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Is Brexit Dead?

Ross at Play
Updated:

AJ,

The Financial Times posted this article an hour ago. It suggests says the UK will ask to remain aligned to European Union standards for goods and services.

I have some doubts whether it is accurate. I'd have expected a swag of resignations from the Cabinet by now if it was.

It would be the death knell of Brexit, at least as ardent Leavers wanted it to be. Once the UK accepts the EU's standards it must also accept the ECJ. New trade deals would be possible but they wouldn't amount to much. The Americans (and Aussies) won't offer much if you cannot accept their chlorinated chicken (beef full of hormones).

It would make the UK a rule-taker with little say in making the rules, but could get the UK out of the Common Agricultural Policy and the EU's Freedom of Movement rights.

Still, it's the first idea I've seen out of the Cabinet that doesn't constitute the UK tearing up the Good Friday Agreement. Until now I've been unable to see any possibility of an overall deal being negotiated.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Wheezer

Just my personal opinion, but Brexit has always struck me as a classic example of "be careful what you wish for - you might get it."

We yanks suffered the same fate with the 2016 elections.

(expecting a full blown attack from the pro-Brexxers & pro-Trumpwits, but I don't give a flying fuck.)

Replies:   blurred
sunkuwan

The Uk should look more at the treasonous involvement of Farage and Leave.eu with Russian individuals.
Brexit should be stopped and Farage and co behind bars.

Brexit was always stupid, The EU will NOT abandon the 4 Freedoms, so every trade agreement that has the access to the single market must also have freedom of movement.
And that's just stupidity in extreme for the UK, they would have to pay like before but would have no say in anything.
Either hard brexit or no brexit are the options.

And the biggest issue?
"WILL OF THE PEOPLE!"
is bullshit

Scenario A:
John bollocks voted leave because he thought he could get a Norway type of deal. But he got a Hard Brexit and that wasn't why he voted leave
Scenario B:
Mary Crikey voted leave because she wanted no freedom of movement. But in the end, she got a Norway type of deal with freedom of movement, that wasn't why she voted leave.
Scenario C:
Peter O'Sullivan, a north Irish citizen wanted to stick it to the London Bankers, but now he has a hard border in Ireland, the Good Friday deal broken, has to go through a dozen checkpoints every day and part of his Family is on the other side of the border.

There can't be any "Will of the people" if the end-scenario can have 10 completely different outcomes.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

The Financial Times posted this article an hour ago.


Requires subscription to read :(

With so much trade between the UK and EU, it makes sense for both parties if there's some form of commonality of standards and perhaps even customs. The elephant in the room is freedom of movement: the UK is overcrowded and its infrastructure is failing. The most recent plebiscites have all produced strongly anti-immigration votes. But the EU seems keen to sic freedom of movement on us by the backdoor, and allowing that would be electoral suicide.

The idea of a hard Brexit with WTO rules is looking more and more attractive as the UK government concedes more and more without getting anything tangible in return, just as Tony Blair did with the UK's rebate.

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Requires subscription to read :(

I suspect that only applies to those in the UK. Look in your email inbox.

I'll forward a copy to anyone who wants it if they send me an email contact via the SOL mail system.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

allowing [Freedom of Movement] would be electoral suicide.

I agree. I think anything which ends Freedom of Movement will be popular with voters - even if nothing else Brexiteers want is achieved.

If I interpret the FT article correctly, this could be a back-door way of accepting the other three Freedoms (goods, services, and capital) without staying in the Single Market.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I suspect that only applies to those in the UK.


No wonder they call us Rip-off Britain :(

Actually it makes a lot of sense, unless the EU changes the rules to make the standards mandatory.

It's somewhat worrying that 30% of the standards are dreamt up by EU Commissioners, those worthy gentlemen who came up with standards for banana curvaceousness, cucumber straightness and the tampon tax, and are currently trying to ban floodlights powerful enough for pop concerts and nighttime sporting events.

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde  sunkuwan
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

tampon tax


A tampon tax?
How bloody awful.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

The media name for the imposition of VAT on sanitary products. Perhaps they were taking the piss.

AJ

sunkuwan

@awnlee jawking

It's somewhat worrying that 30% of the standards are dreamt up by EU Commissioners, those worthy gentlemen who came up with standards for banana curvaceousness, cucumber straightness and the tampon tax, and are currently trying to ban floodlights powerful enough for pop concerts and nighttime sporting events.


I didn't think I would come across someone who still believes the Banana myth. *smh*
Those regulations are for QUALITY. Nothing is banned. You can have straight, curvy, even looping Bananas or Cucumber. What the EU regulated was the quality classification and for the best classification, specific fruits and vegetables have to be in a specific shape, consistency, length, and volume.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/may/11/boris-johnson-launches-the-vote-leave-battlebus-in-cornwall

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@sunkuwan

https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/05/12/to-properly-explain-the-eus-bendy-bananas-rules-yes-theyre-real/

I don't regard the Guardian as a trustworthy source. I've read too many articles where it bends the truth or lies by omission :(

AJ

Replies:   sunseeker
sunseeker
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I've read too many articles where it bends the truth or lies by omission :(


or outright lies. Sadly that seems to describe pretty much ALL news media nowadays. From CNN to Fox and everything in between...

awnlee jawking

@sunseeker

or outright lies.


