Happy Christmas Jack.

I am pretty certain you won’t get a hard Brexit. Surprisingly in view of events, even this government are not fool enough to allow one.





…well maybe its not Christmas Day every day but today I celebrated Christmas with my brother and his sons and their partners, all graduates in their early and mid 30s with tales to tell about the damage that Brexit is doing to their businesses and their future prospects.

These young men and women will not be voting for Brexit supporting parties anytime soon

Frog in a tree


Good morning Frog,

You made me a tad envious when I read your recent posts: Montbazilliac - it is a few years since I enjoyed a glass or two of that delightful drink I trust that you enjoyed it fully…

Something I have wondered about a few times but have never bother to ask any of my younger relatives is that they, being in their 30’s and 40’s, have no idea of what life without the EU would be like and perhaps are almost “frightened” by the thought of life outside the EU and any additional paper work that probably comes with it. How things change, in the early 70’s we voted to join the EU but I do not recall many worrying about the changes we would have to make in the U.K. to adapt to EU rules.

Enjoy the rest of your Christmas and enjoy a glass of montbazilliac for me please.

Best regards



I shall indeed open a bottle of Monbazillac tonight or tomorrow. On the EU, one of my nephews is a senior manager in a small cutting edge automotive company. It really hits you in the face when they tell you that the staff are working a 4 day week due to brexit. The world of business and ways of seeingthe world have changed since 1975. We are much more integrated now.

Frog in a tree


Plenty talked about that at the time I remember.
Of more concern to many was the fact that since leaving the 50s with a British Empire on the verge of collapse… and then an ever struggling, downward spiraling economy with declining GDP… most saw it as an opportunity.

Whereas today… seems that even Leavers understand the UK will be worse off… but want to Leave anyway.


Hi JW,

You may well be absolutely correct on this, ceratainly the Empire had come to an end by the early 50’s to be replace by the Commonwealth.

The trades unions were causing the country many problems culminating in the 3 day week in the mid seventies which was around the time and Reb Rob lording it over the motorcar manufacturing industry certainly didn’t help - remember the Austin Allagro?

To me I ould rather the U.K. make its own laws and have our own inept politicians rather the possibilty of becoming “a region” of the U.K. with unaccountable and unelected bureaucrats in Brussels lording it over us.

Have a good New Year and let us hope that the differences between us can be lessened in the nest year.

Kind regards



Yep sure. Happy New Year.
To be honest, it all gets a bit wearing doesn’t it? Suspect that’s also what TM is relying on come mid-Jan with the vote.

Someday this Brexit malarkey is gonna end.



…the utter incompetence of this government is there for all to see. Currently we have an emergency as desperate refugees try to cross the Channel. Sajid Javid joins the fray to big himself up in the leadership stakes by cancelling his family time in order to deal with the crisis. At the very time when we need good relations with our European neighbours we are in the midst of the Brexit crisis. And we expect France to save us from this “invasion” of refugees? They might well ask why? That there is a crisis in the middle east is clear and equally it is clear that with the US that the UK has been a major cause of the death and destruction there. Has the UK played a part in dealing with the refugee crisis? Has it hell! HMG Has done as little as possible to take its fair share of refugees preferring to leave our European neighbours to deal with it, even to the extent that it has not provided sufficient resources to assess claims for asylum in the UK on internationally accepted criteria.

Now the Tories are squabbling among themselves as to whether we need to send more border patrols into the English Channel these having been cut to just one boat as a result of the austerity programme which has only benefited rich tax payers.


Frog in a tree



…more mixed messages as even Brexiters find positives in EU membership. This is from the eurosceptic Times:

"The current government has few higher priorities than to appear in control of Britain’s borders. An increase in the number of people from Middle Eastern and African countries taking advantage of relatively calm seas and forgiving weather to cross the Channel and seek asylum in Britain, therefore, has caused political vapours. Sajid Javid, the home secretary, is at pains to be seen to take the situation seriously.

