by John Ward
There’s an odd little cross-Party game going on as we head into Brexit’s final furlong under May. There’s an odd little article featuring junior Brexit Minister Kwarsi Kwarteng in The Guardian. I wonder if the Brexiteers are paying close enough attention to the game. I wonder if The Guardian has stumbled on why Mr Kwarteng says, with some confidence, that the Prime Minister will win her vote next week. The Slog looks at potential events in a serious, and not so serious, manner.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) week, say ‘reliable’ Government sources, the postponed pre-Christmas Parliamentary vote on Theresa May’s EU exit plan will take place. Mrs May, says Number Ten, is in “listening mode”. That could mean anything from “what time would you like it to be?” to not overtly ignoring everything that’s said to her. Two things are still, however, clear. Not in the Despatch Box sense of “Let me be clear on this”, but in the original (now largely forgotten) sense of ‘clarity’.
First, it’s her deal or no deal. And second, the Christmas break has produced nothing from Brussels, half of nothing from Strasbourg, and less than nothing at all from Frankfurt. Jean-Claude Juncker allegedly told a Belgian hack that he’s turned out every pocket of his seventy-one suits and found nothing. Angela Merkel went to her fridge full of Wurst, but didn’t offer a sausage – although sources close to the East German Trabant ice-box said this was normal behaviour.
So, um that’s that. Innit? Not so fast, Batman.
There’s a clever bit of rearguard being organised by the Former Tory cabinet beastette Dame Caroline Spelman, and Labour’s long-suffering Harriet Harman spouse, Jack Dromey. The odd couple’s objective is to ensure that at all costs the UK doesn’t leave the EU with no deal.
They’ve come up with a letter-lobby to Theresa May, and it has attracted a lot of signatures: 209 to be precise. In such substance as there is, the letter allegedly asks for the PM’s assurance that, whatever happens, she will rule out No Deal Brexit as an option.
As we all know, Two-Ounce Theresa said at one time, “No deal is better than a bad deal”. But that was before the geopolitical Meanies got to her both inside Britain and elsewhere. Now she’s come up with a bad deal she describes as a good deal, it is of course better than No Deal. Do try to keep up.
But a little birdie tells me that there will be a quid pro quo if the PM agrees to rule out No Deal. And that is, the Spelman-Dromey axis will support her plan.
That would be a monster development with so many ramifications, I wouldn’t have space to discuss them all in one post and do them justice. But for starters:
- Dromey has been in-out-shake-it-all-about when it comes to Corbyn Labour. But he currently holds the key Shadow Pensions portfolio in Jeremy of Galilee’s Cabinet. However, were Dromey to secure such a deal, then Labour would become not so much a split as a spliced into a dozen toxic matches Party
- Yvette Cooper has allegedly been a prime mover in the cross-Party discussions. She is infinitely more Blair than Corbyn
- Corbyn himself is less than secretly anti-EU
- His Shadow Chancellor McDonnell wants a Second Referendum
- His Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott doesn’t.
But the mutual benefit here is for most points of the Westminster political compass who want to stay in the EU: for the May Tories get their deal through, both sides stop No Deal, and – in the ensuing chaos – May asks for an extension of Article 50 (which Brussels will grab with both hands)…..and that suits Blair Labour II perfectly, because the way is open to rejoin the EU at the first reasonable opportunity.
Corbyn Labour and the Rees-Mogg Brexiteers are left isolated. At some point, a new Commons is elected, there is no Second Referendum….and the saga continues one way or another.
You have to admit – if only on the cui bono principle – it makes a lot of sense to our legislators. Fuck the People, of course: they’ll get over it.
A lot will still depend, of course, on whether some sort of Yellow Vests movement does take hold in the UK.
“There is no such thing as a money tree” is one of our great Prime Minister’s more infamous robotica repetere. Like most of her verbal output, it isn’t true. First, there is a trees-worth of money created out of paper and thin air by the Bank of England every day….if the need is deemed desperate or expedient. But second, some trees do grow money.
