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The reasons and perils of Israel’s dangerous game in Syria

Israel’s bombing of Syrian positions in the Golan Heights is part of a strategy of creating an Al-Qaeda controlled buffer zone as Israel’s strategic position deteriorates in light of the pending victory of the Syrian government in the Syrian war.

Alexander Mercouris

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One of the most important things to have happened in the Syrian war over the last few months is that the veil of Israel’s neutrality in the war has been thrown off.

This veil was always very thin.  It is no secret in the Middle East that the Syrian conflict has been all about breaking the ‘Axis of Resistance’ of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah by attacking Syria, which was supposed to be its weakest link.

The ‘Axis of Resistance’ of course gets its name because of its ‘resistance’ to Israel.  It is not surprising therefore that Israel is implacably hostile to it, and has long sought to break it up. Since the ‘Axis of Resistance’ – and the extension of Iranian power that comes with it – is also seen as a threat by the conservative Arab Gulf States and by the US, that explains the de facto alliance between them and Israel which has been the main driver of the Syrian war.

Our contributor Afra’a Dagher – who is Syrian and who writes from Syria – has written about all this extensively.   Israeli leaders have also spoken about all it with refreshing directness and frankness which one never gets from the leaders of the West.  Consider for example the public admission in January 2016 of Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon that he would rather see the victory of ISIS in Syria than the perpetuation of Iranian influence there.

It is clear by now however that this plan has badly miscarried.

Following the intervention of Russia in 2015 it became increasingly clear that the Syrian government was going to survive.  Following the liberation of eastern Aleppo last December it also became clear that the Syrian government was likely to regain control of the populous regions of ‘useful Syria’ on Syria’s Mediterranean coast.  Following the Russian-Turkish-Iranian ceasefire plan agreed in May the Syrian government’s control of ‘useful Syria’ has been consolidated.  Following the offensives of the Syrian army in eastern Syria it is becoming clear that the plan to hive off eastern Syria in order to create a Sunni client state there has also failed.  The US has now publicly admitted as much.

All of this from an Israeli point of view is serious enough.  However of even greater concern must be that the result of the Syrian war is leaving Israel’s strategic position much weaker than it was before the war started.  To see why consider the following four facts:

(1) The Syrian army is now a far more formidable force than it was before the war

The Syrian army before 2011 was like most Arab armies inefficient and shot through with corruption.  Six years of war have however cut out the dead and rotten wood, improving discipline and morale, and giving the army’s commanders battlefield experience exceeding anything the Israeli army now has.  It has also massively improved the Syrian army’s command and control systems.

The blisteringly fast parallel advance of three large Syrian military columns across the desert of central and eastern Syria towards Deir Ezzor which is currently underway speaks of the very highest quality of staff work.  This is not something the Syrian army was capable of before the war.

Quite probably much of this staff work – perhaps all of it – is being done for the Syrian army by the Russians, who have historically excelled at staff work.  However even if Syrian commanders involved in the operation are purely beneficiaries of staff work being done for them by the Russians, they will be experiencing the effect of first class staff work for the first time and will be learning vital lessons from it.

There are also reports of the wholesale retraining of Syrian officers and soldiers by Russian advisers and of the Syrians being supplied by Russia with sophisticated weapons such as T90 tanks, BTR82 armoured vehicles, Igla man portable surface to air missiles (MANPADS) and by Iran with sophisticated Iranian drones.

The Syrian army has also gained for the first time in its history experience of close air support for ground troops engaged in both offensive and defensive operations, with the Syrians learning all about how to train and position forward air controllers and how to maintain communications during ground fighting between ground forces and air forces.

(2) President Assad’s prestige and authority is being increased

The Syrian government has been the most consistent opponent of Israel amongst the governments of the Arab states since at least the 1960s.  Whereas Egypt and Jordan have concluded peace treaties with Israel, Syria has consistently refused to do so.

President Bashar Al-Assad inherited this policy from his father, former Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad.  Until the outbreak of the Syrian war he was however widely seen as a weak leader, too intellectual and too westernised to replace his father in leading Syria effectively.

