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 MUTTI KNOWS BEST
AND SHE JUST WON’T GO
© Tagesschau
Latest poll shows Merkel’s support
is slipping fast
An increasing number of Germans are now saying the unthinkable – that they don’t want ‘Mutti’ (Angela Merkel) to govern for a fourth term as German Chancellor.
Angela Merkel has been Chancellor of Germany since 2005. In September she stood for re-election once again in the federal elections and her party failed to receive a strong endorsement at the hands of the German electors, receiving just 26.8% of the popular vote.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Note that Mrs Merkel’s CDU has a sister party in Bavaria with which it works in coalition, and that the CDU/CSU coalition amounts to a combined vote of 33%. Nevertheless this represents their worst result since just after the Second World War.
The socialist party of Martin Schulz (former President of the EU Parliament) was also hammered, whilst the eurosceptic and anti-immigration party the AfD roared ahead to achieve 12.6%, giving them seats in the Bundestag for the first time.
The AfD ended up with 94 seats. 355 seats are required for a majority, so the AfD’s tally is significant. That said, in common with almost all other populist parties across the EU, no-one will talk to them.
RUDDERLESS RECORD
The previous record length of time for which Germany was without a permanent government was 86 days. This occurred in 2013, when Frau Merkel had to negotiate with the socialist SPD to form a ‘grand coalition’.
Unfortunately for Frau Merkel, she has been unable to form a government since the election on 24th September 2017. She requires the support of minor parties and all her efforts have so far failed. It is now 98 days since the elections and Germany remains a country without a permanent government.
On Wednesday a YouGov poll was published by the German newspaper Die Welt, showing that only 36% want Frau Merkel to serve a full term as Chancellor. Whilst this might sound reasonable in the UK, in Germany this is low.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
Just two months ago 44% of Germans wanted Angela Merkel to serve another term, so her support appears to be slipping fast. In the coming weeks we will look at some of the new, younger faces which are starting to emerge on the German political scene.
In reality, we still expect Frau Merkel to be the next Chancellor, although the composition of the coalition government she might be able to form is starting to trouble us. See the article below for more on this.
[ Sources: Deutscher Bundestag | YouGov | ARD | Tagesschau ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       06.55am, Saturday, 30 Dec 2017
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Name: : J Slater, UK      Date/Time: 31 Dec 2017, 11.50am
Message: The breakdown of the EU and the emergence of revitalised European countries, showing their disgust at the disastrous and devastating impact the EU unelected leaders are having on their countries and their lives, makes for excellent reading this Christmas. Thank you Facts 4EU for keeping going. We are all, I'm sure, digesting the amazing articles you have recently published. Britain is not the only country to stand up to tyranny. Hope the Team is up and ready for 2018. Please keep your superb investigations and accurate information coming in.
 THE UNACCEPTABLE FACE OF GERMANY
Martin Schulz, SPD                                                                    © ARD
THE IMPLICATIONS FOR BREXIT
OF GERMAN COALITION TALKS
Germany enters New Year without a permanent government or leader
The German federal elections of September 2017 left Germany without an easy route for the victor to form a new coalition government.
Frau Merkel’s negotiations to form a coalition government with the Greens and the Free Democrat Party broke down in November, after the Free Democrats walked out.
It was always hard for many commentators including us to see how this was ever going to work, given the differing views of the two minor parties on the subject of immigration. Put very simply, the Greens are in favour of mass immigration. The Free Democrats are not, and even Frau Merkel has started to admit (in a roundabout way) that her policies from 2007-2016 were ill-advised.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The Greens seem to be stuck in a time-warp that is less and less in keeping with the German electorate, which now seems to feel that ‘Mutti’ made a mistake in welcoming increasing and unlimited numbers of migrants over the past ten years.
THE SCHULZ PROBLEM
Originally the socialist SPD ruled out any thought of re-entering another grand coalition with Merkel’s CDU/CSU, after the hammering they took in the elections. Now they are involved in ‘talks about talks’. It is likely that these talks will carry on for many weeks and probably months.
The SPD’s leader is justifying the complete volte face on his opposition to coalition talks by saying that the EU’s need is now desperate. In order to present some kind of credible position to the many in his party who continue to oppose talks with Merkel, Schulz made an extraordinary speech just three weeks ago.
“I want a new constitutional treaty to establish the United States of Europe.... This constitutional treaty must then be presented in all member states and those that do not agree would automatically leave the EU.”
- Martin Schulz, 07 December 2017, SPD party conference
Schulz is saying that his SPD party must consider re-entering a coalition government in order to ‘revive Europe’ (he means the EU) and most importantly to respond to the radical initiatives from France’s Emanuel Macron. Macron has been busy painting his own federalist vision of the EU, proposing rapid moves towards further deep integration.
The EU has therefore become the justification for Schulz’ move towards shared power with Merkel. Coalition is necessary not just for the good of Germany but for the EU as a whole, he seems to be saying.
In three weeks’ time on January 21 there will be a special conference of the SPD in Bonn, where Schulz will attempt to persuade his party to negotiate formally with Merkel’s CDU/CSU parties.
We will keep you posted.
OBSERVATIONS
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BREXIT?
The UK might be leaving the EU, but the German Chancellorship remains still highly relevant to the UK’s interests, as does the composition of any new coalition government in Germany. It is also relevant to Brexit if there is no permanent German Chancellor who can make decisions.
As stated above, Merkel is about to start talking formally to Martin Schulz of the SPD about forming another coalition.
It’s important to note that whilst Merkel’s CDU/CSU parties were in coalition with the SPD before the election, Schulz was in Brussels during that time. He’s the EU federalist fanatic who was until recently the President of the EU Parliament. He is anti-UK and anti-Brexit, and his views on the EU are nothing short of adulatory. Three weeks ago this man actually proposed a full federal United States of Europe by 2025.
We find his sudden need to talk about the EU again interesting, given that none of the major parties in Germany – including his - wanted to talk about the EU at all during the general election itself. We read a lot of speeches in case there were statements about Brexit policy. Not only was Brexit barely mentioned, but neither was the EU and its future. Now suddenly the EU is not only back on the SPD agenda, it tops it.
SCHULZ – BREXIT NIGHTMARE
We have previously made no secret of our views on Schulz and the way he has conducted himself in the EU in recent years.
When he became leader of the SPD after his term of office in the EU Parliament ended, we feared for Germany. Our German readers know that we are not anti-German, (despite a few typical British jokes from time to time!) but we have to say that for us Schulz embodies the old reputation Germany had for arrogance and superiority. He does the new Germany no favours whatsoever, in our opinion, and does not represent the Germans we know and like.
To have this man anywhere near the reins of power in Germany will do the EU no favours in terms of securing a reasonable deal with the UK. That said, we are observing the slow but noticeable effect that the pronouncements of people like Jean Claude Juncker and Guy Verhofstadt and having on the British people.
Perhaps what we need in order to secure a clean and quick Brexit is for Schulz’ SPD to enter a coalition government with Frau Merkel, for Schulz to be put in charge of Germany’s Brexit policies, and for him to start spouting in his usual his arrogant and dictatorial style.
That should have every Briton clamouring for the exit without giving concessions and without wasting more time on pointless negotiations with an organisation that only wishes us harm.
[ Sources: CDU | SPD | Other parties | All German media ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       06.55am, Saturday, 30 Dec 2017
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 ARRIVIDERCI TO
ITALY’S PARLIAMENT
© Il Quirinale
NEW ELECTIONS IN 9 WEEKS
Yesterday's events at Italy's Presidential Palace
  • Italy’s parliament dissolved by President yesterday
  • Elections set for Sunday 4th March
  • Eurosceptics dominate most Italian parties
Yesterday the Italian President Sergio Mattarella invoked Article 88 of the Constitution, and signed the decree of dissolution of the Senate of the Republic and the Chamber of Deputies. This action annulled the Italian parliament and the President announced a general election for Sunday 4th March, as we predicted earlier this month.
Polls continue to show the anti-establishment M5S (5-Star Movement) party in the lead, on 28% of the vote.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
ITALY TO FOLLOW AUSTRIA?
Screengrab © ARD
In October Italy’s northern neighbour Austria produced a dramatic election result, electing 31 year old Sebastian Kurz as Chancellor and the eurosceptic and anti-immigration Heinz-Christian Strache as vice-chancellor.
HOW THE YOUNG OF EUROPE SHOW THE WAY
 
In September Italy’s Five Star Movement held leadership elections which were won easily by another 31 year old - Luigi Di Maio.
Four years ago Di Maio became the youngest ever vice-president of Italy’s version of the House of Commons.
Unlike in the UK, across the EU youth is no indicator of Europhilia. Di Maio is leading the biggest party in Italy with a founder (Beppe Grillo) who agreed with then President-elect Trump when he said that the EU is “a total failure”.
OBSERVATIONS
It will be interesting to watch di Maio assemble his party’s positions on key issues in the coming weeks. Different elements of the Five-Star Movement have always held disparate views. Di Maio himself is on the conservative wing and seems likely to want to push the anti-immigration agenda.
As with so many countries across the EU, it is now acceptable to talk about immigration where once this would have resulted automatically in the label of ‘fascist’. Indeed in many EU countries the only way traditional parties have held onto power is by shifting radically on issues like these.
THE INCREASINGLY-BLATANT HYPOCRISY OF THE EU ELITES
 
The supposedly liberal Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, advocated policies during their elections in February which would have been deemed unacceptable if UKIP had promoted them in the UK.
Nevertheless because Rutte is pro-EU, his re-election was proclaimed as a victory for the forces of good by EU President Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Council President Tusk, Guy Verhofstadt, and others. Needless to say, Prime Minister Rutte’s extreme right-wing views on certain immigration matters went unreported by the mainstream media in the UK – although they were reported by Brexit Facts4EU.Org.
When it comes to di Maio, we expect him to be very careful about expressing any eurosceptic views. The Five Star Movement may be the most popular party but their support is not enough for them to form a government unless they form a coalition – something they have said they will not do. Di Maio will therefore want to attract the greatest possible popular support in Italy, to give him the best chance to become Italy’s youngest-ever Prime Minister.
We will give you a short summary on the Italians elections nearer to the time, when the main issues are more apparent.
For now, all you need to know is that the EU’s third-largest economy (after Brexit) is going to the polls in nine weeks’ time and that the EU elites are all very, very worried. It is to the UK’s strategic advantage for these elections to be as chaotic as possible for the EU. The Brexit Facts4EU.Org team simply wants the best for Italy, and this happens to coincide with what would be the worst result for the EU elites.
[ Sources: Il Quirinale | Movimento 5 Stelle | Ministero dell'Interno ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       06.55am, Friday, 29 Dec 2017
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 "THE FRENCH HATE US
THE OTHERS WANT OUR MONEY"
© EU Commission
LATEST YOUGOV EUROTRACK SURVEY RESULTS
The latest YouGov EuroTrack survey conducted in the run-up to Christmas makes interesting reading.
YouGov EuroTrack Survey Dec 2017:
  • Support for Remain falls to 39%
  • Only 37% of the French want the UK to stay
  • Over half the Germans, Swedes, Finns and Danes want the UK to stay
  • On average, twice as many EU citizens thought UK had upper hand, compared to UK citizens
  • Only 2-10% strongly support EU’s plans for ‘United States of Europe’ by 2025
UK OPINION MOVES FURTHER AWAY FROM REMAIN
The support in the UK for remaining in the EU has fallen to its lowest level – 39% - according to YouGov’s latest survey.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
FOR THE BENEFIT OF EU27 MEPs, WE’LL REPEAT THAT
Only 39% of Brits support remaining in the EU, based on the latest survey
The spokesmen for the main political groupings in the EU Parliament such as Guy Verhofstadt and Manfred Weber regularly state with complete authority that the British people regretted their decision in the EU Referendum last year. They do this despite the protestations of the UKIP MEPs present. Regrettably the other British MEPs, from the Conservative, Labour, LibDem, Green and nationalist parties, all tend to agree with their EU colleagues or they keep quiet.
TAKING FRENCH LEAVE
In the northern EU countries surveyed, only the French were less keen than the British for the UK to stay in the EU. Interestingly the peoples of the other EU countries surveyed all wanted the UK to stay.
EU’S PLANS FOR UNITED STATES OF EUROPE – UNIVERSALLY UNPOPULAR
There has recently been a lot of discussion in Brussels about plans for much more integration of nation states, leading to a ‘United States of Europe’.
YouGov therefore asked for the respondents’ views on this idea. They got a very negative response. Unsurprisingly in the UK only 3% were strongly in favour, but this was also a common feeling in countries such as Germany.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
WHY EU27 MEPs SPOUT SUCH RUBBISH ABOUT BREXIT
The EU27 MEPs make their statements partly based on the British news they receive. If they see British news, on average they look at the Financial Times and the BBC, which are heavily biased towards Remain. It is therefore not surprising that they keep repeating complete falsehoods in the EU Parliament, which are in turn picked up and repeated in the mainstream media across the EU27 countries.
There are also a large number of Brits who work for the EU in Brussels, Strasbourg, and Luxembourg. Before he entered the UK parliament Nick Clegg was one of these, which gives you some idea of the biased views which any EU27 person who works in Brussels hears from British people. These extreme views simply reinforce the extraordinary bias that MEPs pick up from the limited but influential British media they follow.
THE FRENCH
Traditionally the French have always been the least favourably disposed towards British membership of the EU. This goes all the way back to the sixties, when President de Gaulle infamously vetoed British membership three times.
Gradually over recent decades the French became aware that the UK was footing the largest part of the EU bill after the Germans. This altered opinion slightly towards British membership because although it is never admitted in France, the people are aware of the subsidies received for its uncompetitive agricultural sector amongst other things. Naturally this is seen as an existential issue of the need to protect quality, rather than a case of under-investment, a bloated state, and outdated labour laws.
It will come as no surprise to readers that the French are the least inclined to want the UK to stay in the EU.
THE EU’S FEDERALIST DREAMS
Since Brexit, many key figures amongst the EU elites have seen the opportunity to advance their federalist agenda under the cloak of ‘unity’ and ‘solidarity’. The most successful by far has been the Italian former Communist Federica Mogherini, who is now the most powerful woman in Europe. She has many job titles and one of which puts her in charge of the EU’s growing common defence structures – the so called ‘EU Army’.
As part of the overall push by the EU Commission towards a federal European Union, Mogherini has managed to steamroller through a number of major initiatives including PESCO, which lays all the final foundations for an EU military force which we are convinced will one day supplant NATO.
At the same time, EU Commission President Juncker has continued pushing for a United States of Europe and this theme was most noticeably taken up again recently by Martin Schulz, who lost to Mrs Merkel in the German elections, and by Guy Verhofstadt, head of the ALDE group of MEPs in the EU Parliament.
One thing is certain about a federal EU. It can only come about if the Germans are prepared to pay for it, and they know they would be forced to pay vastly more to subsidise a single European state. They are already up in arms about the cost of the EU generally, and it is beginning to sink in that they will soon have to bear the brunt of the absent contributions of the departing UK. They are also starting to realise just how much Frau Merkel’s immigration policy failure is costing the country.
