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Saturday 24 November 2018

Putting lipstick on a pig

Mrs May is now engaged for the next two weeks in, as our American cousins would put it, putting lipstick on a pig. Rather than heavyweight media interviews, she will be going for Mumsnet, Radio 5Live, Take-a-Break, pap TV sort of shows to try to win over in particular women voters, perhaps in the hope that her ratings will increase. She will repeat endlessly that the Robbins Treaty is the best deal for Britain, despite the CBI, the serious media, all intelligent commentators, Parliament, economists and assorted wise persons having decided conclusively that the opposite is true. The Parliamentary vote is expected in two to three weeks, and during this time May's cabal will use extraordinary methods to push her nationally destructive deal through.  

She is unfortunately a stubborn woman who will not listen. This doesn't help her. Even after having been told many times that sovereignty, freedom, independence and democratic control were the key drivers of Brexit, she continues to focus on the most prominent symptom - limiting the numbers of EU workers in the UK. It really isn't that big an issue for most people. With the £ at €1.12 it isn't even an issue, as coming to the UK to work is scarcely financially attractive to minimum-pay EU workers. Indeed as the numbers of EU workers in the UK have dropped dramatically and shortages bite, wages have increased - quelle surprise! - and employers are even offering permanent jobs in place of zero hours contracts. 

In the face of this, May proposes bringing in wholly pointless additional controls on EU carers, catering workers, fruit pickers and veg packers. I can hear the howls of frustration from 'Farming Today' already, with forty minutes still to the programme going on-air. Astonishing.  

The comments de jour are from Andrea Hosso in the Telegraph (£).
This “Great Game” seems to have been leading us here all along, to this impasse characterised by the Italian business paper Il Sole 24 Ore as “a deal which… represents a resounding victory of the EU over the subjects of Her Majesty”.
He writes. The EU's aims, he says, are not to conclude a Brexit agreement, but to tie the UK in an unworkable, impossible tangle of stasis, inaction and imprisonment, with neither the ability to free ourselves or to change the terms. And because
A weakened UK in the permanent limbo of an undefined transitional period would be susceptible to the impact of eurozone-centred regulation and policies.
Sterling and our financial strength won't be able to prevent us being dragged down in the imminent collapse of the Eurozone - like a latter-day Götterdämmerung, they are determined to drag all around them into the maelstrom of flames and destruction. 

The most effective action we can take right now is writing, talking and countering May's relentless media onslaught - social media warriors. Unfortunately, the planned UKIP event in London on (I think) 9th December is unhelpful. It will attract few non-member followers, and given the attendees, many UKIP members will decline to come. The press will present the tiny huddle of 'swivel-eyed' 'kippers in the freezing wet weather as being the nation's voice in support of Brexit. It really does 'Leave' no favours. If it comes before the Commons vote on May's deal, it will help her. If it comes after, it will bring nothing but derision on UKIP. Ladies and gentlemen of UKIP, I urge you to lobby your party leaders to cancel it.  

Friday 23 November 2018

And now a new Brexit plan ... and it just may work

It is often the way with seemingly intractable negotiations that novel solutions frequently pop-up late in the day. So with Brexit. Now it is becoming clear that the Robbins Treaty will not clear the Commons - a fact which, for those who watched it, even became clear to Mrs May yesterday. Her Commons announcement and the questions following was another Duracell moment, but a quiver in the metallic voice, a slight tic and shivering of the Kevlar exomembrane, indicated that she faced six hundred MPs only one of whom offered her any comfort, and that this lack of Parliamentary confidence in the Robbins Treaty was sinking in. 

It doesn't mean she's giving up. She is said to be banking on big business and the Daily Mail to secure a tsunami of public support in favour of the deal, which she can then use to pressurise MPs. Unfortunately, a series of emails from the CBI saying essentially "May's deal is crap - but she made us clap her" has leaked, and the Daily Mail's change under Geordie Grieg to a Remoaner rag has unfortunately cost it a spectacular drop in sales and online readership. It is unclear what else Mr Robbins can do at this stage to keep his flawed and damaging plan afloat. 

