Here we go again. Our so-called European ‘partners’ are already cranking up the rhetoric in advance of talks aimed at agreeing a new post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is warning that we are going to ‘rip each other apart’ during the negotiations.
That dismal bureaucrat Michel Barnier insists that Britain will have to obey all EU rules and submit to the jurisdiction of the European Court if we want to carry on doing business on the Continent after December 31.
The whole deal could be tied up in about ten minutes, with goodwill and a bit of give and take on both sides. But the problem is that the Brussels bureaucracy is still fighting the last war. They think they’ve got us over a barrel. Michel Barnier is pictured above
Effectively, they are seeking a ‘no-compete’ deal, which would prevent us lowering taxes and setting our own standards on everything from workers’ rights to subsidising ailing industries.
They want to force us to carry on following the pernicious European Convention on Human Rights, which has proven to be a goldmine for opportunist Left-wing lawyers — like the now-disgraced Phil Shyster — and has provided a get-out-of-jail-free card for terrorists, murderers and illegal immigrants.
Brussels is also making noises about cutting off the City of London’s access to European financial markets with as little as a month’s notice.
It doesn’t seem to have sunk in yet that they are no longer dealing with the defeatist Theresa May, who was prepared to offer any concession and swallow any amount of humiliation in her pathetic, demeaning attempts to stifle a proper Brexit
Oh, and they are demanding that foreign fishing boats continue to enjoy unlimited access to British waters.
If we were to agree to any of this extensive shopping list, it would make a mockery of the whole point of Brexit — taking back control.
Fortunately, Boris appears to have no intention of complying with these outrageous conditions — a position amplified by our chief negotiator David Frost in a speech last night.
All we are seeking is a fair deal, based on friendly co-operation, not special treatment.
But as far as the EU apparat is concerned, friendly co-operation is not on the table.
They aren’t even prepared to offer the same tariff-free trading terms they have agreed with countries such as Canada, South Korea and Japan.
Such sabre-rattling is, of course, only to be expected. But it’s all so tiresome and unnecessary.
The whole deal could be tied up in about ten minutes, with goodwill and a bit of give and take on both sides.
But the problem is that the Brussels bureaucracy is still fighting the last war. They think they’ve got us over a barrel.
It doesn’t seem to have sunk in yet that they are no longer dealing with the defeatist Theresa May, who was prepared to offer any concession and swallow any amount of humiliation in her pathetic, demeaning attempts to stifle a proper Brexit.
There’s a new sheriff in town. He’s the man who led the Vote Leave campaign and has just been re-elected Prime Minister with a thumping 80-seat parliamentary majority after an election fought on the simple slogan: Get Brexit Done.
Brussels is also making noises about cutting off the City of London’s access to European financial markets with as little as a month’s notice. Oh, and they are demanding that foreign fishing boats continue to enjoy unlimited access to British waters. A fishing boat is seen in the English Channel
His sidekick is a sociopath who masterminded both the victorious Leave and recent Tory General Election campaigns.
Dominic Cummings would probably prefer to accept Brussels’ surrender in a railway carriage in the French countryside rather than cede an inch in the coming negotiations.
Does Barnier really think this administration will ever agree to Britain remaining a vassal state of the EU? If so, he’s been hitting the Pernod too hard lately.
Mother Theresa was willing to postpone our departure until the Twelfth of Never if necessary. Boris is determined we won’t linger one second past midnight on December 31.
This time we hold the winning hand. There’ll be no retreat. We are prepared to walk away, Renee — or Michel, or Jean-Yves, or whoever Brussels fancies sending along to cross the I’s and dot the T’s.
It’s time we stopped referring to the EU as our ‘partners’ and started calling them our ‘rivals’ or ‘competitors’.
If they want continued access to their biggest export market and our co-operation in military and security matters, they have to get real. Fast.
