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London: Monday: June 12: 2017

First Published: September 24, 2015

 
 

 

 

 

 
Humanity will continue to live an inferior life than what is possible until the two halves: all individuals in them: that make it are absolutely, fundamentally and jubilantly Equal at Liberty
Elsinki

The Innerluminous Galaxillation

Letter to the Reader Poetre Poetrimore Books The Earth Cosmography Diversity

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The Long Walk to Humanics: There can never be an app that will replace a surgeon doing the surgery nor there can ever be a bridge built, symphony composed, epic written, painting painted by a machine. Reading is such a vital thing in pursuit of knowledge for without reading knowledge is rudimentary. The Humanion is for Readers to Read. The Humanion is not for anything else but for Readers to read so to be encouraged to think and ponder about things. The Humanion is a Human Enterprise which is an idea in which no one owns anything but everyone belongs to the whole as the whole belongs to everyone lawfully and equally and, it neither believes in nor makes money but human utilities, needs, aspirations, creativity, imagination and dreams are served without money, where everyone works and creates for others as others create and work for them, thus, bringing in meaning and purpose to life along with it come natural justice, equality and liberty  that establish a true civilisation. And in one word, this system of human affairs management is called, Humanics and a society that runs itself in humanics is called a humanical society.......But in the meanwhile...And thus, The Humanion believes we should seek to ensure that all citizens of a nation have: a: Guaranteed Universal Income; b: A Guaranteed Home; c: A Guaranteed Education Up to College and Guaranteed Subsidised Route to Degree-Level Education; d: A Guaranteed Job; e: Guaranteed Access to Free for All Healthcare at the Point of Need and f: A Guaranteed Universal-Child-Income-Protection Where Every Child is Guaranteed Equal Financial Support from 0-16; g: Guaranteed Social Care and h: Guaranteed Access to Equitable Pension:Provides a living income. So, join us: Join The Humanion Team

The Humanion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Be In Or Out..... They Have Changed My Monologue: Hamlet: The European Union Question For The United Kingdom

The Referendum took place on June 23, 2016: This Page Joins The Archive: June 25, 2016
 

Let There Be Light

And Think of Them for It's Their Future You are Making a Choice About

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page Created: February 16, 2016 Image: European Space Agency

As the UK goes to the EU Referendum today, The Humanion invites every soul on these British Isles, to pause before casting the vote, and think of the  Hippocratic Oath, and ask yourself: Would it do good? Would it seek to do no harm? And having done so, please, invoke the Very Best of What is English, What is :Northern: Irish, What is Scottish, What is Welsh and What is British.

The Humanion is setting up this page to invite debates and discussions of the issues relating to the UK's likely referendum on whether to stay in or get out of the European Union. Please, send in contributions to editor at thehumanion dot com.

For all the posts on this page, please, scroll down. There are new posts posted on this page almost every day; so do come back.

 

The United Kingdom of Humanity Let There Be Light

On the day of the Referendum all we urge you is to make sure you caste your
vote. Please, caste your vote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The World UN Pays Tribute to Jo Cox

|| June 22: 2016 || ά. Standing up for values and principles that unite us, not divide us, and never succumbing to violent provocations in today’s world is vital so that extremists and perpetrators do not declare victory, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General emphasised today at a ceremony in tribute to Jo Cox, the United Kingdom Member of Parliament who was killed last week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Hundreds of people gathered at a ceremony this morning in a courtyard at the New York headquarters of the UN Children’s Fund:UNICEF, in front of 42 white roses to mark the birthday of Ms. Cox. “That we all gather here today at the UN is a tribute to Jo, and is a sign of how profoundly she touched our hearts,” said Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.

“But also of how strongly her death has reminded us of standing up for values and principles that unite us, not divide us; in today’s deeply troubled world,” he added. Noting that the world was “shocked and saddened when Jo was taken away from us under the most brutal circumstances a few days ago,” Mr. Eliasson said thoughts and prayers are now with Ms. Cox’s husband, Brendan, and her two young children. Readmore
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VI London Poetry Festival 2016: August 05-08 Wednesday: June 22: 2016 Natural Health Social The Other NHS


Let the Country Invoke the Very Best of What is British
And Choose to Say: Let There Be Light: Light of
Self-Assurance, of Confidence, of Openness,
of Engagement, of Hope, of a Vision of Optimism
and Positivity, of Seeking to Learn and Work for
Common Good, of Always Remembering
the Hippocratic Oath: To Do Good and To Do No Harm




 


 


 

 

 

We are not in it for politics; we in it for care: Dr Nadia Masood at the BMA Annual Representative Meetings: June 20-23: Belfast: Image: BMA

The Humanion states that BMA as an organisation has declared its position as neutral with regards to the European Referendum

And Think of Them for It's Their Future You are Making a Choice About

As the UK goes to the EU Referendum tomorrow, The Humanion invites every soul on these British Isles, to pause before casting the vote, and think of the  Hippocratic Oath, and ask yourself: Would it do good? Would it seek to do no harm? And having done so, please, invoke the Very Best of What is English, What is :Northern: Irish, What is Scottish, What is Welsh and What is British.

 
The Sunnara Next Flight to Mars IS Departing Soon: Got Your Boarding Pass?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Kingdom: The Future is of Hope....... Hope England, Hope Northern Ireland, Hope Scotland, Hope Wales..... and Hope in the European Union and Being Actively and Positively Involved and Engaged with the World and the Whole Humanion

The Future in Europe, in the wider world, taking full part in and with the most exciting scientific advancements taking place and will take place in this century and beyond and making greatest possible contributions to all that wonderful progression and illumination of all the branches of science, mathematics, research and technology.

Fear is the lowest form of human emotion:and often, it is taught, enforced and re-enforced: for it kills human's potentials to be human and too often it is too much emphasised. Fear has never helped humanity advance:it might have contributed towards survival but humanity is much more than about survival; rather it is about being and becoming human: which means being able to imagine, to create and to build and through these we become human and sign our elemental nature and name:.

On the other hand, hope did, faith did, conviction did; courage, determination, dream, imagination, wonder, vision and human ingenuity did, always: help us advance and go forward. It is always hope, it is always positivity and it is always faith and the determination that have helped us to seek and strive to bring the best of what we are and what we can be and what we can achieve.

And that is done by being with and among the family of the humanion, that is with and being among our neighbours and fellows and that is in the European Union and with the entire world and the entire of humanity.

This is no time for fear or negativity for, despite all our troubles and difficulties, humanity and the world and the European Union making progress and United Kingdom with all the nations inside it are part of all that and should remain so for leaving the European Union the United Kingdom would make England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales worse off, most importantly, however, take them out of being in and among and taking part in all forms, manners and sorts of exciting and great opportunities in seeking, striving, reaching and achieving better for home, for Europe and for the world and at the same time, this will make the EU poorer, too and because European Union is a 'force for good' in the world, if weakened, this would impact on the world, negatively, too.

Now, take this flight, going to Mars. And see, ExoMars is a joint endeavour between ESA and Russia’s Roscosmos space agency, and comprises the Trace Gas Orbiter:TGO and Schiaparelli, an entry, descent and landing demonstrator.

But, European Space Agency and Roscosmos are not just on their own for the Journey to Mars involves almost the entire human race for NASA has invested in this project all that it has got and along with it,we find, ESA and Roscosmos and a whole host of national space agencies of the world, working as mad, 'chasing this human madness', the 'madness' that only comes from vision, from hope, from determination, from faith, from a sense of wonder. This is no time for fear: this is the highest point of excitement in the communities of the world of learning and seeking.

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To Be In Or Out..... They Have Changed My Monologue: Hamlet: The European Union Question For The United Kingdom

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Would William Shakespeare Say? What Would Hamlet Say? What Would Macbeth Say?

William Shakespeare Says: the Choice before us humans is between these two opposing ends: either seeking to reach the highest so to be entitled to be called the ''Paragon of Animals' or let go as low as to become ''quintessence of dust''. No one can make this choice for us but ourselves. So, one becomes Nelson Mandela and Gandhi, one becomes Mother Teresa and Valerie Taylor, one becomes Martin Luther King Jr and Mary Nightingale and Mary Jane Seacole and many like them and yet we have the other end, of that 'quintessence of dust'' without getting into naming instances. And the Question that Hamlet poses is not about whether to be inside or outside something but actually about whether to exist or to not exist; yet the answer cannot be but affirmative for not existing is not and cannot be a choice posited in the idea of existence. As soon as this question of existence is raised the others follow: what kind of existence, why do we exist, how do we exist, for what reason, for what purpose, for what meaning? The Humanion had started the European Referendum Debate and Discussion Page quoting form Hamlet and we end it here: No one can make that choice for us but ourselves. As we head to the polls let Macbeth shows us that if we are responding, reacting or acting out of fear, phobia, paranoia, dread, hatred, frustration, hopelessness, negativity, pessimism and sense of purposeless isolation than we have already lost the 'war' for an army thinking like this finds that its soldiers are already on the run, already defeated even before the battle has begun. Yet, does Macbeth run? Knowing what is in his destiny and losing all that he had and all that he was or ever could have become, does he not still stand tall and high, filled with what is called self-respect, sense of dignity and courage and with the flickers of hope of, may be, 'redemption' in the expression, from his last stand, of these virtues alone? And we end all by inviting everyone to let Hamlet stir your minds and souls: what kind of existence, why do we exist, how do we exist, for what reason, for what purpose, for what meaning: both as individuals and as a nation? The Humanion: June 22, 2016

Othello The Moor of Venice

But I do think it is their husbands’ faults
If wives do fall. Say that they lack their duties,
And pour our treasures into foreign laps;
Or else break out in peevish jealousies,
Throwing restraint upon us or say they strike us,
Or scant our former having in despite;
Why, we have galls; and though we have some grace,
Yet have we some revenge. Let husbands know
Their wives have sense like them; they see and smell,
And have their palates for both sweet and sour
As husbands have. What is it that they do
When they change us for others? Is it sport?
I think it is. And doth affection breed it?
It think it doth. Is’t frailty that thus errs?
It is so too. And have not we affections,
Desires for sport, and family, as men have?
Then let them use us well; else let them know
The ills we do their ills instruct us so.

''What a piece of work is a ''man'': human: men and women, together, as two equal half, forming the whole: unless they are equal they are nothing but ''quintessence of dust'' for without equality Humanity will continue to live an inferior life than what is possible until the two halves: all individuals in them: that make it are absolutely, fundamentally and jubilantly Equal and all are at Liberty. Readmore

Hamlet

 

 

I will tell you why; so shall my
anticipation prevent your discovery, and your
secrecy to the King and Queen moult no feather.
I have of late-wherefore I know not-lost
all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises,
and indeed it goes so heavily with my
disposition that this goodly frame, the earth,
seems to me a sterile promontory; this most
excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave
o’er hanging firmament, this majestical roof
fretted with golden fire-why, it appeareth no
other thing to me than a foul and pestilent
congregation of vapours. What a piece of work
is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in
faculties! in form and moving, how express and
admirable! in action, how like an angel! in
apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the
world! The paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
what is this quintessence of dust?

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National borders do not defend against climate change, emerging diseases or economic shocks. Our challenges are global, and it is only as a global family that we can overcome them: Ban Ki-moon at the European Development Days Forum, Brussels

The last words of this piece: every single UK citizen who believes themselves to be democratic, secular, liberal, social, social democratic or otherwise progressive and who supports human rights, equality, gender equality, end of discrimination, disability and women's rights, children and young people's rights, in green and sustainable economic ways and life, community and social cohesion, in our NHS, believes that we cannot deal with and must work with all other countries such as climate change impacts, clean air, healthy environment, seeking and achieving to end of discrimination, end of poverty, end of hunger, end of all forms of slavery, end of child and women and refugee trafficking, ending child and forced labour, achieving equality for all including gender equality, equality for people with disabilities, for all, expanding education to all and establishing rule of law and due process of law across the world, world peace, rule of international laws, end of wars and conflicts, the human sufferings of the refugee and migration crisis, bringing the world banks and financial mechanisms under proper international legal frameworks so that crushes like the last financial crush never happen again, get the large corporations abide by laws, peaceful, co-operative and knowledge and learning based space exploration benefitting all humankind etc, believes in our World Class Research and Learning Culture that some of the greatest Universities of the world that the UK houses, have worked so hard to set up, run and maintain and that have linked up with the EU and world countries, universities and institutions which is literally like the human heart's ever complex but magnificent net of arteries, veins and capillaries running as part of a grid of learning, working with our neighbours and the world community in concert in areas and fields where we cannot work and achieve alone, CANNOT and MUST NOT take it for granted: they shall have to do everything in their power to turn up and vote on June 23. The Humanion: June 22, 2016

 

 
So, Let’s Unite to Make This Country Better to Make the EU Better and to Make the World a Better Place: Vote Remain: Jeremy Corbyn MP.


|| June 21: 2016 || ά. The Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn MP has given a speech today at the People's History Museum on Vote to Remain in the European Union for 'jobs and rights at work''.: This is what he said: Thank you for being here today and for that introduction, Diane. Thank you to Alan Johnson for all of your hard work and mileage you’ve put into the campaign, and to all colleagues: MPs, MEPs, councillors and activists who are determined to make our remain and reform position clear. Kate Green is the shadow secretary of state for Women & Equalities and an excellent advocate for that cause.

But, as you will all know a few days ago we lost one of the great fighters for women and equalities in this country so I would ask you all to reflect for a moment on the life of Jo Cox.

It’s a pleasure to be here today at the People’s History Museum which chronicles the struggles of working people over generations. There are now under 48 hours until polls open in the European referendum I am very clear, and Labour is very clear we are for staying in. One of the major reasons for that is about jobs and workers’ rights. So it is fitting that we are here today in this building which reflects the gains that working people, trade unions and the Labour Party have won.

Today we live in a globalised world. The battles we fight today as a labour movement are not confined by national borders. Workers, capital, and corporations move across borders. That is a reality whether we vote to leave or remain. But only by remaining and working together with our allies across Europe can we regulate those flows and improve things for working people here in Britain. It was a Labour government that introduced the Equal Pay Act in 1970 following a courageous campaign by women trade unionists. By it was only in 1984 that law was strengthened and extended in Europe to mean equal pay for equal work of equal value in line with the EU Directive.

There was no limit on working time for workers in Britain until the Working Time Directive, which also provided for rest breaks. Our rights to annual leave were underpinned by the EU too we would not have a right to 28 days leave without that membership. But for too many people in Britain today, work is still not secure. So we cannot be content with the status quo. If we want to stop insecurity at work and the exploitation of zero hours contracts why don’t we do what other European countries have done and ban them? Zero hours contracts are not permitted in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Spain. It seems we’re the odd one out. This Tory government is choosing not to tackle exploitation Labour would.

As well as outlawing these exploitative contracts in Britain we should go further and work with our allies to establish a European minimum standard of rights at work to stop undercutting and give people the job security they need. And now that Germany has introduced a minimum wage is there an opportunity to establish a European-wide minimum wage, based on the cost of living in different nations to increase workers’ pay across our continent?

There is a little known directive called the Posting of Workers Directive nothing to do with postal workers, Alan although I do hope they get overtime for all of the referendum leaflets they are about to deliver! The Posting of Workers Directive enables companies that win contracts in another part of Europe to take their workers to work in other countries they can post their workers abroad temporarily rather than go through new recruitment processes.

However, some legal judgements have opened up loopholes meaning that these companies are able to undermine the going rate in one country by paying the going rate in another. In extreme cases it has meant workers not being paid the minimum wage of the country they’re working in because it is above the rate of their home nation. This loophole can be closed and there is a proposal on the table to do so Labour would secure agreement from other countries and back it.

The European Union is neither inherently good nor inherently bad. It is what we make of it and it can be an ally in our campaigning for better rights at work across Europe. Because, in this day and age we can only strengthen rights at work here in Britain by strengthening them across Europe. The only way to stop the race to the bottom on jobs and wages is to work together across our continent to raise standards for all. That’s what we did with rights for agency workers for part-time workers and on so many other issues.

Through the social chapter and other directives we have achieved a situation in which:
Over 26 million workers in Britain benefit from being entitled to 28 days of paid leave and a limit to how many hours they can be forced to work
Over 8 million part-time workers:over six million of whom are women: have equal rights with full-time colleagues
Over 1 million temporary workers have the same rights as permanent workers
340,000 women every year have guaranteed rights to take maternity leave
And it’s important to understand the benefit of these gains it means workers throughout Europe have decent rights at work meaning it’s harder to undercut terms and conditions across Europe.

Several Leave supporters have stated clearly they want to leave Europe to water down workers’ rights to rip up the protections that protect work-life balance that prevent discrimination and prevent exploitation and injustice. That is why we say the threat to the British people is not the European Union it is a Tory-led Brexit.
So remain and fight; don’t walk away in despair. Today three million jobs in Britain are linked to our trade with Europe that is why our major manufacturers and our major trade unions are for remaining within Europe.

But it is not only jobs with a direct link with Europe that are at risk our whole economy is threatened by any potential downturn caused by Brexit. Whatever you feel about the European Union we should not lightly be prepared to put at risk the jobs and rights of people in this country. Our economy is fragile and insecure hit by six years of Tory austerity that have weakened wages weakened rights at work and weakened job security. We know who gets laid off when there is a downturn: it is young workers, insecure workers; those most recently hired are often first out.

We know who gets hit hardest by any downturn, it is working class communities. A vote to leave risks more Tory austerity and more wrong choices because those would lead the Brexit negotiations would be the Tory right cheered on by UKIP. They won’t pay for any downturn with tax increases on the wealthy or big corporations but with cuts to the public services of those who can least afford to lose them. Those running the Vote Leave campaign have supported every cut to public services every privatisation and every tax break for the richest.

And frankly their divisive campaign deserves to lose. A vote to leave will embolden the likes of Nigel Farage and embolden them to be more xenophobic and more divisive. Migrants that come here, they work here, earn here and pay their taxes here. Many EU migrants,  52,000 of them, work in our National Health Service; they are 10% of all our doctors and 5% of our nurses. Many more work in other public services educating our children caring for our elderly and helping to run our public transport. They also come here and establish businesses providing jobs for people here in Britain and paying taxes.

Parties like UKIP whip up division and emphasise the problems but they don’t offer any solutions. Identifying problems is not enough. As politicians we have to resolve them. Housing is in short supply because governments have not built enough in the 1980s council housing was sold off without replacement and today the Tories have let housebuilding fall to the lowest level since the 1920s.

This year our NHS is in record deficit due to the Tories’ top-down reorganisation and their underfunding. They’ve cut social care for the elderly and disabled cut bursaries for nursed and midwives and cut mental health budgets. They’ve allowed NHS Trusts to dedicate more resources to be used to treat private patients and have failed to train enough nurses and doctors. Now we rely on 52,000 doctors, nurses and other staff from the EU to work in our NHS.

Far from being a burden on our health service, migrants are saving it and saving lives here in Britain every day. You’re more likely to be treated by an EU migrant than be laying in the next bed down. Our schools are about to suffer the largest budget cut since the 1970s yet there is a teacher shortage and class sizes are rising. Instead of finding the money to solve this the Tory government gave a tax break that benefits the richest 5% (capital gains tax).

Wrong government making the wrong choices and too often trying to blame someone else for the problems. But large increases in migration in particular areas sometimes can put a strain on our stretched public services local schools, GPs surgeries and housing. Some communities can change dramatically and rapidly and that can be disconcerting for some people. But that doesn’t make them Little Englanders, xenophobes or racists.

This isn’t the fault of migrants it’s a failure of government. We propose re-establishing a Migrant Impact Fund to distribute extra money to local areas where large scale migration puts a strain on public services on schools, GPs surgeries and on housing. Such a fund used to exist Gordon Brown established a £50 million a year fund 2008 but David Cameron abolished it in 2010 we would reinstate it. It could be funded through a combination of using EU underspend and reprioritising money from outdated existing EU schemes.

But if you want to find the main reason that our public services are struggling then it’s because of the cuts that this Tory government has made. And we mustn’t let them get away with playing that old game: divide and rule. For all the arguments of recent weeks this Thursday’s decision can be boiled down to one crucial question. “What’s best for jobs in Britain, rights at work and our future prosperity?”

On June 23 we are faced with a choice: Do we remain to protect jobs and prosperity in Britain. Or do we step into an unknown future with Leave where a Tory-negotiated Brexit risks economic recovery and threatens a bonfire of employment rights? A vote for remain is a vote to put our economy and your future first. On Thursday please join me and join the overwhelming majority of the Labour movement in voting remain to protect jobs and rights at work.

But just as importantly join with us the day after to fight for a better society to campaign for reform and to strengthen jobs and workers’ rights across Europe. We achieve more by working together we will achieve very little if we stand alone. So let’s unite to make this country better to make the EU better and to make the world a better place. Thank you.
ω.
 

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United Kingdom of Humanity: Let There Be Light Across the Length and Breadth of the British Isles

Do not break for darkness: Break for Supernova of Lights: This image is modified from an image of Motion House

|| June 17: 2016 || ά. If art is a becoming, and looking at this performance, from this artist of Motion House, you would see how and why, it is so, than let us seek to become the very best that we could ever aspire to be: on the backdrop of the tragic, heart-wrenching loss of Jo Cox MP's life, which has shocked, horrified and saddened the entire nation. We use this image to agree with, support and offer our sincerest condolences, sympathies, sorrows, prayers and humanionship, as with the entire nation, to Jo Cox's husband and their two young children and all their family and friends: Let us not break for darkness: let us break for supernovas of lights.

To My England

We publish this Poem, Titled, To My England, in honour and tribute to the Memories of Labour MP Jo Cox who had been stabbed and shot dead on June 16, 2016: This poem is from Neverbridge Stone Roses: Munayem Mayenin, London, United Kingdom: ISBN: 978-1-4477-1626-6: First Published: February 2008: Second Edition April 2010: Third Edition: May 2011. We invite all readers of The Humanion from the entire length and breadth of the British Isles and from across the globe to Read To My United Kingdom, instead of To My England and send all the lights that you are made of towards Jo Cox's two young children and her husband and her entire family and friends. And Further, we offer this poem, to Jo Cox's Surviving Husband, to use as and however way he may like to: The Humanion: June 17, 2016

My England takes off her land embroidered dress
And goes swimming wild in style soft and swift

She touched round all corners in watery craft
And is all sure and glow a gentle rock that holds

My England is bound in voyage-vision’s terms
Abound she spells the multiple in a single rose

She is a poem written by green moss on white cliffs
Serenaded by creamy summer’s sun or April’s showers

My England weaves magic beyond man’s limitations
Where we find living is as much as letting others live

She is a cuddled up baby in water-mother’s womb
And she speaks to me in moonsphorescent tongue

My England meets and greets our mother with joy
In her palms she holds an all abound arcadia wrapped

My England takes off her land embroidered dress
And goes swimming wild in style soft and swift

 

This image of an artist signifies that. Let this tragedy brings us back to the origin of what makes the United Kingdom and the people of these great British isles great: Goodness, Civility, Courtesy, Decency, Sense of Natural Justice, Fair Play, Sense of Equality and Anti-discrimination, Warmth and Empathy, Humanity and Commitment to Humanity and an Undying Commitment to Seeking and Learning: And, most importantly, to stick to this profound and fundamental principle of all that constitutes the goodness of humanity: Live and Let Live.

With these words, The Humanion Calls on Everyone in the UK to Invoke the Very Best of British for the EU Referendum and let us show the world and humanity that the United Kingdom and its great people, made of the wonderful peoples of beautiful England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, are capable of breaking out into Supernovas of Lights against every, any and all kinds darkness. And let us make that our tribute to the life and works, commitment, dedication, faith, conviction, love and humanity of late Jo Cox MP and let that continue to support her two young children, her grieving husband and all her family, friends and colleagues. ω.

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United Kingdom Labour Believes That Britain is Better off in Europe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Be In Or Out..... They Have Changed My Monologue: Hamlet: The European Union Question For The United Kingdom

Why I'm IN for Britain: Jeremy Corbyn MP

So Vote to Remain: For Human Rights, for Rights at Work, to Tackle Climate Change, to Tackle Tax Avoidance: for the Vision of Europe That Unites Not Divides: Jeremy Corbyn: Readmore

|| June 20: 2016 || ά. I am proud to support Labour’s campaign to keep Britain in Europe. That goes hand in hand with our determination to put a progressive reform agenda for the European Union on the table.

Labour is for 'IN': Why

The choice we make on Thursday, June 23 will affect our lives for decades to come. Leaving Europe would put Britain’s jobs, workers’ rights, the economy and the NHS at risk, and working people would have less protection from a Tory Government which has shown it won't stand up for them.

Jobs

Over three million British jobs are linked to our trade with the EU. And almost half of all British exports in good and services go to countries in the European Union.
Rights at work

Being in the EU gives working people vital protections such as paid holiday, maternity and paternity leave, protection for agency workers and health and safety in the workplace.

Lower prices

Holidays, cars and the weekly shop are all cheaper because we’re in Europe. Leaving would result in a shock to Britain’s economy which would leave working people worse off.

NHS

Leaving the EU would hurt our economy, even the Leave campaign admit that this is the case. This would mean less money for our NHS and other vital public services.  Readmore

 

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EU Referendum Debates: James Cropper Points Out: EU Regulations Help Manufacturers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

|| June 16: 2016: Kendal: Cumbria || ά. Mark Cropper, Chairman of James Cropper plc, expresses a genuine points of view on the EU Referendum debates and how it all simply ignores this very fundamental issue: “Consumers today are much more aware of the impact their purchasing decisions are having on the environment and on working conditions. Major retail brands understand this and carefully monitor their purchasing and sourcing policies. If they don’t, they risk a buyer’s strike and severe reputational damage.''

James Cropper is a specialist materials group and makers of fine paper and has an operational reach across more than 50 countries. James Cropper is a leader in each of the chosen market segments in new materials, technologies and fine paper. James Cropper PLC was founded in 1845. It has three subsidiaries: Paper, Technical Fibre Products:TFP: and 3D Products. Mark Cropper elaborates on this issue of the EU regulations in relation to the Brexit campaign: “The debate about Brexit has overlooked the advantages that EU regulations have brought not just to consumers, but also to manufacturers like us. We sell our products all over the world to sectors ranging from luxury goods to aerospace.

Our customers demand information on the environmental impact and sustainability of our processes and on working practices. We comply with the EU’s strict regulations in these areas and, contrary to popular opinion, this gives us an immediate competitive advantage. This is not an area that is standing still:  consumers and brands expect their suppliers to comply with best practice as it develops, often led by the EU. The EU brand has value. ω.

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Labour Remain Vote Could Secure £8bn of Investment for the North of England by Rejecting Tory Brexit: John McDonnell

 

|| June 16: 2016 || ά. The Labour Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP, today called on voters in the North of England to back a Labour Remain vote and reject a Tory Brexit so that it can unlock to over £8 billion of potential further investment for the entire region through our continued membership of the European Union. Speaking at Manchester Metropolitan University alongside former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown, John McDonnell MP, called on the Government to work to ensure that the UK receives its fair share of funding. ω.
 

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The Humanion Calls on Everyone in the UK to Invoke the Very Best of British for the EU Referendum

Image: ESA

|| June 14: 2016 || ά. The Humanion Invites All the UK Citizens to Invoke the Very Best of British and Assess the High Magnitude Complexities of All the Issues Involved in the European Referendum Because One Does Not and Cannot Make the Best Decision for One's National Best Interest for Generations to Come When One is at One's Lowest.

Additionally, a nation can not claim to be at its best if it is persuaded by 'frenzy', by 'paranoia', by 'fear', by 'baseless claims', by 'phobias', by 'coded bias, bigotry and racism', by 'deliberate efforts' to mislead, by 'dangerous, harmful and divisive' rhetoric that are harming communities and community cohesion, by 'wild and imaginary tales of nightmare scenarios', and language of, as former Prime Minister John Major put it, 'squalid' and abusive nature, by a horrible, deliberately antagonistic, hostile and aggressive, rude and an unacceptable level of indecency and absence of any form or manner of civility shown towards all the people of the European Union countries living and working in the UK at this very day, by 'absolutely unsubstantiated claims and opinions'.

Simply put, this is not what the UK is about and this is not the way the peoples of all the nations within the United Kingdom are like. The Archbishop of Canterbury has protested against this and so many more other voices have done so, too. If we have lost all that what makes this country and the people of this country a 'great' country and a 'great' people than what are we doing here as a nation? What are we leading towards! What kind of a nation are we choosing to become?
Annabel Panes, Head Designer at Cred Jewellery with the Archbishop of Canterbury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are part of this earth, part of this world. We are part of this humanity and we are part of Europe and the European Union. The European Union has been built by generations of elected politicians and heads of states and governments and MEPs of all the EU countries.

Nothing human made is and can ever be perfect: NOTHING. Whatever we human make it will forever be a work in progress to which forever we shall have to continue to improve on and continue to make better. The EU is so, so is the UK Governments and all other layers of governments we have. Look at our own Houses. The UK Upper House is called The House of Lords! Yet, you may have noticed that its Speaker was Baroness D'Souza! Does the Name House Lords reflect that fact that she is a woman and can, therefore, never be a 'Lord'! Which House's Members are the woman-members of that so called House of Lords? Does the name reflect the fact that it has many female members who cannot be 'Lords' and that they are rather ladies or Baronesses! Is this perfect? Are we going to vote to Leave the UK because it is not? Where are we to go if we leave the UK! Can anyone hear the absolute silliness, ridiculousness of how this sounds? This argument to vote to leave the UK because it is not perfect! We don't like the name of the House of Lords so let's vote to leave the UK! We don't like the way this House of Lords is unelected so let's vote to leave the UK! That is how vote to leave the EU should sound like. Ridiculous! We shall carry on screaming until enough people get together to demand that the 'name' of the House of Lords be changed into something that accepts the fact that its members are men and women and we shall carry on screaming until we get enough people to get this House of Lords reformed! And this is what is called democracy.

