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BREXIT NEWS  01-15 JULY 2017
EU and UK teams to spend weekend
plotting for Round Two on Monday
Could money and laws trigger explosions?
On Monday, teams of negotiators from both sides of the Brexit negotiation will sit down to the start of Round Two of the EU-UK talks. These talks are scheduled to last until Thursday lunchtime, after which there will be a press conference with Secretary of State David Davis and Michel Barnier.
On the agenda are some of the thorniest Brexit issues:
  • Citizens’ rights
  • Financial settlement
  • ‘Governance’ – i.e. jurisdiction of European Court of Justice
  • Irish border
The latest summary of the EU’s position is contained in a ‘Factsheet’ published by the EU Commission on Wednesday 12th July. It is entitled “State of play of Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom” and contains the following:-
“The withdrawal agreement should be based on a balance of rights and obligations, while ensuring a level-playing field. Cherry-picking of the Single Market and a sector-by-sector participation in the Single Market has been excluded by the European Council guidelines. The Union has also stressed that its four freedoms (people, goods, services and capital) will remain indivisible. The negotiations will be based on the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. The European Union will remain united throughout the negotiation period and the European Council has excluded that there would be separate negotiations between individual Member States and the United Kingdom on matters pertaining to the UK's withdrawal. The withdrawal agreement should respect the autonomy of the decision-making of the Union, as well as the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union.”
Incidentally this ‘Factsheet’ also contains the following messages which may be of interest to Remainer and Brexit-Denier politicians and commentators in the UK:-
“What happens if no agreement is reached?
The EU Treaties simply cease to apply to the UK two years after notification.”
“Can a Member State apply to re-join after it leaves?
Any country that has withdrawn from the EU may apply to re-join. It would be required to go through the accession procedure.”
“Once triggered, can Article 50 be revoked?
It was the decision of the United Kingdom to trigger Article 50. But once triggered, it cannot be unilaterally reversed. Article 50 does not provide for the unilateral withdrawal of the notification.”
It is becoming increasingly clear to us that Michel Barnier’s brief is to extract the maximum possible ongoing financial settlement to the EU from the UK, as a priority in the negotiations. It was always the case that the EU was going to try to soak the UK for everything it could get, but now it appears that the Brexit bill really has been the overriding objective of the Phase One negotiations by the EU.
It is our belief that the EU gained a false impression of the UK’s likely reaction to a €100 billion ‘Brexit bill’, thanks to the weak and appeasing attitude of Remainers in parliament and in some parts of the UK media. It is easy for British people to underestimate the influence in Brussels of pro-EU organs such as the BBC and the Financial Times.
The latter publication has a circulation in Brussels so high that you might think it was the UK’s best-selling newspaper. Given its craven attitude to all things EU, it is hardly surprising that its editor was given France’s highest honour last year. And when it comes to the BBC, our national broadcaster is so pro-EU it doesn’t even recognise its own extreme bias.
Brexit Billions
The simple fact is that the UK will pay its legal obligations until March 2019, as it is currently doing. Any suggestion of additional payments before and/or after the UK’s exit has absolutely no basis in law nor in the sense of ‘moral obligation’. Be in no doubt, if there were any legal basis for the UK to pay more than its normal annual contributions until March 2019, the EU would have produced a detailed paper on this.
Mr Barnier has been looking and sounding increasingly nervous and angry in press conferences, in speeches and when asked questions. It is possible that he is coming under pressure to deliver some agreement in principle from the UK that it will pay many tens of billions to the EU, with billions more in perpetuity. As this has been dismissed more and more as ‘whistling in the wind’, so the normally calm Mr Barnier has begun to look rattled.
Court of Justice of the EU
The other major area of contention is that of the legal jurisdiction of the EU – something they refer to as ‘governance’. Lost in their own little world, EU bureaucrats and many EU politicians have forgotten that there is a world out there over which the EU Commission and Courts do not rule.
The idea that after Brexit the UK will continue to submit to the rule of law of a foreign power is for the birds. Not only is it an absurd idea in and of itself – ask any world leader outside Europe if he would agree to such a thing - it would also be politically impossible for any government to propose signing a deal containing such EU legal jursidiction.
So, next week looks like it might be interesting. No to the EU’s demand to money and no to the EU’s demand to rule over the UK after Brexit. Might make for an interesting press conference next Thursday at 1.30pm UK time.
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[ Source: EU Commission ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.30am, 15 July 2017
Has the MoD exposed the UK to a clear EU threat,
without the scrutiny of Parliament?
An Exclusive Facts4EU.Org Exposé
Don't miss it!
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VIP MEMBERS -   M J Donnan, Middx
GOLD MEMBERS -   John Murphy, Scotland  |  D Price, Berkshire  |  C Latham, East Sussex  |  D Cooper, Berks  |  G Gardner, Cheshire  |  Anonymous, UK  |  J Holmes, Shropshire  |   C Mainds, London  |  P Abbott, E Sussex
MEMBERS - Simon Jones, Wiltshire  |  Anonymous, UK  |  S Cooper, Surrey  |  N Brooker, London  |  M Wood, Ceredigion  |  R Parkin, England  |  Anonymous, UK
VALUED SUPPORTERS - Stuart C, Lancashire  |  P Bushell, West Midlands  |  D Joyce, Powys  |  William Crook, Lancashire  |  R Halton, UK  |  G Reakes, London  |  S Lerigo, Northampton  |  J Hatfield, South Ayrshire  |  F Carstairs, W Sussex  |  N Martinek, W Yorks  |  A Hammond, Lincs  |  Anonymous, Aberdeen  |  P Derbyshire, GB
       07.50am, 15 July 2017
Radioactive isotope warning
Meanwhile the EU Commission took action yesterday against 5 member states for failing to enact a Euratom Directive on radioactive waste for the last 6 years.
In the last few days, Remainers have discovered Euratom (the European Atomic Energy Community) which is the EU’s programme for nuclear research and training.
As with all things EU, Euratom has grown over the years and now acts as a policeman for EU nuclear regulation, safeguarding the transport of nuclear materials and the disposal of radioactive waste. It is a separate organisation to the EU, has a separate treaty, but membership of Euratom requires EU membership and submission to the European Court of Justice.
Readers may have seen headlines suggesting that UK cancer patients will be put at risk by Brexit, as a result of the UK leaving Euratom at the same time as leaving the EU. In summary, the argument is over radioactive isotopes used in cancer treatment, some of which are imported from EU countries.
According to the BBC, the UK government says that medical isotopes are not fissile nuclear material and are therefore not subject to international nuclear safeguards. Science Minister Jo Johnson, brother of Boris, said that their availability "should not be impacted by the UK's exit from Euratom".
Yesterday the EU Commission announced action against 5 member states for failing to implement the EU’s Radioactive Waste Directive (Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom).
The EU Commission’s concerns relate in particular to the national programmes for spent fuel and radioactive waste management of Italy, Austria, Portugal, Croatia, and the Czech Republic. The Directive in question was published six years ago in July 2011, and the EU Commission says that those five countries have still not complied.
