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16-31 Oct 2017
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BREXIT NEWS  16-31 Oct 2017
A BIT OF FUN?
In what can sometimes seem like a world of depressing news, here is something that's harmless and relaxing!
It's only connected with Brexit insofar as it relates to a reminder of the relative power and importance of the United Kingdom - something which our government seems to forget every time it goes over to Brussels for Brexit talks.
CLICK HERE to see our tracking page for HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy's latest pride and joy and the largest warship based in the EU, as she cruises on her latest session of sea trials.
 
 FRANCE PUTS UP BARRIERS,
MOCKS THE SINGLE MARKET,
SLOWS DOWN BRITISH BUSINESS
French strikers                                                               © FR1
Exporting to France? Since Referendum it became more expensive and more difficult.
Facts4EU.Org Exposes French Protectionism of President Macron
In France the road transport lobby is what one might call ‘militant’. Roads and motorways are frequently used as a means of French political protest.
Many readers will be familiar with French farmers blocking roads across France on a regular basis. However perhaps British readers might be less familiar with the militancy of the hauliers who use the road network for a living.
Only last month French lorry drivers launched a series of blockades across France, outside fuel depots and on autoroutes. The drivers were protesting President Macron’s latest labour reform proposals.
FRENCH PROTECTIONISM MOCKS SINGLE MARKET
Two years ago the powerful haulier lobby in France helped to influence what became known as ‘Macron’s Law’.
The first iteration of this law came into force in on 1st July 2016, just one week after the UK’s EU Referendum last year.
 
© Autoroutes de France
A Brexit Facts4EU.Org guide to "Macron's Law"
You’re a British truck driver. You’ve managed to cross the Channel and get through Calais without your windscreen being smashed. You think you can now relax until you deliver your goods to the customer.
Think again, you poor Rosbif.
A gendarme stops you in northern France. “Vos papiers?” he asks icily, with the customary Gallic charm reserved for visiting Britons. You hand him your passport and logbook.
“Non Monsieur, votre Déclaration de Détachement s’il vous plait,” he says, looking at you in a ‘betcha don’t have one of them’ way, as he reaches for his on-ze-spot-fines book.
British haulage companies delivering to France must now comply with all this:
  • Have a Representative Office/Person in France
  • A new 5-page document in the vehicle – the ‘Déclaration de Détachement’
  • The driver’s employment contract in the vehicle – translated into French
  • Proof the driver is paid at least the French minimum wage, additional payments for overtime, compulsory wage supplements
  • Contract with a French Représentant, written in French and stating the following:
  • Full personal and company details of Représentant in France, his or her acceptance of appointment, effective date and duration of the appointment (must be valid for 18 months after driver is stopped)
  • Location where the documents are kept, and copies of the driver’s payslips
  • Fines range from €400 up to €2750 per offence.
The above is part of what's called 'Macron's Law', named after the former Economy Minister and now President of France, Emmanuel Macron.
Emmanuel Macron                                © Elysée Palace
The law was originally designed to liberate France from some of its more draconian working practices and make it more competitive.
It came into force in July of last year, straight after the UK Referendum, and after more than 3000 amendments were lodged in the French Parliament. In the end the French Government was forced to put it through under executive privilege. In January of this year the regulations were tightened still further.
OBSERVATIONS
This "Macron's Law" is nothing less than a typical French protectionist measure which is endemic in the French economy and in the mindset of French officialdom.
In the EU of 2017 it is outrageous for the French state to require non-French haulage companies to have a French office, to require these EU companies to complete ludicrous amounts of paperwork in French, and to determine the rate of pay of the foreign driver. It is even more outrageous that the French state can collect fines of up to €500,000 per company if the paperwork isn't to their satisfaction.
This is an example of the Single Market, so lauded by Remainers, in all its glory. Imagine for one moment if all the above legal requirements we have shown you had been a consequence of Brexit.
If these legal requirements were introduced after Brexit, Remoaners would scream from the rooftops about it. It would be headline news on the BBC.
Instead, this is today's Single Market. This is French protectionism. And this is exactly the kind of dictatorial, bureaucratic nonsense which slows business.
ZE BREXEET
The French flout EU law in this way, and yet the UK is worried about the legal niceties in negotiating its exit from this dysfunctional political morass.
Yesterday Monsieur Barnier saw fit to entertain Messrs Clegg, Clarke and Adonis in Brussels. Putting aside the anti-British actions of the elected Clarke and the unelected Clegg and Adonis, what on earth does Barnier think he's playing at?
Barnier is constantly lecturing the British that "time is running out, tick tock, tick tock". Does he really have nothing better to do than entertain these three clowns?
 