Walnut oil is in short supply. A standard walnut tree will produce around €27 of money in a French market. Last year, the endless rain deluge of Spring in France produced a very poor cherry crop. A productive tree would’ve delivered you €93 by selling at a market. My plum, apple, pear and damson trees here produce more than enough fruit to fill the freezer and keep me self-sufficient in Vitamin C.
The morons around Olly Robbins and Alastair Campbell churn out complete fear-mongering rubbish day after day about Brexit. Mrs May has never – not once – contradicted any of it….even though much of it is damaging to Britain’s credibility if and when Brexit is ever allowed to occur.
She and her ilk are, quite simply, putting their own self-styled “élite” class before the future of an independent Britain.
The electrical goods ‘CE’ marquage could well be the next. A Slog threader writes, ‘overnight UK companies will not be able to ‘place on the market’ – ie sell – any CE-marked product which has been assessed by a UK NB (eg BSI) into the EU.’
It simply isn’t true.
1. Electrical goods we export to the EU will STILL be recognised because they already have the CE sign. Brussels could of course change their rules, but then their own exporters would have to comply as well. It’s just not worth their while to do it.
2. Elec goods exported to the EU are 3.7% of all UK manufactured exports and falling. The reason is simple: the very low price of Asian electronics to the EU….NONE of whose suppliers are EU member States, they um, not being in Europe.
3. Our elec goods trade is already in the top end specialist sector and largely to countries outside the EU.
To remake my point yet again: trade is a 2-way street involving mutual interests – if it wasn’t, nobody would engage in it. During our 44 years of EEC/EC/EU membership we have lost money on trade IN 43 YEARS OUT OF 44.
That, I beg to suggest, is a far more commercially telling (and irrefutable) statistic. Theresa May never mentions it. I can’t imagine why. The more the lopsided arithmetic goes on, the more difficult it becomes for hard-up satirical pensioners comme moi to parody even the worst practitioners.
So let’s stop being serious for the rest of this post.
For example, rising to his feet this morning during a debate in the House of Lords on control of territorial kebab waters, The Baron Android of Adonis has this to say:
“The British people simply do not appreciate the immediately malign effects on our way of life that will follow Brexit. Nobody will be able to find a taxi in London, because most of the cabbies will be in Calais shipping over the last of the cheap booze before Brussels slaps a 250% tariff on all off it. The taxi queue at Dover will stretch back to Dundee. Our recycling services will be unable to cope with the empties. People will binge-drink, drown in vomit and bring the NHS to a standstill made even worse by the lack of hangover cures and stomach pumps, 137% of which are imported from the EU and….oh alright then, I will give way….”
Lord Fondlebum of Boy: If it in any way helps my friend the honourable Baron, it is also important to point out that our exports of Kentish Domestika to the European Union last year totalled some one hundred bottles, and this crop will now be uncompetitive, resulting in thousands of redundancies among the small boys who tread the grapes….
The Baron Adenoids of Arsinoe: I am grateful to my friend Lord Manglesum of Troy, and know only too well of his keen interest in the well being of these grape-treaders and part-time choristers, who bring so much joy to his diocese. But regarding the shared kebab territorial waters we enjoy with Cyprus as part of the endless benificence of the EU, this will of course be removed at three seconds past midnight on March 29th, thus resulting in a supply-chain breakdown between that bejewelled Mediterranean island and six restaurants in Charlotte Street, with the loss of some three million jobs and a fall in London tourist turnover of 463 Drachma. This is a travesty wrapped in a volcanic eruption and then tied in a disarrayed Dicky-Bow of Armageddon.”
Lord Phillizboots of Green: Baron Dicky Bow of Armageddon is a man of the finest character, and I refute that accusation utterly.
Baroness Thistlebotham of Hunt: I know a joke about health. It’s brirriant.
Lord Andonandon of Akropolis: Go on then.
Thistlebotham: Life sucks when your teeth fall out.
Lord Admonish: I don’t get it.