Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Brexitwatch: Write to your MP

If you are not prepared to stand by and watch Britain dragged out of the EU on the basis of a Brexit campaign founded on a pack of lies which won the support of less than 38 per cent of the electorate, you need to write to your MP. This is what I have sent to mine.

'As a representative, and not a delegate, clearly your responsibility now is to exercise your judgement as to the best way of avoiding further serious harm to us, your constituents, and to the country as a whole. In the absence of any plan of any sort from the Leave campaign, this can only be achieved by a clear statement from Parliament that it rejects the result of a fatally flawed referendum, and affirms that the UK will remain in the EU.
We are already suffering serious economic damage from the referendum result - job losses, cancelled investment, value of people's savings and pensions slashed by the falling pound, and miscellaneous other effects, e.g. the loss of £7bn+ from the taxpayers' holding in RBS, not to mention racist violence against minorities in our country:-
This cannot be allowed to continue. Parliament must act.
The EU referendum result lacks legitimacy for the following reasons:-
1. The Leave campaign deceived people into voting for it by lying. It broke at least four promises in the first 24 hours after the result 
And large numbers of pro-Leave voters now wish they had voted Remain.
2. Even Nigel Farage has admitted that a 52-48 margin of victory would not be sufficiently decisive and would require a second referendum
If we had been voting to have a one day strike instead of to leave Europe, the proposition would have been rejected as having insufficient support:
'The government has long emphasised that, it does not consider a majority vote valid if it is less than 40% of the eligible electorate, when it is union members voting for a temporary public sector strike. Given that an EU exit is far more important and permanent, how will MPs justify treating the 37.4% of the vote to leave as sufficient, especially when the majority is so small and significantly composed of old people who won’t be affected by the outcome?'
Professor John Veit-Wilson
Newcastle upon Tyne
The Brexiters plainly have no plan, but I am sure that you do. I look forward to hearing what it is.'

Brexitwatch: Little England 1 Iceland 2. What now for Boris Johnson?

He told them Little England were world beaters, and that it was easy to keep out foreigners, but the fans were stunned as tiny Iceland, with a population smaller than Nether Wallop, slammed in two goals and dumped Boris Johnson’s team out of Europe without even the consolation of a trade deal.

The fans had adored his flagship argument that they could have their cake and eat it, and responded by beating up foreigners and chanting his slogan: ‘F*** off Europe, we’re all voting out.’

But after the match, those same supporters were bitter and angry. ‘He promised the rest of Europe would do whatever we told them,’ said one, ‘but instead they kept scoring goals against us. It wasn’t fair.’

Another complained: ‘He’s just a conman. After I’d eaten my cake this morning, it wasn’t there anymore.’ His friend commented: ‘Johnson’s team didn’t seem to know what they were doing. There was no plan.’

An ashen-faced Johnson, the highest paid manager in the tournament, said he did not remember making any of his promises. 

Boris has survived many scrapes and scandals, thanks to the slavish support of his friends in the press, but with the supporters who once idolised him now in open revolt and his assistant, Michael 'we've had enough of experts' Gove, plotting against him, it is hard to see Johnson surviving to lead Little England for much longer. 

Monday, 27 June 2016

Brexitwatch: Letter to David Cameron

I sent this letter to David Cameron via the No 10 Downing Street website - https://email.number10.gov.uk/

The site allows you 1,000 characters. If we want to keep Europe in the EU, it is important that as many people as possible write to him. Feel free to adapt/improve/be inspired by/ignore what is written below, but do write:

Mr Cameron, you have so far always put the interests of the Conservative Party before those of your country. If you do not want to be remembered as the worst Prime Minister this country has ever had, that needs to change now. In order to stop the dreadful damage that is already happening to our economy, you need to put a motion before Parliament, saying that the UK will be remaining a member of the EU. MPs are representatives, not delegates. They are not bound by a referendum result that was won by systematic lying from the Leave campaign. If we had been seeking approval to hold a one-day strike, the government would have refused on the grounds that the approval of less than 40% of the electorate was insufficient. And yet you consider it is enough to take us out of the EU, and inflict all manner of unnecessary horrors on us! Even Nigel Farage has admitted that a 52-48 margin is too narrow to be considered decisive. At the v least, we deserve a 2nd referendum - this time a fair one.

