Archive for the ‘EU’ Category

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – THURSDAY 21ST FEBRUARY 2019

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – THURSDAY 21ST FEBRUARY 2019

Ed: I apologise to all of you who have sent in letters in the last couple of weeks. Sadly, their letters weren’t published because I was absent due to illness.  As you all – letter writers and readers – know, events are moving fast and our small editorial crew of volunteers at INDEPENDENCE Daily is working flat out to keep up. So I hope for your understanding when I have to tell you that we cannot acknowledge receipt of your letters as we used to, nor can we alert you that your letter has been published. Please check the daily issues of INDEPENDENCE Daily for the “Letters” column! We are going to do our best to publish your letters as we can, in a fashion that reflects the ongoing events. I am sorry that so many of you will be disappointed not seeing their letters published – please keep writing and sending them in, they will all be read!

Sir.

What do many of the Labour and Tory defectors have in common? They are happy to see us enslaved to the E.U. rulebook. They were all elected on a Manifesto which undertook to respect the outcome of the referendum, but they are reneging on that. The 17.4m who voted to leave will show them little mercy when they next go to the ballot box.

Respectfully, Mr. King

 

~~~   OOO ~~~

 

Sir,

We’ve got them on the run….

Has anyone got the feeling over the last week or so that there really IS  a sense of change in the air? We have had Sajid Javid, a Muslim Home Secretary, stand up and risk his political future and condemnation by his own community by refusing entry to ‘The ISIS Bride’ . We have had the defections of hard-Remainer MPs from both the Labour and Conservative back benches into the Poundland Lib Dem ‘Independence Group’ and the retreat – or at least the near invisibility-  of Corbyn and Momentum in the wake of scathing – and justified – accusations of anti-Semitic racism. Hell, we have even seen the notorious Derek ‘Degsy’ Hatton, the loathsome Militant Tendency Trot from the ‘80’s , in just a few days rejoin and then get suspended from the Labour Party.

In the meantime , the reluctant allied forces of Brexit, UKIP, Leave Means Leave , and The Brexit Party, are gaining masses of support and every single day the clock runs down to a No Deal / WTO Brexit.

I would go as far to say that we are on the offensive and winning.

I said ‘reluctant allies’, because we all know that there are some major divisions between the pro- Brexit groupings.  However now is not the time to dwell on petty differences.

We have the bastards on the run.  Whether you are potential Brexit Party, a hard line Kipper or a Leave EU campaigner we all have the common enemy, the lunatic left and the hard line Remainers to knock down in order that come 2300 hrs on the 29th of March 2019 we can all get together and share a victory pint or three.

So I say – Let’s get the job done and kick’em whilst they are down ! Let’s have no mor in-fighting for the moment, lets up and at the Left and Remain rabble and press home our democratic right as Britons to finally claim our prize on the 29th !

Once we have victory, we can make change- real change- to politics and get our beloved country back on the right course again.  So its time, ladies and gentlemen of Britain, for that Final Push.

Stick together now and lets do it !!

Respectfully, Kevin Baverstock

 

~~~   OOO ~~~

 

Sir,

Some suggest that neo-UKIP Tory MPs have taken control of the Party’s agenda, when in fact the schism is caused by MPs who want to keep us in a customs union.

To recap. 544 (84%) of MPs voted to hold a referendum and 498 (77%) of them voted to trigger Article 50.

The 17,400,000 in 408 (63%) constituencies who voted to LEAVE the EU, far outweighed the number of UKIP members, which itself never reached 100,000.

So why can’t those MPs now concentrate on getting the clean Brexit that we voted for – instead of blaming others for the mess that they helped to create?

