The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

mailing list
donate now
join now
shop

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Why we must remain steadfast in our Brexit negotiations

Today Great Britain stands at a crossroads; it is here where we must decide whether we will stand strong and boldly go forward or whether we will cower before a group of unelected bureaucrats thrust out from power in their home countries. Our Brexit negotiations have featured heavily in the news recently over the Government's supposed plan to stay ...
Continue reading
  62 Hits
  0 Comments

The time has come to take a tougher stance with Germany

In a particular scene from one of Britain's most beloved sitcoms 'Fawlty Towers,' the main character, Basil Fawlty, spends considerable time attempting to not insult a German family but ends up doing so in spectacular fashion. This moment was forever immortalised when Basil remarks 'You started it!' to which a German guest replies 'No we did not!' ...
Continue reading
  414 Hits
  0 Comments

India - a 400 Year Business and Strategic Relationship

flag_of_india
I wish to write of India and of the opportunity between the UK and India, the changing relationship between HMG and UK Business that will enable it and of changing strategies within HMG that will advantage the UK in its trading and strategic relationship with India on EU Exit. A company can be defined as the sum of the individuals within it. My aim...
Continue reading
  210 Hits
  0 Comments

Strengthening Alliances: How Poland should look to an Atlantic partnership with the US and the UK

Poland
As geopolitical stability in Europe is threatened by an increasingly belligerent Russia, Poland must look to strengthen her economic and regional security. While the current Polish government is already working towards this goal, it will need important strategic partners with converging interests to achieve this objective. Two longstanding allies t...
Continue reading
  396 Hits
  0 Comments

Day for Freedom: reclaiming the right to free speech

The Day for Freedom, in London on 6 th May, was a showcase of characters I have followed and featured in my articles: for example, Milo and Sargon of Akkad. So I didn't want to miss it. Sadly, this invigorating and necessary event was either ignored by the mainstream media, or described by the contemptuous Guardian as a 'far-right rally'. Certainly...
Continue reading
  871 Hits
  1 Comment

‘Peak Guardian’: banish the uneducated from the polling stations

Never underestimate the talent of Remain in scoring own-goals. Tony Blair claiming to be the rebel with a cause; Lord Adonis accusing the BBC of Brexit bias (cough, splutter); and Ian McEwan urging a second referendum because the stubborn oldies will soon be dead. These anti-democrats pollute the airwaves with their verbal farts, but as opinion pol...
Continue reading
  713 Hits
  0 Comments

Threat of Transition Period to UK Fishing Industry

When all is said and done, the Brexit negotiations can and should leave Britain in a favorable position. Britons voted to leave so that British policy could reflect its own interests, rather than that of Brussels and the European Union. Specifically, Britain's departure from the EU had the potential to enable a regaining of control of precious...
Continue reading
  495 Hits
  0 Comments

The Euro’s Battle for Survival

eurozonemap
  Entering the Red Zone In this paper, Bob Lyddon explores the various caveats and consequences of the Eurozone's survival and continuation, and discusses the UK's role in or alongside the Eurosystem post-Brexit. As an expert in international banking, Lyddon works through his own consultancy company, Lyddon Consulting Services, and has written...
Continue reading
  646 Hits
  0 Comments

Brexit and Beyond

John Kerr set about penning Article 50 in the early 2000's. The initial draft was subsequently changed due to elections in France and elsewhere providing a curved ball that Brussels had not anticipated. However, in 2009 – 7 long years before the EU referendum vote in the UK – The Lisbon Treaty was signed and Article 50 was brought into European law...
Continue reading
  748 Hits
  0 Comments

Sargon of Akkad: crusading for liberty from EU group-think

How can the younger generations be enticed away from the group-think that defines the EU as a paragon of virtue? They won't be persuaded by Leave-supporting politicians or mainstream media, but they might listen to Sargon of Akkad. This is the YouTuber from Swindon, real name Carl Benjamin, who has taken his cyber-sword to the stifling so-called 'p...
Continue reading
  482 Hits
  0 Comments

London Hopes and London Matters

"Don't follow the crowd. Let the crowd follow you." So said Baroness Thatcher. We have a tremendous opportunity to support hard-working Conservative Councillor candidates across London at next month's election. And for those candidates an opportunity to illuminate our people as to the reason we exist as a party too. In attributing possible electora...
Continue reading
  328 Hits
  0 Comments

Don't Do It! Any form of Defence union is a very bad idea

I outline in my book The Occupation of Britain about the EU's military plans of an EU army. That has always been their plan. In fact this was a plan that stretched all the way back to the 1950s. Even in the 1970s, Prime Minister James Callaghan regarded NATO as the only way of ensuring European security instead of a European army. It is worth notin...
Continue reading
  803 Hits
  0 Comments

Viktor Orbán, Fidesz, and the EU

​ The recent Hungarian elections on 8 April found incumbent Viktor Orban of the Fidesz party in office for a third consecutive term. He has served as Prime Minister since 2010, as well as from 1998 to 2002. Fidesz is a nationalist party, and Orban's relationship with Brussels and the European Union is historically strained, as many of his policies ...
Continue reading
  459 Hits
  0 Comments

Splits, Splits and a Damned Position

By Daniel Bullen I outline in my book The Occupation of Britain that the two main political parties are split on the European issue. We are led to believe that it is only the Conservative Party that is split on the issue. We all know about the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 whereby John Major's government was wrecked over the issue. Intra-political part...
Continue reading
  311 Hits
  0 Comments

What is this 'Transition' Period About?

By Daniel Bullen We know that since the EU referendum result became known, a number of politicians and pundits in the media have expressed their contempt for voters. Some openly like Tony Blair and Michael Heseltine and others, not so openly. Some have basically been trying to undermine the vote in a number of different ways. A so-called 'Transitio...
Continue reading
  305 Hits
  0 Comments

Robert Oulds, Vicky Pryce debate Brexit fears

Robert Oulds, Vicky Pryce debate Brexit fears
At one year out from Brexit, Bruges Group Director Robert Oulds discussed UK economics, the Northern Ireland border, and trade with Chief Economic Advisor of the Centre for Economics and Business Research Vicky Pryce on TRT World. Interviewer Mobin Nasir highlighted the uncertainty in these areas, and suggested that economic statistics are signs of...
Continue reading
  449 Hits
  0 Comments

Sovereignty Matters

​ I met a young man from Ireland this weekend. An undergraduate. Keen to "respect" the result of our Referendum for sovereignty. But certain that the price for it would be to make the UK "poorer". Keen to impress too that Ireland's prosperity was implicitly linked to EU membership and astonishingly accepting of it as an undemocratic institution. Ho...
Continue reading
  757 Hits
  0 Comments

'Protectionism': an elitist meme to silence the plebs

A humiliation worse than Suez, warns Jacob Rees Mogg. He was referring to the transition deal with the EU, which does not return a single power to Britain as we officially leave the EU in March next year. He could have used the same phrase for the passport fiasco, as our leaders have awarded the contract to a Dutch-French company instead of a respe...
Continue reading
  999 Hits
  0 Comments

Igor Gräzin addresses Bruges Group, 20th March 2018

Igor Gräzin addresses Bruges Group, 20th March 2018
On 20th March 2018, Member of the Estonian Parliament Igor Gräzin addressed the Bruges Group in the House of Commons. Born 27th June 1952 in Tartu, Gräzin is an Estonian politician. He is serving as a Member of Parliament in Riigikogu, the Estonian Parliament, and won another term in the 2011 parliamentary election. Gräzin is a charter member ...
Continue reading
  598 Hits
  0 Comments

