Brexit
Facts4EU.Org
Decide on
THE FACTS

LATEST BREXIT NEWS
based on UK and EU official sources

SEPT'S HOT
BREXIT NEWS
News, latest facts,
rebuttals to latest
Remain claims...
STAY AHEAD
Essential pro-Brexit
factual news weekly
Enter your email address:


Delivered by Google FeedBurner
Your details are of course kept confidential and you can unsubscribe at any time.
CAN YOU HELP?
We're read by Ministers, ex-Ministers, MPs, MEPs, campaigners and the Public.
We rely 100% on voluntary contributions.
Click for details
We need help

We could so much more if we had a benefactor, and/or lots of people giving small amounts!

  Home | LATEST BREXIT
HOT NEWS
| Research
Summary
| Brexit & the
Single Market
| O Brexit
My Brexit
| Your
Articles
| Help
Us
| Contact
Quick Brexit facts from reliable, official sources
Read by Ministers, MPs, MEPs, journalists, campaigners, and the public
SOUND-BITE FACTS   -   BREXIT NEWS  (Latest news appears first)
 EU27 LEADERS RUBBER-STAMP A DOCUMENT AND CELEBRATE ‘UNITY’
EU Council took 1, 4 or 15 minutes to agree nothing new
Yesterday the EU Council of leaders of the member states of the EU27 agreed their “Guidelines Following The United Kingdom's Notification Under Article 50 TEU”.
© EU Council 2017
The Guidelines are in 6 parts:-
  • Core Principles
  • A Phased Approach To Negotiations
  • Agreement On Arrangements For An Orderly Withdrawal
  • Preliminary And Preparatory Discussions On A Framework For The Union - United Kingdom Future Relationship
  • Principle Of Sincere Cooperation
  • Procedural Arrangements For Negotiations Under Article 50
You can read the Guidelines here, although they contain almost nothing new.
HOW LONG DID THIS TAKE?
Depending on who you believe, it took 1 minute, 4 minutes, or 15 minutes to agree the guidelines.
  • 1 minute - Senior EU Official (1 min) as reported by AFP, Sky News, and others
  • 4 minutes - President Juncker and President Tusk at joint press conference
  • 15 minutes - Official statement released by EU Commission later
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
President Juncker announced yesterday that there will be a meeting next Wed 03 May at which the EU Commission will draw up the detailed mandate for negotiations. He also said that negotiations would not start until after the UK’s General Election on 08 June.
It is not clear why the EU claims that the UK’s General Election is delaying the start of talks. There is a great deal of work to be done and at the very least the EU could send any documents it has to the British government so that officials can start analysing them.
Yesterday Juncker claimed that the Commission already has a detailed document regarding citizens rights, containing 25 separate issues. He failed to say when this will be delivered to the British government.
In short, the formal agreement yesterday contained very little of substance and simply reflected what has already been reported. The important part has yet to be published. The EU Commission will now produce more detailed documents, outlining specifics in relation to the EU’s initial demands for a withdrawal agreement ahead of any discussion of a future trading and cooperation agreement.
OPINION
The Sunday Times’ headline this morning is “May is living in another galaxy, says Brussels”, with a sub-heading of “EU takes the gloves off as Brexit battle begins”.
We disagree. Perhaps the laces have been loosened, but the gloves will not be removed until the EU Commission meets next week to agree detailed demands based on the vague wording of yesterday’s EU Council statement.
It is only when the EU produces its detailed demands that the gloves will truly start coming off. At that point the British people – and the rest of the World – will start to see just how unreasonable the EU is prepared to be over Brexit.
Separately yesterday, the EU Commission issued a strange document entitled "Negotiations with the United Kingdom".
We regret to say that this document – more or less a 4-part slide-show – resembles something which might have been knocked up by President Juncker over a few nightcaps.
Bizarrely it contains something called “The 4-week Negotiation Cycle”:-
© EU Commission 2017
What on earth is this? It bears no relation to anything which has been discussed or agreed and no relation whatsoever to President Juncker’s claims yesterday that the negotiations over just the question of citizens’ rights alone will take “a huge amount of time”. (See article below.)
For a more detailed look at what the EU is likely to come up with in the next week or more, please see our special article on this which we published recently.
There is also more information contained in our 2-part article on the EU Parliament’s demands, a large part of which are likely to figure strongly in the EU Commission’s own detailed demands.
[ Sources: EU Council | EU Commission |     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       07.50am, 30 Apr 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Paul, Lancashire      Date/Time: 30 Apr 2017, 08.15am
Message: The EU really does appear to be making things up as it goes along. I'm no lawyer, but reading article 50 shows that the EU simply didn't expect anyone to trigger it - it is short and ill-defined. A50 only seems to define the (fixed term) 2 year lock-in period (which can be finished early if an agreement is made - but nothing stated if one party is acting unreasonably .. cough... EU). It doesn't define anything about liabilities, EU budgets or lump sum payments etc. One question I have though. Is the EU not already in breach of the Lisbon treaty by holding its EU27 meetings, prior to A50 being triggered, and excluding the UK from those meetings? If so, is that a sufficient breach of the contract that would allow us to render the Lisbon treaty invalid, and hence we could just circumvent the 2 year period?
Reply: Facts4EU.Org Team      Date/Time: 30 Apr 2017, 08.45am
Message: In answer to your final question Paul, you make a good point. We wrote about exactly this in two articles late last year, which you can read here and here.
Name: Paul Abbott, UK      Date/Time: 30 Apr 2017, 10.55am
Message: Whilst trying to be objective, honest and frank, considering the depth of their dishonest bully boy tactics I am at a loss as to why the EU wants to belong to the EU....
 AGREEING CITIZENS’ RIGHTS WILL “TAKE A HUGE AMOUNT OF TIME”
President Juncker says the UK “underestimates the technical difficulties” involved
EU holds citizens hostage by tying a deal to many unrelated issues
Regarding the rights of EU and UK citizens living in each others’ countries, Juncker said yesterday that the EU Commission had drawn up a proposals "which could be adopted immediately if our British friends would be ready to sign it (but) that will probably not happen".
"I have the impression sometimes that our British friends… underestimate the technical difficulties we have to face,” he said, and added that any agreement “will take a huge amount of time”.
He described the area of citizens’ rights as being “a cortège of 25 different questions”.
President Jean-Claude Juncker, press conference, 29 Apr 2017
 
OPINION
It is important to stress that the EU has unilaterally decided that - even if agreement were swiftly reached on citizens’ rights – the EU27 will sign nothing without an agreement on all the other areas which the EU has decided to include in ‘Phase 1’ of the negotiations.
In other words, all the bluster from the EU about putting citizens first is simply a PR exercise. It is very important that the UK doesn’t lose this PR battle. The British government must start putting out statements explaining that it attempted to discuss and agree the citizens’ rights question in December last year, but was rebuffed. This is not known by the public of the EU27 countries.
The government must also make it clear to all citizens in the EU that it is ready to do a deal on this, but that the EU is insisting on tying this matter to a whole range of completely unconnected issues, before they will sign anything.
[ Sources: EU Council |     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       08.10am, 30 Apr 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
Name: David Joyce, UK      Date/Time: 30 Apr 2017, 3.50pm
Message: Sir, I seem to remember the EU saying that its citizens should come under the jurisdiction of ECJ. It seems bizarre to even suggest that any person moving from one country to another should live under any jurisdiction other than that country in which they live and work. Surely this would be a world first and an extension of power with no means of enforcing it. Unless of course our government sees fit to keep us under the jurisdiction of the ECJ!
© GoFundMe
IN THE LAST 11 DAYS GINA MILLER HAS RAISED £344,000 POUNDS
APPEAL: Could you spare £1.20 per week to keep us going?
We need to raise an extra £5,000 per month
Facts4EU’s articles and research are used and quoted by the national press.
Amongst our readership we number MPs, MEPs, and former Cabinet Ministers.
With your help we can make a difference – we can’t do it without you.
Subscribe With a monthly donation
From £1.20 / week
        Donate Make a one-off donation
from £10 upwards
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR LATEST SUBSCRIBERS AND DONORS
VIP MEMBERS -   M Donnan, Middx
GOLD MEMBERS -   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 - S Cooper, Surrey  |  N Brooker, London  |  M Wood, Ceredigion  |  R Parkin, England  |  Anonymous, UK
VALUED SUPPORTERS - 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
EITHER WE'RE LOSING IT, OR PRESIDENT TUSK IS 
The bizarre, inverted logic of the EU Council President
Yesterday EU Council President Donald Tusk published an 'invitation letter' to the EU27 leaders for today's meeting to discuss Brexit.
The letter starts with the following very strange statement:
"Let me highlight one element of our proposed guidelines, which I believe is key for the success of these negotiations, and therefore needs to be precisely understood and fully accepted. I am referring to the idea of a phased approach, which means that we will not discuss our future relations with the UK until we have achieved sufficient progress on the main issues relating to the UK's withdrawal from the EU. This is not only a matter of tactics, but - given the limited time frame we have to conclude the talks - it is the only possible approach."
President Donald Tusk, Letter to EU27, 28 Apr 2017
 
SOME BASICS
If you have a complex project with a challenging deadline, you normally look to 'parallel-track' as many things as possible. That way, your various teams are all occupied and progress is being made on a variety of fronts.
The one thing you absolutely do not do is take a deliberate decision to do one thing and not look at anything else - even when sitting idly waiting for a response - until the first thing is completed.
In a blinding exposition of the way the EU works, however, President Tusk is demanding a phased approach, thereby guaranteeing that the entire negotiation will take longer and will almost inevitably not be completed on time.
We have all known for some time that the EU was insisting that they wouldn't hold negotiations on all aspects of the UK's exit before agreeing a financial settlement first. What is simply breathtaking, however, is the extraordinary inverted logic which President Tusk has given for this, without any apparent embarrassment.
If the EU wants to avoid the world thinking it's being deliberately difficult and obstructive, it will have to do better than this.
[ Sources: EU Council |     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       10.15am, 29 Apr 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
THE £50 BILLION EU BILL AND WHY IT ISN’T PAYABLE 
A legal and commonsense explainer of the UK’s legal obligations
The £50 billion bill mooted to be presented to the UK by the EU, and agreed before the EU will negotiate anything else, has so far not been quantified or detailed. It has, however, been talked about repeatedly within the EU and publicly by its officers and politicians.
It will be the headline item during discussions at the meeting of the EU27 leaders in Brussels today.
This article assumes that such a bill will be presented to the UK in the coming days or weeks. Here we provide the legal case in everyday language as to why the UK is liable for no such bill.
1.  THE EU’S PRE-CONDITIONS HAVE NO LEGAL BASIS
SUMMARY 1
  • Any ‘Brexit bill first’ demand is a political action by the EU, with no legal basis
  • Denial of any talks since June 2016 is a political action by the EU, with no legal basis
There is no legal basis for the EU to demand that a financial settlement be agreed by the UK prior to starting full negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU and on the future trading arrangements.
The insistence on a financial settlement being agreed before anything else is therefore purely a political decision by the EU. If insisted upon, this will be damaging to people, businesses and jobs throughout all EU member states.
In the same way, the EU wasted nine months insisting that no talks of any kind could take place prior to the UK formally invoking Article 50. As with the so-called ‘Brexit bill’, this had no basis in law and was also a purely political decision. By the time of Brexit, it too will prove to have had a damaging effect on people, businesses and jobs in all member states.
2.  THE LEGAL CASE AGAINST ANY BREXIT BILL
Article 50 of the EU Treaty states that the Treaties “shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification”.
In other words, on 29 March 2019 the UK will leave the EU and will no longer be bound by its rights or obligations. The Treaty does not set out any financial obligations being settled prior to withdrawal. In the absence of such mention, in broad terms international law assumes they do not exist.
The financial rights and obligations of the UK towards the EU are contained within secondary legislation, which is subordinate to the Treaty. Without the Treaty applying to the UK following exit, any obligations created under secondary legislation to the Treaty are no longer binding and are effectively terminated.
The UK is therefore only liable to continue to make annual contributions to the EU until the date of its departure on 29 March 2019. The EU’s proposed expenditures envisaged within the 7-year Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) are not the responsibility nor the liability of the UK after the UK’s exit date.
FURTHER LEGAL POINTS
The EU has a ‘personality’ in legal terms. Long-term commitments it enters into are commitments for the European Union, not for its individual member states. It follows that when a member leaves, it no longer has legal obligations towards future expenditures.
No hypothecated funds: Funds provided by member states under the MFF are not designated to expenditure areas, they are treated globally. It follows that the UK cannot be held responsible for payments towards any individual area of expenditure which the EU may try to designate.
Precedents: When countries join or leave an international organisation, there is no general practice of them having to adopt the financial assets and liabilities of the organisation on joining, or of making/receiving a balance payment on leaving.
Income variability: A member’s contributions are made up of customs tariff receipts, a percentage of VAT, and a percentage of the member’s GDP. Clearly all of these can vary and there is therefore no possibility of saying that the UK’s future payments were committed to funding certain expenditures.
Expenditure variability: The EU specifically makes provision for changes to its expenditures outside of the MFF and ‘Own Resources’ agreements – they are not fixed. If these can (and do) change, then it is not possible to argue that the UK has entered into a ‘contract’ to fund future expenditures.
Reasonable expectations: The EU has known of the British public’s decision to leave the EU since 24 June 2016. It has taken no publicised decisions to amend its expenditure plans since then, even following the invocation of Article 50. Instead it has carried on as if nothing has happened.
SUMMARY 2
  • No legal provisions for a Brexit bill in the Treaty
  • Expenditure commitments of the EU come under EU secondary legislation
  • Secondary legislation has no basis except under the Treaty, which will no longer apply to the UK
  • UK must continue paying annual contributions until 29 April 2019
  • EU incomes and expenditures are not fixed – but no attempt by EU to adjust its plans
3.  CAN’T WE JUST WALK AWAY?
A reader recently asked “Am I right in assuming that we can't walk away without breaking the Treaty and have to wait for 2 years for the negotiations to fail?”
The simple answer is that the UK has a legal obligation under the Treaty and has invoked Article 50. In effect, if the UK were simply to walk away before the end of the two year negotiating period then it would be in breach of an international treaty.
We believe an interesting question arises, however, if the EU were seen to be acting unreasonably by preventing effective negotiations from taking place. We are seeking legal opinion on this.
FINALLY, IF THE EU WERE JUDGED BY NORMAL STANDARDS
Imagine a family with two children and both parents working. The employer of one of the parents announces it will be soon be introducing half-time working. It then gives a date for this to commence.
Despite the approach of this significant drop in household income, the family continues spending at the same levels, the mother renews her gym membership, the father buys new golf clubs, they go ahead with an increase to their Sky channels, they look forward to replacing their car with a newer model, and they plan an extra long weekend break in Spain in the autumn.
These parents would be deemed irresponsible by most people.
As ever, we welcome your thoughts on this article.
Note: We are not lawyers. We given our interpretation and précis of the legal position as we see it based on our research.
[ Sources: House of Lords EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee | Lawyers for Britain | EU Commission and Eur-Lex |     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       07.25am, 29 Apr 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Carole, UK      Date/Time: 29 Apr 2017, 09.28am
Message: Targeting London's Euro clearing by changing the regulations prior to our leaving could be viewed as an economic sanction - a power grab against an ally.
Name: Brian Gilbert, UK      Date/Time: 29 Apr 2017, 16.19
Message: You state that 2 year period is necessary for leaving. However it has been stated by UKIP and the Telegraph that the UK can quickly repeal the UK laws making it subject to the EU. We are then no longer bound by the 2 year requirement or any other by international law. Gerard Batten, UKIP MEP spelt it out.
Name: Facts4EU.Org Team      Date/Time: 29 Apr 2017, 19.05
Message: We have used the available legal advice. Unfortunately this does not agree with the claim that the UK can leave simply by repealing the relevant UK laws. We are always happy to publish comments or articles by MEPs and have previously contacted UKIP about this.
Name: Roger Parkin, UK      Date/Time: 29 Apr 2017, 18.48
Message: Thank you for yet another thorough and logical article. This time on a possible cost of exit. Whilst agreeing with your conclusions I am absolutely convinced that despite being in a strong position our Prime Minister will undoubtedly wish to make a huge payment as a sweetener. Given that such a payment would have no legal basis do you think that the government would need parliament's approval first and would they get it.
UK ECONOMY CONTINUES TO GROW IN ALL SECTORS 
Latest quarter’s growth rate is higher than same quarter 2016
Below are the latest figures released this morning by the Office for National Statistics for GDP growth in the first quarter of this year.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Growth was less than in the previous quarter, but higher than a year ago – before the referendum.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
[ Sources: Office for National Statistics |     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       11.00am, 28 Apr 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
‘EXTREME EU’ PREPARES TO CUT OFF ITS NOSE 
All signs now point to an Extreme EU becoming more extreme, heading into talks
A FACTS4EU.ORG OPINION
“They won’t cut off their nose to spite their face.”
– many British politicians and commentators
“Oh yes they bloody well will.”
– the Brexit Facts4EU.Org Research Team
It has long been our position that the EU – its institutions, its leaders, and many of the leaders of its member states – will fail to act rationally or reasonably when it comes to negotiating the UK’s departure.
The UK could have the strongest negotiating hand imaginable and it wouldn’t make any difference. The EU and its leaders are on a mission, if not from God, then from the EU’s ‘founding fathers’ of Monnet, Schuman, Spinelli et al.  Logic and reason won’t come into it. Solidarity and unity are the guiding principles.
Step back from all the detail for a moment. Forget how much more they sell to us than we sell to them, ignore the fact that a significant part of the EU’s defence and security is provided by the UK, try not to think about the hundreds of billions which the UK has spent bankrolling this dysfunctional EU ‘project’ in the last 44 years. Think instead about the continental mentality and the last 120 years of European history.
MENTIONING THE WAR
Yesterday in the Bundestag, Angela Merkel gave a speech about Brexit. However another event took place there yesterday: the ceremony of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism. The ceremony’s opening speech came from the President of the Bundestag, Norbert Lammert.
We recommend the speech to you and you can read it here.
We mention this ceremony yesterday, on the same day as Mrs Merkel’s Brexit speech, because it helps to understand why so many people in continental Europe have a profoundly different view of the EU to that of the British people. The German parliament continues to pass legislation in relation to WWII; it is not ‘ancient history’ to legislators. And to many ordinary people in the EU27 countries, the EU’s perceived role in preserving peace on the continent helps them to turn a blind eye to the absurdities and failures of the whole European ‘Project’.
THE 'PROJECT'
Yes, the EU is a political ‘project’. It long ago gave up any pretence of being a trading bloc and in recent years EU politicians have started being more open about this. In 2015, the same Bundestag President Lammert who spoke about Nazism yesterday, signed a Declaration entitled: “Greater European Integration: The Way Forward”. His co-signatories were the Presidents of the parliaments of France, Italy and Luxembourg. Since then, 15 countries’ parliaments have signed the Declaration. In summary this Declaration advocates a move to a fully-federal Europe, sharing tax regimes, central banking, and the integration of many more social laws and standards.
If the British people had truly known what the EU was planning, the significant minority who voted Remain in the Referendum would have been far, far smaller.
For many in the EU27, the whole EU Project has an almost religious feel to it. We hear this in the sometimes quavering voices when words like ‘solidarity’ are invoked. To a British person, this show of emotion can frequently be embarrassing. We can’t watch a speech from a representative of one branch of the three main EU bodies, without the other two branches being lauded in some way. (The three main bodies are the EU Council, Commission, and Parliament.) These people are missionaries and they all know their gospel.
If the British government fails to understand the mindset of EU politicians and bureaucrats, it will achieve a less successful result than would otherwise be the case.
Many British politicians, commentators and journalists have wanted to put a positive spin on the increasingly hardening statements, reports, parliamentary motions, and bellicose speeches coming out of the EU since the UK voted to leave last summer. Even those British commentators who had some misgivings about this have misunderstood just how badly the EU is likely to behave as negotiations begin.
Do you remember President Juncker’s first public utterance on the news of the Leave vote?
“This will not be an amicable divorce”,
he told German television channel ARD the next day.
Well guess what? He wasn’t kidding.
Since late June 2016 the EU has gradually sorted out its position on Brexit. During this process the rhetoric has become more aggressive and hard-line. Three weeks ago we provided comprehensive coverage of the EU Parliament’s debate on Brexit, when they agreed a motion containing their demands. We commented: “Frankly there is so much in the EU parliament’s resolution that will be wholly unacceptable to the British people, we see very little hope of there being any kind of compromise which can be reached.”
Our last article about the EU’s toughening stance appeared only a week ago, when we provided you with a leaked copy of an EU Commission document which had been obtained by Politico, fleshing out their demands even more. Our comments on this included the following: “It’s our continued opinion that the EU’s developing red-lines and demands are moving so far away from what may be considered fair and reasonable, they run the risk of making any sensible negotiations a complete non-starter.”
We could have written far more about this in the last year but then no-one likes a pessimist. Wherever possible we presented major facts – a significant proportion of which had never appeared elsewhere – to show just how strong the UK’s case is.
Alas, the UK is rapidly approaching ‘reality check’ time. Tomorrow the EU27’s leaders will meet in Brussels at 11.30am. At or after 4pm, there will be a press conference with President Tusk, President Juncker, and possibly some national leaders.
Ostensibly their final negotiating position won’t be published until next week, but it’s inevitable that they will confirm at least some of the thrust of the leaked document. And it won’t be pretty.
DO THEY WANT TO PUNISH US?
Oh yes, without any doubt. The main players have far too much invested in this to see it fail. The EU has been through many existential crises in its history but the Brexit vote shook it to the core. You can see this in all the speeches since. They may not admit it but they're worried. Brexit Britain must be a shocking example of what happens if you dare to leave Mother EU.
SO WHERE WILL THAT LEAVE THE UK?
Naturally the EU are setting out their opening stance and this does not necessarily represent their final position.
The problem is that we believe the EU’s compromise positions will still be a considerable distance away from those which a reasonably-minded outside observer might expect. We further believe that many of these positions will be totally unacceptable to the British people.
We’re sure that the Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) has been developing negotiating strategies to counter the threats we’ve outlined above. We hope that the main Brexit organisations have equally been developing strategies for ensuring that the British public is made aware of the full extent of the unreasonableness of the EU’s likely positions.
The British have a reputation for not responding well to bullying and unfairness. The elected and unelected leaders across the EU27 will no doubt want to bear this in mind in the coming months.
As ever, we welcome your thoughts.
       Facts4EU.Org, 06.30am, 28 Apr 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
Name: John Finn, UK      Date/Time: 28 Apr 2017, 10.17
Message: If your analysis is correct then we can only hope the UK government has a robust fall back plan else support for Brexit will melt away pretty quickly. To be frank, these recent facts4eu revelations are all a bit late in the day and it rather suggests that the whole Brexit campaign was completely irresponsible. I voted to Leave but my decision was based on assurances that impacts on trade would be minimal. I took little notice of slogans on buses but did think that the arguments for a continuation of a free trading relationship had been well researched. It now appears this is not the case. We could be screwed here. While many remain voters have accepted the decision , the country is still deeply split on the issue. If the EU engages in brinkmanship - it is the UK who will blink first. I can see a situation in 18 months time where, save for a few hard core UKIPpers, there won't be anyone who will admit to voting for Brexit.
Name: Fact4EU.Org Team      Date/Time: 28 Apr 2017, 10.45
Message: Hi John, thanks for your comments. The opinion article above was principally about the exit negotiations, which is what the EU27 leaders are discussing tomorrow. Trade negotiations won't even begin until Oct/Nov at the earliest. We remain very positive about the UK's trade prospects outside the EU.
Name: Colin, UK      Date/Time: 28 Apr 2017, 12.25
Message: It is clear to me that negotiations will never produce a Brexit deal which will be acceptable to the British people. How can 27 such different countries ever reach a common decision on anything? Why do we not walk away immediately, stop all payments to the EU forthwith and let them come to us with their demands?
MERKEL TELLS GERMAN PARLIAMENT BRITISH MUST BE ‘CONSTRUCTIVE’ 
Mrs Merkel’s speech on Brexit to the Bundestag 27 Apr 2017
This morning Mrs Merkel addressed the Bundestag on the subject of Brexit, and Turkey.
The Chancellery has not yet published the text of her speech but we have listened to it. If you speak German, click on the picture below to listen to her speech for yourself.
Screengrab from © Bundestag 2017
The Chancellery has however published some notes about the speech, which we have translated and which we thought you might be interested to read.
From the Bundeskanzlerin, 27 April 2017
There is now a great deal of agreement among the 27 remaining EU Member States and the European institutions on a common negotiating line with Great Britain. "We can therefore assume that the European Council of 27 will give a strong signal of unity," stressed Merkel.
For the Federal Government, the future issue of the European Union remains the most important issue in the negotiations. According to Chancellor Merkel, the three issues are the following:
"We must protect the interests of our citizens, the German citizens." It was important to clarify the very specific everyday questions of the 100,000 Germans living in Great Britain. The Federal Government would work to achieve clarity and planning security on all these issues.
"It is a question of averting damage to the EU as a whole, which could lead to an unsuccessful transition of Great Britain to its future status as a third country." Legal certainty is necessary.
"We need to strengthen the cohesion of the EU of 27." For 60 years the EU has been a unique success story. Merkel said that this would have to be done with the future 27 member states.
The Federal Chancellor attached great importance to the European Parliament and the national parliaments in the negotiation process.
What does the UK want?
Britain would now have to clarify its ideas about future relations with the EU. The British financial commitments to the EU should also be discussed at an early stage of the negotiations. The Chancellor assured that Germany and the EU were ready for constructive Brexit talks, but they also expected this from the British government.
Tomorrow we will publish an article about the EU’s negotiating stance, ahead of the meeting of the EU27’s leaders on Saturday.
[ Sources: Bundeskanzlerin | Bundestag |     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       5.30pm, 27 Apr 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
WHO IS THE EU COURT’S BAD BOY
FOR BREAKING TREATY OBLIGATIONS?
 
