Sunday, 18 August 2013

A State Secret

One of the peculiarities of UKIP is though its raison d'etre is EU exit, one notable void in party policy is precisely on how that would be achieved. Despite 20 years in existence and 6 years since the Lisbon Treaty was signed - thus changing the method of exit - no such policy exists on UKIP's website or indeed anywhere else.

In light of this Autonomous Mind tries to tease out any details via a UKIP candidate but with little success. Roger ‘Tallbloke’ Tattersall claims he knows what UKIP's policy is, apparently via an email with head of UKIP's policy unit Tim Aker, but he cannot reveal those contents.

With this in mind I emailed Tim Aker myself today via his website here. To his credit he replied within 10 minutes and he outlined UKIP’s current position. It articulates one possible route but its vagueness gives UKIP enough wriggle room to consider another option or to continuously avoid the question altogether. I hoped to post the contents of the mail here and requested if I could do so, but Tim asked for me to keep the “correspondence between us for the time being”. It is a request I will reluctantly adhere to.

Let's be clear I haven't requested membership details nor anything else sensitive, just UKIP's policy on exit. And for now that remains a state secret. What an odd situation to be in.


  1. TBF,

    Every law, every single piece of legislation, has a 'joker' written into it. The joker (or loophole, or 'get out of gaol free card', call it what you will) isn't always obvious and it may take years to find it, but it is in there somewhere.

    It might just be possible that UKIP (or a sympathetic lawyer) has found it. The loophole.

    Not surprising then, that UKIP want to keep it dark for now.

    This is just supposition.


    1. I guess any clever lawyer can wriggle themselves out of anything, though I struggle to accept that's the reason for a 20 year silence on the lack of publication of an exit strategy.

      Article 50 itself is not complete; it fails to address the exit of a eurozone member or mass withdrawal - in some ways there would be an element of making it up as they go along given there's no precedent thus far.

      But ultimately the international principles of lex specialis and pacta sunt servanda come into play backed up by the weight of UK trade.

    2. We leave the same way we leave any club. We stop paying the subs the let them work it out.

    3. If only it was as easy as that...precisely because the EU governs most things means getting out is going to be very difficult - like getting rid of Japanese Knotweed.

      What about trade, permission to enter EU airspace, landing slots, telephony and postal services to the EU - the list is endless. Simply just withholding our subs doesn't mean exit.

    4. Airspace stuff is a bit of a red herring, akin to keeping the peace in Europe for 50 years as soon as they got themselves an army. ICAO Chicago Convention applies. The promotion of airspace got added to the boasts because EU got itself recognised as a state. Must have- ICAO is a UN body and Article 1 of the Chicago Convention. ICAO also sets the specs for passports. Still at aleast EASA is more transparent than JAA pulling strings method that existed before it. This is an area I actually now some stuff about.

      Know less about the WTO, but was under the impression it sets limits for trade barriers between member countries. If so then the max cap EU could place (and I assume it would to discourage les autres) is calculable.

    5. If anyone is working out that cap,might also be worth finding out how much would be needed to be spent on the likes of Harwich so that more non EU exports could be sent from there rather than through Rotterdam (and thus included in the 50% trade figures).

      Its only by widely disseminating info like this that will force are professionally paid advocates be they politicians or media opinion formers to raise their game.

    6. Thanks Will Rees, informative comments

  2. I suspect that UKIP want to stay the party of anti-EU sentiment indefinitely. If we were to get out, where would that leave UKIP? Why should it have an exit strategy - sounds like suicide to me?! [Also, where would the UKIP MEPS go to get their nice little earner?]

    1. That's a good point, it is a dilemma and one wonders if we were to exit what would Ukkipers do as a result to fill the void.

      A similar dilemma affects the Labour party - if they were to eradicated poverty and the poor (if it were possible) it leaves them with no voters...

