MEP News & Press Releases

15.4.19

breitbart.com

EU Election Polls: Establishment Set to ‘Perform Poorly’, 29% Combined Back UKIP, Brexit Party

Two polls suggest UKIP and The Brexit Party hold a combined 25 to 29 per cent of Britons’ voting intentions ahead of European Parliament elections, while the establishment Labour and Conservative parties are set to “perform poorly,” according to YouGov.

The YouGov poll found that “voting intention for the two main parties has fallen since 2017, and both could perform worse still at the EU parliament elections,” adding that “large swathes of Britons [are] turning their backs on the main two parties and [are] moving towards groups with harder Brexit positions.”

While The Brexit Party (15 per cent) and UKIP (14 per cent) take third and fourth places respectively after Labour and the Conservatives, the research firm noted that “neither [Tories nor Labour] are far enough ahead for comfort” of the anti-establishment Eurosceptics.

View image on Twitter

Britain Elects @britainelects

European Parliament voting intention:

LAB: 24% (-1)
CON: 16% (-8)
BREX: 15% (+15)
UKIP: 14% (-13)
GRN: 8% (-)
LDEM: 8% (+1)
CHUK: 7% (+7)
SNP & PC: 6%

via @YouGov, 10 – 11 Apr
Chgs. w/ 2014 result, GB-wide

Tabs: https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/1g0abg184t/TheTimes_190411_VI_Trackers_EU_w.pdf 

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Another Opinium poll published Saturday found similar results, with Labour again in the lead with 29 per cent, followed by the Tories at 17 per cent, with UKIP in third (13 per cent) and The Brexit Party in fourth place at 12 per cent.

On Friday, UKIP announced a partial list of candidates for European Parliament elections, including YouTube philosopher Carl Benjamin (known by his pseudonym Sargon of Akkad) while Nigel Farage launched his Brexit Party, releasing his ‘secret weapon’ MEP candidate Annunziata Rees-Mogg who defected from the Tories.

Ms Rees-Mogg’s defection will perhaps not be the last, with The Sun reporting sources on Monday saying that up to 40 Tory EP candidates are set to apply to join The Brexit Party, while 26 Conservative MPs allegedly told Farage that they will vote for his party.

With Eurosceptic parties seeing an increase in the polls, European leaders are hoping that there will be a surge of support for Remain-supporting candidates who will go on to convince the UK government to cancel Brexit.

“Some of the heads were saying this may be one of the most pro-European demonstrations Europe-wide in the elections,” a senior Brussels figure told The Telegraph, with socialists including Greece’s Alexis Tsipras, Malta’s Joseph Muscat, Spain’s Pedro Sanchez backing the idea at last Wednesday’s European Summit where they agreed to Prime Minister Theresa May’s further Brexit delay to October 31st.

Tory Party MEP and Brexiteer David Campbell-Bannerman called the notion “starry-eyed dreaming” and that instead, Eurocrats should “expect fireworks.”

“Alongside a third of non British MEPs who will be Eurosceptic after this election, there will be some very angry British Brexiteers winning seats and seeking to gum up the EU’s workings,” Mr Campbell-Bannerman said.

Pro-Remain parties the Greens, Liberal Democrats, and the newly-formed Change UK (CUK), previously known as The Independent Group (TIG), and other breakaway Europhile groups hope to use the European Parliament elections as a “soft referendum” to show support for remaining in the EU.

“Voters across all of Great Britain want to vote for a pro-remain party. We’re going to give them all the chance to vote Lib Dem,” a Liberal Democrat source told The Guardian, with CUK saying they wanted “to give the British people a real choice” on staying in the EU.

Despite the best efforts by Remainers to use European Parliament elections to their advantage, think tank Open Europe said last week that the polls are likely to result in a “protest” vote, where Britons will “send a message” to the establishment, punishing them for failing to deliver Brexit.

European Parliament elections are set to be held between May 26th and 29th, with both Eurosceptic and establishment parties vying for the 73 seats nationwide.

You can read the full article as it appears here.

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14.4.19

thetimes.co.uk

Tories look to a life beyond Theresa May but the Brexit yoke will still be with them

James Kanagasooriam, the new whizz-kid on the opinion poll block, discusses his latest research in detail in today’s interview with The Sunday Times. In brief, the Generation Why? report he worked on for the new Cameronite Conservative think tank Onward finds that the younger and more educated you are, the less likely you are to be a Tory. The Conservative vote is dying: only 4% of the under-25s back the party.

For all that, the report’s launch was defiantly upbeat. Penny Mordaunt, Matt Hancock and Tom Tugendhat strutted their stuff undaunted as future Tory leaders. Michael Gove sent his apologies, detained in talks with Labour.

The wannabes ticked off the policy areas for action from housing to (not) hanging but there was one taboo subject.…

13.4.19

dailymail.co.uk

A cushy little number: Euro MPs splurge £250,000 on ergonomic cushions – because they have to sit down for two hours every day

  • MEPs sit in the parliament building in Strasbourg, France, once a month
  • Officials held an ergonomic study on the existing furniture in the parliament
  • The new cushions are likely to be fitted for the 751 new MEPs next month
  • British MEPs are likely to benefit from the new cushions due to Brexit delays

Euro MPs are to splurge £250,000 on bespoke cushions for their chairs after complaining that they are not comfortable enough for the average two hours a day that they sit in them.

Documents reveal that MEPs want the ‘ergonomic’ padding, paid for in part by UK taxpayers, so they do not strain themselves in the European Parliament while reaching to push buttons when voting on legislation.

MEPs held a debate on the issue after carrying out an ergonomic study on the chairs they use in the parliament chamber and committee rooms in the French city of Strasbourg – where they sit once a month.

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder led the call for the cushions, which will be fitted to the already-padded dark blue leather chairs after next month’s European elections.

‘These chairs, in which we sit for hours at a time in meetings whilst voting, were not designed for women or smaller MEPs in general,’ she said. ‘We have chosen the cost effective option, which is to add ergonomic cushions to the chairs.

‘This means that smaller MEPs will no longer strain their backs while reaching over the large desks during voting sessions.’

But Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman criticised the plan, saying MEPs should be concentrating on delivering Brexit. ‘It is true that the current chairs are like Daleks without the manoeuvrability,’ he said. ‘But we should be concentrating on leaving the EU and saving billions in membership fees, not getting more comfy while still here.’

He said MEPs sit in their chairs for about two hours a day on average when the parliament is in Strasbourg.

Minutes of a debate devoted to the subject also reveal that the parliament wants new wheels attached to the chairs to make them easier to move.

An EU parliamentary source said the overall cost will be around €300,000 (£258,984).

According to a document, the current chairs are protected by French intellectual property rights, meaning MEPs cannot replace anything on them that would alter their appearance. The cushions will be bespoke and it is likely that as well as giving more padding for MPs’ bottoms they will provide a head and back rest. They will probably be attached with Velcro.

The document states that the French intellectual property rights protecting the chair design expire in 2024 and that after that ‘the new ergonomic chairs’ could be replaced by ‘more comfortable chairs’.

It says a ‘test phase’ received a ‘positive reaction’ and that the cushions should be available to the 751 MEPs.

The parliament in Strasbourg has been branded a ‘travelling circus’ because it sees thousands of Brussels officials and MEPs travel to the French city for a once-monthly sitting at a cost to taxpayers of around £150million a year.

It involves 2,500 boxes of material being moved from Brussels to Strasbourg, where MEPs stay in hotels and dine out at taxpayers’ expense. The decision to have a second seat was taken to appease France.

An EU parliament spokesman said: ‘The chairs are indeed very heavy and unwieldy and difficult to pull out from their desks and they have seats and backrests straight as planks.’

You can read the article as it appeared online here.

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13.4.19

thesun.co.uk

What is New Brexit party backed by Nigel Farage called and who will join?

The former Ukip leader says he will stand for Parliament if MPs try to delay or stop Brexit

NIGEL Farage was one of the most prominent campaigners for Brexit but now says he’s worried the process of leaving could be delayed or even stopped by MPs.

The former Ukip leader has now said he will stand for a new pro-Brexit party if the departure is delayed. Here’s what you need to know.

The Brexit Party has been officially registered with the Electoral Commission allowing it to field candidates at upcoming elections.

He said the new party “has my absolutely full support” and he would stand for it in May’s European Parliament elections if the UK has not left the EU by that point.

Mr Farage said that if MPs “kick the can down the road” by extending Article 50 “then logically we would have to fight European elections and I would certainly stand in them in those circumstances”.

He said new party should be a warning to MPs considering backing any effort, such as the move championed by Labour’s Yvette Cooper and Tory Nick Boles, to extend Article 50 in order to allow more time for negotiations.

MPs considering such a move “need to be aware there could be a very serious electoral threat to them”.

Mr Farage quit Ukip in December 2018 saying he was uncomfortable with the direction of the party under Gerard Batten.

Who will join?

Mr Farage said the party would attract support from across the political spectrum.

He claimed people now increasingly identify along Leave and Remain lines rather than by affiliation to the Conservatives or Labour.

“If the need comes for the Brexit Party to be mobilised, I think it will draw support from across the entire spectrum.

“I genuinely believe people would be very surprised at the support it would attract.”

He added: “There is a live vehicle there from which to fight back.

“There are many millions of people out there at the moment feeling disenfranchised completely, feeling that they are more Leavers, or Remainers, but feeling they are more Leavers than they are Labour or Tory supporters and this would give them a focus.”

The party’s founder Catherine Blaiklock told the Daily Telegraph that “a number of hundred” Conservative members had been in touch to say they wanted to defect to the new party and the figure was likely to rise to thousands.

“Never in peacetime has such a betrayal been attempted by this treacherous Conservative government.

“No country has ever signed a treaty like this except under war terms. This is a wake-up call.

“We are going to have thousands of people who will just leave the Conservatives and vote for us in the event of the European Parliament election.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sister Annunziata quit the Tories to join Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party yesterday.

The top Brexiteer’s sibling, 40, has caused a family split by joining ranks with Mr Farage’s new venture as it was launched yesterday morning.

She was unveiled as a surprise candidate earlier today for the party which is on track to cause a Tory bloodbath at the polls next month.

Her brother Jacob, the MP for North East Somerset, told The Sun it was “careless” to lose people from both wings of the party – just weeks after three Tories quit to join The Independent Group.

What will happen to the new Brexit party?

His new Brexit Party would take large chunks out of Ukip, Tory and Labour votes, he said, by telling them we should have left the EU on March 29.

It’s raked in three quarters of a million pounds in just over 10 days, mostly made up of smaller donors, he claimed in an article for The Daily Telegraph today.

And describing Brexit is a “national humiliation” he insisted Britain was still being governed by a “ruling class” who didn’t believe in the country.

Yesterday Mr Farage put a whopping £1,000 bet that his new party would win the European elections and get the most seats if Britain is forced to take part in them.

You can read the article as it appeasr online here

13.4.19
thetelegraph.co.uk

EU leaders pin hopes on British europhile election candidates trying to cancel Brexit

EU leaders are pinning their hopes on a surge in support for British europhile parties in May’s European elections to convince the government to cancel Brexit.

Senior sources in Brussels have revealed that a number of the heads of state and government of the EU-27 said as much in Wednesday’s summit talks over the Brexit extension.

Such hopes were dismissed as “starry-eyed dreaming” by David Campbell-Bannerman, the Tory MEP for the East of England and former deputy leader of Ukip.

“Having reversed every one of the 48 referendums that went against further EU integration, the EU thinks they can do it again to Britain but they have met their match,” said Mr Campbell-Bannerman, who has been in the…

You can read the full article online here

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12.4.19

dailymail.co.uk

Farage launches the Brexit Party and unveils his secret weapon… Rees-Mogg’s little SISTER: Ex-‘Cameron cutie’ Annunziata, 40, stuns the Tories by defecting just HOURS before vowing to take on ‘far-right’ UKIP in EU elections

  • Nigel Farage launched Brexit Party and started war of words with UKIP as he unveiled Annunziata Rees-Mogg
  • Jacob’s younger sister stood as Tory in 2005 and 2010 general elections – but refused to ‘de-toff’ her name
  • She said: ‘The Prime Minister will not listen to the people – I can’t sit by and let her do it. We need to fight back’
  • Her brother told MailOnline: ‘The Brexit Party is fortunate to have such a high calibre candidate. I am sorry that Annunziata has left the Conservative party’.
  • Farage says new home will beat UKIP and has bet £1,000 on Brexit Party winning the most seats on May 23
  • Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman said party ‘will get a kicking’ at polls and lose half of their 18 MEPs

Nigel Farage launched his new Brexit Party and announced Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sister Annunziata as his first star MEP candidate –  after she quit the Tories after 35 years today.

The former UKIP leader has vowed to take votes from the ‘tarnished’ party he left in December and started a new war of words with successor Gerard Batten by claiming he lacks ‘good people’ and has allowed a ‘take over’ by the far right.

Launching the party in Coventry today Mr Farage said it is ‘no more Mr Nice Guy’ before unveiling his secret weapon Ms Rees-Mogg, whose brother told MailOnline today: ‘The Brexit Party is fortunate to have such a high calibre candidate but I am sorry that Annunziata has left the Conservative party’.

His younger sister previously stood as a Tory candidate in the 2005 and 2010 general elections and joined the party aged five – but has now jumped ship after Theresa May failed to deliver Brexit. She defected from the Tories to join Mr Farage’s revolt today.

The 40-year-old mother-of-one, once one of David Cameron’s ‘cuties’ who refused party requests to ‘de-toff’ her name to Nancy, blasted MPs, including her older sibling, saying: ‘The politicians are not our masters – they are to do our bidding. We need to fight back to take back our democracy. It’s as drastic as that. It is our fight and we must fight to win’.

She said she had stuck with the Tories ‘through thick and thin’ but Brexit had been the last straw.

She said: ‘But the point at which our Prime Minister will not listen, not only to her membership, but will not listen to the people of her country. I can’t sit by and let her do it. We’ve got to rescue our democracy, we have got to show that the people of this country have a say in how we are run’.

Theresa May’s Tories are in crisis over her failure to steer Britain out of the EU with the party ten points down in the polls. Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman said today the party ‘will get a kicking’ on May 23 and lose half of their 18 MEPs.

Labour has also lost ground, according to the BMG poll, down three points, with the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Independent Group and Brexit Party are all closely matched at approaching 10 per cent.

As his party faces a massacre at the polls, Chancellor Philip Hammond today insisted he believes MPs can still agree a Brexit deal after Easter to avoid the elections and said: ‘Clearly nobody wants to fight the European elections – it feels like a pointless exercise. We want to ensure that any British MEPs never have to take their seats’.

He also admitted the idea of second referendum ‘very likely’ to be put to Parliament.

Ms Rees-Mogg, 40, and her brother Jacob, 49, are the youngest of five children born to Lord Rees-Mogg, who edited The Times from 1967 to 1981, and his wife Lady Gillian. They grew up together at the grand Ston Easton Park estate near Wells in Somerset, which has since been turned into a luxury hotel.

If she stands in the south-west as an MEP her ERG Brexiteer brother, who is believed to be worth £150million, will have to campaign against her.

However, as Annunziata’s views on Brexit have hardened, her brother’s have softened as today he shared an article urging Brexiteers ‘diehards’ to ‘wake from No Deal dreams’ and said: ‘I think this is analysis is correct which is why I backed Mrs May’s deal last time’.

Ms Rees-Mogg explained she has been a full-time mother for the last eight years, adding she wanted to ‘avoid the negative comments… and the violence that can come from putting your name above the parapet and standing for what you believe in’, and she didn’t want her children to suffer.

She said: ‘I joined the Conservative Party in 1984 and this is not a decision I have made lightly – to leave a party for which I have fought at every election since 1987, from Maggie Thatcher through to Theresa May.

‘I know which one I’d rather have representing us now.’

Mr Farage has admitted there is ‘no difference’ in policies between UKIP and the Brexit Party – but said he would not tolerate racism and would will field ‘many Muslim candidates’ in the May European elections.

He said: ‘UKIP did struggle to get enough good people into it but unfortunately what it’s chosen to do is allow the far right to join it and take it over and I’m afraid the brand is now tarnished.’

Today he put a £1,000 bet on that the Brexit Party would win the most seats next month and revealed the public have donated £750,000 to the campaign fund in ten days.

Mr Farage said that the Leave vote had ‘hardened’ since the 2016 referendum, and made clear he was also appealing to Remainers who felt the result should be respected.

‘There are many people who voted Remain who believe that democracy is so fundamental to this country, to who we are as a people, that unless the will of the people is carried out something will have changed in our nation forever,’ he said.

‘With a bit of luck and a following wind, trying our hardest, I think we can turn this around.

‘I know this is a battle that we shouldn’t be having to fight, but we are having to fight it and we are going to win it.’

Mr Farage introduced Ms Rees-Mogg on stage as one of 70 Brexit Party candidates who would be fighting the May 23 elections in England, Scotland and Wales.

Current UKIP leader Gerard Batten has defended the party’s links to Tommy Robinson and insists he has saved the party ‘from oblivion’ and Mr Farage quit.

Mr Farage, who has raised £750,000 for his new party from online donations in the past ten days, is vowing to lead a fightback against an establishment which he said has betrayed the country over Brexit.

And he believes he can grab huge numbers of UKIP, Tory and Labour voters upset that Britain did not leave the EU on March 29.

He said the Brexit Party will have the same policies as UKIP but will avoid the far right.

‘In terms of policy, there’s no difference, but in terms of personnel there is a vast difference,’ he told the Today programme.

‘We have been betrayed and the fightback begins today. What we’re trying to do is launch a revolution in British politics and realign the party structure.’

When asked about former Brexit Party leader Catherine Blaiklock, who quit after journalists revealed she had sent racist posts and retweeted those of far-right figures before joining the Brexit Party, he said she was ‘an administrator’.

He said: ‘I set the party up, she was the administrator that got it set up.’

The former Ukip leader stepped up the pressure on Theresa May as he launched his newly formed Brexit Party’s campaign for the European elections on May 23.

Many Tories fear they will haemorrhage votes to the new party amid growing frustration with the continuing deadlock at Westminster.

In an article for The Daily Telegraph ahead of his launch event in Coventry, Mr Farage described the latest delay to Brexit as ‘nothing short of a national humiliation’.

He said Britain was governed by a ‘ruling class’ which no longer believed in the country and made clear he intended to pitch the campaign as a ‘battle between the people and the politicians’.

‘We are a great nation and a great people. But we are being held back by weak leadership. The time to change this is now,’ he wrote.

‘We see the next few weeks as the beginning of a fightback against an establishment that has wilfully betrayed our trust.

‘Indeed, the word ‘Brexit’ is no longer just about leaving the European Union. It symbolises a wider battle between the people and the politicians.

‘Our two-party system is shattered. It must be put out of its misery. The electorate has the power to effect this desperately needed change if it acts now.’

His rhetoric is likely to alarm some at Westminster at a time when MPs have reported growing numbers of personal threats in the highly charged atmosphere over Brexit.

Mr Farage however said his campaign was attracting growing support, raising £750,000 in small donations in the last 10 days.

At the same time, he said, more than 1,000 ‘high calibre’ men and women had applied to be on the party’s European candidates list.

‘This is the most ambitious project I have ever launched in my life,’ he said.

‘If, as I believe, the people want to change politics for good, I am going to give them the opportunity to make that happen.’

Tory support appears to be in freefall amid the Brexit chaos today as a new poll showed the party down 10 per cent in a month.

The BMG poll comes just a day after a Kantar survey showed a nine per cent plunge in support.

Both polls put Theresa May’s party in second place behind Labour amid mounting public anger at the shambolic handling of Brexit.

Two successive polls showing dramatic falls in support will deeply alarm Tory HQ ahead of local elections on May 2 and likely European elections on May 23.

A drubbing at the ballot box would add further pressure to Mrs May’s ailing position as she fights off attempts by Tory Brexiteers to oust her.

The blow to Mrs May comes as she prepares to face furious MPs today to explain why Brexit has been postponed for a second time to October 31.

The Halloween exit was confirmed in the early hours of this morning after EU leaders finally reached an agreement on how long to let Britain stay in the club.

Amid the chaos triggered by MPs three-time rejection of the deal, yesterday’s polling found more than half of people now support putting the Brexit deal to a referendum.

Across all voters, 51 per cent say it should have a public vote while just 32 per cent are opposed. Leave voters split 53 per cent to 35 per cent against, while Remain voters are heavily split 62 per cent to 22 per cent in favour.

According to the poll if a new referendum were held, 41 per cent say they would Remain, with 35 per cent backing Leave – with just nine per cent saying they don’t know and the rest vowing not to take part at all.

Fewer than one in four people say Britain should end the impasse by leaving the EY with No Deal, with one in three saying Brexit should be cancelled instead.

You can read the article as it appears online here.

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12.4.19

telegraph.co.uk

Conservatives ‘will get a kicking’ and lose half of their 18 MEPs at European elections

The Conservatives are set to lose half of their MEPs in next month’s European Parliament elections, Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman has said.

The Tories were left with just 18 out of 73 MEPs following the last comparable 2014 European Parliament elections.

Asked on Chopper’s Brexit Podcast – which you can listen to easily by logging in or subscribing below – for his forecast in the May 23 European Parliament elections – in which the UK will participate after Theresa May delayed Brexit to October – Mr Campbell Bannerman said: “It [Tory vote share] will be halved, [leaving] about 10 MEPs.

“It could be worse that that. It becomes the perfect protest vote – that…

Read the article in full by clicking here (telegraph subscription required)

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9.4.19

theguardian.co.uk

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Theresa May’s talks with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, and MPs debating how long the article 50 extension should be

It emerged yesterday that the Conservatives were planning to contest the European parliamentary elections and had invited potential MEPs to put themselves forward. One person who will not be doing so, however, is David Bannerman – the Tory MEP for the East of England.

After quite some consideration, I have decided today not to stand again as a Conservative MEP for the East of England if elections are called for 23 May 2019.

I think it would be dishonourable for me personally to stand again as a Conservative MEP in these circumstances, particularly with my strong views on honouring the Brexit result. I am unable to defend the decision to call these elections and the arguments for yet further delay when the British people just want Brexit done.

I strongly believe it is entirely wrong and counterproductive for these elections to be held at all. With nearly three years since the Referendum (of 23 June 2016) the British people are angrily demanding that the result be honoured and Brexit be delivered.

Bannerman has said he would support the prime minister’s deal “only on the basis of getting the UK legally out of the EU”.

See the coverage of the stories online here

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10.4.19

thetimes.co.uk

Good pay and great perks… but for how long? Wannabe MEPs get ready to run

It offers the chance to shape European laws, vote on Jean-Claude Juncker’s successor and receive generous pay and perks. However, it also means fighting a fraught election first and the possibility of redundancy within weeks.

Aspiring and serving members of the European Parliament are having to choose whether the benefits outweigh the cons as the big parties slowly accept the reality that they are set to fight elections in barely more than six weeks.

The agony is most acute in the Conservative Party, whose activists and candidates are furious that the elections are even taking place. Yesterday at 5pm, the party’s deadline for applications to be candidates passed only a day after those applications were opened.

To contest every seat in Britain the Tories will…

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9.4.19

Eastern Daily Press

Tory MEP will not stand in European elections due to Brexit delay

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman says he will not stand in the European elections as it would be “dishonourable” of him to do so.

The East of England MEP cited further delays with Brexit as the reason why he would not be standing if elections are called on May 23.

On Monday, the legal groundwork for voting in the elections next month was put in place in Parliament.

However they will not go ahead if Prime Minister Theresa May secures a Brexit deal in the interim.

Mr Campbell Bannerman said: “I think it would be dishonourable for me personally to stand again as a Conservative MEP in these circumstances, particularly with my strong views on honouring the Brexit result.

“I am unable to defend the decision to call these elections and the arguments for yet further delay when the British people just want Brexit done.”

“I strongly believe it is entirely wrong and counterproductive for these elections to be held at all.”

Mr Campbell Bannerman said he is prepared to support the Prime Minister’s deal, but only on the basis of getting the UK legally out of the EU.

He said he remained loyal to the Conservative party and would not stand for any other party.

“It has been a huge honour and privilege to represent the great people and wonderful area of the East of England for nearly ten years,” he added.

“I will continue to assist in local and national Westminster elections and plan to stay in politics.”

You can read the story as it appears online here

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9.4.19

telegraph.co.uk

I will fight to be MEP, Stanley Johnson says 

Boris Johnson’s father has thrown his hat into the ring to be a Conservative candidate in the event Brexit is delayed so long that the United Kingdom ends up holding elections to the European Parliament this year.

Stanley Johnson confirmed to The Telegraph that he had lodged his application to be a candidate in London after Conservative party chiefs announced in a call-out to parliamentary hopefuls that they “will be contesting the European Elections on 23rd May 2019”.

Mr Johnson, who served as an MEP from 1979-1984, called for British politicians to take an “absolutely positive” approach towards engaging with the European institution due to the “tremendous impact” its activities can have.

This comes as Theresa May seeks European leaders’ approval to delay Brexit to June 30, a period in which she has acknowledged the UK would be legally obliged to hold European elections. But Tory Brexiteers have warned European leaders that they risk facing “Perfidious Albion on speed” if they agree to delay Brexit for a long time.

“It simply does not make sense for a major political party like the Conservative party to take a negative view of this and to say ‘oh well, oh God we’ve got to do this, what a pain in the neck,” Mr Johnson told this newspaper. “There is a really important job to do. I don’t think we can cede the field to the populist parties or the ultra-right-wing parties.

The 78-year-old, who competed in the ITV reality show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! back in 2017, added that “anybody who can survive 19 days in the jungle can survive a return to the European Parliament”.

Mr Johnson’s candidacy highlights the scale of the problem facing the Conservatives as they consider who could represent them in the European Parliament after May. The party’s efforts to persuade its current 18 MEPs to stand again suffered a blow last night as one of its most senior Brexiteers announced he would not because it would be “dishonourable” to do so.

In a statement last night, David Campbell Bannerman said: “I am unable to defend the decision to call these elections and the arguments for yet further delay when the British people just want Brexit done.

“I strongly believe it is entirely wrong and counterproductive for these elections to be held at all. With nearly three years since the Referendum, the British people are angrily demanding that the result be honoured and Brexit be delivered.“

The Telegraph understands that two other MEPs have decided not to stand again. Conservative party candidate nominations for the European Elections are set to close later this month on Wednesday April 24.

You can read the article as it appears online here

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9.4.19

express.co.uk

A HUGE row erupted between Labour MEP Seb Dance and Brexiteer MEP David Campbell Bannerman after the Remainer blamed Britain’s Leave supporters for creating a “mess” out of Brexit.

The heated debate began when Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman called for Britain to leave the European Union with no deal and then do a full comprehensive free trade agreement, often referred to as a “Super Canada” deal, with the Brussels bloc. BBC host John Humphrys then pointed out how the Labour MEP was “turning his nose up” and “sneering” at the prospect of a so-called super-Canada deal.

Mr Campbell Bannerman attempted to defend calls for a comprehensive free trade agreement and insisted it was “entirely doable” and “what the EU wants”.

But the Labour MEP hit back and said: “It’s not what businesses are calling for either.”

The Tory MEP blasted: “You want frictionless trade. That’s the problem all along.”

Mr Dance insisted he does was frictionless trade in the same way Britain has it as an EU member. But the Tory Brexiteer fired back and said: “That’s created the political crisis, Seb. You are responsible for it.

“You and Labour, you made that.”

The Labour MEP replied: “Don’t blame us for this mess. This is your programme and not mine.”

Mr Bannerman Campbell blasted: “Sorry but do you think the British people are a mess too? You know that nearly 60 percent of Labour constituencies back Leave. You don’t actually respect that result.”

The pair continued to shout over each other and the BBC host was forced to intervene. Mr Humphrys said: “Hang on a second and let him finish his point.”

Mr Dance added: “The Brexit that was sold in 2016, the prospectus that was sold in 2016 is so markedly different from all of the options that are now on the table, including what you now appear to be advocating, i.e. a no deal.

“The idea that there is somehow a mandate for no deal on the basis of the campaign in 2016 is clearly wrong.

“So, the idea that you shouldn’t check now that what the deliverable options are is what the British people would want is, I think, profoundly democratic.”

The UK has until April 10 to come up with a new Brexit plan – or may face leaving the union without a deal two days later on April 12.

EU leaders are due to meet at a summit on April 10, where Mrs May will be expected to present her new deal. But last week, European Commission president Donald Tusk offered the UK a lengthy delay to Brexit, of up to one year.

You can see the article as it appeared here.

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5.4.19

thesun.co.uk

Angela Merkel hails MPs who voted to force the PM into asking for another Brexit delay as she meets with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin

The German Chancellor praised Remainers who backed the Cooper-Letwin amendment as they vowed to fight to stop a No Deal

ANGELA Merkel yesterday hailed MPs who voted to force the PM into asking for another Brexit delay, saying they have reduced the risk of no deal.

The German Chancellor met Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin – and praised Remainers who backed the Cooper-Letwin amendment as they vowed to fight until the “last hour” to stop a crash out.

She said: “We’re following this with great interest and we hope this will open up possibilities of an orderly Brexit.

“It’s an important message there’s a vast majority in the Commons that wants to avoid a disorderly Brexit without a deal, and this is my starting point.”

The Irish PM added: “The decision of the Commons on a number of occasions now to vote against a no deal outcome is significant.

“Parliament is sovereign and expresses the will of the British people which is that they don’t want to leave without a deal.

“That is significant and very helpful and makes an orderly Brexit much more likely.”
On an extension, he added: “We need to be patient and understanding of the predicament that they’re in.

“Of course any further extension must require and must have a credible and realistic way forward.”

The pair were speaking after meeting in Dublin yesterday to discuss how Ireland will cope if the UK leaves without an agreement.

Mr Varadkar was forced to admit there will be checks in such a scenario and it is “not possible to have a clear plan” for how events will pan out.

The German leader’s trip came amid fears in Berlin that Ireland has not done enough to prepare for a UK crash out next Friday.

Senior EU officials have warned that Ireland will be required by law to implement the bloc’s full customs code from day one of a no deal Brexit.

Germany in slump

GERMANY’S economy is suffering a manufacturing slump amid fears of a No Deal Brexit. Experts yesterday slashed growth forecasts by more than half from 1.9 per cent to 0.8. They warned if Britain leaves the EU with no agreement, it could get worse.

Arch-Brexiteers here said it proved German leader Angela Merkel needed a deal. Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “We should maximise our negotiating leverage rather than rolling over again.”

After talks with Irish PM Leo Varadkar on breaking the deadlock, Mrs Merkel said: “I can say this for the German side — we will do everything to prevent a No Deal Brexit.”

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman told The Sun: “Mrs Merkel will want to ensure 1.5 million German jobs are protected by proper access to the UK market.

“A No Deal Brexit could tip Germany into a deep recession.” Stocks also wobbled in Italy.

You can read the article as it originally appears here.

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18.3.19

ft.com

Where do MPs want to take Brexit? What justification for an Article 50 extension can the Commons provide?

MPs are almost certain to vote on Thursday for the Article 50 process to be extended so that the UK does not crash out of the EU on March 29. But what do MPs want an extension for? This is the central question hanging over the Commons — and in many ways the only one that now matters. We know what the Commons does not want. Last night MPs voted for the second time to reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

We know, too, that the Commons does not want no deal, at least on March 29. A motion to that effect is pretty certain to be passed this evening — even if the text of the government motion is not quite the resounding rejection of no deal that many in business would like to see. The problem for the UK is that if it wants an extension, this needs to be agreed by all 27 EU member states, probably at next week’s EU heads of government meeting. And securing that agreement will not be straightforward. As Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said on Wednesday: “[The British] have to tell us what it is they want for their future relationship. What will their choice be, what will be the line they will take? That is the question we need a clear answer to now. That is the question that has to be answered before a decision on a possible further extension.”

So what justification for an extension can the Commons provide? And how will it reach that decision? One possibility is that the Commons decides to hold what are called “indicative votes” on alternatives to Mrs May’s deal. This would mean that MPs vote on the three main options available: the Norway-style membership of the European Economic Area; the Corbyn plan for a customs union; or a second referendum. An amendment to hold these indicative votes could well be tabled on Thursday when MPs vote on an extension. But even if indicative votes are held as early as next week, the process might not be conclusive. It is not certain that any of the three proposals outlined above enjoys a majority in the Commons — so the deadlock might continue. What then? It’s hard to believe the EU would withhold an extension altogether.

Instead, at its summit next week, it might at least allow an extension of six weeks to mid-May to allow the UK and EU to finalise their no-deal planning. That might set the scene for Mrs May to put her deal to the Commons one more time (as Robert Shrimsley argues) before March 29 — on the grounds that there really is no alternative to what she is offering. Perhaps the Brexit hardliners would decide to back her then after all. But if Mrs May were to lose a third time, the only course of action might well be for parliament to revoke Article 50 altogether, asking for a much longer extension and possibly moving to a second referendum.

