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Posts Tagged ‘Irish Border’

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.

 

 

 

 

Deal or No Deal, the technology already exists for a seamless Irish Border after Brexit and as many of us already know, it works just bloody fine…

January 30, 2019 Leave a comment
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A number plate recognition and recording camera being installed in a supermarket car park in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. January 2019.

The Brothers Grimm would have been busy indeed, had they been alive and based in London during the times of Brexit.

With myth after myth entering the lexicon of public understanding, most often created by those who by the rule of fear intend for the UK to Remain, the range of stories and prophecies that have been created up to now from the very beginning of the Referendum Campaign would be priceless, were it not for the impact that foolish interference with very serious and far reaching matters of state can have.

Whilst many of the latest entrants to the pop chart of Brexit fantasies are being debunked just as quickly as they have been produced, one of the most ridiculous but nonetheless effective tales to have been told is the one about the need for a backstop to prevent a hard-border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, because a technological solution doesn’t exist which would keep goods moving as they would do if the UK were to Remain.

The claim is particularly laughable, given that we live in a surveillance society where estimates back in 2013 placed the number of cameras observing us already then at one camera for every 11-14 people within the population.

Even if monitoring equipment on the Irish Borders did not already exist, the installation of equipment and software of a like which has been in use by the Police forces for years in the form of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) would not be an arduous task. It is already being put to many uses in civilian form too, and if you have fallen foul of Car Parking Rules where one of these offshoot systems has been installed, you will know only too well how effective they are when a Penalty Notice with accompanying photographic evidence lands at your door.

The real problem and reason why too many of the people at a level of influence will tell us that no such technological solution exists is because of the sclerotic system for purchasing products like these for ‘government use’ and the way that companies who could deliver a working and effective solution in what would be a comparatively ‘overnight’ timeframe, are excluded from a supplier system which would benefit us all if they were to be included.

Government purchase is based on a system which favours the monoliths in public supply. Companies that overcharge by gargantuan levels o justify their huge structures, are avoidably slow to deliver – pushing up prices even further, and are the favorites of a coterie of consultants and advisors who themselves are pre-programmed with everything they do to simply be on the make.

If the political will, foresight and vision existed to implement a transparent border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, stepping outside the purchasing rules – YES, those required by Membership of the EU itself, is pretty much all it would take. We simply need agility in thinking, doing and making sure that everyone involved is doing the same.

The opportunity to deliver the trouble-free Brexit that the British People Voted for has been squandered by Politicians afraid to look outside of their own Westminster box. We should be under no illusion that in terms of upholding the realities of the responsibility that they have been given by us, they are well and truly afraid of their own shadow.

The best thing that those who lead us could do right now is to forget going cap in hand to the EU as Theresa May now surely will. Direct the installation of the infrastructure on the Irish Border, commission the necessary software from the very bright and agile small businesses that the UK has, and then make a very public statement that as far as the UK is concerned the Border will be open from 11.00pm onwards on the 29th March 2019, will be functioning like just one of the many other administrative hoops that logistics & supply chain operators, public transport companies and international travelers have to jump through when they are going anywhere, and that the UK is more than capable of taking a lead on anything and everything, come what and despite of whatever May says.

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.

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