We are joined by Simon Richards, the former CEO of The Freedom Association, as we discuss the local election results and the delay in removing EU laws. We then chat with Simon about his time with the Freedom Association, the Better Off Out campaign, lockdowns, and the big issues of today.
By Jerry Wraith
The most important issue about BREXIT was that no-one could precisely predict how well or badly the UK would do after BREXIT as it was all in the future. The “Remainers” continually talked about damage to the UK economy, lost trade, influence, etc. but could not substantiate any of these claims with facts. However, because we had already been in the EEC/EU for over 40 years the “leavers” had plenty of facts to prove what a total political and economic disaster membership of the EU had been for the UK. Thankfully the general public saw through the wild claims made by the Remainers and voted to leave.
Unfortunately, since then the substantial benefits of Brexit have not been pursued actively enough to convince the remainer fraternity how much better off we could and should be. Even now, groups of people are still agitating for the UK to re-join the common market, and even to re-join the EU. The Liberal Democrats even has a policy to re-join the EU, despite the overwhelming democratic vote to leave in 2016. Why these rejoiners wish to re-join the undemocratic, un-economic EU is an absolute mystery!
Hence, it is time to summarise the horrendous costs of being in the EU and how the EU has systematically fleeced the UK, and its taxpayers, over the period of the UK’s membership to enlighten them.
2 SUMMARY OF PREVIOUS AND FUTURE COSTS OF BEING IN THE EU 2.1 PREVIOUS COSTS
2.1.1 COST OF CUSTOMS UNION UP TO AN EXTRA £1,000 to £2,700/YEAR/HOUSEHOLD?
NB In 2014 UK exporters to the EU saved just under £80/household in import duties. Yet in 2014 it cost UK householders up to an extra £1,000 to £2,700/household because the UK was in the EU! A bad deal for UK householders and taxpayers.
2.1.2 TRADING WITH THE EEC/EU SINCE 1973 to 2021: DEFICIT OF £2.07 TRILLION NB Trading with the rest of the world from 1973 to 2021: SURPLUS of £850 billion! 2.1.3 ANNUAL COST OF BEING IN THE EU CURRENTLY £221 BILLION? 2.1.4 POSSIBLE COST OF BEING IN THE EU FOR 45 YEARS £13.22 TRILLION
2.1.5 TOTAL CURRENT COST TO 2021 OF UK NETT BUDGETARY PAYMENTS TO THE EU: £343 BILLION
NB This vast total cost all had to be borrowed and must currently cost the UK nearly £9 billion/annum in interest charges on this cost alone, which does NOT include the annual interest charges on the cost of borrowing all the annual sums.
2.1.6 CURRENT LIABILITY OF BEING IN THE EU UP TO £441 BILLION EUROS 2.1.7 LOSS OF FISHING RIGHTS SINCE JOINING £100 to £150 BILLION 2.2 EXTRA FUTURE COSTS ON RE-JOINING THE EU
2.2.1 SUPPORTING THE FUTURE COST, €32 TRILLION, OF PAY AS YOU GO EU PENSIONS
2.2.2 COST OF CONVERTING FROM POUNDS TO EUROS: £53 BILLION? 2.2.3 SUPPORTING BANKRUPT EU COUNTRIES: ITALY, SPAIN, PORTUGAL 3 COST OF CUSTOMS UNION UP TO AN EXTRA £2,700/YEAR/HOUSEHOLD?
3.1 It was claimed during the referendum campaign and elsewhere that being in the customs union cost the average household up to an extra £1,000/annum. This figure was referred to by Tim Congdon on page 30 in his 2013 report “How much does the European Union cost Britain?” and comes from an OECD report quoted by Booker and North in their book “The Mad Officials”.
NB Sir Patrick Minford later claimed, (Sunday Express, 25th March 2018) that leaving the Customs Union would save the UK £80 billion/annum. This is equivalent to £2,700/household.)
3.2 Congdon later quotes on page 25 of his 2015 report that resource misallocation costed over 3.25% of GDP. Currently GDP is approximately £2 trillion. Hence 3.25% of this is £65 billion or about £2,170/household. Congdon states on page 16 of the report, referred to above, that the average British household “pays” the EU £750/year as a direct fiscal cost to finance the UK’s contribution to the EU budget.
3.3 These extra costs must hurt poorer households, the Labour Party’s traditional support base, the most. So why does the Labour Party support staying in the EU and making their supporters suffer so much?
3.4 The only conceivable benefit for being in the EU is that by belonging to the tariff free customs union UK exporters saved, about 1% on EU import duties, Ref 3.1.
3.5 In 2014, the amount saved on import duties by UK exporters was about 1% or less than £3 billion at £2.28 billion. This amounted to about £76 for each UK taxpayer.
3.6 So the Labour Party, which is partly funded by the trade unionists political levy, is expecting their members (there are 7 million trade unionists) to pay an extra £1,000/head/annum (or £2,700/head?) to save UK exporters to the EU on average just £76/head/annum. Not a good deal for UK households and trade unionists!
3.7 The EU is a Customs Union. This means that goods produced by EU countries are protected by imposing tariffs on goods imported from outside the EU. The EU tariff on dairy products is particularly high, (probably to protect inefficient French farmers) at 35.4%. This hit
the UK hard as much of the UK’s food is imported. It also hit New Zealand very hard as the UK was New Zealand’s prime importer of New Zealand butter and lamb. Some EU tariffs on non-EU imported goods are listed in Figure 3.1 derived from Ref 3.2.
3.8 So, why is the UK in the EU at all? Clearly big UK business exporters to the EU can save, on average, £75/head on EU tariffs. This means more money for their shareholders, directors etc. These same businesses probably fund the LibLabCon political parties and tell them what to do. Is this why the UK is in the EU, despite the huge costs to the UK economy and its citizens and taxpayers?
FIGURE 3.1 EU TARIFFS ON NON-EU IMPORTED GOODS
While the UK is a member of the EU, there are no tariffs on trade with other EU member states. Goods imported into the EU from non-EU countries pay the EU’s common external tariff unless there is a free trade agreement or preferential trade agreement. The tariff rate differs between different goods. While on average EU tariffs are low, they are high for some products, especially agricultural products. The trade weighted average EU tariff for non-agricultural products was 2.3% in 2014 and 8.5% for agricultural products. The table below gives a breakdown by type of product.
WTO, World Tariff Profiles 2017, pg. 82 Average EU tariff by product type (%)
- Animal products 15.7
- Dairy products 35.4
- Fruit, vegetables and plants 10.5
- Coffee, tea 6.1
- Cereals and preparations 12.8
- Oilseeds, fats and oils 5.6
- Sugars and confectionery 23.6
- Beverages and tobacco 19.6
- Cotton 0.0
- Other agricultural products 3.6
- Fish and fish products 12.0
- Minerals and metals 2.0
- Petroleum 2.5
- Chemicals 4.5
- Wood, paper etc 0.9
- Textiles 6.5
- Clothing 11.5
- Leather, footwear etc 4.1
- Non-electrical machinery 1.9
- Electrical machinery 2.8
- Transport equipment 4.3
- Other manufactures 2.6
- Source: WTO World Tariff Profiles 2017, p82
Ref 3.1 House of Commons Library, “The economic impact of EU membership on the UK”, Standard Note SN/EP/6730, September 2013. (Quoted in Brexit Magazine No 2, published by the Better Off Out Campaign.) Ref 3.2 House of Commons Briefing Paper, Number 7581, 4 July 2018, “Statistics on UK-EU Trade” by Matthew Ward.
4 TRADING WITH THE EEC/EU SINCE 1973 TO 2021: DEFICIT OF £2.07 TRILLION
4.1 Remainers continually claimed that we must stay in the single market or there would be a disastrous effect on our economy due to loss of trade etc., with the EU.
4.2 Apart from the fact that only a relatively small portion of our economy is tied to trade with the rapidly diminishing market, which is the EU, the fact is, that trading with the EEC/EU since 1973 has currently, in 2021 figures, resulted in the UK building up a £2.07 trillion deficit, see APPENDIX 4.1. (In addition, there are vast overhead costs due to being in the EU. This is discussed in para 5 below).
4.3 This figure represents the current cost, in 2021 values, of the total balance of trade with the EEC/EU since we joined in 1973. It clearly demonstrates how much better it has been for the EU by the UK being in the EU than the other way round and why the EU is so antagonistic about BREXIT.
4.4 Over roughly the same period the current balance of trade with the rest of the world (ROW) was a surplus of £850 billion i.e., a third of our current national debt! See APPENDIX 4.1.
4.5 The Treasury claimed that BREXIT and coming out of the EU with no deal or a bad deal would cost our economy up to 8% loss in GDP in 2025 or thereabouts. However, this figure was probably engineered to support “Project fear” as the European Research Group (ERG) supported the Economists for Free Trade estimate of an £80 billion boost the UK economy over 5 years.
4.6 Trade is a complicated subject, and we import goods from the EU to make things that sell in the EU and the ROW etc., but Joe Public the voter, can surely appreciate the difference between a surplus, (PROFIT), of £850 billion trading with the ROW and a deficit, (LOSS), of £2.07 trillion trading with the EU. Unfortunately, the Labour, Lib Dem parties, far too many Conservatives and delusional remainers apparently can’t!
