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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.
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.
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Bruges Group Blog

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

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...
  3024 Hits

The Euro’s Battle for Survival

 Entering the Red ZoneIn 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 f...
  3359 Hits

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...
  3137 Hits

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...
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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...
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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 a...
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Splits, Splits and a Damned Position

By Daniel BullenI 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 party...
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What is this 'Transition' Period About?

By Daniel BullenWe 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 'Transition'...
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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 ...
  2811 Hits

'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...
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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 o...
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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 ...
  3245 Hits

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...
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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 countries i...
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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.pdfResol...
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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...
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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 20The House of CommonsWestminster London SW1A 0AA(via the Cromwell Entranc...
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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...
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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 million...
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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 spotlig...
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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 de...
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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 &...
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May, Munich, and Military Structures

Theresa May's Munich speech suggests UK's continued involvement in EU security structures post-BrexitAuthor: David WilkinsonNever 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 alone a...
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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...
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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 UKThe 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's r...
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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 pap...
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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 suck...
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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, los...
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The Art of the Possible

​By Marcus WatneyFor 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 mi...
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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 pers...
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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 ...
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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...
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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 mo...
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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 conc...
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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...
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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...
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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 23rd June 2016. Every day...
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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 d...
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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 i...
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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 poli...
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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 g...
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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 borde...
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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. "Remem...
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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 of...
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​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...
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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 Brex...
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​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 financ...
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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...
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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 s...
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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 ...
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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 197...
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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 hypot...
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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 a ...
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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 reelection ...
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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 result...
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Here's Why U.K. Should Prepare for "No Deal" on Brexit

​"Deal or no Deal" event speech by Professor D.R. Myddelton.BackgroundGeneral 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 again...
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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...
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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 d...
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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 open-...
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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...
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Dr Bess Rhodes - what actually is Brexit?

Bruges Group ConferenceWill 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 2017http://www.brugesgroup.com/events Conference trailerSp...
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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.

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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.

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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 2LA

For 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

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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 29th March 2019 and, if a subsequent transitional arrangement is deemed...
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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.


 

  7271 Hits

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...
  5026 Hits

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 encompass...
  64376 Hits

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.

 

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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.

 

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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
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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.

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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 shoul...
  3667 Hits

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
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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

 

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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.

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How will Brexit affect British Holidays

 

Brexit could hit UK travellers like a summer storm. But don’t fret – it’s not all bad. Although it is deemed likely that travellers will needs a visa to travel around Europe, mobile roaming data charges are set to be scrapped entirely across the board. If you plan on travelling around Europe this summer, make sure you apply for an E111 card or renew it if you haven’t already to ensure you are eligible to receive medical treatment away.

With the UK scheduled to begin with the process to depart from the European Union under Article 50 at the end of March, it’s time to consider how it could affect your holiday:

Duty-free

Rules regarding duty and tax-free product are likely to make a comeback. Since 1999, travelling within Europe meant that people held no rights against duty or tax-free purchases. But, the separation of Britain and the European Union could mean that the rule is bought back into practice. So if you rely on buying cheap alcohol or tobacco, you will have to revert to buying products in limited quantities just like all non-EU countries.

The EHIC scheme

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Is a Transitional Deal Good for Brexit?

 

With the Brexit negotiations in full flow, Britain is looking for a way to make the transition away from the European Union run as smoothly as possible while ensuring that Brexit happens unimpeded. There are two possible exits. The first is a clean cut that will come into effect on 29th March 2019. The second option is to negotiate a transition deal that will allow Britain to disengage with the EU over a designated period of time. Here on The Bruges Group we have examined how trade can successfully continue outside of the Single Market. It is just a case of how we get there. In this article we look at the advantages and disadvantages of a transitional deal.

 

For a Transitional Deal

A big concern amongst some leave voters is that Britain is heading towards a cliff edge scenario where no agreement or deal is reached. Many political and business commentators believe that this would leave Britain in a precarious position as all EU laws and regulations would suddenly cease. It is estimated that over 700 treaties have to be renegotiated, ranging from the airline industry to Britain’s nuclear agreement (Euratom), with the EU. With less than two years till the Article 50 deadline there is a strong argument that it isn’t feasible to negotiate every deal in time. This could leave many UK businesses in difficult positions, as they have to suddenly change from one set of regulations to another.

