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Letters to the Editor – Wednesday 20th December 2017

The first of today’s letters is a rather excellent open letter to David Davis MP by our correspondent Septimus Octavius. Even if Mr Davis doesn’t read it – you can, and you are encouraged to use the arguments presented here wherever you talk and write about Brexit:

Good Afternoon Mr Davis

Anyone reading Article 50 will see that it provides for the possibility of an Agreement, but only one. It is therefore stating the blindingly obvious that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed; indeed, that was a favourite mantra of the EU until “sufficient progress” was declared. Then, all of a sudden, the UK was accused of bad faith in pointing out that nothing was legally binding yet! Oddly, that accusation went very quiet after the “defeat” of the Government on the “meaningful vote” amendment, as in praising that defeat the EU suddenly realised that is so doing they were scuppering any possibility of the “deal” so far provisionally agreed being firmed up in a treaty.

Equally misguided, of course, were the proponents of that amendment.  Parliament is not sovereign in the UK, which was one of the main arguments in support of leaving the EU. However, at present the UK is very much a member of the EU and so the European Commission and the ECJ continue to trump our Parliament and our courts. This means that there is nothing the UK or its institutions can do to alter in any way the process set in train by the Article 50 Notification given in March.

That process is very clear and certain. The UK and the EU have a window of two years in which they are allowed to reach an Agreement for the future relationship between them.  Such an Agreement will be binding only as from the moment it is formally ratified by the European Parliament (which in practice will just rubber stamp the deal, but it must go through the charade of a formal independent decision). That ratification must occur within the two year window, and if that happens then at the moment it happens the UK is released from the Treaties of the EU. If there is no such ratification as at the expiry of the two years, at 11 pm UK time on 29 March 2019, then at that moment the UK is released from the Treaties of the EU. This binary simplicity is most commendable and very neat and effective.

It therefore follows that it matters not a jot what the boys and girls in Westminster choose to play at; nothing will stop that magnificent operation of EU law as it relentlessly applies the straightforward rules of Article 50.

As ever, God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. If it had not been for the stupid antics of the “mutineers”, the UK might still have been seen in the wrong for not firming up the deal so far. Thankfully, this point will not be lost on Michel Barnier.  He can huff and puff as much as he likes about no cherry-picking, no bespoke deal, etc; he knows if he pushes too hard, and does not give a deal that the UK government can sell to the UK people, so there is a no-deal Brexit, he can kiss goodbye to his “divorce bill” – the EU would not get a penny.

Regards, Septimus Octavius

The second letter today comes from our reader David Gunn, asking an interesting question about Remainers:

Sir,

Prompted by a recent letter, I’d like to offer my thoughts on a certain South Devon MP. First of all though, I think it’s worth saying that while we’re still at school, we’re largely insulated from the adult world of politics and it rarely encroaches on our lives. Any political opinion we may have then will be a reflection of those adults around us. Only when we enter the big bad world do we get the full horrors of real life. Our opinions are then formed from personal experience, which will almost certainly vary as the early years pass by. Eventually though, some will stick and indeed harden and will likely remain with us for the rest of our lives. Therefore, when a mature person has formed an opinion on the nature of the European Union, probably from its inception, it’s hardly credible that that person would declare for one side in the 2016 referendum only to suddenly change that position with no warning or precursor.

For me it smacks of carrot dangling.

Let’s say the Remain campaign were so convinced of victory, (because they knew something the wider world did not), that a brighter future beckoned if Remain actually did win. I wonder if that would influence someone into changing their position?

Quite apart from the lies and wishful thinking of the Remain camp there is this. Under what circumstances would anyone bet a £1,000,000 on anything unless you’d been assured by some very heavy duty insiders that it was a “sure thing”?

Respectfully, David Gunn, UKIP Newton Abbot Branch

Finally, a letter about council tax rises by Cllr Brian Silvester:

Sir,

when Cheshire East Council, the Police and the Fire Service are increasing their Council Tax every year, by large amounts, it is good news that Rope Parish Council has cut their Council tax in half. I was pleased to support and vote with a majority on the Council to make the 50% reduction in the Council Tax set by the Council.

The Council was able to do this because they have ceased to fund the cost of additional PCSO coverage for the village.This funding took up over 60% of the Council’s budget. I was always dubious that the Council was getting value for money because the Police would never inform us just how much time the PCSO’s spent in the Parish, even though that information could have readily been supplied.Also the information on Police performance criteria in the Parish was never good enough in my view.

