WTO NO DEAL: Is it time for the Italian Job?

by John Ward

With every day, every vote and every hour, the options for Brexit are reduced….and thus (as always applies among the wise) the creativity applied to the problem increases in due proportion to the steamrollering process. It’s a slim chance, but it’s worth shooting for.

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It is fascinating to read the optimism of UK Constitutional wonk Leavers. They still have (to their credit) a patriotic belief in the Rule of Law. But the first and last Rule of Law in Great Britain today is “We, your masters – bureaucrats, politicians, media moguls, bankers, globalist businessmen and policemen – are above the Law. The Law is for us to make and to ignore….and for you to obey on pain of being crushed aforethought”.

To my eternal bafflement, Leaver opinion leaders keep on upholding the preeminence of a March 29th Brexit.

A senior Brussels apparatchik (quite a reasonable and soft-spoken chap who struck me as trying to be eminently fair) was interviewed by Sky News yesterday morning and blithely remarked, “Well, if you are not ready on March 29th, the clock will be stopped and some kind of extension will be granted. Only fanatics would want anything else”.

This was a very reasonable opinion, but displayed zero awareness of UK Constitutional and Sovereign legal considerations. Herein lies the problem: even at its very best, the European commission regards national laws as merely in the way…..and thus something to be quietly buried and sidelined in the inevitable progress towards a Europe that makes laws without public consent, disobeys them when needs suit….but insists on total EU citizen obedience at all times. Or else.

The existence of a legal (and constitutionally significant) Statute in relation to quitting the EU on March 29th has convinced Leaver idealists that this is their Ticket to Ride. It isn’t.

Did Theresa May pay any heed to the illegal nature of her air strikes on Syria last year? She did not.

Did Alastair Campbell worry about his bullying of an Attorney General on the subject of the Second Iraq War? He did not.

Did Tony Blair care about his treasonous lies to Parliament about WOMD allegedly owned by Saddam Hussein? He did not.

Did he pervert the course of justice over bribes paid to members of the Saudi Royal Family in relation to arms sales? He did.

Did Jacquie Smith when Home Secretary give a toss about her lies to the Commons about monies granted to GCHQ in 2009? She did not.

Did David Cameron tell the truth about his quid pro quo Sky Bid talks with James Murdoch in 2012? He did not.

Was Jeremy Hunt being honest about his underhand assist to enable Rupert Murdoch to take over Sky News? He was not.

Did Rupert Murdoch and Piers Morgan perjure themselves before the CM&S and Leveson Inquiries? They did.

Was Rebekah Brooks guilty of widespread phone hacking? She was.

Did Newscorp enjoy a longstanding and utterly corrupt relationship with the Met Police? It did.

Did Boris Johnson do his best as London Mayor to strangle the Newscorp hacking Inquiry at birth? He did.

Are any of these people in jail for their crimes? They are not.

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The idea that Theresa May’s illiberal, D-Notice riddled and openly antidemocratic administration will by default obey the Law of the Land on a March 29th Brexit unless forced so to do under extreme duress is to deny the flagrant illegality of the last 22 years under New Labour, Cameroon and Mayflower governments.

In my view, the only way out of Brussels triumph over British voters today is for the pro-Brexit Italian Government to dig its heels in and veto any and all ideas of Brextension.

This option had begun to look even more attractive once the poisonous dwarf Bercow ruled that a WA3 vote is offside in terms of Parliamentary convention. He did this not with The People in mind, but out of fear that the Prime Minister might drag even a homoeopathically diluted version of “Brexit” over the line. His action now makes a long Brextension considerably more likely….and, as he knows perfectly well, Brexit less likely as time goes on.

Even in using this excuse, the Speaker has been completely inconsistent, because there was no difference between WA1 document and WA2 document either, but he happily let the latter be debated.

I understand the Cabinet (meeting in the next hour) will seriously discuss a Commons vote to ignore the Bercow ruling – which MPs are fully entitled to do. But let’s park the fact that our Speaker is a disgrace to the Chair for now, and focus on The Italian Job.

There is a growing feeling among the 27 that the distraction of Brexit has been massively damaging to the EU, and that it would be better to just let the UK secede on No Deal WTO terms. This view is not shared by Brussels, Berlin and Paris, and although division among the Member States is a fact, what Merkel, Macron and the Commission want is what counts.

Italy is the only member State that wants to veto Brextension because the government’s sympathies are with Britain’s 17.4 million Leave voters…..as they are with the Gilets Jaunes in France. The most pro-Brexit/anti-Brussels leader in the country is a Deputy Prime Minister (there are several) Matteo Salvini. In recent polls, it has become clear that Salvini is seen by a majority of Italian voters as the “real” Prime Minister. If Italy (the EU’s third biggest economy) were to chuck a spanner into the Brextension works, this would be a huge vote-winner for Salvini, who is openly ambitious. It would also (in my view) influence events both in Brussels and Britain.

But there is a snag: Italy is the sovereign equivalent of a mega-business trading insolvently. It’s national debt is unrepayable, and its banking system riddled with non-performing loans.

It would be the work of but a few days on Wall Street (with nudging from Pentagon hawks and NATO neocons) to bomb Italy’s bond markets and send yields through the ceiling.

Those are dangerous dogs for the Commission to let loose, because the bringing forward of Italy’s inevitable collapse would place the European Central Bank in an impossible situation….and render German bankers frozen with terror.

But Italy isn’t going to die in a ditch for Brexit or Britain – why should it? It’s not their fault that our political, bureaucratic, media and liberal classes are constipated ideologues.

Were we to work hard at getting their support, however, it could make all the difference. As I wrote earlier – it’s a longshot, but it would get us a No Deal clean Brexit if it worked.

Meanwhile, Rees-Mogg is opining that such an intervention by Italy “would not be helpful”. There really is something decidedly untrustworthy about that bloke.

 

 

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