Will Brexit be wrecked?
Unless you were in a cave all day yesterday – no internet, no smartphones, no TV – you know by now that Johnson announced yesterday morning that “We Have A Deal”. Pandemonium broke out across the twitter sphere and in the British TV studios.
Our TV reporters needed their soundbites now! This minute! Immediately! Thus we had the entertaining spectacle of Jeremy Corbyn rejecting the Deal out of hand even though he had no idea what was in it. The actual text wasn’t that hard to find – the EU had put it on their site nearly immediately, but giving an opinion based on nothing at all, well, that’s modern politics!
The same applied to the HoC peacocks, but not to the Leader of the House. He must be a speed-reader par excellence: someone in his office had obviously printed the whole thing out hot from the EU presses, so he waved the bundle of paper around, saying he had perused it and it was a wonderful thing. The opposition screamed: why hadn’t they been given the text as well and how could he have read it already anyway! That allowed him to lecture the offended offenders on the meaning of ‘peruse’, then slapping them down saying that the text was on the internet … oh …
If you want to read the text, here is the link to the document on the EU site, and here it is downloaded already for ‘easy read’. A full report with all the trimmings of what, how and wherefore is here.
Two things need to happen before this Deal can come into effect on Halloween: the 27 EU leaders have to agree to it in their summit meeting later today, and our MPs, Remainers, Leavers, the lot, will have to do so tomorrow. Oliver Letwin added an amendment to that Government Motion, meaning that Johnson’s ‘My Deal or No Deal’ can have all sorts of amendments added to it:
“He [Johnson] made it clear that Saturday’s Commons vote on the deal will represent the final opportunity for Britain to leave the EU with a deal, otherwise a no deal Brexit will go ahead on Oct 31.” (paywalled link)
It’s therefore not surprising to hear that a massive amount of arm-twisting is now going on in the Tory Party and, I suspect, the Remain Harlots are now doing the same: will they demand a 2nd Referendum? Will they reject the deal and force Johnson to ask for an extension? Will the Spartans vote for the deal?
With a few exceptions the Spartans were tight-lipped – Iain Duncan Smith said they’d wait until Saturday, taking into account that the DUP’s rejection was a crucial factor. The DUP has made no bones about the fact that they will not vote for the deal. We will publish their statement in its entirety on INDEPENDENCE Daily. Unlike all the other players, they have of course been fully cognisant of the text since they were deeply involved in the negotiations.
Sir John Redwood, unmissable as always, has his usual, terse Diary entry, writing this morning:
“The Withdrawal Agreement is unchanged, so I have no need to update my comments on it which set out the problems with it, especially concerning the powers of the ECJ and the money.”
He then points out:
“It [the Political Declaration] suggests the future agreement is based on an EU Association Agreement, designed to get countries to converge with the EU prior to joining. This is not a good model. The ECJ remains supreme over issues of EU law in any dispute.”
Right there is the crucial point for us ‘hard core’ Leavers. Nigel Farage’s rejection of the thing now makes more sense and should not be interpreted as sour grapes. Meanwhile some of the Spartans have broken rank while others, wisely, kept their powder dry:
“Andrew Bridgen, the MP for North West Leicestershire, told The Times that he was encouraged, saying: “The more I find out about it the more I like it.” He said that he would be “much more comfortable if the DUP come on board” but he was willing to vote for the deal if he thought that “it was right for the country”, regardless of what Arlene Foster’s party eventually decided. […] Peter Bone, the veteran Eurosceptic, told LBC radio: “If I think it is good enough, I will vote for it. My instinct is to support the prime minister as I think he is doing everything he can. But never commit yourself before you’ve read the detail.” (link, paywalled)
The Remain Harlots are already working hard on their next attempt to get rid of Brexit, to be tabled and voted for on Saturday, thanks to Letwin’s amendment:
“The group […] have decided against tabling a second referendum amendment on the deal. […] They now plan to table a technical amendment to strengthen the Benn Act. Mr Bebb said: “There are some people in the ERG saying they might vote for it on Saturday and not for the Bill next week – to get around the Benn Act. We’re not taking any risks.” The amendment would force Mr Johnson to send the letter asking for a Brexit delay even if he wins the vote on his deal. Mr Bebb said it is an “insurance policy” that would be negated if the legislation for the deal passed in time for Oct 31.” (paywalled link)
If you wonder how they can even think of getting an extension when M Juncker told the BBC yesterday morning that he doesn’t see the need for one as they now have ‘The Deal’, here’s why:
“The European Union is on standby to hold an emergency summit in ten days’ time to agree a third delay to Brexit. In a blow to Boris Johnson, EU leaders refused yesterday to rule out another extension […] Amid widespread pessimism that he will lose the Commons vote, most EU governments are preparing for another delay to be requested, as required by the Benn act.” (link, paywalled)
That will certainly encourage the Remain Harlots to keep plugging away. Next, EU sources inadvertently hint at what they really hope to achieve:
“The length of any extension would be the EU’s decision and it could insist on a longer delay than the Benn act’s requirement of February 2020. Some EU leaders and senior officials have not hidden their desire for a longer extension, to next June or even later, tied to conditions requiring Britain to rethink Brexit.” (link, paywalled)
To “Rethink Brexit” obviously means for us to revoke Article 50 and to stay in the EU. Heed that warning! There’s more, showing how the EU can force that extension on us:
“The EU is ready to deal with a scenario in which Mr Johnson refuses to ask for an extension himself. It is ready to grant a request made by a representative of the government, such as Sir Tim Barrow, the ambassador to the EU. According to diplomats, no European leader — not even President Macron of France, the most hardline — has reached the point of wanting to veto an extension and force Britain out.” (link, paywalled)
That Ms Merkel is now going to ask the EU for a rebate on German contributions because of Brexit (here) is the final, ironic cherry on the Brexit-Deal-Cake.
I am not only dissatisfied with that deal because of the issues raised by Sir John Redwood, especially in regard to us still staying under the boots of the ECJ. There is one other point which slipped under the horizon yesterday. The deal allows us to start FTA negotiations on the 1st of November should it become Law on Halloween, with the next wrecking opportunity:
“The EU’s chief negotiator [Barnier] is lined up to work with Phil Hogan, the incoming trade commissioner […] Mr Hogan, who is Irish, has earned a reputation as Brussels’ Brexit attack dog. He will have Mr Barnier’s formidable former trade negotiator Sabine Weyand as his chief civil servant. Mr Barnier lining up alongside Mr Hogan and Ms Weyand will present a sizeable challenge for untested British officials negotiating the EU-UK free trade agreement. Those negotiations are predicted to be even more difficult than the withdrawal negotiations.” (paywalled link)
We’ll still be in the claws of Barnier and his side-kick – let that sink in! We now have to wait for the EU Leaders verdict, for the Spartans to make up their minds and must wait for tomorrow’s session in the HoC with the Brexit wreckers to the fore.
While BoJo and JRM were jubilantly trying to set the mood for tomorrow, praising that ‘Deal’ to the high heavens, the Remainers are in a stronger position than Johnson. They have the numbers to wreck the whole thing, unlike Johnson who is struggling to find a majority.
Even if the ‘Deal’ goes through tomorrow – don’t believe for a moment that it’s now thankfully all over. It is not. This is only the beginning with more wrecking opportunities ahead, so we’ll