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:

Selmayr Waltzes into €17,000-a-Month EU Vienna Job

It’s not just Downing Street where regime change is taking place today, the EU is also in the process of replacing some of its unelected Eurocrats with other unelected Eurocrats. One who’s been a little bit too keen to act like an elected politician is Martin Selmayr, who’s got the chop after his attempts to manipulate the selection of the new EU Commission President backfired. After his scandalous appointment and ignominious downfall, Selmayr will presumably be out on his ear? Don’t be silly, this is the EU…

Instead Selmayr’s managed to waltz straight into another plum EU post as the EU’s Head of Representation in Vienna – it’s a clear demotion but he’ll have a nice €17,000-a-month salary with minimal tax to cushion the blow. He won’t even need to worry about what to do in the meantime, he’s been made temporarily reappointed as a special adviser to Juncker again until his poodle steps down in October. Classic EU rewards for failure, although failed UK appointees are hardly strangers to the revolving door either…

Juncker: Stupid Nationalists Love Their Own Country

EU Commission President Juncker told CNN yesterday that populists and nationalists are stupid because they love their own country.

“These populists, nationalists, stupid nationalists, they are in love with their own country.” 

Says more about him than populist parties…

Jean-Claude Juncker Named ‘European Leader of the Year’

Readers will be flabbergasted to learn that the Euronews ‘European Leader of the Year’ Award last night went to… Jean-Claude Juncker. What are the chances?

Guido has compiled the best bits so you can enjoy all the self-congratulatory smugness for yourself. Juncker topped a politically diverse shortlist featuring Michel Barnier and another European Commissioner. The Euronews President is close to tears as he introduces Juncker, he looks less pleased as JC rips EU-funded Euronews to shreds during his speech. Definitely not a “propaganda instrument of the European institutions”…

Meanwhile Juncker in Rwanda

Staff in Brussels know it is unwise to let Jean-Claude Juncker even light his own cigar after the cognacs, which in Juncker’s case could be just after breakfast. In Rwanda commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the genocide, Juncker is narrowly diverted from adding to the casualty list…

Brexit Officially Delayed

Brexiteers hoping that defeating the Prime Minister’s deal when it (probably) comes back to Parliament next week will be sorely disappointed that last night the UK Government and the EU agreed that in the likely event the Prime Minister’s deal is defeated a third time, Britain will no longer leave the EU on 29th March, in any circumstances. Now is the time to officially cancel your Brexit parties…

If May’s terrible deal is passed, then Brexit is delayed until 22nd May. If the deal is defeated, the ‘March 29th‘ deadline extends by two weeks to 12th April. This is ample time for Letwin/Cooper/Boles to seize control of business in the Parliament that last week voted against allowing No Deal by 412 votes to 202. Parliament will move against the people’s vote of June 2016. Brexiteers are kidding themselves if they think that this rotten Parliament will let us escape to a WTO Brexit…

Jean-Claude Juncker on Negotiating Hard

Jean-Claude Juncker on negotiating hard:

“Allow me to tell you a little secret: I didn’t sleep much because of Mrs May last night”.

All Eyes on DUP Now

Theresa May went to Strasbourg and pulled a unilateral declaration rabbit out of her hat. Stage-managed? Perhaps. At least Juncker was on stage with her and agreed that this was the last double act in which he would be appearing with her. You got the sense that this really is finally the end of the show. If it doesn’t work the curtain will come up on either a Second Referendum farce, Article Extension pantomime or General Election tragi-comedy…

May’s statement is here, the EU’s here – review them yourself. We await Cox’s legal review and the decision of the DUP critics tomorrow. If the DUP give it the thumbs up most Tory rebels will follow suit. The ERG’s lawyers are unlikely to be enthusiastic – that is already priced in. Guido suspects those Tory MPs that want to avoid the hell that will follow a delay to Brexit – for whatever reason – will choose to believe the rabbit is real. Some will reluctantly accept the possibility of the existence of the rabbit for fear of the Brexit terms being further diluted by the remainers in parliament, or worse still derailed altogether. If however the DUP reject it and there is no further last minute revision forthcoming – perhaps after a third vote – the show comes to an end with the current line-up. May will come under intense pressure to magically disappear from the stage…

Jean-Claude Juncker on Hell

Jean-Claude Juncker on Hell:

“I believe in Heaven and not in Hell – apart from what I’m doing now, which is Hell.”

Juncker’s Jolly Dinner

Austrian newspaper Österreich is reporting that EU Commission President Jean Claude-Juncker “caused a stir” and “had to be supported by two staff members” while enjoying a festive dinner last night perhaps a little too much.

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Photographs also show the Commission President slapping the faces of other guests and reaching out for high fives.