A House of Commons Briefing Paper: Outlining the Structures of The European Union


|| June 15: 2016 || ά. This Commons Library briefing paper explains the basic features of five major EU institutions: the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of the EU, the European Council and the Court of Justice of the EU. Readmore

But, we must remember, at the same time, by virtue of its very nature, democracy is vulnerable: for there are the enemies of this democracy who hate, who preach hatred, who preach all forms of bias, prejudice, phobias, racism and masochism, chauvinism, xenophobia, islamophobia, anti-semitism and an endless procession of evils that can be listed here, who want to destroy this very democracy, very rule of law, very existence of human rights and fundamental freedoms and people who want democracy must remain vigilant to protect it from these forces: nothing must be taken for granted. This is one of the moment in history the people of this country who believe in democracy, who believe in the rule of law, in the due process of law, in human rights, in fundamental freedoms, in women's rights, in gender equality, in the rights and protection of the people with disabilities and the vulnerable people, who believe discrimination must be eradicated of any and all forms and kinds must not waste this opportunity to use their power and turn out to vote on June 23.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: BMA

This referendum is not about the two warring conservative parties, it is not about any other supporter parties of the Leave camp, it is not about the current Prime Minister for he will be gone after 2020: it is not about punishing this or that leader or government. The country and the people will have their say on that in 2020.

This referendum is the opportunity for the people of the United Kingdom to write a New Magna Carta for the future generations of the nation that the UK nation shall have been becoming! That nation off the isles of the UK shall be living in a world of future, say in 50 years, a 100 years and the complexities of human affair management would grow to be so complex because of multiple levels, layers and gears of complexities of realities and needs that we could not even imagine!

The UK has been a leading nation on Earth throughout its existence and so has it it been in Europe and so shall it continue to be! If the people of this Country chose to write that New Magna Carta on June 23. If not, the UK shall become an irrelevant 'little' state in relation to the marching army of humanity, say in a century, in two centuries! A nation that thinks only of tomorrow and of the next election is indeed a very 'poor' one!

Think of our Tim Peak up at the International Space Station: by 2030 humans shall be standing on Mars: Where shall they be standing in 2500! Where shall they be in 3000! And where shall UK be! Which British mind shall bring out the 'genome' of the future of space travel, science and technology? Which British Alexander Fleming shall bring out the new 'penicillin' for the astronauts to use! Which British mind shall bring about new technology to make electricity in Mars and use it on Earth? Which British mind will bring out technology to use carbon dye oxide in ways that do not harm us and help us reuse by converting it into other useful things!

We no longer have to read science fiction: we live in an age where science fiction is the reality! Where what is science at the Institute of Cancer Research or at the University of St Andrews, or Oxford or Cambridge or Cardiff today is going to be a reality in months and years and people will benefit from those realities coming off the science labs. And that labs across the UK are connected to web of labs across the EU and across the world, working in concert, almost like human symphonies being created and played for learning and knowledge to find to create for humanity. Where researchers seek and find and bring technology for medicine, where bioengineers produce new protein that helps bring new medicines! To just mention a little of what is going on in the world of science and learning.

Put simply, let us imagine a scenario: a ship is cruising along with 28 members on it who are going through a turbulent weather in the sea but because they are together and built the ship strong enough they are not drowning and rather coming out of the storm. Suddenly, one of the 28 decides that she:he wants to jump out onto the stormy sea. Everyone asks: but why? She:he says: well, I just feel like it! So she:he jumps off! Into the stormy sea, in the desperate storm, in the desperate cold, in the desperate rain and hailstones!  And now what does she:he want to do! She:he does not like it and wants to come back on board! What are the 27 going to do! Now this person seeks to 'negotiate' to get back on! And she:he does not want to join the 'Union' while their other 27 are members of the Union. This makes this a sticking point: they cannot offer this drowning person the same rights and privileges as their members: it simply is absurd. Because the members pay membership fees for that. This person does not want to pay the membership fee and they won't accept her:him in until she:he agrees to pay some form of 'tariff' and they apply terms that cannot be very 'friendly' because she:he cannot be treated as 'member'. And the time it takes to 'negotiate' this the sea is still stormy, weather horrendous, rain and hailstones raging over and she:he goes back on board, paying a tariff that does not offer her:him any say whatsoever as to what the other 27 decide in their Union since she:he is not a member but whatever they decide affects her:him; yet she:he pays a tariff! Imagining a scenario like this would make us see how ridiculous this 'leaving' the EU sounds.

 

The last point to illustrate the same: imagine, one Brit and let's treat this Brit as She. She works and gathers 'grains' of her 'bread'. 100 grains for a whole 'piece of bread.' She goes about gathering those 100 grains from across the world. It is hard because everything is up in the air and it involves the whole world. Nothing is guaranteed at all. Now, because UK is in the EU, suppose, almost half of UK export is going to the EU. That is guaranteed business and it will happen. Imagine what this means for our Brit: that she has about 50% of her 100 grains for her bread: that is guaranteed. And so that she does not need to worry about half of her grains for her bread. All now she needs to do is go about getting the other 50% from the rest of the world! Now why or for what good reason she would decide to jeopardise that and make her entire 100% bread uncertain? Does she help herself when she does that! This is what leaving the EU should sound like.

Nothing human made is perfect: look at the UN: how far could you spell of 'perfect' in relation to the UN? May be, up to Puh, puh, puh, puh!!! And yet destroy the UN and what have we got left for international law to begin with? Does it mean we are going to leave the UN? Well, the Conservative governments: there are now two: one in and one out: they, both group, are actively seeking to 'destroy' the human rights act! What are we listening to when we hear to the very people who want to destroy to human rights act!

 

How could people, who do not believe in human rights, offer anything to a good democracy and democratic society? The very people who cut disability benefits and other benefits hurting the poorest and most vulnerable of society and there were people who died under their watch as a consequence to those cuts, are now suddenly saying: they are the anti-establishment revolutionaries! Whose revolution the Conservatives have ever fought! The Market's: and the EU is not an 'Establishment': it is the ENEMY of that what the Conservatives call, treat and worship as the 'Market': instead, the EU is the greatest of people's voice and yes, this voice needs to be even more efficient, effective, more democratic and so on but no one in their 'reasoned' mind can say: well, let's dismantle it, anyway! Why? Because people in different parties seeking to advance and gain advantage and personal enhancement and what have they got to support what they are asking people to do? Nothing but baseless, foundationless, evidenceless opinions and wild imaginary tales of horror scenarios being given.

Let's have a quick look at these things

Let's Take Back Control from the EU

It is absolutely a baseless claim: United Kingdom is not controlled by the EU: it is governed by the laws, treaties, regulations and directives and protocols accepted, agreed and signed by democratically elected heads of EU member states:governments where always the UK Government Leader has taken part and these very laws, in many cases, have been passed by MEPs who are democratically, directly elected by the Peoples of Europe and often these treaties are ratified by the national parliaments of the EU nations. The way no one is controlling England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales because they are in and part of the United Kingdom but that each and every part of the UK is governed by the laws of the land; the laws that have been passed and enacted by the democratically elected Parliament:s of the UK. If anyone can validly with evidence support this claim, say, that Scotland is being 'controlled' or 'ruled' by the UK only than this person can claim that the EU is 'controlling' the UK. So, to say, let's get the control back is absolutely absurd!

 

Sovereignty

If the UK loses its sovereignty by shaping, forming and deciding on the 'rules' of the UN, joining it and remaining a member of it only than one can say UK has lost its sovereignty by joining and remaining in the EU. If by signing and joining in treaties with other states, governments, institutions the UK loses its sovereignty only than one can say that UK would lose it sovereignty by joining and remaining in the EU. The UK has joined and remained in the EU by the clear support of all its governments that have been supported and scrutinised by the democratic institutions of this country and which democratic institutions have been directly elected by the very peoples of the nations that live within the UK and it is absurd to suggest the UK has lost its sovereignty in the EU. If that is the case than no government, no state, of the world, let alone the UK could exist in this world for it cannot do anything of what we have mentioned simply because, if it did it, it would lose its sovereignty.

 

Red Tape

Now, what is red tape: there are none! For once you have institutions you have laws, rules and regulations that they must follow for that is what the elected representatives of the country, who have been elected by the people created them! And their actions, activities and running are closely supervised, monitored and looked into by the same democratic mechanism. And when these bodies follow this democratic mechanism can they be described as doing 'red tape'? Example, if the Home Office Passport Section does not follow the laws, rules and regulations in relation to how the passport applications are dealt with and begin issuing passports to people just turning up at the Passport office and saying: I need a passport? Would that be acceptable? If the Benefits office start paying benefits without even checking any evidence to ensure that the claimant is entitled to it? Would that be acceptable? If the schools or social services start appointing people and do not bother even to do a statutory check on them that must be done, would that be acceptable? And these are some of the things that all the UK agencies have to and do do! Is it red tape? So, when a EU institution does that how could that be described as red tape? If, for example, UK DEFRA, issuing payment to any farmer, for instance, from the public purse, would we accept it, if it simply sends them a check without seeking evidence, accounts, receipts etc? Would that be acceptable? And if they do, what are they going  to show the Secretary of State as to what they did with the money? What would the Secretary of the Sate do to show at the Public Accounts Committee, Scrutinising the expenses, of the Parliament as to what happened to that £X amount of money? And what, then,  would the Chancellor of Exchequer do when she:he submits the WGA every year at the Parliament for all the government incomes and expenses? Would she:he simply say that there is no evidence how, from where and why the incomes were generated nor there were any evidence as to where the money went and that the Parliament, the MPs and the Press and Media and the public simply have to 'take' her:his word for it? Would that be acceptable? Than,when the EU, for instance, paying a farmer a subsidy payment, must follow the laws, rules, regulations and directives that are set out by the mechanism of the EU and when it does follow those laws, rules, regulations and directive why anyone would call it red tape! And if they do call it so and when they do: do they have any shred of evidence to support that red tape claim against the EU? None! This is simply absurd. And that EU is scrutinised by directly elected MEPs, the very way our elected parliament scrutinises the UK Government and on top of the MEPs, the heads of EU states:governments do the same, checking and balancing and therefore, to suggest that the EU is doing Red Tape is absurd and there is not a shred of evidence to substantiate this claim.

Bureaucracy

Now what is bureaucratic: having one set of arrangement to deal with 28 countries or having 28 different ones? 1: 28? Take that to a five year old and ask this question. Because the UK is in the EU it does not have and does not need to have 28 different trade treaties and arrangements with all the EU countries! It simply has one and that does it! To suggest this is bureaucracy is utterly nonsensical. The same goes to exporting and importing to the EU and how UK businesses have to do it: it makes their life easier and not harder!

New Members Joining  the EU

None can join the EU until all the existing EU member states agree: PERIOD! Than why imagine unnecessary horror scenarios!

Migration within the EU

It is not 'immigration: It is the general movement of the peoples of the EU Within the Common Boundary of the EU and it is not 'immigration': it is Migration and Movement of people which is voluntary and 'unregulated' by anything other the very principle and mechanism of the EU's Free Movement of Peoples. The problem is in the divergence of the two streams of Europe where the newer members, having lesser strength, means and mechanics of their economies, form the smaller portion of the EU nations but with a large population, which would seek for opportunities across the EU and it is valid for them to do except it creates some challenges for all the EU infrastructures as well as in all other EU nations in the first steam of the EU and that challenges should be dealt with by all EU nations, working in concert, within the framework of the EU. And the EU should deal with it as a asocial, political, cultural, economical and financial challenge and find means, mechanisms and systems to create increased initiatives, increased funding streams and increased investments in the newer EU member countries and their economies to help them develop their economies, their infrastructures and their financial and economic systems and culture so that they are brought in a fast-track way in line with the rest of the EU countries. At the same time, the first stream EU countries who are and would be getting larger movements of people from the second stream be supported and given access to means and mechanism to cope, deal with and manage this extra 'demands' on their infrastructures. Once this duality-approach, to accept, understand, recognise, face and formulate a cohesive response is agreed, to these challenges is sought, worked for and achieved these horror scenarios that are now being imagined in magnification, and that are being used in a deadly and dangerous mix of extreme hatred, prejudice and bigotry, by the nationalists and extreme and far, far right wing groups and parties across the European Union countries, can not even be imagined. Just because you have some problem in some blood vessels somewhere in the heart does not mean you just leave the heart to die off or cut it out! We seek to rectify the problems with the vessels that have problems and fix them; problems, as in mathematics, have inherent solutions built in and hidden in them.

The history of Europe, the very existence of Europe and the modern European Union country-landscape have been, with the allies, shaped by the United Kingdom for which this great country and its great people: among whom contributions were made from all parts of the world, the black and Afro-Caribbean people did, the Asian:Indian and many other nations and peoples did: paid the highest of price, made the highest of sacrifice! And to leave all that to be destroyed by the 'rotten Europe' of nazis and neonazis and the rest is simply beyond the spelling of what is rational and what is common sense!

And if this is what is to happen than the UK as a nation should ask these two Conservative parties and their so called allies in other parties who are on the same leave camp, who are running the campaign to leave the EU: to pay for the lives of all those British soldiers who died in the battle fields of Europe and did it for Europe! Return them back to their families! Because no one should have the audacity, should have the AUDACITY to tell the British people that all those British soldiers died for nothing! If we left the EU than everyone must conclude that they died for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER.

And, please, bear in mind, Hitler and Mussolini may be dead but there are others all active and gaining grounds all over Europe and the UK might face the same foe again and fight them across Europe! This is not a tale: just think of Austria! It almost elected a President from that camp! Think of the Front National in France! Think of the Golden Dawn in Greece! Think of the Neonazis in Germany! Think of some other EU governments that are democratically elected and yet they are busily dismantling their judiciary and democratic institutions and seeking to change the very democratic nature of the EU itself! And do not forget about all their counter parts in our own isles!

This is absolutely self-destructive, self-annihilistic, self-defeatist and beyond reason, beyond any sense or purpose. The very way we cannot vote to leave the UK because we do not like some parts or structures of the UK Governance the same way we cannot vote to leave the EU! The EU is a continual political struggle between the 'liberal and democratic' forces of Europe and  the most extreme right wings of Europe and to leave the EU is to let the EU be open to attack on all sides and made weaker to be taken down hill by that forces that are rising their 'nasty' heads across the European Union: from Greece to France, from Poland to Austria, from United Kingdom to Germany and so on. Leaving the EU is like one is saying: my house does no get enough sun in the north west corner and I do not like it: I am going to leave the house! Where is this person going to go: leaving their own house? Would you not advise that person to speak to some specialists and see what could be done to improve the house so that it offers more sun most part of the day? Our very Houses of Parliament building requires absolutely fundamental repair and refurbishment works that will not only be very expensive and will take years to complete! What are we going to do! Leave it to fall apart and move out and make a 'hut' for a House? And let that century old 'treasure' simply get wiped out of existence?

It is their future that this referendum is, should be and ought to be about
 

The last words of this piece: every single UK citizen who believes themselves to be democratic, secular, liberal, social, social democratic or otherwise progressive and who supports human rights, equality, gender equality, end of discrimination, disability and women's rights, children and young people's rights, in green and sustainable economic ways and life, community and social cohesion, in our NHS, believes that we cannot deal with and must work with all other countries such as climate change impacts, clean air, healthy environment, seeking and achieving to end of discrimination, end of poverty, end of hunger, end of all forms of slavery, end of child and women and refugee trafficking, ending child and forced labour, achieving equality for all including gender equality, equality for people with disabilities, for all, expanding education to all and establishing rule of law and due process of law across the world, world peace, rule of international laws, end of wars and conflicts, the human sufferings of the refugee and migration crisis, bringing the world banks and financial mechanisms under proper international legal frameworks so that crushes like the last financial crush never happen again, get the large corporations abide by laws, peaceful, co-operative and knowledge and learning based space exploration benefitting all humankind etc, believes in our World Class Research and Learning Culture that some of the greatest Universities of the world that the UK houses, have worked so hard to set up, run and maintain and that have linked up with the EU and world countries, universities and institutions which is literally like the human heart's ever complex but magnificent net of arteries, veins and capillaries running as part of a grid of learning, working with our neighbours and the world community in concert in areas and fields where we cannot work and achieve alone, CANNOT and MUST NOT take it for granted: they shall have to do everything in their power to turn up and vote on June 23.

And the EU Referendum is About This: Europe Expands Hydrogen Refuelling Infrastructure

Image: IMECHE

|| June 15: 2016 || ά. A multi-partner project will demonstrate that hydrogen can support Europe’s future transport demands. A second pan-European deployment of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and passenger and commercial fuel cell electric vehicles worth £79 million has been launched. The multi-country, multi-partner project is set to demonstrate that hydrogen can support Europe’s future transport demands.

The six-year H2ME 2 project brings together 37 partners from across Europe and will include the deployment and operation of 1,230 fuel cell vehicles, the addition of 20 extra hydrogen-refuelling stations:HRS to the European network and will test the ability of electrolyser-HRS to help balance the electrical grid. The project has been developed under the Hydrogen Mobility Europe:H2ME initiative and supported by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking:FCH JU with funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 programme.
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This referendum is the opportunity to write a New Magna Carta for the future generations of the nations of the British Isles and no one must be complacent enough not to go and sign on that monumental document on the day it is supposed to be signed: June 23: the New Magna Carta and it has nothing to do with negativity, fear, paranoia or phobia or frenzy but everything to do with forward looking a viewscape, future embracing a vision: a nation's statement of intent as to what it is and what it aspires to be and what it is determined to seek to achieve for itself, for Europe and for the World and World humanity on this earth and on this Universe.

We leave it for the readers to ponder. ω.

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Labour to Force a Vote on the Positive Case to Remain in the EU and Reject Tory Brexit



|| June 14: 2016 || ά. The Labour Party is to force a vote on the positive case to remain in the EU and reject Tory Brexit. It will use its final Opposition Day Debate before the European Union Referendum vote on Thursday,  June 23 to highlight the positive case to remain and reform the EU, and reject a Tory Brexit. The Labour Party accepts that the EU is not perfect, but it says, ''to turn our backs on the economic benefits of what the UK’s membership of the EU offers and embrace a Tory Brexit, does not bare considering. After the damage to our economy of six years of George Osborne’s economic mismanagement, a Tory Brexit will only add a further economic burden to working people’s lives.''

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said: “Labour wants to better use the EU’s levers of power to help British families get more control against the growing economic forces of globalisation, including on issues that British people feel passionately about such as clamping down on tax avoidance and building new homes. ω.

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Brexit Risks Charges in NHS: Labour Party

Heidi Alexander MP: Labour Shadow Health Secretary: Image: MP's Website

 

|| June 12: 2016 || ά.  The cost of Brexit to NHS finances could lead to patients being charged for seeing their GP and staying in hospital, Labour has warned. Last week, the Labour Party revealed that the Department of Health could face a £10.5 billion blackhole at the end of the decade if Britain voted to leave the European Union.

Leave campaigners have failed to produce a credible plan for how they would plug this financial gap or properly fund the NHS, and the Tory chair of the health select committee has described Vote Leave’s comments on the NHS as “untrue”. Labour is warning that, to fill the blackhole in NHS finances a post-referendum Conservative Government, led by Tory Brexiters, would have to either make deeper cuts to the NHS or introduce charges for essential day-to-day health services.

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Labour Party Sets out What Tory Brexit Budget Would Mean Post EU-Referendum Should the UK Vote to Leave the EU



|| June 12: 2016 || ά.  The Labour Party has set out new analysis showing what a Tory Brexit Budget would look like if the UK were to leave the European Union. The hit to the UK economy caused by leaving the EU would weaken the public finances and leave a Tory Government committed to austerity being forced to set out how they would meet their discredited fiscal targets.

Labour’s analysis of figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that a Tory Brexit Budget will hit our public services and family finances hard. If the additional Tory austerity was shared equally between cuts to day-to-day public spending, reductions in social security and tax rises, it could mean:

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Heidi Alexander’s Speech on the Risks to the NHS of a Vote to Leave the EU

Image: Heidi Alexander MP's Website

|| June 08: 2016 || ά. Heidi Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, delivered a speech at UNISON’s headquarters todaay about the risks to the NHS of a vote to leave the European Union. This is what she said: Thank you, Wendy – and thank you to UNISON for hosting us today. In fifteen days’ time the British people will take the biggest political decision of my lifetime – whether or not we should remain part of the European Union. I was just two months old when the last referendum on Europe took place. Back then, the questions my parents’ generation had to answer were similar to the questions we face today: What is in the best interest of me and my family? How can we guarantee our country’s security and influence in a changing world? And how do we ensure a strong economy that delivers decent jobs and decent public services?

In 1975, my parents voted to stay in the Common Market and like millions of others, I have grown up taking our membership of the EU for granted. Easy travel, the opportunity to study and work abroad, the basic principle that we would co-operate with the countries closest to us to foster progress and tackle shared challenges. I don’t claim the EU is perfect. It is in need of reform. But I have no doubt that overall our interests are best served by staying in.

Whether it’s the economy, jobs, trade or our ability to deal with the big global issues which don’t respect national borders, we are better off working with our European neighbours than going it alone. Now, the past few weeks of this campaign have sometimes felt like a beauty contest for the next leader of the Conservative Party. I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up of it. Fed up of the mud-slinging and the name-calling. Fed up of the dry debates about sovereignty and the rebate. And fed up of being told that people like me, a comprehensive girl from Swindon are somehow part of an elitist establishment that have been brainwashed by bureaucrats from Brussels.

Boris, Nigel - I can assure you that is NOT the case. It seems to me the public want less spin and more substance in this debate. They want to understand what their vote on the 23rd June means for them and for the things they care about – like the National Health Service. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today. I have been the shadow health secretary for nine months now. And in that time I have seen the critical state that the NHS is in. Hospital finances are spiralling out of control.

Mental health patients are bussed half way across the country for a bed. Waiting lists are up. Staff morale is down. And the care sector is on the brink of collapse.
Don’t let anyone tell you this is the fault of migrants - this is the fault of Ministers. I am under no illusion about the scale of the challenge facing the NHS and the risks associated with another four years of Tory Government. However, I am absolutely clear that leaving the EU would make the challenges greater and the risks bigger for an already fragile NHS.

I could talk to you this morning about the billions of pounds we receive from European research grants. How EU laws on air pollution and food packaging are helping to improve our nation’s health. Or the protection we receive when we travel to the continent through the European Health Insurance Card. These are all important issues. But I want to focus my remarks this morning on the threat of Brexit to people who work in the NHS and to people who rely on the NHS.

We’re here at UNISON this morning because this is a union that stands up for its members – the nurses, health care assistants, midwives, health visitors, paramedics, technicians and many, many more who keep our health service running. UNISON stands up for jobs; for our standard of living; and for the public services upon which we all rely. You understand the importance of our membership to the EU.

And that is why your members have overwhelmingly backed the case for us to remain. Now, I know that being a frontline member of staff in the NHS at the moment is hard going. I know how you constantly feel as if you are being asked to do more for less. How cuts to nurse training places mean staff are overworked and spread too thin. And how you are left picking up the pieces of a social care system which is on its knees due to years of underfunding. I know that if we want our NHS to be there in the years and decades to come, we must invest in the current generation of staff and the next generation too.

We shouldn’t be scrapping student nurse bursaries, putting off the next generation of midwives and healthcare worker. No, we want more home-grown NHS staff and we should put our money where our mouth is. But we have to be honest: as of today, parts of the health system would not function without the contribution of EU migrants.

Put simply, you’re more likely to come across a migrant caring for you in a hospital, then in the bed next to you. 52,000 people working in the NHS today are from other European countries. These are doctors, nurses and midwives who work day-in, day-out saving lives and caring for our loved ones through ill health. Two years ago my grandmother passed away. Who was it that sat by her bedside and dabbed water onto her dry lips in the days before she died?

It was a polish care assistant called Kristina. Now, don’t get me wrong, I want young people to grow up in this country, wanting those jobs. I want those positions to be paid at decent wages and for people to see care as a vocation and not as a job of last resort. But at the moment, our care system relies upon people like Kristina. The job she did helped my gran to have the dignity and support I wanted for her at the end of her life.


If we vote to leave, what would happen to Kristina and the thousands of other staff like her? What restrictions would there be on recruiting new staff? Would existing staff have to leave if they didn’t earn enough to meet income thresholds to renew visas? Would hospitals be able to fill staff shortages without immediate access to the pool of qualified staff from other European countries?

The truth is we just don’t know. And it’s not just these questions no-one can answer. In fact every time leave campaigners are asked what Britain would look like if we left the EU their answer is always the same – we just don’t know. So at a time when hospital wards are already dangerously understaffed, when the care system is already in crisis, is leaving the EU a risk the NHS can afford to take?

I don’t think so – and I don’t think many patients would agree either. And that brings me onto the threat of Brexit to patient care. The financial crisis facing the NHS today is the worst in its history. Hospitals ended the last year more than £2.4 billion in the red. Extra money allocated to this year has gone towards paying off the bills from last year. It has got so bad that the Health Secretary can’t even guarantee his Department has kept within its own spending limits.

I am in no doubt that as a country we need to have a big, open and honest debate about the future funding of health and care in England. A big debate about how we pay for elderly care and how we reshape our services to meet the needs of our ageing population. That’s a process I want to lead as Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary. But I know too that the economic shock of a vote to leave Europe risks plunging the health service into an even deeper financial crisis.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned last month that if we leave the European Union, Britain could face another two years of austerity. The economy would slow. Tax income would fall. And public sector spending would be squeezed even further. In the worst-case scenario, new analysis published by Labour today reveals that the Tories would have to cut the Department of Health’s budget by up to £10.5 billion in 2019/20 to meet their promise of balancing the books by the end of the Parliament.

That’s £10.5 billion pounds worth of cuts which if made today would mean every hospital trust in England cutting 1,000 nurses and 155 doctors. It’s the equivalent of the entire annual budget for the NHS in London. These are future cuts that the NHS could well do without. Now I think I know what the leave camp is going to say – I’ve read the leaflets, I’ve watched the adverts, I’ve seen the bus. They claim if we leave the EU then we’ll have a load of extra money to throw around. Well let me be absolutely clear – this claim is misleading, simplistic and complete and utter nonsense.

They began this campaign promising £350 million a week more to the NHS. Now it’s £100 million. At this rate, by the 23 June it’s probably going to be zero. Because how many times have the Brexit brigade spent this money? First they said it could build hospitals, and then schools, and then they could use it to cut VAT and the cut council tax and then fix potholes.

Come on, really? What answer do they have to economists who are lining up to say in the short term an economic downturn is almost inevitable? And what does that mean for NHS finances? And who are these people making these claims? Most of them are just pretenders to David Cameron’s throne. These aren’t manifesto commitments, they are the cheap lines of people prepared to say anything to get your vote. Just because the bus has got the NHS logo plastered on its side, doesn’t mean for a second that you should trust the people sat in its seats.

People like Boris Johnson who has written that “people [should] have to pay” for the NHS. People like Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell who have called for a “price-mechanism in healthcare”. Or people like Nigel Farage, who was caught on video, saying that he wants the NHS to move to an insurance based system like the United States. When Leave campaigners say it’s time for ordinary people to take back control, what they really mean is it’s time for people like them to take control.

Iain Duncan Smith, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage taking control of our NHS. I couldn’t think of anything worse. But don’t take my word for it. This is what John Major had to say on Sunday: “The NHS is about as safe with them as a pet hamster would be with a hungry python.”

Now I don’t often agree with John Major, but when Tories say they don’t trust the Tories with the NHS, I think it’s probably worth listening. I want to finish by returning to why this referendum is important to me and to my family. Eighty years ago my grandfather and my husband’s Austrian grandfather found themselves on opposing sides in the Second World War. Now, some say the role of the EU in keeping the peace since then has been overstated.

I’m not so sure. An organisation which routinely brings together leaders, governments and policy makers across a continent seems like a pretty sensible idea to me. We might not always get our way, but in the grown up world of international politics, we have to be sat at the table and not out in the cold. Peace in Europe is taken for granted by my generation. But when parties such as Golden Dawn rear their head in Greece and when barbed wire fencing goes up in Hungary, Macedonia and Bulgaria to keep foreigners out, we shouldn’t be turning our back on our neighbours, we should be helping them to find solutions.

Ugly nationalism and ignorant prejudice have no place in British politics. We have fought it before – a few weeks ago in the case of London – and we will fight it again. We must not allow this referendum campaign to give some sort of perverse permission for it. This month’s vote isn’t just about our membership of the EU. It’s about the type of country we want to be and the message we want to send to the rest of the world.

So in two weeks’ time let’s send that message loud and clear. That Britain is better off in Europe. That Britain is stronger and safer in Europe. And that Britain shares that intrinsic Labour value that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone. This is the campaign of our generation – let’s go out there and win it. Thank you very much.
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The EU Referendum is ‘Era-defining Moment’ for Workers’ Rights: Jeremy Corbyn


|| June 05: 2016 || ά.   Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party Spoke at at the Institute of Engineering Technology, London where he spoke why the EU Referendum is of such importance to the rights of the working people. Here's his speech.

