According to former Brexit minister Steve Baker, there are at least 80 Conservative Party MPs that are ready to vote down any Chequers based deal the PM returns from Brussels with.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW
In an effort to get Theresa May to change her Brexit course, Steve Baker has warned that there are about 80 of her own MPs ready to vote down any deal she brings back from the EU based on her Chequers plan.
He then basically said that the Tory Whips would be out in force twisting arms, but that they would be lucky if they could convert even half of that eighty into Chequers supporters.
And given that the Labour Party will vote against just about any Tory deal on principle, you have to wonder how she thinks she can get it through parliament even if the EU goes for it.
But the PM seems absolutely determined to stick to her Chequers plans, even in the face of warnings from the former Brexit Secretary, David Davis, that there would be dire electoral consequences for her party if the UK ended up as rule takers.
But it seems that the plan is to instil fear into her own Brexiteers and the people.
And that fear will be based on the choice between her Chequers deal and going out without a deal, which will from now on be painted as doomsday, not better than a bad deal, which Chequers definitely is anyway. We've gone from 'No deal good, bad deal bad' to 'No deal good, bad deal better'.
That the EU has suddenly gone all soft on Chequers with no evident reasons, should tell you all you need to know. i.e. that Chequers is just Brexit in name only and, as far as I'm concerned, it is purely there to provide a holding pattern for the UK while they work out the best way to get us back in as soon as possible.
And I'm not the only one thinking of that possibility.
Steve Baker has hinted at powerful forces trying their best to at least keep the UK aligned with the EU, or further to reverse Brexit or get us back in after we've left.
In the last of a set of five videos he published yesterday on where we're at with Brexit, Steve Baker said:
"It may be that powerful forces within the government are determined to have a high-alignment Brexit, something like the EEA [European Economic Area] plus something like the customs union.
"Now that might be because they are badly advised about the cost of customs and the potential for new non-tariff barriers.
"It might be because they do not want to leave the European Union and wish to create the conditions to rejoin it later, with all that would mean, no rebate, adopting the euro and so on.
"It might be because of secret guarantees wrongly given to the car industry that nothing would change as we left the EU."
Those videos are well worth a watch (first one in sources below).
And from my point of view, I think that there are powerful forces at work. They have always been at work trying to keep us in the EU and further embedded at every turn. The Referendum came as a setback for those forces. But the intent is now to simulate Brexit, keep us as closely aligned as possible then ease us back in later when the political conditions allow.
And Chequers is the lynchpin to that process!
Now I want to talk about freedom of expression, because I smell another attack on it from the EU – but an attack on speech that the EU perceives to be anti-EU.
And where do I get that from?
Well I occasionally take a look at the continual tsunami of EU legislation pouring forth to see if I can identify anything interesting.
Well, today I came across a new one under new procedures in the EU parliament, which is called:
"Rise of neo-fascist violence in Europe (2018/2869(RSP)"
This had a debate in the EU parliament last Tuesday 2nd October 2018 and is due to be voted on in the EU parliament on 23rd October.
My sources say that this resolution originates in the parliament, but it is worth noting that after the chairman opened the proceedings for the debate, the first to speak were Juliane Bogner-Strauss representing the Austrian presidency of the EU Council and Vera Jourova the Czech member of the EU Commission.
Now, although there has been a debate there does not seem to be any decision or wording for what a proposed resolution would look like. But it does seem like a resolution will be forthcoming from somewhere by 17th October, with amendments to be tabled by 22nd October and the vote on it on the 23rd October.
Now, looking at the different ways that laws get made in the EU, it seems that resolutions can be used to express a political position or even get the Commission to prepare proposals on a specific topic.
You can probably see where this is headed.
But there are already laws in place within all EU states to deal with violence. So why the need for the EU to involve itself in this?
Well, it's obvious really isn't it. Many of the so-called citizens of the EU have got fed up with being told they have to accept as many immigrants as can be thrown at them or they are racists.
And then, when the 'citizens' decide to use the ballot box to legitimately air their concerns, such as in Italy, the EU machine decides that it must act to head off thoughts of dissent and voting the wrong way at the earliest opportunity.
Now, the choice of the term 'neo-fascist' covers a whole plethora of political sins.
Wiki defines the political ideology of neo-fascism as:
"…..a post–World War II ideology that includes significant elements of fascism. Neo-fascism usually includes ultranationalism, populism, authoritarianism, nativism and opposition to immigration, as well as opposition to liberal democracy, parliamentarianism, Marxism, Communism and socialism."
So, populism features highly here, and I'll leave you to ponder over the rest.
Anyway, the UKIP MEP David Coburn was at the debate and he said:
"… it is not just the rise in neofascism and neofascist violence that's the problem, it is political violence from both sides, including far left groups, such as Antifa, who are known for violent disturbances."
He went on to say that the EU's own policies of open borders had been the cause of the rise of extremist policies.
He later in the debate went on to say that it should not matter which side the violence came from and added:
"…..what about just making sure we don't have violence on any side and settle everything democratically?"
But I think that the EU has set its sights on the anti-EU side and is ready to label that as 'neo-fascist' because they are either ultranationalist or populist in not happily toeing the EU line in some way.
As an example, going back to the Italian elections, which culminated in a coalition of The League and the Five Star Movement that is now challenging the EU rules over borrowing more money as well as enforcing its own external borders against irregular migration.
Both those parties are described in Wiki as 'populist', so could fall under the above definition of neo-fascist. Now these parties want to borrow more money to do things like lowering the retirement age and increase welfare spending – Fascist? Right Wing? Think about it.
Now, if you fear a rise in 'neo-fascist violence' the best thing to do of course is to remove the legal room for neo-fascim to manoeuvre and the political oxygen it breathes.
I think we will see more about thought crime than physical crime coming out of this.
So you can see where this is most likely headed. Cracking down further on any freedom for anyone on the right of Mao-Tse-Tung or Karl Marx to express themselves – but only if it has anti-EU undertones.
Because it has been quite content to use pro-EU Irish and pro-EU Spanish nationalism where the Irish border, Gibraltar and Catalonia are concerned, hasn't it? And I'm sure the Eurocrats are happy with the thought that Scottish nationalism could also further their Brexit cause.
I see more pressure on YouTube, more pressure on Twitter, more pressure on Facebook and the like. The mainstream media will of course just self censor.
It will be interesting to see what the wording of the resolution to deal with the rise of neo-fascist violence looks like on the 17th October and what it ends up looking like on the 23rd. Could we see the small seeds being sown of a move towards Eurocrats deciding what an 'acceptable' EU political party should look like?
And don't think that our leaving will save us from this, as all the laws made by the EU are still going to be included in UK law and we still don't know how deeply Chequers will end up embedding these types of things into UK law.
And as a final thought, for completeness I will point out that, at the latest Bildergerg meeting in Turin in June this year, the first item on the agenda was 'populism in Europe'. Now we find it effectively on the EU agenda.