This year the Police wanted to charge a lot more for the

PCSO service and a majority of the Council felt they could not justify the cost to local council taxpayers.

When I was Leader of Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council I was able, along with my colleagues, to cut the Borough Council Tax for the first time ever and I am now proud that I have played a part in cutting in half the Parish Council Tax.

Local people are angry that they are forced pay increased Council Tax every year at a time when services are in decline.The Council Tax set by Rope Parish Council is only a small part of the overall Council Tax bill but I hope it will serve an an example to others.

Respectfully, Cllr Brian Silvester

 

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About Vivian Evans (321 Articles)
Vivian is a UKIP patron, Vice Chair of UKIP Cardiff and Editor in Chief of UKIP Daily

22 Comments on Letters to the Editor – Wednesday 20th December 2017

  1. I congratulate Cllr.Silvester on his work on his Parish Council. Since I represent my own ward on both Parish (as an Independent) and District ( as UKIP) I understand exactly where he is coming from. I do not like or wish to support For Britain but he is elected and his opinion on local issues is thus legitimate, it should not be suppressed, even here.
    District and County Councils are forever dumping their responsibilities and the attending costs, onto Parishes whilst ignoring the opinions of the local councils, especially regarding planning.
    Many parishes don’t do party politics and of course don’t pay councillors but it is the best possible way to gain experience of government and I urge Ukipers to get involved at this level, you actually get to DO things for your community rather than to just talk about them and exposure to the real world is to say the least interesting. If UKIP are ever to beome a viable political force again we will need all the experienced people we can get, especially post Brexit.

  2. Putting aside Cllr Brian Silvester’s current party debate, he does make some valid points, and I am reminded of a documentary I have watched a couple of times “Who’s Spending Britain’s Billions?”, which is no longer available on the BBC iPlayer (hmm):
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0803b0s
    It basically explores where public money is being essentially wasted, and highlights where some councils, in an effort to make cuts and save money on essential services, are spending MORE on ‘management consultants’ who advise councils on how to save money by working ‘more efficiently’, and some who make more money as the council makes more savings.
    It really is astonishing watching, and my fear is that council tax bills are rising so that councils can spend more on these consultants, who are, in my opinion, just leeching off public money.
    Thankfully, while the BBC have made this programme “no longer available” on iPlayer, it can be watched on YouTube here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00UFYU_Gr7w
    Well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already.

  3. Thorburn vs Sunderland City Council, aka Metric Martyrs (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoburn_v_Sunderland_City_Council) may be applicable here. As I understand Lord Justice Laws, the European Communities Act and Treaty of Lisbon are “Constitutional Statues” which means their clauses can’t be implicitly repealed by subsequent legislation, but they can be EXPLICITLY repealed.

    If that is true, then surely there is a whole range of options available to our MPs?

  4. Septimus Octavius is completely wrong – Brexit is not safe. There certainly is something that MPs can do to stop the Article 50 process.

    They could refuse to endorse any final deal or, if no final deal is reached, refuse to endorse the UK leaving without such a deal.

    In such a situation Gina Miller, or someone like her, could bring a court case to declare that the UK’s “constitutional requirements” require Parliamentary approval. (You will recall that Article 50 only permits exit of a country “in accordance with its own constitutional requirements”.)

    If the Supreme Court were to accept such an argument (and in the light of the Gina Miller case who can say they won’t) the Court would strike down the Article 50 as invalid and the UK would remain in the EU.

    This is why the Remainers grow more confident by the day and smell the scent of victory in the air.

    It is surely significant that the fastest growing Remainer petition is no longer the one asking for a second referendum but one demanding a parliamentary vote to remain in the EU.

    Why risk losing a second refendum when the same result can much more certainly be achieved by using your parliamentary majority?

    Only a populist campaign – large demonstrations in Parliament Square, street stalls and mass leafletting etc – can save Brexit now. And what chance is there of that?

  5. Septimus,
    You say, “If there is no such ratification as at the expiry of the two years, at 11 pm UK time on 29 March 2019, then at that moment the UK is released from the Treaties of the EU.”

    But para.3 of Art.50 adds, “UNLESS the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.”

    Notwithstanding that Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to leave, does anyone doubt that some weasel words will be found to do just that: extend this period, probably indefinitely. To anyone who can wilfully misrepresent the referendum as non-binding and non-specific, that should be easy.