The EU Court Of Justice 2016 Review shows some interesting facts
Germany and Greece faced the most actions in 2016 at the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) for failing to fulfil their obligations. Together they accounted for over 45% of all these cases.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
By contrast, the UK was responsible for only 3.2% of these actions.
[ Sources: Court of Justice of the European Union Annual Report 2016 |     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       06.30am, 27 Apr 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
WE DON'T HAVE FUNDING LIKE THE MAJOR BREXIT ORGANISATIONS
SO WE NEED YOUR HELP!
APPEAL: Could you spare £1.20 per week to keep us going?
We need to raise an extra £5,000 per month
Facts4EU’s articles and research are used and quoted by the national press.
Amongst our readership we number MPs, MEPs, and former Cabinet Ministers.
With your help we can make a difference – we can’t do it without you.
Subscribe With a monthly donation
From £1.20 / week
        Donate Make a one-off donation
from £10 upwards
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR LATEST SUBSCRIBERS AND DONORS
VIP MEMBERS -   M Donnan, Middx
GOLD MEMBERS -   C Latham, East Sussex  |  D Cooper, Berks  |  G Gardner, Cheshire  |  Anonymous, UK  |  J Holmes, Shropshire  |   C Mainds, London  |  P Abbott, E Sussex
MEMBERS - N Brooker, London  |  M Wood, Ceredigion  |  R Parkin, England  |  Anonymous, UK
VALUED SUPPORTERS - G Reakes, London  |  J Hatfield, South Ayrshire  |  F Carstairs, W Sussex  |  N Martinek, W Yorks  |  A Hammond, Lincs  |  Anonymous, Aberdeen  |  P Derbyshire, GB
IS THIS WHY ANGELA NEEDS TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH IVANKA? 
German asylum figures - and the exploding costs of Mrs Merkel’s policy
Ivanka Trump, Christine Lagarde (IMF) and Angela Merkel, Berlin - © Bundeskanzlerin
Key facts:-
  • In the last five years, Angela Merkel’s Germany has had 1,629,000 asylum applications
  • The number of migrants is much higher, but that’s the number of asylum-seekers
  • The EU Commission put the cost per asylum-seeker at £214,000 (€250,000) per person
  • That puts the cost to Germany of the last five years at almost £350 billion
Yesterday, the German Chancellor entertained Ivanka Trump in Berlin. The US President’s daughter was given very friendly treatment by the Chancellor, despite the booing and hissing which Mrs Trump received at the hands of the audience.
As the full costs of Mrs Merkel’s disastrous immigration policy start to be felt in Germany, perhaps it’s not surprising that she now appears to be on a charm offensive with the USA. Ivanka Trump attended the women’s conference in Berlin at the invitation of the German Chancellor.
Mrs Merkel is one of the few people in the EU who apparently believes that the EU's much-vaunted and long-awaited trade deal with the US (known as TTIP) isn't dead. It is certainly in Germany's interests to try to resurrect it.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The German Ministry for Migration and Refugees has now published its report on asylum in 2016. As you can see from the graph above, it makes worrying reading for Germans.
Even more alarming is when the asylum numbers are put into terms of cost. The EU Commission determined the cost per migrant to be £214,000.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Using the EU Commission’s figure, the cumulative cost of the last five years of Germany’s rapidly growing asylum-seeker numbers comes out at £348.2 billion.
Naturally not all asylum applications will be accepted, but then the asylum figures do not include all the additional people who will come to Germany as a result of the right of ‘family reunification’. We therefore consider the figure of around £350 billion to be a perfectly reasonable estimate of the additional costs to Germany of its asylum policies of recent years.
It may be an obvious point, but it should be borne in mind that asylum-seekers in Germany are not the same as migrants entering the UK, the majority of whom will enter the labour market very rapidly. Asylum seekers generally do not speak any German and the majority do not have the education or qualifications required by German employers. These are simple facts admitted by the German government in numerous reports.
THE IMPLICATIONS FOR BREXIT
At the same time as it deals with the burgeoning costs of asylum-seekers, the German Bundestag has been looking at the cost to Germany of the UK’s departure from the EU. On top of the growing costs of Mrs Merkel’s ill-advised immigration policies, Germany certainly does not need additional costs arising as a result of having to pick up the largest share of any shortfall in EU funding.
When it comes to the Brexit bill, it should come as no surprise that the German government will be as determined as any country to try to extract the maximum possible settlement out of the UK.
As usual, your comments are welcome.
[ Sources: Bundesamt fur Migration und Fluchtlinge | EU Commission |     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       07.10am, 26 Apr 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
HOW IS THE CITIZENSHIP OF THE EU CHANGING? 
Moroccans, Albanians and Turks top the nationalities
for new EU citizenships granted in 2015
Latest figures released by the EU’s statistical body Eurostat show that EU countries granted 841,246 citizenships during 2015. Of these, 727,207 were granted to non-EU nationals.
In purely numerical terms, the top 5 countries granting citizenships to non-EU nationals were Italy, Spain, the UK, France and Germany.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
As a percentage of existing populations, however, the UK falls to 9th place. Sweden granted the most citizenships to non-EU nationals in comparison to its size, followed by Cyprus, Italy, Spain and Ireland.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
WHERE DID THE NEW EU CITIZENS COME FROM?
The top 20 non-EU recipient nationalities of new EU citizenships makes for strange reading. The top 5 non-EU nationalities were Moroccans, Albanians, Turks, Indians and Pakistanis. Naturally the UK was responsible for the majority of Indians and Pakistanis.
When looking at the nationalities of existing EU citizens changing their country of EU citizenship, Romanians came top, followed by Poles.
© Eurostat 2017
Much is spoken of immigration into the EU – particularly the illegal crossing of borders. The granting of citizenships will of course lag behind immigration by many years.
In the coming years the current number of new citizenships is likely to rise rapidly, firstly with people from countries like Syria and Iraq, and then with those from Africa, following the trend in irregular immigration which we have seen in the last few years. The rapid explosion in immigration into Italy this year is predominantly from the African continent.
[ Sources: Eurostat | Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       06.15am, 25 Apr 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
EU MOVES TO ABOLISH UK REBATE AND IMPOSE EXTRA NEW TAXES 
Apocalyptic vision for the UK’s net EU contributions
THE EU'S MOVES TO ABOLISH THE UK'S REBATE
What would have been the likely effect on the UK of EU’s funding plans for 2020
if we hadn’t voted to leave?
“All correction mechanisms (‘rebates’) should be abolished.”
From the EU's ‘High Level Group On Own Resources’ EU Report Summary
If the UK's rebate were removed as the EU plans, then based on the official 2015 net contributions in our report yesterday:
The UK’s net contributions would rise by over £85 million per week
In 2014, the EU created a body called the ‘High Level Group On Own Resources’ - to look at EU funding from 2020 onwards. The Group was jointly appointed by the EU’s three major institutions: the Commission, the EU’s Parliament, and the EU Council of Ministers.
These are the three groups which effectively run the EU, so their High Level Group has real punch.
Earlier this year, the Group published its findings and recommendations for the EU’s funding from 2020 onwards. The report’s conclusions completely vindicate the warnings that we and some Leave organisations made prior to the Referendum - warnings which were dismissed by the official Remain campaign.
Here are some of the EU's new plans:-
  • UK’s rebate to be axed, increasing UK’s contributions by £4.4 billion / year (at 2015 prices)
  • New EU-wide tax on companies and new EU VAT provisions
  • A new financial transaction tax or other financial activities' tax
  • New tax on electricity, and a motor fuel tax
  • New border control tax, new tax on the digital single market
  • Find better ways to ‘describe’ the way the EU is funded
In 2015 the official figure for the UK’s net EU contributions (after all public and private sector receipts) was £10.13 billion. (See article below.)
Without the rebate, this would have jumped by an incredible 43% to £14.5 billion.
The £14.5 billion includes the UK's contributions to the EU's EDF Fund which for some reason aren't in the official net figure. If you then add the effects of inflation and exchange rate changes, the UK's contributions would be even higher than that.
And we haven't yet attempted to quantify the cost of the proposed new financial transaction tax, electricity tax, fuel tax, border control tax and other taxes, likely to cost several billions more.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The EU's High Level Group report is breathtaking in very many ways, not least in its proposals on how information should be presented to the people.
“When we talk about financing the EU budget the ‘taxpayers’ are actually the 28 Member States, not the 510 million citizens”
EU 'High Level Group on Own Resources' Report 2017
There is no universe in which this statement is true. It’s as if the EU wants people to believe that governments have magic pots of money, completely unconnected to the work done by people in member states to generate national income.
In an astonishing move, the report even goes on to claim that there will be no net increase in the EU budget. This is pure sleight of hand, shifting the ways in which funds are labelled. In reality the peoples of the EU member states will end up paying more.
In particular, the people of the UK would end up paying far more.
At least £4.4 billion more per year, based on HM Treasury's figures for 2015.
If you wish us to continue producing essential and unique news like this,
please consider supporting us with a donation or subscription.
[ Sources: EU High Level Group on Own Resources Report | HM Treasury Report on 2015 EU financing | OBR reports and official forecasts 2016 | Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       07.15am, 24 Apr 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
WE DON'T HAVE FUNDING LIKE THE MAJOR BREXIT ORGANISATIONS
SO WE NEED YOUR HELP!
APPEAL: Could you spare £1.20 per week to keep us going?
We need to raise an extra £5,000 per month
Facts4EU’s articles and research are used and quoted by the national press.
Amongst our readership we number MPs, MEPs, and former Cabinet Ministers.
With your help we can make a difference – we can’t do it without you.
Subscribe With a monthly donation
From £1.20 / week
        Donate Make a one-off donation
from £10 upwards
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR LATEST SUBSCRIBERS AND DONORS
VIP MEMBERS -   M Donnan, Middx
GOLD MEMBERS -   C Latham, East Sussex  |  D Cooper, Berks  |  G Gardner, Cheshire  |  Anonymous, UK  |  J Holmes, Shropshire  |   C Mainds, London  |  P Abbott, E Sussex
MEMBERS - N Brooker, London  |  M Wood, Ceredigion  |  R Parkin, England  |  Anonymous, UK
VALUED SUPPORTERS - G Reakes, London  |  J Hatfield, South Ayrshire  |  F Carstairs, W Sussex  |  N Martinek, W Yorks  |  A Hammond, Lincs  |  Anonymous, Aberdeen  |  P Derbyshire, GB
 OFFICIAL, DEFINITIVE FIGURE FOR UK’S NET CONTRIBUTIONS TO EU
What is the official figure, after all deductions and receipts?
£ 10.13 BILLION
  • This is the figure for 2015 – the last year for which full figures are available
  • It is the official EU figure
  • It’s used by HM Treasury in their Feb 2017 report on the UK’s EU finances
  • It is the net, net figure, after all deductions and receipts
  • It accounts for the UK rebate, and all public and private sector payments from the EU to the UK
All through the Referendum campaign last year, and continuing up to today, Remainers used a figure of £8.4 billion for the UK’s net contribution to the EU, after all deductions.
The true figure was 20% higher.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The BBC used the figure of £8.4 billion, the ‘Stronger In’ official Remain campaign used it, Government ministers used it, and the Full Facts organisation used it.
We consistently told them they were wrong. We quoted figures of £10.1-£11.2 billion (depending on the source data being used) and wrote that “a figure of £10 billion per year is a very reasonable and uncontestable figure to use”.
Readers of Facts4EU.Org were able to use this figure of £10 billion with confidence, despite all the ‘experts’ telling the public differently.
Now, even the Treasury admits we were right all along.
Remainers will no doubt say that the data they were using in the Referendum campaign was the latest available at the time. If that were true, how were we able to quote the more accurate figure during the campaign? If they had really wanted to present the true figure for the UK's contributions to the British public, they could have.
In reality, the official figure should be higher, as it does not include payments to the EDF fund (see yesterday's reports) and the fact that the EU plans to abolish the UK's rebate. More on this in another article soon.
Scientists and facts
On a separate note, yesterday scientists (and the usual Remainer protestors) took to the streets of London, protesting about Brexit and “the growth of fake news and misinformation”.
You may recall almost all the country's top scientists including Stephen Hawking writing letters to the press last year, essentially saying that UK science would be decimated if we voted Leave. They may therefore be interested to know that the above figure of £10.13 billion is stated after accounting for 'EU' payments to UK science under the Horizon 2020 programme.(These payments effectively come from the UK anyway, not the EU, as the UK is a net contributor.)
[ Sources: HM Treasury | EU Commission ]        08.00am, Sun 23 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Sue L, North Yorkshire      Date/Time: 23 Apr 2017, 18.22
Message: Is the 10 billion before or after inclusion of other income received by the EU pursuant to the UK's membership? I understand that the EU also receive something from our VAT tax take and from tariffs on goods imported into the EU from outside the EU - part of which will be destined to the UK even if imported into Holland / Belgium ports initially.
Name: Fact4EU.Org Team      Date/Time: 23 Apr 2017, 19.20
Message: Hi Sue, good questions. The £10 billion is after all incomes and payments have been included - except the EDF fund payments we wrote about yesterday (see below). We didn't add these to the £10.1 billion figure because we still can't work out why no-one else has ever spotted this. We thought it safer to give everyone the definitive figure which appears in HM Treasury's accounts for 2015.
Regarding things like VAT and customs duties, you are correct that the UK makes payments to the EU in respect of these.
The customs duties are called 'Traditional Own Resources' (TOR) and are one of the three main ways the EU is funded. They're included when calculating the UK's net contributions of £10.1 billion. The UK paid 17.1% of the EU's total TOR in 2015.
The VAT-based contributions are also included in the $10.1 billion figure. The UK paid 20.7% of the EU's total VAT-based contributions in 2015.
Depressing isn't it? Still, look on the bright side. All this should stop when we leave.
 FOLLOW THE FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION LIVE
From 9pm UK time you can start following the results of the first round of voting in France's presidential election below.
[ Sources: FranceTVInfo ]        09.00am, Sun 23 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 EU TO DEMAND BILLIONS OF UK FOREIGN AID MONEY UNTIL 2030
PART ONE
UK to continue paying 15% of EU’s “European Development Fund”, under EU plans
Shock 2-part report from the Facts4EU.Org Research Team
UK contributions to this Fund don’t even appear in the UK’s
normal EU annual contribution figures
The latest leaked document from the EU Commission regarding their Brexit demands (see yesterday's article) mentions many things. Here, we highlight one of them – the ‘European Development Fund’ (EDF).
The EU is expecting the UK to pay for this (and continue paying) as part of the ‘financial settlement’ that the EU is demanding before it will even discuss interim exit arrangements and a future trade deal.
This will mean the UK paying billions to the EU until 2030 – and this money is in addition to the UK’s annual contributions to the EU’s main budget.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
SO WHAT IS THIS EDF FUND AND HOW MUCH DOES THE UK PAY?
What is the EDF Fund?
  • Although it’s called the ‘European Development Fund’ it is not spent in Europe
  • The EDF provides aid, mainly to 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries
  • Purpose is ‘to promote economic, social and environmental development’
  • Funded by direct contributions from EU Member States, but managed by the EU Commission
  • Lies outside the main EU budget so it doesn’t show in the UK’s EU contributions
  • No time limits for implementing projects, which can take ‘more than 10 years’
  • EU Commission takes €1 billion of the Fund to cover expenses
How much is it?
  • EDF Budget for 2014-2020: €30.5 billion
  • The UK has been paying almost 15% of the entire Fund
  • That’s €4.5 billion Euros (£3.75 billion) of this latest tranche of the Fund
  • And it will be €10.9 billion of total fund capital
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
It gets worse:
  • Total EDF fund capital at end 2015 was in fact €73.5 billion
  • However nearly half (€34.6 billion) of this has not yet been called, but has been agreed
For the implications of this to the EU’s Brexit demands, please read Part Two below.
[ Sources: EU Commission | UK Government: Dept For International Development (DFID) | EU Court of Auditors | EU law database | EU Parliament | Cabinet Office | European Scrutiny Committee 2010 | ECDPM | OECD | And others ]        08.00am, Sat 22 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Michael M, Bedfordshire      Date/Time: 22 Apr 2017, 16.05
Message: This and the article below are excellent thank you. As you say, if the EU tries to force the UK to continue paying into a fund which hasn't even yet been fully committed to projects, people like me will really find this outrageous! Just because funds have been planned, it doesn't mean they can't be unplanned or amended in the light of the new circumstances of Britain leaving.
 EU TO DEMAND BILLIONS OF UK FOREIGN AID MONEY UNTIL 2030
PART TWO
The bills will keep coming for many years, under EU plans
Shock 2-part report from the Facts4EU.Org Research Team
The UK’s Dept for International Trade (DFID) reports that:
“The final estimate for the UK share of EU Budget ODA [foreign aid] in 2015 is £935 million compared to £816 million in 2014. EU attribution fluctuates from year to year.”
 