In the event President Assad rose to the challenge of the war.  His success in holding Syria together through the extraordinary stresses of the war, the leadership he has provided to his people, to his government and to his army, and his skilful diplomacy, which has won him the vital backing of Russia, will inevitably once the war is over increase his prestige, not just within Syria but in the Arab world as a whole.  He will be seen as the man who at the risk of his own life stayed at his post even as his official residence was almost entirely surrounded by Jihadi fighters, and who stood up to the US, Israel, the Gulf Arab States, NATO, Turkey, Al-Qaeda and ISIS, and against all the odds won.

The war has transformed President Assad – amongst Arab leaders Israel’s most implacable enemy – into a potentially towering figure, arguably the most imposing the Arab world has had since the death of Gamal Nasser.  Moreover unlike tyrannical and blustering figures like Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar Al-Assad – dignified, educated and articulate in both Arabic and English – looks like someone Arabs can identify with, and who like Nasser the outside world can take seriously.

The Israelis must be worried as to what use President Assad will put his newly found authority and prestige when the Syrian war is over and his hands are finally freed.  Will he become a beacon of opposition to them as Nasser once was?  The possibility is there.

(3) The Syrian-Iranian alliance has been massively strengthened

In my opinion the ultimate origin of the Syrian war is the 2006 conflict in Lebanon when the Lebanese Shiite resistance group Hezbollah successfully held off the assault of the Israeli army.  This event spread alarm not just in Israel but in the US and amongst the Gulf Arab States about the powerful Iranian led ‘Axis of Resistance’ which was in the process of forming.  As discussed above, the Syrian war was essentially launched to break it.

I will now state my view that this pre-2011 fear about the emergence of the ‘Axis of Resistance’ – often conflated with the somewhat different concept of the so-called ‘Shia Crescent’ – was overdone.  Before 2011 Hezbollah was a purely Lebanese movement, which posed no threat to the existence of Israel, whilst Syria, though Israel’s enemy and allied to both Hezbollah and Iran, posed no threat to Israel either.  As for Iran, though it did have a powerful military, it was also far away and was then and – in my opinion still is now – overwhelmingly focused on its own security.

As for the idea of some sort of territorially contiguous ‘Shia Crescent‘ forming a ‘land-bridge’ linking Iran with Hezbollah across Syria and Iraq, this was a concept which before 2011 had no reality.  Certainly no such ‘land-bridge’ could have existed in 2006 when Hezbollah defeated Israel’s assault in Lebanon because Iraq at that time was under US occupation following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, ensuring that the US would intercept whatever supplies Iran might have tried to send to Hezbollah through there.

The effect of the Syrian war is however that it has actually brought all the elements of the ‘Axis of Resistance’ together and is adding Iraq to them, making the concept of a ‘land-bridge’ from Iran to Hezbollah across Syria and Iraq finally into a potential reality.

Iranian influence has markedly increased in Syria as a result of the war.  Iranian troops are now present in Syria where before 2011 there were none.  There are also now large numbers of Iranian commanded Shia militia from Iraq there.  Hezbollah is now also fighting alongside the Syrian army there. Syria and Iraq have discovered a commonality of interest in fighting ISIS and other Jihadi movements which they never had before, and are now de facto allies.  Both are allies of Iran.

With the coordinated arrival of Syrian and Iraqi troops at their common border for the first time in years, the much feared and talked about ‘land-bridge’ linking Iran with Hezbollah across Iraq and Syria is now finally close to becoming a reality.  Not only is it now theoretically possible to send supplies by road from Iran through Iraq and Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon, but there is now for the first time a real possibility of it actually happening.

(4) Israel is losing its strategic dominance in the region because of the coming of Russia 

If the arrival of the Russians in Syria in 2015 was the single event which decisively turned the tide of the war in Syria, Russia’s recent decision to set up a huge network of bases in Syria – a fully fledged naval base in Tartus, a permanent air base in Khmeimim, and a huge supporting complex of advanced surface to air missiles, electronic warfare systems, radars, and listening stations – means that Israel’s hitherto unchallenged strategic dominance in this region is being lost.

To be clear, the Russian presence in Syria is not directed at Israel, and the Russians have been at pains to make clear that they are not Israel’s enemy.  However the presence of the sophisticated military of a nuclear superpower so close to Israel’s territory cannot but fill the Israelis with foreboding since over time, as the situation in Syria stabilises, it will inevitably come to constrain Israel’s actions.