He rushed back from his safari holiday in South Africa to declare a “major incident” and to “drive our continued and enhanced response”, swiftly announcing an “action plan”. His opponents are calling this a crisis. In truth, it will only escalate into a crisis if the government succumbs to political pressure to respond with arbitrary shows of force rather than measured pragmatism.

A significant proportion of those brought ashore in recent days are from Iran. Wealthier than Syrians or Afghans, Iranians are more likely to be able to pay smuggling gangs, and many found a route into Europe when Serbia offered visa-free travel to Iranian citizens for a period last year. Experts have been aware of that for some time, and ministers ought to have seen the uptick coming. Now that it has happened, the government’s response needs to be sensible and cool-headed. To start with, it is important to keep the numbers in perspective. More than 220 people have tried to cross since November. That sounds like a lot, but it is easy to overplay the significance. After all, an average of 2,500 asylum seekers reached Britain each month last year.

Ministers should resist calls for a theatrical response. At present only one of the government’s five “cutters”, or rescue boats, is in the Strait of Dover and some Conservative MPs are angry at its refusal to send more, or even to deploy the Navy. Yet fighting the influx with boats is counterproductive. It would not be interpreted by prospective migrants as a warning gesture or deterrent but rather as an invitation to come to British waters and get rescued by British vessels.

Ministers have promised instead to redouble their co-operation with the French authorities. They are, of course, right to work with law enforcement agencies to crack down on the smuggling gangs operating out of Calais. It is a shame that the promises of enhanced co-operation have come only in response to a perceived crisis. In any case, the Élysée Palace is hardly going to be in the mood to spend money to ease pressure on the British as demonstrators take to the streets of Paris to protest against fiscal tightening.

The only way to keep migrants safe and to secure Britain’s borders is to send the right message to anyone wondering whether to attempt the perilous journey. How the Home Office administers those who have made it here is a central part of that. Mr Javid should instruct his officials not to drag their feet and weaponise red tape and delay, as immigration officers like to do, but instead to press on with paperwork, interviews, security checks and decisions at pace. Then migrants without genuine asylum claims can be quickly sent back across the Channel.

Under the European Union’s Dublin system asylum seekers are supposed to be processed in the first EU country that they enter. As a member state relatively remote from the EU’s borders with the rest of the world Britain has always been an enthusiastic advocate of that system, yet last year only 314 asylum seekers were moved to another EU country to have their claim processed.

After Brexit it will be more difficult to make use of the Dublin system. Britain will have no automatic access to it and, if excluded, could not compel France to take migrants back. If Mr Javid wants to avoid his own winter of discontent he should be making good use of the EU system while he still can."

Frog in tree



…more news about Brexit, some of it positive. The latest is the American Ambassador warning that there will be no free trade agreement with the US if May’s deal is approved.

So that’s sorted then. No chlorinated chicken for us as May’s deal is unlikely to be approved and parliament will not support a no deal Brexit.

Its all crumbling…


Frog in a tree


Well @frog_in_a_tree… it’s fairly simple IMHO… if the UK is in the Transition Period or in the Customs Union… then it can’t negotiate or implement a FTA with any other country.

With the May Deal then there’ll be a Transition Period but whether we are or aren’t in the Customs Union thereafter depends on the negotiations.

I’m surprised that some of the Press seem to think that the negotiations stages are done… they have barely begun.


"The contract award notice reveals that the tender process took place “without prior publication of a call for competition”…It states that the limited process was due to “a situation of extreme urgency” in the run-up to the UK’s EU departure date…The document shows that the contract received a single bid, from Seaborne Freight.

Seaborne Freight will need to “source ferries, hire and train staff and link with relevant authorities”, according to Rod McKenzie, a managing director at the RHA (Road Haulage Association)…“It looks an impossible timescale.”"


When this was first mentioned by Pete I didn’t think much of this story as seemed to be good planning for the case of No Brexit. The more I’ve read on this… and read the link to the contract award notice in the story… seems to me that some heads are going to roll on this… and can’t see how at least one Minister will survive… but then we are in strange times… where every vote will be needed in a couple of weeks or so.

