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So, Boris Johnson has come out in support of Jacob Rees-Mogg! The fireworks have started!
The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has come out in support of the embattled head of the Tory European Research Group, Jacob Rees-Mogg, after the Moggster was rounded on by fellow MPs for hectoring the Prime Minister.
Boris Tweeted out in defence of his Brexiteer colleague saying:
"It's vital that all MPs are able to air their views on Brexit. Whatever your position, I hope we can all agree that @Jacob_Rees_Mogg is a principled and dedicated MP who wants the best for our country."
The Sun does point out that it seems strange for Tory MPs to be giving the Moggster a hard time, when all he was doing was insisting that the PM stuck to both the promises she had made and the 2017 Conservative Manifesto under which they all stood at the last General Election.
In fact, shouldn't all those Tory MPs who gave Jacob a hard time be the ones taking the flak for basically asking, albeit in a roundabout fashion, that Theresa May crosses a couple of her red-lines? After all, that does seem to be what some of Mogg's detractors are implying she do.
And Jacob Rees-Mogg told Julia Hartley-Brewer on talkRadio that the two main players trying to water down Brexit are the Business Secretary, Greg Clark and the Philip Hammond's Treasury.
So, it's only Tuesday and the handbags are already in full swing, well before the Chequers showdown on Friday – and this showdown has been dubbed 'the Bodybag Summit'.
It will be interesting to see how many bodybags there are and who is in them.
Especially as the Chancellor has just announced at Treasury questions that he will be at Chequers spelling out to his fellow ministers exactly how much each of the options will cost – and this has many thinking he will use the information to push for a soft Brexit.
And of course these reports will be put together by the same people using the same methodologies that gave us the previous now discredited impact statements.
And for all those that want Rees-Mogg as the next PM to see Brexit through properly, he said in his latest podcast that his party usually elected a former cabinet minister from the top three posts of Chancellor, Foreign Secretary or Home Secretary. He also said that as a Catholic he is eligible to become Pope but that:
"I’m very unlikely to be the next pope and I’m very unlikely to be the next prime minister, for exactly the same reason. Though technically eligible, it is not the way history will go."
Now one report that doesn't seem to have received much attention is a paragraph in the Telegraph saying that it has come out that the PM has signed an EU Council document that would allow the UK to keep its MEPs and stay in the EU should our withdrawal be extended past March the 29th 2019.
Now, if Brexit means Brexit and that we are leaving the customs union and single market as well as extracting ourselves from the clutches of the European Court of Justice on that day, then why the need to sign such a document?
Also, to have any legal weight that letter would surely need to be backed up by the unanimous agreement of the EU Council to extend the Article 50 negotiation phase.
Has that decision been taken behind closed doors somewhere, by EU member state leaders without the knowledge of all their parliaments, as well our own? Well, wouldn't surprise me.
This document is not required and sends out exactly the wrong signal at exactly the wrong time!
Now let's put some of this no-deal Brexit queues at ports scare-mongering nonsense to bed shall we.
Writing in Brexit Central, professor David Collins who is an expert in International Economic Law, says all such claims completely ignore the rights the UK is entitled to as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
And as the EU is also a member of the WTO it is bound by its rules, which say that members need to have proper reasons based on such things as hygiene and safety to stop imports.
Basically, all the claims that UK goods will suddenly come under intense scrutiny lorryload by lorryload as they try to enter the EU are implausible because the EU would have no justifiable reason for doing so. Especially as we are maintaining the same standards immediately after Brexit Day. And if we do change our standards over time, they would have to fall so low so as to ignore consumer safety to justify the extra checks.
In fact Professor Collins says that there is a new Trade Facilitation Agreement that says WTO members should minimise customs problems through the use of technology – now where have we heard that before. And thus he says:
"The new UK-EU border must adhere to this high standard of frictionless transit precisely for the purpose of avoiding long delays caused by needless red tape of the kind we have been told to fear."
And his reference to the WTO courts being very effective in forcing compliance should be music to any Brexiteer's ears.
This is an excellent article and I ask you all to nip over to Brexit Central and have a read. I've left a link to the article in the description box below.