The Brexit Blog

The Brexit Blog
News and comment on the Brexit process, as Britain tries to leave the EU.

Friday 21 December 2018

There Will Never Be A Hard Border

As I have noted many times before, the myth of a hard border and the nonsense of the backstop is utter bollocks.


Wednesday 19 December 2018

European Commission Implements “no-deal” Contingency Action Plan - There Will NOT Be Chaos!

Brexit: European Commission implements “no-deal” Contingency Action Plan in specific sectors

Brussels, 19 December 2018
The United Kingdom will leave the European Union in 100 days' time.
Given the continued uncertainty in the UK surrounding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, as agreed between the EU and the UK on 25 November 2018 – and last week's call by the European Council (Article 50) to intensify preparedness work at all levels and for all outcomes – the European Commission has today started implementing its “no deal” Contingency Action Plan. This delivers on the Commission's commitment to adopt all necessary “no deal” proposals by the end of the year, as outlined in its second preparedness Communication of 13 November 2018.
Today's package includes 14 measures in a limited number of areas where a "no-deal" scenario would create major disruption for citizens and businesses in the EU27. These areas include financial services, air transport, customs, and climate policy, amongst others.
The Commission considers it essential and urgent to adopt these measures today to ensure that the necessary contingency measures can enter into application on 30 March 2019 in order to limit the most significant damage caused by a "no-deal" scenario in these areas.
These measures will not – and cannot – mitigate the overall impact of a "no-deal" scenario, nor do they in any way compensate for the lack of stakeholder preparedness or replicate the full benefits of EU membership or the terms of any transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement. They are limited to specific areas where it is absolutely necessary to protect the vital interests of the EU and where preparedness measures on their own are not sufficient. As a rule, they will be temporary in nature, limited in scope and adopted unilaterally by the EU. They take into account discussions with Member States and are in addition to the preparedness measures that have already been taken, as set out in the two previous preparedness Communications.
The Commission will continue to implement its Contingency Action Plan in the weeks to come and will monitor the need for additional action, as well as continue to support Member States in their preparedness work.
Putting citizens' rights first: right to stay and social security coordination
The Commission has consistently put citizens first throughout these negotiations and throughout its "no-deal" preparedness and contingency work. Today's Communication invites Member States to take a generous approach to the rights of UK citizens in the EU, provided that this approach is reciprocated by the UK.
In particular, Member States should take measures to ensure that UK citizens legally residing in the EU on the date of withdrawal will continue to be considered legal residents. Member States should adopt a pragmatic approach to granting temporary residence status. It is recalled that the Commission has already adopted a proposal for a Regulation which exempts UK nationals from visa requirements, provided that all EU citizens are equally exempt from UK visa requirements.
As regards social security coordination, the Commission considers it necessary that Member States take all possible steps to ensure legal certainty and to protect the rights acquired by EU27 citizens and UK nationals who exercised their right to free movement before 30 March 2019.
Sector-specific regulation
Financial services
After a thorough examination of the risks linked to a no deal scenario in the financial sector, the Commission has found that only a limited number of contingency measures is necessary to safeguard financial stability in the EU27.
The Commission has therefore adopted today the following acts:
  • A temporary and conditional equivalence decision for a fixed, limited period of 12 months to ensure that there will be no immediate disruption in the central clearing of derivatives.
  • A temporary and conditional equivalence decision for a fixed, limited period of 24 months to ensure that there will be no disruption in central depositaries services for EU operators currently using UK operators.
  • Two Delegated Regulations facilitating novation, for a fixed period of 12 months, of certain over-the-counter derivatives contracts, where a contract is transferred from a UK to an EU27 counterparty.
The Commission has today adopted two measures that will avoid full interruption of air traffic between the EU and the UK in the event of no deal. These measures will only ensure basic connectivity and in no means replicate the significant advantages of membership of the Single European Sky. This is subject to the UK conferring equivalent rights to EU air carriers, as well as the UK ensuring conditions of fair competition.
  • A proposal for a Regulation to ensure temporarily (for 12 months) the provision of certain air services between the UK and the EU.
  • A proposal for a Regulation to extend temporarily (for 9 months) the validity of certain aviation safety licences.
The Commission has also adopted a proposal for a Regulation to allow UK operators to temporarily (nine months) carry goods into the EU, provided the UK confers equivalent rights to EU road haulage operators and subject to fair competition conditions.
Customs and the export of goods
In a no deal scenario, all relevant EU legislation on the importation and exportation of goods will apply to goods moving between the EU and the UK. The Commission has today adopted the following technical measures:
  • A Delegated Regulation to include the seas surrounding the UK in the provisions on time-limits within which entry summary declarations and pre-departure declarations have to be lodged prior to leaving or entering the Union's customs territory.
  • A proposal for a Regulation to add the UK to the list of countries for which a general authorisation to export dual use items is valid throughout the EU.
It is essential, however, that Member States take all the necessary steps to be in a position to apply the Union Customs Code and the relevant rules regarding indirect taxation in relation to the United Kingdom.
EU climate policy
The Commission has today adopted the following acts in the area of EU climate legislation in order to ensure that a "no-deal" scenario does not affect the smooth functioning and the environmental integrity of the Emissions Trading System.
  • A Commission Decision to suspend temporarily for the UK the free allocation of emissions allowances, auctioning, and the exchange of international credits with effect from 1 January 2019.
  • An Implementing Decision to allow an appropriate annual quota allocation to UK companies for accessing the EU27 market (until 31 December 2020).
  • An Implementing Regulation to ensure that the reporting by companies differentiates between the EU market and the UK market to allow a correct allocation of quotas in the future.

