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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
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Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Conservatives in the last chance saloon

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This week has been another shocking reminder how far adrift today's Conservative Party are from the principles enunciated and implemented by its greatest peacetime leader Margaret Thatcher. To me personally, this has been dramatically emphasised by the loss of Westminster City Council to the Labour Party. Some thirty years ago as the Finance Chairm...
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  277 Hits

The Cost of BRINO

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Margaret Thatcher broke the mould of British politics. A grocer's daughter raised above the family shop. She benefited from free state education including university. She believed in equal opportunity. She believed in wealth distribution through hard work and getting rid of as much state intervention as possible. As Prime Minister she encouraged pr...
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  397 Hits

Rishi's tax rises are a looming DISASTER for Britain, warns Patrick Minford

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Boris Johnson is often dismissed as a know-nothing on economics, and Rishi Sunak prides himself on being rather good at it.  In his generally excellent recent Mais lecture, the Chancellor set out his vision for the UK economy. He aims for freeing up markets, improving regulation, and cutting taxes to incentivise investment, training and R...
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  317 Hits

Is the Conservative Party running out of Energy?

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Outputs from Spring Statement In advance of the promised reveal of the government's energy plan this week, let's start with the positives from Rishi Sunak's Spring Statement. 5 whole years of VAT free purchases on solar panels, ground and air source heat pumps. Not in Northern Ireland of course but they seem to matter less than ever to the Conserva...
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  406 Hits

Taxation: the gift you keep on giving

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United Kingdom rates of personal taxation are at their highest in over 70 years. They are set to increase further. Whether or not governments spend the money they raise wisely? That's another piece for another day but my overarching view is that individuals make better spending choices than "the state". This article examines the ways in which the T...
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Tax
  372 Hits

Taxes and sovereignty

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When Parliament fell to debating various versions of a Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU some of us had no wish to enter binding arrangements with the EU that could continue to prevent us making sovereign decisions for ourselves through elections and Parliamentary votes. I along with 27 other Conservative MPs voted three times against ...
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  291 Hits

Mr Sunak’s ‘Spring Statement’ – a man without a fallback

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Download PDF File Here Mr Sunak's Spring Statement was far less impressive than his rhetoric has made it appear. Once again a senior member of this administration reaches a Gold Standard in rhetoric, but at best a Bronze one in achievement. The claim does not stand up to examination that these were the largest reductions in personal taxation for th...
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  272 Hits

Time to pivot for Domestic Energy

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The campaign for a referendum on Net Zero appears to be gathering pace, with Nigel Farage openly discussing its evolution on his nightly GB News programme this week. Accepting the premise of global warming and the need to avoid the Earth's temperature overheating has become a settled issue for many but not all. Ground source heat pumps, electric ca...
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  593 Hits

Barry Legg on Boris

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"Never glad confident morning again" This was the phrase used by Nigel Birch in the Profumo debate of June 1963 to encapsulate the situation in which Prime Minister Harold Macmillan found himself. Four months later, Macmillan decided to resign. I have always been struck by the similarities between Macmillan and Johnson. They both went to Eton and B...
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  482 Hits

Do you believe in Brexit?

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Fourth upon a time the Brexit elf went in search of the true Brexit. He had been over the moon all those years ago when the British people had voted to leave the EU. He looked forward to an early and complete departure. He expected the creation of a land of freedom. He looked forward to wise government from a newly independent and powerful Parliame...
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  891 Hits

Hot Air - Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming: A Review and a Few Facts

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Introduction The purpose of these notes is to present some facts about the campaign to stop global warming and climate change. The climate has changed in the past, is probably changing now, and will change in the future. The campaign is trying to stop the unstoppable. The natural factors affecting global temperature are very powerful: terrestrial, ...
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  5590 Hits

In Conversation with Lord Lilley

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I had the opportunity to speak to Lord (Peter) Lilley, a former speaker at a Bruges Group conference who served in Cabinet in the Thatcher and Major Governments as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Secretary of State for Social Security – and later in William (now Lord) Hague's Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and De...
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  931 Hits

Liberty Zone at Party Conference

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At Conservative Party Conference this year, we are delighted to be hosting the 'Liberty Zone' on Monday 4th October 2021 at the Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, Manchester, M3 4PF.  We are holding our annual Party Conference event this year alongside Time 4 Recovery, a group set up to pressure the government with oppositi...
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  2076 Hits

Tax is Theft!

