Today is the Brexit preversary! One year to go! And the Prime Minister is out and about telling everyone that the future is bright!
During her whistle stop – one year to Brexit – tour of the country, Theresa May not only pledged to make a success of Brexit, but also came out and said that Brexit will allow the UK to spend more money on the NHS and schools.
The BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, asked the PM if there would be a Brexit dividend and the answer was:
"Of course when we leave the European Union, we'll no longer be spending vast sums of money, year in and year out, sending that money to the European Union, so there will be money available here in the UK to spend on our priorities like the NHS and schools."
And she also said that there are real opportunities for the country and that there was a bright future out there.
So there you have it, the UK government now admits the EU is costing the UK money, so membership of it has been preventing us spending our own money on our own services.
Up until now the main thrust of government talk had been to say it was just fulfilling the wishes of the electorate. But now it says there will be more money available for our own needs.
Therefore, the assumption must be that Remainers don't want the UK to have that money – they don't want our money to be spent on our services. The Remainers suffer from an ideologically driven eumania.
Just like the former Labour leader and PM, Tony Blair, who is now trying to convince Tory MPs that they can safely go against their own party and vote down the Brexit agreement and stay in power – with Theresa May as PM.
Speaking at a 'UK in a Changing Europe' event Tony Blair said that if the PM was defeated she does not need to resign or to call a general election. All she needs to do he said was take it back to the people.
"The government was mandated to negotiate the deal. It has now negotiated the deal and let us decide whether we like the deal." He said. Forgetting that the whole of parliament was actually told by the people to get us out of the EU, not negotiate a deal – I did not see 'negotiate a deal' on the ballot paper! Did you?
Obviously Tony Blair wants us to lose the extra money Brexit will give us, in favour of the EU and therefore puts the needs of the bloc over the needs of the UK.
And, as far as I am concerned, that must also mean he is extremely keen for the UK to become a mere county in the now openly forming EU superstate.
The people of the UK rejected all that Blair represents where the EU is concerned in a referendum last year and polls indicate that rejection only gets stronger by the day – especially as people see the antics of the EU laid out before them during these negotiations.
Time to Leave I say!
Now to trade deals. Talking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, the Trade secretary, Liam Fox, said that he hoped to have 40 trade arrangements with 70 countries in place by the time we get to the end of the Brexit transition period at the end of 2020.
"We will have arrangements that we will be able to roll over from the European Union's agreements, – he said – we hope to have around 40 of those. We hope we will have all of those in place by the time we go.
"There are about 70 countries and 40 agreements. We hope all of those ones will be ready because they are extensions of what we have at the moment.
"Of course we require the agreement of the countries involved. We have spoken to all 70 countries involved. They have all given agreement that they'd like to see that in place."
Now, Remainers will point out that these are not done deals, but why would those countries want to rock their own economic boats? That is not in their interest, because if they sell us stuff right now why would they want to jeopardise the trade?
He also said he did not want or support an extension to the Brexit transition period.
So, a lot to be optimistic about on the non-EU trade front.
But beware of the small print! Behind the talk of Brexit dividends and trade deals there is the ever present threat to our defence and foreign policy.
I have seen no assurances from the government that our defence and security forces will never be surrendered to the control of Brussels – no, all I hear is our commitment to give 'unconditional support' to EU defence.
We should as a country continue our commitment to NATO and not dilute it into the EU PESCO programme, that is as far as I can see, the best defence posture for the UK.
And for Ukippers out there who have not heard, the interim leader, Gerard Batten, has offered to remain in place for one year to see the party through Brexit Day and maybe the local elections in May 2019. This will give UKIP the stability it desperately needs in the coming months.
I also hear on the grapevine that UKIP has some very good news on the financial and membership front, which will be coming out after Easter.
One leadership hopeful, MEP Bill Etheridge has, in a very statesmanlike move, already made it known publicly that he will not be contesting any leadership elections for the next year (see video).
I have also been told that previous candidates have also said they will not be standing during this period.
With the cost of a leadership contest put at around £25,000 to £30,000, UKIP could well do without that financial and political turmoil while it continues to press for a full and complete Brexit. So I think that, should someone be foolhardy enough to chance their arm, they would get very short shrift from the membership!