Leave.EU weekly news update – Sturgeon stutters as Article 50 approaches

Dithering Doris, PPA & 3 bars still dithering

It’s been a big week in our campaign for national independence as the House of Commons did the decent thing and passed the Brexit bill without the House of Lords’ meddling amendments. With the Queen giving royal assent to the bill on Thursday morning, Theresa May now has full authority to begin the process of getting us out of the EU.
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 Many had hoped she would do it on Tuesday at the earliest opportunity but she’s continued to delay the big move. We now expect her to drag out the process and invoke Article 50 at the end of March.

Nicola Sturgeon successfully overshadowed the bill’s smooth passage with a hysterical and blundering call for a second referendum on Monday. Scots voted against separation from the UK in 2017 by a huge margin and over a million of them backed Brexit in June. At the time the SNP claimed that the ballot would be a “once in a lifetime” exercise.

The justification? Scotland’s enduring support for the EU – even though new polling shows that most Scots want to leave the bloc or claw back significant powers from Brussels.

The First Minister’s gambit was helped along by confusion caused by the three Brexiteers, Secretaries of State Davis, Fox and Johnson, who in their respective Sunday morning interviews gave contradictory responses to the question of no deal emerging from Article 50. Naturally, the media seized on what is widely and incorrectly viewed as an apocalyptic scenario.

Sturgeon pounced on the ramped up air of uncertainty, demanding that IndRef2 occur before the end of the Brexit negotiations when Britain’s future outside of the EU will be at both its nearest and most uncertain. Her claim that she would not “force people to vote blind on the biggest political decision a country could face” was totally disingenuous. Voters need as much certainty as possible.

Protest from the Prime Minister forced the SNP leader to request a post-Brexit referendum, Theresa May later blocked it outright, but don’t be surprised if Remoaner Sturgeon tries again to use our vote for freedom from the dysfunctional EU as an excuse to push her own rejected agenda. Even if her fellow Scots have little love for the failing bloc, she is desperate to join the international elite, even if comes at the expense of her country’s economy: Scotland would have to rejoin the EU, which means adopting the single currency.

Confidence in the Prime Minister took a knock on Wednesday following an embarrassing u-turn on the one daring feature of last week’s budget, the ill-considered increase in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed. Breaking a manifesto pledge was not a wise call, but it says little of May and Chancellor Philip Hammond’s mettle that they quickly abandoned the hike when faced with the slightest bit of opposition. What are we to expect when we get to the business end of Article 50?

It was a bad week in general for the Tories as they were fined £70,000 for doubling the overspending limit in bludgeoning their way to victory over Nigel Farage for the South Thanet seat in 2015. The fear now is that in the future the cash-rich party will willfully ignore electoral rules before writing cheques for affordable fines.

The sorry state of affairs points to a desperate need for more competition in Britain’s parliamentary system – proportional representation would be a good start. UKIP, the party the Tories once feared so much, is struggling. Leave.EU founder and UKIP donor Arron Banks informed the Party’s National Executive Committee this week that he would now be concentrating on his new political movement.

Focus on the continent this week centred around the Netherlands, where Turkey has been stoking Islamist fervour among its people living there leading to a showdown between despotic leader, President Erdogan and Holland’s version of Blair/Cameron, Mark Rutte.

During the last few days of the Dutch general election campaign, which had seen arch-defender of Western values Geert Wilders in the lead throughout, Rutte was gifted an opportunity to show the sort of grit that has won Wilders such a huge following at home and abroad.

The Prime Minister took the opportunity to bar the Amsterdam-bound plane of Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu from landing. Çavuşoğlu was on his way to one of many Turkish rallies taking place throughout the Netherlands. On the back of the public’s appreciation for a much-needed act of defiance, Rutte beat Wilders to second place at Wednesday night’s election.

Stopping a plane from landing is one thing, answering voters’ demands to cut rampant immigration is quite another, and the likes of Rutte will never deliver that. Wilders’ crusade lives on, as does the campaign of the leading candidate in the race for the French presidency, Marine Le Pen, who was interviewed by Nigel Farage this week. Her odds of winning in May have shortened yet as her nearest rival, EU adorer Emmanuel Macron, found himself in the spotlight under suspicion of corruption. The latest poll reveals Ms Le Pen has gained five points over Mr Macron in the last eight days.

In economic news: Britain received lots of good news about upcoming trade deals as Commonwealth allies Canada, Australia, and New Zealand continued to compete over who would be the first to agree a comprehensive trade pact with the UK and Theresa May planned for a big trade push at a major Commonwealth meeting; Liam Fox was set to visit China for talks with the world’s second-largest economy and the largest trade delegation from Qatar came to the UK for a major conference.

Rumours swirled that Theresa May would demand £9bn in EU assets while exiting the bloc as the IMF looked set for another forecast boost, Morgan Stanley upped its 2017 forecast, and UK unemployment continued to fall. More data also emerged showing factories being boosted by sterling, the UK growing rapidly in the last three months, and deal activity soaring. Vodafone and Toyota made big investment commitments as experts predict strong FDI after Brexit as economists were left baffled by the fact that even Remainers are going on a Brexit spending spree.

Kind regards,
The Leave.EU Team