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The huge divide between the Brexit demands of the UK and the EU threatens to end in a no deal Brexit, says Michel Barnier.
The EU chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said today that the chasm between the UK and the EU regarding their respective Brexit demands risks the talks ending in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
And at the end of an hour's talks the EU27 leaders signed off on a statement that pledged to prepare for the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
"The European Council renews its call upon Member States, Union institutions and all stakeholders to step up their work on preparedness at all levels and for all outcomes."
And that is diplomatic speak for preparing for no-deal.
As I and others have said all along, the UK should have put all its efforts into securing its no-deal Brexit position – starting back on the 24th June 2016. Because that's the only place where we can end up when the EU has only two positions for the UK – one of full membership, the other of fully outside the EU. There is no middle ground or special deal in between for them, that became obvious very early on.
And I wonder how many on the EU side are now regretting listening to the UK anti-Brexit mob and taking in their talk about soft Brexits and even Brexit reversals. I wonder if they're thinking that maybe there should have been a lot less stonewalling on their side hoping that the Remainers would eventually come through for them and a lot more productive negotiation.
And the same goes for the UK establishment – how much time and effort have they wasted hoping that the UK Remainers would turn up with something that trumped 17.4 million votes in the referendum. How much time has been wasted on battling Remainers instead of getting on with the job of creating a prosperous post-Brexit UK?
And I say to the Remainers who want to extend Article 50 – where's the open talk from the EU27 council today that they even want that to happen? None of that in their statement as far as I can see, they're now talking about a no-deal Brexit. That's from the EU, not from the UK.
I'll put that another way, the EU is now openly talking about a hard Brexit! Not a Brexit reversal.
Both sides must have been watching the antics of the UK anti-Brexit gang over the last two years hoping that somehow they would identify a chink in the Brexit armour and so give the UK politicians the excuse to try and reverse the Article 50 process. All that wasted time and effort listening to the losers instead of the winners.
But it will of course be very good news for true Brexiteers! We keep 39 billion quid for a start!
Now, one of the claims the Remainers make about Leavers is that they are racist and xenophobic because they want to control the UK borders. I wonder then how they now feel about the EU wanting to have more border guards on the EU borders and tougher rules to solve the migration crisis that it brought on itself by having too lax controls.
The president of the EU Council, Donald Tusk, for example has called for new migrant camps, or 'disembarkation platforms', in Africa before 'really tough proposals start coming from some really tough guys', as he put it.
So, what is the EU doing, if not attempting to build some sort of wall around the EU? How Trump-like is that? How does that stack up in the mind of a Remainer? How can a Remainer argue that the EU is justified in trying to protect its borders as a bloc, but that when the UK tries to protect its own borders that is racist and xenophobic.
But I expect those mental gymnastics to commence soon. However, at the end of the day, the EU trying to protect its borders as a whole proves it is a growing superstate and if Remainers support it, then they are part of the new EU nation and a new EU nationality.
In fact, they could be seen as EU racists and should be no-platformed and have their Twitter, YouTube and Facebook privileges removed forthwith!!
And finally in disappointing news – disappointing for the Remainers that is, there's a massive 'despite Brexit' to announce.
The UK defence giant BAE Systems has announced it has seen off rival bids from Spanish and Italian companies for a multi-billion pound deal with the Australian government to build nine of a new 'Hunter' class of frigate based on the Type 26 frigates that BAE already produces, as part of a £20 billion defence programme.
The Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull called it a great day for the security of Australia and that this was the largest defence investment in peacetime by an Australian government.
Oh, and another one, JCB is investing £50 million in a new factory in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire next to its two existing plants. This new facility will be very hi-tech and will be able to produce 100,000 cabs a year.
JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said:
"This new factory will be the most advanced and productive cab facility in the world and will bring even greater levels of efficiency to the business. The investment is one of the biggest in the company's history and underlines our commitment to manufacturing in Britain and in our home county of Staffordshire."
And local MP, Andrew Griffiths said it was fantastic news for the area and wonderful that JCB was continuing to invest in UK manufacturing, something he said that can only attract even more inward investment.
Also, UK domestic demand for cars in May rose, offsetting the reduction in the number of cars going to export, which lead overall to a 1.3% increase in car production last month.
As I keep saying, it's not all doom and gloom out there in Brexit Britain you know.