ONE SURVEY DOESN’T MAKE A SUMMARY
It will be no surprise to anyone that the French don't seem to like us very much and nor will it be surprising when we point out that the impending loss of British pounds is starting to make the other EU27 peoples start to wish we weren't leaving. One of the top three priorities for Brexit negotiations given by survey respondents was "Ensuring the UK pays what it owes upon leaving".
This is just one survey, albeit from a series of regular surveys from a reputable provider. It doesn't have to be swallowed whole but it carries some weight and it will be interesting to see how opinion in the UK will develop during the course of 2018.
In our view, all public opinion in the UK is overly coloured by extreme bias in the mainstream media against Brexit. The insidious drip-drip feed of brainwashing from the broadcasters in particular continues to make it very difficult for ordinary people to know what is truth and what is Establishment fiction.
If you like what we do and would like us to carry on influencing politicians, journalists and commentators with well-researched and unique insights into Brexit and the EU, please, please consider supporting us with a small donation.
We can’t do this without you.
[ Sources: YouGov | EU Commission ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       07.55am, Thursday, 28 Dec 2017
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 EU SPLASHES THE
CHRISTMAS CASH
TO SLOW MIGRATION
© EU Commission
Another £¼ billion was thrown at Africa before Christmas,
in attempt to stem flow of migrants
HUMANITARIAN AID
In December 1984 British and Irish pop stars made the hit single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" It sold over three million copies around the globe and raised more than $24 million. It was intended to raise money for the starving people of Ethiopia following a dreadful famine there. It inspired numerous spin-offs which have raised hundreds of millions of dollars.
EU-MANITARIAN AID
In December 2017, just days before Christmas, the EU announced it was spending a further €274 million as part of a €3 billion programme called :
“The EU Trust Fund For Africa”
EU STILL SPENDING UK TAXPAYER MONEY
This Fund was started in November 2015 when millions of migrants started flooding into the EU from Africa, as result of Frau Merkel’s rash decisions some months before. The purpose of the Fund was and is to try to stem the flood.
“Due to ongoing unprecedented levels of irregular migration, the EU Trust Fund has been created to support the most fragile and affected African countries. The Trust Fund aims to help foster stability in the regions to respond to the challenges of irregular migration and displacement and to contribute to better migration management.”
- From EU Commission - International Cooperation and Development, Dec 2017
THE EU – THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
A week ago whilst most politicians were focused on the British government’s big pre-Christmas capitulation to the EU in Mrs May’s ‘Phase One’ deal, and whilst most ordinary people were planning their Christmas shopping, the EU slipped out another announcement on the cost of its migrant crisis.
© EU Commission
And the UK taxpayer will be paying for this for years to come.
WHAT IS THE EU TRUST FUND FOR AFRICA?
The EU Trust Fund for Africa was launched by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the Valletta Summit on Migration on November 12th 2015.
Valletta EU Summit 2015                                            © EU Commission
You will note Mrs May on the right of the picture. At the time she was Home Secretary and was representing the UK.
WHERE ARE THESE COUNTRIES?
Horn of Africa                                                    © EU Commission
The EU divides the region up into three parts:
  • The Sahel region and Lake Chad: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal
  • The Horn of Africa: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda
  • The North of Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia
Below are these regions in map form.
  
Source: Open Street Map
WHY DOES THE EU NEED A TRUST FUND FOR AFRICA?
We started this article referencing Band Aid and ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’. Please do not be confused. The EU’s Trust Fund has nothing to do with famine relief nor with humanitarian aid in the normal sense in which it’s understood.
This EU Fund was started when the EU was in panic mode. Millions of migrants were headed for the EU – around a million had already crossed its borders – as a direct result of the catastrophic and unilateral decision by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to welcome ‘refugees’.
Angela Merkel with migrant, Sept 2015                                            © Al Jazeera
At the time, the only words on politicians’ lips were ‘Syrian refugees’. The publics across the EU were quite understandably moved by the fate of the Syrian people in its desperate civil war and war against Daesh. Across the continent there was then a form of mass hysteria, as thousands of European people turned out at train stations clutching flowers to give to bewildered economic migrants from African, Arab and Asian countries. Few of the migrants were from war-torn Syria of course.
In years to come much will be written about this collective hysteria but that time is not now. For now we confine ourselves to this story and how almost £3 billion of EU taxpayers’ money is being used to pay for Frau Merkel’s mistake – in this one EU fund alone.
THIS ISN’T THE ONLY FUND PAYING FOR EU MIGRANTS
This EU Fund for Africa is just one small part of the monies being thrown at this problem. There are many other funds which are being used by the EU to pay for the migrant crisis, but the descriptions of these other funds are more innocuous.
For example, what about the ‘European Development Fund’? It has absolutely nothing to do with European development. It’s about international aid, and of course the aid is all about stemming the flow of migrants, and dealing with the ones already in the EU. But it’s only about €30 BILLION EUROS for the current financial framework until 2020, so who cares?
Let’s just repeat that in case you missed it.
The EDF is over €30 billion euros, and the UK is paying 15% of that.
THESE MIGRANT FUNDS AND THE BREXIT BILL
At this point you might be asking yourselves how the Brexit divorce bill – which the British government has indicated it will pay - will impact the billions of Euros the EU is spending to mitigate its appalling migrant crisis.
The answer is that the EU has specifically stated that the UK must continue paying for these ‘off-the-books’ funds.
Whilst the details remain hazy, we have the EU documents which stipulate funds such as the €30 billon ‘European Development Fund’ and the €6 billion fund for the ‘Facility for Refugees in Turkey’. These are specifically to be included by the EU in its calculation of what it says the UK owes.
Naturally, as we have pointed out many times before, the UK legally owes nothing after 29th March 2019, but this doesn’t seem to stop the British government from wanting to give its taxpayers’ money to the EU for no reason.
HOW MUCH?
Caveat on the figures:  There are so many documents for this Fund, all containing differing figures, that we defy anyone at the EU Commission to give us a definitive figure for exactly how much the EU has spent so far, and how much it is committed to spend. Based on our research, we don’t see how anyone at the EU Commission could possibly know.
The sums are described in different ways at different times, and they are reported so many times using different descriptions, that it is often almost impossible to know whether a ‘new’ commitment is indeed new or if it has previously been reported in a different way in a different announcement.
The sums also come from multiple allocation lines within the Fund’s own documentation. To give you an example, here is just one document detailing almost €3 billion euros of EU funding of the Trust Fund for Africa. There are 22 line items for the sources of the funds.
© EU Commission
The above comes from a document issued on 27 November this year. A few weeks later we are told that expenditure of €2.4 billion has been approved:
THE STATE OF PLAY OF THE EU EMERGENCY TRUST FUND FOR AFRICA
“To date, 146 programmes across the three regions have been approved for a total amount of approximately €2.4 billion divided as follows: Horn of Africa 818.1 million, North of Africa €285 million, Sahel/Lake Chad €1263 million, and cross-cindow projects €21.6 million.”
Then, just before Christmas on 18th December the EU released another statement, saying :
“The European Commission today announced the launch of 13 new measures in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin amounting to EUR 274.2 million.”
Note that these are new measures, in addition to what has already been announced for the EU’s Trust Fund for Africa. €274.2 million euros is almost £1/4 trillion pounds.
OBSERVATIONS
Call us cynical, but to paraphrase the original Band Aid song from the 1980s, there ‘WILL be snow in Africa this Christmas’.
The EU’s announcement which they slipped out when everyone was busy before Christmas will no doubt have gone down well in many capital cities across the African continent. Governments in that part of the world are not exactly known for their lack of corruption. And the EU’s monies are going to governments, not to charitable aid for the people of the region.
Thirty years ago we were all giving donations to help to alleviate appalling famine in Ethiopia, in the centre of the Horn of Africa. We tolerated the gutter-mouth of Irishman Bob Geldof because a humanitarian disaster was before our eyes, thanks to the report on the BBC from Michael Buerk.
Over 30 years later we no longer tolerate the Irishman Geldof – or at least decent and upstanding citizens don’t, having seen him denigrating the poor, hardworking fishermen of the UK with his obscene hand gestures and ignorant utterances about the EU, from a donor’s boat on the Thames in the run up to the Referendum.
We have seen him on a regular basis pontificating about Brexit, despite him having no mandate from voters, no special knowledge of the EU, and not even being British. That’s the BBC, Sky, and ITV for you.
When it comes to Geldof and the elites of the EU, we put them on a similar level. Do they know it’s Christmas? Most of them don’t even know which 5-star hotel or limo they’re in.
Fortunately it’s becoming clearer all the time that their days are numbered.
FINALLY, REMEMBER WHEN THE EU USED TO PRETEND THIS WAS ALL ABOUT SYRIA?
It used to be the case that we seemed to be spending half our lives proving that the EU's elites - and the idiot politicians, celebrities and commentariat from the UK's liberal-luvvie love-in - were talking nonsense each time they pretended that the migrant crisis was all about Syria.
Over and again we researched the actual data, to hold the EU and the UK establishment to account. Now it seems that the EU is quite brazen about the fact that the fundamental migration problem stems from Africa, and that they are in fact economic migrants not refugees.
For old times' sake we'll leave you with a chart we produced for you back in May, when we were still having to prove that the problem had nothing to do with the Syrian conflict and everything to do with Frau Merkel's disastrous invitation which was quickly absorbed and acted upon by the poor of a whole continent.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
[ Sources: EU Commission | Various EU depts | Italian Ministero dell'Interno ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       07.45am, Wednesday, 27 Dec 2017
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Name: : Steve R, London      Date/Time: 27 Dec 2017, 10.56am
Message: Ghana is probably the best run country in Africa and since Jerry Rawlings retired the new president seems to be a bright bloke. Here he is telling Emmanuelle Macron that aid is not the way. Ghana does not figure on your charts of economic migration or aid.
 GOOD SHALL OVERCOME
Why Brexiteers can confidently
hold their heads high
this Christmas
On this Boxing Day, 26th December 2017, we would like to offer you hope for the future.
Firstly however, we must descend into something less savoury. Below is the banner for an article which was yesterday’s headline piece for Christmas Day, in a publication called Politico which comes in printed and online varieties.
Nice, isn’t it? “How Brexit ruined Christmas dinner”. Very festive title to read on Christmas morning.
The sub-heading also took no prisoners: “Ammunition for festive feuds over the dinner table.”
Funnily enough, here at Brexit Facts4EU.Org we were trying to think good things of all men and women. Here is what we posted on Twitter early on Christmas Day morning:
© Facts4EU.Org / Twitter
The people at Politico weren’t the only ones of course, but in many ways the article which headlined their Christmas Day coverage in Europe is a good example. It’s full of distortions and selective research. Let’s just take one tiny example.
Politico quotes a turkey farmer on the subject of turkey farming:
“I’ve spoken to several guys locally who have found it difficult to get staff this year. It’s becoming increasingly difficult,” said Bailey, a third-generation turkey farmer in Cheshire, northwest England.
Read that again. Politico spoke to a British turkey farmer. Unfortunately for them he hadn’t found it difficult to get staff this year so they had to quote him saying that “I’ve spoken to several guys locally” who allegedly had. Oh nooooo! We won’t have Christmas turkey if we don’t cancel Brexit!!!
This really is desperate stuff.
We could go through that article and demolish it but life’s too short. Please read it yourself and you’ll see how Project Unsubstantiated Fear (PUF) is alive and well and living in the British journalist community in Brussels.
ABOUT POLITICO
Politico’s journalists undoubtedly have privileged access to the bureaucratic elites who work in Brussels and Politico is required reading for these people as well as for political leaders in the EU28. This means that if you put the bias to one side there is a lot of information to be gleaned from reading it.
Some readers will know Politico. It’s a large and well-funded media organisation with editions in Europe and the United States. Its European arm is based in Brussels and here’s what it says about itself:
“From Brexit and the migration crisis to EU counterterrorism and global trade policy, POLITICO’s newsroom delivers more insight, edge and authority than any other publication, and without any agenda or bias.”
Hmm. Sorry Politico, but this is beyond funny. We struggle to think of a single Politico article on Brexit we’ve read which hasn’t been imbued with bias. Politico is institutionally pro-EU and and anti-Brexit and it really is that simple. Read it for a few weeks and decide for yourself.
Come to that, this institutional bias is equally alive and well in London at BBC News, Sky News, ITN, Channel 4 News, the Evening Standard, the Financial Times, the Times, the Guardian, the Observer, the Independent, the Mail on Sunday, the Economist, etc, etc…. In fact almost everyone in the media apart from the Express, parts of the Daily Mail, the Telegraph and the Spectator, and Andrew Neil.
OBSERVATIONS
REJOICE, JUST REJOICE
Fortunately we’ve seen a lot of the better side of human nature as we’ve trawled online media this Christmas. Brexiteers for the most part seemed very happy to celebrate Christmas and be conciliatory towards Remainers.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org is pro-Brexit and we make no secret of the fact. We write original pieces based on research of official facts from the EU, from the UK government, and from ‘independent’ international bodies such as the World Bank, the IMF, the OECD, etc.
The raw data we present is official and comes from the Establishment – almost all of which is anti-Brexit. The analysis comes from a pro-Brexit perspective because we long ago saw that this was the only intelligent and rational conclusion from all the data. We’re open about our negative opinion of the EU, and it seems strange that Politico is not open about its strong positive bias.
That said, this isn’t an attack on one media outlet. It’s a rejoicing in the Brexiteer mindset. There many things to worry about in the way the government is approaching Brexit. However as we all celebrate Christmas with our family and friends, let’s not forget that we won the Referendum last year. 17.4million people voted for Brexit – the highest mandate of any political choice, ever.
If we all stay steadfast and fight, we can get the Brexit we voted for.
[ Sources: Politico.eu | Social media ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       07.45am, Boxing Day, 26 Dec 2017
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 MERRY CHRISTMAS
FROM THE BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG TEAM
www.Facts4EU.Org
Brexi-Kitten, the last-surviving office mascot of the
Brexit Facts4EU.Org team, would like to wish all readers
a very merry Christmas on behalf of the whole team.
Brexi-Kitten knows you've already maxed out your credit card in last-minute Christmas sprees to British supermarkets (not those continental ones) and on Amazon online, but she wonders if she can tempt you to drain the last of your ill-gotten Brexiteer gains?
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A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTERS THIS YEAR
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This list is being updated.
The more you can help us, the more we'll try to offer you in return, in addition to that nice, warm feeling you'll get from knowing you're doing your bit to back a clean Brexit!
Brexit Facts4EU.Org        07.15am, Christmas Eve, 24 Dec 2017
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P.S. for dog-lovers: Sadly the team's canine mascot Max, the most adorable dog that ever lived, passed away before he could celebrate with the team on Referendum night 2016. Brexi-Kitten carries the torch for him.
