At the start of the first working week after Brexit Day we can discern how Remain will do their best to keep their anti-Brexit complaints at the forefront of the public discourse. While both Johnson and Barnier will make statements today, both the DT and RemainCentral have of course published their previews. as the actual texts are still under lock and key, the MSM have been forced to pick up the ‘leaked drafts’. While the DT has a hugely important report on Trade, RemainCentral preferred to write about … hedgehogs. More on that below.
The main issue of those two ‘statements’ later today will be that ‘level playing field’ demanded by the EU. The DT’s Brussels correspondent seems to have also had access to a leaked draft of the Barnier speech. A non-paywalled report is here. It looks as if, for once, the PM will also say ‘no – non – nein’.
I’ll wait until we see what actually is being said because it would not surprise me if there will be changes to those drafts. I’ll just note in passing that the demands by the EU about their ‘higher standards’ are somewhat pitiful when we look back a few years and recall that scandal about horse meat being labelled ‘beef’ by EU meat producers.
RemainCentral’s rearguard action is also illustrated by two articles giving prominent place to two gentlemen who have been doing their utmost to stop Brexit while denigrating our country, reporting on those gentlemen’s TV performances on the BBC yesterday.
Why the BBC had to invite Mr Tusk, a former EU president, and Mr Varadkar, at the moment still PM of Ireland (he’s behind in the polls for next Saturday’s Irish GE) – well, you can have three guesses. Mr Tusk’s remarks should go straight into the bin, having first been filed under ‘international stirring of the brown stuff’. Mr Varadkar’s remarks are however quite interesting:
“The Irish prime minister has attacked Britain’s “nationalist rhetoric” as EU leaders reacted badly to Boris Johnson’s hardline opening salvo in the next stage of Brexit talks. Leo Varadkar urged Mr Johnson not to “repeat the errors of the past two and a half years” by talking so tough it made compromise harder. […] Mr Varadkar accused the British government of being immature as he reacted to “petty” instructions from Downing Street for British ambassadors to sit separately from EU ones in order to emphasise the UK’s independence in international institutions.” (link, paywalled)
Take note of Varadkar’s remark on the alleged pettiness of British ambassadors going to sit separately from EU ones. This refers to the British ambassador to the UN who is going to sit in the seat for GB at the WTO:
“On Tuesday in an office in Geneva, a career British civil servant will take a small but very significant step as Britain formally enters the world as an independent trading nation. Julian Braithwaite, the UK’s ambassador to the United Nations since 2015, will sit down at Britain’s seat at the Geneva offices of the World Trade Organisation. The event will be deeply symbolic for post-Brexit Britain, a country that was a founder member of the GATT, the predecessor of the WTO, which was only created in 1995. Until now Mr Braithwaite has only been allowed to sit at the back of WTO meetings as the European Union has set out the UK’s position as just one of 28 EU countries in global trade talks.” (paywalled link)
It’s not us being petty, Mr Varadkar, it’s the EU having been petty all along. Here’s more:
“Mr Braithwaite set out his plans in a 1,300 word statement, in which he stated public yesterday that the UK “will seek to participate in and initiate discussions in the WTO on issues of particular relevance to the United Kingdom and the global economy”.He added on Twitter: “The UK will now represent itself in the WTO, supporting the global trading system which we were instrumental in founding, and advancing our economic interests.” (paywalled link)
If you’re interested, you can read that statement by Mr Braithwaite here on the government site. It’s couched in fine diplomatese. And for the record, see this next:
“One source with knowledge of the UK’s thinking has made clear that Mr Braithwaite has been told to be proactive at promoting the UK’s interests at the WTO. The source said: “The EU has told [WTO] members that they speak for us in the transition period. That is not our view. Julian has instructions to speak at the WTO and he will intervene on fish subsidies and joining the e-commerce and other negotiating groups.” […] Mr Braithwaite’s elevation to the top table at the WTO will be the most tangible signal of the UK increasing the pace of its efforts to secure trade deals before the end of this year.” (paywalled link)