BBC: The Big Questions Debate

Should the people have the final say on the Brexit deal?​ Three leave campaigners, Chloe Westley of TaxPayers' Alliance, Tom Slater of Spiked, and Bruges Group Director Robert Oulds debated the question of a second referendum on BBC's The Big Questions with Nicky Campell on Sunday 18 March. Advocating for a second referendum was Eloise Todd of Best...
Continue reading
  688 Hits
  0 Comments

Brexit the Opera: Gutted in Grimsby

On a grey winter day in 1972, Air Force One touched down on Chinese soil. Although little tangible benefit came of President Nixon's surprise visit to Chairman Mao and the impenetrable communist state, it was one of the most theatrical acts of diplomacy in modern history. And it was recognised in the opera 'Nixon in China' by John Adams. Perhaps Ad...
Continue reading
  728 Hits
  0 Comments

Ireland and EU Defence Integration

​ There's been a lot of talk about something called PESCO and whether it breaches the Irish constitution or the concept of neutrality. What is Irish neutrality and what does the Irish constitution say about it? First there's whether Ireland takes part in activity outside of its own territory and second there's whether Ireland permits other countrie...
Continue reading
  750 Hits
  1 Comment

Borderline Sanity

​Author: Marcus Watney ​ Source: The feasibility of using technology to avoid a hard Irish border has been confirmed by Lars Karlsson in his excellent study for the European Parliament Smart Border 2.0, published in November 2017. It is available here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/596828/IPOL_STU%282017%29596828_EN.pdf Res...
Continue reading
  1196 Hits
  0 Comments

Ways To Make European Travel Easier After Brexit

In the midst of Brexit uncertainty, booking a European holiday has become even more confusing for Brits. As if planning and booking a holiday wasn't stressful enough, UK residents now have to completely revise their usual holiday strategy in order to ensure it doesn't collide with new Brexit negotiations. While Brexit has already proved to affect m...
Continue reading
  665 Hits
  0 Comments

Brexit Compared: Estonia regains independence and USSR falls

Brexit Compared: Estonia regains independence and USSR falls
Tuesday 20th March 2018, from 1pm - 3pm How the Brexit negotiations should be handled. The man who delivered the Estonian Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1991 to Mikhail Gorbachev, the Head of the Soviet Union, advises the UK on Brexit.  Location: Committee Room 20 The House of Commons Westminster London SW1A 0AA (via the Cromwell En...
Continue reading
  1475 Hits
  0 Comments

Remainers cannot remain: they must persuade Brits to rejoin

Leavers often wonder whether a Remain win would have aroused anything like the rancour and resistance we are experiencing today. So here's another scenario, as a thought experiment. After a 52-48 verdict to stay in the EU, Cameron's government is riven with internal conflict. A snap election is called, UKIP gets enough votes to hand dozens of seats...
Continue reading
  958 Hits
  0 Comments

Labour won't win the next election by turning its back on Brexit

​ British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn recently laid out his party's official stance on Brexit. Notably, he announced Labour's commitment for the UK to join the EU in a customs union following the Brexit implementation period. Not only does this stance contravene important aspects of Brexit, but it means the party is turning its back on millio...
Continue reading
  648 Hits
  0 Comments

Martin Selmayr – the EU’s puppet master secures his future

​ Jean-Claude Juncker's most senior henchman, Martin Selmayr, has secured his post-Juncker future as the head of the EU Commission's civil service. This is not promotion, only continuity: he has long been the EU Commission's most powerful figure, as well as the link to German policymakers and the real puppet-master of the Brexit talks. A rare spotl...
Continue reading
  1948 Hits
  0 Comments

Lobby Your MP: EU Control Over UK Defence

​ The UK has continued to enter defence agreements with the European Union following the 2016 referendum, ensuring that the UK will remain closely bound to the EU. The EU, in fact, has been pursuing the establishment of an 'EU Defence Union' to include the UK even after Britain leaves the EU. Send an email to your MP to call for a full Brexit for d...
Continue reading
  2285 Hits
  0 Comments

Remain professor 2, Leave lecturer 1 (but a moral victory for Brexit)

​ For a Brexit-supporting minority in academe, here is an illustration of what we're up against. Last year I was invited by the editor of International Journal of Nursing Studies to write a commentary on Brexit and the NHS. This would be published alongside a staunchly anti-Brexit argument, by Professor Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene ...
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Dr Anna Bailey
This is indeed a sad illustration of the rabid politicisation of British academia, especially on the issue of Brexit. In a way I'm... Read More
Sunday, 25 February 2018 13:33
  1364 Hits
  2 Comments

EU Exit, the Transition Period and Emerging Light

At a meeting of British business leaders this week an Ambassador of an ASEAN country remarked, "I want the British to come to my country. When we look at the world we compare ourselves as a former French colony to our neighbouring and former British colonies. The difference is very clear. The British took something but left everything. The French t...
Continue reading
  969 Hits
  0 Comments

May, Munich, and Military Structures

Theresa May's Munich speech suggests UK's continued involvement in EU security structures post-Brexit Author: David Wilkinson Never mind the £350m on the NHS, the fundamental promises of Leave have just been betrayed. Saturday 17th February 2018 will be remembered as the date when all hope, all pretence, that Theresa May had any intention, let alon...
Continue reading
  789 Hits
  0 Comments

Robert Oulds vs Eloise Todd: A Brexit Debate

Robert Oulds vs Eloise Todd: A Brexit Debate
​Bruges Group Director Robert Oulds appeared on Sky News today during the All Out Politics programme with Adam Boulton. In light of Boris Johnson's speech yesterday, 14th February, Mr Oulds debated Eloise Todd of Best for Britain on the economics of Brexit and the legitimacy of a second referendum. Describing Todd's warnings of a jobs exodus as "Pr...
Continue reading
  755 Hits
  0 Comments

EU Exit - A Customary Moment of British Divide in Preparation for Unity

Author: Dr. Carl Hunter​ We see EU Exit as a moment of great divide. Some of damage, others of hope. All however see it as something of great significance. And it is. Though perhaps not as great as we like to think, and when it comes and passes, something that enabled us to have a new country. We will have the time to reflect on who we were, are no...
Continue reading
  906 Hits
  1 Comment

Britain's Standing up for Bombardier

Britain's Standing up for Bombardier
A post-Brexit industrial strategy: putting employment in Britain at the heart of economic policy. ​​ Boeing's threats to jobs in the UK The US International Trade Commission's recent unexpectedly 4-0 unanimous decision against Boeing has put all eyes on the aerospace giant's next steps. 1 Boeing, however, has suspended taking action pending the ITC...
Continue reading
  1060 Hits
  0 Comments

Peace In Our Time

Author: John Griffing​ The readily visible collapse of Brexit negotiations echoes the most significant foreign policy blunders in British history, episodes characterized by the misplaced worship of process over principle and a pathological pattern of "surrender." Such was the case with Neville Chamberlain, a man who genuinely believed a "piece of p...
Continue reading
  884 Hits
  0 Comments

The EU's 'Punishment Period' Is An Affront To Our Most Fundamental Democratic & Constitutional Foundations