There’s a new sheriff in town. He’s the man who led the Vote Leave campaign and has just been re-elected Prime Minister with a thumping 80-seat parliamentary majority after an election fought on the simple slogan: Get Brexit Done. Boris Johnson is pictured above in a Cabinet meeting with new Chancellor Rishi Sunak
We won’t be bullied. The City is big enough, ugly enough and powerful enough to look after itself.
If Boris sells out the fishermen it will kill him in those coastal constituencies which voted Tory for the first time. And he knows it.
The EU is facing an existential crisis and is terrified that Britain will make a roaring success of Brexit, while Europe implodes.
On the other side of the Channel, Babylon is burning. But that’s not our immediate problem.
We are once again masters of our own destiny. There’s a whole wide world out there, gagging to do business with us.
The EU has far more to lose than we do. Our Man Frost is not going naked into the negotiating chamber. He should simply tell Barnier and his buddies:
Enough of the empty threats. We’re off whether you like it or not. If you want to rip yourselves apart, have a nice day.
But if you want to carry on selling your cars, fridges, food and wine in Britain, it’s time to cut out the grand-standing and cut a deal.
It seems that soon the only way to get around cheaply, while at the same time saving the polar bears, will be to buy a car powered by your own two feet — like the Flintstones
Electric cars may be the future, but don’t kid yourself they are going to be any cheaper to run than today’s petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles.
Once they become widespread, the Government will simply crank up the tax on electricity to compensate for the billions it will lose in fuel duty and VAT.
Charging them will cost an arm and a leg, too. A survey by The Times discovered that early converts to electric cars are already being ripped off.
At one charging station, it costs £23 for enough electricity to travel just 100 miles — nine times what it would cost you to top up at home, and double the price of driving a diesel or petrol car the same distance.
Electric vehicles may have zero emissions, but manufacturing them — especially the batteries — creates just as much pollution as a conventional motor.
It seems that soon the only way to get around cheaply, while at the same time saving the polar bears, will be to buy a car powered by your own two feet — like the Flintstones.
Yabba Dabba Doo!
Who needs CCTV and facial recognition software when you’ve got a copper like PCSO Andy Pope, from Redditch?
He’s blessed with a photographic memory, and has used it to catch almost 2,000 suspects. It even helped him apprehend a man later convicted of indecent exposure.
Sounds like never forgetting a face isn’t the only tool in his crime-fighting armoury.
Just as we are getting to grips with the coronavirus, along comes another health scare.
Elton John had to be helped off stage in New Zealand suffering from something called Walking Pneumonia.
That’s a new one on me. I wonder if it only afflicts musicians, like the Rockin’ Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu, the 1957 R&B classic written by Huey ‘Piano’ Smith.
Symptoms include a sore throat and cough. But, apparently, you can get a syrup for it.
Which is good news for Elton. He’s got a syrup for every occasion.
Councillors in Walsall have been given Lego sets to help them create a ‘resilient community’, whatever that means.
One of them spent a training session building a Lego Elvis. As you do.
The idea was dreamed up by consultants hired by the council at the staggering cost of £10 million to suggest ways of making savings.
Not spending ten mill on consultants would be a good start. That’s money which could be used to employ dustmen, roadsweepers and lollipop ladies.
Maybe letting them play with Lego is where they got the idea to create miles of useless, planet-destroying cycle lanes.
Speaking of health scares (see Elton elsewhere) a new report claims that salad gives you cancer. Specifically, rocket leaves, a particular favourite of healthy eaters.
(If this was about Elton we could have used the headline: Rocket Man.)
I guess it was only a matter of time before the Everything Gives You Cancer (copyright: Joe Jackson) alarmists got round to salad.
I know I shouldn’t laugh, but I think I’ll stick to steak and chips and bacon banjos in future. Just to be on the safe side.
Speaking of health scares (see Elton elsewhere) a new report claims that salad gives you cancer. Specifically, rocket leaves, a particular favourite of healthy eaters [File photo]