Those looking for a Brexit deal were dealt a bit of a blow over the last few days. The chances of a no deal WTO Brexit have edged up.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW
Before I start I just want to say what a great meeting Brexiteers had at the Bournemouth International Centre last night.
The event was hosted by John Longworth and Richard Tice of Leave Means Leave, with more to come. The next one is in Gateshead this Friday the 19th Oct and the one after that is in Harrogate on the Saturday 20th Oct. Details are on the Leave Means leave website and there is a link in the descriptions box below.
I live-streamed last night's event to YouTube, but I have now replaced that one earlier today with a higher quality recording I took at the time.
The speakers were Sammy Wilson of the DUP – a late entrant due to the changing political climate, Conor Burns of the Conservatives, Nigel Farage of UKIP and Brendan Chilton from Labour. Tim martin the CEO of Wetherspoons was due to be there but had to pull out through illness, so we were shown a video of one of his previous speeches.
One point that lots of people have noted, is that there were many young people in the audience, showing that Brexit is not confined to pensioners!
The message from last night was that, far from Brexiteers changing their minds, Brexit is alive and kicking and demanding that democracy be observed.
The Brexit passion in the room was palpable and spirits high.
Those in the room know that right is on their side and welcomed the re-emergence of the Leave campaign that is now providing the leadership that Theresa May's government woefully lacks.
For too long our politicians have wandered aimlessly through the halls of Brussels looking for an answer when it lies here at home in the UK, with the people of this great country.
Now is the time for all Brexiteers to get fully behind the campaign to leave the EU, whatever it takes to do it.
Attend events, help deliver leaflets and write to politicians and the press, donate what you can – and dare I say it make a video. But whatever you do, get active!
Now, just as it looked to some that a deal was close, The EU chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, now says that weeks are still needed to come to agreement.
This comes after a fraught weekend of rumour and counter rumour, leading up to a cabinet meeting today where Theresa May urged her cabinet colleagues to stick together.
According to Downing Street press secretary, James Slack, briefing on the two and a half hour meeting, ministers strongly agreed with the PM that maintaining the integrity of the UK was important and also agreed that no Irish border backstop could last forever.
But sadly, he also said that no-one talked about resigning.
But now there's talk of the EU scrapping plans at tomorrow night's dinner discussion for an emergency November Brexit gathering, unless they see signs of progress on the Irish border question.
The Express reports one senior EU official as saying:
“A November summit is not a given, only if the conditions are met will the decision be to hold the summit there.
“I’m not sure it will be a dilemma but it will only be held if decisive progress has been made.”
“Since there is no agreement on the Irish backstop there will not be an outline of joint political declaration on the table on Wednesday evening, that will not change.”
“I think that was clear on Sunday afternoon, that what we got from Michel Barnier was that the spirit of the talks on Sunday were not promising any progress before the summit this Wednesday.”
But the 'paper also says that it believes that France is trying to bring the date for the November meeting forward so as to force the pace and prevent a last minute frantic rush for a deal.
But Donald Tusk, the EU Council chairman, has warned that we are now in the position that a no deal WTO Brexit is 'more likely than ever'.
“We wished for maximum progress and results that would lead to a deal in October." He said.
“As things stand today, it has proven to be more complicated than some may have expected.
“We must prepare the EU for a no-deal scenario, which is more likely than ever before.”
So effectively all hope that the negotiators had of getting a deal this month have gone by the board and we're now looking possibly at November.
As David Davis has said in the past, this was always going to go to the wire – everything will happen in the last month or so – if anything's going to happen on a deal front at all.
Personally I think we'll end up with more of a bare bones agreement that keeps both the UK and EU sweet in terms of WTO rules and keeps trade moving.
Finally, for those that haven't heard, Facebook has announced new political advertising rules that will require those who want to run political ads to provide details of a UK residential address and photo ID, as well as the ad having a 'paid for by' disclaimer.
This will cover those wanting to support political parties, politicians and also things like past referenda – like Brexit!
As I understand it the details will be stored for seven years in the platform's Ad Library and be searchable by anyone.
I can understand that there will be those saying that this increases transparency, but then there are those who legitimately want to support a cause with a small amount of money spent on Facebook ads who may find this intrusive, intimidatory and a bit on the overkill side.