UKIP launch controversial campaign amid funding furore

Parliament is on holiday, so the media’s keen to seize on any hint of a story. This emerged yesterday: UKIP has unveiled posters for the European Parliamentary elections. Nigel Farage kicks off the campaign proper with a speech in Sheffield at 13:00. The posters’ content is stirring up a storm, as was intended. Continue reading…

Can Ukraine learn from Ulster’s compromises?

I spent last weekend in Newry, a Northern Irish city an hour up the coast from Dublin. I arrived outside the courthouse, whereupon a local cheerfully informed me, “Dissident Republicans still try to blow it up every year or so – it’s a bit of a tradition.” Continue reading…

EU paralysis & Ukrainian chaos

Yesterday pro-Russians occupied the Donetsk regional assembly, declared a People’s Republic, announced a referendum on joining Russia then appealed for Russia to invade as a ‘peace keeping force’. Oleksander Turchinov, interim Ukrainian president, says this deliberate ‘second wave’ recreating the ‘Crimean scenario’ to ‘dismember’ Ukraine, was coordinated by Russian special forces. Continue reading…

European trade or EU-dependent trade: a crucial distinction

The pro-EU pressure group British Influence has published research updating key economic indicators of the EU’s importance. They admit that the figures used until now – 3 million jobs and £3,300 per household – are outdated. Their new numbers, commissioned from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), suggest that 4.175 million jobs (13.3% of national workforce) were ‘associated with exports to the EU’ in 2011. ‘Total income associated with demand from EU exports was £211 billion or £3,500 per head…in 2011,’ CEBR writes. Continue reading…

Clegg vs Farage: some points of interest

Last night saw the first of two ‘In vs Out’ EU debates between the leaders of the Liberal Democrats and the United Kingdom Independence Party. SO this blog isn’t an exercise in patting myself on the back, I’ll just say now; seven (and a half) of my predictions were right. Clegg said what Clegg would say, and Farage responded predictably – indeed, he used Civitas research when arguing about cars. Continue reading…

EU-US trade deal threatens NHS and corrodes sovereignty

Barack Obama is meeting European leaders at The Hague to discuss Ukraine, but the ‘Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’ (TTIP) won’t be far from his mind. TTIP is intended to be the jewel in Obama’s legacy crown, a free-trade and regulation-harmony deal that for the world’s two largest markets in concert. David Cameron is also championing TTIP, arguing ambitious deals like it should be pursued aggressively as part of his EU renegotiation. Kenneth Clarke, the government’s main TTIP cheerleader, thinks the £180 billion deal ‘will create the largest single market ever known’. Continue reading…

Crimea voted ‘Out’. Yatsenyuk should offer East Ukraine the same choice

Both Ukraine’s territorial integrity and Russia’s respect for the 1994 Budapest memorandum are dead in the water. The EU and Obama are powerless to stop further land grabs. Avoiding bloodshed and establishing stability is imperative. Continue reading…

The only ‘Party of In’: what arguments will Clegg pick?

The Daily Mail, Guardian and Times all speculate that Nick Clegg’s Lib Dem leadership is teetering this morning. His riposte is surprising – to double down on his love for the EU at his party’s spring conference. He is to debate twice with UKIP leader Nigel Farage, on LBC radio on 26th March, and on BBC2 on 2nd April, each for an hour. Continue reading…

Farage’s greatest gamble – win or resign

UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage has a spring (conference promise) in his step – UKIP will win this May’s EU parliamentary elections, and at least one seat in the general election. If they fail to place an MP, Farage will quit. Continue reading…