Tag Archives: weak

Can Anyone Be Trusted?

According to Prime Minster May – and her cabinet –  if any EU leave deal fails to get enough support in yet another vote rerun then the UK’s exit day will be 29-Mar-2019. The date that was put into law last year.

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However, according to His Ollyness The Mekon, not accepting a deal will put back our leaving date – not just by a few days but by an extended period. Our assumption being that May’s failure to get enough votes would then require the vote to be repeated time and time again until it does get forced through. And that could need a very long time.

Any change of leaving date would require a change in the UK law – and the agreement of all the EU members.

Which of these options is our government’s plan? Who is giving us a straight answer and who is trying to mislead us?

By the end of March we should have an answer – but both options are simply following on from the step that is deeply undemocratic. A vote on a very bad deal.

The May-Robins Withdrawal Agreement has already been comprehensively rejected by parliament. It suffered a record defeat. May and her cabinet should have accepted the result; not still be hawking it around Westminster. It is dead! It stinks!

They – the government and public service – should now be in full-scale preparation for leaving the EU on World Trade Organisation terms next month. They should have told all public and private sector organisations that this is our short-term future – as soon as the Withdrawal Agreement was defeated.

Instead we now see hundreds of head-less chickens in Westminster thrashing around while leaving everyone else to fend for themselves ..

Final Countdown

As Britain faces its biggest political challenge for decades – exiting the European Union – there is still no clear consensus on how the nation should best proceed.

Stopwatch2018A-320Despite 800+ days of argument the opposing sides seem even more split now than they have ever been. In theory the EU want to see a final plan at their conference in just 38 days time – but that seems unlikely. Parliament has only being back in session for a week and MPs main pre-occupation seems to be their party conferences later this month.

However various political factions are hoping to raise enough numbers to force another referendum. This time on the final leaving plans. But even if they somehow get the numbers the big stumbling block will be the nature of the question to be voted upon.

Some want the choice to be between accepting the final plan or staying as we were – i.e. remaining EU members. Others want the choice to be between accepting the plan or leaving without a deal.

Since we have already voted to leave and given official notice to quit it would need both a UK about-face and the EU to agree to have us back. A situation where the UK would be unable to protest if the EU demanded that we loose the various concessions and rebates that we have enjoyed so far. And since some key EU members have been trying to remove Britain’s advantages for years that must be a likely scenario.

Having a referendum that does actually provide a no deal option seems to be the fairest option. But it would, of course, be opposed by those who want to stay in the EU at any price. It would, after all, give the plebs a second chance to stop the elite taking us all down their pathway to a German dominated super-state.

And if there was another referendum that resulted in a reversal of 2016 result then it would be quite likely that we would have an immediate demand to make it the best-of-three.

But all of this will be academic if, somehow, Olly and Theresa’s crumbly fudge of a deal is accepted by the EU – and also gains a majority in parliament. Then the UK could voluntarily become a satellite colony tied to EU rules but lacking any form of representation. A sad situation that would then act as an example to all the remaining EU members states of what would befall them if they dared to vote to leave.

Stuck In Customs

As our scoreboard clocks up the passing of another hundred days the prospect of a clean, efficient break with the EU next March continues to slip further away.

Scoreboard7_300Only yesterday we were told by the chief executive of HMRC that setting up new systems to handle either of the customs options being promoted by our politicians would take three to five years to put in place. That’s three to five years on from when a choice is actually made. And with total costs estimated at £17,000 million to £20,000 million per year – it would cost more than EU membership! Clearly neither of the two options proposed is a practical or pragmatic solution for our needs with a 2019 target rapidly approaching.

And having heard so many scare stories over recent years many Grandads must be asking the rather obvious question – how come we can already handle all the customs requirements of the many millions of items arriving each year from China, North & South America, south-east Asia, etc? Just one container ship from Asia can – and does – deliver far more goods than all the trucks on a cross channel ferry or Euro Tunnel train – without requiring an expensive new system. A system that coincidently costs more than staying in the EU.

Meanwhile the EU Withdrawal Bill still has not got through to the statute book and mischief makers are at work pushing out rumors of another general election in the Autumn. Two examples of how vested interests are working to block the referendum result. At this rate Brexit will be an issue dumped on our children – or even our grandchildren ..

Are We There Yet?

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As the relentless peck, peck, peck removes more flesh from the bones of Brexit the dominant sentiment for many of those commenting on-line is disappointment at how long the process is stretching out. Even though leave now is the feeling the chances of this happening are close to zero.

