John McDonnell By Rwendland (CC-BY-SA-4.0)

John McDonnell By Rwendland (CC-BY-SA-4.0)

Now that the Labour Party has waved goodbye to its ninth MP, it is beginning to flirt with backing a second EU referendum to stem that outbound flow.

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The Labour MP for Dudley North, Ian Austin, bade farewell to his party today, to sit as an independent, over his concerns that Labour was not dealing properly with anti-Semitism.

Talking to the BBC afterwards he said that he certainly did not think that Jeremy Corbyn was fit to be the Prime Minister of the UK.

Now although he backed Remain, he is opposed to a second referendum so it not joining those in The Independent Group (TIG) formed over the last few days.

And there are reports that other Labour MPs, such as Margaret Hodge and Siobhain McDonagh, are now on defection watch.

Up until now the Labour party leadership has been heavily criticised on two fronts: its seeming unwillingness to confront anti-Semitism within its ranks and its resistance to backing a second EU referendum.

But now the party is losing MPs, up pops the shadow chancellor John McDonnell to say that the party needed to act quicker and fiercer against anti-Semitism and that it was also moving towards a second EU referendum.

Speaking to the Evening Standard he said:

"On the people's vote, we've kept it on the table and we're moving towards that."

And this could take the form of Labour backing an amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement bill being put forward by the Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson that would basically say to Mrs May, you make it law that your deal is put to the test against remaining in the EU in a referendum and we'll vote your deal through.

More Remain manoeuvring!

Now, it does not take a rocket scientist to work out that that would take at least a year to organise so requiring an Article 50 extension that took us past July the 2nd, so requiring the UK to also hold EU MEP elections.

Another year of uncertainty and costing the UK an arm and a leg! Especially when you read that the EU is prepared to be nice and friendly by offering the UK a twenty day extension for £7 billion.

You have to wonder if they serve coffee in Westminster don't you, as the bulk of MPs are not waking up and smelling it, are they?!

Moving on.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michelle Barnier, says he is now more concerned than ever that we are heading for what some are calling an 'accidental' no deal Brexit.

He still thinks that the deal can be ratified he told French radio, but also said he was now more worried than ever before and – get this – that the UK politicians needed to act fast.

Funny position to be in. The person employed by the EU at great expense to make a deal with the UK, is on the verge of watching two years worth of work end up yielding absolutely nothing.

No £39 billion, no UK fishing grounds, no control over UK security and defence forces, no control over UK foreign policy, no land grab of Northern Ireland and Gibraltar, and most importantly the worrying prospect of a free and prosperous UK on their doorstep. He must be lining up to be the most disappointed Eurocrat ever!

That is as long as our politicians see sense and vote Theresa May's deal down in the national interest.

Hmmm. This current crop of MPs having sense and working for the UK …. let me see ….. No! Can't see it, unless they are dragged kicking and screaming there by the electorate, that is.

Now, all is not well in German industry it seems.

The ifo Business Climate Index for Germany fell from 99.3 points in January to 98.5 points in February, which is the lowest level since 2014.

It also says that the manufacturing index fell for the sixth time in succession and although companies report a positive business situation, pessimism about future prospects continues to increase.

I point this out just to give you a balanced view on how business outside the UK is faring. So that when the Brexit doom-mongers start their work and try and fool us, you will know that all is not sweetness and light out there in EU land.

Now to the French. They are getting twitched over the impact of a no deal Brexit on their fishing industry.

French Foreign Minister Yves Le Drian told the Ouest-France newspaper that:

"Without an accord, we will need to immediately engage in a negotiation to extend until at least the end of this year the existing policy. Otherwise, it will be the law of the jungle at sea. Which is in nobody's interest."

Well, not in France's anyway, as 20% of the total French catch comes from UK waters, so they need the access.

And the minister went on to say that France will support its fishermen with every effort being made to maintain equilibrium in the industry, while negotiations take place.

What they are looking for is either EU compensation for the fishermen denied access to UK waters, or a reciprocal agreement for their boats to enter UK waters and for ours to be able to fish EU waters.

On the former, that's up to them. But on the latter I wonder if the UK fishermen would just be happy to return to their natural fishing grounds after all these decades of being forced to stand on the sidelines.

Finally, a report from EU auditors shows that in excess of €6 billion has been milked from the EU coffers by fraudsters over the last few years, with about €130 million still going missing every year.

According to the report, in the fourteen years between 2002 and 2016 €8.8 billion was taken by criminals with only €2.6 billion being recovered.

And another €391 million went missing in 2017, while those engaged in this criminal activity go largely undiscovered and/or unpunished.

But it gets worse, due to the lack of information, underreporting and absence of monitoring say auditors, the scale of the fraud could be much higher.

Who'd be mug enough to want to Remain in, or join, an outfit like that?

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

Thank you for watching.

Sources:

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/labour-moving-towards-peoples-vote-shadow-chancellor-john-mcdonnell-tells-of-party-shift-on-brexit-a4073896.html

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/22/michel-barnier-says-there-is-high-chance-of-accidental-no-deal-brexit

https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1090763/brexit-latest-news-labour-jeremy-corbyn-theresa-may-independent-group-defections

http://www.cesifo-group.de/ifoHome/facts/Survey-Results/Business-Climate/Geschaeftsklima-Archiv/2019/Geschaeftsklima-20190222.html

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1090917/brexit-fishing-france-uk-waters-hard-brexit

https://euobserver.com/economic/143877

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