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The economic consequences of Scottish separation


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I received today a copy of Ewen Stewart‘s paper for the Scottish Research Society, Much Cost, Little Benefit – The economic consequences of Scottish separation. This excellent paper covers currency, debt and borrowing, public spending and taxation, oil revenues, the Scottish banks, trade, population, energy, defence and more. The conclusion is robust: Scotland will either choose continuing union or separation this September. If Scotland chooses separation, it will not be in any true sense independent. It could not exercise policy in […]

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The EU – Let Britain Decide


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Only the Conservatives can and will give you a referendum on the EU.

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Report: The EU’s impact on UK micro-business


The Fresh Start Project has recently produced a paper on the EU and the UK’s micro-business: Constraining What should be Nurtured. Written by my colleagues Anne Marie Morris and Andrea Leadsom, the report argues that national governments must retain the right to implement their own definitions of what constitutes a micro business. Their preferred approach would see micro businesses in the UK defined as those employing fewer than five people with a turnover of less than £250,000. They recommend three […]

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An absolute Conservative commitment to an EU referendum


You can choose whatever name you like for the two types of government. I personally call the type of government which can be removed without violence “democracy”, and the other “tyranny”. — Karl Popper Before the Lisbon Treaty, I had no interest in being an MP. That Treaty was introduced to sidestep democratic rejection of the near-identical EU Constitution: I saw democracy dying at the hands of fanatical advocates of European political integration. Previously, I thought it was enough to vote Conservative […]

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The UK remains a European Defence Agency member


The Government has decided to remain a member of the European Defence Agency (EDA). The EDA is part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). It is yet another area of mission creep by the European Union towards a unified foreign affairs policy. Ultimately, it would rival and undermine the strength of NATO. As the third largest contributor to the EDA after Germany and France in 2012, the British Government should consider the Agency’s objectives and whether it is […]

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Was the EU budget ringfenced? No!


There is much fretting in the Commons today. Conservative MPs are torn between the demands of party discipline and their higher loyalty to constituents and the country. Many colleagues are  wrestling with their consciences. It’s because at 7pm we’ll be voting on whether to approve an increase in the EU Budget. Not for this year or next year, but for the next 7 years. This increase would be in line with inflation — some other countries are calling for a real terms increase! — but […]

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EU propaganda and the potential for a referendum


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I had a meeting at Europe House earlier today. It’s the European Parliament Information Office in the United Kingdom. I picked up some of their propaganda — there’s no other word for it. Blosssom Lane — on the evil of cars. The Blue Island — on the importance of licensing and certification. Hope for the Kayakos — on runaway global warming and the joy of pre-industrial life. Opportunities and resources for young people in the EU — The Erasmus, Comenius, […]

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EU debates yesterday


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Yesterday, the Commons debated three important issues relating to the European Union: the 2013 EU Budget increase, reform of the Court of Justice of the EU, and the creation of an EU special representative for human rights. EU plans to increase its budget by 6.8% would lead to the UK’s contribution increasing by around £810m. Our 2012 contribution is 11.3% of the total EU budget; the proposed 2013 fund would mean the initial cost to UK taxpayers would be around £12.7bn. […]

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EU motion of the day: Home Affairs Funds for 2014-20


It’s unintelligible bureaucratese of course. From the order paper for today:  9 HOME AFFAIRS FUNDS FOR 2014-20                                           [No debate] Damian Green James Brokenshire That this House takes note of European Union Documents No. 17289/11, relating to a draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Asylum and Migration Fund, No. 17287/11, relating to a draft Regulation of […]

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Two questions in the House on an EU referendum and responsibility in banking


Today, I had two questions during statements. I welcomed the progress the Prime Minister is making towards a referendum on our relationship with the EU and asked him to remind us who denied the public a say on the Lisbon Treaty – Labour. I then asked the Chancellor to look again at my Financial Institutions (Reform) Bill, which would transfer commercial risk into the banks, ending the incentives which create a culture of recklessness and rule-breaking. Questions are useful, but […]

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