British trade minister and prominent leave advocate Liam Fox has pushed for a transitional deal. The Irish Times reported that Fox told Andrew Marr that a deal of around two years was necessary to give businesses the chance to adapt. He is quoted as saying: “I want to leave the European Union at the end of March 2019. Now once we have done that, once we have fulfilled our promise to the British people, we can look to see what we are going to do in terms of making that a smooth transition… whether that’s 23 [months], whether that’s 25 [months]." The trade minister reassured leave voters by stating that the transition period would have a limited time scale.

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Brexit will fail if it does not develop a clear vision for the future

Barely one year after the Brexit referendum, and under four months since the triggering of Article 50, the Financial Times has published a “democratic case for stopping Brexit”, adding to a crescendo in overt calls to upend the exit process. How did we get here? The whole point of the EU referendum, just like the Scottish referendum before it, was to bury a longstanding and contentious political issue. In both cases, this has not been so.

 

In the case of Scotland, it is clear that the opportunism of the nationalists was to blame for reviving the independence issue. Similarly, in the case of Brexit, it is tempting to point the finger at the “Remoaners” who never really accepted the result of the referendum, protesting against the democratic outcome from the get-go. Their scheming has not been particularly covert, with the entire frame of the “hard” vs. “soft” Brexit debate geared towards eventually thwarting the outcome of the vote.

 

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Barnier's career of wacky ideas and EU power-grabs

Michel Barnier is quickly becoming a pantomime villain in the UK, with his regular grandstanding and puerile PR stunts. But a lot of British commentators still give him far too much credit - we can only guess they haven't looked into the wreckage of his political career.
(Photograph courtesy of Foto-AG Gymnasium Melle)
Barnier's track record, described below, is marked by wacky EU-federalist ideas which have been his undoing on several occasions.
From his less-than-subtle effort to force the EU Constitution onto all of us through to the range of smaller proposals for EU power-grabs, which resulted in criticism, rebukes and a dismissal.
The Brexit talks show that he might never learn from these errors.
Despite having absolutely no elected mandate in his current role, he is stuck in the EU Commission mindset and trying to boss Britain around.
Any eurosceptic would have known that EU intransigence would soon surface in spite of David Davis's efforts to create an amicable and respectful exchange of views.
We highlight eight of his career low points here:


1. As French Minister for Foreign Affairs...
...he helped write the despised EU Constitution, a massive EU power-grab, that was trashed and rejected by French voters in a referendum and later in a Dutch referendum.

 
 
2. Sacked as French foreign minister...
...because his EU Constitution campaign was so roundly trashed in the French referendum. He later complained he was "unfairly singled out" for the referendum defeat, but he still didn't learn his lesson as the next items shows.
 
 
 
3. As French nominee to rewrite the failed EU constitution...
...he was asked to produce a new document to replace the constitution alongside other panellists. An unrepentant Barnier and his colleagues instead produced virtually the same list of power-grabs in the controversial and hated Lisbon Treaty. Co-writer Valéry Giscard d'Estaing confirmed it was "substantially the same as the EU Constitution".
 
 

4. As EU Commissioner for Regions...

...he oversaw the EU regional funding team which proposed a much-criticised funding project of more than EUR 60 million to the Spanish enclave of Melilla including millions spent on a luxury golf course next to a refugee fence and refugee reception centre. Although he oversaw the team which wrote the funding proposal and gave the initial approval, final approval to the criticised scheme was by his successor Jacques Barrot.
 
 
5. As adviser to José Manuel Barroso...
When asked to look into civil emergency response, he was ridiculed for his proposals for an EU Civil Protection Force which turned into an obvious power-grab for the EU Commission. He is credited with invented the phrase 'the cost of non-Europe' and his civil protection paper includes the bizarre phrase: "As the tsunami so tragically bears out, the price of non-Europe in crisis management is too high". He was also a Barroso adviser when Barroso made his famous gaffe, "the EU is our empire".
 