I don't think the Guardian stoops that low - in fact the UK press as a whole is pretty good in that respect. But IMO the 'populist' papers are easier to interpret because they usually shoot themselves in the foot. With the Guardian, you have to use Google a lot to find out what it's misrepresenting.

AJ

Replies:   sunseeker  Vlad_Inhaler  Remus2
sunseeker

@awnlee jawking

the "outright lies" was meant for the media in general, not specifically for the Guardian :)

Ross at Play

@sunseeker

Sadly that seems to describe pretty much ALL news media nowadays. From CNN to Fox and everything in between...

I think you're mistaking American mass media for ALL mass media.

I see much American mass media as hardly even pretending to distinguish facts from opinions anymore.

I've read a lot of British newspaper articles about Brexit lately and I'm inclined to agree with AJ. The various outlets are all very biased but they seem open out what their biases are. I've seen a lot of selectivity in which facts are presented but not so much of opinions presented as if they were facts.

Vlad_Inhaler

@awnlee jawking

Now, the Daily Mail . . . that was the paper which employed Kate Hopkins until the cost of the libel actions exceeded what they were prepared to tolerate.
The Mail has just appointed a new editor (apparently one who supports staying in the EU), under the previous one it saw no reason to publish the truth if lies were a better fit to its agenda.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

Getting back to the topic ... I think the answer to my question is: not yet.

I re-read the link in the OP. I didn't notice before the action it reported happened four days ago. If that had been as significant as I first thought the politicians and papers would have been arguing about it ever since.

I'm back to thinking it's impossible for the current UK government to agree on any deal with the EU. The only solutions for the Irish border which the EU could accept include Northern Ireland remaining in the Single Market. The UK government would never accept that. So, the UK parliament must eventually decide whether or not to proceed with a no-deal Brexit. I'm sure it won't, but what then? ... I doubt even He knows that.

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Ross at Play

The Uk has to decide if they want to crash out into
- a hard Brexit, burning enough money to finance 3 to 5 decades of EU contributions, pissing off many leave voters
- a soft Brexit with all 4 freedoms, pissing off many leave voters
- no Brexit, because it can't be fucking done, pissing off leave voters
- a hard border between North Ireland and the rest of UK, massively undermining the bond of the Union, pissing off unionists
- or the Unicorn and Rainbows miracle solution that the UK government promises but doesn't know how.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@sunkuwan

The Uk has to decide if they want ...

I disagree. The UK cannot do whatever it wants - not if it means reneging on its obligations under an existing international treaty.

I haven't seen anything the UK government has suggested so far that does not constitute unilaterally tearing up its treaty with Ireland which implemented the Good Friday Agreement. I think the EU correctly refuses to the midwife to the UK doing that to one of its remaining members. If the UK insists on doing that the EU will not agree nor even discuss anything they may do later - until after the awful deed has been irrevocably done!

I know the EU has a reputation for being willing to negotiate away their grandmothers to squeeze more money out of the Brits. That reputation is not undeserved. But this time, I'm convinced they are steadfastly defending a principle, albeit a principle which coincides with what they want to happen.

The Tories and DUP are very fond of listing all their "red lines". The EU has one too. All of those cannot be satisfied.

I'm convinced the EU is not bluffing, and there will be no deal which does not include Northern Ireland staying in their Single Market.

They have suggested a viable solution: a hard border on the Irish Sea. That is unacceptable to the Brits, but only because of their internal political situation. I'd say the underlying problem is the Brits voted in a referendum for something they're not willing to do, and they haven't woken up to that fact yet.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  joyR
Ross at Play
Updated:

@sunkuwan

You clearly understand their current predicament. The UK has somehow managed to get itself stuck between a rock, a hard place, and a wrecking ball; and a 16 ton weight is about to be dropped on them. :-)

awnlee jawking

@Vlad_Inhaler

I don't see the Daily Mail as any worse than its peers. However a bunch of Guardian readers seem to have clubbed together to lobby against companies that advertise in it and they've tried to get it discredited as a Wikipedia (spit) cite.

I have some sympathy for socialism - privatisation of the utilities has turned out badly for consumers, and Tony Blair taking the NHS out of public hands has been an unmitigated disaster - but I cannot stomach suppression of free speech just because people disagree with the opinions of others.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

They have suggested a viable solution: a hard border on the Irish Sea.


Why is a hard border within a country more 'viable' than a hard border between two countries?

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
joyR

@Ross at Play

They have suggested a viable solution: a hard border on the Irish Sea. That is unacceptable to the Brits, but only because of their internal political situation. I'd say the underlying problem is the Brits voted in a referendum for something they're not willing to do, and they haven't woken up to that fact yet.


"The Brits" (voters)who voted to leave are not the same "Brits" (politicians) who are currently negotiating. So your statement is in error.

A referendum was held and the majority of voters wanted out of the EU.

Those in power didn't like the result, but now have to follow it through.

There are a number of groups that will happily try to negotiate some kind of half-way house.

The UK Government does not often hold a referendum, but when it does, it is duty bound to abide by the result. If it does not, or negotiates a result other than in accordance with the referendum result, what claim to credibility is there?

