Whose pension comes from the EU?

“Even contempt for ‘experts’ cannot obscure the evidence that the Johnson-led Brexit vote has already damaged and will inflict future harm on the NHS,” Kinnock said. “Meanwhile – vitally – Brexit has already diminished, and will continue to depress, the revenues on which the NHS depends.

“If Johnson really wanted the extra NHS spending, which is sorely needed, he wouldn’t be using the issue as a ploy to feed his lust for the Tory leadership but would be working to end Brexit.

“The truth is that we can either take the increasingly plain risks and costs of leaving the EU or have the stability, growth and revenues vital for crucial public services like the NHS and social care. Recognising that, we should stop Brexit to save the NHS – or, at very least, mitigate the damage by seeking European Economic Area membership.”

That Anglo Saxon Wave

The European Union will demand the right to raid financial services firms in Britain after Brexit and hand its regulators sweeping new powers, as Brussels moves to shackle the City of London with red tape after the UK leaves the bloc.

How colonialist that is. The natives can’t be trusted to run themselves, send the gunboats in.

You know, sovereign jurisdiction is sovereign or it ain’t…..

Well, boo hoo, eh?

Fruit and vegetable farms across the UK were left short of thousands of migrant workers in 2017, leaving some produce to rot in the fields and farmers suffering big losses.

More than 4,300 vacancies went unfilled, according to new survey data from the National Farmers Union (NFU), which covers about half the horticultural labour market. The survey, seen exclusively by the Guardian, shows more than 99% of the seasonal workers recruited came from eastern Europe, with just 0.6% from the UK.

Since the vote to leave the European Union in 2016, growers have warned repeatedly of damaging labour shortages, with recruiters reporting that Brexit has created the perception among foreign workers that the UK is xenophobic and racist.

The government, which has pledged to reduce immigration, has so far rejected calls to reinstate a seasonal agricultural workers scheme (Saws). Facing uncertainty over labour, some farmers have begun moving their production overseas.

The NFU labour survey found that an average of 12.5% of vacancies went unfilled in 2017, the first time there has been a shortfall since the survey began in 2014. The proportion of workers returning to work in the UK after previous years is also dropping fast, from 41% in 2016 to 29% in 2017. The fall in the value of the pound after the Brexit vote has also helped make the UK less attractive.

It’s the last sentence there which is important.

So farmers will have to raise the wages they offer. So sad, eh?

Tell ’em to bugger off

UK negotiators have been warned that the EU draft withdrawal agreement will stipulate that Northern Ireland will, in effect, remain in the customs union and single market after Brexit to avoid a hard border.

The uncompromising legal language of the draft agreement is likely to provoke a major row, something all parties to the negotiations have been trying to avoid.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is still, just, a sovereign nation.

In which case bugger off mateys.

The correct answer here is, as I’ve been saying, to lie.

“And sure enough, this is a border, can’t you see it? We’ve road signs and all saying it’s the border.”

And then carry on much as we do right now. Anything less than an artic going through is just local people doing local things*. Larger cargos get “randomly” checked. And we’re done.

*Adjust according to local intelligence.

The Anglo Saxon Wave for Brussels

Brussels is demanding that Theresa May submit to powers allowing the European Union to ground flights, suspend single market access and impose trade tariffs on the UK during the Brexit transition period.

Under the proposals, the EU would have unprecedented legal powers — without the oversight of European courts — to punish Britain unilaterally if it breached the terms of the transition.

Oh Aye?

A five-page legal text drafted by the European Commission and seen by The Times yesterday will infuriate Tory backbenchers who regard transition arrangements as reducing Britain to a “vassal state” after Brexit. The text calls for “a mechanism allowing the union to suspend certain benefits deriving for the UK from participation in the internal market where it considers that referring the matter to Court of Justice of the EU would not bring in appropriate time the necessary remedies”.

About time we told them to simply fuck off and die, eh?

For those are, quite literally, dictatorial powers being demanded by an unelected bureaucracy. For the temerity of our having decided to leave their embrace. Better to bugger off and rely on the courts than that, eh?

The correct answer is bugger off you idiots

Britain will have to pay money to Brussels’s coffers to pay for single market access for the financial services, according to reports.

London’s booming City contributes billions of pounds to the EU economy but some in Brussels have threatened to limit its access to the single market.

EU diplomats are said to be plotting a ‘pay per access’ model for the UK’s financial services sector.

Under the plans, the sector would be allowed access to the EU’s single market but only if the British taxpayer continues to pay into the EU budget.

Who benefits from the provision of financial services? The people provided with financial services.

So, the demand is that the UK should pay into the EU budget so that EU citizenry can benefit from UK financial services.

No.

They can also bugger off on this:

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the EU is drawing up plans to slap the UK with sanctions if Britain takes a drastically different path on the economy after Brexit.

Brussels is scared that if the UK liberalises its economy and slashes taxes to bring in new investment it might be left unable to compete.

So under the plans, revealed in the Financial Times today, the bloc is plotting to bring in ‘non-regression clauses,’ sanctions, ‘tax black lists’ and penalties against state-subsidised companies in a future trade deal with Britain.

That the EU follows one socio-economic model is just fine. But rather the point of not being in the EU is the freedom not to follow that socio-economic model.

My own preference would be that they do try to impose such sanctions and restrictions. We then go full Hayek on them. A few decades later we’ll be able to tot up who won then, won’t we?

To fail Chesterton’s Fence

The EU is to oblige national governments to provide greater access to drinking fountains, encourage restaurants to offer free tap water, and raise the standards required of suppliers, as part of a move to clamp down on plastic waste and improve the health of Europeans.