Bizarrely, on the same day (yesterday) that the Commission announced the action against Italy and the four other countries, an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts concluded their 12-day mission to review Italy’s programme for decommissioning nuclear facilities and managing radioactive waste.
© IAEA 13 July 2017
Whilst the full report will not be published for many months, the IAEA’s team of experts said Italy is committed to the safe and effective decommissioning of nuclear sites and management of associated radioactive waste, whilst also noting areas for potential improvement.
IAEA team had 50% EU members
In the ‘you couldn’t make it up’ category, half of the IAEA’s expert team actually came from EU member states: the UK, Germany and France:
“The team comprised six experts from France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America as well as two IAEA staff members. The team held meetings with SOGIN officials at the company’s Rome headquarters and visited the power plants at Latina, Caorso, Garigliano and Trino. They also visited the Trisaia, Saluggia and Casaccia fuel-cycle facilities.”
It is worth noting that it was the Italian government who asked the IAEA if they would inspect its nuclear facilities. It is a beautiful coincidence that the IAEA Expert Team concluded its inspection on the same day that Italy was hauled over the coals by the EU Commission.
The IAEA has a major Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT): “In partnership with the World Health Organization and others, PACT supports IAEA Member States to expand access to health technologies, build skills and mobilize resources to develop a complete range of quality, effective and sustainable cancer services.”
The whole area of the use of radioactive materials in the context of cancer treatment is not confined to the EU. As one of the 5 original nuclear powers in the World, it is hardly surprising that the UK is extremely well-connected globally, and is a member of every important organisation involved in nuclear matters.
Euratom is closely involved with many other organisations in relation to medical isotopes for cancer treatment. One of these is the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). In April 2009 the NEA Steering Committee established the High Level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes. This group is currently comprised of 20 experts from 11 countries, the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Given that the supply of medical radioisotopes is a known global issue and that a large number of countries are involved in it, it is perhaps surprising that some Remainer politicians seem determined to make it purely a Brexit issue.
For several days the British media has been full of Remainer politicians and campaigners, the vast majority of whom know almost nothing about Euratom (or indeed the EU), suddenly using Euratom as another reason why Brexit will be a disaster for the UK.
Euratom is the subject of varying co-operation agreements with eight non-EU countries: the USA, Japan, Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and South Africa, and Switzerland has associate status.
As with so many things concerned with Brexit, where all parties see the benefit in continuing to cooperate together after Brexit, new arrangements will be made. This will undoubtedly happen over Euratom and nuclear materials. We believe that negotiations will have to start in the coming months over radioactive isotopes for use in cancer treatment, as well as arrangements for ongoing nuclear cooperation generally.
In the meantime, maybe Remainers might ask how it is that 5 EU member states have apparently been failing to comply fully with EU law regarding radioactive waste disposal for the last 6 years.
Unlike the majority of Brexit websites, we do not just lift things from other sites and news outlets. We do our own research and write our own articles. Please consider supporting us financially. We get no funding from any organisations and desperately need your support to carry on fighting for a clean Brexit.
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[ Source: EU Commission | Euratom | IAEA | and many other bodies ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.30am, 14 July 2017
Below we provide links to the latest position papers released by the government this morning. We shall comment on these in future articles.
[ Sources: No.10 | DExEU ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.        11.15am, 13 July 2017
Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott, and Keir Starmer go to Brussels to see Barnier
Labour leader Mr Corbyn, Shadow Home Secretary Ms Abbott, and Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer are travelling to Brussels today to see Michel Barnier, the EU’s unelected Chief Negotiator for Brexit.
Speaking in advance of the meeting, Mr Corbyn said:
"Labour is a government in waiting and we are ready to take up the responsibility for Brexit negotiations.
"Labour respects the referendum result and the decision to leave the European Union. But a Labour Brexit would look very different to the race-to-the-bottom tax haven backed by this Conservative Government.
"In contrast to the Conservatives' megaphone diplomacy, we will conduct relations with our European neighbours respectfully and in the spirit of friendship.
"Our strong links with our European sister parties gives Labour an advantage in reaching an outcome that works for both sides."
The Labour leader added: "Labour wants to work with other countries to build a different Europe, one which promotes human rights and environmental protections, celebrates the positive and complementary contributions of European nations, and where trade is fair and sustainable."
Not content with his meeting with the Labour frontbenchers, Monsieur Barnier will also hold a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP and Carwyn Jones of Welsh Labour.
Regular readers know that we stay neutral on UK party politics except where it affects Brexit.
In the case of this visit, it may bring home to the British public just how nonsensical it would be to have Jeremy Corbyn and his top team in charge of Brexit negotiations.
The best result for the UK will never be achieved simply by talking “respectfully and in the spirit of friendship”. The repeatedly aggressive stance taken by the EU over the last year has proved this beyond any doubt.
Nor has there ever been a tough negotiation in history where one side has said “and if you don’t agree, we’ll… er…. er… accept all your demands” and got a fair result. In practice, Labour’s policy of accepting any deal on offer, even if it’s a very bad deal and worse than no deal at all, would be economic, legal and political suicide.
It is also interesting to note how little Jeremy Corbyn seems to understand about where the power lies in the EU. Bizarrely he seems to think that his links with left-wing parties in the EU27 “gives Labour an advantage in reaching an outcome that works for both sides.” He may not have noticed that parties of the left have been doing very badly for some years – being almost annihilated in some recent elections, notably in France.
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[ Source: Labour Party | EU Commission ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       08.15am, 13 July 2017
Name: Paul A, UK      Date/Time: 13 July, 10.21am
Message: Elected heads of governments across Europe have been trying to change the EUprojekt for 40 plus years and have been unable to achieve anything of note. There is clearly no point in trying to 'negotiate' with these people. Issue the EUprojekt politicians with Britain's invoice and walk away.
'We want your money' is the main message
Yesterday two of the key players in the EU's Brexit team were in action. Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier updated the EU Commission at its weekly meeting and then gave a press conference. Separately, the EU Parliament's Brexit Coordinator Guy Verhofstadt addressed the EU Parliament's Constitutional Committee and gave his views on the negotiations to date.
Michel Barnier once again set out the EU's position on the limited areas it is prepared to discuss in 'phase one', before it will discuss the full Brexit picture including the future trading arrangements.
Michel Barnier press conference, Brussels, 12 July 2017       © EU Commission
Monsieur Barnier obviously wanted to give the impression that the EU has set out its position on many areas, whilst the UK has done nothing. This is now one of the clear themes of the EU's propaganda arm, as we have reported before.
The answer to most of the EU's positions is already clear from Mrs May's Lancaster House speech and the government's white paper. A more formal response is expected from the UK in the coming days, once M. Barnier sends the EU's papers to the UK government.
Despite him stating yesterday that the EU has "published 9 EU position papers so far on the different issues", in fact only 2 have been sent by M. Barnier to the UK government. These were on the ‘financial settlement’ and on ‘citizens' rights’. At the time of writing, the other 7 are still with the governments of the EU27 countries for comment/approval. This deception is yet another example of the public relations battle which the EU has been winning since day one.