It really does not matter which way anyone voted, the fact is that the Government held a referendum, the people voted, and the result was Leave. If Parliament does not abide by the result then the UK is no longer a democracy. A Parliament that circumvents the will of the people is going to find the political landscape changing in ways they don't expect or anticipate, just like they didn't give any real credence to the referendum result being leave.

Replies:   sunkuwan  Ross at Play
sunkuwan

@joyR

The thing is, the Government does not need to heed the referendum, it wasn't binding.

Also, like i said earlier, the leave voters are divided, there is no way that a majority is happy about any of the deals, because people voted to leave for different reasons.

Replies:   joyR
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Why is a hard border within a country more 'viable' than a hard border between two countries?

The way I see it, because it doesn't the countries obligations to a neighbour under an existing treaty.

Ross at Play

@joyR

the Government held a referendum, the people voted, and the result was Leave. If Parliament does not abide by the result then the UK is no longer a democracy.

The problem I see is that this referendum is inconsistent with the referendums that approved the Good Friday Agreement. Those approved the precise wording of an agreement which was them implemented as an international treaty. 71% voted in favour in Northern Ireland, and 94% in Ireland.

I would not support any country breaking international law to satisfy the democratic will of their own people. That is what I see as happening if the UK leaves the EU in the manner that many Leavers want. I think the EU has had no option, legally or morally, other than rejecting outright ever proposal put forward by the UK government so far regarding what will happen in Northern Ireland.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@sunkuwan

The thing is, the Government does not need to heed the referendum, it wasn't binding.


If that was the case the result would have been ignored as soon as the last vote was counted.

Also, like i said earlier, the leave voters are divided, there is no way that a majority is happy about any of the deals, because people voted to leave for different reasons.


Of course they had different reasons, but they did all agree to vote leave.

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@joyR

So they shouldn't moan when they are not getting what they want.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Ross at Play

71% voted in favour in Northern Ireland, and 94% in Ireland.


And the % vote in England ??

When we leave the EU crossing the border from NI to Eire is the same as crossing from Dover to Calais. If it isn't the same then the Eire / NI border will be a backdoor into the EU, it's not rocket science.

Replies:   sunkuwan  Ross at Play
joyR

@sunkuwan

So they shouldn't moan when they are not getting what they want.


Hold that thought until we find out exactly what the "deal" ends up being.

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@joyR

Hold that thought until we find out exactly what the "deal" ends up being.


regardless what the deal ends up being, there will be a massive amount of leave voters who will feel betrayed.

sunkuwan

@joyR

And the % vote in England ??

When we leave the EU crossing the border from NI to Eire is the same as crossing from Dover to Calais. If it isn't the same then the Eire / NI border will be a backdoor into the EU, it's not rocket science.


Do you even know what the Good Friday Agreement brought?
End of the Northern Ireland Terror that plagued the region for decades. It is not even close to the significance of the Dover/Calais border.

Replies:   joyR  awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@joyR

When we leave the EU crossing the border from NI to Eire is the same as crossing from Dover to Calais.

IT WILL NOT!

Thousands of people cross the Irish border every day to go to work. Nobody crossing that border needs to carry their passports; there is nobody and nothing there to stop them. That came about as a result of the Good Friday Agreement and no one is suggesting that will change.

Are passports currently checked when someone crosses the English Channel? I think so. If not already, they certainly will be after the UK leaves the EU. The UK government has vowed to take back control of the country's borders - not throw them open to all-comers.

Replies:   joyR  awnlee jawking
joyR

@Ross at Play

You, and they, can't have it both ways.

Replies:   Ross at Play
joyR

@sunkuwan

A border between an EU country and a non EU country is a border, regardless of the geography. Upon crossing the border the regulations etc change, if they don't then we have not actually left the EU.

Replies:   Oh_Oh_Seven
Ross at Play

@joyR

You, and they, can't have it both ways.

I have no idea what that means.

My point is that the UK is not legally entitled to implement Brexit in a manner which contravenes the Good Friday Agreement. That's going to disappoint many English because it prohibits options for Brexit they've been misled into believing are available.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@Ross at Play

My point is that the UK is not legally entitled to implement Brexit in a manner which contravenes the Good Friday Agreement. That's going to disappoint many English because it prohibits options for Brexit they've been misled into believing are available.


Whatever your position on Brexit, there are some facts:

* Laws can be repealed
* Treaties can be abrogated

Unless the ones seeking to impose penalties for breaking those laws and/or treaties are willing to use military force, nothing can prevent repeal or abrogation.

So, 'legality' is not ultimately a bar to Brexit. The UK could simple tear up the treaty and move on. Whether that's wise or not is a different question. And unless the rest of the EU were willing to use their military to enforce their will, Britain can damned-well do what they please, no matter how foolish anyone might think they are for doing it.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Michael Loucks

So, 'legality' is not ultimately a bar to Brexit. The UK could simple tear up the treaty and move on.

That is true and I don't expect Ireland to resort to military force if that happens.

I've been looking an explanation for why the EU's negotiating positions have seemed so contrary to their own self-interest. I think the reason is that while they cannot prevent the UK abrogating on a treaty, they will do nothing which facilitates the UK doing that.

Ross at Play
Updated:

I have the impression that most Brits are so caught up in arguments over what type of Brexit is best for Britain that they cannot stand back and observe what the EU is doing, and why.

