Well, what a week it’s been!
The mass media has given the EurIneers a good run for their money, trying to manipulate the public into thinking the Brexit shall equal economic doom. The Brexiteers seem to have gone quiet on the issue, failing to recognise that the rest of the world trades quite happily without being members of the European Union.
By the end of the week, it became clear that the Brexit campaigners started to diverge. The grassroots movement - unofficially lead, at least in the mass media, by Nigel Farage - continued to press the immigration issue, but the establishment’s own Brexit campaign realised that the immigration issue is potentially an own-goal for many of its establishment supporters.
Objectively, there is still no public strategy for UK’s membership of the European Union, no equivalent of the Brexiteers’ Flexcit plan. It’s looking likely that there is no such plan. EurIneers need to hurry up: time is running out guys…
And John Major got an interview for the EurIn case. This was a good opportunity, but it didn’t work. More about that interview in its own blog entry.
In the meantime, a few more reactions to the week’s mass programme of distortion, disinformation and Project Fear.
- Home Secretary: leave the ECHR, but stay in the EU
- Project Fear: OECD claims that Brexit would cost Briton’s a whole month salary… by 2020
- Project Fear: Carney says hard to predict effect of post-Brexit slide in sterling
- British expats lose the right to vote in the referendum
Home Secretary: leave the ECHR, but stay in the EU
On 25 April 2016, the Telegraph reported Home Secretary Theresa May’s speech in which she said the UK should leave the European Convention of Human Rights and leave the European Union. May says that it is the former, not the latter, that caused problems when dealing with Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada, and led to a situation where the UK Parliament was told to give votes to prisoners.
The problem is that membership of the EU requires commitment to the ECHR. The Europeans certainly needed a bill of rights to protect citizens against the warmongering of their own governments (twice in the same century). The British drafted it, and it became the ECHR. One could argue that the world has moved on. Then again, a European citizen would probably have good cause to worry if the ECHR failed to provide some recourse against the excesses of their own local government.
So divorcing the ECHR and the EU is a non-starter.
To leave the ECHR, the UK would need to leave the EU beforehand.
The consequences of the UK walking away from the ECHR is another topic altogether!
Project Fear: OECD claims that Brexit would cost Briton’s a whole month salary… by 2020
On 27 April 2016, Reuters reported Angel Gurria, OECD secretary general, saying Britain would have less access to the bloc's single market of 500 million consumers, slowing investment resulting in a loss of income.
Yet more consequential, opportunistic fear-mongering nonsense from the establishment keen to make a headline out of deliberately dodgy statistics and flawed assumptions.
The Telegraph reported the same story, with more colour and analysis.
Project Fear: Carney says hard to predict effect of post-Brexit slide in sterling
On 27 April 2016, Reuters reported a written answer from Carney that basically admitted to the obvious fact that all the Bank of England’s modelling of a Brexit is pure speculation, with no basis in empirical fact, or even probability (let alone likelihood).
British expats lose the right to vote in the referendum
On 28 April 2016 reported the Telegraph that the High Court has dismissed a claim for British expatriates to vote in the referendum of 23 June 2016.
UK law changed in 2015 to rule out the electoral rights of ex-pats who had lived abroad for more than 15 years.
I have no sympathy. Ex-pats know the risks of being an ex-pat, and have no right to assume that Britain would favour the interests of ex-pats over those of us still in the UK (and paying UK taxes, by the way: are there any long-term ex-pats still paying UK income tax on their worldwide income?). Leaving a country and hoping that its laws might still supersede those of your new host country is monstrously daft.
“Almost certainly our lives would be disrupted if Britain left the EU, from health care to pensions. Many of us would be forced to go back to the UK. Brexit would affect us deeply,” [the appellant] told The Telegraph from his home in Gourdon, inland from the French Riviera.
Hey ho. The grass is always greener. You made your choice; now live with it.