18. I’m not asleep; just resting my eyes.
19. Whatcha mean what have I been up to? I look guilty? Nah. Not me.
That hapless character, disgraced former (and once again minister), Liam Fox has approached the Norwegian minister for trade and industry, suggesting that they should work together to establish a task force to prepare for a trade deal once Britain leaves the EU.
But the trade minister from Norway; she says NO.
Fox, as usual living in a cloud cuckoo land where a British royal yacht sails majestically up a fjord with trumpeters trumpeting, court jesters jesting and flunkies flunking (that will be Fox), assumed that Norway would jump at the chance of working with America’s representative on Earth.
But the foreign minister of Norway; he said NO.
The Norwegian Foreign ministry’s director general for European affairs, Niels Engelschiøn, thought that joining the UK in a special task force would jeopardise Norway’s European Economic Area (EEA) agreement.
What Fox has seemingly always been sadly unaware of, is that other countries have existing agreements which are more important to them than striking out with the United Kingdom, no matter how big its economy and how important it is, that is has a “special relationship” with a country which actually is pretty important, what a big boat it’s got or how attractive the wife of one of its princes is.
Norway is a member of the EEA through its membership of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). It has rejected joining the EU in a couple of referenda, but effectively has a soft ‘Nexit’ agreement which involves it paying to be a part of the single market. That means that it accepts EU legislation relating to the market, and that there is freedom of movement of goods, finance and people.
It has been mooted that Britain might rejoin EFTA, whose membership presently comprises Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. However, the combined total of the populations of the EFTA states is somewhere in the region of 14 million. The UK would swamp the other countries and, given its reputation for wanting its own way on everything, the likelihood is that any application for membership will be rejected.
I’m sure however, that if Mr Fox carries on he’ll find someone somewhere that wants to trade with the UK.
We know that in the absence any written constitution, the Establishment largely make up the rules as they go along, but this Select Committee report from 2010 seems to set out what the situation is…ie that because of the sovereignty of parliament referendums cannot be binding in the UK and are therefore advisory, although difficult to ignore…
It will be interesting how that is interpreted.
I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me to suggest that parliament has the right to debate Brexit, but that there would have to be a very good case for ignoring the result.
Maybe 52-48 is not “decisive”. Maybe the fact that Gibraltar, Northern Ireland and Scotland, 3 of the 5 constituent states involved, voted more solidly NOT to leave makes the overall result less convincing and a case for ignoring it.
Warning: Don’t look any further if pictures of death and destruction upset you.
I don’t like taking sides in wars that are nothing to do with us and that I don’t fully understand. And heaven knows, how would someone like me understand war in the Middle East? How could any Brit?
Invariably there are bad and good on both sides. And invariably you lay yourself open to not unreasonable criticism if you favour one side against the other without understanding the intricacies.
Whatever the faults of the terrorists in Yemen, the Saudis, using weapons manufactured in the UK, aren’t targeting only terrorists. They are bombing hospitals and schools. They are killing little boys and little girls.
It’s bad enough that they are doing it. But it makes it very much our business that they are using UK-made weapons, and receiving strategic help from UK forces.
While Boris Johnson thinks that Londoners should demonstrate outside the Russian embassy to protest at the horrific bombings in Aleppo, he doesn’t show the same enthusiasm for protests outside the Saudi embassy. Of course, Boris’s lord and master isn’t a close personal friend of Mr Putin and no embarrassment would be caused to the Saxe Coburgs by Brits shouting anti-Russin war slogans.
According to various reports, the nutcases who have taken over the asylum, to use a very politically incorrect phrase from my granny’s era (ie Westminster), are still sure that the way to fix Brexit is for there to be a royal yacht… and for Kate Middleton to be its captain.
Well, maybe not quite its captain, but certainly the most important person on its decks.
Phew, and for a moment I thought we were sunk, if you’ll pardon the nautical pun.
But seriously there are those in the Tory party who think that as well as having a name and shame list of people who employ foreigners (that they now say they aren’t going to show anyone…so who’s it going to shame?) and a sacking rota in NHS England for any doctor not born in England (as soon as they can find a homegrown replacement), we should have a royal yacht built to take our betters around the world promoting Britain and British values… (y’know, greed, xenophobia and class rigidity, etc).
“I think we have to ask ourselves what sort of Britain we want to live in and what we can do … to make Britain great again,” said Jake Berry as he put forward a motion in parliament on Tuesday calling for the reintroduction of the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Well, I agree to an extent with the first part of what he said. At this period of great change we certainly need to consider what kind of country we want to live in. Do we want one where well over a million people depend on food banks? Are we happy with the number of children living in poverty? Are we proud of the fact that we have one of the lowest pension rates for old people in comparison to the average income? Are we satisfied that the Nation Living Wage doesn’t pay enough for people to live on? Do we feel happy spending more than two hundred billion pounds on a weapon we won’t use without express permission from another state? Do we want to do up Buckingham palace while people are living in cardboard boxes? Are we happy with a £9 billion bill for tarting up the Houses of Lords and Commons? Is a railway from London to Birmingham at a cost of probably £100 billion what we need more than anything else?
There are many other questions that spring to my mind. Funnily, should we have another royal yacht isn’t one of them. Maybe it’s just me, but… Oh well.
The second part of this great plan appears to be all about Kate. Lazy Willie’s lazy wife.
Not Willie himself, strangely, given that he’s royal and she’s not.
It seems that the people who brought you Brexit think that along with the royal yacht, the best thing to impress those foreigners that they dislike so profoundly but unfortunately need to impress, is Kate Middleton.
Never mind the fat lazy businessmen that prefer to play golf than go out and get orders. Let them spend their days and nights on the golf course and in the bar afterwards. leave it all to Kate.
And Brits wonder people laugh at them.