Brexit or BRINO – that is the question
Yesterday Johnson scrapped yet another of his deadlines. At least this time he was clever enough not to set another one, to be abandoned further down the line. Speculations are ripe. Only one date is set in stone: the last day of this year. Once the bells have stopped ringing for 12 midnight on the 31st, we’re out. Regardless.
The headlines of this morning’s print editions show nicely that confusion reigns supreme. There are the inveterate Brussels correspondents with their wonderful EU ‘sources’, desperately trying to paint a picture of Frost and Barnier working themselves into the ground in order to wring some concessions out of each other. There are the usual authors of opinion pieces, Remain or Leave, who try to explain to us what is going on and why. We’ve heard them all before, there’s nothing more to be said.
Perhaps you’d like to hear what Tory politicians have to say. Well, they are in power, after all, so one would expect them to say something. If so, you might go to ‘ConHome’. However, they omitted to publish a fine piece by the outstanding Sir John Redwood. He’s now published it in this morning’s Diary (link).
Instead, you’ll find various video clips of Tory and Labour politicians in ‘ConHome’. I only had to see the headline for one of Labour’s shadow ministers (“The PM promised a deal”) to close the link in disgust. Why do people elect politicians who are given to childish outbursts such as ‘he promised’? Will we next hear Remainers howl that ‘it’s not fair’?
It is indeed not fair – but not in the way they want us to regard this outrageous, childish announcement by BJ and vdLeyen about ‘going the extra mile’. We’re also not negotiating in ‘injury time’, as some MSM headlines blare: BJ is following the EU’s script, giving inch after inch by abandoning our deadlines.
There is one intriguing piece though in this morning’s DT. It insinuates that ‘going an extra mile’ and all that jazz might not be primarily about getting ‘a deal’ but that it’s now a ‘blame game’, pure and simple. One well-placed ‘source’ – of course anonymous, of course we don’t know if it’s the Chief Mouser – told the DT’s Ms Tominey:
“The current stalemate is not just about the negotiation itself but also “blame allocation. This is going to go on until New Year’s Eve because the side that says: ‘Right, that’s it, no more negotiations’ is going to be blamed for no deal. No one wants to be that person. Emmanuel Macron’s primary interest in life is getting reelected, Angela Merkel doesn’t want to be the first person to wreck the EU so that’s part of the reason for the stand off.” (paywalled link)
There’s more, and, keeping in mind that Ms Tominey was one of the most vociferous voices in the MSM’s ‘Cummings War’, it is quite instructive to note how she is ever so careful about ‘balancing’ views when she writes that both sides need to ‘sell’ whatever comes out now, deal or no deal:
“For Mr Johnson, this means convincing both party and public that it meets his much-repeated manifesto pledge to give Britain back its sovereignty. For the EU, it means persuading the EU27 that they haven’t conceded too much ground, not least if Britain ends up doing well post-Brexit. […] Leaving the striking of a deal until the last minutes gives critics on both sides less time to disassemble what has been agreed.” (paywalled link)
Cynical old so-and-so that I am, I sniff a ‘nudge’ from that ‘high-placed source’ to prepare us for accepting ‘A Deal’ with vital concessions from our side. There’s another straw in the wind, this time from the inevitable DT’s ‘Brussels mouthpiece in residence’, Mr Crisp.
Usually he wields his ‘senior sources’ and ‘diplomats’ to great effect. This time, he amalgamates them into the impersonal ‘there were reports’. While I dunno if Ms vdLeyen has a Chief Mouser who is sending cryptic messages to Larry of No 10, it’s possible that these unsubstantiated rumours are also meant to nudge us into accepting an unacceptable ‘deal’:
“There was mounting speculation on Sunday evening Brussels is preparing to back down over one of the key obstacles to a deal.” (paywalled link)
This is about the infamous ‘ratchet clause’, meant to keep us tied to EU directives, enforced by punishing tariffs. While “Downing Street would neither confirm nor deny” these speculations, we’re told next that
“Government sources also said Britain could agree to pay compensation to French fishermen to clear the current roadblock over fishing rights.” (paywalled link)
Yeah right: “we” have the money and why not use it to bribe the French! Meanwhile, RemainCentral reports on a proper stumbling block – Ms Merkel. We’ve heard last week that Macron and Merkel refused to talk with Johnson, and now Ms Merkel, the Empress of the EU, has reinforced this refusal:
“Mr Johnson confirmed yesterday that the European Commission had once again blocked his attempts to engage directly with Mrs Merkel, the German chancellor, and President Macron of France. […] It came amid claims that Mrs Merkel was to blame for the EU’s hard line and “determined to make Britain crawl across broken glass” rather than reach a compromise.” (link, paywalled)
She is said to wash her hands in innocence because neither she nor Germany have had anything to do with the negotiations which are in the hands of the EU. Do we really still believe that Barnier is only ‘negotiating’ lawyerly treaty formulations with Frosty? Well, here’s one sentence which gives the game away, hidden in that article amongst lots of froth:
“Mrs Von der Leyen travelled to Paris yesterday to meet Mr Macron for a pre-scheduled dinner.” (link, paywalled)
Are we to understand that Macron and vdLeyen didn’t mention those ongoing, extra-mile talks with one word? That the wannabe Napoleon didn’t give Ms vdLeyen instructions as to how best to wring more concessions from us? How gullible do they think we are?
