EU confirms no UK MEPs means default Brexit 2 July latest. New ref ruled out by timescale

The former president of the European Council has told the BBC this morning that while the EU might grant an extension to Article 50, the maximum extension would be 1 July:

MEPs elected in May’s European Parliament elections will take their seats 2 July, meaning that the UK will no longer be represented.

As the SKWAWKBOX published just before Christmas, this timescale rules out a new referendum before the UK exits the EU. Even if Theresa May were to call for a so-called “people’s vote” immediately and succeeded in getting the necessary Act of Parliament through the Commons, the required parliamentary debating time and 147 days’ notice would mean a referendum earliest mid-June, with the European Parliament elections taking place 23 May.

In reality, any referendum would take place later still, as the Electoral Commission would need time to review the wording of any proposed referendum questions before a referendum bill could be put to Parliament – and if MPs then demanded a change to the question the process would start again and May might well pull the bill rather than put a question to the people that she found unpalatable.

The option of calling elections for UK MEPs to sit in the short term as a means of delaying the default Brexit is not available either, as EU rules would not permit it, the UK’s seats are already reallocated to other countries who will elect their additional representatives in May and there is not enough time for the UK Parliament to pass the necessary legislation.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

The UK’s only chance of avoiding a damaging, long-term hard Brexit or the even worse situation represented by May’s deal is a general election and a change of government, which the EU has said would be a sufficiently large political change in the UK for it to take the Withdrawal Agreement back to square one.

Labour’s deal – with its aims already made clear by the party but ignored by the media – would put the UK on a firm economic and social footing. Labour cannot – and for the sake of the country should not try to – prevent Brexit, but it can rescue the UK from the consequences of Tory incompetence and chaos.

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  1. The people of this country are being led by the nose, because the Mass Media are only concerned about blaming the Labour Party for the chaos created by the Tories.

    Sqwawkboxes analysis has been impeccable on this and has correctly pointed out Labour’s position accurately and concisely.

    Common sense should tell anyone that Theresa May’s handling has been irresponsible from the offset, they don’t care about the final outcome, crash or not, they have already done a deal with Trump, and are just waiting to exit, this whole exercise has been to delay until the only solution is crash out, allowing them to blame everyone except themselves aided and abetted by the corrupt media.

    The only solution is a general election where we can rebuild our economy. Which this blog has been right about all along.

    1. Yep, quite correct – and time has simply run out for a (electorally suicidal anyway) Second Referendum option. Time the politically and tactically naive , admittedly large (almost entirely privileged middle class), section of our activist Party membership which supports PV recognized the “People’s Vote” Campaign for what it always was , ie, a cynical wrecking tactic planned by Blair/Mandelson, their Big Business backers and Right Labour MPs, to attempt to split off Jeremy’s support base , and recapture our Party for the return of the old neoliberal corrupt careerist politics of the last 25 years

  2. One of the things those wanting a second referendum will not want to talk about is the so called “Aachen treaty”, an extension of the post war Elysee treaty. You won’t see anything about it in the msm either, nor will Ch4 news be doing one of their in-depth investigations. In fact no one will mention it at all. It deserves mention however, because it gives an insight into the future of the European project. According to Reuters https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-germany-france/france-germany-approve-extension-of-reconciliation-treaty-to-shore-up-eu-idUKKCN1P31G4 the Franco/German treaty is an agreement where “Both states will deepen their cooperation in foreign affairs, defence, external and internal security and development and at the same time work on strengthening the ability of Europe to act independently,”. The treaty extension, negotiated over the past year though short on details, stipulates that it will be a priority of German-French diplomacy for Germany to be accepted as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The treaty further outlines closer cooperation between national intelligence services and police in fighting terrorism and organised crime, and a commitment to moving towards economic convergence.

    “Both states will deepen the integration of their economies towards a German-French economic area with common rules,” said the treaty text, referring also to calls for the harmonisation of economic law. In addition, they will set up a panel of experts to give economic recommendations to each government.

    While it is obvious that Germany will be blocked from becoming a permanent member of the security council, a Joint Franco/German seat may be a possibility.

    People who see the EU as a future benevolent internationalist socialist economic area need to open their eyes. Changes are afoot in the EU and whatever they have in mind it wouldn’t be acceptable to the British people so it will be in our interest to leave now, with or without a deal, though logic says it will be with a deal, I only wish it was being negotiated by Labour.

    This treaty makes clear Franco/German intent. Whether they take the Southern European and Eastern states with them is another matter. Another thing to consider is, they are not separating from NATO and America so those who claim that Europe is a barrier protecting us from American influence are either mistaken or misdirecting, just as they are with the whole internationalist claim about corporate globalism.