Brexitwatch: today's broken promise

Broken promise No. 5 by my reckoning, though I may have missed some.

Throughout referendum campaign, Brexit leadership: 'Of course we will hold informal talks with our European partners for a couple of years before giving formal notice to quit under Article 50.'

Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande today: 'Oh no, you won't!'

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Brexitwatch: Lies and Broken Promises so far

The Leave Campaign in the UK's EU referendum was the most mendacious, deceitful, inflammatory and irresponsible I have ever seen, so it was clear the wheels would come off if they won. But even I am surprised how quickly it has happened. 

Broken promises so far:-

1. The economy will not be damaged. In fact, the pound crashed to its lowest level for more than 30 years, and job losses are already being announced.

2. David Cameron will stay on as Prime Minister. In fact, within a couple of hours of the result being announced, he had resigned.

3. The NHS will get an extra £350m a week if we leave the EU. Now the Brexit leadership says it will not. Their flagship promise was a ‘mistake’.

4. Leaving the EU will cut immigration. Now Brexit Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan admits this is not going to happen. They want to keep freedom of movement with Europe. In fact, as I have pointed out before, the anti-Europeans have no target for immigration, and it may well go up if we leave the EU.

It has been clear throughout the campaign that the Brexit leadership do not have a clue what to do if Britain leaves Europe, and a lot of Leave voters are already expressing their regret at the way they voted. In order to save Britain further damage, it is essential that the foolish threat to leave the EU is immediately withdrawn.

More than 3 million voters have already signed a petition demanding a second referendum https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215

And write to your MP demanding they keep Britain in the EU.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Brexitwatch: the blog that foresaw the future.

So I was proved right, though I would have preferred to be proved wrong. 

This is what I posted on 10 June 2015


David Cameron and Europe - at last the truth

Like me you probably thought you were seeing things a couple of days ago when David Cameron suddenly seemed to develop a backbone as he declared that anti-European ministers would have to, er . . . follow government policy or resign. Indeed we were seeing things, and normal service was resumed within a couple of hours as Dave caved in to the anti-European fanatics.

I did warn that if the Tories won the General Election in 2015, Britain would leave Europe. It is not what Cameron wants. He and George Osborne understand it would be a disaster, even if the rest of their party do not, but having the courage to say so is, of course, quite another matter.

It’s clear that Cameron’s plan is to follow Harold Wilson’s recipe from 1975. Lace your speeches with plenty of anti-European rhetoric and agree to a referendum to placate the extremists in your party. Carry on a ‘renegotiation’ with your European partners. Gain a couple of cosmetic changes that you sell as major concessions. Win the referendum to stay in Europe by a comfortable majority.

I covered the 1975 referendum, and here is why Cameron will fail:-

1. Harold Wilson was one of the sharpest political operators Britain has ever seen. Cameron is simply not in his class.

2. The newspapers in Wilson’s time covered Europe reasonably fairly. Now the papers with the biggest circulations spew out an unremitting stream of anti-European bile.

Brexit looms. Will the last businessman to leave the country please turn out the lights.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Brexitwatch: Project Leap in the Dark - 6

This is my final comment of the campaign. I'm off to Madrid to enjoy Freedom of Movement while I can. 

A day may come when it is in Britain's interests to leave the EU, and when a Leave campaign emerges that has a genuine vision of what we do instead. That day has not arrived. The present Leave campaign have no coherent vision. 

Brexit = Project Leap in the Dark. If you don't want to gamble your job, business, savings, pension, NHS, public services, vote Remain.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Brexitwatch: Project Leap in the Dark - 5. Northern Ireland own goal?

