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Brexit Watch - News and Views

Brexit: UK government in "pretty good shape" for no deal says top civil servant

(14/6/19) The government is in "pretty good shape" to cope with a no-deal Brexit, the head of civil service has said. Speaking at an event organised by the Institute for Government, Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill said there had been "a lot of preparation". Read the full story on BBC news.

George Osborne backs the LibDems

(22/5/19) George Osborne’s Evening Standard has endorsed the Liberal Democrats in the European Elections in his leader. Read the full story on Media Guido.
(22/5/19) If Brexiteers needed any more proof that the senior echelons of the civil service are fanatically pro-Remain, former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell was on hand to provide it this morning in The Times with a gushing endorsement of the Lib Dems. Read the full story on Guido Fawkes.

Brexit Party 18 points ahead in final YouGov poll

(22/5/19) The final YouGov/Times poll before the EU elections has the Brexit Party miles out ahead on 37%, almost double the closest challengers in the form of the Lib Dems. On current polling this would make them the largest single party in the entire European Parliament. Read the full story on Guido Fawkes.

These are the 59 Tory MPs who say they'll vote against Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement bill

(21/5/19) Theresa May is expected to hold a vote on her Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the first week of June. Following her new "bold" offer to MPs on Tuesday, the number of rebels are — unfortunately for Downing Street — going up rather than down. Read the full story on Buzzfeed.

May humiliation: PM’s ‘bold’ new Brexit deal SAVAGED in leaked document - ‘Nothing new’

(20/5/19) Theresa May's effort to push her final Brexit deal through Parliament appears doomed after a leaked document suggested it was nothing more than a “retread” of old ideas. The Prime Minister champions this new pitch as a “bold offer” as she gears up for one last bid to win over MPs and salvage something concrete from her troubled premiership. But, according the Daily Telegraph, the new offering contains nothing new on customs arrangements and retains the controversial Northern Irish backstop. Read the full story in the Daily Express.

The ‘deep state’ was never going to allow a no-deal Brexit to happen

The letter below was published in response to the above article in the Telegraph. We publish this in full because there has been much debate about our constitution, how it has been undermined by our EU membership, and whether the UK has legally left the EU already.

Queen’s role and the ‘deep state’

SIR – Philip Johnston’s comment (April 10) on the ‘deep state’ being the same as it was 500 years ago is undoubtedly the political reality. There was, however, a more serious constitutional aspect missing from his evaluation.

The view expressed recently by a legal fraternity that it would be unconstitutional for the government to advise the Queen to refuse royal assent to legislation on Brexit has appeared blinkered to the wider historical context. This being that not since Reformation times has the Crown been in submission to superior politico-legal authority coming from Europe under the supranational Treaty of Rome 1957. This gradual (and concealed) process over the past 47 years has undermined the constitution, which is spiritual as well as temporal of which Parliament in general appears unaware and unconcerned.

The vote that was lost on December 4, 2018, by the government on the “contempt of Parliament” and the whole debate regarding the sovereignty of Parliament over Brexit did not and has not taken cognizance of the original contempt by Parliament itself of the constitution; this through the woefully defective and unconstitutional ratification of the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA) and particularly in the political Treaty of Maastricht 1992, both being in contention with the constitution, i.e., “The Queen-in-Parliament under God” and the Coronation Oath 1953 (Act) and seven or eight great statutes of the Realm. The Queen has thus been ‘deceived in her grant’ being made ‘a citizen of Europe’ – triumphantly announced by the Major Administration in the House of Commons on February 11, 1993.

The repeal of the ECA has restored the sovereignty of the Crown and the constitutional status quo, nullifying the original acts of contempt that led to the People’s Vote to Leave the EU of June 23, 2016. If now the Remain camp in Parliament were to engineer the repeal of the repeal itself of the ECA, or through a new Bill, this would truly undermine the sovereignty of the Crown and the constitution, which according to R v Thistlewood 1820 would be an act of treason.

The contempt of the constitution by Parliament itself over the past half century has now been enforced by the unconstitutional Bill, rushed through both Houses of Parliament in one day to Royal Assent, then paraded on Twitter by Yvette Cooper MP, claiming it as an act of upholding democracy. This deception brings the ‘deep state’ fully into the open in which the Queen has been reduced to a mere royal cipher. What an abomination.