The EU's 'Punishment Period' Is An Affront To Our Most Fundamental Democratic & Constitutional Foundations
It is widely regarded as a sincere sign of immaturity for one to antagonise & hinder their victor - whether that be in football by accusing the referee of bias, in chess by refusing to shake their opponent's hand or indeed by frustrating the democratic will of a people by political and institutional means. In other words; being a sore loser suc...
Continue reading
  4082 Hits
  1 Comment

The United Kingdom Can Create Two Special Relationships

The United Kingdom Can Create Two Special Relationships
Politics creates its own "gravity" to use modern coinage. That can attract the body-politic to consume itself on issues that distract from a higher national and international mission. It generates a tendency to avoid confronting "drift" and leads to a certain focus downwards, often "tactical" or operational at best, but strategic it is not. Our peo...
Continue reading
  2500 Hits
  0 Comments

Common law versus continental drift

​ Back in the early days of my mental health career, I first came across common law in the form of two handles on a door. To leave the psychogeriatric ward, both the lower and upper handle (the latter at head height) were operated simultaneously. This ploy was to prevent confused residents from going out and possibly getting chilled to the bone, lo...
Continue reading
  1149 Hits
  0 Comments

The Art of the Possible

​ By Marcus Watney For the past four years and four hundred miles away, an unequal confrontation has been taking place between a tiny country swamped by uncontrolled immigration and the mighty unresponsive EU. Switzerland's population is just 8.5 million, an eighth that of the United Kingdom, of which about two million are foreigners. Of those, 1.4...
Continue reading
  1167 Hits
  0 Comments

There’s nothing open-minded about reversing Brexit

​ European Council President Donald Tusk has suggested Britons could have a "change of heart" about Brexit. Photograph: European People's Party, Wikimedia Commons In a recent speech to the European Parliament, European Council President Donald Tusk claimed that Brexit would become a reality unless Britons have a "change of heart". His words echo pe...
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Robert Oulds
Thanks for your thoughtful comment. David Lidington's comments abut re-joining the EU will hardly help the UK in the negotiations.... Read More
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 14:30
  1145 Hits
  2 Comments

British Involvement in EU Security Structures

British Involvement in EU Security Structures
​This short video introduces the series, which discusses various scenarios for defence and security post-Brexit, and the implications not only for Britain, but for the remaining EU member states as well. It provides context on the history of Britain's role as a "friend among nations," recalling specifically Britain's assistance in the Estonian war ...
Continue reading
  1039 Hits
  0 Comments

No Green Light For RED

How Conservative MEPs can stop the EU Parliament breaking its own legal rules. It's easy to forget while the UK Government is engaged in fulfilling the democratic will of the British people – removing us from the European Union – our representative MEPs in Brussels continue to have a seat at the table when and where decisions are made. There are 73...
Continue reading
Recent Comments
James Coghlan
The simple fact that you take issue with the one sentence in all that is rather revealing about you. You failed to address the di... Read More
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 19:37
  3238 Hits
  3 Comments

European Defence after Brexit - a conversation with Ants Laaneots

European Defence after Brexit - a conversation with Ants Laaneots
Ants Laaneots was commander of the Estonian Defence Forces and is now a member of the Riigikogu, the Estonian Parliament. Theresa May's visit to Poland just before Christmas reminded us of the big realities of Brexit and the EU, realities which are often strenuously ignored. Some of the reporting has, maybe, been wishful of an adoption by HMG of a ...
Continue reading
  1265 Hits
  0 Comments

EU Defence and Military: An Analysis of PESCO and Other EU Security Initiatives

.       In November 2017 25 leaders signed up to the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). For the last few years the EU has been building up to a fully operative EU military and realigning member states funding of core projects to permit that to happen through the European Defence Fund (EDF). This is not a new con...
Continue reading
Recent Comments
James Coghlan
https://www.irishnews.com/opinion/letterstotheeditor/2017/06/29/news/eu-policy-could-lead-to-conscription-1070735/ If it leads to... Read More
Thursday, 11 January 2018 07:27
  1597 Hits
  2 Comments

How the EU and Brexit Is Changing Education

It's been one and a half years since Brexit was confirmed by the British vote, but only now are we really seeing the true colours of the bill. While Brexit is predicted to cause a stir in many industries, including trade and even flight, there are now apparent effects on the education system, although these appear both positive and negative. For st...
Continue reading
  1101 Hits
  0 Comments

The EU Empire

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley i - Robert Burns After the Second World War and such heavy losses for the Allies, it was perhaps in the interests of their respective peoples for the European Union to develop. The main purpose of which was to limit the circumstances for a resurgence of war. The ideal that was proposed was indeed...
Continue reading
  1236 Hits
  0 Comments

Will The UK Get A Visa Process Like The American ESTA?

Will The UK Get A Visa Process Like The American ESTA?
Brexit negotiations are underway, and the future of travel and working in the United Kingdom is a difficult and complex entity. There are numerous news sources and reports suggesting various different factors, and with this uncertainty, many people are left wondering about how they are going to travel to the UK in the future, on business and for pl...
Continue reading
  1065 Hits
  0 Comments

Sweden – More than just Vikings and an Eu State

Sweden has a long and colourful history founded in the 12 th Century. It joined the EU on 1 January 1995. Beyond the era of the Vikings (800-1066), it has traded continuously with Denmark, Germany and Norway. Throughout its history Sweden has seen domestic uprisings such as when Valdemar was defeated by Magnus in 1275. In 1814 Norway and Sweden for...
Continue reading
  1317 Hits
  0 Comments

Max Manus OR As the Norwegians Like It

During my Bachelors Degree at Kingston University, I studied History. While studying History I focused on the time period 1870-1945. My research of World War 2 led me to true titans of heroism including the monumental figure that is Max Manus of the Oslogjengen (Oslo Gang). Max Manus was a resistance fighter in Oslo who stumbled into his saboteur r...
Continue reading
  1095 Hits
  0 Comments

Heseltine: A Bridge Too Far

In the last few days while most of us have been enjoying the celebrations with our families, Brexit has come to the fore once again. A bit like left-over Turkey that is 3 days old, many on the right have little stomach for the pro-eu stance of Lord Michael Heseltine. Indeed, Lord Tebbit and other notable Conservatives have insisted that the whip sh...
Continue reading
  1466 Hits
  0 Comments

Brexit Negotiations

"In negotiations you have to believe you are going to win." - Jacob Rees Mogg Brexit was simply about taking back control of our borders and laws. It was about deciding our own future. Brexit for many is about striding forth into a new world post-Eu. The UK managed to survive without the EU for hundreds of years. After such considerations, it is di...
Continue reading
  1432 Hits
  1 Comment

The Euro Versus Cryptocurrencies

The dream of the European Union to merge the military, economies and trade has apparently stalled in Eastern Europe. Indeed a closer examination of Eastern Europe shows that the majority of countries that were under Soviet occupation, throughout the Cold War, have failed to adopt the Euro as their currency. Czechia does not have the Euro. Neither d...
Continue reading
Recent Comments
James Coghlan
Indeed. Cryptocurrencies are in their infancy and that does increase risk, BUT they are akin to gold in that they are fewer and s... Read More
Sunday, 24 December 2017 12:40
James Coghlan
As I said CC are the future. If you think about it, people make transactions in the West that are contactless. So, they want quic... Read More
Sunday, 24 December 2017 19:39
James Coghlan
I referenced all my sources. The rest is my own work.
Sunday, 24 December 2017 19:40
  1193 Hits
  6 Comments

