The European Union is pressing ahead with its planning for a no deal WTO Brexit.
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While Theresa May dreams of running through the Chequers Brexit In Name Only (BRINO) wheat fields, with only 149 days to the Full Withdrawal of the UK from the bloc, EU diplomats are arranging to get together for some no-deal planning seminars.
The Guardian reports that they met yesterday and agreed to hold meetings in November covering such things as 'citizens' rights, aviation, ground transport, customs, border controls and financial services'.
It seems that some Eurocrats are now fearing that we may slide into some sort of accidental no-deal Brexit because of the chances that whatever deal the EU and UK strike, could be voted down by the UK Parliament.
So now of course is the moment for the EU to inject a bit of 'no-deal terror' into the equation from their side, in the hope that they can get some concessions.
Then send Theresa May back with a piece of paper with 'A Deal In Our Time' written on it and hope that Parliament will weaken at the knees and cave in to it.
The trouble is that the UK has been talking about being prepared for a no-deal as well.
And both the UK and EU will say their plans protect industry, trade and jobs etc.
So, Brexiteers should be calling on both sides to get together, compare no-deal notes then iron out the wrinkles and Bob's yer Uncle! A workable starter for ten deal that can be steadily built on in the future.
In fact, maybe that should have been our starting point right at the start.
Anyway, from a UK point of view many of us can put off buying a new EU built car, or swap makes. But those in the EU will find it hard to maintain access to the capital markets without the City of London, which is the world leader in clearing houses. For example, the London Stock Exchange owned LCH cleared over $525.8 trillion of interest rate swaps in the first half of this year – and that is a 23% increase on last year.
As I said in a previous video, the Vice Chairman of the EU Commission, Vladis Dombrovskis, has reassured traders that in the event of a no-deal EU companies will still have access to City markets on a short timescale basis.
As Miles Celic, the chief executive of The City UK, commented:
"EU regulators are waking up to the financial stability risks posed by a no-deal Brexit, demonstrated by this temporary permissions regime to prevent EU firms getting cut off from London's efficient global clearing markets.
"The industry is taking every action it can but failure to agree a Brexit deal will require additional support from regulators and legislators.
"Now, more than ever, these technical issues need to be separated from the politics of Brexit and dealt with sensibly and pragmatically to provide certainty to customers and clients across the continent."
Can I re-phrase that to "the EU is working hard to ensure it doesn't crash out of the UK financial services market"?
As a Brexiteer myself, I think that the moves within the houses of parliament to drive the vote towards supporting the Chequers Brexit In Name Only deal via a combination of procedural admin and the spreading of needless fear over a no-deal WTO exit from the EU, risks ending with the UK as a permanent vassal state of the EU, with no way out.
And I think that the Chancellor's budget on Monday was part of the process of keeping the Tories as sweet as they can in the eyes of the public and as Brexit friendly to the true Brexiteers in the Tory party as they can manage.
So I was a little surprised to see the Tory Brexiteer MP Peter Bone appear to praise the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, during Prime Minister's Questions earlier today.
"Mr Speaker, I always thought the Chancellor was a bit 'iffy' about Brexit, But how wrong I was sir." He said.
"This week he announced a Brexit dividend budget, if we come out of the European Union with no deal.
"He will be able to cut tariffs, abolish VAT on certain products and re-allocate the £39billion that he was going to give to the EU to this country.
"Cutting taxes, improving public services and lowering debt."
Then, breaking with normal house protocol he turned to directly address Theresa May and said:
"Prime Minister, I always thought that you could be the Queen of Brexit, but did you ever think the Chancellor could be the King of Brexit?"
But of course, his comments as stated all hinge on a no-deal, WTO exit from the EU, not Chequers. So I think it was more of a general statement on what could be achieved by chucking Chequers, than a statement of support for what both Theresa May and Philip Hammond would like to see – which it seems is a set of peripheral islands formerly known as the UK under full EU control.
Now, one little slip to note is that Peter Bone's question was put down in print in the Express online after PMQs, but for some reason or other some important words were left out.
I will repeat what Peter Bone said, but the Express left out the last three words of one particular sentence in print that gives it a whole new meaning:
"This week he announced a Brexit dividend budget, if we come out of the European Union with no deal." He said, but the Express printed: "This week he announced a Brexit dividend budget, if we come out of the European Union (with no deal)."
Now, is that a mere editing error? Or a 'paper angling for Chequers?