Brexit Euro lies

The 48% - Bassetlaw

by Leon Duveen

EuromythsThere are a number of myths that the Brexit campaigns keep repeating about the EU which are so obviously false that the only reason that they keep being pulled out can only be to mislead the voting public.

Here are three big ones that I have heard or seen in the last few days.

The EU is not democratic.

The EU is democratic, with one directly elected legislature chamber (the European Parliament) , one indirectly elected legislature chamber (the Council of Ministers) and an unelected executive (the European Commission) who are nominated by elected National Governments but approved by & directly answerable to the European Parliament.
This compares favourably with the British system where we have one elected legislature chamber (House of Commons, where a party with 35% of the popular vote can get a majority), an unelected legislature chamber (the House of Lords, with over 800…

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Letter from Bassetlaw – May 29th 2016

EU FlagUnusually, it seems that this year’s Spring Bank Holiday is not only dry but reasonably warm!  Most years, the end of May seems to be wet and cold so it makes a very pleasant change, especially as this year we have the Referendum campaign & I am spending a lot of my tile out and about.

 

Anyone who has been following the Referendum cannot help be appalled by the behaviour of the main spokespeople of both sides of the debate, making negative claims that do not stand up when investigated.  It is also a shame that the media (both written & broadcast) seem to concentrate of the internecine warfare in the Tory party as there are many people from both sides of the debate, in all parties, that have interesting and pertinent contributions to make.

 

As anyone who has read my posts will know, I am convinced that the UK is best served by staying in the EU but the utterances of Cameron & Osborne have not helped the Remain side.  I wish they would start putting the positive case for staying in the EU, which is strong enough to stand up for itself, without having to over egg what they sat with dubious statistic and hyperbolic claims.

As I have laid out in Why should we Remain?, the five issues I have said are central to the Referendum (Prosperity, Opportunity, Peace, Environment, and Security) all show that we would be better off Remaining in the EU than leaving.  We don’t need to make dubious claims or use dodgy numbers, the facts speak for themselves.

 

That said, why do Brexit campaigns have to resort to lies (e.g. the cost of EU Membership, the “threat” to the NHS from TTIP, the EU is undemocratic) or making misleading statements (e.g. about an EU Army, bunches of bananas) that are calculate to scare and misinform?  Could it be they know they have lost the arguments on the Economy, on Democracy, on Sovereignty, on every single issue?

All they have left is to lie and deceive in their ever more desperate attempts to hoodwink people into voting for the national suicide.  Anyone or any organisation that releases a pro-Remain report and makes a statement that shows that Brexit would cause problems, Brexiteers line up to attack the person involved or claim the organisation is biased towards the EU.

On the ground we are seeing Brexit campaigners who refuse to answer any questions about what would happen after Brexit, resort to name calling of anyone who doesn’t agree with them and use of illegal election activities.

 

The one thing Brexiteers never do is say what they think will happen in the event of them winning the Referendum and the UK gives notice of its intention to leave the EU within 2 years.  They fail to understand the that European Governments will be in no mood to help the UK and will try to defend the integrity of the EU by showing that any exit is messy, hard and costly, if only to dissuade any current EU countries from considering it.  Brexiteers do not explain how the UK can conclude the tens of Trade Agreements with countries around the world (many of which may not want to bother with a small offshore European Country), all at the same time, we will need to replace the ones we are part of as a member of the EU.  They don’t explain how the NHS will continue to function when we block the recruitment of Doctors & Nurses from across Europe or how will it manage when the expected recession means that the funds needed to the NHS will need to be cut.

 

Do we really want to let this ragbag collection of demagogues, sophists, proven lairs and has-beens drag us out of the EU so that we can live in a country run by press barons (who don’t want to lose their unaccountable influence over politicians) and hedge-fund managers (who want to avoid the clamp down on short selling the EU has brought in and also stand to make billions from the chaos that will happen after Brexit)?

Of course not!  We cannot afford to let them win so please, make sure you voice is heard on June 23rd, make sure you vote, and make that vote Remain.

Cooperation or stand alone?

The 48% - Bassetlaw

learner carby Leon Duveen (@LD4Bassetlaw)

I was talking at the weekend to a friend who is a driving instructor and he gave me this explanation of why he if voting Remain next month.

As a Driving Instructor, he could work on his own, doing all his own publicity, keeping his car serviced and up to date, sorting out all his own bookings, etc.  However, he chooses to be part of a large franchise, so that much of the burden of keeping up to date with the latest rules, dealing with finding new pupils, having to get a new car every 12 to 18 months is taken care of.

Yes, he has to pay to be in the franchise but he feels the benefits far outweigh the cost and he won’t go back to working on his own.

He said it is just the same as being in the EU, yes there…

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Letter from Bassetlaw – May 22nd 2016

The CrossingWe have had a great weekend, mostly dry and, today at least, warm enough to just be in a t-shirt.