Michael Clark

The Consequences of a Permanent Customs Union

(25/4/19) This IEA briefing paper argues that remaining in a customs union with the EU would make it impossible for the UK to establish an independent trade policy, and render reclaiming policy areas such as agriculture and state aid an impossibility. This paper outlines how any short-term benefits of customs union membership – such as securing supply chains – would be significantly outweighed in the long-run by the loss of trade opportunities and higher prices for UK consumers. Read the full post by the IEA

Judge orders UKIP to reveal Brexit referendum data use

(14/4/19) Ukip has been ordered to fully reveal details of how it used nearly £300,000 of political data services in the run-up to the Brexit vote and the 2015 general election after the party lost a two-year legal battle to block disclosure. Read the full post in the The Guardian

No Deal Brexit would end business uncertainty (from January but still valid now) - by Lord Antony Bamford

(11/1/19) I voted to stay in the Common Market in 1975. It seemed like the right thing to do back then, as we were told it would be good for business and international trade. More than forty years later, in June 2016, I voted to leave the EU, so that the UK could regain control of how it trades with the world... Read the full post in the Telegraph

Eurosceptics well behind in Euro election polling

(10/4/19) New polling released today shows the Eurosceptic vote would be heavily split if European Elections were to be held, with Labour holding its vote together better than any other party. More significantly than split votes, the poll found that just 37.8% of leave voters said they were certain to vote, compared to just 46.9% of Remain voters. An almost 10 point enthusiasm gap… Read the full post in the Euro Guido

The customs union is a protectionist racket

(7/4/19) This excellent article by the economist Liam Halligan demonstrates why a Brexit with a Customs Union would not only be BRINO - Brexit in name only - but be very damaging for the UK. Read the full post in the Sunday Telegraph

UK passports without ‘European Union’ ALREADY issued despite MPs FAILURE to deliver Brexit

(5/4/19) The new passports were first issued the day after the expected Brexit date on March 30 after assuming the UK’s EU departure would not be delayed. Passports with the 'European Union' on the top will still be issued to use up the remaining stock. However, citizens applying for a travel document will not be able to choose between the two burgundy-coloured front covers. Read the full story in the Daily Express

Brexit party official removed after antisemitic posts

(3/4/19) A senior official from Nigel Farage’s pro-Brexit party has been removed after the Guardian uncovered antisemitic and other offensive Facebook posts he made, two weeks after the party leader quit her role for similar reasons. The party said Michael McGough, its treasurer, had made “unacceptable statements” and would no longer have any role in the organisation. Read the full story in The Guardian

Faisal Islam confronts UKIP protester live on air over his 'traitor' jibes to Theresa May

(2/4/19) Whilst reporting live from Downing Street on the Kay Burley show on Sky News, Faisal Islam was prompted by 'traitor' jibes directed at the Prime Minister when in earshot of the mic that he confronted the protester 'live' on air. The resulting interaction can be viewed on Guido Fawkes

Unnamed Cabinet minister, when asked why May was holding MV3, retorts: "Fuck knows, I'm past caring".

(29/3/19) An unnamed Cabinet minister had choice words about Theresa May to say to Newsnight’s Nicholas Watt on the day of the third vote on her Withdrawal Deal. View the clip on Guido Fawkes

Catherine Blaiklock, the leader of Nigel Farage's party, resigns over anti-Islam messages

(20/3/19) The leader of the new pro-Brexit party backed by Nigel Farage has abruptly resigned after the Guardian asked her about a series of deleted anti-Islam Twitter messages sent before she took on the role. Catherine Blaiklock, the leader of the Brexit party, repeatedly retweeted posts from far-right figures as well as sending her own messages. Among the messages she shared was one by Mark Collett, a former British National party (BNP) activist, referring to “white genocide”. Read the full story in The Guardian

What is the Norway model?

(5/12/18) As Theresa May prepares for her Brexit deal to be defeated in the House of Commons, the suggestion that the prime minister should instead seek a "plan B" of replicating Norway's relationship with the EU is gaining traction. So what is the Norway model? Read the full post in Business Insider. See also what it might cost us to have Norway 2.0 in this post from Full Fact

A second Brexit referendum cannot leave no deal off the ballot

(9/3/19) Jon Cruddas is Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham; Nick Lowles is director of Hope not Hate The former Ukip leader Nigel Farage has already said that he will call for a boycott of any referendum that excludes no deal. Many will follow his lead. The referendum will immediately lose its legitimacy, especially if Remain wins, and the anger will be on a scale we have not yet experienced. Read the full post in The Guardian.

Theresa May is a chicken who's bottled Brexit. The only way forward is to come out of the EU now, says Boris Johnson

(24/3/19) The reason we are not leaving the EU on Friday 29th March is not the fault of MPs. We are not leaving this Friday because the government has chickened out. Read the full post in The Sunday Telgraph.

What Parliament needs to do to change the Brexit date from 29th March

(22/3/19) Theresa May returned from the Brussels summit after securing a delay to Brexit of at least two weeks. But the default position in U.K. law remains for Britain to leave the European Union next Friday. So here’s what needs to happen to change the date. Read the full post on Bloomberg.

MPs have 10 days to pass Theresa May’s Brexit deal or face a weaker Brexit negotiating position with the EU

(2/3/19) MPs have ten days to pass Theresa May’s Brexit deal or calamity strikes. Her deal is far from perfect. But what will happen if it doesn’t pass is truly appalling, according to James Forsyth, of The Spectator. Read the full post in The Sun.