Further reading

THERESA MAY’S BREXIT DEAL IS DEAD — MPS MUST NOW TAKE OVER “After two years of tortuous negotiations, Theresa May’s strategy for taking the UK out of the EU lies in ruins. From the moment the stentorian attorney-general, Geoffrey Cox, pronounced that late legal changes won by the prime minister did not remove the risk of the UK being ‘trapped’ in the so-called Irish backstop hated by Eurosceptics, her withdrawal agreement was headed for another crushing Commons defeat. The priority now must be to avoid chaos — chaos in parliament that could be exploited by extremists of left and right, and the chaos of a no-deal exit. MPs must stabilise the political situation and create the space for a Brexit rethink.” (The FT View)

PAUSE IT AND RETHINK “A pause is required because a pivot to a new arrangement is easier said than done. Most of the proposed alternatives to our membership of the EU have, under Mrs May, seemed unattainable, unappealing or both. For the UK to be in a better place politically will require a different, better politics. That will take time, and Mrs May needs to ask Europe for it.” (Editorial, The Guardian)

FORGET ABOUT ABSURD VOTES ON NO DEAL — MPS OUGHT TO BE INVOKING GATT ARTICLE 24 “The 164 member WTO offers Britain a remarkable opportunity to leave the EU cleanly, avoiding all of the apocalyptic predictions set out by the likes of the CBI, Bank of England or chancellor. Because through GATT Article 24, the EU and UK are able to agree a very basic Free Trade Agreement that would keep tariffs at zero for the duration of the period the two sides negotiate a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.” (David Campbell Bannerman, MEP, BrexitCentral) Hard numbers

BRUSSELS BRIEFING — LOSING CONTROL OF BREXIT By Theresa May’s standards, it was not that bad. But the still breathtaking 149-vote margin of defeat over her Brexit deal has sailed the UK into uncharted waters. The options for reviving this treaty look almost completely exhausted. A dark mood has gripped both sides.

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14.3.19

www.breitbart.com

Go WTO: Senior Leaver Calls for Clean Brexit, Govt to Slash Tariffs in No Deal

David Campbell-Bannerman has called for the Government to forget about the “absurd” vote to take no-deal off the table, and use World Trade Organization (WTO) Article 24 to continue trading with the EU tariff-free until a good deal is made.

Writing for BrexitCentral on Wednesday, the Conservative Party MEP and board member of Leave Means Leave said that the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Article 24 “offers Britain a remarkable opportunity to leave the EU cleanly” by allowing the UK and EU to “agree a very basic Free Trade Agreement that would keep tariffs at zero for the duration of the period the two sides negotiate a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.”

The Brexiteer argues that it would provide a trade negotiation “stop gap” and still allow the UK to leave the EU as scheduled on March 29th, “while at the same time, avoiding any uncertainty that could negatively impact our economy or that of the EU” and save businesses from calculating tariffs.

After Prime Minister Theresa May lost her second vote on her Withdrawal Agreement Tuesday night, the House of Commons is set to vote today on whether to leave the EU with a No Deal — a proposition Mr Campbell-Bannerman labelled “absurd,” urging instead for a “meaningful vote” on GATT Article 24 “as a safe, alternative Brexit deal that would get Britain out of the EU with minimal drama” and which “deliver[s] on the result of the referendum.”

Meanwhile, the Government has announced that around 87 per cent of import tariffs could be slashed if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, The Times reported Wednesday, and there would be no controls at the Irish border, with all goods crossing into Northern Ireland doing so without checks for a “strictly temporary” period.

Levies will remain on some items coming from abroad including cars as well as fertiliser, fuel, certain ceramics, beef, lamb, poultry, and some dairy products to protect British producers from “unfair global trading practices.” The move may also bring down the price of goods in shops for British consumers.

In an attempt to stop the mass resignation of Cabinets Remainers, Mrs May last month offered the House the opportunity to vote to take a no-deal off the table should she lose her second vote, and if a clean break is voted against, allow MPs to vote to extend Article 50, thereby delaying the country’s exit from the EU.

After the prime minister lost her vote last night, May told Parliament that she would not be whipping Conservative Party MPs to back a no-deal — holding out that the only acceptable option is for the UK to leave with a deal — and the Europhile-dominated lower house is likely to vote against a WTO exit.

However, the European Research Group’s chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg told the BBC after the vote, “The default legal position remains, as the Prime Minister pointed out, that we still leave on March 29th.

“The House of Commons voted twice for bills that became Acts of Parliament that mean that they leave on the 29th of March. They voted for the Article 50 Act, and the Withdrawal Act. The Article 50 Act paved the way for the 29th of March and the Withdrawal Act specifically mentions it.”

“It would have to be changed by law, and the law is not easy to change,” he added.

The ERG chairman noted that the only way to extend Article 50 could be to ask of an extension of the EU; however, Brussels bureaucrats immediately responded to the news of the vote and Mrs May allowing MPs to potentially vote for a Brexit delay by saying that instead the UK should prepare for a No Deal exit.

Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, in comments to the European Parliament this morning, said that “This treaty is and will remain the only available treaty” and extending Article 50 would only be granted if there were a “clear plan.”

“We are at a critical point — the risk of no deal has never been higher,” Mr Barnier added.

You can read the aritcle as it appears on www.breitbart.com here.

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10.3.19

thetelegraph.co.uk

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ‘NO DEAL’

On March 13th, if the meaningful vote on the deal fails again in spite of Geoffrey Cox’s legal acrobatics, there will be an MP vote on something that doesn’t actually exist: the so called ‘no deal’ exit.

It doesn’t exist because even what people call ‘no deal’ involves some negotiated deals. They may be smaller, bilateral, sector specific deals, often termed ‘standstill’ agreements, but are nevertheless important.

As an MEP I have already voted for four such mini deals – an arrangement for British car certifications to continue under ‘no deal’, permission for the EU to sell us their goods as a third country (!), an aviation deal to allow flights to continue to fly and a road haulage deal to allow trucks to continue to roll. The Strasbourg European Parliament next week will see hours of voting on more ‘no deal’ measures under (emergency) ‘simplified procedure’.

The EU’s chart of recommended ‘no deal’ measures runs from reciprocal fishing rights and shipping inspections to nuclear energy to continuing the Northern Ireland PEACE and Erasmus Plus student programmes. The Mayor of Calais is actually offended the U.K. thinks there will be any holdups.

In the UK meanwhile the port of Dover says it is ‘prepared’ for ‘no deal’. Eurotunnel say “with or without a deal, traffic flow through the Tunnel will be maintained”. The City of London is ready too – Lord Mayor Mr Estlin says Brexit has been a “pain in the backside” but “businesses have prepared already”.

The Bank of England and the European Securities and Markets Authority have signed baffling Memorandums of Understanding on things like the Central Securities Depository, and EU regulators continue to recognise U.K. clearing houses.

Brexit Minister Chris Heaton Harris lists what is ready from citizens’ rights, such as the welcome Spanish deal for U.K. residents, to chemicals to food labelling to holidays to archives. BMW is moving its summer shutdown to April and Toyota stockpiling parts. The U.K. car industry managed to survive 211 days over 20 years of ‘Operation Stack’ where lorries couldn’t get to/from Europe.

There is even an outbreak of naughty bilateral deals behind the EU’s back such as Italy’s bid to stabilise financial services and trade.

All of this is being done by professionals with no sign of the hysterics of extreme politicised Remainers in the U.K. The relentless ‘no deal’ silly stories from the BBC are a case in point, from food shortages being like “walking off a cliff in the dark without a torch” (we do actually import food from outside the EU) and Eurostar’s ‘one mile queues’, when passport checks exist now.

There is further confusion over what the deal in ‘no deal’ is. It isn’t a ‘no trade deal’ or ‘a no Future Relationship deal’ – we haven’t even started negotiating those yet. It is a ‘no Withdrawal Agreement deal’.

Let’s be clear. Up until now we have been dancing to the EU’s tune. The Withdrawal Agreement is specified under EU law – Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – and went wrong from the start. Without one, all the EU treaties stop applying as of 29th March.

But trade deals are done under the global trade rules of the 164 member World Trade Organisation (WTO) that the U.K. helped establish.

The WTO gives us a way out of the EU under Article XXIV/24 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which preceded it.  A GATT Article 24 compliant standstill trading arrangement forms one of the three ‘safety nets’ within the Malthouse Compromise Plan B, along with continuing to offer Plan A (a changed WA deal) and seeking to purchase the Implementation Period (IP) via funding.

GATT Article 24 means the EU and U.K. agree a very basic free trade agreement (FTA) that allows us to keep tariffs at zero whilst negotiating a comprehensive U.K.-wide Free Trade Agreement, the sort of ‘SuperCanada’ FTA I have long advocated (bigger, better and wider than the EU-Canada CETA deal), and which the EU has offered to us three times starting a year ago (7th March).

Article 24 is just a bridge – an alternative transition. It only needs literally a one page Free Trade Agreement to be signed. The neutral Cambridge law expert Dr Lorand Bartels has helpfully written one.

This protects you from discrimination claims by other WTO members. Even if there were legal challenges, these would take at least two years, and the FTA would in place before any verdict was reached.

Yes it will need other small deals such as interim regulatory recognition of goods and services, but the core remains Article 24. Its feasibility has been confirmed to me by top WTO and EU trade experts.

Article 24 also takes away the hassle of businesses having to calculate nearly 20,000 tariffs. Tariff rates are very complex and vary enormously even within one category such as lamb meat.

OK so businesses will have to fill in customs declaration forms, as they do for non-EU suppliers, but no tariffs mean the processes are simple. HMRC have helpfully enacted Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) for the 145,000 VAT-registered businesses who trade with EU (only 7% of U.K. businesses and 12% U.K. economy do) to remove need for full customs declarations at Borders and import duty payments.

The objection that the EU would refuse to agree Article 24 if the WA deal fails because of a lack of goodwill is patently absurd. The Eurozone is again implementing emergency measures as it falls into serious recession, whilst it would save the EU £13 billion in tariffs with their largest single customer. The U.K. would agree to pay a contribution too as per Malthouse (for 2019 budget, maybe 2020 too, but not the £39 billion).

The objection it does not address ‘non tariff barriers’ is equally silly. It’s not its job – the comprehensive FTA will address non tariff barriers, services and the whole shooting match.

So my earnest request to Government is this: if the favoured deal is not passed on 12th March, then please let’s have a meaningful vote on something that does exist and is deliverable.

Let’s amend the so called ‘no deal’ vote on 13th March to incorporate GATT Article 24, and Plan B of Malthouse, as this is a sensible alternative basic deal. Also, if necessary, let’s allow a strictly temporary extension of Article 50 of three months to 29th June, appealing to those who would favour an extension in a possible third vote. This extension will not be to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement, but to prepare to enact Article 24 and its happy band of mini deals.

With only an 8 MP majority for the Spelman amendment, just 5 MPs need persuading.

It might just pass.

You can also read David’s article above, as it appears online at thetelegraph.co.uk

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10.2.19

www.politico.eu

Five levers to tackle the economic shock of no-deal Brexit

None of the weapons at the UK’s disposal comes without downsides.

It’s 11:01 p.m. in London on Friday, March 29 and it’s no deal. Britain will need to take immediate action to try to shield the economy from shocks, probably before markets open, on April Fools’ Day.

Here we take a look at some of the emergency levers that U.K. policymakers can pull.

Britain’s import-dependent economy has never looked so vulnerable in peacetime. An inflation bomb is set to explode. A diving pound and tariffs on key products from the EU such as food would hit consumers hard. Britain runs a hefty trade-in-goods deficit (of about £130 billion in 2016 and 2017), and sources about half of its food from abroad.

Policymakers will have to make hard choices on how to manage the currency — particularly on whether to hike or cut interest rates — when core elements of the economic model will be under fire. Markets have traditionally been tolerant of U.K. debt and deficit levels because the country was a prime venue for foreign direct investment from big companies such as Airbus and Nissan, but these are now in question.

As Bank of England Governor Mark Carney put it, Britain relies on the “kindness of strangers.” This has been drying up because the U.K. is becoming a less attractive investment destination outside the EU single market. Foreign direct investment more than halved to $15.1 billion in 2017, from $32.7 billion in 2015, according to U.N. figures.

Here’s our look at the five responses that the U.K. will need to consider. All have disadvantages.

1. Drop import tariffs to avoid big price hikes

If Britain leaves the EU without a deal, tariffs would be imposed on imports that used to come in freely from the EU. For example, Britain’s tariff on beef purchases would be around 40 percent.

To avoid food price inflation, Britain could lower or completely scrap tariffs on things such as food, car parts or medicines.

Catch No. 1: The World Trade Organization’s “most favored nation” principle dictates that these tariffs must be the same for all WTO members, unless you’re in a trade deal or in a regional bloc like the EU. This means not only French but also South American beef or cheese would come to Britain tariff-free.

Farmers would lose out, as cheap imports undercut their products. The government’s brutal calculation would have to be that farmers are far less important to the economy than supermarket prices for the whole population.

Trade Secretary Liam Fox told the U.K. parliament’s international trade committee on Wednesday that waiving tariffs to stimulate trade is a “possibility.” But the “full liberalization of tariffs … would certainly expose the U.K. to sudden competition in sectors to which it’s not currently,” Fox said.

Catch No. 2: By slashing tariffs, you have effectively gifted away your leverage in trade negotiations with other partners. They will already be shipping their goods tariff-free, they don’t need a deal. British tariffs may be down, but those of trade partners won’t be — putting British exporters in a difficult spot.

2. Use the Article 21 ‘nuclear option’

A hard-line solution would be to only lower tariffs to EU imports and ignore the WTO rules. Other countries would probably complain and launch WTO disputes, but Britain could fend them off by calling on Article 21 of the WTO rulebook, the infamous “national security” exemption, favorite of Donald Trump.

British Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman suggested this option in a Telegraph op-ed last month, saying the “national security” justification is possible because Britain would be “seeking to avoid security issues at the Northern Ireland border.”

Article 21 has long been a taboo in the trade world, but over the past one and a half years it has gained some dubious popularity as the United States, Russia and the United Arab Emirates invoked the exemption to justify questionable actions such as protective tariffs and border restrictions. The EU is a sharp critic of such steps and has warned that abusive use of Article 21 risks undermining the entire multilateral trading system.

Triggering this “nuclear option” would be risky for Britain too: “It would be an incredibly damaging way for the U.K. to start its new role as an independent member of the World Trade Organization,” said Dmitry Grozoubinski, a former Australian WTO negotiator. He warned that using such an “excuse for breaching most-favored nation rules” could backfire as Britain would likely use all the goodwill it would need in other talks, both bilaterally as well as at the multilateral WTO level.

3. Rates. Should I cut or should I hike?

Money is Britain’s supreme challenge. Many economists think the Bank of England will probably inject the markets with fresh money to try to prevent a meltdown. But this will also come at a cost for consumers, who will have to face higher prices.

Those looking to give the economy a shot in arm also reckon that the Bank of England would likely slash the base rate from the current 0.75 percent, accepting that this will exacerbate inflation.

Such a cut is not guaranteed, however. The Bank of England’s Carney has warned that businesses should not rule out an increase in the base rate. While this would help bolster the pound, a hike poses big challenges in the U.K., where mortgage debt is high and higher rates could create a housing crisis and sap household spending.

According to the Bank of England, Britain’s economic activity would fall by as much as 8 percent in the case of no-deal. The bank warned that in this scenario “output falls by more than it did in the financial crisis.”

One of the biggest immediate risks on Brexit day is that banks stop lending money to businesses or even to each other, out of fears that they won’t get their money back.

“Like at the moment when Lehman Brothers collapsed or 9/11, the central bank would certainly respond by injecting short-term liquidity,” said ING Chief Economist Carsten Brzeski.

In order to stimulate growth, the BoE may then want to use quantitative easing. “You will have to ask yourself how much you can stimulate without driving up inflation,” Brzeski said. “The pound will be weaker, so there will already be what we call imported inflation.” Further monetary loosening would make this worse.

Another of Britain’s vulnerabilities is that economists caution that a weak pound is not unadulterated good news for exporters. Many manufacturers insist they would prefer a stable to a weak currency because they are so dependent on imported raw materials and components.

4. Stop customs checks

Slashing tariffs will help soften the blow of higher food prices on consumers. But it won’t help businesses whose shipments are stuck in ports. Customs checks could lead to kilometers of trucks at highways and at the entrance to the Channel tunnel.

That will be one of the main costs of a hard Brexit, some economists say, in that it disrupts supply chains and ruins businesses that rely on just-in-time production. That’s why some businesses and pharmacies have started stockpiling supplies.

To avoid such a mayhem, the U.K. government could decide to wave through imports at its ports. It has already announced that it would do so for EU goods.

The risk of that is obvious: Suspend customs checks for too long, and Britain could become a smugglers’ paradise.

The EU may not do the same for U.K. exports coming in, meaning British exporters will struggle to get their merchandise into their biggest market.

The longer this situation persists, the more manufacturers would move their factories into the EU, meaning the U.K.’s trade deficit could widen.

5. Deregulate to become a fiscal paradise

This is the dream of hard-line Brexiteers like Jacob Rees-Mogg and Daniel Hannan. Once Britain leaves the EU without a deal, it could become a fiscal paradise, dropping taxes and deregulating its industry. This could attract investors as France and Germany show signs of pursuing a more protectionist model.

This is a longer-term solution, however, and will do little to resolve instant shocks.

The political risk is that deregulation could mean lowering standards on things like food safety, scrapping checks on dangerous chemicals, environmental protection, unemployment, or health benefits and consumer rights.

You can read the article as it originally appears by clicking here.

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13.2.19

express.co.uk

Brexit PLOT: Top UK official ‘RULES OUT’ no deal – MPs must pick LONG delay or May’s terms

FURY erupted tonight after a senior official effectively ruled out a no-deal Brexit. Olly Robbins told colleagues MPs will be made to choose between a revised divorce deal or a “long” delay to Britain’s exit from the European Union.

He was overheard in a hotel bar in Brussels openly discussing how fear of keeping the UK well after March 29 might focus minds when the agreement goes back to the Commons. The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator said he believed the EU would “probably just give us” an extension on the deadline for leaving, according to ITV. Theresa May has repeatedly insisted that no deal is better than a bad deal and on Tuesday appealed to MPs to “hold their nerve” as she continues to battle for changes to her withdrawal agreement.

But Mr Robbins, who has faced repeated criticism from Brexiteers over his handling of the negotiations, appeared to expect a delay.

“The issue is whether Brussels is clear on the terms of extension,” he was overheard saying. “In the end they will probably just give us an extension.”

Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman, said: “The truth is out. This man is a total disgrace.”

Brexiteer Tory Marcus Fysh warned Mrs May that voters would feel “betrayed” if she broke her promise that the country would leave on next month.

He said: “The Prime Minister has been telling everybody, including thousands and thousands of Conservative councillors, that she is determined to leave whatever happens on March 29.”

Conservative Brexiteer Peter Bone: “The Prime Minister has repeatedly said there will not be an extension to Article 50 yet Olly Robbins appears to be saying the opposite. It would be extraordinary to have a civil servant supporting a policy which is the complete opposite of the Government’s. Perhaps he is freelancing out there.

“The Prime Minister should summon him back to London immediately to ask him exactly what is going on.”

Mr Robbins had earlier attended a dinner with EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay.

He reportedly suggested the fear of a long extension to the Article 50 process that takes the UK out of the EU might focus MPs’ minds.

In snatched exchanges he was heard saying “…Got to make them believe that the week beginning end of March… Extension is possible but if they don’t vote for the deal then the extension is a long one…”

Mr Robbins said the European Commission would need to agree to changes to the backstop to prevent a hard Irish border that made it “subject to the future trade deal” to make it more acceptable.

The civil servant also said the original plan for the protocol, which would keep the UK in the customs union, was designed as “a bridge” to a long-term trading relationship rather than a “safety net” for the island of Ireland.

“The big clash all along is the ‘safety net’,” he said. “We agreed a bridge but it came out as a ‘safety net’.”

A senior Tory source said they feared Mr Robbins comments revealed the direction Mrs May was heading and warned it would go down “badly” with Conservative Brexiteers.

Leave Means Leave Chairman John Longworth said: “If it is true that Britain’s chief negotiator was carelessly briefing in a bar on the UK position in the Brexit negotiations, it clearly demonstrates the casual overreach of Olly Robbins.

“It is not for a civil servant to be speculating publicly on any matter, let alone one of such national importance and it is not for a civil servant to be formulating policy publicly.

“Politicians are elected to formulate policy and the PM to lead on the private advice of civil servants, who they can choose to ignore. It appears that Robbins has once again stepped well over the mark and one wonders where his interests lie.”

Tory MP Mark Francois called for Mr Robbins to be imprisoned in the Tower of London.

He said: “I am already on the record as objecting strongly to the undue influence which Olly Robbins appears to wield in Downing Street.

“Advisers advise and ministers decide – but he seems to have got this the wrong way round.

“Mr Robbins is avidly pro-EU and has been doing his utmost to subvert Brexit.

“When all this is over, he should be sent to the Tower. And when he does so, he should arrive by river.”

You can read the article as it appeared here.

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10.2.19

express.co.uk

EU talks with the UK about managed no-deal

SECRET talks have begun between the UK and EU to prepare the way for a managed no-deal Brexit, sources in Brussels have claimed.

It is also understood that the World Trade Organisation has opened the door to a route for the EU and UK to continue trading on an interim basis in the event of no deal being reached by March 29. The revelations come as leading pro-Brexit lawyers have warned that extending Article 50 would be a “blackmailer’s charter” for the EU. Senior figures in Brussels have said that officials at UK Rep – the British embassy in Brussels – have been “putting out feelers” for extending Article 50, but “only to deliver a managed no-deal”

The reports have been strongly denied by Downing Street which insists that the Government “is solely focused on delivering a deal”.

But it is also understood that the WTO has privately told Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman that his plan to use Article 24 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade to have a near seamless managed no deal would work.

As long as both the UK and EU agree to invoke Article 24 as an interim arrangement ahead of working out a free trade agreement then the two can continue to trade on the same terms as they do now.

The proposal has been put forward in Cabinet by international trade secretary Liam Fox but questions were raised by Whitehall officials about the legality of doing it before the UK leaves.

But, according to WTO sources, the UK and EU could agree to invoke it at midnight on March 29 when Britain leaves, although Brexit is “unprecedented” in international law.

The decision would only become an issue if an objection was raised by another WTO member but they “would need to prove harm” to their own trading circumstances.

This means that if Britain and the EU simply trade on the same terms as before “it will be difficult to prove harm”.

Privately, Brexiteers have suggested that the EU could be given part of the £39 billion divorce bill as “a sweetener” to get them to agree to the Article 24 route, which Brussels has used previously to give extra time for new members such as the Czech Republic to join.

A source at the WTO said that the organisation does not want to make a public statement on the issue because it does not want to intervene in the complexities of the Brexit negotiation.

However, a spokesman said the WTO “hopes the outcome [of Brexit] will be the smoothest possible trading relations with all parties”. Meanwhile, in a new report Lawyers for Britain has warned that extending Article 50 and delaying Brexit would be dangerous for Britain.

Martin Howe QC has said that in the event that Britain makes the request for an extension, “Spain is likely to demand permanent concessions over Gibraltar”.

Mr Howe said Germany is making plans to use any Article 50 extension request to “lock in” the UK’s agreement to pay £39billion under the Withdrawal Agreement.

The sum would then remain payable whether or not an exit deal was reached.

According to his analysis, in the event that Article 50 was extended for three months or less, it would only allow an extra negotiating period of three weeks as the current European Parliament term ends on April 18.

Mr Howe concluded that “by asking for a favour when up against the clock, the UK would once again put itself in a very weak negotiating position” and therefore, asking for an extension to Article 50 is a “terrible, terrible idea”.

In further analysis the Bow Group has shown that the draft immigration bill has effectively scrapped the target of bringing net migration down to less than 100,000.

It also warns that the phrasing around EU students means they could also be added to those getting permanent residency, which the Bow Group said could increase the number eligible by 500,000.

You can read the original article here.

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31.1.19

express.co.uk

Farage PREDICTS we will leave under UNIQUE third option -‘Let’s have an Article 24 deal!’

NIGEL Farage predicted the UK may be close to leaving the EU through a hidden ‘Article 24 Brexit’.

The former Ukip leader made the revelation on his LBC show this evening. In light of the refusal of the EU to reopen the withdrawal agreement to renegotiation, the arch-Brexiteer claimed: “I think what’s happening is we’re looking at these negotiations, we’re looking at the total intransigence of the European Commission and the EU and I feel we’re beginning to move toward the position of saying ‘it’s time, in these circumstances, if they cannot even be reasonable with us, it’s time we walk away. It’s time for, and they called it a ‘no-deal Brexit’ but let me rephrase that as an ‘Article 24 Brexit’ – one that gives us two years and maybe even up to 10 years of tariff free trade while we sort out new arrangements.

“But we’ll have left the EU.”

The Article 24 option was outlined in a previous show by David Campbell-Bannerman, MEP for the East of England.

He said that Article 24 was part of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

He explained: “And that is now part of the WTO network the EU operates within.

“What’s important is you can have a managed no-deal, a softer no-deal.

“It allows us to leave the EU with no withdrawal agreement but keep tariffs at zero, keep quotas at zero, which means that the man on the street won’t notice.

“You won’t get 40 percent tariffs on French cheese or 12 percent on French wine for a period whilst you negotiate a much deeper, comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement.

“This is a kind of transition, stopgap mechanism.”

At this afternoon’s EU Plenary session Mr Farage said Mrs May now realised the mistake made in agreeing to the backstop, adding: “She signed up to something that no country – unless it had been defeated in war – would have signed up to.”

There was now an “appreciation in Britain that unelected bureaucrats in Brussels have been talking down to and humiliating the Prime Minister of our nation, and we don’t like it”.

He added: “Many will say we are simply dealing with fanatics who are not prepared to be reasonable and make any sense of compromise.”

 

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29.1.19

express.co.uk

Brexit BREAKTHROUGH: Farage unveils no-deal SECRET WEAPON May appears to have MISSED

NIGEL Farage has revealed an ingenious way out of the Brexit stalemate that seemingly almost everyone has overlooked.

The former UKIP member made unveiled the plan in his LBC radio show this evening. He explained that there is a hidden alternative that could mean the UK can leave the EU without ‘crashing out’. He told LBC: “Talking of crashing out, of economic catastrophe and the other words and phrases that we hear, not just from big businesses but also from every singe BBC commentator as well.

“I’ve got someone here that’s going to explain to us that we don’t have to crash out at all.

“I’m joined by David Campbell-Bannerman, MEP for the East of England.

“David, you’ve been one of the people putting forward this idea of invoking Article 24.”

Mr Campbell-Bannerman replied: “This, Nigel, is actually the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade – that’s GATT.

“And that is now part of the WTO network the EU operates within.

“What’s important is you can have a managed no-deal, a softer no-deal.

“It allows us to leave the EU with no withdrawal agreement but keep tariffs at zero, keep quotas at zero, which means that the man on the street won’t notice.

“You won’t get 40 percent tariffs on French cheese or 12 percent on French wine for a period whilst you negotiate a much deeper, comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement.

“This is a kind of transition, stopgap mechanism.

“I had the opportunity this morning to give the Prime Minister a one page sheet in number 10 which is from a leading University of Cambridge professor of Law, who says this one page can trigger that process.”

The Government has acknowledged being in “uncharted waters” as MPs approach another round of crucial votes on  tomorrow.

Tory Lords leader Baroness Evans of Bowes Park told peers the political environment was “charged with uncertainty”.

Finding satisfactory outcomes to the current parliamentary impasse could “scarcely be more critical”, Lady Evans said.

You can see the interview with David here

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25.1.19

express.co.uk

BREXIT BREAKTHROUGH? Rees-Mogg and Farage rally as Barnier suggests backstop alternative

BREXITEERS have been buoyed by suggestions from Brussels negotiator Michel Barnier that an alternative to the Irish backstop would have to be found in event of a no-deal Brexit.

As the prospect of a no-deal Brexit dramatically increases, the EU Commission has come under pressure to reveal its plans for the Irish border and finally admitted that Dublin would be forced to implement controls. EU officials have constantly warned that Britain risks crashing out of the bloc without an agreement because of the overwhelming opposition to Theresa May’s plans in Westminster. At the heart of MPs’ hostility for the withdrawal agreement is the so-called backstop, an insurance policy demanded by Brussels to prevent a hard border in Ireland.

Until now, intransigent EU officials have stonewalled requests to scrap the backstop but comments from Mr Barnier may force them to consider the formulation of a new strategy to save the Brexit deal.

After the Commission declared Dublin would be forced to implement a hard border in a no-deal Scenario, Mr Barnier revealed how the problem could be overcome in the future.

“If we’re facing a no-deal, we will, together with Ireland and the UK, have to find a way to carry out checks,” he told EU employers and trade union representatives on Wednesday.

“If there’s no hard border, we’ll still have to do checks and controls somewhere.

“That will be something that we owe to consumers to protect consumers and companies within the single market.

“So, we’ll find an operational way of carrying out checks and controls without putting back in place a border.”

He added: “We would be obliged to carry out controls on goods arriving in the Republic of Ireland. My team have worked hard to study how controls can be made paperless or decentralised, which will be useful in all circumstances.”

And his comments have prompted suggestions that the backstop may no longer be required if his team are already working on alternatives.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chairman of the European Research Group of eurosceptic tory MPs, responded positively to the news and suggested the backstop existed as a bargaining tool.

He told Express.co.uk: “It is interesting to see that the backstop is not so essential after all.

“Its main purpose is to constrain the UK’s bargaining position over the future relationship.”

Mr Rees-Mogg has narrowed his opposition of the Prime Minister’s deal to the backstop in recent days.

Nigel Farage, an MEP and former Ukip leader, claimed Mr Barnier’s comments “highlight that the backstop has been a hoax from day one. A pity that Mrs May fell for it”.

David Campbell Bannerman, a Tory MEP, said: “This is part of a series of reasonable, pragmatic and welcome suggestions over technology and checks around the border Mr Barnier has made in response to submissions by the ERG and others, including myself.

“Basically we will need a border, but not a hard border – meaning checks and inspections on the border itself.”

Daniel Dalton, a Conservative MEP and trade expert, said: “More flexibility from Monsieur Barnier would certainly be welcome but given the Commission’s dogmatic approach to these negotiations, I’d be surprised if this marks a U-Turn in their position.”

Mr Barnier’s comments will also act as encouragement to supporters of the so-called ‘Maximum Facilitation” method – an alternative for managing managing the Irish border.

The process, which was supported by leading Brexiteers Boris Johnson, Owen Paterson and David Davis, would employ technologies and “trusted trader” schemes to remove the need for actual customs checks.

Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, told Euronews in Davos: “The only way in my view, in my opinion, that you can avoid a hard border in the longer term is to have very close, if not full alignment on customs and on market regulations.

“And that is a direct conflict with the view that the United Kingdom can go it alone entirely on these issues and that’s never been squared, that certainly has never been squared from day one.

“It is that cake and eat it idea that you can have the benefits of being in the European Union frictionless trade, open borders and at the same time have an independent trade policy and take back control of your borders, your money, your law, all those things.”

Pieter Cleppe, of the Open Europe think-tank in Brussels, believes the model used on the Swiss border is becoming a likely fix for Ireland.

He said: “Gravity is pushing everyone to the Swiss model, not only when it comes to picking and choosing regulatory alignment and market access, but also customs.”

In 2017, Dr Christian Bock, the head of the Swiss customs service, told the Commons Northern Ireland committee that it would be possible to maintain an “invisible border” in Ireland after Brexit.

He said any plan would require customs “control points” but those could be at locations away from the border, such as at business premises.

Around two percent of all shipments are subjected to physical checks when crossing the Swiss border, he added.

“You don’t need a system where you stop every time at the border,” said Dr Bock.

“If you look at their accounts, what they have declared, what are the invoices.”

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19.1.19

telegraph.co.uk

Rage of the Tory grassroots and why Brexit betrayal will consign party to oblivion

As letters go, it was punchier than most. Sent to party chairman Brandon Lewis, it formed part of an irate postbag received by Conservative central office after one of the most tumultuous weeks in the party’s 184-year history.

Yet for once the highly critical correspondence was not from Momentum thugs or UKIP headbangers but the Tories’ own members.

Summing up the mood among the Conservative grassroots, Councillor Bob Perry – who has spent nearly half a century working as a party activist – spelled it out for Mr Lewis.

Describing the withdrawal agreement as a “bad deal”, the chairman of the Hornchurch and Upminster Conservative Association, wrote:

“As Chairman to Chairman and as a committed Conservative supporter, voter and hard working activist over the last 44 years, I have to say with a heavy heart, that if Brexit is not delivered as per the vote of 17.4m people in the referendum I would find it extremely difficult to remain part of a party that is hell-bent on reversing the will of the British people.

I fear that if the party does not change direction, get behind Brexit and leave the EU as intended, the party I have dedicated my life to will be consigned to the history books as the party that denied democracy.”

Warning that the British public would “never forgive us for that heinous act of betrayal,” he added in angry capitals:

“They did NOT vote for a DEAL, they voted to LEAVE, if we fail to deliver that the Conservative Party will sentence itself to political oblivion for generations to come.  We have survived the no confidence vote but we will not survive the betrayal.”

The letter, like many similar angry missives dashed off from associations since Tuesday night’s humiliating drubbing, strikes at the heart of the growing schism between Tory high command and the party faithful. Once described as “the biggest marriage bureau in the western world” with more than a million members under Margaret Thatcher, part of the problem stems from Conservative ranks halving under David Cameron – who famously once described activists as “mad, swivel-eyed loons”.

Together with his party chairman, Lord Feldman, the former Prime Minister set out to complete a programme of party centralisation which began with reforms first put in place under William Hague in 1998. John Strafford, chairman of the Campaign for Conservative Democracy described the reforms – which gave the membership a say in leadership elections – as “the beginning of the end”.

“After ‘98, when the new constitution was brought in, all lines of communication between the membership and the party hierarchy were cut. No motions were allowed at party conferences after that and central office took total control of candidates. Before then, constituencies were autonomous,” he says. “So this split in the party that everyone is talking about has been coming for 20 years. Once you let central office select candidates then you end up with MPs who are totally out of touch with the membership.”

