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Whatever the Brexit deal, our inability to leave at will makes it a prison cell and arbitration will not be a key to unlock the door

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Whilst the whole exercise has been played up as a cause for hope that May’s tragedy of a ‘deal’ will pass in the next two weeks, the reality of Geoffrey Cox being sent off to Brussels to negotiate a by-pass to the Backstop, has been nothing more than an elaborate play on time.

The fact that the goalposts have now moved to a discussion with the EU which has already again ruled out a time clause or unilateral exit mechanism, and moved on to a one-sided debate about arbitration instead should be telling everyone, everything once again that they should already know.

May’s deal is not a deal. It is a deliberate, intentional and malevolent trap which will be the equivalent of a prison cell for the UK, unless we retain the ability to walk away from it unilaterally and without the consent of any other party, at any time.

That the EU are currently insisting that an arbitration mechanism would have to involve the ECJ again demonstrates just how essential it is to them that the deck is not only stacked in their favour, but in respect of Brexit, is well and truly rigged.

Even if Cox should succeed in an agreement for a third-party system of arbitration without the ECJ being involved which could be argued as being impartial and therefore fair, it’s use overlooks the fact that arbitration, mediation, dispute resolution or any other system of negotiation that you could ever wish to involve in circumstances in any way similar to these, only determines the terms under which an agreement is or can be reached, and how things go forward from that point thereafter.

Arbitration is not a system that is there to make the decision to do something for anyone. It is about method and nothing more.

To use arbitration as a method of making a choice would in effect be the surrender of decision making responsibility to a third and non-involved party to make that choice for and on behalf of one and/or both parties.

It takes the decision at the very heart of the problem away from the two constituent parties that are involved.

That is why the EU will not even consider the option unless it’s own Court system, the ECJ is the elected arbitrator and therefore the decision would always be beneficial to them rather than the UK.

It is both sad and highly regrettable that so many opportunities have been missed to stop Theresa May and for the whole Brexit process to have been taken a different and fundamentally beneficial-to-the-UK way.

Now, the excuse we have for a Parliament is on the verge of selling out everything to nothing more than Foreign Rule, because the EU have placed a very good bet that Remainers and those other Politicians in the majority who cannot see beyond their own fears and self interest, would cave in at the last minute and back this travesty of a so-called agreement which is the bastard child and legacy of Theresa May.

Whilst Malthouse offered a sensible compromise for anyone who genuinely wanted to find a collective way forward, such plans are and never were in the favour of Prime Minister May.

The only option available to any MP who wants to see Brexit delivered and democracy in this Country existing after the time of May is to vote down May’s deal yet again and then vote for a no-deal exit on the 29th of March the following day.

Yes, the maths in Parliament now means that a delay is more likely than not. But the certainty that would have been available to this Parliament if May had been removed earlier is no longer available as a choice.

So without the control which is simply not present within any of the current choices, riding the wave and making the right decision each and every time there is one to be made is the only way that the right result for the People will be reached and a real Brexit delivered in the end.

If the ERG want Brexit, they must lead it. The time has come to split the Conservative Party and prepare for a General Election

February 27, 2019 Leave a comment

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For me, Theresa May’s resolve to Remain and call it something else was never in doubt. But the cost of what she and her coterie of Remainers has and continues to do to this Country and our democracy is something else.

Whilst I am far from alone in anticipating that Brexit could finally split the Conservative Party once and for all, events this week suggest that the time has come where the benefit of the ERG and Brexiteer contingent remaining within Theresa May’s interpretation of mainstream conservatism is now severely outweighed by the disadvantages – especially in view of what is likely to come.

From the outside perspective, there is little doubt that the point of no return came when May won the December no confidence vote and became all but immovable for the 12 months ahead.

The Prime Minister has been the key component in a direction of travel which has brought us to the point where Remainers are now on the verge of successfully cancelling Brexit via indefinite delay.

