New year update from Europe

Missy has an update from the first week of the new year  in Europe.

Good Morning (Evening for me) and Happy New Year YNZers.

Well, if anyone thought the first week of the year would be quiet over here they were certainly wrong. 2017 will certainly be an historic year in European politics.


Germany, France, Hungary and Slovenia all have Presidential elections.

Merkel is facing problems in Germany, but may squeak through if she can form a coalition, however another terrorist attack may swing the pendulum against her, but I am hopeful not so far as to bring in a far right leader.

In France, whilst Le Pen may get through the first round, she is not expected to prevail in the Presidential elections, but again I don’t think it will take much for her to be more of a threat than many think.

I don’t know enough about the Hungary or Slovenian candidates, so am not sure how much of a threat to the EU they will pose.

Article 50 is expected to be invoked by the end of March, however Theresa May faces some hurdles as a group of rich and powerful persons (I believe led by Tony Blair) are planning everything possible to stop it. I will go into more about that shortly.

UK Labour (well Jeremy Corbyn really):

The usual really, however, a couple of interesting ‘gossip’ stories (normal for this time of year). First, it has been reported that apparently Corbyn doesn’t talk policy or strategy with his deputy leader, a sore point but it has also fuelled speculation Corbyn will replace his deputy, Tom Watson, before the end of the year.

On Corbyn he has been heavily criticised for siding with a union leader who has been directing a series of strikes by workers of one of the Rail companies. The strikes have caused a lot of misery to commuters from out of London over the last year, and for some resulted in job losses, or not being considered for jobs, or missing out on interviews, due to their ability to get to work in London being unreliable.

Also on Corbyn and unions, Len Mccluskey has hinted that if polls don’t approve Corbyn could step down before the 2020 election, some are seeing this as McClusky not supporting Corbyn, but others are seeing it as being an indication that Corbyn will do what is best for Labour.


In January the Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether Theresa May needs parliamentary approval – or can use Royal Perogative – to trigger Article 50. This could pose a potential obstacle in that if it goes to House of Lords they could potentially vote against it, the Lords are generally pro EU, however, this will cause a power struggle as the House of Lords have been warned that if they defy the Brexit vote there will be radical changes which could diminish their power.

The UK EU Ambassador resigned last night. His resignation letter was leaked to the media, and in it he heavily criticised the Government and apparently referred to them as having ‘muddled thinking’.

Some see this as a betrayal, as a Civil Servant he should not be leaking any information, and he has been accused as being the one behind other leaks about how unprepared the Government are for Brexit.

Some say that this is sour grapes about the fact he has not been kept in the loop about the discussions. And lastly others say this is an opportunity to put a pro-Brexit person into the role, (Nigel Farage was advocated earlier today), however, a career diplomat has been appointed, and he may be a good choice as he has apparently stared down Putin!

Well, here is to an interesting 2017, and all going well the beginning of Brexit.


  1. Gezza

     /  January 5, 2017

    Tony Blair is an Ahole. He should be in prison for War Crimes, not running around making more trouble.

    • Missy

       /  January 5, 2017

      General opinion of most here in the UK! I am not sure how successful he will be, it is possible there group could lose support from all but the most hardcore EU sycophants with Blair in charge.