PEACE Programme
The Commission has today reiterated its commitment to ensuring the current programmes between the border counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland can continue in all scenarios. Given its importance, the Commission has today made a proposal for a Regulation to continue the PEACE programme in Northern Ireland until the end of 2020, in the event of a no deal scenario. As for the period after 2020, the Commission has already proposed as part of its proposals for the next Multi-annual Financial Framework to continue and strengthen cross-border support for peace and reconciliation in the border counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The Commission has also adopted a Delegated Regulation on the listing of the UK in statistics on the balance of payments, international trade in services and foreign direct investment.

Next steps
The Commission calls on the European Parliament and the Council to ensure the adoption of the proposed legislative acts so that they are in force by 29 March 2019. The Commission also highlights to the European Parliament and the Council that it is important for delegated acts to enter into force as rapidly as possible. For Delegated Acts, the normal scrutiny period by the European Parliament and Council is, as a rule, two to three months (two months for the Delegated Regulation on summary declarations and pre-departure declarations; three months for the Delegated Regulation on the listing of the UK in EU statistics; a maximum of three months for the Delegated Regulations on certain types of contracts, including over-the-counter derivatives. For more information on the minimum timelines for adoption of such legal acts, see here under Annex 5. Delegated acts can enter into force earlier if the European Parliament and the Council both inform the Commission, before the end of the scrutiny period, that they will not object to the act.

On 14 November 2018, the negotiators of the Commission and the United Kingdom agreed on the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. On 22 November 2018, the Commission approved the completed Withdrawal Agreement. On 25 November 2018, the European Council (Article 50) endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and invited the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council to take the necessary steps to ensure that the agreement can enter into force on 30 March 2019 to provide for an orderly withdrawal.
On 5 December 2018, the Commission adopted two proposals for Council decisions on the signature and conclusion of the Withdrawal Agreement. For the Withdrawal Agreement to enter into force the Council must now authorise the signature of the text on behalf of the Union and the European Parliament must then give its consent before being concluded by the Council. The Withdrawal Agreement will have to be ratified by the United Kingdom, in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
The ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement continues to be the objective and priority of the Commission. As emphasised in the Commission's first Brexit preparedness Communication of 19 July 2018, irrespective of the scenario envisaged, the United Kingdom's choice to leave the European Union will cause significant disruption.
Stakeholders, as well as national and EU authorities, therefore need to prepare for two possible main scenarios:
  • If the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified before 30 March 2019, EU law will cease to apply to and in the UK on 1 January 2021, i.e. after a transition period of 21 months.
  • If the Withdrawal Agreement is not ratified before 30 March 2019, there will be no transition period and EU law will cease to apply to and in the UK as of 30 March 2019. This is referred to as the "no deal" or "cliff-edge" scenario.
Over the past year, the Commission has published 78 sector-specific preparedness notices to inform the public about the consequences of the UK's withdrawal in the absence of any Withdrawal Agreement. These are available in all official EU languages. The Commission has also held technical discussions with the EU27 Member States both on general issues of preparedness and on specific sectorial, legal and administrative preparedness steps. The slides used in these technical seminars are available online.

