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What you need to know about 'Brexit' economics

Fund manager Neil Woodford has commissioned a report looking at the pros and cons of the UK's membership of the European Union.

What you need to know about 'Brexit' economics

With politicians and business leaders staking their positions in the EU referendum set for 23 June and stock markets on tenterhooks over the result, there is a danger the forthcoming debate will generate plenty of heat but precious light for voters seeking to make the right decision for the country.

In an attempt to reduce some of the confusion fund manager Neil Woodford commissioned a report from consultants at Capital Economics to consider the economic impact of a British exit, or ‘Brexit', from the European Union.

The report takes some of the stress out of the vote by concluding that although a UK withdrawal from the EU would cause a lot of uncertainty for the economy, the long-term economic implications may not be as extreme as is sometimes suggested.

In a video posted on his firm’s website Woodford (pictured) said the significance of the vote lay in politics rather than economics. ‘I think it’s really hard to see any significant credibility in an argument to stay or to leave that’s constructed around economics. I think it’s a nil sum game frankly, whether we stay or whether we leave. If we stay or leave the fundamentals of the economy will be relatively unmoved.’

Woodford reassured investors in his Woodford Equity Income fund that the referendum result would only have a marginal affect on his investment strategy. ‘The UK economy is important but is not the dominant factor by any means in determining my strategy for the portfolio. The big companies I invest in really have very little interaction with the slings and arrows of the UK economy. Many of them have absolutely nothing to do with the UK economy,’ he said.

Nevertheless, the Capital Economics report, which was published last week before the prime minister finished his negotiations with Brussels, has plenty of interesting facts and analysis for anyone wanting to keep up with the arguments for ‘in’ and ‘out’.

Costs and savings

How much money would the UK save from leaving the EU? The Capital Economics report cuts through the many figures bandied around by the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ camps.

It explains that in 2014/15 the UK paid a £13.7 billion contribution to the EU based on the size of the economy plus a £2.3 billion share of VAT receipts. It received back £4.8 billion from the British rebate that former prime minister Margaret Thatcher negotiated and a £0.8 billion fee for collecting customs duties on behalf of the EU. This all adds up to a cost of £10.4 billion.

It says some people like to quote the gross contribution which is higher because it includes the £3 billion of duties Britain collects for the EU and which it could keep after Brexit. However, this is dubious as it is likely the UK would cut the duties as it sought free trade links with other countries. 

Others prefer to take off the £4.4 billion of support funds disbursed by the EU to British firms and households, for example by the Common Agricultural Policy. This makes sense if you assume a post-Brexit government would offer to reimburse some of this money.

‘Accounting for these two items leaves a net contribution of £9.1 billion, though the “true” cost of membership to the public purse may range from £6.1 billion to £13.4 billion, depending on whether these two items are included.’

Another uncertainty is the future of the British rebate. This could be reduced in future as the UK is not the weak economy it was when it was introduced. A cut in the rebate would increase the cost of EU membership and therefore the potential savings from Brexit.

However, Capital Economics believes the economic disruption and lower migration after Brexit would offset this. ‘We expect that Brexit will benefit the public finances but not to a huge degree,’ it says.


Annual net migration from the EU to the UK has more than doubled since 2012, reaching 183,000 in March 2015, says Capital Economics. This has boosted the workforce by around 0.5% a year, enabling the economy to grow without pushing up wage growth and inflation, thus helping to keep interest rates lower for longer.

A British exit from the European single market would reverse this, says the report, leading to upward pressure on wages and inflation, which although it would benefit some workers would hurt some employers, such as big farmers.

The main benefits of Brexit is that the UK could tailor its own immigration policy to attract more skilled workers from outside the EU.

It would also free employers from regulations such as the Agency Workers’ Directive, which gives temporary workers the rights of full-time workers. Making the labour market more flexible would offset some of the cost to firms from lower migration, the authors argue.

Trade links

The report dismisses the alarmist figures sometimes used in relation to the impact on exports and jobs from Brexit.

‘The most striking – and most inaccurate – is that three to four million jobs, ie, the number of people employed in exporting goods and services to the European Union, could be lost through Brexit. Given that this assumes that all exports to the Union would cease if the UK was to leave it is a wild overstatement.’

The report says almost half (45%) of the UK’s exports go to the EU. As total exports account for 30.5% of British output, that equates to 14% of the overall economy.

Although large, Europe has become a less significant export market for the UK, with its share of our exports falling from 55% in 1999 despite the expansion in EU membership since then.

However, if you include the 60 countries that the UK has free trade agreements with via the EU, then the proportion of EU-linked exports rises to nearly two thirds, or 63%.

Quitting the EU would obviously jeopardise this but the UK could still retain access to the single market by becoming a member of the European Economic Area, like Norway, although that would leave us subject to the EU’s rules and regulations without having any influence over its policies.

It might be preferable to follow the example of Switzerland, the authors suggest, which is a member of the European Free Trade Association and has established a series of bilateral free trade agreements with the EU.

However, replicating the Swiss model would be hard as negotiations would be tough as Brussels took revenge after a ‘no’ vote. Nevertheless, the authors believe it would not be in the interests of the big EU members to stop trading with the UK as we import more from France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain (but not Germany) than we export to them.

Besides, the worst-case scenario of Brexit with no free trade agreement with the EU would not be as bad as it would have been in the past. This is because EU tariffs have broadly halved to 4% from 8% in the early 1990s as part of a global trend to reduce trade barriers.

‘These costs would be well within the normal range of exchange rate movements,’ say the authors, pointing out that the pound has risen 12% against other currencies in the past two years, making British exports more expensive.

The City and financial services

This is one area where a Brexit would hurt, hence the warning from Standard Life, the FTSE 100 savings and investment group, on Friday that the UK needed to stay in Europe.

In 2013 exports of financial services to the EU produced a £16.1 billion surplus that was equivalent to 0.9% of British GDP (gross domestic product).

The loss of ‘passporting rights’ – which allow financial firms like investment banks to use a London base to operate across the EU – could halve these exports by about £10 billion, says the report.

Mitigating this by staying in the EEA or following Switzerland’s example would have the same disadvantages as negotiating new trade links. Arguably, the Swiss model would be harder to replicate as Germany and France might leap at the chance to boost the role of Frankfurt and Paris in financial markets at the expense of London.

The argument that a post-Brexit City of London would face less red tape does not hold water, however, as, according to Capital Economics, the British government has shown more ‘zeal’ for regulation than the EU.

Nevertheless, the impact would be lessened by London’s natural advantages: a time zone that sits half-way between the US and Asia, use of English and a well-established legal system and financial support services like accountancy.

There would also be the opportunity to increase financial links with countries like China. ‘The City’s competitive advantage is founded on more than just unfettered access to the single market,’ says the report. ‘A European Union exit would enable the UK to broker trade deals with emerging markets that could pay dividends for the financial services in the long run.’

Property and consumption

The UK is a property-loving democracy and bricks and mortar – particularly in the City of London – are where the pain from Brexit could be felt most.

Already, shares in commercial property developers and real estate investment trusts have fallen in response to the uncertainty the referendum vote brings.

Overseas buyers have accounted for around half of all commercial property transactions in recent years, a trend that could be reversed if the UK is no longer seen as a gateway to Europe, says Capital Economics.

Moreover, if financial companies cut their presence in the City after a ‘no’ vote, their lower demand for office space could come at an awkward time as lots of new properties near completion after the recent boom in development. Rents and property values would fall, the report says.

‘If investors felt that the City had been permanently damaged by the UK’s departure from the EU, a jump of between 50 and 10 basis points in City office yields, knocking 8% to 15% off capital values, would not seem implausible,’ say the authors.

However, the impact on overall consumption would be limited, the authors believe, as the benefits of independent policies on immigration, trade and regulation offset some of the hit to the economy.


The ‘one blot’ on the UK’s recent economic success has been the ‘continuing dismal performance of productivity’, says Capital Economics. ‘Output per hour worked remains below its pre-crisis peak and productivity growth has been substantially weaker than in the United States and other large European countries over the same period.’

Would scrapping European red tape reverse this? It has been estimated that the hundred most costly EU regulations take £33 billion from British business every year. The authors doubt in practice whether much of this would go, pointing out that Norway adopts around three quarters of EU legislation even though it is not a member. The UK would probably have to do the same if it wanted to access the single market.

‘Brexit is only likely to have a limited impact on Britain’s productivity. The major potential for improvements comes from increased business investment, which shows little connection with these political developments,’ it says.

On the other hand, neither does the report forecast a drying up in foreign investment. Overseas companies would continue to base themselves in the UK after Brexit, assuming trade deals with Europe were reinstated.


'Although the impact of Brexit on the British economy is uncertain, we doubt that Britain's long-term economic outlook hinges on it,' the report concludes. 'Things have changed a lot since 1973, when joining the European Economic Community was a big deal for the United Kingdom.

'There are arguably more important issues now, such as whether productivity will recover. The shortfall in British productivity relative to its pre-crisis trend is still over 10%, so regaining that lost ground would offset even the most negative effects of Brexit on the economy.'

114 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Mark Stringer

Feb 22, 2016 at 14:05

Neither Woodford, Cameron, Johnson, Oxford this or that nor the man in the moon knows what will happen if we do vote for an exit from the EU.

We do know that there will be a two year period where we say our mutual goodbyes and we know that there is a strong chance that we won't have to involve ourselves as much in the EU clerks tea party.

We know that the euro isn't an issue for us as we have sterling already.