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You get to meet some interesting people on holiday, each year for several years my better half and I would return to the same hotel during the same two weeks in June where we would meet up with other regular returning guests. One of them was a senior accountant with a very large firm, he once told me every time they had to produce a cheque to pay t...
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  777 Hits

To Stimulate Economic Recovery, We Need Low Tax Solutions

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Hands up, who still thinks the Conservatives are a low tax party? If your hand is up, might I suggest you put it swiftly down and start writing some letters to the 321 Tory MPs who this week voted in favour of the biggest tax hike since the Second World War. Someone ought to inform them. Someone also might want to disband CCHQ come the next general...
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  1702 Hits

Barry Legg's Letter to The Telegraph on Tax Increases

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SIR – Extra taxation on savers to fund the NHS and care-home fees is bizarre. Some paying the extra tax may have been motivated to save in order not to depend on the state in their old age. Now achieving that objective will be undermined. Others will be care-home residents, now having to make a higher tax contribution to fellow residents' costs.&nb...
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  937 Hits

In Conversation with John Manley OC PC - Former Deputy PM of Canada

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I had the opportunity to speak to the Honorable John Manley, a long serving Cabinet Minister in the Canadian Government, having served in key posts such as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Minister of Foreign Affairs – among others. John Manley is also known for having authored the Manley Report on Afghanistan in 2007 and having been...
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  1181 Hits

Scotland and Currency

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Clearly neither Wales nor Scotland could create their own currencies: they would have to stay with the pound or join the euro. And since the euro is hugely unpopular in Scotland (only 18 per cent of Scots want to join the euro) - and would simply introduce dependence on Brussels - that would mean sticking with the pound. Yet Alex Salmond seems...
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  895 Hits

Zero Carbon?

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The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its sixth assessment report in August, setting off a chain reaction of apocalyptic responses. IPCC was set up in 1988 to scientifically understand human-induced climate change, its impact and possible responses. But every IPCC report since the first in 1990 has been accom...
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  837 Hits

The Government Must Stop Weaponising the Obese to Wreck Free Markets and Curb Consumer Choice

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 With more scandal and sleaze gushing out of Westminster than the Sussexes press office, one could be pardoned for glossing over the government's latest flirtation with the supercilious head of nanny statism. Last week, the Department of Health confirmed plans are going ahead to restrict paid junk food advertising, in order to curb childhood o...
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  2031 Hits

"Tear Down This Wall": How Reagan Changed the World

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Today marks 34 years since one of the most memorable and historic speeches ever made by a US President, and one that changed the course of history, it is of course when President Reagan stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and told General Secretary Gorbachev to "tear down this wall". Now as we face today's challenges, our leaders shoul...
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  2831 Hits

Aurora - A New Dawn for Sterling with Benefits for All

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A major City group has just published a report calling for an immediate development of an e-pound Britain could create a Western alternative to a Chinese digital/e-currency It is not generally appreciated that over 98% of UK transactional banking (by value) takes place in what is known as 'the wholesale market'. Less than 2% takes place in the reta...
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  1346 Hits

A Mission Impossible

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 I have become seriously concerned about green issues. No, I have not suddenly become a tree hugging greenie wishing to revert back to the days of horse and carts and candles to light our homes, my concern is with the measures coming our way to enforce a Stasi like, totalitarian green regime upon us. Many people are living in ignorant bliss of...
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  1583 Hits

The ECB’s Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme – the undermining of the Eurozone as a free financial market, the epitome of the failure of the Euro project, and a coup d’état by the European Central Bank

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This new study, issued through The Bruges Group, dissects a main response of the European Central Bank to the pandemic: another programme of bond buying, taking up hundreds of billions of euros of Eurozone member state government bonds into the ECB's Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme, the "PEPP". The PEPP bought the majority of new debt issued ...
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  1371 Hits

'We Need Courage, Not Lockdown!' John Longworth

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John Longworth was the Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce; he was also an MEP and co-Chairman of Leave Means Leave. A great problem with many politicians and most civil servants is that they don't understand business. The reverse is probably also true. The enterprise economy is alien to the political class and they tend ...
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  1610 Hits

Pre-Budget Suggestions - No Tax Rises!

