Economic and political consquences of Britain Brexit (self)destruction.

(A note that was originally a comment on a friend’s Facebook post). I sympathise with those in the fishing industry who lost out because of joining the EU (though they lost a lot due to losing the Cod Wars with Iceland as well). I understand the concerns of those from Australia and New Zealand and Canada that we shouldn’t have sacrificed closer links with Commonwealth countries, (though the same arguments about India or Asian countries are not put by the same people). I dislike the EU Court of Justice deciding on British benefits or immigration policy (to ensure rules are the same across Europe that were supposed to be the same for free movement of workers). What I rarely hear is any of these arguments logically put by any one spouting off anti the EU. I love the fact that Liverpool, and even immigrant unfriendly Birkenhead (more accurately Birkenhead with immigrant unfriendly Labour MP) or suburbs, has lots of South Americans in it now. I like my Turkish barbers (probably Kurdish, maybe Yazidi), and I love all the new Arab food businesses that have sprung up including Syrian and Iranian and African. Entirely a matter of immigration under the control of Labour / Coalition / Tory governments – nothing to do with the EU. But these anti-EU people who bleat on about money have cost me money every time I travel abroad as the pound has plummeted against the Euro, and most places I go across Europe Euros are the international currency of choice (inside and outside of the EU). My savings have been hit because of the political instability in Britain and the political instability across Europe that the political crisis in Britain has made worse. Most of our Conservative and some senior Labour politicians (and the extremist DUP / Farageist / UKIP groupees) have contributed to this political instability. How we need real statesmen now. Many of the latter currently are women, mostly in the Greens, SNP, Lib Dems and Plaid plus a few dissidents in Labour and Conservative Parties and Change UK / Independents.

I support the EU on grounds of principle and practical reasons, but wish Brexit supporters would lose their own money rather than mine.

A friend, David Ellis, posted the (always brilliant) Matt cartoon from the Daily Telegraph, about post Brexit subsidies being required for the fishing industry if Britain leaves the EU.

Theresa May & Conservative Party squabbling let us all down.

We have to work together across Europe and multinationaly to overcome the great problems of our time. War, economic hardship, terrorism, environmental damage and catastrophe, organised crime, social breakdown. Brexit is the greatest threat to working together, the greatest surrender to isolation and hate, the greatest abdication of leadership by our political leaders and representatives in generations. It is a direct threat to peace, social and economic and political cooperation in Europe, that puts us all at risk. Theresa May is unprincipled, valueless and lacking in vision, in it as a politician just for being in it. A hypocrite. Someone who sells weapons to Saudi Arabia to slaughter civilians cannot be a Christian. Someone whose Government seems oblivious to the obscene gap between the super rich and poorest workers cannot be a Christian. I am not religious but too many people falsely claim to follow caring peaceful religious values when their actions do not reflect that.

Theresa May is unprincipled & hypocritical but these Tory MPs who are queuing up to stroke the tail of the reactionary DUP dog are just horrible. Historical dead ends. The Democratic Unionist Party play the historical envy and division game – they actively resist and hinder improvements in Northern Ireland, blind to the huge benefits there have been over the last twenty years. Sinn Fein also play envy and historical untruth and blame but they are not holding a British Government to ransom.

Yet what of the UK’s ‘Official Opposition’ Labour Party in this time of need. The Labour Party, Britain’s ‘Official Opposition’? They prefer tribal party advantage to statesmanship. The Labour Party, its Leader Jeremy Corbyn, most of its Shadow Cabinet & MPs, and heartland activists put party and sectional interest before that of tackling the greatest political challenges of our age. They prefer to score tactical victories over the Conservatives, to keep their ideological and tribal purity. Britain suffers because in part they make the mistake that Liberal Democrats used to make – of refusing to say anything controversial in case they lost votes. Unlike the Lib Dems, Labour does put forward its policies – it’s just that many of its policies are highly sectarian and divisive and do not include telling anti-EU voters that they were lied to for thirty years and voted in a referendum based on lies and not knowing what they were voting for. The whole of Europe suffers while most of Britain’s political representatives refuse to play a leading role in Europe. The SNP, Greens, Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru, along with a few principled and brave Labour and handful of Conservative MPs have been exceptions.

