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BREXIT NEWS  (Latest appears first)
 FOR FREE BORN BRITISH MEN AND WOMEN
'HATE CRIME' AND YOUR FREEDOM
Yesterday we reported on an extraordinary article written for the Guardian newspaper by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders. You can read her article here.
This was an ‘opinion’ piece by Ms Saunders, announcing the new initiatives by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to refocus its efforts against so-called ‘hate crime’.
Whilst not strictly a subject which relates purely to Brexit, hate crime has been associated with it by Remainers and by the authorities, as you will see below.
You read it here first
Last year, well ahead of the current media frenzy on this subject, Facts4EU.Org published a series of articles on hate crime. Yesterday we asked if you would like us to revisit this subject. Our mailbag was a unanimous yes.
Below is a synopsis of what we wrote last year. Unfortunately things have now got a lot worse. We would like to suggest that this is NOT a matter you can ignore, if you are a free born British man or woman.
Please feel free to comment - either for publication or privately to us.
       06.30am, 23 Aug 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
See article yesterday (further down the page) for some of the comments received yesterday. Most comments we received were marked 'not for publication'.
 SUMMARY OF OUR EXPOSÉ ON HATE CRIME LAWS, OCT 2016:
1. BREXIT & 'HOMOPHOBIC HATE CRIME'
Does this headline seem odd to you?
It shouldn’t, if you know something about new laws on so-called ‘hate crime’ and their interpretation by the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Have you criticised Remainers? Be careful... For the last two weeks [Ed: This was first written in Oct 2016] we’ve been researching a series of articles which will affect you. The results of our research are shocking.
If you think that we still live in a sane world, here’s a headline from this Guardian website: (10 Oct 2016)
“Homophobic attacks in UK rose 147% in three months after Brexit vote”
OBSERVATIONS
Can any of you think what homophobia has to do with Brexit?
2. HATE CRIME – ARE YOU ALREADY GUILTY?
Have you criticised Remainers? You may already have committed a crime.
In many countries in the EU including the UK, true freedom of speech no longer exists under the law. The limitations placed upon it make the term inappropriate.
Any civilised and democratic society might reasonably wish to impose some limited exceptions, such as the prohibition of incitements to violence.
However a large number of EU countries have gone much, much further, including the United Kingdom.
The recent ‘hate crime’ laws governing free speech, and the interpretation of these laws by the Police and the CPS, are largely unknown to most British people.
OBSERVATIONS
You might already have written something on social media, or said something, which the police would consider to be a ‘hate crime incident’.
3. WHAT IS A ‘HATE CRIME OR INCIDENT’?
We look at how the Home Office and the College of Policing defines it.
The Home Office says:
"A hate crime or incident includes assaults, criminal damage, minor public order, harassment, and incitement offences."
It is particularly the last two definitions of crimes or incidents which may worry many readers, as they could be open to interpretation.
Here is what the UK’s College of Policing has to say :
“Hate crimes and incidents are taken to mean any crime or incident where the perpetrator’s hostility or prejudice against an identifiable group of people is a factor in determining who is victimised.”
They go on to say that the crime or incident need only be “perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice”.
So that makes you subject to police action for telling any one of a large proportion of jokes in circulation, or for criticising a group of people. It doesn’t even matter if your accuser wasn’t the butt of the joke. ‘Any other person’ can accuse you even if they weren’t physically present. If you are deemed ‘hostile’ (see point 4 below) then you can be investigated.
The guidance continues: “The victim does not have to justify or provide evidence of their belief, and police officers or staff should not directly challenge this perception. Evidence of the hostility is not required for an incident or crime to be recorded as a hate crime or hate incident.”
OBSERVATIONS
Yes, you are reading correctly. The crime or incident only needs to be 'perceived by the victim or any other person' and 'evidence of hostility is not required'. This is from the National College of Policing.
No, we are not talking about some banana republic here. We're talking about the United Kingdom in the 21st century.
4. SO WHAT CAN GET YOU PROSECUTED?
Are you already guilty of hate crime?
In order for you to be prosecuted, the Crown Proscution Service needs to show ‘hostility’ in your words or actions. So how does the CPS define ‘hostility’?
We hope you’re sitting down for this. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) gives the following guidance to prosecutors:
“In the absence of a precise legal definition of hostility, consideration should be given to ordinary dictionary definitions, which include ill-will, ill-feeling, spite, contempt, prejudice, unfriendliness, antagonism, resentment, and dislike.”
The abuse of the English language continues in other ways : “Phrases such as ‘the victim is a cerebral palsy sufferer’ are likely to cause offence as they imply that the impairment is the defining factor of a person’s identity.”
OBSERVATIONS
Unfriendliness? Dislike? Resentment?
In relation to the term ‘hate crime’ these are not words which would spring to mind in the average person if they heard that someone was accused of being hostile. Most people would assume that if someone were accused of being hostile in an incident or crime, this might include anger and threats of violence.
There is clearly a move to define ‘giving offence’ as something to be investigated by the police. Unfortunately there are now numerous examples of people being subject to police investigation for a Twitter post, expressing an opinion but not inciting violence.
5. WHICH VICTIM GROUPS ARE MONITORED FOR HATE CRIME?
Against which groups can you commit hate crime?
There are now 5 groupings against which hate crime is monitored: Race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and transgender identity.
The police guidance covers many forms of hate crime, including those against groups which are not specifically defined.
