Danny Alexander’s telling porkies here

More than three million British jobs would be at risk if Britain leaves the European Union, an official Treasury analysis has disclosed.

Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, will inflame tensions in the Coalition on Wednesday by making public Treasury figures that show Britain’s reliance on the EU.

Sigh.

The number of jobs depends upon the general macroeconomic stance in the economy. Aggregate demand and all that stuff.

What the actual jobs are depends upon trade patterns.

Being inside or outside the EU doesn’t change the number of jobs, it just changes what those jobs are.

54 comments on “Danny Alexander’s telling porkies here

  1. If there is less trade, or there are higher barriers to trade (ergo less trade), then surely there are fewer jobs?

    Or we go with the Worstall hypothesis of the same number of jobs but those are less productive (directly, because people have to hand-shovel shit rather than using an imported German shit-shovelling machine no longer paid for with a not-exported wodget, or indirectly because higher tarrifs). In either case, less trade is less wealth. That is surely liberal free-market capitalist dogma, no?

  2. You’re rather assuming that the EU contains the only people we can possibly trade with there, aren’t you?

  3. @Tim, no I’m not. I think you could reasonably accuse me of assuming that the raised trade barriers with the remaining EU would not be compensated for by reduced trade barriers with everywhere else.

    That is admittedly an assumption in that no one can tell which way things would go (indeed are trade barriers to the rest of the world high enough to make a difference, and does Ghana make stuff we want and make enough money to buy our stuff?), however good luck to Britain in getting in on (for example) the coming transatlantic free trade agreement without being in the EU. If Britain does want in one has to wonder at the logic of leaving the EU to do so.

    And yes, for the sake of completeness, I am also dismissing “unilateral” free trade as an option.

  4. Don’t forget the US is currently led by a man who is openly hostile to the UK and the “special relationship”.

  5. We received all of these dire warnings regarding our non-participation in the Euro.

    So it’s interesting to note that Germany’s biggest national trading partner on entering into the Euro was France; it’s biggest trading partner now is the UK. I think Tim’s point stands.

    As regards transatlantic free trade agreements, they will be between the NAFTA states and the EEA, ; not just the EU. Britain has never traded ‘unilaterally’, whatever that is supposed to mean, and I know of no serious observer arguing for that.

  6. Bloke in Germany: … assuming that the raised trade barriers with the remaining EU would not be compensated for by reduced trade barriers with everywhere else

    Well I’d say that was one great big fat assumption followed by a second one.

  7. Clearly porkies.
    We currently run a trade deficit with the EU, so putting in place barriers to our exports would lead to the same for our EU imports (which we would as a non-EU country be entirely entitled to do). To paraphrase Tim, a case of shooting oneself in the foot.
    Furthermore, most if not all, we want from the EU in the way of imports can be obtained elsewhere and–given the way other countries seem to be evolving–may be a preferable set of suppliers.
    There’s real fear within the body politic of the EU question and this is simply a jawboning attempt to change the groundswell against EU membership.

  8. The next thing Alexander will be spouting is that Mercedes , Audi’s , Citroens , Peugeots and other Eurpean cars will disappear from UK forecourts after a brexit. The Euro fanatics are deluded , trade will continue. Germany and France would demand it. And when push comes to shove , we know who really runs the EU dont we.

  9. Of course trade will continue, issue is whether it will be as free as today or not. Those who are deluded are those who think that the deals Britain strikes with third parties will not impact its freedom of trade with Europe.

    Believe it or not, I’m a global free trade advocate, I don’t foresee getting there any faster by taking steps backwards. The FAZ today described UKIP as an “anti-globalisation movement in a tweed jacket”, which (Tim notably excepted) neatly sums it up for me.

  10. @BiG I don’t know anyone who voted UKIP at the recent elecs who expects or even wants them to be in power. They are a single issue pressure group (to me) who may eventually succeed in getting us out of the EU.

    The idea that the EU as an organisation will punish its people – ie the people who get up on cold mornings in Germany and Lyon and Dublin to graft away at shitty jobs to make the money to pay the colossal wage bill of bureaucrats in ACd offices in Brussels – by making it prohibitively expensive to buy British goods, simply to punish Britain for leaving the EU, is perhaps the strongest possible argument against the EU.

    It doesn’t mean you’re wrong, but I don’t think the people of Europe would stand for it. I think we are the first domino, and if we go the whole thing is fucked anyway.

    Hence the urgent desire not to let us go.

  11. “More than three million British jobs would be at risk if Britain leaves the European Union, an official Treasury analysis has disclosed.”

    Maybe he meant all the public sector folks riding the EU gravy train.