 
 
6. As EU commissioner for the internal market...
He was criticised repeatedly over: Solvency II insurance regulation; EU Commission power-grabs; toothless bank reform proposals; and half-baked banking reform proposals. He was also criticised by the UK Government for his banking reform proposals and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers' Directive which was especially punitive to the UK financial services industry.
Slammed over the Solvency II legislation process
Criticised for toothless proposals
Criticised for half-baked banking reform proposals:
Criticised by UK gov for his first draft of banking reform
Faced Uk gov criticism over AIFMD
 
 
7. As defence adviser to Juncker...
He helped create the concept of the European Defence Fund and the European Defence Action Plan. From 2015 to his appointment as EU Commission Brexit negotiator he helped plan the EU's defence powergrab which was eventually rolled out in a legislative onslaught at the EU Council between November 2016 and June 2017.

8. As co-president of the Albertville Olympic Committee...
...saw the event costs escalate to more than double its intended budget. UK analysts later found the event suffered a cost overrun of a whopping 137%.
 Flyvbjerg, Bent; Stewart, Allison; Budzier, Alexander (2016). The Oxford Olympics Study 2016: Cost and Cost Overrun at the Games. Oxford: Saïd Business School Working Papers (Oxford: University of Oxford). pp. 9–13. SSRN 2804554 Freely accessible.
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The Will to Act

In the referendum on 23 June 2016 the majority of British people voted Leave. In doing so, they placed the cornerstone of a new future for the U.K. beyond the E.U. Some politicians, mainstream media and many pollsters failed to remember how the will to act had built the British Empire, Commonwealth and NATO. The will to act against questionable ves...
  4067 Hits

Brexit under threat

The Union Jack flies over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.
Photograph: Rian (Ree) Saunders, Flickr

With Article 50 triggered and Brexit negotiations well underway, the UK government looks like it’s carrying out the instructions it received from 17.4 million voters last summer. At best, Britain and the continent will establish a mutually advantageous trade relationship; at worst, the UK and EU will revert to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, including minor tariffs on the exchange of goods and services. In either case, it seems, the UK will regain control over its finances, its borders, and its laws –all of which are necessary to fulfill the mandate given by voters.

Nevertheless, a growing threat hangs over Brexit Britain.

In hopes of consolidating power, Prime Minister Theresa May called an election in June. Rather than expand her mandate with a comfortable majority in Parliament, May’s Conservatives lost their majority, necessitating the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist MPs to govern.

Emboldened by the election result, opposition parties have redoubled efforts to undermine the government’s position in Brexit negotiations. By seeking guarantees that single market access is maintained at all costs, or that, if by March 2019 (the date by which the UK has notified the EU it will leave) negotiations have not born fruit Britain’s current relationship with the EU should be maintained, MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and even some Conservatives are undermining the primary objective of last year’s referendum: to leave the EU.

Beyond Westminster, a growing number of voices have added themselves to the anti-Brexit bandwagon.

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Brexit: the end to austerity

[pb_row ][pb_column span="span12"][pb_heading el_title="Article Sub Title" tag="h4" text_align="inherit" font="inherit" border_bottom_style="solid" border_bottom_color="#000000" appearing_animation="0" ]Unlocking the benefits of leaving the EU[/pb_heading][pb_heading el_title="Article Sub Title 3" tag="h4" text_align="inherit" font="inherit" border_bottom_style="solid" border_bottom_color="#000000" appearing_animation="0" ]By Bob Lyddon[/pb_heading][pb_text el_title="Article Text" width_unit="%" enable_dropcap="no" appearing_animation="0" ]

Bob is the author of The UK’s liabilities to the financial mechanisms of the European Union for the Bruges Group, and the Brexit Papers for Global Britain – www.brexitpapers.uk

23rd June 2017
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The current Government led by Theresa May has noticeably failed to bake any “Brexit dividend” into its policies for the coming 5-year Parliament. This is concerning because it may indicate either that they have not yet figured out the sources and extent of the financial benefits from Brexit, or that they are not going to pursue the negotiations with the EU in order to garner them, or both.

 

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The Future is Another Country: Brexit, CAP and the Future of British Agriculture

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.

