The incoming President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, says that she is not up to re-opening the Withdrawal Agreement. I say, so what?

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The EU Council anointed one to take over from Jean-Claude Juncker as the first female EU Commission president, the German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, has said that Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement surrender treaty is perfectly fine and that she would not be looking to re-open and renegotiate it.

But she is not due to take over in post until the 1st of November, the day after the UK leaves the EU.

So why is she bothering to comment on it, unless she and her fellow Eurocrats are expecting yet another Article 50 extension?

During her rounds in the EU parliament, where she hopes to win MEPs votes to become the new Commission president, she also said that it would be a 'good development', if the UK had a change of heart and decided to stay in the EU. "I still hope you remain," she said.

Now before any Remainer says that if she has to be voted in then that makes it democratic, please don't waste your time on the keyboard.

As, in good EUSSR, fashion hers will almost certainly be the only name on the ballot paper – just like Juncker's was. And, as she did not go through the newly established spitzenkandidat process, it has some MEPs up in arms saying that it shows the undemocratic undercurrents of the EU still flow strong.

But Ursula von der Leyen has also been peddling her worrying EU federalist ideas, which include a united states of Europe as well as enlarging both the Eurozone and the Schengen zone while readying to accept more Balkan countries into the fold.

And of course with a new federal EU, would come an EU army and all the trappings.

Then there's her aggressive thoughts on climate change, where she wants to tighten up on the plans for 2030 and go for carbon neutrality by 2050, funny how Theresa May has already aligned the UK with the new EU Commissioner on that one, isn't it?

Let's just hope that Boris sticks to his guns, which will almost certainly in my view lead to a no deal Brexit or a GATT XXIV arrangement, so that Ursula von der Leyen can be kept far away from any means of control over our country.

And now a couple of economics snippets for you,

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says that rolling three month GDP growth to May 2019 was 0.3% and overall May as a single month showed improvement on the negativity seen in April.

Now, these numbers, although not too bad, are not that good either and some pundits say that the UK may already be heading for recession.

But don't be fooled into thinking this is all about Brexit. The rest of the world is suffering too.

For example, the Chair of the US Federal Reserve Bank (the Fed), Jay Powell, has put out a rather negative view of the US economy leading many to say that the US could well be cutting interest rates by as much as half a percent at the end of this month and maybe even again later this year.

And when the US sneezes, everyone knows the rest of the world catches a cold.

But some US stocks are rising as investors hope that a rate cut will prop up the US economy and lead to growth.

Now there is some seeming good news from the ONS telling us that the total trade deficit in goods and services narrowed by £4.6 billion in the three months to May.

This tells us that we either imported less, exported more or a combination of the two.

The ONS puts this down mostly to a narrowing in the the deficit in trade in goods, saying:

"Falling imports of machinery and transport equipment, and chemicals were the main drivers in the narrowing of the trade in goods deficit in the three months to May 2019."

But on a 12 month basis our trade deficit widened by £20.6 billion in the year to May 2019.

Now, I have to ask whether that combined situation has been driven mainly by Project Fear stockpiling by companies and pharmacies in the run up to March the 29th and now that the warehouses are full there's no longer the need to import at such a pace.

Just wondering.

Sources:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48940121

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1151576/Brexit-news-UK-EU-Ursula-von-der-Leyen-European-Parliament-Commission-latest

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/bulletins/gdpmonthlyestimateuk/may2019

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/balanceofpayments/bulletins/uktrade/may2019

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