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SOUND-BITE FACTS   -   BREXIT NEWS  (Latest news appears first)
 EU COUNCIL PRESENTS EXTRAORDINARY DRAFT GUIDELINES
FOR BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS
We will analyse this fully in due course, but readers may wish to
read the document first.
In the meantime we will only say that these draft guidelines must be wholly unacceptable to the UK government and do not seem to form the basis on which negotiations can begin. We cannot understand why initial press reaction does not appear to have picked up on the totality of what is in the document.
       10.15am, 31 March 2017
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 IF UK ‘CRASHED OUT’ OF EU TODAY, WHAT WOULD WTO TARIFFS BE?
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO UK EXPORTERS’ PRICES?
Another exclusive Facts4EU.Org Research Team Analysis
What do Remainer MPs mean when they talk of
“Crashing out of the EU on World Trade Organisation terms”?
  • If we ‘crashed out’ today, UK exporters’ average prices would be 13% lower than 2 years ago1
  • Trade-weighted averages of EU’s WTO terms are far less than Remainers realise
  • And the fall in the pound over the last few years has made UK products cheaper
  • The fall in the pound would outweigh the EU’s tariffs
Remainer MPs are constantly talking about the apocalypse for Britain of having ‘no deal’ at the end of Brexit negotiations. And Mrs May says “no deal is better than a bad deal”.
So what is ‘crashing out of the EU on WTO terms’? Facts4EU.Org presents some facts
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Without a free trade deal with the EU, Britain’s trade with the EU27 will revert to World Trade Organisation ‘MFN’ terms. This means tariffs : the UK will put them on goods the EU27 sells to the UK, and the EU27 will put them on goods the UK sells to the EU27.
CURRENT AVERAGE TRADE-WEIGHTED TARIFFS FROM THE EU, BASED ON WTO TERMS
  • Non-agricultural goods : 2.3%
  • Agricultural goods : 8.5%
(Source: WTO World Tariff Profiles 2016)
These are the trade-weighted averages cited by the WTO in respect of the EU, according to its 2016 data. Obviously 0% tariffs in both directions is preferable, but the above average tariffs are hardly apocalyptic.
A SIMPLE EXAMPLE
Q: What’s the effect on the average cost of a ‘£100 widget’ which a UK business sells to the EU27, if we ‘crash out’ of the EU today, compared to a couple of years ago?
A: It’s 13.2% cheaper than it was in 2015.
In March 2015 a £100 UK ‘widget’ would have cost an EU27 country €138.24 euros, with no tariffs.
If we ‘crashed out’ today, the same widget would cost an EU27 country only €120.01 euros, including the WTO tariff. So UK exporters of this average ‘widget’ would be more competitive than in 2015.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
And it's similar story for agricultural produce, although the WTO average tariff on the EU's profile is higher.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The reasons are two-fold:
  1. The fall in the value of the pound over the last few years, and
  2. The EU’s WTO tariffs have been steadily falling for the last 40 years
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
(1) Now, it’s important to stress that the above is only a simplistic explanation. Naturally there are thousands of different types of products and they all have different individual tariffs – some are higher, some are lower. And the whole area of WTO rules, schedules, and agreements is tremendously complicated. A detailed study would also look at the effect of higher import prices on any components of our imaginary average 'widget', which had to imported from the EU, although these might be offset by the UK being able to buy cheaper products from elsewhere in the world, thanks to no longer being part of the Customs Union.
In any event, WTO official data shows that with the average tariffs applicable to the EU, the UK is hardly likely to suffer in the way Remainer MPs are suggesting.
In fact we have shown that the average ‘widget’ sold by a UK exporter to the EU will be cheaper than it was in 2015, even with WTO tariffs.
Tomorrow we will look at further aspects of the 'crashing out on WTO terms', claimed by Remainers.
[ Sources: WTO World Tariff Profiles 2016 | Bank of England monthly average spot rates £/€ ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.15am, 31 March 2017
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MOMENTOUS DAY IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED KINGDOM 
Article 50 triggered and the clock is ticking down to midnight 29th March 2019
(Or maybe sooner?)
© EU Council / Twitter 2017
23rd June 2016... 29th March 2017... 29th March 2019. Three significant days in the annals of British history.
The UK’s notification of its intention to leave the EU was delivered to EU Council President Tusk in Brussels yesterday. Below we have collated a summary of some of the events and reactions.
[ Sources: No.10 | EU Council | EU Commission | EU Parliament ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.45am, 30 March 2017
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BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS WON’T START UNTIL MAY – OFFICIAL 
The EU Commission’s timetable shows negotiations will be delayed by the EU
© EU Commission 2017
The EU uses up valuable negotiating time in its internal procedures.
Yesterday the EU Commission produced a ‘Q&A’ document on Article 50. Amongst other things it laid out the time table for the negotiations.
From the EU Commission, 29th March 2017
“Step 1"
"An extraordinary European Council will be convened by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. This will happen on 29 April.
The European Council will adopt by consensus a set of guidelines on the orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. These guidelines will define the overall principles that the EU will pursue during the negotiations based on the common interest of the European Union and of its Member States."
"Step 2"
"After the adoption of the guidelines, the Commission will very quickly present to the Council a recommendation to open the negotiations. This will be agreed by the College of Commissioners, 4 days after the meeting of the European Council."
"Step 3"
"The Council will then need to authorise the start of the negotiations by adopting a set of negotiating directives. They must be adopted by strong qualified majority (72% of the 27 Member States, i.e. 20 Member States representing 65% of the population of the EU27).
Once these directives are adopted, the Union negotiator, as designated by the Council, is mandated to begin negotiations with the withdrawing Member State.”
All of the above could have taken place before now. This delay in starting negotiations is typical of how the EU operates and it effectively shortens the negotiation time by 5-8 weeks, depending on the date of the second EU Council meeting to adopt the EU Commission’s directives.
The EU's graphic shows actual negotiating time of 18 months, but we calculate this as 17 months because of the delays by the EU internal processes.
Regular readers will know that Facts4EU.Org predicted this delay in starting negotiations.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        08.30am, 30 March 2017
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EU: NEGOTIATIONS WILL COVER EXIT ONLY, NOT TRADE 
The EU will not discuss trade before an exit deal is agreed
Here is what the EU’s Parliament said in a statement yesterday:
EU Parliament’s “Two Agreements”
“The EU and the UK have two years to negotiate a withdrawal agreement setting out the arrangements for how the country will leave the Union, while “taking account of the framework of the future relationship with the Union”. The arrangements setting out the framework for future relations will be part of a separate agreement, which could take considerably longer to negotiate.”
Angela Merkel:
The German Chancellor also weighed in yesterday, telling the German parliament: “The negotiations must first clarify how we will disentangle our interlinked relationship. Only when this question is dealt with can we – hopefully soon after – begin talking about our future relationship.”
In other words, the EU Parliament and the EU’s most powerful leader consider the 2-year negotiation period to involve only exit arrangements, not the future trading arrangements between the EU and the UK.
In sharp contrast, the British government’s position is that trade arrangements are part and parcel of any overall deal. Here is just one excerpt from Mrs May’s Article 50 letter yesterday, where it is stipulated four times:
The UK’s “One agreement”:
“We believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the EU”
It remains to be seen how this will play out in the next few weeks. As it stands, it’s hard to see how negotiations can even begin, let alone reach their conclusion.
And if Mrs May were to concede this point, there is absolutely no chance whatsoever that a trade deal will be concluded even in outline terms before the end of Article 50's 2-year period.
[ Sources: EU Parliament | German Parliament | No.10 ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        09.00am, 30 March 2017
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BBC’S LAURA 'DOOM-N-GLOOMSBERG' DEPRESSES FOR BRITAIN 
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg upholds Corporation’s great Remainer tradition
On a critical day in the history of the United Kingdom, the nation’s public broadcaster was once again determined to uphold its Remain credentials.
With polls showing around two-thirds of voters now believing that the UK should get on with Brexit, and many in celebratory mood last night, how did the BBC’s political editor Laura Doom-‘n’-Gloomsberg mark yesterday’s momentous occasion?
Here are the opening and closing sections of her main article:
“Is she fooling herself? Or does Theresa May have reserves of political magic as yet unseen? On paper her position looks as unpalatable as any prime minister's in modern times.
“A negotiation against 27 other countries, some of whom want to make the UK pay. A deal of mind-bending complexity beckons. A wafer thin majority in Parliament. The Scottish government intent on pushing for a vote to break up the other union.
“All this, knowing that one false move could wreak havoc on the economy or unleash demons inside her own party.”

By Policy Exchange - Flickr: Laura Kuenssberg, cc by 2.0 Wiki
And she concluded thus:
“But just as determination can go a long way to achieving any goal, politicians can be resolute and also wrong.
There are no guarantees that the prime minister's aims are the right ones for the country. Still less certainty that they can be achieved.”
[ Sources: BBC website ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       09.40am, 30 March 2017
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CONCEIVED JUST OVER 9 MONTHS AGO, TODAY THE UK
FINALLY PRODUCES A BOUNCING, HEALTHY BABY CALLED ‘BREXIT’ 
© No.10 / Twitter 2017
“Dear Donald,”
Last night the PM signed a letter addressed to Donald Tusk, the President of the EU Council, giving formal notice of the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
Now the fun really starts...
[ Sources: 10 Downing Street | Twitter ]           06.15am, 29 March 2017
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MATTERS TO BEAR IN MIND AFTER TODAY 
Some thoughts on what to expect
All progress on informal talks has been barred by the EU27
It was the EU which decided on ‘no negotiation without notification’. This has meant that no discussions could take place between the UK and the EU – not even friendly and informal chats.
This new rule by the EU is not contained within any EU Treaty or regulation and has no basis in EU law.
The result is that the process now starting will achieve far less than it would have, had preliminary discussions been possible. This is solely down to the EU’s unhelpful attitude.
Of the 24 months available in the Article 50 period, the first month will be taken up by the EU27 talking amongst themselves to agree a negotiating position.
EU and UK citizens’ rights deal blocked by EU27
The British government asked the EU27 to guarantee reciprocal rights for UK citizens living in EU27 countries and EU27 citizens living in the UK. The EU27 refused to do this and it is thought that the opposition to this came mostly from Chancellor Merkel.
The EU is now pretending that this is a priority, as if it had wanted to do this before now. The British government needs to keep stressing to the publics of the EU27 countries that it was the EU which has held this up, not the UK.
How emotion and vested political interests will affect the EU’s thinking
“It’s not an amicable divorce”
EU Commission President Juncker, 25 June 2016
“There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price.”
French President Francois Hollande, Oct 06, 2016
The tone which has been used in private (and in some cases in public) by EU politicians and bureaucrats about Brexit has been generally hostile and negative.
Why the coming weeks will not be easy
For the EU, Brexit is a disaster on many levels. It has threatened the whole group-think that the EU is glorious, invincible, and impossible to leave. It has given hope to Eurosceptics across the continent. And it will be very expensive for the EU27 – the richer members in particular.
To make matters worse, the apocalyptic threats of immediate consequences for the UK’s economy following a Leave vote have proved to be unfounded. The Emperor is in danger of appearing naked before the people.
Critically, any Brexit deal must have the approval of the ‘European’ Parliament. Be in no doubt about this. The EP is full of hundreds of mediocre people paid more than our Prime Minister, whose words and opinions would shock the British people if they were regularly broadcast on the BBC. This is the gravy-train in action and it will use every means to defend itself.
Specifically the EP will announce its own ‘redlines’ within the next two weeks, following a meeting on 11 April, prior to the EU Council meeting on the 29th. Whatever the British people might have heard from the EU to date, this will be nothing compared to the EP’s new announcements.
Will wise heads prevail over the hotheads? Will the EU politicians and bureaucrats see the good sense of calmly negotiating a logical and sensible deal on Brexit, in the economic interests of the citizens whom they are supposed to represent?
We strongly doubt it.
Those of you with high blood pressure may need to moderate your viewing and reading habits in the coming weeks.
[ Sources: ARD German TV | Elysee Palace | EU Parliament ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        06.15am, 29 March 2017
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THE UK HAS SUBSIDISED THE EU
BY £115 BILLION IN JUST 20 YEARS 
AND THE EU WANTS MORE?
A major study by the Facts4EU.Org Research Team
Painstaking analysis of HM Treasury documents and tables shows how much the UK has subsidised the rest of the EU in the last 20 years.
The figures from the Treasury show that in fact the EU has received £115 billion at today’s prices from the UK Government, in the 20 years since 1998.
Note: This does NOT include all the extra money which the EU has received in the 23 years prior to this, going back to 1973.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
This is the NET contribution, after deduction of the UK’s ‘rebate’ and after deduction of monies which the government has received back from the EU. See below for more explanation on this.
WHO IS GIVING WHO A BILL?
In the coming days and weeks it will become clear what the EU is demanding from the UK as a parting gift. In broad terms, the figure of £50 billion is being widely used as the estimate of what the EU will demand, before it will discuss a future trading arrangement between the UK and the EU27.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
HOW THE UK HAS BANKROLLED THE EU OVER THE LAST 44 YEARS
During the UK’s membership of the EEC/EU, the only year when the UK received more than it put in was in 1973 – the first year of the UK’s membership. Since then, in 43 out of 44 years the UK has been a net contributor to the rest of the EU.
Putting aside all the legal niceties and arguments about detail, just stop and think for a moment about the absurdity of the EU.
After 43 years of being heavily and generously subsidised by the UK,
the UK has decided to stop giving.
And the EU wants to present a bill for this.
WHAT DOES BEING A ‘NET CONTRIBUTOR’ MEAN?
In essence, the EU has been a re-distributor of Britain’s wealth for over 40 years. It has done this by its funding formulas, which meant that richer countries like the UK have paid in far more than they have received back.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MONEY THE EU GIVES TO THE UK?
Let’s be clear. There is no ‘EU money’ which the UK has received. In practical terms any ‘EU funding’ which the EU claims to be making in the UK is in fact money which the UK has paid to the EU first. And it’s the EU Commission which has decided how to spend this money, not a government which has been elected by the British people to make these decisions on its behalf.
Overall, the UK has been the net loser from this arrangement for over 40 years.
Statistical Notes
The graph above uses what HM Treasury shows as Britain’s NET contribution to the EU and it’s calculated at today’s prices.
Calculating this took many days of work, as there are many official figures for the UK’s net contribution to the EU – all of them a little different. Not only that, but the figures have been revised many times, depending on which set of data you’re looking at. It is highly problematic comparing figures from documents over the years, as the basis of comparison changes.
We have shown what we believe to be a very reasonable comparison of historic data, and we then converted this into today’s prices using the Treasury’s own ‘deflators’, which are used by the Office of National Statistics and the Office for Budget Responsibility.
We believe the true figure to be higher than that shown.
[ Sources: HM Treasury | ONS | HMRC | EU Commission ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        10.30am, 28 March 2017
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DO YOU USE TWITTER? 
Our username on Twitter is @Facts4euOrg
You can really help us by tweeting about articles you read on our site. The more people who read our work, the better!