I seem to recall all the current pro arguments doing the rounds when the debate to join the euro was going on and the last time I looked the sun still came out, I went to work, food didn't disappear from the supermarket shelves and the EU countries still enjoyed a huge trade surplus with us.

The gutless will of course vote for "in" without any consideration for the knowns that we saw with the euro debate.

I heard that idiotic woman, anna soubry on R4 and she has to be the best argument for leaving along with some other guest whose name escapes me who said there was no precedent for a second vote on in or out once this vote has been held. I think maybe the Irish would disagree (I know it isn't quite the same when they had the treaty change vote and it didn't suit the EU clerks).

Out means out unless EU computer says "no"!

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Doug Sammons

Feb 22, 2016 at 14:24

It is not about whether we are better off or not it is about controlling our own destiny and not being ruled by unelected bureaucrats.

Seeing our Prime Minister trying to negotiate with unelected European officials was the last straw.

As Maggie Thatcher once said let's put the "Great "back into Great Britain.

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Feb 22, 2016 at 15:13

Doug since when are Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande amongst other leaders, unelected bureaucrats. I honestly didn't think Daily Mail type xenophobia could creep onto Citywire.

If anything for me personally, the scullduggery displayed by Boris Johnson yesterday makes me want to vote in, but it's just not that simple is it.

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Andrew Cartlidge

Feb 22, 2016 at 15:14

UK productivity is falling because the uncontrolled influx of unskilled labour depresses labour costs and makes it more attractive in relative terms to produce lower value goods and services in the UK. The result is that the UK is engaged in a 'race to the bottom' - a race to become a low value added, low skilled economy, whilst our aspiration should be the very opposite. We live in a country in which fewer than 50% of the population pay any income tax, with many of the immigrants we have attracted not paying income tax because they do not earn enough, even if they are not claiming benefits. . Yet those same immigrants need healthcare, welfare if they cannot work or are made redundant - and education for their children too. If we asked those FTSE 100 CEOs who are so opposed to Brexit to meet all the social costs associated with their immigrant labour forces, they would soon lose interest in uncontrolled migration. The well rehearsed tall stories that the latter is an unalloyed economic benefit fail to take into account the social costs, especially those which will only fall in the future and are therefore unapparent. . Meanwhile, the c 47% of the population who pay income tax are left to meet the social costs associated with the cheap immigrant labour supporting FTSE 100 profits - whilst corporation tax remains immensely difficult to extract. The UK needs above all to be a producer of high value good and services - and to be a high wage, highly productive economy. Uncontrolled immigration is sending our economy in the wrong direction and Brexit is the only means we have of regaining control.

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Doug Sammons

Feb 22, 2016 at 15:43

Dear S_M,

since when was Jean-Claude Juncker elected?

You are comfortable with our PM grovelling to Hollande and Merkel, I am not.

I am sure you will vote in whatever happens.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 22, 2016 at 16:18

Cameron's lamentable performance/ mickey mouse concessions could be as easily dismissed by the other EU members and any cast iron agreements thrown out by the court of justice.

I didn't realise that xenophobia was the new definition of patriotism, but they say if you live long enough you will see everything. I guess it has as much meaning as the over used cry of "racist" for anyone who wants control of our uncontrolled borders or bigot of you ask a microphoned up politician an awkward question.

Boris Johnson is no more an opportunist than Cameron, May, Javid, Hunt....... or any of the special (needs) advisers whose opinions and back handed skulduggery we hear through the mouths of our lying leaders.

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peter mcque

Feb 22, 2016 at 16:36

Don't like the idea of trying to negotiate trade links with Europe after leaving. I don't think the Euro group would be helpful and we would have to comply with Eu

Regulations as well.

So what's the point .

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Mark Stringer

Feb 22, 2016 at 17:17

What's the point? About £50 million a day and 100% more of a chance than calling the EU's bluff. How many others are waiting for the first to call the bluff?

On the "what's the point" line we might just as well stop voting, never save, live in tents, kill ourselves if we ever get ill.

I have an MP and over paid advisers in the hope that they might just might be intelligent enough to do what is best for the UK.

If no country ever challenges the corrupt EU's bullying then we might as well start fighting each other in the street as you seem to be advocating that the law of the jungle be imposed upon us if we don't do as we are told by a cabal of clerks.

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Tony Drew

Feb 22, 2016 at 17:30

Cameron said that forging trade links outside the EU would take years to get into place and quotes Canada as an example as it has taken 7 years so far for the EU to set up a deal. Surely this is because Canada is dealing with the 28 parts of the EU and a free UK would be much simpler to deal with as a single entity.

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Feb 22, 2016 at 17:36


Are you a mind reader, how do you know that I am going to vote in? I guess you have a 50/50 chance of getting it right.

Did Juncker have any serious influence over the deal that Cameron brokered, I doubt it :

When I first responded to your initial post, I was totally on the fence. But since seeing David Cameron's presentation to the house of commons in which he firmly put Johnson in his place I have now decided to vote in. Why? There really isn't an ideal solution either way, but I am not prepared to risk the consequence of thousands of UK jobs being shipped over to Europe and Andrew Cartlidge these are highly skilled jobs in the services sector.

When the Indian, Chinese and US governments say that we should remain in the EU you have to sit up and take notice. All of these countries have invested millions in the UK over the last 20 years and I have seen this first hand.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 22, 2016 at 17:50

Oh dear, it's like the see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil; Indian, Chinese and US.

All I see there is cheap labour from the first two and the third who uses us as its monkey to do some of its dirty work.

Invested millions? Invested millions and paid no tax on billions. I mean we are paying overseas bribes, opps I mean aid to india who has millions starving yet somehow can run a nuclear weapons programme. They can buy what they want here yet we cannot own any property in india. China a closed shop except when the chinese want a minor partner who is useful as fall guy and the US who did not invent corporate mismanagement but has perfected its art.

Why would these countries not trade with us any longer?

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Feb 22, 2016 at 18:02

Mark, before you make unqualified borderline xenophobic statements you really need to do your own research. That is after all what successful investors do.

Back on topic, both India and China have invested billions in the UK creating thousands of skilled jobs. As I said before I have seen it first hand.

It seems all you have to do is mention the EU, and you get idiots that still think this country rules the world.

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Doug Sammons

Feb 22, 2016 at 18:18

Dear S-M,

You seem obsessed by xenophobia.

Most people on this earth are xenophobic, get used to it.

You seem very keen to knock the UK perhaps you are not from this country.

Of course we don't rule the world but we are still in the top 8 nations that do.

It is worth remembering that 40% of the world's population are in the British Commonwealth, so our influence has not disappeared altogether.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 22, 2016 at 18:42

S_M I agree there are some idiots as I'm discovering more and more.

But i'd rather be a an idiot with a spine than a gutless jellyfish who is quite happy to have a tin pot country like Poland telling this country how "it is".

I assume as you have nothing but mindless one track sycophancy for the EU you need to allude to some success, such as, investments. I will say this however on investments; if the EU was an investment it would be like having no say on where your funds are placed, for how long or when you could crystalise them.

Nothing I have said can be construed as supporting the notion that this country is the imperialist power it once was and if you are reading between the lines and seeing that I suggest you re-read my posts carefully and for all our sakes stay away from any ballot box on 23rd June!

I feel we can be better off outside of the EU as we are not going to get anything other than the muddy end of the stick if we remain in it as it is. Cameron has shot his bolt and the other EU members know it.

You have nothing to fear but fear itself.

We sadly have become the cheapo labour capital (commonly referred to as flexible labour market) where we subsidise big business to keep the unemployment numbers down while we increase our national debt by the second with more off books debt than Italy has had governments since the second world war.

Where exactly do you see us in the EU then. I mean really, we have no influence now , France and Germany call the shots and the tin pot others toe the line.

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Andrew Cartlidge

Feb 22, 2016 at 19:09

Just to clarify my earlier post. Around 47% of the UK population are net contributors to government revenues. Even when paying certain taxes, including income tax, there are many who draw more out of the system than they contribute. The point is that uncontrolled immigration is adding daily to the vast numbers squeezing yet more resource from the 47% that are real contributors. This is one reason the Chancellor is having to continually dream up new methods of taxing that 47% in his attempts to balance the books.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 22, 2016 at 19:28

Andrew, excellent point that illustrates the dire state of our economy and as the Euro Zone is in such an economic mire I see no way out if we are in. I have four grown up children and one already works abroad and will not be back and another is a Dr who is eyeing up Canada or New Zealand. I wish I could persuade the other two to go as well and I am off abroad myself in 6 years as I cannot see how I can keep being squeezed financially until my standard of living is seriously affected.

However I still care for my country but despise what I have seen it become.

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Feb 23, 2016 at 13:10

Strong comments here both for and against. That's good - we should care.

But, I guess my issue is watching a PM who is supposed to be leading the country leaving us in such a mess of his doing - and he blithely skips any responsibility by saying he has no agenda.

He promises us one thing, attempts to negotiate another, and comes back with some crumbs - then harangues us to trust him and vote to stay. You could not write this script. Hague is right - Tory party implosion to follow - unless 1922 Committee steps in sharp and sends DC packing.

I also saw an article by Paul Mason in the Guardian - very well put, who reminded us that DC has actually negotiated us away from the centre no matter how we vote. We will be peripheral - so, is it peripheral in or peripheral out? What a mess.

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Doug Sammons

Feb 23, 2016 at 13:24

Cameron must go...sooner the better.

Shall we start the campaign?

Europe is STILL in a big mess and it will only get worse.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 23, 2016 at 13:29

georges, well said.

