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SOUND-BITE FACTS   -   BREXIT NEWS  (Latest news appears first)
 ‘IS THE EU TAKING ITS MEDICATION?’
EU's Chief Brexit Negotiator releases 6 new position papers on Brexit
Yesterday Michel Barnier’s Dept issued six new ‘position papers’ outlining the EU’s demands on various aspects of Brexit which it considers important.
Technically these papers have not yet been sent to the UK as they require formal approval by the EU27, but it’s safe to assume they will receive this.
OBSERVATIONS
Buried in these documents somewhere there might be some small thing which it’s sensible to discuss, but life is far too short to bother amongst all the EU’s nonsense.
If you don’t have time to read these EU documents here is our summary of what they say:
We are God
We will always be God
We’ll make you suffer and pay for the rest of your lives
The documents even contain provisions to take the UK to the European Court in perpetuity, for alleged offences the EU decides the UK has committed before or even after withdrawal, and to impose unlimited fines on the UK.
We suggest that David Davis’ team simply sends back the documents with ‘No’ scrawled on the front cover of each.
We further suggest that the EU takes a very large reality pill, or else prepares itself for a rapid curtailment of the Brexit ‘negotiations’.
Your comments are welcome, as ever.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       03.50am, 30 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Roger Parkin, UK      Date/Time: 30 June, 1.20pm
Message: Once again you are highlighting important (albeit frightening information). Can you encourage us by confirming that the Brexit team are fully aware of these and the other crucial details you report on and that they will respond correctly and without compromise during negotiations?
Reply: Thank you for your kind comments. We wish we could give you a full reassurance. The Dept for Exiting the EU are aware of many (but not all) of the important stories we bring you. The problem is that what you and we consider to be important issues are not always considered in the same light by mandarins working on Brexit within the Civil Service. We know we think differently, because the Brexit negotiation and the communications surrounding it are being handled in a completely different way to the way in which we would handle things. Naturally they will feel that they are right and we - a small group of committed individuals - are wrong. To give an example, we know from a document that came into our possession this morning that the MoD has a wholly different idea in regard to the EU's moves towards common defence forces than is actually the case. We hope to be able to publish more on this very soon. A final (positive) note to end on is that we know we are read by politicians and mainstream media journalists. Regards, the Facts4EU.Org Team
Name: Steve R, UK      Date/Time: 30 June, 11.15am
Message: Is Barnier a solicitor on a time charge?
Name: John Nolan, UK      Date/Time: 30 June, 09.36am
Message: In the natural world, when an animal is scared or cornered, its natural reaction is to be fierce and if death is near, because it has nothing to lose, it attacks. The EU's latest demands should be viewed in this light. They are scared and near death and so have nothing to lose. Likewise those poor people who believe they are rulers of the world are locked away in an asylum for their and other protection. The EU's real name is Bedlam. Pity the afflicted who live in dreamland.
 “WE’RE FULL”, ITALY TELLS EU
With 12,000 migrants in the last 48 hours,
Italy warns EU it will turn away boats
The EU’s migrant crisis reaches boiling point in the Mediterranean, with the Italian government’s ambassador to the EU delivering an ultimatum.
© Italian Coastguard (Guardia Costiera) June 2017
Yesterday in Brussels there were two pieces of news regarding the EU’s migrant crisis:
  • Italy told the EU “The situation is unsustainable” and that migrant boats may be turned away
  • The EU announced “EU Facility for Refugees: Significant Progress in Implementation Achieved”
Two very different takes on the migrant crisis affecting the EU.
The Italian ambassador to the EU, Maurizio Massari, was yesterday tasked by his government with delivering a letter to the EU’s Migration Commissioner, a Greek named Dimitris Avramopoulos. The letter effectively told the EU that ‘enough is enough’. Avramopoulos later told reporters that "Italy is right in saying that the (migrant) situation on the central Mediterranean route is unsustainable".
'WE’RE ALRIGHT GIACOMO' – GREECE INFLOW FALLS, ITALIAN INFLOW QUICKENS
Whilst Greece has seen far less illegal migrants arriving this year, Italy has seen an increase as we have reported many times. For Greece, the deal which Angela Merkel did with Turkey (at a considerable cost to the taxpayer) has succeeded in reducing the flows. For Italy however, the situation in 2017 has got worse and worse, culminating in yesterday’s crisis announcement from the Italian government.
(Does not show June's escalation.)     Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
EU Commissioner Avramopoulos added that "If necessary, we are ready to substantially increase financial support to Italy". This comes on top of the EU’s separate announcement earlier yesterday regarding the EU’s ‘Facility for Refugees in Turkey’.
€3 BILLION ALMOST USED UP
The €3 billion ‘Facility for Refugees in Turkey’ is an off-the-books EU Fund – not part of the EU annual budget – which represents the EU’s major weapon in its fight to control inward immigration since Angela Merkel’s “All welcome here” announcement in 2015. It provides massive financial assistance to Turkey, in an attempt to stem the tide of illegal immigration into Greece.
Yesterday the EU announced that a further €764 million in humanitarian assistance and ‘skills training’ had been committed from the Facility. This brings the total under this Facility so far to €2.9 billion and means that it has almost been used up.
WILL THE UK AGREE TO ANOTHER €3 BILLION?
The EU plans to extend this ‘Facility’ by a further €3 billion next year and the UK will once again be expected to contribute a substantial share.
This Facility has been specifically included in the EU’s demand for a ‘Brexit Bill’, despite the fact that the UK is under no Treaty obligation to contribute. See our comments on this below.
EU WARNS ITALY TO OBEY INTERNATIONAL LAW
Returning to Italy’s problems, an EU Commission spokesman helpfully pointed out yesterday that “the question of the (migrant) landings is regulated by international law.” She said the Commission “deems opportune that any change in policies must first be discussed and communicated in the proper way, so as to give the NGOs the chance to prepare”. In other words, the Commission warned Italy against taking any action to refuse foreign-owned NGO boats permission to land.
© Italian Coastguard (Guardia Costiera)
The Italian PM, Paolo Gentiloni, said that EU countries must "stop turning the other way" on the migrant emergency "because that is no longer sustainable." "In these hours," he said, "we are grappling with the difficult management of migratory flows. We can speak about solutions and concerns but I want to recall that it is a whole country that is mobilising to manage this emergency, to govern the flows, to combat traffickers."
OBSERVATIONS
Facts4EU.Org has consistently warned about the growing problem of illegal migration into Italy and we regularly monitor the information coming out of the Ministero dell’Interno about this. You can read our most recent article about Italy’s migrant crisis here.
Despite us openly reporting on the problem since it started, and despite the information having been readily available to the EU as well as to the mainstream media, the EU has still failed to act. Instead it announced yesterday that the latest crisis will be discussed at a meeting of EU28 interior (home office) ministers in Estonia next week.
THE UK GOVERNMENT MUST NOT CONTINUE TO FUND THE EU’S CRISES
Under Prime Minister Cameron, the UK agreed to participate in the €3 billion ‘Facility for Refugees in Turkey’ Fund. This was the emergency fund established in early 2016 after Mrs Merkel rashly issued her promise in 2015 to take allcomers, and the internal borders of the Schengen zone were overrun. This is despite the fact that the UK is not part of the Schengen zone.
The UK has contributed 16% of this money, but you will not see this included by the BBC or Remainer politicians whenever the UK’s net contribution to the EU is discussed. The same is true of the ‘European Development Fund’ which directs money to tackling the EU's migrant crisis. The UK’s part of this is over £3 billion up to 2020.
Now we have the EU openly saying yesterday that “we are ready to substantially increase financial support to Italy”. This will be on top of the billions that Italy and Greece have already received and on top of the billions Turkey has received. Who is going to pay for this?
As ever, we welcome your comments on this.
[ Sources: Guardia Costiera | Ministero dell'Interno | La Repubblica ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       05.55am, 29 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Daniel, UK      Date/Time: 30 June, 4.37pm
Message: Palermo is apparently now resembles and African / middle eastern town. Unless the migrants return home, Palermo is gone. Its tantamount to an invasion on European soil and the EU is sanctioning it all. Oh, and why are foreign NGO's such is those from Israel welcoming in the illegal migrants in Europe and telling them where what to do next?
Name: J Slater, UK      Date/Time: 29 June, 09.53am
Message: Social Engineering on a massive scale. We in Europe are expected to pay for mass immigration from Africa and other Third World Countries. What are these uneducated, unskilled people ever going to contribute to our developed economies? Nothing. They are a drain on Europe's dwindling resources. Unskilled employment is no longer available in Europe. They will be living on benefits for ever more. The only answer is to plug the entry points, and send the economic migrants back to their own countries where they can work to develop their own economies. How can this be achieved? By reducing EU Tariffs, allowing free enterprise to flourish, especially in food production, thereby creating a demand for labour in these immigrants' home countries.
Name: John Nolan, UK      Date/Time: 29 June, 10.19am
Message: The Migrant crisis is a predictable result of Merkel welcome mat speech, such speech based upon the perceived need of Germany's falling population. The crisis is exacerbated by the fact that the so called migrant rescue ships are in fact acting as a ferry service. A rescue operation should involve rescue and return to shore not ferry to Europe. Funding for these rescue operations are in large part paid for by Europe. We are 2000 miles from the southern shores of Greece and Italy and we are not part of Schengen Zone. The Crisis is for Greece and Italy and for the EU Schengen Zone. It has nothing to do with the UK. Under international law, once the Migrants/Refugees are in a safe stable country they are no longer refugees and as such cannot seek asylum or refugee status in other countries; further as non EU citizens they do not have rights to freely travel over the Schengen Zone and are subject to remaining within their safe refuge country e.g., Greece and or Italy. It is clear this problem is nothing to do with the UK. We should not contribute a penny to a crisis which has deliberately created by the EU and which has deliberately been prolonged by the EU. Let the EU sort out its own mess.
 €250 BILLION FROM EU TO ‘CHANGE AFRICA’S FUTURE’
PROPOSED BY EU PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT
New solution to migrant problem involves a lot more money
Last week was World Refugee Day and the EU Parliament marked it with a major conference including African leaders. In the course of his keynote speech to the conference the Parliament’s President proposed a massive increase in EU funds for Africa.
© European Parliament 2017
In his speech, EU Parliament President Tajani appealed to the emotions, saying “shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, corpses in the desert and abandoned children have become all too familiar images”.
President Tajani correctly identified that:
“Our citizens watch uneasily as ever growing numbers of asylum seekers clamour to be let into the European Union, as a stream of boats bring more and more desperate people to our shores.”
But the answer isn’t to control borders, said Tajani:
“The populists, who have no solutions of their own to offer, are sowing contempt and alarm, fostering the illusion that we can fortify Europe with walls and borders and simply shut the problems out.”
The answer is more money:
President Tajani proposed a five-fold jump in money to be given to Africa, from €4 billion to €20 billion. He further proposed that the European Investment Bank (which is 16%-funded by the UK) should have a greater involvement, leading to a total investment of €250 billion euros (£219 billion GBP).
“The European Parliament will shortly approve a development fund for Africa whose EUR 4 billion in capital will be used to mobilise a further EUR 40 billion in investment.
“But we must be much more ambitious. In the next EU budget, that figure should rise to EUR 20 billion, creating the scope to mobilise up to EUR 150 billion for infrastructure investments and a further EUR 100 billion for investment in manufacturing.
“This EUR 250 billion, combined with even greater involvement on the part of the EIB, could change Africa’s future, by giving the continent fresh hope and new jobs, and generate growth in the EU as well.”
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani speaking during the conference last week
OBSERVATIONS
If Chancellor and Remainer Philip Hammond gets his way, the UK’s exit from the EU will be the subject of such lengthy ‘transitional arrangements’ it will never happen.
In that event, prepare yourselves for years of rapidly increasing bills from the EU to pay for its ever more grandiose plans like the ones above.
As ever, we welcome your comments on this.
[ Sources: EU Parliament ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.05am, 28 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
 MAY’S MANDATE IS STRONGER THAN THEY THINK
Despite all the claims of a chaotic UK,
PM’s mandate is bigger than those of EU leaders
The drip-drip feed of negativity, gloom, and criticism that is coming from EU leaders and bureaucrats and large parts of the UK media, needs to be countered.
One example of this has been the ‘wounded PM, weakened Brexit’ narrative that is playing across our TV screens and in the expensive offices of the EU’s capital cities. Facts4EU.Org decided to take a look at the latest election results for the top 10 EU countries (by economic size).
The chart below shows the vote share achieved by the political parties of each country’s leader.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
The Conservatives won 42.3% of the vote at the General Election 2017. That is the highest of any political leader in the top 10 member states.
[Note: The electoral systems in EU member states vary but we have tried to use the best figures to make a comparison. For example, we used the vote share achieved by President Macron’s party when he stood in the first round of the presidential election. At that point he was standing against the full list of candidates from other parties and this shows what percentage of the electorate backed him when they had an open choice.]
AT LEAST MRS MAY WAS ACTUALLY ELECTED
The British Prime Minister’s 42.3% is also a great deal higher than the 0% achieved by European Council President Tusk and EU Commission President Juncker, his Commissioners, and the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator, as none of these people were elected by popular vote.
HOW DOES THE UK COMPARE WITH, SAY, THE NETHERLANDS’ ELECTION 3 MONTHS AGO?
It is worth noting that the UK has not suffered from a political vacuum. This is more than can be said for the likes of the Netherlands. Their general election took place on 15 March and the results were immediately greeted by Presidents Tusk and Juncker as a victory for pro-EU forces.
HOW THE EU ELITES CELEBRATED
“A vote for Europe, a vote against extremists. The people of the Netherlands voted overwhelmingly for the values Europe stands for: free and tolerant societies in a prosperous Europe. The result of this election is an inspiration for many.”
– Jean-Claude Juncker, President of EU Commission
“I warmly congratulate Mark Rutte for his clear victory against extremism.”
– French President François Hollande
“The Netherlands you are a champion. We love Orange for your actions and what you do.”
– German Chancellor Merkel’s Chief of Staff
Unfortunately for the EU elites, however, none of this was true.
The two mainstream pro-EU ruling parties in the Netherlands suffered big losses.
  • The VVD party of PM Mark Rutte lost 17.5% of its seats
  • The PvdA (Labour) party in coalition lost 74.3% of its seats
  • Meanwhile, Geert Wilders’ anti-EU party increased its tally of seats by 66.7%
So, if the Dutch election results were a victory for the EU,
what would an EU defeat look like?
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
In fact the Netherlands still doesn’t have a stable government. Two months of talks led by Mark Rutte between four parties trying to form a coalition government collapsed last month over differences in migrant policy.
Prime Minister Rutte’s party (the VVD) scored only 21.3% of the popular vote. That’s half the vote achieved by Theresa May.
OBSERVATIONS
Perhaps EU leaders might reflect more on their own mandates than on Mrs May’s. They might also reflect on whether their constant UK-bashing is helpful in setting the right tone for the Brexit negotiations.
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[ Sources: EU Commission | Eurostat | EU Parliament ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       11.15am, 27 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
 DID THE PRIME MINISTER ATTEND THE SAME SUMMIT
AS THE EU27 LAST WEEK?
Mrs May’s account to Parliament and the ‘Conclusions of the European Council’ do not tally
According to the official ‘Conclusions’ of the European Council meeting in Brussels last week, attended by the Prime Minister and all 27 other leaders of the EU member states, ‘Security & Defence’ topped the bill.
According to Mrs May’s account to Parliament yesterday, defence wasn’t discussed. Here are the 2 versions:-
EUROPEAN COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS
SECURITY & DEFENCE was the first section.
 
