How to Defeat the SNP and Deliver BrexitTweet
The following speech was presented by Alistair McConnachie to the London Swinton Circle (Chairman, Allan Robertson) on Tuesday 13 June 2017 at 7.00pm at the Counting House, 50 Cornhill, London.
You can click on any of the Links below to jump to the appropriate part of the text, and back again.
Alistair would like to thank his supporters who alone make it financially possible for him to devote his full time to researching, writing and delivering this material. If you appreciate this content and if you would like to assist this work, please donate via this page.
Where indicated in the alt tags, the photographs were taken by Alistair McConnachie, while in London between 13th and 18th June 2017, and are copyright of Alistair McConnachie.
Posted on this site on the 1 year anniversary of the Brexit referendum, 23 June 2017.
Ladies and Gentlemen, thanks for coming along tonight. I'd like to do what I always do when I speak here which is to speak for 50 minutes.
The first half will take a Philosophical look at both the General Election result and a Strategic look at the long-term Aim of defeating the Scottish Nationalists; and the second half will recommend Policy ideas to make Brexit a success.
Making Brexit a success is essential to defeating the ScotNats in the long-term!
ABOUT US – CONVICTION UNIONISM
Before I do that though, I want to assure you that A Force For Good is not only a "Think Tank". We are also a "Do Tank". We are an activist group of Conviction Unionists who get on the streets and makes things happen.
For example, the Saturday before the General Election – 3 June 2017 – the Scottish Nationalists held a March through Glasgow. We decided to organise a "Counter Presence". There were 15 of us. I was on a megaphone. I spoke constantly. The March took 40 minutes to pass – suggesting around 5-7 thousand people. Here are some pictures.
We made it clear that there are many people in "The Great British City of Glasgow" who appreciate the United Kingdom and who realise Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales coming together is "the True Progressive Alliance".
We "Facebook Live" broadcasted our Presence as it happened – and we reached an extraordinary 250,000 people through that medium in 72 hours. You can watch the entire raw footage (43 mins) on our Facebook.com.UKaForceForGood site.
You can also watch it on YouTube (here). It's intense stuff:
THE GENERAL ELECTION – a GOOD DAY for the UNION
Let me begin by speaking about the General Election result from a Scotland-based, Unionist perspective.
A most unusual and surprising election in Scotland saw 63% of voters give their votes to 'pro-UK' parties, and 37% to the separatists parties. We're glad to note that this result has been devastating and demoralising to the SNP and to the nationalist media in Scotland.
They were all banking on an SNP win of 50 seats or more; and expecting a massive Tory win in England. This would enable them to continue to rehearse the usual whine that "Scotland and England are going in opposite directions."
This narrative has been devastated in 2 ways:
1. Firstly, by the quite remarkable performance of the pro-UK parties in Scotland, especially the Conservative Party. The SNP cannot talk now about the menace of "English Tories" when the Tories took second place in Scotland, got 13 MPs and 758,000 votes; and saved Theresa May's position into the bargain.
After all, without Scotland returning those 13 MPs, the Tory Party nationally would have been in big trouble. It is ironic that it was the Tory Party in Scotland which saved the Tory Party in England.
You know, some people in England used to complain that "We get a Labour government because of Scottish Labour voters." Now they will have to say that "We get a Tory government because of Scottish Tory voters."
Those Tories who want to "cut Scotland loose" because "it always votes Labour" have been given a reason to think again; they've been given something to thank Scotland for.
Who would have thought it!
2. Secondly, the situation in England has been revealed as more nuanced than many had thought. The Scottish Nationalist idea that England was somehow developing into a sort of Tory Third Reich has been revealed as the nonsense that it always was. (Not that this will stop the die-hards, and The National newspaper continuing to punt that inane notion.)
In all, the SNP lost 21 seats coming in at 35. Labour did better than expected, taking 7 and only narrowly lost to the SNP in some places. For example, in Glasgow South West, the Labour candidate was only 60 votes behind the SNP. In Glasgow East, the Labour candidate was 75 votes behind the SNP.
The Lib Dems took 4 seats, and in Fife North East, the SNP beat the Lib Dems by 2 votes! Two votes! And some people say, "Why should I bother to vote, I'm only one person!"
SNP - LESS OBVIOUSLY OFFENSIVE TO REST OF UK
It is also good that Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson – the SNP's two most effective performers will not be in the House of Commons. It means that the SNP cohort in Westminster is going to be, at least, a little less offensive to viewers and listeners, not only in Scotland, but especially throughout the rest of the United Kingdom.