Millions of Europeans, largely from impoverished groups, such as Roma communities in central eastern Europe, do not have ready access to drinking water. Yet analysis by the European commission finds that even where member states have a high standard of tap water fountains in public spaces and buildings are lacking, leading to an overuse of plastic bottles.

On Thursday the vice-president of the commission, Frans Timmermans, will announce changes to the drinking water directive to put further obligations on national governments.

More public drinking fountains then. OK.

But, erm, why did we stop having them?

In South Yorkshire, a spokesperson for Sheffield council revealed that all its fountains “were taken out a few years ago due to health risks and damage”.

I see, we’ve cracked that problem then, have we?

Well, we must have done, given that the law now says we’ve got to do again what we gave up doing because of that problem. Just be nice to see some evidence of it, that’s all.

Would be interesting to see this government paper on Brexit

Brexit would leave the UK worse off under three possible scenarios: a comprehensive free trade deal, single market access and no deal at all, according to a leaked government analysis of the economic impact of leaving the EU.

The document was meant to be shown confidentially to cabinet ministers this week but was leaked in an embarrassing development for Theresa May and David Davis, the Brexit secretary.

It said national income would be 8% lower under a no deal scenario, around 5% lower with a free trade agreement with the EU and about 2% lower with a soft Brexit option of single market membership over a 15-year period.

Because the outcome of such studies always, but always, depends upon the assumptions made.

My prediction – based upon no evidence at all of course – is that the WTO option will assume that we charge the maximum WTO tariffs allowed upon imports. Something we don’t have to do and something which would be stupid to do. But they’ll assume that we will…..

Err, yes, that’s why we’re leaving

Brexit threatens European social progress – leftwingers must speak up

Not, actually, because it’s lefty nonsense being imposed. But because of the imposition. Democracy means the peeps get to decide. A system which imposes certain values and or policies, which the peeps cannot over rule, is thus not democratic, is it?

Do the British want farm subsidies? 50% import tariffs on certain foods? The inability to deport foreign rapists? Sure, all of these are arguable either way but then so are certain definitions of social progress. Who, whom, rather goes to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it?

But it never has been about what the people want, has it?

Plans for a United States of Europe by 2025 suffered a damning blow today after a new poll revealed they have little support across the major nations.

German politician Martin Schulz – the former President of the European Parliament and domestic rival to Angela Merkel – promoted the plan at a party conference.

He called for a rapid development of the EU after Britain leaves, accelerating integration and leaving behind those who do not want it.

But the plan is supported by less than a third of people in seven major nations – and just 10 per cent in Britain, in a vindication of last year’s Leave vote.

It’s always been about what the technocrats would impose upon the people.

Err, yes dear

Macron had a good year. In 2018, he could even stop Brexit

Sheesh.

The President of Frogland is going to stop a British democratic decision? That’s rather why we voted as we did isn’t it?

This was the year France won and Britain lost. Emmanuel Macron emerged to transform a sclerotic political scene, dazzling the world and many in his country with a youthful energy that made French rejuvenation a buzzword. Theresa May stumbled from one hiccup to the next, rushing to Washington for an awkward meeting with Donald Trump, triggering article 50 with no plan for the aftermath, and losing her majority in parliament.

Macron made headlines with slogans such as “Let’s make the planet great again”. May’s mantras – from “global Britain” to “Brexit means Brexit” – backfired or seemed to go nowhere. Macron secured a solid base in the national assembly for his upstart La Republique en Marche party. He made sweeping, lyrical speeches about Europe, heralding a new era of empowerment and European sovereignty.

Most Froggie, thinking that a couple of speeches changes the world.

Nostalgia’s a very powerful force

Ignore it at your peril:

A former foreign policy adviser to Margaret Thatcher has said that the return of blue British passports was an act of ‘nostalgia’ driven by ageing Brexit voters.

Charles Powell said it had been Mrs Thatcher’s Conservative government which phased out the old passport and brought in the EU-style burgundy version in the 1980s.

The new blue passports will start to be issued a few months after the UK leaves the European Union in March 2019.

Mr Powell told the Daily Express that the move to restore blue passports was ‘part of the nostalgia on which the predominantly elderly Brexit constituency thrives’.

Sure, it’s nostalgia. It might even be misplaced such. But there is a significant section of the country unenamoured with the European State to come, desirous of not being subsumed into the technocratic bureaucracy.

Sure, old maids cycling to morning communion and all that. But, as GKC himself pointed out:

We only know the last sad squires rode slowly towards the sea,
And a new people takes the land: and still it is not we.

They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.

We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
Our wrath come after Russia’s wrath and our wrath be the worst.
It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
God’s scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.

We did speak, didn’t we? And whether it was merely nostalgia or not, do not forget that.

An interesting version of a level playing field

Entrepreneurs who supported Brexit have complained of “outrageous” tax bills for their contributions to the Leave campaign.

Donations to political parties, charities and other bodies are usually deemed exempt from tax but HM Revenue and Customs has ruled that payments from individuals to referendum campaigns are liable.

Among those who have been asked to pay six or seven-figure sums are Lord Edmiston, who donated £1 million, the banker Peter Cruddas and the former Ukip donor Arron Banks who gave £8.1 million to the unofficial Leave.EU campaign and faces a £2 million bill. Demands were sent in the past fortnight, The Daily Telegraph reported.

As I understand it – open to being corrected – this is gift tax to stop people beating inheritance tax.

You give a large gift, you should pay the tax on it. Donations to a referendum campaign are such a gift. Thus tax is due from the donor.

Of course, tax money being spent on the same referendum – on either side – doesn’t face the same bill. Nor do corporate donations. Which does rather shade things in favour of the establishment, doesn’t it?