Theresa May or #NoMandateMay no mandate & no right = “No Confidence”

We need a “No Confidence” resolution in Parliament to stop Theresa May railroading the UK into a hard Brexit without a democratic mandate. It is time for the Commons to unite against this horror show and put the UK back on track.

After the CPC16 debacle it is clear that the PM and her Ministers have moved into very scary and shameful territory.  The racist and xenophobic theme of the conference with “If you are Citizens of the World you are Citizens of Nowhere” and the call to “Name and Shame” companies employing too many foreigners this new leadership (?) team have gone too far.

Theresa May made it abundantly clear that the Government will insist that the Freedom of Movement (FoM) of EU Migrants must be stopped as part of any EU exit deal.

The EU have made it crystal clear that the UK will not be allowed to retain membership of the EU Customs Union (Single Market) if they do not maintain the FoM rights for EU Migrants.

These are red-lines for both parties.  If the Government continue with their stated strategy the UK will, in all likelihood, have to lose it’s Single Market membership.

There has never been a “clear vote” or “mandate” for the UK to leave the EU without a sensible, workable deal. It is  very unlikely that there would have been a majority for this option if presented on June 23rd.

More importantly it was not presented or voted upon. It is the Government’s stated intention to proceed with this strategy.

More importantly, there has been no vote that has been taken to establish if such a deal is acceptable and  yet our Government is saying that they will negotiate with these pre-conditions and they do not need to ask the people or parliament before they trigger a process that they will not be able to stop.

Theresa May has no mandate to do this #NoMandateMay

We have effectively had a takeover by UKIP dressed up as Conservatives:

 

This cannot be allowed to happen.

If the Government can demonstrate that there is a majority in favour of this kind of deal then so be it however they have not and cannot.  June 23rd did no such thing and just saying it did does not help.

Opposition, now is your time.

We now know that the Government plan to trigger Article 50 in March 2017. Before then the Government must be held to account. It is unlikely that any grass-roots movement can mobilize quickly enough to stop the madness that was unleashed in Birmingham this week.

Thus it can only happen if the opposition parties unite in a common cause to save the UK.

Labour, SNP, UUP,  LibDem, Greens, SDLP, Sinn Fein, Plaid Cymru and Independents have 317 of the 326 votes required for a majority.

A united opposition must call and carry a No Confidence resolution in HM Government.

317 is not a majority, another 11 votes would be required so the No Confidence motion will need to be worded in such as way that enough (11+) of the sensible Conservatives are compelled by a sense of honour to support the good of the UK rather than the extremist views of their current leadership.

Suggested wording could be:

The House of Commons resolves “That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government ability to negotiate a exit deal with the EU that would be in the best interests of the UK. By making the withdrawal of the rights of EU Migrant workers under the  Freedom of Movement (FoM) Directive a mandatory requirement they have excluded the types of deal that would allow the UK to retain membership of the EU Customs Union (Single Market).  The remaining options were not voted upon in the EU Referendum and have never received a mandate from the UK electorate or the members of this House.”

Such wording would force moderate Conservative MPs to support the motion or support Hard Brexit.

I find it inconceivable that they would all be capable of supporting an option that is so obviously flawed as a Hard Brexit.

And then?

A successful No Confidence resolution would  force an early general election to be held within 25 days.

The Opposition will need to remain united through the election to ensure that the Conservatives do not win a majority if they persevere with their current stated positions on the pre-condition of scrapping the FoM rights. At the very least deals will need to be made at a local level but hopefully a coalition to renew the UK could be formed.

Renewal Government

Stopping the Tories will not solve the underlying problems.  There are real problems that will need to be addressed. There are also misconceptions, such as the unfair demonizing of EU Migrants, that will also have to be addressed.

The Renewal government will be in a position to hold sensible, constructive discussions with our EU partners to fix issues that are surely there.

Time for leadership

This is the time for our opposition leaders to show what they are made of.  Jeremy, Nicola, Tim et al are you up to the challenge?

Theresa May has no mandate to do this #NoMandateMay

 

no-mandate-may

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Enough! Now is the time for our Opposition to Oppose – stop Brexit!

We need to stop Theresa May railroading the UK into a hard Brexit without a democratic mandate. It is time for the Commons to unite against this horror show and put the UK back on track.

