With talk of giving EU fishing vessels continued access to UK waters as well as allowing the free movement of EU nationals throughout the transition period many are calling this deal a sell out.

This content is blocked. Accept cookies to view the content.

Apart from the fishing and freedom of movement issues we also have the prospect of the European Court of Justice still holding sway over us during the transition period and Northern Ireland having to stay in regulatory alignment with the EU until a solution or deal can be found – which as far as I am concerned will end up meaning the UK having to remain aligned too.

The CBI has welcomed this news saying it allows businesses the confidence to put contingency planning on hold and that it brings a welcome gift of time.

I've got to say that sort of talk will have businesses taking their foot off the Brexit planning gas in anticipation of another reprieve down the line.

The fishing community is very unhappy about the deal and the Conservative MPs from areas that are reliant on fishing are said to be angry.

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has said that the Prime Minister should reconsider these concessions on fishing grounds and UKIP fisheries spokesman and MEP Mike Hookem called it a total betrayal and said that:

"Keeping UK fishers tied to the EU for another two years will kill the fishing industry."

and added:

"The simple fact is, the Tories betrayed the fishing industry on the way into the EU, and totally shafted the same sector on the way out."

And he has called for a mass march of the fishing community on Downing Street.

And don't forget the nearly £40 billion so-called Brexit divorce bill.

The good points are that: One, the transition or 'standstill' period as it is being called, will end on 31st December 2020. Two, the UK can negotiate, ratify and sign new global trade deals during the transition period, to come into effect at the end of transition and Three, always remember that 'nothing is agreed until everything is agreed', so we could yet go without having to pay a bean or make any concessions.

The deputy editor of Brexit Central, Hugh Bennett, has done a breakdown of the deal and concludes with:

"There is a danger with any sort of agreement like this of failing to see the wood for the trees. The transition terms may not be especially favourable to the UK, but they are largely tolerable for a strictly time-limited period of 21 months (except perhaps the provisions on fishing)."

Now, let's look at today's inflation figures shall we? Figures that have not been trumpeted across the airwaves and I wonder why not.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the Consumer Prices Index annual rate of inflation fell from three percent in January to 2.7% in February.

When including homeowner/occupier costs the rate fell from 2.7 percent in January to 2.5 percent in February, which is the lowest rate since March 2017.

The ONS reports that:

"The largest downward contributions to the change in the rate came from transport and food prices, which rose by less than a year ago. Falling prices for accommodation services also had a downward effect. Rising prices for footwear produced the largest, partially offsetting, upward contribution."

Looking at the old Retail Prices Index, which is no longer used as an official measure, Annual RPI inflation stood at 3.6 percent in February, down from four percent in January and its recent peak of 4.1 percent in December.

Now, what was it that the Remainers said inflation would do?

But one point to note, the ONS also issued house price inflation data today, which shows that house prices rose by 4.9 percent in the year to January. This of course makes it just that bit harder for ordinary people to build a deposit and buy their own house. So, demand must still be outstripping supply and net immigration will be a major factor in that!

Oh, and the pound is also up against the euro over both the last week and the last month.

And the last bit of news is that the UK Independence party has been ordered to pay £175,000 in court costs relating to the Jane Collins defamation case.

Jane Collins made a speech in 2014 claiming that three Labour MPs, Sir Kevin Barron, Sarah Champion and John Healey had all known about the Rotherham child abuse scandal but had failed to do anything.

The three took her to court and won. UKIP helped fund the Jane Collins defence team, which should not normally involve any liability.

But the High Court found that UKIP had 'deliberately delayed' the case for 'political advantage' over the 2015 election period, so would have to bear a substantial part of the costs.

Speaking on his LBC radio show last night, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said:

"The truth is UKIP is facing a real, real battle just to survive."

And Sky News reports that a source close to the party told them that:

"UKIP has no money and the idiots who got UKIP into this mess take no responsibility."

The three Labour MPs put out a joint statement saying:

"UKIP's actions behind the scenes forced the costs of this case to soar and compounded the damage from Jane Collins' unfounded and hurtful allegations.

"This deliberate strategy hugely increased the legal costs and it is right that UKIP are today held liable for a large share of these costs.

"UKIP used the unfounded allegations by Jane Collins for political advantage.

"At the highest level UKIP knew Jane Collins' case was 'hopeless' but blocked any settlement in our favour before the 2015 General Election because they believed it would win them votes."

Comment Here!

comments