I always go back to the undeniable fact that we have zero influence in the EU and are subservient to both Germany and France and the labour dumping ground for the likes of Poland, Romania, Czech Republic and Bulgaria; build my extension today and gone tomorrow.

We have not been used to being dominated by all and sundry as a nation so it doesn't come easily as it does to Italy, France, Poland. Czech Republic,Germany, Holland, Spain etc.....

I listened to the R4 latest obsession on maternity services and is it any wonder we have a crisis with our NHS swamped with millions more than it was ever meant to serve. Unfettered legal and illegal immigration.

Dopey Dave Cameron is dead in the water regardless and I'd rather a blonde haired buffoon who at least seems to grasp the need for true change or we get out, out than the other trust fund johnny whose own life will not be affected in any material way whichever way we vote on 23rd June.

I see Sam Cameron has been roled out for plenty of pr exposure on the sport relief, fashion week and more no doubt to be announced merry go round of free publicity.

I intend to challenge any mindless and unsubstantiated support of the EU until 23rd June

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Dave Hill

Feb 23, 2016 at 13:59

I hope I.m wrong, but regardless of the vote I don't think we'll leave the EU. After the vote, it has to be ratified by the Government. As most MP's in total want to stay in the EU, will they vote against their conscience. If they do and it is ratified for us to leave, will the EU let us. I refer to Mark Stringer's comment that the Irish voted against the Lisbon treaty. The EU didn't accept their decision so they had another referendum the following year, in which they accepted the Lisbon treaty.

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Doug Sammons

Feb 23, 2016 at 14:38

Even DC would not go against the will of the people

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Feb 23, 2016 at 15:01

Not elected Head of Commission ect- we elect governments and what mess are we in!!!

The coffers of state are bust (IFS) and seriously bust for long.

Colonies are not longer source of our wealth, though we are still GREAT.


NHS dear to us , leaps into dark, no money, but 7 DAYS week for all services, Of course quality will suffer, massive exodus of all doctors. junior, consultants GPs.NHS survives on European labour, paying the same money it would pay to native labour. It is issue of supply and demand, who wants to work in this conditions?Now even French doctors , German, Italian are leaving. But Government does leap into dark because of UK political mantra.

Doctors are having nervous breakdowns , commit suicides. Yes. It is true.Studies and 12 years of training, stress , stress, stress all the time.Never mind non existing reward..

What an idiot takes risks in complicated situation on the planet, where only size matters.

Do you really understand how EU works? Did you take time to educate yourself? Even Gove does not, he feels it is civil service duty to know. What about average citizen?

Referendum will be on EU migration, as people do not understand anything else.

Thinking people will listen to Cameron.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 23, 2016 at 16:00

Anonymous1, absolutely nothing that you posted gives me any indication that you have the slightest inkling how the EU "works" . It doesn't work, that IS the point.

It is a one size fits all behemoth of clerks with one main purpose to drive us ever closer to political union; federalism.

It is doomed and already in economic death throes. Cowards will hang on to the myths and tired stories that it has given us peace; tell that to the former Yugoslavia, N. Ireland, Basques, Paris/Denmark/London/Holland terror victims.......Stability? not a hope in hell. Economy of scale? dream on.

Blinkered lazy idiots will listen to Cameron or those seeking to be in the next honours list. I'd also discount those FTSE companies who have declared their support for Cameron without seeking approval of their shareholders and those who have jumped on the corporate ladder instead of starting their companies from the ground up.

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Feb 23, 2016 at 16:30

Federalism is out of the list. So is Euro.

United Nations does not not work either.

Planet belongs to size (USA, China, India, Soviet Union, SouthEast Asia, ) not to 65 millions on one bigger and dozen of small islands.You need to be in big trading block, possibly geographical. Environmental issues will come more more into front, will affect trade, peace and everything else.Long and Medium term.

Cameron negotiated very British edition of Europe.

Times have changed even from 1975, never mind 1957.

As to last point:majority of those who signed were already on honorous list, some recently some got it long time ago.

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Feb 23, 2016 at 16:51

Anonimous - you put some good reasons down but one I would just challenge - world belongs to size. You are right in some ways but are short of other info. We are 5th largest economy in eorld - so we have size.but even if not, let's look at size - Singapore, S Korea, Taiwan, Switzerland are but a few examples.

I would suggest size dies count for critical mass in any activity, but do does skill, education, laws, and we have that in abundance .

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Mark Stringer

Feb 23, 2016 at 17:13

No it's not federalism is on and nothing Cameron has done has changed that. Size? Yes, let's talk about size. Here's an education on size. We, the UK, once enjoyed a 75% trade deal with the EU now it's 44%. Size? Grow up!

Cameron had negotiated sod all of any note. Everything he is telling us he has negotiated can be over ruled by the puppet countries of the EU and the court of justice can take care of anything else.

It needs treaty change otherwise it is meaningless. It is meaningless regardless.

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In the Dark

Feb 24, 2016 at 14:06

The Citywire article is focused on the economics of in or out which while valid I do not think are relevant. We could spend the next 100 years discussing the economic pros and cons.

The EU discussion is a purely political argument from my perspective. The EU is a top down political designed institution as opposed to a bottom up (developed by people based on need and trust).

The growth industry over the past 4 even 5 decades is the politicos. Invading our life and space to dictate what we eat and think. The cost in time and effort to support these people is getting unbareable, in real term, 60% of my salary goes in taxation (Income tax, NI, Employers NI on my salary and VAT).

Since I have a opportunity to cull a few politicos in June, I intend to exercise my democratic right. As Prime Minister Cameron stated we will never get to vote on this again. Was he sounding the death bell on democracy from an EU perspective?

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Mark Stringer

Feb 24, 2016 at 19:19

In the Dark, the problem we face in not just this EU in/out vote it is the same as the one we face every five years at the polling booth.

There are simply too many people who are complacent and naïve who will not wipe the fog of ignorance from their eyes and look at the evidence before them exemplified by the actions of liars, thieves and general incompetents.

We know exactly what we have with the EU clearks and we know they have a huge trade surplus with us. Why would they want to lose that trade if we leave.

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Feb 24, 2016 at 20:37

Logical: point :if EU clerks were incompetent they would not realize EU huge trade surplus with UK.

Total disappointment with Gove today: he was supposed to be brain.

Life is not as simple as one would like it to be .Perhaps Trump will find a solution. ??????

My builders went down, but they will go up at certain point. MY old builders perform very well. Much better than ISA in the bank.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 24, 2016 at 20:46

Seriously, if you must post comments at least water down the gin, whisky or whatever your tipple is.

You're making as much sense as Cameron and he is morphing into Mr Bean with every appearance he makes on the pro EU platform.

It's so bad now that the in vote are making up support where it doesn't even exist as General Rose and 2/3 of the FTSE are discovering.

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Anonymous 2 needed this 'off the record'

Feb 24, 2016 at 21:24

It is interesting - with each day DC looks less credible and more petulNt. Now we have a real dilemma and mess that he has left us with- we vote yes to what? More of the same? We vote no and we supposedly leave.

He is supposed to be a leader. I wonder.

I will bet he wishes he was not where he is now.

What a mess!

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Feb 24, 2016 at 21:24

It is interesting - with each day DC looks less credible and more petulNt. Now we have a real dilemma and mess that he has left us with- we vote yes to what? More of the same? We vote no and we supposedly leave.

He is supposed to be a leader. I wonder.

I will bet he wishes he was not where he is now.

What a mess!

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Feb 24, 2016 at 21:24

It is interesting - with each day DC looks less credible and more petulNt. Now we have a real dilemma and mess that he has left us with- we vote yes to what? More of the same? We vote no and we supposedly leave.

He is supposed to be a leader. I wonder.

I will bet he wishes he was not where he is now.

What a mess!

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Mark Stringer

Feb 24, 2016 at 21:43

Cameron's only experience of life is drawn from going to Eton, doing a PPE degree and a five minute wonder in a shoe in nothing "job" as a pr wallah in one of his dad's pals outfits. He has no idea how the EU impinges upon our lives given the fact that he is a trust fund johnny and beneficiary of his dad's offshore tax dodge.

I recall when he was asked what the price of a loaf of bread was he replied with the ball park figure for a bread maker! This is the guy who has "negotiated" our wonderful deal with the EU clerks.

The more he realises that he is a hollow man the more desperate and personal his attacks on his opponents become.

In or out, if bread went to £100 a loaf, Dave and Sam Cameron wouldn't blink an eye lid and I mention his wife as I have a feeling we are just beginning to see her used more and more for pr purposes in this pro EU nonsense.

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:00

Seriously and without even trace of whisky: just morning coffee

PLEASE READ TODAY''S IMF report on BRITEXIT- it is bound to be negative on all fronts and read arguments why.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:28

You don't seriously mean Lagarde the tax free salary lackey do you.

Gawd help us.

Look, I am really trying not to be rude but you are clearly a wind-up merchant of epic proportions.

I have yet to read anything that even convinces me that you are truly aware of what the is EU along with any substantive reasons for remaining within its wasteful and incompetent remit.

Please 5 reasons. Sane ones, not some regurgitated daily pro EU tripe.

Forget peace in Europe, stability as that is a non starter unless you hve lived underground for the past 20 years, trade as we are not in the Euro and have a huge deficit with Europe, immigration as that is not working. anything else is very, very welcome.

Most problem drinkers prefer vodka as they think you can't smell it!

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:59

Dear Mark,

Passion is very important and perhaps this is the most important engine of democracy , concept born in ancient Greece, and you live now (if you live in UK) in the one of most democratic system on the planet.

21st Centuary democracy is far more complicated and complex, as 21st more complicated and complex.