Whilst May has been helped every step of the way by the contingent of Remain Ministers, there is little doubt that undeserved trust in the holder of the Office of British Prime Minister has regrettably contributed to previously avoidable difficulties with Brexit, many of which are yet to come.

Put bluntly, the only clear way to ensure that the Brexit which the British People Voted for is now delivered, is to replace the currently Remain-led Parliamentary majority with one which will prioritise the needs of the Electorate above their own, and deliver Brexit properly, without compromise and in every way and sense necessary to ensure that everyone, whether Leavers or Remainers will benefit from our post-Brexit opportunities just the same.

This outcome will not be possible if the political party structures, biases and motivations are the same as they are now, when the next General Election is called.

Above all, if there is to be any genuine ‘conservative’ influence over where we then go, that Election must be faught without the current Prime Minister remaining in post. That means either an election build up away from her sphere of influence, or the removal of May from No.10.

In reality, nobody under the Brexit wing of the Conservative Party should now genuinely believe that May will step aside anytime soon.

The passing of a vote of no confidence in May’s Government is the only way she will now be toppled before 2022. And with the dynamic in Parliament changing almost daily, it means that splitting the Conservative Party and going it alone has to now be the immediate, strategic, responsible and calculated choice for those who know that for democracy and the People to win through, there is a different way.

Support would flock to the banner of a new party committed to Brexit, but equipped to provide a policy platform which reaches way beyond the very specific set of issues relating to our relationship with Europe. Support of the kind necessary to create a party machine in the timescale required which is professional, fully funded and capable of forming a government in a matter of months.

An ERG breakaway and the momentum behind it offers a vehicle capable of doing all these things. It is unlikely to come from any other direction or evolve in any other form.

The key to realising that there is a great opportunity to deliver much better for us all, is for the Brexiteer MPs involved to start looking beyond their own echo chambers, to the world outside Westminster, outside of the Conservative Party, across the wide range of Leave supporters from all traditional Party backgrounds and to the needs and expectations of an entire Nation waiting to be inspired, which is sitting waiting with great concern beyond.

Any MP who cares about the will of the People has this chance to stand out for the right reasons or wait to be pushed out for all the wrong ones.

We, the People, are fed up with the contemptuous behaviour of those who we have entrusted to represent us in Government and repaid us by throwing that trust back in our faces.

It necessarily follows that the time is coming for change.

Please ERG and Leaver MPs from wherever you are, be the change now.

Show us all that there are still some politicians left at Westminster who have the integrity and courage to take all the steps required to do what is expected and necessary, but above all, what is genuinely right.

No Mr. Verhofstadt, irresponsibility is signing the UK up to an agreement with the EU that only you can walk away from

February 6, 2019 Leave a comment

img_2558Stunned as we all should be that the Conservative Party and Parliament itself has allowed May to take things this far, the reality today is that 8 days from now, May is going to come back with an unchanged Withdrawal Agreement and the expectation that she will just continue going around in circles until a majority of our MPs toe her line.

Nothing has changed.

Not since the Vote in Parliament last week.

Not since the Vote in January.

Not since the Vote was canceled in December.

In fact, not since the Prime Minister tabled her notorious sell-out, dumped on an almost fully acquiescing Cabinet last July.

May made it clear with her announcement in Northern Ireland yesterday that she will not seek the removal of the ‘backstop’ in her talks coming up tomorrow with the EU.

Nobody should now be deluding themselves that whatever she comes back with for Valentines Day will be at best, mealy-mouthed words, without substance, guarantee or any intrinsic value to what they say.

Helpful as ever, Guy Verhofstadt has now stepped in to back up the Prime Ministers position from May’s back room in Brussels to preach to us that it would be irresponsible not to have an insurance policy in place.

But insurance for who exactly Mr. Verhofstadt?

This nonsense backstop that has been created is not any kind of insurance for the UK.

The Backstop is an irreversible tie-in to a legally binding obligation to only ever be in a relationship with the EU, in which only the EU has power and as such can actually control.

