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© EU Commission
How Remainers failed to celebrate and how the Commission wants your views... unless you're British
“Europe Day, held on 9 May every year, celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historical 'Schuman declaration'. At a speech in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe's nations unthinkable.”
His vision was to create a European institution that would pool and manage coal and steel production. A treaty creating such a body was signed just under a year later. Schuman's proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.”
EU Commission website 2018
Ostensibly, the former French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman's speech in 1950 contained a proposal to create a joint Franco-German-led community, whose members would pool coal and steel production.
In reality the Schuman Declaration had more sinister ambitions:-
Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.
...the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe...
The setting up of this powerful productive unit, open to all countries… will lay a true foundation for their economic unification.
With increased resources Europe will be able to pursue the achievement of one of its essential tasks, namely, the development of the African continent.
By pooling basic production and by instituting a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and other member countries, this proposal will lead to
the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation...
It's clear that a Federal Europe was already being proposed by Schuman in 1950, seven years before the Treaty of Rome. You will also note that the intention was “to lay a true foundation for their economic unification”. So we can’t say we weren’t warned.
And the additional aim, rarely mentioned, “to pursue the achievement of one of its essential tasks, namely, the development of the African continent” perhaps explains why a €2.8 billion ‘off the books’ Trust Fund for Africa has recently been created.
Unfortunately for the EU, Schuman made his speech the day after Victory in Europe Day, when western EU countries celebrate what might be seen as a more important event.
Somewhat hilariously, the EU Commission’s web pages about the 9th May start thus:
“To celebrate Europe Day, the EU institutions open their doors to the public on 5 May in Brussels, 5 and 9 May in Luxembourg and 10 June in Strasbourg.”
Let's be charitable and assume that the Strasbourg celebration listed for 10th June is a mistake and that should be 10th May. Even then, only the EU could find it normal to celebrate 4 days before Europe Day in Brussels, and the day after in Strasbourg, but not to celebrate in those places on the actual Europe Day itself. Perhaps you can guess why?
Yes, all employees of EU institutions are given the day off
on 9th May each year to celebrate Europe Day.
According to the EU, “Each year thousands of people take part in visits, debates, concerts and other events to mark the day and raise awareness about the EU.”
For a European Union of 510 million people (pre-Brexit), this might be said to sound somewhat underwhelming.
Er... not that much, actually. Just one event was advertised in the UK and that took place in Glasgow.
To celebrate “Europe Day” the EU Commission launched a “Consultation on the Future of Europe”. This latest consultation has come about after the Commission asked for volunteers among the 510m citizenry of the EU. 96 people were chosen by the Commission. These people attended a day of workshops in Brussels and came up with the ‘Consultation’ poll.
Here is how it was announced by the EU:-
“Today, on Europe Day, the European Commission is launching an online public consultation addressed to all Europeans, asking them what direction they want the European Union to take in the future.
“This unique consultation, part of the broader Future of Europe debate launched with the Commission's White Paper on 1 March 2017, was prepared by a panel of 96 citizens from 27 Member States, who came together to decide what questions to put to their fellow Europeans.”
No British people were invited to be part of the citizens’ panel. It is therefore clear that the UK has been excluded, despite being full members of the EU and despite continuing to subsidise the rest of the EU with enormous annual contributions. This is in direct contravention of the Treaties.
You can do the online survey here, or download a PDF version here.
The first point we would make is that the EU should rethink the name of its day off. The EU never has been 'Europe' - there are some 50 countries on the continent of Europe (depending on definitions) and only 28 countries in the EU. Soon there will be just 27 member states, when one of the largest economic, military, and diplomatic powers in the whole of Europe leaves the EU.
At that point, the EU's pretence to being 'Europe' really does become even more ridiculous than it already is.
We have lost track of the number of times that the EU has embarked on yet another navel-gazing ‘project’ in the last few years.
They seem to be absolutely petrified of the rapidly growing populist movements (known as “far right” or “extremist” by the Brussels elite) and are doing everything they can to try to gain democratic legitimacy for the EU’s actions. The problem they have is that Brussels has no democratic legitimacy. It’s the unelected Commission which drives everything and they are the only ones allowed to propose new laws and rules.
When it comes to the EU's online poll, the EU is not able to exclude you from completing it. Bizarrely they have included all countries in the drop-down list at the end where they ask for your details. This means, presumably, that the views of a Tongan citizen have as much validity for the EU as those of a British person.
Before readers become too annoyed that the EU doesn't seem interested in including the opinions of British citizens, we recommend taking a look at this bizarre poll. Here's Question 1:-
© EU Commission 2018
Frankly the list of choices is so weird we wonder whether these questions were drawn up after a typically long and liquid Brussels lunch....
[ Sources: EU Commission ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.10am, 11 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: R Ellison, Essex, UK      Date/Time: 11 May 2018, 12.32pm
Message: Good! No consultation with British people, then the EU Dictators have just confirmed we are no longer Members of the EU Club. So, are we out, as of today??? No need for any further Brexit negotiations.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 11 May 2018, 08.02am
Message: The levels of propaganda produced by the EU never cease to amaze me. They appear to be both blind and deaf at the disquiet across continental Europe. Any person or party who disagrees with their 'utopia' are regarded as having extremist views. In my opinion, on the one hand the EU commission fail to understand many peoples object to their respective country being turned upside down when they have not consented. On the other, I think the EU commission know exactly what they're doing, do not care what people or politicians think, and carry on regardless, grabbing more money and powers for themselves along the way. But they only do so because our politicians allow it. Prime Minister Mrs May COULD always say "NO". The EU has become extremely bitter we took a democratic decision they did not like. The only reason for their arrogance is money? They want what the UK has. As we remain the second highest NET contributor to the EU construct until our departure, we have every right to be involved in EVERY meeting they hold and interfere wherever we wish, or we should withhold appropriate amounts. The language of the EU is money and power. Our government should not be giving away £billions of UK taxpayers money to an institution who dictate and abuse us when we need this money to stay in the UK for our own requirements. No-one of sound mind would give £billions to those who abuse. It's time the EU commission were forced to list ALL assets to which the UK is a major stakeholder. The UK does not owe the EU a single penny, but the EU will owe the UK a considerable amount.
© Parliament
In 2017, 200 non-EU countries from around the world
sold products to the EU worth €1.8 trillion
86% of those sales (€1.6 trillion) were from countries completely unconnected with the EU – no customs union, no single market, no free movement, no large annual payments, no nothing.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
This is according to the analysis Brexit Facts4EU.Org has conducted of the latest trade figures from the official statistics body serving the EU Commission. Their list includes everyone from little islands to the major economies such as China and the USA. (Technically some of the small islands are not countries, but they’re on the EU’s official list so we’ve included them.)
In order to give you a very clear picture of how easy it is to sell into the EU, we then excluded countries with any form of close relationship, such as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Turkey and others. In other words we looked at all the countries selling into the EU perfectly successfully, without EU complications.
Our list of independent countries manages to sell to the EU without being in the EU’s Single Market, the Customs Union, or the EEA.
Below we narrow this down to show the top 40 countries selling into the EU in 2017, without any of the complications which Remain MPs and peers wish the UK to have with the EU.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
The countries above - and another 160-odd countries - sold to the EU last year without having to accept free movement, nor having to have their laws made in the EU, nor having to pay billions per year to the EU.
And yet they sold goods worth over €1.6 trillion euros to the EU.
  • Almost 80% of the EU’s imports come from 40 independent countries around the world
  • These countries are not members of the Single Market but they sell successfully to the EU
  • They are not members of the Customs Union but they sell successfully to the EU
  • They are not members of the EEA but they sell successfully to the EU
  • They have control of their borders, their money, and their laws, but they sell successfully to the EU
  • And the only country in the top 40 with a full, ratified Free Trade Agreement is South Korea
Most readers will be aware of the shocking behaviour of the majority of the unelected peers in the House of Lords in recent weeks. You will no doubt be aware of the disgraceful amendments they have passed to the Withdrawal Bill in the last few days. We tend not to report on matters like these which the mainstream media find easy to cover.
Be in no doubt, these people wish to thwart Brexit entirely. They are a disgrace to their elevated positions and in our opinion are traitors to democracy and their country. For us there will never be any forgiveness for such treachery.
One thing which annoys us perhaps most of all is the stunning level of ignorance on display in the Lords – and come to that in the Commons and in the news studios of the BBC, Sky and other broadcasters.
It’s one thing to draw a ridiculous conclusion from evidence, but it’s quite another to spout total nonsense when you don’t even know what the evidence is and can’t be bothered to educate yourself.
Given that their remoaning lordships and their remoaning colleagues in the Commons can’t be bothered to find out anything about the EU and the UK’s relationship with it, we hope we found another simple way of showing them the truth, in this article.
The UK seems to be full of think-tanks and their writers, associates and fellows, who appear proud to show they can write seemingly erudite 4,000 word articles, with no charts and no bullet points. We read their output because some of it is good. However we know that 99.9% of the public don’t, so what’s the point of it?
It's a lot harder to write punchy articles which ordinary voters people read, which is what we try to do.
This is one of the reasons Leave only won by 52% to 48%. Far too much of the campaign was led by academic idiots.
Those who ‘got it’ and who appealed to the public as we did will know that the last statement is not aimed at them. It does sometimes disappoint us, though, that some people do not seem to have learned their lessons from the Brexit campaigns and yet they continue to attract huge funding for their organisations. We struggle to get so much as one new £3 donation after producing work taking days of research.
Our output may not always be pretty, but it's generally effective, it gets the point across, and it gets traction.
[ Sources: EU Commission | Eurostat ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.55am, 10 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Not4EU, UK      Date/Time: 11 May 2018, 1.32pm
Message: Yet another excellent article. By way of a 'real life' experience which totally bears out your article, I have just returned from a holiday birthday present. It had also provided the excuse to buy an entire new wardrobe across the full range of clothing covering all occasions, not just one or two things. All were bought at 'respectable' well-known stores. Afterwards, when removing the shop labels, I checked each label inside. NOT ONE item had been made in any EU country. That means that EVERYTHING that I'd bought had been subject to EU tariffs courtesy of being in the Customs Union. All items were from countries listed in your graph. I suggest that everyone, particularly those ignorantly attempting to keep us trapped in a dying EU as a colony, checks their own clothing labels, so that they can see for themselves the extra taxes that we are forced to pay through this protectionist racket & that's without having regard to the foreign laws & regulations that will be imposed. Are they really so naive that they think that the UK will have any say in anything if they succeed in surrendering the country & the EU gets what it always wanted, a powerless vassal state fully under its control? What are they going to threaten - to leave? They'll be in for a shock.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 10 May 2018, 11.30pm
Message: A reminder to all remoaners, especially those sitting in the UK Houses of Parliament. We had a democratic [legal] UK-wide referendum, the terms of which were passed through BOTH Houses of Parliament, and Brexiteers demand our vote is respected. Those who attempt to subvert UK democracy are playing the EU fiddle, as the EU don't believe in democracy. 17,410,742 voters chose to "Leave the European Union" on a very high confirmed turnout of 72.2%. Those who persist in suggesting we didn't know what we voted for are clearly remainers because they didn't like the result, 'despite the facts'.
With this in mind, do we now need to question EVERY election ever held in the UK because those who lost didn't agree with the outcome, or did everyone know what they voted for on those occasions - I think not? Every elector had their own reasons. For example, I voted in the 2010 UK General Election. I did NOT vote for a coalition thrashed out behind closed doors, and nor did I witness unelected peers jumping up and down saying the people should be asked again if they agreed with that coalition. Like everyone else, I accepted what was happening and got on with life. When I voted in the 1975 referendum, it was about staying in, or leaving the European Economic Community (Common Market). I never witnessed MPs or peers going nuts after former PM Heath effectively gave away our country prior to this. I never once witnessed MPs or peers attempt to subvert the 1975 democratic decision. Those supporting the EU have been asked for years what remaining in that [corrupt] union would look like, and each time they failed to give a definitive answer. There were many dissenting voices objecting to the EU (as it became known, without electoral consent), and I could list many, many names. The 2016 decision was given over to the electorate and all politicians knew what was happening. Our decision was given after passionate campaigns on both sides. Should we therefore now suggest all MPs and peers didn't know what they were voting for as they passed the Referendum Act 2015, and passed Acts following the referendum? I mean, surely they're better than us ordinary people - aren't they! We're just the 'common people' without brains who can't think for ourselves.
As a strong supporter of Facts4EU, I would urge ALL Brexiteers to donate as much or as little as they can (if they can), to help Facts4EU bring us these original daily FACTS, and to spread the word of this site. Users elsewhere can be referred to Facts4EU to get 100% FACT. Remainers will never challenge these facts - because they can't. FACTS ARE FACTS, and remember Facts4EU is also on Twitter.
