Traitor’s Gate at the Tower of London
Yesterday afternoon all hell broke loose when the Speaker of the EU Parliament – or ‘president’, because in the EU every top position has to be filled by a ‘president’ – announced that he had been in ‘private talks’ with the Speaker of the HoC, a certain Mr Bercow. You may have heard of him.
Mr Sassoli, an Italian socialist, had visited Johnson in No 10 that same day. His meeting with Bercow was not a courtesy visit between parliamentarian ‘officials’, there was a reason. Mr Sassoli wanted to “discuss their ‘shared’ desire to to avoid No Deal Brexit” (here). Here’s the report in the DT:
“Britain will only be granted a Brexit extension by the EU if it agrees to hold a general election or a second referendum, it emerged on Wednesday night. David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament, set out the condition during a debate in Brussels. Mr Sassoli revealed he discussed the plans directly with John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, in London on Tuesday. Mr Sassoli told the European Parliament: “I had a fruitful discussion with Speaker Bercow in which I set out my view that any request for an extension should allow the British people to give its views in a referendum or an election.” (paywalled link)
In other words a top EU official is colluding with Bercow, supporting the Remainers in their aim to get a 2nd Referendum, with or without a preceding election. I think Belinda de Lucy MEP (TBP) spoke for all of us in the EU Parliament – you can listen to her speech here!
We mustn’t use the word ‘traitor’ because it’s ‘hurtful’, so let’s call Mr Bercow a double-crossing, deceiving, sneaky turncoat. It is however perfectly acceptable for a certain Mr Guy Verhofstadt to call Johnson, our PM, a ‘traitor’ – see here, here, and the actual quote:
“Guy Verhofstadt […] accused Mr Johnson of seeking scapegoats for a no-deal Brexit. “The only one who is not to be blamed is Mr Johnson apparently,” he said. “All those who are not playing his game are traitors, are collaborators, are surrenderers. The real traitor is he or she who risks bringing disaster on his country, its economy and its citizens by pushing Britain out of the EU. That in my opinion is a traitor.” (link, paywalled)
Had Mr Verhofstadt actually consulted a dictionary, e.g. this one, to check out the definition of ‘traitor’? If so, we can conclude that he and by extension the EU believe that the EU is the ‘country’ which Johnson and all Leavers betray. Striving for independence from that ’empire’, as Verhofstadt called it, evidently is treason.
That means however that we Leavers, even the PM, are freedom fighters! We’re fighting for our Independence – something which is our human right. Perhaps Verhofstadt has overlooked the ‘Right to Self-Determination’ which is recognised in the UN Charter. Perhaps someone ought to send him this wiki link:
“The right of a people to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law (commonly regarded as a jus cogens rule), binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter’s norms. It states that people […] have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no interference”
Furthermore, in the Referendum we voted to regain our, the People’s Sovereignty – we did not vote for “parliamentary sovereignty”, which flows only from us, the Sovereign People, a difference our Remain MPs in the HoC don’t seem to understand!
Meanwhile in Brussels M Barnier, deploying obfuscation to cloak his “Non”, has come up with a ‘compromise’ for the backstop. No – that’s not an occasion for shouting hallelujah, it is typical Barnier:
“Speaking in the European parliament, Mr Barnier appealed for calm after Brexit negotiations became overshadowed by recriminations following reports of a bad-tempered telephone call between Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel on Tuesday. “We will be respectful of the UK and those who lead it. That is our approach and we hope that with this attitude on both sides we will be able to come to an agreement that works for everyone,” he said.” (link, paywalled)
Mr Verhofstadt obviously didn’t get that message … ! Moving on:
“Mr Barnier held the door open for an eleventh-hour deal, hinting at a compromise on consent for Northern Ireland if the government moved on its proposal to create a customs border on the island of Ireland. “If there is goodwill on both sides, an agreement is still possible,” he said, promising to be “available 24/7 in the coming days to try to reach an agreement”. Mr Barnier said that he had still not seen any operational, legally binding solution to the Irish question.” (link, paywalled)
This is not just typical Barnier – haven’t we heard this ‘speech’ for umpteen times now? – it is also typical for the continental, Napoleonic attitude: something must be ‘legally binding’ before it can even be tried in real life. The next Barnier quote is as expected:
“Mr Johnson’s proposals, he said, were based on a system “that hasn’t been properly developed, that hasn’t been tested. To put things very frankly, and to try to be objective, [at] this particular point we are not really in a position where we are able to find an agreement. The proposal of the British government as things stand is not something we can accept. It replaces an operational, practical, legal solution with one that is simply a temporary solution.” (link, paywalled)
M Barnier cannot ‘accept’ Johnson’s proposal because it’s not the ‘legal’ EU Backstop. “Good will on both sides”, translating Barnier-Speak into plain English, means yet again: ‘do as we say’.
The Times has been very helpful describing the content of this ‘compromise’:
“The compromise, discussed internally between European governments, is to give the Northern Ireland assembly the power to revoke arrangements that put its territory within the EU’s single market and customs union. A first vote would be held after a specified number of years, with 2025 one option, setting a potential time limit on the backstop to deal with British complaints that it could end up being indefinite. To revoke the backstop the assembly would have to muster a double majority, meaning in effect that the DUP and Sinn Fein would have to agree, on the Good Friday agreement principle of “parity of esteem” between unionist and nationalist communities. In return, the UK must agree to one unified regulatory and customs border in the Irish Sea comparable to the one between Spain and the Canary Islands, which the EU will agree to make as invisible as possible.” (link, paywalled)
You’ll have noticed that this period is now extended to 2025 – nearly ten years after the EU Referendum. It does not say what this means for the rest of the UK: will we also be tied to the CU and SM? Will we have to keep paying Danegeld*) to the EU?
Here’s what the DUP and Sinn Fein had to say to that ‘compromise’:
“[DUP] Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson said nationalist politicians would never agree to leave the arrangements. ‘The double majority arrangement is designed to ensure we can never get out of customs union, given all the other parties are supportive of staying in the EU,’ he said. Sinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill […] told Sky News: ‘The institutions are already fragile and to add this into the mix is unwelcome and will destabilise the institutions further and threaten the Good Friday Agreement. They are just not plausible.’ (link)
So far so good – but take note of the following quote:
EU diplomats beat a hasty retreat from the suggestion this afternoon, saying it had not been discussed. ‘Unfortunately, no bold new offer is coming from the EU side at this stage,’ one said. (link)
Oh dear – did M Barnier ‘go it alone’? Is there no EU ‘consensus’ for this ‘compromise’? No “EU offer”? No preceding discussion even? How delicious! I hope our PM and his advisers have taken note of this Barnier gaffe. That our Remainers will do so – well, I won’t hold my breath.
I can’t wait to see what fresh indiscretions our prorogued MPs will come up with next, what gaffes our ‘dear friends and allies in the EU’ will commit next, and what our beloved MSM won’t write about unless it’s in a footnote.
Meanwhile we’ll do as always and
*) Danegeld – the last verses of Kipling’s poem are relevant:
“So when you are requested to pay up or be molested, You will find it better policy to say: — “We never pay any-one Dane-geld, No matter how trifling the cost; For the end of that game is oppression and shame, And the nation that plays it is lost!”