How the Brexit sands are shifting, one minute we’re too far apart for a deal, the next we’re 66% of the way there, then we’re told there’s no deal in sight.
Even at the recent end of the ninth set of Brexit negotiations, both sides emerged citing massive continuing differences meaning a deal was all but impossible.
And it looked like the EU and UK would soon be reaching a point of no return where they would shake hands saying thank you, but no thank you.
Then we heard rumours that the UK PM, Boris Johnson, had buckled. That the UK would be signing a deal that kept us tied to the ECHR, the non-EU human rights courts, as well as handing over more of our fish for the next three years.
This would drive a coach and horses through UK government attempts to deal with the escalating problem of the one way traffic regarding the under ten foot class of escorted channel ferry vessels.
Because human rights lawyers would continue gleefully queueing up with court orders, to whisk people off of planes before they were sent packing.
And keep getting paid millions to do it.
And added into the mix were reports that the UK Brexit negotiator, Lord David Frost, had suggested that the UK could also be on the verge of conceding ground on the matter of state aid rules.
And all the rumours were spurred on by Michael Gove telling Parliament’s European Union Committee that a deal was 66% there, while Lord Frost appeared quite optimistic.
And all this led Telegraph columnist Sherelle Jacobs to pen a piece called:
“The allure of a sellout Brexit risks turning Boris into the next Ted Heath”
With the subheading:
“The Prime Minister wouldn’t survive the ignominy of deceiving the nation with a dreadful deal”
Going on to write:
“Forty-seven years after seducing Edward Heath into agreeing egregious terms for the UK’s entry to the EEC, Brussels seeks yet again to tempt a prime minister into betrayal.”
And that was exactly how it looked to be panning out – all at the last minute, before Boris Johnson’s previous 15th of October deadline is reached in just one weeks time.
But Boris ditched that deadline earlier this week when he agreed with the EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, that further talks would be held into next month.
More fanning the flames of a UK climb-down.
And earlier today The Times reported that:
“Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator has signalled that Boris Johnson is ready to make key concessions and that a trade deal is “eminently achievable”.”
But now, thankfully, or maybe thankfully, we’re hearing from the Brussels’ side that this might not actually be the case.
EU officials are claiming that the UK is:
“… pushing a sense of positivism and momentum, but we just don’t see it.”
And according to Politico, one EU source said:
“We are seriously questioning their tactic and why they are sending these kinds of messages as there is no deal in sight at all at this point.
“There’s clearly a spin that the UK wants to get out there: a deal is within reach, only fish is still a problem. That’s complete nonsense, as a deal on none of the EU’s red lines is nowhere in sight at this stage.”
But there are signs of nerves amongst some on the EU side.
The Italian Prime Minister, Guiseppe Conte, is under pressure from his exporters so is urging the UK side to get a deal done.
Finally, do you remember the Cambridge Analytica saga? As the BBC explains:
“Cambridge Analytica was accused of amassing the data of millions of Facebook users without their consent and using it in political campaigns, including the 2016 US Presidential campaign and 2016 Brexit referendum.”
All accompanied by a lot of left-wing wailing and gnashing of teeth. Along with demands that the result of the EU referendum be declared null and void.
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Is a Brexit Deal with the EU still possible?