PRIME MINISTER’S STATEMENT TO HoC
DEFENCE wasn’t even mentioned once.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Over the last week we published four articles about the EU’s plans for common defence forces, a common defence policy, and common new EU funds for this.
We highlighted defence because we knew it was the first item on the agenda at the summit and because the EU’s plans have profound implications for the UK and for NATO for many years to come.
We invite readers to study the Conclusions of the European Summit and compare them with Mrs May's statement to the House of Commons yesterday afternoon. In Mrs May’s version of events, there is no mention whatsoever of what she agreed with the EU last week on defence.
OBSERVATIONS
As we feared, the Prime Minister approved everything at last week’s EU summit. As if this weren’t bad enough, she then failed to tell Parliament what she agreed.
We do not think it's an exaggeration to call this omission by the Prime Minister scandalous. We very much regret to say that we feel this silence from Mrs May can only be construed as an attempt to deceive the House and the British people.
[ Sources: No.10 | European Council ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
     5.15pm 26 June & added to at 03.30am 27 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: John Nolan, UK      Date/Time: 27 June, 09.17am
Message: I write to correct the article. Please let me say that I love your website and the valuable information it provides, in fact I have commented on a few articles. I am an ardent brexiteer and dislike the EU intensely. I am also a news and politics hound. Your article states Mrs May did not mention defence at the EU meeting when she addressed Parliament yesterday. This is not correct. During her statement to Parliament yesterday, she mentioned security and defence as being discussed with the EU on a couple of occasions and even answered 2 separate questions concerning this issue. I do admit though that she did not give any specific details about the new agreements with the EU and it may be construed that in not mentioning the new agreements and monetary liabilities for the UK, she in fact lied by omission.
Reply: Thank you for your kind comments, John. Regarding your suggested correction, we checked Hansard and Mrs May didn't mention defence once during her formal statement to the House. You are quite right that she later referenced defence very briefly in response to two questions, though. However she didn't state what had been agreed, nor its implications. Introducing her first reply with "the European Council did touch on defence issues as well" is hardly giving clear information to Parliament about the substantive issues discussed, nor the decisions made. We appreciate you giving us the opportunity to clarify this detail, as facts are important to us!
Name: Steve R, UK      Date/Time: 27 June, 07.24am
Message: Some politicians, such as Tony Blair, are able to deceive themselves. Theresa May is another who makes a good speech but can block the truth without any qualms.
 UK GOVERNMENT'S OFFER TO EU CITIZENS IN THE UK
Government releases paper on rights of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit
Below we provide links to all the key information released by the government this afternoon. We shall comment on this in future articles.
[ Sources: No.10 | DExEU | FCO | Home Office ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       4.45pm, 26 June 2017
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 TWO BANKS GO UNDER EMERGENCY EU HAMMER – YOURS FOR 88p
2 more Eurozone banks crash, at cost to Italy of up to €17bn (£15bn)
MYTH OF ‘THE STABLE EU’ IS BUSTED
with a total of 3 banks having failed this month alone
Two Italian banks failed over the weekend. Yesterday the Italian government agreed in an emergency session of cabinet to stump up an immediate €4.8 billion (£4.2 bn GBP) to pay for the bad assets of the Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca, two relatively small Italian banks. The government further agreed to guarantee more bad loans to the tune of €12bn (£10.5bn GBP).
The Italian government’s total exposure to these 2 banks is now £14.7 billion GBP.
It was the European Central Bank (ECB) that precipitated the crisis late on Friday, saying that in its view the two Italian banks were “failing or likely to fail”.
Knowing that this announcement would cause the banks’ customers to be queueing in the streets on Monday morning to get their money out, the Italian government of Signor Gentiloni was forced to act.
The ‘good assets’ of the two banks have been sold to rival banking group Intesa Sanpaolo for just one euro, or 88p. This is what the CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo Carlo Messina said yesterday: “Our intervention will make it possible to secure more than $50 billion of savings to the two banks and to protect 2 million customers, including 200,000 companies operating in the most dynamic areas of the country."
Despite claims of illegal state aid being used, the EU gave its backing to the deal yesterday. Commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager, said: "Italy considers that State aid is necessary to avoid an economic disturbance in the Veneto region as a result of the liquidation of BPVI and Veneto Banca, who are exiting the market after a long period of serious financial difficulties.”
OBSERVATIONS
It is no surprise to anyone who has been following the EU’s constant fudging of EU law in recent years that the Italian government’s state aid in the case of these two bank failures will not be the subject of legal action by the EU Commission. After all, a much larger Italian bank was effectively bailed out at Christmas, without any action being taken.
Please read our article below about the effect of Italian bank failures on the financial security of the EU as a whole.
[ Sources: European Central Bank | EBA | EU Commission | La Repubblica ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.30am, 26 June 2017
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 HOW SECURE IS THE EUROZONE’S 3RD LARGEST ECONOMY?
Italy’s banking sector, its bad debts, and its threat to the EU
The Italian banking sector – a vital part of the Eurozone - has a deeply-troubling 15.3% of its loans being ‘non-performing’. In common parlance these are loans which might be considered to be bad debts. In banking terms they’re referred to as non-performing loans, or NPLs.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
WHY ITALY'S STATE IS EVEN WORSE THAN IT LOOKS IN THE GRAPH
Whilst Italy appears not to be nearly as bad as Greece, the reason for the financial world’s concern is the sheer size of Italy’s NPLs. They total €276 billion – the highest of all the EU countries. In fact Italy’s banks hold 25.3% of the total of all the EU’s bad loans.
The two banks which went bust at the weekend are relatively small. However at the beginning of June the EU Commission once again allowed Italy to bend the rules and bail out one of Italy’s largest - and the world’s oldest - bank, the Monte dei Paschi di Siena.
The bank has a capital shortfall of €8.8bn (£7.7bn GBP) which the Italian government will have to fund. A pre-condition for allowing this, however, is that the European Central Bank (ECB) wants private buyers to take €26 billion euros (£22.8bn GBP) in bad loans off the Monte dei Paschi’s balance sheet. The problem is that even selling at 1/5th of the face value of the loans, (and losing a further £18bn GBP) buyers still can’t be found.
SPAIN IS ALSO FEELING THE HEAT – BANK WAS POPULAR BUY AT €1
It isn’t only Italy’s banking sector which is in trouble. Only two weeks ago the Spanish Banco Popular proved to be less popular than its name might have indicated.
After years of struggling with its exposure to the toxic Spanish property market, the bank was declared as ‘failing or likely to fail’ by the ECB. It was then bought by Santander for just one euro.
In total the deal will cost Santander around €7bn (£6.1bn GBP).
NATIONAL DEBT
In addition to its banking woes, Italy’s national debt is running at 133% of GDP – the highest in the EU after Greece. Italy is the EU’s 3rd biggest economy after the UK leaves. Should Italy get into serious trouble, the whole of the EU would be affected and this would even put the entire Eurozone in jeopardy.
OBSERVATIONS
Since the General Election result, the EU has been at pains to pat itself on the back for how stable it currently is, how unified the 27 member states are, and how everything in the EU garden is lovely. The UK’s TV broadcasters, some sections of the press, and all Remainer politicians have been delighted to repeat this message. The reality is of course quite different.
HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE EU'S SERIOUS PROBLEMS:
The Eurozone remains in trouble and looks unlikely to be able to take the actions required of it, due to resistance from Germany to the necessary reforms.
The migrant crisis has produced major schisms with some countries refusing to take any migrants for resettlement. Since last month 3 member states are now being pursued through the European Court of Justice and there have been threats of EU payments being withheld.
Youth unemployment remains disastrously high across much of the EU. In Italy it's currently at 34%, in Spain it's at 39.3% and in Greece it's at a staggering 47.9%. The EU Commission keeps throwing (partly UK) taxpayer money at the problem but it persists.
There are even different views about the fundamental direction of the EU. They are no further forward with choosing from the 5 different scenarios laid out by the EU Commission last year. These scenarios completely define what the EU will look like in the future and yet there is still no agreement.
Even Brexit has caused rifts to start. Various member states are vying to take two EU agencies which are currently sited in the UK. The row got so serious at the EU Summit on Thursday last week that the EU was forced to come to an agreement. The agreement was not to make any decisions – in typical EU fashion – and to delay the process until November.
Next time a Remainer witters on to you about the uncertainty of Brexit, you might want to ask them where the EU will be in five or ten years’ time. Right now, the EU really has no idea.
(Please note: Mainstream media outlets are quoting 18% as being Italy’s NPL ratio, and 138% as being Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio. Our figures are more up-to-date.)
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[ Sources: EU Commission | Eurostat | EU Parliament ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.30am, 26 June 2017
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 MRS MAY AGREES £’s BILLIONS EXTRA FOR THE EU
- FOR THEIR MIGRANT CRISIS AND FOR THEIR NEW DEFENCE FORCES
  • UK quietly approves EU mid-term budget increase for its migrant crisis (£’s billions)
  • UK quietly approves new EU defence fund (£’s billions)
  • UK quietly approves additional funding of EU battlegroups (£’s billions)
  • UK quietly approves 8% increase in EU's overall payments next year (2018)
IN THE LAST WEEK culminating in Mrs May’s appearance at the European Summit on Thursday, the UK has formally agreed to the EU’s proposals regarding billions of pounds of expenditure which affects the UK taxpayer.
Chart © European Council
OVERALL EU BUDGET AND SPENDING APPROVED, TO DEAL WITH MIGRANT CRISIS
On Tues 20 June, the EU General Council announced that the EU’s mid-term budget review had been approved by all 28 member states. This had been held up by the UK as the government could not approve it during the General Election ‘purdah’ period. The UK government has now given its approval and the budget review has now been formally passed.
Total change: £11.25 billion, including the extra costs for dealing with migrant crisis and for establishing the ‘Juncker Youth’ organisation. It also allows for an increase of 8.1% in payments which the EU can make from its budget next year. 2018 is the last full year of the UK’s membership of the European Union but the EU Commission has not commented on this coincidence.
NOTE: In many EU documents they stress that the official budget hasn't increased, only altered in composition. This is casuistry. Nowhere in any of the documents do they say that there are areas of expenditure which are decreasing, to pay for the areas such as migration where billions more are being spent. Neither do they explain that some areas of expenditure will not go through the EU budget but will be borne directly by member states such as the UK. This is a convenient way of hiding real increases. (See section on defence spending below.)
NEW EU DEFENCE PLANS AND SPENDING APPROVED, WHILE THEY UNDERSPEND £500 BILLION ON NATO
On Thurs 22 June, the European Council approved the ‘European Defence Fund’, the ‘European Defence Industrial Development Programme’, and the ‘Permanent Structured Cooperation’ (PESCO) on defence.
Crucially (and unreported by anyone else), the Council agreed that the deployment of EU Battlegroups should be borne as a common cost on a permanent basis. This had previously been resisted by several countries. Nevertheless Mrs May approved this on Thursday.
Note: Part of the extra costs will be funded out of an EU funding mechanism which does not appear as part of the normal EU budget, and therefore will not show up as part of the UK's net annual contributions to the EU. The use of these 'off-the-books' funding mechanisms is spiralling in the EU, as we have reported many times before.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
The UK government appears to be backing the EU's plans for its own combined defence forces, with the UK as part of these structures. It appears to think that the EU will one day be able to pay for this.
The above chart shows how the UK has been subsidising the defence of the other countries in the EU for years. It shows that the UK has abided by its NATO commitment on defence spending whereas the EU states have failed to do so to the tune of over £500 billion in just the last 8 years.
OBSERVATIONS
If the above decisions of the UK government had been negative to the EU instead of positive, the media and Remainer politicians would have been screaming from the rooftops.
They would have demanded to know why Parliament had not been able to scrutinise the proposals. The proposals themselves would have been held up as examples of the ‘extremist’ position the government was taking on Brexit.
However, because the UK government has quietly acquiesced to vast additional sums for the EU, as well as new ongoing commitments including deeply-worrying combined EU defence forces, there has been deafening silence.
The silence has been loudest from the Remoaner politicians in all parties in Parliament, from the BBC, Sky, ITV, Times, FT etc, and from the luvvies on social media.
Regrettably though, there has also been silence from pro-Brexit politicians and from the pro-Brexit press. Why should you have to come to here to read about this? You should be able to read about it everywhere.
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[ Sources: EU Commission | EU Parliament | EU Court of Auditors | NATO ]
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       06.50am, 25 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
 ONE YEAR ON, AND WE'RE FINALLY TAKING A DAY OFF
© Facts4EU.Org
The exhausted 'Brexi-Kitten', the Facts4EU.Org Team Mascot, the morning of 24th June 2016.
Unlike many Leave organisations, we didn't pause for breath after the Referendum vote a year ago. We were very concerned that the fight wasn't yet over. Subsequent events have proved this to be sadly true.
Today we're finally all taking a day off. We still have many important stories to bring you from the last week (not covered by any other news or Leave organisations) but our funding is virtually exhausted and so are we.
       05.20am, 24th June 2017
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Name: Ben, Surrey      Date/Time: 24 June, 11.20pm
Message: This is just a long overdue thank you. You produce excellent material and I hope you enjoy your day off! It's well deserved.
WE ONLY NEED A TINY FRACTION OF WHAT THIS WOMAN RAISED
IN JUST 11 DAYS IN APRIL
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 HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, 23 JUNE 2017
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       06.25am, 23 June 2017
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 EU MAKES ‘HIGHEST-EVER SINGLE PAYOUT’ – TO ITALY
The EU’s 15 years of disasters
How much the EU’s taxpayers have paid out, and to whom
On Wednesday the EU Commission announced its largest-ever payout of a single sum to a member country under the EU Solidarity Fund. Italy is to receive an extra €1.2 billion (over £1 billion GBP).
The European Union Solidarity Fund was created after the floods which hit Central Europe in summer 2002. It grants emergency aid to Member States in the event of a major natural disaster, in this case in relation to Italy’s recent earthquakes.
Italy was already the largest beneficiary of the Solidarity Fund since its creation, with over €1.3 billion mobilised since 2003.
The latest payout under this Fund will take Italy’s total to
€2.5 billion (£2.2 billion GBP).
Carlisle Civic Centre, 2015
 
HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO THE UK?
The UK has also faced natural disasters in the last 15 years, most notably the floods which have affected parts of the UK every couple of years or so.
The EU has paid out a total of just €223 million (£196 million GBP) in respect of two of these floods: in 2007 and 2015.
That's one 1/10th of Italy's total.
Italy is by far and away the largest recipient of EU Solidarity Fund payouts, as can be seen in the chart below. The second-largest recipient is Germany, with payouts from the EU coming in at just over €1 billion (£880 million GBP).
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
The earthquakes which hit Italy are tragic and resulted in many casualties as well as property damage. We feel for the victims of this, and for the victims of flooding in the UK and across Europe where people too lost their lives. The above article is of course about the funding of the rebuilding required, not about the personal tragedies involved.
Prior to 2002 there was no ‘EU Solidarity Fund’. If a natural disaster took place in an EU member state, the national government covered the cost, in addition to the insurance companies.
The EU is always looking for good publicity and the Solidarity Fund certainly meets this criteria. It allows the EU to portray itself as a force for good across Europe. One thing you can be certain of is that in Italy the EU will leave no-one in any doubt about the source of funds used to rebuild damaged buildings.
It isn’t EU money of course – it comes from those EU taxpayers unfortunate enough to live in countries which are net contributors to the EU, such as the UK. But that’s not what the signs will say.
The same applies to all the EU plaques which are required under EU law to be affixed to any UK buildings where money from some EU fund or other has been used.
At least after Brexit, no UK legislator will be stupid enough to make it a requirement to place plaques saying “Funded by the UK government” on public buildings.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.25am, 23 June 2017
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 PM TO AGREE TO LAUNCH OF PERMANENT EU DEFENCE STRUCTURE?
Defence is first agenda item in today’s EU Summit in Brussels
New ‘European Defence Fund’ set to rise to €1.5 billion per year
The Prime Minister goes to Brussels this afternoon for the start of the 2-day EU Summit of leaders of the 28 EU countries. The first item on the agenda is defence and security. Here is what European Council President Tusk said yesterday in his invitation letter to Mrs May:-
© European Council 2017
“Given that Europe's security is our common responsibility, I would also like us to agree on the need to launch Permanent Structured Cooperation in defence. For it to succeed, we will need your ambitious commitments: from projects that develop our defence capabilities, to more demanding tasks such as military operations.
“Decisions in this respect will demonstrate not only our determination to invest more in Europe's security and defence, but also our responsibility for transatlantic relations, at a time when it is needed on our side of the Atlantic as never before.
“Every Member State should be invited to participate in the newly emerging defence cooperation and no-one should be excluded.”
EUROPEAN DEFENCE FUND
Two weeks ago the EU launched the ‘European Defence Fund’, with the full knowledge and agreement of the British government. As with all EU projects, it is starting small in order not to alarm anyone. However in the case of this initiative the EU plans to move rapidly. Below we show the build-up in expenditure.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
This new EU fund was only formally proposed by the EU Commission in November last year, although it had been on the cards for years. It went from proposal to approval in record time and its launch was announced by the Commission on 7th June – just 2 weeks ago.
NOTE: As the Fund gains pace, member states will be expected to contribute at a rate 5 times that of the EU. This is now common practice in the EU, so that the real costs appear to be much smaller than they are. The above graph only shows costs from the EU central budget.
THE NEW DEFENCE FUND AND THE ‘BREXIT BILL’
The EU has been clear that it thinks the UK should pay for all commitments it signed up to whilst a member, regardless of whether the actual costs are incurred after the date of exit. The questions are therefore:
  1. Does the government still intend to be part of the EU’s centralised defence forces post-Brexit?
  2. If not, has the government stipulated that it will not pay for this fund after we leave?
No doubt the use of this fund will be part of the discussions this afternoon when the EU leaders meet in Brussels.
OBSERVATIONS
Readers should note that the EU generally conflates the subject of security with defence. The reason is simple. EU elites know that the idea of the EU centralising each nation’s armed forces under the EU flag is not a popular notion. They therefore talk about ‘security and defence’, knowing that most people in the EU are worried about islamic terrorism. Security is therefore a safe topic to 'prioritise'.
The reality is that cooperation on internal security and defeating terrorism is a no-brainer. It’s obvious that after Brexit the EU27 will wish to cooperate fully with British intelligence.
However combining countries’ armies – as has already been done in some member states – is much more controversial, even in countries with more Europhile populations than that of the UK. It is our opinion that Mrs May should today signal a different direction for the United Kingdom’s armed forces.
The EU is clearly hell-bent on developing a full, centralised command structure and ultimately they are seeking a de facto European Union army, navy and air force. In case you think we’re indulging in hyperbole, we would simply say that this is the inescapable conclusion any normal person would reach if they had read the thousands of pages from the EU on this subject that we’ve read.
Maj Gen Julian Thompson, CB OBE
 