4.7 Furthermore, the free trade deal with the EU cost the UK taxpayer £billions every year due to lost income from UK import duties on their larger exports to the UK. In addition, import duties paid by UK taxpayers on non-EU goods imported into the UK was lost to the UK treasury as it was claimed by the EU as an EU “own resource”.
4.10 Being in the EU since 1973 has been a 45 year “investment” for the UK. It is relatively pointless just looking at the results for I, 2 or even 5 years. We need to see how good or bad this investment has been for the UK over the whole period.
4.11 Furthermore it is necessary to correct all the figures to the present day. This means that they can all be added up on the same basis.
4.12 I am satisfied that the University of Illinois web site “measuringworth.com” using the “project function” is acceptable for this correction exercise. Some years ago, I was not aware of the website and calculated the total current BoT total from 1973 to 2009 of all the BoT figures. I used the BoE annual interest rates and calculated the interest on the balance annually, in a manner similar to mortgage payments. The total I got using this method was £930 billion compared to the University of Illinois result of £914 billion.
4.13 Please note that although the UK has built up such a large deficit with the EU the actual exports to the EU have not been discussed. The point is that the UK gains no advantage in trade by being in the EU, (see below) and has made a surplus trading with the ROW. Hence UK exports to the EU, although important, would probably have been much better if the UK was OUTSIDE the EU.
4.14 The UK’s export performance would also be even better if many UK industries had not been decimated by EU diktats and by the EU making UK industries move their businesses to other EU countries. Some of these are listed in APP 4.2.
4.15 The adverse effect of being in the EU is clearly demonstrated by the graph in APPENDIX 4.3 which clearly shows how membership of the EU has severely blighted UK trading results since 1973.
4.16 Further proof of the wholly pointless effect of being in the EU “for trade” is clearly proven by Michael Burrage in his report “Where’s the Insider Advantage?” published by Civitas. I have copied an appendix from his report as Appendix 4.4.
4.17 From Burrage’s report the following facts can be established;
The table in Appendix 4.4 lists the top 35 fastest growing exporters of goods to the 11 founding members of the EU’s single market between 1993 and 2011. The table is taken from the report “Where’s the insider advantage”? by Michael Burrage, published by the think-tank Civitas, except for the fourth column which has been added by this author. It proves beyond any doubt that;
• it was NOT necessary to be a member of the EU to access the EU single market and export successfully to the EU
• it was NOT necessary to have a trade agreement with the EU to export successfully to the EU and,
• the USA, China and Russia are the top three largest non-EU trading partners of the EU, none of which have trade agreements with the EU or membership in the EU single market. They trade based on the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
• Hence the UK did NOT NEED TO BE IN THE EU to trade with the EU or with other countries.
This is a complete contradiction of the UK government position
Even worse, all the countries associated in any way with the EU through membership (UK) or EFTA (Norway, Switzerland,) are generally not doing as well in their export performance to the EU as many countries outside the EU.
In his report2, Burrage importantly concludes that;
There is no case that EU membership is good for UK exports or foreign direct investment
• The fact that the UK was the second largest net contributor to the EU’s budget clearly did not grant us any favours when it comes to exports to the EU.
• The UK has not had a balance of trade surplus in goods since 1981, after just 8 years of joining the EEC. (Due partly or mainly to being in the EU?)
• Even if it is claimed that our poor trading performance was not entirely due to being in the EU it is abundantly obvious that being in the EU did not in any way help to prevent it.
• Furthermore, out of the EU, the UK must be in a much stronger exporting position with the rest of the world (ROW) without the enormous overhead cost (£200+ billion/pa) of being in the EU.
Hence being OUTSIDE the EU the UK should also increase its exports to the EU!
TOTAL ANNUAL BALANCE OF TRADE (£ BILLIONS) BETWEEN UK THE EU AND THE REST OF THE WORLD (ROW) CORRECTED TO 2021 FIGURES
BoT SOURCES; 1973 to 1998 “How much does the EU cost Britain”? by G Batten
1999 to 2021 Commons Library Briefing, 3rd Dec 2021 “Statistics on UK -EU trade” CBP 7851
Correction to 2021 values using Project Comp. of University of Illinois web site measuringworth.com
UK BUSINESSES THAT HAVE MOVED TO THE EU, POSSIBLY WITH EU GRANTS
- Cadbury moved factory to Poland 2011 with EU grant.
- Ford Transit moved to Turkey 2013 with EU grant.
- Jaguar Land Rover has recently agreed to build a new plant in Slovakia with EU grant, owned by Tata, the same company who have trashed our steel works and emptied the workers pension funds. Peugeot closed its Ryton (was Rootes Group) plant and moved production to Slovakia with EU grant. British Army’s new Ajax fighting vehicles to be built in SPAIN using SWEDISH steel at the request of the EU to support jobs in Spain with EU grant, rather than Wales.
- Dyson gone to Malaysia, with an EU loan.
- Crown Closures, Bournemouth (Was METAL BOX), gone to Poland with EU grant, once employed 1,200. M&S manufacturing gone to far east with EU loan.
- Hornby models gone. In fact, all toys and models now gone from UK along with the patents all with EU grants. Gillette gone to eastern Europe with EU grant.
- Texas Instruments Greenock gone to Germany with EU grant.
- Indesit at Bodelwyddan Wales gone with EU grant.
- Sekisui Alveo said production at its Merthyr Tydfil Industrial Park foam plant will relocate production to Roermond in the Netherlands, with EU funding.
- Hoover Merthyr factory moved out of UK to Czech Republic and the Far East by Italian company Candy with EU backing.
- ICI integration into Holland’s AkzoNobel with EU bank loan and within days of the merger, several factories in the UK, were closed, eliminating 3,500 jobs
- Boots sold to Italians Stefano Pessina who have based their HQ in Switzerland to avoid tax to the tune of £80 million a year, using an EU loan for the purchase.
- JDS Uniphase run by two Dutch men, bought up companies in the UK with £20 million in EU ‘regeneration’ grants, created a pollution nightmare and just closed it all down leaving 1,200 out of work and an environmental clean-up paid for by the UK taxpayer. They also raided the pension fund and drained it dry. UK airports are owned by a Spanish company.
- Scottish Power is owned by a Spanish company.
- Most London buses are run by Spanish and German companies.
- The Hinkley Point C nuclear power station to be built by French company EDF, part owned by the French government, using cheap Chinese steel that has catastrophically failed in other nuclear installations. Now EDF say the costs will be double or more and it will be very late even if it does come online. Swindon was once our producer of rail locomotives and rolling stock. Not anymore, it’s Bombardier in Derby and due to their losses in the aviation market, that could see the end of the British railways manufacturing altogether even though Bombardier had EU grants to keep Derby going which they diverted to their loss-making aviation side in Canada.
- 39% of British invention patents have been passed to foreign companies, many of them in the EU The Mini cars that Cameron stood in front of as an example of British engineering, are built by BMW mostly in Holland and Austria. His campaign bus was made in Germany even though we have Plaxton, Optare, Bluebird, Dennis etc., in the UK. The bicycle for the Greens was made in the far east, not by Raleigh UK but then they are probably going to move to the Netherlands too as they have said recently.
From a blog by Keith Sutton, 15 June 2016 (Most of these are disputed by the I love the EU fraternity).
Graphs on Balance of Payments since 1945
UK Balance of Payments
Tejvan Pettinger October 2, 2015, trade
The graph above clearly demonstrates the crippling effect of EU membership and imposed regulations on the UK’s manufacturing ability. The effect of EEC/EU regulations took a few years from 1973 to start taking effect but since 1981 the decline in UK export performance is remarkably similar to the imposition of annual EU regulations and increasing costs to the UK economy of being in the EU. No doubt other factors have played a part in the decline, but the fact remains that this is the performance of UK exporters while the UK is in the EU.
Further proof of the EU’s effect on UK trade was reported by Christopher Booker in his Sunday Telegraph column (05 Dec 2004) that even the EU admitted in its report on competitiveness that if the EU’s regulatory burden could be reduced to that of the USA, then the EU’s GDP would increase substantially. From the EU’s figures Booker quoted that for the UK the annual cost of the EU’s regulatory burden alone was then about £100 billion/annum.
TOP 35 FASTEST-GROWING EXPORTERS OF GOODS TO 11 FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE EU SINGLE MARKET 1993–2011
Rank % growth Exports/month in 2011 Annual Cost of Being in EU
in US $(1993) In US $bn (2011) in £ Billions (2014)
1 Vietnam 544 0.4 0 2 Qatar 496 0.3 0 3 Ukraine 446 1.1 0 4 China & Hong Kong 429 15.3 0 5 United Arab Emirates 402 2.8 0 6 Russia 377 7.8 0 7 India 367 3.4 0 8 Brazil 357 3.4 0 9 Turkey* 295 6.2 0 10 Nigeria 250 1.1 0 11 Australia 243 2.6 0 12 South Africa* 224 2.1 0 13 Chile* 198 0.6 0 14 Korea* 197 3.0 0 15 Mexico* 176 2.1 0 16 Morocco* 170 1.5 0 17 Singapore 163 2.3 0 18 New Zealand 147 0.3 0 19 Canada 142 2.3 0 20 Bangladesh 129 0.1 0 21 Bahrain 129 0.1 0 22 US 126 22.2 0 23 Switzerland* 114 11.8 ? 24 Saudi Arabia 114 2.3 0 25 Norway* 114 2.7? 26 Kenya 99 0.1 0 27 Egypt* 96 1.1 0 28 UK 81 23.9 190
29 Israel* 51 1.5 0 30 Japan 51 4.7 0 31 Taiwan 50 1.5 0 32 Iceland* 48 0.1 0 33 Thailand 48 0.9 0 34 Kuwait 21 0.3 0 35 Indonesia 12 0.6 0
Source: www.oecd-ilibrary.org.OECD database Monthly Statistics of International Trade * Countries with trade agreements with the EU.
