Boris Johnson by Bulgarian Embassy (CC-BY-2.0)

The Irish Deputy Prime Minister, Simon Coveney, says that the approach to Brexit taken by Boris Johnson makes a no deal exit more likely.

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Simon Coveney, the Irish Republic deputy PM and foreign affairs minister, said that by demanding that the Irish backstop is removed from the Withdrawal Agreement, Boris is just making a no deal Brexit more likely.

"There is a reason," said Mr Coveney, "why Boris Johnson is visiting Berlin today and Paris tomorrow, to try to talk to EU leaders about finding a way forward.

"I think he will get a very consistent message from EU leaders that the negotiations over the last two to three years are not going to be abandoned now."

But he did go on to say that attempts would be made to try and find a way to give the reassurances and clarification that Boris would need to sell the deal to Parliament and the wider UK, saying that "We will try and be imaginative about that and be helpful on that."

Well, firstly I've got to say that trying to resurrect that doomed Withdrawal Agreement surrender treaty is a mistake, unless it's just a distraction ploy.

And secondly, any talk by Coveney about 'reassurances and clarification' is just code for providing a snow job by tweaking the political declaration and maybe tacking a couple more codicil documents on to the Withdrawal Agreement that amount to zilch in legal terms, but try to make the backstop appear more palatable.

But all that has been tried before, and the Withdrawal Agreement surrender treaty is so bad that nothing except putting it through the shredder will hide that.

And back in Blighty, the Cabinet Minister and the person in charge of no deal planning, Michael Gove, has said that the government will do all it can to ensure that ports continue to operate after Brexit Day.

And while on a visit to Holyhead, Mr Gove said:

"We're doing everything that we can in order to make sure that traffic continues to flow.

"I can't guarantee that there will be no delays – even today before we've left the EU I witnessed a delay here because one particular haulier in good faith didn't have the right documentation.

"Delays can occur at any point, but we're seeking to ensure that we minimise the prospect of delays so that whatever bumps in the road we face we're able to ride them out."

And when asked about the recently leaked Operation Yellowhammer report and its dire warnings of food and medicine shortages, Mr Gove said that he had seen those reports weeks and months ago. But there was a new government now, he said, that was taking the steps necessary to ensure the country is prepared, should there be no deal.

And the BBC reports that UK Ports are being allocated an extra £9 million to help pay for no deal preparations.

Now to the UK economy.

The latest data on the nation's finances from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show that we had a surplus in July of £1.3 billion, but this was £2.2 billion less than the same time last year.

So far in this current financial year from the start of April, the nation has borrowed, or should I say the government has borrowed on behalf of the nation, £16 billion, which is £6 billion more than the same time last year and will of course be added to the national debt.

And the national debt has grown to just a tad over £1.8 trillion, but because GDP has increased faster, the debt to GDP ratio has fallen by 1.3% down to 82.4%.

In a separate report, the ONS says that it has identified that previous immigration statistics have been flawed, in that it has underestimated the number of people coming into the country from the European Union.

To that end more data sources will sought out in future to be used when collating immigration data for their statistics.

So it seems that all the previous numbers we have been hearing are an underestimate of the reality.

And before any social justice warrior says it's somehow xenophobic to collect proper immigration data or that we should just let everyone in, I will point out that you cannot plan infrastructure such as housing, schools, hospitals and transport networks if you have no idea of the real load being placed on them, can you? Unless you live in lefty SJW la-la land that is.

Sources:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmentpublicsectorandtaxes/publicsectorfinance/bulletins/publicsectorfinances/july2019

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/articles/understandingdifferentmigrationdatasources/augustprogressreport

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-49420425

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