    2. Ridiculous IanE.

    3. That is not sensible - it is like saying Cancer charities do not want to find a cure because all their money would stop !

      I think UKIP would enjoy unravelling all the directives once Britain left the EU and negotiating all the terms in our best interest. I am not sure whether there is a true patriotic government in the other 3 parties who would do this - they are so ignorant that they would let the EU dictate their terms.

      For instance, did anyone know that the death penalty is reintroduced in the Lisbon Treaty ? Most do not.

    4. @Vanessa The Lisbon Treaty doesn't reintroduce the death penalty, what it does is provide exemptions to the ban.

      There's a blanket ban on the death penalty and executions via Protocol 13 and Article 2(2) of the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights

      What the Lisbon "footnote" allows is exemptions in case of war, riots and public order situations.

      Wars are obvious as soldiers would be unable to do their job properly if they can't "execute" people. Certain public order situations also require lethal force for example a Police sniper killing a hostage taker or the Iranian embassy siege. These rights are enjoyed by the vast majority of countries across the world.

      It's worth bearing in mind that Lisbon was deliberately written to be complicated which leads to misunderstandings, this has affected other aspects of the Treaty such as Article 50, Article 47 and the wholesale changes to QMV in November 2014.

      In truth most of the clauses turn out to be far less sinister than is imagined.

    5. If you don't believe me then have a look at this and then tell me it does not reintroduce it.

    6. There's nothing there that contradicts my answer. The footnote relates to the death penalty and/or executions in specific situations. These are rights all countries, including the UK, already have in the situations I outlined above.

    7. If your interpretation is correct then I am relieved. I hope you are right as I presumed the man in Zurich to be a lawyer.

  3. I also contacted Tim Aker via his website and received a prompt reply. I haven't as yet asked his permission to make his reply public, so I won't. However, from what you have written about there being a secret plan it would seem that there is some disparity as that was not what I was told. Any chance of a swap offline?

    1. Tim Aker has asked me not to make public the contents so I'm reluctant to do so.

      Let's just say it's a firm indication of how UKIP sees an exit may be achieved without it being official policy as yet.

    2. Fair enough! Although I would not have made it public I guess you shouldn't take that chance.

  4. I used to think that Mr. Williams was one of the more sensible Northists...

    But apparently not.


    1. What's that supposed to mean? In what way am I a "Northist" or indeed not sensible. Please elaborate...

    2. Sorry, a bit strong, but you do seem to be jumping into bed with the oh so bitter Dr. North... The whole timbre of this piece is a bit anti the only group/party that is going to make any non-violent impact on the big issues.

      I wonder whether without UKIP, any of these big issues of the last twenty years would even be under discussion?

      I reckon that we would be suffering under the Euro, even worse than with the pigs ear that our government has made with Sterling. No, that argument would have been left to Vague Hague as a piece of ephemera. And we certainly wouldn’t be discussing HS2, immigration policy, Article 50 (or 49) of the Lisbon treaty (we would have had a “constitution”)…

      But here’s the thing, there is no ambiguity about leaving the EU…. Change the nature of the government in Westminster, and Westminster will leave the EU by whatever method offers the most expedient exit. It’s not the EU that is the problem, it is the crowd that have infested Westminster and the communist/communitarian hordes that have hijacked the bureaucratic institutions of government.

      Oh yes… It is only through UKIP (without any seats at Westminster) making lots of noise from the sidelines, attracting sell out crowds at public meetings and being damned awkward, that any debate is being had at all.

      The reality of leaving the EU of course is that under the British constitution, no parliament can be bound by its predecessors… So a simple one line act that repeals the 1972 ECA and the 1973 Act of Accession will become null and void… Then it will take upwards of 10 (or even 20) years to gradually untie all of those oh so carefully tied knots, and if during that time it is moot to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty then so be it.