Sebastian Kurz: Friend of the Visegard Group (V4)

In the last decade the European Union has become multifaceted in its attempts to consolidate further integration of its component parts. The EU Army, Pesco, migrant quotas, extension of the Euro and other core changes to its members has produced a counter-strategy in the form (like a Phoenix) of the Visegard Group. The Visegard group or V4 as it is...
Continue reading
  1077 Hits
  0 Comments

An Italian Delivery

            ​ Movimento 5 Steile (M5S) is an Italian anti-eu party founded in 2009. It is incredible to think that a country that hosts the euro could in any way, however small be opposed to the rhetoric of the EU. Although Italy was one of the six founding members of the European Commission that evolved into the curre...
Continue reading
Recent Comments
James Coghlan
My writings on here at the moment are focusing on those aiming to change the EU or leave it. The Visegard Group for example. I a... Read More
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 12:53
  1124 Hits
  2 Comments

The Taming of the Polish

   ​ In 2004, I gave a lecture in Poland on the writer Joseph Conrad. He was born in Poland as Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski. His parents like many others of that era suffered at the hands of Russia. They both died of illness related to their imprisonment in Gulags as a result of being political activists. Fast forward through World Wa...
Continue reading
Recent Comments
James Coghlan
Politics can be influenced by the written word as you are well aware. Poland inspired me as much as Conrad did.
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 12:42
  1261 Hits
  2 Comments

Campaigning for a Clean Brexit

Andrew Roberts asks you to support the Bruges Group Brexit is under threat. Every day an anti-democratic alliance orchestrated by Tony Blair, senior Labour figures, the Lib Dems, together with their cheerleaders in big business and the media, are working to block delivery of what you, I and 17.4 million others voted for on 23 rd June 2016. Every da...
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Robert Oulds
Thank you for your kind words, many people feel like this and are deeply troubled by the so-called progress made so far.
Monday, 11 December 2017 09:07
Robert Oulds
The EU is considering that the agreement will be binding. Time is running out and we need to move quickly.
Tuesday, 12 December 2017 18:49
  2313 Hits
  4 Comments

Open letter to the British government: Keep calm and walk away from Brexit negotiations

​ Dear members of Her Majesty's Government, In your efforts to ensure the UK's smooth transition away from EU membership, you have met more than one stumbling block. It's still unclear whether the European Court of Justice will maintain jurisdiction in Britain. The amount of money on offer to the EU to "settle your accounts" has only increased, and...
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Robert Oulds
Thanks for your comment, it is alarming. I think that we have people who are ultimately in charge of the process that do not belie... Read More
Monday, 11 December 2017 09:06
  1327 Hits
  2 Comments

Brexit, Ireland, and the EU

Submission by Anthony Coughlan to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee of the House of Commons on North-South border problems in Ireland and the Irish Government's policy response in the context of Brexit. Executive Summary -Logically, there would be no new North-South Border problems within Ireland if the Republic of Ireland should leave the EU ...
Continue reading
  1299 Hits
  3 Comments

The New European: an undiluted Remain hatefest

​ The tentacles of the Stop Funding Hate campaign reach far and wide. En route to the station, I would sometimes stop at a nearby café, reading their copies of the Sun and Daily Mail over a coffee. The cafe gets most of its trade from mums on the school run, and you wouldn't think this quintessentially suburban setting would be fertile soil for pol...
Continue reading
  1461 Hits
  0 Comments

EU Sock Puppets in the UK Act Out Brussels Agenda

In the months leading up to United Kingdom's 2016 European Union membership referendum, many "independent" think tanks espoused studies against Brexit. However, these UK-based, pro EU campaigners and their research remain closely linked to Brussels through financial funding. The European Commission's tactic of shelling out millions to pro-EU lobby ...
Continue reading
  1245 Hits
  0 Comments

The European Deadline Diktat and Other Issues

​ Donald Tusk gave Theresa May ten days (with less than a week remaining) to offer him much more money and also give him a solution that he likes to the Irish border problem. We should be relaxed about this and either give what is legally due the EU or nothing and sort it out after Brexit. This dictatorial deadline that conflates both the Irish bor...
Continue reading
  1041 Hits
  0 Comments

Post Brexit Britain: In Conversation with Sir Desmond Swayne MP

​ Contrary to the mainstream point of view, a post Brexit Britain is an open Britain. While Brexit is portrayed as a very isolationist, nationalist vote, Sir Desmond Swayne MP said it's a very much outward-looking event. "United Kingdom is going to re-establish its place in the world and it's an attempt to actually maximize that," Swayne said. "Rem...
Continue reading
  1100 Hits
  0 Comments

Bordering on Madness

The thing that first drew me to being opposed to our membership of the EU in 1991 was the realisation my elected Government was not in control of our country, that authority had passed to an offshore, unelected and unaccountable body.  My awakening came through a letter written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the terrible recession o...
Continue reading
  811 Hits
  0 Comments

​International Brexit: In Conversation with Kate Hoey MP

Euro skepticism and Brexit is synonymous with right-wing politics. The reality is the Leave vote was ushered in by a broad coalition of both left-leaning and right-leaning voters, said Labour Party MP Kate Hoey, a proponent of Brexit. Speaking with Morten Dam of Peoples Movement Against the EU in Denmark, Hoey discussed the position of the Labour P...
Continue reading
  934 Hits
  0 Comments

Rest Assured: There Will Be a Brexit Trade Agreement

​Bruges Group director Robert Oulds assured the possibility of a Brexit trade agreement in an interview with Jeremy Naylor on IG.com.  It was one of the many issues discussed during last Friday's broadcast. Topics ranged from the cost of other trade agreements, need for deregulation, lower taxes, and passporting rights.  The term "hard Br...
Continue reading
  1121 Hits
  0 Comments

​Passporting: Concerns & Realities

The crown of UK is its financial services sector: buying and selling across the EU and the world.  Now, fresh fears about the backbone industry of London are on the rise. EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier announced last Monday that firms based in Britain will lose their "passporting" rights post Brexit.  A "passport" allows fina...
Continue reading
  961 Hits
  0 Comments

The Merchant of Belfast

The problem of Ireland is one that perplexes both the UK and the EU during Brexit negotiations. Should Northern Ireland have a hard border after Brexit or should it remain as it is - flexible? In considering the Irish Border question I am reminded of The Merchant of Venice or in this case The Merchant of Belfast. The EU after all created Article 50...
Continue reading
Recent Comments
James Coghlan
To clarify like Scotland the Irish Pound note is different to the English Pound note.
Sunday, 03 December 2017 18:58
James Coghlan
Perhaps I should have been clearer. Like Scotland Ireland has its own set of notes. They do not ALL say BANK OF ENGLAND!
Sunday, 03 December 2017 18:59
  1591 Hits
  4 Comments

Send Morrissey to break the impasse

£40 billion isn't enough. The EU, facing a gaping hole in its finances after losing its British cash cow, is extorting to the max. But even the most generous offer from our pathetic political leaders, in return for a few cake crumbs, won't guarantee a mutually-rewarding trade deal. The whole protracted and humiliating process could be voted down by...
Continue reading
  1206 Hits
  0 Comments

Fighting for Brexit on two fronts

​ A gathering storm over London.Photograph: Garry Knight, Wikimedia Commons. While the UK's parliament debates the EU Withdrawal Bill , its government is pursuing a post-Brexit deal on the continent. On both fronts, the decision Britons took to leave the EU is under threat. Indeed, their government has precious little wiggle room to deliver, but it...
Continue reading
  1101 Hits
  0 Comments

5 Reasons To Visit Bruges This Winter

5 Reasons To Visit Bruges This Winter
The historic city of Bruges has long attracted some of the world's leaders, including Margaret Thatcher who made her famous Bruges speech at the College of Europe, which is still considered a political centre today. Bruges has so much to offer visitors, so here's why you should renew your e111 card , pack your suitcase and head to the charming city...
Continue reading
  918 Hits
  0 Comments

British people will make their own trade deal

​ Cars have always been more than four-wheeled transport; they're status symbols. Owners of a Ford Focus, a 'Chelsea tractor' or a quirky Citroen display something of their character, and their wealth. In the past, cars were also expressions of patriotism. A proud ex-serviceman would insist on a staid black or beige Austin or Hillman, but by the 19...
Continue reading
  1763 Hits
  1 Comment

How Likely is a No Deal for Brexit?