After the CPC16 debacle it is clear that the PM and her Ministers have moved into very scary and shameful territory.  The racist and xenophobic theme of the conference with “If you are Citizens of the World you are Citizens of Nowhere” and “Name and Shame” companies employing too many foreigners the Prime Minister and her Ministers have gone too far.

Theresa May made it abundantly clear that the Government will insist that the Freedom of Movement (FoM) of EU Migrants must be stopped as part of any EU exit deal.

The EU have made it crystal clear that the UK will not be allowed to retain membership of the EU Customs Union (Single Market) if they do not maintain the FoM rights for EU Migrants.

These are red-lines for both parties.  If the Government continue with their stated strategy the UK will, in all likelihood, have to lose it’s Single Market membership.

There has never been a “clear vote” or “mandate” for the UK to leave the EU without a sensible, workable deal. It is  very unlikely that there would have been a majority for this option if presented on June 23rd.

More importantly it was not presented or voted upon. It is the Government’s stated intention to proceed with this strategy.

More importantly, there has been no vote that has been taken to establish if such a deal is acceptable and  yet our Government is saying that they will negotiate with these pre-conditions and they do not need to ask the people or parliament before they trigger a process that they will not be able to stop.

Theresa May has no mandate to do this #NoMandateMay

This cannot be allowed to happen.

If the Government can demonstrate that there is a majority in favour of this kind of deal then so be it however they have not and cannot.  June 23rd did no such thing and just saying it did does not help.

Opposition, now is your time.

We now know that the Government plan to trigger Article 50 in March 2017. Before then the Government must be held to account. It is unlikely that any grass-roots movement can mobilize quickly enough to stop the madness that was unleashed in Birmingham this week.

Thus it can only happen if the opposition parties unite in a common cause to save the UK.

Labour, SNP, UUP,  LibDem, Greens, SDLP, Sinn Fein, Plaid Cymru and Independents have 317 of the 326 votes required for a majority.

A united opposition must call and carry a No Confidence resolution in HM Government.

317 is not a majority, another 11 votes would be required so the No Confidence motion will need to be worded in such as way that enough (11+) of the sensible Conservatives are compelled by a sense of honour to support the good of the UK rather than the extremist views of their current leadership.

Suggested wording could be:

The House of Commons resolves “That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government ability to negotiate a exit deal with the EU that would be in the best interests of the UK. By making the withdrawal of the rights of EU Migrant workers under the  Freedom of Movement (FoM) Directive a mandatory requirement they have excluded the types of deal that would allow the UK to retain membership of the EU Customs Union (Single Market).  The remaining options were not voted upon in the EU Referendum and have never received a mandate from the UK electorate or the members of this House.”

Such wording would force moderate Conservative MPs to support the motion or support Hard Brexit.

I find it inconceivable that they would all be capable of supporting an option that is so obviously flawed as a Hard Brexit.

And then?

A successful No Confidence resolution would  force an early general election to be held within 25 days.

The Opposition will need to remain united through the election to ensure that the Conservatives do not win a majority if they persevere with their current stated positions on the pre-condition of scrapping the FoM rights. At the very least deals will need to be made at a local level but hopefully a coalition to renew the UK could be formed.

Renewal Government

Stopping the Tories will not solve the underlying problems.  There are real problems that will need to be addressed. There are also misconceptions, such as the unfair demonizing of EU Migrants, that will also have to be addressed.

The Renewal government will be in a position to hold sensible, constructive discussions with our EU partners to fix issues that are surely there.

Time for leadership

This is the time for our opposition leaders to show what they are made of.  Jeremy, Nicola, Tim et al are you up to the challenge?

 

Theresa May has no mandate to do this #NoMandateMay

 

 

 

 

 

 

Has Theresa May been encouraging an “immigration crisis”?

What has Theresa May got against EU migrants? Why is she peddling lies about the impact of migration? A look at post-truth politics Theresa May style.

Theresa May has a history of blaming migrants and immigration for the UK’s economic decline.  Rather than explaining the truth i.e that EU migration has had a hugely positive impact allowing the UK to expand it’s workforce by 2.1m without displacing the jobs of UK natives*, without affecting wage levels, helping to keep inflation in check** and contributing a net £12.2 b to the HMRC a year Ms May seems hellbent on “blaming the immigrants”.