The trick of a doable deal is that all sides know quickly that it is a good fit. The suggestion now being made is that a way forward to which we can all sign-up is emerging. Fraser Nelson sets it out in the Telegraph. If Parliament rejects the Robbins Treaty by a large enough margin, which looks more likely by the day, we can go for the Clean Brexit for which May has signally failed to prepare, but postpone it for a year to allow both us and the EU to get ready.  

No-one now believes that the Irish border is a 'thing'. It is a non-problem that was weaponised by Brussels to screw Robbins, and it worked. 

Well, I can buy into a Clean Brexit in March 2020. We'll be out of the EU next March, but just won't implement the change for a year. The EU will get another £10bn, which they need, and we will be gone before their fake elections next May - which could produce a populist EP with no power sniping at a Federast Commission that holds all the cards. If Italy hasn't brought it all down. 

Robbins has to go of course. People say he's bloody clever and I reckon that's true - after all, he's managed to draft a treaty which is unacceptable both to the people of Britain and our Parliament. You have to be bright to do that.

Thursday 22 November 2018

Clean Brexit could depend on Corbyn

Like the Duracell bunny, Mrs May just keeps going. I'm beginning to think it's my fault. Back at the time of her Lancaster House speech, and knowing her reputation for dithering and indecision at the Home Office, I prayed hard for the Lord to give her a backbone of steel. I fear my prayers were answered. Be careful what you wish for, as they say.

The number of Conservative MPs in favour of voting to realise a Clean Brexit on WTO terms (yes, I like those words too - many thanks) is reckoned on Twitter to be over 80, and by the Telegraph to be over 60. Someone has also leaked the Cabinet minutes to the Telegraph - with a number of Cabinet Ministers keen to confirm to the paper that though they haven't resigned, the minutes prove they objected to aspects of the Robbins Treaty.

The Spanish and French are also helping by blackmailing Brussels into enhancing their claims to Gibraltar and British fish respectively. Germany wants to ensure the UK continues to shoulder her defence and security costs, so they don't have to spend their own money. All help in making the Robbins Treaty even less attractive to MPs - for it's our MPs on whom we must now rely.

Make no mistake - this is an international treaty. Once we've agreed it, we're bound by it. Hence Mrs May's indecent haste is forcing it through before the nation realizes the trap to which she is committing us.

AEP has the best tunes this morning;
There is no doubt that the EU weaponised the Irish border to shoehorn the UK into the customs territory, but I strongly suspect that the Cabinet Office, the Treasury, and the Prime Minister were complicit. It enabled the switch from a constitutional Brexit that respected core demand of democratic self-rule to a supply-chain Brexit that serves chiefly the interests of CBI multinationals, the foreign car industry, and EU-linked parts of the traded goods sector. It is not even a workable customs union.
Theresa May told MPs today that they "risk no Brexit at all" if they reject her deal. That is a risk that I am willing to take, for nothing can be worse than foreign legal writ in perpetuity, with no veto. Obviously it would be better to remain in the EU. My preference at this juncture is a no-deal on WTO terms, mindful that Mrs May’s failure to prepare has made this very hard. Global Britain’s report this week is right to argue that the costs of trading on this basis (until free trade deals are negotiated) have been systematically exaggerated by the Treasury and commercial interests talking their own book.
Needless to say, Parliament has set its face against any such action. It will impose a deal that ends its own legislative supremacy. My working assumption is that a bloc of Labour MPs will support Theresa May’s package and push it over the top in December. Britain will then be a legal prisoner until the EU sees fit to release us.
AEP is not necessarily right on this last point. With the DUP and 60 - 80 Conservative MPs voting against the deal, it will be up to Labour whether it get through the Commons or not. Corbyn (rightly) hates the EU. Will he now lead sufficient of his MPs in voting against May's poisonous deal, a deal that would prevent Labour from its manifesto State Aid commitments for decades to come?

