Article 50 Skirmishing

The EU Stance on Brexit Negotiations

ww-westminsterThe Wicked Witch of Westminster  was hoping to conclude a Free Trade Deal with the EU in parallel with the Brexit negotiations.   It looks as though that was wishful thinking.  The Financial Times has this: “EU draws up tough stance on Brexit transition deal – Initial Brussels guidelines prioritise withdrawal terms over future relations.”

The Financial Times has the Council’s Negotiation Guidance here: “The EU’s Brexit negotiation guidance decoded – The full text of the European Council’s guidance for handling Britain’s withdrawal“.  Clicking on the highlighted parts of the text reveals the view of the FT specialists on the significance of particular passages.  For example, there is a passage about Gibraltar which relates to the 300 year old dispute with Spain about Gibraltar.

In that regard see this Financial Times article: “Gibraltar poses threat to post-Brexit aviation access – Spain signals it would block EU air access deal unless terms exclude Gibraltar airport

See also this report in the Gibraltar Chronicle: “Gibraltar border ‘won’t change too much’ post Brexit, Dastis says“.   Most Gibraltarians  would read this as meaning “there is trouble ahead“.

The Torygraph Telegraph had this:  “Outrage as Spain given ‘effective veto over future of Gibraltar’ under EU plans “.

The Independent has this: – “UK will ‘stand up for Gibraltar’ says Boris Johnson – Gibraltar’s Chief Minister said Spain’s lobbying of the EU over the territory’s future had been ‘unacceptable“.

One wonders how many Conservative members of The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gibraltar voted for Brexit:  Andrew Rossindale MP, Vice Chair of the Group,  who is mentioned in the Torygraph Telegraph article did.  So did Jack Lopresti MP, who is Chair of the Group.  So did Robert Neill MP who is Secretary of the Group.

Did the Tory Brexit loons in the All Parliamentary Group not understand why Membership of the EU was important for Gibraltar?   Surely they would have read about the Gibraltar Referendum result in the Torygraph Telegraph: “Gibraltar votes overwhelming to remain“.

Why did 96% of the population of Gibraltar vote (19,322 to 823)  to Remain?  Simple:   Because it is membership of the EU which  has made Gibraltar’s relationship with Spain bearable.

timesbrexitclownsBoris Johnson is one of the Wicked Witch’s three Clowns responsible for the Brexit negotiations.  As Foreign Secretary, Clown Boris had  access all the Foreign Office archives on Spain-Gibraltar issues going back to the Treaty of Utrecht. Surely he would have been amply briefed on what Spain’s likely approach would be and could have anticipated this in the  Article 50 notice.

Country before Party ?

The Independent has this: “Theresa May is in retreat over Brexit. She’s finally remembered to put her country before her party – Hardline Conservative Eurosceptics will attack the Prime Minister’s desire to reach a mutual agreement with the EU, but they need the cold shower of realism that is coming“.

The Guardian has this: “Brexit sticking points: thorny issues diplomats must address – From debt haggling to May’s push for an ‘ambitious’ free trade deal, negotiators are gearing up for two years of tense talks“.

Ms Anna Soubry, MP – the Conservative Member for Broxtowe – writes in the Financial Times:  “The single market offers the UK a way to regain balance – Membership would protect our constitution from accidental damage.

Ms Soubry’s proposition makes a lot of sense but it is worth reading this on the Conservative Home blog: “If Britain needs a new party, we’ll only find out after Brexit“.

One doubts Ms Soubry’s proposition could be sold to Torygraph Telegraph readers and therefore it is not likely that the Wicked Witch of Westminster and her Brexit Clowns will give it much attention.


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