© BBC
Merci de votre attention.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: French Ministère de l'Environnement, de l'Energie et de la Mer | numerous legal and transport associations across the EU ]        06.45am, 31 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Brexiteer Braintree Essex      Date/Time: 31 Oct 2017, 08.27am
Message: The EU has always been a protectionism racket, keeping any competition to their economies out. Wait till we leave the EU, their economies will no longer have an easy run. If they want to carry on exporting to us, they will be forced to compete with the rest of the world on price and quality. The wine growers, farmers, and industrialists of France will have to compete with developed economies of Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. Bring it on. Developing economies in Africa will also benefit they will be able to sell directly to us without paying tariffs. That will help Africans to stay at home, develop trade and boost their economies.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 31 Oct 2017, 08.12am
Message: I wonder if FRENCH PROTECTIONISM as outlined here is part of EU law we keep being told we must obey, and if "Macron's Law" presently applies to ALL hauliers entering France, from EVERY country? Appears to me Mr Macron chooses to make business more difficult and more expensive? So be it, but we don't have to buy French product. This certainly isn't in keeping with Article 8 of Lisbon to develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries and for good neighbourliness? We should simply leave the EU as quickly as possible without a deal instead of being 'played' by them, and free ourselves from the shackles of what has become purely political (and VERY expensive). As an aside, perhaps Mr Macron should begin totalling all EU assets so they (European Union) will be in a position to suggest how much they think they owe the UK as we have a major stake? OR, we can be friendly and 'grown-up' and consider a deal which will help ordinary people across the EU27, and ourselves. The EU must realise they need to adapt to new relations, just as the UK will have to adapt. This is not a difficult task.
 EU CONTROLS YOUR SLEEP
© BBC
Twice a year, the EU dictates
a shift in the temporal plane
Yesterday the lives of 510 million people were changed at precisely the same time all across the 28 member states of the European Union.
The last Sunday in October marks the official end of the ‘summer time period’ and time is set back by 60 minutes at 1am Greenwich Mean Time. In the UK, most people refer to this as the end of ‘British Summer Time’ (BST).
In fact this is not something which the EU allows the British to decide.
© EU Commission
On 22 July 1997 the EU imposed a common time on all member states. (It happened to coincide with UK practice at the time but in 1997 this became an EU Directive and inviolate.) On 19 January 2001 this became Directive 2000/84/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.
In other words, EU law decides the time in the UK, whether the UK likes it or not.
POLL FINDS BRITISH PEOPLE FAVOUR CHANGE
In March 2015 – a year before the Referendum - YouGov conducted a poll, asking people if they would like to keep the existing arrangement or to stop changing the hour twice per year.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
As you can see, the majority favoured dropping the twice-yearly change, albeit with a substantial part of the populace who didn’t care either way.
What YouGov didn’t mention to people when conducting the survey was that their opinion was irrelevant. The UK is forced to obey EU Directive 2000/84/EC and this means that the time changes in March and October, even if the majority of British people prefer that it doesn’t.
Last week the Finnish parliament published a report on this subject, after 70,000 signed a petition. They concluded that changing the clocks caused short-term sleeping disorders, reduced performance at work and could also lead to serious health problems.
“The primary objective should be to abolish the clock movements on uniform basis throughout the European Union,” they said.
That will simply not happen.
OBSERVATIONS
There is scarcely an area of our lives that the EU doesn’t now have some say over and this say is increasing all the time.
Even while you were sleeping at two o’clock yesterday morning, the EU’s dictats were at work. The clocks had changed (or needed three hours of frustrated jabbing at buttons in the case of many cookers across the UK) and you had no say over that.
The point isn't whether any of us agrees or disagrees with British summer time. It's the fact that there's currently nothing British about it. The EU decides.
It is said that ‘taking back control’ was a popular concept during the Referendum campaign. What is often misunderstood – or not accepted – by some arch-Remainers is that this can be embodied in many small ways. It doesn’t just refer to the big things like taking back control over our fisheries, or immigration, or our money.
Sometimes it can be something as simple as making our own decisions over ‘British Summer Time’.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: EU Commission | EUR-Lex | YouGov ]        07.10am, 30 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Denis Cooper, Berks      Date/Time: 30 Oct 2017, 10.36am
Message: As far as I'm concerned it's a pain in the backside to have to change the clocks twice a year and I'd much rather that the UK stayed on GMT all year round. However that is just my personal view and I accept that among my fellow citizens there are others who see it differently. But what I do not accept is that any decision about UK time which is made within the UK may be overturned by the EU to serve its pan-European federal ambitions.
Name: HiggsB, Lancashire      Date/Time: 30 Oct 2017, 09.58am
Message: This article is not strictly true. I am as against the EU as anyone else and wish to leave, but writing articles like this doesn't help. Daylight saving (changing the clocks) has nothing to do with the EU. It was brought in during the second world war for war effort reasons. It was dropped in the 60's as an experiment and all school children had to wear fluorescent tabards in the mornings to be seen by early morning drivers. It was dropped because it was thought it was safer for it to be lighter in the mornings and darker in the evenings, as now. Also, the further north you go the darker it is in the mornings and Scottish farmers were against it, as in some parts of Scotland it was dark for almost all of the morning. The EU has nothing to do with this.
Reply: Thank you for your comment. In fact it all started in the First, not Second World War but that was not the point we were making. If you read the article again you'll see we were referring to the fact that 'daylight saving' or 'summer time' has not been something which the British parliament could change, since it became an EU Directive. To make things clearer we've added a sentence: "(It happened to coincide with UK practice at the time but in 1997 this became an EU Directive and inviolate.)"
 EU'S 2,500 LEGAL ACTS
IMPOSED ON THE UK
SINCE THE REFERENDUM
(Another Facts4EU.Org exclusive)
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
In a TV debate in 2014 between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, Mr Clegg famously claimed that only 7% of UK law came from Brussels.
Even the most Europhile Ministers at the time smiled grimly. They knew that most of what they wanted to achieve in government was controlled elsewhere. They just couldn’t admit to it.
Recently we spoke to former Environment Secretary Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP. He recalls that in his time as a minister, when he wanted to propose some better legislation in some area or other his officials almost always gave him the response “I’m afraid you can’t, Minister. That’s an EU competence.”
In 2014, the House of Commons Library looked into the matter and concluded it was very difficult to give precise figures as so much depended on definitions. However they did produce a little known chart which we unearthed. It shows the percentage in 2013 of “EU reg’s and EU SI’s” as being 61.3% of the total. An ‘SI’ is a Statutory Instrument’.
61.3% is much, much higher than Mr Clegg’s figure of 7% which he quoted with complete authority to the British public on TV the following year.
EVERY MONTH, THE EU ADDS MORE LAWS
Below we show you the position. It is complicated to explain what all the various forms of legal documentation are and we have yet to see an adequate summary anywhere in any EU document. Instead we analysed certain parts of the EU’s legal database and are giving you some interesting highlights in graphical form.
SOME EU LEGAL FACTS
  • 22,122 EU legal acts in last 10 years
  • 2,525 EU legal acts since the Referendum
  • EU case law now covers 56,812 Judicial informations, Judgments, Opinions of the Advocate General, Orders, and Communications
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
Very few people need the exact figures shown in the graphs above. What we have tried to do is to give you some idea of the sheer weight and breadth of the EU’s power when it comes to deciding the laws and conditions which govern us.
Buried in all the information contained in the graphs above is Directive 2000/84/EC on ‘summer time arrangements’ which we reported on in the article above.
The tens of thousands of legal documents created by the EU cover the real, everyday experiences of people across the UK. When the UK finally leaves the EU it will – in theory – no longer be governed by rules and laws made in a foreign land.
When you hear the Prime Minister and Secretary of State David Davis being quizzed on whether the UK will be under the jurisdiction of the ECJ after the notional date of Brexit on 29 March 2019, THIS is what we’re talking about.
We remain of the view that it would be wholly unacceptable to ‘leave the EU’ and yet still be subject to its laws.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: EU Commission | EUR-Lex ]        07.10am, 30 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Tony Medland , Backwell      Date/Time: 30 Oct 2017, 2.38pm
Message: I voted to be free of ECJ & ECHR , amongst other things. And I look forward to our first impounding of foreign vessels fishing inside our territorial waters after April 1 2018. ( I'll give them a day's grace.)
Name: Denis Cooper, Berks      Date/Time: 30 Oct 2017, 10.39am
Message: Basically Clegg was lying through his teeth.
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 SO FAR MRS MAY HAS SURRENDERED ON
  1. Lengthy ‘transition period’
  2. Continued jurisdiction of ECJ court
  3. Continued massive financial payments
  4. Continued free movement
  5. Continued inability to do trade deals
WHAT MAKES YOU THINK SHE WON’T SURRENDER
OUR INDEPENDENT ARMED FORCES TOO?
On 19-20 October the Prime Minister attended the EU Summit in Brussels where several issues were discussed, not the least of which being the progress in the Brexit talks. As everyone now knows, the EU27 decided that ‘insufficient progress’ had been made in the so-called negotiations and that the UK had not conceded enough.
Accordingly the EU27 continue to refuse to discuss the future trading relationship and claim that they will only talk about “citizens’ rights, the Northern Ireland border, and the ‘financial settlement’”. In reality, this is simply not the case as usual.
WHAT THE EU28 TALKED ABOUT - AND WHAT MRS MAY DIDN'T TELL YOU
At the Summit with Mrs May the EU27 also discussed defence – something on which they badly need the UK, post-Brexit. This subject however has been obfuscated from the British public once again.
Below we show just how shocking this is, and in the next article we show you what the fuss is actually about.
The main topics – EU Council meeting 19-20 Oct 2017
Day One - 19 Oct
  1. Migration
  2. Digital Europe
  3. Security and Defence
  4. External Relations (Turkey, Iran, North Korea)
Day Two - 20 Oct
  1. Brexit
The EU reported on the conclusions, as it always does, and we have a copy of the documents.
MRS MAY’S REPORT ON EU COUNCIL TO PARLIAMENT, MON 23 OCT 2017
On Monday the Prime Minister gave a formal statement to the House of Commons on the October meeting of the European Council.
Her statement runs to 1,532 words. Not one single word is about defence – one of the five main topics of the meeting.
THERESA MAY'S OFFICIAL REPORT TO PARLIAMENT
III. SECURITY AND DEFENCE
Nothing. Nada. Rien.
Here is Mrs May's statement in full, so that you can check for yourself.
EU COUNCIL OFFICIAL REPORT
III. SECURITY AND DEFENCE
The following comes from the EU Council's official 'conclusions':-
13. The European Council recalls its June 2017 conclusions. It welcomes the significant progress made by Member States in preparing a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) notification with a common list of commitments, and on PESCO governance. It encourages those Member States in a position to do so to swiftly notify the Council and the High Representative of their intentions to participate in PESCO. This would allow for the launching of PESCO before the end of the year, with a view to swiftly implementing the commitments, including the launching of first projects. The European Council welcomes the work done so far by the co-legislators on the Commission’s proposal for a European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP). It calls for an agreement within the Council by the end of the year, with a view to concluding negotiations with the European Parliament as soon as possible so as to have the first capability projects identified by the Member States financed in 2019.
14. The European Council encourages Member States to develop flexible and sound financing mechanisms within the European Defence Fund, to allow for joint procurement of capabilities and/or their joint maintenance and as a way of improving access to cutting-edge capabilities. The objective is to deliver capabilities, ensure a competitive, innovative and balanced basis for Europe’s defence industry across the EU, including by cross border cooperation and participation of SMEs, and to contribute to greater European defence cooperation, by exploiting synergies and mobilising EU support in addition to Member States’ financing. European defence industrial development will also require EU support for SME and intermediate (mid-cap) investments in the area of security and defence. It encourages the EIB to examine further steps with a view to supporting investments in defence research and development activities. It welcomes the launch of the trial run of the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) which should contribute to spur enhanced defence cooperation among Member States.
15. The European Council highlights the need for PESCO, the European Defence Fund and CARD to be mutually reinforcing so as to enhance defence cooperation among Member States.
16. The European Council will revert to the issue in December 2017 and assess the progress achieved with regard to all aspects of the external security and defence agenda as set out in December 2016.
NOT THE FIRST TIME
We very much regret that this is not the first time Mrs May has chosen to ignore completely a topic discussed at an EU Summit. We reported on an identical oversight after the last EU Council in June.
AND MORE REGRETTABLY...
It's not clear to us that Mrs May has any understanding of defence issues at all. At the very least we hope she will just take a look at the chart we've produced below.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
This is quite simply unacceptable. For the British Prime Minister to make an official statement to the House of Commons on a major international meeting and fail to report one of only 5 areas discussed is unconscionable.
For her to do this twice is beyond all understanding or forgiveness.
And for the omission to be on the same subject each time – defence – simply beggars belief.
Please be in no doubt about this. Here at Facts4EU.Org we have repeatedly warned that the MOD and elements of the government are conspiring to keep our armed forces in the EU after the country has left. We have produced a great deal of research, none of which has been countered by anyone.
It is our strong contention that the UK will not have a fully independent defence capability after Brexit, unless people like us – and people like you – stop the government from doing this.
In the next article we give you some further evidence. Before that we make another appeal for funds.
We’re sorry to have to keep doing this, but so much is going on and yet we can bring you so little of it. We are not funded like the ‘big boys’. Without people like you making relatively small donations we would simply have to stop altogether.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: EU Council | No.10 ]        07.30am, 29 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: W Alkaway      Date/Time: 29 Oct 2017, 7.02pm
Message: I agree with everything Jon of Wales has written. Mrs. May has not told the British People, nor Parliament, anything about the single EU Defence Force and her part in getting us tied deeper into the EU's plans. She has misled us all. This has got to be intentional as this is now the second time. Treason is a very serious crime. Britain must not be committed to joining up to the single EU Defence Force. It runs contrary to signing of Article 50. Any signatures on past agreements should be cancelled with our departure. We have been sold down the river for years by all politicians, from both Labour and Tories. It is about time our MPs grilled the Prime Minister and Defence Minister over this. It is imperative that the Prime Minister is instructed not to sign up to any more EU Army agreements; the next being I believe hastened by Juncker for just after Christmas. Theresa May has now run out of time as leader of the Conservative Party. She does not represent the best interests of Britain, its people and its future. She is not carrying out the will of the majority in the United Kingdom. Now, at the 11th hour, Mrs May is revealing her loyalty to the EU as a Remainer. She cannot do that and at the same time be loyal to us. Theresa May has just two options, as I see it. Resign, or be pushed. She is not carrying out the wishes of the people who voted to Leave the EU. That means ALL links with the EU. A Vote of No Confidence is well overdue. Whoever is capable in the Conservative Party to lead, as a Brexit supporter, do it now. 5th November is as good a date as any.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 29 Oct 2017, 11.05am
Message: Mrs May PM, those surrounding her, and all remain MPs and peers, need more than a gentle reminder the UK electorate will no longer tolerate this farce. The majority of MPs appear to be dragging their heels and allowing the EU to delay issues. I feel the time is coming near where Mrs May [a remain PM] is asked to vacate the Office of Prime minister if she cannot exert some authority over the EU. She appears more on the side of the EU than she is our great country? I want a Prime Minister with some guts who will TELL the EU commission, this is what we're doing, when we're going to do it, and so on. I want Mrs May to TELL the EU if THEY have made little or no progress before the Christmas break 2017, that on 1st January, 2018, the UK WILL take the necessary steps to move onto WTO rules. The EU27 need to fully understand what that would mean for them, and the fact we already trade on WTO terms outside the EU. We presently have a rotten deal with the EU27 which is unacceptable to the UK majority? We do not need to be in political union in order to trade. Mrs May MUST be stopped by UK MPs signing our country up to new EU institutions, as that means we remain shackled to the 'dictatorial' and unelected EU, which in turn means the ECJ. The purpose is to reclaim OUR country, a factor some MPs do not yet understand? ALL [remain] MPs and peers should listen to history:- "never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy" - Winston Churchill. "We have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not combined. We are interested and associated but not absorbed. If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea". Winston Churchill, House of Commons, May 1953. "Look at all the countries that are not ruled by the EU. They make their own laws. They make their own deals. They speak for themselves. They cooperate with others. WHY CAN'T BRITAIN?" (one of the many Leave posters prior to referendum). In 1975, Harold Wilson [former UK PM] put out a government referendum pamphlet which sates: "Dear Voter, This pamphlet is being sent by the Government to every household in Britain. We hope that it will help you to decide how to cast your vote in the coming [1975] referendum on the European Community (Common Market)". I know, as I was around to vote at that time. It is of course now a matter of public record we had been deceived, big time. By the end of March 2019, we MUST see the return of UK sovereignty and our independence, our territorial waters, etc, period. The EU have had more than enough time to get their act together.
 ‘ENABLING’, NOT ‘CONSTRICTING’?
Secretary of State Fallon - © Parliament TV
MINISTER'S MANDARIN CLARIFIES UK-EU
DEFENCE POLICY POST-BREXIT
Last week the Secretary of State for Defence Sir Michael Fallon, together with one of his MOD mandarins and an army general, appeared before the Commons Defence Committee.
Facts4EU.Org monitored the proceedings and we have analysed very carefully what was said. We have also looked at the latest information on defence to come out of the EU this month, following the Summit in Brussels ten days ago.
THE BORING PART FIRST – WHAT IS ‘PESCO’?
No, Pesco isn’t a new type of sauce mixture, nor is it a new supermarket chain. It stands for ‘Permanent Structured Cooperation’. In reality it represents the road to the new EU army.
Don’t worry, it’s Sunday and we’re not going to bore you with lots of technical information. Rest assured we know all the detail, and have reported on a lot of it before.
Today we’ll keep things simple. Think of PESCO as an essential part of the path to a combined EU defence force – an ‘EU army’. Also understand that the UK has the most important defence capabilities in the EU28. The EU wants these.
PESCO was one of the five topics discussed over two days in Brussels by the Prime Minister Mrs May on 19-20 October, ten days ago. As stated in the article above, she somehow ‘forgot’ to mention it in her report to Parliament on Monday of this week.
Here’s just two quick but important excerpts from something the EU wrote about PESCO last week:
“The difference between PESCO and other forms of cooperation is the binding nature of the commitments undertaken by participating Member States.”
“PESCO will help reinforce the EU’s strategic autonomy to act alone when necessary.”
Okay, so we’ve established in broad terms that PESCO is very important. We’ve also established how it’s binding once you’ve signed up. And we’ve established that it was heavily talked about at the EU Council that Mrs May attended but that she chose not to tell Parliament about it.
Now, surely on Wednesday when the Defence Secretary was grilled by the Defence Committee he would have mentioned PESCO?
Er... no.
Here is the video of his appearance. We’ve cut this just to the section on the EU. You might find it surprising but out of 2 hours 20 minutes of questioning, just 8 minutes was given over to defence in the context of Brexit and the EU.
Chart © Parliament TV
SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE
The minister was never asked specifically about PESCO, which the Committee should have known was one of the five items for discussion by Mrs May the previous week as it had been on the EU Council's official agenda for weeks.
Sir Michael constantly answered questions by talking as if the UK needed to try to ‘retain access’ to things. In other words he wanted to present the whole defence debate as if the UK were somehow in danger of being disadvantaged post-Brexit. In reality the EU is desperately keen to have the UK continue to pay more and more towards its soaring defence budget.
HERE ARE THE KEY EXCERPTS
QUESTION: “Would it be fair to say that we would expect to have the same sort of bilateral relationship with the EU that we have with other another major ally like the French for example, that on a case-by-case basis we would ecide either to particpate or not to participate in some defence initiative, or would we be locked into something in a more constrictive relationship than that?”
“Well, third countries outside the EU already have the right to participate and do participate including the United States. Countries much further afield already participate I CSDP missions. So I think what we would want to secure is the right of access to missions which are in our interest and in the interests of European security generally.”
“We will want a continuing relationship with the EDA and we will want to make sure that British defence companies don’t lose out from any future research and development and collaborative programmes that may emerge from some of the new European architecture of CARD and the European Defence Fund that are now being created as a result of the High Representative’s initiative.”
QUESTION: “I don’t want to push this too far, but I want to come back to the key question: Would the nature of our defence relationship with the EU, after we’ve left the EU, ever be such that we could be locked into a situation where a majority of countries in the EU wanted to take some defence intiative and we didn’t, but we would have to do so as a result of these arrangements? Or would it be – as in the case of bilateral arrangements – that if we don’t like it at any given point we don’t have to do it?”
“No we’re withdrawing from the European Union. We would want to preserve our sovereignty in that respect, our ability to choose whether or not to support particular missions and operations and we shouldn’t forget of course that our primary obligation is our membership of NATO, rather than our relationship with the European Union.”
“But we do want to continue the security cooperation across the board that we have at the moment. That extends to policing and judicial and intelligence sharing right across the board as well as pure defence cooperation.”
YOU KNOW SOMETHING’S AFOOT WHEN A MANDARIN INTERVENES
The Mandarin from the MOD suddenly volunteered the following. He wasn’t asked. He obviously saw a reason to do so for his minister:
“You used the word ‘constrictive’. The word I would use is ‘enabling’…. We think because of the scale of our contribution to European security, um, there may be scope for us to be party to, um, general discussions about threats, risks and so on. So, an ‘enabling’ relationship rather than a ‘constrictive’ one.”
OBSERVATIONS
In other words, this will be an ‘enabling’ of the EU to take still more vast amounts of money from British taxpayers to pay for its inferior and duplication of NATO. And it will be a ‘constriction’ on the UK to run its own independent foreign and defence policy – something the British people voted for in the Referendum.
Since the Referendum the UK government has signed up to every EU defence initiative going. We have reported on this many times. PESCO is another long-term commitment. Have the government agreed to sign up? The deadline is December – just over a month away.
Given that PESCO is an integral part of all the other EU defence initiatives which the UK government has already signed up to, it seems inevitable that the government will surrender on this too.
However we still have time. Can you help towards our own defence initiative? We badly need more funds to survive and to take the battle into the heart of Whitehall.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: Parliament TV | EEAS | EU Council | EU Commission ]        08.00am, 29 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 29 Oct 2017, 11.41am
Message: In my opinion, it has become necessary (sooner rather than later) for Mrs May PM, and Defence Secretary of State Fallon, to stand at the Despatch Box in the House of Commons, and clearly explain to British taxpayers WHY we are funding EU defences whilst our own are being run down, or whatever name the EU attach to their military obsession, which is over and above the trading arrangement of decades past? The powers that be [of whatever political party] have by stealth deceived the British people over decades, where a foreign elite, unelected and accountable to no-one, have IMPOSED a wider political construct upon us, ALL WITHOUT UK ELECTORAL CONSENT - WE WERE NEVER ASKED. All speeches concerning our country should be made in the UK Parliament, NOT by having an expensive jolly to Florence, for example.
 CATALUNYA
THE 29TH MEMBER?
Moments after the historic vote to separate yesterday - © Catalan Parliament TV
"We hereby constitute the Catalan Republic as an independent, sovereign, legal, democratic, socially-conscious state"
- Declaration of Independence, Catalan Parliament, 27 Oct 2017
AN EXCLUSIVE ANALYSIS BY BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG
If Catalonia were a country it would be the 13th biggest economy in the EU, larger than Finland, Portugal, Greece, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus and Malta.
In fact Catalonia's economy is bigger than 7 EU member states combined.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
Yesterday the autonomous regional parliament in Barcelona voted to declare independence from Spain and to become the Republic of Catalunya, by 70 votes to 10 with 2 abstentions. It did so knowing that it was about to be dissolved by the Spanish government, led by Prime Minister Rajoy.
The national government in Madrid did indeed then dissolve the Catalan Parliament. Mr Rajoy is now imposing direct rule on Catalunya, and has fired President Puigdemont and his cabinet.
You should be able to follow developments today on the national media. If the BBC, Sky and ITV keep interviewing anti-independence residents, you could try ACN, Euronews, or RT.
MEET THE NEIGHBOURS
We thought you might be interested in an overall perspective, comparing Catalunya (that’s the Catalan spelling of Catalonia) with Spain and with the other 27 EU member states including the UK.
Below we look at the shape of the EU if Catalonia were an independent member state.
BASIC FACTS ON CATALONIA/CATALUNYA
  • Catalan population: 7,477,131 (16.1%)
  • Spanish population: 46,445,828
  • Catalan GDP : €223.6 billion (20.1%)
  • Spanish GDP: €1,113.9 billion
  • Catalan growth: 3.5%
  • Spanish growth: 3.2%
  • % of Spanish GDP: 20.1%
  • % of Eurozone GDP: 2.1%
  • % of EU28 GDP: 1.5%
All facts are for 2016 from official Eurostat tables, except GDP for Catalonia from Institut d’Estadistica de Catalunya (the ONS of Catalonia).
HOW BIG IS CATALONIA – BY POPULATION?
In EU terms, the new Catalan Republic would be the 16th largest country in the EU. Spain would stay in its current position of no.5 but only just, with Poland just 0.2% behind.
Population "Before Independence"
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
Population "After Independence"
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
HOW BIG IS CATALONIA – BY ECONOMY?
If Catalonia were a member state of the EU, it would be in the top half of the economies, ranking no.13. It would be larger than the economies of Finland, Portugal, Greece, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus and Malta.
Economic ranking "Before Independence"
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
Economic ranking "After Independence"
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
We have to admit to a tiny bit of bias. Several members of the Facts4EU.Org team adore Barcelona in particular and that part of Spain in general. (In fact, like most people who favour Brexit we love Europe. It's just the EU as an anti-democratic, bureaucratic and globalist nightmare that we abhor.)
We also have a Mediterranean office and so some members of the team have a neighbourly interest in what goes on in the Med area.
As things stand, it is unlikely that the new Republic of Catalonia will be recognised by any EU member state. Mrs May’s government was very quick off the mark yesterday to say that it would not be recognising Catalonia.
Presumably this is all part of her misguided strategy to be nice to the EU hierarchy in her mistaken belief that it will make a blind bit of difference to the way they treat the UK in the Brexit negotiations. It won’t. She just doesn’t understand the EU mentality at all, unfortunately.
What is interesting in our analysis above, however, is the way it highlights once again the relative size of EU member countries – something which the Facts4EU.Org team has been constantly trying to get across. Remoaner MPs always talk as if the ‘EU27’ are 27 major countries lined up against the UK and that the majority must always be right in what they say.
Sorry to be blunt, but some of these ‘countries’ are little more than medium-sized towns, in UK terms.
Catalonia is in fact a larger proposition, ironically. It's about 40% bigger than Scotland in terms of population. With 7 ½ million people it’s bigger than the majority of EU member countries.
When in the future a small EU country blocks an EU deal with the UK, just remember that comment. If Catalonia ever makes it as a country, and if it's eventually allowed into the EU, it would count in the top half of the largest countries in the EU.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: Eurostat (EU's ONS) | IDESCAT (Catalonia's ONS) ]        08.15am, 28 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Denis Cooper, Berks, UK      Date/Time: 28 Oct 2017, 1.04pm
Message: I find that the earliest items in my “Regionalisation” folder date back to 2002, fifteen long years ago now, and one of them is a reference to a comment made by Guy Verhofstadt in December 2001 when he was the Belgian Prime Minister: “We must attempt at European level, to put regions on the same footing as states.” So in a way he may now be getting his wish with the putative promotion of Catalonia from being just a region of Spain to an independent sovereign state … And there is no doubt that the EU, and especially the fanatical eurofederalists like Guy Verhofstadt, have played their part in encouraging the break up of the member states into more easily dominated euroregions, Scotland just as much as Spain, and even if they are now shedding crocodile tears over recent events in Spain. That was quoted in one of the newsletters of the EU’s Committee of the Regions, “Regions and Cities of Europe”, No 36, September 2002, page 4, which unfortunately is no longer readily available online so you will have to take my word for it.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 28 Oct 2017, 11.37am
Message: As a layman, I make some personal observations about Catalonia. Prior to Madrid imposing its own legal right, Catalonia had legal autonomy, and this IS important - they took their own decision. Catalonia had an independence referendum [not a new issue for Catalonia], which Madrid attempted by brute force to suppress. We all witnessed the horrific scenes of violence from the Spanish police [dressed like a police military] against its own people whose only wish was to calmly cast their vote within this autonomous region. People being dragged out of polling stations by their hair etc. I wonder if ANY of those police have yet been suspended for their criminal actions? Now imagine if UK police acted in the same manner - they would be held to account immediately, and sacked, probably? So who in Spain is accountable for sending in the heavies to suppress a peaceful people? Rajoy perhaps? I do not condone unlawful actions, but one has to consider that if police in battle-gear battering their own people trying to vote is a criminal action perhaps? Of course, the EU Commission has failed to condemn such police action? It's noteworthy the EU Commission do not wish to interfere in what they regard as a local issue, yet they have no problem interfering with the UK having made its lawful decision to take back sovereignty and independence etc! Indeed, the EU Commission as I view matters, are doing everything they can to delay UK independence because their sole interest is money. The Catalonia referendum result was clear enough after much debate. They discussed the outcome in their parliament, albeit under the threatening attitude from Madrid. A vote was held in their autonomous parliament following their referendum, which produced a substantial parliamentary majority in favour of independence, to which we heard the screams of delight from the Catalan people. Spanish flags started being removed very quickly. It is of course right and proper to acknowledge some Catalans were opposed to independence, and their view must be respected. That's why democracy is a wonderful thing. The people of Catalonia need to stand firm, for matters will no doubts become worse before they get better. At the end of the day, the rest of Spain could live in harmony with Catalonia, so long as Madrid climbs down from its high-horse, and if the political will was evident. However, we must remember who REALLY 'controls' Rajoy and the Spanish people. You got it - the unelected bureaucrats sitting on-high in the Brussels machine (who don't like referenda)?
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 STUDENT APPLICATIONS
FROM EU27 UP BY 6%
Thumbs up from EU27 and international students for Brexit Britain
The good news stories from all sections of society continue to come in. UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) has just released its latest data for the number of applicants to October deadline university courses.
‘Figures released by UCAS show a robust start to the university admissions cycle for 2018, with the highest number of applicants to October deadline courses recorded since reporting at this deadline began.’
Clare Marchant, Chief Executive of UCAS, said: “These degree programmes and universities are always popular, and at a time of uncertainty, it’s encouraging that UK higher education remains so attractive, not only to UK students but also those from EU countries, and internationally.”
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
As you can see above, the percentage increase in applications from EU students equals that for UK students. It seems that these prestigious UK courses are also very popular with students from around the world.
These first statistics for 2018 relate to applications for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, as well as to all courses at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The next statistics will be released by UCAS in January.
OBSERVATIONS
This increase in students applying from the EU will no doubt cause some embarrassment for all those academics who warned that Brexit would lead to a catastrophic drop in their number.
Still, let’s not worry too much about facts, heh?
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: UCAS ]        08.15am, 27 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
 THE BIGGEST
BRAINWASHING PROJECT EVER?
How good, honest people were made to feel bad
“People feel that the EU is heading in a direction that they never signed up to. They resent the interference in our national life by what they see as unnecessary rules and regulation. And they wonder what the point of it all is.”
“Put simply, many ask “why can’t we just have what we voted to join - a common market?”
“It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics. I say to the British people: this will be your decision.”
- David Cameron, Jan 2013, Bloomberg speech
In January 2013, nearly five years ago, the then Prime Minister David Cameron delivered what became known as his 'Bloomberg speech'. In it he effectively promised a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union and the rest is... well, it's why you're reading this site.
At the time, David Cameron clearly knew he had a political problem - UKIP support had grown to around 15% - and this was at a level which threatened a second election victory. He knew people were unhappy. However he also knew the power of his office and knew who he could count on. Over the next few years he would embark on a slow process of persuasion, culminating in a Referendum campaign that started coralling the Great and the Good in the autumn of 2015.
By the spring of 2016, the project to brainwash the British people was in full swing. At its peak it was awe-inspiring in its scope, breadth and depth. It took in every aspect of human life in the United Kingdom and subjected it to varying degrees of pressure, from subtleties to outright intimidation.
Nothing was off limits.
"Can we get the Archbishop of Canterbury?" "God yes." "The Beckhams? Bill Gates? Save the Children?" "No problem." "What about some US Presidents.... hell, what about all of them?" "Okay Chief, I'll get on to Obama's people right away."
 
