Tag Archives: referendum

Going Nowhere

Today saw an agreement by the European Union on the rules that they expect the UK to follow during any transitional arrangement. This transition being the time straight after we nominally leave the EU in March 2019.

Poor_Britannia_2_300These rules require the UK to incur all the downsides of membership – without the UK having any form of control. Everything – free movement, unconditional acceptance of EU laws, millions in fees, no trade agreements, etc – will be just the same as when we were a member; except that the UK would have no MEPs or any say in EU decision making. A situation where the UK could be quite literally bled dry. Also a situation which means that no actual transition can happen.

In short we would become a vassal state – a puppet government controlled by Brussels. A nation totally subject to foreign control and having to pay the EU’s taxation without any representation.

On this basis the only option for the UK is to state that the start of the transitional arrangement was 29 March 2017 and that it will run for no more than two years; terminating on the same day as we leave.

Sadly our lack-lustre leaders and fifth-column elitists seem destined to continue to squabble over the carcass of Brexit – like vultures over a dead buffalo.

Back in 2016 it was pretty clear what needed to be done as quickly as possible – issue resignation letter, suspend payments until agreement reached and repeal the European Communities Act. Just look what has happened instead. Poor Britannia indeed …

Festivals Delayed

The plans to launch an annual referendum festival for Scotland have been pushed back until May 2018.

RefFest2018_270However the inaugural festival will still be themed IndyRef2. And the promoters remain convinced that Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, will live up to her frequently repeated promise to fund a second independence referendum with the approval of the UK government.

A spokesperson for the promoters said that the main cause of the festival being delayed was the lack of meaningful progress towards implementing the result of the 2016 referendum on EU membership. It’s hard to kick-off a new referendum when the previous one is still being argued over said the spokesperson.

The hope is that by this time next year the situation will be that much clearer and the IndyRef2 campaign can start. However the second annual festival planned for 2018 – EuroRef2 – may now have to go back to 2020 thus making the event into a biennial promotion. The spokesperson confirmed that this was the most likely outcome given that referendum fatigue was in danger of reducing its appeal to both sponsors and the public. Also if the 2018 result was in favour of  leaving the UK then 2019 would be a year taken up with implementing its consequences. The idea of linking the festival to a song contest that would select Scotland’s Eurovision entry was confirmed as dead in the water due to a total lack of support.

New Independence Move

While attention was directed at Scotland a second part of the UK has been working towards staying in the European Union. In an unpredicted move Hoxton has become the next to announce its aim of breaking with Westminster and switching its allegiance to Brussels.

HOXTON_300Leaked documents reveal that the Hoxton Independence Party (HIP) have been making plans since July and will soon be ready to launch their independence manifesto. So going public well before the UK Government gives notice to quit the EU.

When contacted the HIP spokesperson, Nikolai Popescu, said that the party would “work with others across the political divide to try to save Hoxton from the fate of a hard Brexit. We will demand the powers to keep Hoxton in the single market even if the UK opts to leave. But if the Westminster government rejects our demands and insists on taking Hoxton down a path that hurts our economy, costs jobs, lowers our living standards and damages our reputation as an open, welcoming, diverse region, then be in no doubt that Hoxton must have a second vote on EU membership and its ultimate independence. San Marino, Andorra and the Vatican have shown that small, land-locked communities can survive and prosper in Europe. Power to Hoxtonia Europa!”

We await developments with interest ..

Could The Last To Leave Please Turn Out The Lights

With so many of the ruling classes wanting the UK to stay a member of the European Union it is no surprise that the leaving process will face plenty of obstacles and delays.

Article 50
1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it. A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.
EUAct1972_300
EUWithdraw1

However only a dwindling number of die-hard EU fanatics believe that leaving can be delayed forever. So one day it will actually happen. But how best to handle the actual separation is not clear to me or – I suspect – many other Grandads. But that does not prevent us making a few guesses.

Step 1 should probably be for the PM to send a letter to one or more of the EU presidents saying we are leaving – as per article 50 of the EU treaty. (see right) Various factions are seeking to delay this first step in both the Commons and the Lords.

Step 2 should be to suspend all payments to the EU – pending the conclusion of the leaving negotiations. This would, no doubt, trigger an unfavourable reaction from the EU. But once committed to leaving we need to hang onto all our funds if only to cover ourselves against the EU stopping or restricting the UK’s benefits and rebates. The alternative of making payments and then asking for them back later seems foolish in the extreme.

Step 3 should be to repeal the European Communities Act of 1972. This step is needed to restore the priority of British laws and remove the superiority of the EU over our affairs. Being a matter that will, most likely, require a parliamentary bill it may well be blocked or delayed by the remaining, anti-independence EUrologists. And that is why this step must come after steps 1 and 2. Any delays in implementing step 3 would, therefore, not delay the actual leaving date.

