In association with Bro Don Pearce (Rugby UK) Keep up to date with Bro Don’s Snippets – Email Don at Snippets@MilestonesUK.org Just put in the subject line ‘Snippets Request’ state if you would prefer word doc or pdf format. ( If not stated, both will be sent as samples so you can decide) It’s that easy!
Here is the latest Snippets…
A momentous day in our lives. Britain has broken away and is free to go her separate way. There is much that has to be sorted, the markets and EU are in turmoil. We wait to see the how the situation pans out. It will be a important period as Germany seeks to bind the inner core together and work with Russia. Britain will seek to strengthen her ties with NATO and Commonwealth, whilst Europe tries to reduce Nato’s influence in Europe.
Dear Brethren and Sisters,
Greetings in the hope of Israel.
I would like to bring your attention to a new booklet by bro Matt Davies on “The Destiny of Britain Foretold in The Bible” together with some notes on Britain/Tarshish in prophecy.
The booklet is intended for brethren and sisters and anyone interested in these things.
The booklet can be viewed as a pdf (free) at www.dropbox.com/s/lo4zfv2kl2m5s13/Destiny_of_Britain_MDavies.pdf?dl=0 or purchased from Amazon for £2.71 at www.amazon.co.uk/Future-Britain-Foretold-Bible/dp/1532850689/
NB If when you click the dropbox link, above, you are invited to install dropbox, please realise you don’t need to. Just cancel the installation and the booklet should be opened as a pdf file.
Rivals in Britain’s vote on EU membership locked horns on Tuesday night (21 June) in a final push to win over voters in the neck-and-neck race.
Leading politicians from the Leave and Remain camps exchanged harsh words in a TV debate at the Wembley Arena in London, clashing over immigration, the economy and the UK’s role in the wider world.
Khan accused Leave side of creating “project hate” (Photo: DIUS Corporate)
Remain supporter and London mayor Sadiq Khan accused the Leave side of “scaring people” by saying Muslim-majority Turkey could join the EU any time soon.
“That’s scaremongering, Boris, and you should be ashamed… ,” Khan, from the opposition centre-left Labour party told the former London mayor, Boris Johnson, from the ruling centre-right Conservatives.
Johnson branded the pro-EU campaign as “project fear” over its warnings that leaving the EU would cause economic harm to Britain.
Khan hit back saying the Leave camp is guilty of a “project hate” on immigration.
On the economy, Johnson said it was “extraordinary” to suggest that the EU would impose tariffs on the UK, arguing that Germany would be “insane” to do so because it sells lots of cars to Britain.
“They [Remain] say we have no choice but to bow down to Brussels. We say they are woefully underestimating this country and what it can do,” Johnson said. He spoke of an “independence day” on Thursday if Britons voted to leave the 28-member club.
Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson also accused the Leave side of “lying” on Turkish membership and for saying that 60 percent of UK laws and regulations are imposed by Brussels.
Davidson said the Remain side “refused to dismiss the experts” who all agreed that “Britain is better-off in.”
In an earlier TV debate, UK justice minister and Brexit supporter Micheal Gove drew criticism for urging Britain not to rely on the opinions of experts that warned against Brexitl
He compared their interventions to how the Nazis forced scientists to denounce Albert Einstein in the 1930s.
The debate represented a last chance for the two camps to get their message across to voters who remain split ahead of Thursday’s ballot, which could decide the fate of the 60 year-old European project.
The exchange also showed how detached the debate on EU membership had become from facts and the extent to which it is now dominated by emotional and combative rhetoric.
A snap YouGov poll for the Times found 39 percent thought Leave had won the debate, with 34 percent for Remain and 17 percent undecided.
The referendum result will be very close, prime minister David Cameron admitted in an interview with the Financial Times.
“Nobody knows what is going to happen,” he said ahead of Thursday’s vote.
He insisted he will stay on as prime minister even if he loses the referendum.
Italy’s prime minister also came to help the Remain camp by arguing in the Guardian newspaper that British voters should not make the “wrong choice”.
“Seen from Italy, a vote to leave Europe would not be a disaster, a tragedy or the end of the world for you in the UK. It would be worse, because it would be the wrong choice”, Matteo Renzi said.
“It would be a mistake for which you the voters primarily would pay the price. Because who really wants Britain to be small and isolated? … It would swap autonomy for solitude, pride for weakness, and identity for self-harm”.
UK-EU:160622:(24-JUN16):EU referendum: Queen asks guests to give her three reasons why Britain should remain in Europe
Daily Telegraph 22-Jun-16
The Queen has been canvassing opinion on the EU debate by asking dinner companions: “Give me three good reasons why Britain should be part of Europe.”
Her Majesty’s biographer, Robert Lacey, reported the Queen’s comments and suggested they may mean the Queen favours withdrawal from the European Union.
Buckingham Palace would neither confirm nor deny that the Queen had been debating the merits of Brexit in private, but royal sources pointed out that the words attributed to the Queen were “a question not a statement”.
However the leading nature of the alleged question adds weight to previous claims that the Queen would like Britain to pull out of the EU.
Last month the press regulator found that the Sun newspaper had been guilty of “significantly misleading” its readers when it printed the headline “Queen backs Brexit” above a story about the Queen complaining about Brussels to Nick Clegg.
EU referendum: which celebrities want to stay in and which want to leave? Play! 01:39
One royal insider said of the latest report: “She appears to be asking a question, not making a statement. She is not expressing a view.”
The Queen is, officially at least, politically neutral, but she intervened in the Scottish referendum debate in 2014 by suggesting in a conversation with a member of the public, which she knew was likely to be reported by the Press, that she hoped Scots would “think very carefully” before casting their vote.
It was seen as a clear indication that the Queen wanted Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom.
Mr Lacey made his claim about the Queen questioning dinner guests in a blog for the Daily Beast website.
He told The Telegraph: “She asked the question in the context of a general debate – she loves a bit of forthright discussion and this sort of remark is tossed around the dinner table like a ping pong ball. That is the way she frames her questions.”
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: “We would not comment on private conversations the Queen may or may not have had, but the Queen is above politics, has remained politically neutral for the 64 years of her reign and we are very clear that the EU referendum is a matter for the British people.”
New Europe 22-Jun-16
Exclusive: European Commission to freeze payments to Greece
The European Commission will stop all payments of the European Regional Development Fund/Cohesion fund to Greece for the 2014-2020 programmes. This is confirmed by an internal letter obtained by New Europe signed by Walter Deffaa, Director-General for Regional Development (see below).
The reason for the Commission’s pause is an investigation of the Greek competition authority, which concerns possible manipulation of tendering procedures for major infrastructure projects.
While the letter was circulated internally on June 17, it is expected that the decision will not be announced until after the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, has concluded his trip to the Greek capital, but possibly before the competition authority will examine the case on July 21.
The European Commission did not immediately respond to New Europe on whether the President had discussed the issue with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, or as to the amount of money that would be affected by this decision.
According to the letter, the Greek authorities working on the case have “already identified companies participating in the cartel as all major constructions companies and large foreign companies present in Greece.” The cartel was allegedly active for over 27 years from 1989, to this year, in the domain of road construction, railroads, metro, and concession projects. The Director-General confirms that some of these projects “will certainly have been co-financed by EU funds”.
The technical assistance programme is the only element that will not see its funding frozen.
Further payment claims will not be processed, Deffaa writes, “unless there is assurance on the legality and regularity of the certified expenditure.”
[Update: A source in the Greek Prime Minister’s office described the document signed by the Director-General as “one of the thousands of internal documents that circulate”, and said that high ranking European Commission officials have reassured the Greek government that they do not intend to “handle the matter in this way”.]
[Update 2: An EU Commission spokesperson answered to New Europe’s questions: “We do not comment on leaked documents.”
On the specific case: “We are of course aware of this case. This is first and foremost a question for the Greek authorities as already announced in the press release by the Hellenic Competition Commission of 17 May. The Commission has asked the Greek authorities for details and will look further into the case once we have this information. As regards EU funds, we are ready to take all necessary action once the facts are clarified. We are not there yet.”]
IS-MGA:160621:(24-JUN16):Israel planning to build $5 billion artificial island off Gaza with seaport, airport and hotels
Israel’s minister of intelligence and transportation said the project will reconnect Gaza with the rest of the world
The plans call for an three square mile artificial island, linked to Gaza by a three-mile bridge Israeli Ministry of Transportation and Ports
Israel is planning to build a $5 billion island off the coast of Gaza, complete with an airport, seaport and hotels.
Israeli minister of intelligence and transportation Yisrael Katz said the project will alleviate economic hardship in the blockaded coastal strip and reconnect it with the rest of the world.
The plans call for an three square mile artificial island, linked to Gaza by a three-mile bridge. Mr Katz said the island would include a seaport, with potential plans for a future airport, a hotel and smaller port for yachts.
Israel would supervise security checks, but the island would otherwise be run by Palestinians and the international community.
Mr Katz, a top deputy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israel had no objection to easing the Gaza blockade as long as its security needs are met.
“I do not think it is right to lock up two million people without any connection to the world,” he said.
“Israel has no interest to make life harder for the population there. But because of security concerns we can’t build an airport or seaport in Gaza.”
Israel destroyed Gaza’s airport during the second Palestinian uprising. Gaza City has a small seaport that is not large enough to handle container ships and is mainly used by fishermen.
Israel approves spending millions in West Bank settlement security
Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade on Gaza after Hamas seized power in 2007. Israel says the blockade is needed to prevent arms from reaching the Islamic militant group, which has fought three wars against Israel since the takeover.
However critics say the closure amounts to collective punishment of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents. Repeated attempts to reconcile Hamas with the West Bank-based Fatah, the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, have failed.
Israel currently allows about 850 truckloads of goods into Gaza each day through a land crossing, but aid groups and U.N. officials say this is not enough to meet Gaza’s needs.
Katz said the island would be in international waters and could provide economic independence to Palestinians while allowing Israel to still vet security.
He said he hopes Israel’s security establishment will back the plan, and that it will soon come up for a vote in the Cabinet.
Husam Zumlot, an aide to Mr Abbas, criticised the idea as “dubious” and “politically motivated,” saying it would lead to “the final severing of Gaza from the rest of the occupied territory of the state of Palestine.”