Name: NoThankEU, South East, UK      Date/Time: 10 May 2018, 08.06am
Message: How would the EU solve this scenario... Suppose the EU consisted of 26 countries, not 28 - the missing 2 are the UK & the RoI. Now let us suppose the RoI wanted to join the EU but the UK did not. What solution would the EU come up with for the NI border & customs with the UK ?
Name: Phil Baker, UK      Date/Time: 10 May 2018, 07.59am
Message: So there we have it, the CU and SM are just protectionist rackets and the whole Remain campaign during the referendum and since has been the biggest SCAM ever perpetrated on the British electorate!
Name: Chris Northern, UK      Date/Time: 10 May 2018, 07.50am
Message: There cannot be a single member of the House of Lords who does no fully understand this. Their stance is entirely to the benefit of the EU, entirely to the detriment of the UK. Why have they adopted this position? Outcomes reveal motives.
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EU Vice-President yesterday evening                                 © EU Commission
Eurocrat with power complex speaks for EU28 including UK
“Let me conclude with a message to the Iranian citizens and leaders. To each and every one of them. Do not let anyone dismantle this agreement. It is one of the biggest achievements diplomacy has ever delivered.”
- Federica Mogherini, unelected VP of the EU, instructs Iranian government and its people to oppose President Trump, 08 May 2018
“The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s nuclear activity, and no limits at all on its other malign behaviour, including its sinister activities in Syria, Yemen, and other places all around the world.”
- Donald Trump, elected President of the United States of America,
08 May 2018
Yesterday President Trump held true to yet another of his pre-election promises – to take the USA out of the 2015 ‘JCPOA’ deal with Iran, which lifted the economic sanctions which had been working, in return for a short-term commitment by Iran to pause development of nuclear weapons.
“The Iran Deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”
- President Trump, 08 May 2018
This agreement was made by several nations: the five UN permanent Security Council members - USA, UK, China, France, and Russia - plus Germany and the EU. Yesterday as expected, President Trump pulled the US out of this controversial Iran deal. This had been indicated by the President over many months and so was not a surprise to anyone.
President Trump yesterday                      © White House
Here you can read the full text of President Trump’s speech plus the full text of the statement from the White House:
Below is the strongly-worded statement issued by the EU's Ms Mogherini last night.
“The European Union regrets today's statement by the President of the United States on the nuclear deal with Iran [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA]. Should the US reconsider this position, we would welcome it. The United States remain our closest partner and friend, and we will continue to work together on many other issues. As we have always said, the nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement and it is not in the hands of any single country to terminate it unilaterally.
“It has been unanimously endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231. It is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, it is relevant in itself, but even more so in these times of encouraging signals on the perspective of the de-nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. The nuclear deal with Iran is crucial for the security of the region, of Europe and of the entire world.
“As long as Iran continues to implement its nuclear related commitments, as it is doing so far, the European Union will remain committed to the continued full and effective implementation of the nuclear deal. We fully trust the work, competence and autonomy of the International Atomic Energy Agency that has published 10 reports certifying that Iran has fully complied with its commitments.
“The lifting of nuclear related sanctions is an essential part of the agreement. The European Union has repeatedly stressed that the lifting of nuclear related sanctions has not only a positive impact on trade and economic relations with Iran, but also and mainly crucial benefits for the Iranian people. The European Union is fully committed to ensuring that this continues to be delivered on.
“I am particularly worried by the announcement of new sanctions. I will consult with all our partners in the coming hours and days to assess their implications. The European Union is determined to act in accordance with its security interests and to protect its economic investments.
“The nuclear deal with Iran is the culmination of 12 years of diplomacy. It belongs to the entire international community. It has been working and it is delivering on its goal, which is guaranteeing that Iran doesn’t develop nuclear weapons. The European Union is determined to preserve it. We expect the rest of the international community to continue to do its part to guarantee that it continues to be fully implemented, for the sake of our own collective security.
“Let me conclude with a message to the Iranian citizens and leaders. To each and every one of them. Do not let anyone dismantle this agreement. It is one of the biggest achievements diplomacy has ever delivered, and we built this together. It is the demonstration that win win solutions are possible, through dialogue, engagement and perseverance. That common ground can be found, even when positions and interests differ. That respect can be a universal language.
“This deal belongs to each and every one of us. Stay true to your commitments, as we will stay true to ours. And together, with the rest of the international community, we will preserve the nuclear deal.”
At the time it was signed in 2015, we were deeply troubled by this Iran deal which seemed to us to be typically weak from a western perspective. Iran had effectively been forced to the negotiating table by the effectiveness of economic sanctions, but instead of pursuing that advantage the countries involved let Iran off the hook.
Notably, Obama was US President back then and Cameron was British Prime Minister.
Interestingly, the countries involved were the permanent members of the UN Security Council – USA, UK, China, France and Russia – plus Germany and the EU. We found this last one peculiar as the EU is not a country. Indeed it is supposed to be not much more than a cuddly trade organisation according to many Remainer MPs. Nevertheless there it was, pretending to be all grown up on the international stage.
Yesterday we reported on the EU’s most powerful – and in our view most dangerous – woman, the Italian former communist Federica Mogherini, who is EU Vice-President and de facto EU Foreign Secretary and EU Defence Secretary.
We reported that whilst at university Ms Mogherini did her dissertation on Islam. We also reported on another of the more active Commissioners involved in the Iran deal – Mogherini’s colleague Elżbieta Bieńkowska – who has a masters degree in Iranian studies, of all things. Bieńkowska was one of the key EU Commissioners who accompanied Mogherini on the 8-Commissioner weekend trip to Tehran in 2016, which we reported on at the time.
We find these connections deeply troubling. Unelected eurocrats have effectively been deciding the foreign policy of the UK via its membership of the EU. Whilst the PM and the Foreign Secretary would of course protest otherwise, have you noticed how their foreign policy has been in synch with the EU’s, since the Referendum? And can you find a Leave voter in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office?
Even if this were not the case, the EU acted yesterday once again as if it were a powerful country with elected politicians running it. It’s not.
The unelected eurocrats at the helm have not only been acting like they have real political and democratic power, they also have questionable backgrounds when it comes to dealing impartially with Iran.
We don’t claim to be Middle East commentators as we specialise in EU and Brexit matters. Nonetheless it’s quite likely we know more about the Middle East than the majority of the ‘enfants européens’ who appear to work for the BBC news and current affairs programmes these days. That said, we will only comment that we hated the Iran deal when it was signed. It ‘felt’ all wrong on so many levels.
We also distrusted the EU’s apparently vigorous enthusiasm for this Iran deal. Everything about their attitude smelt wrong to us.
We expected a negative reaction from the EU to President Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Iran deal last night. However the vitriol took us by surprise.
Yesterday evening the EU’s Vice-President-cum-Foreign-Secretary-cum-Defence Secretary, Federica Mogherini, actually called on the Iranian government and its people to oppose President Trump.
“Let me conclude with a message to the Iranian citizens and leaders. To each and every one of them. Do not let anyone dismantle this agreement. It is one of the biggest achievements diplomacy has ever delivered.”
Someone should take the megalomaniacal former communist Federica Mogherini to one side and explain to her that she’s just an unelected official. A kind of glorified clerk.
She has no democratic mandate from the peoples of the 28 EU member states. She speaks only for an unelected cabal of 28 white, vastly overpaid, eurocrats in the EU Commission, most of them failed politicians in their home countries.
If she wants to take the side of the Iranian government over that of the United States, effectively calling directly to the Iranians to oppose the US President, then she’s even more far gone than we had realised.
We would remind this dangerous idiot that it’s only the vast amount that the US has spent on NATO defence that has kept the peace in Europe in the last 75 years.
[ Sources: EU Commission | White House ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.35am, 09 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Katie, UK      Date/Time: 10 May 2018, 07.45am
Message: Let’s not change anything but continue with a softly, softly poor deal so that peace loving, misunderstood Iran can be gently helped and cajoled into seeing the error of its ways - Mogherini style. Yeah, that’ll work.
Name: Andrew, Warwickshire      Date/Time: 09 May 2018, 10.55am
Message: Hi. I started a regular donation (albeit small) towards the cost of your work as I have been generally very impressed with your output. I have also recommended your website to other people and friends. However, I am very troubled that you seem to waste resources on commenting on non Brexit matters, e.g the Iranian deal... I would say this is an unnecessary distraction and may alienate other readers/supporters who may not share your views. I would suggest we need an organisation which needs to fight the good fight and focus entirely on Brexit... don't fall into the trap used by Remoaner organisations (e.g BBC) by bringing in irrelevant matters to the Brexit debate to push other agendas at the same time.
Reply: Hi Andrew, naturally we listen carefully to all views from readers - especially those who are helping to keep us going financially! We're sorry we didn't get it right for you on the Iran story. In fact we didn't go into the detail of the deal - which we could have done - but only tried to make the point that this is about the EU taking power for itself, and deciding foreign policy as if it were a country. Very specifically we were trying to make the point that Mogherini has no democratic mandate but that doesn't stop her acting like it. For us this was still about Brexit as we're very conscious that a very sizeable minority of the British public still don't really know what a monster the EU really is. To reassure you, articles like the one above consume a tiny fraction of time. It's the ones with lots of quotes from numerous sources and lots of data and charts which take the most time. Thanks for your comment and keep them coming.
Name: Janice Atkinson MEP, UK      Date/Time: 09 May 2018, 07.21am
Message: Federica Mogherini unelected, tells a rogue state to oppose the leader of the free world. Can you see the EU’s beginning of the end?
Name: Diana Harding, UK      Date/Time: 09 May 2018, 07.13am
Message: Just love it: "Someone should take the megalomaniacal former communist Federica Mogherini to one side & explain to her that she’s just an unelected official." "it’s only the vast amount that the US has spent on NATO defence that has kept the peace in Europe in the last 75 yrs." Seriously, a very good piece and some interesting observations about EU officials. As well as Mogherini, "Elżbieta Bieńkowska has no business experience but she is the Commissioner for the Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs."

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EU's de facto Foreign Secretary (left) in Iran last year                © EU Commission
In a few hours’ time, President Trump will make his decision about America’s ongoing involvement with the West’s deal with Iran, the so-called: ‘Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)’.
Most British people will have little idea about the EU’s involvement in this, because of course the BBC and most of the British media never report on it. The JCPOA itself has been reported upon because parts of it relate to the prevention of Iran’s nuclear weapons programme, but the EU’s power in relation to foreign policy agreements is little discussed.
Here at Brexit Facts4EU.Org we first reported on the EU’s involvement with Iran before the Referendum. Then in April 2016, just 3 months prior to the big vote, we reported on an extraordinary 48 hour visit to Tehran by the EU’s Foreign Minister Mogherini and 7 other EU Commissioners.
That’s a total of 8 unelected but extremely powerful EU Commissioners, visiting Tehran for the weekend and agreeing to all kinds of cooperation with the regime. At the time we highlighted 3 areas of concern:-
  1. The EU Investment Bank to start lending to Iran
  2. The EU to conduct joint nuclear research with Iran
  3. The EU to share science and technology knowledge with Iran
Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission, studied political science in Italy and France and did her dissertation on Islam. She was a communist for eight years until the Italian Communist Party disbanded and was renamed, whereupon Ms Mogherini joined the new organisation.
Ms Mogherini is no fan of the United Kingdom and has indicated that she is looking forward to ‘getting her hands on the file’ as soon as the UK leaves. From 29th March next year the UK will technically be a ‘third country’, which means Ms Mogherini will be in charge of the EU’s relations with the UK.
The other EU Commissioner who might be of particular interest to President Trump is Elżbieta Bieńkowska. Ms Bieńkowska has no business experience but she is the Commissioner for the Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
Curiously, Ms Bieńkowska has a masters degree in Iranian studies from Jagiellonian University in Krakow.
So, the EU’s Vice-President did her university dissertation on Islam, and the
Commissioner for the Single Market and business did her masters in Iranian studies.
Technically the answer to that question is clear: it’s the EU member states’ foreign ministers when they meet under the auspices of the EU Council who decide foreign policy, based on the views of their own government. The reality is of course a little different, as with most of what the EU does.
“I do not want to say a great deal about foreign policy. We urgently need a common foreign and security policy.”
“It would be fine by me if the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy [Federica Mogherini] were no longer thwarted by the Foreign Ministers of the Member States and I will ensure this does not happen.”
- President Juncker, Oct 2014 speech to EU Parliament, setting out objectives for 2014-2020
In other words, the EU Commission President proposes that Italian former Communist Federica Mogherini, the EU’s “High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy” (and EU Commission Vice President) will be able to overrule the Defence and Foreign Ministers of the EU member states.
We have previously written on many occasions that we are very concerned at the way the EU is run in practice, regardless of what the Treaties say.