Richard Ferguson

21st June 2017

The possibility of a Brexit-driven reconfiguration of the UK’s food and agricultural sector suggests that a period of significant transformation and structural adjustment lies ahead. Set against an industry already in the midst of rapid technological displacement, value-chain disruption and regulatory change, a transformative event such as Brexit appears to add to existing uncertainty.


However, while the potential institutional, financial and operating frameworks that will arise from Brexit suggest a wide range of possible outcomes, the process, if mapped successfully, can be a positive one. The UK’s current position is not unique. In the 1980s, the government of New Zealand instigated a reform programme to transform the country’s food and agriculture sector, the results of which were immediate and painful as well as long-term and beneficial.


At the core of the transformation that shook New Zealand’s agriculture sector in the 1980s and 1990s was a pressing need to access new markets in the face of external economic shocks and structural adjustments, such as the UK’s decision to join the then European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973. While there are obvious direct parallels between the New Zealand case study and Brexit, both situations remain distinct and unique. The first section of this report “The past is another country” considers the New Zealand experience and argues that an agenda focused on long-term goals can deliver significant economic and social benefits, but may come with considerable short-term costs. The battle about to commence is set to be as brutal, complex and ideological as that which determined the direction of the British economy in the late-1970s and early 1980s.

 

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Government Agrees to EU Military

Five concerns for the UK arising from the EU Defence Union

14th June 2017
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There are five main areas which the EU has been pursuing in order to establish what it calls an ‘EU Defence Union’ across the 28 EU countries, including the UK.

1. Procurement policy and incentives

2. Finance

  39916 Hits

EU security and counter-terrorism control after Brexit

Dominic Grieve, the Conservative Chairman of the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee, argues that the UK must retain membership of the EU’s law enforcement agency (Europol) after Brexit, even if this means “accepting EU rules and judicial oversight for the European Court of Justice (ECJ).” This is not real Brexit and nor will it make us safer, in fact quite the reverse.

5th June 2017
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Security is the new defining issue of both British and European politics. Even the United States is concerned that Europe’s problem is a danger for us all. It will also form the key issue in the Article 50 Brexit negotiations, or at least so the Government hopes. According to The Daily Telegraph, the Cabinet meeting of 7th March 2017, which approved the strategy for PM Theresa May’s opening gambit in her soon to be sent Article 50 letter mentioned security no less than 11 times.

 

  5512 Hits

The deals that may be worse than no deal

How a compromise agreement may keep Britain subject to aspects of the EU.

2nd June 2017

Introduction

Here we answer your questions on the Article 50 UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement.

 

  5923 Hits

Co-operation after Brexit in the spheres of Justice and crime prevention

The UK should not seek full Europol membership or participation in the flawed European Arrest Warrant scheme.

30th May 2017

Introduction

One unavoidable fact about the modern world is that criminal gangs and terrorist groups work across national borders.

 

  7888 Hits

Norwegians reject the 'Norway option'

More Norwegians want to see a bilateral comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU replacing Norway's membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) than those who want to hold onto the country's EEA membership according to a new opinion poll. The poll was produced last week by the polling company Sentio for the Norwegian organisation Nei til E...
  5480 Hits

Can Brexit be a success?

Reportedly the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, says Britain leaving the European Union cannot be a success. Well, that is quite understandable from the EU's point of view. After all Brussels' idea of a success is not entirely the same as what most Britons have in mind. The most successful outcome of the Brexit talks ahead...
  4795 Hits

Scotland, Separation and the Brexit Question

The SNP has abandoned ‘True Independence’ and Sturgeon is forcing Scotland to choose between a more powerful Scotland inside a Federal UK, or a less powerful one inside the EU and most likely the Eurozone.

David Roach

23rd April 2017
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I remember the SNP’s 2015 manifesto commitment very clearly: the more seats they won in Westminster, the more powers they would get back for Scotland. It was not their most original manifesto commitment, but it was consistent with the main theme of Scottish politics for the past few decades: that devolution should bring power closer to the people of Scotland.

 

  6792 Hits

The truth only Europhiles can tell about the EU

The EU is on the road towards a single state and is already largely there.

