It’s EU Crunch Time

It’s crunch time in Westminster this month. Theresa May prepares for the 28th June EU Council Summit; David Davis and Boris Johnson try to take back control of the negotiations; and the showdown between the Government and Tory rebels over the ‘wrecking’ Lords’ amendments will reach the House of Commons.

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Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis, had the media circus in a frenzy as rumours spread he may be on the verge of resignation. The drama came as the Prime Minister released updated plans for a ‘backstop’ on customs for as long as it takes to negotiate a comprehensive deal which meets Britain’s red lines – leaving the Customs Union and avoiding a hard border in Ireland. Whilst Davis had signed off on the ‘backstop’ in theory, he was enraged when the policy was not time limited in its official publication. This led to multiple terse meetings between May and Davis yesterday, but ending up in an eventual fudge.

Brexiteers hoping someone in the Government had grown a spine, are once again left feeling deflated. Davis’s position – an unlimited backstop would remove all incentives to get a good deal on both sides –  have been barely considered by May and her sidekick, arch-Remainer ‘Cilly Servant’ Olly Robbins! The end result is a feeble ‘aim’ for a comprehensive new customs arrangement to be ready by 31 December 2021 ‘at the least’, and if not then, we’ll just have to stick with the Customs Union indefinitely (Get Britain Out’s comment – ‘No we won’t!). Much to Robbins’ delight no doubt, Davis has backed down – so far.

Today, the EU’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, has rejected May’s new proposal out of hand, saying he would only accept a backstop that applied to Northern Ireland (not the whole of the UK) and one which does not have a time limit. Any divergence between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK threatens our constitution, and it is no place for a foreign diplomat to decide Northern Ireland’s place in the Union. Of course, the idea of a backstop is reprehensible in the first place, and something which would only serve to delay Brexit for several more years. The EU’s negotiating tactic has been characterised by obstinance and a continual moving of the goalposts. It’s time for us to seriously consider walking away from these talks!

Yesterday ended with another Cabinet Minister – this time the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson – letting off steam at a private Tory activists’ meeting. In a refreshing change of tone, Boris laid it on thick, accusing Philip Hammond and the ‘wet staff’ at the Treasury of being the ‘heart of Remain’. Hammond shot back with a snide remark about ‘collaborative efforts with our EU partners’ – which is ironic to say the least. Also in the firing line was the absurd scaremongering over the Northern Irish border, and what he sees as excessive short-termism, and a lack of focus on Brexit’s many opportunities.

We applaud Boris’ newfound courage – but we wish he would have the courage to take it to the PM directly. It is now quite apparent that May’s Government is rudderless, and she is edging the UK towards a disgraceful Brexit ‘In Name Only’.  Frankly, we do not think this Brexit fudge cake is ready to go into the Brexit oven yet – as the recipe has a long way to go until it is sorted out or we head for ‘No Deal’ with far less EU ingredients.

Better news – about Theresa May’s farcical ‘customs partnership’, which would essentially see Britain become the EU’s tax collector – this has been quietly laid to rest. In this current climate, it is entirely feasible this will rear its ugly head again – after all, we believed May’s previous insistence we will be leaving the Customs Union, on which she is now back peddling!

We thank all our supporters who took the time to write to the ‘Brexit war Cabinet’ Ministers over the last few weeks regarding future customs options, whether you used our template or your own. We can chalk this up as temporary victory, as the Cabinet now focusses on making ‘Maximum Facilitation’ feasible, but we must keep vigilant. With new technology making the Irish border as seamless a possible, Britain really can get on with the job of striking out on its own and re-connecting with the rest of the world.

All the while, Project Fear 2.0 has gone into 5th gear, with Hungarian billionaire George Soros and his Best for Britain campaign seeking to spend millions over the next few months to force a so-called ‘people’s vote’ on the final exit deal. In his hilarious and ironic defence of his actions, Soros says: ‘Ultimately, it’s up to the British people to decide what they want to do’. We already did that, George Soros – and Remain in the EU lost.

The EU seems to have swallowed Project Fear whole now, even considering the UK as a security threat now on the Continent despite our long-standing co-operation on defence. Despite us being a founding member of NATO – and one of the only member countries who spends over 2% of GDP on defence – Brussels is now ‘shooting themselves in the foot, just to prove the gun works’ in the animated words of David Davis.