The national College of Policing mentions a further 21 groups but say that any group can be considered.
Presumably this could include resentful comments about stamp collectors, or unfriendly comments about Remainers who don’t accept the Referendum result...
OBSERVATIONS
In short, you might no longer feel comfortable discussing ideas freely and openly, for fear of legal action by the State.
You might not be an activist for the overthrow of the State or of our society. You might not be advocating violence or hostility (in the usual meaning of the word) to anyone. But you are nevertheless muzzled in expressing yourself.
You may wish to reflect on the stifling of public debate in the UK, where it can now become an incident involving a police investigation to say or write something which any other person might consider to be ‘unfriendly’ towards them or someone else, if the law considers them to be part of a vulnerable grouping.
6. GENUINE PERSECUTION, DISCRIMINATION, AND INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE
This should go without saying, but...
We abhor all violence, discrimination, and persecution of minorities. Most people in the country have an inate sense of what's right and wrong.
Our concern is the extent to which new laws are now being used, or are capable of being used, to stifle fair and reasonable debate.
The above represents a synopsis of research we undertook in September and October last year, 2016. We are reviewing the latest information coming out of the CPS. Regrettably the article by the Director of Public Prosecutions tells us a great deal about her direction of travel on these questions.
Naturally our lawmakers are at fault for allowing such laws to be drafted and to appear on the statute book, and this needs to be looked at urgently too.
[ Sources: The Guardian | College of Policing - Hate Crime Operational Guidance | Crown Prosecution Service | Home Office Hate Crime Action Plan | Public Order Act 1986 | Football (Offences) Act 1991 | Crime and Disorder Act 1998 | Anti-terrorism; Crime and Security Act 2001 | Criminal Justice Act 2003 ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.05am, 23 August 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
 GOODS NOT TO BE
TAKEN OFF SHELVES
TWO LATEST BREXIT POSITION PAPERS FROM UK GOVERNMENT
David Davis has issued two more position papers – boring but essential
Yesterday David Davis' Dept for Exiting the EU issued six new ‘position papers’ outlining the UK's proposals on two important but fairly unexciting areas of Brexit.
UK'S NEW 'POSITION PAPERS'
This paper outlines 4 key principles:
  1. “Firstly, we want to ensure that goods which are placed on the market before exit day can continue to be sold in the UK and EU, without any additional requirements or restrictions.
  2. “Secondly, we want to avoid unnecessary duplication of compliance activities that have been undertaken by businesses prior to exit. This means that where products have gone through an authorisation process prior to exit, for example a type approval for a car, this approval should remain valid in both markets after exit.
  3. “Thirdly, we are clear that patient safety and consumer protection in the EU27 and UK are paramount, which means that any agreement will need to facilitate the continued oversight of products to ensure the necessary action can be taken for non-compliant or unsafe goods.
  4. “Finally, the provision of goods and services is increasingly interconnected. Services are essential for production of goods, for their sale, distribution and delivery, and for their operation and repair. Where goods are supplied with services, we believe there should be no restriction to the provision of these services.”
This paper responds to the EU’s paper on “Issues relating to the Functioning of the Union Institutions, Agencies and Bodies.”:
  1. “As the UK leaves the EU, it will be important to establish a framework for the continued respect of obligations of confidentiality and the protection of official documents exchanged while it was a Member State.
  2. “The UK considers that any agreement on confidentiality and access to official documents produced or exchanged while the UK was a Member State should be reciprocal, affording an equivalent level of protection to the UK and the EU after the UK’s withdrawal.
  3. “The necessary protections concerning both UK and EU data should be on equivalent terms to those laid out in existing regimes.”
Today Mr Davis is expected to say that it is ‘unnecessary, inappropriate and unprecedented’ for EU judges to have power over British courts after we leave the EU. In particular he is expected to comment on the EU’s demand that the rights of EU citizens living in Britain must be enforced by the Court of Justice of the EU after Brexit. This would be unprecedented in international law. If Mr Davis issues this position in a position paper as we expect, we will of course comment on it more fully.
OBSERVATIONS
The two papers issued by the British government yesterday do not contain anything earth-shattering.
It sounds like complete common sense to say that any product which has been approved for sale prior to Brexit (whether it be British or an EU27 product), should of course continue to be approved for sale after Brexit.
Perhaps the fact that the British government thought it necessary to include this and write a 'position paper' about it shows just how crazy the world of the EU has become.
Your comments are welcome, as ever.
[ Sources: Dept for Exiting the EU ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       05.05am, 23 August 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
 YOUR FREEDOM TO THINK AND SPEAK
IS UNDER SERIOUS THREAT
EXTRAORDINARY BEHAVIOUR ON 'HATE CRIME' AT CPS
Last year Facts4EU.Org wrote a series of articles which we published on this site, about the risks to freedom of thought, speech, and expression being posed by the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), and some politicians. We expressed our opinions about aspects of what was happening, as well as giving objective facts and quoting the CPS extensively.
Yesterday the rest of the country caught up with our concerns, after the Director of the CPS published an article in a left-wing newspaper.
CPS WRITES FOR THE GUARDIAN
Yesterday the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, wrote an 'opinion' piece for the Guardian newspaper entitled:
"Hate is hate. Online abusers must be dealt with harshly."
The sub-heading was:
"Whether shouted or tweeted, prejudice devastates lives. That’s why prosecutors are committed to taking internet hate crimes as seriously as face to face ones."