The table above is taken from the report “Where’s the insider advantage”? by Michael Burrage, published by the think-tank Civitas, except for the fourth column which has been added by this author
5 ANNUAL COST OF BEING IN THE EU CURRENTLY £221 BILLION?
5.1 It must also be noted that being in the EU in 2014 could have cost the UK economy £190 billion/annum, (“How much does the European Union cost Britain?”, 2015 version by Prof Tim Congdon). There are obvious conclusions to be drawn from this figure:
• This is an overhead on the whole UK economy. Out of the EU this vast additional cost on the operations of our exporters and our infrastructure can be severely reduced or preferably eliminated.
• This will enable UK exporters to reduce their costs making their goods more attractive, not only to the ROW but to the EU as well.
• Without this vast EU induced overhead the UK will be able to compete for exports to the EU on the same terms as the USA, Japan, China etc. plus many other countries that are not in the EU and not subject to the EU overhead and do not even have a trade deal with the EU.
• Clearly the vast exports from the USA, Japan, China etc are all made under WTO rules and using these rules should therefore not be a problem to UK exporters who have already made a SURPLUS trading with many countries in the ROW using these rules up to 2021
• It was only recently (after 45 years of experience) that ANYONE in the government acknowledged that being in the EU cost the UK a vast amount of money. This was when Jacob Rees Mogg introduced a sunset clause for abolishing many EU imposed laws by 31st Dec 2023. This was clearly being done to benefit UK businesses.
5.2 Congdon’s figure of £190 billion/annum can clearly be argued about by other economists. To put it into context I have plotted various cost estimates on the graph reproduced as Figure 5.1, which are discussed below.
a) The indirect costs which include the costs of applying and administering the thousands of EU Directives and Regulations imposed upon the UK public by the un-elected, un-sackable and unaccountable bureaucrats in the EU are enormous. Unfortunately, these costs are the most contentious to consider as no UK government has ever published any figures and they have all, without exception, absolutely refused to carry out an honest and meaningful cost/benefit analysis. Clearly the results would be so bad for their policy of commitment to EU membership that they would find it impossible to justify continued membership on financial terms alone.
b) Some attempts at estimating this cost for individual years have been made. The Taxpayers Alliance (TPA) has proposed a total figure of £130.6 billion for the year 2010. This figure was quoted in the Daily Express Special Edition, published on Saturday, 8th January 2011.
c) In his booklet Batten quotes that for the year 2010 the total direct and indirect costs amounted to £77 billion by a simple summation. But Batten (GB) takes great care to point out throughout his booklet that he always used the lowest estimates of costs wherever possible to avoid being accused of bias. Batten’s figure is considered to be far too low for the following reasons.
d) Christopher Booker pointed out in his Sunday Telegraph column (05 Dec 2004) that even the EU admitted that for the UK the annual cost of the EU’s regulatory burden alone was about £100 billion. If one assumes that the EU regulatory burden is approximately 75% of the total annual cost of being in the EU (see Daily Express, Special Edition, 2011) then the total annual cost due to being in the EU for 2004 could
have been, according to the EU estimate, approximately £133 billion. As this figure is derived from an EU figure it is used as a benchmark against which the estimates below can be assessed.
e) Professor Tim Congdon (TC) recently estimated the total annual cost as £150 billion, and this is assumed to apply to 2011. See his booklet “How much does the EU cost Britain?” published in 2012, which continues the series of booklets started by Batten in 2005.
f) Professor Patrick Minford CBE, (PM) of the Cardiff Business School estimated in 2005 that being in the EU cost the UK between 11% and 38% of GDP, (see blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2012/09/17/Britain-leave the/euro/) he confirmed that the figures he quoted still seem to be of the right order of magnitude. So, in 2005 as the GDP was £1245 billion, he estimates the cost of being in the EU was between £137 billion to £473 billion and £160 to £545 billion in 2010.
g) These estimates are plotted on Figure 5.1 and it can be seen that Congdon’s figure of £150 billion is approximately mid-way between the EU and TPA figures. Hence, using Congdon’s result, we should have a fairly reliable figure for the annual cost to the UK economy of being in the EU of £150 billion for the year 2011. This figure equates to a cost of being in the EU of £17 million/hour, approximately equivalent to the cost of the annual salaries of 10 nurses, soldiers or policemen every minute we are in the EU!
5.2 Congdon has done further analyses of the annual cost to the UK of being in the EU. In his reports “How much does the European Union cost Britain?” he quotes £150 billion/annum for 2011 in his 2012 report, £165 to £170 billion/annum for 2012 in his 2013 report, £185 billion/annum in his 2014 report and £190 billion/annum for the year 2014 in his 2015 report. Sadly, he stopped producing these reports after that.
5.3 The annual costs he estimated rose as a % of GDP from 10% in 2011, 11% in 2012 and 12% in 2014. So the annual cost of being in the EU was clearly rising much faster than our GDP.
5.4 Using Congdon’s figure of £190 billion/year for 2014 we can assume that the annual rate of increase for the cost of being in the EU is approximately £4.52 billion/year. Hence the total accumulated cost for the UK of being in the EU since 1973 to 2017 is calculated in APP 5.1 and this shows that the total accumulated annual cost of being in the EU from 1973 to 2017 could have currently cost the UK economy nearly £11 trillion.
NOTE: This is NOT being put forward as a definitive figure for the total cost. It is merely being added to indicate how much the UK economy could have suffered through being in the EU for 45 years due to EU over-regulation etc. All the elements that made up that cost are listed in Congdon’s reports.
5.5 Hence all those remainers who claim the UK economy will suffer when we leave the EU are clearly unaware of the potential cost of EU membership to our economy, are lying about it or are simply ignoring it.
FIGURE 5.1 VARIOUS ANNUAL COST ESTIMATES OF BEING IN THE EU
6 TOTAL COST OF UK PAYMENTS TO THE EU BUDGETS: £ 310.5 BILLION
6.1 Since the UK joined the EU in 1973 it had to make payments into the EU annual budget. The rates that various countries had to pay are fixed by the EU every few years.
6.2 The total NETT contributions to the EU budget are shown in APP 6.1 below. This table is extracted from HoC Briefing Paper, Number CBP 7886, 2 February 2018 10. It shows the Net UK budget contributions from 1973 to 2017 in annual cash payment terms.
6.3 App 6.2 below shows the same payments, but the final net budget payments are corrected to 2017 values by the HoC library.
6.4 APP 6.3 lists the HoC budgetary payments in cash terms, corrected to 2017 values using the University of Illinois web site measuringworth.com and the Hoc 2017 values for comparison purposes. The totals of 275,449 and 198,410 respectively for the totals show a marked difference of £77,039 million due to the method of correcting the results.
6.5 In order to check these values APP 6.4 shows the calculation of three results from the years 1973, 1985 and 2000 corrected to 2017 values using the Bank of England (BoE) average interest rates for the years from 1973 to 1974 extracted from the Guardian web site, Interest Rates in the UK from 1974 and from 1975 to 2017, extracted from the BoE web site Annual Average Bank rate IUAABEDR.
6.6 APP 6.4 shows that the 1973 net budgetary payment of £102 million in 1973 would be worth £2.813 billion in 2017 based on the interest rates from 1973 to 2017. The University of Illinois (UoI) figure is £2.538 billion and the HoC corrected figure, (see Table 3, APP 6.2) is just £1.038 billion.
Similarly for 1985, the actual cash payment of £1.808 billion is corrected to £10.356 billion, by the use of the interest rate method and to £8.68 billion by the UoI and only £4.379 by the HoC.
For the year 2000, the cash payment of £4.192 billion is corrected to £6.634 billion by the interest rate method, £7.483 billion by the UoI and £5.860 billion by the HoC.
6.7 It can be seen that the UoI figures are much closer to the actual values calculated by using the actual average annual interest rates than the HoC figures which are very much lower. Hence it can be assumed that the UoI calculations are reasonably reliable These calculations do show categorically the relatively high levels of UK budgetary payments to the EU over its 45-year membership.
6.8 Not included in these calculations are the interest charges accruing every year on the budget payments. These annual payments all had to be borrowed as there was always an annual deficit, (apart from a small return from the EU in 1975). Allowing a very modest annual interest rate of 2.5% from 1973 to 2017 increases the current total cost to the UK of its EU budgetary payments to over £285 billion. The current annual interest on this amount at 2.5% is £7.1 billion and this must still be paid for years after BREXIT until the UK’s national debt, currently well over £2 trillion, is paid off!