 THE SINGLE MARKET ARGUMENT
- DESTROYED -
MERRY CHRISTMAS
FROM THE BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG TEAM
The Facts4EU.Org team looked at the economic growth of the UK over the last 50 years. During that half century, the Single Market started. This happened around half-way through that period, in January 1993.
As everyone knows, the Single Market is held out by Remainers as something essential for the very survival of the United Kingdom. Without it, they claim, we are toast.
Below are the results of our research from official sources. It doesn't make pretty reading for Remainers but we hope, dear Reader, it gives you an additional boost when you raise your glasses to Brexit Britain this Christmas!
1.     50 YEARS - BEFORE AND AFTER THE EU'S SINGLE MARKET
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
The above chart shows the UK's average annual growth of 2.5% for the years from 1967-1992, before the Single Market started. Next to it is the UK's average annual growth since 1993, when the Single Market began. As you can see, average annual growth fell to 2.2% after the UK joined the Single Market.
50 YEARS OF UK ECONOMIC GROWTH
  • Before Single Market (1967-1993) : 2.5% average annual growth
  • Since Single Market (1993-2016) :  2.2% average annual growth
Unfortunately for Remainers, things get worse when you look at the average trend in the UK's GDP growth rate after the Single Market started in 1993.
2.     SINCE THE EU'S SINGLE MARKET STARTED
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Annual growth rates bounce around of course, but the red dotted line shows the overall trend since the EU's Single Market started. If the wild adulation of the Single Market had any basis in fact, wouldn't you expect to see a significant uplift in growth in the UK economy?
Since the Single Market started in 1993,
the UK’s annual growth rate has trended downwards.
OBSERVATIONS
Those who voted to leave the EU in 2016 have had to endure much in the last eighteen months.
One consistent theme from Remainer politicians and commentators has been that the UK cannot afford to leave membership of the Single Market. Think how many times you heard sayings such as 'No-one voted to ruin the economy', 'We want a Brexit focused on jobs', etc. (As if no Brexiteer cared about jobs and the economy.)
Here at Brexit Facts4EU.Org we have countered these messages over and over, but we'll leave you to judge whether the big, well-funded Brexit organisations have done this as effectively.
We hope you like the simple but effective messages contained in this article:
  • The UK economy was growing faster on average before the Single Market started
  • The EU's Single Market has demonstrably had no positive impact on UK growth
  • The UK's average annual growth rate has actually fallen since it started
THANK YOU
We would like to thank all our supporters this year, without whom well-researched articles like the one above would not be possible. If more readers had been able to support us, of course we could have been more pro-active in ensuring that our punchy information was read by more of the right people and we could have produced more of it. However we know how hard it is and there are so many calls on everyone's money. If any of you who haven't donated were able to find just a small donation this Christmas, we would really appreciate it and it would help us to keep fighting in 2018.
Bizarrely it takes much, much longer to distil information into simple charts and messages, than it does to write long, erudite articles of 3,000 words which no-one outside the Westminster bubble reads. We could produce long academic pieces in less than half the time, but of course no ordinary member of the public would read them. We care much more about getting the messages out in a common sense way to millions of people, than in an "aren't we clever" way to a few hundred.
We might produce more articles over Christmas, and we will certainly be posting readers' comments on articles. In any event the whole team would like to wish all readers and their families a very merry Christmas.
Some of the messages of support we've received in the last year have been very moving, and we can't thank you enough!
[ Sources: Office for National Statistics | World Bank | OECD
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       05.45am, Christmas Eve, 24 Dec 2017
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 NO, BREXIT ISN’T CAUSING
A £500 MILLION
PASSPORT RE-DESIGN
WE FIRST DEBUNKED THIS LIE BACK IN APRIL
  • Yes, the British passport is going to be re-designed
  • No, this contract has nothing to do with Brexit or passport colours
  • No, the £490 million isn't just for a re-design
© Twitter Apr 2017
© Twitter Dec 2017
© Twitter Dec 2017
Celebs and Remainer politicians have no shame and no respect for facts
In April, stories started circulating about British passports and a cost of £490 million to redesign them as a result of Brexit. The story was completely false of course, but that didn't stop politicians and celebrities from re-tweeting it, even after they knew it was false.
The same false story started again yesterday, after the government announced that the next re-design of British passports would see them return to their original dark blue colour, with the words 'European Union' removed.
Twitterdom, some parts of the media, and some Remainer politicians have once again shown what little regard they have for the facts when it comes to Brexit.
Previously we had the likes of Sue Perkins, Ricky Gervais, and David Lammy. Now we have people like Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner MP, former Dragon James Caan and others who are at it.
HERE ARE THE FACTS, AS WE REPORTED IN APRIL
The Home Office regularly has a redesign of the British passport, as part of its measures to combat forgers. Here are the facts about the news you may have seen in recent days, regarding a new-look British passport.
  • There was a redesign of the passport in 2015 – nothing to do with Brexit
  • The contract for producing passports next comes up for renewal in 2019
  • Tenders are invited now, as the process for renewing or changing supplier takes time
  • The government was even forced under EU regulations to announce this in October 2016
  • The estimated contract value is £490 million
  • This is for design AND production of passports until 2030
  • This covers production of around 6 million passports per year
OBSERVATIONS
It's not surprising that members of the public read the misinformation from Labour politicians and celebrities and questioned whether it wasn't better to spend £490 million on the NHS or schools instead. If the story had been true it would have been a good question, however it was a complete fabrication.
Unfortunately this is just yet another example of the continual rubbish we have to play our part in debunking on a weekly basis. The problem is that people often read the incorrect 'news item' or tweet and then don't see the correct information put out by people like us.
[ Sources: Official Journal of the EU | EurLex legal database | Twitter ]
  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.
       09.10am, 23 Dec 2017
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Name: : Hugh, Mid-UK      Date/Time: 24 Dec 2017, 12.14pm
Message: I can't tell you how much respect I have for the likes (or dislikes) of 'comedians' such as Sue Perkins, Ricky Gervais and David Lammy.
Name: : Steve, UK      Date/Time: 23 Dec 2017, 10.38am
Message: The big question I always ask Remoaners is how they propose to remove people who are appointed by rising right wing governments, and will undoubtedly push right wing laws on the people of the UK if we remained in the EU ?, would they still blindly follow the dictats from Brussels ?
LA DOLCE VITA - 
LACKING IN RUN-UP
TO ITALY’S ELECTIONS
M5S leader di Maio - Screenshot © M5S
AMORE FOR EU IS WANING,
JUST OVER 2 MONTHS BEFORE ITALIANS VOTE
Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary: Lookahead to Italian Elections 2018
  • Italian election will now probably take place 4th March
  • Leading party is eurosceptic Five Star Movement (M5S)
  • Four of the main six parties are eurosceptic
  • Together they represent nearly 63% of Italian voting intentions
  • Only ruling ‘Democratic Party’ (PD) and new alliance of small left-wing parties are pro-EU
Italy's two biggest newspapers, La Repubblica and Il Corriere della Sera, are now both agreed that Italy will go to the polls on March 4th next year, although an official announcement is still awaited from the President.
With euroscepticism on the rise across the EU, we look at the state of political thinking in what will soon be the third-largest economy in the EU: Italy.
NATIONAL OPINION POLLS
Below are the results of the latest opinion poll, conducted by Index Research this week on Tuesday and Wednesday (19-20 December).
© 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.
For those of you comparing the above to our previous charts on Italian political polling, this chart reflects the new grouping of LeU (Liberi e Uguali, or ‘Free and Equal’) which is a left-wing political alliance of smaller parties, the larger of which we had previously reported separately.
In the highly fractured world of Italian politics, the Five Star Movement’s 27.9% is an important potential vote share, but they would need to form an alliance to gain the essential 40% needed to be able to form a government. They have always said they would never do this.
Meanwhile, the anti-EU and anti-immigration Northern League are in talks with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia to operate an alliance in the elections. It is said that an agreement has been reached but the Northern League want Berlusconi to sign an accord in writing – something he is reluctant to do. Such is Italian politics.
NEW ELECTORAL SYSTEM
In December last year the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned following a heavy referendum defeat. The referendum was over some fundamental changes to Italy’s electoral system but was lost amidst widespread dissatisfaction with the government and the establishment generally.
This left the country without a workable electoral system and a compromise was eventually ‘cobbled together’ in October of this year, despite strong opposition from the Five Star Movement, who will almost certainly be disadvantaged significantly by the new arrangements.
Despite the Five Star Movement’s feelings, the new system will be in force in March’s elections and as a result no-one quite knows what to expect.
REGIONAL DISSENT – BIG AUTONOMY VOTES
In addition to the strong eurosceptic thread running through the major parties, this year has also seen the emergence of stronger desires for regional autonomy. This exhibited itself strongly in the regional elections in Lombardia and Veneto, where referenda took place which received overwhelming support for much greater autonomy from Rome.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
È L'ECONOMIA, STUPIDA
Italy has without doubt been one of the EU’s longest-suffering victims of economic stagnation since the banking crisis. In fact it’s hard to see how its economy has done at all well out of the Euro. Debt levels continue to exceed 130% of GDP, non-performing loans are still worryingly high, and growth has been negligible.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
In the last 10 years, growth in the UK economy has been over 8 times faster that of the Italian economy.
Italian banks have gone bust and have been bailed out with billions of euros of taxpayers’ money. These bailouts are of course in contravention of EU rules, but things were so bad that the rules were bent. More banks are in trouble and we will continue to report on this as and when we can dedicate some resource.
ITALY’S YOUNG PEOPLE – THE LOST GENERATION
Then there is the important question of Italy’s young people. A consequence of the dire economic situation has been the consignment of a generation of young Italians to the unemployment scrapheap. Youth unemployment in Italy is the third-highest in the EU, at almost 36%. Only Spain and Greece are higher.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
Finally there is immigration. For Italians this has been a major and growing topic for years. We have reported on this many times in the last two years and it’s too big a subject to say much here. It is however going to be a big topic in the elections in March.
OBSERVATIONS
Brexit Facts4EU.Org’s team is very fond of Italy and the Italians. Wonderful country, amazing people. Anyone who has ever spent any time there will agree.
When we have reported on Italy’s continued youth unemployment it has been with great sadness. Traditionally Italy’s young people have been relatively un-engaged politically, with very low voting levels. However we wonder if this might change a little in March.
The age profile of Italian euroscepticism is virtually the inverse of the UK’s profile. It is those under 40 who are by far the most eurosceptic and the third or so of Italians who are actually anti-EU contain a disproportionately high proportion of young people.
The young of the UK who choose to be anti-Brexit – without generally knowing anything about the EU – should perhaps go and spend some time with their peers in Italy. There, opinions are based on real experience. In March, there will be voters who were born when Italian GDP was the same as it is today, and for whom a vibrant, job-creating economy like that of the UK has always been just a dream.
Despite the complaints from some parts of British youth, GDP growth in the UK over the last ten years is over eight times higher than the level achieved in Italy in that time.
On immigration, uncontrolled immigration caused by the EU and its rules will play a major part in Italians’ thinking when they place their vote. This is completely obvious to anyone except perhaps Establishment types who never experience the effects because they never step outside their cosy, protected bubbles.
Screenshot © Marina Militare
Immigration has severely affected life in many parts of Italy now. The EU has failed in Italy’s case to control the flow and the costs to Italian society are really starting to show.
ITALEXIT?
Could there be a real upset in March? It’s possible. The changes to the electoral system and the bad effect this is likely to have on the Five Star Movement makes things hard to predict. However, whatever the eventual outcome in terms of numbers of seats for Italy’s many political parties, discontent with the EU is likely to show more than ever in what was once its southern stronghold.
We really hope that Italy will be able to break free of the stranglehold of the EU at some point in its future. It won’t be in 2018, but maybe Italy might tilt an already eurosceptic section of the EU’s citizenry into forcing a halt to further changes to the already dysfunctional union.
Naturally we comment on aspects which might be seen to be negative, because the EU and the mainstream media are unlikely to mention these. In reality of course Italy remains a wonderful country to live in and visit. We just think it would be even nicer if it one day jettisons the homogenising EU yoke that has been around its neck and once again expresses itself in total freedom - flamboyantly and with great style.
We certainly wish all eurosceptic Italians every success in their struggle.
Buon Natale, to all our Italian readers!
[ Sources: Ministero dell'Interno | Index Research | Italian media ]
  As usual, journalists and politicians can contact us for the list of links to the research.

       06.55am, 23 December 2017
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SHIP AHOY! 
SECOND CARRIER AFLOAT
Screenshot © ACA
We are delighted to tell you that yesterday in the fog of Rosyth, HMS Prince of Wales, the UK's second new aircraft carrier, was floated out of the dock and into the basin for the first time.
Below is a short but wonderful time-lapse video of the occasion.
OBSERVATIONS
Our heartiest congratulations go to the men and women of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance who are building this magnificent vessel. This is another major milestone in the build process and a great achievement to notch up just before Christmas.
You may also like to keep tabs on the first of the UK's new aircraft carriers, the HMS Queen Elizabeth? We created a special page where you can track her movements and read about her.
These two ships will be the largest warships in Europe when they are in service.
       09.15am, 22 December 2017
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Name: : Tom-Tom, Lancs      Date/Time: 22 Dec 2017, 10.47am
Message: This might make those Spanish trawlers think twice before they eneter our waters illegally after Brexit!
SPANISH GOVERNMENT 
BANS COLOUR YELLOW
Screenshot © ACN
To give readers an example of how bad things have got in Spain, the Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy banned the colour yellow from public spaces in the run up to yesterday's elections to the Catalan parliament.
Yellow lights were banned, the yellow fountains in Barcelona were banned, and yesterday it was an offence to wear even a yellow ribbon in public. The yellow ribbon has come to symbolise solidarity for the imprisoned politicians following the referendum.
OBSERVATIONS
A supposedly liberal democracy in Europe thinks it is an acceptable use of power to compel its people not to wear clothes of a certain colour and not to display that colour in other ways.
Apparently the EU and its institutions do not have a problem with the actions of the Spanish government.
Is it just us, or have the elites in Spain and the EU now gone completely mad?
       08.30am, 22 December 2017
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Name: : Tom-Tom, Lancs      Date/Time: 22 Dec 2017, 10.43am
Message: Disgraceful. I didn't see this on the BBC news - typical.
SPANISH GOVERNMENT & EU 
LOSE IN CATALONIA
Screenshot © ACN
Crushing defeat for elites, despite election in their favour
Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary: Catalan Parliament Election Results
  • Pro-independence parties retain a majority, gaining 70 seats
  • Spanish Prime Minister’s ‘PP’ party is humiliated, clinging on to only 3 seats
  • 82% turnout, 4.36m votes cast
  • Largest party is pro-government ‘Citizens’ party with 37 seats, but too few seats to govern
  • Coalition of 3 independence parties will form government
HISTORIC VICTORY FOR ORDINARY PEOPLE
Last night another major blow was struck by EU citizens against the combined might of the Establishment’s political parties, TV stations and newspapers of an EU Member State, as well as the bureaucratic and political elites of the EU in Brussels.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
Three pro-independence parties secured 70 seats – enough to govern again if the Spanish government reinstates the Catalonian regional parliament. The Spanish Prime Minister’s party, the Partit Popular or ‘People’s Party’ received just 4.2% of the popular vote and was awarded 3 seats out of the 135 available.
