Pancake Day tomorrow, “Backstop Day” today when one’s looking for Brexit ‘News’ in our MSM. Yesterday, I pointed out how the broadsheets got their teeth into the “Backstop Issue” for lack of leaks “from our Brussels sources”. Those articles and interviews were more about what exactly the “ultra” ERG and their ‘Star Chamber’ of lawyer MPs plus two non-MPs demanded, but in a nice demonstration of the Law of Unintended Consequences the publication of those points meant that we now know – and most people will support those demands. You can read them again here.
As we’re now only eight days away from Ms May’s crucial vote in the HoC to pass her WA – else there’d be votes on the following days to demand an extension to Article 50 while ‘No Deal’ will be taken off the table, thus ruining the table – the negotiations of Mr Geoffrey Cox, Attorney General, are indeed crucial. There are of course other indigestible items in the WA, which are raised by the inimitable Sir John Redwood in his diary today.
Today, in a piece of counter-briefings worthy of Messrs Campbell and Mandelson of the unholy Tony Blair Regime, we read that Mr Cox ‘has given up’ – or words to that effect. It matters not that he will go to Brussels tomorrow and that he’s not yet got anything negotiated. It’s spin pure and simple – and it’s demonstrating to the EU and Mr Barnier that he can stonewall to his heart’s content because he has the backing of our Mandarins, Ministers and MPs.
This is the headline in the DT (paywalled): “Attorney General Geoffrey Cox abandons time-limit and unilateral exit clause for Brexit backstop” and here are some quotes:
“The Attorney General has abandoned attempts to secure a hard time-limit or unilateral exit mechanism from the Irish backstop, The Telegraph has been told. Ministers briefed on Geoffrey Cox’s approach said those aims, which represent the central demands of Eurosceptics, are considered too “blunt” and have been rejected by the European Union.” (my bold)
I am speechless. “Ministers” – and we can guess who they are – say the perfectly reasonable demands have been rejected by the EU, being too ‘blunt’, and insinuate that therefore Mr Cox might as well stay home. This is the precise attitude displayed by the Whitehall Mandarins and thus the Remain ministers they ‘advise’! George Eustice lambasted that in his article (see my report here).
It’s this “The EU won’t like it so we better not ask for it” attitude which has ended in the May WA and the disgusting spectacle of MPs now going full steam into destroying Brexit. These are the MPs who voted for the Referendum, who voted for the EU ‘Notification of Withdrawal Act 2017’, who won their seats in the GE on manifestos of standing for Brexit and who rejected the May WA with 500 votes a short time ago! Calling them duplicitous, conniving knaves as I’ve done before is as polite as can be – I won’t say what I really think about them, you can probably guess and will have your own swear words to describe them.
Now back to the Backstop and the sell-out, showing perfectly the defeatist mental attitude of our ‘betters:
“The Attorney General is understood to be focusing on securing an enhanced “arbitration mechanism” that allows the UK or the EU to provide formal notice that the backstop should come to an end.The EU is, however, resisting demands by British negotiators for an “independent” arbitration panel, outside the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.” (paywalled link, my bold)
And there it is: ‘The EU is resisting demands’ – so we better creep home with tails between legs, do what the EU says and forget about Brexit …
One of the ERG ‘ultras’, Mr Steve Baker, has this to say:
“Steve Baker, senior Tory Eurosceptic MP, said the enhanced arbitration mechanism being considered by Mr Cox also falls short of an amendment tabled by Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee. The amendment, which was passed last month after the Prime Minister’s deal was voted down, requires the Irish backstop to be replaced with alternative arrangements. Mr Baker told The Daily Telegraph: “This seems to indicate a satirical approach to fulfilling the Brady amendment which the Government whipped for.” (paywalled link)
While I agree that it’s better to wait until Mr Cox brings something back, and on the verdict of the ‘Star Chamber’, there are some interesting bits by ‘sources’ telling the DT what they see in their crystal balls:
“A diplomatic source told The Daily Telegraph that the EU is doing everything it can, including “acrobatic language” to reassure the UK, but not amounting to a unilateral exit mechanism or time limit.Both EU and UK negotiator sources remain downbeat about the prospects for a deal that will satisfy Brexiteers.” (paywalled link, my bold)
“What the UK wants is not the same thing as what the EU is prepared to agree to,” cautioned a source with knowledge of the negotiations. Sabine Weyland [sic!], the EU’s deputy chief negotiator, highlighted a tweet stating that the demands of Tory Eurosceptics are “way beyond what EU negotiators will countenance”. (paywalled link, my bold)
When you’ve picked your jaws off the floor, consider this: the perfectly reasonable demand for a legally binding document which allows us, as Nation, to exit from that Backstop, is not only regarded as ‘ultra’, it’s demeaned by the EU attitude as something they can disregard because it ‘only’ comes from ‘some Tory EUsceptics’. Even the unreasonable demand to extend article 50 is palatable to M Barnier because it comes from Remainers who are set to thwart our democratically expressed will.
That should tell you all about how the cabal of EU bureaucrats, Whitehall and sadly the HoC work in unison to keep us in the EU prison. Not even the prospect of us having to elect new MEPs for the EU Parliament in May worries them. I suspect they will get round having to face Nigel Farage again by concocting a ‘legal’ fudge so May can nominate MPs according to the votes in the 2017 GE. Democracy be damned, voters don’t matter.
So for the time being, keep doing what you have been doing: write and rally.
Above all: KBO!