We do not need a minimum trading arrangement with the EU which will never allow us to do anything more. And we stand to lose so much more than we realise by allowing the fearful in business in government to stop us all from gaining so much, because they have self-serving interests that they do not want to lose.

No, the UK is not just about trade and economics.

The economic and financial benchmark we are being sold as the way to interpret success, failure and our future is disingenuous in at best.

It is not our true reality as a Country, no matter how credible the lies might sound that we are now being so regularly told.

May has effectively now told us that she is not seriously entertaining the Malthouse Agreement, no matter what we have otherwise been told.

We can only now hope that the ERG Group of Conservatives and all those MPs from across the House who put their Constituents first will stand firm next week and be clear that May can no longer continue.

For as long as she is Prime Minister, it will be her ‘deal’, a ‘Brexit in name only’ exit from the EU, and everything else will be obfuscation and lies, whilst she waits for the last shreds of British Democracy to hit the road.

 

 

 

 

It’s time to act unilaterally over Brexit, implement the departure which works for us and let the EU follow

February 5, 2019 Leave a comment

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Brexit was never going to be the easiest change to manage, even if we were under the leadership of the best Government available.

The realities of an issue which without any help was always going to be so divisive, was destined to explode the very moment that self-interest and a lack of benevolence on the part of the Establishment was involved.

The incompetence and ineptitude made manifest by the tenure of Theresa May was not entirely absent in No.10 with the incumbent before. But above this, and the very questionable if not dubious efforts of all the Remain-at-any-cost clubbers involved, one of the most clear reasons why we need to Leave the shackles of the EU behind us has been illustrated at its best by the intransigence of the Commission and everything that the EU Leadership has been doing in the Brexit Process since the moment that they became involved.

Regrettably, even now, the elephant in the room is still being missed by many. Not least of all by a majority of our Westminster Politicians, who should by now know and have a much better understanding of the impact of the EU on life in the UK, our People and Businesses than they clearly do now.

The EU is only focused upon developing a European Superstate. Taking every step necessary to deliver synchronicity of systems, policies and cultures of each and every previously identifiable Nation State involved.

It does not care about locality or any other form of identity. It does not consider us as individuals or as a People.

Its modus operandi is to remove anything and everything that can be used to promote individuality. To move us all to a place where without recognising what is changing around us continually and all the time, we will suddenly wake up accepting that we are and only ever will be European, and that localism in the sense where people really come first is unacceptable and can only be painted as being something right-wing, populist and as such simply too bold and fearful to behold.

The incessant drip-drip-drip of change and transformation from being British Subjects to European Citizens has already been embraced and overseen by successive UK Governments over decades. Without Legal mandate and with uncompromising contempt for the impact and consequences of the actions of but a few Politicians on all of the People, Businesses and Lives which are actually involved. This is a key component of the process which ultimately fed Brexit.

This insidious and to many unnoticeable change has left many of our decision makers at the mercy of a system which belittles anyone and everything which has not signed up or become subservient to the ‘grand plan’. The EU is not an entity in the real sense, but a direction of travel which is compelling to those who cannot engage with the realities of what happens when an idealistic project of this size, supranational and politically driven nature takes hold upon the Countries, Peoples, Communities and Individuals who have involuntarily been signed up to it.

This direction of travel is so powerful as to be intoxicating for those who have become intricately involved. Those who have bought into the value of something which they have never had reason to question in real life.

This is why Brexit was destined for chaos the moment that a second Remainer Prime Minister became involved in delivering an outcome which ran contrary to everything they believe and have accepted when told.

The reality is that the EU will not work against itself or that direction of travel, if there is any way that an event has the potential to be repurposed and therefore the direction be brought back to where they see it should always have been.

The EU will not fold on any decision unless to do so itself would be at risk to the greater ‘European Project’ itself.

