Six key tests to prove Brexit means Exit

1. The Legal Test:
Parliament must resume its supremacy of law-making with no impediments, qualifications or restrictions on its future actions agreed in any leaving deal. Britain must wholly remove itself from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. No
undertaking shall be given in the leaving agreement that constrains the UK to being an ongoing member of the European Court of Human Rights.

2. The Migration Test:
Britain must resume full control of its immigration and asylum policies and border controls. There must be no impediments, qualifications or restrictions agreed to in any leaving deal. We must not be bound by any freedom of movement obligation. The
departure terms must facilitate the Government finally making good on its broken promise to cut net annual net migration to the tens of thousands.

3. The Maritime Test:
Joining the EEC involved a betrayal of our coastal communities at the behest of a previous Tory prime minister. They must not be betrayed again. Leaving the EU must involve restoring to the UK full maritime sovereignty. The UK must resume complete control of its maritime exclusive economic zone – stretching 200 miles off the coast or to the half-way point between the UK and neighbouring countries. We must ensure that no constraint other than its own physical capacity or the needs of stock preservation or replenishment – as decided upon by the UK Parliament – applies to our fleet. This will give our fishing industry a long overdue chance to recover.

4. The Trade Test:
The UK must retake its seat on the World Trade Organisation and resume its sovereign right to sign trade agreements with other countries. The UK must have full legal rights to set its own tariff and non-tariff barriers consistent with WTO rules. This means
leaving the EU single market and customs union. Continued tariff-free trade, with no strings attached, may be offered to the EU, but if the EU declines the offer then WTO terms are the acceptable fall-back position. Post departure, both sides will have the ability to further liberalise trade on the basis of mutual gain.

5. The Money Test:
There must be no final settlement payment to the EU, and no ongoing payments to the EU budget after we have left. We must also reclaim our share of financial assets from entities such as the European Investment Bank, in which it is estimated that some £9bn of UK money is vested.

6. The Time Test:
Given that David Cameron held the referendum so early in the Government’s term of office, it is clearly reasonable to expect the Brexit process to be completed well before the next General Election. To go into the 2020 election with loose ends left untied or an open-ended transition still in progress would risk plunging the country into a new era of uncertainty and emboldening those who wish to overturn the referendum result. That is unacceptable. So Brexit must be done and dusted before the end of 2019.

via Six key tests to prove Brexit means Exit – UKIP

Simon Platt is your only Brexit candidate in Preston

re-leavers20groups-01via YouGov | Forget 52%. The rise of the “Re-Leavers” mean the pro-Brexit electorate is 68%

Your options in Preston:

One of the 22%? Vote Labour, Liberal Democrat, or Green.

One of the 23%? Vote Conservative.

One of the 45%? Vote for Simon Platt, your local UKIP candidate, in tune with the majority of Prestonians who believe that Britain has a better future outside the failing EU.

In Preston, votes for the other parties will make no difference. There will be a Conservative government, in need of a pro-Brexit opposition in parliament. The Labour candidate in Preston can’t deliver that – his track record speaks for itself. Vote Platt for Preston.

I agree with Paul Nuttall

UKIP parliamentary candidates have just received a message of thanks from the UKIP party leader, Paul Nuttall. In his email he says, among other things:

I want to make it clear that UKIP is, always has been and always will be different from the careerist political establishment. We are the ordinary men and women of this country. We got into politics to achieve something, as we have done in the most seismic of ways. That mission isn’t over.

I agree with all that. That’s why I joined UKIP, and why I am standing up for the things that matter to the people of Preston.

Don’t trust Theresa

Conservative party candidates for the 8 June general election are calling themselves “Theresa May’s candidate in [insert name of constituency here]”. That’s what they’ve been briefed to do, because the Conservative Party thinks that Theresa May is an electoral asset, and that voters who would normally not vote Tory will vote “for her”.