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In the past we simply haven't had time to use Twitter. However we will try to update it regularly in future, in order to attract even more readers and (hopefully!) more subscribers.
       11.45am, 27 March 2017
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THE 'UNITE FOR EUROPE' MARCH 
On Saturday several thousand protestors marched against Brexit in central London
The organisers were a group calling itself ‘Unite For Europe’. The group’s website said that 21,000 marchers had signed up for the event. Despite the relatively low numbers, the usual suspects made the usual speeches, including Tim Farron, Nick Clegg and Alistair Campbell.
© UFE / Twitter
Unite for Europe claims to be an umbrella organisation for anti-Brexit campaign groups and has a committee of 3 people. They raised £76,571 through crowdfunding for the march – an amount that Facts4EU.Org can only dream of.
Of Unite For Europe’s committee of 3 people, one is a foreign national studying in the UK and one is living and working in Germany.
The slogan for the march was changed in the last week from ‘Stop Brexit’ to ‘Make Your Voice Heard’, presumably because the organisers realised that the idea of stopping Brexit has increasingly less appeal across the country.
You probably saw coverage of this march on the TV at the weekend. You may have noticed the highly emotive and simplistic placards carried by some of the marchers.
Interestingly the Unite For Europe website and Twitter feed are no different. They contain absolutely nothing of substance to add to the debate over the UK's exit from the EU.
At Facts4EU.Org we spend huge amounts of time delving into details and researching facts from official sources, to help people understand the issues. Our funding is very small and not enough to keep us going. Unite For Europe hold a march where the best you can hope for are platitudes and appeals to emotion, and yet they can instantly raise £75,000 for this.
It's a funny old world.
[ Sources: UFE website and Twitter ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.00am, 27 March 2017
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THE FUTURE OF THE EU, ACCORDING TO THE EU 
EU27 PUBLISH ‘ROME DECLARATION, AGENDA, AND FACTSHEETS'
Documents released yesterday to mark 60th anniversary fail to impress
A Facts4EU.Org Research Team Analysis – Rome 60th - PART ONE
In the grand surroundings of Roman palaces over the last 2 days, elected leaders from the EU27 countries and unelected EU ‘Presidents’ and other unelected EU bureaucrats gave speeches, signed solemn declarations, and attended formal dinners.
THE BLESSED EU
They were even given the Papal blessing by Pope Francis (of Argentina), who urged them to continue to fight ‘populism’.
Photo © EU Commission / Twitter
In the past weeks, the EU have had a tough job developing texts to which every member could sign up. A variety of countries objected to parts of the content but in the end compromises were reached at the twelfth hour and all EU27 leaders put their signatures to a declaration.
THE DOCUMENTS
Below we present links to all the documents from yesterday. Each one is fairly short – if you scan them quickly you will be able to assess whether our comments in the article below are reasonable or not. The documents comprise a Declaration, an Agenda, and Factsheets on various topics.
Now read our analysis of some of these documents, in the article below.
[ Sources: EU Commission Press Office ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        10.15am, 26 March 2017
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THE FUTURE OF THE EU, ACCORDING TO THE EU 
THE EU’S ROME DOCUMENTS
A strange set of priorities?
A Facts4EU.Org Research Team Analysis – Rome 60th - PART TWO
We do not intend to dissect these documents forensically because they contain little of substance. Instead we will simply pick out a few things which are indicative of the way in which the EU has clearly learnt nothing from the Brexit vote, nor from the growing tide of Euroscepticism evident across the continent.
1. THE EU’S AGENDA HAS STRANGE PRIORITIES
Faced with unrelenting and serious issues, what does the EU think it’s important to tackle first? Mass unemployment? Mass immigration from Africa and the Middle East? The Eurozone crisis? The Greek and Italian debt crisis? The now-daily terrorist attacks across the EU?
In April, the two items are: European Pillar of Social Rights, and an EU Commission ‘reflection paper on the social dimension of Europe’.
Interestingly, the ‘social dimension’ recurs on the Agenda in November, when there will be a ‘Social Summit’ in Gothenburg, Sweden. This may come as a surprise to the Swedish people.
What the Swedes think about this
In the IPSOS Mori poll we reported on yesterday, the top priority for the EU listed by the Swedes was ‘fighting crime and terrorism’.
Only 33% of Swedes agreed that the EU had been a success in the last 60 years. And only 21% thought the EU had given them a level of immigration they felt comfortable with.
2. THE EU COMMISSION RENAMES ITSELF
Knowing the growing unhappiness with the EU’s undemocratic structures, how does the EU Commission now refer to itself?
Extraordinarily, ‘the European Commission’ (which we refer to more accurately as ‘the EU Commission’) is now calling itself after its current President. In the Agenda document they write “The Juncker Commission will play its part” and go on to say: “President Juncker’s State of the Union Speech in September 2017 will take these ideas forward before first conclusions could be drawn at the December 2017 European Council. This will help to decide on a course of action to be rolled out in time for the European Parliament elections in June 2019.”
The unelected Commission is the only EU body with the right to propose legislation. The fact that it has no electoral mandate from the people is bad enough, but surely for it to referred to by the name of its current, unelected President will not reassure anyone that the EU has learnt any lessons at all?
Next read our analysis of the misrepresentations and lies contained in the EU's documents, in the article below.
[ Sources: EU Commission Press Office ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        10.15am, 26 March 2017
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THE FUTURE OF THE EU, ACCORDING TO THE EU 
DISTORTIONS AND LIES FROM ROME
The waffle was waffle. The ‘facts’ were either gross misrepresentations
or complete falsehoods.
A Facts4EU.Org Research Team Analysis – Rome 60th - PART THREE
EU PRETENDS IMMIGRATION IS 30 TIMES LESS THAN IT IS
Apparently ‘the facts’ have come to mean nothing for the EU.
In this article we show just some of the glaring misrepresentations and falsehoods contained in the ‘Rome Factsheets’ issued yesterday by the EU.
1. DISTORTING THE FACTS - ON UNEMPLOYMENT
In its ‘Social Europe’ factsheet the EU reiterates its commitment to tackling youth unemployment. Once again it uses the statistic that “9 million young people took up an offer of employment, education, traineeship or apprenticeship”.
It fails to state the 20.3% youth unemployment rate across the EU28, nor the worse problem in some member states where it is as high as 49%.
2. LYING ABOUT HUMANITARIAN AID
In its ‘EU on the Global Scene’ factsheet, the EU once again publishes its wholly misleading graphic which attempts to portray the EU as the ‘biggest donor of development and humanitarian aid’.
This is factually incorrect as we have shown before. The EU is NOT a country and can’t claim credit for individual decisions by its member states, which have nothing to do with the EU. The EU itself is only the 4th biggest donor of international aid, behind the US, the UK, and Germany. And that ‘EU money’ of course comes from member states’ taxpayers and is then spent by the EU. See the EU’s incorrect graphic and our correct graphic below.
EU WRONGLY CLAIMS TOP DONOR STATUS
This graphic is clearly trying to show that the EU is the biggest donor of foreign aid in the World.
Despite the document being about the EU27, the EU has included the UK in its figures whenever this presents a better picture for the EU, as in this case of foreign aid.
Graphic to the right comes from the EU27's 'Factsheet'
As ever, Facts4EU.Org went to the latest (Dec 2016) raw data from the OECD to bring you the truth. We’ve recreated the EU’s figures into graphs which enable a comparison between the facts, and EU fiction.
Here is the EU’s fantasy from the Rome 'Global EU Factsheet' And here is the reality
with the EU in 4th place
  
HOW THE EU DISTORTED THE TRUTH BEYOND RECOGNITION
  • The factsheet shows the EU as being both the institution AND all 28 member states individually
  • In effect, they show the EU as being one country
  • They also included UK aid in ‘EU’ despite the document being about the EU27, excluding the UK
  • They elevated their percentage by using a global total which excluded many donor countries
The EU’s graphic is therefore wrong on SO many levels
and should be corrected immediately.
NOTES:
In presenting the graphs, we accessed the raw data from the OECD – the same organisation that the EU cites as its source.
We used the OECD data from Dec 2016, net disbursements in dollars at current prices.
We adjusted the figure for the EU as an institution by taking out the element of its total which is attributable to the UK, using 12% as an accepted average. The actual total may be a little more or less but will not alter the reality.
3. LYING ABOUT IMMIGRATION
It is perfectly true that by throwing billions of Euros at Turkey, the overall numbers of migrants per day into the EU has fallen since last year. There is, however, an increasing possibility that Turkey will withdraw its support for this deal and in fact some agencies in the region are already saying that they see this happening already.
Whilst it’s true that overall numbers are currently down this year compared to last, the EU fail to mention the dramatic increase in migrants per day arriving via other routes than Turkey. For example, in February 2017 migrant numbers into Italy jumped by 134% compared to 2016. You can read more about this here.
The distortion of facts in the EU’s factsheet gets worse. Their graphic shows “a drop of 97%”, which is simply untrue, even by the official figures they publish regularly. They say “Daily average is now below 47”. Once again, this is simply untrue. The EU partners with the UN Migration Agency (known as IOM) and uses the information collated by it. Therefore so do we.
BELOW WE SHOW THE TRUE PICTURE ON EU IMMIGRATION:
This is what the EU show in their 'factsheet'
© EU Commission 2017
And this is the reality
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
It is clear to us that the EU have used data relating solely to one part of immigration into the EU (via Turkey) but this is a deliberate attempt to mislead the peoples of the EU member states. The information we have shown you above relates to all immigration - via Greece, Italy, Spain, and other countries.
In our opinion, any normal person looking at the EU's graphic would assume that immigration was down to only 47 people per day on average. The reality is that in the week to 24 March (last week) the true average was 1575 people per day and the majority of this was from Africa.
That's an extraordinary 33 times the EU's claim.
We realise that all governments put out misleading figures, but surely there are limits?
The EU may have had trouble finding any good news to put into its Rome factsheets, but that's no justification for lying outright to such a degree.
[ Sources: EU Commission Press Office | UN Migration Agency (IOM) | OECD ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        10.15am, 26 March 2017
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ROME TODAY: EU SAYS ‘HAPPY 60TH ANNIVERSARY’ TO ITSELF 
All the Great and the Good from the EU gather in Rome to mark 60 years since six of its members started an ‘European Economic Community’
This is not the 60th anniversary of the EU of course, as the original concept started with only economic arrangements for six countries to trade together. Nevertheless, the EU is using the occasion to celebrate 60 years of achievements.
HERE IS HOW THE EU ANNOUNCES THIS TODAY:
“On 25 March, EU leaders celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, which paved the way for a Union of peace, solidarity and democracy.
“The Treaties of Rome – signed by six founding Member States – paved the way for the European Union that we know today: a reunited continent of peace, founded on the values of solidarity, democracy and the rule of law. Its Single Market ensures freedom of choice and movement, economic growth and prosperity for 500 million citizens. It is the largest trading bloc in the world and the biggest donor of development and humanitarian aid.”
There is so much we disagree with in the above. Even if we just take the last statement, it is wholly incorrect to say that the EU is “the biggest donor of development and humanitarian aid”.
The top donor is the USA, followed by the UK and then Germany. You can read the details in our recent research report here.
Regardless of what the EU proclaims for itself, we will continue to focus on the facts about the EU, derived from detailed research into core data from official EU, UK, and member state sources.
Unfortunately for the EU, IPSOS Mori published the results of a poll yesterday.
Some of the findings
  • Only 33% of EU respondents think that the EU has been a success.
  • Only 13% think the EU has made Europe ‘much stronger’
  • Only 12% think the EU has made their own country ‘much stronger’
  • Less than 50% think the EU has improved democracy, human rights, and the rule of law
  • Only 38% think the EU has given them an improved standard of living
  • 76% do not think the EU has had a positive effect on immigration
In two articles below we look again at the host country for today’s festivites. 60 years ago Italy was one of the six founding members of the EEC – the forerunner to today’s EU.
  • Today the majority of its major political parties are anti-EU or generally Eurosceptic
  • Only 6% of Italians think their country is ‘much stronger’ as a result of 60 years of EU-ism
  • And their economy is still in serious trouble, nearly 10 years after the 2008 crash
Facts4EU.Org research – Facts on which to base considered opinions
[ Sources: EU Commission Press Office | IPSOS Mori 24 Mar 'The European Project: Celebrating 60 Years' ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.15am, 25 March 2017
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HOW THE HOST OF TODAY'S PARTY IS DOING 
ITALY’S ECONOMIC EXPERIENCE OF THE EU’S EUROZONE
Disastrous lack of growth, disastrous unemployment
Below we show you the relative economic performance of Italy – the third-largest economy in the Eurozone and the host of today's celebrations – in comparison with the UK.
Economic Growth in last 10 years (2007-2016)
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Non-Eurozone UK has outperformed Italy, growing 8 times faster than Italy in the last 10 years.
In practical terms, after several significant falls in the size of its economy, Italy has only just returned to where it was 10 years ago. Caught in the Euro, Italy has not had the opportunity for its currency to devalue and thereby rebuild its economy.
Italy's high levels of unemployment in last 10 years
     
Nb Italy has not yet reported its 2016 figures.            © Facts4EU.Org 2017
According to the EU’s official Eurostat data:
  • Italy’s unemployment rate is more than double that of the UK
  • Italy’s youth unemployment rate is more than 3 times that of the UK
  • 40% of its young people are unemployed
And according to the IPSOS Mori poll yesterday:
  • 66% of Italians think the EU is “off on the wrong track”
  • Only 25% think the EU has improved their standard of living in the last 60 years
  • Only 28% think the EU has made their country much or somewhat stronger in the last 60 years
  • Only 24% think the EU has had more successes than failures in the last 60 years
Italy is a wonderful country to visit and enjoy. Unfortunately its own citizens have not had a great time in the last 10 years, as the simple graphs above demonstrate.
It's little wonder that Italians have become increasingly anti-EU.
Facts4EU.Org research – Facts on which to base considered opinions
[ Sources: EU Eurostat data | IMF WEO database ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.15am, 25 March 2017
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ANDREW NEIL ON THE WESTMINSTER ATTACK 
© BBC This Week 2017
[ Sources: This Week / YouTube ]        07.15am, 25 March 2017
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"IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE"
(As the EU Commission would say.)
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JOHN REDWOOD MP WISHES THE EU WELL TODAY 
"Happy Birthday to the EU"
"I wish the EU well on its 60th birthday. The exit of the UK gives the EU a real chance to complete its currency union, and its borders union, two central features of the EU project that the UK under all parties in government was unwilling to accept. Freed of UK scepticism and reluctance, maybe the EU can now press on with building its vision of an integrated continent with a single economic policy, a single budget and more powerful Treasury at federal level, and common citizenship with external policed borders. Or maybe they will discover that the people of the other countries of Europe do not buy into that wider vision either.
"It should also be time for the EU to reflect on why the UK left, why many parties on the continent are now pressing for their countries to leave the currency or even the whole Union, and why there are persistent and intense problems including high unemployment, migrations, a lack of agreement on the next steps in the Union, and a lack of proper opposition to EU policies within an EU level democratic framework.
