Friday 24th of January 2020

good riddance to european smelly cheese and overvalued champagne! welcome mactrump...


Love, love me do
You know I love you
I'll always be true
So please, love me do
Whoa, love me do
Yeah, love me do
Whoa, oh, love me do...

Boris Johnson has insisted preparations for a no-deal Brexit are on track, despite a leaked report warning of potential food and medicine shortages.

The prime minister said preparations had been "very far advanced" ahead of the original 29 March deadline.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has written to EU Council President Donald Tusk to outline his opposition to the Irish border backstop plan.

Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to do "everything necessary" to stop no deal. 

In a speech earlier, the Labour leader said the leaked report made it "crystal clear how bad things will get" if the UK leaves without a deal on 31 October. 

He added that the leak showed "chaos and dislocation" after a no-deal was "very real and threatening".

It comes as local council planning documents seen by the BBC warned that school meal nutrition standards may need to be amended or discarded after a no deal.

Some councils are anticipating they will not meet the standards because of an anticipated rise in food prices and restriction of choice. 

'Flexible and creative solutions'

According to Operation Yellowhammer, the dossier leaked to the Sunday Times, the UK could face months of disruption at its ports after a no-deal Brexit.

Plans to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic are unlikely to prove sustainable, it adds.

Michael Gove, the cabinet minister responsible for no-deal planning, has said the information in the leaked dossier was old and Brexit planning had accelerated since Mr Johnson became prime minister.

The BBC has been told the study was first seen by devolved governments earlier this month.

Speaking on Monday, Mr Johnson said he was "confident" the EU would agree to a new Brexit deal, but the UK would be ready to leave without one if needed.

"I'm not pretending that there won't be bumps on the road […] but if everybody puts their minds to it, I have absolutely no doubt that we can get ready," he added.

The prime minister has said he wants to leave the EU with a deal, but the UK must leave "do or die" by the end of October.


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Cartoon damage by Steve Bell.

home office plays chicken with boxes...

A youth-focused trio will lobby the government with knife crime solutions written on chicken boxes that had been distributed by the Home Office.

The move by Word on the Curb is a response to the government’s #knifefree chicken box, which was described as “embarrassing”, “stupid” and “borderline racist” by critics after being unveiled last week.

The Home Office spent more than £57,000 distributing 321,000 chicken boxes to 210 outlets in England and Wales. The chicken boxes were printed with real-life stories of young people who had chosen to pursue positive activities instead of carrying a knife.

In response, Hayel Wartemberg, Ndubuisi Uchea and Shiva Tarbhaker took to the streets of London and gathered responses from members of the public, including practical solutions to knife crime.


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the withdrawal method...

Unless the UK's withdrawal agreement with Brussels is reopened and the backstop abolished there is no prospect of a deal, Downing Street has said.

The strong statement came after the EU pushed back against Boris Johnson's proposal to implement "alternative arrangements" for the UK-Irish border. 

Mr Johnson has said the backstop is "anti-democratic" and must be scrapped.

European Council President Donald Tusk said it was "an insurance to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland".

Meanwhile, the government has announced UK officials will stop attending most EU meetings from 1 September.

The Department for Exiting the European Union said it would "unshackle" them from discussions "about the future of the Union after the UK has left" and allow them to focus on "our immediate national priorities".

Later this week Mr Johnson will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron for the first time since entering No 10. 

Ahead of that, in a letter to European Council President Tusk, he called for the backstop to be removed from the withdrawal agreement reached between the EU and his predecessor, Theresa May, arguing it risked undermining the Northern Irish peace process. 


Mr Johnson said the reaction to his demand for the backstop to be scrapped had been "a bit negative" but "we will get there".

He said he would enter Brexit talks with EU leaders with "a lot of oomph".

Mr Johnson added: "I think there is a real sense now that something needs to be done with this backstop. We can't get it through Parliament as it is."

He reiterated his view that EU countries were less likely to make concessions to the UK "as long as they think there's a possibility that Parliament will block Brexit".

The border is a matter of great political, security and diplomatic sensitivity, and both the UK and EU agree that whatever happens after Brexit there should be no new physical checks or infrastructure at the frontier.

The backstop is a position of last resort to guarantee that, but if implemented, it would see Northern Ireland stay aligned to some rules of the EU single market.

It would also involve a temporary single customs territory, effectively keeping the whole of the UK in the EU customs union. 

Mrs May's withdrawal agreement has been voted down three times by MPs.


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outright bad feeling toward the brits...

Anti-British sentiment in Ireland was never healed completely, but in the twenty years since the peace process and the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, it had sunk so low as to be almost negligible. Then came Brexit.

Britain’s decision to ditch the European Union and strike out alone has unleashed what feels like a new wave of anti-British sentiment on this island. The same is true in reverse. Anti-Irish feeling appears to be on the rise in Britain, too — and how could it not be? The Brexit dilemma, with which the Irish are inextricably entwined, have dominated the British (and to a lesser extent, Irish) national psyches for three years. 

Growing up in Dublin post-northern Troubles, you were seen as almost a bit odd if you still harbored outright bad feeling toward the Brits. Now, it’s not a bit odd to hear people complain about the “audacity” of the British, to the effect of: “The cheek of them, who do they think they are?” 


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the europeans could not care less...



Boris Johnson threatens to withhold $55 billion from  no-deal Brexit

The British prime minister plans to tell European Union leaders he will withhold $55 billion from the Brexit divorce unless they agree to changes, according to reports.


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The Europeans should fiddle with whatever laws, sanctions and humiliations of the UK until they get paid, no matter what, unless the USA threaten them. Here, the Europeans might find the mettle to tell Donald to go fly a kite...

a juicy deal under the table...