6.9 As we are looking at the total costs of being in the EU from 1973 to 2021 the annual nett budgetary figures from 1973 to 2021 are re-calculated to 2021 levels in Appendix 6.5. This shows that the total current cost of the UK’s budget payments to the EU from 1973 to2021 was £310,523 billion, or 13.7% of the UK’s current national debt of nearly £2.5 trillion.
APPENDIX 6.1 ANNUAL NET CONTRIBUTIONS TO EU BUDGETS
APPENDIX 6.2 UK NET CASH CONTRIBUTION TO EU BUDGET 1973 to 2017
APPENDIX 6.3 UK NET BUDGET PAYMENTS,1973 to 2017, USING UNIV OF ILLINOIS AND HoC CORRECTIONS TO 2017 VALUES (£ millions)
APPENDIX 6.4 UK BUDGET PAYMENTS COMPARISON USING BANK of ENGLAND AVERAGE ANNUAL INTEREST RATES
APPENDIX 6.5 UK BUDGET PAYMENTS 1973 to 2021 CORRECTED TO 2021 VALUES
|YEAR||Net Cont from||2021||ACCUM||Net Cont 2017||ACCUM|
|Table 2||U of Illinois||Table 3|
7 COST OF LOST FISHING RIGHTS £100 to £150 BILLION
The EEC produced at the last minute the infamous demand that UK territorial waters and its fisheries were an EEC “asset” to be administered by the EEC as a condition of entry.
Ted Heath swallowed this infamous demand virtually without a murmur, but even he was apparently apprehensive as to the large cost of the budgetary payments to the UK. To soften the blow and make it more publicly acceptable the EEC agreed to a 7year “softening up” period of the total annual cost of UK budgetary payments.
In addition, cabinet papers revealed that on the territorial waters issue that Ted Heath, Conservative Prime Minister said words to the effect that he was “not bothered about the livelihoods of a few Scottish fishermen” if that was the price of joining the EEC! Note that the loss of UK fishing rights to the EEC/EU was apparently estimated to be costing the UK economy £2/3 billion/annum. Hence the total cost to the UK of the loss of UK fishing rights is well over £100 to £150 billion.
8 CURRENT LIABILITY OF BEING IN THE EU UP TO £441+ BILLION
In the Executive Summary of his report, “Why the Eurozone’s fate makes an immediate exit vital” published by Global Britain, Bob Lyddon, of Lyddon Consulting Services Ltd., states that:
“Three years after the UK voted to leave the European Union all we have on the table is a Withdrawal Agreement and a Political Declaration that fail to end the UK’s huge contingent liabilities to the EU’s financial institutions. We do not, for example, cease to be a shareholder in the European Central Bank and the European Investment Bank for at least twenty years.
During the transition period the EU could cause the UK’s maximum contingent liability to rise from the current figure of €207 billion to €441 billion, or by even more if our exit is drawn out into the period of the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework.
Any payment the UK might make for our supposed residual liabilities will be spent immediately on other things: who will then meet those liabilities when they fall due for payment? This all derives from near-criminal irresponsibility by the UK’s negotiators.
For the UK the timing and terms of our withdrawal are vital: can we crystallise and then discharge our liabilities by leaving the EU completely and soon, or do we risk becoming a loss-sharing party as and when the Eurozone financial system goes off its cliff?
This will occur at the latest in 2021 when financial markets belatedly realise that compliance with the EU Fiscal Stability Treaty is unattainable: the Debt-to-GDP ratios of Italy, Belgium, France, Cyprus, Greece and Portugal are all above 95% and only Greece has a current budget surplus.
Compliance is impossible from both an economic and political point of view.”
EXTRA FUTURE COSTS ON RE-JOINING THE EU
9 SUPPORTING COST OF EU PENSIONS OF WELL OVER 30 TRILLION EUROS
9.1 There is a massive “hole” looming in the pension funding for the next generation of workers in many EU countries according to a study commissioned by the European Central Bank. The 18 EU countries in the report compiled by the Research Centre for Generational Contracts at Freiburg University in 2009 showed that the largest pension liabilities in per cent of GDP can be found in France (362.2), Poland (361.1) and Austria (359.9), followed by Germany (329.6) and Italy (323.1). The lowest liabilities have been calculated for Lithuania (179.9) and Latvia (124.8) followed by the United Kingdom (91.2) authors Christoph Mueller, Bernd Raffelhueschen and Olaf Weddige said in the report.
9.2 The UK had one of the lowest pension rates in the EU and the lowest pension liability of those examined at 91.2% of GDP. Despite this the UK pensionable age for men is likely to rise to 68 in a few years. What does that say about the pension prospects for countries like France, Poland, Austria and Germany with pension liabilities which are over 3 times their GDP?
9.3 Furthermore it should be noted that:
a) Only 18 EU countries were analysed in this report leaving the pension liabilities of the remainder unaccounted for.
b) All of the remaining EU countries are net beneficiaries from the EU budget c) At present there are about 4 people working for every pensioner in the UK. In the next 25 years or so this figure is expected to drop to two workers for every pensioner, thus doubling their commitment.
10 COSTS OF UK CONVERTING TO THE EURO £53 BILLION?
Tony Blair was very keen to adopt the euro when he was PM. In 2005 he said that it would probably be around 2010 before the economic conditions were right. Around that time, it was estimated that changing over to the euro as our main currency would cost, (from memory) the country about £32 billion. There have not been any recent calculations as to the cost of the change-over, even for Scotland, where Nichola Sturgeon is continually whingeing about joining the EU. However, even if there were no increased costs today in changing-over converting £32 billion in 2005 to 2021 values raises the current cost to £53 billion.
11 SUPPORTING THE COST OF BANKRUPT EU NATIONS
After years of cheap lending money many EU nations built up huge debts (as did the UK). There is no doubt that if the UK re-joined the EU, it would be drawn into supporting many EU nations with debts which they cannot repay. For example, the debt to GDP ratio of many EU countries in January 2022, Q1, was as follows:
- 1. Greece: 206.0
- 2. Italy: 156.0
- 3. Portugal: 134.0
- 4. Spain: 120.0
- 5. Cyprus: 118.0
- 6. France: 116.0
- 7. Belgium: 114.0
- 8. Croatia: 88.7
- 9. Austria: 83.9
- 10. Slovenia: 80.8
- 11. Hungary: 80.4
- 12. Germany: 69.8
- 13. Finland: 69.2
- 14. Slovakia: 60.6
- 15. Ireland: 59.5
A high debt-to-GDP ratio is undesirable for a country, as a higher ratio indicates a higher risk of default. In a study conducted by the World Bank, a ratio that exceeds 77% for an extended period of time may result in an adverse impact on economic growth. A study by the World Bank found that countries whose debt-to-GDP ratios exceed 77% for prolonged periods experience significant slowdowns in economic growth. Pointedly, every percentage point of debt above this level costs countries 0.017 percentage points in economic growth. This phenomenon is even more pronounced in emerging markets, where each additional percentage point of debt over 64% annually slows growth by 0.02%.
The UK’s debt in 2022 Q1 was 99.6% of GDP, which is high by accepted standards but a lot lower than many EU countries. However, the UK has never failed to repay its debts.
12 ADVANTAGES OF BEING IN THE EU
Clearly there are NO financial advantages to being in the EU as the costs involved are horrendous and there are definitely NO financial benefits to the UK’s citizens, householders and taxpayers.
However, as pointed out earlier, there are some financial benefits to the UK’s big businesses which trade with the EU. Due to being in the EU’s single market the UK could export goods to the EU with no tariffs. Again, this so called “advantage” was a big, big, disadvantage to UK taxpayers and consumers as the loss of income to the UK treasury was far greater due to the enormous negative trade gap in the UK’s trade with the EU. Thanks largely to the EU controlling all the UK’s trade. In addition, UK big business could employ armies of lobbyists to try and influence EU decisions in their favour. They could also better afford staff to ensure compliance with EU bureaucracy thereby denying smaller companies getting business for their products.
In addition, the freedom of movement within the EU, is often cited as a big advantage by EU fanatics in the UK. Unfortunately, this entails freedom of all the citizens of the EU coming to the UK as well. All 447 million of them! This includes all the criminal scum in Europe, who can come and live in the UK, be guaranteed housing, NHS facilities, schooling, benefits etc., etc., and were never in danger of being deported after being prosecuted and found guilty of their crimes in UK courts.
The usual arguments for staying in the EU are therefore pathetic and feeble. Such as, “I do not have to show my passport when travelling in Europe”, and “I can go and live in Europe”.
Also, Lord Adonis has said that being in the EU we can benefit from their laws. Does he not realise that there are 650 MP’s who are supposed to be making laws, for the UK, which benefit the UK? A process which he as a Member of the House of Lords is party to.
Even before the UK joined the EU it was made clear that the UK was going to be severely and wilfully penalised in order to favour the other EEC countries. Peter Shore, ex Labour Minister, pointed out in his book “Separate Way’s” their intentions. One would have thought that after all the enormous costs in bloodshed, destruction and finance that the UK and its Commonwealth suffered to save Europe from German and Nazi domination during two world wars, the EEC would at least ensure a fair system for the UK’s entry.
NOT ON YOUR LIFE!
The EEC changed the budget contribution procedure from that based on a % of GDP to a system based on taxes based on import duties. As Peter Shore pointed out this was clearly introduced to punish the UK as the UK imported far more of its food than the other, mainly agricultural EEC countries.