This is also the conclusion of people like Maj-Gen Julian Thompson, Commander of British amphibious assault forces for the retaking of the Falkland Islands. He told us:
“I’m quite clear that the intention of the European Union is to set up its own defence organisation which - I believe - they hope will eventually replace NATO.”
The centralised command structure has already started with the European Union Military Committee (EUMC) and European Union Military Staff (EUMS). The indoctrination of junior officers has started with the European Security and Defence College (ESDC). And now we have the European Defence Fund – the first time that the EU has openly allocated money to its defence aims.
These are all things agreed to by the British government.
And the European Defence Fund was launched only 2 weeks ago.
We urge a complete rethink on the part of the British government. We further urge that a public debate be initiated on this subject with the utmost urgency, as the vast majority of people are completely unaware of what is going on.
Parliamentarians are welcome to contact us in confidence for detailed information. Readers are welcome to comment using the link below.
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Finally, it's Armed Forces Day on Saturday. Click the logo to find events in your area.
[ Sources: European Council | EU Commission | EU Parliament | NATO ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.55am, 22 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Judith Slater, UK      Date/Time: 23 June, 11.16am
Message: The Referendum resulted in a vote to leave the EU. This new military force will be created and controlled by the unelected of Brussels. Therefore, this also comes within the remit of the Brexit negotiations. This is because Britain will still be at the mercy of unelected dictators of the EU to demand funding in the £s Billions, for a Force we have no controls over and with access over any border in the EU. This Force can be sent anywhere in the World without our say so, and I suspect even when we get our Borders back this will be an exception. The army can literally invade our shores. Sounds familiar? An extremely dangerous situation in an already precarious Europe. All the more reason to retain our Forces, and increase our strength, not keep it at its current under manned and equipped levels.

What is extremely worrying is our Prime Minister and her team have chosen not to inform the British public of this. Why not? Prime Minister and Team and refuse to agree to this underhand domination of subjugated countries within Europe. Just say,'No!' Ignore your British Voters, who increasingly are voting for 'Leave', at your peril, Prime Minister and Team.
 THE EU'S DEFENCE AMBITIONS
HOW DID THEY EVER GET SO FAR?
Tomorrow the Prime Minister travels to Brussels for the latest Summit.
On the agenda is defence.
Below is a list of just some of the bodies/decisions/plans of the EU when it comes to defence.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
Above are just some of the acronyms we've picked up in the course of our research into the EU's defence plans over the last two years.
We didn't even include the EU's current list of military missions, which are as follows: ALTHEA/BiH, EU NAVFOR Somalia, EUAM Ukraine, EUBAM Libya, EUBAM Moldova and Ukraine, EUBAM Rafah, EUCAP Sahel Mali, EUCAP Sahel Niger, EUCAP Somalia, EULEX Kosovo, EUMM Georgia, EUNAVFOR MED, EUPOL COPPS/Palestinian Territories, EUTM RCA, EUTM Somalia, EUTM-Mali.
Please read the article below for further information on how the EU is racing ahead with its military ambitions and how the UK is caught up in this.
As usual you can comment for publication or you can email us using the same link, with your private thoughts, by making it clear that they are not for publication.
[ Sources: European Council | EU Commission | EU Parliament | NATO ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       10.55am, 21 June 2017
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Name: Tom M, UK      Date/Time: 21 June, 2.57pm
Message: Incredible they've developed so much infrastructure without us knowing. Makes Nick Clegg look like a fool for ridiculing Nigel Farage a couple of years back about his warnings that an EU army was coming.
 MAY TO RUBBER-STAMP EU-WIDE DEFENCE INITIATIVES TOMORROW
UK HAS APPROVED ALL ‘EU ARMY’ MOVES SINCE REFERENDUM
Tomorrow the Prime Minister travels to Brussels for the latest Summit.
On the agenda is defence.
If you care about the UK’s defence and its armed services, and if you read nothing else today, you might want to read what follows.
It is well-documented that since its foundation as the EEC, the EU has aimed to become a superstate. Over the past 60 years this aim has been coming to fruition in gradual but inexorable ways, to the extent that the EU of today is unrecognisable to those who voted in the UK’s referendum in 1975 for a ‘Common Market’.
DEFENCE IS FIRST DUTY OF GOVERNMENT
An organisation with ambitions to become a superstate must, of course, develop its own defence force structure. The old adage ‘A government’s first duty is the protection of the country and its peoples’ has rankled with many involved in developing the EU ‘Project’, because for most of its life the EU has had no defence capability.
In the last year since the EU Referendum, this has changed dramatically and rapidly. We’ve made this summary as short as possible, and everything is backed by scrupulous research of EU documents and speeches.
EU MOBILISED ITSELF 5 DAYS AFTER REFERENDUM LAST YEAR
Federica poses with helicopter
 
Just 5 days after the people of the UK voted to leave the European Union, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini presented the EU Global Strategy On Foreign And Security Policy to the EU27 heads of government, meeting in Brussels at the EU summit. The UK was not invited to this Summit, in breach of EU Treaties.
At that Summit, the EU27’s leaders approved High Representative Mogherini’s ‘EU Global Strategy’ and invited her to proceed with further development of it.
AND NATO?
By the following month the unelected EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the unelected European Council President Donald Tusk had signed a ‘Cooperation’ defence declaration with NATO Secretary-General and arch Europhile Jens Stoltenberg.
 
Presidents Tusk and Juncker with NATO's Stoltenberg
By the time of the Bratislava European Council Summit in September (another Summit to which Mrs May was not invited) the 27 heads of government had agreed they needed “a concrete implementation plan on security and defence”.
The EU Commission didn’t need asking twice. By November they had produced the European Defence Action Plan, containing a proposed European Defence Fund.
In December, the European Council Summit duly gave a green light, stating: “The European Council calls for the work on external security and defence to be taken forward speedily.” They also endorsed the EU-NATO cooperation plan.
© EU Commission 2017
IN 2017
In March of this year, the European Council approved the concept of “operational planning and conduct capabilities for CSDP missions and operations”. CSDP is one of hundreds of acronyms used by the EU to obfuscate what it’s doing in the defence and military arena. It stands for the EU’s ‘Common Security and Defence Policy’ – something which to our knowledge the British people are unaware the EU even had.
THIS MONTH
Federica looking moody
 
On 8th June the European Council gave legal approval for the establishment of the ‘Military Planning and Conduct Capability' (MPCC), within the EU Military Staff (EUMS). "The establishment of the MPCC is a very important operational decision to strengthen European defence. This is important not just for our partners, but also for the European Union's security", said the High Representative Federica Mogherini.
THIS WEEK
On Monday this week, Boris Johnson attended the EU Foreign Ministers Summit, where the latest EU-NATO report was considered. From the official statement: “The Council adopted conclusions on the report, welcoming progress in the implementation of the common set of proposals and calling for further steps in the same direction.”
 
Boris Johnson
TOMORROW
The Prime Minister travels to Brussels tomorrow for the latest European Council Summit. One of the agenda items is: “strengthening of EU cooperation on external security and defence”.
WHY IS THE UK AGREEING TO THE EU’S DEFENCE PLANS?
Here is what the EU High Representative said on 9th June:
“Many believed and told me that it would have proven to be impossible for us to have a first Command Centre in Brussels for our military and training missions or that it would take us years, decades to do it.
“It took us a few weeks. And we decided it together, still at 28, and we did it.”
Since the Referendum the UK government has acquiesced to all the EU’s rapid moves to deploy new structures and money for an EU centralised defence structure. This acquiescence has involved Prime Minister Theresa May, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
OBSERVATIONS
We have profound reservations about the direction the EU is taking in terms of defence, and the UK’s involvement in this. This applies particularly to the future of the UK as an independent country, but also to deep concerns about the EU supplanting NATO despite all its protestations to the contrary. It is our opinion that the EU is not yet competent to handle defence and that it lacks the fundamental requirement to have common foreign policy objectives shared by the 27.
We also view all of this against a background of the EU27 countries failing to spend anything like an adequate amount on defence, as evidenced by the failure of the 22 EU countries who are NATO members to adhere to the 2% of GDP target defence expenditure. If they can’t fund defence currently, what makes anyone think they can fund it under an EU umbrella?
There are also disturbing moves to enforce common defence procurement and the UK has so far not objected. Given more time we could write a great deal about the implications of this.
Please don’t hesitate to comment on the above – we welcome all contributions.
NOTE: We have an enormous amount of research on the EU and its ambitions to become a military power. We would like to produce a series of articles on the most important aspects of this and its significance for the defence of the UK and its people. However our resources are extremely limited.
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[ Sources: European Council | EU Commission | EU Parliament | NATO ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       08.30am, 21 June 2017
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Name: Tom M, UK      Date/Time: 21 June, 2.52pm
Message: Excellent article, thanks. Why haven't I heard or seen anything about this on the TV or in my paper? I've just emailed my MP, although I doubt he'll care.
 EU - 1, UK – ½
DAVIS GIVES IN ON STRUCTURE AND SEQUENCING OF TALKS
But British Press Pack scores useful ½ point by making Barnier lose his cool
Almost a year after the UK’s historic vote to leave the European Union, talks finally began yesterday on the practicalities of exit.
Screengrab © EU Commission 2017
Prima facie the EU won the first skirmish. David Davis - despite promising “the row of the summer” – effectively gave in to the EU’s insistence that the UK’s trade relationship could not be discussed until it had agreed a Brexit bill and other key EU demands.
Davis tried to put a brave face on this, saying “It’s not how it starts, it’s how it finishes.” Regrettably his concession even to allow talks to start on the EU’s basis, has set the wrong tone for all the negotiations to come.
The art of negotiation has a great deal to do with perceived power. In allowing the EU to dictate the agenda on Day 1, the government has diminished the UK’s stature across the negotiating table.
Below we present the video of the Q&A session following the statements by Mr Davis and M. Barnier. As usual, it’s the Q&A session which is far more interesting than the prepared statements. If you don’t have time for it all, just start at 19 minutes in and watch the last 4 minutes where Michel Barnier loses his cool. (See details below.)
VIDEO OF PRESS CONFERENCE Q&A - BARNIER AND DAVIS
(If the video doesn't show in your browser, click here.)
© EU Commission 2017
NOTE: If the video doesn't show in your browser, you can see it here.
British Press Pack To The Rescue
Fortunately for Mr Davis, he has some of the British press on his side, and they were able to land a significant blow on Monsieur Barnier.
M. Barnier is typically described using such words as ‘calm’, ‘unflappable’, ‘cool-headed’, ‘urbane’, etc. It was therefore with some surprise that we saw the Frenchman lose his cool and display flashes of irritation and anger at the end of the press conference.
This was all the more delicious to watch, given that he insisted “There will be no hostility on my side” and “I will do all I can to put emotion to one side”.
Monsieur Barnier didn’t flare up until the end of the press conference, when he was asked by the Daily Telegraph correspondent what concessions the EU had made, in return for Mr Davis conceding to the EU’s demands for Brexit bill talks first. Barnier replied as follows:
“The UK has decided to leave the EU, it’s not the other way around. The UK is going to leave the EU, the Single Market and the Customs Union, not the other way around.
“So we each have to assume our responsibility and the consequences of our decision and the consequences are substantial.... I am not in a frame of mind to make concessions, or ask for concessions. It’s not about punishment, it’s not about revenge.
“Basically we are implementing the decision taken by the UK to leave the EU and unravel 43 years of patiently built relations. I will do all I can to put emotion to one side and stick to the facts, the figures and the legal basis.”
Barnier’s fury was so barely-controlled that Margaritis Schinas, the EU’s press spokesman, promptly had to end the press conference there and then.
OBSERVATIONS
Whenever the EU says that something is not about punishment or revenge, you can be sure that this is exactly what it’s about.
The EU is accustomed to questions from sycophantic Remainer British TV journalists, such as the BBC’s pro-EU Europe Editor Katya Adler, or Sky’s equally pro-EU idiot Mark Stone. Yesterday Ms Adler lived down to her reputation as usual, but fortunately Peter Foster from the Telegraph upheld the good reputation for difficult questions which the British press pack have long been famous for.
You may think we have overstated Monsieur Barnier’s anger, but we ask you to put this in the context of a man who is normally described as dispassionate and unflappable. For Barnier, this was high emotion on show.
We welcome your comments below.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.05am, 20 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Shieldsman, UK      Date/Time: 20 June, 3.33pm
Message: The EU despite what Junckner and Barnier might say, they were not and are not ready to negotiate a mutually advantageous exit agreement. They never thought it would happen and Article 50 was an afterthought with no guidance as to the terms of the negotiations. The first reaction of the Brussels Commission has been of shock to the loss of the second greatest financial contributor, creating a black hole in its already stretched finances. It has taken a dog in the manger attitude that we have to pay to leave before discussing trade which is vital to both parties. Michel Barnier and the Brussels bureaucrats have taken on a task that you could liken to that of Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey Appleby at the Department of Administrative Affairs. There is also a lack of a awareness in the Commission bureaucracy that the onus is on them to return the negotiating rights they have acquired on our behalf, during our membership. This particularly applies to Civil Aviation which operates through bi-lateral agreements. The Commission may act as a negotiator and administrator, but the Airspace and the right to fly into it and through it rests with the member States. Brussels does not have the authority to rescind our ATA’s with third Countries. An air transport agreement (also sometimes called an air service agreement or ATA or ASA) is an agreement which two nations sign to allow international commercial air transport services between their territories. The bilateral system has its basis under the Chicago convention and associated multilateral treaties. The Chicago Convention was signed in December 1944 and has governed international air services since then. the convention also has a range of annexes covering issues such as aviation security, safety oversight, air worthiness, navigation, environmental protection and facilitation (expediting and departure at airports). I am sure the UK will be quite happy to honour past bi-lateral ASA’s and Air Traffic management agreements made prior to and since our Membership on our behalf on a full reciprocal basis. I am sure the Flag carriers of EU member states will wish to continue air services with the UK. The Commission has been quite handsomely rewarded for its administrative duties, is good at producing paperwork, so should be quite capable of regularising the return of our rights. I find it strange that Barnier talks about no concessions. Surely our leaving means the Brussels Commission are no longer our Administrators and there main task is to hand back all those tasks they have assumed, and for which we have paid the administration fee. Fisheries and Agriculture, in leaving the EU we want to return to the pre membership situation whereby we assume administrative responsibility, so what is there to negotiate? The media and the remainers after a year are still running around trying to find an off the peg trading agreement, but, are there actually any on offer. I have yet to see one, will Michel Barnier present one? He is hardly likely to offer the EFTA route with a Lichtenstein opt out on freedom of movement. The border between Eire an EU member and the future non member UK (Northern Ireland) presents a knotty problem which only the EU Commission can solve. The UK wishes to continue its the long standing arrangements with the Government of Eire made since 1922.
 DAVID DAVIS / MICHEL BARNIER PRESS CONFERENCE
UPDATE 20/06: The event is no longer live - for the recorded version see the article above.
[ Sources: EBS ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       5.30pm, 19 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
 FRENCH PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS:
“CAN I BE BOZZERED? NON.”
MACRON’S PARTY WINS FEWER VOTES THAN MAY’S
  • Only 42.6% bother to vote
  • Marine Le Pen wins seat for first time
  • French Labour party trounced
The ‘La Republique En Marche’ (LREM) party of French President Emmanuel Macron came out victors in France’s general election yesterday. Projections at the time of writing put Macron’s party in coalition with the MoDem party on 350 seats. 289 seats are required for an absolute majority.
Whilst LREM won, the margin of victory will be considerably less than the polls had suggested. Some surveys had indicated that LREM would win well over 400 seats.
MOST POPULAR WASN’T MACRON’S PARTY
The biggest winner of the night was the ‘Can’t Be Bozzered’ party, with 57.4% of the electorate not being sufficiently motivated to vote at all. By contrast, in the UK general election just 31.3% of the electorate abstained.
The turnout of 42.6% is France’s lowest-ever in a general election and ironically it puts President Macron’s new government into the ‘lacking legitimacy’ category according to many commentators.
MACRON’S PARTY WINS FEWER VOTES THAN MAY’S
Looking at the projected numbers, Mrs May will be able to hold her head high the next time she meets President Macron
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
According to our calculations based on the latest projections, Monsieur Macron’s party and his coalition partners will receive under 9 million votes. This compares to the 13.7 million votes received by Mrs May’s Conservative Party in the 2017 General Election ten days ago.
If we're right, that's something you won't hear on the BBC today.... (You'll have to wait for Andrew Neil to return from the US.)
[ Sources: French Interior Ministry | French press ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.05am, 19 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Simon Jones, UK      Date/Time: 19 June, 4.20pm
Message: So, I haven't crunched the numbers but the overall vote for LREM at 9M is about the same as the first round of the Presidential election - so he is just talking to his own Base of 25%?
 BREXIT SECRETARY - FORMAL TALKS START TODAY
EU's Chief Negotiator finally ready to welcome David Davis this morning
The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union travels to Brussels this morning for the start of the official Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the EU.
The Secretary of State is a former member of 21 Regiment SAS(R)     Photo © MOD
Former SAS Reservist, the Rt Hon David Davis MP, goes into battle at 10am (UK time) in Brussels with the EU's Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier. A press conference with Mr Davis and Monsieur Barnier is scheduled to take place some time after 5.30pm UK time. We will provide a link here to the live conference as soon as it becomes available later this morning.
Yesterday the Dept for Exiting the EU issued a robust statement ahead of the talks. Click the image below to read it in full.
OBSERVATIONS
Mr Davis is a member of Her Majesty's government and is a democratically-elected Member of Parliament. Monsieur Barnier is the political appointee of a political appointee (the unelected President Juncker).
Perhaps this is a nice metaphor for why we're leaving the EU.
We're sure all readers will want to join us in wishing Mr Davis the best of British.
[ Sources: MOD | DExEU ]
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       04.45am, 19 June 2017
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 MAJOR BOOST FOR DEPT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE
UK signs up Crawford Falconer from NZ as Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser
In an apparent move to squash the Remain manoeuvres of Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Theresa May and Liam Fox have hired top New Zealand trade negotiator Crawford Falconer to head up the UK's negotiation expertise in future trade deals with countries around the world.
Blow to Remainer Hammond's ambitions
This morning, Philip Hammond is due to appear on the Andrew Marr Show (BBC1, 9am) and will no doubt be egged on by the pro-Remain Mr Marr to tell us how the UK must now modify its stance on leaving membership of the Single Market and Customs Union. Mr Hammond was an ardent Remainer in last year's Referendum campaign and has consistently been at best lukewarm about Brexit ever since.
 