Respectfully, Roger Arthur

 

~~~   OOO ~~~

 

Sir,

This is the Brexit position as at 15th February 2019.

There has been no significant development since my previous observation on this topic on 1 February 2019.

This being so, it has now become essential and a matter of urgency for the UK Government to take two steps with regard to its contact with the EU. First, it must formally notify the EU that in accordance with Article 50, the UK will be released from the Treaties of the EU at 11.00 p.m. UK time on Friday 29 March 2019 in the absence of any withdrawal agreement having come into force before that moment.

The second thing which must be done, in the same communication, is that the UK Government must formally propose the entry into an agreement with the EU under Article XXIV of GATT, to come into force at the same said instant.  Oversimplifying the effect of Article XXIV somewhat, it provides the UK and the EU to carry on after Brexit as if nothing had changed, for a transition period of up to 10 years, with a view to negotiating a formal Free Trade Treaty before the expiry of that period.  I do not think there is a single MP in Parliament who would vote against this.

The UK is in fact the ideal candidate for such an agreement with the EU for two immensely important reasons.  Firstly, although the EU (Withdrawal ) Act 2018 contains a vicious trap which will be avoided if these steps are taken, it also contains some critically beneficial provisions; the effect of these is to preserve the “aquis”.  This means that every single rule of EU law currently embedded in UK law now will remain wholly intact after Brexit. There is not another nation on the planet which can match this. Secondly, of course, the UK is already in a free trade agreement with the EU, which means that the change can indeed be seamless.  Everybody wins from such an agreement.

Section 5(c) of Article XXIV provides that an interim agreement of the sort described above must include a plan and schedule for the formation of the formal trade deal within a reasonable time.  For the reasons set out above, this can be done very easily if the consensual will is there. What we should suggest is that aim would be to replicate exactly the same free trade in goods and services as applies now in a formal Treaty to come into effect within a period of two years.

This is a blindingly obvious and simple way of getting everybody to agree about everything!  For Heaven’s sake, get on with it!

Respectfully, Septimus Octavius

 

The post LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – THURSDAY 21ST FEBRUARY 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

The EU has Reached a Preliminary Agreement on the Defense Budget until 2027

The EU institutions have reached a partial political agreement on the European Defense Fund, which will contribute to the strategic autonomy of the Community, the European Commission said.

The agreement reached affects the possibility for the Fund to provide support for industrial development - from research, prototype development to certification of defense products. The Fund will support collaborative research projects free of charge. Research and design will be able to receive up to 100 percent funding. The EU budget will co-finance the cost of developing prototypes by up to 20 per cent. Testing, grading and certification will have budget support of up to 80 per cent.

The fund will support projects from companies from different EU countries. If eligible, projects will be eligible for additional funding of 10%. Projects will be defined in accordance with defense objectives agreed by EU countries within the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Regional and international priorities, for example within NATO, may also be taken into account, the report says.

Only joint projects involving at least three eligible participants from at least three EU or Associated Countries will be able to use these opportunities. At least four and at most eight percent of the budget will be earmarked to strengthen the EU's long-term position in technology in the long term and defense autonomy.

Only actors established in the EU or Associated States which, moreover, do not control foreign countries or legal entities from foreign countries are eligible for funding. Subsidiaries in the EU of companies from foreign countries will, exceptionally, be eligible for funding under certain conditions, so as not to jeopardize the EU's security and defense interests.

Entities established outside the EU will not receive funding but may participate in cooperation projects. In this way, the EU does not exclude anyone from using the resources of the European Defense Fund but sets conditions for receiving funding similar to those with which EU companies face foreign markets.

The agreement reached has yet to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. The European Defense Fund will complement other EU programs with a budget of € 6.5 billion to improve the strategic transport infrastructure so that it meets NATO requirements as well as the proposed new research agenda.

YOUR DAILY BREXIT – Wednesday 20th February 2019

YOUR DAILY BREXIT – Wednesday 20th February 2019

Predictably, the ‘ISIS Bride’ story is being skilfully utilised to take our attention away from Brexit. So is  that ‘Labour Split’, that entity “The Independent Group” (TIG) – (see yesterday’s article. This is influencing Brexit – but not in the way pundits thought: not by changing majority votes in the HoC but by providing a “Project Fear” for politicians in the Tory Party. That’s in contrast to the attitude of Corbyn who is, officially, just ‘disappointed’ (see here) and having lost another of his MP to the ‘TIG’ yesterday is apparently neither here nor there.

The Tories however are now in panic mode. It’s not that some Tories (the well-known remainers Anna Soubry and Nick Boles, for example) are now allegedly plotting their own “Leave”, nor that a former Minister, Ros Altman, now in the HoL, is ‘prepared to join’ the TIGs (here, paywalled), it’s about how Ms May and her Brexit handlers are using this panic mode to push through her WA, with Backstop.