Foreign policy is a good example of this. We regularly read the minutes of the meetings of the Foreign Secretaries of the EU member states, and we don’t even see a fraction of what seems to be decided by Brussels bureaucrats.
At what point in the last 45 years were the British people asked if they wished their foreign policy to be decided in Brussels? Federica Mogherini acts as though she is the Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary all rolled into one, and yet she is barely known to the British public.
Bearing in mind that this very powerful woman will soon be responsible for the EU’s relationship with the UK, you would think that the British media might show a little more interest.
(She's the one in the head-scarf)
Iranian MPs rushing to take selfies with
the EU's Foreign and Defence minister in the Iranian parliament
[ Sources: EU Commission | Iranian government | Tehran Times ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.        05.25am, 08 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.

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Thousands of people turned out in London yesterday for a peaceful 'Day For Freedom' rally. Freedom of speech is a very precious thing. Increasingly it seems we will have to defend our ancient rights.
       07.25am, 07 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Chris, Devizes      Date/Time: 08 May 2018, 1.50pm
Message: Replying to John Finn: The EU is not going to alter their position whatever is proposed. Why would they? So far, May has agreed to every single demand they have made, and more. They are steadily achieving their objective by being as obstructive as possible, and the stupid naive May cannot see what is going on. The NI border issue is particularly convenient for the EU, because they have an ally in Varadkar, who wants to see a united Ireland. Annexing NI is the first step towards that.
Name: John Finn, Coventry      Date/Time: 08 May 2018, 1.23pm
Message: To Chris, Devizes: I'm not sure you've read my comment properly. [1] I have picked up my information by watching evidence from Select Committee meetings and reading study papers. From where have you got your information? [2] I made it clear that I thought the UK's proposed solutions to NI would almost certainly work satisfactorily. HOWEVER, if DD believes that it's the EU's intransigence that is preventing progress being made then he needs to say so. If that is the case, then the EU are not going to alter their position whatever is proposed. FACTS4EU: Yes - I know you've covered Lars Karlsson. It's just sometimes useful and persuasive if separate independent sources are provided.
Name: Chris, Devizes      Date/Time: 08 May 2018, 11.24am
Message: Replying to John Finn: I think you've been watching the BBC too much again. Neither DD nor the EU can explain what the EU's objections to the UK's NI border solutions are, because there are none. The NI issue is just one of a long line of fake problems invented by the EU to further their aims. What you must remember is that the EU has one completely overriding objective, which is to punish, humiliate and damage the UK as much as possible. They are acutely aware that if Brexit is seen to be even the slightest bit successful, other member states may do the same. It will only need one other major economy to quit the Bloc and it is game over for the EU - the whole thing will collapse like a (bankrupt) pack of cards. No doubt the next fake problem conjured up by the EU will be Gibraltar.
Name: John Finn, Coventry      Date/Time: 08 May 2018, 11.13am
Message: Further to my earlier response to A. Bruce: As an example of the unquestioning attitude of the media to any objection to government Brexit proposals, consider the recent reports that it will take until 2023 to introduce a technological solution to the NI border. When giving evidence to the Brexit Select Committee (Mar 20th 2018), Lars Karlsson (look him up on google) was asked this very question. He confirmed that a first version, covering most of what he thought would be required by the UK/EU, could be in place by the end of the implementation period (Dec 2020). He did stress the importance of exporters being fully informed about what was required of them to achieve "friction-free" trade (e.g. Trusted Trader registration) but that was his only real concern.
REPLY: John, No need to Google Lars Karlsson, we covered him in an article only yesterday! See below!
Name: John Finn, Coventry      Date/Time: 08 May 2018, 10.40am
Message: Response to A Bruce (Derbyshire). I've followed quite a lot of the arguments on customs and the NI border issue and there's no doubt there is a lot of hot air in the media. Minor objections by the EU are magnified several fold and disagreements become "breakdowns in talks". However, I'm also becoming less persuaded by the reassuring tones of the 2 Davids alluded to in your comment (Davis & Campbell Bannerman). DCB increasingly reminds me of an insurance salesman who sees no problem with anything until it actually comes to claiming. DD performed quite well at the recent Select Committee but still came up short when required to explain exactly what the NI border problems were and what the EU objections were to the solutions proposed by the UK. In my experience, if someone has a very good argument their case they are usually only too willing to explain it fully. FWIW, I think the NI border problem is being exaggerated by the EU. But it's no good us saying there isn't a problem while they keep saying there is. We need to know exactly what it is they object to - and why.
Name: A Bruce, Derbyshire      Date/Time: 07 May 2018, 1.46pm
Message: I would be interested to see other opinions on this article:-
I have been increasingly despondent over the last few months that Brexit has/is becoming derailed. But watching the brexit select committee a couple of weeks ago, my faith in David Davis (which had been faltering) was somewhat renewed. I take news/information from many sources (not least this excellent site) and the huge amount of political posturing, noise/smoke/mirrors in the MSM with its predilection for cut and paste 'journalism' from googlesnapnumptyfaceapp; just distracts from clear thinking and objective analysis of what's actually going on. I was therefore pleasantly surprised by the article above by David Campbell Bannerman, and wonder what others make of it.
The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is a non issue. It is being used by the EU and by Remainer politicians purely as a political device to frustrate Brexit.
Since before the Referendum, Brexit Facts4EU.Org has repeatedly destroyed suggestions by the EU and by Remainer MPs and campaigners that the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic necessitates the UK staying in the EU’s Customs Union, or in ‘a’ customs union, or anything like it.
We have done so with simple facts and with the evidence of experts and those involved in managing the border currently.
Despite all the facts available, the BBC’s Andrew Marr yesterday insisted on making it sound like a solution either didn’t exist or that it would take another 5 years to implement, leaving a ‘black hole’ on Brexit. He did so not once but on half a dozen occasions during the programme.
Very regrettably, once again we must summarise the evidence for the BBC and others.
BRITISH GOVERNMENT BREXIT PAPER ‘FUTURE CUSTOMS ARRANGEMENTS’, AUG 2017: “The UK is currently implementing a new Customs Declaration Service (CDS)… This is a high priority project within Government and HMRC is on track to deliver by January 2019. CDS will be compliant with the EU’s Union Customs Code to ensure continuity for business and will provide modern, digital customs technology, which will ensure HMRC has the flexibility needed to deal with the outcome of the negotiations with the EU. The UK has accepted electronic declarations since the 1990s, reducing the need for paperwork and streamlining processes for business. CDS will build on this track-record by accommodating new digital functionality, providing businesses engaged in international trade with a robust, modern and flexible declarations service capable of dealing with our future trade with the EU and the rest of the world.”
JON THOMPSON, CEO OF HMRC, 2017 : “We do not believe we require any infrastructure between Northern Ireland and Ireland under any circumstances.” - See our article with video evidence.
LIAM IRWIN, COMMISSIONER OF THE IRISH REVENUE, 2017: “We have absolutely no plans for anything along the Border at this stage” and “There would not be customs stops on the Border such as applied until 1992 [before the Good Friday Agreement of 1998]” - See our article with transcript of evidence.
LARS KARLSSON, AUTHOR OF EU PARLIAMENT BREXIT BORDER/CUSTOMS REPORT, AND FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE WORLD CUSTOMS ORGANIZATION, SPEAKING TO THE EXITING THE EU COMMITTEE IN MAR 2018: “There would not need to be any necessary infrastructure and not need to be either CCTV cameras or number plate readers.”
Question: “But the technology proposed in this report is untested, that’s correct isn’t it?” asked Joanna Cherry MP (SNP). “The proposal you’ve put here hasn’t actually been tested at any location anywhere in the world.”
Karlsson: “No that’s not correct. It actually has.”
RT HON PETER LILLEY, NOV 2017: “We’ve put forward those proposals and we haven’t had any concrete response from [the EU or Irish government].”
“All they’ve done is leak third-rate tittle-tattle, from second-ranking diplomats.” - See our article and watch the video.
If we had more funding and therefore more resources we could collate our more recent articles about the Irish border onto one special page. As it is, the BBC will just have to read the above, and then go back over our last 6 months' output.
It is a simple fact that proven solutions exist for the N.I. border. They do not require border posts, nor anything else that could remotely be described as being obtrusive. These solutions are agreed in principle by HMRC, by the Irish Revenue, and even by the special report commissioned by the EU Parliament last year.
It is also a simple fact that a border currently exists between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, despite the media talking as if it doesn’t exist. There are even CCTV cameras – as you might expect around any border anywhere in the world. This is because the Republic is a foreign country. Sinn Fein and the Republic’s government may not like that, but it’s a fact.
It’s also a fact that the UK government proposed a ‘maximum facilitation’ solution in August last year, and has yet to have any detailed explanation from the Irish or from the EU of why this is unacceptable. The reason is because they can have no rational objections. It’s logical. All that is needed is for the two customs organisations on each side of the border to work out the minor details.
Instead the EU prefers to weaponise the border issue and deliberately to inflame the smouldering tensions which still exist in the province.
And this is from an EU which constantly pretends it has been a peace advocate and broker for the last 60 years. Quite shameful behaviour.
If you were an ordinary person watching the BBC yesterday you would have no idea of any of the truth about the N.I. border that we have reported once again above. None of this is new, but none of it is ever reported by the BBC or by most other mainstream media outlets.
We have now reached the point with the national broadcaster where we’ve had enough. We know that most of our readers felt this way long ago, but we have attempted to retain a degree of moderation.
Now we’ve really had enough. Yesterday’s flagship political programmes – the Marr Show and the Sunday Politics - were pitiful. Another of the BBC’s flagship programmes – Question Time – was even more shocking than usual on Thursday.
There are specialist organisations which monitor the BBC’s output and provide excellent information so we will leave it to them to take apart in detail the BBC’s ludicrous claims of impartiality. We will simply say that members of the Brexit Facts4EU.Org team grew up on BBC news, and in previous times defended it when it was under attack.
The days of the BBC’s reputation for excellence in news reporting disappeared many years ago. Brexit has simply highlighted a long fall from grace. We never thought it would plumb the depths it now has but as a news organisation we now find its output to be unwatchable.
We also consider BBC News & Current Affairs to be beyond recovery. Unfortunately it is so far gone that nothing short of starting from scratch with new editors and staff would work.
Finally, if any of the BBC’s news editors wish to take issue with us, they can be our guest. We will of course print whatever justifications they try to come up with. On the other hand they could always start to question themselves first and look critically at their output against the facts which are available to them.
The Northern Ireland non-issue wouldn’t be a bad place for them to start educating themselves.
Note: Brexit Facts4EU.Org does not set out to report impartially. The enormous weight of bias against Brexit means that we focus on bringing fact-based articles to rebut the anti-Brexit bias of the BBC and others. If required, however, the team here would be perfectly capable of producing impartial output on Brexit, unlike the BBC.
[ Sources: UK government (DExEU) | EU Parliament | UK Parliament | Irish Parliament | BBC ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.        06.40am, 07 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Simon C, Sussex, UK      Date/Time: 08 May 2018, 7.01pm
Message: The Northern Ireland affairs committee of the UK Parliament does not share your confidence that 'proven solutions exist for the border'; their latest report said "we have had no visibility of any technical solutions, anywhere in the world, beyond the aspirational, that would remove the need for physical infrastructure at the border" and called on HMG to come forward with examples. Conversely, the various schemes and ideas for automation of customs declarations and collection of tariffs are feasible, as are the proposals to de-risk movements by use of the Advanced Economic Operator schemes. The problems come with HMG's assumptions around small traders and exempting them from checks (which enables Jon Thompson to claim that no infrastructure is required). None of these assumptions have been tested, especially as JT is a crown civil servant and cannot comment on HMG policy. There is a minefield of problems in this area that is slowly coming to light as folks re-learn the problems of operating a land border for the UK.
Reply: Thank you for the interesting comment. We reported on the evidence given by the experts for the UK, Eire, and the EU Parl't. You have mentioned a report of politicians on a committee. We prefer expert testimony to political bias. As you say, the technical solutions are all feasible. The assumptions around small traders are perfectly logical and sensible. Only an EU set on destroying the Irish economy and the GFA would say otherwise. There isn't a minefield, just a field. We've crossed fields many times in our history, often under fire.
Name: W. Alkaway, Essex, UK      Date/Time: 08 May 2018, 11.42am
Message: The pro-EU Remoaners of the top Civil Service, the BBC and the House of Lords should all be ousted. Sack the top Civil Servants. They are supposed to work for the Government of the day, and not for a foreign ruling Power. We should all stop our payments for BBC TV Licence fees and replace with an unbiased TV company, employing hard working, factual and politically unbiased journalists, as in the Facts4EU team. Close down the now defunct and self-interested House of Lords. A petition to Parliament calling for the elimination of the House of Lords is already on the books. And sack the current Prime Minister unless she comes clean and stops trying to follow Civil Service ploys to keep us within the control of the EU bureaucrats. That should all concentrate a few minds!