From the contract award notice:

IV.1.1)Type of procedure
Award of a contract without prior publication of a call for competition in the Official Journal of the European Union in the cases listed below

Extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable for the contracting authority and in accordance with the strict conditions stated in the directive


A situation of extreme urgency exists in the context of UK-EU roll-on-roll-off ferry capacity by virtue of the UK leaving the EU on 29.3.2019 and the prospect that this exit may be on a no-deal basis. This extreme urgency arises from a combination of events, and the anticipated response to those events of a range of entities, including:

  1. The possibility of severe congestion at and around UK ports from 29.3.2019, caused by increased border checks by European Union Member States, and consequently a significant reduction in capacity at ports on the short straits. It is anticipated that this could, without further intervention to secure additional ferry capacity, cause delivery of critical goods to be delayed and cause significant wider disruption to the UK economy and to the road network in Kent;

  2. The significant lead times that are required to source additional ferry capacity which require action to be taken several months in advance of the capacity being required to be delivered and

  3. Unexpected and unforeseeable limitations on the extent to which the market has to date been able to respond to these circumstances by putting in place contingency plans to deal with this scenario.

So… “Extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable for the contracting authority and in accordance with the strict conditions stated in the directive”
… over 2 1/2 years after the Leave Vote… weeks after the Withdrawals Agreement was concluded with EU… and near the end of their 2 1/2 week break… the situation is all of a sudden deemed extremely urgent.
Why couldn’t they have had a proper procurement process even a year ago… these events are not “unforeseeable”… they are entirely predictable… and were predicted even as part of the Remain Campaign in 2016… of course that would have been “Project Fear”… well guess what the Fear is here and we’re starting to pay for it.

It really will be incredible if they get away with this.


Gov Ferry Deal?? More Monty Python from the Companies WEB Site
“It is the responsibility of the customer to thoroughly check the supplied goods before agreeing to pay for any meal/order,” read part of the text on the company’s website.

Question how does a company worth £60 with no ships and T&C s copied from a takaway become aware of secret Gov enquiry for shipping contract. worth millions ??? anyone??


Well Pete… it’s entirely reasonable given that £14mill of public money is being spent on this to ask at least these questions:
i) how and when was the contractor, Seaborne Freight (UK) Ltd first made aware of the procurement contract?
ii) who from Government established contact with Seaborne Freight (UK) Ltd management and what were their previous relationships ie. how did they know each other?

That would be useful to start with.

If you’re interested further… you could send a Freedom of Information Request to of the Department of Transport in this format:

I am concerned about the recent contract award to Seaborne Freight (UK) Ltd titled, “Additional Shipping Freight Capacity, Reference number: TISEM00002”

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I would be grateful if you would supply me with the following information:




…we get more evidence on how detached the Conservative Party is from the mainstream of public opinion. Today, we get a report on the attitudes towards Brexit of its membership:

That 76% of Conservative members would choose a No Deal Brexit over Remain should not surprise us too much given that the average age of the party membership which stands at 72. It really is a wonder why the rest of us should even think of voting for a party which is so unrepresentative of the popoulation as a whole. When business is howling in pain at the threat of the Hard Brexit so desired by these people how can we still consider that this is the party of business?

While some of us may find this collection of people masquerading as a political party faintly ridiculous, it is a worry when these backward looking people wield such influence over our political life.

Theresa May certainly has a major problem in delivering a Brexit which minimises the damage to our nation.


Frog in a tree


Not really given the majority voted to leave the E.U., they are delivering what we voted for, tick in the box to LEAVE .

Re Businesses screaming ? I read today that China new car sales are down 3% , Brexit related ?


I see your name is still “greyed out”!


Read today that top bosses pay for 2019 already matches the average salary. (Passed the minimum wage)
the thought of losing all their “hard earnt” bonuses is a more likely cause of the howling.


That isn’t a surprise re: Tory Membership. In The 2016 Referendum a similar % of Tory Membership (70%) voted to Leave the EU.
Tory Party Membership isn’t representative of the UK population then or now.