not only once but twice, first in ’72 and then in ’94 and then voted it down in a referendum not only once but twice and I was on the losing side both times.”
“...that’s the reason why I was so eager coming here because this is the closest I’ve come to a kind of individual membership of the European Union.”
LEFT: We'll avoid any obvious caption to this Christmas photo, other than
© J Stoltenberg/Twitter 2016.
The discussions between NATO and the EU are fundamental to the security of half a billion people and it is clear to us that they are not being scrutinised as they should be by NATO. We have only read and listened to bubbling enthusiasm from Mr Stoltenberg whenever the EU’s plans are mentioned, and this is simply not an appropriate response.
To our readers who are MPs and MEPs, we would suggest that a very high degree of cynicism is used when looking at the current work of the EU in relation to defence matters, and also to anything said by Mr Stoltenberg when commenting on the EU’s plans.
The EU is clearly engaged in a grab for military power, no matter how it might pretend otherwise. The even more worrying part is that the UK is seemingly in agreement with absolutely everything that the EU and NATO are planning.
Your comments are welcome, as always.
[ Sources: EU Commission | EU Council | UK Parliament | Veterans for Britain | and many other bodies ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.

       9.30am, 17 July 2017
 Exclusive to Facts4EU.Org
This is the incredible story of how the UK government has voted 5 times since the Referendum for ever-deeper joint EU defence structures, forces, capabilities, funding, and foreign policy.
Before the Referendum, the Remain campaign ridiculed any suggestion that the EU was planning its own EU armed forces. The idea was categorically denied by senior politicians and establishment figures.
Since the Referendum there have been two extraordinary developments:
  1. The EU has pushed ahead with its joint defence plans faster than even it thought possible, and
  2. The UK has signed up to all of these new EU plans over the past 12 months
What is astonishing is how all of this has been achieved without the news being splashed over the British public’s TV screens and over the front pages of newspapers.
It has happened without the express approval of Parliament. Not one decision made by the government - and signed up to at the European Council - has been debated and passed in a vote of the House of Commons.
In addition, Ministry of Defence officials deny what has been happening.
If you thought that the UK’s decision to leave the EU would safeguard the independence of the UK’s military, its defence industry, and its foreign policy, then you may find this series of articles to be compelling reading.
We reveal the truth about future defence arrangements - using EU documents, European Council statements and decisions, UK parliamentary research, and MoD statements.
Next, Part Two – How we got here, 1957-2016
[ Sources: EU Commission | EU Council | UK Parliament | and many other bodies ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.

       08.30am, 16 July 2017
 Exclusive to Facts4EU.Org
The EU’s plans for a combined military date back to its beginnings in the 1950s, when it was part of the initial thinking for a United States of Europe.
By the end of the 90’s major decisions on combining defence were being made. At the June 1999 European Council meeting in Cologne (Germany), EU heads of state and government agreed that:
‘the Union must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them, and a readiness to do so, in order to respond to international crises without prejudice to actions by NATO.’
- 1999 EU Summit held in Cologne, Germany
Former PM, Tony Blair
In December 1998 a bilateral meeting took place in St-Malo between then President Chirac of France and then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. The resulting declaration indicated for the first time a Franco-British consensus on the evolution of a defence component for the European Union. This in turn led to an agreement at the highest EU level in Cologne the following year.
In essence, by the turn of the century EU Member States had agreed to put in place institutional arrangements for the analysis, planning and conduct of military operations.
During the first decade of this century, new goals were set by the EU: “to be able to deploy rapidly and then sustain forces capable of ... operations up to corps level (up to 15 brigades or 50,000-60,000 persons). These forces should be militarily self-sustaining with the necessary command, control and intelligence capabilities, logistics, other combat support services and additionally, as appropriate, air and naval elements. Member States should be able to deploy in full at this level within 60 days, and within this to provide smaller rapid response elements available and deployable at very high readiness.”