  12. @Interested,

    I am not sure where I have ever argued that the EU will impose prohibitive tarrifs on British goods, I think it is vanishingly unlikely, unless Britain goes and enters free trade agreements with places the EU has current high protectionism against. Though clearly some tariff barriers will be erected.

    Just some of the more obvious ones – you will no longer be able to go from the EU to London for a weekend’s shopping and bring back >€430 worth of goods, without paying import duties. Currently Europeans can personally bring back effectively unlimited quantities of booty from a weekend in London. Likewise, Brits going on booze cruises can expect the application of current duty-free limits to imports from Europe.

    Secondly, Brits will find it considerably harder to export their labour to the EU. Only those the current whim of the EU and member states allows in will be allowed in. The highly qualified emigrants like myself will probably have few difficulties, but a lot more bureaucracy.

    Thirdly, expat pensioners may find it harder to get residency in sunny Spain, they may find their health insurance costs more.

    So whatever happens to the big trade barriers that affect big firms, individuals will definitely, and very suddenly find themselves subject to the same rules as if they have just returned from Ghana, rather than elsewhere in Europe.

  13. Further, Germany (and a few others) is keen to keep the UK in as a traditionally liberal, free-market voice, against the more statist approach of the French and Italians.

  14. Bloke in Germany – “Further, Germany (and a few others) is keen to keep the UK in as a traditionally liberal, free-market voice, against the more statist approach of the French and Italians.”

    Tough titty for the Germans.

    I might have a wee bit more sympathy for them if they weren’t so grimly set on extinguishing Germany and the other EU nation states to expiate their existential guilt.

    Any country that produces a Martin Schulz is just begging to be nuked.

  15. Interested – it’s weird.

    When you listen to the Eurocrats and how they speak of Britain, it’s obvious most of them despise us. But they’re desperate to keep us in their shitty club.

    I think you’re right. Us leaving the EU would maim or kill the whole project. Germany in particular would be left in a tight spot as the only major member state that doesn’t plan on living off its neighbours.

  16. “I think we are the first domino”

    This is key. Even if it doesn’t then all unravel, there will be other countries that ultimately will not want to be subsumed into the inevitable USE.

    Once a precedent is set (ie to reverse direction), that precedent will not go back into the bottle – and which is why the EU fanatics will do absolutely anything (including spending huge amounts of our tax payers’ money) to prevent it, whatever it takes.

    Off topic –

    but one might see UKIP as not dissimilar to the SNP. Ie, if you are Scottish and believe in independence, you can “use” Salmon to influence that process, but then just ditch him afterwards.

    In other words, the fact for example that Salmon pontificates that he doesn’t want nuclear weapons on Scottish soil should be irrelevant; as that would be a decision for a future independent Scottish government (red, blue, yellow, whatever).

    If Scotland successfully gained independence, there may not really then be much point in keeping the Salmon (except perhaps as a currency).

  17. @BiG ‘I am not sure where I have ever argued that the EU will impose prohibitive tarrifs on British goods’

    I was in a hurry (and still am) but you said:

    ‘I think you could reasonably accuse me of assuming that the raised trade barriers with the remaining EU would not be compensated for by reduced trade barriers with everywhere else.’

    I read that as they will raise barriers to trade with UK, rather than retain them as is. There’s no requirement for us to be in the EU to retain existing trading arrangements. Is there?

    ‘Just some of the more obvious ones – you will no longer be able to go from the EU to London for a weekend’s shopping and bring back >€430 worth of goods, without paying import duties. Currently Europeans can personally bring back effectively unlimited quantities of booty from a weekend in London. Likewise, Brits going on booze cruises can expect the application of current duty-free limits to imports from Europe.’

    Again, why is it a given that this would end, and why would its ending not be an increase in the price of British goods?

    (It’s also not entirely true that you can bring unlimited booze or fags in, in the way that I can truck a Transit load of lager from Sheffield to Brum if I wish – AFAIK, anyway. My dad and I went to France with a van to buy the wine for my sister’s wedding in 1997; shortly thereafter people were having booze and fags impounded irrespective of the ‘rules’. I must admit, I don’t know if that’s still the case. Does anyone?)

    ‘Secondly, Brits will find it considerably harder to export their labour to the EU. Only those the current whim of the EU and member states allows in will be allowed in. The highly qualified emigrants like myself will probably have few difficulties, but a lot more bureaucracy.’

    TBH, I wouldn’t blame the Spanish (for instance) if they kicked out drunken layabout Scousers. But again – if they impose ‘a lot more bureaucracy’ on people like you, whom they need, how is this not a punishment exacted on the people of Europe? Why should a German firm be forced to put up prices to pay for your employ, and why should your German customners be forced to pay those prices, merely because we’re not in the EU? Why can’t we have a freedom of movement agreement, without the whole shebang?

