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Friday 8 February 2019

The European Union once again showed its ugly side this week when European Council President Donald Tusk upped the rhetoric with his outrageous statement that there is a “special place in Hell” for Brexiteers.

Our spineless prime minister could only muster up the courage to say his statement was “not helpful”, but Nigel Farage spoke for millions in Britain by instead celebrating the fact that we will soon “be free of unelected, arrogant bullies like you and run our own country. Sounds more like heaven to me!” With Eurocrats attacking Britain in ever more feverish terms, expect support for a proper No Deal Brexit to shoot up.

While the EU lashes out and hunkers down with the gleeful support of Ireland’s pathetic Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tory Eurosceptics are increasingly becoming fed up with the impasse. They’re now calling on the prime minister to call in the big guns and lobby US President Donald Trump – hot off a rousing State of the Union address that saw his approval rating shoot up – to intervene on the UK’s behalf with his sizable diplomatic clout. It would certainly be a change to have somebody involved in Brexit talks who actually understands the Art of the Deal

Back in Britain we certainly aren’t seeing any meaningful deal-making. Jeremy Corbyn has finally arrived at the table, dishing out a wildly unacceptable offer for Theresa May. He’s prepared to support May’s Brexit legislation so long as she meets his five key demands – including a permanent customs union with the EU (ie no independent trade policy), “close alignment with the single market” (ie no flexibility on domestic regulation and possibly free movement), and the tyrannical European Arrest Warrant. No thanks

What a change of tone from the Eurosceptic firebrand we see in recently uncovered videos taken during the 2009 Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, where Corbyn slammed the EU as a “military Frankenstein” and insisted that he didn’t want to be part of “a European empire”.

A once principled man reduced to nothing by pro-EU obsessives like Keir Starmer… Millions of Labour Leave voters deserve so much better.

But even with Tusk insulting millions of British voters and the leader of the opposition insisting on keeping Britain chained to the worst aspects of the European project, our hapless prime minister still refuses to look reality head-on and commit to a proper WTO Brexit on March 29. In fact, there is even word now that she will delay the next Commons vote on Brexit as her chief whip Julian Smith indicates that no vote is expected next week.

She no doubt wishes to delay the vote since she’s thus far managed to secure absolutely no changes to her hated Withdrawal Agreement. In fact, we learned from Eurofanatic extremist Guy Verhofstadt that Theresa May is not even trying to remove the unacceptable Northern Ireland backstop, yet again stabbing Britain in the back.

May’s refusal to seek serious changes is especially bizarre given her support of the Brady amendment last week, which explicitly called for the backstop to be replaced. As Mark Francois asked in the Commons at Prime Minister’s Questions: “which bit of the word replaced is unclear?!

And while May continues to cling to the backstop, even after accepting it must go, the opposition to it grows even stronger. In fact, this week we learned that the backstop is most probably illegal under EU law. At least that’s according to top international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, who pointed to “a major inconsistency in the position of the EU”, namely that the backstop is not a transitional measure as mandated by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Oops!

But while Brexit remains in a tedious deadlock, tensions between France and Italy are flaring up even further. This week Emmanuel Macron took the drastic decision to recall his Italian envoy following a series of interventions from Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini – the two Italian deputy prime ministers who head up the 5 Star Movement and Lega Nord respectively.

The move was seemingly triggered by Di Maio’s decision to meet in person prominent leaders of the Yellow Vests, the street protest movement that has been plaguing Macron for months with massive weekend demonstrations. The meeting followed a series of remarks and endorsements from both Italian leaders, with Salvini telling the Yellow Vests “don’t give up!” while dubbing Macron a “terrible” president.

However, the diplomatic ruckus may reflect less the relationship between Italy and France than it does the paranoid state of mind of the increasingly cornered and isolated French president, throwing a hissy fit at his southern neighbour because he sees the political tide turning against him domestically. New polling shows that 40% of French voters are already prepared to vote for exit from the EU, even before major politicians back the idea and without any kind of mass campaign.

Once Britain makes a success of Brexit, deal or no deal, opposition to the Brussels establishment will only grow on the continent and fools like Macron will look more and more like yesterday’s men…