In past negotiations the EU has always held out until the last minute, but ultimately they do make a deal. I think this time is different. I think they are constrained this time in what they can accept. They seem prepared to accept whatever consequences would follow if the UK insists on a no-deal Brexit – however catastrophic those would surely be.

The thing that convinces me of that is the way they've handled negotiations about security issues.

The sane way to have started these negotiations would have been to split them into two strands: one to cover all defence, policing, and other security issues; and the other for everything else. The negotiations on other issues might fail, but those on security issues must achieve some sort of agreement before anything changes. The deadline for that must be March, 2019, so that it will be in place if the other negotiations fail.

Anything less than that would constitute the EU showing a callous and reckless disregard for the safety of their own citizens! Yet, that is precisely what they are doing. They are effectively holding all security issues to ransom by insisting a solution for the Irish border must be agreed first! They have been exceedingly petty and legalistic on issues such as Galileo and the European Arrest Warrant. That is clearly contrary to their self-interest.

It's because of their seemingly insane intransigence on those issues that I'm convinced they've "known" all along the UK government was never going agree to something they could accept for the Irish border. Assuming that is so, it is the UK Parliament, not the government, which will ultimately decide what happens. The EU should therefore make the "wrong choice" as insane as possible for the UK Parliament to take. It kind of makes sense – in a Doctor Strangelove kind of way.

All of that convinces me that the EU will never concede ground on the Irish border, not because they will not, but because legally they cannot.

Let's all hope, for everybody's sake, that the plot of this movie doesn't follow that of Dr. Stranglelove all the way to its final scene.

Michael Loucks
Updated:

@Ross at Play


All of that convinces me that the EU will never concede ground on the Irish border, not because they will not, but because legally they cannot.


Of course there's the truly radical solution - reunification of Ireland.

[Ducks for cover]

awnlee jawking

@sunkuwan

End of the Northern Ireland Terror that plagued the region for decades. It is not even close to the significance of the Dover/Calais border.


There are still IRA factions committing crimes and causing trouble in NI. For political reasons it's underreported.

The Dover/Calais border is far more important that the NI/Eire border - it keeps pests, diseases and economic migrants at bay.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Thousands of people cross the Irish border every day to go to work.


Thousands of workers cross between Gibraltar and Spain every day. There's only a problem when the Spanish decide to be ars*h*les to distract attention from all their other problems. Thousands of workers cross the Poland/Germany border every day, and have done since long before Poland joined Schengen. There's only a problem if one or both governments decide to make one.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Michael Loucks

It would make more sense for Eire to rejoin the UK. Eire has always been relatively EU-sceptical, but regrettably prone to bribery, hence the EU were able to buy success for the rerun of the Lisbon treaty vote.

AJ

Ross at Play

@Michael Loucks

the truly radical solution - reunification of Ireland.

[Ducks for cover]

It's the potential for that, while being so implausible, that made the Good Friday Agreement such an inspired fudge which must not be torn up.

It promised the Northern protestants that unification would never be forced upon NI without its consent.

It promised the Catholics, from the North and South, the island would increasingly function as a single society with a unified economy - to facilitate the transition to unification if or when both sides voted for that.

That's why I think the EU's agenda (on behalf of Ireland) is to prevent NI from leaving their Single Market.

The EU has implicitly accepted the possibility of some checks at the border. Barnier has said, "The Norway option is available." That means the UK may leave the customs union, and different customs rates would require customs declarations to be made when goods cross the border. It's feasible that could be done online, away from the border, but a small percentage of vehicles crossing the border must be stopped to check the goods being carried match those listed in the customs declaration, otherwise the border becomes 'Smuggler's Alley'. The average delay for vehicles carrying goods across the Norway-EU border is less than 20 minutes. Ireland may not like that, but it's not willing to declare war if it happens.

It appears what Ireland will not accept is a progressive diverge between the standards and regulations in the North and South, and all those being under different jurisdictions. That would make an eventual unification, if ever, of the island much more difficult to achieve. Barnier said about the UK's last written proposal for the "backstop" (my emphasis):

The UK recognises that the proposals in its paper cannot qualify as a backstop since the issue of full regulatory alignment is not addressed. I repeat that we need regulatory alignment to avoid a hard border.


"Regulatory alignment" means NI must remain in the Single Market. I think the EU will do everything in its power to achieve that - and that's precisely what they should be doing.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
StarFleet Carl

@Ross at Play

Let's all hope, for everybody's sake, that the plot of this movie doesn't follow that of Dr. Stranglelove all the way to its final scene.


Slim Pickens has been dead for quite a while, so no riding one down.

As for everything else happening on that side of the pond ... aren't you guys about due for another war over something or another, anyway? Seems like a reasonable way to take care of the whole Muslim immigration problem that you're otherwise ignoring.

(Joins Michael in ducking for cover)

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@StarFleet Carl

aren't you guys about due for another war over something or another, anyway?

Yes, and it's called the "World Cup", of football, real football, and it starts in two days.

What a shame about America not even qualifying. In case you missed it, the countries you finished behind of in qualifying were Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Honduras!

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
StarFleet Carl

@Ross at Play

What a shame about America not even qualifying.


We're America, bitches! (To apparently quote an unnamed source regarding how we really feel.)

