Fudge dice for a Fudge Brexit Deal?
It’s the start to an interesting week, no doubt about it. There’s Brexit, and there’s ‘Teh Vaccine’: both are on the menu for this week – but will it all end in tears? Will Britannia, bent over the EU menu offering ‘a substantial meal’ of chips but no fish, cry her eyes out?
No apologies for that image – after all, I’m only following in BJ’s footsteps. He (or his slogan masters) have provided us with a far more enticing image, thanks to his love for catch-phrases. Just imagine, if you will, ‘us’ throwing dice while balancing on a knife edge … it doesn’t really work, does it!
We glean from this morning’s MSM that the EU ‘is prepared to back down’ over fish while those level playing fields are still not level enough. That’s according to ‘Brussels diplomats’ who spoke to the DT’s EU mouthpiece:
“The EU backed down over post-Brexit fishing arrangements on Sunday night – but the chances of a trade deal remained “on a knife edge”, with other key issues unresolved. Sources in Brussels said talks on fish were “closing in” on a political agreement, but there were warnings that no progress had been made on the far bigger problem of the “level playing field”, meaning the two sides could still end the talks without a deal as early as Monday night.” (paywalled link)
RemainCentral on the other hand has a different ‘message’ – their Brussels correspondent must have spoken to different ‘senior diplomatic sources’:
“Angela Merkel and President Macron closed ranks yesterday to confront Boris Johnson with a final offer on Brexit trade talks. The French and German leaders agreed to weaken European Union demands for a so-called level playing field, a Brussels diplomatic source said. Although more “conciliatory” than past positions taken by France, the new joint stance comes with a renewed warning that Mr Macron is ready to abandon talks to concentrate on preparing for a no-deal.” (link, paywalled)
Here’s a thought: both Macron and BJ seem to aim for a No Deal. We recall that our covid lockdowns and tiers earlier this year looked suspiciously like BJ following Macron’s policies. If both of them are now officially eyeing up a No Deal – is that what we will end up with?
BJ will have another little chat with Ms vdLeyen later this evening. ‘Our MSM’ remind us that he’s prepared ‘to walk away’. I wonder if he’s talking to Mutti Merkel, en coulisse. She, however, has other problems: according to German MSM her country is sinking deeply into that 2nd covid wave, according to official case numbers. Thus she has her hands full. Having talked with Macron and presumably Ms vdLeyen, we can assume that they’ll surely and faithfully will represent her wishes.
Meanwhile, our beloved Remainers are also balancing on yon knife edge, throwing their dice for the last time. According to breathless reports on the BC’s Marr show yesterday the Tory Defra minister – Mr Eustice, since you ask – warned that food prices will rise without a deal. He had a few more ‘scare’ warnings:
“[He] insisted the increases would be “modest” but conceded that travel to EU nations would become more complicated and Britons with less than six months’ passport validity faced being denied entry. He acknowledged that free healthcare could not be guaranteed for UK visitors to EU countries next month without a trade deal and that drivers would have to show proof of insurance.” (link, paywalled)
Oh dear! Did Mr Marr forget to ask about British travellers having to pay higher roaming charges? The actual image these last-ditch Remain wails conjure up is one which totally overlooks the impact covid and lockdowns have had and will have on actual travelling. Regardless of Brexit or covid: intrepid Brits, i.e. the dwellers in leafy Audi Avenues, must have the ‘freedom’ to travel to their perfect European holiday destinations – skiing plus summer beach holidays plus at least one more, ‘for culture’.
Next, the Remain MSM have dug up another ‘scare’ document. It’s a ‘worst case scenario’ prepared by government and helpfully leaked by a civil serpent, showing us yet again that Whitehall is and has been a nest of Remainers.
In the manner we’ve all come to love and revere during the whole covid disaster, the ever so unbiased hacks use this as evidence in their ongoing Project Fear campaign. “We” must always fear everything, you see, and a ‘worst case scenario’ is bound to happen, provided one indulges in ‘magical thinking’, according to which that whereof one speaks will infallibly occur.
