Well, another week has passed and the wheels of Brexit keep turning, slowly.... The latest rounds of talks due for Spetember 18th, have been delayed until the 25th
and the delay seems to be for 'consultations' in the UK (Rumor is Eeyore will give a major, outline policy speech of some kind on the issue, but nothing is confirmed).
But time ticks on and Jean-Claude Junker has delivered his annual, 'State Of The EU Speech' in the European Parliament, the key points are here
. Seemingly to the dismay of the Brexiteers, Junker basically ignored the issue and instead centered on EU reforms post Brexit (The UK Right Wing media sees it as a snub of course
, the only real mention was a sweet nod to Heil Farage with the message, "the EU will regret the loss of the UK, and I think you will regret it in time too.") But the EU is a far bigger beast than one tiny group of the population with a goal to end the entire EU system and this speech was not to be expected. The German elections end this month and there then is a 'stable political period', within the EU area, with few national elections before the EU MEP elections in March 2019 (when Brexiteers seemingly get their initial wet dream and the EU will move on).
The EU will reform and continue regardless of Brexit and Junker's speech outlined new ideals for the expansion of the Schengen area, the continuation and expansion of the single market and single currency (including the formation of a committee and board that will 'pre-arrange' national currencies for rapid integration into the Euro system) and the most stark proposal was the end of the 'national veto' for defense and foreign issues, with the further expansion of the 'Standing European Army'.
As is the way with politics, these plans seemed to split the chamber with clear divisions in certain areas. But the nationalist parties look like they might actually have to accept these proposals. The leaving of the UK will strip them of some of their most virulent supporters within the Tories and UKIP and could leave them short of the required numbers needed to block the final votes! Brexit is going to reform the EU, just a shame the UK cannot help with the reforms.... (Well, I suppose it has by leaving one side short of required numbers!)
Let's have look at issues within the UK though....
Phase one of the Repeal Bill has made it through the Commons, with a majority of 326 to 290. The Tories have now got their post-Brexit proposals into the discussion chambers and meeting rooms of the Commons where the 'Draconian Powers' that quietly unite Brexiteer and Remainer can be debated and reformed into a state where they might make sense and be actually usable, but will the senior Tories notice these reforms, or push their crazy plans anyway? All the way through the debate, the number of backbench Tories who were of the opinion that, "we'll vote for this Bill so we can actually try to reform it, but you better listen!" The final vote is due in 12 or so months, when the real votes over Brexit are all being forced through the Commons' doors so Ministers have plenty of time to notice the reforms, but since they're so blind to everything going on around them, they might well face a massive rebellion if they charge on regardless with the initial outlines.
The latest figures for unemployment
have also been published these last few hours and at first glance, they look good! Record low unemployment figures and something that looks good, even in Brexit uncertainty. But look deeper at the numbers and serious cracks in the figures hide some stark truths....
These figures don't show the number of 'employed' who work on zero hours contracts and are not always employed every week, or on as little as four hours a week at rates well below the set 'minimum wage'. Add to this the general reduction in 'take home pay', in ten years, for every employed person and the number of employed that are coming from overseas to plug serious holes in key skill groups. Brexit is going to do nothing but end that 'migration' to fill the gaps and the amount of employers that want to actually employ local people to fill roles, but no one wants to do it as the locals see it as 'below them', dirty work, or even too unskilled! 2019 will show the UK what this gap means and the amount of 'fruit-picking apprenticeships' that will appear come that summer....