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The UK PM has laid it on the line, it's either her Chequers based deal or it's no deal.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW
The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May has stated for a Panorama programme "Inside No 10: Deal or No Deal" to be aired tonight, that it's either going to be her deal, or no deal at all and the UK will leave on WTO terms.
And now the pressure is really brought to bear by the Remain minded who recognise that Chequers is not a true Brexit by any stretch of the imagination and gives scope for them to later manoeuvre the UK back into the fold, or the yoke as is a more apt description.
The Chancellor who is, to but it mildly, no fan of an independent sovereign UK, has once again opened his box of anti-Brexit rhetoric and claimed that leaving the EU without a deal will set the UK back ten years. He said we need a deal to lock in the progress we have made as a country since the Great Recession ten years ago.
And responding to warnings about a no-deal Brexit from the International Monetary Fund he said:
"As we leave the EU we must secure a close and enduring partnership with our European neighbours and we must heed the clear warnings of the IMF and others of the significant costs not reaching a deal with the EU will have for British jobs and British prosperity."
How many more times do we have to listen to these doom-laden predictions?
And he went on to say:
"Despite the contingency actions we are taking, leaving without a deal would put at risk the substantial progress the British people have made over the last 10 years."
The IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde, had said earlier that if there was no deal:
"...there would be dire consequences. It would inevitably have consequences in terms of reduced growth, an increase in the [budget] deficit and a depreciation of the currency.
"In relatively short order it would mean a reduction in the size of the economy."
But Number Ten refused to endorse the Chancellor's views and reiterated what the PM had told the BBC, saying:
"The PM said very clearly that she believes our best days are ahead of us and that we will have plans in place for us to succeed in all scenarios."
I just have to ask though, who on earth is listening to the likes of Hammond and Lagarde or taking them seriously these days? And has Mrs May ford a mini spine all of a sudden in her defence of her deal, it can't be a full grown spine can it or Chequers would not be on the table.
Responding to Mrs May's 'my deal or no deal' claim, the UKIP leader Gerard Batten said:
"After a summer of dripping Project Fear 2.0 into the public's ears, Mrs May has put down an in or out option.
"UKIP has always said that no deal, which is really reverting to WTO terms, is better than a bad deal with the EU. Mrs May's deal, whatever the particulars, will not be what the British people voted for on June 23rd, 2016, it will be Brexit in name only.
"I call on all Leave MPs to reject the flimsy agreement Mrs May is putting together and support a full unencumbered exit from the EU under World Trade Organisation rules."
And the former Foreign secretary, Boris Johnson has come down firmly against the PM's chequers proposals saying that it was a "constitutional abomination" as well as claiming that "for the first time since 1066, our leaders were deliberately acquiescing in foreign rule".
He also said that the UK would become a 'vassal state' under the current Irish border proposals adding that the negotiations were on track to become a "spectacular political car crash".
And referring to the Irish border question Boris put it in context by saying:
"We are straining at the gnat of the Irish border problem – in fact we haven't even tried to chew the gnat – and we are swallowing the camel of EU membership in all but name." He does have a way with words doesn't he?
But has a deal nearly been reached anyway?
According to a report in the Express:
"A Brexit deal WILL be unveiled in November after Britain and the European Union reached an agreement following a year of intense differences and negotiations, according to reports today."
It says that senior government officials and diplomats in Brussels as well as in London and other EU capitals are saying that the deal will be presented before Christmas.
"Britain and the EU are now working closely to get the deal over the line, intent on avoiding any issues that critics could potentially pick apart and delay the process further." Said the Express.
"Officials claim the withdrawal deal is close to completion, with the final push focusing on the “political declaration”, the document outlining the framework of the relationship that will accompany the withdrawal treaty."
This sounds suspiciously like the EU recognises that it's sucked the weak UK negotiators dry and are happy to crack on. It is also worthy of note that the PM's advisor, Olly Robbins has been extremely quiet and out of the public eye of late.
But as far as I am concerned, any deal built around Chequers is a total sell-out and will do a lot of damage to the future of the UK in both economic and political terms.