ODA stands for Official Development Aid and is used to describe foreign aid by international bodies such as the OECD, to ensure that comparisons between countries are fair.
Yesterday the PM confirmed that the 0.7% pledge will be in the Conservative Party manifesto.
What about the UK’s contributions to the EDF?
Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development
 
What the DFID report doesn’t highlight is the separate figure, buried in the tables, for the UK’s contribution to the EU’s EDF Fund.
It shows that in 2015 alone (the last year for which numbers are available) the UK gave the EU an additional £446 million in respect of the EDF.
As we stated above, the EDF is treated by the EU as a separate fund and is not included in the overall EU budget contributions. Nevertheless it represents expenditure by the UK in relation to an EU body, and the budget for the EDF is managed by the EU Commission.
Timing, and the implications for the UK’s exposure
Each tranche of this Fund is now agreed every 7 years. The latest version (the 11th, covering 2014-2020) was agreed by David Cameron and the other EU leaders in 2013. It entered into force on March 2015.
It’s clear from all the EU’s statements, speeches, and documents that the EU intends to demand that the UK pays for ‘all obligations, liabilities, including contingent liabilities, legal and budgetary commitments and any other obligations’.
What is never mentioned is the general point that the EU agrees budgets years in advance of spending them. A significant proportion of EU money hasn’t been allocated against specific projects. Nevertheless it’s clear that the EU will demand that the UK pays for all its plans if budgets have been approved, even if none of the money has actually been committed yet.
This is also true of the EDF:
Example 1
The 9th EDF which was agreed in 1999 was allocated €13.5 billion. The unspent balances from previous EDFs total €9.9 billion.
Example 2
In 2015, the EU demanded €682 million (over £0.5 billion GBP) from the UK from the previous (10th) tranche of the EDF which was agreed back in 2007.
This means that a Fund which was agreed 8 years previously came back to bite the UK, to the tune of over £0.5 billion. We have not been able to find this mentioned in DFID’s statistical report.
THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ‘BREXIT BILL’ FROM THE EU
What does the leaked EU Commission Brexit document say?
“There should be a single financial settlement related to the Union budget and related to… all institutions or bodies… as well as to the participation of the United Kingdom in specific funds and facilities related to Union policies (e.g. the European Development Fund and the Facility for Refugees in Turkey).”
Note: the EDF Fund is specifically singled out, amongst hundreds of EU Funds.
“This single financial settlement should be based on the principle that the United Kingdom must honour its share of the financing of all the obligations undertaken while it was a member of the Union. These obligations cover liabilities, including contingent liabilities, legal and budgetary commitments and any other obligations”
Please note that the EDF Fund is only one of many EU Funds relating to foreign aid. We have highlighted it here only because the Commission specifically mentioned it in their leaked paper yesterday, in relation to payments they expect the UK to continue making.
Britain’s overseas aid budget is currently the subject of much controversy. The UK meets the 0.7% of GDP target of the United Nations, and is the second-highest aid donor in the World after the US.
Readers may therefore be shocked that the EU plans to force the UK to continue paying into its foreign aid coffers after it has left the EU, when the UK is such a generous donor globally.
 
OBSERVATIONS
The cynical amongst you may suggest that the reason the EU singled out this EDF Fund, is because it relates to foreign aid. If the UK refuses to continue paying, it can be presented by the EU as a country that doesn’t wish to help those in need around the World – the precise opposite of the truth.
It wouldn’t make good PR for the EU if they were demanding that the UK continue paying into, say, the EU Commission’s ‘Cognac Fund’, and the UK refused.
The reality is that after Brexit the UK government can decide how much to spend on foreign aid, where to spend it, and in what form.
Readers may well consider it outrageous if the EU thinks it can continue to demand billions from the UK in respect of the EDF, when we know that they will then claim the credit for the UK-funded aid it dispenses.
 
Editorial note: We have not been able to check the above information personally with DFID. It is based on documentation from official sources in the EU and the UK, researched over many days. If it is in any way inaccurate, it's because the official information misrepresents the facts. We would also add that the EU has yet to declare its hand formally in relation to the 'Brexit Bill'. It's possible that they will make no claim against the UK whatsoever, but this seems highly unlikely. Specifically in relation to the EDF they mentioned this in the leaked draft document, making it almost inevitable that it will feature in the EU's financial claim.
[ Sources: EU Commission | UK Government: Dept For International Development (DFID) | EU Court of Auditors | EU law database | EU Parliament | Cabinet Office | European Scrutiny Committee 2010 | ECDPM | OECD | And others ]        08.00am, Sat 22 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 EU’S ‘BREXIT DEAL PREVENTION OFFICERS’ STRIKE AGAIN
Leaked draft paper shows EU’s opening negotiating position may be
so unreasonable that the UK will have to walk away
A leaked document from the EU Commission, obtained yesterday by the Politico website and not disowned by the Commission, paints a dire prospect for any Brexit agreement being reached. Below we provide the full document for you to read, but here is a quick summary.
In layman’s terms:
  • UK to pay for everything EU can think of now, by the time of exit, and afterwards
  • ‘The global amount may be subject to future annual technical adjustments’
  • EU can interfere in UK’s sovereign bases on Cyprus
  • UK to pay relocation costs for EU agencies based in Britain
  • UK to pay ongoing costs, eg EDF foreign aid and ‘Facility for Refugees in Turkey’
  • UK subject to continuing jurisdiction of EU Court of Justice after exit
  • Where another adjudicator is used in some circumstances, ECJ case law is to apply
  • No discussion on either interim agreement or future trade relationship, until initial agreement
Some commentators and journalists have headlined the fact that any payments from the UK are to be in Euros, but this was to be expected.
The document is entitled “NON PAPER ON KEY ELEMENTS LIKELY TO FEATURE IN THE DRAFT NEGOTIATING DIRECTIVES” and starts: “These draft negotiating directives are work in progress, reflecting our close co-operation with all Member States, the European Parliament and the General Secretariat of the Council.”
In other words they are an extension of the EU’s position so far, and are to be used for discussion ahead of the EU Council’s Brexit meeting on 29 April.
A couple of quotes from the document
“There should be a single financial settlement related to the Union budget and related to the termination of the membership of the United Kingdom of all institutions or bodies established by the Treaties such as the European Central Bank and the European Investment Bank as well as to the participation of the United Kingdom in specific funds and facilities related to Union policies (e.g. the European Development Fund and the Facility for Refugees in Turkey).”
“A calculation of the global amount that the United Kingdom has to honour in order to settle its financial obligations toward the Union budget, all institutions or bodies established by the Treaties, and other issues with a financial impact. The global amount may be subject to future annual technical adjustments.”
You can download the document here and decide for yourself what you think of it.
OBSERVATIONS
It appears to us that the EU is becoming more and more entrenched into its positions on a number of key issues affecting whether the UK will be able to negotiate a sensible exit. In the absence of the British government putting forward an equally robust and opposing position – something which hasn’t happened to date – we believe that the EU will only become more convinced that its stance is acceptable.
It’s our continued opinion that the EU’s developing red-lines and demands are moving so far away from what may be considered fair and reasonable, they run the risk of making any sensible negotiations a complete non-starter.
We welcome your thoughts on this.
[ Sources: Politico ]        06.45am, Fri 21 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Carole, UK      Date/Time: 21 Apr 2017, 13.16
Message: Am I right in assuming that we can't walk away without breaking the Treaty and have to wait for 2 years for the negotiations to fail?
Name: Jacqui W      Date/Time: 21 Apr 2017, 16.02
Message: We should charge the EU for all their prisoners in our jails. They cost £40,000 per year that is what I have read. How about all the scams their citizens have pulled with the NHS, then there are all the benefits these people have taken. What about the defending of Europe which had bases in Germany after the War defending them from Russia. Compensation for our Fishermen who have had their industry decimated by the EU for 40 years. Our Farmers who also had quotas to adhere to all because France wanted the lion's share. These people have cherry-picked the United Kingdom and we SHOULD NOT let them get away with it. Maybe in Cyprus we should allow the USA to share a base with us. How many other EU countries put into the IMF? If we are the only ones in the EU to put money into the IMF it means we have been giving other EU countries loans so what about interest on that loan.
 USA “READY TO FORGE NEW TRADE AGREEMENT
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE”
Speaker of the House of Representatives brings positive message to Brexit Britain
as he leaves out Brussels and the EU on this trip
Yesterday, the US Speaker of the House the Hon Paul Ryan led a cross-party delegation from the House Of Representatives on a visit to the UK to discuss “regional and global stability, new opportunities for trade and economic partnerships, and the enduring importance of the special relationship”.
Last night he gave a speech at the think tank Policy Exchange, in London.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM HIS SPEECH:
“Close security cooperation must also be coupled with enduring economic ties. Today, our countries boast the world’s largest foreign direct investment partnership, and America stands as the single greatest importer of UK goods.
“At the same time, we are committed to work with President Trump and your government to achieve a bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Great Britain.
“This is one of the bipartisan messages I bring with me. I bring Democrats and Republicans here to this country today to say that:
"the United States stands ready to forge a new trade agreement with Great Britain as soon as possible, so that we may further tap into the great potential between our people.”
 
Watch a clip from Mr Ryan's speech last night:
Interestingly, Paul Ryan and his delegation have chosen not to visit the EU on this trip. No visit to Brussels made it into their itinerary.
Asked whether Britain should be worried about the possibility of leaving the EU without any kind of formal trade agreement, Mr Ryan said:
“I can’t imagine you won’t get an agreement. I just want you to know that as your special ally and your greatest partner... we’re going to be with you every step of the way.”
OBSERVATIONS
The Speaker of the House is next in line to succeed the President, after the Vice President.
Other members of the high-powered delegation included the House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (Republican-TX), and the House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Republican-TX), as well as other Representatives from both parties.
Regrettably, there is no announcement of any kind on the UK government’s websites about the visit of Mr Ryan and his colleagues. Even more regrettably, the Prime Minister was unable to find time to meet the delegation, even for a photo opportunity. Instead, Philip Hammond did the honours.
Whilst we fully understand that Mrs May was busy with many things yesterday, it’s shame that she was unable to spare a few minutes, given that Mr Ryan is such an important member of the US government and a very good friend to Britain in supporting trade with the UK in the House.
[ Sources: Policy Exchange | House of Representatives ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       06.45am, Thur 20 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 “CAN I TAKE YOU HOME WITH ME?”
Asks third-in-line to President, Speaker Paul Ryan,
of staunch Brexiteer John Redwood MP
During questions after his speech in London yesterday, the Rt Hon John Redwood MP commented on the Mr Ryan’s and the President’s views on tax reform and lightheartedly urged the US ‘to get on with it’.
 
Clearly Mr Redwood’s views are in tune with American thinking.
“Can I bring you home with me?” asked Mr Ryan, amidst much laughter.
 
