Tim Farrons false claims on the EU Referendum Vote

Yesterday, in reaction to Prime Minister Theresa May clearly laying out the Brexit means leaving the European Union, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron was vocal in denouncing what was said. On the positive side, despite having just 9 seats in Parliament and getting 8% of the vote, Farron was acting as an opposition spokesperson (an intentional aim) instead of the Leader of the Opposition who is nominally the Parliamentary leader of a Party that got nearly 4 times the number of votes and 29 times the number of seats as the Lib Dems in 2015. This attempted takeover of the role of Opposition is intentional.   However, Farron misrepresents those who, like me, voted leave.

Is it the case that Theresa May is opting for a hard Brexit that the vast majority of leave voters did not want? The primary reference source is a glossy pro-EU Government booklet that was delivered to every household in Britain. The Stronger Economy page is below.

This seems clearly to state that remaining in the EU means leaving the Single Market. What it implies – quite wrongly in my view – is that leaving that single market will mean the loss of lots of UK jobs that depend on EU trade.

On page 8 in bold, was stated:-

No other country has managed to secure significant access to the Single Market, without having to:

• follow EU rules over which they have no real say

• pay into the EU

• accept EU citizens living and working in their country

As immigration was a bit issue, people who voted leave as a way of controlling immigration were clear that this meant leaving the single market. Anyone who thought that an independent UK could pick and choose was clearly ignoring the statements from both sides.

But the worst part is that Tim Farron is claiming that Theresa May is acting undemocratically as the specific Brexit deal will not be put to a referendum. On June 23rd the British people voted to gain our Independence from the EU institutions. The major decision-making body of the EU is not democratically-elected; the budget is so opaque that nobody can exercise proper control of where the money is spent, and there has been no sign-off of the audited accounts in over 20 years. A half-in half-out deal would be even less democratic, whilst the Hard Brexit would mean that the democratically-elected Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland would gain greater powers.

Kevin Marshall

Is the EU’s proposed 20% of Spending on “Climate” just hype?

Bishop Hill thinks that the new EU budget is a funding bonanza for the Greens. I think it is just hype. My comment on the blog was:-

Page 6 of the Conclusions

Climate action objectives will represent at least 20% of EU spending in the period 2014-2020.

But looking at annex 1 on page 46 there is no separate category for climate. Of the EUR 960bn budget for 2014-2020

1. Smart and Inclusive Growth = 451 (47%)

2. Sustainable Growth: Natural Resources = 373 (39%)

The rest (Categories 3-6) = 136 (14%)

The EU no longer identifies agriculture as by far the biggest component. That would mean some obvious questions about why they spend so much on an increasingly minor component of EU output. Instead the spin doctors hide it in “growth” categories. The climate commitment is then broadly defined, to include subsidizing bio-fuels and paying farmers to grow trees instead of farming their land. The vast majority of the money will do nothing to “save the planet”. It is the environmentalists who should be crying foul here. Along with anybody who thinks claiming 86% of the budget is on “growth” is a highly misleading claim.

This is verified by two quotes courtesy of Joanne Nova verifies my opinions of earlier. First from WWF:-

International aid received a disproportionately large cut while investment in connecting Europe’s energy infrastructure, a move that would allow better pooling of renewable resources, was cut from €12bn to €5bn.

Second from European Environmental Bureau :-

EEB Secretary General Jeremy Wates said, “This is the worst of both worlds: a smaller budget that is explicitly dedicated to keep pumping money into Europe’s most wasteful and harmful policies and projects, in particular the CAP.”

The EU has adopted a re-branding of budgets. They know that the Common Agricultural Policy is unpopular and is anti-growth and anti-jobs. Historically it has encouraged massive spending and trashing of the traditional countryside to produce food that nobody wants. To get rid of the food mountains, CAP paid farmers not to produce. Now they will make the claim that this deadweight spending it pro-growth and pro-environment. It is just a re-branding exercise.