Guy Verhofstadt, the EU Parliament's Brexit Coordinator, appears to share Michel Barnier's desire for progress. In particular he would like to see the UK agree to the principle of a Brexit bill. He wants this "as fastest as possible". It seems that he cares passionately about the fate of EU citizens, but not so much that he would agree something without the UK first agreeing to give the EU a vast amount of money.
Click here for Guy Verhofstadt's statement to the Constitutional Committee, Brussels, 12 July 2017.
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[ Source: EU Commission | EU Parliament ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.55am, 13 July 2017
King Felipe VI of Spain visits UK and addresses parliament, while his country violates British waters daily and holds veto over Brexit deal
Today the Queen will receive King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain for a lunch and later a State Banquet. This afternoon, King Felipe will address members of both Houses of Parliament in the Royal Gallery.
King Felipe VI of Spain
MPs are hoping that King Felipe does not try to assert Spain’s right to the British territory of Gibraltar, as he did when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly on 20 Sept last year.
“I invite the UK, on this first occasion at the UN after Brexit, to end the colonial anachronism of Gibraltar with an agreed solution between both countries to restore the territorial integrity of Spain and bring benefits to the people of Gibraltar and the Spanish area of Campo de Gibraltar.”
- King Felipe VI, UN General Assembly, New York, 20 Sept 2016
Sky News this morning is showing a report from Gibraltar, filmed only yesterday. Within minutes of the TV crew being taken out on a Gibraltan Customs vessel, the boat has to respond to a Spanish state vessel which has illegally entered British waters and is within 200 hundred metres of the shore.
Customs Officer David Sanchez confirmed that Spanish navy, customs or other Spanish state vessels illegally enter British waters at least once a day.
To confirm: the state vessels of an EU member state and NATO ally
are illegally infringing into British territorial waters on a daily basis.
Don Felipe VI attended the Spanish Military Academy and is now Commander-in-Chief of all the Spanish forces. Below we show him taking the salute at Spain’s naval review. Passing him is Spain’s largest naval vessel, the amphibious assault ship Juan Carlos I.
Amphibious assault ship 'Juan Carlos I'
King Felipe taking the salute as Spain's biggest ship passses, 02 June 2017
However as Crocodile Dundee might say, “That’s not a warship – THIS is a warship”:-
(Nearly 3 times more displacement than the Juan Carlos)
The UK's new aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth
HMS Queen Elizabeth       © Ministry of Defence
Alone amongst all EU27 countries, Spain was given a unique veto by the EU over the terms of the UK’s future Brexit deal. Quite why this was done remains a mystery. There are many EU member states which could lay claim to having a ‘special interest’ in Brexit.
Nevertheless, Spain’s veto is a fact. Here is what the EU Council’s official Brexit negotiating guidelines say:
“After the United Kingdom leaves the Union, no agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom.”
We very much hope that King Felipe will have reconsidered his position on Gibraltar since his speech at the United Nations 9 months ago. Gibraltar is British, will stay so, and its sovereignty will not change as a result of Brexit.
British tourists spent £6.5 billion in Spain in 2015. British residents prop up the property market in large parts of southern and eastern Spain. British supermarkets are vital to the incomes of Spanish farmers.
It would be good to hear the Spanish monarch talking today of future friendly cooperation between his country and the United Kingdom, rather than reflecting the growing animosity coming from the EU machine each week.
As ever, you are welcome to comment on the above.
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[ Source: Spanish Monarchy | MOD | UK parliament website | Sky News | EU Commission ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.

       09.30am, 12 July 2017
Name: Shieldsman, UK      Date/Time: 12 July, 09.37am
Message: Have just read the G20 Communique and cannot find one reference to the European Union. The section on Trade and Investment is worth a read. There is much mention of WTO and OECD. "We note the importance of bilateral, regional and plurilateral agreements being open, transparent, inclusive and WTO-consistent, and commit to working to ensure they complement the multilateral trade agreements". The G7 communique said much the same.
The Australian Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, yesterday gave a masterclass in how to approach Brexit.
He was encouraging, positive, direct, enthusiastic, and even witty.
“There are no two nations in the world
that trust each other more than
the United Kingdom and Australia.”
- Malcom Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia,
London 10 July 2017
Here are some further excerpts from what Mr Turnbull said in London yesterday, during his press conference with Theresa May:
“Our cooperation is very intense and that is because it is built on trust. There are no two nations in the world that trust each other more than the United Kingdom and Australia.
“We are family in a historical sense. We’re family in a genetic sense. But we are so close and that trust is getting stronger all the time.
“We stand ready to enter into a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom as soon as the UK is able to do so.
“We move quickly. Australians are fleet of foot. We don’t muck around. We are very simple. We will move as quickly as the UK will move and we’ll move as
soon as Britain is lawfully able to enter into a free trade agreement.”
Facts4EU.Org                                                    The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister of Australia, London 10 July 2017
Last year Facts4EU.Org looked at Australia's performance in striking Free Trade Agreements, in comparison with the EU's performance.
Charts: © Facts4EU.Org 2017
NOTE: Despite the hype in recent days, the EU still has no free trade deal with Japan. See our article from Friday.
When was the last time you heard a Remainer talking about the UK's friends around the World? There is no better example than Australia, as its Prime Minister showed yesterday.
The simple fact is that many of the leaders of EU27 countries - to say nothing of the EU's apparatchiks like Presidents Juncker and Tusk - are currently talking as if the UK is the enemy. Listening to them speaking about the UK, it's sometimes hard to remember that they are supposed to be our allies.
Fortunately the UK does have friends around the World. In the last few days alone, we've reported on the positive comments of President Trump, the New Zealand Trade Minister, and yesterday the Prime Minister of Australia.
As ever, you are welcome to comment on the above.
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[ Source: Australian Government | EU Commission ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       09.25am, 11 July 2017
Name: J Smith, UK      Date/Time: 12 July, 09.41am
Message: In the long run, trading with reliable partners outside of the EU will be the best outcome for Britain. In the last 40 years the UK has run a trading deficit, except for only one year when we had a surplus. An abysmal record. The Common Market/EU has not worked for us. As in all historical attempts to take over control of other nations, the EU is bound to fail. When the other member states realise the richer nations will be forced to fund the poorer (and this harsh reality will become clear to them very soon, once the buffer zone of British money is removed) they will one by one want 'out'. Do not shed tears as we leave. The undemocratic, unelected misfits (the European Commission) have plundered the UK for far too long. Once we are out, our own farmers will have to become more efficient, as the New Zealand farmers did when we ignominiously dumped them when we first joined the Common Market. We can achieve the same. Not only in farming, but in other areas too, such as in inventions, science and technology, financial sector and services, to name a few. At last, the UK's future is looking truly bright.
