In the absence of “real Brexit News” let’s see what we can pick up today. There were the Tory-Labour ‘talks’ taking place – more on that below. There were also economic news from the world outside Ms May’s cabinet. Here are two reports which nicely show the two sides of the Brexit medal:
“European firms became more pessimistic about the economy as confidence among their British counterparts grew for the second month in a row. Economic optimism among the Continent’s industrial companies and retail bosses hit a two-year low this month, according to official figures from the European Commission. They were downbeat about their order books, with the commission saying expectations for production rates had ‘deteriorated significantly’.” (source)
Oh. Keep this in mind because this is the albatros the Remainers desire to be firmly tied round our economic necks. And then look at this:
“Britain attracted more business investment from overseas last year than any other country in Europe, new figures revealed last night. Data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) showed more than £1,400billion-worth of investment stock flowed into the UK from abroad during 2018. Only the US and China attracted more foreign capital and loans than this country during the 12-month period, the figures confirmed. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox MP said the total – more than the foreign investment in Germany, Spain and Poland combined – showed that doom mongers who predicted an economic downturn after the 2016 referendum vote to quit the EU had been proved wrong again.” (link)
And we’ve not even had proper Brexit yet … Perhaps Remainers or indeed the CBI can explain why this is so bad! I wonder if these data made it to the table of the Labour-Tory talks yesterday.
In the morning these talks were described as fizzling out and not really going anywhere. Now we hear they ‘did go well’, sort of. First though look at this report which came out yesterday afternoon. It was jaw-dropping – a Labour MP told reporters that Ms May
“banged her head on her desk” as she was confronted on whether she would be willing to relent on her Brexit red lines, Labour MP Rupa Huq revealed.” (here)
Blimey. Did she really? Here’s more:
“Dr Huq made the shocking revelation as she discussed the development of the Brexit talks with the British Government: “There was some bizarre meeting we had.It was a bit like the exchanges we have in the House but a bit more friendly. The first question I asked her was ‘what red lines have changed, Prime Minister? And she kind of raised her eyes to heaven and then banged her head on the desk. I had never seen that before.” She added: “I don’t think you would have had that at the dispatch box for sure.” (link).
Well! Since I can be as cynical about our elected politicians and clowns in the HoC as the most hardboiled reporter, I can only say that this head-banging must have helped because Labour now claims that, alleluja, the May ‘red lines’ have ‘shifted’. Read this report in The Times carefully:
“Ministers have made “substantive” moves in Brexit talks with Labour aimed at breaking the deadlock in parliament over Theresa May’s deal, it was claimed yesterday. For the first time in four weeks of negotiations senior Labour sources said that the government side appeared to have shifted its position on the party’s key demands around a closer customs union with the European Union after Brexit. There is also understood to have been some progress over incorporating a revised political declaration with the EU in UK legislation that will be needed to implement Brexit. The talks are now expected to run into next week after several hours of discussions led by Mrs May’s deputy, David Lidington, and John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor.” (paywalled link)
Did you notice that the discussions were led by David Lidington? Perhaps Ms May wasn’t even present – so why would she bang her head on the table if she wasn’t there? Of course it is inconceivable that this Labour MP has simply made her story up …
More importantly: if Ms May and her remainers are now moving towards Labour’s ‘red line’, i.e. staying in the Customs Union – there have been numerous articles here and elsewhere on why that is akin to Remain, but on worse terms than before we voted Leave – then this is extremely newsworthy and should top the agenda of debates for the EP elections.
How is it possible that her otherwise sane colleagues in Cabinet and Parliament do not seem to grasp how outrageous this is: the PM is giving away a major, critical political point to the Opposition in order to get her deal through. Do they not realise how this will affect the local elections on Thursday, never mind the EP elections? Some Tories do – else why would we read that:
“Conservative party chiefs have instructed candidates for the European parliament to lie low for fear that campaigning will enrage voters before Thursday’s local elections, according to senior party figures.” (paywalled link)
How useless is that advice! As if voters weren’t ‘enraged’ already, and as if they don’t read or hear those news stories. But of course, as far as the Tory and Labour strategists are concerned, voters are thick and stupid and don’t know anything.
It is also beyond belief that Ms May and her handlers still think they can avoid the EP elections:
“Theresa May’s official spokesman insisted yesterday that she still believed it was possible to avoid holding the European elections on May 23 because the Commons could yet ratify her EU divorce deal in time.” (paywalled link)
How on earth … ? Do her handlers not tell her that this is now impossible? Does she even listen to them? Who in fact is she actually listening to? Will our MSM tell us? Or does she, do her Remain colleagues, have a collective political death-wish? And see this:
“However, Conservative campaign headquarters has already pencilled in May 7, a week tomorrow, for the official launch of its campaign, according to insiders. Candidates have been told to hold back until Friday as the party tries to keep Brexit out of the news in the run up to local elections.” (paywalled link)
Mind you – there’s a little shift in the blame game played by top Tories. Suddenly it’s not the hard-core ERG bastards who’ve prevented Ms May’s BRINO and made the EP elections an inevitable Tory bloodbath – it’s, ahem, the Remainers! William Hague sez so: “Remainers have blown the EU elections, and increased the chance of a no-deal Brexit”. That’s the headline of his paywalled DT article. His lament is one which will make Brexiteers smile:
“In terms of seats won and headlines gained, the outcome [of the EP elections] is more likely to be a reassertion of support for Brexit than a defeat for it. That in turn will push more Conservative MPs into wanting a no-deal Brexit whatever the consequences. Meanwhile, in the chancelleries of Europe, the message received from such results in the European elections will be that there is little prospect of pro-Remain forces co-ordinating successfully, and that October 31 should be treated as a hard deadline for withdrawal, with no further extension allowed. So a “hard Brexit” might well become more likely.” (paywalled link)
Well, I think this is great – and I’d rather have that ‘hard Brexit’ even if it’s going to be later rather than now than getting Ms May’s BRINO.
With the economic news in mind (see above) – ask any Remainer why they want to tie our economy to the sinking economies of the EU, why they want to impoverish our country, and indeed us voters, why they hate Brexit.
Perhaps it’s not Brexit which makes Remainers go insane – perhaps it’s the EU which makes all EUrophiliacs go insane …