The elections were called by the Spanish government of Prime Minister Rajoy in Madrid, after he annulled the Catalan Parliament and started imprisoning independence leaders following the referendum in October. That referendum was won by the separatists but was declared illegal by the government and subsequently by the Spanish courts in Madrid.
The deposed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont was forced to campaign from Brussels where he has been based since the October referendum. If he returns to Spain he will be arrested and imprisoned, like his vice-president Oriol Junqeras, leader of the ERC, and other Catalan MPs who remain in gaol.
Other Catalan MPs were released from gaol to allow them to campaign, but it must be said that with the deposed president and his deputy unable to campaign in Catalonia thanks to the Spanish government, it is hard to call the election fair. Despite this, the independence side won.
OBSERVATIONS
Unacceptable violence was used by the Spanish state during the independence referendum, when the Spanish Civil Guard were sent in to disrupt the peaceful voting of Catalan citizens.
A large number of actions have been taken by the Spanish government which at the very least demand close scrutiny. Politicians and journalists have been arrested and imprisoned, media organisations have been raided and their managements disrupted, and websites have been shut down.
The constitutional affairs of a country are always complex and its internal politics generally even more so. Certainly we have no appetite for some of the policies of some political parties which contested the election yesterday. However it is not our role to comment on the detailed arguments which are playing out in Spain.
PRINCIPLES
That said, we can comment on the generalities. We defend free speech on principle. We definitely defend the right of peaceful citizens to go about their business without the threat of physical violence from organs of the state. And we condemn absolutely the tyrannical, anti-democratic and dictatorial regime in Brussels – Commission bureaucrats, MEPs and members of the EU Council – for their part in blindly supporting the Spanish government without question.
The EU has supported Madrid because Spain’s is an acquiescent government. Madrid supports everything the EU does and it doesn’t rock the boat. The EU has so many crises it is dealing with right now, the last thing it needs is to take the side of the people in a part of Spain, against their own government.
So, while the EU attacks the UK, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and vast swathes of the populaces of many member states such as France, Italy, Holland, Austria, etc who now support anti-EU or eurosceptic parties, it refuses to condemn the Spanish government of Senor Rajoy for what is at the very least highly questionable conduct.
EU HYPOCRISY
Is would be fair to say that we are not the biggest fans of that poison dwarf of the north, Nicola Sturgeon. However we will always defend her right to spout the tosh she does, and we would shout from the rooftops if she were forced to fight an election from exile and with senior members of her team in gaol.
The EU should take a long, cold look in the mirror before it makes even one more statement about ‘unity’, ‘solidarity’ or ‘democracy’.
       07.55am, 22 December 2017
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Name: : Tom-Tom, Lancs      Date/Time: 22 Dec 2017, 10.24am
Message: "We defend free speech on principle. We definitely defend the right of peaceful citizens to go about their business without the threat of physical violence from organs of the state. And we condemn absolutely the tyrannical, anti-democratic and dictatorial regime in Brussels – Commission bureaucrats, MEPs and members of the EU Council – for their part in blindly supporting the Spanish government without question." It's because you say things like this that I'm reading your site each day now. Keep telling it like it is. I just made a small donation - not much but I'm sure a little from everyone would help if you can get it.
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NAZI GERMANY, STALINIST RUSSIA, 
SUPER-STATIST EU
POLAND FACES THIRD NATIONAL THREAT SINCE THE 1930’s
“This is not just about the situation in Poland, this about the EU as a whole, about who we are.”
Frans Timmermans, Vice President, EU Commission, Brussels 20 Dec 2017
  • EU Commission launches ‘Article 7’ attack on Poland
  • First use of Treaty Article leading to major sanctions against a member state
  • Poland told it must change its new laws into laws acceptable to the EU
  • EU Council can now act with a 4/5ths majority against Poland
On Friday the Polish parliament passed certain new laws in relation to its judiciary system, which followed several other laws which it has passed over the past two years.
As result of the new laws passed by the Polish parliament on Friday, the EU Commission has decided to take further action, known as ‘the nuclear option’, against Poland.
Specifically the Commission did three things yesterday:
  1. Called on the EU Council to invoke Article 7(1) against Poland
  2. Issued a further ‘Rule of Law Recommendation’
  3. Referred Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ)
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE NOW?
The EU Commission has now formally referred Poland to the EU Council and asked it to invoke Article 7(1). The Council only needs a 4/5ths majority to “determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law”. This is a given.
This then gives a supposed opportunity for more dialogue with Poland, but there are absolutely no signs that the Polish government is prepared to back down.
Assuming Poland does not back down, the next step is for the Council to “determine the existence of a serious and persistent breach of the rule of law”. This requires unanimity.
WHAT SANCTIONS MIGHT POLAND FACE?
Once the Council has decided in unanimity (without the ‘offending’ member) that a member state is guilty, it can remove whatever rights it chooses from the state in question. It only needs a qualified majority to do this. The rights involved can include voting rights.
At this point Poland becomes a vassal state, subject to EU laws but having no say in them. It may also lose many other rights, even including the right to receive payments under EU programmes.
Here is what the Treaty says:
“the Council, acting by a qualified majority, may decide to suspend certain of the rights deriving from the application of the Treaties to the Member State in question, including the voting rights of the representative of the government of that Member State in the Council. In doing so, the Council shall take into account the possible consequences of such a suspension on the rights and obligations of natural and legal persons.”
“The obligations of the Member State in question under the Treaties shall in any case continue to be binding on that State.”
HOW HAS POLAND REACTED?
Here was the Polish Foreign Ministry’s response yesterday:
© Twitter
The official government statement described the action of the EU as “essentially political, not a legal one”. The statement urges other member states to focus on the facts and to ignore “the unnecessary political pressure exerted by the European institutions”.
The statement goes on: “We cannot accept one-sided and unfair opinions directed at Poland.”
For more, please read our ‘Observations’ below.
OBSERVATIONS
POLITICAL INTERFERENCE
Given that the EU’s case against Poland is based on its allegations of breaking the rule of law, Poland’s government rather neatly turns these accusations around on the EU Commission.
In its main statement yesterday, Poland says it:
“fully agrees that one of the elements of the rule of law - both in member states and the European Union - is the functioning of independent courts. In the European Union, this court is the Court of Justice... It is for the Court of Justice to decide whether a member state has failed to fulfil an obligation imposed on it by the Treaties.”
Poland then goes on to say it:
“is ready to defend its claims at the Court of Justice as an independent and impartial judicial body”.
(Naturally we disagree completely with the Polish government about the ECJ, but never mind.)
In other words Poland is accusing the EU institutions of acting politically. It says that a question about the rule of law should be decided by the EU’s courts, not by its politicians.
It must be remembered that Poland is one of the countries which rejects the EU Commission’s forced migrant allocations and will soon be battling these in the courts. Poland also has a government which is not viewed favorably in Brussels in overall terms. In Poland there is still a feeling that national identity and traditional values matter – things which are anathema to the EU elites.
WHO’S RIGHT?
We make no detailed comment on the rights and wrongs of the EU’s criticisms of the new laws introduced by the Polish government over the past two years. The question is whether the EU is a fit entity to judge such things.
Opinion polls this month show Poland’s ruling party continuing to be popular. The six polls we’ve seen in December show it having a lead over its nearest rival of between 16-33%. If this were still the case in 2019 for the next Polish general election, the PiS would increase its majority still further.
When it comes to the EU Commission of course, talk of opinion polls is irrelevant. The EU’s all-powerful Commissioners aren’t even elected.
       07.55am, 21 December 2017
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Name: : cs2011, UK      Date/Time: 22 Dec 2017, 12.27pm
Message: It's interesting that on the same day that the EU thugs announced they were taking action against Poland, the UK signed a military cooperation agreement with Poland including a commitment to station more British troops in the Country. I'm sure the symbolism wasn't lost on Reich Fuehrer Juncker!
Name: : Steve R, London      Date/Time: 21 Dec 2017, 6.57pm
Message: Anyone saying that history is repeating itself will tell you that Germany is a modern freedom loving democracy with no intention to dominate again.The German people are as described.But now we have a stRengthened EU army, navy and airforce with an Italian ex?communist in charge, while the continent is dominated and controlled by the German economic super power. Germans sneer at Brexit on other blogs. A Slovenian band named after the Nazi name for their invaded capital made a video showing the invasion. They do a lot of other songs satirising war but from the comments on this one it seems that a lot of Germans took it as pro Nazi. The Poles need to keep their old friends.
Name: : J Slater, UK      Date/Time: 21 Dec 2017, 10.27am
Message: Poland is our ally. The EU Commission's brutish bully boys should go read their history books. They will not succeed in their insane plans to create a Federal State out of all European Nations. What concerns me is the sorry state European Nations will be left in by these Bureaucrats' insidious imposition of their undemocratic rules. They are destroying Nations. There will always be 'mad hatters' plotting a take over of others. Germany is a case in point and we should all have been on the alert after the tyranny of the 1930s/40s. Never allow the take over of the many by the few.
Name: : Hugh, Mid-UK      Date/Time: 21 Dec 2017, 09.36am
Message: All satnavs of the German tanks of the EU defence force will by now be set for Poland. Plus ca change.
MY ENEMY’S ENEMY... 
THOUGHTS FOR THE PM AS SHE VISITS WARSAW TODAY
A BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG EDITORIAL
  • In 1939 the undemocratic and authoritarian Nazi regime attacked Poland
  • In 2017 the undemocratic and authoritarian EU regime attacked Poland
Sometimes, the recognition of past events can trump all else. In 1939, an out-of-date British political establishment had been playing the appeasement game with a resurgent Germany led by Adolf Hitler.
Photo from Bundesarchiv Bild
In September 1939, appeasement was shown to have been a sham when German troops and planes crossed the Polish border, and the country quickly fell after ferocious fighting. Fortunately many Polish army, navy and air force personnel escaped and fought alongside British forces and the Polish government sat in London for the remainder of the war.
In particular, strong memories still exist in the United Kingdom regarding the brave Polish pilots who played a significant part in the Battle of Britain. A total of 141 Polish pilots were amongst "the Few" who flew against the Luftwaffe during the battle in 1940. One of the Polish squadrons had the highest number of kills of any Allied squadron engaged in the Battle of Britain.
Pilot Officers Jan Zumbach and Miroslaw Feric, No. 303 Squadron, with Sqn mascot, RAF Leconfield, 24 Oct 1940
I vividly recall my own father, who flew Spitfires and Hurricanes, telling me stories about the ‘insane, brave Poles’ he knew in WWII. (It’s therefore possible that I’m not wholly impartial here but as indoctrination goes, it has nothing on the EU’s.)
THE LESSONS OF HISTORY
If Brexit has demonstrated one thing where the EU is concerned, it has been the extraordinary level of arrogance that has been reached by the organisation’s elites.
Despite the Brexit vote last year – which will lose the organisation its second-biggest sugar daddy – the EU elites have ploughed on at a seemingly faster pace in their efforts to create their master superstate.
Their bullying tactics towards the UK in the whole arena of Brexit talks has been nothing short of breathtaking. If the western world’s press weren’t infected with young, globalist, big-state liberals, and if the British government had actually done its job in producing press releases about the EU’s actions, then the world’s peoples would know all about the true nature of the EU by now.
My enemy’s enemy is my friend, as the saying goes. On this basis we don’t need to assess the rights and wrongs of what Poland may or may not have done in the EU’s dispute with it. It suffices for us that the EU is seen to be imposing its laws on what is supposed to be the sovereign country of Poland.
BRITISH GOVERNMENT IN EXILE
Coincidentally, half the British cabinet is descending on Warsaw today for a major bilateral summit. Theresa May will be accompanied by the Chancellor, the Foreign Secretary, the Defence Secretary, the Home Secretary, and the Business Secretary, amongst others.
The key output will be a UK-Poland treaty on defence and security. This is the first such bilateral defence cooperation treaty since the initial one which Britain signed with France in 2010.
We can imagine that there may well be good strategic reasons for signing a bilateral defence cooperation treaty with another EU member state at this time, to say nothing of the military requirements.
Needless to say, Mrs May has been urged by various EU personnel to take Warsaw to task over the ‘Rule of Law’ issue. Both Guy Verhofstadt (EU Parliament Brexit spokesman) and Michel Barnier (EU Commission Chief Brexit Negotiator) issued their instructions to the British Prime Minister yesterday.
Prime Minister, please focus on the original reasons for your visit. Please do not say one word in support of the actions of the EU Commission yesterday. You should by now be well aware that your previous attempts at influencing the EU by being nice to it have been thrown back in your face.
Poland remains an ally. And some of us do not forget the past.
       07.55am, 21 December 2017
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CHEERS FOR SPAIN 
SNEERS FOR POLAND
THE HYPOCRITICAL OAFS OF THE EU
Today, the region of Catalonia in Spain goes to the polls again. This is a regional election imposed by the national government of Spain, after they ousted the Catalonian President and his government in October.
Today, the Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont remains in Brussels. If he goes home he will be arrested. Many of his colleagues are currently in Spanish gaols, facing court cases and long prison sentences. Journalists have been arrested, websites have been closed down, and elderly citizens are still recovering from the brutal treatment they received at the hands of Spain’s national police when they tried to vote in the Catalan referendum two months ago.
The EU has been an ardent supporter of the Spanish government throughout this crisis for democracy and freedom of speech in Spain. Spain is one of the countries which always backs the Commission and it is 100% pro-EU. Conversely Poland’s government has a more difficult relationship with the Commission and is less federalist.
OBSERVATIONS
Poland is going to be force-fed the EU’s medicine whether it likes it or not.
Spain has been issued a clean bill of health.
That’s justice, courtesy of the hypocritical oafs of the European Union.
       07.55am, 21 December 2017
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EU ATTACKS POLAND 
© EU Commission
1939: Tyrannical regime attacks Poland, after period of appeasement by Britain
2017: Tyrannical regime attacks Poland, after period of appeasement by Britain
Don't miss our analysis on this important event tomorrow.
       12.35, 20 December 2017
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WILL THE FRENCH DRINK TO BREXIT? 
OR BE DRIVEN TO DRINK?
© Comité Champagne
HOW THE EU IS RISKING A
€4.7 BILLION FRENCH INDUSTRY
As we approach the Christmas and New Year season, Brexit Facts4EU.Org takes a look at how the EU is potentially putting a very important sector of the French economy at risk.
“The Champagne AOC, symbol of quality, success and celebration, represents an unfathomable Legacy of priceless value. Champagne is the emblematic figure of France worldwide : the Champenois have been protecting their common treasure for more than 150 years.”