It is all rather complicated, and with the exception of the Telegraph, none of the Remain papers have taken the trouble to analyse how this is going to play out. To start with, Ms May is going to see Monsieur “the Hand of God” Juncker later today. She is hoping to ‘secure a new deal’ which is the old deal, but with a little something added to the Backstop. That little something is a codicil worked out by the Attorney General, Mr Cox of the booming, mellifluous voice. That codicil aims to impose a time limit to the backstop but not removing it, as Brexiteers demand.

Let me quote from the paywalled article in the DT:

“Last night there was growing speculation that the deal could be signed off by European leaders at an EU-Arab summit in Egypt this weekend, which the Prime Minister is now expected to attend. The Telegraph understands that Mrs May has asked Mr Cox to write to MPs once a deal is secured informing them that he has changed his legal advice on the backstop. If a deal is secured this weekend the Prime Minister could bring forward a meaningful vote as soon as next week, Government sources told The Telegraph.” (my bold)

All us highly suspicious Brexiteers note immediately that this codicil is meant to pacify the ERG Tory MPs. We don’t even know yet if the EU will agree to it, never mind learning what will actually be in it. I am very much reminded of the ‘change in legal advice’ by the then Attorney General in Blair’s Labour government which gave Blair the green light for the Iraq war. It seems the Tory Remainers in the Cabinet think what worked for Blair will work for May …

There’s more, and while it’s speculative, it is obvious to me that this is the timetable the Remainers are planning to set in motion:

“Should Parliament back her deal it would avoid the threat of mass resignations by ministers who want to support a backbench bid to force the Prime Minister to delay Brexit in the event that a deal cannot be reached. Richard Harrington, a pro-European business minister, yesterday said that Parliament would “take control” if the Prime Minister failed to secure a deal. […] Downing Street had been braced for a backlash from Eurosceptics after Cabinet was told that plans for the “Malthouse compromise” will be delayed until after Brexit.” (my bold)

You’ll notice that this is not really about ‘avoiding an extension’ – that’s what ‘delay Brexit’ means in practice. It’s about avoiding the Cooper/Boles amendment. It’s about preventing Tory remainer MPs joining the TIGs.

It is not about securing us the Brexit we voted for!

Read carefully: the Malthouse Compromise, including scrapping the Backstop, would be delayed until after we’ve signed up to the WA, to become a EU vassal forever. I do wonder if the May Cabinet is full of intellectual pygmies – or if they think that, since we Brexiteers are all stupid, we won’t notice until it’s too late.

The ERG however are keeping their beady eyes on this abomination of a ‘deal’:

“Tory Eurosceptics still harbour significant concerns about Mr Cox’s Brexit compromise. Steve Baker, a leading member of the European Research Group of MPs, yesterday described it as a “Cox codpiece” just hours before meeting the Prime Minister to discuss her plans. On Mr Cox’s plans to write a letter to MPs, a senior Conservative source said: “The Prime Minister seems convinced that a letter from the Attorney General telling MPs that the backstop will be time limited will be enough to persuade them to vote for the withdrawal agreement. […] The ERG are hopping mad about it. They can’t believe the PM thinks this will be enough to win them over”. […] However privately Tory Eurosceptics have savaged plans for a legal text drawn up by Mr Cox. One compared the plans to “vomit” and said that Eurosceptics who support it are “weak. (my bold)

At least, according to the report I’ve quoted from, it seems to have dawned on the Cabinet that we would leave on WTO terms if there’s no deal while Mr Hammond again said that the only way out is an extension to Article 50. It seems to have escaped their attention though that the EU is the other player across the table here. The years of ‘negotiations’ should have taught them that the EU is not willing to give an inch. The ‘noises from the off’, inevitably from German and France, indicate this:

Michael Roth, the German minister for Europe, said: “There can be no limit to the backstop, there can’t be an automatic expiration of the backstop.” Nathalie Loiseau, the French Europe minister, added: “Time is pressing. The UK’s exit . . . will take place on March 29 because she hasn’t given any signals that there will be a delay.” (paywalled link)

While we have to wait until tonight to learn about the fate of the ‘Cox codpiece’, it’s obvious that Ms May and her Remainers will do anything and everything to achieve two goals: to get her disastrous WA through the HoC and to somehow prevent her Remainers from joining the Umunna TIG.

Brexit has now been reduced to a party-political playball.

That means: once more into the breach, dear friends – email your MPs!

 

The post YOUR DAILY BREXIT – Wednesday 20th February 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

News review – Wednesday 20 February 2019

News review – Wednesday 20 February 2019

Brexit

Express
A NO-DEAL BREXIT will turn Britain into the “largest tax haven” in Europe, helping the country’s finance recover from the strains it will experience in the short term, two top economists said. Economists Marc Friedrich and Matthiaas Welk believe the UK will become a tax haven “soon” after Brexit if the country leaves the EU without a deal. Speaking to Focus in Germany, the experts said: “In the case of a hard Brexit, we expect to soon have the largest tax haven in the middle of Europe – Britain. Attractive tax rates will attract private and commercial capital from around the world in the tax optimisation competition, and the UK will prosper.”  This transformation of Brexit Britain from Europe’s financial hub to tax paradise with convenient tax rates will compensate the disruption and damage to the British economy will experience in the immediate aftermath in case of a no-deal, Mr Friedrich and Mr Welk said.

