Internal Market Bill the occasion for yet more distortion and distraction from die hard Remainers

I listened to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech introducing the Internal Market Bill to the House of Commons on 14th September 2020.  Johnson explained the purpose and broad provisions of the bill. He said that it provides  the necessary competence for the UK authorities to ensure the UK’s own internal Single Market and Customs Union once the UK finally exits the EU on December 31st 2020. It also provides for the devolution of some 160 areas of competence to the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

As part of maintaining the full independence and sovereignty of the UK in the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland, the Bill provides ‘back stop’ provisions  to prevent the EU infringing UK sovereignty now that a Trade Deal with the EU is unlikely. Mr Johnson even explained that for a UK minister to exercise the powers of this back stop mechanism, a Statutory Instrument would have to be laid before Parliament and a vote taken.

It had been hoped  that a Trade Deal would be negotiated this year. That is the understanding on which Mr Johnson signed the Withdrawal Agreement last year. However, the EU has insisted on maintaining powers over the UK after Brexit.

Elected on a clear mandate to ‘get Brexit done’, however, the Johnson government has refused to compromise, insisting on the type of Trade Deal the EU already has with other non member States.

Indeed, a Canada style deal was originally offered by the EU to the May government, but that offer has long been withdrawn. Why ? Because, the UK is not seen by the EU as a third country like any other non member State. The EU wants to discourage other member States leaving by making an example of the UK.

Sky News has published a very informative piece explaining the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill. It is well worth reading – link below.

However, a representative and proportionate view of the Bill is not what die hard Remainers want. And the media love to talk up a punch up at Westminster.

It is clear that the United Kingdom’s sovereignty does not matter to the five ex Prime Ministers lining up to condemn the Bill. They are all convinced Remainers who hate Brexit despite the democratic decision to the contrary:

  • the June 23rd 2016 referendum vote to Leave the EU
  • the confirmatory vote in the 2017 general election when parties confirming Brexit in their manifestos gained over 80% of the vote
  • the miraculous 80 seat clear majority for Johnson in the 2019 general election when Labour voters in the Midlands and North of England deserted Labour in droves to vote for the clear ‘Get Brexit Done’ message of Boris Johnson. This was the electorates verdict on the disgraceful conduct in parliament by die hard Remainers trying to delay, fudge and even stop Brexit – these Remainers even refused to allow a General Election to break the deadlock in parliament, a deadlock which they themselves had created

It is clear that the United Kingdom’s actual and real sovereignty – its actually breaking free from subjection to the EU – is not the priority for these 5 former PMs nor the cast of other die hard Remainers lining up to condemn this vital and necessary Bill.

Die hard Remainers are using the potential confrontation between the UK and EU over free movement in the island of Ireland, to make this an issue of Law and Order. This situation arises because certain provisions in the Internal Market Bill “could”  [to use the word used in the Sky news assessment] lead to the UK breaching the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU, an Agreement which has the status of an international Treaty. International Treaties are binding.

The Withdrawal Agreement was largely negotiated by the previously Brexit sceptic and Europhile civil servants of Theresa May’s special unit at Number 10 Downing Street. That specialist unit second guessed what the constitutionally appointed Brexit department prepared, imposing its own version as the official Chequers text in July 2018.

Constitutional arrangements,  law and order meant nothing to the die hard Remainers in government, civil service and parliament when they were trying to frustrate the clear instruction given by the British people to Leave the EU.

Suddenly now, however, when a provision to ensure the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK is put before parliament, these die hard Remainers are keenly concerned for law and order, and the integrity and reputation of the UK in the world. Do they think the world has not seen what they have done over the last 4 years to dishonour the clear instruction of the British people ?

Never mind the impossible stance taken by the EU in these negotiations. Never mind the fact that the EU perversely got its way back at the beginning of negotiations when they refused to negotiate a Trade deal alongside the Withdrawal Agreement, insisting the Withdrawal must be discussed and decided before any Agreement on the future Trading relationship could even be discussed.

Just how stupid is that ? Especially in view of the issues around the border of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Eire, about which the EU claims to be so concerned. Especially in view of the fact that  the EU wants a border and customs checks – not the UK.  Why ? Because the EU must maintain its own Internal Market and its closed Customs Union. They demand that the UK displace the actual international border into the Irish sea so that trade can operate unhindered in the island of Ireland. It’s their customs border, not ours, but they expect the UK government to place a barrier between one part of the UK and the rest – to accommodate them !

But the UK government is criticised for introducing the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill simply to  maintain its own integrity and sovereignty and to prevent the effective displacement of the border. 

Talk about Law and Order by die hard Remainers is just distraction from, and distortion of, the real issues in play here.