A “big” trade deal between the US and the UK will be possible once Britain leaves the European Union, Donald Trump has promised, describing the bloc as an obstacle that has hindered London’s economic prospects.

The US president attended a working breakfast with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the G7 summit in France on Sunday, where he sounded confident that a comprehensive trade agreement between the US and Britain could be swiftly delivered. It will go much smoother once Brussels is cut out of the equation, Trump predicted.


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he farted first!...

US President Donald Trump met with new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a breakfast meeting during the second day of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, promising a "very big trade deal" with the UK, and hailing its impending exit from the EU.

The G7 summit kicked off in Biarritz, France on Saturday, with the second day of the event starting with US President Donald Trump having breakfast with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

However, it was an earlier photo of the two leaders in the same room together, gearing up for the G7 summit that has evolved into a hilarious meme, gathering swift momentum and exploding into a twitter-generated storm of online wit.


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The other people in the room don't seem to appreciate the "joke" played on each other with a whoopee cushion. We don't either. Two of the world worst clowns in charge of the world's affairs at the same table could make you choke or puke.



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make no mistake, the europeans are non-nonplussed...

The Brexit no deal prospect is engendering an element of lunacy fast seeping into every pore of the British political establishment.  As with all steeped in such thinking, some of it made sense. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been inspired by a mild dictatorial urge, seeking to suspend the UK parliament five weeks out from October 31.  

This has been described as nothing short of a coup, or, if you are the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, a 

constitutional outrage”.

Legal expertise was called upon to answer the question whether Johnson’s proroguing of parliament was, in fact, constitutional.  This was itself a tricky thing, given that the UK has a “political constitution” that resists being inked into written form. 

To be British is supposedly to be reasonable, and codifying such convention suggests a fear that reason might be lost.  

As Professor Michael Gordon of the University of Liverpool explains, three avenues are open to evaluate the constitutionality of a government action in the system: 

compatibility with the law, political convention and constitutional principle.

On the first point, it was near impossible to challenge Johnson.  For all the matters of convention, the monarch remains the figure who ultimately holds the power to prorogue parliament.  

And the argument here by the prime minister is that this is the penultimate step to announcing a fresh legislative agenda in the monarch’s speech on October 14.

As far as the second point was concerned, Gordon had to concede that the Queen would never have constituted herself as a “constitutional safeguard” to reject Johnson’s request. That would have done more than repudiate the long held convention on staying above politics and acting on the advice of the prime minister.

This only left the nebulous notion of “constitutional principles”: as the government draws support from the House of Commons, it must duly abide by the body if its wishes are out of step.  

As the House of Commons rejects the idea of a no deal Brexit, Johnson should have engaged parliament on the issue. Well, that’s the view of the pro-parliamentarians, and as the current prime minister has a very flexible set of values both personal and political, few should have been stunned by the latest antics in subverting parliamentary scrutiny.

Beyond the legal pecking, a swathe of reaction were in agreement with Bercow.  Novelist Philip Pullman went one further.



Britain best be “rid of him and his loathsome gang as soon and as finally as possible.”  

This had a certain whiff of a coup of its own, the sort of thing that Westminster systems have been vulnerable to in history.  (Australia offers an apt, if undistinguished example of the overthrow of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975, ably assisted by opposition leader Malcolm Fraser and then governor general John Kerr.)

The prorogation ploy was taken so seriously by the Financial Times that a humble suggestion was made lest Britain comprise his airy position as law-abiding obsessive and exemplar of order to the world.

If Mr. Johnson’s prorogation ploy succeeds, Britain will forfeit any right to lecture other countries on their democratic shortcomings.” 

(Hadn’t it already done so?) Imperially sounding, the FT suggested that Britain’s singular disposition lay in “constitutional arrangements” long bound by “conventions.”

Momentum, the Labour faction supporting Jeremy Corbyn, the man who would be usurper, was laying the ground [the tweet has since been deleted – ed.] for a challenge, albeit tumbling into the oxymoronic.

An unelected prime minister looks set to approach an unelected monarch to ask her if he can shut down parliament to force through a disastrous no deal Brexit.”  

The assessment? 

Make no mistake – this is an establishment coup. 

All fine, except that monarchs are known for being humanity’s unelected specimens, and that this coup was being countered with a proposal for a counter-coup. Messy be the conventions of the land.

For those long linked to Britain’s gradual and seemingly natural integration into European affairs, the move by Johnson was near criminal.  Hugh Grant, summoning up a certain primal rage, was furious. On Twitter, he launched a ferocious firebombing of Johnson’s position. 



Comedian and all round brain box Stephen Fry could not stomach it.



Unfortunately, such comments betray an old tendency in self-referential Britishness, a Britannia-rules-the-waves smugness.  The world admires, the world respects. But that world died some time ago, if, indeed, it ever existed. Britain made a pact for security and wealth with a Europe often reluctant to accept its suspicions and reservations. Both are now parting ways.

Far milder assessments have also been offered to hose down the Grant ire.  Johnson’s attempt to schedule a Queen’s speech for October 14 was seen in The Spectator, a magazine he once edited with carefree indifference, as “normal” and part of the operating processes of a new government.  At the very least, it would also “bring to an end one of the longest parliamentary sessions in history”.

The Queen was hardly going to refuse, stratified by, well, convention.  Had she done so, breaking the crust, and holding forth over the prime minister, there would been howls of a different sort.  The only conclusion to arise from this latest bit of chess play by Johnson is that, come October 31, Parliament will have a minimal a role to scrutinise the agreement, or non-agreement, as it might well be.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email:


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