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It was a nudge-nudge wink-wink under-the-table type of thing.

A bribe, basically. One that, ironically enough, is probably a huge breach of E.U. competition laws. Which we're still subject to.

As more details emerge, it seems that the Tories were prepared to pay up to £80m. Nobody knows how much they actually paid. Apparently it's less than £61m, more than nothing. 

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Theresa May has promised MPs a final, decisive vote on her Brexit deal with the EU - but not until she has secured changes to the Irish backstop clause.

The PM said she needed "some time" to get the changes she believes MPs want.

She promised to update MPs again on 26 February and, if she had not got a new deal by then, to give them a say on the next steps in non-binding votes.

Jeremy Corbyn accused her of "running down the clock" in an effort to "blackmail" MPs into backing her deal.

Britain is currently leaving the EU on 29 March, with or without a deal.

Labour claims Mrs May is planning to delay the final, binding vote on the withdrawal deal she has agreed with the EU until the last possible moment, so that MPs will be faced with a stark choice between her deal and no deal.

Labour and some Conservative MPs had been planning to have a fresh go at putting alternatives to Mrs May's deal to the vote on Thursday, in an effort to take control of the Brexit process.

...

Mrs May promised to give MPs a "stronger and clearer role" in the next steps on Brexit and said she would return to the Commons for a meaningful vote on her deal "when we achieve the progress we need".

The PM said she was discussing a number of options with the EU to secure legally-binding changes to the backstop: Replacing it with "alternative arrangements", putting a time limit on how long it can stay in place or a unilateral exit clause so the UK can leave it at a time of its choosing.

...

The EU has reiterated it will not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement.

Mrs May said talks were at a "crucial stage", but she still believed it was possible to get a deal MPs could support.

...

_105615577_calendar_until_brexit_27-nc.p

 

Emphasis added.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-47206286

Edited by King of Dick Mountain

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One of May's chief negotiators, Olly Robbins, was overheard last night telling a crowd in a Brussels bar that the plan was to keep delaying the Commons vote until the choice is accept May's deal or accept a lengthy extension to Article 50.

In related news, the government did some emergency planning to alleviate cross-Channel traffic by signing a £13.8m contract with a company to carry excess freight. Only the company has no ships. And its terms and conditions are copied from a pizza restaurant. The language selector on its website is just an image of the union flag and doesn't link to anything. The user login is just a picture of two boxes, one labelled username and one password. You can't type anything into it.

Still, the 'mistake' was caught and corrected and the Department for Transportation assured us that no money had been spent on the endeavour. Until today, when they said that actually they spent £800k on consultants checking out the company before signing the contract.

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One of them was Slaughter and May, a Magic Circle law firm.

No relation to Theresa.

So $1.3m for consultants who failed to spot that a company being tapped for shipping had no ships, nor any agreement to lease ships.

The contract was only cancelled because an Irish firm, Arklow, that was planning to invest in Seaborne Freight did the due diligence that no-one else bothered with.

Chris Grayling, the current transport secretary, is kind of famous for stuff like this, FWIW. My previous post is somewhat inaccurate, in that Grayling told Parliament that "no money had been spent" and it was in fact the media who unearthed figures from the National Audit Office showing tje consultancy fees.

Of course May still has "full confidence" in him. Misleading Parliament is all part of the job of being in her Cabinet.

Edited by King of Dick Mountain

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From The Grauniad;

The British government is “pretending to negotiate” with the European Union and has not presented any new proposals to break the Brexit deadlock, according to EU officials.

Theresa May’s de-facto deputy, David Lidington, and the Brexit secretary, Stephen Barclay, met senior EU officials and MEPs in Brussels and Strasbourg this week, but the talks yielded no obvious results.

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So the company that runs the railway from London to Paris sued the government over this whole freight/cargo shipping thing. Remember that, when they spent millions on a shipping contract with a company that had no access at all to ships?

They settled the case today for £33m. If you're keeping score at home, that's over $160m the useless bastards have now spent on failing to keep Nissan in Britain and failing to hire a ship.

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Brexit is due to go ahead on March 29, later today there's going to be another vote on the Withdrawal Agreement which was previously defeated by 230 votes.

Last night May went dashing off to Strasbourg to get concessions from the E.U. on the Irish border issue. She emerged from discussion proudly crowing about the "legally-binding changes" she had negotiated.

That lasted until literally two minutes into a press conference, when the E.U. negotiatior said that actually nothing had changed. Just now, May's own Attorney-General also said nothing has changed.

So 17 days from no-deal happening, the government is holding a vote on legislation that remains unchanged since it was crushed two months ago.

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Good news, everyone! This time May only lost by 149 votes.

Strong and stable leadership.

So now we go to a vote tomorrow on ruling no-deal out/in and, if no-deal is ruled 'out', extending the deadline for Art. 50. May says she's not going to whip her MPs and they'll get a free-vote on whether we can leave with no-deal.

Edited by King of Dick Mountain

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No deal means we would have to trade with the rest of the world on WTO terms, which aren't great, until we negotiate our own trade agreements. This is (partly) why states have trade agreements, to avoid the WTO. The Brexiteer lie has always been that we can just quickly strike deals with AUS, NZ, and CAN (combined pop. ca. 65m) and it won't matter that we're largely losing the E.U27 (combined pop. ca 450m) as a market. Australia's former PM, Keven Rudd, called that "utter bollocks" over the weekend. Alternatively, Brexiteers argue that we sign a trade agreement with India, which has a pop. of over 1bn. Rudd touched on this too, 'cause when he was PM he initiated trade talks with India. Ten years ago. The talks are ongoing. But India will somehow just roll over and immediately sign whatever agreement Britain wants it to, apparently.

I'm not au fait with food logistics and food security in Britain, honestly, but I do have a hard time imagining prolonged scarcity. Well, anything more than the 'scarcity' that capitalists already impose upon us, anyway. IMO, prices will rise for food (and meds) but I don't think we'll see people dying in the streets. 

Again, any more than we're already ok with people dying on the street, that is. 

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