"Why, for example, has someone like me been such a critic of the EU? After all, I belong to many of the groups that are meant to be believers in the project. I am a globalist. I believe in an outward going foreign policy, freer trade where possible, democracy and tolerance, and the pursuit of peace. These are meant to be the values of the EU leaderships as well, so why didn’t they carry me with them?
"The answer is two fold. I watched their actions, and saw that so often they did not follow their own stated aims. I also saw that where they thought they were following their aims, they often chose policies which achieved the opposite of their stated ambition.
"The biggest disappointment was their wish to build a large one size fits all bureaucracy seeking to control every aspect of life. This was never compatible with the wider ideals of liberty and democracy. It made creating a single demos even more difficult than it was going to be. With so many different languages and levels of economic development it was never going to be easy to get people to believe in a new European state.
"They never followed the aim of building democracy into the EU properly. The Parliament was added, but it does not provide the government nor control the government. Too much power rests in the unelected and often unaccountable Commission. These full time officials can manipulate the member states and play them off against the Parliament. There is no organised opposition to the EU government suggesting an alternative programme or approach, or ready to take over when people have had enough a particular EU government. In practice all the new laws are usually Commission ideas brokered with fluctuating factions of member states and the Parliament. The whole development is a ratchet to greater Union, even where past steps have demonstrably failed or proved unpopular.
"They never followed the aim of promoting prosperity. Their currency scheme was bound to produce wild booms and busts in differing member states economies, as Ireland, Spain, Greece and others found to their cost. It was all entirely predictable – as I wrote often. After all we had seen the damage the European Exchange Rate Mechanism did. The Euro was just the version of that you could not easily get out of.
"Their austerity policies which followed the boom bust entry of the Euro into many economies has created resentments and confined a whole generation of southern young people to unemployment.
"They never worked out how to decide who could be a European citizen, and how to run orderly borders. Instead of the tolerance they wanted, they have created hostile attitudes to new arrivals in many parts of the continent.
"Their birthday party should be a meeting for reappraisal. Do less, and do it better. Or get consent to the grand vision. Above all, try being democratic for a change. I saw from the beginning that the EU would not be to our liking. I read the Treaty of Rome which was never a Treaty for a free trade area as advertised. It was always a country in the making, where ambition far outran practicality."
By the Rt Hon John Redwood MP, reprinted with the kind permission of the author
[ Sources: Rt Hon John Redwood MP, reprinted with permission ]           08.15am, 25 March 2017
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THE EU’S ‘VICTORY’ OVER POPULISM 
How hollow will it soon sound?
Two weeks ago EU leaders (Presidents Juncker, Tusk, Tajani) and leaders of many EU member states (Merkel and many others) were crowing over Geert Wilders’ failure to become the majority party in Holland. Wilders’ party ‘only’ rose to become the second-largest in the Dutch parliament.
Their triumphalism about this ‘victory over populism’ may prove to be shortlived. And their new headache could easily be the EU27’s third-largest economy – Italy.
Italy may have to hold an election this year. If that election took place tomorrow, the anti-EU parties are predicted to win.
Whither the EU if that happens? And whither a sensible Brexit deal?
Below we report on the rise of anti-EU sentiment in Italy
       07.15am, 24 March 2017
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BENVENUTI IN ITALIA EUROSCETTICO, PRESIDENTE JUNCKER 
EU Commission President heads to Rome for the EU’s 60th anniversary jamboree
President Juncker may want to enjoy his Roman holiday while he still can
Left: EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker
ANTI-EU PARTIES IN ITALY NOW DOMINATE
  • Italian Eurosceptic parties represent over 60% in the polls
  • 4 out of the 6 largest parties are Eurosceptic
  • Citizens’ rights will take months to guarantee
  • The most popular, the Five Star Movement, even wants a referendum on the Euro
The latest polls in Italy show the rise of Euroscepticism very starkly. The anti-Euro party, the Five Star Movement now has a lead of 5.5% over the ruling PD coalition of Prime Minister Gentiloni. This is according to the latest IPSOS poll on Tuesday for Italy’s biggest newspaper, Corriere della Serra.
Our graph above shows Italy's Eurosceptic parties in red.
Today, the EU27’s leaders and all the various EU Presidents start to arrive in Rome for their 60th anniversary celebrations, which will take place today and tomorrow.
They do so against a backdrop of increasing Euroscepticism in the EU27’s third-largest economy.
WHY ITALY’S VIEWS AND DIFFICULTIES ARE RELEVANT TO BREXIT
With Article 50 about to be triggered, questions must be asked about the EU’s ability to do anything in an effective manner. Regardless of the advantages and disadvantages of the various ways the UK might exit, it seems highly improbable that the EU could ever work in a serious way to achieve a sensible arrangement, even if it wanted to.
Tomorrow we will publish yet another example of the EU’s apparent inability to deal with serious issues in a timely fashion. The particular issue involved may help to explain the rise in Italian Euroscepticism.
[ Sources: Corriere della Serra | IPSOS ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.15am, 24 March 2017
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EU CHIEF NEGOTIATOR GIVES UNACCEPTABLE FRAMEWORK TO UK 
In a major speech yesterday, Michel Barnier set out EU’s demands in general terms
Much of what he said is likely to be completely unacceptable to the UK
Exclusive analysis by the Facts4EU.Org Research Team
The headlines:
  • UK must agree to pay its share of EU’s future bills of £590 bn
  • No trade talks before exit agreement
  • Citizens’ rights will take months to guarantee
  • Future trade deal to include EU’s ‘social, fiscal, environmental and consumer protection standards’
  • Transitional deal likely, to include the UK ‘necessarily being governed by European law and the associated judicial system’
Speaking to the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels yesterday, the EU’s Chief Negotiator presented the EU’s position on the upcoming Brexit talks. His various statements make a deal between the UK and the EU virtually impossible to achieve.
With many of the key points being delivered in French, Facts4EU.Org brings you the key passages from his speech, translated into English.
Left: The EU's Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, speaking in Brussels yesterday. © ECoR 2017
1. Citizens’ rights – months to work out
“Guaranteeing their rights as European citizens, in the long term, will be our absolute priority from the very start of the negotiations. Our watchword will be: "Citizens first! It will take time, several months certainly.”
2. Money – UK to pay its share for EU’s commitments of €685 billion euros (£590 bn)
“What are we talking about?
  • Beneficiaries of the European Social Fund, which - with almost € 90 billion for all regions - helps those men and women who are least qualified and have the most difficulty in finding work.
  • Beneficiaries of the European Regional Development Fund: we are talking about almost € 200bn to support regions in economic difficulty and regions that are isolated.
  • Beneficiaries of the Juncker Investment Plan; Almost € 315bn of investments, thanks to which we are fighting climate change, for instance by wind farm financing in Belgium. The plan also supports advanced infrastructure in healthcare and energy in the UK.
  • Beneficiaries of the Horizon 2020 research program, which allows the EU to invest almost € 80bn in science and industrial innovation, which helps us face up to the big challenges of our time.”
“All these programs: We approved them together, at 28, with the United Kingdom. We finance them together, at 28. We benefit from them, at 28... Each country must honour its commitments to each other.”
© ECoR 2017
3. Border between N.I. and Republic of Ireland
“A third uncertainty created by the UK decision to leave concerning the new borders of the Union. I think particularly of Ireland…. That is why we will be particularly attentive, in these negotiations, to the consequences of the UK's decision to leave the Customs Union, and in any way that may, in one way or another, weaken dialogue and peace.”
4. No trade talks before exit agreement
“This implies putting things in order: first, finding an agreement on the principles of an orderly withdrawal from the United Kingdom, and then discussing, with confidence, our future relationship. The sooner we agree on the principles of an orderly withdrawal, the sooner we can prepare for this future relationship…. This new partnership, it is not too early to sketch the outlines today, even if it is too early to negotiate. At the center of this partnership is the free trade agreement that we will negotiate with the UK at the appropriate time.”
5. The Single Market – future trade will include EU’s social, tax, environmental agenda
“The United Kingdom opted to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union. It will be a third State in two years…. Nor will it be able to participate à la carte in the Single Market.”
“What is before us, therefore, is not the prospect of regulatory convergence, but the risk, the likelihood of regulatory divergence that could harm the Single Market. We will therefore be vigilant that this regulatory divergence does not turn into ‘regulatory dumping’.”
“And I remind you that this agreement will in any case have to be ratified by all the Member States and their national parliaments.”
“To prevent this, we must ensure a level playing field and enforce them effectively. Guaranteeing this level playing field - these common rules of the game - will be essential.”
“We agree with Theresa May when she calls for a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement. Yes to ambition! But this ambition will also apply to the social, fiscal, environmental and consumer protection standards which are rightly held to by European citizens.”
6. The way forward – including the UK continuing to be subject to EU law
“Once we have agreed on the outline of the new partnership, we will be able to identify the necessary transitional arrangements. This new partnership will take time, as we know, whether it's the free trade agreement or any other form of cooperation.
A number of transitional arrangements may be required. It's too early to say.
In any case, these possible arrangements would necessarily be governed by European law and the associated judicial system. Their duration would be strictly limited.”
OPINION
So, the UK will continue to pay for wind farms in Belgium. We can see that going down well in the Brexit heartlands of the UK.
Michel Barnier's speech to the influential EU Committee for the Regions yesterday set out a vision of the EU’s position which will have British negotiators feeling that they’re stuck in a recurring nightmare: a world where it’s apparent the EU have learnt nothing from the UK’s decision to leave, nor from the rising discontent amongst voters in so many EU27 countries.
Barnier crossed what we believe will be many red lines for British voters.
Knowing the EU mentality fairly well, we have consistently held the view that a sensible EU-UK deal was highly unlikely. Regrettably the contents of Monsieur Barnier's speech yesterday have only reinforced our pessimism.
Final point on the question of citizens’ rights: the British government needs to act fast in terms of getting the message out to the peoples of the EU27. We have already seen the EU pretending to its citizens that it is the UK that has prevented a reciprocal deal so far. Yesterday Monsieur Barnier spoke again as if it is the EU that want this more than the UK does.
[ Sources: EU Committee for the Regions Plenary Session ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        06.00am, 23 March 2017
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TRAGEDY AT WESTMINSTER
Like all of our readers we were shocked at the terrorist atrocity carried out at Westminster yesterday. Naturally our sympathies go to the family and friends of the innocent victims of the monster who was responsible.
MRS STURGEON, THE SNP, AND THE EU REFERENDUM 
The facts about the Scottish Remain vote, and for whom Nicola Sturgeon speaks
Let’s put the SNP into context for all our readers - particularly those in the EU27 countries - despite what they may have heard.
  • Mrs Sturgeon speaks for only 1.6m Scottish voters regarding the EU debate
  • Scottish Remain votes: 1,661,191
  • Scottish Leave votes: 1,018,322
  • In fact Scottish Remain voters were only 4.95% of total votes cast in UK
Scotland's Leave and Remain votes, in context of votes from the rest of the UK
Scotland's Remain voters in context of the overall UK vote
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Democracy means the majority wins. Stable and decent democracy means taking account of minority views. It doesn’t mean giving a wildly disproportionate voice to a small minority.
The UK voted to leave the EU, including 1 million Scots, and Scotland is part of the UK.
Facts4EU.Org – It’s always interesting to look at facts.
[ Sources: Official Electoral Commission Referendum Results ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        06.20am, 22 March 2017
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MP’S CONDEMNATION LETTER TO BBC ABOUT ANTI-BREXIT BIAS 
Readers will have read about the letter sent by MPs to the Director-General of the BBC. The author was Julian Knight MP, a Remain voter, and it was countersigned by 71 additional MPs.
This letter has been selectively quoted in the press. You may be interested to read it in full here.
© Julian Knight MP
We would like to add to the statement in the letter which says “BBC coverage shapes international perceptions of the UK: we fear that, by misrepresenting our country as either xenophobic or regretful of the Leave vote, the BBC will undermine our efforts to carve out a new, global role for the UK.”
On a daily basis we read and watch the news across the EU27 countries and around the world. Journalists in these countries still assume that the BBC is a reliable source of information, based on its reputation many years ago, and describe Brexit to their readers and listeners through this lens.
The result of this is that internationally many people believe:
  • The Referendum was only held because of ‘internal party-political reasons’
  • The British voters were systematically lied to by the Leave side
  • If they had known the truth they would never have voted to Leave
  • It was mainly about fears of immigration, stoked up by far-right populists
  • These populists disappeared the day after the vote
  • The British now regret the decision because economic Armageddon awaits
  • Scotland is a third of the UK (must be, based on BBC coverage) and it now wants to leave the UK
  • In many parts of the World people think that the EU is mostly just a trading bloc
We have stated before that, with some notable exceptions, the BBC’s editorial and journalistic standards now fall far below what should be expected of a taxpayer-funded national broadcaster with a global reputation built up over generations.
The really sad thing is that the BBC has become so institutionally-biased that most of its own management and staff can’t even see it.
[ Sources: Julian Knight MP ]        05.25am, 22 March 2017
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BREXIT, LIKE COMEDY, IS ALL ABOUT ............................. TIMING 
Isn’t it time for some honesty about what the EU is incapable of?
Reporting today on Mrs May’s announcement that the Article 50 letter will finally be sent on Wednesday next week, the BBC’s Europe Editor Katya Adler(1) wrote:
“As for the what-happens-next with Brexit, the rule in Brussels is: don't expect too much too fast. Ever. Most probably little of substance will be achieved before the autumn. The EU prefers to get the key elections coming up in big-hitters France and Germany out the way first.”
Ms Adler isn’t the only one trotting out this line about Brexit negotiations not starting until after the German elections in September. Sky News’ Europe Correspondent Mark Stone was doing the same thing yesterday.
Here are some key dates on the Brexit timeline so far:
23 Jun 2016 – UK votes for Brexit
27 July 2016 - EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is appointed by EU Commission President Juncker who says: "I am very glad that my friend Michel Barnier accepted this important and challenging task."
14 Sep 2016 – EU Commission sets up Brexit Task Force under Chief Negotiator Barnier. The Commission says: “The Article 50 Task Force will be in charge of preparing and conducting the negotiations with the UK, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the European Union. The Task Force will coordinate the Commission's work on all strategic, operational, legal and financial issues related to these negotiations. It will be able to draw on policy support from all Commission services.”
01 Oct 2016 – Barnier starts work. The Commission says: “The task of the Chief Negotiator in the coming months will be to prepare the ground internally for the work ahead.”
06 Dec 2016 – Barnier press conference. “At the end, the agreement must of course be approved by the Council and the European Parliament. All in all there will be less than 18 months to negotiate. Should the UK notify the Council by the end of March 2017, it is safe to say negotiation could start a few weeks later and an Article 50 agreement be reached by October 2018.”