© Sky
THE ASSEMBLY OF THE VANITIES
Piece by piece, the massed ranks of government, political parties, banks, business, unions, science, education, sport, charities, TV, press, celebrities, actors, artists & musicians, religions, international organisations and world leaders were all assembled. It’s not an exaggeration to describe this as having been a David against Goliath contest, only in this case the most notable 'David' was in fact one of the big, bad guys.
THE GOVERNMENT VERSUS THE PEOPLE
It was impossible to miss that the Remain campaign was government-backed, and for weeks the government pointed out on a daily basis that Leave had virtually no ‘experts’ nor major organisations on their side. This was compounded with dire threats of immediate recessions and emergency budgets, massive job losses, property crashes, losing £4300 per family, and almost anything else Remain could think of, including the possibility of a third world war.
The key factor was that this mass-propaganda had the authority of the Government. It dissuaded a large number of ordinary voters whose natural inclination would otherwise have been to vote Leave. It made Remain the 'intelligent' choice, and Leave was presented as the choice for losers.
ACADEMIA MISTOOK UK TAXPAYER CASH FOR EU CASH
Some of the country's supposed brightest came out for Remain, and were persuaded to write letters to the papers by No.10 and the Stronger In campaign. 103 of the country's vastly over-paid vice-chancellors were happy to sign up to a continuation of the gravy-train. In the academic world, being for Leave practically singled you out as being an idiot. In colleges and universities, openly-Leave students and staff were a minuscule albeit brave minority.
BIG BUSINESS JUST COUNTED THE CASH
 
In businesses, Leavers kept quiet for fear of their promotion prospects. Big Business in particular came out heavily for Remain, having done so well out of cheap foreign labour and their ability to lobby the EU successfully in their interests.
At some points during the campaign it seemed that hardly a day went by without some global business - or business organisation - declaring that a Remain vote was essential for everyone.
In daily life across the UK, many Leavers generally kept schtum, feeling that they ‘mustn't admit’ what they really thought.
THE BRAINBASHING ARROGANCE HAS TO STOP
Hard Remainers, shame on you for making so many people feel intimidated. And shame on you still, if you are one of those who continue with this unacceptable behaviour. We deeply regret having to write this piece. It would not have been necessary had you accepted a democratic verdict and got on with life positively.
Many of those who voted Remain are now quite normally accepting Brexit and wanting to make it work. Many more have been astounded to see that all of the dire predictions which persuaded them to vote to Remain in the first place haven't remotely come true.
THE BRAINWASHING DIDN'T WORK THEN, IT DOESN'T WORK NOW
In a democracy the opinion that matters is that of the electorate, not the ‘elitorate’. For the ordinary people of the United Kingdom to reject the state-sponsored attempt at brainwashing - including monstrous claims of dire consequences - and to vote for the opposite, was nothing short of a magnificent triumph for democracy.
It’s our contention that the final result of 52% would have been far higher, had people not been quite understandably dissuaded from voting Leave by the disproportionately-powerful propaganda campaign by the Government and institutions.
FOR OUR INTERNATIONAL READERS, THIS IS WHAT WE FACED
(And these are only a few examples in each case)
We have assembled a snapshot of the forces massed by the government-backed Remain campaign in the United Kingdom. This is only an indicative list and we're sure that readers could add to it in every way. But it will do as an indication to our international readers of just what we had to fight.
UK Governments & Political Parties
The UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government, Labour Party, Lib Dems, SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru, Ulster Unionists, Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance Party
Ministers
The Prime Minister, Chancellor, Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary, Defence Secretary, and 19 other Cabinet Ministers (80% of Cabinet in total)
Other politicians and entities
74% of all MPs, the vast majority of the House of Lords, the TUC, Mayor of London, the Bank of England and the Treasury (unofficially), almost all senior civil servants and ambassadors (unofficially), the major City Councils including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield
Banks
HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, George Soros, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Chairman of Barclays, CEO of Lloyds
Business
The CBI, City of London Corporation, the bosses of Ryanair, Easyjet, Marks & Spencer, Asda, Vodafone, BT, Virgin, and 36 of the FTSE 100 companies, 90% of economists, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Lord Sugar, seven of the BBC’s ‘Dragons’, GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, Michael Bloomberg, Charles Dunstone, Bill Gates, and more than 1,000 other business leaders
International financial ‘authorities’
The IMF, OECD, World Bank, G7, G20, European Central Bank, World Trade Organisation (Just think about that list for a second)
Security
13 senior former Chiefs of Defence Staff and generals, the former heads of GCHQ and JIC, the former heads of police services, the Secretary-General of NATO, Head of Europol
Society
The National Farmers Union and almost all other trades unions, Universities UK, National Union of Students, NHS Chief Executive, the Head of the Church of England, the Church of Scotland, Church of Wales, Head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and many other organisations in society
Media
BBC, Sky, and ITV, (unofficially), the Times and Financial Times (officially), and most journalists
Science
Sir Stephen Hawking plus 150 other Fellows of the Royal Society, 13 British Nobel laureates, the Astronomer Royal
Sport
All 20 Premier League football clubs, David Beckham, Arsene Wenger, Gary Lineker, Rio Ferdinand, Paula Radcliffe, Brian Moore, Lawrence Dallaglio, Bobby George, Ben Ainslie, and many more sports personalities
‘Celebrities’
Elton John, Daniel Craig, Jude Law, Bill Nighy, Simon Cowell, J K Rowling, Jeremy Clarkson, Keira Knightly, Bob Geldof, John Le Carre, Helena Bonham-Carter, Danny Boyle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Matt Damon, Paloma Faith, Jamie Oliver, and hundreds more ‘celebs’ of all kinds, 96% of the Creative Industries Federation
Charities
RSPB, World Wildlife Fund UK, Heads and former Heads of other major charities including Save The Children
International Politics
The EU Commission, European Parliament, the 27 EU countries, President Obama, Hilary and Bill Clinton, 8 former US Treasury Secretaries, Kofi Annan (United Nations), the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and India, the President of China, the Japanese Government and most other foreign governments worldwide
The above are merely some examples of the machine that was lined up against Leave.
OBSERVATIONS
Daily we read or see nonsense relating to Brexit. We understand that many people find it hard to admit they were wrong about something but most people are at least able to accept decisions they didn't agree with. It's part of being a grown-up.
Every few years we have a general election. The party with around 35-45% of the popular vote wins. The majority then accept the success of a party they didn't vote for. No-one remotely suggests that the election should be held again. It's a system that has done us well for generations.
We see evidence that more and more 'normal people' are now accepting and getting behind Brexit. For most of this year the opinion polls have shown majorities of 60-70% saying that the government should "get on with it" and this mood seems to be increasing.
Unfortunately a small minority continues to behave undemocratically. Many of these people are in parliament and should know better, and many more are in positions in society where we would certainly expect more from them.
The latest episode of over-dramatic dons over-reacting to a letter from a Conservative MP has highlighted the absurd mentality of a section of 'the Great and the Good'.
Our message to these people is simple. You were wrong and you lost. It might take you forever to admit the former, but for heaven's sake admit and accept the latter now, so that we can all move forward towards a positive future for the country.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: Too many to list ]        06.55am, 27 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 27 Oct 2017, 12.07pm
Message: Thank you for bringing these facts together. It shows the international audience what British people, including those with legal status residing in the UK, had to endure if we chose to leave the European political union. It will hopefully prove to younger generations, there are some things in life better than 'roaming charges'! In the UK, our young were born and continue to grow into free men and women, doing what they aspire to, challenge themselves, and so on. Nothing is off limits in our free and tolerant society, let's call it, "British society". Sure we grumble when we see things are not right and correct the issues, even if this should mean we vote out of office the government and MPs of the day. BUT AT LEAST WE HAVE THIS RIGHT, and this is when 'people power' gently reminds politicians who gave them such powers in the first place. We can lend our votes to MPs, and can take them away come the next election. We have zero rights over the EU commission whilst they continue telling us what we may and may not do, and we have to pay for the privilege? Democracy, I think not? Some of the powerful to this day still try attempts to thwart our democratic voice almost daily, and mainstream media ALWAYS gives them a platform to promote their propaganda. Many political presenters do not reign in their guests when it is clear to most they are not providing facts - fact being the operative word. Many will offer their opinion, but have zero fact upon which to base their personal views. They should attempt to read the facts on this site. People still go on about 52-48% (instead of recognising we had a vote and should as always move forwards) so I leave you with this FACT. The UK general election 2017 provides us with the 'golden' answer. The MP gaining the lowest majority [SNP] and therefore gaining a parliamentary seat in the House of Commons, WON BY TWO VOTES ONLY, or in other words, a majority of 0%.
Name: R Parkin, UK      Date/Time: 26 Oct 2017, 10.18pm
Message: Our parliament is to get a vote on the ‘deal’ before the date of exiting the EU. Given that the ‘deal’ must include no more membership of the single market and the customs union ie. taking back full control and re establing our sovereignty what will happen if as I suspect all houses both here and the EU reject it. Many of us are still very concerned that Brexit will fall. Could you do a piece giving us your opinion as to the likely scenario. Many thanks in anticipation.
 PROUD TO BE BRITISH
(And we don't care who is offended by that)
Two events will occur today, which stir feelings of national pride
in members of the Facts4EU.Org team.
1. FIRST BLOODING OF BLOODHOUND SSC - LIVE BELOW!
The first event is the trials of the UK's new supersonic car, Bloodhound SSC, at Newquay Airport in Cornwall. Interest in this is so high that her website is currently down, but maybe you could keep trying. They badly need your donations. (As do we!)
Facts3EU.Org is delighted to bring you this event, live. Please check back at around 12.30pm when the live-streaming will start below.
In the meantime here is the little beauty, emerging from her shell this morning! Please click on the image to the right to donate to the Bloodhound project.
 
