Sinn Fein: There Will Be No Hard Border

Even Sinn Fein are saying there won’t be a hard border in Ireland. The “hot air and rhetoric” on the backstop is coming from the EU…

Fox: MPs Who Break Their Promises on Brexit “Deserve” to be Punished by Voters

“Those who get elected on that promise and then don’t follow it through… will have a difficult time with voters the next time. And if that happens then they deserve it…”

Liam Fox: Customs Union Not an Acceptable Price for Backstop Changes

He won’t commit to resigning over it…

Vince Cable Discussing New Third Party With Labour MPs

Vince Cable says he’s been in discussions for months with large groups of Labour MPs (and some Tories) about breaking away to form a new third party, although he’s vague about how it would actually work. Will he be happy playing second fiddle to Chuka?

Brazen Bercow Insists He Will “Help the House Decide” Which Way Brexit Goes

John Bercow has given a brazen interview to CNN unapologetically defending his support for “minority, dissident voices” fighting Brexit and his right to “help the House decide” which way the Brexit process goes, before declaring without a hint of irony that “sometimes the Speaker’s role is just to stand up for the institution of the House of Commons and the principle of Parliamentary democracy”. Overruling the clerks to force an amendment through for political reasons against the rules is a strange way of standing up for that institution…

Incredibly, Bercow also goes on a shameless rant about how “if the Speaker is the sort of person who’s going to be cowed or intimidated by a ministerial rant… that person isn’t fit to be Speaker. I hope I always treat people with respect…” This coming from a man with an extensive track record of bullying and intimidating his own staff who was found to be at the heart of Parliament’s bullying culture by the independent Cox Report. He only needs to look in the mirror to see what someone who isn’t fit to be Speaker looks like…

Brillo Tears Apart Ken Livingstone on Venezuela

Ken Livingstone made the brave choice of going on This Week to make a film explaining why “my friend Hugo Chavez” wasn’t responsible for the economic misery that has been wrought upon Venezuela and it’s all America’s fault instead. It’s almost worth watching just for Ken’s opening line of “Remember me? I used to be Mayor of London”…

Predictably, Ken’s bogus arguments were completely torn apart by Andrew Neil afterwards, with a hapless Livingstone reduced to saying: “I don’t know, I’m a retired pensioner, I don’t have staff providing the information”. His only defence after that was that the Venezuelan ambassador had told him it was true. At least he wasn’t quoting the anti-Semitic historical revisionist ‘UN rapporteur’ that Chris Williamson is so keen on

Brillo then did the public service of explaining to Ken some of the real reasons why Venezuela is a basket case, including decades of self-enriching dictatorship, random confiscation of private property, price controls, and putting a loyalist army General in charge of the national oil company. Ken’s probably wishing he’d stayed in retirement…

Who Is On Question Time Tonight

Richard Burgon and Gina Miller. What a treat!

Wollaston Would “Probably” Stand as an Independent

Sarah Wollaston has said that she would “probably” stand as an independent in a future election if she resigns the Conservative whip over Brexit. Wollaston said that she would resign from the Conservatives if the Government ended up heading for no deal, even if it was by default rather than by design. Given her recent voting record she might as well have resigned already…

Skinner on the Undemocratic EU

For 47 years he’s voted against the European Union and its predecessors. Matt Zarb-Cousin says he should face deselection for that…

H/t: Video from Westmonster

May Sets Out Backstop Alternatives

Another typically turgid exchange between May and Corbyn at PMQs, but it did at least give May the chance to set out a range of alternative arrangements to the backstop. Plenty for the EU to be thinking about…

How Top Tories Responded to Brady’s Victory

Top Tories gave their reaction to last night’s votes on Newsnight – Graham Brady insisted that it was the Commons that had given May a mandate, not himself. A forceful Steve Baker told people to “wake up to the reality” that “that backstop is not getting through the House of Commons, not ever.” Boris reiterated that his support for May’s deal was conditional on the backstop being removed and replaced with alternative arrangements.

Liz Truss added that yesterday’s results were a “significant way forward” that showed that “there is a majority for the PM’s deal plus some changes to the backstop.” The EU have already launched a media blitz to insist it’s not possible but behind the scenes they have no choice but to digest the significance of the result…

Meanwhile on Planet Anna Soubry, it was all “deeply concerning” as she saw her party “drifting over to the right”. Cheer up…

Brexit: How The Poor Idiots Got It Wrong

Guido has got his hands on a special interview from Elite TV, where a leading #Remainer is interviewed about how the poor idiots voted the wrong way, and how to stop them. Worth a watch…

Labour’s Shadow NI Secretary Doesn’t Understand Article 50

Labour’s Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Tony Lloyd had an embarrassing appearance on Bloomberg TV this morning when he called the 29th March 2019 an “arbitrary” date, appearing not to understand that it is written into UK and EU law. Despite 498 MPs including the Labour leadership voting to set 29th March as exit day when they voted to trigger Article 50…

“I think if there is a good chance that today we will see the time frame begin to move away from that March 29th, very arbitrary deadline by the way there’s nothing in law, nothing anywhere else said March 29th had to be that date.”

If they can’t even get the basics right…

Brady “Hopeful” of Getting Backstop Amendment Through

Sir Graham Brady is spending today pitching his backstop amendment to MPs, telling Sky News that while he has not yet been told whether the Government will formally support the amendment, he is “hopeful” of getting “nearly all if not all” Tory MPs on board as well as some Labour moderates. He also warns against the Cooper/Boles and Grieve amendments designed to kick Brexit into the long grass. “Delay is the enemy of decision”…

Hancock: Government Will “Listen Very Carefully” to Calls to Remove Backstop

Matt Hancock has given the clearest public signal yet that the Government is considering getting behind moves to remove the backstop from the deal, provided Bercow calls the appropriate amendments on Tuesday. There are rumours of a mass walkout if Bercow again abuses his position to not call a Government-backed amendment with a decent chance of securing a majority…

Coveney on the Backstop

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney insisted on Marr that the backstop couldn’t be changed because nobody had come up with a “pragmatic, sensible and legally sound” alternative way to avoid a hard border.

That’s despite Michel Barnier saying on Wednesday that the EU would find an “operational way of carrying out checks and controls without putting back in place a border” in the event of no deal and that his team had “worked hard to study how controls can be made paperless or decentralised”Ireland knows there won’t be a hard border either way but won’t admit it as it will undermine their hardline position on the backstop…

Cooper “Hopes” Corbyn Will Support Her Power Grab

Yvette Cooper has said that she “hopes” Corbyn will come out and back her power-grab amendment on Tuesday – obviously without Labour frontbench support it’s not going through. Four years after he defeated her in Labour’s leadership election Corbyn might be about to hand her the power she never managed to win herself…

Ireland Vague on Hard Border

Irish Government ministers have been out in force this morning trying to clean up the mess the EU has gotten itself into over the backstop this week. Ireland’s Europe Minister Helen McEntee was evasive on whether there would be no hard border in the event of the deal. Have they been taking lessons from Corbyn on how to maintain so many contradictory positions on Brexit at once?

Hinds: “Yes We Will” Be Leaving on March 29

An unequivocal “yes we will” from the Education Secretary to the question of whether the UK is leaving on 29th March…

Rayner: “Politicians Have Failed the Public” if We End Up With Second Referendum

Shadow Education Secretary and Corbyn ally Angela Rayner with a pretty robust takedown of holding a second referendum or extending Article 50. “Us as politicians have failed the public”…[…] Read the rest “Rayner: “Politicians Have Failed the Public” if We End Up With Second Referendum”

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