One of the most puzzling things about the Referendum campaign has been the support for Brexit from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.

Northern Ireland does extraordinarily well out of the EU with billions from grants under regional aid, payments to farmers, and special peace grants. Its farmers get 87 per cent of their incomes from the EU. The UK already subsidises the Province to the tune of £11bn a year. How much more would it be prepared to stump up to replace the lost EU funds, especially if it is hit by the expected post-Brexit recession?

And then there is the border. The Breixters have blithely said it will remain completely open as it is today, but if the DUP gets its wish and the UK leaves Europe, it will become the border between the UK and the EU, and the EU may take a different view. Will they require checkpoints at every crossing when some individual roads cross the border five times or more?

And finally there is the union – presumably the most important thing for the DUP. A Leave vote could well lead to Scotland quitting the UK. How secure would Northern Ireland’s place be in a truncated union in which Little England sentiment appears to be getting ever more strident?

As usual, the Leave camp seem to have plenty of slogans but no policies.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Brexitwatch: What Boris Johnson really thinks about the EU - 3

A few months ago Boris Johnson did an interview with Der Spiegel. He was asked what would happen if we voted to leave the EU and he replied: 'The Foreign Office, the German Foreign Ministry and everybody else would get together and invent a series of bilateral deals and virtually reconstruct the relationship.'

'There would be several disadvantages. First, we wouldn't be able to stick up for what we believe in. Secondly, we would face some penalties. And then there is the Scottish factor. If we get out, what happens in Scotland?'

So let me get this right, Boris? If we leave Europe, we spend huge amounts of time, money, and effort getting back to something not as good as what we have at the moment, during which time, we lose Scotland and our economy goes down the pan.

Why don't we just Vote Remain?

Monday, 20 June 2016

Brexitwatch: how the Leave campaign poisoned the political atmosphere

Nigel Farage is complaining the Leave campaign is being victimised over the murder of Jo Cox.

We do not know who killed Jo Cox or why. Quite properly, that can be decided only by a court of law.

We do know that the Brexit leadership has run a deceitful, inflammatory campaign that has unleashed forces that make violence more likely.

When you tell people: 'we want our country back', that can only mean their country has been stolen or taken from them by someone. (The man accused of Jo Cox's murder said: 'Freedom for Britain' when asked his name.)

When, like Michael Gove, you dismiss any informed voices who disagree with you with the words: 'people in this country have had enough of experts', when you denigrate the same people as 'elites', you paint a picture of a Britain where ordinary folk are being betrayed by a corrupt cabal holding power. (This 'elite', of course, does not include Gove, Boris Johnson, Grayling, Priti Patel, who are all themselves cabinet ministers.)

And when you studiously avoid offering any coherent policies on what you will do if Britain actually leaves the EU, but simply demonise immigration from Europe as the cause of anything anyone dislikes, you unleash what Polly Toynbee described (before Jo Cox's murder) as 'furies' which you cannot control.

Today Stephen Kinnock put it like this: 'There are those who say we must “take our country back”, who castigate those on one side of an argument as an “elite”, in the pay of an establishment, in it for themselves and detached from the real world. Those people have to realise that their aggressive words and dangerous rhetoric have consequences. If you try to light a fuse, you can’t be surprised when it catches.'

Brexitwatch: what Boris Johnson really thinks about the EU - 2

During the UK’s referendum campaign, the Remain camp have argued very strongly that one of the EU’s greatest achievements has been to make war between its member countries unthinkable. If you look at Europe’s history, the normal state of the continent since the dawn of recorded history is not peace, but war.

I am very grateful for the EU’s peace-keeping achievement. My father and grandfather both had to go to war in Europe. My son and I have not had to.

