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Wednesday, 29 November 2017



Two weeks ago the Foreign Minister of the Irish Republic made the entirely credible threat that, if the Irish Government didn’t get what they wanted in keeping an open border with Northern Ireland, then they would veto any proposed EU trade agreement with the United Kingdom. 

The reason that such a threat is entirely credible is that for any EU trade agreement to be ratified it has to go through the process of ratification, not only by the EU institutions, but also by all 27 remaining Member States of the EU. 

This is part of the reason why the EU has been so very slow over the years at entering into trade agreements.  In the case of the trade agreement with Canada, the vast majority of terms were agreed relatively quickly, but the ratification was then held up for years because the Belgium Walloons were being difficult about an obscure point and until they agreed the Belgium state could not ratify the agreement. 

We may also have difficulty with the Walloons, who are, of course, notorious about being difficult about almost everything.  There has also been a direct threat from Spain of vetoing any EU trade agreement with the EU unless they get what they want over Gibraltar. 

Then in terms of troubles ahead there is the problem that Germany is currently politically rudderless. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor for so many years is no doubt focussing all her efforts on internal political considerations (and her own future!) rather than thinking about issues relating to Brexit!

As things stand under Article 50 we are out of the EU in March 2019.  That is just 16 months away!

Even if we were already agreed on almost every aspect of the trade agreement negotiations that would be an almost impossibly short period to succeed in getting all the EU institutions and also all the Member States to all ratify the agreement. 

As it is, we haven’t even begun the trade negotiations because of the EU’s approach to negotiation - that the divorce package must be agreed before any trade negotiations can begin.  This negotiating approach was always intended to minimise the British Government’s negotiating position. 

The EU will be left desperately short of money as a result of us, one of its major cash cows, leaving the EU which is why they are trying to get us to agree to pay a vast ransom before they will even agree to discuss any trade deal, so that we cannot use our financial position to extract any concessions from them.

In addition to our financial position our Government’s negotiating team throughout that the question of the EU migrants who are here would be helpful.  In many cases they are sending back to their home countries a significant proportion of what they are earning, plus child benefit and other remittances which help keep their home countries financially afloat. 

Our negotiating team also thought that it would help us that our security services are more effective and sophisticated than most of the rest of the 27. 

All of these issues seemed to give potentially strong negotiating positions.  That is why all of which points the EUs current negotiating stance is intended to strip away from us!

When you couple all of this with the relative weakness and incoherence of Mrs May’s Remainer dominated Government - it has never looked very likely that she was going to be able to deliver a good deal on trading terms between us and the EU countries!

If the Irish deliver on their threat it would be politically impossible (not to mention - politically suicidal!) for any British Government to negotiate away the integrity of the United Kingdom, let alone a Conservative and Unionist Prime Minister whose very Party, as it currently stands, was formed on the question of Ireland in 1922 when Conservative and Unionist MPs came together in the original 1922 Committee to vote to withdraw from Lloyd George’s National Coalition over the question of Ireland. 

There is also the electoral dynamic in the House of Commons which requires the support of Arlene Foster’s Democratic Unionist Party who would not agree to what Ireland is asking for anyway.  So Mrs May’s Government has even less ability to agree what Ireland is demanding than any other British Government would be able to!

So it would appear that no deal is really the most likely outcome. 

If Mrs May’s Government are really sensible it would be currently planning for that and certainly not parting with any English Taxpayers’ money to buy the possibility of having trade negotiations, when those trade negotiations are clearly going to go nowhere in the long run.

Brexit, membership of the EU and properly implementing the referendum decision combine in a cluster of issues which are very important to a lot of people.  They are perhaps more important than traditional party loyalties. They also cut across the line of the political spectrum represented by the Post War two party system British Establishment Parties. 

Therefore we have a real prospect that the Remainiac manoeuvres that we see going on in Parliament may lead to a smash for the Establishment. That means that there is to a real prospect on re-alignment of the political spectrum, hopefully more in accordance in delivering what ordinary people really want out of politics.  In my view, that is patriotism; coupled with welfare for our people; control on immigration; coupled with higher wages for our people; support for traditional values; an end to political correctness; integration not multi-culturalism; a land in which there is room for difference and innovation; self-improvement without the dead weight of bureaucratic “Equality and Diversity” quotas.  In short an England that would truly make you proud to be English!