Their loss has removed from the scene two of the most articulate and dangerous anti-Britain agitators in the UK.
Imagine if Salmond and/or Robertson had still been MPs, in the current climate! They wouldn't be off our screens. Imagine the problems they would be causing. We should be very grateful that they are no longer on the scene.
They would be using their position and their voices to cause maximum agitation and division, egged on by the media. It would be torture and it would be very de-stabilising to the political position moving forward!
Another good thing for the Union is that those people in England who associate "the Scots" with Salmond and Robertson and the SNP in general, will not have so much to complain about now.
THE DUP WILL KEEP BREXIT ON TRACK
The crucial role which will be played, going forward, by the DUP will help to keep the Union with Northern Ireland – and Unionism in general – centre stage.
It may also lead to the Conservatives dropping EVEL (English Votes for English Laws).
The crucial role of the DUP also demonstrates the importance of the Northern Irish Unionists to the Union.
And to those Conservatives in England who care more about Brexit than to the actual integrity of the UK, then it demonstrates the importance of the Union and the Northern Irish and Scottish MPs to the government of England!
So that is a brief summary of the election. In general, it is good for the Union.
However, we always have the Scottish Nationalists to contend with. So, our work goes on. We must continue.
Kew Palace in Kew Gardens, the home of George III.
OK, let's move on to speaking about...
OUR TWO MAIN AIMS
As Unionists, we have two main Aims.
1. RAISE 55% PRO-UK VOTE UP to 65% and LOWER the 45% ANTI-UK VOTE DOWN to 35%
We spoke in depth about this goal in our Speech last year and it's worth repeating. From 55 up to 65 and ideally, of course, higher!
At the General Election, when you add up the pro-UK party vote, against the separatist parties (SNP and Greens) it is 63% v 37% - so in one way it looks like we are already meeting that goal.
However, 'Opinion' polls which ask a question specifically on independence tend to show the percentage holding steady at 55 v 45, just as it was in 2014. Furthermore, a referendum campaign creates, in itself, a whole new set of circumstances and shifting 'opinions'. So, we are continuing to work with that figure 55% up to 65% (rather than imagining it is now 63%.)
We look upon the figure of 45% as a challenge to be overcome by persuading people as to the benefits of the United Kingdom. They move towards us in that regard.
Jeremy Corbyn is a good example of someone staying true to his principles and ensuring the people move towards him. We don't appease. We don't look upon the 45% figure as a threat to be placated by throwing tasty morsels at the separatists. That never works to our advantage.
Politically, it is necessary for the...
2. SNP and GREENS – The DIVISIVE PARTIES of SEPARATISM – to LOSE CONTROL of HOLYROOD in 2021
The Holyrood election will be 6 May 2021. The next Westminster election should be 5 May 2022. The aim is to ensure that in 2021, there is no majority SNP administration, and not even sufficient numbers for them to form a coalition with the separatist and republican Greens – who need to be put out to grass.
That is quite possible! Labour is likely to do a lot better, and it is possible that the Conservatives could do very well indeed.
The Pagoda in beautiful Kew Gardens is being restored. It was the idea of Princess Augusta, the mother of George III. See www.hrp.org.uk
So how do we succeed in those Aims?
HOW TO DO IT – HAVE a VISION, a NARRATIVE, a PLAN, and POLICIES
It is about having a VISION of what can be, a NARRATIVE which makes sense of where we are and why we are here, a PLAN to get there, and POLICIES to make these Aims happen!
OUR 4-POINT VISION
It is said, "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18).
The SNP has a (fantasy) vision of the future that gives (false) hope. We also have a vision for Britain in the mid to long term – but ours is realistic. And crucially it doesn't set the people of the UK against each other!
Of course, different political parties have different ways of looking at the future, but as Unionists, we can speak generally.
For example, once Brexit gets underway a Vision for Britain would focus on these 4 points (which the rest of this Speech will develop):
1. All four corners of Britain coming together to make this work.
2. Britain being free in new ways to invest, re-industrialise, and create jobs.
3. Britain remaining committed to the peace and prosperity of Europe through
a) serving in the NATO alliance, and
b) continuing to trade.
4. Britain re-establishing strong relationships with the Commonwealth and the rest of the world.
If we can do all the above, then we will drown out, and render irrelevant the negative voices of the Scottish Nationalists.
