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A Customs Union: Anything that looks so simple and involves the EU will always be too good to be true

Politics 5There have been and continue to be a great many striking things that the Brexit process and the Vote to Leave the EU have revealed about the way that our political system has and at this point continues to work.

Much of it, although hiding in plain sight for a very long time, has come as a surprise to many.

One that has caused frustration, distrust and indeed anger with the Establishment. With the politicians that form a great part of it, and with anyone who has been playing upon the unwitting and innocent ignorance on the part of many of us of how the political world has been working with its prioritisation firmly focused upon only the benefits for those involved.

We have been brought up, taught and indeed conditioned to trust the people that we elect to a point where we foolishly believed that we don’t need to worry what they are doing.

We trusted that other than at election time, there is simply no need for us to ever get involved in politics.

So it is completely understandable that at the point where Brexit has itself lifted the lid with all that is wrong with our broken politics, we now go in search of the most obvious solutions to get the matter quickly resolved.

Ours is a human response and one that is all too familiar. Because it isn’t just the Electorate that looks for the obvious and simple answers when there is a problem.

To do so is and has for too long also been the default setting for the majority of our MPs whenever there has been the hint of real work for them to do in Government.

This might all seem like a long route into a discussion about a Customs Union. But trying to make sense of this term – that even now is being banded about as what could be the common ground between all sides that gets the Brexit impasse resolved – when even the MPs who are being asked to legislate on Brexit don’t actually know or understand what really is involved, is not something that comes easy to any of us.

With a matter as serious and as potentially far reaching as the question over whether we get a Brexit that ctually delivers on the Referendum Result or doesn’t on the table, we have to be aware that a Customs Union and its implications may not even be the same in reality as what the MPs themselves are being trained on.

A Customs Union is certainly not the same thing as we are being told.

Yes, as ridiculous as it might sound, MPs are having to be trained on what a Customs Union with the EU actually is. And a big part of the problem is that for the many of us who don’t understand how government and legislation actually works, the concept of a Customs Union sounds very simple indeed.

To be fair about it, if you were to look for the meaning of the customs union, you would easily find a brief, perhaps only paragraph long explanation.

One that would no doubt outline that it a Customs Union is a reciprocal relationship between the EU member Countries or Member ‘States’ that harmonises tariffs on goods travelling across or entering the ‘EU’ at any location – even if they then travel to another constituent Country.

By apparent necessity, it leaves the legislation covering each and all of these tariffs for the EU to set in Brussels. Their setting is not left as a matter for any individual Country to resolve.

A Customs Union is a key part of the process of removing geographical borders, so that physical checks between ‘internal’ EU traffic are not necessary. Bureaucracy then appears significantly reduced and it can be argued that there is free, unhindered movement of goods between so-called Member States.

It sounds great. In fact it sounds like a no brainer. This is why the concept Remains so popular.

A Customs Union sounds like the right thing to do until you start to consider the wider implications of being in one and think about its true reach and the real impact upon the UK of all that is actually involved.

But things get confused at this stage. Often deliberately. Because a Customs Union itself is in effect a necessary, if not symbiotically irremovably intrinsic part of a Single Market and a key part of the direction of travel for the supranational EU.

A customs union or its namesake was one of the early dominoes in the chain or history of events that led towards where EU law and legislation is located right now.

A Customs Union between the UK and EU cannot therefore stand alone without legislation that is at the very least equivalent to that which already exists within the ‘known’ EU framework. Even if words and the legislation created say otherwise.

No. It is vital to understand that just as a bark wouldn’t come from a duck and a quack wouldn’t come from a dog, being in a customs union with the EU means that we are and still will be Members of the EU.

The UK cannot and will not be able to legislate as an Independent Sovereign State within a Customs Union.

Ultimately, any form of Brexit that includes even the most simple form of Customs Union machinery or legislation is and will be the act of Remaining within the EU. Even if what our MPs – who may actually believe what they are saying – tell us otherwise.

I would like to be able to say that the reality that underpins all of this is also simple to understand. But it is not.

In fact, we have to go right back to the travesty that was the first European Referendum to even begin trying to unravel the direction of travel in what we now know to be the EU.