The EEC also produced at the last minute the infamous demand that UK territorial waters and its fisheries were an EEC “asset” to be administered by the EEC. A new imposition not planted on any other nation on joining, before or since. Hence the EEC/EU was determined to screw the UK for all they worth right from the start.
Therefore, WHY anybody thinks that being in the EU would be to the UK’s advantage proves how delusional they were, and still are, as history underlines the fact that the UK has been screwed by the EU at every opportunity. Unfortunately, for some inexplicable reason they were assiduously assisted in this by every prime minister and many LibLabCon party politicians since before we joined and for as long as we were in the EU. However, a clue as to why they were so keen to remain and even re-join the EU could be found in the following reference.
Alan Skeds paper (See Ref 12.1 below) says that the Conservative Party under Heath became a secret corporate member of Monnet’s Action Committee for a United States of Europe. The initial fee was £15,000, (equivalent to nearly half a million pounds today). According to Monnet’s chief aide and biographer, Francois Duchêne, the Labour and Liberal parties joined later.
So, it can be assumed that the LibLabCon parties have ALL been aiming to make the UK a vassal state of the United States of Europe for over 45 years and have allegedly been totally and secretly committed to:
• Abolishing the United Kingdom as a sovereign, democratic and independent country. • Abolishing of the monarchy as our Head of State.
• Abolishing Westminster, the “Mother of Parliaments” as the governing body of the UK. • Abolishing the right of UK citizens to “hire and fire” their government and therefore disenfranchising them.
• Abolishing the right of UK citizens to call themselves, English etc.
• Abolishing the UK armed forces and expecting the defence of the realm to be delegated to EU forces.
• Abolishing the UK’s membership of the Commonwealth
• Abolishing the UK’s right to formulate its own foreign and domestic policies. • Giving over 350 million foreigners the legal right to come and live in the UK with no controls whatsoever on how many chose to do so.
• Giving away vast amounts of UK taxpayers money to foreign agencies with little or no control over the amounts demanded.
• Giving away the UK’s territorial waters and fishing rights to the EU.
It is totally unforgiveable that Ted Heath, Conservative Prime Minister, 1970 to 1974, blatantly and deliberately lied to the UK public that joining the EEC would NOT involve any loss of sovereignty, when he had either ALREADY joined Monnet’s Action Committee for a United States of Europe or was just about to. This obviously involved a total loss of sovereignty if it was achieved, which was obviously his intention. I believe that every PM since then, including Blair, John Major, Theresa May, and many MP’s have allegedly been working towards the aim of abolishing our country as an independent sovereign and democratic nation by making the UK a vassal state of the EU. Significantly, attempts to discover whether or not the Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem parties are still in the successor to Monnet’s Action Committee for a United States of Europe have failed as there was no response from the Cabinet Office to this question!
But none of the LibLabCon parties have ever mentioned any of the above aims in any of their manifestos in any general election before, or even during, the whole time we have been in the EU. Nor have any of their treasonous policies, listed above, ever been mentioned in any of the
Queen’s speeches on the opening of parliament. Incredibly, despite thousands of new MP’s being elected to Parliament since 1973, never has any one of them ever made it clear to the public the real alleged intention of their parties staying in the EU, i.e. to effectively disenfranchise the British public and destroy the UK as an independent, sovereign and democratic state and make the UK a vassal state of the United States of Europe. The story of the lies and deceit over the EU by the LibLabCon parties is detailed in Booker and North’s book, “The Great Deception” see Ref 12.2.
It is crystal clear that the Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem parties not only publish pledges in their election manifestos which they fail to honour, they also more insidiously have allegedly NOT declared their secret mission to turn the UK into a vassal state of the EU.
Hence, all three parties have allegedly lied to and deceived the UK public for over 45 years with regard to making the UK a vassal state of the EU and so the question must be asked:
ARE THEY FIT FOR PURPOSE?
Ref 12.1 Global Britain published paper written by Prof Alan Sked titled “TIME FOR A CHANGE, British Conservatism and the politics of Brexit”
Ref 12.2 “The Great Deception” by Booker and North, published by continuum.
The current political party system is therefore totally corrupt and deceitful and must be swept away and replaced by a system where truth and honesty prevail.
By John Broadfoot
For me the EU Brexit Referendum in 2016 changed the whole UK political dialogue and media background. The divisions/animosity between Brexiteers and Remainers were much greater, deeper, than the traditional Left/Right political differences experienced before 2016. There was a real hatred, lack of respect that was made even worse when a Remain Parliament, a Remain Establishment, a Remain Civil Service and a Remain media so obviously tried to block the democratic will of the EU Referendum majority by blocking/delaying Brexit so sneakily and dishonestly – led by principal Remainers Theresa May/Gavin Barwell, who gave away all our negotiating power to their friends in the EU, so we would have Brexit in name only.
Fortunately for Brexiteers (and the UK) real local democracy returned to the UK from the undemocratic EU via a true Brexit, thanks to Mr Brexit – PM Boris Johnson. He swept to power in 2019 on a Brexit vote and sealed the fate of the Remainers and we left the EU. Remainers/Rejoiners went underground to regroup in the face of a Brexit PM with a whopping 80 seat majority. They soon realised that their only hope was to attack and unseat Mr Brexit himself – Boris Johnson, and so began a concerted, co-ordinated attack on the man himself – it was their only hope in the short term. For Labour too it was a possibly quicker route back to power after the Corbyn disaster years.
Unfortunately, at the same time the background UK political/media landscape had now changed radically, and this helped the Remainers a lot. Since 2016 the UK press/media have gorged themselves on a Referendum, leadership elections, General Elections in UK and USA and the battle with the EU over the Brexit treaty. Virtually everything is now breaking news. If there is a slow news day, our febrile, out of control, unaccountable, left wing, UK Remain “gotcha” media will now invent stories by always taking the worst line on any issue/comment that could possibly be interpreted two ways. They do this just to invent stories and fill in breaking news gaps. The only news items now not in breaking news appears to be the weather.
The febrile “gotcha” UK media now also encourages the UK opposition party (Labour) to campaign for re-election the day after they lose an election. In the old days there would be a break for 2/3 years before electioneering began in Year 3/4 of a Parliamentary term. The UK media desperate for breaking news will give the opposition limitless media coverage – especially if they reflect the editor’s political views too, as so clearly happens with the leftie BBC.
Everyone in politics is now forensically investigated to see if there any skeletons in their cupboards, like smoking a joint when a student etc. Watch this inevitably happen with the new Conservative leader/PM. Every policy statement will be forensically analysed, criticised, exaggerated. The UK in my view is now virtually ungovernable because of our febrile unaccountable “gotcha” UK media. No one person can be on top of his/her brief all the time and EVERYONE makes mistakes. Should Sir Kier Starmer or anyone else get into power they will face the ferocious UK breaking news media and will be found out too on many occasions, depending on the bias of that particular media outlet.
Thus, we now live in a world where you are not allowed a single mistake by the media/public. Plus, politically motivated civil servants (Remainers, Cummings etc) will now routinely leak anything detrimental to a political opponent or party. Any innocent off the cuff remark/joke in a meeting will be exaggerated and leaked to the media. In addition, political leaders around the world are expected to predict the most unimaginable, unique, unforeseen new problems. Who could have foreseen Covid, European war, subsequent raw materials and cost of living crisis etc?
Boris achieved much – Brexit, full employment, best vaccination programme, social care reform, fastest exit and growth from Covid and history will treat him better when measured against his successors in this new Putin/energy/food/raw materials crisis world we now live in. Yes, he made mistakes when working exhausted 365 days a year with an unrelenting 24/7 schedule but it will be interesting to see how a more Remain friendly leader/party in government is treated by the febrile, Remain, left wing media/establishment.
Do you want a solid leader who generally makes the right calls but occasionally tells the odd porky or do you want a clueless, boring, politician like Starmer with no apparent policies and who will try to get us back into the EU? Or a Blair that takes us into an illegal war killing thousands? Maybe Boris wasn’t so bad after all? His planned removal has certainly improved Labour’s chances at the next General Election and Remainers/Rejoiners will have a new spring in their step now that Mr Brexit has been deliberately hunted down by Remainer MPs, Remainer Civil Servants, the establishment and the insatiable “gotcha” media.”
Because the febrile UK media are now inventing so many “breaking news” (fake) stories to fill gaps on quiet news days, the UK public are increasingly switching away from traditional news providers like the BBC, Sky, Channel 4 etc and either switching to new, more measured, channels like GB News or Times Radio, or are simply switching off from the BBC for example. Over 2 million BBC Licence holders have not renewed their licences in the last year. A just repayment of years of BBC left wing, Remain, EU bias.
When Sir Keir Starmer first announced his shadow cabinet back in April 2020, we reviewed the members and could only find the unelected Lord Falconer, who seemed to believe in enacting the democratic vote of 2016 to leave the EU. Following the loss of the Hartlepool by-election in May this year we reviewed the reshuffle and found Labour still couldn’t find any MPs for the shadow cabinet who like 52% of voters, supported us leaving the EU.
Sir Keir has again shuffled the shadow cabinet and we have reviewed it to see if any of the new intake are more reflective of the British electorate?