Today, we want to set out the positive case for remaining in Europe and for reforming Europe. There are just three weeks to go until the referendum vote on June 23 but too much of the debate so far has been dominated by myth-making and prophecies of doom.

In the final stage of this referendum, as we get closer to what is expected by many to be a very tight vote, it does not help the debate over such a serious issue if the hype and histrionic claims continue or worse intensify. I believe the EU has the potential to deliver positive change for the people of Britain if there was a radical, reforming government to drive that agenda. Too often what has held back the EU is having to move at the pace of the slowest. Too often that has been the British government.

And let me say up front to anyone listening who is not already registered to vote, Please register, you have five days to do so. We appeal especially to young people who will live longest with the consequences of any vote. Just over a week ago, George Osborne claimed that the British economy would enter a year-long recession if we voted to leave. This is the same George Osborne who predicted his austerity policies would close the deficit by 2015. That’s now scheduled for 2021. It’s the same George Osborne who said the British economy would be “carried aloft by the march of the makers” yet the manufacturing sector has stagnated ever since, and manufacturing employment declined.

The biggest risk of recession in this country is from a Conservative Government that is failing, failing on the deficit, failing on the debt, failing to rebalance the economy and failing to boost productivity. Two weeks ago, Boris Johnson claimed: “It is absurd that we are told that you cannot sell bananas in bunches of more than two or three bananas.” No, what’s absurd is for a senior politician, a former Mayor of London, to say “Vote to Leave the EU, they’re after our bananas!”

The Leave side has concocted a number of myths about the evils of the EU. Many are, frankly, bananas. So let’s remind ourselves of the positives it was EU regulation that improved the UK’s beaches which, if you go back 30 or 40 years, were in a terrible state . Britain used to pump our untreated sewage straight into the sea. Just 25 years ago one in four British beaches were too dirty to swim in. Now 95 per cent of our beaches have a clean bill of health.

Three years ago the EU voted to restrict the use of some pesticides that are strongly linked to the decline of the bee population, essential for our biodiversity. The coalition Government lobbied against the restrictions but they passed. Too often the British government has had to be dragged kicking and screaming into acting to protect our own environment. As we know, we have a Prime Minister who has lurched from ‘hug a huskie’ when he became Tory leader to, a decade on, ‘gas a badger’ and ‘poison the bees’.

When recent court judgement ordered the British Government to do more to tackle air pollution, it was the UK Supreme Court in London, acting to enforce EU standards. A recent study found that EU air quality regulations are saving 80,000 lives a year across Europe. It’s time this Government acted to save lives here too. European Union targets have been vital in encouraging the adoption of renewable energy. Some countries like Germany and Denmark have embraced this change, invested and revolutionised their energy markets, creating new high skill jobs and leading technological advance.

Britain has dragged its heels so much for David Cameron’s rhetoric of “leading the greenest government ever”. It is an EU directive that has stopped the mobile phone companies from ripping us off if we make or receive a call abroad. It was the collective strength of 28 countries representing 520 million people achieved that. The European Convention on Human Rights, empowering citizens to hold the Government accountable has strengthened our rights as citizens and stopped the Government gagging free speech and a free press.

It was the Labour Government who wrote the Convention into UK law through the Human Rights Act of 1998.Today senior figures in the Conservative Government are discussing repealing that Act which has ensured the state cannot violate people’s human rights. It is because of those human rights in law that we had the inquest into Hillsborough, so that those families finally got justice after 27 years and congratulations to them for their tenacity and their dignity.

And it’s worth reflecting that if this Government repealed the Human Rights Act, and opted out of the European Convention, it would join Europe’s only dictatorship Belarus as the only other country not to support these universal human rights. On rights at work, Europe through the social chapter and other directives has delivered:

Over 26 million workers in Britain benefit from being entitled to 28 days of paid leave and a limit to how many hours they can be forced to work;
Over eight million part-time workers, over six million of whom are women, have equal rights with full-time colleagues,
Over one million temporary workers have the same rights as permanent workers,
340,000 women every year have guaranteed rights to take maternity leave.

And it’s important to understand the benefit of these gains. It means workers throughout Europe have decent rights at work. Meaning it’s harder to undercut terms and conditions across Europe. Several Leave supporters have stated clearly they want to leave Europe to water down workers’ rights. To rip up the protections that protect work-life balance, that prevent discrimination and prevent exploitation and injustice.

That is why we say, the threat to the British people is not the European Union, it is a Conservative Government here in Britain, seeking to undermine the good things we have achieved in Europe and resisting changes that would benefit the ordinary people of Britain. A vote to Leave means a Conservative Government would then be in charge of negotiating Britain’s exit. Everything they have done as a Government so far means we could not rely on them to protect the workplace rights that millions rely on. A Tory Brexit negotiation would be a disaster for the majority of people in Britain.

But that’s not to say we can be satisfied with the European Union as it is. We believe Europe can and must do far more to meet the needs of our people. That’s why when we make the case to remain, we also make the Labour case for reform. A Labour government will protect the gains that have benefited our people, while energetically pushing for progressive reform in Europe, in alliance with our allies across the continent. A vision of a Europe of co-operation and solidarity.

We can reform to get a better deal for consumers;
To strengthen workers’ rights across Europe and prevent the undercutting of wages,
To meet the challenges posed by migration and the refugee crisis,
To end the pressure to privatise public services,
To democratise the EU’s institutions and bring them closer to people,
And for reforms to ensure we generate prosperity across Europe to the benefit of all.

Many people will be taking a European holiday in the coming months they will benefit from lower air fares and cheaper roaming charges on their mobile phones. But there are other areas where working with our political allies in Europe and the 27 other countries representing over 450 million people. We can use our collective negotiating power to stop corporations taking consumers to the cleaners.

A few weeks ago, I raised with the Prime Minister the need for reform of the Posting of Workers Directive to close a loophole that allows workers from one country to work in another and be paid less than local workers doing the same job. Although the instances are relatively few, such incidents undermine community cohesion by exploiting migrant workers and undercutting local workers. His loophole only benefits unscrupulous employers seeking to drive down wages and Labour is pressuring the UK Government to back the proposals on the table to close this loophole.

It is not migrants that undercut wages, but unscrupulous employers. Migrant workers are often the victims of the worst exploitation, and it is our duty to close loopholes and strengthen enforcement of employment protection here in Britain and across Europe.  A couple of months ago, I held talks with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who was elected on a clear anti-austerity platform to resolve his country’s financial crisis.

The way in which Greece was treated by its creditors, including the EU, shows that Europe has to develop fairer and more effective mechanisms to manage such crises for the future. No one benefits from enforcing unpayable debt with yet more destructive austerity and the ties of solidarity are undermined by such counter-productive action. But although Greece has suffered from enforced austerity, the Greek President and the Greek people are clear that their country wants to stay within a reformed Europe.

That must be a Europe that works together to develop a strategy for renewed and shared growth, and for the gains of that growth to be shared more equally. Many thousands of people have written to me, with their concerns about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or T-TIP the deal being negotiated, largely in secret, between the US and the EU. Many people are concerned rightly, that it could open up public services to further privatisation and make privatisation effectively irreversible. Others are concerned about any potential watering down of consumer rights, food safety standards, rights at work or environmental protections and the facility for corporations to sue national governments if regulations impinged on their profits.

I share those concerns. A few weeks ago the French President, Francois Hollande, said he would veto the deal as it stands and to become law any deal would have to be ratified by each member state. So today we give this pledge, as it stands, we too would reject TTIP  and veto it in Government. And there is a challenge to the Prime Minister, if it’s not good enough for France; it’s not good enough for Britain either. David Cameron make clear now that if Britain votes to remain this month you will block any TTIP trade treaty that threatens our public services, our consumer and employment rights and that hands over power to giant corporations to override democratically elected governments.

The EU’s state aid rules, which limit the scope for governments to intervene to support our vital industries, also need to change. But so does how British governments interpret them. The steel crisis highlighted how Germany, Italy, France and Spain all did much better at protecting their steel industries. They acted within EU state aid rules to support their industries, whether through taking a public stake, investing in research and development, providing loan guarantees or compensating for energy costs.

Nevertheless, the rules are too restrictive and national governments must have the powers to act to protect key industries. We are committed to bringing the railways into public ownership. That is the democratic will of the public and of our party. That is why our MEPs are scrutinising the Fourth Rail Package currently being negotiated in the European Parliament to ensure that there is no obstacle to a fully socially owned rail network. More widely, we need reform in Europe to ensure we put a stop to the drive to privatise and break up our public services and utilities. The experience of Britain’s many failed privatisations and the damage done by the outsourcing of our public services is an object lesson in why the pressure to continue this three-decades-old experiment has to be brought to an end. Here and across Europe.

When it comes to the refugee crisis, many European countries have made great efforts in response. Whether taking in large numbers of people fleeing persecution, or funding refugee camps in Lebanon and Turkey as Britain has done. But collectively, as a continent we have failed, failed to co-ordinate our efforts, failed those countries like Greece and Italy that have seen desperate people land on their shores in unprecedented number. And, tragically, we have failed people who desperately need and deserve our help. Labour is determined that this failure must never be allowed to happen again and that in future we co-ordinate our efforts as a continent.

On migration, we cannot deny the inevitable; we live in a smaller world. Most of us in Britain know someone who has studied, worked or retired abroad. We have reciprocal arrangements with the European Union. Our citizens, well over one million of them, live in other EU countries and EU citizens come to live and work here. But it is not that simple, I’ve already talked about how some industries are affected by the undercutting of wages and the action that can be taken to tackle that. But some communities can change dramatically and rapidly and that can be disconcerting for some people. That doesn’t make them Little Englanders, xenophobes or racists. More people living in an area can put real pressure on local services like GPs surgeries, schools and housing.

This isn’t the fault of migrants. It’s a failure of government. The coalition government in 2010 abolished the Migrant Impact Fund; a national fund to manage the short term impacts of migration on local communities. By abolishing it, David Cameron’s Coalition undermined the proper preparation and investment that communities need to adapt. We are clear, we would restore such a fund and it could be funded from unspent.

We cannot and should not want to close the borders. Not for European citizens wanting to come here, tens of thousands of whom work in our NHS. And not for British citizens who want to take advantage of opportunities elsewhere in Europe. But we do have to make sure that public services are able to sustain the communities we have here, part of that is through a Migrant Impact Fund, but partly too it is about reversing the damaging and unnecessary austerity policies that this government continues to impose on our communities and our country.

We, the Labour Party, are overwhelmingly for staying in, because we believe the European Union has brought investment, jobs and protection for workers, consumers and the environment. But also because we recognise that our membership offers a crucial route to meeting the challenges we face in the 21st century, on climate change, on restraining the power of global corporations and ensuring they pay fair taxes, on tackling cyber-crime and terrorism, on ensuring trade is fair with protections for workers and consumers and in addressing refugee movements

Britain will be stronger if we co-operate with our neighbours in facing those challenges together. Europe needs to change. Today, I’ve outlined some areas for progressive reform. But those changes can only be achieved by working with our allies. There is an overwhelming case to remain and reform so that we build on the best that Europe has achieved. But that will only happen if we elect a Labour Government, committed to engaging with our allies to deliver real improvements in the lives of the people of our country.

That is why we established the Labour In campaign, because we have a distinct agenda, a vision to make Britain better and fairer for everyone, by engaging with our neighbours. So please use your vote on June 23, to vote Remain and then campaign with us for the reforms we need.
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‘Remain and Reform’ the EU and You Could Build 160,000 New Homes:  John McDonnell MP


|| June 05: 2016 || ά. Labour is today providing a positive alternative to a Tory Brexit by setting out plans to use the EU to double the European Investment Bank’s:EIB commitment to funding social housing provision, currently 20,000 homes, in order to bring the UK’s per capita share of funding in line with the EU average.

If the UK moved to the EU average of per capita EIB investment then it would increase funding from £5.6 billion last year to £8 billion. Labour would learn from best practice from devolved administrations across the UK on how to improve the quantity and quality of proposals sent to the EIB. This could mean a possible annual £2.4 billion increase in funding, almost £10 billion by 2020 available for UK businesses, which could then be used to help tackle issues like the UK’s housing crisis.
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The European Referendum is Not a General Election and No Camp Should Promise to Cut Anything Because Neither is Campaigning for Wining to Form a Government

 

|| June 01: 2016 || ά.  The European Referendum is not a General Election and the UK citizens are not asked to elect the MPs who would form a government. No political party is standing in this Referendum seeking to form a government. The Leave Campaign began campaigning as if they are running a campaign to form the next government and the are declaring they will do this and that, the latest being they will cut down on VAT if the UK voted to leave the EU only when the UK government can and may do so. This is very misleading and unwise a move for the Leave Campaign to do so.

This is not a joke, VAT is not. The figure, below is taken from the UK's Whole Government Account for 2014-15. As can be seen out of the £659.3 billion government income VAT has brought in 113.9 billions. To suggest a UK government could cut VAT substantially is really a dangerous thing to claim even by a political party unless they can show how they are going fill in the huge gap created by the lowering of the VAT rate.

United Kingdom Whole Government Account 2014-15: Let's Count the Pennies

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I Strongly Believe That Women are Beneficiaries of our EU Membership: Geeta Sidhu-Robb, CEO of Nosh Detox

Image: Nosh

|| May 30: 2016 || ά. Geeta Sidhu-Robb is the CEO of Nosh Detox, strogngly believes that the UK membership of the EU is a positive thing, particularly, in advancing gender equality, women's rights as well as the business community including the free movement of people across the EU that benefits the UK in many ways and which is 'overlooked'. She believes not only the UK businesses benefit from being in the EU, but also, we benefit from our interactions and exchanges as human beings with our European neighbours. ω.

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The Treasury Select Committee Report: Costs and Benefits of UK's EU Membership

 

The Humanion Calls on Everyone in the UK to Invoke the Very Best of British for the EU Referendum

The Humanion Invites All the UK Citizens to Invoke the Very Best of British and Assess the High Magnitude Complexities of All the Issues Involved in the European Referendum Because One Does Not and Cannot Make the Best Decision for One's National Best Interest for Generations to Come When One is at One's Lowest

|| May 28: 2016 || ά. Right Hon. Andrew Tyrie MP, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, that has just published the Report on Costs and Benefits of UK's EU Membership says the following which reads almost like a 'verdict' on the 'poverty' of the campaigns running opposing each other about the EU Referendum: "The arms race of ever more lurid claims and counter-claims made by both the leave and remain sides is not just confusing the public. It is impoverishing political debate. Today is the first day of the main campaign. It needs to begin with an amnesty on misleading, and at times bogus, claims. The public are thoroughly fed up with them. The public are right.'' Readmore

Introduction

1. A recurring complaint in the debate on the European Union is the absence of ‘facts’ about the case for and against the UK’s membership on which the electorate can base their vote on June 23. Hugh Bearryman and Carolyn Frank, the owners of small businesses, each with different views on the merits of membership, summed up this concern in evidence to the Committee:

Hugh Bearryman: “It has to be laid out clearly and precisely. At the moment, it is not. That is why some people are veering to one side and some to the other. It is purely because it is their gut instinct, not because they know.”1

Carolyn Frank: “If I was voting today, I think I would vote “yes”, but that is more of a gut feeling because there is not enough information available publicly to make that decision.”2

2. The forthcoming referendum is not an election. There is no manifesto for Brexit;3 and even if there were, the public could not be assured that it could be fully implemented in the event of Brexit. What would follow a vote to leave depends partly on the positions taken by the 27 other EU Member States, which cannot be known. Neither the Government nor the Leave campaign have spelled out their own detailed approach to the UK’s future relationship with the EU and the rest of the world in the event of Brexit nor how they would fill the policy vacuum in areas where the EU presently exercises power.

3. There are also uncertainties–albeit somewhat more quantifiable ones–to remaining in the EU. The Five Presidents’ Report envisages far-reaching changes to the economic governance of the Eurozone in order to put the single currency on a sustainable footing. It is uncertain whether the political will exists to make these changes, raising the prospect of continued Eurozone economic malaise and future crises. Even successful reforms may fundamentally change the relationship between countries outside the single currency, and those within it. The Chancellor highlighted, prior to the completion of the Government’s renegotiations, that these developments bring with them the “very real risk that badly thought-through legislation will be imposed on the UK”.4 Over the longer term, the EU may also seek powers to act in other areas through changes to its Treaties; under the European Union Act 2011, the UK electorate would have to give its consent to this in another referendum.

4. In short, there are facts about the UK’s present relationship with the EU, some of which are set out in this Report. But in considering the UK’s future relationship with the EU and its economic implications–whatever the result of the vote on 23 June may be–there are few facts to help the electorate make their decision, and mainly judgements that Britain would be better off remaining in the EU which appear to be the prevailing institutional view of mainstream economic opinion with the IMF, the World Bank, the OECD, the IFS, the CBI and the TUC all making arguments in favour of Britain remaining in the EU.

5. Based on the evidence it has received, the Committee–a cross-party group representing a range of opinion on the merits of EU membership–has considered some of these judgements to be more credible than others. A principal aim of this Report is to identify the range of post-referendum outcomes the Committee considers to be plausible, and hence which judgements should be taken seriously.

6. Campaign groups and others have made many factual-sounding claims about the effects of EU membership and the consequences of Brexit. But in order to be meaningful, these claims must be underpinned by judgements about how the UK would fare, and the policy choices the Government would make, outside the EU.

7. It does not make sense to claim, as does Lord Rose, Chairman of the Stronger In campaign, that households benefit by £3,000 per year from EU membership,5 without specifying the alternative arrangement under which those benefits would be lost. Equally, it is not meaningful to say, as did Boris Johnson, the most prominent spokesperson for the Vote Leave campaign, that EU membership raises food bills by £400 per year thanks to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), without specifying whether and how the UK agriculture sector would be supported after Brexit.6

8. The public debate is being poorly served by inconsistent, unqualified and, in some cases, misleading claims and counter-claims. Members of both the ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ camps are making such claims. Another aim of this report is to assess the accuracy of some of these claims, and enable the wider public more confidently to set aside unqualified assertions about the economic impact of their vote.

9. This Report focuses exclusively on the economic consequences of EU membership and Brexit. For many, the case for staying in or leaving turns on more than economic logic: as Arron Banks, co-founder of Leave.eu put it, “This is not about pounds and pence. It is about our democracy.”7 The economic effects may be a second-order consideration for some when set against the importance in principle of the UK regaining greater power to control its affairs.

10. Influence, power and control over the country’s affairs (sometimes loosely described as sovereignty) are, in and of themselves, not amenable to economic evaluation. Consequently, this Report does not analyse them in detail, except to consider how far the UK, acting on its own, may pursue superior economic policies. But there is a connection between the economic relationship that the UK might have with the EU, and the powers it would be able to repatriate. In particular, as a member of the EU, the UK enjoys certain rights, and is bound by certain obligations, upheld and enforced respectively by a supranational court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Membership of the EU means accepting the “rules of the game” and the verdict of the referee. An important judgement needs to be made about whether, outside the EU, the UK would be able to retain the rights afforded by membership, including its present level of access to EU markets, while picking and choosing its obligations, and reasserting the authority of its own institutions to interpret the rules.

11. Staying in or leaving the EU will also have political consequences. Indeed, for some, it would seem that the true prize of leaving the EU is the opportunities it might create to change how the country is governed; as Dominic Cummings, Campaign Director for Vote Leave, put it, “when we vote Leave it is only one part of a general process of national renewal that we need”.8 Many leave campaigners also hope that Brexit will be a catalyst for what they see as desirable changes to the way the EU operates, while many remain campaigners hope that a vote to stay will achieve much the same thing; Will Straw, Executive Director of Britain Stronger in Europe, has written about “Britain’s role in reforming EU institutions, as part of a strong wider pro-Europe campaign”.9 But neither detailed programmes of national renewal, nor likely changes to the EU’s institutional architecture–beyond the Government’s renegotiation package–have yet formed a major part of the campaign. In any case, and to the extent these issues do now form part of the public debate, their likelihood and merits would be highly complex to evaluate, and they are not considered in this Report.

Claims Made by the Campaign Groups

Background

12. Both leave and remain campaign groups have made claims about the economic impact of EU membership and Brexit. These claims, which are often described as ‘facts’, have been made in campaign literature, in speeches by prominent spokespersons, and in evidence before the Committee.10

13. As discussed in the introduction to this Report, many of these claims sound factual because they use numbers. They are not, however, facts, but claims underpinned by judgements and assumptions. Rarely have those judgements and assumptions been made adequately explicit. However, we recognise that the assumptions made to underpin analysis are those that would need to be made in any economic modelling, however advanced that modelling may be. We, therefore, should assess the weight given to the evidence not just on the assumptions made but on the sophistication of the modelling and analysis that underpins it.

14. The Committee took oral evidence from the major campaign groups and prominent spokespersons on both sides of the referendum debate. It also asked ‘permitted participants’ in the referendum to send campaign literature published during the referendum period.11 What follows is the analysis of their most prominent economic claims.

15. Most claims made about the economic impact of EU membership fall into one of five categories:

claims about the size of the UK’s contributions to the EU budget;
claims about the impact of EU membership, and particularly the CAP, on consumer prices and household food bills;
claims about the impact of EU membership on employment;
claims about the cost or burden of EU regulation; and
claims about the impact of EU membership on gross domestic product and/or household incomes.

The crucial issue of the impact of trade policy is considered later in the report.

Claims about the size of the UK’s contributions to the EU budget

“our annual contribution to the EU is equivalent to £340 per household”:Lord Rose, speech on 12 October 2015

“Let’s give the NHS the £350 million the EU takes every week.”:Vote Leave campaign literature

“Instead of sending £350 million per week to Brussels, we will spend it on our priorities like the NHS and schools.”:Vote Leave website, ‘Leave looks like … ’

“£19.1bn: the amount the UK would save by no longer having to contribute to the EU budget.”:Vote Leave website, The UK-EU balance sheet

16. The EU’s resources come from contributions by Member States, including the UK. The process by which these contributions are calculated is complex, but they are closely related to Member States’ relative economic size.

17. The UK gets back a proportion of what it pays in to the EU budget, largely in the form of agricultural subsidies under the CAP and regional funding, although it has been an overall net contributor to the budget i.e. it has paid in more than it gets back in 41 out of its 42 years of membership.12

18. In addition, the UK has received an ‘abatement’, or ‘correction’, to its budget contribution since 1984 which means it pays less than it otherwise would. This was negotiated by the Government led by Mrs Thatcher, which argued that the UK’s budget contribution should more closely reflect the fact that it has a smaller agricultural sector, and consequently benefits less than some other Member States from the CAP. The abatement is applied before the UK pays its budget contribution i.e. no money is paid out or rebated.13 As the Treasury points out, “it does not involve any transfer of money from the Commission or other member states to the Exchequer”.14 The rebate is calculated according to a formula that can only be altered with the agreement of all Member States, including the UK.

19. The EU also provides funding directly to private sector and non-governmental organisations in the UK, such as universities. A breakdown of these receipts is shown in the table below.

Table 1: UK receipts from the EU budget, 2014

 

 

£ millions

CAP–direct payments

2,546

CAP–rural development

555

Regional funding

1,324

Research and innovation

642

Erasmus*

84

Administration

120

Other

357

Total

5,628

Source: European Commission


20. The different channels through which the UK receives money back from the EU budget, and the different sources in which information on EU budget contributions and receipts is published, has led to campaign groups putting forward various figures to measure the UK’s contribution to the EU budget. The picture is complicated further by the different time periods used when presenting the numbers; for instance, Vote Leave has a ‘counter’ on its home page claiming to measure “total UK contributions to the EU” since joining (at the time of writing, it stands at £511 billion).

21.Figures on the UK’s budget contributions over the time periods typically used in campaign literature are shown in the table below.

Table 2: contributions to the EU budget

     

2014

 

Since joining (1973–2014) (£m)

Past decade (2005–14) (£m)

annual (£m)

Per week (£m)

£ per household (annual) (£m)

Gross contributions

473,939

147,443

18,833

362

698

Contributions including rebate

354,808

119,148

14,404

277

533

Contributions including rebate and public sector receipts

167,421

68,962

9,814

189

363

 

*Contributions including rebate, public and private sector receipts

n/a

54,179

5,711

110

212

Source: Source: HM Treasury, European Union Finances:various edns.; European Commission

22. Successive Governments have generally used the annual figure, taking account of the rebate and public sector receipts, as a measure of the UK’s contribution i.e. £189m per week.15 The Institute for Fiscal Studies describes a figure taking account of the rebate, and net of public and private sector receipts i.e. £110m per week, as “the UK’s current overall net contribution”.16

23. By far the most prominent, and most controversial, figure for the UK’s EU budget contributions is that of £350m per week, used by Vote Leave. This is calculated on the same basis as the £362m figure in the top line of the table above; in effect, it does not account for the rebate, or include any receipts from the EU budget.

24. Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of Vote Leave, said that this was “the core number”17 of Vote Leave’s campaign, and that it was used “again and again”.18 In their campaign literature, Vote Leave describes this as the amount of money that the UK “sends” to Brussels, and imply that leaving the EU–and hence not “sending” this money to Brussels–would enable this sum to be spent on other priorities, in particular the NHS. The message emblazoned on the Vote Leave campaign bus–“We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead”–is a typical formulation of this claim. In the weeks leading up to the publication of this Report, the number has also been used in campaign videos, including one entitled How would you spend £350 million? Others from the Leave campaign have used this claim too. Michael Gove has said that “if we vote to leave [ … ] we can take back the £350 million we give to the EU every week. We can spend more on our priorities like the NHS”.19 Writing in the Times on 23 May, Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the House of Commons Health Committee, described the claim that leaving the EU would result in £350 million per week being made available to spend on the NHS as “absurd” and the emphasis Vote Leave have placed on the NHS in their campaign as “a cynical distortion which undermines the credibility of their other arguments”.

25. Matthew Elliott and Dominic Cummings were asked to justify Vote Leave’s use of this figure, given that it does not take any account of the rebate. In oral evidence, they said that their figure was based on an annual number of £19.1 billion used in the ONS’s Balance of Payments, where it is listed as a “debit”, with the rebate and other budget receipts identified as offsetting “credits”.20 The Deputy National Statistician has made clear that “The rebate is shown as a separate credit in the ONS’s Pink Book, but this does not follow how payments are made: HM Treasury pays over the UK’s contributions after deducting the value of the rebate”.21 Furthermore, in correspondence with Mr Cummings, Sir Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, has described the use of this number as “misleading”:

Without further explanation, I consider these statements [concerning the £350 million figure] to be potentially misleading and it is disappointing that this figure has been used without such explanation. Given the high level of public interest in this debate it is important that official statistics are used accurately, with important limitations or caveats clearly explained.22

26. In defending their use of the £350m figure, Mr Cummings and Mr Elliott also made reference to the Chancellor’s evidence to the Treasury Committee on 17 December 2014,23 in which he said that the rebate was subject to “negotiation” and (elsewhere) “discussion” with the European Commission.24

27. The Committee at the time concluded that the Chancellor had exaggerated25 the extent of ambiguity surrounding the rebate to support his claim that the Government had, through its negotiations at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council:known as ECOFIN and comprising the finance ministers of all EU Member States “halved” a demand for a €2.1bn additional contribution to the EU budget arising from revisions to historic gross national income data on which EU budget contributions are largely based. The Committee strongly criticised the Chancellor, concluding that his claim was “not supported by the facts”, and noting that:

The calculation of the rebate, and the circumstances in which it applies, are embedded in EU law. This is set out in detail in Council Decision 2007/436/EC and the supporting Council document on the UK correction. These documents establish the precise method for calculating the rebate. They also provide for past rebates to be adjusted in response to GNI data revisions, such as those which prompted the rebate’s revaluation in this case.26

28. It added that “the Commission did not at any stage suggest to HM Treasury that the rebate would not apply”. Nor could it have disapplied the rebate, which forms part of the Own Resources Decision that governs the financing of the EU Budget, and can only be altered with the unanimous agreement of Member States.27

29. As well as suggesting that the whole of the UK’s gross budget contribution before the rebate, could be spent on schools and hospitals, Vote Leave’s website states that “there will also be financial protection for all groups that now get money from Brussels”.28 Mr Cummings was asked whether such financial protection was consistent with its appeal to spend the UK’s gross budget contribution on schools and hospitals. He said that:

there is all of the other money that we have saved as well. There is not just the £350 million per week that we save from the budget; there is all of the other money.29

Mr Cummings was unclear from where this additional money would come, citing EU public procurement rules as evidence of unacceptable costs to the Exchequer.

30. Commitments have been made by other supporters of the leave campaign about the financial protections that certain groups would get on leaving the EU. For instance, the Farming Minister has said that “the UK government will continue to give farmers and the environment as much support–or perhaps even more–as they get now”.30 In evidence to the Committee, Boris Johnson said that “all farmers will continue to receive the current levels of subsidy [ … ] it would be at the level that they currently enjoy and that level of support would be perpetuated”.31 This is a promise called into question by the multiple purposes to which the budget savings from Brexit have been allocated.

