Who do these people threatening no Brexit at all think they are?

British Prime Minister Theresa May needs a miracle in Strasbourg

FINN MCREDMOND 

(Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Who do these people threatening no Brexit at all think they are? – AIWA! NO!

Theresa May is in Strasbourg tonight trying to rescue her Brexit deal by securing a tweak to the terms of the infamous backstop.

But her Brexit deal, whether it is adjusted or not, is expected to be put to a vote in the Commons tomorrow, despite whisperings earlier during a day of high drama that she would pull the vote last minute while seeking any concessions from the EU.

May will likely face a second crushing defeat over her deal tomorrow, following a record-breaking defeat of 230 votes in January. The backstop, much-loathed by Brexiteers, was the biggest obstacle for May then, and remains the biggest obstacle for May now. Securing enough votes for her deal will depend on the EU offering some pretty serious concessions on the backstop, which they are unlikely to do.

PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

On Friday, EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier did offer the UK some concessions, sort of. His non-concessionary concessions amounted to not much beyond a strengthened emphasis that the EU would try to prevent the UK falling into the backstop. It’s understood that May was forced to reject Barnier’s proposal, following an intervention by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, since he did not see it going far enough to assuage the concerns of the anti-deal MPs.

In his talks with Brussels, Cox asked that principles of “reasonableness” be applied in assessing whether the EU is negotiating fairly in trying to keep the UK out of the backstop. That is as nebulous as it is implausible, and the Brexiteers don’t appear moved. Despite May and Cox’s efforts the backstop remains the sticking point, and the reason why May’s deal looks destined to fail in the Commons

The deal may not fall short by such a large majority as last time however, which is small comfort to the Prime Minister. The DUP, vocal critics of the deal, might support May last minute. But, even if the DUP get onside May still needs 106 MPs to change their mind. And it’s not looking good – May is putting to MPs an essentially identical question as last time. And while a few among the anti-deal MPs may be looking for a ladder to climb down so they can back the deal, the tactics haven’t worked so far and the parliamentary arithmetic still works against her.

Assuming May’s deal fails tomorrow (you would be pretty safe to do so absent a breakthrough late tonight), MPs have been promised two further votes. The first, on Wednesday, will ask MPs whether the Commons should rule out a no deal exit.

The second, most likely on Thursday, will ask MPs to vote on extending Article 50. There are a few problems here. Extending Article 50 requires the unanimous consent of all 27 EU member states. And, the EU has made it abundantly clear that it will not extend Article 50 in the absence of a clear plan from the government about how they intend to use the extension.

Extending Article 50 will also require the UK to take part in the upcoming MEP elections, which both the EU and the UK want to avoid.

So, it’s at best uncertain whether the EU would offer the UK any extension at all. And when it comes to ruling out no deal, there is an even greater impasse. Ruling out a no deal Brexit does nothing concrete in the way of stopping it from happening. If there is no extension to Article 50, and no deal approved by 29th March, the UK will leave the EU without a deal whether the MPs like it or not.

There will likely be a series of amendments to be voted on. Another (probably failed) attempt from the second referendum crowd is likely. MPs favouring a Norway deal will try for that again too. However, there simply aren’t the numbers in parliament for these to be meaningful challenges, yet.

Speaking of insufficient attempts to pacify the concerns of the Brexiteers, Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney made a statement outside Leinster House this afternoon. He said: “We are very clear that the withdrawal agreement can’t change in terms of text. But we also want to be helpful in terms of providing the clarity and reassurance that is needed in Westminster that the backstop is intended to be temporary. Nobody is looking to trap anybody anywhere permanently, but the backstop needs to be there and it needs to be robust.”

It is an understandable statement but unlikely to move MPs. The next steps for May are terribly tricky. Time is really running out. Number 10’s plan that MPs will realise Brexit has reached crisis point and capitulate to supporting the deal doesn’t look like it’s working. Theresa May needs a miracle and it would be out of character for Juncker to supply it.

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Men and women in business face many risks and hazards. Those who persist never lack the courage to tackle the big challenges. Often they can cope with adversity but sometimes they cannot avoid succumbing. The one thing business people rightly abhor, and struggle most to cope with, is total uncertainty. And the current state of non-play on Brexit brings us vastly more of this total uncertainty. The situation, with 46 days left to B-Day on March 29, leaves us all with few clues at all about what is happening and where this will land. Business people on the islands of Ireland and Britain, and beyond on mainland Europe, cannot even guess what is happening next with little more than six weeks left. This is a flagrant abuse of enterprising people and their beleaguered employees and can no longer be tolerated.

Editorial: ‘Time has come for the UK and EU to signal a Brexit delay’

British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

INDEPENDENT.IE Editorial  

Men and women in business face many risks and hazards. Those who persist never lack the courage to tackle the big challenges. Often they can cope with adversity but sometimes they cannot avoid succumbing.