In a splendid move which we applaud, the Dept for International Trade (DIT) issued a statement last night announcing that the Prime Minister and International Trade Secretary have appointed the respected trade specialist Crawford Falconer to the top team at the DIT.
In one swift move they have reinforced the stated aim of the government to leave membership of the Single Market and Customs Union of the EU. This effectively takes Mr Hammond's legs out from under him.
ANTIDOTE TO THE DEPRESSING HAMMOND
If readers would like an antidote to the depressing views of Mr Hammond, we happily present a recording of Crawford Falconer speaking at the Legatum Institute a few months ago. Click here to listen to Mr Falconer's positive view of the future for the UK outside the EU. (6 minutes)
[ Sources: Dept for International Trade | Legatum Institute ]
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       06.35am, 18 June 2017
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 THE EU’S DEFENCE OFFENSIVE
Brexit or not, the UK is signing up to EU plans to take over swathes of our national defence
Imagine a new recruit to the UK’s armed forces in years to come,
swearing the oath of allegiance to the EU instead of the Crown?
OATH OF ALLEGIANCE TO JEAN-CLAUDE THE 1ST
“I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty Jean-Claude Juncker the First, His Heirs and Successors, and that I will, as in duty bound, honestly and faithfully defend His Majesty Jean-Claude, His Heirs and Successors, in Person, Crown and Dignity against all enemies, and will observe and obey all orders of His Majesty Jean-Claude, His Heirs and Successors, and of the officers set over me.”
 
Are you content for UK armed forces to be commanded by German generals, Austrian admirals, and Greek group captains?
 
For two years we have been researching and writing articles on the EU’s plans for centralised EU armed forces.
At various times we have reported on disturbing news we uncovered, such as the Netherlands putting 2,100 of its soldiers under German command, the German army taking command of a Polish battalion, and other articles in a similar vein.
THE UK IS BEING DRAGGED INTO THIS WITHOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE
The UK government has already approved a number of serious measures which will inevitably compromise the independence and integrity of British armed services for years to come.
David Banks, spokesman for Veterans for Britain, told us: “The UK has given agreement to the EU's vast defence plans in all four of the relevant EU Council meetings since November. These plans create long-term and defence industrial ties for the UK beyond Brexit and could affect negotiations. At the next EU Council meeting (22 June), the PM will be asked to agree further defence plans.”
How far have things got?
Below we provide a small sample of what the EU has been saying about an EU army over the last few years and specifically in the last six months.
To the left is a screengrab from the website of the EU’s European External Action Service, showing the extraordinary complexity of the EU’s developing ambitions.
Federica Mogherini
 
SOME EXAMPLES OF THE EU'S DEFENCE PLANS
“the European Council (Nice, December 2000) decided to establish permanent political and military structures”
European External Action Service, current website for CSDP (Common Security & Defence Policy)
“Yes, Europe is chiefly a ‘soft power’. But even the strongest soft powers cannot make do in the long run without at least some integrated defence capacities.”
President Juncker, Oct 2014 speech to EU Parliament
“The Lisbon Treaty enables those Member States who wish, to pool their defence capabilities in the form of a permanent structured cooperation. I think the time to make use of this possibility is now.”
“It can be done. We are building a multinational fleet of air tankers.”
President Juncker, Sept 2016 State of the Union speech
The EU should "decide on a concrete implementation plan on security and defence and on how to make better use of the options in the Treaties, especially as regards capabilities."
December 2016 European Council
“Security and defence are priorities for the European Union because they are priorities for all our citizens. Since last year, we are stepping up our European defence to be more and more effective as a security provider within and beyond our borders”
EU Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Brussels, 24 May 2017
“it is clear that it is time for Europe to take its defence and security into its own hands”
EU Factsheet “Defending Europe”, May 2017
BRITISH ARMED FORCES
AND WHO WILL HAVE POLITICAL CONTROL OF THE EU ARMED FORCES?
In case we haven’t alarmed you enough, you may wonder who is going to command this new EU army when it comes.
Well, here’s a hint, courtesy of the EU Commission President:
“I do not want to say a great deal about foreign policy. We urgently need a common foreign and security policy. It would be fine by me if the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy were no longer thwarted by the Foreign Ministers of the Member States and I will ensure this does not happen.”
President Juncker, Oct 2014 speech to EU Parliament, setting out objectives for 2014-2020
In other words, the EU Commission President proposes that Italian former Communist Federica Mogherini, the EU’s “High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy” (and EU Commission Vice President) will be able to overrule the Defence and Foreign Ministers of the EU member states.
We really couldn’t make this stuff up.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW WHAT’S COMING FOR OUR ARMED FORCES?
Please let us know if you would like us to write some summary articles on what the UK government has already agreed to in respect of the new EU defence arrangements, and what it will most likely agree to at the EU Council meeting next week. Remember, this will affect us pre- and post-Brexit.
It's not too late to stop the British government from agreeing to even more integration and unification of British forces with those of the EU27.
Our articles will include the cost to the UK taxpayer, the implications for British armed forces, and the effect on the UK's ability to purchase its own military equipment. We will summarise the basics of what is happening and what it all means to the defence of the United Kingdom and its people.
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[ Sources: EU Commission | Veterans for Britain ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       05.30am, 18 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Dean B, UK      Date/Time: 18 June, 10.47pm
Message: Thank you for what you're doing in publicising this. I definitely want to know more about the EU's plans for militarisation and especially how it will affect our forces. I've just sent you a small contribution, sorry it's not more. Keep up the good work!
Name: CombatReady, UK      Date/Time: 18 June, 9.12pm
Message: You say they'll be agreeing more stuff at the EU Council meeting on Thurs - what exactly?
 PROOF: EU WASN'T READY TO NEGOTIATE UNTIL
AFTER UK GENERAL ELECTION
EXCLUSIVE: EU finally admits it wasn't ready to negotiate until Monday
As regular readers know, we have consistently argued that the EU was delaying the start of Brexit talks, despite numerous public announcements from EU leaders berating the UK for being responsible for the delays.
“We have been ready to negotiate for months.”
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, 11th June 2017
 
THE FINAL PROOF THEY LIED
Yesterday we finally saw the 'Position Papers' from the EU Commission, which they sent to the UK government just 5 days ago on Monday 12th June. We had previously seen these in draft form and suspected that they needed to be approved by the EU27 countries before the EU's position was settled and before they could start negotiating.
We were right. The previous papers were clearly labelled as 'draft', whereas the papers issued on Monday have had 'draft' removed. They are now dated 12th June, although we must say that strangely we didn't see the links to these papers on the EU's servers until yesterday.
The EU says it delivered these papers (representing key parts of its final preliminary negotiating position) on Monday 12th June to the UK government. That's 4 days after the UK General Election.
WHY THIS MATTERS
This matters, because the EU has successfully conveyed the impression to the peoples of the EU27 countries that the UK has been in a mess over Brexit. They have claimed that it was the EU that was ready to negotiate and (for example) to settle matters like the rights of EU and UK citizens in each others' countries.
Any eventual deal between the EU and the UK will need at least the tacit approval of the peoples of the EU27. In the end it will be a pragmatic, political settlement, and as such the EU27 leaders will have to be sensitive to their own public's opinions.
We happen to think it matters that the Brexit negotiations are conducted honestly. In our opinion the EU has got off to a very poor start.
We look forward to seeing all the British journalists who have swallowed the EU line now backtracking. Here's just one example (from Sky News but we could have chosen the BBC or many other outlets): "The EU wants the negotiations on Brexit to begin. They have been ready for months and have been waiting only for the UK to come to the table." - Mark Stone, Sky News, 11 June.
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[ Sources: EU Commission ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.30am, 17 June 2017
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 THE DAVID AND MICHEL SHOW STARTS ON MONDAY
EU publishes the agenda for the first day of ‘political’ Brexit talks
On Monday, the Rt Hon David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and Michel Barnier, Chief Negotiator for the EU Commission, will start talking at 11am in Brussels (10am UK time).
Here is the official agenda:
At 6.30pm (5.30pm UK time) Mr Davis and Monsieur Barnier are scheduled to give a press conference. We will provide a link on this site to the live conference as soon as it becomes available on Monday.
Please note that nothing in regard to the EU ever runs on time, and we expect the first press conference to be no exception.
Many of us were beginning to think this moment would never actually arrive.
We welcome your thoughts prior to the negotiations commencing.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]        06.40am, 17 June 2017
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 BREXIT = LEAVE
SOFT BREXIT = REMAIN
SATURDAY EDITORIAL
Brexit means leaving the EU, Soft Brexit means remaining
- Remaining under EU control, under its laws, under its demands for massive annual payments, under its control of the UK’s immigration policy, under its ban on independent international trade, and under its suffocating and growing control of every aspect of people’s lives.
The British people voted in the EU Referendum to leave the EU and to take back control of the UK’s sovereignty, laws, money, immigration policy and international trade, amongst many other things.
None of this would be possible with a so-called ‘Soft Brexit’.
Let’s stop the media nonsense. Soft Brexit means Remain. Brexit means Leave.
The Facts4EU.Org Team, 05.55am, 17 June 2017
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Name: Roger Parkin, UK      Date/Time: 17 June, 4.07pm
Message: Indeed soft Brexit does mean Remain. The disastrous result of the general election has encouraged many of the enemies of Leave to try and dilute or thwart the wishes of the significant majority of us. These include the Lords, the BBC, the EU negotiators and many in the Conservative party who stood on a manifesto promising a full Brexit without compromise. You are doing an excellent job in helping us to follow events. We must all keep the pressure on to ensure that we get the promised outcome in the agreed timeframe.
 DO THE UK’S YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE ANY CHANCE?
Overwhelming bias by teachers and lecturers for Remain
  • 75% of secondary school teachers backed Remain
  • Nearly 90% of university lecturers backed Remain
  • In the 2017 General Election, only 8% of school teachers intended to vote Conservative
The latest poll conducted by the Times Educational Supplement immediately prior to the General Election showed an overwhelming support for Labour, with only 8% of secondary school teachers intending to vote Conservative.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
We took a look back at the TES surveys just prior to the EU Referendum last year. These showed an overwhelming bias for Remain.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
Does it concern you to see such clear weighting of certain political opinions amongst those tasked with educating the UK’s young people?
DO YOU WORK IN EDUCATION?
We are interested in the way in which the EU is presented and explained in schools, colleges and universities. If you have any information we would be pleased to receive anything of interest. You can contact us in complete confidence using our contact form and we will reply by email.
[ Sources: Times Educational Supplement | Times Higher Education ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.30am, 16 June 2017
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 OFFICIAL: BREXIT TALKS TO START ON SCHEDULE
EU ready to start negotiations on Monday 19th June, joint statement issued


Democratically-elected David Davis MP will lead
for the UK
 
The following joint statement has been issued by the Department for Exiting the European Union and the European Commission:
"Michel Barnier, the European Commission's Chief Negotiator, and David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, agreed today to launch Article 50 negotiations on Monday, 19 June."
Brussels and London, 15 June 2017
 