That was when the ‘Common Market’.or what our parents and grandparents thought and supported to be a simple trading relationship – not massively unlike the explanation of a Customs Union that I have outlined above – on a journey to become the single market and with it the progressive harmonization of laws which go way beyond simple trade.

This resulted in growing mistrust, many questions and above all the decision to Leave the EU. A result that has only appeared to be so near or close to balance, because many still have no apparent reason to question all that is involved.

The term ‘progressive’ is one that has been adopted for a certain style of politics that Remainers often use and one that encapsulates how the EU operates too.

But the political use of ‘progressive’ as a term is actually a misnomer. One that is used to manipulate people into thinking that they are being offered a type of politics and legislature where the only direction of travel in policy is always forward and therefore will only ever have positive impacts for us all.

It all works a little like building a house. Once the house is built, you then decorate. Once it has been decorated you install the equipment. Once the equipment has been installed, you bring in the furniture. Then you move in with your family and to keep things as you perceive they should be, you lay down a few rules.

In this same vein, the ‘Common Market’ or trade agreement led to the Customs Union that then created a shared marketplace or ‘Single Market’. To make sure that the playing field of this ‘Single Market’ was level, it was deemed essential to ensure that all goods are manufactured to the same standards and the same rules. To make sure there is no way for an industry or sector in one member state to gain an unfair advantage in any other way, this meant that the tentacles of legislation then had to reach out to areas like employment law and the European Working Time Directive.

Before you know it, the EU is rewriting the laws that underpin just about every part of life, ultimately creating social problems and changing the very way that we identify as a culture.

And the EU keeps legislation moving progressively to make the rules the same for everyone across 28 very different Countries without fear of consequence because the ideas underpinning this new but nonetheless undemocratic way of doing politics through the de facto and unquestioned implementation of rules is not something that most people see coming.

We certainly don’t understand there has actually been a change when it has arrived in our lives under the auspices of something completely different and much less insipid than the very dangerous truth and reality behind it.

The reality is that we are having our identity stolen by the back door and this process has been facilitated by MPs who should know better.

They don’t because they are ignorant of the truth.

They are only interested in their own glory, rather than having to think through the implications of their actions.

They avoid and therefore neglect a process that we once trusted them to undertake automatically. Because that’s what responsibility to the Electorate actually involves.

It is no use saying that the alternative of the UK becoming again fully Independent as a Nation State will be easier than being a member of and rule taker from the EU because it isn’t.

However, it also doesn’t make it right. Nor does it mean that it will deliver the right things for the UK.

The truth is that there is very little being said by even the Leave side of the debate about the true cost of remaining within the EU and being in any way tied and obligated to it. Never mind the price that we as a Country have already paid.

In fact, the whole Brexit and EU Referendum debate has, is, and looks like it will continue to be very short on facts, whilst remaining subject to the knee-jerk and quick-win approach that has already created so much of the pain that has already been involved.

If the arguments were to be thought out, translated and then effectively made without bias or self-interest, there is no doubt that the argument in favour of the compromises required for continued membership and indeed a relationship of the kind being sold by Theresa May and many on the Labour side of Parliament would not actually be seen as compromise anymore.

It would be seen as being worse than the subjugation to a Foreign power that we have been on the end of for far too long. Subjugation that the Vote to Leave the EU on 23rd June 2016 stated clearly to our MPs had already gone too far and MUST be stopped.

Yet at the same time, no detailed and comprehensive case for Leave has been made.

Without it, the anger and frustration which is now going to drive and fuel a clean Brexit, possibly outside of any form of reasoned control, will not lay the foundations of what an Independent and fully Sovereign UK will then look like.

It will certainly not begin to provide the basis upon which we can then build a genuine and dynamically balanced working relationship with our neighbours in the EU. The solution, result and aim that we must all work for after Brexit has been properly delivered, if the differences that now exist between us in the form of Leave vs Remain are ever to be satisfactorily resolved.

 

Brexit will soon be the winning argument behind electoral failure if Brexiteers don’t accept that the collective result is far more important than individual glory

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The world has changed since Brexit. Things have moved on politically in more ways than one. And all the key players – whoever we might agree or disagree they then were, are now in very different roles or are facing circumstances which are very different indeed.