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He did have something to celebrate after his pay rise came through yesterday…

Sturgeon: Juncker’s Behaviour “Pretty Distasteful”

Nicola Sturgeon has described Jean-Claude Juncker’s behaviour on Friday where he said Theresa May “was kissing me” and ruffled another EU employee’s hair as “pretty distasteful”. Yet she’s determined to stay in the organisation he leads…

Juncker: The Morning After, May ‘Was Kissing Me’

In an extraordinary answer to what he was saying to the Prime Minister this morning, EU Commission President Juncker said at a press conference this afternoon that “we were not dancing”, that “I didn’t know that this word [nebulous] exists in English”, and that “In the course of the morning, after having checked what I said last night, she was kissing me.” Classic Juncker…

UPDATE: It turns out May wasn’t the only woman to be the subject of some questionable attention from Juncker this morning:

UPDATE II: The BBC have identified her as none other than the EU’s ‘Deputy Head of Protocol’. She may have an HR complaint from herself to deal with on Monday morning…

May’s “Nebulous” Clash With Juncker

Channel 5 have enlisted two “expert lipreaders” in an attempt to decipher that frosty exchange between May and Juncker earlier, concluding that the two are arguing about whether Juncker called May “nebulous” yesterday. Given the events of the past few weeks, that’s hardly the worst thing he could have called her…

Caption Contest

Juncker & Varadkar Guaranteed to the Irish Parliament No Hard Border in the Event of No Deal

The Brexit negotiations are teetering on the brink over the question of the backstop for the Irish border. Some fundamental truths are being forgotten in the froth of the negotiations:

  • If there is no deal, there is no backstop. If the EU collapses the negotiations by insisting on unreasonable backstop conditions, there will be no backstop whatsoever. Would the EU rather have a deal on everything else with no backstop, or no deal at all AND no backstop?
  • The President of the EU Commission and the Prime Minister of Ireland have both already guaranteed no hard border even with no deal. As can be seen in the above video clip, Juncker and Leo Varadkar have all given unambiguous guarantees that they won’t put a hard border under any circumstances – including no deal. So why risk wrecking the negotiations over it?

The fact that Ireland has guaranteed no hard border in the case of no deal means that they clearly have no intention of constructing a hard border in the absence of the EU’s backstop – this is abundantly clear from the Taoiseach’s stated position as forcefully made to the Dáil Éireann

“… we are not drawing up any plans for a border between Northern Ireland and Ireland full stop. Because there isn’t going to be one and I have made very clear to my counterpart in the UK and also to the other EU Prime Ministers that under no circumstances will there be a border full stop.”

If the backstop is genuinely about concern for Ireland, not about trying to force the UK into a certain position, why is Ireland’s own commitment not sufficient? That is the question journalists should be asking.

The current trajectory of the negotiations is unsustainable unless the EU changes its stance on the backstop. Tory MPs have been discussing whether the EEA as a staging post on the way to a Canada-style deal could be a viable alternative – this is unlikely to solve the problem as the EU will simply throw up the same obstacles when the UK tries to leave that. May’s proposed transition extension does nothing to help either. It is simply a very expensive and unpopular way of drawing out the same problems for longer.

Ministers have increasingly been considering the possibility of a mitigated no-deal instead: hand over some cash in exchange for basic legal agreements on aviation, passports, haulage etc. and then negotiate sensible future arrangements outside the cauldron of the Article 50 process. Given the current state of the negotiations, this is starting to look more and more appealing…

UPDATE: Guido’s news editor, Hugh Bennett, reiterates the Irish PM’s “no hard border, even in the event of no deal” guarantee:

Juncker Mocks May’s Dancing

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker appeared to mock Theresa May’s dancing at the opening session of the EU’s four day ‘European Week of Regions and Cities’ event this afternoon. Guido suspects Druncker might have had one too many at lunch…

Juncker: British Press Too Free

Juncker won’t miss the British  press…

“… I will not miss it. It is, in part so, that they do not respect the human rights of political actors at all. Press freedom also has its limits … One should not bring people in privacy in distress.”

Jean-Claude Juncker on European Flexibility

Speaking at the Salzburg Summit on the Brexit negotiations, Juncker revealed:

“No decision will be taken here. Whenever the Commission is too flexible things are going wrong.”

Selmayr Slammed For Scandalous EU Power Grab


The EU has concluded its internal probe into the scandal-ridden appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker’s poisonous sidekick Martin Selmayr to the most senior position in the European Commission. The European Ombudsman found no fewer than four serious breaches of protocol and branded the Commission guilty of “not following the relevant rules correctly either in letter or in spirit”So much for the supposed infallability of EU rules…

The probe slammed the Commission’s responses to its inquiries as “defensive, evasive and at times combative”, while saying it was “extraordinary” that not a single EU Commissioner had raised concerns at the time. EU transparency and accountability at its finest…

So what action is the EU taking against the man at the heart of the scandal, described by colleagues as the “monster” of the Berlaymont? Nothing.

The Ombusdman concluded that her “investigation did not concern any assessment of Mr Selmayr, who she understands is both a competent EU official and committed to the European Union”. As usual, the EU shows it’s quite happy to turn a blind eye to corruption and backroom power-grabs as long as you’re “committed to the European Union.” And this is the organisation that Remainers are fighting tooth and nail to keep us part of…

Drunk Juncker Unsteady at NATO Summit

Jean-Claude Juncker is so unsteady at the NATO Summit several people have to help the apparently drunk president of the European Commission stay upright on his feet. He falls backwards at one point into the man behind him. You can see Theresa May awkwardly smiling at him…[…] Read the rest

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Boris as Hulk…

‘Banner might be bound in manacles, but when provoked he would explode out of them. Hulk always escaped, no matter how tightly bound in he seemed to be – and that is the case for this country. We will come out on October 31 and we will get it done.’

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