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Wednesday, 30 January 2019

UK puts Brussels on the back foot

I am a happier man today. The Commons defeat of the Grieve and Cooper amendments yesterday was a slap for the Remainers, and the Brady amendment now passes the negotiating advantage to Britain. Our parliamentary system must be both confusing and frustrating to the unelected officials in Brussels, for whom the decisions of their own puppet parliament are always agreed well in advance of  MEPs voting, and there are no surprises in the chamber.

In past weeks Brussels have shrugged their shoulders and pretended to ask 'what the UK wanted'. Well, yesterday made it clear; NO backstop, but otherwise we'll take the deal. It's a clear message both to Brussels and the world; either withdraw this nasty and unnecessary little attempt to fracture the United Kingdom, or put tens of thousands of German auto workers out of work.

Although Brussels may appear united, this far from the case. The artificial backstop bears all the hallmarks of Selmayr, making an attempt to punish the UK. However, it will be the nations of Europe, not the unelected officials of the Berlaymont, who will actually pay the price for no deal - and now we'll see whether they're prepared to take the hit to satisfy little Martin's infantile spite.

It puts Brussels on the back foot, and the UK in the position of being the responsible mature democracy seeking a negotiated solution. A flat refusal from Brussels will not be a good look for the EU. 


DiscoveredJoys said...

I expect that the EU will continue not to care, anticipating a very last minute Withdrawal Agreement with only minor changes. It's their habitual method of negotiation.

Hopefully(!) a couple of months of EU intransigence will not go down well with our politicians who have now signalled that the backstop arrangement needs major alteration. A default clean Brexit seems the most likely (but not guaranteed) outcome.

DeeDee99 said...

The stupid woman should never capitulated to the Backstop demand in the first place. We are in this situation because she and Robbins have been trying to deliver Bremain and, eventually, Associate Membership of the EU.

Ditching the Backstop still leaves a disgraceful capitulation which will cost us a small fortune and won't deliver a real Brexit.

So one cheer for Parliament for rejecting Grieves' attempt to take control of proceedings and Cooper's attempt to extend Article 50, making us participate in the farce of the EU Parliament elections in June.

And that's all.

Billy Marlene said...

The EU should not be permitted to take this to the line.

If the WA is not re-opened and - at least - discussed then that shoukd signal the start of WTO exit.

A ‘War Cabinet’ should be formed, cross party and drawing in whatever commercial expertise is necessary. Dead wood like Rudd, Gaulke, etc can resign as the pledged.

February recess cancelled. Parliament working 24/7 to get all legislation through.

John Brown said...

I didn’t see the backstop so much as fracturing the UK but rather the EU’s plan to keep the UK permanently locked into the EU’s institutions and giving the EU enormous bargaining power for the Future Relationship where every single country will be able to veto the trade deal until they all get what they want. If not, then we never leave.

The WA is such a terrible deal for the UK that Parliament should never agree to it whatever happens.

Parliament has voted that we do not leave without a deal. But has not specified what this deal should be. It does NOT have to be the EU’s WA nd can be much smaller, less comprehensive agreement.

Mrs. May, if the EU insists that no changes can be made to the existing WA, should request the start of a parallel set of negotiations with the EU designed for Parliament’s eventual rejection of the EU’s WA and the UK’s departure from the EU on 29/03/2019.

In other words, a “no-deal” deal, where both sides agree to set out those items they can agree upon.

Some items have already been agreed, at least on a temporary basis, such as citizens rights, planes flying and ports open.

It has even been agreed by the UK, the EU and the Irish Government that the border on the island of Ireland will remain open and will not become a “hard” border under any circumstances.

It should not be difficult to agree on many items, at least temporarily, since the UK is starting from a position of being fully compliant with all EU directives, laws and regulations and that any changes will be gradual as both the UK and EU slowly diverge from the current common position.

Both sides can either agree to continue with tariff free trade or, failing that, move to WTO terms after an agreed period of time.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

The backstop is the mars bar at the top of the rucksack that the drill instructor can be happy at discovering and discarding. Hidden at the bottom are all the other mars bars no one is talking about, like the continued use of the European Arrest Warrant and absorption into EU military structures.

I fear this is all just theatre.

Mr Ecks said...

