Eu referendum

What happened after I ‘voted’ twice in the EU referendum?

Kind readers sometimes ask what has happened to the case against me for electoral fraud. In these Notes on 20 August, I revealed that I had drawn attention in the EU referendum to the ease with which one could vote twice. Legitimately registered to vote in Sussex and in London, I had voted Leave in Sussex, and then gone to London, collected my ballot paper unchallenged, and spoilt it by writing on it that it was ‘my protest at how lax the voting rules are’. The Electoral Commission then publicly announced that it was referring my case to the police. Just before Christmas, I was dismayed to receive a letter

Leak suggests EU will seek ‘special’ deal to access the City post-Brexit

The Guardian has a very significant story on its front page tomorrow. It has obtained notes of a meeting that Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, had with senior MEPs this week. These notes show that Barnier told them that he wanted a ‘special’ deal that would guarantee access for the EU firms and countries to the City of London’s financial markets. Interestingly, Barnier also said—according to The Guardian’s account—that ‘There will need to be work outside of the negotiation box … in order to avoid financial instability.” This suggests that Barnier shares Mark Carney’s view that there are financial stability risks for Europe if the EU cuts itself off

Full text: Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit speech

Listen to the whole speech here: Whether you voted to Leave or to Remain, you voted for a better future for Britain. One thing is clear, the Tories cannot deliver that. So today I want to set how Labour will deliver that vision of a better Britain. This government is in disarray over Brexit. As the Prime Minister made clear herself  they didn’t plan for it before the referendum and they still don’t have a plan now. I voted and campaigned to remain and reform as many of you may know I was not uncritical of the European Union. It has many failings. Some people argued that we should have

What the papers say: The Sir Ivan Rogers row rumbles on

Sir Tim Barrow has been appointed as Britain’s ambassador to the EU. Yet still the row over his predecessor’s departure rages in today’s papers. Sir Ivan Rogers may well have thought that the country made a mistake in backing Brexit, says the Daily Telegraph, but it is ‘not his place to make that impression public in the way that he did’. There was ‘nothing even-handed about the way in which he left, according to the paper’s editorial, which hits out at Rogers’ apparent inability to deal with politicians not always taking on board his advice. But the Telegraph’s most stinging criticism for Rogers is the way in which this row

A post-Brexit slump? Here’s the good news about Britain’s economy you didn’t hear

The rearguard Remain campaign is now living in a parallel universe. In the past 24 hours we have heard endless whining about Sir Ivan Rogers’ departure and how it will mean disaster for our trading relationship with the EU. We’ve had more claims that inflation is going to surge. The poor Christmas results put out by Next have been taken as a sign of a post-Brexit economic slump when they are really just part of a change in the patterns of retailing, with online sales growing at the expense of those in shops. Meanwhile, come yet more genuine good news on the economy. Yesterday, the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)

Douglas Murray

There’s a simple explanation for the Brexit ‘hate crime’ spike

A New Year is upon us and a new wave of racism, bigotry and xenophobia is meant to be stalking our land. That’s according to a Sky poll released on Monday which proclaimed that ‘Britain is more racist and less happy since Brexit vote’. If this made you check your pulse and wonder what racism has started coursing through your veins since June 23rd, fear not. The headline does not reflect reality but simply some peoples’ perception of reality. It is the result of a question in the poll which asked people not whether they felt more or less racist since last June, but to answer the question ‘Would you

Brexit means that few years will be as memorable as 2016

Few years will live as long in the memory as 2016. Historians will ponder the meaning and consequences of the past 12 months for decades to come. In the future, 180-odd years from now, some Zhou Enlai will remark that ‘it is too soon to say’ when asked about the significance of Brexit. The referendum result shocked Westminster. Michael Gove was so sure it would be Remain that he had retreated to bed on the evening of 23 June and only found out Leave had won when one of his aides telephoned in the early hours of the morning. Theresa May admits in her interview with us that she was