Name: Arnold Slater, UK      Date/Time: 11 July, 2.05pm
Message: No deal would be a disaster for the EU, food for example, the EU spends almost half its budget on the Common Agricultural Policy. Protecting the farming community from competing with the rest of the world on price, by restricting access. When we leave, food prices for British consumers will go down, Australia, New Zealand, and North African countries want trade deals with the UK, they can see a massive market opening up for them. They can compete on price and quality, they have not been allowed access before. The EU should realize once you lose your market and customers, it is very hard to get them back.
Name: John Nolan, UK      Date/Time: 11 July, 11.55am
Message: At present, the leaders of the EU 27 countries, PM's and presidents, are talking the tough talk of Herr Juncker and Tusk et al, BUT, as the talks progress and the divide between the UK and EU's positions becomes clearer and the chances of a "no deal" scenario grows ever and ever more possible, it is at this point that we will see how disunited the EU 27 really are. At this point, money talks, each individual country will have the motto "every man for itself". This is just practicable and realistic as each individual member country of the EU will have 2 specific goals and they are: (1) to protect their citizens jobs. The less access to UK markets means less exports which in turn means less work and less jobs and higher unemployment creating a fall in that country's GDP and therefore tax revenue making that country poorer. (2) Future good relations so as to increase the insurance of security and intelligence. UK intelligence and defence capabilities outshines any and all of the EU member states. Without UK intelligence and defence capabilities member states of the EU are more open not only to terror strikes but also open to armed conflict. Bearing in mind the above, whatever stance the EU takes which seeks to punish or alienate the UK, the more the UK stands its ground, then the more certain of the splits showing in the EU member states' unity. As for our friends and allies around the world, we can always rely upon the likes of Australia and New Zealand and America etc and also rely upon the developing world as they will gain by no tariffs access to UK markets which they do not now have with the EU which of course is a protectionist trading block.
The Office for National Statistics has been seeking to provide more information on the numbers of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU27.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
The latest report from the ONS deals with citizens of EU Member States that joined in 2004: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
These are known as ‘the EU8’ countries.
Map source: ONS 2017
Some Key Facts from the ONS Report
  • Approx 1.3 million EU8 citizens live in the UK
  • 814,000 (63%) of these are from Poland
  • 80% (820,000) of those aged 16 to 64 years are employed
  • Hungarians have the highest employment rate
  • Over 200,000 of EU8 citizens work in distribution, hotels and restaurants
  • 25,100 EU8 citizens work in health sector, and 19,300 in residential care
The ONS also looked at the numbers of UK citizens living in EU8 countries. They found that only 14,100 did so.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
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[ Source: Office for National Statistics ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.20am, 11 July 2017
All of this increase was due to migrants, says EU
Yesterday the EU’s statistical bureau Eurostat released the latest population estimates for the EU28.
  • EU total population 01 Jan 2017 : 511.8 million (2016: 510.3 million)
  • Increase since 01 Jan 2016 : 1.5 million
  • Births and deaths balanced, therefore increase was due to immigration
  • Post-Brexit EU population : 446 million, based on 2017 figures
Eurostat was very clear about the information it provided yesterday:
“EU population up to almost 512 million at 1 January 2017
Increase driven by migration”
With 82.8 million residents (or 16.2% of the total EU population at 1 January 2017), Germany is the most populated EU Member State, ahead of France (67.0 million, or 13.1%), the United Kingdom (65.8 million, or 12.9%), Italy (60.6 million, or 11.8%), Spain (46.5 million, or 9.1%) and Poland (38.0 million, or 7.4%). For the remaining Member States, nine have a share of between 4% and 1.5% of the EU population and thirteen a share below 1.5%.
2016 was the year that the EU’s major plans to tackle immigration were introduced. Despite this, immigration was responsible for a net influx of 1.5 million people, according to Eurostat.
When the UK leaves the EU, the population of the EU will fall by 65.8 million to 446 million, based on the 2017 estimates.
[ Source: Eurostat ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       04.50am, 11 July 2017
“Exact same benefits” claim by Davis is being used
over and over against him by Remainers - and Barnier
© EU Commission 2017
“Of course the benefits of being outside the EU won’t be the same as the benefits
of being inside it. They’ll be different, and better.” - Facts4EU.Org Team
Prior to the EU Referendum some bright spark at Vote Leave, the officially-designated campaign organisation, came up with the idea of plastering the figure of ‘£350 million per week’ on the side of a bus. We did not adopt Vote Leave’s slogan on this website. A great many pro-Brexit MPs did not use it, and neither did Mr Farage of UKIP and Leave.EU.
Thousands of ordinary Leave campaigners were then stuck with this claim, even though many of them didn’t make it or agree with its wording. The wording of the poster on the side of the bus was ambiguous, but it hasn’t stopped Remainers from using it to bash Brexiteers from early 2016 to the present day.
The fact that it was the Remain campaign which told by far the biggest litany of serious lies prior to the Referendum has been overshadowed by this one claim about £350 million and the NHS.
In January of this year, another great Brexit own goal was achieved, by none other than the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, the Rt Hon David Davis MP. As with the £350 NHS issue, this was another which was entirely self-inflicted and unnecessary.
During the debate on Article 50 in the House of Commons on 24th January this year, Mr Davis was asked a question by the Tory Remoaner MP Anna Soubry. In reply, David Davis said the following:
Brexit Secretary
Rt Hon David Davis MP
“My right hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Anna Soubry) talks about things that were not on the ballot paper. What was on the ballot paper was leaving the European Union. I am afraid that it is very difficult to see how we can leave the European Union and still stay inside the single market, with all the commitments that go with that.
“What we have come up with—I hope to persuade her that this is a very worthwhile aim—is the idea of a comprehensive free trade agreement and a comprehensive customs agreement that will deliver the exact same benefits as we have, but also enable my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade to go and form trade deals with the rest of the world, which is the real upside of leaving the European Union.”
It was immediately obvious how these words would be used and distorted. Instead, Mr Davis let these words stand whilst Remainers increasingly used his statement against him.
Eventually things got to the stage where Labour issued their six ‘tests of Brexit’ on 27 March, against which they would decide whether to support the government’s eventual Brexit deal.
Shadow Brexit Secretary
Rt Hon Sir Keir Starmer MP
One of the six tests is 'Does it deliver the ‘exact same benefits’ as we currently have as members of the Single Market and Customs Union?'
Questioned on whether this was a reasonable test, Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer responded:
“The government can't turn around and say this is unachievable because it was David Davis who said that.”
Three days later in a BBC Radio 4 interview Mr Davis appeared to backtrack, saying his statement to parliament in January “wasn’t a promise, it was an aim”.
Never a week goes by without Remainer MPs referring to the erroneous claim that Mr Davis has promised ‘the exact same benefits’ of single market and customs union membership.
“I would like to clarify for the British people what we might expect from our negotiations with the European Union.
“In the House of Commons in January and to the BBC in March, I said that the exact same trade and customs benefits is an aim, an idea. If you read the words I used, that is what I said. This has subsequently been misused and twisted by Remainer MPs.