I have a great respect for your passion, please do not take it wrong way, but perhaps the brit exit or not would give you the staring point to acquire certain knowledge , unless you will claim that that all philosophers and economist who shaped the world throughout human history are Eton , Oxford (some were) are French and get salaries without tax deduction.

As to vodka they drink vodka as they like vodka,not because they think that vodka does not smell. On the contrary it is more deductible that other spirits and people I happen to know, people who drink vodka, they know what to do to cover smell of vodka and even what to do not to be drank on vodka.

I am , as you have guessed by now , retired, can drink coffee in the morning and sent posts, but at this point I am going to limit my posts to reporting only what would be relevant to knowledge discussion.


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Mark Stringer

Feb 25, 2016 at 13:10

Look, I appreciate your quite extraordinary way of posting much but saying absolutely nothing of any relevance.

But isn't that the problem with philosophers and economists, they live in the ether rather than the real grass roots world.

I mean the EU is bankrupt, yet they still find money to hand out across the 27 countries for pet projects so they can put up a sign extolling the benefits of membership. Just look at Spain, road, rail and airports that serve no one and are mothballed. Billions upon billions spent to drag a third world country into the middle ages as one example.

As for this country being democratic. Yes, on paper we are, but in reality the very system that purports to support democracy actually works against us due to complacency, stupidity and sheer collective pig ignorance of an ever growing uneducated electorate.

Passion aside, I am worried for my country as I've yet to hear or see demonstrated anything that supports membership of the EU other than "it will get better"," better in than out" " we have no influence if we leave".

I genuinely want to read of some tangible and proven benefits that staying within the EU brings to the UK and not some beneficiaries of the high salaried members of that club or of similar ivory tower revolving door taxpayer funded job for life people like Legarde, the Kinnocks, Tusks or Van Rompuy's.

I served at the NATO HQ in Belgium for 3 1/2 years (a serviceman and not a civilian clerk) and so have seen the scaled down troughers club at close range.

The sudden prick of conscience once they have drawn their lump sum, pension and are in situ in the executive job.

We have a collective of these types sitting in Brussels who when the going gets too tough here hop over the channel and tell us how we've never had it so good after a champagne reception and canapes while they tweet from the back of the chauffeur drive car to the gormless plebs back home.

Lions led by donkeys and we are sleep walking into disaster No2 within 18 months, first the tory win with 23% of the vote (yes, 23%!) and in all likelyhood a yes vote in June.

We joined this shambles as a trade deal the EEC in the early 70's and,not the political wing of the unelected clerks.

You bet I'm passionate about jackasses who have led us astray.

By the way I'm semi retired myself and I'm sure as you probably can recall politicians of character and worth not like the lickspittles today.

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Doug Sammons

Feb 25, 2016 at 13:19

Mark, could not agree more.

Europe is a socialist dream which will eventually crumble because the "rich" northern states will get fed up with supporting the "poor" southern ones.

The southern states are always going to be poor, relatively.

Anyone who has been to Spain will know the Spanish like to sleep in the afternoon!

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Mark Stringer

Feb 25, 2016 at 14:00

Doug, you are spot on with the north south comparison and Italy is another prime example as is Greece. Take, take ,take out of the system then wonder why there is sod all left.

I wonder when the Germans (the ones who aren't in Frau Hitler, I mean Merkels gang) are going to realise that they are being taken for mugs. Perhaps if or when their newspapers are allowed to tell the truth.

I've a friend in Italy who has recently sold her equity in a travel agency to her former business partner. He seved in the Italian navy and receives a pension, did 5 years in the local council and gets another pension and is now drawing his state pension at 57 as well! Three pensions at age 57 and people wonder why Europe doesn't work!

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In the Dark

Feb 25, 2016 at 14:03

I am pleased we got off the economic agenda that the artilce was about on to the EU which I said above is a politcal argument.

So here is my take, in the UK the state is my servant, in the EU people serve the state.

I think our politicos and gravy train riders need to be put back in the box and reminded for whom they serve.

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Clive Richardson

Feb 27, 2016 at 13:53

Interesting report to hopefully fill the 'objective information gap'.

Just one query... Is this paragraph correct in relation to Germany? Seems to be implying we have a trade surplus with Germany, which we certainly do not.

"However, replicating the Swiss model would be hard as negotiations would be tough as Brussels took revenge after a ‘no’ vote. Nevertheless, the authors believe it would not be in the interests of the big EU members to stop trading with the UK as we import more from France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain (but not Germany) than we export to them."

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Feb 28, 2016 at 09:35

Mark Stringer gets 55 column inches of this blog vs 64 inches of the others....good rant

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Mark Stringer

Feb 28, 2016 at 09:51

Farmer Teddy, simply reduce the size of the text on your screen if you have size issues.LoL!

Good rant? Anything substantive to add for either myself or the others?

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Brian Clark

Feb 28, 2016 at 10:24

I ask just one thing. Would anyone invest their future in an institution that has not had its accounts authorised for the last 18 years.

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Brian Clark

Feb 28, 2016 at 10:29

I repeat. Would anyone INVEST their FUTURE in an INSTETUTION that has not had their ACCOUNTS AUTHOURISED FOR 18 + YEARS

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Feb 28, 2016 at 10:32

As has been said, the EU trade balance with us is so in the EU's favour that there is no way it would not sign up for a free trade agreement with the UK

Would you invest in a business which has, for years, failed to have its accounts audited? Each year the EU expects contributions to rise, even during a recession. It has no understanding of concepts such as value for money or living within one's means. It is corrupt, and like FIFA has to be thoroughly overhauled. If we leave then it will justifiably receive a financial shock.

We just do not need this extra layer of very expensive and unelected government.

Those countries who want us to stay in are looking out for themselves, not the UK

Uncontrolled immigration will continue into Europe, not just by refugees but more and more economic migrants, many of whom have different cultural values. As they eventually gain EU citizenship they will be free to come here and drive our low wage economy even lower. Outside the EU we can vet immigration, and still have access to needed additional labour.

Many of the grants we receive are for unviable and unneeded projects, but when one challenges the officials whose jobs depend on them the answer is "well its free money from the EU"

If we want to determine our own destiny and be free to drive our economy, infrastructure and society then we have to leave.

The EU will ultimately fail as the bureaucrats are more interested in themselves and the utopian politics than hard fundamental facts and cannot act quickly enough to counter any crisis.

The one casualty may be that Scotland commits suicide by leaving the UK to rejoin the EU

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Feb 28, 2016 at 11:00

The Scots will work it out. They need permission from Westminster to call another referendum - they cannot do it unilaterally. If they succeed - and economically, the picture is bleaker for them than last time - they will need to apply to join the EU. The pound will not be available - they would need to go with the Euro. That further impedes their growth. They would lose funding from the UK (mini) and would need the EU to replace it. They would need to settle the residue of their banks - RBS and HBOS are Scottish.

Because of no free movement, anybody from Scitland would need to go through border control. Yes, it works both ways, but the UK Brexit accepted this as a penalty to control migrant entry - and that would include Scotland - otherwise it is a home run for the EU migrants to go via Edinburgh.

They will see it is much easier (not anything to go with fear) to stay with the union. And perhaps some of the £50m per week that goes from UK to EU could go to Scotland.

We should all stick together - no matter what.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 28, 2016 at 11:18


Excellent points and ones that the people who are happy to leave their thinking to the pro EU headline hacks should seriously ponder before casting their votes in June.

The EU is a wonderful blue sky thinking idea which should have stopped at the EEC ideals of free trade within Europe instead of a becoming a wasteful behemouth. The EU in its current form is little more than a much bigger version of Enron or the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme.

The Telegraph has a fairly good piece today on the run-up and initial steps to joining when Ted Heath et al eventually did the dirty on this country.

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Brian Clark

Feb 28, 2016 at 11:27

I have left a comment twice.

I ask every one. Would they invest their future in an institution that has not had their financial account authorised/signed off for the past 18 years.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 28, 2016 at 11:45


Yes, we should all stick together as a country and learn what happens when countries like Belgium (politically they are in the wilderness) and the former Yugoslavia break-up and effectively become large counties instead of independent countries.

Politicians are very successful at exploiting for their own ends our differences as Sturgeon and Salmond (to name but two) did in Scotland and the Tories then did by frightening the English voters with the SNP bogeyman.

I'm a huge beneficiary of living in the over crowded South East and even I recognise that we need to distribute the wealth across the whole country as much as we can and hopefully that will encourage the people and not the politicians (whose only aim in their quest for regional assemblies and so called Parliament is power) to vote for a cohesive UK.

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Doug Sammons

Feb 28, 2016 at 11:48


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geoffrey mulford

Feb 28, 2016 at 15:39

As you get older you get wiser. If you have still got the same political view at 50 as you did when you were 18 you haven't leaned much.

Most older wiser people want to leave the EU but the way the media spin it is less educated people want to leave the EU.

The media of coarse is right because the younger generation stay at school much longer than in years past. Really is the emperors new clothes only stupid people want to leave the EU.

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Clive Richardson

Feb 28, 2016 at 15:56

Geoffrey - Absolutely right. The TV news and current affairs are doing their usual biased thing. They know what they are doing because most young people (not all) will tend to be influenced more by such propaganda.

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James Wood

Feb 28, 2016 at 16:23

How much a day do the UK pay into the EU?

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Hampshire cynic.

Feb 28, 2016 at 17:11

On balance I would normally favour the status quo , as most voters do. But in this instance I am leaning towards voting out, even if we have a bit of short term stock market chaos. After all, if I were to die during such market turmoil the saving grace would be that my beneficiaries would have a saving of 40 percent IHT!