[ Sources: Policy Exchange ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       07.10am, Thur 20 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 ELECTION BATTLE LINES START TO BE DRAWN UP
Party leaders give initial reactions to General Election announcement
Like everyone else, we weren’t expecting Theresa May’s announcement yesterday. We had been researching informative articles regarding the UK’s future outside the EU, as well as pieces which continue to demonstrate to the public just how dysfunctional the EU really is.
Now it seems we have to fight the Referendum all over again, thanks to Brexit-denying MPs and all the organisations and ‘experts’ who are desperate to try to regain some credibility after their anti-Brexit predictions proved false.
Mrs May herself, in her election announcement, made it clear that the General Election will be all about Brexit. Tiny Tim Farron rushed to agree.
© Twitter 2017
With its 9 MPs, 102 peers, and well-organised local campaign organisations, the LibDems represent a clear threat to the democratically-expressed will of the British people on 23rd June last year. Not because they will play any part in government, but because any increase in their number of MPs will be portrayed across the EU as a demonstration of how the British people are regretting their decision.
An increase in LibDem MPs will also get them more airtime from the pro-EU TV media, especially the BBC. The wild statements which have already been made by the likes of Farron and Clegg will always gain traction in the EU, from EU bureaucrats and politicians desperate to find anyone to support their cause. This is damaging to Britain’s attempts to negotiate from a position of strength and unity.
Put simply, the LibDems are a menace to Britain’s interests as it exits the EU.
The same is true of the SNP.
© Twitter 2017
Whilst around a third of SNP supporters are said to have voted Leave, the party’s policies are clear. Their politicians are as pro-EU as they come. And with Mrs Sturgeon gallivanting across the EU’s capitals at every opportunity, talking to anyone who will see her, she joins the Farrons and Cleggs in being detrimental to the country’s need to get the best possible Brexit deal.
Then we come to the Greens. Another party which refers to the normal, clean Brexit which people voted for, as being ‘Extreme Brexit’.
© Twitter 2017
The three parties above are all Brexit-deniers. What about Labour? Well, Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the news without mentioning Brexit in his first breath.
© Twitter 2017
Nevertheless, it was the Labour Parliamentary Party’s policy to campaign for Remain, during the referendum campaign. If Labour perform in the general election as badly as some expect, there are serious doubts over Mr Corbyn’s future as leader. It is of course possible that he could then be replaced by an ardent Brexit-denier.
It remains to be seen what official line Labour will take on Brexit during the election campaign. Early indications last night were rather confused. Here’s the Shadow Foreign Secretary on Newsnight last night:
© Twitter 2017
As for the two main parties which are definitively not denying Brexit, we have UKIP – the only party who have backed Brexit all the way through – and the Conservatives, who backed Remain under Cameron but who are now officially pro-Brexit.
© Twitter 2017
© Twitter 2017
GENERAL ELECTION EDITORIAL POLICY
Facts4EU.Org is currently maintaining its stance of being party-neutral on all matters except Brexit. In practice this means that our editorial position will generally be critical of the LibDems, because their whole being seems to be consumed with remaining in the EU. We will also be critical of the SNP and of the Greens, as their positions are equally clear.
Where individual MPs of any party come out with nonsense about Brexit or the EU, we will debunk this with facts. Regrettably it’s our experience that very few Remainer MPs are ever actually in possession of any real facts. Even more regrettably, with the notable exception of Mr Andrew Neil, almost no TV interviewers are in possession of any facts about the EU either, and so Remainer MPs are seldom challenged effectively.
We will therefore continue to expose lies from Remainer MPs, as our time and resources permit.
[ Sources: Twitter ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       07.20am, Wed 19 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
LIBDEMS GET THEIR SECOND REFERENDUM AFTER ALL
General Election: 08 June 2017
Gird your loins, everyone. Here we go again.
       Facts4EU.Org, 12.10pm, Tuesday, 18 Apr 2017
 HOW THE TURKISH REFERENDUM AFFECTS BREXIT – PART ONE
Turkish vote: what it means, how EU Turks voted
PART ONE
  • Quick facts on what the Turkish referendum was about
  • Was it a fair vote?
  • How did Turks living in the EU vote compared to voters living in Turkey?
PART TWO (Coming tomorrow)
  • What the result means to Turkey’s relationship with the EU
  • What all this means for Brexit
WHAT WAS THE TURKISH REFERENDUM ABOUT?
In effect, the Turkish referendum was about a transfer of power and an end to any reasonable form of pluralist democracy.
Even before the referendum, Erdogan had arrested MPs, judges, journalists, and civil rights organisers, and had closed newspapers and radio stations, as part of emergency powers following last year’s coup attempt.
President Erdogan will gain huge executive powers, the position of Prime Minister will be abolished. He will be able to appoint top public officials directly, including ministers and vice-presidents. He will be able to intervene directly in the judiciary and it will lose any remaining independence it had. He can enact laws by decree and dismiss parliament.
WAS IT A FAIR REFERENDUM?
In international terms, the referendum fell so far short of being a fair and democratic process that it seems impossible for the provisional result to be accepted by the majority of the international community.
The international observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have already released their preliminary findings and their conclusions are damning.
“The 16 April constitutional referendum took place on an unlevel playing field and the two sides of the campaign did not have equal opportunities. Voters were not provided with impartial information about key aspects of the reform, and civil society organizations were not able to participate. Under the state of emergency put in place after the July 2016 failed coup attempt, fundamental freedoms essential to a genuinely democratic process were curtailed. The dismissal or detention of thousands of citizens negatively affected the political environment. One side’s dominance in the coverage and restrictions on the media reduced voters’ access to a plurality of views.”
HOW DID TURKS IN TURKEY VOTE, COMPARED TO TURKS IN THE EU27?
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
  • The overall result has been declared as 51.4% in favour of Erdogan’s reforms
  • 18 of the EU27 countries had voting facilities for their residents
  • Turks living in these countries voted in favour by a much higher majority of 63.4%
  • Turks in the 7 EU countries which supported Erdogan represent 97.6% of total EU27 Turks
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
In other words, Turks living in the democratic countries of the EU were more likely to vote for a more authoritarian regime in their home country, than were their compatriots who actually live there.
COMING TOMORROW - PART TWO
  • What the result means to Turkey’s relationship with the EU
  • What all this means for Brexit
Don't miss it!
[ Sources: Turkish Government | OSCE/ODIHR | PACE | Turkish media ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       07.40am, Tues 18 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
EASTER MONDAY: THE TEAM IS TAKING THE DAY OFF DUE TO LACK OF FUNDS
We hope all readers are enjoying a relaxing long weekend.
The Facts4EU.Org operation is suspended today. Below you'll find an interesting summary selection
of some of the many reports we've produced this year.
       Facts4EU.Org, 05.45am, Easter Monday, 17 Apr 2017
WOULD IT MATTER IF WE HAD TO CLOSE?
APPEAL: Could you spare £1.20 per week to keep us going?
We need to raise an extra £5,000 per month
Facts4EU’s articles and research are used and quoted by the national press.
Amongst our readership we number MPs, MEPs, and former Cabinet Ministers.
With your help we can make a difference – we can’t do it without you.
Subscribe With a monthly donation
From £1.20 / week
        Donate Make a one-off donation
from £10 upwards
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR LATEST SUBSCRIBERS AND DONORS
VIP MEMBERS -   M Donnan, Middx
GOLD MEMBERS -   C Latham, East Sussex  |  D Cooper, Berks  |  G Gardner, Cheshire  |  Anonymous, UK  |  J Holmes, Shropshire  |   C Mainds, London  |  P Abbott, E Sussex
MEMBERS - N Brooker, London  |  M Wood, Ceredigion  |  R Parkin, England  |  Anonymous, UK
VALUED SUPPORTERS - G Reakes, London  |  J Hatfield, South Ayrshire  |  F Carstairs, W Sussex  |  N Martinek, W Yorks  |  A Hammond, Lincs  |  Anonymous, Aberdeen  |  P Derbyshire, GB
Some research reports from the last couple of months
 
2-PARTER ON EU'S SOCIAL ENGINEERING YOUTH PROJECT :   THE "JUNCKER YOUTH": LOVE, LIES AND MONEY
2-PARTER ON FAILURES BY MEMBER STATES :   WHY REMAINERS SHOULDN’T TAKE ‘EU LAWS’ SO SERIOUSLY
3-PART REPORT ON EXPORTS :   THE TRUTH ABOUT TRADE WITH THE EU
UK MOTOR VEHICLE EXPORTS SURGE SINCE REFERENDUM :   LATEST ONS FIGURES SHOW 12.4% JUMP IN VEHICLE EXPORTS
IF UK ‘CRASHED OUT’ OF EU TODAY :   WHAT WOULD WTO TARIFFS BE?
EU27 PUBLISH ‘ROME DECLARATION, AGENDA, AND FACTSHEETS' :   A 3-PART SPECIAL ANALYSIS AND REPORT
ITALY’S ECONOMIC EXPERIENCE OF THE EU’S EUROZONE :   DISASTROUS LACK OF GROWTH, DISASTROUS UNEMPLOYMENT
OVER 5 MILLION EU ASYLUM APPLICATIONS IN 9 YEARS :   LATEST SHOCK FIGURES RELEASED BY EU STATISTICS OFFICE
LIES, DAMN LIES, AND GEORGE OSBORNE :   LATEST ONS FIGURES MAKE A FOOL OUT OF OSBORNE
PM RUTTE FALLS, WILDERS GAINS, LABOUR DECIMATED :   FACTS AND FIGURES FROM THE DUTCH ELECTIONS
3-PART REPORT ON EU “WHITE PAPER ON THE FUTURE OF EUROPE” :   A FACTS4EU.ORG BRIEF AND OPINION
 
3-PART SPECIAL REPORT ON GERMANY :   GERMANY MADE €50 BILLION FROM THE UK LAST YEAR
SPECIAL REPORT ON LATEST EU ASYLUM DATA:   1.25 MILLION EU ASYLUM APPLICATIONS IN 2016
5-PART SPECIAL REPORT ON THE UK'S 'SINGLE MARKET' :   The EU27 countries have sold £3.3 TRILLION of goods into the UK since 1998
PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE SWEDISH BRA REPORT - 2-PART SPECIAL :   ANALYSIS OF SWEDISH IMMIGRATION AND CRIME
3-PART SPECIAL NATO REPORT :   EU and NATO: DEFENCE FACTS AND STATISTICS
7-PART SPECIAL BREXIT HATE CRIME REPORT: MYTH AND REALITY
4-PART SPECIAL REPORT :   GERMANY AND MASS IMMIGRATION
4-PART REPORT ON EU FUNDS :   THE £400 BILLION EU 'ESI' FUND
6-PART SPECIAL REPORT :   THE 4 FREEDOMS - MYTHS AND FACTS
 
A random selection of some other news articles from recent weeks
 
 
 
 ‘JUNCKER YOUTH’ REACHES 27,000 MEMBERSHIP
EU'S NEW SOCIAL ENGINEERING YOUTH PROJECT IS UP AND RUNNING
Commission President tells EU’s young people: ‘Love is all you need’
EU Budget Commissioner promises them 'significant amount of fresh money’
  • In 4 months since launch, ‘Juncker Youth’ has 27,000 members
  • UK is paying for this, and EU has plans to increase expenditure
  • The new organisation will grow to 100,000 paid ‘volunteers’
  • The paid volunteers, aged 18-30, must sign up to EU’s ‘mission’
Right: Jean-Claude with new friends at EU youth conference
 
In September last year, we reported exclusively on the announcement that a ‘Juncker Youth’ movement was to be founded by the EU. In December we reported on the launch event. Today we bring you a progress report on this bizarre organisation, following its conference last week.
On Wednesday last week, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker addressed the ‘Conférence sur le Corps Européen de Solidarité’.
THE EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY CORPS, or the 'Juncker Youth'
In English, the EU refers to this organisation as the ‘European Solidarity Corps’. We call it the ‘Juncker Youth’ because the unelected Jean-Claude Juncker has personalised this youth brainwashing project.
In case you think we’re being unfair with our description, here is what President Juncker told the conference delegates last week: “I announced the intention of the Commission to launch the European Solidarity Corps. I did it rightly, because - it seems to me - in the gloom that surrounds us, which imprisons us, which makes us our slave every day, we must give glimmers of hope.” “So many young people responded positively to the invitation, which was ours and which was mine
In the next article we will give you the highlights of what President Juncker had to say to the conference, but first here is a Facts4EU.Org summary of the new organisation.
THE BASIC FACTS ABOUT THE ‘EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY CORPS’
President Juncker’s new corps of 100,000 youth “volunteers” was launched in December with the main event in Brussels being mirrored by events across the EU.
Juncker, State of the Union speech 14 Sept 2016:
“I want this European Solidarity Corps up and running by the end of the year. And by 2020, to see the first 100,000 young Europeans taking part”
“Young people across the EU will be able to volunteer their help where it is needed most, to respond to crisis situations”
This new EU youth organisation requires allegiance :
  • Membership is open to all EU citizens under the age of 30
  • “The European Solidarity Corps will in the first place be based on the value of solidarity”
  • Members are required to sign up to its ‘mission’
  • Members must “declare their engagement and willingness to undertake solidarity-minded activities”
What this new Corps will do :
  • Members will be deployed across borders : “Members of the Corps could be deployed in their home country or in another EU Member State”
  • “Rebuilding communities following natural disasters; addressing social challenges such as social exclusion, poverty, health and demographic challenges; or working on the reception and integration of refugees”
  • Example : “A young Greek social worker from Athens takes up a job offer to work in a refugee reception centre in Thessaloniki. He will join forces for the next eight months with a team of psychologists, social workers and teachers, to help refugee children adjust to their new reality. He will receive a net monthly salary as well as a monthly allowance.”
This isn’t ‘volunteering’, it will be paid for by the taxpayer :
  • Members will receive a salary and living allowances, paid via the EU
  • Part-time members will receive a minimal salary, plus living and travellling allowances
All of this sounds to us ominously like a youth organisation founded on one doctrine, with an EU oath of allegiance to values dictated by the EU Commission.
Are we the only ones to find this to be a sinister development, reeking of an acceleration of the EU’s indoctrination of the young people of Europe?
[ Sources: EU Commission press releases, factsheets, and speeches ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       09.00am, Sun 16 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 JUNCKER ON LOVE, LIES, AND MONEY
EU'S NEW YOUTH SOCIAL ENGINEERING PROJECT - PART TWO
At the 'European Solidarity Corps' conference last week, President Juncker addressed an audience of EU bigwigs, project organisers, and young volunteers.
Bizarrely, he started by setting an example for the EU's youth, with an astonishing admission:
"One must always say, when one is somewhere, that one is happy to be there. I always say it but it's rarely true."
Jean-Claude Juncker's opening sentence, speaking to the EU Youth project on Wed 12 Apr
So kids, always start by lying.
This speech was classic Juncker: meandering, wistful, naive, fatalistic, optimistic, sycophantic, admonitory, devoid of substance and facts, but talking of things which will happen and which will be anathema to many British people.
The EU has not published an English version of the speech - this is fairly common when the subject matter is likely to rile those of a more commonsensical, Anglo-Saxon disposition. Unfortunately our resources are limited and we don't have time to produce a proper English translation for you in full, however we thought you would like some highlights.
"...I announced the intention of the Commission to launch the European Solidarity Corps. I did it rightly, because - it seems to me - in the gloom that surrounds us, which imprisons us, which makes us our slave every day, we must give glimmers of hope."
"...27,000 people who are ready to leave tomorrow, I would almost say to love others, to show that solidarity is a European virtue. ...seeing so many young people take an active part in this construction of the future that is made of solidarity and love fills my heart with joy."
"You will not do just anything, and you will not do this no matter where. NGOs help us organise this work, without these organizations we would be lost."
"We're going to put some money in there. I heard from my colleagues that there is this questioning that is a daily question for me: we always need fresh money that we do not have. But we will have it. Günther Oettinger, who is the Commissioner in charge of the budget, will ensure that the material means are put in place to make the initiative that I carry a success that will last."
Above: Tweet by EU's Budget Commissioner on the day of the conference
Juncker continues:
"Europe is made of love and solidarity.... So my idea was to invite young people to take an interest in others in order to be able to love them better. Europe is also made of love and tenderness. We must not be afraid of these words. Europe is the love and tenderness applied to everyday life."
"What is the European future? The European future is made up of three or four elements. Europe is the smallest continent. Do we know that? All the others know that. Do we know that? We do not know."
"Second, Europe is losing its economic power... We are demographically on the road to insignificance. At the beginning of the twentieth century Europeans represented 25% of the world's population, now we are still 7%, in 50 years we will be 4% per cent of 10 billion people. Who do we really think who we are?"
"We have the damn duty and obligation to look after Africa. There are now 1.25 billion Africans, in 15 years it will be 2.5 billion Africans."
"...we have to share with others, and that is actually the basic idea of this European Solidarity Corps, that young people learn to put ourselves in the service of the world. The European Union is not an invention for itself and for itself alone. No, we are an offer to the world."
"The Europe of tomorrow must be at the service of the world of tomorrow. We must ensure that Europe remains the best place to live, but we should share what we have with others."
[ Sources: EU Commission press releases, factsheets, and speeches ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       09.00am, Sun 16 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 JUNCKER'S FIRST 'VOLUNTEER'
EU'S NEW YOUTH SOCIAL ENGINEERING PROJECT - PART THREE
Here is the first volunteer of the European Solidarity Corps, who started work at the end of March. She's French, her name is Manon, and she's 22.
She is now working in Budapest. Here is the description of the project she's working on:
"The Danube Transnational Programme is an EU funded programme to promote economic, social and territorial cohesion among 14 countries in the Danube area"
Here's a reminder of how the EU described typical work of volunteers:
“Rebuilding communities following natural disasters; addressing social challenges such as social exclusion, poverty, health and demographic challenges; or working on the reception and integration of refugees”
We presume that when Manon started, the EU was all out of natural disasters, social disasters, and refugees to integrate.
[ Sources: EU Commission press releases, factsheets, and speeches ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       09.00am, Sun 16 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 THE EU:   ONE DAY,  €0.5 BILLION,  2000 AFRICAN MIGRANTS
ANOTHER EXPLOSION IN THE EU MIGRANT CRISIS
2,074 mostly African migrants ferried to Italy yesterday, UK will pay its share
In just one day – Good Friday 2017 – the Italian Coast Guard reports that 2,074 migrants arrived in the EU. Some came having been picked up by EU Frontex boats but the majority came from an assortment of international charity boats run by organisations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres.
To give you an idea of the explosion in numbers, as many migrants arrived yesterday as in the whole of the previous week.
Right: photo from an MSF boat yesterday
 