This entire Brexiting process has been characterised by

  • an assumption that the EU is good and Brexit is bad
  • an assumption that the UK should kow-tow to EU demands because the EU is morally superior
  • the denial of the democratic and lawful Brexit vote in June 2016 by all means possible
  • the arrogance of the die Hard Remainer elite whose betrayal of the UK national interest is evident even now in this latest distraction about the UK no longer being trusted abroad

The Lisbon Treaty itself  anticipated TWO years as sufficient to negotiate both Withdrawal and Trade. The wilful delay and obstruction by the EU and its British allies means that we are still not out after FOUR years.

Just what else should a UK government sincerely implementing Brexit do ? Should it really allow the EU to continue to influence – even dictate – our internal affairs by not taking these contingency powers to itself ? 

Die hard Remainers know full well that they are defending the EU against their own country. That they are peddling the EU line and giving the EU hope that the UK will cave in or else be undermined in the process. They know full well that they are aiding the EU in its policy of discouraging any more exits.

They know full well that that their ultimate loyalty is to the EU, not the UK.

A loyalty to another power beyond the seas. Their ultimate and final loyalty is clearly not to their country.

That attitude always used to be viewed as treachery. But EUtopia and EUtopians have reinvented the world around their own ideological vision, and everything must be viewed and conducted accordingly.

Ray Catlin

Information and progress of the Internal Market Bill can be found at

https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2019-21/unitedkingdominternalmarket.html

https://news.sky.com/story/controversial-internal-market-bill-breaks-international-law-government-admits-12065832

Macroleon’s EU strategy marches on !

On the evening of Tuesday 21st July 2020 President Macron was interviewed during the main evening news bulletin on TF1 – the principal commercial television channel in France. Mr Macron looked happy, relaxed and relieved. He had that morning finished a crucial marathon EU summit called to determine the Budget plan for 2021-2027, including a significant financing to relaunch the European economy following the Covid 19 crisis.

He was keen to point out to French viewers that the “historic” decisions taken were a direct result of his EU policy as presented when he was elected in 2017 and pursued systematically ever since.

President Macron emphasized that the agreement reached represented the substance of the Franco- German project announced on 18th May this year to relaunch Europe. That Franco-German co-operation and initiative was the only way to take the EU project forward. Without agreement on that axis, the EU could not advance [note the strategic reality in play here].

France will benefit from 40 billion euros of the 750 billion relaunch package agreed, ranking third in the order of biggest beneficiaries after Spain and Italy. Mr Macron explained that the cost of this was not going to be borne by the French at all, but by

  • a totally new EU level facility to borrow money
  • the introduction of EU level taxes on American tech giants like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon
  • by taxing failure to comply with regulatory norms for the environment

Ergo the EU is wonderful because now that the EU is becoming even more integrated, the French taxpayer benefits without having to pay out !  A win-win scenario.

Macron is right, however, to claim credit for himself.

Having watched his meteoric rise from nowhere in terms of public profile, I can say that his plans for the EU are indeed working out as he intends. Previous blogs have covered his other projects along the way. This latest EU agreement represents an historic first in giving the EU as an institution the ability to raise money independently of its member states, both by direct taxes [gently introduced on big business – not the average European] and by direct borrowing on the international markets.

Note that this completely contradicts the assertions of Remain campaigners both during and after the Brexit campaign. They flatly denied that the EU was a Super State, federalist project despite all the emerging evidence both before June 2016 and in the years since. 

With the good fortune characteristic of his life and career, he has had an aging and waning German Chancellor to charm and out manoeuvre in order to get what he wants. Circumstances like that are a great help. But it is not all circumstance as critical as those are – remember MacMillan’s pertinent comment “events, dear boy, events“.

Macron has all the attributes of the successful politician. He has endless and effortless charm; he is extremely intelligent and highly educated; he has a pertinent grasp of the strategic and how to play it; he is eternally optimistic and this optimism helps him spin all he says to make his ideas and plans look like the only game in town worth watching and playing.

He is the consummate politician, make no mistake. And this agreement bears all the hallmarks of his political handling which includes:

  • taking and keeping the initiative
  • setting out the plans and procedures on his own terms, not opponents
  • obliging everyone to work within the terms and parameters he has set
  • persuading the media to represent opponents in a negative light [the sensible and cautious so-called “Frugal Four” – sometimes Five countries –  were designated as responsible for holding up the Salvation of Europe !]

But the reality is that this means the inevitable introduction of EU level taxes on European citizens, going into EU level coffers, for EU level projects regardless of the individual nation states. This is the same EU which for two decades has failed to have its financial accounts approved by its own auditors.

The reality is that this all important supranational level which dictates to member governments their laws and their policies, will now be subject to the vagaries of international lending and any associated conditions.

