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Quick Brexit facts for busy people
From reliable, official sources
We welcome more articles, please contact the Editors to make suggestions. We aim to cover pro-UK views from all political persuasions out there.
Michael Gove is Justice Secretary and the Lord Chancellor, and is a close friend of the PM. His article is below.
An independently-minded Labour MP, Kate Hoey is an experienced and respected Parliamentarian. Her article is below.
By special permission
Lord Ashcroft is an international businessman, philanthropist, author and pollster.
Read his articles here.
By special permission
John Redwood is a former Cabinet Minister and considered an intellectual heavyweight.
His article is below.
Liz Bilney is Chief Exec of Leave.EU. This is her summary of the case for Brexit.
Read article here.
Matthew Elliott is Chief Exec of Vote Leave. He recently wrote for Open Democracy.
Read article here.
CfB Brexit budget manifesto, promoting "Post-Brexit prosperity not austerity".
Manifesto PDF here.
Extraordinary official anti-EU views of pro-remain Business Minister, Sajid Javid
Read article here.
We welcome contributions from MPs and Commentators.
Contact us here.
1. MICHAEL GOVE - A long article for the Daily Telegraph but worth reading
Unfortunately we've had to delete this article and replace it with a link, as we can't afford to pay any organisation for syndication rights. Here's the link: Michael Gove's article, The Daily Telegraph 20 Feb 2016 ]
2. KATE HOEY - An article she wrote for the Daily Telegraph about Government bias.
Unfortunately we've had to delete this article and replace it with a link, as we can't afford to pay any organisation for syndication rights. Here's the link: Kate Hoey's article, The Daily Telegraph, 29 Feb 2016
This is the first in a short series of articles we'll be publishing by kind permission of Lord Ashcroft. Shortly we'll look at the fascinating polls he has conducted across the EU and beyond about attitudes of Europeans to the EU, to the UK, and to the prospect of Brexit.

Why not take Lord Ashcroft's poll at the end and see where you score?
"What kind of referendum voter are you?
My referendum polling has found seven different kinds of voter, from those who are sure they’ll vote to leave to those who are sure we should remain.
  • A quarter of us are Nothing to Lose voters, who think Britain is on the wrong track, are worried about immigration, and think we should definitely go.
  • One in seven are in the Global Britain group – who are optimistic for the UK, believe staying in the EU is a bigger risk than leaving, and think we’d do better in the global economy outside the EU.
  • One in five are Hard-Pressed Undecideds, who worry about their own prospects but are not sure whether problems like immigration will be dealt with better inside or outside the EU.
  • One in seven are in the Listen to DC group – they’re undecided how to vote but think leaving sounds like a bigger risk than staying, and could be persuaded by a strong lead from the PM.
  • One in eight of us are in the If It Ain’t Broke group – believing we won’t be able to solve problems like immigration whether we’re in or out, so might as well avoid the risk of changing.
  • Just over one in ten are in the I’m Alright Jacques group – they’re happy with life, optimistic for Britain, positive about immigration, and think leaving would be too big a risk.
  • The remaining tenth of the population are Citizens Of The World – the most committed to staying in the EU, they value free movement and having human rights guaranteed by Europe.

What kind of referendum voter are you? Take our survey to find out."

[Source: LordAshcroftsPolls.com . Reprinted by kind permission of Lord Ashcroft.]
4. JOHN REDWOOD - One of many good articles from his diary, reproduced by kind permission
Why Britain Needs Self-Government
Better and happier Europeans outside the EU

"Out of the EU the UK will have more influence in the world. We will be better off. We will regain control of our borders, our spending and our taxes. The Leave campaign is full of energy and belief – belief in the ability of the British people to govern ourselves. We believe that the twenty first century needs networks of countries, companies and individuals, requires us to look out to the five continents of the world and to collaborate and trade with the areas of greatest growth and dynamism as well as nearer to home.

Free of the treaty entanglements, taxes and controls of the EU we will be better and happier Europeans. We will be freer to join the clubs, sit at the top tables and influence for the better the main world decision making networks and associations.

Shouldn’t the UK as the world’s fifth largest economy represent herself at the World Trade talks, and do deals with like-minded countries around the world? For 43 years inside the EU we have been denied our voice and vote in the WTO by the EU, who have failed to sign trade agreements with the US – the UK’s strongest ally – and with China., India, Brazil and all the other big traders of the globe.