There is no doubt that we have a better Vision for the Scots, post-Brexit, than that offered by the ScotNats.
It's important to articulate this Vision, and seize the Agenda. It is not about being reactionary. It is about being positive.
We combine this Vision with our Narrative...
The ScotNats have a narrative – an over-arching, all encompassing political view – but it is one of division, based on stories of injustice and oppression, and unfortunately it sells quite well – even though it is largely incorrect historically, and certainly not the full story.
A spokesman for the (recently formed) Unionist Party has written:
The SNP have a strong, though of course inaccurate narrative based on a perceived sense of historical oppression, suppressed nationhood, English imperialism and an imagined Scottish progressiveness; a set of ideas which provides a simple framework to explain our past and our present, a simple story rooted in feelings of injustice and thinly-veiled anti-English sentiment which encapsulates just about all of Scottish history ranging from the 14th Century Wars of Independence, to the Highland Clearances, to the Poll Tax.
That's extremely well put!
What do we have in response to that? Well, we have a great deal!
For example...Please note, we have redacted this section on our Narrative, and the section on our Plan. However, the missing sections will be sent hard copy, not email, to the address of any of our regular supporters, or our Standing Order supporters, or to anyone who makes a donation of £250 or more to A Force For Good via our Donate page.
I want to speak now about Policies which address the 4 points of the Vision; and help deliver that Vision.
Robert Burns looks out over the Victoria Embankment Gardens.
Here's a quote from a Daily Telegraph editorial which hits home:
"The SNP's case for 'independence in Europe' is already unravelling and the longer this game runs, the more the inconsistencies in the nationalist position will be revealed. The passage of time will also present the Scots with further evidence of the benefits of remaining part of the Union: when and if Theresa May strikes a mutually beneficial exit deal with the EU, many Scots voters will be able to see that their nation, with England, Wales and Northern Ireland, can thrive as part of a UK that stands outside the EU." 1
"The passage of time will also present the Scots with further evidence of the benefits of remaining part of the Union."
That could be correct but it will only be correct if we work with that aim in mind. If we work on ways to ensure that happens!
Now Theresa May does talk a good game on the Union – I believe she is genuine and I support her on it – but she must also walk the talk.
One good sign is that she has said that it is her "one over-arching goal: To build a more united nation." 2
However, a "more united nation" does not just happen.
Certainly not when the Scottish Nationalists devote every day of their lives to trying to divide us, and find or create cracks into which they can drive a wedge.
Remember the Nationalists want to destroy the United Kingdom and they don't care about the damage they will do in the process. They are always looking for opportunities. They want Brexit to fail. They want it all to fall down.
They are hoping that the "negotiations for Brexit" are somehow going to be catastrophic. They hope that a "hard Brexit" is going to make independence inevitable.
It is all nonsense. It is all exaggerated foolishness – and deliberate political alarmism. Of course the media love it because it sells papers and generally messes things up. The media loves to mess things up!
However, it is good for us that the Nats are putting all their eggs into this basket.
MAKING BREXIT a SUCCESS – 1. HOW TO LEAVE
Firstly, let us demonstrate that the Brexit negotiations can be straightforward and that no deal is much better than a bad deal.
Secondly, let us grasp the opportunities that Brexit provides and deliver a Better Britain as a Result of Brexit!
So, firstly, how do we make the negotiations work for us?
We can't describe it any better than this letter in The Daily Telegraph. It really is this simple.
Why such a fuss about the Great Repeal Bill? The principle is the same as that adopted by the United States when it left the British Empire, Southern Ireland when it left the United Kingdom – and virtually every country in the Commonwealth on attaining independence.
That principle is that laws in force at the time of independence remain in force until such time as the state in question chooses to amend them.
Those laws and practices that are sensible and relevant endure; those that are not are repealed or legislated against as and when required.
Hence the Americans retain the old measurements that were in use in both countries in 1776, while we did not.
Nicholas Young, London W3. Letter in The Daily Telegraph, 1-4-17. 3
MAKING BREXIT a SUCCESS – 2. DELIVERING A BETTER BRITAIN
Secondly, if we grasp the opportunities which it will open up and deliver a better Britain as a result of Brexit then those people who might want to be Scottish Nationalists will see the value of staying part of the UK.
Or as the Daily Telegraph editorial, which I mentioned put it, "The passage of time will also present the Scots with further evidence of the benefits of remaining part of the Union".
