It gives me great pleasure to write about the Remain Mess as we go into the weekend: the mess our Ministers create day in day out, the mess our Remain MPs create with their amendments, the mess the EU is in, from the Backstop to the actual EU Economy – what a start to the weekend!
We’ve read that the Tory Party is split on the Brexit issue. What we rarely read about in our Remain MSM is that Labour is also split on this issue. More on that below.
Let’s first look at what happens in the ‘real world’. Hammond’s leaked talk with representatives from Big Business showed already that Remain and Big Business are in bed together. Now we learn that the Airbus Head Officer, who threatened to remove his business entirely from the UK should there be a “Hard Brexit”, said this on the instigation of … the Government!
“David Jones, a Brexit minister, said: “On the face of it, it looks like Airbus were told to put out a statement aimed at undermining the British negotiating position. If that is true, it is a scandal.” Government sources told The Daily Telegraph that Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, has been privately urging businesses to make their views clear on the impact of a no deal Brexit. He has repeatedly argued it should be taken “off the table”. (paywalled source).
Meanwhile in Davos Phil Hammond met with a horde of other business leaders:
“Speaking at a lunch organised by the CBI group of business leaders at the 5 star Grandhotel Belvedere, Mr Hammond said that leaving the European Union without a deal would represent a “betrayal”. […] “In the 2016 referendum a promise was made to the majority who voted for Brexit – that they were voting for a more prosperous future. Not leaving would be seen as a betrayal of that referendum decision. But leaving without a deal would undermine our future prosperity, and would equally represent a betrayal of the promises that were made.”(paywalled source). (my bold)
In the first place, Mr Hammond’s memory is definitely at fault. I remember distinctly that his former PM, a certain Mr Cameron, and his predecessor at the Treasury, a certain Mr Osborne, told us stupid Leavers that we’d all be poorer if we voted Leave – do please correct me if I’m wrong! It doesn’t seem to occur to Hammond and his Remain cabal that demonstrating to us that and how Remain is in the pocket of Big Business only strengthens our stance.
So – what about Labour and their supporters of that ‘People’s Vote’ campaign? The former Labour MP and spin doctor Tom Harris writes in the DT (paywalled):
“That curious disconnect between Remainers and Leavers on the issue of freedom of movement is ably represented by the so-called People’s Vote campaign, which this morning conceded that it cannot hope to get its amendment demanding a second EU referendum through parliament. The campaign’s leading advocates are from my own tribe – New Labour stalwarts like David Blunkett, Alastair Campbell, David Miliband, Andrew Adonis and The Man himself, who irked more than a few commentators this week by appearing on a live TV feed from the World Economic Forum in Davos. In his refusal (so far) to endorse a second referendum, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has undoubtedly been encouraged to drag his feet by his suspicion of the political motives and leaders behind the People’s Vote, […] (my bold)
So it’s not ‘the economy, stupid!’ – it’s ego-boosting power politics, plain and simple! It’s about getting that ‘No Deal’ off the table, getting an extension to Article 50 and then getting a 2nd Referendum – because ‘people have the right to change their minds …
Btw – the indispensable Sir John Redwood has written an essay, “Parliament and the Executive”, making sense of this amendment mess. Do read it!
In the real world however, businesses and countries are preparing for the ‘No Deal’, the WTO Brexit:
“Secretary General of the OECD Jose Angel Gurria told BBC News global economies are “absolutely” ready for a no deal Brexit. He added: “What’s the worst scenario? A no deal? WTO rules? The whole world is running by WTO rules these days. It’s unfortunate that the UK is leaving the EU but that was the will of the British people, so, we take our bumps and we roll with it.” (source).
And ‘despite Hammond’, it seems we are actually doing the same:
“Whitehall mandarins have triggered the final stages of critical contingency planning – codenamed Operation Yellowhammer – as expectations grow that Britain will leave the EU on March 29 without a deal in place. […] A Whitehall source said […] “You get the sense that Whitehall is really gearing up for a no deal Brexit. The merry-go-round of staff brings a sense of urgency now.” Overall more than 12,000 civil servants are working on Brexit and a further 4,000 are joining them.’ (source)
Meanwhile, we need to ask our Remain friends why they want to prop up and support the failing EU economies in Germany and France (read this) while hapless Macron is again lambasting us:
“French President Emmanuel Macron tonight launched a furious attack on Brexit – saying ‘it can’t be delivered’ and had ‘torn society apart’. Rubbishing the June 2016 referendum in which a majority of the British voted to exit the EU, the head of state said: ‘Be aware of people who sell you dreams, that tell you all your anger can be solved by a referendum. I’m scared of people who manipulate you with miracle ideas.’ (source).
Speak for yourself, Macron! How’s your ‘dream’ faring, with the Yellow Vests protesting everywhere in your country?
The Backstop looks to be unravelling as well, with EU commissioners and M Barnier contradicting each other – we wrote on that yesterday – while Mr Varadkar promoted his own “Project Fear” scenario in Davos (here), crying that:
“[…] a no-deal Brexit poses an existential threat to Ireland. The Irish PM said the EU helped secure peace in the region – which was scarred by bloody violence for decades – by keeping the Irish border open. And he raised the spectre that the sectarian violence which saw thousands killed in The Troubles could return after Brexit. His stark warning comes as Irish police chiefs in the Garda denied reports they have drawn up secret plans to send 600 officers to the border if there is a no-deal.” (my bold)
Yes, you read that right! Here’s the revealing quote (same source):
“Police Commissioner Drew Harris, said: ‘Reports of 600 gardaí to be moved to the border are entirely incorrect. I have not discussed this matter, neither have I considered this proposal. The increasing deployment of gardaí to all policing regions including the northern region is commensurate with a growing organisation. ‘We continue to prepare for Brexit in line with government policy.” (my bold)
So in Ireland as well the people who do the actual work are preparing for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit while their politicians posture on the world stage …
Meanwhile, Jacob Rees-Mogg picked up on the Backstop Saga (read it here), saying:
“It is interesting to see that the backstop is not so essential after all. Its main purpose is to constrain the UK’s bargaining position over the future relationship.”
Isn’t the EU, by clinging to the Backstop, promoting in fact the WTO ‘No Deal’ outcome? Doesn’t it look as if this is what people, from business to administrators to police, are already preparing for, everywhere? Are our politicians, in government and on both sides of the House, too intellectually challenged to notice?
You may very well think so …!