Shouldn’t the UK, a member of NATO and the Five Eyes intelligence grouping also be a full member of the World climate talks and the various world standards bodies? Won’t the UK as an independent country with her own voice and vote in more world bodies have more friends and allies, not fewer, as others will wish to work with us?

Out of the EU we will be able to raise our own taxes in the way of our own choosing, and be able to spend them as we see fit. Today we have to impose certain taxes including VAT, and have to spend on items like benefits in ways required by the EU that often do not meet with the wishes of UK electors. Our Prime Minister has just shown how impotent we are to make minor changes to welfare entitlements which were popular when promised in the last election.

Out of the EU we will have £10 billion more a year to spend, the money we send them and do not get back. We can guarantee to every university, farmer and region of the UK currently in receipt of EU money that they will get the same out of the EU as in, as we first have to send all that money from UK taxpayers to the EU before we get it back.

Out of the EU we will be free to have fair immigration. Today we have to restrict non EU immigration but allow unrestricted EU migration. Running our own system., we still want to welcome anyone with skills, good qualifications, money to support themselves and to invest in the UK. Our universities will still be able to attract the best talent and our businesses hire the best engineers or managers. More of our lower paid jobs will go to our own citizens, as we will be able to control numbers and ease the enormous current pressures on housing, benefits, the NHS and the rest of our public services. As the head of the Remain campaign said, our wages should go up as a result.

This is the bright vision of a better tomorrow the Leave side wants to talk about. Instead we are expected to answer an ever more desperate and absurd set of fears spread around by the people who wish to remain.

We are told we have to stay in to prevent European war. I have good news for the Remain people. Modern Germany and France are peace loving democracies who will not fight each other when we leave, nor will they seek to invade us.

We are told they won’t trade with us anymore. How bizarre, when they sell us so much more than we sell them I don’t see them wanting 5 million unemployed on the continent as they ban all exports to us. The German government have made clear that they do not want new tariffs and barriers in the way of their exports to us, so accept there cannot be new barriers in the way of our exports to them.

We are told we will have to be like Norway and pay in contributions to carry on trading. What poppycock! Over 160 countries worldwide trade successfully with the EU, and some have grown their trade with the EU more quickly than we have done – but they do not pay a penny into the EU system by way of fees. They say we no longer share intelligence and take actions to help each other remain safe. Of course if the UK learns of a terrorist plot against France it will pick up the phone and tell them, and I am sure France will do the same for the UK if need arises.

I find it is absurd that those who wish to remain in have such a low view of our partners. They think they are vengeful, and will seek to thwart us if we leave. More importantly, they think they are stupid, and will wish to do harm by damaging their own exports to us or even getting into war without us there as a stabilising influence!

Were we to stay in there will be endless more rows, as even the people who want to stay in say they do not want us to join the Euro, Schengen or the forthcoming political union which are at the heart of the present EU project. Were we to stay in we would be uncomfortable as they go on their wild ride to political union.

We would also need a second referendum quite soon after the first as the rest of them amend the Treaties in ways which trigger such a vote in the UK under our present Referendum law. We know there will soon be a new Treaty , as we have been promised Treaty change as part of the deal the government has just negotiated.

I am a good European, who thinks my continent needs to be democratic and freedom loving. Europe is not my country and never will be. I want my country to restore her own self-government. That will make us happier as Europeans. It will leave the others free to complete their currency union and political union without us.

Now is the time for the UK to do what we have always done best. Now is the time to claim back our freedom. In this referendum we must restore our democracy. We are the heirs of Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, and universal suffrage. We should not want to be the people that thought freedom too difficult or self-government too risky. It is time to trust the people, not far away elites who have made so many mistakes in the name of European Union.”

5. LIZ BILNEY - Liz's Summary of the Brexit case
"In 1975, the British public voted ‘yes’ to a free trade deal with Europe.

What they didn't vote for was a 'United States of Europe'; one that would go on to crush our democracy, and in the process create a class of politicians clearly in it for themselves.

We now pay a staggering membership fee of £15 billion each year to the EU. In return, we run a massive trade deficit with Germany, France and nearly every other European country.

If 3 million UK jobs depend on our membership of the EU, then even more jobs in Europe depend on our economy.

We will always be a part of Europe. But the EU is run for big business, big banks and big politics - not for ordinary people.

We are confident that a public "in the know", will say 'no' to the EU, and vote to leave in the referendum on EU membership.

