This page highlights some of the major topics of the moment, majoring on the state of the Brexit negotiations.
Our active members and supporters usually meet on a Wednesday evening at 7pm for a "pint and a pie" at a local hostelry, to discuss the topics of the day in a relaxed manner. Not everyone stays for the "pie", and newcomers (no need to be a member) are encouraged to make our acquaintance - contact us or join our email list and we will let you know where we will be.
(16/03/2018) Courtesy of the Sun newspaper we can now see exactly what is going on in the great defence give-away to the EU. MPs and the public being kept in the dark? Who would have thought it?
What kind of a government do we have - one which is hyping up the threat from Russia at the same time as it is cutting what is left of our armed forces and giving the remainder over to EU control under PESCO whilst pretending to the nation that all is well and that Brexit is on course.
In fact, it becomes more apparent every day that Brexit is to be in name only and our Defence is to be dependent on the goodwill of the EU.
(16/03/2018) I will not involve this site in foreign relations but the Salisbury poisoning case illustrates some factors about the way in which our own parliamentarians behave. My comments below have nothing to do with Russia or with its ruling classes.
Am I alone in thinking that the evidence for Russian involvement in the Salisbury poisoning affair seems inconclusive - would it have any chance of standing up in a court of law?
What does it say about our government (and those that have "rallied round") that it is prepared to seriously damage relations with a major foreign power (on whom incidentally Europe relies for a significant proportion of its gas supplies) on the basis of evidence that seems to fall a long way short of reasonable proof?
It seems actually that I am not alone. Nor am I a fan of Mr Corbyn but I believe that his questions in Parliament to Mrs May on this topic were sensible and relevant. He deserved properly considered answers but was reportedly shouted down on all sides.
What have our parliamentarians become when they prefer to act like a baying mob rather than calmly and carefully discussing such a serious issue? We expect better of our representatives.
(15/03/2018) It is a widespread view that we in the UK do not have a written Constitution. Well, the British Constitution Group beg to differ!
Do our politicians have untrammelled power to make whatever rules they please? Follow the link to see for yourself - this is a well-presented site which makes a very convincing case.
A word or warning - one visit will not be enough . . .
(06/03/2018) Readers of our site will know that we are very concerned, even alarmed, about the direction that our national defence policy is taking, apparently without the involvement of Parliament.
The Bruges Group have initiated a campaign to alert MPs to what is going on. We encourage everybody to check out the Bruges Group pro-forma letter to your MP by opening the campaign link. You will need to fill in your details for inclusion in the email, but stick with it - the letter itself is an eye-opener and essential reading for most of us, even if you decide not to send it on to your MP.
(16/03/2018) Mr Hinds has responded to my letter (which was based on the Bruges Group initiative above. He directed me to two web-sites which you may wish to follow up:
He also referred me to the Prime MInister's speech at the Munich Security Conference which took place in February and drew attention to the statement that a reformed NATO alliance remains the cornerstone of Europe's shared security.
Of course, as a government minister he is obliged to support the government's position.
We know that wars can only be won in cooperation with allies. The question here is of domination by the EU over UK defence matters. In time of stress we will need to choose our allies with due regard to the specific circumstances.
Following Brexit, our most appropriate ally might not be found within the EU and we may need our own forces. Without our own forces we will have no option but to bow to EU foreign and defence policies.
(04/03.2018) Mrs May's Mansion House speech last Friday treated us all to what she has already told us - in fact what we would probably like - she spelled out a reasonable negotiating position that would give us a pragmatic and mutually beneficial trade deal with the EU whilst establishing our independence as a free country. What is not to like?
The EU does not and never has negotiated for any such thing - the EU always negotiates for as much power as it may get away with. They did it most spectacularly with Greece (which has suffered extreme hardship as a result), and with Italy, which (you may recall) had its government replaced by an EU-approved government of "technocrats". The EU has always ignored democratic votes when it suited them.
See Briefings for Brexit here.
So this is a negotiation of conflicting objectives. The EU will attempt to compel Mrs May to concede power for trade. They will use every obfuscation and negotiating trick in their armoury to break down her defences, including spinning out the negotiations until a WTO-based no-deal becomes unfeasible in the time remaining. Mrs May's track record in the negotiation so far is not good. If she still believes that she can persuade the EU to negotiate over trade in good faith, then she will be destroyed.