      Of course as even Dr. North has pointed out, there are many contracts/agreements/treaties that we are signed up to as members of the EU, that most non-members are also signed up to… International agreements. In general, the newspapers and Richard North attempt to trivialise the process of our law, and suggest that only article 50 (blah blah) will do… Well that is frankly… balderdash. As a matter of fact, if one doesn't agree with how an institution was established, one doesn't need to play by its rules, but it can use them to its advantage, but that doesn't mean that it is the only method.

      I reckon that North has it wrong, the Lisbon Treaty is not something that we should have any respect for, we should just use it if it happens to simplify a part of the exit process.

      As for UKIP, out of office, it has to argue for anything... a referendum on the EU for instance... It's certainly not going to argue against one, is it?

      Tcheuchter has got it about right... When dealing with a slippery bunch of politicians, you have to return the favour, but still aim for a similar result... power. Whereas the LibLabCON are aiming for the floating voter, UKIP are trying to build a movement from all sides of the spectrum, and it can look a bit incoherent, and they might get stuff wrong sometimes...

      And they are not like any of the other parties... And as Harold Wislon probably didn't say... "A week is a long time in politics."

    3. In your determination to characterise me as "bitter" and then the speed with which you seek to lable TBF as a "Northist" one sees the rather transparent ploy of hiding the inadequacies in your argument under layers of bluster.

      When we cut to the chase, and shed the strident declarations that "North has it wrong", you need to answer the very simple question ... what happens the day after the UK's unilateral abrogation of the treaties?

      Answer that, honestly and squarely, and we have a debate. Staying in your comfort zone and slagging off North doesn't cut it.

    4. What you have wrong Richard, is your attitude to UKIP, change that and your rants might make more sense.

      You sound quite a lot like the leader of the People's Front for Judaea at the moment.

      I am not a spokesman for UKIP, I don't have many coherent answers (if any), but I instinctively know that however coherent I might or might not be...

      Sitting on the sidelines sniping at everything and everyone that disagrees with me, is not a sensible approach, being a part, however insignificant of the general mass of opposition is the best place to be, and attempting to shoot it down at every opportunity is an example of the bitterness of a scorned woman.

      But then, UKIP keeps getting bigger the more that you snipe, so carry on, if you like.

    5. At least you have a finely honed sense of irony, Mr Right Writes - whoever you are, hiding behind your mask of anonymity. Having delivered a first class rant ... "Sorry, a bit strong, but you do seem to be jumping into bed with the oh so bitter Dr. North...", you then dismiss my many writings as "rants".

      That is the way the game is played. You write, I "rant". That way, you excuse yourself from answering the points. After all, if they are merely "rants", then they don't have to be answered. They don't make sense, do they?

      But then, as a fallback - more in the way of an insurance policy - you need not reply because my "attitude" is not right. So the High and Mighty Mr Right Writes does not need to deign to answer North's points because his attitude is not right. Have you any idea how pathetic that sounds out in daylight?

      In passing, I have to be told that I "sound quite a lot like the leader of the People's Front for Judaea at the moment" - a fine piece of ad hominem of ever there was one, and then we really do cut to the chase..

      "I am not a spokesman for UKIP", writes Mr Right Writes. "I don't have many coherent answers (if any), but I instinctively know that however coherent I might or might not be...".

      So, Mr Right Writes that he reckons "that North has it wrong". Not that he has any coherent answers, mind you. Thus does he work on instinct. That is enough for Mr Right Writes. but then, since North's attitude is wrong, he doesn't have to answer any questions anyway. How dreadfully convenient .. because, as we see, the single question put to him he artfully evades in his growing layers of bluster.

      I note, incidentally, that this "instinct" has never brought Mr Right Wright to the EU Ref forum. Like his fellows, he operates in the margins, spraying out his poisonous ad hominem and insults, then like the tender little flower that he is, crying foul because North's attitude is not "right".

