The first letter today comes from our correspondent Septimus Octavius, calling for more vigilance:
Dominic Raab, much to the consternation of his office, has announced that a deal with the EU on Brexit will be concluded on 21 November.
His brief is to sell the “Chequers” idea to the EU and the get it through the UK Parliament. Neither of those things has a snowball’s chance in Hell, so what on earth is going on?
A clue might be in the fact that he is on record of pointing out to Michel Barrier (as I now call him) that the only way there is going to be a hard border in Ireland is if Michel Barrier himself goes there with his pick and shovel on 30 March to build one, much to the anger of Michel.
It is therefore just possible that when he meets with Michel Barrier on 21 November he will repeat that hard truth to him, and repeat to him his lame attempt to clutch at straws when he said, albeit more than a year ago, that Ireland could not be used as a “test case”. In so doing, Michel Barrier was in fact claiming that Eire was not “one of the 27”, which flatly contradicts all he has said about the “unity of the 27”. Given that the Irish border will remain wholly unchanged on 30 March, there will be a de facto free trade agreement between the UK and the EU.
So, Dominic Raab could invite Michel Barrier to enshrine that fact into a formal Withdrawal Agreement, meaning the EU would still get its ”divorce bill” and all the other “95%” we are told has been agreed; or, to put it politely, he can “go away”.
This would all make perfect sense, but of course it would renew the danger of the fatal trap hidden away in the Definitions section of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, almost certainly inserted by Dominic Grieve. If there is an effective Withdrawal Agreement, the trap can only be avoided if it is expressed to come into effect at 11.00 p.m. UK time on 29 March 2019; or, Clause 1 of that statute is amended to read “The European Communities Act 1972 is repealed.”
We must therefore watch developments not only with interest, but also with immense care.
Respectfully, Septimus Octavius
The second letter today comes from our correspondent Jim Stanley:
does anyone else see what is happening? March 2019 looms, a Good Brexit Deal virtually a formality, a supposedly “give away” Budget from Spreadsheet Phil, our future virtually assured, free to make Laws, trade wherever we wish, our borders controlling who enters our Country, with no need of a “People’s Vote” or a General Election! Such is the view of our MSM, the B******t Broadcasting Company, and the Maynot Tory Government!
Somehow this sounds familiar, or am I the only cynic out there?
So let’s us look at a few facts, not from our media, but what we see with our own eyes, and hear with our own ears, not forgetting how Brexit is reported overseas.
Possibly the first point is to realise the first purpose of the Party in Power is not to govern for the good of the People, but to remain in Power to another term, but as we all know the Tory Government is on a sticky wicket without a majority. According to scuttlebutt, the 1922 Committee is only a few letters short of there being a challenge to Mrs May as Tory Leader. Maynot is so close to the negotiations, things must be made to look good, or she and the rest of them risk being on the dole after a General Election. A give-away Budget is almost a prerequisite to shore up a shaky government. The Nation is fed up with the endless Brexit so called negotiations, but time is short, so we have a transition period – hang on: is Article 50 invented to be just that?
So as time is short, we leave in March with a few items to be resolved, our Borders must remain open for now until Ireland is sorted, but that can be sorted during the transition period, but until the Border issue is resolved, free movement of people will continue – never mind, the transition period will sort that one out to! Our ability to make trade deals, the cross border policing arrangements, in fact everything can safely be left to the transition period! After all, according to reports, we are 95% there, surely that 5% can be left to the transition period …
However, Selective Memory Syndrome is rife: the EU red lines, open borders and free movement, the UK control of borders, and movement not forgetting the no deal is done until every deal is done. Even the words spoken by Mr Cameron are forgotten, whatever happened to leave means no customs union, no single market, no free movement, earning no cheap labour, the once in a generation vote, need I go on …
We are not being sold down the river, we are paying to paddle our own canoe, providing it keeps Maynot in power, the only offer, more of the same. Remember the EU position, it has not moved an imperial inch. Yes of course we can leave, but it will cost us now, tomorrow and forever into the future. Two years ago we should have walked away, and that is what we must do now, or we will be forever in an unending transition period, paying billions to the EU, with a double whammy of billions lost in free world trade.
The answer is simple: walk now, treat the EU as a country we trade with under WTO rules, as we do with the majority of our trade. The noise from Westminster is the last desperate gasp to keep in power, and damn the consequences to the people who elected them to enact the will of the people expressed the Referendum!
Respectfully, James Stanley