Right now the EU is seeing a surge of unrest that will concentrate their minds more than Brexit.
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The Gilets Jaunes, or yellow vest movement appears to have caused quite a stir in France and the Netherlands and has taken the very nasty turn towards violence in Paris in the last few hours.
With Sky News reporting that:
"The latest violent clashes on Saturday morning, which saw at least 183 people arrested, came ahead of a third rally in the French capital in as many weeks over rising taxes and President Emmanuel Macron's government."
This all stems from President Macron's ultra green push to raise diesel prices and what is perceived as his overbearing style, that has hit many people across France.
The leaderless yellow vests appeared from almost nowhere a couple of weeks ago, but there are fears now that left and right wing extremists are hitching themselves to the bandwagon for their own aims.
Although a current headache, this could well die down once spleens have been vented – remember that the UK saw destructive riots that lasted from the 6th to the 11th August 2011. That is now a memory. The French and EU authorities will be hoping for the same outcome here.
But the EU also has the Italian economy to deal with and the rising number of member states that are refusing to sign the UN 'Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration' that, although not yet legally binding, aims to make immigration a human right and the criticism of it a crime. With the further requirement that countries actively encourage and support migration. All that combined would make the notion of nation states and borders a total nonsense, which is the ultimate wet dream for the left of course.
And its critics say that it may not yet be legally binding, but the trajectory in these sorts of things is always in one direction only, to force it to become law.
The problem for the EU here is that it is wedded to this open borders concept, for people though not its single market – the single market needs lots of cheap labour and consumers within its borders to survive.
Then there is the fact that the EU and UN are singing from the same hymn sheet on all of this. Just check out the European Union at the United Nations fact sheet to see what EU Vice President Federica Mogherini said in 2017:
"The European way is also the United Nations' way. This explains why all our actions, all our initiatives are always taken in full coordination and partnership with the UN. We believe in the UN, because we believe in the same principles, in the same values, and our communities are built upon the same fundamental ideals."
And then you find that the EU has managed to wheedle its way into the UN network as some sort of special partner – so much for its member states' sovereignty.
And it also gives billions to the UN, boasting that:
"Collectively, the EU and its Member States are the single largest financial contributor to the UN system."
Providing nearly a third of the regular and peacekeeping UN budgets. And also that:
"The European Commission alone contributed €2.96 billion to support UN external assistance programmes and projects in 2017."
That's 2% of the EU budget to fund such things as this migration compact.
This all leads me to believe that the EU will be extremely keen, to say the least, for its member states to sign up to this global compact.
Now, a Brexit campaign organisation called 'Britain's Future' is engaged in a Google bidding war with the government to get its message to the top of the rankings, reports the BBC.
The government has its own website for this: https://brexitdealexplained.campaign.gov.uk, so Britain's Future it appears is trying to out bid for the phrase Brexit Deal Explained, which takes you to their site, https://britainsfuture.co.uk/ to put the Brexit side of the argument.
The government said that:
"Communicating government policy effectively to the public is a core function of the Civil Service," and that "Any costs associated with this will be published in the usual way."
The BBC reports that the Cabinet Office published figures that show the government spent over £44,000 on Facebook in September. But it seems we will not learn how much taxpayer's dosh was spent on this campaign until after the MPs 'meaningful vote' on Tuesday 11th December.
Now, I have no objection to the government putting out information films and ads after a law has been passed, so as to inform the public of the decision and its likely effect on people now that it is law. But surely this sort of activity, which is designed to ask people to pressure their MPs into voting a particular way when its own party whip system has failed, is going a bit too far?
Especially when a large proportion of the electorate views Theresa May's claims that not only is her deal taking us out of EU control, when it blatantly isn't, and that it is a good deal for Britain, when it blatantly isn't.
In fact, wouldn't it be classed as fake news in any other context?
Moving on, the Telegraph reports that UK MPs believe that all they have to do is vote down Theresa May's deal and the EU will be forced to renegotiate a better deal for them.
This it seems has upset our senior establishment officials, who are warning of a serious political backlash when the EU refuses to comply with that flawed reasoning.
Personally I think that most of these MPs would vote down any deal that was not full membership anyway, in the hope that Brexit can somehow be reversed.
This is all part of the manoeuvring process to try and create a situation where parliament can, at the minimum, extend the Article 50 process.
They are not interested in Brexit deals, only in remaining in the EU as a full member. The only thing they can accept is a short gap in that full membership.
And please be in no doubt, their efforts are being fully supported by the actions of the civil service and the press.
Oh, and the talk of a Norway style of membership of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Economic Area (EEA) has re-surfaced, in the event that May's deal is squashed by the commons – almost a certainty by what we're seeing at the moment, but a week is a long time in politics!
And it is reported that eight cabinet ministers are now pivoting towards that Norway-style stance.
Advocates of this model say we could stay in it until the Irish border issue is resolved.
This would keep us in the single market with no common fisheries policy, no common agricultural policy and no jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
But the UK would be accountable to the EFTA court, have no say in the lawmaking process and we would have to accept the four freedoms including the free movement of people.
Also, in my opinion, the only direction of travel from the Norway model, would be full EU membership again, not diverging away from the EU.
So in all, most people would look on this as worse than EU membership.
One point to note is that as EU members we are also members of the EEA, but the government did not as far as I am aware, trigger Article 127 of the EEA telling the other members we are leaving. This had to have been done by March 29th 2018 – one year prior to Brexit day.
So there are those that argue we will not actually be leaving the single market at all, as we have not triggered this much overlooked article. The government though claims we don't need to do it as Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is a catch-all. But remember that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty does not cover three of the EEA members – Norway, Lichtenstein, and Iceland.
So you really have to question why this extra Article 127 was not triggered even if it was just belt and braces.
But I now draw your attention back to the question on the EU referendum ballot paper, it did not mention EFTA or the EEA, did it?
Could we see ourselves fed neatly into this arrangement for a few years in order to be reeled back into the European Union over time? Could these eight pivoting ministers be the start of that process?
So, please let us all know what you think by leaving a comment below.
Thank you for watching.