​ The Chancellor, the Right Honourable Philip Hammond MP, recently stated that he would not be providing funds to put in place contingency measures, to prepare for the outcome of the Brexit negotiations being "No Deal".He did not want to spend money that could otherwise be spent on hospitals, schools, defence etc on protection against a merely hypo...
Continue reading
  1223 Hits
  0 Comments

Rt Hon John Redwood MP Discusses Brexit

​ Conservative Member of Parliament for Wokingham, Berkshire, John Redwood discussed UK's stance on Brexit negotiations as well as Britain's future relationship with the EU after Brexit. Redwood affirmed that the UK will only make an agreement after examining all the issues instead of settling specific issues as a prerequisite to move forward with ...
Continue reading
  1266 Hits
  0 Comments

Fast Forward to 2020: U.K. Needs to Speed Up Brexit

​ It's no secret that deals are an "art form" for U.S. President Donald Trump, who likes making deals, preferably big deals , and promises to cut a very big and exciting trade deal with the U.K. after Brexit. That window of opportunity is quickly closing in the face of slow-moving negotiations with EU and looming uncertainty behind Trump's reelecti...
Continue reading
  989 Hits
  0 Comments

A Historian’s Vision: Post Brexit Britain Will Be Kind and Caring

​ Britain's exit from the European Union, ushered by a majority of Leave votes, is an opportunity to build a better Britain. Not a better Britain, according to historian Bess Rhodes, but a kind and more caring Britain. Speaking at the Bruges Group's "Deal or No Deal" conference on Nov. 4, Rhodes admitted she voted to remain in the EU. After the res...
Continue reading
  1174 Hits
  1 Comment

Here's Why U.K. Should Prepare for "No Deal" on Brexit

​ " Deal or no Deal " event speech by  Professor D.R. Myddelton. Background General de Gaulle was a difficult Frenchman!In 1963 he rejected Britain's application to join the Common Market – on the grounds that England was too different from the continental countries.I share that political judgement. So I voted in both Referendums – in 1975 and...
Continue reading
  1215 Hits
  0 Comments

Support for EU membership in Iceland reduced even further

​Two political parties who favour membership of the European Union remain in Iceland's parliament following the general elections that took place in the country on 28 October. Before the elections they were three but one of them, Bright Future, lost all its MPs. The two remaining pro-EU parties, the Social Democratic Alliance and the Restoration Pa...
Continue reading
  1289 Hits
  0 Comments

U.K. Military Autonomy Under Threat

​ The Bruges Group hosted Veterans for Britain, a group of 14 Admirals and Generals led by Mag Gen Julian Thompson, who campaigned for Brexit. David Banks spoke on the EU's proposal for a Permanent Structured Cooperation. The agreement binds member states armed forced into a joint single output spearheaded by Brussels for defense. The lack of ...
Continue reading
  1988 Hits
  0 Comments

The Healthcare Cost of EU Policy

​With plans for an Airbnb-style scheme for National Health Service patients set to roll out as early as next month, the state of NHS hits a new low.  The health service will compensate homeowners £50-a-day to host patients in their spare rooms.  Overcrowded hospitals and long wait times are a culmination to decades of European Union's ope...
Continue reading
  1172 Hits
  0 Comments

Opening of borders, closing of minds

A clumsy request from a parliamentarian on what is taught about Brexit in universities has caused uproar. Chris Heaton-Harris, MP for Daventry and a junior Conservative whip, was suddenly likened to Senator Joseph McCarthy, who infamously led a campaign to root out 'reds under the bed' in American institutions back in the 1950s. But incredulous cla...
Continue reading
  1248 Hits
  0 Comments

Dr Bess Rhodes - what actually is Brexit?

Dr Bess Rhodes - what actually is Brexit?
Bruges Group Conference Will Britain make a Brexit deal with Brussels? What should the UK prioritise? Where should it draw the red lines? When is the cost of any deal too high? Will we get what we actually voted for? This conference will answer those important questions. Saturday, 4th November 2017 http://www.brugesgroup.com/events Conference trail...
Continue reading
  1341 Hits
  0 Comments

EU will end like the Holy Roman Empire

By Niall McCrae

Chief commissioner Michel Barnier wags his finger at the media conference. An uprising in a major European country has forced his hand, as attacks on police and politicians lead to desertions and defections. Unlike the British government, which was pummelled into submission over the Brexit deal, these plucky secessionists are undermining the authority of the formidable Eurocrat. So he threatens to send in the EU Army.

It’s 2027, and the EU is more powerful than ever, yet also more detached. It reigns supreme in the cosmopolitan cities, in the financial centres, and on university campuses: Berlin, Heidelberg, den Haag, Frankfurt-am-Main, Gothenburg, Barcelona, Fiorentina. These islands of the liberal intelligentsia look condescendingly on the masses, whose unpredictable and uninformed votes put progress in peril come each election. The provincial hinterlands are stifled by backwardness, with rising tension between nostalgic nationalism and expanding ethnic enclaves. Among the commoners, rule by Brussels is at best tolerated, at worst despised.

Consulting historians, political commentators begin to see what the EU has become: a latter-day Holy Roman Empire. And Barnier and fellow commissioners are behaving like the ‘enlightened despots’ of the European past.

The HRE was a revival of the old Roman Empire, but with papacy to the fore. Founded in AD 800 when the Pope crowned Charlemagne as emperor, its domain comprised France, Germany and most of modern-day Italy. After the French left in the tenth century, and the Italian parts were given away, the empire centred on Germany. Successive emperors looked east to expand their territory; the pagan Prussians, Slavs and Balts were suppressed by brute force, and fiefdoms were established in Hungary, Poland and Bohemia. But the intent to rule Europe was confronted by the forces of national identity, the Reformation and Thirty Years War, and the HRE gradually retreated to a federation of principalities.

