Entries in the comments…
Entries in the comments…
684 days have passed since Britain voted for Brexit. Theresa May has been Prime Minister for 664 days. There are just 325 days – ten months – until we are supposed to be leaving the EU. Still, the UK government does not have a policy on customs.
Boris has given an interview to the Mail today in which he brands Number 10’s customs partnership proposal “crazy”. Guido has outlined the problems with it here. The customs partnership is dead in its current form, but the papers are full of speculation Downing Street is going to plough ahead with a rehashed version of the model rejected by the Brexit sub-committee last week.
Just as worryingly, Number 10 is putting off the decision yet again. Customs won’t be discussed at Cabinet today, we are told, nor at the next meeting of the sub-committee on Thursday. There are reports that the Commons vote on customs may even be delayed until the autumn, as May desperately tries to fudge what is already a fudge. Continually delaying the decision on customs is becoming a dereliction of duty. The uncertainty is harming the economy. The vague UK position is encouraging Brussels to wind down the clock and keep us in a full customs union. If Number 10 delay any further, the choice will be between a customs union and no deal, outcomes no one wants. Get on with it…
Boris to the Mail on May’s customs partnership:
“If you have the new customs partnership, you have a crazy system whereby you end up collecting the tariffs on behalf of the EU at the U.K. frontier. If the EU decides to impose punitive tariffs on something the U.K. wants to bring in cheaply, there’s nothing you can do. That’s not taking back control of your trade policy, it’s not taking back control of your laws, it’s not taking back control of your borders and it’s actually not taking back control of your money either, because tariffs would get paid centrally back to Brussels.”
Two pieces today express the unhappiness of Brexiters with Theresa May’s version of Brexit. Boris tells the Telegraph leaving will be “pointless” if we cannot diverge from the EU and strike trade deals with other countries, and makes the case for a “liberal” immigration policy that allows us to take “software people from Hyderabad” and “Australian paramedics” as well as skilled migrants from the EU. Fraser Nelson blasts May for pursuing “the wrong Brexit” in the Spectator, warning:
“Many Remainers genuinely believed they were engaged in a battle of ‘open’ vs ‘closed’ — and that ‘closed’ won. So as democrats, they ought to obey what they believe to be the demand of Brexit voters: clamping down on migration, sounding more tough and less liberal. This is a tragic misreading not only of the referendum result, but of public opinion today. Seeking to control immigration is not the same thing as being anti-immigrant…
Limits should be placed on unskilled labour, as is common in most countries, but skilled workers should be welcomed with open arms. There should be no more treating Australians or Indians as second class immigrants, and no more violinists deported to Massachusetts because they don’t earn enough.”
This is essentially the problem with two Remainers, May and Rudd, being in charge of the post-Brexit approach to immigration. In an effort to win the support of Brexiters, May and Rudd have overcompensated and tried to be more Brexit than Brexit, playing up to their caricature of what they think Leave voters want. A Leave Prime Minister would not have used EU citizens as bargaining chips as May did for so long. A Leave Prime Minister would not continue to favour EU migrants over non-EU migrants post-Brexit, as Brexiters fear May and Rudd will do to get a better deal. Polling by Open Europe found 56% supported continuing immigration “as long as there are controls to make sure they will contribute to our society, economy and way of life”. It is about control and fairness, not the cold approach exemplified by the Windrush scandal…
“It is quite extraordinary” in view of the weight of evidence to continue to deny the “likelihood of Russian involvement” in Salisbury poisoning – Boris Johnson tells #Marr https://t.co/2F6eDpYWeF pic.twitter.com/6efkdkg6gA
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) April 15, 2018
He says the Russians are “demented” for claiming Britain did it…
Patrick Stewart tells Marr his Star Trek and X-Men characters Jean-Luc Picard and Charles Xavier would have voted Remain. Boris dismisses him as “something to do with Star Wars” and says:
We’ve already had ‘The People’s Vote’, says @BorisJohnson. “We’re now trying to deliver on that mandate from the people,” he says in response to calls for a second EU referendum. pic.twitter.com/0TUiib4Ary
— BrexitCentral (@BrexitCentral) April 15, 2018
“We’ll be able boldly go again to areas that perhaps we’ve neglected…”
Boris on Jezza:
“28 other countries have been so convinced by UK case they have expelled Russians. In contrast, Jeremy Corbyn chooses to side with the Russian spin machine.”
