So there are a few interesting Brexit developments on August 13. There’s the news that EU officials have warned that the European Union could in fact be left worse off than Britain in the event of a no-deal Brexit…confirming something we knew all along.
There’s also the story of the CBI, the Confederation of British Industry, advising the government to scrap net migration targets after Brexit, and even some news on who our next Prime Minister might be.
Let’s touch on the No Deal story first. A 15-page document has been issued to the EU27 – the 27 remaining member states – which warns of the consequences of a No Deal Brexit. It suggests that everything from animal health and pharmaceuticals, to customs and financial services could all be hit hard by a No Deal exit.
The Express reports that the European Commissions’ secretary general, Martin Selmayr, is preparing for a No Deal situation and implementing a planning task force. The concern, however, is that this new task force would require the member states to agree on decisions made, making it difficult to implement any of their preparations. There’s also the question of whether each decision they make is in alignment with European treaties.
It looks like all that bureaucracy is coming back to bite them on the arse.
Oh, and don’t forget the European parliamentary elections coming in May 2018. The current set of MEPs will leave Parliament three weeks before Brexit is implemented, and the new set of MEPs (which could be vastly different and even more Eurosceptic this time), won’t come back until July. That leaves a big gap.
And you know what this tells me? It tells me that Britain is in a great negotiating position here. If only Theresa May had the fortitude to take on the EU head on. It’s time to get tough with these people, recognize their weaknesses, and start negotiating a better deal. It’d be nice to avoid a No Deal Brexit, and we could certainly achieve something if someone with any will to do it was in power.
I almost wrote that perhaps we could achieve something meaningful and worthwhile, but I wouldn’t go quite that far. I think that as long as the EU exists, it will be impossible to achieve any kind of worthwhile deal – but hey, while it’s still limping on its last good leg, why not try and make the best of a bad situation?
Interestingly though, it looks like we could be getting all that we’ve hoped for. Maybe, anyway. There’s talk that Tory MPs might be urging Boris Johnson to push back his leadership bid and team up with David Davis. The idea is this:
A full leadership contest makes the party unstable, and the comments Boris made about the burqa recently could potentially plunge the party into a civil war at the worse possible time. So instead, the party could oust Theresa May and replace her with David Davis, who would act as interim leader and interim Prime Minister. Kind of like the way UKIP installed Gerard Batten as an interim leader following the Henry Bolton fiasco, in order to avoid a full leadership contest.
The Mail on Sunday reports that the plot is underway and could result in May being removed as early as October. Should that happen, there will be very little time to change the EU deal – but it may just be possible. An EU summit will take place on the 18 and 19, October, and it’s during this meeting that we should expect a final agreement on Brexit to be agreed. If May is replaced on the 1st of October, that gives the government just a matter of weeks to negotiate a new deal.
Failing that, they’ll move to an emergency EU summit in November. This has always been on the cards, as a last-minute opportunity to finalize the divorce if an agreement hadn’t been made in October. Beyond November, however, all cards are on the table. The last possible date to seal the Article 50 divorce agreement – or at least, the most practical – would be during the last European Council of 2018. That takes place between December 13 and 14.
So, who knows. Perhaps the tide is turning. There’s a month or so to go until the parties come back from their summer hols – and if the coup gains steam, May might be removed shortly after. That’ll make for an embarrassing party conference.
Finally, there’s the story about the CBI. I talked about this on my show today, and how I think they’re trying to trick you. I encourage you to watch it!