Whilst it would be vastly unfair to others and genuinely incorrect to portray Nigel Farage as the man who won Brexit, we must not fall in to the same trap that May did of either ignoring or deliberately overlooking his role.

However, whilst events in Westminster this past week have finally precipitated Mr Farages return to the fray, the talking up of his new Brexit Party having the same or even increased support from the pre-Referendum UKIP of old might prove to be generous, misleading and potentially very bold indeed.

Whilst the considerable Remain element within the Westminster bubble continue to do everything possible to argue that support for or departure from the European Union is no longer of the level that it once was, a trip out to the Shires, Towns and Leave Constituencies, and a discussion with one or two real people out here soon brings you to the real understanding of where things really are – despite all that we are publicly being told.

One step further and an hour or two following a wide range of journalists and political commentators online, on TV or even reading the Papers and you will soon begin to see how that support for Brexit is manifesting. It is very different to the time when it was just about the question of Leave or Remain.

The support that Farage et al simply expect to transfer to the new Brexit Party shows signs of not moving en bloc as their understandably angry Leader might have perceived.

UKIP, despite its leap towards Islamophobia and Stephen Yaxley Lennon aka ‘Tommy Robinson’ has not withered away and died. This much we know from the increased margin they gained in the Newport West By Election.

Yet the most interesting smoke signal wafting up from the other side of the Severn Estuary is the presence of a growing number of independent and smaller party candidates. A phenomenon being played out in the campaigns of local government elections across the country which are underway now.

A list of local, independent and protest driven candidates in a by election is nothing new. But it is worthwhile looking at how many are now coalescing around support for Brexit, and understanding from this that the Brexit Party might have a fight on its hands that it wasn’t expecting.

The Brexit Party and UKIP have a fight developing with other pro-Brexit parties. When they offer small one-off candidatures, they might only make minimal difference. But as the sum of all parts, they could actually undercut what should now be the vote winning topic of the Century where one party unifying all the people in favour of Brexit and British Democracy could very easily gain the electoral influence to be in government, at very least in influential part if not in actual working majority form.

Today there is any number of Leave focused organisations coming into view. All of them talking up fielding candidates using language suggesting that each and every one of them has the unique formula to win and beat the Brexit-betraying main Political Parties, when what they are doing is little more than mimicking the attitudes and approaches of the very same Politicians they want to and we all know deep down that must be replaced.

The upshot is that what should be a sizeable and potentially election-winning majority at any election could now be split 3, 4 or perhaps many more ways.

It doesn’t take much more consideration to understand that such a result could easily see any of the candidates that need to be ousted potentially coming back up though the middle, once again gifted a majority they should never have been trusted with, and as such returned.

Working together, representatives of the leave majority in the UK have the ability to overturn everything wrong that this parliament and theresa May has done.

But if the desire of individuals to get elected, become MPs and get on TV or Radio is not superceded by the need to work collectively and as one, things could get dramatically worse for us all, not just in terms of being stitched up in our relationship with the EU, but in respect of all the injustices that need to be fixed beyond.

For a new and decisive way forward to be guaranteed, Brexiteers will have no option but to gather together candidates and support in one destination. They have to build and develop a Party that is electable not only because it has the numbers, BUT is also palatable to a wider audience than just those who have always been predisposed to Leaving the European Union.

Doing so will be no easy task as those whom ever had dealings with the pre-Referendum UKIP found out.

No matter what political party or movement people join up to to become actively involved, the default setting of doing something worthy for those putting themselves forward as speakers, activists and candidates are all-too-often overshadowed by the intoxication of perceived glory of their role.

With it goes any chance of accepting that contributing as much or as little as it would take from each and everyone of us to get the job done is often as much as it will take, and not everyone can or even should want to be an MP or PM if we are really minded that we want to get the job done.

In the established parties, embedded structures have been successful in ensuring that candidates in the majority would speak publicly with pretty much one attitude and voice.

Problems quickly come when that structure and experience is absent. This was the case with UKIP. And even though it had existed for two decades at the time of the EU Referendum, it never possessed the inherent experience and knowledge of a frontline presence in government required to train and contain those involved. As a result, it simply suffered from the damage and disruption caused by lone, overexcited and unbridled voices that suddenly in possession of a public platform fell into the trap of believing that everyone around them fighting to Leave the EU had ideas that echoed exactly the same thoughts as their own.