Facts3EU.Org is delighted to bring you the live stream of this great event from Cornwall, direct to your laptop or mobile device!
Things should start kicking off at around 12.30pm (UK time) so please click the video-stream below around then.
We wish the very best of British to her pilot/driver, Andy Green.
2. START OF SECOND SEA-TRIALS OF THE EU'S LARGEST WARSHIP
The second event is the departure of the UK's newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, from her home port of Portsmouth, on her second leg of sea-trials. You can follow her progress in real-time and online, using our special tracking page for the EU's largest new warship.
© MoD
We (even including members of our team who have RAF and Army backgrounds!) all think she's gorgeous, and she also happens to be a major statement about Brexit Britain. Please be aware that the MOD will not confirm or deny that she will depart today, so you might have to keep checking back on our special tracking page.
OBSERVATIONS
For newer readers, Facts4EU.Org supports the UK's military and is proud of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. We have published a lot of material warning about the UK government's current military policies towards the EU, post-Brexit.
We were horrified by the Commons Defence Committee yesterday and its interrogation of Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, and will report on this when we are able to. We badly need more supporters to fund our work, reporting on vital matters like these - see article below.
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The BBC won't do it so someone has to!
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
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[ Sources: MOD | HMS Queen Elizabeth | Bloodhound SSC ]        09.15am, 26 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
 HOW THE EU
BOUGHT OUR EDUCATORS
USING OUR MONEY
And how educational staff and institutions
benefit more than their students
Yesterday we ran a very popular piece called "No lectures please, Professor" about the storm from academics and others over the letter from a pro-Brexit MP, requesting to see what UK students are being taught about Brexit.
This created quite a storm on Twitter, with our graphs being used extensively to show how British educational staff are so heavily biased towards Remain.
Today we give you the information to be able to follow the money for the EU's 'educational project' called Erasmus+. The information comes from a variety of official EU and UK sources, some of which is from 2014.
Here's some 'education' for all the university professors who complained yesterday:
  • The EU spends £14 billion on 'educational' programmes under 'Erasmus+'
  • A higher proportion of UK staff benefit, compared to UK students
  • Only 0.5% of UK higher education students go on 'Erasmus+' programmes
  • EU students benefit 3 times more than UK students (pro-rata)
WHAT IS ERASMUS+?
There are many ways in which the EU channels British taxpayer money back to the UK, dressed as though it were ‘Funded by the EU’. One of these is the Erasmus+ programme.
Erasmus+ is one of those EU ‘projects’ which even Brexiteer politicians say might they might want to keep paying into after Brexit. The government has as yet made no guarantees, so this is the ideal time for everyone to learn about this (supposedly) educational programme.
Erasmus+ is “the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe,” says the EU Commission.
This new version of Erasmus started in 2014, with a 40% increase in funding and a significant increase in its scope.
This scope now covers matters which have little to do with higher education, such as ‘youth exchanges’ and ‘volunteering’. It even includes programmes to “develop new teaching practices or curricula” – something most people probably think is the role of the Dept for Education in the UK.
Erasmus funds and “promotes – among other things – good governance, social inclusion, the fight against racism, dual careers, and physical activity for all.”
1/3rd of the budget goes on “partnerships + reforms of the education and youth sectors”
Many British people (including our young people) imagine that Erasmus+ is all about giving our students a chance to study for all or part of their degrees abroad. However this is just a minority part of the whole programme.
This entire project is much more insidious and far-reaching in its aims.
STAFF USE ERASMUS THREE TIMES MORE THAN THEIR STUDENTS, PRO-RATA
It would appear that Erasmus+ is a more popular programme with college and university teachers and lecturers than it is with their students.
In fact as a proportion it is used three times more by the staff than it is by their students.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
AND EU STUDENTS USE ERASMUS THREE TIMES MORE THAN UK STUDENTS
As with so many things funded by the EU using British taxpayer money, people from the EU27 benefit far more than do people from the UK. In the case of Erasmus+, nearly three times as many EU27 students use it to come to the UK, compared to UK students using it to go to EU27 universities and colleges.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
"BUT... BUT... ERASMUS+ IS ALL ABOUT EDUCATION AND SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE BENEFIT..."
No, Erasmus+ is not all about education in the sense most people understand the word. In common with most other areas of the EU's activities, Erasmus has expanded way beyond its original brief. Even if it were, not all things connected to education are necessarily things which match the UK's needs as an independent nation post-Brexit.
Secondly, only 0.5% of British higher education students benefited from the EU’s Erasmus+ programme in 2015 - the last year for which we have figures.
Here are some shocking facts for you:
  • Less than 10,000 British students used Erasmus+ in 2015, out of 1.8 million in higher education
  • In 2014 almost 3 times as many EU27 Erasmus students came to the UK, than vice versa
  • Almost 3,000 British staff took advantage of Erasmus+ to further their careers
  • Many more EU students and staff benefit than their UK counterparts
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
THE MONEY - ALMOST £14 BILLION
Note to Remainers: The EU refers to the cost of Erasmus+ without including the extra amount which it gives under the programme to non-EU countries. We have included this information to give a truer picture, hence the figure of £14 billion. The list of these non-EU countries is long and the amount now represents about 10% of the total cost of Erasmus+.
COST SUMMARY:
  • The 2014-2020 budget for Erasmus+ is £13.9 BILLION
  • This includes £1.4 billion spent on grants to non-EU countries
  • Only around one-third is spent on higher education
Whilst we're bringing facts to the world of Remainers, they might like to note that Erasmus+ is in fact open to other countries, not just EU members. Yesterday we heard some of the academics protesting that they would automatically not be eligible after the UK leaves the EU. Not true.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
Our research over the last two years has consistently shown that Erasmus+ is not what the EU presents it as. In fact it is difficult not to see it as part of the insidious propaganda machine which has been indoctrinating Europe's young people for decades.
In the last two days a vicious campaign has been launched against a pro-Brexit MP, Chris Heaton-Harris, as a result of him trying to research how our young people are being 'educated' about Brexit.
No-one is suggesting any McCarthy-ite witch hunt against educators who use their position of power over young people to influence their political opinions - although perhaps we should. However we do agree 100% with Mr Heaton-Harris that more should be known about the curricula for teaching about Brexit and the EU in Britain's colleges and universities. We would also extend this to schools.
It is perfectly normal for the British people to require that the arrogant, patronising elites responsible for educating the country's young people should be accountable. And that they should present information fairly and impartially.
THE FUTURE OF ERASMUS+ POST-BREXIT
There has been a lot of talk about the UK possibly wishing to continue to pay into certain EU programmes after Brexit. Erasmus+ has been spoken of as being one of them.
We could hardly agree less with the aims and ambitions of the EU Commission in regard to the young people of the European Union. No-one (as far as we know) empowered the Commission to decide how our youth are to be educated, nor what values are to be promoted. And they certainly are not empowered to pursue what is fundamentally a pro-EU political agenda which is horribly reminiscent of certain historical totalitarian regimes.
We would suggest that Erasmus+, as it is presently constituted, is not an appropriate programme to fund. Here is how Erasmus+ is summarised in the EU’s budget for 2014-2020 :-
“Aims: Erasmus+ aims at boosting skills and employability. The programme will increase the quality and relevance of Europe’s education systems by providing funding for the professional development of education and training staff, as well as youth workers and for cooperation between universities, colleges, schools, enterprises, and NGOs.”
MFF, EU Commission
Clearly this is not in any way something which an independent country like the post-Brexit UK would have need of.
However we would advocate a simple and separate deal with the EU in respect of ongoing exchanges of students. This ‘student exchange’ programme could be agreed between the Dept of Education and the EU’s EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency). There may also be a limited number of other educational activities which the UK may agree to discuss with the EU27, which are contained with Erasmus+, but this is outside our remit today.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: EU Commission | Universities UK | TES | THES | and others ]
As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       07.15am, 26 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Steve, Bradford, UK      Date/Time: 26 Oct 2017, 11.43am
Message: I think it must also be mentioned that the double standards 'allowed' by the EU is a disgrace, as an example educators and many people think life is about virtue gesturing and money and they turn a blind eye to sexism, discrimination, homophobia, genital mutilation and animal cruelty when it comes in the form of religion! Such evil and double standards are being taught as if they were acceptable by virtue gesturing educators, and this 'system' is fully endorsed by the EU.
Name: Steve R, UK      Date/Time: 26 Oct 2017, 10.54am
Message: You may wish to read this article (https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/lee-rotherham-can-europe-loving-lecturers-ever-impartial/) and use the link to Red Cell where there is a very long list of EU grants to universities for social sciences.Many professors are funded and the universities are known as 'opinion multipliers'. The comments about a reader's son finding that his English course was all about Marxism are typical. My son went to a university where the VC is very highly paid and studied business, obtaining a high grade. He now says he could have learned everything he studied in six months.All the lecturers pushed the Green agenda.I let a flat to two German business honours students on an Erasmus 9 month course. They went home after 2 months as there was little tuition and lots of reading, which they could have done at home. The VC was puffing about the presige of the university recently. I went out for a drink with lecturers and students before the election. They were all going to vote Labour because the university had told them how important it was to get out of bed and who to vote for. Keep up the exposure.
Name: Paul A, UK      Date/Time: 26 Oct 2017, 08.33am
Message: The Erasmus+ project should be spelt 'Indoctrination Propaganda+ Projekt' as already tried, used and proven by the National Socialist German Workers Party. These are actual quotes from their leader, Adolf Hitler; "If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed. Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it. He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future."
Name: Jane Birkby, English Constitution Group      Date/Time: 25 Oct 2017, 11.53pm
Note: the next two comments were originally for the article below, about the letter to vice-chancellors from Chris Heaton-Harris MP, but they are equally appropriate to the above article.
Message: Methinks they protest too much, and a nerve has been touched. Our education system, especially in Universities, has been the spreader of EU propaganda and indoctrination for far too long. Professors supposedly with Constitutional knowledge, are teaching false and erroneous information, because their teachers, and the teachers before them had learnt from deliberately altered and suppressed information, mostly written by those in the legal profession, who used Jurisprudence to 'talk it down'. It is sad to say that not one of them does diligent research on the subject, and cannot be considered remotely 'knowledgeable'. In the past Universities have bred Marxist traitors to the country, and these days they are allowing Radical Islamists to speak, and students of that persuasion to suppress the free speech of everyone else, even excluding speakers that the EU or Islam does not like. In this they are failing to give their students a rounded, knowledgeable, and balanced view of the world and life. The Egyptian Pharaohs used the Ma'at System to rule, based on balance and fairness, and the Universities would do well to follow suit, instead of turning out snobbish students with an overbearing sense of entitlement, and superiority. A little humility would not go amiss. Universities could be such wonderful centres of excellence in learning, but sadly they have become too politicised with tunnel vision, and take no pride in providing a truthful, broad, well rounded education. This is evidenced by recently graduated students taking part in televised quiz shows, in which they generally do not do well.
Name: Patrick H, Greater London      Date/Time: 25 Oct 2017, 10.56pm
Message: This polite Parliamentary knowledge request is getting too close to how Educational establishments, most notably Universities, are run and the outrageous salaries these Vice-Chancellors now command? Notwithstanding the clearly biased teaching, self-serving attitudes, direct EU funded inducements, political delusiveness, high-cost for students and the overhyped academic courses, which in many cases produce questionable degrees that are of little use to employers, there needs a full overhaul from top to bottom! Today, academic establishments are run with a business-centric priority, with little concern for students needs or fruitful employment opportunities post studies! There is a very real need for urgent educational realignment; focusing on the student requirements, costs, degree quality and non-political agendas?
 BREXIT ECONOMY HEALTHY
MANUFACTURING GROWS
The Office for National Statistics has released the provisional figures
for GDP growth in the third quarter.
The results for Q3 are very encouraging, given that the majority of the establishment including the Chancellor, the Treasury, the BBC, and many others haven't stopped talking down the British economy since the EU Referendum.
Latest ONS economic data for Q3 (Jul-Sep)
  • GDP Q3 quarter-on-quarter growth: 0.4%
  • Manufacturing Q3 quarter-on-quarter growth: 1.0%
  • GDP Q3 year-on-year growth: 1.5%
MANUFACTURING
It's worth mentioning the result for the UK's manufacturing companies. Growth in Q3 is stated at 1.0%. If that were replicated each quarter that would mean an annual growth in manufacturing of 4%.
OBSERVATIONS
Bizarrely, the British economy is still defiantly refusing to plummet like a stone, as predicted by the Cameron/Osborne government, HM Treasury, and all the Remainer members of the current Cabinet including the Prime Minister, Chancellor, Home Secretary, and others. It also defies the predictions of august bodies such as the IMF, OECD, CBI, IoD, and many, many others.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: ONS ]        10.40am, 25 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 25 Oct 2017, 12.47pm
Message: This is excellent news and it's about time ALL remainer MPs and peers ate a little humble-pie and accepted it? Let them explain WHY we continue to do well, though I'm certain they'll attempt to spin this good news? I have always maintained remainers cannot avoid the facts forever. Much of this may be due to the UK population continuing to spend in the domestic market. UK markets, as with all markets, fluctuate, and have always done so. Sterling was overvalued years before the referendum, and is presently at a sensible level which assists UK exports, and therefore the UK economy. Even so, the media still harp on saying "since Brexit" that..., or "because of Brexit" this..., and so on. They don't appear capable of relating good news unless it's attached to Brexit! I wish to remind our younger generations the UK did not start up at the time of the EEC/EU, we've been around rather a long time, and we also suffered major losses helping liberate continental Europe. To the young, may I suggest take a look at "FCO 30/1048". WE must support all aspects of our country, and only WE can make it better. Believe in Britain.
Name: Russell Hicks, UK      Date/Time: 25 Oct 2017, 12.34pm
Message: Your work here is superb and VERY important. I will send some money soon. KEEP IT UP!!
 DAVID DAVIS MP FACES
EXITING EU COMMITTEE, LIVE
As a public service we present the Rt Hon David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, answering questions before the Exiting the European Union Committee.
Proceedings start at 9.15am.
Note: If the video doesn't load below, refresh the page, or just click in the space below.
OBSERVATIONS
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: UK Parliament TV ]        09.15am, 25 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Braintree Essex Brexiteer, UK      Date/Time: 25 Oct 2017, 8.44pm
Message: I watched David Davis answering questions from the Brexit Committee, he gave detailed and solid answers to all questions. But I was struck by the number of MP's who are not interested in him getting the best deal for the UK, but seem to wish him to fail, so we stay in the EU. I am well aware that a majority of MP's wish to stay in the EU, but it's not about MP's personal wishes, it's about the British peoples wish to be an independent and sovereign country again. Very few of them seem to get that! Also at least one member of the Committee has a financial interest in staying in the EU, both he and his wife are due EU pensions, having worked for the Commission. I am also glad that David Davis has read Yanis Varoufakis's book about negotiating with the EU. After reading it, Davis will have observed the treatment administered out to both Cameron and May as just normal, "par for the course" for this dictatorial organization. The EU still want to punish the UK, but the high loss of up to 3% GDP to member countries Eire, Holland and the Flemish region in the event of no deal, will surely concentrate the mind of these countries to put pressure on the Commission to be sensible. Let's hope so for all our sakes.
 ONE PARLIAMENT
TWO PRESIDENTS
ZERO PROGRESS
President Tusk texting, while President Juncker speaks
Yesterday in the EU Parliament in Strasbourg, the MEPs experienced
the less than joyful odes of two of its Presidents in the same session.
In fact very few MEPs bothered to turn up for the two Presidents, as you can see from all the empty seats in the photo above.
Below we present what they said in a video of their speeches, as well as transcripts of their comments about Brexit.
SPEECHES BY PRESIDENT TUSK AND PRESIDENT JUNCKER
Note: If the video doesn't load below, refresh the page, or just click in the space below.
It's a feature of the new videos from the EU!
EXCERPTS ON BREXIT – PRESIDENT TUSK
“As for the Brexit negotiations, we have managed to build and maintain unity among the 27. But ahead of us is still the toughest stress test. If we fail it, the negotiations will end in our defeat. We must keep our unity regardless of the direction of the talks. The EU will be able to rise to every scenario as long as we are not divided. It is in fact up to London how this will end: with a good deal, no deal or no Brexit. But in each of these scenarios we will protect our common interest only by being together.”
EXCERPTS ON BREXIT – PRESIDENT JUNCKER
“What should I say about Brexit? I would like to say that the Commission is not negotiating in a hostile mood. We want a deal. Those who do not want a deal - the no-dealers - they have no friends in the commission. We want a fair deal with Britain and we will have a fair deal with Britain. The no-deal is not our working assumption.”
OBSERVATIONS
In addition to the comments about Brexit, President Tusk mentioned Permanent Structured Defence (PESCO) which the EU plan to accelerate, and President Juncker mentioned the huge increase in funds for Africa, rising from €1.8 to €2.9 billion euros. These are both vitally important issues and they really matter for Brexit, but we just don’t have the resources to cover these stories for you right now.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: EU Parliament | EU Council | EU Commission ]        08.15am, 25 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Steve R, UK      Date/Time: 25 Oct 2017, 11.18am
Message: Hmmm, money talks. From Europarl, the Commission website.- Net contributions to EU per head of population, 2015 - Sweden 205 Euros, Holland 200, UK 163, Germany 162, Spain 129,Denmark 79, France 67. - Net gainers - Poland (Tusk) 253, Belgium (Verhofstadt) 296, Luxembourg (Junker) 2165. Adjusting for net income perhead of population- Holland 195, Sweden 169, UK 163, Germany 153, -Net gainers - Belgium 290, Luxembourg 4651. Triple Cognacs all round.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 25 Oct 2017, 09.50am
Message: The way I see it, both Mr Tusk and Mr Juncker, and others, remain in denial. The peoples of the EU27 should be firm with their leaders and in turn these gentlemen, to remind them that with or without a deal, the UK WILL exit the European political union on 29th March, 2019. The EU27 need to adapt and adjust their budget expenditure accordingly, something they appear unwilling to do? British taxpayers are not required to continue funding their 'party'. This is not rocket science, though it does show the EU is entirely anti-democratic. They do not want ordinary people having their say via the ballot box, and they detest referendums because they lose control of the masses! The EU commission I feel should further understand the UK will NOT be having a second referendum, unlike some other countries who were pushed into it because they didn't provide the 'correct' answer. It is time the EU27 started seeing positives where they realise they can go their own way, and the UK will go its way. The EU commission is very swift at raising new laws and directives etc, but show a snails pace when it comes to agreeing what should be an relatively easy agreement regarding trade and other matters. They are paid a fortune - to do what exactly? Perhaps they need to justify their salaries to the taxpayer?
Name: Shieldsman, UK      Date/Time: 25 Oct 2017, 09.34am
Message: Donald Tusk insisted the EU countries had each made “a sacrifice” to try and keep Britain inside the bloc. What sacrifices might they have been? Cameron and Hammond were conned, they gave more away than they got, which was NOTHING. The European Parliament would never have passed the emergency brake into law, according to Martin Schulz.
 NO LECTURES PLEASE, PROFESSOR
University professors in false outrage
seek safety after 'triggering' by Tory MP
The UK’s universities have gone into frenzied wailings about alleged McCarthyism, ‘thought police, the political censor and newspeak’.
The cause is a very polite letter from Conservative MP for Daventry, Chris Heaton-Harris, asking for information about how each university is teaching Brexit.
 
HERE IS THE LETTER:-
Letter from Chris Heaton-Harris MP
AND HERE ARE SOME OF THE REACTIONS TO IT:-
Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK: “I would ask that Chris Heaton-Harris MP explains his motive for asking universities to share names of their European studies Professors, their course content and lecture notes. This request suggests an alarming attempt to censor or challenge academic freedom.”
Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the University and College Union: “Our society will suffer if politicians seek to police what universities can and cannot teach. This attempt by Chris Heaton-Harris to compile a hit list of professors has the acrid whiff of McCarthyism about it and [universities minister] Jo Johnson must disown it in the strongest terms.”
Prof David Green, vice-chancellor of Worcester University: “When I read this extraordinary letter on parliamentary paper from a serving MP, I felt a chill down my spine. Was this the beginnings of a very British McCarthyism?
“I realised that his letter just asking for information appears so innocent but is really so, so dangerous. Here is the first step to the thought police, the political censor and Newspeak, naturally justified as ‘the will of the British people’ - another phrase to be found on Mr Heaton-Harris’s website.”
Unfortunately for the university sector, the facts do actually suggest that Mr Heaton-Harris has good reason to ask his question.
Overwhelming bias by lecturers and teachers for Remain
  • Nearly 90% of university lecturers backed Remain
  • 75% of secondary school teachers backed Remain
  • In the 2017 General Election, only 8% of school teachers intended to vote Conservative
We analysed the Times Educational Supplement surveys just prior to the EU Referendum last year. These showed an overwhelming bias for Remain.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
Even more unfortunate still is the evidence regarding political bias in education generally, with secondary school teachers being so heavily-weighted to the left that questions must surely arise even in the minds of Labour supporters. The latest poll conducted by the Times Educational Supplement immediately prior to the General Election showed an overwhelming support for Labour, with only 8% of secondary school teachers intending to vote Conservative.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
DO PERSONAL OPINIONS AFFECT THE TEACHING THAT STUDENTS RECEIVE?
On an individual basis of course it's possible to imagine a university professor who - no matter what his or her personal views - teaches a subject like Brexit in a completely objective manner.
Regrettably however there are two areas of concern on a sector-wide basis. The first is purely anecdotal. The stories of extreme bias amongst the academic profession are legendary and these extend into the actual teaching of Brexit-related subjects. These stories come from students - who always want to stay anonymous - and from their parents.
EU-FUNDED INDOCTRINATION
The second area of concern is institutional. Many of the professors teaching Brexit-related material are 'Jean Monnet' professors.
Here is how the EU Commission describes the Jean Monnet programme: "[It] aims at stimulating teaching, research and reflection in the field of European integration studies at the level of higher education institutions within and outside the European Community."
In the UK there are many so-called 'Jean Monnet Centres of Excellence', each of which qualifies for €100,000 of EU funding on top of all the other EU funding it receives. In addition there are 'Jean Monnet Chairs' - professors for whom a university receives €50,000 for three years. Then there is further funding for things like "EU modules" and other things, to say nothing of all the students which the EU funds to study in the UK
Naturally when we write of 'EU funds' this is all money which comes from the UK taxpayer in the first place.
Any organisation in receipt of EU funding is required to support the aims of the EU. It doesn't help the university's cry of 'we're not biased' when you know that just before the EU Referendum last year 103 university vice-chancellors signed a letter to the newspapers, supporting Remain.
OBSERVATIONS
The UK’s students pay a lot for their university education. They have the right for this to be delivered to a decent standard, particularly when it’s the government which oversees education in the country.
Unfortunately the Dept for Education and Science seems to have no interest in ensuring that university education is delivered in anything approaching a fair and balanced way, and therefore we applaud this initiative by Mr Heaton-Harris.
Just what are the professors afraid of? Is it possible that they know the genuine outrage which would come from the vast majority of the people of this country, if people knew the details of the one-sided indoctrination which our students have been suffering under for decades?
Last year Facts4EU led a campaign on this subject, but we failed to get sufficient interest – probably because there was so much else in relation to Brexit to worry about. This year we will happily support Chris Heaton-Harris in his campaign.
Chris Heaton-Harris MP
The public have a right to know what is being taught to our young people in the name of political education. And if this affects the level of public money which is paid to the worst offending universities and colleges, so be it.
JUST WHO IS THE MORE INTIMIDATING AND THREATENING HERE?
Finally, let's just consider the words of one of the Vice-Chancellors yesterday, Professor David Green of Worcester University. Reacting to the letter from Chris Heaton-Harris, he told the Independent: “This is an outrageous attack on elementary freedoms and it is very important that it is resisted. A decent prime minister would sack him immediately as a whip... He should no longer be a member of the government.
In other words, Mr Heaton-Harris who is an elected Member of Parliament, requested information politely and for this act he should lose his job. It sounds suspiciously like the one guilty of McCarthyism and dictatorship of ideas is Professor Green and his colleagues, not Mr Heaton-Harris.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
DO YOU WORK IN EDUCATION?
We are interested in the way in which the EU is presented and explained in schools, colleges and universities. If you have any information we would be pleased to receive anything of interest. You can contact us in complete confidence using our contact form and we will reply by email.
[ Sources: Times Educational Supplement | Times Higher Education ]        06.15am, 25 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Jane Birkby, English Constitution Group      Date/Time: 25 Oct 2017, 11.53pm
Message: Methinks they protest too much, and a nerve has been touched. Our education system, especially in Universities, has been the spreader of EU propaganda and indoctrination for far too long. Professors supposedly with Constitutional knowledge, are teaching false and erroneous information, because their teachers, and the teachers before them had learnt from deliberately altered and suppressed information, mostly written by those in the legal profession, who used Jurisprudence to 'talk it down'. It is sad to say that not one of them does diligent research on the subject, and cannot be considered remotely 'knowledgeable'. In the past Universities have bred Marxist traitors to the country, and these days they are allowing Radical Islamists to speak, and students of that persuasion to suppress the free speech of everyone else, even excluding speakers that the EU or Islam does not like. In this they are failing to give their students a rounded, knowledgeable, and balanced view of the world and life. The Egyptian Pharaohs used the Ma'at System to rule, based on balance and fairness, and the Universities would do well to follow suit, instead of turning out snobbish students with an overbearing sense of entitlement, and superiority. A little humility would not go amiss. Universities could be such wonderful centres of excellence in learning, but sadly they have become too politicised with tunnel vision, and take no pride in providing a truthful, broad, well rounded education. This is evidenced by recently graduated students taking part in televised quiz shows, in which they generally do not do well.
Name: Patrick H, Greater London      Date/Time: 25 Oct 2017, 10.56pm
Message: This polite Parliamentary knowledge request is getting too close to how Educational establishments, most notably Universities, are run and the outrageous salaries these Vice-Chancellors now command? Notwithstanding the clearly biased teaching, self-serving attitudes, direct EU funded inducements, political delusiveness, high-cost for students and the overhyped academic courses, which in many cases produce questionable degrees that are of little use to employers, there needs a full overhaul from top to bottom! Today, academic establishments are run with a business-centric priority, with little concern for students needs or fruitful employment opportunities post studies! There is a very real need for urgent educational realignment; focusing on the student requirements, costs, degree quality and non-political agendas?
Name: Steve R, UK      Date/Time: 25 Oct 2017, 09.57am
Message: Brilliant! The overpaid EU-subsidised academics have swallowed the bait and are wriggling on the line for all to see. Let's hope this keeps going for some time and that their amost total bias is exposed. With a bit of luck Treezer the Appeazer will cock up again and sack this previously unknown MP.
 IS THE EU HEADING FOR
Paris, May 1968
LES EVENEMENTS DE '18?
WARNING SIGNS NOW APPEARING ACROSS THE EU
Italy’s richest regions vote for autonomy
As the latest bad news sinks in for the political elites of the EU, we bring you another analysis which you are unlikely to see on the BBC.
THE FOLLOWING HAVE STARTED TO RATTLE THE EU:-
  • Brexit
  • Trump
  • The Netherlands (Wilders in 2nd)
  • France (34% for Le Pen)
  • Visegrad countries (no to migrant quotas)
 