The one thing business people rightly abhor, and struggle most to cope with, is total uncertainty. And the current state of non-play on Brexit brings us vastly more of this total uncertainty. The situation, with 46 days left to B-Day on March 29, leaves us all with few clues at all about what is happening and where this will land.

Business people on the islands of Ireland and Britain, and beyond on mainland Europe, cannot even guess what is happening next with little more than six weeks left. This is a flagrant abuse of enterprising people and their beleaguered employees and can no longer be tolerated.

The burden is heaviest for people in small and medium-sized enterprises, the engine room of the economy. They are left with the option of having to expend money and scarce time to put in place Brexit preparations which might not be needed.

Against that, they must weigh the risk of doing little to prepare for a no deal. It is a situation nobody should be obliged to face – much less the decent men and women who make things happen economically.

So, it is past time London and Brussels formally stated what is daily becoming the most likely outcome of this ghastly Brexit process: an extension beyond the deadline of March 29. Again, we must acknowledge that the UK government, and especially Theresa May, are most culpable here.

It is entirely up to London to formally seek such an extension. But, since the remaining EU 27 states must unanimously endorse such an extension application, Brussels also has obligations here to act and speak out.

The current vacuum means that millions of workers across the EU are deeply, and needlessly, worried about their futures. It is something all governments are hired by citizens to minimise – not make worse. It is part of the reason for the foundation and continued existence of the EU.

We know that Mrs May appears ready to push this one right to the brink in the hope of belated UK parliament ratification for a version of the Brexit deal she did with her EU counterparts on November 25 last. She and her supporters can argue that there are few other real options open to her. Some may even argue, in extremis, that from a business person’s viewpoint she is really on “the side of the angels” in taking such a drastic and high-stakes stance.

Key people in Brussels and the other EU capitals will lean again upon their well-worn argument that the next move must come from London. But that is to ignore their duty of care which is added to by other global economic storm clouds which are gathering.

It is time to acknowledge that there are limits to everything – especially the ongoing abuse of business people and their workers. Let’s speak plainly and own up to the need for postponement.

Philip Hammond’s speech showed why the Tories are struggling to take on Jeremy Corbyn

BREXIT LATEST:Philip Hammond talks about second referendum while Corbyn approves “unholy alliance” to deliver Brexit

Daily Express
Philip Hammond looking serious

The Chancellor identified British capitalism’s flaws but offered few answers. 

Caron Lindsa, Liberal Democrat Voice |
@caronmlindsay

AIWA! NEWS INTERNATIONAL|There’s some interesting nuggets in the Sunday Times reports on the Brexit chaos and ongoing shenanigans. It’s not the headlines, which are about the Royal Family being moved out of London if there are no deal riots, or the supposed new party to be formed on Valentine’s Day as Labour MPs resign the whip. It’s what else is in the article.

Earlier this week, Christine Jardine talked about the Labour Party became the “handmaids of Brexit” after their votes blocked Yvette Cooper’s amendment and helped pass Graham Brady’s time-wasting one calling for unicorns on the Irish border. Well maybe unicorns weren’t explicitly mentioned, but it all amounts to the same thing.

READ RELATED:Philip Hammond’s speech showed why the Tories are struggling to take on Jeremy Corbyn

Labour’s role in facilitating Brexit was highlighted in an article in the Sunday Times today. Tim Shipman and Caroline Wheeler wrote(£) about how

An “unholy alliance” has formed to force through a deal consisting of May’s allies, a member of the shadow cabinet, the trade unions and Labour MPs, with Jeremy Corbyn’s tacit approval.

recent poll suggested that Liberal Democrat support would go way up, even overtaking Labour, if Corbyn’s party helped deliver Brexit.

Corbyn looks increasingly unlikely to back the People’s Vote that the majority of his party’s member’s want. Labour membership data for Scotland, leaked to the Herald shows that Labour has lost 20% of its members north of the border. The fall in Edinburgh, a strongly Remain city in a strongly Remain country, is spectacular.

The other interesting bit of information is that Philip Hammond, who really can’t be getting much sleep when he crunches the numbers, has been sounding out senior Conservatives about another referendum.

Could it be that, if May fails to placate the ERG and get the numbers to get her deal through, she’ll have to contemplate what to her is unthinkable? That is what Vince seems to be relying on. Let’s hope he’s right.

Although I’m not sure he’s right about one thing he said today. He said another referendum wouldn’t be fun. I think that if we get it, our chance of winning it is to approach it with enthusiasm.

The pro-Remain side will be unencumbered by No 10 or Corbynesque faint-heartedness. It would be free to go for a really emotive, positive, heartstring-tugging, authentic campaign while the other side has to defend something that will definitively make us poorer.

The reason people are so resistant to a referendum is because they know that it could be won by Remain if we get our act together and deliver a decent campaign.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron’s Musings

Hani Mustafa can still remember the crippling nerves like it was yesterday. The warm spotlights on him in the studio, the make-up artist powdering his face – the television environment was completely alien to him, miles away from his life as a schoolboy in Peterborough. But Hani’s passion for why Britain should leave the European Union had got him noticed. And now, this GCSE student was about to make his first ever television appearance in a debate live on BBC News. He was just 15 years old.