“I made our objectives clear before and I’m saying them again loud and clear now - in parliament, on television and in the newspapers. I hope this will stop some Labour, LibDem and other Remainer MPs from distorting the truth for the British people.
“Our future trade arrangements with the EU will naturally be different. Our aim is to achieve the best possible deal. Not the 'exact same deal', because that is not what we’re asking for. The exact same deal would mean continued mass immigration, continued big annual payments to the EU, our laws being made in Brussels, and being ruled over by foreign bureaucrats and judges.
“So Remainer MPs can stop this nonsense that they will only support a Brexit deal delivering ‘the exact same benefits’. In fact we want to stop the ‘exact same unacceptable costs and loss of control’ that we suffer under EU membership.
“This government is working hard to achieve the best possible future relationship with the EU27 countries, whilst at the same time delivering on the sovereign decision of the British people to leave the EU and take back control of our borders, our laws and our money.
“We're prepared to offer our EU partners the same trade benefits which they enjoy currently. To be clear, I'm talking about tariff-free trade, without all the political and social complications. It's up to them if they wish to accept this generous offer. I urge all MPs and commentators to get behind the government's efforts and help us to deliver an exciting and successful Brexit for the British people.”
Mr Davis may well feel he can carry on without confronting the 'exact same benefits' issue, because he clarified the position on the BBC’s Today Programme on Radio 4 back in March.
Unfortunately the vast majority of the British people don’t listen to BBC Radio’s Today Programme. Mr Davis needs to come out strongly and attack Remainer MPs for their foolishness in holding up a ridiculous standard for the British people to judge the outcome of negotiations.
He needs to do this repeatedly and in all the media: “Of course the benefits of being outside the EU won’t be the same as the benefits of being inside it. They’ll be different, and better.” Or something like that.
The one thing we can’t accept is having to listen to uninformed Remainer politicians - most of whom know very little about EU membership and how the EU actually works – trotting out and misquoting Mr Davis’ answer in parliament in January, and using this as an excuse to vote against the ultimate Brexit deal.
As ever, we welcome your thoughts on the above.
[ Source: Hansard House of Commons | BBC ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       10.25am, 10 July 2017
Name: Shieldsman, UK      Date/Time: 10 July, 3.43pm
Message: I came across this by Trade Unionist Paul Embery: Brexit wasn’t just about restoring democracy and self-government, important though those principles are. It was also about creating the space for a better government to come along at some point and, free from the shackles of restrictive EU laws, implement a radical manifesto in the interests of working people. In other words, Brexit is an insufficient but absolutely necessary step to the kind of society that any socialist or trade unionist would wish to see. Outside the EU, we will be free of the wretched Stability and Growth Pact – which requires the UK to ‘endeavour to avoid’ a budget deficit of more than three per cent of GDP – and we will be able to invest in our people and industry; free of EU competition law which forbids the nationalisation of industries like the railways and steel; free of restrictive rules on state aid; free of the Single Market, the very embodiment of all-pervasive capitalism, with its categorisation of human beings as mere commodities. A different point of view from Starmer.
Name: Steve R, UK      Date/Time: 10 July, 12.50pm
Message: Starmer is a europhile lawyer who backed 'no evidence' prosecution for some categories. He will continue to twist the facts whatever correction is made. This is what politicians and lawyers do for a living. David Davis should correct the word exact to 'similar or better', and attack the continual lies as an attempt to get a bad deal and reversal.
The Anglosphere reminded us of its importance yesterday
A Facts4EU.Org Opinion
We live in a country whose TV media is overly populated by Remainers - those who seem to see the UK as capable of existing only in a geopolitical sphere dominated by Brussels and Berlin.
Yesterday, however, that wonderful thing called the Anglosphere intruded, to remind the limited-vision Remainers that the UK is part of a much wider world.
© German Government 2017
"There is no country that could possibly be closer than our countries"
"We have been working on a trade deal which will be a very, very big deal, a very powerful deal,
great for both countries and I think we will have that done very, very quickly."
- President Trump, at the G20, Hamburg
Media commentators can mock all they want. The simple fact is that the US President said some very favourable things about the UK yesterday.
We also monitor what is said in the House and in the Senate, where we hear equally encouraging messages for the UK. We see every reason to be confident about a rosy post-Brexit future for UK-US trade relations.
Our second example of Anglosphere importance came yesterday from the other side of the world.
© Lions Rugby 2017
New Zealand 15 - British & Irish Lions 15
‘Decider’ in 3-match series is shared between All Blacks and Lions
“So brilliant and so brutal.”- Mark Reason, Dominion Post, New Zealand
You may think it strange we would mention a sports event in the context of the UK’s role in the world. And the sport in question wasn’t even ‘the national game’, nor was it the current obsession taking place on the grass courts of Wimbledon. The event in question was the deciding match of the Lions’ tour of New Zealand, where a rugby team made up of players chosen from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were taking on the mighty All Blacks, the World Champions.
Lions fans lapping up the friendly atmosphere at Eden Park yesterday     © Lions Rugby 2017
The reason it seized our attention was the tremendous spirit evident on and off the field over the past six weeks of the tour. Thousands of UK and Irish rugby fans travelled to New Zealand to support the Lions and the tour has dominated NZ news.
This wasn't only about sport and sportsmanship. It resonated with kinship and shared history.
Lord Price, Trade Minister in Liam Fox’s Dept for International Trade, was in New Zealand for the final match of the Lions Tour and to meet Todd McClay, New Zealand’s Trade Minister for further talks.
NZ Trade Minister Todd McClay and UK Trade Minister, Lord Price, (right)
met for talks in New Zealand on Friday © RNZ 2017
There is no doubt of the Kiwis’ enthusiasm for trade talks with the UK: “As soon as they leave the EU we’d like to negotiate an FTA as quickly as possible” Trade Minister McClay told New Zealand Radio on Friday.
We just thought we'd bring you something uplifting for a change.
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[ Source: G20 | German Government | Lionsrugby.com | AllBlacks.com | Radio New Zealand ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.

       07.25am, 09 July 2017
Name: JohnF, UK      Date/Time: 10 July, 12.11pm
Message: I'm not sure promises of future trade deals are going to cut much ice in the next few months. It's the here and now that's going to have most influence in shaping opinions and the situation is not looking good. The UK economy now does appear to be slowing quite sharply. The so-called "export boom" due to the falling pound has made no difference to our trade balance or manufacturing output which has fallen steadily over the last few months. I was hoping the Q1 growth figure was just a blip but Q2 looks almost as bad. You're going to have your work cut out maintaining Brexit optimism over the coming 18 months or so. Good luck anyway.
Name: J Slater, UK      Date/Time: 09 July, 10.58am
Message: It is pointless negotiating with Barnier, Chief Brexit Negotiator for the EU, as the EU are clearly taking an intransigent position. They are not going to change their rules on Free Movement of Labour, Goods and Money. This means they are never going to agree a meaningful deal with the UK. They want it all their way. They want to use the UK as the Cash Cow, and continue demanding huge sums of money from us in the future. No deal! The UK should turn away immediately, terminate any further discussions, and trade now under WTO terms. Looking forward to UK's successful trading links with the World.