31. In evidence to the Committee, Roger Bootle, Executive Chairman of Capital Economics and a eurosceptic economist, emphasised that claims made about the UK’s EU budget contribution, and waste and inefficiency in the EU’s spending, should be put in context:

It occupies a role in the popular debate about these questions out of proportion to the amounts in question. They sound like very large sums of money, but they are not really. One per cent of GDP is about £16 billion, so we are talking, depending on who is right about the figures, about 0.7 per cent of GDP or something like that. It is not enormous.32

32. At the heart of Vote Leave’s presentation of its case is the claim that, on leaving the EU, the UK Government would receive a windfall of £350m per week, available to be spent in other ways, “like the NHS and schools”. This, and the other figures used by Vote Leave for the UK’s EU budget contributions (£150bn ‘contributed’ in the past decade, and £511bn since joining) are highly misleading to the electorate for a number of reasons.

33. First, Vote Leave’s £350m figure does not account for the budget rebate, which amounts to £85m per week. Leaving the EU could not make this money available to spend on schools and hospitals because it is not ‘sent’ to Brussels in the first place. The rebate does not leave the UK or cross the exchanges. This is repeated in other ways. A 'counter' is prominently displayed on Vote Leave’s website. This purports to show that the UK has historically contributed £511bn to the EU since joining in 1973 and excludes the rebate. The UK rebate is indeed controversial in other Member States. It may be raised in future negotiations over the EU’s financial framework. However, it can only be changed with the UK Government’s consent, as happened in the Government led by Tony Blair.

34. Secondly, the extent to which money that the UK receives from the EU budget (a further £88m per week to the public sector and £79m per week to the private sector and non-governmental organisations) would be available for spending on other priorities, would depend on the policy choices of the democratically-elected Government of the day. Vote Leave has stated that “There will [ … ] be financial protection for all groups that now get money from Brussels”. If that policy were implemented, the money available to fund other priorities after Brexit, such as schools and hospitals, would be much lower, and probably closer to the UK’s net contribution of £110 million per week than it is to £350 million. This would be true even if, as has been widely argued, efficiencies could be made in the way that money the UK currently receives from the EU budget is spent.

35. Finally, it is not impossible that the UK may continue to make contributions to the EU budget after Brexit, either on a transitional or permanent basis, in return for continued access to parts of the single market, or because it considers mutual co-operation in certain areas, such as science research, to be desirable. This too would reduce the supposed fiscal windfall arising from leaving the EU.

36. Vote Leave has said that £350m a week is “the core number”, and that it is using the number “again and again”. It is very unfortunate that they have chosen to place this figure at the heart of their campaign. This has been done in the face of overwhelming evidence, including that of the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, demonstrating that it is misleading. Without qualification this is unavoidable. Brexit will not result in a £350m per week fiscal windfall to the Exchequer as a consequence of ending the UK’s contributions to the EU budget. Despite having been presented with the evidence contradicting this claim, Vote Leave has subsequently placed the £350m figure on its campaign bus, and on much of its recent campaign literature. The public should discount this claim. Vote Leave’s persistence with it is deeply problematic. It sits very awkwardly with its promises to the Electoral Commission to work in a spirit that reflects its “very significant responsibility” and the “gravity of the choice facing the British people”.

37. Claims about the UK’s contributions to the EU budget should be set in context; the UK’s gross contribution, after application of the rebate, accounts for less than 2 per cent of public sector spends each year, and is equivalent to less than 1 per cent of the UK’s economic output. If leaving the EU has a substantial positive or negative effect on the economy as a whole–as many advocates of leaving or staying believe it will–the consequent impact on the public finances is likely to be far more significant than the size of any saving from the EU’s budget contributions. Nonetheless, the net saving would be a significant reduction in public expenditure in the context of the current austerity programme.
Claims about the impact of EU membership on consumer prices

If we left, the cost of our imports could rise by at least £11 billion–leaving families out of pocket as prices rise. (Britain Stronger in Europe campaign literature)

the Common Agricultural Policy [ … ] effectively adds around £400 to each family’s living costs each year (Leave.eu website)

The demented CAP [ … ] adds about £400 to the cost of food for every household in this country (Boris Johnson, speech on 11 March 2016)

38. Claims about the impact of EU membership on prices are among the most complex to explain fully.

39. EU membership directly affects consumer prices in two ways. The price of goods imported from outside the EU is raised from their market levels by common external tariffs and, for agricultural goods imported from within the EU, price support is provided under the CAP. For instance, the EU applies a tariff of 17 per cent to footwear, 15 per cent to bicycles and 10 per cent to motor cars.33 These tariffs are not applied to all imports, however; in particular, the EU has preferential trade agreements covering 62 countries, and least developed countries benefit from tariff-free access to EU markets. EU membership may act to reduce prices for goods and services traded among its members, because it eliminates tariffs and significantly reduces non-tariff barriers to trade.

40. Outside the EU, the UK would be free to eliminate all tariffs on imports both EU and non-EU. This would lead to lower prices for goods imported from outside the EU. However, in deciding on its tariff regime, the Government would have to balance the theoretical economic benefits of more free trade against likely political pressure to limit foreign competition in some sectors. An assessment of the leverage that existing tariffs command when negotiating trade agreements would also have to be made. Depending on the sort of trade agreement the UK reached with the EU,discussed in Chapter 5, a British Government may also introduce higher import prices, owing to an increase in non-tariff barriers to goods and services trade.

41. The claim that the cost of imports would rise by £11bn as a result of Brexit–and associated claims that leaving the EU would raise the cost of consumer goods–rely on the assumption that the Government would fail to reach any trade agreement with the EU, and would also retain the same tariff regime as is presently set by the EU. Were an agreement to be reached, or were the Government to apply a more liberal tariff regime, this figure could be lower. The cost of imports would also, in practice, be influenced by the effects of leaving the EU on productivity growth and the exchange rate.

42. The claim that the CAP raises consumer prices by £400 per year is based on research by the Taxpayers’ Alliance from 2009,34 which found that the total cost of the CAP was equivalent to £398 per household. Of this, nearly half (46 per cent, or £184 per household per year) is made up of public expenditure on the CAP through the UK’s contributions to the EU budget, measured on a gross basis (i.e. not taking into account what the UK gets back under the CAP). The remainder comprises price support paid by consumers, the estimate of which is based on a 2006 figure of £34bn; applying this to the UK on a population share basis gives a cost of £5.3bn, or £204 per household). The OECD has published more up-to-date estimates, which put the extent of consumer price support under the CAP at £10bn in 2014 (£1.3bn, or £48 per household).35 Meanwhile, the UK’s implied gross contribution to the CAP through the EU budget in 2014 was £5.8bn, or £215 per household.36

43. Boris Johnson was asked in evidence about his claim that the CAP “adds about £400 to the cost of food for every household in this country”. He clarified that, on leaving the EU, “we would not save all that £400. We would save some”, noting that these would be “made possible by getting rid of some bureaucracy and provisions in the current CAP system”. 37 He added that “we will certainly continue support for agriculture, and all farmers will continue to receive the current levels of subsidy”. 38 Lord Rose, Chairman of the Britain Stronger in Europe Campaign, acknowledged that the CAP was “flawed” and indicated that savings could be made were the UK not part of it:

Is it an inefficiency? Yes. Is it something I would rather not have to the degree that we have now? Yes, but I am hopeful that it will be sorted.39

44. The Stronger In campaign’s claim that the cost of imports could rise by “at least” £11bn as a result of Brexit–and associated claims that leaving the EU would raise household bills–assumes that the UK will place the same tariffs on imports as does the EU currently. Given that the pursuit of an independent trade policy is at the heart of the case for leaving, this seems to be an implausible assumption. The figure of £11bn is therefore unhelpful and tendentious and should not be used without extensive explanation.

45. The figures used by some leave campaigners that the CAP costs £400 per household per year is based on out-of-date research. Using more up-to-date sources gives a figure that is much less than £300.40 In any case, to suggest that this money would be “saved by Brexit” requires two assumptions to be made: that the Government would unilaterally eliminate all tariffs on agricultural goods on leaving the EU; and that it would not replace any of the subsidies and price support currently provided to UK farmers under the CAP. This is inconsistent with Vote Leave’s stated position that farmers will be paid “at least as much as they get now” and Leave.EU’s position that farmers will not lose the money they currently receive from the EU. It is true that the UK is effectively a net contributor to the CAP. It is widely acknowledged, even by Lord Rose, that the money currently distributed to UK farmers through the CAP could be spent more efficiently. Nonetheless, the overall saving would fall short–perhaps well short–of £300 per household.
Claims about the impact of EU membership on employment

3 million UK jobs are linked to our trade with the EU:Britain Stronger in Europe; Government leaflet

1 in 10 British jobs depend on UK membership of the EU:Labour in Europe41

46. These figures originate from two papers published in 2000: a South Bank University paper that found 3.5 million jobs to “depend on exports to the EU”,42 and a National Institute of Economic and Social Research:NIESR paper that found that 3.2 million jobs are “associated directly with exports of goods and services to other EU countries”.43 A 2014 update by the Government put the figure at 3.3 million.44

47. All these figures are based on the assumption that the share of UK employment linked to trade with the EU is equal to the share of total UK value added generated in the production of goods and services exported to the EU. Although the 3 million figure is the most widely quoted in campaign literature (usually as a measure of jobs linked to EU trade, rather than dependent on membership), other analyses have sought to estimate the number of jobs vulnerable to Brexit. These include a PwC study commissioned by the CBI, which found that, were the UK to leave and fail to reach a trade agreement with the EU, employment would be 950,000 (2.9 per cent) lower than otherwise by 2020; and if it did reach an agreement, the impact would be 550,000 (a fall of 1.7 per cent). These results arise both from lower trade with the EU after Brexit and from lower investment; although it does not attempt to identify the impact of leaving on foreign investment specifically, the report states that “it is very likely that some of this decline in investment would be caused by a reduction in foreign direct investment”. The effects of leaving the EU on foreign direct investment to the UK are considered further in Chapter 5.

48. It is important to note that these estimates should be interpreted as the number of jobs related to trade with other EU Member States. This is not the same as saying that over 3 million jobs are dependent on the UK’s EU membership, since some trade with EU countries would certainly take place if the UK withdrew from the EU. In response to Parliamentary Questions, the Treasury has made this clear, stating that it is “not an estimate of the impact of EU membership on employment”.45 Simon Tilford, Deputy Director of the Centre for European Reform, said in evidence that it was “clearly [ … ] fanciful” to suggest that 3 million jobs were at risk from leaving the EU.46 Martin Weale, Director of NIESR at the time their paper was published, described this interpretation of its results as “pure Goebbels” and “a wilful distortion of the facts”.

49. Will Straw, Executive Director of Britain Stronger in Europe, made clear in evidence that “we have not said that 3 million jobs are at risk. We have said that 3 million jobs are linked to our trade”.47 Philippe Legrain, Visiting Senior Fellow at the European Institute of the London School of Economics, argued that, to the extent that there were labour market effects from leaving the EU, they would be more likely to be felt through wages than employment:

It is not the impact on jobs per se. In a flexible labour market, wages adjust, so it is the impact on pay. If you have lower productivity, you are likely to have lower pay.48

The TUC has also made the point that, although the number of jobs lost may be uncertain, good jobs would be lost and that “those good jobs are likely to be replaced by worse ones”.49

50.It is misleading to claim, as some campaign groups continue to do, that 3 million jobs are dependent on EU membership. Britain Stronger in Europe, the lead remain campaign group, has at least made clear in evidence to this Committee, if not in some of its literature, that its use of the 3 million figure should not be taken to represent the number of jobs dependent on EU membership, but the number associated with trade with the EU. Without an estimate of how much trade would be lost as a result of Brexit, the impact on job losses cannot readily be estimated. The wider public might form the mistaken impression that all these jobs would be lost or at risk if the UK left the EU. Campaigners should be clear that 3 million jobs may be associated with, but would not necessarily be dependent on, our membership of the EU.

51. A reduction in exports to the EU following Brexit would lead to a loss of jobs unless there were compensating effects from faster growth in trade with non-EU countries or to the extent that the UK’s relatively flexible labour markets meant that any impact from lower trade may be felt through lower wages than otherwise and a reduction in hours worked, rather than through the unemployment rate.

Claims about the costs and benefits of EU regulation

£33.3bn per year–current annual cost of EU regulation to the UK economy:Vote Leave brochure

EU regulation costs UK small businesses over £600 million every week:Vote Leave campaign literature

EU regulations are estimated to cost UK businesses at least £33.3bn a year:Leave.eu website

52. The £33.3bn figure and the £600m per week figure derived from it is the most widely used estimate of the ‘cost’ of EU regulation used by the campaign groups, and is based on Open Europe’s analysis of the ‘top 100’ most burdensome EU rules.50 Boris Johnson in fact claimed that “the actual cost of EU regulation may be even higher”.51 The costs are calculated with reference to Government impact assessments:IAs, which must be produced in response to EU Directives where the Government will have some discretion over how EU requirements will be transposed into national law, but not Regulations or Decisions, which do not trigger a new piece of domestic legislation.

53. The potential costs in question arise from administrative burdens on companies and the public sector (e.g. notifying the authorities about the possible presence of asbestos dust before commencing work), and from the additional practical obligations of putting the policy of the regulation into practice (e.g. providing employees who may come into contact with asbestos with relevant training). There may also be wider consequences arising from regulation (e.g. the demise of industries allied to asbestos manufacture) though these are rarely quantified in IAs.

54. Regulations are imposed with the intention of capturing benefits, and on the assumption that these outweigh the costs. Open Europe’s analysis does not take into account the benefit arising from regulations (e.g. to consumers from higher product standards, or employees from labour market protections), but it has previously acknowledged that “the whole point of regulation is for it to produce a total benefit [ … ] which outweighs the total cost”.52 When asked in evidence about the benefits, Boris Johnson53 and Dominic Cummings54 argued that Open Europe had assessed that 95 per cent of the benefits envisaged in IAs did not materialise. This prompted a clarification from Open Europe, stating that “the 95 per cent figure refers only to the forecast benefits of the Energy and Climate Change package”.55 Oliver Lewis, Director of Research at Vote Leave, subsequently conceded that the use of that figure in evidence had been an “honest mistake”.56

55. Simon Tilford explained that, in order to estimate the economic cost of EU regulation, “one would have to go through very carefully and look at each individual regulation and then estimate whether we would put in national regulations to replace the EU regulation”.57 For instance, outside the EU, the UK would still be bound to honour international commitments to regulate certain markets and products. Such commitments are particularly relevant for financial services; Philippe Legrain noted that the second most costly regulation in the Open Europe study “is the CRD IV package, which is largely transposing Basel III, which Britain would most likely continue to abide by even if it left the EU. Therefore, that is not an additional cost of being in the EU; it is a regulation that we will be bearing the cost of in any event”.58 Similarly, much EU regulation on product standards and safety reflects rules and guidance issued by global standard-setting bodies.

56. To take one example, 93 leaders in life sciences, which employs 222,000 people, say “Continued membership of the EU will also benefit scientific activity and R&D jobs. UK researchers and small businesses will continue to benefit from access to EU funding and from collaborations with cutting-edge science across the continent”59 and Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, says that harmonised regulatory standards for pharmaceuticals across the EU reduce costs.

57. In evidence, Matthew Elliott of Vote Leave conceded that “some of that [£33bn] is costs [ … ] incurred for a good cause”,60 reflecting the language recently used in a speech by Michael Gove.61 Oliver Lewis said that the Open Europe analysis had been used because “it was transparent and accessible”. He added that the underlying point that Vote Leave was trying to make was about “control” and “allowing parliamentarians [ … ]to engage far more directly with regulation and how it should be amended or even repealed–far greater control than you have now”.62 More

Conclusions and Recommendations

Claims Made by the Campaign Groups

1. At the heart of Vote Leave’s presentation of its case is the claim that, on leaving the EU, the UK Government would receive a windfall of £350m per week, available to be spent in other ways, “like the NHS and schools”. This, and the other figures used by Vote Leave for the UK’s EU budget contributions £150bn ‘contributed’ in the past decade, and £511bn since joining are highly misleading to the electorate for a number of reasons:Paragraph 32

2. First, Vote Leave’s £350m figure does not account for the budget rebate, which amounts to £85m per week. Leaving the EU could not make this money available to spend on schools and hospitals because it is not ‘sent’ to Brussels in the first place. The rebate does not leave the UK or cross the exchanges. This is repeated in other ways. A 'counter' is prominently displayed on Vote Leave’s website. This purports to show that the UK has historically contributed £511bn to the EU since joining in 1973 and excludes the rebate. The UK rebate is indeed controversial in other Member States. It may be raised in future negotiations over the EU’s financial framework. However, it can only be changed with the UK Government’s consent, as happened in the Government led by Tony Blair:Paragraph 33

3. Secondly, the extent to which money that the UK receives from the EU budget (a further £88m per week to the public sector and £79m per week to the private sector and non-governmental organisations) would be available for spending on other priorities, would depend on the policy choices of the democratically-elected Government of the day. Vote Leave has stated that “There will [ … ] be financial protection for all groups that now get money from Brussels”. If that policy were implemented, the money available to fund other priorities after Brexit, such as schools and hospitals, would be much lower, and probably closer to the UK’s net contribution of £110 million per week than it is to £350 million. This would be true even if, as has been widely argued, efficiencies could be made in the way that money the UK currently receives from the EU budget is spent:Paragraph 34

4. Finally, it is not impossible that the UK may continue to make contributions to the EU budget after Brexit, either on a transitional or permanent basis, in return for continued access to parts of the single market, or because it considers mutual co-operation in certain areas, such as science research, to be desirable. This too would reduce the supposed fiscal windfall arising from leaving the EU:Paragraph 35

5. Vote Leave has said that £350m a week is “the core number”, and that it is using the number “again and again”. It is very unfortunate that they have chosen to place this figure at the heart of their campaign. This has been done in the face of overwhelming evidence, including that of the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, demonstrating that it is misleading. Without qualification this is unavoidable. Brexit will not result in a £350m per week fiscal windfall to the Exchequer as a consequence of ending the UK’s contributions to the EU budget. Despite having been presented with the evidence contradicting this claim, Vote Leave has subsequently placed the £350m figure on its campaign bus, and on much of its recent campaign literature. The public should discount this claim. Vote Leave’s persistence with it is deeply problematic. It sits very awkwardly with its promises to the Electoral Commission to work in a spirit that reflects its “very significant responsibility” and the “gravity of the choice facing the British people”:Paragraph 36

6. Claims about the UK’s contributions to the EU budget should be set in context; the UK’s gross contribution, after application of the rebate, accounts for less than 2 per cent of public sector spends each year, and is equivalent to less than 1 per cent of the UK’s economic output. If leaving the EU has a substantial positive or negative effect on the economy as a whole–as many advocates of leaving or staying believe it will–the consequent impact on the public finances is likely to be far more significant than the size of any saving from the EU’s budget contributions. Nonetheless, the net saving would be a significant reduction in public expenditure in the context of the current austerity programme:Paragraph 37

7. The Stronger In campaign’s claim that the cost of imports could rise by “at least” £11bn as a result of Brexit–and associated claims that leaving the EU would raise household bills–assumes that the UK will place the same tariffs on imports as does the EU currently. Given that the pursuit of an independent trade policy is at the heart of the case for leaving, this seems to be an implausible assumption. The figure of £11bn is therefore unhelpful and tendentious and should not be used without extensive explanation:Paragraph 44

8. The figures used by some leave campaigners that the CAP costs £400 per household per year is based on out-of-date research. Using more up-to-date sources gives a figure that is much less than £300. In any case, to suggest that this money would be “saved by Brexit” requires two assumptions to be made: that the Government would unilaterally eliminate all tariffs on agricultural goods on leaving the EU; and that it would not replace any of the subsidies and price support currently provided to UK farmers under the CAP. This is inconsistent with Vote Leave’s stated position that farmers will be paid “at least as much as they get now” and Leave.EU’s position that farmers will not lose the money they currently receive from the EU. It is true that the UK is effectively a net contributor to the CAP. It is widely acknowledged, even by Lord Rose, that the money currently distributed to UK farmers through the CAP could be spent more efficiently. Nonetheless, the overall saving would fall short–perhaps well short–of £300 per household:Paragraph 45

9. It is misleading to claim, as some campaign groups continue to do, that 3 million jobs are dependent on EU membership. Britain Stronger in Europe, the lead remain campaign group, has at least made clear in evidence to this Committee, if not in some of its literature, that its use of the 3 million figure should not be taken to represent the number of jobs dependent on EU membership, but the number associated with trade with the EU. Without an estimate of how much trade would be lost as a result of Brexit, the impact on job losses cannot readily be estimated. The wider public might form the mistaken impression that all these jobs would be lost or at risk if the UK left the EU. Campaigners should be clear that 3 million jobs may be associated with, but would not necessarily be dependent on, our membership of the EU:Paragraph 50

10. A reduction in exports to the EU following Brexit would lead to a loss of jobs unless there were compensating effects from faster growth in trade with non-EU countries or to the extent that the UK’s relatively flexible labour markets meant that any impact from lower trade may be felt through lower wages than otherwise and a reduction in hours worked, rather than through the unemployment rate. (Paragraph 51)

11. It is generally accepted that any future Government would want to retain the substance of some EU regulation after leaving, either because it is desirable on economic or welfare grounds, or in order to comply with international commitments, or to retain access to EU markets. A future government would undoubtedly judge that the compliance costs of some, perhaps many, EU regulations are more than offset by benefits:Paragraph 58

12. Withdrawing from the EU would give the UK an opportunity to alter the way its economy is regulated in some areas (subject to other international obligations and negotiated conditions attaching to any single market access), and in a way that better reflects its own domestic priorities. It may save firms and consumers some money in the process. Open Europe itself considers that the maximum feasible regulatory savings from Brexit are £12.8bn per year, although achieving even these might involve political controversy. Examples that Open Europe have counted under this category to reach this figure include: relaxing rules protecting workers’ entitlement to time off; holidays and redundancy protection; abandoning the current target for increasing the share of energy generated from renewable sources; and abandoning financial regulations such as emergency bans on “short-selling”, reporting and disclosure requirements and a cap on bankers’ bonuses. In some cases, such as maternity rights and bank capital requirements, the UK currently regulates beyond the minimum EU standards. Realising gains from deregulation in such areas would require the Government of the day to muster support for a new domestic approach. However, as already noted, a future government would undoubtedly judge that the compliance costs of some, perhaps many, EU regulations are more than offset by the benefits:Paragraph 59

13. In evidence to the Committee, Vote Leave pointed out that what counts is not so much the cost, but the importance in principle of having control over such regulations. This is reasonable. It may be a compelling political argument. But if they wish to make a case on economic grounds, and use as they have done figures purporting to measure the economic cost of EU regulation, it is incumbent on the leave campaigns to give at least some indication of which parts of the regulatory framework they would alter or scrap, while recognising that the practical limitations would put a comprehensive exercise beyond any referendum campaign group:Paragraph 60

14. £33.3bn, or £600m per week, is an estimate of the total cost to firms of complying with the top 100 most ‹burdensome› EU regulations. It is not the net economic cost of regulation, nor is it a measure of the savings that would accrue to businesses as a result of Brexit. To assert this is misleading. To persist with such a claim, as both Vote Leave and Leave.eu have done, is a tendentious representation of the research on which it is based:Paragraph 61

15. Figures purporting to measure the overall impact of EU membership or Brexit on GDP and household incomes are only meaningful if the counterfactual–the assumed alternative to EU membership–is clearly spelled out (although it was based on different studies that individually had counterfactuals, the £3,000 figure used by the Stronger In campaign does not have any specific counterfactual). This is not the case for the £3,000 figure used by the Stronger In campaign, or indeed any number that combines the findings of different studies with different counterfactuals:Paragraph 71

16. Most recent studies support remaining in the EU and find that Brexit decreases the UK’s openness to trade with the EU, which, other things being equal, causes a decline in investment and productivity. The key question is how far these negative effects are offset by: the scope for increased openness to trade with the rest of the world; productivity gains from deregulation; and lower contributions to the EU budget. The balance of recent submissions seen by the Committee is that Brexit is likely to have a net negative impact in the long term because the costs of a fall in trade exceed the gains in other areas, although the size of that impact varies considerably between different studies. Those who favour leaving the EU would argue that these studies are insufficiently optimistic or imaginative about how the UK would fare outside the EU. They could be right. In particular, the approach taken by the Treasury in its analysis appears not adequately to have considered various upsides to leaving the EU, but has modelled many of the downsides, though it is not out of line with many other independent expert analyses and it is ultimately up to those arguing to leave the EU to explain and model any possible upsides: Paragraph 72

17. Even if the assumptions underpinning it are considered to be reasonable, the Treasury’s £4,300 figure is the result of two economic modelling exercises and a further assumption about the relationship between trade and economic productivity. Each of these three stages introduces uncertainty. Any specific numbers emerging from such an analysis should be subject to caveats and seen within the context of the forecast range presented by the Treasury. Indeed, the limitations of the Treasury’s approach are exposed by some counter-intuitive results from their analysis, buried in the appendices, such as the finding that EU membership does not act as a significant draw for inward investment from outside the EU. The Treasury is, however, clear about how the £4,300 figure is derived: Paragraph 73

18. Presenting the figures on the impact of Brexit on a per household basis, as the Stronger In campaign has done, is likely to be misconstrued by readers, especially in the heat of a campaign, and probably has confused them. It may have left many readers thinking that the figures refer to the effect of leaving the EU on household disposable income, which they do not. The Remain campaign should have been alert to this risk, although this is a well understood hazard, and it is a generally accepted way that economists convert complex numbers into something more comprehensible. The Treasury’s analysis contains a foreword from the Chancellor suggesting that “families would be £4,300 worse off” as a result of Brexit. But this is not what the main Treasury analysis found; the average impact on household disposable incomes would be considerably smaller than this number, which refers to the impact on GDP per household. Neither Government Departments nor other spokespeople for the remain side should repeat the mistaken assertion that household disposable income would be £4,300 lower than if we were to remain in the EU; the £4,300 figure refers to GDP per household. To persist with this claim would be to misrepresent the Treasury’s own work. However, it is clear that household disposable income is not the only important measure from a household perspective–public services that are consumed are also of benefit, which would give greater justification for the GDP per household figure:Paragraph 74

19. It is disappointing that the Treasury and the Chancellor place so much emphasis on a single figure (£4,300). Any single number that purports to encapsulate the effects of Brexit can be misunderstood, all the more so if it is used–as this number has been on occasion–unqualified by detailed explanation. Using the range around this estimate—£3,200 to £5,400— as well as a central forecast, and looking at average household income would both be useful ways of presenting the Treasury’s results:Paragraph 75

20. What is clear from all serious studies of the economic impact of Brexit is that the UK’s future trade relationship with the rest of the EU, and with non-EU countries, matters a great deal:Paragraph 76

The short-term effects of leaving the EU

21. Following a vote to leave, there would be a period during which the UK’s future relationship with the EU is uncertain. As with much economic uncertainty, it is plausible to suppose that this could weaken the pound, reduce domestic and foreign direct investment, and increase borrowing costs. However, some of these effects may be countervailing. It could also exacerbate pre-existing risks to financial stability. The duration of this uncertainty, and hence the length of time that these effects would persist, is itself uncertain, but is likely to be in excess of one year:Paragraph 97

22. The economic and financial consequences of uncertainty can in part be mitigated by the actions of the Bank of England’s Monetary and Financial Policy Committees. The Committee notes that the scope for monetary policy to cushion the macroeconomic effects of a vote to leave is limited by the fact that base rate is close to zero, and that the Bank currently holds a quarter of UK Government gilts:Paragraph 98

23. The extent and duration of uncertainty in the aftermath of a vote to leave can in part be mitigated by the Government if it is clear about its strategy and objectives. In a referendum, unlike a general election, the winning side does not form a government. Therefore, unless the government were willing to announce its contingency plans for a Brexit vote the uncertainty would be magnified. Understandably the Government is reluctant to spell out such plans for fear they help its opponents. The short-term economic effects of Brexit are generally held to be large, but it is possible that they could be small. The Committee intends to take further evidence on this as soon as possible now that the Treasury’s analysis has been published:Paragraph 99

24. The Government will need to make it unambiguously clear that it will respect the will of the electorate in the event of a vote to leave within a reasonable timeframe. But it could be economically misguided for the Government to invoke Article 50 immediately after a vote to leave and it may not be in the national interest to do so. The Committee agrees with Sir Jon Cunliffe that the UK should “start the clock running when one knew what one wanted”. As the Chancellor has made clear, the Government has not considered the relationship that it wants with the EU following a vote to leave; it therefore seems unlikely that it will be in position to articulate its negotiating position on the day after the referendum:Paragraph 100

The long-term risks of staying in the EU and the Government’s renegotiations

25. If there is a vote to remain, the principles contained in the economic governance part of the ‘new settlement’ with the EU will be important in ensuring that the UK’s interests, and the integrity of the single market, are protected as the Eurozone pursues further integration. These do improve the protections afforded to the UK in the EU, and hence, to that extent, the economic case for membership. But this falls short of the ambitions expressed in the Prime Minister’s Bloomberg speech of January 2013:Paragraph 106

26. The pursuit of further economic and financial integration within the Eurozone, including the development of a banking union, could threaten the UK’s influence over how single market regulation develops, its access to EU financial markets, and the flexibility of its financial regulators to respond to risks. It is the single most significant risk to continued membership, and the Government was right to make it a focus of their renegotiation:Paragraph 119