    1. I am puzzled why you would expect anything else.

      They have obviously realised that they can’t 100% rely on Trump’s America any longer and by extension NATO umbrella. If they didn’t make plans to cover this risk then they would be failing in their duty to their citizens. Plus I can’t think of ant reason why the EU shouldn’t have its own defence strategy as well as being members of NATO.

      If we leave the EU then effectively the EU will have lost a seat on the Security Council and therefore influence. Surely it is only logical for them to seek to redress what they perceive as an imbalance.

      If they weren’t harmonising their rules and trade practises then that would be news. Harmonisation is what Common Markets and Single Markets were invented for.

      Why would they cut off their nose to spite their face by leaving NATO. It’s a defence pact not a trade deal.

      1. This has nothing to do with Trump. It has everything to do with federation and building an army to crush any internal dissent under the auspices of protecting the people from criminals and terrorists, the EU doesn’t need an army, its geopolitical strategic planning is in tandem with the Pentagon and Trump is just a minor distraction. The next world war will be fought in Europe and the EU is a main protagonist. And if you can’t/won’t see the dangers to Southern/Eastern Europe economically, the likelihood of 2 or 3/speed Europe and Franc and Germany exporting their unemployment to the rest, you need to take the blinkers off.

      2. I know that they’re repeating Harry Potter films at present … but ……. 2+2=22 ?????

      3. Another astounding contribution from RH. Never mind, there’ll be another east for Britain YouGov poll along soon.

      4. OK – I’ll spell it out : the stitching together of a sequence of barely grasped half-truths into a paranoid tapestry is hardly a credible image of Europe today.

        I mean :

        “The next world war will be fought in Europe and the EU is a main protagonist.”

        Care to elaborate, even accepting the dangers of Putin’s aggressive neo-imperialism?

  3. The only solution is to have a General Election, won by Labour with Jeremy in charge. We need to bear in mind that he voted to remain and that remaining is the wish of all but a small minority of the Party.

    Bring it on!

    1. A favourite claim of remain supporters, along with the unverifiable percentages of members and voters who allegedly wish to remain/want a second referendum quoted at up to 90%; is the phrase “they didn’t know what they were voting for”. While that claim is undeniably false, I contend that most supporters of EU membership have little or no idea of the modern vision for the EU, and if they did, they’d be a lot more circumspect about our future in that group.

      1. lundiel 15/01/2019 at 3:10 pm ·

        You are more than welcome to post any poll or scientific survey results that support your assertions.

      2. Stop mistaking wishing for reality. Argue against their position, by all means, but don’t pretend that the situation, based on evidence, is other than that the majority of the Labor Party and its voters are in favour of remaing in the EU. No ifs, no buts. That is the position.

        For a very good take on the majority view in Labour, read Aditya Chakrabortty’s piece at :


        Then argue against it – but don’t pretend that it doesn’t broadly represent the majority view. It does.

        ‘Leave’ is essentially a Tory Party policy, driven by extreme neoliberals. . Always has been.

      3. Classic lundiel. You invariably resort throwing around childish playground insults when you have nothing left but bluster.

      4. Really. You think that it’s clever to answer an observation by asking for poll results that coincide with my opinions? It is typical of you, never a sensible argument, logically presented, just a quip, usually in the form of a question. I’ve been dealing with people like you and RH for years, you enjoy arguing and always have to have the last word.
        The sad thing is your manner of accepting EU treaties which aren’t voted on like this one, or are sent back until the right result is achieved (Maastricht) is totally undemocratic. Imagine in a few years time it could be possible that German/French troops could invade Hungary like the USSR repeating itself, the idea is not so far fetched and would be possible with a European army. You are so desperate for us to stay in the EU that you won’t hear a word against it. The facts are, leave or stay, Britain won’t join a federation, the Euro or a European army, so we are a hindrance to Franco/German strategic planning.

      5. lundiel 15/01/2019 at 5:20 pm ·

        Of coarse you are right lundiel, there are many truths. Including the one inside your own head.

        There are also facts like the fact that all the polls and academic surveys have consistently given similar results.

        You are of course entitled to dismiss those results for no other reason other than they rather inconveniently don’t support the truth inside your head but you really shouldn’t be surprised when others ask for some evidence to support your assertions, particularly when those opinions are at odds with all the available evidence.

      6. RH,
        Again and again I see you quoting the Guardian as source to your argument.
        This article is written by a London centric journalist, no bias there. I’m a bricklayer, is that enough to describe as working people for you.
        You and SH are quite quick to use articles and polls, when it supports your own beliefs, but then ignore questioning the validity of said polls, articles.
        I have stated no poll gives demographics of people participating ( could all be London based ) which would be clear bias. Just like said journalist from the article you quoted.
        I can tell you from where I am in the midlands, there’s no change of mind to brexit and the sooner PV supporters realise it. The quicker the argument for alignment will gain traction.