Once again the EU has falsely claimed a ‘success’
The EU has NOT done a trade deal with Japan
© Twitter 2017
The above tweet by European Council President Donald Tusk yesterday is misleading to such an extent that many people would simply call it a lie.
On the EU Council's website it says: "The EU-Japan summit took place on 6 July in Brussels. At the summit, leaders announced a political agreement on an ambitious EU-Japan free trade deal".
© BBC 2017
The simple fact is that the EU has NOT agreed a free trade deal with Japan.
All that happened yesterday is that the EU and Japan agreed to keep talking and negotiating about doing a formal free trade deal at some point in the future.
Here is what the EU itself says in the document it issued yesterday, entitled “EU-Japan EPA – The Agreement in Principle”.
“This document summarises the negotiating results of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan at the time of the agreement in principle in July 2017. As the agreement in principle does not correspond to the end of the negotiating process, the description of the results achieved should not be considered as final. Some chapters still need some fine-tuning, while for some others some issues are still open and remain to be settled before the actual finalisation of the negotiations. Any agreement referred to in this text is to be considered ad referendum and should not be taken as being in all cases the definitive position of the EU or Japan.
This document presents the outcome of negotiations for an agreement in principle, and is sent to Member States and the European Parliament for information, but is not yet confirmed by the Leaders of the EU and Japan. Once the agreement in principle will be confirmed by Leaders, this document will be immediately published. This is not a legal text.”
“NB: Some chapters of this agreement are still under negotiations. On investment, while some parts such as investment liberalisation were agreed in principle, there is still no agreement on the whole chapter, as the issue of investment dispute resolution remains fully open. The EU has tabled its reformed investment court system on the table in the negotiations with Japan. The EU continues to insist that there can be no return to old-style ISDS. Under no conditions can old-style ISDS provisions be included in the agreement. More discussions will be required to arrive at a conclusion on this in the next months.
On regulatory cooperation, the EU has tabled an initial proposal but further discussions are still needed. The objective will be to promote voluntary cooperation to improve the quality of regulation through adequate consultation and cooperation mechanisms. The cooperation would not, in any way, affect the right of either the EU or Japan to define or regulate their own levels of protection in pursuit of public policy objectives or to provide services of general interest.”
In other words, there isn’t any workable trade agreement at all.
Here at Facts4EU.Org we find it gets harder and harder not to use rather blunt language about the EU’s actions. To be frank, their disassociation with reality reaches new and surprising levels each month and the problem is certainly getting worse.
You may think it doesn’t really matter if the EU wishes to stretch what amounts to not much more than a political handshake into a fully-fledged free trade deal, but we do. This announcement has already been presented as some kind of great success for the EU, and as an example of how Brexit was pointless because the EU embraces world trade on our behalf.
The reality is completely different as you can see above.
If you would like us to continue reporting on things like this, which you will very often not see elsewhere, please consider supporting us financially. We get no funding from any organisations and desperately need your support to carry on.
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[ Source: EU Commission | BBC ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       10.05am, 07 July 2017
Name: John Nolan, UK      Date/Time: 08 July, 5.22pm
Message: I find the comments and declarations of the elites of the EU, such as Tusk or Barnier or Junker etc, to be wonderful. Wonderful in the sense that those comments and declarations show clearly their apparent god given gifts such as they all appear to have marvellous imaginations and they can tell stories to entertain the lower members of the EU. Perhaps they should all become novelists? With their imaginations they would certainly be as good as JK Rowling.
Is EU Negotiator becoming scared the UK will walk away?
Yesterday Michel Barnier gave a speech about Brexit to a meeting of the EU Parliament’s European Economic and Social Committee. Whilst the speech was to a limited gathering, it was of course intended for a much wider audience.
Some lowlights from the speech:
  • “You cannot be half-in and half-out of the single market”
  • “The EU must maintain full sovereignty for deciding regulations”
  • “The decision to leave the EU has consequences”
  • “‘No deal' would mean very cumbersome procedures and controls, without facilitation”
  • UK financial services ‘passporting’ to be flicked off like a light switch
Whilst the vast bulk of the speech and the question and answer session afterwards had the now customary vindictive tone and content, perhaps for the first time M. Barnier started to recognise the nervousness which is starting to become apparent across the EU27 capitals.
Signs of EU starting to run scared?
  • “my task is to limit the cost of Brexit for the 27 as much as possible”
  • “certain countries and sectors will be more affected than others”
  • “To my mind there is no reasonable justification for the ‘no deal' scenario. There is no sense in making the consequences of Brexit even worse”
  • “That is why we want an agreement. That is why the 27 Member States and the European Parliament want an agreement. To my British partners I say: a fair deal is far better than no deal.”
Here are the links to all the material so that you can make up your own mind about the EU’s negotiating stance and general attitude:
Text of Michel Barnier’s speech (published by EU Commission and not what he actually said)
Whilst Monsieur Barnier spent most of his time yesterday sounding as pompous, arrogant, and dictatorial as usual, we detected the first signs that the EU is beginning to wake up to the consequences of Brexit.
Not ‘the consequences’ for the UK, which the EU regularly warns of in menacing tones, but the consequences for the EU. In particular, the EU seems to be realising that the lack of a sensible deal with the UK will leave a very large number of EU27 citizens worse off.
Perhaps the EU is starting to worry that its negotiating position is so far away from what neutral observers would consider reasonable, the UK will at some point simply say “blow this for a game of soldiers” and walk away.
It remains our firm conviction that the UK government should be planning fully for a totally unreasonable final position from the EU’s political leaders and bureaucratic elites.
The people of the EU27 do not want this outcome, but 60 years of EEC and EU history have shown what contempt the political elites and apparatchiks of the EU have for the will of the people.
As ever, we welcome your thoughts on the above.
[ Source: EU Commission | EU Parliament ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.15am, 07 July 2017
Name: Shieldsman, UK      Date/Time: 07 July, 2.16pm
Message: I think Barnier picked a bad example of a problem when we leave by choosing Airbus Industrie, you need to read the history of Airbus. Picking out the wing production site at Broughton and saying moving the wings to Toulouse for assembly will have problems, could disrupt the whole assembly process. Airbus Industrie would not thank Barnier and the Brussels Commission for bringing the assembly lines to a halt. Now, Macron and the French would like wing manufacture moved to France. But no one is going down that road whilst the current well oiled system can be maintaned with a little cooperation on the part of the EU.
Name: Nigel C, UK      Date/Time: 07 July, 11.29am
Message: "I have heard some people in the UK argue that one can leave the single market and build a customs union to achieve "frictionless trade" – that is not possible. The decision to leave the EU has consequences. And we have to explain to citizens, businesses and civil society on both sides of the Channel what these consequences mean for them. Let me be clear: these consequences are the direct result of the choices made by the UK, not by the EU. There is no punishment for Brexit. And of course no spirit of revenge".