After all, let's remember that a lot of people who might vote SNP are also anti-EU and are not sympathetic to an SNP which opposes Brexit. The SNP undoubtedly lost support at the General Election for their pro-EU position.
So let's look at Policy Ideas which undoubtedly should be part of the British Government's Plan.
The view from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
10 GENERAL POLICY IDEAS
1. CREATING WEALTH FOR ALL PARTS OF THE UK
Our organisation doesn't support any particular party per se, but we noticed an interesting policy, already on the cards, from the Conservative Party Manifesto, which can be read on p.35 at tinyurl.com/keuo82t
We will use the structural fund money that comes back to the UK following Brexit to create a United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund, specifically designed to reduce inequalities between communities across our four nations. 4
This money must be stamped with a British stamp though, otherwise the SNP will pretend that it is themselves who have created the new funds.
This is a serious point because the "City Deal" payments which presently come from the British Treasury to parts of the UK are launched in Scotland by SNP ministers. This gives the impression to virtually everyone that it is an "SNP/Scottish Government" bonanza rather than a British Taxpayers' effort!
Therefore, handling these funds will require the Scottish Office to be strengthened on every level in order that people can understand that the new money is coming from the British political centre rather than from the SNP propaganda office!
2. INVEST IN LIGHT INDUSTRY
Build the small and medium-sized light industries that Euro-realist John Mills has regularly emphasised are the life-blood of our economy. 5
3. CURB IMMIGRATION
Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch, has written: "Control must mean a substantial reduction in numbers or the public will rightly feel that they have been deceived. Our calculation is that, in the medium term, an immigration regime of the kind I have outlined would reduce net migration from the EU by about 100,000 a year from its present level of 180,000." 6
4. BETTER TRAINING
If low-skilled, low-wage labour from outside the UK is going to decrease then we need to improve job training, and especially vocational training.
5. INVEST THE AID BUDGET AT HOME
"Brexit means taking back control of money sent to Brussels, just as voters instructed. The same control must now be restored over the aid budget: the 0.7 per cent target [of GDP to be spent on foreign aid] should follow our EU membership into history." 7
6. SPEND MORE ON DEFENCE
A defence based economy is a very powerful way to kick-start all forms of economic growth because it impacts across the board, from engineering and science to research and services.
For example, Roger Bootle has said:
Being largely spent in the UK this extra money would boost aggregate demand and create jobs, especially in manufacturing. Plenty of people think it is atavistic for the UK to try to remain a major military power. They are wrong. It is perfectly reasonable for the world's fifth or sixth largest economy, with global interests and having a permanent seat on the UN's Security Council, to field significant armed forces... More fundamentally, military service brings large benefits to society, benefits that most members of recent British governments, with scarcely any military experience or connections, have failed to appreciate. 8
Canary Wharf from the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.
7. STRONGER ROYAL NAVY
And if we are trading internationally to a greater extent, then we will need a stronger Royal Navy to protect our sea routes. We have to prioritise the growth and development of the Royal Navy, which has always been essential in protecting British world-wide trade.
For example, we still need more Destroyers and Frigates to protect our 2 aircraft carriers. So let's get them built.
We spoke about this in our Speech in 2013 Ever Closer Union: Over 50 Suggestions to Promote the Social Union and the Cultural Value of the United Kingdom.
8. A NEW HMY BRITANNIA – A NATIONAL FLAGSHIP – REPRESENTING ALL THE UK
On the Naval theme, let's build a new "National Flagship" to promote Brexit Trade Deals world-wide, among other things.
We agree with the Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Michael Lake, who says that a National Flagship could act as a travelling ambassador to boost Britain's trade and prestige in the wake of Brexit.
As he has said, the coming years are "a golden moment for the United Kingdom to shape a future as a global and forceful partner in the broadest sense...Relish it or regret it, this is no time for uncertainty or for inactivity. It will be crucial for the country to show its wares and talents to the best advantage in a competitive world." 9
How about a ship which is deliberately constructed from items sourced in every part of the United Kingdom – like the Diamond Jubilee State Coach in 2014. See tinyurl.com/nvg32x7
In this sense, it would be a physical representation of our unity – a true 'Britannia' on the waves.
It would be a very suitable Brexit Symbol because it would be a real-life reminder that Britain's wealth has traditionally come from our World Wide Maritime Trading Tradition and we are literally launching upon that again!