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As the Chancellor prepares to deliver his Budget, we want to make clear a few brief advisories to Mr Sunak on what this historical Budget should contain. First of all, there has been plenty of speculation from countless newspapers and TV reports that the Chancellor is plotting tax increases, namely corporation tax and potentially freezing tax bands...
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  2221 Hits

In Conversation with Ben Habib: Brexit, Lockdown and China

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I caught up with former Brexit Party MEP, Ben Habib who now runs the pressure group 'Unlocked', campaigning for an end to lockdown and highlighting the economic and social damage of remaining in lockdown. You can watch the full conversation on YouTube, with links to the videos throughout or digest a condensed summary on each question and debate poi...
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  3602 Hits

Sammy Wilson MP: UK’s Trade Deal With The EU Must Live Up To Brexit Promises

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By The Rt. Hon. Sammy Wilson MP - DUP Member of Parliament for East Antrim  As the U.K. edges toward a final deal on its future relationship with the European Union, it is important that we ensure the agreement delivers on what was promised. Already it is clear that last year's Withdrawal Agreement was fatally flawed. It leaves Bruss...
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  1451 Hits

Sir John Redwood: Biden, Brexit and Lockdown 2.0

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Starting with the implications of the second lockdown, the former Cabinet Minister said it will be damaging for the economy though not as damaging as last time. The virus should be taken seriously – and treatments should be sought etc. – but let's get life back to normal for those free from the disease or not at much risk, he said. Sir John hopes t...
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  1702 Hits

The Great Reset: The Virus That's Transforming Government and Society for the Worse

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Initial article on The Bow Group By Robert Oulds and Dr Niall McCrae  "You'll own nothing, and you'll be happy" (World Economic Forum, 18 November 2016). Covid-19 is a crisis too good to waste for UN agencies and other transnational bodies. The coronavirus pandemic has led to governments around the world signing up to the 'Great Reset' designe...
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  3892 Hits

The EU Deal Unmasked

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Link to the full paper by the Centre for Brexit Studies By The Rt. Hon. Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP (Conservative Party MP), Martin Howe QC (Intellectual Property and EU Law; Chairman of Lawyers for Britain), Professor David Collins (International Economic Law, University of London), Edgar Miller (Managing Director of Palladian Limited;...
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  4096 Hits

Why the UK Needs a Trump Victory

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As the US general election approaches, it is very much in our interests on who wins, there are some people in the Conservative Party suggesting it would be beneficial for Joe Biden to be inaugurated and to walk into the White House on 20th January, following the US general election next week. However, I think there'd be nothing worse than Mr B...
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  4025 Hits

The Cost of Lockdown and Then What We Do Next

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Lockdown has absolutely crippled the economy and what for? We have a similar death rate to Sweden which never locked down, the average age of death from COVID in the UK is 82.4 when the average age of death for the UK as a whole is only 81.2. Not only that, what I would like to see published is the death rates from other illnesses such as cancer, h...
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  3532 Hits

The power of the City is a double-edged sword, but it is yet to be respected

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Samuel Johnson famously said, 'when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life'. However, unlike S.Johnson, it seems that B.Johnson has succumbed to this, in light of the lack of news surrounding the future of our greatest financial asset, the City of London. Whilst the recent focus has been perpetually on State Aid and fishing rights, the City ...
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  1710 Hits

Busting the Food Price Myth in a No Deal Brexit

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By Catherine McBride  On Friday the BBC headline news included an item entitled: Shoppers could pay more after no-deal Brexit. The story was planted by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) who said that tariffs would add £3.1bn a year to the cost of importing food and drink unless the UK and the EU can strike a free trade agreement. This was a ...
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  1991 Hits

The Alternative to Tax Rises - A Recovery Plan for Britain

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As reported in The Sunday Telegraph last week, and again today, some Treasury officials have been flirting with the idea of tax increases to foot the bill for the COVID measures put in place and for the lockdown that the left and media were so desperately pressuring for. However, according to several media sources, Number 10, Boris Johnson and Domi...
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  3541 Hits

Why Those Who Believe in the Free Market Should Support 'Defund The BBC'

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The Defund The BBC campaign launched last month with the aim of decriminalising failure to pay the TV licence fee by the end of 2020 and reducing its remit to cover BBC content only, rather than all Live channels. The campaign has enabled a much-needed debate about the BBC's role in modern Britain and, should it succeed, we can expect to see a much...
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  4014 Hits

The Need for an Income Tax Rate and Corporate Tax Rate Cut

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Professor Patrick Minford and The Bruges Group are rightly calling to: Cut corporation tax by 10%: £32 billionAbolish the very top additional 5% rate: £1 billionCut the top rate of income tax to 30%: £15 billion.Cut the standard rate of income tax by 5%: £28 billion. The history of tax cuts in the United States demonstrates why these proposals will...
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  2214 Hits