Don’t ask why government should not think about and prepare for a ‘worst case’! Don’t ask what those ‘journalists’ would scream were government not thinking and preparing thus! Here are some points – I do so love the way this has been written:
“Medicine supply could be cut to as little as 60 per cent for three months in the event of a no-deal Brexit, a leaked Government document has revealed. […] It says flow rates of medicines “could initially reduce to 60-80 per cent over three months which, if unmitigated, would impact on the supply of medicines and medical products across the UK”. (paywalled link)
‘As little as 60%’ – oh dear! ‘Only 40% in the worst case’ obviously is useless for stoking up panic. As for mitigation: clearly, “we” are too feeble for that! There’ll also be less food and there might be ‘border disruptions’ for ‘critical chemicals’, e.g. for veterinary medicines. Have the MSM have already forgotten their jubilant cries of our getting that covid vaccine first while the EU is still ‘thinking about approving it?
I’m sure you’re as sick as I am of the Remain moans which have dominated public discourse since 2016. I really ought not to be surprised that ‘eminent’ political journalists like Mr Marr display an infantile attitude when they wail for example that ‘you promised lower food prices’! I’m just waiting for the inevitable cry that ‘it’s not fair!’. Meanwhile, here’s a reassuring (not!) bit:
“Police will dedicate “significant amounts” of their time responding to “public disorder and community tensions” as protests break out across the UK, it says.” (paywalled link)
Ah well – as long as the police is ‘prepared’, we can feel safe, right? Never mind that it is unclear why government believes there would be ‘public order’ outbreaks when most of the country is ‘in tiers’, at least until Easter. Anyway, we know that the police is well equipped to deal with such ‘public disorders’ – just remember the anti-lockdown protests.
Rounding up the outlook for this dice-throwing, knife-edge balancing Brexit week, there are news that Labour apparently will abstain should BJ get “A Deal” and put it to the HoC. Yes verily, Labour has been transformed into the ‘Party of Fence Sitters’ even though their fence-sitter-in-chief and their money man, the TUC Boss Mr McCluskey, believe Labour ought to vote for a deal should it appear (link, paywalled). Perhaps Starmer’s shadow cabinet colleagues are trying a little insurrection while he’s in ‘self-isolation’, like mice dancing on the table when the cat’s away?
I leave you with a fulminant Diary entry by Sir John Redwood who doesn’t mince his words, starting off with:
“I made the mistake of listening to Radio 4 yesterday lunchtime. They went on and on about alleged problems for trade with the EU if we do not sign a deal, with plenty of speakers including the interviewers pushing the negatives. The ignorance of how trade works was as before.” (link)
He continues by dissecting and destroying these last-ditch Remain ‘arguments’. Do read the whole thing – it’s well worth it! Our friends at facts4eu have also been busy yesterday. In their latest report they ask some pertinent questions BJ and the Remain MSM ought to answer and are also not mincing their words – do read the whole thing as well.
In their concluding observations they summarise the views of Brexiteers, are worth keeping in mind as today’s talks progress, describing two ‘broad schools’ of thought. One believes that Frosty and BJ won’t compromise, that:
“[…] they have played a waiting game to force the EU into declaring an untenable position from which the UK can then walk away. This school argues that Mr Johnson must be seen to have ‘gone the extra mile’.” (link)
They characterise the other ‘school’ as being fuelled by a mistrust in BJ, believing that the whole Brexit theatre of talks has for some time been:
“[…] ‘choreographed’ and that a fudged deal will miraculously be announced this week, with a resounding “I said we’d get Brexit done and we have! We stood firm and against all the odds we’ve won a marvellous victory for the country!” (link)
Given BJ’s fondness for hyperbole and for catch-phrases which he’s been using for a year, covid, Brexit, whatevah – that second scenario has an unfortunate ring of truth to it. Well, the wait is nearly over and meanwhile the Nation can prepare for that ‘miracle’ covid vaccine and rejoice that Pfizer will send ‘us’ 4 million doses by year’s end.
I cannot resist to leave you with the latest inane words uttered by Hancock who described Tuesday, the day the first octogenarians will receive that vaccine, as ‘V Day’ (paywalled link). How sickening is that! Words, as is now customary, fail me!
As we wait for the outcome of Frosty’s last-ditch talks, for the dice falling either side of that knife edge, as we wait for a ‘No Deal’ or a ‘Fudge Deal’, we’ll