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Will the EU referendum lead to a British exit from the EU?

 The referendum is non-binding.

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The FT’s leader today expanded on this:

“A vote for Brexit will not be determinative of whether the UK will leave the EU. That potential outcome comes down to the political decisions which then follow before the Article 50 notification.

“The policy of the government (if not of all of its ministers) is to remain in the EU. The UK government may thereby seek to put off the Article 50 notification, regardless of political pressure and conventional wisdom.

What matters in law is when and whether the government invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty

“This is the significant “red button”. Once the Article 50 process is commenced then Brexit does become a matter of law, and quite an urgent one. It would appear this process is (and is intended to be) irreversible and irrevocable once it starts. But invoking Article 50 is a legally distinct step from the referendum result — it is not an obligation”.

The UK would have two years to negotiate a deal after triggering the exit clause of the EU treaties; extending talks beyond that would require unanimous agreement of the EU’s member states.

A Telegraph article adds that issues would include what financial regulations would still apply to the City of London, trade tariffs and movement rights of EU citizens and UK nationals. The agreement would have to be ratified both by the European council and the parliament in Strasbourg. During that time Britain would continue to abide by EU treaties and laws – however it would not take part in any decision making.

And could the United Kingdom legally disregard a vote for Brexit?

The legal analysis and mechanics were outlined earlier in an FT blog by lawyer and writer David Allen Green, who confirms that the referendum is advisory rather than mandatory:

“What happens next in the event of a vote to leave is therefore a matter of politics not law. It will come down to what is politically expedient and practicable.

  • The UK government could seek to ignore such a vote; to explain it away and characterise it in terms that it has no credibility or binding effect . . .
  • Or they could say it is now a matter for parliament, and then endeavour to win the parliamentary vote.
  • Or ministers could try to re-negotiate another deal and put that to another referendum.

He adds: “There is, after all, a tradition of EU member states repeating referendums on EU-related matters until voters eventually vote the “right” way”.

Green shows that there are ‘ways and means’ to avoid Brexit.

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Scottish independence campaign: FFA to ask all politicians if they will legislate on farm gate prices

Press release from William Taylor, Farmers For Action UK NI co-ordinator:

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Rural dwellers in Scotland have a golden opportunity to settle the debate on independence: they should immediately put the case to the Scottish National Party and to the Westminster government for safety-net legislation on farm gate prices and see what the politicians are made of, then vote accordingly.

A project campaigning for legislation on farm gate prices for staples

12 months ago in Northern Ireland, FFA put the case for legislation on farmgate prices for all the staples that would provide a safety net giving farmers a minimum of the true cost of production plus a margin inflation linked return minimum. If the market prices go higher NI farmers would receive such prices, but when prices fall they could only legally come down to the safety-net price of the cost of production plus a margin inflation linked.

In Northern Ireland four farm organisations, including Northern Ireland Livestock Auctioneer Associations, are now working equally with Farmers For Action on the project with the Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister and the Agriculture Committee at Stormont.   The icing on the cake for the Northern Ireland politicians who see the legislation through is the creation of 25,000 jobs immediately, which equates to a minimum of one professional job for every farm in Northern Ireland, only to be followed by thousands more good quality permanent jobs throughout agriculture and its suppliers. In Scotland this would equate initially to 53,000 jobs.

 The facts:

  1. 25% of UK family farmers are living below the poverty line (welfare overrides the legislation being anti competitive);
  2. the price of beef is in free fall along with virtually every other commodity needing a huge lift to even reach the true cost of production, eg milk 42p/l, beef £5.15 per kg, lamb £5.15 per kg, potatoes £175 per tonne;
  3. grain and oil seeds are one of the few exceptions, in that world market shortages due to bio fuel use is keeping the price currently just about cost of production but usually over and above.

With family farmers standing no chance of getting a fair price against the likes of Tesco or corporate processors, it’s time for the politicians who put Scotland before themselves to stand forward and do what Roosevelt did in the US 30s depression; he couldn’t get the US out of recession until he put money in farmers’ pockets. Farmers with money in their pockets purchase from approximately 123 other businesses and create employment, they cannot currently reinvest and continue producing food whilst losing money.

So come on Scotland! Put the case to the politicians, let’s end 21st century rural poverty together by making the politicians pull their weight and earn their keep. Now is your golden opportunity to turn the debate back to the politicians and ask if they are prepared to legislate on farm gate prices so that rural dwellers are properly rewarded for their work as the Lisbon Treaty states, or if they will turn their backs on 53,000 Scottish jobs by putting corporate greed first, yet again!

Farmers For Action

56 Cashel Road, Macosquin, Coleraine, Co L’derry, N Ireland, BT51 4NU

Tel/Fax 028 703 43419 Email taylor.w@btconnect.com