The British media don’t report that the DUP represent only 36% of the voters of Northern Ireland. The clear majority do not support them. For UK totals – only just over half the vote of the Green Party, less than one third of the Scottish National Party, less than twice Plaid vote for 2.5 times the seats, only 12% of the Lib Dems vote. 10 extreme reactionaries leading Tory Government & Labour policy. All the while while they refuse to do their jobs in Northern Ireland by them and Sinn Fein failing to run the Assembly. Endangering all the improvements since the 1990s and blaming everyone else but themselves for their failures to sustain and increase improvements for all.

Those people who honestly supported leaving the European Union on legal, economic and political grounds have been misled and sold a fairytale by fraudsters and dangerous ideologues. There are some people with genuine reasons for opposing the European Union as it was, or usually as it became. These are not the Brit nihilist anti-EU extremists who dominate social media, the ones who don’t mind which nasties they are in bed with. I hope the thinking Leavers will reconsider and join a campaign so that we can stay in a reformed streamlined EU on better terms – something British Prime Ministers should have lead a coalition of other countries to achieve. If you are on the side of Jacob Rees-Mogg, extremist Conservatives, reckless wreckers like Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, ideologues like Len McCluskey, Mick Cash, nasty populists Kate Hoey, Frank Field, Aaron Banks, tax exile billions & the haters of the Mail, Express & Sun. & Vladimir Putin & Trump, then you are are on the wrong side. A minority of extremists, oligarchs & profiteers are trying to force our country away from values of tolerance and fairness. All of us have to try and stop them before we lose what has made Britain the great country that it is.

How many British citizens have applied for passports of other EU countries because of the Brexit vote and how many have moved to other EU countries?

I asked “What monitoring is the UK Government doing to find out how many UK citizens have applied for passports of other EU countries since the referendum .. how many UK citizens have .. moved to other EU member states”
“The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) does not hold information in the scope of your request” Our Govt really is clueless about the effect on British people. This from a Government that bangs on about immigration but UK Government has no records of UK migrants.
National Statistics, the official UK Government statistics body, do not keep any record of British citizens leaving the UK. I travel abroad between one and six times a year and never once, ONCE, have I ever been asked whether I am leaving and coming back.

Another request via

Welcoming the Polish, 2006 and 2017.

A motion to Liverpool City Council that I wrote in April 2006, encouraging the city authorities to welcome new Polish residents. See end.

Draft Motions to Council 26 April 2006.

Welcoming the Polish community.

Council notes the recent horrific racist murder of a new Polish resident in Southport.

Council notes that Liverpool still needs to increase its population and have more people come to live and work here and we welcome all new residents including those from new EU members in Eastern Europe.

Council notes in particular that both Liverpool and Polish cities suffered greatly during the war and that Polish airmen were the largest non-British contingent in the RAF in the Battle of Britain, making up more than five percent of all RAF pilots. The Air Minister Sir Archibald Sinclair stated that without the Poles “our shortage of trained pilots would have made it impossible to defeat the German air force and so win the Battle”. Many of those pilots and their families stayed in the North West to contribute to long established Polish communities. Newer residents are welcome as well.

Council resolves to encourage all members, officers and partners to think of ways that they can help new residents integrate and enjoy the famously generous welcome of Liverpool people.

Proposed by:

Written 4 April 2006 for City Council meeting 26 April 2006.

A month later I was fortunate with my sister and friends to hear Lech Walesa, former Solidarity Trade Union leader, speak at a Liverpool John Moores University Roscoe lecture. 15 May. Three years ago I visited the shipyard at Gdansk which was a central point in the struggle for freedom in Eastern Europe. It was reading Neal Ascherson’s writing about Poland in the Observer (later the Independent) in my late teens that crystallised my interest in Eastern Europe and I’m privileged in the last ten years to have had the chance to work there.