Brexit Facts4EU.Org's Guide to Champagne in facts & figures:
  • Champagne market worth €4.7 bn in 2016
  • World’s leading ‘Appellation’ by value: 32% of world's sparkling wines
  • 10% of volume of world’s sparkling wines
  • 319 ‘crus’ in just 34,300 hectares
  • Over 1 BILLION bottles currently maturing
For the French wine industry, champagne is king in so many ways. Constituting just 4% of France’s total vineyard area, the areas comprising the champagne appellation account for 20% of France's turnover of wines. And when it comes to sparkling wines, champagne represents a very frothy 91% of the value.
Critically with exports, the French wine and spirits sector overall accounts for a massive €12 billion in France's export turnover. Champagne is the second-most important contributor to the French surplus in trade.
BREXIT BRITAIN CONSUMES THE MOST BOTTLES
Unluckily for France, the UK consumes more bottles of champagne than any other country in the world.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
As you can see, the UK is head and shoulders above the next nearest buyer of bottles of champagne, the USA, despite having only one-fifth of the population.
The volume of champagne sales to the UK is absolutely key to the French, without which prices would plummet and the whole French agri-food business would be severely impacted.
After Brexit, the UK on its own will represent a staggering 44.1% of the non-EU export market for champagne.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
‘Tis the season to be jolly…. But maybe not if you’re a French champagne producer. If the EU decides to continue with its extreme positions on Brexit, the UK will leave without a specific trade deal.
Regular readers will know that Brexit Facts4EU.Org has always predicted that this is the most likely outcome.
If this happens, tariffs will be imposed on the French champagne houses, and suddenly the prospects for British producers of sparkling wine will be enormous, as French champagne becomes relatively more expensive.
We found 60 English vineyards producing sparkling wine during a quick search of the English Wine Producers website. No doubt more exist in other parts of the Kingdom. As one producer said last year: “Leaving the EU is a great opportunity for the English wine industry to reduce duty and encourage more home-grown sales.”
We’ll raise our glasses to that.
       07.25am, 20 December 2017
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Name: : R Ellison, UK      Date/Time: 20 Dec 2017, 1.10pm
Message: I'll raise a glass of British sparkling wine on our departure. We must never surrender our Sovereignty ever again. Facts4EU please do compile your research findings into all the wrong-doings of the dangerous and undemocratic EU, not answerable to anyone. A reminder of how we were fleeced, used and abused. Our own politicians over the last 40 years are also to blame for misleading us, the British electorate. These include the man who got us in to a 'Common Market' in the first place, former PM Ted Heath. He knew full well we would end up as part of a Federal Europe, something the British people would never knowingly have voted for.
ANOTHER BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG EXCLUSIVE AND UNIQUE PIECE OF WORK 
GERMANY’S HEAVY RESPONSIBILITY
FOR THE EU MIGRANT CRISIS
© MSC
LATEST EU FIGURES SHOW THE EXTENT OF
THE (GERMAN-CAUSED) PROBLEM
Other EU countries don’t want to pay billions to bail out Frau Merkel
Nor to adopt EU-imposed migrant quotas
Latest EU data analysed by the Brexit Facts4EU.Org Team shows:
  • In just one year, the equivalent of 3 EU member states combined entered the EU
  • Almost 1m non-EU migrants officially counted in Germany in 2015
  • Non-EU migrants in the EU totalled 2.4 million
  • Asylum applications in the EU in 2016 reached over 1.25 million
  • Germany had nearly ¾ million of these
  • Germany’s share has jumped from 12% to 59% in under 10 years
LATEST EU FIGURES
Last week the EU’s official statistical body, Eurostat, published its latest figures on immigration into the EU in 2015. Below we show you in chart form in which countries migrants ended up.
Germany was responsible for 996,400 immigrants, according to official records. More migrants ended up in Germany than in the next six EU countries combined – and that includes the UK. This is not surprising given the generous offers Frau Merkel was making at the time.
The total number of non-EU migrants recorded as entering the EU in 2015 was 2,400,185. To put that into context for you, if all these migrants were put in one country, that country would be larger than the EU’s six smallest member states. Bigger than Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia. Bigger than Luxembourg (Juncker’s home country) and Malta and Cyprus combined.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
We also looked at asylum applications. These figures are more up-to-date and relate to 2016. Once again Germany was responsible for the majority in the EU, with over 745,000 claiming asylum in Germany in 2016.
A total of 1.26 million migrants claimed asylum in the EU in 2016, according to official figures.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
In no small measure Germany accounts for the very large rise in the number of asylum applications over recent years. The graph below shows you what has happened since 2008. Back then, Germany accepted very few asylum seekers. Since then the rise has been inexorable and has increased all the time. 2016’s figure was 56% higher than in 2015 and it represents 59.1% of all migrant asylum applications in the EU in 2016.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
OBSERVATIONS
Next week on Christmas Eve it will be exactly three months since the Germans went to the polls to elect a new government. Most people assumed they were merely re-electing the same government, under Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The reality was that Angela Merkel took a hammering, as we reported at the time. Her own party, the CDU, managed just 26.8% of the votes, the other coalition partner (the socialist SPD) barely got over 20%, and the anti-immigration AfD soared to nearly 13% and entered the Bundestag for the first time.
As we write, the largest country in the EU continues to have a caretaker government after almost three months of wrangling between the parties. The British liberal elite media might love to belittle Theresa May but she has a much bigger mandate than Angela has in Germany.
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
One of the issues which has caused the delay in Germany is the question of immigration. There are still many German politicians that ‘just don’t get it’. Frau Merkel might now have realised that her decisions over immigration were reckless and catastrophic to Germany and to the rest of Europe, but many politicians in Germany still live in cloud cuckoo land.
In the UK far too many politicians inhabit the Westminster bubble, go to the same events and dinner parties, and get interviewed by the same journalists who live in the same world. These politicians have forgotten who elected them and it’s certainly true that some look down on their own constituents.
In Germany and in many other EU member states, the same disease has been spreading. In Germany the effect on the electorate is greater because the migration crisis out in the cities, towns and countryside outside of Berlin is greater. Other EU countries have also seen huge effects.
Austria – with its new eurosceptic and anti-islamic coalition government – had the 4th highest influx of migrants by head of population in 2015. Sweden – also seeing a massive upsurge in support for populist parties – had the 5th highest influx.
THE FRACTURED CONSENSUS
Despite the claims of the EU, endlessly repeated by the pro-EU BBC and other broadcast media, there are serious problems across the EU and the ‘unity’ which is constantly lauded is something of a fiction.
One of the key areas of disagreement is the area we cover above – that of immigration. We will write more about the EU’s contested migrant policy soon.
In the meantime we just want to make one generic point. Angela Merkel’s disastrous and fake ‘caring agenda’ which was partly designed to rehabilitate Germany in the world’s eyes has certainly backfired in Europe. By this, we mean her sudden acceleration in 2015 of her agenda to flood Germany with immigrants.
Both within the EU and in surrounding countries, the results of her ‘all welcome here’ policy have been catastrophic on many levels. We have covered many aspects of this before. If you would like us to update you with the effects and costs across the EU, do let us know.
One thing is sure. This has been one VERY expensive mistake. As the bills start to come in, we predict many EU member states becoming far less amenable to paying for all the migrant funds which have been set up by the EU Commission – many of which do not appear in the EU’s main annual budget and which amount to many billions.
This is something for the United Kingdom government to think about, when contemplating paying billions of hard-earned taxpayer money to the bottomless pit that is the EU. As the mainstream media starts to wake up to the huge additional costs of Merkel’s migrant madness which we have been publishing for the last two years, we cannot see the British public being very happy.
Statistical note: We should point out that official figures for migrants have in our experience been notoriously unreliable. They have been subject to many revisions and we have seen several versions somehow disappear. It has always been our view, based on our experience of montioring these things, that the true figures are likely to be around 50% higher. Final point: we included the small number of ‘unknown nationality’ in the non-EU figures as they are almost certain to come from non-EU countries.
       07.55am, 19 December 2017
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Name: : ChrisF, UK      Date/Time: 19 Dec 2017, 09.24am
Message: I believe that AM seriously miscalculated with this one. If I was being cynical, I might make the point that Germany has a very deep problem with an ageing population... Did she hope to 'plug the gap' with migrants maybe, while being the knight in shining armour? Either way, I was completely gob-smacked at the time, when she bypassed the rest of Europe and single-handedly opened Europe's doors to a million (plus, plus) people. I'm still equally shocked.
Name: : Steve R, London      Date/Time: 19 Dec 2017, 09.23am
Message: Merkel is a globalist politician. She does what the UN and Deutchebank tell her. Only following orders is the usual excuse when it goes slightly wrong.
Name: : Tom-Tom, Lancs      Date/Time: 19 Dec 2017, 08.51am
Message: First time on your site and just wanted to say well done. Very good information here and I'll be back many times over Christmas to read back through your older articles. Can't believe I never came across you before! Regarding the article above I would certainly be interessted in knowing more about the costs of the migrant crisis. Don't see why we should be paying the EU anything if it's all going to go on solving Merkel's problem for her.
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ANOTHER BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG EXCLUSIVE AND UNIQUE PIECE OF WORK 
WHAT YOUR EU
WILL DO FOR YOU
© EU Commission
L-R: President Tajani (EU Parl't), Council President Ratas, EU Commission President Juncker
THE EU’S LEGISLATIVE PROGRAMME 2018
Last week during all the commotion regarding the approval by the EU27 that the UK has made “sufficient progress” in the Phase One talks, the EU announced its legislative programme for next year.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary : EU’s 75 legislative priorities for 2018
  • 75 legislative initiatives in 7 major areas of priority, of which:
  • 31 new initiatives for 2018
  • 44 uncompleted initiatives rolled over from 2017
  • Just 2 out of 65 initiatives are for the 7th priority: “Democratic Legitimacy At EU Level”
  • So, 59% are items which the EU couldn’t manage this year
  • And 2.7% are items to improve the EU’s democratic legitimacy
In 2016 the EU introduced a new feature called the ‘Joint Declaration on the EU's legislative priorities for 2017’. It is signed by the President of the Council, the President of the European Commission, and the President of the European Parliament. The second of these – for 2018 – has just been released.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
EMPHASIS ON DEMOCRACY?
The EU’s preamble to the documents says that it’s “a central democratic moment for voters to assess the effectiveness of the Union” and “time to show that Europe can deliver for its citizens when and where it matters.”
They go on to say that “the three Institutions agreed to continue working together to make our Union stronger, more united and more democratic in the years ahead.”
The Joint Declaration sets out seven priority areas:
  1. Better protecting the security of our citizens;
  2. Reforming and developing our migration policy in a spirit of responsibility and solidarity;
  3. Giving a new boost to jobs, growth and investment;
  4. Addressing the social dimension of the European Union;
  5. Delivering on our commitment to implement a connected Digital Single Market;
  6. Delivering on our objective of an ambitious Energy Union and a forward looking climate change policy;
  7. Further developing the democratic legitimacy at EU level.
Despite the preamble stressing the need to improve democracy in the EU, this is the last priority on the list. It merits just two legislative items, as follows:
Further Developing The Democratic Legitimacy At EU Level
  • Proposal for a Regulation on the European citizens’ initiative
  • Proposal for a Regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations
OBSERVATIONS
The EU has been shaken in the last two years by the exercise of democracy in many of its member states. By far the biggest earthquake of course came when the UK voted to leave the European Union completely.
However Brexit isn’t the only major concern for the EU elites. Used to getting their own way for years - and implementing sweeping new powers, with EU citizens barely being aware of what was happening – the elites have had some wake-up calls.
WAKEY WAKEY
2016 and 2017 have seen the ordinary people of Europe expressing their opinions forcefully at the ballot box. Following the Brexit vote in the UK, the peoples of Holland, France, Austria, Czech Republic and Germany have flocked to the ‘populist’ (i.e. popular) parties so detested by the Establishment. In all these countries highly significant advances have been made by the eurosceptic parties. In the Czech Republic and Austria, populist parties are actually now in government.
In light of the above, perhaps it wasn’t surprising that the EU elites prefaced their legislative programme document by talking about ‘making the Union more democratic’.
Unfortunately, as in the United Kingdom parliament with Brexit, the mainstream politicians running the EU still don’t get it. Out of 75 legislative items, only two are related to democracy and neither of them address the fundamental problems of the EU’s democratic deficit.
TOO LITTLE TOO LATE
The Prime Minister today will chair the Brexit sub-committee of the cabinet. It is said that she will launch the discussion about the end game for Britiain’s status outside the EU, which seems bizarre to us because we have always known what that should be.
The PM and her ministers will also discuss the outcome of the EU Summit on Friday, when the EU issued its latest demands to the UK, after approving talks to continue to a next stage. See below for more on this.
If ministers are considering the timing of things like the transition deal agreement and what the EU refer to as the “political statement” which the EU might agree to make about trade, they might just want to bear in mind that the EU almost never does anything on time.
We have hundreds of examples, but let’s just take this latest document by the EU on its legislative priorities for next year. 59% of these priorities are things the EU couldn’t manage to do this year.
Mrs May’s ‘Transition Period’ – with which we fundamentally disagree in principle – will only extend the time we’re in the EU. The EU will continue to leave things to the last minute and the end result will be the same, except that they will have had two more years of our money. (It also runs a very high risk of giving sufficient time for Brexit to be overturned by disreputable politicians, but that’s another story.)
We can’t help suggesting to Presidents Juncker, Tusk, Tajani, Jüri Ratas, etc, that they look again at their ‘priorities’. They should strip out all the superfluous rubbish designed to create a superstate and reduce the list down to absolute priorities which can in fact be achieved in 2018.
Starting a new list of items and simply adding what couldn’t be managed last year, would seem to be a recipe for an ever-lengthening list of failure.
Actually... thinking about it, that pretty much sums up the EU.
WHEN ‘FURTHER DEVELOPING THE DEMOCRATIC LEGITIMACY’, ISN’T
Final point: Neither of the two items concerning a supposed ‘further developing’ of the EU’s ‘democratic legitimacy’ are straightforward.
We hereby predict in advance that the EU elites will use the item on party funding to act against political parties which are not fully supportive of the EU. We fully expect moves that will have the effect of further destroying democracy in the EU, rather than enhancing it. You read it here first.
       06.55am, 18 December 2017
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Name: : R. Ellison, UK      Date/Time: 18 Dec 2017, 10.25am
Message: So, the EU Bureaucrats will try to be 'democratic' in future! An admission they know they're undemocratic. Yet, how does that tie in with taking certain EU countries to court over not accepting the unacceptable, i.e. thousands of migrants from Africa and Middle Eastern countries? The EU doesn't even begin to understand the true meaning of the word 'Democracy'. Will they now hold elections to vote out the likes of Junker, Tusk, Barnier and all the others granted positions of power by the unelected? Athenian 'Democracy' started in the 4th Century BC. Does this mean that the EU form of Totalitarian Governance is not as up to date as those ruling Ancient Greece before the Birth of Christ? Time the EU caught up with the Modern World.