27. The settlement that the Government has negotiated establishes a set of ‘principles’ intended to safeguard the interests of countries outside the euro, and a procedural mechanism to uphold them. The Bank of England’s judgement that, taken together, these address its concerns about regulatory flexibility and the integrity of the single market should be taken seriously. But the language of those principles confers obligations on the UK as well as rights. In particular, the UK has now fully signed up to the logic that monetary union requires a fiscal and banking union, and it has agreed not to impede these developments in relation to Eurozone members only, so long as the principles are respected:Paragraph 120

28. There clearly remains scope for conflict between those countries outside the euro and banking union, and those within it, and a risk that the principles will not be properly respected or correctly interpreted. Protection against this will be provided in part by the ECJ, but also through the procedural mechanism that allows the UK to raise objections about legislative measures that breach the principles in ECOFIN. This mechanism does not allow the UK to veto or delay measures that it considers to be in breach of the principles; nor even, as Sir Jon Cunliffe made clear, does it give it a formal right to have its concerns discussed by Heads of State and Government in the European Council. In saying that the UK is “unilaterally” able to raise such concerns at the European Council, the Government has somewhat overstated its case. Nonetheless, the mechanism would appear to have a degree of political importance, and a request by the UK to discuss concerns at European Council level would, as Sir Jon suggests, in practice be hard to reject, even if the text of the settlement falls short of saying so:Paragraph 121

29. With or without the principles and the enigmatic procedural mechanism that is supposed to uphold them, ensuring the UK’s rights in the single market are respected, and its authority to act to mitigate financial stability risks are maintained, will be an enduring challenge. This challenge will only become greater as other countries join the banking union and the euro. In this context, it is worth remembering that only the UK and Denmark have Treaty-based opt-outs from joining the single currency. The settlement that the Government has negotiated may have mitigated the risks to UK interests of Eurozone integration, but it has not expunged them:Paragraph 122

30. The settlement states that the “substance” of the principles will be incorporated into the Treaties when they are next revised. If the UK stays in the EU, these Treaty negotiations will present an opportunity to seek to place on a more solid footing the safeguards it has secured. The Government of the day will also have to guard vigorously against any encroachment of Union competence into the financial stability policy of non-Eurozone countries; given the size, diversity and importance of the UK financial services industry, it is vital that the UK’s regulatory scope for unilateral action is maintained:Paragraph 123

31. Treaty change also provides an opportunity for the Government to address a number of other shortcomings of the economic settlement, in particular the UK’s exemption from ‘ever closer union’. It may, however, be some time–and probably several years–before such an opportunity arises:Paragraph 124

32. Other things being equal, the changes to in-work and child benefits that the Government has negotiated will at best lead to a modest reduction in inward migration from the EU and fall in welfare spending. These changes would also be more consistent with the principle that one should not be able to draw down from the benefit system before one has contributed to it. Other things are not, however, equal. The introduction of the national living wage may significantly offset any effect from these measures by increasing the UK’s attractiveness to migrants. It is inconsistent to claim that migrants are attracted by higher wages when paid by the state in the form of tax credits, but not when paid by employers in the form of the national living wage:Paragraph 136

33. So far, free movement has been a non-negotiable part of the single market and EU membership. Just as Boris Johnson and others are almost certainly mistaken to think that the UK could retain unfettered access to EU goods and services markets while ending free movement after leaving the EU, so the Prime Minister was almost certainly mistaken–as is indicated by the contents of the new settlement–to have concluded at the outset of the negotiations that he could succeed in substantially restricting free movement while remaining in the EU. The present situation, in which non-EU migration is increasingly having restrictions placed upon it–in pursuit of an arbitrary target that it is not within the Government’s control to meet–is economically distortive, and is likely to carry a cost, although over the past decade non EU migration has shown no clear declining trend:Paragraph 137

The long-term impact of leaving the EU: the economic relationship between the UK and the EU

34. After Brexit, the UK’s future relationship with the EU would be unlikely to mimic that of any other country; in this narrow sense, there would indeed be, as Boris Johnson put it, “a British deal”. However, any comprehensive arrangement providing access to EU goods and services markets would require the unanimous consent of the 27 remaining EU Member States:Paragraph 147

35. If it is not to call into question the whole purpose of the referendum, a post-Brexit agreement would have to achieve substantive change to the UK’s relationship with the EU. In achieving that change, there would be a trade-off between the extent to which the UK is able to obtain access to EU markets, and the extent to which it regained control over areas where the EU currently has competence. In particular, acquiring greater control over migration policy might well come at the cost of some curtailment of access to other parts of the single market, and hence a reduction in EU trade. In deciding on what sort of relationship to seek, the Government would have to weigh the benefits of additional control against the costs of reduced market access. To sell into the Single Market, its relevant regulatory standards must be met:Paragraph 148

36. Achieving the unanimous consent of EU Member States to a comprehensive trade deal would be a significant challenge. Counting in the UK’s favour is the fact that, on leaving, it would become the EU’s largest single trading partner for goods, just ahead of the United States. Moreover, it would be starting from a position of close integration, with the intention of loosening it in certain areas; this is markedly different from conventional trade negotiations, which start from a position of loose integration with the intention of tightening it. Set against this is the fact that Brexit could represent a crisis for the EU. The goodwill of other EU members could not necessarily be relied upon:Paragraph 149

37. The sort of deal the UK would reach with the EU, and the access it would have to its markets in the long term, is highly uncertain. It is disingenuous to claim with any confidence, as some representatives from the leave campaign groups have done, that the UK would be able to leave the EU, drop free movement and continue to have the same rights to trade with EU Member States as it does now. The UK would certainly have access, at some level, to the single market on leaving. The question is not whether the UK would have access to the single market, but how far that access would differ from what it enjoys at present. This is a difficult question; nonetheless, the leave campaigns’ leading spokespeople have not answered it:Paragraph 150

38. The evidence heard by the Committee supports the view that the EU will continue to be the UK’s most important trading partner for some time to come, irrespective of the referendum result:Paragraph 151

39. Whatever relationship it negotiated, it is likely that the UK’s access to EU markets, and hence its trade with the EU, would be lower if it left than if it remained. It is likely to incur higher tariffs if it remained. There would also probably be a trade-off, inherent in all forms of economic integration, between the extent of EU market access, and the extent to which the UK would be able to regulate products and markets in the way that it wanted. An important question is whether the freedoms and powers that the UK acquired following Brexit–to conduct an independent trade policy, pursue a different approach to migration, and establish a more liberal regulatory framework–could be exercised in a way that counteracted and outweighed the costs arising from a loss of EU market access. It is far from clear whether this would be the case:Paragraph 153

40. The tariffs levied by the EU on imported goods have fallen substantially over the last two decades. In this sense, the cost of leaving the EU and relying on WTO rules as a basis for trade is not as costly as it once was. However, EU tariffs still cover 90 per cent of the UK’s goods exports to the EU by value, and remain high enough in certain sectors to risk prejudicing UK exporters’ price competitiveness in EU markets, and the UK’s position in the manufacturing supply chain. A trade agreement with the EU that provided for tariff-free access for manufactured goods would therefore carry considerable attractions, and a failure to agree one would be economically costly. The UK has traded freely in manufactured goods with the EU for more than forty years. But it is not impossible that Brexit would result in a return to tariffs:Paragraph 166

41. The situation for agricultural goods is more complex, partly because this sector is protected by the CAP and a high external tariff. While the Committee recognises the important intentions sought by the CAP, despite recent reforms it is still, according to witnesses, wasteful and inefficient. But if the UK wishes to maintain tariff-free access to EU markets for agricultural produce, its capacity to protect farmers differently after Brexit might be constrained:Paragraph 167

42. Even under a free trade agreement that eliminated all tariffs, the costs of trading with the EU would be likely to rise as a result of non-tariff barriers to trade, including rules of origin requirements and customs procedures. Further non-tariff barriers to goods trade might develop over time if the UK was not able to influence single market rules or the development of relevant WTO rules:Paragraph 168

43. Despite the attraction to some economists of withdrawing from the EU and unilaterally eliminating tariffs, this has not been a major part of the campaign, so in the event of Brexit this would be a decision for the democratically-elected Government to make. Unilateral tariff abolition, however merited on economic grounds, is unlikely to secure domestic political agreement. This is partly because exporters would want to secure preferential market access to other countries through trade agreements, and tariffs are bargaining chips to secure that access. Even more difficult to handle would be the concerns of domestic industries currently protected by the EU’s external tariffs. The interests of those international companies who have invested in the UK, in part to exploit the UK’s membership of the single market, needs to be taken into account. Their continued future investment in the UK will be influenced by the trade relationship secured in a post-Brexit era:Paragraph 169

44. Successive UK governments have sought to improve the EU single market in services. In many respects, progress has been disappointing. However, if the UK remains in the EU, it may well benefit from initiatives such as the capital markets union and the digital single market, and have a role in shaping them to its benefit. This assumes that the EU is more successful in future at implementing a single market in services than it has been in the past:Paragraph 180

45. Were it to leave the EU and rely on WTO membership alone, the UK’s current access to EU services markets could not be assumed to continue. The long-standing difficulties of opening up services markets in the EU illustrate the caution with which some Member States approach trade liberalisation in this area, even within the single market:Paragraph 181

46. After Brexit, it is not certain that the UK would be able to reach an agreement with the rest of the EU that preserved its long-term access to services markets. Any agreement would probably require the UK to show that the regulation of firms operating in these sectors that wish to do business on the continent was equivalent to that prevailing in the rest of the EU, thereby limiting the freedom the UK gains from Brexit to regulate services industries in the way that it saw fit, and subjecting the UK to regulation over which it has no say or explicit influence:Paragraph 182

47. The passporting regime provides benefits to financial firms that undertake cross-border activity, including large banks and some asset managers. Whether or not the UK negotiated a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU, maintaining the passporting would probably require the UK to show equivalence with EU regulation. This would limit the UK’s flexibility, from outside the EU, to set its own regulatory framework, and it would lead to a loss of influence over financial regulation with which it might nonetheless have to comply or adhere. In this sector, the trade-off between domestic regulatory control and market access is particularly acute:Paragraph 193

48. Any decision on whether the UK’s regulatory framework was equivalent, and hence whether the passporting regime could be preserved, would ultimately have to be approved by the European Parliament and Council. It therefore has the potential to become politicised. It is possible that other EU institutions or Governments might no longer wish to allow such a large proportion of financial services activity to take place in what would become an offshore centre. Nonetheless, the UK financial services industry supports the development of businesses, investment in new technology, and growth and employment across the EU. There could be a degree of mutual interest in the UK having high levels of access to EU financial markets. Moreover, the free movement of capital is not going to be abolished and it is this more than the single market in services that allows businesses to come to the UK:Paragraph 194

49. A loss of passporting would not be fatal for the UK’s financial services industry; its competitiveness is founded on a wider constellation of factors, including time zone, language and the legal system. But it would be plausible to suppose that some relocation of activity, particularly by foreign banks that currently base their European operations in London, might take place, as the Governor has suggested:Paragraph 195

50. As with passporting, the UK’s regulatory regime would have to be recognised as equivalent in order for CCPs to continue dealing in euro-denominated transactions. Outside the EU, the UK Government would be less able to resist any further pressure for CCPs to relocate within the Eurozone. It would not have recourse to the ECJ, as it did in 2012. (Paragraph 201)

51. The UK’s flexible labour markets, strong rule of law, independent judiciary and relatively skilled workforce would continue to make it an attractive location for inward FDI, whether or not it was in the EU. However, warnings by manufacturers such as Siemens and Toyota about the potential impact of Brexit on their future investment plans are significant, even though some companies said the same about not joining the euro. So too are the concerns expressed by a large majority of international firms in a recent poll, that Brexit would have a negative impact on their business and on their future investment plans in the UK:Paragraph 211

52. Statistically proving the existence and extent of the effect of EU membership on FDI is difficult; in their analysis, the Treasury were unable to show that membership attracted FDI from non-EU countries. However, just as the finding that leaving the EU will cost each household £4,300 should be treated with caveats, similarly not too much store should be set by this result. There is considerable evidence from companies that the market access afforded by EU membership encourages inward investment to the UK from both EU and non-EU countries, particularly in the financial services and manufacturing sectors:Paragraph 212

53. How far FDI was negatively affected by Brexit would depend both on the extent of market access that the UK negotiated on leaving the EU, and how far it was able to increase its attractiveness to foreign investors by changing its regulatory framework and striking trade deals with non-EU countries. It is beyond the scope of this report accurately to assess or predict the size of the impact:Paragraph 213

The long-term impact of leaving the EU: the economic relationship between the UK and the rest of the world

54. The EU is slow and cumbersome at negotiating trade agreements. However, it has reached a larger number of trade deals than any other country or bloc. It has also increased its openness to trade in recent decades by reducing its external tariffs. Though several Member States may instinctively be more protectionist than the UK, the EU as a whole has matched non-EU peers in becoming less so over time:Paragraph 224

55. The trade deals that the EU strikes may in some respects not reflect the UK’s interests. In particular, services are the fastest-growing sector of the global economy, and the UK stands to benefit from further liberalisation of services trade; but even in its most comprehensive trade deals, the EU’s has had limited success in obtaining market access. However, it is uncertain that, post-Brexit the UK will be able to deliver such privileged access to those markets:Paragraph 225

56. The access that the UK gains to non-EU markets through trade agreements negotiated by the EU is economically beneficial. Were the UK to leave the EU, it is very uncertain whether it would be able to continue to participate in these agreements. The extent to which the UK would have to enter into negotiations to ensure its continued participation would probably depend on the attitude of the contracting parties, about which little is known. Were the UK to vote to remain in the EU on 23 June, it should be a priority of the Government seek to exert greater influence on the efficiency and quality of EU trade negotiations, which are currently unduly protracted, even considering the need to get 28 Member States to reach agreement:Paragraph 226

57. Free trade is at the heart of the economic case for Brexit. It is not possible to say with certainty how successful the UK would be in retaining the access to non-EU markets that it enjoys as part of the EU, nor how quickly it would be able to negotiate trade agreements with other countries. Leaders of the US and China have made clear that a trade agreement with the EU would be a greater prize than one with the UK, but given the complexities involved in negotiating with a bloc of 28 different countries, they could nonetheless find it more straightforward to strike a deal with the UK on its own, although the time taken to agree such agreements is often lengthy:Paragraph 231

58. In order to make the best of Brexit, the trade deals that the UK negotiated with non-EU countries would need to be comprehensive, and provide good access to the services markets in which the UK has an advantage. Reaching high-quality trade agreements with countries like China, India and the United States, while securing access to the agreements to which the UK is party by virtue of its EU membership, would be a considerable diplomatic challenge; it would take time, resources and the goodwill of other governments. The cases of Australia and New Zealand show that it is nonetheless possible for relatively small countries, acting on their own, to agree a large number of free trade agreements covering a high proportion of their trade:Paragraph 232

59. There may also be economic advantages for the UK in applying a different tariff regime to that currently imposed by the EU on trade with non-EU countries. However, the Committee reiterates the point made earlier about the implications of unilateral tariff abolition. Classical economic theory suggests that this would be economically beneficial. But eliminating tariffs would leave very little incentive for non-EU countries, and particularly emerging markets that export large volumes of manufactured goods to the UK, to grant preferential access to their goods and services markets: Paragraph 233

The conduct of the Committee’s inquiry

60. In their treatment of this Committee, neither Mr Elliott nor Mr Cummings, as individuals, have fulfilled Vote Leave’s commitment, made in their successful application to the Electoral Commission, to “create a valuable legacy for the UK’s democratic process”. Their conduct has been appalling. Mr Elliott’s and Mr Cummings’s expressed view that powers should be restored to Parliament sits ill with that conduct:Paragraph 236

61. It was the Committee’s preference to hear from both Vote Leave and Leave.eu in one sitting. In the end, it took three. If Mr Elliott and Mr Cummings consider that the Committee’s evidence-taking process has been protracted, uncomfortable or harmful to their cause, they have only themselves to blame:Paragraph 237

62. The Committee notes that Mr Banks and Mr Tice did not seek to attach conditions to their attendance:Paragraph 238

63. It is highly unsatisfactory that the Committee was unable to scrutinise the Government’s analysis of the short-term economic impact of Brexit in time to consider its findings in this Report. The delay in the Treasury’s publication is inconsistent with the commitment made to the Committee by the Chancellor. It is to be hoped that scrutiny and transparency have not in this case been subordinated to the imperatives of the Number 10 ‘media grid’:Paragraph 240. ω.

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Northern Ireland and the EU Referendum: The Key Issues: Parliamentary Report

|| May 27: 2016 || ά. The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee publishes its report into Northern Ireland and the referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. The report identifies the potential impact of a Brexit in key areas such as the economy, agriculture and the border with the Republic.

The Committee comprises MPs who have publicly supported both the Leave and Remain campaigns. The final report is published with the full support of the Committee and reflects their commitment to setting aside their personal opinions to provide a balanced assessment of the potential impact of a Brexit for Northern Ireland ahead of the EU referendum.

We are grateful to all the witnesses who provided evidence and opinions to the Committee during the course of our Inquiry, the sessions for which were held in Westminster and Belfast. We are also grateful to those individuals and organisations who submitted written evidence.

On publishing the report, Committee Chair Laurence Robertson commented: "As a Committee, we were concerned that people in Northern Ireland were perhaps not as exposed to the details involved in this referendum as we would wish, especially when faced with opposing claims and frightening statistics on a daily basis. We launched this inquiry to help the people of Northern Ireland get a better understanding of how the choice to leave or remain could affect their day-to-day lives, as well as the overall direction of the Province. ω.

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IFS Analysis on UK Exiting the EU: The Effect Could Be Between 20 and 40 Billion in 2019–20: Lower GDP, Lower Cash Levels of Public Spending: Extending Austerity for Two More Years


|| May 25: 2016 || ά. If the result of the referendum on June 23 leads to the UK leaving the EU, there will be impacts on the UK public finances. This report aims to set out the possible impacts, focusing particularly on the short run, given that the Chancellor wishes to achieve a budget balance by the end of this parliament. We also look at possible long-run consequences.

The overall impact on the public finances will depend on two distinct components, each of which is uncertain to some degree:

The mechanical effect

As a net contributor to the EU, leaving the EU would strengthen the public finances because our net contribution would fall. But given uncertainty over the form of any subsequent arrangement with the EU, it might not necessarily fall to zero.

The national income effect

Any effect of leaving the EU on UK national income would affect the public finances. A rise in national income would strengthen the public finances, a fall would weaken them. ω.

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Papworth Trust Report Looks to Inform Debate for Disabled People Ahead of EU Referendum

|| May 25: 2016 || ά.  A leading charity has moved to push disability issues higher up the EU Referendum agenda by publishing a report yesterday, Tuesday, May 24, highlighting how disabled people could be affected by next month’s crucial European Referendum.

Papworth Trust hope the report, entitled ‘The EU and Disabled People’, will inform debate and elevate the issues for disabled people to consider ahead of next month’s referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. ω.

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Wales’ Net Benefit from the EU Budget Estimated at Around £79 Per Head Or £245 Million More Than What It Pays into the EU
 

|| May 24: 2016 || ά. A new report released today, Tuesday May 24, 2016 shows that Wales receives £245 million more from the European Union than it pays in. The overall net benefit to Wales was around £79 per head in 2014. The briefing paper finds that the amount of money Wales received from the EU budget in 2014 totalled £658m, while Wales’ contribution to the EU after accounting for a share of the UK’s rebate stood at £414m. This net benefit of £245m was equal to around 0.4% of GDP in 2014.

The report, Wales and the EU Referendum: Estimating Wales’ Net Contribution to the European Union, is published by Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre as part of its ongoing research projects in public finance and the impact of the European referendum in Wales. The work compares Wales’ receipts from the EU against an estimate of Wales’ contribution to the EU budget. This figure does not reflect the wider economic or trade considerations relating to membership of the Single Market. The analysis indicates that Wales’ position in terms of its net contribution to the EU differs substantially from that of the rest of the UK. ω.

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New Treasury Analysis: The Impact of a Sterling Depreciation on the Costs of a Family Shopping on Food, Non-alcoholic Drink, Clothing and Footwear

This is how the Market is Very Likely to See the Pound Sterling When UK is Outside the EU and 'Mark' Its Value

|| May 22: 2016 || ά. An Analysis on the rising cost of a family shopping from a fall in the value of sterling in the case of the UK leaving the European Union has been released by the Treasury today. What does not need anything for a demonstration to be self evident is this: if the UK were to leave the EU the Pound Sterling will depreciate particularly, for the fact that it is not as 'easy' to leave the EU as to vote for it since the process of negotiating the 'withdrawal' is forecast to take place as between two and three years which is, in terms of the market, a very long time that offers nothing but a muddle-heap of uncertainty. In this time when the UK and the EU are negotiating the withdrawal the UK Economy and Market and Businesses are in a limbo. The UK is technically in the EU and yet it is not in the EU because everyone is waiting to begin the 'lone' business again which will create a 'political economical psychological depression' in the Market and the business community.

Added to that is the next uncertainty period in which UK has to negotiate a 'trade deal' with the EU, a parallel one to compare to see how long that would take, the Canada Deal, gives a best conservative estimate of 7-9 years and worst estimate would be be that a full working trade deal might take better part of one and half a decade. That is how long a period of uncertainty the UK must contemplate when considering the scenario of the country leaving the EU. Hence, this is not a question of whether Pound Sterling depreciation will happen but by how much? This question no one can answer for there are so many variables involved and a great deal of them are rooted in volatile grounds, yet it is 'reasonable' to assume it would be quite a substantial depreciation. The commonsense look is this: one person standing among the crowd of 29 people looks rather substantive but take that person outside and let that person be seen next to the other 28 standing together and it would be absolutely clear to the viewer as to how 'small' that lone person is. And having seen that the viewer will go about 'marking' a value to that lone person. That is how the market is very likely to look at an UK exit of the EU and go about 'marking' the value of Pound Sterling.

What the Treasury has done is clearly setting out a particular scenario using available data and resources. And what it should make people see is this: if this is not a question of whether the value of Pound Sterling depreciating but by how much, we do not know that, but can see the basis of the idea that it would be substantive a loss than how does it impact on the prices of things: it does and will impact on prices of things so long they are imported and as the Treasury pointed out that the UK garment consumption is 42% imported. Therefore, the depreciation of Pound Sterling will impact on the prices of the 42% of the garment consumption. ω.

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The European Union Referendum: Remain Lead Increases to Four Points

|| May 21: 2016 || ά. With one month to go until UK voters decide the fate of the country in or out of the European Union the vote to remain in has increased by two points since April, making the overall lead in the vote to remain up four points to 44 per cent, according to the latest online EU poll from Opinium Research.

The poll reveals that 44 percent of UK adults would vote to remain in the EU in the referendum, while 40 per cent would vote to leave the EU and 14 per cent don't know how they would vote. This gives the “Remain” a lead of 4-points over “Leave”, up from one point last month.
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So Vote to Remain: For Human Rights, for Rights at Work, to Tackle Climate Change, to Tackle Tax Avoidance – for the Vision of Europe That Unites Not Divides: Jeremy Corbyn

 

|| May 20: 2016 || ά. Jeremy Corbyn MP, the Leader of the Labour Party’ spoke on May 18 at the Bristol Labour In for Britain Rally and outlined his view of why UK should vote to remain in the European Union. This is his speech.

Thank you – and it’s a pleasure to be back here in Bristol again – after Marvin’s magnificent win here two weeks ago, and Labour regaining the council for the first time since 2003.

They are excellent representatives for the people of Bristol and like me are keen to tackle the many problems facing people in this country. And let’s be clear, the responsibility for them lies in 10 Downing Street, not in Brussels.

This country is being let down by a Conservative government that is failing on housing, failing our children, failing our NHS, failing to create good quality secure jobs and failing even against its own economic targets.

They are making the wrong choices, they have the wrong priorities, cutting benefits for disabled people, while giving tax breaks to the richest.

They are letting people down and in 2020 we must vote leave for this Tory Government to leave office.

And when Labour does come into government we will work with our allies to reform the European Union to improve workers’ rights.

That is the exact opposite of what the Leave campaign wants earlier this week, they said by leaving the EU, they could “halve the burdens of the EU social and employment legislation”.

What are these burdens?

|| The right to four weeks paid holiday, plus public holidays

|| The right to equal pay between men and women

|| The right to decent standards of health and safety protection in work

|| Rights to maternity and paternity leave

|| Protection for people working for agencies

|| And comprehensive protection from discrimination at work

They need to come clean and say what they would scrap.

And we will work together with our allies to tackle issues like tax avoidance and climate change.

Because there is so much more the European Union could be doing if we had a government making the right choices and with the right priorities.

That is why Labour is voting to remain to work within Europe to make things better in Britain the Tories are doing the opposite.

Let me give you a recent example: the steel industry. This was a challenge facing all European governments, the dumping of Chinese steel onto the global market at prices below the cost of production.

The European Commission proposed new tariffs on Chinese steel, but the UK Government blocked those co-ordinated efforts to stop Chinese steel dumping

For weeks the Government, and the Leave side, said that European rules barred any government intervention to save steel. Which was odd, because other countries did act decisively and promptly within EU state aid rules to support their industries whether through taking a public stake, investing in research and development, providing loan guarantees or compensating for energy costs.

When Redcar steelworks got into trouble last year no action was taken and it has taken weeks for the Tories to do what Labour was saying from the start take a public stake to protect jobs.

It is not the EU that is the problem but a Conservative government here in Britain that doesn’t recognise the strategic importance of the steel industry for our economy for the jobs and skills in those communities.

The Conservative Government has cut investment in infrastructure that would have used more steel and had no procurement strategy to favour UK steel.

Of course the Conservatives are utterly committed to protecting one British industry in Europe, the tax avoidance industry.

Time after time this Prime Minister has not only failed to tackle tax avoidance he has actively blocked European proposals to tackle it. In 2013 David Cameron personally intervened to the European Commission president to weaken an EU drive to reveal the beneficiaries of offshore trusts and just last month Tory MEPs voted against proposals brought forward in the wake of the Panama Papers.

And on at least seven different occasions since the beginning of last year Conservative MEPs have voted against attempts to clamp down on tax dodging.

Unrestrained, it is clear what the Vote Leave vision for Britain is for Britain to be the safe haven of choice for the ill-gotten gains of every dodgy oligarch or dictator.

Labour has allies in Europe to take on this global network of the corrupt and we will work with them to truly clamp down on those on who would extract the shared wealth of our economies.

Climate change is the greatest threat that humanity faces this century. Britain alone cannot tackle it. We could have the best policies possible but unless we act together internationally, it is worthless.

But despite David Cameron pledging to lead the greenest government ever, that was his ‘hug-a-huskie’ phase, Britain still lags far behind most of Europe in terms of renewable energy production

This Government has cut subsidies for solar while increasing subsidies for diesel it has cut regulatory burdens on fracking yet increased regulations on onshore wind. They say one thing but do another.

And it is regulations agreed in Europe that have improved Britain’s beaches and waterways and that are forcing us to tackle the scandal of air pollution which will kill 500,000 people in Britain by 2025 unless we act.

Being in the EU is vital for tackling climate change and vital in protecting the environment we share.

Whether it’s on steel, climate change or tax justice the EU has come forward with positive proposals and it is this Conservative Government that is holding Britain back.

And with their Trade Union Bill they have proved they cannot be trusted on our workplace protections.

It is EU regulations that that underpin many rights at work, like holiday entitlement, maternity leave, rights to take breaks and limits to how many hours we can work and that have helped to improve protections for agency workers.

The Tories and UKIP are on record as saying they would like to reduce our workplace rights and many bad bosses would reduce our rights at work if they could.

Instead a Labour government would go further and work to raise standards throughout Europe to stop the undercutting of wages to strengthen every worker in Europe.

And the EU is vital for promoting human rights at home. As a result of EU directives and regulations, disabled people are protected from discrimination. Lifts, cars and buses need to be accessible, as does, sea and air travel.

And it was the Labour Government that signed the Human Rights Act into UK law that transferred power from government – not to Brussels – but to individual citizens.

So vote to remain; for human rights, for rights at work, to tackle climate change, to tackle tax avoidance – for the vision of Europe that unites not divides. ω.

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David Cameron at the World Economic Forum Making the Economic Argument for the UK Remaining in the EU

Image: 10 Downing Street

|| May 18: 2016 || ά. The Prime Minister David Cameron spoke at a World Economic Forum:WEF event on the economic arguments for the UK remaining in a reformed European Union. And this is what he said in his speech.

We’re obviously now 37 days and 37 nights away from this crucial EU referendum and I wanted to give you the opportunity to ask me questions about the issues that are coming up, about the arguments that are being made.

I would argue that those of us who want to stay in a reformed European Union are giving a very clear and positive argument and positive vision about why that is right. Put simply, it’s right for our economy because we are part of a Single Market of 500 million people that is crucial for our businesses, crucial for our economic future. And, so that is our vision and we’ve heard a lot of voices backing that. Voices from small businesses, from entrepreneurs, from big businesses, from inward investors into the United Kingdom, from farmers not just in England but in Scotland and Wales and in Northern Ireland too.

And I think what we’ve heard from the other side from those who want to leave is really quite a lot of vagueness, particularly on this issue of the economy. And what I wanted to do in my remarks this morning, before taking any of your questions or points is just to run through what I think are the biggest myths on the economy being put forward by those who want us to leave the EU.