Once these three steps are cleared then there are dozens – or more likely hundreds / thousands – of laws, rules and regulations that need to be created, replaced, redrafted or scrapped in the UK. A process that could well become long drawn out and tedious. But employing MPs on this task may serve to remind them not to keep adding so many new laws to the statute book in the future.

However the EU treaties do not terminate until terms are agreed in Brussels. This process is allowed to take a maximum of two years from the date of step 1. For any extension beyond two years there needs to be a unanimous agreement by the European Council.

In February 2016 the UK civil service produced a paper outlining The process for withdrawing from the European Union. This painted a very gloomy picture; mainly highlighting their perceived problems in leaving the EU –
– It could take up to a decade or more to negotiate firstly our exit from the EU, secondly our future arrangements with the EU, and thirdly our trade deals with countries outside of the EU, on any terms that would be acceptable to the UK.
– This long period of uncertainty could have an impact on financial markets, investment and the value of the pound, and as a consequence on the wider economy and jobs.
– Issues such as the rights of the approximately two million British citizens living elsewhere in the EU, access to markets for vital industries, and the status of Irish and Gibraltan borders would all need to be addressed.

This report may be excessively negative but it does make some valid points. Now any Grandads with a strong commercial background would probably conclude that the best strategy would be to go for the simplest terms agreed as quickly as possible. In fact terms that could be as simple as a polite goodbye with no concessions or commitments. This would put the UK in the same situation as non-European countries and non-EU members like Turkey. So trips to the rest of Europe could involve visas (and therefore for EU citizens coming to the UK) – providing the EU is really prepared to commit to the cost of extra policing at its borders that this visa checking would incur.

Clearly a quick and clean separation would sweep away all the uncertainties but it would also upset those that want to hang on to EU membership for as long as possible. Notable amongst these would be the SNP. However acting decisively at the first opportunity would shorten the period of unrest; even if it brought to a head the issue of a second referendum on Scotland leaving the UK. Surely a price worth paying when considering the alternative of years of political wrangling.

So when will step 1 happen? If I knew that I would be busy placing bets before saying anything publicly. But sometime while parliament is in recess is often good – so how about Christmas / New Year? That is next Christmas .. not Christmas 2017! However it could be something that none of us live long enough to see …

RefFest 2017

With Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, still stating that another vote on Scottish independence is highly likely the team behind an annual referendum festival has been encouraged to press ahead.

RefFest2017_270When the plan was announced some four weeks ago many thought that it was simply a spontaneous reaction against the UK-wide vote to leave the European Union. One that would rapidly fade after the shock result sank in.

But calls for an IndyRef2 – as soon as 2017 – have not gone away. Only yesterday several thousand pro-independence marchers – organised by the All Under One Banner group – demonstrated their support in Glasgow. So a RefFest there in May next year looks to have some guaranteed support. However the festival organisers have yet to find any firm financial backers. And plans for a national song contest and satellite RefFests for supporters outside Scotland are on hold.

Scotland Plans Annual RefFest

In response to the large scale public involvement generated by IndyRef 2014 and EuroRef 2016 plans are being prepared for Scotland to have a national referendum festival as a regular fixture in its cultural calendar.

Maynard-1A spokesperson said .. The increase in political activity and public meetings that a referendum brings has major financial spin-offs and benefits in many areas; with flag sales, beer sales and banner printing services showing particularly large increases. The introduction of our annual Referendum Festival (RefFest) could give Scotland the same level of benefits as the Oktoberfest brings not just to Munich but to the whole of Bavaria.

Their provisional festival timetable calls for IndyRef2 to be held in Glasgow during May 2017 with EuroRef2 planned for Edinburgh during May 2018. The subject for the 2019 referendum is much less clear at this stage but the sale of Shetland to Norway, Orkney to Iceland and the Restoration of the Kingdom of Fife are the most likely contenders.

However the organisers have admitted that they will need much more funding before they can take their plans any further. They hope to supplement their current crowd-funding efforts with grants from Tourism Scotland, loans from Deutschland Uber Alles and sales of whiskey to the EU Commission.

A Messy Divorce?

Less than a week on from the EU Referendum result but it certainly feels like a long time for UK politics. Change is everywhere.

So we meet again Mr BondTrue it was expected that the Conservative Party would soon need to elect a new leader – followed by a changed ministerial line-up. But much less expected was the internal revolt of their Labour opposite numbers and an opposition leader who kept refusing to go even when pushed – heavily. This resulting in Government problems – like the fall from grace of the Chancellor of the Exchequer – being pushed from the headlines by a Labour Party in melt-down.

Aside from the official Westminster political manoeuvers the week has been full of crazy schemes and rash statements; autonomy for London, unification for Ireland, Scotland to block the EU exit letter, English out as an official EU language, no voting rights for Grandads, etc, etc.