Well well well! That’s the EU being put into their place! Another welcome sign that Johnsons’ government is actually working to get things done is shown in this next quote:
“And looking further ahead The Sunday Telegraph has learned of plans to sign deals to give the UK access to markets worth trillions of pounds by the end of next year. Crawford Falconer, the UK’s lead trade negotiator, has already amassed a team of 700 lawyers and experts to help deliver trade deals, with £110billion-worth of trade deals ready to be rolled over when the UK exits the implementation period on Dec 31 this year.” (paywalled link)
I seem to remember that both Mr Baithwaite and Mr Falconer were named as the trade experts whom Ms May ought to involve in her WA negotiations with the EU. She didn’t, as we all know. There are more plans, for talks with Japan and NZ, in order to allow the UK access to the CPTPP:
“One UK Government source said: “New Zealand is the cabinet secretariat for the CPTPP – so as soon as we do deals with them it will make it very easy for us to accede to the CPTPP. […] The goal of acceding to the CPTPP has a second advantage too of putting pressure on the EU to agree terms with the UK by the end of his year. The source added candidly: “All of the rest of our trade negotiations are about using the stick against the EU.” (paywalled link)
Since the Remain MSM and their Remain ‘helpers’ everywhere are still set on Project Fear scenarios, still maintaining that we can do nothing on our own but need the wise EU to guide us in every little instance, it’s not surprising that such reports like the one quoted above hasn’t been prominent in RemainCentral.
Instead, they preferred to waste space on a heartstring-tugging article with the title “Charities tell of Brexit threat to hedgehogs”, accompanied by a sweet photo of a hedgehog snuffling in autumn leaves. Oh dear oh dear! I’ll quote from that report because it’s a prime example of how Remain wants to determine the Nation’s post-Brexit discourse. Here’s what the combined nature ‘charities’ have to say:
“Hedgehogs, pond wildlife and nesting birds are among the species at risk if protections provided by European Union regulations are not replaced with new legislation, leading wildlife charities have said. The Agriculture Bill making its way through parliament will leave significant gaps in environmental protections as the country sheds EU law after Brexit, The Wildlife Trusts, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and World Wide Fund for Nature say in a report published today. Without additional legislation, Britain will lose regulations which ensure that hedgerows are not cut during the bird nesting season, protecting birds like yellowhammers and small mammals such as hedgehogs, they say.” (link, paywalled)
Those charities are painting a grim picture of our farmers being bent on committing acts of vandalism against innocent hedgehogs and birds as soon as the mighty EU is no longer keeping their eyes on us. This is the reason why those NGOs have come out with their concerns:
“Two flagship bills — for the environment and for agriculture — are making their passage through parliament. The report coincides with the second reading of the Agriculture Bill in the Commons today. “Both bills cover areas which have huge implications for our ability to tackle the twin emergencies of the nature and climate crises,” the charities said in a statement.” (link, paywalled)
Now correct me if I’m wrong – but aren’t second readings of Bills the occasions where concerned MPs can attach amendments to be considered and incorporated in Bills? Have these charities done nothing at all to lobby government and MPs about these problems when these Bills were first tabled?
I think this is a concerted effort by Remain to set the tone by labelling anything they are against as being ‘because of Brexit’. I hope you’ve noted the inevitable reference to ‘climate’. I am not aware that these NGOs have made protests about saving our birds, bats and insects from all those wind turbines. I’m not aware that they have produced similar protests when prime agricultural land was sealed to erect solar panels. I’m sure interested readers will find articles to prove me wrong!
This then is the way Remain NGOs will fight their rear-guard actions in an attempt to keep us tied to EU Regulations. Remain MSM will report what Remain NGOs and other Remainers have to say, busily overlook what the government is actually doing, especially in regard to Trade. Never mind that this is an area Remain is especially keen on, to show that we’ll be worse off after Brexit because we don’t know what we’ll be doing without the mighty EU …
For today I’m looking forward to what an ‘infuriated’ M Barnier will say.
[Apologies for running late: I had connectivity problems}