20 Mar 2017 – Mrs May announces Article 50 will be triggered on 29 March.
So, by the date of Mrs May’s triggering of Article 50 next week, the EU’s Chief Negotiator and the might of the EU Commission’s Brexit Task Force will have been preparing for Brexit for 6 months.
The EU Council President has already said that a special EU27 meeting of the Council will need to be called, to agree the basis on which the EU will negotiate. It now looks likely that this will not take place until May.
WE HAVE SOME SERIOUS QUESTIONS TO ASK
Our broadcast media have consistently been spreading doom about the timescales set out by the EU, as shown by the example of the BBC’s Ms Adler above. What these journalists are failing to ask are the following questions:
  • It was the EU’s decision not even to start having informal discussions before the formal triggering of Article 50. Why?
  • Can the EU27 please point to anything in the Treaty which precluded these informal conversations taking place between the UK and the EU?
  • Why has the EU deliberately and unilaterally prevented these friendly chats, which could have paved the way for the broad parameters of a deal before formal negotiations start?
  • Why did the British government not shout about this, telling the people of the UK - AND the peoples of the EU27 countries – that this was hardly a constructive approach from the EU machine?
  • Why haven’t the EU27 already agreed their negotiating guidelines for Monsieur Barnier?
  • Why is there still no date in the EU’s diary for a meeting to even discuss this?
  • Why does it take 6 months for the EU – AFTER the negotiations have concluded – to ratify the deal?
  • What difference does it make if France and Germany are having elections this year? Why shouldn’t negotiations with the EU continue normally?
  • Has anyone asked in what fundamental ways the EU’s policy towards Brexit will change depending on who is elected? (The only major change would be if Marine Le Pen is elected in France, and that looks highly unlikely.)
  • Aren’t these elections simply being used as an advance excuse as to why the EU will get nothing done in a normal timeframe, as usual?
We suggest that the reasons these questions haven’t been asked is because the answers do not fit the pro-EU bias of broadcast journalists. The answers would point up the fundamentally dysfuntional nature of the EU.
Examples of EU’s timelines:
Trade deals with major world economies haven’t been agreed in 60 years, when countries like Australia and Singapore have managed them in under two years. Massive youth unemployment across southern Europe is still a disaster after many years of it being a top priority. The Euro is still a disaster waiting to happen, 18 years after it was launched. The EU still doesn’t have effective external borders, 32 years after internal border controls were abolished.
We welcome your thoughts on all the above, which we will publish below.
(1) Katya Adler, whose parents are German, is the BBC’s Europe Editor. She started her journalism career as a correspondent for ORF, the Austrian TV channel, and subsequently worked for Deutsche Welle (German equivalent of the World Service) whilst also working at the BBC.
[ Sources: EU Commission | BBC ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        06.50am, 21 March 2017
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THE REST OF THE NEWS IS BELOW, BUT FIRST...
A quick summary for journalists of some of our research reports from recent weeks
 
3-PART SPECIAL REPORT ON GERMANY :   GERMANY MADE €50 BILLION FROM THE UK LAST YEAR
SPECIAL REPORT ON LATEST EU ASYLUM DATA:   1.25 MILLION EU ASYLUM APPLICATIONS IN 2016
5-PART SPECIAL REPORT ON THE UK'S 'SINGLE MARKET' :   The EU27 countries have sold £3.3 TRILLION of goods into the UK since 1998
 
PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE SWEDISH BRA REPORT - 2-PART SPECIAL :   ANALYSIS OF SWEDISH IMMIGRATION AND CRIME
3-PART SPECIAL NATO REPORT :   EU and NATO: DEFENCE FACTS AND STATISTICS
7-PART SPECIAL BREXIT HATE CRIME REPORT: MYTH AND REALITY
4-PART SPECIAL REPORT :   GERMANY AND MASS IMMIGRATION
4-PART REPORT ON EU FUNDS :   THE £400 BILLION EU 'ESI' FUND
6-PART SPECIAL REPORT :   THE 4 FREEDOMS - MYTHS AND FACTS
 
"IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE"
(As the EU Commission would say.)
We're a small team, relying on voluntary donations, and we produce important and original work.
This work gets picked up by the national media and politicians.
Our articles each take many hours of research, writing, editing, coding and production.
We badly need your help to keep going.
Subscribe With a monthly donation
From £1.20 / week
        Donate Make a one-off donation
from £10 upwards
TAKING A FEW MOMENTS OUT
Many happy returns to Dame Vera Lynn, 100 years young today.
© YouTube
GERMANY MADE €50 BILLION FROM THE UK LAST YEAR 
The UK came top in the World, out of all the countries Germany trades with
Part ONE of an exclusive 3-part
Facts4EU.Org research report on German trade with the UK
The latest figures from the German government for 2016 show you the relative importance of the UK’s single market to Germany.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The above graph shows that the UK was Germany’s most valuable trading partner last year. They sold the UK €50 billion euros more than the UK sold them.
We have extracted this information from the latest official German government statistics and it is 100% reliable, as you expect from Facts4EU.Org.
© White House
IT CAN'T BE MUCH FUN BEING THE GERMAN CHANCELLOR THESE DAYS
Perhaps the above explains why Chancellor Merkel was looking so glum on Friday, when she was trying to discuss trade with President Trump.
Her most valuable export customer is leaving the EU, and her second most valuable doesn’t even want to shake hands with her.
[ Sources: Official German government statistics ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        08.00am, 19 March 2017
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GERMAN EXPORTS TO UK ARE IN IN FREEFALL 
German government statistics show how the UK is buying less and less from them
Part TWO of an exclusive 3-part
Facts4EU.Org research report on German trade with the UK
Germany’s exports to the UK started falling fast after the Referendum, according to data that Facts4EU.Org has extracted from official German government statistics.
In the final quarter of last year, German exports to the UK’s single market fell by 9.4% compared to the same quarter the previous year.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Despite the falls, Germany’s total gross sales of goods to the UK last year still amounted to €86.07 billion euros (approximately £75 billion pounds).
OPINION
That’s a lot of bratwurst, in anyone’s buch.
The above graph should be worrying for Germany. As German businesses contemplate Brexit, they may wish to reflect on the fact that last year – even with these falls – the UK was their third-biggest export market in the world.
The good news for German businesses of course, is that all they have to do is tell Mrs Merkel not to jeopardise this lucrative trade for them by playing politics. If they do that, the UK’s single market will remain open to German goods, tariff-free.
Einfach, as they say in Berlin.
[ Sources: Official German government statistics ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        08.40am, 19 March 2017
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THE EU’S BREXIT NEGOTIATORS MUST ‘BE HARD’,
SAYS GERMAN BUSINESS CHIEF 
“For German companies it is very important that you can not choose.”
Part THREE (final part) of an exclusive 3-part
Facts4EU.Org research report on German trade with the UK
In an interview with the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung yesterday, the President of the DIHK – the German Chambers of Trade and Commerce - advised Brexit negotiators to “be hard”. The DIHK is a bit like the CBI and the British Chambers of Commerce rolled into one.
Eric Schweitzer, Präsident des Deutschen Industrie- und Handelskammertages
Q: “How serious will the "hard Brexit" be?”
A: “Serious. Great Britain is our third most important export partner. In the fourth quarter alone, exports declined by 9 percent.”
Q: “Your advice for the negotiations?”
A: “Be hard too. EU membership is based on the freedom to provide services, goods and capital, as well as free movement of workers. This has made the EU the largest single market in the world. Great Britain now wants to benefit from the first three freedoms, but abolish the free movement of workers. This can not be done, above all because there could then be imitators. For German companies it is very important that you can not choose.”
WHAT GERMAN COMPANIES SAY ABOUT BREXIT
All German companies are required to be a member of one of the DIHK chambers, except farms. We therefore looked at the latest members’ survey from the DIHK, published last month. Brexit is barely mentioned. It occurs only 9 times in the 14,000-word report. Here is the longest section about Brexit:
“Good developments in the EU – without the United Kingdom”
“Brexit left its mark last year as a result of the depreciation of the pound. The uncertainty about the exact modalities remains high. Nevertheless, the positive economic developments in Europe currently predominate. Outside the eurozone, the main drivers of growth are the Czech Republic, Poland and Sweden, which are ensuring wellfilled order books for German exporters. Romania and Bulgaria are also enjoying dynamic development.”
OPINION
So it seems that according to the DIHK, German companies are more focused on what they see as the growing markets of the Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Romania and Bulgaria.
We would however put a health warning on this. The report was written by the DIHK about its own member survey. We have read what the CBI and other British business organisations have written about its members' views of Brexit, when in facts views are much more varied. Remainers to a man and woman, the people who run these organisations have been known to put their own slant on things.
That said, the German report may indicate how German companies are preparing to exploit other markets in the EU, just as the UK is preparing to exploit global markets.
Above we showed how important the UK market currently is to Germany, and how the British are rapidly buying fewer German products. The sheer numbers involved are impressive. It will be interesting to see whether this apparently laissez-faire attitude from German business will start to change and whether pressure will be exerted on German politicians for a sensible quick and trade deal with the UK.
[ Sources: Deutschen Industrie- und Handelskammertages | Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        09.15am, 19 March 2017
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DOES PRESIDENT TRUMP READ FACTS4EU.ORG’S RESEARCH? 
It certainly sounds like it, from his press conference yesterday
© Whitehouse.gov 2017
“I reiterated to Chancellor Merkel my strong support for NATO, as well as the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense. Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years, and it is very unfair to the United States.
These nations must pay what they owe.”
Our research report on this topic last month showed that Germany alone owes £168 billion from the last eight years, and that the EU countries as a whole owe £530 billion.
P.S. You’re very welcome, Mr President.
[ Sources: The White House ]        09.00am, 18 March 2017
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DO YOU HAVE AN OPINION?
We will publish your comments about any article directly below it. Just give us your name (or pseudonym), and the headline of the article in question, and your comments will appear as long as they don't break any laws.
READER'S COMMENT
"What about a competition - the best Article 50 letter?"
Robert writes: "For a bit of fun, why not invite people to submit witty Article 50 letters so that Mrs May won't have to think too hard?"
Our answer: Great idea Robert. Our Prime Minister is busy enough and we're sure Facts4EU.Org readers will be only too happy to help her out. Come on everyone, give this your best shot!
Send us your Article 50 letter here. Try to keep them reasonably short and amusing, and we'll publish the best ones.
       10.30am, 18 March 2017
IF THAT WAS AN EU VICTORY, WHAT DOES AN EU DEFEAT LOOK LIKE? 
(And you won’t be told any of this on the TV news...)
EU politicians and bureaucrats breathed a huge sigh of relief on Thursday morning, when right-wing Geert Wilders’ PVV party was not able to rise to the No.1 position in Dutch politics.
Instead, it ‘only’ became the second-largest party in the Dutch parliament.
The two mainstream pro-EU ruling parties 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%
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
So, if the Dutch election results were a victory for the EU, what would an EU defeat look like?
The simple fact is that an anti-EU party in the Netherlands gained very significantly. Mr Wilders was never realistically going to win enough votes to become Prime Minister, because if he had secured the top slot all the other parties would have ganged up against him. They are on the record as saying this.
Nevertheless Wilders succeeded in increasing his number of seats by two-thirds, whilst the mainstream parties suffered heavy losses.
RELEVANCE FOR BREXIT
The enormous potential cost to the EU of Mark Rutte’s win
Critically, what the Dutch Prime Minister had to do to secure victory will potentially come with a very big price attached for the EU. As you will read in the article below, he was forced to toughen his immigration stance dramatically.
In the last nine months this has included an aggressive shift in rhetoric against Turkey. Rutte’s increasingly anti-Turkey stance caused a serious cooling in relations, culminating in the last two weeks with astonishingly acrimonious exchanges, ejection of a Turkish Minister from Dutch soil, and a growing sequence of reciprocal actions being taken.
We now see Turkey saying that the EU-Turkey deal to stem the flow of migrants is over and that the EU is risking a return to the Holy Wars. President Erdogan isn’t stupid. He knows that the Mediterranean migrant season is about to start. The last thing the EU needs right now is for him to open the floodgates to the EU.
If the Dutch Prime Minister had not been forced to act tough on Turkey in order to win his domestic election, perhaps the EU-Turkey deal might still have been salvagable. At the time of writing we don’t see how this is now possible.
It’s important to remember that the EU were so desperate to see Rutte win, they backed him to the hilt as he toughened his stance against Turkey. It remains to be seen how much this might cost the taxpayers of the EU member states, to say nothing of the possible realignment of a key NATO member.
[ Sources: NOS Netherlands ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.30am, 18 March 2017
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HOW MAINSTREAM, PRO-EU DUTCH POLITICS HAD TO MOVE RIGHT 
Facts4EU.Org looks at ‘European values’, the ‘right kind of populism’,
and ‘free and tolerant societies’
The message from the EU elites was clear: the victory of Dutch PM Mark Rutte on Thursday was a victory for ‘the right kind of populism’. The wrong kind of populism was rejected by the Dutch people. Mark Rutte and the EU elites stood up against it and the Dutch people agreed. This seems to be the common EU view.
“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
HOWEVER, you might want to take a look at some examples we've researched,
of the ‘right kind’ of populism from pro-EU Mr Rutte,
used in his and his party's election campaign:-
“We feel a growing discomfort when people abuse our freedom to spoil things here, when they came to our country exactly for that freedom. People who refuse to adapt, accept our customs, and who reject our values. Who harass gay men, jeer at women in short skirts, or call ordinary Dutch people racists. If you so fundamentally reject our country, I prefer that you leave. That’s how I feel. Act normal or leave.” (From full page newspaper advert)
“Municipalities that provide care to failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants should be fined.”
“We will strip the nationality of Dutch people who join terrorist organizations.”
“The integration of newcomers ensures that they find their way as well and quickly as possible our society. We will therefore set strict requirements for newcomers. And if they do not comply with those requirements, we want there to be consequences such as the removal of the residence permit and benefits.”
“We see integration (including compulsory language courses) as the responsibility of newcomers. They must pay for this themselves, not from the Dutch taxpayer.”
Official campaign poster from ruling VVD party of PM Mark Rutte
© VVD
Translation: “Holland must stay Holland”
“We want to there to be aid given in the region (of conflict) and no more asylum applications in Europe. People can only come to our country via resettlement programs.”
“There is no place here for migrants from safe countries. Therefore, we must ensure that countries actually take back their own nationals. We can make this a condition for giving these countries development assistance and trade relations.”
“Integration means that you adapt to society, its norms and values. Therefore, we want a total ban on face-covering clothing.”
[Above quotes extracted from party manifesto and statements - we have condensed some of these.]
Finally, the Dutch Prime Minister on national TV said that a group of Dutch people of Turkish ethnicity who protested in Rotterdam last year should
“F*** off”.
(TV interview with Dutch Prime Minister, broadcast 04 Sept 2016)
The problem for the EU is that all of the above comes from the party they supported: the ruling VVD of Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Faced with the mounting threat from Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, Mr Rutte moved his party sharply to the right and adopted many of Mr Wilders’ policies. As did some of the smaller parties. The quotes above are from the VVD manifesto, speeches, TV interviews, and a full-page newspaper advertisement.