Shadow Minister of State at the Cabinet Office – Baroness Chapman of Darlington
Jennifer Chapman came into her role in June this year. Previously an MP, she campaigned to remain in the European Union in the 2016 EU membership referendum. Not wanting to honour the referendum result in 2019 she said “We got here through a democratic vote and the only way to proceed is through another democratic vote”.
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – Peter Kyle MP
Kyle campaigned for remain during the EU membership referendum, 2016. In June 2018, he said “Brexit is a big deal but it’s not a done deal”. Kyle put forward an amendment to Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, aimed at not honouring the original referendum, and to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on the condition that the deal on offer would go back to the British people through a confirmatory vote.
Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care – Wes Streeting MP
Streeting campaigned against Brexit in the run up to the 2016 EU membership referendum. Not honouring the original referendum he tweeted that the NEC had “made the right call and confirmed that a public vote will be in our manifesto for the European elections”. He described those who believed we could walk away from the EU without a deal as “Brextremists”.
Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department – Yvette Cooper MP
Ms Cooper said the Leave campaign was “being led by the hard right of the Tory party” who had “never been friends to public services or low-paid workers. During the Brexit process, Cooper consistently fought against honouring the referendum result if it meant a no-deal Brexit. Cooper tabled a private members’ bill, again with the intended effect of preventing a “no-deal” Brexit. In the complete opposite of what we have seen in reality with rising wages she said “working people will be hardest hit by Brexit”.
We can see none of the new Shadow Cabinet members are supporters of Brexit. But Labour also have people attending the Shadow Cabinet, let’s see how they fair?
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Pat McFadden MP
Pat McFadden was opposed to a no deal Brexit and supports a close trading relationship with the European Union. Not honouring the original vote, McFadden was in favour of a second referendum to give the people a final say on leaving the European Union (note to Pat, we had already had that say).
Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Lords – Lord Kennedy of Southwark
Roy Kennedy, Baron Kennedy of Southwark took up the role in June. Baron Southwark appears to have a problem with constrained labour markets giving working people a pay rise.
Once again not one MP, not one Lord, in favour like 52% of voters, of Brexit. Worse than that many members of the Shadow Cabinet wanted to ignore the referendum and have the people of Britain vote again, and no doubt again, and again, and again, until we voted the way they wanted. The Labour Party is not yet proving it can be trusted with democracy.
On the 23rd of June, 2016. The people of the United Kingdom – and Gibraltar – went to vote… and 17,410,742 of us voted to leave the EU.
We have now regained our nations independence and fully left. In commemoration of the 5 years since the vote, we’re proposing to go for drinks in what during the campaign became Croydon’s Brexit central, the Skylark.
We don’t yet know what lockdown restrictions we will be operating under. As such we’re not able to book an area, however we propose to be at the Skylark (34–36 South End, Croydon, CR0 1DP) on Wednesday June 23rd from 7pm, and will operate under whatever rules we need to. Feel free to come and join us.
In April 2020 Sir Keir Starmer was elected Leader of the Labour Party and therefore became Leader of the Opposition. He soon appointed a shadow cabinet, who as we pointed out, by overwhelmingly calling for the 2016 EU Referendum to not be implemented, were no respecters of democracy.
Following the loss of the Hartlepool by-election, and other local government losses, Sir Keir has reshuffled his shadow cabinet and we take a look at the new members, since our last review to see if Labour has changed to reflect the will of the British people.
Shadow Secretary of State for Education: Kate Green
Kate believed that democratic vote of the people in 2016 should just be ignored, stating on Twitter in 2019: “Now that #Brexit talks have collapsed, it’s even clearer the only way out of this Brexit mess is to give the public a #FinalSay #Labour4ConfirmatoryVote”
Shadow Secretary of State for Housing: Lucy Powell
Lucy has to be fair been taking note of what the people say. Saying in 2020 to the HuffPost UK:
“It’s not just about Brexit, although Brexit was a big symbolic expression of Labour losing touch with its traditional voter base.
“And we can’t keep putting two fingers up to people if we want them to vote for us again and support us and be part of the agenda that we want for the future.”
This is progress, however it is worth noting the following from her Wikipedia page: “She joined the pro-Euro and pro-EU Treaty pressure group Britain in Europe (BiE), originally in a public relations role and later as head of regional campaigning. She later replaced Simon Buckby as Campaign Director of BiE”
Shadow Chief Whip: Alan Campbell
Remain supporting Alan Campbell, is another so called representative who believed that democratic vote of the people in 2016 should just be ignored. Writing on his own website in 2019 he said: “But before we take that leap of faith I believe we should ask people to confirm that that’s what they voted for.”
National Campaign Coordinator: Shabana Mahmood
Campaigning for Britain to remain in the European Union, as she wrote on her website Shabana has “always believed that to crash out of the EU with no deal would be unthinkable.” Likewise on Twitter she has said: “On top of that, we are unable to properly scrutinise the millions upon millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money being spent on preparation for a disastrous No Deal #Brexit”.
Labour lost the ‘red wall’ in the General Election of 2019, we have seen party voting split increasingly along Brexit voting lines, and seen the working class turn their backs on Labour. These trends were reconfirmed in the 2021 local elections and Hartlepool by-election.
Surely Labour could have found 1 MP who supported the will of 52% of the people to enter the shadow cabinet? For the sake of democracy we need an opposition that looks capable of forming a government. We don’t appear to have an opposition that respects democracy.
Now we have left the Transition Period we asked Brexiteers if they feel Brexit is now complete, for their hopes and their predictions for the future.
Tam Laird, Leader of the Scottish Libertarian Party.
Did Brexit get done? I think only technically, but it was a long drawn out torturous process that could have been avoided by (a). Accepting No Deal from the get go. (b). Taking the Norway option. But it is at least a beginning.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms Freedom is a long way off. BoJo and co are doing their very best to comply entirely with the globalist agenda and their record on individual Liberty so far is abysmal. As comedian Geoff Norcott quips when asked if he regrets voting for a conservative government. “No. I regret not getting one.” But one hopes against hope that they will begin to tear up over sixty other international trade agreements that government had no real right to being involved with in the first place. Business should do business with business and make their own agreements.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? I hope to see the repeal of the Equality Act of 2010 and the absolute right to free speech guaranteed in a bill of rights based on individual liberties. In the realms of fantasy I would like to see more regional autonomy within the UK on a confederation model.
What do you think is next for the EU? I think they may do their utmost to frustrate and hamper Britain at every available opportunity especially by using Scotland Ireland and Wales with their pro EU regimes as bulwarks. But I hope it dies a slow painful wasting death.
Andrew Bence, of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Did Brexit get done? Yes, although I can’t pretend to have an in-depth understanding of the pros and cons of the deal that was achieved. Meanwhile, as a non-economist and someone with zero experience of the import/export business, I wait with a degree of trepidation to see exactly how ‘things’ turn out. But the democratic will of the people has, finally, been respected, and as one of those who voted for Brexit, I shall own the decision we made.
How do you hope the UK will use the new found freedoms? Again, on economic matters I am a layman, trusting in those whose expertise I find persuasive, according to whom any short-term disadvantages will be superseded by advantages long term, as new cooperative arrangements bed in, we develop home-grown products, and export more widely. However, the EU isn’t the only jurisdiction running on a democratic deficit, and my dearest hope is that this renewed focus on sovereignty will inspire a rise in democratic engagement here in the UK, leading to electoral reform and an end to our present mediocre governing duopoly.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? Abolition of the House of Lords is long overdue. I’d like to see that followed by electoral reform and the reshaping of the devolution settlement, including an English parliament based outside London and the reform of the House of Commons. Details can be found here: https://sdp.org.uk/policies/constitution/.
What do you think is next for the EU? Entropy? Just as with the broader liberal establishment, I don’t see those at the helm recognising the error of their ways any time soon. Therefore sensible reform, increased democratic accountability, the discarding of the federalist project, these things are unlikely to happen. Europeans will become increasingly disillusioned, looking to the UK to see if the alternative is proving preferable.
Anonymous local Brexit campaigner.
Did Brexit get done? Brexit did get done. Technically that was done on 31st January 2020.
How do you hope the UK will use the new found freedoms? I’d like to see the UK cut unnecessary regulations and do more free trade deals, particularly with regards to services. Also, I’d like the UK to not pay welfare to EU nationals.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? I’d like to see the House of Lords abolished or cut in size. Also and I don’t know if this is constitutional related, but I’d like to see the lockdown over.
What do you think is next for the EU? The EU will survive for now but the EU wants more integration and some member states want less. Eventually that will come to a clash and the EU will either back down or carry on. If it carries on other states will leave. If it backs down on integration then it might survive.
Chris Mendes, Croydon South Vote Leave lead, and leader of The Foundation Party.
Did Brexit Get Done? Yes and no. We have ended the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and the EU Parliament and the EU Commission no longer govern our country. The free movement of people has ended and we are free to adopt free trade agreements with other nations.
This is excellent news. We who have campaigned hard for our right to national self-government can rightly feel a sense of liberation and victory.
But is this the treaty I would have agreed to? No it is not.
Boris Johnson’s government simply identified and prioritised a set of checkboxes they felt needed ticking to survive in government – namely, the separation from EU institutions mentioned above to placate “Leave” voters, and continued tariff-free access to the Single Market to placate “Remain” voters.
