• An international laughing stock.

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    Today is Ash Wednesday. “Ashing” has a long history and pre-dates Christianity. The Good Lord referred to the practice in Matthew 11:21 and Luke 10:13: “If the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago (sitting) in sackcloth and ashes.”

    Covering oneself in ashes was often an expression of grief and/or loss. In essence it was also a public humiliation.

    Herr Jan Fleischhauer (EN: Mr John Butcher) has chosen this day to pen an article in Der Spiegel (EN: The Mirror) about Brexit.
    GOTO: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/brexit-talks-watching-a-country-make-a-fool-of-itself-a-1234143.html
    British Gazette comment:
    Mr Butcher is not far wrong insofar as the generality of his piece is concerned. His mistake of course is to tar everybody with the same brush. But then that its the problem with criticising a whole nation, whether it is Afghanistan, Venezuela or Zimbabwe. All of these three nations have far more serious problems that has the UK – even were the UK to opt stupidly for a “No Deal” Brexit!

    You see, what Mr Butcher FAILS to observe or point out – which of course this organ has been pointing out – is that notwithstanding it’s deeply flawed and broken political structure, the UK IS a democracy and it’s citizens ARE capable of bringing about radical change peacefully through the ballot box. Something the three aforementioned countries have difficulty with.

    Oh! I hear Mr Butcher (a German) shout (to me, a Briton) “British arrogance!”

    Hmm….. We have a saying over here; “Pot (cooking) meet kettle!” Or should I say, “Kochtopf treffen kessel!”

    To the question (Asked by a Kipper); “Why does a No Deal Brexit worry you?” I would reply; “Because the economic downturn would be rapid and would result in the election of a government that would seek UK re-entry into the EU which would mean entry into the Eurozone.”

    In other words, we would be worse off than we were on the 2016 Summer Solstice!

    But then, there is a strong possibility that Brexit will NOT take place!

    If the back bench Labour amendment gets through and the Withdrawal Agreement is enacted subject to a binding “Confirmatory Vote” that with have the British People vote on whether to A: Endorse the Bill and allow it to receive the Royal Assent OR B: Refuse to endorse the Bill and approve the relevant sections of the Bill that will have the affect of repealing the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (c. 16) and associated legislation and authorising the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union to issue a Statutory Instrument to revoke the UK’s Article 50 notification.

    The Bill would also have to exempt itself from the provisions of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41). This is done by the simple expedient of a clause stating; “The provisions of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41) shall not apply……”

    A key date will be Thursday 2nd May 2019, when the local elections in the United Kingdom are held. About 270 English local councils, 6 directly elected mayors in England, and all 11 local councils in Northern Ireland voted for. The grey areas in the map below (Isle of Man in black – not UK)show where the elections will take place. Should a “confirmatory vote” take place on the same day, then all of the UK will vote.

    If “Nomination Day” for the EuroParl elections occurs before 2nd May and the Bill assumes approval, then, should A50 be revoked (by the voters rejecting the WA and agreeing to revoke A50) we would have the situation where the UK remains in the EU but without any MEPs. This would lead to the EU Commission and the European Committee of Juggling sanctioning the UK. The most likely penalty would be a financial one. Payable not to the EU but to all persons on the electoral role in April-May 2019. The amount is probably going to be in the order of 100 to 200 Euros.

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