No Deal Planning Accelerates

Monday 17 December 2018

The Post Brexit Sunlit Uplands Beckon

Friday 14 December 2018

Absolutely Nebulous!

No U Turns From The EU - As Expected!

Thursday 13 December 2018

The Backstop

The so called "backstop" (and the alleged "dangers" of it) is a red herring, conjured up by those with an axe to grind.

Even at the height of the Troubles, with checkpoints and guard posts etc, there was no genuine "hard border" it was in  fact as leaky as hell.

Those in the EU who imagine a Backstop designed to prevent the so called "hard border" is necessary, lest a "hard border" split the island of Ireland into two separate camps, are deluding themselves and everyone else.

Those in the ERG and DUP who regard the Backstop as some kind of betrayal of Brexit/the Union are also deluded, given that a Backstop is merely an administrative sop designed to placate the bureaucrats who (for their own reasons) are sitting on their hands instead of putting a red line through it and giving Northern Ireland a special trading "let out clauses" wrt customs issues.

Ignore the Backstop and ignore these people!

Monday 10 December 2018

May NOT Pulling Meaningful Vote?

May To Pull Meaningful Vote?

It looks as though the 11.30 emergency cabinet conference call is for pulling the meaningful vote.

Article 50 Is Revocable

Friday 7 December 2018

There Is No "Happy" Solution To Brexit

It is worth remembering that no matter what Britain ends up doing wrt Brexit eg:

-accept the deal
-leave without a deal
-hold another referendum
-opt for Canada or Norwegian type scenarios

Many millions of people in Britain will not be happy with the outcome. It is at that point that the country will need a government and Prime Minister that can lead it, unify it and plan for the future.

At the moment we do not have such a government or Prime Minister!

Thursday 6 December 2018

It's Happening Next Tuesday...Or Is It?

Iain Martin Nails It!

Ditching The PM Won't Resolve The Brexit Issue

Whoever/whatever comes after May, even if it is "government of national unity" (whatever that means), he/she/it won't be able to resolve the Brexit problem. The country and the political parties are not agreed on what should be done.

Tuesday 4 December 2018

The Betrayal of Britain

"If this deal is not abandoned, I believe that the U.K. will end up abrogating it unilaterally — regardless of the grave damage that would do to Britain’s reputation and standing. Vassal states do not go gently into that good night. They rage. If this parliament bequeaths to its successors the choice between a humiliating submission and the abrogation of a binding international treaty, it will not be forgiven — and will not deserve to be."

Monday 3 December 2018

Brexit Won't Impact Security Cooperation

Trump Vindicated

Thursday 29 November 2018

Secret Blueprint To Allow The UK To Unilaterally Abandon The Backstop - Blocked By May

Oh Dear God! - Quisling Alert

Remainers' Mass Debate Shambles

The public don't want to see these two remainers score points off each other.

Second Referendum? Never! Never! Never!

Other Than Wrecking Things, Labour Doesn't Actually Have a Plan

Corbyn and May To Mass Debate Next Week

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Project Fear II - The Bank of England Speaks

Hammond Gives May's Deal a "Ringing" Endorsement

To be fair, May thinks Hammond's forecasts are bollocks!

Project Fear II - May's Deal Is The least Worst Option (Allegedly)

Trying to sell something as being the least worst option (other than staying in the EU) really is not the greatest marketing strategy, neither is borrowing from Project Fear's failed playbook.

People are capable of achieving great things, and enduring all sorts of hardships if they see a bright future and if the person leading them inspires them with hope, confidence and courage.

Methinks May will lose big time.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Trump Nixes Brexit Deal

Monday 26 November 2018

May's Desire To Mass Debate!

Reality Check


Macron Pisses In The Drinking Well

Friday 23 November 2018

Politics is Everything to Her, This is Her Life.

May may well pull this off!

The EU Doesn't Like The Deal - There's Irony For You!

Thursday 22 November 2018

The Rising Sun Approaches

Image result for the land of the rising sun

Utterly Meaningless..

It Will Be Deep and Flexible

Moggy's Nanny will hate it!

Almost There..Until The British Parliament Rejects It!

May Told Her Deal Won't Fly

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Grin and Bear It!

It Won't Be Britain That Ditches The Deal

John Major's Spitting Image Puppet Appears Next To Moggy (On His Left)

Tuesday 20 November 2018

The Netherlands Great No Deal Bill

This is what Barnier et al don't want you to know, EU states will need to interact with us and will ensure they can in the event of no deal!