Unelected civil servant Michel Barnier will lead for the EU Commission
This follows the last official statement by Michel Barnier on 22 May, when he was still trying to get agreement on his negotiating stance from within the EU:
“In the course of the next few days we will finalise our negotiating positions on the key subjects for the first phase of the negotiations. These positions will then be sent to the UK. I expect this to happen very quickly, very quickly, after the elections. I hope to organise the first round of negotiations as soon as possible, hopefully in the week of 19 June.”
At the end of May, Monsieur Barnier was still producing draft negotiating documents but it appears that he is now ready.
On Monday this week the senior civil servant of the Brexit Dept, Oliver Robbins, was in Brussels for a working lunch with Monsieur Barnier, trying to agree the logistics of the negotiations. Yesterday the 'talks about talks' stage concluded with both sides agreeing to start negotiations on Monday next week.
OBSERVATIONS
Despite the repeated lies from senior EU figures for months, the EU has not been ready to start negotiations and it was Monsieur Barnier who delayed the start date until Monday 19 June. By contrast, the UK had long ago set out its negotiating position in several documents, culminating on 29 March with Mrs May's Article 50 letter.
We wish David Davis 'bon courage' as he commences his task on Monday.
Readers are welcome to comment and contributions will appear below.
[ Sources: Dept for Exiting the EU | EU Commission ]        05.05am, 16 June 2017
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 EU GENEROUSLY PRETENDS TO HOLD DOOR OPEN TO UK
Suggestions from EU leaders of openness to Brexit reversal
This week on the continent, various EU leaders have pronounced on the possibility of a reversal of Brexit. The UK and the Conservative government have been widely ridiculed following the General Election. The UK election result has been reported across the continental media as the British people thinking again about Brexit. Brexit itself continues to be portrayed as an internal Tory Party squabble.
The EU's Open Doors
“If they wanted to change their decision, of course they would find open doors.”
German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, Berlin, 13 June
“The door is still open” for the UK to remain in the EU.
French President Emmanuel Macron, Paris, 13 June
“Not all the doors are the same. It will be a brand new door, with a new Europe, a Europe without rebates, without complexity, with real powers and with unity.”
EU Parliament Brexit Coordinator Guy Verhofstadt, 14 June
Noticeably, Guy Verhofstadt mentioned that any new arrangement would be without Britain's rebate, which would mean an increase of billions in annual contributions. Last week one senior Brussels official even suggested that the EU27 might be amenable to a cancellation of Brexit on payment of a ‘re-entry fee’.
To our readers from Brussels,
(Yes, we know you read Facts4EU.Org and we hope you find it useful.)
We feel the need to point out some fundamental information to you regarding the UK’s General Election.
  • This was a General Election, not an EU Referendum
  • We had one of those Referendum things last year and you didn't come out of it too well
  • This happened despite a UK government-backed, false propaganda campaign for Remain
  • Our General Election was supposed to be themed on Brexit, but Brexit was hardly mentioned
  • The 2 main anti-Brexit parties (LibDems and SNP) lost vote share
  • Over 85% of votes went to pro-Brexit parties
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The above graph shows the combined vote share for main parties (more than 100,000 votes) in the 2017 General Election, split by their manifestos' declarations about Brexit.
You may decide, on reflection, to stop interfering in internal British life and trying to sow discontent in our country.
In return, we will refrain from asking what you’re going to do when the British money tree stops giving you subsidies. We’ll also refer less to your disastrous levels of youth unemployment, your immigration and (growing) integration problems, your difficulties in turning the euro into a sustainable monetary system, your fundamental divisions with the Visegrad countries, and your incessant desire to expand the EU’s interests into areas like defence and global politics.
Kind regards, the Facts4EU.Org team
All readers are welcome to comment and contributions will appear below.
[ Sources: Electoral Commission | BBC | Bloomberg | Various continental media ]        07.25am, 15 June 2017
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 TOP GUN BREXITEER JETS INTO DExEU
Steve Baker is promoted to government and joins the Dept for Exiting the EU as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State under David Davis
Steve Baker MP, when an RAF Engineering Officer, in Norway.
© Steve Baker MP
We are delighted to see that Steve Baker MP has been appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union.
Steve has long been a committed Eurosceptic and Facts4EU.Org included him in our 'Four With Talent' whom we proposed for cabinet positions following the Referendum last year.
Steve spent the first 10 years of his career with the RAF, where he rose as an engineer officer working with Jaguars and Tornados, becoming a Chartered Engineer and the holder of a military airworthiness licence. After the RAF, Steve read for an MSc in Computer Science at Oxford and entered the commercial world, taking on various senior roles in business software companies.
He entered Parliament representing Wycombe in 2010, serving on the Transport Select committee then the Treasury Committee. Before the Referendum Steve was Co-Chair of Conservatives for Britain, and is now the Chair of the European Research Group - an important force in parliament for ensuring that a clean Brexit is delivered.
In January, Steve Baker wrote:
“We’ll be delighted when it’s clear we will be taking advantage of the practically unlimited opportunities which will come from leaving the EEA and Customs Union through ending ECJ supremacy, controlling migration and making our own trade policy. When the public and business can see our friends around the world are enthusiastic about swiftly concluding tariff and barrier free trade with us, our economy will continue to strengthen. Only outside the EEA, Customs Union and CAP can we conclude the trade arrangements which would create very large new opportunities for exporting industries and our world-class services sector. We look forward to the Prime Minister’s speech with buoyancy and hope, certain our country will have a bright future of free trade and self government.”
Only yesterday morning (before his appointment) Steve tweeted the following:
“The language of "hard" vs "soft" Brexit is so misleading. We need a good, clean exit which minimises disruption and maximises opportunity. In other words, we need the "softest" exit consistent with actually leaving and controlling laws, money, borders and trade, and that means delivering on the white paper so [the Dept of International Trade] can get on with improving UK and global trade.”
 


Steve enjoying one
of his hobbies
Steve Baker understands what Brexit means. We wish him great success in his new role.
[ Sources: DExEU | Steve Baker ]        11.00am, 14 June 2017
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 “96% DROP IN EU NURSES" STORY IS THOROUGHLY MISLEADING
Widespread media story is proved wrong on so many counts
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
  • Number of EU nurses is up by 10% compared to 2016
  • Media story is based on misleading and selective use of data
  • April 2017 (used in the report) was the lowest month this year
  • Numbers then rose again in May - by 85%
  • The new language tests for EU nurses are not mentioned in the original story
This story originated from a charity called the Health Foundation, with an article headlined:
“New data show 96% drop in nurses from EU since July last year”
To produce this headline, the Health Foundation took some highly selective information from the official body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Facts4EU.Org has analysed the same original data from the NMC, as well as researching more thoroughly using information from the NHS itself and the respected industry magazine the Nursing Times.
KEY FACTS
  • The base month of July was in fact after the Referendum, not before it, and was the peak month last year.
  • July was the deadline for applications from the EU to be completed, before nurses had to pass a language fluency test.
  • This language test has been questioned by NHS Trusts and others because of its dramatic effect on applications from the EU.
  • Note: This language test is unconnected with Brexit – it was introduced 6 months earlier.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE EU NURSES TO THE NHS?
Overall, EU nurses represent a small proportion of the total nurses and midwives in the UK. Currently they are 5.4% of the total, up from 1.8% in 2010. It is only in recent years that the number of EU nurses working in the UK has grown, but they are still a small proportion of the overall numbers.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
THE NEW LANGUAGE TEST FOR EU NURSES
Until January last year, new applications from EU nurses were welcomed without the need for a language test, making them an attractive proposition for any recruiter.
When the new rules came in, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) set the standard for nurses at 7.0 on the IELTS language scale. This is a very high degree of written and oral fluency and the evidence from the industry shows that applicants from EU countries have struggled to meet the standard.
In April this year the Nursing Times even ran an article about the problems of recruiting EU nurses, due to the new language test. They quoted several NHS Trusts as well as specialist nursing recruitment companies, all complaining about the test’s effect on numbers.
WHAT HAPPENED TO APPLICATIONS, AND WHEN?
Although the new language standard applied from January last year for new applicants, existing applicants could still complete their applications without a language test. They were given until July 2016 to do so, and unsurprisingly this became the peak month last year.
So, July 2016 was the first month after Brexit, and yet newly-completed EU nurse registrations jumped 32% compared to June 2016.
The peak month of July 2016 also happens to be the baseline month chosen by the Health Foundation for its ‘before and after Brexit’ report, on which it produced its “96% drop in EU nurse applications” report.
In other words, the Health Foundation used the peak month for 2016 which appears to have been caused by the new language test deadline. They then compared it to April this year, which was the lowest month for 2017.
OBSERVATIONS
The Health Foundation is a charity based in London. They are “funded by an endowment - currently around £800 million”. There is no doubt that they are active in many ways to improve health and healthcare in the UK. It is, however, a great shame that they have chosen to promote a high-profile anti-Brexit story which is so full of holes, as this immediately casts doubt on their other research projects.
It would be surprising if Brexit wasn't having an effect on the number of EU nurses considering an application to the UK. Apart from anything else, the position of EU nationals in the UK after we exit the EU is uncertain, thanks to the EU refusing to discuss this when Mrs May asked them to agree a deal last year.
That said, the position on EU nurses is very different to what you will have seen on TV and read in the media in the last 48 hours, as we have shown. EU nurses represent a very small proportion of the total number in the NHS, and their numbers are in fact 10% higher in the year to May 2017 than in the same period last year.
We chose to go into detail on this erroneous story as an example of the anti-Brexit bias of the establishment and the TV media in particular. Frankly it’s a wonder that anyone out there still believes Brexit is a good thing. Thank goodness for the good sense of so many of the British people.
[ Sources: Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) | NHS | Nursing Times | Health Foundation ]        07.15am, 14 June 2017
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Name: Ruth Kelly's Flood, UK      Date/Time: 14 June, 1.40pm
Message: The issue is not how many EU or foreign medical staff we employ in the NHS but why don't we have enough training places for UK based doctors and nurses. No one has ever explained why we need so much help from overseas when we have the necessary talent in the UK. Last year there were approximately 20 applications for each medical student training place.
Name: Lynne M, UK      Date/Time: 14 June, 07.43am
Message: Brilliant article showing up lazy journalism at the mercy of the usual bias. Thank you.
 'HARD BREXIT' LABOUR MANIFESTO
REJECTED MEMBERSHIP OF SINGLE MARKET & CUSTOMS UNION
In recent days, some Labour MPs and even some Shadow Ministers have tried to muddy the waters over Labour’s position on Brexit. However the official position of the Labour Party, on which voters chose to vote Labour, is clear.
Labour’s policies preclude membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union. This is a simple fact.
LABOUR MANIFESTO BREXIT FACTS
1.  Labour accepts Referendum result
“Labour accepts the referendum result and a Labour government will put the national interest first.”
2.  Labour rejects Freedom of Movement
“Freedom of movement will end when we leave the European Union.”
3.  Labour will negotiate new international trade deals
“Labour will work with global trading partners to develop 'best-in-class’ free trade and investment agreements that remove trade barriers and promote skilled jobs and high standards.”
[ Source: Labour Party Manifesto, General Election June 2017 ]
Membership of the Single Market and Customs Union automatically requires Freedom of Movement and automatically bans the negotiation of international trade deals.
By rejecting Freedom of Movement and committing to new international trade deals, Labour therefore makes it clear that its policy is to leave the EU and not to have membership of the Single Market or Customs Union.
EVEN AFTER THE GENERAL ELECTION, LABOUR CONFIRMED ITS POSITION
Sunday 11th June, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn on the BBC:
“The Single Market is a requirement of EU membership and since we won’t be EU members there will have to be an arrangement made.”
Sunday 11th June, Shadow Chancellor McDonnell on ITV (asked about membership of the Single Market):
“I can’t see it even being on the table in the negotiations, I don’t think it’s feasible.”
As we’ve pointed out many times,
Membership of the Single Market and Customs Union IS membership of the EU.
There is nothing ‘extreme’ or ‘hard’ about being outside of either. It’s simply what Brexit means.
Your comments are welcome and they will appear below.
[ Sources: Labour Party Manifesto | BBC | ITV ]        06.30am, 13 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Carole, UK      Date/Time: 13 June, 3.40pm
Message: Just a thought, but EU law will be a huge obstacle to any renationalisation scheme, so large parts of Labour manifesto promises require leaving the EU.
Name: Raphael G      Date/Time: 13 June, 00.15am
Message: In response to your question on June 9 [regarding education and brainwashing - Ed], I offer this shocking insight. I have an old friend whose child is studying at Cambridge. This undergraduate, along with others on her course, received an email from a tutor blatantly urging her not to vote Conservative as a Tory government "would cut university- and research funding as the inevitable result of potential Brexit". I find it sickening that students are subject to this kind of near-coercion and political harassment. I don't know for certain, but would imagine there was no balancing steer towards the question of whether these funds might be replaced by a Treasury that did not have ongoing bills from the EU.
 JUNCKER LIES AGAIN – MOST BLATANT EVER?
EU Commission President commits another howler,
yet the UK government once again fails to respond
President Juncker openly lies. He even admits this himself and has been transparent about doing it on many occasions. (See below.)
On Sunday he gave a classic example of this to the German magazine Der Spiegel.
“We have been ready to negotiate for months.”
This is a gross falsehood and Juncker knows it.
 
The EU has not been remotely close to being ready to negotiate in the last few months. To read the truth about this, please see our recent article here.
JUNCKER HAS FORM
This is just the latest in a long line of astonishing statements by Juncker. Here are some previous examples of President Juncker’s behaviour.
Greek economic crisis: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”
British concerns about Lisbon Treaty: “Of course there will be transfers of sovereignty. But would I be intelligent to draw the attention of public opinion to this fact?”
Introduction of the Euro: “We decide on something, leave it lying around, and wait and see what happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don't understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back.”
French referendum on EU constitution: “If it's a Yes, we will say 'on we go'. And if it's a No we will say 'we continue’.”
On democracy: “We all know what to do, we just don't know how to get re-elected after we've done it.”
Would the British public tolerate such a man holding a very powerful role in UK government?
WHEN WILL THE UK GOVERNMENT SPEAK UP?
President Juncker enjoys only a distant acquaintance with the truth. The fact that a politician lies is one thing, however President Juncker takes this to a new level.
It was disturbing enough, listening to him before the UK voted to leave, but now it really matters to Brexit. The peoples of the EU27 and the UK are forming the impression that it’s the UK that has been holding up Brexit negotiations - and a deal on the rights of citizens, for example.
The UK needs the peoples of the EU27 countries to know the truth about the entire Brexit process as it unfolds, if a fair and reasonable Brexit deal is ever to be achieved.
We must ask yet again: When will the UK government wake up and start countering the appalling propaganda and untruths with which the peoples of the UK and the EU27 are being bombarded by EU eurocrats and politicians?
Your comments are welcome and they will appear below.
[ Sources: Der Spiegel ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       05.30am, 13 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Carole, UK      Date/Time: 13 June, 09.00am
Message: Every bit of info that comes out the media and press gets pulled to bits in the forums. Consequently no-one now trusts politicians largely because of all the mixed messages they are getting. Even today the BBC are stating business confidence has gone up due to the likelihood of a soft Brexit. The government really has to do something about PR and get an comprehensive immigration policy out as soon as possible.
 THE EU'S DEFENCE OFFENSIVE
During the Referendum campaign and regularly since, we have published 'must-read' pieces about the EU's actions and intended actions relating to defence.
The EU making decisions last week about a European defence policy and a new European Defence Fund
Last week, while the British people were focused on the General Election, the EU made some important announcements regarding its defence policies and its ambitions for what will effectively be a competitor to NATO.
Keep checking back this week for our article analysing the clear and present threat which the EU represents.
The Facts4EU.Org Team, 12th June 2017
 SOFT-IN-THE-HEAD BREXIT
The UK either leaves the EU or it doesn’t ...  And the people voted to leave
At the weekend, the nonsense about ‘Soft’ Brexit was once again promoted across our TV screens by Remoaners at every opportunity, with the full cooperation of the UK’s pro-EU TV media.
Even the EU has been clear that there isn’t a Soft Brexit option of staying in the Single Market and Customs Union. The option doesn’t exist because this ‘Soft’ Brexit is called EU membership.
Being in the Single Market and Customs Union requires free movement, continuing annual payments to the EU, and laws made in Brussels, and so this is the same as being in the EU. What is so hard to understand?
“Soft” Brexit should be renamed “Soft-In-The-Head” Brexit.
Photo right: Remoaner MP Anna Soubry
 
Here is our Idiot-Remoaner’s Guide To Brexit, for those who have gone soft in the head :-
1.  Brexit means leaving the EU.
2.  Leaving the EU means :
  • Laws made by UK’s sovereign parliament, like a normal country, with no Brussels jurisdiction
  • No more free movement
  • No more massive annual subsidies to Brussels
  • Freedom to grow our economy with our own global trade deals
3.  All the above means no Single Market and no Customs Union.
This was a public service announcement from Facts4EU.Org.
TV journalists and Remain MPs who jumped on the Remain bandwagon a year ago without knowing the first thing about EU membership, can contact us for further information about the EU.
Your comments are welcome and they will appear below.
       05.50am, 12 June 2017
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 DOES REMAINER RUTH THINK SHE WON THE ELECTION?
Dangerous signs of Remoanerism from leader of Scottish Tories
Yesterday, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson was asked by Sky News if Scottish Conservative MPs should “vote to retain single market membership, whatever the rest of the Conservative Party do?”
Ms Davidson answered:
“Well look, there’s an awful lot of issues around Brexit that need to be discussed.