Cameron’s brand of One Nation Conservatism may never have been in tune with the membership on policies such as gay marriage and foreign aid but Brexit has undoubtedly driven the biggest wedge between the Tory shires and the parliamentary party.

The polarity was starkly revealed by polling which earlier this month showed that a whopping 76 per cent of party members think warnings about a no deal Brexit are “exaggerated or invented, and in reality leaving without a deal would not cause serious disruption”.

Just 18 per cent said the scaremongering rhetoric emanating from Government, the Treasury and Tory remainers was “realistic”. Such a disconnect is hardly ideal at the best of times but when the Tories could be facing a snap election in the next six months, and with Labour membership fast approaching the 550,000 mark, it is potentially fatal.

Mr Stafford added: “To fight a national campaign on the ground we need at least 500,000 members and 50,000 activists but over half the constituencies in the country have got 10 activists or less so we are not even capable of fighting a national campaign.

“It’s frightening but the Tory party is facing oblivion if we end up with no Brexit or members don’t think the party has delivered on the referendum result.. They’ll just walk away.”

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19.1.19

brexitcentral.com written by David Campbell Bannerman

A ‘Managed No Deal’ WTO option using Article 24 of GATT can avoid raising tariffs or quotas

In the aftermath of Parliament’s rejection of the draft Withdrawal Agreement, there is a way forward for the Government which allows a smooth transition into a No Deal scenario after 29th March, if found necessary, and then allows the UK to negotiate its desired comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU without having to impose tariffs or quotas in the interim. There is a mechanism to ‘manage’ a No Deal scenario; one that works within existing WTO rules, and that is not widely known about.

This is essentially an alternate transition or interim period, but within WTO rules without having to levy tariffs or (arguably) pay membership fees to the EU, but requiring some customs forms levied on the 7% of UK businesses (400,000 out of 5.7 million UK private registered businesses) that actually trade with the EU. This is the deal with the EU used by China, the USA, India, Australia and New Zealand for example.

These recommendations are based on my nearly ten years of experience as a member of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee, working on EU trade deals such as those with Canada, New Zealand, India, South Korea, Japan and Columbia/Peru, and drawing on high level discussions I have had with senior trade representatives for the EU and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

In the event of No Deal, there is a strong case to maintain preferential tariff and quota rates at zero between the UK and the EU for a limited period – thought to be around two years. There are a number of arguments for exemptions to what are termed ‘Most Favoured Nation’ (MFN) rules, which require the same treatment in terms of tariff rates and treatment between WTO members to avoid discrimination. They are:

1) It is to the advantage of fellow WTO members to minimise disruption between our two large markets, which would reduce knock-on impacts to their imports/exports to the UK or EU markets. WTO members have to show financial harm to justify objections to practices (or tariff schedules). Civitas calculate that £13 billion of tariffs would have to be levied on EU goods entering the UK and £5 billion on UK goods entering the EU Single Market if standard tariffs are levied under No Deal. This is one justification for keeping preferential rates of tariffs for a period whilst a full trade deal is finalised.

2) There are exemptions under National Security grounds such as over the issue of Northern Ireland, which the IEA have argued as a case for an exemption, but this is less appealing given its association with US and Russian cases for exemptions, such as over US tariffs on Chinese steel.

3) Exemptions to ‘Most Favoured Nation’ (MFN) rules under Article 24 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1947. This appears to be the most substantive argument. WTO rules state that preferential benefits, such as tariffs and quotas for goods which are more favourable than MFN treatment, may only be extended to another country if it is part of a customs union or a free trade area. The ultimate legal authority to grant such preferences is Article 24 of GATT , incorporated into the WTO regime when that body commenced operations in 1995.

Article 24 is helpfully the ultimate basis in international law for the existence of the EU itself as a preferential trading bloc, which grants preferential treatment to its members within the Customs Union.

If the UK accepts Donald Tusk’s offer of a free trade agreement along the lines of CETA+++ or what I propose as ‘SuperCanada’, then the UK and EU will be in the process of moving towards creating a free trade area – Tusk has offered a tariff and quota free deal plus services (whilst leaving the EU Customs Union) – so qualifies under this criterion.

There are two under-appreciated aspects of Article 24 which have direct relevance to our situation, and which provide reassurance.

Firstly, Article 24, para 3 states:

The provisions of this Agreement [i.e. the requirement to extend MFN treatment equally to all] shall not be construed to prevent:

(a) Advantages accorded by any contracting party to adjacent countries in order to facilitate frontier traffic

  • This has direct relevance to the position of Northern Ireland, and our adjacent country of Ireland. Some commentators have claimed that a sensitive and appropriate management of trade which respects and upholds both the letter and the spirit of, for example, the Good Friday Agreement would be in some form an unauthorised infringement of MFN treatment. That claim is clearly untrue.
  • There is also no obligation under WTO rules to erect a so-called “hard border” on 29th March. Government may continue discussions with our counterparts in Dublin to arrive at adequate and effective technological measures for the management of trade with minimal friction. You will have noticed the encouraging signs that the Irish Government already appreciates this fact. (See, for example, “Ireland has no plans for hard border after Brexit, says Varadkar”, from The Guardian of 21st December 2018)
  • We can expect that there will be considerable international sympathy for measures which support the situation in Northern Ireland, and hence a reluctance on the part of third countries to lodge objections. Although given the sensitivities this should not be stressed too heavily, such an exemption falls into ‘National Security’ related actions.

Secondly, Article 24 not only authorises member states to operate lower/zero tariff free trade agreements, it also permits them to offer lower/zero tariffs pre-emptively during the course of negotiations. The relevant provision, Article 24 para 5, is worth quoting at length, with emphasis added to the critical wording:

Accordingly, the provisions of this Agreement shall not prevent, as between the territories of contracting parties, the formation of… a free-trade area or the adoption of an interim agreement necessary for the formation of… a free-trade area; Provided that:…

(b) with respect to a free-trade area, or an interim agreement leading to the formation of a free-trade area, the duties and other regulations of commerce maintained in each of the constituent territories and applicable at the formation of such free–trade area or the adoption of such interim agreement to the trade of contracting parties not included in such area or not parties to such agreement shall not be higher or more restrictive than the corresponding duties and other regulations of commerce existing in the same constituent territories prior to the formation of the free-trade area, or interim agreement as the case may be; and

(c) any interim agreement referred to in subparagraph… (b) shall include a plan and schedule for the formation of such… a free-trade area within a reasonable length of time.

(A WTO declaration, the Understanding on the Interpretation of Article 24, 1994, clarifies that the ‘reasonable period of time’ in para 5(c) will generally taken to be no more than 10 years.) I estimate based on EU trade deals to date, that a UK-EU comprehensive Free Trade Agreement could take around two years, especially given the unique reality that the UK is starting from a convergent position with the EU, with zero tariffs and quotas and with our laws and standards currently harmonised.

  • If, before 29 March, the UK has reached an ‘interim agreement’ with the EU to pursue negotiations towards a comprehensive free trade deal, both sides would be permitted under WTO rules to continue with the present zero tariff/zero quota trading arrangements. There would be no disruption to the man or woman on the high street. No Deal would mean No Change, as the cost of goods would not go up.
  • In the present situation the ‘interim agreement’ would not have to be an extensive document running to hundreds of pages. The schedule of items covered by the negotiations would be all goods, as already envisaged in our discussions with the EU. The plan which the document sets out would have to amount to little more than a timetable for regular meetings and an ultimate deadline, some years hence, by which point negotiations will have to be concluded.
  • An ‘interim agreement’, then, need be little more than an agreement to continue talks – while also continuing zero-tariff and zero-quota trade on both sides – plus a deadline no later than 29th March 2029. I accept that the EU has so far declined to agree any deadlines (other than 29th March) but since the absence of a final cut-off point has been a major contributing reason for Parliament’s rejection of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement, perhaps the EU will now reassess that stance.
  • Whilst legal challenges at WTO level might be expected from an unhelpful member, the reality is that any such challenge is unlikely to get to the WTO ‘court’ – its appellate body – for at least two years and possibly longer, and only if that body finds the UK non-compliant would any compensating actions be authorised such as tariffs. This is within WTO rules, and if any challenges arise a fully compliant Free Trade Agreement should already be in place by the time any appellate body were to meet. The EU is now under extreme pressure from EU27 industry and commerce who enjoy a £96 billion surplus with the UK.
  • You will recall that the draft Political Declaration indicates the EU want to reach a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the UK on the basis of zero tariffs and quotas (see paras 17, page 5, and para 23, page 6) and extending to services (para 29, page 7). Those provisions are fully in line with numerous public statements made since the 2016 referendum by Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Michel Barnier, European Chief Negotiator – offering a CETA+++, or what I term a ‘SuperCanada’ trade deal, on 7th March 2018, 30th August and 6th October 2018.

It is significant that Heiko Maas, Foreign Minister of Germany, has already indicated a willingness to continue talks (see “Germany says EU ready to talk if UK rejects Brexit deal” on Reuters, 15th January).

Conclusion

This approach would continue the pre-29th March status quo in trading arrangements and patterns without interruption, justified by an explicit provision of the WTO regime. The possible grounds on which any third country could lodge an objection to this are extremely slight (unlike for schedule changes).

An ‘interim agreement’ would therefore be an important component of a ‘Managed No Deal’ outcome from 29th March. It permits trade between us and the EU to continue without tariffs or quotas under No Deal while creating a space for negotiations to be reset and recommenced on the basis of reaching a SuperCanada or CETA+++ trade treaty.

I urge the Government to now adopt this course of action, as it will mitigate the main impacts of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit and eliminate the task of having to assess and charge tariff rates on 19,753 MFN tariffs under the EU Customs Union, thereby substantially reducing friction at borders.

You can read it as it originally appears here

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12.1.18

express.co.uk

UK Government praises German no deal Brexit plans – and it’s a BOOST for Brexiteers

THE British Government has praised Germany’s efforts to prevent chaos in the event of a no deal Brexit, a move that will embolden Brexiteer critics of Theresa May’s controversial withdrawal deal.

Berlin is working on plans to ensure air transport links between the UK and Germany are maintained and British citizens living in the country will not be forced to leave if Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal. Spokesmen from Germany’s interior and transport departments announced the work in the build up to the so-called ‘Meaningful Vote’, in which MPs are expected to reject the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal. The efforts of Germany, and other EU countries, has been praised by a Government spokesman, who maintains leaving the bloc with an agreement is still the UK’s top priority.

Amid growing fears of a no-deal Brexit, Germany has been working on its preparations for Britain crashing out of the bloc.

British citizens will retain their residence rights for a three months period, with further extensions possible, according to an interior ministry spokesman.

They added that during that time, they would have to register to acquire a formal right to remain.

Germany is also in close contact with Britain with a view to avoiding disruption to air transport links in the case of a hard Brexit.

Praising the work, a Government spokesman said: “The UK government has guaranteed the rights of EU citizens in the UK in all scenarios and we are strongly engaging with EU counterparts to urge them to make the same commitment to protect the rights of UK nationals in the EU. We welcome the commitments made by Germany and others in this area.

“It’s also in all of our interests to ensure that flights operate post EU exit and a deal with the EU remains the most likely outcome.

“The EU Commission recently published plans to ensure flights continue in a no deal scenario – as did the UK Government with our aviation technical notices – demonstrating that both sides are committed to maintaining connectivity.

“But it is only sensible to prepare for a range of scenarios, which is why we have also sought individual conversations with member states.”

The news has also delivered a boost to Brexiteers who are seeking for an alternative to Mrs May’s current withdrawal deal, which contains the Irish backstop.

David Campbell Bannerman, a senior Conservative MEP, said: “It is good to see the EU and member states calmly and sensibly preparing for no deal.

“Aviation is a priority but a draft deal I understand is ready to go.

“Germany presents nearly a quarter of all EU trade with the UK and well over a million German jobs depend on access to the UK market so it’s important for Germany to do such planning.”

On Friday, Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU Commission President, warned that a no-deal Brexit would be a “disaster” for Britain.

He also told Mrs May that she shouldn’t “confuse” their recent dialogue as a hint that the EU is ready to renegotiate the backstop.

Mr Juncker said: “We’ve said clearly that there can’t be renegotiation. There can be clarifications but that’s all.

“We are discussing with Downing Street what these can amount to. But they can’t be confused with renegotiation, especially regarding the backstop.”

He added: “I do not like the prospect of a no-deal, which would be a disaster for our British friends.

“Every effort needs to be made to make sure this important issue is resolved satisfactorily.”

According to BBC research, Mrs May could suffer the biggest Commons defeat on record when MPs vote on her Brexit deal.

The broadcaster expects as many as 433 MPs to oppose the deal while only 206 side with the Prime Minister to guarantee the UK leaves on her agreed terms on March 29.

In the face of the defeat, Mrs May will no longer be able to simply allow Britain to leave the EU without a deal after a series of Commons defeats this week, which Jeremy Hunt claims have made staying in the bloc more likely.

The Foreign Secretary said: “If this deal is rejected, ultimately what we may end up with is not a different type of Brexit but Brexit paralysis. And Brexit paralysis ultimately could lead to no Brexit.

“I’m saying this would be an incredibly damaging breach of trust and it would also be very bad for Britain’s reputation abroad, having decided to leave the EU, if we in the end for whatever reasons found we weren’t able to do it.

“If we were, as a political class, not to deliver Brexit, that would be a fundamental breach of trust between the people and the politicians. I think that is something that we would regret for many, many generations.”

You can read the article as it originally appeared here.

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9.1.18

express.co.uk

No deal Brexit ALIVE: Rees-Mogg TRASHES ‘second-tier attempt’ to stop CLEAN EU break

JACOB Rees-Mogg has diminished Remainer MPs’ attempt to prevent preparations for a no deal Brexit scenario arguing the amendment tabled by Labour MP Yvette Cooper to the Finance Bill on Tuesday does not make any difference to the Brexit process.

Speaking to TalkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, the Tory backbencher claimed the amendment was a failed attempt to “model themselves on Donald Trump” and branded it “unimportant and uninteresting”. He dismissed claims the motion made any difference to the possibility of a no deal Brexit outcome and accused those who believe it could stop such scenario to materialise of lacking knowledge of parliamentary procedures.

He said: “It’s an opening salvo with a pea-shooter in a second-tier attempt to model themselves on Donald Trump and achieve a shutdown.

“But it doesn’t actually make any difference to anything.

“The amendment merely stops the Government using second legislation to make minor adjustments after we’ve left the European Union to small areas of the tax code.

“It is really an unimportant and uninteresting amendment and it was passed with a small majority.

“It’s not the end of no deal because the Withdrawal Act says we leave on the 29th of March at 11 o’clock in the evening unless a new act of Parliament has been passed.

“So it’s been enormously overhyped and I think it shows a lack of proportion and understanding of parliamentary procedures.”

Theresa May’s Government suffered another defeat last night when MPs voted in favour of an amendment to the Budget legislation.

20 Tory rebels including 17 former ministers sided with Labour in supporting the cross-party measure that is designed to strengthen Parliament’s hand to block a no-deal Brexit.

While the vote was largely symbolic, it was being seen last night as a warning shot ahead of next week’s crunch “meaningful vote” on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “It is deeply disappointing a majority of the House of Commons have voted for measures that undermine our hand in negotiations with the EU.

“This sort of behaviour is the reason why we have got such a bad deal. But don’t worry – we are leaving the EU on March 29.”

Tory MEP David Campbell-Bannerman described the vote as “irritating but not of huge significance”. He said: “What is significant is having so many MPs wilfully seek to sabotage reasonable no-deal preparations.”

You can read the story as it originally appears here

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11.12.18

express.co.uk

EU CRISIS: Brussels now facing BLACKMAIL THREAT as ECJ backs Remainer’s anti-Brexit case

The Conservative politician argued member states can now extort better terms from Brussels by threatening to leave the bloc before withdrawing the Article 50 exit clause notification. After an anti-Brexit campaign, a full panel of European Court of Justice judges concluded Britain could withdraw from the Brexit process without the permission of the remaining 27 member states. “The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU,” the ECJ said.

The emergency judgement came just 36 hours before MPs vote on Theresa May’s highly controversial Brexit deal in the House of Commons tomorrow.

But Mr Campbell Bannerman insists the fast-tracked decision actually does more harm to Brussels that the UK’s Brexit effort.

He said: “This judgement is a sideshow and not surprising from the ECJ, which has always wanted more Europe and greater integration.

“I have long thought Article 50 can be revoked.

“This is more irritating to the EU ironically because it could mean other nations invoke Article 50 to frighten the EU to get a better deal and then withdraw it once they have.”

He added: “I gather the ECJ has rushed this judgement unlike other that can take years. That amounts to more gross and arrogant political interference from the EU.”

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has also played down the ECJ ruling as a genuine threat to Brexit.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We don’t want to stay in the European Union.

“We voted very clearly – 17.4 million people sent a clear message that they wanted to leave the European Union and that also means leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

“So this case is all very well, but it doesn’t alter either the referendum vote or the clear intention of the Government to make sure that we leave on March 29, 2019.”

Speaking from a meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers, Jeremy Hunt branded the ECJ’s decision “irrelevant”.

The Foreign Secretary told reporters: “I think it’s irrelevant because just imagine how 52 percent of the country who voted for Brexit would feel if any British government were to delay leaving the EU on March 29.

“I think people would be shocked and very angry, and it’s certainly not the intention of the Government.”

The case was unusually fast-tracked to ensure a verdict was delivered before MPs vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal tomorrow.

Mrs May is facing an uphill struggle to convince her own party to support her plans, which she has agreed with her EU counterparts.

Over 100 Conservative MPs have publicly denounced the deal but it is unclear whether they will all vote against the Government.

The ECJ ruling comes as a blow to the Prime Minister’s bid to tell rebellious MPs they face a choice of accepting her deal or a no-deal scenario.

But the Luxembourg-based court ruled out the Government from having the lone power of reversing the Article 50 process and must ask permission of MPs to do so.

“The revocation must be decided following a democratic process in accordance with national constitutional requirements. This unequivocal and unconditional decision must be communicated in writing to the European Council,” said the ECJ statement.

“Such a revocation confirms the EU membership of the member state concerned under terms that are unchanged as regards its status as a member state and brings the withdrawal procedure to an end.”

You can read the article as it appeared here.

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9.12.18

brexitcentral.com

How to get Brexit back on track when the Withdrawal Agreement is rejected by MPs

The current political turmoil and constitutional crisis has so many twists and turns that it makes House of Cards look pedestrian.

Of course the real issue comes down to what happens when – rather than if – the proposed deal is voted down on tomorrow, 11th December (or even dropped).

Here there is a clear gap opening up between media reports and hard legal reality – what the actual effects are of the political manoeuvring of Dominic Grieve, Sir Keir Starmer and their merry conniving bands. There have been desperate media reports that ‘no deal’ is off the table, when it is actually remains the ‘default position’ as Andrea Leadsom told Radio 4 just last week.

Let’s assume Conservative MPs think there is enough turkey on Christmas menus not to be part of the required two-thirds majority needed to vote for a General Election, and that the EU have indeed ruled out any major renegotiation.

The bottom line is that the various options being desperately pushed by those who want ‘anything but a true Brexit’ are just not viable. There is:

  • ‘Norway Plus’ – even worse that the slavish EEA, which adds back membership of the customs union, thereby killing all future UK trade deals, and with no control of immigration, no say over EU laws, and large payments;
  • A ‘Second Referendum’ – with its totally confused offer: ‘tell us if this final 2,000-page deal is better than staying in the EU when we’ve already left. Oh, and by the way you will have to join the euro and lose the rebate’. Pointless too in that Leave is predicted to win again; or
  • Extending Article 50 to allow more muddle time – which will either mess up the EU by landing the Brexit issue right in the middle of European Parliament elections in May or mess up all the groups, chairmanships and procedures of the European Parliament in the farcical situation of British MEPs being elected for a few months.

But all such amendments to the motion are not legally binding anyway – they can only be advisory. They might bring political pressure, but they do not have legal effect. As the Commons Chief Clerk, Sir David Natzler, confirmed: whatever MPs vote on by way of motion “has no statutory significance”, as they do not constitute “a vote on whether to accept or reject no deal.” That requires new legislation. The actual law – in the EU Withdrawal Act – states clearly that we will leave on 29th March 2019.

Given that reality, and bearing in mind how rash it is to try to indicate a way forward in this maelstrom, this is what I propose now as the best next steps:

1) Assuming the vote fails on 11th December, or is put off, I believe the Government should make a statement immediately saying that preparations for a ‘no deal’ option – better called a ‘Clean Global Brexit’ or ‘World Trade Deal’ – will go into SuperDrive. Sorry, but defer Christmas!

Where there’s a will, there’s a way: in the Falklands War, the Ministry of Defence managed to put together a task force of 100 ships in just 48 hours. We can manage this process, and thousands of civil servants have been on the case for years. Like the Millennium Bug, claims of Armageddon and planes falling out the sky gave way to nothing happening on 1st January 2000.

2) The UK should then go back to Brussels, not to renegotiate this current draft Withdrawal Agreement, but to agree a pared-down, bare bones emergency series of bilateral agreements covering only the essential ‘must haves’: aviation, customs, citizens’ rights, medical products, European Investment Bank assets etc. The beauty of this is that if one agreement falls, then the others are not lost. The DUP’s Arlene Foster has proposed bilaterals. These bilaterals could be agreed by Westminster and the EU by March, and would any sane MP or MEP dare to seek to derail any such vital preparation in these circumstances? They should hold all further Westminster business, such as the Immigration and Trade bills, that may be hijacked.

3) The UK should also formally advise the EU that it wishes to accept the offer made not once but three times by the EU: that of a SuperCanada/CETA+++ Free Trade Agreement with 100% tariff- and quota-free access to the EU Single Market plus comprehensive services (first offered by Donald Tusk on 7th March), and which we could start negotiating from the day we become a ‘third country’ – 30th March next year.

We can build on the three pages on trade in the more appealing draft Political Declaration, but drop all notion of a ‘Single Customs Territory’ – the UK must firmly leave the EU’s Customs Union and Single Market. We are in a unique position to negotiate an FTA fast – as all our laws are convergent at present and we don’t have to spend years wrangling over which tariffs to keep or get rid of, as others do.

4) Having initiated moves to agree a SuperCanada FTA, the UK and EU can now jointly notify the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that in the light of working to agree a comprehensive FTA and future Political Declaration, we are invoking Article 24 of GATT (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade).

This is important because Article 24 allows us to maintain the same tariff-free access to both our markets without breaching WTO discriminatory Most Favoured Nation (MFN) laws. Article 24 allows “an interim agreement leading to a formation of a free trade area” and allows “a reasonable length of time” – up to 10 years – to negotiate it.

So, we whilst we will need customs declarations under WTO, we will be able to maintain the same zero tariffs as now with the EU – the free trade area will remain. EU exporters to the UK would save £13 billion in tariffs (and our consumers too) and UK exporters £5 billion. We will also be free to lower tariffs for other trading partners as we wish – something specifically excluded in the Backstop. Nor should there be any Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) either under WTO agreements.

We can also enact the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement which recently came into force that obliges the EU27 to adopt measures like authorised economic operators (trusted traders), which are part of the solution for the Northern Ireland border issue along with electronic declarations and remote checks away from the border.

5) As a sign of Britain’s free trade intent, we can now immediately initiate full and unfettered negotiations with international trade partners such as the USA, China and India, without these deals being torpedoed by being tied into the EU Customs Union, Chequers or the Backstop. The picture would be clear at last, and not be delayed by unending years of transition. Similarly, we will seek to build on current work to ‘roll over’ the benefits and obligations of existing EU trade deals such as that with South Korea.

6) So, on 30th March the UK can be cleanly out of the European Union and back into the world, with an acceptable and managed World Trade Deal option in place, free of years more wrangling over transitional arrangements, cost demands, alternative models and heightened business uncertainty – and with negotiations underway for a closer SuperCanada trade deal. We can reallocate much of the £39 billion payment lost by the EU to compensate UK-based companies legally in terms of R&D, regional aid and transport infrastructure – helping to stimulate our economy.

Like an operation we know needs doing, let us get on with the surgery quickly and speed up the recovery process.

This is indeed a Clean Global Brexit. Brexit could be over in a few months, rather than drag on for years on end.

And, for all our sakes – both Remainer and Brexiteer – let’s just get it done.

You can see David’s piece as it appears at brexitcentral here.

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29.11.18

breitbart.com

Project Fear: Chancellor Claims Brexit Will Harm Economy

Theresa May’s anti-Brexit Chancellor has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor George Osborne, predicting Brexit will do damage to the UK economy.

Philip Hammond also claimed a ‘No Deal’ Brexit would mean higher food prices, but the assertion was quickly shot down by a pro-Brexit Tories as “inaccurate,” with other commentators accusing him of restarting “Project Fear.”

“If you look at this purely from an economic point of view, there will be a cost to our leaving the European Union because there will be impediments to our trade,” Mr Hammond told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

He said the economic cost would be felt after 15 years and defended the prime minister’s deal, adding: “What the prime minister’s deal does is absolutely minimise those costs.

“And reduces to an absolute minimum the [economic] impact of leaving the EU while delivering us the political benefits in being able to do third country trade deals and take control of our fishing waters.”

Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman hit back, insisting foot costs would, in fact, fall if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) without a trade deal.

He wrote: “It is not clear and not accurate. The EU has 19,753 tariffs on goods. Like 50% on lamb, 70% on chicken, 104% on processed sugar.

“We can cut food and high street prices dramatically with no deal by slashing EU tariffs & buying far more from the rest of world.”

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith told Sky News that “almost all financial forecast are wrong” and that Mr Hammond could not possibly accurately predict 15-20 years into the future.

Steve Baker, a former Brexit minister, was less polite, blasting: “The reputation of government economics is in the gutter. That must change.

“It’s time for the Chancellor to publish all his assumptions and full model documentation so we can begin the process of recovery.”

The lack of faith in government forecasts follows a series of so-called ‘Project Fear’ claims made by former Chancellor George Osborne, who said if Britain voted to leave the European Union there would be a sharp rise in unemployment, by half a million more out of a job or more.

Despite the lurid claims made by Osborne, the UK still voted to leave and unemployment is now at a record low, and wage growth is outpacing expectations.

Mr Hammond also spoke to Sky News Wednesday, revealing the Government will not publish the full legal advice it obtained on the Irish border backstop proposal covered in Mrs May’s deal, which the EU rubber-stamped over the weekend.

Only a summary will be released, leading to critics claiming that keeping it private is unconstitutional.

Quizzed on what might happen if Parliament votes down Mrs May’s deal next month, Mr Hammond told the BBC that the Cabinet would consider different options, including locking the UK in the European Free Trade Association.

“All of the other options have disadvantages and we have to look not only at the economy but also the need to heal a fractured nation,” he said.

“We have to go forward after this process as a nation that is coming back together. We will not be successful if we remain a nation that is divided and fractured on this issue. It is so important that we have a solution that represents that compromise.”

You can read the article as it appears at breitbart.com here.

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27.11.18

Yahoo Finance UK

Barnier remains available 24/7 for talks even though Brexit deal agreed
EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier remains available for talks around the clock, the European Commission has confirmed despite claiming the deal on offer cannot be changed.

Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted that the divorce package signed-off on Sunday is the “only deal possible” in a bid to deter British MPs from voting it down.

“Those who think that by rejecting the deal they will have a better deal will be disappointed,” Juncker warned. But the commission’s chief spokesperson said on Monday that Barnier’s door is still open.

Asked by Yahoo Finance UK whether their negotiator is still available for talks, the spokesperson said: “Michel Barnier and his team will of course be around for as long as the Article 50 process is ongoing and of course available 24/7 as always so far.”

In a bid to show that the commission is concentrating on the deal signed-off on Sunday, he also stressed that Barnier’s team have “important tasks ahead preparing both the implementation of the withdrawal agreement and the organisation work in order for the EU to begin negotiation on the future relationship.”

The commission “will now wait for the meaningful vote in the House of Commons,” the spokesperson added.

Confirmation that Barnier is available for further talks has been seized on by opponents of Theresa May’s deal as proof that it can be renegotiated.

Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said: “A better deal could have been negotiated if the prime minister had started with different priorities. These comments are an important reminder that if the deal is voted down by parliament then that is not the end of the debate.

“These comments are an important reminder that if the deal is voted down by parliament then that is not the end of the debate. Both the EU and the UK will have to work together to avoid a no-deal scenario.”

MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is leading Conservative rebels against the deal, told Yahoo Finance UK that it “rather undermines the prime minister’s claim that no other deal is possible.”

And Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman said: “The EU are realists, they follow the UK news very closely, and they know the political situation is very bad for May.

“They would be hit hard by £13bn-a-year of tariffs on the massive amount of goods they sell the UK, from German cars to Spanish fruit and vegetables, if there was a no-deal situation.

“So it does not surprise me that they stand ready to rescue the deal with changes, such as removing the backstop. They have the most to lose.”

It’s the second time in as many days that EU figures have hinted that the deal could be changed if it’s voted down by MPs next month.

Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė said there could be a second referendum, general election or a re-opening of negotiations if the deal is voted down.

“Everything could happen,” she admitted, adding only: “We would like to see everything settled as soon as possible.”

Barnier is due to address MEPs behind closed doors in Brussels on Tuesday before continuing his tour of European capitals with a visit to Rome on Wednesday.

You can see the story as it appeared online here.

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27.11.18

express.co.uk

May ‘falls for EU TRAP’ – Macron’s fishing blackmail EXPOSES Brexit backstop reality

THERESA May has been accused of falling for a European Union “trap” backed by Emmanuel Macron to keep Britain locked in a customs union with the bloc.

The French President sparked fury when he implied the EU would use the threat of triggering the Irish backstop as a “lever” to guarantee continued access to British fishing waters for European vessels. His intervention came as another blow to Mrs May, who is facing an uphill struggle to garner the support for her controversial withdrawal agreement and political declaration on the future relationship before the so-called ‘Meaningful Vote’ in December. Influential Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman thanked Mr Macron for “exposing the reality of the backstop” after the French President suggested without sufficient progress on trade negotiations involving a fisheries deal – the backstop plan would be implemented.

Mr Campbell Bannerman said: “We should be grateful to Macron for exposing the reality of the backstop.

“It is a clever EU trap to keep us locked in their customs union and its 700,000 pages of red tape and nearly 20,000 tariffs.

“We should choose freedom like most sovereign nations do.”

France has led an EU charge, which also involves Belgium, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands, to ensure any future trade deal also includes a reciprocal fisheries agreement.

After Mrs May’s plan was rubber-stamped by EU leaders in Brussels on Sunday, Mr Macron said: “We as 27 have a clear position on fair competition, on fish, and on the subject of the EU’s regulatory autonomy, and that forms part of our position for the future relationship talks.

“I can’t imagine that the desire of Theresa May or her supporters is to remain for the long term in a customs union, but instead to define a proper future relationship that resolves this problem.”

His intervention on the issue of fishing was the bluntest by any EU leaders, many of whom simply wished Mrs May good luck ahead of the House of Commons vote.

The Prime Minister faces the threat of up to 90 of her own Conservative MPs voting down her agreement when it is put to the Commons next month.

Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: “France’s actions over future fishing rights and our exit from the backstop demonstrates precisely how vulnerable we would be once signed up to the disastrous withdrawal agreement.

“Not in my name.”

Ross Thomson, Conservative MP for Aberdeen South, said: “There can be no ifs and no buts on returning full sovereignty over our waters.

“We must decide who fishes in our waters, when they fish and what they fish.

“Fishing is still a clear red line for me which is why I cannot support the PM’s deal.”

Kate Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall, who has also pledged to vote down the Prime Minister’s deal, said: “So much for all the fine promises from Downing Street.

“Looks like a repeat of the sell out of fishing communities when we joined the Common Market.”

You can read the story as it appears online here.

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23.11.18

express.co.uk

LEAKED Brexit trade plan: UK commits to striking fisheries deal after EU27 demands

BRITAIN will commit to striking a fisheries deal with European Union member states as part of the future trade relationship currently being negotiated between officials.

A leaked version of the “political declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship” obtained by Express.co.uk shows Brussels and Westminster will use “best endeavours” to reach a fisheries deal before July 1 2020. The document reads: “Within the context of the overall economic partnership the parties should establish a new fisheries agreement on, inter alia, access to waters and quota shares. “The parties will use their best endeavours to conclude and ratify their new fisheries agreement by July 1 2020 in order for it to be in place n time to be used for determining fishing opportunities for the first year after the transition.”

Brussels negotiator Michel Barnier was told during a series of crunch meetings before the document’s leak that sections on potential access to UK fishing must be bulked up.

France argued that EU fishing vessels should be allowed access to the UK’s waters as part of any future trade deal that allows Britain access to the single market.

Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark also put Mr Barnier’s task force under pressure to ensure a deal would be pushed in the blue print for a future trade deal.

The 26-page blueprint has grown from seven pages after its initial publication alongside the Brexit withdrawal agreement last week.

It charts future ideas, plans and promises on how the UK and EU can work together on trade and security.

After late night talks between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels on Wednesday, the European Commission President told the European Council that an agreement had been reached between UK and EU officials.

The document will now be circulated around member states to review ahead of Sunday’s special Brexit summit, where EU leaders will rubber stamp the plans.

Mr Tusk wrote on Twitter: “I have just sent to EU27 a draft political declaration on the future relationship between EU and UK.

“The Commission President has informed me that it has been agreed at negotiators’ level and agreed in principle at political level, subject to the endorsement of the leaders.”

Both sides have agreed to “build and improve on the single customs territory provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement”, which has been drawn out in previous European Council negotiating guidelines.