Now many of the Polish residents have gone back to Poland, there are fewer Polish shops in our local streets but Polish beers and some foodstuffs have become staples in our supermarkets. There are some community events and groups, such as Liverpool Polonia, that have encouraged interaction and integration but I think it is a real shame – on both sides – that there has been little actual social and cultural interaction between many of the Polish and other Eastern European working migrants and existing residents. At least that is my experience. I hear negatives as well but think interaction and increased understanding can only be good for us and them. Plus always remembering our cultural links and great war time debt we owe.

I like Poland and have visited several times. I’ve also worked with Polish colleagues in both Ukraine and Georgia. I’ve visited Ukraine more often and recently but only more recently learnt that there are many (not just a few) long established Ukrainian communities in the UK. A reminder that our country is both more mixed and has always had immigrants who have over time integrated while retaining elements of their heritage and culture.

Welcoming the Polish residents (& other migrants) to Liverpool

Next I post a motion to Liverpool City Council that I wrote in April 2006, encouraging the city authorities to welcome new Polish residents.

I am disappointed that, when I was a city councillor, Liverpool did little or nothing official to welcome new residents from the new EU members states of Eastern Europe, it didn’t even mark this occasion, unlike much smaller Caernarfon Council in its waterfront regeneration. At that time, and in the ten years since, Liverpool has also done nothing or very little to celebrate its links with twin and friendship cities and encourage residents to do so. When I visit other countries in Europe (and some other cities in the UK – usually smaller ones) they do much more. Liverpool is an international city, a famous World city, but it should still make an effort to encourage these links. In the interests of broadening horizons, history, peace, cultural exchange and education. I’ve made repeated efforts to encourage this though welcome any ideas for how to practically help.

I post the Polish motion from 2006 partly in response to the hostile and unfriendly atmosphere that has prevailed in England and Wales since the deceitful tragic referendum vote by a minority of the voters to leave the European Union. Recently I was heartened that a former student from Vietnam visiting with his family encountered friendly helpful people across England – as since the Referendum I’ve heard many direct stories of talented students, graduates and their families being abused. These are usually Asian students (abused as ‘Muslims’ whether they are or not). They still love Britain but they can’t understand why the country they and their parents or grandparents loved is leaving the EU and they are bemused at hostility by ignorant people. Foreign students are usually temporary residents, not migrants. There are pros and cons to migration itself, including from Eastern Europe (and non EU middle east and refugee countries), but I urge people to reflect on who is doing the jobs that provide their cheap goods and services and to remember just how poor much customer service was in England before Eastern Europeans (especially Romanians) and other immigrants (Turks / Kurds / Albanians / Arabs / Afghans even, South Americans, many Africans in London to add to the longstanding Irish, New Zealand, Australian) started doing those jobs much better.

What is the European Commission really like?

Former NW England MEP Chris Davies writes.

The European Commission is both the EU’s executive (government) and its civil service. It has the job of coming up with the ideas and the legislation to put into practice the principles agreed in the EU Treaties and the wishes of the 28 EU governments. It also has the job of trying to enforce the agreed rules and ensure that there is a level playing field.

The Commission does not have a police force at its disposal, nor an army. To enforce the rules it calls in the ‘bureaucrats’ to write letters to governments, and when that fails it brings in the lawyers. The EU is not so much an independent body, more a set of legal agreements between independent countries. Enforcing the rules is often a slow business done mostly by persuasion because the Courts are even slower!

There are 28 Commissioners, one for each EU country, and they serve for a period of 5 years. These are the real ‘Brussels Bureaucrats, but most of them are former elected ministers with an impressive track record in their own countries. They are nominated by the governments of their respective countries, but have to undergo a three-hour interview by MEPs and be endorsed by the European Parliament. MEPs like to find a reason for rejecting at least one candidate just to keep the governments on their toes.

