Category Archives: EU

Frantic Finish

It’s evening and the House of Lords has been passed a parcel. Not as a game to cheer up the holidays but in the form of that elusive deal with our former overlords – the European Union. They need to pass it on to our head of state for the final stage. And that needs to be quick so that the Queen can retire at a reasonable time – she is 94 after all.

Cunning_Plan_160Tomorrow should start out with all the legal steps completed and just one more day of transition before we are out of the EU. The predicted last-minute fait accompli bill did get through Westminster. But at least some of the politicians did make a big effort to search for any serious issues – and their green light helped it get through with a massive majority. Now for seeing how the deal works in practice … and how our European Friends treat us.

Just to add to frantic atmosphere reports of rapidly increasing Covid cases triggered the Heath Secretary moving all Tier 2 regions into Tier 3 – and many Tier 3 into Tier 4. While the Education Secretary rushed to push back the start date for school attendance back by one or two weeks. At least the other rushed announcement was good news – in that another vaccine had passed the approval process. And this one will be usable with room temperature storage …

So a lonely New Years Eve for most of the UK – but some rays of hope that summer 2021 will see the start of a new Roaring Twenties.

Tides’s In Time’s Out

Well our Westminster MPs have been packed off to their homes or constituencies without seeing anything resembling a trade deal with the European Union. Despite another fifteen days having passed little has changed in the mass media headlines and opinion pieces despite lots of talks and briefings.

Grandad3And the few changes that have happened don’t add up to much. At the bookies the sentiment has swung from deal to no deal and amongst EU politicians the stress levels have jumped with each day that passes.

Meanwhile out at sea the EU trawlers seem to have upped their policy of scooping up all marine life – whether saleable or not – to leave nothing in the waters that the UK gets back. A very short-sighted policy and one that confirms they expect to face UK controls shortly. Surprising the BBC seems to be trying to ignore what is happening – despite claiming a leading role in ecology issues. Yet Trawler-watch is one programme they have not scheduled.

So New Year 2021 is just two weeks away and the Brexit saga still drags on .. Will some last minute deal appear? Will MPs get recalled before year end? … Will we all wake up to find 2020 was a bad dream? .. Pass the port and mince pies I need to forget …

Another Broken Promise?

Here we are at another deadline in the EU relationship saga. And it is sobering to reflect that there are eight year-olds who have spent their entire lives with Brexit on the national agenda.

MunsterManToday’s question is will the UK government, that is the Prime Minister, walk away from the fraught trade negotiations by midnight tonight – as promised? Or will they allow the EU politicians to impose their timetable instead?

By tomorrow we should find out.

But there is a feeling that this is a critical tipping point. Anything other than the UK landlord calling last orders tonight will show everyone – on both sides – just how weak and ineffective the UK leadership has become …

Update 19-Oct-2020
The cynics win again. Bluff and bluster but the deadline is not enforced and so the talks continue …

It’ll All End In Tiers?

It’s autumn and already the supermarket shelves are being stacked with Christmas specials while the British media tries to generate the false impression that there are shortages of essentials due to panic buying. For this Grandad mince pies are high on the essentials list – but with the raw materials to make them already stockpiled there are no concerns on that front.

Man38However taking a somewhat broader view there are plenty of things that could go badly wrong for Britain. First the infamous, but non-existent, trade deal with the European Union is needed by both sides – but not at any price. And those that expected the EU to take a pragmatic and fair approach have been rudely shaken out of their dreams. We have to hope that the politicians can stop playing their political games and come to a sensible solution. But it’s not something that has happened very often, or very quickly, in the past – and the EU has a worse than average track record; mainly because there are so many different countries trying to come to a common consensus. What suits Spain does not suit Germany, etc, etc.

With just three months remaining before the end of transition and just a few weeks before the next final deadline any businesses relying on importing or exporting across the Channel must be crying out for definite border policies and procedures. The optimistic view is that exports from the EU to UK will be VAT free and cheaper but the pessimistic view is that something as simple as buying an item on Amazon will involve extra processes that increase the final price significantly. Who knows? Certainly not Joe Public. And most probably not Joe Public’s member of parliament either.

Then a close second comes Covid-19 – or rather the various attempts by our leaders to solve a health pandemic by issuing random rules, laws and slogans. Today’s news that even if a vaccine is found and approved by early 2021 it will take all of next year to treat most people. So we face starting 2021 with both Covid lock-downs and massive hold-ups at all the ports. But our government has things under control, it says, and is looking to make things clearer by putting Covid restrictions into three tiers …

Some distance behind these two we have threats of political rebellions in Scotland and Ireland – plus even within Scotland – and an increasingly unstable situation within British royalty. With the head of state being in a high-risk age group, the heir apparent being past retirement age, the Duke of York being tangled up in US litigation and Harry, formerly known as Prince, having become a minister of the Woke-ist religion there is a minefield of potential disasters not far ahead for the House of Windsor.