  4. “Remain” in the Labour Party has been driven by the extreme neoliberals who are the Blairites and Brownites.

    Their extreme neoliberalism is well documented e.g. in “Thatcher and Sons” by S Jenkin which chronicles how in office they supercharged Thatcherism rather than abandoning it. Indeed Jeremy Corbyn became Leader entirely in response to their extreme neoliberalism.

    They want to stay in the EU because it prohibits by law any moving beyond the capitalist system towards a democratic socialist one based on a planned economy and public monopoly.

    Hence it is overwhelmingly the Blairites and Brownites who are now pestering for an extension of the Article 50 period and for the arrogantly titled People’s Vote. Their contempt for democracy in refusing to respect the result of the EU referendum should come as no surprise. Their loyalty throughout has been overwhelmingly to continued rule by the politico-economic elite of which they form part – not to the people, let alone – heaven forbid – the working class.

    1. “Remain” in the Labour Party has been driven by the extreme neoliberals who are the Blairites and Brownites.”

      What utter deluded nonsense. You really need to get out more if you actually do think that against all the evidence. Trying to find a Labour supporter of ‘Leave’ is, in my experience as difficult as finding rocking horse shit. Which is not to suggest that there are none – but that they are about as rare as the polling evidence suggests. And my contacts are solidly those who supported Corbyn for the leadership.

      The ‘prolier than thou’ stuff is just bollocks – and taken straight out of the ERG campaign bible aimed at suckers.

      1. “Trying to find a Labour supporter of ‘Leave’ is, in my experience as difficult as finding rocking horse shit.”
        Well, it would be in Surrey….about as difficult as finding a Socialist.

  5. In the media interviews with the EU member states they all state that they still do not know what the UK wants. It is crystal clear that the disagreements within the Conservative party are stopping the UK moving forward following the 2016 referendum.

    A general election is the only way forward. The sooner the better. However the Conservative party will try to ensure that Theresa May is PM on the date we leave or crash out because no one else is prepared to take responsibility.

  6. Germany has unfinished business post WW2. Arming Croatia to destroy Yugoslavia & engineering a military coup in Ukraine. now we have British troops threatening Russia on the border of Estonia. Start to understand why the EU Trade Association now requires its own army, as Germany becomes a major arms exporter.

    1. steve richards 15/01/2019 at 6:22 pm ·

      You’ve watching RT again, haven’t you?

      1. At least he’s not a Ch4 clone, believing reports from “activists” reporting from Syria who are really al Qaeda propagandists given communication equipment by CIA front organisations.

      2. I watch a wide variety of News channels and read a wide variety of media left, right and MSM. It is good to get a wide perspective. You should try it

  7. The US is backpedalling on NATO support, the UK wants to leave and Germany’s history obliges it to shun unilateral military action.
    The EU is perfectly entitled to make arrangements for combined defence forces.

    They’ve taken what seems to me a principled position in defending their fellow member Ireland’s interests against those of a future outsider – Brexited Britain.

    May’s hapless attempt at gunboat diplomacy in threatening the EU with a tax haven on its doorstep to suck it dry of investment – and withholding payments due – was followed by mewling and begging for quarter when the EU held firm.
    It was unprincipled, unworthy of a civilised nation and embarrassingly incompetent, coming as it did from the highly-educated and over-privileged descendants of the governors of empire.

    Throughout its EU membership the UK has demanded special treatment while showing only disdain for its neighbours. In the EU’s place I’d bitterly regret that de Gaulle’s “Non” only survived him by 3 years

    Brexit makes us the US’s bitch and we’ll be taken to the cleaners on post-Brexit trade deals with them and everyone else because the weakness of our offer in an already-slowing global economy will be obvious to all.

    Unfortunately remaining at this point would just make us the EU’s bitch instead.
    We might have to agree to adopt the Euro, perhaps be deprived of a veto for a period, probably accept all standard conditions – we have after all been enormously troublesome to the other members lately so they might think it reasonable to ask for assurances of our future commitment.

    1. David McNiven 16/01/2019 at 12:41 am

      “Unfortunately remaining at this point would just make us the EU’s bitch instead.
      We might have to agree to adopt the Euro, perhaps be deprived of a veto for a period, probably accept all standard conditions “

      No it wouldn’t.

      If we cancel A50 then we will remain in the EU on exactly the same terms we have now. We can’t be forced to join the Euro or any other of the things you fear, that would only happen if we left and were re-applying to join the EU

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