£100 of billions lost

Issues such as the Galileo project highlight what fools we have been with our money. Non-EU countries also invest into EU countries, China invests tens of billions of dollars into EU countries every year, buying everything from high tech companies to French vineyards. But when / if China ends it’s relationship with the EU it will be able to sell those investments and get it’s money back with a profit. We, on the other hand, having invested a few hundred billion Euros into the EU end our relationship, lose all that investment and now get a bill for £39 billion. Who are the mugs? It is time to stop throwing good money after bad.

Food waste is not food waste!!??

Under a new EU regulatioin on food waste 34% of wasted food will not be regarded as food waste. The new regulation requires member states to report their tonnage of food waste. That is not a bad thing, a 60% reduction in food waste by 2030 could save 84.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year and reduce Europe’s burden of land-use by an area greater than Croatia.

However waste that occurs on the farm is to be excluded. Most of this waste is the result of corporations who reject ‘ugly food’, cancel contracts, impose sudden price reductions, etc., or it is the failing of the Common Agricultural Policy that has encouraged over-production. By excluding this waste Brussels and their corporate lobbyists avoid responsibility for the problem they have created. All too convenient!

Draft law to exclude wonky carrots from food waste

Wages soar due to Brexit

As EU workers leave the UK as a result of the Brexit vote employers facing skills shortages are having to raise wages.
A CIPD/Adecco survey found that two-thirds of private sector firms had increased their starting salaries in response to recruitment challenges.
Jon Boys, labour market economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: “The labour market is surprisingly robust. There are skills shortages and companies are struggling to get the talent they need – that’s what’s driving this increase in pay growth we’re seeing.”
In the hospitality sector wages have increased 38% between 2017 and 2018.
In the construction industry bewtween 2016 – 2018, Crawler Crane Operators have seen the greatest pay increase (54%), while Electrical Testers have reported a 34% surge and Steel Fixers a rise of 22% as firms look to reduce a long-standing reliance on workers from overseas.
Google can show you many more examples.
Those gullible enough to believe the pseudo-intellectual articles that claimed high levels of migration had no effect on wages, and those that take part in the cultural bullying of those that have pointed out that migration does affect wages, can now see clear evidence that they were wrong!

Hospitality wages up by 38%

Brexit report – construction wages

Water and our growing population

Today we are warned by the Environment Agency that England will run short of water within 25 years, due to rising population and climate change. To those aware of the environmental damage our rising population is doing this comes as no surprise. The WWF has already reported that a third of river catchments are threatened by excessively high abstraction levels.
It is a suprising statistic that, if we ignore small islands, after Bangladesh and South Korea, England is the third most populated country in the World. Recently the National Rivers Authority reported that if we divide the total rainfall for England by it’s population we have per head as much water as Cyprus!
More than 50% of our population growth comes from inwards migration and the numbers have reached absurd levels. With more than 250,000 new residents arriving every year we can fill the City of Bristol in less than 24 months.
To alleviate our growing housing crisis the government propose to build 5 garden towns between Oxford and Cambridge. This will create 103,000 new homes. Using the average UK home occupancy of 2.4 people per dwelling we can see that these homes will house approx 247,200 people. At our current rate of net migration we can fill all these homes within 11 months, just using new residents from overseas.
One of the solutions to supply our fast growing population is a ‘mega reservoir’ near Abingdon, Oxford that would cover more than 4 square miles, resulting in significant environmental, economic and social damage.
Excessive water abstraction is only one of the problems resulting from our over generous migration policies. I doubt many here would disagree that a sensible migration policy would match numbers coming in with our ability to cope with those numbers. We cannot do this as long as we are subject to the failed idealism of Freedom of Movement.

Excessive water abstraction threatens UK rivers.

The return of opportunity

As labour returns to Europe and creates skills shortages, it is becoming evidently clear how the abundance of cheap labour has affected employment conditions and enabled employers to skimp on investment and modernisation. On this morning’s Today program the Construction Industry Training Board confirm that we will have to train more of our own people and invest in new technologies to replace the “cheap, imported labour”. This will start to reverse the long term decline in training. Finally the young and the unskilled, millions of whom are trapped in part-time or temporary work, zero hour contracts, exploitative jobs in the gig economy or unpaid internships, will have the chance to get a foot on the economic ladder. It also shows how wrong the many pseudo-intellectual studies have been that claimed that the millions of new workers we have absorbed since 2008, a time of stagnant economic growth, have had no detrimental effect on pay and conditions.

The noose around EU’s neck

The EU will not remove the backstop because there must never be a chance that a hard border will return between the two Irelands. Fair enough, nobody wants to see that. There must never be a hard border says the EU. On no account can there ever be a hard border says the EU. We will not contemplate the possibility of a return of a hard border says the EU. And if we don’t agree to that we will have to leave on March 29th without an agreement and the EU will have to install a hard border! All Theresa May has to do now to keep the EU at the negotiating table is to stand by the stool threatening to kick it away on the 29th. I think there will be some form of agreement before then.

No such thing as EU money

In my frequent jousts on the Scientists for EU Facebook page people often talk about the benefits that we get from EU money. Without it we would have less research funding, less money in schools and all sorts of other sectors. But the truth is there is no such thing as EU money. The UK is a net contributor to the EU, we put in more than we get out. Any money sent to us by the EU is money we have already given them. The money saved when we stop contributing to the EU could cover all of the money the EU sends to us and we would still have several £ billion left over.

Independent charity fullfact.org confirm this. “In 2017 the UK government paid £13 billion to the EU budget, and EU spending on the UK was forecast to be £4 billion. So the UK’s ‘net contribution’ was estimated at nearly £9 billion” (These figures are after the rebate has been deducted). The EU also makes payments directly to the private sector, such as research grants which historically have been £1.5 billion, so our net contribution to the EU is around £7.5 billion.

It has been claimed that we also get money from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to assist in funding of projects such as Cross-Rail. This is true but this money is in the form of loans and must be repaid. Also, as the UK is one of the four top funders of the EIB and that the EIB makes loans both across the EU and also to non-EU countries, I doubt we are lent more than we provide in funds.

A lot of what we get back is wasted. A large chunk goes to Landowners as a farming subsidy, but the landowners are under no obligation to invest this money into the farm. Most goes straight into their pockets. One in five of the biggest direct subsidy payments last year went to people on the Top 100 rich list.

Some of our payments go to the running of the EU institutions and to pay the wages and expenses of MEPs. An MEP is paid £7,705 per month (£92,460 pa) and on leaving, depending on length of service gets, a ‘transition’ payment of up to £181,078. They are paid a monthly general expenditure allowance of £4,416 to fund constituency offices and are refunded 1st class travel. They receive a £275 daily allowance when working in Strasbourg or Brussels. Most claim the maximum allowances and there is no requirement to justify the expenditure with reciepts other than for travel.

Despite calls for accountability by Transparency International and the discovery by journalists that there were 249 ghost offices where an MEP either had no office or refused to disclose the address, MEPs recently voted to keep their expenses secret.

Part of our contribution helps to develop the industries of the poorer EU nations, which is a good thing. But when the countries you are helping financially then offer subsidies to lure away UK industries that does not sit comfortably. The recent decision by Jaguar Landrover to move to Slovakia was greased by a £110 million subsidy. Under EU rules only the poorer nations can offer subsidies. Slovakia received £1.5 billion in funding from the richer EU nations. There have been other, similar cases.