Thursday 10 January 2019

'No Deal' seems doomed - a prolonged punishment beating for Britain is impending

A couple of days ago Kenneth Clarke and everyone else was saying they simply could not see what would happen about Brexit. They really had no idea.  Note that very clever experienced politicians, commentators and academics do not know what will happen in the future, even though, once it happens, it seems by a trick of perspective to have been predestined.

Today I feel I can see what will happen and it is the worst of all options: the one Mrs May proposes, which is not a deal but puts us completely at the mercy of an EU that has proved its hostile intentions towards us.  'No deal' is not the calamity people fear. It would be a liberation and would respect the referendum result, which Mrs. May's proposal would not, but the politicians and establishment will not permit it. 

Here are some things I read today.

It is not often that Donald Trump and the EU Commission’s Secretary General, Martin Selmayr, agree. But on the Withdrawal Agreement, they are as one. It looked “like a great deal for the EU” to Trump, and Selmayr confirmed to the Passauer Neue Presse in December that the EU had “negotiated hard and achieved their aims.” 
As my colleague Greg Hands has pointed out, Selmayr went even further. “This exit from the EU,” he said, “doesn’t work” for the UK. These statements mirror Selmayr’s and his colleagues’ previous boasts that “losing Northern Ireland was the price the UK would pay” and that the UK “would have to swallow a link between access to products and fisheries in future agreements.” 

Owen Paterson, M.P. today in The Daily Telegraph
The European Union complains that the Government doesn’t know where it wants to end up. Closely aligned to the EU or more distant? Norway or Canada? It is absolutely right.
Cabinet members are united on one point, however. All now hope that May’s deal passes Parliament, if not next week, then later. And, collectively, they will carry on hoping – as authority drains away from them to Dominic Grieve, Steve Baker, and the Opposition, among whose numbers we of naturally include the Speaker. This Cabinet is firewood.  

Paul Goodman today in Conservative Woman

The dam has broken. The likelihood of a no-deal Brexit – that is to say withdrawal on terms compatible with British sovereignty – has diminished to almost zero.It is either Theresa May's stomachchurning deal or outright revocation of Article 50. The rest is mostly noise. Norway at this point is a fairytale.There was a brief moment in late November when it looked like December 1916, the parliamentary coup that toppled Herbert Asquith in the middle of a national emergency.Patrician leaders feared that Britain would succumb to defeatism or lose the First World War if the Government carried on in the same dilatory and amateurish fashion. They turned to a radical firebrand to wage total war on every front. Lloyd George did the job with proper dispatch.The anti-May coup was foiled, and perhaps it was Hegel's "Cunning of History". You cannot take a divided Britain into a showdown with the EU, in defiance of Scotland, the big guns of industry and the nation under the age of 40. We are not fighting the First World War today.
Events are now moving very fast. The "guerrilla warfare" launched against no-dealism in the Commons this week has exposed the hard arithmetic. Seventeen Tories with ministerial backgrounds joined the revolt, if one can use such a term to describe an episode in which the Government was complicit in its own defeat. Totting up the number of "payroll" Tories at every level and itching to do the same, the implicit figure rises to an easy majority in Parliament. 

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard today in The Daily Telegraph (this sounds likely though he is always a doomsayer and often wrong).

From 29 November:

What is being presented to British citizens as “the best deal available” is the exact opposite of the people’s instruction to take back control. For the first time in its history, Parliament is being asked to suspend its own sovereignty: it has no constitutional or moral right to do this. Any legislator that votes for it will not be forgiven.
The ‘deal’ surrenders British national security by subordinating UK defence forces to Military EU control and compromising UK Intelligence capabilities. It puts at risk the fundamental Anglosphere alliances, specifically the vital Five Eyes Alliance and thereby threatens western security.
This surrender is to an undemocratic organisation, the European Commission. The last two years have demonstrated how untrustworthy and hostile towards the UK the EC is, notably its use of the Irish border as a weapon. 
The EC offers subordination, not partnership. The only way to leave the EU is by declaration that from 29th March 2019 Great Britain will deal fairly with the EU as it does with the rest of the world. No ransom should be paid. 
Mrs May has completely failed to understand that this vote was on an issue of principle: sovereignty. 
To leave on WTO terms is now the only viable way to leave the EU and we urge British people to ignore the hysterical demonisation of this course of action by the current Project Fear, just as they ignored its scare-mongering predecessor in 2016. No risks are greater than the Withdrawal Agreement’s terms of surrender. The people voted to take back control of our sovereignty, not for a colonial status.
Mrs May has broken trust with the British people as she has lost the trust of so many of her Ministers. 
Sir Richard Dearlove (former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service)
Sir Rocco Forte (Chairman, Rocco Forte Hotels)
Martin Howe QC (Chairman, Lawyers for Britain)
Lord Lawson (Former Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Sir Paul Marshall (Chairman of Marshall Wace Asset Management and Co-Chairman of Prosperity UK)
Major General Julian Thompson (Chairman, Veterans for Britain)
Lord Trimble (Former First Minister of Northern Ireland and Nobel Peace Prize winner) 
29 November 2018


