The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has been warned that some 22 of her ministers could quit government, return to the back benches to fight against a no deal Brexit and vote for any amendment that forced an Article 50 extension.

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According to reports, the Business Secretary Greg Clark, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, the Justice Secretary David Gauke and the Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell all met the PM yesterday to warn her of the disquiet.

As if she didn't know.

To prevent those 22 resignations happening, they want her to make a public statement that she will drop the do-deal Brexit option and would be willing to extend the Article 50 negotiating period to get her deal finalised.

Now, to back this up we have talk of the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox and the Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay having productive talks with Brussels over the Irish border backstop issue.

And the Sun is reporting that Jeremy Hunt is predicting a deal signed off by the end of the week.

But in reality this does not mean that the wording of the legally binding Withdrawal Agreement will be changed, it just means there'll be some meaningless fluffy words added as an appendix or a codicil. The very fact that the Backstop protocol wording itself will not be amended tells us all we need to know about this.

So with the likes of Bill cash and John Redwood saying that this would not be a proper solution I think it's safe to say that her deal remains on the mortuary slab.

And Gauke and Rudd know this, so all the talk or extending the Article 50 period is really just remain speak for let's stop Brexit.

And along comes former Prime Minster of Portugal and former president of the EU Commission, but currently non-executive chairman at Goldman Sachs, Jose Manuel Barroso, who says that an extension of Article 50 is now the most likely event.

He also said that:

"Even if there was a positive deal now, from a practical point of view, it’s obvious that everything is not ready. So I think the right thing to do is to have some extension, and I believe that if the UK demands an extension of Article 50, European Union countries will naturally accept it."

Personally I don't see it being quite as easy as that!

There are far too many countries within the EU27 that would be prepared to dare the deadline to make demands of both the UK and the EU commission prior to signing up so readily to an extension. And with only 38 days to go, well time is squeakily tight!

And on the UK domestic front, such a request would be seen as the Conservative Party government running a massive white flag up a very high pole.

The Tory Remainers though don't care how many white flags they have run up any amount of poles, or how much sack cloth and ashes they have to bear in the short term, as long as their plans to keep us inside the EU for as long as possible are successful.

Then they will work towards another referendum, win it and hope to hang on until the next general election in the hope everyone will forget.

To put it simply, once they get one Article 50 extension, they will keep on and on pressing for more and more time, while putting obstacle after obstacle in the way of our exit from the EU.

There will be more months and years of uncertainty, during which they will hope that the UK economy is damaged to the point that we will beg to re-enter the EU – on any awful terms we are offered!

No! We must not allow an extension of one second past 11 pm on the 29th March 2019, let alone a month or heaven forbid, a year!

Now, according to the UK branch of the United Nations Association, the UK has seen what it is calling a 'palpable decline' in UK influence at the UN as Brexit approaches and the only thing keeping us afloat they say is the 0.7% of our GNI that we hand out in the form of about £13 billion a year in foreign aid.

And from the Guardian report, it is because UK campaigns will no longer be automatically aligned with those of the EU.

But when reading the comments from those that were interviewed it seemed to me that any lack of influence is more a symptom of the UK being rightly Brexit obsessed at the moment and unwilling to engage in contentious issues while we settle ourselves into our new found independence.

Now, when we are free of the EU we can then align ourselves confidently with what is right for the UK. And if that means backing the EU in some areas and not in others then I say fine.

I would wager then that our global influence will start to increase quite markedly.

Sources:

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/brexit-tory-remainers-warn-22-14019541

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/brexit/8458652/brexit-deal-brussels-theresa-may-geoffrey-cox/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-news-live-updates-labour-split-latest-theresa-may-jeremy-corbyn-independent-no-deal-resign-a8785946.html

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/19/brexit-deline-uk-influence-un

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