At the end of the day we never realised we were being entered into a political union, to be run by unelected and overpaid officials, and MEPs, and that this mammoth organisation would be incapable of getting the books past the auditors for 21 years.

The fact that we buy more BMWs, Mercedes, VWs (?), French cheeses etc etc than we export to the EU as a whole surely means that they would need a trade deal even more than the Uk does.

Migration must be an important issue given the current chaos largely caused by Germany which will not be helped by the ECJ in its political and PC ways.

Weigh into all this the prospect of Turkey having to be brought into the EU, or else, and what the EU will then have is an even bigger problem with migration waves. Don't forget that some countries give away citizenship far too readily and with no checks. Some even sell citizenship!

The fears over security co-operation are over egged by Cameron. Take it from me that the sharing of intelligence does NOT go on an an EU level, but between countries that totally trust each other with such vital information sharing, eg the Uk, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries, and not many others!

I say, use our EU contributions to support our own farming, fishing and other key industries, all at our direction and not that of the EU. The net saving, and that from having to give Scotland as much, if they want to join the EU experiment after a Scotexit, will make us all better off at the end of the day. I for one would rather have a few thousand Scottish economic migrants coming South, as has happened with the Irish for many decades, than more criminals from the former Eastern Block, or more foreigners coming over here to sell the Help the Homeless Magazine, those sellers who then qualify for benefits as poorly paid self employed operators. Beggars with outstretched paper cups who earn more, if you can call it earning, than the average working person could also be cleared away and sent home if foreign, with proper charities filling the generosity void as they should in a civilised society.

So vote for Brexit, sack Cameron for getting such an awful offer from the EU, and get on with being masters of our own destiny. We are after all the fifth largest economy in the world.

Just don't give George Galloway a job in the Cabinet!

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Mark Stringer

Feb 28, 2016 at 17:53

Geoffrey Mulford, the yoof who are portrayed by the media are introverted ignorami (or ignoramuses, take your pick) on the whole who seem to be obsessed with the fact that the EU allows free movement to further pollute the world whilst wearing "save the planet" T-shirts. They also have absolutely no modern day historical perspective of this country pre, in and post Thatcher.

They seem to think none of us ever travelled before the EU debacle and that they are all going to be job hoping backwards and forwards to Europe in our flying cars.

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James Wood

Feb 28, 2016 at 18:57

Approximately 55 Million a day we pay to the EU.?

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Mark Stringer

Feb 28, 2016 at 19:27


Whatever we officially pay to the EU, calculated on a daily basis, doesn't even scratch the surface of our true cost of hitching our dingy to the EU Titanic.

The cost of policing the entry ports (not the official immigration staff) but chasing the illegals, overstayers who have gained entry from the EU, collecting fines from transport firms who then pass it on to customers, non payment of fines for traffic offences (try that in say France or Germany "I'll pay when I get home officer"), housing EU criminals in prisons, NHS non payers from the EU. The list is almost endless and all courtesy of the good old UK taxpayer. Not to mention the child benefit paid in the country where the kids actually are living so we don't even benefit from the money being spent here in many cases.

The cost to our indigenous people of reduced services by councils and national government is incalculable. Kent alone is shuffling indigenous children in care to other parts of the country to give places to children of illegal immigrants entering from the port of Dover acommpanied and unaccompanied.

I did take a look at the figures but am struggling to get a bead on the rebate and payment. As with many things to do with the EU it is often opaque.

I think £55 million could well be a modest figure.

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James Wood

Feb 28, 2016 at 19:37

Yes Mark I see it first hand living in Folkestone.

It seems figures of this magnitude are kept very quite

someone should be shouting from the top ot the

roof as I'm sure Joe public are quite unaware of these


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Anonymous 3 needed this 'off the record'

Feb 28, 2016 at 20:21

Before some of you Boil over, I suggest that you take a look at the Forum discussion 'Run up to the referendum.'

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Mark Stringer

Feb 28, 2016 at 21:49

Had a look.

I can see some comparisons of apples and oranges.

I'm not quite sure when speaking the truth started to pass for boiling over.

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Feb 28, 2016 at 23:10

Anonymous 3 - how I would welcome the for and against politicians (our elected representatives) getting - wait for it - together - to deliver us a facts rich environment for us to see and be able to judge or at least ask them to explain their position based on those facts. After all, after the referendum we still have to get on with each other. I am leaning to out but could be swayed with rational discussion. But, petulance and fear just cause me to ask what is being covered up.

By the way, I see no comment from DC on how Germany managed to "lose" 130,000 registered migrants. Wonder where they are. And this from Germany - with its Teutonic efficiency. 130,000 - that's bigger than the British Army andMOD combined! On this basis, how can DC and TM claim we will be safer within the EU? Snd even if they are not a threat, where are they trying to live? Too many loose ends right now. And I don't think these are acceptable pains we should beSr to facilitate an open market. There must be a better way.

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Clive Richardson

Feb 28, 2016 at 23:27

Let's not forget that Merkel has done a deal with Turkey to smooth the way for entry into the EU. If Turkey did join, we would get 3 years grace before a very large number of Turks came to the UK. More Muslims that are culturally incapable of integrating themselves into our culture. More stress on our housing and public services. If fear is being used by the 'remain' camp then it would be easy for the 'out' camp to use fear as well. I see leaving the EU as the only sane chance we have.

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geoffrey mulford

Feb 29, 2016 at 00:34

The other thing that gets me is we know that Cameron went over to renegotiate the terms.

Where is the video of that meeting? Where are the minutes of the meeting?

It's all done behind closed doors. TPTB think that because they control the media they control the our minds. I think TPTB are right I think the vote will be in.

Here's a quick example of the power of the media.

How many of you think Donald Trump is a good guy and how many think he is a bad guy.

I reckon close to 100% would say he's a bad guy and your opinion will be based 100% on what the media have told you.

I am not say that he isn't a bad guy I am just saying the media could have spun it the other way if they wanted too.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 29, 2016 at 06:22

Geoffrey, We see from the way that Rupert Murdoch is/has been treated with his back door visits to No10 by both Cameron and Blair that the perennial pr stitch-up continues unabated.

Anyone who diverts from the homogenised official version of a "multi-cultural" society or who ever puts the status quo of the trougher's at risk is attacked and marginalised.

We live in the age of the official myth, where the produce nothing and achieve little merchants thrive or as I call them the excel spreadsheet cowboys.

80% of new cars are bought on finance, holidays on the credit card, papier mache houses modern equivalent of the slums...........Even when faced with the truth of the matter ,such as, the Volkswagen diesel stitch-up that has and continues to pollute our air the lemmings still buy them en masse and get this transport their kids in them in the lovely asthma perpetualing vehicles. For those who remember Selwin Gummer when he fed his kid a beef burger at the height of the mad cow it is no less amazing and shows they are a class apart and will do anything and step on anyone to achieve their ends.

People are so in hock to the myth merchants that they sacrifice everything just to keep the perception of normality going as the alternative is their worse nightmare, no flat screen tv, latest apple phone or leased 3 series bmw.

All the liars and their useful idiots need do is frighten them with the wrong type of headline and lemming like they toe the line so you are probably right about a yes vote.

It won't be all that we know about the soviet style EU and its never ending round of corruption and incompetence, it will be some liar on Question Time or the tory journalists whose very living relies upon filing copy of some outrageous fiction.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 29, 2016 at 08:06

Just listened to R4 and a tory, Matt Hancock telling us how much it would affect us all the very next day after an out vote.

Sadly Mr Hancock could not provide one single piece of information or example of where the evils of an out vote would manifest themselves or even if they would. Aptly named "matt" as the R4 presenter wiped her feet all over his nonsense.

Tommorow; how nuclear war will start, our teeth will fall out and Delia Smith's "How to cope in the kitchen during an in EU scaremongering session"!

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Feb 29, 2016 at 08:34

He talked tosh - had no idea if anything and for rational listeners he thoroughly undermined the stay case.

Does anybody seriously believe the world will end on 24/6 with a leave vote? Markets might react - they certainly don't operate on fundamentals right now, but for the wise it will be a buying opportunity (what is the saying? When the bombs are falling what should you do? Buy!).

Oh how I long for facts and honesty.

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Feb 29, 2016 at 09:15

If EU membership constituted purely a trading arrangement, (as was the original Common Market idea) then I don't believe we would even be having this conversation. Trying to force us into what would be virtually a single country called "Europe", with open borders to all, including those who seek to do us harm, is quite another matter.

There are issues far beyond the purely economic to be concerned about if we vote to "stay in". We are a tolerant society, but there is only so much immigration our already overcrowded towns can deal with before the risk of civil disturbance becomes real. Reportedly some northern towns are worryingly "near the edge" already.

It is all very well for politicians to extoll the benefits of our "multi-cultural" society from the leafy fields of Oxfordshire. Try preaching the same message in Rotherham, Burnley or Rochdale etc., and you might not get quite the reaction you expect.

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Feb 29, 2016 at 11:58

Common Market was purely a trading agreement .Woow,!

It does no cease to amaze me.

1957 treaty (Rome) with UK joining 1.1.1973 provided for common market and customs union based on 4 freedoms, one of them is free movement of labour ., (migration).This is an ESSENTIAL element of European Union, whether Norwegian model or Swisss .

Cameron dealt with this as far as he could.

Also he opted out of federalism.

Somebody said that good investor researches; agree. I am only trying to help.

As to sovereignty :the economic mess we are in at the moment is due to UK applying (as usual, ) aggressive form of US capitalism. This is the origin of our OUR banking crisis of 2008 we can not shake at all for so many years.