The US has twice been obliged to limit its air operations in Syria after the Russians turned off the ‘de-confliction’ hotline between the US and Russian militaries in Syria (see here and here).

There is a separate ‘de-confliction’ hotline in existence between the militaries of Israel and Russia.  Since it is hardly plausible that Israel will be prepared to send its aircraft to places where the mighty US air force refuses to go, the Israelis must dread the day when the Russians decide to do the same to them, forcing them like the US to limit their flights in Syrian airspace.

That day may not be so far off.

The Russians during the Syrian war have shown that they will act strongly if either the US or Israel take military action which directly threatens the Syrian government, or which interferes with the offensive operations of the Syrian army.

Thus the Russians reacted sharply last October when the US seemed to be considering strikes on Syrian forces to break the siege of Jihadi controlled eastern Aleppo and following a US air attack on Syrian troops defending Deir Ezzor, and more recently they also reacted sharply when the US shot down a Syrian SU-22 fighter during the ongoing Syrian army offensive in northern Syria against ISIS.  They also reacted sharply when Israel recently bombed Syria’s vital Tiyas air base, calling in the Israeli ambassador to protest an action which was clearly intended to obstruct the Syrian army’s eastern campaign against ISIS.

The Russians have however shown far greater forbearance in responding to attacks that they consider pinpricks ie. occasional US or Israeli strikes on Syrian troops or facilities which pose no direct threat to the Syrian government, and which do not affect the conduct of Syrian army operations which the Russians consider important.  The muted Russian response to the recent US shooting down of an Iranian drone was merely one example of this.

However once the situation in Syria stabilises and the country is at peace the Russians are unlikely to go on showing the same forbearance.  Israeli attacks on Syria will then be attacks on Russia’s most important friend and ally in the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean, a country which will be hosting Russia’s biggest network of bases outside former Soviet territory, and one which will also be hosting tens of thousands of Russian visitors, not just military personnel manning the bases but civilian visitors and tourists visiting a friendly country which will no longer be a war zone.

In light of this there has to be an overwhelming likelihood that the Russians will at some point tell the Israelis that further attacks on Syria will no longer be tolerated, and must stop.

Beyond this there is there is the change in the regional balance caused by the mere presence of the Russian bases in Syria.

Already there are reports in the Israeli media of Israeli concern that Russian radars in Syria already possess the ability to track the flight of every Israeli aircraft taking off from every air base in Israel.  It is highly likely Russian listening stations in Syria and in Russia monitoring signals that might affect the operation of Russia’s Syrian bases will before long start listening to Israeli signals traffic even if they are not doing so already.  Meanwhile the electronic warfare systems the Russians have already deployed to Syria – notably the Krasukha-S4 – are probably already capable of jamming Israeli signals traffic and the operation of some Israeli weapons systems.

The Israelis must also worry about what might happen if the Russians one day start passing on some of the information their intelligence gathering systems in Syria are providing them to the Syrians.  After all it is standard practice for a country operating bases in another country to share intelligence it obtains through use of these bases with the host country.  The Syrians might in that case obtain intelligence about Israel of a quality they have never had before.

Regardless of that, with the Russians already in Syria and listening in to Israel’s signals traffic the possibility of Israel mounting a surprise attack on Syria like the one it carried off so spectacularly in 1967 has gone, probably forever.

It is not difficult therefore to see why Israel should be so concerned about recent developments in Syria.  A war which was at least in part intended to make Israel’s position stronger is ending up by making it much weaker.

It is these concerns which undoubtedly lie behind Israel’s most recent actions.

Despite Israeli denials the recent Israeli bombing raids on Syrian military positions in the Golan Heights are clearly intended to support an Al-Qaeda offensive against Syrian troops there.  The plan appears to be to create an Al-Qaeda controlled buffer zone between Israel and the Syrian military in the Golan Heights, the one area where Syria and Israel territorially adjoin each other, and where their militaries directly confront each other.

