Guy Verhofstadt (cropped) by euranet_plus (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

Guy Verhofstadt (cropped) by euranet_plus (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

The EU Parliament Brexit co-ordinator and fervent EU federalist, Guy Verhofstadt, has warned Boris Johnson that he will not break the unity of the EU27.

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Writing in the Guardian, Guy Verhofstadt says that he expects the EU27 leaders to face what he calls the irresponsible posturing of Boris Johnson, with calmness and unity.

And he also writes:

"Unless a further extension is requested, or article 50 is revoked by 31 October, when the current extension of UK membership expires, a dramatic shock awaits the global economy and we all stand to lose. The few who may prosper are the wealthy bankers and hedge fund managers who have bet on chaos."

There's nothing like playing to the Guardian gallery with talk of greedy bankers, is there?

And here was me thinking that everyone regards the UK as some sort of insignificant little rock perched in the Atlantic on the periphery of the all powerful EU.

Now suddenly we hear that the UK has the capacity to shake the world's economy.

Verhofstadt also says in his piece that the Withdrawal Agreement and backstop are there to stay, but that the political declaration could still be changed making it more 'ambitious' so that the Irish border backstop need never be deployed.

I take that as saying we could use that political declaration to tie ourselves up even closer to the EU so there would never be a possibility of the UK leaving EU orbit making the backstop an irrelevance.

And he also says that the UK's future lies at the heart of what he calls the European project.

I disagree, the UK has its own project and that is independence and UK sovereignty to make its own decisions unfettered by a monolithic top-down undemocratic EU.

Moving on.

Sadly for Boris Johnson, a video has emerged of him saying in a speech to the IPPR some time ago that the UK "will remain a paid, valued, participating member of the single market" and that "under no circumstances in my view will a British government adjust that position".

The only thing I can't find is the date on which he made that statement.

But it seems he's changed his mind since whenever it was he made that speech. To which the Remainers are of course wailing that, if he can change his mind then so can the country etc etc etc.

To which I say, in the manner of Windsor Davies playing Sgt Major Williams for those that can remember that far back – 'Oh dear! How sad! Never mind!

Now, I assume everyone's heard of the veggie-disc and the veggie-tube?

No? Well this one has kept MEPs, Eurocrats and lobbyists nicely occupied and drawing a wage plus expenses for the last few months.

Back in April, just before the EU elections, the EU parliament Agriculture Committee decided that it would be a great idea to prevent vegetarian type foods being marketed using meat based terms, such as 'burger' or 'sausage' or 'steak'.

The vegetarian lobby is concerned that their producers will as a result be forced to call their products unappealing names like Veggie discs instead of veggie burgers and veggie tubes instead of veggie sausages.

Some though are saying that this would bring clarity to exactly what was in the food we buy and prevent confusion.

It also follows on from a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in 2017 that banned the use of the term 'soya milk', it now has to be called 'soya drink'.

It just sounds to me like the meat based farming industry and the plant based farming industry using the legal system on labelling to either protect or increase their own market share.

Personally, as long as what's in the product is clearly shown, then does it matter what it's called?

This has yet to be voted fully through into law, and given that the EU parliament and the make up of the agriculture committee has changed, then it may fall by the wayside anyway.

And I have to ask, what is wrong with the usual big green V label on veggie products?

And how much time, effort and money has gone into this exercise?

It's straight out of the EuroSausage episode of Yes Minister, where Hacker explains that because of a lack of meat in the British sausage compared to its EU counterparts, it would have to be renamed into the 'emulsified high-fat offal tube'.

Wonder if that's where the Eurocrats got this idea from?

Oh, and what's the future for non-alcohol lager?

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/31/boris-johnson-eu-no-deal-brexit-uk-government-backstop

Video of Boris Johnson saying "no government" would bring UK out of single market goes viral

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48676145

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