The UK Home Secretary is concerned by 221 migrants having attempted to cross the Channel to England since the start of November. Migrants are paying criminal gangs to arrange the Channel crossings. Every time the gangs succeed in the illegal crossings and the migrants are rescued and landed more will take the risk. But if the rescued migrants are returned to France the failure will be a total loss to those smuggling gangs involved. Our thick Home Office officials now say this is a “major incident”. It won’t be if suddenly no landings are allowed in the UK, because it is France’s responsibility?
Brexit Bluff? As a well known writer claims “Even if some instability does follow a no-treaty withdrawal, it would be short-term. Life would continue. Chickens would continue to lay eggs. Trading restrictions work both ways, so any attempt by Brussels to punish the disobedient Brits by preventing them exporting agricultural goods to the EU might encourage the British government to find sudden reasons to stop the importation of German cars. Or Irish beef. Or French wine. Have you tried new-world Merlots? They can be rather good. And good value too. [He’s right! No more French wine for me! Chilean Luis Felipe Edwards Bin Series Merlot , try it!]
Belgium’s government is in turmoil yet again. France’s peacock president is having his feathers plucked by a bolshy populace. The German chancellor is soon to depart this political life. Italy and Brussels may have papered over their rancorous dispute over Rome’s spending proposals, but neither is likely to play nice for long. Spain has a hideous unemployment problem, and poor Greece, the crucible of western democracy, has lost control of its own affairs and is turning into a third world country.
Poland and Hungary, of course, are pursuing non-liberal policies that have earned them the contempt of the European institutions. And all this before we even start contemplating Commission President Jean Claude Juncker’s hiccups .
Europeans will have to shell out billions more to fund Brussels’ budget if we quit the EU with No Deal, a top Eurocrat has warned. The EU’s German budget chief said Europe would suffer without the £39billion Britain has previously promised to pay after Brexit. Gunther Oettinger’s warning come as a boost to Brexiteers who insist we can get a better deal from Brussels because they’re terrified of No Deal. The Merkel ally, who is European Commissioner for the budget, told the German press No Deal would lead to higher bills for the rest of the continent.
Asked what the impact would be he said “That depends on whether the British would be prepared to honour their rights and obligations until the end of 2019. If that doesn’t happen, then next year a middling-three-figure million amount will be added to Germany”.
That suggests the total extra contributions for the whole of the EU would end up being several billion euros each to make up for the money they wouldn’t get from the UK. If Theresa May’s deal is approved by Parliament next month, Britain will pay a £39billion divorce bill to Brussels. [At £1billion per year for 39 years?]
But if we leave without a deal in March, we may end up paying nothing at all. The PM is currently trying to extract more concessions from the EU in a last-ditch bid to persuade angry MPs they should back the withdrawal agreement.
Oettinger admitted that a second referendum to overturn Brexit is unlikely. He predicted instead that the Commons would end up backing the current deal because MPs are reluctant to accept any other option. He said “It’s not that unlikely that the British Parliament will vote for the divorce deal in January. There’s certainly no majority for a new referendum, or a disorderly Brexit”.
The EU has previously insisted the current deal can’t be substantially changed despite Mrs May’s requests. Brexiteers have predicted Brussels will end up caving in order to avoid the possibility of a No Deal Brexit.
The EU will accept a French budget deficit above the EU’s 3 percent ceiling in 2018 “as a one-time exception” Budget Commissioner Oettinger says. Oettinger told the Funke media group of German newspapers that French President Emmanuel Macron had “lost authority with his budget for 2019” by upping his spending in response to the Yellow Jackets protests, “but he remains a strong supporter of the European Union”. Oettinger added “It’s crucial now that Macron continues his reform agenda, especially in the labour market, and that France remains on its growth track. Under this condition, we will tolerate a national debt higher than 3 percent as a one-time exception. However, it must not continue beyond 2019”.
The European commissioner added that the likelihood of Britain remaining in the EU had somewhat increased over the past few months, but said “Nevertheless, I assume there will be a withdrawal at the end of March”. There will, Herr Oettinger, there will!
Could supporters of a second Brexit referendum could curtail the government’s power to collect taxes unless Theresa May bows to their demand? The proposal appears in a report on ways to force another vote by the Best for Britain campaign group. It comes as Jeremy Corbyn urged the prime minister to cut short MPs’ Christmas break so that parliament can vote on her Brexit deal. Speaking to The Independent, the Labour leader accused Mrs May of trying to “run down the clock”. However Downing Street told the Press Association that it was a “silly demand”. Quite right, that’s no way for Corbyn to speak about a “stupid woman”!