Brexit supporter tells BBC it ‘will do the country good to go without food

Brexit supporter tells BBC it 'will do the country good to go without food'
Brexit supporter tells BBC it ‘will do the country good to go without food’

Once again, another person too young to have fought in World War II invoking that Blitz spirit

Brexit coordinator warns against ‘watering down’ deal hours before pivotal votes

Hani outside number 10: “When the result came in, my father and I had just come back from our count in Peterborough. We turned on the TV, heard the news and shared a big hug. The sense of victory in that moment was huge.”

“When the result came in, my father and I had just come back from our count in Peterborough. We turned on the TV, heard the news and shared a big hug. The sense of victory in that moment was huge.”

AIWA! NO!|On Monday, the bosses of British food retailers Sainsbury’s, ASDA, M&S, Co-op, Waitrose, KFC, Pret, Lidl, McDonald’s, Costcutter and the British Retail Consortium signed an open letter to MPs, warning them of the dangers that a no-deal Brexit could cause in the supply of food into Britain.

The United Kingdom is, as it stands, set to leave the European Union without a deal on March 29, after Theresa May’s Brexit deal was voted down by the Commons.

Welcome to Brexit! Today the supermarkets and restaurants announced there won’t be food from the continent in a no deal scenario.

This dude right here goes from “it’s scaremongering” to starvation will “do the country good” in seven seconds.

Alexander Sliwinski

The threat of food shortages, which would be exacerbated by tariffs and price hikes, has understandably led people – many of whom enjoy not experiencing hunger – to worry about about the state of the UK after March 29.

There are some people though who have reacted to these warnings with a sort of masochistic glee; those who welcome the thought of rationing and self-sacrifice like only those who feel like they lived through the war but actually didn’t can.

READ RELATED: EU Parliament to veto Brexit deal if British MPs try to amend it, Verhofstadt says

One of very people appeared on a BBC News report on the topic this morning, and was asked what he thought about the warning from retailers.

In a succinct yet utterly bizarre reply, he uttered some interesting words. He said: “It’s purely scaremongering. As far as I’m concerned it would do the country good to go without for a little while. Make them appreciate what they’ve had.”

We’re not exactly sure how he believes this is both scaremongering and something which would be good for the country.

Perhaps he thinks that the concept of hunger itself is scaremongering, and that the UK would in fact grow stronger and healthier on a diet of Fray Bentos and baked beans.

Or perhaps, and bear with us on this, he just doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

One thing is certain though. His response proved that, even if there is a shortage of perishable foods after Brexit, there will be absolutely no shortage of gammon.

Embedded video

Alexander Sliwinski✔@Sliwinski

Brexit in chaos as Theresa May announces Plan B – minutes AFTER Tories reject it

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0_Brexit.jpg

Theresa May arriving at tonight’s meeting just minutes after Jacob Rees Mogg said he wouldn’t back the plan(Image: PA)

Farce erupted as the Prime Minister told MPs to back a plan to remove the Irish backstop – barely 5 minutes after Jacob Rees-Mogg consigned it to the bin

Mikey Smith Political Reporter, Nicola Bartlett Political Correspondent, Dan Bloom, MIRROR|AIWA! NO!|

Theresa May’s Brexit plans are in chaos again after she finally announced a Plan B – minutes AFTER a whole load of her MPs rejected it.

The Prime Minister threw her weight behind an amendment by top Tory Sir Graham Brady to remove the hated ‘Irish backstop’ in her Brexit deal.

Sir Graham’s plan would have finally given Mrs May’s deal a chance to pass if she replaced the backstop – which traps the UK under EU rules – with “alternative arrangements”.

Yet in farcical scenes, Mrs May asked MPs to back the plan just minutes after leading Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg said he was not backing it.

Mr Rees-Mogg leads the powerful European Research Group of Brexiteers – and that means the Brady amendment looks doomed to failure. 

Without the support of the group of hardline Brexiteers, it will be very tight for the amendment to pass in a vote at 7pm tomorrow.

It means that almost two weeks since Mrs May suffered the most devastating defeat of any Prime Minister, the way forward is still unclear.

Tonight a ministerial source said the next showdown vote on her deal was only due to be held on February 13.

It means that almost two weeks since Mrs May suffered the most devastating defeat of any Prime Minister, the way forward is still unclear (Image: REUTERS)
READ MORE

Ahead of tomorrow’s votes, a separate bid to delay Brexit by up to nine months had looked set to succeed with the backing of the Labour leadership.

But comments by Jeremy Corbyn ally Jon Trickett have thrown that into doubt too – meaning it’s unclear if Brexit will be delayed.

Tonight’s farce unfolded in Parliament’s Portcullis House, where Mrs May and the European Research Group held two meetings on the same small corridor.

Jacob Rees-Mogg emerged from the ERG meeting at about 5.08pm to tell journalists he would not back the Brady amendment.