I think we are now seeing Ms Mays true colours and in her now infamous “If you are a Citizen of the World you are a Citizen of Nowhere” speech she once again blamed immigration for taking jobs:

or – and I know a lot of people don’t like to admit this – someone who finds themselves out of work or on lower wages because of low-skilled immigration, life simply doesn’t seem fair.

Theresa May 5/10/16 Conservative Party Conference

and Theresa May has made stopping EU FoM a red-line in the upcoming negotiations with the EU even , it would appear, at the the cost of loosing our membership of the Single Market.

There is plainly a large proportion of the electorate against immigration in general and against the Free Movement of workers into the UK in particular.  However as @Tony_nog explains in his excellent blog When is a Majority not a Majority?  Brexit and Korean Restaurants  there is no way that anyone can suggest that there is a majority in favour of stopping FoM at the expense of loosing our trading position with the EU – and it has been made very clear to all that the UK cannot have both.

So why has Theresa May taken this somewhat extreme position?

If one looks at her behavior over the past few years,  it does begin to show a pattern.

2013

Claiming EU Migrants are “benefits tourists”

In April of this year Theresa May, when Home Secretary,  claimed that these EU migrants are “benefit tourists”.  When pressed by the EU for evidence of this claim it came to light that in fact there was  no evidence to back these claims as the British government keeps no figures on how many European Union nationals claim welfare payments in the UK.

2014

Suppressing good news on immigration

It is now being reported that Theresa May tried very hard to suppress any positive findings in a report on EU migration. Theresa May faces accusations from within government that she tried to remove evidence about the positive impact of immigration on the British economy from a critical report that was published before the EU referendum.

2015

Blaming immigration for pushing thousands out of work

Again whilst Home Secretary, at the Autumn Tory party conference, Theresa May claimed that immigration is pushing thousands out of work, undercutting wages and bringing no economic benefit to the UK.

These are just not the facts, as any number of studies show.  These claims are debunked in the blog Freedom of Movement isn’t the problem

2016

Failing to support David Cameron in EU negotiations on Freedom of Movement of Workers

A new book, All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class, by Sunday Times political editor Tim Shipman, claims May refused to support Cameron’s hardline approach to negotiations with EU leaders and rejected his plans to ask for an “emergency brake” on immigration – a stance Cameron described as “lily-livered”.

Cameron’s director of communications, Sir Craig Oliver, says in his exposé of Downing Street that the former prime minister’s advisers used the nickname “Submarine May” because she never came to the surface to support his efforts. In his book, Unleashing Demons: The Inside Story of the EU Referendum, published in the Mail on Sunday, Cameron’s chief spin doctor says the prime minister pleaded with May to “come off the fence” about Brexit.

Foreign students overstated by tens of thousands 

The Times revealed this week 13/10/2016 that Ministers hide report on migrant numbers . The Home Office, after years of claiming that “tens of thousands a year” of foreign students fail to leave at the end of their course.  This has led to calls, from Mrs #nomandateMay in particular, for a crackdown on this abuse of the system. In fact only 1 per cent of international students break the terms of their visa by refusing to leave after their course ends, a secret government study has found – around 1,500 per year.  A problem perhaps but hardly the issue to headline with at party conferences etc.

The research threatens to undermine Theresa May’s case for a crackdown on foreign student recruitment and calls into question past estimates that put the figure far higher. Official statistics have been used to suggest that tens of thousands of foreign students “vanish” each year after finishing their degrees, but the latest study would suggest that the true figure is 1,500.

The Home Office, which commissioned the analysis, disputed that it was conclusive and said that the work was “not completed”. It has refused to share the study with other Whitehall ministries and rebuffed requests from The Timesto release it, including under the Freedom of Information Act.

Ministers hide report on migrant numbers 13th Oct 2016

Keeping immigration numbers high

Rudd failed in bid to exempt students from migrant curbs. Students are included in the Migration numbers which has the effect of overstating the immigration problem.  It has been revealed that Amber Rudd, the current Home Secretary tried to have students removed from net migration figures, enabling them to avoid the crackdown on migrants, but was over-ruled by Mrs #nomandateMay.  Someone wants immigration to continue to be the big issue.

The prime minister has taken a hard line against the home secretary and university lobbyists

Amber Rudd made a failed attempt to persuade Theresa May to remove students from the Conservatives’ pledge to reduce annual net migration below the tens of thousands, say allies.