Everything else important was wrongly deprioritised. It is why Northern Ireland remains attached to the Single Market, why the EU still has shared access to our fishing waters, and why in this treaty we have agreed to common rules on employment, competition, state aid and the environment.
These would not have been agreed to if the Prime Minister had a full understanding and a loyal devotion to the principles underlying our independence in the first place. The whole point of leaving is for us to have our own internal conversations about all matters under the sun and to decide for ourselves what we want to do – it’s called democratic self-government.
But yet again, the Conservative Party have agreed to a treaty which is simply supposed to be about trade, but actually includes other policy agreements which it shouldn’t.
The good news however is that we can cancel this new treaty and walk-away in the future, or renegotiate the terms, if we so wish.
Theresa May’s appalling “Withdrawal Agreement” meant that both parties, the UK and the EU, had to agree to its termination before it could be terminated. We effectively came very close to national imprisonment, such was the naivety and insensitivity of that period in our political history.
In summary, having left the European Union a year ago and now agreeing to this new treaty, we are finally an independent and sovereign country again.
But the fight for enhancing our freedom and our liberty further still, with respect to this treaty, as well as Westminster itself and policy matters across the board, is still well and truly on the agenda.
How do you hope the UK will use the new found freedoms? First and foremost, now that the dilution of our democracy has been reversed, I expect us to discuss as a nation and decide at our general elections what our trade, fisheries, agriculture and immigration policies ought to be.
We haven’t had an open discussion on these matters in recent decades due to Westminster outsourcing them to the European Union, but now our elected politicians are responsible for these matters again, the people will rightly expect robust debate on these vital issues for them to make an informed decision.
On the subject of trade, we should unilaterally withdraw all import tariffs. Tariffs in the end are self-harming. The EU’s Customs Union only succeeds in forcing millions of EU citizens to buy and sell goods at highly inflated prices. We should abandon import tariffs so we can reduce consumer prices and give everyone, the poorest in particular, a well-earned break and more money left over to save or spend on their own priorities.
Moreover, and this is where Boris Johnson’s treaty will hold us back, my ambition would be to look very closely at our industries and identify heavy-handed and counterproductive EU regulations, and indeed UK regulations, that are unnecessarily disrupting economic growth.
Government does need to regulate the markets and there are plenty of areas where constraint is justified, the environment being a sound example. But over recent decades our free market system has become less and less free and we are worse off as a result.
For example, the EU’s gigantic and overly-complex GDPR data protection regulation ought to be abolished, in favour of something far lighter and less burdensome on small businesses. Our archaic Sunday trading laws should also be abolished and we should allow businesses to trade on any day at any time.
Let’s free business to do what they do best and focus on giving the consumer the freedom to choose. This will allow us to grow the economy, expand our manufacturing base and create more jobs across the board in the long-term.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? After 47 years of our membership of the European Union, with the democratic injustices throughout, such as the signing of treaties that damaged the nation’s capacity for self-government without the consent of the people, the refusal to grant the people their say for so long, and the attempts by Parliament to subvert our decision to leave at the first chance we got, the obvious question is – how do we prevent this from happening again?
The answer is to introduce a Sovereignty Protection Act that prevents Parliament from severely diluting our national sovereignty without the consent of the people.
No policy may be implemented or law passed that would render our Parliament subordinate to any other. Politicians elected in other countries must never again be empowered to make our laws. We should forever have our own independent trade, immigration and defence policy. Our territorial waters shall remain ours to regulate, police and enforce. We shall forever remain economically independent with our own currency and our Supreme Court shall remain supreme.
Never again shall politicians have the unilateral right to change any of the above without explicit permission from the British people, expressed in a referendum, first.
Moreover, we also need a Referendum By Petition Act to allow referendums on constitutional matters to be triggered by popular petition.
If the people are unhappy with a given policy, we simply wait until the next election and vote for a change. But if we are unhappy with how the Government and Parliament works, and what powers over us they have, suiting the politicians but not the people, we must have a route to change.
When a petition on a constitutional matter obtains at least 10% of the voting population, a referendum for the people to adjudicate the matter must be held whether the politicians like it or not.
What do you think is next for the EU? The direction of travel for the European Union is clear – more centralisation, command and control by the EU’s undemocratic institutions.
Frontex, the “European Border and Coast Guard Agency”, has this week become the EU’s first uniformed service.
This anti-democratic centralisation of power is the irreversible direction of travel of the European Union. This particular reform allows the EU to step closer towards a centralised immigration and border policy, which it has always wanted, and which was accelerated as a result of the EU migrant crisis in 2015.
In that same year, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor of course, and then-French President François Hollande, both appeared and spoke at the EU Parliament.
They openly stated in explicit terms, and indeed this was one of the very reasons why I decided to campaign for our exit from the European Union, that the EU must have a common defence and common foreign policy.
This dangerous and anti-democratic ideology of centralisation towards a single state called Europe, without the people of Europe’s consent, is at the heart of the true purpose of the European Union.
Now that Britain has left, the authoritarian and paternalistic ideological zealots of Europe’s political elite, who hate the notion of the democratic nation state, will now have a much clearer pathway to their fanatical utopia.
Undemocratic and authoritarian empires that hide from accountability and democratic consent do not last forever. They all come to an end. And so in time will the European Union.
We are joined by Chris Mendes, the leader of The Foundation Party and local Brexiteer Duncan Forsyth, as we discuss the Post-Brexit Trade Deal with the EU and the latest Covid Lockdown. We then consider the planned May local elections and the latest developments in US politics.
Now we have left the Transition Period we asked Brexiteers if they feel Brexit is now complete, for their hopes and their predictions for the future.
Dr Lee Jones reader in International Politics at Queen Mary University of London and co-founder of The Full Brexit.
Did Brexit get done? We have clawed back a fair degree of sovereignty, but the government’s hands remain tied in important ways. For me, this is a “minimum Brexit”. The Full Brexit’s full analysis of the deal is here: https://www.thefullbrexit.com/uk-eu-deal
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? Two main things. First, we need wholesale reforms to increase democratic control over economic, political and social life. Brexit has exposed the UK constitution as fundamentally broken. Second, we need a proper industrial strategy capable of developing economic sectors fit for the 21st century, de-financialising the economy, and spreading prosperity beyond the Southeast. We will also need to develop a strategy for maximising our room for manoeuvre under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and for defying it where necessary.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?
- Abolish the House of Lords, the royal prerogative, the monarchy, and the Supreme Court.
- Increase the size of the House of Commons to one Member for every 50,000 voters, elect MPs by proportional representation, and permit recall of MPs.
- Outlaw corporate donations to political parties and limit the maximum individual donation to £1,000 per annum.
- Abolish all restrictions on political speech (except that which directly incites a specific criminal offence).
What do you think is next for the EU? If the UK makes a real success of Brexit, this will revive desires for leaving the EU, which have dampened during years of stagnation and difficulty. Possibly the “two-speed Europe” we are seeing emerging (between Eurozone/non-Eurozone) could further intensify in a formal bifurcation. The TCA seems to offer better terms than EFTA/EEA membership, so it may be that more semi-detached countries like Norway, and maybe even non-Eurozone members like Sweden, see it as a better option. The Eurozone part could then integrate further. But I also think the fundamental economic contradictions of the Eurozone will persist – it simply doesn’t work as a monetary union without a fiscal union. We’re seeing some efforts to fudge this with some new taxation powers for the Commission and the COVID-19 “fund” (which is really just a permission to rack up national debt). But it doesn’t overcome the basic contradiction, and Germany simply isn’t willing (or really able) to take on the costs and responsibility of centralised fiscal policy for the whole EU. So, all the basic contradictions and tensions will persist, and the EU’s neoliberal constitution will continue to curtail economic growth and exacerbate social inequality. In 20-25 years I doubt the EU as it currently exists will still be around.
James Bradley local Brexit Campaigner.
Did Brexit get done? Bill Cash believes it truly makes us an independent country and I have trust in him, so yes. I do, however, really regret the painful unnecessary ‘long and winding road’ we have had to go through but onwards and upwards now!
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? To become the wealthiest, most successful, inventive, happy and free major country in the world.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? Reverse Tony Blair’s disastrous devolution, reduce MPs to about 200-300 and Lords to have time limited terms, not for life. Lower taxes.
What do you think is next for the EU? Initial greater centralisation, then resistance from the east and then eventual scaling back of the organisation when the price becomes too high for the Germans to justify, possibly to a level we could have been comfortable with in 2016 (or am I a dreamer?).
Mike Swadling, Referendum Vote Leave Manager for Croydon.
Did Brexit get done? Yes, take the win. It’s not perfect, but nothing is. We have faced a huge fight to ensure our country remains a democracy, after much of the political class, judiciary, and media, lined up to overthrow our vote. It’s been a hell of a 4 years, but most us would have taken this position 4 years ago, let’s enjoy it now. My main concern now is over Northern Ireland, and we need to work to ensure that the UK not just GB fully leaves the EU.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? On trade, lets use this opportunity to ensure we have the lowest possible tariffs with the developing word. We should trade more with the growing economies, this will allow us reduce costs of basic foodstuffs, and other products for the poorest in our country, and through trade help grow the economies of developing nations spreading wealth and freedom to those most in need across the globe.
Domestically we should:
- Undertake a massive set of deregulation to allow jobs to grow.