Migrant smugglers in Libya are making millions, putting migrants into unseaworthy boats which make it just far enough off the coast to be picked up by international charity boats and boats from the EU Border and Coast Guard (formerly known as Frontex).
This tragically absurd situation effectively makes the international charities enablers in the migrant smuggling racket. It’s now so bad that six weeks ago the boss of the EU's Frontex told German newspaper Die Welt:
“We must avoid supporting the business of criminal networks and traffickers in Libya through European vessels picking up migrants ever closer to the Libyan coast. This leads traffickers to force even more migrants on to unseaworthy boats with insufficient water and fuel than in previous years.”
He also accused NGOs and charities of poor cooperation with security agencies which “makes it more difficult to gain information on trafficking networks through interviews with migrants and to open police investigations”.
According to Frontex officials, around two-thirds of rescues used to be as a result of receiving a distress signal. They say that this has changed with the arrival of so many international charity boats last year, who actively seek out smugglers’ boats close to the Libyan shore. Now, 90% of ‘rescues’ are not triggered by any distress signal at all. There are even documented instances of charity boats performing ‘rescues’ within Libya’s 12 mile territorial limit.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The vast majority of migrants to Italy are now from Africa, a trend which has been growing this year.
HOW THIS IS RELEVANT TO BREXIT
The UK is one of the few EU member states which is a net funder of the EU, as is well-known. The EU’s finances are so complicated that it’s always very difficult to give you accurate totals of how much the UK is paying for this or that operation.
When it comes to the migrant crisis, this is even more complicated.
There are now so many EU funds which pay for all or part of migrant aid/relocation/resettlement/border security/emergency and other costs, it’s impossible for us to give you an exact total for what the EU’s migration policies are costing the EU, let alone which of these funds the UK is forced to contribute to.
Overall, we believe it’s safe to assume that the UK will generally be funding 12% or more of the total costs.
In 2015 the EU Commission set the cost of each migrant at €250,000 euros each. If you apply that to the arrivals in Italy yesterday, this gives a total of just over €1/2 billion euros – in one day.
You may wish to question why it is that migrants who chose to embark on a difficult sea journey might not reasonably be taken back to the nearest point of dry land a dozen miles away, rather than being taken 200 or more miles to the Italian island of Lampedusa, or 400 or more miles to mainland Italy.
Often Tunisia is even closer than a return to Libya, but of course the international charities know that Tunisia isn’t in the EU and the generosity will be far less there.
[ Sources: EU Frontex | MSF on Twitter | Die Welt | Ministero dell'Interno | EU Commission ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       07.15am, Sat 15 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 IF THIS IS ‘STEADY PROGRESS’ FOR THE EU,
WHAT PRICE A BREXIT DEAL WITHIN 2 YEARS?
EU Commission announces “Steady progress made” in relocating migrants,
but numbers are at disastrous levels
In September 2015, the EU Commission and Council committed to relocating 160,000 migrants from Italy and Greece across 24 other EU Member States by September this year.
So, how’s it going Jean-Claude?
“So far, only two Member States (Malta and Finland) are on track to meet their obligations for both Italy and Greece in time.”
[EU Commission statement 12 Apr 2017]
 
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
EU PRESS STATEMENT 12 APRIL 2017
“As of 10 April, 16,340 relocations have now been carried out in total; 5,001 from Italy and 11,339 from Greece. However, despite this positive progress, the current pace of relocation is still well below the targets set to ensure that all people eligible are relocated over the coming months.”
Opinion
Over the past 18 months the EU Commission has regularly sounded the alarm bell over the failure of a central plank in its policy to deal with the immigration crisis.
Despite this, some member states are only accepting relocations of migrants on a very limited basis, others haven’t quite managed to start yet, and still more are refusing to start at all.
The immigration crisis is just one of the crises facing the EU. Other notable ones include Brexit, the continuing Greek debt debacle, the Italian banking crisis, and mass youth unemployment. If the EU Commission hasn't been able to follow through on its commitments in relation to the migrant crisis in the last 18 months, it's hard to see how they will ever be able to agree any sensible Brexit deal with the UK in the coming 18 months
Interestingly, all Schengen member states have a legal obligation to accept their quota of migrants. Read our article below for more on this.
[ Sources: EU Commission | EU Council ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       04.15am, Fri 14 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Contrary Mary, Manchester      Date/Time: 14 Apr 2017, 08.20am
Message: Does this include the arrangement Mrs Merkel did with Turkey?
Name: Editorial Team      Date/Time: 14 Apr 2017, 08.45am
Message: Hi Mary, no it doesn't. The EU-Turkey deal is a separate matter and has to do with preventing migrants crossing from Turkey to Greece, rather than how migrants are then distributed throughout the EU. Coincidentally we'll be publishing something on that tomorrow.
 WHY REMAINERS SHOULDN’T TAKE ‘EU LAWS’ SO SERIOUSLY
Flagrant breaches are commonplace throughout the EU
Remainer politicians take constant delight in telling us the UK can’t do something in relation to Brexit because it’s ‘forbidden under EU law’.
In doing so, they’re demonstrating their ignorance of how the EU works. In the EU, legal obligations are frequently circumvented, fudged, or ignored. And what might be spoken of in legal terms often turns out not to be in any Treaties, Decisions, or Directives in the first place.
We could cite countless examples but here we’ll take just one:
The legal obligation on member states (except the UK and Denmark)
to accept relocations of migrants entering the EU via Greece and Italy.
Unfortunately, the majority of EU countries have been flouting their legal obligations for the last 18 months, despite numerous calls from the Commission to come to order.
“The temporary emergency relocation scheme was established in two Council Decisions in September 2015 in which Member States committed to relocate 160,000 people from Italy and Greece (and if relevant from other Member States) by September 2017.”
[EU Commission, 12 Apr 2017]
The result of the EU Council’s legal decisions has been that 18 months later despite repeated urgent demands from the Commission, just 16,340 out of the committed 160,000 migrant relocations have taken place.
That’s a 90% failure rate.
There’s no doubt about the legal nature of the obligation. It’s stated many times in EU Commission documents and press releases.
“Now is the time for our Member States to deliver on their commitments and to intensify their efforts. They have a political, moral and legal duty to do so.”
[Formal communication from Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos]
SO WHO ARE THE NAUGHTY BOYS AND GIRLS?
Almost all member states are way behind on their commitments.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
In the above graph we’ve been charitable to the EU and used the percentages they’ve reported. In fact, these are based on a reduced total that they’ve now come up with – 98,255 instead of the 160,000 originally stated in the Council decisions. Had we used the real percentages the picture would look even worse.
The moral of the story
EU legal obligations are often used to beat member states who are out of favour at the time (currently the UK, Poland, Hungary amongst others).
For the Brexit negotiations, we suggest that David Davis and his DexEU team draw up a list of the legal transgressions made by all other member states and refer to it every time Michel Barnier starts talking about the UK’s legal obligations to the EU.
For a reasonable sum, we could even provide the list for DexEU.
[ Sources: EU Commission | EU Council ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       04.15am, Fri 14 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
APPEAL: WE NEED TO RAISE AN EXTRA £5,000 PER MONTH
COULD YOU SPARE £1.20 PER WEEK TO KEEP US GOING?
Facts4EU’s articles and research are used and quoted by the national press.
With your help we can make a difference – we can’t do it without you.
Subscribe With a monthly donation
From £1.20 / week
        Donate Make a one-off donation
from £10 upwards
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR LATEST SUBSCRIBERS AND DONORS
VIP MEMBERS -   M Donnan, Middx
GOLD MEMBERS -   D Cooper, Berks  |  G Gardner, Cheshire  |  Anonymous, UK  |  J Holmes, Shropshire  |   C Mainds, London  |  P Abbott, E Sussex
MEMBERS - N Brooker, London  |  M Wood, Ceredigion  |  R Parkin, England  |  Anonymous, UK
VALUED SUPPORTERS - F Carstairs, W Sussex  |  N Martinek, W Yorks  |  A Hammond, Lincs  |  G Reakes, Kent  |  Anonymous, Aberdeen  |  P Derbyshire, GB
 THE TRUTH ABOUT TRADE WITH THE EU
We give you the simple figure to use for the EU's share of the UK's exports
“We do some 50% of our exporting to the EU”
Lord Rose, Chairman, official government-backed Remain campaign,
interviewed on the BBC in Jan 2016
Sorry Lord Rose, but you were overstating your case.
 
To this day, the public continues to get the impression from Remainer politicians and commentators that our exports to the EU are much higher than they are.
Below we show the declining share of the UK’s exports of goods and services over the past 10 years, using the gold standard of the Treasury’s ‘Pink Book’ figures, amended to take account of the Rotterdam effect.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Only circa 42.5% of the UK's goods and services exports go to the EU27
THE ‘ROTTERDAM EFFECT’ AND WHY IT MATTERS
(Boring, but important)
1. What is the Rotterdam Effect?
Some readers will have heard of ‘the Rotterdam effect’ in relation to export figures. Here’s what the House of Commons Library had to say about this in their Briefing Paper last month:
“The UK does a large amount of trade with the Netherlands, some of which may ultimately be with countries outside the EU but be recorded as EU trade. There are no official estimates of how big this effect might be, but, even making allowance for it, the EU is still the UK’s largest trading partner by a large margin.”
The HoC Library made clear that their own analysis “takes no account of the ‘Rotterdam effect’.”
[Brexit: trade aspects Briefing Paper by HoC Library, 21 Mar 2017]
2. Why does it matter?
This matters for two reasons. Firstly because the amount of the UK’s exports to the EU has been overstated for decades, and secondly because if the effect is ignored, then the Netherlands and Belgium show as being much more important customers for the UK’s exports than they really are.
The ‘Rotterdam Effect’ is accepted by all official bodies – in the UK and in the EU.
However no-one ever makes an allowance in their figures, so
the EU’s share of UK exports is ALWAYS overstated.
It’s worth noting that although the effect is always spoken about in terms of the Netherlands, it also applies to Belgium. In fact there are six major sea ports in Holland and Belgium, and Belgium accounts for around 30% of total Benelux shipping tonnages.
According to our research, 776 million tonnes of freight was shipped via the 6 major Benelux ports in 2013. Almost 50% of this was ‘deep sea’ shipping, i.e. it crossed oceans rather than being short-shipped between EU ports.
In determining a reasonable estimate for the proportion of exports to the Netherlands and Belgium which are in fact destined for other EU countries and countries outside the EU, we looked at a wide variety of available information before amending the figures based on our own calculations.
Our calculations are based on shipping tonnages, short versus deep sea shipping, ro-ro versus lo-lo, proportions of exports comprising crude oil for refinement, proportions of onward exports to other EU countries, and various other official information. All of this results in a partial redistribution of HMRC’s and the ONS’ figures for the Netherlands and Belgium, both to other EU countries and to non-EU countries.
How our estimate of the ‘Rotterdam Effect’ compares
It was encouraging to see that in 2016 the ONS came up with a higher figure than ours. They estimated that exports to the EU may be overstated by around 2% due to the Rotterdam effect. Our own conservative calculations only show a reduction of 1.1% of the UK’s exports to the EU.
We continue to hear Remainer politicians and commentators saying things like 'nearly half our exports go to the EU'.
The truth is that the figure is much closer to 40% than 50% and it has been falling for years.
[ Sources: ONS | HMRC | Benelux port information | EU Commission | Many other official sources too numerous to list here ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       07.15am, Thur 13 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
Name: CognacForBreakfast, Herts      Date/Time: 13 Apr 2017, 3.30pm
Message: Can you please clarify what the 42.5% share would be without the Rotterdam effect? ie What is it in the official figures?
Name: Editorial Team      Date/Time: 13 Apr 2017, 3.35pm
Message: The official figure is 43.6%. Our conservative calculations put the effect at 1.1%, which is why we've quoted 42.5%. We believe the Rotterdam effect to be more than our calculations suggest but we preferred to err on the side of caution. The ONS last year suggested it could be 2%, which would put the true EU share of the UK's exports at 41.6%.
 WHO ARE OUR BIGGEST CUSTOMERS IN THE EU?
Just 3 countries accounted for over half of the UK's exports to the EU in 2016
Exclusive Facts4EU.Org analysis into 2016 ONS & HMRC export data,
AND ‘the Rotterdam effect’
Last Friday the Office for National Statistics released their bulletin for UK international trade in 2016. Facts4EU.Org has been delving into the detail from the ONS and HMRC and here we begin with some highlights about the EU as an export market for the UK post-Brexit.
Critically, we have also attempted to address ‘the Rotterdam Effect’ for the first time. We will report on how we did this in our next article coming soon.
Results of our research:
  • Just 3 countries account for 53% of UK exports to the EU
  • These are Germany, France, and Ireland
  • 10 countries account for 90% of the UK’s trade with the EU
  • A further 17 countries make up the remaining 10% of the UK’s EU exports
Here are the UK's top 5 export markets,
amended for the ‘Rotterdam effect’
  1. Germany
  2. France
  3. Ireland
  4. Italy
  5. Spain
 
And here are HMRC’s top 5,
ignoring the ‘Rotterdam effect’
  1. Germany
  2. France
  3. Netherlands
  4. Ireland
  5. Belgium
Important note: For the first time, we are showing the UK’s export information having made allowance for what is known as ‘the Rotterdam Effect’. Put simply, we have conducted detailed research in an attempt to establish a more accurate picture of the UK’s exports to the EU, taking account of UK exports which simply pass through ports like Rotterdam on their way to other countries.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
If you would like to know more about 'the Rotterdam Effect', please read the article above.
With or without the Rotterdam effect, it’s clear that only a small number of the EU27 countries are important as markets for the UK’s trade exports. 17 out of the 27 account for only 10% of British trade exports.
Naturally, each market is important and each represents an opportunity for growth. However it’s once again obvious that when Remainers talk about the ‘biggest market in the world’ they are in fact mostly talking about a minority of the EU countries.
It should also be remembered that the EU is not the biggest market in the world. In GDP terms the US is the biggest economy in the world. And when the UK leaves the EU, the size of the EU’s economy will shrink by over 15%.
[ Sources: ONS | HMRC | EU Commission | Many other official sources too numerous to list here - more about this in our article about how the above figures are calculated ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       09.30am, Wed 12 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 EU EXPORTS FELL IN ABSOLUTE TERMS LAST YEAR
It isn't only the EU's share of the World's exports which is falling,
last year the EU's exports fell in absolute terms too, by 2.44%
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
According to the latest official data from Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency, last year the EU28 saw exports decline by 2.44% to €1745.5 billion euros.
This is an absolute fall in value terms.
In addition to this troubling news for the EU, the latest data available from Eurostat for the EU's share of the world export market shows a drop from 18.4% in 2004 to 15.5% in 2015. When they eventually calculate the EU's share of the world export market to include 2016, we expect to see a fall to 15% or less.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Needless to remind you, volumes of the UK's exports rose last year.... "despite Brexit".
(Click here for an example of this.)
[ Sources: Official Eurostat data tables ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       07.40am, Tues 11 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 UNSKILLED EU MIGRANTS COST THE UK £3.5 BILLION PER YEAR
The 1.2 million unskilled migrants from the EU represent a net cost,
not a net benefit to the UK
KEY FACTS
  • Unskilled migrants receive varying amounts of in-work tax credits, housing benefit, child benefit etc
  • Unskilled EU migrants consume services like British unskilled workers – NHS, schools, etc
  • These services have to be paid for
  • Adding the pluses and the minuses produces a net cost of £3.5 billion per year to the UK
Today the campaigning group ‘Leave Means Leave’ will launch a blueprint for what Britain’s immigration policy should look like post-Brexit. We have only seen a summary as we go to press. It will no doubt produce considerable opposition from all the politicians who say that migrants contribute to the wealth of the UK, paying their taxes, helping to provide essential services, etc.
This line that ‘migrants represent a net benefit to the UK’ has largely gone unchallenged by the BBC and other TV news media, without them ever looking at research on the question. As a consequence, large parts of the population believe it.
Ahead of the 'Leave Means Leave' report, we are revisiting the information we gave late last year on the true cost of unskilled immigration to the UK, following an interview with Prof Minford of Economists for Free Trade. Please note that this information relates only to the unskilled EU migrants in the UK, and not migrants who bring important and specific skills to Britain’s workforce.
Here is an example: Couple + 2 children, one earner on National Living Wage
In the example above, the net cost to the UK taxpayer of this unskilled migrant household is almost £30,000 per year.
HOW DOES THIS ADD UP OVERALL?
Naturally not all unskilled migrants are couples with two children. A single person with no children costs much less, however they still represent a net cost because of their usage of the NHS. On average that cost outweighs the amount of tax they pay.
To obtain an estimate of the net cost to the UK of unskilled EU migrants, it’s necessary to weight the costs of different types of people according to their proportions of the total EU migrant population.
Here are the categories of household, with their associated annual costs to the UK taxpayer, and the overall total cost of current EU unskilled migrant households:
The extra costs not shown above
In addition to the direct costs above, there is a considerable extra cost which it is much harder to quantify and which hasn't been included by Economists for Free Trade in their figures.
Some examples: the cost of translators employed by the NHS; extra non-English teachers and assistants in schools where other languages are widely spoken by many children of EU families; the impact on housing costs because of the extra demand from migrants; the lower quality of health, education, and other service provision in areas of high immigration as resources are stretched thinly; extra costs of policing; the decreased wages offered to UK workers as a result of increased labour supply from EU workers, etc.
In other words, pro-mass migration politicians and academics can argue all they like about the details of the calculations above.
The fact remains that there is demonstrably a net cost to the UK of unskilled immigration, thanks to the UK's generous benefits.
Statistical notes:
Regular readers know that Facts4EU.Org's articles are normally based on our own research from official sources. In this case the above research was carried out by Prof Patrick Minford and his colleagues at Economists for Free Trade (formerly Economists for Brexit). We interviewed Prof Minford at length about this in December. They extracted the data from information from the National Audit Office, HMRC, The King’s Fund, Bank of England, the Migration Observatory, the Labour Force Survey, amongst other institutions. Inevitably it involves reasonable assumptions being made as there is incomplete data in some cases. The information mostly relates to last year, 2016.
[ Sources: Economists for Free Trade | Leave Means Leave ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       07.50am, Mon 10 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 Q:   WHEN DOES 27 BECOME 28?
A:   WHEN IT SUITS THE EU
A large number of official EU documents now refer to the ‘EU27’ – minus the UK. Since the UK’s Referendum, the EU Council of national leaders has met several times as the EU27, being careful to refer to these occasions as ‘unofficial’ meetings because otherwise they would be in breach of EU Treaties.
However when it suits the EU, the UK is suddenly included again and the EU27 magically become the EU28.
This invariably happens when the inclusion of the UK bolsters figures which the EU Commission needs to use on a regular basis.
One case in point is the EU’s trade dialogues with other countries. Any mention of the size of the EU market always uses figures including the UK. This is despite the fact the EU knows perfectly well that any new trade deals won’t take effect for years, because of its inability to negotiate anything in a timely manner.
In the article below we give a powerful example of this.
       Brexit Facts4EU.Org, 06.20am, Sun 09 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 HEY AUSSIES, NEARLY HALF YOUR ‘EU’ SALES ARE TO THE UK
The UK accounted for over 45% of Australia’s exports to ‘the EU’ in 2015/6
Thursday’s EU press statement about the supposed conclusion of the ‘scoping phase’ for a future free trade agreement with Australia contains the following:
 
“The EU is Australia's
third largest trading partner.”
[EU Commission press statement, Thur 6th April 2017]
Er, not without the UK it isn’t.
 
