Ireland, France and the European Union are demanding that the UK agrees to use the EU draft legal text that could see the single market imposed across the whole UK.
The Republic of Ireland government is demanding that the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, U-turns on her opposition to the EU draft legal text, or they will block negotiations, reports the Times.
The EU draft legal text has already been rejected by Theresa May as something that no UK prime minister could ever agree to, as its 'backstop' plan could create a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
"Ireland, France and the European Commission are demanding that Britain agree “publicly and unambiguously” that the draft text can form the basis for negotiations. Dublin is threatening to block negotiations unless Mrs May backs down." Said the Times.
The real truth of course is that, because of the way the joint report that this draft legal text is based on is constructed, the UK has agreed that there will be no border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
This means that, if the UK agrees to the draft legal text then the EU has absolutely no need to negotiate at all – in the knowledge that the UK will be a permanent EU vassal state tied into the single market and customs union with no way out and all they have to do is keep saying no to anything we suggest, however sensible or workable.
Far from looking for a deal, the EU would almost be incentivised to not find one – the only thing that would stymie that approach would be that the joint report does say that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. But you can see the EU claiming down the line that their backstop plan supersedes that clause.
That phrase in the joint report that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed must not be dropped from any future documentation!
But at the end of the day, Article 49, 50 and 51 of the Joint Report signed up to by Theresa May in December last year might, in my opinion, end up being the main drivers in preventing a deal.
But it's not all sweetness and light between the EU and the Republic of Ireland.
The Express reports that a group of Irish MEPs from Ireland's ruling government party, Fine Gael, have produced a document called:
‘Ireland and the EU: Defending Our Common European Home’
This report says that:
“We believe the time is right to openly debate the issue of Irish security and defence. We cannot leave this debate to the member states.
“Ireland should support the emerging European Defence Union and should seek to shape it according to our needs and traditions.
“We want to make it clear that we do not support the creation of an EU Army.”
The recent pronouncements of many heavyweight EU figures in the recent past have made it quite clear that the march towards an EU army is on, but the Irish politicians may feel that their country's neutrality and foreign policy could be affected by becoming part of an EU army. My money’s on the EU wearing down the Republic of Ireland – again!
And while everyone else plays hard ball with the UK over Brexit, it seems that the UK is content to roll over.
According to the Financial Times, the UK will agree to maintain the current fishing quotas during any transition period.
And another concession could be that Gibraltar is forced to share the use of its airport with Spain.
"Gibraltar’s Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia said the British enclave is ready to share its airport with Spain as it seeks to keep officials in Madrid onside during the Brexit process." Reports Bloomberg.
Bosses at Porsche have warned the EU that trying to punish the UK would end up backfiring by making German cars more expensive in the UK market that is so crucial to them. This would hurt German workers, the German economy and it would lead to big trouble for Brussels, they said.
Lutz Meschke, Porsche’s executive board deputy chairman and finance chief, said:
“If the EU decides to stay completely negative in the negotiations, it will be very difficult to keep the price level for imports of goods to the UK at a stable level.
“You will have customs tariffs. It will make things difficult.
“Imposed trade tariffs will push up the price, weaken demand for Porsche cars in the UK, and ultimately put German jobs at risk.
“It’s an absolute must that both sides must reach a good compromise.”
It has also been reported that big European businesses, led by those from Germany and Austria, are setting up companies in the UK so they can not only keep on trading in the country post-Brexit but also to benefit from any of the UK's future trade deals outside of the EU single market.
With Alexander Altman from accounting firm Blick Rothenberg telling the FT that these firms could then use our systems to manage work permits and imports but further:
“Having an entity in the UK also puts businesses in a position where they could have access to any future preferential trade agreements.”
So, quite a few people do think that the UK is likely to have an economy and trade deals to benefit from after Brexit, then. Pity then that our own in house Remainers not only don't see that, but they also don’t want to see.