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Lord Sainsbury to mastermind the “YES” Campaign?

Tony Blair’s old friend and ally Lord Sainsbury seems to be emerging as the éminence grise behind the YES Campaign. I was struck by his comment that “our industrial and economic success is tied with the future of Europe and we can’t stand aside from that”.  I’m sorry, Lord Sainsbury, but you’ve got it backwards.  Our industrial and economic success (or failure) is linked preferentially to Europe because we signed the Treaty of Rome (and other treaties).  It was a choice we made – and it has proved to be the wrong choice.  The EU is the only major economic area in the world which is in long-term relative economic decline.  Why would we want to link ourselves primarily or preferentially to a sinking ship?

But if that’s the bad news, the good news is that Europe is one mistaken choice which we can un-make.  And the Referendum is our opportunity.  The UK is not naturally an off-shore province of Brussels.  Our natural rôle is as a global trading nation.  Outside the EU we shall be free of the stultifying and hugely expensive weight of European regulation.  We shall have lower energy prices, and lower food prices.  We shall be free to deepen trading links with the Commonwealth (whose GDP is now greater than that of the €urozone – and growing faster) and with other fast-growing areas of the world.

Lord Sainsbury should be asking why Switzerland – and even tiny Iceland – have free trade deals with China, while we don’t.  And why the EU’s Transatlantic Free Trade Area is bogged down in interminable negotiation, when we could have had a far better UK/US deal decades ago.

Editors Footnote: Roger Helmer’s colleague Steven Woolfe started a campaign against Sainsbury’s supermarket as a result of this.  Lord Sainsbury resigned as Chairman of Sainsbury’s in 1998, although he is a major shareholder, but Sainsbury’s themselves are not contributing to the “YES” campaign. However, if Kippers feel that boycotting Sainsbury’s will put pressure on the “YES” campaign… fine.

This article from Roger Helmer MEP was first published in his “Straight Talking” Newsletter, and other material from him can be seen on his blog.

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About Roger Helmer MEP (81 Articles)
Roger Helmer is an East Midlands MEP and UKIP's energy spokesman. His articles appear both here and on his personal blogging site by agreement.

12 Comments on Lord Sainsbury to mastermind the “YES” Campaign?

  1. Alb Einstein // June 16, 2015 at 4:34 pm //

    Worth noting that Lord Sainsbury is a former member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group; he’s actually potentially quite a useful weapon for the NO campaign given the public’s dislike of the establishment banker classes.

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  3. Being a close friend of Tony Blair, Lord Sainsbury will not help the ‘Stay in the EU’ campaign. Right now our exports to the EU are less than to the rest of the world so why stay in the EU? Sainsbury is backing a loser on this one. The UK is a global trading nation and always has been. There is nothing to prevent us setting up free trade deals and selling our products to any country. Yes, a good plan would be to encourage a boycott of Sainsburys. Why? Just think about it, leaving the EU will give us lower food prices, better trade deals, lower energy costs, value for money as well as giving a heck of a lot more back to the third world countries and the commonwealth who work so hard to produce the best food products and then find they are strangled by the EU with impossible regulation to the extent that exporting to EU countries is a loss maker. Lord Sainsbury needs to think again and not be the politically linked Cameron banker campaigning for him and his devious plans to remain in the EU.

  4. Bernard from Bucks // June 13, 2015 at 8:55 pm //

    A Positive Out Campaign.
    A source said: “This is going to be the official No campaign but it is not going to involve any politicians.
    “We know the Yes campaign is going to be run by politicians but we want ours to be run by people who have a personal stake in the future of this country, not politicians who often have a vested interest.”
    The source added: “Our message will be a POSITIVE one about voting to leave the EU so we can take Britain global.”

    • pamela preedy // June 14, 2015 at 12:10 pm //

      This is very good news, very heartening. Every pound spent, every speech made, every article, leaflet and poster published matters a great deal in this historical fight for our country. It’s cheering to know that we have wealthy, influential patriots on our side.

  5. pamela preedy // June 13, 2015 at 1:21 pm //

    I have avoided shopping in Sainsbury’s as much as I could for quite a long time, ever since I heard of Lord Sainsbury’s massive donations to the Labour Party. This avoidance has now turned into a personal boycott from the moment he announced his funding of the Yes vote in the referendum campaign.
    It means some inconvenience, but I can’t bear the thought of supporting the Yes campaign in even the most indirect way. I would be grateful if someone in UKIP compiled a list of providers of goods and services whose owners have spoken in favour of staying in the EU and/or donate money to that cause. If revealed to the members, it would enable us to make personal decisions based on that information. This is not the same as an organised public boycott, but a matter of personal conscience in the fight to exit the EU.

  6. Mike Munford // June 13, 2015 at 1:07 pm //

    This is wonderful news! Lord Sainsbury’s cousin built Sainsburys up to be Britain’s most successful retailer. When he retired, his cousin David, now Lord Sainsbury, who was the principal shareholder, took his place. The Company went into a period of rapid decline, with many profits warnings. When he himself retired, the share price shot up immediately. His period in the chair was a wonderful time for Tesco. Sainsburys lost its way and have never been quite the same. Let’s hope Lord Sainsbury does for Britain’s EU membership what he did for his family company.

  7. Why isn’t Sainsbury a successful business in Germany? Aldi and Lidl seem to be doing very well in the UK. Lord Sainsbury needs to ask himself some pretty fundamental questions.

  8. Bernard from Bucks // June 13, 2015 at 10:52 am //

    My personal view is that boycotting any organisation will be viewed as a negative action.
    I would prefer to see all campaigning emphasize the numerous, honest and convincing reasons to free this country from this obviously failing Union. When it does flounder and ultimately fail, we need to be as far away as possible.

  9. The Emperors New Clothes // June 13, 2015 at 10:31 am //

    Lord Sainsbury is the sort of person that puts profit for his shareholders before country. Has he not noticed that 43 years of being a member of the EEC/EC/EU has done to our economy, our industrial base and not least our sovereignty, where it now requires Cameron to go around with a begging bowl, asking permission from 27 other heads of state on controlling our own borders. It’s pathetic.

    The EU is a communist block of countries, that supports crony capitalism, maybe that’s why he likes it.

    Ironically with the UK outside the EU, we stand to make a bigger profits as we forge freetrade agreements around the world. Re-engage with the anglosphere, the Commonwealth.

    ps I heard you Roger on LBC this morning, debating the story about the lady who stripped off on a mountain in Malaysia. You were spot on with your comments. Well done.

  10. Rob Silvertree // June 13, 2015 at 8:43 am //

    Boycott any organisation that tries to keep us in the EU…

Comments are closed.