    I know you will say we can’t because we can’t, but this will hide the true answer – we can’t because they want to keep us in and will want to punish us if we leave.’

    ‘Thirdly, expat pensioners may find it harder to get residency in sunny Spain, they may find their health insurance costs more.’

    So people with rental property in Spain are to be punished by the removal of a large set of potential renters.

    Re healthcare, OK – assuming we can’t reach a civilised agreement, which you seem to think is impossible without our remaining in the EU. But we concomitantly won’t have lots of people flying over her to give birth/get treated for AIDS etc. It sounds a fair swap to me.

  18. I think those of us (meaning me) who wish to see the UK out of the EU should take note of the failure of the Scottish independence campaign to construct a solid post-independence scenario. They have no answers on fundamentals such as currency, fiscal debt, despite having had three centuries to think about them.

    In the hope of a referendum in 2017, the ‘Out’ campaign had better get its ducks in a row now. If not, the Danny Alexanders of the world will drip fear in the form of unanswered questions.

    P.S. If Red Ed wins next year or if Labour forms a coalition with the LibDems, then you can kiss your referendum goodbye. You’ll be left forcing yourselves to feel worthy for denying Cameron the election because “he’s just another socialist” and convincing yourself that it wasn’t your vote that gave the election to Ed.

    Sweet dreams.

  19. “My dad and I went to France with a van to buy the wine for my sister’s wedding in 1997; shortly thereafter people were having booze and fags impounded irrespective of the ‘rules’. I must admit, I don’t know if that’s still the case”

    Customs & Excise (as it was then) got a bit of a hammering about ten years ago over this sort of thing. They lost a case (Hoverspeed) in which they argued that they could impound anything that wasn’t clearly being imported for personal use, together with the vehicle it was in. IIRC, the court said that the onus was on Customs to prove that the goods were commercial, not on the owner to prove that they were for personal use.

    Customs then spent the next few years blithely ignoring that judgement and getting hammered in the courts (at one stage Tax Journal had several almost identical tribunal reports coming up every week) – especially as they had a habit of destroying the “contraband”, and selling off the seized cars to pay the alleged duty, before the position had been determined – until eventually they started to see sense.

    It was a classic case of C&E operating the rules as they considered they ought to be, rather then as the rules were writ. HMRC are getting into that habit too, more’s the pity 🙁

  20. Ironman – “In the hope of a referendum in 2017, the ‘Out’ campaign had better get its ducks in a row now.”

    Yarp.

    “You’ll be left forcing yourselves to feel worthy for denying Cameron the election because “he’s just another socialist” and convincing yourself that it wasn’t your vote that gave the election to Ed.”

    Narp.

    I’m under no illusions about this. My decision to stop voting Tory and vote UKIP instead makes, in its own small way, a Labour government a little bit more likely.

    It’s not that I don’t understand the differences between Lab and Con. I no longer care.

    For me, the EU issue comes down to this: I don’t actually want a referendum. I want us out of the EU.

    So a referendum on David Cameron’s terms – grudgingly conceded, stage managed to coincide with some minor cosmetic reforms, and with the entire political, media, government and “third sector” establishment piling in to defend the EU – is of little interest to me, because we’d almost certainly lose. We might never get another chance.

    OTOH another disastrous and unpopular Labour government with no referendum might just suit my objectives better, especially if Cameron and chums are shown the exit.

    Neither of these are great options though. But I’m done with holding my nose and voting Conservative. Let em burn.

  21. Steve

    I’m not going to try to create ‘clever’ insults; I want us to be clear with each other.

    EU exit simply will not happen without a referendum. Red Ed will not give us a referendum under any circumstances- think Brown and Lisbon. There is no chance of it ever ‘getting so bad’ exit becomes the only option; if the appalling, disgusting social consequences of the Euro around the Med doesn’t shift them then nothing will. And I really do mean NOTHING.

    We must grab this chance now, it will not come back.

  22. Interested said: “I read that as they will raise barriers to trade with UK, rather than retain them as is. There’s no requirement for us to be in the EU to retain existing trading arrangements. Is there?”

    I’m unsure if there is a requirement. There may be one, in a roundabout fashion, however the EU would be daft not to impose trade restrictions on an independent UK as it would then make being a member less attractive if you could get a fair proportion of the benefits but without being in.

    At a guess both the UK and EU would start from WTO guidelines and negotiate lower barriers where it was mutually beneficial to do so but there is one WTO rule that may dissuade them from doing so – Most Favoured Nation. The rule is aimed at preventing discrimination in trade based on nationality. If I have understood it correctly, if the EU and UK strike a good deal between themselves both parties would be obliged to offer the same trade deals to other WTO members. In effect then, if there is to be easy EU-UK trade we do have to be in the EU as the EU would not be willing to lower trade barriers to the rest of the world just for us.