Telegraph
Theresa May is considering plans to bring forward a vote on her Brexit deal to next week in a bid to see off the threat of resignations by pro-European ministers. The Prime Minister will travel to Brussels on Wednesday to meet Jean Claude-Juncker, the President of the European Commission, where she hopes to secure a breakthrough on a new Brexit deal.  Downing Street is now concentrating efforts on agreeing a new legal text stating that the backstop, which would tie Britain to a Customs Union with the EU, cannot be “indefinite”.

Independent
Theresa May will fly to Brussels on Wednesday with new plans to change Britain’s EU withdrawal agreement, as she desperately tries to save her Brexit strategy. The prime minister arrives in Belgium with a stack of legal papers setting out how she believes negotiators can tweak the “Irish backstop” hated by Tory backbenchers. Ms May also managed to maintain the support of Brexiteers in her own party by promising to make some of their proposals the basis for future discussions on trade with the EU.

Express
THERESA May will hold crunch talks with top Eurocrat Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels tonight amid growing expectations of a breakthrough in her push for a revamped Brexit deal. The Prime Minister and the European Commission president are expected to thrash out the framework for a legally-binding declaration seeking to guarantee that the UK cannot be indefinitely trapped into an EU customs union. Whitehall sources said she could even put a revamped deal to the Commons for approval in a fresh “meaningful vote” as early as next week. Ahead of her trip, Mrs May last night sought to reassure Tory Eurosceptics including senior backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg and former Brexit minister Steve Baker that their plan for “alternative arrangements” to replace the so-called “backstop” clause in the Withdrawal Agreement was still on the table.

Sky News
Theresa May is returning to Brussels to seek legal assurances on the Brexit backstop, amid signs she has persuaded key Tory eurosceptics to consider backing her Withdrawal Agreement. Chancellor Philip Hammond indicated on Tuesday night that the Government has accepted the EU will not agree to replace the backstop arrangements for the Irish border with technological alternatives in time for the scheduled date of Brexit on March 29. But he said he hopes the technological solution contained in the so-called Malthouse Compromise will form part of negotiations over the following 21 months on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Guardian
Theresa May will present the EU with new legal proposals to solve the Irish backstop issue on Wednesday, which Downing Street hopes will be enough to convince Eurosceptics to back her Brexit deal. The chancellor, Philip Hammond, confirmed late on Tuesday that the government no longer intended to pursue alternative arrangements for the backstop in the withdrawal agreement, which had been championed by cross-factional MPs including Eurosceptic Steve Baker and soft Brexiter Nicky Morgan. Instead, the prime minister is travelling to Brussels to meet Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commission president, with a plan to secure legal assurances that the backstop would not permanently bind the UK into a customs union.

Reuters
British Finance Minister Philip Hammond said on Tuesday it was clear the European Union will not now consider alternatives to the Irish backstop to help the UK government win support for its Brexit withdrawal deal, but that such options could be valuable in the future. “The so-called ‘Malthouse’ initiative to explore possible alternative arrangements to the backstop is a valuable effort …” he said at a dinner in London to an association of manufacturers, but added, “It is clear that the EU will not consider replacing the backstop with such an alternative arrangement now in order to address our immediate challenge.”

Euro-Guido
The key message emanating from Cabinet today is that the Government has predictably abandoned any attempts to press ahead with the Malthouse Compromise, instead pinning their hopes on a tweak to the backstop being enough to get a deal through instead. This is not going down well with Tory MPs…  Nonetheless speculation is mounting that Geoffrey Cox has come up with concrete proposals to take to Brussels, with talk that a deal could even be agreed in Sharm-el-Sheikh this weekend, although a legal ‘codicil’ has already been dismissed as “Cox’s Codpiece” by unimpressed Brexiteers.

Euro-Guido
The key message emanating from Cabinet today is that the Government has predictably abandoned any attempts to press ahead with the Malthouse Compromise, instead pinning their hopes on a tweak to the backstop being enough to get a deal through instead. This is not going down well with Tory MPs… Nonetheless speculation is mounting that Geoffrey Cox has come up with concrete proposals to take to Brussels, with talk that a deal could even be agreed in Sharm-el-Sheikh this weekend, although a legal ‘codicil’ has already been dismissed as “Cox’s Codpiece” by unimpressed Brexiteers.

Times
Conservative Brexiteers have backed away from a full-scale confrontation with No 10 over the fate of their plan to replace the Irish backstop. Stephen Barclay, the Brexit secretary, told the cabinet yesterday that the Malthouse compromise could not be negotiated with the EU in time for March 29, when Britain is due to leave. Last night, at the annual dinner of the manufacturers’ organisation Make UK, Philip Hammond, the chancellor, said it was clear the EU would not replace the backstop with the arrangements set out in Malthouse.