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Catalonia
  • Italy - see below
The mantra of the EU elites continues to be that of ‘unity’ and ‘solidarity’ – particularly since the decision of the British people to leave the European Union.
Almost 50 years ago in 1968, a series of events led to major civil unrest across many countries. These became known by their French title of “Les evenements de soixante-huit” – the events of ’68.
50 years later will ‘Les evenements de dix-huit’ (2018) be as significant?
With Czech voters sending a message at the weekend, and Austria’s new Chancellor telling the EU “to take more of a backseat on issues where nation states can make better decisions”, we looked at another EU member state where trouble is brewing.
TWO RICH ITALIAN REGIONS VOTE FOR AUTONOMY
After the UK leaves, Italy will be the third-largest economy in the EU, after Germany and France. It is one of the six founder members of the European Economic Community from 1957 and its capital city was chosen as the location for the signing of the Treaty founding what has become the modern-day EU.
© Quotidiano
The governors celebrate
On Sunday, the citizens of two of Italy’s richest regions – Lombardy (Milan) and Veneto (Venice) in the north of the country – voted in non-binding referenda. The referenda were called by each region’s governors to ask the citizens if they wanted more autonomy over immigration, education and healthcare and many other important areas.
The results were extraordinary – Lombardia: 95.3% for yes, Veneto: 98.1%. A total of 5.3 million Italians voted.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
These two regions, although geographically small, represent around 30% of the entire GDP produced by Italy.
Unlike in Catalunya these referenda were not votes for full independence, and the turnouts were lower than in Spain so the results are merely indicative. They were however designed to give a clear demonstration of the feelings of the Italian citizens in these northern regions.
THE 2018 ITALIAN GENERAL ELECTION – VOTING INTENTIONS
As if the referenda in the Milan and Venice regions weren’t enough to depress Herr Juncker and his colleagues enough, we thought they would like to see the current state of play in the Italian electorate as a whole.
We analysed the voting intentions from the latest poll last week and show them below, with eurosceptic parties in red. As you can see, 5 out of the 7 main political parties are eurosceptic and their support totals 64.3%.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
So, nearly two-thirds of Italians support parties which don’t support the EU elites’ dreams and aspirations. Some of these parties even want a referendum to pull out of the Euro.
OBSERVATIONS
When Brexit happened, make no mistake: it hit like a thunderbolt across the EU. They may now like to pretend that it’s not top of their priorities, but when it happened it devastated the top echelons of the EU. It was as unexpected and as unwelcome as a dose of salmonella at a wedding.
For many the feelings were of anger, immense hurt, and fear, hence the reaction of the EU Commission President on the morning of June 24th 2016: “This will not be an amicable divorce”.
Since then the reactions of the EU27 - egged on by the Commission and the EU Parliament - have been to circle the wagons and pour all their firepower outwards towards the UK. Despite constant protestations to the contrary, the EU political class bears no goodwill towards Britain and wants Brexit to be as difficult as possible. They deny this of course, but it is our considered opinion based on monitoring them every day.
In the early days, the EU was able to pretend to itself that Brexit would in fact be a blessing. It would act as a catalyst driving everyone closer together. The world would watch the immediate impacts of the vote – as predicted by all establishment bodies with heavy interests in the EU such as the IMF, OECD etc – and the EU27 members would be able to show how awful life was if you dared to think there was life outside the EU.
Unfortunately for them, Brexit hasn’t produced any of the economic devastation predicted by the great and the good.
And at the same time the number of crises and number of countries or regions of the EU expressing the opposite of ‘unity’ and ‘solidarity’ just keeps on growing.
Next year are we heading for a new version of the upheavals which took place 50 years ago?
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: Regione Lombardia | Regione Veneto | Demopolis | Corriere della Serra ]        06.55am, 24 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Brexiter Braintree Essex      Date/Time: 24 Oct 2017, 12.57pm
Message: I see that Mr Tusk, the EU Council President, still believes the UK can be persuaded to stay in the EU. I know the EU don't do democracy, voting to them means, keep going till you vote for the result we want. Doesn't he realise that 17.4 million people in the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016, there is no going back, it's called democracy. All this bleating by "remoaners" about staying in the EU, it's just giving a false signal to the EU that's one reason that Article 50 negotiations are bogged down. I'm sure the EU think if they make things difficult, and try blackmailing the British Government for more money, they will just fold, and say its too complicated to negotiate we'll stay. Sorry EU, it doesn't work like that with British resolve, we just dig in and become more defiant. We should also educate the "remoaners" as well, if we did an about face to stay, we would have to join the Euro, no rebate on contributions so pay more money to the EU, no opt out of Schengen, accept federal Europe plans, and also accept the new taxes that the EU plans across the 27 countries. I am sure then, that more of them would realise how much better being a free independent country is.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 24 Oct 2017, 09.32am
Message: The peoples across continental Europe are at last waking up to the fact they alone need to protect their democracy, and to remind their politicians they work for the people who elected them to power - **which is a privilege in anyone's language.** They have realised [better late than never] that unelected bureaucrats and the European Union machine is stripping them of national identity and culture, all for the sakes of "ever closer union", and "more Europe", slowly but surely? **The arch federalists among their number wish to turn the continent into a single state called Europe.** The people have realised they do not require EU bureaucracy to run their lives. They have realised trading and jobs are created by business. They have seen the doom and gloom merchants were wrong and the UK has been doing rather well since our referendum on 23rd June, 2016. They watched as the UK stood firm against all threats and abuse that came our way from everywhere - and they said, 'we too can do the same'. Continental Europe has great places to visit and 'taste' their cultures. But we must ask ourselves **WHY** would we wish to visit when their leaders and unelected bureaucrats of the European Union persistently portray themselves in a threatening manner towards the UK? The taxpayers across continental Europe should ask themselves WHY they require a bloated EU at Brussels; WHY there is so much waste of taxpayers money moving the lot between Brussels and Strasbourg every month and back again; and why their laws are being made by foreign elites? We in the UK never said things would be easy, and there would be bumps along the way, **but our prize is sovereignty and independence where WE make our own laws, control our own destiny, and so on,** (without interference from Brussels).
Name: Globalizer, UK      Date/Time: 24 Oct 2017, 07.37am
Message: Interesting article. Brexit the first was Henry the eighth.
Name: R. Ellison, UK      Date/Time: 24 Oct 2017, 07.10am
Message: A little ditty to lighten these times of exasperation after watching the puerile kissing and patting Junker on the back by our very own Prime Minister. Yikes! Is she a woman who thinks she can get her own way by female diplomacy? Tactile displays are not what's required here. So, here goes: ( please forgive any levity of tone) You can guess the tune to accompany this, should any of you have a piano handy.

"Who do you think you're kidding Mr Barnier, If you think old Britain's done? We are the folks who've exposed your little game We are the folks who will make you bow in shame. So, who do you think you're fooling Mr Barnier If you think old Britain's glum!
Mrs May goes off to Brussels Decked in kitten heels and beads, Photographed sitting all alone Appearing ready, about to plead!
Ah, but who do you think she's fooling, Mr Junker? EU trade means higher prices, not our Golden Rule. We are the Nation who is splitting from the EU We are the Country who'll keep our £Billions, thank you. So, who do you think May is deriding, Mr.Junker Look in the mirror and kiss yourself, yes a real prize fool.
All round Europe cracks are showing As Voters defend Democracy, National pride and Christian beliefs Standing up against EU hypocrisy. So now who's exceedingly vulnerable, Mrs Merkel When Germans find out you're flying migrants in?
They in a fury will stop your little game German people have 'ays and means'of punishing who's to blame. So, you're time is almost up now Mrs Merkel Your ivory tower is about to cave in.
 CZECHS UNBALANCE THE EU
© Euronews
EUROSCEPTIC RIGHT-WING PARTIES WON,
PRO-EU LEFT-WING PARTIES LOST
Another exclusive Facts4EU.Org Research Team Analysis
that you won't see on the BBC
On Friday and Saturday the people of the Czech Republic voted in their General Election. They gave a huge thumbs down to the EU. Facts4EU.Org now brings you what the BBC has failed to.
CZECH ELECTION SUMMARY
  • Andrej Babiš and his ANO 2011 won with 29.6% of the vote and 39.5% of the seats
  • He won more than twice the votes and three times the seats of the next-largest party
  • Pro-EU parties fell in popularity, Eurosceptics rose
  • Eurosceptic parties have now got 70% of parliamentary seats
  • Anti-migrant, anti-EU, SPD party roared from nowhere to a gain of 22 seats
QUICK REMINDER ABOUT CZECH REPUBLIC
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country of 10.5 million people which became independent after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the split-up of Czechoslovakia in 1993. It joined the European Union in 2004 and its capital city is Prague, on the river Danube. The country is growing well and doesn’t yet use the Euro, retaining its currency of the koruna.
CZECH POLITICS
Czech politics are complex, in common with the politics of all the former East European states. In recent years their politics have been complicated yet further by changes in parties, leaders and alliances, as well as a major corruption scandal engulfing the man who won yesterday, Andrej Babiš.
What follows is a typical Facts4EU.Org summary which gives you the highlights and some key trends. Specifically we look at the impact on the EU and on Brexit.
THE 2017 ELECTIONS
Yesterday the Czech President, Miloš Zeman, said he will call Andrej Babiš of the victorious ANO to become Prime Minister and form a new government, to take over from the outgoing Bohuslav Sobotka of the left-wing Social Democrats.
Mr Babiš will need to form a coalition, which is normal following elections in most EU countries which operate a proportional representation system of voting.
Nine parties ‘made the cut’ yesterday, meaning that they got over the 5% threshhold need to gain seats in parliament.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
ANO became easily the largest party, overtaking the ruling Social Democrat CSSD who fell to 6th place. The party in 2nd place is the more mainstream conservative right-wing party, the Civic Democrats (ODS). In 3rd and 4th equal were the Pirates and the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) parties, who each came from nowhere to gain 22 seats.
The Pirates are part of a wider European group which we will write about on another occasion. The right-wing SPD however are an anti-migrant and ‘populist’ right-wing party of the type to make Herr Juncker and his colleagues recoil.
THE EU CAN NOT SPIN THIS AS A VICTORY
Even the EU elites with their constant twisting of the facts can’t spin this one. Parties which were broadly pro-EU were decimated.
This does not mean that the Eurosceptic parties want to withdraw the Czech Republic from the EU – the Czechs receive too much annual subsidy from the EU for that – but the mood music is definitely not warm and melodious, if you are sitting in Brussels.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
One of the key problems for the EU now is that there is no realistic prospect of the Czechs changing their minds and taking in some of their allocation of “Merkel’s migrants”. (That’s our term, by the way.)
The new Prime Minister-elect stood on an anti-immigration platform, and even though he will soften his tone in many areas in order to form a coalition government, it’s impossible to see how the Czech Republic can acquiesce. That means more European Court of Justice action by the EU Commission.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
SO WHAT'S THE IMPLICATION FOR BREXITEERS?
Well, in Czech politics it’s clear that the trend is not the EU’s friend. The new Czech PM will almost certainly be Andrej Babiš, who is under official investigation for misuse of EU funds.
Interestingly, while so much of the EU machine tries to pretend that Brexit is of no consequence, the new PM addressed it head on in his victory speech, telling the jubilant crowd that:
 
"The EU needs to reflect on
why Great Britain is leaving the bloc"
Left: Victorious Andrej Babiš and his wife
The Czechs have moved firmly to the right, which is definitely not the politics of the vast majority of people working for the EU.
The EU’s migrant redistribution policy has been rejected completely.
And new populist forces are now to be reckoned with in the Czech Republic.
Thank goodness the EU doesn’t have other major crises on its plate right now. Oh, wait....
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: Český statistický úřad (ČSÚ) - The Czech equivalent of the ONS | Czech media ]        06.55am, 23 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
EUROPA LANE 
© Country Squire Magazine
by MANDY BALDWIN
You have inherited a cottage by the sea, at the end of a pretty lane. It’s been in the family for years.
It’s a bit run-down in places, but still charming; the walls are sound, your grandparents had the roof fixed, your parents made sure the plumbing was up to date, and you’ve had it redecorated and furnished.
The garden’s looking nice, too: the old patio catches the sun, the flower beds are full of mature plants, the vegetable patch produces more than enough runner beans to share with the neighbours, the apple-tree is a variety you can’t buy any more but it makes wonderful cider, and the old raspberry canes still give enough fruit for jam to sell at the church fete.
There’s a stream behind the cottage, where you can catch trout. You can see the marks on the gate where your children carved their initials.
It’s taken years – generations, in fact – but it’s just how you like it, and although you’re not quite as well off as you were, you are still richer than most in the Lane.
Your cottage is one of several there, each lovely in their own way, each different to the next, so it’s interesting to visit, and sometimes you pick up tips from them and vice versa – and you can swap your jam and beans and trout and apples for their cherry pies and ginger wine and home-made sausages.
One or two of the families are poor, but you do your best to help them, and don’t mind their children playing in your garden as long as they are well-behaved and go home when they are asked to.
Now that the cottage is yours, you join the Lane Neighbours Fund which you think is admirable, because everyone says that your annual subscription will help to build a Community Centre in the middle of the Lane, where everyone can enjoy it, and will pay a security guard to patrol, because in the Woods surrounding the lane there are people who break in, attack the children and damage the cottages, from time to time.
And then you find out that, long before you joined, a Committee had taken charge of the Lane Neighbours Fund and decided to merge all the cottages into one single property, building a concrete walkway between each, so that everyone could get in and out without an invitation. Within days of paying your subscription, work begins on this project.
You want to complain, but you don’t know any of the people on the Committee – they live in a big city, a long way away, and you can never get an appointment.
The Committee are full of ideas of what is best for everyone.
In the case of your cottage, it means cutting down the apple tree to build the path, but when you protest, because it is so old and rare, you are told that it doesn’t matter about the cider you used to make, because your neighbour four doors down makes beer, and you can have a share of that if you hand over half the trout you catch each year. And by the way, that means, half your share of the trout, because now, all the catch must be divided up equally between all the people in the lane, even though it is your family who have maintained the banks and kept the water clean.
Then there is the vexed question of the runner beans. Nobody else grows runner beans as well as you do, and the committee think this is unfair, so, you must pay a large fee to the other cottage owners in order to help them grow more for themselves.
In addition, the poorer families are given permission to come into your garden and help themselves to the beans, or anything else growing there, while the money you have given them is used to prepare their own gardens, all ready for when they have used up everything which is growing in yours.
When they see how well you live, some of the poorer families decide to send their children to live in your cottage, and you can’t stop them: it is now illegal to put a lock on the door. They share your children’s bedrooms, there are often fights because they take your children’s toys and break them, and when your children complain, the Committee says they are spoilt.
The final straw comes when the Committee say it is wrong to stop the people from the Woods coming freely into the Lane, and send the security guard to prison for shouting at them. They then demand that each family takes two of the Wood People to live with them, and order every family to have their dog put to sleep, because the Wood People are afraid of dogs.
 