    A workaround for this is possibly an independent UK not dealing with the EU directly but at an EEA level which is not a WTO member. Similarly the UK would strike trade deals with NAFTA rather than the US/Canada/Mexico individually for the same reason. I’m not sure whether it could work in that way though.

  23. I don’t actually want a referendum. I want us out of the EU.

    Yep.

    But I’m done with holding my nose and voting Conservative. Let em burn.

    Substitute Conservative for “Cameron wet Conservatism” – and definitely.

    EU exit simply will not happen without a referendum … we must grab this chance now, it will not come back.

    Don’t underestimate the importance of “events”?

  24. Ironman –

    “EU exit simply will not happen without a referendum.”

    Agreed.

    “Red Ed will not give us a referendum under any circumstances- think Brown and Lisbon.”

    Agreed.

    “There is no chance of it ever ‘getting so bad’ exit becomes the only option; if the appalling, disgusting social consequences of the Euro around the Med doesn’t shift them then nothing will.”

    Can’t agree or disagree with that, because it’s too hypothetical. We’re not a Med country or Ireland so what they’ve put up with for the sake of the Euro won’t necessarily translate here.

    “We must grab this chance now, it will not come back.”

    Disagree. To my mind, the nail in Britain’s coffin as a sovereign nation would be if we had a referendum and it returned a respectable majority in favour of staying in.

    If we have a referendum specifically worded and timed to support a “stay in” vote, arranged by a man who wants us to stay in, with nearly the whole of our Parliament and government and the BBC and every other media platform saying “stay in”, guess what the result’s going to be?

    If Dave Cameron wanted us to leave the EU and was actively working towards that goal, I’d set aside my other misgivings about the man and give him my support. But he doesn’t, he won’t, so neither will I.

    If it turns out that you’re right and if by some miracle the Tories get back in and the referendum actually happens and we leave the EU shortly after 2017, I will gladly send you a generous gift basket and note of apology for having doubted your advice on this.

    In the meantime I can only go by my own sour judgement about the Tories and their referendum promise.

  25. @Gareth ‘I’m unsure if there is a requirement. There may be one, in a roundabout fashion, however the EU would be daft not to impose trade restrictions on an independent UK as it would then make being a member less attractive if you could get a fair proportion of the benefits but without being in.’

    I have no idea if you’re right or wrong, Gareth, but EFTA, EEA etc?

    Also, it does seem that the logic of this position – which I think is not your position but a reading of the position? – would be that the only benefit to being in the EU is trade (which I accept, and is what I believe we signed up for – I was 15 years too young to vote).

    Everything else is a negative.

    Otherwise, there would be no reason to impose barriers on the UK because we’re only getting ‘a fair proportion of the benefits’, as opposed to all of the benefits enjoyed by full members, and are thus hobbling ourselves to the extent that we have ceased to enjoy those other non-trade benefits.

    Or am I missing something?

  26. @Interested

    “So people with rental property in Spain are to be punished by the removal of a large set of potential renters.”

    No – assuming you’re allowed in the country, anyone can rent; you don’t need a ‘residencia’. People from outside the EU probably need a visa and/or a letter of invitation to get into the country.

    If you don’t otherwise qualify for ‘free’, getting residency is purchaseable – if you commit to buying a property for more than £160k (ish. Can’t remember exact amount).

    And private healthcare (certainly in the south) can be super cheap. We were quoted £400 p.a. for a family of 5. That may obviously be a lot more if you’re all wrinkly.

    Of course, Spain was just an example, but I don’t know about other countries.

    @Pellinor
    Yes – HMRC are getting to be a law unto themselves. Yet another reason why we left the country for good a few years ago.

  27. PF – “Substitute Conservative for “Cameron wet Conservatism” – and definitely.”

    Absolutely. If this was Mrs Thatcher’s Tories, I’d still be voting for them.

    She stood up for Britain.

  28. Interested, “raise barriers” doesn’t specify to which level. I’m sure an ex-EU Britain would get quite favourable terms, but that would to some extent depend on their deals with the rest of the world. These things always do.

    The €430 customs limit is an EU-wide thing. Fly into an EU country from a non-EU country and that is the maximum value of stuff you can bring back as a private individual without having to pay (customarily) VAT on the purchases, sometimes additional import duties. It’s applied by the EU to the entire world outside the EU. Even Switzerland not exempt, which is why you get customs controls on the Swiss border even though Schengen has put paid to the immigration controls.

