EU Showers Gold on Urine Energy Boffins

urine-scientists

The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive states that 20% of its total energy needs must be met with renewables by 2020. Time is running out, so Brussels is bankrolling boffins to avoid the embarrassment of missing the target. That’s why almost €3 million was spent on a four year project trying to generate electricity. From urine…

Netherlands-based research group ValueFromUrine is yet to report its conclusions despite finishing its work in August. It claims its technology is based on the “innovative principle” of using microbes and charged metal rods to draw out hydrogen, ammonia and phosphorous from wee. These elements are apparently useful in industry and for electricity generation. The research was partly inspired by a secondary school homework project put together by a group of Nigerian teenagers. Their dirt cheap pee-powered generator was presented to the world with much fanfare in 2012 but has since been comprehensively debunked by scientists and energy businesses. Likewise, ValueFromUrine’s overall principle is sound but not commercially viable because a £4,000 pump is needed to keep vital bacteria alive in the apparatus. €3 million up the wall…

Barnier’s Brexit Timeline

barnier

EU chief negotiator and professional Britain basher Michel Barnier has delivered his Brexit timeline:

March 2017: Article 50 notification

October 2018: Brexit deal agreed

March 2019: Ratification

Barnier says there is no negotiating room on the four freedoms, in other words we cannot retain single market membership and end freedom of movement. As Brexiters have been saying all along. Barnier’s hardball position is “no cherry-picking”. Again Brexiters should remain calm, Theresa May’s position is to walk away and back a Clean Brexit if no agreeable deal is reached…

“Economy to Defy Brexit Fears”

times

Britain will be the fastest growing economy in the G7 and beat Bank of England forecasts with 0.5% economic growth in the final quarter of 2016, The Times reports today under the headline “Economy to defy Brexit fears”. A survey of businesses showed the service sector had its best month since January. Of course according to the times this is #DespiteBrexit:

“The country’s dominant service sector has experienced its best month since January, the survey of businesses showed, defying fears of a slump in growth after the Brexit vote.”

New retail sales figures from British Retail Consortium report that sales rose by 1.3% in November, following better-than-expected services PMI data. Barclaycard says consumer spending rose 5.1% last month, the second highest rate since the survey began (H/T @afneil). More good news…

Renzi Loses Referendum, Resigns

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Eurozone in turmoil once again…

UPDATE: Italian banks tanking…

Clegg Gets Brillo’d

Nick Clegg follows in the footsteps of his old spinner James McGrory and takes a pasting from Andrew Neil on the single market. Brillo’s killer line: “Isn’t it time the LibDems had a rebrand and dropped the Democrat?” Cue Clegg silent death stare…

Vid via @liarpoliticians

Boris Tells Sky: “Your Story Was a Dud”

A big barney on Sky News as Dermot Murnaghan accuses Boris of lying over his free movement comments. Boris hits back by telling Sky their story was

“cooked up… I’m not entirely convinced your reporter talked to those ambassadors… Your story was a dud, it was wrong, it was a load of old baloney… [the journalist] was offered something that was completely untrue, it was nonsense… I’m glad that it’s been corrected.”

Miaow…

Boris Opposes “Large” Post-Brexit EU Contributions

Boris made clear on Marr that he is against “large” payments to the EU in exchange for single market access, stressing the need to take back control of the money we send to Brussels. This will be framed as a split between Boris/Fox on one side and May/Hammond/Davis on the other. Brexiteers should remain calm though. It’s sensible to consider all options for free trade with the EU – Brexit always likely meant we could still pay in on some aspects – just as it’s sensible to oppose sending Brussels exorbitant sums…

Ambassadors Say Sky News Boris Story Untrue

boris

Italy’s ambassador to London Pasquale Terracciano has gone on the record to the Sunday Telegraph to confirm Boris did not back freedom of movement, contrary to the Sky News report that caused such a stir this week. Terracciano reveals:

“We do not normally comment on discussion we have at EU Ambassadors’ level with members of Government. But since this particular issue has become focus of press speculations, I will tell you that Boris Johnson chose not to speak about the principle of freedom of movement within the EU. He said instead that he had always been favourable in principle to immigration but also added that immigration needed to be controlled.”