You can see the full-page advert in the picture below. It’s tweeted next to the poster by Geert Wilders much earlier, with the Wilders activist commenting:
Translation: “Even the same layout – Not yet stolen enough Mark (Rutte)?”
© Twitter/Anita Hendricks/PVV/VVD
RELEVANCE FOR BREXIT
What is interesting is the continued denial of the EU elites over the Dutch election. We fully expect to see this demonstrated again when it comes to the Brexit negotiations. And when this happens, yet more of the British public will start to see the EU for what it really is.
[ Sources: VVD Manifesto, statements, VRPO interview, and more. ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.30am, 18 March 2017
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OVER 5 MILLION EU ASYLUM APPLICATIONS IN 9 YEARS 
1.25 MILLION EU ASYLUM APPLICATIONS IN LAST YEAR ALONE
Official EU figures show catastrophic and expensive failures in managing crisis
Exclusive FACTS4EU.Org Research Report into latest shock figures
released by EU Statistics Office yesterday
HEADLINES
  • Over 5 million asylum applications to EU in 9 years
  • 2016 overall total down by only 4.8%, despite EU’s €3 billion to Turkey to stem tide
  • 1.25 million asylum applications in EU28 in 2016
However, EU totals mask dramatic differences between member states
  • Scandinavian countries now welcome ¼ of previous asylum-seeker totals
  • Sweden has slashed numbers by 82% in one year
  • Greece sees numbers rise by 287%
  • Italy sees increase of 47%, Germany rises by 56%
Our research into the latest figures released yesterday by Eurostat – the EU’s official statistics body – shows some extraordinary results.
HERE IS THE EU AS A WHOLE - ASYLUM STATISTICS FOR LAST YEAR, 2016
Despite throwing €3 billion Euros of EU taxpayers' money at Turkey, the EU has so far failed to solve the migrant crisis. The graphs below show how the figures for last year have barely reduced compared to 2015.
The second graph shows how the cumulative number of asylum-seekers into the EU is now more than 5 million, in just 9 years.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
BELOW WE LOOK AT THE DATA FOR 4 KEY COUNTRIES - GERMANY, ITALY, GREECE, and HUNGARY
Generic totals can often hide some interesting individual anomalies. Below you can see how some EU countries are still experiencing a massive increase in asylum numbers. However one country which ignored EU policies and pursued its own path enjoyed a very different result.
Germany: 56% increase Italy: 47% increase
Greece: 287% increase Hungary: 83% decrease
FINALLY WE LOOK AT SOCIALLY-LIBERAL MIGRANT-WELCOMING SCANDINAVIA
It would seem that Scandinavia, with its reputation for welcoming migrants, might have changed its mind.
In the last year, asylum applications have been cut in the 3 Scandinavian countries to 1/4 of their 2015 levels.
Sweden: 82% decrease Finland: 83% decrease Denmark: 71% decrease
OPINION
We hope you find the above research interesting.
In many ways this goes to the heart of what's wrong with the EU. When people started rebelling against the consequences of the EU's policies, the EU was eventually forced to take action.
Unfortunately, as with so many other aspects of the EU's performance, the actions it took haven't worked.
We hope to give you more fascinating analysis of yesterday's release of the EU's immigration information. There are some significant items to tell you about - we wish we had funding which would enable us to do more.
[ Sources: Official Eurostat EU asylum data ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.15am, 17 March 2017
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"The European Union is not joining Turkey
– Turkey is joining the European Union." 
President Juncker responds to Turkey's attacks
At 11pm last night he tweeted:
Yesterday at the EU's Parliament, President Jean-Claude Juncker said the following:
"I was scandalised by what was said coming from Turkey on the Netherlands, on Germany and on others. I will never accept this comparison between the Nazis and the governments currently in power. If you are establishing a comparison of that period with our times – this is totally unacceptable. And the one who is doing this is taking distance from Europe and not trying to enter the European Union. The European Union is not joining Turkey – Turkey is joining the European Union."
Incidentally, many readers will recall the repeated denials by the Remain campaign that Turkey was set up to join the EU.
However, this row with Turkey now looks like going much further and faster than the question of Turkey's accession to EU membership. See below for more.
[ Sources: EU Parliament | Juncker Twitter account ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        10.00am, 16 March 2017
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“HOLY WARS WILL SOON BEGIN IN EUROPE” 
Turkish Foreign Minister steps up the growing split with the EU
EU's immigration deal with Turkey looks finished
In Ankara's first comments since the Dutch election yesterday, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu increased the political temperature still further, following remarks by the country's President and First Minister yesterday.
This morning in Turkey:
“Now the election is over in the Netherlands ... When you look at the many parties you see there is no difference between the social democrats and fascist Wilders. All have the same mentality.
“Where will you go? Where are you taking Europe? You have begun to collapse Europe. You are dragging Europe into the abyss. Holy wars will soon begin in Europe,” the Turkish Foreign Minister stated.
Left: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
IS TURKEY HEADING FOR FULL SPLIT WITH EU?
Merkel's immigration deal with Turkey now in doubt, diplomatic relations on knife edge
Yesterday at the UN General Assembly, the Turkish Family Affairs and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya accused the Netherlands of “savagely” violating her delegation’s freedom of expression, assembly and action. She was referring to an incident on 11th March when she was prevented by Dutch police from reaching her counsulate in Rotterdam. Kaya had entered Holland to campaign for the Turkish consitutional referendum. She was deported to Germany early the next day by Dutch police.
We will report more on this story, which increasingly looks like a consistent and planned attack on the EU by Turkey.
This is highly relevant to UK readers because of the potential impact on the EU's migrant deal with Turkey, without which a flood of migrants will once again enter the EU. We are also looking at the impact on NATO.
[ Sources: Turkish media ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        09.00am, 16 March 2017
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LIES, DAMN LIES, AND GEORGE OSBORNE 
Yet more proof of the systematic campaign of lies by the government Remain campaign
GEORGE OSBORNE & HM TREASURY,
23 May 2016
One month before the Referendum
“[Brexit] would lead to an increase in unemployment of around 500,000”
From the document:
'HM Treasury analysis - The immediate economic impact of leaving the EU'
“The analysis in this document comes to a clear central conclusion: a vote to leave would represent an immediate and profound shock to our economy. That shock would push our economy into a recession and lead to an increase in unemployment of around 500,000”
 
OFFICE FOR NATIONAL STATISTICS,
15 Mar 2017
Nine months after the Referendum
“[Unemployment] has not been lower since August 1975”
From the document:
Latest unemployment data to Jan 2017, released 15 Mar 2017
“The unemployment rate for people for the latest time period, the 3 months to January 2017, was 4.7%.”
“It has not been lower since June to August 1975.”
According to the Office for National Statistics, unemployment for the last quarter fell by 31,000,
making a total fall in the jobless of 106,000 in the last year.
This is a far cry from a rise in unemployment of 500,000, predicted by George Osborne, the Treasury, and the Remain campaign.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
OPINION
Almost every week we review officially released information which shows the opposite picture to that which was presented by the Remain campaign and the government, prior to the vote on June 23rd last year. This has been going on since the Referendum.
On almost every measure you can name, the government and its Remain campaign have been proved wrong. So wrong were they, it’s impossible not to conclude that a deliberate policy was pursued, to lie to the people. Presumably they thought they would never be caught out.
Despite this, Remoaners inside Parliament and outside continue to pretend that “the people were lied to by the Leave campaign”.
Where DO they get the nerve? When will they apologise? When will the BBC cover this scandal? When will all the international and national ‘expert’ organisations which joined the government in predicting economic armageddon actually say sorry, instead of quietly releasing corrections to their appallingly-bad predictions?
In the next couple of days we will be publishing a special report which will mean you may never look at the Referendum result the same way again. Keep coming back – you don’t want to miss this.
[ Sources: Office for National Statistics | UK Treasury ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        06.45am, 16 March 2017
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PM RUTTE FALLS, WILDERS GAINS, LABOUR DECIMATED 
Early indications of Dutch election results show the ruling VVD party of PM Rutte fell, the anti-EU PVV of Geert Wilders rose from 12 to 20 seats, and PvdA (Labour, in coalition with Rutte) were decimated, falling from 35 to 9 seats.
Holland is in for months of political bargaining, as the 2 coalition government parties lost to many smaller parties. Rutte's VVD will take many weeks to form a new government.
Left: Mark Rutte, current PM, VVD party.
Right: Geert Wilders, leader of PVV party
FACTS4EU'S SIMPLE LOOK AT THE PROJECTED RESULTS, AS AT 05.00AM THURSDAY :-
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
As predicted, the Mark Rutte's ruling conservative VVD, together with their socialist coalition partners the PvdA, both lost ground yesterday. The worst hit was the PvdA - roughly equivalent to the UK's Labour Party.
In overall terms there was a 'smoothing', with votes being spread more evenly across 13 parties. Geert Wilders' PVV (Freedom Party) gained significant ground and looks likely to be in second place, closely followed by the CDA and D66 parties.
As we predicted yesterday, the GL (Green-Leftists) made huge gains, rising from 4 to 14 seats. A final but important note: the new 'Denk' party gained 3 seats. Denk is a party with a Turkish flavour - watch this space.
OPINION
We know enough about Dutch politics to know how complicated it is, so we will confine ourselves to some generic observations.
It's certainly possible that PM Mark Rutte's VVD did not fall as much as it could have, due to a natural inclination of Dutch people to back their leader when the country has been under vicious verbal attack from Turkey.
It's also worth noting that Rutte's rhetoric on immigration and social unrest in Holland has hardened a great deal in recent months, in an attempt to appeal to voters tempted by Geert Wilders' PVV Freedom Party. Some of the things the Dutch Prime Minister has said would never be uttered by any government minister in the UK.
On Wilders, we would make just one observation. At no point has he compromised on his outspoken views on immigration, Islam, and the EU, in any attempt to appeal to a broader cross-section of the Dutch electorate. Yet his party still gained significant ground, jumping into second place with a rise from 12 to 20 seats. It's worth noting that the PVV is no UKIP. Their views are extremely robust, to say the least, and almost make UKIP sound like a 'Refugees Welcome' party.
Finally, on the huge increase in the Greens' vote, we can only look on in complete bewilderment and wish the Dutch good luck.
[ Sources: NOS | Dutch government website | Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        05.00am, 16 March 2017
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TURKEY’S ERDOGAN DRAMATICALLY ESCALATES CONFLICT WITH EU 
‘Turkey vows to mobilize Islamic world against Euro-fascism’
In a major speech yesterday in Ankara, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan made an extraordinarily vitriolic attack on the EU and Angela Merkel - as well as attacking the Dutch on the eve of their general election.
“The EU is not a symbol of the law, freedoms and human rights anymore.”
Erdoğan called on Turks and other Muslims and foreigners living in Germany and the Netherlands not to vote for parties that espouse what he sees as anti-Turkey policies.
President Erdogan speaking yesterday
The Turkish President accused the Dutch:
“We know how rotten their character is”
“We are familiar with how the character of their civilization was corrupted”
The Turkish President accused the EU:
“This matter is not a matter merely for Turkey. This fascism that shows its dirty face is negatively impacting all Muslims and foreigners living in Europe,” he said.
“Now, the EU, for those who want to cooperate with it, is not a symbol of the law, freedoms and human rights anymore.”
Some European countries have turned into “toys of racist and fascist parties”, Erdoğan stated.
The Turkish President accused Angela Merkel:
“We know that you are no different from them. We do not expect anything else. [The Dutch PM] attacks with his horses and dogs, and you [Merkel] attack with your horses and dogs.”
Turkey currently holds the presidency of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. President Erdogan said that Turkey will intensify its efforts against what it sees as racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia.
OPINION
We've been reading the Turkish President's speeches for a long time. What he said yesterday, and the manner in which he said it, takes things to another level.
This is not just a diplomatic 'tiff'. Bizarrely, today the BBC thinks that President Trump's tax returns are much more newsworthy. Erdogan's speech is a minor item for the BBC. They're wrong.
Sometimes it takes some little coincidences of events to transform a political landscape. With a constitutional referendum looming, Turkish ministers wanted to appeal directly to Turkish voters living in some EU countries. It is however a little surprising that they chose to visit the Netherlands days before its general election.
The other part of the equation was Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte needing to appear tough in order to counter the threat of Geert Wilders and his PVV party today. The result was a Turkish minister being escorted to a Dutch airport.
Crucially, Turkey holds the key to the gate when it comes to the EU’s immigration crisis. Without the agreement which Chancellor Merkel unilaterally negotiated with President Erdogan last year (at a cost of billions to the other EU countries), migrants could once again flood into the EU.
Just as importantly, Turkey is a key member of NATO. Based on the remarks of its President yesterday, the EU now has another major international crisis on its hands. Regrettably, it seems relations have deteriorated to such an extent that an outside mediator is urgently required, for this not to escalate into a permanent realignment of Turkey. Perhaps the UK's Foreign Secretary, with his part-Turkish family background, might be able to help the EU out.
[ Sources: Turkish newspapers ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.30am, 15 March 2017
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HOLLAND GOES TO THE POLLS – TOO CLOSE TO CALL 
Amidst an increasingly hostile exchange with Turkey, the Dutch are voting today for their next government. We bring you some quick facts and a few interesting sidenotes.
Holland is the first EU country to test the post-Referendum opinions and appetites of voters, following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, and President Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton.
Left: Mark Rutte, current PM, VVD party.
Right: Geert Wilders, leader of PVV party
Holland Fact-File
  • Electorate: 12.9m – just over 1/4 of the size of the UK electorate (46.3m in 2015)
  • 150 seats in House of Representatives, elected every 4-5 years by PR
  • Parties normally have national lists, occasionally varied in the 20 electoral districts
  • Currently 12 parties are represented in the House (same as the UK)
  • Since 2012, the VVD (People’s Freedom and Democracy) and PvdA (Labour) have ruled in coalition
  • 28 parties contesting the 2017 election, scaled back from over 100 who sought permission
  • Included: Party for Animals, Over 50s Party, Pirate Party, Non-Voter Party, and Jesus Lives Party
FACTS4EU'S 'AT A GLANCE' LOOK AT WHAT'S AT STAKE :-
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Broadly, it looks likely that the ruling conservative VVD, together with their socialist coalition partners the PvdA, will take a big hit today. Many other parties will benefit, in particular Geert Wilders' PVV and the green GL party.
OPINION
Any attempt at explaining Dutch politics and its electoral system is not for the fainthearted. This election is interesting because of the presence of the PVV and its leader Geert Wilders – outspoken critics of the EU, multiculturalism, mass immigration, and Islam.
With a tiny political machine compared to the other main parties, the PVV has not had an easy ride to this point. Its leader Geert Wilders was convicted by the state in December for his remarks about Moroccans, and his security was compromised two weeks before the election when it emerged that one of his state-provided security detail was leaking his itinerary to Islamic militants. This resulted in Mr Wilders being unable to campaign in public for a period.