In its latest act of self-harm, the EU is chucking Britain out of the Galileo satellite project – which was built and funded in large part by the UK. They now view it as dangerous for the EU to collaborate on security with a ‘third country’ – a country which protected Europe during the last world war, and which has put more money than most into the project’s coffers. As Davis pointed out in his speech at the Royal United Services Institute this week, we are not merely a third country to the EU, but a longstanding ally and partner. We don’t need to be EU members to work collaboratively on issues of national and international security.

After 15 defeats at the hands of the unelected Lords, the Government is trying desperately to hold everything together as The EU (Withdrawal) Bill comes back to the House of Commons on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. These ‘wrecking’ amendments are seeking to make continuing Customs Union membership a major Government negotiating position; keeping the UK tied to the Single Market and Freedom of Movement by joining the European Economic Area (the Norway option); and complicating our exit date by removing 29 March 2019 from the Bill even as the EU itself plans for celebrations, including pulling down the Union flag outside EU buildings. In his usual fashion, Nigel Farage, will be holding an alcohol-fuelled celebration, taking a coach of jovial Brexiteers over to Brussels to watch the lowering of the flag – and our official departure from the EU.

The sneering attitude of Remoaner MPs is perhaps best exemplified by an email sent by Antoinette Sandbach MP to one of her own constituents (and Get Britain Out supporter) following a recent e-mail. The message, laced with thinly veiled contempt for the EU Referendum result, claims she is not seeking to frustrate the will of the people, before going on to say it is crucial Britain Remains in the Single Market. You can see Sandbach’s e-mail here: Antoinette Sandbach MP (Eddisbury) Remoaner e-mail to Brexiteer Constituent.

Given her constituency (Eddisbury) voted overwhelmingly to Leave, we feel Sandbach may be in for an unpleasant surprise at the next General Election – when voters reject her cynical attempts to thwart democracy.

It is vitally important our elected representatives defeat each of these Lords’ amendments and fight off this threat to our democracy. Following on from the success of the e-petition – ‘Give the electorate a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords’ – Get Britain Out’s team will be attending the Westminster Hall debate on Monday 18 June, and we will keep you up-to-date live through our social media and then via our next e-Bulletin.

Now, if those who peddle Project Fear actually cared about the people of Europe, they would focus their energies on how the EU has been treating Italy of late. Instead of dogmatically calling for a 2nd referendum, Remoaners should consider their attachment to an institution which wilfully scaremongers and threatens the people of the Eurozone’s 3rd largest economy.

Three months after their election, the populist Eurosceptic parties League and the 5 Star Movement, have finally formed a coalition government, despite screams of protest from the usual cabal of Europhile elites. Italy’s economy has stagnated since joining the Euro. The mere suggestion of a discussion about their currency promoted mass panic in Brussels, which President Mattarella used to force the two Eurosceptic leaders to back off from their first choice for Finance minister – a man keen to rid Italy of the disastrous currency. The whole episode speaks volumes. The EU has once again ignored the will of the people. It has patronised the voters and supported unelected bureaucracy over democracy.

As always, US President Donald Trump has dominated much of the news recently, as he went ahead and implemented tariffs on steel and aluminium. Despite being NATO partners and close friends, Trump cited security concerns as his primary reason for slapping a 25% tariff on all steel imports from the EU, Canada, and Mexico. Since before his election, Trump has rallied against ‘unfair’ trade between the US and the rest of the world, singling out China as the main culprit, but has now extended his ire to longstanding US allies.

Remoaners seized upon the latest Trump news, showing their eagerness to criticise both Brexit and Trump in the same breath. Their cries of woe at a newly protectionist United States flouting the rules-based international system is, however, myopic. Trump has been clear: these tariffs are a negotiating tactic aimed at levelling the playing field on trade. The EU, being a protectionist bloc in itself, levels a 10% duty on US cars, when the US previously only applied a 2.5%.

Trump’s desire is patently for trading partners to lower their tariffs on US products, something the UK has already said it is interested in doing once we escape the Common External Tariff. This is where the Remoaner outrage falls flat. UK businesses are being punished in spite of our huge trade with America and mutual desire for a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. We must Leave the Customs Union and tailor our trade policy to the benefit of British consumers and manufacturers in the future.