30th March 2017
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The European Union is an attempt to unify Europe under one centralised authority in a fundamentally similar fashion as tried for instance by the Roman Empire and Napoleon Bonaparte. The difference is that this time it's being attempted through a different method.

 

This is not a reference to the words of some eurosceptic as someone might assume. Like for instance a supporter of Britain leaving  the EU. This is on the contrary a reference to a speech by former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the main author of the European Constitution which was later renamed the Lisbon Treaty and is today the EU's supreme legislation.

 

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Simplifying Brexit: Maintaining third-party trade deals after Brexit

Memorandums of Understanding, or exchange of notes/letters, can form a key part of the necessary transitional arrangements as the UK moves from being an EU member state to an independent nation.

15th March 2017
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In our report What it will look like: How leaving the EU and the Single Market can be made to work for Britain[1] we explained that it should be relatively easy for the UK to maintain interim tariff-free trade with the countries who have signed deals with the EU, after Brexit.

 

  6302 Hits

A challenge to the TED talks: Brexit is ending the control of outmoded hierarchies

Technology is driving changes that remote bureaucrats have yet to imagine. Brexit is about openness. It’s about people realising their global role and forging new links with counties and other people. The British people, through Brexit have embraced what made this country so dynamic; freedom of information and limited top down control.

13th March 2017
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As reported in the Memo Chris Anderson, Founder of the renowned TED talks series of lectures has criticized Brexit and poured cold water on the possibility of Brexiteers speaking at his events. Stating that TED are pro-globalisation. Clearly he has jumped to the wrong conclusions about Britain’s EU exit and perhaps has globalisation very wrong.

Some cannot distinguish between internationalism, working with others, and the brand of globalization being pushed by supra-national institutions. Organisations like the EU are, in the words of Dr Anthony Coughlan in Tackling the EU Empire, ‘imperial arrangements like the Austro-Hungarian Empire, once known as a “prison-house of nations”, where different countries are ruled by a centralized bureaucracy in a far-away imperial capital.’ That model failed then and will fail again.

Supranationalism, what Chris Anderson must be confusing with Globalisation, is according to Dr Coughlan ‘the opposite of internationalism, which is a benign and progressive concept. Internationalism – from Latin inter, “between” – implies the pre-existence of sovereign Nation States. It refers to relations of co-operation between the States that constitute the international community, but with each controlling and deciding its own domestic and external affairs in accordance with the wishes of its people. Recognition of States based on the right to self-determination of nations and peoples is a basic principle of modern democracy and international law.

‘Supranationalism, in contrast to internationalism, implies a hierarchy, with the supranational level on top. Internationalism implies legal and political equality between the parties. Properly understood, internationalism is opposed to all forms of chauvinism and xenophobia. It implies coexistence among progressive “nationalisms” – that is, broad nationalisms rather than narrow, using the positive rather than the negative sense of that word in English. It implies patriotism and love of country, combined with respect for the many national communities into which humanity is divided and admiration for their varied cultural and other achievements.

  5693 Hits

Another nail in the coffin of the Single Market

Last month, an event occurred which got little fanfare, but is likely to have a significant effect on the future of the UK, especially after Brexit. What happened was that the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement has now entered into force.

10th March 2017

The Single Market

Lord Lamont, the former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer wrote in The Telegraph:

‘The single market is open to all advanced economies, in exchange for paying a relatively modest tariff of 3 to 4 per cent, something that evidently does not stop non-EU countries from selling within it.

‘Every developed country has access to the single market. The EU has a relatively low external tariff with the exception of certain goods such as agriculture.’[i]

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Norway's Progress Party set to reject EU membership

The Progress Party of Norway seems set to reach a significant milestone at its national congress in May when it comes to the party's policy on the European Union.

8th March 2017
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To this day the Progress Party has in fact not had a policy whether the country should join the EU or not. The party has simply had the policy that the Norwegian people should decide whether to join the bloc or not.

 

However, this seems about to change fundamentally in May. A Progress Party committee, tasked with drafting the party's foreign policy for the national congress, has suggested adopting the policy of rejecting EU membership. Furthermore the committee has also suggested reviewing the EEA Agreement which Norway has been a member of for almost a quarter of a century.

 

  5165 Hits

Will the Netherlands be the next domino to fall?