How about a vessel which can also be used as a modest Hospital Ship when necessary, bringing a vital humanitarian element to its construction as well.
Britain certainly needs a Hospital Ship. See: SavetheRoyalNavy.org/the-case-for-building-a-british-hospital-ship
Do we have the designers with the ideas? Do we have the politicians with the vision?
It would be something that can be used all the time, for a variety of purposes – including Royal events where appropriate.
Of course, the Scottish Nationalists and Republicans will scream regardless, as will much of the Press, but they can be counted on to do that!
They can always be counted on not to accept that it is a form of investment into the economy – which not only creates immediate jobs in its construction, but attracts business which will cover its cost a hundredfold.
A National Flagship built in different parts of the UK, with parts sourced from every part of the UK; which can be used for diplomatic purposes; which could also function as a 'Royal Yacht', and even a Hospital Ship; and a Training Ship for Cadets – and become a symbol of our unity. It's a Win-Win!
The first thing is to start talking about this.
9. SUPPORT IMPERIAL UNITS
This is really quite important culturally: Respect Imperial Weights and Measures! They are part of British Culture.
Now that we are leaving the EU – this seems the opportune time to give more support to the traditional British imperial system of weights and measure, as opposed to the Continental system.
At the very least we should find ways of stopping the deliberate encroachment of metric into every area. 10
Reginald Brabazon, founder of Empire Day, which became Commonwealth Day, is commemorated with this statue at Lancaster Gate. Born to an Anglo-Irish family, the 12th Earl of Meath is buried in the graveyard of the Church of Ireland parish church in the village of Delgany, County Wicklow.
10. REACH OUT TO THE COMMONWEALTH and DEVELOP THE MASSIVE GOODWILL THAT EXISTS WORLD-WIDE FOR BRITAIN – THE BRITISH WEALTH IN COMMON!
Let us look at ways of developing closer political, economic, social and cultural ties with the Commonwealth, and particularly the Commonwealth Realms (where the Queen is Head of State).
It used to be called the "British Commonwealth". However, we can still make it about the "British Wealth that we have in Common".
You know, the Scottish Nationalists like to emphasise the worst of the past without realising that today the UK enjoys immense goodwill worldwide, especially among those countries which still retain connections to the UK.
There are the 14 British Overseas Territories (BoTs); and the Commonwealth is 52 countries (soon to be 53 if The Gambia rejoins), which includes 16 Commonwealth Realms – where the Queen is Head of State.
Commonwealth nations, taken together and including the UK, are an economic colossus comprising 15% of world GDP and two billion citizens. The Commonwealth spans five continents and contains developed, developing and emerging economies.
Making a case for the UK includes and should involve all the wonderful people throughout this World, who believe in us.
How to do that? Here's some Policies...
a) EXCHANGE PROGRAMMES
We want to be cautious about promoting "free movement" of people from the Commonwealth to Britain since that could quickly get out of hand, considering there are 2 billion of them!
However, Exchange Programmes for students and young people could be encouraged – although they have to be stamped with a British Stamp, in the sense that this is seen to be something which is deliberately being done to encourage connections between Britain and the Commonwealth...or else the relevance of the British relationship will be lost.
For starters, we should definitely be doing these things already with the BoTs and Realms – if not yet with the rest of the Commonwealth.
Give it a name like the British and Commonwealth Exchange Programme – so you know this isn't run by the SNP.
This is certainly not something that should be 'devolved' to the SNP/Scottish Government, who will simply rebrand it as their own – as they do with the British Treasury's 'City Deals' as above.
I want to emphasise this point. All these British wide schemes will get co-opted and misrepresented by the so-called Scottish Government. Therefore, they will have to be clearly branded and implemented in a way which the SNP/Scottish Government cannot exploit for its separatist agenda.
Here is a small, symbolic act which could say a lot:
b) HAVE A SPECIAL ENTRY GATE for the COMMONWEALTH REALMS and BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES
This idea comes from Philip Benwell, the National Chairman of the Australian Monarchist League – monarchist.org.au – and sent out in its Email Newsletter for May/June on 18-5-17.
There are 16 Commonwealth Realms of which the Queen is Sovereign, including the UK. These are: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, The Bahamas, Tuvalu, and the United Kingdom.
When citizens of these countries arrive in the UK, they are not admitted to the British citizens queue but have to queue with all the other foreigners.