Now, myth number 1 is, they make this point, that only a small number of businesses actually trade with the EU and so it’s not really fair on everybody else. I think that is a myth because basically there are 3 million jobs in our country that are dependent in some way on trade with the Single Market. Now I don’t argue all those jobs would go but if we restrict our trade with the Single Market clearly they’re going to be affected. But I think there’s a deeper truth about this particular myth which is this – there are many, many businesses in our country that are part of the supply chain for those that do trade with the single market. Take for instance, our car industry. Hugely successful over the last decade, 150,000 people working in our car industry but actually 300,000 people who are in the supply chain and working with our car industry. So I think this a complete myth, the idea that only a little bit of business would be affected if we left the EU. It would have a big impact on our economy that is now being backed up by the OECD, by the IMF, by the Bank of England, by almost every senior economist that looks at it. So I think that is myth number 1.

Myth number 2 is somehow that if we weren’t in the EU, we could sort of tear up the rule book and have a bonfire of regulations. I think this is a myth in a number of ways. First of all, any business that wants to go on trading with the EU even if we’re outside it has to meet every single rule and regulation of the Single Market and without having any say of what those rules are. Now that’s not a recovery of sovereignty that is actually losing sovereignty, so I think that is a very, very weak argument. And it’s even weaker when you ask people who want to leave the EU, ‘well which are the actual regulations you’d like us to get out of?’ Because the truth is in almost every international survey Britain comes out as actually a relatively lightly regulated and well regulated economy. And we’re not hearing from those who want to leave a whole list of regulations that they want to get out of. Even in the area of social regulations, Britain has actually chosen on things like holiday pay, maternity pay actually to do more than the minimum set out by the European Union. So, I think that is a total myth.

Now, myth number 3 is a really important one, is that the EU needs us much more than we need them, so were we to leave, they would give us an absolutely tremendous trade deal or access deal. I wish this was the case but it absolutely isn’t the case and the figures are very clear.

44% of what we export goes to the European Union. 8% of what the European Union exports goes to us. So, you don’t have to be a genius in negotiation to know that the process of negotiating, wanting to leave the EU and then get a good access deal back again, we would need them to agree much more than they would need us to agree.

And it’s worth thinking as well about this, about another point, we may have a deficit in the sale of goods when it comes to the EU but we have a very large surplus when it comes to services and one of the things that I think we should fear is that of course if we left the EU, they might offer us a deal on goods but it might take a very long time before they offered a deal on services. And you could almost imagine the thrill and excitement of service businesses in Italy and France and Germany and elsewhere saying ‘okay, let’s cut a deal with Britain on trade and goods, but hold back the trade in services so we can fill all of those insurance and banking and other service industries at which Britain is so good’. So, I think that is a particularly pervasive and a particularly dangerous myth.

Myth number 4, having made the argument that somehow they need us more than we need them, myth number 4 is that there is some great, automatic status you could find, like Norway, like Switzerland, like Canada, that gives you access to the Single Market on the basis that we have it now. And here the leave campaign have dotted around quite a bit. They started with Norway, because Norway does have an access deal to the Single Market, but of course Norway pays into the EU, as much per capita as we do, and it still has the free movement of people from other EU nations into Norway. But of course the Norwegians have absolutely no say over the rules of the Single Market. That is actually a poor status. To swap our status today, where we have a total say over those rules and regulations and full voting powers and voting rights, to swap that for not having a say would be an absolute step backwards.

Switzerland’s deal doesn’t cover services. That would be hopeless for our economy. So then the people wanted to leave jumped onto the idea of the Canada free trade deal. Now, I’m a massive fan of the Canada free trade deal, I’ve been pushing it very hard, it’s very good for Canada. It would be very bad for Britain. First of all, 7 years of negotiation and it still isn’t in place. So imagine for Britain, being stuck for 7 years trying to negotiate a trade deal with a market where 44% of our trade goes and is only 20 miles off our coast. But even if you imagine it was done more quickly, the Canada trade deal doesn’t include all services, it does still include a number of tariffs, it has quotas on things like beef, which is a vital export for our farmers, so again it is not a good deal for Britain. So, I think that is a myth that there is something ready for us to pluck of the shelf. The Leave campaign have started talking about this sort of mythical free trade zone that includes places like Macedonia and Albania, and I think the idea of painting Britain as a greater Albania is really, that shows that you are losing the argument. And even the Albanian prime minister came out and said he thought that was a bad idea.

Myth number 5, after they’ve been through these models, realise they’ve had to reject all of those, myth number 5 is, well we don’t really need trade deals, we’re just going to get our seat back at the World Trade Organisation. Well this is a myth, because first of all, we never gave up our seat at the World Trade Organisation. But more to the point, I think actually this is possibly the most dangerous myth of all. One of the Leave campaigners put it the other day which is why don’t we have a status when it comes to trading with the EU, just like the United States does. And if we actually stop and think for a minute about what Britain having a World Trade Organisation status with the EU would be like, it really is quite a chilling prospect.

The United States actually sells less to the rest of the European Union than we do. Quite important fact that, given they are, you know, the biggest, most powerful economy in the world. But more to the point, they face 7,000 different tariff lines on goods and services that they sell. Many services they can’t sell at all. American Airlines can fly into a European country but they can’t fly between European countries. Think what that would do for EasyJet or for Ryanair.

Many US cars can’t be sold into Europe because they don’t meet the standards. Cars that are sold have to pay a 10% tariff. You pay 12% on your clothes, you pay 17% on your shoes, you would have a quota for beef that you share with a number of other countries, so if they sell more you suddenly have to pay massive tariffs. So this idea that there’s a World Trade Organisation status for Britain trading with the European Union, that is freely available and good for us, is a complete myth. It would be hugely damaging for our economy. But nonetheless, that is where the Leave campaign currently are.

Myth number 6. If we were outside the EU, we would be faster and better at signing our own trade deals with the rest of the world. Where I think this is such a myth is first of all the EU, I want it to sign more trade deals, but actually it has signed many more than the US, almost twice as many trade deals as the US and actually the EU trade deals cover a huge percentage of our trade. So yes, one of my arguments for staying in is I want to speed up the process of signing of TTIP, of signing of an EU-Canada, an EU-Japan deal, an EU-China deal and many others. But already the EU does better than many other trade blocs at signing these deals.

But I think the real myth here is actually the Leave campaigners are not listening to what the rest of the world is saying. We heard it from President Obama, we heard it from the Prime Minister of Japan, we heard it from the Prime Minister of Australia, we heard it from the Prime Minister of New Zealand, and they are all saying they would rather sign a deal with the European Union because it would be a bigger, better and more comprehensive deal than signing a deal with Britain.

But of course, Britain would have another problem outside the EU, which is that we’d have to work out what our trading relationship with the EU was first, before we could credibly get round and sign trade deals with the rest of the world. So I think that is a complete myth.

Myth number 7 is this idea that industries like financial services and manufacturing, would somehow magically thrive if we weren’t in the EU. I think this is very easy to dismiss. Take the heart of our manufacturing industry, the automobile industry where we are doing so well, with Honda, with Nissan, with Toyota, with Jaguar Land Rover, with Vauxhall with Ford, we now make millions of engines in Britain that end up in BMW cars, we actually make more cars in the north east of England than is made in many years in the whole of Italy. This is a growing and successful industry, there isn’t a car manufacturer in Britain that believes we should leave the EU, and when it comes to the financial services industry a good point to make here in the City of London, crucially if you leave the EU and you leave the Single Market, you give up the vital passport that means that any bank, or financial services company based here in the UK can trade automatically through the Single Market. Giving that up, would in no doubt, destroy a huge amount of jobs, not just here in London but also in the financial services centres we have in our country, in Birmingham, in Manchester, in Bournemouth, in Edinburgh and in Glasgow, and the Head of the Stock Exchange recently said to me, he thought 100,000 jobs alone could go in the City of London alone because of that measure, so I think that is a complete myth.

Myth number 8, that economists are somehow split over this issue, there’s a balance of opinion on either side of the argument. I think one of the things that has come out so clearly, already in this campaign, is the overwhelming weight of evidence from economic forecasters that we would be less well off, outside a reformed European Union. You have heard it from the Bank of England, from the OECD, from the IMF, from the Treasury, from the Office of Budget Responsibility and many others besides, and I think when very respected organisations are saying, as clearly as they are that output would be lower, growth would be less, unemployment would be higher, prices would be higher, we would see a hit to living standards, that there is a very clear consensus that leaving the EU would have not just a short-term effect on confidence and investment and growth but would actually have a longer-term effect as well.

And that leads me to the ninth and final myth put around by the Leave campaign and Leave campaigners, that somehow that there might be a short-term shock, they sometimes suggest but they say there will be a longer-term benefit. That is not what the economic forecasters are saying and there is a very clear reason that it’s not what the economic forecasters are saying because one of the things that generates our productivity and generates our growth, that makes us a successful economy, is our access to the Single Market, and the openness of our economy, and that is why the Treasury analysis is so clear that the long-term effect on our economy would be to make our households at least £4,300 less well off, a 6% shock to our economy, so I think we have got here a very clear set of arguments that completely demolish the economic case for leaving the European Union, and we have a very strong argument for saying that the status quo isn’t just a sort of static, let’s stay in and keep what we’ve got, it is an argument that says, this Single Market is growing, it is expanding, it is going to cover energy, it is going to cover services, it is going to cover digital, and it is a key advantage to our economy to grow, and for jobs and investment to stay in.

Final thing I would say before taking any questions, is that I hope you, as leaders in business, enterprise and entrepreneurship will feel free to speak out, and I don’t mind if businesses speak out for leaving, or speak out for staying, but I want people to speak out, I want the British public to have the fullest possible debate. They deserve to hear from businesses large and small, about what you think. I don’t want anyone to wake up on June the 24th and feel they weren’t given the facts and the figures. If there’s that little voice in your head saying, well, I shouldn’t take sides, it is a political issue, yes, it is a political issue, the British public are sovereign and they will decide but let’s make sure everyone has the facts because I’m in no doubt having been Prime Minister of this country for 6 years, that on the economic argument alone, there’s no doubt we are better off in, and we would be worse off out, and I am going to make that argument very clearly for the next 36 days.

Thank you very much indeed. ω.

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Exiting the EU is a Risk to UK Engineering: Leading Engineering Institution
 


|| April 24: 2016 || The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is outlining the risks that leaving the European Union could have on the UK engineering sector, including increased skills shortages and uncertainties over areas such as research funding.

Leaving the EU, the IET says, could exacerbate the UK’s engineering and technology skills shortage – the UK is estimated to need 1.82 million new engineers over the next decade – by making it more difficult for companies to recruit engineers from other EU countries. While the UK could tackle this problem by introducing a fast track visa process for engineers and technologists, it is unclear how this would sit alongside the tighter border controls anticipated following an exit from the EU.

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Exit from EU Would Lead to Decline in Living Standards in the UK: Macroeconomic Forecasters


|| April 22: 2016 || Oxera, a leading economics and financial consultancy, has today released an analysis of 12 established macroeconomic forecasts on the medium- and long-term potential effects of UK leaving on the national economy, which includes analysis from the CEPR, PwC and Open Europe. These forecasts suggest that in such scenario where Britain leaves the EU will lead to a decline in living standards over the next 15 years, with no forecaster who publishes per-capita values anticipating that leaving the EU will have a positive effect on the UK’s GDP per capita.

If the UK successfully negotiates an FTA with the EU, the available forecasts show a decline of 0–1% in GDP per capita. In the event that the UK fails to negotiate an FTA, macroeconomic forecasters predict a fall of 2–3% of GDP per capita.

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EU Membership and UK Science: Science and Technology Select Committee Report

Further on European Union Funding in Wales: European Funds in Wales

|| April 20, 2016 || This is the 2nd Report of Session 2015-16 of the Science and Technology Select Committee: Published April 20: 2016 - HL Paper 127 looks at UK Science and research within the framework of the European Union.

Summary of the Report

By a range of measures, the UK is one of the world’s leading scientific nations, both in terms of fundamental and applied research. It is irrefutable that the UK’s research excellence was established long before the inception of European integration in 1952. As European integration has developed, the UK has retained its leading position in the face of growing competition from around the world. Against this background, we have sought to examine the relationship between the UK’s EU membership and its world-leading capability in science.

The overwhelming balance of opinion made known to this Committee from the UK science community valued greatly the UK’s membership of the European Union. Science is a major component of the UK’s membership of the EU. Nearly one fifth (18.3%) of EU funding to the UK is spent on research and development (R&D). In the period 2007–13, EU Framework Programme 7 funding for science and research in the UK amounted to 3% of the UK’s total expenditure on R&D. We heard from universities that this funding is equivalent to having another Research Council.

The ease with which talented researchers can move between EU Member States and the UK, the EU’s fertile environment for research collaboration, harmonised regulations, access to EU research facilities and the availability of substantial funding for research combine to make EU membership a highly prized feature of the research ecosystem in the UK. Furthermore, the UK plays a leading role in the development of EU policies and decision-making processes that relate to science and research.

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EU Membership is Positive for UK Environment

Environmental problems don’t respect borders. When it comes to protecting our natural environment and dealing with global problems like climate change, the overwhelming evidence is that EU membership has improved the UK’s approach to the environment and ensured that the UK’s environment has been better protected.

Mary Creagh MP: Chair: EAC

||April 19, 2016|| EU membership has been a crucial factor in shaping UK environmental policy on air and water pollution, and biodiversity, according to the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on EU and UK Environmental Policy.

Mary Creagh MP, Chair, said: "The UK has cleaned up its act since we were dubbed the 'dirty man of Europe' in the seventies. EU environmental laws have played a key part, and mean we bathe on cleaner beaches, drive more fuel-efficient cars and can hold Government to account on air pollution."

The Committee heard that EU environmental policy development has been a two-way street. On the one hand, EU membership has given the UK a platform to pursue its environmental objectives internationally, and influence the strategic, long-term direction of policy. On the other hand, EU membership has ensured that environmental action in the UK has been taken on a faster timetable, and more thoroughly than would otherwise have been the case.

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Political Economics HM Treasury Analysis: Leaving the EU Would Cost British Households £4,300 Per Year

||April 18, 2016|| According to the latest analysis released by H M Treasury today Britain will be worse off by £4,300 a year per household if Britain votes to leave the European Union.

Visiting the National Composites Centre in Bristol, with other members of the Cabinet, Chancellor George Osborne presented what he called one of the most significant interventions to date in the EU referendum campaign: the first piece of economic analysis from the Treasury.

Using a negotiated bilateral agreement like Canada as the central assumption for the alternative, Britain would be worse off by the equivalent of £1,800 every year for every man, woman and child in Britain after 15 years, and overall GDP would be lower by 6.2%. Other options being proposed would be worse still.

There would also be a significant hit to tax receipts, equivalent to an 8p increase in the rate of income tax. The analysis provides a rigorous and objective economic analysis of the long term impact of remaining a member of the EU compared to the alternatives:

Membership of the European Economic Area (EEA), like Norway
A negotiated bilateral agreement, such as that between the EU and Switzerland, Turkey or Canada
World Trade Organisation (WTO) membership without any form of specific agreement with the EU, like Russia or Brazil.

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United Kingdom The Interests of Farmers are Best Served by Our Continuing Membership of the European Union: National Farmers Union Council Resolved

The NFU Council resolves that on the balance of existing evidence available to us at present, the interests of farmers are best served by our continuing membership of the European Union. Readmore

Implications of a UK exit from the EU for British agriculture: Study for the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Warwickshire, UK

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United Kingdom The Government Leaflet and Website on the European Union Referendum

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Additionally, what the Government fails to do is present being in the EU as part of wider World and World Bodies to signify the necessity to work together, in concert and seek to resolve problem that no single nation not even the EU or other similar international or regional bodies could resolve on their own and that the UK ought to be be part of that world and being a part of that means being in the EU for the UK in the future (not in five or ten or twenty years but generations ahead) and that is not a fear-mongering thing.

The future of humankind depends on working together regardless of borders/maps etc and the UK ought to be part of that future with, in and among the nations of the world and so it ought to be with, in and among the nations of the European Union. And this a vision which is not only credible but also almost touchable. So that people are not just thinking about the next couple of years but way into the future.

The future of sciences, mathematics, engineering, life and bio-sciences, astronomical and astrophysical and cosmological sciences, all branches of medicine, medicine related technology and the general development of technology and the advancement of knowledge and knowledge base all depends on nations in almost human orchestras must come together and work.

And the EU is a little part of that orchestra of humanity and the UK has always led the charge for seeking out knowledge and find, reach and go beyond frontiers of knowledge and technology and no one should forget this vision of the World, of the European Union and of the United Kingdom, of England, of Northern Ireland, of Scotland and of Wales. This is not a vision of fear: it is a vision of a vibrant and plausible future the UK as a nation must pursue.

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Political Philosophy: European Union: Towards a European Pillar of Social Rights

Image: ILO

ILO Welcomes Strengthened EU Focus on Social Issues
Which of These Social Rights, Equal Opportunities and Access: Fair Working Conditions: Adequate and Sustainable Social Protection? Do We Wish and Want More and More Well Established Across All Fields and Areas of Life and Regions in the UK?

March 27, 2016: President Juncker, in his speech at the State of the Union, September 09, 2015, said: “I will want to develop a European Pillar of Social Rights, which takes account of the changing realities of the world of work and which can serve as a compass for the renewed convergence within the euro area.”

On March 08, 2016, the European Commission put forward a first, preliminary outline of what should become the European Pillar of Social Rights. As mentioned by President Juncker in his State of the Union address on 9 September 2015, "I believe we do well to start with this initiative within the euro area, while allowing other Member States to join in if they wish to do so". The Pillar will identify a number of essential principles common to euro area Member States, focusing on their needs and challenges in the field of employment and social policies.

The 3 Categories are:

Equal Opportunities and Access

Equal opportunities and access to the labour market: This includes skills development, life-long learning and active support for employment. All these elements are all indispensable to increase employment opportunities, facilitate transitions between different employment statuses and improve the employability of individuals.

Fair Working Conditions

Fair working conditions: Needed to establish an adequate and reliable balance of rights and obligations between workers and employers. They make sure that there is evenness between flexibility and security to facilitate job creation, job take-up and the adaptability of firms, and promoting social dialogue.

Adequate and Sustainable Social Protection

Adequate and sustainable social protection: This includes access to health, social protection benefits and high quality services, including childcare, healthcare and long-term care, which are essential to ensure a dignified living and protection against life's risks. This enables citizens to participate fully in employment and, more generally, in society.

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The Impact of EU Membership in Scotland Report

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Scotland in the European Union Report

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Further on European Union Funding in Wales: European Funds in Wales

 

This is how future research, human interactions and unfoldings of human ingenuity, creativity and learning will take place where the entire world's very many institutions, disciplines, professions would come together to work, learn, achieve, nurture, foster, enhance and empower together.

The EU brings real benefits to Wales – through the single market and over £500m of EU funds annually.

Through the EU Structural Funds, Wales has benefited from just over £4bn since 2000, supporting business, research and innovation, helping people into work, increasing skills, improving transport and digital networks, regenerating our communities, and enhancing our environment.

Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone (external link), Swansea's Institute of Life Sciences (external link), the Wales Coastal Path (external link), Apprenticeships, Jobs Growth Wales and the regeneration of Rhyl's Fforyd Harbour (external link) and Blaenau Ffestiniog (external link) are just some examples of how EU investments are making a positive difference to the Welsh economy.

There have also been other major investments including for the A465 Heads of the Valleys (external link) route, Harbour Way (external link) in Neath Port Talbot and Finance Wales’ Business Fund (external link).

Since 2007, EU projects have created 11,900 enterprises and 35,570 (gross) jobs, assisted 70,135 people into work, 223,000 to gain qualifications, and 49,245 into further learning.

Wales also benefits from EU funds through the Common Agricultural Policy, providing around £200m a year in single farm payments to more than 16,000 farms in Wales

Wales also benefits from the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which can support businesses, farmers, the countryside and communities in rural areas.  This £957m programme is financed through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development by the EU and Welsh Government.

More than £500m has been invested since 2007 in initiatives such as Farming Connect and the Kite project (external link) to help increase the competitiveness of farms and rural businesses and improve the quality of life for rural communities and the environment.

In addition to the guaranteed EU funds for Wales, worth over £500m annually, other EU funds totalling £110bn are also available to Wales, including the EU’s research and innovation fund, Horizon 2020, and ERASMUS which supports work, education and training opportunities abroad.  Read about some of the projects we have funded in the ‘Horizon success stories’.

Wales and the European Union: Annual Reports and Work Programmes  

Relevant Paper Horizon Success Stories

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European Funds in Wales

£500 Millions Annually Comes to Wales from EU funding

£4 Billions have come to Wales through EU Structural funding since 2000

Through EU Rural Development Plan, an £957m programme co-funded by the EU and Welsh Government

EU funds through the Common Agricultural Policy, providing around £200m a year in single farm payments to more than 16,000 farms in Wales.

More than £500m has been invested since 2007 into Welsh Businesses

Since 2007, EU projects have created 11,900 enterprises and 35,570 (gross) jobs, assisted 70,135 people into work, 223,000 to gain qualifications, and 49,245 into further learning.

The following has been published by the devolved Welsh Government

The EU brings real benefits to Wales – through the single market and over £500 million of EU funds annually.

Through the EU Structural Funds, Wales has benefited from just over £4bn since 2000, supporting business, research and innovation, helping people into work, increasing skills, improving transport and digital networks, regenerating our communities, and enhancing our environment.

Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone, Swansea's Institute of Life Sciences, the Wales Coastal Path, Apprenticeships, Jobs Growth Wales and the regeneration of Rhyl's Fforyd Harbour and Blaenau Ffestiniog are just some examples of how EU investments are making a positive difference to the Welsh economy.

There have also been other major investments including for the A465 Heads of the Valleys route, Harbour Way in Neath Port Talbot and Finance Wales’ Business Fund.

Since 2007, EU projects have created 11,900 enterprises and 35,570 (gross) jobs, assisted 70,135 people into work, 223,000 to gain qualifications, and 49,245 into further learning.

Wales also benefits from EU funds through the Common Agricultural Policy, providing around £200m a year in single farm payments to more than 16,000 farms in Wales.

More than £500m has been invested since 2007 in initiatives such as Farming Connect and the Kite project to help increase the competitiveness of farms and rural businesses and improve the quality of life for rural communities and the environment.

Rural communities, businesses and the countryside are also benefitting from the complementary Rural Development Plan, an £957m programme co-funded by the EU and Welsh Government.

Read The Infographics Published by the Devolved Welsh Government About What the European Funding Does for Wales

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European Structural and Investment Fund: Budget  €454 billion for 2014-20

 

With a budget of €454 billion for 2014-20, the European structural and investment funds (ESIFs) are the European Union's main investment policy tool.

By 2023, the ESIFs will deliver a critical mass of investment in key EU priority areas, to respond to the needs of the real economy by supporting job creation and by getting the European economy growing again in a sustainable way.

EU countries commit to:

Supporting more than 2 million business through the funds to increase their competitiveness, develop products, find new markets and create new jobs.

Infrastructure investment in areas such as broadband, IT and telecoms, and water supplies. This will help EU countries – especially those which are less developed – improve peoples’ living standards and make their business environments more competitive.

Using the funds to invest in the skills and adaptability of Europe's workforce, giving tens of millions of people, including young people, refugees and legal migrants the opportunities to train, retrain, or start businesses.


Results of negotiations on ESIF investment programmes:
Communication on negotiations around EU countries' investment programmes

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The Royal Society Report: UK Research and the European Union: the Role of the EU in Funding UK Research: Published: 18 December 2015

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Evidence Submitted by Universities UK to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Inquiry on Relationship Between EU Membership and UK Science

Scope of the inquiry: The Committee is conducting an inquiry into the relationship between EU Membership and the effectiveness of science, research and innovation in the UK. The UK's membership of the EU has wide ranging influence on the vitality of UK science, research and innovation. Understanding this influence, however, is complex and multifaceted. Its exact nature is uncatalogued in a number of key areas and this inquiry aims to try and understand and characterise these interactions with particular regard to four major themes; funding, collaboration, regulation and scientific advice.

The total UK allocation through ERDF and ESF for 2007-2014 was €10.9 billion

England has been allocated a total of €6.9 billion from these two Funds for the years between 2014 and 2020.

For the period of the current multiannual financial framework (2014-2020), 9.7% of the EU funds allocated to the UK as a whole are earmarked for the ‘Research and Innovation’ theme. This is a sum of €1.596 billion over the seven years.

in particular the theme focussed on improving the competitiveness of SMEs, which is the largest UK theme with €2.462 (billion?) of EU funding over the seven years.

Examples of research centres supported by ESIF funding include Biovale in York, the Graphene Institute in Manchester, the Environment and Sustainability Institute in Cornwall and several centres which are part of the Advanced Manufacturing Catapult including the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield
 

The following is the written Evidence Submitted to the Inquiry by Universities UK

Universities UK – Supplementary written evidence (EUM0079)

European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)

ESIF is the EU’s main funding programme for supporting growth and jobs across the EU. It is formed from four primary strands: the Regional Development Fund (ERDF); the Social Fund (ESF); the Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

The university sector is relatively less engaged with the latter two funds, but does undertake significant amounts of activity which has, at least in part, been funded through the ERDF and ESF.

England has been allocated a total of €6.9 billion from these two Funds for the years between 2014 and 2020. Funding through ERDF and ESF is, in England, allocated to the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). It is a major source of funding for Local Enterprise Partnerships.

LEPs set their own economic strategies for the regions they operate within, and the ways in which ERDF and ESF funding will be used will therefore vary significantly across the country. The amounts allocated to LEPs also vary significantly, as the relative state of economic development in regions is considered in apportioning funding.

Universities can access this funding to pursue the objectives of the LEP through applying to calls for projects issued by LEPs. This is a fundamental difference to the ‘responsive’ way in which much funding through the Framework Programmes (currently Horizon 2020) is allocated, which allows researchers and universities to bid for funding to support projects they have themselves defined.

Funding through ESIF will also normally require significant amounts of match funding (normally 50%), which is again different from much funding through Horizon 2020.

Activities funded by ESIF

ESIF funds research and development as a method of pursuing the economic development, or social inclusiveness, of a region. Bids are judged in terms of their ability to generate economic growth, rather than on criteria related to research excellence (although these two factors will frequently, of course, coincide).

Examples of university-based activities that are frequently funded through ESIF include:

R&D centres to collaborate with industry
Innovation centres and campuses to provide specialist facilities, support and funding to SMEs embarking on R&D and innovation projects
Collaborative PhD and Masters programmes to support research projects specified by SMEs and undertaken by a research student supervised by the university
Innovation voucher schemes offer funding to businesses to support early-stage innovation.

The current new programme also offers opportunities through the Social Fund to invest in higher level skills, which were previously out of scope in England. This is enabling universities to leverage EU funding to extend their activities focussed on local employers and communities, in particular.

Levels of ESIF funding allocated to R&D; and levels received by universities

For the period of the current multiannual financial framework (2014-2020), 9.7% of the EU funds allocated to the UK as a whole are earmarked for the ‘Research and Innovation’ theme. This is a sum of €1.596 billion over the seven years.

However, there are other budget themes through which research and innovation could potentially be supported: in particular the theme focussed on improving the competitiveness of SMEs, which is the largest UK theme with €2.462 of EU funding over the seven years. Ultimately, the level of ESIF funding that supports research and innovation will depend upon the strategies and funding decisions of LEPs.

Similarly, it is not possible to accurately predict the level of support that projects undertaken by higher education institutions will receive through these funds, as this will depend upon funding decisions yet to be taken. However, the record of the previous multiannual financial framework (2007-13) shows a pattern of increased engagement.

Figure 1: HEI income from ESIF sources : Omitted here.

The total UK allocation through ERDF and ESF for 2007-2014 was €10.9 billion (approximately £8.1 billion using current conversion rates). Higher education institutions were therefore awarded approximately 7% of this funding during this period.

The above figure of 7% is an estimate and should be used with caution, as income received by an institution in a particular years (and recorded via the HE-BCI survey in that year) may have been awarded in a different year to that in which it was received.

HEI income through ESIF is therefore very considerably lower than through Framework Programme funding.

Relationship between ESIF and Framework Programme funding

ESIF and Framework Programme funding operate in substantially different ways, and towards separate objectives – supporting a significantly different range of activities when accessed by universities (albeit with some overlap).

The European Commission is seeking to pursue ‘synergies’ between ESIF and Framework Programme funding. This may involve ESIF projects providing ‘upstream’ or ‘downstream’ support to research which is funded through Framework Programme funding.

‘Upstream’ synergy might include supporting the establishment of a research and development centre which can host researchers well positioned to secure funding through Framework Programmes. Examples of research centres supported by ESIF funding include Biovale in York, the Graphene Institute in Manchester, the Environment and Sustainability Institute in Cornwall and several centres which are part of the Advanced Manufacturing Catapult including the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield

‘Downstream’ synergy might include providing funding to catalyse knowledge transfer relating to the findings of research funded by the Framework Programme.

