No. 10: Merkel Has Killed a Deal

Following Boris’s call with Merkel in which she has refused to budge on the Northern Ireland border, a Number 10 source has told Sky’s Sam Coates:

‘The call with Merkel showed the EU has adopted a new position. She made clear a deal is overwhelmingly unlikely and she thinks the EU has a veto on us leaving the Customs Union. Merkel said that if Germany wanted to leave the EU they could do it no problem but the UK cannot leave without leaving Northern Ireland behind in a customs union and in full alignment forever. She said that Ireland is the government’s special problem and Ireland must at least have a veto on NI leaving. Merkel said that the PM should tell Northern Ireland that it must stay in full alignment forever, but that even this would not eliminate customs issues.

‘It was a very useful clarifying moment in all sorts of ways. If this represents a new established position, then it means a deal is essentially impossible not just now but ever. It also made clear that they are willing to torpedo the Good Friday Agreement’

Hardly pulling their punches at this point…

UPDATE: Tusk confirms the death of negotiations

what’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game. At stake is the future of Europe and the UK as well as the security and interests of our people. You don’t want a deal, you don’t want an extension, you don’t want to revoke, quo vadis?

There’s no coming back from this…

EU’s Good Cop Bad Cop Game

Last night in Berlin, Angela Merkel made surprisingly positive noises towards a surprisingly diplomatic Boris Johnson, that surprised even Number 10 in their warmth. Despite this morning the PM’s team playing down their significance, Merkel told a press conference yesterday that:

“I see possibilities… It was said we will probably find a solution in two years, we can maybe find it in the next 30 days.”

Insiders are not expecting today’s “working lunch” with Emmanuel Macron to go anywhere like as smoothly, already briefing the meeting will be “frank”, a diplomatic word for frosty. The French President told reporters last night  “Renegotiation of the terms currently proposed by the British is not an option that exists, and that has always been made clear by President Tusk.” Good cop bad cop…

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis told the Today Programme this morning that he recognises the thirty day timetable as an important timeframe as the UK Government does not expect serious crunch discussion until the end of September, after it can be proved to the EU that Parliament cannot stop No Deal. As long as Parliament doesn’t stop Number 10 holding its strong line, the Government expects the EU to properly engage until Conference recess towards the end of next month…

PM Boris Meets Chancellor Merkel

Boris’ German visit is already off to a better start to his predecessor, after May arrived too early in April, and her car door got stuck last December. Early days but smooth sailing for Boris so far…

Merkel: Backstop Can Be ‘Overwritten’

Merkel has given a strong hint that the EU could be prepared to move on the backstop, telling a German press conference that the backstop will be “overwritten” if alternative solutions can be found. This doesn’t actually change the EU’s position yet – as things stand the UK would still be signing up to the backstop in the legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement while the alternative arrangements would be in the non-binding political declaration. It’s still a significant softening of the EU’s rhetoric around the backstop after stonewalling the issue throughout the Tory leadership contest…

It’s good timing, the Alternative Arrangements Commission run by ProsperityUK, led by Greg Hands and Nicky Morgan, published their 268-page Alternative Arrangements Report and Protocols just yesterday. No solution for the Irish border is going to be perfect from day one but it does blow apart the fiction promulgated by May and the EU that the backstop is the only way to solve the border issue. The backstop remains by far the single biggest impediment to a sensible deal, no excuse for either sides’ negotiators not to be looking at alternative arrangements now…

Merkel Cancels Resignation, Decides Successor Not Up to Job

If the Tories thought they were having trouble getting rid of Theresa May, they should spare a thought for the German CDU where Angela Merkel has just announced that she won’t be resigning as German Chancellor after all. Heiliger Strohsack!

Merkel has reportedly decided that her chosen successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, abbreviated to slightly dubious acronym ‘AKK’, is not up to the job after watching her popularity slide since she took over leadership of the CDU. AKK led the CDU to its worst ever performance in the EU elections, which people actually care about in Germany. Merkel now wants to hang on at least until 2021. As long as Theresa May doesn’t get any ideas…

May Comes Too Early for Merkel

Oops. Guido can’t make his mind up as to whether this is an improvement on December when she couldn’t get out of the car:

At least the door worked this time…

EU Negotiating Intransigence Always Precedes a Flip-Flop

The British commentariat has for the past three years delighted in reporting EU negotiating position as if it is an immovable object, the revealed gospel itself. That’s not what their track record in major negotiations suggests…

In 2010 it was almost universally received wisdom in the media and markets that there would be no Greek bailout. All the top figures vigorously denied it was even a possibility, as the Maastricht Treaty specifically precluded such a rescue package. As the EU kept reminding us…

  • The European Central Bank’s chief economist Jurgen Stark said that Greece does not meet the terms for a bailout, and that “The Treaties set out a ‘no bail-out’ clause, and the rules will be respected. This is crucial for guaranteeing the future of a monetary union.”
  • European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia insisted there was “no special EU plan for Greece”
  • Angela Merkel said “We have a Treaty under which there is no possibility of paying to bail out states.”