Letters | 29 December 2016

Unencumbered Sir: Matthew Parris’s bizarre reference (‘Unforgiven’, 10 December) to the UK economy as merely ‘medium-sized’ is a classic instance of Remainers’ tendency to pass Britain off expediently as a vulnerable country on the margins of Europe, which couldn’t survive without our EU umbilical cord. The UK is actually the fifth or sixth largest of the world’s nearly 200 national economies. If we are only medium-sized, how can all the world’s ‘even smaller’ economies — such as India, Canada, South Korea or Australia — possibly hack it as independent sovereign states outside any supranational governance bloc like the EU? How have they managed so far? Mr Parris does at least

Matthew Parris

For the first time in my life, I feel ashamed to be British

We’re closing 2016 by republishing our ten most-read articles of the year. Here’s No. 3: Matthew Parris’s article from July, where he says the fallout from the referendum has left him feeling ashamed to be British for the first time. Before even writing this I know what response it will meet. Some who fought for Leave on 23 June will be contemptuous. ‘Bad loser’, ‘diddums’, ‘suck it up’, ‘go and live somewhere else’. From the online Leave brigade who stalk the readers’ comments section beneath media columns I’m already familiar with the attitudes of the angry brigade; but aware that there were also plenty of perfectly sane and nice people

Out – and into the world: Why The Spectator backed Brexit

We’re closing 2016 by republishing our ten most-read articles of the year. Here’s No. 6: Our leader article from June, in which the Spectator backed Brexit The Spectator has a long record of being isolated, but right. We supported the north against the slave-owning south in the American civil war at a time when news-papers (and politicians) could not see past corporate interests. We argued for the decriminalisation of homosexuality a decade before it happened, and were denounced as the ‘bugger’s bugle’ for our troubles. We alone supported Margaret Thatcher when she first stood for the Tory leadership. And when Britain last held a referendum on Europe, every newspaper in

The six reasons why I voted ‘Remain’ in the referendum

We’re closing 2016 by republishing our ten most-read articles of the year. Here’s No. 7: Matthew Parris’s article, written two weeks before the referendum, in which he called on Spectator readers to vote ‘Remain’ Like almost everyone, I’ve piled angrily into this fight. But as the debate nears resolution I feel ashamed of all my furious certainties. In the end, none of us knows, and we shouldn’t pretend to. So I’ll try now to express more temperately six thoughts that persist as the early rage subsides. From the first three you’ll see that I’m beginning to understand that for many the EU is now a whipping boy. ‘Europe’ has become

The six best reasons for Brexit

We’re closing 2016 by republishing our ten most-read articles of the year. Here’s No. 8: Daniel Hannan’s piece from June, in which he argues why voting ‘Leave’ is the right decision For me, as for so many people, it’s a heart versus head issue. I’m emotionally drawn to Europe. I speak French and Spanish and have lived and worked all over the Continent. I’ve made many friends among the Brussels functionaries. Lots of them, naturally, are committed Euro-federalists. Yet they are also decent neighbours, loyal companions and generous hosts. I feel twinges of unease about disappointing them, especially the anglophiles. But, in the end, the head must rule the heart.

Why Leave voters are my heroes of 2016

It’s rare that an opinion poll brings a tear to my eye. But this week one did. It was the CNN/ComRes poll published on Monday. It found that 47 per cent of British adults would vote Leave if the EU referendum was held today, and 45 per cent would vote Remain (eight per cent said they didn’t know how they’d vote). This means, as the CNN headline put it, that ‘Six months on, Brits stand by EU referendum decision’. Leavers haven’t budged. Regrexit is a myth. Even after months of being branded as idiots, libelled as racists, and charged with bringing about a hike in hate crime and possibly the

