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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Disbenefits of the UK's Single Market Membership

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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.

More Euratom Red Herrings
The government’s confirmation of Britain’s intended exit from the Euratom Treaty is much to be welcomed. As our post of 29th June stated, the anxiety over this step – prefigured when Article 50 to leave the EU was triggered on March 29th, is entirely confected by people who don’t know that they are talking about. This is usually the case when anything with a remotely scientific content is concerned. [more »]

Leaving Euratom: Radio Isotopes are Latest Red Herring
Various scientific folk cite radio isotopes as being under threat after Britain leaves Euratom. Euratom is concerned with nuclear energy, specifically the manufacture of the nuclear-fissile products used in electricity power stations. Apart from EU directive 2013/59/Euratom which sets out unexceptionable precautions for handling radioactive materials, long established in British industrial practice, Euratom is not concerned with materials for the medical applications of nuclear radiation. [more »]

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Another EU membership harvest: the UK’s Aircraft certification surrender 2007

In 2007 the Blair government pushed the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to surrender its right and duty to certify aircraft engines and aircraft to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) with headquarters in Germany.

Instead of its comprehensive pre-2007 role, the CAA is now reduced to being EASA’s branch office in the United Kingdom. Its independent authority is restricted to peripheral duties like overseeing air-traffic controllers, disputes between customers and airlines, and the Air Travel Organiser Licensing (ATOL) certificates.

The poisonous fruit of this particular surrender to the EU’s aggrandisement

This is now plain for all to see as EASA has entered into numerous working arrangements with non-EU countries to recognise each other’s certification, the latest being the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, modelled on the UK’s own CAA. Other certification swops include the USA (Federal Aviation Authority FAA) and Canada, with all of whom the UK’s CAA had worked harmoniously – indeed seamlessly – since its formal establishment in 1972.

But the EASA has been blocked by the European Commission, whether legally or not, from even discussing such an arrangement with the UK’s CAA for operations post-Brexit on March 29th. In 2004 the EU unilaterally declared a “Single European Sky” (SES) to be responsible to it for air-traffic management (ATM) covering 4 million square miles of so-called “European” Airspace[1] and around 27,000 daily flights without a squeak of protest from the Blair government. This brought the EU into immediate conflict with NATO, which forced the SES and the European ATM to accept that its flight plans would simply be reported to them to take account of and respect.

Now, thankfully, the national airlines and major non-national operators like Easyjet plus international engine and aircraft makers like Rolls Royce and Airbus have belatedly woken up to the fact that by withholding a mutual licensing recognition agreement with the British authorities, the European Commission is bent on causing maximum damage to Britain after March 29th 2019 without regard to collateral damage to anyone else, EU and non-EU states alike. …[more»]