With 200 days left to Brexit day, the pound took an upswing as news emerged that a Brexit deal could be just a few weeks away.
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Sterling took a sharp upturn against the Euro at lunchtime today as news came out from Bloomberg that the EU lead Brexit Negotiator, Michel Barnier, had said it was reasonable to expect a Brexit deal to be done between the EU and UK by early November.
"Barnier told a conference on Monday in Bled, Slovenia, that it was “realistic” and “possible” to get an agreement by the start of November to allow time for the deal to be approved by the British and European parliaments." Said Bloomberg.
But of course, this is just a comment by one person on one side and the speculators are in there – nothing's actually changed. Think about it.
Even if an agreement is reached, the EU parliament then has to vote to accept it and the Houses of Commons and Lords will also be gnawing at the Chequers based bone – but then there are the domestic politics of left and right to consider, which will have as much to do with whether is is accepted or not, as the politics of in or out do.
But the longer this game, which seems to be a combination of chicken, charades and hide & seek, goes on the nearer we inch towards a clean WTO Brexit.
Also, remember that a WTO exit is the last thing the establishment wants – it will fight all the way for an extension to Article 50 then a full Brexit reversal via a general election or second referendum if it can achieve either of those. The establishment will, as second choice, take the Chequers based deal because it would act like an anchor to stop us straying too far, while ways are found to reel us back into the keep net.
This will be welcome news for Mrs May, as it will make it easier for her to maintain her tenuous hold on the keys to Number Ten, for at least another couple of months – then Christmas is almost upon us and March 29th 2019 looms large.
For true Brexiteers Chequers though, is not the Full Withdrawal of the UK from the EU, it is Remain by another name. So any deal that is acceptable to both the UK remain minded establishment and an EU that needs our money, is always going to be a bad deal as far as they're concerned.
At the end of the day, for the UK to truly leave the EU, Chequers must be chucked in a way and at a time that makes further political manoeuvring by Remainers a fruitless waste of time.
Now, the EU parliament Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, who is an ardent supporter of a United States of Europe, claims that Brexit has saved the EU from a populist wave that could risk the future of that dream.
He says that the UK's convoluted and fractious exit process has subdued similar such thoughts across the EU.
Talking to the newspaper Ouest France, he said:
"Fortunately, we have Brexit. It illustrates the populist wave, but it has also provoked a resurrection of attachment to the EU within public opinion."
Nice that he likes to see the will of the people put in its place. I'm glad we're out of it so we no longer have people like him holding the reins!
Now on the domestic front, the Boundary Commission has today published its final recommendations on the new constituency boundaries that will see the number of MPs drop from 650 to 600.
The Labour Party has already complained about it, with Cat Smith, the shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs, saying:
"These final boundary recommendations are nothing but an undemocratic power grab by this Tory government. With no plans to reduce the number of ministers, the government is weakening the role of parliament and creating unprecedented levels of executive dominance at the expense of backbenchers, when parliament is meant to be taking back control.
"Cutting the number of MPs by 50 as we prepare to leave the European Union is further proof this government is clamouring to tighten its grip on power. With the workload of MPs set to rise after Brexit, with thousands of pieces of important legislation expected to come through parliament, it would be utterly ludicrous to go ahead with these boundary changes."
And just to add insult to injury the seat of Islington North is set to be abolished in the shake up, and that is of course the seat of one Jeremy Corbyn the Labour Party leader.
According to reports, Boris Johnson would find it harder to get elected in his new amended constituency and David Davis is another full casualty as his seat disappears altogether.
Locally to me, my current constituency of North Dorset would cease to exist and a new cross-county Dorset/Wiltshire constituency of Shaftesbury and Warminster would be formed.
But MPs have already been asking for more money due to the increase workload of Brexit, with a report from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority that oversees these things saying:
"There were further requests to further increase MP staffing budgets due to their increasing workloads, some of which is the result of Brexit."
That to me says that this boundary change was driven more by plans for a workload shift to Brussels going forward, than any cost saving measures.
So there may well be a lot of opposition to this in the Commons and not just from a disgruntled Labour Party!
It's now up to the government if or when this will be presented to parliament to vote on – will they even bother to do it?
Finally, UKIP leader Gerard Batten has e-mailed out that:
"A motion will be debated at Conference on Saturday 22nd September requesting that the NEC permits Tommy Robinson to become a member of UKIP. This would, of course, require a change to the party’s rules.
"This motion will elicit strong opinions on both sides of the argument. My personal view is that he should be allowed to join but I will accept the democratic decision of the Party.
"I want UKIP to keep its blanket ban on former members of proscribed parties, and if Mr Robinson were to be permitted entry this should be a single exception to the rule."
And he also urges members to watch Tommy's Oxford Union debate on YouTube before making their minds up.