Isn’t this an interesting basis for a story

EU fears Theresa May ‘will not be able to uphold Brexit pledges’

Has Barnier been telling things? Jean-Claude indiscreet over the brandy? Do tell:

Brussels fears an enfeebled Theresa May will not be able to stand by any pledges she makes in this week’s major speech on Brexit but has dismissed Boris Johnson’s intervention as an irrelevance, according to the shadow Brexit secretary.

Err, no. Keir Starmer is mouthing off about what his domestic opponent is about to do. If she doesn’t do what he thinks should be done therefore…..

This is of the teenage gossip circuit type stuff, “Mandy’s shagging Wayne” in order to get Shirleen, Wayne’s acknowledged squeeze, to dump him so that Jazzelia, the origin of the gossip expedition, can subsequently hook up with Wayne who she really fancies, y’know?

And just look at the accompanying photograph:

Yes, yes, I’m very concerned and so is Jeremy, it is more in sorrow than in anger cont. pg 94

Don’t you just want to slap that with a wet conger eel?

Limerick Time!

There was a young man from Whitehall
Who said “Please don’t waffle and stall!
You have to believe
Our decision is Leave
So we’ll go, and we’ll pay you fuck all.”

CJ Nerd

Other contributions are welcome….

Ain’t this a bio?

Jon Bloomfield is an Honorary Research Fellow at
the University of Birmingham and a policy
specialist on Europe. For ten years he was Head of
Birmingham City Council’s European Division;
then responsible for European affairs at the West
Midlands Regional Development Agency.
Currently, he advises Europe’s largest climate
change programme. Previously he was on the
Editorial board of Marxism Today and a supporter
of Charter 77.

Having done nothing useful all his life he’d like to pontificate……

Basically, four broad options are available to
the country: the hard Right’s favourite of the
UK as a lightly-regulated, offshore tax haven
to Europe with a renewed, subordinate
relationship with the United States; reversing
the referendum decision now, as argued by
some; a go-it-alone ‘Keynesianism/socialism
in one country’, favoured by the nationalist
Left; or a new cooperation arrangement
between the UK and the European Union,
colloquially referred to as ‘soft Brexit’. This
article examines those options and argues from
a Left-wing perspective the case for the latter.

Rilly? I’ve spent my life having meetings about the EU. Lord forbid that spending a life having meetings about the EU should stop being a well paid profession.

Well, yes

There are lies, damned lies and Boris Johnson’s weasel sums.

By no honest calculation can Britain’s net payment to the European Union be estimated as £350m a week. Nigel Farage admits it. So does the Daily Mail.

Even Johnson admits it. In his “glorious Brexit” essay in the Daily Telegraph last Friday the foreign secretary said that we would “take back control” of roughly £350m a week when we leave the EU.

Imagine, as is in fact roughly true, that we send £350 million a week off and half of that is spent back upon us. Leaving means that sure, our net position is half of the £350 million. But our control is over how the whole £350 million is spent now, isn’t it? Instead of the EU controlling how half of it is spent.

It is Pierre, it already is

TALLINN (Reuters) – The European Commission will prepare in the coming days a list of legal options on how to make digital multinationals, like Google and Facebook, pay more tax, the commissioner responsible for taxation said on Friday.

“The digital economy should be taxed as the rest of the economy,” Pierre Moscovici told reporters upon his arrival to a meeting of euro zone and EU finance ministers in Tallinn, the Estonian capital, which will discuss the taxation of the digital economy on a session on Saturday.

And introducing a new method of taxing them will mean that they are not taxed like the rest of the economy, won’t it?

Deary Lordy Me

The most immediate battle facing Theresa May’s government is securing comprehensive parliamentary approval for its “great repeal bill”, which transfers all EU laws and regulations into UK law. Although the House of Commons this week gave assent to the first stage of this unprecedentedly complex and detailed legislation it still faces serious challenges in the final stages of the bill’s approval.

It’s actually a blindingly simple piece of legislation. “All EU derived law is now UK derived” and that’s pretty much it.

But then we should never expect a connection between John Palmer and reality when discussing the EU.

There are clear signs that the political mood in the EU is changing: austerity is being rejected and there is a new emphasis on the need for a Europe-wide economic stimulus programme to boost investment recovery


Rilly? They’re not about to change those rules you know, 3% budget deficits, no monetisation of spending and all that…..