The Leave campaign have tried to dismiss this achievement, with Boris Johnson comparing the EU to Hitler. But in the past, Johnson admitted that to save us fighting any more wars in Europe, we need to be ‘intimately engaged in the doings of a continent that has a grim 20th-century history, and whose agonies have caused millions of Britons to lose their lives.’

How disgraceful to change sides and risk the peace of Europe just because he thinks it will help him become Prime Minister.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Brexitwatch; how they demonise immigrants, 'experts', Cameron, while their fantasies wreck our economy

Even the Mail is waking up to the dangers from the anti-Europeans. From today's paper:

‘The time has come to talk about Project Hate. Three weeks ago we all woke to the following quote from a pro-Brexit MP: 'I don't want to stab the Prime Minister in the back – I want to stab him in the front so I can see the expression on his face.'
One week later Nigel Farage said that British women risked being raped if we didn't vote for Brexit. At the same time posters began to circulate from the Vote Leave campaign – replete with shadowy footsteps – warning of 55 million migrants entering the UK from Turkey. Last week, as immigration began to slip down the agenda, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove again demanded Cameron 'veto' Turkish accession.
A day after the Orlando terrorist attack, a poster was published by Leave.EU urging people to 'act now' before a similar attack occurred here in the UK.
This followed a warning from Gove that if Turkey were granted access, 'extremists everywhere will believe that the West is opening its borders to appease an Islamist government'. They know what they are doing. Farage. Gove. Johnson. They have always known. That they were opening a Pandora's Box. But it glistened before them so brightly.

And now we know too. The signs are everywhere. The plunging pound. The increasing panic on the stock market, not to mention the ever more strident attacks on the governor of the Bank of England, and any of the other despised 'experts' who dare to suggest Brexit represents a leap into the darkness.
In some ways, this is the most insidious element of all. The bonfire of reason that now underpins the Leave campaign. Facts, logic, experience – the foundations upon which any rational debate must rest – are systematically dynamited in pursuit of an intellectual abstraction known as 'sovereignty'.
Project Hate has brought us to the brink. Britain – the country we live in this morning – stands on the edge. This time next week it could all be gone. Our economic security. Our national security. Our international security. Imagine if it works. The overt racism. The overt demonisation of refugees. The graphic threats to stab the Prime Minister in the chest. Imagine if that is what constitutes a successful British political campaign in 2016.’

Brexitwatch: Leave campaign gets more and more like Right wing extremists

From today's Financial Times:

'the rhetoric of the far-right has been hard to distinguish from that of the mainstream Leave groups. Last week, the BNP emailed supporters warning that 80m Turks were set to “pour into Europe”. The official Leave campaign made an almost identical point in a leaflet it sent to voters'

Brexitwatch: what Boris Johnson really thinks about the EU

A few days before his desertion to the Brexit camp, Boris Johnson said it would be madness to leave the EU because it would mean 'embroiling the Government for several years in a fiddly process of negotiating new arrangements, so diverting energy from the real problems of this country – low skills, low social mobility, low investment etc – that have nothing to do with Europe.'

Then, of course, he discovered backing Brexit might help him become Prime Minister.