CPS ON YOUTUBE
In addition to writing her opinions in a left-wing newspaper, Ms Saunders also took to YouTube to speak in a video.
© UKCPS / Youtube
CPS ON TWITTER
   
Photos: Screengrabs from Twitter, by Facts4EU.Org
 
Finally, the organisation which Ms Saunders heads - the CPS - published a large number of tweets about 'hate crime' yesterday.
In the month to date, the CPS had been publishing just over one tweet per day.
Yesterday it published 19 tweets - in one day - all on the subject of hate crime.
If you want to check the CPS Twitter account for yourself you can do so here.
Left: 19 tweets in one day from the CPS - all about 'hate crime'. Previous daily average for August across all topics: 1.2 tweets per day.
OBSERVATIONS
Let's just stop and think about all of this for a moment.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, who has one of the most important jobs in public service, wrote her opinions in a left-wing newspaper, about a subject which is highly controversial politically and which directly concerns the lives of every person in the country.
In her article Ms Saunders writes: "Some may criticise the new approach and guidance for prosecutors as heavy-handed." If that was you giving us permission, Ms Saunders, we didn't need it. We will criticise anyway because we believe you are profoundly wrong in your approach.
Facts4EU.Org publishes original work on the subject of Brexit, the EU, and increasingly on the UK's role in the world as we move to independence from the European Union. Occasionally we publish a 'good news story' relating to the UK and Europe, such as the one below about the success of the British Eventing Team at the weekend.
The subject of freedom of speech is not really within our remit. With the permission of you (our readers), however, we intend to update and republish our series of articles on this important topic of freedom of speech, particularly as it relates to Brexit and subjects allied to that.
Please let us know now if you prefer that we 'stick to the day job' and ignore this subject completely. It does actually matter to us what you would like to read about.
Best wishes, the Brexit Facts4EU.Org Team
P.S. If the consensus of your emails to us is that we should write the articles explaining the threat to you and to Brexit from the CPS' behaviour, we hope you will stand ready to help fund our legal case if they bring charges!
[ Sources: The Guardian | CPS | Twitter ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.30am, 22 Aug 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Elizabeth M, Region not given, UK      Date/Time: 22 Aug, 11.12pm
Message: Please keep highlighting this worrying development. Angela Merkel appears to be leading the way here. She was reported to have asked Mark Zuckerberg how she could censor people on the internet, and he said, "We are working on it". Well, he seems to have got there. I tried to look at a video on Youtube of Italian soldiers being overwhelmed by illegal immigrants and it was blocked, in that one had to register before being allowed to look at it. No-one could have classified it as pornography or terrorist propaganda. But it did possibly have a bearing on her having extended Free Movement of People to other continents.
As for hate speech and hate crime here, they are only pinned on the so called majority, not the so called minorities. This deep injustice is eventually going to cause a reaction. Lady Justice is supposed to be blind, and that includes colour blind.
Name: Odyssey, Derbyshire, UK      Date/Time: 22 Aug, 11.56am
Message: Surely 'hate' is entirely subjective. One person's hatred (OED definition 'intense dislike or loathing') could be another's considered opinion. The CPS should be entirely apolitical, but seems over the last few years to have become riddled with bias and knee-jerk reactions to perceived 'injustice'. Another swamp to be drained?
Name: Paul A, Sussex, UK      Date/Time: 22 Aug, 10.49am
Message: Re CPS Without prejudice. Her job should be above political bias. Sadly the current 'guilty unless proven innocent' message is that apparently hate crime only travels one way.... which in itself now appears, under her new guidelines and retraining of prosecutors, to constitute a hate crime.
Name: Carole, Merseyside, UK      Date/Time: 22 Aug, 09.01am
Message: I find that the CPS and organisations like it, disenfranchises ordinary, average people. It suggests that I can't be hated because I am not disabled, coloured, of a certain religion, gender or sexual persuasion. When I discuss, analyse, or criticise these groups I am immediately flamed as racist, homophobic, intolerant, right-wing and so on, no matter how gently I tread. It is now a stock reaction. For an example, you only need to look at the abuse received by people who voted for Brexit.
 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS 2017
GB EVENTING TEAM BEAT GERMANY TO WIN GOLD
NICOLA WILSON SECURES INDIVIDUAL BRONZE
Jubilant scenes at Strzegom in Poland yesterday                                                 © FEI (Screengrab by Facts4EU.Org)
Amazing performances from all of the British combinations in the final show jumping phase at the 2017 FEI European Championships, Poland, saw Great Britain taking home the team gold and individual bronze medals.
Nicola Wilson was the final British rider to enter the arena and came away with the individual bronze medal, to rapturous applause from the rest of the team. GB's Tina Cook was fourth, with Ros Canter fifth and Gemma Tattersall in eighth. For full details see the British Eventing website.
© FEI / Youtube
OBSERVATIONS
Brexit Facts4EU.Org - always happy to bring you good news from Europe!
As ever, please feel free to send us your comments, using a pseudonym or your real name. They will appear below.
[ Sources: Owen Paterson MP | British Eventing | FEI ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       16.10pm, 21 Aug 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
 UNIONISING THE UNION ARMY
IF N. KOREA OR RUSSIA STRIKES
WILL OUR EU FORCES BE ON STRIKE?
Putin takes the salute, 2017 naval exercise                                                 © Euronews
EU Parliament demands armed forces be unionised and ‘standardised’
There is growing disquiet among senior military figures about the UK government’s acquiescence over the last 12 months to the EU’s proposed common defence forces.