Since our 'The Know' campaign launch in August, we have gained over 400,000 followers. We recently have re-branded the campaign to 'Leave.eu' reflecting the wording change in the referendum question and thousands of people continue to join every day.

Let’s take a stand. Together, we can win back our country!”

[Source: Leave.EU website ]
"Why Britain will choose the safer option and Vote Leave" - Matthew Elliott, 8 March 2016

Please note: This article was originally published in the independent online magazine www.opendemocracy.net and can be viewed in its original state here
"In less than four months’ time, the British people will make the most historic political decision of a generation. The choice we face is clear. A vote to stay in will mean a permanent loss of control to Brussels and confirm the supremacy of EU law forever. A vote to leave returns control to the British people, giving us the power to make our own laws and hold the people who make them to account. We take back the power to set our own policies on trade, migration and human rights, and the power to spend our own money on our own priorities.

There are three key reasons why I think the British people will choose the safer option and vote to leave. Firstly, as long as the UK remains a member of the EU, we lack the power to decide who makes our laws or to sign our own free trade deals with our friends and partners around the world. This undermines both our democracy and our economy. Secondly, the EU’s control of our borders prevents us from adopting a humane and non-discriminatory immigration policy, which forces us to turn away some of the best talent from around the world whilst taking away our power to keep dangerous criminals out. Finally, the abject failure of Prime Minister David Cameron’s renegotiation with EU leaders in February blows apart the myth once and for all that it is possible to achieve any meaningful reform of the EU from within.

A vote to leave takes back control and stops the EU undermining our democracy and our economy

All across the UK, people have seen how we have lost control over so many areas of key national importance. Whether it is our trade, our borders, or who actually makes our laws, voters recognise that we have lost the power to make decisions on any of these matters ourselves, and that there is no way to get this back unless we vote to leave.

Those backing the in-at-all-costs campaign like to talk about the ‘influence’ Britain has in the EU, but this is nothing more than an illusion. We have tried to stop damaging laws coming from Brussels 72 times, and been voted down every single time. Eurozone countries now have a permanent qualified majority on the Council of Ministers, so we have no way of protecting ourselves from harmful laws as the EU resorts to increasingly desperate measures to attempt to stave off some of the damage inflicted by the failings of its ideologically-driven monetary union.

We have been forced to give up our seat on key international bodies like the World Trade Organisation and have had our global voice greatly diminished as a result. Instead of being able to negotiate our own free trade deals to suit the unique strengths of the British economy, we are forced to accept one-size-fits-all compromises cobbled together after long delays by EU negotiators. Far from being an advantage, the vast size of the EU is actually a major hindrance to the EU being able to secure the best deals.

It is no coincidence that the cumbersome EU has failed to secure free trade deals with many of the world’s major emerging economies – including India, China and Brazil – while Switzerland and Iceland, negotiating on their own behalf, have secured free trade deals with China with a minimum of fuss. Even when the EU does finally manage to scrape together a patchwork agreement, it will inevitably be a poor compromise which won’t be the best deal for any of its members. It is inconceivable that the one single agreement forced on the whole EU can genuinely represent the best deal for economies as diverse as Germany and Greece, or Britain and Bulgaria.

The EU costs too much and forces us to unfairly discriminate over who can come to Britain, making us less safe and worse off

One of voters’ biggest concerns is unrestricted migration from the EU. Thanks to our membership of the EU, we have lost control over our borders, and lost our ability to set a rational and humane immigration policy for ourselves. We are left increasingly out of step with the internationalised, globalised world, as the strain placed on our public services by unrestricted EU migration forces us to discriminate against the best and brightest talent from the rest of the world.

After we leave, we will take back the power to set a coherent and non-discriminatory immigration policy, suited to our place at the heart of the globalised and decentralised world economy of today. We will no longer have to turn away highly skilled workers and wealth creators from the wider world, providing a long-term boost to the strength of our economy. Furthermore, we will no longer be frustrated by the European courts in our attempts to deport dangerous criminals, whilst preventing those already convicted of crimes elsewhere from entering our country in the first place.

Another major concern for voters is the huge cost of the EU. It is no surprise that British voters are deeply concerned about the £350 million we are sending a week to Brussels, money which could be much better spent on our own priorities like the NHS, education, and medical research. The EU loses billions of pounds a year to corruption and waste, with the EU’s own auditors having failed to give its accounts a clean bill of health for two decades running.