The home secretary is understood to have raised the possibility in initial talks with the prime minister about her brief during the summer. Mrs May rejected the plea, demanding a fresh crackdown as part of a wider drive to reduce non-EU migration.

Ms Rudd duly announced a consultation on further restrictions in her speech to the Tory party conference flagging “tougher rules for lower-quality courses”. As well as tighter rules restricting what work students’ family members are permitted to do, the consultation is understood to be targeting institutions.

Options include the introduction of minimum course fees for international students and a levy on these fees to subsidise bursaries for British students, according to Home Office sources. More radical ideas include setting limits on how many international students are permitted to attend a college or university according to their success in ensuring graduates return home and do not overstay.

As home secretary Mrs May was repeatedly thwarted in her attempts to restrict numbers of foreigners travelling to Britain to study

Rudd failed in bid to exempt students from migrant curbs 13th Oct 2016

How fanciful would it be to suggest that the June plebiscite is being hijacked to satisfy a personal vendetta?

 

fom-myths

 

 

Sources

* “Despite anecdotal evidence, we found little hard evidence that the inflow of accession migrants contributed to a fall in wages or a rise in claimant unemployment in the UK between 2004 and 2006.”
http://ftp.iza.org/dp3756.pdf

 

** Immigration
Annual net migration from Europe has more than doubled since 2012, reaching 183,000 in March 2015. Immigration from the European Union is currently boosting the workforce by around 0.5% a year. This has helped support the economy’s ability to grow without pushing up wage growth and inflation, keeping interest rates lower for longer.
https://woodfordfunds.com/economic-impact-brexit-report/

Absolute madness from the Hard Brexit camp – Negotiations will be too hard, complicated and we most probably won’t get what we want -so let’s just break away anyway

 

Well we do seem to have a plan from Leave.EU claiming £40bn could be gained by a Hard Brexit calling it a clean brexit of all things – the trouble is that they seem to have taken the cartoon above to heart – The Exit negotiations will be complicated, hard and we most probably won’t get what we or anyone else wanted so let’s just skip the negotiations and break away now.

The arguments are braodly similar to the tripe served up by Bernard Jenkin earlier and completely ignore that impact of tariffs on UK trade, particuarly industry established in the UK because there are no tariffs on trade with the EU. Put tariffs in place and they will just move to somewhere inside the EU to do business.

This article can be found here : We need a clean break before article 50 ties us up in knots 

Mr Jenkin argues that:

The unreconciled Remainers are urging, “Play for time” in the hope that the UK’s desire to leave the EU will subside. This is madness. They used to deride their present objective: that we could somehow stay “in the single market” but escape the obligations of EU membership. EU leaders, such as the Italian prime minister last week, continue to make clear that this is impossible. Any deliberate and unnecessary delay would refuel the anguish and bitterness that led many people to vote Leave in the first place.

Here Mr Jenkin seems to accept that it will not be possible for the UK to retain membership of the Single Market whilst stopping obligations such as the Freedom of Movement.  Somehow, Mr Jenkin makes the leap from this realisation that the kind of deal most Leave voters voted for is not possible to a justification for abandoning negotiations altogether.

And he thinks he knows how to go about it….

We need to be aware that Article 50, as intended, could tie us up in knots. Nobody can guarantee that there will be an acceptable agreement at the end of the process anyway. So we must be prepared to leave without any formal agreement if necessary, or the commission has us over a barrel.

Please read “Can the UK cancel Article 50 notification once given” Yes if approached correctly for some more considered views on how the UK can defend against the danger that the “commission has us over a barrel” in negotiations.

Jenkin continues:

Leaving without a formal withdrawal agreement would be messy, but a messy Brexit is what many have suggested that the commission and much of the EU would like. Still, a speedy and decisive resolution would be far more acceptable to business than years and years of uncertainty and then a “fudge”, as confirmed by Markus Kerber, head of the BDI, the federation of German industries.

Agreed, leaving without an agreement will be messy, leaving with an agreement will also be messy.  A speedy resolution would be preferable, but not one that leaves the UK so completely exposed as this suggestion.  Of course we could go for the one plan that we know does work and Remain.

Poor Bernard might have been getting tired of when he wrote:

Without a formal agreement, most things, like security cooperation, would carry on anyway because they have to.

