ONE OF THAT CLOWDER OF BREXIT CATS UPSETTING THE BRUSSELS DOVECOTE
Crikey! Speak of putting a clowder of cats into a dovecote! That’s what Johnson did with the announcement of introducing that ‘Internal Market Bill’ to the House. We talked about that yesterday morning (here) – and the reactions of Remainers here and in the EU, from the top down, were coming in thick and fast, and very instructive these were, too!
As for the ongoing Covid madness – well, let’s just say that Hancock and the PM excelled yet again in sowing confusion and disgust. If there’s space I’ll take a brief look at that below. All that needs to be said here is that in their print editions ‘Our MSM’ sing from the same hymn sheet: ‘Christmas could be cancelled’. Well, tough – you wanted it, you got it: it’s the result of the unremitting fear and hysteria created by ‘Our MSM’ since February.
Now then – ‘That Bill’. There’s a delicious little history to it. The SUN had published a little piece on Tuesday, reporting that there had been ‘veiled threats’ by Barnier and his team about ‘disrupting food supplies from the UK to NI’, as leverage in the ongoing negotiations:
“In a No Deal scenario it left open the chance that the EU could declare food exports from Great Britain to Northern Ireland illegal. The perceived threat prompted ministers to demand a “safety net” to address the problem with new domestic legislation.” (link)
The BC dug up their EU ‘figure’ who told them yesterday that of course they’d never done such a thing, that it’s all ‘fake news’, cooked up by ‘desperate Brexiteers’:
“Nathalie Loiseau, a close ally of Emmanuel Macron and member of the European Parliament’s Brexit group, branded the claims “disinformation” and part of a plot by some Brexiteers to force a damaging no deal. “It’s one more example of disinformation and fake news related to Brexit, Ms Loiseau told the BBC’s Today programme on Wednesday, as UK-EU trade talks resumed. “You have all this fake news going around creating confusion. As if some people among the whole Brexiteers are only looking for alibis to rush to a no deal.” (paywalled link)
It cannot surprise anyone that the DT’s Brussels Remain correspondent dragged up one of his anonymous EU ‘figures’ who supported Ms Loiseau:
“The former French Europe minister’s denial was supported by EU officials in Brussels, who accused Britain of failing to give them promised information about the UK’s future food standards regime. “The key hurdle to progress is the absence of clarity over how Great Britain’s Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary regime will change after the end of the transition period. The UK is not ready to provide any reassurances or information,” the EU official said.” (paywalled link)
“We” must naturally believe that all these ‘Brussels sources’ are telling us the truth while our own elected government is lying to us. Moreover, one wonders what else the Barnier team has found to accuse us of – I’m sure there are more items than Fisheries, the Single Market or this ‘Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary regime’!
However, since Government Bills to be presented to the House and passed onto the Statute books aren’t precisely written overnight, I’d suggest that our negotiators must have been well aware, for some time, that this threat existed, veiled as it may have been. The uproar now might be due to the still amazing fact that Lord Frost’s and Michael Gove’s teams are apparently pretty leak-proof. And what an uproar there is!
First, we heard that Ms vdLeyen called immediately for a ‘crisis meeting’, warbling on about ‘pacta sunt servanda’ (link), threatening ‘legal action’. It doesn’t need to be pointed out that this Bill is not about ‘tearing up’ that WA, to which the EU has incidentally had agreed. Working extremely fast, Brussels will hold this summit today – and here are the threats:
“[The EU] believes it may be able to mount a challenge before the Government manages to pass legislation which changes part of the deal struck last year relating to Northern Ireland, which ministers admit does breach international law in a “very specific and limited way.” According to Bloomberg, a draft working paper prepared by Brussels and circulated to member states warns that the UK Internal Market Bill represents a “clear breach” of the agreement which would “open the way to legal remedies”. It adds that once the transition period ends, the EU could also trigger the dispute settlement mechanism contained in the deal, which could ultimately result in the UK being hit with financial sanctions.” (paywalled link)
Oh look: Brussels is going to try and scare us with ‘sanctions’, legal and financial! Next, the EU Commission’s Vice President Maros Sefcovic is meeting Michael Gove today, for an ‘emergency crisis’ talk. He’d phoned Gove yesterday and The Express knows what he said:
“I made it very clear to him that the Withdrawal Agreement is not open for renegotiation. The Joint Committee is there for assuring proper and timely implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, not renegotiating it. I have to reiterate this again.” He added Downing Street was “fully aware what the lack of respect for the signed ratified treaties might mean for the future.This is a matter of principle. Of course it has direct implications on the talks about our future.” (link)
Strange, isn’t it – not! – how the EU is always on about ‘respect’. Also strange that he, Ms vdL, Barnier and all the Remainers go on about ‘International Law’ which must not be broken, that the WA cannot be renegotiated. Well, that’s not what is happening, the Remain outcry in ‘Our MSM’ notwithstanding!
