The Brief: Boris’ Brexit baloney

The Brief is's evening newsletter.


So has Boris Johnson let the cat out of the bag? Has the blonde bombshell it blown it by blurting out that Brexit will soon begin?

Boris said that Article 50, the legal process to take Britain out of the UK, would be invoked early next year.

That would end the phony war of no negotiation without notification. It will kickstart proper, grown-up Brexit talks, hopefully ending in a jumbo trade deal, Boris said with probably some added Latin and charming buffoonery.

Except stern spoilsport Theresa May, prime minister, has only bloody gone and told our hero Boris “no dice old chum” – or words to that effect.

Cripes. May has already slapped down her other two chief Brexit ministers for letting their tongues get the better of them. It raises an interesting question for the Commission…

But Boris isn’t the only blighter to have blathered about Article 50’s arrival in January or February. Donald Tusk has, and so has Enda Kenny.

So it looks like the evidence is mounting in favour of early next year. Apart from one undeniable and unavoidable piece of concrete proof that there is absolutely no chance of that happening.

Boris Johnson said it would. And there’s one thing everyone in Brussels knows.

You can never believe Boris Johnson.

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The US and Boeing are celebrating after the WTO said that EU subsidies for Airbus were illegal. That leaves the EU facing $10bn in fines.

Almost everyone has admitted that EU-US trade deal TTIP won’t happen this year, including these trade ministers. In fact, Austria and France want to rechristen TTIP in a quixotic bid to detoxify the brand.

But it is not all doom and division in matters transatlantic. Today Germans and Americans meet at the Brandenburg gate to take down a three-metre-high wall with Donald Trump painted on it.

Bernie Sanders’ brother plans to run for election as an MP in David Cameron’s old constituency. You remember David? Went to Eton, slept with a pig (allegedly), resigned after plunging his country into constitutional crisis?

Tory Ian Duncan, the lead MEP on the Emissions Trading System, is flexing his mental muscles with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But if the EU doesn’t get the Paris Agreement ratified sharpish, it risks missing out on a seat on an influential decision-making body.

UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, tells why she should be the next UN Secretary-General. Budget Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva might not agree.

Prize for the best line in the fallout of the Kroes Bahamas Leaks controversy? “The fish rots from the head,” said Die Linke MEP Fabio De Masi, who called Juncker, “The godfather of corporate tax dodging.” More of these types of quotes in Brussels, please!

Brussels is meddling in how many coathangers homeowners must leave in their wardrobe for renting guests – a classic faceless bureaucrats story for Boris Johnson.

And it’s not just Brangelina who are separating. So is shipping giant Maersk, into transport and energy companies.

The Netherlands is unlikely to ratify the EU-Ukraine association agreement after voters rejected it in one of those pesky referendums. Meanwhile, another referendum in Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region could end very badly.

The coronation of Jeremy Corbyn as re-elected leader of the UK’s Labour Party on Saturday. David Miliband said Corbyn was “unelectable” in a transparently timed outburst yesterday. By our count, Jezza is on the cusp of his second leadership victory, while David, inexplicably popular in Brussels, couldn’t even win one.



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