One factor that has been claimed to be a cause of the slow progress is the number of EU rules imposed over our decades of membership – estimated at around 12,000 regulations and 8,000 statutory instruments. And it is true that work on reviewing and amending these rules, in preparation for leaving, seems to be a low key, limited effort at best. Possibly because current negotiations are taking so much of the available resources.

However another reason could be the fact that the actual EU Withdrawal Bill is still not finalised so limiting the effort that can be spent on what is currently a speculative result. And with parliament on holiday until 16-April – plus taking two more breaks during May – it may be that this vital legislative step does not get passed before the summer break – which this year starts 24-July. In which case March 2019 is starting to look very close.

But then a more Yes Minster scenario might be that delaying the EU Withdrawal Bill could therefore stop, or at least cripple, Brexit. The logic being that by adding more and more complications to the process the chances of failure will be greatly increased. Sadly we, the people, will never really know what is happening and why .. so nothing new there then!

Still In Doubt

Brexit Scoreboard 600 days
Another sad milestone passed

Despite the length of time that has already passed the actual date for the restoration of our independence is still in doubt. Will it be on, or even before, 29 March 2019? Will it be after a two year transition period starting 29 March 2019? Will it be at the end of December 2020 as the EU have stated? Or will it be never?

There are some in power who are still lobbying for the never outcome. But when these include names such as Blair, Mandelson and Soros there can be very few with a genuine love for this country that will be taken in by their arguments and promises.

The average citizen must, by now, be disappointed and disillusioned by the actions – or lack of action – of our supposed representatives. The extent to which so many are clearly working against our national interest has even caused concern amongst EU politicians wanting the UK to stay in the club!

And there is no point in Grandad stating how many more taxpayer pounds have gone into the Brussels black hole – you will all know by now that it is many, many thousands of millions that will never be seen again.

Britain should have said goodbye as soon as it became clear that the Europa Projeckt had gained political power over what was once simply a free trade area. But that is in the past and we now need to make the best of our future – for the sake of our grandchildren and future generations.

Shuffling Off

With Christmas and New Year just memories, our democratic representatives are, mostly, back at their day jobs again while our Whitehall civil servants work (!) on their own private agendas.

ManRDSo this week in Downing Street our Prime Minister carried out the traditional reshuffle of the table seating plan of that limited pack of Right Honorables making up her Cabinet. The spin machines claim that these changes were significant but few seem to agree. In reality the changes look pretty limited with the only obvious trend being more power to MPs who have, so far, been working against a successful exit from the European Union.

Now a successful Brexit is not the only political issue – but it is the most far reaching. And, considering how little has been achieved in the 565 days since that clear leave referendum vote, a cabinet less committed to the cause is not a good sign. Overall the latest news just seem to confirm that Theresa May is not sufficiently in control of the situation to be an effective leader. And that the outcome of the Brexit talks increasingly seems be that the EU will impose costs and trading penalties that the UK is then pushed into agreeing.

Possibly Mrs May’s hope is that the EU will break up under its many pressures and so let the UK off the hook. But that is very unlikely to happen in the remaining time frame. And as a result we, the people, are likely to be worse off than if there had been a clean break last year or if the vote had gone the other way back in 2016.

Mounting Costs

We reach 500 days since voting to leave

As yet another milestone is passed it seems that the only change has been the total paid for Bruxelles club membership – and that the amount paid at date is much more than our earlier estimates.

Based on the Office of Budget Responsibility estimates the total paid since our historic vote 500 days ago has grown to some £19,000 million – even allowing for the UK rebate!

So while The Guardian, and the BBC, today push a story that a no deal EU exit would add an extra £930 to our shopping bills (!) there are many that have got to the point of saying We need to leave no matter what …

Slip Slidin’ Away

BreakOutEUchains2bTheresa May’s speech in Florence today might as well have been backed by music and lyrics from Paul Simon –

Slip slidin’ away, slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

Her offer to give the EU an estimated £20,000 million and hang on to transitional membership until the end of 2020 pushes the UK into funding the EU for longer but with little or nothing in the way of benefits. It translates into a poll tax of £600 on every person taking part in 2016 vote and means that it will have taken our politicians 1,652 days to actually implement the results of that referendum. Grandad seems to remember Prime Minster Cameron threatening that our leaving would be on the day after the vote!

So now we need to add a 1,000s column to our Leaving The EU Scoreboard but still live in the hope that someone will have the guts to call a halt to the whole charade and do what it said on the tinLeave!