    Similarly the booze limits. A non-EU Britain would be entirely free to say you can bring back what you like, but you cannot then go from the EU to London (for example), for a weekend’s shopping, as a lot of wealthy EU residents do, and exceed that €430 limit on the way home. It would damage the upmarket retail trade in London, that (re)imposition of currently nonexistent trade barriers about which you can do nothing.

    Sure you can have a free movement of people arrangement without the EU. Switzerland managed it (although is now backpedaling furiously), but absent such an agreement with the whole EU it is up to individual countries. You and I might see the economic sense in freedom of movement, but there’s politics – for every German who agrees there are three who whinge about forriners coming here tekkin ahs jerbs, and they have the votes.

    On healthcare you will still have the forriners coming in for treatment, because the NHS doesn’t have a functional way of claiming off forriners. Since 99.9% of their patients are automatically NHS-covered, they don’t have the systems in place for paying customers. For example, I needed treatment in the UK last time I was there and the hospital was just bemused at my (EU-standard) health insurance card. I suspect they just absorbed the cost as it was a trivial matter, but were at least entitled to claim it from my insurer with minimal ado. Absent EU, when they can be bothered to try and charge they will have problems, and the way the NHS is set up (basically don’t turn people away) will just eat the costs themselves most of the time.

  29. Oh fuck it, why bother soft peddling. Cyber Ukippers are absolutely full of shit. There I was thinking you were fellow travellers, that you truly meant it when you demanded and in/out referendum. But no, the moment it is on the table you claim to believe it will all be rigged and start echoing Richard Murphy and Owen Jones “one day there’ll be a revolution”.

    No, nobody can ever make you happy because you don’t want to be happy. You don’t actually want anything except to be unhappy at the state of things. And the one thing you absolutely do not want is to put your shoulders to the wheel, fight a referendum campaign and take a chance on LOSING.

    I leave this post more convinced than ever that Ukip is a wasted vote, fine for those who claim to want certain things when in truth all they want is a good moan. I have no intention of denying you what you truly want.

  30. Ironman –

    I’m not a “cyber ukipper”. I’ve voted for them a grand total of once. Prior to that I voted Conservative. I’ve no itention of joining UKIP or any political party.

    If I think there’s a better option than UKIP at the next election, I’ll vote for that.

    “But no, the moment it is on the table you claim to believe it will all be rigged”

    It will almost certainly be rigged, i.e. arranged to maximise the chances of Cameron getting the result he wants, yes.

    “and start echoing Richard Murphy and Owen Jones “one day there’ll be a revolution”.”

    Wot?

    “No, nobody can ever make you happy because you don’t want to be happy.”

    I’m a happy man. I have that Pharell Williams song on my ipod and everything.

    “And the one thing you absolutely do not want is to put your shoulders to the wheel, fight a referendum campaign and take a chance on LOSING.”

    If there’s a referendum, I’ll donate some money to the campaign and turn out to vote in it. Can’t say fairer than that.

    But like I told you before, I actually don’t want a referendum. I want us out of the EU. No need to get huffy because you have a different opinion on how that might come about.

  31. @ Ironman

    Hmmm… A lot of what Steve said? ..not Pharell Williams…

    Yes, Cameron WOULD try and fudge it. If that’s not obvious – turn it on its head: why on earth wouldn’t he, if he controls that process and he believes in the status quo?

    Although the current Junker thing is interesting. Who knows, maybe this will be an excuse for a “pretend” realisation (with the Con Wets rather than the Con Eurosceptics) that there is never going to be any reform?

    As in “events”, though very early days yet.

    btw, I am curious – what is odd about “not wanting” a referendum? If you want something (ie, a “proper” renegotiation wrt to the EU, which starts with Article 50 and take it from there), actually you want that, not the referendum on it..??

    If UKIP do offer that, why shouldn’t I vote for it? Those voting Lib Dem (no more likely to win than UKIP) know they are voting for a USE, not a referendum on that.

    A referendum has to be second best, and not even that if you believe that the person controlling it may try and bend it?

    “Cyber Ukippers are absolutely full of shit.” ..surely no more than any of the other fruit cakes..!? 🙂

  32. @BiG
    As someone who’s chosen to go live in Europe, I feel qualified to speak on behalf of a a few of the people who haven’t.
    Sorry, but why should they give a flying fuck about the prospects of well educated, middle class Brits getting jobs in Germany? They don’t generally own West End stores either, so have zero interest in Eurostar trippers from Paris, however much they spend. And very few of them are in a position to booze cruise to Calais.
    But they do see their jobs going to Poles, Spaniards, Italians, whatever.
    Trouble with the EU is it’s very good if you’re one of the already better off Brits who can benefit from it. It’s a lot less attractive to the less well off who suffer from it. Who do their own housework rather than rely on a cheap Portuguese maid.
    And there’s a lot more of them than you.
    Now they’ve found a voice.

