Boris: Trump Wrong on Trade Deals

EU Grant ‘Flextension’ to 31 January 2020

New from Donald Tusk:

Third time lucky…

Mr No Deal Brexit

Boris responds to Tusk…

“I don’t want a No Deal Brexit but I say to our EU friends if they don’t want No Deal they have got to get rid of the backstop from treaty. If Donald Tusk doesn’t want to go down in history as Mr No Deal Brexit then I hope this point will be borne in mind by him too.”

Read In Full: EU Commission’s Response to Boris

Following Boris’s letter to the EU last night, the EU Commission has written to the Council in response to the points raised by the PM, refusing to budge on the Backstop and rejecting Boris’s accusation that it is not democratic. Shows what passes for ‘democracy’ in the eyes of the EU… 

The letter claims the UK has offered “no realistic alternatives”, but says the Commission is “ready to work constructively within our mandate” and will “analyse any operational UK ideas that are compatible with the existing WA”. Read it in full here:

Read In Full: Boris’ Letter to Donald Tusk

Ahead of his meetings with Chancellor Merkel and President Macron this week, Boris has written to the EU Council President Donald Tusk, the European Commission President, and all EU heads of state setting out his broad position for a new deal to be agreed. This is the first tentative step in his engagement plan

The letter reiterates the Governments’ commitment to ditch the anti-democratic backstop, and invites the EU to sign up to a legally binding joint commitment to “not put in place infrastructure, checks, or controls at the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.” Read it in full here:

People’s Vote Now Claim No Deal Will Kill People

The People’s Vote campaign are ramping Project Fear back up to 2016 levels in a desperate bid for attention. Now they’ve put out a massively over-the-top quote from Sedgefield Labour MP Phil Wilson literally claiming that No Deal will kill people. Specifically Northerners:

“We know the North will be hit first and worst through a destructive No Deal Brexit but this analysis is still shocking. The real tragedy is in stories of communities affected: people will be made poorer, lives will be made shorter, opportunities will get pushed further away.”

Donald Tusk hasn’t got long left as European Council President, People’s Vote better get on to him quickly to get another quote about the end of Western Civilisation…

Donald Tusk’s Former Deputy Is Standing For Change UK- TIG

Change UK, The Independent Group, Remain Alliance (CUK-TIG-RA) have revealed their European Parliamentary candidates. They include a couple of Euro-federalist former Tory MPs and some Twitter celebrities. Also among the list with a top spot in the key region of London is Jan Vincent-Rostowski, who served as Donald Tusk’s deputy when the European Council President served as Prime Minister of Poland. Seriously.

As President of the EU Council, Tusk taunted Theresa May at Salzburg on Instagram, and said there was a “special place in hell” for Brexiteers. Now CUK-TIG-RA want a the UK to send his former deputy to help represent the UK in European Parliament. Whose side are they on..?

Extension: Tusk Wants ‘Flextension’, May Wants Until June 30

European Council President Donald Tusk is reportedly to propose EU leaders agree to offer the UK a year-long “flexible” extension to Article 50 beyond 12 April to 31 March 2020 with the option of leaving the EU earlier if the UK parliament ratifies the EU Withdrawal Agreement. Which means European Elections and the inevitable return of Nigel Farage to Brussels…

May has written to Tusk pleading for an extension until June 30, just before MEPs return to the European Parliament. This is legally challengeable… so in all likelihood it is really an invitation to the EU to impose a flextension. Shamefully weak.

UPDATE: Here’s the letter in full:

Tusk: No Brexit Extension Unless the Deal is Approved

Donald Tusk has narrowed the EU’s position down on an extension even further, saying that the EU will only grant a short extension if the UK approves the deal:

“I believe that a short extension will be possible but it will be conditional on a positive vote on the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons.”

This will be music to the ears of Brexiteers hoping to force no deal. The person in the most difficult position now is Jeremy Corbyn – if he wants to avoid no deal then his only choice now is to approve the deal – no more meaningless amendments on Labour’s alternative plan. Has Tusk now made the calculation that the only way to get the votes for the deal is from the Labour side, not the Tories, and made his move to bounce Labour – rather than the ERG?