Mail
Tory Brexiteers insisted their favoured solution to the Brexit backstop problem remained ‘alive and kicking’ last night – despite it apparently being killed off. Following talks with Theresa May, the European Research Group said the so-called ‘Malthouse compromise’ to solve the Irish border issue was still under consideration by Downing Street. And it emerged yesterday that Mrs May was considering holding another meaningful vote on her EU deal next week in a bid to avoid resignations.

Express
THERESA May is facing a furious Brexiteer backlash after reportedly ditching a compromise aimed at breaking the Parliamentary impasse over her floundering Brexit deal. The Malthouse Compromise had the backing of MPs from both the Leave and Remain wings of the Tory party, including Iain Duncan Smith, Nicky Morgan and Steve Baker. It had been under consideration by Downing Street and was raised by Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay during talks in Brussels this week.

Sun
THERESA MAY last night dumped hi-tech plans to solve the Brexit deadlock amid hopes of an imminent breakthrough with Brussels. The PM told Cabinet it was not plausible to pursue the so-called Malthouse Compromise pushing for alternative arrangements to the hated Irish backstop by March 29. Ministers were told the Government would instead seek to tweak the backstop to get her Brexit deal through the Commons. Sources claimed a new agreement on the backstop such as a time-limit could even be struck with the EU this weekend following talks between Theresa May and Commission boss Jean Claude Juncker on Wednesday night.

The Independent Group

Telegraph
An eighth Labour MP has quit the Labour Party to join a breakaway group after accusing Jeremy Corbyn of presiding over a “culture of anti-Semitism”.  Joan Ryan said under Mr Corbyn’s leadership Labour had become a party that “allows racism to flourish” alongside a “hatred of Israel” and she would be joining the Independent Group. She said that she felt she had a “duty” to resign after seven Labour MPs quit the party on Monday including Luciana Berger, who said that under Mr Corbyn anti-Semitism had become “institutional”. She said that Mr Corbyn, the Labour leader, had introduced anti-Semitism to the party and was a “danger”.

Express
A LABOUR MP and chair of the Labour Friends of Israel left “horrified, appalled and angered” by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has decided to quit the party to join the Independent Group created on Monday. Joan Ryan, MP for Enfield North since 2015, marked the eight resignation from the Labour Party in two days. Upon quitting the party she had been a member of since 1983, Mrs Ryan branded Mr Corbyn a “danger” who had introduced antisemitism within the left-wing party. Speaking about her heavy-hearted decision to leave Labour, she told The Times: “It’s obviously not a delight, it’s painful.”

Telegraph
Tory peer and former minister has become the first to say publicly that she is prepared to join the new Independent Group over Brexit. Baroness Altmann, the former pensions minister, told the Telegraph she is “disillusioned with the Ukip-isation of the Tory party” and would join a moderate splinter party if a no-deal Brexit became the likely outcome. She warned about the risks of a no deal Brexit to the British economy and said her party is being “infiltrated by Ukip”. “I want to cry, I want to weep at what we are doing,” she said.

Times
An eighth Labour MP has quit the party to join an independent breakaway group, accusing Jeremy Corbyn of “presiding over a culture of antisemitism and hatred of Israel”. Joan Ryan said that she could not “be part of a party that allows racism to flourish”. In an interview with The Times she said that Mr Corbyn, the Labour leader, had introduced antisemitism to the party and was “a danger”, comparing him to President Trump. Shortly before submitting her formal notice of resignation last night Ms Ryan, 63, who joined Labour in 1983 and was first elected the MP for Enfield North in 1997, said she considered the move to be a duty.

Morning Star
THOUSANDS of voters challenged Labour’s deserters today to fight for their seats, demanding electoral reform to force MPs who are sacked or resign to contest a by-election. Following the resignations of the “gang of seven” — Luciana Berger, Ann Coffey, Mike Gapes, Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith and Chuka Umunna — many Labour voters insisted they were returned in the last election because of the party they stood for and should therefore stand in a by-election now they have left it. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was “disappointed” by the resignations.

Spectator
When seven MPs announced yesterday that they were leaving Labour to form a new centrist faction called The Independent Group, talk soon turned to what impact it could have on the other parties’ electoral chances. Corbyn’s allies were quick to warn that it could lead to ten years of Tory rule, while Conservative MPs were rumoured to be considering joining. New polling conducted yesterday though by Survation for the Daily Mail suggests that it is Labour who should be most worried by the new party’s success. When asked in the survey who they would vote for if there was a general election tomorrow, 8 per cent of the respondents opted for ‘A new centrist party opposed to Brexit’ if one existed.

Labour Party

Guardian
Jeremy Corbyn has issued a defiant message to the seven MPs who resigned from his party on Monday, reminding them they stood in the 2017 general election on Labour’s manifesto, and “were elected to carry out those policies”. The Labour leader was speaking on Tuesday at the annual Make UK manufacturers’ conference, in his first public appearance since the breakaway MPs announced they would sit as independents in parliament.

Star