  1. Podcasts

    How Labour’s pro-Leave position on #Brexit will help it to win the next General Election

    4 hours ago by Briefings For Brexit 137 Views 3 min read


    1. Jeremy Corbyn remains committed to Brexit – it’s his key to Downing Street

      Jeremy Corbyn remains a convinced Leaver, as only outside the EU does he see more Left-wing economic policies as feasible. He wants a general election, but he wants Labour to fight it as a pro-Brexit party. His view of a second referendum is that if it happens it should ask the electorate to choose between different versions of Brexit.

      What has been notable about Corbyn’s leadership since the 2016 referendum is his continued refusal to countenance overturning the Leave result. Indeed, in an interview with Der Spiegel last month Corbyn flatly rejected the option of staying within the European Union.

      Crucially, Corbyn did not say that he would support an in/out referendum. He simply said that if there isn’t an election, then Labour would back ‘the option of campaigning for a public vote to break the deadlock’. A public vote to break the deadlock, of course, could be an out/out referendum: May’s deal or Corbyn’s deal.

      What’s more, Corbyn expressed his strong preference that a general election ought to take place instead of a referendum should May’s deal fail. Corbyn did not propose a general election as a way of stopping Brexit. Instead, Corbyn suggested that Labour would enter the next general election, once more, as a pro-Brexit party.

      Richard Johnson is a Politics Lecturer at Lancaster University

  2. London, prepare to kiss a billion pounds goodbye. Although of course the money didn't matter, right?

  3. Brussels, prepare to kiss 39 billion goodbye

    Good to know that big companies are betting on a no-deal Brexit...
    Who would have guessed?
    All the morons out there watching Animal Planet in EU must be happy they won't get to miss a payment for the privilege.


  4. Professor Tombs is supportive of Gina Miller and the case she brought to court in retrospect.

    “I thought the Brexiteers should have been passing a vote of thanks to Gina Miller. I thought it was a very bad idea what she did. And many academic lawyers thought the Supreme Court came to the wrong decision. But if it had not been for Miller Theresa May would simply have pushed her Withdrawal Agreement through.”

    1. 'Professor Tombs is supportive of Gina Miller'
      ' But if it had not been for Miller Theresa May would simply have pushed her Withdrawal Agreement through.'
      The law of unintended consequences...

    2. Had an Illinois politician not liked having sex in the garden Barack Obama would not have been president. Had Sir Keith Joseph not said that the working classes were having too many children Mrs Thatcher would not have been Prime Minister and nor would Mr Blair had John Smith not liked climbing Monros

  5. ‘Heightening fear through raising the spectre of the IRA is unacceptable,” Sam Gyimah tweeted, in response to Chris Patten’s warning that Brexit he doesnt “want to go back to the days when people were being shot and maimed”. Vince Cable dismissed “Project Terror”. David Lammy said that “history shows us appeasement only emboldens the Republican movement”. Nor was the condemnation restricted to politicians. Others laid in too. Jane Merrick, the political commentator, got to the heart of the criticism when she described Patten’s words as a “threat”.
    As the ‘meaningful vote’ approaches, apply buckets of salt to all Government news
    As most of our readers will have worked out by now, none of this happened when, last March, Lord Patten raised the prospect of violence returning to Northern Ireland in the event of Brexit. There was scarcely a cheep of protest from prominent Remain and Soft Brexit supporters. Compare this to the buckets of ordure emptied yesterday over the head of Chris Grayling, who warned yesterday that cancelling or delaying Brexit could provide an electoral boost for the Far Right. We have adapted the remarks from Lammy, Cable and Gyimah about Grayling’s words to make the point, substituting “the Republican Movement” or “the IRA” for “the Far Right”.

    What did Grayling actually say? As follows: “We risk a break with the British tradition of moderate, mainstream politics that goes back to the Restoration in 1660. MPs need to remember that Britain, its people and its traditions are the mother of Parliaments. We ignore that and the will of the people at our peril.” The Daily Mail added that he ‘stopped short of predicting riots if Brexit is weakened or reversed. But he added: “People should not underestimate this. We would see a different tone in our politics. A less tolerant society, a more nationalistic nation. It will open the door to extremist populist political forces in this country of the kind we see in other countries in Europe.”

    So, unlike Patten, Grayling steered clear of suggesting that people might be “shot and maimed”: indeed, he was careful to avoid raising the prospect even of riots. But he was excoriated none the less when Patten was not.