The response from an unidentified Downing St source to a simple question on how the Brexit talks are going is sensational, writes seanwhelanRTE
Last night, James Forsyth of The Spectator magazine got a great scoop - a lengthy response from a Downing Street source to a simple question - how are the Brexit talks going? It's sensational.
The style has led to all fingers pointing in the same direction, and Amber Rudd - until a few weeks ago a member of Boris Johnson's cabinet (and Party) - told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the memo was written by Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson's key adviser.
Varadkar has also gone back on his commitments - he said if we moved on manufactured goods then he would also move but instead he just attacked us publicly. It's clear he wants to gamble on a second referendum and that he’s encouraging Barnier to stick to the line that the UK cannot leave the EU without leaving Northern Ireland behind.
The note makes clear the next step is getting to the UK general election:
So, if talks go nowhere this week, the next phase will require us to set out our view on the Surrender Act. The Act imposes narrow duties. Our legal advice is clear that we can do all sorts of things to scupper delay which for obvious reasons we aren’t going into details about.
When they say 'so what is the point of delay?', we will say 'This is not our delay, the government is not asking for a delay - Parliament is sending you a letter and Parliament is asking for a delay but official government policy remains that delay is an atrocious idea that everyone should dismiss. Any delay will in effect be negotiated between you, Parliament, and the courts - we will wash our hands of it, we won’t engage in further talks, we obviously won’t given any undertakings about cooperative behaviour, everything to do with ‘duty of sincere cooperation’ will be in the toilet, we will focus on winning the election on a manifesto of immediately revoking the entire EU legal order without further talks, and then we will leave.
Those who pushed the Benn Act intended to sabotage a deal and they’ve probably succeeded. So the main effect of it will probably be to help us win an election by uniting the leave vote and then a no deal Brexit. History is full of such ironies and tragedies.
So how will the UK government respond - and bring about its own demise? Go all out for a hard core Brexit by Halloween, including a confrontation with the political and legal system and face a general election during what is likely to be the worst part of the post no-deal Brexit economic and social impact?
Today the Daily Telegraph published an opinion poll by COMRES about who voters would blame if the UK does not leave the EU on 31 October.
Remain supporting MPs get blamed by 70% of the general public, the European Commission by 63%.
No prizes for guessing who the author is referring to.
A fiscal stimulus package to offset the worst effects of a no-deal Brexit would cost £100 billion according to the IFS - and would result in net growth of zero!.
The IFS says leaving the EU with a deal would be better for the economy than more delay - because the certainty would probably bring an investment boost and a rise in consumer sentiment. But it would also need a fiscal stimulus.
The IFS thinks revoking Brexit would be the best economic outcome, which could see growth rise to 2% a year. This is most likely to happen under a Labour government - but the cost of implementing Labour's 2017 manifesto - such as the state buying back utilities and transport companies "would offset at least some of the benefits of remaining in the EU".
These costs are estimated to fall on the 245,000 UK businesses that trade with EU countries and so do not currently have to complete customs forms.Read more: RTÉ News
seanwhelanRTE Its intentionally sensational and prob not accurate assessment of how UK Govt really assesses matters but a deliberate message intended to provoke. Similar to description of Merkel call. UK Govt are in election mode. seanwhelanRTE Are we seriously to believe more than 1% of Brexit voters know (a) Ireland is an independent country, and (b) Varadkar is An Taoiseach? This is patent nonsense of a poll, Seán.
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