So what Boris said was completely consistent with the 10 times he opposed freedom of movement posted by Guido on Thursday. A second ambassador confirms to the Sunday Telegraph:

“My recollection was that he didn’t say anything that was different [from his public stance]. I don’t think I even made any particular note of what he said on that issue because it was simply in line with what I already knew to be Government policy.”

Who’d have thought those four anonymous ambassadors briefing against Boris to friendly Sky News were up to no good? And surely the BBC will give this new development equal prominence too. Awkward one for tonight’s Sky paper review…

BEIS Civil Servants Forced to Embrace Brexit

leave

Yesterday Guido revealed how civil servants at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy had sent out a press release discussing what will happen “if the UK leaves the EU”. Well, the press release has now been updated to end the uncertainty and make clear there is no “if” about Brexit. Did Downing Street have another word with Sir Humphrey? 

Boris Flat Out Denies Sky News Free Movement Story

Boris could not be clearer on Sky News‘ free movement story, which has led the bulletins as fact all day: “I said no such thing”. Have Sky been had by their anonymous EU sources?

Whitehall Brexit Blooper: “If the UK Leaves the EU”

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Civil servants at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have let slip their belief that Britain might not leave the EU by 2019. In a press release on funding for EU students on courses lasting until the end of 2019, BEIS have said “the funding support will cover the duration of their course, even if the UK leaves the EU”. Since March 2019 will be two years after Article 50 is triggered, surely BEIS meant to saywhen the UK leaves the EU“, notif“. Sir Humphrey is increasingly forgetful lately…

Boris Always Backed Controlled Immigration

Mischievous anonymous EU ambassadors have briefed Sky News that Boris has privately said he supports free movement. Boris strongly denies this and challenges them to prove he said it. Is this another example of the fake news epidemic? Boris has been very clear about his views on free movement…

On November 15 Boris said it was a “myth,” “nonsense” and “bollocks” to say free movement is a founding principles of the EU.

On September 25 Boris said it was “complete baloney” to link free movement with the single market.

On June 26 Boris said people had voted for “control” over immigration.

Boris pledges a tough new Australian-style immigration system after Brexit on June 1.

There is no mention of free movement in Boris’ pro-Remain article.

In his pro-Leave article he bemoaned the “lack of control” on immigration.

In December 2015 Boris called for an opt-out of free movement rules.

In his 2015 conference speech, Boris said“it should be up to this parliament and this country – not Jean Claude Juncker – to decide if too many people are coming here”.

In October 2014 Boris called for quotas of EU migrants.

In January 2014 Boris said he was pro-migration but had a “problem” with free movement.

Unusually for him, Boris has always been consistent on free movement, even well before the referendum. He is pro the benefits of migration but wants control of borders decided by Westminster. Why is that so hard for Remainers to understand? 

Bone Tables “Trigger Article 50” Bill

article-50-bill

Peter Bone has tabled a Bill to implement Theresa May’s promise to trigger Article 50 by the end of March. Awkward… for the government…

Open Britain Condemns EU For “Using People as Pawns”

tusk

Open Britain, the pro-EU continuity Remain campaign, have condemned Brussels for “using people as pawns”. The group organised a letter writing campaign when they thought Theresa May was responsible for uncertainty over the status of EU citizens in Britain and Britons abroad. Now they have blasted Donald Tusk after he yesterday revealed it was Brussels blocking a deal. They tell Guido:

“EU Governments and UK Government should separate this from Article 50 negotiations. People shouldn’t be used as pawns on either side – hope to see progress in December.”

Presumably Open Britain will be organising a new letter writing campaign to Donald Tusk…

Tusk Confirms EU Responsible For Right to Remain Uncertainty

tusk

European Council president Donald Tusk has rejected the UK’s proposal for an early deal to guarantee the status of EU citizens in Britain and British citizens in the EU. Tusk disingenuously writes “we have assumed that one of the main reasons for the vote for Brexit was the rejection of the free movement of people and all the rights it entails”. No one on the Leave campaign ever said anything questioning the right to remain. Tusk then dismisses the suggestion of an early agreement as a “nice-sounding expression”. This is an idiotic position – can you imagine Poland’s reaction if the EU refuses to eventually come to a deal? Remainers were furious when they thought it was Theresa May who was using people as bargaining chips. What do they have to say now they know it’s Brussels refusing to end uncertainty for EU citizens in Britain?

