Monday 25 February 2019

European Can-Kicking Championships

If, as reported, Selmayr's cunning plan is to lure May into a 21-month (sic) delay to our leaving date, he really is going for the can-kicking title in a big way.**  He probably knows his girl - they all do, after her craven capitulation on Hinkley Point in the summer of '16.  A no-lose for him:  either he frightens the ERG into the lobbies for the 'deal' currently on the table, or sets up a protracted and surely lethal period of utter UK political meltdown, which has been the aim of his malice all along.

Overall, the hyper-ventilation in every corner of the Westminster bubble (if you see what I mean) is neither more nor less than you'd expect at the eleventh hour.  I wonder if any Cabinet ministers really have the balls to resign before the 29th?  The Tories, after all, are still the party of government - who want to cast themselves into the darkness when there is potentially a new leader within months?  Amber Rudd, though, may be a special case: (a) her seat is anything but safe, so it's desperation stakes with her; and (b) Kev has a theory she's part of May's own "cunning plan" (see BTL at the weekend).

Over the months, several of you have punted for the can-kick being part of the March 2019 'end-game'.  I'm guessing that 21 months is a bit more creative than anyone had in mind.  Technical question:  can May and Selmayr (Sell-May-er?) deliver the delay themselves, bilaterally, by fiat on either side?  If they can, it makes it all the more likely.

ND  (a name, not a slogan)
** we had earlier awarded this to Merkel for her 85-year effort on climate change


E-K said...

The EU is like the face hugger out of Alien.

It's ruddy great talons grip around your head as it thrusts its proboscis down your throat. Removal kills the host. Any attempt to go near it results in it spitting acid at everyone (via fifth columnists who call Eurosceptics racist at every turn.)

They were never going to honour a Leave result. May was put in place to doom Brexit whilst pretending she was trying to achieve it. The return of Amber Rudd should leave no one in doubt now. Her job is not to *be* in cabinet but to be able to threaten to quit it at a crucial point.

Anonymous said...

I can't sign-up to the conspiracy theory, I just don't see any amount of competency there to achieve that.

If the can does get kicked that long, then we've been comprehensively outmanoeuvred by the EU. Those 21 months will kill Brexit.

Many of us who voted for out are already worn down, and whilst I no longer wish to see a No Deal exit due to total lack of preparation for one, I just want something decided.

We leave on a No Deal, we'll be heading back in on popular demand before too long, a 21 month delay will give room to realign UK politics and likely to end Brexit.

The window of opportunity to leave is closing, and with world class ditherers on one side, and a world class waste of Prime Ministerial power on the other, I think it's going to slam shut.

I am curious as to what the political landscape will look like afterwards - a lot of Tories will disavow them, Labour votes will be split between the Corbynistas and the Blairite Tiggers, and I wonder if things will revert after a few years or things become that entrenched it represents a genuine, permanent splitting of the parties.

I'm coming round to the view that Brexit is already dead, and so looking at what effect that'll have on the next election.

jim said...

I really think that all but the very dimmest can now see there is no longer any point to Brexit. Brexit fails to solve the real problems Britain and many western countries have - (overpaid and under brained). So we leave, when does not really matter, but what do you do when you have left and the interim arrangements expire? No idea! So a bit of can kicking seems in order if only for the very slow to catch up.

Whether we do Brexit or not the overpaid problem will solve itself over time. The under brained problem is a bit harder and relates to the impossibility of one country pulling far ahead of the world pack. America is ahead right now but her lead is slackening. The UK lost its lead some time back and our government seems to recognise the impossibility of recovery - no extra per head spending on schools or training. Brexit is merely a displacement activity, a waste of time and effort while important matters are ignored.

Anonymous said...

I am ardently leave but now think the best strategy is to stay in and be as bloody minded as possible.

Appoint Farage as commissioner (or possibly Boris!)

david morris said...

Disappointed at the negativity on here

After Gina Miller and fellow travellers have fought their court cases, passed motions and had votes, we have a situation where a majority is needed in favour of whatever is to happen. If we don’t have a majority in favour of something then we default to leaving on March 29 with "no deal".

Which is what we voted for in June 2016

Anonymous said...

No - if we do not leave then British democratic politics is dead, and our future politics will certainly be more like those of Europe over the last 100 years. I don't think we'll get Yugoslavia thank God, but it won't be nice - and with reason. I suppose it might cure the Raedwalds of this world (good chap, loved his blog for years) of the illusion that we're still in Kansas and good faith plus fair dealing is the way forward.

"the best strategy is to stay in and be as bloody minded as possible"

That's the realms of fantasy, our rulers never wanted to leave.

Anonymous said...

@david morris - it's not negativity, it's recognition of the political landscape.

I don't see us leaving with No Deal, Parliament will do its upmost to avoid it, so it's either extend the process, May's Deal or no Brexit. Extending the process is just giving time to reducing the saltiness of no Brexit.

And if the stars aligned and we did leave with No Deal, then the consequences of the lack of prep would have movements to rejoin the EU with a lot of public support.