By the beginning of 2007, the EU had two Battle Groups ready to deploy. In the same year, the Lisbon Treaty was signed and it came into force two years later. This allowed for the further development of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), a mutual assistance and a solidarity clause, the creation of a framework for Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), and the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
It is the last 12 months which has seen a sudden acceleration in the EU’s defence ambitions. Whilst the World’s attentions were on the result of the UK’s Referendum to leave the European Union, the EU’s Vice-President, Italian former communist Federica Mogherini, has raced ahead with the “EU Global Strategy”.
Next, Part Three – The post-referendum surrender
[ Sources: EU Commission | EU Council | UK Parliament | and many other bodies ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.

       09.20am, 16 July 2017
 Exclusive to Facts4EU.Org
Since the Referendum, the UK government has signed up to an extraordinary EU rush towards:
  • EU forces
  • EU defence budgets
  • EU defence research
  • Development of land-based weapons, ships, and aircraft
  • EU defence procurement
  • EU command structures and EU battlegroups
  • EU military officer training
  • Common EU foreign policy
Below we list a summary of five of the EU meetings since the Referendum, at which Theresa May or her ministers were present, and at which key decisions were taken towards the altering of the EU’s nature into that of a united country with its own military.
14 Nov 2016 - Council of the EU
Foreign affairs ministers and defence ministers held a joint session on the implementation plan on security and defence. Green light given to press ahead with deepening EU defence capabilities, new funding arrangements, and many other preparations of a combined EU defence structure.
15 Dec 2016 – European Council
Wide-ranging conclusions adopted by the European Council on defence and security. Serious talk of ‘Permanent Structured Cooperation’ and a ‘European Defence Fund’.
The new setting for Council meetings in Brussels             Photo © European Council 2017
6 Mar 2017 –European Council
Council conclusions on progress in implementing the EU Global Strategy in the area of Security and Defence, including the establishment of a Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) within the existing EU Military Staff.
18 May 2017 – EU Foreign Affairs Council
EU Global Strategy - Implementation in the area of security and defence. Massive leaps forward across all defence implementation plans, with the EU’s Vice-President talking of EU’s new “ability to act as a security provider worldwide”.
22 June 2017 – European Council
European Council conclusions on security and defence, including the approval of the ‘European Defence Fund’, the ‘European Defence Industrial Development Programme’, and the ‘Permanent Structured Cooperation’ (PESCO) on defence.
Crucially, (and we were the first to report this), the Council also agreed that the deployment of EU Battlegroups should be borne as a common cost on a permanent basis. This had previously been resisted by several countries but it was nevertheless approved by Mrs May.
We asked campaigning organisation Veterans for Britain if they felt we might be exaggerating the importance of what has been agreed by the UK government at the EU Council meetings in the last 12 months.
“Not at all,” said their spokesman. “The UK Parliament has not seen or discussed the vast defence plans that ministers have agreed at the EU Council between 14 November 2016 and 22 June 2017. It has been clear from the moment the first agreement was made in Nov 2016 that there are deep and serious consequences for UK autonomy in defence, at a time when the electorate and commentators would expect the opposite – that defence decision making within NATO had been preserved by Brexit.”
It is beyond debate that the EU has acted with extraordinary haste since the Referendum, in moving towards a full military capability, with associated funding, and a common foreign policy.
Things have moved so fast that even the EU’s high priestess of defence and foreign policy Federica Mogherini has expressed her amazement at being able to get things approved so quickly.
For example, here is what Ms Mogherini said on 9th June:
“Many believed and told me that it would have proven to be impossible for us to have a first Command Centre in Brussels for our military and training missions or that it would take us years, decades to do it.
“It took us a few weeks. And we decided it together, still at 28, and we did it.”
Note that Ms Mogherini was also surprised at the UK’s acquiescence in all of this.
EU Vice President & High Representative Federica Mogherini (right)
Given the significance of the EU’s moves in terms of its status as an international body, and in terms of the UK’s interests going forward as an independent country, it would be expected that parliament would have been asked for its views prior to the commitments which British ministers have made in EU meetings.
This has not happened.
On 16 December 2016 the European Scrutiny Committee reported on two letters they had received from government ministers, regarding EU Security and Defence Policy. The letters were from Sir Alan Duncan (Europe Minister) and Sir Michael Fallon (Secretary of State for Defence).