The UK and EU have the same trade rules and regs, so why would Barnier say that the EU isn't punishing the UK by refusing to consider "frictionless trade" and more or less stating that it is the UK that is preventing "frictionless trade" by exiting the EU. It is up to the EU whether they want "frictionless trade". They don't.
Name: John Finn, UK      Date/Time: 07 July, 09.35am
Message: The UK can't walk away. That's the problem. The government will not get the support it needs from parliament. While Corbyn might actually support Brexit, he won't waste any opportunity to force an election. Unless the Tories can get Labour fully onside with Brexit their hands are tied. The whole point of calling an election was to avoid this very situation.
EU is set to eat humble pie when it requests UK money to pay Turkey again
Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger
The EU’s Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger made it clear on Tuesday that the EU will need to agree another €3 billion pay-off to Turkey in the coming months.
And the EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has already said that he expects the UK to “honour its commitments” to this off-the-books fund.
Why did Michel Barnier even mention the UK’s commitment to the EU’s Turkish refugee fund? Latest figures we obtained from the EU show that the UK has fully paid its commitments already.
The EU is expecting the UK to participate in a second EU fund for Turkey.
Known as the ‘Facility for Refugees in Turkey’, this is the mechanism agreed by Angela Merkel with Turkish President Erdogan to stem the flood of migrants crossing into the EU via Greece. It was agreed in March 2016 and has reduced the number of migrants into Greece, although it has obviously done nothing to reduce those now being ferried into Italy on a daily basis.
Yesterday the EU released updated figures for three of its various ‘off-the-books’ funds which it has been using to deal with parts of the migrant crisis. As our chart below shows, the UK has already contributed significantly and the EU would now like member states to give more still.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2017
The largest of the 3 funds on which the EU released figures yesterday is the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. As we predicted many times over the past 12 months, the EU would now like to double this fund and will shortly call for another €3 billion.
It is important to note that this is not a legal obligation for the UK. The Turkish fund is not part of the EU budget and the UK has not signed up for anything other than the first round, which David Cameron agreed just before the EU Referendum.
We commented recently that despite this lack of legal obligation, the EU’s Chief Negotiator Monsieur Barnier is expecting the UK to ‘honour its commitments’ in respect of this fund. Given that the UK has already paid its commitments to the fund in full, we have to assume he was talking about the next fund. It is precisely this ‘Turkish Refugee Facility Part 2’ that the EU Budget Commissioner was talking about on Tuesday.
It now looks like the pressure is about to come on from the EU for the UK’s money yet again. The UK must decline to participate.
Note: The funds referred to above do not include the UK’s payments to the ‘European Development Fund’ – a much larger fund which is now channeling money to developing countries in an attempt to stem the flows of migrants from Africa.
[ Source: EU Commission ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.        06.55am, 06 July 2017
Name: Carole, UK      Date/Time: 05 July, 11.27am
Message: I'm more worried about Italy. Italy is struggling, and I wish we had the ships to return these young men back to their own shores. UK efforts should concentrate on help "in situ" and mass migration should be vehemently opposed.
Reply: Yes Carole, at one point we seemed to be the only news outlet regularly reporting on the growing Italian crisis, although the mainstream media now seem to be catching up. Regarding ships, the problem is the lack of will to return migrants to the countries they embarked from. This does not yet exist in the EU but opinion now appears to be shifting in that direction. Rgds, the Facts4EU.Org Team.
Name: John Nolan, UK      Date/Time: 05 July, 08.05am
Message: In many 3rd world countries, you can walk through the streets and be surrounded and hounded by beggars pleading with you for alms. If you give them money then the situation is made worse for you and you are literally crowded and hounded for more money by all the other beggars. The best way to deal with this situation is to be hard-hearted and not to give alms, the beggars then note your identity and leave you alone when you walk down the street the next day. It appears the EU is now one of those beggars, so we must give them nothing!
A bad day for the EU makes many British glad they’re leaving
Choppy waters
Yesterday was a pretty disastrous day for the EU across the board.
  • President Juncker exploded at the EU Parliament, calling MEPs “ridiculous”
  • German Finance Minister Schauble called the ECB’s monetary policy “crazy”
  • Austria moved 750 troops and 4 armoured vehicles to the Italian border to stop migrants
  • EU Budget Commissioner said another €3 billion for Turkey is “urgently needed”
  • EU Commission Vice-President “counts on solidarity” from UK to accept thousands more migrants
  • EU Foreign and Defence Chief Mogherini was slammed in EU Parliament for EU army plans
  • Commission approved €5.4 billion of state aid to bail out the crisis-hit Italian bank MPS
  • New EU unemployment figures showed Spain’s rate is 4 times UK’s, France is twice UK’s rate
Apart from the above, everything in the EU’s garden was rosy yesterday.
When Remainers next talk to you of the UK voting for “a departure not a destination” you may wish to remind them that the alternative vote of remaining within the EU would have produced a far more uncertain destination for the British people.
As ever, we welcome your comments on this article.
[ Source: EU Commission | EU Parliament | Die Welt | Eurostat | Austrian and Italian Gov't websites ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       07.20am, 05 July 2017
Name: Paul A, UK      Date/Time: 05 July, 10.09am
Message: Apparently, Google is setting up an enormous office in central London which will employ 7000 people. I wonder if this is Google’s response to the EU £2bn fine. Wonder also why it’s not made main stream news. Ah yes silly me – would have if Google was removing 100 jobs ‘cos of Brexit!!!!
Name: Paul A, UK      Date/Time: 05 July, 09.50am
Message: I have never met anyone who departs from anywhere without a destination. It was a very clear destination to the majority of British voters. So to Farron, Clegg et all who claim to be both liberal and democratic, but who are actually both illiberal and anti-democratic, we have a destination which you as xenophobes and little EUers might have missed. It is called The World.
Our sketchwriter reviews last night’s regal manoeuvres of Emmanuel Macron
© Palais de Versailles
Yesterday President Macron brought both houses of the French parliament to the luxurious surroundings of the Palace of Versailles, to listen to his address.
Emmanuel Macron stood on a platform of being non-establishment, to the incredulity of many commentators who felt that being the former Economy Minister and a former Rothschilds banker rather precluded him from such proletarian ambitions. Yesterday evening he announced it is his intention to give this address annually – much in the style of the “State of the Union” address of the President of the United States.
In doing so, some may feel that this new ‘grand spectacle’ sits uneasily with the new President’s rhetoric about the need to give citizens more power. Monsieur Macron spoke of this again, talking of his promise to cut the number of MPs and Senators by a third, and a vague promise to introduce a limited form of proportional representation. The new President also spoke of the need to pass laws without involving the full parliamentary process and gave his reason as being the need for speed of action.
Having dragged the people’s elected representatives to the outskirts of Paris, to the gilded palatial grandeur built by King Louis and recently glorified in the BBC’s drama ‘Versailles’, certainly several French MPs were uneasy about Monsieur Macron’s intentions and his style, and boycotted the event entirely. They didn’t miss much – compared to the BBC’s drama there were fewer wigs and frock-coats, fewer intrigues and poisonings, and considerably less nudity.
