Jean Claude Juncker By euranet plus (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

Image By euranet plus (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

The EU Commission President is not confident about stopping a no deal Brexit!

The EU Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker is saying that he is not optimistic about avoiding a no deal Brexit.

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This follows a meeting he had with Theresa May in Brussels where Juncker does not seem to have been reassured that our PM is in control of Brexit events in Westminster, especially after she carelessly lost three of her MPs.

This is in stark contrast to our Tory ministers who are all upbeat about getting what they want from the Eurocrats and bringing back changes to the Withdrawal Agreement that MPs can confidently sign up to – or so they claim.

The trouble is that at this stage they are going to have to pull an awful lot of rabbits out of an awful lot of hats to convince anyone that it's anything other than a whitewash job to try cover a stinking deal.

But the Independent reports that Brussels wants the PM to change tack and work with Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party to put something together that the majority of MPs could then support.

I suppose those in Brussels have forgotten that Corbyn has also lost a tranche of his own MPs.

I also have to point out that there are only 36 days to Brexit Day and unless things change we go out on a WTO Brexit.

Getting the arch enemies of Tories and Labour together around the same table will be difficult enough, let alone within a month hammering out a deal they can both support.

I can imagine them both for a start refusing to even sit down talk unless the other side agrees to their red lines.

Then there is the perception to their members that they are aiding the other side's Brexit plans.

This whole saga would take forever! Then it has to go to Brussels.

Once again we're in that begging for an Article 50 extension territory, aren't we?

When is everyone going to realise that, unless we apply a swift and decisive cut to the gordian knot now, we'll be here in limbo forever.

And what these politicians left and right domestic or EU don't get, is that we don't want them messing about with our sovereignty. Both the Tories and Labour have plans to do just that, what with their backstops and customs unions. And the EU is more than happy to oblige.

No, we just want out!

But true Brexiteers may get some help from an unexpected direction. Love 'em or hate 'em, the new members of The Independent Group, or Tiggers, are desperate to delay Brexit and get a second referendum. To get this they will have to get the PM's deal out of the way, because to vote for it would stop their plan in its tracks.

First they have to help get her deal voted down and then see if they can formulate a plan and get support to either extend or revoke Article 50 in the remaining few days.

Given how bad the deal is and the general opposition to it in Parliament, one can see it falling like a house of cards in a gale.

It is what happens next that we need to work on. How to keep Theresa May and therefore the House of Commons on the WTO Brexit trajectory.

Now to more political scandal.

Tory MP Chris Davies, who represents Brecon and Radnorshire in Wales, has been charged by police with two counts of forgery and with providing false or misleading information for allowances claims between January to March 2016, contrary to section 10 of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009.

He is due to appear before the Westminster Magistrates Court on Friday the 22nd March.

According to the Mail report on this, he is accused of forging two invoices worth £700 between them in order to get the claims past Ipsa, the parliamentary standards body, and is also said to have attempted to get one of his staff to submit one of them.

One point to note here is that MPs found guilty under section 10 of Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, can be subject to a petition under the 2015 Recall of MPs Act. And if 10% of the registered voters sign the petition, the MP loses their seat and a by-election is triggered.

Now this process can only be started once the appeal period has ended without the conviction, sentence or order having been overturned or all appeals have been heard and dismissed.

This procedure also applies to the disgraced MP for Peterborough, Fiona Onasanya, who is currently in prison for perverting the course of justice over a speeding charge. The appeal period has not yet ended for her case, but a recall petition could be lodged once it has.

The recall procedure is an automatic event, in that the office of the House of Commons Speaker informs the constituency returning officer that a central government funded petition lasting six weeks is to be started. I've left a link to the government briefing document in the descriptions box below.

And of course any campaigners either for or against the recall of the MP concerned, have their activities and spending regulated, just like an election.

The upshot here is that we could have two more by-elections in the offing.

It's just a pity that crossing the floor of the house to a new party or going independent isn't included in the 2015 Recall Act, isn't it!

So, please let us all know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Thank you for watching.

Sources:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-no-deal-jean-claude-juncker-theresa-may-meeting-commons-vote-mps-a8790086.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6729047/Tory-MP-Chris-Davies-charged-false-Parliamentary-expenses-invoices-appear-court.html

https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/184324/Recall-Act-Factsheet.pdf

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