The idea is to show respect to Britain's former Dominions and its present Commonwealth Realms by establishing a separate entry gate for non-British "Subjects of the Queen" on entry into the Kingdom.
It would send a small, but influential message of solidarity between the UK and its Commonwealth Realms, if they were allowed to queue in this way.
It would send "a symbolic gesture of friendship and solidarity towards these countries".
As Benwell says, "I am not talking about open borders or visa stipulations, but solely about showing respect to Subjects of the Queen when we enter the United Kingdom."
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is in the UK in Spring 2018. It will be held largely in Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. It will be targeting Commonwealth countries to support trade with Britain but it could also be used to push this issue.
c) COMMONWEALTH TRADING PREFERENCES
There is no need for any kind of political union. We're talking economics here. Commonwealth countries will naturally be interested in anything which works economically to their advantage; so that's a starting point.
We used to have something called "Commonwealth Preference" prior to the Common Market. It is another trading option which we should explore, and which the UK is well placed to organise.
Of course, none of that will stop us continuing to trade with the Continent. 11
The Flags of the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.
d) DESIGNATED DAYS OF COMMONWEALTH FLAG FLYING
Here's a cultural thing which should be encouraged. Government buildings should fly the Flags of the Commonwealth Realms and the British Overseas Territories, on their particular National Days. That gets people gradually aware of the fact that these places exist in the first place, and that they are related to the UK. It helps to widen our perspective.
It helps to locate the United Kingdom within a worldwide network of friendship. It helps us see the value of the UK in the World. This element has been entirely missing in Unionist arguments hitherto (except those made by A Force For Good).
e) REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Talking of friendship, let's support the re-incorporation of the Republic of Ireland into the Commonwealth. Let's hold out a welcoming hand and see how it's received. Let's start talking about it, at least! 12
The point is to take a very positive view of Brexit, and if we make it a success – and there is no reason whatsoever to presume it will not be a success – then we can see off the separatists, and strengthen the United Kingdom and its place in the World.
Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for listening.
The Bagpipes of the Irish Guards at Trooping the Colour, 17-6-17.
2. For example, on 27 March 2017 Theresa May said in Glasgow: "That when this great union of nations [AFFG note – we prefer 'Nation of Unions'], England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, sets its mind on something and works together with determination, we are an unstoppable force. That is why the plan for Britain I have set out...has as its heart one over-arching goal: To build a more united nation."
"PM hails 'unstoppable' UK as she meets Nicola Sturgeon", Sky News report, 28-3-17 at tinyurl.com/y8ndz6ha
3. Liam Halligan also said the same thing:
Parliament passes the "Great Repeal" Bill that May has already outlined, carrying over relevant EU statue into domestic law. We then send our Article 50 letter and leave – quitting both the single market and the customs union.
Under Clean Brexit, the UK trades with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules. That won't be denied – as we'd take the EU to WTO arbitration and win. WTO rules are in no way a disaster for Britain. They currently govern our trade with countries including the US and China that make up the 85pc of the world economy that's outside the EU...
Clean Brexit is democratic. The Great Repeal means that, in the short term, nothing changes. Then, in our own time, over several electoral cycles, UK ministers and our Parliament decides which EU laws and regulations we retain and which we alter. That's how it should be. Our annual contribution ends and, leaving the single market and customs union, we strike UK trade deals and take control of our borders. The Government should state all this in March, on invoking Article 50...
Quitting the single market and customs union voluntarily, avoiding a tortured 'single market-free movement' negotiation and using WTO rules isn't ideological. It's a practical, transparent position that limits uncertainty while minimising damage to the UK, the EU and our ongoing relationship. Clean Brexit is the way to go.
Liam Halligan, "Clean Brexit is the practical and democratic way forward", The Sunday Telegraph, 11-12-16, p.B4.
4.The full section states:
We believe in one nation – in helping every part of our country share in the prosperity and opportunity of our great United Kingdom. Yet there is much to do. Current EU-wide structural funding was designed to tackle disparities but it is expensive to administer and poorly targeted.
As we leave the European Union, we must look at how we can better reduce and eliminate these inequalities.
We will use the structural fund money that comes back to the UK following Brexit to create a United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund, specifically designed to reduce inequalities between communities across our four nations.
[AFFG note: This should really say "across our United Kingdom", if they believe in the 'one nation' which they started the section with! That's a serious proof-reading fail right there.]