“Clearly there’s no majority government that’s come through after this election and that means we do have to listen to other parties and to other actors and agents and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Shouldn't the answer have been "No, leaving the EU means leaving the Single Market, as it says in our Manifesto"?
 
The vote for Scottish Conservative MPs might have played a vital part in the overall General Election result, but this does not give Ms Davidson the right to overturn the result of the EU Referendum.
It appears Ms Davidson needs reminding of the promises she made in the Scottish Conservatives Manifesto and on which Scottish voters made their voting decisions.
SCOTTISH CONSERVATIVES MANIFESTO SUMMARY
Scottish voters who voted for Scottish Conservative MPs voted:
  • To leave the Single Market
  • To leave the Customs Union
  • To end annual contributions to the EU
  • To end Free Movement
  • To leave the Common Fisheries Policy
Scottish Conservatives proportion of total UK votes cast: 2.35%
SOME EXCERPTS FROM THE SCOTTISH CONSERVATIVES’ MANIFESTO:
“As we leave the European Union, we will no longer be members of the single market or customs union but we will seek a deep and special partnership including a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement.”
“We will determine a fair settlement of the UK’s rights and obligationsas a departing member state, in accordance with the law and in the spirit of the UK’s continuing partnership with the EU. The principle, however, is clear: the days of Britain making vast annual contributions to the European Union will end.”
“We believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside our withdrawal, reaching agreement on both within the two years allowed by Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.”
“Leaving the European Union also means we will be free to strike our own trade agreements with countries outside the EU.”
“We will ensure immediate stability by lodging new UK schedules with the World Trade Organization, in alignment with EU schedules to which we are bound whilst still a member of the European Union.”
“Leaving the European Union means, for the first time in decades, that we will be able to control immigration from the European Union too.”
“When we leave the European Union and its Common Fisheries Policy, we will be fully responsible for the access and management of the waters where we have historically exercised sovereign control.”
“The negotiations will undoubtedly be tough, and there will be give and take on both sides, but we continue to believe that no deal is better than a bad deal for the UK.”
OBSERVATIONS
Ruth Davidson, whilst a popular individual north of the border, represents a tiny proportion of the people who voted in the United Kingdom.
Scottish Conservatives' proportion of total UK votes cast: 2.35%
Ms Davidson was an ardent Remainer during the Referendum campaign and she must not be allowed to forget that her view lost. The country is pressing ahead with Brexit, not with some half-brained fuddle of being neither in or out.
We trust that on reflection she will fully endorse the policy promises she made on Brexit, contained in the manifesto which her party’s MPs stood on.
Your comments are welcome and they will appear below.
[ Sources: Sky News | Scottish Conservative Party ]        07.30am, 11 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: J Allen, Kent      Date/Time: 11 June, 07.45am
Message: As I notice loads of people winding each other up over 'soft' and 'hard' Brexit, I just want to say to you that: There is no 'hard' or 'soft' Brexit. There is just 'Brexit', the EU said repeatedly that will be no picks and mixes and Article 50 is a go and thus have passed the point of no return (basically we are on our way out). In end we will not be able to get a trade deal, but to only officially leave but without the wires hanging out. (Sorry to those on here who want an EFTA/EEA agreement, not going to happen.) That's Brexit. And that is what Labour and Conservatives want: Look at their manifestos, I dare you. Both back Brexit. Both want a end to the freedom of movement. (No wonder UKIP voters split themselves 50/50 between the Conservatives and Labour.)
Name: Roger Parkin, UK      Date/Time: 11 June, 12.40pm
Message: Ms Davidson is going to be a real problem. The Tories disastrous campaign has also ennobled the EU negotiators, the majority in the Lords, the Anna Soubry gang in the Commons, and the likes of Lord Heseltine who is all over the media this morning. The referendum was not a choice between a so-called hard or soft Brexit just a vote for regaining control of our laws, our borders, our money and our future trading arrangements. The majority of us were enthused by that and most remainers joined the leavers in wanting that process to begin. I and many others are livid that our dreams have now been put at risk.
Name: Norman Brodie, UK      Date/Time: 11 June, 3.38pm
Message: When will someone point out, the only government in the EU that has a single party in power is maybe France, all the rest have multiple parties sharing a coalition government.

Tim Farron, LibDems
 
Please help us to wipe the smile off his face
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 EU'S CLAIMS ABOUT UK ELECTION AND BREXIT DELAYS
EU blames UK for delays despite being to blame itself
What is the truth about the delayed start of Brexit negotiations?
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker speaking in Prague yesterday:
“I do strongly hope that Britain will stay ready to open negotiations. As far as the Commission is concerned, we can open negotiations tomorrow morning at 09:30. So we are waiting for visitors coming from London.

I hope that we will not experience a further delay in the conclusion of these negotiations. First, we have to agree on the divorce and exit modalities and then we have to envisage the architecture of our future relations. I do hope that the result of the elections will have no major impact on the negotiations we are desperately waiting for.”
 
The EU is guilty of extreme distortion of the facts about Brexit timelines. Here we shed some light on the realities.
After the UK voted for Brexit in June last year, in a normal world informal talks would have started within weeks. So why didn’t they?
David Cameron promised that if the country voted ‘Leave’, he would immediately trigger Article 50. Instead, he resigned. However let’s be clear, the country voted to leave the EU. The diplomatic and legal niceties were just that, and they didn’t alter the fact of the Referendum result nor the obvious need to begin a dialogue between the EU and the UK.
24 JUNE 2016 - NEITHER SIDE HAD THEIR POSITIONS PREPARED
Neither the UK Civil Service, NOR the EU Commission, had done any preparation for a Leave vote. In our view this represented gross negligence and incompetence on both sides, but naturally no heads have rolled.
Let’s be clear (as politicians are so fond of saying), if David Cameron had invoked Article 50 on 24th June 2016, neither side would have been ready for detailed negotiations.
The Establishment on both sides of the Channel were so convinced that the British people would never dare to vote Leave, as it was against the UK government’s strong position and the EU’s continuous propaganda.
When the British people voted Leave, both the British Civil Service and the EU Commission were caught with their pants down.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
In the UK’s case, action was relatively swift. David Davis was appointed Brexit Secretary on 13th July – less than three weeks after the Referendum.
In the EU’s case, Michel Barnier was provisionally appointed by Commission President Juncker on 27th July – two weeks after David Davis was appointed and five weeks after the Referendum. However, he was not formally appointed as the EU’s Chief Negotiator - that took much longer. (See below.)
So at that time the EU did not formally have a person with whom the UK Brexit Secretary could negotiate.
The cause of the EU’s delay was down to internal squabbles within the EU - between the Commission, the EU Parliament, and the EU Council - about how the Brexit negotiations should be run and who should run them.
ON 2ND OCT, UK’s PM ANNOUNCED ARTICLE 50 TO BE TRIGGERED BY END MARCH 2017
Whilst the EU was debating internally about its processes, British PM Theresa May announced that the UK would trigger Article 50 no later than the end of March 2017. In making this announcement (at the Tory Party Conference), she gave the EU six months’ notice.
15 DEC 2016 – AFTER 6 MONTHS, THE EU FINALLY CHOSE ITS CHIEF NEGOTIATOR
Despite Michel Barnier being nominated by the EU Commission President at the end of July, it wasn’t until the EU Council meeting of 15th December that Barnier was appointed as the official Chief Negotiator for the EU. This was almost six months after the UK’s Referendum.
17 JAN 2017 - UK PRIME MINISTER PUBLISHED 12 PRINCIPLES OF BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS
On 17 January, Theresa May outlined 12 principles of what the UK was seeking to achieve in its vision of Brexit. These were widely publicised and freely available to all.
02 FEB 2017 - UK GOVERNMENT PUBLISHED WHITE PAPER, DETAILING BREXIT POSITION
At the beginning of February, David Davis published an official White Paper. Running to 77 pages, it set out the previously announced Brexit principles in more detail. This was submitted to Parliament on 2nd Feb this year.
29 MAR 2017 - UK FORMALLY INVOKES ARTICLE 50
Ahead of the self-imposed deadline which Mrs May announced the previous October, the UK government formally triggered Article 50 on 29 March this year. Mrs May’s 6 page letter to the EU reconfirmed the UK’s position in line with what had previously been announced.
19 MAY 2017 – EU’S BARNIER ANNOUNCES ‘MID-JUNE’ FOR START OF NEGOTIATIONS
From our report at the time: “Minutes of the last EU Commission meeting, released yesterday, confirm that Michel Barnier is planning to start negotiations with the UK in mid-June. The EU is busy telling the world that it's the UK General Election that is causing delays in the start of negotiations. In fact the minutes of the last EU Commission meeting confirm that the EU is still not ready to start.”
30 MAY 2017 – BARNIER PUBLISHES ‘DRAFT’ ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES
11 days ago, Michel Barnier published two documents setting out the ‘essential principles’ for the EU’s negotiating position. These remain in draft form and although Barnier doesn’t say so we believe that these documents are still being studied by various parts of the EU machine before they become final documents against which negotiations can start. You can read our report on this here.
SO, THE EU HAS NOT BEEN READY
The above shows how at all stages the EU has NOT been ready to start negotiations. If it had acted efficiently it would have been ready to start the day after Article 50 was triggered – on 30 March. After all, it had been given 6 months’ notice of this by the UK government, and it was 9 months since the British people decided in the Referendum.
It is worth bearing in mind that on 30th March no-one even knew about any possible General Election in the UK, as it wasn’t called until the surprise announcement by Mrs May on 18th April. The simple fact is that the EU was still not ready before the General Election was called in the UK.
FINALLY, IT WAS THE EU WHICH PREVENTED INFORMAL TALKS FOR 9 MONTHS
Negotiations can take many forms. It is perfectly possible – many would say desirable – for informal talks to start as soon as both parties know that a formal negotiation will be required. Nothing needs to be agreed, but a general ‘sounding out’ of each other’s likely positions can be useful.
In the case of Brexit, most people would have expected that informal talks might have happened during the last year, whenever it could have been helpful to both sides.
Instead, the EU took a bizarre position that no talks of any kind could take place until the UK had formally triggered Article 50. Regrettably the pro-EU elements of the British media acquiesced in this strange EU decision, as if it were perfectly normal.
This was a unilateral decision by the EU and was not something wanted by the UK. It is not mentioned anywhere in Article 50 or in any other article of the EU treaties. There was no law, directive, decision, or any other kind of rule which prevented the UK and the EU talking informally before the legal invocation of Article 50.
IT’S THE EU WHICH HAS PREVENTED A DEAL ON CITIZENS’ RIGHTS
In other words, this was a political decision by the EU, and it has been decidedly unhelpful. For example, in December when Mrs May tried to raise the subject of an early decision on UK and EU citizens’ rights, Angela Merkel blanked her.
This is all the more extraordinary because, for months since then, the EU has been saying that citizens’ rights are a top priority, as if it were the UK which hadn’t wanted to resolve this matter much earlier.
Regrettably, the British media have not been pointing this out and as a result both the people of the UK and the peoples of the EU27 countries have been given the impression that it’s the UK’s fault that no agreement on citizens’ rights has been reached.
OBSERVATIONS
We hope you find the above facts useful. We also hope that the UK government will finally start speaking out about matters like these.
As we have stated before on numerous occasions, the eventual Brexit deal willl be political. If the British government makes no attempt to correct the gross distortions coming out of the EU, it can’t expect the peoples of the EU27 countries to know. And we suggest that they need to know in order to be supportive of a fair Brexit agreement when the time comes.
Your comments are welcome and they will appear below.
[ Sources: EU Commission | UK Government ]        08.30am, 10 June 2017
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Name: Derek Swann, Essex      Date/Time: 10 June, 4.12pm
Message: Another good article which I found very informative. Why don't we hear about this kind of thing on the BBC or ITV? All they do is repeat the EU version of events and never question them.
 WHAT ARE THE DUP's BREXIT POLICIES?
With much talk about the Conservatives governing with the help of 'an understanding' with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), what are their policies on Brexit?
Read their manifesto here. (The main Brexit section is on pages 18-19.)
Your comments are welcome and they will appear below.
[ Sources: DUP ]        11.15am, 09 June 2017
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 HAVE EDUCATION'S BRAINWASHERS IMPACTED THE RESULT?
Chart by Facts4EU.Org 2017 - Survey data by kind permission of Lord Ashcroft - www.lordashcroftpolls.com
Lord Ashcroft surveyed over 14,000 people yesterday who had already cast their vote. The age breakdown clearly shows how young voters influenced the result.
Many times Facts4EU.Org has raised the issue of the brainwashing of the UK's young people using EU propaganda promoted by the country's educators. We propose to conduct some serious research into this area, with a view to shedding light on the problem (assuming it exists) and we need your help.
Firstly we need the help of readers with children at school, college or university. Do you have any examples of the information given to your children regarding the EU, or history and politics generally?
Secondly, are you able to help fund this project? We would be grateful for your financial support so that we can research the extent of the problem, publish the results, and present the case to the country's legislators. If you can help, please use one of the two options below.
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Your comments are welcome and they will appear below. You can also use the link to tell us if you have useful information on this very important subject. We will then contact you by email so that you can send us anything you have.
[ Sources: lordashcroftpolls.com ]        08.45am, 09 June 2017
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Name: Anon London      Date/Time: 09 June, 10.16am
Message: Interesting how linear the graphs are!!
Name: Anon London      Date/Time: 09 June, 12.38pm
Message: By interpolation 100% of us vote conservative when we are aged over 120!
 BEFORE EU LEADERS START TO COMMENT,
HERE'S SOMETHING FOR THEM TO THINK ABOUT
© Facts4EU.Org 2017 - chart correct at 07.00am
We will publish further pieces once the dust has settled.
Your comments are welcome and they will appear below.
[ Sources: BBC ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.10am, 09 June 2017
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Name: Carole, UK      Date/Time: 09 June, 07.24am
Message: Will the Tories still honour Theresa May's manifesto? If so, then we still have no ECJ, reduction in immigration, and reduced payments to the EU.
 WHILE THE UK VOTES, THE EU SPENDS
EU announces extra £1/3rd billion for former French colony
While the UK is caught up with the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks and today’s General Election, the EU has been spending taxpayer money again.
This time it involves the small African state called the Central African Republic (CAR). With a population of under 5 million, the CAR is surrounded by the 2 Sudans, the 2 Congos, and Cameroon.
Yesterday the EU Commission announced further funding of €382 million (approx £330 million GBP) for this dysfunctional country. The funding is for “promoting peace-building and economic and social development”.
According to the Commission, this brings the total spend on the Central African Republic up to €2.6 billion (approx £2.25 billion GBP).
We just thought you’d like to know.
Your comments are welcome and they will appear below.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.50am, 08 June 2017
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 VOTE LABOUR?
GET REMOANERS
NEW SHADOW HOME SECRETARY OPPOSED EU WITHDRAWAL BILL
Lyn Brown voted in February not to trigger Article 50
Labour’s Lyn Brown, new Shadow Home Secretary, speaking in Parliament on the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2017:
“I believe that the Bill will make our constituents poorer, and that is why I will join him tomorrow in the Lobby. Is it not a pity that part of the debate was basically to ignore what experts were saying about the destination of our country should we leave the European Union?”
Lyn Brown speaking in Parliament
 
