Commentary on Brexit & Political News


EU27 Agree Extension

Last night the press waited with bated breath for the decision of the European Council’s decision at the Brexit Summit, whether the UK would be granted an extension – and for how long.

It seemed almost certain that a delay to Article 50 would be granted – but no one got the date right. Angela Merkel seemed to be pushing for either the end of December 2019 or the end of March 2020; whilst President Macron of France seemed to determined to make the process as difficult for the UK as possible. And why shouldn’t he, with comments from people like Jacob Reese-Mogg and Mark Francois suggesting we should screw the EU over until they reopened the backstop negotiations – that’s not compromise, that’s just bullying.

And that’s what the EU 27 Council proved – compromise is possible – whilst our political parties and politicians pull each other apart, Merkel and Macron agreed to October 31st. Whilst one is reminded of the words of George Osborn after Theresa May’s disasterous performance that she was a dead prime-minister walking it seems appropriate that Theresa May would finish the withdrawal process, and in all liklihood her priministership on Halloween.

The one thing that seems to remain unclear is what exactly the six month period will do – Michael Barnier warned prior to the EU Council meeting that any Brexit extension must be useful and serve a purpose – but what that purpose is remains unclear, unless that condition was dropped.

General Election, Second Referendum, New Prime Minister?

But its not so simple, is it? At the moment, you have the spitting feather brexiters trying to oust Ms May, they’re currently trying to rewrite the Conservative Party consitution, which requires 10,000 signatures, signifcantly less than the 16,141,241 people that voted to remain in the EU in 2016, a difference of just under 1.3 million between Leave and Remain). And that difference is going to become a key sticking point going forward.

As of January 2019 “...if not a single voter in the referendum two years ago changes their mind, enough mainly Leave voters will have died, and enough mainly Remain voters will have reached voting age, to wipe out the Leave majority achieved in June 2016.” So going forward it looks certain tha proponents of a second referendum will pump more time into seeking the will of the people, again.

In theory another General Election could be around the corner – Brexit being a dominant issue; but all the recent bi-elections accross the UK show that support for the three main parties hasn’t really changed, despite what the SNP might claim – it seems more likely that more people will boycott a Second Referendum than will vote in it. If as Robert Peston thinks the Conservatives do oust May, and become the No-Deal Brexit Party, Labours reaction maybe to become the second referendum party.

I am not convinced of that, but thats what some pundits are claiming. Six months seems just about long enough to have a second referendum followed by a General Election (or the other way around) – if we’re being tight with the timings; however, it seems likely that May will continue until Halloween and any Second Referendum or General Election would occur probably between August and early October.

That’s all dependant on Theresa May remaining Prime Minister – which is probably a better prospect for the country than other Conservative MPs.

Tory Interests

Whilst Jeremy Hunt believes that if the Conservatives don’t delivery Brexit, at the ballot box they will be destroyed – and he might be right. But his focus as is just every Conservative Politician has been focused on the Conservative Party not the UK as a whole. That may be where Theresa May has been different. Previously she has tried to appease her arc-Brexiteers, obviously that hasn’t worked. Now she is seemingly earnestly discussing alternatives and negotiating in what appears to be a genuine desire to compromise,.

If you believe the Main Stream Media, these negotiations appear to have broken down several times; have stopped; been holted and broken up. At least three times a day since they started just over a week ago, again if you trust the MSM. But in actuality they seem to be continuing, in fairly good faith.

Yes it may politically be a little two late for Theresa May, but that’s the way Party politics works. The reach accross the aisle and bi-partisanship is very much for individual members, and not a principle of UK Party Politics – however much the numbers should support that.

It is difficult to not see how the Conservatives have over the last decade only served their own interests; how Osborne’s Budgets (written by Matthew Hancock) underlined the necessity of austerity, which has according to the UN’s special report directly resulted in over 200,000 deaths; and further more was considered by that same report to be a political choice. A Conservative Party & Government made a political choice that has directly resulted in the deaths of 200,000 UK Citizens – if that does not shock you, or make you realise that the Conservatives serve themselves and their friends; and however much you earn, you will never trully be “one of them” – then nothing will.

Will we ever leave the EU?

Whilst my desire for remain is known, I believe democracy needs to triumph through a confirmatory referendum using preferential voting, requiring only ballots cast with a 1st and 2nd options minimum to be counted, and four options – No Deal; May’s Deal; Remain; None of the Above.

However, Kate Adler, the BBC European Editor; has suggested that the UK would have to remain in the EU for the length of the EU Parliamentary Term – if the UK runs candidates in the EU Parliamentary Elections in May 2019.

Whilst there is some merit to this argument; it seems unlikely, there is arguably no reason, that I am aware of, that the EU could not run by-elections if the UK were to leave part-way through a term.

Or that during the upcoming EU Elections the candidates who sit in ‘extra’ seats (which won’t technically exist until the UK leaves) could run, win, and then once the UK leaves take up their spot in the EU Parliament.

Of course if the UK runs candidates in the EU Parliamentary Elections in May 2019 – there will be more pressure to stay or at least more pressure on the Prime Minister to run that Confirmatory Referendum.

Second Homes Expenses Scandal

Also in the news over the last few days, which has been broken by the Mirror, is the new expenses scandal – this one not about duck houses, but about proffiteering by MPs using the public expenses to purchases second London properties, renting out their first London property (suggesting they don’t need two houses in London) – but there’s more in the Mirror about this, and I’m yet to see this reported anywhere else (other than the Express), perhaps because Brexit is dominating broadsheet, tabloid and television media like there’s no tomorrow.

Whilst the reports make clear that there is no rules being broken; it seems that this flipping and renting second homes at the tax payers expense will not help MPs regain trust, considering many of these claims date back to the time of the last expenses scandal – and continue through to fairly recently.

MPs involved in the Scandal include Conservative’s Michael Gove; Liam Fox; John Bercow; Philip Davies; Robert Goodwill; Owen Paterson as well as Labour MPs David Crausby; and Chris Bryant. There are, according to the Mirror, around 170 MPs involved. The Labour Party, according to the Mirror, is the only party investigating their own MPs, and making calls for a change to the system.

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