Fringe Box



Letter: We Are Heading For Greater Prosperity

Published on: 6 Jul, 2016
Updated on: 5 Jul, 2016

BrexitFrom John Armstrong

Chairman of Guildford Ukip

I am saddened for, rather than irritated by, those Remainers who cannot see a way forward without the EU.

There are some who genuinely fear for the future, having been worried by “Project Fear”, who are not dyed in the wool politically motivated Europhiles; but are rather used to the idea of the EU because they have been brought up with it and know nothing else.

To them leaving the EU is massive change and they are bound to feel apprehensive. I expect that many of them will think again as the benefits of Brexit become clear.

There are others who are political Remainers by whom I am irritated. Particularly our elected representatives who give their support to, and even attend, anti-democracy demonstrations. They call for a second referendum, constantly talk Britain down, and are quite happy for Britain to struggle on under the ever deepening blanket of EU legislation.

Within a week of the referendum we have eleven or so countries interested in trade deals post Brexit. Among them: Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, India, and would you believe it; the United States. Even The City is stirring at the prospect of wider opportunity, and manufacturers are already starting to look beyond Europe.

India as an example has a population three times that of the EU, drives on the left, speaks English and is a bottomless pit of export potential. So are most Commonwealth countries.

The EU is not a natural market for Britain as there is nothing we can make or do that they cannot make or do for themselves. It would be different if we had bought up their utilities and car manufacturers, and if we were building their nuclear power stations. Sadly, it is the other way round.

We’ve given it a fair go, for forty odd years now but they’re driving us into the ground. Enough is enough.

As for an EU trade deal? We don’t need one. It would be nice; but no deal would be better than the one we currently have. It is the EU that needs the trade deal.

So it all depends on our politicians. Have they the courage and the confidence to walk away? The people have. But are we adequately represented I wonder?

The question was: Where are we moving on to? Greater prosperity in the wider world is the answer.

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Responses to Letter: We Are Heading For Greater Prosperity

  1. Andrew Backhurst Reply

    July 6, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Irritated? Yes that would sum it up. I would like to see some leadership from the out campaigners. Mr Gove, for a man wanting to be the PM has hardly uttered a word, so no surprises that he is not getting any votes.

    Poster boy politician Mr Johnson didn’t bother to turn up at parliament after the vote and then wonders why he is not taken seriously as a leader and resigns, blaming his back stabbing former friend.

    That brings me on to Mr Farage, why has he not the decency to carry out what he started?

    The outside world is looking at us and judging by how the pound is fairing against the dollar they don’t look impressed.

    The future may be as wonderful as predicted but only strong leadership will bring it about and all I see currently is a bunch of quitters.

    • John Armstrong Reply

      July 6, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      I thank Andrew Backhurst for his observations and comment. I feel that he is being somewhat unfair to Nigel Farage. Nigel does not have the power to follow through on Brexit. He is not an MP. He has been consistently sidelined by the Brexit camp and his part in achieving a referendum in the first place only grudgingly acknowledged. Unless he is invited to take part there is nothing he can do.

      He is one of the few politicians of whom it can be said that their political career has been a success. He has, against all the odds, and against virtually every media outlet on the planet, every world leader up to and including The President of The United States; changed the direction that this country is travelling. All that, without even being an MP. And the only word most of the establishment have for him is: “odious”. It is an utter disgrace and says more about them than it does Nigel Farage.

      As for his decency, the last time I looked he wasn’t trafficking in drugs, guns or people. Some criminals are though; and with the apparent approval of some of our elected representatives who hitherto have been reluctant to the point complicity to stop them, unless there is an election coming up and they want to steal a few votes from Ukip.

      The Brexit quitters? Well it’s been an interesting week or two to be sure. Brexit though are not the government. It is up to the government to deliver on Brexit. As MP’s keep saying to head off accusations of back sliding; “We’re all Brexiteers now.”

      John Armstrong is chairman of Guildford Ukip.

  2. John Perkins Reply

    July 7, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Quitters such as David Cameron who resigned at precisely the moment leadership is most needed.

    Quitters such as Jonathan Hill, who abandoned his post as the UK’s representative in the European Commission at exactly the time that representation is most needed.

    The Conservative party has made it evident that it will not tolerate Boris Johnson as leader, so it’s not surprising that he backed out of the contest (he didn’t resign).

    Mr. Gove’s position is a harder to fathom. He claimed he didn’t want to be PM and it now his parliamentary colleagues have not suppoorted him. One wonders why he stood at all?

    As head of Ukip, Nigel Farage has no real mandate nor any practical power to carry out an exit from the EU. His resignation means little.

    With regard to the pound, the governor of the Bank of England has announced that he has a large sum of money to give to anybody willing to gamble against him. All the speculators need do is short sterling until the Bank is forced to buy, then they can take a nice profit closing their positions. It’s been done before, in 1992 for example. The only question for me is why anyone might want a banker like Mr. Carney in control of their money.

    Strong leaders have not always proved to be a good thing in the past. We have “strong” local leadership here in Guildford and many are unhappy with the result.

  3. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    July 8, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    I admire John Armstrong’s optimism. Remember when Sterling was $2.4? It then fell to $1.8, $1.5 and now $1.28. The country’s debt was 2.3 trillion dollars and now it is heading for 2.3 trillion pounds, if the devalued pound sterling reaches parity with dollar.

