Tag Archives: deadline

Brexit trade talks continue after deadline as UK and EU negotiators appear to change their story

Man in black: why isn’t Johnson wearing a Union Flag facemask, considering von der Leyen has one for the EU? Men in black are traditionally… villains, aren’t they?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Sunday, December 13 the deadline for a post-Brexit EU-UK trade deal, considering the ratification process for all Parliaments?

Suddenly that’s not the story after all. Instead:

The two sides had said Sunday was the deadline for a decision on whether to continue with talks.

They’re making this stuff up as they go – on both sides.

This is what happens when both sides in a confrontation talk tough but know they really need to come to terms.

The UK is facing an economic disaster (that prime minister Boris Johnson may – or may not – be secretly working towards, depending on which rumours you believe).

And the EU has to consider the possibility of political destabilisation that could arise from failure to reach a deal.

And both could be hoping to magic up a public relations miracle in time for Christmas.

Forgive me, but This Writer finds the timing – and the rhetoric – all to be a little… cynical.

Source: Brexit trade talks: UK and EU to ‘go the extra mile’ in effort to agree deal – BBC News

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Hallowe’en deadline for Brexit horrorshow – but will it go on, like a zombie?

The wicked witch: But will a Hallowe’en Brexit finally force her to get on her broomstick and go?

Brexit is now such a mess that it is hard to write about it coherently.

Theresa May wanted another extension of the period before the UK must leave the EU until June 30 – but has been forced to accept a longer delay, until October 31.

That has prompted obvious Hallowe’en comparisons such as that in the headline.

European newspapers have also been having fun – with Die Zeit saying the chosen exit date “could not be more symbolic: on 31 October, when the Halloween festival of horrors is being celebrated everywhere, Britain is set to leave the EU. For many, in Britain and on the continent, a truly scary moment … ”

And Le Monde said “the Anglo-Saxon festival of witches and pumpkins”, was perhaps a fitting date.

By rights, it seemed Mrs May should have been pleased. The decision allows her more time to get a deal with the Labour Party, and means she will be able to honour that deal before handing over the Tory Party leadership – and Number 10 – to any hard-Brexiter from her party’s extreme right wing; they won’t be able to oust her with a “no confidence” vote before December, according to their party’s current rules.

But.

The EU’s decision is a compromise – and Mrs May seems to hate compromise. Discussions with Labour have so far shown that she still expects Jeremy Corbyn’s team to give way, meaning a deal allowing the UK to leave in any way at all still seems impossible.

Mrs May herself apparently now wants to stay in Downing Street for anything up to another year, which suggests that she was lying about leaving as soon as she had delivered the first part of Brexit – and also that she is delusional about the possibility of winning another “no confidence” vote within her own party.

Her right-wing backbenchers have other ideas. They want her to quit so they can take over and turn the process into a complete dog’s breakfast (or dog’s Brexit, as politicians seem to keep getting those words confused).

Having been deprived of the opportunity to hold a “no confidence” vote in Mrs May, they are now saying she should either go of her own accord before the Conservative Party Conference in October, or 1922 Committee chairman Graham Brady should bypass the “confidence” procedure by telling her she has lost the confidence of most members and should go before they have a chance to humiliate her.

The last thing on the minds of any of the Tories, it seems, is the well-being of the people of the United Kingdom.

With all these factions vying for advantage, and Parliamentary arithmetic against the lot of them, the most likely results seems to be a further delay after another failure to reach an agreement by the new, new deadline.

So, as the headline predicts, the spectre of Brexit may rise, zombie-like, from its Hallowe’en grave and stalk us into the year(s) to come. Will it haunt us forever?


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Brexipocalypse: May threatens martial law if she doesn’t get her contradictory way

Theresa and the troops: It seems she means to rely on them to keep her in power after she stubbornly forces the worst possible Brexit on us all.

Theresa May’s Brexit policy seems designed to ruin both the prime minister and her party. Can anybody understand the reasons?

She is demanding that MPs – and the country as a whole – accept her rubbish “deal” with the European Union because time is running out and the only alternative she is prepared to accept is “no deal”, forcing us to apply to the World Trade Organisation for permission to use its – basic – rules.