By the way, next time you hear UKIP complain about ‘unelected officials’ in Europe why not ask who elects the government of the USA? We know that the President is elected but all the other U.S. ministers are appointed, very like European Commissioners.

The current Commission likes to think of itself as a reforming one that is tackling the big issues and cutting down on the small ones. It is also big on communication. In the first year of its 5-year term the various Commissioners answered questions from the world’s media in Brussels on 138 occasions; they addressed the European Parliament 58 times and answered 14,467 parliamentary questions from MEPs; they also took part in 45 public meetings/town hall debates.

The big boast of the present Commission is that it is working to curb over-regulation. It says that during the period 2010-14 an average of 130 items of new legislation were proposed annually, whereas last year the number was down to 23. It also points to the fact that 80 proposals already in the legislative pipeline were withdrawn.

This is not a European bureaucracy that ploughs on regardless of public opinion. It’s a political body of people with strong democratic traditions, and they are listening and responding to the mood across Europe.

Liberal Democrats North West Notes & News 3 November 2015.

News from the North West Lib Dems, 19 January 2016.

The European Commission has ordered the Belgian government to collect €700 million of taxes from 35 multinational companies trading in that country.

The EU Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, says that the Belgian government has been doing illegal ‘sweetheart’ deals to attract business from large companies. But these deals are unfair to small companies that don’t get the same benefits, are unfair to other European countries, and break EU state aid rules.

So here we have the European Commission, the so-called ‘Brussels bureaucrats’ so loathed by the Europhobes, playing the role of umpire, doing the job of enforcing the rules intended to guarantee fair play, and protecting British interests from unfair competition.

What would we do without them? If the UK pulls out of the EU there will be no rules to say that competition must be fair.

Incidentally, Margrethe Vestager (47), who is a bit of a star in the Commission, is a former parliamentary group leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party, Radikale Venstre, which is very much a sister party to the British Lib Dems. She was deputy prime minister of Denmark before being nominated as Denmark’s commissioner.

Her husband is a maths teacher. They have three daughters. And she served as an inspiration for the main character in the Danish TV series ‘Borgen’ who has to juggle family life with a thoroughly honourable but intensely time-consuming life in politics. (Highly recommended and utterly absorbing if you haven’t seen it).

Maybe the ‘faceless’ European Commissioners aren’t so bad after all!

Chris Davies

Factual comments on Brexiter posts on Otto English’s Daniel Barenboim BBC Prom video.

The comments by nearly all the anti-EU people on this video illustrate all that was wrong with the EU referendum, what failed during the referendum and what failed since. There are exceptions – there are some more informed and well argued comments but most are textbook of the worst lies, fakes, myths and anti-EU propaganda that has been rammed down the throats of people in Britain by the tabloid press, right wing and far left wing politicians / Trades Unions, and the billionaire backers of Brexit. That is what is so utterly shameful about the referendum.

This wonderful principled life affirming passionate plea by the World famous international conductor Daniel Barenboim, at the BBC Proms, has been followed on a You Tube post by a torrent of incorrect and untrue statements about the EU. Argument, much of it by myself, has come to dominate in the thread after the video the humanitarian points made by Mr. Barenboim. The comments and ‘likes’ by many do answer the stereotype of ‘the Proms’ being an English/British nationalist event when I found myself – through the family I married into – that the Proms is for lovers of classical music and culture. As I’ve taken up much time myself on the YouTube thread I’ve put answers to the main factually untrue statements here on my website.

The main anti-EU ‘myths’ or lies put forward in these threads.
1. Bendy or straight bananas. Nonsense.
2. Laws are made in Brussels. Greatly exaggerated.
3. Imperial martyrs or metric martyrs. As daft as the Duke of Essex.
4. Auditors have signed off the EU accounts for many years.
5. “Only the unelected commissioners can propose laws”. True. But Commissioners are civil servants proposed by the member countries and voted in by the democratically elected EU Parliament. Civil servants are not usually elected in any country. Improvement and reform are, as pro- and anti-EU critics agree, greatly needed.