UPDATE: Open Britain set up a whole campaign on right to remain. Surely they will be disgusted with Donald Tusk?

Merkel Rejected Right to Remain Deal

Theresa May has been heavily criticised for failing to give an assurance that EU citizens living in the UK will be allowed to stay post-Brexit. She even refused to tell Tory backbencher Alberto Costa that his Italian parents could stay in the country, despite David Davis previously saying he was “100% sure” the situation would be resolved amicably. Why? Politico reports that May tried to secure an early deal guaranteeing the right to remain for Britons living in the EU and EU citizens living in Britain, but it was rejected by Angela Merkel. May wanted to announce the guarantee this month, Merkel said “nein“. If you’re an EU citizen worried about your status post-Brexit, you have Merkel to blame for the uncertainty…

Downing Street Brexit Notes Transcribed

paper

Veteran Downing Street photographer Steve Back has done it again – he’s snapped these notes being carried out of a meeting with Mark Field in Downing Street this afternoon. Someone at the meeting appears to have said we are “loathe” to do a transitional deal, we are “unlikely” to stay in the single market and that our position is to “have cake and eat it“. Here is an attempted transcription:

Won’t provide more detail. We think… be offered single market. Our criteria are clear – more open the better.

Manufacturing relatively straightforward
Services harder – because French hoping for business.
biggest interest is internal market

ECJ & control of borders won’t fit.

Transitional – loathe to do it. Whitehall will hold onto it. We need to bring an end to the negotiation.

Headlines won’t change from now until March though

Why no Norway – TWO elements – no ECJ intervention… beyond our trade with Europe. Unlikely to do internal market

Trade with EU through DexU not DIT.

What is the model? Have cake & eat it.
Very French negotiating team.
Need fair process guaranteed…
Canada Plus – more on services
Europe gets a good deal
BEA model not good

So has someone in Downing Street at last revealed the government’s Brexit plan?

Transcription via Chris Jones

May Accepts Supremacy of EU Law on Patents

tm

In her conference speech Theresa May vowed that Brexit would mean “our laws will be made not in Brussels but in Westminster. The judges interpreting those laws will sit not in Luxembourg but in courts in this country. The authority of EU law in Britain will end”. Well, not quite…

The government has today decided to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement, which accepts both the primacy of EU law and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice over patents in Britain. Article 20 of the agreement says “the Court shall apply Union law in its entirety and shall respect its primacy”. Article 21 says “Decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union shall be binding on the Court”. This is just one aspect of EU law, but it means May is not keeping her conference promise – on patents the EU will still have primacy…

Sir Humphrey Keeps Forgetting Brexit Means Brexit

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Shortly after Theresa May became Prime Minister, her team stressed to the overwhelmingly Remain-supporting civil service that Brexit must be at the centre of all decision-making, that there must be no equivocation: we are leaving the EU. Panjandrums were told they must include a commitment to Brexit in all of their “write rounds”, the regular Whitehall memos circulated to ministers, sub-committees, the PM and the Cabinet Secretary. Alas, Europhile mandarins have defied this order, repeatedly omitting the Brexit commitment. Forgetfulness or a vain act of dissent? Downing Street are taking no chances – whenever they receive one of these incomplete write rounds from civil service Remainers they add the words “We are leaving the European Union” and send it back, reminding the sore loser responsible of their duties. “You will remember next time, won’t you Humphrey?” “Yes, Prime Minister…”

Vote Leave Alumni Tell May To Spend Brexit Dividend on NHS

brexit

Thirteen leading Leave campaigners including Michael Gove and Gisela Stuart have urged the government to keep Vote Leave’s referendum pledge and spend the Brexit ‘dividend’ on the NHS. Buried in Wednesday’s OBR report was the revelation that Britain will get back an extra £32 billion when we leave the EU, approximately the £250 million per week figure which Vote Leave said was the net amount currently being paid to Brussels.[…] Read the rest

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