Biarritz – not during the G7 Summit!
‘Tis a strange world as far as Remainers and the Remain MSM are concerned. There’s the G7 Summit in Biarritz with positive news on a post-Brexit trade deal from President Trump (see here and paywalled here) and an ebullient, positive message from Johnson to all the concerned nay-saying Remainers that the UK will cope if there’s a no-deal Brexit (see here and paywalled here and here), so what did the Remain MSM do? Elect to publish photos showing BoJo-the-Clown with his mouth open …
One piece about BoJo at the G7 intrigued me (here): Johnson went for an early morning swim round a rocky outcrop and told reporters afterwards that there’s a hole in that rock so one can get through, saying:
‘Let me give you a metaphor. I swam round that rock this morning. From here you cannot tell there is a gigantic hole in that rock. There is a way through.My point to the EU is that there is a way through, but you can’t find the way through if you just sit on the beach.’
Just so! He forgot to say that one also ought to pull one’s head out of the sand on the beach … Then, according to this report, Johnson turned the screws on the EU, telling Mr Tusk:
“[…] that Britain will not pay all of the £39 billion Brexit divorce bill if the UK does have to leave the bloc without a deal on October 31. The Prime Minister made clear to the president of the European Council that Brussels may get just £9 billion – or even as little as £7 billion – if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement at the Halloween deadline.” (link)
The nay-sayers were immediately out in force to tell us differently, with scenarios from best to worst case:
“The Times has been told that the lawyers have produced a “range of scenarios” assessing the UK’s legal obligations in the event that it leaves without a deal. These include paying the entire Brexit divorce bill if the European Union takes legal action. “The £7 billion figure is the best-case scenario,” a source said. “There’s a range of other scenarios where it’s far higher, including paying all of it.” (link, paywalled)
Who are these lawyers? Government ones? EU ones? We aren’t told, but we can surmise that they are Remain lawyers when we read next:
“An aide to President Macron insisted last week that Britain would be legally obliged to pay the entire bill. […] The EU says that if the UK withdrew the financial settlement it would veto the start of trade talks. Brussels could also take Britain to court in the Hague to recover at least part of the money, although this would take years to resolve. The amount Britain would end up paying is unclear but it is unlikely that it would be nothing at all, as some Brexiteers have claimed. (link, paywalled)
A factual report ought to have mentioned that, ever since this ‘divorce bill’ of £39bn was made public, we have asked for an official break-down of that bill from the EU, but nothing ever came forth! If Johnson and his negotiating team were really clever they’d reiterate those points in the next weeks.
Next week Parliament comes back from the summer recess. Remember that Corbyn was telling the Remain MPs in his and the other parliamentary parties that he’d go for a VoNC on that very first day, on the 3rd of September? According to this report that now looks unlikely:
“Labour is planning to delay a confidence vote in the Government until mid-September, in an apparent admission that support among Tory rebels has collapsed. Whilst Jeremy Corbyn had been expected to table a motion immediately after the summer recess, Labour insiders have signalled a shift in strategy to let Remainer MPs first try to seize control of Parliamentary business. […] On Saturday night party insiders told The Sunday Telegraph that serious consideration is being given to delaying the motion until after September 9, the day when Downing Street expects Europhile MPs will try to seize control. Tory rebels including Dominic Grieve and Philip Hammond are expected to try and amend a motion on power-sharing in Northern Ireland to begin forcing through backbench legislation to block no-deal.” (paywalled link)
This is how the Remain MPs hope to do it, showing yet again that they are not giving up:
“They intend to push through a plan similar to the ‘Cooper’ Bill successfully executed earlier this year, which forced Theresa May to request an Article 50 extension. But if they fail, a Labour insider claimed that the rebels would have no alternative but to back Mr Corbyn’s confidence vote if they were serious about blocking no-deal.” (paywalled link)
In addition, there have been further developments and the sting is in the tail:
“There is growing concern that a no confidence vote would be won by the government or that Number 10 would use a defeat to hold an election ahead of Brexit. Downing Street has reportedly war-gamed an election in mid-October, as EU leaders meet to discuss whether to give Britain a new agreement to prevent a no deal departure on October 31. If Boris Johnson won the election, it would give him a mandate to negotiate a new Brexit deal. (paywalled link)
‘Negotiate a new Brexit deal’ – oh really? If you believe that … also intriguing are these ‘Downing Street War Games’:
“Secret plans to break the Brexit deadlock by holding a General Election during a critical EU summit have been drawn up by advisers to Boris Johnson. Under the scenario, the PM would go to the country on October 17, win and then head to Brussels to demand 11th-hour Brexit concessions. However the plan – to stop MPs from blocking No Deal – involves first deliberately ‘losing’ a Commons no-confidence vote that the Tories engineer themselves. […] The ‘lose-to-win’ strategy – one of several scenarios now being plotted by advisers in No 10 – emerged as Mr Johnson prepares for a possible Labour no-confidence motion next month when MPs return from their summer break.” (link)
It is of course totally unacceptable that the PM and his advisers think about strategies to block Remainers from blocking a No Deal! How dare they! And there’s been worse – some of these “war games” are also about the possibility to prorogue Parliament:
“The Prime Minister has asked Attorney General Geoffrey Cox about the legality of the move, known as prorogation. Mr Johnson would send MPs away from the Commons until shortly before the European Council summit of EU leaders on October 17, potentially preventing moves to block a no-deal Brexit. The controversial move would allow for a Queen’s speech ushering in a new parliament on October 14.” (link)
Asking the Attorney General for advice? How very dare they! Meanwhile Peter Oborne in the DM accuses Mr Cummings of being the instigator of such plans (here), fulminating that he’s unelected! It was of course of little importance that the fabricator of May’s WA was an unelected civil servant …
We know that Mr Cummings has forbidden leaks from 10 Downing Street. That makes me think he himself has allowed these ‘leaks’, getting the Remain opposition to run around like headless chickens …
Finally, we really must be facing Brexit Armageddon! The Archbishop of Canterbury is now ‘in talks’ to set up a ‘citizens’ assembly’ to make proposals to stop a No Deal Brexit:
“The Most Rev Justin Welby is liaising with a cross-party group of senior MPs over holding a citizen’s assembly to make recommendations on Britain’s exit from the European Union. The assembly would be convened next month and be asked to put proposals to parliament aimed at giving the country direction over Brexit and seeking national reconciliation.” (link, paywalled)
We don’t know who these citizens will be – MPs, from the look of it – but you’ll be glad to hear that this is meant to be conciliatory:
“Coventry has been proposed as the location for the assembly because of its status as a symbol of reconciliation after the previous cathedral was bombed in the Second World War.’ (link, paywalled)
Who do they think they are? Were the three years of Remainers blocking Brexit not enough? Does the country need the Archbishop to show us the error of our Brexit ways? Why doesn’t he and his bishops just pray for us to Remain? Has God perhaps told them to support Brexit and, being faithless, they haven’t heard Him?
I think Johnson ought to tell them as well about his swim in the Atlantic: it’s not just the EU grandees sitting on the beach, heads in the sand – all our Remainers are doing so as well.
Enjoy the Bank Holiday Monday, but don’t forget to
Photo by morner