4 untrue. 1 true. So 1 out of 5 to the anti-EU commentators.

For detail see:

Detail. For sources, see below.
1. Bendy bananas. Anyone can sell straight bananas. The EU regulations are a trade system of classifying bananas. Your supermarket can sell them if it wants to.

2. Our laws are made in the UK and most do not originate from European Union regulations.
“An estimated 13% of Acts and Statutory Instruments have an EU influence, whereas that rises to 62% when EU regulations are included in addition to Acts and Statutory Instruments.”
“13% is likely to be too low, in reality, but 62% is much too high”
In Criminal Law – what many people think of as the most serious law – my own field, EU influence is minimal (much of what there is due to environmental, consumer protection and UK agreed fight against terrorism and serious crime measures).

3. Goods can be sold in imperial measures but they have to have metric on. No one is stopping any trader quantifying goods in Imperial – there is no metric martyr just a publicity hungry metric phobe. The UK signed up to metric before joining the EU & it’s why we have systems of weights and measures – why feet and ounces etc. were introduced originally – to facilitate fair trade. No one is stopping me buying my pint of 556ml of beer.

4. Auditors have signed off the EU accounts for nearly ten years and before that highlighted discrepancies that were mostly down to lack of proper accounting for spending in members states – by the public authorities and those given grants in our own countries. “auditors have not signed off the accounts since 1994” This statement has been factually corrected numerous times.

5. “Only the unelected commissioners can propose laws”. True. But Commissioners are civil servants proposed by the member countries and voted in by the democratically elected EU Parliament. MEPs can make proposals to go to the Commission for consideration, just as in reality British MPs can only really make suggestions for policy as the Government decides what the policies are. For more on the Commission see the next article, by former MEP Chris Davies (Liberal Democrat, NW England) on the roles of the Commission and Parliament.

So MEPs can suggest new laws – in reality the same as UK MPs – and have equal power to make law in most areas. This is an intra-country system, not a country’s Parliament. However, I agree that the democratically elected Parliament should have more powers. The EU Commission is more open to scrutiny and transparent than the UK ministries & civil service but I still agree with many critics, and with President Macron, that the EU is too bureaucratic and expensive and needs reform. The failure of British Tory and Labour Prime Ministers and MPs to achieve this is one of the biggest failures of British political leadership over the last decades. I’ve argued this for many years – our representatives have failed to do so.

Sources (there are many more for each one)
1. Of course if you don’t trust the EU (who like any public body provide masses of factual information) you can check one of many other sources.
Banana lie shown false more than a decade ago.



4. “The ECA [European Court of Auditors] signed off on the 2014 accounts as reliable, as it has for every set of figures since 2007. But it did find that payments were materially affected by errors.” Sam Ashworth-Hayes, Last updated: 10 Nov 2015

5. Apart from the Chris Davies article I reproduce there are good pieces by other British Members of the European Parliament who use their position to explain what really happens in Brussels. Including: Labour Yorkshire & Humber Linda McAvan: and Green for the South West Molly Scott Cato:
Labour MEP Richard Corbett’s refreshingly clear more political Mythbuster can be found here:

Cover note.

The comments by nearly all the anti-EU people on this video illustrate all that was wrong with the EU referendum, what failed during the referendum and what failed since. There are exceptions – there are some more informed and well argued comments (some from ‘Creme Creme’, although he or she repeats the ‘parity of lies’ nonsense; some from ‘caesarott’ and some from Julian Morgan). Nearly every comment by ‘chrish12345’ is an absolute textbook of the worst lies, fakes, myths and anti-EU propaganda that has been rammed down the throats of people in Britain by the tabloid press, right wing and far left wing politicians / Trades Unions, and the billionaire backers of Brexit. That is what is so utterly shameful about the referendum. The majority of our political leaders – Labour, Conservative and most Liberal Democrat for many years – failed to tell the truth about the EU to people, to explain what the EU does and the BBC gave lies and myths equal coverage to actual facts. During the referendum this continued unabated and in the year since it has been an end to truth. The people who don’t like truth just don’t believe it.

The EU has overseen the longest period of peace between European nations in modern history. The European Community was specifically founded to ensure peace between France and Germany & that other countries are not caught up in a wider European war as happened for centuries. You may not like a quote from the New European newspaper but it sums it up perfectly “The politician who created the European Union did so because they had witnessed war and they had felt its devastation personally. They never wanted it to happen again.” Ian Walker obituary of Helmut Kohl, 23 June.

Really want to see what happens in reality ‘in Brussels’? Go and visit the wonderful Belgium capital which happens to host the EU headquarters and go and see the EU Parliament and Commission for yourself. In reality not in internet and tabloid myth and lies.

Spineless MPs betray the country and all Europe on Article 50.

Theresa May’s Article 50 trigger letter starts with a lie & contains lies throughout – that’s pro-Brexit all along. The Tories & vast majority of Labour MPs have shamefully been captured by the lying, dishonest fraudulent agenda of the Anti-EU extremists.
Read the third to last paragraph of May’s letter and see how damaging Brexit is. Typical Tory though that financial services merit pride of place and no mention of the environment (or actual production of things magically appearing again in the new UK). No mention of Gibraltar either. The Conservative Prime Minister seems determined to take Britain back to the 1980s at least. Investing in nuclear weapons & trading with brutal Middle Eastern dictators & wannabes is a perverse way to make Britain great out from peace loving EU. In a comment on 15 March I called the MPs who backed an earlier vote to trigger Article 50 traitors. “335 MPs voting Art. 50 power to unelected Prime Minister of minority party with no restraint. Traitors damaging peace of post War Europe”. It is treacherous to put personal position and ambition above the duty of an MP to stand for the best interests of the country. And the principle that countries have worked for fifty years to guard peace in Europe is one British Members of Parliament should have taken a stand for against the lies, populism and ignorance.
It is especially disappointing that on Merseyside only three Labour MPs (and the one Lib Dem) had the courage to vote against Article 50, despite how much our Liverpool city region has benefited from European Union investment and from European Union tourists, students and immigrants.
The Harry Potter shop at Heathrow Airport is more realistic than the Government’s Brexit plan. And Harry Potter has done far more for the British economy and World reputation than Brexit. Potter believes in truth and justice – anathema to the lying fraudulent anti-EU Brextremists. But it is fiction just like the Tory UKIP and fellow traveller lies

Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar could remain in the EU as continuing parts of the UK.

Ian Campbell debunked the official UK Government legal analysis that said an independent Scotland would have to reapply to join the EU. Now in a 2016 article he’s convincingly put a case that “the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland could continue as a member of the EU without England & Wales.”

Writing in the Scottish Solicitors’ Journal online: ‘The author argues that in light of the position it took ahead of the 2014 independence referendum, the UK Government in effect made a covenant to advance the cause of Scotland remaining within the EU’.
“just as the UK Government was willing to assert in 2013-14 that the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland could continue as a member of the EU without Scotland, so it is open to it to adopt the standpoint in forthcoming negotiations with the EU that the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland could continue as a member of the EU without England & Wales.”
‘2014 revisited: championing Scotland in the EU’, 18 July 2016, by Ian Campbell

“2014 revisited: championing Scotland in the EU” Journal Online of the Law Society of Scotland, July 2016.

This is really a tour de force. A first rate article. I recommend it generally, but specifically to friends in Gibraltar and Scotland interested in law and politics, in addition to being useful for students of constitutional law.

The only thing I think it misses is directly setting out any quote or specific reference to a UK Government / pro-Union promise on the EU. Of course it was clearly implicit in the explicit official legal analysis that said an independent Scotland would have to reapply to join the EU.

This is exactly the article that I thought was needed; including cross referencing Campbell’s earlier work. His references on the EU and Scotland debate are in the notes, including several articles for the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, and evidence to the Parliamentary enquiries.