Are you talking soccer or rugby? Rugby is a rough game and whoever wins at that are tough bastards. Soccer ... yeah, not so much.

robberhands

@StarFleet Carl

We're America, bitches! (To apparently quote an unnamed source regarding how we really feel.)

I think that unnamed source was Sheryl Sandberg and the original quote is "We are American bitches".

Ross at Play

@StarFleet Carl

Are you talking soccer or rugby?

Soccer. 'Football' means soccer to most of the world.

Rugby, like cricket, is a mostly former British colony thing.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@Ross at Play

Rugby, like cricket, is a mostly former British colony thing.


Minus one really big one which substituted gridiron and baseball. :-)

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

and that's precisely what they should be doing.


Why? Shouldn't they be trying to live up to their Nobel Peace Prize (snorts with laughter) and find a solution that works for everyone, not just the terrorists?

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Why? Shouldn't they be trying to ... find a solution that works for everyone, not just the terrorists?

My personal view is that the EU should be working to protect the democratic will of the Irish peoples, as supported in their referendums, by over 94% of voters in Ireland and over 71% of those in NI. It's not their fault if that makes it impossible to achieve the outcome of another referendum by another group of people.

However, I've been trying to avoid putting a case to support my personal views here, although some surely slipped through. Rather, I've been trying to discuss the reality of the EU's negotiating positions. I don't think it helps the UK to continue internal debates on options which are theoretically possible, but not practically achievable. I include a hard Brexit with a transition period in that category.

BTW, the government just caved in to its Pro-EU rebels on the "meaningful vote" amendment to the Withdrawal bill.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
sunkuwan

The EU decides what is best for the EU citizens and not the UK. And will negotiate with that in mind. The UK wants to leave, the EU is just reacting to that.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

BTW, the government just caved in to its Pro-EU rebels on the "meaningful vote" amendment to the Withdrawal bill.


BBC: "MPs vote by 324 to 298 against a bid to give Parliament the decisive say on the UK Brexit deal"

AJ

awnlee jawking

Stuck in a waiting room this morning, I read an interesting article in the complimentary newspaper.

After the end of the Second World War, IQs increased by approximately 3 points per decade. However, since the mid-1970s, IQs have fallen by approximately 7 points per decade. Experts say it's a result of less emphasis on reading, writing and 'rithmetic, and a new measure of intelligence is needed for the digital age.

Even so, it's ironic considering the number of people claiming that only young people should have been allowed to vote in the referendum because old people are too stupid to understand the issues.

AJ

sunkuwan

No, the issue is, that the old people don't live long enough to feel the ramifications of this step.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

BBC: "MPs vote by 324 to 298 against a bid to give Parliament the decisive say on the UK Brexit deal"

Yes, they managed a face-saving deal to get through this vote in the Commons, but a revised amendment will be put forward by the government when the bill returns to the Lords which will give the "rebels" basically what they wanted.

See this BBC report. It includes this report on what was said by Dr Phillip Lee, the justice minister who resigned today specifically to vote in support of that amendment:

Revealing he had abstained in the Commons vote on Parliament's role, he said he was "delighted" at the government's concession, adding: "This justifies my decision to resign and makes it a lot less painful."

Replies:   awnlee_jawking
awnlee_jawking

@Ross at Play

Yes, they managed a face-saving deal to get through this vote in the Commons, but a revised amendment will be put forward by the government when the bill returns to the Lords which will give the "rebels" basically what they wanted.


It looks to me as though MPs only get a say if there's no agreement between the UK and EU by a certain date. That's actually disastrous for those hoping for a no-deal Brexit to wipe out the consequences of May's vacillations.

That seems unsatisfactory to everyone.

(In case you hadn't noticed, the BBC is pro-EU).

AJ

StarFleet Carl

@Michael Loucks

Minus one really big one which substituted gridiron and baseball. :-)


And, of course, the actual religion in some areas - hoops!

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

BBC: "MPs vote by 324 to 298 against a bid to give Parliament the decisive say on the UK Brexit deal"

Question Time the next day was fraught. The Speaker commented while ending it, "the baby in the public gallery has behaved impeccably." :-)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Question Time the next day was fraught.


I'm not surprised. With the Tories announcing more funding for the NHS (it badly needs more pen-pushers, box-tickers, and gatekeepers to ensure those wretched patients can't see doctors or get treatment) and the opinion poll lead just about large enough to overcome the constituency makeup bias towards Labour, I wouldn't be surprised if we had another election before the year was out.

You seem to be enjoying the car-crash spectacle of the UK government imploding. Don't you want more export markets for your ostrich eggs and kangaroo testicles?

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

You seem to be enjoying the car-crash spectacle of the UK government imploding. Don't you want more export markets for your ostrich eggs and kangaroo testicles?

It's not going to affect me one bit, and I never believed the potential benefits for Australia amounted to much.

So yes, I am enjoying the spectacle. It has all the fascination of a fun day out at the Colosseum - except the Lions are ripping each other to shreds.

I could remind you of the saying 'don't shoot the messenger', but then, I'd ignore that myself if I saw a messenger taking unseemly delight in delivering bad news as quickly as possible.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

except the Lions are ripping each other to shreds.


