This weekend we celebrate the two year anniversary of the vote to leave the EU. After a week that started with rather un-celebratory predictions of governmental collapse, we end the week in a far jollier mood, with the anti-Brexit wreckers wrecked.
The important vote on the House of Lords ‘meaningful vote’ last Wednesday would have removed the possibility of no deal with the EU and given Brussels an even stronger whip hand than they already have.
In the event the Government defeated the amendment by 319 to 303 with six Tory dissidents voting against largely offset by 4 labour MPs supporting the Government and 9 mainly Labour abstainers.
Lord Adonis described this as an ‘unmitigated defeat’ for Remainers. Once again after many media predictions of doom the Government has stayed on course. The next trial will come in the trade and customs bills in a few weeks, but we keep our fingers crossed that this week’s victories can be repeated.
Yesterday saw a march through London organised by People’s Vote, another well-funded pro-EU group, this time calling for a referendum on the final Brexit deal. Green Party MP Caroline Lucas called for a new political consensus around the Remain cause, while George Soros’s Best for Britain campaign continue to call for a second referendum. It is hard to take seriously complaints about Brexiteers living in the past when ideological Remainers continue to rehash an argument they lost two year ago.
Meanwhile in the House of Commons Brexit Select Committee-committee Jacob Rees-Mogg got the EU Parliament’s Brexit Co-ordinator and enthusiastic Brit-basher, Guy Verhofstadt, to admit that EU rules would compel Ireland to erect physical infrastructure at the Irish border even if the UK did not. See the exchange here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh4LlXtwJjM
BfB’s Media Coverage and Political Impact
The Irish Border
Northern Ireland’s main daily newspaper, the Belfast Telegraph ran a profile of Graham Gudgin last Monday, taking an interest in that rarest of beasts in Northern Ireland, a pro-Brexit academic. The link is: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/news-analysis/republic-cant-really-afford-united-ireland-now-but-if-they-could-get-northern-ireland-into-a-semidetached-position-then-perhaps-they-could-move-into-a-full-united-ireland-in-10-or-20-years-37020097.html
Xenophobia and Brexit
The BBC have picked up on Prof Robert Tombs’s podcast as part of a story on EU nationals in academia and whether or not they should emigrate, quoting his view that, “Britain is not a xenophobic country. Race relations are much better than in most European countries which are solidly in support of the EU. There’s no simple co-relation between disliking foreigners and not liking the EU.”
Paul Ormerod, an economist member of BfB has been looking beyond Brexit, suggesting that the pound, not Macron’s reformed Euro, is the best model for monetary union, in an interview with the Express reported here https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/977574/Brexit-news-update-Emmanuel-Macron-eurozone-reform-latest
Our blogs This Week
Target2: The Silent bailout system of the Eurozone, by David Blake
Professor David Blake argues that we all need to know much more about Target2, the silent bailout system that has kept the euro afloat:
“Anyone who thinks that the UK can be in the/a Customs Union, yet avoid being drawn every closer into a European super-state – controlled by unelected mandarins in Brussels who are supported by unelected judges at the European Court of Justice – is either being very naïve or completely disingenuous. Ask them about Target2 and tell all your friends to ask them too.”
A full report report ‘Target2: The silent bailout system that keeps the euro afloat’ is available at http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/19674/1/Target%202%20v1.pdf
Brexit and Commonwealth: Challenges and Opportunities, by Robert J Jackson
Robert J Jackson argues the Commonwealth’s role in the future of UK trade should be promoted more enthusiastically. The 53 Commonwealth countries include a third of the world’s population and 40% of people under 30 and 14% of global GDP:
“While Brexit will create stresses for some Commonwealth countries, it will bring advantages for many others. Overall, the UK now has an opportunity to greatly expand trade with the Commonwealth and to a large extent make up for its loss of EU membership.
Mrs. May should shout that news from 10 Downing Street and the galleries of Westminster.”
Britain and Latin America: New Opportunities in the Post-Brexit Era? By Thomas Mills
Thomas Mills discusses recent British neglect of trade opportunities in South America, and argues that revitalising these relations needs to be a government priority: “What Brexit has done is cause us to reconsider Britain’s relations with the wider world, including long-neglected regions like Latin America. This can only be a good thing.”
Can the UK Rejoin World Trade Organization: A Response from WTO to Quentin Patterson
The WTO respond here to questions from Quentin Patterson about the UK’s ability to rejoin WTO as an independent member. The WTO say that ‘Britain was, is and will remain a member of the WTO, but the process of independent integration into a series of WTO commitments will depend to a certain extent on the terms of its exit from the European Union’.
Youth unemployment still scars the Eurozone, by a senior economist
A senior economist (who wishes to remain anonymous) argues that it is no exaggeration to trace the crisis of social cohesion and trust in political institutions and traditional political parties in Eurozone countries such as Italy and Greece directly to sky-high rates of youth unemployment. This article examines the nature and causes of the phenomenon.
Meaningful votes and the fight for the default option, by Richard Ekins
Earlier in the week, lawyer Richard Ekins explained the problems of the Grieve–Hailsham amendment, and argued that the Commons (and thereafter the Lords) had a clear duty to reject. Now the vote has occurred this remains an invaluable explanation of what has been going on in Parliament:
“The Grieve/Hailsham amendment should be rejected. It may be sincerely intended to provide a robustly meaningful vote to the Commons or to minimise the risk that the UK’s exit from the EU is chaotic. If this is the intention, then the amendment is unnecessary and may be self-defeating. Alternatively, the amendment may be a stratagem to hamstring the Government’s negotiating position and maximise the chances that the UK is forced to accept terms that amount in practice to continuing subjection to EU law.”
Visceral Emotions and Irrationality: the People’s Vote Demonstration on June 23rd, by Dr Ian Moody
Dr Ian Moody discusses the yesterday’s People’s Vote demonstration, exploring the emotional irrationality of recent Remainer efforts. On top of Project Fear, Remainers have added Project Absurdity:
“When the language used in a debate is designed to instil fear in supporters, to insult and denigrate opponents, and when such language is supported by absurd and unsupported claims, one can only assume that people who behave in such a way have abandoned reason and evidence in favour of the use of fear and abuse, in a desperate attempt to win public support.”
The Subscriber’s Views page on the website allows subscribers to submit their own articles. Submissions welcome.
We have also been busy on Twitter https://twitter.com/briefing4brexit retweeting the daily events that bring Brexit to the fore in the National News.
This week James Rogers, Director of the ‘Global Britain’ programme for the Henry Jackson Society, tweets about Prof Robert Tombs’s analysis of the ‘Remainer Revolt’ (https://twitter.com/james_rogers/status/1008978664883662848)
Discussion continues on Facebook too, with our new blog posts on opportunities for trade with the Commonwealth and Eurozone Youth Unemployment enjoying a particularly strong response. Leonard Anthony Watson notes that BfB’s interest in Target2 is particularly innovative: ‘Congratulations, you are the first I have seen to post how how Target2 is being used to fund insolvent countries’. Sheila Rowe adds, ‘Yet another excellent article – I’ve learned something new from each and every article. Thank you.’
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