Unbelievably he is suggesting that the UK and EU will not need to negotiate our security arrangements because “would carry on anyway because they have to”. We don’t need to agree any of this because it is too important?

Complicated things like patent and data law could be quickly sorted out afterwards.

I think Mr. Jenkin has got into the spirit of things here.  Because something is complicated it can get quickly sorted out later!  I struggle for words.

Of course, the big threat is loss of access to the single market, but the UK could start by making it clear we are offering zero tariffs for EU imports, and an open UK market for EU services as now, and that we would implement this unilaterally pro tem in the absence of a withdrawal agreement. What would the EU do? Would they really want to slap on their own tariffs and protectionism anyway?

Mr Jenkin advocates open our markets at zero tariffs for EU imports and an open market for Services.  “What would the EU do?” he says “Would they really want to slap on their own tariffs and protectionism anyway?”

Well, yes they would.  All trade deal will require unanimous agreement from the remaining 27 EU members.  It will require, as Mr Jenkin points out, considerable skill and perseverance to negotiate a deal that will satisfy the requirements of all of these member states. Each of them has a quite different motivation,  with Germany and France eyeing our Financial Services hub, France and Spain looking to Nissan Qashqai assembly to their plants at the expense of Sunderland, the Eastern bloc countries insisting on guaranteed quota for migrants into the UK. The list goes on, there are too many interests around the other member countries that will benefit from removing the UK from the competitor list.  How will this converge into an attractive trade deal by the UK just not even attending negotiations.

 

There are two other factors that will drive the UK and the EU towards a quick free trade deal, pre- or post-Brexit. We often pointed out that the UK imports £70bn more from the EU than we export to them, and Remainers always talked down this strength in the UK position. True, while 44% of our exports go to the EU, only 8% of EU exports come to us. But as thinktank Civitas explains, protectionism would threaten a far bigger share of jobs in the other EU states than in the UK. UK exports to Germany are estimated to support 752,000 jobs, or 2.4% of UK jobs, but 1.3 million German jobs depend upon their exports to the UK, which is 3.2%. This pattern is repeated across the entire EU. UK exports to France support 1.7% of our jobs, but theirs to the UK support 2.4% of jobs in the France; to Italy, it is 0.9% vs 1.7%; for Belgium, it is 0.8% vs 7.8%; and for Ireland it is 1.4% vs 9.5%. Which countries would rationally support anything but free trade?

A so to the big one – the Trade imbalance between the UK and the rest of the EU.  The argument being that . True the UK trade deficit with EU hits new record in the first part of 2016 and we imported £24b more into the UK from the EU than they bought from us in the 1st quarter of 2016.

I would advise the Hard Brexiteers to read @tony_nog s blog If I were BMW to understand what would happen if tariffs were introduced on German imports into the UK.

In addition the argument that “they need our business more than we need theirs” only holds true whilst we do actually have something to sell.  Two of our biggest industries, car assembly and financial services will be under a direct challenge if we don’t agree a trade deal and the workload and revenues from these industries would merely shift, out of the UK to the EU.

Financial services – The UK requires a single market “passport” for much of our Financial services within the EU.  If we were to loose this then this work and the jobs would very likely just move out of the UK.  Both Frankfurt and Paris are extremely interested in moving this work. A veto from Germany would likely mean the Financial Service s hub moving to either Paris or Frankfurt – I doubt they would have a problem with that.

It would be completely irresponsible to exit the EU without a negotiated agreement on Financial services. This report from PWC estimates the impact on the Financial Services industry lossong between 70,000 to 100,000 jobs around the UK

No agreement:
If the UK leaves the EU with or without a trade agreement but no agreement to allow passorting, then a Brexit could have a fairly damaging impact on the financial services, an impact which without future agreement could permanently reduce UK access to the EU financial services sector. The reduction in access and the cost of relocating some services to another EU country in order for businesses to maintain the same level of services in the EEA are, other than economic uncertainty, likely to be the two biggest impact’s on UK financial services…
A report by PwC estimated that cost of relocating services alone could have a -0.4 per cent impact on UK GDP by 2030 and the barriers to trade cause by the loss of passporting rights could reduce the contribution of financial services by between 0.6 and 2.2 percent. This is turn could mean between 70,000 and 100,000 less jobs in the short run, and 10,000 to 30,000 less jobs by 2030.
Source: Will UK financial services suffer from losing passporting rights after Brexit?

