18 December 2019 Part 1
State of Play
So, what's going on with Brexit? We're all eager to know ....
Boris is rumoured to be about to stuff the House of Lords with people who will support Brexit. People rumoured as about to be enobled include Martin Howe QC, eminent lawyer and Brexiteer, and Nigel Farage. It makes sense for Boris to adjust the balance of the Lords to ensure the Brexit legislation is properly supported and examined, and it needs people with the knowhow to do that, to ensure the legislation is watertight. We don't want the judiciary finding holes in the legislation that they can then fill with their own watered-down, non-Brexit decisions.
But - what kind of Brexit is being pursued by Boris? His last Withdrawal Agreement was nothing of the sort. We know that Nigel Farage wants a proper Brexit (which probably means a Brexit on WTO terms) but what about the others. Martin Howe was supporting Boris's deal before the election. What about the others rumoured for the House of Lords?
A positive development is that Boris says he will put into legislation the end date for negotiating a trade deal with the EU of December 2020. This will stop anyone trying to extend it later on, and will hopefully concentrate the minds of EU negotiators on getting a deal in place in time, otherwise there will be no more extensions and we will leave on WTO terms.
By the way, we refuse to use the media's term of "no deal" for this eventuality, because it is fundamentally dishonest and misleading and implies chaos. It is not "no deal" because there are standard international trading arrangements covered by international law that even the EU has to follow. These are tried and tested - and currently used by the EU where it does not have trading deals with countries.
People have been trading around the world for thousands of years. The EU has been in existence for around 60 years. People do not need deals with the EU in order to trade with one another. We already know how to do it.