Jeremy Corbyn has been warned a 99-year-old group for Jewish Labour members could disaffiliate, something which would be a “nail in the coffin” for the party. The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) is considering splitting following the departure of its chair, Luciana Berger, to become an independent MP. Members were emailed just after midnight on Tuesday inviting them to an emergency meeting next month to “decide collectively where we go from here”.

The Brexit Party

Times
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has had to look for new headquarters after the guesthouse it was based in received hundreds of negative reviews online. The party had registered its address on February 5 at the Annapurna Guesthouse, a bed and breakfast in Lingwood, Norfolk, run by the husband of Catherine Blaiklock, the party’s leader. Trolls repeatedly left one-star reviews on the B&B’s listing on TripAdvisor, bringing the average rating down from 4.5 to three out of five stars. TripAdvisor has since deleted those reviews and suspended comments. One fake reviewer pretended to be Gerard Batten, the leader of Ukip, and posted about what time to check in: “Any time before 1945 is acceptable, post-1970 becomes too inconvenient.”

EU

Mail
Britain and the EU can still find a compromise on Brexit if both sides make concessions, a former EU Commission president said today. Ex- Portuguese prime minister Jose Manuel Barroso said the negotiations appeared to be at a dead end but that the EU had a record for last minute breakthroughs. Britain is demanding changes to the controversial Irish border backstop part of the Brexit deal amid Eurosceptic fears it will be permanent. The EU has so far rejected all three of the possible solutions proposed by Britain – a time limit, unilateral exit mechanism or an alternative backstop arrangement.

Independent
Britain is likely to delay Brexit because of the lack of a deal, former EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said. Mr Barroso, who ran the bloc’s executive from 2004 to 2014, said it would be right for the EU27 to accept any request for an extension. Theresa May has repeatedly said she would not extend the Article 50 period – which expires on 29 March – and that “no-deal is better than a bad deal”. MPs have however voted in principle. When the date arrives, Britain will crash out of all EU institutions without anything to replace them – with widespread predictions of chaos and economic damage.

Mail
The European Parliament’s ‘grand coalition’ of centre left and centre right parties could lose its majority for the first time in 40 years, it has been reported. The centre-left Socialists and Democrats and the centre-right European People’s party look set to win just 45 per cent of seats at upcoming elections – down from 53 per cent – an internal parliament forecast has predicted. It comes as opinion polls suggested Eurosceptic populists will make gains in the European Parliamentary elections in May – but mainstream political groups still ought to be able to maintain a working majority, albeit with increasing signs of fragmentation.

Westmonster
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has revealed that a lengthy delay to Brexit – and the UK participating in European Elections – cannot be ruled out. In an interview with Stuttgarter Zeitung that Politico have picked up, Juncker said of a Brexit delay beyond May: “That to my mind would be an irony of history. Yet I cannot rule it out.” He insists that “any decision to ask for more time lies with the UK. If such a request were to be made, no one in Europe would oppose it.”

May Day

Times
It was the day that Nazi tyranny in Europe officially came to an end. But there has been no formal holiday for Britons to commemorate Victory in Europe Day. However, The Times can reveal that ministers are poised to move the May Day bank holiday next year so that it falls on Friday, May 8 — the 75th anniversary of Germany’s unconditional surrender in Europe. Greg Clark, the business secretary, has asked the chancellor for permission to move the date from Monday, May 4. VE Day marked the formal acceptance by the Allies of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender in the Second World War.

Jihadi bride

Times
A teenage Islamic State bride who wants to return home to the UK has had her British citizenship revoked after a public backlash. Shamima Begum, 19, has appeared unrepentant in a series of interviews despite announcing her desire to return to her family home in Bethnal Green, east London. Her mother received a letter from Sajid Javid, the home secretary, yesterday afternoon stating that the teenager was being stripped of her citizenship and urging the family to inform her.

Mail
ISIS bride Shamima Begum’s family today vowed to take Home Secretary Sajid Javid to court to stop him taking away her British citizenship for joining the terror group in Syria. The remorseless 19-year-old is in a refugee camp with her newborn son but Mr Javid has moved to ensure she will never allowed back into Britain after she fled to join Islamic State. The Home Office appears to believe that because Begum’s mother was born in Bangladesh her daughter would qualify for dual citizenship and would not be left stateless, which is illegal under international law.

Sun
ISIS bride Shamima Begum has been stripped of her British citizenship after showing no remorse for joining the terror group. An official Home Office letter breaking the shock news was delivered to Begum’s “disappointed” family earlier today. “Please find enclosed papers that relate to a decision taken by the Home Secretary, to deprive your daughter, Shamima Begum, of her British citizenship,” the letter read. “In light of the circumstances of your daughter, the notice of the Home Secretary’s decision has been served of file today (19th February), and the order removing her British citizenship has subsequently been made.”

Drones

Sun