© bbc
In his wide-ranging speech M. Macron touched on many issues but without clarifying the substance of his proposals. As this approach had won him the election he clearly saw no need to deviate from a winning formula.
Yes, Brexit was mentioned in passing. It cropped up in a section about Europe. Not ‘the European Union’ of course, but ‘Europe’. Brexit was used as a depressing contrast – a small link in a litany of divisions needing confronting, historic upheavals needing addressing, and generally as an example of the end of human life as we know it.
Mrs May's papers blowing in the wind, Elysee Palace, 13 June
“Europe, Europe is us. It is a project of peace, freedom, progress...” This sort of thing went on for a while. Europe is good, but Monsieur Macron isn’t satisfied. Europe has been blighted, of all things, by excessive bureaucracy. Yes dear reader, a French president criticised bureaucracy - practically a way of life in France - and did so with a straight face.
Fortunately the President has the answer. He knows that by partnering with Germany he can make ‘Europe’ better. He can in fact reinvent it by the end of the year.
Little is said on British TV of France’s long-standing state of emergency. France has been in this state since November 2015, and President Hollande extended it so many times it has almost become the norm. It has allowed the suspension of many civil rights, which is presumably why the BBC has tried not to mention it.
That may change today, however, because Mr Macron announced that he would like to see the state of emergency gone by November of this year. In the meantime he would like Parliament’s approval to extend it again. The reason for the delay is to allow several new laws to be passed which will effectively enshrine into permanent law some of the draconian provisions of the emergency laws. Doubtless today the BBC will announce something like “Macron ends state of emergency”, without mentioning that he’s extending it before repealing it, and that he’s intending to make some of its features a permanent part of French life.
Enfin, mes amis, the tragedy represented by French labour laws will apparently be ended by Monsieur Macron. There will be wholesale reform and France will once again be able to compete with those despicable rosbifs across the Channel.
Given that this has been the ambition of French presidents since Hervé’s Adventures with Tintin, all we can do is wish Monsieur Macron ‘ bonne chance’.
In the meantime French business will continue to look like EDF, the nationalised French electricity provider who are supposed to be building the new Hinckley Point reactor on the UK. Yesterday EDF announced the latest predicted overruns on the project: an extra £1.5 billion over budget and an extra 15 months past deadline.
Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.
As ever, we welcome your comments on this article.
[ Source: Elysee Palace ]     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.        06.40am, 04 July 2017
Name: Shieldsman, UK      Date/Time: 04 July, 4.44pm
Message: Having wasted a whole year it appears the Government have no idea what we want back on leaving. The Brussels Commission will no longer responsible for any negotiations on our behalf. We will have responsibility for Agriculture, regulation of Fishing within in our own territorial waters, all aspects of Civil and Military Aviation within our own airspace, including bi-lateral agreements under the five freedoms of the Chicago Convention. The Ministers have to direct the Civil Service heads to do the spade work. I would have thought it could be arranged in Schedules - 1. Agriculture, 2. Fisheries, 3. Aviation, 4. Trade, etc. Much of it does not require negotiation, it is taking back control and administration, returning to the pre-EU membership situation where Parliament and our Courts are supreme. As we are not in Schengen travel between the UK and EU member States has been by visa free passport, and there is no reason why this should not continue, having bee introduced after WWII. The right to reside and work after we leave would require permission from the individual State, possibly a work permit. So will they get cracking and stop the media speculating and trying to stop our exit.
PM won’t talk about the UK joining common EU defence forces, so we will
© EU Commission
Over the past two months the EU has been rapidly deploying its revitalised Common Security and Defence Policy, backed by decisions taken by EU leaders including Mrs May, and money from the new European Defence Fund.
Below is just one example of what is going on. We felt you might want to know about all this, because you won’t see it mentioned on the TV, nor will you see Ministers being questioned about it.
© EU Commission
The new edition of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) handbook arrived in Brussels at the European Security and Defence College (ESDC) in May.
3.75 tons of “knowledge about the Common Security and Defence Policy” were shipped from the Austrian Armed Forces Printing Centre to the ESDC Secretariat in Brussels. On 10 May five ESDC staff each had to carry on average 715 kg to the second floor of the building. According to the EU this was “a good team-building exercise” and they say that it is so popular that they have ordered a reprint.
© EU Commission
(Never mind the quality, feel the weight)
We’ve read this handbook, which runs to 232 pages. Worryingly, it is being used throughout the new military combine of the EU including in the training of junior officers. Here are some of the topics contained in the book:-
  • EU Global Strategy
  • Factsheet: European Defence Action Plan
  • The EU in a contested world
  • How to Launch a CSDP Mission or Operation
  • Challenges Of Military Operations And Missions
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection
  • Gender And Women, Peace And Security In CSDP
  • Human Rights and CSDP
  • EUISS – EU Agency Dealing With The Analysis Of Foreign, Security And Defence Policy Issues
  • The European Defence Agency (EDA)
  • Participation In CSDP Missions And Operations
  • EU Capability Development
  • European Defence Deployable Capabilities
  • Deepening Military Cooperation
  • Standardised, Interoperable And Compatible
  • The European Security And Defence College
  • Military Erasmus – European Initiative For Young Officers
This new Defence Handbook claims that “Any views or opinions presented in this handbook are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the European Union”.
Unfortunately this ‘disclaimer’ becomes meaningless when you know that the EU funded the book, it has heavily promoted and distributed the book, and the foreward is written by none other than the EU’s (former communist) Vice-President and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Ms Mogherini’s foreword to the book ends with the statement: “Heading towards a real European Union of security and defence has never been so important.”
© EU Commission
The EU will of course say that this handbook is for training purposes only. However we can reveal that the handbook was formally delivered 5 weeks ago to the EU Military Committee, which reports to the Council. This handbook is one in a series of four, which includes a handbook devoted entirely to ‘Missions and Operations’.
The UK is on board with all of this
As we have previously revealed, the UK government and MoD has agreed to every step in the EU’s moves towards its common defence forces and common defence and foreign policies.
We have seen denials of this from the MoD, but these are completely worthless set against the official record of decisions agreed upon by the EU28 leaders in the past seven years.
This is happening now
What we find the most astonishing is that the UK government has been agreeing serious developments in common EU defence since the EU Referendum. The most recent of these was the last European Council only two weeks ago, when Mrs May signed off on the European Defence Fund amongst other things. She has continued to commit the UK despite knowing that the British people don’t want to be a part of any of it.
What you can do
If you believe that the UK should retain its sovereign defence forces and capabilities, and its own defence manufacturing industry, and that the UK’s interests lie in a strong NATO, you can help. Please send a link to this article to your MP, to your newspaper, or post it on any blogs you contribute to. Please just add #eu_army_book at the end of the link to this page. We are happy to share all of our research with interested parties.
As ever, we welcome your comments on this article.
[ Sources: EU Commission ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual.
       06.45am, 03 July 2017
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