Brexit: Theresa May is now looking like another disaster

From Missy:


As reported yesterday Theresa May did a quick trip to Strasbourg to meet with Juncker (other EU Presidents were also in attendance, along with their Brexit team). At the end of the meeting an agreement was made, and this came out in two statements – one a joint statement, and the second a unilateral statement by May.

Theresa May’s statement outlined what the UK’s understanding of the backstop was, that it is temporary and not a permanent solution. May’s statement also says that if the EU fails to come to an agreement to remove the backstop, then the UK would consider that the backstop had become de facto permanent. This means the UK will have the right to take the EU to the joint arbitration mechanism, it does not mean the UK has a unilateral exit mechanism, nor does it provide a fixed time limit – the two things the House of Commons asked May to try and get if she could not get the backstop removed.

The joint instrument is an 18 point statement which clarifies the commitments both sides make to each other, without changing the Withdrawal Agreement. this interprets how the EU and UK would handle the backstop if it ever came into force. This agreement contains legally binding assurances as opposed to being part of the Withdrawal Agreement, and falls short of what some want.

This morning the Brexit supporting MPs were cautious about the agreements reached last night, all saying they wanted time to read, digest, and analyse the agreement, some stating they would wait for the Attorney General’s legal advice on it before making a decision, and many in the ERG saying they will defer a decision until they had spoken to the DUP.

The AG’s advice was published at around 1130 this morning, and states that the agreement does not change anything as the UK could still find itself trapped in the backstop with no way out. The DUP and Brexiteers have rejected the agreement based on the AG’s advice.

What was looking hopeful this morning for Theresa May is now looking like another disaster for her in the Commons, with some MPs saying she cannot stay in position if she loses again and others saying she needs to call a General Election when she loses the vote. The vote is set down for 7.00pm tonight.


Brexit, EU, party disarray and Chilcott

An update on Brexit, parties in disarray and the Chilcott report from Missy:


Brexit:

The fallout continues. There are reports that Merkel is moving to oust Jean-Claude Juncker in the next 12 months. Juncture is the European Commission president, and one of 5 presidents in the EU. Some EU leaders – notably Poland and Czech Republic – have blamed Juncker for the Brexit vote and the UK planning to leave.

On Juncker, he has been decidedly unstatesman like, and ungracious, since the vote, and he has been trying to bully the UK into invoking Article 50 on his time line, he has also threatened other members about talking to the UK informally.

A little background on him (that I know), he is a former leader of Luxembourg, and was apparently instrumental in setting Luxembourg up as a tax haven within the EU – possibly one of the reasons that tax reform in the EU has not been a high priority under his tenure.

He is also well known as a drunk, who gets a little over friendly when he has been drinking – there are a number of incidences that have been reported of bizarre behaviour from him after lunch (and a number of drinks).

Conservative Party:

This is pretty much as expected. Now the leadership candidates have declared, the mudslinging has started – mostly aimed at Gove and his betrayal of Johnson. Theresa May is still the favourite, but Andrea Leadsom is certainly a strong contender. Leadsom has said that Nigel Farage should be included in the negotiating team for Brexit – not something that I imagine will go down well.

Both May and Leadsom appear to be positioning themselves as the next Maggie.

Labour Party:

To be honest this is where the more interesting stuff is happening at the moment. Corbyn continues to hang on, despite a video coming out at the weekend of him joking with the activist who allegedly made an anti-semitic attack on a Labour MP.

The video also shows Corbyn saying he had texted the activist – possibly in relation to the attack on the MP. There is a theory that Corbyn is hanging on so that he can savage Tony Blair this week after the release of the Chilcott report.

It is interesting that many in the Labour party have criticised the MP’s who voted against Corbyn, as having no respect for democracy, yet these same people want the referendum result overturned. It shows their hypocrisy so well – they only like democracy when it suits them.

Chilcott Report:

The report into the Iraq War and claims by the Government around the weapons of mass destruction is to be released this Wednesday morning London time. The report is expected (by opponents) to villify Tony Blair and say he took the UK into the war illegally.

As stated above, this is rumoured to be one of the reasons that Corbyn refuses to resign at the moment, he sees this as his big moment – being able to criticise Blair, and take the moral high ground in apologising for Labour’s role in the war.

A more controversial aspect of this report is the fact that the ICC have stated they will be going over it to see if there is any evidence they can use to prosecute British soldiers, but they have stated they will not be investigating, or prosecuting, Tony Blair – or (so I understand) anyone from Government. So once again the soldiers take the rap for the decisions of the politicians.

Source: Missy in the UK