The Israelis after all tried to do the same thing when they set up the so-called ‘South Lebanese Army” in southern Lebanon to control a buffer zone there after their invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

If that is the Israeli plan – and everything suggests that it is – then the Lebanese experience ought to serve as a warning.

Al-Qaeda led Jihadi fighters are scarcely reliable allies for Israel, and in trying to manipulate them Israel is holding a scorpion by the tail.

By meddling in the Golan Heights Israel risks becoming bogged down in a prolonged war there, allied to Jihadi fighters who are its sworn enemy.  It is easy to see how this could turn out disastrously, with Israel over time becoming bogged down in a war in the Golan Heights similar to the war it fought and lost in southern Lebanon, which gave rise to Hezbollah.

Rather than engage in these dangerous games in Syria Israel would be far better advised to start looking at serious options to make peace, both with Syria and with the Palestinians.  Given that both of the two superpowers currently engaged in the Middle East – the US and Russia – are at present friendly towards Israel, there is no better time to do so than now.  Delaying doing it risks leaving Israel in a much weaker position than the one it is in now, as the situation in the Middle East following the end of the Syrian war starts to turn against it.

Unfortunately there is no sign that the present Israeli leadership – made complacent by long years of having things always go its way – has any thought of doing this.

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gbardizbanian

I greatly appreciate your comments on President Assad. I truly think he is an extraordinary political figure. He has never given up, he has not deserted his residence in Syria. He has stood up against a formidable alliance of treacherous ennemies: the US, the EU, Turkey, the Arab vassals of the US, NATO, etc…This is an incredible achievement. The Russians played their part but they wouldn’t have achieved anything if Assad had been a weak leader.

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BARR: No collusion by any Americans

Trump never used his powers to interfere with Mueller, and thus had no “corrupt intent” in the matter.

Alex Christoforou

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Attorney General Barr found no one in the Trump campaign colluded with “Russia” to meddle in the 2016 US election.

A devastating blow to Democrats and their mainstream media stenographers.

Trump reacted immediately…

Via RT…

With the full report on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into claims President Donald Trump colluded with Russia about to be released, Attorney General William Barr is giving a press conference about its findings.

Barr maintains the allegation that the Russian government made efforts to interfere in the election through the Internet Research Agency, an alleged Kremlin-control “troll farm”, as well as “hacking efforts” by the Russian intelligence agency GRU.

The bottom line, Barr says, is that Mueller has found Russia tried to interfere in the election, but “no American” helped it.

Barr explained the White House’s interaction with the Mueller report, whether Trump used executive privilege to block any of its contents from release, as well as on how the Justice Department chose which bits of the 400-page paper to redact.

On the matter of obstruction of justice, Barr said he and his deputy Rod Rosenstein have reviewed Mueller’s evidence and “legal theories”, and found that there is no evidence to show Trump tried to disrupt the investigation.

He said Trump never used his powers to interfere with Mueller, and thus had no “corrupt intent” in the matter.

Most of the redactions in the report were made to protect ongoing investigations and personal information of “peripheral third parties”.

Barr said that no-one outside the Justice Department took part in the redacting process or saw the unredacted version, except for the intelligence community, which was given access to parts of it to protect sources.

Trump did not ask to make any changes to Mueller’s report, Barr said.

Trump’s personal counsel was given access to the redacted report before its release.

A number of Trump-affiliated people, as well as Russian nationals, have been indicted, charged or put on trial by Mueller over the course of the past two years, but none for election-related conspiracy. Still, Democrats in Congress as well as numerous establishment media personalities have been insisting that Barr, a Trump pick for AG office, is somehow “spinning” its findings in order to protect and exonerate Trump, and are calling to see the full report as soon as possible.

They have equally condemned Barr’s decision to hold a news conference before the report is release, claiming he is trying to shape the public perception in Trump’s favor.

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Moscow’s Strategy: To Win Everywhere, Every Time

The main feature of Moscow’s approach is to find areas of common interest with its interlocutor and to favor the creation of trade or knowledge exchange.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Important events have occurred in the Middle East and North Africa in recent weeks that underline how the overall political reconfiguration of the region is in full swing. The Shia axis continues its diplomatic relations and, following Rouhani’s meeting in Baghdad, it was the turn of Adil Abdul-Mahdi to be received in Tehran by the highest government and religious authorities. Among the many statements released, two in particular reveal the high level of cooperation between the two countries, as well as demonstrating how the Shia axis is in full bloom, carrying significant prospects for the region. Abdul-Mahdi also reiterated that Iraq will not allow itself to be used as a platform from which to attack Iran: “Iraqi soil will not be allowed to be used by foreign troops to launch any attacks against Iran. The plan is to export electricity and gas for other countries in the region.”