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 OLD EUROPE?
FORGET IT - AUSTRIA BREAKS THE MOLD
READ OUR SPECIAL REPORT BELOW:
'EUROSCEPTICS ARE
BETTER LOOKING'
(WE ALSO ASSESS THE IMPACT OF THE
EUROSCEPTIC CREDENTIALS OF AUSTRIA'S NEW COALITION )
From the pro-Brexit Facts4EU.Org team
Austria has a new Chancellor - the youngest in Europe - and a new government, after a coalition with the eurosceptic Freedom Party was agreed yesterday. Our not-to-be-missed article is below, in our must-read Brexit news!
P.S. If you take the 'better looking' comment too seriously you must be a Remainer. We were just having a bit of fun!
       06.55am, 17 December 2017
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THE AUSTRIAN RIGHT 
IS ‘EN MARCHE’
© ORF
Chancellor Kurz with Vice-Chancellor Stracher
NEW AUSTRIAN COALITION GOVERNMENT GIVES LIE TO EU’S MESSAGE THAT ‘POPULISTS ARE LOSING’
While the EU27 leaders were in Brussels last week, debating whether to allow Brexit talks to move to the next level, one of their number was effectively being sacked as a result of actions being taken in Vienna, Austria.
On Friday, a new government was being formed in Austria as a result of the general elections which were held in October. An agreement was finally reached and announced on Saturday between the victorious People’s Party (OVP) headed by Sebastian Kurz, and the Freedom Party (FPO) headed by Heinz-Christian Strache.
The new Chancellor is of course the youthful Herr Kurz who at 31 will be the world's youngest head of government.
Sebastian Kurz and partner Susanne Thier
 
 
The vice-chancellor’s job is going to Heinz-Christian Strache of the Freedom Party.
Herr Strache’s FPO have been allocated the Foreign, Interior, Defence, Health, and Social Security ministries – all of which will be key in the coming administration.
- Herr Strache, Austria's new vice-chancellor
WHAT ABOUT THE 'FAR RIGHT' POLICIES?
In May of this year a law was passed in Austria, banning full-face veils from being worn in public. This law came into force on 1st October, just two weeks before Austria’s general elections.
The fine for being caught wearing a face veil in public is €150 euros. Migrants face two further requirements on them as a result of the new law. They must attend a 1-year course in the German language and Western values, and they are required to volunteer for unpaid charity work.
The architect of this law was none other than Sebastian Kurz, leader of the conservative People’s Party (OVP) and now Chancellor of Austria. The law also received the support of the Socialist Party (SPO).
The BBC and others have of course focused on what they describe as a ‘far right’ party entering government in Austria, meaning the Freedom Party (FPO) headed by Heinz-Christian Strache.
© BBC
In fact, the ‘burka ban’ which many working at the BBC would probably see as being ‘far right’ was passed into law by the previous coalition government of the Conservative and Socialist parties. This happened two and a half months before the so-called ‘far right’ Freedom Party entered government.
THEY SAY THE NEW GOVERNMENT ISN’T EUROSCEPTIC AT ALL
If you are watching TV news in the UK today, please bear in mind that the ‘acceptable’ narrative which has been passed down by the EU is that the EU27 nations are in a state of blissful unity against the UK. When you watch pieces about Brexit you are asked to believe that all 27 member states are in harmony.
This is of course untrue. It is part of the ‘EU good, UK bad’ agenda which pervades almost all broadcasting about Brexit.
As an example of how Austria is at odds with the EU Commission, Herr Kurz disagrees fundamentally with its immigration policies. On Friday he announced that:
“Mandatory migrant quotas in the EU haven't worked.
I will work towards changing this erroneous refugee policy.”
© ORF
He is also in dialogue with the four Visegrad countries of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, and looks set to align Austria more with the interests of those members on several issues. These are the countries which the EU is at various stages of taking to court.
Finally, Austria's new Chancellor has indicated on many occasions that the EU should stop interfering in the internal affairs of countries and focus on ‘major issues’. He generally seems to be a supporter of the rights of individual nation states over the EU machine.
THE FREEDOM PARTY AND THE EU
It may be convenient for Heinz-Christian Strache to sound friendly towards the EU at first but don’t be fooled. Over many years his rhetoric has been heavily eurosceptic.
It is worth remembering that the last time the Freedom Party came to power was in 2000. As a direct result, most EU member states promptly cut off diplomatic relations with Austria for a period of some months. It’s safe to say that there is not a lot of love lost between the FPO and the EU elites.
HOW AUSTRIA ROCKED THE EU ELITES
The EU’s narrative that the rise in ‘populism’ had been halted after Brexit was shown to be completely false in October, when the people of Austria emphatically rejected big government, big immigration, and the EU vision of the elites in Brussels.
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 mold and has even taken his party further to the right. (See below.)
Something of a wunderkind, 31 year old Sebastian Kurz romped home in first place, with his rebranded conservative and eurosceptic ‘New People’s Party’ or OVP on 31.5% of the vote and 62 seats, up 15 on 2013.
Second place was closely fought, with the anti-immigration, anti-EU Freedom Party (FPO) storming ahead and almost taking 2nd place with 26.0% of the vote and 51 seats, up 11 on 2013.
© Facts4EU.Org 2017
ÖVP = New People's Party (Cons), FPÖ = Freedom Party, SPÖ = Socialists, NEOS = Liberals, PILZ = an individual, GRÜNE = Greens
The biggest losers of the night were the Greens, with their vote share plummeting by two-thirds and losing all of their 24 seats.
The right-wing Freedom Party (FPO) of Heinz-Christian Strache had an astonishing night, gaining the most in percentage terms. There is no doubt that they would have gained even more, had the young conservative leader of the People's Party 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 Sebastian Kurz 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 the FPO's 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.
OBSERVATIONS
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.
It's Sunday and it's nearly Christmas. Whatever the two Austrian leaders say, the new government looks unlikely to let Brussels have everything its own way, so that's cause for a little celebration.
Go on. Click 'Play'. You know you secretly want to.
[ 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.
       06.55am, 17 Dec 2017
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HAMMOND CONFIRMS 
EU ‘STATUS QUO’
AFTER MAR 2019
Screenshot © Sky News
CHANCELLOR GLOATS OVER ‘BUSINESS AS USUAL’
During a visit to China yesterday, the Chancellor Philip Hammond gave a press conference during which he was asked about Brexit.
Asked what businesses could expect, the Chancellor stated:
"What they should expect as a result of the agreement we've reached this week with the European Union is a transition, or implementation period, which will start at the end of March 2019, during which we will no longer be members of the European Union, we won't technically or legally be in the customs union, or in the single market.
"But we're committed, as a result of the agreement we've made this week, to creating an environment which will effectively replicate the current status quo so that businesses can carry on trading with their commercial partners across the European Union, as they do now.
"Borders will operate as they do now, and financial service businesses will be able to carry on conducting their business across borders as they do now."
Mr Hammond was asked about the UK’s role in EU decision-making during the transition period and he replied:
"We won't be members of the European Union, and therefore we won't sit in the European Council or any of its subordinate bodies, and we won't have a vote."
OBSERVATIONS
Each time the government capitulates further on Brexit, we try to present the information as clearly as we can. In doing so, we attract a number of critical emails from some readers, irritated that we appear to be attacking the government and telling us that we should take what the PM says at face value.
It gives us absolutely no pleasure to write what we feel compelled to write. Facts are facts and if Theresa May lies - as she did once again on Friday when she said “we will leave the EU on the 29 March 2019. We will be delivering the Brexit people voted for” - then we have to call her out.
The EU’s latest document issued on Friday makes it completely clear that the UK will remain members of the EU in practical terms after 29th March 2019, with the added disadvantage that the UK will no longer be entitled to vote on anything.
Yesterday in China, all the Chancellor did was confirm this by saying that the government “will effectively replicate the current status quo”.
In this Alice in Wonderland world, it seems that words no longer mean what the dictionary tells us, because both the PM and the Chancellor are still claiming that Brexit is being delivered.
This is patently false. We know it, they know it, and soon the mass of the British public will know it.
We don’t expect the British people to keep up with the day-to-day events in the Brexit process. Many people still can’t imagine that the government could possibly be selling Brexit down the river to the extent that is now happening. People have busy lives. They don’t always have time to follow politics, even when it relates to important subjects like Brexit.
When they find out what the government is actively pursuing, we believe Theresa will be in trouble. This is not like failing to deliver on a manifesto promise. We happen to think that breaking manifesto promises is appalling, but it happens frequently.
No, Brexit is much, much bigger than that. If the government thinks it can keep uttering barefaced lies on camera and go on to renegue on Brexit, we think it’s in for a shock. We strongly advise the Prime Minister and all her Remoaner colleagues to change course, or they risk things turning very ugly indeed.
       06.55am, 17 Dec 2017
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 NO BREXIT
ON 29 MAR 2019?
UK TO REMAIN IN, SAYS EU
SUMMIT OUTCOME - TWO VERSIONS
THERESA MAY vs JACOB REES-MOGG
Following the EU Summit which took place in Brussels on Thursday afternoon and Friday, a variety of statements were made and documents released. Below we show the principle interpretations of two protagonists, in two columns.
The left-hand column represents the version of events supplied by the Prime Minister Theresa May. On the right you will see the interpretation of Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, now the front-runner in the choice of ‘next Cabinet Minister’ from the readers of Conservative Home.
© EU Commission
“What people voted for last year was for us to leave the European Union and we will leave the EU on the 29 March 2019. We will be delivering the Brexit people voted for.”
- Maidenhead constituency, Fri 15 Dec
“Thank you to Presidents @JunckerEU and @donaldtusk. Today is an important step on the road to delivering a smooth and orderly Brexit and forging our deep and special future partnership.”
- Tweet to Presidents Juncker & Tusk, Fri 15 Dec
 
© Parliament
“The transition which the EU is offering means that we are effectively still in the EU for the following two years. As usual, the EU has set out a hard-nosed negotiating stance, we must be equally robust.”
"If the acquis, the ECJ and free movement remain we would not be in an implementation period but would still be de facto in the EU.
“I assume that Her Majesty’s Government will make its own proposals and not roll over in the way it did at the beginning of the process.”
- Sky News interview, Fri 15 Dec
OBSERVATIONS
In our next article we look at what the EU said yesterday about where we are, and where they are going. Naturally the UK’s interests don’t get a look in.
[ Sources: EU Council | Sky News | BBC ]            8.10am, 16 December 2017
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Name: : cs2011, Devizes, UK      Date/Time: 17 Dec 2017, 2.00pm
Message: [Replying to John Finn] I think you are reading too many articles in The Guardian!
Name: : John Finn, UK      Date/Time: 17 Dec 2017, 12.51am
Message: [Replying to cs2011] JRM is an MP with no ministerial experience. It's a lot easier offering opinions and solutions from the back benches than it is from a position of power. TM could do exactly as you suggest - IF she could rely on STRONG BACKING FROM PARLIAMENT or, at the very least, STRONG BACKING FROM THE ELECTORATE. She hasn't got either. This is why she went to the country in June. May knows that a hard line approach risks a "no confidence" vote which she might well lose. JRM would face exactly the same dilemma. She also knows that, even if parliament did back her initially, the pressure from business, MPs and the public would grow and eventually force her to re-engage with the EU in a much weakened position. You are massively over-estimating the strength of feeling in the country for a no deal Brexit.
Name: : cs2011, Devizes, UK      Date/Time: 17 Dec 2017, 11.00am
Message: [Replying to John Finn] That really is arrant nonsense. A skilled parliamentarian such as Jacob Rees-Mogg could quite easily navigate a way out of this. It doesn't even need Parliaments approval for the government to suspend negotiations until the EU starts to behave a reasonable manner. The latest absurdity covered on this site, where we effectively stay in the EU until 2021 is just the start. Such is May's treachery, she will agree to everything the EU demands during Phase 2. We probably will have a deal by March 2019, but it will be an atrociously bad one, far worse than no deal. But it won't end there. Spain will veto the deal unless the UK relinquishes sovereignty over Gibraltar, and May will agree.
Name: : John Finn, UK      Date/Time: 16 Dec 2017, 7.14pm
Message: [Replying to cs2011] Parliament won't let her "walk away". If she does - The Tories will be out of power and we'll have a Labour government which wants to stay in the customs union and/or the single market and has a number of shadow cabinet members who support open borders. Your suggestion is silly. Businesses don't want TM to "walk away". Most of the electorate (including most of the 17.4 million) don't want her to "walk away".
Name: : cs2011, Devizes, UK      Date/Time: 16 Dec 2017, 1.34pm
Message: [Replying to John Finn] On the contrary John Finn, I fully understand the situation. A Prime Minister with some guts would simply walk away right now and pay nothing, then trade under WTO rules for a few years after March 2019. The EU would then be begging us for a trade deal, but it would be on our terms. How do you think that the next round of talks will go ? Now she has shown herself to be utterly weak and gutless, the EU will demand even more concessions, with none in return. Margaret Thatcher must be turning in her grave.
Name: : John Finn, UK      Date/Time: 16 Dec 2017, 12.35pm
Message: I note there are 2 comments on the recent topic. They are from cs2011 and Patrick Hurd. Unfortunately both comments demonstrate a lack of understanding about the current situation. [1] cs2011 thinks we need a new PM to take up the negotiations on behalf of the UK. But what exactly will this achieve? Theresa May could push for the hardest of hard Brexits but it will get nowhere because Parliament would block her. She knew there was a risk of this anyway but after Wednesday's vote it's now a reality. [2] Patrick urges to sign a petition which has thus far attracted just over 100k signatures. This is pathetic. Over a similar period, the petition calling for a second referendum on the Brexit deal has secured 138k signatures. There appears to be no appetite among the electorate for a hard (walk away) Brexit.
Name: : Carole, UK      Date/Time: 16 Dec 2017, 11.40am
Message: I don't see anyway of getting a transition arrangement that is any better than the Norway deal otherwise other countries will be up in arms. I really hate, loathe and detest the idea of of a pragmatic Brexit and truly wish for a Brexit which gives us, as little to do with the EU as all.
Name: : cs2011, Devizes, UK      Date/Time: 16 Dec 2017, 11.10am
Message: There are really only two possibilities here: 1. She really is utterly stupid and deluded (exactly as Juncker said actually), and believes that she has achieved an acceptable deal. 2. This is all a calculated and cynical charade by a closet remainer to keep Britain in the EU, in all but name. Either way, it is vital that there is a leadership challenge immediately, before this idiot destroys our country.
Name: : Patrick Hurd, UK      Date/Time: 16 Dec 2017, 08.30am
Message: Petition: Leave the EU immediately. The Government should walk away from the Article 50 negotiations and leave the EU immediately with no deal. The EU looks set to offer us a punishment deal out of spite. Why wait another 18 months when we could leave right away and fully take back control of our country, lawmaking powers and borders? Link is here.