To avoid this crisis Mrs May could have started out by walking away and preparing for trade under WTO rules, putting the EU on the back foot and providing time for reasonable European businessmen to exert pressure on their EU negotiators to avert a no-deal result.
She chose to ignore that opportunity. She now finds herself in a position where time is running out and she has made no headway in convincing the EU negotiators that she cannot be broken (sadly she has so far conceded all their demands).
She almost certainly will have to walk away and resort to WTO rules if she is to save our independence. The EU would need time to adopt a face-saving climb-down and time is no longer available.
Mrs May might still preserve Brexit if she sets a deadline for agreement, and walks away if that deadline is not met. The alternative is a Brexit in name only.
Call 0333 800 6800 or click here during March.
(20/02/18) The EGM on the 17th February decisively backed the NEC's vote of no confidence in Henry's leadership.
Bowing to the inevitable, Gerard Batten has accepted the NEC's invitation to become interim leader of the Party. The ensuing election to appoint a more permanent leader will take place within 90 days of the EGM, meanwhile Gerard brings a welcome breath of fresh air and a new and more combative direction.
(08/Feb/18) I think that it was the redoubtable Mr Rees-Mogg who first mooted to David Davis that we were on course to become a vassal state of the EU (see the link below), either temporarily or indefinitely. He attempted to laugh it off (what else could he do?).
This idea is analysed in more detail in the Telegraph today by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (this is a "premium" article so you may need to sign up for a free account). It makes for very disturbing reading.
(02/02/2018) Our Home Office has responded to the petition for the restoration of free speech (click on Read the response in full to see the full text). You can say what you like provided that absolutely nobody claims that it is "hate speech" and any unfounded accusation may be enough to get you convicted. Some freedom. As ever, of the big 4 parties only UKIP supports actual free speech.
(24/Jan/18) Watch JR-M put our chief negotiator on the spot. It seems that we are not by ourselves in thinking that our negotiation stance is pathetic.
(17/Jan/18) Priti accuses the Electoral Commission of bias and double strandards. Who would have thought it?
(19/Dec/17) This article in the Sunday Express highlights the Petition to walk away from the give-everything-away EU non-negotiations.
The only honourable course now is to advise the EU that they are welcome either to negotiate a mutually advantageous but non-political trade deal, or to trade on WTO terms once we have left.
It is become abundantly clear that continued negotiations on the current basis make sense only if the Tory government intends to keep us in the EU in all but name.
"by their deeds shall ye know them" (Matthew 7:16)
Mrs May has snatched agreement from the very jaws of catastrophe!
Jean-Claude and Michel confirm that the UK has made "sufficient progress"!
Leaving aside the enormous bribe, and the humiliation of having these Eurocrats mark our Prime Minister's homework, the agreement on the Irish border is flashing red warnings.
For Ireland north and south: "The United Kingdom also recalls its commitment to preserving the integrity of its internal market and Northern Ireland's place within it, as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union's Internal Market and Customs Union."
That's OK then, we will be leaving the Internal Market and the Customs Union, as per Lancaster House speech.
A bit further on: "In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the all-island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement".
So the UK leaves the Internal Market and Customs Union, but if the EU doesn't agree any differently (and why should they, as they now have us over a barrel?) all the UK will maintain full alignment with the rules of said Internal Market and Customs Union - current and future - no end date? Is it any surprise that Jean-Claude et al agreed this sweeping concession?
Did I then read in the Sunday Telegraph that "Nbr 10 aides" advised that these weasel words are "meaningless", "not binding" and "simply included to secure Ireland's approval"? Has our Tory prime minister negotiated in bad faith?
It will not be at all surprising when, as the UK finally remains safely subject to each and every EU restriction but barred from all of Brexit's many freedoms, the appropriate "Sir Humphrey" is awarded his peerage...
Ray Finch MEP highlights the failure of the Brexit non-negotiations in the EU Parliament:
Tim Aker MEP: Mrs May has sold us out.
Nigel Farage MEP in the EU Parliament.
Mrs May's Florence Speech.
Watch Gerard Batten's excellent presentation at Conference. If you were wondering what Mrs May actually said in Florence then Gerard explains it with great clarity - if you believe that Brexit is safe with Mrs May then you absolutely need to view this.
I take my hat off to 1&1 for providing an easy and inexpensive way for anyone to set up their own wesite, domain name, and email server, on someone else's cloud. More power to their elbow!
Westmonster (something to do with Arron Banks...)