Continue reading
  1824 Hits
  0 Comments

IF

How will the word 'if' be powerful in the context of the EU and Brexit negotiations? As Philip II of Macedon found out, sometimes there are battles that brute force will not win. Battles where threats and punishment do not work against a counterpart. Philip II of Macedon had defeated numerous enemies when he sent the following warning message to an...
Continue reading
  1765 Hits
  1 Comment

The Brexit Legacy

There are a variety of reasons why the EU has doomed itself following the creation of Article 50. It is akin to Superman building a Kryptonite factory. Perhaps a more apt metaphor would be a fisherman widening the gaps in his nets without quality control checks. Could either the superhero or the fisherman hold a 3rd party responsible for the outcom...
Continue reading
  2160 Hits
  0 Comments

Bad faith in Brussels: A warning to the UK’s Brexit negotiators

Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Negotiator for Brexit.Photograph: DG EMPL, Flickr

British Prime Minister Theresa May outlined her government’s vision for Brexit in a speech delivered in Florence on September 22. In a bid to breathe new life into ongoing UK-EU negotiations, she presented proposals regarding the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, the length of a “transition period” after 2019, and the sum Britain might pay during that period. Rather than inspiring counterproposals or constructive criticism from EU leaders, May’s speech generated little more than the same refrain repeated from Brussels since negotiations began: that more “clarity” was needed, and that “sufficient progress” would have to be made before talks could advance. This lacklustre, somewhat apathetic EU position does not look like the result of sincere consideration of May’s proposals, or a constructive attitude towards the talks. Rather, it looks a lot more like a deliberate tactic to either prevent Brexit, or punish Britain.

Some might find this approach perplexing. After all, is it not in both parties’ interests to negotiate a mutually-beneficial outcome? Not necessarily…

To better understand Brussels’ foot-dragging in Brexit talks, it helps to understand the incentives driving it. First and foremost, the EU is a political union. Economic, social, or environmental considerations may all have contributed to the appeal of ever-closer union, but they remain secondary to the very political objective of federal statehood. Indeed, from the days of Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman at the dawn of European integration, to more the more recent mandates of José Manuel Barroso, Viviane Reding, or Guy Verhofstadt, the goal of a pan-European nation state is no secret.

Grasping that European statehood is the EU’s ultimate objective is essential for the UK government’s Brexit Secretary David Davis and his team of negotiators as they engage with their counterparts. It means that, no matter how amenable the UK is to facilitating trade or subsidizing the EU’s budget, the bottom line in Brussels remains the preservation of their political project. The win-win economic gains desired by the UK are not necessarily desired by the EU, for whom a successful Britain would signal there is no longer any economic appeal to remaining in the bloc. A strong UK economy poses an existential threat to European integration.

This explains why trade negotiations have not even begun, despite both parties already sharing near-identical norms and regulations. It is also why the EU seems in no rush to maintain access to the UK’s large consumer market, with Britons buying more from the EU than the other way around. In order to preserve the union, the EU’s only options are to ensure the UK remains inside, or fails outside.

Continue reading
  1435 Hits
  1 Comment

A History of Brexit

Managing the Brexit negotiations is merely one aspect of Brexit. In the coming years much will be written (presumably by both sides) as to the rights and wrongs of why the UK population by percentage voted to leave the EU on 23 June 2016. You know that books will be written examining why and how Brexit came about. Someone will try and lay the blame...
Continue reading
  1960 Hits
  0 Comments

Government must scrap its compromises over EU military schemes

Veterans for Britain, supported by the Bruges Group, bring an urgent message to Manchester on Monday 2 October: we need full Brexit for defence and an end to recent UK commitments to the EU that have a nasty sting in the tail.Since the Brexit vote, the UK has given a green light to the juggernaut of EU military schemes on the understanding we would be outside of them.However, government position papers incredibly propose STAYING IN joint EU schemes on military finance, research and assets.The schemes, which have never been voted on by MPs, would mean the UK staying in EU Common Defence Policy, the European Defence Agency and even EU defence procurement directives. Norway is the only non-EU country in the schemes and was obliged to accept these rules.The PM has rightly declared the UK’s unconditional commitment to Europe’s defence via NATO.However, we fear that MPs and ministers are not aware of the full implications of a Norway-style military union agreement. Many civil servants are aware of these implications and are pushing for UK entry relentlessly.At the same time as these new EU military finance and structure schemes are being agreed, the EU is growing the remit of its Common Security and Defence Policy in a way that consolidates its control over EU Council-agreed military responses. The EU’s new military HQ, the MPCC, which UK diplomats tried in vain to change, is just a small part of this.The EU is also tightening defence asset production rules to make an EU defence market in which member state governments will find it impossible to protect domestic defence jobs and industry eg Scottish shipyards in the UK’s case.Sadly, the Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy of September 2017 fully adheres to the latest EU rules in cross-border defence tendering – clearly anticipating a future where the UK would need to comply.It is essential that at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester delegates are made aware of the risk to Scottish shipyards, particularly Ruth Davidson and her Scottish Conservatives team. The UK is heading towards a scenario where it is dictated by these EU procurement rules which will only become more assertive when the UK is fully committed to them.‘Dodging the EU bullet’

Speakers: Major-General Julian Thompson, Colonel Richard Kemp, Captain Will Carver & Geoffrey Van Orden MEP

Monday 2nd Oct 11.00 at Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester, M60 2LAFor more info on the commitments made by the UK to the EU military juggernaut and the risks posed from the proposal to stay in them, see: http://veteransforbritain.uk/dexeus-defence-partnership-paper-is-a-grave-mistake-and-gives-the-eu-control/

and

https://www.brugesgroup.com/blog/the-uk-is-stuck-in-a-quagmire-over-eu-defence-union

  2269 Hits
  0 Comments

No Transition is Better than a Bad Transition

No Transition is Better than a Bad Transition
In my last blog post, I made my own personal views on transition clear and I also stated what the government had said that their views on transition were. To summarise, I personally believe that, if a free trade agreement (FTA) between the UK and the EU is agreed by midnight on 29 th March 2019 and, if a subsequent transitional arrangement is deeme...
Continue reading
  1824 Hits
  0 Comments

Signalling a post-Brexit industrial strategy

Supporting Bombardier - Putting employment in Britain at the heart of economic policy.

Robert Oulds

25th September 2017

We are determined that Brexit, if when it eventually happens in earnest, delivers the change we need. One of these new approaches can be in defending British industry, along with its jobs and innovation from unfair actions. But why wait for Brexit? It can begin now!

 

Bombardier, a major employer in Britain, a new entrant in the plane market, is being threatened by a trade complaint brought by Boeing designed to keep it out of the US market.[i] Theresa May’s government must show that a post-Brexit Britain will use its new-found independence to stand up for UK jobs. A policy area where we would not have to live with pan-EU rules any more. British taxpayers give Boeing hundreds of millions of pounds in defence deals, while at the same time they’re trying to close British factories. That’s not the action of a trusted partner for this country.

 

Continue reading
  3336 Hits
  0 Comments

Financial Services and Brexit

​Project Fear scaremongered more about financial services than anything else during the EU referendum campaign and this scaremongering has unfortunately continued after the Brexit vote. Remoaners and soft Brexiteers (those who want us to remain members of the European single market after Brexit) now tell us that the reason why there was not an imme...
Continue reading
  1946 Hits
  0 Comments

Not My Brexit

In the last year we have seen the ordinary person take on the establishment and win. Not just here in the UK, but also across the pond in the USA. Against great odds both Brexit and Trump became victories. The blatant lies that mainstream media carried included the fact there would not be an EU Army. In the USA women who had yelled rape with regard...
Continue reading
  1662 Hits
  0 Comments

How Much The UK Actually Pays The EU

​ It's a highly contested figure both during and in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum. The true cost to Britain being a part of the European Union is close to £661 million per week since 2010, a number hidden from the British taxpayers due to an intricate payments system and largely ignored by the mainstream media. Our estimated figure encompa...
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Robert Oulds
Jon, thanks for engaging with us. The £1.7 billion was still paid in full, when one takes in the reduction in the abatement. That ... Read More
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 15:17
  23565 Hits
  5 Comments

In Defence of the Visegrád Group

“People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take.”