Name: Big Mach, Cheshire      Date/Time: 07 May 2018, 12.57pm
Message: The CDS, mentioned in the first section of this article, is designed to enhance paperless customs facilitation and is part of an EU wide requirement to streamline trade across external borders. This page from the EU explains the aim of the Union Customs Code, from which I have taken some extracts:- "The UCC strives for further automation of all exchange and storage of information through additional IT systems that integrate the new processes and legal requirements, such as common and shared services to customs and harmonised interfaces and EU portals for trade." From the following you will see that the aim is paperless customs procedures by December 2020. "Transition to fully electronic customs - While the substantive provisions of the UCC entered into force on 1 May 2016 a transition period is necessary before full implementation can be achieved. This is primarily due to the fact that there is a need to develop new IT systems or upgrade existing ones in order to fully implement the legal requirements. This transition period currently lasts until 31 December 2020 at the latest, but the Commission has recently proposed that the transitional period be extended to 2025 for a small number of customs formalities managed by electronic systems that may not be fully completed until 2025. The detailed rules regarding the transitional period are contained in a Transitional Delegated Act and in the UCC Work Programme. Their practical application is addressed in several guidance documents produced in collaboration with Member State and Trade representatives. These rules will ensure a smooth transition from the existing customs legislative regime to the new UCC rules on a gradual basis between 1 May 2016 and 31 December 2025. If you delve further you will find that the EU are aiming to fulfil the UNECE scheme for a Single Window environment, explained on this short YouTube clip. The days of customs posts monitoring inbound paperwork are over, although I doubt that many of our MPs understand what is going on. We are rapidly moving towards electronic customs which make discussion of customs on the Irish border irrelevant. Furthermore, discussion of customs hindrance to lorries taking parts to Toyota or Honda is more a political ploy than a practical reality.
Name: Shieldsman, Surrey      Date/Time: 07 May 2018, 11.03am
Message: After Greg Clark's answers are we any the wiser? Waffle, waffle as clear as mud. Clark rewrote the planning rules, which now consists of one word - 'sustainability', whatever that means.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 07 May 2018, 08.40am
Message: An excellent hard hitting article calling out the BBC. Over many years I have noticed the BBC increasingly become the political spin machine of Government and Whitehall, and the problem is that many viewers are taken in by them, especially younger generations. In the UK, we are forced to pay a licence fee [by law] to watch BBC news and other BBC programming. The licence fee pays BBC salaries and so on. It is correct we question BBC output, and call them out when we see bias. As the UK national broadcaster, the BBC should be supporting our country at every opportunity showing the positives of Brexit, instead of persisting with doom and gloom, and dare I suggest, promoting 'project fear' when there is nothing to be fearful of. Many of us ordinary folk can see straight through political spin, and can also see the constant delays and demands are coming from the EU side. This is not rocket science.

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                                 © EU Parliament service
The EU has thousands of funds: some small, some more significant. One of the more significant is called the ‘Cohesion Fund’. In the EU’s current 7-year budget from 2014-2020 it is allocated €63.3 billion euros - approximately £55 billion GBP.
The EU describes it as being:-
“allocated to trans-European transport networks
and to projects falling under EU environmental priorities”
In other words it’s spent by qualifying member states on roads, railways, and waterways, as well as projects falling under ‘environment protection, low-carbon economy, and climate change’.
The breakdown below shows that the ‘Green Agenda’ takes 45% of the total fund, with the remaining 55% being spent on transport and energy infrastructure projects.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
Despite contributing to the fund, the UK receives nothing at all from it. The fund is in effect a wealth transfer scheme from richer EU countries to poorer ones, ostensibly aimed at standardising cross-border transport and energy infrastructure. It also advances the EU's climate change agenda.
The current recipients are the following 15 countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Cyprus.
Here is the allocation of the funds by member state
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
As you can see, Poland is by far the biggest individual recipient from this £55bn fund, receiving an astonishing 37% of the entire amount.
EXAMPLE OF USE OF FUNDS - Croatian Inland Waterways
The Croatian government says:
“The goal is therefore to improve and restore the inland waterway system in Croatia,
in order to make it more attractive and specific
in comparison with other modes of transport.”
We would like to ask you some questions.
  • Did you know about this fund?
  • Whether or not you are in favour of a wealth distribution scheme between richer and poorer members of the EU, do you think you should have been asked if you approved?
  • Whether or not you unconditionally support expenditure on the green agenda, is 45% an appropriate share for this, for such a large fund?
  • If it is, why should this expenditure be restricted to just 15 member states?
  • Why does just one country (Poland) receive 36.7% of the total fund?
  • Do you think the EU should be re-thinking funds like this to see where savings could be made, rather than expecting the UK to continue funding things for which it will get no benefit?
Brexit Facts4EU.Org will continue to shed some light on the many and various ways the EU has been spending the UK’s net contributions over the last 45 years. Do please support us with a small donation if you can.
[ Sources: EU Commission | Croatian gov't | EU Parliament ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.        06.55am, 06 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 06 May 2018, 5.50pm
Message: On rare occasions we hear of this fund, but what else do we expect from the secretive EU. Enforced wealth distribution between countries is madness, yet our politicians seemingly go along with it. The way to create increased wealth is by increased productivity and trading with countries on a global scale - not trapped inside the EU. Some countries produce product the UK cannot, and we may produce product they cannot - so we trade. Less well off countries have no incentive if they get £billions given to it. As an independent country, the UK can help poorer countries by removing tariffs and trading. It allows that country to have a sense of purpose. To make a rich country purposely poorer makes no sense at all. In my opinion, the EU commission should first look at themselves. Their bloated salaries and equally bloated pensions. They couldn't care less if they rip off the ordinary person.
Name: Thomas, Devon      Date/Time: 06 May 2018, 10.05am
Message: So our roads are crowded and full of potholes and yet Poland gets over £20bn to fix theirs and build new ones?

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In the article above we showed you how the UK is a major funder of a £55 billion EU wealth transference scheme called the 'Cohesion Fund'. We explained that the UK receives nothing from this fund.
Now we provide shocking evidence that the EU is demanding that the UK continue to pay for this enormous transport infrastructure and green fund for years after the UK has left the EU - despite most of the money not being committed when the UK issued its Article 50 notice letter.
This is highly relevant to the EU's claim for a 'Brexit bill' which has already been agreed in principle by Theresa May.
When the UK finally 'gave notice' to the EU on 29th March last year, this was a 2-year notice period. In other words, as far as the EU were concerned at that point, the UK would be leaving on 29th March 2019.
As the information below shows, at that time less than 6% of the EU's £55bn 'Cohesion Fund' had been spent. A total of 25% had been 'decided', leaving 69% which was still at the planning stage.
It is important to recognise that the Cohesion Fund is just one of many EU funds which had an overall budget for the period 2014-2020, but where little of the money had been committed, and where an even smaller amount had actually been spent.
This is just one example of monies which could have been - and still could be - re-thought by the EU based on the fact that one of its major donors is leaving.
When the UK gave notice, almost 70% of the fund hadn't yet been committed:
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
Clearly more funds become committed to projects as time goes by. In the last year there has been a huge increase in the amount the EU has ostensibly spent on projects, since the UK gave its formal notice under Article 50 of the EU Treaty.
According to the latest figures, the amount the EU had spent on this Cohesion Fund by the end of 2017 had trebled. However, it still stands at less than 20% of the total fund of £55 billion.
Even when we look at the amount the EU says it has 'committed' rather than 'spent', this amount has rocketed in the 9 months since the UK gave notice to the EU, to the end of 2017. In April 2017 it stood at only 25% of the total fund. By year end it stood at 64%.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
The EU has many large funds of which the Cohesion Fund is only one. We warned about the fact that most EU funds had barely been allocated when the UK gave notice. We said that the EU could easily have cut back on these funds before they had even been notionally allocated to projects.
Instead the EU ploughed on, knowing that the weak Theresa May government would almost certainly agree to continue funding the EU for years to come.
Very regrettably we have been proved right.
Mrs May should have immediately ridiculed the idea that the UK would continue funding the EU if it didn't immediately cut back on its proposed expenditure. Instead she let it carry on with its free-spending ways with British money.
And you, dear British taxpayer, will be expected to pick up the tab for billions of pounds of EU profligacy, to pay for green and climate change projects, as well as roads fit for a king, in 15 EU member states.
No other Brexit organisation dopes the research we do, producing original and important articles like this every day. If you want us to continue to do this and to lobby for a full, clean Brexit, could you please consider making a quick donation?
[ Sources: EU Commission ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.        07.15am, 06 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 06 May 2018, 4.10pm
Message: We voted to Leave the European Union. It was a UK-wide democratic vote. Everyone knew what was going on. The result was clear. Cameron resigned and Mrs May took over. All the evidence shows Mrs May continued giving things away post-referendum when she should have been making provision for our exit from the EU. She has subjected British taxpayers to fund a corrupt EU for ever and a day, regardless of our vote. SHOULD WE BE ANGRY? - YES WE SHOULD. It's akin to saying, open the UK front door, come in, 'steal' what they want, and we'll also give them £billions on top of that, regardless whether or not we need UK money to stay in the UK to fund our own much need services and infrastructure. The UK has no obligation to pay an 'exit bill' (which doesn't exist in the first place). We are obliged only to meet membership fees up to 2020, and perhaps some other long term projects - out of choice. As a sovereign, self-governing and independent country, the UK will have zero obligation to provide for other countries. What we choose to do is a matter for the UK alone, and NOT for the EU commission to tell us what we must do or how we spend our money. Readers should remember only around 10% of UK business actually export to the EU, yet 100% of UK business is subjected to dictatorial EU commission rules and red tape, and 100% of the UK populous are subjected to laws made by those we did not elect and cannot remove. As I have said for decades, the EU construct is the biggest scam in history, and UK MPs and peers [though not all] have been complicit in this scam. All those who scream they don't have enough money, or their local services are run down, need to take a cold hard look at the money/power grabbing EU. And those attempting to subvert Brexit should be ashamed of themselves.
Name: Thomas, Devon      Date/Time: 06 May 2018, 10.15am
Message: I have NO idea why May agreed to pay them anything. Your article shows they could have cut back and didn't. May has agreed for us to pay for stuff they've decided on since we voted out! Incredible!!
To be honest there are no cute puppies, abandoned children
or even a snow leopard on the Brexit Facts4EU team...
...But we do work very hard and we're desperate.
   Do you think you can still help us   
to keep up the good work?
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                                 © Marina Militare
In September 2015, the EU Commission and EU Council committed to relocating 160,000 migrants from Italy and Greece across 24 other EU Member States by September 2017. The UK wasn't included because it's not in the Schengen zone. The latest figures have just been published.
The target wasn’t met by the September 2017 deadline so the EU continues to report latest numbers. Unfortunately the last release still shows a catastrophic failure of this policy, despite the EU claiming that the scheme has been “a success”.
Here is the latest report from the EU on this disaster of a policy:-
“More than two years on, the EU relocation scheme has proved to be a success, helping refugees start a new life and ensuring that responsibility is better shared amongst Member States – over 96% of all eligible applicants registered for relocation by Italy and Greece have now been relocated.
- EU Commission – “Progress report on the Implementation of the European Agenda on Migration”, 14 Mar 2018
Given that the EU seems to want you to be believe that it has been 96% successful, Brexit Facts4EU.Org looked at the real figures, which are shown below.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
The legal obligation on member states (except the UK and Denmark) to accept relocations of migrants entering the EU via Greece and Italy was very clear.
Unfortunately, the majority of EU countries have been flouting their legal obligations for the last two and a half years, despite numerous calls from the Commission to come to order.
“The temporary emergency relocation scheme was established in two Council Decisions in September 2015 in which Member States committed to relocate 160,000 people from Italy and Greece (and if relevant from other Member States) by September 2017.”
[EU Commission, 12 Apr 2017]
The result of the EU Council’s legal decisions has been that two and half years later despite repeated urgent demands from the Commission, just 34,613 out of the committed 160,000 migrant relocations have taken place to other EU countries. That’s just 19.7%.
That’s an 80% failure rate.
There’s no doubt about the legal nature of the obligation. It’s stated many times in EU Commission documents and press releases. Even if you add in the 3,000 migrants taken by voluntarily by some non-EU countries the success percentage is only 21.6%.
“Now is the time for our Member States to deliver on their commitments and to intensify their efforts. They have a political, moral and legal duty to do so.”
[Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos
Almost all member states are way behind on their commitments, as you can see in the chart below.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
Note: When it became obvious that the EU would not come anywhere near meeting its number, the EU rapidly lowered the target from 160,000 to below 100,000 relocations. Even then it has failed dramatically. However it’s important to note that we have used the original allocations to express the EU’s failures.
