Verhofstadt: We Don’t Want UK to Diverge, You Can’t Have Canada+++


Guy Verhofstadt tells Marr the EU does not want Britain to diverge and makes veiled threats about any attempt to do so. He also says a bespoke “Canada plus plus plus” deal “will not be the outcome of this negotiation”. If Verhofstadt gets his way it’s either a bad deal or no deal…

Most Tory Leavers Mostly Relaxed About Transition, But…

The Moggs and Bones of the Tory Brexiteer wing have never supported the idea of a transition period, and they are getting a lot of attention again today. Guido gets the impression that most Tory Brexiteers, and certainly those in the Cabinet, are still on board with a transition so long as it is time-limited to two years. Most have agreed to compromise and accepted that not much will change in those first two years after Brexit day. Their view is that there is no point spending political capital negotiating over the transition and that our cards would be better played making sure we get a good trade deal. That seems sensible, what matters is the end state is a proper Brexit allowing us to diverge from the EU in future.

There is however one aspect of the transition that does worry Leavers up and down the party. They have been concerned to learn of some of the new EU rules Britain could be forced to accept during the transition – there are as many as 20 new directives and diktats that Leavers want us to be able to reject. David Davis says it will take the EU at least two years to get their new laws through so we shouldn’t worry. That isn’t reassuring MPs, as the UK cannot be an obstacle to the swift passage of new legislation after March 2019. Having to take new rules during the transition would not look like we are transitioning out of the EU…

UPDATE: DD’s words of reassurance for Brexiters:

“we will have to agree a way of resolving concerns if laws are deemed to run contrary to our interests and we have not had our say…

… and we will agree an appropriate process for this temporary period.

So that we have the means to remedy any issues, through dialogue, as soon as possible.”

Order of the OTT: Brexit “Greatest Threat” To Women’s Rights

OTT Remainiac nonsense of the day: a new study claims Brexit is “one of the greatest threats to women’s rights”. University of Surrey Head of Politics Prof Roberta Guerrina thinks:

“Brexit poses the greatest modern day threat to women’s rights and gender equality policies in the UK. European legislation affords a degree of protection to women in the UK, but once we leave Europe there is no guarantee that the same levels of protection will remain intact. Women’s reproductive rights are particularly vulnerable to attack.”

The nutty professor has clearly forgotten that “European legislation” hasn’t stopped abortion from being illegal in EU member states such as Ireland, Poland – where the ruling party has recently cut reproductive rights and pushed abortion underground – and Malta, which bans abortion entirely. Meanwhile Amnesty International say there is chronic domestic violence in Hungary and that the country fails to meet international human rights law on protecting women. “European legislation” offers women in these countries no protection.

There is obviously no plan to cut women’s rights in Brexit Britain. It’s almost as if this is mad attention-seeking from taxpayer-funded lefty pro-EU academics. Of course Peston et al are retweeting this guff…

Macron: French “Probably” Would Have Voted to Leave EU

French President Emmanuel Macron admits the French people would “probably” have voted to leave the European Union had they been allowed a referendum. #DespiteFrexit…

EU Propaganda Service Chooses Soubry’s Constituency For New Base

A Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Anna Soubry’s constituency is running an EU-backed ‘Brexit advice service’ to spread pro-EU propaganda. Broxtowe CAB in Nottinghamshire is understood to have won a contract to run a service called Europe Direct for the whole of the East Midlands. The initiative, which is part-funded by the EU – and therefore by taxpayers -says its purpose is:

To provide information about Brexit negotiations as they progress, information on EU citizens’ rights and engage with younger people especially focusing on their future relations with Europe, but also to answer general questions about the EU, its institutions and programmes. The project will provide information to the public by telephone, email and in person.”

British MEPs are concerned this is effectively the same as establishing an EU office in the town which could be used for partisan political purposes. UKIP MEP Jonathan Bullock said:

“One would like to think the CAB is a neutral organisation – historically the CAB existed to provide free legal advice to anyone who entered its premises… This looks more like an attempt to influence public opinion during the second phase of the negotiating process, than any desire to provide clear legal advice on the outcome of those talks. Nor is it the job of a British high street charity to ‘answer general questions about the EU, its institutions and programmes’. If the EU wants to open an office in every town it is free to do so. It should not be a cuckoo in the nest of a town centre charity in order to do so.”

The initiative already has a website and is building a social media presence. CAB were contacted for comment. Sure it’s just a coincidence they chose to base it there…

UPDATE: Citizens Advice makes clear the project is co-funded between the European Commission and Citizens Advice Broxtowe, who would be providing advice on EU-related issues even if this project was not in place, and all advice provided by Citizens Advice is – and always will be – impartial and free from political interference.

Blair Doesn’t Rule Out THIRD Referendum

Asked by John Humphrys if he’d call for a third referendum should Leave win a second time round, Tony Blair declined to rule it out. Blair’s delusional performance on Today shows why the ultra Remainers are failing to change any minds:

How many referendums do Remainers want until people vote their way?