Concerns have grown because, despite information published by the Facts4EU.Org Team and other serious organisations such as Veterans for Britain, the government has failed to address the evidence of what it has signed up to since the Referendum.
UNIONISING THE EUROPEAN UNION ARMY – A SCARE?
Many readers will no doubt wonder if the concerns we have continually expressed about the ‘EU army’ are justified.
We have published many reports on the future ability of the United Kingdom to maintain a sovereign and fully-independent defence capability after Brexit in 2019. Here is just one more example which evidences our concern, which we hope will make you stop and think – and then maybe contact your MP.
EU PARLIAMENT INSISTS ON UNIONISED UNION FORCES
It is the policy of the EU Parliament that the common armed forces currently being developed must be unionised. No restriction against striking was put on this when the Parliament voted, and harmonisation across EU countries was stressed.
Here is the wording contained within the motion which was passed :
“Calls on the Member States to particularly recognise the right of military personnel to form and join professional associations or trade unions and involve them in a regular social dialogue with the authorities; invites the European Council to take concrete steps towards the harmonisation and standardisation of the European armed forces, in order to facilitate the cooperation of armed forces personnel under the umbrella of a new European Defence Union”
This motion was passed in November with 369 votes in favour and 255 against, and 70 abstentions.
Britain's new F35 fighter                                                © Lockheed Martin
THE CURRENT POSITION OF THE UK GOVERNMENT
It has hitherto been the policy of Her Majesty’s Government that trade unions are not appropriate vehicles for the communication of grievances or pay bargaining in the defence forces.
There are various rules and laws governing this question. Firstly, under Queen’s Regulations members of the armed forces are restricted as follows:-
J5.581. [Political Activities]
a. Regular Service personnel are not to take any active part in the affairs of any political organization, party or movement. They are not to participate in political marches or demonstrations.
b. No restriction is to be placed upon the attendance at political meetings of such personnel provided that uniform is not worn, Service are not impeded, and no action is taken which would bring the Service into disrepute.
J5.588. [Trade Unions]
a. Regular Service personnel may become members of civilian trade unions and professional associations in order to enhance their trade skills and professional knowledge and as an aid to resettlement into civilian life. They are not to participate in industrial action or in any form of political activity organized by civilian trade unions or professional associations.
Secondly, national legislation states:-
Armed forces personnel are specifically excluded from the definition of "workers" for the purposes of all trade union legislation. In fact the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 precludes the setting up of a trade union for armed forces personnel.
WHERE EU MEMBER STATES STAND
There is a long standing tradition of military unionism in many EU countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. In Austria and Sweden military personnel even have the right to strike, and the Dutch are moving in that direction.
There is a definite tendency towards a relaxation of views on this issue in several countries, including Ireland and Slovenia. Further afield, even Australia has made moves in this direction.
OBSERVATIONS
It is worth noting that in all the research we have undertaken for this article, the overriding sense gained from the authors of all the documents we read and all the decisions of official bodies is that unionisation in the military is inevitable.
This applies to work we have read from EU organisations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and even a decision of the European Court of Human Rights which went against the French government.
Some things are simply right and they work, like the principle of non-unionisation of our armed forces. However the luvvies’ arguments just never stop until they get their way, regardless of how impractical their thinking is. Constant vigilance is needed.
It is our strong opinion that the United Kingdom’s armed forces should continue to cooperate fully with other nations as part of NATO, and should cooperate on a continuing bilateral basis with our many friends in the defence arena such as the French, Australians, New Zealanders, etc.
However it is our very strong opinion based on very real knowledge of the mindset within the EU that British armed forces should not be part of any formal common European defence organisation.
We didn’t vote to leave the EU only to see our armed forces shackled to it.
As ever, please feel free to send us your comments, using a pseudonym or your real name. They will appear below.
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[ Sources: EU Parliament | EU Commission | Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe | British Armed Forces Federation | NATO | Labour Friends of the Forces ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.45am, 21 Aug 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Paul A, region not specified, UK      Date/Time: 21 Aug, 08.09am
Message: For your wry amusement. I noticed you used 'Luvvie' in today's update article on the EU army... so here is the definition of a 'Luvvie': A person who is so open-minded their brains have fallen out. Keep up the good work. You are doing a fantastic job and supplying me with all sorts of info to 'share' with my MP. Best, Paul
 GUY VERHOPELESS
'THE IDIOT'
This is Guy Verhofstadt MEP
 
Here is what he had to say yesterday, following the islamic terrorist attacks in Spain:
© Twitter
[Facts4EU.Org translation - "manifs" = 'demonstrations']
Mr Verhofstadt would like to equate a campaign of islamic terrorist attacks in Europe where hundreds of people have died and been maimed, often in grotesque ways, with recent demonstrations by supposed white supremacists in the USA.
Some hours later Mr Verhofstadt forwarded a tweet from the ALDE Group – the political group in the EU Parliament that he leads – which said: “#WeStandWithBarcelona now and always. We will fight terrorism together.”
This statement resembles those they have made after every islamic terrorist attack in recent years. On each occasion they fail to categorise the terrorism as islamic in nature and they generally seek to deflect attention from details of the event itself. On this occasion their deflection tactic is to refer to events in the USA, as if these are in any way connected to what happened in Barcelona and Cambrils.