“This partnership will be comprehensive, encompassing a free trade area as well as wider sectoral cooperation where it is in the mutual interest of both parties,” the declaration adds.

“It will be underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition.

“It should facilitate trade and investment between the Parties to the extent possible, while respecting the integrity of the Union’s Single Market and the Customs Union as well as the United Kingdom’s internal market, and recognising the development of an independent trade policy by the United Kingdom beyond this economic partnership.”

In an olive branch to Mrs May in her fight to keep rebel Tory MPs under control, Brussels have allowed their “maximum facilitation” to be considered as an option to avoid the Irish backstop, the insurance policy to avoid a hard border on Ireland.

The declaration reads: “The Parties recall their determination to replace the backstop solution on Northern Ireland by a subsequent agreement that establishes alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing.”

“Such facilitative arrangements and technologies will also be considered in developing any alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing,” it adds.

Britain will also commit to developing a level playing field with Brussels after a number of member states tabled concerns about the UK securing an economic advantage by undercutting EU rules and standards.

“The future relationship must ensure open and fair competition,” the document reads.

“Provisions to ensure this should cover state aid, competition, social and employment standards, environmental standards, climate change, and relevant tax matters, building on the level playing field arrangements provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement and commensurate with the overall economic relationship.”

This will likely change as French President Emmanual Macron, the driving force behind the demands, takes to the negotiating table on Sunday.

Influential Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman said the UK’s commitment was “worrying”.

Mr Campbell Bannerman, who is championing a ‘Super Canada deal’ also suggested tax matters should be left as a “sovereign” decision by the UK Government.

He said: “While I broadly welcome on trade an agreement that definitely looks like Super Canada and not Chequers, this clause is worrying.

“One of the main benefits of Brexit is the ability to cut EU overregulation, this ties our hands.”

“Tax matters are a clear sovereign area, the EU is worried about the UK becoming super competitive and trying to hold us back,” he adds.

You can see the article as it appears originally at the express.co.uk here

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13.11.18

independent.co.uk

Angela Merkel calls for creation of ‘real, true’ EU army

Angela Merkel has called for the creation of a “real, true” European army, echoing a similar call by her French counterpart.

The German chancellor’s backing for the force comes amid a spat with US president Donald Trump, who took offence to a suggestion by Emmanuel Macron that such an army could ensure Europe’s security in the shadow of the United States.

Ms Merkel endorsed the creation of the army while addressing MEPs at the European parliament in Strasbourg.

“We should work on a vision of one day establishing a real, true European army,” Ms Merkel said.

The French president made his call during a radio interview last week: “We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.

“We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army.”

He added: “When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s Euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security.”

The suggestion angered Mr Trump, who sent a series of hostile tweets about the comments.

On Tuesday the US president tweeted: “Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”

The election of Mr Trump to the White House appears to have given more urgency to the cause of boosting the EU’s defence capabilities, with leaders warning they cannot simply rely on the United States.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said last year that “deference to Nato can no longer be used as a convenient alibi to argue against greater European efforts”.

Ms Merkel’s intervention is significant because France has historically been the strongest and most vocal proponent of an EU army, with its neighbour tentatively endorsing proposals for a joint command structure for military interventions.

Eurosceptics reacted angrily to the speech. Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman said: “This is one of the scariest speeches I have heard as an MEP in my nine years. Merkel is an out-and-out European federalist and we should not be pandering to her as if she is on our side. She is on the side of the superstate.”

In 2016 then defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the UK would use its veto to stop the creation of any EU army. However, the UK is leaving the EU, and will therefore no longer have any say in its governance.

A number of proposals have been put on the table for how EU nations could cooperate more closely on defence. The European Commission says closer defence cooperation “is not about creating an EU army”.

Thirty-four joint missions by member states have been launched under the EU flag since 2003 under the bloc’s common security and defence policy.

Under the “permanent structured cooperation” initiative legislated for in 2009 and activated in 2017, 25 of the 28 armed forces are in the process of stepping up cooperation between their militaries. Denmark, Malta and the United Kingdom have decided to opt out of the voluntary system.

Ms Merkel made her comments about the EU army in a wider speech to MEPs about the future of Europe. Mentioning Brexit only once, she described Britain’s looming departure from the union as a “deep wound” to the continent.

Read the article as it appears in the independent.co.uk here.

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9.11.18

thesun.co.uk

‘SLOW GROW’ – Brussels brands UK the ‘sick man of Europe’ as they predict we will have the ‘slowest growth in the EU until 2020’The EU Commission revealed their prediction in a two-year economic forecast published on Thursday.

BRUSSELS has branded Britain the sick man of Europe after saying we will suffer the slowest growth in the EU over the next two years.

Eurocrats predicted economic expansion will stall and unemployment rise, blaming “uncertainty” caused by Brexit.

They said growth will crawl to just 1.2% in both 2019 and 2020, meaning the UK is set to perform even worse than struggling Italy. But the Commission admitted their figures are based on a “purely technical assumption” given the uncertain outcome of the Brexit talks.

The new numbers were revealed in a two-year economic forecast published by the EU Commission yesterday.

EU finance chief Pierre Moscovici said: “Heightened uncertainty means that business investment growth is likely to remain constrained. Employment growth is expected to slow significantly, leading to a modest rise in unemployment.”

But Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman said the “deal dividend” from Brexit would “power the economy” ahead of the rest of the EU. He added: “The EU might crow about better growth figures today. But they too easily forget EU and Eurozone in particular has been in recession for so many years.”

Eurocrats said a No Deal Brexit would hit the UK much worse than the EU, but described Britain leaving the club as a “lose-lose” situation. Remainer Labour MP David Lammy fumed: “Brexit is turning Britain into the sick man of Europe.”

The Commission’s projections are more pessimistic than those from the Office for UK-based Office for Budget Responsibility. It has previously predicted 1.6 per cent growth next year and 1.4 per cent growth in 2020.

Official UK growth figures for July to September are due to be published later today.

Read the article as it appeared in thesun.co.uk here.

5.11.18

telegraph.co.uk

Brexit latest: Philip Hammond warns no deal Brexit could derail his spending plans

  • Hammond suggests ‘external shock’ of no deal would force UK Government to change spending plans
  • Chancellor warns that it is not ‘plausible or credible’ to pay nothing as a Brexit bill in such a scenario
  • Raab stuns Dublin by demanding backstop exit clause after three months
  • Ireland and EU point out backstop could never work if UK could end it unilaterally
  • Labour MPs should have an “open mind” about backing May’s deal

Philip Hammond could be forced to abandon the pledges he made in last week’s Budget, including the bringing forward of income tax cuts for 32 million workers, if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a deal.

The Chancellor raised that prospect this afternoon before the Treasury Select Committee, comparing the “shock” of a no deal Brexit to “the collapse of a banking system in any major country or the “outbreak of a major trade war” as he warned that it would force policymakers to do whatever was necessary to get the economy to a “new equilibrium”.

However, Mr Hammond suggested that the £384 million per week promised for the NHS after Brexit would still be safe given that it was pledged “back in the summer” and was a “clear commitment and a statement of the Government’s priorities”.

The Chancellor refused to accept suggestions that no deal Brexit could provide an economic boon, declaring that “looking at the universe of respected and regularly cited economic forecasters of the UK, the overwhelming majority of them expect a no deal Brexit would have a negative impact on the UK economy”.

But Brexiteer economist Andrew Lilico told the Telegraph that it would be “almost certainly better than Chequers or remaining in the EU’s Customs Union”, adding: “Economies that are large net importers – as the UK is from the EU, will frequently gain in the short term if trade barriers rise… This is not some eccentric idea outwith the economics mainstream. It is the standard analysis of the short-term impacts of trade barriers for net importers.”

The Chancellor also warned that it would “not be plausible or credible” for the UK to leave the bloc without paying a penny of the £39 billion it has hitherto agreed. Doing so in a no deal Brexit, he warned, meant “we would effectively rule ourselves out as being regarded as reliable partners in future international deals including trade deals”.

This comes after Dominic Raab denied speculation that he might resign in protest if he fails to secure a time limit or clear exit clause on the Irish backstop.

Conservative Brexiteers expressed their support for Mr Raab in this current stand-off. “Dominic is right on this and his position is a very practical reading of the Brexiteer view,” David Campbell Bannerman, the Tory MEP, told the Telegraph, warning that “the issue is powerful enough to take us into possible resigning territory.”

“If the Government wants to pursue [the deal being reported] then it can’t, it shouldn’t and every cabinet minister arguing for it should resign because they’re not going to deliver on the result of the referendum and that’s not acceptable,” Marcus Fysh, the Tory MP,  told this newspaper.

Sources close to the Brexit Secretary poured cold water on such speculation, telling the Telegraph that the idea he is on the verge of resigning was “not recognised”.

Read the full article on the telegraph.co.uk here.

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26.10.18

Sydney Morning Herald – www.smh.com.au

‘More of a friend than Obama’: Brits divided on Abbott’s Brexit intervention

Writing in The Spectator magazine, Abbott accused May of “surrender” and said the EU had judged that she is “desperate for whatever deal she can get”.

He urged the British Prime Minister to set out how she would handle a “no deal” whereby Britain would exit the EU on March 29 with no agreement on its future trading relationship with the EU.

Abbott said Britain had nothing to fear by trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, saying “it works pretty well for Australia”.

Abbott’s article has been widely shared and promoted by prominent Brexiteers like former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who are already incensed by May’s Brexit plan.

May wants to maintain the EU’s regulatory standards after Brexit, so as to avoid a hard border with Ireland and preserve the peace agreement between the north and the south.

David Campbell Bannerman, a UKIP turned Conservative member of the European Parliament who met Abbott in Brussels, told Fairfax Media that Abbott was qualified to give such advice to May and that it was “very welcome”.

“It’s very important advice, I really admire him for doing not just one trade deal in a year with one of your biggest customers but three trade deals in one year with your three biggest customers,” he said.

“He’s not threatening Britain, he’s advising us, he’s not doing what Obama did which was saying, ‘If you don’t vote to stay in the EU then you’ll be at the back of the queue’. That was a direct threat, this is good advice.

“We are kindred sprits, we are very close, Australia and the UK, and you’re great friends and it’s very welcome because it shows that some of the nonsense people talked about – that a trade deal would take five to 10 years – is complete rubbish,” he said.

But Anna McMorrin, an MP and leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign seeking a second referendum, said it was for the British people to decide the shape of Brexit, not the former Australian prime minister.

“The British people did not vote for a disastrous no deal Brexit,” she said. “It should be for the British people to have the final say on Brexit, not Tony Abbott.”

She said that the vote to leave the EU was not a vote for a “disastrous no deal Brexit”.

“They did not vote to make themselves poorer, nor did they vote to allow ideological Brexiters to drag the country out of the EU at any cost,” she said.

“The Brexit negotiations are a mess, Parliament is paralysed and the Brexit that was promised to the British people in 2016 looks increasingly undeliverable.

“That’s why more and more people from all walks of life are calling for a people’s vote on whatever emerges from the Brexit process.”

On Wednesday, May bought herself more political breathing space after addressing the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers.

Her leadership is the subject of daily speculation in the press, but one MP in the room said she handled MPs’ questions well and there was no tension or anger towards her.

Read the full article as it appears online here

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26.10.18

express.co.uk

Remainers BEG Barnier to kickstart EU plans for a second Brexit vote in SHAMELESS meeting

AN ‘unholy alliance’ of Remoaner MPs begged Michel Barnier to kickstart European Union contingency plans for a second Brexit referendum as they met the negotiator in Brussels.

The posse led by Liberal Democrat chief Sir Vince Cable marched into the Belgian capital hoping to recruit Mr Barnier for their so-called People’s Vote campaign, suggesting he should start planning for such an eventuality.

After an estimated 700,000 Remainers took to the streets of London demanding a say in the Brexit deal delivered by Theresa May, the Lib Dem leader told the EU negotiator there is an ever-growing appetite for the movement in Britain.

Sir Vince is hoping EU officials will work up plans to accommodate a second Brexit vote after the Prime Minister denied Whitehall had started drawing up its own plans.

“The People’s Vote is very much on the agenda, it’s an important strand of opinion in Parliament and the country,” the MP for Richmond said.

“Like the British Government, the Commission has to have contingency plans to deal with it.”

The Lib Dem leader was keen to brush off the ‘sore loser’ title for pursuing another Brexit vote despite the June 2016 EU referendum.

Answering allegations, he said: “We’re not losers because we haven’t lost.

“It’s still all to play for, 700,000 is a big number – these aren’t people who voted, obviously in a vote it would be vastly higher.”

The ragtag Remainers are also made up of the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford and his Plaid Cymru Liz Saville Roberts counterpart.

They told Mr Barnier there are growing numbers in Westminster prepared to vote down any agreement that doesn’t guarantee single market and customs union membership for Britain.

Sir Vince added: “In the opinion polls at the moment they would suggest there is a majority for Remaining in the European Union.

“That’s why we think should have the right to pass judgement on whatever deal the Government gets.”

Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman accused the group of undertaking a “fool’s errand” because there is no EU appetite for a second Brexit vote.

He said: “I think this is a fool’s errand.

“I detect no enthusiasm from the EU side for a second referendum.

“How would that play during the most difficult European elections next year that the EU has ever faced?

“There is likely to be a huge surge to eurosceptics and anti-immigration parties across the EU.”

Thursday evening’s meeting represents just one of Mr Barnier’s Brexit discussions while his Commission bosses claim he is waiting on the UK to restart political negotiations.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab accused the EU of pursuing a level of “intransigence” that risks pushing talks closer to a no deal.

Addressing the House of Commons, he said: “There is a risk of no deal, especially if the EU engage in a deliberately intransigent approach.”

He also warned MPs that the Government is “preparing for the worst” in the event of border and traffic chaos at ports such as Calais and Dover.

“We need to prepare for the worst case scenario where the authorities at Calais are deliberately directing a go-slow approach by supporting a diversion of the flow to more amenable ports in other countries,” he said.

Read the article as it appears here.

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16.10.18

telegraph.co.uk

Ireland accuses UK of ‘backsliding’ on Brexit promises

Ireland’s ambassador accused Theresa May of “backsliding” on her promise to avoid a hard border after Brexit on Tuesday, as he ruled out her proposal of a temporary customs union.

Adrian O’Neill said his government was increasingly concerned by the prime minister’s attempts to unpick key elements of the backstop clause, which she provisionally agreed to in December.

In a briefing on Tuesday, Mr O’Neill said: “We are concerned [about] certain things which were agreed in December and repeated in March.”

“There seems to be some degree of backsliding on those, in so far as this demand for a time-limited version of a backstop is not consistent with what was agreed in December and March and we are concerned by that.”

“As I said, a backstop with a time limit ceases to be a backstop, it’s like going in and buying an insurance policy to find it expires on a certain date. It doesn’t give you great assurance about the insurance.”

Under the terms of the backstop, Northern Ireland would be tied to the EU’s rules and customs framework after Brexit, creating an east-west trade border in the Irish Sea.

Mrs May provisionally agreed to the backstop in December, but is now pushing for the EU to accept a modified version that keeps the whole of the UK in the EU’s customs union for a fixed period.

The prime minister argues that this is the only way to avoid a hard border and preserve the integrity of the UK at the same time.

But Dublin fears the move is an attempt to dilute key elements of an insurance policy that would avoid friction on the 310-mile land border.

In a thinly concealed rebuke to Brexiteers such as Boris Johnson and David Davis, Mr O’Neill said it was wrong to claim the backstop was “irrelevant” to the Brexit negotiations.

“Time is not on our side and with each passing day we grow increasingly concerned that decisive progress on Northern Ireland has not been made,” he said.

“It is even more concerning hearing comments from some quarters here that the backstop is unnecessary, allegedly an irrelevant distraction, hindering the achievement of a clean Brexit and frustrating the achievement of a grand vision of a free trading Global Britain.

“The truth, however inconvenient for some, is that a backstop is a crucial safety net for the Belfast Agreement and the peace process.”

Mr O’Neill added that a deal at this week’s EU summit in Brussels was “unlikely” due to the uncertainty around the UK’s position on the Irish border.

He warned that the “most benign outcome” of the summit would probably be a “renewed impetus to the negotiations” that might put pressure on both sides to come to an agreement.

Brexiteers fear that the UK will become permanently trapped in the EU’s customs framework if there is no clear time limit on the backstop.

This would prevent the UK from setting its own tariffs on goods, which would severely limit the country’s ability to sign free trade agreements.

“If the backstop has no time limit then the EU has every incentive to stonewall on the deal itself,” said David Campbell Bannerman, a Eurosceptic Tory MEP.

“Indeed if they refuse to do the deal, we are stuck in the customs union forever. This is their real agenda. We don’t now need a backstop at all.

“We need only a form of words that no hard border will be introduced by either side in event of no deal.”

You can read the article as it appears online here.

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15.10.18

express.co.uk

Economists DISMISS budget watchdog report claiming post-Brexit disaster

THE budgetary watchdog set up by George Osborne has been accused of joining the Project Fear campaign after it claimed a Brexit “no deal” will see a return of the 1970s “three-day-week” economic disaster. In a discussion paper on the impact of Brexit, the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) – what was set-up by Mr Osborne to make official forecasts on the economy – on Thursday claimed that Leaving the EU will weaken Britain’s finances.

But in a paper, which was criticised for being heavily skewed to Remainer arguments, the OBR was forced to admit that the future of British international trade is outside the EU.

The paper noted that in 1991 60 per cent of trade was with the EU but by 2017 this had fallen to 44 per cent.

The report noted: “The recent decline in the share of UK trade with the EU has reflected the growing importance of emerging market economies.”

Making comparisons with the 1970s in the period after the UK joined the European Economic Community, the report said: “It is next to impossible to calibrate with any confidence the potential impact of this sort of scenario in advance, because of the lack of any relevant precedent.

“However, while not a direct parallel, it is worth noting that the ‘Three-Day Week’ introduced in early 1974 in response to energy shortages and increased militancy on the part of the miners, was associated with a fall in output of a little under 3 per cent that quarter.”

The OBR also indicated that a no deal Brexit could have a “severe short-term impact” on the economy and potentially lead to a sharp fall in asset prices.

Professor Patrick Minford, chairman of Economists for Free Trade, said: “The OBR’s discussion of three day weeks under a World Trade deal is utterly fatuous and smacks of more civil service Project Fear denigration of Brexit. Any hold-ups of trade or slowing of border inspections by either the EU or ourselves would be totally illegal under WTO rules. Is that really what the OBR is willing to assume?”

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman, a leading member of the European Parliament Trade committee and author of the SuperCanada Brexit plan, said: “The facts of economic life are that nine tenths of growth in the world in the next 10 to 15 years will come from outside of Europe.

“But as the OBR reports the trend is already arising that out exports to the rest of the world are greater than those to the EU and are growing strongly.

“Why do we want to be chained to a sinking region economically when we can be free to roam the world in trade?”

But he dismissed the Project Fear scaremongering of a return to the disaster of Labour’s 1970s economy and the three day week.

He said: “I think any comparison with 70s style miners’ strikes, power cuts and work by candlelight is absurd.

“The only link is the fact they all happened under Ted Heath who took us into the EEC in 1973. “No deal means World Trade Deal along lines of US, Australia, New Zealand with the EU.

“I am currently discussing trade issues in Washington DC and there is no sign of power cuts, miners’ strikes or unburied bodies here!

“This smacks of yet more Project Fear to scare us into a dreadful deal. It is time for politicians and the people to be bold and keep their nerve. Keep Calm and Carry On indeed. The worse is not going to happen.”

You can see the original article as it appears by clicking here.

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9.10.18

express.co.uk

BREXIT DELAYED: Brussels stop release of KEY future trade declaration as talks stall AGAIN

POSITIVITY surrounding Brexit has been derailed after European Union bosses delayed the publication of a crucial document outlining the future trading partnership between Brussels and United Kingdom.

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has asked for more time to work on the political declaration, bringing an end to a week of positivity and belief that a Brexit deal was near completion.

EU diplomats have confirmed to Express.co.uk the joint EU-UK declaration will no longer be completed on October 10 as stated in a past European Commission agenda.

It is understood Mr Barnier requested the delay because of a shift in the UK position, potentially fuelled by reports Theresa May was ready to publish a new Irish backstop proposal.

Brussels had already sparked controversy when it emerged officials planned to publish a short political declaration, which may only be 10-pages long.

Critics have said a shortened document only leads to a “blind Brexit” which could see the Prime Minister struggle to successfully seek the House of Common’s permission in the so-called “meaningful vote” on the withdrawal agreement.

The declaration is expected to be an annotated comparison between the EU and UK’s red lines, hopes, agreements and disputes for a future trading partnership.
It will also outline plans for future security and foreign policy, making it a key document on moving negotiations forward.

The declaration will contain “about 30-40 percent” of Mrs May’s pitch for a wide-ranging trade and security deal, according to one EU diplomat.

Of a potential future pact, Mr Barnier said: “Joint priority: ensuring the orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom to protect the rights of citizens, investments and geographical indication.

“This is the basis of trust for an ambitious future economic and strategic partnership.”

Downing Street has already vented its frustrations at the possibility of a brief document and played down positive noises being made in Brussels about the near-completion of a deal.

The document will likely now be discussed at a meeting of advisors to EU heads of state on Monday October 15 ahead of the European Council summit beginning just days later.

Mr Barnier will then have to update the European Commission’s top bosses on Wednesday October 17 before the declarations potential publication to the public.

Negotiations “in the next few days will have a total focus on the withdrawal agreement”, according to another EU diplomat.
The Prime Minister’s EU sherpa Olly Robbins will continue his own technical negotiations in Mr Barnier’s Article 50 task force in the build up to the October summit.

Downing Street, however, cast doubt on Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab’s visit to the Belgian capital when a spokesman refused to confirm whether he would travel or not.

EU Commission officials have also made similar noises about Mr Raab’s potential social call, prompting speculation of yet another impasse holding up talks.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman was keen to stress no withdrawal agreement could be completed without a “precise” political declaration on the UK-EU’s post-Brexit framework.

Questioning positive rhetoric across the Channel, they said: “We have always said that we are working hard for a deal this autumn and that continues at pace.

“It is worth me pointing out that there is a difference between people talking optimistically about a deal and a deal – including both a withdrawal agreement and a future framework – actually being agreed.

“There remain big issues to work through and, as the Prime Minister has said, this will require movement on the EU side.”

David Campbell Bannerman, a Tory MEP and ‘Canada plus plus plus’ advocate, insisted Britain should refuse to hand over the so-called £39bn Brexit bill if the declaration is a “handwritten note on the back of an envelope”.

The Prime Minister must seek “reassurances” on the future relationship before agreeing to any withdrawal agreement, he told Express.co.uk.

“The original intention was to have a detailed framework of the full trade deal,” he said.

“We need this to be sure of what we are getting, we can’t be in the business of paying £39bn to the EU in exchange for a handwritten note on the back of a Brussels envelope.

“We must have reassurances the outline contained in the withdrawal agreement of the ‘Super Canada-styled deal’ is satisfactory before we can agree any deal.

“Nobody wants a blind Brexit.”

You can read the article as it originally appears here.

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4.10.18
thesun.co.uk
EU’s Donald Tusk piles on more pressure for Theresa May to chuck Chequers for a Canada-style Brexit deal

In a furious attack the EU Council chief doubled down on his hard-line stance in Salzburg and accused the PM of “wasting time” by throwing around insults.

BRUSSELS boss Donald Tusk ripped into Theresa May today as he piled more pressure on her to chuck Chequers for a Canada-style Brexit deal.

The Pole also raged at Jeremy Hunt over his comparison of the EU to the Soviet Union, branding the foreign secretary’s remarks “insulting”.

Mr Tusk risked also enraging Downing Street by endorsing a Canada style trade deal over its beleaguered Chequers plan, to the delight of Brexiteers.

He said: “From the very beginning, the EU offer has been not just a Canada deal, but a Canada plus plus plus deal.

“Much further-reaching on trade, on internal security and on foreign policy cooperation.”

And he added: “This is a true measure of respect. And this offer remains in place. The EU is serious about getting the best possible deal.”

The EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier suggested last month Britain would have to settle for a Canada-style trade deal – which is what many Brexiteers want too.

But Mrs May has ruled it out – saying it would break up Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

She said a No Deal situation would be better than the Canada model as it would be bad for the country.

In a searing address Mr Tusk also lashed the foreign secretary over his Soviet Union jibe and the PM over her demand Brussels shows more respect.

Mr Hunt was blasted earlier this week of accusing the EU of seeking to punish the UK to keep the club together.

And today Mr Tusk fumed: “In respecting our partners, we expect the same in return. Comparing the EU to the Soviet Union is as unwise as it is insulting.

“Unacceptable remarks that raise the temperature will achieve nothing except wasting more time. What needs to be done is maximum progress.

“Now the Tory party conference is over we should get down to business.”

Senior eurosceptics leapt on the EU chief’s remarks and warned Mrs May she will end up with no deal at all if she perseveres with Chequers.

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman told The Sun: “This is the first time the EU has been so explicit about welcoming a Super Canada deal.

“They’re not offering the ‘simple trade deal’ referred to and rejected in May’s speech – this is bigger, better, wider.”

And ex-Brexit Minister Steve Baker said: “I am deeply encouraged that President Tusk wants a deal and is clear about the framework of that deal.

“This does once again reinforce that Eurosceptic Conservatives are campaigning for what the EU wants to give us…”

Leading eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “This is a good solution for everyone and the ERG’s proposals for the Irish border mean it could work for the UK as a whole.”

Brexiteer MP Bernard Jenkin added: “Hooray! Tusk and the ERG agree on Canada plus plus plus. The problem with Chequers is it asks too much of the EU, needs too many concessions or ‘cherries’.

“But the EU must concede that the Irish border issue is resolvable via checks away from the border, not via backstop which threatens to divide the UK.”

He went on: “This can be the basis of an excellent deal that gets through Westminster and the European Parliament and Council.

“It’s time to recognise Chequers is not going to work and will merely result in no deal.”

And ex Ukip leader Nigel Farage implored: “Please Mrs May, bite his hand off.”

Read the full article as it appeared in the Sun here.

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16.9.18

express.co.uk

‘The EU army DOES exist’ Tory MEP believes that THIS policy is the root of EU superstate

TORY MEP David Bannerman insisted the European Union has made strides to institute an “EU superstate” after Commission boss Jean-Claude Juncker urged member states to help strengthen common defence systems.

The Tory politician trashed Jean-Claude Juncker following his fourth and last State of the Union address before he steps down as head of the European Commission in 2019.

Mr Bannerman suggested that the top Eurocrat’s calls for stronger defence ties among member states signalled the European Union is dialling up plans to create an “EU Superstate” with a “fully operational” army at its disposal.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk in Strasbourg, the Tory MEP said: “He talks about making the army that everyone says doesn’t exist.

“The EU army does exist, as a permanent structured headquarters – PESCO it’s called – that is going to become fully operational. There are some strides as we expect towards the EU superstate which I’m not happy with.”

The Permanent Structured Co-operation (PESCO) – a European army in all but name – received the official blessing of heads of state and government who joined to toast its success in December.

There are also plans for enhanced joint training programmes, a European medical command and projects relating to logistics such as the streamlining of cross-border military transport procedures. Key EU member states including France and Germany have long-campaigned for greater defence and security integration.

Mr Bannerman also expressed scepticism towards Mr Juncker’s plan to deploy an additional 10,000 border patrol officers to regulate and cut the migration flows across European frontiers.

The Brexiteer politician argued that such a move would undermine the role of nation-states within the bloc to provide Brussels more decisional power.

He continued: “I don’t like on the negative side this move into the border agency, 10,000 EU offices, to maintain the borders. I mean where’s instruction going to come from?

“Is it like ‘well, we’ll decide where your border is and how we police it,’ – that will come from Brussels or Strasbourg, and not from the nation-state.”

Mr Bannerman did, however, appear to approve of the Commissioner’s stance on the future relationship the bloc will have with the United Kingdom after Brexit.

He praised the appeal for a “creative solution” to the Northern Irish border issue currently deadlocking the negotiations while proposing to strike a “super Canada-type deal” to maintain post-Brexit frictionless trade.

He added: “There’s certainly a lot of positive aspects as well as negatives ones – the positive ones for me were he wants a free trade area, as he calls it, with the UK.

“That’s what I want, a super Canada type deal, plus plus plus, and he was hinting at that. He attacked the Chequer’s plan, he said you can’t have parts of a single market, I think that’s a real no-no for Chequer’s.”

He concluded: “The other thing that’s very important, he said he’s looking for a creative solution, in his words, on Northern Ireland, and it’s a northern Ireland border issue that’s holding up a free trade agreement like Canada plus.

“We can get a breakthrough and that means a deal, so I think we are moving towards a positive position on that side.”

Speaking about three principles the EU will work towards over the UK’s exit, Mr Juncker said that the “masterful” Michel Barnier was working with “unanimous” support from the 27 member states.

Speaking about Northern Ireland, he went on: “This parliament and all member states we show loyalty with Ireland on the Irish border. We want to find a creative solution to prevent a hard border and we will defend all the elements of the Good Friday Agreement. It’s Brexit making the border more visible, not EU.

“After 29 March 2019, the UK will never be an honorary third country. It will always be a very close partner in political, security terms.

“I welcome PM May’s proposal for ambitious partnership. We agree with Chequers a starting point should be a free trade area between UK and EU.

“We owe it to citizens and businesses to ensure the exit is orderly. It won’t be the Commission that stands in the way of this.”

You can read the article as it appears in the express here.

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12.9.18

telegraph.co.uk

How Theresa May can avoid a Brexit bloodbath in seven simple steps

As we approach our party conference, I am fearful we may expect scenes reminiscent of the bloodbath of the Maastricht debates of the early 1990s. I remember Major’s Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd citing the similarity of that debate to the Corn Laws under Peel, that split the party in two – between pro-protectionism and pro-free trade – and the roar in the Hall as he was shouted down. Here we go again.

This time the debate is Chequers or Canada – Canada defined as a SuperCanada/CETA+++ Free Trade Agreement, that suits not only Canada but our Commonwealth cousins New Zealand and Australia, who are now using Canada as the template for their deals with the EU. SuperCanada has become a Commonwealth deal.

But with the clock showing a few minutes to midnight, the Chequers option is facing a brick wall. A combination of strong party and Westminster opposition – with even former Brexit ministers David Davis and Steve Baker resolutely pledging to vote the deal down – and 80 MPs now willing to put country and principle first. Relying on Labour votes to drive a deal so resolutely unpopular in the Conservative party through risks ‘Corn Laws 2 – the Sequel’. More likely Labour will oppose the Chequers deal and it will fail, ushering in no deal.

The UK polling data is frightening: only 19 per cent Conservative voters (YouGov) think we are doing a good job at the negotiations. Add to this the 29 per cent of voters in 44 Conservative marginal seats would be less likely to support their local Conservative member if that member supported Chequers, and Chequers clearly risks handing Corbyn the keys to Number 10 on a silverplate – complete with a bouquet of red roses.

Then there’s the EU. Monsieur Barnier is very charming and polite in saying he likes ‘parts’ of the White Paper, presumably after desperate urging. It is not clear whether this is the content – or the binding, printing style or phraseology.

Comparing the key Brexit models: Chequers v Canada plus

Chequers Canada +
Control of borders EU citizens will keep their current free movement rights until the end of the transition. The UK has yet to set out what it would have in its place afterwards. The UK would have total freedom over immigration policy, at the price of more limited trading access to the EU market.
Solving the Irish question The UK intends to avoid a hard border by aligning with all EU rules “necessary to provide for frictionless trade”. The UK would be outside the customs union but would have a comprehensive free trade deal with the EU, limiting the need for checks through technology.
Control of rules The UK would follow “a common rulebook”, requiring it to copy EU regulations on goods and agri-food. MPs would have to accept the “consequences” if they want to ignore certain rules The UK would be able to change its rules much more, with smooth cross-border trade ensured by a system of “mutual recognition”
Free-trade greatness The UK could in theory strike deals with countries outside of the EU. But lack of flexibility would limit its attractiveness. The UK would leave the customs union and avoid any common rulebook, so there should be no curbs.
Control of laws The European Court of Justice would no longer have “direct jurisdiction” over the UK, but British judges would have to pay “due regard” to its previous rulings A Joint Committee, inspired by what the EU has in place with Canada and Korea, would make binding decisions to resolve issues

 

But his original reaction was perhaps more reliable: with him saying that by allowing U.K. to “pick pieces” of the single market, such a deal “would be the end of the single market and the European project”, may not be “legally feasible”, and that he is “strongly opposed” to the proposal. Wishful reports he is being sidelined were met with firm denials in Germany and France.

So it is quite clear the core proposal in Chequers: that of a Facilitated Customs Arrangement and a EU ‘Common Rulebook’ (cunning language for signing up to EU laws with no say) are seen not just to meander over EU red lines but to stamp up and down on them with great force. Barnier fears this Chequers proposal will simply fall apart.

The EU regards the 4 freedoms and the sanctity of the Single Market as its Holy Grail – and does not like us messing with their scriptures. To separate goods laws (one core freedom) from services (another core freedom) is unacceptable, not to mention no free movement (a third) within the Single Market – like the EEA demands.

Nor does the EU want us either to continue to act as one of their customs borders, collecting duties and imposing tariffs and quotas like an agent. Inauspiciously there is a multibillion-pound battle going on with the EU suing our own customs authorities for allegedly failing to collect billions in Chinese duties. So they don’t even trust us not to turn a blind eye to fraud in their view.