May's "Secret" Plan To Solve The Irish Question

A not very "secret" plan given that it's been published in the Sun, and if the plan is so good/viable why does she want it kept "secret"?

Monday 19 November 2018

What Happens Next

Operation Bullshit

As Brady noted the other day, just because an MP says that he/she has submitted (or will submit) a letter doesn't necessarily mean that they have/will.

How come?

MPs are liars!

Thursday 15 November 2018

Ranil Jayawardena (PPS at the Ministry of Justice) Has Gone

Gove Offered Poison Chalice

Smooth and Orderly

Anne-Marie Trevelyan (PPS to the Education Ministers to the Prime Minister) Has Gone

Suella Braverman (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at Department for Exiting the European Union) Has Gone..No I Hadn't Heard of Her Either!

McVey Has Gone

The Odd Couple

Theresa May is meeting Corbyn, in order to get his party's support for her deal as her party won't back her.

Shailesh Vara (Northern Ireland Minister) Has Gone

Raab Has Gone

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Bring On Mr Blobby To Sort This Mess Out!

Reality Check

Article 50 was signed on 28 March 2017, since then what the fuck have we achieved wrt planning for our post Brexit existence?


May Seems To Have Thrown The DUP Under The Bus

Tuesday 13 November 2018

D Day..or Is It?

The Endgame

I wonder if Theresa May really understands what she meant by calling this the "endgame"?

Pizza Club Back By Popular Demand

Monday 12 November 2018

The Ongoing Shitshow

Brexit, At Least May's Version of Brexit, Is Dead In The Water

Friday 9 November 2018

FCA Warns of Brexit Scam Risk

The Financial Conduct Authority has warned that it is expecting more scams “during this period of uncertainty” (ie Brexit), and warned consumers not to give over their personal bank details in phone calls or emails purportedly from their lender.

May Preparing To Shaft The DUP

Thursday 8 November 2018

Raab Demonstrates His "Understanding" of Trade Flows


Wednesday 7 November 2018

Draft Brexit Agreement On The Table

The Brexit Grid

I see that the Tories have taken a leaf out of Blair's Labour government, and have adopted the concept of "the grid"!

Brexit Communications Grid Summary

Cabinet reviews the deal this Tuesday, the 6th November. They expect all the details to then leak.
"A moment of decisive progress" will be announced this Thursday. Raab to announce.

The narrative is going to be measured success, that this is good for everyone, but won't be all champagne corks popping.

Then there's recess until 12th.

After the announcement of decisive progress there follows the 10 days of Sherpa meetings with EU 27 and then daily themed announcements.

19th November - "We have delivered on the referendum" PM speaks at the CBI conference.
Saying this deal brings the country back together, now is the time for us all to unite behind it for the good of all our futures etc. She will also hold a business reception.

This is the day both the Withdrawal Agreement and Future Framework will be put to Parliament by way of a statement from Raab who will also do media. Junior ministers are doing regional media all day. Government lining up 25 top business voices including Carolyn Fairburn and lots of world leaders eg Japanese PM to tweet support for the deal.

20th - Theme is Delivering for the Whole of the UK - PM to visit the north and or Scotland and the Commons will debate in business motions the date of the Meaningful Vote.

PM will be back in the house to vote. The Cabinet Office publishes its explainer of the deal and what it means for the public, comparing it to No Deal, but not to our current deal.

Other business leaders to come out and back it eg Adam Marshall from Chambers of Commerce and supportive voices in devolved regions like Andy Street and Andy Burnham. Also hoping to get 3rd Sector voices out supporting it.

21st - Theme is Economy, Jobs, Customs. Philip Hammond to open debate in Commons and Raab to close it. Institute of Directors to speak out.

Hoping for Stephen Martin, Martin McTeague etc

22nd - Theme is immigration - take back control of our borders. Home Sec doing media and visits. Raab on QT in the West mids.

Hope Mike Hawes of SMMT will speak out in favour along with influential voices from the rest of the world saying how great this is for the flow of global talent.

23rd - Theme is money - NHS funding and structural funds. Matt Hancock hospital visit. David Everett to welcome the deal alongside Tech for UK.

24th Theme is Northern Ireland and The Union - no hard border in the UK and the integrity of the Union is protected. PM visits border communities and business in NI and maybe also to Wales to visit agri and export businesses. Karen Bradley doing media.

Trying to get Varadker to support and Anand Menon and Henry Newman too.