Considering that these two countries were mortal enemies during Saddam Hussein’s time, their rapprochement is quite a (geo)political miracle, owing much of its success to Russia’s involvement in the region. The 4+1 coalition (Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria plus Hezbollah) and the anti-terrorism center in Baghdad came about as a result of Russia’s desire to coordinate all the allied parties in a single front. Russia’s military support of Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah (together with China’s economic support) has allowed Iran to begin to transform the region such that the Shia axis can effectively counteract the destabilizing chaos unleashed by the trio of the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

One of the gaps to be filled in the Shia axis lies in Lebanon, which has long experienced an internal conflict between the many religious and political currents in the country. The decision by Washington to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel pushed the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, to make an important symbolic visit to Moscow to meet with President Putin.

Once again, the destabilizing efforts of the Saudis, Israelis and Americans are having the unintended effect of strengthening the Shia axis. It seems that this trio fails to understood how such acts as murdering Khashoggi, using civilian planes to hide behind in order to conduct bombing runs in Syria, recognizing the occupied territories like the Golan Heights – how these produce the opposite effects to the ones desired.

The supply of S-300 systems to Syria after the downing of the Russian reconnaissance plane took place as a result of Tel Aviv failing to think ahead and anticipate how Russia may respond.

What is surprising in Moscow’s actions is the versatility of its diplomacy, from the deployment of the S-300s in Syria, or the bombers in Iran, to the prompt meetings with Netanyahu in Moscow and Mohammad bin Salman at the G20. The ability of the Russian Federation to mediate and be present in almost every conflict on the globe restores to the country the international stature that is indispensable in counterbalancing the belligerence of the United States.

The main feature of Moscow’s approach is to find areas of common interest with its interlocutor and to favor the creation of trade or knowledge exchange. Another military and economic example can be found in a third axis; not the Shia or Saudi-Israeli-US one but the Turkish-Qatari one. In Syria, Erdogan started from positions that were exactly opposite to those of Putin and Assad. But with decisive military action and skilled diplomacy, the creation of the Astana format between Iran, Turkey and Russia made Turkey and Qatar publicly take the defense of Islamist takfiris and criminals in Idlib. Qatar for its part has a two-way connection with Turkey, but it is also in open conflict with the Saudi-Israeli axis, with the prospect of abandoning OPEC within a few weeks. This situation has allowed Moscow to open a series of negotiations with Doha on the topic of LNG, with these two players controlling most of the LNG on the planet. It is evident that also the Turkish-Qatari axis is strongly conditioned by Moscow and by the potential military agreements between Turkey and Russia (sale of S-400) and economic and energy agreements between Moscow and Doha.

America’s actions in the region risks combining the Qatari-Turkish front with the Shia axis, again thanks to Moscow’s skilful diplomatic work. The recent sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, together with the withdrawal from the JCPOA (the Iranian nuclear agreement), has created concern and bewilderment in the region and among Washington’s allies. The act of recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as belonging to Israel has brought together the Arab world as few events have done in recent times. Added to this, Trump’s open complaints about OPEC’s high pricing of oil has forced Riyadh to start wondering out aloud whether to start selling oil in a currency other than the dollar. This rumination was quickly denied, but it had already been aired. Such a decision would have grave implications for the petrodollar and most of the financial and economic power of the United States.

If the Shia axis, with Russian protection, is strengthened throughout the Middle East, the Saudi-Israel-American triad loses momentum and falls apart, as seen in Libya, with Haftar now one step closer in unifying the country thanks to the support of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France and Russia, with Fayez al-Sarraj now abandoned by the Italians and Americans awaiting his final defeat.