We Brits are Lions led by Donkeys. It's the Donkeys who are ripping each other to shreds ;)

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

We Brits are Lions led by Donkeys. It's the Donkeys who are ripping each other to shreds

Really? How many Donkeys are at risk of losing their jobs over this? And how many Lions?

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

We Brits are Lions led by Donkeys.

So why the determination to be led by British donkeys instead of European ones?

I understand the indignity and irritation in the UK at the often stupid rules imposed by the EU. But is the alternative better?

A hard Brexit will not free the UK from stupid rules; it just adds a second set of stupid rules meaning many businesses would then have to cope with both. And, seting up and administering a new parallel bureaucracy would cost the country a fortune.

I suggest you're better off sticking with the donkeys you know and hate.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

A hard Brexit will not free the UK from stupid rules;


It puts us in a better position to do something about them: EU rules need only apply to products exported to the EU. So, for example, we wouldn't have to bin crops that don't meet an EU Commissioner's idea of perfect. Some of the most wasteful regulations have been rolled back by the EU itself, but they're breeding more of them on a daily basis. Some of the potentially most unpopular new diktats have been put on ice until after Brexit is resolved, because the EU didn't want voters to be swayed by rules eg forcing less powerful kettles.

AJ

sunkuwan

43% of exports go to EU countries. That's 240 billion pounds.
Either you still would have to comply with EU regulation to continue selling them in the EU
Or you have to find buyers elsewhere... err good luck with that.

Replies:   awnlee_jawking
awnlee_jawking

@sunkuwan

Either you still would have to comply with EU regulation to continue selling them in the EU


That's what I said.

But outside the restrictive protectionism of the EU bloc, we'd be able to strike trade deals with other countries and lessen our dependence on trade with the EU.

AJ

helmut_meukel
Updated:

Here is statistical data about UK citizens naturalized in Germany:

year __ total __ m ____ f

2007 ___ 211 __ 100 __ 111

2008 ___ 232 __ 108 __ 124

2009 ___ 260 __ 125 __ 135

2010 ___ 256 __ 115 __ 141

2011 ___ 284 __ 136 __ 148

2012 ___ 325 __ 192 __ 133

2013 ___ 460 __ 237 __ 223

2014 ___ 515 __ 276 __ 239

2015 ___ 622 __ 325 __ 297

2016 __ 2865 _ 1481 _ 1384

2017 __ 7493 _ 4058 _ 3435

Slightly interesting, since 2012 more males than females got naturalized.

Really interesting is the Brexit induced rise in 2016 and 2017.

Does anyone have numbers about Germans naturalized in the UK? Caused the Brexit debate an increase or a decrease?

HM.

Sorry, the multible blanks I used got removed by the system. Tried again with underscores.

awnlee jawking

@helmut_meukel

Does anyone have numbers about Germans naturalized in the UK?


No, although I suspect it's slightly more, but not by much, than Brits moving in the other direction. Sorry, I wouldn't have a clue where to look for definitive figures. It's possible they don't exist.

AJ

Ross at Play

KABOOM!?

It looks like May has finally picked a side and the brown stuff will hit the fan next week.

As told by Tory Pro-EU "rebels" ...
* May met with a group of about 15 of them just before a vote in the Commons on Tuesday.
* She asked them not to go forward with an amendment they had planned and promised the government would introduce its own wording that would satisfy them when the bill returns to the Lords next week.
* The rebels were saying they were satisfied with the new wording hours before it was to be released.
* After it was released they're saying it is not what they were promised so they'll try again with their wording in the Lords. That'll probably get back to the Commons late next week.

Whatever the outcome, it's got to be better to have a crunch vote in the Commons now instead of delaying it until October.

blurred

@Wheezer

Can we not build a wall around England to keep out the immigrants? :P

Joking!

Ross at Play

@blurred

Can we not build a wall around England to keep out the immigrants? :P
Joking!

You may soon need a wall to keep your emigrants in. :-)

Ross at Play

@blurred

Can we not build a wall around England to keep out the immigrants? :P

Why not suggest a referendum? The Scots and Welsh would be agreeable. :-)

Ross at Play

@helmut_meukel

Does anyone have numbers about Germans naturalized in the UK? Caused the Brexit debate an increase or a decrease?

Naturally, you'd expect an increase from Germans living in the UK wanting to be certain they will not be forced to leave.

The Express newspaper website states applications by 'German hopefuls seeking British citizenship ... rose from 163 to 832 ... during the first quarter of this year' compared to the previous year.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
richardshagrin

@blurred

build a wall around England


Hadrian's didn't work all that well. Perhaps because it was trying to keep out the Scots. Or were they Picts?

helmut_meukel

@Ross at Play

[...] applications by 'German hopefuls seeking British citizenship ... rose from 163 to 832 ... during the first quarter of this year' compared to the previous year.


Just to state the obvious "this year" was 2017 and "previous year" was 2016.

Let's assume the increase was even over all quarters of 2016, that would then be
1st quarter 2016: 163
2nd quarter 2016: 330
3rd quarter 2016: 497
4th quarter 2016: 660 adding to a total of 1650 in 2016.
1st quarter 2017: 832
extrapolating a further increase for the other three quarters of 2017 I guess a total of 4300 to 4500 max. for 2017.