As against that majority view we do, on one end of the spectrum, have perhaps no more than 25,000 corporate globalists supporting the Tory Party, but they are armed with vast resources and control of big business and much of the print media.  On the other end there are certainly no more than 600,000 internationalist, socialist, statists supporting Labour again armed with influence in the state hierarchy, academia , teaching, Social work and in the media - especially the BBC.

Friday, 17 November 2017



One thing that is all too obvious when trying to deal with any part of Government these days is the striking degree of incompetence.  This may well be the result of the selection for jobs by multi-culturist, PC tokenistic, tick-boxing rather than by trying to select the best people for the job?

There is also, of course, the vast and casual waste of taxpayers’ money! 

One of the less remarked upon things is the huge volume of unnecessary, overly prescriptive, complicated and downright ineffective legislation that Parliament passes.  It seems to be all too prevalent that the qualification for being in our legislature is to be utterly incompetent in dealing with any matter relating to the Law!

I remember a few years Lord Phillips of Sudbury, the Lib Dem Peer who had been a high quality solicitor in private practice, retired from the Lords saying that he thought the whole thing was pointless when our State is now passing over 10,000 pages of legislation every single year?

The result of this deluge of legislative verbal diarrhoea is that it is no longer possible for anyone to know the law, let alone for any citizen to know where they stand as against the State.  The whole legal system has been swamped and is a muddle. 

In a way nothing is better as an example than the latest twittering amongst the twitterati about whether Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty could be revoked and thus keep the UK within the EU and block the EU referendum.

This is a typical example of our political class’ incompetence. There are of course two bodies that have jurisdiction on deciding this. One is Parliament.  All the commentators who are Remainers were gleeful about Gina Miller’s case being taken up to the Supreme Court where there was a ruling that Parliament had to legislate in order for the Government to be legally able to serve the Article 50 notice ( .  Bizarrely they are now claiming that Parliament by mere resolution could overrule the effect of that Statute! This is a basic error, not only of law, but of the constitution, since it is elementary that no Parliamentary resolution can override a statute.

In the circumstances the only way in which Parliament could overturn the Article 50 notice Act (European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017)  would be by a further Act of Parliament. 

So we have the amusing and delightful situation where Remainer MPs are trapped by the Miller case, whereby they cannot undo the Article 50 Notice at this end of the process without a further Act of Parliament.

Realistically this is politically impossible and would probably be ineffective in any case for reasons which I will explain below. 

The other jurisdiction and body which would determine whether a revocation of the Article 50 Notice was valid is the European Court of Justice.  Whatever the EU Commissioner might think, or the Council of European Union Governments or the EU Parliament think, the final word would be with the European Court of Justice.  That decision would probably take 5 years during which the situation of the UK would be in a permanent state of uncertainty. 

This Twitter stream has all been brought on by the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, confirming what was logically obvious, which is that the default position on whether there is a deal is that there is no deal. 

Given that the EU has set itself up to be as difficult as possible in this negotiating process, they always made it very likely that there would be no deal, but the Remainers seemed to think that they were going to have some opportunity to decide whether or not whatever was offered was going to be sufficient.  David Davies confirmed that in the event that Parliament rejected whatever deal was offered, then the effect would be that there was no deal.

Since David Davis is likely not to be bringing back very much in the way of a deal anyway we now have massive inertia tending towards no deal from both the EU side and from the UK side.

Fortunately the effect of no deal isn’t at all what the Remainers are saying.  It is simply that we go into the normal world trade on free trading terms and on a WTO basis, just like most of the other countries that trade perfectly successfully with the EU. 

The EU for their part also go onto the same WTO terms with us.  Since the balance of trade for the last 30 years has been more or less constant in their favour it is right to say that the EU will lose more than we will.  Our Government receipts from their payment of tariffs is likely to be much greater than the EU’s receipts from our tariffs.  Our profligate and wasteful Government might even be able to pay its way with a balanced budget, at least for a little while, based upon these extra receipts!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017



Back in 2009 the cross-bench independent House of Lords Committee enquiring into the Barnett Formula funding allocation system reported that England was subsidising Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to the tune of £49 billion a year. 

