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…

mdi-timer 19th July 2019 @ 11:27 am 19th Jul 2019 @ 11:27 am mdi-comment Comments
Brady Resurfaces With Fresh Call to Bin the Backstop

Guido can shed some new light on the curious case of the disappearing 1922 Committee Chairman – Graham Brady has finally resurfaced several weeks after disappearing without trace following his bizarre decision to ‘recuse’ himself from the Committee to launch his own abortive leadership bid. Not a single MP came forward in his support, Guido can’t even remember him making the case for himself…

Now Brady has popped up in the foreword to the latest Policy Exchange paper by Lord Bew on the Irish backstop, calling for the next Tory leader to drop the backstop. As Brady points out, the only Brexit option to ever command a majority in the House of Commons was the deal with his amendment calling for alternative arrangements replacing the backstop. The EU are the ones chasing unicorns if they think a deal with the backstop is ever getting through…

mdi-timer 17th June 2019 @ 10:20 am 17th Jun 2019 @ 10:20 am mdi-comment Comments
EU Drawing Up Plans for Tech Solutions on Irish Border

The EU have been doing their bit to try to influence the Tory leadership race, insisting that they will not be changing any of the terms of the Brexit deal for any new Prime Minister who comes in. It doesn’t take a genius to work out why the EU would rather have a new Prime Minister who comes in and accepts everything they say rather than demanding changes…

Behind closed doors it’s a different story, The Sun revealed this morning that the EU is fact working on no deal contingency plans to use IT solutions to help goods cross the Irish border after Brexit. That wasn’t so hard after all, was it?

EU officials are still insisting that IT solutions won’t be enough to manage all the border issues. This is missing the point, of course no deal is not the optimum scenario if the EU won’t compromise on a deal then they will be the ones facing the choice of whether to respond to no deal in a pragmatic way, or a disruptive way. Taking no deal off the table is ultimately what destroyed Theresa May’s negotiation attempts and killed her premiership, if her successor does the same they will suffer the same fate…

UPDATE: It’s also good news for Sajid Javid who pledged to pay the EU “hundreds of millions” to help them develop tech solutions. He won’t need to bill the British taxpayer now the ever-generous EU are doing it for him…

mdi-timer 11th June 2019 @ 2:37 pm 11th Jun 2019 @ 2:37 pm mdi-comment Comments
Raab Accuses Lidington of Sabotaging Backstop Changes

Dominic Raab has done a lengthy interview with the Spectator’s Katy Balls covering everything from karate to feminism. However the moment that will raise Brexiteer eyebrows the most is when Raab directly blames Theresa May’s deputy David Lidington for sabotaging his attempts to renegotiate the backstop as Brexit Secretary:

‘I think there was a window of opportunity,’ he says. ‘The frustrating thing is that it was closed by our own side.’ Specifically, he suspects, by David Lidington, Theresa May’s de facto deputy, who held his own talks with the Irish and seemed to stop what No. 10 saw as Raab’s freelancing. ‘It wasn’t ruled out by Coveney, it was ruled out by Varadkar. The only thing that happened in between is that he met David Lidington. It’s clear what happened.’

This will do nothing to ease widespread Brexiteer suspicions that the backstop was just a ruse cooked up from the start by Theresa May’s inner circle of Remainer advisers…

mdi-timer 30th May 2019 @ 3:00 pm 30th May 2019 @ 3:00 pm mdi-comment Comments
McVey: No Hard Irish Border if There’s No Deal

As Barnier, Juncker, Varadkar, Coveney and the EU have all admitted on countless occasions…

mdi-timer 26th May 2019 @ 10:37 am 26th May 2019 @ 10:37 am mdi-comment Comments
Raab: More Legal Changes to Backstop or Prepare for No Deal

With the dust still settling from yesterday’s big developments, Dominic Raab is emerging as the most hardline of the Tory leadership contenders. Unlike Boris, Raab is still holding out, calling for a further “exchange of letters providing a legally binding exit from the backstop”. Can he outflank Boris on the Brexit wing of the Party?

If not he wants to use the next two weeks for “sensible conversations” with the EU about the “suite” of no deal preparations that have been put in place. The only problem with his plan is that May won’t be going anywhere if her deal doesn’t go through, and neither will the UK…

mdi-timer 28th March 2019 @ 10:34 am 28th Mar 2019 @ 10:34 am mdi-comment Comments
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