  33. Oh, and just a word on behalf of the humble working class Dago. Who’s also been royally shafted whilst his middle-classes have fattened on Euro-cream. He’s one of the 25% unemployed. His kid’s one of the 50% unemployed under 25s. (It’s my endeavors been putting bread on the table in one Spanish household the last year. Trying to find bits of casual work for a couple with two young kids & zero prospects)
    The EUs been great for Spain’s haves. Paradise for its political class. Poison for Juan & Juanita.

  34. @ Ironman

    “We can all surely agree on wot Bloke (not) in Spain says”

    I may be wrong but I sense some of these differences are sometimes more of tactics or strategic approach than say eventual outcomes?

    @ Steve – OK, I was being slow, re Mr Williams!

  35. @Justin “No – assuming you’re allowed in the country, anyone can rent; you don’t need a ‘residencia’. People from outside the EU probably need a visa and/or a letter of invitation to get into the country.”

    Yes, I was assuming post-EU Brits would not be allowed to live there.

    @BiG not to parse your entire post as busy but I think we’re probably looking at the same picture through different specs. My whole point is us leaving should not necessarily preclude the free movement of people and services and booze because we joined a common market and could stay in one (with labour adds) but that *they* wouldn’t let us for reasons outlined earlier.

    I doubt they care too much about Hans in Bremen (free trade etc would ironically be good for him) but I might be wrong.

  36. @BnIS “(It’s my endeavors been putting bread on the table in one Spanish household the last year. Trying to find bits of casual work for a couple with two young kids & zero prospects)”

    Fair play. If every EU bureaucrat, local and national politician, spad, PR man and spin doctor did the same we might be getting somewhere.

  37. If Britain ever leaves the EU, and frankly it is unlikely now, it won’t be through a Referendum. They would fix it so that the right outcome was produced – as they have before. Or they would not allow it. Cameron has put off the vote to the distant future specifically so he can avoid granting one.

    If Britain is to leave, and it won’t, it will be because Britain does something serious like getting involved in a war.

  38. Seems to me there’s little doubt that an EU exit would cause significant short to medium term economic upheaval for Britain.

    It’d be worth it.

    We didn’t enter the EU for trade benefits, we were suckered into it by traitors and enemies bent on the slow destruction of our nation and identity. Similar traitors and enemies are still holding the cards and calling the shots. The only way we’re getting out is if the whole project collapses of its own accord.

    On the basis that you shouldn’t ascribe to stupidity that which can be easily explained by malice, I’d say there is a conspiracy amongst our “betters” for the Islamification of Europe. This is a project-too-far for the natives, and things will get very ugly just as soon as an economic disaster makes a sufficient number sufficiently uncomfortable to not care about carrying on as normal anymore.

    That’s when we can get out, and you’d better hope we have a good air force and navy…

  39. Interested,

    Having done a bit more reading I was mistaken. WTO members can make preferential trade agreements with anyone they like and there is no requirement to treat all WTO members the same, so long as you report the agreement to the WTO and it is either for equal benefit between the parties or to aid developing nations. An independent UK could negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU.

    You said: “Everything else is a negative.”

    I hadn’t thought of that. I suppose if pro-EU politicians are going to bang on so much about perceived trade benefits then that is what they are suggesting isn’t it. If free internal trade is the only benefit then I don’t think the EU will be in a hurry to agree free trade with an independent UK – they won’t want someone having the same benefit but without paying the same cost.

    If there are advantages beyond trade then the EU will have to decide whether or not trade with the UK is important enough to warrant giving it preferential treatment relative to other non-EU nations.

  40. On the basis that you shouldn’t ascribe to stupidity that which can be easily explained by malice,

    Ah, the inverted Hanlon’s Razor. Or, in other words, a steaming pile of poo.

  41. Actually I can’t leave it alone. I have spent all my adult life arguing first against the Euro and then against the EU itself. This was always against the prevailing doctrine of the bien disant; I was always ‘odd’ because of it. So I am damned if I am going to be quiet and watch the arsehole cyberkipper ruin the case with their rank stupidity.

    They don’t want a referendum, they don’t trust the Conservatives, they hold out no hope of their party evr achieving power (all these said on this post alone).

    So how the fuck do they think EU exit will come about? Stand up the not-racist-or-anti-semitic-at-all SMFS. Yep “some sort of war” but “it won’t happen”.

    Brilliant!

    So, as I say, you don’t want what you say you want; you really want to be permanently disgusted with ‘them’.

    Really, really stupid things happen because of the EU – 50% youth unemployment across the Southern nations. Those of us that really want out deserve so much better than to have our cause hijacked by arseholes.