27 January 2016

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Written Evidence Submitted by The Centre for Cross Border Studies for the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Inquiry into Northern Ireland and the EU Referendum

Northern Ireland is currently distinct from other parts of the UK in that it has a dedicated European Commission task force – the Northern Ireland, or Barroso, Task Force. This has offered the Northern Ireland Executive a direct channel to the Commission, and therefore an external arena with the potential to influence policies that are directly relevant to Northern Ireland. This external channel, along with Northern Ireland’s representation in the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions, would be removed if the UK were to leave the EU.

Written Evidence submitted by the Centre for Cross Border Studies for the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee’s inquiry into Northern Ireland and the EU Referendum (EUN0010)

This document has been prepared by the Centre for Cross Border Studies as a contribution to the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee’s inquiry into Northern Ireland and the UK’s referendum on EU membership.

About The Centre for Cross Border Studies

The Centre for Cross Border Studies (CCBS), based in Armagh, Northern Ireland, has a strong reputation as an authoritative advocate for cross-border cooperation and as a valued source of research, information and support for collaboration across borders on the island of Ireland, Europe and beyond.

The Centre empowers citizens and builds capacity and capability for cooperation across sectors and jurisdictional boundaries on the island of Ireland and further afield. This mission is achieved through research, expertise, partnership and experience in a wide range of cross-border practices and concerns.[1]

The response that follows, therefore, is closely informed by the Centre’s particular knowledge of and experience in cross-border socio-economic development involving a range of sectors from both Northern Ireland and Ireland, as well as of how European Union funding and regional policy has supported much of the cross-border cooperation that has benefited citizens in both jurisdictions. It is not exhaustive, but the Centre for Cross Border Studies would welcome the opportunity to expand on the issues outlined here as well as others relevant to Northern Ireland in the context of the EU referendum.

However, it should be noted that in discussing the UK’s membership of the EU some of the questions posed by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee cannot be answered definitively. This is due to the fact that in any assessment of the impacts on Northern Ireland of a UK exit from the EU we have no a priori knowledge of what the final terms of the negotiated exit would be.

1. The Centre for Cross Border Studies (CCBS) believes that the debate on UK membership of the EU should consider the following issues as those that are specific to Northern Ireland: the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and the 1998 Northern Ireland Act; cross-border cooperation; the agri-food sector and corporation tax; and external channels of policy influence.[2] Discussed in more detail later, the main points for debate would be:

A UK exit from the EU could lead to calls for amendments to the 1998 political settlement and revision of the 1998 Northern Ireland Act that, if not approached with political consensus, could in the short-term interrupt the ongoing consolidation of peace in Northern Ireland.

The establishment of a post-Brexit situation where the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland would become an external EU border would impact upon the ability and financial capacity to undertake mutually beneficial cross-border cooperation projects. A decline in the levels of cross-border cooperation undertaken by actors at all levels would represent a retrograde step in the cementing of peace and reconciliation.

The existence of the land border would also become an issue for EU citizens currently living in one jurisdiction but crossing the border to work or study, or for other social reasons. Even if the Common Travel area continues, the CTA applies only to Irish and UK citizens.

Withdrawal from the EU should also be considered in the light of possible economic impacts specific to Northern Ireland, and the extent to which these could be mitigated. The agri-food sector is a more significant contributor to GVA in Northern Ireland than it is in the UK generally, therefore any negative consequences of a Brexit for agriculture and food and drink processing would be felt most keenly in Northern Ireland.

The assumed benefits of reducing Corporation Tax in Northern Ireland below the rate levied in the UK and comparable to that of the Republic of Ireland could be placed in jeopardy if the UK were to leave the EU. A situation would be created where investors would be faced with the choice of similar corporation tax rates in the two jurisdictions of the island of Ireland, but where only one would be a full member of the Single Market.

Northern Ireland is currently distinct from other parts of the UK in that it has a dedicated European Commission task force – the Northern Ireland, or Barroso, Task Force. This has offered the Northern Ireland Executive a direct channel to the Commission, and therefore an external arena with the potential to influence policies that are directly relevant to Northern Ireland. This external channel, along with Northern Ireland’s representation in the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions, would be removed if the UK were to leave the EU.

The Peace Process

2. Although agreements such as the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement need not be seen as immutable and incapable of reflecting changing circumstances, a Brexit could lead to the possibility of an unpicking of the Agreement and political divisions in Northern Ireland on how the UK’s withdrawal from the EU should be reflected in any revisions to the Agreement, particularly in regards to Strands II (dealing with North-South relations) and III (dealing with inter-governmental relations).[3] The Governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland also signed an agreement to act as co-guarantors of the 1998 political settlement, and did so “as friendly neighbours and as partners in the European Union”.[4]

3. However, although common membership of the EU has been an important enabler of the Agreement and provides a forum for improving relations on an East-West basis, the fact that one of its co-guarantors may no longer be an EU Member State should not of itself undermine the status of the 1998 settlement which is an international treaty registered at the UN. The difficulty may arise if combined with other issues (of a constitutional nature and those unrelated to constitutional questions) identified as arising from a Brexit. This could be destabilising politically and socially and exacerbate existing ‘residual’ political violence.

4. Under Strand I, the 1998 Agreement sets out the framework for the Northern Ireland Assembly’s relations with other institutions, stating that “Terms will be agreed between appropriate Assembly representatives and the Government of the United Kingdom to ensure effective coordination and input by Ministers to national policy-making, including on EU issues”. Under Strand II, the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) is set to meet in different formats, including “in an appropriate format to consider institutional or cross-sectoral matters (including in relation to the EU)”. More specifically, the NSMC is:

“To consider the European Union dimension of relevant matters, including the implementation of EU policies and programmes and proposals under consideration in the EU framework. Arrangements to be made to ensure that the views of the Council are taken into account and represented appropriately at relevant EU meetings.”

Consideration of common approaches to EU matters is also an issue seen as suitable for consideration by the British Irish Council, under Strand III of the Agreement.

5. Additionally, a Brexit could lead to a review of the operation of the Joint Ministerial Committee on Europe, a separate inter-governmental forum that brings together Ministers from the UK Government, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to discuss EU business.

6. Crucially, the possible cessation of EU-related functions of the North South Ministerial Council and the British Irish Council may have implications for the ability of these bodies to carry out their wider roles and responsibilities. It is also possible that the terms of reference of all these bodies could be modified in order to reflect the UK’s new circumstances, allowing them to consider matters related to the EU that would affect the UK even as a non-member. However, the cross-border bodies and areas of cooperation created under Strand II of the 1998 Agreement whose remit includes the implementation of EU programmes and directives on a cross-border basis would at the very least find themselves under considerable strain if UK and Northern Ireland policies begin to diverge from those of the EU, and therefore of the Republic of Ireland.

7. The 1998 Northern Ireland Act makes repeated reference to European Community Law in relation to the legislative powers of the Northern Ireland Assembly. A UK withdrawal from the European Union and its associated laws established under the relevant Treaties and cases in EU courts could imply that the limits imposed on the legislative powers of the Northern Ireland Assembly would have to be redrawn within different parameters. Again, it is not possible to predict how this will impact on the functioning of the Assembly, without knowing what revisions will be made to the Act and the political and social climate in which they are made.[5]

8. A decrease in cross-border cooperation and restrictions on those involved in such cooperation for the reasons set out below will be detrimental to the ongoing process of peace and reconciliation, and could be seen as against the spirit of Strand II of the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

Cross-Border Cooperation

9. A UK withdrawal from the EU would change the status of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, making it an EU external border. The implications of that change in status will largely depend on the result of the negotiations triggered by Article 50, particularly in the movement of goods, services and capital, and the extent to which any controls on movement of these would have to be in place at the border. Again, the levels of any such controls will depend on the degree of access to the Single Market the UK Government is able to guarantee in the post-Brexit negotiations with the EU.

10. The Common Travel Area (CTA) between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, which predates the accession of both states to the European Union, is currently recognised by the EU through protocols attached to EU Treaties. In a post-Brexit scenario, the continued ability of UK and Irish nationals to move freely between the two jurisdictions and enjoy certain privileges regarding residency rights and access to benefits would depend on Ireland’s continuing status as an EU Member State. The EU’s legal recognition of the CTA in the form of existing Treaty protocols would become redundant following a UK withdrawal, and its subsequent recognition would depend on the result of negotiations. Retention of the CTA is critical for both the UK and Irish Governments and of vital importance to Northern Ireland since the opening of the border between the two jurisdictions on the island of Ireland has contributed to normalisation and the peace process. The Irish Government will make strenuous efforts within the EU to ensure that the CTA remains in operation following a Brexit.

11. However, the fundamental change in status of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland that would follow a Brexit would pose a significant threat to the ability of the governments and actors at all levels of both parts of the island to fully engage in cross-border cooperation. Much of the concrete cross-border work undertaken across a variety of areas, and involving collaboration between people North and South, has been made possible through EU funds.

12. EU Cohesion Policy has also provided an important overarching framework for cross-border cooperation and the implementation of policies designed collaboratively by both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland. With its withdrawal from the EU there would no longer be any imperative for the UK to follow Cohesion Policy. In turn, this could mean increasing policy divergence between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in multiple areas of mutual strategic interest, making it increasingly difficult to engage in cross-border cooperation. As a result, although there is no substantial reason why the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland should become a “hard” border, it could nevertheless represent a marker distancing the Governments on both sides as they resort to back-to-back policy development, especially if there is not sufficient financial mitigation made for the loss of associated EU funds.

Economic Impacts

13. The precise implications of and opportunities for Northern Ireland’s economy following a Brexit are entirely dependent on the conclusion of negotiations between the UK Government and the EU regarding future relations, particularly in terms of access to the Single Market. In 2014 65.9% of Northern Ireland sales were internal (i.e. within Northern Ireland itself), with the second most important market being Great Britain (19.3%).[6] However, if Northern Ireland’s prosperity depends on increasing levels of exports, then the precise nature of Northern Ireland’s ability to access the Single Market and to profit from any Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) made by the UK Government will be crucial in this regard.[7]

14. Northern Ireland exports outside the European Union accounted for 6.1% of total sales in 2014, whereas those within the EU accounted for 8.8%, with exports to the Republic of Ireland accounting for more than half of that figure (5.5%). Current trends in Northern Ireland exports suggest that the EU market continues to be of significant importance and that the market in the Republic of Ireland on its own is almost comparable to the Rest of the World (ROW) in terms of total volume of sales. It is likely therefore that attempts to increase exports and to restructure the Northern Ireland economy would be undermined by a Brexit unless access to the European Single Market could be guaranteed on favourable terms.

15. Similarly, the potential opportunities following a Brexit for Northern Ireland to become more comparable with the rest of the UK in terms of exports to ROW will depend on the UK’s ability to negotiate competitive FTAs.[8] If the UK with a population of over 64 million were able to achieve FTAs with non-EU countries that offered a competitive edge over FTAs signed by those countries with the EU (consisting of 27 Member States with a population of over 400 million), then Northern Ireland businesses would have the potential to increase their exports. If, on the other hand, the EU were able to secure more advantageous FTAs than those achieved by the UK, then the latter – including Northern Ireland – would become less competitive.

16. The implications of a Brexit are particularly significant for the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland given its relative importance to the Northern Ireland economy in comparison with the UK as a whole. This situation can be seen when we consider that in 2014 the agri-food sector accounted for 5.2% of Northern Ireland GVA, whereas the figure for the UK was 2.1%.[9] Research conducted recently by CCBS into the agri-food sector in four border counties also echoes statistical evidence and previous research in relation to the destination of food and drinks processing sales.[10] The most important external market for the sector in Northern Ireland is Great Britain, with 43% of total sales in 2013, exceeding even the internal Northern Ireland market, which accounted for 26.7%.[11] In terms of export markets, the Republic of Ireland is by far the most significant receiving 15.6% of total Northern Ireland sales in 2013, with other EU countries combined receiving 11.6% (making the total to the EU 27.2%) and the ROW 3%.

17. Although a Brexit should not affect the Northern Ireland agri-food sector’s largest market,[12] it is essential that a UK withdrawal from the EU does not impact negatively on the sector’s ability to sell within the Single Market. Again, the need for the sector to increase its sales to ROW from its relatively low base would, in the event of a Brexit, depend on the UK Government’s capacity to secure competitive FTAs. It would also be dependent on the replacement of EU funding under CAP by the UK Government, bearing in mind the more prominent role of the agricultural sector in the Northern Ireland economy in comparison with the UK as a whole.

18. It is also important to consider from the perspective of the internal economic context within Northern Ireland how a Brexit would affect the planned introduction of lower rates of corporation tax. In the view of CCBS, if one of the purposes of lowering corporation tax rates is to attract FDI, then this objective would be compromised unless the UK Government were able to negotiate sufficient access to the Single Market that would make Northern Ireland competitive for investment in relation to the Republic of Ireland. If the latter, with similar rates of corporation tax, were to have greater access to the Single Market, then Northern Ireland’s ability to profit from lower rates of corporation tax would be unduly restricted.[13]

External Relations

19. A Brexit would necessarily imply that Northern Ireland would no longer continue to be directly represented within the European Union through the channels it currently possesses. These not only include representation within the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions, but also through the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels (ONIEB) and the European Commission’s Northern Ireland Task Force, which is unique to Northern Ireland. The UK’s membership of the European Union has provided Northern Ireland political representatives and policy-makers external arenas in which to promote and defend the interests of the citizens of Northern Ireland, and to collaborate with their counterparts from other EU Member States and their constituent regions, within the parameters set out in the Memorandum of Understanding between the United Kingdom Government and the devolved administrations.

20. CCBS is concerned that a Brexit would restrict the operating arena of Northern Ireland political representatives and policy-makers to a largely internal one, with their presence in external arenas being mediated to a significant extent through the UK Government. In this regard, and in the context of the UK Government’s recent negotiations over reforms to its membership of the EU, we note the concerns raised by officials in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in an answer to CCBS on the nature of the engagement between the Northern Ireland administration and the UK Government: “We would like to see increased engagement with Devolved Administrations and have made this point to the UK Government”.[14]

21. If, on the other hand, the UK remains within the European Union, the full potential of the Northern Ireland Task Force and the ONIEB must be exploited.[15] That potential must be measured beyond success in the draw-down of EU funds, but also in terms of how our political representatives and policy-makers contribute to the shaping of relevant EU policies. This will require coordination between the various channels available to Northern Ireland, whilst also respecting the terms of the MoU between the UK and the devolved administrations.

23 February 2016


[1] For further information, please visit www.crossborder.ie

[2] We are limiting ourselves to issues specific to Northern Ireland, and not including those that although more relevant to Northern Ireland would also be relevant to other parts of the UK or the UK as a whole.

[3] The 2006 St Andrew’s Agreement can be seen as a review of the mechanisms established under the 1998 Agreement, and current moves to create an official opposition in the Northern Ireland Assembly could equally imply a revision to the Agreement and the 1998 Northern Ireland Act. Moreover, the Fresh Start Agreement has led to the current consideration of the Northern Ireland (Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan) Bill, whose passing by the UK Parliament will imply some changes to the operation of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

[4] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-belfast-agreement.

[5] However, it should be noted that a more pressing reason to revisit the Northern Ireland Act and the 1998 Agreement is only indirectly related to the UK’s membership of the European Union. This is the UK Government’s proposal to repeal the 1998 Human Rights Act and to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. The latter is not related to the European Union, but rather to the Council of Europe, although there may be indirect consequences for the UK’s membership of the EU. On the potential implications of repealing the Human Rights Act, see CCBS’s policy briefing paper at http://crossborder.ie/briefing-report-the-possible-implications-of-repealing-the-human-rights-act-1998/.

[6] That importance appears to have increased over recent years, rising from 18.5% of total sales in 2011 to its 19.3% level in 2014. Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency, “Northern Ireland Broad Economy Sales and Exports Statistics: Headline Results 2014” (February 2016), https://www.detini.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/deti/BESES-Publication-2014-Headline-results_0.pdf.

[7] The powers of the devolved administration in Northern Ireland in relation to external trade relations are set out in the Memorandum of Understanding and Supplementary Agreements between the United Kingdom Government, the Scottish Ministers, the Welsh Ministers, and the Northern Ireland Executive Committee; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/devolution-memorandum-of-understanding-and-supplementary-agreement.

[8] As outlined in a recent paper by the Northern Ireland Assembly Research  and Information Service, the value of UK exports to non-EU countries grew by 40% between 2004 and 2014, while the comparable figure for Northern Ireland was 25%; “The EU referendum and potential implications for Northern Ireland” (January 2016), http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/globalassets/documents/raise/publications/2016/eti/2116.pdf.

[9] Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, “Northern Ireland agri-food sector: key statistics” (June 2015), https://www.dardni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/dard/northern-ireland-agri-food-sector-key-statistics-2015-final.pdf.

[10] Anthony Soares and Martin McTaggart, A Study of Cross-Border Flows within the Agri-Food Sector: A Snapshot of Four Border Counties (Armagh: Centre for Cross Border Studies, 2016).

[11] Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, “Size and Performance of the Northern Ireland Food and Drinks Processing Sector, Subsector Statistics 2013, with provisional estimates for 2014”, https://www.dardni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/dard/size-performance-ni-food-drink-2013-14.pdf.

[12] This would of course depend to some extent on continuing consumer confidence in GB and the wider UK economic performance.

[13] Similar views are also included in a report published by the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, which states, for example that: “Invest NI is also concerned that, although the devolution of corporation tax will bring the opportunity for a step change in how Northern Ireland is promoted, uncertainty about future EU membership will restrict its ability to promote Northern Ireland as a destination for inward investment”; “Opportunity for Excellence: The Report on the Committee’s Inquiry into Growing the Economy and Creating Jobs with Lower Corporation Tax”, p.54; http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/globalassets/documents/reports/enterprise-trade-and-investment/eti-opportunity-for-excellence.pdf.

[14] Correspondence received from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, 17 December 2015.

[15] On the Northern Ireland Task Force, see CCBS’s response to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister’s inquiry into the Barroso Task Force, http://crossborder.ie/ccbs-responds-to-inquiry-on-the-barroso-task-force/.

 

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Exiting the EU: Impact in Key UK Policy Areas


The list of 21 different headings on the right of this image (from The Report) is enough to convince anyone that the debate concerning the question of Europe can not and must not be made in a manner of simplification for it involves multifaceted layers, areas and dimensions of issues and themes and likewise will have consequences as varied, as multifaceted, as multi-themed and as multi-dimensional.
 

The Report was published on Friday, February 12, 2016: Exiting the EU: Impact in Key UK Policy Areas: Edited by Vaughne Miller

This paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers how it might change if the UK left the EU: would UK citizens benefit? This would depend on how the Government filled any policy gaps left by withdrawal.

Overview

In some areas, the environment, for example, where the UK is bound by other international agreements, much of the content of EU law would probably remain. In others, the Government might decide to retain the substance of EU law, or to remove EU obligations from UK statutes.

Much would also depend on whether the UK sought to remain in the European Economic Area and therefore continue to have access to the single market, or preferred to go it alone and negotiate bilateral agreements with the EU.
 

Business and trade
 

Trade

The EU is the UK’s most important trading partner. In 2014 it accounted for 45% of UK goods and services exports (£230 billion) and 53% of UK imports (£289 billion).

The share of UK exports going to the EU has declined in recent years. In 2002 the EU accounted for 55% of UK exports. As the Review of the Balance of Competences put it, the central argument is whether the benefits of membership of a large trading bloc exceed the costs.

Some argue that membership of the EU allows the UK to benefit from better trade deals than it would be able to negotiate on its own.

On the other hand, EU membership entails some compromises and limits the UK’s ability to prioritise its own interests. Leaving the EU would allow the UK to set its own trade and investments policies but there could be costs in doing so on its own rather than as part of a group of countries.

Overall economic impact

The impact of withdrawal would be most felt in areas such as foreign direct investment (FDI), the UK’s contribution to the EU Budget and the effect of immigration on the labour market. There is disagreement as to the severity of the impact on FDI of a UK withdrawal.

On the whole, it can be concluded that membership of the single market is one of a number of important determinants of FDI; but outside the EU, the UK may be able to establish a regulatory regime more favourable to overseas investors, which could offset the effect of its departure.

The Government contributed an estimated £8.5 billion to the EU in 2015, around 1% of total public expenditure and equivalent to 0.5% of GDP. (source: HM Treasury EU Annual Statement)

Although the UK is a net contributor to the EU, certain regions where living standards fall short of the EU average receive significant levels of support from the budget through the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund, boosted by matched funding from government or the private sector.

Withdrawal would leave a policy vacuum which the Government would have to fill to avoid certain regions and sectors losing out.

Immigration and labour market

If the UK wished to remain in the single market but outside the European Economic Area (EEA), like Switzerland, it would probably have to accept certain EU rules by arrangement. Whether these would include the free movement of people would depend on the outcome of UK-EU negotiations.

Most studies on the impact of migration on the UK economy have found weak or ambiguous effects on economic output, employment and wages on average. However, impacts vary according to the characteristics of migrants and wider economic performance at that time, and across different groups of workers.

Research on the impact of immigration on the public finances generally suggests the overall effect is small. Studies indicate differing impacts for migrants from inside and outside the EU, and for recent migrants compared to those who have been in the UK for longer.

Business and financial services

The argument centres on whether the benefits of having a more tailored and flexible national regulatory regime outweigh the loss of access to the single market that may come with pursuing an independent agenda.

A huge amount of existing financial services regulation is derived from the EU. The UK has frequently led reform in this area. It is likely therefore that a significant amount of this legislation would remain post-withdrawal, though not necessarily in the same form or to the same extent.

The majority opinion of City firms is that the UK should remain within the EU.

Employment

An EU exit could foreshadow significant change to UK employment law, much of which flows from Europe. The Government would face pressure from employers’ associations to repeal or amend some of the more controversial EU-derived employment laws, such as the Working Time Regulations 1998 and Agency Worker Regulations 2010.

But trade unions would probably strongly oppose any perceived rowing back on rights originating from the ‘Social Chapter’.

Withdrawal from the EU would allow for change to the following areas of employment law, which stem largely from Europe: annual leave, agency worker rights, part-time worker rights, fixed-term worker rights, collective redundancy, paternity, maternity and parental leave, protection of employment upon the transfer of a business and anti-discrimination legislation.

Food and environment

Agriculture

Departure from the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its subsidy and regulatory regimes would have a drastic impact. The CAP represents almost 40% of the EU budget and the largest element of the UK’s EU costs.

Leaving the regime would probably reduce farm incomes, as the UK Government and Devolved Administrations would be unlikely to match the current levels of subsidy and/or would require more ‘public goods’ in return for support, such as environmental protection, which the UK Government views as the overarching market failure in this sector.

However, it might bring wider benefits to the economy as a whole, as the UK would be free to negotiate bilateral trade deals with countries outside the EU and at the World Trade Organization (WTO), and would have more flexibility on pricing.

Fisheries

The failure of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has led some to suggest that fisheries management would be more effective if the UK withdrew from the EU.

One issue that would have to be determined from the outset of withdrawal is whether the UK would allow access by foreign vessels to the UK Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

If so, the UK would have to maintain a very close working relationship with the EU to enable the monitoring of landings and to co-ordinate on wider regulation in the sector. It would also have to agree some kind of mechanism for agreeing catch limits.

If the UK decided to exclude foreign vessels and assume full responsibility for fisheries in the UK EEZ, there would be a number of implications for the UK and the management of fisheries in the area.

Environment

The environment is an area in which UK and EU law have become highly entwined. The effects of an EU exit would depend on whether the UK decided to lower, raise or maintain current environmental requirements in areas such as air and water quality, emissions, waste, chemicals regulation or habitats protection.

If the UK left the EU, it would have more scope for changing environmental objectives in the UK and there would also be a less far-reaching judicial process to enforce the implementation of environmental policy and challenge its interpretation.

Energy and climate change

The Government is unlikely to want to reverse the trend for more transparency and a level playing field at EU level which is currently being implemented by the Commission’s Third Energy Package and by the 2015 Framework for Energy Union.

An EU exit would not remove the legally binding UK climate targets under the Climate Change Act 2008 although it could increase focus on all aspects of UK-based generation. This could especially be the case if exit resulted in poorer security of supply through decreased interconnectivity to Europe, reduced harmonisation of EU energy markets, or less investment into the UK by multinational companies.

An exit would affect the UK’s international climate targets under the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Currently the UK negotiates as a part of the EU block and has internally set targets that together with those of other Member States aims to meet the EU’s overall target.

Withdrawal from the EU would have to address that lack of a UK specific target under UNFCCC. It was also widely recognised in the competency review that the negotiating as part of an EU block was beneficial as it had more influence at an international level than if individual Member States acted alone.

Legal services

Human rights

If the UK withdrew from the EU, it would no longer have to comply with the human rights obligations of the EU Treaties, including with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Although the Charter was not intended to create any new rights, a breach can result in the UK courts disapplying UK Acts of Parliament – something they cannot do under other human rights instruments. The impact of the Charter is now being considered as part of the Government’s consultation paper on a new British Bill of Rights.

Immigration

Depending on the nature of any future EU-UK relationship, leaving the EU could have significant implications for the rights of UK citizens to travel to and live in EU/EEA Member States, and for EU/EEA nationals wishing to come to the UK.

On the other hand, if the UK were to negotiate a relationship with the EU similar to the EEA states or Switzerland, it might find that it did not have any greater scope to control EU immigration to the UK than it did as an EU Member State.

The UK already maintains its own border controls. It is not part of the internal border-free Schengen Area, and Border Force officers conduct checks on EU/EEA travellers crossing UK ports of entry, as well as British citizens and non-EU/EEA nationals.

It has not opted in to EU measures facilitating legal migration of third-country migrants. But the UK recognises that there are benefits to practical co-operation and information-sharing with other Member States, for example to strengthen responses to organised immigration crime and current and future migratory pressures.

Police and justice co-operation

The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) has been controversial in this area. An independent review by Lord Justice Scott Baker in 2011 concluded that the EAW had improved the scheme of surrender between Member States and that broadly speaking it operated satisfactorily.

Opponents argue that it is used too frequently and favours procedural simplicity over the rights of suspects and defendants.

In immigration and asylum, criminal justice and police cooperation, the UK is not bound by EU law, but has an opt-in arrangement. It is likely that the UK would wish to replace some EU measures with various forms of bilateral or multilateral cooperation.

Some would argue that although this would be possible, there may be legal complications and uncertainties.

A UK withdrawal would have a minimal impact in some areas, e.g. family law. In other areas, e.g. data protection, the consequences of a UK withdrawal could be more complicated.

Society

Social security

Entitlement to welfare benefits for people moving between EU Member States is closely linked to free movement rights. UK withdrawal from the EU could have significant implications both for EU/EEA nationals living in or wishing to move to the UK, and for UK expatriates elsewhere in the EU/EEA and those considering moving abroad.

The UK could seek to secure bilateral social security agreements on reciprocal rights with individual EU/EEA states, but negotiations could be difficult and protracted. Alternatively, the UK could seek a single agreement with the EU/EEA as a whole.

If a UK withdrawal meant the end of free movement rights, the UK would be able to impose restrictions on access to many social security benefits via immigration law. Entitlement to contributory social security benefits could be limited by limiting access to employment.

It would also be possible to restrict the ability of EU nationals to apply for social housing. Withdrawal might also have implications for UK nationals living in other EU/EEA countries, since Member States would be free to impose corresponding restrictions on entitlement to their benefits.

Health

EU citizens benefit from reciprocal access to healthcare through the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If the UK remained in the EEA it might be able to continue to participate in the EHIC scheme, or, subject to negotiation with EU Member States, participate on a similar basis to Switzerland.

Higher education

If the UK left the EU, the Government would not have to provide student loans or maintenance funding for EU students. However, the UK would probably lose access to EU research funding and student mobility schemes.

Overall, universities and students would probably lose out, and universities are very concerned about their research funding. But the Government would save money on student finance.

If EU students were classed in the same way as overseas students and charged higher fees, this could have an impact on numbers coming to the UK to study and on fee income for universities.

Consumer policy

A huge amount of UK consumer protection regulation is derived from the EU. For example, directives implemented in the UK protect consumers from unsafe products, unfair practices, misleading marketing practices, distance selling etc.

If the UK sought to remain in the EEA, it would join the EEA/EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), which have participated in EU consumer programmes since the EEA Agreement came into force in 1994.

Transport

The UK would remain a member of the UN and its attendant agencies, and it is thus unlikely that the broad framework of UK law on aviation and shipping would change; similarly we would also likely apply those vehicle rules set down by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

One could also envisage the UK and the EU agreeing to maintain common rules on driver and vehicle licensing to ensure continued free movement across the continent. The UK might negotiate an agreement with the EU on air routes, safety and security etc.

There would likely be some areas where the UK would liberalise the arrangements agreed to across the EU.

International affairs

Foreign and defence policy

Acting through the EU means a larger aid budget, the promise of access to the largest consumer market in the world and a louder political voice. All of these can be significant ‘soft power’ tools in the pursuit of European interests.

If the UK no longer co-ordinated its policy with Member States, it would lose access to these shared tools. However, many UK actions are taken in conjunction with the US rather than the EU.

Without the UK’s defence capacity and foreign policy experience, the EU’s voice in the Middle East, for example, would be less influential. But it can also be argued that an EU exit would not make much difference to the UK’s capacities in this region, that the US remains the most significant power there and that the UK could co-ordinate its Middle East policies more closely with those of the US.

In terms of military power and projection, a UK withdrawal would more likely place the EU at a disadvantage, with fewer assets and capabilities at its disposal, particularly certain strategic assets such as tactical airlift and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets.