Despised by many, ridiculed by more, Mr Verhofstadt is an MEP in an organisation that incorrectly refers to itself as the European Parliament. It is of course nothing of the sort. The body in question should be called the EU Parliament, as it doesn’t include the 16-21 other countries (according to your definition) on the continent of Europe.
THE EU PARLIAMENT
  • Every 5 years a small and declining proportion of the public vote in the 'European Elections'
  • In the UK in 2014, only 35.6% of the British people voted
  • UKIP won a significant victory and have the largest number of UK MEPs
  • Twice per month the entire Parliament decamps from Brussels (Belgium) to Strasbourg (France)
  • This expensive exercise is of course necessary because of French pride
How much does this Parliament cost?
The European Parliament's budget for 2015 was €1.8 billion Euros.
€1.0 billion Euros (57%) of this was spent on MEPs' salaries and expenses, staff, and translation.
Let’s just repeat that :
€1 billion Euros (£910 million pounds) was spent on MEPs' salaries and expenses,
staff, and translation costs in 2015
The total cost of this parliament is over £2 million pounds per MEP per year.
THE EU PARLIAMENT AND ITS LOSS OF CREDIBILITY
The people of the EU member states have shown less and less interest in their Parliament over the years. Below are the voter turnout percentages for the EU as a whole.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
So, Mr Verhofstadt is a member of a failing institution within an even larger failing institution. Nevertheless he feels the need to share with us his feelings following the events of Islamic terrorism in Spain.
What a shame that a supposed leading figure within the European Union can't simply name and condemn yet another series of barbarous terror attacks in a civilised West European country carried out in the name of Islam.
A growing number of EU citizens have been waking up to the threat posed by the calamitous immigration policies of the EU elites. The effects started to be seen 20 years ago but it is only in the last 5 years or so that it has been impossible for the leaders of EU member states and of the EU itself to hide the massive problems which they have caused.
Mr Verhofstadt has never been one to shy away from opportunities to promote himself and to demonstrate his fanatical europhilia. Brexit has of course given him a wonderful opportunity to grandstand, once he was appointed the EU Parliament's chief spokesman on the matter. This doesn't give him any actual power to negotiate, but it does allow him to spout his nonsense about Brexit and about the joys of a federal Europe on even more occasions.
EU Parliament building in Strasbourg - used twice a month
© EU Parliament
Let's be clear: the EU Parliament is full of idiots. Mr Verhofstadt just happens to be one of the more noticeable ones. Their grip on reality - the reality which most of us experience in our daily lives - is often tenuous to a degree which allows them to come out with the most unbelievable drivel. We know, we have to watch EU debates and committee meetings on your behalf.
The EU Parliament has to approve the Brexit deal and it will never agree anything sensible when it comes to Brexit. Even if the EU national leaders come to their senses and compromise on their 'UK must suffer' stance, the MEPs will never vote for a deal which is in the sound economic interests of their constituents. The best we can hope for is some kind of fudge. This may satisfy the misinformed people who are currently advocating some form of EEA/EFTA arrangement, but it will never satisfy us.
Ah well. It's Sunday and we'd like to leave you with something cheerful. When you next think of Guy Verhofstadt just remember one thing he can never get away from. He clearly but secretly envies the British, but he will never escape the incurable fact of being Belgian.
As ever, please feel free to send us your comments, using a pseudonym or your real name. They will appear below.
[ Sources: EU Parliament | Verhofstadt's Twitter account] Journalists and politicians can contact us for the detailed list of links, as usual.
       07.30am, 20 Aug 2017
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 THE £58 BILLION FUND
YOU PAY INTO
BUT NEVER SEE AGAIN
EU delivers another £85 million from £58 billion fund, to install thermal insulation and solar panels in Polish art schools
The UK pays into this £58 billion fund,
but is not allowed to receive anything from it
On Wednesday this week, the EU Commission slipped out some news in French. It concerned another payout to the largest recipient of EU funds, Poland.
The amount itself is relatively small - 'only' £85 million - but it's one of thousands of payments by the EU which are agreed each year and which are seldom reported upon. Below we report on this, as an example of what goes on daily in the EU without you knowing.
HERE'S YOUR LATEST LITTLE DONATION
The €94 million euros (approx £85 million GBP) comes from the Cohesion Fund - an EU Fund which the UK can never benefit from. The sum is being invested in 'energy renovation works' in public art schools belonging to the Polish Ministry of Culture and Cultural Heritage across Poland.
Regional Policy EU Commissioner Corina Creţu commented: “This project demonstrates our commitment both to the protection of the cultural heritage of our member states and to the necessary energy transition throughout Europe in line with the objectives of the Energy Union. Cohesion policy investments are one of the main drivers of this Union.”
The EU Commission described the works more specifically: "These 94 million euros will be spent on reinforcing the thermal insulation of buildings, replacing doors and windows, renovating heating, ventilating or air-conditioning systems, or installing renewable energy systems (solar panels, heat pumps, etc)."
 
Photo: Corina Cretu, EU Commissioner
ABOUT THE COHESION FUND
The EU has thousands of funds: some small, some more significant. One of these is called the ‘Cohesion Fund’. In the EU’s current 7-year budget from 2014-2020 it is allocated €63.4 billion euros - approximately £58 billion GBP.
The EU describes it as being “allocated to trans-European transport networks and to projects falling under EU environmental priorities”. In other words it’s spent by qualifying member states on roads, railways, and waterways, as well as projects falling under ‘environment protection, low-carbon economy, and climate change’.