Lack of teachers, doctors , engineers, scientists has nothing to do with EU, it is our sovereignty and our economy. WE ARE BROKE, nothing to do with EU.

Grealing on Radio 4: please read today's Blooberg by, Briton who negotiates Treaties with EU ( and who is an EU insider) about YEARS of complexity while economy and investments are in the limbo.

The responsible government can not take this risk with life of 65 millions suffering enough from at least 2008 and there is no end to it for years.

Somebody said THAT YOUNG GENERATION will decide in or out:

As to doctors ect: I can not see any ques of German, French and other doctors staying in ques to work in this country. NHS will have to reach for Asia and further, and pay them national NHS wages and then spite them out back home, as NHS did before 1973.

What kind of economic planning is this (OUR SOVEREIGNTY not EU) when there is a shortage of labour (nurses, doctors ect) and shortage of money and still Hunt extends working week to weekends for routine medical services.

There will be a series of young doctors strike and we will all suffer, but they are right. The acute capitalism dogma for extracting maximum without regard to human factor was always present in this country. It is EU who pays attention to workers, not US/underdeveloped countries version of capitalism.

I hope young doctors and young others, will decide future of this country.

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Feb 29, 2016 at 12:16

There is of course a very simple solution to the migration issue for the UK - cut all welfare payments to all to the bare minimum - painful but names sure no EU discrimination attack.

I say this only to outline an alternative solution - not one I advocate in totality .

Then we can all vote to stay and carry on arguing.

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Feb 29, 2016 at 12:17

There is of course a very simple solution to the migration issue for the UK - cut all welfare payments to all to the bare minimum - painful but names sure no EU discrimination attack.

I say this only to outline an alternative solution - not one I advocate in totality .

Then we can all vote to stay and carry on arguing.

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geoffrey mulford

Feb 29, 2016 at 12:59

It is a myth that they come here for benefits. Most come here to work. Romanians can earn as much in a week here as they can in a month back home. Talking to one Romanian back home 70% of his income went on food. Corruption is another reason they like it here compare to back home. Brown envelope are require by police, driving examiners and planning authority's.

Where I work about 25% of the workers are east Europeans. They are good hard working people. But they drive down wages which keeps the fat cats smiling.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 29, 2016 at 13:00

I worked in Italy some years ago (not the only European country I have worked and lived in) and I needed hospital treatment in Florence.

I didn't need the EU anyway even if I had not been a British citizen as my skills were in high demand.

Attended hospital and the first thing they wanted was my passport , UK address and NHS or NI number so they could claim the cost of my medical treatment back, then they reluctantly gave me the medical treatment.

Italy aso has no social security as we know it, so if you are out of work, tough!

Our benefits system has been abused for too long by New Labour as a vote buying tool along with the huge bribes to the north as opposed to the Tory position of benefits only for pals and those who don't really need

Anonymous 1, my eldest son is a Dr and he is hoping to leave for Canada or New Zealand as he simply cannot see what he spent 6 years basic study before any specialist training is worth here thanks to Lansley and Hunt (Hunt the bloke who when he was over seeing the BSKYB bid was at a Murdoch soiree and hide behind a tree as he thought the media wouldn't see him, the two faced rat!)

God help us if the selfish and inward looking yoof have the final say as most seem to have swallowed the in camp's bait hook, line and sinker. What they see is a mirage (and it is a mirage) of employment opportunities and Ryan Air and Easy Jet world polluting jamboree. True they are there for the few, but the vast majority will never be in that position and at best will buy the Rail Europe ticket for a whistle stop tour of the European hotspots while living with mum and dad into their 40's and beyond thanks to the overcrowded island we have become.

The lies about immigration and its affects on Europe are mounting and even liberal Denmark, Sweden and Norway (yes, Norway is not in the EU proper) are now saying enough is enough what with the 28th & 29th EU member states of Syria and Libya.

What's the reponse to this flood of humanity? Some dim witted actors telling us from their Hollywood homes what a tragedy it all is and how we should make room. I see in between Lexus adverts Jude Law getting some first hand exposure to the great unwashed in Calais as his gang of minders were robbed of all valuables. Oh, the irony!

Cameron has negotiated nothing in real terms he has been thrown the scraps of what Merkel and the gang of puppets think will keep the mugs sweet in the UK long enough to cast a yes vote.

I'm sure most of us fellas can recall the girls who did and the girls who didn't in our youth and the ones who did for very little. I hope the UK isn't the latter. Boris Johnson is right on one thing that we need to play hard ball if we are to stay and not for the crumbs.

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Feb 29, 2016 at 13:53

GMulford.....The facts you quote about Romania (corruption, absurdly low wages) are the very reason why, in my opinion, they should not have been admitted to the EU. The "low wages" virtually guaranteed a rush to migrate here and other EU countries. As for the mass corruption...that is their problem to sort out, not ours.

Like other posts here, I also resent David Cameron going to Brussels with a "begging bowl"...rather than negotiating from a position of strength. The EU needs us at least as much as we need them. Sometimes it takes a foreigner to remind us we are a great interview on TV news last week with several skilled migrants who'd all been successful in their jobs, revealed all but one in favour of us leaving the EU. They, unlike Mr. Cameron, have not forgotten about the "Great" in Great Britain..

The EU, anyway, may be entering the first stages of disintegration. The Schengen "open borders" policy is in tatters....Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Austria, and now Belgium....all alarmed at the ease with which terrorists can slip unchecked into Europe, have re-instated their border checks in defiance of Brussels. The Paris massacre may well have not happened had proper border checks been in place. (At least two gunmen reportedly made their way to Paris disguised as migrants). "Freedom of movement" may be sacrosanct so far as Merkel & Co., are concerned. Unfortunately it also means freedom of movement for terrorists.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 29, 2016 at 14:59


It doesn't stop or start sadly at the EU immigration as we allowed a fifth column of insular 12th century mentality muslims to behave as though our Christian values, freedoms (that are used against us so successfully) and unrestricted employment practices are allowed to be treated as though subservient to their Islamic ones.

I cannot think of any other single event that has altered this country in the past 60 years (other than the EU clerks and Bliar's disgraceful terms in office) than the growth of the UK caliphate.

The trouble that we have is when Bliar opened the immigration gates of hell to bolster Labour's election chances we lost the ability to see who was who.

How many years did it take to stop muslims from openly calling for fatwahs on people like rushdie. (essentially incitement to murder) by the now in the fold Iqbal socranie head at one time of the muslim council. How many years and millions to get abu hansa to America. America would have used the Patriot Act and done it in half an hour.No wonder the multi home liberal elite who can up sticks anytime and move are so terrified of Trump.

Cameron is as bad as the traitors Bliar, Major and Brown except Cameron is an educated idiot of quite epic proportions at least Bliar was feathering his own nest at our expense. Cameron with Daddy's offshore trust fund doesn't need to.

Yes, we have some truly talented immigrants who are here to add value, but they aren't part of our overall problem.

I wonder how many of the people who have made snide digs on here but are too afraid or ashamed of their comments to use their own names actually live anywhere near our growing problems or are a cog in the hypocrisy that keeps it going.

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Feb 29, 2016 at 17:49

Dear Mark

My observation (doctors) was in connection with SOVEREIGNTY.

Sovereign state (nothing to do with EU) forces you son to leave the country and I am sorry. Bad management; lack of labour, lack of money and sovereign state loads even more on the barely alive system (Hunt).

The situation of health service: the politicians have no courage to say that we all have to pay more or pay for some services.

As I said previously Norway is part of other form of EU and to be able to access market Norway needs to pay and observe the 4 freedoms.

I an glad you have receive your medical treatment in Florence, as an Italian would receive in LOndon. This is EU working.

There are parts of EU which are not working and we may agree on that. Euro was bad idea, and free flow of labour in small continent with such huge economic differences has a particular pain in the ass of Northern economies.Like Euro.

Just to cheer you up: talked yesterday to my German friends: Merkel does not have a long in politics.

In my opinion other Germans will decouple Greece and the likes and Europe will (under German leadersip as usual-since 19 cent reunification through 2 wars and post communism) sail into bright future. Resurrection is the term?

And we will practice US version of capitalism, with even more our sons and daughters emigrating. World is and always be on the move. THIS IS A HISTORICAL FACT.

By the way:Easy is excellent !!!! Did you try it instead of train?


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Feb 29, 2016 at 18:56

If we leave the union, can we make our own laws and rescind the ones from

Europe we don't want?

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Feb 29, 2016 at 19:23

Pianoman. Well that's the idea, to regain control of our own country from the unelected gnomes of Brussels.

However, to take us forward, we will need a strong determined government led by someone with backbone and a belief in Britain. At present we don't appear to have that.

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Mark Stringer

Feb 29, 2016 at 19:40

Anonymous 1, Norway has nothing like our trade imbalance or trade full stop. They are a minute population compared to the UK and so cannot expect to wield their insubstantial trading power.

Who in their right minds would ever lose "treasure island" as we are known, market because a few pip squeak clerks in Brussels thought it would be a good idea to try and teach us a lesson post any out vote.

Some very good points made today by Nigel Lawson on R4 when he rebutted much of the tripe about Cameron's latest doom and gloom story if we vote out. He also clarified some of the lies bandied about by Cameron and his cheerleaders especially about our trade deals that simply could not be removed by the EU clerks.

This is the stuff that needs to be out there for everyone to read and hear about as so far we are getting a half baked Cameron version.

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Feb 29, 2016 at 20:41

Do not have much respect for Lawson after his legacy.Was he not though yesterday on radio 4?