On top of that, a major row has erupted between Turkey and Holland, which has meant that current Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the VVD has been able to sound tough on issues which appeal to PVV voters. (See article above.)
Whatever the result, it will be fascinating.
[ Sources: Dutch government website | Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics | Leiden University | I&O Research | Peil | Ipsos | Kantar Public | LISS-panel | EenVandaag ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        05.30am, 15 March 2017
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TIME FOR TIMID THERESA TO TRIGGER 
For heaven’s sake Prime Minister, please just get on with it
The British people were promised by the government that Article 50 would be triggered the next day, if Leave won. Yet here we are almost nine months later, with the decision of the majority still not enacted.
Yesterday No.10 was briefing that the Prime Minister will delay the invocation of Article 50 yet again.
It doesn’t matter what reasons are given this time – Dutch elections, EU’s 60th birthday party, the SNP’s calls for IndyRef2, whatever – there will always be something.
We urge the Prime Minister to get on with it and invoke Article 50 today.
       Editorial, 05.00am, 14 March 2017
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STURGEON CITES BREXIT AS REASON TO CALL SCOTTISH INDYREF 2 
She would rather be part of the EU’s Single Market than the UK’s Single Market
Below we present the basic facts about which market is working for Scotland.
(And it’s not the EU’s.)
Over the past 14 years, according to the latest information released last month by Exports Statistics Scotland, the EU's Single Market has produced negligible growth in Scotland's export sales. (7.8% over 14 years.)
Conversely, the growth in exports to the UK's single market has risen by 74.3% - almost 10 times as much.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The UK's single market accounts for nearly two-thirds of all Scotland's export sales. That's 4 times as much as the EU's Single Market. Scotland actually sells more to the rest of the World than it does to the EU.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
OPINION
There are countless reasons why the SNP’s call for a second independence referendum for Scotland will just waste everyone’s time and money.
Frankly the benefits to the Scots are so heavily-weighted in favour of them remaining part of the United Kingdom, it would be a walk in the park for us to prove it to them. We wonder if Mrs Sturgeon has actually looked at any facts at all.
Clearly though, this has little to do with Brexit and everything to do with SNP politicians’ obsession about getting away from the English. We will therefore only occasionally cover the Scottish dimension and only when it relates to Brexit.
Fortunately we have Scottish readers who represent the moderate majority and who see the benefits of going forward as a United Kingdom with an exciting, global future outside the shackles of the European Union.
[ Sources: Export Statistics Scotland - official Scottish government source ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        05.50am, 14 March 2017
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UK OWES EU NOTHING, SAYS NEW LEGAL REPORT 
EU’S CLAIM FOR £50 MILLION ‘BREXIT BILL’ FROM UK IS DESTROYED
BY LEGAL REPORT FROM EMINENT QC
Martin Howe QC, the eminent lawyer specialising in EU matters who chairs ‘Lawyers For Britain’, has produced a excellent report outlining the legal case why no payment will be due from the UK when it leaves the EU.
MARTIN HOWE QC, OF LAWYERS FOR BRITAIN
“This claim appears to be wholly without merit in law.”
“It is hard to see any credible basis upon which the UK could be said to be obliged to make any net payment when it leaves.”
[Lawyers for Britain report, 12 March 2017]
In the report, Mr Howe effectively demolishes any case the EU might think it has against the UK. Perfect timing, with Article 50 about to be triggered.
We strongly recommend this report and you can read it here.
[ Sources: Lawyers for Britain ]        05.50am, 13 Mar 2017
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BREXIT CARTOONS ~ By Sara
Facts4EU's humorous take on the world of Brexit and the EU
'ZE BILL' 
If you like our cartoonist Sara's work, let us know and she'll occasionally give us her humorous take on things.
       06.15am, 13 Mar 2017
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FORGET THE EU'S SINGLE MARKET FOR A MOMENT,
LET'S LOOK AT THE UK'S SINGLE MARKET 
PART ONE OF A 5-PART FACTS4EU.ORG RESEARCH REPORT
THAT WILL SHOCK YOU
Today we present a short series of articles introducing what we call 'the UK Single Market' (UKSM) of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These articles are based on significant research, using official sources, and show a different perspective on the Brexit negotiations which are due to start imminently.
A lot of work has gone into this, it’s unique to this site as usual, and we hope you find it interesting. Please post it far and wide, with links to our work.
To politicians, journalists, and think-tankers: we will happily provide all source material - just contact us.
HEADLINES:
WHAT IS 'THE UK SINGLE MARKET' (UKSM) ?
  • The UKSM comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • The UKSM represents a population bigger than 15 EU member states combined
  • It has a combined economy of £1.9 trillion per year
  • On Brexit the UKSM will be almost 1/5th of the size of the EU27’s economy – a huge market
WHAT IS IT WORTH TO THE OTHER 27 EU COUNTRIES?
  • EU countries have sold £3.3 TRILLION of goods into the UK Single Market since 1998
  • In every year, the EU has sold more to the UKSM than the UKSM has sold to the EU
  • By the time of Brexit, the EU's net sales to the UKSM since 1998 will be over £1 TRILLION
  • Last year the EU countries sold the UKSM £240 billion of goods - in just one year
  • The UKSM is nearly twice the size of the next biggest country with whom the EU has a trade deal
  • It has grown at an average 5% per year over the last 19 years
AFTER READING OUR RESEARCH, YOU MAY WONDER
WHY THE BRITISH CONSTANTLY APOLOGISE FOR BEING BRITISH
(And you should certainly have more confidence in global Britain's future)
If anyone is facing a cliff-edge we suggest that it's the EU27, as they face the prospect of losing tariff-free access to the UK's Single Market - worth £240 billion of sales per year to them.
With Article 50 about to be triggered, and formal negotiations about to start, we hope that our research puts David Davis and his team at the Brexit Dept in the right frame of mind for the battle ahead.
NOW READ ON
  1. The UK's Single Market - Introduction (this article)
  2. For EU27 readers: we present ‘the UK Single Market’
  3. For UK readers: how the EU has made £791 billion from the UK’s single market in 19 years
  4. How the 2 political powerhouses of the EU – Germany and France – have done out of the UK
  5. Political reaction to our research
       05.00am, Mon, 13 March 2017
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THE UK'S SINGLE MARKET - PART TWO 
A FRIENDLY MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLES OF THE EU 27 COUNTRIES
Mesdames et messieurs des pays de l’Union Européene, allow us to present to you
'The UK Single Market' (UKSM)
  • The UKSM comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Last year you sold € 273 billion worth of goods into our single market
  • You've sold € 3.7 trillion worth of goods into our single market since 1998
  • The UKSM is a combined economy of €2.4 trillion Euros per year
  • On Brexit it will be 19% of the size of the EU27’s economy – a big export market to go for
  • The UKSM represents a population bigger than 15 EU member states combined
  • It’s nearly twice the size of the next biggest country with whom the EU has a trade deal
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news, meinen Damen und Herren, is that you already have tariff-free access to the UKSM. In fact you’ve sold over € 3.7 trillion Euros worth of goods into our single market in the last 19 years.
Last year, you sold us € 273 billion euros’ worth of a wide variety of your products.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Yes, we’re about to leave the EU political structure and become an independent country. But we’re not going anywhere. We’ll still be here to buy your goods if you want to continue to selling to us. If not then we’ll start to source more of what we need from around the world.
A FRIENDLY OFFER
The British government is happy to offer your countries continued tariff-free access to our lucrative single market, despite the fact you sell us far more than we sell to you. We won’t put up barriers or tariffs. All we ask is that you don’t put up barriers or tariffs to us.
Then we can simply carry on. We’ll continue to buy German cars and washing machines, French wine and cheese, Polish kabanos sausages, Italian bathroom fittings, and all your other great products. And you can continue to buy our Harry Potter books and pop music.
And when the UK leaves the EU we will incorporate all the existing EU standards into our national laws, so you won’t have to change your products in any way.
THERE’S JUST ONE MOUCHE IN THE POMMADE MÉDICINALE THOUGH
This fly in the ointment is the EU elites in Brussels and some of your national leaders. They seem to feel that the UK needs to be punished for leaving. To punish the UK they want to make it as difficult as possible for normal trade between our countries to continue. This is purely a political thing.
In reality, as you can see from the above graph, this punishment will actually be inflicted on ordinary working men and women in each of your countries. If the EU elites insist on imposing weird and wonderful conditions on trade between us, it will be your jobs that go – in much greater numbers than would happen in the UK.
One final thing – the UK offered last year to agree a quick deal guaranteeing the rights of all EU residents in the UK. That’s over 3 million people. Unfortunately, the EU elites refused to agree this. We urge them to change their minds, for reasons of basic human rights and decency.
WHAT YOU CAN DO, DEAR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS
Please let your voice be heard – to your politicians, to your media, and on the internet. Please tell them you simply want a quick and pragmatic deal with the UK on Brexit, so that life can go on as normal.
Don’t let Brexit become a political game for the elites. They won’t get hurt by this, but ordinary people like you most certainly will be.
With a little ‘people power’, we can all stay friends and continue to enjoy growing prosperity.

To politicians, journalists, and think-tankers: we will happily provide all source material - just contact us.
NEXT: The UK Single Market Part 3
How the EU has made £791 billion from the UK’s single market in less than 20 years
[ Sources: Official EU Eurostat data | IMF World Economic tables ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        09.00am, Sunday, 12 March 2017
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THE UK'S SINGLE MARKET - PART THREE 
THE EU HAS MADE £0.8 TRILLION FROM THE UK’S SINGLE MARKET
How much would the EU like to pay for continued tariff-free access to it?
The UK has its own ‘single market’ of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This is a combined economy of £1.9 trillion per year.
Using the latest figures released by the Office of National Statistics, we show how the EU’s member states have benefited from access to the UK’s single market.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Starting from the earliest comparable ONS data in 1998, the EU’s members have sold the UK
£791 billion worth of goods more than the UK sold to the other EU members
By the time the UK leaves, this will be well over a trillion pounds
That’s over £1,000,000,000,000
The figure of £791 billion is the total of net sales from EU countries into the UK’s ‘single market’ over 19 years, as at Dec 2016. You may want to note that:
  • In every year the EU has sold the UK more than the UK has sold to the EU
  • This trade balance in their favour has grown substantially
  • In 19 years, it has grown by a factor of 16 times
OPINION
In several reports over the past year, Facts4EU.Org has shown how there has been no demonstrable benefit to UK businesses in selling to the EU’s Single Market.
The graph above demonstrates conclusively how the EU has received a massive benefit in being able to sell tariff-free into the United Kingdom’s single market.
The questions for the EU27 are therefore simple:
Do they wish continued tariff-free access to the UK’s single market?
If so, they must reciprocate with tariff-free access to the EU Single Market for the UK.
If not, then WTO tariffs will cost them far more than they will cost the UK.
NEXT: The UK Single Market Part 4
How the 2 political powerhouses of the EU – Germany and France – have done out of the UK
[ Sources: ONS Mar 2017 | Official EU Eurostat data | IMF World Economic tables ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        09.00am, Sunday, 12 March 2017
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THE UK'S SINGLE MARKET - PART FOUR 
HOW WELL HAVE THE EU27’S MOST POWERFUL TWO MEMBERS
DONE OUT OF THE UK’S ‘SINGLE MARKET’ ?
As the EU27’s two biggest economies and political powers of Germany and France contemplate Brexit, we show how much they have benefited from selling to the UK’s single market over nearly 20 years. The data comes from the latest figures released by the Office of National Statistics
                                                            
  
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
In every year, Germany has sold the UK more than the UK has sold to it
In every year bar one, France has sold the UK more than the UK has sold to it
Germany’s net sales to the UK have grown 7 times
France’s net sales to the UK have grown 3.5 times
Since 1998, Germany has benefited by £322 billion in net sales of goods to the UK. France has benefited by £51 billion.
At current trends since 2010, by the time the UK leaves the EU these figures will have grown to £396 billion and £67 billion respectively.
OPINION
That’s a lot of business to put at risk.
We’re sure that the voters in France and Germany will want to be made aware of this, in case their leaders decide to take a political stance rather than a sensible one, when it comes to Brexit negotiations.
[ Sources: ONS Mar 2017 | Official EU Eurostat data | IMF World Economic tables ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        09.00am, Sunday, 12 March 2017
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THE UK'S SINGLE MARKET - PART FIVE (Final part) 
POLITICAL REACTION
FORMER CABINET MINISTER GIVES US HIS VIEWS ON OUR RESEARCH ABOVE
    Former Single Market Cabinet Minister Rt Hon John Redwood MP
“As you say, the rest of the EU makes a mint out of tariff-free access to the UK internal market. They can keep that access if they agree to the UK’s idea that we continue trading on the same basis once we have left the EU. It’s a very generous offer.”
“Were they to insist on imposing tariffs on their exports to us in order to have modest tariffs on our exports to them, they will be the losers.”
“One of the few areas where under WTO rules they can impose high tariffs is agriculture. The UK is a massive net importer of food from the continent, which we could source more cheaply elsewhere if needed, once we are free to set our own lower tariffs with non EU countries. The French dairy industry, the Danish pig industry, the Irish beef industry and the rest would not want to end up with WTO tariffs on their products.”
John Redwood MP, talking exclusively to Facts4EU.Org, 12 Mar
       14.00pm, Sunday, 12 March 2017
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UK’S EXPORTS TO THE REST OF THE WORLD SOAR 
Latest official figures from ONS show how Global Britain is booming
Another exclusive piece of Facts4EU.Org research
Yesterday’s figures from the Office of National Statistics show how the World is increasingly buying British since the Referendum.
17.5% JUMP IN SALES TO THE REST OF THE WORLD
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The last 3 months of 2016 showed a massive 17.5% jump in sales to the Rest of the World. Even the EU bought more from the UK, with a more modest 2.9% rise in the final quarter.
We are analysing more of the encouraging data released by the ONS yesterday and will publish more on all the positive news for the British economy.
From what we've looked at so far, we can't understand why the Chancellor Philip Hammond didn't mention a word about this in his budget on Wednesday.
If you are posting any comments online today, please post the link to this page.
[ Sources: Office of National Statistics ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        06.45am, 11 Mar 2017
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EU SUMMIT – EU28 COULDN’T AGREE ANYTHING 
No joint communique issued following final pre-Article 50 meeting of EU28
For the first time that anyone can recall, no official EU Council statement was issued following a summit of all the heads of government of all member states.
    Presidents Tusk and Juncker on their way to Press Conference, Merkel dominates screen
Instead, an informal statement was issued by the newly re-elected President Donald Tusk on his own behalf.
“The European Council deliberated on the attached document. It was supported by 27 Members of the European Council, but it did not gather consensus, for reasons unrelated to its substance.”
However this does not represent a joint statement of the EU28, as is acknowledged by the EU:
“References to the European Council in the attached document should not be read as implying a formal endorsement by the European Council acting as an institution.”
[Personal statement by Donald Tusk, 00.45am, 10 March 2017]
The unofficial document itself reveals that no important decisions were made. In fact the only measurable outcome was the re-appointment of the EU Council’s President, Donald Tusk, by majority vote.
