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The sheer hubris of la Sturgeon beggars belief. So the SNP are to table 50 amendments to the Brexit article 50 Bill when it comes before the UK Parliament. Why stop at 50 and why such a round number? Why not 60, or 99 for that matter.

It’s hard to see how the short two line Bill that seems likely could possibly give rise to 50 amendments. There’s likely to be less than 50 words in the whole Bill.  I exaggerate to make the point that you can only amend what’s written.

Of course this is simply her way to shore up support amongst her falling SNP support at home and little to do with any real hope of success. She needs to be careful. I sense that there are many who are getting fed up at her strident and overbearing manner. Who does she think she is?

I’m coming around to the conclusion that P.M. Theresa May should call la Sturgeon’s bluff and say to her, ‘You know what, we know you’ll fail but we agree you should have another referendum on Scottish Independence and we’ll be introducing a Bill to set one up shortly.’, and then do it. Let’s lance the boil. There’s not a cat in hell’s chance she’d get anywhere near a majority given the Scottish deficit as a % of GDP is now over twice that of the whole UK. Which of course would be even more when income from the Barnet formula was lost on independence day.

 

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Stay tuned for a developing show that will run and run…

Brexit Poster

Act One: The preamble….opening shortly

 

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The UK should be in no rush to trigger article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. There is  nothing to gain and much to lose.

Once we formally tell the EU the UK is leaving then the two year clock is ticking. Once that happens our negotiating power is seriously compromised. In extremis the EU Commission could just sit on its hands and do nothing, refusing even to speak.

The EU is already pushing the UK to trigger article 50, wanting to get the whole thing over quickly and before any head of steam builds up in other countries for a Frexit, Nexit or Grexit. That should tell us something.

And we don’t need civil servants negotiating our exit. And certainly not the same civil servants who negotiated and advised Cameron on the pathetic changes (sic)  he came back with last February. Let’s ensure we have hard nosed commercially savvy hard ball negotiators from the private sector. Individuals who are used to doing deals and staring down the barrel. The UK Foreign Office, whilst extremely competent in diplomacy elsewhere around the globe should not be anywhere near these negotiations when they are triggered. They are  and have been congenitally wedded to the EU and their natural mindset will be all wrong.

The Commission have apparently been told by Juncker there must be no informal discussions before the UK starts the Article 50 clock, and that is certainly Merkel’s view. Mind you that hasn’t stopped  Mrs Salmond planning to drop into the Berlaymont tomorrow to further her cause.

But two can play the say nothing game. There’s a case for letting the EU wait. Let’s see what happens. By leaving we’ve effectively killed off any chance of the EU developing its own EU Defence Force and its ridiculous aim of seeking autonomy from NATO. And with only France left to represent the EUs views at the UN Security Council  its representation has been cut by 50%. Let’s see what happens when we put forward informal proposals that as a quid pro quo for access to the single market without tariffs we’re prepared to be involved with the EU in some yet to be formed  associated member club to assist in these grand ideals.

Now there’s a thought. Back in fact  86 years to Churchill’s 1930 statement about  us being, “With Europe, but not of it.  We are linked but not combined. We are interested and associated but not absorbed.” To which is often added his words in a blazing row with General de Gaulle on the eve of D Day in 1944, “If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea.”

 

 

 

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If one EU member leaving has such an effect on markets in the EU it rather suggests the EU is not the sort of stable club that is worth belonging to. Vive Brexit.

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“To be quite honest the European Union is not an accounting exercise”

Those are the words of Finnish PM Alexander Stubb speaking at today’s meeting of the EU finance ministers in Brussels.

Some of us might argue it’s precisely because the EU elite treat the matter of any sort of accounting responsibility with such disdain and in such an off hand manner that the EU is widely loathed by significant proportions of people in its member states.

Only three days ago the EUs auditors published their latest report which found that £109 billion out of a total of £117 billion spent by the EU in 2013 was “affected by material error”. This being the 19th year running in which the EU accounts have not been approved. No corporation would get away with this sort of cavalier attitude. Its directors would be out of office in a flash, and to the extent that fraud is involved probably being lined up for prosecution as well.

If PM Stubb thinks that a large and additional demand on the UK to pay 2 billion euros more to this out of control bureaucracy should not be queried and eventually reduced then clearly he’s out of touch.

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So what happened to Blair’s promises back in 1997 about getting rid of sleaze and bringing in squeaky clean government?

Almost from day one with the Bernie Ecclestone affair we’ve seen just how much lip service was paid to that grand ideal. What we’re seeing and reading about in recent weeks though just about beggars belief. Maybe as all these MPs and government Ministers are telling us, they are all claiming expenses entirely within the rules. Well maybe they are, but that merely brings home the point that the rules need changing.

No, what is really wrong with all this is that they just don’t understand why the public are so incensed. The latest to trot out this claptrap is Geoff Hoon.

Yes Geoff, of course you  may be entitled to claim the sorts of expenses you are, but isn’t there just a tiny bit of your conscience which says, ‘hang on a bit, is it acceptable for me to be claiming expenses for a second constituency home, whilst renting out the home in London that I’ve registered with the authorities as my main home, and all the time living in a taxpayer funded grace and favour home in Admiralty House?

Doesn’t that strike you as just a little bit unreasonable and wrong?

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Are there many more out there in the UK who are totally hacked off at this government’s treatment of savers during this financial crisis?

At a time when it’s clear to just about anyone with half a brain, that the present problems stem from excessive borrowing, this wonderful government of ours is doing all it can to promote yet more borrowing in a vain attempt to kick start the economy. In the process of course slashing interest rates which is having an exceedingly detrimental effect on those of us who rely on savings to at least keep pace with inflation.

So what’s to be done? I have this half formed plan.

The idea is that if a large enough group of us could act in concert with our savings, then we just might be able to make the government sit up and take notice. Particularly so since the UK banking industry is all but nationalised. Suppose a few thousand of us made it known to the government that unless it came up with some system for compensating savers with better interest rates, then we would take concerted action. Next month we’d all transfer our savings to Bank A, and then the month after move them all out to Bank B. Each month putting them somewhere different, going round in a complete circle if needs be. The idea being to create uncertainty about the level of deposits in any one institution at any one time. This would presumably hamper decision making and reduce the levels of lending the banks could commit to.

As I say it’s a germ of an idea I have, and I wonder if there are any readers out there who would wish to comment and suggest just how we might organise this.

Even if you just read this and don’t wish to comment, perhaps you would pass it on to other friends, colleagues and acquaintances. If I detect a sufficiently large ground swell of opinion, I’d be prepared to move it on to the next level and see where we get to.

Over to you…..

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