    Commonwealth countries will do trade deals but not so much for importing UK made stuff but to export theirs. The industrial base of the UK has been largely replaced by financial services and some are already experiencing liquidity problems since the referendum. Some banks may be pulling out of the UK into the EU too.

    Brexit, in effect, is self-inflicted damage of the economy that could be made worse if Scotland leaves so as to remain in the EU and NI joins the Republic of Ireland.

    • John Perkins Reply

      July 9, 2016 at 9:32 am

      I remember when the pound was more than three to the dollar, before the UK joined the Common Market. However, it had already been declining for all of my life and more. I doubt that quoting this rate or that means very much in the longer term.

      Banks, like many other businesses, will complain about their problems if they think it might inspire a government to give them something or otherwise make things easier for them. But it costs money to move and they’ll only do that if they see a real profit in it.

      Any situation can, and often will, be made worse by momentous events, but that doesn’t mean those events are likely. Northern Ireland, in particular, requires economic subsidy and might not be as attractive to the Republic as some claim.

      Two weeks since the referendum is not nearly long enough to assess any effect, good or bad. Furthermore, the UK has not actually left yet and the Remain campaign continues apace.

  4. John Armstrong Reply

    July 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Mr Neogi should try not to carried away with pessimism.

    Sterling was around $1.5 for a long time before Brexit. I certainly cannot remember it at $2.4.

    Think of all those American tourists flooding in, flush with cheap Sterling, and all those British built BMW Mini’s and Rolls Royce’s flying off the shelves. Angela will be grinding her teeth and wondering where she went wrong as BMW sales plummet and British cars go off the the U.S by the shipload.

    I don’t think we’ll be buying many more Japanese vehicles though (or at least we shouldn’t be) or BMW’s; perhaps our politicians will learn a lesson; and from now on we will build our own. After all, 70% of global trade is in manufactured goods. What were our leaders thinking of?

    England expects every exporter this day to do his duty. Grab your order book and get going.

  5. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    July 10, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Minis are being manufactured in Netherlands and Austria to cater for extra demands. BMW did not invest more in its three plants in the UK although they have capacity to expand. They did not wish put all their eggs in one basket. After Brexit who knows if BMW would continue to invest in the UK in preference to their plants within the EU.

    TATA Steel is holding on to their plants for the moment in the hope that sterling will recover against the Indian Rupee (R87 now was R98 before) or Brexit will not actually happen. Some lawyers are saying the Parliament must vote as the referendum was only advisory.

    Sterling, having lost 12% of its value, is likely, if and when Article 50 is invoked, to experience another fall. So it should not be said that little will change here. It reminds me of Harold Wilson’s famous pronouncement about, “the pound in your pocket” when sterling was devalued.

    I am not pessimistic but a pragmatic person. Brexit has already done irreparable damage to the economy that would be consolidated if the UK leaves the EU. Unemployment, foodbanks, long NHS queues are inevitable regardless of how much money is printed by Mr Carney.

    • John Armstrong Reply

      July 17, 2016 at 8:20 pm

      Wherever Minis are manufactured British made Minis will now be less expensive. The same goes for Japanese cars and indeed anything made in Britain for export. This includes British steel.

      I understand that the MOD are having a new armoured vehicle manufactured in Spain using Swedish steel. This is due, I suspect, to EU procurement rules. It’s a miracle that we hung on to our aircraft carriers.

      Thales already have a share of them, so they could just as easily gone to France, as could have our nuclear powered submarines, along with the jobs and expertise.

      Surely Mr Neogi can see the insanity of it?

      Unemployment? Food-banks? Long NHS queues? Thanks to the EU and Globalisation, we have had all three for many years now, homelessness too.

      There are about 1.5 million young unemployed in Britain. This would be higher still if we were not now keeping children in school until age 18, primarily to keep them off the unemployment register but also to try and teach them what we should have taught them by age 15.

      Britain damaged by Brexit? I do not think so. Saved by Brexit would be more accurate.

      John Armstrong is chairman of Guildford Ukip.

  6. John Schluter Reply

    July 10, 2016 at 9:21 pm

  7. Peta Malthouse Reply

    July 11, 2016 at 11:03 am

    The point is that there has been no plan offered up. Risk takers are always optimistic but without solid plans and years of negotiation to support their theories (because that is what they are) I feel entitled as a Remainer to feel pessimistic.

    Oh yes, and there is the constitutional crisis to contend with. Were are the statesmen in this country, or do they all think politics is only about a three minute sound bite?

  8. George Dokimakis Reply

    July 11, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    I think the unwarranted optimism of those who supported Brexit is summed up by the trade with India approach.

    India is well behind the purchasing power the EU has. The fact that is touted as a destination for exports misunderstands the opportunities out there. As Bibhas Neogi mentioned, India is more interested in selling stuff to us.

    The UK exports high value services. Poor countries like India and most of the Commonwealth are a poor destination for such services. If it was otherwise, we would be selling already. There is no available equivalent to the EU.

    Unfortunately, it shows that Ukip was and is a protest party that now lacks clarity or purpose. Having achieved his goal, Farage resigned with no vision or offering for the future. They campaigned for leaving the EU, we voted for leaving and this is it now. There is no vision for the future or how the UK should be and look now.

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