HOW THE EXPENDITURE BREAKS DOWN
The breakdown below shows that the ‘Green Agenda’ on its own takes 45% of the total fund, with the remaining 55% being spent on 'transport and energy infrastructure' projects - which must also qualify under the 'environment-friendly' umbrella. In effect, the entire fund is spent furthering the EU's environmental policies.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
WHO GETS THE MONEY?
Despite contributing a major part of the fund, the UK receives nothing at all from it. This fund is in effect a wealth transfer scheme from richer EU countries to poorer ones, ostensibly aimed at standardising cross-border transport and energy infrastructure. Only 15 member states are eligible to receive any payments.
Here is the allocation of the funds by member state :-
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
HOW MUCH OF THE £58 BILLION HAS BEEN SPENT SO FAR?
This is highly relevant to the EU's coming claim for a 'Brexit bill' to be settled by the UK.
As the latest information below shows, less than 6% of the fund has been spent. A total of 25% has been 'decided', leaving 69% which is still at the planning stage. This is an example of monies which could be re-thought by the EU, based on the fact that one of its major donors is leaving.
Almost 70% of the fund hasn't yet been committed :-
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
When the EU Commission releases news in French or German, we always look closely. Frequently this means that they don't want too many people to know - and certainly not people in the UK. These days that matters less of course, because the Eurocrats are no longer having to cover up their activities to the same extent from the British people who fund their extravagances.
In the case of this news item about another Polish payout, the amount of money was relatively small - 'only' £85 million pounds. The problem is that these expenditures are going on constantly and the totals become exorbitant.
In the decades prior to the Referendum last year, the British public were kept blissfully unaware of how their money was being spent. Even to this day, we wonder how Remainers would react if they discovered what we have known for years. We mean if they really knew everything - all the ghastly minutiae of the workings of this dysfunctional machine that is the EU.
No-one in their right mind would talk about the EU the way many Remainers do, if they knew the truth. And yes, we realise the implication of that last sentence.
Looking at the Cohesion Fund, it is essentially a wealth distribution scheme between richer and poorer members of the EU. It does this on a massive scale. No-one can argue that the current budget of £58 billion isn't an enormous sum. And quite a few would argue about the kind of 'green' projects which the money is being spent on.
We would like to ask Remainers some questions:
At what point did you (or the rest of us) agree that such a wealth transfer scheme be set up?
Not only that, but this Fund is also a way of channelling vast sums into the green agenda, as the funds must be spent on projects which support the EU's green/climate change/environmental policies.
Putting aside your views on the EU's environmental policies, at what point was it debated and agreed that such an enormous sum be devoted purely to projects supporting these policies?
Even if you agree with the underlying agenda, why should this expenditure by the EU be restricted to just 15 member states?
And why should 36.6% of this enormous fund go to just one country: Poland?
Finally, given that the majority of this expenditure has not actually been made yet, don't you think the EU should be rethinking its plans, instead of expecting a member who is about to leave to pick up the tab for many years to come?
As ever, please feel free to send us your comments, using a pseudonym or your real name. They will appear below.
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[ Sources: EU Commission | Polish gov't ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.55am, 19 Aug 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
 EU MIGRANTS:
600,000 NEW N.I. NUMBERS
IN THE LAST YEAR
Another unique analysis from the Facts4EU.Org Team
Yesterday there were many headlines about the extra 126,343 EU27 migrants who have started working in the UK in the last year – ‘despite Brexit’.
We like to look at issues in more depth. In fact, a little more research into the question of EU27 migrant workers provides some even more interesting information - particularly when we looked again at the issuance of National Insurance numbers.
The Dept for Work & Pensions (DWP) says:-
  • 593,000 new Nat Insurance numbers issued to EU27 nationals in last 12 months
  • 5.7 million new N.I. numbers for EU workers have been issued in last 15 years
[These are from DWP figures released in May, for Mar 2017, compared to Mar 2016.]
© Brexit www.Facts4EU.Org 2017 - please only use with full attribution
HOW DO THE LATEST EU MEMBER STATES AFFECT THE UK?
In 2014, visa restrictions were lifted on Romanians and Bulgarians. Up until then they had been subject to ‘transitional controls’ in an attempt to stop a sudden rush to the UK the moment these countries joined the EU. What is interesting in the graph above is the number of Romanians and Bulgarians who managed to get N.I. numbers before 2014, when there were supposedly restrictions on their ability to enter the UK to work.
The Dept for Work & Pensions (DWP) also says:-
  • Romanians and Bulgarians have been issued 224,000 new N.I. numbers in last 12 months
[These are from DWP figures released in May, for Mar 2017, compared to Mar 2016.]
© Brexit www.Facts4EU.Org 2017 - please only use with full attribution
SO WHAT WERE YESTERDAY'S HEADLINES ABOUT?
Yesterday the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released figures on workers in the UK from the EU, based on a survey, not National Insurance numbers.
The graph below shows the ONS' latest estimates for the number of EU27 nationals who are resident and working in the UK. These estimates come from the Labour Force Survey and involve a survey of a sample of households.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) says:-
  • 2.37 million EU27 workers in UK at Mar 2017
  • Voting for Brexit hasn’t deterred EU migrants
  • An increase of 126,343 EU27 workers since 2016 – ‘despite Brexit’
[These are from ONS figures released 16 Aug, for Mar 2017, compared to Mar 2016.]
