Let’s talk about money, because ultimately that is what is behind all the high-falutin talk about ‘principles’. Let’s also talk about money because it’s something our beloved Remainers won’t talk about or, I believe, are wilfully ignorant of.
For the last three years Remainers have been pointing at that fat squirrel called “The Bus!!!” whenever they wanted to shut up Leave arguments. The other fat squirrel they always point to were the £39 bn, the oh-so reasonable ‘divorce bill’, always justified with the argument that of course, being Brits, we’d pay our dues. Never mind that the Treasury and the Bank of England were far too busy creating Project Fear scenarios to even think of asking for a proper accounting from Brussels!
Here then are some figures which I found ever so interesting. Just savour this headline in the DT: “Britain’s EU contribution rises by 20 per cent in year, as UK’s booming economy props up Brussels’ budget” (paywalled link).
Ah! Let’s remind ourselves that this is our money, for which we worked. Let’s also remind ourselves that, according to the May Treaty which M Barnier and which our own Remainers are defending with tooth and claw, we have no say about how much we’d have to contribute nor how our money will be spent as long as we’re chained to Brussels. Here are some gory details:
“Britain’s contribution to the EU has shot up by £2.6 billion per cent in the past 12 months, new Treasury figures show, as the UK’s growing economy was used to prop up Brussels’ budget. An “eye-popping” £15.5 billion was sent across the Channel in the year ending March 31, compared with £12.9 billion the year before – an increase of 20 per cent. The extra money would be enough to put 50,000 more police officers on the streets or fund 81,000 social care beds.” (paywalled link)
That, our Remainers would say, is fine, is to be expected, no need to make a song and dance about it – we’re ‘rich’. Funny how the Labour Remainers who demand a ‘Labour Brexit’ don’t seem to be worried about our money pouring out of the country! There’s more:
“Treasury accounts published this week show that the increase in Britain’s contribution was driven by a rise in UK Gross National Income, which is used to calculate the largest part of the payment. It went up by £2.7bn, pushing the gross contribution to £20.3bn, which is reduced to £15.5bn net after the UK’s rebate of almost £5bn is deducted.” (paywalled link)
The Treasury, ‘Fortress Remain’ and provider of Project Fear scenarios, made reassuring noises:
“Britain is the third-biggest contributor to the EU, after Germany and France, and accounts for 13 per cent of the total EU budget. A Treasury spokesman said: “Our contribution fluctuates between years depending on factors like economic performance and profile of EU spending. The amount goes up and down over the course of each seven-year agreed settlement. This figure is still within the forecasted EU budget.” (paywalled link)
I do wonder why it is that I can’t find any Brexiteer politician, for example from the ERG, demanding Treasury forecasts for budgets after we’re ‘Out’.
Furthermore, I wonder why it is that Remainers are not up in arms about our taxes being used to prop up the EU instead of being used here at home, to ‘fight Tory Cuts’ and ‘austerity’.
And I do wonder why it is that our current Chancellor of the Exchequer (well, he is for the next five days), Arch Remainer Phil Hammond, is so determined to keep us in. Here’s an assessment by Iain Duncan Smith:
“Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader and chairman of Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign, said: “These figures are eye-popping. It’s ironic that as Philip Hammond launches his final vote fear tirade whilst voting against his Government – without having the decency or principle to resign – the Treasury shows that an increasing amount of British taxpayers’ money continues to pour into bottomless EU coffers.” (paywalled link)
Good question – especially in view of two other gems which our Remainers, wannabe Brexit-Wrecker Hammond first and foremost, wish we didn’t know. One is this:
“Britain’s budget deficit ballooned by more than analysts expected last month after the Government borrowed £7.2billion to help balance the books in Philip Hammond’s second-to-last month as Chancellor. It was the highest June borrowing figure for four years and £3.8billion more than the same month last year, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. The shock surge in public sector borrowing could present a fiscal burden for Britain’s next Prime Minister as it may limit their ability to cut taxes or increase spending.” (source)
The other gem shows nicely that and how Labour, wanting to become the Remain Party, have no understanding of plain numbers – yes, I know, that’s not News – as this quote demonstrates:
“’With the Conservatives obsessed with no-deal Brexit and a race to the bottom on taxes, the outlook for our public services after years of austerity is grim,’ John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, thundered. ‘Instead of investing to grow they have passed on the deficit to hospitals and local councils, overseeing stagnating wages and productivity,’ he said.” (source)
Investing what? The money has gone to the sacred EU! Given that background, the actions of Mr Hammond become even more questionable. Reported in The Express (here), this is what he said:
“Asked by France’s Le Monde newspaper on Thursday whether delaying Brexit “again and again” was a good idea, the Chancellor said: “No. But in practice, an extension of the [Brexit] deadline is absolutely necessary. Between the summer break, the arrival of the new [European] Commission and the new British government, it is simply impossible to negotiate anything before October 31. If the next government is sincere in its willingness to reach an agreement with Europe, then it must ask for more time. “If it does not, parliament will insist on another delay.”
He of all people must know that another delay will mean more of our money pouring out into Brussels coffers. It is, to say the least, disturbing that he and his Remain cohort amongst the Tory MPs are so keen to ‘push the nuclear button’ (here) and bring down the Johnson government rather than compromise, as the still current PM Ms May advised in her last speech.
Tempers inside the Tory Parliamentary Party, the MPs, are running high as this interchange documents:
“One minister prepared to vote down Mr Johnson told The Times: “We will be out of government. But that’s preferable to a no-deal Brexit. He will be out in ten weeks. It’s country before a party that has been hijacked by f***wits.” link, paywalled)
Oooh – swearwords! How extremely collegiate! Who’d want to work with, ahem, “f***wits”, excuse my French! Iain Duncan Smith makes a very good point:
Iain Duncan Smith, Mr Johnson’s campaign manager, said: “It’s deluded to think that running the risk of a Marxist government is standing up for the country. How can they possibly think that the risk of an antisemitic, Marxist government is outweighed by the risk of our departure from the EU?” (link, paywalled)
Meanwhile, the Brexit gossip is about distributing the top jobs according to ‘political merit’ rather than expertise:
“The former Brexit secretary is understood to be in line for either Chancellor or Foreign Secretary after telling Mr Johnson he would not settle for a lesser Cabinet role. The Telegraph understands the pair have been in contact in recent days. Home Secretary Sajid Javid had been regarded as the front-runner for the top Treasury job but insiders say the remainer “has not done enough” to support Mr Johnson’s campaign.” (paywalled link)
Here’s another name being thrown into the ring by gossiping ‘sources’:
“Jacob Rees-Mogg is being considered for a ministerial role in the Treasury amid criticism that the department has become “the architect of Project Fear”. The leading Tory Eurosceptic MP is being tipped to succeed Liz Truss as chief secretary to the Treasury amid Boris Johnson’s desire to accelerate preparations for a no-deal Brexit. […] Mr Rees-Mogg said: “I know nothing about what Boris plans, but the Treasury has been the architect of Project Fear.” (link, paywalled)
Ah well – we’ll have to wait and see. It’s only for a few more days after all.
Tomorrow will be the last Sunday where the Brexit Wreckers will be able to make their case live on TV to the Nation. It’s up to us, again, not to let them get away with it and to show That Lot that, holidays or not, we’re watching and we will remember them, come the GE they so want.
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75 years ago today the assassination attempt on Hitler took place. Much has been written about Stauffenberg and ‘Operation Valkyrie’. I just want to draw your attention to the one man who barely gets mentioned but without whom this would not have happened: Henning von Tresckow. Do read this brief history of his opposition. That, dear friends, is what making a principled stand looks like.