Despite calling the policy a success, the Commission nevertheless goes on to disprove this in the sentences which follow:-
“The Commission has reminded all Member States of their legal obligations and called on those Member States that have yet to take part in relocation to do so immediately.
“The Commission initiated infringement procedures in July 2016 and decided on 7 December 2017 to refer the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to the Court of Justice of the EU, as the three Member States remained in breach of their legal obligations.”
- EU Commission – “Progress report on the Implementation of the European Agenda on Migration”, 14 Mar 2018
For the past two and a half years the EU Commission has regularly announced “Steady progress made” in relocating migrants, but numbers have consistently remained at disastrous levels. Sometimes the Commission has got carried away, saying “We have made enormous progress on relocation over the past two years”, only to be ridiculed by us.
Let’s be clear, this is another of the EU Commission’s flagship policies. It is something they have bragged about many times. And it has been a failure, despite them trying to spin the figures in an outrageous way.
This is another example of the EU failing. Only one EU country got above 80% of its target allocation, and that was Ireland. The rest have all failed to meet their legal obligations.
In three cases the Commission is pursuing member states with legal action – Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic. Notably it is not pursuing all the other states which haven’t taken their allocations, but it has picked out the countries whose populist governments it disapproves of.
The lesson for the UK’s Brexit negotiators is that this is typical of the dysfunctional and inconsistent EU.
Week after week for years we have investigated the mess that is the EU. We have seen the absurdities such as this policy, where the EU bends the truth so far it disappears into some contorted alternative universe. We’ve noted the way that some rules are proclaimed loudly but so many are not adhered to. If the country concerned is a “good boy or girl”, then there are no consequences.
You can look at this article to see this, or if you want another example look at the appalling behaviour of the autocratic Madrid government against its Catalan people and their politicians. Not a word has been said by Brussels.
In short, the British negotiators badly need to be given a dose of realism. When the EU says something, our default response should be to smile indulgently, ignore it, and tell them the way things are going to be.
With the current batch of negotiators this clearly won’t happen. We would clear them out, fire Olly Robbins, and put in some senior pro-Brexit business leaders and MPs to run things. Civil servants should be the servants of decisions by others, not the makers of a disastrous pro-Remain fictitious Brexit.
[ Sources: EU Commission | EU Council ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       05.25am, 05 May 2018
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Name: R Ellison, Essex, UK      Date/Time: 05 May 2018, 10.22am
Message: Ireland will rue the day they took in so many migrants. With mosques already going up in Eire and Dublin with African youths imposing their own 'No Go' areas, they will soon realise the price to pay for all those EU funds they've benefitted from, comes at a price. The Irish value their strong Catholic Christian beliefs and their way of life. When the newcomers try to impose Sharia Law and demand the shutting down of the Guinness Factory in Dublin, the Irish might just wake up. But it will be too late.
© GoFundMe
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                                 © EU Commission
EU Commission asks for a 22-fold increase in defence spending
as EU army continues to take shape
On Wednesday the EU Commission released all its papers relating to the new draft budget starting on 01 Jan 2021. In it, the EU finally admits to a massive ramp-up in its military expenditure, under various guises.
  • €4.1bn Defence research projects
  • €8.9bn “Collaborative capability development projects”
  • €6.5bn “Military mobility”
  • €1.3bn Contingency
It was announced last year that as the funds gain pace, member states will be expected to contribute at a rate 5 times that of monies coming from the EU's central budget. This kind of thing is happening more and more in the EU, so that the EU's real costs appear to be much smaller than they are.
In addition to the €21bn above, the EU’s documents released on Wednesday reveal a further, less transparent defence fund. This one is described as “off-budget” by the EU, meaning that it will not appear anywhere in the main EU budget tables.
Incredibly, this fund is for an additional €10.5bn: equivalent to half the official defence funding. It will be controlled by the European External Action Service. This is the directorate equivalent to the UK’s Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence, and Dept for International Development, all rolled into one. It is run by the most powerful woman in the EU, the Italian former communist Federica Mogherini, who is also a Vice-President of the EU Commission.
Mogherini is not only a fanatical europhile and EU federalist, she is also a committed enthusiast for the European Defence Union and she is pushing for this to be completed as quickly as possible.
We describe her proposed €10.5bn off-the-books’ fund in an article below this one. We are unable to give an amount which will be attributable directly to defence but we would suggest that at least half of it will be used in this way.
This would take the defence total so far to €26 billion. With the 5 times multiplier the EU expect from member states contributing their own money from outside the main EU budget, this would imply a total budget of €130 billion.
Yesterday we contacted the leader of UKIP, Gerard Batten MEP, for his comments. He told us:-
“Even leaving the EU may not save us from being involved in both the expense and danger posed by the EU having its own military force.”
“If Mrs May ensures that the UK is in the new security treaty structure, we must have nothing to do with this dangerous adventure, either financially or militarily.”
Gerard Batten MEP
Leader of UKIP
03 May 2018
We have referred to the total of almost €21 billion of budgeted EU defence expenditure above as a “part-total”. Adding half of the 'off-the-books' fund of €10.5bn to this makes a total of around €26bn, and even then we seriously doubt that this will be the real total for defence.
The reason for this is that we have years of experience looking at how the EU spends money. We have seen EU funds meant for one purpose being reallocated to another, with barely a word said. For example, last year the Commission decided that some member states should use ‘Cohesion Fund’ monies to pay for the management and integration of migrants.
Was this reported widely? No. We picked it up because of our careful scrutiny of as many boring EU documents as possible.
Clearly the EU Commission didn’t want the EU’s budget for migrants to go over its limits for political reasons. The reality is that the EU is spending vast amounts in one way or another on the migrant crisis, which was exacerbated in a major way by Angela Merkel’s unilateral decision to abandon the solemn EU ‘Dublin protocol’ and open Germany’s doors to all-comers.
In the case of defence spending, we are sure based on our experience that the real total will be higher than that indicated by the EU. However even if we are wrong about this, there is no doubt whatsoever about the growing importance to the EU of completing the 'European Defence Union'.
Note: In the mainstream media you may see a figure quoted for the proposed EU defence budget as being €13 billion. This is simply incorrect. That refers to just one part of the EU's defence spending. We prefer to delve into the data and give you the real picture.
[ Sources: EU Commission | Gerard Batten MEP ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.55am, 04 May 2018
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Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 04 May 2018, 5.54pm
Message: Why is the UK Parliament not screaming foul about this wastage of funds by the EU to which the UK contributes a massive amount. This is a very dangerous EU ambition which will lock countries together to be directed by unelected bureaucrats. Why are people not screaming loudly about funding an EU military construct when they can't properly contribute towards NATO, unlike the UK who contribute more than the agreed minimum 2% of GDP. It is now clear for all to see, the so-called trading arrangement 'sold' to us in the 1970's, is anything but. EU member countries will eventually be forced together by unelected bureaucrats into a single country they will call 'Europe', whether people like it or not. People will be forced to pay for their misguided military ambitions, and the UK will contribute to it if Prime Minister May has her way. The EU commission WILL 'bleed' UK taxpayers for every penny they can extort before we leave. I have seen all news channels and I'm not seeing any reports on this vast spending - maybe I blinked! Can the peoples of EU member countries now fully understand that no matter how much they complain, the EU construct is continuing at break-neck speed, and EU elites will refuse to give people their say. I remember Verhofstadt some time ago in the 'EU parliament' declare he would ban all future referenda - such is his contempt for democracy.

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Launch of 'PESCO'                                       © EU Council
We would like to be very clear. There is absolutely no question whatsoever that the EU is moving firmly and rapidly towards having a full military capability.
This really should come as no surprise, as this is official EU policy and has been for decades.
It really started back in the early 1990’s with Maastricht, although a defence union had always been discussed since the start of the European Coal and Steel Community in the 1950s. The Maastricht Treaty laid the foundations for a Common Foreign and Security Policy. In 1999 the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was launched.
By the end of the 90’s major decisions on combining defence were being made.
We have countless proofs of the EU’s intentions from recent years but we will just cite a few examples below, which come from the EU itself.
“Many believed and told me that it would have proven to be impossible for us to have a first Command Centre in Brussels for our military and training missions or that it would take us years, decades to do it.”
“It took us a few weeks. And we decided it together, still at 28, and we did it.”
Photo right: Federica Mogherini, de facto EU Defence Secretary, 09 Jun 2017
“European Union member states can assemble a force of 4,700 fighter planes, and 120 frigates. They constitute a massive military power of 1.4 million soldiers.”
“If we examine the defence budget, EU member states invest more than €200 billion euros annually – the second-biggest defence budget in the world.”
General Mikhail Kostarakos,
Chairman of the European Union Military Committee
IDC Conference June 2017, Herzliya, Israel
The European Union Military Committee (EUMC) was set up by Council Decision 2001/79/CFSP. It directs all military activities within the EU framework, in particular the planning and execution of military missions and operations under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the development of military capabilities.

“Today's joint notification marks an important step towards creating a fully-fledged European Defence Union by 2025”
EU Commission statement, Mon 13th Nov 2017, on the launch of ‘PESCO’ – the Permanent Structured Cooperation in defence.

“The aim is to jointly develop defence capabilities and make them available for EU military operations.”
“PESCO is both a permanent framework for closer cooperation and a structured process to gradually deepen defence cooperation within the Union framework. It will be a driver for integration in the field of defence.”
“This is different from the voluntary approach that is currently the rule within the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy.”
(EU Factsheet)

“In terms of defence, our objective must be Europe's autonomous capacity for action, in addition to NATO.”
“Last June, we laid the foundations for this Europe of Defence; permanent structured cooperation, allowing for increased commitments, progress together and better co-ordination; but also a European Defence Fund to finance our capabilities and our research.”
President Emmanuel Macron, 27 Sept 2017

“Today we are building the European Union of Security and Defence. It is not a plan anymore, it is not a dream anymore, it is reality coming true.”
Report on Annual Conference of European (sic) Defence Agency of the EU
Brussels, 23 November 2017

“The dream of our founding fathers and mothers is finally coming true – more than sixty years later. All the building blocks of a Security and Defence Union are finally there, today. We can now project and develop our defence capabilities together”
“We are building the Europe of Defence on a continental scale”
EU Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Nov 2017

“More than half a century ago, an ambitious vision of the European Defence Community was created...
“Today this dream becomes reality.”
- EU Council President Donald Tusk, Brussels, 14 Dec 2017
For years many people who follow the EU closely – like Brexit Facts4EU.Org – have warned of the military ambitions of the bloc.
Regrettably even to this day we are ridiculed and attacked by ardent Remoaners, despite us providing concrete evidence of the EU’s military plans. Facts are of no interest to the wilder elements of the Remoaner brigade.
We have many many more examples of the EU’s clear statements in relation to its ‘European Defence Union’. We know that Remoaners like Nick Clegg can’t stand it, but they simply can’t pretend any more. It is official EU policy. The EU themselves have been talking more and more openly about the finalisation of their ‘European Defence Union’ by 2025.
Naturally we couldn’t let you go without reminding you of the hapless EU-fanatic Clegg in 2014, in his infamous TV debate with Nigel Farage ahead of the EU Parliament elections that year. This was one of many occasions when he told the public that warnings of an EU army were “a dangerous fantasy”.
We would like to be very clear. Mr Clegg cannot claim ignorance of the EU’s intentions. He will know the contents of the treaties and he will also know of all the developments towards the ‘European Defence Union’.
Nevertheless the last we heard he was still sticking to this proven falsehood.
Mr Clegg's strange version of the EU’s military aims.
Unlike Mr Clegg we have full documentation and sources for everything we report to you and it all comes from official sources.
No doubt you will have made up your own mind about this person.
If you can help us out with a donation to produce well-researched work like this, we really need it.
[ Sources: Difesa (Italian MOD) | NATO | MOD | EU Commission | EEAS | IIA | IPS Herzliya ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.        05.20am, 04 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Brexiteer, Braintree, Essex      Date/Time: 09 May 2018, 08.52am
Message: Well all you remainer snowflakes, here is the reality. Ms Mogherini wants you as cannon fodder to fight a war. Conscription into the EU army, for all the young between 18 yrs and 30 years old. That solves the EU's youth unemployment problem. Let's just wait for the wailing.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 04 May 2018, 8.54pm
Message: All peoples across continental Europe should be asking themselves right now, WHY unaccountable EU elites want an 'EU army'? Remoaners in the UK should be asking themselves that same question. In times when we all wish to de-escalate conflict, military or otherwise, one has to seriously question the motives of the EU? Most Nation States have their own armed forces, some more than most. Some countries have no armed forces and receive protection if necessary, and some remain neutral. The EU wish to escalate armed forces by creating an unnecessary group of intergovernmental forces during peacetime. This can only serve to undermine NATO. I would suggest that far from defence, the EU commission is creating an 'attack' force with no justifiable reason. Ordinary people must speak out against this so we better use our money on domestic issues. As for Sir Nick Clegg (who does not deserve his title for lying), I still await his public apology to 'Sir' Nigel Farage?

