Theresa May is off on another jolly jaunt to Brussels to see her buddy Jean-Claude Juncker – and no guesses as to what they'll be discussing though.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
And, surprise surprise, it looks like Theresa May is intent on pointlessly racking up some more travel expenses as she plans to go over the Brussels this Thursday to talk about opening up the Withdrawal Agreement to fiddle with the Irish border backstop, again!
She is almost certainly on first name terms with just about every single member of staff in the EU by now.
She says she's determined to get the changes she wants and Brussels wants her to spell out exactly what she wants before they, in all probability, just say no.
Especially if her new proposals are based on this Malthouse Compromise fudge that is only designed to do one thing and that is mend the Tory Party. This Malthouse Compromise stretches out the uncertainty over a three year period, with no guarantees of a deal and will probably leave the UK mulling over a WTO based relationship at the end of it anyway. But which would have cost us £39 billion and three wasted years to basically get back to where we are today.
And you can see how desperate the PM is to get her deal through parliament when she reportedly starts offering cash subsidies to MPs for the benefit of their constituents as long as they vote for her Brussels authored Withdrawal Agreement.
But it's OK 'cause the Lib Dems are on the case here as one of the party's peers, Lord Thomas of Gresford QC, had a letter published in the Times where he said this practice was in breach of section one of the Bribery Act 2010 and any MP who accepts such an arrangement is in breach of section two of the act.
As a result, the Justice Secretary David Gauke will be meeting his Lib Dem opposite number Ed Davey to discuss this.
The Lib Dems are of course angling for a second EU referendum and their Home Affairs spokesperson, Ed Davey, said:
"Brexit should not be stitched up with backroom deals but sorted out with a people’s vote, with an option to remain in the EU."
The obvious answer to that, of course, is that firstly I agree that Brexit should not be stitched up with backroom deals – that's how we were led by the nose into the EU in the first place, and secondly that the people's vote was conducted on June the 23rd 2016 and leave won, it's already happened so no need to worry yourselves there!
But it is great to see a Remain based party able to stick an extra large industrial sized spanner firmly into Theresa May's behind-the-scenes manoeuvring to push her proposals for a Brexit In Name Only (BRINO).
One question here that does instantly spring to mind though, is does the Bribery Act also apply to the confidence and supply arrangement between the government and the DUP that had a £1 billion taxpayer price tag on it? Just askin'.
Moving on, the Independent reports that Liam Fox is toying with the idea of the UK unilaterally slashing all import tariffs to zero after a no deal Brexit.
This has sent some into meltdown as they fear that foreign competition will undercut them and trash UK businesses.
But a spokesman for Liam Fox said that no decisions had been made, that the government was considering all options for the case of a no-deal Brexit and that any removal of tariffs would be a temporary measure and the situation would be carefully monitored.
I've got to say that looking at tariffs and reducing down to zero those we need not apply, seems sensible to me and this may be one way of assessing that.
It would also immediately prevent the chances of higher prices for consumers right after Brexit and many importers might actually see it as a temporary chance to raise their own prices while they have a short tariff free window. After all, the UK consumer is used to paying those prices for their goods already.
And I wonder how many foreign businesses would go to the trouble of organising special exports or extra exports into the UK, if it is known to be only a temporary measure? After all, a long term settled trading relationship would be far better for both them and us surely.
And in case you haven't heard, the UK will not be putting the block on trade entering the country. A pragmatic approach will be taken with the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, saying:
"For goods coming into the country, there will be no issues… we’re not going to start creating complex checks for goods as they come in the country."
But the Remainers will of course keep up their lying narrative of no food and no medicine regardless of the truth, won't they!?
Good to hear some plain common sense from the Transport Sec. Chris Grayling, crushing Project Fear lies about trade disruption. "For goods coming into the country, there will be no issues… we’re not going to start creating complex checks for goods as they come in the country"
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) February 5, 2019