However the mood amongst our former EU political partners was no more tranquil – especially after MEP Nigel Farage turned up in Brussels to say I told you so.

Some EU members wanted an immediate UK divorce while others tried to goad the UK into action by saying that we lacked the guts to actually leave. However most seemed to want to make the British pay for their stupid desertion vote and for us to regret ever challenging the right of the Brussels elite to lead the European continent towards its promised Nirvana.

Now it looks like we are going to need a really-special special agent to make good our escape from Brussels in one piece. Things may get even worse before they get any better … if that is even possible after England’s Euro 2016 football shambles on Monday.

EU Referendum Vote

Juncker-CameronNo more opinion polls, banners, leaflets, meetings, speeches, debates, promises or threats about our choice of leaving or remaining in the European Union. Instead today we have the cold, hard results of yesterday’s vote and groups of dazed politicians wondering what happens next.

The published facts are –

LEAVE 17,410,742 Votes
REMAIN 16,141,241 Votes

Meaning that LEAVE wins by a majority of 1,269,501

So now there are 16 million voters who did not get the result they wanted. A situation where the activists in the loosing camp will be demanding recounts, reruns or to simply ignore the outcome.

Jack45But for those who make their living out of politics the result will directly effect their careers. Clearly all the UK MEPs – and their assistants – will have no future role in Brussels. And with over 70% of Westminster MPs backing Remain there are plenty who will have to rethink their positions. This is especially true for the leaders of the Conservative government and the Labour opposition who both pushed the Remain case.

The fact that Scotland voted to Remain will be good news for the SNP and has already lead to calls for a re-run of the Scottish independence vote.

Meanwhile poor Gibraltar has seen its huge vote to Remain swamped by the massive votes to leave in most of the English regions.

More developments are sure to follow very soon … Lord Farage? ex-Prime Minister Cameron? … Watch it on a TV channel near you.

EU Referendum Polls 3

One more month nearer to the UK referendum on EU membership and one final check on the state of the Poll of Polls results at whatukthinks.org.

WhatUKThinks_EU_23May2016With the Remain promoters warning of everything from falling house prices to threats of war; from NHS collapse to financial recession, fear-inducing predictions have continued to be the basis of the big arguments. This coupled with the fact that many left-leaning voters who also support leaving the EU are being branded right-wing extremists helps send floating voters towards Remain.

In contrast the Leave campaign does not seem to getting much traction despite such threats as British Army units being commanded by Brussels and Turkey getting full EU benefits without having formal membership. Even the knowledge that the EU is holding back on unpopular directives and delaying cost-increasing budgets has not been used to full effect.

Clearly this continued drift, in the surveys, towards a Remain victory would tie Britain to the EU family for the foreseeable future. While also putting any future questions about Britain’s EU membership off the table for the lifetime of every one of today’s Grandads.

This result in the actual vote would, of course, be both good and bad news. With so many of the rich and powerful on the Remain side the result would confirm that enough voters had done as they were told – and the Eurocrat elite could press ahead with their plans for our future without any effective challenges. That would be good news for them and avoid  Britain being treated as deserters (to quote President Juncker) by the EU’s power brokers for years to come.

The bad news would arrive for us, the lower classes, when the full scale of the Europa Projekt became apparent and when we saw how Britain’s views, and promised safeguards, were out-voted or ignored.

For Scotland this result would leave the SNP in the position of having won the EU vote but lost their best excuse yet for having a second Scotland-UK exit referendum. An outcome that would probably be for the best, since the Europa Projekt is based upon the removal of national boundaries and excluding nationalist politicians. So making it impossible for Scotland to be both an independent nation and an EU member.

However this is just a summary of opinion polls – there could be a very different vote this time next month …

EU Referendum Polls 2

Another month nearer the UK referendum on EU membership and another check on the latest Poll of Polls result from whatukthinks.org.

WhatUKThinks_EU_29Apr2016And it looks like Project Fear is having an effect – with a 1% shift to the Remain camp putting clear water between them and the Leave voters.

Hardly surprising with so many experts and twitterati circulating negative stories – some with very dubious claims – about what would happen if Britain dared to deviate from the route laid out by the Europa master plan.

One claim was that the English Premier League would loose all its European players if the UK voted out. Another was that the UK would not be allowed an entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. Yet another was leaving the EU would mean the end of the cross Channel booze cruises to Calais. All were untrue. But since when has that mattered when feeding propaganda to the masses?

The Leave supporters have been fighting back. But are vastly out numbered in the corridors of power – with even neutral civil servants at HM Treasury putting out pro-Remain economic projections. And with so many UK political leaders, except Farage of course, telling us that we have to stay in the club – or face a terrible future – the gradual swing to Remain continues.

But there is still that sickening feeling that we are being manipulated into buying the political equivalent of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). Something we don’t need and will regret ever agreeing to. However in the case of the European Union policy there are no national cancellations or refunds allowed.