Here is a link to that report >>> The Barnett Formula Report with Evidence published 17 July 2009

Given the years that have passed since I think it is worth reviewing what public spending is now in the 3 different Nations and in the Province of the United Kingdom. Here are the figures:-


Population 1.9 million

Public spending per head £14,018 (approx. £14,263 after deal)

Social security 43 per cent: local politicians effectively refused to approve benefit cuts in 2015 and received a £585 million package to soften the blow over four years

Health 19 per cent: funding cuts for GPs have forced some frontline services to be withdrawn and over 6,500 patients waited over 12 hours in A&E last year

Education 13 per cent: Northern Irish pupils are the highest performing in Europe at primary level for maths but a third of GCSE entrants do not achieve five A*-C grades

Public sector workers 25.2 per cent

Private sector workers 74.8 per cent


Population 55 million

Public spending per head £11,297

Social security 45 per cent: cuts to benefits have failed to offset the spiralling cost of pensions, which under the DUP deal will still be protected by the triple lock

Health 24 per cent: the Red Cross warned in January that NHS England faced a “humanitarian crisis” amid chronic bed and staff shortages and long waits for care

Education 14 per cent: Many schools are facing real-terms budget cuts under the government’s new funding formula and last year the number of A*-C grades at GCSE saw its sharpest decline since 1998

Public sector workers 17 per cent

Private sector workers 83 per cent


Population 5.4 million

Public spending per head £13,054

Social security 41 per cent: legislation to give the Scottish government control over 11 benefits has been introduced in Holyrood, which the SNP hopes will ease Westminster cuts

Health 21 per cent: only 5 per cent of A&E patients wait more than four hours despite a staffing shortfall and £100 million bill for locum doctors

Education 13 per cent: literacy and numeracy rates have declined or flatlined since 2012 but fewer pupils are leaving school with no qualifications

Public sector workers 21 per cent

Private sector workers 79 per cent


Population 3.1 million

Public spending per head £12,531

Social security 46 per cent: Wales’s population is the most deprived in the UK

Health 21 per cent: the Welsh NHS has repeatedly missed targets despite high investment and is suffering from a shortage of full-time nurses

Education 13 per cent: Welsh students score lowest in the UK for science, reading and maths and Carwyn Jones, the first minister, says that the country’s schools are “crumbling”

Public sector workers 20.8 per cent

Private sector workers 79.2 per cent

These figures do clearly show the effect of England’s subsidy to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They have more public sector spending on every man, woman and child and they also have a higher level of State employment. All of that is dependent upon the English taxpayer.

It should also be noted that these figures do not include capital spending and that is split in the same sort of way which explains why Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish politicians are so keen on HS2, since as a result of that money being spent in England, they will get extra windfalls of tens of billions of pounds of English taxpayers’ money!

So far as Ulster is concerned, Theresa May’s DUP deal is the latest subsidy windfall for a Province long reliant on the English taxpayer.

As the Times recently put it:-

“The £1.5 billion price tag for the DUP’s confidence and supply deal — equivalent to an extra £530 for every resident of Northern Ireland — has caused raised eyebrows at Westminster and across the rest of the UK.

But in one respect the windfall is nothing new: The Province of Northern Ireland has long received the most generous funding of any region.

Despite its population of just 1.9 million, public spending per person is higher in the province than anywhere else in the UK: £14,042, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Almost a third (27.4 per cent) of the Northern Irish workforce is employed by the public sector, compared to just 17 per cent across the UK as a whole. Tuition fees remain heavily subsidised and prescriptions are free, as is domestic water. Unlike the other devolved administrations, Northern Ireland runs its own social security system but the money flows directly from the Treasury.

This high public spending and low tax revenues means Stormont’s budget deficit — £9.6 billion in 2014 — is equal to a third of Northern Ireland’s total economic output.

Though that figure is vastly higher than most other developed economies, Northern Ireland defies easy comparison for one very obvious reason: “the Troubles”.

As DUP chief whip Sir Jeffrey Donaldson pointed out last week, decades of conflict have posed huge structural challenges for its economy. Resolving the Troubles has in practice meant the Exchequer alone footing the bill in the absence of significant inward investment from the private sector.

Keen to preserve the delicate constitutional settlement at Stormont, Westminster effectively allowed local politicians to refuse to implement the worst cuts in the coalition years. Not for nothing did the Northern Irish historian John Bew say: “The only thing that unites Northern Ireland’s parties is the way they hold out their hands for money. It’s the SNP on crack.”

Though it is hoped that a planned reduction in Northern Ireland’s corporation tax rate to 12.5 per cent next year – in line with the Republic - will help rectify the imbalance in public and private spending, the DUP deal means a long history of state subsidy will continue.”