In war, it’s always a good idea to find out what is in the mind of the enemy. As the Anti-Prorogation show continued yesterday in the Supreme Court, there was also an ‘event’ taking place in Strasbourg – a debate in the European Parliament on Brexit which brought forth a hugely important statement. More on that below.
Firstly though – the second day of the court case, with the defence from the government Counsel and another attack, from a lawyer representing the Scots. Depending on the Brexit partisanship of the MSM, you either get praise for the anti-prorogation lawyer, as e.g. here, or (paywalled) here with the prospective speech of John Major getting the headline : “Boris Johnson acted like a dishonest estate agent, John Major to tell court”, while the correspondent for the Brexit-leaning DT is more even-handed:
“Eadie[ the Government barrister] […] highlighted the Prime Minister’s compliance with constitutional practice in requesting the prorogation from The Queen, and the fact there is no convention concerning the length of the prorogation. Eadie also referred to the High Court judgment which accepted that lengthy prorogations had taken place in modern times. In his view, nothing in Pannick’s submission, had demonstrated that parliamentary sovereignty had been curtailed by prorogation.” (paywalled link)
It’ll not be plain sailing though as the conclusion of that report hints:
“However, in what may be viewed as a sign of government preparedness that things may not be going to plan, Eadie finished his submission by stating that he wants to get something in writing as to what the government would have to do if the Supreme Court found against it. The government, he said, would provide a submission on this matter for Day 3 of the hearing.” (paywalled link)
And so into day three with more lawyerly displays which are, in the end, not only about the lawfulness of the Prorogation but are plain lawfare against Brexit.
Next we descend into the swamp that is the EU in all its glory. First though a bit of background, i.e. the usual EU complaints. Let’s start with another Macron ultimatum:
“The Prime Minister has been given until September 30 to submit an alternative to the Irish border backstop in writing to Brussels. The ultimatum was hammered out at a meeting between French president Emmanuel Macron and Finnish PM Antti Rinne in Paris today, reports in Finland claim.” (link)
Is that again a Macron ‘solo’, more unenforceable Macron fireworks? There’s far more though. The DT (paywalled) has found some interesting ‘sources’:
“Certain Brussels sources are briefing that Mr Johnson was left stunned during lunch with Mr Juncker in Luxembourg when he was told the British plan was not comprehensive enough to replace the backstop. That was hotly denied by Downing Street and there are suspicions, among some in Brussels, that is EU spin.” (paywalled link)
Ah – but which ‘Brussels sources’ are we to believe? Let’s be content for now that some sources are different from others … Here is the inevitable M Juncker:
“ Mr Juncker said he urged Mr Johnson to “spell out” his suggestions for “alternative arrangements” for the backstop such as what technological solutions he envisaged. The EU insists that technology is not advanced enough to keep a border invisible.” (paywalled link)
Funny that – such technology works well for other, non-EU countries! This next quote illustrates the EU ‘spin’:
“Some “working” was shown to European Commission officials in Brussels in technical talks last week but the UK team insisted on taking the papers back when they left. EU sources described the documents as essentially the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement with the bits the government didn’t like “crossed out”. It fell far short of a formal proposal, they said.” (paywalled link)
Meaning: the UK has brought proposals which the EU doesn’t like, so ‘sources’ are spinning and smearing – which our Remainers will of course utilise against the government as being ‘Teh Truth’.
Pray tell me: how do we know that the UK negotiators had only presented the WA with lines crossed out? A bit more of EU spin, is it? Then there’s the usual from M Barnier:
“Mr Barnier said, “The UK government outlined the aspects of the backstop they don’t like. That’s not enough, however, to move towards achieving a solution,” […] “We need a legally operative solution in the Withdrawal Agreement, which fully responds to each one of the problems, addresses each one of the risks, created by Brexit,” he said. “If the UK leaves without a deal these questions don’t just disappear,” he added.” (paywalled link)
Note the latest use of ‘a legally operative solution’ which first cropped up in the Communique after ‘that’ lunch in Luxembourg. I told you at that time that this would become the latest ‘non’!
And so, finally, into the EU Parliament swamp. Here’s how the Brussels warfare against Brexit unfolded yesterday in that Strasbourg session. Remember that the Brexit Party was allotted one speaker only. Watch this video – you’ll have guessed who the speaker was. This was preceded by attack after attack on Johnson, by Messrs Juncker, Barnier, and the Empire Man himself, Verhofstadt:
“I can tell you that Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk can do a lot of things but they can’t close the doors of our house,” Mr Verhoftsadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, boasted. He told Brexit Party MEPs that any eurosceptic who compared the EU to the Soviet Union “should point the finger at Westminster rather than Brussels or Strasbourg.” (paywalled link)
Oh dear! Must we now feel ashamed of our democratic tradition? Or should we feel ashamed of the Remain traitors in our country providing the EU with ammunition to use against us? And then Mr Verhofstadt let the EU cat out of the Brexit bag:
“Mr Verhofstadt vowed the EU would never allow Mr Johnson to build a low-tax, low-regulation, “Singapore on the Thames” after Brexit. “We are not stupid! We will not kill our own companies, economy, single market. We will never accept ‘Singapore by the North Sea’,” he said after warning MEPs would veto any free trade deal that allowed Britain to stray too far from EU rules.” (paywalled link)
The mask has finally dropped. In a nutshell, here’s the basis of the EU negotiations to this day, now out in the open: fear of economic competition by a Free Great Britain. Note well the threatened veto of ‘any free trade deal’ after Brexit! I’ll give the final word to John Longworth (TBP):
“What is transpiring is like a giant game of poker, bluff and counter-bluff, with very high stakes. The tricky thing in this game is that the PM is playing with a hand marked by the players and with others looking over his shoulder. Is it any wonder that the UK appears to be playing a bad hand, even when there is no such thing? What makes this truly “extraordinary” is that it must be rare in the history of our nation that we have people in positions of power who have been and are, colluding with a foreign state against their fellow countrymen and are not called out as traitors.” (paywalled link)
“The awful truth may be that, when the chips are down, it will be a choice between a referendum where the terms of the game are set by a Remain Parliament and a reshuffled Withdrawal Treaty, basically a choice of “the devil and the deep blue sea”. For true Brexiteers, a truly knavish outcome, good for the Brexit Party who will sweep the board, but very bad for Brexit and the hope this endeavour engendered in vast numbers of my fellow citizens.” (paywalled link)
That, sadly, describes the outcome so many of us are expecting. The one piece of silver lining I can discern is the fact that ‘Mr EU Empire Verhofstadt’ keeps overplaying his hand. That ‘empire’ quip will come to haunt the EU.
The inimitable Sir John Redwood writes about empires in his Diary today. Also, keep in mind Verhofstadt’s outburst (see above) about ‘not allowing’ the UK to build a low-tax ‘Singapore on Thames’. It’s about money, pure and simple, so take all the usual demands and criticisms from the Barniers and other Brussels sources with a large pinch of salt.
Remember also that the Remainers in the HoC are bereft of any financial sense, remember furthermore that the Remain demonstrators have never told us Leavers why paying more and more money to the EU is so desirable. Nor has Labour explained why ‘Tory Austerity’ is to be condemned while they are happy to give away more of our tax money to the EU.
For us, it means patiently waiting for the Court decision, patiently waiting for the outcome of the game Johnson is playing. It means that we must remain vigilant.
Above all, we must let not ourselves be dismayed by the Remain propaganda coming from our MSM, via Brussels ‘sources’. As always: