Less than eighteen months on and it now seems more like a nightmare vision of a EU plan coming to fruition. Those Polish authors of the original magazine certainly hit the spot – but then Poland still remembers the terrible experiences of the past.
Today fewer and fewer Eurocrats seem worthy of our trust … especially after making public admissions that they intend to keep taking subtle, low profile steps towards a future that the masses would not accept if it was spelled out in advance.
Theresa May’s speech in Florence today might as well have been backed by music and lyrics from Paul Simon –
Slip slidin’ away, slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away
Her offer to give the EU an estimated £20,000 million and hang on to transitional membership until the end of 2020 pushes the UK into funding the EU for longer but with little or nothing in the way of benefits. It translates into a poll tax of £600 on every person taking part in 2016 vote and means that it will have taken our politicians 1,652 days to actually implement the results of that referendum. Grandad seems to remember Prime Minster Cameron threatening that our leaving would be on the day after the vote!
So now we need to add a 1,000s column to our Leaving The EU Scoreboard but still live in the hope that someone will have the guts to call a halt to the whole charade and do what it said on the tin – Leave!
It seems that Grandad was wrong! The UK’s net weekly contributions to the EU are now estimated at far more than than the £121 million we have been using to date. Stories circulating today quote Office of Budget Responsibility’s estimates for 2017 to 2022 at more than twice our previous figures.
So rather than painting a black picture of EU’s consumption of our taxes Grandad has been seriously understating how much the Brussels Eurocrats have been syphoning off from the British economy – and out of our essential services. Apologies to all for making the EU seem less of a financial burden than it actually is …
Reuters today reported .. HSBC, one of Britain’s “Big Four” banks, expects the Bank of England to raise interest rates twice over the coming 12 months … rates to be lifted by 25 basis points in November and then again in May 2018, taking Britain’s benchmark interest rate to 0.75 percent.
So perhaps this marks the start of a gradual normalisation of interest rates after they were pushed off a cliff in 2008. Then rates went from 5% to 0.5% in just a few months. A rate that stayed until 2016 when a lack of confidence by the experts prompted a move to the current all-time low of 0.25%. A move that fueled a fall in the value of sterling – so increasing the cost of imports and reducing the spending money of anyone going overseas.
Now we have had eight years of exceptionally low Bank interest rates. A situation where many have forgotten, or never experienced, living with the effects of rising interest rates.
Clearly in a rising-rate scenario any outstanding debts will require increased monthly repayments and this could be a problem for those with little or no slack in the budgets. When rates collapsed careful borrowers kept up their old repayment amounts – so reducing their total debt more quickly. But anyone who opted to go for reduced payments, or who started a new loan with lower rates, will face a hit eventually.
However if inflation takes a sudden upward turn then the controlled interest rate strategy of small steps upwards over an extended timescale will be ditched in favour sudden hikes … so don’t get caught out.
Yet another fifty days have ticked over on our Leaving The EU Scoreboard and still we have very little good news to report.
Obviously the UK net payments to Brussels have continued and our estimate has just passed £7,777 million since the Brexit vote 450 days ago. So that’s another £800 million or so we will never see again. A thought that makes statements calling for delays to the Brexit talks due to the UK side questioning the EU demands or being told that the EU intends to teach the British people a lesson just add more fuel to the smoldering fire. The case for a clean break gets almost unavoidable given that the EU views its leaving demands and financial penalties as, in effect, non-negotiable.
Meanwhile UK MPs are trying to progress with the bill to restore the supremacy of UK law – and so regain our independence – despite opposition from most members of the Labour, SNP and Liberal Demo-prat parties. Why they think that is the right way to uphold the authority of parliament and enact the will of the people God only knows. Anyway they are all now taking turns to go to their respective party conferences so this vital bill wont get its final vote for some time yet.
Finally there is a promise that our PM, Theresa May, will make a major speech setting out her vision for a new deal with the EU next Friday in Florence. However there is still likely to be a very big gap between what the EU and the UK want from the negotiations. And Mrs May’s track record on major announcements is very weak after that early-election decision fiasco. If the Florence speech is a flop then we may be faced with yet another general election! Another case of political power brokers pushing their own agenda?