Normally, I would say “you’re not voting for party leaders, you’re voting for your local MP”. But my Tory opponent in Preston, Cumbrian farmer Kevin Beaty,  is happy to relegate himself to the position of “Theresa May’s candidate in Preston”, so let’s take him at his word for a moment. What can we say about Theresa May?

Teresa May:

  • Failed to control immigration in her six years in the job at the Home Office
  • Campaigned unsuccessfully for Remain in lead up to the Brexit referendum
  • Achieved her ambition to become leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister almost by default and despite her reputation as an ineffective authoritarian
  • Misjudged the mood of the Leave majority and threatened to use expatriates as “bargaining chips”
  • Is prepared to pay to leave the EU – £52 billion or more is being demanded
  • Will maintain legally binding targets for harmful foreign aid: 0.7% of gross national income: more than £12 billion in 2015, and rising

And that’s just off the top of my head, and doesn’t begin to consider her failings in domestic policy.

Remember, the Conservative party is the party that took us in to the European Community, that kept us in, that took us further in to the European Union, and that tried to keep us in, permanently, just last year. Like her candidate in Preston, Theresa May was part of that, campaigned for that, and now has the job, on behalf of the British people, of negotiating the terms of our independence. Can she be trusted with that? Has she changed her views? Is she now on the side of British independence?

We have no choice of Prime Minister. We shall have a Conservative government whatever happens in Preston, but your vote for me will ensure one of two things:

  • If elected, I will hold the government to account on Prestonians’ behalf, ensuring, to the best of my ability, that there is no Brexit backsliding and that a future independent UK takes its rightful place in the world.
  • Even if I am unsuccessful, and Labour’s Mark Hendrick is returned to Parliament, your vote for me will remind him that the people of Preston voted for Brexit and expect it to be delivered.

Every UKIP vote counts. Votes for the Conservative Party will make no  difference. Remember that I am the only Brexit-supporting candidate for Preston in this election.

Kevin Beaty is Theresa May’s representative to Preston. That’s not good enough. Vote for your local candidate who believes Brexit will be a success and who will hold the government to account on your behalf. Vote UKIP. Vote Platt for Preston.

Jean-Claude Junker, Daniel Hannan, and Theresa May

Daniel Hannan, the conservative MEP, has an article in last Tuesday’s Sun, which I’ve only just seen: “Only hated Eurocrat Jean-Claude Juncker is stopping a quick deal to leave the EU” (I don’t like that “hated”, by the way; it’ll have been chosen by a sub-editor at the Sun and not written by Daniel Hannan. I don’t hate Jean-Claude Junker and I’m sure Daniel Hannan doesn’t either.)

Daniel Hannan argues that the behaviour of M. Junker, the President of the European Commission, is making Brexit negotiations difficult “If a deal is now less likely, it is largely because no British minister will want to have a private conversation with him”. He goes on to point out that Labour and Liberal Democrat parties side with the EU President, quoting Labour’s Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, and the Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron.

Daniel Hannan is a respected MEP, well informed about the failings of the EU, and was a prominent campaigner for Vote Leave. He is surely an asset to the Conservative Party, and would be even more of an asset were he in Parliament. So it’s disturbing to read, for example in the Express (Top Brexiteer MEPs ‘set to lose out on safe Westminster seats at General Election’) that his proposed candidature in Aldershot has been blocked by Conservative Central HQ.

Conservative candidates in this election are describing themselves as “Theresa May’s candidate in [insert name of constituency here]”. Daniel Hannan isn’t one of them; neither is his fellow Brexit supporter David Campbell-Bannerman. I’m afraid I think that tells us something about Theresa May’s priorities – about which more later.

My first live radio broadcast…

… was rather fun. Listen to it on Radio Lancashire – the Gary Hickson show.

The “pop up living room” was on the flag market all day; passers by were invited to tell the Radio Lancashire team what they (the passers by) thought were the most pressing issues for Prestonians in this year’s general election. Three questions were put to the Preston candidates: on homelessness, “hate crime”, and immigration. Our section starts 11 minutes in, and lasts about 25 minutes.