Arch Remoaner leaks over Brexit

Brussels shows no interest in finding “long-term solutions” to Brexit and could ignore the interests of European Union business, a leaked memo to financial leaders has warned.

There is just a “one per cent” chance of the EU agreeing to start discussing a trade deal in October as the UK wants, according to a source quoted in the note.

There is also no appetite for creating a “bespoke” transition deal that will allow Britain to retain the benefits of EU membership for years after formally leaving, it is warned.

The “sobering” analysis is contained in a 1,200 word memo from Jeremy Browne, the special representative for the City of London to the EU, which has been leaked to this newspaper.

Yes, that’s the ex-Lib Dem MP….

What he’s describing is of course the attitude from the EU bureaucracy…

No Jonathan, no

It’s the contradictions, which are legion. We did this supposedly to stop sending money to the EU, yet now we’re negotiating over how many tens of billions we’ll pay into Brussels coffers (this time getting nothing in return).

It’s not a divorce bill. As the EU itself says, it’ what we have already agreed to pay. It is what we would pay if we stayed in.

Umm, really?

EU policymakers and officials are returning to their desks with a spring in their step. This summer has seen the ‘Brexit effect’ quietly gathering momentum, so much so that it’s shaping into one of the most spectacular own-goals of European history, on a par with Germany’s Third Reich or the Russian Revolution.

Some Brussels think tank or other.

Yes, this is all very lovely Manny but…..

Emmanuel Macron will make Greece the launchpad for a major policy speech on the future of Europe as he starts his first official trip to the country on Thursday.

From the dramatic setting of the ancient Pnyx in Athens, the French president is expected to outline his vision for the continent in what is being called his most important overseas address since taking office in May.

Amid the rocky hills of the Pnyx beneath the Acropolis, the speech will focus on the virtues of democracy as the European Union – and Greece – finally show signs of economic revival.

“It will be a message of confidence in Greece but also a European symbolic message, given that in many ways Greece has been a symbol of Europe’s crisis,” said an Élysée Palace source. “The restart of Greece is the restart of the eurozone.”

The very existence of the eurozone was and is the Greek problem.

That the place went bust, eh, tant pis, it’s been that for 50% of its time as an independent nation. That a decade later GDP is still down by 25% is the fault of the euro. Just as St. Milton pinned the 1930’s debacle in the US on the Federal Reserve. The crash might well have been fiscal, the continued depression is bad monetary policy.

So, what are you going to do about it?

Analysts say Greece is vital to Paris’s long-term goal of forming alliances in Europe’s southern periphery that would ultimately enhance its leadership role in the Mediterranean and recalibrate the Franco-German axis. “France will at some point talk to Germany about the division of labour inside Europe,” said Dr Thanos Dokos, who directs the Greek thinktank Eliamep. “It is the only EU country with the capacity to project military power outside Europe, which gives it a comparative advantage in Europe’s southern neighbourhood.”

Ah, grand Napoleonic designs and sod the economics then is it?


We must also make it clear that this national renewal should begin with a new constitutional settlement. A federal state with far greater devolution of power and financial autonomy to the nations and city regions. The new cadre of elected mayors should have a leading role in developing trading, cultural and educational partnerships with their counterparts across the world. As Andy Burnham has argued, it would be a fundamental misreading of the referendum result to believe people voted to take back control from Brussels simply to give it all to Westminster.

So we’re leaving the EU in order to impose the EU method of government, by those euro-regions, then, yes?

Some advice for Charlie Tunnock

A pro-EU Tory politician has secured an Irish passport over his disgust about Brexit, saying he is “ashamed to be British in many ways”.

Conservative MEP Charles Tannock has confirmed he obtained the Irish passport because his grandmother was born in Dublin.

The representative for London in the European parliament is one of thousands of British people who have been applying for Irish passports since the UK voted to leave the EU last year.

He said his interest in his Irish heritage “has been awakened by Brexit because, to be honest, I am quite ashamed to be British in many ways”.

Tannock told the Irish Times on Monday he was a “pretty angry pro-European Tory” who was strongly opposed to Brexit and had sought out a European passport – in his case an Irish one.

That advice being that you should probably try to gain an Irish seat really….