If you look at Australian exports, the UK accounts for nearly half of Australia’s sales of goods and services to the EU28. So for Australia, when the EU28 loses the UK and becomes the EU27 the European Union plunges in size by over 45%.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Bonzer News about Brexit
The good news for Australia is that the EU’s loss of the UK is Australia’s gain.
When the UK is freed from the EU’s common commercial tariffs and protectionist policies, it will become an even more attractive destination for Australian companies selling their goods and services.
Naturally it’s still worth Australia pursuing a trade deal with the EU27, if it can get them to reduce their protectionist high tariffs and the other barriers on so many goods that Australia would like to export to them. But let’s look at the facts – the EU takes years to agree trade deals. Canada’s started on 6 May 2009 - that's 8 years ago - and still hasn’t been ratified.
93% of Australia’s EU trade imbalance is with the EU27, not the UK
Next let’s look at the balance of trade between Australia and the EU. In 2015/6 it was negative to the tune of A$42 billion. In other words the EU is selling Australia 42 billion dollars worth of goods and services more than Australia is selling to the EU.
However, a staggering 93.3% of this trade imbalance is down to the EU27, not the UK.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
So, the UK accounts for 45% of Australia’s sales to the EU but the UK is only responsible for 6.7% of the trade imbalance.
WHAT ABOUT THE ‘EU’ FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN AUSTRALIA?
Over half of ‘EU’ foreign investment in Australia is actually from the UK, not the EU27
The UK accounts for half a trillion Australian dollars of foreign investment in Australia. That’s 50.5% out of the total figure for the ‘EU’. The UK is the second-largest investor in Australia after the USA and is twice as big as the next country on the list.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
We hope Australian readers find the above interesting. Throughout this piece we have used official data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade, using the latest figures available. We kept this in Aussie dollars, to make things more transparent for you.
It's regrettable that the EU continues to misrepresent itself to other countries. Without the UK, the EU27 are a significantly different entity, economically and in many other ways. No doubt the British government will be making this clear as time goes by.
[ Sources: EU Commission | Australian Government Trade Dept | Australian Bureau of Statistics ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       05.45am, Sun 09 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
APPEAL: WE NEED TO RAISE AN EXTRA £5,000 PER MONTH
COULD YOU SPARE £1.20 PER WEEK TO KEEP US GOING?
Facts4EU’s articles and research are used and quoted by the national press.
With your help we can make a difference – we can’t do it without you.
Subscribe With a monthly donation
From £1.20 / week
        Donate Make a one-off donation
from £10 upwards
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR LATEST SUBSCRIBERS AND DONORS
VIP MEMBERS -   M Donnan, Middx
GOLD MEMBERS -   D Cooper, Berks  |  G Gardner, Cheshire  |  Anonymous, UK  |  J Holmes, Shropshire  |   C Mainds, London  |  P Abbott, E Sussex
MEMBERS - N Brooker, London  |  M Wood, Ceredigion  |  R Parkin, England  |  Anonymous, UK
VALUED SUPPORTERS - F Carstairs, W Sussex  |  N Martinek, W Yorks  |  A Hammond, Lincs  |  G Reakes, Kent  |  Anonymous, Aberdeen  |  P Derbyshire, GB
 IS THE EU SEEKING TO IMPEDE UK-AUSTRALIA TRADE DEAL?
EU tells Australia that UK can’t talk trade, in submission to Australian Parliament
The Australian Parliament’s Trade Sub-Committee was asked in December by their Trade Minister to conduct an ‘Inquiry into Australia’s trade and investment relationship with the United Kingdom’. As part of this inquiry it called for submissions from interested parties.
  • EU made trade submission from EU Brexit Team, not from EU Trade Commissioner
  • EU’s submission says trade is an ‘exclusive competence’ of the EU
  • UK is ‘bound’ by this exclusivity, hence no UK trade talks possible
Amongst those making submissions were the UK - represented by Dr Liam Fox, International Trade Secretary - and the EU.
Bizarrely, the EU’s submission does not come from the EU Trade Commissioner, as would be expected. Instead it was written and submitted by the EU Commission’s Brexit negotiation team, headed up by Michel Barnier. The author was his deputy, Sabine Weyrand.
This is like David Davis, Brexit Secretary, making a UK trade submission.
Naturally international trade is handled by the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox. In the EU’s case the submission should have come from Dr Fox’s opposite number, Cecilia Malmstrom, the former sociology teacher who is the EU’s Trade Commissioner.
 
Another organisation making a submission to the Australian Parliament’s committee was the ‘Australian Business in Europe (France)’ group. You may be interested in what they had to say about the UK :-
“The UK’s recent White Paper estimates that the Brexit negotiations will take up to two years. Conversely Australia and Europe are preparing to negotiate an FTA this year. The EU will be incentivised to negotiate mutually beneficial terms with Australia prior to the finalisation of Brexit.
Conversely, the UK will prioritise a tariff free FTA with the EU and will not be incentivised to provide favorable conditions for third party countries until an FTA is concluded with the EU.
Australia is well advised to pursue a comprehensive FTA with the EU as a priority.”
[FTA = “Free Trade Agreement”]
We find it interesting that a submission to another country's trade sub-committee was made by the EU's Brexit negotiators and not by its Trade Commissioner. Perhaps it shows that the EU saw this as being less about trade and more about stopping the UK from talking about its future trade with Australia.
In case you think we’re overstating things here, you may wish to consider the timing of the EU Trade Commissioner’s telephone call with the Australian Trade Minister, which happened this week. Immediately following this call, the EU announced that they had “concluded discussions on the scope of a potential bilateral free trade agreement” with Australia. (See article below.)
[ Sources: EU Commission | Australian Government Trade Dept ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       10.15am, 08 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 EU TAKES 17 MONTHS TO ‘SCOPE’ POSSIBLE EU-AUS TRADE DEAL
And negotiations can’t even start until EU Council gives authorisation
EU announcement on Thursday shows painfully-slow EU at its worst
The UK has only 17 months to complete a trade deal with the EU, taking into account the EU’s set-up time and the 6 months they need for ratifying it.
If it took that long for the EU to agree a broad scope of what a trade deal with Australia should cover, what hope is there for the UK?
There has recently been a flurry of activity in the EU on foreign trade. This is an area which has been largely sidelined by the EU and progress has been laboriously slow.
Suddenly the EU is all-action on trade agreements. Here we report on one example from last week.
On Thursday the EU announced that the EU and Australia had
“concluded discussions on the scope of a potential bilateral free trade agreement.”
This might sound very positive for Australia, but alas the facts are not all they seem.
 
G'day
Unfortunately, the Australian Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade doesn’t even show the EU on its list of ‘Free Trade Agreements under negotiation’.
What happened on Thursday was that the EU’s Trade Commissioner, (former sociology teacher Cecilia Malmstrom), telephoned Australia’s Minister for Trade Steven Ciobo, and she claims to have agreed what a possible future trade deal might cover.
This process had been going on for 17 months. As the Sydney Morning Herald said: "The hold-up was put down to internal debate within the EU, where such deals have recently met stiffer resistance." Back in November 2015, when Australian MP Malcolm Turnbull visited Brussels, President Juncker had announced:
“We agreed to commence work toward the launch of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement. We agreed that discussions to define the scope and approach to the negotiations should start as soon as possible. In parallel, we agreed to take steps to seek the necessary authorisation for the negotiations on the basis of a successful scoping.”
That was 17 months ago. Since then, all the EU has been able to achieve is to have discussions about the scope of the agreement. And the EU Commission has yet to gain approval from the EU Council to commence any negotiations.
Nevertheless they announced the outcome of this one phone call in a formal press statement.
We have recently seen a flurry of activity (well, statements anyway) from the EU about trade deals with Japan, Korea, and other countries. Now it’s Australia’s turn. We can confidently predict that however quickly these countries hope the EU might do a trade deal with them, they should at least double their estimated timelines.
[ Sources: EU Commission Trade Directorate | Australian Government Trade Dept | Sydney Morning Herald ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       08.10am, 08 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
 UK IS NO.1 IN EU FOR AIR PASSENGERS CARRIED
Great Britain dominates EU aviation with 5 out of top 10 EU country routes
Another exclusive analysis from the Facts4EU.Org Research Team
The British public has been told regularly before and since the Referendum that the skies will fall in if we leave the EU. When it comes to the literal sense of this, we thought we would look at what the EU has to lose if it tries to play politics with flights across the EU skies.
The Guardian was at it again yesterday, with an interview with Ryanair’s CFO. Here is their headline:
Ryanair themselves issued a press release last week saying:
“UK COULD BE LEFT WITH NO FLIGHTS TO/FROM EUROPE AFTER BREXIT”
Given these continuing scare stories, we thought you might be interested in some facts.
 
© Ryanair
Here is what the UK means to the EU in terms of air transport:-
  • No.1 in EU for number of passengers carried
  • No.1 in EU for number of passengers carried intra-EU
  • No.1 in EU for number of passengers carried extra-EU
  • Has no.1 airport in EU (Heathrow) for number of passengers carried
  • No.1 in EU for busiest intra-EU route (UK-Spain)
  • The UK-Spain route alone accounts for 9.1% of all intra-EU traffic
  • Has a total of 5 of the top 10 routes in the EU for intra-EU traffic
Some Facts4EU.Org graphs might demonstrate the dominant position of UK air travel:-
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
33.2% share of EU air travel – within EU
 
20.9% share of EU air travel – outside EU
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Looking at the totality of air passenger numbers in the EU, the UK accounts for one-quarter of it. Breaking this down, the UK is responsible for one-third of all intra-EU traffic and one-fifth of all extra-EU traffic.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The UK has 5 out of the EU’s top 10 busiest country pairings for air travel. Not surprisingly, the UK-Spain route comes top.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Putting this into proportion for the EU’s politicians and bureaucrats (and Remainer MPs and commentators in the UK), the UK’s air travel is bigger than 18 of the other EU countries combined. Ireland, home to Ryanair, is within that total of 18 countries overshadowed by the UK.
The British have traditionally been self-deprecating and no-one is suggesting that the British government should suddenly start throwing its weight around in the EU talks. However, there is a nice balance between being self-deprecating and being arrogant and we feel the balance needs to shift.
We say this particularly given the apparent lack of a robust response by the British government to the EU parliament’s extreme demands on Wednesday. This was very disappointing.
We hope that by continously demonstrating the UK’s relatively-strong position in the EU on a wide range of subjects, we will give our negotiators (and the British people) a tad more confidence.
The one thing no-one should do is to listen to those Remainer MPs and commentators who seem determined to do Britain down at every opportunity.
The example above of the true picture of air traffic in the EU is a case in point. Does anyone seriously imagine that Ryanair’s absurd suggestion that “the UK could be left with no flights to/from Europe after Brexit” is likely? One look at the real facts is all it takes.
The EU has no choice but to do a deal with the UK on aviation routes and regulations post-Brexit.
[ Sources: Official Eurostat data for last full year: 2015 | Ryanair Corporate ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       09.00am, 07 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Jim B, Warwickshire      Date/Time: 07 Apr 2017, 11.15am
Message: Thanks for giving us these facts - very interesting and another great article from your team. I agree the EU should be very keen to do a deal on air routes etc as it's clearly in their interests. However they've not shown themselves to be hot on logic and acting in their own interests so far! I also agree about the government not speaking out against the rubbish from the EU's parliament this week. Doesn't Theresa May understand the need for daily PR? Anyway please keep up the good work.
APPEAL: WE NEED TO RAISE AN EXTRA £5,000 PER MONTH
COULD YOU SPARE £1.20 PER WEEK TO KEEP US GOING?
Facts4EU’s articles and research are used and quoted by the national press.
With your help we can make a difference – we can’t do it without you.
Subscribe With a monthly donation
From £1.20 / week
        Donate Make a one-off donation
from £10 upwards
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR LATEST SUBSCRIBERS AND DONORS
VIP MEMBERS -   M Donnan, Middx
GOLD MEMBERS -   D Cooper, Berks  |  G Gardner, Cheshire  |  Anonymous, UK  |  J Holmes, Shropshire  |   C Mainds, London  |  P Abbott, E Sussex
MEMBERS - N Brooker, London  |  M Wood, Ceredigion  |  R Parkin, England  |  Anonymous, UK
VALUED SUPPORTERS - F Carstairs, W Sussex  |  N Martinek, W Yorks  |  A Hammond, Lincs  |  G Reakes, Kent  |  Anonymous, Aberdeen  |  P Derbyshire, GB
 HOSTILE EU PARLIAMENT MAKES THE EXIT, TRANSITION,
AND FUTURE TRADE DEALS IMPOSSIBLE
Yesterday we saw the naked, unacceptable face of European Union federalism
PART ONE of a 2-Part Facts4EU.Org Special on the EU Parliament’s Brexit demands
EU Parliament building in Strasbourg - used twice a month              © EU Parliament
What happened yesterday in Strasbourg will define the end result for the UK in leaving the EU. Covered only superficially by the mainstream news channels, we present a flavour of the debate, plus an essential summary of the first official demands of any EU body.
This is a ‘must read’ – especially Part Two. In many ways, what happened yesterday demonstrates perfectly ‘the unacceptable face of the European Union’.
Occasionally in life one is confronted with something which is so outrageous that any attempt to describe it can never be adequate. Yesterday morning’s events in the EU Parliament in Strasbourg are just such a case. And we say that, after years of experience of watching astonished at the EU’s actions.
This article covers the debate, and Part Two summarises the shocking nature of what the EU Parliament agreed about the UK.
Firstly, the Brexit ‘debate’
We put the word ‘debate’ in inverted commas because there was no debate. Instead, one MEP after another got to their feet and whittled on for whatever time they were allocated, broadly all saying the same thing in order to pretend they cared about real people.
In fact, the EU parliament’s debates are often like that – but the British public would never know because all they ever get to see on British TV is the occasional clip of Nigel Farage being rebuked by the Chair.
If the proceedings of this chamber, (shaped more like a Roman amphitheatre, but alas with fewer deaths by goring lions), were properly televised in the UK, the British people would have been dashing for the EU exit many years ago.
Great oratory is not a defining characteristic of this chamber of horrors and yesterday was no exception.
Nigel Farage MEP yesterday in Strasbourg                            © EU Parliament
The main highlight was the fearless gladiator Mr Farage. Like him or loathe him, he was essential viewing yesterday, comparing the EU to the Mafia and then - after being rebuked by the Italian president of the parliament - gangsters. It must have taken some courage for Mr Farage to risk the wrath of the modern-day Corleones and Sopranos in this way. Those gentlemen would no doubt take umbrage if they heard themselves being compared to the mediocrities and nonentities who spoke yesterday.
However, regrettably and quite inexplicably these MEPs do in fact exercise real power.
Responsibility – no. But power - yes.
Specifically, it became clear that the MEPs will block any form of sensible withdrawal agreement for the UK, will block any sensible transition arrangements, and will block any reasonable future trade deal.
Below are links to clips of some of the main speakers. We urge you to watch some of them. We haven’t included the dozens of minor MEPs but we urge you to get a flavour of those people by watching a little of the latter half of the entire ‘debate’.
Watch the entire debate or watch speeches by main speakers:

Opening by President Tajani

Manfred Weber (EPP, DE)

Gianni Pittella (S&D, IT)

Helga Stevens (ECR, NL)

Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, BE)

Gabriele Zimmer (GUE/NGL, DE)

Philippe Lamberts (Green/EFA, BE)

Nigel Farage (EFDD, UK)

Marcel De Graaf (ENF, NL)

