Welcome to Britain Watch

All the signs are that the governance of Britain is spiralling out of control: record trade and budget deficits; a swollen bureaucracy; an inadequate but costly education system; a government incapable of providing for our future energy needs; record emigration of native Britons, unprecedented levels of immigration; a mind-set putting the non-citizen ahead of the British citizen.

Britain Watch has been set up to highlight key examples of these trends and to promote practical reforms to reverse the incompetence and loss of national self belief they engender. All readers are invited to participate.

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Short News

Don't Miss Solving the EU-UK Customs Problem
This was a letter from Prof Bush published in the Daily Telegraph on 17th May 2018 called “Solving the EU-UK Customs Problem: Pay Where You Enter”.

More Student Nonsense at Cambridge: Remembrance Day this time
The student union council at Cambridge has blocked a simple motion to honour British war dead and present-day veterans on the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War on 11th November. Student unions don’t represent a majority of students of course, but they do get attention. Thus the Times of October 11th reported a rival motion as saying it was “vital that we recognise all different backgrounds and don’t just focus on British war veterans”. [more »]

EU Effects on the Tory Party
In his respected Times column (Thursday 19th July), Iain Martin suggested that Tory divisions over a so-called hard Brexit – which go back to the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 – will lead to the break up of the Tory party. In fact a proper Brexit, i.e. a free trade agreement like EU-Canada and EU-Korea having the present EU-UK zero tariffs and standards, maintained for say 5-8 years, after which there could be mutually agreed modifications in the light of experience – is the path of sanity and would take the EU issue right out of British politics for ever. Presumably not even the Scot Nats would support EU efforts to exclude British-registered aircraft landing at EU airports. [more »]

Latest Brexit Scare Story: Airbus & the UK
From press and TV reports we hear that Airbus is thinking of disengaging itself from Britain at Filton and Broughton. Now (Sunday Times interview 23rd July), here is Tom Enders, Chief Executive of Airbus, saying that the proposed BAe Systems project for a completely new fighter-bomber for the 2030s and 40s (“Tempest”) should be combined with a possible Franco-German rival (not specified) as part of a “European Aircraft Company”. This is to include Saab of Sweden and Leonardo of Italy as well as Airbus and BAe Systems. Britain’s Ministry of Defence has apparently assigned £2 billion for the prototype work. Evidently Airbus is not too worried about Britain’s post-Brexit position then, although like everyone else they would like to know what the post-Brexit terms of trade will be.

Disbenefits of the UK's Single Market Membership

Don’t Miss Latest Published Letter from Stephen Bush

Click on Disbenefits of the UK’s Single Market membership

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Appeasement over the Irish Border issue

Mrs May is being duped by the European Commission about the significance of the Irish border post-Brexit.  In fact, she and the UK are in danger now of continuing down a path to a tragedy for Britain uncannily like the tragedy agreed to by another Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, 80 years ago these very days.

Exactly 80 years ago, in the House of Commons debate of 5th to 6th October 1938 on the Munich Agreement negotiated by the then Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, with the leader of the predominant European power Germany, Winston Churchill declared that “we have suffered a total and unmitigated defeat”. He was heard in virtual silence.  Apart from his small band of supporters, the Conservative Party, the press and the public at large were full of praise for and much relief at the Agreement, any Agreement in fact.

This summer, as in 1938, a British Prime Minister has scurried back and forth to the Continent seeking a solution to a totally manufactured problem – in 1938 it was the alleged threat posed to European peace by three million Germans domiciled in Czechoslovakia – in 2018 it is the alleged threat to the EU’s “single market” posed by an imaginary “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a border which accounts for less than 1% of EU-UK goods trade.

The EU claim that a tariff-free trade agreement (like the Canada-EU or Korea-EU agreements) would somehow require either a customs border in the Irish Sea or the UK would have to remain in the Customs Union to avert this non-problem is laughably preposterous. In fact, several other industrial countries have already implemented major elements of so-called frictionless borders, as described in the EU Parliament’s own admirable report Smart Borders 2.0. …[more»]