Right: Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon MP
In the report the Committee says:
“We clear both documents from scrutiny but we judge them of sufficient political importance to report them to the House. Both touch on considerations about the future of EU defence cooperation and the UK’s engagement in EU security and defence policy after it has withdrawn from the EU. We have already proposed that foreign and security policy be the subject of one of the general Brexit debates being scheduled by the Government. That debate will be a good opportunity to discuss the issues arising from these documents.”
Regrettably, no debate has taken place. Even more regrettably, the government has agreed even more serious defence issues in EU Council meetings since then, and yet we have not seen these matters being discussed in the House of Commons.
We would go further, having read what Sir Alan Duncan and Sir Michael Fallon told the Committee. We do not recognise their characterisations of the EU Council meetings in question. Our interpretations are based on the formal written conclusions of these EU meetings, as well as the numerous press conferences, question and answer sessions, and interviews which have taken place.
Following the last European Council meeting last month, we awaited the Prime Minister’s statement to the House with great interest. Unfortunately, Mrs May did not mention defence at all in her statement – an extraordinary omission given that it had been such an important topic at the meeting.
The PM later referenced defence very briefly in response to two questions by MPs. However she didn't state what had been agreed at the meeting, nor its implications. Introducing her first reply with "the European Council did touch on defence issues as well" is hardly giving clear information to Parliament about the substantive issues discussed, nor the decisions made.
Tomorrow, we look at how NATO's role is changing, as well as some other very disturbing factors in this grab by the EU for hard military power.
In the meantime, do you have any comments on our articles so far?
[ Sources: EU Commission | EU Council | UK Parliament | Veterans for Britain | and many other bodies ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.

       5.30pm, 16 July 2017
Name: Steve R, UK      Date/Time: 17 July, 11.08am
Message: Both defence ministers are Remainers of course. The MOD emailed its civil servants before the referendum telling them to vote to remain. Their decision to join in the legal attack on servicemen using false evidence, resulting in the expulsion of Mr.Shiner, should have been unforgivable. But here they still are, selling us down the river. It will be interesting to see whether the EU spends 2% on defence now. Let's hope Pres Trump is handed a print of your excellent exposé.
Name: J Smith, UK      Date/Time: 17 July, 10.15am
Message: In [a previous] article you state: “What happens if no agreement is reached? The EU Treaties simply cease to apply to the UK two years after notification.” Would it not, therefore, be the case that any Defence treaties 'would cease to apply to the UK two years after notification'? Perhaps signing up, for now, to these Defence treaties is an inducement to the EU Barnier to agree to the terms set out by the UK Government on a Brexit? Whatever the motives, our Prime Minister Theresa May will at some stage soon face up to scrutiny by Parliament and the people of Britain, now that these Defence issues are in the open.
Reply: In fact the answer to your question is complicated when it comes to defence. When we get time we'll write an article explaining it.
EU and UK teams to spend weekend
plotting for Round Two on Monday
Could money and laws trigger explosions?
On Monday, teams of negotiators from both sides of the Brexit negotiation will sit down to the start of Round Two of the EU-UK talks. These talks are scheduled to last until Thursday lunchtime, after which there will be a press conference with Secretary of State David Davis and Michel Barnier.
On the agenda are some of the thorniest Brexit issues:
  • Citizens’ rights
  • Financial settlement
  • ‘Governance’ – i.e. jurisdiction of European Court of Justice
  • Irish border
The latest summary of the EU’s position is contained in a ‘Factsheet’ published by the EU Commission on Wednesday 12th July. It is entitled “State of play of Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom” and contains the following:-
“The withdrawal agreement should be based on a balance of rights and obligations, while ensuring a level-playing field. Cherry-picking of the Single Market and a sector-by-sector participation in the Single Market has been excluded by the European Council guidelines. The Union has also stressed that its four freedoms (people, goods, services and capital) will remain indivisible. The negotiations will be based on the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. The European Union will remain united throughout the negotiation period and the European Council has excluded that there would be separate negotiations between individual Member States and the United Kingdom on matters pertaining to the UK's withdrawal. The withdrawal agreement should respect the autonomy of the decision-making of the Union, as well as the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union.”
