Image by Leandro Neumann Ciuffo (CC-BY-2.0)


The EU Commission has issued a 16 page document warning the EU27 member states and its businesses that they should step up preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

Just as Theresa May tells the UK to gear up preparations for a no-deal Brexit, the EU Commission steps in with the same warning to the remaining EU member states.

"In sectors ranging from financial services to aviation and pharmaceuticals, governments and companies have been told to prepare for the worst, with barriers to the normal running of affairs expected to be erected." Reports the Guardian.

Well, if we all get a wriggle on now, like we should have started doing two years ago, maybe we can have a mutual no-deal ready by March the 29th 2019.

Then, over the ensuing years we can start talking sensibly and let our trading relationships develop naturally.

Now the EU document goes into detail about border checks and applying tariffs and customs checks etc.

But looking at the reports it seems like this is the first real steps by the EU to look at no-deal contingency planning.

And a piece in RTE News last Friday seems to point to this being the case, as its report said:

"It is understood the paper was drafted two days ago, ahead of the publication of the UK's White Paper on the future relationship yesterday, but after the three-page Chequers Statement on Friday 6 July."

And it also says that:

"The document was drawn up by a new unit on "preparedness" set up within the European Commission and which operates parallel to the Article 50 Task Force under chief negotiator Michel Barnier."

You have to wonder whether the Eurocrats had put too much faith in our Remain establishment and never really believed that the fateful Brexit Day would ever actually come about.

And now that a no-deal Brexit is a real possibility they are nowhere near prepared enough.

Or is it just another brick in the fear-mongering wall?

What are they going to do with all those German cars queueing up on their side of the channel waiting to come across and be paid for I wonder?

And I have to smile at the claims that the UK is 'crashing out of the EU' when in reality it is the richer EU countries such as Germany crashing out of the UK internal market.

Moving on the the Conservative Party, the UKIP Leader Gerard Batten Tweeted the following out earlier today:

Now, that message will already be indelibly imprinted on cabinet ministers' minds, so why they insist on pursuing the Chequers based deal, is beyond me.

And one Tweeter, a doctor Ryan Waters, has issued an interesting map of the airspace that the UK currently manages. It shows that the UK flight information regions of the London FIR, the Scottish FIR and the Shanwick Oceanic FIR all completely encircle the FIR for the Republic of Ireland.

So any claims by the Irish taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, that UK aircraft may not be able to fly over the Republic in the event of a hard Brexit, as the Sun reports he has, may be a bit of a foolhardy statement.

The National Air Traffic Service gives more information on these FIRs and EUROCONTROL provides a very handy map:

Flight Information regions EUROCONTROL

Flight Information regions EUROCONTROL

"UK Airspace is divided into three FIRs; London, Scottish and Shanwick Oceanic.

"The London FIR covers England and Wales. The Scottish FIR covers Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Shanwick Oceanic FIR covers a region of airspace totalling 700,000 square miles over the North East Atlantic."

It seems that the UK has quite a chunk of coverage doesn't it? I wonder who's going to be flying around who on their way to the USA etc?

Now on to more domestic problems. The soaring levels of very serious crimes in this country should have everybody sitting up, taking notice and getting very worried.

Homicides up 12 percent in a year, knife crimes up 16 percent and gun crime up two percent.

The ONS figures seem to show that generally crime has been higher in the past but had been falling until about 2014, since when serious crimes, such as those I mention, have started to increase.

We can all point our fingers in a multitude of different directions; the police, the home office, the home secretary, the education system, austerity, etc etc etc.

But another problem is that crime solving is falling too, from about 15% in 2015 to 11 per cent last year to 9 per cent now.

"The Home Office figures show a continuing downward trend since 2015 in the proportion of cases police have resolved, falling from 15 to 9%." Reports the BBC.

Now, the big dilemma here, is that crime is going up and fewer criminals are being properly dealt with, which could create a perfect storm for increased crime in the coming years.

But funny old thing, just as these figures come out, the police watchdog releases a report on hate crime today, with the Guardian issuing a report on it with the headline: "Brexit will trigger rise in hate crimes, warns police watchdog". with the report going on to say that the police watchdog has warned that there is a real possibility that there will be a spike in hate crimes directly after Brexit day next year.

This claim is based on previous spikes of reported hate crimes based around events of national significance, which have proved controversial because some commentators have said that the se events triggered a rise in reports, not a rise in events.

However, as I said that is controversial so I'll let you decide for yourselves.

But, if you are a cynic, you could say it is all timed to take your eye off of serious life threatening crime and concentrate your minds on hate crime.

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