Note that Tusk only said that a “short” extension is conditional on the deal passing, leaving the door open to the EU putting egregious conditions like a second referendum on a longer extension if May is forced to rush back to Brussels for an emergency summit after losing another vote next week. What will May be prepared to sign up to in a blind panic to avoid no deal?

May Rumours Swirling as EU Digs In on Brexit Extension

The EU have rebuffed May’s request for an Article 50 extension to 30th June, releasing a note insisting that the 23rd May is the crucial date – the day European Parliament elections begin. They say the PM can either have a “short technical extension” until 23rd May, any longer and it will have to be at least until the end of 2019 and the UK will have to participate in European Parliament elections. The commentariat’s unfounded speculation that the UK could avoid taking part as long as they left by the end of June falls flat again…

French media are reporting that Emmanuel Macron is considering vetoing any extension tomorrow if May can’t produce a “credible strategy” for getting to a deal. The BBC’s Adam Fleming reckons its too late for EU leaders to even agree one tomorrow as they haven’t had time to consult with national parliaments…

Whether Macron is serious or this is just part of a good-cop bad-cop routine remains to be seen. Donald Tusk has made no secret of his desire for the UK to hold a second referendum and cancel Brexit. There is no doubt that the EU27 will use any extension request to try to push the UK closer to one…

At that point it becomes the ultimate test of May’s resolve. May firmly put her eggs in the short extension basket today, what will she do if the EU try to force her into a long one with a second referendum as the price? Rumours are swirling that she will make a formal statement on the steps of Downing Street tonight…

May Formally Requests Article 50 Extension to 30th June

Theresa May has written to European Council President “Donald” formally requesting an extension of Article 50 to the 30th June 2019, ahead of the European Council summit tomorrow. May talking down the prospects of any longer extension for now…

Read the letter in full:

Here’s a quick reminder of all the times May said categorically that this would never happen:

Another Child’s Letter to Tusk

Guido has got his hands on another letter that was sent to the President of the European Council. Sadly he hasn’t yet shared this one on his Instagram account…

Friday Caption Contest (Hell Edition)

Entries in the comments…

Tusk vs Vote Leave’s “Mincing Machine”

The predictable response from Remainers to Tusk’s hell comments yesterday was naturally to agree with him, while again peddling the myth that Brexit campaigners didn’t have a plan. They did…

While it is correct to say that Vote Leave made the strategic decision not to publish a full-on white paper-style plan to avoid getting it filleted Salmond-style, Vote Leave did nonetheless publish considerable detail on what Brexit should look like*, including leaving the single market, regaining an independent trade policy and immediately guaranteeing EU citizens’ rights unilaterally.[…] Read the rest

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Tusk and Varadkar Joke About Hell Comment

“They’ll give you terrible trouble in the British press.”

Tusk just laughs…

H/t: Georg von Harrach
[…] Read the rest

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EU Unity Latest: Tusk & Selmayr’s Public Spat

Something was incensing Juncker’s “monster” Martin Selmayr and Donald Tusk, who couldn’t stop themselves from have a fierce public row on the way into their press conference earlier. Brexit causing blood pressures to rise in Brussels too…

UPDATE: Selmayr responds:

“The President of the European Council @eucopresident had a factual question to the @EU_Commission before his press conference, and I helped out.

[…] Read the rest

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Tusk: UK Can Have Canada+++ Deal

After trashing Chequers at the Salzburg summit last month, Donald Tusk has again made the UK an explicit offer of a Canada+++ deal:

[…] Read the rest

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Downing Street: It is Still Chequers or No Deal

The reason May looked so shook yesterday at the Salzburg press conference is simply that she did not expect the rejection to come now or for them to be blunt to the point of humiliatingly rude. Macron positively rejoicing at the prospect of punishing Britain and Tusk claiming Chequers is dead, coupled with him mocking her crassly on Instagram do not signal diplomatic success for Olly Robbins.[…] Read the rest

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Tusk Rejects Chequers as Parliament Shifts Against Plan

EU Council President Donald Tusk has just told a press conference that Chequers “will not work.” By Guido’s count almost half of MPs in the Commons agree with him. Noes are up by 260 since last week

Over 47% of MPs have publicly indicated they will vote against the Chequers plan.[…] Read the rest

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Agent Tusk

European Council President Donald Tusk has released a bizarre Trump-style video in a cringeworthy desperate attempt to connect with people.[…] Read the rest

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