Remain Scrooges Deface Christmas Tree With EU Flags

Remainers have defaced a Christmas tree with EU flags in a Scrooge-like protest against both Brexit and festive good cheer. The unwanted decorations appeared on the tree in Romford town centre on Christmas Day. An EU flag was also pinned to the door of the council offices. Tory MP Andrew Rosindell suggested hard leftists were to blame. Peace on earth and goodwill to all men, so long as you didn’t vote Leave…

Juncker Facing Criminal Probe Into His Wiretapping Scandal

Always-dodgy EU-fantatic Jean-Claude Juncker was ousted as Luxembourg’s Prime Minister in 2013 after a string of wiretap allegations erupted into a full-blown spy scandal – and now a new criminal investigation threatens to bring him down again. A Luxembourg judge has launched a probe into whether officials working for then Prime Minister Juncker falsified evidence for parliamentary and judicial inquiries. The scandal surrounds Juncker’s alleged misuse of Luxembourg’s MI5, the Service de Renseignement de l’État Luxembourgeois (SREL), which was under the authority of his office. It was claimed that during Juncker’s tenure:

  • The SREL illegally bugged politicians, which Juncker failed to stop;
  • Juncker gave spies permission to intercept the telephone calls of their own sources, one of whom said they had a recording of a conversation between Juncker and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg;
  • Marco Mille, SREL’s former director, claimed he had a recording made on a ‘James Bond’ wristwatch that proved Juncker had given his permission for the phone-tapping;
  • SREL officers bought cars for private use using public cash;
  • Mr Juncker appointed his driver as a spy after he told the PM he wanted a more exciting life.

Juncker is now facing accusations that his former officials gave false evidence under oath during the official investigations into the scandal. Last month Juncker said he was too busy to attend a cross-examination – pressure is now being put on him to testify. A Commission spokesman said: “He is very willing to testify as a witness but it happens that he is also president of the EC, so we have to find a date that matches his institutional obligations.” Juncker’s evasiveness tells its own tale…

Brussels Booze-Up Bonanza as MEPs’ Bar, Restaurant and Lounge Renovated

Brussels is set for booze-up bonanza after the European Parliament announced it is renovating the MEPs’ restaurant and lounge – and to make up for the inconvenience has built a new bar costing €200,000. Refurbishment works in the Altiero Spinelli building will begin in January and last for six months. MEPs received a note on their intranet informing them:

“In the framework of the catering policy adopted by the Bureau… to better accommodate Members’ needs and to adapt and modernise existing infrastructures, a refurbishing project of the Members’ restaurant and lounge in Brussels will start next year…To ensure high quality and functional service to Members’ parliamentary work, the Members’ Bar next to the Hemicycle in Strasbourg has been extended with new facilities.”

In April the European Parliament approved plans for the new 80-seat bar in Strasbourg, which replaced a library. There is also another bar in the Altiero Spinelli building which will remain open during the refurb. Guido has asked how much the latest renovations will cost. UKIP MEP Jonathan Bullock told Guido:

“It’s amazing they are making this a priority- we will of course make full use of the extended bar to celebrate Brexit when it finally comes!”

What are you drinking Jean-Claude?

Schulz: Member States Must Accept United States of Europe Or Leave EU

Martin Schulz has told the SDP party conference today that a new treaty should be presented to member states creating a United States of Europe and countries who oppose it must leave the EU. He demanded “there to be a constitutional treaty to create a federal Europe… the treaty will be presented to the member states and those who are against should just leave the European Union… We want the United States of Europe”. His plan is for this to come into existence by 2025. And some Remainers think they have a hope of changing the public’s mind about Brexit…

Regulatory Convergence Between UK & EU Denied

Last night Robert Peston set the hares running reporting that “permanent regulatory convergence between the UK and EU” is Theresa May’s “preferred route”. This would essentially be the EEA minus option preferred by Hammond and the Remainers, meaning the UK would have to follow EU rules permanently, denying the opportunities of Brexit that the country voted for. Fortunately government sources are strongly kicking back at the Peston report and denying there will be regulatory convergence between the UK and the EU. The Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn says alignment – which is different to convergence – would only be in limited areas of the Good Friday agreement.

It certainly would be brave for May to suddenly back the convergence model – that would go completely against the spirit of her Lancaster House speech, it would not be a real Brexit and it would mean the end of Brexiteer support for her premiership, which she has worked very hard to maintain over the last year. This episode again stresses the need for the Cabinet to thrash out once and for all what type of Brexit they actually want…

75% of European Medicines Agency Staff Want to Stay in London

Predictable howls from Remain ultras that the European Medicines Agency relocating back to the EU somehow proves Britain is a diminishing power. The EMA is a European Union agency. It helps authorise the sale of drugs across the EU’s single market. We are leaving the EU and the single market. Would be pretty odd for the EMA to still be based here…

What of the brain drain of top scientists that Remainers are promising? In the real world, a poll of the EMA’s 890 workers found that 75% of them want to stay in London. An obvious opportunity for the UK to poach the boffins who would rather live here than in Holland. Everyone needs to calm down.