Nicola Sturgeon’s Baldrick moment

Yesterday, the Scottish government published its ‘plan’ for life after Brexit. It was, at 60 or so pages, more detailed than anything we have yet seen from Theresa May’s ministry. But then it would be, given that Nicola Sturgeon will not be leading the UK’s negotiations as and when they begin. Still, plenty of nationalists crowed that, whatever else might be said of the Scottish government’s document, at least Sturgeon has a plan. But so did Baldrick.  That a plan exists does not make it a good plan. Or even an achievable one. And since we are still in the early stages of the Brexit waiting game the Scottish government’s proposals

A conversation about Brexit

Now that almost six months have passed since the EU referendum, might it be time for old enemies to find common ground? Matthew Parris and Matt Ridley, two of the most eloquent voices on either side of the campaign, meet in the offices of The Spectator to find out. MATTHEW PARRIS: Catastrophe has not engulfed us yet, it’s true. But I feel worse since the result, rather than better. I thought that, as in all hard-fought campaigns, you get terribly wound up and depressed when you lose. Then you pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again. But my animosities — not just towards the Brexit argument,

Brendan O’Neill

Just because you disagree with someone, it doesn’t make them a ‘fascist’

The worst thing about 2016 — an otherwise bracing year of political upset and oligarchical tears — has been the mainstreaming of the insult ‘fascist’. Anyone who sticks it to the status quo, whether by rejecting the EU or plumbing for Trump over Clinton, risks being smeared with the F-word. Even the normally measured New York Times flirted with the idea that loads of Americans and Europeans might be fascists, or at least facilitators of fascism. Trump’s victory speaks to a possible ‘revival of fascism’, it said, echoing the fears of an army of observers and tweeters who see in Brexit and Trump the stirrings of a kind of Nazism.

Matthew Lynn

Scotland has nothing to gain from staying in the single market

The Scottish economy will be left in ruins. Tens of thousands of people will be thrown out of their jobs. The tax base will shrivel. To listen to the latest round of complaints from the Scottish National Party, membership of the single market is absolutely vital to the country’s economy. Indeed, it is so important that it now wants to maintain it, even if England and the rest of the UK leaves. That might be clever politics, if it can be turned into a platform for a second referendum and if you choose to believe that the constitutional lawyers in Brussels can come up with a way of keeping one

Daft celebrity mourners have made 2016 the year of the ‘Tearleader’

Despite my ‘difficult’ reputation, I am a cheery cove in real life, all the more so as I get older. But in true Dorian Grey style, I only stay this way by letting my intolerant side rule the roost on Facebook. Every morning my hot little hands positively itch to unfollow, defriend and block: a day which passes without binning a few dim bulbs is a day wasted. I’ve had an especially good run of it this year, as two things in particular have acted as cracking prompts for my ‘negging‘ narrative. One has been the showing of bad attitude on the part of many Remain-supporting mates. I don’t expect

‘Putinites on the web’ are the new ‘Reds under the bed’

Wounded Remainers in Britain and the Hillary set in the US love banging on about ‘post-truth politics’. Lies are everywhere, they say, falling from Trump’s weird mouth, plastered on the side of Brexit buses. And apparently these lies invaded voters’ minds and made us do the unimaginable thing of voting against the EU and failing to vote for Hillary. We was hoodwinked by falsehoods! All of which would be a tad more convincing if it wasn’t for one thing: it’s actually the Remainer and Hillary cliques that have gone full post-truth, even descending into the cesspit of conspiracy theory. Yesterday in the House of Commons, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw did

Marmite, Toblerone and the other hidden costs of Brexit

One thing I won’t miss about No. 11 Downing Street are the Christmas cards: 2,056 Christmas cards to be exact. That was the number I had to sign every year. The recipients included 87 FTSE chief executives, 209 foreign dignitaries, six EU commissioners and one shadow chancellor. They all added up, and it involved several days of signing, and sore wrists. Every chancellor, prime minister and opposition leader I’ve known does the same. Judging by the thousands of cards I would receive, many must go unread. So I propose to my successors a Christmas truce. Only send cards to people you actually know. Give the money you save to a good