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Brexit on the brink

The most optimistic rumours about the ERG's efforts to defenestrate May is that the plotters have 46 of the required 48 signatures. The bad news is that consensus is that she will win the vote of confidence and we'll be stuck with her for the next year. The better news is that her actions to get Brexit through the next stage may destroy her. 

The DUP have become semi-coalition partners. With only half of their £1bn so far secured, they're keen to maintain just enough ambiguity over their status to get the balance. What's not in doubt is that they won't support the government on a Commons vote on May's renegade deal. Neither will some 52 Conservative MPs who have so far signed up to a 'save Brexit' declaration.

Mrs May has sent her troops off with threats. James Cleverly, a new boy, is proving a star anilinguist, thrusting himself across social media proclaiming how entranced and supportive are anyone he meets of the Robbins Plan, how perspicacious and how gifted is our wonderful Prime Minister. He's not so much laying it on with a trowel as pressure blasting it from a five-tonne silo. The threats that May is making seem to come down to three -
1. If Parliament doesn't pass her treaty, she'll cause markets to be rigged to trigger spectacular falls in Sterling and share prices, to teach us a lesson 

2. She'll make a deal with pro-EU labour MPs to use their votes to get it through

3. If everything else fails, she'll suspend the Brexit process until Parliament complies
If she does any of these, she may get the Robbins Treaty through, but she is finished. Not even my deeply flawed party could sustain her as Leader after this. 

The vote is scheduled for next month, but many voices are urging her to bring it forward. She won't. She'll push every single resource, every dag, arselicker, placeman and everyone and everything that can be bought, bribed, blackmailed or commanded into an intense campaign to rubbish our NO DEAL position, so be ready. 

There is only one option and we must fight for it as we've never fought before - NO DEAL


Monday 19 November 2018

Throw out May's poisonous renegade deal

If you have not done so already, I urge you to read the Speccie's '40 horrors' - unacceptable terms lurking in the poisonous treaty that May sought to bounce her government into accepting, after giving them fifteen minutes to skim-read the 500+ page document in a small room with the heating turned off*. A sample;
3. The European Court of Justice is decreed to be our highest court, governing the entire Agreement – Art. 4. stipulates that both citizens and resident companies can use it. Art 4.2 orders our courts to recognise this. “If the European Commission considers that the United Kingdom has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaties or under Part Four of this Agreement before the end of the transition period, the European Commission may, within 4 years after the end of the transition period, bring the matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union”. (Art. 87)
4. The jurisdiction of the ECJ will last until eight years after the end of the transition period. (Article 158).

5. The UK will still be bound by any future changes to EU law in which it will have no say, not to mention having to comply with current law. (Article 6(2))
Even more tellingly, then read the government's rebuttals, rushed out to the Speccie over the weekend. They are feeble. So feeble, and rebutting so little, that rather than lessening the impact of the Speccie's fatal analysis, they actually underline its accuracy. Downing Street's own defence of the renegade deal is itself damning. 

It is also being reported in the Sun that Martin Selmayr has delighted in the humiliation the poisonous deal would impose on the United Kingdom - the loss of Northern Ireland was the price the UK would pay for leaving, they report him saying.   

For those who say this is not a war, pray tell me the difference? 

And our Prime Minister is a Petain, an appeaser, waving the white flag and offering the enemy our abject surrender. 

No, there is no way our nation and peoples can ever live with this treacherous treaty. Rejecting it, throwing it back at Selmayr and his corrupt cabal, will hurt our GDP but we must reject the idea that Brexit is just an economic process. It is not. It is about our nation, our freedom, our constitution (unwritten) our laws and our way of life. And I'm not about to surrender ANY of those. 

* This may only be partially true