© Brexit www.Facts4EU.Org 2017 - please only use with full attribution
In summary, the Brexit vote last year hasn’t stopped the flow of EU migrants coming to the UK to work. 452,934 EU nationals have applied for N.I. numbers since the EU Referendum alone.
OBSERVATIONS
The latest figures from the ONS nail yet another lie which has been spread by Remainers and repeated many times on the BBC and other mainstream news outlets. It simply isn’t the case that people from the EU27 countries have stopped coming to find work in the UK.
Prior to the Referendum in June last year, Facts4EU.Org published several reports on the problem of the growing migration from the EU into the UK. One of the issues we highlighted was our disbelief in the accuracy of the figures being produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The problem was the enormous gulf between the immigration figures of the ONS, and the number of new National Insurance numbers being issued by HMRC, reported by DWP.
During our research, we found that HMRC were issuing 3.5 times as many new NI numbers to EU migrants as there were new EU migrants themselves. In other words, each EU migrant appeared to be applying for and receiving over 3 national insurance numbers each. Clearly this wasn't right, so we delved further.
THERE ARE 3 MAIN TYPES OF EU IMMIGRATION FIGURES
  • ONS ‘EU worker’ figures are based on sample household surveys
  • Answering a household survey is voluntary
  • Results are therefore likely to be highly inaccurate
  • ONS ‘EU migrant’ figures are even less reliable
  • They are based on passenger surveys at airports and ports, again voluntary
  • DWP ‘NINo’ figures are based on real National Insurance numbers issued to real people
  • We just don’t know if and when some of the people leave
So what’s wrong with using higher DWP ‘NINo’ figures instead of ONS ‘Worker’ figures?
During the Referendum campaign, we and a couple of other serious organisations tried to get to the bottom of the discrepancy between the very high DWP figures for EU migrants working, and the much lower figures from the ONS for EU migrants resident in the UK.
At the time it was clearly advantageous for the pro-EU Cameron government to be understating the level of EU immigration into the UK. We strongly suspected that the figures were up to twice as high as those being stated officially.
Unfortunately the government departments and organisations involved were unable to provide much assistance. Their answer was mostly to refer to the inclusion of short-term migrants in the NI data from the DWP. In other words, they implied that the vast majority of EU nationals coming to the UK and registering for a national insurance number were doing so purely for short-term visits, and were therefore not included in the ONS’ figures for more permanent migrants.
Here’s what the government said in early 2016:
“The DWP NINo [‘national insurance number’] data covers people allocated a NINo for all types of work – including the self-employed and students working part-time – and whatever the length of stay in the UK. It also covers adult overseas nationals allocated a NINo to claim benefits or tax credits.
“The DWP NINo data does not show when overseas nationals subsequently depart the UK, nor does it show length of stay in the UK. The DWP figures are therefore a measure of inflow of overseas nationals registering for a NINo. They do not measure outflow or overall stock of overseas nationals in the UK.”
So, the figures for National Insurance numbers include some short-term migrants, and those claiming benefits. However they are real numbers. In theory, each person is only supposed to have one N.I. number. If they leave the country and return, their N.I. number is still valid, so why would they apply for a new one each time?
It is not our contention that the N.I. numbers from the DWP represent the true levels of EU immigration into the UK. We do, however, believe that the government’s own figures for EU immigration are nonsense, and that the N.I. numbers show that the true immigration level has always been much higher than admitted.
The elephant in the room has always been: “Why doesn’t the government know basic data like how many people are entering, staying, working, and leaving the country?”
As ever, please feel free to send us your comments, using a pseudonym or your real name. They will appear below.
[ Sources: Office for National Statistics | Dept for Work and Pensions ]
As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       06.50am, 18 Aug 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: W. Alkaway, region not specified, UK      Date/Time: 18 Aug, 3.25pm
Message: I was taught a simple lesson by my mother when I was an 11 year old, living in Cairo. When shopping in an Arab Market place, haggle. If it doesn't look like working, just walk off. It worked. An early lesson in tactics! Why don't our politicians do the same now with the Brexit negotiations? Sure, the European bureaucrats will mouth off and stamp their non too dainty feet, and make a lot of noise and rumpus. But, as the door is slowly creaking shut, you bet they'll come running asking for a deal. And if they don't? Just go. If they are so blind as to what is best for the countries they dictate to, then they will never see clearly. No point wasting our politicians' time on them. We have better things to do. Britain has shown willing. More than willing, in the face of constant posturing, threats and outright rudeness by the EU, so called, 'negotiators'. That is no way to behave. They don't know how to deal fairly with anyone, hence also their bullying threats to certain other EU countries to do as they say, unquestioningly. They are petrified that other countries will follow Britain's example, and leave the EU too. We can trade with any newly freed countries. With the richer nations gone, those with most to lose with ever-increasing demands to send money to the EU Piggy Bank, this paper-thin 'Club' will surely collapse. Why would the UK wish to trade with the other EU nations? We have not done well so far by trading with the EU. There are better profits, and lower tariffs, to enjoy elsewhere. In conclusion, we are not a country to be pushed around. Uncertainty and delays, I read, are more damaging to the British economy, than any fictitious 'cliff edge', a phrase brought about by past, now ridiculed, British politicians. Meanwhile, we, Great Britain, are moving towards other advantageous world wide trading partners, and deals will be successfully struck. Something more advanced nations understand: trading for 'mutual' benefit.