The WA is a pile of remainiac shite even without the backstop. That foul bitch Treason May is a remain agent and always has been. However the next issue is what happens when the EU say Non.

However the rejection of the worst remainiac ploys last night show the House of Scum is beginning to understand the shite that will land on it should it brazenly betray Brexit. The People's Wank and cancelling leaving have been fatally holed I think. The danger left is Treason's BRINO.

Budgie said...

I've been away for a few days and will be again shortly, so forgive me if this has already been discussed: GATT (WTO) Article 24 and the "Malthouse Compromise".

WTO Art24 allows existing trading arrangements to continue for up to 10 years whilst negotiating a WTO compliant free trade deal. Of course both parties must initially agree to negotiate, and notify the WTO of the intention. It would allow us to negotiate free trade deals with other countries immediately.

The Malthouse Compromise is more of an internal Tory party exercise to get their Remain and Leave factions talking to each other. The MC essentially retains Theresa May's draft Withdrawal Agreement with some modifications but extends the non-transition "transition" (and payments) until 2021; it also makes use of WTO Art24.

Frankly the best deal is going direct to the WTO system on 29 March 2019. Second is no transition and the WTO Art24 - why have a "transition" when nothing will change in our trading relationship with the EU? Neither Art24 nor the MC prevents Mrs May ensuring we will be subject to the EU at least in military, diplomatic and security affairs. Both are therefore Remain to some extent, the MC being nearest to Remain. Both are can kicking to some extent.

John in Cheshire said...

I have copied this comment by Tarien on the Biased BBC blog from Yesterday, 29.1.19. It's an excellent summary of all the reasons why we must leave the EU.

It is a pity that the Remain ignoramuses don't know, don't understand or don't care that this is what would be in store for us if we fail to exit the EU:

tarien January 29, 2019 at 5:36 pm
Many may well know the following that I first saw back 2010, and have again seen a cover of it on Yahoo by someone who feels as most of us do.
What will actually happen if we stay in the EU and has already been agreed.

• Check out the Lisbon Treaty if you wish:
• 1: The UK along with all existing members of the EU lose their abstention veto in 2020 as laid down in the Lisbon Treaty when the system changes to that of majority acceptance with no abstentions or veto’s being allowed.
• 2: All member nations will become states of the new federal nation of the EU by 2022 as clearly laid out in the Lisbon treaty with no exceptions or veto’s.
• 3: All member states must adopt the Euro by 2022 and any new member state must do so within 2 years of joining the EU as laid down in the Lisbon treaty.
• 4: The London stock exchange will move to Frankfurt in 2020 and be integrated into the EU stock exchange resulting in a loss of 200,000 plus jobs in the UK because of the relocation. (This has already been pre-agreed and is only on a holding pattern due to the Brexit negotiations, which if Brexit does happen the move is fully cancelled but if not and the UK remains a member it’s full steam ahead for the move.)
• 5: The EU Parliament and ECJ become supreme over all legislative bodies of the UK.
• 6: The UK will adopt 100% of whatever the EU Parliament and ECJ lays down without any means of abstention or veto, negating the need for the UK to have the Lords or even the Commons as we know it today.
• 7: The UK will NOT be able to make its own trade deals.
• 8: The UK will NOT be able to set its own trade tariffs.
• 9 The UK will NOT be able to set its own trade quotas.
• 10: The UK loses control of its fishing rights
• 11: The UK loses control of its oil and gas rights
• 12: The UK loses control of its borders and enters the Schengen region by 2022 as clearly laid down in the Lisbon treaty
• 13: The UK loses control of its planning legislation
• 14: The UK loses control of its armed forces including its nuclear deterrent
• 15: The UK loses full control of its taxation polic
17: The UK loses its standing in the Commonwealth
• 18: The UK loses control of any provinces or affiliated nations e.g.; Falklands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar etc
• 19: The UK loses control of its judicial system
• 20: The UK loses control of its international policy
• 21: The UK loses full control of its national policy
• 22: The UK loses its right to call itself a nation in its own right.
• 23: The UK loses control of its space exploration program
• 24: The UK loses control of its Aviation and Sea lane jurisdiction
• 25: The UK loses its rebate in 2020 as laid down in the Lisbon treaty
• 26: The UK’s contribution to the EU is set to increase by an average of 1.2bn pa and by 2.3bn pa by 2020

• This is the future of what the youths of today think we stole from them?
• They should be on their knees thanking us for saving them from being turned into Orwellian automatons.