With Brexit itself having become the story through no fault of its own, the many causes and contributing factors of the will to Leave the European Union – themselves being far from being black and white and constitutionally constructed of many shades – have not and are not being considered or addressed by any of the political organisations currently elected or otherwise. There is simply no sign that they are going to be either, by anyone who is involved.

Any Political Party or Movement seeking to get a full, proper Brexit delivered and British Democracy back on track, has to have a manifesto and raison d’etre that reaches across all of this and beyond. One that is fundamentally constructed on foundations which are much mush deeper than the question of simply whether the UK should Leave the EU or Remain.

Although the current political landscape not only changes daily, but seemingly by the hour, it would be foolish to say that there are not other possibilities that we cannot right now foresee as being able to deliver the solutions that we should now all be talking about.

Yet if we were to look at the options as they stand before us today, they are likely to be limited to a completely new Movement borne of all the Brexit factions which have sprung up and exist. Or as an offshoot or reboot of the Conservative Party, which if it were to suddenly grow up and start functioning properly, would always have the advantage of an existing party machine.

For a new Party to come out of the Brexiteer factions and be successful to the level needed, all of the established groups and yes, Parties and their candidates and leaders too will have no option but to leave those identities and whatever kudos they currently perceive themselves to have, behind.

The movement which will right all the wrongs not only brought to the surface by the Brexit Betrayal, but reaches way back into years and perhaps decades of our political history beyond, will not be created, developed and led by politicians who treat it as their own form a vanity project – the very same reasons that everything we see in politics today has gone so utterly and completely wrong.

I don’t honestly know where the best place would be to start or to begin when it comes to the Westminster picture, as emotions are now so entrenched, it will not be easy to get so very many fired-up activists and people to stand back and accept that not pushing for a frontline role might be the best way for them to contribute to ensure that we all work as one, together and collectively get along.

But if you are a Brexiteer and your immediate thought, emotion or feeling is that you alone have the best ideas and everyone else should be using your ideas and falling in behind, you need to stop, look, listen to all the muppets we already have in Westminster and accept the reality that you are attempting to sing the same old song.

Well, what did you expect?

February 26, 2019 Leave a comment

img_2694Obvious as it has appeared to be time and time again already, the Welching of Brexit has finally reached the point where it is all but impossible to deny.

In a statement delivered to the House of Commons at lunchtime, Theresa May officially opened the doors to extending Article 50.

This is an act that anyone who has studied the mayhem playing out from this Prime Ministerial Tragedy since 2016 will know to be significant, in that it is within the no-mans land which lies beyond the failure of this Parliament to take us out of the EU on 29th March 2019, where its real legacy of a non-Brexit or rather its Brexit betrayal will be completely defined.

In her speech to Parliament, the Prime Minister laid out a series of votes  to be held on (or before) the 12th, 13th and 14th March 2019 that in their very being, outline the framework of what the majority of our MPs believe. They make clear the depth of the gargantuan divide between what our Elected Representatives intend to work for and what the People instructed them to deliver in the European Referendum on 23rd June 2016.

May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (by 12th March)

 

The first of the three votes will be a return of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement that was so crushingly defeated only a few weeks ago.

Whilst Ministers still trot out the line that it is the best deal available, the reality is that it is no such thing.

May’s Withdrawal Agreement ties us into the EU project even more closely that we are now. It gives us even less influence and provides no mechanism for us to depart under our own steam.

May never has any intention of pursuing a meaningful change to the Agreement with the EU that would either provide us with a unilateral exit mechanism or for the Backstop to be strictly time-bound.

It is clear that she and her coterie haven’t even asked, and that even if they had, as far as the EU was concerned, it was a request that would have always been denied.

Instead, there has been much rumour and lip service paid to a codicil or rewording of the political statement which accompanies the Withdrawal Agreement, which we should all now know would be cleverly be interpreted by the PM or her legal advisors as being a change which is legally binding for the purposes of this audiences, but when it comes to something we could expect the EU to honour, would never have even the remotest form of equivalence.