      This is the action of a coward, Mr Right Writes - or should I call you Wrong Rants? Oh no, dear me, that would be ad hominem, and then you will go crying to mummy and never, never answer my qwestions again, poor thing.

      Pathetic. Truly pathetic.

    6. You know who I am Richard... My name is registered on EUReferendum, and I was once fully signed up to your Harrowgate thing.

      I just got fed up with your attitude to anyone that either you disagree with, or that disagrees with you...

      And I am not wrong to do so, am I?

    7. BTW: the avatar and name does not mean "right" in the right/wrong sense of the word... it means right, as in liberal.... writes means that a liberal minded bloke is writing what follows. Not turning left.

      I was always of the view that the smaller and nastier that one perceives the world to be, the stupider one is becoming. And the bigger and funnier that the world is perceived, the more intelligent one is becoming.

      I am not so sure about the second part... perhaps more knowledgable... I am not sure that I agree wholly with Locke's view of nature vs. nurture.

      I don't mean you any ill will Richard, although that does not seem to be a view that is reciprocated, I used to be extremely polite in my criticism, but replies like the one I have just benefitted from were all that I got back, so I try to doasiwouldbedoneby.

    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    9. "Sorry, a bit strong, but you do seem to be jumping into bed with the oh so bitter Dr. North..."

      You apologise then effectively accuse me of the same thing again in the same sentence.

      What is revealing is all I did was write a mild observation that it is odd that UKIP - whose specialty is supposed to be EU exit - does not have a plan. Or rather it sort of does but wants to keep it secret. It's an issue I have raised as a UKIP member on separate occasions internally to sympathetic ears. And for that observation I get called a Northist.

      UKIP has had years to produce one and has failed to do so with no indication of one in the future.

      It's akin to the Green party claiming they're an environmental party but don't reveal any details of eco-type measures they support. A quick perusal of their website however shows in fact they do. Perhaps that's why they have 1 MP more than UKIP on a quarter of the vote.

      Anyway one thing I don't do is uncritical adulation, either of Richard North or UKIP or indeed anyone else. I call it as I see it. And if that upsets certain UKIP supports who see nothing wrong with their messiah, and get rather touchy in his defence, then so be it.

    10. Mr Right Write: You simply can't help yourself, can you? It can't be Harrogate. It has to be "Harrowgate". Everything about you is one long sneer. And then you complain about my attitude? I suggest you have a good, long, hard look in the mirror.

      As to me knowing who you are, don't you think you are being a little disingenuous. "Right Writes" is not registered on my forum database and if you were at Harrogate, you did not register as Mr Right Writes. The whole point of a psuedonym or screen name is that it hides the identity of the writer.

      And I am sorry you "got fed up with your attitude to anyone that either you disagree with, or that disagrees with you", although I have to say that you are indeed a tender flower if you let that upset you.

      For sure, I have a robust debating style, and a sharp wit, but the issues are bigger than Richard North. If you can't get past that, and have to resort to your malevolent stream of insults, then you are a very small man.

      It strikes me though that you are not being entirely honest with me or yourself. As a UKIP supporter, you may well have been dismayed by the anti-UKIP tone at Harrogate. This was not intended and it was as much to my surprise as anyone's that the meeting had a very high proportion of ex-UKIP members, and there was some considerable hostility to UKIP.

      I am not sure, therefore, that you are not simply reflecting your support for UKIP, and reacting to my attacks on UKIP. But then, that is one of the very reasons why I am so critical of UKIP.

      From being a political party, it is developing the characteristics of a cult, increasingly intolerant of criticism and aggressively hostile to those who dare offer the slightest adverse observations.

      The sharpness and the hostility of your personal attacks are not normal. You really do need to look at yourself and ask yourslef where you are going with this.

    11. I am sorry if I gave that impression... It wasn't an accusation, more of an observation, however cack-handed.

      But here is the thing, UKIP was in the very early days (Sked) an anti-EU group... (The anti-common market league?), there was a very early argument that resulted in some people leaving, but many more people joining.