Interesting times …

Top Banker

The role of president of the European Central Bank (ECB) is vitally important for the prudent management of the euro. A tricky task when it is used in nineteen countries with widely-divergent economies.

Lagarde_1

Until last week the role was filled by Mario Draghi and under his management trillions of extra euros were created and mainly used to fund government borrowing and EU industries through buying their bonds. This was intended to have the effect of getting businesses to expand.

On Friday Christine Lagarde started her eight year term as ECB president – and set out with a commitment for further euro printing. But that was arranged by Draghi before he left. An unusual move in the circumstances – and one that was opposed by seven of the twenty-five strong governing council. A body that reflects that basic problem with the EU – the differences between the financial policies needed in, for example, Greece and Germany. It is also a body that Mde. Lagarde will need for help – since she lacks any central bank experience herself.

But that never stopped her at the IMF so the chances are that the euro will not fall into terminal decline – despite various predictions in recent years. Just as long as the Germans can keep their economy buoyant … and stick with the euro.

What More Can We Take?

This weekend should, according to previous promises by our Prime Minster, be the country’s last as a member of the European Union.

Scoreboard10H_300

And even though there are six remaining days for things to change, it seems almost certain that leaving at the end of October will become another promise that is broken.

True the lack of a majority in parliament has left the country with a government that is unable to govern. With an array of anti-exit political factions and vested interests against it any meaningful progress has become impossible – even the judiciary showed their bias.

Of course, for the many Grandads happy to support leaving without the far-reaching constraints demanded by the EU, this situation means that a bad deal has also been delayed – so far. But with many politicians demanding that No-Deal is taken off the table the chances of the UK actually escaping the spider’s web of EU control next week seem slim.

Obviously giving up on the present parliament and having a general election does offer a potential solution. But only if it results in a clear majority of MPs being in one camp or the other. Recent experience shows that another minority government could be the result – and then we are back in the same situation by Christmas.

The public’s view of our pseudo-democratic representatives must now have fallen to an all-time low – with plenty of justification.

Storm Approaching

As predicted last week, the new deal with the EU revealed today – and immediately accepted by Brussels – is the May-Robbins dead donkey treaty with some tweaks for the Irish issue but now with a divorce bill reduced to just £33,000 million! So it seems our all-new prime minister is actually Theresa May 2.0 underneath.

550027Ss

If that is not the case then a Baldrick-style cunning plan could be in play – based on a guess that our self-serving politicians will defeat the dead donkey for a fourth time on Saturday – and then a hope that the EU would loose their patience and say no to another extension. Thus exiting without a deal on 31-Oct-2019. But that seems like another flying pig scenario!

For the other political parties the latest deal has already been rejected as a step backwards and provided them with more fuel for revoking our Article 50 leave request; probably via a one-sided referendum. A view that might now just win out. If it does then the only bright spot would be a general election to follow with an opportunity to vote in a Brexit parliament that would invoke Article 50 again – if the EU had not blocked countries using that route by then.

That tangled web is entrapping us more and more …

Darkening Skies

Today the bookies are rethinking their odds that there will be a UK-EU deal agreed as soon as next week. Clearly someone thinks that a deal is near.

BritanniaFromRexWoods1End

So while all the anti-no deal politicians ought to be happy at the  expected news it is more likely that they will live to regret their feeble-minded efforts.

Why? Because the only deal the EU have ever supported is their one-sided treaty agreed to by the May-Robins gang. A treaty that even these same anti-no deal politicians rejected no less than three times. This is the only deal that is ready-to-go – and one already approved by the 27 EU members.

Grandad could be wrong and a complete replacement for the 600+ page treaty might be created in time to be approved next week. But pigs might fly. So what about a few quick edits on the existing treaty? Well the only edits so far covered relate to the Irish land border. Nothing else has been aired in public.

The logical implication is that the original treaty – the dead-donkey deal – will be tweaked for the Irish issue and then put to the UK parliament for a fourth time.

And, as before, if approved it will commit the country to a much despised Brexit-in-name-only future. A Pyrrhic victory that leaves the UK with the worst of no-deal and worst of remain without any advantages. And a general election will punish the culprits but come too late to undo the mess.

Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

We Cannae Take Much More Captain

As the political wrangling reaches fever-pitch the mood amongst the general population seems to range from despair to barely contained anger.

HotelCal-Euro3X

How can so many of our elected representatives be so bad? Many – most – ignore their constituents’ choices and play juvenile games in an insulated metro bubble with zero regard for the well being of the nation.

At least the EU politburo is working towards an objective with a plan – even though it is flawed plan to create a European Empire ruled by a central cabal. Whereas every UK plan seems to be to try anything and hope we can all muddle through. All the time expecting that everyone involved will play the game with fairness and honesty. An ideal that cuts little ice in the 21st century.

The next few weeks are supposed to be our last under EU control .. but we have all heard that so often before.