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June 21, 2016


Nick Rowe

Good post. But migration and change seems to be quite a big question.


Thanks Nick. But leaving the EU because you want tougher immigration controls is like buying a jumbo jet because you want a bag of peanuts.


Speaking as a grotesque bigot.

"What’s more, with the cognitive bandwidth of our politicians limited, such issues will displace more important ones, such as how to tackle secular stagnation, the housing crisis, how to improve public services and the benefits system, and so on."

They have ignored those issues since the advent of Thatcherism, why would it change now?

We don't need trade deals, they are just part of the agenda to embed neo-liberalism in imutable trade treaties CETA, TTIP and institutions (Europe, WTO etc), globalisation etc. Just as political correctness erodes free speech.

A Jumbo jet won't accommodate the immigrants entering the UK every day. And most people in the country immigration as the most important issue in the debate.

You cannot prove a counterfactual, but who has NAFTA worked out after 20 years?

The benefits of trade agreements are a myth.


"Many trade experts say that in the long term, free-trade deals such as NAFTA produce benefits despite some painful short-term costs such as the movement of some jobs and industries across borders. But according to at least one major study, the benefits are limited."

And not even the Mexicans benefit:

"But trade is not to most humans an end in it's self, and neither are the blatantly mis-named free trade agreements."

Ditto: Economics is not an end in it's self!


This article is very much correct.

In the UK we have a Parliament Act, and a parliament that can override decisions of unelected judges. But if you fail to use a veto in the EU, then it is enshrined in law for ever more and you can’t change it at all. The system is designed to prevent change and move towards the goal of a United States of Europe run on corporate creditor lines.

Every time a proposal goes to the civil service they say: “That’s very nice minister, but unfortunately that would breach EU treaty rules”.

The EU is a way of hog-tying parliament so that it can no longer protect its citizens from the ‘market’. That is by design. The process will continue until the power the individual member states have will be somewhat similar to what the Welsh assembly has, or perhaps a town council. Big business will rule everywhere with citizens as their slaves begging for a minimum wage job across the continent.

In simple terms the UK parliament has no mechanism, other than leaving the EU, to overturn a decision of the European Court of Justice on the interpretation of the EU treaty. Since the tendency of the court is to over interpret the provisions and under interpret the restrictions what you get is creeping federalisation and destruction of the left wing everywhere.

For example if Cameron signs up to TTIP under the EU, then there is nothing Corbyn can do about it in 2020 (other than leave the EU!).

If Boris signs up to TTIP under the UK parliament, then Corbyn can completely reverse that in 2020.

That *alone* should be enough reason to vote Remain if you are conservative.

Leaving the EU would be a disaster for conservatism. The EU negotiations will take at least three years - 1st Jul 2019 is being pencilled in since that is when the new EU parliament convenes. During that time the EU treaties remain in force. A year after that the Tories face a UK general election.

Strategically it's like the left having the high ground handed to them on a plate.

"Unless you are a grotesque bigot, you cannot claim with any confidence that Brexit will bring overwhelming social benefit."

88% of current EU immigrants would fail the tests to obtain a work visa. If, for any given immigration cap, you have fewer low-paid people coming into the country, then that frees up slots for more high-paid people, and that increases the net benefit to the resident population.


"Overall, therefore, most EU-born workers—like most workers of all origins—are not in jobs that meet the criteria for Tier 2 visas. Because EU workers are underrepresented in high-paying graduate jobs, a lower share of those who are already living in the UK are working in jobs that meet the occupation and salary thresholds described in this report, compared to the average across the UK labour market. In 2015, 19% of people born in EU countries and working as employees in the UK were in a skilled job earning more than £20,000. Many of these people had been living in the UK for several years and thus may have different skills and experience compared to people who are newly arriving. They have also had longer to enter skilled employment. The share of newly arriving EU born workers who had arrived in the UK in 2010 or afterwards and who were in graduate jobs earning £20,000 or more was lower, at 12%."

Every other civilised advanced nation on earth excludes these people from their work visa programmes for precisely that reason. They create a differential between their poor and the rest of the world.

Once we leave the EU the restrictions on State Aid and access to the Bank of England are lifted. Along with the requirement to compensate capitalists if we nationalise industries.

So once we leave the EU the left can nationalise the railways for a £1, nationalise the banks and cancel all the PFI contracts. And can stop paying money to China on Gilts by using the 'Ways and Means' overdraft facility at the Bank of England instead. 'Corporate confidence' is no longer of concern.

Ralph Musgrave

Speaking as another grotesque racist, fascist, xenophobic, neo-Nazi bigot, can I just point out that we're leaving the EU REGARDLESS of the result of Thursday's vote. Reason is that the proportion of our exports which go to the EU is 45% and falling, whereas the proportion going to the rest of the world is 55% and rising.

But clearly saying that makes me a racist, so I humbly apologise.


You should bear in mind that Burke was thinking of a nation state, capable of having a common political will, rather than an Empire, where a multitude of peoples have to be governed by force. I imagine he would have been in favour of exit, as he was in the case of the American colonies. But then, I suppose you are against such ideas as there being separate peoples with different cultures, and would call the concept racist.


Your argument could just as easily apply to the key decision makers in the EU. They have spurned chance after chance to make meaningful reforms that could have taken most of the heat out of Brexit.

Some form of moratorium on uncontrolled immigration and changes to Welfare rules could have been achieved with the will to do so (didn't need to be an all or nothing deal, just a meaningful attempt at resolution). I dismiss entirely the notion this wasn't possible, it might not have been ideal or even preferable to those who hold power in the EU, but the hard reality of international politics is that rules can be made, unmade, bent and twisted based on the with power. In this case those with power chose to take a gamble on Brexit because addressing the issues wasn't palatable.


Sometimes conservatism means turning the clock back, not just leaving things as they are.

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