A Brexit Sunrise?
It’s ‘BoJo’ Monday in all the papers. This headline sets the tone: “Boris Johnson to unveil biggest ad campaign since Second World War to prepare for ‘no deal’” (paywalled link) so we can all be assured that No Deal will happen! Got that?
The only Remain-Moan story making it into today’s front pages is the one about farmers and other industrial bosses being unhappy:
“Incoming ministers in Boris Johnson’s administration are being told that unless they can pass specific new laws through a hostile House of Commons, the UK will have no legal basis on which to levy protective tariffs in the event of a no deal. Trade experts and farming pressure groups warned that failure to pass the necessary legislation would leave UK farmers and industry “defenceless” against waves of cheap global food imports and predatory “dumping” of steel and other commodities. (paywalled link)
That looks a bit like a pre-emptive squeal, like a child which cries out before it’s feet have even bee trodden on. There’s more:
The growing alarm inside Whitehall comes as the Government prepares to table a series of “statutory instruments” to enable tariffs to be levied, all of which will need to be approved in a vote in the Commons. It is not clear if MPs will be prepared to back the measures and potentially facilitate a no-deal Brexit, with the votes providing them a fresh opportunity to frustrate the Johnson administration’s strategy. One senior rebel MP who has campaigned against Brexit said it was “far from certain” the vote would pass. (paywalled link)
Interesting that the nay-sayers and the ever so concerned professional Remainers are getting their retaliation in first! Next:
The Department for International Trade said in a statement to The Daily Telegraph that it would none the less table the instruments and was committed to ensuring “that all the necessary legislation is in place” for a temporary tariff regime ahead of any no-deal Brexit on Oct 31. The department declined to give dates as to when the legislation would be laid under the powers of the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act.” (paywalled link)
That was in the DT, not in RemainCentral, for a change. I’m sure we’ll read more about such complaints in the next few days. The Remainers must, after all, show that they are willing to thwart the ‘No Deal Brexit’ by all and any means available. And that’s just our home-grown Remainers.
Across the Channel, the French have been busy fulminating. We read that the wannabe Napoleon, M Macron, has threatened that the EU will shut down trade altogether unless we pay the £39bn (here) while one of his MEPs – who sits together with Guy Verhofstadt in the same group in the new EU Parliament – has threatened that this selfsame Parliament will stop any ‘deal’ that does not include the Backstop (here).
Well, someone ought to tell them that, if we leave without a deal then they don’t need to worry about backstops or indeed voting. Instead they make noises, like the Chinese make noises to scare away bad spirits …
Johnson has not been idle either. Here’s a report (not paywalled, so you can read it) on how he won’t go, cap-in-hand, to EU Leaders to “re-open talks”. Quite right too – after all, haven’t we heard yet again that the EU won’t talk to us because the May vassalage treaty has been cast in stone and cannot be re-negotiated?
Johnson has now installed a ‘war cabinet’ (link, paywalled) led by Michael Gove:
“[…] to deliver Brexit “by any means necessary” by October 31 as a senior cabinet minister warned that there was “now a very real prospect” of no deal. In a dramatic shift Michael Gove, the minister responsible for no-deal preparations, said the government was “working on the assumption” that Brussels would not strike a fresh agreement. This morning Rishi Sunak, the new chief secretary to the Treasury, said ministers were “turbo-charging” no-deal preparations.” (link, paywalled)
We’ll have to wait and see what the fruits of their labour will be like. So far there are only words, and when I read the following, I’m not so sure about the outcome:
“In a Whitehall revolution, Johnson will make every decision on Brexit policy with a team of just six senior ministers — all of them Brexiteers who support no deal. Starting tomorrow, the war cabinet — Gove; the chancellor, Sajid Javid; the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab; the Brexit secretary, Steve Barclay; and Geoffrey Cox, the attorney-general — will plot the nation’s course. The plan risks driving a wedge between Conservatives in Westminster and their colleagues north of the border. Ruth Davidson, leader of the Tories in Scotland, said that she will refuse to back a no-deal Brexit.” (link, paywalled)
Tory Remainers, it seems, are still more interested in having their 15 minutes of fame as ‘Remaienrs’ than actually work for the good of the country. The change in attitude inside No 10 is important though, given these other announcements:
“Cummings also made clear that ministers were preparing for a no- deal emergency budget in the week of October 7. Insiders say the government will go “hell for leather for no deal” in order to see if the EU “blinks” and ditches the backstop, but the “central planning assumption of government” is that the UK is on course for no deal.” (link, paywalled)
Pay extra attention to the following observations by Michael Gove:
“Johnson yesterday said “progress” towards a deal could be made only once the “anti-democratic” backstop was removed. But Gove writes that ministers do not believe the EU will back down: “We still hope they will change their minds, but must operate on the assumption that they will not. The prime minister has been crystal clear that that means we must prepare to leave the EU without a deal on October 31.” He added that tweaks to Theresa May’s plan would not be enough: “You can’t just reheat the dish that’s been sent back and expect that will make it more palatable.” (link, paywalled)
Can we therefore expect that we will not be presented with a tweaked, regurgitated May WA? Let’s hope so – but let’s keep in mind that our hopes for a proper Brexit have been dashed again and again by those self-same Tory MPs and ministers.
Here’s a little excursion further afield which is indicative of what awaits us and our country should we Remain, should the Remain plotters in the Tory Party and the HoC be able to thwart Brexit.
Our German ‘friends’ are apparently refusing to support an EU ‘alliance’ in the Gulf of Hormuz because our new Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wants to have the US on board:
“Berlin has warned the UK it will “not subscribe” to the aggressive strategy adopted by Washington in the Gulf – which has been endorsed by newly appointment Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. Mr Raab has dismantled his predecessors proposals for a European-led naval task force in the region and insisted it will not be “viable” without the backing of US President Donald Trump. The Foreign Secretary told The Times: “I don’t think it’s a zero-sum game. “I think we do want to see a European-led approach, but that doesn’t seem to me to be viable without American support as well.” (link)
Just like our dear Labour leaders demand a ‘Labour Brexit, not a Tory Brexit,” so the Germans demand an “EU” intervention without the USA because they are ‘so aggressive’. Since we’re still in the EU the attitude of our EU ‘comrades in arms’ still matters.
It is typical that, as far as they are concerned, the security of our and indeed other ships under an EU flag in that Street must first be talked about at length before anything can be done. It’s also a lovely opportunity to show our new Jonson-Brexit government that we’re on our own without the protection of Mummy Merkel. It’s also a nice way out for them, especially for the Germans who have after all no Navy to speak of with which to support ours.
On this Monday morning we look at a changed Brexit Game but, old cynic that I am, I’d caution against getting our hopes up. The Boris razzmatazz may indeed stun the Brexit adversaries, be they our own Remainers in the HoC, the Tory Party and the Westminster bubble as well as the usual suspects across the Channel in Paris, Berlin and Brussels.
However, be aware that this frenzy about a ” Brexit Sunrise” applies only to this particular moment. The proof of the pudding, as the saying has it, is in the eating – and for my taste there are far too many former Remainer cooks stirring this particular pudding.
We’ll watch with interest – and as always, I close with the usual appeal to stay vigilant and to