Ian Campbell, selected publications:

Publications on Scotland, the 1707 Union and the EU
a) “From the ‘Personal Union’ between England and Scotland in 1603 to the European Communities Act 1972 and Beyond – Enduring Legal Problems from an Historical Viewpoint”, Jackson and McGoldrick (eds.) Legal Visions of the New Europe (London: Graham and Trotman, 1993) pp. 37-104.
b) “The “State”, the “Crown” and the Union of Scotland and England: Reflections on what might become the Sovereign’s “New Clothes””, Juridical Review (2014)
pp. 165-176.
c) ““The Union and the Law” revisited”, Journal Online of the Law Society of Scotland, July 2014
d) “Dissolving the Union”, Journal Online of the Law Society of Scotland, July 2014
e) “Balancing the Right to Decide” Journal Online of the Law Society of Scotland, December 2014
f) “2014 revisited: championing Scotland in the EU” Journal Online of the Law Society of Scotland, July 2016.
Ian Campbell’s relevant body of work is set out at the end, with occasional explanation from Ian and summaries pulled by me from the publications themselves and our correspondence. A shorter version of this piece, ending immediately above, is published on my LinkedIn profile:

My political comments are next.

There is no principle constitutionally to prevent parts of the United Kingdom remaining in the European Union, while England and Wales leave. The official UK Government case against a breakaway by Scotland included that an independent Scotland would have to apply again to join the EU. Only by staying in the United Kingdom could EU membership be guaranteed. Now it is argued that a majority of English and Welsh voters must drag Scotland out of the European Union. [And Northern Ireland too]. During the Scottish independence referendum I wrote “Some of the arguments of the No campaign are negative and scaremongering. Others appear only to appeal to financial arguments. And their constitutional law arguments about EU membership have been thoroughly tested if not completely discredited by my good friend former judge and constitutional law expert Ian Campbell.” On re-reading Ian’s work I concluded that the UK Government official case on Scotland and EU membership was wrong. A newly re-independent Scotland would be at least as much a successor to the UK in the European Union as the remainder England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Now similar lazy constitutional law arguments are being rolled out by Brexiteers, including a few of those educated in constitutional law who should know better. It would take ingenuity, nimble diplomacy and real audacious political thinking – in the UK and mainland Europe’s capitals, but the parts of the UK who, with Gibraltar, voted to remain could be accommodated as continuing members of the EU while the English (and, unfortunately also, Welsh) ‘nations’ left the EU.

I disagree with Scottish independence, I find no good reason for breaking up the union of all people in Great Britain, and certainly not based on invented romantic nationalism and economic rainbow theory. Nationalism and breaking up countries I am convinced by my experience in the Balkans and former Soviet Union is no good way to deal with social, political and international problems, as well as seeing the disaster in South Sudan despite the warnings from similar trajectory in many newly independent states. Twenty six years ago I took a different – almost automatically in favour – view on independence for small countries. As an ex-naive Irish nationalist, still a supporter of self-determination and cultural flourishing, I find it ironic that nationalists and populists in UK have through their hate of the EU pushed the United Kingdom nearer breaking up.

Ian Campbell’s recent body of work on constitutional law, Scotland, independence and membership of the European Union.
“The Union and the law” revisited
14 JULY 14
Referring to the article of this title by the late Professor Walker, this essay argues that the “rUK continuator” analysis of Scottish independence by Professors Crawford and Boyle is legally and historically unsound
by Ian Campbell
Dissolving the Union
22 JUL 14
Comment on “Scotland’s Constitutional Future 2” and Scotland’s status
by Ian Campbell

Campbell submitted evidence to Parliamentary committees in both Westminster and Edinburgh.
To the European and External Relations Committee, Scottish Parliament, January 2014.
Campbell disputes the opinion of Professors James Crawford SC and Alan Boyle in a paper for HM Government, 2013 Opinion: Referendum on the Independence of Scotland – International Law Aspects. [see evidence at pp. 37 – 42 – out of 150 pg document of all the evidence], submitted February 2014
‘Scottish Independence: constitutional implications of the referendum’ House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution, Inquiry into Scottish Independence: Constitutional Implications for the rest of the UK. Oral and written evidence, published April 2014.