    • Well, well. I didn’t expect those weasel words to arise so promptly. They are “exceptional circumstances.”

      At Question Time today May insisted that “the plan was still for the UK to exit the EU formally on March 29th 2019, though referring to the ability to potentially delay the process she said: “We would only use this power in exceptional circumstances for the shortest possible time.”

  6. Errr, Brian Silvester, whose letter appears above, is no longer a UKIP councillor, he is now in For Britain, so why print the letter? If a labour or tory or libdem sends a message crowing of their achievements would it be published?

    • He was a UKIP Councillor though, and IMHO this letter refers to what he achieved then.
      If a Labour/Tory/LibDem councillor would send us a letter about their achievements – i.e. reducing council taxes – why should we not publish it as well? Do we think we have nothing to learn from others?
      I believe that it is a great mistake to insist on ‘purity’ and reject factual – not propaganda or proselytising – information because of the source it comes from. That is the way towards becoming an ever smaller echo chamber.

      • Indeed. Are we to emulate those who increasingly censor Twitter, Facebook, et. al? I heard Ian Dale as a guest with Adam Boulton on Sky earlier, saying Russia Today should be banned. But one man’s truth is another man’s propaganda. His implication is that only the self-appointed great and good are able to tell the difference, and we poor serfs, or ignorant Brexiteers perhaps, must be protected. But once again he is unable to see that (like the BBC closed world) they are unaware of their own steep bias.

        • Phil, I agree with your wider point on censorship. The proposed bill by Amber Rudd ? would make even viewing extremist material an offence. Of course they have added the proviso that its ok for educated people such as professors and journalists to view such material. I hold the view that UKIP should promote freedom of speech which currently it seemingly does not. Yes it would be a painful distraction away from securing Brexit for UKIP to pursue freedom of speech, but I cannot see how UKIP can roll back the forces of political correctness without promoting free speech.
          Alex Salmond on Russia Today should be banned, not because of his “dodgy tweets” but simply as he is irritating.

      • You are of course the boss, but his letter or your comment to his letter should at least point out which party he represents, as most readers would surely assume he was a UKIP councillor. Nowhere does he mention he is For Britain.

        • In fairness, he did add ‘Britain first’ For Britan to his name, which I, with his permission, deleted. It was precisely because I did not want a discussion about FB instead of the subject of the letter that I removed that label.
          Sorry – I meant ‘FB” – For Britain – blame my mistake on Christmas … or Putin …

          • I believe they’re now calling themselves “The For Britain Movement”?

          • Britain First is totally separate from ‘For Britain’. I agree that we do not want a debate about a rival party but can also appreciate the point Graham is making.

            Kind regards.

          • You’re totally right, Brenda – my mistake, corrected.
            Apologies.

          • Its reminiscent of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

          • Rob,

            I do believe you are correct. To the best of my knowledge it had something to do with having difficulty in registering the original name.

            Regards

          • Not to worry Vivian. The time of year can addle the brain. I went somewhere today convinced it was Thursday until it was pointed out to me that I was a day ahead. Ah well, blame Brexit it’s the cause of all ills according to the remoaners.

            Kind regards.

          • No – never blame Brexit! We could create a new fashion and start blaming the Remoaniacs though – Christmas, after all, comes only once a year and I know I make mistakes more often than that …
            😉

          • Yes, Brenda: the EC rejected their original name ?

    • Unusually I here find myself in disagreement with Graham. IMO the test for being able to post on UKIP Daily should not be whether the poster is a UKIP member, or at least not a member of a “rival” party, but whether the poster broadly shares the aims and objectives of UKIP.

      Hence, IMO sincere Brexiteers or genuine anti-immigrationists and pro-traditionalists who make relevant posts in good faith should be permitted even if they are members of other parties such as the For Britain Movement or even the Tories.

      Dialogue is good. How are we to co-operate among the various factions of Brexiteers and traditionalists if we are not permitted to talk to one another on sites such as this.

      If For Britain set up a For Britain Daily forum, which I hope they do, I hope we will be able to post there, just as much as I think they should be able to post here, at least if they do so in good faith.

      • Sorry my original point was badly worded. What I meant to say was it should at least be disclosed which party he represents. I don’t mind who posts what here, and more to point I have no right, it’s the hard work of editor and team that allow site to exist and totally up to them what they publish.

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