Just 12% of MPs Vote to Stay In Customs Union

A mere 76 MPs – just 12% of the Commons – voted for Ian Murray’s amendment last night to keep open the option of staying in the customs union. 311 voted against. Corbyn whipped Labour MPs not to back the amendment. Staying in the customs union is not Brexit, it’s good to see an overwhelming Commons majority now agrees. Remainers are forever demanding parliament has its say – well parliament has spoken…

EU Budget Latest: €2 Million for “Private Storage of Cheese”

The European Parliament adopted amendments on the draft EU budget this week. A line-by-line breakdown of spending proposals was circulated to MEPs – it’s eye-watering even by the EU’s troughing standards. €2 million for “private storage of certain cheeses” really grates, as well as €700,000 for a “manual of good practices for cruises”. All-time-classics of outrageous splurging…

Independent MEP Steven Woolfe said:

“The EU is actually a parody of itself. If the British people needed further reminding of why they voted to leave the EU last year it’s set out in black and white in this year’s budget. ‘Ocean literacy for all’, a ‘Manual of good practices for cruises’!? The mind boggles. Presumably, the ten million Euros spent on ‘storage measures for skimmed-milk powder’ is to ensure that, in the event of a nuclear holocaust, Eurocrats in Brussels will still be able to enjoy a white Americano as they slowly die from radiation poisoning…”

Roll on 2019…

EU Flag No Longer Flies in Farage’s Favourite Pub

Guido’s on-the-spot team of crack investigative reporters have provided an update on our story from this morning – EU Flag Flies in Farage’s Favourite Boozer – about the Westminster Arms.  They can report that the EU flag no longer flies in that part of SW1.

After Nigel’s intervention and expression of displeasure, where once the foreign flag of our oppressors flew, now there are prominent Spitfire Ale logos. Appropriate.

European Council Orders 4,000 Bottles of Champagne on the Taxpayer

The European Council has put out a tender for 4,000 bottles of champagne with the bill charged to the taxpayer. UKIP MEP Jonathan Bullock challenged the splurge during a plenary debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday night. Bullock said:

“The Council put out a public tender for 4,000 bottles of champagne. Perhaps we could in Britain could have our share of that, I think it works out about 500 bottles by our budget contribution, to celebrate Brexit. We’d even share for 148 bottles if we divided equally between the countries… but seriously when half of Europe is in crisis with austerity biting, you are ordering 4,000 bottles of champagne.”

The European Council is an EU body comprising of the heads of state or government of member states. It is not required to have its accounts approved by the European Parliament. Raise a toast to Brexit…

Juncker: I Am Shocked By Leak

Juncker says the leak didn’t come from him, that he’s “shocked” by the reports in the German press and that it is “not true” he said May “begged for help”. So who was it?

Selmayr: It Wasn’t Me

Last time May had dinner with Juncker his hated aide Martin Selmayr leaked the whole thing to German newspaper FAZ, causing a minor diplomatic incident. Well, the same journalist at the same paper has had another well-informed briefing of Juncker’s view of last week’s dinner. Apparently May “begged”, looked “despondent”, “under her eyes she wears deep rings”, “like someone who does not sleep” and she is “tormented”. Nice.

Former May chief of staff Nick Timothy named Selmayr as the source. He responds:

Selmayr is known as “the monster” so sure we can believe his denial. Reminder that for all the talk of splits on the UK side, the EU is on another level when it comes to poisonous briefings and ideologues undermining the process…

Mandelson Lies About Single Market

Peter Mandelson told the Today programme “new facts are coming to light” that “no one could have known during the referendum”, including that “the government has announced that we would leave the single market… nobody said this at the time”. This ain’t just spin from Mandy, it’s a knowing fib. We’ve been here time and time again with the zombie Remain campaign – they know Cameron, Osborne, Gove and Boris all told voters during the referendum that Brexit meant leaving the single market, and still they tell this deliberate untruth. If a Brexiter told a lie as blatant as this the Remain media would be going on about it for days…

UPDATE: Mark Wallace points out that Mandelson himself said we cannot leave the EU and “enjoy the benefits of the single market” on 10 June last year. So even Mandy was saying it. Caught red-handed…

Merkel: “Absolutely No Doubt” There Will Be a Deal

These new lines from Merkel this morning that tell a rather different story to the narrative playing out in parts of the British media:

“From my point of view, there are absolutely no signs that we can’t succeed. If we are all clear in our minds, I have absolutely no doubt that we can reach a good result. 

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Boris Johnson was shown a trophy monkey head as he toured a room of illegally-poached animals seized by Scotland Yard. He said:

“What’s this poor chap here? Faint air of a … Labour backbencher.”

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