Jeremy Corbyn 2 By RevolutionBahrainMC (CC-BY-3.0)

Image By RevolutionBahrainMC (CC-BY-3.0)

With just seven weeks to go to Brexit Day, the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn has been forced to tell his party that a second EU referendum has not been ruled out.


Jeremy Corbyn's recent letter to the PM, which laid out his Brexit policy but did not refer to the second EU referendum that many in his party want, has brought his party to the brink of splitting.

As a result, in the face of a possible party implosion, the Labour leadership has been forced to say that the second EU referendum was still on the table.

Corbyn's letter was seen by Labour Party members as an attempt to try and get Tory MPs on his side by effectively working with the Tories to facilitate the Brexit they did not want, causing threats from many that they would leave the party.

And the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, backed this up today by telling the BBC Radio 4 programme that, if a compromise deal acceptable to the House cannot be reached, then a second referendum should be held. That of course means an Article 50 extension and all the related upheaval.

These politicians are real experts in causing division and uncertainty across the board, aren't they?

Moving on, Theresa May spent a couple of days in Northern Ireland, then went to Brussels to be told that whatever she wanted the answer was no, as well as that Jeremy Corbyn's proposals looked very promising – no wonder her sour face, and she's now off to see the Irish PM, Leo Varadkar to not talk about the Irish Backstop, because he's said he won't discuss it..

Commenting on this the UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader, Gerard Batten, said that Mrs May was just involved now in pointless meetings. He also said that the Irish border issue had been blown out of all proportion and that it should be a matter for heads of national governments to sort out. But, he said:

"Sadly, Mr Varadkar is no longer the Irish Prime Minister, but a regional governor of the European Union and Mrs May doesn't want the UK to leave the EU."

And he went on to say that:

"If the Prime Minister wishes to meet the leaders of other nations, she would be better off spending her time building relationships with the United States, Australia, Japan and other countries who have already discussed offering a free trade deal."

And in the EU, the German economy is cooling off, with Deutsche Bank saying that Germany is drifting towards recession and there are major concerns that the EU and Eurozone powerhouse could follow Italy into the economic doldrums.

Deutsche Bank said:

"The start of the German economy into 2019 has been a major disappointment so far. The development of several key cyclical indicators is telling us that the German economy is drifting towards recession right now."

And in France, forget the Yellow Vests for the moment, the Express reports that many french firms are getting into a bit of a panic now over what they see as the nightmare scenario of a no deal Brexit that could hit their exports into the UK.

As they see it, the EU has dug its heels in and won't budge, so making a no deal Brexit more likely, with the outcome that French exporters have no idea what tariffs they might face under WTO terms for getting their produce into the UK.

Well, if the government does have a plan, as has been suggested, to set all tariffs at zero for a short while then they needn't worry in the short term. And as things develop it will settle down.

But just to give you an idea of the level of trade here. According to the Express report, "A quarter of the wine and beverages Britain imports are French, as are 23 percent of the potatoes and a fifth of its dairy products."

Now, the former head of the UK Civil Service, Lord Bob Kerslake, told the BBC that the government must take the no-deal option off the table or face a disaster.

He also said that we should not be preparing for riots in the streets, which he said is what our civil servants are doing at the moment, instead of doing the jobs they are paid to do.

And when the Radio 4 interviewer, John Humphrys, suggested that his warnings were a bit of an exaggeration, Lord Kerslake answered that "It's undoubtedly happening, trust me on this."

Lord Kerslake has also called for an extension of Article 50 in a new report out today for The People's Vote campaign.

And he has been joined by former Civil Service boss, Lord Gus O'Donnell who says that the Prime Minister's deal does not provide the clarity required and that a second referendum might be needed.

And here was me thinking that civil servants liked certainty – there is only one option left that gives certainty and that is leaving on WTO terms on the 29th March. How can constantly kicking the can down the road hoping to somehow engineer a Remain vote in an unwanted second referendum, do anything other than provide eternal uncertainty and bring UK politics in to real disrepute?

So, what a great state UK politics is in – NOT!

It looks like the public have a very low regard of both Tory and Labour leaders. In fact the general opinion is so low that we're now well into negative figures for both of them.

According to a recent Ipsos MORI poll for the London Evening Standard, the proportion of the public that is satisfied with Theresa May is a net negative of 25% in February, which is lower than the net minus 22% seen in December.

And as for the labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, it has fallen from a very low minus 32% in December to minus, get this, 55% in February.

As the Ipsos MORI head of political research, Gideon Skinner, said, normally you would expect to see one leader up and the other one down.

But having the PM and the leader of the opposition competing as to who had the best negative rating, this must be a new low for UK politics.

This, surely, is what happens when you say you are going to do one thing in response to the largest ever democratic vote in our history, then blatantly go about doing the exact opposite!

Now a bit of despite Brexit!

Research by London & Partners has shown that in 2018 our capital had attracted more European and non-European tech professionals than any other European major city.

Further, according to City.A.M. at 360,000, London had a third more software techies than its nearest rival, Paris. It also reports that "Apple is set to open a new base in Battersea next year for 1,400 staff, while Google’s headquarters will hold up to 4,500 workers."

And Tim Levene, the chief exec of Augmentum Finch, a City-listed tech fund, said:

"London is a hotbed of entrepreneurial talent and has developed into the epicentre of tech-based industries in Europe, especially in fintech, and we see no let-up in investment in both early stage and growth companies. Whatever the short-term holds we are confident that London will maintain its position as Europe’s tech centre."

All that doom and gloom eh?


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