Michel Barnier by The Jacques Delors Institute (CC-BY-2.0) 2

Michel Barnier by The Jacques Delors Institute (CC-BY-2.0) 2

Michel Barnier, the EU Chief Brexit negotiator, has called the Boris Brexit plan 'unacceptable', so where from here?


The EU Brexit negotiation chief, Michel Barnier, has rejected the commitment made by Boris Johnson to get rid of the Irish border backstop.

After Boris Johnson made his maiden speech as Prime Minister in the House of Commons yesterday, where he committed to getting the backstop dropped, Michel Barnier sent out a note to EU member state leaders that not only said it would be 'unacceptable' to take the backstop out of any agreement, but also that the new PM's speech was 'rather combative'.

And in a news conference the Irish Prime Minister said that without the backstop in place, the UK will not get a free trade agreement with the European Union.

"The position of the European Union and the position of Ireland has not changed," He said.

"The backstop is an integral part of the Withdrawal Agreement. Without the backstop there is no withdrawal agreement, there is no transition phase, there is no implementation phase and there will be no free trade agreement until all those matters are resolved.

"So I hope that the new UK prime minister has not chosen no deal, but that will be up to them."

He also forgot to add that there'd be no need for the UK for fork out the hefty so-called Brexit divorce bill of £39 billion. Although there is some dispute about this as some are claiming that this amount is coming down as we pay in every month during this Brexit Article 50 extension.

RTE also reports that Mr Varadkar "…hoped new British Home Secretary Priti Patel would reflect on her previous comments that the threat of food shortages could be used to force Ireland and the EU to drop the backstop".

Because he said many communities had long memories of the Great Famine that was imposed on them.

But as I see it the UK is not imposing anything on Ireland. They are being dictated to by their own wish to do the bidding of Brussels. The UK wants to trade, so let's trade without the politics.

So are we heading for a no deal? Or will a deal be salvaged at the last moment? And I think it will have to be a last minute event, because Brussels will do nothing until parliament has reconvened on September the 3rd and all those Remainer MPs and Peers have been given a chance to de-rail Brexit again.

Until then I see plenty of stonewalling.

But, as I explained yesterday, unless parliament is recalled early, or there is another Article 50 extension or the convention of holding a general election on a Thursday is broken, the earliest a general election can now be called in response to a vote of no confidence is Brexit Day itself – the 31st of October – and that's too late to interfere.

Moving on!

Now, has anyone told you about the latest provisional report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on median household disposable income that came out today?

It reports that:

"Median household disposable income in the UK was £29,400 in the financial year ending (FYE) 2019, up 1.4% (£400) compared with FYE 2018, after accounting for inflation."

And the report goes on to say:

"The rise in median income has occurred during a period where the employment rate grew by 0.5 percentage points, while real total pay for employees increased by an average of 1.0% across the 12 months in FYE 2019 compared with FYE 2018."

It also reports that those living in retired households saw a rise of £300 or 1.1%, while those in non-retired households saw a rise of £400 or 1.3%.

And in another report out today on income inequality it says:

"Income inequality in the UK remained stable at 32.5% in the financial year ending (FYE) 2019.

"Despite a small increase in income inequality over the last couple of years, levels remain slightly lower than those reached 12 years ago.

"Looking separately at people living in retired households, and those in non-retired households, levels of inequality for both groups were unchanged in FYE 2019."

As there is no Brexit doom and gloom in those reports, I doubt it will get any coverage at all. After all there's no mileage in telling people things aren't as bad as they're told they are, is there?







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