Inevitably, the headlines in our Establishment MSM are again full of the Boris-Affair. It’s all very interesting, I’m sure, if you are into that sort of thing. It’s also interesting that the Remainers’ latest dahlink, Mr Jeremy Hunt, is celebrated for the inanity of proposing to spend an extra £15bn on defence (link, paywalled). He must have been promised unfettered access to that famous Money Tree kept secretly in the Treasury gardens …!
In the other corner, in a BBC interview last evening, BoJo has come out with his fabulous proposals to get us Brexit:
“In the most detailed explanation of his plans so far, Mr Johnson told the BBC that Theresa May’s Brexit deal was ‘dead’ – but insisted his ‘positive energy’, coupled with the threat of No Deal and the withholding of the £39billion divorce payment could persuade the EU to back down in key areas. The Tory leadership frontrunner said he would engage in ‘creative ambiguity about when and how’ the divorce payment is made. He insisted a new deal could be struck in time to take Britain out on October 31. And he said the EU would agree to a Brexit transition even in the event of No Deal – something Brussels has strenuously denied. But he said it was ‘common sense’ to ‘prepare confidently and seriously for a No Deal outcome’, as this was the best way of securing concessions from the EU.” (source)
I’m not sure if he is also ‘engaging in creative ambiguity’ with us and the MSM – especially the Remain MSM – or if he has some machiavellian plans hidden away, to deal with his Tory Party ‘rebels’ like Mr Grieve and Mr Kenneth Clarke.
Given this background, you might think there’s nothing happening on the EU Continent, but let me assure you, there is! Firstly, there’s our Celtic neighbour, the one with the Backstop. Have pity on them, because reality is starting to bite.
“Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe’s next budget is “all but certain” to be based on a disorderly Brexit, his ministerial colleagues believe. The minister will tomorrow take the unprecedented step of publishing two economic outlooks on which Budget 2020 could be based. His Summer Economic Statement (SES) will present one set of figures for dealing with an orderly Brexit and another for a ‘doomsday scenario’. However, senior Government sources say if Brexit continues on the current timeline, Mr Donohoe will have little option but to base his budget on “the disaster”. “Ultimately he will have to decide in September which set of figures to use on Budget Day. At that stage it’s unlikely we’ll have clarity on Brexit so you’d have to work off the worst-case scenario,” the source said.”
Isn’t it … strange how our Remainers, how Brussels and now Ireland are bleating about a worst-case scenario should No Deal Brexit happen while the more rational ministers and civil servants in Ireland, here and in the EU member states all prepare for it!
A couple of days ago Sir John Redwood remarked in his Diary that the EU is “ready for UK exit in October without the Withdrawal treaty”, concluding shrewdly:
“This of course all goes largely unreported by the Remain facing UK media, who carry on with silly scare stories based on an imaginary exit with none of these agreements in place.”
Ah, but our MSM must spend time and resources on that titillating story, that ‘Johnson affair’! Their non-reporting of preparations made everywhere for a No Deal Brexit shows nicely that the whole uproar about cliff edges, a ‘cast-in-stone’ WA, the Backstop, is simply driven by ideology, not pragmatism.
Next there’s one (!) report about some EU member states apparently getting a bit impatient with the Irish tail wagging the EU dog:
“Ireland is facing demands from six fellow EU countries to set out detailed plans for how it will manage a no-deal Brexit as fears grow in Brussels that such an exit may be unavoidable. In the first clear sign that EU solidarity with Ireland is starting to come under strain, a gang of six states: France, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands; are insisting that Ireland must set out in operational detail how it will protect EU borders. It reflects growing impatience among EU member states over the refusal of the Irish government to spell out what will happen if the Irish backstop – which was designed to prevent the return of a hard border in Ireland – backfires and causes a no deal.” (paywalled link)
I don’t want to gloat, but this next bit reads as if the days of the Taoiseach’s posturing and demands without substance are coming to an end:
“Until recently, the Irish government has avoided the detail, countering that the UK has a mutual duty to help avoid a return to a hard border under the Good Friday Agreement, and threatening to not hold any EU-UK trade talks until London complies. But the decision to put pressure on Dublin reflects concerns in Berlin and Paris that if the UK does not cooperate, then Ireland will pose a risk to the integrity of the EU single market in the event of a no deal. Poland is understood to be among a minority of member states who harbour hopes that forcing Ireland to confront the difficulties of a no deal could pave the way to reopening the debate on time-limiting the backstop.” (paywalled link)
Interesting, isn’t it: at five minutes before midnight what was anathema until now can suddenly be mentioned. One wonders when our home-grown, EU-supported Remainers will cotton on to this, especially those Tory MPs in the HoC who would rather bring their own government down if there is No Deal.
However, they and the May-Replacement would do well to take note of and learn from the ‘Swiss experience’. A week ago we read that:
“Brussels is increasingly likely to cut off Swiss stock exchanges from the EU’s single market to send a “warning shot” to Bern but also to Brexit Britain.” (paywalled link)
Today there’s a report that the Swiss aren’t going to cave in but are instead retaliating:
“Switzerland will ban European Union stock exchanges from trading Swiss shares in retaliation for Brussels freezing its bourses out from the EU market. The European Commission refused to grant Swiss stock exchanges access after its patience ran out during negotiations over a long-delayed partnership treaty. “Equivalence”, the system of regulatory recognition used to govern access for financial services in non-EU countries, will now lapse on July 1. In retaliation Bern said it would withdraw recognition from trading venues in the EU from July 1 to “protect the Swiss stock exchange infrastructure in the event of non-extension. “Trading venues in the EU would thus be prohibited from offering or facilitating trading in certain shares of Swiss companies from that date,” the Swiss government said.” (paywalled link)
You might say that this is only little Switzerland, so why should we care. However, the EU has been trying to play hard ball with the Swiss explicitly to prepare the way for the UK’s agreement to stay in the Single Market thanks to May’s WA:
“Last week, an European Commission document called for a “crystal clear” message to be sent to Bern but also to Brexit Britain. “An expiry of the ‘equivalence’ may be just the warning shot across the bow they need,” the document said. […] Equivalence lies entirely in the gift of the European Commission, the EU’s civil service, and can be withdrawn at short notice and with no right of appeal. British and EU negotiators have agreed that the same system will be used after Brexit, if the Withdrawal Agreement is ever ratified by the House of Commons.” (paywalled link)
Do take note of those last sentences – do read them again and let them sink in! Then ask your MP if he or she is happy with that! It constitutes a pretty clear warning to the Remainers – but perhaps they think the City will be fine with this? Perhaps they ought to think about the following:
“It is unlikely in the short term that Brussels would attempt similar hardball tactics with the City of London because of its larger size and the EU’s greater exposure to it. But the Swiss example will serve as a warning that the EU is not willing to compromise on its red lines, even if that means a “no deal” with Bern.” (paywalled link)
Of course the EU isn’t ‘willing to compromise’, not with Switzerland, not with us. it’s only Ms May and her civil serpent negotiators who have been compromising all the way down.
Why? And why, if the Swiss can stand up to the EU, are the Remainers insisting that we’re too weak, too feeble, to stand up for ourselves?
Do the Golden Fleshpots of the EU beckon? Stay vigilant – and