Int. Chr. Emb. Jerusalem 22-Jun-16
The Knesset approved a measure this week to establish Aliyah Day as a new holiday in Israel, to correspond with the seventh day of the Hebrew month of Heshvan and the time of year when the Torah portion read in synagogues includes Genesis 12: 1-3 where God told Abraham to take his family to what would later become Israel. The holiday will include official ceremonies and special lessons on immigration and related issues for school children.
The owners of Leviathan, Israel’s largest natural gas field, began moving on development plans delayed for years by political, legal and regulatory wrangling. The companies’ stocks gained as developers reaffirmed that production was on track to begin in 2019.
The Leviathan partners authorized Texas-based Noble Energy Inc., a 40 percent stakeholder in the field, to sign a contract for engineering work worth an estimated $120 million, according to a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange filing on Wednesday. Designing the platform is the first stage of the gas field’s development, Israel’s Delek Drilling, another stakeholder, said in an e-mailed statement.
“The complex work of engineering and designing the production platform will provide the engineering solution for the supply of gas to the domestic market and regional export,” Yossi Abu, Delek Drilling chief executive officer, said in the statement. “We will also advance tenders for the supply of equipment and services, in order to make a final investment decision by the end of 2016 and be able to pump gas by 2019.”
The last obstacle to developing the field was swept away last month when the government approved the companies’ two-stage plan to drill a total of eight wells producing 21 billion cubic meters of gas a year. The partners are in talks with large banks to finance the infrastructure project, the largest in Israel’s history. The gas companies are seeking about $4 billion, Bloomberg reported in March.
Production from Leviathan, discovered in 2010, has been delayed by political and legal challenges and the absence — until last month — of a government policy on the country’s fledgling natural gas industry. Things stalled outright in December 2014, when the antitrust commissioner forced new regulatory terms onto the companies, setting off a back-and-forth tussle that included public protests, political debates and High Court rulings.
Delek Group Ltd., which owns about 45 percent of the field through its units Avner Oil Exploration LLP and Delek Drilling, rose 2.4 percent to 761 shekels, the highest level in more than 5 months, at 10:52 a.m. in Tel Aviv. Ratio Oil Exploration 1992 LP, which holds a 15 percent stake, added 2 percent to reach a three-week high.
EU:160623:(24-JUN16):EU source says European border and coast guard will provide support and will be able to identify and address the preventive weaknesses, and not when it is already too late.
New Europe 23-Jun-16
The European Parliament and the European Council agreed in record time on June 22 to endorse the European Commission’s proposal on a border and coast guard.
The new European Border and Coast Guard will be the legal successor of Frontex and will become fully operational as early as this summer.
This newly established and reinforced agency is expected to build on the foundations of Frontex. It will be able to provide support to all EU member states by unilaterally identifying and intervening to address weaknesses in advance. Its intervention will not require the prior consent of a member state.
EU officials have confirmed that the new agency will be able to take immediate action when the European Commission and the European Council consider the terms of the Schengen Area violated. In order for the new agency to be activated, an EU Council decision will be needed, after the EU Commission’s decision.
This implementing decision will identify the measures to be taken by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, requiring the member state concerned to cooperate with the agency. The European Border and Coast Guard Agency will then determine the actions needed in order to execute the measures indicated in the Commission decision, and it will intervene directly in the member state concerned.
On the enhanced tasks for the new agency, both joint operations and rapid border interventions will be deployed. The new agency will be responsible for the setting up of a technical equipment pool, assisting the EU Commission in coordinating the activities of the migration management support teams at hotspot areas, with a strengthened role in return, risk analysis, training and research operations.
A rapid reserve pool will be established, where a standing corps composed of a small percentage of the total number of border guards in the member states on a yearly basis will be deployed. The deployment of European Border and Coast Guard Teams from the rapid reserve pool should be immediately complemented by additional European Border and Coast Guard Teams as appropriate. According to EU officials, this will not take more than five days after the EU Council validates the EU Commission’s proposal to act in a specific member state.
Meanwhile, the new agency is expected to play a key role in assisting the EU Commission with the coordination of migration management support teams at hotspot areas, characterised by mixed migratory flows.
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency together with the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), Europol and other relevant Union Agencies will provide coordinated and enhanced technical and operational support to member states.
As regards migrant returns, the agency will establish a Return Office that will provide member states with all necessary operational reinforcement to effectively return undocumented third-country nationals, by coordinating and organising return operations and return interventions from one or more member states.
“Member States will continue to have control over and responsibility for their borders and will continue to have responsibility for the daily management of their external borders. However, when necessary, the European Border and Coast Guard will provide support and will be able to identify and address the preventive weaknesses, and not when it is already too late. Even if not requested by the member state or is not even consistent,” explained one EU official.
The EU Commission had presented its proposal in December 2015. The agreement comes in almost a record time. Juncker said that “Europe is able to act quickly and decisively to address common challenges”. He seemed to be satisfied with the progress achieved.
As for the scope of this new agency, the European Border and Coast Guard aims to restore the Schengen Area operation back to normal and lift the six month temporary internal border controls as planned by the “Back to Schengen” roadmap, released by the EU Commission in March. This agreement comes within the dates set by the roadmap, as for June 2016 “at the latest,” the co-legislators were expected to reach a political agreement on the European Border and Coast Guard and adopt the legal act.