If Chequers isn’t going to fly, then the expected November summit will mean no withdrawal agreement, no transition deal and both of us moving to the same relationship the EU has with China, the USA and India – a World Trade Deal (or ‘no deal’) as early as March next year. The Party Conference will be taking place five to six weeks out from that summit.

But we can rescue a deal in that timescale – as, despite denials, there is indeed a credible alternative plan, one that was our official policy only months ago. That is to revert back to Plan A (SuperCanada) with no loss of political face. An indication was the fact the gentlemanly Eurosceptic Mr Jacob Rees Mogg and gentlemanly Euro-gnthusiast Mr Barnier agreed so readily in their Brussels meeting that: Chequers is dead, long live SuperCanada!

So here’s conceivably how we might get a solution:

  1. Everyone – Eurosceptics, the EU and the U.K. Government – acknowledge how clever it was to propose Chequers 1, as it has fast illuminated our respective negotiating positions, shown UK business and industry that a closer position more akin to the Customs Union/EEA is not deliverable, clarified the EU red lines whilst allowing the EU negotiating guidelines to be made more flexible, unlocked a new EU/Irish willingness to find a sensible common sense solution on the Northern Ireland border issue (such as Mr Varadkar announcing that the EU had told him there was no need for a hard border as soon as Chequers was announced), and made it clear a deal can be struck quickly and successfully – but only along the lines of a SuperCanada/CETA+++ style trade deal, with Mr Barnier even astonishing Labour MPs on the Brexit Select Committee by his vehemence in rejecting Chequers and supporting Canada plus.
  2. The U.K. Government then announces that in light of the strength of the EU reaction and Westminster MP concerns against the Chequers proposal – as David Davis said it is merely a proposal not a deal – then the proposal is to be updated and improved – as many white papers in the negotiating process have been – into a ‘Chequers 2’ proposal. Much of Chequers 2 will remain the same other than for the trade deal section that everyone is finding so unpalatable (plus a few tweaks to the defence section).
  3. Chequers 2 will see our Government reverting back immediately to the original Brexit Department White Paper – version 9 I understand – which incorporates the SuperCanada proposal – as the basis of a deal.
  4. Chequers 2 means the Government can immediately inform President Tusk and Michel Barnier that the offer made on 7th March by Tusk and reiterated by Barnier on 2nd August is hereby accepted in principle as the basis of a future relationship for the purposes of the Withdrawal Agreement. This is an offer of 100 per cent tariff and quota-free access (one +, as Canada, Australia and New Zealand are not getting 100 per cent) and services (a second +). Deeper and more complex services (the third +) can be delivered for all via the WTO by pushing its Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) which covers 70 per cent services GDP in 50 countries, which the EU will have to follow.
  5. The EU will publicly rejoice, welcome and agree that the acceptance of the original offer President Tusk made is a breakthrough, and accept in principle to this now being the basis for an agreement at the proposed mid-November special EU Summit.
  6. Cue an outbreak of relief, joy, and celebration across Europe. The pound leaps, investment surges, the Prime Minister’s poll ratings shoot upwards. Westminster opposition parties reluctantly and gallantly declare their alternate plans for remaining in the Customs Union and Single Market are sadly no longer deliverable, and given the EU has now agreed this deal but could not agree Chequers, that in the interests of the country they will support or at least abstain on the Commons vote. (Alternatively, they will be defeated as Conservative rebels and Labour Eurosceptic rebels are ultimately likely to vote for the deal).
  7. Agree with the EU to work constructively together to resolve the Northern Ireland border issue by mid-November based on technological and creative solutions, as proposed in several UK papers (including my own) and referred to by Mr Barnier when addressing the Brexit Select Committee of MPs. Barnier helpfully said: “We need to see how and when and where these controls would take place. They could be dispersed. They could take place in different places, on board vessels, in ports outside Ireland, they could be done using technological means, they could be dispersed, as I said, or simplified in technological terms. Just to make that absolutely clear, we are not talking about a border. We are talking about controls.”

Then we can all gather in the pub, Leavers and Remainers together, to celebrate and ensure that the growth in the U.K. economy recently announced – is duly maintained, despite Brexit!

You can read the article as it appeared in the telegraph.co.uk here.

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10.9.18

express.co.uk

Demands for Juncker’s arrogant right-hand man Selmayr to quit but he says NEVER

EU President Jean Claud Juncker’s right-hand man has refused to resign, despite calls for him to quit after he was unfairly parachuted into Brussel’s top civil servant role.

Martin Selmayr, the current secretary-general of the EU Commission, has faced widespread criticism over his fast-track promotion into the prestigious Brussels’ job as Mr Juncker’s personal aide.

The German national was promoted twice within a span of 10 minutes, with critics accusing him of breaking the law.

Officials say he “stretched and possibly even overstretched the limits of the law” in order to attain his status, suggesting several laws were infringed.

On Thursday night, Mr Selmayr was accused of “planetary-scale arrogance”, calling the situation “embarrassing” as he denied the accusations and said that “no laws” were broken.

Mr Selamyr, who Mr Juncker refers to as “The Monster” for his ruthlessness, reportedly told the Daily Mail: “Resign? I think resignations are for other people.”

When asked if he thought the situation was embarrassing, he said: ‘I don’t think it is very embarrassing at all.

“I think the European Union is in a strong position. We have a very good system for selecting senior officials.”

He then added: “The European Union is on the basis of law and we’ll continue to be on the basis of law.

“I’m a very qualified lawyer, that’s why I feel very confident. The European Commission has broken no laws.”

This comes after Emily O’Reilly, the independent European Ombudsman, lashed out at the European Commission for fast-track promoting, insisting their responses to allegations were “defensive” and evasive”.

She called for a new mechanism for appointing the secretary-general post after officials were accused of “maladministration”, and declared the move had destroyed the public’s trust in the Commission.

Ms O’Reilly said the Commission showed either ‘” lack of self-awareness” or “a wilful refusal to admit to them”.

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman said: “Mr Selmayr’s comments are planetary-scale arrogance. This represents the rotten core of the EU.”

Fellow Tory MEP Daniel Hannan added: “No one takes the blame. No one resigns.

“It’s precisely that kind of arrogance that people were voting against [when they voted for Brexit].”

Mrs O’Reilly’s report ruled discrepancies between the administration and his political alliance to Mr Selamyr, who was previously appointed as his chief of staff.

The report said Mr Selamyr’s promotion was “created artificially”, after the German was quickly appointed into EU’s most senior civil service position.

The report added: “And all of this in a context where the proposed appointment of a new secretary-general was not on the meeting agenda and no background papers had been circulated.”

In response to the report, EU’s commissioner in charge of staffing, Gunther Oettinger said: “While we do not share all aspects of the underlying report, we welcome that the Ombudsman neither contests the legality of the appointment procedure of the Secretary-General, nor the choice of the candidate.

“On some aspects, where the Commission has a different factual assessment, we will provide further information to the Ombudsman in due course.”

Read the original article as it appears in the express online here.

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6.9.18

dailymail.co.uk

The arrogance of Juncker’s Monster

The arrogance of Juncker’s Monster: EU President’s haughty henchman says he won’t resign over sleaze probe and boasts ‘I’m a very qualified lawyer’

  • Martin Selmayr, Jean-Claude Juncker’s right-hand man, has faced calls to quit
  • Watchdog suggested laws were broken in order to fast-track him for promotion
  • He was accused of ‘planetary-scale arrogance’ after denying the fiasco was ’embarrassing’

The top Brussels official at the centre of an EU sleaze probe last night insisted he won’t resign.

Martin Selmayr has faced calls to quit after a watchdog suggested laws were broken in order to fast-track him for promotion.

He was given the role of secretary-general of the EU Commission – the most senior civil service post in Brussels – in a way that ‘stretched and possibly even overstretched the limits of the law’.

But the official, Jean-Claude Juncker’s right-hand man in Brussels, was last night accused of ‘planetary-scale arrogance’ when he brazenly denied the fiasco was ’embarrassing’.

The German, nicknamed ‘The Monster’ by Mr Juncker for his ruthlessness, insisted that ‘no laws’ were broken when he was effectively promoted twice in ten minutes. Speaking to the Mail outside his smart apartment in central Brussels, he said: ‘Resign? I think resignations are for other people.’ Asked if it was embarrassing for him and Mr Juncker, who was found partly at fault in the investigation, he added: ‘I don’t think it is very embarrassing at all.

The top Brussels official at the centre of an EU sleaze probe last night insisted he won’t resign.

Martin Selmayr has faced calls to quit after a watchdog suggested laws were broken in order to fast-track him for promotion.

‘I think the European Union is in a strong position. We have a very good system for selecting senior officials.’ The 47-year-old lawyer added: ‘The European Union is on the basis of law and we’ll continue to be on the basis of law.

The top Brussels official at the centre of an EU sleaze probe last night insisted he won’t resign.

He was given the role of secretary-general of the EU Commission – the most senior civil service post in Brussels – in a way that ‘stretched and possibly even overstretched the limits of the law’.

‘I think the European Union is in a strong position. We have a very good system for selecting senior officials.’ The 47-year-old lawyer added: ‘The European Union is on the basis of law and we’ll continue to be on the basis of law.

‘I’m a very qualified lawyer, that’s why I feel very confident. The European Commission has broken no laws.’

His comments come after Emily O’Reilly, the independent European Ombudsman, recommended a new process for appointing the secretary-general post after ruling officials were guilty of acts of ‘maladministration’.

She also ruled that the Commission – the arm of the EU which oversees Brexit and of which Mr Juncker is president – had damaged public trust in Brussels and that its response to the allegations had been ‘defensive’ and ‘evasive’.

The Commission showed either ‘a lack of self-awareness’ or ‘a wilful refusal to admit to them’, she said. Critics yesterday renewed calls for Mr Selmayr to step down so the process can be re-run fairly.

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman said: ‘Mr Selmayr’s comments are planetary-scale arrogance. This represents the rotten core of the EU.’

Fellow Tory MEP Daniel Hannan added: ‘No one takes the blame. No one resigns.

‘It’s precisely that kind of arrogance that people were voting against [when they voted for Brexit].’

Mrs O’Reilly’s report ruled that Mr Juncker allowed lines to blur between administrative independence and his political closeness to Mr Selmayr, previously his chief of staff.

The report ruled that an urgency to fill the post was ‘created artificially’ after the previous incumbent announced his retirement.

At the same meeting Mr Selmayr was first promoted to deputy secretary-general and then into the top job within about ten minutes.

The report added: ‘And all of this in a context where the proposed appointment of a new secretary-general was not on the meeting agenda and no background papers had been circulated.’

It meant Mr Selmayr was effectively parachuted into the EU’s most senior civil service post.

The Commission says some findings may be down to ‘misunderstandings’. Mr Selmayr is no stranger to controversy.

He is alleged to have leaked details of a key Brexit dinner at Downing Street between Theresa May and Mr Juncker last year – a claim he denies. Diplomats say he is also known for wanting to punish Britain for leaving the EU.

Read the original article as it appeared here.

_____

 

4.9.18

express.co.uk

‘Damning!’ Brussels SHAMED over Selmayr promotion as watchdog HITS OUT at Juncker

THE European Commission is in crisis after the EU’s watchdog condemned the promotion of Jean Claude Juncker’s chief of staff to the top civil service post in Brussels.

A damning report said the promotion of German Martin Selmayr – nicknamed the monster – was “maladministration” and had damaged public trust in European institutions.

EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly said the Commission had been “overly secretive” and said that it needed to review its appointment processes.

Mr Selmayr – a lawyer from Bonn – masterminded Jean-Claude Juncker’s campaign to be president and was often described as the power behind his boss.

Since 1 March he has been general secretary at the EU after a swift promotion which was described by German MEP Ingeborg Grässle as “a coup”.

Mr Selmayr has been blamed by many for insisting on a hostile position against Britain to punish it for Brexit.

Ms O’Reilly said today she had found four instances of maladministration resulting from not following rules correctly, “either in letter or in spirit”.

At issue were secrecy around the impending retirement of the outgoing secretary-general and an “artificial urgency” to fill the post that went unchallenged by Juncker’s 27 fellow commissioners, she said in a statement.

She also highlighted Mr Selmayr’s quick progress from being Mr Juncker’s aide to becoming deputy secretary-general of the commission and then, a few minutes later, full secretary-general.

Selmayr is one of the ‘get Britain’ figures in the EU who earnestly believe British people should be punished for their decision to Leave

David Campbell Bannerman

The Ombudsman criticised the Commission for “defensive, evasive and at times combative” responses to media questions on the arcane manoeuvres around the publication of vacancies and selection of candidates which preceded an appointment that Juncker and his fellow commissioners were always free to make.

“All of this risked jeopardising the hard won record of high EU administrative standards and consequently, the public trust,” the ombudsman said in a statement.

Critics named the affair “Selmayrgate” and the European Parliament savaged President Juncker in March, saying the appointment smacked of cronyism.

One widely-circulated joke in Brussels about his alleged self-importance runs: “What’s the difference between God and Selmayr? God knows he’s not Selmayr.”

Senior Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman said: “Selmayr is one of the ‘get Britain’ figures in the EU who earnestly believe British people should be punished for their decision to Leave”.

He said that the “shocking” bypassing of procedures showed the “disdain for due process by senior EU figures”.

He added: “O’Reilly’s report is very powerful and unusually damning from an EU body.”

A spokesman for the EU commission reiterated at a news conference today the EU executive saw no conflict of interest in the appointment of Mr Selmayr.

“While we do not share all aspects of the underlying report, we welcome that the Ombudsman neither contests the legality of the appointment procedure of the Secretary-General, nor the choice of the candidate”, the commissioner responsible for human resources, Guenther Oettinger, said in a note.

Read the article as it appeared here.

_____

29.8.18

thesun.co.uk

Brit firms to enjoy multi-billion pound windfall if we COMPLETELY leave single market, EU research reveals

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman says leaving the single market ‘is an economic opportunity that is a major benefit of Brexit’

BRITISH businesses will enjoy a multi-billion pound a year windfall if we fully quit the single market for services, shock EU analysis reveals.

Eurocrats have admitted that UK firms could flourish freed from costly Brussels red tape, giving them an advantage over continental rivals.

Just seven EU regulations are costing UK business £5.4billion a year, the EU has found
Internal number crunching carried out by the EU Commission revealed the huge amount current European laws cost our companies.

It was presented to member states a few days before the Government laid out its proposals for a trade deal with Brussels in the white paper.

The analysis, briefed to Politico, showed that just seven of the most costly regulations set back British firms a whopping £5.4 billion a year.

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman said it showed why the UK should fully leave the Single Market
He told The Sun: “There are more than 40,000 EU laws and here we have just seven regulations able to save us £5.4 billion a year.

“Second only to regaining British democratic self government, the economic opportunity to slash unnecessary EU red tape is a major benefit of Brexit.

“This is just putting our toe in the water. There are a lot more opportunities to save on waste to come.”

The PM has pledged to follow a “common rulebook” on goods to mirror current EU legislation and non-regression clauses on environmental and social laws.

However, the white paper envisages “regulatory freedom” for the UK to make its own laws in the digital and services sectors.

Eurocrats have raised fears UK firms will benefit over time from reduced levels of red tape allowing them to beat European ones bidding for contracts.

Chief negotiator Michel Barnier even warned the plan would “undermine the Single Market” by giving Britain an unfair advantage. The revelations came as Ireland’s deputy PM called on Britain to “develop its position further” on trade in order to seal a deal.

Simon Coveney said if the UK moves the EU must respond with its own compromises, adding: “I am sure our union can be imaginative in return.”

Michel Barnier rips apart May’s Brexit plans and says they could open them to more fraud

The Sun Says

THE EU shares a guilty secret with our most maniacal Remainers: they are all petrified we will succeed post-Brexit.

Brussels’ analysis reveals our firms will be billions of pounds a year better off if we quit the single market for ­services and are freed from its red tape.

Which goes to the heart of the EU’s belligerence. It’s not just about punishing us for leaving, and deterring others. It’s about preventing us from becoming an economic powerhouse on their doorstep.

Remain diehards, meanwhile, aren’t genuinely worried about the “No Deal Brexit apocalypse”. After all, that would briefly prove them “right”, wouldn’t it? And they’d like nothing more than that.

They are far more concerned we will thrive and kill off any chance of ever rejoining the EU. Which matters because to them EU membership is not a trading arrangement, it’s virtually a religion.

Neither the EU nor these Remoaners can admit to their genuine fears.

So they rely on smokescreen and deceit.

Read the original article here.

_____

10.8.18

express.co.uk

Brussels BLINKS in Brexit standoff… but Rees-Mogg warns May heading for ‘PITIABLE FAILURE’

BRUSSELS was accused of “blinking” in the Brexit negotiations today amid reports that it was preparing a new offer to prevent a “no deal”.

But concerns were raised that the reported offer of keeping Britain in a single market for goods without free movement of people is “a trap” aimed at maintaining Brussels rule in the UK.

According to reports, EU leaders believe that the UK can be persuaded to stay partially under their control if mass immigration can be stopped from the rest of the EU.

So European leaders are supposedly preparing to negotiate a deal that would let Britain remain in the single market for goods while opting out of free movement of people.

While the EU would be breaking its own rules to offer the deal, the price of the deal would be high for the UK which would have to accept all Brussels’ rules on social policy, environmental regulations and customs rules.

This would allow the EU to continue with its project of seizing control of the UK pensions market, benefits and would prevent any meaningful free trade deals with the rest of the world.

EU control of social policy has already given Britain the hugely expensive working time directive that has massively undermined the NHS.

The proposal is an extended version of Theresa May’s controversial Chequers which Boris Johnson warned would turn Britain into an “EU colony” after he resigned as foreign secretary over its adoption.

Tonight, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who heads up the powerful European Research Group (ERG) of pro-Brexit MPs, said: “Remaining in the single market would leave the UK as a vassal state.

“We would be a rule taker subject de facto to the ECJ and probably as with Norway liable for payments into the EU.

“It would not even provide frictionless borders as that requires membership of the customs union as well. It would from the Government’s point of view be a pitiable failure.”

Former Brexit minister David Jones said: “If this report is true, it shows that EU member states are concerned about the prospect of the UK leaving without a negotiated withdrawal agreement, because they know it would hurt them.

“However, we must not fall for this.

“The so-called ‘Jersey option’ would leave us having to comply with EU standards, staying in the Customs Union and no doubt remaining subject to ECJ jurisdiction.

“That wouldn’t be Brexit and wouldn’t be acceptable to voters. Far better to leave on World Trade Organisation terms and be an independent country again.”

Senior Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman, a member of the trade committee and European Parliament Brexit steering group, said that EU leaders had “blinked” because they realised that a no deal where Britain went on to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules would not harm the UK but cause them massive economic damage.

However, the experienced Brussels observer warned that the proposal was “a typical EU trap”.

He said: “They know we can and will go on to WTO rules and it will hurt them more so they have blinked.

“But what is being proposed here is completely unacceptable and would be a total disaster.

“Basically, we would be tied to all their rules and regulations and they would use control of social policy to create a single European pensions market and common benefits system among other things.

“This is precisely what we are trying to get away from. It shouldn’t be that hard to become an independent nation state.”

He warned that it was unlikely such a plan would be accepted in the European Parliament because it “compromised” the single market while he would be “surprised” if the Uk parliament accepted it either.

Mr Campbell Bannerman has recently had talks with senior members of EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier’s team and believes that the EU team and Brexiteers are “largely on the same page”.

He said: “We all want a free trade deal not this sort of mess.

“We want what is known as ‘Super Canada’ or ‘Canada plus plus’ which is a version of the free trade deal with Canada but including services.

“Barnier and Tusk have offered most of this and that is where we should be negotiating.”

The movement by Brussels comes after a series of reports published in the UK revealed that a World Trade Deal – which is relying on WTO rules – is the “best option” for Britain but terrible for the EU.

Mrs May has consistently promised that “no deal is better than a bad deal” making it clear she is prepared to walk away from talks.

According to work carried out by Professor Patrick Minford, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher and chairman of Economists for Free Trade, WTO terms would cost EU GDP £500 billion while it would be a bonus to UK GDP of £600 billion.

Meanwhile, he estimates that being free of EU red tape and regulations will boost the Treasury coffers by around £80 billion a year.

Another member of Economists for Free Trade, Michael Burrage, recently published a paper which shows that countries dealing with the EU on WTO terms do three times better than EU members and 50 per cent better than those signed up to trade deals.

Confidence in a World Trade Deal also led billionaire City colossus Peter Hargreaves to say he would bet his £3.6 billion fortune on a no trade deal with the EU being the best option.

Pressure has been coming on Mr Barnier to compromise from Eastern European member states who want to ensure a good deal and future relations with Britain.

It is also understood that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is worried about the standoff while Mrs May held a meeting last week with French President Emmanuel Macron to exert pressure on Brussels.

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has toured Europe warning of “an accidental no deal” while international trade secretary Dr Liam Fox said no deal is the most likely outcome.

You can read the original article here.

_____

2.8.18

express.co.uk

Lord Mandelson MUST remain loyal to EU even after Brexit to receive £35K pension

REMAINER Lord Mandelson must remain loyal to the European Union or risk losing his lucrative Brussels pension after serving as trade commissioner. The peer is entitled to an estimated £35,000 a year when he reaches 65 but must follow the strict EU rulebook if he wants to keep his gold-plated retirement fund.

Lord Mandelson, an influential figure in Tony Blair’s New Labour, is entitled to his pension from Brussels after serving as a British commissioner from November 2004 to October 2008, before making a return to domestic politics.

This week, he made disparaging remarks about the 17.4 million Britons who voted Leave, branding them nationalists.

Under the terms of his EU pension, Lord Mandelson must abide by its strict loyalty clause or face being stripped of his pay-out altogether.

EU Commissioners must follow the tough ruleset “both during and after their term of office”.

One of the obligations means he must maintain a “duty of loyalty to the Communities”.

The guidelines states that “an official has the right to freedom of expression with due respect to the principles of loyalty and impartiality”.

Lord Mandelson faces being “deprived of his right to a pension or other benefits” if he fails to preserve his loyalty to Brussels.

The same rules apply to Tory peer Lord Patten and former Labour leader Lord Kinnock who were also European commissioners and have been campaigning strongly to stop Brexit.

Former European commissioners in office before May 1, 2004, are entitled to a pension worth 4.5 percent of the salary they last received for each year of service.

The Remainer’s index-linked EU pension is subject to preferential tax rates devised for Brussels officials and is stacked on top of his entitlement as an MP and income as a Labour peer.

Former MEPs and EU officials sitting in the House of Lords are receiving an estimated £500,000 a year in pensions, with their combined pot said to be worth around £10million.

Critics insist British taxpayers shouldn’t have to fork out for lavish perks enjoyed by the UK’s former commissioners and MEPs.

Senior Tory MP Peter Bone said: “I wonder if Mandelson and the others have to sing [the EU anthem] Ode to Joy when they get up in the morning.

“It really is ridiculous and it shows why we need to stop being members of this organisation which can make this sort of demand on people to just keep their pension.

“They live on a different planet.”

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: “Mandelson is bound by his pension to be loyal to the EU, but it was outrageous that he would abuse half the country.”

Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman said: “All those EU Commissioners and EU officials, many of whom are in our House of Lords – such as Lord Mandelson and Lord Patten – do receive an EU pension with a restriction that they should not criticise the EU.

“This should be declared as a potential conflict of interest as the payment received is tied to a positive view only of the EU, but isn’t. This ‘be nice to EU’ restriction needs highlighting.”

Chloe Westley, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “For too long, taxpayers in Britain have had to cover the cost of extravagant salaries, bonuses and pensions for MEPs and bureaucrats in Brussels.

“It’s high time these lavish perks were eliminated.”

Lord Mandelson is supporting calls for a second referendum, insisting any deal born out of Theresa May’s controversial white paper requires a people’s vote.

He branded Leave voters nationalists who hate other countries and foreigners.

He told LBC Radio: “Patriotism is love of your country, wanting to stand up for your country, wanting to serve the best interests of your country. Nationalism, on the other hand, is hatred of foreigners, and that’s what they are.

“They’re nationalists and should not be confused with patriots. I feel I am patriotic. I want the best for Britain. It’s why incidentally I voted Remain in the referendum although I entirely respect the contrary view of very many others.

“But these people, these Brextremists, they’re not like that. They are nationalists in the sense that they hate other countries, and they hate foreigners. “And that is, in my view, what motivates them and drives their behaviour.”

_____

1.8.18

thesun.co.uk

Top MEP Elmar Brok calls for second referendum on Britain scrapping Brexit – in which EU officials could campaign for Reemain

Angela Merkel ally Elmar Brok said it’s essential that Britain has a rerun of the vote because it’s the only way to stop the ‘nightmare’ of the UK leaving Brussels.

BRITAIN should hold a second referendum on scrapping Brexit in which the EU could actively campaign for a Remain vote, a top German politician has said.

Elmar Brok, who is a close ally of German chancellor Angela Merkel, said a rerun of the 2016 contest should take place in December or January.

The leading MEP, who sits on the EU Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group, said a new poll was the only way to avert the “nightmare” of Britain leaving.

And he went even further than Remainers in the UK by saying it should be an in-out vote and not one on the deal Theresa May brings back from Brussels.

In an interview with German newspaper FAZ, Mr Brok said: “If there is no exit agreement until 29 March 2019, there will be a hard Brexit.

“A referendum held in December or January, which is about a fundamental vote on the EU withdrawal, could avert a hard Brexit.

He added: “The ordeal could now be ended with a new referendum on Brexit as such.”

Mr Brok also said it had been a “mistake” for the EU not to campaign actively on behalf of the Remain side in 2016.

He said: “We should have faced the lies of the Brexit advocates much more aggressively.”

His comments raise the possibility that senior EU figures could weigh in on the side of europhiles in any rerun of the referendum.

One EU source branded the veteran MEP’s remarks “crazy” and said intervening in a second referendum would only swing more voters towards Brexit.

And Ukip MEP Mike Hookem told The Sun: “Elmar Brok is a dangerous EU fanatic who wants an EU treasury, an EU army, and only EU political parties.

“He is a raging Federalist who wants to sink Britain into a German-dominated political union.

“The EU Commission kept out of the Brexit Referendum because it knew its actions would be counterproductive in the UK and lead to an even bigger Leave vote.

“The British government needs to ignore EU-crazy ideologues like Brok and get on with implementing what the people voted for.”

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman fumed: “Mr Brok is interfering in our democracy once again. There will be no second referendum and he should butt out.

“Yet more evidence of dark Remain forces at work.”

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27.7.18

telegraph.co.uk

Theresa May hopes the EU’s most anti-Brussels leaders will help save her Brexit plan

Michel Barnier may have brought the official Brexit negotiations to a close for the summer holidays yesterday as he gave Theresa May’s Chequers plan a kicking, but that doesn’t mean she can’t discuss it any more.

The prime minister is rounding off this week by attending the opening ceremony of the Salzburg Festival, after which she will get to discuss her plans more with her host, Austria’s chancellor Sebastian Kurz. She will also seek informal discussions with other European including Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš.

Mrs May will be hoping both men will help her chip away at the Commission’ resistance to her proposals, given their own battles with Brussels, namely over its attempt to impose migration quotas around the bloc.

The leaders have already spoken sympathetically about the British people’s decision to leave the EU, lacking the rancour of other European leaders like Emmanuel Macron – who infamously bewailed it as a “crime”.

The Czech premier declared after his election that the EU needed to “reflect” on why the British people voted to leave and to “stop talking about a two-speed Europe” with member states hurtling towards the same goal: ever-closer union. Meanwhile, Chancellor Kurz – who holds the rotating presidency of the EU for the rest of this year – has warned that the bloc risks being consumed in the Eurosceptic “wildfire” ignited by Britain without a “speedy transformation”.

That transformation, in his view, should mean a smaller Europe. He wants Brussels to react to Brexit by cutting its spending by finding “savings and reforms”, instead of squeezing the remaining member states for more. Mr Babiš is of the same mindset, having dismissed the EU’s draft post-Brexit budget as “absolutely unacceptable” and argued for it to leave it more up to individual members how to spend the funds.

As the negotiations have become increasingly bogged down, Chancellor Kurz has warned that the EU should “not penalise the UK” and that he would be “in favour of pursuing negotiations rather than having a hard Brexit” if there was no resolution once the Article 50 clock had ticked down. He remained enigmatic as to whether that meant he would prefer the talks to be extended, or that Monsieur Barnier didn’t risk UK-EU trade by holding out for more concessions for too long. Mrs May will hope that uncertainty can be translated into sympathy for her cause.

He can expect to come under pressure from his coalition partners, the anti-immigration Freedom Party (FPO), to ensure a satisfactory deal is done with the British. British MEP Janice Atkinson, who sits alongside the FPO in the European Parliament, told me they would “absolutely” be “encouraging their coalition partners” to do so.

If Mrs May hopes to persuade the Austrians and Czechs to join her coalition fighting to make the Chequers plan happen, it will not be easy. Czech European minister Ales Chmelar has insisted this morning on the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that she shouldn’t expect to find “loopholes” in the EU position, declaring:

“The fact that we are maybe critical of some aspects of the EU policy, be it in migration or be it in other areas, does not mean that we wouldn’t stand behind a very strong position on the integrity of the single market.”

Some Conservatives are phlegmatic in face of such warnings. “People make the mistake of believing Barnier’s line that the EU negotiates as one, but there are all kinds of moving parts are there,” a source told me. “We’d be selling ourselves short if we didn’t try to get under the bonnet.” One Tory MEP agrees, adding: “It makes sense that we’d be looking for more support from these countries because they’d have the same sympathies that we do.”

However, others are studiously sceptical. “Whilst the Czechs and Austrians will be more sympathetic to the UK, I don’t think we can count on them to rescue Chequers,” Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman warns.

Mrs May’s charm offensive in Salzburg will test whether she can hope to break any of her European counterparts away from the uncompromising public line held by Monsieur Barnier. Her hopes of making Chequers a reality rest on this, as her critics pray that she will accept the EU negotiator’s criticism as the final nail in its coffin. “It was always nonsense, it’s a waste of time and disastrous politically. I hope she pivots pronto,” one Tory backbencher told me.

British Prime Ministers have been prone to obsessing about getting Angela Merkel on their side in any European negotiation. But this has yielded little dividend for Mrs May, given that the German chancellor has worked alongside President Macron to maintain the EU’s unyielding stance. Now she has turned her attention to Europe’s most Brussels-sceptic leaders, in the hope they might – however discretely – join her pro-Chequers coalition.

You can read the article as it appears in thetelegraph.co.uk here.

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25.7.18

theguardian.co.uk

Tory MEP says Treason Act should cover ‘extreme EU loyalty’

Ex-Ukip deputy leader David Bannerman under fire for proposing post-Brexit update

Ben Quinn

A Conservative MEP has come under fire for suggesting that Britain’s Treason Act should be updated to apply to citizens who are “working undemocratically against UK through extreme EU loyalty”.

David Bannerman, a former Ukip deputy leader who defected back to the Conservatives in 2011, told the Guardian he was referring to those who might leak confidential information that would damage Britain’s interests after Brexit.

The MEP tweeted on Wednesday: “It is about time we brought the Treason Act up to date and made it apply to those seeking to destroy or undermine the British state. That means extreme jihadis. It also means those in future actively working undemocratically against UK through extreme EU loyalty.”

His tweet included a copy of Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph front page, which reported on calls for treason laws to be updated and used to prosecute jihadis who have fought in Syria. A report published on Tuesday by the right-leaning Policy Exchange thinktank had said the law should allow enemies of the state to be jailed for life.

Among those criticising Bannerman was the broadcaster Gavin Esler, who is chancellor at the University of Kent. He tweeted at the MEP: “Unfortunately your comment equating support for the EU with jihadis and treason requires no exaggeration – merely an apology to half the population who are sick of such Brexcrement. Since you are sucking on the euro-teat as an MEP have you no shame?”

Virendra Sharma, the Labour MP for Ealing Southall, accused Bannerman of “putting a knife into free speech”.

“One of the best things about this country is the range of opinions that help diversify our political debate. David Bannerman should think long and hard about his spiteful populist rhetoric,” said Sharma in a statement issued by the pro-remain campaign group Best for Britain

Bannerman said he was not referring to those who protest against Brexit or “work democratically” for the UK to join the EU after Brexit.

He said: “I am talking, for example, about the leaking of confidential information on negotiations or other confidential documents to the EU, where the intent is an anti-British one. I am also talking about it after Brexit. In no way would I want to curtail debate.”

Bannerman said the relationship between the UK and the EU would change significantly in future, adding: “The EU would become a separate power, a separate state and we would have to treat it in the same way as China or Russia.”

The comments come amid concern about the tone of some of the language being used by Brexit-supporting media and supporters, including last year’s “Crush the saboteurs” front-page headline in the Daily Mail. Some have also said that the language used in attacks on the investor George Soros over a £400,000 donation to Best for Britain echoes the antisemitic campaign against him made by nationalist groups and governments in eastern European countries.

Treason laws dating back to 1351 are now unworkable, according to the Policy Exchange report, the authors of which included Conservative and Labour MPs. The last person to be convicted under the act was William Joyce, more commonly known as Lord Haw-Haw, who was hanged in 1946 for assisting Nazi Germany.

_____

11-20 July 2018

facts4eu.org

“CHEQUERS IS A KIND OF EUROMUSH”

David Campbell Bannerman MEP
talking exclusively to Brexit Facts4EU.Org

A VERY FRANK & EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH
PRO-BREXIT BRITISH MEP DAVID CAMPBELL BANNERMAN

In a long and forthright EXCLUSIVE interview yesterday, the longest-serving British MEP on the Trade Committee of the EU Parliament, David Campbell Bannerman (‘DCB’), spoke to Brexit Facts4EU.Org about Brexit.

BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY – THE CAMPBELL BANNERMAN TAPES

The Chequers White Paper and the Olly Robbins’ ‘Black Box’ of tricks
How the government has pandered to the EU
Why the UK is called ‘Treasure Island’ by German exporters
How the EU federalist elites are NOT our friends
And how a ‘SuperCanada’ trade proposal could be a simple answer to the future relationship
In the following article you will find a Brexit Facts4EU.Org summary of Mr Campbell Bannerman’s ‘SuperCanada’ trade proposal, which helped to inform the original White Paper which was being produced by David Davis and Steve Baker.

We will then publish the full interview with Mr Campbell Bannerman, which covers a range of Brexit topics and we’re sure you will find this enlightening.

In the meantime, here is a flavour of the full interview:-

SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FIRST PART OF OUR INTERVIEW WITH ‘DCB’

“Chequers is a kind of Euromush.”

“Of course, the Chequers Deal messes with goods and services and it creates a lot of questions.”

“Business Ministers wanted to agree to this sequencing to keep the EU happy and David Davis was overruled right from the start.”

“I think it was all about pandering to the EU.”

“So I think they’ve negotiated well, we’ve negotiated very badly.”

“[The Chequers proposal] is a black-box of policy and even the Brexit department was kept out of that black-box until the last moment – ridiculous.”

“The Chequers proposal is trying to get too many extra benefits out of it and it’s messing with the Single Market, and this is why Barnier’s basically rejected the core of it.”

“What is really worth examining is why are we called ‘Treasure Island’ by a lot of exporters from the EU27, particularly the Germans? Why is Britain regarded as Treasure Island?”

“Are we a patsy for the EU? And is it not time we discovered that and corrected it?”

“Borders are in computers now, they’re not with guys in peaked caps.”

“It’s important to remember that the nation states are our friends. It’s the hardcore federalists and the EU institutions who are NOT our friends.”

Please see the following article to learn more about the ‘SuperCanada’ trade proposal for future relations between the UK and the EU.

OBSERVATIONS

David Campbell Bannerman MEP has been on the trade committee of the EU Parliament for over 9 years. In that time he has built up a good understanding of what the EU prefers when it comes to trade deals.

If the UK is to have any prospect of agreeing the basis of a trade deal with the EU before leaving, a deal based on existing templates will have a greater chance of succeeding.

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22.7.18

thesun.co.uk

Plan A is still Brexit gold, says DAVID CAMPBELL BANNERMAN MEP

SO the Chequers agreement on our future relationship with the EU is holed and sinking. Ten government resignations later, two senior Brexit Cabinet ministers gone, party constituencies angry, UK legislation torpedoing the unworkable future customs arrangement (FCA), even EU officials, polite but damning, saying: “The White Paper is not going to form the basis of the negotiations.”

By David Campbell Bannerman MEP

Boris Johnson said “a fog of self-doubt has descended”, the country “volunteering for economic vassalage” in “the miserable permanent limbo of Chequers… with no way out and no say for the UK”.

Boris also said we have changed tack once and can change again. Brexiteers are attacked for “not having any credible, alternative plan”. This is nonsense. We have a plan and the EU accepted it on March 7. This was Plan A until a cabal in the Cabinet Office led the PM astray, with the unsaleable Plan B of the Chequers agreement. These Rasputins, advisers with unholy influence on the powerful, must go.

So where from here? Our plan was laid out in Mrs May’s Lancaster House speech, a global Britain vision in Boris’s words: “Not just to do a bold, ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, out of the customs union and out of the single market, but also to do new free trade deals around the world.”

For some reason No10 buried this. When I praised government advisers on the best-ever EU trade deal they looked away. The PM too was uncomfortable. Conservative members gasped in disbelief and delight at how far the deal has come.

Courageous Brexit ministers have shown the subterfuge, dishonesty and vested interests. All because Plan A is too good! So we have indulged in months of timewasting and distractions, dead ends such as the EEA or Swiss models, or going back to the customs union and single market.

David Davis felt opponents “believe that being outside the customs union will lead to a precipitate loss of trade and that the loss of the ability to make trade deals matters less than that potential loss of trade… staying inside the customs union favours the shrinking minority of our trade over the expanding, fast-growing majority of that trade… They are trying to defend a false past and giving up a real future.”

Ex-Brexit minister Steve Baker said: “I have been astonished how many colleagues had not noticed that offer which was placed before us, a wide-ranging offer including free trade and no tariffs in all sectors, including services. We have to ask why we have not taken this path.” The governing class “does not believe in Brexit”.

The excuse for abandoning a Canada-style deal was Northern Ireland. The Chequers session started with a claim Plan A would mean the end of the Union. But two weeks later Irish PM Leo Varadkar says the EU will not force a hard border and the UK has ruled one out. So what are we arguing about?

This situation has brought despair to Brexiteers but we are close to realising our free, sovereign, independent nation in control of laws, borders and cash. We can do it. The Government must abandon the Chequers agreement. Accept the EU hates it for messing with its precious four freedoms and single market and that Brexiteers and the Opposition will vote it down. The Government should accept President Tusk’s March 7 offer. We don’t need details, just the framework. Tusk proposed the best deal the EU has offered (what I call Super Canada or CETA++), saying: “I propose we aim for a trade agreement covering all sectors and with zero tariffs on goods [one +]. Like other free trade agreements it should address services [second +].”

The civil servant responsible for the Chequers agreement Olly Robbins must go. Let’s bring in Crawford Falconer, government adviser on non-EU trade deals.

We should prepare for a no deal, better called a world trade deal. This would save £39billion offered to the EU, save £12billion net in EU fees, and gain another £12billion from tariffs on EU goods, less £5billion we would pay in compensation to UK firms.

Even if it’s a no deal we will return to a Super Canada because the UK will be the EU’s largest customer: Japan signed an EU deal and Australia and New Zealand are copying Canada.

We must conclude the Withdrawal Agreement by October’s EU summit or a special November summit to make March 2019. But if we change course we can deliver genuine Brexit. So let’s get back to Plan A – but mean it!

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21.7.18

thesun.co.uk

BRUSSELS BUSINESS ‘GRAB’  = Fury as EU intensifies efforts to lure British firms over Channel — as new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab arrives for first talks

Eurocrats have issued a dossier that states ‘further efforts’ should be made by the EU and Member States to ensure UK businesses have the information to relocate

EUROCRATS sparked fury last night by urging member states to intensify efforts to help UK firms leave Britain — as the new Brexit Secretary flew to Brussels.

Cabinet Minister Dominic Raab endured a baptism of fire as Eurocrats shredded Britain’s trade plan and launched a brazen bid to lure companies across the Channel.

In a 15-page no-deal warning, the bloc’s top official Martin Selmayr said EU member states should intensify efforts to welcome companies fleeing the UK.

It states “further efforts” should be made by the EU and Member States to ensure businesses have the information to relocate.

Eurosceptics last night raged at the timing of the publication and accused Brussels of deliberately trying to humiliate Mr Raab. It was released just hours before the Brexit Secretary was due to meet EU counterpart Michel Barnier for the first time.

Some within the EU also privately queried why the document was released on such a sensitive day in the negotiations.

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman told The Sun: “The EU is being typically arrogant and aggressive with this announcement.

“It really doesn’t help us reach a deal, especially with time so short and with the first visit of the new Brexit Secretary. It’s thoughtless.”

Last night Mr Raab urged both sides to “heat up” negotiations over a trade deal. But a brief press appearance only served to lay bare the deep division between the two sides over where the talks should be focussed.

It came as the International Monetary Fund said a ‘No Deal’ would have a significant impact on the EU economy.

Standing alongside the Brexit Secretary, Mr Barnier warned: “We have a lot of work to do. We must finalise the Withdrawal Agreement and we are not yet there.

“It is a matter of urgency to agree on a legally operative backstop for Ireland and Northern Ireland. We need an all-weather insurance policy.”

In a negotiating session with Theresa May’s top Brexit official, Olly Robbins, negotiators for Brussels fired off question after question about how Britain’s new ‘Soft Brexit’ plan would work.

And EU diplomats who met on Wednesday to discuss the UK’s proposals left more worried about the prospects of a no deal exit.

The Sun understands that France wanted to release a statement panning the Chequers blueprint but was dissuaded from speaking out by other countries.

However, in the meeting Member States expressed “a lot of concern” that the UK is trying to backslide on its commitment to an Irish backstop.

One EU diplomat told The Sun: “There were a hell of a lot of questions. We’re trying to be constructive but we have to be honest that this doesn’t meet our guidelines yet.

“Finishing up the Withdrawal Agreement is key. If Raab is trying to steer the conversation back to the White Paper that’s difficult.

“We don’t even know whether the White Paper stands these days, whether it’s still white or whether it’s more of a grey paper now.”

However the diplomat did praise Mr Raab, predicting “he’ll be a better negotiator than David Davis” because he takes a greater interest in details.

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21.7.18

telegraph.co.uk

Former Brexit minister Steve Baker: We’re on course for a ‘half-in, half-out wrecked Brexit’

“Our democracy is under threat if we continue down this path,” says Steve Baker, who resigned his post at the Department for Exiting the European Union earlier this month. He’s joined on this week’s Chopper’s Brexit Podcast by former Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening, who is campaigning for a new three-way referendum; and by David Campbell Bannerman, who believes that a Canada style trade-deal with the EU is entirely within reach.

Also on the menu: political forecasting from the Telegraph’s Whitehall editor, Ed Malnick, and a Brexit-themed song from Leavers of London founder Lucy Harris.

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21.7.18

dailymail.co.uk

Irish PM faces backlash for threatening to BAN British planes from their airspace in event of Brexit ‘no-deal’ as May attacks EU’s ‘unworkable’ plans for border

  • Irish PM threatens to block UK planes from Irish airspace if there is no Brexit deal
  • Critics dismissed his sabre-rattling pointing out flights from Dublin go over UK 
  • Theresa May is delivering speech on Brexit during her visit to Northern Ireland
  • The Prime Minister will condemn the EU’s plan for Irish border as ‘unworkable’ 

So what would happen if we just walked away?

MONEY

Leaving without a deal would mean an immediate Brexit on March 29 after tearing up a 21-month transition agreement. This included giving £39billion to the EU, which ministers would no longer have to pay, a House of Lords report claims.

GOODS TRADE

The Chequers agreement effectively proposed keeping Britain in the single market for goods and agriculture to preserve ‘frictionless’ trade and protect the economy.

Customs checks on cross-Channel freight would cause havoc at ports, hitting food supplies and other goods.

Even Brexiteers admit to a big economic impact in the short term. Britain could waive customs checks on EU produce to free up backlogs, but would Brussels do the same?

TARIFFS

All EU-UK trade in goods is free of tariffs in the single market.

Trade would revert to World Trade Organisation rules. The EU would charge import tariffs averaging 2-3 per cent on goods, but up to 60 per cent for some agricultural produce, damaging UK exporters.

We have a trade deficit with the EU of £71billion – they sell us more than we sell them – so the EU overall would lose out.

German cars and French agriculture would be worst hit, as would UK regions with large export industries. Tariffs could also mean price inflation. But UK trade with the EU is 13 per cent of GDP and falling compared to non-EU trade, which generates a surplus and is likely to grow. The outlook would be boosted by Britain’s ability to strike trade deals.

IMMIGRATION

The UK would immediately have control over its borders and freedom to set migration policy on all EU migrants.

UK nationals would likely lose their right to live and work in the EU. There would be legal uncertainty for the 1.3million Britons living in the EU and the 3.7million EU nationals here.

CITY OF LONDON

Many firms have already made contingency plans for no deal, but there would probably be a significant degree of disruption and an economic hit.

Ministers would be likely to take an axe to tax and regulations to preserve the UK’s economic advantage.

AEROPLANES

Fears of planes not being able to fly appear far-fetched – unless the EU is determined to destroy both business and tourism. Rules to keep planes in the air are likely to be agreed. The EU has many deals with non-EU countries as part of its Open Skies regime.

EUROPEAN COURTS

Britain would be free from the edicts of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and all EU laws. Parliament would be sovereign.

FARMING & FISHING

THE UK would quit the Common Agricultural Policy, which gives farmers and landowners £3billion in subsidies. Ministers would come under pressure to continue a form of subsidy.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Northern Ireland would be outside the EU, with no arrangements on how to manage 300 crossing points on the 310-mile border.

The EU would want Ireland to impose customs and other checks to protect the bloc’s border – something it has said it will not do. No deal could blow a hole in the Good Friday Agreement, with pressure on all sides to find a compromise.

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18.7.18

telegraph.co.uk

Theresa May could sue the European Union for not doing enough to stop no-deal Brexit chaos

The European Union could be taken to court if it fails to minimise any disruption to trade caused by Britain having to leave without a deal, The Telegraph has learned.

This comes after Theresa May revealed over the weekend that she had been advised by Donald Trump last year to “sue the EU”, with legal experts pointing out to this newspaper that she could have picked such a legal fight over the “phasing” of the talks.

The EU agreed five years ago, as a member of the World Trade Organisation, to put in “additional trade facilitation measures related to import, export, or transit formalities and procedures” in order to minimise any delays to trade with another country.

The European Commission boasted that the WTO’s “Trade Facilitation Agreement”, which came into force last year, would be the Union’s chance to be an “example to follow” for the world as “an engine for further progress in trade facilitation” internationally.

However, many member states will reportedly not have enough customs inspectors in place to handle the extra workload arising from ‘no deal’ Brexit for at least a year after Britain departs in March 2019.

By contrast, HM Revenue and Customs is currently on track to having its new Customs Declaration Service ready in time for Brexit. In its latest report, the National Audit Office noted that “HMRC has made progress in developing its contingency plans, and has reduced the risk of it not having an operational system in place next March.”

Senior Conservative Eurosceptics warned that EU chiefs would deal “immense damage” to European businesses, as well as break international law, if they fall short in their preparations.

David Jones, former minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union, told the Telegraph: “The EU should recognise that the UK, after Brexit, will be its biggest export market and ensure that customs facilities are in place to ensure smooth, continued trade.

“So far, the EU has been negotiating slowly in the hope that the UK will offer a large sum of money the break the impasse. However, it has to recognise the reality of Brexit. If there is no free trade agreement or transition arrangement in place on exit day, they will have to be ready to trade with us on WTO terms. Not to do will cause immense damage to EU businesses.”

Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman, who sits on the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee, added: “The WTO, not the EU, sets global trading standards and the EU must follow these WTO rules. The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement applies to all members, and the EU should be honouring this agreement for their customs procedures”.

The British Government could justifiably drag the EU to court if it fails to do enough to ensure trade can proceed smoothly post-Brexit. “They will have had two years to get ready from the moment Article 50 was triggered,” Martin Howe QC, an expert on European law, told The Telegraph. “They are under a legal obligation to make sure their customs are up and running for the volume of goods they’ll need to process from March 2019”. A legal case, he added, could force EU member states to “accelerate” their plans to minimise delays.

However, others legal experts warn that the row would not be swift – or easy – to resolve. Cambridge professor Catherine Barnard, senior fellow at The UK in a Changing Europe think-tank, said: “If the EU (or rather the Member States) did nothing – or very little due to the lack of trained staff – to stop trade disruption on Brexit day they may be in breach of their international obligations under the TFA but what would the remedy be?

“Small and medium-sized enterprises who are meant to be the beneficiaries of the TFA have no direct access to the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanism and so would be reliant on the UK to take action on their behalf which may – may not – be in the UK’s interests to do at the time.”

Meanwhile, lawyer Dr Gunnar Beck, a senior fellow at Policy Exchange, said that the process could be “long and drawn-out”. “The EU’s commitment to the rule of law is highly selective,” he added. “The EU readily subverts international law when it suits its own objectives.”

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8 July 2018

express.co.uk

EU WON’T PAY: MEPs reject reforms bringing transparency to £4,000-a-month expenses claims
EURO-MPs have rejected planned reforms which would open up their expenses claims to greater transparency with critics branding the decision “absolutely scandalous”.

The Bureau of the European Parliament voted by a narrow majority to throw out proposals to forcing MEPs to keep receipts, employ a professional paying agent to carry out checks on their General Expenditure Allowance (GEA) and return unused funds.

The reform was supported by Vice-Presidents of Greens, Liberals, Left and Italian Five Stars with two Social-Democrats on their side.

The GEA of almost £4,000 per month is designed for office expenses such as rent and stationery and is paid on top of salaries as a tax free lump sum.

Voting down transparency of MEP’s expenses is a shoot in the foot of the European democracy
Sven Giegold
It adds up to a total of more than £35m a year and currently goes directly to MEPs’ personal bank accounts with no transparency around how the money is spent and no obligation to return unused funds.

The vote came a year after European Parliament President Antonio Tajani pledged to bring greater transparency to how the Uu’s 751 MEPs are compensated for expenses.

The European Parliament‘s rapporteur for transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions, Sven Giegold, said: “Voting down transparency of MEP’s expenses is a shoot in the foot of the European democracy.

“The argument of Christian-Democrats and some Social-Democrats on administrative cost is tragically short sighted when anti-European populists search for our every wrongdoing.

“The apparent lack of transparency of the GEA threatens to weaken the European Parliament‘s fight against misspending of EU funds and corruption.“

Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman said: “The perfect answer is to leave the EU, which we’re doing.

“The whole system is outrageous. It’s a very patchy system and the bureau doesn’t want to do anything about it. Sometimes no one knows quite where the money goes.”

Campaign group Transparency International branded the decision “absolutely scandalous”.

Read the article in the express here.

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25 June 2018

express.co.uk

‘ARROGANCE’ Rees-Mogg hits out at IMF chief Lagarde in Brexit row

THE HEAD of the International Monetary Fund faced a furious backlash last night after claiming Brexit will spark a mass relocation of City firms to the EU.

Christine Lagarde, a key figure in the “Project Fear” propaganda blitz in the run up the 2016 referendum on the UK’s EU membership, suggested the country’s departure from the bloc next March would mean an “influx” for the euro zone.

She urged Europe’s financial regulators to step up preparations for the movement of business from London to the continent and to Ireland after Britain’s break with Brussels.

But her remarks provoked criticism from Brexit supporters last night, who pointed out that a series of doom-laded forecasts from the IMF about the effects of the vote to leave the EU on the economy had been proved wrong.

And they appeared to fly in the face of signals from Deutsche Bank and other leading financial institutions that Brexit will not lead to an exodus from the City.

Read the full story, including David’s comments here.

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7 June 2018

thesun.co.uk

European leaders are warning businesses on the continent not to use British parts in their goods after Brexit

Manufacturers in the EU have been told products that are partially made in the UK could be harder to export to the rest of the world.

In a notice to its companies the Dutch government advised switching to suppliers based within the bloc. And eurocrats added fuel to the fire by warning trading partners could challenge EU businesses to prove their wares weren’t part made in the UK.

But last night Brexit Secretary David Davis brushed aside the warnings. He said: “Contingency planning always look bleak because you don’t plan to end up there.” And other British politicians and business leaders warned the bloc it will suffer if it tries to “bully” our manufacturers.

John Longworth, former director-general of the British Chamber of Commerce, told The Sun: “It would be quite ridiculous for the EU to organise a trade war with the UK.

“If we were to switch to domestic production and to tariff free imports from the rest of the world, continental producers will suffer greatly since they sell far more to the UK than we sell to the continent.

“For EU countries to be suggesting sanctions is a very aggressive act, it shows how right we were to decide to leave the bullying EU, after all who would want to be a member of a club that behaves like that.”

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman, who sits on the EU Parliament’s trade committee, added: “UK producers like Mini or Nissan are already re-sourcing within the UK, which is excellent news for UK jobs, manufacturers and the economy.

Read the full article here.

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31 May 2018

express.co.uk

Brexit border MADNESS: Ress-Mogg urges UK to follow Swiss model that simplifies customs

SENIOR Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg last night demanded the EU cease its efforts to frustrate Brexit and resolve the Northern Ireland border issue. The leading Brexiteer is one of many who thinks Britain could model the province’s post-Brexit boundary on Switzerland’s frictionless frontier.

Mr Rees-Mogg issued a rallying cry after the Daily Express saw at first hand how the Swiss manage to avoid a hard border by using technology and assessing risk.

Surrounded by EU member states, its borders with Germany, France, Italy and Austria run smoothly despite it remaining resolutely outside the customs union.

This, he said, was a prime example of how the EU is capable of resolving complex border issues when it wants to.

Read the full story here.

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30 May 2018

thesun.co.uk

How Italy’s political crisis could bring down the euro after squashed government bid by populist parties

Italy’s President, who vetoed Eurosceptic finance minister, has now asked pro-austerity ex-IMF banker to form a government.

Shares and bond markets plunged after Italian President Sergio Mattarella vetoed the appointment of a Eurosceptic finance minister in a new anti-establishment coalition.

Read the full story here.

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29 May 2018

dailymail.co.uk

Fury at Italian president’s ‘appalling’ betrayal as he ignores impeachment calls and puts a Europhile in power after rejecting the populist parties’ choice for finance minister

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman said: ‘It’s appalling…This has the hallmarks of the EU’s handiwork in order to save the euro and the great project.

‘It seems incredible that the Italian president can overturn a democratically elected government with over 50 per cent of the vote just to stop an anti-euro finance minister getting in.

The EU is in full panic about the implications of Italy reviewing staying in the euro. It’s meltdown time again.’

Ukip MEP Margot Parker added: ‘This is a slap in the face against the democratic will of Italian voters…They’re effectively saying “you can’t have that, they must be pro-Europe”.’

Read the full story here.

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28 May 2018

express.co.uk

£800k funds for post-Brexit EU election

LEADING Tories yesterday hit out at UK election watchdogs for setting aside £829,000 of public money to oversee elections to the European Parliament.

Voting will take place weeks after Britain leaves the bloc and ceases to have any MEPs.

The Electoral Commission insisted that it was just a “precautionary measure” in the “unlikely event” the elections took place in Britain next May.

But the news fuelled suspicions among Brexiteers, who claim the Commission has a pro-Remain bias.

Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith said: “It is complete madness to earmark money to spend on an election that the Prime Minister has already said we will not fight – unless you are working to make sure the UK stays in the EU, in which case you are working against the British people.”

Pro-Brexit Tory David Campbell Bannerman, one of 73 British MEPs poised to lose their jobs on Brexit day next spring, told the Daily Express: “The one symbol of actually leaving the European Union on March 29 next year is the loss of MEPs and Brits working in EU institutions.

Read the full story here.

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thesun.co.uk 10 May 2018

Brexiteers are doubly furious at the PM’s trade envoy, whose job is to forge global trade deals, as she voted against them.

THERESA May let rip at the House of Lords after pro-EU Peers voted to bind her hands at the EU negotiating table demanding Britain stays in the single market.

No10 said the Prime Minister was “strongly disappointed” after a string of 14 defeats on Brexit in the House of Lords.

Last night Mrs May came under fresh pressure to punish Lords who hold roles representing the government – but voted against her.

Furious Brexit Ministers and Tory whips were enraged after pro-EU Baroness McGregor Smith ignored warnings and voted with Labour to keep Britain a member of the European Economic Area after Brexit.

The move would wreck Britain’s ability to forge trade deals with other countries.

Brexiteers were doubly furious because the devout Remainer and businesswoman serves as the PM’s personal trade envoy, tasked with drumming up business with other countries.

Baroness McGregor Smith, the PM’s personal trade envoy, voted to keep us in the single market, wrecking the chance to forge global trade deals.

MEP David Campbell Bannerman said the peer must be stripped of the whip.

Senior MEP David Campbell Bannerman said the peer must be stripped of the whip. He blasted: “It is absolutely peculiar for her to vote for a customs union that would prevent us from doing trade deals – which is meant to be her job.

“She should lose the whip. We can’t have Conservative peers voting for such damaging positions – especially those that serve that government.”

Yesterday Mrs May’s official spokesman said: “We are strongly disappointed by the votes last night. The legislation is intended to deliver the smooth Brexit which is in the interests of everybody in the UK.

“We will not accept attempts to use this legislation to stop us taking back control of our money, our laws and our borders.”

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foxnews.com

Middle East analysts debate how to solve Syrian civil war, at Rome conference

U.S., European, Russian and Arab analysts at a conference in Rome, while pondering the best “security architecture” for the Middle East, admitted — or at least some of them did — that talk of the necessity for a “political,” as opposed to “military,” solution for Syria is somewhat flawed given facts already on the ground.

Gumer Isaev, head of the Center for Contemporary Middle East Studies, in Saint Petersburg, Russia, pointed out that: “Assad is solving his problems with weapons.” And that, he added, does point to a weak position among Western countries. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, many say, essentially has won the war. Those who want a different outcome may not have much leverage at this point.

Read the full story including David’s comments here.

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29.4.18

express.co.uk

Brexit could end food banks as supermarket prices DROP

LEAVING the customs union could eliminate the need for food banks as prices become much cheaper, research has found.

HUGE tariffs on imported food products could be reduced post-Brexit. Food products imported from outside the European Union are currently subject to huge tariffs.

Post-Brexit, the Government will have the power to reduce these tariffs which could see huge savings for consumers.

Around half a million Britons are estimated to use the UK’s 800 food banks every year.

Typical products available include sugar, which is subject to a 104 per cent tariff, breakfast cereal (39.3 per cent tariff) and squash (38.6 per cent tariff).

Camilla Tominey

Read the full article and David’s research findings quoted here.

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17.4.18

Tory MEP accuses Iran of ‘sponsorship of terror’ 

www.italianinsider.it

ROME – David Campbell Bannerman encouraged the audience of the Monday conference to “wake up to the reality” of the Iranian influence in the Middle East, accusing Iran of having a “record of destabilization” and a pattern of “sponsorship of terror.”

Read David’s comments in the italianinsider article here.

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12.4.18

eureporter.co.uk

Azerbaijan president back in power with landslide

Exit polls after the vote closed on 11 April estimated totals of between 83-86% in the incumbent’s favour and these were effectively confirmed this morning (12 April) by the country’s Central Election Commission.

While these are officially preliminary results, they represent some 92% of votes cast.

Countrywide turnout was around 75% of the more than five million citizens eligible to vote, with Aliyev’s nearest rivals polling around 3% each.

The winner will now begin his fourth consecutive term as the nation’s head of state.

Read David’s comments in the eureporter article here.

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10.4.18

The Good Friday Agreement has nothing to fear from Brexit

It hardly seems like two decades since the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) was signed. Much of the groundwork for it – I’d say around 70 per cent – was laid by John Major, to his great credit, and more directly by my boss, Sir (later Lord) Patrick (‘Paddy’) Mayhew, who I had the honour to serve as Special Adviser to at the Northern Ireland Office 1996-97.

Read David’s full article in the telegraph.co.uk here.

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7.4.18

express.co.uk

THOUSANDS of Venezuelans FLEE ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist PALS’ for new life in EU

EU STATISTICS show there has been a 3,500% surge in asylum applications from Venezuela over the last three years with people fleeing the left-wing regime for a new life in Europe, it has been reported.

Read David’s comments in the express article here.

6.4.18

thesun.co.uk

Jeremy Corbyn red-faced after Eurocrats announce 3,500% surge in citizens fleeing socialist dystopian state Venezuela for the EU

Official EU statistics show the number of people fleeing the left-wing regime for Europe has sky-rocketed over the last three years

Read David’s comments in the express article here.

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29/03/2018

HuffPost UK (@HuffPostUK)

@ChukaUmunna @DCBMEP .@DCBMEP sides with the views of most from our #PeoplesNegotiation – though not with Umunna – on having a second referendum, adding he fears it ‘undermines democracy’ #1yrArticle50 huffp.st/d8k4YRH pic.twitter.com/JuEh5zRcDt

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26.3.18

express.co.uk

“Labour PLOT to give MPs a VETO to decide whether UK can LEAVE EU without deal sparks FURY”

LABOUR sparked fury today with a plan to give Parliament a veto on whether Britain can leave the European Union without a deal if Brussels’ terms are unacceptable.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said his party would work with others to stop the UK automatically “crashing out” without a deal if Parliament votes down the agreement Theresa May concludes with Brussels.

Labour will now work with other parties to rewrite the EU (Withdrawal) Bill now being debated so that if MPs reject the eventual deal, it will be for Parliament, not the Government, to decide what happens next.

Read David’s comments in the express article here.

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24.3.18

telegraph.co.uk

A hurried Brexit will play into EU’s hands

“After over four decades of membership, extracting ourselves is a complex process. British businesses, not least our exporters, need time to adjust. It’s also clear the European Commission will keep making it as difficult as possible for the UK to agree a post-Brexit trading relationship with the remaining 27 EU member states.”

Read the full article by  in the telegraph online here.

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thesun.co.uk 17.3.18

David is quoted in this Sun article:

“MINISTERS did not sign off a secret “KitKat” briefing to EU diplomats from top civil servants, The Sun can reveal.

Last night furious Brexiteers formally complained to Theresa May after The Sun reported Whitehall officials had secretly updated ambassadors from six EU countries on Britain’s sweeping Brexit defence deal plans before telling MPs.”

Read the full article, and David’s comments by clicking here.

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15.3.18 conservativeeurope.com

Conservative MEPs oppose European Union “tax trespass”

Measures which would reduce the ability of Member States to set their own corporate taxes have been strongly opposed by Conservative MEPs. At the European Parliament in Strasbourg today they voted against proposals to introduce an EU Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB). This would bring together the earnings firms make across the bloc and distribute tax revenues based on where revenue is generated.

The reports also recommend a minimum level of corporation tax, which Member States would not be able to go below when formulating their national tax regimes, and call for individual countries to lose their right to veto EU tax legislation.
Read the full article by David on the conservativeeurope.com website here.

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13.3.18 bbc.co.uk/news

The UK will come to “regret” the decision to leave the EU, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has warned.

Addressing the European Parliament, Mr Juncker was cheered by Eurosceptic MEPs as he noted the UK’s departure was due on 29 March, 2019.

In response he said the time would come “when you will regret your decision”.

MEPs’ Brexit representative, Guy Verhofstadt, said the UK had to move beyond the “slogans and soundbites”.

But he said that the UK and EU were “very near” to an agreement on citizens’ rights post Brexit.

Read the article in full and David’s comments here.

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14.3.18 express.co.uk

Brexit latest: EU trade plan closer to British ideal

Brexit HOPE as ‘balanced’ EU trade deal on the horizon as Brussels signals MAJOR shiftBRITAIN’S Brexit hopes got a lift yesterday with signs the EU is shifting in favour of the kind of trade deal sought by Theresa May.

Read David’s comments in the article here.

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5.3.18  thetelegraph.co.uk

Theresa May believes the Canada-US customs regime can provide a blueprint for solving the Irish border problem when Britain leaves the EU. Canada and the US are not part of a customs union but have a trade deal that allows tens of thousands of border crossings each day using a trusted trader scheme to avoid delays.

Read the full article in thetelegraph.co.uk

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5.3.18 thetelegraph.co.uk

The EU may now be taken aback by our far-sighted Brexit plan. That will be good for us all

The Prime Minister delivered an excellent, well-honed speech, with great authority, confidence and grasp of the complexities of the subject on Friday. The depth of thinking right across a host of subjects was in very clear in contrast to the naked opportunism and stunted illogicality of Corbyn’s Labour.

Read David’s article in full at telegraph.co.uk

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1.3.18
thesun.co.uk

Jeremy Corbyn accused of undermining Brexit after senior Labour MPs’ pilgrimages to Brussels

Top Tories said the Labour leader is plotting with eurocrats to try and force Britain into a customs union.

JEREMY Corbyn has been accused of “conspiring” with Michel Barnier to undermine Brexit after a series of senior Labour figures’ pilgrimages to Brussels.

Top Tories said the Labour leader is plotting with eurocrats to try and force Britain into a customs union.

Read David’s comments in the piece by clicking here.

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23.2.18

Express.co.uk:

JEAN-Claude Juncker has been mocked after he claimed that Britain would be better off if he was prime minister.

The president of the European Commission made the suggestion as he entered a meeting with the heads of government of the other 27 EU states as they prepared to discuss Brexit

But leading Tory MEP Daniel Hannan said that Mr Juncker appeared to have missed the point about the whole referendum and how Britain wanted rid of him and Brussels rule.

He tweeted: “That’s kinda what the whole referendum thing was about.”

Read David’s comments in this article by clicking here.

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20.2.18

Brexitcentral.com

The ‘SuperCanada’ option remains the best basis for a UK-EU trade deal

For several years now, I have been arguing for a ‘SuperCanada’ (or CETA+++) bespoke deal with the EU to replace our EU membership. In the next few weeks, it’s very possible this will become the UK’s agreed position after Cabinet level discussions.

I would be relieved rather than celebratory if this were to be the case, as I honestly believe SuperCanada works for all sides and avoids many of the complications of trying to half stay in the EU, Single Market, EEA or, critically, the EU Customs Union.

We’d be simply like many other free, sovereign, independent nations – such as Japan, the USA or India – seeking a friendly and mutually advantageous trade deal with the EU.

Read the full article by David on brexitcentral.com by clicking here.

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Express.co.uk

Tory MEP’s BRILLIANT point reveals why Brussels ‘need’ a trade deal with Brexit Britain

David Campbell Bannerman, a Conservative MEP, warned Mr Verhofstadt to listen to what EU member states are demanding from negotiations.

Mr Verhofstadt spoke with Andrew Marr on Sunday as Britain’s negotiators are meeting their EU counterparts this week to continue talks.

The EU and Michel Barnier have called for Britain to “make up its mind” on what it wants in the next phase of negotiations.

