Frankly, I am sick of it – sick of the farce being played in Parliament, in Government and in the MSM, sick of the manipulation and obfuscation our ‘betters’ display daily in the MSM, and thoroughly sickened by the now daily disregard by all of the above ‘players’ for us, the voters, the 17.4 million.
If you had just come back from a holiday on a remote island with no MSM and looked at today’s papers, you could be forgiven for thinking that the main issue facing us as a Nation is which Tory faction has more power to force the PM to accommodate their version of Brexit. You could also be forgiven for assuming that it’s rather about when, not if, Ms May will be made to go – the gossip is about forcing her into a GE after the local elections in May.
That brings me to the other issue which sickens me: the incessant Brexit gossip. I mentioned yesterday (see here) that all MSM now have their own ‘Brussels correspondent’ with their own special ‘confidential sources’, unconfirmed information being leaked from ‘en coulisse’. And if those ‘sources’, those ‘Brussels diplomats’ are unavailable – remember, that lot is on it’s way to Sharm-El-Sheik for tomorrow’s EU meeting – then ‘experts’ are wheeled out to sermonise.
It is simply not worthwhile to list them all, but this article, about the ‘former WTO Boss’ pontificating, illustrates why the Brexit debate has become so inane. M Lamy says that going out on WTO rules would beggar us because most trade is done through FTAs (Free Trade Agreements).
Does he not know that EU member states are prohibited from negotiating FTAs? Does he not know that we’d have to conform to that rule under Ms May’s disastrous WA? I know that, and I’m most certainly not a former director of the WTO!
Btw – where are all the articles telling us how wonderful the EU is? Is it really accidental that news about protests in France or Spain don’t make it onto the front pages?
Then we have this report about an economist – remember the old saying that economists were invented to make weather forecasters look good! – speculating why an extension plus Ms May’s deal could be likely, based on the rise of some domestic stock on the Footsie!
It’s all irrelevant because the one point on which it all hinges is the Backstop – and, surprise surprise, it’s, at best, secondary in today’s papers. I urge you again to read this outstanding article I referred to yesterday. That’s what we’re up against – and that’s how Brexit will be betrayed. This report in The Times (paywalled) should serve as huge red flag – do take note of the language and compare with the warnings in the article I urged you to read:
“The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has told ambassadors that Theresa May would use the threat of delaying Britain’s departure to push her deal over the line. Michel Barnier said that Geoffrey Cox, the attorney-general, was seeking to negotiate a legally binding “instrument” allowing him to issue new legal advice that the Irish backstop would be temporary. Language will be included to allow alternative arrangements, such as technology, to supersede the backstop as well as setting out strengthened review procedures. However, the government has quietly dropped demands for a specified time limit to the backstop or a unilateral exit mechanism.” (my bold)
However, given the “warnings”, or in plain English: blackmail by some of Ms May’s Remain Cabinet ministers (more on that below), what to make of this:
“Senior EU sources also reiterated that a deal would not be signed off at the Sharm El Sheikh summit this weekend. “Not all of the 28 are there. So even if we wanted to we couldn’t do it . . . This is very serious and it needs to be prepared. It’s very clear there will be no EU session” (paywalled, my bold)
Obviously, there won’t be a deal. Ms May will come back with empty hands, and the Brexit betrayal is on because of the blackmailing gang-of-three:
“Three cabinet ministers told Theresa May last night that they would vote to extend membership of the EU if she does not get her deal passed next week. David Gauke, Amber Rudd and Greg Clark also told the European Research Group of Tory MPs to accept that parliament would stop a no-deal Brexit and to back the deal or “have no one to blame but themselves” for a delay.”(paywalled link)
The language in the DT report (paywalled) is even more forceful:
“They warned Mrs May in a meeting in Downing Street as many as 22 members of the Government are prepared to vote for a backbench bill that would force her to request an extension of Article 50. The Telegraph has been told if the Prime Minister fails to seal a deal with the EU that she can put before Parliament on Monday or Tuesday, the only way she can avoid a revolt is by announcing a Brexit delay. “She knows what she needs to do,” one minister told The Telegraph. “If she doesn’t take no-deal off the table then Parliament will do it for her. And we are not willing to stand by this time. She has to say publicly that she will formally request an extension of Article 50.” (my bold)
And to give us the full house of “extension plus 2nd referendum”, the DT (paywalled) writes:
“Five ministers are also considering backing another amendment tabled by Labour backbenchers that would make Mrs May put her deal to a second referendum. It came as it was claimed the civil service had switched in some Government departments from planning for no deal to preparing for a two-year delay to Brexit. One source said the U-turn had happened in recent days, leaving ministers frustrated: “No one can get anything done because the civil service has now switched to planning for a two year delay to Article 50. “Nobody knows what on earth Theresa May’s thinking is or what she is actually going to do so it seems the civil service is now planning for all eventualities.” (my bold).
You really couldn’t make it up!
With Ministers and MPs who are obviously too thick to have known what they voted for when they voted to implement Article 50; with Ministers and MPs who show that they have huge issues with their memories and with civil serpents whose Mandarins treat them like the Good Old Duke of York treated his soldiers, one thing is obvious as this week ends: the Brexit we voted for is dying of 1000 cuts.
I think I’ll change the title of this column to “YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL” from Monday onwards … let me know if you concur!