You decide to complain to the committee, because surely, they will see that this can’t go on. So you travel to the big city far away, and while you are waiting and waiting to see the committee, you see a plan on the corridor wall, of a big apartment building called Europa Towers.
After many hours you are shown to a big room full of people whose faces you forget as soon as you have seen them, but you know they are the Committee, because that is what was written on the door. You report to the Committee that your neighbours got up in the night, and have taken so much from your garden that you can no longer feed your family. You tell them that you will not destroy your beloved old dog, or allow any Wood People to share your children’s home.
They say you are selfish: if you can’t grow enough for everyone, you should buy vegetables from your richer neighbour, instead, who needs to sell vegetables because he is now forbidden to make sausages, which the Wood People dislike. You say you prefer to buy from an old friend you knew before you moved to the Lane, but the Committee don’t like your old friend, who is very rich and powerful, and disagrees with the Committee on many things.
But there are my cousins, you say. I can buy from them. We may live far apart, but we keep in touch, and they used to visit all the time – but now you have put a gate at the end of the lane, and you won’t give them a key.
The Committee say it isn’t right for you to have such a big extended family, when the rest of the neighbours don’t. They tell you to forget your cousins, and your cousins will soon forget you.
And what about the friends I made when I used to go travelling, when I was younger? You ask. They used to enjoy coming to stay with my family, but now they are afraid of the Wood People.
The Committee are annoyed that you mention this: most of the neighbours never had the opportunity to meet so many interesting people, and they prefer that you break those friendships, now.
In any case, they say, stop complaining; you must be very lazy, to have been sleeping while the neighbours were busy taking things from your garden.
Why were you not also awake all night picking vegetables? How useless you are!
You should learn to work harder. After all, if you work harder, you will produce more, and then you can share that with the neighbours, too!
And look, says the Committee: how bright and shiny the poorer cottages are now! Look at their gardens! They bought seed with your money, and took cuttings from your fruit bushes. Haven’t they used them wisely? You should learn from them! However did you manage, before the neighbours moved in? It’s a good thing they diverted the trout stream away from your cottage: goodness knows what a mess you would have made of that, left to your own devices!
You are now very angry, as well as very tired.
You go home and find your family are in the middle of an argument: some are scared of upsetting the neighbours, but most are for restoring the trout stream, ripping up the concrete paths, repairing the fences, putting locks back on the doors, and replanting the garden, and after a stormy evening of debate, that is what you decide to do.
Some of the neighbours hear the argument and come round to see what is wrong. Many of them feel the same way: nobody likes the way things have been going lately. Under the strain, old arguments and resentments are beginning to resurface: the way Number 4 borrowed the lawn-mower and didn’t bring it back; the time Number 6 used to have noisy parties.
But a few seem afraid: they say everything was awful, before the Committee took control. They are sure that those things they hear, about the plans to knock down the cottages and build one big apartment block, are just rumours, put about by nasty people who don’t realise how terrible it was, having to knock on the front door instead of simply walking in.
The Committee have told them, unless everyone moves in together, nobody will be safe, and as for the Wood People, if all the Wood People in all the Woods everywhere are allowed to move in, and everyone does exactly as they say, and smiles at them all the time, and gives them everything they ask, they will settle down in just a few generations, and stop being frightening.
Anyway, wouldn’t a nice shiny new apartment block with lots of security guards around to make sure stupid people didn’t ruin everything by complaining, be far more sophisticated and up to date than a cottage with a garden? After all, each apartment would have a number on the door, the same as the number of their cottage.
You say you’ve already put it to the vote, and decided what to do: but these people suddenly become sly.
Why take any notice of that, they ask, when disagreeing with the Committee would all be so complicated and difficult? The Committee are Experts who only want what is for the Common Good. Only stupid people who are sentimental about the past, only horrible people who don’t like sharing with the neighbours, only nasty people who hate others for no reason except being from the Wood, would disagree with the Committee, after all: so why give people like that any choice in the matter?
“Because it’s fair,” you say, “and in this cottage, we have a tradition of being fair.”
And they smirk and tell you those days are gone. The Committee are building new traditions now, and they will tell you what those traditions are, when they have finished making them up.
“But it’s wrong, to ignore what we have decided,” you say, and you are very frightened, now, as well as tired and angry, because you saw those plans on the wall in the corridor in the big city, and you know it is true and will soon be too late to stop. “It’s undemocratic!”
And they look at you and smile, because after all, your cottage is quite poor and scruffy now, and what do you or your silly ideas matter?
“What’s democracy?” They ask.
This article first appeared in Country Squire Magazine and is reproduced by kind permission of CSM and the author.
Mandy Baldwin has an appeal for funds here.
OBSERVATIONS
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
We really could use your help in working for a clean and true Brexit.
       04.15am, 22 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Shieldsman, UK      Date/Time: 22 Oct 2017, 7.48pm
Message: A 'Turn up for the books' Arch Europhile Kenneth Clark : - Conservative former chancellor Ken Clarke has said he believes there is now no way to prevent the UK leaving the EU. The staunch Remainer said there was “little doubt” that Brexit would take place and argued a second referendum on any deal would be “folly”. Mr Clarke told an audience at the Scottish Parliament's Festival of Politics that a “no deal” scenario with the UK crashing out of the EU was “very unlikely”.
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 WTO TARIFFS
AND OTHER REMAINER SCARE STORIES
© WTO
What do Remainer MPs mean when they talk of
“Crashing out of the EU on World Trade Organisation terms”?
Another exclusive Facts4EU.Org Research Team Analysis
In recent days there has been a lot of talk about the UK finally standing up to the EU. This has come about due - apart from constant pressure from people like us - to the EU refusing to allow the Brexit negotiations to open up. Yesterday the EU Council formally confirmed that "insufficient progress" had been made by the UK and that full talks still can't start - almost seven months after triggering Article 50.
This has led to strong calls for the UK government to proceed on the basis that the EU will never negotiate like a normal international body, and to make arrangements for the UK to trade under WTO rules like the vast majority of the World.
THE COUNTER-CLAIM FROM REMAINERS - “20-40%” TARIFFS
Many Labour and other Remainer MPs have once again been warning of cliff edges and the imposition of enormous tariffs (20-40% have been quoted) which would make prices rocket and would decimate Britain's exporters.
SO WHO'S RIGHT?
The first thing to say is that whole area of trade rules is very complex. Over the years we've found it hard to write about, because of wanting to state simple facts without lots of caveats which would make an article like this unreadable. That said, here's a quick summary.
AVERAGE TRADE-WEIGHTED TARIFFS FROM THE EU
WTO TERMS
  • Non-agricultural goods : 2.3%
  • Agricultural goods : 8.5%
(Source: WTO World Tariff Profiles 2016)
These are the trade-weighted averages cited by the WTO in respect of the EU, according to its 2016 data. Obviously 0% tariffs in both directions is preferable, but the average tariffs quoted above are hardly apocalyptic.
Naturally there are individual product lines which attract higher or lower tariffs - the above are the trade-weighted averages. In the cases of some products the EU applies ridiculously-high tariffs, to protect inefficient continental farmers for example, but it is cheap rhetoric in our opinion for Remainer MPs, mostly Labour and LibDems, to quote a figure of 30 or 40% for one item when the averages are so much lower.
WHAT REALLY AFFECTS INTERNATIONAL TRADE?
Naturally tariffs which are imposed on international trade are annoying to importers and exporters. The public don't like them because they affect the prices of the products in the shops. However there's a factor which is often much bigger than tariffs. And that's the exchange rate.
THE EXCHANGE RATE
Most people understand that if the pound falls - as it has been doing since long before the Referendum - then the cost of imported goods rises. We need more pounds to buy a product costing $100 dollars, for example. Many people also understand that this same fall actually helps British exporters, whose foreign customers find they can buy it for less of their own currency.
What the Remainers are not telling you however, is that the effect of exchange rate fluctuations in the last 10 years far outweighs the effect of tariffs, should they be imposed under WTO conditions post-Brexit.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The graph above shows the average trade-weighted tariffs from the EU, compared to the much bigger fluctuations in the exchange rate in the last 10 years.
In other words, the constant rising and falling of the pound against the US dollar which occurs year in, year out, regardless of Brexit, actually impacts the direct costs of the UK's imports and exports more than any WTO tariffs would, on average.
BUYING CHEAPER GOODS
Another factor which is rarely if ever mentioned by Remainers are the simple economic facts of 'competition' and 'substitution'. If the EU insist on cutting off their noses despite their faces and refusing to cut a deal with the UK, how long will it be before producers from around the world are exporting their products to us? If oranges from Seville become more expensive, Brazilian and California growers will be lining up.
OBSERVATIONS
Now, it’s important to stress that the above is only a simplistic explanation. The whole area of WTO rules, schedules, and agreements is tremendously complicated.
Nevertheless WTO official data shows that with the average tariffs applicable to the EU being 2.3% - 8.5%, the UK is hardly likely to suffer in the way Remainer MPs are suggesting.
We do feel compelled to mention one more thing in relation to trade.
We have to listen to MPs, TV journalists, and commentators holding forth about trade and the impending disaster which Brexit is about to unleash. We also hear these same people extolling the virtues of the Single Market, as though it were some state of nirvana.
WE HAVE TO SAY ONE THING
Most of these people haven't got the first idea what trade is. Almost none of them have ever done it, let alone studied it properly.
The next time you hear a Remainer MP telling the public that it will be a disaster if the UK is no longer a member of the Single Market, or that it will be a disaster if the UK leaves and trades on WTO rules, just listen for the journalist asking them "And why is that?"
You almost never hear that question. If you do, the answer is waffle and the question isn't repeated. Do you know why that is? It's because the Remainer MP hasn't got a clue about trade, and neither has the BBC, Sky or ITV journalist who is asking the question.
And just in case you wondered, members of our team have in part made their living for years doing business internationally. We don't claim to be experts, but we do know a thing or two.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
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[ Sources: WTO World Tariff Profiles 2016 | Bank of England ]        06.55am, 21 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Robin Grey, UK      Date/Time: 24 Oct 2017, 9.59am
Message: I have involved in international trade for 30 years, importing and exporting across the UK/EU/USA/China and your article is correct. Let me add a couple of examples, my son started importing a range of sporting goods from China to the UK, meaning of course into the EU, and the goods were subject to the EU's Common External Tariff (CET). So we are talking here of a non EU country trading with the EU, so that means WTO rules. First thing to say is that there was not one single obstacle to doing so as first time importer into the EU. Not one. Second, the average tariff across the product rage was 1.7%! A totally insignificant amount. Second quick example, according to the World Bank food prices within the EU are 17% higher than world prices and that is because the high CEF imposed on foods stuff imported from abroad and will therefore give the average householder a lower weekly shopping bill when we leave! I will be subscribing to FACTS4EU.
Name: Denis Cooper, Berks      Date/Time: 21 Oct 2017, 2.09pm
Message: Let's ask Jeremy Corbyn whether Americans living in the UK should be able to appeal to the US Supreme Court over the heads of the UK courts.
Name: Denis Cooper, Berks      Date/Time: 21 Oct 2017, 2.04pm
Message: The reality is that there are very few cases where a) we export more to the EU countries than we import from the EU countries, and also b) the trade surplus which we presently enjoy with the EU might be put at risk by the imposition of high tariffs. In the cases where the tariff would be high that would almost always damage EU exporters more than it would damage UK exporters, and if we weren't inclined towards free trade as a general principle we might even welcome the reintroduction of some tariffs which would be to the advantage of our own producers. The crass dishonesty over this actually began long before the referendum campaign when Cameron and Osborne and other Remainers went around quoting highly selective numbers, and without ever mentioning that we were running a deficit in most of the sub-sectors they cited, and without mentioning that we were being forced to apply EU tariffs - with 80% of the money levied going to Brussels - when we might be better off not applying those tariffs, and that brazen dishonesty is still carrying on today.
Name: John L, UK      Date/Time: 21 Oct 2017, 10.11am
Message: The single market is a mechanism for forcing us to buy expensive European goods and services. From year 1 we had a deficit of half a billion which has increased every year since to about £70 billion last year. Estimated cumulative total of £600 billion. If you spend (buy) £600 billion more than you earn (sell) what happens? You go bust. The "single market" has devastated U.K. jobs and business and the sooner we leave the sooner we can start reversing this trend and create a trade surplus which is essential for prosperity. Any politician or journalist who speaks positively about the single market is either an idiot or a globalist.
EU COUNCIL SHAMBLES 
MERKEL FORGETS HER LINES
The press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel,
following EU Council 20th Oct 2017
© EU Council
(If the video doesn't appear, please refresh the page and be patient - it's the EU's video not ours!)
OBSERVATIONS
Bizarrely, Frau Merkel stated that it was Michel Barnier's decision as to when "sufficient progress" has been made on the three subjects to which the EU has limited negotiations, before the EU will open up talks to include all areas which need to be discussed and agreed.
The German Chancellor appeared to have forgotten the agreed line in this charade.
The EU Council devolved the conduct of the day-to-day negotiations to the EU Commission. The EU Commission chose Michel Barnier to be its Chief Negotiator. Monsieur Barnier's job is to negotiate according to the remit of the Council.
It is the Council that decides when "sufficient progress" has been made on the three issues to which it restricted the negotiations.
Frankly this is looking like a complete shambles, when the German Chancellor can't even remember the ridiculous procedure the EU27 agreed in order to string Great Britain along.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
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[ Sources: EU Council ]        3.15pm, 20 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Braintree Brexiter      Date/Time: 20 Oct 2017, 9.34pm
Message: May should instruct Cabinet Secretary Heywood to prepare detailed and comprehensive "leave without deal"agenda for the country. It must be obvious to even her that we are not going to get a deal. May saw how PM Cameron was treated by our so called "friends in the EU", and she has received a dose of the same. She is being humiliated at home and at the EU, the time has come for her to hit back and regain her self respect. A dose of reality towards "our friends" as they contemplate life without our billions, without free trade market in the UK. It might concentrate the mind of Merkel when the prospect of 750,000 workers in Baveria on the dole, likewise French wine and food exports being replaced by Commonwealth Countries, might help Macron to see the bigger picture from our view. No deal equals no divorce payments, just walk in March 2019. 67 Billion Euro black hole in pensions for starters, without the other problems in Italy, Spain and Visgrad countries. The time has come for May to pick herself off the floor and flex a bit of muscle, to show the EU we are not afraid of going alone.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 20 Oct 2017, 5.50pm
Message: All Brexiteers should check out the UK Government response to Petition 200165 to 'Leave the EU Immediately' (which Facts4eu have written about). At the time of writing there are **48,995 signatories.** **We need 100,000 signatories to force a Government debate.** This should not be too difficult for 17.4 million+ Brexiteers, so spread the word dear friends. Every day we remain in the EU political club is at enormous cost to the British taxpayer, and every day remain MPs are attempting to thwart Brexit in some manner. We must exit all EU institutions and cease giving away taxpayers money, for to remain in any part of it means we haven't left the European political union. It is of course right and proper to honour UK commitments up to 2020. I am extremely concerned at not hearing Mrs May PM defending our fishing industry which the EEC/EU trashed. Time to stand with our fishermen as they are the guardians of our fisheries and territorial waters which Edward Heath [former UK PM] gave away at the last minute prior to entering the EEC, all without consent.
Name: GJS, Midlands      Date/Time: 20 Oct 2017, 4.50pm
Message: Recent rhetoric from the PM has sounded more like a renewal of EU marriage vows than a renewal of British sovereignty. In the Mrs May Gambit the UK purports to leave the EU but then enters in to a "deep and special partnership". Are the benefits of UK independence about to be negotiated away by Mrs M out of desperation on her part?
Name: Carole, Merseyside      Date/Time: 20 Oct 2017, 3.40pm
Message: There is lots of noise about the PM promising another 20 million in future liabilities. If this is true, then the Tories will lose support from the majority of Brexiteers.
EU COUNCIL REJECTS UK 
POSITION COMPLETELY
Screengrab taken from © EU Council
The official conclusions of the EU Council Summit on the state of the Brexit negotiations
1. In the light of the first five rounds of negotiations, taking into account the assessment presented by the Union negotiator and reaffirming its guidelines of 29 April 2017, the European Council:
  • welcomes the progress made regarding citizens' rights and invites the negotiator to build on the convergence achieved so as to provide the necessary legal certainty and guarantees to all concerned citizens and their family members who shall be able to exercise directly their rights derived from EU law and protected by the withdrawal agreement, including through smooth and simple administrative procedures and the role of the Court of justice of the European Union;
  • acknowledges that, as regards Ireland, there has been some progress on convergence on principles and objectives regarding protection of the Good Friday Agreement and maintenance of the Common Travel Area, and invites the Union negotiator to pursue further refinement of these principles, taking into account the major challenge that the UK’s withdrawal represents, including as regards avoidance of a hard border, and therefore expecting the UK to present and commit to flexible and imaginative solutions called for by the unique situation of Ireland;
  • notes that, while the UK has stated that it will honour its financial obligations taken during its membership, this has not yet been translated into a firm and concrete commitment from the UK to settle all of these obligations.
2. Building on this progress, the European Council calls for work to continue with a view to consolidating the convergence achieved and pursuing negotiations in order to be able to move to the second phase of the negotiations as soon as possible.
3. At its next session in December, the European Council will reassess the state of progress in the negotiations with a view to determining whether sufficient progress has been achieved on each of the three above issues. If so, it will adopt additional guidelines in relation to the framework for the future relationship and on possible transitional arrangements which are in the interest of the Union and comply with the conditions and core principles of the guidelines of 29 April 2017. Against this background, the European Council invites the Council (Art. 50) together with the Union negotiator to start internal preparatory discussions.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
OBSERVATIONS
That's it. That's the official statement. It doesn't matter what spin anyone tries to put on it. The EU27 have taken everything Mrs May has offered them, and they haven't changed their position. They want the UK to promise them vast amounts of money. Everything else is just waffle, spin, political self-justifications - call it what you will.
We will provide further analysis on this in due course.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: EU Council ]        2.25pm, 20 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Simon Jones, Wiltshire      Date/Time: 20 Oct 2017, 4.57pm
Message: As you have pointed out before; here is another EU delay while they spend the next two months agreeing some future deal amongst themselves. The idea that this will be a FREE trade agreement is for the birds.
Name: GJS, Midlands      Date/Time: 20 Oct 2017, 4.50pm
Message: The EU is guilty of abuse of process towards the UK in the Article 50 negotiations. One recalls that the EU bloc has roots in WWII whereby "efficiencies" were to be reaped across occupied Europe, providing it did not conflict with centralised political power under the Nazgul.
Truly is the Single Market en route to becoming a Single State, with its own flag, anthem, currency etc and plans for an army. Shame about the democratic shortfall and the prospective extinction of nation-state sovereignty.
YET ANOTHER FACTS4EU.ORG EXCLUSIVE 
GERMANY'S LITTLE
£100 BILLION UK SECRET
Screengrab taken from © EU Council
SINCE THE REFERENDUM, GERMANY HAS SOLD THE UK £100 BILLION OF GOODS
We analyse latest German Government trade figures,
showing that it continues to sell huge quantities of goods to UK customers
Meanwhile, German industry isn’t concerned about Brexit, according to a major business survey.
Within the latest trade figures released by Destatis on Wednesday, we delved into the data relating to the UK. Destatis is the German equivalent of the ONS and the information we uncovered shows just how important is the trading relationship with the UK for German businesses.
GERMAN SALES TO THE UK
Since June 23rd last year, German businesses have sold £100 billion of goods to UK customers
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The figures in the chart above are in Euros (in case Angela Merkel wants to see them) and cover the period up to the end of August 2017. The exact figure for July 2016 to August 2017 (latest month available) is €98.1 billion euros. This means that with average monthly sales running at €7.1 billion, sales will have been approximately €110 billion by this point in October. In GBP, that’s approximately £99 billion GBP.
THE UK IS GERMANY’S NO.1 TRADING PARTNER
Look at German government information and you will be told that the UK is only the 3rd largest export destination for German goods. This may be true, but what they fail to tell you is the net position. In other words, where does the UK stand when you look at their sales to a country versus that country’s sales to them?
We thought we would help the German government out by telling you the importance of the UK in net terms – exports minus imports.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The UK is the country with whom Germany has its top trade balance. Last year they sold the UK €50 billion more goods than the UK sold to Germany.
WHAT DOES GERMAN BUSINESS THINK ABOUT BREXIT?
We looked at the “CCI Business Barometer for the 2017 General Election” from the German Chambers of Commerce, the DIHK. The DIHK is a bit like the CBI and the British Chambers of Commerce all rolled into one. All German companies are required to be a member of one of the DIHK chambers, except farms, so it’s an important organisation.
This ‘Barometer’ was a survey of all its members, asking them for the issues which were important to them. It was carried out last month.
Take a guess at how many times Brexit or the UK was mentioned in this 10-page document? That’s right. None. Not one. The UK and its exit from the European Union did not appear on the distant radar of German business. Not in this major survey last month, anyway.
OBSERVATIONS
According to Germany’s business organisation, the DIHK:
“About 750,000 jobs in Germany depend on trade with the United Kingdom. To date, German companies have built production sites and businesses with a value of 121 billion Euros in the UK.”
SO IN SUMMARY
  • Nearly €100 billion of German export sales per year
  • €50 billion per year surplus trade balance
  • And 750,000 German jobs depend on trade with the UK
One might think that Germany would want to be sensible and normal
when it comes to the Brexit negotiations.
Frau Merkel, the offer is still on the table. Free, unfettered access to the UK market.
It would be wise to take this now. The mood in the United Kingdom is beginning to turn. Already we know that if we started a ‘Buy British’ list of companies on this site, it would be welcomed by our readers with open arms.
This morning you and the 26 other leaders of the EU27 will discuss the progress of the Brexit talks. We strongly advise that you tell your colleagues that you’ve decided the negotiations should be opened up immediately. If you don’t, you risk €100 billion of annual German export sales and 750,000 of German jobs.
Your call, Frau Merkel.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis) | Deutscher Industrie- Und Handelskammertag (DIHK) ]        06.15am, 20 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Denis Cooper, Berks      Date/Time: 20 Oct 2017, 12.44pm
Message: Ah, but this is the EU and politics can easily trump economics ... we shall see, but even if they are stupid it will hardly be the end of the world for our economy.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 20 Oct 2017, 08.03am
Message: I live in hope that Mrs May PM, or another MP, will announce in the UK Parliament that we in the UK are the largest market for Germany in terms of NET trade. No UK MP or Peer can ignore the facts? Perhaps it may assist younger generations by pointing out we do not in fact have a 'free trade deal' with the rest of the EU - it costs us £billions just for membership. It doesn't cost the USA a single $ for access to EU markets. Perhaps we should rephrase the issue to say we seek to have a mutually beneficial "tariff-free" deal with zero membership fee or we will move to WTO terms? British taxpayers should not be required to subsidise the majority EU27 in the European political construct? I feel it important we stop pandering to the EU elites and TELL them what we will do from Brexit day one. If they want a good deal to access UK markets they have two options - tariff-free or WTO terms - their choice?
SERIOUSLY, WHAT OTHER SMALL ORGANISATION PRODUCES ORIGINAL MATERIAL LIKE THAT ABOVE, EVERY DAY?
Alas none of us are hedge fund managers... or married to one. The Team (and one member in particular) has donated as much as it can. Can you please help fund our work?
Unlike many Brexit websites, we write our own content and create our own graphs, by researching deeply into official UK and EU official sources. Our work is read and used by politicians and by the mainstream media. Alas we barely make it from one week to the next and we rely 100% on voluntary contributions - small or big.
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WALK? DON'T WALK? 
PM GETS
STRANGE ADVICE
AS EU PLANS
CON TRICK
 
