Westminster 14 (PD)

Tory Brexiteers are gearing up to vote down the Theresa May Withdrawal Agreement next week, then go all out for a no deal Brexit!


In six days time our MPs get to vote on Theresa May's deal once again, this time with a twist.

Theresa May faces another so-called meaningful vote this coming Tuesday the 12th of March, when once again MPs get to vote on whether to accept her Brussels, or was it Merkel, authored non Brexit deal.

And having so far not been successful in changing anything about the Irish border backstop within that legally binding document, it looks like MPs will once again give it a big thumbs down.

Many MPs will do it because the deal is so bad. But many on the Remain side will vote it down in the knowledge that that will give them the opportunity over the following two days to vote a no deal WTO Brexit off of the table, as well as a chance to get an extension to article 50 that would keep their dreams of staying in the EU alive.

But as I've said before, time and the pile of legislation required to keep us in the EU for any meaningful length of time, is now against the Remainers.

And now the Tory Brexiteers have stiffened their resolve and said they will not succumb to Project Fear and be scared into backing Theresa May's deal and will go on to fight for a no deal Brexit, reports the Sun.

But, with just 23 days to Brexit Day left on my Brexit countdown clock today and only 15 days left by the time MPs get to vote on whether or not to ask the EU for an Article 50 extension, it is hard to see what else could realistically happen.

Any vote by MPs to try and rule out a no deal would have no force unless they were able to get some sort of bill through both houses of parliament that resulted in both UK and EU law being changed to extend the Article 50 process. Or they would have to get a bill through both houses of parliament to unilaterally revoke the Article 50 process entirely.

Couple this with also having to enact new laws to hold EU elections for MEPs so that those elections could be called by mid April, just two weeks after Brexit Day, and you get the idea of how tough all this would be.

And Brexiteers and democratically minded Remainers will fight the making of these new laws at every turn.

And this is the scenario and set of battles that I think will be ground out over the coming few days and weeks.

Now, for those that missed it, freelance writer and independent analyst Phil Radford has written an in depth piece for Brexit Central, where he uses data from the Office for National Statistics to show how devoid of value the EU single market has actually been for the UK economy.

His research of the figures shows that between 1998 and 2017, the growth in UK exports of goods into the EU single market has been a paltry 0.2% a year, or 3.7% in total over twenty years.

And bear in mind this is the part of our economy where the EU has most impact so should be where our growth is greatest.

In contrast our exports of goods to countries outside the EU has grown by 3.3% a year on average.

Then looking further down the spectrum of where the EU has even less of an impact on our exports, which is in services. Our exports of services into the EU single market has grown at 5.2% a year and in the area where the EU has almost zero impact our exports in services to non-EU countries has increased by 5.6% every year between 1998 and 2017.

"The results are perverse." He writes. "The UK’s slowest-growing export trade since 1998 is goods exports to the EU, which have grown by just 0.2% per year since 1998, or 3.7% over 20 years. Yet this is precisely the sector that is supposed to benefit from tariff-free trade within the Customs Union."

But at the same time imports into the UK from the EU have grown at a strong 3.4% per annum.

And with the way the system is set up, our services exports into the EU will never make up for the imbalance of trade in goods with the EU.

At the end of the day he says:

"…on the basis of the UK’s own 20-year trade data, there is not one, single major sector of trade in which the Customs Union has delivered clear, demonstrable benefit to the UK since 1998."

And further, he says that the Customs Union appears to be converting the UK "…into a series of tightly controlled captive markets for EU producers". No wonder some EU manufacturers call the UK 'Treasure Island'.

I've left a link to the article in the descriptions box below, where the author also provides links to all of the data he has compiled. Well worth looking at!

Finally, it transpires that the Corbyn supporting Momentum political group has been fined £16,700 for multiple breaches of electoral law during the 2017 General Election.

With Sky reporting that:

"The fines handed down by the Electoral Commission include £12,150 – the largest fine levied on a non-party campaigner – for an inaccurate election spending return."

So I'm now waiting for all those Remainers out there to insist that there are by-elections wherever this was found to have occurred and where the Labour Party benefited by winning the seat.

Surely that would be a consistent call wouldn't it?

So, please let us all know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Thank you for watching.



In two decades, EU Customs Union membership has not delivered clear benefits for any major UK sector


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