Brexitwatch: Project Leap in the Dark - 4

People keep saying they want facts in the referendum campaign. This analysis by Nick Carter-Lando is the best I have read on the reality of immigration. If you want to cast your vote on the basis of reality rather than myth, please read it:-
Immigration has been in the news a lot lately, especially with the EU referendum coming up.
So let's use the tools and data of political science to understand the topic better.
Last year, 270,000 EU citizens immigrated to the UK, and 85,000 returned to the EU. So EU net migration was around 185,000 (1). Additionally, a similar number came from outside the EU, so 330,000 in total.
That was the highest ever level of EU migration – going all the way back to when we joined the EEC in 1975. Indeed during the 1980s the trend was the other way – British workers moved overseas, particularly to Germany, as their economy was doing better than ours at that time. You might remember the TV show ‘Auf Wiedersehen Pet’. Currently our economy is doing better than many European ones so more people are coming than going. But there's no reason to think that will always be the case.
The Leave campaign claim that EU migration is putting unsustainable pressure on our public services, worsening the housing crisis, putting pressure on the NHS, on schools and on our roads. Their latest TV broadcast for instance shows a sick older lady receiving NHS treatment much faster in an imaginary hospital if we leave the EU. Are they right?
Imagine that we left the EU and banned EU immigration completely. Nobody else allowed – no footballers, no entertainers, no chefs, no businessmen, no nurses, no cleaners, nobody. And we kept that door shut for ten years. And for comparison let’s say that we stayed in the EU and immigration continues at this year’s record level (the highest ever) for the next ten years. How would that impact our population and our public services?
In terms of population, we’d end up with 1.85m fewer people living in our country after the 10 years. That sounds like a lot of people, which it is. But we’re a big country – 64.6m in total at the moment (2). So even under these very extreme assumptions the difference is only 2.8%. Less than 1 in 35.
Would you notice the difference if there were 34 instead of 35 people in your doctors’ waiting room? If there were 34 instead of 35 cars ahead of you in the traffic jam? Would your child’s education suffer in a class of 35 instead of 34? I doubt it.
And don’t forget that we’re making crazily unrealistic assumptions about how much we could reduce immigration if we left the EU. Because even the most ardent Leave campaigners don’t say that we should stop immigration altogether. They usually talk of using a points system to reach the government’s net target of 100,000 per year. So the difference in population after 10 years wouldn’t be anything like as much as 1 in 35.
Let’s say we could hit the net target of 100,000 – half from the EU and half from non-EU countries for the sake of argument. In that case, the difference in population after 10 years would be 1.35m or 1 in 49.
And don’t forget that we’re also making another very aggressive assumption – that migration will continue at the same level as last year, our highest ever. It would be more realistic to take the average of the last five years migration (3). If we do that, then the difference in our population after ten years would be only 790,000 or 1 in 82.
1 in 82.
I can’t tell the difference between a crowd of 81 and 82 people (even when they were my own wedding guests!). Can you?
So here’s the thing: however you feel about EU immigration, even under extreme assumptions the impact on our overall population just isn’t very large.
Now at this point some of you might be thinking – “This can't be right - step outside and look with your own eyes! Britain is full of foreigners! The place I grew up is like another country! How can you claim that EU immigration is not significant?”.
I live in inner London so I can sense where you might be coming from. A few things to bear in mind:
1) The overwhelming majority of immigration to the UK over the last 40 years has been from outside the EU (3). However you feel about that, it has nothing to do with our EU membership;
2) Whether you like it or not, Britain has been a multicultural country for several generations at least. You can’t tell whether somebody is an immigrant just by looking at them (sorry if this is an obvious point). You might hazard a guess at their ethnicity or race but that’s a very different thing;
3) Historically, immigrants have clustered in particular areas of the country, so your neighbourhood may not be representative of the country at large;
4) British people from all backgrounds have become much more cosmopolitan in their tastes over the last 40 years. We drink in pubs much less, but enjoy wine at home or go to restaurants and cafes a lot more. Instead of just eating British food, we enjoy flavours from all over the world. So the retail and commercial landscape of our country has changed - to reflect our changing tastes, not just because of new arrivals.
“But wait! What when Turkey, Montenegro and Albania join the EU? We’ll be swamped!”
No we won’t.
Mainly because Turkey and Albania are nowhere near being eligible to join the EU, and Montenegro is tiny. Also don't forget there are 27 other countries in the EU to choose from if residents of those countries did fancy a change of scene.
