Opinion – Pro-EU MPs could stage guerrilla campaign to reverse Brexit decision | Politics | The Guardian

English: Parliament buildings London UK

English: Parliament buildings London UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Patrick Wintour, the diplomatic editor of the Guardian, MPs could initiate ‘reverse Maastricht’ to minimise number of EU laws the UK pulls out of, or push for a second referendum.

Source: Pro-EU MPs could stage guerrilla campaign to reverse Brexit decision | Politics | The Guardian

This is probably one of the finest articles that I have read on Brexit. It provides penetrating insights into the possible alternatives to a simplistic In/Out analysis.

Although I’m passionately European and pro-Remain, I cannot believe that things will be the same after the referendum, even if there is a strong win for Remain. The campaign has raised legitimate concerns about immigration and over-population.

If there is a referendum win for Brexit, it looks like MPs would put the brake on exit negotiations. Patrick Wintour’s arguments are very valid. However, note his concern about France’s reaction being hostile. Yes, the full range of negotiated position is potentially available. But there are a number of very real risks in the grey zone.

Firstly, financial markets will react negatively to the uncertainty of a Brexit win. This will stimulate fear, with jobs and investment immediately at risk. We don’t yet know how the Bank of England would respond. Similarly, the Treasury would need to reassess its budget with tax revenues being at risk.

Secondly, the prognosis for bilateral trade negotiations is bleak. See the recent excellent article by London based think tank, Chatham House.

Thirdly, after Brexit, focus will swing towards national elections in both France and Germany, and it is likely that French and German leaders would be forced to take a hard-line with the UK. The UK would be left to stew in its own juices.

Fourthly, it is not clear that the UK has available legal and specialist resources to disentangle from the EU. Large contingencies would be needed by the Treasury to pay for expensive big firm lawyers and consultants. Partner level strategy consultants cost circa GBP5,000 a day.

Fifthly, there would likely be a Conservative Party leadership challenge and there would be the uncertainty of the next prime minister not having been elected by the people.

Sixthly, there are law and order risks. The uncertain grey zone will quickly fan xenophobia and violence could follow. Also a major terrorist incident in the UK or continental Europe will take precedence and defer post Brexit negotiations.

In short, after the Brexit referendum I see the UK entering a extended grey zone of risk and uncertainty, irrespective of which side wins. It is conceivable that parliament could ignore or seriously water down the impact of of the referendum.


Opinion – George Osborne has missed his chance to end the British disease – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Telegraph – John Gelmini

Dr Alf raises a series of conundrums but public sector debt has to be dramatically reduced.

This not least because when NNDR and local authority charges for planning, parking etc are added to Corporation tax the UK has one of the least competitive economic environments it is possible to imagine.

Local Authorities are for the most part grossly inefficient, often corrupt and always overmanned. They waste money on unnecessary planning applications and are run as personal fiefdoms by overpaid CEO’s. Worse than that, there are far too many of them, and often even after the outsourcing of services, the original headcount stays the same whilst the outsourced employees and related costs represent a double whammy.

Public sector workers take 9 days uncertificated unplanned absence a year, as opposed to the private sector average of 6 days.
Public sector productivity runs at 32% or just 70 working days per year out of 220 working days and spans of control are too narrow with each team leader and manager given assistants so that people who are “plateaued” can be paid more (i.e. money above their actual grade).

Even in 3 star(top 25%) County Councils, there is 67% overmanning, so what it must be in the more inefficiently run 1 and 2 star councils I dread to think.

This logic mandates that the UK needs 15 large local authorities, police constabularies and fire commands and that 2 million unnecessary people could be cleared out with no loss of efficiency whatsoever.

Civil Servant numbers need to be reduced to 15,000 and Districts and Boroughs abolished and replaced with outsourced provision.

The overseas aid budget currently runs at £12 billion gbp and needs to be scrapped, the same goes for the Barnett Formula and the running sore represented by subsidising Welsh,Scottish,Northern Irish and Cornish citizenry wanting their own Parliaments and handouts from the rest of us.

After the above is done, businesses can expand, take on people and the economy can start to be re-balanced.

Corporation taxes are too high as are energy prices. Reduce these and get the offshore stashes of hidden cash back onshore.

It is not rocket science.

John Gelmini