If you thought there’d be more clarity after Ms May’s visit to Belfast yesterday, that the Brexit debate would become more settled, a.k.a. boring, think again! In the parlance of our esteemed MSM, there are two ‘bombshells’ to consider today.
The first, somewhat expected, is that Ms May said she will not insist on the removal of the Backstop when she goes to Brussels tomorrow. The other is the leaked news that there may be a Brexit extension.
Don’t expect her to defend this in the HoC at PMQ today: she won’t be there but her trusted colleague David Lidington will take her place. And do put these dates into your diaries: she’ll present her new ‘proposal’ next Wednesday, with the debate in the HoC planned for St Valentine’s Day. There are reports that Yvette Cooper plans to submit another amendment to the forthcoming May proposal. If this gets accepted next week, then Brexit is done, Remain wins.
There’s one delicious threat reported by The Express’ Brussels correspondent (here):
“Ireland has been warned it faces the difficult choice between implementing a hard border or being forced out of the EU’s single market in an unprecedented move to protect the bloc from a no-deal Brexit.”
I don’t know if this is just gossip or ‘for real’, but I like it!
So let’s delve into the two ‘bombshells’ – first the Backstop, then the extension to Brexit.
The DT (paywalled) reported last night that:
“Theresa May has put herself on a collision course with Tory Eurosceptics and the DUP by saying the Northern Ireland backstop will not be removed from the Brexit deal. The Prime Minister, who will travel to Brussels on Thursday for talks with Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, said she was “not proposing” to get rid of the backstop, but only to make “changes” to it. On a visit to Belfast on Tuesday Mrs May restated her “unshakeable” commitment to avoiding a hard border in Ireland after Brexit, saying: “The UK Government will not let that happen. I will not let that happen.” (my bold)
The word ‘unshakeable’ reminds me of historical figures who used it when their backs were against the wall and defeat was inevitable. Remember “Downfall”? This has all the ingredients for another Grand Spectacle in the HoC on Thursday next week, produced by Remainers and Brussels:
“Mrs May signaled for the first time that her preferred solution is a time limit to the backstop, […] Brexiteers expressed dismay that she appeared to have ruled out their favoured plan of replacing the backstop with a trade deal, while DUP leader Arlene Foster reminded Mrs May that keeping the backstop would be “totally unacceptable” and replacing it with something else was “vitally important”. A source from the European Research Group of Eurosceptic Tory MPs – many of whom have vowed to block a revised deal if it does not get rid of the backstop – said: “Even if she doesn’t mean what she said, we still do.” (source) (my bold)
‘Remain Central’, a.k.a The Times (paywalled) put this spin on Ms May’s backstop ditherings:
“A No 10 spokesman insisted that her words were consistent with previous comments. The plan to look at “alternative arrangements”, as voted for by MPs in parliament, was consistent with the kind of insurance policy that she referenced in the speech, he said. Downing Street added that Mrs May was looking at three potential changes to the backstop: finding alternative arrangements, imposing a time limit, or adding an exit clause.”
Aaand – we’re back to the “alternative arrangements”! Nobody, not even Brussels, knows what they are because, as we surmised, there still aren’t any except nebulous words. Else they must be the best-kept state secret of all times …
One does wonder if there’s no-one in Ms May’s office who provides her with reports from Brussels, given that Brussels’ ‘sayings’ on the Backstop issue were published in our MSM, as reported by me yesterday. It’s entirely possible that all that gossip is performed and reported solely to throw dust into our eyes while Mr Selmayr and Co are doing something else behind the scenes.
So let’s now look at the other, real bombshell reported in the MSM: Brexit to be delayed until May 24th! That made it even into a German paper! The headlines speak for themselves, the DM here: Brexit ‘to be delayed eight weeks even if May’s deal gets through Commons’: Cabinet discusses putting leaving date back until May 24 to allow more time for MPs to pass necessary bills , and the DT (paywalled) here: “Cabinet ministers hold secret discussions on plans to delay Brexit by eight weeks” from which I quote:
“Cabinet ministers have secretly discussed plans to delay Brexit by eight weeks despite warnings by Theresa May that it is “counter-productive” to talk about it. Ministers want the EU to agree a two-month “grace period” after March 29 if Mrs May’s deal passes through Parliament to allow extra time for necessary legislation. Britain would remain in the EU on the same terms during this temporary period. An eight-week delay would mean Brexit being postponed to May 24. At Cabinet on Tuesday the Prime Minister appeared to rebuke ministers for talking publicly about delaying Brexit as she insisted that Britain will leave on March 29. Those who have suggested Brexit may be delayed to finalise a deal include Jeremy Hunt, Philip Hammond and Liam Fox, in what has been seen as a sign the Government has been preparing the public for postponing Brexit.”
What could be better to show the duplicity of Ms May and her Remainers: don’t talk about it officially but unofficially let’s prepare the stupid Brexiteers for BRINO.
These reports make clear even for the most credulous that Ms May’s reassurances about ‘delivering Brexit’ with no extension are worthless garbage for us peasants since her Remain Cabinet is obviously aiming to extend Brexit by using the well-known communist salami technique: a little slice here, a little slice on top – what are a few weeks or months between friends …
As for me, I think there’s a Giant Squirrel residing in No 10, named Theresa May.