But Marcus, below, makes a very pertinent point:

I think we may conclude that Mrs May really does want to remove the UK from the EU before this country becomes subject to new EU-wide laws on tax evasion; she wants to ensure that the very rich can’t be forced to contribute to the wealth of the nation; she wants to ensure that there is no money for social policies that help ordinary people. That seems the only reason for sticking to this deadline when it is clear that more time is needed.

We also know that she is deliberately running down the clock, making “no deal” more likely. This may be because she is unduly influenced by the hard-right European Research Group headed by Jacob Rees-Mogg, which would prefer such an outcome. It would explain Mr Rees-Mogg’s about-turn from demanding her resignation to supporting her. But Marcus (again) points out that this will have a serious effect on her party’s electoral chances:

Good question.

Put these elements together and it may be easier to understand why Mrs May is planning to deploy 3,500 soldiers onto the streets of the UK in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit. Martial law would preserve her government – sorry, dictatorship – against the civil unrest that her policies seem certain to provoke.

These are dangerous times.

We have a national leader who knows she is on borrowed time – but we have seen that she is desperate to cling on to power for its own sake.

And we have a Parliament whose members seem determined to keep her in government – not because it is good for the country as a whole but in order to allow her to do as much harm as possible.

And I haven’t even mentioned the compliant Tory news media that are trying to keep you tranquillised and complacent, quietly accepting it as Mrs May pushes you into personal debt and strips away the rights that have been built up over the centuries to protect you from people like her.

I’m surprised every MP in Westminster isn’t being bombarded by demands from an electorate insisting that they do everything they can to prevent either of the results that Mrs May favours.

She says she is acting in the national interest, but it is clear that she is only interested in herself.

What are you waiting for? You need to talk to your MP.

Tory NHS sniping fails to hit targets

141024NHS

Heartfelt words: A short poem by Lorna (pictured) on YouTube has been more persuasive than any of the Tory smear tactics.

The Tories have been working very hard on their campaign against NHS Wales; shame they don’t have a brilliant health service in England to hold up in comparison.

Twitter lit up around teatime yesterday (Thursday) with allegation after allegation about the service in Wales – for example, that one in seven Welsh patients are on waiting lists, including more than a thousand (if memory serves) for more than a year.

Yr Obdt Srvt countered by pointing out that Mrs Mike had to go to NHS Wales-arranged hospital appointments twice last week; on both occasions she was seen promptly and received appropriate treatment immediately.

All right, came the response. What about the appalling record of the Welsh Ambulance Service, which remains unable to reach all of its emergency calls within the mandatory eight-minute deadline?

The response should be obvious: How many of those patients died? They didn’t have an answer for that. It seems that the health of the patient is of less concern to the statistic-keepers than the speed with which they are attended. The situation conjures up images of Mussolini’s (fabled) Italy in which the trains all ran on time and you can imagine a Tory-run NHS Wales report right now: “None of the patients survived the journey to the hospital but the ambulances were all punctual!”

In fact, even if the Tories had been able to dredge up an answer, they would have been trumped. Yr Obdt Srvt has friends who work in the ambulance service and it just happens that, only a few days ago, one of them told us proudly how they had been working in a team who had arrived too late to stop the patient’s death – and had then brought this person back to life.

(As an aside, it was pleasant to be addressed by members of Conservative Central Headquarters, by the Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies, and by the Welsh Conservatives’ official Twitter accounts while debating the above issues (and others). Either Vox Political is going up in the world or they had nothing better to do than argue the toss with a small blog site. If you’re a Tory, try to work out which of those alternatives is least embarrassing for you!)

So, before criticising hard-working ambulance crews who have to negotiate gridlocked city centres, miles of winding country roads, and sometimes both – and are still expected to do it all within eight minutes, just take a moment to thank them for the amazing feats they can perform when they do arrive.

Wales isn’t like England. The terrain is different and the service is intentionally under-funded by the Westminster government, which has been cutting its grant to the Welsh Assembly ever since the Conservative Party came into office on the back of Liberal Democrat collusion.

As for the service in England itself – well, you’ve seen the image of Lorna adorning the top of this article. Have a listen to the following YouTube clip; it’ll tell you all you need to know about public feeling on that account!

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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