Brings tears to my eyes Polly, tears to my eyes

Off we go, headlong downhill, off piste, our Eddie the Eagle Brexit negotiators tumbling down towards a great crevasse. Far from “taking back control”, as Theresa May sends off our suicide letter on Wednesday, we will abandon all control as we place ourselves at the mercy of the goodwill or otherwise of each of the EU 27.

“We won, job done,” declared Douglas Carswell, and he’s right. The most extreme Brexiteers have so far won the day, light years distant from the softly reassuring arguments Vote Leave made before the referendum. Their promises are all broken already, as the Ukip wing of the Conservative party has captured the prime minister.

…..of joy, of course.

Nick Herbert doesn’t get it

The British trajectory towards certain departure was sealed by a Conservative party leadership contest that demanded its victor signed up to full-blooded Brexit. But the failure was Europe’s too. At first reacting in disbelief, Europe then behaved as a partner scorned. Well, then – go, it said. But you can’t expect to keep the house and the car, and there’ll be a price for this selfish separation.

Just as Europe’s unwillingness to compromise had denied David Cameron the extent of renegotiation he needed, so costing him the referendum, it would deny the possibility of change after the vote. The smart move by Brussels after the result last June would have been to propose continuing membership for Britain while allowing us to check free movement. After all, we will now control our borders anyway. Better to do so inside the club than outside.

A different prime minister – perhaps Boris Johnson – with a different leader in Europe – Nicolas Sarkozy, perhaps – might have renegotiated after the referendum. Britain, already with the special status of being outside the eurozone, could perfectly well also have been apart from free movement too – able to control migration but otherwise a full member of the EU. The British people would have got what most of them wanted: to be in the market but in control of our borders.

If they’re idiots who cannot do the sensible thing then we should leave, right?

I like this idea

One Conservative backbencher, Peter Bone, was only half-heartedly dismissed by Theresa May when he claimed instead that the EU actually owes Britain £184bn, which is a full refund of its total net contributions since joining in 1973.

It’s not a very serious idea, sure, but I like it. Given that all that money has only been pissed away how about we extract it from the assets of those who did the pissing away? The entire political class of Europe into debt bondage for a century say?

OK, still only a fraction of the money but fun, eh?

Good

Theresa May is expected to announce within weeks that the UK will reclaim its waters for British fishermen by pulling out of a deal that pre-dates the EU.

The Prime Minister will take Britain out of the 1964 London convention which allows European fishing vessels to access waters six to twelve nautical miles from British shores.

No so much because of this specific thing, but because it means we’re going to kill the Common Fisheries Policy.

That CFP which is among the most idiot things the EU has come up with, right up there with the euro.

I’ve not been following this but isn’t this fake science?

The world’s most widely used insecticides would be banned from all fields across Europe under draft regulations from the European commission, seen by the Guardian.

The documents are the first indication that the powerful commission wants a complete ban and cite “high acute risks to bees”. A ban could be in place this year if the proposals are approved by a majority of EU member states.

Bees and other pollinators are vital for many food crops but have been declining for decades due to habitat loss, disease and pesticide use. The insecticides, called neonicotinoids, have been in use for over 20 years and have been linked to serious harm in bees.

But whether it’s fake science or not this is entirely ridiculous:

There is a strong scientific consensus that bees are exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides in fields and suffer serious harm from the doses they receive. There is only a little evidence to date that this harm ultimately leads to falls in overall bee populations, though results from major field trials are expected soon.

However, the European commission (EC) has decided to move towards implementing a complete ban now,

Ban before the results of the trials? Now that is fake…..

Democracy is that the people get what the people want, isn’t it?

Many Britons are taking an ambitious approach to the sort of Brexit they want, with significant majorities seeking both a tough approach to EU migration and continued free trade with Europe, a study has found.

The research from the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) said more than two-thirds of participants overall wanted to see arrivals from the EU treated under the same rules as people coming from non-EU nations.

However, it discovered (pdf), 88% of people also wanted free trade with the EU post-Brexit, while more than 60% supported the continuation of passporting for banks, allowing barrier-free financial transactions and transfers.

Why shouldn’t the people get it, good and hard?

Or, as it turns out, the British people seem to want that free trade area they were told they were going to get and not the European nation that the federasts want.

This will be interesting

Britain will be threatened with court action by the EU if it tries to walk away without paying a £50 billion “divorce bill”, leaked papers reveal.

A draft copy of the EU’s negotiating strategy for the forthcoming Brexit talks discusses taking Britain to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

It quotes an official as saying that if Britain refuses to pay, “in that case it is, see you in The Hague!”

Because courts go by what is in he law, not what is in the politics.

The worst result that could possibly happen is that we have to pay what we actually do have to pay. And you do have to wonder about the EU. How is that a threat?

News just in

We hate the Frogs more than we love the Scots:

Brexit is more important to voters than keeping the United Kingdom together, an opinion poll for The Telegraph has indicated.

Sixty per cent of respondents agreed that Britain’s EU departure mattered more than stopping the UK’s break-up, while just 27 per cent disagreed.

Furthermore a majority of people said they would still vote for Brexit even if they knew it could trigger Scotland’s independence.

But there is a plan

Theresa May has been accused by a powerful parliamentary committee of putting the national interest at risk by failing to prepare for the “real prospect” that two years of Brexit negotiations could end with no deal.