In the debate on the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill in February this year, which allowed the government to trigger the Article 50 notice to leave the EU, Lyn Brown was one of the Labour rebels who voted against the bill.
Yesterday Jeremy Corbyn temporarily replaced Diane Abbott as his Shadow Home Secretary on alleged health grounds. Ms Abbott’s replacement is Lyn Brown, candidate for West Ham in London.
During the EU Referendum campaign last year, Ms Brown was an ardent Remainer. In this view she was sadly joined by a majority of British MPs. However, by 2017 the vast majority of MPs had accepted the Referendum result and agreed that the UK was going to leave the EU.
Lyn Brown was one of just 52 Labour MPs who voted against triggering Article 50. In doing this she disobeyed the three-line whip and placed herself in a small minority in Parliament as a whole.
The EU Withdrawal Bill was supported by more than 80% of the House. Lyn Brown opposed it, and now represents Labour as its Shadow Home Secretary.
It seems hard to believe that one day before the UK's General Election, Jeremy Corbyn replaced his Shadow Home Secretary with a woman who voted against triggering Article 50 just a few months before.
Brexit is clearly not safe in Labour's hands.
Your comments are welcome and they will appear below.
[ Sources: UK Parliament TV | Hansard official record ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.15am, 08 June 2017
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 DEAR JEREMY/THERESA..... LOVE, JEAN-CLAUDE
Exclusive - Facts4EU.Org has obtained draft Juncker letters to Corbyn or May,
ready for either election result
VERSION 1 - IF JEREMY WINS
Dear Jeremy,
In a warm spirit of unity and solidarity I congratulate you on your success in the General Election yesterday. This is a victory for anti-populist forces everywhere in Europe. It’s true you didn’t win an absolute majority but we can spin that, don’t worry.
Now to some brief words on the plan for the ‘Brexit’ negotiations.
Money
We would like to get this out of the way quickly so perhaps your Chancellor John McDonnell could sign an IOU in the sum of €100 billion euros and send it to our bankers Goldman Sachs. We suggest you refer to this as ‘union dues’ and tell the British public that it will be paid for out of the windfall from the 100% exit tax you’re going to charge on the wealth of people and businesses that attempt to leave the country now that you’ve been elected.
Single Market and Customs Union
With the money thing out of the way, you will have your wish to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union. As your new Chancellor said in the last year: “We do not want to lose the benefits that membership of the European Union has brought. The damage that would be done to our economy by pulling out of the Single Market at this time could be substantial."
EU Law and the European Court of Justice
In my experience not many voters in the Member States understand that EU law is superior to national law and takes precedence. Obviously you must remain under EU law with your new Brexit status but I have a simple solution for you to be able to sell this to the British people.
Deny categorically that under your negotiated Brexit the UK will be still be subject to the ECJ. Tell them you’ve negotiated a special arrangement called the CJEU which is much better. (We renamed the ECJ as CJEU or ‘the Court of Justice of the European Union’ a couple of years ago, but no-one in the UK is aware of that I think.)
Freedom of Movement
I am sure you and your colleagues will be relieved that soon they will not have to pretend any more. As your new Home Secretary Ms Abbott said as recently as March, “It is important to remember that Freedom of Movement is a workers’ right.” Ja, naturlich this is correkt, and our millions of unemployed here on the continent would love to continue exercising that right by going to the UK in increasing numbers.
As you have already stated, the UK needs our Lithuanian fruitpickers, Latvian shelf-stackers, and Bulgarian assembly-line packers or your economy will fall off its Islington bar stool. As soon as you announce your new £20 per hour living wage, you can say that British workers' wages will no longer be undercut by cheap EU labour, because it certainly won’t be cheap.
Immigration
We’re encouraged by your solidarity in wanting to help house migrants. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and now the Czech Republic have all said no to the Relocation Plan so I propose that you take their share, as well as helping out Angela by taking some of Germany’s too. We envisage a commitment of no more than 90,000 per year. Just tell people that they’re mostly unaccompanied Syrian minors. I believe you have a charity called ‘Shave the Children’? Maybe they could help in making the new arrivals look less conspicuous.
United Ireland
As you know, you and I share a commitment to a united Ireland. As the UK will remain in the Single Market and Customs Union, this will be much easier to achieve. For our part, we will start to ‘forget’ to ink in the border between the North and the South whenever we produce maps. Your suggestion that we create 'Special Category' seats in the European Parliament for former members of the IRA may be more problematic, though.
Scotland
As we discussed on the phone, I think that nothing will make that Sturgeon woman happy. She’ll always find something to whinge about to ensure she’s on TV all the time.
However I realise that as a minority government you need the SNP’s votes in Parliament in order to pass any legislation. When you let her have her next independence referendum please let me know and we can announce one of our 10-year Commissions to look into the terms on which Scotland could join the EU. That might shut her up for a while.
Defence and security
I suggest that you ask your new ‘Peaceful Coexistence Through Talking’ Minister to liaise with our Foreign and Defence Minister Ms Mogherini. She has indicated that she’s happy to base your Trident submarines in the ports of Hamburg and Cherbourg, thereby pacifying your friends in the Stop the War Coalition. Oh and Monsieur Macron has said that when the time comes it’s fine for Marseille to be the home port for your two new aircraft carriers.
Finally
Once again mon ami, I congratulate you on defeating the forces of populism and fake news. I’m sure that together we can achieve your "Workers’ Brexit" in such a way that you’ll deliver on the EU Referendum result without anyone spotting the difference!
Yours in unity and solidarity,
Jean-Claude
VERSION 2 - IF THERESA WINS
Dear Theresa,
Congratulations on managing to hold on to power my dear. I feel sure that we will work together as we always have done.
Yours sincerely,
Jean-Claude Juncker
ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE
It is our firm conclusion that Brexit is not safe in Labour's hands. We would however just put in a word for Labour's Kate Hoey in the Vauxhall constituency, who bravely and vociferously campaigned for Brexit. Her colleague Frank Field also made useful interventions during the campaign last year.
Clearly a vote for the LibDems or the SNP is not a possibility for anyone in favour of Brexit, and the minor parties of the Greens and Plaid Cymru are not an option either.
Of the two parties who aim to deliver Brexit in the way in which it's understood by the majority of people, only the Conservative party can realistically form a government and give the country what it voted for. We do however understand the feelings of UKIP members, who face a difficult decision in some constituencies.
As ever, we welcome your thoughts on the above. Post them here and they will appear below.
[ Some British humour from Facts4EU.Org ]        06.20am, 07 June 2017
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Tim Farron, LibDems
 
Please help us to wipe the smile off his face
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 INTELLIGENCE MATTERS
A successful Brexit depends on more than a little brain power
There is currently a great deal of discussion about intelligence, in relation to the security threat posed by Islamist extremism and its acts of terrorism.
There is no doubt that Britain’s MI5 – which Mr Corbyn’s right-hand man and wannabe Chancellor John McDonnell wanted to abolish in 2015 – has saved countless lives by uncovering 18 Islamic terrorist plots in the last three years.
Labour’s John McDonnell, only 2 years ago, holding a letter bearing his name, which lists demands including:
“Crack down on police and state racism”
“Slash military spending: scrap Trident”
“Abolish the Monarchy”
“Disband MI5 and special police squads
Disarm the police”
 
WHAT ABOUT BREXIT?
There is, however, another intelligence debate which should be taking place prior to the General Election in two days’ time. This intelligence matter relates very importantly to Brexit.
Some readers may recall that this election was called by Mrs May because of the need for a strong hand in the negotiations with the EU. It was supposed to be “the Brexit election”.
BREXIT NEEDS BRAINS
Intelligence in and of itself is no guide to a rational decision about the benefits of the UK leaving the EU. However when it comes to negotiating a successful outcome for Brexit, it is essential to have Britain’s brightest minds on the job. Many people would agree that the process of disentangling from the EU is the most complex task facing any government since WWII.
This is the reason why Facts4EU.Org campaigned for the likes of John Redwood, Owen Paterson, Steve Baker, Jacob Rees Mogg, Theresa Villiers and other Brexit-supporting MPs to be promoted to government positions, when Mrs May was choosing her new cabinet last year. These people are highly knowledgeable and intelligent – qualities needed when dealing with the mess of EU membership and the UK’s extraction from it.
WHAT IS LABOUR OFFERING THE BRITISH VOTER?
TWEEDLEDUM

Shadow Foreign Secretary
  TWEEDLEDUMBER

Shadow Home Secretary
In common with many Labour MPs, these two key members of Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet haven’t got the first idea about so many essential elements of the EU. Not only do they lack basic knowledge, they haven’t got the requisite ability to master the detail even if they cared to. We write this based on watching them in numerous interviews, speeches, debates, etc on the question of Brexit during the past couple of years.
Yesterday evening some of us watched Diane Abbott’s car-crash interview with Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News. We had been looking forward to it as soon as it was trailed, as it was likely to be a humourous moment in all the depressing news of the terrorist attacks in the last two weeks.
When Ms Abbott appeared, she didn’t disappoint. The topic wasn’t Brexit of course, it was terrorism, but the interview surely told voters that this woman isn’t fit to hold a high office like Home Secretary.
Screengrab from © Sky News 2017
Remember, if Diane Abbott became Home Secretary after the election she would be expected to have a major involvement in some key areas of the Brexit negotiations, including the rights of citizens, control of borders, free movement of people, and security cooperation with the EU following Brexit.
Never mind the world of Alice in Wonderland, the idea that Ms Abbott could be anything other than embarrassingly ignorant in her role is more like cloud cuckoo land.
As ever, we welcome your thoughts on the above. Post them here and they will appear below.
[ Sources: Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory | Sky News ]
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       06.15am, 06 June 2017
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Name: Carole, UK      Date/Time: 06 June, 09.45am
Message: When I gave my vote to leave the EU, I did so in the knowledge that there was a Tory government in place. I will never understand why Theresa May found it necessary to put Brexit at stake by risking an inept Labour team taking over the negotiations.
 EU IMMIGRATION UPDATE
5.5 million immigrants born outside the EU entered in the 3 years to 2015
Official EU Eurostat figures for the latest years available show how immigration into the EU has been running at higher levels than most people think.
When the media reports on immigration, it chooses its information carefully. Most headlines this year have been about how illegal immigration has fallen since the peaks of last year. Most stories about 2015 – the year of Angela Merkel’s ‘all welcome here’ announcement – talk about ‘up to a million refugees’ entering the EU that year.
We decided to look in detail at Eurostat’s figures and below is a more interesting picture. The graph shows immigrants into the EU member states who weren’t born in any of the 28 states or in any of the candidate countries for membership.
In other words, it eliminates immigration between EU countries, eg a Romanian emigrating to the UK or an Italian emigrating to Germany. It also eliminates those from candidate countries into the EU, so Turks, Albanians, Macedonians, Montenegrins, and Serbians are excluded from the data. Incidentally, we did not choose to exclude them – Eurostat did.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The graph only shows the three years to 2015, because (rather strangely) Eurostat does not show the information for last year.
We thought readers might find it interesting to know the above facts. In the next article we provide further information – this time the latest facts for 2017 on the growing immigration problem facing Italy.
As ever, we welcome your thoughts on the above. Post them here and they will appear below.
[ Sources: Official Eurostat data ]
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       07.15am, 05 June 2017
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 ITALY’S GROWING ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION PROBLEMS
MAY 2017 UPDATE – NUMBERS ALMOST DOUBLE
According to figures we have accessed from the Ministero dell'Interno (Italian Ministry of the Interior), illegal immigration into Italy this year continues to soar.
The official data below is the latest up-to-date information as of five days ago, at the end of May.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
WHO IS COMING IN?
Illegal immigration into the EU via Italy continues to be from under-developed countries – mostly from Africa. See graph below.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
WHY IS THE SOURCE OF ILLEGAL MIGRANTS SIGNIFICANT?
Back in 2015, the peoples of the EU member states were being told that the mass immigration was in fact needed because of falling birthrates in the EU. In addition the public was told that many of the migrants were well-qualified individuals. The BBC was full of stories about doctors and engineers coming from war-torn Syria.
The problem with the statistics in the last year is that they show the majority of illegal immigrants coming from countries with the lowest Human Development Index (HDI) rankings. A country’s HDI ranking is an indication of its standards of education, as well as economic and social factors.
We leave readers to assess whether any contribution that will be made to the EU’s economy by the overwhelming number of immigrants from very poor countries can possibly be positive for decades to come.
When we first started reporting on issues like these, our views and concerns were in the minority and would have been roundly criticised by most media commentators. The problem that these commentators now have is that even mainstream politicians across Europe are adopting increasingly strident stances against mass illegal immigration and are doing everything they can to reduce it before they get voted out of office.
Your thoughts on the above are welcome.
[ Sources: Official data from Italian Ministero dell'Interno ]
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       07.15am, 05 June 2017
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 LEAVE.EU BACKS CONSERVATIVES IN GENERAL ELECTION
Formerly UKIP-backing Leave.EU urges supporters to 'hold nose and vote Tory'
In an email to all supporters, the ‘unofficial leave campaign’ Leave.EU has given its backing to the Conservatives in the General Election on Thursday. Leave.EU was founded in 2015 by businessmen Arron Banks and Richard Tice to campaign for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
© Leave.EU
There is no doubt that Leave.EU played a major role in the result, despite Vote Leave’s CEO Matthew Elliott claiming the credit. During the campaign, Leave.EU had close relations with UKIP but has changed since the Referendum result.
Here is what Leave.EU told supporters on Friday:
“....we’re encouraging our supporters to put country before party at this election and back the Conservatives across the country – unless you live in one of the few seats where UKIP has the best chance of defeating a pro-EU incumbent. With polls showing the race tighter than ever, it's important for Brexiteers to vote smart next week.
“The Tories are far from perfect – they’ve massively increased the national debt, failed to control immigration despite repeated pledges, and they’ve continued to support Britain’s corrupt foreign aid regime despite real need back at home. But the alternative scarcely bares thinking about. Jeremy Corbyn is evasive on the central issue of this election while Theresa May at least says that she’ll leave the single market and that she’s prepared to walk away from Brussels without a deal.
“Brexit is the defining issue at this election, so hold your nose and back the Tories on June 8. On June 9 we’ll get back to work holding their feet to the fire and making sure there are serious consequences for betrayal and backsliding.”
[ Sources: Leave.EU ]
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       4.10pm, 04 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Margaret P, S.W. England      Date/Time: 04 June, 4.34pm
Message: I for one shall be voting Conservative on Thursday although I have been a UKIP member for many years. I would not be able to bear it if Labour were to get in because I don't believe we would get Brexit under those circumstances. I understand other members may feel differently and of course I respect their opinion. Also I want to say that I agree with you that campaigning should not be interrupted by the terrible events in London yesterday evening.
Name: John Nolan, Cornwall      Date/Time: 04 June, 4.50pm
Message: I totally agree with tactical voting in this particular election and only because the outcome is just so important for the long term future of the British people. We need to ensure that we take no chances regarding a successful Brexit and I and my entire family of 7 (UKIP) voters, will be voting Conservative on 8th June. I implore every other like-minded UKIP supporter to do the same.
EVIL TERRORIST ACT SUSPENDS DEMOCRACY AGAIN
Like all readers, we are shocked at the evil terrorist act in London yesterday evening and our thoughts are with all those affected.
However we are very disappointed that politicians appear to be capitulating once again and it seems that national political campaigning will be suspended in the UK today.
Destroying democracy is one of the terrorists' aims.
They should not be allowed to interfere with the normal democratic life of the country.
       Facts4EU.Org, 07.30 Sunday, 04 June 2017
 GERMAN DOMINATION AND
JEREMY ‘PLEASE DON’T SHOOT’ CORBYN
Why the UK needs a tough leader who won't roll over
Last week the German Chancellor Angela Merkel met the Indian PM, Narendra Modi, on his 4-day visit to Europe. At the Indo-German Business Summit in Berlin on Tuesday, Angela Merkel advocated relaunching the free trade negotiations between the EU and India, which are currently frozen.
Screengrab from video, © Prime Minister's Office India
Trade is the exclusive competence of the EU Commission, which means that EU member states are not permitted to establish separate trade deals.
Since Brexit, the EU has gone much, much further than this when it comes to the UK. Last year EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the UK that it can’t even talk generally about trade with other countries until after it has left the EU.
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Sept 2016
“I don’t like the idea that member states, including those who are still a member state of the European Union, are negotiating free trade agreements.”
Such discussions were an “exclusive matter” for the European Union on behalf of its members and “we are sticking to it”, Juncker said.
 