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To understand the EU properly, it is important to recognise that the EU uses rather peculiar language in order to obfuscate its activities.
When it comes to defence it can use the term “security” when it means “defence”. Spending money on protection against terrorism is something the vast majority of EU citizens are firmly in favour of, so “security” is a safe description when it comes to describing the purpose of some funds.
Another very current example from the new draft budget is the use of the “Connecting Europe Facility” for a fund to move defence forces rapidly across the EU. We challenge anyone to have guessed that “Connecting Europe” could possibly refer to the rapid mass transportation of troops, tanks and other military hardware across the EU.
A further example from documents released on Wednesday is the extraordinary case of the €10.5 billion “European Peace Facility”. In reality this is an ‘off-the-books’ special fund requested by the (former communist) boss of the European External Action Service Federica Mogherini, which will be used amongst other things “to reinforce possible joint engagement in non-EU countries”.
Unquestionably this fund should be included in the main EU budget where it can be the subject of the normal supervision and auditing processes. By hiving it off it allows the EU to reduce the apparent size of the main budget, which is all that is ever reported by the mainstream media.
The reason for the obfuscated language used by the EU is simple. The EU public are less likely to complain about expenditure on what they think might be related to anti-terrorism measures, or ‘peace’, or ‘connectivity’.
The Commission has many funds it can use to disguise military spending. In particular we would draw your attention to the budget for “Border Management” which totals € 21.3bn.
This involves the protection of the external borders of the EU, which has rapidly been becoming a paramilitary activity. In fact navies including the Royal Navy now have permanent commitments in the Mediterranean as a result of being on migrant duty.
Yesterday we contacted Rear-Admiral Roger Lane-Nott CB, former Royal Navy Flag Officer (submarines), for his comments. He told us:-
Rear-Admiral Roger Lane-Nott CB
Former Royal Navy Flag Officer (submarines)
03 May 2018
“The UK is in this new European Defence Fund and it remains a risk to UK defence autonomy and industry.”
“This budget sum is larger than expected, but of course we are accustomed to this stealthy, pushy approach by the EU Commission. They claim to be merely supporting member states but of course all roads in decision making lead to Brussels, as is their aim. Decision-making over defence procurement should not be transferred to the EU in any capacity and our alliance with European countries done through NATO alone which has kept us safe for decades.”
“The EU’s military acquis is now considerable. People will say it’s a paper tiger but in only legislative form it already has the potential to duplicate and even disturb our most essential alliance, NATO.”
If you are an idealist about the EU, you will not be the slightest bit interested in the facts we report on a daily basis.
When you see us reporting simple facts coming directly from official EU sources, you will instantly reject these and will probably distract yourself by referring to something not remotely connected with the subject at hand. (eg “It’s official EU policy to move to a European Defence Union.” Response: “But what about the £350m per week for the NHS?”)
Instead you will prefer to carry on in your dream world where the EU is always inately good and where it always acts in the best interests of the EU28 citizens. You no doubt believe it acts openly about all it does, no matter what evidence we provide to the contrary.
We come across people like you on a daily basis and there’s nothing we can say that will change your closed minds. You’re suffering from some clinical form of self-delusion which does honestly concern us. You may be in the minority but there are many of you and we wonder if in fact this can now be classified as a form of mass hysteria.
Perhaps if the medical profession were not itself widely infected with Remoanerism, there might by now have been studies into this.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.        04.15am, 04 May 2018
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Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 04 May 2018, 10.35pm
Message: I wonder if this EU 'off-the-books' special fund may be regarded as one form of corruption within EU circles? I suggest this because peoples of EU member nation states have not (to my knowledge) consented to it. Imagine if you will that we ordinary folk kept funds 'off-the-books' somewhere. We would probably have the full force of the law thrown at us and be prosecuted. Yet unaccountable EU bureaucrats act with impunity? We should call it out for what it is, for to deceive at EU level, is as bad as being corrupt. We have long known the EU have a major problem with transparency, hence why they hide issues under the guise of other terms? I would like to sincerely thank Rear-Admiral Roger Lane-Nott CB of Veterans for Britain, for speaking out in his forthright manner. I hope his words reach the ears of Prime Minister May. We need more people like him to speak out in order to stop outsourcing matters, especially when it poses a direct risk to UK national security?
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                                 © UKIP
We are in the process of preparing an article for tomorrow’s edition of Brexit Facts4EU.Org, on the defence element of the EU Commission’s new draft budget which has just been released.
With the EU Commission admitting to a 22 times increase in the EU’s defence budget, we delve deeper. In fact the EU’s plans go further and will cost much more.
This morning UKIP’s leader, Gerard Batten MEP, was on the campaign trail in the local elections. He gave our editor a quick summary of his views on the EU's defence plans and was typically forthright.
Please come back tomorrow to read this important research and to see what the UKIP leader had to say.
In the meantime, please read our shocking initial summary of the EU's new draft budget in the article below.
       11.00am, 03 May 2018
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                                 © EU Commission
Every 7 years the EU sets a budget for itself. We are currently in the budget period for 2014-2020 and the next budget, or “Multi-annual Financial Framework” (MFF), will start the day after the UK’s “Transition Period” supposedly ends, on 01 Jan 2021.
Here's why:-
  1. EU is demanding huge Brexit bill – new budget explains why they’re desperate for money
  2. Mrs May has already said she wants to continue paying for programmes post-Brexit
  3. These will now be much more expensive
  4. New EU spending proves our (& others’) warnings, eg a federalist EU with EU army, new EU taxes etc
  5. Remoaner MPs & peers must explain if this is the EU they want to remain in
Brexit Facts4EU.Org
Yesterday was a big day for the Brussels eurocratic elites. It was the day they presented their grandiose new budget proposals lasting until 2027 – what they propose to spend EU taxpayers’ money on and how they propose to take it.
TOTAL: € 1,279,408,000,000
( €1.28 TRILLION )
“It is an honest response to today's reality in which Europe is expected to play a greater role in providing security and stability in an unstable world, at a time when Brexit will leave a sizeable gap in the EU budget.”
- EU Commission, 02 May 2018
The EU budget is enormous and it’s hugely complicated. In this article Brexit Facts4EU.Org can only aim to give you the highlights of the key information you really need to know. In further articles we will look at various areas in more detail, where we consider they are relevant to Brexit.
  • New EU standard Corporation Tax of 3% in addition to tax rates of member states
  • Huge increases in migration costs, youth programmes, security & defence
  • New EU defence budget of up to €31 billion
  • €10.5bn of this is a new off-the-books “European Peace Facility”
  • Migration costs rocket to €35 billion, plus extra costs included in other budget lines
  • New EU tax on plastic packaging
  • New 20% EU tax on carbon emissions
  • Member states’ income from customs tariffs on imported goods to be halved
  • Farmers' subsidies via CAP to be cut
  • All rebates (such as UK’s annual budget rebate) to be eliminated
  • New MFF: €1.28 trillion (previously €1.09 trillion)
  • This is an increase of 17.7% at current prices
  • Equivalent to 1.11% of the EU27's gross national income (prev: 1%)
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
  • Finally, no money if states (eg Poland, Hungary etc) don’t follow EU rules
  • States must continue to fund all existing EU in-country programmes from their own budgets
  • Migration & Borders – 2.6 times bigger
  • Youth – 2.2 times bigger
  • Security – 1.8 times bigger
  • Climate & Environment – 1.7 times bigger
  • Research, Innovation & Digital – 1.6 times bigger
  • External Action (includes Africa subsidies for migration prevention) – 1.3 times bigger
The MFF Regulation follows a special legislative procedure set out in Article 312 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The Council will adopt the MFF Regulation by unanimity, after receiving the consent of the European Parliament. Under this consent procedure, the Parliament, voting with absolute majority, can approve or reject the Council's position, but cannot amend it. With only a few exceptions, the sector-specific legislation is adopted under the ordinary legislative procedure where Council and Parliament decide jointly, on an equal footing.
Finally, changing the EU's overall financing system (the Own Resources Decision) requires unanimity of Member States and ratification by national parliaments.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
Over the years we have uncovered many surprising stories about the EU, some of which have been breathtaking in our view. It therefore takes a lot to shock us when it comes to the EU’s behaviour.
This new budget proposal from the EU Commission ranks right up there in the ‘shock stakes’ and is one of the most astonishing of all stories we have worked on. In the article above we have barely scratched the surface with the amazing developments contained within the thousands of pages released by the EU yesterday.
We have tried to summarise some of the major facts we thought you would want to know, without boring you with too many statistics and figures at one go. In coming articles we will focus on a few areas which will be of particular interest to our main Brexiteer readership.
For now we will make a couple of serious points. When you watch the BBC’s reports on this – assuming they actually cover this – please just remember that this is a massive story with elements which blow out of the water many of the claims from those in the Commons and the House of Lords that we should stay in this dysfunctional mess.
As we conclude this piece (at 5.30am), there is nothing on the BBC’s UK news about this new budget, despite all its ramifications. Nor is there anything on the ‘Europe’ section of its site. You might want to ask them why not?
Our second point is just to draw your attention to the new 3% EU corporation tax which is proposed, on top of each country’s own corporate tax rates. Perhaps someone might like to ask the CBI if they still think the EU is so lovable?
Our resources are extremely limited due to lack of money, but in the coming days we will do our best to bring you a devastating indictment of the EU’s plans to spend tens of billions on its own military arrangements, despite Nick Clegg having told us that the EU had no such aspirations and that the idea of an EU military that we have continually warned abaout was “a dangerous fantasy”.
We will also look at other astonishing parts of the documents released by the EU yesterday. There are so many it’s almost impossible to know where to start. One thing we can guarantee you – no-one else will bring you readable pieces based on such in-depth research.
If you can help us out with a donation to do this work, we really need it. It will be worth it, we assure you!
[ Sources: EU Commission ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.        06.30am, 03 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Brexiteer, Braintree, Essex      Date/Time: 03 May 2018, 2.19pm
Message: Perhaps one of the vocal remainers Clarke or Morgan would like to comment on this new EU budget. Perhaps they could tell us what advantage there is in the UK remaining in their glorious EU. More importantly what they think we are missing out on. There is nothing remotely of any benefit to the UK taxpayers in that proposed seven year programme, other than they would be paying more taxes. Keeping less and less of their own money and getting more and more regulation and restrictions on their freedoms and liberty.

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                                 © DIT
The Office for National Statistics has just launched a new experimental interactive tool, showing where and what the UK imports from and exports to. We thought you might like to try it.
[ Sources: ONS ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.        08.35am, 02 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Cinnamon, Cumbria      Date/Time: 02 May 2018, 9.18pm
Message: Great tool. Is there any chance that it, or another chart, could show "invisibles" where the UK has a good record?
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 02 May 2018, 5.58pm
Message: A fantastic interactive chart from the ONS which they should copy to every UK MP and peer. This chart will also help peoples of EU member countries to understand where their exports go, and then consider their extra costs should we move to WTO terms (which I am in favour of)?
Let us be clear, EU elites are trying to damage our country because of their crazy ideology no-one in the UK ever voted for in the first instance. Former [TORY] PM Edward Heath lied to the country in the 1970's to which he later admitted. Heath thought British people too stupid to make our own decision. Former [Labour] PM Harold Wilson was complicit with Whitehall in the 1975 referendum and were economical with the truth - we were told yet again it was nothing more than a trading arrangement. Bluntly, we had been deceived a second time, as both Heath and Wilson KNEW it was a political project of immense proportion - the country did not? In the fullness of time, many of us were proven correct.
Succeeding UK Prime Ministers made many promises to the electorate over the EU issue (to gain votes), and reneged as quickly when in power. That said, former PM Cameron never thought his [Tory] party would win an overall majority in 2015, but I will give credit to Mr Cameron for keeping his word and delivering the Referendum Act 2015 through Parliament. That Act should be remembered, for Parliamentarians in BOTH Houses knew exactly what was happening, as did the electorate. The vote was held, the verdict given, and now the world looks on in total disbelief at elected MPs and unelected peers trying to overturn the largest democratic vote in British history. Not only that, we again have the [almost] entire weight of the establishment 'fighting' the people, but this includes foreign interference from the likes of Soros et al.
The people are not blind to the fact there is a majority remain in both UK Houses of Parliament, and their view was respected - until their attempt to subvert Brexit by any means. THEY DO SO AT THEIR PERIL, for it is they alone who will be the cause of civil unrest. If this is what the EU laughingly calls 'democracy', then I must be on another planet! The peoples of EU member countries need to 'fight' for what is theirs, or EU elites will take things from them - guaranteed?
