Thursday 11 April 2019

Brexit delayed - to the Greek calends?

Brexit has been delayed until Hallowe'en, 31st October, but could be sooner than that or later. 

President Macron persuaded the other states to accept a shorter extension that they had wanted. He said it was to respect the wishes of the British public which had voted to leave. What was his real reason? Probably to look good at home refusing to give les rosbifs what they asked for. But the date of Brexit will be extended if necessary.

In a press conference late last night, Theresa May said she was still hopeful of getting a Brexit deal through parliament before May 22 and so allowing the government to cancel the European Parliament elections and leave the EU on June 1. She says she refuses to resign unless this happens. As I said before, she has the relentless implacability of zombies in horror films of my youth.

Whatever the outcome of the European elections in the UK they will make no difference to Europe, but they will make a big difference to the UK.

Donald Tusk said he is hoping that Brexit never happens. He may get his wish.

We shall not leave with no deal, more's the pity, and so Mrs May or her successor cannot use this as a threat against Brexiteers or Labour, which makes it hard to get any deal. 

Jeremy Corbyn has much less reason and/or cover for agreeing a deal on Brexit with the government even if Mrs May agreed to his permanent customs union plan, which she more or less does.

Mrs. May will now be invited to the EU summit organised by Romania, which holds the E.U. presidency, in beautiful Sibiu on May 9 to celebrate “the future of Europe”

What fun that will be for her. Perhaps she will send one of of her Brexiteer ministers. 

I hope the Daily Telegraph asks their star journalist Boris Johnson to cover it.

John O'Sullivan tweeted yesterday: 

May, not Brexit, is our long national nightmare.

This is partly true. She is inept, cackhanded, dishonest, uncreative and not very bright. She is also excruciatingly boring and though this may sound a frivolous criticism it is not. She cannot inspire or communicate a vision. She should never have had her job and must go. 

But she is certainly not the only reason for the way things have panned out or even the main one. The press sees politics in terms of personalities but it is more about issues and about facts.

The next chapters in this thriller are the May elections and Mrs. May's forced departure, probably in that order.

President Trump tweeted early this morning:

Too bad that the European Union is being so tough on the United Kingdom and Brexit. The E.U. is likewise a brutal trading partner with the United States, which will change. Sometimes in life you have to let people breathe before it all comes back to bite you!
If only England had a Prime Minister like him at this moment, for all his obvious and very grave faults. As a very clever economist said to me yesterday, Donald Trump is right about everything, by which he meant his basic political ideas are right. Most politicians' basic ideas are mostly wrong these days. This is even more true of Mrs May's ideas than of most.

For people who want Britain to leave the EU it is pretty depressing, but could be worse (Mrs May's deal has not passed Parliament). Here is a clip to cheer you up, whether you are Leave or Remain, of Jean-Claude Juncker almost setting fire to a bunch of high dignitaries in Rwanda while at a ceremony to commemorate the war dead, deaths that Britain or France or the EEC could easily have prevented. He is a character from an Evelyn Waugh comedy and has served well 'the great cause of cheering us all up'. 

Here is a very funny take on Brexit by a professional comedian. It's short. Do watch it.

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