I have managed to make the lawn in my back garden look reasonably well cared for and presentable, just need to find the time to weed the borders (next weekend’s job)

The reason I don’t have the time to care for my garden as well as my wife would wish is that I seem to be spending most of my weekend out campaigning for the Remain side of the Referendum Campaign although yesterday afternoon I took some time off to help celebrate the 10th Anniversary of The Crossing Church & Centre.

While I am not a Christian, The Crossing means a lot to me as my family have been associated with it, and with the Wesley Church that preceded it. for many years.  Indeed, we all were very involved in the fund raising for the new building and have been part of many of the different activities that take place in the building.

Also, the building of the new Church & Community Centre was the first major public building to go up on Worksop since we moved to the town in 1989.  It has since been joined by others, the Library, two new Secondary Schools, a new Leisure Centre the Cinema and, most recently, the Bus Station but The Crossing was the first and it was good to look back and see all that happened in the building over the last decade.

As I mentioned, the Referendum campaign is taking up most of my spare time.  I seem to have been out on campaign stalls or leafleting every weekend for many weeks and there will be no respite (except for a weekend visiting my in-laws in The Netherlands) until the Referendum on June 23rd.

This week we have begun to see the Brexit (those who want the UK out of the EU) campaign start to fall apart.  Many of their claims have been shown to be lies or crass exaggerations and that the leaders of the different Leave groups cannot even agree amongst themselves what would happen if we do leave the EU.  Some are already beginning to position themselves for life after the Referendum & still in the EU.  Even the Mail on Sunday has conceded that the economic argument for Brexit has been lost.

This doesn’t mean we can let up but that we must press on and make sure we get a strong vote in favour of remaining in the EU.

Finally, as you will remember, in the last few weeks I have been writing series of short pieces on the 5 areas I posed back in February as the main themes to judge the issue of our membership, Prosperity, Opportunity, Peace, Environment & now, finally, Security.

After Climate Change, the biggest issues facing the world are international terrorism, cross border crime and, especially for us here in Europe, the growing refugee crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean.   None of these crisis can be dealt with, let alone solved, by a single nation acting on its own.

We need to work closely with our neighbours and be able to trust them as we work together to try to deal with these issues.  By being in the EU, and therefore in Europol, headed by Britain’s own Rob Wainwright, we can work with our colleagues across the EU to counter these threats.

Through the use of European Arrest Warrants, we can extradite suspects who flee abroad in weeks rather than the years it used to take, remember the 21/7 bomber who fled to Italy in 2005?  Compare this to the years it took to take to get IRA terrorists extricated from Ireland in the 1980s & 1990s.  (It is interesting to see hoe the Brexit campaign have tried to attack the scheme but, as usual, get their facts wrong).

Without this close cooperation, we could not have the UK border checks based in Calais & at the Gard de Nord station in Paris, keeping illegal migrants out of the UK.

Former chiefs of MI5, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, along with other former security chiefs, has said our security would be damaged by leaving the EU.

Without doubt, leaving the EU would weaken our national security and weaken our ability to deal with the triple threats of terrorism, international crime and people smugglers.  Can we risk it?

Why we need to remain in the EU

referendum ballot boxIn a few weeks we are being asked to vote on whether we should remain in the EU or leave it.

For those who have yet to make up their minds, can I remind them that this vote is not on David Cameron & how he is performing as PM, it is not a vote on the Tory party’s record in power, it isn’t even a vote on Cameron renegotiation of our terms on membership and it certainly isn’t a vote on if we should have joined the Common Market in 1973.  All these issues are irrelevant in the Referendum

What we are voting on is the future of the UK, the future not just of those like me who have lived most of our lives but the future of our children & grandchildren.  What sort of country do we want them to grow up in?  Is that future better if we stay in the EU or not?

Do we want a future that gives generations to come a life full of opportunity to study, work & live anywhere in Europe?    A future where working & cooperating with people from Croatia, from Finland, from Portugal is not unusual but the norm.  A future where we work with our neighbours to combat the cross-border threats that we all face, pollution, terrorism, crime, people smuggling.  A future where our rights as workers, as consumers, as travellers are protected and expanded.  A future where we are stronger together.

Or do we want to a future as a diminishing county, isolated from but dominated by a Europe that will imposes decisions on us but we have no say in.  a future where our rights are chipped away as the “Brussels Red Tape” that guarantees them is done away with, a future where jobs and opportunities are lost as the foreign investment we have enjoyed because we are in the EU dries up, a future where the Press Barons & hedge fund managers that have backed Brexit tell the UK Government what to do, a future where public services like the NHS are run down as the country, with an contracting economy, can no longer afford to pay for them (or indeed where the same Hedge Fund managers stand to gain millions in the event of Brexit), a future where we are divided and weaker.

Those who are proposing we leave the EU do not seem to have an idea what will happen after a vote for Brexit.  Some claim we can continue to be in the Single Market but not have to accept the Free of Movement of labour, an idea that has been roundly discredited by experts.  Some seem to think that in the event of Brexit, the remaining nations in the EU will roll over and agree to whatever terms the UK demands in subsequent negotiations on a trade agreement between the EU & the UK, again, an idea that does not seem to have any basis in the views of those countries who will still be in the EU.