Well, yes, no doubt

But the question is, do we want to?

People who voted for Brexit made a “stupid” decision which could still be reversed by the British public, one of the EU’s most powerful officials said yesterday.

Martin Selmayr, chief of staff to the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said it was “legally” possible for the UK to reverse its decision to leave.

It could, of course, be true that we don’t like the EU’s usual insistence on repeating votes until the “right” answer is reached…..

I’m probably reading too much into this but maybe not

In a tense press conference alongside his British counterpart David Davis after the third round of exit talks in Brussels, Michel Barnier was scathing about the UK’s approach to the financial settlement, citizens’ rights and hopes for future access to the single market.

He said some of the recent British proposals showed “a sort of nostalgia in the form of specific requests which would amount to continuing to enjoy the benefits of the single market and EU membership without actually being part of it”.

His remarks drew an acid response from Davis, the UK’s Brexit secretary, who remarked that Barnier should not “confuse a belief in the free market with nostalgia”.

Over there (or, to me, over here) one can read the attitude as that free trade is some great privilege, some prize for which a toll should and must be paid to the bureaucracy. Over here (or, me, there) at least among the sensible free trade is the natural order of things and why wouldn’t everyone want it anyway, whatever the bureaucracy?

Thus some of the incomprehension here.

Of course, if that analysis is correct then we’ve really got to leave. Who wants to be run by people so wrong on something so basic?

The EU’s financial demands

Sources for quantifying the obligations at the date of withdrawal:
The amounts for items (1), (3) and (4) should be extracted from the consolidated accounts of the
Union established at the time of withdrawal and audited by the Court of Auditors.

How many decades is it since the Court signed off on the audit?

Diplomacy is like honour

Brexit talks are unlikely to move ahead as planned in October because the British government is seen as weak, divided and unwilling to accept the full consequences of the decision to leave the EU, according to European ambassadors.

“It was the plan to advance to a new phase of negotiations in October,” Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, Germany’s ambassador to France and previously chief European affairs adviser to the chancellor, Angela Merkel, told an audience in Paris on Tuesday.

“Honestly, from what we see of the UK’s positions today we will not be moving to the next phase in October. To be clear: the crisis in these talks is not behind us but ahead of us. I don’t know when it will come, or what its outcome will be.”

Speaking at France’s annual ambassadors’ week, Meyer-Landrut said London appeared to be having “real difficulty in positioning itself collectively, as a government and a parliament, with regard to the substance of certain questions”.

A third round of Brexit talks began in Brussels this week with the UK eager to move quickly on to discussing its future relationship with the bloc but the EU27 are insisting sufficient progress must first be made on three key divorce issues.

Pierre Sellal, France’s ambassador to the EU, said that seen from Brussels, the picture the UK gave was one of “confusion and hesitation”, while the remaining member states showed “clarity, unity … a certain degree of serenity”.

As with talking of honour and counting the spoons. Translated into vernacular this means that the Brits are reasonably united and the rest are fighting like cats in a sack.

We should remember that a diplomat is someone sent abroad to lie for his country.

They’re damn right to be affronted

EU Brexit negotiators were left “flabbergasted” after their British counterparts launched a legal deconstruction of the so-called “Brexit bill” Wednesday as the Brussels talks headed for an increasingly acrimonious impasse, EU sources have told The Telegraph.

British negotiators spent three hours launching a painstaking, line-by-line rebuttal of the EU’s demands for €100bn divorce settlement to the barely concealed fury of EU negotiators.

“There was total amazement,” the EU source said, “Everyone was completely flabbergasted that this young man from Whitehall was saying that the EU’s preparation on the financial settlement was ‘inadequate’. It did not go down well.”

Given that the EU doesn’t in fact operate on the rule of law then how impertinent of someone to start to insist upon it.

Being different for the sake of being different

Labour is to announce a dramatic policy shift by backing continued membership of the EU single market beyond March 2019, when Britain leaves the EU, establishing a clear dividing line with the Tories on Brexit for the first time.

In a move that positions it decisively as the party of “soft Brexit”, Labour will support full participation in the single market and customs union during a lengthy “transitional period” that it believes could last between two and four years after the day of departure, it is to announce on Sunday.

Doesn’t actually change much, does it?