― Emma Goldman

The name of a quiet medieval town in Hungary – Visegrad – has in recent times become synonymous with the word “rebellion” in Brussels.

 

Continue reading
  1362 Hits
  0 Comments

The New Project Fear

Since Theresa May's Lancaster House Speech in January of this year, two new Project Fears have sprung up. The first (from The Labour Party, EFTA4UK, Liberal Leave, Leave HQ and Dr Richard North) states that “We need to remain members of the EU's internal market after we officially leave the EU”, even though there are over 50 countries outside of the single market which have free access to it via free trade agreements. The second (from Nick Boles, Lord Hague and Chancellor Philip Hammond) states that “We need to have a transitional period of up to four years during which time we would still be members of the single market and the customs union”.

 

Before we pay these campaigns and their claims any attention, we should bear in mind just how wrong the previous Project Fears, which were often run by the very same people, really were.

 

Continue reading
  1938 Hits
  0 Comments

CANZUK - The Genesis of a Post-Brexit Culture

Before 23 June 2016 people toyed with the idea of the UK being free of the EU in trade, economic and immigration policies. However, even if the UK had voted to Remain in the EU, it would not have been able to benefit from such concepts as CANZUK (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and UK group). It is noteworthy that these 4 members are also part of th...
Continue reading
  2732 Hits
  0 Comments

Fishing: it has to be cast iron guaranteed

All that is required is to exempt any fisheries acquis from the withdrawal bill.

John Ashworth

7th September 2017
Type text for SEO (example Bruges Group : Image Title)

Having spent the past 25 years against the European Union, I never thought I would see the day I would agree with Barnier and Junker, that our side has become an embarrassment.

 

It is no good expecting the EU to be flexible, where their structure is one of rigidity. Even if Barnier wanted to bow to British demands, he can't, the system doesn't allow it.

Continue reading
  1577 Hits
  0 Comments

Surrender Is Not Negotiation

In the latest round of Brexit negotiations, the European Union called on Britain to pay a hefty bill before commencing with trade talks.  Negotiators are asking the UK to commit paying 14 percent of the EU's budget until 2020, a pledge  that could cost British taxpayers billions of pounds. Prominent reclaimer Gina Miller argued Britain sh...
Continue reading
  1438 Hits
  2 Comments

Sugar Beets and the Pandemic of Modern Obesity

This country’s change from consuming sugar derived from sugar cane, which Britain historically purchased from its old colonial territories, to consuming sugar extracted from sugar beets from about 1973 onwards has slowly but surely greatly contributed to this country’s obesity problem

S Davies

2nd September 2017
Type text for SEO (example Bruges Group : Image Title)
I pose the question of whether this country’s change from consuming sugar derived from sugar cane, which Britain historically purchased from its old colonial territories, to consuming sugar extracted from sugar beets from about 1973 onwards has slowly but surely greatly contributed to this country’s obesity problem. It is popularly believed that despite us as a nation consuming fewer calories these days than was the case in the 1960's,  obesity has gradually become a real problem. So, is it the EU's forced substitution of sugar obtained from sugar beets rather than sugar obtained from sugar cane making us really fat?   I suggest that the country's obesity pandemic is partly due to its switch to the creation of sugar from sugar beets, which came about after the UK entered the European Economic Community in 1973. The UK had historically relied upon sugar cane for its sugar, which was a state of affairs that hadn't changed since sugar was first introduced into this country and became more widely available from about the 16th - 17th centuries onwards. In fact beets were not discovered as an alternative to cane until the late 18th century and weren't used in manufacturing until the early 19th century, when they had to be cultivated to yield a higher sucrose content than that which they originally and naturally contained.  The difference in quality between the two types of table sugars is a matter of debate. From a culinary perspective, I personally find sugar derived from sugar cane to be a far superior substance. I find it crisper and that it gives a lighter result. There is no apparent taste to cane sugar, which is just sweet. I personally find that there is an ever so slight aftertaste or noticeable different texture to beet sugar. Cane sugar is the master baker's sugar of choice, whatever the chemists say about it supposing to be the same. Meringues made from sugar cane are crisper and far superior. Cakes don't flop as easily with cane sugar. Yet the scientists say that “sugar is just sugar” and that there is no difference between the two substances.   So, what is the difference between sugar cane and sugar beets? To look at a 500 gram pack of Silver Spoon (beet sugar) and Tate & Lyle (cane sugar) next to each other, they generally appear to be of the same size, and have the same volume, so there can't be much of a difference regarding the physical density of the product. On closer inspection of the sugar grain or crystals, the beet sugar may seem less crisp and light than the cane sugar. However, I think that to appreciate the difference between them, one needs to look at how the two products are processed, the difference in production being necessary due to their respective botanical composition.   Sugar beets and sugar cane must be processed differently to achieve apparently the same table sugar. Sugar beets, which are a root crop, are sliced and boiled to extract the syrup. This is then evaporated into crystals. Sugar beets produce two by-products: the beet pulp, from which the sucrose syrup has been extracted, and molasses. The beet pulp is dried into pellets and fed into the human food chain inasmuch as it's then sold on as animal feed. The sugar beet molasses is not fit for human consumption but can and is fed to animals.  Sugar cane, which grows in reeds above the earth's surface for several feet before it's harvested, is sliced and heated in water to extract the sugar syrup. Cane sugar also produces molasses as a by-product. However, this molasses can be used for human consumption - e.g. in the Caribbean it is utilised in the manufacture of rum. The bark or reeds of the sugar cane crop is then either defunct or can be used in the manufacture of baskets and mats etc.  The botanical composition of sugar beets is described on Wikipedia as follows: "The pulp, insoluble in water and mainly composed of cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and pectin, is used in animal feed." The botanical composition of sugar cane is described as: "A mature stalk is typically composed of 11–16% fiber, 12–16% soluble sugars, 2–3% nonsugars, and 63–73% water."   I suggest below that the more resinous nature of sugar beet may have a deleterious effect on the human liver. It must be ground down or processed to such a level in standard sugar production that it is then able to permeate the small intestines and enter the liver via the bloodstream. This can then act as a resinous mist on liver cells and affect their ability to act to their required capacity, so forcing the body to rely on alternative glucose-fuelling sources - i.e. cortisol from the adrenal glands. Perhaps cane sugar, having no inherent resinous qualities, degrades more easily, leaves no residue and is thus less taxing on the human body.  In attempting to explain my theory, I think that it's important to first go through the stages involved in the body's metabolism of food. The human body, and animal kingdom in general, are glucose-driven vessels who rely upon glucose as their primary source of fuel. This contrasts with the plant kingdom, whose primary source of energy is slightly different and is called fructose. This general blood sugar requirement is irrespective of whether the body ingests fat, carbohydrate or protein.   I initially wondered whether it was fructose, which, as has been noted above, is not the animal kingdom's source of sugar. As a substance, it may impose a bit of a strain on the body because it is not broken down by insulin, as glucose is, and in the usual way. It must be processed in the liver after ingestion, before it's released into the wider bloodstream. It has been suggested that everyone is slightly fructose intolerant, with their ability to break down fructose varying in degree from individual to individual and associations have been made between fructose and fatty liver disease. However, my point here is that where one obtains the fructose or plain sugar from also makes a difference – i.e. whether it’s obtained from sugar beet or sugar cane.   In fuelling the human body, it is of paramount importance to maintain blood glucose homeostasis - i.e. balance - and therefore blood glucose levels hover within a limited range, with a normal range being 70 to 110 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter). The body will try and move heaven and earth to achieve this balance and therefore has more than one mechanism to ensure blood glucose stability. For immediate use, it will rely on the glucose stored in the liver. This is termed glycogen. Thereafter, glucose is stored in fat and muscle tissues.   The body accesses glucose by synthesizing (i.e. creating) and using insulin, which is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin mobilises blood glucose and ensures it reaches the body's cells and muscles. The pancreas also synthesizes another hormone called glucagon, which is something of a mirror-image to insulin. Glucagon senses when blood glucose levels are low and sends negative feedback messages to the liver that this is the case, so instructing the liver to release more glucose, whilst insulin mops up glucose in the bloodstream and either helps the body utilise it immediately or helps to store it as excess fat. 