Spain guarantees Britons' rights in desperate bid to protect tourism

(01/3/19) Spain will today announce a string of Brexit contingency plans to protect the rights of 300,00 British expats in the event of a no deal. Under the plans for the royal decree, British residents and tourists would be guaranteed healthcare and social security, which provides rights for unemployment benefits and pensions, until at least December 31, 2020. Madrid is desperately trying to protect its crucial tourism industry, which is the second largest sector of its economy. Last year 18 million British tourists visited Spain while on their travels across the Continent. Read the full post in the Daily Express.

Britain's economy is set to boom and become the largest in Europe - because of Brexit: by economist Liam Halligan

(28/2/19) Despite a global slowdown, Britain expanded 1.4 per cent last year, recording just 4 per cent unemployment. Yet Germany and France are on the brink of recession, the Italian economy is contracting and eurozone joblessness is twice as high. Read the full post on The Telegraph.

Brexiteer Tories tell Theresa May they will back her deal if she lays out timetable to quit Downing Street this year

(1/3/19) Brexiteer Tory MPs have told Theresa May they can deliver a majority for her EU deal if she lays out a timetable to leave No10 this year. The Sun has been told that “dozens” of sceptical backbenchers are now ready to hold their noses and vote for the PM’s revised divorce agreement, even if she can only win small tweaks to it. Read the full post on The Sun.

Rumours of ERG split on No Deal Brexit

(28/2/19) Tory Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg has been accused of softening his Brexit demands to help his pal Boris Johnson become PM. Growing tensions within the 80-strong hardline Tory European Research Group erupted in public on Wednesday. However, Brexiteer backbenchers are split over what changes are needed for them to back Theresa May’s revised EU exit deal. Read the full article in The Sun and insight on Guido.

No deal? No problem. Britain must – and can – hold its nerve by Aussie ex-PM Tony Abbott

(2/3/19) This article gives an encouraging perspective from one of our great allies. The most telling extract comes at the end:

'All along, the real difficulty has not been negotiating Brexit. It has been the neurotic anxiety of the official political class about leaving the European project, which they see somehow as a civilising force. The Brexit vote was possibly the greatest ever vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom. It was a reminder of the global leadership that Britain has historically provided. The risk you face now isn’t no-deal Brexit, but rather the official class losing its nerve and proving incapable of quickly resolving this muddle. If that happens, it would be hard to take Britain seriously again.'

Read the full story in The Spectator.

Brexiteer HECKLED by BBC audience after warning no deal is being 'DEMONISED'

Brexiteer Liam Halligan was heckled by audience members when he warned a no deal Brexit has been “demonised” during a heated row with Europhile MP Ken Clarke. The Brexit-supporting economist got into a heated debate with the Tory Remainer while speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? debate show in the Remain-supporting village of Llithfaen in north-west Wales. Read the full story in the Daily Express

Countdown to Brexit

(14/2/19) via the Daily Mail

  • Valentine's Day

  • MPs will hold another round of votes on Brexit.

    They are not due to pass judgement on Theresa May's deal - instead debating a 'neutral' motion simply saying that they have considered the issue.

    However, a range of amendments are set to be tabled. They could include proposals to delay the Brexit date beyond March 29.

    Labour is pushing a change that would force another 'meaningful vote' on the PM's Brexit deal by February 26, regardless of whether she has finished renegotiating the package with the EU.

  • 24-25th February

  • Mrs May could have an opportunity to seal a new package with fellow EU leaders at a joint summit with the Arab League in Sharm el-Sheikh.

    However, it is not clear how many will attend the gathering - or whether she will have completed the deal by then.

  • 27th February

  • Downing Street is trying to head off a potential Tory Remainer mutiny by promising MPs will get another set of votes by this date regardless of whether there is a final deal.

  • 21-22nd March

  • The PM will attend a scheduled EU summit in Brussels that would effectively be the last opportunity to get agreement.

    Some MPs fear that Mrs May is trying to delay for as long as possible, and might even try to hold a make-or-break vote in the Commons on March 26. That would be just 72 hours before Brexit, giving them a very stark deal-or-no-deal choice.

  • 11pm, 29th March

  • The UK is due to leave the EU with or without a deal, unless the Article 50 process is extended with approval from the bloc's leaders, or revoked to cancel Brexit altogether.

THE BREXIT PARTY: Formed To Protect The Tory Establishment - by Kris Hicks, Director Of Communications for UKIP

(10/2/19) The Brexit Party is an electoral vehicle for Nigel Farage and friends. With bridges burned with UKIP, Mr Farage had nowhere to go in the event of a delayed Brexit, and another European Parliament election. Et voilà, the Brexit Party. Read the full post in Politicalite
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