FRAU MERKEL APPEARS TO THINK GERMANY IS ‘UBER ALLES’
On Tuesday, Angela Merkel rather gave the game away about who is really in charge in the EU. Speaking at a press conference with the Indian Prime Minister she said:
“It's important to us that we make progress on the German-Indian
- or rather EU-Indian - free trade agreement,"
Frau Merkel appeared to show no embarrassment at her gaff, presumably because she considered that she was only stating the obvious.
She went on to say: "We will do a major push in Brussels to ensure that these negotiations progress again."
Jean-Claude, you’ve been given your orders, and orders must be obeyed.
RELEVANCE TO BREXIT AND THE GENERAL ELECTION
Jeremy Corbyn seems to think that Britain’s best interests are always served by having a nice chat with those who would harm us – physically or economically – and that the other side will then see reason.
His view on Brexit talks is that the UK government is wholly at fault for any difficulties which lie ahead:
“So far, the rhetoric and threats from the Tory government has fostered a toxic climate.”
He is naïve in the extreme if he thinks that being nice to an ever-dominating German Chancellor is going to be in the best interests of the UK. A resolute British leader is required, and Mr Corbyn’s world view simply does not allow for the tough approach needed.
It is our considered view that any government led by Mr Corbyn would prove to be an unmitigated disaster for the prospects of a successful Brexit.
FUTURE RELATIONS WITH GERMANY
Note: The Facts4EU.Org Team counts many normal German people as friends. These Germans would be horrified at the suggestion that Germany’s government has been acting with an increasingly-disturbing level of arrogance in recent years.
On a personal level we see no reason that the British should not enjoy amicable relations with the German people following Brexit.
However on a political level we have watched as Frau Merkel’s government has exhibited growing tendencies which we find very uncomfortable. We very much hope that following Germany’s election later this year, a new atmosphere may develop.
[ Sources: Der Asien-Pazifik-Ausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft | Die Bundeskanzlerin Berlin | Indian Prime Minister's Office | EU Commission ]
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       07.00am, 04 June 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Donald, Ayrshire      Date/Time: 04 June, 4.21pm
Message: Completely agree with your comments about Corbyn. He's clueless about how the EU works and heaven help us if he's involved in any way with Brexit. Fingers crossed the public rejects him on Thursday.
Name: John Nolan, Cornwall      Date/Time: 04 June, 09.30am
Message: I seem to recall Herr Junker previously threatened that if the UK entered into any bilateral trade talks whilst still a member of the EU, then bearing in mind such activities being the sole preserve of "Mogherini", ECJ proceedings would be brought against the UK. Have we heard yet when Herr Junker and Mogherini are going to start proceedings against "Herr" Merkel?

Tim Farron, LibDems
 
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 EU AGRICULTURAL PROTECTIONISM
PROTECTS ITALIAN, FRENCH, AND SPANISH FARMERS
UK farmers left off the list in yesterday’s EU agreement with China
The EU-China Agreement yesterday highlights the way the EU has always favoured continental farmers over British ones.
Photo © EU Commission
As part of the EU-China summit which took place in Brussels over the last two days, an agreement was reached on the process for protecting certain listed agricultural products against imitations. The EU and China agreed an initial list of 100 products from each side.
EU PROTECTED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS MARKET IS WORTH €54 BILLION
The EU’s system for what it calls ‘geographical indication protections’ is of course complex, as would be expected from the EU, and it involves three different types of classification. Whilst it may sound boring, the EU Commission says that in value terms,
“the market for EU geographical indications is around €54.3 billion”
When it comes to China, this is an important subject. Yesterday the EU Commission stated that “The Chinese market for agri-food products is one of the world's largest, and is getting larger every year, fuelled by a growing middle class population that has a taste for European food and drink products.”
TYPICALLY MISLEADING EU ANNOUNCEMENT
We looked in detail at the initial list of 100 protected EU products. In fact, only 79 of them are the result of proposed new EU protections with China. The remaining 21 are the result of existing bilateral country agreements.
THE UK GETS ZERO FROM THE DEAL, DESPITE STILL BEING A FULL EU MEMBER
The UK is listed as having 4 protections in the new agreement with China, but all 4 are the result of existing bilateral agreements between the UK and China. They have nothing to do with the EU. The UK’s tally is therefore zero.
The chart below is based on the true picture, not the inflated EU figures which included pre-existing bilateral country deals.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
HOW DOES THE UK DO WHEN IT COMES TO ALL EU AGRI-PRODUCT PROTECTIONS?
We researched the EU’s full list of ‘geographical indication protections’ for agricultural food products (excluding drink products), to see how much British farmers are benefiting from our EU membership in this respect.
The EU claims over 3,300 products are protected in total, of which a large proportion are drinks. We found around 1500 food product designations.
The results for the UK’s farmers make for sorry reading, with just 81 products being specified – a tiny fraction of the protections afforded to the other 27 countries.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
This is yet another demonstration of how the UK has done so poorly out of its EU membership, despite the wild claims of Labour, LibDem, Green and other Europhile candidates in the upcoming election.
The second important point to make is that the UK continues to be a full member of the EU and is expected to continue making its vast contributions to the EU’s coffers. Despite this, time and again we are seeing how the EU is treating the UK as a second-class citizen and is failing to adhere to its obligations to the UK under the Treaties.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.50am, 03 June 2017
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Name: J Nolan, Cornwall      Date/Time: 03 June 2017, 08.01am
Message: This article is no surprise to me and perhaps to many others in this country. Especially when you consider that piracy and fake goods (with misrepresented product names eg, Scotch whiskey from Poland) are produced in many EU states with those states turning a blind eye and not enforcing the EU's only rules. The sooner we are out of the EU the better. In fact, in so far as piracy and fake goods etc, we have a better chance of getting the EU to enforce its own rules than we do as a member state.
 "LET’S BE CLEAR, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ‘NO DEAL’"
NO MR CORBYN, SOMETIMES WALKING AWAY IS THE ONLY ANSWER
EDITORIAL
With less than a week to go before the UK General Election, enough has now been said by the Labour leader and his colleagues to make it clear that voting Labour in the General Election would result in a deep and never-ending Brexit disaster.
If Mr Corbyn is not prepared to sound tough on Brexit and walk away if the EU becomes completely unreasonable, they will eat him for Brexit breakfast. We have therefore concluded that:
It’s time to walk away from Jeremy Corbyn and Labour over Brexit.
Yesterday Mr Corbyn made a major speech focusing on Brexit and the European Union. Very short on substance, he made some sweeping statements such as:
“So far, the rhetoric and threats from the Tory government has fostered a toxic climate.”
No, Mr Corbyn, it was the EU that started with unpleasant rhetoric about Brexit and they haven’t stopped since. Here is what the EU Commission President said on the day the Referendum result was declared:
“This will not be an amicable divorce” (Jean-Claude Juncker, 24 June 2016)
Since then, the UK has had to endure a stream of unpleasant and threatening statements by the EU. By contrast the UK government has been remarkably restrained. In fact we have argued many times on this site that the UK government should take a tougher stance if it wants to achieve the best possible result.
It’s possible that Mr Corbyn naively believes the EU when it says that:
‘The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation.’
EU Treaty, Article 8
Instead, Mr Corbyn should have been listening when EU leaders have repeatedly threatened the UK in a decidely non-friendly way. Here’s just one small example:
“There needs to be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price.”
President Hollande, 15 Sept 2016
When it comes to the EU, Jeremy, being ‘nice’ just won’t cut it.
Yesterday Mr Corbyn proclaimed:
“Let’s be clear, there is no such thing as no deal.”
“Theresa May says no deal is better than a bad deal. ‘No deal’ is in fact a bad deal.”
“A Labour Government under my leadership will set out a plan for Brexit based on the mutual interests of both Britain and the EU.”
The last comment in particular is telling. The UK needs a Prime Minister working for the interests of the British people, not for the mutual interests of the EU.
We do not claim to be experts on the EU or Brexit. And we do not expect Mr Corbyn and his top team to know everything either. But we do expect them to know something.
If the UK were on the point of negotiating Brexit with Nicaragua, or Venezuela, or the Occupied Territories, Labour’s shadow cabinet might be capable of holding discussions without looking foolish. Alas it’s the EU we’re talking about.
If Labour should form a minority or a majority government,
the EU will be laughing all the way to the European Central Bank.
[ Sources: Labour Press Office | EU Commission ]
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       07.35am, 02 June 2017
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Name: J Allen, Kent      Date/Time: 03 June 2017, 09.27am
Message: Corbyn is a poor negotiator, as he says 'no' to a 'no deal'; thus on the 8th June if the British electorate happen to get Labour and Corbyn into power, the EU will take advantage of the potential Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn's 'no to a no deal' and give us a terrible deal. I'll rather pinch my nose, vote Tory and get Brexit, than being stuck in some kind of 'semi-membership' of the EU.
Name: J Nolan, Cornwall      Date/Time: 02 June 2017, 10.37am
Message: The EU maintain that in negotiations they are united and there will be no bilateral state to state talks/negotiations. However, this is just a fallacy. The EU is indeed fractured and is not united. Especially when it comes down to a individual states best/financial interests. For example, the Visigrad group would agree unilateral backroom deals, if asked, as this would allow them to stick it to Germany and also get a head start on collaring markets from Germany and France. Also, Italy, Greece and Spain are in such dire financial positions, a little sweetener from UK would garner great rewards. Then of course there is the Nordic countries, they have more in common with the UK than either the Visigrad group, Southern EU and of course central EU states. When Junker or Tusk or Merkel maintain the EU is united(!) and the States of the EU will abide by a joint negotiation, what they are actually saying is: Germany and France and the Commission and EU Parliament are united and won't countenance individual states spoiling their little game. But the reality is the UK just has to give a little push and the whole lot will come crashing down.
 NO DEAL IS BETTER THAN A BAD DEAL
The Rt Hon John Redwood has been the MP for Wokingham since 1987 and is standing for re-election as the Conservative candidate in the General Election.
He was a county councillor, Chief Policy Advisor to Margaret Thatcher, MP, Minister, then Secretary of State. In opposition he has acted as Shadow Secretary in the Depts of Trade and Industry, Environment, Transport and the Regions, and Deregulation and therefore has a wide knowledge on many areas. For many years he has been a very well-informed Eurosceptic voice on the backbenches, and is the author of several books on politics, the economy, and the EU.
“No deal is better than a bad deal”
By John Redwood
“Those simple eight words mean the UK has a good negotiating position when it comes to sorting out our future relationship with the EU. Without them the UK would be in a very weak position.
 
“There are those in the EU who talk darkly of a punishment deal, seeking to make the UK pay for daring to leave. There are those who want to send us a large bill with no legal backing to it and expect the UK to pay. There are those who think it a clever idea to volunteer continental farm products up for high WTO tariffs in order to make a political point. That is why the UK has to make it clear we will not accept any such deal.
“None of this means the UK negotiators should walk out in a huff at the first available opportunity if the EU’s demands are silly. There is still a good prospect of reaching sensible conclusions. The UK intends to take back control of our borders, money and laws. It is happy to have extensive agreements on free trade, security sharing, academic collaborations, transport rights and the rest. We are leaving the EU’s legal structures, single currency and budget, not leaving Europe. It will require a combination of friendly patience, stressing the advantages of many collaborations, and unbending clarity that we are taking back control of our laws, our money and our borders.
“It is clear that many on the continent do wish to keep tariff free access to our lucrative market. It is obvious they like sharing security and Intelligence with us. The only way to get a good outcome for both sides is for the UK government to repeat that it makes no sense for us to take a bad deal. Nor would that in practice help them. It’s a pity the other main parties contesting the General Election do not recognise this simple truth. If they understood negotiating they would also say with Mrs May, ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’.”
OBSERVATIONS
You don't have to share all of John Redwood's political opinions to appreciate his considerable knowledge of Brexit matters. In the United Kingdom's bright Brexit future over the coming years, we are sure he could play an important role in government, with his optimistic yet pragmatic approach.
[ Sources: Reprinted by kind permission of the Rt Hon John Redwood ]
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       06.15am, 02 June 2017
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Name: J Nolan, Cornwall      Date/Time: 02 June 2017, 11.01am
Message: I cannot find any errors in Mr Redwood's arguments except as to say I would go further in the negotiations in that I would assume the mantle of sovereignty right now in the negotiations, and would make direct approaches to individual states now: sweeteners to those states in dire financial states such as Spain and Italy, and favourable trade to the Visigrad group of states. If this approach were taken, Germany, France, the Commission and EU Parliament would lose control of the negotiations and there would be created a free for all and a fracture of unity. Divide your enemies to gain victory. Have no illusions at all, this is war! Financial war.
 ‘JUNCKER YOUTH’ TO RECEIVE € 1/3rd BILLION EU FUNDING
~ BRAINWASHING OF EUROPE’S YOUTH ACCELERATES ~
The EU Commission has now proposed its Regulation for the creation of a legal body called the 'European Solidarity Corps' – an EU youth organisation, despite its vague name.
The Commission further announced a new budget for the start of this Corps.
  • Initial budget: €341.5 million until 2020
  • The UK must pay its share of this
  • The Corps is expected to be 100,000 strong by 2020
  • Membership is for 18-30 year olds from EU and surrounding countries
  • Members must sign up to its ‘mission of solidarity’
The Commission’s formal Regulation proposal starts as follows:
“Reasons for and objectives of the proposal”
“The European Union is built on solidarity, a shared value which is strongly felt throughout European society. Solidarity defines the European project and provides the necessary unity to cope with current and future crises by holding a strong moral ground. Solidarity provides a clear compass to guide the European youth in their aspirations for a better Union.”
The UK is expected to contribute to the EU’s proposed € 1/3rd billion fund for the ‘European Solidarity Corps’ for young people, from 2018-2020. The EU Commission proposes to create “a dedicated legal base” for the project, aimed at inculcating ‘European values of Solidarity’ in the youth of the EU28 and the surrounding countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, and Macedonia.
SOME 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”
“Solidarity is the glue that keeps our Union together...”
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
Contained in the latest EU documents is a list showing the types of projects that the European Solidarity Corps could support. Here are the first three items:-
Inclusion
This is a wide topic which covers such issues as working with people with disabilities or additional support needs, fighting discrimination and intolerance, working with minority groups such as Roma, and intercultural, inter-religious and intergenerational issues.
Reception and integration of refugees and migrants
Helping to provide a safe welcome for people newly arrived in Europe, and assisting in integrating them into their new communities across Europe.
Citizenship and democratic participation
Potentially working on human rights, justice and legal issues, and helping people to understand and better connect with democratic processes and decision makers.
OBSERVATIONS
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 first conference of the Corps last month: “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.
This new ‘European Solidarity Corps’ is clearly another attempt to indoctrinate the EU’s youth. Young Europeans already have numerous volunteering options, via national and international charities. In its own words, the Commission admits in the new documents that: “At EU level, the European Voluntary Service (EVS) has provided volunteering opportunities for young people for 20 years”.
If the EU wants to help young people, it should focus on the trade deals it has signally failed to put in place with the rest of the world, which might reduce the appalling level of youth unemployment across its member states.
We stand by what we wrote in our previous articles that 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.
The UK must say 'No'
The whole principle of this 'Juncker Youth' project was agreed by the EU Council at an EU Summit which the UK was not invited to attend last year. We strongly urge the UK government to reject the EU Commission's formal Regulation when it comes before the EU Council at the next Summit.
We welcome your comments on the above.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]
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       07.15am, 01 June 2017
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Name: John Nolan, UK      Date/Time: 01 June 2017, 07.56am
Message: This sounds to me like a resurgence of ... a new army of elite youngsters to be thrown into political battles by Herr Juncker.
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MEMBERS - Simon Jones, Wiltshire  |  Anonymous, UK  |  S Cooper, Surrey  |  N Brooker, London  |  M Wood, Ceredigion  |  R Parkin, England  |  Anonymous, UK
VALUED SUPPORTERS - Stuart C, Lancashire  |  P Bushell, West Midlands  |  D Joyce, Powys  |  William Crook, Lancashire  |  R Halton, UK  |  G Reakes, London  |  S Lerigo, Northampton  |  J Hatfield, South Ayrshire  |  F Carstairs, W Sussex  |  N Martinek, W Yorks  |  A Hammond, Lincs  |  Anonymous, Aberdeen  |  P Derbyshire, GB
To read all of May's output, simply click here.
We have also 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.
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