These two sets of written evidence formed the basis for Campbell’s Juridical Review article (2014 pp 165-176) which I encouraged him to write.

The Juridical Review 2014 (3), 165-176 “The ‘State’, the ‘Crown’ and the Union of Scotland and England: Reflections on what might become the Sovereign’s ‘new clothes’”.

This is Scotland’s leading law journal – you may be able to find it in a University library.

In October 2016 Ian Campbell submitted a detailed paper – on the theme of his latest Journal article – to the relevant committee of the Scottish Parliament.
European and External Relations Committee ‘The EU referendum and its implications for Scotland’, 8 pg.

Previously, his third article for the Scottish Solicitors on-line journal was concerned with the power to hold referenda:
‘Balancing the right to decide’ 15 December 2014
The case that equality within the Union requires Scotland to have a permanent power to hold a legally binding independence referendum
by Ian Campbell

which formed the basis for the following written evidence (5 pg):

Scotland Bill
Ian Campbell, Honorary Visiting Professor, School Of Law,
University Of Liverpool
Re: Paragraph 18 of the Smith Commission Report
This paper focuses on Paragraph 18 of the Smith Commission Report which is
contained in the Introduction to Chapter 2 of that Report under the heading “Heads
of Agreement: Introduction”. Paragraph 18 reads: “It is agreed that nothing in this
report prevents Scotland becoming an independent country in the future should the
people of Scotland so choose.”

Did Theresa May campaign to remain in the EU?

Or did our unelected Conservative Prime Minister of the UK let down those who believe in a modern, inclusive, tolerant society?

I complained to the BBC that they were completely misleading in describing Theresa May as a remain campaigner. The new unelected Prime Minister of the UK stood on the sidelines and let her Conservative Party civil war largely destabilise the whole of Europe and let propaganda win a vote for Britain to turn its back on pluralism and an open society.

I commented on social media “Tim Farron is entirely right on this.” (Facebook) and “I’ve complained to the BBC over them describing Theresa May as a Remain campaigner. Highly misleading. She did not campaign.”

Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron also slated Theresa May in the Guardian for her lack of campaigning to remain in the EU. “Tim Farron: Theresa May did nothing to prevent Brexit.” politics/2016/jul/26/tim-farron-theresa-may-did-nothing-to-prevent-brexit

I attach my original and renewed complaint to the BBC for its inaccuracy in describing Theresa May as a Remain ‘campaigner’ and there response. Their response to my renewed complaint I agree justifies them in rejecting my complaint. They give several specific examples of Theresa May making statements in support of remaining in the EU. So, not much, little campaigning, but some.

“Notwithstanding the debate about the tone and vigour of her campaigning, we hope the examples above demonstrate why we have no issues in referring to how she “campaigned to remain in the European Union”. ”.

The standard wording attached to the BBC’s reply about complaints says “We realise you will be disappointed to hear this but hope this explains why we are not able to take your complaint further.”

Actually I am not disappointed because in this second response the BBC News website team have given me the evidence to show that they are right and I was, in fact if not political substance, wrong. Before that, my Conservative friend Mark Cotterell had commented “You must have missed TM’s 5 photo ops with Remain placards & her white rosette on Ref Day. But I agree the BBC didn’t cover all but one of those – so maybe that should be your complaint.” (1 August) and I acknowledged “You are right that I have missed those Mark. It’s still not much, but if the BBC had given me that answer then I would begrudgingly have accepted it and wrapped my complaint up.” So our new Prime Minister – as unelected as a Brussels bureaucrat – let down a generation by a lack of leadership or conviction, but it did get her the leadership of the Conservative Party and the Prime Ministership of a very disunited Kingdom.

Theresa May BBC news website complaint