Read the full article by clicking here.

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11.2.18

telegraph.co.uk

Local Tory members fight ‘power grab’ by Whitehall HQ

David Campbell Bannerman MEP interviewed for The Telegraph:
He said: the changes to candidate selection would allow associations to be “steamrollered” in the manner of “panicky” selections made ahead of last year’s election.

Read the full article by clicking here.

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2.2.18

Politico.eu

Tory Brexit hard-liners ponder next move

Supporters of hard Brexit on the Conservative backbenches have the numbers to topple Theresa May if she veers from their chosen path.

Read David’s comments in the article by clicking here.

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2.2.18

Telegraph.co.uk:

Brussels is starting to realise how much it needs our business

An MEP colleague, former head of German industry through the BDI, recently announced that German business is “panicking” about the possibility of a no deal with the UK. He says the EU is only just waking up to the fact a post-Brexit UK will become the largest market for the rest of the EU.

Read the full article by David Campbell Bannerman, on The Telegraph website, by clicking here.

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1.2.18

EU will have to make Brexit concessions: Juncker admits UK will be ‘privileged partner’

EXPRESS.CO.UK:

EUROPEAN COMMISSION President Jean Claude Juncker has admitted that the EU will be forced to give Britain a special deal and make it a “privileged partner”. In a major retreat from the Commission’s hardline punishment agenda, Mr Juncker has conceded that national interests within the EU’s 27 members will mean they have to make concessions to Britain.

Read David’s comments in the article here.

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30.1.18

Davis vows Brexit transition will last until 2020

EXPRESS.CO.UK:

DAVID Davis has pledged that a proposed transition period between Britain leaving the EU and full independence will not last any longer than two years.

The comments by the Brexit secretary has calmed concerns that Britain could be locked in an endless transition period which would mean it remained under Brussels rule as a “vassal state” with no influence.

Speaking to the Lords’ EU committee Mr Davis also said that the UK intends to remain on key committees influencing EU decisions during the transition or implementation period where the UK will still have to accept rules from Brussels.

Read the full article, which includes David Campbell Bannerman’s response, by clicking here.

 

After Trump’s warm words, should the UK put a trade deal with the US top of the priority list?

CITY A.M:

After Trump’s warm words, should the UK put a trade deal with the US top of the priority list?

David Campbell Bannerman MEP, board member of Leave Means Leave, says YES.

The US is still the largest economy in the world. President Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut will also be like adding rocket fuel to their consumer economy.

Read the whole article by David, along with Alison McGovern, in the CITY A.M article here.

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30/11/17

Michel Barnier: Brexit Britain is RUNNING AWAY from a war against Islamic jihadis

MICHEL BARNIER provoked outrage by suggesting Britain was selfish and ran away from the fight against Islamic State by backing Brexit. The inflammatory comments were made in a speech in a security conference in Berlin ahead of a set of talks over the next fortnight.

You can read the full story in the Express here.

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29/11/17

Britain can survive EU Brexit ‘no deal’ admits Bank of England

THE BANK of England has admitted that Britain is strong enough to survive a “no deal” with the European Union despite its previous gloomy forecasts.

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman has said that Project Fear appears to be stumbling.

You can read the full story in the Express here.

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28/11/17

DEBATE: Is the UK remaining in the Customs Union the only answer to the Northern Ireland border question? | City A.M.

“The answer is not for the UK to remain in the Customs Union, and nor should we make the Irish Sea a customs border – especially with 59 per cent of exports from Northern Ireland going to the rest of the UK.”

Read the full article in City AM featuring David’s view here.

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10/11/17

Brexit news: EU membership costs almost £1billion A WEEK:

Read the story here

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5/11/17

Q&A: Trade talks with Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman

Read more here

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25/10/17

David appears on BBC Three Counties Radio.

You can listen to the clip here:

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18/10/17

‘UK must pay as much as possible, as long as possible!’ Poland’s outburst on Brexit bill

POLAND’S foreign minister has reportedly vowed that Britain will be made to pay “as much as possible, for as long as possible” as part of a mammoth divorce settlement with the EU. Read the full article from the Express online here.

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18/10/17

Brexit future? Canada hails its trade deal with EU as ‘like being in the Common Market’

BRITAIN should look to replicate Canada’s trade deal with the EU which delivers the benefits of the old Common Market without the obligations of a European superstate, a leading MEP has said. Read the full article from The Express online here.

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12/10/17

David Campbell Bannerman MEP appeared on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s drivetime show

You can hear the full interview here:

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28/9/17

The “Campaign for Conservative Democracy” is aiming to wrestle back influence from CCHQ, which it condemns as “autocratic” and “over-centralised”

‘Grassroots Plot to “Democratise” Tory Party and “Seize Control” From CCHQ’. Read the full article here.

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27/9/17

EU demands £10bn to fund Brussels pensions in bid to squeeze cash out of British taxpayer

Eastern Counties MEP David Campbell Bannerman is quoted in the Express online: “We cannot just continue going round in circles with these ludicrous demands.”

Read the full article here.

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21/9/17

David Campbell Bannerman MEP in BBC Radio 5 Debate on eve of Theresa May’s Florence speech.

You can listen to the interview here:

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5/9/17

EU in a panic because its ‘illogical’ Brexit talks strategy is not working, says Tory MEP

Eastern Counties MEP David Campbell Bannerman said BRUSSELS has been thrown into a panic because its attempts to force Britain into backing down in the Brexit negotiations are not working.

You can read the full interview in the Express here.

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MEP criticises senior EU Commissioner for attempts to stop Brexit from being a success

‘Brussels bigwig harangued as he continues EU’s efforts to PUNISH Britain for Brexit
BREXITEERS got it wrong when claiming Britain will be better off outside the European Union and will suffer as a result of the divorce, a senior EU Commissioner claims.’

Eastern Counties MEP David Campbell Bannerman was quoted in the Express. You can read the full article here.

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4/8/17

MEP Urges Faster Action on Brexit Deal

Interviewed on the Nick Ferrari show on LBC,  Eastern Counties MEP David Campbell Bannerman  demanded faster action with the EU free trade agreement and Brexit “We need to get on with it. It’s much simpler than other trade deals.”

The MEP noted that the UK trade deal would be simpler because ‘we have no tariffs now, we have no quotas and all our laws are convergent.” During the interview, David Campbell Bannerman described all the negativity and so-called difficulty with Brexit as a “deliberate attempt to slow the whole thing down and to undermine Brexit.” During the interview,  he agreed that the Government must protect the service sector and the City of London and noted that’s “what we’re going to spend two years doing.

You can read more about the interview and watch a clip here.

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25/7/17

‘The EU is BROKEN’ Tory MEP hits out at Brussels over ‘nonsensical’ Brexit divorce bill

Interviewed on Sky News, Eastern Counties MEP David Campbell Bannerman said that “I think more seriously what could completely be the brick wall on these talks in my view is the issue of cash, you can’t just say this is what we think you owe us without any real argument behind it.”

The MEP also noted that“The British Government is arguing for how are you getting to any figures – €60billion, €100bn, I think it’s nonsensical.
“I think we should pay our fees as long as we’re a member and it’s £19bn gross a year, £38bn over two years of this Article 50 process that we are committed to but anything more than that I just don’t understand the logic of it – apart from the EU being broke potentially.”

The full report can be read in the Express here

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17/7/17

EU Divorce Bill of £87Bn is ‘Fantasy’

Interviewed in the International Business Times, Eastern Counties MEP David Campbell Bannerman labelled the EU’s Brexit divorce bill as “pure fantasy”.

The MEP noted that “The UK is committed to paying its daily contributions until we leave in two years,” he said. “After we leave, we should be paying to access programmes such as Horizon 2020 research or agencies such as the European Space Agency. Unexplained payout demands such as £87bn are pure fantasy.

You can read the full article here.

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7/7/17

‘Running scared’! Brussels terrified UK will storm out of Brexit talks over EU’s demands’

Interviewed in the Express,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP who sits on both the European Parliament’s Brexit monitoring group and Trade committee, said that Brussels have “ realised that us walking out of the talks and not coming back is a serious possibility.   There is nothing to be frightened of because the reality is that despite the rhetoric we are in a much stronger position than they are because of the trade deficit we have with the EU’.    In the interview, the MEP noted that the thinktank Civitas had found that EU exporters would pay £13 billion in tariffs to the UK while Britain would be only liable for £5 billion to the EU.

You can read the full story here.

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5/6/17

Eastern Counties MEP Urges Tough Measures Against British Jihadists

Interviewed on the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire show ‘The Big Conversation’ on the 5th of June 2017, Eastern Counties MEP David Campbell Bannerman said that he wanted to see tough measures introduced against the thousands of Jihadi extremists in the UK.   The MEP said that the UK is now in a war situation and emergency powers should be adopted to deal with the jihadists. He noted that the UK security services are monitoring some 500 active plots at any one time with 3,000 people  considered to pose a real terrorist threat.  A further 20,000 have been investigated by the security services and are said to pose a ‘residual risk’.

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2/6/17

Conservatives Best for Business

Interviewed on the Anglia ITV News on Friday 2nd of June 2017,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP argued that the Conservatives have the best record and manifesto for businesses in the Eastern Region and that Jeremy Corbyn would be a disaster in the UK’s Brexit negotiations which are due to start only eleven days after the General Election.

Visit the ‘TV Highlights & Speeches‘ page or go directly to David’s Youtube channel here.

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1/6/17

David Campbell-Bannerman MEP: Trade, Tariffs and Trash Talk

Interviewed in the Cambridge University student newspaper ‘Varsity’,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP said that Brexit Britain would receive a similar deal with the EU as Canada.  You can read the full article here.

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31/5/17

Labour’s Bad Brexit Could Cost UK Billions

Speaking on the World at One on BBC Radio 4, David Campbell Bannerman MEP said that only Theresa May could get a good Brexit deal whilst a Labour deal would cost the country billions. You can read the Daily Express coverage here or listen to the full interview.

You can listen to the interview here:

 

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11/5/17

David Campbell Bannerman Interviewed on Radio 5 Live About Labour’s Plans for Renationalisation

Interviewed on Five Live Daily,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP said that rail franchising had seen a huge expansion of passenger numbers onto British railways along with a huge investment programme of £38 billion to improve services.  The MEP noted that the Labour leadership were on Planet Delusion for wanting rail nationalisation which would return the flourishing British rail network back to the 1970s.

You can listen to the interview here:

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5/5/17

David Campbell Bannerman Podcast Interview

Eastern Counties MEP,  David Campbell Bannerman was interviewed by leading columnist and author James Delingpole about Brexit,  Snowflakes and the forthcoming General Election.  You can listen to the podcast here.

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5/4/17

Eastern Counties MEP Criticises European Parliament and Nigel Farage Following Brexit Debate

Speaking after the Brexit Debate to IB Times UK,  Eastern Counties MEP David Campbell Bannerman warned the European Parliament that it should not “pick macho fights on the edge of its own cliff.”  The MEP noted of the European Parliament’s hostile Brexit resolution that making “unreasonable demands on the UK from the EU will make it far more likely that the UK will walk away and set up a World Trade Organisation rules arrangement.”  The MEP said that this will “mean the UK leaves sooner, pays less and the EU will face £13bn of tariffs into the EU. The shock could be enough to bring the Euro [currency] down.”

David Campbell Bannerman MEP also criticised the Brexit debate speech by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage as ‘overdramatic.’  The former UKIP leader had likened the EU to the Mafia and gangsters.

You can see the full article here.

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6/4/17

‘DELUSIONAL!’ Tory MEP slams EU rhetoric at European Parliament in Brexit debate

Interviewed on LBC and reported by the Daily Express,  Eastern Counties MEP David Campbell Bannerman said of the Brexit debate in the European Parliament that ‘“I’m afraid I thought it was rather delusional… it was extraordinary some of the language used and the resentment against the (Brexit) vote”

The MEP stated that “The point is we can walk away from a deal, we’ve got WTO rules. We would actually pay about £5billion in tariffs but we could compensate industries and farmers on that. The EU would be paying £13bn in tariffs and that would come to the British government not to Brussels.”

The Daily Express reported that ‘The European Parliament’s draft resolution insists Britain must meet all its financial obligations to the bloc, which some estimates have put as high as £56bn. It rejected any “cherry-picking” of privileged access to the single market for sectors of the UK economy such as financial services.’

You can read the full article here.

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3/4/17

David C Bannerman MEP explains why a UK/EU trade deal will not take as long to negotiate as the EU-Canada trade deal

The interview with the BBC Look East Political Editor Andrew Sinclair can be found here.

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31/3/17

David Campbell Bannerman MEP was interviewed on the BBC’s World Business Report about the prospective UK/EU Trade Deal.  It can be viewed here.

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28/3/17

David Campbell Bannerman MEP was interviewed on the Sky News programme ‘All Out Politics’ by Adam Boulton.  During the interview,  David Campbell Bannerman hailed the huge opportunities that the Great Reform Bill would bring to the UK.  The interview can be viewed here.

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14/3/17

David Campbell Bannerman MEP States that Brexit Means More Powers for Scotland So New Referendum Demand is SNP Opportunism

Eastern Counties MEP, David Campbell Bannerman, was interviewed on the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire show ‘The Big Conversation with Paul Stainton’ about Nicola Sturgeon’s demand that a second Scottish Independence Referendum should be held in either 2018 or 2019. The full interview can be heard below.

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17/2/17

Eastern Counties MEP, David Campbell Bannerman was interviewed on the BBC Three Counties JVS show and said that he was ‘appalled’ at Blair’s call for people to rise up against Brexit.  Describing the remarks as ‘inflammatory’, David Campbell Bannerman said that Blair’s claims about the consequences of Brexit was another of  former Prime Minister’s ‘dodgy dossiers’.  You can listen to the full interview here:

 

David Campbell Bannerman MEP was also interviewed on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s Big Conversation programme and described Blair’s remarks as ‘undemocratic’ and ‘appalling’.  The MEP said that Blair’s speech showed a ‘contempt for democracy’ and the UK would sign with the EU a deal better than Canada’s.  This is because the UK is the EU’s biggest customer.   You can listen to the full interview here:

 

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16/2/17

The Telegraph:  European Parliament ratifies Canada trade deal at long last

David Campbell Bannerman welcomed the EU Parliament’s ratification of the EU/Canada Free Trade Ageement and said that “once fully implemented CETA is expected to increase trade in goods and services between EU Member States and Canada by 23pc, worth £19bn. The benefits are estimated to start at around £1.3bn a year for the UK alone,”

The MEP noted of the deal that ““This is the most modern trade deal ever as it will also give European companies access to Canadian procurement markets, something that Canada has never allowed before.”  However, the leading MEP warned the EU that “it has however taken too long to get to this point – seven years…The EU must reflect on the time that it takes to get agreements negotiated if they are to be taken seriously in future with any major trading partners, and that includes with Britain.”

The full article can be read here.

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15/2/17

ECR Group Press Release  – Good day for Europe, CETA approved

Narrow majority, but still a success. The EU-Canada trade deal gained approval of the European Parliament.

“I am delighted that we finally got CETA through. This is very good news for all” said David Campbell-Bannerman, the ECR shadow rapporteur.

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13/2/2017

David Campbell Bannerman Dismisses Juncker Claims that Brexit will End EU

Interviewed in the Daily Mail,  David Campbell Bannerman said in response to EU President Juncker’s claims that ‘The EU will be ended not by Brexit negotiations but by an unravelling of the Euro, shock elections in Netherlands, France and others, and a general loss of faith in the institutions.  The EU is failing due to its own undemocratic, unaccountable design not the fact the UK is the first to see the light and leave.’

The full article can be read here.

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9/2/2017

CETA – the EU’s trade deal with Canada – provides an ideal template for a post-Brexit UK-EU deal

Writing in Brexit Central,  David Campbell Bannerman reports that CETA  ‘opens up the EU Single Market to Canada almost in its entirety – 99% of non-agricultural tariffs go and 92% agricultural tariffs also. Barriers on numbers imported called quotas are to be far more generous. ‘   The MEP noted that ‘If Canada, as the EU’s 12th largest trading partner, can achieve such a deal then surely Britain can achieve a substantially better deal with the EU, especially in financial services – as we are the rest of the EU’s, the EU-27’s, largest trading partner.’  In the light of this,  David Campbell Bannerman concludes ‘So is CETA the right model for Britain? Pretty much yes. I believe a deal bigger, better and wider than CETA but based on it – what I term ‘Super Canada’ or others call ‘Canada Plus’ ‘

The full article can be read here.

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31/1/17

Ipswich Star Headline  –  East Anglia MEP says he was warned about security threat during visit to Iraq

David Campbell Bannerman criticised the “exaggerated” reaction to Donald Trump’s “extreme vetting” plan after he was criticised for a social media post in which he said it was reassuring to see that fast action could be taken in the US.  The full article can be seen here.

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26/1/17

Brussels ADMITS: Brexit Britain CAN have major trade deal like Canada signed

The Express reports that EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom agreed with Eastern Counties MEP and leading Brexit campaigner David Campbell Bannerman that CETA forms a good model for a UK/EU strategic partnership agreement.    For more on this important admission,  read the article here.

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18/1/17

David Campbell Bannerman Interviewed about Trump Presidency

Interviewed by RT on Wednesday 18th January 2017,  Eastern Counties MEP David Campbell Bannerman said that Trump’s view on the EU that they were undemocratic and remote was very similiar to his own feelings.  He also believes that,  despite some alarming comments,  Trump does support NATO but will simply make EU members pay their fair share – just as Britain does now.

For more on the interview,  you can view it here.

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4/1/17

David Campbell Bannerman MEP was interviewed on the BBC Radio Ulster Talkback show by presenter William Crawley on the resignation of UKREP Ambassador Sir Ivan Rogers.

During the interview,  David Campbell Bannerman said that as the world’s fifth largest economy and the EU’s biggest trading partner, the UK would secure a strong deal from the EU during the Brexit negotiations.

You can listen to the interview here.

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3/1/17

Writing in the Telegraph,  David Campbell Bannerman wrote that ‘As an MEP with seven years experience on European Parliament trade deals, I tear my hair out at half understood claims, lurid assumptions and unbridled ignorance in much media reporting. Take for example scaremongering claims by our now former Ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers, that a UK-EU trade deal could take 10 years. Or the claims that 38 EU parliaments need to accept our deal. Shock, horror, fear – we will be in limbo for years! These are half-truths.’   The MEP noted that ‘some of the EU-27 have very little UK trade, such as Romania, we are Germany’s second largest export market, and second also for Ireland and Poland, third for Denmark, fourth for Belgium, France and the Netherlands, fifth for Spain and Italy.’

The MEP stated that ‘I believe it is safer to plan for the guaranteed option of a World Trade Organisation Rules deal, but aspire to a better and more ambitious deal – what I call a “WTOPlus” deal – that keeps zero tariffs, and consult around the Canadian CETA deal that the EU claims to be the best ever free trade agreement it has done, includes services, and gives almost 100% tariff-free access to the EU Single Market, all without a fee or free movement.’

You can read the full article here.

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20/11/16

David Campbell Bannerman Interviewed by The Sunday Times and The Sun on New Plan to Save HMS Illustrious From Scrapyard

The Sun reported on Sunday 20th November 2016 that  ‘David Campbell Bannerman, who has led the HMS Illustrious rescue campaign, said: “This new bid meets all the government’s aspirations and would make £1 million more, create many jobs and would impose no further cost on the MoD. ‘  The MEP noted that “It just doesn’t make sense to scrap her now – it is irrational and unreasonable.”’

The Sunday Times reported that ‘David Campbell Bannerman, a Conservative MEP representing the consortium, said there was “still hope” that a deal might be struck to save the historic warship for the nation.’  The MEP noted that ‘the consortium had offered to buy the ship from the Turkish shipyard, but a clause in the MoD contract stipulates that Illustrious be scrapped and not sold on.’ and that ‘“The MoD could waive that clause….It just doesn’t make sense to scrap her now — it is irrational and unreasonable.”‘
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18/11/16

David Campbell Bannerman Interviewed in IB Times on Obama Intervention in the Brext Referendum and the TTIP Negotiations

Interviewed in the International Business Times,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP said that ‘”When Obama threatened Britain [ahead of the EU referendum] over going to the ‘back of the queue’ it backfired, and support for Brexit went up not down…….The idea of demanding global transparency is utterly nonsensical.”

The full article can be read here.

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18/10/16

David Campbell Bannerman MEP Slams ‘Delusional’ Clegg Claims on Soft Brexit

Interviewed in the Express on the 18th October 2016,  David Campbell Bannerman was interviewed about the claim by former Lib Democrat leader Nick Clegg  that Britain could have soft Brexit.  The MEP said that ‘Clegg is delusional – remaining in the single market with no control over its laws and with freedom of movement is not an option.  The referendum campaign has finished, it is time for the former deputy prime minister to move on and accept that Britain is leaving the EU single market whilst retaining access to it, so it can take back control of its borders and its laws.  British voters have made it clear they want to leave the EU and control immigration. That means leaving the single market full stop. The Government has a responsibility to deliver on this – which they are. The sooner Clegg comes to terms with the fact Brexit is happening, and not seek seemingly clever ways of frustrating it the better for all of us.’

The full article can be found here.

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9/10/16

The Sun  –   David Campbell Bannerman Launches Campaign to Save HMS Illustrious from being Scrapped

Interviewed in the Sun,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP urged the PM to halt the “tragic farce” and save the historic British aircraft carrier.  The MEP noted that ‘
“The United States has five aircraft carriers and nine battleships preserved – we have none.   Launching the campaign,  David Campbell Bannerman demanded that “it is time to put the UK’s shameful record of ship preservation right” and preserve HMS Illustrious as an armed forces memorial.  You can find the Sun article here.

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23/9/16

Daily Express –  ‘Position of power’ May’s EU ace up her sleeve as 5.8m in Europe rely on Britain for jobs

Interviewed in the Daily Express on the thinktank Civitas report which found that ‘5.8 million jobs in the EU are dependent on UK trade while 3.6 million British jobs are linked to business with EU countries’,  David Campbell Bannerman said that ‘The report makes it clear that Britain will begin negotiations in a position of power.’ and that ‘the Eurozone could collapse if no satisfactory UK trade deal is done.’  For more,  you can read the Express article here.

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27/6/16

David Campbell Bannerman MEP Interviewed on BBC Cambridgeshire’s Dotty McLeod Breakfast Show

MEP for the Eastern Counties,  David Campbell Bannerman was interviewed about the options for Britain now that the UK has voted to quit the European Union.

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24/6/16 

David Campbell Bannerman Welcomes Brexit Referendum Result

In welcoming the result, David Campbell Bannerman paid tribute to the British people ‘I thank the British people for seeing through all the scares and having the guts and the principle and the common sense to support leaving the European Union.’

The full article can be found here.

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16/6/16

David Campbell Bannerman States that Farm Subsidies will Continue After Brexit

Speaking at a major cereal farmers’ conference in Cambridgeshire, David Campbell Bannerman, MEP for the Eastern Counties, stated that subsidies will continue if the UK quits the European Union. He added that the UK would agree a trade deal with the EU in order to ensure farmers could continue to trade with European Union member states.  For more, read the article here. More on the conference can be found here.

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12/6/16

David Campbell Bannerman Debates Brexit in BBC Look East Referendum Debate

Leading Eastern Counties MEP,  David Campbell Bannermam took part in the BBC Look East Referendum Special ‘Better In or Out’ on Sunday 12th of June 2016 .   Fellow panellists on the programme were DEFRA Minister and Conservative MP Liz Truss and fellow MEPs Patrick O’Flynn and Richard Howitt.  The debate can be found on the BBC iPlayer till May 2017 or here.

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10/6/16

Referendum debate held in Burnham Church

David Campbell Bannerman MEP for the Eastern Counties took part in a Brexit Referendum debate at St Mary’s Church in Burnham-on-Crouch on Friday 10th of June.  For more, read the Clacton Gazette coverage of the debate.

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9/6/16

David Campbell Bannerman MEP writes in the Dunmow Broadcast about why voters in the Eastern counties should vote to quit the European Union.

Leading Eurosceptic and MEP,  David Campbell Bannerman debated the Brexit Referendum with fellow Conservative MEP Vicky Ford on why Britain should quit the European Union.  David Campbell Bannerman wrote that ‘This debate is not right or left, but about who governs us. The common theme is about getting back control of our country and making decisions in the UK.’  He also noted that ‘The real choice is between superstate (Remain) or sovereignty (Leave). If you vote for remain based on all the scare-mongering about the economy and security, you will be signing us all up to becoming a province in a country called Europe,’

The full article can be found here.

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7/6/16

David Campbell Bannerman Spoke for Leave Side in Chipping Sodbury Debate on Brexit Referendum

During the debate,  David Campbell Bannerman, MEP for the Eastern Counties, argued that ‘ “They want a common welfare system, an EU minimum wage and ultimately an EU pension and they are already talking about an EU Army.”

He added: “Leaving would give us £10billion a year more to spend on infrastructure and border control.
“Believe in Britain again – if you vote remain you will deserve turning Britain into a super-state.”
For more on the debate,  please go to the local newspaper’s coverage of the packed out Town Hall event.

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31/5/16

Brexit Independence Day Bank Holiday

David Campbell Bannerman MEP is campaigning for June 23rd to become a public holiday to mark Britain becoming independent from the European Union.  For more, read the Independent article here.

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26/5/16

David Campbell Bannerman Interviewed on CNN about Brexit

David Campbell Bannerman MEP was interviewed on CNN to argue the case for Brexit. In order to see the interview, please visit the CNN site.

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16/5/16

David Campbell Bannerman Debates Brexit with Prestigious Panel

Organised by the Chiswick Calendar,  David Campbell Bannerman spoke for the Leave side alongside leading political commentator Peter Oborne and business leader John Mills.  The event was chaired by BBC presenter Julian Worricker and the opposing side was led by representatives from Britain Stronger In Europe and the CBI.  You can view the debate here.

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3/5/16

David Campbell Bannerman MEP takes Part in Oxford University Debate on  ‘Britain IN or OUT of Europe?’

Eastern Counties MEP,  David Campbell Bannerman was invited by the Blavatnik School of Government (Oxford University) to take part in their prestigious debate on Britain’s Brexit Referendum on the 23rd of June 2016.  At the end of the debate,  the final vote showed that David Campbell Bannerman MEP and the Brexit side had swayed many more people to consider voting for Brexit.   You can view the full debate and the before and after votes here.

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3/5/16

‘After Brexit we will negotiate a winning “British option” free trade deal with the EU’ By David Campbell Bannerman MEP

Writing in CapX, Eastern Counties MEP David Campbell Bannerman argues that on leaving the EU,  Britain will sign a free trade deal with the European Union entitled the ‘British option’ which will be better than anything on offer to any other nation.  For more,  see the article here.

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23/4/16

David Campbell Bannerman MEP Leads Brexit Business Debate in Norwich

David Campbell Bannerman MEP for the Eastern Counties spoke to an audience of 200 business leaders on why it would be good for British business if the UK quit the European Union. Read more in the Eastern Press.

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11/04/16

David Campbell Bannerman Warns of EU Power Grab of the British Welfare State

Interviewed in the Express Newspaper,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP for the Eastern Counties said that the EU was planning to take control of British pensions, benefits and the minimum wage once the UK voted in the Brexit Referendum.

The MEP noted that ‘that this Parliament has mysteriously 80 per cent less legislation than the last one – so far.  The reality is that a tsunami of new EU laws, such as a new common welfare system for the EU is being held back like a dam because of the UK referendum. ‘

The MEP warned that ‘“If we vote to remain we will be hit by a giant wave of hidden EU laws and the British people will feel totally deceived. ‘

The full article can be found here.

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7/4/16

David Campbell Bannerman Protests at Government’s Pro-Remain Propaganda

David Campbell Bannerman was Interviewed on Share Radio to Protest at Government’s Decision to Spend £9m to Issue Pro-Remain leaflet to 27million households in the UK.

The interview can be heard here.

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16/3/16

Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman praises Putin’s ‘strong nation state’ for intervening in Syria

David Campbell Bannerman had observed in his tweet ‘“Not pro-Putin, but note how strong nation state, with smaller economy than UK, gets in and sorts issue as West fumbles”.

The Independent picked up the tweet and reported that David Campbell Bannerman was arguing that ‘Vladimir Putin’s “strong nation state” has helped to resolve the country’s civil war.’   The full story can be found here

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3/3/16

David Campbell Bannerman Condemns EU Decision to Hand Migrants Cash in Envelopes

Interviewed in the Daily Express,  David Campbell Bannerman condemned an £550 million EU plan to
hand  migrants envelopes stuffed with cash.  The MEP warned that ‘”There is a danger that by handing over cash rather than basic essentials, British taxpayers’ money could end up in the hands of the human traffickers smuggling people through Europe. This is no way to ensure our security in Britain.”

The full article can be read here.

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1/3/16

David Campbell Bannerman was interviewed by the Swiss national newspaper Tages Anzeiger on the Referendum and the future of Anglo-EU relations. The article in German can be read here.

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29/2/16

David Campbell Bannerman Explains Britain’s Bright Future Out of the EU

Writing in the Huffington Post, David Campbell Bannerman explains why the UK will have a WTO Plus deal with the EU.  This is because it will closely resemble the FTA deal that the EU has recently agreed with Canada (CETA).  The MEP notes that the Canada deal offers the right way forward for Britain for it will ensure that ‘Canada will have access to the EU Single Market…… But Canada will not pay any market access fee, no membership fees, not have to enact the legal ‘acquis’ of 700,000 pages, or sign up to freedom of movement of EU citizens. Canada will retain its impressive visa scheme…. and continue to run Canada for the Canadian people.’

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/david-bannerman-mep/eu-referendum-brexit_b_9346348.html

The article mentions the speech by the Norwegian Ambassador in which he explains that Norway doesn’t pay for Single Market access.  This can be viewed here.

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25/2/16

David Campbell Bannerman MEP interviewed on Brexit on TRT World News

During the interview,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP said that he backed Brexit as Cameron’s renegotiations had shown that the EU was ‘unreformable’.   The MEP went on to say that he backed Brexit because it would mean that the UK would regain ‘control of our borders’ and stop mass migration.  He further noted that the EU actually endangered security for ‘we don’t know who is coming into Schengen’.   The MEP finished by saying that he wanted the UK to be ‘more global and less regional.’   The full interview can be seen here

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23/2/16

Cambridge News Interviews David Campbell Bannerman on Referendum

Interviewed by the Cambridge News,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP explained why he was backing Brexit ‘ “Despite the PM’s best efforts, and he has put in a great effort dashing around Europe, I just think it goes to show the EU can’t be reformed.”  The MEP also said the deal secured by Mr Cameron could not be legally enforced given it proposed no treaty change – billing it as “feeble and irrelevant”.  The MEP said that after Brexit, Britain would remain part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme as the UK would be able to “pick and choose more about what we sign up to and what we don’t.’  For more, read the article here.

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21/2/16

David Campbell Bannerman Interviewed on BBC Radio Wales

David Campbell Bannerman MEP took part in an EU Referendum debate on the BBC Radio Wales programme ‘Sunday Supplement’ with fellow Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne who represents Wales.  The programmes’s presenter was Vaughan Roderick.

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19/2/16

David Campbell Bannerman Chairs First Rally of the Brexit Referendum Campaign

David Campbell Bannerman MEP chaired a Grassroots GO rally in London on Friday 17th February 2016.  The rally was so well-attended that it was standing room only at the Queen Elisabeth II conference hall near Westminster.

David can be seen chairing the event in this BBC story on the Brexit heavy hitters.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35616580

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17/2/16

Reuters Interview David Campbell Bannerman MEP On WTO Plus Option

“If we get WTO plus (a free trade deal), we are a lot better off. If it is just the basic WTO deal we are still better off. The cake is better with the icing, but we will still eat,” said David Campbell Bannerman, an EU lawmaker for Cameron’s Conservatives, who is campaigning for “out”.  For more, please read the article here.

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17/2/16

David Campbell Bannerman To Play Leading Role in the Brexit Referendum GO Movement

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman, will chair the organisation’s “Political Advisory Group”, which is made up of members from every affiliated political group and ‘Leave’ organisation. Members of the committee will input into messaging, strategy and direction of the campaign.  For more, read the article here.

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14/1/2016

MEPs Barred From Hearing Evidence of Senior EU Official

Interviewed in the Daily Mail,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP said
that it was a ‘public scandal’ that British MEPs were barred from the in camera
meeting of the House of Commons EU Select Committee.  The meeting was
held in private at the request of senior EU official Jonathan Faull –
who is the head of the European Commission’s Brexit taskforce who wanted
only prepared to give his evidence behind closed doors.  See the article here.

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15/1/2016

David Campbell Bannerman Criticises Cameron For Backtracking on Free Vote Promises

Interviewed in the Sun newspaper,  David Campbell Bannerman warned
the Prime Minister that if he stops Ministers campaigning for Brexit, he will
get ‘serious resignations’.  For more, see the article here.

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4/2/16 –

David Campbell Bannerman Slams Cameron Renegotiation Deal

Writing in the Huffington Post,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP wrote that
‘Far from a Triumph, the Prime Minister’s deal is a disaster.’

You can read the whole article here

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3/2/16

David Campbell Bannerman MEP Rejects Cameron Renegotiation Deal on Share Radio About

Speaking on Share Radio, David Campbell Bannerman MEP said that
‘people had seen through, the non-deal, and it is not touching the real issues
that people need to see addressed’

For more, visit this link.

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1/2/16  

EU Commissioner Quizzed on Expenses

David Campbell Bannerman MEP queries Vice-President and
EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Kristalina Georgieva’s
excessive travel expenses. Read more here.

