The Prime Minister has admitted that the government is considering extending the Brexit Transition period beyond the agreed 21 months.
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The big Brexit news today is that the UK prime Minister, Theresa May, is now saying that the UK could sign up to an extended Brexit transition period.
The transition, or implementation phase, is at present agreed to last for 21 months from Brexit Day on the 29th March next year to the end of December 2020.
But in order to prevent a so-called hard border in Ireland, the PM has admitted that negotiations now include the possibility of extending the transition phase for what she says is 'a matter of months'.
"A further idea that has emerged," the PM told reporters, "and it is an idea at this stage, is to create an option to extend the implementation period for a matter of months. And it would only be for a matter of months.
"But the point is that this is not expected to be used, because we are working to ensure that we have that future relationship in place by the end of December 2020."
Apart from angering Brexiteers, this extra transition time would tie the UK to the bloc at the start of a new budget period, which would open a whole new can of worms regarding fees and rebates and the like.
And the Express is now reporting that this could mean the UK has to deposit another £15 billion into the Brussels coffers, with no say (if what we have now could be considered a 'say' in any meaningful sense of the word, that is).
Some commentators are saying this is brought about by a feeling in the air in Brussels that the EU is on the verge of dropping the whole Brexit negotiations ball and going for a no deal Brexit themselves and that Mrs May is keen to re-engage the EU negotiators.
The problem for the EU here, is that they are tied by the wording of Article 50 itself, which says that the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement that sets out the arrangements for withdrawal taking account the future relationship framework.
Just walking away on their side does not negotiate or conclude.
This talk of extending the transition period is either a massive mistake by our Prime Minister in that she has blinked, allowing the EU to once again sit back and watch the UK internal wrangling, while looking for the opportunity of another compromise.
Or it is part of a more sinister arrangement to keep the UK as tightly aligned to the EU for as long as possible to make re-entry into the EU superstate as easy as possible.
Commenting, the UKIP leader Gerard Batten said:
"Mrs May's Brexit betrayal slowly slithers into view.
"This is not due diligence, this is not a commitment to sort things out, this is a play to normalise ‘transition’ indefinitely until a time when the establishment can call the whole thing off.
"The message is simple – if the people want to leave the European Union then they must join UKIP and vote for UKIP at any and every opportunity they have."
"UKIP is the only real opposition. UKIP is the only party genuinely committed to setting Britain free from the European Union."
He also told party members that:
"The ridiculous spectacle of Mrs May continually going to Brussels to offer surrender terms only to have them rejected has now become nauseating. It is like watching a schoolchild continually getting its homework wrong and being sent back to do it again."
And the former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage told Peston today that not only was Theresa May the weakest prime minister he had seen in his lifetime she was also almost the most dishonest too. What she says and what she does are two completely different things, he said.
Farage also Tweeted out a message to the Tory Brexiteers saying:
"Come on Tory MPs, have some courage. Get rid of this bad Prime Minister and put somebody in place who believes in Brexit."
We have been told that there are already 44 letters of no confidence in Theresa May sitting in the safe of the 1922 Committee chairman – if the other four to make the required 48 don't materialise in the next 24 hours or so, then we know what the Tory party really believes in – and that is Remaining in the EU, against the wishes of the UK electorate!
It is surely time for the likes of David Davis, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson to step up a gear and get fellow MPS to submit their letters – remember there are estimated to be eighty members of the party's European Research Group – where are their letters?
And if you are a fuming Conservative party member, then all I can say is that fuming will do you no good, nor will just cutting your card up – now is the time to join and vote for UKIP. Only the electoral threat of losing votes to UKIP will dislodge this Remain limpet.
We keep hearing from the EU and Remainers that the problem is the UK doesn't know what sort of Brexit it wants. Oh yes we do, the voters that voted Leave know exactly what they want, because it was made quite clear during the run up to the 2016 EU referendum what it entailed.
It is the political establishment that is at fault here, for working tirelessly towards a form of Remain that they hope they can convince 17.4 million voters is somehow Brexit. They are trying to pull the wool over those peoples' eyes! Well it's not working – so it's now time to ditch that plan and get us out of the EU like they were instructed to do!
I cannot believe that Theresa May and her Remainer cronies think that, if they just smudge things over for a while, then we'll all just forget about independence and sovereignty and go on to be good little Europeans being told what to do from Brussels.
My message to them is they are totally and utterly wrong!