  42. Hi Ironman – “I have spent all my adult life arguing first against the Euro and then against the EU itself.”

    Good.

    “I was always ‘odd’ because of it.”

    Are you sure it’s your politics that made people think of you as odd?

    Serious question here: has it ever been suggested that you may have Aspergers or some other autism spectrum disorder?

    “So I am damned if I am going to be quiet and watch the arsehole cyberkipper ruin the case with their rank stupidity.”

    Ok.

    “They don’t want a referendum”

    Speaking only for myself, a non-cyber-kipper, that’s true – I want us to leave the EU. I would welcome a referendum to achieve that, but not so much if it’s designed and implemented by people who will do and say anything to keep us in.

    “they don’t trust the Conservatives”

    True. I don’t trust people who’ve lied to me before.

    “they hold out no hope of their party evr achieving power ”

    I wouldn’t say “ever”, but in the near term UKIP will do well if they win a handful of seats, yes.

    “So how the fuck do they think EU exit will come about? ”

    I can think of a few scenarios, none of which involve a war or EU-loyalist David Cameron arranging a referendum for the express purpose of keeping us thirled to the EU.

    “Those of us that really want out deserve so much better than to have our cause hijacked by arseholes.”

    If I’m understanding you correctly, your “cause” is to get us out of the EU by supporting a party that is dedicated to keeping us in the EU, led by an untrustworthy man who lied to us about a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, and which supports the ascension of Turkey and Albania into the EU.

    A party that promises vague “renegotiations” with the EU, but won’t say what it hopes to achieve in those negotiations, or under what circumstances it would regard the negotiations as a failure and recommend we leave the EU.

    A party that only started making noises about holding a referendum in 2017 because it felt threatened by UKIP.

    It’s not just the dastardly cyber-kippers who sense Cameron isn’t being serious on this. His fellow EU leaders aren’t impressed either.

    So… when you go to buy a car, do you always pay list price because the dealer tells you he has somebody else coming to look at it that afternoon?

    The problem with raging against other folks as “arseholes” is that it tends to rebound on you like a boomerang made of poo.

    Ask not for whom the arse is holed, Ironman. It’s holed for thee.

  43. “arsehole” “rank stupidity” “arsehole”…

    Oh dear – it’s getting to you..:)

    You say you have followed this all of your adult life? Then clearly you understand the long game (USE) played by the federalists?

    And in the same context, surely you also see Dave’s faux-promise in the same context and for what it is? A very unwilling acceptance that UKIP is causing him damage. Absolutely nothing more whatsoever.

    He pretended to oppose the new European Constitution (Lisbon), and then flipped. Both the Cons and Lib Dems promised referendums on the EU prior to 2010, but then a Coalition of the two didn’t. How on earth can one reconcile that? Actually, it’s simple, they were both telling great big porkies (to stay on topic!).

    You make the comment “you really want to be permanently disgusted with ‘them’”. I would suggest that may just be frustration on your part!

    Whatever this disaster of a Conservative leader himself may actually believe in, his actions are clearly showing that he tends towards the establishment and status quo. If those against a USE stop challenging him, I believe nothing will genuinely happen to stop that drift. Watch what he does, rather than says?

    Don’t forget that Cameron is Prime Minister today and has been now for four years, barely a few MPs short of a complete majority in the Commons? The Conservatives are supposed to be eurosceptics, right? Try and imagine the last four years with no UKIP (or similar) pressure whatsoever? Would he have ever even “talked” about a referendum? That tells you his true direction..

    btw.. if I understand it correctly, having finally gained some EU exemptions, the government may now be looking to simply volunteer straight back in to the EAW process, with all of its flaws and injustices – what does that tell you about its preferred direction..!?

  44. @bnis,

    I’m well aware that the EU is a better deal for western professional classes than western working classes (I don’t have a maid or a cleaner BTW). But you contradict yourself, with the complaint of 25% unemployment in Spain and Spaniards taking north-westerners’ jobs.

    And 25% unemployment in Spain has been a regular occurrence since long before Spain was in the EU or Euro. Why is the EU to blame now? Was the EU also to blame for Spain’s dire economy during the transition, or under Franco?

    Economically, I take it, we are also in agreement that that freedom of movement – trade in labour across borders, is in the common interest? That the “forriners tekkin ahs jerbs” whingers I also pointed out are wrong, but yes, do indeed have the votes? That protectionism (however much it appeals to the little workers who want the government to bring jobs to their desolate shithole rather than do a Norman Tebbit’s dad and get on their bike), is a bad thing?