Four decades on from when we first joined, our total contributions to the EU recently topped a staggering £500 billion. We know that this doesn’t represent anything like value for money for the British people, before even considering the indirect costs of EU regulation on top of this. The top 100 most costly EU regulations alone cost British businesses £33.3 billion a year. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are the lifeblood of the British economy, overwhelmingly feel that the costs of complying with single market regulations greatly outweigh the benefits of remaining in the EU.

The failure of Cameron’s renegotiation proves that the EU is fundamentally unreformable from within

When we look back on the biggest turning points of the campaign, perhaps the biggest will be the day in February when David Cameron came home from Brussels, having asked for almost nothing, and yet somehow managing to return with even less than that. The prime minister used to talk about “fundamental, far-reaching change” in our relationship with the EU. Instead, we saw Eurocrats and our own politicians desperately trying to play up manufactured rows about utterly trivial changes to technicalities on migrant benefits and empty declarations which can be ripped up by EU judges the day after the referendum.

Other EU leaders have made it clear what they thought Cameron actually got. Chancellor Merkel was confident that she “[didn’t] think we gave the UK too much”. President Hollande was even less charitable when he said “just because it lasted a long time, does not mean much happened… [there is] no exception to the rules of the single market, no right to veto EU rules and no treaty change”. He was more than happy to confirm that “there is not a planned revision of the treaties and no right of veto with regards to the eurozone”.

This has finally put to bed the notion that it is possible to achieve any sort of meaningful reform of the EU from within. Eight out of 10 of the so-called reforms secured by the prime minister were simply restatements of the status quo. The agreement reaffirms the supremacy of the unelected and unaccountable European Commission and European Court of Justice, and does precisely nothing to address the deep-rooted problems of the EU that are making life worse for ordinary people across the continent.

The prime minister famously promised to deliver “full-on treaty change” before the referendum. He has completely gone back on this promise and left British voters with a deal that has no more legal weight than an unsigned contract. The former Director General of the EU Council’s legal service, Jean-Claude Piris, said there is “no possibility to make a promise that would be legally binding to change the treaty later”. Michael Gove, the UK Justice Minister, was clear that “the facts are that the European Court of Justice is not bound by this agreement until treaties are changed… the whole point about the European Court of Justice is that it stands above the nation states.”

The deal can be ripped up by EU politicians and judges the moment the referendum is over. The European Parliament will not be taking a vote on whether to approve the deal until after the referendum, while the European Court of Justice will also be free to tear up the agreement at the first opportunity. A range of pro-EU politicians have been wheeled out to try to convince the British people of the opposite, but history is replete with stark warnings for those gullible enough to believe that an EU promise carries the same weight as an EU treaty in the eyes of the ECJ.

As much as we would love to be able to take the EU’s promises at face value, the EU has shown time and time again that it cannot be trusted to uphold agreements it makes with member states. In a move described by Cameron himself as “absolutely extraordinary”, Tony Blair gave away a large portion of the UK’s rebate from the EU in 2005 in return for an EU promise to reform the Common Agricultural Policy. A decade on and British taxpayers are over £10 billion worse off, with the EU’s promised reforms having vanished along with our money.

The experience of Denmark provides an even starker warning, with Cameron’s claim to have secured a ‘special status’ for the UK within the EU setting alarm bells ringing from Carlisle to Copenhagen. In 1992, the Danish people were conned into thinking they had secured legally-binding reforms which granted Denmark ‘special status’ in return for signing up to the Maastricht Treaty. The ECJ has since broken this agreement with Denmark 80 times.

The British people will not be duped into believing empty promises from the EU this time round. While the government may be confused about the legal status of the deal, the European Court of Justice certainly is not. In fact, the only uncertainty we still face over the deal is whether the ECJ will break it more times than they already broke their agreement with Denmark.

British voters will not be fooled by ‘project fear’

We have no illusions about the scale of the challenge facing us. From the giant multinationals desperate to protect their vested interests and lobbying operations in Brussels to the government machine which has already been gearing up to throw its full weight behind the ‘in’ campaign, we know that there will be a vast array of establishment voices lined up to drown out those fighting for the best interests of ordinary British people.

And we know what tactic they will use, because they have only got one to fall back on: ‘project fear’. Those who want to stay in at all costs can’t make the positive case for staying in the EU because they know that the EU is damaging British business, restricting British trade, and holding back British growth. They know that the EU has created record youth unemployment in many of its member states, contributed to the rise of political extremism not seen in Europe since the 1930s, and is structurally unable to respond effectively to the range of geopolitical crises it now faces. They know that the safer option is for the British people to take back control and vote leave.