      Should UKIP contest seats at all elections including for the EP, or should it make a stand and not "recognise" the EU?

      The day that it started contesting all elections was the day that it ceased to be an anti-EU pressure group, and become a pro-UK, anti establishment thorn in the side of the LibLabCON.

      The aim of UKIP is not to get the UK to withdraw from the EU and then to fold and for its people to go back to being metal traders, salesmen and bank clerks...

      The aim is to change the balance of power in Westminster away from the establishment/communitarian/communist (keep the people down at all costs) model, and establish a modern independent democracy, with much more say for localism and direct democracy.

      If you are a member you will know that already. You will know that despite the occasional contradiction, it is the most liberal of the parties on almost every issue, even though it has to placate some of the older members sometimes.

      If I cause any offence to your or Richard's sensibilities, it is entirely due to the way that I was regularly treated on the EUReferendum website, the second that I raised a question about something that Richard wrote... Eventually I got fed up with being regularly bashed, and I retired to "the margins" :)

    12. Mr Right Writes: I still have no idea who you are ... there are over 400 forum members, But, if this is an example of your debating style ...

      "Sitting on the sidelines sniping at everything and everyone that disagrees with me, is not a sensible approach, being a part, however insignificant of the general mass of opposition is the best place to be, and attempting to shoot it down at every opportunity is an example of the bitterness of a scorned woman."

      ... then it is unsurprising that you were being "regularly bashed".

      Actually, though, you were "bashed" on the Booker Column, where you offered the same slur that you are repeating now ... the discussion also being posted on the forum ...

      You were answered on the column, but that does not stop you coming back with exactly the same slur, unaltered. You obviously intended to cause offence, and you are still doing it, but now you are positioning yourself as the "victim". This is not fair dealing. It is not straight dealing.

  5. When one is dealing with anything as slippery as the EU it is as well to leave oneself plenty of wriggle room.


  6. Show me one example (in fact ANY example) of a political party that will reveal their 'manifesto' in it's entirety before they have assumed office.

    My experience is that they will ALL claim to have 'variable' options based on what the prevailing conditions are on the day - and UKIP are no different in this respect.

    Why single them out?

    1. So what you're saying is UKIP are exactly the same as all the other parties...? Oh right.

    2. Yep, UKIP are the same, just what did you expect me to say??? ..... EXCEPT they advocate leaving the EU, something NONE of the other parties subscribe to.
      If the Conservatives were a TRUE anti-EU party I'd vote for them too. Likewise Labour or (God forgive me) Lib Dem. BUT there currently IS no alternative is there?
      When (I say 'when' with genuine hope) THA comes to fruition I will be backing it with all my heart regardless of who is currently sat in Parliament. Until then......

  7. Actually I think it would be quite easy to leave - just stop paying the contributions!
    When you stop paying your subscription to a club, your membership expires, right? They would have to react in some way, and the only logical thing would be to expel us.

    As for the Labour party representing the poor...hmmmm. Are you quite sure you haven't been asleep for the last thirty years?

    1. It may be easy to leave ... it is also easy to commit suicide. What is not easy is leaving in such a manner that we preserve trade links and continue with a co-operative association with the remainder of the EU.

  8. Dave's rather less than original comment (amounting to "keep our powder dry") is one that has crept into a number of comments. However, the reference to "manifesto" betrays the obsession of UKIP with electoral gain, whereas the proper battlefield for the anti-EU movement, of which UKIP is the minority part, is the referendum.

    Successfully to fight an "in-out" referendum will require years of preparation, and in particular, measures to neutralise the europhile FUD and overcome the status quo effect. The best weapon here is a coherent exit plan, couched to as to reassure potential voters that leaving the EU would not be catastrophic.