Name: Patrick H, London      Date/Time: 02 May 2018, 2.35pm
Message: Excellent. Remainer/Remoaners you can't hide any longer. Trade facts are an important indicator to the general health of the UK, and now we have easy access to the official raw data, and more importantly, an easy straightforward method to refer to the real trade facts in any Brexiteer/Remainer discussion?... thanks to the hardworking people at Fact4EU.
                                 © RTE (screengrab)
In a speech in Dundalk near the Irish border on Monday in front of the Irish Taoiseach and Tanaiste (PM Leo Varadkar and Foreign Minister Simon Coveney), the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator once again laid it on the line for the UK.
Monsieur Barnier could not be clearer that it was agreed by the British government that Northern Ireland will effectively be cut off from the rest of the country, if the government doesn’t come up with a new proposal that the EU is happy with.
As things stand, the EU has already dismissed the proposal that both HMRC and the Irish Revenue & Customs seem perfectly happy with – the use of existing electronic customs arrangements with some modest additions.
In order to secure the draft withdrawal and transition agreement with the EU which Mrs May was so proud of, the British government agreed that in the absence of any deal on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic there must be a ‘back-stop’ agreement.
This ‘back-stop’ effectively means that a new border will be created in the middle of the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Northern Ireland will to all intents and purposes be in the Single Market and Customs Union, subject to all EU laws on goods and standards, and will in effect not leave the EU.
Mrs May famously said in Parliament in February that – even though this was supposedly a draft agreement she had made with the EU – “no UK Prime Minister could ever agree to it”.
The problem is that on 19th March when the draft agreement was published, David Davis and Michel Barnier gave a joint press conference. In that press conference Barnier stated: “We agreed today that the back stop solution must form part of the legal text of the withdrawal agreement.” David Davis was standing right beside him when Barnier announced this.
Clearly someone here is lying.
Below are the key excerpts from Monsieur Barnier’s speech near the Irish border on Monday.
“The consequences of Brexit should not and must not lead to the return of a hard border, neither on maps nor in minds…. And this is why we insist on the need to have a backstop as part of the Withdrawal Agreement.”
“In December, the UK agreed that, unless and until another solution is found, Northern Ireland will maintain full alignment with the rules of the Single Market and the Customs Union which support North-South cooperation, the all-island economy, and the protection of the Good Friday Agreement.”
“1) First, both sides in this negotiation are firmly committed to a backstop. It is a guarantee to avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.
“In March, in a letter to the European Council President Donald Tusk, Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed her commitment to including operational legal text on the backstop in the Withdrawal Agreement.
“To be clear: without a backstop, there can be no Withdrawal Agreement. This is an EU issue, not only an Irish issue.”
“2) My second point is that the backstop is not part of a negotiation strategy…. The backstop is not there to change the UK's red lines. It is there because of the UK's red lines.
“The UK's decision to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union creates a risk that the hard border will return. This is why it is necessary to have a self-standing backstop solution. To be clear, once again the backstop was drafted in full respect of the UK's red lines.”
“3) My third point is that the backstop is needed in order to respect the integrity of the Single Market and the EU's Customs Union.
“Some people think that we could have two different sets of rules on the island of Ireland and still avoid border checks…. Goods that enter Ireland also enter the Single Market. It is called the “Single” Market for a reason.
“So, since we all agree that we do not want a border, and since the UK agreed to respect Ireland's place in the Single Market, then that means goods entering Northern Ireland must comply with the rules of the Single Market and the Union Customs Code.
“That is our logic. Simple as that.”
And Monsieur Barnier concluded: “Finally, the backstop will apply unless and until another solution is found as part of the future relationship.”
What is the point of negotiations and supposedly reaching an agreement if in fact no such agreement exists? Mrs May says that “no UK Prime Minister could ever agree to it”. So why did she? Barnier was clear only 19 days later when he stood next to David Davis and announced the deal. Mr Davis didn't contradict Barnier, so someone is lying.
N.I. stands for “No Issue”. Or it should. Many times on this site we have demonstrated that Northern Ireland is being used as a political football by the EU.
We are not saying that there aren’t many details which need to be agreed to ensure the smooth operation of trade across the border – there are. However there already exists the basis of a practical solution which both HMRC and their Irish counterparts believe is eminently workable.
The problem is that the EU is preventing the two sides from getting together to thrash out the details, because the EU has no interest in solving this.
This solution does not require a hard border and it does not require that Northern Ireland stay in the Single Market and Customs Union and remain subject to the jurisdiction of the ECJ.
Northern Ireland continues to be used in a disgustingly cynical fashion by the EU in order to thwart a clean Brexit. The Irish PM and his Foreign Minister have behaved shamefully throughout and in our opinion they clearly hold anti-British views. Their games-playing is somewhat surprising given that the Irish economy would collapse in the event of a ‘no deal’ between the UK and the EU.
For the record, we have attempted to get a reaction from the Democratic Unionist Party but their press office hasn’t bothered to respond to us.
The real tragedy is that for the last two years the British government with its Remoaner civil servants has been too incompetent to hit this non-issue on the head. Regrettably we have to say that this is typical of the entire conduct of the government on Brexit in general.
Finally, we sometimes get comments that we obviously don't understand that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed", so it doesn't matter what the UK government agrees to on something like Northern Ireland because they can always withdraw at the last minute.
Sorry, but this is nonsense. Firstly, agreeing to the EU's more ridiculous demands only encourages them to make even more extreme ones. Secondly, it reinforces their view that the UK is weak in these negotiations. Thirdly our experience of these negotiations has been that the UK has constantly given ground on every occasion, such that we detest the latest version of the agreement in its entirety and do not consider it to be Brexit.
And finally, it puts off the inevitable until so late in the day that there really will be major disruption if the UK exits without a deal.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.        04.40am, 02 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Brexiteer, Braintree, Essex      Date/Time: 02 May 2018, 9.43pm
Message: The European Commission have intimated that they want corporation tax in all 27 countries to be the same - raised to 25%. They are not going to allow another country on their borders with tax rates at just half of that. Hence their demand that we an independent sovereign country, have a similar tax and regulatory framework as the EU or else we wont get a trade deal. The EU is terrified that Britain can and will make a success of Brexit. Why is it that everybody else can see this tactic by the EU, but our Government and negotiators can't? Or is it that they don't want to see? The Irish border is being used for blackmail purposes by Barnier, to try and keep us chained to the EU in any way they can. But our weak Government seems scared and reluctant to call him out on this.
Name: Patrick H, London      Date/Time: 02 May 2018, 1.40pm
Message: Slight of hand deception: All these discussions on trade is simply to deflect citizen's attention away from the important discussion on the core issue - sovereignty, democracy and the will of the majority of the electorate to execute Brexit to its fullest extent and make the UK an independent nation of free thinkers again (and Export independent)... all that the HoL, Civil Service and Remoaners detest most. It has become patently clear to the population, remainer T. May and her 'hiding in the shadows remoaners' are determined to stop Brexit and ignore the democratic will of the people. We must all remain vigilant and angry until the job is completed - Brexit means leaving all the insidious EU apparatus. Awakening minds. Through this despicable and callous anti-democratic debacle, we are no longer dealing with a simple matter of leaving an entity that is not fit for purpose, but the realisation by the populace (on both sides of the debate), this country is fighting for its existential democratic rights! The so-called elites have opened Pandora's box... this is not going to go away lightly if Brexit is nefariously negated by self-seeking Politicians/Civil servants, Banking/Corp Institutions, Celebs, et al! Figuratively speaking, it will be a call to arms!
Name: Big Mach, Cheshire      Date/Time: 02 May 2018, 12.35pm
Message: Dr Katya Adler, the BBC Europe correspondent, tells us all we need to know about the motives behind the EU tactics.
"Dr Katya Adler, BBC Europe Editor, said the real reason behind the EU's continuous Brexit threats is that Brussels is "very worried" the UK will become a "super competitive country" on their doorstep. Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Brexitcast, Ms Adler said: "Let's imagine a scenario where the EU says, 'we love you, you know we love you and you know that we don't want you to leave and you know that we want to keep you really close, so let's do a really advantageous free trade deal and let's add some financial services into that. And we'll give you everything you want. But you're also free to make arrangements with anybody else you like where you may change your prices and become much more competitive than us. That's what they don't want. They want to keep the UK close, but they want to keep the UK close and locked in. They are terrified about us becoming this super competitive country just right close to them and sucking in business that they would then lose out on. So, absolutely, they are very worried about that. And they're rapidly on their computers saying, 'How does this all add up?'"
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 02 May 2018, 09.40am
Message: I'm fed up with bureaucrats Mr Barnier and his ilk making constant demands upon UK taxpayers, and generally treating the UK like dirt. We know all they want is UK taxpayers money to fund their lavish lifestyle and continued EU construct. WE MUST SAY NO. We have our own needs. Why on earth will our Government not 'fight' back against these unelected parasites. Is our Government so lame it would rather fail than carry out a majority democratic instruction? We don't have elections in Wales this week, but if we did I would do my duty and vote, though would [on this occasion] spoil my ballot paper by not voting for any person or party. Imagine if the majority did that? Spoiling your ballot paper is a great way to send a clear and powerful message to remind politicians who is in charge. They stop appeasing the EU and deliver our referendum vote, or get out?
I would agree with the above proposition that someone has to be lying. It's perhaps akin to witnessing another FCO 30/1048. The worst thing about these pathetic negotiations is the EU are trying to stitch us up and tear apart the very fabric of our country, and they'll stop at nothing to have their way, such is their contempt. They are 'using' the Irish border issue to inflame tensions where there are none (as previously shown by Facts4EU). In my opinion, the EU made it an issue to detract from their own failures?
We only need to look at what Prime Minister May has given away post-referendum to realise she has no real intention of delivering Brexit despite her slogans. I'm sorry, I have lost faith in pro-remain Mrs May, and this will doubtless have an impact on pro-Brexit MPs, including those MPs who wish they supported Brexit after seeing disgraceful EU behaviour. Mrs May can be a dismal and absolute failure, or she COULD be the saviour of our country, and by definition, our heroine. Churchill once defended our country from foreign invasion and rule, but will Mrs May? I doubt it.
Fight back and bring ALL our military back home together with hardware, ships etc. We must not allow UK military personnel and services to come under the direction of a foreign power. Stop co-operating on intelligence issues with the EU. There is so much we can withhold - UK taxpayers money for starters, and buy British. We could also decide how much the UK may charge the EU for access to UK markets if they continue being morons. NEVER GIVE IN TO BULLIES OR THEY DEMAND MORE.
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As we suspected, Mrs May appointed another committed Remainer yesterday to replace the arch-Remainer Amber Rudd.
Sajid Javid, a Remain supporter in the Referendum campaign albeit not one of the worst, is the new Home Secretary. Coming back into the Cabinet to replace Javid as Housing & Communities Secretary is another Remainer, former City lawyer James Brokenshire.
This leaves the Cabinet still seriously out of balance and heavily biased towards those ministers who supported Remain. To remind you, the position looks like this:
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
The BBC reported this rather differently yesterday. Instead of reporting on the continuing (and in our view unacceptable) pro-Remain bias of the Cabinet contrary to the majority Leave opinion of the British public, here is how the BBC’s political editor reported Sajid Javid’s appointment yesterday:
“He is not particularly an ardent Remainer - although his appointment retains the balance on the vital Brexit cabinet committee.”
- Laura Kuenssberg, political editor, BBC
The BBC says that the balance has been retained. The correct version is that the imbalance has been retained.
You may think this a very minor point, but it is typical of the BBC’s ‘bias by a thousand nuances’. There is widespread and obvious bias too of course, such as the continuing and unconscionable majority of Remainers appearing on programmes such as BBC Question Time, and Any Questions.
In regard to the resignation of Amber Rudd, yesterday we commented: “There’s little point in us saying much about a successor.… If May appoints yet another Remainer to replace Rudd, it will just be one more in a long line of her kicks in the teeth for the majority of the British people who voted to leave the EU.”
The only note of optimism is that Mr Javid is not an arch-Remoaner, as the previous incumbent was. That said, he was already in the Cabinet in a more junior position. The position which could have slightly altered the Cabinet’s pro-Remain bias was the one he vacated. And Theresa May brought in the firm Remainer Brokenshire instead of one of the many superb candidates who voted Leave in the Referendum.
[ Sources: BBC | Cabinet Office ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.55am, 01 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Patrick H, London      Date/Time: 01 May 2018, 8.22pm
Message: Regardless the outcome of this sickening affair, will the democratic voting public ever be able to believe UK politicians in the future; let alone the Conservative party (and forget the Labour party)? Were it not for the FACTS4EU's erudite tenacity and truthful Brexit backing MPs, people would be left completely in the dark and prey to the likes of the BBC, Sky, C4 et al! In all my years, I have never seen such a deplorable display of political disdain for the British people. Shame on Theresa May and her dishonourable, highly treacherous, anti-democratic cronies!