From this perspective, and therefore the Leadership of Remainer in-chief Theresa May, every attempt to execute a meaningful Brexit under her Premiership was, is and will be flawed. Because the players involved do not understand the rules of the game that they have set out to play.

Under the choking blanket of fear which has been perpetrated as ‘project Fear’ by those possessed by Remain, this Government has lost sight of its own ability to lead this Country through what is a National Crisis.

It cannot even conceptualise the right approach to secure an outcome which works best for us in the circumstances and not simply plays up to addressing all of the threats, warnings and nay saying prophesies that have been involved from the time that the EU Referendum Campaign began.

The only way that the UK will now secure the Brexit that we need – and that’s the one that will ultimately work for both ‘Leave’ and for ‘Remain’, is for us to set our own agenda.

Unilaterally, we must consider the best way to conduct a relationship with the EU and other Countries. But without making the outcome and mechanics dependent upon their input.

Putting it bluntly, we need to go it alone with the decisions and not allow the EU to influence our true direction or to be directly involved.

Whilst this approach may be objectionable to those who always have to approach life under the false premise that you must have a plan, the fact remains that the way to get the very best for this Country is to simply get on and start doing it. The others will soon want to catch up when they realise that we are confident enough and strong enough to do what’s necessary. They must accept that compromise can only ever be genuine when all parties present are committed and actually involved.

The ‘can’t do, won’t do’ nature of this Government and all the Remain-bent MPs who are involved in wrecking Brexit is withholding access for this Country to the most beneficial of pathways, simply because to take it requires strong leadership and vision, gutsy decisions and the confidence to step off into the unknown.

From the moment that we accept that our future and our destiny is in our own and not in the EU’s hands, things will begin to change.

The EU needs a positive relationship with us much more than we need to maintain the negative one with them that they are still offering.

We just need to create the circumstances where they have to make that choice themselves, rather than leaving it up to the historic default – which is the direction in which Theresa May and the Remain contingent are inclined and still committed to taking us.

To even gain traction and obtain the best possible with a halfway house like the Malthouse Compromise, we need a change of Prime Minister. We need new energy and a commitment to putting the UK first, rather than seeing everything through the lens of presumptive subservience to the EU.

But to get all that we should be aspiring to, not least of all from our relationship with the EU but with the World entire, we now need to start rowing our own boat. Let the others catch up and join up as soon as they are ready, rather than selling ourselves continually short just because of the fear-based stories that we are forever being sold by a coterie of mis-leaders who rather than use their eyes to look, simply accept everything that they are themselves told.

Any compromise over Brexit that actively involves all sides has to be taken seriously and the real obstacle to progress is now firmly located in No.10

January 29, 2019 Leave a comment

img_2513Brexit has been mismanaged from the start. Much of the problem has been the many competing priorities and motivations belonging to the key influencers who have been involved, but this itself is in no small part due to the biggest Brexit problem of them all. The absence of good, decisive and responsible leadership.

The Brexit process over recent months could have gone in different directions at many different points and it is regrettable that there has been a distinct absence of vision and understanding on the benches of the Commons. Vision which could have seen that a deal, formula, pathway or whatever you want to call it has never been just about an agreement itself, but about the people involved, the chronology of events, the changing landscape and yes, a whole lot more besides.

We are where we are. So no matter what has come before, there is no sensible option beyond trying to play with the hand that is available.

So when a compromise arrives in a form which could work for our MPs and our Country too, the focus should be shifting to identify and remove the blocks to realising that opportunity for progress. Not dwelling on who has ownership, who claims the legacy, who will be upset or anything more.

The reality is that the very best ‘deal’ that would be available to the UK could only be negotiated from the position and mindset of already being out of the EU.

With the obsession over plans and having to have a strategy in place which our MPs have, it is clear that the current Parliament will not willingly support this pathway.

As such, it is vital for MPs to accept the closest thing to that which they find acceptable.