 IMPORTANT DISCOVERY
RESULTS OF LONG-TERM PROJECT BY FACTS4EU.ORG TEAM REVEAL
FACTS DON'T RESEARCH AND WRITE THEMSELVES
This latest piece of research from Facts4EU.Org has been met with a variety of reactions from world leaders, ranging from celebration to incredulity to resignation to abuse.
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       07.40am, 18 Aug 2017
READERS' COMMENTS
 BREXIT BRITAIN WORKS
(AND EU MIGRANTS ARE STILL COMING)
Astonishingly-good employment figures released by the ONS yesterday
Overall Employment Summary:
  • Unemployment rate fell to 4.4%, lowest since 1975
  • 32.07 million people in work, up by 338,000 in a year
  • Employment rate rose to 75.1%, the highest since 1971
  • “Zero-hours contracts” fell by 20,000
  • EU27 workers increased by 126,000 to 2.37 million
  • Non-EU (and non-UK) workers fell by 18,000 to 1.20 million
[These are from ONS figures released 16 Aug, for Apr-Jun 2017, compared to Apr-Jun 2016.]
Let’s compare this to what we were threatened with, if we voted to leave the EU
23 MAY 2016, ONE MONTH BEFORE EU REFERENDUM:
Former Prime Minister & Chancellor threatening Brexit chaos       © BBC (screengrab)
Exactly one month before the EU referendum, the Treasury produced a lengthy document which predicted economic Armageddon if the UK voted to leave the EU. The Prime Minister David Cameron, and the Chancellor George Osborne, launched this ‘document of doom’ with a major campaign speech at the Head Office of B&Q, allowing Cameron to predict “a DIY recession”.
MASS UNEMPLOYMENT PREDICTED - 820,000 JOBS LOST
Specifically, George Osborne predicted “up to 820,000 jobs lost”. Publishing Treasury analysis, he said a Leave vote would cause an "immediate and profound" economic shock. This was widely reported in all the media at the time, and the BBC took great pleasure in running a major video on the subject. Below you can see the BBC’s Economics Editor Kamal Ahmad presenting this.
BBC's Economics Editor reports Chancellor's dire warnings, 23 May 2016       © BBC (screengrab)
NOT ONLY HAVE JOBS NOT BEEN LOST, THEY'VE ACTUALLY BEEN GAINED
According to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics yesterday, Brexit Britain is performing considerably better than the then Chancellor and then Prime Minister threatened.
SUMMARY FROM THE ONS:
There were 32.07 million people in work, 125,000 more than for January to March 2017 and 338,000 more than for a year earlier.
The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 75.1%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
There were 883,000 people (not seasonally adjusted) in employment on “zero-hours contracts” in their main job, 20,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
There were 1.48 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 57,000 fewer than for January to March 2017 and 157,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
The unemployment rate (the proportion of those in work plus those unemployed, that were unemployed) was 4.4%, down from 4.9% for a year earlier and the lowest since 1975.
There were 8.77 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 64,000 fewer than for January to March 2017 and 90,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.3%, down from 21.6% for a year earlier and the lowest since comparable records began in 1971.
OBSERVATIONS
Yesterday evening our Editor received a call at home from a former Cabinet minister. During the conversation, this senior and well-regarded politician mentioned the continuing attacks he receives from Remainers.
“What staggers me is the way they continually lie quite blatantly,” he said.
“Even when it’s been something I said in a recorded interview the same day, which they can listen to on the Internet, they quote me as saying something different. And if my office tries to point this out, they don’t care and keep repeating the lies.”
Of course most of the public will say that politicians lie, and regrettably history is full of examples. In fact some of us would go further and endorse a theme of a major US network show of the last decade, whose main character’s view of people was: “Everybody Lies”.
Unfortunately, however, the sheer magnitude of the lies from some Remainers is quite appalling.
 
Photo: Hugh Laurie as 'Dr House'
The Remainer lies above were typical
For the benefit of our many overseas readers who have received a quite different impression from the grotesquely Europhile BBC over the last year or two, the British public were lied to most by the Remain campaign, not by the Brexiteers.
Frankly the Brexit campaigns didn’t need to lie or exaggerate – the EU is quite bad enough without needing to overstate. The only exaggeration was a claim made on the side of a bus by a moron in the Vote Leave back office team - one which we never supported. However this was very mild in comparison with the lies of the Remainers including the Prime Minister and his senior team. The figure on the bus was overstated in net terms (it didn’t specify gross or net) but its point was still valid. Britons were (and still are) haemorrhaging their tax pounds to the EU on a weekly basis.
One thing there can be no doubt about, over a year after the historic vote to leave the EU, is that the UK is on great form. A wide variety of indicators are positive and the good news just keeps on coming.
Yes, of course nothing's ever perfect and of course there are many things we would all like to see improve. That's always the case, regardless of one-off events like Brexit. However it's impossible for any reasonable person not to admit that the portenders of doom and misery got everything hopelessly and unarguably wrong last year. Brexit Britain is in good shape and should hold its head up very high when talking to the EU.
As ever, please feel free to send us your comments, using a pseudonym or your real name. They will appear below.
[ Sources: Office for National Statistics | BBC ] As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       06.10am, 17 Aug 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
© GoFundMe
WE ONLY NEED A TINY FRACTION OF WHAT THIS WOMAN RAISED
IN JUST 11 DAYS
APPEAL: Could you spare just £1.20 per week to keep us going?
We need to raise an extra £5,000 per month
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