Negotiating with the EU …
Mondays are the days for presenting timetables. First the domestic one: Parliament will be prorogued from tomorrow evening onwards, to prepare for the Queen’s Speech next Monday. Debate and voting on that speech will take place on the 21st and 22nd of October.
That leaves ample time for the Remain harlots to do damage, especially since the Scottish High Court will give their verdict today on that latest Case aimed at forcing Johnson to write ‘That Letter’ (here).
The timetable for the EU means that Johnson has until the 11th of October to come up with something and Brussels very generously seems to agree that they would work over the weekend of the 12th and 13th. It must be very time-consuming to keep saying “Non”!
The EU Summit, where they either sign off on that Johnson Proposal or not, takes place on the 17th and 18th of October. Should they dismiss Johnson’s proposal he will have to write ‘That Letter’ and send it on the 19th of October – or will he? See below!
Over the weekend some interesting titbits have emerged. The first was that the Illiberal Undemocrats have agreed to stand aside in a GE to allow Dominic Grieve a free tilt at winning his seat, standing as Independent (here and paywalled here).
“Several Government sources have told The Daily Telegraph that the Prime Minister is willing to go to the Supreme Court in an effort to avoid having to write a letter asking for a delay to Brexit, as set out in the Benn Act. It raises the possibility that Mr Johnson could give evidence in the court case in an attempt to persuade judges in person against forcing him to ask the EU for a Brexit delay.” (paywalled link)
Here are some ‘sources’ giving rather convoluted reasons:
“A senior Government source said it was vital that Mr Johnson was forced to write the letter delaying Brexit rather than agreeing to do so voluntarily. The source said No 10 needed to find a legal mechanism to allow the Prime Minister to “at least say five days before [Oct 31] ‘I am literally not going to write that letter’.“The real drama would be if Boris were in court calling it ‘the Surrender Act’. He would almost be happy if the judge said ‘you can’t call it that’.” (paywalled link)
It is yet another instance of sliding down the slippery slope of allowing Supreme Court Judges to determine policies. The Remain Cabal hasn’t been idle either. They are planning to force the Attorney General Mr Cox to publish his legal advice regarding the Johnson proposals:
“The cross-party alliance of opposition parties opposed to a no-deal Brexit will discuss moves today to use the Commons to force the prime minister to publish any legal advice he has received from Geoffrey Cox, the attorney-general, on his plan to replace the controversial Irish backstop.” (link, paywalled)
And there’s more mayhem planned by the Remain Cabal:
“Opposition leaders believe that tomorrow is their last chance to use a parliamentary measure known as an SO24, which can force an emergency debate, before parliament closes again in preparation for the Queen’s Speech next week.” (link, paywalled)
It’s certainly reassuring to learn that some ‘consensus’ has emerged from those Remain Cabal talks, although they seem to have spent more time on talking about each other and who should become ‘caretaker PM’ than the actual text of the proposal:
“The talks due to take place at lunchtime come amid deepening public acrimony between Labour and the Liberal Democrats. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said this weekend that Labour would not back a cross-party caretaker government to avert no-deal where the prime minister was somebody other than Jeremy Corbyn.” (link, paywalled)
But don’t worry – some Remain Harlots have come up with an ‘ideal’ solution. You don’t need to check – it really isn’t April 1st yet:
“John Bercow has been proposed for the role of Britain’s caretaker prime minister, as opposition parties plot to sidestep Jeremy Corbyn and form a “government of national unity” composed entirely of prominent backbenchers. The Commons Speaker has emerged as the new favourite in the race to take over from Boris Johnson if opposition parties succeed in ousting the prime minister with a vote of no confidence. Bercow would lead a “cabinet of all the talents” made up of backbenchers and MPs leaving parliament at the next election, […]. The idea has been proposed as a way to avoid a clash with the Labour leader, who has insisted that only he can lead a caretaker government despite not having the support of other opposition parties.” (link, paywalled)
File this under “you couldn’t make it up”! It gets even more bizarre:
“The proposal is for the cabinet to be made up entirely of “clean skins” — MPs unrestricted by party loyalty — who can work together in the “national interest” rather than “narrow partisan interests”, according to another source. “MPs who are standing down will also be able to rise above their own self-interest because they will not be seeking re-election, meaning they will be able to put the country before their own parties,” (link, paywalled)
The key words here are ‘unrestricted by party loyalties’, and especially ‘not seeking re-election’. Now you know why I call them harlots; they plan to decide our fate without assuming even a shred of responsibility, e.g. by having to face us voters in a GE. If you think that surely there must be some Brexiteers amongst this ‘cabinet’ then you haven’t been paying attention. This is about stopping Brexit pure and simple, so Leave MPs won’t be wanted.