However, President Trump is only doing what he promised the American people he would do. Put America first. It is about time our Prime Minister, Theresa May, took a page out of his pocket book and did the same for Britain. It was all very well saying Brexit Means Brexit. But put some icing on the Brexit Fudge Cake Theresa, as we are fed up with you messing around with the mixture.

We leave you with words to live by, courtesy of Boris Johnson: “Take the fight to the enemy — absolutely right. We need to, and we will.”

AND NOW WHAT WE HAVE BEEN UP SINCE OUR LAST UPDATE:

Please use our template to send a letter to your MP as soon as possible – ahead of the vital votes on the Lords’ wrecking amendments in the House of Commons next week. (WRITE TO YOUR MP: Vote down the Lords’ Brexit-bashing amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill)

Our Research Executive, Joshua King, wrote for The Commentator about the importance of the votes and what to expect. (Is the Commons about to destroy Brexit?)

Conservative blogger, and GBO supporter, Robert Barnes, wrote for the Get Britain Out website detailing why the Lords cannot be allowed to win their battle against democracy. (Unelected Lords’ Amendments MUST be Overturned!)

Our Director, Jayne Adye was featured in an article by The Daily Express and also in The Conservative Woman, where she highlighted her dismay at the latest crazy EU proposal to force us to insure every vehicle, including our ride-on lawnmowers. (‘Now insure your LAWNMOWER’ Meddling EU directive is slammed by Eurosceptic group) and (Leftie Lunacy: Look out, it’s the lawnmower police!)

We were also featured in a piece in The Daily Express, on the important part Britain plays in the Galileo project. (Oops! EU axes UK from Galileo satellite program – but it NEEDS British bases to work!)

Research Executive, Stephen Mitchell writes on the Get Britain Out website about the laughable Project Fear 2.0 which has arisen. (The Project Fear Merry-go-round)

Senior Research Executive, Robert Bates notes on the Get Britain Out website how the EU-US trade war is another reason why Britain must leave the Customs Union. (Brexit will Allow us to Escape the EU-US Trade War)

Writing for Comment Central, Joshua King says the Government’s backstop arrangement will force a post-Brexit Britain to be tethered to the EU after 2020, putting Brexit in jeopardy. (The Customs Backstop Guarantees a Bad Deal)

Joshua also wrote for Brexit Central, pointing out that the Brexit dividend can help support our NHS, and stop other public services being raided. (Brexit can save the NHS)

Jayne is also featured in a piece by The Huffington Post about the prospect of Britain being subject to EU laws after Brexit. (Government Annoys Everyone By Confirming EU Laws Will Still Be Passed In UK Next Year)

On The Commentator, Robert Bates calls for greater vision when approaching the Brexit negotiations. The Prime Minister needs to remember what the Great British Public voted for and get out of her echo-chamber of defeatism. (May needs vision to deliver Brexit the people voted for)

Writing for Comment Central, Joshua King explains how a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice puts British families at risk from war-criminals. (EU Court Backs War Criminals.)

That’s it for this edition of our e-Bulletin – and a huge thank you, as always, for your support.

Get Britain Out will keep on fighting for the Best Brexit for the United Kingdom, so we can take back control of our laws, borders, trade and our money. There is less than a year now to Brexit Day!

Best wishes, as always, OUTwards and ONwards,

Jayne Adye, Campaign Director and the Team at Get Britain Out

P.S. Please forward this e-Bulletin to anyone you think needs to know more about Brexit, and point out the link here to Sign Up to receive them.

P.P.S. If you have any short and specific Brexit queries, please e-mail us at info@getbritainout.org. Although many may think we have a huge number of staff, we only have a very small team, so please do not expect lengthy replies. Many of your queries will have been answered in our articles which are published on our website on this page. However, we will do our best to help with short replies to any queries.

And finally, we really appreciate your support. We rely on donations to continue to carry out our work, and everything you donate to our campaign goes towards securing the Best Brexit deal for Great Britain – every £ counts! Donations can be made via bank transfer, cheque, standing order or PayPal. Further details can be found here. Unfortunately we cannot accept credit card donations ourselves.

Thank you to everyone who has helped.

 

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