Btw – have you noticed that all those reports are only using ‘talks’, not ‘negotiations’ when reporting on the Barnier & Frosty show? does this mean that their meetings are only ‘for show’, that there’s nothing they are actually negotiating? Hm …
There’s one other aspect to these ‘extra-mile’ talks. One doesn’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to ask about that non-barking dog – our Remain Industries, our Remain MSM are also not barking, not really. Amidst the pixie dust of speculations on that ‘ratchet clause’ and the ongoing talks we find some astounding reports, for example:
“Crucial updates to IT systems that will enable smooth trade between the UK and the EU from January are being delayed because of continually missed Brexit deadlines, likely heaping further chaos onto already struggling ports. […] “We still don’t know which tariff system to load onto our systems,” said Steve Bartlett, chairman of the Association of Freight Software Suppliers. “How much longer are we going to have to wait? Time is not on our side.” (paywalled link)
You don’t say! So why not tell BJ to stop talking and leave on WTO terms, for which we are prepared, according to himself? Big Business and Big Remain weren’t so coy when screaming about ‘cliff edges’!
Here’s another remarkable admission, in RemainCentral of all places. It’s hidden – of course it is! – in their article on retailers pleading with us plebs to please not stockpile because that would ‘disrupt supplies’. So first read this:
“The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said shops had been working to prevent shortages being caused by disruptions to cross-border trade. However, it said there could be an impact on supplies of some fresh fruit and vegetables because the UK relies heavily on imports from the EU in winter.” (link, paywalled)
Well, stap me – is winter not happening in the EU? Who knew! And now see this:
“Other industries have spent years making plans to cope with no-deal Brexit scenarios and have now begun to implement them.” link, paywalled)
Have they now – how astonishing! So there’s no need to be afraid then, is there! Why do the also not tell BJ to leave now? Oh – and did they work on these plans in secret ,while shouting about ‘crashing out’? There is one other report in Remain Central, shaming our banks. We remember the concerted outcries of that bunch of Big Business Remainers, hell-bent on denying us what we voted for. Turns out they clearly worked on a WTO Brexit in secret, only to abandon ex-pats now:
“Lawyers attached to the biggest banks have spent years poring over the different regulations of the 30 members of the EEA […] Given the complexity of the rules, some have found it is not worth getting licences everywhere. Different banks are taking wildly different decisions on whether or not to close expats’ accounts and withdraw their credit cards.” (link, paywalled)
It was ‘too difficult’, was it? Un-effing-believable! If these bank lawyers really have spent ‘years’ on those considerations, why haven’t they tried to present this issue to the government negotiators? Did they think that crying about the evils of Brexit would somehow make it go away, that it was therefore not worthwhile to speak with our government?
I’m desperately sorry for all those expats but can’t help wondering if the High Street Banks have simply followed the EU aims, to punish us Brits for Brexit wherever we are. If these high-powered lawyers really did spend so much time on Brexit then surely they would’ve found ways and means?
If blame needs to be apportioned, then I suggest it’s not just bumbling BJ who needs to be blamed – that Brussels is the main culprit goes without saying – but that Remainers, be they politicians, be they Big Business and Big Bank consortiums, are to be blamed as well, if not more so. Their continuous outcries have given aid and support to the EU’s beton-heads (naming no names …), undermining Frost and his team at every opportunity.
If we really get out with No Deal, as the Nation clearly wants, then Big Business will have to reap what they’ve sowed. Perhaps that’s now dawning on the Remainers, perhaps that’s why the Remain MSM are so astonishingly subdued in their reports this morning. But perhaps they’re now so subdued because they hope that BJ will cave in at the last second, hoping to avoid blame?
It’s for us, again, to tell BJ to get off the can, to leave now. We’re ready for No Deal. He must know that “A Deal” will be BRINO and will be his political suicide, no matter how cleverly he’ll sell it to us.
Seventeen more days of Brexit Misery – but yes, we’ll