After the scenes in Parliament on Wednesday during the debate on the No Confidence Vote, the loudest voices were those demanding that Ms May must ensure that there will not be a “No Deal” Brexit. Mr Corbyn peremptorily refused to talk with Ms May unless she confirmed that a “No Deal” Brexit was off the table. In my column yesterday I pointed out why this clamour has become so deafening: it’s the economy, stupid – and not just the economy here in the UK but that in the EU. Of course reports on an EU-wide recession are scant, as are reports generally which point to the failings in EU states, such as France … Germany … Italy … Spain. The outlook must be really bad though, else why would M Barnier suddenly make conciliatory noises (see here), hinting that:
“The European Union is open to the possibility of a “more ambitious” Brexit deal than the one rejected by the British parliament, […]”,
But while the one Barnier-hand gives, the other takes away immediately:
“Barnier held out no hope that the agreement reached over the course of two years on the principles that May originally set out could be improved on.” (my bold)
Mr EU does not seem to be so certain that there will be a ‘pleasant BRINO’:
“If there is no deal, there will be contingency measures,” he said. “But that will be very difficult and will not be done in a climate of confidence. The best guarantee is reaching an agreement.”
It’s this distrust from the EU and their hard attitude from the moment we opened the Withdrawal Negotiations which has got them and us into this mess. So I distrust M Barnier who:
“has pledged to open fresh Brexit talks with Britain but only if Theresa May returns to Brussels with plans for a soft divorce from the bloc.” (source)
This ‘soft divorce’ means ‘soft’ only for the EU, not for us, as the WA shows – and that, as M Barnier has reassured his listeners, is non-negotiable.
It leaves the question why, suddenly, every Remainer here and in the EU is adamant that the WTO Brexit we want must be prevented. If, as I said above, it’s because of the economy, then why, with few exceptions, is the economic situation in the EU not on the Remain horizon of our MSM? Mr Hammond and his Big Business partners are obviously aware of it, as is German Big Business who are also adamant that a WTO Brexit must be prevented, as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (AEP) reports in the DT:
“German industrial leaders have warned of grave consequences for the country’s economy if there is a no-deal Brexit, but nevertheless insist that it is entirely Britain’s responsibility to find a way out of the impasse.
“A chaotic Brexit is now getting dangerously close to happening. Our companies are looking into the abyss,” said Dieter Kempf, head of the German Federation of Industry (BDI). “We expect rapid answers from London as to how they are going to proceed,” he said. The looming possibility of a no-deal divorce in just 10 weeks – more widely believed in Germany than in the UK’s internal political debate – has come as a rude shock. “Businesses on both sides of the English Channel have no choice now other than to prepare fully for an unmanaged exit of the United Kingdom. A political deal is still possible but the condition is that London returns to its senses,” he told reporters in Berlin.”(my bold).
Note how a perfectly good WTO Brexit, as in the Law Parliament voted for when triggering Article 50 two years ago, has now become ‘chaotic’ and ‘disorderly’. Note that they had two years to prepare for a WTO Brexit. Note also that, just as Brussels, German industrialists are now preparing for it. Why we ought not to do so here is Mr Hammond’s secret.
AEP comments in the same article:
“Few suggest that the EU itself might have to give ground or revise its strategy. The overall line from Deutschland Inc is that the sanctity of the EU project and single market is more important than immediate trade with Britain. However, such pieties have been cost-free until now.” (my bold)
He reports that more conciliatory views are heard, but even so he preferred German option is an extension to Article 50. German politicians meanwhile now beg us to please stay IN:
“In a desperate letter from more than two dozen leading figures in Germany, officials say they want the UK to reverse its Brexit decision. […] The letter, published by The Times, has been signed by a host of influential politicians, […]” (source)
Here then is the Grand Betrayal which is taking place before our eyes. It is the abolition by Government and Parliament of the WTO Brexit.
Kate Hoey and Nigel Farage spoke about it at yesterday’s “Leave Means Leave” rally (see e.g. here and this report here). Some Labour politicians have been to talks with Ms May, blatantly going against Corbyn’s demand (here), while some Tory Cabinet members are now openly supporting Corbyn’s Brexit Betrayal by threatening Ms May with their mass resignation should she not allow Parliament to ‘stop a No-deal Brexit’.
It doesn’t seem to occur to them that such attempt would mean resiling from the Act of Parliament which triggered Article 50, the “European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017”, which was passed by 494 to 122 votes in February 2017.
Have all MPs who voted for or against this Bill been replaced in the following GE then? Shouldn’t the present crop in the HoC remember that they themselves have passed that Bill? Of course, it’s entirely possible that they’ve forgotten, or ‘didn’t know’ what they were voting for, just as apparently we Brexiteers ‘didn’t know’. What an ignorant bunch we all are!
Mind you, I believe it’s the MPs who are the truly ignorant lot. The indispensable Sir John Redwood gives them a brief lecture here, on what and what not Parliament can do – it’s well worth reading!
Meanwhile, there’s talk again about a snap GE, with the Whitehall Machinery being set in motion for it (here). What they don’t tell us but what we know already anyway is that calling for a GE means that the Remainers can get their fondest wish fulfilled: an extension to Article 50, keeping us IN.
Staying IN after the 29th of March of course means that we’d have to participate in the elections to the EU Parliament at the end of May this year. Expect a repeat of the result of 2014, only more so …
Of course we’d have to pay the EU for a longer period, we’d have to accept their legislation – and their liabilities when the various economic disasters, from deep recession to bank failures to state bankruptcies, occur.
I do wonder why the fervent EU-beret-wearing, EU-flag-waving Remainers never think about that …