Monthly Archives: June 2016

We pay but have no say

Paraphrasing David Cameron’s views on Norway and their participation in matters EU, that argument of his leads onto another very important matter.

During PMQs today David Cameron said, in answer to a question from Kevin Holinrake (Thirsk and Malton) (Con):

……obviously, the term “access to the single market” has many potential meanings. Countries that are outside the EU have access to the single market, some through a trade deal and others through World Trade Organisation rules. Obviously the best access is through membership of the single market. What the country will have to decide—and what the next Prime Minister will have to decide—is what sort of access we want, and what are the costs and benefits of that access…….

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Why we are where we are

Apropos the preceding article and in relation to the heading of this post, I am reminded of the ‘revolutionary speech’ from the film V for Vendetta; which I now ‘paraphrase’:

Good evening.

Allow me first to apologize for this interruption to your homily routine. I too, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine – the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any of you. However, I thought it appropriate to take  some time out of our daily lives to have a little chat.

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Sold down the river – again?

Following the result of the leave/remain referendum it  would appear the political class of the two main parties are descending into what will be a bitter fight to decide who is to lead them. Anyone but Boris seems to be concentrating the minds of the Blue team, while the Red team appear to have a faction that believes in a similar idea, namely anyone but Jeremy.

When we look at the verbal stupidity that has been outpouring from the mouths of our political elite on Brexit, not only during the referendum campaign but in the immediate aftermath,  we can be forgiven for thinking just who are these clowns that we have been forced to elect. This report informs us that Boris Johnson has called for a Brexit ‘road map’; followed by the question just what will be negotiated, when and by who. It can be but an indictment of incompetence against both our political class and the majority of the media when neither knows or wishes to acknowledge that such a ‘road map’ (FlexCit) does exist and has done for some time.

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Now just what is Efta hinting at – and to whom?

From this article:

According to Article 56 of the EFTA Convention, “any State may accede to the Convention provided that the EFTA Council decides to approve its accession. As regards further formal requirements, any new member state would have to apply to become a party to existing EFTA free trade agreements (Article 56(3))“.

Article 126 of the Agreement on the EEA makes it clear that the EEA Agreement only applies to the territories of the EU, in addition to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Under the present wording of the EEA Agreement, it is therefore impossible to be a party to the EEA Agreement without being a member of either the EU or EFTA.

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A European Army?

We learn today that Federica Mogherini has, this weekend, sent an advance copy of the EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy to the Member States. She will formally present the strategy to the Heads of State/Government during this week’s summit in Brussels. She was mandated to to prepare the new strategy by the European Council in June 2015.

It is noted that the press release states that an advance copy has been sent to Member States, which presumably includes the United Kingdom – we are after all still a full member of the European Union; and so remain until the conclusion of the Article 50 process.

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Confused (dot eu)?

From this site we learn:

  • Accessing markets outside the EU is crucial for jobs and growth within the EU;
  • The EU works to keep markets open and to keep trade flowing;
  • An open and fair international trading system is one of the foundations of Europe’s competitiveness;
  • The EU stands to gain from the further opening of markets worldwide;
  • When tariff or non-tariff barriers block the flow of primary goods into Europe or the access of European companies to markets outside Europe, Europe’s competitiveness suffers;
  • The EU aims to reduce the barriers to the flow of goods and services in the EU’s export markets. The market access strategy designed to target and remove individual barriers in key export markets. This involves negotiating the removal of tariff barriers and non-tariff barriers;
  • The EU regularly monitors and reports on Protectionism around the world in the context of the anti-crisis G20 commitment not to resort to trade restrictions.

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The fog of ignorance

Yesterday evening I  watched David Cameron being quizzed on a BBC Referendum Question Time programme and  was struck by the paucity of the content of questions that were asked.

On that point, at 18;48, a young women admitted that she did not know which way she would be voting; she found the campaigns very confusing, she did not think either side had made very good points; and that both should feel ashamed [of their conduct]. That young woman was confused and I would suggest she is but one of a great number of the electorate because they have not been ‘informed’; rather they feel they have been threatened, cajoled and hectored. That may well mean abstentions may be high, or conversely, low as members of the electorate will vote without really understanding the reasons for their decision.

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Incompetence and Incompetents

Like others I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the incompetence of those who portray themselves as incompetent, but who would have us believe they are not where the matter of remaining a member of the European Union is concerned or, conversely, ceasing said membership.

When electing politicians to represent the best interests of our nation is it too much to hope that those who put themselves forward (or are ‘parachuted’ into a constituency by their political party) do in fact know that about which they are supposed to.

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A ‘pot-pourri’ of observations

First a little humour.

Being an avid ‘cricket fan’ I have been ‘glued’ to Test Match Special (on line) during the recent Test series with Sri Lanka. As usually happens during prolonged periods of inactivity on the field, Monday was no exception. Due to extended periods of rain, conversation invariably turned to ‘non-cricket’ subjects; and one of those raised was the query about how many, if any, followers of cricket had named their dogs after cricketers – and it was not long before cats and pet mice were included. One such offering was a cat named Lara, who was not West Indian and whose batting ability was admittedly non-existent (yes the association of name escapes me too). However the one that caught my eye was a cat named ‘Geoff’ (for short) – but whose full name was: Geoffrey Boy Cat.

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The ‘pot-mess’ in which the UK now finds itself

With Newsnight and Huffington giving publicity to FlexCit (possibly unthinkable years ago) one might begin to pose the question: has the ‘Westminster Bubble’ burst? – and if not burst, perhaps has begun to deflate a tad? The BBC deigns to mention something outside of ‘accepted wisdom’? Whatever next!

With the growing questioning about the paucity involved, in regard to the ‘arguments’ being promoted by both @StrongerIn and @Vote _Leave, might there be a surge for Brexit? Probably not while we have Members of Parliament and Members of the European Parliament who, while claiming to be Bexiteers, fail to accept that they are not the ‘masters’, but who wish us to believe that they are – Owen Paterson; Nigel Farage; Andrea Leadsom; Douglas Carswell; Daniel Hannan spring to mind (and so  the list continues; unfortunately). They all pontificate about the need for the restoraton of democracy; the need for those that make our laws to be accountable. Really? Think The Harrogate Agenda and the Six Demands?

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