And even if in the distant future many other countries did join and we did find ourselves swamped, Britain could leave. We’re free to leave the EU whenever we want. But if we leave and then want to rejoin, we’d need the consent of all 27 other member states. Better to stay and keep our options open than leave in fear of something that is very unlikely to happen.
And so far we’ve also not factored in the contribution that immigrants make to our country, and specifically our public finances. EU migrants contribute more in taxes than they use in public services, as they are much more likely to be of working age than the general population (4). So if we used that extra tax revenue to hire more doctors, build more schools, invest in transport and so on, we’d actually have better public services than we would without any EU immigration.
It takes time to hire and train teachers and doctors, build schools and roads, and so forth. So it’s true that a sudden influx of people into an area can put short-term pressure on services. But the fundamental reason for the issues we identified at the start – NHS pressure, oversubscribed schools, congested roads, the housing crisis – is not EU immigration.
We are now six years into a government austerity programme to attempt to balance the books. So it’s not surprising that our public services are feeling the pinch.
An ageing population and new advances in medicine put particular strain on the NHS.
For the last thirty years, we have failed by a wide margin to build enough houses in the UK. Interest rates have been at an ‘emergency’ rate of 0.5% for the last seven years. That is why house prices are so high.
And this story of decades of underinvestment is repeated for our roads and railways too.
All of these issues are home-grown. And all of those policy areas are entirely within the control of our government in Westminster. They have nothing to do with the EU and are not the fault of EU migrants.
Finally, there’s been plenty of academic research into this issue, including a summary paper just published by the London School of Economics (5).
The research shows, contrary to many tabloid headlines, that
1) Immigrants do not take a disproportionate share of jobs created by our economy;
2) There is no evidence of an overall negative impact of immigration on wages;
3) There is no evidence that EU migrants affect the labour market performance of native-born workers (i.e. make it harder for native-born workers to get promoted, get a pay rise, etc)
So it is clear from examining the evidence that fears of immigration have been blown out of all proportion by the Eurosceptic press and the Leave campaign.
But what about all that money we send the EU? Couldn't we use that to improve public services?
Yes, but it wouldn't go very far, and it would be outweighed by the economic damage from leaving.
Our net contribution to the EU was £8.5bn last year (6) which works out at 36 pence per person per day. That is a drop in the ocean compared to our annual NHS budget of £116.4bn (7).
And if you’re trying to work out the impact of leaving the EU on our public services, you can’t just look at our net contribution. You also need to consider the effect that leaving would have on the size of our economy, and hence the tax revenue the government can generate.
Seven highly respected independent economic organisations have tried to work this out (8). And all seven of them have reached the same conclusion: that the economic damage caused by Brexit would more than offset the saving from our EU contribution.
The best estimate suggests that the government would have between £20bn and £40bn less to spend on public services than if we remained in the EU (9). So our public services wouldn't be better if we left the EU - they would be much worse.
So if we left the EU to ‘take control of immigration’, and then reduced it as discussed above, we’d still have all the same problems we have today – the housing crisis, an overstretched NHS, oversubscribed schools, heavy traffic, etc.
But we’d also have two even more serious problems to add to the list: a recession and the unknown consequences of destabilising the very institution which has secured peace in Europe for the last 70 years.
People are sceptical of economists’ forecasts. But you don’t even need to estimate many of the economic problems that will arise from Brexit – you can see them already in the currency markets.
The pound suffered its biggest one day fall in seven years when Boris and other MPs joined the leave campaign (10). You can watch the impact of movements in the referendum opinion polls in the EUR/GBP exchange rate. A major bank recently warned that Brexit could wipe 20% off the value of the pound through devaluation (11).
Devaluation sounds like a dry and abstract concept. So let me explain what that means:
20% of your life savings wiped out overnight.
The numbers in your bank account will be the same, but what you can buy with it will be 20% less, since most things we buy these days come from overseas.
Only the other day the Financial Times reported that hedge funds are planning to run their own private exit polls on referendum day to speculate on the currency markets ahead of the official result (12). 
Just as during the ERM crisis of 1992, the vultures are circling, waiting to feast on our self-inflicted wounds.
And here’s another very clear threat: to our jobs. Only last Friday, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, warned his staff in Bournemouth that one, two or even four thousand of them would be made redundant if we leave the EU (13). Imagine how his staff are feeling today. And as a manager, let me tell you: that’s not the kind of thing you tell your employees unless you’re deadly serious.