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DCB interview on the World at One – 25/9/15. 

David Campbell Bannerman Rejects Farage Claim to Lead Brexit Referendum Campaign.

Interviewed on the Radio Four Show ‘The World at One’ on Friday 25th of September 2015,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP,  said that Nigel Farage could not be the face of the Out campaign as he was seen as a divisive figure who alienated key voter groups.  David Campbell Bannerman said that the Out campaign needed a team approach and there would be a cross-party campaign launched in the next few weeks in order to win the Referendum.

ends/

22nd November 2015

EU plans to kick Britain and France off UN Security Council

The European Union is pursuing a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, which would mean both Britain and France would be forced to surrender their membership.

The European Parliament will this week vote on controversial plans to give the European Union a permanent seat on the Security Council.

The move would see the two EU Member States which hold a permanent seat – Britain and France -forced to give up their seats on the United Nations Security Council and instead be represented by an unelected official from Brussels.

The report on ‘the role of the EU within the UN – how to achieve EU foreign policy goals’ from the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee states:

“Considering the contribution of the EU to peace and security architecture in the world, calls on a reform of the Security Council that would ensure a permanent seat to the European Union; notes that, due to the absence of the EU from the Security Council, the burden of echoing, advocating for and defending the interests of the EU, based on a coordinated CFSP, lies on the two permanent and the rotating European members” (paragraph 3, page 7)

The author of the report is Paavo Väyrynen MEP, a member of the Centre Party from Finland who sits in the Liberal Group in the European Parliament. Mr Väyrynen  is a former Finnish Foreign Minister from the Centre Party.

The vote will take place at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on Tuesday (24th November 2015).

Senior Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman, who is Co-Chair of the influential Eurosceptic group Conservatives for Britain, said:

“This is an outrageous and dangerous proposal from the EU.

“Britain and France will be forced to surrender their seats on the UN Security Council to the EU.

“This would spell the end of Britain being at the heart of international security at a time when the world faces an unprecedented terrorist threat.”

“This is a hostile attack on Britain’s sovereignty and one that we must resist.

“Britain has already been forced to relinquish its seat at the World Trade Organisation by the EU, which means Britain has no say on international trade deals.

“We must not give Brussels our seat on the Security Council.

“Britain must stand against these attempts to form a European Empire.”

The UN Security Council, formed in 1946 is responsible for international peace and security. There are five permanent members – the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and the United States.

Attempts by the EU to force the UK to give up its seat on the Security Council comes at the end of a difficult week for the Prime Minister who has faced growing dissent from Tory backbenchers over his “feeble” approach to EU renegotiation.

Conservatives for Britain MPs, MEPs and Lords met on Tuesday in Parliament to discuss the Prime Ministers letter to President of the European Council, Donald Tusk which set out his renegotiation requests.

David Campbell Bannerman and Steve Baker the two Co-Chairs of CfB announced that they could no longer support the Prime Ministers renegotiation strategy because of the Government’s “weak” position and that they would now campaign for Britain to leave the EU.

Following the meeting, the two Co-Chairs released a statement which said:

“The vast majority of Conservatives for Britain colleagues in attendance believe the time has come to start campaigning alongside Vote Leave.”

You can see the video here

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact Matt Walsh of Media Intelligence Partners on 07754 786 789 or matthew@mippr.co.uk

DCB interview on the World at One – 25/9/15. 

David Campbell Bannerman Rejects Farage Claim to Lead Brexit Referendum Campaign.

Interviewed on the Radio Four Show ‘The World at One’ on Friday 25th of September 2015,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP,  said that Nigel Farage could not be the face of the Out campaign as he was seen as a divisive figure who alienated key voter groups.  David Campbell Bannerman said that the Out campaign needed a team approach and there would be a cross-party campaign launched in the next few weeks in order to win the Referendum.

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Thursday, 17 September 2015

David Campbell Bannerman MEP: Over 2000 hanged in Iran by Rouhani

The news website for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have reported on David Campbell Bannerman’s speech to the European Parliament and the European Union foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini on September 9th 2015.  David Campbell Bannerman criticised the EU foreign affairs chief for taking tea with the so-called moderate President Rouhani who has hanged more than 2,000 people. The MEP went on to say that  ‘ …this is the highest level of executions for 25 years…. the highest number of executions per head in the world.’

http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/human-rights/254-stop-executions-in-iran/19138-david-campbell-bannerman-mep-over-2000-hanged-in-iran-by-rouhan
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Leading Eurosceptic MEP David Campbell Bannerman was featured in the Independent on the 7th of September 2015, with his book ‘Time To Jump’.  David Campbell Bannerman is the co-chair of the Conservatives for Britain Group.
Read the article here.

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Eastern Counties MEP Blames EU for Europe’s Refugee Crisis

Speaking on the BBC Three Counties JVS radio show on Wednesday 2nd September 2015,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP for the Eastern Counties said that the EU’s policies had made the European refugee crisis ‘far worse’.  The MEP rejected Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s demand that the UK should accept 10,000 refugees, saying that the UK was already paying £800millon in order to help Syria and was also providing assistance to the UN.   David Campbell Bannerman said that Yvette Cooper’s suggestion  ‘was not a sensible proposal’ for if ‘we allow in ten thousand one day,  why not 100,000 the next’.   The MEP said that the UN and other bodies were providing the most suitable support to refugees with camps close by in Turkey and elsewhere.  He went on to say that the UK cannot accept more people as the country was already too crowded with net migration levels now hitting their highest ever point at 330,000.  The MEP argued that this put huge strains on the UK’s hard pressed schools, hospitals and GP surgeries.   The MEP finished by saying that whilst he was sympathetic to the refugees’ plight, simply ‘opening the door, won’t work.’

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17.9.15  David Campbell Bannerman Ridicules EU Migrant Postcard Plan

Interviewed by the Express,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP ridiculed the EU migrant postcard plan, saying that the approach means that member states will be ‘ keeping their fingers crossed that rejected asylum seekers voluntarily return to their country of origin”  and that migrants will actually  “report back in on their return.”   The MEP went on to say that the measure represented a  ‘dangerous new low’ for the EU and will mean in practice that   “We will be none the wiser how many rejected asylum seekers have voluntarily returned and how many have remained in the EU illegally by fleeing.’   David Campbell Bannerman concluded that “the EU’s confused and feeble policy means Europe now has no effective border with the Middle East.”

Read the article here –

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/604840/EU-tells-migrants-Send-us-postcard-when-back-home

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7.9.15  David Campbell Bannerman MEP Condemns EU for Refugee Crisis

Speaking on Radio Five Live Saturday Breakfast show on the 7th September 2015,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP for the Eastern Counties,  stated that the only way to end the ‘terrible war’ in Syria which had caused millions of people to flee their homes was military action against ISIS in Syria. The MEP went on to say that the EU had made a ‘right mess’ of the situation and in his view,   the best way to help the refugees was through regional camps of which Britain was the most generous supporter in the world.  He believes that this approach would stop people from running terrible risks in getting to Europe and so put a stop to any  more terrible tragedies.

You can listen to the radio interview here

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7.9.15 Independent Picture DCB with ‘Time to Jump’

David Campbell Bannerman and his book 'Time to Jump'.

Leading Eurosceptic MEP David Campbell Bannerman pictured in the Independent on the 7th of September 2015, with his book ‘Time To Jump’.  David Campbell Bannerman is the co-chair of the Conservatives for Britain Group.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eurosceptic-tory-mps-threaten-to-join-with-labour-and-snp-to-defeat-proposed-eu-referendum-rules-10488918.html

 

 

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2.9.15

Eastern Counties MEP Blames EU for Europe’s Refugee Crisis

Speaking on the BBC Three Counties JVS radio show on Wednesday 2nd September 2015,  David Campbell Bannerman MEP for the Eastern Counties said that the EU’s policies had made the European refugee crisis ‘far worse’.  The MEP rejected Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s demand that the UK should accept 10,000 refugees, saying that the UK was already paying £800millon in order to help Syria and was also providing assistance to the UN.   David Campbell Bannerman said that Yvette Cooper’s suggestion  ‘was not a sensible proposal’ for if ‘we allow in ten thousand one day,  why not 100,000 the next’.   The MEP said that the UN and other bodies were providing the most suitable support to refugees with camps close by in Turkey and elsewhere.  He went on to say that the UK cannot accept more people as the country was already too crowded with net migration levels now hitting their highest ever point at 330,000.  The MEP argued that this put huge strains on the UK’s hard pressed schools, hospitals and GP surgeries.   The MEP finished by saying that whilst he was sympathetic to the refugees’ plight, simply ‘opening the door, won’t work.’

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13.6.15 David Campbell Bannerman MEP speaks at Iran Freedom Conference

“European lawmaker from the UK, David Campbell Bannerman, addressed the major Iran Freedom rally in Villepinte on Saturday, June 13, 2015. The event was held at Parc des Expositions exhibition center.

Campbell Bannerman, President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq, called for protection of Iranian dissidents in Camp Liberty.

Iranians and their international supporters including 600 international lawmakers and personalities attended the rally in support of Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan for a future free Iran.

They indicated that the prevention of nuclear proliferation and the defeat of Islamic fundamentalism calls for supporting Iran’s Parliament-in-exile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), to bring about regime change.”

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24.7.16

David Campbell Bannerman MEP Demands Axing of EU’s Unused Parliament Complex in Luxembourg

Interviewed by the order-order.com website, David Campbell Bannerman MEP for the Eastern Counties demanded that the EU’s unused third Parliament in Luxembourg should be axed as the  building hasn’t been used since 1981. This is because the building has been mothballed  as the Parliament now only meets in Brussels and Strasbourg. The unused Luxembourg Parliament costs £45million to maintain as it includes a 208 seat chamber and attached buildings. Moreover, the MEP has even been refused permission to visit the Luxembourg Parliament as tours are only granted to the citizens of  Luxembourg, France, Belgium, Germay and the Netherlands. This means that 65% of the EU’s entire population cannot visit a building which is paid for by their taxes.   Find out more here.

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1.6.15 David Campbell Bannerman Demands Radical EU Reforms

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph on the 31st May 2015, David Campbell Bannerman demanded that Cameron’s EU reform must not be a ‘sham’. The MEP for the Eastern Counties said that Prime Minister has the opportunity to be radical and must take it.

Read more here.

The Daily Star picked up the story and reported that ‘Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman told Mr Cameron he must deliver radical reforms because the public would not accept a “sham” deal.’

Read more here.

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29/5/15

David Campbell Bannerman Interviewed by the Economist’s Society on the Advantages of Brexit.

You can view the interview on their channel here.

The Economist’s Society is the only official student society for the UCL department of Economics.

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24th July 2015: David Campbell Bannerman MEP Demands Axing of EU’s Unused Parliament Complex in Luxembourg

interviewed by the order-order.com website,   David Campbell Bannerman MEP for the Eastern Counties demanded that the EU’s unused third Parliament in Luxembourg should be axed as the  building hasn’t been used since 1981.  This is because the building has been mothballed  as the Parliament now only meets in Brussels and Strasbourg.    The unused Luxembourg Parliament costs £45million to maintain as it includes a 208 seat chamber and attached buildings. Moreover, the MEP has even been refused permission to visit the Luxembourg Parliament as tours are only granted to the citizens of  Luxembourg, France, Belgium, Germay and the Netherlands.  This means that 65% of the EU’s entire population cannot visit a building which is paid for by their taxes.   Find out more here

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19.5.15 David Campbell Bannerman MEP Slams EU Defence Policy

Speaking in the European Parliament on Tuesday, 19th of May 2015, David Campbell Bannerman MEP, said that the EU Parliament Danjean Report ‘invents EU defence roles that are not wanted, and not desirable.’ The MEP noted that the EU is planning ambitious operations in the Mediterranean but their plans bypass the existing NATO HQ in Naples. The MEP finished by demanding why the EU was always trying to duplicate and undermine NATO and who was going to pay for such unnecessary duplication.

Watch a recording of David’s speech here

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19.5.15 David Campbell Bannerman MEP Interviewed on BBC Radio Four PM programme on UKIP Rift

Speaking on the BBC Radio Four PM programme on Thursday 14th May 2015, David Campbell Bannerman MEP of the Eastern Counties said that UKIP was a pressure party and its future – if it has one – lies with moving to the left and appealing to Labour voters.

The MEP was interviewed with UKIP expert Matthew Goodwin who is Associate Professor of Politics at Nottingham University by Eddie Mair.

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14.5.15 UKIP has ‘outgrown’ Farage

BBC Politics Live – 14th May 2015 ( link for BBC Politics Live – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-32726181)

Former UKIP deputy leader David Campbell Bannerman – now a Conservative MEP – tells the BBC News Channel that his former party has “outgrown” its leader. He says Nigel Farage should step down to focus on campaigning during the In/Out referendum on membership of the European Union promised by the PM. “Nigel Farage should work on the referendum and not be fighting this great battle within the United Kingdom Independence Party,” he says. Suggesting that Conservatives’ referendum pledge won votes from UKIP’s right-leaning supporters, Mr Bannerman adds: “UKIP will have to go left if it’s to stay in existence.”

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14.5.15 David Campbell Bannerman MEP Interviewed on R5L on UKIP Split

During his interview on R5L ‘Question Time Extra Time’ on Thursday 14th of May, David Campbell Bannerman, Conservative MEP for the Eastern Counties, said that the Nigel Farage’s resignation and the UKP split was ‘farcical and entertaining’ . The MEP said that Patrick O’Flynn’s attack on Nigel Farage was ‘extraordinary’ and that it was a very personal attack from Mr O’Flynn who was UKIP’s General Election Campaign Director. David Campbell Bannerman MEP went on to say that with the Conservative victory at the General Election, UKIP had lost its unique selling point as the Conservative Government will now deliver a Brexit Referendum.

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David Campbell Bannerman MEP Believes Conservatives Will Win General Election

Interviewed on Bloomberg News on Monday 4th May, David Campbell Bannerman MEP for the Eastern Counties, said that the Conservatives will be the largest party following the 2015 General Election and may even have a small majority.

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David Campbell Bannerman Speaks at International Diplomatic Forum

On Tuesday the 24th March, David Campbell Bannerman MEP of the Eastern Counties spoke on the benefits of Brexit at the World Diplomatic Forum London conference on EU/UK Relations in front of an audience of senior diplomats from around the world.


The ‘Alternatives to EU Membership’  Conference on Wednesday 18th February was hailed a great success with such leading speakers as Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP,  Sir Bill Cash MP,  John Mills, Matthew Elliott and of course the organiser David Campbell Bannerman MEP who spoke on EEA Lite.

You can view all the speeches from the conference by clicking this link here.

ECR EU Conference
Over 110 delegates attended the ECR EU Conference held at Europe House, London, hosted by David Campbell Bannerman MEP

To find out more information about David’s book ‘Time to Jump’ or to order a copy, you can visit the Time to Jump website here.

David Campbell Bannerman has also published ‘The Ultimate Plan B: A Positive Vision of an independent Britain outside the European Union’ booklet. You can request a copy or download a pdf. More information can be found here.

Delegates’ Response:

This is what Delegates said of the Conference:
“Thank you for hosting an excellent conference which helped me complete my journey towards euroscepticism!”
Jonathan Roberts, UK Chamber of Shipping

“Thank you very much for organising yesterday’s conference – it was truly superb!”
Rory Broomfield, The Freedom Association

“We go to so many debates and discussions about the EU and I have certainly been to my fair share over many years but this was the best by far!”
Lindsay Jenkins, author

Scotland Decided: On the front line, this referendum has set grassroots politics alight

“Go back to England!”. Yes, I have had abuse. But so did the Irish financial expert from Dublin helping Better Together who was also told to go back to England. And back to the East of England I will indeed go. No time to mention that one in ten living in Scotland are English, and this was a resident’s vote not a citizen’s one, with Romanians and Poles voting No – ironically to keep Scotland in the EU. But I am glad I made the time to campaign for Scotland to stay in the UK, from Inverness to Ayrshire, Aberdeen to Edinburgh, Glasgow to Perth. And most people are polite.

You can read the full article by David on the Conservative Home website here.

 

Big-spending Brussels Eurocrats came under fire for giving millions to rehabilitate Peruvian drug addicts

David Campbell Bannerman MEP said:

“This is another example of unelected bureaucrats wasting taxpayers’ money to achieve their imperialist ambitions,” he said.

“The EU should not be handing over tens of millions of taxpayers’ money to tackle drug addiction in Peru when it is such a big issue at home. If
there is valuable taxpayers money available, it should be spent efficiently in Europe.

“The Commissioner says he wants to help Peru on its journey to growth. The EU would do better concerning itself with its own grave financial
difficulties.”

Read the full stories and David’s comments here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/10993075/EU-gives-25m-to-treat-drug-addicts-in-Peru.html

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/492357/EU-Taxpayer-Donation-Rehabilitation-Peru-Peruvian-Drug-Addicts

 

EU Referendum Debate post Juncker

“The Confederation of British Industry is “blindly backing” EU membership without any criticism or thought, according to a Conservative MEP.”

Read David’s interview by the International Business Times here.

7.2.14

Don’t confuse the EU with the UN, says Euro Politician

With the Euro Elections fast approaching, and the potential for a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU on the horizon, one current European politician is urging voters to realize the difference between the EU and other international bodies, like the United Nations. (UN)

Speaking in the EU debating chamber following an arms treaty agreed by the UN, David Campbell Bannerman, a Conservative MEP said: “It is vital to stress the difference between the United Nations, which is intergovernmental ,ie, agreements are made between governments, and the European Union which is Supra or Transnational, ie, it cuts above or across nation states.”

Mr Campbell Bannerman is a known Euro-Sceptic and recently had a sellout book published, that argues why and how Britain should leave the EU.

As the Euro elections and a possible referendum draw nearer, one of his concerns is that many voters do not realise the key differences between how policies are made in the UN compared to the EU, and will view the latter with the same positive regard that the UN enjoys.

He added: “The official UN brochure says ‘The UN is not a Superstate nor is it a World government. The state members of the UN remain sovereign and equal, and have no intention of delegating this sovereignty to any supranational entity.’

“That’s pretty much the complete opposite of what the EU is trying and sadly succeeding in doing.

“When it comes to deciding the future of our involvement in the EU, voters must not allow themselves to be hoodwinked by those claiming it’s a European version of the UN, it isn’t, it doesn’t want to be, and it never will be.

“Whilst the UN seeks agreement among nation states, the EU seeks control over them.”

ENDS

 

5.8.13

Parties prepare for European election battle next summer

There are seven MEPs to be elected from the East of England in next year’s elections – voted in by a system of proportional representation.

The last time the seats were contested, in 2009, the Conservatives won three, UKIP two, with Labour and the LibDems winning one each.

One of the two UKIP MEPs – David Campbell-Bannerman – subsequently rejoined the Conservatives and is now third on their list of possible MEPs.

Read more: http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/politics/parties_prepare_for_european_election_battle_next_summer_1_2314746

6.6.13

Iceland most unlikely to join EU

News that Iceland has frozen its application to join the EU, and may abandon membership altogether has been welcomed by one of the UK’s Euro-MPs, speaking at the EEA / EU Joint Parliamentary Committee in Brussels. This follows a general election in the country that saw a Euro-sceptic alliance sweep to power in the one of the greatest election swings in Europe.

Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman said he wished to congratulate the Icelandic people on their ‘sensible and farsighted’ decision to back the Euro-sceptic parties. Earlier this month he met Iceland’s Finance Minister and Chairman of the Independence Party Bjarni Benediktsson.

“This is a country that we all know has had its share of economic difficulties.” Mr Campbell Bannerman said. “It is on the road to recovery precisely because of the actions it has been able to take as an independent, sovereign nation with a free floating currency.

“Were it to be a member of the EU and Euro at the time of its difficulties, we may have seen the anti-austerity riots that have plagued Athens played out on the streets of Reykjavik, as Brussels bureaucrats would have moved in to take control of the country.”

In discussion with Mr Campbell Bannerman, Bjarni Benediktsson said: “We are members of the EEA which means we have access to the EU market. Becoming  member of the EU would involve a price we are not willing to pay.

“At the moment, Iceland can act alone in securing bilateral agreements, we have recently agreed one with China.

“There is a difficulty negotiating agreements on behalf of 27 countries, you have to do a lot of compromising of interests.”

The Euro-MP recently attended a conference of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists, (AECR) hosted in Iceland, where he also met Raga Ragnheiour Elin Arnadottir, an MP with the Independence Party in Iceland, and AECR Vice President.

The Independence party formed a ruling coalition earlier this week, with the equally Euro-sceptic Progressive Party, after voters ousted the incumbent pro-EU Social Democratic Alliance, in a General Election last month.

Mr Campbell Bannerman added: “Fishing is the backbone of the Icelandic economy, it accounts for 40% of the country’s exports.

“If Iceland joined the EU, it would be forced to abide by the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, which sets quotas regarding the amount and species of fish that can be landed.

“The EU has made such a shambles of fishing, and destroyed the livelihoods of so many fisherman across the member states, it is no surprise Icelandic voters have given the Union the thumbs-down.

After a meeting with Mr Campbell Bannerman, and in an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Benediktsson, who is also the head of the Independence Party, said the situation in the EU and eurozone had worsened in recent times. He said parliament would be given an overview of the EU talks and they would decide whether to call a referendum, which would be necessary for negotiations to resume.

“We believe the accession talks were started without the necessary support in Iceland. We will not go further with the talks. We also have to listen to what the EU has to say about our approach; maybe it will make no sense to hold a referendum,” he said.

6.6.13

EU refuses to rule out trade agreement if UK leaves

Despite intense questioning by a UK MEP, the EU Trade Commissioner refused to be drawn on the question of whether the EU would negotiate a trade agreement with the UK, if Britain was to leave the EU.

Earlier this month Commissioner De Gucht, the EU Trade Commissioner since 2010, used an article in the Independent to claim it would be ‘madness’ for Britain to leave the EU, as it would put vital trade benefits at risk, possibly at the cost of tens of thousands of jobs. He went on to say,  “you need decision on the basis of facts and figures.. not myths.”

Challenging the Commissioner, at a meeting of the International Trade Committee this week, Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman asked if his statements in the press meant a trade agreement with the UK, should we leave the EU, was impossible. He said: “Since you have engaged in British politics, could you please tell me these facts:

“If Britain were theoretically to vote to leave the EU in a referendum in 2016/2017, then are you saying as Trade Commissioner that the EU would be unable to negotiate a trade agreement with your biggest customer – the UK?

“Britain now imports nearly £4 billion of goods and services from the EU-26 nations – €5 billion more than it exports to the EU-26 every month, and Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty requires the EU to negotiate a withdrawal agreement with any member state that leaves.

“So, surely, we would have an EU/UK Free Trade Agreement like Norway and Switzerland, and not  lose trade jobs, and to say otherwise is scaremongering… is a myth?”

Taken a much more conciliatory line than his published comments would suggest, the Commissioner replied: “I like English politicians. They have a special style, add a special flavour to the discussion. Sometimes they look angry but this is their special sense of humour”.

“I did not speak on behalf of colleagues, but privately most will agree.”

“You do believe in free speech? What happened is I had dinner with my wife in Paris and a Conservative Eurosceptic MP started a discussion. I tried to convince him – I nearly did. I don’t think Britain is going to leave.”

“But I’m  a politician not a high official”

“A Free Trade Agreement  with the UK? Well you’re a member of the EU. Why get involved in hypothetical things when they are plenty of real things to handle.”

“It would be – how do you say – a dance… a frolic.”

After the exchange, Mr Campbell Bannerman added, “A straight answer would have been nice, but this is the EU!

“The Commissioner said we need to forget the myths when we come to a decision about EU membership, and he is right. That’s why I had to challenge him on the myth he peddled in the press, that leaving the EU would lose UK trade jobs.

“Jobs in the UK would increase, as we would be free to enter trade agreements with growing economies around the world, without having to get the approval of the other EU member states.

“It is also a myth to say that EU countries will stop trading with us.

“Will Germany stop selling us their cars, the French stop selling us their wine, Italians their shoes, the Spanish their foodstuffs. Of course not.

“It’s just scaremongering and any close look shows them to be empty threats.”

 

Sunday 18th November – The Independent on Sunday

Storm looms for PM over EU budget

A new IoS poll shows support growing for the Eurosceptics

Quoted in The Independent on Sunday, David Campbell Bannerman said: “We know that Ukip cost the Conservatives a parliamentary majority in the general election, and my concern is that, if we do not take action to reassure people we are the best party for Eurosceptics, the same or worse may happen in the next election.”

Read the full story here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/storm-looms-for-pm-over-eu-budget-8326456.html

 

EU Budget Waste on Projects like the 2013 European Year of Citizens shows Cameron right to insist on budget freeze, says MEP

A British Euro-MP has attacked a decision by his own parliament to designate 2013 European Year of Citizens and increase the originally proposed budget for the celebrations by a massive 500%, as an ‘insensitive waste of money’.

David Campbell Bannerman MEP, a renowned Conservative Eurosceptic, made the claims in an impassioned speech to the Parliament on Tuesday, after the proposal was adopted by 518 votes to 63.

The Eastern Counties MEP said: “I have to say that I can scarcely believe these proposals.  I feel they are utter nonsense.  And it should worry democrats that two thirds of MEPs supported this motion.  I did not.

“How can we throw money away on such nonsense when the peoples of Europe are hurting – like in Greece, in Spain, in Portugal, in France – and in my own country?

“The EU is clearly hopelessly out of touch with the peoples it purports to represent.   At a time when Angela Merkel is threatening to veto the entire Budget Summit if David Cameron vetoes anything but a freeze, this is crazy.

“David Cameron is trying to do the right thing.

“And are the peoples of Europe, in between paying higher taxes, in between job cuts and riots, turning to one another to say: ‘What we really need is a Year of European Citizenship’.  No – absolutely not !

“Nor am I a citizen of the EU but a loyal subject of the Queen. “The idea (of the European Year of Citizens) is flawed, insulting and an utter waste of money.”

The plans will see 12 months of events celebrate and raise awareness of the EU in the public mind.

Outside the debating chamber, Mr Campbell Bannerman added: “This is nothing short of an expensive propaganda exercise, by a load of Eurocrats putting their own job security ahead of what’s best for those we are supposed to represent and work for. It is one of many projects, such as the ridiculous and dangerous House of European History, that are prime candidates for budget cuts.

“They know that as everyday passes people are becoming more Euroscepic -especially in Britain as William Hague rightly said – and they’re running scared.”

“Even on its own website the EU admits ‘Only 20 months before the next European elections, putting Union citizenship and participatory democracy at the centre of the political agenda is absolutely essential’.

ENDS

Watch David’s speech at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYrWhETZG_s&feature=youtu.be


Oliver W Adam

Media Advisor to David Campbell Bannerman MEP
Conservative Member of the European Parliament (Eastern Counties)

Mobile: 07788 55 8041

 

Euro MPs urge Canada to end visa demands

21 May 2012 – bbc.co.uk

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/europe/newsid_9721000/9721441.stm

MEPs have renewed calls for Canada to lift its visa restrictions for citizens of Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic, making travel to the country visa-free for all EU citizens.

Canadians can travel anywhere in the 27-nation EU without a visa, and the European Parliament wants reciprocal treatment for the three European countries.

The EU is currently negotiating free trade arrangements with Canada, with the aim of signing the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) at some point this year.

However, it will need the approval of the European Parliament – and MEPs from the centre-right, liberal, socialist and democrat groups warned on 21 May 2012 that they might be inclined to vote against the agreement unless Canada drops its demands.

They said the policy was “unjustified” and discriminated against people from Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic, arguing that they should benefit from visa-free travel to Canada like all other EU citizens.

But British Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman and UK Independence Party MEP Gerard Batten defended Canada’s decision.

They said it was for the Canadian government to decide who to let into the country and why.

German Left-wing MEP Cornelia Ernst took the view that the EU should improve living conditions in home countries in order to prevent emigration to places like Canada.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom shared MEPs’ frustration.

She said she had raised the issue with the Canadian government and hoped to resolve the situation very soon.

 

A vision for Britain outside the European Union

3rd October 2011

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-15152184 

 

MEP urges East Coast route for high-speed rail link

3rd August 2011

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-14388165

 

 

EU is ticking time bomb for Cameron as more Tories demand Britain quits Brussels

30th June 2011 – Daily Mail

David Campbell Bannerman has defected to the Conservatives and been made very welcome…

 

Europe Day not a day to celebrate, says Euro-MP

As countries across Europe mark ‘Europe Day’ today, one Euro-MP claims it is a day of betrayal, rather than a day of celebration.

David Campbell Bannerman MEP said: “Many people see the day as a chance to celebrate the ‘unity’ of today’s Europe, but in actual fact, its roots are pretty sinister.

“It actually marks the day in 1950 when the Schuman plan was implemented. This plan was the start of the undermining of nation states, with the creation of a ‘higher authority’ presiding over German coal and steel. The beginning of supranational government.

“Since that day, and the creation of the EU, European nations have had to systematically give up their sovereignty and national identity to unelected EU commissioners, sitting in Brussels as a supranational higher authority ruling over all aspects of our lives.
“We are now in the outrageous position where the EU can fine the UK government if it does not fly the EU flag on government buildings.

“I applaud the government for refusing to fly the EU flag on number 10, and hope they do not take part in any ‘celebrations’ today.

“Our members love Europe and European culture, but reject the EU.

“The EU only survives because of government handouts and diktats, most citizens of Europe have no love of the EU and would gladly see it replaced.”

 

Don’t lift China arms embargo

Following an announcement that EU foreign affairs chief Baroness Ashton wants to lift the arms embargo against China, MEP David Campbell Bannerman accuses the EU of putting our national security at risk in order to save the Euro from collapse.

 

MEP suggests Minister should miss Ukraine plane.

Concerns are growing that a planned visit to the Ukraine by an EU minister could create problems for the UK both economically and for our future security.

As the date nears for EU Foreign Minister Baroness Ashton to visit the non-EU country David Campbell Bannerman, an MEP for the Eastern Counties, used a speech in the Euro Parliament to spell out his fears and warn that it could be dangerous to force the Ukraine into the EU.

He said: “The Ukrainians are a good, generous, warm hearted people. But politically, I would counsel great care. Ukraine is a country divided between a pro-Western West and a Russian-facing East. It is also a big player – with 45 million citizens, and Russia sees the country as very much in its backyard.

“I have toured the Russian fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea and the Russians will jealousy guard its access to the Black Sea from here. Any talk of Ukraine joining NATO would be a sharp kick to the Russian bear.”

As well as wanting to become part of the EU, many in the Ukraine would like to see their country join NATO.

David Campbell Bannerman added: “A clumsy diplomatic approach by Baroness Ashton could exacerbate tensions at a difficult time, whilst the costs of forcing Ukraine into the EU from farming subsidies, regional aid and mass migration would be prohibitive.

“Better to help in other ways, and keep Ukraine a proud, independent, non-EU nation.

“The proposed visit is unwise at this point, perhaps the Minister should miss her Ukraine plane.”

If you have EU Embassies, This is an EU State

From the Times Newspaper… http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6952426.ece

With a Conservative Government the favourite to take power in Britain next year, Baroness Ashton of Upholland is racing against time to establish a pan-European diplomatic service before David Cameron can clip its wings.

Some European leaders and MEPs want the new External Action Service (EAS) that she will oversee to become a federal Foreign Office for the EU with full consular powers, making it Europe’s pre-eminent presence around the world. But the battle is on to shape it before a possible change of government in Britain.

“We would like everything in place before David Cameron becomes Prime Minister,” said Andrew Duff, a Liberal Democrat MEP

…She will take charge of the EU’s external budget, set at €45 billion (£40 billion) for the period 2007-13, as well as a network of about 130 EU “embassies” and 3,000 staff around the world. The British peer, who became the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs on December 1, was embroiled in her first controversy last night when a dozen of the EU’s 27 foreign ministers objected to being replaced by her at the European summit in Brussels.

The decision to ban foreign ministers was defended by Carl Bildt, the Foreign Minister of Sweden — which holds the EU rotating presidency — who said that, since the Lisbon treaty came into force, relations between member states were no longer considered “foreign policy” but were now “domestic policy”. Therefore EU leaders no longer need their top diplomats beside them at EU summits.

David Campbell Bannerman MEP however had this to say…

The gradual development of unified EU embassies horrifies opponents of European federalism. David Campbell-Bannerman, an MEP on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, said: “They are talking about creating a diplomatic ethos, just like the Commission, where Commissioners are not meant to represent the national interest. If you have EU embassies, this is an EU state.”

 

Pub Trade 2010: Rolling with the punches

Wednesday 15 December, 2010

From the Morning Advertiser (read it in full here)… http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/news.ma/article/89258

Norwich City Council admits using spying techniques in a bid to catch a local pub flouting the smoking ban and causes MEP David Campbell-Bannerman to protest, saying it makes a mockery of a law intended to target terrorists.

 

EU Move to Treble Maternity Pay Flops

Wednesday 18 August, 2010

The Sun Newspaper
By Clodagh Hartley

British MEPs may be on the brink of defeating European proposals to TRIPLE maternity pay – which would cost cash strapped UK taxpayers £2 billion a year.

An EU vote was due to take place today but it has now been postponed for the third time.

David Campbell Bannerman MEP said “This vote has been put back at least twice, which is unusual”. “It indicates that it is feared it would not go through as economies cannot afford it”.

The new law would give mums 100 per cent of pay for 20 weeks, up from 90 per cent for 6 weeks, followed by £123 for 33 weeks.

There is no cap on the amount women can earn and still benefit from 20 weeks at 100 per cent pay, so high-flying women should gain most.