RELEVANCE TO BREXIT
In what may be a salutory predictor of the outcome of Brexit negotiations with the EU27, the EU Council failed to issue a joint communique on the outcome of its Summit discussions yesterday.
The reason was the re-election of (Polish) EU Council President Donald Tusk, vehemently opposed by Poland. This re-election was achieved because it only required a majority vote amongst the 28. However the issuance of an EU Council communique required the support of all 28 leaders and this the Council failed to achieve.
Agreement amongst the 28 countries wasn’t possible because of an issue unrelated to the substantive issues being discussed.
Imagine if any Brexit deal were treated the same way. Think of how many internal grievances exist within the EU. Assuming that a Brexit deal will require unanimity amongst all leaders and all national parliaments (very probable), it is highly likely that smaller nations will use the opportunity to demand concessions on their internal disputes with the EU before they will sign off on a deal with the UK.
We repeat our view, based on considerable study of how the EU works, that :
There is no chance of an EU-UK deal being reached in the 2-year timeframe.
Final thought:
This was the final Summit of the EU28 before the EU’s big 60th birthday party in Rome in 2 weeks’ time on 25th March.
The EU will have to go into its self-congratulatory party with many member states in open revolt against EU proposals, one member state (Poland) in a state of fury, and one of its 3 main sources of funding (the United Kingdom) kissing it goodbye.
[ Sources: The EU Council ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        05.30am, 10 Mar 2017
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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE EU GETS THERESA’S
“DEAR DONALD” LETTER? 
Nothing, says EU Council President Donald Tusk
Yesterday EU Council President Donald Tusk briefly made mention of what the EU27 will do when they receive the Prime Minister’s “Dear Donald” letter, invoking Article 50.
PRESIDENT TUSK SPEAKING YESTERDAY
“When the UK notifies, it is our goal to react with the draft negotiation guidelines for the 27 Member States to consider. For this I think we need more or less 48 hours. Leaders will then meet, probably in April, to finalise these. But as for now we are still waiting for the U.K. to trigger.”
“Negotiating the political and technical hurdles of Brexit will be our daily challenge. But there is also the work to chart a future course for the EU27.”
[Statement by Donald Tusk, President of EU Council, 18.30, 08 March 2017]
The EU has had 8 months to prepare for the triggering of Article 50.
It seems that the first month of the UK’s 24 month negotiating period will be taken up with nothing. The heads of government in the EU Council will think about their negotiating stance and will meet to try to agree this “probably” some time in April.
We’ve checked and there is still no meeting scheduled for April in the EU Council’s diary. Are the EU27’s leaders so unoccupied that all 27 of them are available at short notice?
It is the EU Council (we don't call it the “European Council” on principle) that is the ultimate power in any Brexit deal. Without its negotiating guidelines, its Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier of the EU Commission will not know what to say.
This is a perfect demonstration of how the EU is so dysfunctional and why it is a relief to so many that Britain voted to leave. It’s also an example of why we continue to believe that the EU27 will never be able to agree an exit deal with the UK within the 2 year timetable.
[ Sources: The EU Council ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        05.00am, 09 Mar 2017
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EU SUMMIT TODAY – BREXIT IS NOT ON THE MENU 
Same old, same old – and still no mention of Brexit
The heads of Government of the EU28 meet in Brussels today and tomorrow for their latest summit.
On the agenda are: Jobs, Growth and Competitiveness, Security and Defence, Migration, External relations (mainly Balkans), European Public Prosecutor's Office, and Election of the President of the European Council.
AND BREXIT?
As usual, and despite the fact that Article 50 is due to be triggered in the next 3 weeks,
Brexit is not on the agenda.
[ Sources: The EU Council ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        05.15am, 09 Mar 2017
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£1/4 BILLION NEW EU HOME - PAID FOR BY TAXPAYERS 
The Summit may produce the same old same old, but the surroundings are very new
There is one new thing about this Summit – its luxury new surroundings.
THE EU COUNCIL'S £1/4 BILLION NEW HOME
© EU Council
Today's Summit will take place for the first time in the EU Council’s new permanent home: the Europa Building in Brussels.
Started in 2004, designed and built by Belgians, it has taken 13 years from project start to final build.
COST: Over £1/4 billion pounds – And you helped to pay for this
The published cost so far is £278 million, but the EU Council has admitted that the final costs will rise further and have yet to be calculated by the Belgians.
Footnote: This new building which was designed specifically for EU Council Summits is so well specified that there’s no room for journalists. They have to cover this and future summits from another EU building in Brussels.
[ Sources: The EU Council ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        05.15am, 09 Mar 2017
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HELP! WE DESPERATELY NEED YOUR SUPPORT
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ITALY’S IMMIGRATION IN FEBRUARY
MORE THAN DOUBLES COMPARED TO 2016 
An exclusive Facts4EU.Org research report
According to details seen by Facts4EU.Org from the Italian Ministry dealing with immigration, the number of immigrants arriving in Italy in February were at 234% of their 2016 figure.
Migrants entering Italy last month
The vast majority are not Syrian refugees
The above figures are all up-to-date as of yesterday 7th March and are from official sources.
It’s clear and wholly indisputable that the migration problem facing Italy is that of economic migration from Africa.
This has been true of migration into the EU for a long time, but still the public hears mainly about refugees from war-torn Syria.
In the next few months, as the weather quickly improves across the Mediterranean, the numbers attempting to cross into the European Union will surge.
If we were the EU – and certainly if we were Italian - we would be very concerned at the massive jump in the numbers of migrants entering Italy last month.
You may wish to consider 2 major points:
  1. The EU still doesn’t seem to have long-term solutions to the migrant problem, and
  2. The narrative about ‘refugees fleeing war’ is demonstrably untrue – the vast majority are economic migrants
Years after the EU’s immigration problem first started, and 18 months after Angela Merkel’s ‘All welcome here’ message to migrants, the problem persists. This is despite the fact that billions of euros have been thrown at the problem.
Unfortunately the UK has been forced to pay its share of the cost of an EU problem not of its making.
The British are a compassionate people, as evidenced by the fact that the UK is (and has always been) the largest aid donor in the EU. Brexit hasn’t changed this, but at least the British people will soon be the sole arbiters of where and how it gives this aid.
[ Sources: Italian Interior Ministry ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        12.10pm, 08 Mar 2017
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WHERE DOES THE BREXIT BILL NOW STAND? 
Brexit has now been thoroughly scrutinised in the Lords – here are the results
SUMMARY:   Brexit 2 - Remoaners 2
The Bill to invoke Article 50 will go back to the Commons with two proposed amendments from the Lords:
  • Rights of EU Nationals to be guaranteed unilaterally
  • Both the Commons and the Lords to have a veto on Brexit
These two amendments will be debated by the Commons on Monday.
Breakdown of the results in the House of Lords:
1.   Rights of EU Nationals – Amendment passed: Government defeated by 358 to 256
  • The Lords’ amendment to force the Government to guarantee the rights of EU nationals living in the UK was passed by a majority of 102 votes. This amendment requires the Government to act within three months, even if there is no reciprocal guarantee by the EU27 of the rights of UK nationals living in those countries.
  • 93 LibDem peers, 165 Labour and 7 Conservatives supported a unilateral guarantee of EU nationals’ rights.
2.   Second Referendum – Amendment defeated : Government won by 336 to 131
  • This was the LibDem’s amendment, trying to force a second referendum on the country before the terms of the UK’s departure could be ratified. It was defeated by a majority of 205 votes.
  • 89 LibDem peers, 22 Labour and 2 Conservatives supported a second referendum.
3.   ‘Meaningful Vote’ Prior to Exit – Amendment passed: Government defeated by 366 to 268
  • The Lords’ amendment to prevent the Government from exiting the EU without the approval of both Houses of Parliament was passed by a majority of 98 votes.
  • 160 Labour peers, 95 LibDems, and 13 Conservatives supported a Brexit veto by either House.
4.   Reject Bill entirely – Amendment defeated: Government won by 340 to 95
  • A final LibDem amendment to reject the Bill completely was defeated by a majority of 245 votes.
  • 85 LibDem and 2 Labour peers supported this amendment.
The two amendments passed by the House of Lords will be debated by the Commons on Monday. They will almost certainly be rejected, after which the Bill will go back to the Lords.
The peers will then have to decide if they wish to defy the Commons (and the decision of the British people) and a major constitutional crisis would then ensue. Current indications are that this will not happen.
[ Sources: House of Commons Parliament Services ]        05.45am, 08 Mar 2017
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HOUSE OF LORDS SKETCH – HEARD ON THE GRAPEVINE 
Yesterday in the Lords we tasted the best and worst of this great House’s labels
From yesterday’s dégustation of political thought in the Upper House, we have selected two of its most famous 'vielles vignes' varieties on which to offer you our drinking notes.
 
Chateau Lawson
Grand Cru, maturing nicely, to be savoured
Lord Lawson, former Chancellor, has matured like a fine wine should.
His speech was a simple and elegant repudiation of the inconsistent and contradictory arguments of peers whose aim – never admitted – is to thwart Brexit by any means available.
 
Chateau Heseltine
Sadly all corked, undrinkable
By contrast Lord Heseltine, former ‘Deputy Prime Minister’, has not aged well at all.
Some suspect Plasmopara Viticola (Downy Mildew), others feel the villain may be Botrytis Cinerea (Grey Mould). Whatever the cause, his speech came with a bitter, vinegary after-taste.
Fortunately, following its outing yesterday, No.10 acted swiftly. Chateau Heseltine has now been removed from the Government’s Carte des Vins.
       06.45am, 08 Mar 2017
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THE HOUSE OF LORDS TODAY 
PEERS CONTINUE TO SCRUTINISE THE ARTICLE 50 BILL
A public service from Facts4EU.Org
The House of Lords continues its scrutiny of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. You can watch live proceedings here from about 11am (below).
The list of proposed amendments today can be found here.
The written record of proceedings can be found here - this is a rolling record with a delay of approximately 3 hours.
OFFICIAL SUMMARY OF ARTICLE 50 BILL
“A Bill to confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.”
Parliament Services 2017
Watch the House of Lords debate live, Tues 07 Mar Feb 2017
© Official Parliament TV
[ Sources: House of Commons Parliament Services | Parliament TV. ]        12.00am, 07 Mar 2017
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YOU HAVE TO LAUGH... 
A new Remoaning campaign group has launched, with billboards across the UK
In advance of the final days of debate before Article 50 is triggered, a group of Remoaners have kindly brought some humour to the subject.
We’re sure they didn’t mean their campaign to be humorous, but it really is hard to take it any other way. Take a look at their video and billboard posters and make up your own mind.
Billboard posters from new campaign group "Stop the Silence"
    
FACTS4EU.ORG VERSUS ‘STOP THE SILENCE’
Every day we work hard to research real facts from official EU and UK government sources. We then summarise and publish short articles informing the public in an easily-understandable way.
There’s no doubt that if our articles and reports ran to 5000 words, we would get more media coverage as they would be deemed ‘official research’. However it’s our view that any idiot can write lengthy and seemingly-erudite pieces. It’s much harder to condense days of research into something punchy yet accurate, that the normal voter will read.
Sometimes we think we should write much longer and more academic-sounding articles. We might get some funding if we did that.
Then we look at jokes like ‘Stop the Silence’:  No facts of any kind, no reasoned arguments, just a few nonsensical phrases backed by... well, nothing.
And yet they’ve already received £70,000 in their first fundraising and almost £10,000 in donations in the 4 days since they launched their latest crowdfunding initiative.
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       05.45am, 07 Mar 2017
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DEUTSCHLAND UBER ALLES 
HOW GERMANY PROFITS FROM THE EU
BY SELLING TO THE SINGLE MARKET AND TO THE WORLD
An exclusive Facts4EU.Org research report
Germany's percentage of total EU GDP is 20.6%. The UK's is 17.5%.
And yet Germany sells nearly 4 TIMES MORE into the Single Market than the UK.
Below we show how well each EU member state does in selling its goods abroad:
  1. Selling goods internally within the Single Market, and
  2. Selling goods externally, to the rest of the World
Our research shows that in terms of selling its goods to other countries – to the Single Market or to countries outside the EU - Germany benefits from its EU membership far more than the UK, and more than all other EU member states.
How Germany does, selling its goods into the Single Market
How Germany does, selling its goods to the rest of the World
Germany has the largest economy in the EU. It accounts for 20.6% - more than one-fifth – of the total EU GDP. With a bigger economy than anyone else, you would expect their export sales of goods to be higher than other countries.
We therefore looked at the relative size of Germany’s economy compared to the other EU27. Germany may have a bigger economy, but this doesn’t account for the disparity in its share of the EU’s total sales of goods within the Single Market, or externally to the rest of the World.
Germany is to be congratulated for its economic performance. It has certainly taken full advantage of its membership of the Single Market, selling more to other EU members than its size would predict.
It has also taken full advantage of its membership of the Eurozone. With a currency (the Euro) which is valued far lower than a Deutschmark would be valued, Germany has profited by the cheap price of its exports to the rest of the World.
With the UK due to invoke Article 50 in around 2 weeks' time (3 weeks at the outside) we thought it was worth looking at some more realities of the UK's membership relative to other major EU countries like Germany.
[ Sources: Official EU export and GDP data from Eurostat ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        08.15am, 06 Mar 2017
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UK’S POPULATION : BIGGER THAN 15 EU COUNTRIES COMBINED 
Yet any one of these small countries could scupper a Brexit deal
Exclusive Facts4EU.Org research showing some stark realities
The EU contains 28 member states
The UK’s population is bigger than 15 of them combined
The simple fact is that many EU member states are very small. Some would not even qualify as being major cities in the UK, let alone nation states.
THE EU WILL OBVIOUSLY BE MUCH SMALLER WITHOUT THE UK
Individually, the UK is bigger than all EU member states except France and Germany.
Without the UK, the EU is 12.8% smaller.
NOTE to Brexit-denying MPs and Peers :
Please stop saying that the Single Market is a market of 500 million people
Without the UK, the EU27 will number 445 million people
A good example of a small EU member state is Malta
Its population is that of Kirklees in West Yorkshire. Its national income is 1/240th that of the UK. Yet Malta currently holds the presidency of the EU Council and its national parliament could veto any Brexit deal. And its Prime Minister only has negative things to say about Brexit.
The tiny island of Malta, holding the Presidency of the EU Council
© Wiki
Any deal between the EU and the UK on Brexit will inevitably involve what are called ‘shared competences’. These are matters which are decided together, by the EU machine and then by its individual member state governments.
A classic example of this principle is the EU-Canada trade deal called CETA, which was held up last year by the regional government of Wallonia – the French-speaking part of Belgium.
  • After 7 years of negotiating, the EU Commission wanted to do the deal
  • The 28 heads of government (the EU Council) wanted to do the deal
  • The French-speaking Walloons in southern Belgium said no
And despite EU propaganda making you think otherwise, the CETA deal still hasn’t been ratified
Some Sunday thoughts for our readers
For decades, the British have shown little interest in the EU. It has been a sideshow, with mainstream media only covering EU stories in relation to British politics.