According to the roadmap, the remaining steps include the following:
June 2016: The Commission presents its assessment of the possibility of resuming Dublin transfers to Greece.
August 2016 at the latest: The European Border and Coast Guard becomes operational.
September 2016 at the latest: The European Border and Coast Guard delivers the first vulnerability tests so that any necessary preventive measures can be taken.
December 2016: If the overall situation allows, the target date for bringing to an end the exceptional safeguard measures taken.
Daily Telegraph 23-Jun-16
Whatever the result of Britain’s referendum on the EU we can be sure of one thing: there will not be a global financial crisis the next day.
Nothing dreadful will suddenly happen. The US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, and the Olympian fraternity of money printers will stand with the Bank of England, ready to flood the international system with liquidity.
The central banks have had months to prepare, and they have prepared. Currency swap facilities are in place to cover the dollar funding needs of UK-based banks, and many of these are well-insulated branches of American, European, Asian, and Mid-East banks in any case.
The circumstances are nothing like the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, a Black Swan event that caught the world off guard and metastasized only because the US authorities unwisely choose to make an example of the hapless bank and let the debacle occur. Nobody will fret piously about moral hazard this time.
Central banks have learned the lessons of Lehman and of Europe’s debt crisis: that events can spin out of control if they fail to an act as a lender-of-last resort in moments of extreme stress.
Yes, we must heed the warnings of experts, so long as they are acting in their expert capacity, and this is where the British government and its allies in the global nomenklatura have badly muddied the waters. The Treasury’s claims of a 3.6pc to 6pc crash in output are patent propaganda – intended to frighten people – since they start from the political premise that Britain’s authorities will entirely abdicate their fiscal and monetary responsibilities.
More worthwhile are comments from George Soros, the speculator turned philanthropist, and a man I admire for his humanitarian campaigns, as well as for his heroic role in liberating Britain from Europe’s Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992.
Mr Soros tells us that Brexit will not be as benign as 1992 when the Bank of England was able to slash interest rates, end recession, and head off a collapse of the housing market. This time we will suffer all the pain of devaluation – 15pc, or 20pc, or more – without the cuts in rates. And we have enemies.
“Today, there are speculative forces in the markets that are much bigger and more powerful. They will be eager to exploit any miscalculations by the British government or British voters,” he said.
This cannot pass. We are not in recession, and we do not need rate cuts. If sterling really fell by 20pc, it would be painful for eurozone exporters but a net economic stimulus for Britain in strict macro-economic terms.
I would rather that we did not have to vote on Brexit at a time when Britain’s current account deficit is 7pc of GDP and we are so reliant on inflows of foreign capital to fund consumption. But the imbalance is prima facie evidence that the pound is too strong.
Devaluation is a crude cure – though no panacea – and a weak exchange rate holds no fear in a world in where everybody is trying to drive down their currency to stave off deflation.
Whatever Mr Soros really thinks, he is not speaking as an expert. He is speaking as a passionate advocate of European unity, understandable given his war-time trauma as a Jewish boy in the Budapest ghetto.
I do not wish to belittle the contagion risks in Europe. Officials in Brussels fear that Brexit could set off a financial run in the eurozone periphery, lifting the lid on Portugal’s multiple woes or crystallizing the non-performing loan crisis in Italy’s banks.
Every time a new poll flatters the Leave side, we see hints of stress. Bond spreads spike in Club Med and Eastern Europe, and Euro STOXX index of bank equities plummets, turbo-charged with extra leverage.
But right now the ECB is purchasing €80bn of eurozone debt each month, and is running out of bonds to buy. As of today, Ireland can borrow for ten years at 0.78pc, Italy at 1.35pc, Spain at 1.49pc, and Portugal at 3.13pc. The bond market is shielded from attack.
There may well be a slow ‘political’ contagion if the EU project is shown to be reversible, though the rise of the eurosceptic Right in France is an infinitely greater threat to EMU integrity, and that has little to do with events in Britain.
The real danger for the eurozone is a global downturn before the region escapes its debt-deflation trap, for that would expose the festering pathologies of monetary union. It is doubtful whether the ruling order in France, Italy, or Spain could withstand another surge in unemployment.
Precisely for these reasons it would be grievous self-harm for the EU to provoke a deep recession in the UK by trying to ‘punish’ Britain. The fall-out would engulf them too. Let us call it MAD – Mutual Assured Destruction – in fond memory of deterence in the Cold War.
For Britain, the dangers of Brexit are not immediate. They are hazily distant and they have been well-rehearsed in this campaign. If a post-Brexit government fails to offer a credible trade and finance policy, Britain could lose its global footing and slide into decline, like the Dutch in the 18th Century.
My preference is the European Economic Area, the Norwegian option, a temporary way-station to retain unfettered access to the EU market and ‘passporting’ rights for the City. It is a withdrawal in safe stages, with all the compromises that this entails.
Remainers warn that the EU might block this. Some even claim that it would have to crush a post-Brexit Britain as a demonstration to prevent others breaking loose. There would be no kid gloves for “deserters” in the telling words of Jean-Claude Juncker, the Commission chief.
