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Brexit may be a headache for Brussels but if the new coalition government of Italy goes its own way, it could bring down the whole EU house of cards.
The new Italian Prime minister Guiseppe Conte, now leads a coalition government of very diverse and contradictory thinking in all but one thing – a dislike of the EU.
And according to Peter Oborne writing in the Daily Mail:
"It is no exaggeration to say that Mr Conte, a former law professor at Florence University, has the power to bring about the collapse of the EU."
Italy it seems has a few bones to pick with the EU, such as the big one of immigration and the new government is looking to ride roughshod over the very soft approach the EU has to migration, with plans to deport half a million illegal immigrants, clear out illegal gypsy camps and hire more police officers and build more prisons to deal with the resulting problems.
"This hardline reaction to Brussels's soft approach to illegal immigration amounts to a huge challenge to its authority and imperils the cohesion of the EU." Says Peter Oborne.
Then there's the economy, with many in Italy believing that Brussels is the author of their current woes, with a national debt of 132% of the country's GDP and that joining the Euro was a big mistake.
"The Italian people know that their membership of the EU is to blame for mass unemployment, social collapse and uncontrolled migration. The new Italian PM, Mr Conte, is the first political leader to genuinely represent the national mood of outrage — and sorrow — at their post-lira impoverishment." Writes Oborne.
And he goes on to say that the sane thing for Italy to do in order to regain competitiveness and get the country working again would be to pull out of the euro and reimpose the Lira, something that both coalition parties have supported in the past, and that would send the Brussels establishment and then the eurozone and wider EU into total melt-down.
And the Sun reports that Italy's coalition is going to appoint Paolo Savona as its new finance minister – and he is a hardliner who wants Italy to leave the eurozone. All bets are off.
Back to Brexit. Tory Brexiteer John Redwood makes a great observation in his diary.
He says that looking at the spin coming out of Brussels, it seems they themselves would favour a no deal Brexit.
And he points at the bloc's dismissal of every helpful and sensible suggestion to solve problems as well as the Eurocrat constant demands for money that we do not owe them.
And when you think about it you can see that, coming to a special deal with the UK would be giving us the sort of EU reform that the likes of Cameron had wanted – and if it works with us others will want the same. Definitely not an outcome Brussels wants.
So a no-deal is a distinct possibility, especially if the UK does not roll over and accept ECJ jurisdiction, as Barnier wants us to do. As Redwood says, the EU seems to think a Deal has to be a punishment.
And because of this says Redwood, we should be totally ready for the full Brexit monty on the evening of the 29th March 2019. Then we could start spending the £12 billion annual saving immediately, sign and implement trade deals and take back control of our fishing grounds – what's not to like? But I'm not sure that big EU businesses will thank Michel Barnier and his Eurocrats for forcing that outcome, Do you?
In a typically British response to the problem of illegal immigration, a new Ipsos Mori survey shows 60% of respondents want an immigration policy that makes it as hard as possible for illegal immigrants to stay in the country, but 64% say that we should ensure that everyone who has a right to stay is never forced out, even if it means a few illegal immigrants slipping through the net.
The survey taken across the age range of 18-75 in mid May, said that although attitudes towards immigration remain more positive than before the Brexit vote, over half of respondents still want overall numbers reduced.
Now, for all those people who think the EU is wonderful, can do no wrong and is looking after the little people, please just take look at the shambles that is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
I have personally talked to many people who have small businesses or work in small charities or local groups doing good work, who are completely confused by all the rules and requirements and whether or not they should be doing something and what it is they are meant to be doing.
They do not have the wherewithal to engage expensive lawyers to advise them, so what happens is they end up locked into inaction, something small charities especially should not have to face.
Not only that but Royal Mail has geared up to handle a new torrent of physical postal junk mail to go through your letterbox as companies go back to tried and trusted ways of getting customers without having to deal with GDPR. So much for E-Mail saving forests.
In the US IT experts are offering to help their companies geo-block European customers and the Daily Mail reports on digital advertisers, news sites and gaming services shutting down in the EU because of the cost of GDPR compliance.
While all the controls put in place to protect personal data might seem fine and dandy, once again it's the little organisations and people that are the hardest hit. The real culprits in data misuse are generally the huge great internet behemoths who hire dozens of lawyers and tech experts to deal with it, then business as usual – in much the same way that tax avoidance and tax evasion works.
Wonder how long it will be before the next mass data breach – if we ever get to hear about it that is.
And for those Remainers who keep on and on claiming that the rich people want the UK to leave the EU so they can asset strip the nation and put all the poor people in a pauper's prison, CityAM reports that a group of wealthy and influential people under the banner of 'Tech for UK' have got together calling for a second referendum with the option of staying in the EU – with Mike Butcher, the co-founder of TechHub and co-organiser of Tech For UK saying: "It's time the people had the chance for a meaningful vote, or through parliament, on the terms of Brexit."
Apart from TechHub, the group includes big names like Deloitte Digital, TechCrunch and Samsung together with the likes of Martha Lane Fox, the founder of Zopa Giles Andrews and the CEO of Tide Bank George Bevis.
Seems the rich do like the EU then.
But being anti-Brexit isn't the draw that some Remainers think it is.
The pro-EU party 'Renew', launched to great fanfare and with huge plans to field anti-Brexit candidates across the nation at the next general election – has lost its founder after a mere three months, says the political commentator Guido Fawkes.
Now, it's the leaving statement of the founder Chris Coghlan that tickled me:
"Over the past weeks and months, it has become clear to me that other senior members of the party do not share the same values as I do. These are the values of opportunity, responsibility, integrity and democracy; the belief that in every political party members should have the final say."
My observation is – you get a bunch of Remoaners together who worship at the EU altar and you talk about things like integrity and democracy? The mind boggles!
And he went on to say about the senior team he was working with:
"….that team will resist any attempt to change the current structure through democratic means."
I rest my case!