Incidentally this ‘Factsheet’ also contains the following messages which may be of interest to Remainer and Brexit-Denier politicians and commentators in the UK:-
“What happens if no agreement is reached?
The EU Treaties simply cease to apply to the UK two years after notification.”
“Can a Member State apply to re-join after it leaves?
Any country that has withdrawn from the EU may apply to re-join. It would be required to go through the accession procedure.”
“Once triggered, can Article 50 be revoked?
It was the decision of the United Kingdom to trigger Article 50. But once triggered, it cannot be unilaterally reversed. Article 50 does not provide for the unilateral withdrawal of the notification.”
It is becoming increasingly clear to us that Michel Barnier’s brief is to extract the maximum possible ongoing financial settlement to the EU from the UK, as a priority in the negotiations. It was always the case that the EU was going to try to soak the UK for everything it could get, but now it appears that the Brexit bill really has been the overriding objective of the Phase One negotiations by the EU.
It is our belief that the EU gained a false impression of the UK’s likely reaction to a €100 billion ‘Brexit bill’, thanks to the weak and appeasing attitude of Remainers in parliament and in some parts of the UK media. It is easy for British people to underestimate the influence in Brussels of pro-EU organs such as the BBC and the Financial Times.
The latter publication has a circulation in Brussels so high that you might think it was the UK’s best-selling newspaper. Given its craven attitude to all things EU, it is hardly surprising that its editor was given France’s highest honour last year. And when it comes to the BBC, our national broadcaster is so pro-EU it doesn’t even recognise its own extreme bias.
Brexit Billions
The simple fact is that the UK will pay its legal obligations until March 2019, as it is currently doing. Any suggestion of additional payments before and/or after the UK’s exit has absolutely no basis in law nor in the sense of ‘moral obligation’. Be in no doubt, if there were any legal basis for the UK to pay more than its normal annual contributions until March 2019, the EU would have produced a detailed paper on this.
Mr Barnier has been looking and sounding increasingly nervous and angry in press conferences, in speeches and when asked questions. It is possible that he is coming under pressure to deliver some agreement in principle from the UK that it will pay many tens of billions to the EU, with billions more in perpetuity. As this has been dismissed more and more as ‘whistling in the wind’, so the normally calm Mr Barnier has begun to look rattled.
Court of Justice of the EU
The other major area of contention is that of the legal jurisdiction of the EU – something they refer to as ‘governance’. Lost in their own little world, EU bureaucrats and many EU politicians have forgotten that there is a world out there over which the EU Commission and Courts do not rule.
The idea that after Brexit the UK will continue to submit to the rule of law of a foreign power is for the birds. Not only is it an absurd idea in and of itself – ask any world leader outside Europe if he would agree to such a thing - it would also be politically impossible for any government to propose signing a deal containing such EU legal jursidiction.
So, next week looks like it might be interesting. No to the EU’s demand to money and no to the EU’s demand to rule over the UK after Brexit. Might make for an interesting press conference next Thursday at 1.30pm UK time.
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       07.30am, 15 July 2017
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VIP MEMBERS -   M J Donnan, Middx
GOLD MEMBERS -   John Murphy, Scotland  |  D Price, Berkshire  |  C Latham, East Sussex  |  D Cooper, Berks  |  G Gardner, Cheshire  |  Anonymous, UK  |  J Holmes, Shropshire  |   C Mainds, London  |  P Abbott, E Sussex
MEMBERS - Simon Jones, Wiltshire  |  Anonymous, UK  |  S Cooper, Surrey  |  N Brooker, London  |  M Wood, Ceredigion  |  R Parkin, England  |  Anonymous, UK
VALUED SUPPORTERS - Stuart C, Lancashire  |  P Bushell, West Midlands  |  D Joyce, Powys  |  William Crook, Lancashire  |  R Halton, UK  |  G Reakes, London  |  S Lerigo, Northampton  |  J Hatfield, South Ayrshire  |  F Carstairs, W Sussex  |  N Martinek, W Yorks  |  A Hammond, Lincs  |  Anonymous, Aberdeen  |  P Derbyshire, GB
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