If glucose or glycogen stores in the liver are low, the body can also produce a hormone called cortisol from the adrenal glands, which lie on top of the kidneys, to remedy the shortfall. However, the body's usual glucose reserves are stored in the liver. If the body is forced to rely on short-term cortisol from the adrenals to release glucose stores from the body’s tissues, this is not the preferred method and long-term use carries its own problems - e.g. high blood pressure, which is associated with an increased cardio-vascular risk, increased risk of stroke, increased risk of diabetes due to cortisol's glucose-raising effects. Cortisol is also associated with obesity because it slows down the body’s rate and generally deteriorates body tissue etc.  So, why would the body choose to use the cortisol hormone instead of the glucagon one?   Simply because it feels that it has to, to maintain blood glucose balance. Either the alpha cells of the pancreas, which produce glucagon, have become impaired, or the liver's reading of and sensitivity to them has become impaired. The body is then moved into emergency mode and cortisol is forced to take over and aid the release of glucose into the bloodstream where glucagon left off. So, we need to ask ourselves whether the liver cells or even the pancreas cells are being caked up with a resinous substance that hinders its ability to detect blood glucose levels and whether this irritating substance is present in sugar beet.

By S Davies

 

  1550 Hits
  1 Comment

The Shape of Gibraltar in the aftermath of Brexit

A Brexit-driven reconfiguration of the UK’s food and agricultural sector suggests that a period of significant transformation lies ahead; but if mapped successfully, can be a positive one.

George Macquisten

31st August 2017

Every civilization that has settled in Gibraltar has thrived, be it the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Ottomans, the Spanish and most recently, the British. Its strategic location and deep water harbour have been the reasons behind this, and enabled them to make it a vital trading hub.

Brexit represents a huge challenge to the future of Gibraltar as an economic centre, since it means losing membership of the biggest trading bloc in the world once the UK leaves in 2019. Gibraltar has experienced similar issues before in the various sieges mounted against it in the War of the Spanish Succession, and most recently during Franco’s blockade. There is certainly plenty to be cautious about, since the territory has become more dependent than ever on the land frontier remaining open to facilitate the movement of tourists, labour and imports.

However, the thriving financial services sector, which is closely aligned with that of the UK, means that the economic outlook is not as bleak as businesses and politicians initially feared, especially since the TiSA negotiations are proceeding well. The symbolic relationship Gibraltar shares with the neighbouring Spanish province of Andalucia means that they cannot function without the other.

Sense between the negotiating parties will prevail, especially since Madrid will not wish to sacrifice the economic well being of 10,000 Spaniards and forego the purchasing power of 30,000 comparatively wealthy Gibraltarians through causing difficulties at the border. If all sides can tone down the sometimes fiery rhetoric, there is every hope for creative solutions to keep the border with Spain open and flowing to the benefit of all.

Continue reading
  1418 Hits
  0 Comments

Note! This site uses cookies.

If you not change browser settings, you agree to it. Learn more

I understand

Cookies are a technology which we use to provide you with tailored information on our website. A cookie is a piece of code that is sent to your internet browser and is stored on your system.

Please see below for a list of cookies this website uses:

Cookie name: _utma, _utmb, _utmc, _utmz

Purpose: Google Analytics cookies. Google Analytics is software that lets us analyse how visitors use our site. We use this information to improve our website and provide the best experience to visitors.

Function: These cookies collect data in an anonymous form. Please see Google's privacy policy for further information. To opt out of these cookies, please visit Google's website.

Cookie name: Sitecore

Purpose: Stores information, such as language and regional preferences, that our content management system (the system we use to update our website) relies on to function.

Function: This is a session cookie and will be destroyed when you close your browser. This cookie is essential for our website to function.

Cookie name: ASP.net_session

Purpose: Allows the website to save your session state across different pages. For example, if you have completed a survey, the website will remember that you have done so and will not ask you to complete it again when you view another page on the website.

Function: This is a session cookie and will be destroyed when you close your browser. This cookie is essential for our website to function.

Cookie name: website#sc_wede

Purpose: Indicates whether the user's browser supports inline editing of content. This indicates whether our content management system will work for our website administrators in their internet browsers.

Function: This is a session cookie and will be destroyed when you close your browser. This cookie is essential for our website to function.

Cookie name: redirected

Purpose: Remembers when the site forwards you from one page to another, so you can return to the first page. For example, go back to the home page after viewing a special 'splash' page.

Function: This is a session cookie, which your browser will destroy when it shuts down. The website needs this cookie to function.

Cookie name: tccookiesprefs

Purpose: Remembers when you respond to the site cookie policy, so you do not see the cookie preferences notice on every page.

Function: If you choose to remember your preference with a temporary cookie, your browser will remove it when you shut it down, otherwise the cookie will be stored for about a year.

Cookie name: _ga

Purpose: Additional Google Analytics cookie. Google Analytics is software that lets us analyse how visitors use our site. We use this information to improve our website and provide the best experience to visitors.

Function: These cookies collect data in an anonymous form. Please see Google's privacy policy for further information.

Cookie name: SC_ANALYTICS_GLOBAL_COOKIE, SC_ANALYTICS_SESSION_COOKIE

Purpose: Sitecore Analytics is software that lets us analyse how visitors use our site. We use this information to improve our website and provide the best experience to visitors.

Function: These cookies collect data in an anonymous form. When you close your browser, it will delete the 'session' cookie; it will keep the 'global' cookie for about one year.

Facebook cookies

We use Facebook 'Like' buttons to share site feedback. For further information, see Facebook's cookie policy page.

Twitter cookies

We use Twitter 'Tweet' buttons to share site feedback. For further information, see Twitter's privacy statement.

YouTube cookies

We embed videos from our official YouTube channel. YouTube uses cookies to help maintain the integrity of video statistics, prevent fraud and to improve their site experience. If you view a video, YouTube may set cookies on your computer once you click on the video player.

Cookies pop-up

When you close the cookies pop-up box by clicking "OK", a permanent cookie will be set on your machine. This will remember your preference so that the pop-up doesn't display across any pages whenever you visit the website.

Opting out/removing cookies

To opt out of Google Analytics cookies, please visit Google’s website.

You can also control what cookies you accept through your internet browser. For details on how to do this, please visit aboutcookies.org. Please note that by deleting our cookies or disabling future cookies you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our website.