 

Car industry – It is worth noting that the UK does not actually have a car manufacturing industry to speak of. This disappeared in the 1970s as the UK struggled to compete with the German and French car manufacturers who were operating inside of the Common Market whilst the UK was outside.  UK jobs in the car industry have risen dramatically with the influx of the likes of Toyota and Nissan. The UK provides an important route into the EU market. Nissan export 60% of the cars assembled in Sunderland into the rest of the EU and Toyota is even higher with 85% going to the EU. A disruption to this would affect at least 800,000 UK jobs in this industry. It is also worth noting that the problem is not just about tariffs. As discussed in the Guardian View on the Tories and Brexit a UK outside of the Customs Union (the Single Market) would need to conform to EU regulations (so-called passporting) in order to sell into  EU. These regulations apply to non-service as well as services. In particular UK car “manufacturers” will need to be able to confirm that the vehicles are actually made in the UK and not just assembled here in order to satisfy anti-dumping rules. As an EU insider, companies in the UK do not currently have to do this but when outside, without a negotiated deal they may well not be able to get over this hurdle. And will a 10% tariff on car imports affect BMW, Audi, Mercedes?  Perhaps, but these high-end cars will be far less affected than the Nissan Qashqai etc.

It would be completely irresponsible to exit the EU without a negotiated agreement on Car exports tariffs.

And so back to the Jenkin’s diatribe:

Even in the event of tariffs, we could spend the billions of extra revenue on reducing company and employment taxes and increasing investment allowances, to offset the tariff costs on industry. We should make that clear to inward investors like Nissan now, so they have no cause to pause investment plans. The other factor is the net £10bn UK contribution to the EU. Sudden loss of this would cause chaos in the EU budget. There is a deal to be done, and quicker than most imagine.

Now Mr. Jenkin, the premise of the quick Brexit was that the UK would unilaterally implement a zero tariff regime on imports and the EU would follow suit.  However, in this last paragraph Mr. Jenkin seems to have dicovered a new pot of money to offer to all-comers – the income the UK will generate from tariffs which will “could” be used to finance various Brexit compensation schemes.  He seems to ignore the fact that any tariffs being collected will actually be additional taxes paid by UK citizens to purchase these imported goods.

And then we get to the “£10b UK contribution to the EU”. I note that it has been reduced from the £18b (£350m per week) claim before the Referendum – better late than never however the real number is actually about £8b and will need to factored against a number of additional costs the UK will incur and taxes we will have to forgo. Without having to look to far I would suggest that the UK will suffer from:

  1. an expected reduction in GDP of 1% (£6.5b) in 2017 just for the fear of Brexit
  2. a potential 2.2% drop in GDP from losing Financial Services passporting,
  3. the £12.2b per year in net HMRC revenues from the stopping of FoM,
  4. the estimated £5b cost of the Brexit ministry running a global trade negotiations team.
  5. Cost of up to 800,000 jobs lost in the car industry as the Asian investors redirect production to their EU plants
  6. Cost of up to 100,000 of jobs lost in the Financial Services sector as work gets relocated within the EU

Companies are already lining up to be compensated for the cost of losing the Single Market Nissan demands Brexit compensation for new UK investment

Conclusion

The Leave.EU and supporters like Mr Jenkin made up numbers before the referendum and they are making them up again.

We are now being told that negotiations will be too complicated and hard so let’s not bother however, as Nick Herbert says in his commentary: Hard Brexit ideologues threaten the UK’s economic future

But weren’t we told, time and again, that Britain is big enough to drive its own bespoke deal? It’s hard to see why it’s wise or attractive to say that what we want from the outset is the most brutal severance with the least advantage to us and the most potential economic damage.

The Remainer group who still look like they are the largest group (48% at the last count) with an agreed position.  The 52% of Leavers are split around at least three different propositions, the majority favoring a deal that, as Mr. Jenkins points out, they most probably can’t have, another group still waiting for the money saved from the EU to be distributed and a small group of near fanatical enthusiasts for the “Who needs a parachute, let’s jump anyway” Hard Brexiteers.