This will be a vote on Brexit in name only (Brino).

It is a plan to Remain in the EU, devised and delivered by Remainers.

It is not Brexit and not what the British People voted for.

Leaving the EU with ‘no deal’ on 29th March (by 13th March)

 

The second of the three votes would be to Leave the EU on the 29th March 2019 with ‘no deal’.

This is the only vote available to Parliament that will now ensure the proper Brexit that honours the Result of the European Referendum.

It will also be the most defining. Because this vote will directly record the action of each and every MP in respect of their support for Leaving the EU or seeking to Remain, contrary to the Will of the People.

Be under no illusion. There has never been any need for a ‘deal’ to Leave the EU. It is only the actions of these very same Remainer MPs as they have sought to obstruct, redirect and prevent Brexit that have guaranteed that the UK may not be as well prepared for a ‘no deal’ departure as we would have been.

Things would have been very different if they had got on with doing what they had been instructed to do in 2016, rather than spend most of the time since trying to work out how they could ensure the result was denied.

Whilst many cannot currently see it, it is only from the position of Leaving the EU without precondition, obligation or agreement of any kind, that we will then be able to lead the reconstruction of a relationship with the EU which promises to bridge the UK’s Brexit divide.

You cannot negotiate the future when you are obsessed with the past.

Sadly, the dynamic of our current Parliament, which doesn’t collectively believe that the Will of the People should be upheld, means that this vote will more likely than not be lost.

That is unless there is an attempt to precipitate a chaotic no deal departure as a cloud covering the intention behind a result that would lead to a very different thing.

The third of the three votes would be to extend Article 50 (by 14th March)

 

Regrettably, now May has explicitly made this option available, it is where we are most likely to end up, even though Conservatives are now likely to see the true split in the Party undeniably illustrated in all its glory and for all to see.

Forget talk of the Malthouse Compromise or any other ‘plan’ that could provide a credible rescue of Brexit whilst this Parliament is still in place.

May won’t accept anything other than her own plan as the way in which Brexit will be defined and now that she has had to move her own trip wire as the result of threats from Ministers who should have already resigned, she will only see the delay as a further opportunity to bring back exactly the same flawed Agreement.

Nothing has changed. Nothing will have changed. Nothing can change until May has gone from No.10.

A short extension in these circumstances will make no difference.

A longer one will only open up greater opportunities for Remainers to thwart Brexit and for the EU to demand even more from the UK within an Agreement which under proper Brexit-derived leadership would itself never have seen light.

The reality of May’s Brexit Welch and the post-29th March Debacle

 

This Parliament is incapable of delivering a true Brexit under the leadership of Theresa May.

With a new Prime Minister, this Parliament will remain hamstrung and even with a new workable deal agreed with the EU or with a commitment to Leave on WTO Terms and build a relationship from there, the numbers simply don’t suggest that anything ‘clean’ can be achieved whilst the current Parliamentary dynamic remains in force.

This should be of concern to us all, as there is the potential for this saga to continue until at least 2022, with incalculable consequences that could reach out way beyond.

General Election?

 

The default setting for sorting out a Parliamentary mess like this is to call a General Election.

The problem is that the Political Parties remain the same.

They are not offering anything any different to what they have been and what they are now, and that even if new names were to be elected, they would come back and offer us all exactly the same thing that they are right now.

Exciting as the launch last week of the Independent Group last week might to some feel, they are not offering anything different. In fact they are more like a refined or distilled version of everything that is wrong with politics in this Country today. They would be best suited to the mantra ‘do as I say, whilst I do otherwise and certainly don’t pay attention to anything that I do’.

Likewise, the Brexit Party may well be destined by a failure to launch and suffer many of the same problems that faced UKIP. It’s not because there isn’t validity and support for what it is they are trying to do. But because the viewpoints providing influence are far too narrow and where organisation and administration is concerned, there is a significant absence of professionalism involved.

To make a General Election work in the way that it now should, we actually need a completely new Party that is as diverse in its policy outlook as it is in its membership. Is professional, well funded, but above all motivated by and to deliver what is genuinely in the best interests of all – no matter how hard the process might be.

None of the existing Parties can offer this. TIG is not capable and the Brexit Party already looks too much like the single issue of Brexit will be the nature of its complete stall.