Iain Duncan Smith, speaking in the HoC on Tuesday afternoon, addressing the NI Secretary, made perfectly clear why presenting this Bill is perfectly legal, putting the ball right in the EU’s court:
“I wonder if my Honourable friend recalls that in the Act that gave effect to the withdrawal agreement, it is quite clear in clause 38 that the Government did reserve to itself the right to make clarifications under the sovereignty clause. Now, given that is the case and given that when the protocol was signed the Government recognised that the state aid rules would apply to Northern Ireland, this extension to the rest of Great Britain is an interpretation by the European Union. The Government is quite within its rights to dispute that interpretation and use clause 38 to explain that they don’t agree with that and will not implement such an agreement.” (link)
That statement hasn’t penetrated the legal minds of the EU nor our own Remain lawyers, nor of course the Remain correspondents in RemainCentral which served up this screaming headline: “Wrecker Boris Johnson on way to no-deal, Brussels warns” (link, paywalled). I couldn’t find any reference in that article to any EU ‘figure’ who labelled Johnson a ‘wrecker’ in so many words – that’s pure RemainCentral. However, the quotes from their own EU ‘sources’ are quite astonishing:
“Senior European figures complained of an “unprecedented breach of trust” over legislation published yesterday to allow the government to renege on key aspects of the deal Mr Johnson struck with the European Union last year. At the same time ministers announced they would revert to World Trade Organisation state aid rules at the end of the year, confirming the government’s hard line on the most important sticking point in the talks. Last night a senior European source said they believed Mr Johnson had a no-deal strategy. “They’re laughing at us. The constant references to the WTO is a signal ‘You can go to hell’. My gut feeling is that the British government has opted for no-deal,” the source said.” (link, paywalled)
EU feathers are ruffled well and good, even unto that outburst by that ‘source’ about us laughing at them. His next quote shows how little Brussels has understood of how Frost and Gove have been working:
“Johnson is fantasising if he expects the EU to retreat and Merkel, Macron and the other European leaders to ride in and save the day,” a diplomat said.” (link, paywalled)
I respectfully suggest that it’s the EU who believes the ‘Two M’s’ will save Brussels’ bacon, that they believe, thanks to their past experiences with Ms May and Oily Robbins, that Frost, Gove and Johnson will cave in because the Fifth Column of Remainers will surely see to it, through legal interventions and shenanigans in the HoC.
However, our friends at facts4eu have published a legal review this morning (link) which also refers to an article they published on July 11th this year. Sorry – I was neck-deep in detailing the Covid madness at that time, so hadn’t paid attention. In today’s article, the facts4eu editors sum up that report, pointing out that it is and has been the EU which has been breaking International Law:
“Essential condition of participating in Withdrawal Agreement (WA): to secure a free trade agreement (FTA) – The EU has been acting in breach of a material term of the WA by denying the UK an FTA; The EU has attempted to impose wholly unreasonable restrictions on the UK which no other country would accept; The treaty was therefore entered into by the UK on a false premise from the EU; The EU has breached its legal obligation to act in good faith” (link)
The Vice President of ‘Lawyers for Britain’ has published an important, sadly paywalled, article in the DT on the legal issues which will be given our “From Behind the Paywall” treatment later this morning.
I leave you with this Hancock pronouncement, made yesterday – about tests. He blamed the shortage of tests on people who ‘made inappropriate use’ of those tests when they had no symptoms. Yes – he really did! Suddenly, ‘asymptomatic’ people, who were told they needed testing urgently because they might spread the virus without knowing, should now not go and be tested? Blimey! You couldn’t make it up.
It’s pure Covid madness pure – on a par with the Remain madness still prevalent in ‘Our MSM’ and Parliament. Meanwhile, we’ll just do what we do best: