Independence Day! But it is not over yet.

The UK has its Independence Day. We Got Our Country Back!

We GOT our country back
A hastily modified campaign poster declares victory in the EU referendum.

Except of course we are not quite there yet. Before the UK is truly independent again the following has to happen:

1) Election of new a leader by the Conservative party (who will be the UKs new PM without the nicety of a general election. Keep up there at the back).
2) Appointment of a negotiating team and agreement on a strategy, objectives and red lines.
3) Invocation of Article 50 of the EU treaty.
4) Negotiation of a new relationship with the institutions of the EU.
5) Bilateral arrangements with individual member states to replace EU arrangements on some matters.
6) Negotiation of new trade deals with the Rest of the World.
7) Two years after (3), we get our actual independence day.

Those who campaigned for Brexit must remain vigilant that the process is not subverted along the way. Already there are calls for a second referendum. In due course we will see a narrative emerge that Brexit may have won, but only by “telling lies”. This is itself a lie. While there was some sloppy use of statistics in some of the Leave literature, the campaign of outright deceit, scare-mongering and threat from Remain was of an entirely different order (I will return to this in another post).

“We have to show the Remainers that their fears were unfounded, and the future is bright”.

The Remainers have lost the vote but they won’t go away. As I pointed out here winning a vote does not make you right, and even when you are right, not everyone will be convinced. We are going to have to refight many of the referendum battles over the next couple of years if we want the best possible outcome: on the importance of having a points-based non-discriminatory immigration system, on the sovereignty of the UK Parliament, and much more. And we need to bring a large part of the 48% of the electorate who voted Remain with us. Our new, confident, open-to-the-world UK needs them. We have to show them that their fears were unfounded, and the future is bright.

Red lines

Suggestions from Germany of an “associated partner country” status are to be welcomed, but it must be clear this will be outside the EU institutions. Factions in Parliament would like to see a “Norway option” that keeps us in the single market and requires us to accept free movement of workers. The Leave campaign was fought on the basis that there will be an end to unrestricted migration and the supremacy of EU law, and anything less than this would repudiate the will of the people expressed in the referendum. This gives us our red lines:

  • The UK will leave. We will not accept any offer of special status that keeps us within the EU. There will be no second referendum.
  • The supremacy of EU law over UK law and our Parliament will end. Our new arrangements will be treaty, not a union.
  • There will be an end to free movement. We will have a points-based system for work permits that will be the same for EU and non-EU workers.


The PM was right to delay invoking Article 50 until his successor is in place. There is no point starting the clock on negotiations until we know who is on the team, and our bottom line has been agreed. But there is no reason this should take three months. The sooner the Conservatives start the process of electing a new leader the better.


First published on, U.S., June 24, 2016 by Dave Granlund



The Chancellor must go immediately. Not just because of his unforgivable lies and threats that resulted in 65 Conservative MPs including six former ministers effectively no-confidencing him. But for the even more important reason that proper Brexit planning at the Treasury must begin immediately. I expect his dodgy dossiers of 18 April and 23 May will already be in the bin. There must be no delay in producing some serious analysis based on a realistic range of assumptions. And that can’t happen with Osborne in place.


We carry on

So, the campaign for an independent UK, and this blog, will continue until the job is completed.




EU overtaken by US in GDP in 2015

We are used to hearing that EU membership makes us part of the “biggest market in the world”. And indeed the last time I looked the GDPs of all 28 member states of the EU put together topped the table, with the US a close second.

But when I checked the wikipedia page today I found the GDP tables have been updated to 2015, and the EU 28 have been pushed off the top spot.

Two of the three bodies that publish a figure for the European Union (The IMF and the CIA World Fact Book) put the US ahead of the EU by more than $1 trillon in 2015. Only the World bank still lists the EU at the top, and that is on the figures for 2014 (the World Bank 2015 figures do not come out until next month).

So, EU membership makes us part of “the second biggest market in the world”. The EU is falling behind the rest of the world, its economy hobbled by the disastrous single currency and overregulation. Will we sink with it, or strike out on our own?

I am sure remain politicians will now stop using the “biggest market” line. They would not want to deliberately mislead us, would they?


Eddie Izzard: Please stop making a fool of yourself and stick to the day job.

Eddie, I have met you and I like you. So please don’t take this personally. But your performance on question time last night was an embarrassment. It was not just your constant (and rude) interruptions that had the audience telling you to shut up. The worst part was the facile level of argument that would disgrace a sixth-form debating society: Nigel Farage is a descendant of immigrants, and married one, and therefore must think everything to do with immigrants and migration is whoopey-do. Will he explain himself?

He really does not need to, because this is a contradiction in your world view, not in his. You seem to be suffering from identity determinism – the expectation that everyone’s beliefs and opinions must flow from their identity as a member of various (preferably oppressed) groups. Perhaps you think all poor people vote Labour, all women want female-only shortlists and all gays support same sex marriage? Well, it ain’t so, and nor should it be. Quite a lot of people hold their opinions for actual reasons, and the reasons for believing that immigration should be under the control of democratically elected Governments were explained at some length, if you had been listening. I don’t think we heard your reasons why EU migration should not be controlled.

Now, I didn’t think any less of Margaret Thatcher as a politician because she didn’t have a sense of humour. And I don’t think any less of you as a comedian because of your reflexive bien-pensant soft-left political idiocies (which seem to be an occupational hazard).

On the other hand, Thatcher never inflicted a stand-up routine upon us. Please stop making a fool of yourself and stick to the day job.