Even leading Leave campaigner Michael Gove admitted just a few days ago that jobs are at risk if we leave the EU (14). Multimillionaire UKIP donor Arron Banks described this economic damage as ‘a price worth paying’ (15).
Arron Banks, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage might be rich enough to gamble their jobs on Brexit - but are you?
It is quite possible that some of your friends and family will lose their jobs as a direct result of Britain leaving the EU. Do you want to be responsible for that?
We took an evidence-based look at the immigration and EU issue above. But the Leave campaign and Eurosceptic press (Express, Sun and Mail in particular) choose to paint a very different picture. A picture which blows these statistics out of all proportion. 'Strangers in Our Own Country' 'Our borders are out of control!'. You know the stuff I mean. Pictures which invite us to eye our friends and neighbours with suspicion and even hostility. Editorial which pins the blame for every problem from housing to wages to traffic to NHS waiting times on immigrants.
And it's not even because they don't know any better. The leaders of the Leave campaign and the political editors of those newspapers are clever, well-educated people. They know the facts I set out above just as well as I do.
Yet instead of presenting a balanced view, they choose to deliberately whip up fear and suspicion of immigrants for their own political purposes.
Shame on them.
Why? Because appealing to people's basest prejudices sells newspapers and gathers votes. Just ask Donald Trump.
And what greater contrast could there be between the divisive rhetoric of the leave campaign and the noble vision of the EU's founding fathers.
Men who, amid the ashes of World War Two, set their national differences aside and dared - not just to dream but to build - a better Europe for us all.
A Europe in which war was “not only unthinkable … but materially impossible” (16).
Here’s Winston Churchill addressing the Congress of Europe in 1948:
“A high and a solemn responsibility rests upon us here ... If we allow ourselves to be rent and disordered by pettiness and small disputes, if we fail in clarity of view or courage in action, a priceless occasion may be cast away for ever. But if we all pull together and pool the luck and the comradeship - and we shall need all the comradeship and not a little luck … then all the little children who are now growing up in this tormented world may find themselves not the victors nor the vanquished in the fleeting triumphs of one country over another in the bloody turmoil of … war, but the heirs of all the treasures of the past and the masters of all the science, the abundance and the glories of the future.”
And - against all the odds - we did it.
We pooled the luck and the comradeship and achieved Churchill’s vision.
Those “little children” are now retired – the first generation in a thousand years to grow up without the horror of war in Europe.
Instead of building weapons, our scientists work together to solve the greatest problems of our age.
We enjoy a standard of living unimaginable to people in 1948.
All the cities, art, history, people, food and culture of this wonderful continent are open to us whenever we want to visit, to live or to work.
Hundreds of millions of European people who until only a few decades ago were ruled by dictators or communists now enjoy democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the abundance of the free market.
I think that’s worth 36 pence a day.
And yet here we stand, about to turn our backs on this great project, thanks to cynical newspaper owners and barefaced lies from the Leave campaign.
Forget what the Sun says.
Forget what’s good for Boris’ and Farage’s careers.
Listen to every current and former British Prime Minister (17). Every other major UK political party leader (18). To Barack Obama, to Hillary Clinton, to Angela Merkel and a host of other world leaders (19). To Stephen Hawking and 83% of scientists (20). To 40 religious leaders (21). To 300 leading historians (22). To the Trades Union Congress and our six largest trades unions (23). To 88% of economists (24). To the National Farmers Union (25). To the Chief Executive of NHS England (26), to the Royal College of Midwives (27) To British businesses of all sizes (28).
For there is an overwhelming consensus among experts of all kinds that Britain is stronger in Europe.
And what does the Leave campaign say to this?
“I think people in this country have had enough of experts” (Michael Gove, Friday 3rd June)
What an extraordinary response.
If you were sick, you’d want to see a doctor. If you had a plane to fly, you’d want a pilot. So when we have the most important political, economic and foreign policy decision of our lifetime to make I think we should listen to the people who are in the best position to evaluate what to do. And they’re all telling us the same thing – we’re much better off in Europe.
It might not be what Michael Gove wants to hear. But it sounds like the right answer to me.
So when you’re in the polling station on Thursday 23rd - with that stubby little pencil in your hand –Vote Remain.
Not in fear, but with pride – about what we, the people of Europe, have achieved together.
Not in ignorance, but with science firmly on our side.
And not alone, but with the greatest statesmen of the past three generations urging us on.
And then in years to come, when your children ask you how you voted in the referendum of 2016, you can look them in the eye and tell them you were on the right side of history.

