While the plotting in Cabinet and Parliament continued, while the MSM talked and wrote about that breathlessly, yours truly was sat on a train to London to attend the Bruges Meeting where Jacob Rees Mogg said various things which our MSM (yes, there was a media scrum and the place was packed to the rafters, with yours truly having to stand during the whole meeting) are reporting selectively, depending on their Brexit or Remain stance.
One quip by JRM which was not reported anywhere brought the House down. On a question from the BBC he told the reporter “Do you really think I know more about this than the BBC?” After the audience stopped laughing, he did answer that and other questions. More on that speech below.
In view of the ongoing plotting to stop Brexit by the ‘alliance’ of Tory and Labour Remainers by tabling their amendments for debate this coming Tuesday, the most dangerous one is that by Yvette Cooper, now also supported by Corbyn, with ‘help’ from Cabinet ministers – see eg here, here and here. For a description of what that and the other amendments are about, read this helpful article in ConHome. In one way or another, they aim to force May to take the ‘No Deal Option’ “off the table”. It has been pointed out that this is impossible without new legislation because “The No Deal is the table” …
How serious the plotters are to stop the legal ‘No Deal’ and Brexit altogether, and how febrile the atmosphere is, shows this remark by a BBC correspondent (here) who mentioned a piece of gossip: Tory MPs are considering to have colleagues deselected – not the Brexit wreckers Grieve, Boles et, no: the Brexiteer MPs should be removed!
If proof were needed that the Remainers have now totally lost any credibility of working for us then this surely is it!
And while this plotting is going on, the wreckers do not seem to take the warnings from Mr EU, M Barnier, seriously. One does wonder if they actually read the papers … see e.g. this for example, or this (paywalled):
“Europe’s chief Brexit negotiator has said that MPs opposed to a no-deal exit will only be able to stop it if they put aside their differences and agree what they want. In a tacit criticism of supporters of a second referendum and a Norway-style Brexit, Michel Barnier said that Europe was waiting for a “positive majority” to emerge in parliament. He added, though, that Brussels was “ready to be more ambitious” if a majority could be assembled for a closer relationship than that envisaged by Theresa May. He told the ‘Luxemburger Wort’ newspaper that he believed there was a new readiness for Britain to stay in a customs union or the European single market. He appeared to reject Brexiteer demands for the EU to agree to a time limit on the Irish backstop but said “things could start moving rapidly” if Mrs May — or parliament — altered her red lines. Mr Barnier and other European governments, notably Germany, believe that the historic extent of Mrs May’s parliamentary defeat over her Brexit deal will herald a shift in Britain’s present position against a permanent customs union.”
In other words, M Barnier and The EU will be gracious – provided the Brexit wreckers come up with a ‘good’ plan, i.e. accept what is basically May’s WA agreement which will tie us to the EU forever. Since that is what the wreckers desire, one wonders why they voted down May’s WA last week … it couldn’t be, could it, because Labour wants a GE, and getting that while splitting the Tory Party is just the ticket? Perish the thought – and perish the thought that we the people actually matter in their grand scheme of Brexit wrecking!
So what about that speech by Jacob Rees-Mogg?
He said that, since everybody does want ‘a deal’, from wreckers to the EU, the best way is to re-open the WA and re-negotiate – provided the Backstop goes. On that he was firm. However, given the Yvette-Cooper-amendment he made a proposal detailed here (DT, paywalled):
“Jacob Rees-Mogg has told Theresa May she must use the nuclear option of ending the parliamentary session early if a bid by MPs to delay Brexit looks likely to succeed. The leading Brexiteer said the Prime Minister should prorogue Parliament if a plan being led by Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP, to extend Article 50 gets close to becoming law. Prorogation would mean the end of the parliamentary session and therefore all draft laws currently making their way through the Commons and Lords would fall. (my bold)
Here is the reasoning behind it:
Ms Cooper has tabled a draft bill which would force the Government to delay Brexit by nine months beyond March 29 if no deal has been agreed by February 26.
Mr Rees-Mogg said the Government would have to stop the passage of such a bill and that it would have to use any and all constitutional methods to do so. He said: “If no deal were taken off the table her majesty’s government would have had to have connived in doing it. It cannot be done if the Government is determined to stop it. I referred to extraordinary constitutional situations. If the House of Commons undermines our basic constitutional conventions then the executive is entitled to use other vestigial constitutional means to stop it by which I basically mean prorogation.Prorogation normally lasts for three days but any law that is in the process before prorogation falls and I think that would be the Government’s answer, that is the Government’s backstop to use a choice phrase.” (my bold).
For more of his remarks and observations go here.
It is regrettable (I’m being polite …) that, thanks to the Wreckers in our own Parliament, the EU is not prepared to give an inch – and why should they! The two other speakers at yesterday’s Bruges Group meeting – Mr Roger Bootle and Mr Crispin Blunt MP, both pointed out that this No-Deal/Hard Border junction is an EU requirement and that the Irish Government had started to weaken its stance on this. Thanks to the Wreckers in our own Parliament the negotiating position of May, weak as it is, has been seriously undermined. This is even more regrettable since Mr Barnier did a ‘screeching u-turn’ as reported in The Sun, hinting that a Hard Border can be prevented by technology should the be No Deal.
While EU countries are preparing for a No-Deal Brexit – we do too, but God forbid our Remain MSM report on this! – our Parliamentarians are doing their utmost to aid and abed the EU. We know what we call those who work with the enemy against the interests of their own county … !
I never thought to see the day where our own Parliament, never mind Whitehall, is populated by Quislings.