The Prime Minister is in Brussels where she will do her best to persuade the leaders of the 27 other EU member states to see sense when it comes to negotiating the UK's exit from the European Union.
Put simply, the UK wishes to negotiate all the normal aspects which need to be agreed by the two sides, before the UK departs at midnight on 29th March 2019. The EU has so far refused to negotiate more than just 3 issues, the most important for the EU being money.
The mood music from a variety of sources is that EU27 leaders realise they might have gone a bit too far in their arrogant stance over Brexit. We fully expect there to be a form of wording issued tomorrow which will make it sound like the EU is ready to do a deal in due course.
LEAVE MEANS LEAVE LETTER
Last night, the pro-Brexit group 'Leave Means Leave' published a letter to the Prime Minister, suggesting that the UK should effectively walk if the EU doesn't agree to open up talks by the end of this week's Summit. The letter was signed by 5 MPs, 2 former MPs, 13 businesspeople, and a few of the people from Economists for Free Trade and Veterans for Britain.
The signatory list was very strange. There are 36 serving MPs listed on Leave for Leave's website and yet only 5 signed the letter.
Signatories and seasoned campaigners Owen Paterson and John Redwood used the opportunity today to push the message that no deal is better than a bad deal. Mr Paterson told the BBC this morning that the EU is "obsessed with money". Both Paterson and Redwood have been very effective in the media for many months.
Conversely, Labour's bizarre Brexit strategy continues, with their Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer saying: "This is the first phase of the first set of negotiations and talking of walking away at this stage is irresponsible."
Here is the 'Leave Means Leave' letter to the Prime Minister:
Leave Means Leave
OBSERVATIONS
It doesn't matter what the EU27 come up with tomorrow. We will not be fooled by any warm-sounding words.
Either they open up the talks or they don't. If they don't, then the full focus of the UK government must turn to arrangements with the WTO, to conduct trade like the vast majority of countries around the world.
WORKING TOGETHER WOULD BE NICE
The signatory list on the Leave Means Leave letter was very strange. There are 36 MPs listed on Leave for Leave's website. Only five of them signed the letter.
Also signing the letter were three members of Economists for Free Trade and three members of Veterans for Britain.
Readers might expect that we would have received a copy of the letter in advance. Unfortunately not. We had to copy the picture of the letter from Leave Means Leave's website in order to show it to you.
We don't know why so few of Leave Means Leave's MP supporters and why only a few members of the other two organisations signed the letter. Readers might also wonder at the quality of the letter itself.
If any of the organisations contact us to shed any light, we will of course bring you their views.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
We really could use your help in working for a clean and true Brexit.
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[ Sources: Leave Means Leave ]        5.55pm, 19 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Brexiter Braintree Essex      Date/Time: 19 Oct 2017, 9.06pm
Message: I cannot understand the obsession with a free trade deal with the EU.We can trade under WTO rules with the EU, like we are doing with the rest of the world at the moment.We can source lots of goods cheaper on the world markets than we pay inside the EU.Countries around the globe are announcing their willingness to trade with us.As a share of our trade,the EU is falling year on year. As has already be announced the EU wants all member States to increase their Corporation Tax to a minimum of 25%,to impose a tax on financial transactions,and increase VAT on fuel to pay for the immigrants from Middle East and Africa.They have already tried to stop the UK from cutting Corporation Tax after we leave the block. Just imagine if the UK cut Corporation Tax to say 12.5% cut costly regulations like Working Time Directive, we would encourage more business to set up in the UK.Because of our closeness geographically to the EU,even paying WTO tariffs,the lower taxes on profits would make sense for companies to base their trade here. The UK has nothing to fear except fear itself,for 40years the EEC then the EU has done the thinking for our politicians and Civil servants.They have forgotten how to think,plan,and legislate in the wider world.We are leaving the EU,now they better learn quickly.
Name: W Alkaway, UK      Date/Time: 19 Oct 2017, 8.57pm
Message: The letter says it all. Be guided, Theresa May, and act with dignity and strength, as befits your status, as Prime Minister of a great Nation. Another type of break up of the EU is happening now. First it was a whole raft of countries becoming Euro Sceptics (Poles, Czechs, Dutch, Italians, Hungarians, Catalans) who are all nationalistic. With the Berlin announcement of opening trade with the UK for Germany, other countries are now rushing to the front of the queue for more of the same! Berlin last week, Sweden today. Watch this space. It's beginning to look like the rush into Selfridges at Sale time! As the letter above states, the UK should walk away now and form trading partnerships under WTO rules. No ties to the EU at all. Get a new Britannia launched, which I understand is in the pipeline, and this will achieve just what our Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, did for so many years, creating trade links all around the World. The EU has been the most undemocratic, degrading, selfish, money-grabbing, over-spending outfit of half-wits. Europe does not deserve this arrogant and controlling mob mentality increasingly and worryingly controlling all aspects of their lives. I, for one, am now feeling more optimistic. Our political arena in the UK looks like protecting the Brexit referendum result. Far from being detrimental, the splits within might just provide the momentum that we need. All Conservatives,now get on with the job of getting Great Britain out of this blood-sucking outfit called the EU. It would almost make a comedy, watching the likes of Junker and Barnier and Merkel, if it wasn't for the extreme damage they have inflicted on the whole of the EU nations.
YET ANOTHER FACTS4EU.ORG EXCLUSIVE 
LIES, DAMN LIES, AND GEORGE OSBORNE
NEW JOBS DATA SHOWS EXACT OPPOSITE
OF WHAT 'REMAIN' THREATENED
Yesterday the Office for National Statistics released the latest employment figures. Yet again they showed an excellent performance by the UK economy.
They also provided yet more proof of the systematic campaign of lies by the government Remain campaign ahead of the Referendum last year. Below is a simple comparison between what you were threatened with, if you voted Leave, and what has actually happened.
GEORGE OSBORNE & HM TREASURY,
23 May 2016
One month before the Referendum
“[Brexit] would lead to an increase in unemployment of around 500,000”
From the document:
'HM Treasury analysis - The immediate economic impact of leaving the EU'
“The analysis in this document comes to a clear central conclusion: a vote to leave would represent an immediate and profound shock to our economy. That shock would push our economy into a recession and lead to an increase in unemployment of around 500,000”
 
OFFICE FOR NATIONAL STATISTICS,
18 Oct 2017
16 months after the Referendum
“[Unemployment] is the joint lowest since August 1975”
From the document:
'Statistical bulletin UK labour market: October 2017'
“The number of people in work increased, the number of unemployed people fell.”
“The unemployment rate was 4.3%, down from 5.0% a year earlier.”
“It is the joint lowest since 1975.”
UNEMPLOYMENT
Unemployment for the last quarter fell by another 52,000, making a total fall in the jobless of 215,000 in the last year.
EMPLOYMENT - AND THE REMAIN CAMPAIGN'S THREATS
According to Office for National Statistics data which we have analysed, the numbers in employment since the Referendum have risen by 541,000.
That's over half a million more people in work now, than before the Referendum.
This is a far cry from a massive fall of 500,000 in those employed, predicted by George Osborne, the Treasury, and the Remain campaign. In fact it's the opposite of what they told you would happen if you dared to vote Leave.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
Does the information we have shown above make you angry?
Almost every week we review officially released information which shows the opposite picture to that which was presented by the Remain campaign and the government, prior to the vote on June 23rd last year. This has been going on since the Referendum.
On almost every measure you can name, the government and its Remain campaign have been proved wrong. So wrong were they, it’s impossible not to conclude that a deliberate policy was pursued, to lie to the people in a thorough and systematic fashion. Presumably they thought they would never be caught out.
Despite this, Remoaners inside Parliament and outside continue to pretend that “the people were lied to by the Leave campaign”. They have been so vocal with this lie that people across Europe and even in places like the USA and Australia now believe it.
Where DO they get the nerve? When will they apologise? When will all the international and national ‘expert’ organisations which joined the government in predicting economic Armageddon actually say sorry, instead of quietly releasing corrections to their appallingly-bad predictions? When will the BBC, Sky News and ITV ever stop talking down the British economy?
MRS MAY TODAY
Mrs May, as you go in to bat for Britain in Brussels again today, please remember that you lead a very fine country indeed.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
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[ Sources: Office for National Statistics | UK Treasury ]        06.25am, 19 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Paul A, UK      Date/Time: 19 Oct 2017, 5.21pm
Message: Corbyn Tells Brussels Britain Should "Not Countenance" No Deal: https://order-order.com/2017/10/19/corbyn-tells-brussels-britain-not-countenance-no-deal/
It is clear that the EU is stifling job creation and has consigned a generation of EU youth to poverty and the jobless scrap heap for life... What will Labour not do or say to get Evil Union backing?
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 19 Oct 2017, 10.08am
Message: Another excellent analysis that even the most hardened UK remain MP or Peer cannot dispute (though I wish they would make an attempt to try). They wont do this because it would mean they have to change their attitude in favour of Brexit. Throughout the pre-referendum debates and interviews, I never saw or heard a single remain MP say what remain would look like, and to this date they have not apologised. We elect our politicians in the UK, and can dispense their services at the next election. We cannot do this with the bloated and overpaid EU Commission. When will remain MPs stand at The House of Commons Despatch Box, or in front of TV cameras and admit they got things wrong? When will the likes of Mr Osborne [former UK Chancellor] admit day after day we, the electorate, were lied to? The majority electorate could see through all the spin, and we said, enough is enough. We need to talk up our country, and I expect our leaders, MPs and Peers, to do just that. They must stop bowing down to the unelected EU elites. The UK is a great country, and we must not allow the Commission or EU27 to push us around. We must put the UK first, as we don't elect MPs to bat for the other side.
“£20 BILLION 
PEANUTS, PEANUTS”
EU Parliament President Tajani. Screengrab taken from © BBC Newsnight
President of EU parliament is
No.1 recruiting sergeant for Brexit
This 5 minute video should be compulsory viewing for every Remainer politician and for every British schoolchild and university student. Very little needs to be added.
“20 billion is peanuts. Is peanuts, 20 billion.”
© BBC Newsnight
OBSERVATIONS
We will just make three points:-
  1. Note the appalling (but typical) bias of the BBC’s Evan Davis. At one point he virtually tells Tajani “Look, here at the BBC we’re all on your side but you’re so extreme you’re making it harder for us to carry on conning the British people”. He also agrees with Tajani that £20 billion is peanuts.
  2. When he rejects £20 billion, Tajani goes on to say “The problem is 50... 60... this is the real situation.” This is a clear indication of the current thinking in the EU Parliament on the size of the Brexit divorce bill which they might demand.
  3. This man is President of the EU Parliament which gets to vote on the eventual Brexit deal. Does anyone seriously think that this man, and his cohorts, will be logical and reasonable?
As Signor Tajani himself would say: 'This is the EU mentality. The EU mentality, is this.'
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: BBC Newsnight ]
       3.30pm, 18 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 19 Oct 2017, 05.20am
Message: The President of the European Parliament has I believe let the cat out of the bag. What pricked my ears up most of all is when Mr Antonio Tajani from his own lips stated, "we need our money back." Mr Tajani appears to forget the 20billion he refers to is NOT EU money. This is British taxpayers money. As laid out in the Treaties [all of which we were denied our democratic voice], we are simply terminating our membership of the EU political union in March 2019, whereupon we're not obliged to pay them one single penny thereafter, either legal or moral. We will also end the power of the ECJ over our lives. Any EU member country has that same right. We will cooperate with some things, but right now the EU Commission appear to be making things difficult for everyone, including the EU27. The EU have no interest in us, as their argument is about how much more taxpayers cash they can bleed out of UK citizens before we exit, and is the reason they intend dragging things out for so long as we allow. Some people harp on about the £millions we spend, yet those same people forget the EU deals in BILLIONS, and that's all they want. I would ask the ordinary UK citizen to do the sums and remember how much the EU costs NET every year, and break it down to every week, day and minute. I don't hear Remainers complaining about that? The EU27 have been given plenty of notice we're leaving their club, so it's clearly their own responsibility how they wish to fund themselves. As an independent country, how the EU27 choose to operate is a matter for them, and how they budget. It will have little to do with us, and Mr Tajani needs to fully comprehend this.
Name: A Hawes, Great Britain      Date/Time: 18 Oct 2017, 7.56pm
Message: Peanuts they say! That goes to show that 20 billion will never be enough...... enough for what you may say! To keep our foot in the door? To be able to sell them lots of stuff? The EU elites are becoming more frustrated! Why won't you just pay up Britain, like before! They find it hard to hide their true feelings now! And yes,the BBC and remain establishments are getting very mixed up in it. If only British companies and establishments could act British! And bat for our side. The sad reason that they don't, is because they get lots of money by us being a member, to the detriment of all of us. That is unforgivable!!!
EU ECONOMY TO DROP BY 
ONE-SIXTH FOLLOWING BREXIT
 