But to argue such a case is to imply that the EU can be held together only by coercion, like the British, French, Spanish, and Russian empires in their day. It is to suggest that the EU is a prison, and if that were the case the project could not possibly have any future.
The UK’s current account deficit is the worst in peace-time since records began, but a weaker pound would help Credit: Lombard Street Research
We are told too, with the gun of moral blackmail held to our temples, that Europe’s strategic order will unravel if we pick at the EU thread, but this an evasion. The EU is unraveling already because the status quo is intolerable and a failed currency project is sapping its credibility. It is far from self-evident that this supranational venture should be saved in anything like its existing form.
There are certainly grave threats to the world economy, but none have anything to do with Brexit. China’s latest mini-boom is already topping, and nobody knows whether the Communist Party has reached the limits of its $28 trillion experiment with credit.
We are seven years into this global cycle and signs of ageing are too obvious to ignore, not least the collapse in US bond yields to depression levels. “More Economic Signs Point to a US Recession”, warned a front-page headline across the Wall Street Journal this week. The labour market has buckled. Car sales have slipped. Business investment and profits are both falling.
This may be a false alarm but what is slightly chilling is the sudden ideological pivot by the St Louis Fed, which has come close to suggesting that the US authorities may not be able to restore the economy to equilibrium. We face a daunting world where central banks have used up their ammunition, and there is no political consent anywhere for a fiscal New Deal or the nuclear option of helicopter money.
But whether we vote Leave or Remain will not change any of this. All we can do when the next global recession hits is to fall back on Britain’s tested institutions and our own elected Parliament to protect us. The EU certainly can’t.
Australians sending in postal votes for the upcoming UK referendum on European Union membership could have considerable influence on the result, writes Julian Lorkin.
Fresh from Australia’s success at Eurovision – when contestant Dami Im came in second – many Australian residents are about to cast a much more important vote on Europe and its future.
Anyone with a British passport who lives Down Under is eligible to participate in the UK’s referendum on exiting the EU if they have registered to vote in the past 15 years.
With 1.2 million British nationals in Australia, and 250,000 in New Zealand, both the stay and leave camps are in full campaign mode half a world away from the UK. Southern hemisphere votes have the potential to swing the knife-edge referendum.
Posters supporting both sides have sprouted in areas popular with UK residents. In some locations, such as Perth, up to 15% of the population was born in England.
The referendum vote is optional. As a result there has been a strong campaign just urging voters to post their ballot slips back from Australia.
“Expat conversations swirl around it,” says the Guardian’s cartoonist David Squires. He is a household name in Britain, even though he migrated to Australia several years ago. “I’m just overloaded trying to work out the issues and the timing is woeful – the vote comes right after Eurovision, just before the Australian general election – and with all the noise of the US election too.”
He feels that it’s odd to have a postal vote when he has essentially left the UK behind. “I really shouldn’t have a vote. I’m an ex-pat who has migrated – almost the opposite as to what the vote is about. It’s great for comedy though.”
Some expats have been incorrectly told they need to pay to return their postal vote, which uses the free International Business Reply Service (IBRS).
Post offices have asked for up to A$68 (£32) to courier votes. The UK’s Electoral Commission told the BBC in a statement it was working closely with postal operators to correct misunderstandings.
A pounding for the pound?
Expats are also closely watching the sterling and the Australian dollar, among the world’s most-traded and most-volatile currency pairs. The value of the pound has recently veered between A$1.50 and A$3. At its last meeting the Reserve Bank of Australia deferred changing interest rates ahead of the Brexit vote, calling it a “near-term risk” with considerable implications for the Australian dollar.
“Mind you, the pound dropping would make the UK’s exports more competitive, giving a boon to UK tourism. Aussies would queue at Kingsford Smith [Sydney’s airport] keen to get a cheap trip back,” he says.
“Hundreds of Australian companies are champing at the bit to get access to Britain. They want a UK Free Trade Agreement on much better terms than Europe.
“Many farmers have been enviously eyeing up their traditional British market for Australian milk, beef and wool. It would build an economic relationship that used to be the cornerstone of the Australian and British partnership.”
However, he thinks Australian banks would be very cautious. “Australia’s NAB had an ill-fated adventure into UK regional banking, losing millions on Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank. Once bitten, they’d fight shy of jumping in feet-first again.”
Although the UK might eye-up Australia, he says, “Down Under is linked now to Korea, Japan and the US. But make no mistake; a newly independent UK would be welcomed with open arms by trade delegations from Canberra.”
However, Annmarie Elijah, from the ANU Centre for European Studies, urges caution. “The UK and Australia cannot dig the UK-Australia Trade Agreement [UKATA] out of the bottom drawer, dust it off and carry on.”
Creating a new trade agreement would take time. “There is no reason to think that Australia would be top of the UK’s prospective trade partners.”
Far more British expats live Down Under than elsewhere in the world. Only Spain, with 760,000, and the United States at 600,000 come close. As such they will wield considerable influence over whether the UK stays in the EU.
And Ross Greenwood, whose parents are from the UK, says one other thing might change with a Brexit – the EU passport queues. “It might also heal the small hurt that Aussies of British parentage feel, when they have to queue in the non-UK, non-EU passport line at Heathrow.”