The EU is not perfect, then again neither is the UK Government, and needs to carry on reforming just as it has through it existence.   20 years ago, the directly elected European Parliament (EP) was little more than a talking shop, now it is one of the three equal parts of EU decision making.  In 2014, after the most recent elections, it played a crucial role in deciding who would be the President of the European Commission,  where the nominee of the largest group in the EP was appointed over the objection of some individual national Governments.

Of course the EU, especially our directly elected MEPs, needs to do better at engaging people in its work.  Also, like all bureaucracies, it tends to accumulate power and we need to push that power is brought back down, not to equally rapacious national Governments but to regional & local councils throughout the Union

However, the benefits of membership, the cooperation, the investment, the protection of our environment and much much more, all more than outweigh the drawbacks and mean that we stand to lose more than we could gain if we left

So, the choice on June 23rd is that stark, Remain & Gain or Leave & Lose.   I know which way I am voting, I will be voting Remain to protect the future of the generations to come, I hope you will be voting to do the same.

 

Letter for Bassetlaw – May 15th 2016

This week we have learnt the Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust have had to suspend Emergency Surgical Admissions at our local Bassetlaw Hospital because they don’t have the Junior Doctors needed to provide cover for this service.

I have written a post on this earlier in the week (see Why is Bassetlaw losing Emergency Surgery?) so will not go through everything again here.  I am speaking Mike Pinkerton, the Chief Executive of the Trust, on Wednesday to get an update on the issue.  I will also take the opportunity to raise any concerns that local people may have.  If there is something you want me to ask Mr Pinkerton, please email me at bassetlaw.sherwood.lib.dems@gmail.com.

 

On Saturday, I was involved in the Liberal Democrat’s National #INtogether Day of Action for the EU Referendum.  All across the country we have had teams of Lib Dems out right across the country, you can see some of the pictures on the Liberal Democrat Facebook page

While we had one team out on Carolgate in Retford, I was with another team in Ollerton, a town where Lib Dems haven’t campaigned in for years.  I was a bit worried about how our pro-Remain message would be received in a town that is widely regarded as a strong pro-Leave area but in the event, most people were happy to take our leaflets and to talk to us.  We certainly were able to get people to think about the issues and what leaving the EU would mean.

Because the Referendum is a national vote, every vote counts, unlike in normal elections.  This means we need to take our message to towns like Ollerton, Hucknall (where I was out delivering leaflets last Sunday) and all across Bassetlaw.  To do this in the few left before the vote on June 23rd, we need all the help we can get.  If you can deliver some leaflets in the area around where you live, please let me now, it would be greatly appreciated, just contact me at ld4bassetlaw@gmail.com.

 

One of the most disturbing parts of the Referendum Campaign is the way the different Leave groups seem to be competing with each other to tell bigger & bigger lies about the EU.

From the repeated myths that they have been peddling for years like claiming the EU is undemocratic (it isn’t, see here for an explanation on how democracy in the EU works) to more recent ones like the UK pays £350 million pounds a week to the EU (we don’t, that figure has been repeatedly shown to be wrong, but the claim is still being repeated by those running the leave campaigns), through to Boris Johnson’s ridiculous claims that the EU is like Hitler’s Europe (it isn’t, it simply isn’t, read this post on IN Facts) there has been a steady stream of misinformation. Exaggerations & downright lies from the leave campaigns in an ever more desperate attempt to make people vote to leave the EU.

Why can’t they stick to the truth?  Why do the different Leave campaigns all have to resort to such tactics?  Could it be they know that it is the only way they can con the British public into leaving the EU?

 

Finally, a few words about the County Council elections that will be coming up next May.  We are in the process of selecting our 9 candidates in Bassetlaw as well as the other 58 across Nottinghamshire.  If you think you can do a better job representing the people of Nottinghamshire better than our current County Councillors, this is your opportunity.  Get in contact (either of the two email addresses above) and help us make Nottinghamshire a better County to live in for everyone.

 

 

 

 

The UK is in Europe and always will be

The 48% - Bassetlaw

map of EuropeRegardless of what some in the Brexit campaign say, the United Kingdom has always been in Europe geographically, historically, politically & economically.

We always have been part of Europe and always will be.

Just a quick look at where the rulers of England & then Britain have come from in the last 1000 years (Saxony, Denmark, Normandy, Aquitaine, Scotland, The Netherlands, Hanover & Sax-Coburg) and the wars that England/Britain have fought across Europe in that time (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_England and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_United_Kingdom) show and integrated into Europe we on these islands are.

Leaving the EU will not remove us from Europe, it will just make our relations with our closest neighbours and most important allies more difficult & give us less influence with them.   At the same time, it will be an economic disaster for the UK, with falling inward investment, rising prices (as tariffs & customs costs are unavoidable) and reduced…

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