Name: Johnny T, Devon      Date/Time: 19 Apr 2018, 11.12am
Message: Those charts really bring it home. Sorry to say (as a Tory voter normally) that it's a shocker.
Here is the start of the wording of the Amendment to the Withdrawal Bill, passed by the Lords yesterday by 335 votes to 244:-
“1.  Without prejudice to any other statutory provision relating to the withdrawal agreement, Her Majesty’s Government may conclude such an agreement only if a draft has been:-
(a) approved by a resolution of the House of Commons, and
(b) subject to the consideration of a motion in the House of Lords.
“2.  So far as practicable, a Minister of the Crown must make arrangements for the resolution provided for in subsection (1a) to be debated and voted on before the European Parliament has debated and voted on the draft withdrawal agreement.
“3.   Her Majesty’s Government may implement a withdrawal agreement only if Parliament has approved the withdrawal agreement and any transitional measures agreed within or alongside it by an Act of Parliament. …”
We thought you might like to read some of the more interesting excerpts from their Lordship’s speeches yesterday. Some of them really are quite extraordinary.
VISCOUNT HAILSHAM: “In the event that no terms have been agreed, the same choices should be available to Parliament: that is, to accept that the country should leave the European Union on no terms; or to determine that the country should stay in the European Union on the existing terms; or to request further negotiations”
“I will briefly address the one argument advanced by the Brexiteers to justify denying Parliament the decisive say on this country’s future. Their argument is that the referendum of June 2016 was decisive on this matter and requires the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, whatever the terms or in the absence of terms. I simply do not accept that argument. The electorate did not—indeed, could not—know the outcome of the negotiations. At the very best it was an interim decision.
LORD HANNAY: “The Government seem to have put away their rather foolish mantra that no deal is better than a bad deal, which I welcome.”
LORD HOWARD (Pro-Brexit): “It makes me all the more astonished that they should put forward a clause which could, and very probably would, lead to not one but several constitutional crises.”
“… so determined are its movers to thwart the will of the British people to leave the European Union that they wish to provoke a constitutional crisis, but that is the perilous outcome to which this new clause opens the door.”
“It proposes that the negotiations should be taken out of the hands of the elected Government of our country and be decided on a resolution of the other place and the consideration of a Motion in your Lordships’ House. I had the great privilege of serving in the other place for 27 years—not quite as long as my noble friend, but almost—and I have the greatest respect for it, but it is not a negotiating body. I do not believe it has ever taken that role upon itself, I do not believe it wants it and nor should it have it. I need hardly add that if this new clause were to become law, the situation would arise that it would immeasurably weaken the Government’s negotiating position with the EU and would make our Government and our country a laughingstock.”
LORD HOWARTH (Pro-Brexit): “Parliament cannot negotiate. Parliament certainly cannot negotiate by legislation or amendment. It cannot change the deal, it cannot bind the European Union. It can bind the Government in an excessively narrow straitjacket, and that would be an extraordinarily unhelpful thing to do in the national interest.”
LORD LAMONT (Pro-Brexit): “As the noble Lord, Lord Howarth, highlighted, what happens is that the House of Commons or Parliament effectively takes over negotiations and can impose conditions. This is a most extraordinary thing. It has never been the case before that Parliament has dictated how a Government should negotiate a treaty, but this is what would happen under the provisions of the amendment. As the noble Lord, Lord Howarth, said, Parliament could dictate all sorts of things: it might dictate that the Article 50 notice be withdrawn or it might dictate, although it would perhaps be subject to dispute, that Article 50 was extendable. This would be for Parliament to assume extraordinary powers in a way that has never happened before. It would be a major constitutional innovation.”
LORD ROBERTS: “My mind went back to Berlin in March 1933 when the enabling Bill was passed in the Reichstag, which transferred the democratic right from the Parliament into the hands of one man—that was the Chancellor, and his name was Adolf Hitler. Perhaps I am seeing threats that do not exist, but they are possible. Who would have thought before the 1930s that Germany, such a cultured country, would involve itself in such a terrible war?”
“We cannot let an enabling Act of the United Kingdom possibly lead to the catastrophe that took place in Berlin in 1933.”
LORD BLACKWELL (Pro-Brexit): “You cannot have a negotiation where a Parliament seeks to be the negotiating partner: that is an impossible situation.”
LORD GROCOTT (Pro-Brexit(?)): We are saying that we, the unelected House of Lords, should pass an amendment which effectively tells the House of Commons how to hold the Government to account. Essentially, it is instructing the House of Commons. A lot of noble Lords have been in the House of Commons. That House holds Governments to account day in, day out. It does that by a multitude of different mechanisms: by debate, adjournment debates, emergency resolutions, questions to Ministers, and Bills.
"The overwhelming majority of Members in both Houses voted for remain in the referendum and, through all sorts of different mechanisms, they want to either delay or stop the whole Brexit process."
“Quite simply, if anyone in this House, or the other one come to that, is deeply concerned about parliamentary sovereignty—and indeed if they love parliamentary sovereignty, as I do—the best thing they can do is to make sure that the European Communities Act 1972 is repealed as rapidly as possible. That is far greater a restriction on the authority of Parliament, and on the House of Commons in particular, than anything the amendment to hand attempts to remedy.”
LORD DOBBS (Pro-Brexit): “We all know what the intention of the amendment is: not to improve Brexit but to impale it.”
“So the amendment is utterly irrelevant. It is also deeply—and, I believe, deliberately—damaging. It is designed to undermine our negotiating position—to confuse, to cause chaos and to give encouragement to EU negotiators to contrive the worst possible outcome, in the hope that some new vote, parliamentary decision or referendum will force Britain into retreat or even to hold up its hands in surrender.”
LORD KING: “I speak as somebody who has already spoken in this House as a remainer. I campaigned to remain. …. We have had the referendum, the decision was taken and we are now embarked on the negotiations. My view on the amendment before the House is that one of the beneficiaries could be Monsieur Barnier.”
LORD FAIRFAX (Pro-Brexit): “As your Lordships have heard from my noble friends Lord Lamont and Howard this is a wrecking amendment, designed to delay, frustrate and ultimately block Brexit. For all the protestations of my noble friend Lord Hailsham and others, it is a wrecking amendment in substance. Those proposing and supporting it are playing the role of a fifth column for Monsieur Barnier and the EU negotiators. I am sure he is very grateful; they are doing his job for him, as my noble friend Lord King pointed out.”
LORD CALLANAN (Minister of State, Department for Exiting the European Union): “It is a well-established feature of our constitution that the Executive represent the country in international diplomacy, and this constitutional arrangement exists for very good practical reasons. In any negotiation, there are judgments to be made as to what can reasonably be achieved. Those judgments can be made only by those engaged on the detail. It would be impossible for negotiators to demonstrate the flexibility necessary for an effective negotiation if they are stripped of their authority to make decisions. That will do nothing but guarantee a bad deal for the UK, which is something I hope we all wish to avoid. If the UK is to be a trusted and effective negotiator, with the EU or anybody else, the Executive branch must be competent to negotiate, just as they are competent to act on their own judgment in other areas of international relations.”
“Does this give the Government the strongest possible hand in negotiating a good deal? I am afraid that it does not—in fact, the opposite: it would create a perverse negotiating incentive for the EU to string out the negotiations for as long as possible. It is not in the UK’s interest to hand the EU negotiators a ticking clock and the hope that the more they delay, the more they can undermine the position of the UK Government and create damaging uncertainty and confusion.”
“If Parliament rejects the agreement, there is nothing for us to legislate further on. It has been rejected. The Article 50 process that Parliament voted for will then kick in: we will leave on 31 March 2019.”
The amendment was passed by 335 to 244.
It is also worth giving readers a few choice quotations from the debate that followed – to give MPs the right to call another referendum if they don’t like the negotiated deal.
LORD NEWBY: “If the Government reach an agreement based on their current negotiating stance, I believe that it will be obvious that it leaves the country poorer, less influential and less secure—as the Prime Minister predicted it would before the referendum. A large majority of MPs and of your Lordships’ House know this, but may yet vote for it. Why? Because the 2016 referendum vote has become sacrosanct, and the expressed will of the people two years’ ago holds people under its spell.
LORD WIGLEY: “I believe that if the Government were able to negotiate a deal which enabled the UK, while leaving the EU, to continue to have a customs union relationship with the EU, and which enabled our industry and agriculture to participate in the single market, as outlined in the Welsh White Paper put forward by the Welsh Government and opposition parties last year, that should be endorsed by MPs without a further referendum. Not least, such an option would resolve both the Ireland and Gibraltar issues, which would be as good a compromise as we are likely to achieve.”
LORD GREEN (Pro-Brexit): “We do not know for sure that we can lift our Article 50, but nor do we know—and nor would we know if a referendum were called—what terms we could return on. Would we get the same rebate? Would we have to undertake to join Schengen or the euro and so forth? Surely, we cannot assume that 27 countries will give us a completely clean return. Therefore, it would be rather difficult to know what the two options for the referendum were.”
LORD ADONIS: “It was Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”. They are still watching it in slow motion. To their horror, the point they have reached is that of Janet Leigh about to go into the shower—or, to be more precise, she goes into the shower on 29 March next year, in 333 days.
LORD HOWARTH (Pro-Brexit): “My Lords, this amendment is reckless. It is peculiarly reckless proposed in an unelected House. It would be reckless if it were to be entertained by the elected House. The 2016 referendum generated bitter divisions in our country. To rub salt in those wounds and fan the flames of that anger by offering this option, raising hopes of a further referendum, seems to be most unwise. My noble friend Lord Adonis, in his Hitchcockian script, truly made my flesh creep.”
“The 2016 referendum exposed depths of mistrust and resentment against the political establishment and against what has broadly been the policy orthodoxy of recent decades. The appropriate response to that, surely—even if you deeply disagree with the view that was taken by the majority then, even if you consider that people were voting against their own best interests—is not to say, “You are stupid, bigoted and ignorant. You are wrong. You should think again and get it right”. That is how it will be perceived.”
“Noble Lords may recollect this document. The Government sent it to every household in the country. It was sent to 27 million households and cost £9.3 million of taxpayers’ money. In it the Government said:
“The referendum on Thursday, 23 June is your chance to decide if we should remain in or leave the European Union … This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide”.
“We have to live with the results of our democratic choices. If Parliament and the Government were to renege on the commitment made by the Government in that document, I believe there would be a very serious crisis in our country.”
LORD DOBBS (Pro-Brexit): “I cannot believe how many noble Lords have said, “I hate referendums, but I want another one”. It is like falling down the rabbit hole and landing on our heads. The noble and learned Lord, Lord Brown, said that a second referendum would be decisive. I suggest that it would not be. If there is a second referendum, why not a third referendum or a fourth? A second referendum would not settle the issue; it would only prolong the agony. The noble Lord, Lord Kerr, has just explained clearly how extended that uncertainty and agony might prove. Which of those referendums—the second, the third or the fourth—would be, in today’s parlance, the “meaningful” vote?”
LORD CALLANAN (Minister of State, Department for Exiting the European Union): “When voters walked into the polling booth on 23 June 2016, they were asked: ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’.”
“This question was put to the public as a result of an Act of Parliament passed by both Houses. The question was not, ‘Should the United Kingdom negotiate to leave the EU and put the terms of that departure to a further referendum?’”
The amendment failed by 202 to 260 votes.
It is a profoundly depressing experience listening to a bunch of the pampered elites - many of whom should not even have been enobled - so bitter and sour that they lost a popular vote that they wish to do everything possible to thwart the choice of the British people.
The arrogance of these people is simply breathtaking.
Some pro-Brexit peers did point out that a crisis would be caused in the country if Brexit were somehow overturned, or watered down so much as to be unrecognisable. They are right and we worry deeply about this. The elites should be in no doubt that if they succeed in their endeavours, forces they will never have seen before will most likely be unleashed.
And this is not something anyone wants to see.
[ Sources: Hansard ]      Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.        06.55am, 01 May 2018
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Brexiteer, Braintree, Essex      Date/Time: 01 May 2018, 12.39pm
Message: Just how many of these Lords have a financial interest in remaining in the EU? A lot of them fail to disclose that relevant fact. As for the eight former Cabinet Secretaries, from Lord "economical with the truth" Armstrong to Lord Gus "God" O'Donnell, is there any reason the current holder of that privileged position Sir Jeremy Heywood is anything other than of the same mindset? If the voted will of 17,410 000 electors is overturned by unelected elites, this will precipitate a major constitutional crisis in the UK.
Name: Johnny T, Devon      Date/Time: 19 Apr 2018, 11.05am
Message: It's astonishing how these people behave. This morning I signed the petition to abolish the House of Lords and I never ever thought I'd do anything like that. I've had enough. Thanks for all you do.
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