New Europe 24-Jun-16
With the results of the UK’s EU referendum still being counted into the early hours of June 24, British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to make a statement outside 10 Downing Street. If citizens voted to leave the EU, he will also kickstart the Brexit process immediately, as he has already clarified.
From the EU side, as warned by European Commission officials and the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the UK will rapidly discover it has put itself in the role of supplicant. There has even been tough talk of throwing the country out on its rear.
For instance, Jean-Claude Juncker has already warned the UK should remember that “deserters” from the EU will not be welcomed back with open arms.
In fact, the EU will withdraw its embrace as soon as Cameron activates the only legal pathway to leave the EU, through Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. This allows an EU member state two years to negotiate the terms of its exit from the moment it notifies the EU of its intention to leave.
More specifically, Article 50 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) states the following:
Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it. A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.
As for the first phase, legal challenges could take at least two months to be resolved, but once the formal notification is triggered, negotiations cannot extend beyond a two-year notice period, unless all remaining EU member states agree to such an extension. This cannot be done if at least one member state requests for the new relationship to be settled in two years’ time, without extension.
Meanwhile, the EU Commission and the Council will likely present the divorce as painful as possible in order to discourage other member states from following suit.
As for the UK’s Leave supporters, they would like to be given some time, as an immediate move to set Article 50 in motion would be “mad and like putting a gun into your mouth and pulling the trigger,” as the head of campaign Dominic Cummings suggests. However, everything suggests that the UK will only be given several months, and too much pressure to activate Article 50 will be applied by September, enough time for the House of Commons “remain” majority to validate the citizens’ mandate.
After that, there are more than 80,000 pages of EU agreements to be renegotiated, but the first withdrawal package will be on residual EU budget payments, acquired rights of UK citizens in Europe and the opposite, pensions of British EU civil servants and relocation of at least the two EU agencies and decentralised bodies based in the UK. These are the European Police College (CEPOL) based at Bramshill, and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) based in London.
After this two-year negotiation period, by default, the UK will cease to be a member of the EU and will be subjected to WTO trade rules, outside the single market. This means the UK will face all the same hurdles that are applied to third countries. The deal will then be agreed by a qualified majority in the EU Council and, once the national parliaments procedure is completed, the EU will be able to start new trade talks with the UK – just like it would do for any other country outside the bloc.
Egypt’s National Falcon company, a joint venture between the Egyptian government and the Falcon Group that provides security at Egyptian airports, signed training and consulting agreements with the British company Restrata on June 21, Egypt’s civil aviation ministry said, Ahram Online reported. Restrata will train incoming National Falcon airport security workers in screening baggage and passengers and is now National Falcon’s airport security consultant. The two companies also agreed to establish a training institute for new workers. The civil aviation ministry said the agreements show Egypt’s commitment to improve airport security and to comply with international standards. The deals come after a tough year for Egyptian airport security that included a terrorist attack against a Russian airliner in October and a hijacking by a man wearing a fake suicide belt.
Spain will seek co-sovereignty on Gibraltar following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, acting foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said June 24, Reuters reported. The foreign minister said the vote completely changed the outlook on the future of the peninsula, which has been a British Overseas Territory since 1713 and remains a point of contention between the two countries. The territory can no longer rely on the level of economic support it once had from the United Kingdom.
Britain’s vote to become the first country to leave the EU, as projected by national media, is a shattering blow that threatens the survival of the post-war European project, officials and analysts said.
The loss of one of its biggest members will at the very least force major changes on an embattled bloc already struggling to deal with growing populism, a migration crisis and economic woes.
In the long-run, Brexit may lead to other countries holding referendums, a far looser union, and possibly even the
Bulgarian president: If the EU collapses, there will be war
Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev said yesterday (23 June) that if the EU collapsed following Brexit, there would be war. He made the comments in the presence of his German colleague, Joachim Gauck, who is on a 3-day visit to Bulgaria.
Council President Donald Tusk warned in the run-up to the vote that Brexit could lead to the “destruction of not only the EU but also of Western political civilisation.”
Tusk and Juncker see Brexit as threat to Western civilisation
If British voters choose to leave the European Union on 23 June it could be the beginning of the end for the bloc and for western political civilisation, Council President Donald Tusk said.
With Europe facing a resurgent Russia and the threat of terrorism, Tusk said “our enemies… will open a bottle of champagne if the result of referendum is negative for us”.
In a less doom-laden assessment, European Commission Chief Jean-Claude Juncker said last week that the EU was not “in danger of death” from a Brexit, but that it would have to learn lessons.
Juncker: I am not a fan of referendums but ‘out is out’
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has admitted he is “basically not a fan of referendums”, and ruled out further EU-UK negotiations, the day before Britons vote on whether to remain in or leave the bloc.
‘Very serious blow’
Chris Bickerton, a lecturer at Britain’s Cambridge University and author of The European Union: A Citizen’s Guide, said it was a “very serious blow” but not terminal, given the “core role” of the EU in much of European political life.
But he added that it would probably drift towards a “looser, ad hoc” union.
“I don’t think it would suddenly disappear but over the longer term, we might see it slowly decline and become something different,” he told AFP.
The next steps for the EU would be difficult, he added.