    As it stands, the plan most closely associated with UKIP is one of unilateral abrogation of the treaty, which would serve to reinforce the status quo effect, so it is vital that UKIP comes up with a more measured policy, then to enable the details to be spread and built into our fightback against the europhiles.

    If, however, UKIP believes it should keep its powder dry, then it could stand accused of exploiting the anti-EU issue for its own electoral advantage. Certainly, it is not in the interests of the movement as a whole - of which UKIP is a minority part - to have UKIP sitting on the fence

  9. I have to agree Richard. That comment of Dave's is a bit like the one that Tory's were making when the boy David was in opposition... Wait till Dave is PM, then we'll see his real policies, and how he will deal with the pesky EU.

    Those in UKIP always recognised Dave as a fraud, he is and always will be one of the "men in grey suits"... And they love the EU, it is more of what they do in Westminster... no change... the more labyrinthine the better.

    UKIP is different, and actually is calling the shots... Even if it is unlikely that it will form a government in the foreseeable future. But it certainly isn't a minority part of the discussion... Perhaps you are, but definitely not UKIP, or Nigel with his EP "fireside chats".

  10. I think UKIP are formulating a new approach to leaving the EU Empire . We all agree they need to , especially as a referendum may happen . I am hopeful that there will be a new policy announced soon involving article 50 of the Lisbon Con Treaty .

    1. If that happens, and it is a coherent policy, than it will have my support.

  11. Strange days indeed. We live during a time in history where 90+ per cent of the general public has no idea where our laws come from. Are we happy with that? I'm not. I suspect that even the craven vegetables in Westminster are among that 90%: It is that bad. The original "Bolshevism redux" plans are failing temporarily thanks to the greed (neoliberalism/progressive) induced crisis, so we have a chance to stop our decline.

    IKIP? Who are they? I don't know. Is the partys' lack of advancement solely the result of demagoguery? or something else. The founders were linked to the LSE, an institution that I link to the Fabian Society. I think perhaps I view UKIP as a depository, a safe place to keep political dissent re the soviet EU under control. This is a grown up issue. It requires that intelligent steps be taken to recapture our power. If that fails we have violence: Something our glorious Marxist leaders drool at the thought of. Victory for either side is likely to pyrrhic, if violence, however is justified is used.

  12. Closed minds are sadly not worth the effort of arguing although I salute your efforts my slowly cooking amphibian,

    for one cannot reason out of an opinion one who was not reasoned into it in the first place...

    all the criticisms of UKIP here, on AM and EUref are totally valid and worthy of intelligent reasoned answers, but alas none this way come.....

    Everything in the political arena is worthy of critique for politics is local and takes an interest in everyone whether we like it or not.

    being accused of being a "Northist" my friend (oh how that made me chuckle) for it illustrates so deliciously the vacuous empty intellect of those who cannot reason or argue intelligently and resort to either/or/and profanity, violence or 'labelling' have already lost the argument.

    "Northist" = the New "Racist"

    hahaha.....what next I wonder; a complaint to the police for being "Northist" under the equality act...hahaha you 'labellers' really are a joke....

    1. Thanks and well said Andy. Certainly it's labeling allowing me to be pigeonholed then marginalised rather than addressing the inconvenience of the core points.

    2. A Baxter misunderstands the term Northist...

      It is really an allusion to the Northian concept that UKIP and Farage is a cult, and that supporters are feeble minded acolytes.

      The term Northist is meant to convey the same sentiment about you and your fellow travellers.

      As to which "cult" achieves more, only time will tell.

      Certainly though, rudeness is only doled out to those that deal first.

  13. I don't speak for UKIP, but...

    As (for instance) article 50 didn't exist until the lisbon treated was created, it would be a stupid waste of time working out all the precise details and then trying to keep them current.

    It is enough to know that there are options. Which specific one is taken can be decided at the time when all current information is known.

    It would be in no ones interest to leave any aspect of our exit waving in the wind after our exit, so there will be more than enough people working on every aspect to sort it all out.