9 October 2015

‘Vote Leave’ launches campaign for Brexit

The cross-party Vote Leave group was launched today to campaign for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Peter Cruddas, the former Conservative party co-treasurer and founder of the online trading company CMC Markets, is one of its three treasurers from across the political spectrum. The others are John Mills, founder of JML and a Labour donor, and Stuart Wheeler, the UKIP donor. Vote Leave has support from politicians from the Conservative party, Labour, UKIP and the Greens, as well as Lord Trimble, the former UIster Unionist party leader. The new group will have to battle with another group, called Leave.eu, to be designated the official campaign, allowing the victor up to £7m of expenditure including £600,000 of public grants.

Meanwhile, The Times reports that ‘Vote Leave’ will not oppose extending the franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds as pressed for by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and SNP. The “stay” campaign group, co-ordinated by Lord Mandelson and Lord Heseltine, is expected to launch on Monday.

Open Europe’s Vincenzo Scarpetta appeared on BBC Radio London this morning, arguing that both the ‘Leave’ and the ‘Remain’ campaign will face challenges in setting out their arguments. Vincenzo stressed that “the focus, at this stage, should really be on EU reform. The UK has a historic opportunity to make the EU work better not just for itself, but also for all other member states.” Open Europe’s Nina Schick appeared on LBC while Raoul Ruparel appeared on BBC Radio Newcastle.

Source: Vote Leave website The Times The Daily Mail The Sun The Financial Times City AM The Guardian The Daily Telegraph

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Merkel to press Cameron for specifics on EU reform

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will ask Prime Minister David Cameron to clarify the UK’s EU renegotiation demands when they meet this evening in Chequers. The Daily Telegraph reports that Cameron will seek support-in-principle from Merkel for British demands for Europe-wide reforms that would delay the payment of in-work benefits to newly arrived EU migrants, and that Germany had signalled its willingness, within reason, to look at some new labour market controls.

A leader in The Daily Telegraph argues that Merkel “must get the message on EU reform” and cites Open Europe’s estimate that the Top 100 costliest EU regulations cost the UK economy £33.3bn a year.


Source: The Daily Telegraph The Daily Telegraph: Leader The Sun

New Poll: Majority of Germans don’t think country can manage refugee flow anymore

A new ZDF-Barometer poll suggests that the majority of German voters (51%) believe that Germany can no longer manage the stream of refugees arriving daily in their country, while 45% disagree. The figures have changed from two weeks ago when 57% thought that Germany could manage, and 40% thought it could not.

In an interview with Bild, CSU leader and Bavarian state Premier Horst Seehofer, put pressure on the federal government to publish a daily update of the number of refugees arriving in Germany. He adds, “Many gestures from Berlin have been understood as an invitation. Angela Merkel must now make it clear that we remain human, we will help, but our capacity to do so is limited.” Meanwhile, Joachim Hermann (CSU), the Interior Minister of Bavaria, yesterday called for German borders to countries like Austria to be completely closed. The Austrian Interior Minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner said that Austria would respond to any such “emergency” measures by similarly clamping down on its borders.

Separately, Dutch Justice Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff has called for sanctions on non-EU countries of origin and transit which refuse to take back refugees, saying, “We need to slam our fist on the table… in case these countries don’t cooperate.”  On Thursday, Home Secretary Theresa May urged Europe to “up its game” on deporting failed asylum seekers at a meeting of EU interior ministers. “We need to break the link between people making the dangerous journey to Europe and being able to stay in Europe,” she said. The Times reports that over 60% of failed asylum seekers abscond after their claim is turned down. Meanwhile, the first group of Eritrean refugees to be relocated under the EU’s new quota scheme have left Italy for Sweden.

Source: Bild Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Süddeutsche Zeitung Reuters Deutschland NOS Rijksoverheid The Times

French have little trust in their President and Prime Minister, new poll confirms

According to a new Elabe poll for French business daily Les Echos, trust in French President François Hollande fell to 22% in October from 27% in September. Trust in Prime Minister Manuel Valls went down to 30% from 34% in the previous month. The survey also shows that former Prime Minister Alain Juppé – a potential centre-right candidate for the 2017 presidential election – currently enjoys the highest approval rating of all leading French politicians, with 48% of respondents saying they have a ‘positive image’ of him.

Source: Les Echos

Britain urges NATO to war game Russian nuclear attack

Britain has urged NATO to hold nuclear war games as the threat from Russia intensifies, The Daily Mail reports. Ministers are examining proposals which could see the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent deployed alongside other nations for the first time since the Cold War.

Source: The Daily Mail

Greek government readies for struggle to push reforms through Parliament

The Greek government is expected to submit a bill with the prior actions due as part of the bailout to Parliament early next week. Opposition parties said their support of new austerity measures cannot be guaranteed. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will chair a meeting of the Syriza central committee over the weekend to ensure that he has all the votes of his party and coalition to allow the bill to be passed. Greece’s General Inspector of public administration Leandros Rakintzis has said he has seen little political will to stamp out corruption in Greece.

Meanwhile, Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem has said that creditors will seek to “cap at a maximum of 15% of GDP” Greece’s financing needs, though he admitted the IMF may see this as “too high” for Greece. Dijsselbloem added it is “crucial” that the IMF remains involved for the “credibility” and “political support” of the programme, even if it does not provide any funding.

Source: Kathimerini Reuters

ECB sees weaker Eurozone recovery due to poorer external economic environment

In its account of its last monetary policy meeting, the ECB said that Eurozone growth had been weaker than expected and that the risks to growth remain on the downside due to the slowdown in Emerging Markets. The ECB also warned that “lower liquidity” had become “more apparent” in some markets where the ECB was purchasing bonds.

Source: ECB Account of monetary policy meeting The Financial Times