“We are very much in uncharted territory,” he said. “I don’t think anyone really thought Brexit was really likely, certainly not when they were negotiating with Cameron, otherwise they would have done a very different deal.”
In the immediate aftermath of the British vote, seven years of potentially bitter divorce negotiations between Brussels and London loom.
The remaining EU countries will likely be keen to move ahead. France and Germany, the main EU heavyweights, have already been working on a joint plan for the future.
But with Berlin and Paris at loggerheads over future integration of the eurozone, any plan is likely to be a modest affair that deals only with issues such as security and defence.
Even without Britain in the club, the drift away from “ever closer union” and federalism is likely to increase, with growing talk of a “two-speed Europe” that allows states opt-outs from key rules.
One major step could be making membership of the euro non-compulsory, which would help Poland, which appears to have no intention of joining the single currency but is officially meant to.
The main fear in many European capitals is that either way, the result could trigger a domino effect of referendums in other countries.
Italy’s 5 Star Movement wants euro referendum
Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star movement, buoyed by its big gains in local elections, used its
resurgent strength to press demands for a national a referendum on whether to keep the euro.
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Tuesday urged all EU states to follow Britain’s example, and eurosceptics in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden have made similar calls for referendums.
Le Pen calls for ‘exit’ referendums across the EU
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen called Tuesday (21 June) on all European Union members to follow Britain’s example in holding a referendum on remaining in the bloc.
Vivien Pertusot, Brussels-based analyst with the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), said the EU was likely to survive but be weakened.
“Institutions rarely die,” he told AFP. “Maybe there will not be disintegration, but a loss of relevance. The EU will lose, bit by bit, its centrality for all the most political projects.”
The danger for the EU is that even after if makes changes following the British referendum, it will still not be able to quell the forces of history tearing it apart.
“The EU is in a negative spiral,” Janis Emmanouilidis, director of studies at Brussels-based think tank European Policy Centre, told AFP.
The question of what could replace the EU if it does collapse is even more vexed.
“It might sound as if yes, this story has ended, a new one has began, but that’s not not easy. Especially after the experience of failure,” said Emmanouilidis.
The European Union will not renegotiate the United Kingdom’s membership in the bloc and has asked London to trigger the process of leaving the union as soon as possible, according to a joint statemen released June 24 by Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, Mark Rutte, holder of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. Brussels expects London to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be, according to the statement, as any delay would necessarily prolong uncertainty. Juncker also said the June 23 Brexit vote does not mark the beginning of the end of the European project. The evolution of political events in the United Kingdom will determine when negotiations between London and Brussels over the withdrawal begin.
World stock markets, reeling from the British vote to exit the European Union, lost more than $2 trillion in value on June 24, Bloomberg reported. By 3:20 p.m., London’s FTSE had dropped by around 3.64 percent, Germany’s DAX was down about 6.63 percent, Spain’s IBEX 35 dropped around 12.02 percent, and the French CAC 40 fell by around 8.01 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 plunged 7.92 percent. The British pound was also battered by the vote, dropping by as much as 11 percent at one point to the lowest it has been in more than three decades. The Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China all announced they were prepared to provide liquidity to shore up global market stability, if needed. The implications of the referendum will become clear in stages.
The first of two Mistral-Class amphibious assault ships that Egypt agreed to purchase from France in 2015 arrived in Alexandria on June 23 after a two-week journey, Daily News Egypt reported. The two carriers, which cost Egypt 950 million euros ($1.05 billion), are expected to greatly aid the country in the fight against terrorism. Each vessel is equipped with missile defense and radar navigation systems as well as landing pads for six helicopters and the space to store 16 more. Egypt has named the warships after former presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat.
German Foreign Policy 24-Jun-16
The British people’s vote yesterday to take their country out of the EU is shaking up the EU, and Berlin’s plans to use the EU for its own hegemonic policies. With a 72 percent turnout, 52 percent of the British voters opted to wave good-bye to the EU. This vote has a major impact on Berlin, not only because Europe’s second largest economy – after Germany’s – and a prominent military power will be leaving the EU and therefore no longer be available for German hegemonic policies imposed via the EU. It also can lead to a domino effect. Calls for referendums are being raised in other EU member countries. In several member countries, the EU’s growing unpopularity is reinforcing centrifugal forces. The Swedish foreign minister has explicitly warned of a “spill-over effect” that could lead to a Swedish EU exit. In the German media, demands are being raised to simply ignore the referendum and let the British parliament vote in favor of remaining in the EU. Berlin has already begun reinforcing its national positions – independent of the EU.
Yesterday, with a 72 percent turnout, 52 percent of the British voters opted for the Brexit. For the first time in EU history, the population of a member country has decided to withdraw from the alliance. Up to now, the EU has always expanded successfully. This momentum has now been halted.
Call for Referendums
Already over the past few weeks, the referendum has not only reinforced the conviction in other member countries that the EU could actually be put into question; the desire to hold referendums has also been awakened. In early May, an opinion poll taken in nine EU member countries  – representing between them three-quarters of the EU population and approximately 80% of its GDP – revealed that 45 % think their own country should hold a referendum on its EU membership. In France 55%, and in Italy even 58% favor this measure. One third of those polled, declared that they would vote for leaving the EU in a referendum, in Sweden, 39%, 41% in France and 48% in Italy. In early June, an opinion poll held in Denmark resulted in 42% of the Danes wanting a referendum on EU membership, as compared to only 37% in February. Simultaneously, the number of those who, in a referendum, would opt for remaining in the EU, fell from 56% last November to currently 44%, whereas those wanting to exit rose over the same period from 31% to 42%.