BRITAIN will slap a three-mile “drone exclusion zone” around major airports next month, ministers will declare. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will announce new legislation to extend the ‘no-fly zone’ to ban drones and model aircraft from coming close to runways. Anyone caught doing so faces a sliding scale of sanctions – from fines to life imprisonment if they endanger life.

The post News review – Wednesday 20 February 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

MEPs Demand an End to the Change of Time in 2020

The European Parliament's Agriculture Committee today voted to stop the change from winter to summer time in 2020. This was announced by MEP Momchil Nekov (BSP, S & D), who is a member of the commission.


A survey of European citizens last year showed that the majority of Europeans want this practice to stop. In Bulgaria there was also a poll that showed that most Bulgarians also want to stop this shift.


In September 2018, the European Commission proposed that the EU should put an end to the change of time as early as March 2019. However, given the decision-making process in the EU and the need for sectors such as transport and aviation, this time-limit would cause turbulence and problems.

For this reason, MEPs believe that it would be most realistic and smooth to make the switch to 2020. The proposal for a directive allows Member States to change their area if they consider their choices to be a nuisance. This must be done with a notice to the European Commission.


The opinion voted today also voted texts recommending that countries explore what would be the most appropriate time for them and harmonize with each other to avoid illogical time zones and breaches of the single market.

WHY IT’S NOT JUST THE BACKSTOP THAT IS FATAL FOR BRITISH FISHING

WHY IT’S NOT JUST THE BACKSTOP THAT IS FATAL FOR BRITISH FISHING

It’s not just the backstop: Fishing should not be in the Withdrawal Agreement full stop.

THE ABHORRENCE over the backstop in the Withdrawal Agreement misses the point that much of what’s left of Britain’s fishing industry won’t survive the proposed “transition” or “implementation” period it is designed to establish. Fishing just shouldn’t be there full stop.

Under the new internationally binding Withdrawal Agreement – that will become an international treaty – the UK will re-obey all EU law for a Transition period of 21 months or up to 4 years post-Brexit under Articles 4, 7 and 132.

That means effectively re-joining the EU’s disastrous Common Fisheries Policy – but on a membership minus basis. Yes, that’s right, it’s an even worse basis than now.

Re-obeying all EU law for the transition period – but with no say or veto under Article 7 and 130 – means Britain will be a gagged EU satellite. The UK will be bound under Article 5 of the Withdrawal Agreement’s terms of ‘good faith’ to enforce whatever laws Brussels decrees.

This will allow the EU to enforce any detrimental legislation to cripple and cull what’s left of the British industry.  Think not? Well, the EU has every incentive to do so. Under international law (UNCLOS Article 62.2) if a coastal state does not have the capacity to harvest all its resources (in other words catch and land the fish in its waters) then it shall give the ‘surplus’ (what it cannot catch) to its neighbours.

This is not conjecture, EU documents recognise this situation. Article 130 says current percentage based ‘Relative Stability Shares’ shall be maintained, but the EU can slash quota tonnages for species the UK is dependent on. The UK may still have a 100 percent, but 100 percent of zero tons – equals zero tons.

The EU can also abolish the CFP 12 mile limit that protects inshore fishermen and can use what should be UK resources as negotiating capital in international deals.

The most severe existential threat is the EU can fully enforce its ill-conceived discard ban.

This ban deals with the discard symptom not the discard cause – that strict quota limits do not work in highly mixed fisheries such as those around the British Isles.

Under the ban when a vessel exhausts its lowest quota it must stop fishing. Government agency SeaFish has modelled that 60 percent of UK resources will go uncaught (because vessels would have to tie up for the year on using their lowest quota) and a similar proportion of the fleet bankrupt.

The Withdrawal Agreement, under Article 184. obliges the EU and UK to work during the Transition to legally agree the draft terms of the Future Relationship by 2020. A Future Relationship “based on current (dire) access and quota arrangements” for fisheries – agreed as part of the wider economic partnership. The Withdrawal Agreement sets the UK up to be levered into CFP associate membership.

A Future Relationship which must ensure no ‘hard’ border on Ireland – a deliberately impossible bar to clear as the defining characteristics of a country are its borders.

This border has been deliberately weaponised as a stick to beat the UK into Brexit in Name Only – despite Northern Irish-republic of Ireland trade representing 0.2 percent of EU GDP and only 6.2 percent of Ulster’s trade. The tip of the tail is being used to wag the dog.

With Fisheries the government is trying to hide behind the repeated phrase “the UK will be an independent state”. We are being played. We may officially be “independent”, but, will be an independent state that’s chosen to be shackled to the EU for up to four years in the Transition and thereafter pushed into CFP associate membership.

The best that the UK’s fisheries can expect is the Withdrawal Agreement fails to be concluded and we leave the EU with a clean Brexit and then, and only then, can we negotiate from a position of strength to keep our fisheries from becoming another bargaining counter to be given away for Gibraltar, financial services or anything else that we should not be sacrificing so cravenly.

Should the WA be reopened then Brexit groups could only back an amended deal if it removes provisions such as those on Fisheries and doesn’t just remove the Backstop as a way to appease MPs to vote for what would otherwise still be a dreadful and dangerous deal.

 

