Tuesday, 31 May 2016

EU referendum: New figures reveal more than £670 million of EU spending was lost to fraud last year

More than £670 million of EU spending was lost to fraud last year, new figures have revealed.
The false claims were concentrated in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, Olaf, the EU’s anti-fraud office said, as it uncovered €888 million of rogue spending. It is a slight decline from €901 million last year but amounts to a major jump from €284 million in 2012. Four in ten EU officials found to have been implicated in fraud were not punished by their employers and only a handful were dismissed, the report also finds."

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

EU Referendum: challenging the collective delusion

Richard North
There is a world outside London – the same world from which Flexcit emerged – and The Harrogate Agenda. Westminster, one must recall, gave its powers to Brussels. Westminster politics is keeping us there. If we are ever to get our freedom, this is not the place we need to be looking."

Britain's long history of semi-detachment from Europe

Matt Ridley

Keeping the balance of power means resisting European power monopolies
My Times column on Britain's history with Europe:
[The prime minister argues that "when we turn out back on Europe, sooner or later we come to regret it" and cited 1704, 1805, 1914 and 1940 as examples. This is historical nonsense: in each case it was our separation from Europe that enabled Britain to liberate the continent from a monopolistic tyranny. Had we been integrated, the outcomes would have been different. I argued in my Times column that the existence of the Channel, and its narrowness, have made us inevitably involved in European affairs, but also inevitably resistant to absorption into European hegemonies.]
Whatever your views on Brexit, there is no doubting the peculiar agony of Britain’s relationship with its neighbouring continent. Ever since the day at the end of the last ice age that the sea broke through the chalky gorge between Dover and Calais, it has been our dilemma: are we separate from, or close to, the continent?
Such geographic determinism may seem facile, but consider that Japan is six times further from the nearest mainland than we are. If the Strait of Dover had been six times wider, we would never have joined the Common Market, because we would have had an even more distinct culture. If it had been one sixth as wide, we would be unlikely to be having this referendum because we would have been repeatedly incorporated into European empires and would feel far more blurred in our nationality."

In the name of science, Britain must leave the EU

Matt Ridley
This week we become subject to the tobacco products directive, which contains a disastrous own goal for public health, which will make it harder for smokers to quit by taking up vaping.  It bans advertising of vaping devices, bans stronger e-cigarette liquids, which are the ones that heavy smokers need if they are to quit, and it ties up the vaping industry in red tape so that its product range will drastically shrink. Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians both think this will slow or even reverse the exodus from tobacco.
Why did this happen? Because big pharmaceutical companies lobbied hard in Brussels in favour of their prescription-medicine alternatives, patches and gums, while subsidized tobacco growers and the tobacco industry lobbied hard to have vaping devices included in a tobacco directive, even though they are not tobacco products."

The BBC's focus on immigration was a whole day of anti-Brexit propaganda

Sadly, my newfound respect for the BBC was dealt a blow yesterday when the broadcaster devoted an entire day of live programming to migration. With the hashtag #WorldOnTheMove, the BBC covered the subject from a variety of angles, including a report from Vietnam by Sarah Montague on the Today programme, an extended interview on the World at One with Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and a radio drama by the award-winning playwright James Graham entitled Where Shall I Go, What Shall I Do?
If you were looking for impartiality, you’d come to the wrong place. The entire day was like a 24-hour political broadcast for the Remain campaign."

David Cameron's EU sham exposed: Leaked letter reveals PM hatched anti-Brexit plot ... while still telling voters he could campaign to leave

Daily Mail
A pact between David Cameron and big business to scare Britain into staying in the EU was exposed last night.
A leaked letter suggests the Prime Minister was plotting with a multinational firm on how to hammer home the Remain case while still claiming he was prepared to campaign to leave.
He had been telling the Commons that he ‘ruled nothing out’ unless he won concessions from the EU.
The secret ‘mobilisation’ plan involved asking FTSE 500 companies to put in their annual reports warnings about the dangers of Brexit.
The strategy was discussed in a letter from Serco boss Rupert Soames to Mr Cameron 11 days before the latter’s renegotiation deal with the EU was complete. This followed a meeting a few days earlier."