Danuta Hübner, Chair of the Constitutional Affairs Committee

Ian Borg, for the Council Presidency

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission

Michel Barnier, EU Brexit negotiator

A few key points:
Most speakers talked about the rights of citizens, as if the UK government hadn’t already been trying to get the EU to agree to this. Playing to their domestic audiences, the European viewer would gain the impression that it was the nasty UK which was preventing a quick deal being done on this.
In fact, not only did the EU27’s leaders refuse even to discuss a quick deal last year when Theresa May tried, they are now insisting that this must be delayed and only agreed when all other aspects of the withdrawal deal are agreed. You really couldn’t make this up.
The second point is more about the flavour and tone. We challenge anyone to say that this wasn’t hostile to the point of being aggressive in some cases.
What these MEPs fail to realise is that their very hostility about Brexit demonstrates their insecurity. If the EU were so great, why feel the need to punish the UK for leaving? Surely we should be pitied, not attacked?
Where was the response from the Conservative MEPs?
As we said above, Mr Farage was on combative form. However you may wonder where the leader of the Conservatives, Syed Kamall MEP, was. Why did he not stand up to the other MEPs’ ridiculous demands? The simple answer is that he didn’t speak. Instead, the EPP grouping in the EU Parliament (which the Conservatives lead) was represented by a Belgian MEP. We’re not kidding.
Note for newer readers: Facts4EU.Org takes a party-neutral stance overall, only commenting on political parties when it's relevant to the question of Brexit.
And finally
Finally, one should just mention the absence of real facts. Only fake facts were on offer, which were occasionally dotted into speeches, but for the most part MEPs were content to be on television saying.... well, not much of substance at all really.
Note: As ever in life there were a few exceptions. MEPs who spoke reasonably, even if we disagreed with them, such as Hungary’s György Schöpflin. However the above commentary represents an accurate overall portrayal in our opinion.
Next Article: What the MEPs agreed about the EU-UK negotiations
If only we could leave things there, dear reader. Unfortunately there was substance yesterday morning. It may have been relatively absent during the ‘debate’, and has certainly been absent in TV news about it, but there’s plenty of it in the resolution the MEPs passed.
Read part two for the shocking truth about why a sensible withdrawal deal and a reasonable trade deal will be impossible with the EU Parliament having a veto.
[ Sources: EU Parliament ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       08.00am, 06 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
 EXIT, TRANSITION, AND FUTURE TRADE DEALS
IMPOSSIBLE UNDER EU RESOLUTION
Summary of the resolution passed by the EU Parliament yesterday
PART TWO of a 2-Part Facts4EU.Org Special on the EU Parliament’s Brexit demands
What follows is a ‘quick-read’ summary of the officially-adopted position of the EU Parliament on Britain’s withdrawal, transition, and future trade deals.
These demands will form the basis for whether any deals negotiated by David Davis will eventually be approved or not. The EU Parliament holds an absolute veto over the deals negotiated, and all it will take is a simple majority of MEPs to block any settlement.
In other words, these demands of the EU Parliament must be taken seriously.
The motion was put forward by the Chairs of five of the main political groupings in the EU Parliament. It was passed with 516 votes in favour, 133 against, and 50 abstentions.
SUMMARY OF THE RESOLUTION
General
  • EU Parliament has veto over withdrawal deal, future trade deal, and transitional deal
  • Demands in this Resolution will be used to decide the yes/no approval
  • Membership of Single Market and Customs Union is not possible without 4 freedoms, ECJ jurisdiction, ongoing annual contributions, and block on independent trade deals
  • Absolute block on UK beginning trade talks with other countries
  • Threat of block on UK participating in normal EU business whilst still a member
  • UK must continue paying “up to and after the date of its withdrawal”
  • No UK-EU trade negotiations until after withdrawal of UK
  • Talks on transitional arrangements only after ‘substantial progress’ on withdrawal agreement
  • ECJ to be final arbiter on ‘interpretation and enforcement’ of exit deal
  • UK must agree that EU27 citizens in the UK will have ‘protection of the integrity of Union law, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and its enforcement framework’
  • Brexit bill to be a blank cheque: current commitments, ‘off-balance sheet items, contingent liabilities and other financial costs arising directly as a result of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal’
Future Trade Arrangements
  • Internal and external security and defence issues can’t be used in negotiations
  • UK must continue to obey EU’s legislation on human rights, ‘the environment, climate change, the fight against tax evasion and avoidance, fair competition, trade and social rights, social dumping’
  • No negotiations on sectors, eg financial services
  • No negotiations on partial access to the single market and/or the customs union
  • No special relationship despite 44 years of membership - ‘Underlines that after its withdrawal the United Kingdom will fall under the third-country regime provided for in Union legislation’
  • Any participation in programmes like Erasmus to be subject to payments and EU law
Transitional Arrangements
  • UK will continue to be subject to EU law and power of ECJ under any transitional deal
  • Transitional arrangements not to exceed three years
Other Issues
  • EU27 will not look at existing and previous budgets to reduce ongoing commitments and thereby Brexit bill
And Finally
  • The EU Parliament will vote on deals, based on this resolution and subsequent ones.
IS THIS THE UNACCEPTABLE FACE OF EU FEDERALISM?
Guy Verhofstadt MEP
Why did the EU Parliament choose the most EU-federalist and obnoxious MEP to represent them in the Brexit process?
Yesterday in the EU Parliament: “The young generation will see Brexit for what it really is: a catfight in the Conservative Party that got out of hand. A loss of time, a waste of energy, and, I think, stupidity.”
It's our opinion that Mr Verhofstadt is a menace to both the EU27 and the UK, and should play no role in the Brexit process. We urge the EU Parliament to think again about its choice of representative.
Final thoughts
There’s a lot to absorb in the above summary, but the motion ran to eight pages so the summary is as short as we could make it.
There are some staggering demands contained within it, as you will have seen. Some of these are new, and do not reflect what has been said so far.
For example, the EU Parliament has gone back to saying that future trade negotiations can only start after the UK has left. The EU Council’s position was different, saying that these could start after ‘significant progress’ on the withdrawal agreement. The EU Parliament has modified this to say that negotiations on a transitional deal – NOT a future trade deal - might start after ‘substantial progress’ on the withdrawal deal.
Frankly there is so much in the EU parliament’s resolution that will be wholly unacceptable to the British people, we see very little hope of there being any kind of compromise which can be reached.
Any negotiation involves some compromises of course. The difference here is that the EU Parliament have set out their negotiating position so far beyond what neutral observers might consider normal and realistic, that any compromise by the UK wouldn't touch the sides.
Unfortunately we must reiterate our editorial position: it’s much better to face reality and plan for a difficult break with the EU and a positive future with the rest of the World. The government will do what it can to mitigate the worst elements of the euro-federalists’ desire to punish the UK.
However this must not be done at the expense of giving in to outrageous and hostile EU demands. As things currently stand, it will take an earthquake in EU politics before any sensible deals might be struck.
We welcome your comments on the above articles, which we will publish below.
[ Sources: EU Parliament ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       08.00am, 06 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
EU PARLIAMENT DEBATE ON BREXIT TODAY
We are currently watching the debate in the EU parliament on a motion about Brexit. It really should be compulsory viewing in every school and university in the country, so that they can see what the EU is like without the filtering of their teachers and lecturers.
We will be giving our analysis on this extraordinary debate later today or tomorrow.
       Facts4EU.Org, 10.30am, 05 Apr 2017
 WE ALL KNOW THERE’LL BE NO EU-UK TRADE DEAL IN 2 YEARS
TIME FOR SOME HONESTY FROM THE EU?
‘WE WILL HAVE LOOKED AT THE FUTURE RELATIONSHIP AT THE END OF 2 YEARS’
PM’s comments yesterday effectively confirm what most people suspected and some knew
"I'm clear that by the point at which we leave the EU, it's right that everyone will know what the future arrangement, relationship, partnership between us and EU will be.”
© Sky News (screengrab)
“At the end of this negotiation will we have looked at both withdrawal, and the future relationship? That’s what’s important… That’s what I believe increasingly we will see.”
The PM’s statements are a very long way from saying that the UK will have an exit agreement and a new trade deal agreed. To have ‘looked at’ a trade deal by the end of the two years is as good as saying that a trade deal will not be done.
A QUESTION
There is one question which we wish someone would ask of President Tusk, President Juncker, Chancellor Merkel, Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, and the rest:
“Since the UK’s Referendum vote, has there ever been any possibility in your minds that the EU27 would conclude a free trade arrangement with the UK by the end of the Article 50 two-year notice period?”
In the unlikely event that any of these politicians actually answered the question directly, the answer would be no.
We know this, you know this, the British government knows this, and the whole EU machine knows this. Isn’t it time the EU admitted this and we all said it out loud?
In its entire history, the EU has never been able to do a trade deal in 12 months, or anything like it. 12 months is the effective time for trade negotiations once the EU27 have sorted out their negotiating position next month, once they’ve made ‘sufficient progress’ on the withdrawal agreement, and leaving enough time for both eventual deals to be approved by the member states and by the EU parliament.
This means we’re looking at two things:
  1. Some kind of eventual, fudged arrangement to carry on trading with the EU27 whilst negotiations continue for years, and
  2. For the UK to drive forward at full speed on WTO arrangements and Free Trade Agreements with the major and mid-range economies of the World.
The first item will be predominantly depressing and negative. It will involve constant battles to ensure the government doesn’t give way on key issues like free movement, ECJ jurisdiction, a ‘Brexit bill’, and continued annual contributions to the EU.
The second item will be mostly positive and uplifting. It will involve the lobbying of WTO members to ensure that trade can continue under existing WTO terms whilst new arrangements are agreed, and some early ‘big hits’ on Free Trade Agreements with countries like Australia, New Zealand, Singapore etc. It might even be possible to do a limited but quick trade deal with the US.
We welcome your comments on this question, which we will publish below.
[ Sources: Sky News ]           06.20am, 05 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Andy      Date/Time: 05 Apr 2017, 09.55am
Message: You're quite right. The EU has no intention of doing a Free Trade Agreement with the UK in 2 years and it is time everyone realized that. Nor is the EU going to play a 'straight bat' in the negotiations because that is just not in the nature of the beast. You can already see that in the silly demand for a divorce settlement and the way they (not the UK) are treating their own nationals. I reckon what will happen is a sort of hidden trade war, where the EU will use every trick it can think of to damage UK trade with EU members. That is how they are. The EU is incapable of any sense of self awareness but if they had they would understand that the Divorce papers have been served because of the EUs 'unreasonable behaviour'.
Name: SibeliusFan      Date/Time: 05 Apr 2017, 11.05am
Message: I wholeheartedly agree, and with Andy's comments too. Surely planning for future trading to be conducted on WTO terms gives UK businesses some certainty just now: at least the rules are known. If a deal turns up (many) years down the line, that's a bonus, but just now I'd have thought that uncertainty is the greatest enemy.
Name: Carole      Date/Time: 05 Apr 2017, 1.40pm
Message: I think the most constructive thing that we can do now is to try and combat the insidious media spin that is actually causing real harm to Britain's prospects. I have even ventured onto the Independent website today, not to be rude or have a go but to actually try and put the real facts out there. Even some of the Brexiteers believe the rubbish that is published every few hours or so. I always come back here to this website to renew my spirit and sanity and am very grateful to your staff and sources for the information you provide. Great job!
 NO, BREXIT ISN’T CAUSING A £500 MILLION PASSPORT REDESIGN
Celebs and Remainer politicians get it all wrong, as usual
© Twitter 2017
Twitterdom, some parts of the media, and some Remainer politicians have once again shown what little regard they have for the facts when it comes to Brexit.
Sue Perkins wasn't the only one (she has now deleted this tweet by the way). Ricky Gervais and others were also at it.
  • Yes, the British passport is going to be re-designed
  • No, this contract has nothing to do with Brexit or passport colours
  • No, the redesign isn’t costing £490 million anyway
Apart from that, the Remainers were as accurate as ever.
The Home Office regularly has a redesign of the British passport, as part of its measures to combat forgers. Here are the facts about the news you may have seen in recent days, regarding a new-look British passport.
  • There was a redesign of the passport in 2015 – nothing to do with Brexit
  • The contract for producing passports next comes up for renewal in 2019
  • Tenders are invited now, as the process for renewing or changing supplier takes time
  • The government was even forced under EU regulations to announce this last October
  • The estimated contract value is £490 million
  • This is for design AND production of passports until 2030
  • This covers production of around 6 million passports per year
This really shouldn't surprise anyone, coming from David Lammy MP.            © Twitter 2017
It's not surprising that members of the public read the misinformation from Sue Perkins et al and questioned whether it wasn't better to spend £490 million on the NHS or schools instead.
Unfortunately this is just yet another example of the continual rubbish we try to help in debunking on a daily basis. The problem is that people often read the incorrect 'news item' or tweet and then don't see the correct information put out by people like us.
[ Sources: Official Journal of the EU | EurLex legal database | Twitter ]  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        15.45am, 04 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
APPEAL: WE NEED TO RAISE AN EXTRA £5,000 PER MONTH
COULD YOU SPARE £1.20 PER WEEK TO KEEP US GOING?
Facts4EU’s articles and research are used and quoted by the national press.
With your help we can make a difference – we can’t do it without you.
Subscribe With a monthly donation
From £1.20 / week
        Donate Make a one-off donation
from £10 upwards
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR LATEST SUBSCRIBERS AND DONORS
VIP MEMBERS -   M Donnan, Middx
GOLD MEMBERS -   D Cooper, Berks  |  G Gardner, Cheshire  |  Anonymous, UK  |  J Holmes, Shropshire  |   C Mainds, London  |  P Abbott, E Sussex
MEMBERS - M Wood, Ceredigion  |  R Parkin, England  |  Anonymous, UK
VALUED SUPPORTERS - F Carstairs, W Sussex  |  N Martinek, W Yorks  |  A Hammond, Lincs  |  G Reakes, Kent  |  Anonymous, Aberdeen  |  P Derbyshire, GB
 IF BRITISH STUDENTS KNEW THIS
WOULD THEY STILL SUPPORT REMAIN?
An expose of the EU’s ‘Erasmus+’ project for young people
A Facts4EU.Org Research Team 4-part Special Report - PART ONE
In this short series of articles we'll give British students (and our wider readership) some basic facts on the EU's Erasmus+ programme. We hope students will approach this with an open mind, in order to inform their opinions about this aspect of our EU membership, and about how to build on the best parts of it after Brexit.
  • Part One: What is Erasmus+ ?
  • Part Two: Who benefits from it?
  • Part Three: Who pays for it?
  • Part Four: What might happen post-Brexit?
PART ONE: WHAT IS ERASMUS+ ?
Erasmus+ is “the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.” (EU Commission)
This new version of Erasmus started in 2014, with a 40% increase in funding and a significant increase in its scope.
This scope now covers matters which have little to do with higher education, such as ‘youth exchanges’ and ‘volunteering’. It even includes programmes to “develop new teaching practices or curricula” – something most people probably think is the role of the Dept for Education in the UK.
Erasmus funds and “promotes – among other things – good governance, social inclusion, the fight against racism, dual careers, and physical activity for all.”
1/3rd of the budget goes on “partnerships + reforms of the education and youth sectors”
Many British people (including our young people) imagine that Erasmus+ is all about giving our students a chance to study for all or part of their degrees abroad. However this is just a minority part of the whole programme.
This entire project is much more insidious and far-reaching in its aims.
In the articles below, we will show you who benefits from the programme and who funds it. And in the final part in this series we will also look at what might happen to Erasmus+ post-Brexit.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]           07.00am, 03 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
 99.5% OF UK STUDENTS DON’T BENEFIT
FROM THE EU ‘ERASMUS’ PROGRAMME
Who benefits in the UK, who benefits from the EU27?
ERASMUS+   PART TWO: A Facts4EU.Org Research Team 4-part Special Report
Only 0.5% of British higher education students benefited from the EU’s Erasmus+ programme in 2015.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
  • Only 9,836 British students used Erasmus+ in 2015, out of 1.8 million in higher education
  • 2,968 British staff also took advantage of Erasmus+ to further their careers
  • EU students and staff benefit far more than their UK counterparts
  • In 2014 almost 3 times as many EU27 Erasmus students came to the UK, than vice versa
Statistical note: We have used the latest data available. The number of UK students using Erasmus comes from the EU Commission for 2015. The total number of British students in higher education comes from Universities UK for 2015/2016. In this series we are almost exclusively using official EU data contained in numerous documents. Where this data conflicts with data in other EU documents, we have used what we consider to be the most reliable source.
Universities UK say that there were 127,440 EU27 students in UK higher education in 2015/2016. The EU reports 27,400 of these using Erasmus+.
Erasmus+ has moved a long way from being about students in higher education. The figures above relate to higher education, as this is how most British people understand Erasmus.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Erasmus+ now encompasses teaching staff as well as students, young people being paid to be ‘volunteers’ in EU projects, youth exchanges, youth workers, and sports students and workers. It also includes school staff, in addition to those staff in higher education.
The UK was the EU’s top destination for EU27 staff in 2015.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Erasmus+ is not only for EU nationals. It also involves non-EU countries, including Turks, Macedonians, Russians, Icelanders. Naturally there is an EU fund for this. (See article below.)
It’s important for the debate about issues like Erasmus+ to be based on an understanding by British people (particularly the younger generation) of what these things really are.
Erasmus+ is no longer about higher education – if indeed it ever was. It is now an EU project aimed at the young people of the EU, encompassing “education, training, youth, and sport”. It also includes staff involved in these areas.
Critically, it now includes subjects which many people would consider to be outside the EU’s remit, especially where these are of a political nature, such as teaching practices and curriculae, ‘good governance’, ‘social inclusion’, 'the fight against racism', etc.
In the next article in this series we will look at how much the EU’s self-enlarged scope for Erasmus+ is costing.
[ Sources: EU Commission | Universities UK ]           09.40am, 03 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
 EU ERASMUS+ AND WHERE ALL THE MONEY IS GOING
Who pays and what sums are involved?
ERASMUS+   PART Three: A Facts4EU.Org Research Team 4-part Special Report
  • The 2014-2020 budget for Erasmus+ is £13.9 BILLION
  • This includes £1.4 billion spent on grants to non-EU countries
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Note: The EU refers to the cost of Erasmus+ without including the extra amount which it gives under the programme to non-EU countries. We have included this information to give a truer picture. The list of these countries is long, and includes most of the poorer countries of the world you can think of.
The element of this budget which is applicable to higher education is approximately a third of the overall cost.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The UK of course contributes to the total cost of Erasmus+ in the approximately same way as its overall contributions to the cost of the EU as a whole.
In other words the UK’s part is around £1.7 billion.
In the final part of this series on Erasmus+ we will look at the question of the future of this programme post-Brexit. For our student readers, we will just say that it appears that a future UK involvement in funding higher education places in EU27 countries could still be achieved, given that only around a third of the money goes to funding higher education.
The UK could continue to promote cross-country educational opportunities, but at considerably reduced costs if some of the EU’s excesses are excluded.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]           11.45am, 03 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
 ERASMUS+: WHY BRITAIN SHOULDN'T KEEP PAYING AFTER BREXIT
Plus an alternative suggestion for ongoing student exchanges
ERASMUS+   PART FOUR: A Facts4EU.Org Research Team 4-part Special Report
In the previous article we looked at some details of the EU’s “Erasmus+” project, as it’s so often mentioned by young people as a reason why Britain should stay in the EU.
We showed that according to the EU’s figures, only 9,800 British students in higher education were participating in the Erasmus+ project. This represents only 0.5% of the total number in higher education.
We also looked at the cost of this programme and showed that only around a third was going on higher education. The bulk of the expenditure included many items which the UK will never want nor need.
Here’s just one example of the projects funded by Erasmus+, chosen by us at random from 58,600 listed in the EU’s latest Erasmus+ Projects Overview:-
Randomly-selected project from one of the 58,600 listed in the Erasmus+ Projects Overview
Recipient: Turkish school - Suna Uzal Ortaokulu (Non-EU)
EU Grant: €66,768 (approx £57,000)
Project summary: “The common desire of the school, teachers and all parents is to raise self confident children. In fact, self confidence comes in the first place for a healthy development but the case is a little bit difficult for parents whose child is shy...”
This 'summary' then rambles on in similar vein for many paragraphs, and ends :-
“... Students will have been led in forming healthier society by information and search, developing, applying information to life, associating among different information etc. devoloping academic personal potential, being self-confident and at peace with himself/happy, social providing and contributing him to join in to the society in a more effecient way. Thus, we will have provided priority in forming a more cheerful and livable world.”
“The emplacement activities will take place in the first mobility in Holland (12 participants) those who are to participate in education activities in Sweden will perform the emplacement activities. (12 participants).”
Our thoughts on that project?
No, we don’t have a clue what the €66,768 euros delivered either. But the EU paid it and state that the objectives were met.
Nor do we have any idea - if this Turkish school wanted to send some teachers to Holland and Sweden for a couple of weeks – why the Turkish government didn’t pay for it.
But hey, call us old-fashioned.
THE FUTURE OF ERASMUS+ POST-BREXIT
There has been a lot of talk about the UK possibly wishing to continue to pay into certain EU programmes after Brexit. Erasmus+ has been spoken of as being one of them.
We would suggest that Erasmus+, as it is presently constituted, is not an appropriate programme to fund. Here is how Erasmus+ is summarised in the EU’s budget for 2014-2020 :-
“Aims: Erasmus+ aims at boosting skills and employability. The programme will increase the quality and relevance of Europe’s education systems by providing funding for the professional development of education and training staff, as well as youth workers and for cooperation between universities, colleges, schools, enterprises, and NGOs.”
MFF, EU Commission
Clearly this is not in any way something which an independent country like the post-Brexit UK would have need of.
However we would advocate a simple and separate deal with the EU in respect of ongoing exchanges of students. This ‘student exchange’ programme could be agreed between the Dept of Education and the EU’s EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency). There may also be a limited number of other educational activities which the UK may agree to discuss with the EU27, which are contained with Erasmus+, but this is outside our remit today.
As the EU27 will be sending more students to the UK than the UK will be sending to the EU27, there will of course be a net cost to the EU.
This can be added to the eventual Brexit bill the UK government will need to give to the EU.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        06.45am, 04 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
APPEAL: WE NEED TO RAISE AN EXTRA £5,000 PER MONTH
COULD YOU SPARE £1.20 PER WEEK TO KEEP US GOING?
Facts4EU’s articles and research are used and quoted by the national press.
With your help we can make a difference – we can’t do it without you.
Subscribe With a monthly donation
From £1.20 / week
        Donate Make a one-off donation
from £10 upwards
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR LATEST SUBSCRIBERS AND DONORS
VIP MEMBERS -   M Donnan, Middx
GOLD MEMBERS -   D Cooper, Berks  |  G Gardner, Cheshire  |  Anonymous, UK  |  J Holmes, Shropshire  |   C Mainds, London  |  P Abbott, E Sussex
MEMBERS - M Wood, Ceredigion  |  R Parkin, England  |  Anonymous, UK
VALUED SUPPORTERS - F Carstairs, W Sussex  |  N Martinek, W Yorks  |  A Hammond, Lincs  |  G Reakes, Kent  |  Anonymous, Aberdeen  |  P Derbyshire, GB
 ARE YOU BORED WITH GOOD ECONOMIC NEWS YET?
“The long term picture is still one of robust growth” – ONS, Mar 2017
The ONS releases latest economic dataset – and it ridicules Remoaners yet again.
In the articles below we will show you some of the positive economic data released on Friday by the Office for National Statistics. Firstly, here is the summary from the ONS’ Head of GDP, Darren Morgan:
"ONS Monthly Economic Commentary: Mar 2017"
“Growth in the final quarter remained unrevised at 0.7%, with buoyant contributions from the retail and wholesale sectors in the run up to Christmas.
“Services dropped slightly in January with weak performances from hotels and the motor trade. However, the long term picture is still one of robust growth.
"Although household spending rose at the end of last year, there was a noticeable worsening in people's perception of the general economic situation and their own financial position. However, while at a historic low, the fall in the saving ratio is partly due to changes in imputed factors and the holdings of pension funds, rather than any significant changes in the real incomes of households."
“Summary"
“Overall, most of the broader measures of the UK economy are continuing the trends seen during 2016. For example, consumer spending remains relatively strong, services output is increasing, manufacturing output is rising, particularly in the production of motor vehicles and unemployment is low. Households are however seeing rising prices for goods and services in some key areas such as food and fuel, which is putting downward pressure on real wages and incomes. More data will become available over the coming months, particularly the preliminary estimate of GDP for Quarter 1 at the end of April which will give a more complete picture of the economy in the first few months of 2017.”
We have reprinted this in full, rather than selectively quoting from it as some pro-Remain newspapers have done.
The picture painted by the ONS’ Head of GDP is a far cry from the dire predictions before the Referendum, of immediate consequences if the country dared to vote Leave.
Next time you meet Tim Farron, George Osborne, or the BoE’s Mark Carney, perhaps you might ask them to explain why it is that 9 months after the Referendum the Head of GDP at the ONS is able to write:
“The long term picture is still one of robust growth”
And if they try to tell you that Brexit hasn’t happened yet, you could remind them that they promised ‘immediate’ dire consequences, not just long-term ones.
[ Sources: Office for National Statistics ]           07.00am, 02 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
 UK MOTOR VEHICLE EXPORTS SURGE SINCE REFERENDUM
Latest ONS data shows the British motor industry is doing well internationally
(Despite Brexit......)
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics on Friday show that exports of motor vehicles from the UK have grown at a faster rate after the Referendum than before it.
The ONS say: “The recent strength in UK motor vehicle production is also reflected in recent trade figures, with the latest data showing that passenger motor vehicles were the UK’s second highest exported commodity behind mechanical machinery in 2016.”
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The table above shows the export turnover index for the UK’s motor vehicle industry on a 12-month rolling average basis. The index has jumped by 12.4% since the Referendum.
The ONS add that the upward trend in the export of vehicles is strongly corroborated by data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which shows new registrations up by a similar percentage.
[ Sources: Office for National Statistics | SMMT ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.00am, 02 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
 WHICH MAJOR EXPORT MARKETS HAVE GROWN FASTEST IN THE LAST 10 YEARS?
Clue: Sadly the EU doesn’t appear in the list
The latest figures released by the ONS contain an enormous number of tables. Delving into the detail, we thought we would look at how the UK’s exports are doing.
Specifically we looked at growth rates in exports to some of the major G20 economies over the last 10 years. The EU27 countries are our closest neighbours, as we are constantly told by Remainer MPs and commentators. We therefore would have expected the EU to appear in the list.
In the end, we had to add the EU as a special category, in red below.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
None of the above major economies where we are seeing steady to high growth in UK exports have a free trade deal in force with the EU.
Last year the EU finally signed a deal with Canada, but it has yet to be ratified and may still face major hurdles before it can be implemented. Also last year, the proposed free trade deal with the USA called TTIP was effectively buried after years of talks. There is currently no prospect of this being resurrected.
So, the UK is succeeding in growing its export sales to the major economies of the World, despite having no trade deals with them thanks to the EU’s inability to do these for decades.
The UK's exports to the EU have of course fallen in the last 10 years.
It will be interesting to see whether the UK can do even better as it looks forward to trading internationally, unencumbered by the EU’s ban on member states doing their own trade deals.
[ Sources: Office for National Statistics | SMMT ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.00am, 02 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
DO YOU USE TWITTER? 
Our username on Twitter is @Facts4euOrg
You can really help us by tweeting about articles you read on our site. The more people who read our work, the better!
(You may not see the button above if you use an ad blocker.)
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
 ‘IT’S NOT THE ECONOMY, STUPID’
The European ‘project’ has never been about trade, economics, or common sense
Facts4EU.Org Analysis and Commentary on EU27’s Negotiating Rules
PART ONE OF THREE - EDITORIAL
Background
In 1973 the UK joined what was called the EEC (European Economic Community). In Britain at the time, it was referred to as the ‘Common Market’, and this is how it was presented to the British people in the subsequent referendum in 1975.
In truth this project was always political; it was never about trade. Trade was used as the politically-acceptable reason to justify a quiet and subversive revolution on the part of dirigiste politicians to create a United States of Europe.
Frankly, there can be no dispute about this as the evidence is clear from hundreds of EU documents and speeches over the years. All of these have been well-documented by us and by many reputable organisations and are undeniable.
The Brexit Negotiations
It’s essential to view the upcoming Brexit negotiations in the light of the mission of the EU27’s politicians and bureaucrats.
This is not about what UK Remainer politicians and commentators would like to believe about the EU. They can hold imaginary and idealistic views if they want, but this is now about reality.
The future of the United Kingdom is at stake. In order to secure the best overall outcome for the UK, it’s vital to understand the mindset of the EU elites who will govern the eventual Brexit deal.
The opening gambits in this complex saga have now been made. A common sense approach to an orderly British exit from the EU, guaranteeing prosperity for the citizens of the EU27 and the UK, will never be on offer from the EU Council. This is not their priority, no matter what might be said.
And they will never do any kind of sensible deal – on withdrawal or on future trading arrangements – within the 2-year Article 50 window. They are constitutionally incapable of this. We fully understand why the British government can’t say this openly, but it doesn’t stop us from saying it.
SO WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE US?
Things will get bumpy for a while, that much is guaranteed. It's also probable that during this time the citizens of the UK, and of the EU27 countries, will finally see the EU for what it really is.
In the end the UK and the EU27 will come to some kind of understanding and there will be a legal separation. It just won’t look anything like what is on the table from both sides right now.
We retain full and cheery confidence in the UK’s future as an independent and globally-open nation, freed from the shackles of the failing European Union.
The Facts4EU.Org Team        08.00am, 01 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
 THE EU27’S STRANGE DEMANDS AND PRIORITIES FOR A BREXIT DEAL
EU27 demand that UK continues to pay after Brexit, continues to be subject to EU law
Facts4EU.Org Analysis and Commentary on EU27’s Negotiating Rules - PART TWO
Let’s summarise the EU27’s Draft Negotiation Guidelines for Brexit
  1. 'Withdrawal Agreement’ first, trade talks later
  2. This is to include big Brexit bill, citizens’ rights, N.Ireland, and Cyprus bases
  3. EU27 to decide when UK can start talking about trade deal and other matters
  4. Transition deal means UK to continue under EU law, and paying annual subscriptions
  5. Gibraltar has been included in the future trading arrangement negotiations
  6. Future trade deal will involve EU vetos on UK tax, state aid, competitive policies
4.5 million pawns
It is now clear that the rights of 4.5 million EU27 and UK citizens are going to be used as pawns by the EU27, with no legal agreement possible unless and until the UK agrees to a wide variety of other demands.
Security as a bargaining chip
Sovereign British territory is under threat as part of the deal, and this also necessarily involves the security of the UK and of the entire European theatre. (See article below)
Immediately after the 2-year Article 50 period
What about the ‘transitional period’, or what Mrs May is now referring to as an ‘implementation period’?
“this would require existing Union regulatory, budgetary, supervisory and enforcement instruments and structures to apply” (EU Draft Guidelines, 31 Mar)
In other words, the UK would still effectively be in the EU, under EU laws, being supervised by the EU, judgements enforced by the EU, and continuing to pay massive annual contributions to the EU.
PM of Malta, holding EU Council Presidency, at yesterday’s press conference with President Tusk:
“On the ECJ and other European institutions governing the transition period, in our book transition period means you’re still a member, or at least you still have access to a membership situation. If you have such an access, it is obvious, it goes without saying, that the institutions will all have all agreed upon the need to govern that period.”
Clearly these demands from the EU27 are unacceptable to the UK. We look forward to the UK government's robust response over the coming days.
[ Sources: EU Council ]           08.00am, 01 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
 HOW THE EU IS USING PEOPLE AND TERRITORY AS ‘BARGAINING CHIPS’
The EU’s draft negotiating guidelines threaten people’s lives and British territory
Facts4EU.Org Analysis and Commentary on EU27’s Negotiating Rules - PART THREE
  • 4.5m EU27 and UK citizens living in each others’ countries – under threat
  • 32,300 citizens of Gibraltar living on British territory - under threat
  • UK’s sovereign territory on Cyprus – under threat
  • UK and European security via Gibraltar and British bases on Cyprus – under threat
  • Security in Northern Ireland – under threat
The EU’s draft negotiating guidelines issued yesterday threaten the status of people’s lives and European security. Several issues must be agreed as one package or there will be no deal, say the EU27.
The ‘withdrawal’ deal is part one of the EU27’s approach to Brexit. Only when the EU27 decides – at its sole discretion – that ‘sufficient progress’ has been made, will they agree to discuss a trade deal.
Crucially, every one of the items on their list as part of the withdrawal deal must be agreed at the same time. This has led President Tusk to give October as the earliest likely date for such a deal to be agreed.
EU27’S USE OF PEOPLE AS BARGAINING CHIPS
The EU27’s negotiating rules mean that the lives of 4.5 million EU27 and UK citizens living in each others’ countries will stay in limbo for at least another six months.
There is absolutely no confusion about this. The EU27 have made the lives of all these citizens into bargaining chips in a wider negotiation. The British government’s position has been clear since last year when Mrs May proposed that this issue be discussed and agreed even before Article 50 was triggered.
The EU27 have now gone even further, giving Spain a veto on the future trading relationship deal in regard to the treatment of Gibraltar and its 32,000 British citizens.
View from rock of Gibraltar
EU27’S USE OF SECURITY AND BRITISH SOVEREIGN TERRITORY AS BARGAINING CHIPS
There was a great deal of outrage amongst EU leaders and bureaucrats when Mrs May mentioned the UK’s security assistance to the EU as one of the issues to be agreed as part of the overall Brexit deal.
“I think the security of our citizens is far too important to start a trade off from one to the other,” said the EU Parliament’s Guy Verhofstadt, speaking on Thursday.
British Remoaners went much further: “This letter is a blatant threat - security co-operation has been lumped together with trade” said Tim Farron. Labour’s Yvette Cooper claimed that including security in the mix was: “not only wrong but dangerous. She should not be trying to use this as a bargaining chip in the negotiations”.
Despite this, the EU27 has included two major security and territory issues in its demands.
Gibraltar contains several British military bases, including the naval dockyard. It also houses an important listening base for GCHQ, providing vital information for the security of the UK and for Europe as a whole.
Cyprus contains two areas of sovereign British territory at Akrotiri and Dhekelia where 3,000 British troops are based. These areas are absolutely vital in the security interests of the UK and of the European theatre as a whole. They contain RAF airbases and major listening and monitoring stations for GCHQ as part of the UK/US Elint network.
Cyprus has been included by the EU27 within the items to be agreed as part of the overall EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and Gibraltar has been included within the terms of the future trading arrangement negotiations. Whilst it is not yet clear how the EU intends to proceed on these, the fact that they are included means that the EU27 is using vital security matters as bargaining chips.
In fact it’s easy to argue that the EU27 have gone even further, as both of these security issues involve potential negotiations about sovereign British territory.
We can only hope that our worst fears are not realised, as this will make the next few months very difficult and it would drag out the uncertainty for millions of EU27 and UK citizens.
[ Sources: EU Council | UN population database ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        08.00am, 01 April 2017
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
IF WE DON'T BRING YOU THESE RESEARCHED PERSPECTIVES, WHO WILL?
COULD YOU SPARE £1.20 PER WEEK TO KEEP US GOING?
Facts4EU’s articles and research are used and quoted by the national press.
With your help we can make a difference – we can’t do it without you.
Subscribe With a monthly donation
From £1.20 / week
        Donate Make a one-off donation
from £10 upwards
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR LATEST SUBSCRIBERS AND DONORS
GOLD MEMBERS -   D Cooper, Berks  |  G Gardner, Cheshire  |  M Donnan, Middx  |  Anonymous, UK  |  J Holmes, Shropshire  |   C Mainds, London  |  P Abbott, E Sussex
MEMBERS - M Wood, Ceredigion  |  R Parkin, England  |  Anonymous, UK
VALUED SUPPORTERS - F Carstairs, W Sussex  |  N Martinek, W Yorks  |  A Hammond, Lincs  |  G Reakes, Kent  |  Anonymous, Aberdeen  |  P Derbyshire, GB
We have researched and published
some excellent reports in previous months
Please use the news archive menu at the top of the right-hand-column of this page to access them.
Get essential pro-Brexit factual news with our occasional emails
Your name
Your e-mail
We email the key facts only when there's something important to know.
Your details are of course kept confidential and you can unsubscribe at any time.
 FACTS4EU.ORG
"O BREXIT, MY BREXIT !"
Have you had your say yet? This is rapidly becoming one of our most popular pages. Your chance to describe to Ministers the Brexit you voted for.
5 simple questions - Read the opinions on the new 'O Brexit, My Brexit !' page and then submit your thoughts.
Facts4EU.Org            
 