The honest truth is that British people haven’t seen much about the EU on their TV screens in the last 44 years. When did you ever see regular coverage of the EU Parliament? Or the EU Commission President’s State of the Union speeches? Or important statements by EU Commissioners affecting our lives?
Yes, there have been moments in the last 44 years when the EU has impinged on the public consciousness, but these have mostly been in relation to UK party politics.
For example, Lady Thatcher’s “No, no, no” in relation to Jacques Delors' 1990 call for the European Parliament to be the democratic body of the European Community, the Commission to be the Executive and the Council of Ministers to be the Senate.
Or John Major’s famous categorisation of Eurosceptic Tory MPs as “the bastards” during the debate in 1993 over the Maastricht Treaty.
Even the Referendum campaign last year failed to give the British people a true view of what the EU really is and how it operates. It also failed to convey the importance of the UK in comparison to so many EU member states.
It’s our opinion that the majority of British people – and far too many MPs and Peers – continue to have much too low an opinion of the standing of the UK in the world. Much of this is because facts about the day-to-day reality of the EU have been in short supply.
We will continue to battle to put this right.
[ Sources: Official EU population data from Eurostat | Various other official sources ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        08.15am, 05 Mar 2017
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EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT JUNCKER HAS ‘RE-BIRTHING’ MOMENT 
Last week EU Commission President addressed the EU’s Parliament, to present a ‘White Paper’ of five options for the EU27 post-Brexit.
Here were his opening words :-
© European Parliament TV
“Later this month in Rome, 27 of our Member States will stand shoulder to shoulder in peace, solidarity and friendship to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome...”
“However, this will not simply be a birthday celebration. It will also be the 'birth moment' of the European Union at 27.”
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Mar 2017
President Juncker never ceases to amaze us. If nothing else, he does entertain people on a regular basis with his surreal statements and behaviour.
[ Sources: EU Parliament TV ]        09.00am, 04 Mar 2017
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EU ECONOMY TO DROP BY ONE-SIXTH FOLLOWING BREXIT 
Latest GDP figures show how important the UK is to the EU
An exclusive Facts4EU.Org analysis of IMF’s last full-year GDP figures
If you listen to Brexit-denying MPs, peers, and ‘expert’ organisations, you could be forgiven for thinking that the UK will be the poor-man supplicant in the Brexit negotiations due to start in about 10 days’ time.
The reality is very different.
  
Above we show how the total GDP (national income) of the EU is dependent on the UK. One-sixth of total EU GDP in 2015 was produced by the UK. 2015 is the last year for which full figures are available, and we used IMF figures as these were repeatedly quoted by the Remain campaign during the Referendum.
WHY THIS MATTERS FOR BREXIT
The EU constantly presents figures in ways which support its position. Despite the fact that it is now talking in official documents of ‘the EU27’, it always includes the UK when it comes to presenting positive data.
We gave a classic example of this EU propaganda yesterday. The new ‘White Paper’ on the future of the EU used the UK’s foreign aid budget to try to justify its claim that the EU was the biggest world donor of aid. This was indefensible, given that the document was all about the EU27 following the UK's exit.
Day after day we hear Remain MPs, peers, and commentators talking down the UK. In our own small way, Facts4EU.Org is fighting back with real facts and figures.
Please help to keep us going if you can.
[ Sources: IMF | OECD | Eurostat ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.15am, 04 Mar 2017
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IF WE DON'T RESEARCH AND PUBLISH THESE THINGS, WHO WILL?
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EU TAKES BRITISH HUMANITARIAN AID AS ITS OWN,
IN LANDMARK EU27 DOCUMENT ON ITS FUTURE 
Another major piece of research by the Facts4EU.Org team
In its landmark White Paper on the future of the EU27 issued on Wednesday, the EU has seriously misrepresented the facts on humanitarian and development aid, claiming to be top donor and taking credit for the UK’s massive contributions to World aid.
EU WRONGLY CLAIMS TOP DONOR STATUS
This graphic is clearly trying to show that the EU is the biggest donor of foreign aid in the World.
Despite the document being about the EU27, the EU has included the UK in its figures whenever this presents a better picture for the EU, as in this case of foreign aid.
Graphic to the right comes from the EU27's 'White Paper'
Most British people are aware that the UK is second only to the USA in giving humanitarian assistance to the rest of the World.
  • FACT : The UK gives more foreign aid than any other country apart from the US.
  • FACT : It doesn’t matter whose figures you look at, this is undisputed.
EXCEPT when the EU is distorting the figures for its own purposes.
The Paris-based OECD is the definitive source for information on foreign aid, and even the EU claim to have used this data when producing their bizarre graphic.
As ever, Facts4EU.Org went to the latest (Dec 2016) raw data from the OECD to bring you the truth. We’ve recreated the EU’s figures into graphs which enable a comparison between the facts, and EU fiction.
Here is the EU’s fantasy And here is the reality
  
HOW THE EU DISTORTED THE TRUTH BEYOND RECOGNITION
  • White Paper shows EU as being both the institution AND all 28 member states individually
  • In effect, they show the EU as being one country
  • They also included UK aid in ‘EU’ despite the document being about the EU27, excluding the UK
  • They elevated their percentage by using a global total which excluded many donor countries
The EU’s graphic is therefore wrong on SO many levels
and should be corrected immediately.
NOTES:
In presenting the graphs, we accessed the raw data from the OECD – the same organisation that the EU cites as its source.
We used the OECD data from Dec 2016, net disbursements in dollars at current prices.
We adjusted the figure for the EU as an institution by taking out the element of its total which is attributable to the UK, using 12% as an accepted average. The actual total may be a little more or less but will not alter the reality.
WHY THIS MATTERS FOR BREXIT
For years the EU has presented misleading representations of reality. Unfortunately these have been swallowed by many British politicians and 'experts', and by much of the mainstream media.
The EU's propaganda has also been swallowed by the mainstream media throughout the EU member states.
This matters, because the eventual divorce settlement with the EU will depend on political considerations, not legalistic minutiae. If Brexit-denying MPs and peers, and the populations of the EU27 member states, all believe the EU's propaganda, the UK will end up with a worse outcome than if everyone were dealing with reality.
We will give further concrete examples of this problem in coming articles.
[ Sources: EU Commission | OECD ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        06.10am, 03 Mar 2017
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THE EU “WHITE PAPER ON THE FUTURE OF EUROPE”, MARCH 2017 
A Facts4EU.Org brief and opinion
WOOLLY THINKING ON A MAMMOTH SCALE
Yesterday in the EU’s Parliament, President Juncker presented the EU Commission’s long-awaited white paper on the future of the European Union.
Facts4EU.Org Summary:
On the verge of celebrating its 60th birthday the EU isn’t sure what to do, or what it should be.
    Woolly mammoth
    Extinct in Europe from 10,000 years ago
*      *      *
THE WHITE PAPER DOESN’T START WELL
The document is grandiosely entitled “White Paper on the Future of Europe”. It's regrettable that they weren't able to get the title right, which should of course have been:
“White Paper on the Future of the European Union”
Reminder to EU apparatchiks:
  • Europe is a continent of 50 countries.
  • The EU is a failing, undemocratic, political institution trying to govern 28 of those countries.
WHAT THE WHITE PAPER TRIES TO DO
“This White Paper maps out the drivers of change in the next decade and presents a range of scenarios for how Europe could evolve by 2025.”
“The White Paper looks at how Europe will change in the next decade, from the impact of new technologies on society and jobs, to doubts about globalisation, security concerns and the rise of populism.”
“The scenarios cover a range of possibilities and are illustrative in nature. They are neither mutually exclusive, nor exhaustive.”
HOW THE WHITE PAPER SEES THINGS NOW
The EU, which is still lauded and championed by countless Brexit-deniers in Parliament and outside, does not deny that it is in deep trouble.
“Europe’s challenges show no sign of abating. Our economy is recovering from the global financial crisis but this is still not felt evenly enough. Parts of our neighbourhood are destabilised, resulting in the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Terrorist attacks have struck at the heart of our cities. New global powers are emerging as old ones face new realities. And last year, one of our Member States voted to leave the Union.”
As part of the material issued with the White Paper, the EU Commission draws particular attention to President Juncker’s ‘State of the Union’ speech in September last year.
Here are his opening remarks from that speech:
“Honourable Members of the European Parliament,
I stood here a year ago and I told you that the State of our Union was not good. I told you that there is not enough Europe in this Union. And that there is not enough Union in this Union. I am not going to stand here today and tell you that everything is now fine. It is not."
"Let us all be very honest in our diagnosis. Our European Union is, at least in part, in an existential crisis.”
Below we present summary information from the EU Commission's white paper, so that you don't have to read all 30 pages.
P.S. We hope you are impressed that we got through this entire 'woolly mammoth' piece without once mentioning EU Council President Tusk.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        06.45am, 02 Mar 2017
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WHAT THE EU “WHITE PAPER ON THE FUTURE OF EUROPE” OFFERS 
A Facts4EU.Org brief
Five options are presented in the white paper. These were summarised differently by the EU Commission yesterday, depending on which of their documents you look at.
WOOLLY THINKING ON A MAMMOTH SCALE
Here’s the summary from the statement released by the Commission called: ‘White Paper on the future of Europe: Avenues for unity for the EU at 27’
If you’re confused about all the references to cars, you’re not the only one.
For example: “Europeans can drive automated and connected cars but can encounter problems when crossing borders as some legal and technical obstacles persist.” “Connected cars are used widely in 12 Member States which have agreed to harmonise their liability rules and technical standards.”
Then there’s the summary contained in the white paper itself:
If you look at the option “Nothing but the single market”, which appears at first sight to be what the UK voted for in the first Referendum in 1975, please don’t get too excited.
The EU can never give up the role it has slowly amassed for itself since then. You only have to look at the Foreign Policy section for this option where it says: “Some foreign policy issues are increasingly dealt with bilaterally”.
In other words, even when the EU tries to consider the idea that it should revert to being only a Common Market arrangement, it still thinks it will be in charge of most foreign policy.
Finally there's another summary prepared by the Commission in +/- form
You will note that for the “Nothing but the single market” option, the only positive they could think of is:
“Decision-making may be simpler to understand”.
This leaves little doubt as to what the EU elites think of this option.
Naturally we have read the EU's 30-page 'white paper' in full. Here is the link to it.
Our overall opinion is that this is a poorly-formed piece of work on which to debate the future and direction of the European Union from now until 2025.
We have further comments to make on it - particularly in relation to Brexit - but unfortunately lack of resources mean that these will have to wait.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.15am, 02 Mar 2017
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THE HOUSE OF LORDS TODAY 
PEERS CONTINUE TO SCRUTINISE THE ARTICLE 50 BILL
The House of Lords continues its scrutiny of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. If you really want, you can watch live proceedings here from about 3pm (below).
OFFICIAL SUMMARY OF ARTICLE 50 BILL
“A Bill to confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.”
Parliament Services 2017
Watch the House of Lords debate live at 3pm, Wed 01 Mar Feb 2017
© Official Parliament TV
The above video stream should appear above nearer to the time the proceedings start.
[ Sources: House of Commons Parliament Services | Parliament TV. ]        09.00am, 01 Mar 2017
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HOW THE EU HAS BEEN SPENDING YOUR MONEY IN NON-EU UKRAINE 
Revealed: Another exclusive Facts4EU.Org report into how the EU spends your money
Yesterday the EU cleared the way for visa-free access to the EU for Ukrainians.
We report on how the UK taxpayer has been funding the Ukraine for years.
Some British taxpayers might be happy for their money to be spent by the EU.
But do they know what it has been spent on in the Ukraine?
  • £15,120 – For film discussion clubs for Ukrainian young people
  • £14,500 - Waste sorting (recycling bin project) for an ex-Ukrainian village now in Russian Crimea
  • £443,500 - For the study of the social impact of Ukrainian adults going abroad to work
  • £2.9 million - Crimean Tourism Diversification and Support Project
The above are just 4 examples from thousands of ‘micro-projects’ funded by the EU over the last few years using British taxpayers’ money. In each case the EU funded 80-100% of the money.
The final example we gave above is particularly interesting. The Crimea was invaded and annexed by Russia in March 2014, and yet the EU's project continued until Feb 2015.
It’s the Russians who are now benefiting from the £2.9 million given for that ‘project’.
Crimea is shown in light-green in the clickable map to the left.
It’s important to note that because of the different cost of living of Ukrainians, monies given to them by the EU are worth over 11 times what they would be worth in the UK. In other words, the £15,000 donation for film discussion clubs for young Ukrainians to talk about human rights would be worth approximately £175,000 to UK youth clubs.
As we report in detail in the article below, the EU has cleared the final internal hurdles for giving visa-free access to the EU for 44.8 million Ukrainians.
During this lengthy process, the EU has continued to spend part of the UK’s massive annual donation to the EU on projects in Ukraine.
We wonder how many Brexit-denying MPs and peers are actually aware of what's really been going on inside the EU for years?
[ Sources: Various official EU sources ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        07.15am, 01 Mar 2017
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AGREED BY THE EU LAST NIGHT: 
NEARLY 50 MILLION UKRAINIANS AND GEORGIANS WILL HAVE VISA-FREE EU ACCESS
Last night negotiators for the European Parliament and the European Council overcame the final obstacles in the way of granting visa-free access to the EU for 44.8 million Ukrainians.
This follows closely on the heels of the EU Council’s decision the previous day to allow visa-free access for 4 million citizens of Georgia.
The EU has decided to grant visa-free access for nearly 50 million citizens
of two countries torn apart by civil war.
BRIEF RECENT HISTORY
Ukraine has been in a state of civil war since early 2014. In March of that year Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, which prompted the sanctions against Russia which still exist to this day. The east of Ukraine has a high proportion of Russian-speaking people and that part of the Ukraine has been in engaged in bitter fighting with western Ukraine for the past 3 years.
The smaller country of Georgia will have the same rights as the Ukraine. Like Ukraine, Georgia has its own problems with Russia. It considers two of its regions to be under Russian occupation.
WHAT THE EU AGREED LAST NIGHT
A major sticking point had been the introduction of a clause allowing temporary suspension of access if Ukrainians and Georgians started flooding across the EU’s borders. On Monday this was agreed by the Council in respect of Georgia.
Last night’s deal for Ukrainians between the EU Parliament and the EU Council means that the Council will approve the Ukraine regulation as soon as the EU Parliament formally passes the resolution, which is now expected in the coming weeks.
We first reported on the EU’s aim to grant visa-free access to Ukrainians well before the Referendum, in April last year. We did so as part of our reporting to show the British voter that the EU was embarked on further expansionism.
Serious reports such as ours were ridiculed by the official government Remain campaign.
Thus far we haven’t had to retract any of our reports of what was coming
if the UK had voted to stay in the EU.
[ Sources: Various official EU sources ]   As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.        08.15am, 01 Mar 2017
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