While the globe continues its multipolar transformation, the delicate balancing role played by Russia in the Middle East and North Africa is emphasized. The Venezuelan foreign minister’s recent visit to Syria shows how the front opposed to US imperialist bullying is not confined to the Middle East, with countries in direct or indirect conflict with Washington gathering together under the same protective Sino-Russian umbrella.

Trump’s “America First” policy, coupled with the conviction of American exceptionalism, is driving international relations towards two poles rather than multipolar ones, pushing China, Russia and all other countries opposed to the US to unite in order to collectively resist US diktats.

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Nigel Farage stuns political elite, as Brexit Party and UKIP surge in polls (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 144.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party’s stunning rise in the latest UK polls, which show Tory support splintering and collapsing to new lows. Theresa May’s Brexit debacle has all but destroyed the Conservative party, which is now seeing voters turn to UKIP and The Brexit Party.

Corbyn’s Labour Party is not finding much favor from UK voters either, as anger over how Britain’s two main parties conspired to sell out the country to EU globalists, is now being voiced in various polling data ahead of EU Parliament elections.

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Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk:


The Guardian reports Tories Hit by New Defections and Slump in Opinion Polls as Party Divide Widens.

The bitter fallout from Brexit is threatening to break the Tory party apart, as a Europhile former cabinet minister Stephen Dorrell on Sunday announces he is defecting to the independent MPs’ group Change UK, and a new opinion poll shows Conservative support plummeting to a five-year low as anti-EU parties surge.

The latest defections come as a new Opinium poll for the Observer shows a dramatic fall in Tory support in the past two weeks and a surge for anti-EU parties. The Conservatives have fallen by six percentage points to 29% compared to a fortnight ago. It is their worst position since December 2014. Labour is up one point on 36% while Ukip is up two points on 11%.

Even more alarmingly for the Tories, their prospects for the European elections appear dire. Only 17% of those certain to vote said they would choose the Conservatives in the European poll, while 29% would back Labour, and 25% either Ukip (13%) or Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party (12%).

YouGov Poll

A more recent YouGov Poll looks even worse for the Tories

In the YouGov poll, UKIP and BREX total 29%.

Polls Volatile

Eurointellingence has these thoughts on the polls.

We have noted before that classic opinion polls at a time like this are next to useless. But we found an interesting constituency-level poll, by Electoral Calculus, showing for the first time that Labour would get enough constituency MPs to form a minority government with the support of the SNP. This is a shift from previous such exercises, which predicted a continuation of the status quo with the Tories still in command.

This latest poll, too, is subject to our observation of massively intruding volatility. It says that some of the Tory’s most prominent MPs would be at risk, including Amber Rudd and Iain Duncan-Smith. And we agree with the bottom-line analysis of John Curtice, the pollster, who said the abrupt fall in support for Tories is due entirely to their failure to have delivered Brexit on time.

The Tories are facing two electoral tests in May – local elections on May 2 and European elections on May 23. Early polls are show Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party shooting up, taking votes away from the Tories. If European elections were held, we would expect the Brexit party to come ahead of the Tories. Labour is rock-solid in the polls, but Labour unity is at risk as the pro-referendum supporters want Jeremy Corbyn to put the second referendum on the party’s manifesto.

Tory Labour Talks

The Tory/Labour talks on a compromise have stalled, but are set to continue next week with three working groups: on security, on environmental protection, and on workers’ rights. A separate meeting is scheduled between Philip Hammond and John McDonnell, the chancellor and shadow chancellor. The big outstanding issue is the customs union. Theresa May has not yet moved on this one. We noted David Liddington, the effective deputy prime minister, saying that the minimum outcome of the talks would be an agreed and binding decision-making procedure to flush out all options but one in a series of parliamentary votes.

May’s task is to get at least half of her party on board for a compromise. What makes a deal attractive to the Tories is that May would resign soon afterwards, giving enough time for the Tory conference in October to select a successor before possible elections in early 2020.

This relative alignment of interests is why we would not rule out a deal – either on an agreed joint future relationship, or at least on a method to deliver an outcome.

Customs Union

A customs union, depending on how it is structured, would likely be worse than remaining. The UK would have to abide by all the EU rules and regulations without having any say.

Effectively, it will not be delivering Brexit.

Perhaps May’s deal has a resurrection.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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