When you look at it all this way and consider the implications of the constipated democracy that we now have, it is very difficult to work out what we might now have in store.

Our current MPs wish to avoid a General Election at all costs. They would inevitably run again if one was called, and because of the current nature of the system, in many cases would find themselves being successfully recalled.

They wont stand down and step aside for others to take their place. And in times like these, there will now be an increasing number of us who find ourselves internalising a very alarming question.

Has the time arrived when this Country could be susceptible to a Coup?

 

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images thanks to unknown

It’s not a ‘no deal’ Brexit we have to fear. It’s the ineptitude of the Politicians who are ‘in power’ and will be ‘in control’

February 2, 2019 Leave a comment

img_2543From the top to the bottom of the Government, the display of self-interest and wanton disconnect from the world outside of Westminster has been both exposed and demonstrated for how serious it now is. Brexit has certainly demonstrated the worst aspects of our Political System for all that they are and it is indeed troubling that it is not possible to list anything that we could consider as being the best aspects in the very same sentence.

The malaise affecting Government isn’t only of it. In fact, the problem with the quality of those in Government is perhaps better illustrated by the same reality which has rolled itself out across all areas of influence too. It is present across all the sectors and in its simplest form has come from the cultural disposition which is focusing on all the wrong things when selecting candidates for key jobs and responsibilities.

It isn’t as simple as having a bitch about some old boys network or any other form of nepotism. Those certainly exist. But they are in no way nearly as damaging as the impact of a failure to focus on what is important and how you qualify any individual for a position which is then going to have considerable impact upon others – whether that be in politics, government, charities or business.

Because so much is taken at face value when decisions are made, we have people leading this Country who in many cases simply have no understanding of, nor the disposition to emphasise or learn about the people and the lives they are responsible for or upon whose lives their actions will impact.

So when you have a Government that can’t even see nor understand where its metaphorical feet and therefore foundations are located, they then reach out to membership organisations like the CBI, who are supposedly representative of the business community, but are run by people who are unikley to have ever been at the cutting edge of the genesis an unsupported, sole-trader/SME start-up business and the process of developing it thereafter, and think that entrepreneurism is a skill which can be learned by reading about it online.

This Country has unwittingly sleepwalked into a position where inexperienced leaders are being guided and led by the inexperienced because they are too inexperienced to know what inexperience looks like.

Until now, this downward trajectory didn’t matter. The over ambitious and self serving have been left to get on with managing everything, because as a culture, we the British People have just stood back and let them get on with it as we accepted that this was the way that things were always done.

But then came Brexit.

Right from the moment that the abuse of the compact between the Establishment and the People was first taken to a new place and David Cameron instigated the European Referendum (which should never have been needed anyway, had many previous Governments been doing the job they should have been doing exactly when it should have been done), the whole ball of bandaids which we have allowed Government after Government to stick upon problem upon problem, has began to unravel.

They didn’t know what to do then. They don’t know what to do now. Simply because they now know that it is no longer inevitable that they will always get their own way.

If the majority of the political construct which is our Parliament were to be honest with the Public, they know what the People were asked to Vote on in 2016, and that it was not anything like or even a derivative of Remain.

However, because they simply have no idea how to manage uncertainty of any kind when their experiences have always told them that their career pathways and responsibilities are assured – so long as they always play ball, they cannot bring themselves to accept that anything other than problems and trouble will exist if the UK were to go any other way than Remain.

The greatest opportunities for this Country exist with the set of circumstances where we are as one agile enough to adapt to and accept them all for what they are.

That agility will never come from pretending we are another country where the sclerotic set of rules only ever constructed to create the pretence of a level playing field between 28 different cultures will inevitably mean we will not ever be the same again, whilst we will never have the confidence to value who we really are.

That confidence will only come from Leaving the EU. We must Leave without ties and with full and unequivocal Independence from the EU Regime. That should have always and must now be our only and overriding purpose.

The significance of the opportunity that awaits us as a Country upon Leaving the EU cannot be underestimated.

Talk of having to have a deal to leave a relationship is all that it ever was.