So, Bernard and your  Leave.EU pals, would you like me to open the over-wing exit for you?

parachute

 

 

“Can the UK cancel Article 50 notification once given” It does look like we can – if approached correctly

I still think it is massively important to ensure that the UK has a way of stepping back from the EU exit process, even after the EU has been properly notified of the UK’s intention to leave through Article 50 (2).

The approach I have been pushing since June 24th has been to enshrine a democratic withdrawal process into law. Once we have this it will be very difficult for the EU to argue against the UK’s right to this option. This is explained in the blog: “UK don’t trigger Article 50 without ability to stop the process”.

The steps would, in summary, be:

  1. Act of parliament — setting out the exit process
  2. Checkpoint 1 before A50 notification — is there really a deal? If not the STOP the exit process at this point
  3. A50 notification followed by Exit negotiations
  4. Checkpoint 2 — is the deal acceptable to the UK? if Yes the continue to Exit
  5. If not acceptable to UK (or indeed the EU) then Stop the exit process

Good News:

In the feedback from “UK don’t trigger…” I had had a more positive outlook for the chances of the UK being able to withdraw it’s notification.

These have been from 2 sources:

  1. Richard Corbett MEP @rcorbettmep in his excellent and thought provoking blog : Truths and myths about the months to come says:

It is unclear whether the article 50 process can be revoked once it is triggered. The treaty is silent on the question. But the balance of legal opinion is that it can be, provided it is before the two-year deadline. It must also be a genuine request, and not a device to re-set the two-year countdown.

Similarly, if an article 50 agreement reached in 2019 sets a date of, say, 2022, for departure, can the UK change its mind between those two dates? There is greater legal uncertainty here, but politically it is likely that a change of mind about leaving would be accepted, whereas change of mind simply on the terms or timetable would not.

This is important in the event of a rethink by the UK. Any referendum on the outcome of the Brexit deal, and any decision to remain, should take place before the date of Britain formally leaving the EU. Afterwards, any desire to remain in the EU would have to be pursued through an application to join afresh, under entirely different procedures and facing the standard expectations of any new member state, including, in principle, acceptance of the euro. Any accession treaty, of course, requires the unanimous consent of every member state.

2. Jean-Claude Piris, a former director-general of the Council of the European Union’s Legal Service, is author of ‘If the UK Votes to Leave’ maintains that “Article 50 is not for ever and the UK could change its mind” (FT 01/09/2016).

He argues that:

… the Article 50 procedure provides for notification by the interested state only of its “intention” to leave. Formal notification of that intention would be made to the European Council, comprising the heads of government of the other 27 member states. In law, the word “intention” cannot be interpreted as a final and irreversible decision. Legally, you may withdraw an intention, or change it, or transform it into a decision. …

by: Jean-Claude Piris

It may be necessary for us to get to the brink, look over the edge and only then realise what a stupid idea it is. Both of these articles give me much more hope that, when the time came, the UK would be able to step back from the brink.

“Can the UK cancel Article 50 notification once given” Yes if approached correctly

I still think it is massively important to ensure that the UK has a way of stepping back from the EU exit process, even after the EU has been properly notified of the UK’s intention to leave through Article 50 (2).

The approach I have been pushing since June 24th has been to enshrine a democratic withdrawal process into law. Once we have this it will be very difficult for the EU to argue against the UK’s right to this option. This is explained in the blog: “UK don’t trigger Article 50 without ability to stop the process”.

The steps would, in summary, be:

  1. Act of parliament — setting out the exit process
  2. Checkpoint 1 before A50 notification — is there really a deal? If not the STOP the exit process at this point
  3. A50 notification followed by Exit negotiations
  4. Checkpoint 2 — is the deal acceptable to the UK? if Yes the continue to Exit
  5. If not acceptable to UK (or indeed the EU) then Stop the exit process

Good News:

In the feedback from “UK don’t trigger…” I had had a more positive outlook for the chances of the UK being able to withdraw it’s notification.

These have been from 2 sources:

  1. Richard Corbett MEP @rcorbettmep in his excellent and thought provoking blog : Truths and myths about the months to come says:

It is unclear whether the article 50 process can be revoked once it is triggered. The treaty is silent on the question. But the balance of legal opinion is that it can be, provided it is before the two-year deadline. It must also be a genuine request, and not a device to re-set the two-year countdown.