- Reduce or remove green taxes to help industry.
- Start an immediate rollout of free ports
- Undertake a phased withdrawal of the Common Agricultural Policy subsidies.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? I’d like to see much more devolution, with powers residing at the most local possible level (when they can’t be held directly by the individual). We see locally with Labour’s bankrupting of Croydon Council and nationally with the ineffective Scottish and Welsh governments, devolution in this country hasn’t work well. The reform I’d like to see is tax raising as well as spending powers moved locally. The authority that has to spend the money should also need to raise it, critically with this change we need to the ability to borrow money for anything but the strictest criteria removed from all except central government.
The Scottish and Welsh governments, and local councils will suddenly be forced into a position of justifying their poor spending decisions no longer able to hide them by taking on debt or by blaming central government for a lack of grants. In the case of Croydon if the people wanted to buy a hotel or shopping centre the council would need to raise taxes to do so (I suspect that would have stopped these ridiculous schemes). In the Scotland and Wales the governments would be forced into building more business friendly environments if they wanted to raise the taxes for their spending plans. We would see governments compete for their tax base, benefiting businesses and us as individuals.
What do you think is next for the EU? The Euro simply doesn’t work. Southern European economies locked into the single currency, can’t currently compete with the productivity levels of the a Germany or the BeNeLux countries. They can’t grow their economy and skills base, in part because they can’t lower the value of their currency to encourage export led growth. They can’t flout away some their government debt through inflation, to allow the tax burden to be reduced. Worst of all, their young and least skilled workers don’t have their opportunities for entry level work to gain skills, stopped by mass unemployment and limited opportunities in economies that operate with what is frankly the wrong currency. I don’t know how or when the Euro will break but it has to, as the breaking of the Euro is the best hope for millions of Europeans and many countries future economic prospects.
Sean Finch former Libertarian Party Parliamentary Candidate.
Did Brexit get done? No. It was a BRINO. Boris & the Conservative Party were never going to deliver an independent Britain. It would always be skewed where the EU would have more authority in some parts. This is because the Conservatives have always been a pro EU party. Remember, they were the party which entered the ECC in the first place and also the party to sign the Maastricht Treaty creating the EU.
So the logical question to ask is; why would a party which campaigned for years to remain in the EU, has more Remainers MPs & CCHQ officials in it than Leavers (including the current Cabinet), only gave the 2016 Referendum not because out of the kindness of their heart or that the Tories were die-hard Brexiteers but because of pressure from UKIP, ever be trusted to deliver a true Brexit? The logical answer is of course; they can’t be trusted and they won’t deliver it.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? They will do nothing. I believe they will at minimal attempt to mirror almost all laws to the EU and at maximum will quietly campaign to re-join the EU, as they are a pro EU party. In fact, it is ironic to think that the old party emblem of the Conservative Party was the liberty torch. It is right they no-longer use it as they as the governing party (as well as with the assistance from all the parliamentary parties) have currently robbed us of our liberties in this current expired pandemic.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? A full written civil liberty focused constitution detailing the individual citizens are sovereign, not Parliament or the Monarch. Preferably this document will be an updated version of the Bill of Rights 1688/1689.
What do you think is next for the EU? It’s market and GDP will continue to decline. It will essentially quietly crumble due to mainstream media outlets not properly reporting on it due to political bias.
Now we have left the Transition Period we asked Brexiteers if they feel Brexit is now complete, for their hopes and their predictions for the future.
Josh L. Ascough Libertarian writer.
Did Brexit get done? Brexit in its most pure & perfect form was never going to happen; not just because of the bureaucracy of political negotiations, but because there were an array of subjective & political visions of what Brexit “should” look like. Personally as a Libertarian (to some degree a “Bleeding Heart Libertarian”). I was saddened by the removal of free movement & the introduction of a points based system; giving the government central power over the planning & shaping of the international labour market. However, the dangers of being with an intergovernmental system of central planning, managed by a large bureaucracy, with the ability for MEP’s from Spain to vote on bills which can affect people in Britain & vice versa, was far too much political power for any system to hold for the benefit & liberty of free movement. Hopefully free movement can return without bureaucrats being in control of it in the future, but in terms of the fundamental aspect of leaving an intergovernmental bureaucratic system; yes, Brexit got done.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? Already a small good has been made with the elimination of the tampon tax which was brought about by the EU, & we continue to negotiate free trade deals with other nations; India, Turkey, Japan, Australia & New Zealand; I remain hopefully that a free trade agreement will be reached with the USA, but even if we are unsuccessful with our American neighbours & other nations, we should look to eliminate all tariffs on imports regardless of any deals present. Tariffs in the end hurt the citizens of the nation which imposed them, forcing consumers to pay higher prices for goods they value & that bring a higher living standard. Removing all tariffs also show good faith that we are against protectionism & for freedom on entry into competition, in addition to putting pressure on foreign governments by their citizens to lower or remove their tariffs, since their governments would be forcing them to pay an artificially higher price while we pay the actual market price.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? The next step that should be considered seriously, is now that we’ve seen that we can remove ourselves from an intergovernmental bureaucracy, we should look to show no exception to our own bureaucracy. Make reforms by reducing if not removing our own bureaucracy; the nanny state in all its forms, & moving towards a system of decentralised political power, by devolving power from Westminster to local councils. Finally, we should not show hypocrisy in the face of those wishing to leave a political union. There appears to be growing desires for Wales to seek independence, & if this is a serious desire, then it should be listened to; with a warm hand outstretched to say goodbye to a housemate, but hello & good luck to a friend.
What do you think is next for the EU? It all depends on the outcomes of Brexit in the future & the attitudes of the citizens in remaining EU nations, but I think it likely more nations will follow in leaving, I think it’s possible that Italy will be the next to leave. Originally during the yellow vest riots I would’ve said France, but this is heavily unlikely as if France left it would likely be the end of the EU for good; bureaucracy & political power doesn’t die that easily (sadly).
Mal McDermott Libertarian.
Did Brexit get done? Yes, the UK has officially left the EU, the legalism and stalling that followed has been the result of inadequate and inept politicians from the UK and aggressive negotiation tactics from the EU.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? A move towards further devolution, for many libertarians Brexit was the first step towards dissolution of big government in all its forms, I would like to see a second referendum in Scotland, however there are simple Monetary policy changes I would like to see first and legal restraints on fiscal policy.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? Having a real constitution would be a start! A move towards a constitutional republic with federal states who agree to be in the union voluntarily if at all.
What do you think is next for the EU? With Biden in power they should have their NATO bills covered, but I think that Germany is aware that they need to up their military defences, some concessions will have to be made to Hungary and Poland in terms of this as well. The focus should be on protecting Europe from Russian influence. That is the should, what they may do is fall into their increasingly overburdened administration and red tape, with more rules and regulations for every aspect of life while ignoring the real global threats on their doorstep.
Yasmin Fitzpatrick, former Brexit Party PPC.
Did Brexit get done? Yes, despite everybody and everything tilting against it, Brexit was done. We managed to make a deal, which won the UK some welcome trading stability for now, at a time when we’re feeling bruised by the physical and economic effects of the Covid pandemic. But the trade-off sacrificed some of the interests of our fishing communities and our financial institutions. We’ll need to see how these can be managed in the longer term. British people who own properties in an EU country feel short-changed over matters that can surely be ironed out in the short term. But our capacity to make decisions for ourselves as nations and regions has been gained and it’s cause for celebration. Now we, the people, need to make it work for us.
How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms? The Referendum saw the UK population express its will, in the case of the majority, against the wishes of those in power. I’d like to see the population continuing to speak out and guide the actions of our political representatives. New economic, health and education concerns remain with us, so we all need to be involved in making these work better than before. We also need to find a way of a way of conducting national debates that don’t involve cancelling people we disagree with. Because we’re worth it.
What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next? Electoral reform – I say that with some trepidation. But our current first past the post came about when there were only two political forces in the UK electoral system. Nowadays it encourages tactical voting and overrepresents the two main parties and the regional nationalist parties in numbers that do not reflect the ambitions of the electorate. I’m aware that every voting system has its disadvantages, but I don’t think FPTP can help sustain democracy into the future.
And we need to look again at the use of judicial review to overturn political decisions. Political decisions are the responsibility of the people and its elected representatives: judicial review has taught us to rely on an unaccountable judiciary rather than ourselves.
What do you think is next for the EU? In the medium term, Mediterranean EU countries will continue to struggle with economic decline and fight to make sense of their EU membership – or leave and reorganise. Germany will continue to cultivate its economic and political relationships with its Central Eastern European backyard, with increasing competition from China and Russia. The European Central Bank has a major debt crisis resulting from the structuring of the Eurozone, now exacerbated by current economic crises – it’s looking like a slow motion crash and one that the UK is better off out of. I worry for the people of the EU.
In the longer term, the EU is likely to become a geopolitical backwater, except perhaps as Germany’s merkin as it remilitarises. Only the USA will have the economic and military might to challenge Chinese global ambitions, as India and perhaps Brazil continue to find and assert their voice on the global stage. Our historical close relationship with America is likely to gain in significance as China looks to extend its economic and military power. The UK will need to box clever to retain its position as the fifth largest global economic power, developing and extending its relationships with African and Asian nations previously locked out by EU trade policies and tariffs.