Margaret Thatcher - The Heroine of Brexit

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Margaret Thatcher's Bruges Speech to the College of Europe in September 1988 - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqv8HF84EOs&t=1s The Bruges Group was set up in 1989 in honour of one speech, a now landmark address made by our then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to the College of Europe on 20th September 1988 on the 'Future of Europe'. L...
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  7135 Hits

Sir Geoffrey Howe: A Revolutionary Thatcherite Chancellor

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During this pandemic, I felt it would be the perfect opportunity to take a closer look to the careers of some political giants who don't always get the recognition or remembrance they deserve. One of my greatest interests is political history and every Friday I will publish an article outlining the career and some interesting facts about some polit...
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  5474 Hits

Willie Whitelaw: Every Prime Minister Needs a Willie - Maggie's Loyalist Minister

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During these awful and bleak times, I felt it would be the perfect opportunity to take a closer look to the careers of some political giants who don't always get the recognition or remembrance they deserve. One of my greatest interests is political history and every Friday I shall publish an article outlining the career and some interesting fa...
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  11618 Hits

Cecil Parkinson: Maggie's Political Soulmate

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During these awful and bleak times, I felt it would be the perfect opportunity to take a closer look to the careers of some political giants who don't get the recognition or remembrance they deserve. One of my greatest interests is political history and every Friday I shall publish an article outlining the career and some interesting facts about so...
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  6986 Hits

Prof. Tim Congdon: 2020 Could See the Highest Peacetime US Money Growth

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​Institute of International Monetary Research Analysis Professor Tim Congdon CBE is a member of The Bruges Group Academic Advisory Council  A lot of interest has been drawn from my recent emails to my fellow macroeconomists and monetary analysts where I pointed out that bank deposits at US commercial banks soared in the fortnight to ...
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  2520 Hits

Sir Keith Joseph: The Architect of Thatcherism

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During these awful and bleak times, I felt it would be the perfect opportunity to take a closer look to the careers of some political giants who don't get the recognition or remembrance they deserve. One of my greatest interests is political history and every Friday I shall publish an article outlining the career and some interesting facts about so...
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  8071 Hits

In Remembrance of Our Greatest Peacetime Leader Margaret Thatcher: 13th October 1925 - 8th April 2013

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Margaret Thatcher's Bruges Speech, 1988 on The Bruges Group YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqv8HF84EOs Today marks the death of our greatest peacetime leader, Margaret Thatcher, a woman who defined British politics for more than a generation. Elected as the first female leader of any major political party in the UK in 1975, su...
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  6004 Hits

A People's Budget By a People's Government

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Last Wednesday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, celebrated 28 days in Number 11, following Sajid Javid's resignation, by presenting his budget to the House. This budget delivered by the Richmond MP is arguably the most favourable budget since the days of Nigel Lawson standing at the dispatch box outlining his financial forecasts and s...
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  2789 Hits

Post Brexit Priorities

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Boris Johnson and the Conservatives winning a more than impressive 365 seats last December, it gives the PM a working majority, something we haven't seen since the close of the Blair/Brown era.It is fair to say that the next step of Brexit will soon be taken; having left the EU further delays for implementation legislation were not tolerated. But w...
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  4244 Hits

Communitarianism and the Suprastate

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"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." JRR Tolkien. Although the bunting is out for Brexit in the wake of a resounding victory of a Conservative Government, ...
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  3156 Hits

Statement from Barry Legg, Chairman of The Bruges Group on the Withdrawal Agreement

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The Bruges Group is opposed to the acceptance by Parliament of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration which has been released today. The Bruges Group has always put the highest priority in maintaining the integrity of the United Kingdom. This agreement provides for a different status for Northern Ireland and therefore has the potential ...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Will Podmore
Quite right, thank you.
Friday, 18 October 2019 13:35
Guest — Adam Hiley
if Boris Johnson tries to sneak in Theresa May's nonsensical Withdrawal Deal He will deserve to be thrashed at the inevitable Gene... Read More
Friday, 18 October 2019 20:17
Guest — Heather
So why is Bill Cash saying they will vote for it, very confused?
Saturday, 19 October 2019 19:57
  7860 Hits

The Brexit Speeches

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PDF to Full Speeches   The following article and above PDF are speeches by Richard Tice MEP for the Brexit Party and also property businessman; Swedish-British billionaire businessman Johan Eliasch who is CEO of sportswear giant Head; Sir John Nott the former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry then Defence under Margaret Thatcher; ...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Peter Railton
An excellent series that identifies the real mirage of European integration, but can't we also refer to the demolition of our Moto... Read More
Saturday, 27 July 2019 12:26
  4365 Hits