Thank you for reading
(1) https://fullfact.org/immigration/eu-migration-and-uk/ 
(2) https://www.ons.gov.uk/…/populationandm…/populationestimates 
(3) http://www.migrationwatchuk.org/statistics-net-migration-…/… 
(4) http://www.economist.com/…/21631076-rather-lot-according-ne…
(5) http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/ea019.pdf 
(6) https://fullfact.org/euro…/our-eu-membership-fee-55-million/ 
(7) http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngla…/thenhs/about/Pages/overview.aspx 
(8) http://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/comms/r116.pdf 
(9) http://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/comms/r116.pdf 
(10) https://next.ft.com/co…/7fa04d70-d911-11e5-a72f-1e7744c66818 
(11) https://www.theguardian.com/…/brexit-could-wipe-20-percent-… 
(12) https://next.ft.com/co…/7e26d896-241c-11e6-9d4d-c11776a5124d 
(13) BBC Radio 4, 3rd June 2016; see also http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36450460 
(14) http://www.thetimes.co.uk/…/i-can-t-guarantee-everyone-will…
(15) https://www.politicshome.com/…/arron-banks-%C2%A34300-loss-… 
(16) http://www.robert-schuman.eu/en/declaration-of-9-may-1950 
(17) David Cameron http://www.theguardian.com/…/david-cameron-launches-tory-ca…; Gordon Brown http://www.theguardian.com/…/inspiring-view-britishness-def…; Tony Blair http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36408239; John Majorhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/John-Major-Voting-to-leave-wil… 
(18) Jeremy Corbyn (Labour) http://labourlist.org/…/europe-needs-to-change-but-i-am-vo…/ Tim Farron (Lib Dem) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Britain-impoverished-backwater… Caroline Lucas (Green) http://europe.newsweek.com/caroline-lucas-brexit-european-r… Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) http://www.thesun.co.uk/…/Nicola-Sturgeon-vows-to-back-argu… 
(19) Barack Obama http://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/as-your-friend-let-me-tell-you… ; Hillary Clinton http://www.theguardian.com/…/hillary-clinton-britain-should… Angela Merkel http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36436726; Shinzo Abehttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/japanese-prime-minister-shinz…/ 
(20) https://www.theguardian.com/…/stephen-hawking-donald-trump-… ;http://www.nature.com/…/scientists-say-no-to-uk-exit-from-e… 
(21) http://www.theguardian.com/…/religious-leaders-oppose-brexit
(22) http://www.theguardian.com/…/vote-to-leave-eu-will-condemn-… 
(23) http://uk.reuters.com/ar…/uk-britain-eu-unions-idUKKCN0V517D 
(24) http://www.itv.com/…/almost-nine-in-10-economists-believe-…/ 
(25) http://www.theguardian.com/…/british-farmers-uk-eu-nfu-brex… 
(26) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36353145 
(27) https://www.rcm.org.uk/…/royal-college-of-midwives-supports… 
(28) http://www.independent.co.uk/…/brexit-eu-referendum-what-wi…