We rely on donations from the Public and from sympathetic benefactors.
Please read our 'Help Needed' page for details.



Facts4eu.org is non party-political and not supported by any Leave campaign.
We present facts we've researched from official government and EU sources.

Now that the Referendum has been won, we have 2 main aims:
1.  To provide bullet-pointed and factual summaries of key points, to help people to ensure Brexit is delivered in full.
2.  Crucially, to allow MPs and campaigners to give reliable and consistent facts to the public.
Please don't hesitate to contact the Editors if you can volunteer in some way, and particularly if you can support us financially.
NEUTRALITY:    Facts4eu.org focuses on information which shows that the UK is better off regaining its independence and growing globally. The entire weight of the Establishment is promoting the opposite case, so this site is just one small voice trying to redress the balance.

All material © Facts4eu.org 2017 except where owned by others.
Press and Leave campaigns please contact us for re-use of information.
FOLLOW
@Facts4euOrg
ON TWITTER
You can really help us by retweeting. The more people who read our work, the better!
SEP'S HOT NEWS
News, latest facts,
rebuttals to latest
Remain claims...
URGENT
FUNDING REQUEST
Can you help?
Know somone who can?
We could do so much more with some funding
WHERE IS SHE?
Real-time & online,
track the EU's largest new warship: HMS Queen Elizabeth
Articles by MPs
and Experts
  
MP or
Official Spokesperson?

Fast Facts
Firm Rebuttals
Journalist or Thinktanker?
Reliable Information
From Official Sources
>