The Brexit Game Changer – Import Excess Tax

 A policy model for a clean Brexit - no queues at Dover, no Irish hard border Membership of the EU Customs Union and the (largely contrived) Irish border issue are once more on the front pages. After success in the Lords, Remainers smell blood and are slavering at the prospect of defeating the Government in forthcoming Commons votes. Given thi...
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Recent Comments
Guest — M Bailey
Do you think it’s possible for any of our politicians to grasp such a sensible concept and then negotiate it? In any case there do... Read More
Sunday, 02 September 2018 12:37
  7067 Hits

Brexit: the end to austerity

Unlocking the benefits of leaving the EU

By Bob Lyddon

Bob is the author of The UK’s liabilities to the financial mechanisms of the European Union for the Bruges Group, and the Brexit Papers for Global Britain – www.brexitpapers.uk

23rd June 2017
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The current Government led by Theresa May has noticeably failed to bake any “Brexit dividend” into its policies for the coming 5-year Parliament. This is concerning because it may indicate either that they have not yet figured out the sources and extent of the financial benefits from Brexit, or that they are not going to pursue the negotiations with the EU in order to garner them, or both.

 

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Recent Comments
Guest — Brian Coyle
How do you arrive at your figures of £961m per day?? That's almost £7b per week/£364b per annum. The 'guideline financial benefit'... Read More
Sunday, 25 June 2017 16:57
Guest — Terry Howard
A link to this research which shows that EU migrants in the UK cost a net £10,000 per annum per head please?
Sunday, 25 June 2017 18:14
Robert Oulds
Per week
Monday, 26 June 2017 13:54
  16736 Hits

Brexit: UK now able to tackle tax havens

The EU is a dysfunctional organisation in the area of corporate tax

17th December 2016
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Summary

The EU is a dysfunctional organisation in the area of corporate taxes because:

 

1.      the EU Commission is not able to prevent EU countries such as Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg operating as tax havens (this is because member states have not conferred legislative competence on the EU over direct taxation), and

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Recent Comments
Guest — Darc
You've got it the wrong way round. The EU has been going after tax evaders, just look at the news. Comapny after company is being ... Read More
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 12:37
Guest — Darc
To add to the previous post, my work in civil service does not overlap with my political opinions. I ensure that in that capacity ... Read More
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 12:39
Robert Oulds
Thanks for your comment. You can see below a series of articles that show how the ECJ has continually been making decisions that a... Read More
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 19:56
  6714 Hits

EU tax law creating £55 billion black hole in UK finances

HMRC has set aside £55 billion to cover the potential cost of payments, including interest, which the European Court of Justice will force upon the British taxpayer.

3rd December 2016
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EU law and direct taxes

The UK, in common with other EU member states, has not conferred any authority on the EU for direct taxes.  The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) assumed this authority in the late 1990s by adopting a more expansive interpretation of the fundamental freedoms.


The staggering cost of EU law tax litigation
One of the consequences of being a member of the EU is that EU law is superior to English law.   Large UK based companies are, therefore, able to use EU law, and EU courts, to retrospectively challenge the legality of the tax laws enacted by Parliament.   This is highly profitable form of activity for large UK companies and their advisors, which is costing the UK Government tens of billions.  When UK companies challenge the legality of the UK’s tax laws under EU law they know they are “knocking at an open door”, because the CJEU is keen to expand its authority over Member States under the guise of “ironing out inefficiencies” in the operation of the single market. 


HMRC has set aside £55bn to cover the potential cost of the litigation in which it is involved.  There are two reasons why this figure is so large.  First in a number of cases involving EU law, UK companies are able to reclaim corporate taxes, dating as far back as 1973.  Second, EU law requires the UK Government to pay compound interest on these claims.  In the Littlewoods case, a claim of £208m, covering the period from 1973 to 2004, cost the Exchequer £1.2bn when compound interest was included.  The UK Government had previously estimated that the Franked Investment Income case (C-362/12) would cost £5-7bn.  However, this case could easily cost the Exchequer £30bn when compound interest is included, as it covers the period from 1973 to 1999.

 

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  6944 Hits

Tax Reform - Post-Brexit

Tax simplification for Brexit

Flat taxes to drive economic growth

Sir David Roche
9th November 2016
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The sole aim of Tax Reform is to get in more taxes.

 

The UK is running a large deficit between what it receive in taxes and what it spends on services. Albeit money is cheap, it cannot go on for ever. With money so cheap it is an ideal time to make changes.

 

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  6074 Hits
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