The ‘in’ campaign’s scaremongering has already started in earnest, but they have made clear that they do not even believe the scare stories themselves. Cameron has repeatedly stated that Britain would continue to prosper outside the EU, and Lord Rose, leader of the EU-funded BSE campaign, was even of the view that “nothing is going to happen if we come out... there will be absolutely no change … It’s not going to be a step change or somebody’s going to turn the lights out.”

The fact that they still persist with their doom-mongering in spite of this ultimately betrays the ‘in’ campaign’s lack of respect for British voters. They are not prepared to have a rational and reasoned debate on the issues which actually matter to voters about the EU, like the fact that we send £19 billion a year to the EU and have no say on how it is spent, or the fact that we have no choice but to accept the supremacy of EU laws made by unelected bureaucrats and judges who we cannot hold accountable for their decisions.

However, while it is disappointing, it is not at all surprising: we heard exactly the same arguments being wheeled out by more or less exactly the same people when they told us that the British economy would collapse if we did not join the euro. If we had listened to them then, we would have been sucked into one of the worst economic catastrophes of modern history. British voters will not be fooled into thinking these prophecies of doom have any more validity today – they were wrong then and they are wrong now.

The British people have been presented with a historic opportunity to take back control, restore our democracy, and return us to being a truly global and outward-looking nation. I am confident we will not waste it.”
[Source: This article was originally published in the independent online magazine www.opendemocracy.net and can be viewed in its original state here ]
SUMMARISED EXCERPTS from the Business Minister's "Remain" declaration
SAJID JAVID is Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the President of the Board of Trade. Note: his pro-remain statement came after Mr Cameron’s ‘renegotiations’ this year.
So these are the pro-remain Business Minister’s current views
Taken from his official and current statement:-
OVERVIEW - “My heart says we are better off out.”
“It's clear now that the United Kingdom should never have joined the European Union. In many ways, it’s a failing project, an overblown bureaucracy in need of wide-ranging and urgent reform.”
“If this year’s referendum were a vote on whether to join in the first place, I wouldn’t hesitate to stand up and say Britain would be better off staying out”.
On Mr Cameron’s ‘Reformed EU’:
“I am disappointed by the scope and scale of the reforms offered by the European Council.” … “Even fans of the EU will admit that further treaty changes are needed to fix crises such as the Eurozone meltdown.”
On our business future post-Brexit:
“I’d embrace the opportunities such a move would create and I have no doubt that, after leaving, Britain would be able to secure trade agreements not just with the EU, but with many others too.”
On Britain being stronger in or out:
“Had we never taken the fateful decision to sign up, the UK would still, of course, be a successful country with a strong economy. We would be an independent trading nation like the US, Japan, or Canada.”
On being out of EU, taking control of immigration, being independent:
“Over the years, we would have developed trade agreements with the EU and with others, all without surrendering control over immigration or our economic independence.”
On the Government’s Project Fear:
“As I’ve said before, a vote to leave the EU is not something I’m afraid of. I’d embrace the opportunities such a move would create…”
“Ignore the scare stories about a vindictive EU snubbing the UK – it simply couldn’t afford to, and an agreement letting the UK maintain its current level of access to EU markets would, eventually, materialise.”
So why is Mr Javid voting for ‘Remain’?
“Even the most committed members of the ‘leave’ camp accept that there will inevitably be a short-term cost to leaving. The question is whether it is balanced out by the long-term gains. It’s a very reasonable question – and I came incredibly close to answering ‘Yes, yes it is.’”
My heart says we are better off out. My head says it’s too risky right now.
“That’s why, with a heavy heart and no enthusiasm, I shall be voting for the UK to remain a member of the European Union.”
Our interpretation:
The pro-Remain but anti-EU Business Minister seems to be telling us:
‘Our house is on fire, but we can’t call the Fire Brigade
in case they use water to put out the flames.’
Mr Javid has always been one of the strongest Eurosceptics in Cabinet. Some say that his eventual statement for ‘Remain’ was made to safeguard his job in any reshuffle after the Referendum result.
We leave you to decide.
Source: Full article published on Mr Javid’s official website. We’ve summarised his thinking under various headings using excerpts from his own article and in fairness you should read the full article here. His article was originally published in the Mail on Sunday.
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