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 ‘THERESA, HERE ARE YOUR ORDERS’
© EU Council
EU ISSUES NEXT SET OF INSTRUCTIONS
Quick Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary:
  • Transition talks will not start until next year
  • Trade talks will not start until the end of March at the earliest
  • A legal document for the Phase One agreement must be signed first
  • Transition will mean continued ECJ, continued free movement, continued annual payments
  • No difference from EU membership except UK can no longer vote
Yesterday the EU released its official document on the next stages of Brexit talks, outlining how negotiations will proceed from here, and on what basis. Below we have picked out some key quotes but if you have time to read the whole document we have also provided the link.
KEY QUOTES FROM THE EU’S LATEST INSTRUCTIONS TO THE UK
“It [the EU Council] underlines that negotiations in the second phase can only progress as long as all commitments undertaken during the first phase are respected in full and translated faithfully into legal terms as quickly as possible.”
“the European Council notes the proposal put forward by the United Kingdom for a transition period of around two years, and agrees to negotiate a transition period covering the whole of the EU acquis, while the United Kingdom, as a third country, will no longer participate in or nominate or elect members of the EU institutions, nor participate in the decision-making of the Union bodies, offices and agencies.”
“In order to ensure a level playing field based on the same rules applying throughout the Single Market, changes to the acquis adopted by EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies will have to apply both in the United Kingdom and the EU.”
“All existing Union regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and structures will also apply, including the competence of the Court of Justice of the European Union.”
“As the United Kingdom will continue to participate in the Customs Union and the Single Market (with all four freedoms) during the transition, it will have to continue to comply with EU trade policy, to apply EU customs tariff and collect EU customs duties, and to ensure all EU checks are being performed on the border vis-à-vis other third countries.”
“While an agreement on a future relationship can only be finalised and concluded once the United Kingdom has become a third country, the Union will be ready to engage in preliminary and preparatory discussions with the aim of identifying an overall understanding of the framework for the future relationship, once additional guidelines have been adopted to this effect. Such an understanding should be elaborated in a political declaration accompanying and referred to in the Withdrawal Agreement.”
“The European Council will continue to follow the negotiations closely and will adopt additional guidelines in March 2018, in particular as regards the framework for the future relationship. It calls on the United Kingdom to provide further clarity on its position on the framework for the future relationship. The European Council invites the Council (Art. 50) together with the Union negotiator to continue internal preparatory discussions, including on the scope of the framework for the future relationship.”
TIMINGS
The EU states that transition talks can’t start until further guidelines have been produced in January. It also states that trade talks – the most important part for the UK - still can’t start. The document talks of the EU Council adopting “additional guidelines in March 2018”.
At the press conference yesterday, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said:
“I think the real negotiations on the second phase will start in March next year. I cannot say when these negotiations will be concluded.”
OBSERVATIONS
SERIOUSLY?
You may recall the British Prime Minister twice dashing off to Brussels last week.
Despite the unholy rush urged on the United Kingdom to agree Phase One talks in time for the EU Council Summit yesterday, the EU has now released a new negotiations document which sets a very leisurely timetable for talks starting next year.
The problem for Mrs May is that her statements regarding the government’s achievements in the Brexit talks have grown progressively unbelievable as the months have gone on.
In simple terms, the EU are once again demanding that the UK submit completely to its unreasonable demands for Phase Two talks. The document shows that they continue to think of the UK as an impoverished and desperate supplicant to be bossed around.
The document clearly states that the so-called ‘transition’ or ‘implementation’ period of around two years will mean that absolutely everything concerned with EU membership will apply to the UK – with the exception that the UK will no longer be able to vote on any of it.
It states that the UK will be bound by the ECJ, will have to accept continued free movement, and will be subject to the same demands for payments.
The UK will therefore continue to be in the EU until at least 2021, with all its requirements but without the powers of full membership.
It doesn’t matter how Mrs May or any politician want to spin this. No normal person, with a normal understanding of the English language, could possibly interpret things any other way.
The UK will effectively remain in the EU.
LA GRANDE ILLUSION
Yesterday Mrs May continued to pretend that:
“we will leave the EU on the 29 March 2019. We will be delivering the Brexit people voted for.”
Sorry Prime Minister but this is patently untrue. Based on the EU’s statements, which you did not immediately come out and contradict yesterday, there is no world in which those words are true.
Jacob Rees-Mogg MP yesterday stated facts. The man is a fiercely loyal Conservative MP. If things are so bad that even Mr Rees-Mogg had to make some pretty blunt statements about this, then you know things are bad.
[ Sources: EU Council | EU Commission ]            8.10am, 16 December 2017
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 A NORMAL MAN
© BBC
TELLING IT LIKE IT IS
On a typically biased BBC Question Time last night, one man was the star.
Below we're showing you a clip from the programme from when a young Remainer asks a question. His argument is destroyed by Isabel Oakeshott who uses the question to lay into Nicky Morgan - one of the 'traitors' from the vote in Parliament on Wednesday evening.
The next question comes from the now-famous 'man in blue' who delivers a superb critique which a very large number of people will identify with. The entire sequence below lasts just four and a half minutes and we think its worth watching.
© BBC
When we feel like quitting, it's people like the 'man in blue' who keep us fighting on.
[ Sources: Twitter | BBC ]            1.30pm, 15 December 2017
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 HERE’S THE EU ARMY
© EU Council
AND WE WANT A GROVELLING APOLOGY
“More than half a century ago, an ambitious vision of the European Defence Community was created...
“Today this dream becomes reality.”
- EU Council President Donald Tusk, Brussels, 14 Dec 2017
 
Please look carefully at the main photo above. It was taken yesterday in Brussels.
If you click the photo you will see the enlarged version. It comes from the EU itself and has not been doctored. It shows the leaders of 25 EU countries such as Frau Merkel and Monsieur Macron, unelected EU bureaucrats such as Presidents Tusk and Juncker, plus various military chiefs, in front of an enormous photo montage which is supposed to represent EU military power.
The photo was taken yesterday at a ceremony to celebrate the official launching of PESCO. PESCO is the so-called ‘Permanent Structured Collaboration’ – effectively a massive acceleration in the EU’s military ambitions, which we have reported on many times.
OBSERVATIONS
We have consistently said that the EU was planning its own ‘EU Army’ – a shorthand for saying that they were preparing their own common defence forces, common military command structures, and common budgets and procurement.
We also said that the EU plans to supplant NATO as the provider of defence capability in the EU sphere.
The first of these statements has already come true, as you can see above. The second is under way but is still being denied by the EU.
We remain deeply troubled that NATO’s Secretary General - who has been busy signing up to military agreements with the EU every few months - is Jens Stoltenberg, the ardent Europhile former Prime Minister of Norway and a former Communist. Twice he campaigned to persuade the Norwegian people to join the EU. Twice they rejected him. Now he runs NATO and he remains as much of an EU-fanatic as ever.
We were right about the EU Army and we stand by our claim that the EU plans to supplant NATO.
In recent years, pro-EU policians and commentators ridiculed people like us for saying that the EU was planning its own army. They didn’t just say we were wrong, they laughed in Leavers’ faces.
The most famous example of this was the famous TV debate between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg in 2014, at the time of the last EU Parliament elections in the UK, in which UKIP came first.
Clegg is probably the worst offender and should be publicly humiliated at every opportunity. However we mustn’t forget that this was also official Remain campaign policy last year. Prime Minister Cameron and many others came out with the same nonsense.
In a perfect world, we would have Clegg, Cameron, and all the other inveterate pro-EU liars crawling on their hands and knees on national television and apologising profusely for deliberately misleading the public on such an important matter.
However we live in the real world, where people like that have no shame. All we can do is call them out continually and tell them they’re not fit to shine the boots of the most junior member of our armed forces.
(By the way, this makes us angry – can you tell?)
[ Sources: EU Council | EU Commission ]            06.55am, 15 December 2017
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 THIS IS YOUR
‘TRADE BLOC’
President Tusk yesterday, with 'best friend' Leo Varadkar from Republic of Ireland                   © EU Council
SUMMARY OF WHAT THE EU28 LEADERS
DISCUSSED AT YESTERDAY’S SUMMIT
Leaders discussed :
  1. ‘Security & Defence’
  2. the ‘Social Dimension’
  3. ‘Education & Culture’
  4. and ‘Climate Change’
Yesterday the 28 leaders of the EU member states, plus the unelected leaders of the EU Commission, met in Brussels to conduct their final Summit of the year. The formal conclusions were released at 6.30pm yesterday evening and we summarise these here:
OFFICIAL CONCLUSIONS
SECURITY & DEFENCE
  • Push to implement new joint defence projects under PESCO
  • Beefing up European Defence Fund
  • Revising ‘Athena’ common funding mechanism for EU military missions and operations
  • New initiative for ‘Capacity Building’ of EU military forces
  • Approves new EU-NATO joint projects
  • Pushes ahead on military ‘mobility’ – ability to move forces within the EU fast
  • Pushes ahead on ‘civilian’ aspects for common security and defence
SOCIAL DIMENSION
  • Fully implement European Pillar of Social Rights
  • Then a range of undefinable and incomprehensible social measures – see document
EDUCATION & CULTURE
  • Extend Erasmus+ programme
  • Create 20 ‘European Universities’
  • Create a ‘European Student Card’
  • Various new initiatives around EU-led skills and education programmes
CLIMATE CHANGE
  • Commitment to press on fast with COP Paris Agreement measures
  • Agreement to adopt climate change legislative proposals at EU-level
OTHER AGREEMENTS AND MRS MAY
Over dinner, the UK Prime Minister gave a short speech, stressing her wish to move to full trade talks as soon as possible. Whilst she was received warmly, statements from the EU continue to indicate that trade talks will not start any time soon. The earliest is thought to be next March.
Also in the course of the Summit, but not confirmed in the official conclusions from the first day, is the news that sanctions against Russia are to be continued, and the fact that Mrs May told the EU27 that the UK will stay in the Erasmus+ educational programme until at least 2020.
TRUMP AND ISRAEL SNUBBED
President Tusk also made a Twitter announcement on Jerusalem: “EU leaders reiterate firm commitment to the two-state solution and, in this context, the EU position on Jerusalem remains unchanged.”
OBSERVATIONS
ERASMUS+
A quick word about Erasmus+. Yesterday Mrs May apparently told the other EU27 leaders that the UK will stay in the EU's indoctrination and brainwashing programme called Erasmus+, until at least 2020. Why? This supposed education exchange project is deeply flawed in every way and the UK must on no account stay in it. We have explained why in great detail over the last couple of years, and will re-run our research for you soon.
If any MPs or journalists want to see our research, they are more than welcome, as with everything we produce.
TRADING OFF
In the supposed trading bloc which the UK joined 45 years ago, the 28 leaders talked of anything but trade.
In fact the only times that trade seems to have been mentioned were both negative occasions. The first was when Mrs May asked unsuccessfully for trade talks to begin between the EU and the UK. The second was when the EU leaders agreed to continue sanctions against Russia.
Let’s not forget that when the EU and Brexit are discussed by the usual ignorant ‘guests’ on TV – either politicians, journalists, or ‘commentators’ – they so often talk about the Single Market. It seems to dominate the conversation, despite the fact that very very few of these people seem to know the first thing about it.
And yet, when it comes to the final meeting of the year of the EU28 leaders, trade and the economy can’t make it onto the agenda. Nor can the persistent massive problem of youth unemployment which continues to devastate lives of the EU’s young people.
Fig 1: Youth Unemployment Across the EU
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
Instead they talked about :
  • Their huge plans to spend billions on a common EU defence force to rival NATO
  • Measures to ensure EU member states all start to have the same ‘social values and standards’
  • An expansion in the EU’s youth indoctrination programmes
  • And an increase in EU laws about climate change
IS THIS ANYTHING REMOTELY LIKE A TRADE BLOC?
To the 309 disgraces to democracy in Parliament, who failed to support the normal and efficient move to Brexit, (and not forgetting those who abstained), we simply ask if the EU on show yesterday is really what they want to be a part of?
Most members of the public who still quietly believe the UK should remain in the EU can be forgiven. They are victims of the continuing propaganda of the BBC, Sky News, ITN, Channel 4 News, and newspapers such as the Times, Financial Times, Guardian, etc.
Nevertheless, the numbers against the Brexit process are dropping, as some people see the evidence with their own eyes and stop believing the lies they are told. The latest YouGov poll on 11th December showed that only 15% of people thought that “the government should abandon Brexit completely and remain a member of the European Union”.
However when it comes to MPs and journalists, these people are supposed to know better. They are supposed to be very well informed. The majority aren't.
Our work does get picked up by mainstream journalists and by politicians, so it is worthwhile to keep pumping out the facts. We know it’s almost Christmas, but if you can help us with a small donation so that we can keep going, we would really appreciate it.
[ Sources: EU Council | EU Commission | YouGov ]            06.55am, 15 December 2017
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 WILL NO DEAL
MEAN NO BREXIT?
© UK Parliament
REMOANER MPs DEFY PUBLIC WILL
Last night in the House of Commons, an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill was passed by four votes, resulting in an important defeat for the government.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Putting aside all legalistic arguments from Remoaner lawyer-MPs, the amendment which was passed was designed to stop Brexit by insisting that the final terms be approved by Parliament. Whilst this sounds reasonable, in practice it means that Parliament can keep sending the Prime Minister back to negotiate with the EU, if for example there is no deal.
The government had already agreed that MPs would be given a final vote, but if there were no deal then the UK would leave the EU anyway. Now, the Prime Minister can be sent back to try again indefinitely. Naturally this contradicts the terms of Article 50, which states that the UK will leave two years after it is triggered, but Article 50 can of course be extended if the EU27 so wish.
WHO DID THIS?
The vote was passed by just four votes, with the Ayes on 309 and the Noes on 305. One Conservative MP voted for each side, the Speaker and his deputies don’t vote, and the seven Sinn Fein MPs don’t take their seats, so there were 24 abstentions from our calculations.
Fig 1: Voting with the government, for Brexit
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
Fig 2: Voting against the government, anti-Brexit
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
As you can see, it was the Labour Party (barring two MPs), the SNP, the Lib Dems, and the Welsh nationalists who were mainly responsible. However because they are in a minority, they couldn't have succeeded without a gaggle of rogue Tory Remoaner MPs.
THE DIRTY DOZEN - Names of the Conservative anti-Brexit MPs:
Below are the 12 Tory MPs who defied the whip last night and voted against the government.
OBSERVATIONS
If you want to know if this rebellion was about ‘Parliamentary sovereignty’ as the Remoaning MPs claim, or trying to stop Brexit, as we claim, take a look at the names of these MPs as a good indication. Every single one voted against Brexit last year and every one is a Remoaner.