Bercow absolutely laid in to Boris Johnson for calling Emily Thornberry ‘Lady Nugee’ in the Commons. pic.twitter.com/QQWaEWGn4I
— Hugo Gye (@HugoGye) March 27, 2018
Bercow says Boris is “sexist” for calling Emily Thornberry “Baroness Nugee”. What would the Speaker call bullying female staff members then?
Slightly concerning Russian foreign ministry spokesman quote claiming Boris is:
“poisoned with hatred and anger”
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson explains why he said it was “overwhelmingly likely” Vladimir Putin ordered the nerve agent attack in Salisbury #Marr https://t.co/UjqlRZwAx6 pic.twitter.com/4bWm4x3Z39
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 18, 2018
“We actually have evidence, within the last ten years, that not only has Russia been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok itself.”
The major news from Boris this morning…
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 16, 2018
“We think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the UK.”
Over to you Seumas…
The Foreign Secretary @BorisJohnson has suggested England’s World Cup participation could be affected if Russia was found to be involved in the poisoning of a double agent in Salisbury pic.twitter.com/4OyW4AOdwy
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 6, 2018
Various news outlets have reported that Boris threatened to pull England out of the World Cup during the Urgent Question on the spy poisoning today. If you look at what he actually said, he mentioned nothing about the England team and was clearly referring to “UK representation”. I.e. officials and diplomats from the UK government, not the England team:
“If things turn out to be as many members suspect that they are, I think we will have to have a serious conversation about our engagement with Russia, and for my own part I think it will be very difficult to see, thinking ahead to the World Cup this summer, I think it will be very difficult to imagine that UK representation at that event could go ahead in the normal way.”
Yet another example of certain media organisations hostile to Boris using a very serious story to make a cheap shot at the Foreign Secretary. Whether or not the government’s commitment to bring Russia “to heel” is an empty threat is surely a more pressing question…
Boris Johnson was just spotted using what appeared to be some unparliamentary language in #PMQs in response to Jeremy Corbyn suggesting the Foreign Secretary briefed the media that the Working Time Directive would be scrapped after Brexit pic.twitter.com/kyuNwJXU0d
— ITV News (@itvnews) February 21, 2018
Doesn’t take a lip reader to work out what BoJo thought of that Corbyn question…
Boris gives a speech reaching out to Remainers. How do some Remainers respond? With a torrent of personal abuse and conspiracy theories, refusing to engage with anything in the speech having already made up their minds beforehand, and calling him “mendacious” and “evil”, among other pleasantries:
— Alastair Campbell (@campbellclaret) 14 February 2018
He’s a shower of mendacious arguments and self-interest.
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) February 14, 2018
He’s often guilty of winging it but when it comes to ‘betrayal’ Boris Johnson’s credentials are impeccable.
Just ask all his wives, mistresses, bosses and party leaders.
— James O’Brien (@mrjamesob) 14 February 2018
No one laughing at any of #BorisJohnson’s crap jokes. People realising now there’s nothing remotely funny about this evil clown.
— Tim Walker (@ThatTimWalker) 14 February 2018
Is he drunk or are we drunk? #BorisJohnson
— Kirsty Strickland (@KirstyStricklan) 14 February 2018
Ludicrous situation at @BorisJohnson speech today when the Foreign Sec called @Channel4News Europe Editor @mattfrei to ask a question only for the @Policy_Exchange to veto in favour of throw away question on giving up cake for lent. Just what are they scared of?
— Tom Calverley (@tcalverley) 14 February 2018
Boris had a point about some Remainers suffering from “Brexchosis”. Who are really the divisive ones?
“Brexit need not be nationalist but can be internationalist; not an economic threat but a considerable opportunity; not unBritish but a manifestation of this country’s historic national genius,” says @BorisJohnson pic.twitter.com/xydWBvFbr4
— BrexitCentral (@BrexitCentral) February 14, 2018
“Brexit need not be nationalist but can be internationalist, not an economic threat but a considerable opportunity, not un-British but a manifestation of this country’s historic national genius.”
A Cabinet minister actually gives an optimistic vision of the opportunities of Brexit, rather than glumly talking about how to make the best of it. Why hasn’t this been the message from the government over the last 19 months?
MPs on their Christmas holidays update: The EyeSpyMP Twitter account has spotted a frustrated Foreign Secretary gesticulating at the car hire desk in Turin airport:
— Eye Spy MP (@eyespymp) December 27, 2017
We’ve all been there…[…] Read the rest