The worst that can happen is a reversion to WTO terms. This makes us richer – as long as we do the other half of the Minford plan, unilateral free trade.

Thus the worst no deal result is a good one. Which means that the only deals we should even consider are ones that produce a better result than that. Over to you Brussels.

If the Federasts want to offer citizenship lite then why not?

Despite Brexit, and the often tone-deaf nature of the current government’s diplomacy, it is heartening that senior European politicians remain committed to British people having a close relationship with Europe in the future. That is why Guy Verhofstadt’s comments, supporting the rights of British citizens to retain some of the advantages of our European Union membership, are welcome. The government should respond positively, demonstrate its commitment to negotiating in good faith and with goodwill and see how important it is that both parliamentarians and the public should be fully involved in the Brexit process.

Being a citizen of the EU brings tangible benefits. It allows Britons to move easily to mainland Europe and between European countries, be it for work, study or pleasure. More than a million of our fellow citizens have done so, from those who have retired in Spain to tech entrepreneurs in Berlin. Services such as the European health insurance card guarantee free medical treatment for Britons who fall ill in another European country. The open skies policy and the near-abolition of roaming charges have made the European continent a smaller place. And of course the EU’s economic foundations – the single market, customs union, funding for universities and poorer regions – have made us all better off, creating millions of jobs in Britain through free trade with the world’s largest market.

Super, what Verhofstadt said is that there should, could, be some mechanism by which those individuals who wanted this citizenship of the EU lite should be able to claim it. And why not?

The objection to the EU is not that people get to choose from a thoroughly liberal palette of choices about how they wish to live their lives. Rather, that the EU comes as a single bundle of no choices in it at all mate.

It’s also sod all to do with the UK government. We’ve never insisted that people must claim UK and UK citizenship only. We do insist that if it is claimed then it is lived up to but no more than that.

So, let those who wish to join with the federasts do so. Let those who do not not. There is nothing at all wrong with people having more choice in this world.

This leaves rather a lot in play in the negotiations, doesn’t it?

The UK could walk away from the European Union in 2019 without paying a penny, the House of Lords has said, in a report bound to raise tensions with Brussels in the run-up to Brexit talks.

The British government would have no legal obligation to either pay a €60bn (£52bn) Brexit bill mooted by the European commission or honour payments into the EU budget promised by the former prime minister David Cameron, according to analysis by the House of Lords EU financial affairs sub-committee.

No, Goodbye

EU member states are backing a European commission demand that trade talks can only start once Britain has agreed to pay a hefty Brexit bill, despite fears of a backlash from Theresa May.

The Czech Republic has joined Germany, Italy and France in insisting the UK must come to an arrangement on the divorce settlement, expected to come to about €60bn (£50bn), before any substantive negotiations on a future relationship.

We get to leave, whatever they say. Worst possible terms are WTO, terms we can live with happily. That is, WTO is the default without agreement.

Sure, there are things we desire but perhaps not £60 billion worth. Thus it is all up for negotiation, we don’t have to agree to pay first.

That unbreakable position

Emmanuel Macron has warned British leaders that the UK can expect no concessions in Brexit negotiations if he is elected French president, vowing to take a rigid line on access to the EU’s single market and the powers of the European Court.

Macron, a frontrunner in France’s increasingly fraught presidential race, stood on the steps of Downing Street and also vowed to lure bankers and talented professionals from Britain.

Mr Macron vowed to push for an unbreakable “Franco-German position” to defend the collective interests of the EU, presumably to prevent the UK trying to split off countries as talks drag on. He would ensure that British withdrawal from the union is fully compliant with the strict terms of EU treaty law.

That Franco German position being the French get to spend the Germans pay because guilt, right?

Appropriate really

The Star-Spangled Banner looked more starry than usual during one of US Vice President Mike Pence’s appearances in Brussels.

A background picture of the American flag that went up alongside the European Union flag as Mr Pence and EU leader Donald Tusk spoke on Monday had 51 stars instead of the usual 50, one for each state.

We are joining them after we bugger off, aren’t we?

But what’s actually amusing about it is, well, where in buggery do you get one with the extra star anyway?

Not really the way it works matey

The European Commission wants Britain to be paying into EU projects for four years after it has signed a Brexit deal, with final payments continuing up until the end of 2023, the Daily Telegraph has learned.

The plan is part of a European Union demand that Britain settles a €60bn “Brexit bill” before being granted a deal that will govern future trade relations.
..
The aim of the payments would be to help smooth over the €10bn-a-year black hole left in the EU budgets by Britain’s departure from the EU, which could see richer countries like Germany and France paying more, or poorer countries, like Poland and Hungary receiving less.

No, our bill isn’t determined by your post-our-departure budget.

Yes, we know this

More than 20 peers expected to force changes to the Brexit Bill this week are still earning tens of thousands of pounds from Brussels, it can be revealed.

Lord Mandelson, Labour’s former communications director, Lord Kinnock, the party’s former leader, and Lord Patten, who served in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, all still receive EU pensions.

Many other former MEPs and European commissioners are also receiving payouts from a Brussels pension pot estimated to be worth £10 million.

And it’s scandalous. They don’t even have to declare their interest when they speak.