Anonymous said...

"NO backstop, but otherwise we'll take the deal"
Surely you do not believe that would be a good thing? The "deal" is not a deal, and Mrs May's WA is not of course hers, but a surrender document concoted in and by Brussel. As (Sir) John Redwood noted recently, Mrs May’s WA ”is not a deal, as it does not offer the UK any of the things the PM said she wanted. It is an invitation to much more uncertainty and more talks on worse terms for the UK.” Its gross failings, and its malign potential to damage our sovereignty and our economy, have been enumerated elsewhere.
It would be unbelievable to hear our PM announcing a further grovelling before the Brussels potentates to ask them please to amend the "backstop" nonsense, had we not been observing for 2½ years while Mrs May demonstrated her extraordinary capacity for mulish stupidity, total absence of negotiating skills, and indifference to advice.

Dave_G said...

May, and the EU, are moving to achieve what they all wanted from the outset. BRINO.

Funny how all the replies (so far) have ingnored (or forgotten) that we were offered two options LEAVE or REMAIN and we chose LEAVE - which we are NOT getting.

Full marks to May/EU for 'fooling' us but zero marks for us falling for it.

Raedwald said...

I've been clear that my personal preference is for a clean Brexit - but the odds against this are stacking up. Neither Parliament nor the deep State will accept it. If by some slim chance it happens, it will be an accident.

I can live for now with May's deal minus the Backstop if it gets us out at the end of March and at least curtails the worst of the attritional sabotage of Brexit. It's not good, it's not final, it will need amending but it's a step forward.

First we need to start reforming our democracy.

Dan said...

I think you all may be missing another important component of the negotiations, namely how a bureaucracy behaves under stress. As Northcote Parkinson pointed out, bureaucracies never voluntarily shrink, but only get reduced in size by catastrophe.

As things stand the EU is a vast bureaucratic organisation, and one which is very well remunerated on an individual level; the mean pay packet is about 50,000 Euro per year or thereabouts. Shrinking the pay of these workers is nigh on impossible, as is reducing their number.

However, a Waterloo moment approaches, whether it be this year or next and it is this which is causing all of the upset. When Britain departs, the income of the EU bureaucracy diminishes. When this income diminishes, something has to give way, and the most recent thinking was to impose an environmental tax right across the EU in order to fill the gap.

The French Gilet Jaune movement has rather put paid to that one.

So, what you now hear is bureaucratic fear, naked and raw.

Budgie said...

Dave G, True I did not mention the Referendum was a choice between Remain or Leave only (with no pre-conditions for leaving) this time.

But I thought I had made it clear above that the "Malthouse Compromise" retained May's dWA and was therefore essentially Remain. The GATT/WTO Art24 route without the dWA and without a transition is almost Leave but would could allow the establishment time to insert at least partial Remain outcomes.

May signed us up to military, diplomatic and security subjugation in 2017 after the Referendum. We still have a fight on our hands.

Thud said...

Raedwald, your last comment has been my position all along, I'm sure in your long career you were forced to work with sub optimal materials designs? I know I did but I got stuck in and pretty much always turned in a good finished product. Not the best outcome I know but I have faith we can overcome all future obstacles.

Mark said...

I always try and imagine where we would be had the vote been remain.

rapscallion said...

@John Cheshire. Your list is chilling to the bone., Where did you get it from?
Any links to it?

leila said...

@ John Cheshire Imagine paying 39 Billion on top of that list. It's beyond belief.

Anonymous said...

@John Cheshire and rapscallion.
Done some googling as it struck me as rather alarmist. Found this Twitter feed with links to both sides of the argument.
Think it would be wise not overstate our side of the debate.

Dave_G said...

Changes in EU direction/policy in the period SINCE WE VOTED LEAVE are more than enough reason to want to keep well clear of the fascist state as it is to become (already become in reality).

The only thing we can take from potential future advancement of EU policies is that they WILL mean further reductions in our own abilitiy to make decisions for our country and they WILL constrain individual freedoms.

What to like?

Timothy Farthing MA (Oxon) said...

Back foot? More like foot in mouth -