Opinion poll shows Dutch opposition to the EU is strong and can win.

56% = Support Nexit (EFTA + FTA)

Only 44% = Support for EU

26th February 2017
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A new Dutch poll commissioned by the Bruges Group, carried out by www.peil.nl, shows that more Dutch people prefer the alternatives to the European Union than they do EU membership. As the alternatives are already gathering more support than EU membership a concerted campaign in the Netherlands, which could force a referendum[1], will mean Holland voting to leave the EU.

 

The Dutch general election will take place on 15th March and the question of the EU is becoming increasingly important. The Netherlands’ terms of EU membership are already being questioned by an increasing amount of political parties; namely the Centre Democrats (Netherlands)‎, ChristianUnion, Party for Freedom‎, Party for the Animals, Libertarian party, Reformed Political Party, and Socialist Party (Netherlands). Which can make gains. The issues are immigration, who makes law, and size of the Dutch financial contribution.

 

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Youth activists talk with leading Brexiteers

Leading businessmen, politicians and academics talk with Paulina Sienniak and Ben Michael about how Brexit will work and what it means.

24th February 2017
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Rt Hon. Peter Lilley MP, Former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and Social Security.

Peter Lilley talks to Paulina about the single market.

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Why Brexit Should Be Accompanied by Irexit (Ireland exit)

Ireland’s political Establishment is only now realising that Brexit really does mean Brexit and that the case for an accompanying Irexit is overwhelming. Irish opinion is likely to move in this direction over the coming two years and UK policy-makers should encourage that.

Dr Anthony Coughlan

22nd February 2017

For forty years from 1973 the Republic was a major recipient of EU money through the Common Agricultural Policy. Since 2014 the Republic has become a net contributor to the EU Budget. In future money from Brussels will be Irish taxpayers’ money recycled. This removes the principal basis of Irish europhilia, official and unofficial.

If Dublin seeks to remain in the EU when the UK leaves it will have to pay more to the EU budget to help compensate for the loss of Britain’s net contribution. A bonus of leaving along with the UK on the other hand is that it would enable the Republic to get its sea-fisheries back - the value of annual fish-catches by foreign boats in Irish waters being a several-times multiple of whatever money Ireland got from the EU over the years.

As regards trade and investment, the Republic sends 61% by value of its goods exports and 66% of its services exports to countries that are outside the continental EU26, mostly English-speaking. The USA is the most important market for its foreign-owned firms and the UK for its indigenous ones. Economically and psychologically it is closer to Boston than Berlin and to Britain than Germany.

  13208 Hits

The UK is stuck in a quagmire over EU Defence Union

EU Defence Union has gathered pace since late 2016 and the UK is deeply involved. Ministers have so far failed to explain why they are agreeing to the plans and how they will regain control.

15th February 2017
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A senior EU Commission official boasted in January that the EU "has done more in defence in the last seven months than in the previous decades".

 

It certainly looks like they have stepped up the pace since the Brexit vote.

 

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A Global Education System

How the UK should reorganise its university and research programmes

Robert Yee

9th February 2017

The UK has the ability to leverage current networks, continue to fund its current research programmes, and expand funding for scientific innovations. Going forward, the country will have to restructure its funding and knowledge-transfer programmes with its EU allies, and maintain an open environment with visas for people working on high-impact research projects. Furthermore, and almost simultaneously, the UK will need to look to partners in the US and the rest of the world for new programmes as well. Thus, a three-pronged approached is necessary for the UK for the future:

1. Encourage study at UK universities for both EU and non-EU countries

2. Promote international collaboration and innovative research ideas

3. Provide funding and financial aid to programs covered in #1 and #2

  4201 Hits

Brexit and the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has no jurisdiction in preventing the Prime Minister from invoking Article 50 to leave to EU. Its ruling is wrong. Jurisdiction was passed to the People, who have primary authority, by Parliament.

25th January 2017
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One must now wonder whether in his memoirs Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court will say, of the unintended consequences of the Court’s Brexit decision, “Of course, the People had made a valid decision to leave the EU but at the time it seemed the right thing to send it back to Parliament.”

 

  5110 Hits
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