25th - Theme is global Britain. We can strike trade deals with RoW (rest of world) security in this one too.

Speech from Liam Fox. Jeremy Hunt on Marr. Hope Miles Celic to come out in support (City UK).
Lining up lots of former foreign secs to come out in support and Mark Littlewood of the IEA.

26th - theme is taking back control of our laws, Raab doing media. PM interview with Dimbleby.

27th - morning theme is agri and fisheries. Gove doing a visit and media.


Tuesday 6 November 2018

Free Movement To Continue Under No Deal

It is fair to say the the Home Office doesn't know what the fuck it is doing!

It is also fair to remind you all the the Home Office was once the fiefdom of the PM!


Monday 5 November 2018

Project Fear Was Bollocks

Thursday 1 November 2018

Raab's Optimism of Yesterday Appears To Be Misplaced

Wednesday 31 October 2018

Deal Done 21 November?

Number 10 is playing this down, doubtless because they want the glory of announcing it!

Davis Recants

Reality Dawns In The EU Bunker

May Way or No Way!

Osborne Admits Project Fear Was Bollocks

Osborne and co were warned at the time the Project fear would backfire, but they failed toheed those warnings because of their arrogance.

Tuesday 30 October 2018

People Want Brexit, But Not May's Version of Brexit

As per Guido Fawkes a poll carried out by Deltapoll shows that only 26% of people want Brexit to be abandoned altogether.

However there is scant support for May’s current Brexit approach either, with 14% saying she should “go back to the drawing board and come up with a more acceptable plan” and 22% in favour of her leaving without a deal rather than making any more concessions to the EU.

Only 10% support her pressing ahead with Chequers.

Monday 29 October 2018

No Deal Means Extra Budget

I have no doubt that No Deal would mean an extra Budget. That would be a "give away" Budget as Hammond would need to prime the pumps to keep everything financially afloat.

I guess that's what May meant when she said austerity was over!

Friday 26 October 2018

French Debunk Project Fear

There's Irony For You!

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Carry On Brexiting Forever!

UK MEPs Checking Their Redundancy Arrangements

One good thing from Brexit, we won't have any more MEPs.

Before you all howl in protest, how many of you know the name of your MEP?

No, I thought not!!!

Brexit Boost For May From Labour

I will believe it when I see it!

To put this into context, the journalist claimed a few days ago that David Davis was "admired" by some Labour MPs.

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Project Fear Was Bollocks!

Monday 22 October 2018

Brexiteers To Meet Barnier

Seemingly Brexiteers including Owen Paterson, David Trimble and Ian Duncan Smith will meet Michel Barnier in Brussels today, in order to tell him why May's Chequers plan is unworkable.

It has come to this that members of the governing party are now briefing the EU against their own leader!

There Is No Plan

In case anyone is wondering if there is a plan (eg Chequers II, "No Deal" or some variation thereon), there isn't one.

Friday 19 October 2018

There Will Be NO Hard Border

The great lie has finally been exposed by the EU and Ireland.

Thursday 18 October 2018

US Shoots EU's Fox

Christopher Giancarlo, head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, called the EU plans to amend European Market Infrastructure Regulation “unprecedented and wholly unacceptable” and warned they could create “costly burdensome regulatory requirements” in the US.

Mr Giancarlo said that if the EU did not change the existing plans he would have “no choice” but to select from a wide range of actions that includes barring EU banks from using US financial infrastructure such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Beware The Show of Resistance and a Choreographed Argument

Lithuania Nails Brexit!

Wednesday 17 October 2018

US/UK Trade Talks Start One Day After Brexit

Tuesday 16 October 2018

French Get The Collywobbles!

On The Brink?

Monday 15 October 2018

May's Freudian Backstop

No Deal Not That Big a Deal!

The EU's Misadvised Strategy

Friday 12 October 2018

A Question of Trust

Sadly, for the country and for May, I don't think people trust her to keep her word or to mange this well.

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Tuesday 9 October 2018

The Brexit Tunnel

Monday 8 October 2018

Gove's Treasure Hunt

I see the media are using Gove's idea of looking through rubbish (in order to reduce excess waste) as a post Brexit plan.

As amusing as that is, I am pretty sure this isn't anything to do with Brexit.

Friday 5 October 2018

Unilever To Stay In London

Thursday 4 October 2018

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Italy Stands Up To The EU

Tuesday 2 October 2018

Chuck Chequers

Boris To Delay Brexit