Those figures are significantly lower than for Brits living in Germany seeking German citizenship (2865 in 2016; 7493 in 2017).
One cause of this difference may be Germans living in the UK expect – or know already – they will lose their jobs in the City of London, will be transfered to Frankfurt, so no need to apply for British citizenship.

HM.

Ross at Play

@helmut_meukel

Just to state the obvious "this year" was 2017 and "previous year" was 2016.

Right. I hadn't noticed the article I came across was from last year.

I have seen figures for this year of Brits taking German citizenship. The growth from the year before could be called "exponential".

awnlee jawking

@helmut_meukel

Those figures are significantly lower than for Brits living in Germany seeking German citizenship (2865 in 2016; 7493 in 2017).


The UK has promised that all EU citizens living her before the Brexit date will be allowed to stay. As you might expect, given the ditherer's enfeebled negotiating position, no such reassurances have been provided regarding UK citizens living and working in the EU.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

the ditherer's enfeebled negotiating position

You should show some respect for your country's prime minister and refer to her as 'the Ditherer'. :-)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Point!

As an example of the Ditherer's dithering, her basic position is eurosceptical. However she campaigned with Cameron on the 'Remain' side in the run-up to the referendum because she thought it would win (shades of Tony Blair joining Labour because he didn't think he'd get to be head of the Tory party), then when the referendum went the way of Brexit, she switched back again.

There's nothing like a politician with the courage of their convictions, and Theresa May is nothing like a politician with the courage of her convictions ;)

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Theresa May is nothing like a politician with the courage of her convictions ;)

Yes. She caves in so consistently when pushed the end result is that no one can trust anything she says. :(

Ross at Play
Updated:

This article in the Business Insider (Singapore edition) has got me wondering what game the EU is playing.

It suggests May intends to ask for the UK to stay fully in the EU's Common Market, and in the Single Market for goods only.

I'd seen that idea floated several times in the last week or two, enough to already anticipate May was planning that. I also concluded she must have some bad news to dump on the hardline Brexiteers when she changed those who'd be attending the Cabinet "lock down" next week at Chequers. Originally it was going to be just the 'War Cabinet' (which is evenly split between pro- and anti-EU), but it's now going to be the full Cabinet (which is strongly pro-EU).

Finally, I thought, she's accepted the EU cannot agree to anything which will result in a hard border in Ireland, and she'll offer something they can accept.

Until now I've agreed with the EU's position every time they've rejected the UK's proposals out-of-hand. I'll be scratching my head, utterly bemused, if they do the same with this one. It would mean the UK had dropped its "red lines" to the extent necessary to resolve the Irish border dilemma. I could not agree if the EU deems that's unacceptable simply because it views the Four Freedoms of their Single Market as indivisible.

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Ross at Play

the single market is one of the 4 pillars of a free EU.

They won't let the UK pick what they want, they will get all 4 freedoms or none, NO cherry picking.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@sunkuwan

They won't let the UK pick what they want, they will get all 4 freedoms or none, NO cherry picking.

I understand why that principle exists.

In this case I would not see it as the UK picking the cherries they want, but them being forced to accept some cherries because of the unique situation with the Irish border.

I think the EU should, at the very least, accept the UK is going to free itself of the EU's Freedom of Movement rules. That's the one the voters really care about, and both main parties know they'll be crucified by the electorate if they prevent that being achieved.

The danger I see if the EU stick to their ideals -- and try to make the UK eat the entire cherry tree -- is mutual economic destruction AND a hard border in Ireland.

OTOH, I don't see any awareness in the UK of the critical importance of the ECJ to the EU. Continuing to accept the ECJ is an affront to the UK's dignity. So what? For the remaining members of the EU it's the only way they can trust each other! They don't know what kind of government future elections in Poland, Hungary, Romania, etc. will bring. To trust what may come later they need a rules-based system with a common jurisdiction. The UK cannot see why the EU does not trust them on security matters. It's not the UK they distrust; it's their other members! They need the ECJ to keep them in line, thus the UK must accept the ECJ too before any cooperation on security is possible.

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan
Updated:

@Ross at Play

Why should the EU bow to UK's unreasonable demands? it is the UK's job to set the stage with the red lines the EU had drawn. And that is 4 Freedoms if they want access to the single market.

You can't just cancel your subscription to Sky and tell them you still want access to channel xyz.

If they can't agree to 4 freedoms, the UK has to decide if they want a hard border between northern Ireland and rest-UK or hard border between northern Ireland and rest-Ireland.
First would break up the UK in 2 to 3 decades, second would break off northern Ireland in 5 to 10 years.

btw, lord ashcroft poll found out, that leave voters would chose brexit instead the continuation of the Union:

https://lordashcroftpolls.com/2018/06/leave-voters-would-rather-lose-northern-ireland-than-give-up-the-benefits-of-brexit/

We also asked Leave voters in Britain whether they would leave the EU, or keep England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales together in the UK, if it were impossible to do both. Most, including more than seven in 10 Tory voters, said they would rather leave the EU.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@sunkuwan

I would agree with you completely - if not for the unique situation with the Irish border.

14D14C

Interesting reading this - and not one that is likely to be found here..

I'd love to see where the various poster live - it seems to make a difference. I'm a legal alien in France and make aliving out of intercontinental transport - and Brexit gives us a lot of work.

