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It appears that the EU is going to ask the UK for a six month extension to the post-Brexit transition period – what ever are they after?
It is being reported that EU officials are gearing up to ask us for an optional six month extension to the post-Brexit transition phase that could see it then stretched into 2021.
At present the transition phase is for the 21 months after 29th March 2019 (FWUKEU Day) and is due to end on 31st December 2020.
In an exclusive report, the Independent says that:
"European Commission officials will seek the extension to give the EU added flexibility, but it comes as key figures in the UK also look to extend the transition to give time to implement new customs arrangements."
And the 'paper goes on to say that two sources in Brussels have said that the EU wants this in order to safeguard its own interests.
One is quoted as saying:
"Of course they are aware of the sensitivity around the issue in London, but it is about giving the commission more leeway if needed, at the end of the transition to get things in place."
The plan, it seems, is for the EU to introduce this proposal late in the day to maximise the chances of its adoption.
As a Brexiteer I must admit to being suspicious of all things EU – as far as I am concerned the EU only does anything that will enhance its own interests, not that of any other state or organisation – especially not its own member states. Therefore, if a six month extension is good for the EU it will inevitably be bad for the UK.
Now to the PM. Theresa May, in a Facebook article titled "Trust me, I'll take back control — but I'll need your help", says that she can be trusted to deliver Brexit.
"I will ensure that we take back control of our money. -she writes – We have agreed a settlement with the European Union and the days of vast contributions from taxpayers to the EU budget are coming to an end.
"So, Brexit means there will be billions of pounds that we used to send to Brussels which we will now be able to spend on domestic priorities, including our National Health Service."
And she ends with:
"I will need your help and support to get there. And in return, my pledge to you is simple: I will not let you down."
And she'd better deliver, as she has been warned by grassroots Conservatives that her party will lose all trust for a generation if she tries to fudge it.
In a letter to the Telegraph, party activists including the chairman of the Grassroots Conservatives, Ed Costelloe, say:
"If the fudging of Brexit continues, the Conservatives will not be trusted for a generation, and the Lords risk abolition. Those who voted to take back control will not remain silent. Theresa May and her Cabinet must deliver what they promised."
But speaking on his LBC show, Nigel Farage had another take on it saying that the PM could be in big trouble, because if she loses a vote in the House of Commons over staying in the customs union, one of her major red lines will have been crossed.
He then read from Theresa May's Facebook article and asked:
"Why would she need your support?
"Because I think she faces the prospect of another general election.
"She's hardly going to call another referendum. That would tear her cabinet and her party to pieces.
"I think she's preparing the ground for another general election."
But for that to be effective she would need to somehow de-select and replace all those rebel Tories, who are proving that their party's manifesto means zilch to them.
She would also need to stuff the Lords with Brexiteers, so if you are a Remainer MP or civil servant hoping for a nice safe place on the red-benches then tough.
Then of course there's that fickle electorate who never seem to do what they're expected to these days. Especially in the face of Corbyn's 'free stuff for all and someone else is paying but I'll change my mind later anyway' approach to elections.
Now to the House of Lords and more on Tory rebels.
Writing in Brexit Central Bill Cash, the Tory MP for Stone, described the amendments that the House of Lords has inflicted on the EU Withdrawal Bill as:
"….wrecking Amendments and a flagrant abuse of the role of the House of Lords as a scrutiny and revising chamber, even in defiance of the Lords' own enactment of the Referendum Act 2015."
The Bill will now return to the House of Commons where a few Tory Brexit rebels could cause a constitutional crisis by voting with what Cash calls the 'opportunistic Labour Party' and all the Remainer parties. This could lead to yet another general election, he said.
Pointing out that those Tory rebels voted for the Referendum to be called in the first place as well as voting to trigger Article 50 and standing on an election manifesto of respecting the will of the people, he said:
"If, I repeat, if, they vote for any wrecking Amendment from the House of Lords, which itself has defied the Salisbury-Addison Convention, it would be in collusion with this unelected House, without any possible justification."
As Bill Cash says, the EU Withdrawal Bill is not an ordinary bill, it is all about who actually governs the UK so it is actually more important than the reasons that gave birth to the Parliament Act 1911 – that was about getting the Peoples Budget through – and the Salisbury-Addison Convention – which was a post second world war response to Tory peers possibly blocking the new Labour government's nationalisation plans.
That the House of Lords has acted the way it has and that we are now worried that, egged on by the many in the media, a majority of MPs will vote against the wishes of the people and for the continuation of foreign rule of the UK, shows how deeply our establishment has been infiltrated by those that detest the UK as an independent sovereign nation.
The people of the UK should not let this rest. Maintaining a free, independent and sovereign country is an ongoing everlasting task, it is not just a one off Brexit event.
There are far too many people in our political establishment who will continue the Remain, or what is now becoming a 'Rejoin the EU', fight. They will worm and wheedle their way in to try and steer the UK back towards EU membership – whatever the cost to the UK and I would not put it past some of them to actively derail the UK given the chance, in order to achieve it.
Many of these people are no friends of an independent UK, their belief lies solidly in a controlled and weak UK doing as it is told by others. We need rid of them!
Until we get the House of Lords reformed we need to ensure that any new appointees are fully UK and Brexit supporting. And constituency groups of all parties should only select their parliamentary candidates from those who wish to make a true success of a sovereign UK – but don't expect anything other than spoilers from the likes of the SNP. And we also need to flush the civil service through too.
Let's get rid of the anchors that weigh us down and give wings to those that will work towards the UK operating on a truly global scale once again.