No Deal isn't the end of history, there won't be some magical barrier keeping us out of the EU forever, it'll be messy, frustrating and public opinion will change accordingly. Remain will morph into Rejoin, and we'll see the parties realign accordingly. No Deal is pretty much "Kiss goodbye to GBP inside a decade." You can thank Hammond for that.

May's Deal is unlikely to go through.

In hindsight, Brexit died the day May won the leadership. When we needed a Churchillian character, the Tories gave us Haw Haw in drag.

Y Ddraig Goch said...

I'm not so sure that a 21 month delay is quite as one sided as people are suggesting here. Bear in mind that Selmayr is a psychopath and they aren't noted for strategic thinking.

A 21 month delay means we fully participate in the EU elections. There is already much hand-wringing in the EU-philic media over the expected lurch of the European Parliament towards "populism". The British contingent will just make that worse.

The EU has already launched sanctions procedures against both Poland and Hungary and each of them threatened to veto the action against the other. The state of the Italian economy (GDP basically static for a decade) and the emergence of another "populist" government can't be helping Juncker address his drinking problem. There is no reason to believe that the situation in Italy will improve any time soon, and the EU's contribution - close off economic options while forcing Italy to accept mass immigration to infinity - will actually make Italy's problems worse.

If we do end up unable to leave as commenters here suggest that is likely to have plenty of negative consequences for the EU.

Nick Drew said...

YDG - I agree there is scope for Europe to look very different after the euro-elections, but are we sure we'd get MEPs in a 21-month delay? Seems to me it would be on whatever malign basis Selmayr would determine (bearing in mind it will be take-it-or-leave-it @ 23.59.59)

anon @ You can thank Hammond for that: agreed. He seems always to be the man below the parapet: never on anyone's list for next Tory leader (I don't know quite why); and at the same time, IMHO, the person mostly to blame for our parlous state of unpreparedness

(these two observations are not contradictory, despite appearances)

Y Ddraig Goch said...

ND - " are we sure we'd get MEPs in a 21-month delay? "

Fair question. Suppose we don't. Isn't that ripe for a Remainiac legal challenge? The ECJ already ruled that we can withdraw article 50 unilaterally, and an "extension" implies that situation continuing into the future ie we would have to have MEPs. On the other hand, if the extension explicitly denied us MEPs, then the Leavers could challenge that on the basis that we no longer had representation in the European Parliament (as all real members do) and thus we had in fact already left. Plus, if the speculation about a more populist EU Parliament is correct, then the likes of Poland / Italy / Hungary /
Slovakia might insist on British MEPs to strengthen their own position - and as I recall an extension has to be agreed unanimously. (And yes, I realise that EU "rules" are whatever the project needs them to be at the time.)

I'm not claiming that any of those scenarios is certain - just pointing out that an extension that alters our relationship with the EU could very easily count as "the deal".

Anonymous said...

Forget Farage for a Commissioner - let's have Yaxley and his TK-Maxshirt thugs giving it large in Brussels - a diet of beer and chips, and loads of aggro and bovver chants, and fellow neo-fascist thugs from across Europe! That'll learn 'em!

Nige & Jac said...

Can kicking is a Great British Export. We displayed our skills in 2008 during the Great British "Extend and Pretend" financial deals when we rescued the banks. That's why the City of London will be one of our largest exports after we leave.

We intend to sign more deals exporting can-kicking in the near future as we believe can-kicking is the future. You only have to see the leveraged debt on many of Silicon Valley's greatest, and our Great British pension liabilities to see what wonderfully skilled people we have here.

No need to build, grow or make anything in the future. Can-kicking is the future.

E-K said...

Had I known at the time of the referendum that "Leave the EU" did not mean leaving the EU completely and as quickly as possible I would never have taken part in the referendum.

All of our problems stem from Remainers (including the PM) trying to keep us in the EU.

This was NOT on the ballot slip and it was incumbent on our civil service to plan for what was on it in its most literal sense.

A lie far bigger than that on the side of a bus was that this was a genuine offer to the British people to leave the EU.

Instead we've got "Ah. This gives us grounds to renegotiate our membership of the EU." that's what the WA is. A surrender document after May's wasted 2 1/2 years of damage limitation mentality.

E-K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E-K said...

Leave the EU" was definitely what I saw on the ballot slip. No civil service contingency has been made for its literal meaning - ergo it was never the intention to Leave.


Slippery Cameron didn't just want to unite the Tory party. He wanted to settle us into a Hard Remain, because if he'd won the referendum (as the cocky man thought he would) it would have been a mandate for full EU integration.


We voted Leave instead and we are rewarded with HARDER Remain (the WA) and the Tory rosette with May's face is all over it.

Has anyone read the comments section in the press this morning ? I've never seen the like of it.

Nick Drew said...

You've been very consistent on this, Kev - probably more so than most of us around these parts

(if that gives you any comfort in these ghastly circumstances!)

which comments sections are you directing us towards?

E-K said...

The rags, Nick.

I'm still a guttersnipe at heart.