Europe and these United? Kingdoms

Posted: June 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

In desperation I have reverted to the BEEB to try and glean ‘unbiased’ information about the impending referendum. Here is what I found in the BBC Reality Check, this is by no means all.
I also apologise for the lack of pictures, they wouldn’t copy over for me.
How would a Brexit affect Gibraltar?
The question: Colin asks BBC Radio 4’s PM programme “If the UK were to leave the EU, how would Gibraltar be affected?”
Reality Check verdict: If the UK leaves the EU, so does Gibraltar. Gibraltar cannot reapply to join the EU on its own without being recognised as a sovereign state.
(I think I had probably worked this one out for myself!)
How did EU population of UK grow after 2004?
Two of the three million EU nationals living in the UK have arrived in the decade after 2004, the year that the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia joined the EU.
Well, that will be the statistics then.
What have ratings agencies said about Brexit?
The question: P.M. asks BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “Have any of the credit rating agencies (eg Moody’s), expressed a view on what effect a Brexit vote would have on our credit rating?”
Reality Check verdict: Standard and Poor’s have said it would probably lower the UK’s long-term credit rating. Fitch said it would review the UK’s credit rating but did not now anticipate a downgrade in the immediate aftermath. Moody’s said a vote to leave could lead to a negative outlook due to greater uncertainty and a weaker economy.
So the experts think there will be some negative impact, unspecified
Can MEPs block David Cameron’s EU deal?

The claim: The European Parliament could block the implementation of the UK deal for the European Union which Prime Minister David Cameron agreed in February 2016. 
Reality Check verdict: MEPs will not get a say on the deal as a whole. They could, in theory, delay or even block the amendments to two regulations which are required to implement part of the deal, but this is unlikely to happen.
This is important, …. Or not.
The question: Julian asks BBC Radio 4’s PM programme “How much has/will the referendum cost?”
Reality Check verdict: The estimated cost of the referendum is £142.4m, according to the written statement to Parliament by the Cabinet Office.
A drop in the ocean, money well spent
The question: Steven asks BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “In the event of a Brexit, how will this affect the various programmes and therefore the jobs which are currently part-financed by money which the UK receives from the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund?”
Reality Check verdict: Leaving the EU could leave certain sectors vulnerable but Leave campaigners say an exit from the EU would allow funds to be redirected into local projects. A post-Brexit government would need to decide which projects to continue funding.
So if we believe the leave campaign they will spend lots of money on ‘the people’. Do we trust our politicians? 
Remain Claim
Would Brexit mean £18bn of welfare cuts and tax rises?
The claim: The UK leaving the European Union would mean families being hit by £18bn in welfare cuts and tax rises.
Reality Check verdict: This figure is derived from a worst case scenario in an economic model. There are many assumptions that must be accepted to reach it. If you believe that leaving the EU would cut economic growth then it is likely that would mean austerity having to be deeper or longer if the deficit is to be eradicated, although it is impossible to say for sure by how much or how long.
So, we don’t know but there will be a down side.
The claim: Prime Minister David Cameron says as a result of his negotiations in Brussels earlier this year – which has not come into effect yet but will if the UK votes to stay in the European Union – EU citizens who come to the UK but fail to find work will have to leave after six months.  
Reality Check verdict: Existing EU rules allow states to deport citizens from other EU countries if they have become a burden on the welfare system of the state. UK law suggests this occurs after six months of unsuccessfully looking for work, but it is not clear how many people have been removed from the UK on this basis. The UK will have no additional powers in this area as a result of David Cameron’s EU deal in February.  
So actually no difference in or out, it is our decision to enforce or not.
The claim: Chancellor George Osborne said during a “town hall” speech to JP Morgan’s hub in Bournemouth: “Our analysis shows that in the services sector alone 400,000 jobs could be at risk.” 
Reality Check verdict: The 400,000 figure is an extrapolation from the Treasury’s analysis of the effects of Brexit published last week, which is based on an economic model. Whether you believe its outcomes depends on whether you trust its assumptions. 
Is it possible to trust any economic model of any kind, I don’r recall a single model being right in recent history.
Does the world invest £880 a second in the UK?
The claim: Our membership of the EU means the rest of world invests £880 a second in the UK and creates 10 new jobs an hour.
Reality Check verdict: The UK’s EU membership is not the only reason why foreign companies invest here.
Therefore Mr Milliband is selective with his version of the truth, is anyone surprised?
The claim: Douglas Carswell, the UKIP MP and Leave campaigner said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme “If we were to leave the EU we would start from the position of tariff-free unrestricted trade and we could certainly build on that and improve on that”.
Reality Check verdict: How a new deal would look remains one of the biggest questions over a vote to leave the EU. The UK’s current tariff-free, unrestricted trade deal with the EU would remain in place for at least the first two years of negotiations. No non-EU countries have negotiated tariff-free unrestricted trade with the EU without contributing to the EU budget and allowing unlimited EU migration.
So the full quote is ‘… for two years.’ My money would be on a hike immediately afterwards.
The claim: The Vote Leave campaign is claiming that “UK taxpayers will keep paying for the huge bills caused by the euro crisis” and that “these bills will only increase”.
Reality Check verdict: The UK will not pay for future eurozone bailouts. This has already been agreed by EU leaders. In addition, the UK-EU deal from February, which will be implemented if the UK votes to stay in the EU, reinforces this and states that the UK would be reimbursed if the general EU budget is used for the cost of the eurozone crisis.
How surprised should we be that the outs would also be economical with the truth, to be kind.
The claim: Britain’s contribution to the EU will have to increase because the EU is “living beyond its means” and the European Parliament has asked for more money to spend on dealing with the migrant crisis. The UK will also be liable for additional payments to bail out eurozone countries.
Reality Check verdict: The UK has a veto on the overall size of the EU budget and it’s already been agreed that non-eurozone countries won’t have to pay for future eurozone bailouts.
Oh dear Boris, did you forget this little detail. Of course I entirely accept that the EU position may change and Britain may be deprived of its veto. So again, at the moment we are OK, in the future who knows?
Has the UK been a relatively unsuccessful exporter to EU?
The claim: Since 1992, 27 other countries have been more successful at exporting goods to the single market than the UK has. 
Reality Check verdict: In terms of volumes of sales, the UK has done much better. If success is measured by the percentage increase in the amount exported then he is right. 
Well, well, well, three holes in the ground. So in any given situation statistics can be used to prove anything. Like Climate change is not upon us, or it is. I am bankrupt, or I’m not. Black is white and politicians live in a constant state of grey.
Do I trust the Remain campaign, no.
Do I trust the Leave Train, No.
Would I like impartial factual advice rather than the demonstrable trash, yes.

These are my last words on this topic.

  1. As a lawyer and a person in the pen, how do you feel about potential loss of trial by jury?

  2. Well, this is something that I have been thinking about quite a lot. When I was in Northern Ireland they introduced Diplock Courts so the nasty people couldn’t nobble the juries. My view of this was initially shock horror. But, the judges were tough old birds who were not apparently capable of being got at. I observed the process and believe that justice was no worse than it was before.

    My observations of the moment are that in certain towns jurors either believe what the Police say (rarely and more the older generation) while in others they will not convict regardless of the weight of evidence, (generally younger people).

    I have debated with a colleague, a former CPS lawyer, who believes that jury trial is fundamental to justice. For me, ‘the jury is out’. I do not think that Juries are essential, perhaps a Judge and two magistrates sitting together?

    Whatever is decided in the corridors of power neither I nor the CPS will have any sway.

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