Of course, later in 2010, Greece received €310 billion in bailout money, despite that being illegal under treaty…

Guido would gently suggest to political pundits that negotiations are negotiations, and portraying the word of one side as if it is the word of the almighty, especially in the context of a contradictory track record, is beyond daft. The EU claims that the backstop is unlikely to come into play, so a time limit on something that is unlikely to happen is not a reason for the EU to force a disorderly Brexit. The EU consistently bends the rules when they come under pressure…

Merkel: Still Time For More Negotiations

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said there is still time for more Brexit negotiations to take place before the UK leaves the organisation. Contrary to what some proponents of May’s original deal have been trying to tell us…

‘AKK’ Chosen as Merkel’s Successor

The CDU has elected Merkel’s favoured candidate, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, to be its new leader. This puts ‘AKK’, widely seen as the continuity candidate, in pole position to succeed Merkel when she finally steps down as Chancellor in 2021, if not before. Will the Brexit negotiations still be going on then?

French Finance Minister Calls for “Europe to Become an Empire Again”

The French Finance Minister has told the French-German Business Forum that “Europe has to become an empire again.” Speaking candidly to the assembled delegates, the minister spoke to Macron’s vision of a united Europe, saying unification as an Empire has to occur “in the next 25 years.”

Describing a federal European empire as “European sovereignty” he told the conference that whilst it should be built “brick by brick,” “rapid progress” is needed. “We should be looking at weeks and months much more than years.” With Merkel announcing her support for a European army last week, the building of federal European sovereignty brick by brick looks well under way…

Read the extraordinary opening paragraphs to the Finance Minister’s speech in full below:

Continue reading

Merkel Calls For “Real European Army”

Angela Merkel, addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg today sung the praises of “European unification” and called for a European Army. She began her remarks by saying she was appearing before MEPs “with joy but also with gratitude, in front of the greatest parliament of the world.”

After calling Brexit “a deep wound,” the German Chancellor called on the EU to “work on a vision of creating a real, true, European army.” After shouts of indignation from predominantly UKIP MEPs, Merkel said “I am really pleased about this I’m annoying some people.”

Was Clegg lying, or just being incredibly naive?

Merkel Standing Down as Party Leader

Budget Day is threatening to be overshadowed by news from Germany, where Angela Merkel has reportedly told party colleagues that she will not stand for re-election as leader of her ruling CDU party after more heavy losses in regional elections in Hesse yesterday. Merkel has held the post of CDU chairwoman since 2000 – while she will remain as Chancellor for the time being, this will fire the starting gun for the race to succeed her. Against all odds, will May manage to outlast Merkel?

UPDATE: Merkel intends to remain chancellor until her fourth term ends in 2021, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

May Shows Merkel Customs Plan Before Cabinet

Theresa May showed Angela Merkel her customs plan before she showed her own Cabinet, it has emerged this afternoon:

The Cabinet are livid about this – why have Number 10 kept them in the dark while briefing the media and the German government? Who was told first, Dexeu or the Germans? First question for a reporter to ask May during her Berlin trip…

Merkel: “Absolutely No Doubt” There Will Be a Deal

These new lines from Merkel this morning that tell a rather different story to the narrative playing out in parts of the British media:

“From my point of view, there are absolutely no signs that we can’t succeed. If we are all clear in our minds, I have absolutely no doubt that we can reach a good result. 

[…] Read the rest

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Hypocrisy of DUP-Hating Europhiles

Frustrated Remoaners have been decrying the Tory government-propping DUP as homophobic because they oppose gay marriage. Yesterday Angela Merkel voted against legalising gay marriage in Germany saying “it should be between a man and a woman”. Where is the outrage from the usual Europhile loudmouths?[…] Read the rest

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Merkel Rejected Right to Remain Deal

Theresa May has been heavily criticised for failing to give an assurance that EU citizens living in the UK will be allowed to stay post-Brexit. She even refused to tell Tory backbencher Alberto Costa that his Italian parents could stay in the country, despite David Davis previously saying he was “100% sure” the situation would be resolved amicably.[…] Read the rest

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EU Leaders Discussing Brexit Without Britain, Again

merkel hollande

Leaders of every EU member state bar Britain will meet in Bratislava in mid-September to “continue a political reflection” post-Brexit. The event, which was scheduled after the last meeting in Brussels, is ostensibly for the leaders to debate “further reforms in line with our strategic agenda”.[…] Read the rest

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Verboten: Dave Asks Merkel to Stay Out of Referendum

merkel

IDS is giving a speech at 10 a.m. in which he’ll elaborate on his claim – on the front page of today’s Sun – that Angela Merkel blocked the key immigration emergency brake in Cameron’s renegotiation:

“I saw the draft. I know that right up until the midnight hour, there was a strong line in there about restricting the flow of migrants from the European Union – an emergency break on overall migration. 

[…] Read the rest

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Friday Caption Contest (Check The Lining Edition)

asdgsd

The winner of today’s caption contest will receive a copy of Matthew Goodwin and Caitlin Milazzo’s:

UKIP: Inside the Campaign to Redraw the Map of British Politics

“A must-read book for all those interested in Ukip’s quest to redraw the map of British politics. 

[…] Read the rest

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Reform In Good Time: PM Reneges On Christmas Promise

EU REFORM

How’s that whole renegotiation thing going? Well, David Cameron has just admitted that he won’t be getting a deal before Christmas, as previously promised. This is Downing Street’s summary of his phone call with Angela Merkel today:

[The Prime Minister] noted that the scale of what we are asking for means we will not resolve this is one go and consequently who did not expect to get agreement at the December European Council.

[…] Read the rest

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