The only reason that the Establishment is so focused upon perpetuating the myth that Leaving with No Deal will be a disaster, is because the people who populate its lead positions today are incapable of making decisions in live time, without a pre-ordained plan or strategy.

It is on this basis that we should perhaps be asking ourselves the question, what has this, the Country of Thatcher and Churchill really now become?

We really have no reason to fear a misnamed ‘no deal’ Brexit, as we will always have a deal, agreement or whatever you want to call it with the EU.

It’s the ineptitude and unsuitability of the Politicians and Society figures who are supposedly ‘in power’ and will therefore be ‘in control’ when we do that we should really be concerned about.

Because it is they who will cause the problems, as they cannot see and therefore embrace real opportunity for what it really is, simply because its something that they have never experienced, are qualified to manage or have been appropriately prepared for.

 

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.

If Conservatives want to deliver the Brexit People Voted for, today is the time to have the confidence to vote No Confidence in all Theresa May has led this Tory Government to become

January 16, 2019 Leave a comment

Counterintuitive as it may seem, the defeat of May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement last night, immediately followed by Jeremy Corbyn picking up the gauntlet that the Prime Minister had thrown to call a No Confidence Vote, has given the Conservative Party a lifeline and the opportunity to take control of the whole Brexit process that it needs.

No, we do not want and definitely do not need a Corbyn Government.

But we do need Theresa May to find some dignity from some where and accept that she is not the Prime Minister that this Country needs as it now stares at an evolving crisis.

The prefect storm which surrounds the greatest Government Defeat in recorded history, is the only reason that we this morning still have a Prime Minister May.

It was encapsulated perfectly well this morning when a friend asked me the very simple question ‘Why doesn’t the Conservative Party intervene?’

My response was as polite and honest as I could make it; ‘The people who have the power to do something all want May’s job and want a trouble-free run at it too’.

And it is within these circumstances; what is increasingly likely to become a National crisis, that we can see so very clearly that it was all so very avoidable, but self-interest, self-righteousness and blind ambition on the part of an out-of-touch political class bears all responsibility for the chaos over Leaving the EU that it has made.

The biggest problem is that the Politicians responsible are so blinded by their arrogance, they have no idea what to do with the child they have given birth to.

So instead they blithely press on as if they are incapable of doing wrong. As if they have no responsibility to anything other than keeping their jobs.

And amongst these non-representatives of the people, the worst of them all and most out of touch is Theresa May.

After the humiliation of the Defeat that she and the plan with which she is so personally entwined last night, a real stateswoman would have immediately resigned. Instead we see a powerless leader, so certain of her own right to govern that she is literally prepared to destroy her own Political Party, and worse, the future of a whole Country, simply on the basis of her believing that only she can be the PM to deliver something out of Brexit ‘come what May’.

The trouble is that something doesn’t look anything like the Brexit that the People actually Voted for. And by refusing to make way for someone capable of grabbing the wheel, she is going to drive the whole Brexit Bus over the cliff with us all in it, when the route was unnecessary and only a problem that she herself made.

Yet we are in a position where the problem could be resolved quickly, if the Conservatives were to come together, respect that the Vote of the People meant Leaving without what Remain have clumsily referred to as a ‘deal’, and accept that the first step to turning this whole mess on its head is to part company with Theresa May.

If the Conservatives back Jeremy Corbyn’s No Confidence Vote later today, there is a golden opportunity to reverse all of this quandary and ensure that the British People do get Brexit AND one in which WE ALL WIN.

Once Theresa May has been put in the position where she can be forced to resign AND the Cabinet collectively accept that the race for a new Prime Minister is not one that they all are equipped for or able to win, a new Conservative Government can be immediately be formed. YES, with nothing more than a swift and timely crowing, but with the purpose of doing what is strategically necessary so that the Country is once again capable of facing up to the EU AND achieving the People’s Win.

No, it won’t be easy. But by taking the time to look beyond what stares back at them from the mirror each morning, this may be the last opportunity to voluntarily embrace the true responsibilities of being an MP, come together, deliver a real and meaningful Brexit and consign any chance of a Marxist government gaining power and wrecking everything the UK has to the bin.

Please MPs, for once have faith in the decision of the People, in opportunity and the future that your being selfless with responsibility most assuredly will allow us ALL to have.

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