    Personally I am sick to the back teeth as a high tax-paying middle class professional of subsidising the layabout unemployed who want to bleed me dry to live in their little prospect-free hamlet because they like it there. Having moved countries and in doing so weakened bonds of friendship and family, and accepted the inevitable higher costs of living in a foreign country, and learned a new language to get a fucking job, why shouldn’t I get a better deal from the EU than the unskilled unmotivated people who live off the benefits I pay for?

  45. @ Ironman

    Or perhaps to turn it on its head and put it another way?

    From your perspective, if you are Conservative leaning (?), don’t you feel at all betrayed?

    You have campaigned against both the Euro and the EU through a long period of disastrous Labour rule (and probably prior to that), and during which British sovereignty continued further to be eroded to the federalist bureaucracy in Brussels.

    Finally, on the run up to 2010, a real chance of a Eurosceptic Conservative government – Lisbon can be reversed, the UK can take back some control, and much more..

    And then your leader, showing his true colours:

    – does a u-turn and reneges on a major transfer of power to the EU – the new European Constitution (Lisbon),

    – gratefully does a deal with Clegg’s 60 or so MPs, so as never to be troubled by his eurosceptic wing (thinking back to Major),

    – starts calling the eurosceptics in his own party swivel eyed loons and more, and

    – at no stage “does” (rather than says) anything to suggest that he is in any way interested in pursuing the eurosceptic cause.

    All I can say is that if (as a eurosceptic) you are still unconditionally supporting Cameron after all that, then, you know what – actually I admire you hugely, simply for such unswerving and unfailing loyalty.

    And I do genuinely hope that loyalty is repaid to you.

  46. “a steaming pile of poo”

    Speaking of which, this is what the British Foreign Secretary (the sensible brother with some credibility) suggested:

    EU ‘should expand beyond Europe’
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7095657.stm

    It’s no secret that many of our betters want the borders down and the floodgates opened. Of course, I’m sure it’s all a bit of vague stupidity and nothing will come of it. Just like the silly way we voted on a common market and somehow bumbled into having our sovereignty transferred to unaccountable transnational hyper-bureaucrats. And the daftness of promised referendums getting lost down the back of the sofa. No malice at all. It’s a complete coincidence that the utter incompetents in power keep getting what they want and we keep getting the shaft.

    We could discuss the full ramifications of being in the same club as the denizens of North Africa and the Middle East, but some bozo made it a hate crime. Whoopsie, how “stupid” was that?

  47. PJF – “It’s no secret that many of our betters want the borders down and the floodgates opened.”

    Well, to be fair the Tories only want to admit Turkey (80 million mostly uneducated Muslims) and Albania (only 3 million of em, but a very high percentage of violent criminal gangsters) to the EU. And maybe Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro.

    Dealing with Cameron’s Conservatives is like dealing with someone trying to force you to suck him off.

    “No, absolutely not. I have no plans for you to give me a blowjob… What? Well OK, maybe I do have my cock in your mouth, but only because it’s very cold… let’s be reasonable about this… No, I will not remove my dick from your mouth, would you rather have Ed Miliband’s willy in there? Thought not… OK, since my penis is in your mouth, and you haven’t objected to that, the very least you can do is give me fellatio… Ahhhhh…. Good. I’m so glad we both reached this decision. We’re all in this together you know.”

  48. Ironman – “So how the fuck do they think EU exit will come about? Stand up the not-racist-or-anti-semitic-at-all SMFS. Yep “some sort of war” but “it won’t happen”.”

    I have never claimed to be not either racist or anti-semitic.

    “Brilliant!”

    And yet it is probably true. We are in. Our Elders and Betters won’t let us out. There is no way to shift them sort of something seriously revolutionary. Like a big war. Maybe Europe breaking down into civil war. Nothing else.

    “So, as I say, you don’t want what you say you want; you really want to be permanently disgusted with ‘them’.”

    I don’t know what that So is doing there. I think Britain should be out. There is simply no pathway to allow us out. And soon the majority of the British population won’t be British so it will be irrelevant. This is pretty much the facts of the matter. Complaining about it won’t change it. Nor will hoping the tiger will change its spots and our Elders and Betters will actually give a f**k what we want. If they did, Britain would have capital punishment, discipline in schools, zero immigration and no non-White communities, no membership of the EU, a much weaker Whitehall and so on. Nothing like what they have actually got.

    “Those of us that really want out deserve so much better than to have our cause hijacked by arseholes.”

    And what pathway is there out of the EU? You think Cameron is going to offer a vote? Don’t be stupid. If he wanted a vote, we would have had one by now. He put it off so he never has to do it like Carbon Limits. Even if he allowed it, we have been down this road before – France voted for the Maastricht Treaty, remember? With the help of lots of conveniently discovered votes in the French Indian Ocean.

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