From the information now available, it looks very much like the Malthouse Compromise could be the opportunity that everyone – and not least all of us outside of Westminster have been waiting for.

This Plan is far from perfect for either side. I say this with a firm belief that in the right hands from the start of this process, Brexit could immediately upon Leaving in March have promised the UK a massive amount more.

Because of what has happened during the Brexit process, the decision and therefore the method of our departure has become about so much more than just Brexit itself.

From this point alone, the Malthouse Compromise has to be seen as potentially the least trouble-free pathway to getting out of the EU, on time, with the prospect of building a working relationship with our former partners and in a way which at the very least honours the spirit of the Referendum Vote, even if at this stage it would be impractical to expect any more.

As a lapsed, but nonetheless lifelong conservative, it gives me no pleasure to feel or openly be so very critical of a Conservative PM.

But the situation we are facing over Brexit and beyond is so very, very serious, there must be a collective acceptance that with May at the helm, compromise penned by anyone other than her and her coterie of advisers, is not in her plan. It is not in her mind an acceptable form of what this Brexit process will become.

Never mind the missed opportunities and the what could haves, what should haves and everything that has gone before and been done. The way to get this problem solved is to remove the obstacle of a spent force as a Prime Minister to whom owning the legacy of a Brexit deal is all that her premiership has now become.

The Conservative Party has the ability to remove her right now if there is collective recognition amongst the Parliamentary Party of how dire this situation has become.

Personal ambition must be put to one side so that a leader can be Elected and installed in No.10, who will embrace the catalyst for change over Brexit. A new Prime Minister who can set off the reaction and chain of events now needed here within our own Parliament.

And then take it to Brussels not as a question, but as a statement of intent and overview of what our departure from the EU will look like.

Something that the EU can choose to embrace or reject. But with the consequences made very clear that failing to engage with what is on offer to them will leave the EU responsible for what follows, and that it is our commitment to prosper and be a friend to all Nations who are friendly to us, no matter what they think or then do.

MPs: Trust this Prime Minister at the UK’s peril

January 28, 2019 1 comment

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Watching this all-too-predictable-for-anyone-other-than-the-MPs-within-this-Brexit-story as it continues to play itself out has been and remains very painful, especially for those of us who believe in democracy and the purpose that it serves.

Even with the abundance of opinionated commentary coming from sources where facts for those able to think critically are contained available to all MPs, this Parliament teeters in the edge of a multidimensional precipice where the odds are stacked for an unknown and frankly unknowable outcome. Yet even now, the majority of these political stool pigeons think they are going to walk away with BRINO – or what to those they see as the uneducated masses outside of Westminster is still very much Remain.

After a process that has provided Conservative MPs with red flag after red flag, making very clear its destination and outcome, it is amazing that the Politicians sat in the middle of all this cannot or will not read the direction of travel of Theresa May’s efforts, and  what this process of hers will ultimately become, once the point has been reached that Parliament buys into them.

Right now there is so much noise about different plans for Brexit – most of which are clinical forms of Remain – that the elephant in the room, or that which should have already been dead in the form of May’s ‘deal’, is doing a full on lasers act. Suddenly, with the nebulous and unquantifiable promise of a rethink over the mythical Backstop of what looks very much like history will prove to be of her own design, The May deal looks increasingly like it might actually be what the outcome of the Brexit process becomes.

However, the celebrations are likely to be very premature.

At a stage where our fearful MPs are looking for any way to avoid the form of Brexit that the People actually voted for, even the so-called Brexiteers are hinting that they may back this travesty, trusting this untrustworthy Prime Minister to do the right thing with an ambiguous policy, relating to a non-existent deal with the EU which is likely to do nothing more than moving her considerably closer to the point where she has been gifted the final say.

All this at the end of the very same pathway which has already been overwhelmingly rejected, but with Parliament effectively now on the verge of giving the PM a blank sheet by removing itself from the ability to stop her anymore, and at a time when the government should be looking to select and implement new leadership, rather than take yet more quantum leaps back.