The post WHY IT’S NOT JUST THE BACKSTOP THAT IS FATAL FOR BRITISH FISHING appeared first on Independence Daily.

The Empire Strikes Back.

The Empire Strikes Back.

It will not be surprising if the Leave victory in the EU Referendum of 23rd June 2016 is overruled, because the British government itself is opposed to leaving the European Union. Most if not all Leave ministers have now resigned or been sacked. Their Department for Exiting the European Union (DEXU) has been bypassed by the Remain team of Theresa May & Olly Robbins in Downing Street, as has the Cabinet also when necessary.

There are 650 MPs in the House of Commons. It is the House in Parliament that matters because the Lords cannot stop Bills from the Commons for more than two years. 480 of the MPs in the Commons campaigned for Remain in the run-up to the EU Referendum. Only 158 Commons MPs campaigned for Leave. Three-fourths of the Commons were for Remain, including all but ten Labour MPs, and yet Leave won the 2016 Referendum with the biggest ever vote in British history. That shows how alien Parliament in Westminster was then to the British people, and it is certainly no less alien now.

Mrs May campaigned for Remain, so did Philip Hammond the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and so did John Bercow the Speaker, although the Speaker is supposed to be impartial. Contrary to Donald Tusk’s recent claim, they do have a plan; their plan is to stop Brexit. Mrs May knew that Article 50 was introduced into the Lisbon Treaty as a snare to catch countries trying to escape from the European Union.

That is why she started the Article 50 negotiations because she knew their purpose was to stop Brexit. And the Withdrawal Agreement she has negotiated with the EU will keep Britain captive in a stagnating EU until the end of 2099 (see Article 132 in her Agreement). The EU Commission knows that British firms in an independent free-trading Britain outside the EU Customs Union would soon become too competitive for EU exporters. So, the Commission must keep the UK a prisoner inside the Customs Union to stop it making its own trade agreements with the free world outside the EU. After all, since the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 the EU’s share of world trade has halved in volume, from a third to a sixth, as the cesspit of corruption that is the EU stagnates.

If Mrs May had wanted Britain to leave the EU, she would have unilaterally and unconditionally declared Britain’s independence from it when she became Prime Minister. It was her right to do that; national self-determination is a fundamental right in international law. Britain could have left the EU before 2017 and begun to trade with the EU under the terms of trade of the World Trade Organisation, like the rest of the world does now.

But after 23rd June 2016, Mrs May and other EU enforcers in the British government realised that the British people could no longer be trusted to submit to EU rule. The agents of the EU in Her Majesty’s Government are determined that nothing like the 2016 Referendum will be allowed to happen again. The dictatorial Joint Committee in their misnamed Withdrawal Agreement will end the pretense that there has been of parliamentary sovereignty since 1972. Then it was that the House of Commons voted to serve Brussels rather than the British people when it passed Edward Heath’s European Communities Bill.

The 23rd June 2016 came as a profound shock to the EU retainers who comprise our government; they were sure that Remain would win. They had sent a booklet from Her Majesty’s Government to every household in Britain. Its title was “Why the Government believes that voting to remain in the European Union is the best decision for the UK”. In it, they wrote: “This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.” That’s how confident they were. That booklet cost £9 million pounds of taxpayers’ money. Whitehall signed off the tax to pay for it, even though civil servants are supposed to be impartial about politics.

The Remain campaign, funded by bankers like Goldman Sachs, outspent the Leave campaign by £19 million to £11 million, according to the Electoral Commission. Opinion polls and betting odds foretold a Remain victory. But in the privacy of the polling booth, people felt free to express their true feelings, and the immense chasm between the British people and their alien Parliament in Westminster was revealed.

Mrs May, who might as well be a member of Common Purpose, was one of the 480 MPs who declared themselves for Remain before 23rd June 2016. So most MPs were in favour of the elected leaders of Britain’s Parliament passing off the policies of unelected EU Commissioners as their own. And that is what Mrs May is doing now; her misnamed Agreement is the policy of EU bureaucrats and their counterparts in Whitehall. It is not the will of the British people.

Her response to the British rebellion against EU rule on 23rd June 2016 is a “coup d’état” at the start of the transition period. That is when the Joint Committee in her falsely named Withdrawal Agreement will take back control for the EU, not from it (see Articles 164 to 169). From then on, that secretive junta will be the custodian keeping Britain captive as a colonial possession of the EU empire until the end of this century.

After their shock defeat in the UK Referendum on 23rd June 2016, the EU and its myriad henchmen (& hench-women) in Westminster & Whitehall have decided to suppress democracy and install the dictatorship of their Joint Committee junta over Britain. Their Department for Exiting the European Union (DEXU) has been bypassed by Theresa May’s Remain team of civil servants in Downing Street led by Ollie Robbins, as has the Cabinet also when necessary”.

The post The Empire Strikes Back. appeared first on Independence Daily.

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