Thank you Mike Stevens and the Radio Lancashire team. They’ll be taking their pop-up living room to all 16 constituencies in the Radio Lancashire area between now and the election.

British universities have a bright future after Brexit

John Redwood’s diary is a thought provoking blog. Today’s post, Some reality breaks out in the EU, is a case in point, this section:

Meanwhile I see the Evening Standard on line gives prominence to the fear that university research will be damaged by Brexit. Have they not heard Ministers stating clearly talented and well qualified people will be free to come to the UK. This will include faculty members, with an open door for foreign students to undertake courses at our universities.

prompting a reply from me, as follows:

There’s a lot of rubbish talked about EU membership and British universities.

Until recently I was a university lecturer (including during last year’s referendum campaign in which I participated as a Leave campaigner while my university, including the vice chancellor, was strongly and officially for Remain). At my university there were and still are many foreign students and many foreign members of staff. The very great majority of these were from outside the EU, especially from China and the middle east. Some of those from EU countries came to Britain before their home countries entered the EU. All came on the relevant visas. I only remember one case where immigration processes caused difficulty – a new member of staff from an African country was delayed in taking up his post because of the time it took to issue a visa. But none of this is affected by Brexit.

In respect of international research projects, notably those funded through EU programmes such as Horizon 2020, I often heard that British universities got more out of the EU science programmes than they put in (we’re pretending, here, of course, that money is not fungible). My response to that was that British universities did well out of these programmes for two reasons, reasons not affected by Brexit: first, their expertise – many British universities are world-beating; secondly, the English language – the international language of science gives Britain a natural advantage. These factors are not going away with Brexit, and if universities from the residual EU wish to collaborate with British universities, to gain the benefit of their expertise, they will still be able to do so, including in programmes such as Horizon 2020 and likely successors (many non-EU countries participate in Horizon 2020). Of course, it is conceivable that the residual EU will exclude the UK from future programmes for political reasons, but I doubt that would happen and, if it were to come to pass, we’d be back at the old question of whether we really want to be in a club that seeks to punish us for leaving.

Universities are notoriously risk averse. During the referendum campaign it was no surprise to me that university managers were afraid of change. (I don’t mean just my own former university, but universities all over the country – all of them, I think.) But they will do very well outside the EU, when Britain is once again standing on its own two feet.

Labour’s shambolic policing plan

A few days ago, in the wake of the the Labour party’s announcement of their plan to recruit more policemen,  I wrote to the Daily Telegraph to point out the incompetence of Labour’s financial planning. My letter wasn’t chosen for publication, so here it is:

Dear Sir,

Diane Abbott’s confusion during her LBC radio interview on Labour’s policing proposals is understandable and excusable. We all make mistakes, especially when put on the spot. But both she and Jeremy Corbyn eventually settled on and defended a figure of £300 million as the cost to employ 10,000 police officers. The Labour Party leadership clearly thinks a policeman can be employed for a cost of £30,000 p.a. It appears that the Labour Party’s costings only account for salaries. The Shadow Home Secretary said as much in her interview: “we’re looking at both what average police wages are generally, but also specifically police wages in London.” This is spectacularly inept and is not excusable. It is not misspeaking. It is incompetence.

I don’t have the detailed knowledge accurately to estimate the cost of a policeman, but anyone with any experience in business finance or project management, in whatever field, will recognise that direct wage costs are just part of the costs of a business. Policemen do not come cheap: I think that an additional 10,000 policeman would cost a figure much closer to £1,000 million.

Police numbers have been reduced significantly in recent years; I understand by about 20,000 across the country. Prestonians will recognise this phenomenon; we see few policemen on the streets and police stations are closing all over Lancashire. This has happened under Conservative and Conservative/Liberal Democrat governments. UKIP will reverse this decline; our pledge to increase police numbers by 20,000 across the country will be funded from money currently misspent on misguided foreign aid programmes.