We’re at that phase in the Brexit talks where the EU has realised that further rebuffs of Theresa May would be very like repeatedly kicking a small and particularly dense puppy which persists in doing Jackie Baillies all over a very expensive rug. Any more kicks and the puppy is likely to expire, and then the Conservative party would only go and replace it with an incontinent creature with the attention span of a goldfish and the destructive instincts of a teething rottweiler which has swallowed ten grammes of amphetamine. Hence the rest of the EU decided that the latest dinner for EU leaders was to be Theresa May’s very own pity party.
Still, being patronised because she’s so weak and the Tory party is so hopeless made a nice change from the last time when no one wanted to talk to her. This is what constitutes progress for the UK in Brexit negotiations and heralds a whole new chapter in Britain’s brave buccaneering Brexit. We’re going to make fantastic trade deals with the rest of the world by making everyone feel sorry for us. Britain’s future can be secured if only we turn into a shambling ex-boxer who once was a contender for the title, but now is brain damaged and bankrupt. Still, look on the bright side, there’s already considerable evidence of brain damage in the Conservative cabinet and the hysterical right-wing British press. We’re halfway there already, and bankruptcy is looming too. Succexit!
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Friday that the second stage of the Brexit talks, the trade negotiations, are going to be a lot more difficult than the divorce talks. Since the supposedly easier part of the negotiations hasn’t exactly moved forward with anything you might call speed, this doesn’t bode well for the second stage if and when the EU ever agrees to move on to it. The pot plants which Theresa May stared forelornly at as she waited for the meeting to begin have more agility than the Brexit negotiations. You could tell she was pissed off. The plants get fed a diet of crap but at least they manage to look attractive. No amount of crap that Theresa feeds the British public can make Brexit look good. But at least the pot plants managed to get on the table and to sit there looking pretty, the trade talks look like they’ll never get on the table in the first place and even if they do they’re going to look very ugly.
There’s an important lesson here for the British government and the Conservative party. If the UK replaced David Davis, Liam Fox, and Boris Johnson with a spider plant, a busy lizzie, and a knobweed, the Brexit negotiations would be considerably further forward than they currently are and then instead of threats of a hard border we could be talking about a herbaceous one. This idea isn’t as ridiculous as it might first sound as there is already a precedent. Since 2010 Scotland has had an ornamental cabbage as its Secretary of State. Although on second thoughts there’s no real need to replace Boris Johnson with a knobweed because he already does a very good impression of one. There’s no reason to replace the much touted Jacob Rees-Mogg with a plant, because he’s already a fossil. Mind you it’s not like there’s much point in offering this advice to the Tory party, because even though many people speak to plants, there’s absolutely no evidence that vegetables in the party are going to listen.
French President Emmanuel Macron accused the turnips of the Tory party of bluffing on the question of the UK leaving the EU without any deal. Theresa May has never raised the possibility of the UK crashing out without a deal during her trips to Brussels to stare forelornly at the pot plants on the table, and he slapped down David Davis by pointedly remarking that the UK negotiator was operating under Theresa’s authority. Or at least he is for now. The problem here is that Macron fondly imagines that the UK government is halfway functional, when in fact the only reason Theresa retains a veneer of authority is because the party wants her to grasp the thorn of Brexit so she’s the one that’s poisoned by it.
It took the EU leaders all of 90 seconds to decide that there hasn’t been sufficient progress so far, and they’ll wait until December to revisit the question of whether enough progress has been made to allow the UK to move on to the trade talks. That 90 seconds included the usual pleasantries being translated into 25 languages. The last time a decision was reached that quickly was when Reporting Scotland came across a news story about how yet another of the promises of the Better Together campaign had turned to dust and decided to broadcast something about how bad the SNP is instead followed by fifteen minutes of fitba and something about a murrdurr.
In the meantime the EU will discuss a possible trade deal, but they won’t discuss it with the UK, they’ll just discuss it amongst themselves in the same kind of way that you make sure that a really annoying relative is no longer in the room before you start to talk about them. But it did mean that Theresa could return to London with something like a victory which will help to bolster her position against the triffids in the cabinet. She can now present them with a firm commitment from the EU that in a few months time it will consider looking at whether there’s been enough progress . And expectations are now so low that that counts as progress all by itself.
It’s still all about the money. Reports are that the EU is insisting on something in the region of €60bn which the UK will have to cough up to settle its financial obligations to the EU before it will consider moving on to trade talks. That’s considerably more than the €20bn which Theresa May has offered, and considerably more than the red white and blue cabbages in the Tory party are prepared to countenance. They still fondly believe that the UK is the stronger party in these negotiations, but the truth is that it’s the EU which possesses the pruning shears and the weedkiller. The reality of Brexit is that Britain is going to end up with what the EU is prepared to leave us with, and that’s going to leave us much worse off than before.
The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.
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