Merkel and co. manufacture fake progress in stalled talks

Even before this week’s EU summit had begun, no-one was under any illusions about the outcome, specifically the zero prospect of the EU27 sanctioning trade talks. In fact, the whole affair was so telegraphed that even the warmish reception graced upon the Prime Minister was widely anticipated. A week after Michel Barnier said talks had reached deadlock, the Prime Minister has salvaged something. What it really amounts to, only time will tell.

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 Upon leaving the European Council building after Theresa May’s brief Brexit speech late last night, EU leaders refused to speak to the media, a break with convention no doubt ordered by Angela Merkel who strode over to a solo press conference:

“We are going to achieve a good outcome. As far as I am concerned, I don’t hear any reason to believe that we are not going to be successful,” she told reporters.

Threats on this side of the channel to pull out of negotiations and prepare for a no-deal have clearly made an impression upon the European elite, Merkel included. It allegedly took 90 seconds to come to an agreement. Last week’s leaked draft conclusions, which called for preparations to begin towards trade talks and a transition arrangement only needed rubber-stamping.

The man with the stamp is Tusk. After his meeting with Merkel and co. the European Council President Tweeted: “leaders green-light internal EU27 preparations for 2nd [trade] phase”. Even Jean-Claude Juncker chipped in: “it’s not my working assumption that we’ll have no-deal”, he said.

This is the counter-intuitive logic of negotiating. Those across the table will only be forced to compromise if you threaten to go in the opposite direction. But there’s a long way to go before the EU is brought to heel. “We’re not even half-way there”, said Emmanuel Macron on the only issue the EU cares about, the divorce bill. Macron also claimed the Prime Minister never mentioned no-deal as an option.

Amid all the chatter and manufactured good vibes, we must not lose sight of the fact that the EU has refused to go ahead with trade talks. We are no nearer to a good deal than we were a week ago.

For the most part, members of the Government and Conservative MPs are starting to fall in line and apply pressure. David Davis has now joined the no-deal chorus. He plans to present to the Cabinet a positive case for complete independence from the failing bloc. About time.

By the eve of the summit, the no-deal campaign had gathered impressive momentum. Conservative MPs Iain Duncan-Smith and James Duddridge had made their cases for full independence before a letter was delivered to Theresa May calling on the Prime Minister to begin preparations for a no-deal scenario on Thursday.

The letter, organised by Leave Means Leave, has been signed by a number of prominent public figures including John Redwood, Major-General Julian Thompson, Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin, former Chancellor Nigel Lawson, and Leave.EU co-founder Richard Tice.

“No deal on trade is better than a deal which locks the UK into the European regulatory system and takes opportunities off the table” they rightly argue, pointing also to British borders remaining open throughout the treasonous transition period.

Employment jumped by 44,300 over the quarter (Jul-Sept) after the EU referendum.
Brexit saboteur Amber Rudd stated leaving the EU without a replacement trade agreement would be “unthinkable”. The next day, Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer cavorted in front of crowds of Euro-federalists in the EU capital. At a gathering of left-wing parties, Corbyn was introduced as the “future Prime Minister” to rapturous applause.

Interviewed earlier that day on the Today programme Starmer claimed the deadlock in negotiations with the EU had nothing to do with outrageous demands for British taxpayer cash. A stupid enough thing to say in an ordinary week, but Starmer’s idiotic argument came only 24 hours after European Parliament President Antonio Tajani dismissed Theresa May’s offer of €20bn as “peanuts”.

“We need our money back, as Mrs Thatcher said 30 years ago…Twenty billion is peanuts. The problem is 50, 60, this is the real situation”, he said.

Beyond the cosy Brussels bubble in which Tajani resides, change on the continent is afoot. On Sunday, 31-year old populist Sebastian Kurz secured a huge win in the Austrian legislative elections. He now looks set to be the next Chancellor and is already planning to forge a powerful alliance with Hungary and Poland to resist European Union lunacy on migration policy.

Kurz echoed many of their messages during his successful election campaign, running on the motto, “stop illegal immigration” and making it clear that “rescue in the Mediterranean Sea cannot mean a ticket to the heart of Europe because as long as rescue at sea leads to people being able to come to Austria, Germany or Sweden more and more will set out”.

The Polish government has seen its popularity surge to record highs of 47% as the European Union continues to ramp up rhetoric against the conservative nation, including an unsubtle threat from European Council President Donald Tusk in August that the country’s “European future” is in question.

The EU continues in its attempts to force its own priorities on proud European nations, but the inevitable resistance is finally emerging. It could gain traction in the Czech Republic this weekend as Andrej Babiš’s ANO is set to storm elections there.

Babiš is another critic of EU migration policy. He also opposes his country joining the disastrous single currency, warning that it “gives Brussels another area for meddling”. His group is predicted to take a quarter of the vote – double that of the next most popular party.

In economic news: Brexit talks got even thornier this week as Eurocrats attempted to suck an additional £6bn from the UK by attempting to overcharge us for pension liabilities, but Mrs May shouldn’t be too hasty in surrendering to the latest demand – after all, German businesses are looking ever more likely to break the trade deadlock by applying decisive pressure on Frau Merkel; meanwhile optimism is on the rise in the financial sectors as the proportion of finance chiefs fearing Brexit has fallen and the FCA has reiterated that independence will do little to hurt the industry, while fintech looks to enjoy a record year for investment; and the Australian government reaffirmed that it intends to do a quick trade deal with an independent UK, with suggestions that the arrangement could be settled within 15 months.

Kind regards,
The Leave.EU Team