The money that is spent will help deliver sustainable, inclusive growth based on our modern industrial strategy. We will consult widely on the design of the fund, including with the devolved administrations, local authorities, businesses and public bodies.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be cheap to administer, low in bureaucracy and targeted where it is needed most.
5. See his work at http://www.john-mills.info
6. See article: Sir Andrew Green, "Curbing low-skilled EU migration is vital", The Daily Telegraphh, 20-9-16, p.20 at tinyurl.com/gq8qnhn
See Migration Watch Press Release, 21-9-16 at www.migrationwatchuk.org/press-release/467
See Migration Watch Briefing Paper, 21-9-16 at www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/391
7. Editorial, The Daily Telegraph, 3-1-17, p.17 at tinyurl.com/ycbwzutr
8. See his article where he says:
[Speaking of 'the Cameron-Osborne duo'] Meanwhile, quite apart from whatever they squandered elsewhere, they continued to honour the pledge to spend 0.7pc of GDP a year on overseas aid, which has been enshrined in law. This is nonsensical.
Unless the May-Hammond duo wish to go down in history as similarly complacent about the UK's protection, this law needs to be repealed and a substantial part of the money saved should be redirected towards the defence budget.
Being largely spent in the UK this extra money would boost aggregate demand and create jobs, especially in manufacturing.
Plenty of people think it is atavistic for the UK to try to remain a major military power. They are wrong. It is perfectly reasonable for the world's fifth or sixth largest economy, with global interests and having a permanent seat on the UN's Security Council, to field significant armed forces.
Indeed, we should not strut about the world stage, or face off against Russia in Estonia, without them. To talk loudly while carrying a small stick is a dangerous strategy.
...More fundamentally, military service brings large benefits to society, benefits that most members of recent British governments, with scarcely any military experience or connections, have failed to appreciate.
Traditionally, people from working class backgrounds have gained a sense of discipline, self-worth and identification with the wider community through serving in the armed forces.
Many of them have acquired trades and traits that have helped them to secure employment once they have rejoined 'Civvy Street'.
With globalisation and technological progress eroding traditional job opportunities, the potential contribution to human development from military service has increased.
Yet there has probably never been a time in the UK's recent history when the proportion of the population serving in our armed forces, and the corresponding extent of their influence in society, have been so low.
Brexit is not the only challenge that faces Mrs May. If she does not restore a good part of UK fighting capability, she will be judged by history as failing in a central part of her duties.
Roger Bootle, "Defence is the one area where this Government should spend more", The Daily Telegraph, 10-4-17 at tinyurl.com/y9jut6v3
9. Ben Riley-Smith, "Royal Commonwealth Society director backs calls for a new HMY Britannia", The Daily Telegraph, 26-12-16 at tinyurl.com/kkfthqw
10. Simon Heffer has written:
I know from my postbag that there is another infliction from the decades of our EU membership that many would like to be shot of, and that was the imposition of the metric system on large parts of our life.See the British Weights and Measures Association for more information at www.bwmaonline.com.
Consumer resistance ensured that our beer is still served in pints (though not in half-pint and pint bottles when bought in supermarkets: brewers please note), and that our signposts are still marked in miles.
But we have been forced on to the Celsius temperature scale, which is less precise than Fahrenheit; we can't buy groceries in pounds and ounces, or petrol in gallons, or wallpaper in yards, even though these measurements are second nature to most of us.
Laws criminalising imperial measures must be repealed. Pol Roger has announced that it will once more sell champagne in Churchill's favourite pint measure: British companies must now follow where a French one has led.
Simon Heffer, The Sunday Telegraph, 2-4-17
11. Ruth Lea wrote in 2012:
It has moreover been estimated that business costs are 10-15% lower for Commonwealth countries trading with one another compared with Commonwealth countries trading with non-Commonwealth countries of comparable size and GDP. This benefit, the 'Commonwealth advantage', reflects shared history and commonalities of language, law and business practice. It should act, other things being equal, as a major incentive to intra-Commonwealth trade.
Ruth Lea, "The Commonwealth should play a much bigger role in Britain's future", 7-10-12 at tinyurl.com/yc933rgp
12. For more articles on the Commonwealth see our sidebar "The British Commonwealth Games".
The view from Richmond Bridge.
If you like what we say, please support us by signing-up to receive our free regular Update email - which will keep you informed of new articles and relevant pro-UK information - by entering your details in the 'Subscribe' box at the top right of this page. You can find out more about AFFG at the About and Contact page.