I prefer today's Bloomberg; Briton working in Brussels. Also he is up to date with his explanation and detailed analysis of fear theory. He is not our government servant.

These are years of disentanglement. and meanwhile life goes on, rather fast.

Obviously nothing is going to convince you, but then you are not responsible for economy, only for yourself, fine.

Boris is fun as usual and no substance..

See you in March.

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Feb 29, 2016 at 21:36

Anonymous 1 -who are you & why do you need to be off record? It sounds as though you must be Mr Osborne as you appear to be responsible for the economy? Obviously nothing is going to convince you.

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Mark Stringer

Mar 01, 2016 at 08:20

Anonymous 1, Lawson and his legacy, oh, gawd, what about Lamont if we are going to talk turkeys under the Thatcher regime and the 1986 fincncial service act that has been the template for the banking cisis.

Whatever Lawson or Lamont did pales into insignificance compared to the EU clerks wasteful jamboree.

I wonder what it is that you see in our adminstrative centre in Brussels.

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Mar 01, 2016 at 08:45

MStringer & others.

Has anyone come across a publication called "Nazi Roots of the Brussels EU"?

It seems the European Green Party also has uncovered documents apparently indicating secret long term ambitions to establish the equivalent of a "Fourth Reich" .....a kind of Nazi domination of all Europe via more peaceful means through the EU, via giant German industries.....There have been features on this in some European newspapers like "De Telegraaf" presumably there is some substance to all this?......If so, strange it doesn't seem to have surfaced here in our media.

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Mark Stringer

Mar 01, 2016 at 10:25

anglo29, I thought the TTP stitch-up was doing that rather nicely.

I see the inconvenient conservative associations aren't doing as they are told and seem to want some sort of democracy which has made Captain Cameron and his maid in waiting, Gideon Osbourne, rather upset so they want shot of them.

Democracy would be great of it wasn't for those damned inconvenient electors challenging our lies!

I hope the tory associations pay back Captain Cameron and his rabble by turning on them on 23rd!

I don't know about a "fourth reich" for we already know that the EU clerks plan a European super state.

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Doug Sammons

Mar 01, 2016 at 10:52

Everyone will be interested in this video.

I love it.

The faces of Hollande and Merkel is an absolute picture.

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Mar 01, 2016 at 11:02


So far I support Government position, as everything I read HERE is based on emotion not facts.

Woodford, top investor, paid for objective assessment,of merits of In or out, so he can form his opinion, in due course for his field and himself.

Amazingly for investors here I also find little understanding how EU works , or what are the parts which work or not work and why.

What I hear is we are great power 5th on the planet (we used to be 4th and even second and sometimes in the past even first), but we are BROKE. OUR main asset is ENGLISH LANGUAGE. Wonder how many of you disagree and put some FACTS in evidence of your disagreement.

There are numbers of conspiracy theories floating about virtually everything,

Yesterday I presented a provoking thought about domination of Germany, in the future,

and here we are

"Nazi Roots of the Brussels EU"

My explanation , why this did no reach UK press is that our press is dominated by...........

you put whoever you want to put on the dotted line.


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Mark Stringer

Mar 01, 2016 at 11:26

What EXACTLY is the government position other than vote in because we are releasing scare stories.

We KNOW what the EU is, does and represents and so why with no serious effort to think beyond headlines do you accept whatever the government line is. Let's be blunt though, the government is also the ministers who want out.

Aside from the scaremobngering by Captain Cameron and the useful civil service puppets what are the proven and known benefits of continuing in the political and bankrupt EU?

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Mar 01, 2016 at 11:57

Yes Anonymous 1 we are broke, but not as broke as the US or Europe !

We all know that Greece is broke and has already defaulted on debt. We know that Italy, Spain and Portugal are broke and close to the edge. And we also know that France is heading for collapse as its governments cannot stand up to demonstrators and social payments are rocketing.

So whilst we may be broke, we are just about managing our cash flow with slow improvements.

Leaving the EEC will untie us from any further liability to support these failing states, quite apart from saving our net contribution, keeping free trade with Europe and allowing us to open up new trade treaties. It will allow us to undo much red tape internally (some will stay to ensure our products comply with EEC requirements), allow us full control of immigration. It will simplify government, give us full control over grants, and, most importantly, allow OUR government to determine what is best for the UK. The list goes on.

These are not emotions but facts. Many other facts are contained in previous posts. It would appear that you have not read them all. Your last post was just emotion - no facts. So please do not belittle any post which you do not like. I know that people with a belief tend to dismiss any facts which do not tally with their belief - look at the number of Americans who do not believe in Evolution or Global Warming.

I used to be very pro-EEC but changed my mind over the years as I saw how it was developing.

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Clive Richardson

Mar 01, 2016 at 12:13

'Project Fear' is based on considerable experience of other successful political campaigns that were based on scaremongering. As much as I personally hope for Brexit, this could be a close run referendum. If we talk about fear, I fear for this country if it remains. Sure, we would remain with no Euro and no Schengen but we were never going to take part in that madness anyway. Despite that, if we remained, there should be fear about how the EU will pick this country apart.

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Mark Stringer

Mar 01, 2016 at 12:30

Jon & Clive, very well said.

We are in hock and so are our children and their children and we (I don't know your ages, but I'm almost 60) might be the last generation who receive as paltry as it is state pension that has any buying power.

But my late mother had a saying "why would you tie yourself to a large rock and throw it in the sea and still expect to swim". The EU is that rock for the UK.

The EU is bankrupt and has exacerbated that bankruptcy by tying itself to a number of other bankrupt nations who are all waiting for the dominoe effect to really start.

Germany lent Greece the money inspite of the known financial irregularities (not wanting or even actually paying taxes and living on the empty state credit card) and the IMF and EU watched helped and applauded.

We have our own financial home grown liars, Balls for Labour and Osbourne for Tories. So much of what our children owe is off books; PFI, Pensions etc that our own debt numbers are terrifying let alone the EU's.

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Mark Stringer

Mar 01, 2016 at 13:49

A wonderful expose' in the Telegraph of the former trade commissioner and ex-business secretary Peter Mandelson.

The caption "Staying out of the Euro would be a disaster........the price we would pay in lost investment and trade and jobs would be incalculable".How did that work out Pete? Mandelson now says "Leaving will damage British business, British jobs and British investments", just like not joining the Euro!

Mandelson should stick to what he is good at; sod all!

Gideon Osbourne says "it is fanciful to suggest that G20 finance ministers dance to a British tune" Why not they danced to Gideons begging to suggest the world would end if the UK left the EU Titanic.

Kosovo's president elect has waded into the UK in/out vote (no doubt had his orders from the EU clerks). Our leaving could trigger a chain reaction and have dangerous consequences for the Balkans. Apparently, they will not take part in Eurovision as a punishment.

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Doug Sammons

Mar 01, 2016 at 14:47

This blog is very good and shows some people care.

Unfortunately, great great British Public do not understand what is happening( sorry GBP).

They will be swayed by politicians and the scare tactics and I guess they will vote "in", I hope not but if I were a betting man my money would be on an "in" vote.

if anyone has some spare time I suggest looking up "Nazi Roots of the Brussels EU" on You Tube and listening to the interviews with the German man who takes us back to WW1 and the First Reich and through 4 films ends up with the Germans/EU/ 4th Reich.

We must fight to save this country.

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Mar 01, 2016 at 14:56

My only concern over Brexit, is this government's willingness (or ability) to really take the bull by the horns and drive this country forward as a once more fully self-determining nation. Will Cameron still be going cap in hand to the gnomes of Brussels begging for concessions?

The Conservatives need to get over the notion that it needs "decent chaps who've been to Eton" to run the country, and elect as new leader someone like David Davies who appears to have both backbone and gravitas.

With regard to Europe being bankrupt, it is not only bankrupt financially, but bankrupt of ideas and imaginative thinking. Merkel has to take much of the responsibility for the current migrant chaos, saying that Germany could "take 800,000".....the signal for every economic migrant from Afghanistan to Algeria to hit the refugee trail through Europe to try their luck. Given the increasing daily chaos of the migrant situation, and the total inability of the Brussels politicians to handle it. Does anyone really think this failed Club is worth contributing even £500 per day to belong to, let alone the daily £50million it cost us?

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Hampshire cynic.

Mar 01, 2016 at 15:14

I too am pretty disenchanted with David Cameron. He may have tried his hardest to get a satisfactory deal for us, but we see yet again that the political direction of the EU is all that matters, and sod the views of ordinary (British) people, and do a Blair on immigration policy, economic or otherwise. His 'deal' is a pretty thin gruel as a certain proper Conservative said in the Commons recently (Jacob Rees Mogg). Did I dream it or did our PM say he would lead the 'Out' Campaign if even HIS demands were not met?

As a lifelong Conservative, I have to say that Cameron is just too pink. He talks a good talk, but fails to walk the walk. Osborne is not really my cup of tea either. Why cannot they just do what the people want, and that is self rule for us (not so sure about Scotland)? Some of the Brexit MPs are a bit wishy washy too, and I do not think that Boris in particular has what it takes to be PM. Whilst Mrs May used to seem pretty good, she has failed on the immigration front, and has lined up with the CP bullies. Very disappointing.

Yes, David Davies could be the man if Cameron has to go. I could not imagine him being a bully in the way that Cameron & Osborne are currently.

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Mar 01, 2016 at 17:08

Let's be realistic. We can give our views but equally perhaps the simple approach is to watch and judge DC and the rest of the EU leaders by their actions between now and the eve of the referendum. It's for them to convince us this is a game we want to continue playing - if not, we go find another one.