Today the PM is in Brussels for the EU Summit. Tomorrow the EU27 leaders will approve the Phase One surrender agreed to by Mrs May last week. The disgraceful events in the House of Commons yesterday just make the PM’s position even weaker.
WHAT PARLIAMENTARY DEFICIT?
One after another, the remoaning lawyers in the House of Commons (of whom there are many) stood up to rail against some imagined form of democratic deficit caused by Brexit. This would be funny if it weren't serious.
Some of us have watched for decades as our emasculated MPs were forced to take whatever absurd rules and laws the unelected EU Commission thrust at the UK. They absorbed these into UK law without a debate and without so much as a whimper.
What is even more extraordinary is that ever since the Referendum there appears to have been a parliamentary focus on Brexit to the exclusion of almost everything else. Barely a day goes by, it seems, but that Parliament isn't considering some aspect of Brexit. To give just one example, yesterday was announced in Hansard as "European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Committee stage (day 7) - Committee of the whole House". Note: 'day 7'. And that's just this particular bill.)
REBELS WITHOUT A CAUSE
These MPs who are still forced to do Brussels' bidding at this very moment, were yesterday standing up shamelessly pretending that what they were saying about the Withdrawal Bill had the remotest connection with democracy.
They should all be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. They should also all be deselected by their constituency parties. These people care not one jot for democracy and what the people want. Instead they preen and posture – proselytising peacocks who cannot accept that they were wrong last year, because of their arrogance and their fear of losing face.
'The Dirty Dozen' - A Rump of Tory Remoaners
Gallery by Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2017
A FEW TORY REBELS - BUT MOSTLY LABOUR, SNP & LIB DEMS
In all the talk today of a dozen Conservative rebels, let’s not forget who really defeated the government last night. Look again at the graphs above. The vast majority of those voting against a normal Brexit were the hypocritical Scottish Nationalists, the bleating Lib Dems, and almost the entirety of confused Labour.
From Labour, only the brave Kate Hoey (give that woman a medal) and Frank Field went through the lobby with the heroes from the right, such as John Redwood, Owen Paterson, David Jones, and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
For newer readers, we will state again that Brexit Facts4EU.Org adopts a party-neutral stance. We only comment on party political matters when it relates to Brexit.
In the case of parliamentary proceedings last night, we can say that without the vast bulk of the Conservative Party, the entirety of the Democratic Unionist Party, and two Labour MPs, Brexit would be lost completely. Parliament remains a Remainer fiefdom.
BREXIT – THE SECOND COMING
If you would like a wider political prediction for a change, we have been concerned for some time that the shock of Brexit has faded for most Remainer politicians and Establishment figures. We believe that many now just see the Referendum as a setback and that normal service can gradually be resumed, as they start to ‘put it right’ for us.
Well, we have a sneaky feeling that there will be a second major revolt against the Establishment. The genie came out of the bottle on June 23rd last year. If Brexit is not delivered in the basic, common sense way in which people voted for it, we believe that ordinary people will start to lose their patience.
To be honest, none of the Brexit Facts4EU.Org team are the types to engage in civil disobedience, even peacefully. However some of us are now beginning to wonder if the eventual fight for the restoration of democracy to the United Kingdom may in the end require more from us than just writing about it.
[ Sources: UK Parliament | Hansard ]            06.35am, 14 December 2017
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Name: : Steve R, London      Date/Time: 14 Dec 2017, 8.52pm
Message: Thanks for that Michael. Dead right. I would like to see a split of loyal MPs from Cons and Labour to form an alliance of Conservatives and Labour for Independence which would agree not to oppose each other in marginal seats. They would have time to plan and get the local associations to plan and have loyal candidates ready. Most Labour friends of mine have views very similar to old politicians. There is not a lot between the 2 sides. What both dislike is Communists and crooked big business. They would wipe the floor and attract most kippers. Maybe form an alliance with kippers too.
Name: : Michael Wood, UK      Date/Time: 14 Dec 2017, 11.06am
Message: As Attorney General and MP Dominic Grieve supinely accepted that the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA) allowed EU regulations to be imposed on us without discussion or vote and the same is true of EU Directives. Having ignored parliamentary sovereignty for 40 years it is beyond hypocritical of the rebels to claim it concerns them now. Those who refuse to accept the referendum result are wrong. They should resign and offer themselves for re-election on an Anti-Democracy platform, but honesty is not compatible with their religious commitment to the EU.
With the honourable exception of Kate Hoey and Frank Field the Labour party is guilty of a massive betrayal of its own supporters. In thrall to multi-millionaire property speculator and Marxist Jon Lansman it knows that nothing in its proposed agenda can be achieved while we are members of the EU, however disruption and undermining democracy was always a Communist method of achieving power and Lansman’s puppets are following the script. The fact that this cabal can lead Labour MPs by the nose is an existential threat to democracy.
Sovereignty belongs to the people not to parliamentarians, but it seems they need reminding who is sovereign in this country. I urge that everyone should put aside their party allegiance and at every opportunity only vote for a candidate who accepts that they support our independence as a nation and the restoration of respect for our sovereign will.
Name: : cs2011, Devizes, UK      Date/Time: 14 Dec 2017, 10.38am
Message: That traitor Grieve says that he wants to achieve an orderly Brexit following due process, but I think he may well have actually ensured the opposite. Given that under Article 50 rules, we will leave the EU in March 2019, we could end up in legal no-mans land, where we are out of the EU, but still having to adhere to EU laws.
Name: : Beenzie, Blackpool      Date/Time: 14 Dec 2017, 09.47am
Message: The trouble with you lot is that you moan about democracy and then when MPs defend it you attack. You should make up your mind what you want. Not too late to change your minds!
Name: : John Finn, UK      Date/Time: 14 Dec 2017, 09.29am
Message: I made this point at the time of the election and I've made it several times since. Once Theresa May failed to secure a decent majority Brexit was at risk. You can blame the 12 Tory "remoaners" all you want but the fact is 247 Labour MPs voted against the government. The idea that this shower were in any way supportive of Brexit is laughable.
Name: : Steve, UK      Date/Time: 14 Dec 2017, 09.22am
Message: When you see MP's acting like this it will only anger people, and it gives the impression that they are preventing democracy. I hope this does not lead to violence.
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 TODAY IN PARLIAMENT....
NO, NOT THAT ONE,
THE ONE IN BRUSSELS
The EU Parliament will today debate their motion approving the Phase One agreement which was made on Friday with the EU Commission.
WATCH LIVE NOW
BACKGROUND
 
The parliament’s Brexit Steering group (BSG), chaired by the Belgian Guy Verhofstadt has tabled a draft resolution welcoming the joint progress report presented by EU and UK negotiators on 7 December and recommending that the EU27 heads of state or government decide on Friday that “sufficient progress” has indeed been made.
Yesterday however, Verhofstadt also tabled two amendments stressing the need for negotiating in good faith following recent “comments like those by David Davis”. The resolution also notes that tough issues remain to be resolved before the withdrawal agreement can be finalised. The vote will take place at noon and you can watch the debate here.
One of the amendments even singles out David Davis by name and without using his title:
“whereas comments such as those made by David Davis, calling the outcome of phase 1 of the negotiations a mere ‘statement of intent’, risk undermining the good faith that has been built during the negotiations;”
There are other amendments that have been tabled, including ones by Gerard Batten MEP which are designed to protect to the UK, but it is inevitable that none of these will succeed.
No amendments have been tabled by any British Conservative, Labour, LibDem or Green MEPs.
On the assumption that the resolution is passed, the next step takes place on Friday when the leaders of the EU27 countries will discuss the Phase One agreement at the Summit. The Summit starts tomorrow, but Mrs May will leave tomorrow evening to allow the other leaders to talk without her presence the following day.
OBSERVATIONS?
Please send us your comments and we will publish them below. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: EU Parliament ]            06.55am, 13 December 2017
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 WHAT THE EU
DEMANDS OF THE UK
SUMMARY OF LATEST EU POSITIONS
1.  PHASE ONE AGREEMENT
The so-called ‘Phase One’ agreement was reached on Friday between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker. This addresses the only three issues which the EU has been prepared to talk about: the EU’s demand for money, the Irish border, and citizens’ rights.
Since it was agreed in principle, the Phase One agreement has been the subject of differing interpretations – by the EU, by the British government and establishment, and by Brexiteers. There have also been different views as to how binding it is.
David Davis upset the Irish and the EU on Sunday when he said the agreement was “a statement of intent” rather than “a legally enforceable thing”. He was subsequently forced to recant.
The latest news on this comes from EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier in a statement yesterday, when he said:
“We will not accept any backtracking from the UK on commitments in the Joint Report. All our points of agreement are now closed.”
Statement, Tues 12 Dec 2017
 
‘Joint Report’ is what the EU call the Phase One agreement. The statement by Barnier appears to be as categorical as it could possibly be.
2.  WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT
The EU Parliament motion and amendments on which there will be a debate today, says that the UK has :
“accepted that all EU citizens legally residing in the UK … and their respective family members at the time of withdrawal, will enjoy the full set of rights as established in EU law and interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)”.
They are clear that EU laws will have supremacy. Incidentally, they also stress that :
“all social security rights under EU law will be maintained. This includes the export of all exportable benefits.”
 
This is actually worse than the minimal achievement of David Cameron when he negotiated ‘concessions’ prior to the Referendum. The EU then agreed that the export of child benefit would be phased out over four years.
This was part of what Jacob Rees-Mogg MP referred to in Parliament at the time as being “thin gruel”.
3.  TRANSITION PERIOD
On the transition period, EU Council President Donald Tusk said on Friday:
“The UK has asked for a transition of about two years, while remaining part of the Single Market and Customs Union. And we will be ready to discuss this, but naturally, we have our conditions. I propose that during this period, the UK will respect:
  • the whole of EU law, including new law;
  • it will respect budgetary commitments;
  • it will respect judicial oversight;
  • and of course, all the related obligations.
So, for the EU Council, the Transition Period means staying in the Single Market and Customs Union, staying under ECJ jurisdiction, and obeying all existing obligations.
Likewise the EU Parliament is clear about the Transition Period. They say the conditions will:
“consist of the prolongation of the EU acquis, including rights of citizens, thereby requiring that the existing EU regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judicial and enforcement instruments and structures continue to apply to the UK; notes that the UK will no longer be part of the EU institutions and bodies;
“Affirms that any changes to the EU acquis which take effect during the transitional period must apply automatically to the UK in accordance with the transitional arrangements agreed between the EU and the UK;
“Insists that any future trade agreements that the UK negotiates post-withdrawal with third countries may only come into force at the end of the period during which transitional arrangements apply;”
In other words, there will be no change from being a full member of the EU except perhaps in name, and in the fact that the UK will no longer have a vote on anything.
4.  FUTURE TRADING RELATIONSHIP / AGREEMENT
The argument currently being advanced by the government in Parliament is that the Phase 1 agreement which Mrs May flew home with on Friday - and which the EU Council should sign off on in two days’ time - is conditional on there being an acceptable trade agreement. We have been told that the deal is off if there is no trade deal. Unfortunately there are unanswerable problems with this argument.
Firstly, the EU says that the Withdrawal Agreement must be signed before there is any meaningful trade agreement in a form that can be judged by the UK.
The EU Parliament says that any broad agreements on a trade deal can only be in :
“the form of a political declaration annexed to the Withdrawal Agreement”.
It goes on to re-confirm that the trade deal
“can only be formally negotiated once the UK has left the EU and is a third country.”
The EU Parliament then lays down strict conditions on this trade deal. The MEPs insist that a trade deal must adhere to a list of principles, which include:
  • protection of the integrity of the internal market and the four freedoms, without allowing for a sector-by-sector approach;
  • autonomy of the EU’s decision-making;
  • safeguarding the EU legal order and the role of the CJEU;
  • the UK’s adherence to the standards provided by international obligations, including fundamental rights, and the Union’s legislation and policies in the fields of the environment, climate change, consumer protection, the fight against tax evasion and avoidance, fair competition, data protection and privacy, trade, and social and workers’ rights, especially safeguards against social dumping, with a clear enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance;
  • safeguarding of EU agreements with third countries and organisations, including the EEA Agreement;
  • safeguarding of the financial stability of the EU and compliance with its regulatory and supervisory regime and standards and their application,
  • a correct balance of rights and obligations, including commensurate financial contributions;
Without analysing each item above and to take only one example: The EU is insisting that the UK’s “legislation and policies” must be the same as the EU’s. This will include areas such as the UK’s tax rates. The EU expects to be able to control what the UK can do in its drive to be competitive on the world stage. It wants the UK to have the same restrictive practices which are steadily making so many parts of the EU’s economies uncompetitive.
It is also worth mentioning that the EU is also imposing conditions on matters which don’t relate to trade or the Withdrawal Agreement. These include things like defence:
“Whatever the outcome of the negotiations on the future relationship, there cannot be any trade-off between internal and external security, including defence cooperation, on the one hand, and the future economic relationship on the other hand”
OBSERVATIONS
SUMMARY OF WITHDRAWAL, TRANSITION, AND FUTURE TRADE DEAL POSSIBILITIES
In essence, the above is so far from what the UK could possibly agree to as a properly independent country, it is possible to say now that - as things stand - no normal trade deal can be agreed with the EU.
Another way of putting the above is to say that the EU’s overall mindset must be challenged now. If they still hold to their views after some very robust questioning, then it really is essential for the UK to walk away now and apply itself fully to the provisioning of everything necessary for an exit on WTO terms.
We would like to stress something. In looking at what the various branches of the EU are saying now about the EU’s relationships with the UK going forward – in the ‘Transition Period’ and in the supposed future trade deal – we are not talking about small elements where some compromises might be possible.
We’re talking about the mindset of an alien culture. No negotiation on individual line items will ever succeed against a brick wall of ideas which are so absurd they simply can’t be entertained in any form.
It is not good enough, in our opinion, for the EU to keep saying what it will and will not negotiate at different points. They should now be challenged on the essential elements of the withdrawal, transition, and future trade agreements. The UK can then decide if it wishes to walk away.
We will continue to present information for you to make up your own minds about this.
Please send us your comments and we will publish them below. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
[ Sources: EU Council | EU Parliament | EU Commission ]            06.55am, 13 December 2017
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READERS' COMMENTS
Name: : Carole, UK      Date/Time: 13 Dec 2017, 10.00am
Message: Just been listening to the Brexit Negotiations Debate and they actually think that the Withdrawal Agreement part is over - that Phase I was actually the whole thing. I was utterly stunned.
Name: : W Alkaway, UK      Date/Time: 13 Dec 2017, 09.44am
Message: Do the terms of Phase 1 equate with the Leave Vote? NO We did not vote to be tied in to ANY EU controls. The Prime Minister cannot please all of the people all of the time. Remainer MPs must toe the line of the Public's wishes, not their own. It's called DEMOCRACY. The Public WILL have the final say; we still have The Vote at the next Election. UKIP will, I predict, win a huge majority unless Ms May and Team give us that clean break and a Golden Future.
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