The UK’s ability to project military power would be largely unaffected, and any military shortfalls could be compensated for through bilateral arrangements. Ensuring the success of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations remains in the UK’s interest, but outside the EU the UK could choose to continue its participation in CSDP operations as a third party state.

International development

The UK channels funds for development cooperation and humanitarian aid through two budget lines, both of them managed by the European Commission: the development part of the EU budget, and the European Development Fund.

In 2014, about 10% of the UK’s aid budget would have required reallocation if the UK had not been an EU Member State.

The devolved legislatures

If the UK left the EU, there could be further policy and legislative divergence in areas of devolved competence, as the UK Government and Devolved Administrations would no longer be required to implement the common requirements of EU Directives.

This would probably be particularly noticeable in policy areas such as the environment or agriculture and fisheries, which are currently strongly governed by EU policy and legislation.

Scotland

Scotland is more pro-EU than England and has benefited from both pre-allocated and competitive European funds over the last four decades.

The Scottish Government has set out its own ideas for EU reform. The first priority identified by the Scottish Government is to encourage the EU’s prioritisation of key economic and social policies such as delivering the growth and competitiveness agenda, tackling youth unemployment, developing workers’ rights and supporting freedom of movement.

The SNP called for a ‘double majority’ rule for the EU referendum, whereby all four nations of the UK would have to back withdrawal before exit is possible.

Wales

Support for continued EU membership had consistently led polls over the past 15 months in Wales. The country has access to considerable funding opportunities from the EU, notably from the Common Agriculture Policy and Structural Funds (as well as many other funding streams), estimated to be worth over €5 billion to Wales for the period 2007-2013.

EU membership has also given Wales a direct representative voice in the EU Institutions and in the EU decision-making process, which would be affected by UK withdrawal.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland benefits significantly from EU funding: a total of €1,211 million in EU Regional Policy Funding 2014-20.

The impact of a UK withdrawal on Northern Ireland would also be different from that in the rest of the UK because NI is the only region of the UK to share a land border with another EU Member State. UK withdrawal would mean that an external border of the EU would run through the island of Ireland.

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Food for Thought: UK Transport Networks to Benefit From Satellite-based Land Monitoring System Developed Through European Space Agency

 

The House Commons Library Has Compiled a Reading List on the European Union Referendum

Reading list on UK-EU relations 2013-16: reform, renegotiation, withdrawal

Published Monday, February 29, 2016

 

The Commons Library has compiled a selection of books, journal and press articles, think tank, parliamentary and library publications relevant to the UK's renegotiation of its membership of the European Union. This reading list accompanies a series of Commons Library briefing papers on the EU reform proposals and negotiations by the UK, and a possible EU exit.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7220: Authors: Julie Gill; Vaughne Miller

The Reading List

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Work That Cannot Be Done Alone

The Moon Village

This where our 'sovereignty' and 'borders' are heading: The Moon Village: ESA Director General Jan Woerner Speaks With Euronews About Setting up the First  Permanent Base Station on the Moon

And Then: The Marshumanity Habitat and Further into the Universe, The Humanity Galactica Voyager Humanabitat floating onto the body-space of the Milky Way Galaxy, further into the future where the future humanity will find a borderless, frontierless Universe and only remember with a sense of 'astonishment' about the past humans' lines of thinking about their borders/maps/sovereignties/nationalities.

For whose country the Astronauts living and working at ISS are living? Within whose borders or whose frontiers? What sovereignty have they got? Whose sovereignty? What helpless we tiny humans are; that only those astronauts living in that tiny ISS capsule, absolutely 'imprisoned' by 'nature' can testify. For they cannot go out for a 'walk', they cannot run out and walk on 'earth', they cannot run down to the cafe, they can not pick a rose and smell it, they cannot go out into the open and inhale and breathe in 'fresh air', they cannot see winter coming or spring or that summer is blooming with light and the autumn is bringing an endless array of blooms of colours, they cannot go to an art gallery or theatre, they cannot even eat a 'proper' human meal and they cannot even go out without putting up an almost epic struggle of 'putting on a 'dress' which they cannot do on their own. They cannot do much as what the humans take for granted on earth. And yet, at the same time, these astonishing human beings at the ISS are the high point of our celebration of humanity that shows us, should we choose to follow the course of light and direct ourselves with only light, in this ever widening darkness, we can be the most magnanimous of all creations and can create and achieve wonders: and that is where the direction of our travel is.

The countries/nations of the world that foster the view that they are better off on their own, isolated and all 'sovereign', must understand that on its own a nation is just like an 'ant' seeking to move The Himalayas. They might feel all mighty, but when the Volcano erupted in Iceland it disrupted life across Europe and beyond! When Syria erupted and continued to burn it swept across the globe all the agonies and desperation of devastated humanity and this all have overwhelmed the entire Europe and many other parts of the world. When Ebola struck or Zika is doing the same now (though its impact is different than Ebola's) what can a single nation alone do unless nations come together and form a unified shield, a unified 'army' of resistance of humanity against a common threat.

When polluted air travels up and down the globe our 'sovereignty' has nothing to protect us. When that same polluted air travels upwards and changes the stratosphere our isolationism has nothing to offer us. When the ocean carries polluted water that affects the marine life our single nation has nothing that it can do on our own to stop this happening.

When whales and dolphins begin to arrive on our seashores as corpses we have nothing that we can do on our own to stop that.

If forest fires rages on, if countries keep on burning forests and all that creates havoc in our ecology we single nation have nothing that we can do alone to resolve its impacts.

When too much destructions and harms are imposed on the ecology by industries taking an attitude of contempt towards the earth, humanity and the ecological and environmental impacts of what they are doing individual nation has hardly anything that it could do to change this.

Work like the International Space Station/Journey to Mars/Space Exploration and so on cannot be done alone
Work like learning and illustrating the workings and mechanism of climate change, ecology, marine life and so on cannot be done alone
Work like research and development that are paramount in all branches of sciences, mathematics and humanities cannot be done alone ( as best as it could be)

Read This: ''Researchers compared the prevalence of variants in 43 genes in 172 women with PPCM, recruited from six centres in the United States, Japan and Germany, to those of 332 people with DCM, recruited at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, and a control population of more than 60,000 people.'' And ''The new research was jointly led by Dr Zoltan Arany at the University of Pennsylvania, Drs Christine and Jon Seidman at Harvard Medical School, and Dr Dennis McNamara at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. It was supported by the NIHR Royal Brompton Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, Imperial College London, the National Institutes of Health, the Foundation Leducq, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Medical Research Council.'' And all that went into ''just one piece of research''! This is today's research: it is a human symphonic piece of work that involves the best of humanity available across the globe to come together, to join up heads, minds, knowledge, skills, imagination and resources: Readmore

Work like the global economy and how it is run, managed and regulated cannot be done alone
Work like learning about air pollution, marine pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, fisheries, wild life and so on cannot be done alone
World food safety and improvement in food security cannot be done alone
Migration Crisis cannot be resolved alone (not even the EU can do it on its own)
Refugee Crisis cannot be resolved alone (not even the EU can do it on its own)
Poverty cannot be fought alone
Gender equality in the world cannot be achieved alone
Equality cannot be achieved alone
Conflicts/wars that are raging across the globe cannot be resolved alone
Child labour across the globe cannot be resolved alone
Child and women trafficking cannot be stopped alone
Modern slavery cannot be eradicated alone
The list could go on and on and on.....

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Donald Tusk Elaborates the European Council 'Deal': 'Legally Binding and Irreversible Settlement'

The 28 heads of state or government unanimously agreed and adopted a legally binding and irreversible settlement for the United Kingdom in the EU. The decision concerning a new settlement is in conformity with the Treaties and cannot be annulled by the European Court of Justice. But it will only enter into force if the British people vote to stay. If they vote to leave, the settlement will cease to exist.
 

Report by President Donald Tusk to the European Parliament on the February European Council meeting

The last European Council was as difficult as any of my term. And even though we found a common solution, the real test of time is ahead of us, of course because of the referendum in the United Kingdom on whether or not to remain a member of the European Union. Only the British people can and will decide that. What we could do on our side was to agree a new settlement for Britain within the EU. And we did.

The 28 heads of state or government unanimously agreed and adopted a legally binding and irreversible settlement for the United Kingdom in the EU. The decision concerning a new settlement is in conformity with the Treaties and cannot be annulled by the European Court of Justice. But it will only enter into force if the British people vote to stay. If they vote to leave, the settlement will cease to exist.

We have agreed to do all this in a way that does not compromise the European Union's fundamental values such as the freedom of movement and the principle of non-discrimination. And without compromising the future development of the Economic and Monetary Union. If I had had any doubts about this I would never have proposed such a settlement.

Despite many difficulties, the leaders did not walk away from the negotiating table because we were fully aware of the stakes involved, namely keeping the UK in the EU and the future geopolitics of Europe.

Here I would like to express sincere thanks to President Juncker and his whole team with whom we worked side-by-side during the process. Let me also thank the Parliament's negotiators who were engaged in the negotiations and who were highly effective in obtaining their goals. It is my firm belief that we needed to involve the European Parliament fully in this process. I will always remember these crucial talks with President Schulz, with group leader Verhofstadt and with distinguished colleagues Gualtieri and Brok. It is thanks to you that this agreement allowed us to take into consideration the interests of the Union as a whole. Without your help this agreement would not have been possible. Thank you very much again.

The European Union will respect the decision of the British people. If the majority votes to leave, that is what will happen. It will change Europe forever. And it will be a change for the worse. Of course, this is my personal opinion. Prime Minister Cameron said in the House of Commons on Monday that now is not the time to split the West. I could not agree more. This is why I did my best to prevent that.

On the other hand, if Britain decides to stay, I hope this Parliament will also ensure that the agreed settlement is transformed into the necessary legislation and will enter into force.

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The Humanion/The Human Race is Much Bigger Than the Countries of the World and It Requires the All the Countries of the World to Work as One for the Global Problems Cannot Be Resolved by Lone Countries Going It Alone.

What Can United Kingdom Do Alone On Its Own With This? New Research, published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, reveals that the seas around Europe absorb an astonishing 24 million tonnes of carbon each year. This is equivalent in weight to two million double decker buses or 72 000 Boeing 747s. Readmore

What Can the European Union Do Alone On Its Own With This? Anderson and his colleagues traced the ozone-laden air pockets back 10 to 15 days in most cases—right back to fires in either Southeast Asia, about 2,000 miles away, or tropical Africa, over 8,000 miles away. Readmore

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When Eleven People in a Football Team Play in Unison, Set, United, Organised and Determined to Achieve the Same and Unified Goal Are They More Powerful, Stronger and Better Than Separated Eleven Different Individuals?

If the answer is negative than one could say: Britain is so inside the European Union and, therefore, it better leave it; if the Answer is Affirmative than one could say: Britain is better of remaining in the European Union.

Other Questions

Or politically, would Russia have annexed part of a European Union Country, say, Germany or Poland or Finland, the way it had annexed part of Ukraine?

Or political economically, would any single European Country be able to run the financial/market/banks in the EU countries successfully on their own?

Or Geo-politically, would each individual EU country be able to deal with the issues on their own of environment, ecology, human rights, civil liberties, justice issues, space research, science and related co-operative ventures to seek common goal?

Would the EU countries as a Union have a better, more powerful, stronger and more effective voice, ability to seek to influence and achieve good for the world (therefore, each individual member of the Union)?

Does the humanity living in the EU countries not benefit for the UNITY of the nations that takes away the prospect of Europe ever getting into a War again? Have they not been the beneficiaries of that: peace, stability, security and solidarity?

Has Britain not benefitted from it? Have England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales been benefitting from it?

(Take a Look in this, on the right hand column, at the bottom)

European Union Research and Innovation Funding Programme Horizon 2020 with 80 Billion Euros (2014-20)

 

The Briefest Possible Presentation on the European Union

(We shall publish elaborate pieces on: Political Philosophy, particularly,  dealing with 'being ruled by Brussels', issues to do with the claim that EU is undemocratic and the sovereignty issue, Political Economics, Jurisprudence, Sociological, Cultural, Science, Research and Space Exploration and the Technological Market Development in the Space, Aeronautics, Aviation and Satellite and Space Travel and the Green Ecological Industries, about the Little Peoples of Europe and why and how the EU is the best possible friend that they could ever wish for and the 'Free Marketers of the Cities' and how they would like to be 'left alone' so that they could 'make money and bring the entire civilisation down to its knees the way they did in the 'Credit Crunch' and lot more besides from now till the Referendum. We welcome contributions on any of these areas and others that you might feel like exploring. What The Humanion won't do is sensationalise everything and use nothing other than pure reason and human rationality.

So, here are the EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

It is a bit crowded but that is the way things go: the bigger one's perspect the smaller things begin to look. But you include all these countries in the list of countries in the World and it all these countries get lost! However, thank goodness for the alphabetical order that favours the United Kingdom which comes last so that it is easier to find Austria and United Kingdom from the list!
 


Facts About The European Union



The European Union

a.. Eurozone Countries (those are in the Single Currency)
b.. European Union Countries ( those are not in the Single Currency)

The European Union

The Highest Political Structure


The European Council Head of States: Highest Political Leadership
These Heads of States are elected by their respective national electorate and they make decisions on the political direction, mandate and public principle and policies of European Union.

The argument that the European Union is ‘undemocratic’ does not hold water for democratically elected components of a mechanism cannot form a structure of ‘undemocratic’ nature. If the Houses of Parliament in the UK is a democratic organisation (which it is- even if the House of Lords is not directly elected, it is formed, organised and run within the laws of the Parliament and it is secondary in political significance in the ultimate sense) and from it a British Government is ‘selected’ (members of whom are themselves mostly elected) which is then kept under scrutiny and accountability by this same democratic Parliament than no one can validly say that the British Government is not democratic. Likewise, the Highest Political Leadership of the European Union is democratically elected who then elect to ‘delegate’ authority to a Council for practical purposes which is headed by a President who runs the ‘practical’ day to day part of the ‘Political Council’ who cannot meet, confer and make decision on that basis who would meet on regular interval to ensure that their ‘delegated authorities’ that are established with clear guidelines, protocols, procedures, mechanism and instruments (that are set in the treaties that are discussed, debated, agreed, signed by the Council of the Heads of States and all the treaties had been ratified by all national parliaments depending on their individual constitutional system).

Thus, the European Council is not undemocratic and cannot validly be described as such. If that is the case, that the European Council is not undemocratic, then all the public administration personnel that are appointed by a democratically elected government to help it run the business of government and who are under supervision of the elected members of that government can and shall be called undemocratic! But that is not only absurd but also invalid because without public servant there cannot be a government for who is going to ‘execute’ the government’s decisions on the ground? Thus, part and Purcell of a democratic government is its public administration personnel that are recruited following nationally set out standards, mechanisms, systems, protocols and procedures set out, often in laws and yet this administration personnel, are not ‘democratic’ in the sense that they had not been ‘elected’. But no one can argue in this line because this personnel is directly accounted for by the ‘elected government’, thus adding the democratic layer of supervision to ensure that its ‘democratic short-falls’ are minimised by virtue of their being under the direct supervision of the elected part of the government. Thus, the European Union’s administration personnel cannot be described as ‘undemocratic’ because they all are under direct supervision of the elected part of the Union ( The Council of the Heads of States) and some are under the supervision of the European Parliament which is a directly elected body.

The European Council Administration: With a President

European Commission: The Public Administration: With a President
(This is the ‘Euro-Government-Public-Administration)


This argument that was put forward in the preceding section applies here. Without a professional public service personnel there cannot be a functional government. So there is the Commission that is set up and out with clear guidelines, protocols, procedures, mechanisms, systems and instruments and by statues agreed and passed by the Political Leadership of the European Union (the Heads of States). Now, this is like the running Government of European Union which is responsible to run the business of governance of the Union and ultimately it has the ‘money’ to budget and spend. Because it has, and it is the ‘authority’ it has got the European Parliament over it so that it can be kept under account and supervision by The European Parliament (directly elected by the peoples of the European Union Nations).

The European Parliament

The Democratically Elected Parliament to Hold the ‘European Government’ in Check and Scrutinise and Approve Its Budget

And this Parliament does keep the Commission accounted by scrutinising all aspects of its business, management, mechanisms, systems and cultures of the organisation as well as take charge of budget and pass it or reject it. Further to this role, the Parliament acts as the law making body and passes laws that are necessary to be passed since individual nation state cannot pass such laws that would be applicable in all EU countries. And the Parliament approves senior positions that area proposed to it by the Commission. Any law that this parliament passes applies to all European Union countries and no one can validly say or claim that these laws are ‘undemocratic’ and imposed from ‘Brussels’ since the MEPS that passed these laws are directly elected by all the peoples of the Union. It is simply an invalid suggestion and cannot and does not hold water.

So, in this respect, it would be quite wrong and absolutely untrue to say the European Parliament is not democratic. Just because the Parliament does not sit in London or Bucharest or Berlin or Paris or Rome does not mean the Parliament is not democratic for all the MEPs are directly elected by their national electorate.

Is the European Union Bureaucratic?

No government can ever be ‘not bureaucratic’ for it is an impossibly large organisation and the number of areas in which it does business is so large and endless that it simply cannot be otherwise. If it is the case for a national government, say, United Kingdom Government, that it is and cannot but be so, bureaucratic, than an organisation that has to serve 28 nations and peoples will have to as large to fit the bill. And the structure that it would take to run this ‘machine’ cannot but be ‘slow’ and ‘more bureaucratic’ than a national government. And it would be even more so with an organisation, for example, the United Nations. This is pseudo argument to suggest that the fact that the European Union (as governments go) is ‘slow and more bureaucratic’ than national government makes it undemocratic.

The Sovereignty Question

When an individual decides to join a society (an organisation with a set out area of activities and purposes) does s/he lose his/her ‘self’? No.

Do the members cease to exist or do they submit to the society in such a way that makes them simply non-existent on a level of being a person/individual? No it does not.

Does it take away their ability of self-determination ? Choice? Ability to say yes or no? No.

Do they compromise their liberty by joining the society? They do, to a degree but they chose to accept it because, in their judgment, opinion and assessment this ‘price’ is worth paying:
To be able to do things that one cannot do on one’s own. Say, working class people cannot ever be able to buy a golf course nor can they even pay subscription fees to join one so that they can go to a course and play or just enjoy the facilities. But if they join such a golf club they have access and permission to use that club and course so long they follow the rules; not all of them would suit the members at all times. But that’s the ‘price’.

Now joining the European Union each member state had chosen to pay ‘that’ price: that they have to follow the laws and rules of the body they are setting up, which may not suit them at all times.

But they had set it up and they had set up the apparatus, mechanisms, systems, apparatus, protocols, rules and procedures for this Union and they themselves were the elected and democratic ‘authority’ of their individual nation and the Union continues to run under that same ‘democratic national authority’ except here it is not the ‘national class’ of the national government but rather in the Council of Europe it is a School of Classes of governments’. Rather crowded but a society by its very definition is a crowded place, a market is by its definition is not a church or temple.

What the European Union can do that the National Governments Cannot Do

Environment
Air Pollution
Farming
Fisheries
Aviation
Science and Research
Space Exploration
Human Rights
Civil Liberties
Justice
Developing and Regulating Markets
Communications of many kinds
Competition, Business and Commerce
Making things easier for all peoples of the Union
Making good in the world with a united voice
Bringing nations together working, seeking and achieving together

And the list could go on for a long while.
 

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New £136m EU-backed Fund to Help Businesses in Wales Grow: Secured Till 2022


Would it serve Welsh Interest to Leave the EU? Join in the Debate To Be In Or Out..... They Have Changed My Monologue: Hamlet: The European Union Question For The United Kingdom


A new £136m EU-backed fund to give businesses in Wales access to finance to help drive their productivity and the growth of the Welsh economy has today (February 18) been announced by First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.
Managed by Finance Wales, the Wales Business Fund will support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to accelerate their expansion plans by providing finance through loans and equity investments from £50,000 up to £2 million. Read the Story

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Food for Thoughts : What Would Happen to Work Like This That Makes One Thinks of Almost a Symphony of Nations Coming Together to Seek and Strive to Achieve Wonders Together, If UK is to Get Out of The European Union

Aston University Wins  €6 Million European Commission Horizon 2020 Funding to Develop Robotic Stem Cell Factory

Image: Aston Universtiy

Food for Thoughts : British University, English University Aston University. It is part of a Research Consortium, The AUTOSTEM Project.

Now this Project will last three years

The Consortium partners include
Aston University (UK)
NUI Galway (Ireland)
Orbsen Therapeutics (Ireland)
Zellwerk (Germany)
Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult (UK)
Crospon (Ireland)
Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (Germany)
Tyndall-UCC (Ireland)
Universita Degli Studi Di Genova (Italy)
And Pintail Ltd (Ireland).

Or, take a look at ENLIGHTTEN.

There are thousands of this kind of astonishing projects/works going on across the United Kingdom: in England, in Northern Ireland, in Scotland and in Wales and across the European Union countries bringing together the best of all nations' skills, talents, expertise and human ingenuity to work together, to seek and achieve for the common good for all.

What would happen to all this astonishing work? Are we not to wonder and contemplate on this profound question and do it as profoundly as we possibly could without political agitation and sensationalism?

Read the Aston University Story

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Aston University Wins  €6 Million European Commission Horizon 2020 Funding to Develop Robotic Stem Cell Factory

Image: Aston University

The European Union in Brief

To Express a Judgment About an Entity One Must Study and Know It: We are publishing the following for a clear view of what the European Union is and how it is organised for to debate about something one ought to know the entity being debated in order to express opinions, assessments and judgements ( which ought to have been made, reached, modified, chiseled out during and after the studies and with a great deal of thinking, deliberation, questioning, analysing and reflection made of and about that entity). Without this there is no point in any opinion/assessment/judgement for than they would simply be baseless/groundless expressions to become a vehicle to be a mere waste of time both for the person/s expressing them and those who are listening to them.

The following is taken from the Official Website of the European Union and presented here slightly differently

Countries Making the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom

The EU in Brief

Beginning

The EU is a unique economic and political partnership between 28 European countries that together cover much of the continent.

The EU was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea being that countries who trade with one another become economically interdependent and so more likely to avoid conflict.

The European Economic Community (1958)

The result was the European Economic Community (EEC), created in 1958, and initially increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Since then, a huge single market has been created and continues to develop towards its full potential.

The European Union : From Economic to Political Union (1993)

What began as a purely economic union has evolved into an organisation spanning policy areas, from development aid to environment. A name change from the EEC to the European Union (EU) in 1993 reflected this.

Rule of Law, Democratic and Common Founded in Treaties Ratified by All National Parliaments

The EU is based on the rule of law: everything that it does is founded on treaties, voluntarily and democratically agreed by all member countries. These binding agreements set out the EU's goals in its many areas of activity.

Mobility, Growth, Stability and Single Currency

The EU has delivered half a century of peace, stability and prosperity, helped raise living standards, and launched a single European currency, the euro.
Thanks to the abolition of border controls between EU countries, people can travel freely throughout most of the continent. And it's become much easier to live, work and travel abroad in Europe.

The single or 'internal' market is the EU's main economic engine, enabling most goods, services, money and people to move freely. Another key objective is to develop this huge resource to ensure that Europeans can draw the maximum benefit from it.

Human Rights and Equality ( Re: The Lisbon Treaty)

One of the EU’s main goals is to promote human rights both internally and around the world. Human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights: these are the core values of the EU. Since the Lisbon Treaty's entry in force in 2009, the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights brings all these rights together in a single document. The EU's institutions are legally bound to uphold them, as are EU governments whenever they apply EU law.

Transparent and Democratic Institutions

As it continues to grow, the EU remains focused on making its governing institutions more transparent and democratic. More powers are being given to the directly elected European Parliament, while national parliaments are being given a greater role, working alongside the European institutions. In turn, European citizens have an ever-increasing number of channels for taking part in the political process.

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Remarks by President Donald Tusk After the European Council Meeting on February 19, 2016

Image: The European Union

Amid the debate and opinion-flurry that will soon arise no one would remember what a task/achievement this is that Donald Tusk has accomplished with this deal. The Humanion notes it, however.

Good evening, we have just achieved a deal which strengthens Britain's special status in the European Union. It is a legally binding and irreversible decision by all 28 leaders. The settlement addresses all of Prime Minister Cameron's concerns without compromising our fundamental values.

During our long and often heated discussions, we haggled over the smallest details of the deal. Perhaps it was not an aesthetic spectacle, and far from glamorous. What matters, however, is that the European leaders did not walk away from the negotiating table, as something much more important was at stake. We have sent out a signal that we are all willing to sacrifice part of our interests for the common good, to show our unity.

The times we live in are stormy and unpredictable, with all the crises raging around us. If you think I am over-dramatising, just look at what is happening at this very moment. The greatest migration crisis in the history of Europe. The imminent threat of borders closing on our continent. Terrorist attacks in Turkey, airstrikes in Libya, war flaring up in Syria. The growing conflict between Russia and Turkey. Unfortunately, I could go on.

Exceptional times need exceptional words. And nobody expressed himself better than Winston Churchill. Let me quote what he said in Zurich in 1946. His words maybe sound too solemn. But it is worth recalling them, to realize that even though everything has changed over the years, in fact nothing has changed. And surely one thing that has not changed is that all Europe needs to stand united.

"If Europe is to be saved from infinite misery, as Churchill said, and indeed from final doom, there must be this act of faith in the European family. Can the peoples of Europe rise to the heights of the soul and of the instinct and spirit of ''man''? What is sovereign remedy? It is to recreate the European fabric, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, safety and freedom. Therefore, I say to you, let Europe arise." End of quote.

I deeply believe that the United Kingdom needs Europe, and Europe needs the United Kingdom. To break the link now would be totally against our mutual interests. We have done all we could not to let that happen. But the final decision is in the hands of the British people.

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European Union Research and Innovation Funding Programme Horizon 2020 with 80 Billion Euros (2014-20)

What is Horizon 2020?

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.

Seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that research is an investment in our future and so put it at the heart of the EU’s blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs.

By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

Horizon 2020 is open to everyone, with a simple structure that reduces red tape and time so participants can focus on what is really important. This approach makes sure new projects get off the ground quickly – and achieve results faster.

The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will be complemented by further measures to complete and further develop the European Research Area. These measures will aim at breaking down barriers to create a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation.

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Data-Speak from Eurostat

The Humanion shall publish some important data here, in this section, relevant to and essential for informing an 'informed' debate since data do not speak with a loud voice nor with an emotive manner but show up the true picture. The Data supplied by Eurostat. Today we publish how many UK Citizens are living and working in other EU countries. P: 230216. And here, The Humanion, acknowledges and expresses its sincere gratitude and appreciation for the quickest and most efficient supply of the information requested by the Eurostat Media Team.

UK Citizens Working in Other EU Countries: 2014

293.3170905

UK Citizens Living in Other EU Countries: 2005-14

In 2005: Total: 659, 102

In 2014: Total: 683, 554

                         European Funds in Wales

 

 

 

                                                                                             This, since 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Data-Speak: How Much Funding the United Kingdom Receives from the European Structural Investment Fund?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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                                      Data-Speak: In What Thematic Areas the EU Funding Goes in the UK?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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                                                             UK Citizens Working in Other EU Countries: 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UK Citizens Working in Other EU Countries: 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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                                                              UK Citizens Living in Other EU Countries: 2005-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UK Citizens Living in Other EU Countries: 2005-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UK Citizens Living in Other EU Countries: 2005-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Lake Eden Eye

 

 

The
Earth

 

The Window of the Heavens Always Open and Calling: All We Have to Do Is: To Choose to Be Open, Listen and Respond

 

 

 

Imagine a Rose-Boat

Imagine a rose floating like a tiny little boat on this ocean of infinity
And raise your soul-sail on this wee-little boat and go seeking out
All along feed on nothing but the light that you gather only light
Fear shall never fathom you nor greed can tempt nor illusion divert
For Love you are by name by deeds you are love's working-map
 

 

Only in the transparent pool of knowledge, chiselled out by the sharp incision of wisdom, is seen the true face of what truth is: That what  beauty paints, that what music sings, that what love makes into a magic. And it is life: a momentary magnificence, a-bloom like a bubble's miniscule exposition, against the spread of this awe-inspiring composition of the the Universe. Only through the path of seeking, learning, asking and developing, only through the vehicles and vesicles of knowledge, only through listening to the endless springs flowing beneath, outside, around and beyond our reach, of wisdom, we find the infinite ocean of love which is boundless, eternal, and being infinite, it makes us, shapes us and frees us onto the miracle of infinite liberty: without border, limitation or end. There is nothing better, larger or deeper that humanity can ever be than to simply be and do love. The Humanion

The
Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Humanion Online Daily from the United Kingdom for the World: To Inspire Souls to Seek

At Home in the Universe : One Without Frontier. Editor: Munayem Mayenin

All copyrights @ The Humanion: London: England: United Kingdom

First Published: September 24: 2015

The names, some without images, and images used on the Home Page of The Humanion of these astonishing human  beings, a tiny representation of the human endeavours, whose lives and works not only enriched and enhanced humanity but will continue to do so in the future. The images and names are placed in random order. This is meant to be our effort to create a 'portrait of humanity' and we hope you take it as such. And let this be an open invite to everyone to learn more about these names and their works.