PM MUST WALK TALL
IN BRUSSELS
TOMORROW
 
IMF figures for EU28 show just how important the UK is to the EU
An exclusive Facts4EU.Org analysis of IMF’s 2016 GDP figures
Tomorrow, Mrs May will be back on the plane heading for Brussels, for the second time this week.
On Monday evening she travelled there to have a 90 minute dinner with two unelected Brussels bureaucrats. Tomorrow she will be meeting the elected leaders of the 27 other EU member states at the EU Summit.
If you listen to Brexit-denying MPs, peers, ‘expert’ organisations, and the BBC, Sky and ITV, you could be forgiven for thinking that the UK is the poor supplicant in the Brexit negotiations.
The reality is very different
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Above we show how the total GDP (national income) of the EU is dependent on the UK. Almost one-sixth of total EU GDP in 2016 was produced by the UK.
A drop of 16% is a massive drop. It shows just what a huge blow it will be to the EU to lose the UK as a member.
We used the latest IMF figures produced a few days ago, as the IMF's figures and its anti-Brexit announcements were repeatedly quoted by the Remain campaign during the Referendum. For the anoraks out there, we used the data in US dollars at current prices and converted at current rates. As with all our work, the raw data is always available to politicians, news organisations or think-tanks.
EU TO LOSE TWO TRILLION SMACKERS PER YEAR
We rarely use language like that. However it seems that we need to raise the temperature in order to get the Prime Minister to adopt a more confident stance on the EU stage. Mrs May, please take a look at our chart below.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS - WHY THIS MATTERS FOR BREXIT
Above you can clearly see that - according to the anti-Brexit, pro-EU International Monetary Fund (IMF) - the EU's total economy will reduce in size by £2 TRILLION pounds per annum when Britain leaves.
We sincerely hope that when Theresa May walks into the EU Summit room tomorrow, she will stride in with more purpose, confidence, and resolve than she has shown on all her previous outings in Brussels.
She is the leader of the 5th-largest economy in the world, one of the largest military powers, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and a highly-respected nation globally. It would be nice to see her starting to act like it.
THE EU'S FAKE NEWS
The EU constantly presents figures in ways which support its position. Despite the fact that it now talks in official documents of ‘the EU27’, it always includes the UK when it comes to presenting positive data.
We have previously given many examples of this EU propaganda. One instance was the new ‘White Paper’ on the future of the EU, which used the UK’s foreign aid budget to try to justify its claim that the EU was the biggest world donor of aid. This was indefensible, given that the document was all about the EU27 following the UK's exit. In fact of course it's the UK which is the 2nd-largest donor of international aid, after the United States.
Interestingly, the EU also forgets to take out the UK's massive economic contribution when it talks to new trading partners.
Since Brexit, the EU has suddenly found an interest in international trade, after years of giving it very low priority. Suddenly we saw the EU announcing a trade deal with Japan. That was nonsense of course - it only signed what amounted to a political memorandum of understanding. Then on Monday this week the EU was reporting on progress on trade talks with Mexico. Don't hold your breath on that one.
Day after day we hear Remain MPs, peers, TV journalists and commentators talking down the UK. In our own small way, Facts4EU.Org is fighting back with real facts and figures.
Please help to keep us going if you can, with a donation. You might even consider joining our community as a shareholder? See the piece below for this exciting new opportunity.
As ever we welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: No.10 | Sky News ]
  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       06.50am, 18 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
UNEDIFYING 
Mrs May kissing Jean-Claude Juncker after dinner in Brussels last night. Screengrab taken from © Sky News
MAY’S DEMEANING DINNER WITH JUNCKER DELIVERS NOTHING
UK Prime Minister Theresa May flew back last night from her date with unelected EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with nothing to show for her desperation dinner.
MAY'S DESPERATION DINNER
From the UK (elected) :
British Prime Minister Theresa May & Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis MP
From the EU (unelected) :
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker & Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier
The short dinner meeting with Herr Juncker was announced out of the blue at the weekend. No.10 officials claimed that it had been planned long in advance but this is untrue. Perhaps these officials had forgotten that Herr Juncker’s diary is available to people like the Facts4EU.Org Team, and we always read it. There had been no mention of this dinner date.
THE FORMAL OUTCOME
After the dinner, both sides released a prepared joint statement. Here is the section on Brexit, in full:-
“As regards the Article 50 negotiations, both sides agreed that these issues are being discussed in the framework agreed between the EU27 and the United Kingdom, as set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The Prime Minister and the President of the European Commission reviewed the progress made in the Article 50 negotiations so far and agreed that these efforts should accelerate over the months to come. The working dinner took place in a constructive and friendly atmosphere.”
 
INSUFFICIENT PROGRESS
On Thursday Mrs May will be back in Brussels for the EU Council Summit, where she will lobby the leaders of member states ahead of their EU27 meeting on Friday to which she is not invited. At that Friday meeting the EU27 will agree that ‘insufficient progress’ has been made on the only three things the EU will talk about – money, citizens’ rights, and the Northern Ireland border.
Her dinner with President Juncker - which was also attended by EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier and by British Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis MP – was another attempt at persuading the EU to open up the Brexit talks. Britain has always wanted to include all matters relating to the UK’s departure, in particular the future trading arrangement.
It has been widely trailed in advance that the UK will be deemed to have made ‘insufficient progress’. This means that the Brexit talks will effectively remain deadlocked.
OBSERVATIONS
Our verdict on the dinner? - Unedifying.
We deeply regret the behaviour of the Prime Minister. Is she so naïve about negotiations that she doesn’t realise how this sudden dinner with Juncker and Barnier – two bureaucrats rather than leaders – makes her look desperate?
It’s possible that Mrs May now believes that ‘no deal’ is the most likely outcome of the talks. It’s also possible that she mistakenly believes that this will be a disaster for the UK. Regardless of this, she should look and act like she really doesn’t care if a deal is done or not.
It’s one thing to say that you would prefer to agree an orderly exit and sensible future trading arrangements – that makes sense to both sides. Or it should.
However it’s quite another thing to run around like a flustered chicken, visibly scared of an outcome which you fear may give you political difficulties, and surrendering. Theresa May is supposed to be the Prime Minister of the World's 5th largest economy for heaven's sake. She needs to start acting like one.
Some of our team have a lot of experience at complex international negotiations. If we had been negotiating with May on the other side, we would have spotted her insecurity instantly and pounced on it. We would have resisted all claims and played hard-ball.
That is precisely what the EU are doing.
FAKE NEWS
WARNING: Some of the papers overnight appear to have used the spin No.10 put on last night’s dinner, when constructing their headlines. “Theresa May's hopes of breaking a deadlock in Brexit talks appeared to be given a boost after she and Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to ‘accelerate’ negotiations.” (Daily Telegraph) “Dinner breaks the deadlock! May wins commitment to 'accelerate' Brexit talks over a crucial meal with Eurocrats.” (Daily Mail)
This is tosh. Look at what the joint statement actually says. Can you see any visible sign of progress, any sign that the EU has moved a muscle from its rigid position? It is merely a statement of the obvious. And as for 'accelerating' the talks, they could hardly go much slower, could they?
THE SUMMIT
It will be the same on Thursday and Friday. The leaders of the EU27 will eventually find some form of words which No.10 can spin to the public to pretend that the deadlock has been broken and that the EU will finally start to be reasonable.
In reality the EU will look at May’s desperation and naivete in international negotiations, and at the Labour, LibDem and Tory Remoaner MPs spouting complete and utter nonsense about never backing ‘no deal’, and they will conclude that they don’t have to move. The most they will do is to toss Mrs May a small bone.
When the government then tries to spin that into some kind of victory, we wonder if the pro-Brexit MPs in Mrs May’s party will look at that and debate just how many more times they will want to defend her?
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: No.10 | Sky News ]
  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       04.30am, 17 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: Vera C, UK      Date/Time: 17 Oct 2017, 2.17pm
Message: Gerard Batten, a UKIP MEP did say that Article 50 is a trap to keep us tied to the EU. Looks like he was right. We should walk away. No more visits to Brussels or sucking up to Merkel. Ignore them. We should stay in Westminster and concentrate now on putting everything in place to enable us to leave without a deal in March 2019
Name: Paul A, UK      Date/Time: 17 Oct 2017, 08.23am
Message: This is clearly a ridiculous state of affairs. If she was a car salesman she would be paying customers to take the cars away. She really has to get a grip or, a better option, let someone capable take back control.
EU RELEASES LATEST 
AIR PASSENGER NUMBERS 
© Easyjet
The UK dominates the EU's passenger flight statistics for 2016
OFFICIAL EU PASSENGER NUMBERS 2016
The UK : +7.15% on 2015
The EU27 : +5.52% on 2015
The UK represents 26% of the EU's total
Once again the UK shows its dominant position in aviation in the EU. The chart below shows how the UK is responsible for over 25% of all passenger numbers in the EU.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Growth in passenger numbers is one of the indicators of a healthy economy, which is one of the reasons the EU publishes this data. As you can see below, the UK's growth rate is significantly higher than that in the rest of Europe, on average.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
A huge amount of nonsense is regularly pumped out by Remainers concerning flights post-Brexit. Even Ryanair's boss likes to threaten that all flights might stop on 30 March 2019. This would be laughable if it weren't worrying for many people.
The EU has no choice but to aqree a continuation of normal arrangements. Apart from anything else, Heathrow remains the busiest airport in the EU and many people from all over the EU (especially Brussels) use Heathrow in order to travel around the world.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: Eurostat ]
  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       06.55am, 17 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
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READERS' COMMENTS
THE HILLS ARE ALIVE 
WITH THE SOUND OF EUROCRATS WAILING
The EU has been rocked by Austrian rejection
In recent elections in the EU, the ink was hardly dry on ballot paper crosses before the various key EU figures came out with their comments. Let’s look at a couple of big elections this year to see what they said. Then we’ll look at their reaction to yesterday’s Austrian election.
THE NETHERLANDS – GEERT WILDERS - MAR 2017
When the Dutch Freedom Party of the Netherlands ‘only’ increased its number of seats by 67% and became the second biggest party in Holland – but failed to win – the EU elites proclaimed this a ‘defeat for populism’. In fact it showed a huge increase in the populist vote.
The two mainstream pro-EU ruling parties suffered big losses
  • The VVD party of PM Mark Rutte lost 17.5% of its seats
  • The PvdA (Labour) party in coalition lost 74.3% of its seats
  • Meanwhile, Geert Wilders’ anti-EU party increased its tally of seats by 66.7%
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The message from the EU elites was clear: the victory of Dutch PM Mark Rutte on Thursday was a victory for ‘the right kind of populism’. The wrong kind of populism was rejected by the Dutch people. Mark Rutte and the EU elites stood up against it and the Dutch people agreed. This was the common EU view.
“A vote for Europe, a vote against extremists. The people of the Netherlands voted overwhelmingly for the values Europe stands for: free and tolerant societies in a prosperous Europe. The result of this election is an inspiration for many.”
– Jean-Claude Juncker, President of EU Commission
“I warmly congratulate Mark Rutte for his clear victory against extremism.”
– French President François Hollande
“The Netherlands you are a champion. We love Orange for your actions and what you do.”
– German Chancellor Merkel’s Chief of Staff
FRANCE - MARINE LE PEN - MAY 2017
When Marine Le Pen ‘only’ came second in the French presidential election with an amazing 34% of the vote – but failed to defeat Monsieur Macron, this was another ‘defeat for populism, according to the EU elites.
Marine Le Pen had seen the Front National’s share of the popular vote double in 15 years, and yet the EU elites proclaimed a victory, and the death of ‘populist’ parties.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The result meant that one-third of French voters favoured the candidate who rejects the EU. This did not seem to concern the EU’s elites that night :-
© Twitter
SO WHAT ABOUT AUSTRIA?
So what have the EU elites said about the Austrian results?
Strangely, the EU elites have been very quiet since yesterday. No-one has rushed to congratulate the new Austrian Chancellor-elect with fulsome enthusiasm.
       Nothing.
       Nothing.
© Twitter
So, just one barbed comment from the President of the EU Parliament, Antonio Tajani, about wanting to work with a “strong, pro-European government”. Nothing from the others.
And on the fringes
The comment which gives us the most pleasure comes from the EU Parliament’s Chief Brexit Coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt. He has been tweeting for a while in support of the NEOS party which is a member of the grouping he leads in the EU parliament.
© Twitter
Alas for Guy, NEOS failed to gain ground and will have just 9 seats in the Austrian parliament. Verhofstadt’s response? A call for ‘more Europe’.
OBSERVATIONS
We have noticed that the European media outside Austria are now referring to “Austria’s snap elections”.
“Snap”? You may feel that this terminology suggests that somehow the elections were held urgently, in some panic, and may not be representative.
Well of course this is what you’re supposed to think. However these elections are normal and legitimate and were called back in May. The problem for the pro-EU media across the continent and in the UK is that the Austrian people didn’t vote the way they were supposed to.
A bit like the British people getting it wrong over Brexit.
And the American people getting it wrong over Trump.
If only these darned electors would vote the correct way...
SCHADENFREUDE
There exists in the German language the word ‘Schadenfreude’. It doesn’t exist in English. It takes the German words for pity and for joy and puts them together, to indicate a feeling of pleasure at someone else’s failure or discomfort.
It is on a day like today, seeing the likes of Verhofstadt and his cohorts squirming and unable to say anything, that we truly begin to admire the Germans for their invention of this word. How delicious are the results out of Vienna yesterday.
AND FINALLY
We know that our Austrian friends are tired of the movie ‘The Sound of Music’ coming up whenever Austria is discussed at any length in the UK. Well, unfortunately we’re going to have to ask their forgiveness. We just couldn’t leave this topic without a little rejoicing.
And the only way to truly celebrate yesterday’s stunning successes for two parties who will not let Brussels have everything its own way, is in song.
And with us being for the most part a British team, that song can only be this one:
Go on. Click 'Play'. You know you secretly want to.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: Netherlands, French, Austrian Interior Ministries / Electoral depts | EU Commission | EU Parliament | EU Council ]
  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       11.15am, 16 Oct 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
AUSTRIA PROVES THAT 
(JUST LIKE IN THE UK)
EUROSCEPTICS ARE BETTER-LOOKING
Above on the left, winner and future Chancellor of Austria, People's Party's Sebastian Kurz with his girlfriend Susanne Thier, and on the right, runner-up Freedom Party's Heinz-Christian Strache with his wife Philippa.
OBSERVATIONS
If you take this piece seriously you must be a Remainer. We were just having a bit of fun.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: OVP | PFO ]
  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       08.15am, 16 Oct 2017
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THE YOUNG AUSTRIAN RIGHT 
© OE24
Sebastian Kurz with his girlfriend Susanne Thier
IS ‘EN MARCHE’
VOTERS IN AUSTRIA DESTROY EU’S MESSAGE THAT ‘POPULISTS ARE LOSING’
One of the EU’s longstanding member states, Austria, last night rocked the EU’s elites with a dramatic result in its general elections.
The EU’s narrative that the rise in ‘populism’ had been halted after Brexit was shown to be completely false, as the people of Austria emphatically rejected big government, big immigration, and the EU vision of the elites in Brussels.
THE WINNER
Wunderkind of the Austrian right, 31 year old Sebastian Kurz romped home in first place, with his rebranded conservative and eurosceptic ‘New People’s Party’ or OVP on an estimated 31.4% of the vote and 61 seats, up 14 on 2013.
© OVP
Sebastian Kurz at victory rally last night
Comparisons have been made in the media of Sebastian Kurz to France’s Emmanuel Macron, 39, and Canada’s Justin Trudeau, 45. Considerably younger than both, Kurz also differs from the two socialist politicians in his politics. He is firmly in the conservative mould and has even taken his party further to the right. (See below.)
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
ÖVP = New People's Party (Cons), FPÖ = Freedom Party, SPÖ = Socialists, NEOS = Liberals, PILZ = an individual, GRÜNE = Greens
Second place was closely fought, with the anti-immigration, anti-EU Freedom Party (FPO) storming ahead and looking likely to take the place with 27.4% of the vote and 53 seats, up 13 on 2013.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Dropping from 1st to 3rd looks like being the socialist SPO. Their vote share looks likely to be 26.7% with 52 seats, unchanged since 2013.
The biggest losers of the night were the Greens, with their vote share plummeting by three-quarters and potentially losing all of their 24 seats.
WHO WILL BE CHANCELLOR?
As the leader of the most popular party, Sebastian Kurz would normally be expected to form a coalition and become Chancellor. If he does, he will be the youngest world leader at the age of 31.
As with all European elections, however, there will now follow a period of talks and horsetrading. Firstly the votes all have to be counted, much of which will be completed today. As the results start to look firmer, Herr Kurz will need to form a parliamentary alliance with another party in order to form a government.
The most likely candidate will be the party which is currently just taking second place: the right-wing Freedom Party (FPO) of Heinz-Christian Strache. They had an astonishing night, gaining the most in percentage terms.
There is no doubt that the FPO would have gained even more, had the young conservative leader Herr Kurz not moved his party sharply to the right on many of the issues which Austrians are concerned about.
THE KEY ISSUES
Aside from the usual issues of the economy, Kurz has made various pledges this year, vowing to shut down migrant routes into Europe, capping benefit payments to migrants, and barring immigrants from receiving benefits until they have lived in Austria for five years.
All of these policies were of course very popular with conservative voters who had been considering voting for the Freedom Party, prompting its leader Heinz-Christian Strache to accuse Kurz of stealing policies for electoral advantage.
An indication of the feelings of the Austrian people about the migrant crisis can be seen from the performance of the Greens, who are heavily a pro-migration party in Austria, as they are in the UK. They have effectively been wiped out, and look very unlikely to pass the minimum threshhold of votes needed to gain even one MP – a far cry from the 24 MPs they secured last time.
(With apologies to our Austrian readers - we know you're tired of references to the Sound of Music!)
OBSERVATIONS
In our next article, appearing shortly, we look at the reactions in the EU and what this might mean for Brexit.
We welcome your comments, which we will publish below in the grey box below. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: Austrian Ministry of the Interior | Austrian and German media ]
  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       07.05am, 16 Oct 2017
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