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Mar 01, 2016 at 18:41

As a follow up - what I am looking for them to dos describe a picture of the future that is full of hope, that offers inspiration and that tells us great things are coining from this "union".

Cut the "you are for it if you leave" and tell me what you have to offer. Sell me a great deal!

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James Wood

Mar 01, 2016 at 18:54

To many people with their fingers in to many pies?

To many different types of business some will benefit

others will not.?

Will the general public ever be given the facts in plain



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Mark Stringer

Mar 01, 2016 at 19:22

We already know what we have had with the EU and yes, the pig ignorance of some of the electorate explains why (it certainly explains why the tories can now pretend to lead this country with only 23% of the vote) so many are conned by email scams, phone scams, proven political liars and general self servers.

What can possibly change between now and 23rd June that could make even the most naive and moronic voter (except their complacency and idleness) want to remain in a spiral of EU incompetence and sleaze.

The EU clerks have basically abandoned the schengen agreement so when it suits they can make changes except this change is because they have no answer to it thanks to their open borders policy. I mean who could have foreseen that no borders might not be such a great idea given the way criminals, terrorists and obviously illegal migrants could take advantage.

I am glad that this tide of economic migrants are causing so many problems in Europe right now because it may, just may make those parents who are wondering why with so many migrants here out breeding us that their own kids can't get a place in the school of their choice as the school system is overwhelmed and some jump the school queue due to "special circumstances".

I won't hold my breath as the leased bmw, flat screen tv, iphone and foreign holiday (i heard some brain donor say how he had to take his kids out of school so they could have a foreign holiday!!!!!???) seems to take precedence over their kids futures and that future is not the EU way.

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Mark Stringer

Mar 01, 2016 at 19:34

Georges, can i ask in all seriousness, what can any politician tell you between now and June that a) you would believe and b) would actually happen. Even if Captain Cameron actually came back with another Neville Chamberlain piece of worthless EU promises there is still the fact that any person from any EU country can challenge in the Court of Justice the validity of the Neville Chamberlain promise Captain Cameron is waving about in connection with benefits etc.

Europe is in crisis, we are only marginally better off because we are not in the euro and are an island and if we chose we could exert much better control of our borders.

We have no potential leaders with any moral fibre.

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Mar 01, 2016 at 20:20

I guess I am making the point that our leaders are supposed to be leaders and are supposed to earn that right by offering us something positive. DC should be doing this. Instead of fear, he should share his vision of the future in the EU - of the real benefits. He has till 23/6 to do that .

Tell us why it is better to stay - numbers, benefits .

My view is he will fail - but he should be put on the spot for this by us all.

My own view / he has called an unnecessary referendum on shallow reasons and is finished - the 1922 Committee will have his head ion 24/6 regardless simply because of his political misjudgement.

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Mar 02, 2016 at 09:32


The problem with David Cameron telling us "Why it is better to stay", increasingly no-one believes him anymore....Too many U-turns.....Too many broken promises. To take just a few:

"No Third Runway at Heathrow under my watch"......It's back on the agenda.

"I will put through the findings of the Leveson Inquiry".....We're still waiting.

"I will reduce immigration to manageable levels, no ifs, no buts".....Immigration is now at record levels.

There are no absolute guarantees over leaving the EU. You just have to have faith in our abilities to stand on our own two feet and compete with the best. We are the 5th largest economy, we have always been great innovators. We have overcome worse situations in the past. It should not be forgotten that 75 years ago we stood alone against the threat of evil while the rest of Europe crumbled.

We need to find that same spirit again. But we need a new leader at the helm.

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Mar 02, 2016 at 09:53

Anglo29 - you are right. I merely want to allow him enough rope to gang himself. Keeping it simple with "show us the vision" means he had to come out of his comfort zone of bullying and PR.

But yes, ad you point out, he had form - and it's not inspiring.

This is one of those times when I wish we had a really effective opposition.

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Mark Stringer

Mar 02, 2016 at 10:25

Georges, but he is not hanging himself, he is hanging US and all the rope is used and our grandchildren are going to be paying for it.

I mean I wouldn't need a bully to punch me twice to know I didn't like it any less the first time round.

I know what the EU is/does/promotes and I don't like it and can't afford it.

Did you hear the Blackrock fella on R4 this morning telling us how bad it would be except he could not really say how exactly only hypothesise. He is of course a Gideon Osbourne acolyte so his version of life without the EU should be taken with the food mountain of salt sitting somewhere in the EU farm subsidy wasteland.

Anglo29, you missed out the "no top down re-organisation of the NHS" .

Captain Cameron knows he is toast anyway and is only trying to save face due to his need for a political legacy. Shame these legacies are all in the minds of those who need them for some sort of approbation.

Can you imagine what the tory heartlands will look like once he and Gideon have gotten rid of the grassroots associations that he now so despises.

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Mar 02, 2016 at 10:41

You are right about the opposition. We have a weak government, and an opposition that is not only weak, but currently resembles a "back to the '60's" student union debating society.

Given the poor quality of our main Parties, the rise of UKIP is hardly surprising. At least they have a leader who is not afraid to talk up Britain, but we don't know enough of their other "front line" spokespeople to judge whether they have quality in depth.

A new positive Conservative leader would be the best solution, but the Party seems curiously inept when it comes to electing leaders, seemingly preferring leaders who are "cosy" and won't upset the applecart, rather than ones not afraid to "kick arse" and really get this county going.

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Mar 02, 2016 at 10:51

Dear Investors,

Please read today's Blackrock judgment on Britexit.

You will find it on Bloomberg.

Unless you think of course that "project fear" is an idiocy, and IMF and others are conspiracy to sovereignty of our parliament and our judges.

Also listen to Gove, who does not have any economics or investment experience, but is "great thinker".


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Mark Stringer

Mar 02, 2016 at 11:17

anglo29, yes, Corbyn is like a 60's sociology lecturers without the elbow patches. He would not have been out of place in Red Ken Livingstone's GLC nightmare. He has some good opinions and then goes and ruins it all by expanding upon them.

David Davies was the best leader the tories never had just as I suspect John Smith would have been a decent labour pm.

Yes, we desperately need a new tory leader, but Osbourne and his pals seem to want that post and he like Captain Cameron are like the herpes virus, once contracted their policies are never completely gotten rid of.

anonymous 1, Blackrock's judgement is now on sale in the loo roll aisle of your local supermarket.

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Mar 02, 2016 at 11:23


I am glad you are so confident.


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Mark Stringer

Mar 02, 2016 at 12:52

anonymous 1, I am confident in the people who still have some moral fibre and sense of right and wrong in this country.

Sheep are herded for slaughter and boy do we have some sheep in this once pretty damned good country. Never perfect.

The weak lickspittles have never been given the time of day in my world.

Too many people have allowed themselves to be bought off cheaply and indulged the easy route that has brought us to this juncture. I mean how many times does the old five card trick need to be played on the electorate before they wake up.

We have leaders and then the flock of followers who have been led to believe that transient emotional investment in some wishy washy b/s passes for substance.

We are only as strong as the weakest link and we have too many weak links.

1984 is upon us and we let it happen.

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Mark Stringer

Mar 02, 2016 at 12:57

By the way, does anyone recall all the warnings that were issued about Captain Cameron when he was bottom kissing his way to the leadership race.

"An empty barrel" was one insightful assessment and what a truth that turned out to be.

I'd like someone to make him eat that Neville Chamberlain piece of worthless junk he brought back from the EU clerks, with gentleman's relish of course!

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Mar 02, 2016 at 15:42


Agree entirely re. David Davies being the best leader the Tories never had. I get the feeling he's regarded as being something of an "outsider" by the Party elite,

Even if Cameron goes, looking at the publicised contenders for the leadership, they all have the same Eton background (more of the same?) keeping the leadership post "in house". So long as this is the case, I cannot bring myself to. vote for them next time round.

It's not that I have anything against Pubic School applicants, if only they could accept that the rest of the world no longer plays by the rules of cricket......The old First World War saying of "A nation of lions led by donkeys comes to mind"..

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geoffrey mulford

Mar 02, 2016 at 15:52

The other lie they are peddling is that if we leave the EU there is no way back. REALLY!!!!!

The opposite is true if we don't vote out this time we will never get the chance to vote out again. I would only give the EU a 50 50 chance of holding together the EURO is fatally flawed and will take more political will to repair than is available.

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Mar 02, 2016 at 16:02

Let me remove ambiguity from my "let's see the vision" message to DC. The Brexit leaders (horrid term) should make the issue one of confidence or no confidence in DC - that is what DC has made it. This is especially so when there is so much opinion and do few facts .

It just comes down to DC "trust me and back me" or .....

Now that makes it interesting - he really needs to raise his game based on that.

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Mark Stringer

Mar 03, 2016 at 10:07

georges, we know the facts of staying and we know that Europe is at the start of the u-bend flush and while the EU clerks fiddle while the EU taxpayers suffer due to a one size fits all policy the European countries on the far reaches , such as, Greece and Southern Italy are swamped with illegal economic migrants and due to the Schengen agreement have been helped as check points that once provided some security have been removed.

What is mainland Europe going to look like once 1,2,3,4,5........million have been let in and they become 50 million. At what point do the liberal elite and cabal of clerks get tough and provide a proper fleet of craft to tow back to Libya etc the economic migrants before they reach Europe.

I'm guessing once Captain Cameron and the like actually have them living next door, begging outside the local deli or the saloon bar of the local pub. But having said that they have minders and can live anywhere when it gets too hot.

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