The reality is that the EU must resort to borrowing to finance the deficit left by UK exit as well as to carry forward the precious Federal State project of EU level Security and Military forces. This becomes even more significant because in order to get this Budget agreed, Macron had to buy off the Frugals by reducing their de facto EU contributions [via the Rebate mechanism which brought such opprobrium on the UK]. In other words, the people who are net payers into the EU pot, are now to have their contributions reduced – how then is the resulting revenue deficit to be off-set ?

As the Op-Ed piece for RT cited on the link below points out [perhaps a little too jaundiced-ly] this historic Budget agreement  does nothing to actually solve the underlying issues in the EU, either financial or social.

The truth is also that this agreement between heads of government remains a proposal until it passes the EU parliament and until it also wins approval from each of the 27 individual member States. A major hurdle, especially with the Green lobby voicing concerns.

But the truth is also that Macron being the clever politician he is, his Project represents the only option available. His Project was the only initiative taken in the first place, and that project has set all the terms on which the whole matter is being discussed. His project and no other has been agreed against considerable opposition – how could any other proposal stand any chance at all ?

By not having the initiative, the Parliament is – as usual – faced with accept the Deal Done or be responsible for the mess which results otherwise: we have to do something and something now because the economic consequences of the Covid 19 Crisis won’t wait for us to debate endlessly. 

Ditto the problem faced by the individual member States.

That’s why Macron set the Agenda.

Ray Catlin

Below are several links reference the EU Budget Summit outcome. They make interesting reading, as much for what they don’t point out as what they do actually mention.

For the official Elysee Palace statement on the Budget agreement, see

https://www.elysee.fr/emmanuel-macron/2020/07/21/jour-historique-pour-leurope

In each of the following 3 links there is no mention of the historic and landmark nature of the new Budget Proposal as claimed [correctly] by President Macron: –

https://www.france24.com/en/20200721-eu-leaders-edge-closer-to-striking-deal-on-covid-19-recovery-plan

https://euobserver.com/economic/148997

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-summit/eu-reaches-truly-historic-deal-on-pandemic-recovery-after-fractious-summit-idUSKCN24M0DF

The distinctive RT Op-Ed piece [ attributing too much to German hegemonic claims and not enough to French] is at https://www.rt.com/op-ed/495499-eu-covid-19-bailout-ponzi/

And the inevitably polarised views of the UK Daily Telegraph and the UK Guardian are respectively at

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/07/22/eu-leaders-sacrificed-ideals-tainted-accord-makes-little-economic1/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/21/eu-summit-deal-what-has-been-agreed-and-why-was-it-so-difficult

Lastly a revealing showcase Remain piece from the Guardian by a former adviser to Macron before he became President at

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/22/recovery-deal-eu-unifying-economic-boost-integration

? ? ? EU watchdog to investigate German watchdog ! ! !

The European Securities and Markets Authority [ESMA] is to investigate the German finance watchdog [BaFin] over the collapse last week of German internet payments company Wirecard.

Wirecard collapsed on Thursday 25th June 2020 owing $4 Billion,  Reuters reports. Personally I am not aware of any other agency reporting this either in UK or France, despite today being day 3 or 4 of the news breaking.

Wirecard’s auditors for the last 10 years, EY [ie big 4 auditor Ernst and Young] said the hole in the company’s books was the result of a sophisticated global fraud, according to Reuters.

Reuters also states that allegations of financial impropriety have been linked to Wirecard “for years”.

Wirecard is the first company listed on Germany’s prestigious DAX index ever to go bust. Reuters reports that a report co-authored by Fraser Perring in 2016 alleged fraud. A source is cited by Reuters as saying that two-thirds of sales in its accounts were “faked”.

The ascent of Wirecard, which was founded in 1999 and is based in a Munich suburb, was dogged by allegations from whistleblowers, reporters and speculators that its revenue and profits had been pumped up through fake transactions states a Reuters report dated 25th June 2020 [see links below].

EY failed to identify this and act, despite the $ millions such firms are paid. Bafin failed to deal with this, despite being the German national authority charged to do so, and presumably funded by the taxpayer, either directly or indirectly.

The European agency tasked in this very area does nothing until its too late. How many EU regulations do they have at their disposal ? How much does their existence cost the European Taxpayer ?

Who on earth thinks that an organisation whose auditors have refused to sign off its accounts for two decades because of financial inconsistencies comes anywhere close to being credible to conduct an investigation  ?

How is it that all these expensively funded Corporate bodies tasked to ensure such scandals don’t happen totally failed in their mission ?

You need only one healthy brain cell and a normal sense of right and wrong to know the answer to that question.

Ray Catlin

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-wirecard-accounts/wirecard-files-for-insolvency-becoming-first-dax-member-to-fail-idUKKBN23W176

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-wirecard-accounts/eu-investigating-german-watchdog-over-wirecard-collapse-idUKKBN23X184

https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/agencies/esma_en