That there is so little recognition of and willingness within our Elected Parliament to deliver that which the People voted for in its clear and accurate form should be of great concern to us all.

That a sizeable majority are only being prevented from delivering their own form of a non-Brexit by their inability to coalesce and work to together collectively should give us all pause for thought in a very different form.

But that MPs could as a majority be about to give free reign to an incompetent and sell-out Prime Minister who sees our being tied to Europe as the only legacy her premiership was created to deliver, should be now concerning us all. Perhaps even terrifying us all a whole lot more.

Whatever happens from this point after the next ‘meaningful vote’ tomorrow, we as a Country are destined to be in a mess. That much has been guaranteed by the behaviour of this and the last Parliament as they have ignored what the purpose of the European Referendum was actually for.

There is only one form of Brexit that will deliver upon what the British People voted for.

Whilst we may have a bumpy ride for a few months immediately from the time we Leave, anything other than Leaving the EU on the 29th March, cleanly, on time and without the deal which was never essential to actually leave, it will be the start of significant problems, simply because MPs will have overturned or sought to defer or redirect a Public decision, and have therefore gone very wrong

Leaving the detail to May in the hope that a genuine Brexit will be the ultimate outcome will be an irreversible travesty, the outcome of which will become manifest very very quickly indeed.

A General Election by New Year just became a lot more likely and it’s time for May to accept that the battles ahead are no longer hers to win

September 14, 2018 Leave a comment

VOTE 18Emily Thornberry’s announcement that Labour will oppose Theresa May’s Chequers Policy today should really come as little surprise.

In fact, it’s not in the least bit unexpected.

Labour’s recent mantra has after all been based on nothing more than attempting to force a General Election as quickly as it is possible to do.

As a lapsed Tory, disenfranchised by the current interpretation of conservatism emanating from No.10, I gain no pleasure from the prospect that Theresa May could prove to be the last Tory Prime Minister before anything remotely recognisable as an attempt at government for all in the UK is painfully left behind.

Yet that is exactly the fate that surely awaits us all, if some form of sense and reason doesn’t land in Downing Street very soon.

The reality must be accepted at Cabinet level that the charade which is Chequers is not only dead in the Channel, but that the dying embers of credible politics in the UK now require a Conservative leader who can win a working majority against what should otherwise be an unelectable opposition which should only ever be capable of having pipe dreams about being in government.

Today, Corbyn’s left is gaining confidence with dangerously quixotic policies that are now looming as large as the void in leadership which has left us all ineptly exposed against EU negotiators, whilst conjuring up the Chequers plan to remain.

But in Downing Street, the penny hasn’t dropped.

Emboldened by the phoney zone of safety in which the 2017 General Election result left the Prime Minister seemingly unexposed, May’s misplaced confidence in her position and influence could all-too-easily lead her to call a General Election under immense pressure, rather than  stepping aside before the watershed vote is taken on the final Brexit plan.

We should be under no illusion that this quickly approaching vote is almost certainly now set to yield the result that could immediately lead to the opportunity which Labour currently craves so badly.

A Conservative, as passionate about Leaving the EU as they are about bringing all sides together as we go forward must be allowed to take the helm of this Government before it is too late.

The change must happen now.

The likelihood of a vote on the final pre-Brexit Day position being won by any Conservative Government with the Parliamentary Seats they hold today and the current make-up of Leave and Remain supporting MP’s amongst their number would at any time be all but impossible.

It won’t matter if it’s ‘Chequers’ or something prepared by the ERG that MP’s are called to vote on. There is simply too much self interest in Parliament to allow the right decision to be made and deliver upon the democratic instruction which was given by a majority of voters on behalf of us all.

Forced or voluntarily called, a General Election is now likely to be the only way to deliver the Brexit that the Electorate require.

It is now up to May to decide if she wants to help a Conservative Government see the result of the real peoples vote through.

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