Beyond the issue of EU membership referendums, a poll taken in ten EU countries and published at the beginning of June, indicated that the EU is increasingly seen in a negative light, with clearly positive assessments mainly in Poland (72%) and Hungary (61%). On the other hand, in Spain, a mere 47% assess the EU positively – a 16% drop from 2004, whereas 49% of the Spaniards view it negatively. In France, approval of the EU dropped, between 2004 and 2016, by 17%, down to 38%, with a 61% rejection. In Greece, 71% of the population views the EU negatively, with a mere 27% viewing it “positively.” When queried on the EU’s handling of the economic crisis, the approval ratings were devastating. (In fact, these questions refer to the austerity measures dictated by Germany.) Only two of the ten countries participating in the poll gave a positive rating – Germany and Poland (47% to 38% and 47% to 33% respectively). In Spain, 65% of those polled rejected the EU’s crisis policy, 66% in France, in Italy 68%, and 92% in Greece.
“Ignore the Will of the People”
The growing rejection of the EU is particularly significant because the methods used until now by pro-EU functionaries of major political parties to neutralize EU-critical segments of the population are no longer effective in referendums. Yesterday in Great Britain, for example, traditional Labor Party strongholds turned in a clear majority for the Brexit, while Labor’s parliamentary group in the Lower House, polled only seven of its members clearly favoring leaving the EU – 215, on the other hand, were energetically in favor of remaining. In Germany, demands are being made to simply ignore the referendum’s results. Tuesday, Thomas Kielinger, the London correspondent for the daily “Die Welt,” wrote that the Prime Minister may be bound by the results of the referendum, however, not the parliament. “Could it be that … in the case of a Brexit, the Lower House could consider to ignore the will of the people and turn down withdrawing from the EU?” Kielinger predicts that this is “not only thinkable, but it’s even probable.” “Of the 650 parliamentarians, 455 are in favor of remaining in the EU, 130 for leaving, and 65 undecided. Expressed in percentages: 70 percent Remain, 20 percent leave, and 10 percent noncommittal.” The EU could be saved with a parliamentary vote. Recently, German media organs have openly expressed their opposition to referendums along these lines. One example was the media commentary that it is wrong to believe that “direct democracy, per se, is a good thing.” (german-foreign-policy.com reported.)
This commentary was made in connection with the April 6 referendum, in the Netherlands on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. A majority oppose the agreement. A few days later, the Dutch national parliament simply chose to disregard the referendum results, saying it was “non-binding.” However, this does not eliminate the EU establishment’s worries. In the Netherlands, it is currently possible to impose a referendum, if 300,000 signatures are collected within six weeks – which is not considered impossible. Although referendums may only relate to new laws, and not, for example, to EU membership, observers have noted that currently only 45 percent of the population of the Netherlands are still in favor of remaining in the EU, while 48 percent are for withdrawing. This signifies that in one of the EU founding member countries, the pro-EU majority is crumbling. Following the British population’s vote yesterday, a domino effect cannot be excluded. Just a few days ago, for example, in a poll taken in Sweden – a country very similar to Great Britain in its attitude toward the EU – only 32% of Swedes would want to remain in the EU even if Britain left, with 36% in favour of a so-called Swexit. Sweden’s foreign minister, recently, warned explicitly of a “spill-over effect” should the British referendum result in a Brexit. That has now happened.
Berlin is beginning to adapt itself to the fact that the EU is eroding and cannot be available, at least for the time being, for German global policy, to the extent it had expected. Last week, the US periodical “Foreign Affairs” published a signed article by Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Steinmeier wrote that the EU “has run into struggles of its own” and has “stumbled.” Until the EU “develops the ability” to play “a stronger role on the world stage,” Germany “will try its best to hold as much ground as possible.” Tuesday evening, Chancellor Merkel announced that the German military budget must draw closer to that of the United States. This is the beginning of a reinforcement of Berlin’s national positions.
This is not in contradiction with the German government taking measures over the next few days to attempt to forestall the EU’s further disintegration. The creation of a core Europe is already in discussion. german-foreign-policy.com will report more next week.
[Footnotes to articles in German removed]  Half of people in nine European countries believe UK will vote to leave the EU. www.ipsos-mori.com 09.05.2016.  Lisbeth Kirk: More Danes want referendum on EU membership. euobserver.com 08.06.2016.  See Referendums as Tyranny.  Meg Hilling, Hanne Cokelaere: Netherlands sticks with EU-Ukraine deal despite referendum No vote. www.politico.eu 19.04.2016.  Maddy Savage: EU referendum: Could Brexit lead to Sweden “Swexit”? bbc.co.uk 18.06.2016.  Lizzie Dearden: EU referendum: Swedish foreign minister warns Brexit “could cause break-up of European Union”. www.independent.co.uk 11.06.2016.  See After Brexit.
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