Similarly, if an article 50 agreement reached in 2019 sets a date of, say, 2022, for departure, can the UK change its mind between those two dates? There is greater legal uncertainty here, but politically it is likely that a change of mind about leaving would be accepted, whereas change of mind simply on the terms or timetable would not.

This is important in the event of a rethink by the UK. Any referendum on the outcome of the Brexit deal, and any decision to remain, should take place before the date of Britain formally leaving the EU. Afterwards, any desire to remain in the EU would have to be pursued through an application to join afresh, under entirely different procedures and facing the standard expectations of any new member state, including, in principle, acceptance of the euro. Any accession treaty, of course, requires the unanimous consent of every member state.

2. Jean-Claude Piris, a former director-general of the Council of the European Union’s Legal Service, is author of ‘If the UK Votes to Leave’ maintains that “Article 50 is not for ever and the UK could change its mind” (FT 01/09/2016).

He argues that:

… the Article 50 procedure provides for notification by the interested state only of its “intention” to leave. Formal notification of that intention would be made to the European Council, comprising the heads of government of the other 27 member states. In law, the word “intention” cannot be interpreted as a final and irreversible decision. Legally, you may withdraw an intention, or change it, or transform it into a decision. …

by: Jean-Claude Piris

It may be necessary for us to get to the brink, look over the edge and only then realise what a stupid idea it is. Both of these articles give me much more hope that, when the time came, the UK would be able to step back from the brink.

What has Freedom of Movement ever done for us?

A look at the positive contributions EU Freedom of Movement has made to the UK. We must stop the xenophobic rush to stop one of the most positive developments around Eupore 

Currently Theresa May has made stopping FoM a red-line issue even at the expense of the UK’s membership of the Single Market.   Without a healthy flow of EU migration the UK economy is likely to grind to a halt.

Introduction

The UK has 3.2m migrants from elsewhere in the EU living in UK.  2.2m of them are in tax paying employment.  EU migrants overwhelmingly contribute more to the economy than their UK native counterparts and take out less (mainly because on the whole they are younger and healthier).  Studies have shown that they do not drive down wages and do no significantly displace UK natives from jobs.  This blog looks at the positive contribution our EU migrant workforce make to the UK.

The Economy

A FactCheck study on these claims showed that EU migrants rather than being a drain on the UK bank balance actually contribute significantly, far more than their UK-native counterparts.

According to the European Commission, between 2004 and 2009 free movement from newer member countries increased the GDP of the old EU member countries by almost one percent.  The author believes that this estimate understates the likely impact on the UK GDP as with a total Tax contribution of £8.54B in one year these migrants  income would be in excess of £40B per year (assuming a 20% base rate of tax) and will be spending perhaps as much as £20B in the UK economy (on food, accommodation etc.) which equates to a 3% increase in UK GDP.

A further study showed that where UK-natives (during 2001-2011) claimed more than they paid in Tax the reverse was the case for EU Migrants who contributed significantly.

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Public Services

At a time when our UK native workforce have been taking out more in benefits than they put back in Taxes paid the EU migrants have put money into the economy, paid taxes far in excess of benefits claimed and perhaps most importantly have been providing the Labour to keep these services going.  This has never been clearer than with the NHS and Care workers workforce.  Without EU migrants theses services would grind to a halt – approximately 55,000 of the NHS workforce are EU Migrants  with almost 10% of our doctors coming from the EU and 75,000 EU migrants work in the Social Care Services.   Our public services depend on EU migrants by Alan Travis estimates that 600,000 EU Migrants work in the UK public Sector.

With regard to pressures on the NHS and other public services, any decline in services would seem to be associated with UK government cuts in the Public Services budget rather than from immigration. A study of nationwide immigration data shows that immigration actually reduced waiting times for outpatient referrals. On average, a 10 percentage point increase in the share of migrants living in a local authority would reduce waiting times by 9 days.

A Channel4 FactCheck on the topic concludes:

“The Office for Budget Responsibility accepts the basic point that immigrants tend to improve the country’s finances. A major cut in immigration would mean tax hikes or more spending cuts, the watchdog has said.

This is because migrants tend to be younger and healthier, so they are more likely to be in work and paying taxes and less likely to be retired or to need healthcare.

We must applaud the positives from EU migration rather than let the anti-EU lobby persuade us otherwise through their consistent tactics of shouting louder than everyone else.