And so to the ‘EU Dimension’. Firstly, in a last-ditch attempt to get Ireland to agree to the Johnson proposals, Whitehall has come up with their own ‘Irish Project Fear’ scenario:
“Ireland faces disruption of medical supplies, customs delays, the loss of fishing rights and a ban on the transport of horses to the UK in a no-deal Brexit, a Whitehall paper has warned.” (link, paywalled)
Oh dear – no horse races then? Next, we read about Johnson’s talks, from Macron down to Finland’s PM – Finland is leading the EU Council at the moment – and Latvia, whose PM made an interesting observation:
“Latvian PM Krisjanis Karins […] admitted although none of the EU want [it] a no deal is still the “quickest” and “easiest” way for the UK to leave. Mr Karins said: “My message is that this is a club where it’s a little difficult to get in, and it seems to be difficult to also properly find a way to go out.” (link)
Well, he should know – after all, it took less time for his country to gain independence from the Soviet Union than it does for us to Leave! The Finnish PM had this to say:
“After speaking to Mr Johnson, Mr Rinne, said: “It seems Johnson only now understands what a big mess this is and he’s having a hard time making a suggestion that will get him out of it.” Mr Rinne told the prime minister that the Brussels summit on October 17, which Mr Johnson hopes will rubber-stamp a new deal for Britain to leave at the end of the month, would be dominated by the question of a third delay to Brexit because of the extent of the EU’s objections to his plan.” (link, paywalled)
In other words – don’t bother tweaking the proposal, we’ll not agree anyway because we’ll go for that extension …! Macron – reports on his talk with Johnson are here, here, and paywalled here and here – can’t even be bothered talking to Johnson, the only one who will ‘negotiate’ is M Barnier:
“After declining to meet with the Prime Minister in person, Macron further insisted during a phone call on Sunday that the talks would only be advanced through Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator.” (link)
That is somewhat less than helpful:
“The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier poured scorn on the chances of the new proposal succeeding. He told an event in Paris: “If they do not change, I do not believe, on the basis of the mandate I have been given by the EU27, that we can advance.” Mr Barnier also reiterated the EU’s claim that a no-deal outcome would “never be Europe’s choice… it would always be the UK’s choice, not ours”. (paywalled link)
Translated into plain English: it doesn’t matter what tweaks Johnson comes up with – the EU will say ‘Non’, and none of the EU leaders are interested to talk with Johnson about the proposal. They are quite clear that it’s their way or the highway, and a No Deal will be our fault. They fervently hope though that this will be prevented by the constitutional shenanigans of the Remain Cabal.
Nick Timothy asks in the DT why Brussels is negotiating in such bad faith – we’ll look at his article in our “FROM BEHIND THE PAYWALL” feature later this morning. Sir John Redwood, indefatigable as ever, has this proposal in his Diary today, if the EU doesn’t seem to want to negotiate:
“The best way forward now is to offer a Free Trade Agreement and no Withdrawal Agreement.”
Just so – but will Johnson have the dangly round objects to go for that, never mind surviving the harlotry of the Remain cabal? Time will tell …