To me, I have no opinion about the "right or wrong" of the UK vote to leave the EU. But they have to understand that the imperfect system of the EU as we know it today has a few ground priciples that apply to all that are a member.

Cherry Picking is not an option.

And for those who think the "Norwegian / Swiss model" cold work for the UK, think again. Welcome to my world where we prepare for total chaos at the various borders.

Regardless of the Irish situation which will be even worse.

99 % of the EU inhabitants have no idea what "the EU" is - and the Brits are paying a very high price for that ignorance.

Paul

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@14D14C

I'd love to see where the various poster live

I have no interest in the outcome; I'm an Australian living in Indonesia.

I think Brexit is economic madness. I see many Brits wanting to control immigration, but I don't think that's the real cause of the problems which concern them.

For me, much of the fun is the chance to josh with AJ, who's a Brit and ardent Brexiteer.

Ross at Play

WTF is May hoping to achieve at Chequers? Why has she got the cabinet arguing over a proposal the EU could not possibly accept?

I expected her new proposal would be one the EU would deem "cake", i.e. staying fully in the customs union but only for goods in the single market. That would at least be potentially acceptable to the EU: it's close to what Luxembourg and Jersey now have.

I'd call her "best of both worlds" proposal 'magical dead-parrot cake'. It's not only cake the EU is certain to reject, at least at first, but it manages to combine the worst aspects of both previous proposals they rejected out-of-hand:
* it's "magical" because it relies on finding technological solutions to problems which have never been attempted before; and
* it's a "dead parrot" because it opens up weaknesses in the EU's customs border which another country would then police.

I suppose it does achieve something: it really pisses off the hard-line Brexiteers in the cabinet. In theory it allows new trade deals with other countries, but their value would be limited. The UK would be unable to offer relaxations of its standards for imported goods in exchange for access to others' services markets.

Perhaps she's hoping some of the Brexiteers in the cabinet will resign? But why would they resign over a proposal that is certain to be DOA in Brussels?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Yes, The Ditherer is dithering again :(

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Harold Wilson

@blurred

Can we not build a wall around England to keep out the immigrants? :P


"Now fill it with water."

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Harold Wilson

it might be a tad extreme to drown the English. Just building a wall around england and keeping them out of europe is enough ;)

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@sunkuwan

Just building a wall around england and keeping them out of europe is enough ;)

But they're only 20 miles away! That's close enough so you'll still be able to hear them constantly bickering amongst themselves. :-)

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Yes, The Ditherer is dithering again :(

Perhaps the only point of this exercise was to reassert cabinet solidarity? The proposals effectively give in on the single market for goods, ECJ jurisdiction, and freedom of movement; but they are crafted to give the appearance that the UK will control those things - well, just enough of that appearance to make it difficult for cabinet members who hate the implications to resign on the spot.

Still, anything that can get Boris, DD, and company to shut the fuck up, or walk, has got to be considered a universal blessing upon mankind. :-)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Still, anything that can get Boris, DD, and company to shut the fuck up, or walk, has got to be considered a universal blessing upon mankind.


Boris is good on concepts, weak on details.

The current Brexit mess just shows the power a handful of MPs wield (despite acting against the wishes of their constituents) in a divided minority government.

This one is going to run and run :(

AJ

Vlad_Inhaler
Updated:

Well, two Brexit ministers have resigned.

One because he does not like the current position (ok, there is a bit more to it than that) and the other because he believes it makes him look like he has "principles".
oops, I missed one. Steve Baker was not on my radar.

Here a quote:

Friends said Johnson had been finalising his resignation letter, but Downing Street announced his departure before he had completed it.

Ross at Play
Updated:

How utterly unsurprising! Trump, before a state visit to a close ally, has dropped a giant exploding turd into his host's domestic politics. He told a British newspaper, "I actually told Theresa May how to do [Brexit], but she didn't listen to me." The ignorant, arrogant lout!

What he said is correct - the US will not want a trade deal with the UK if it's still adhering the EU's rule book - but it breaks every convention of diplomacy, and basic manners, to say so publicly.

With "special" friends like that ... :(

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I find his bluntness refreshing.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play  sunkuwan
madnige

@Ross at Play

With "special" friends like that


...short bus special?

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I find his bluntness refreshing.

I have no problem with him being blunt at home, but not about domestic issues in countries he is visiting.

Replies:   Harold Wilson
sunkuwan

@awnlee jawking

He is undermining a current head of state and being in favor of the rival. That is nothing an allied head of state would do diplomatically and would be considered a very major diplomatic faux pas and at worst a possible act of war.
He is basically trying to overthrow an allied NATO Government.

The second issue: He is insinuating that the EU is an enemy of the United States and is sanctioning anyone doing trade deals with the EU.

awnlee jawking

@sunkuwan

He is basically trying to overthrow an allied NATO Government.


The EU has done that twice, to Italy and Greece.

AJ

Ross at Play

@sunkuwan

He is undermining a current head of state and being in favor of the rival.

Which rival? Johnson, Davis, Rees-Moggs, Corbyn, or all of the above?

Vlad_Inhaler

@Ross at Play

He now claims to have been misquoted and that it is "fake news". The newspaper which published the interview - The Sun - is from the same stable as Fox News.
Trump has a long history of unreliability when it comes to being able to trust what he says. His claim - substantiated or not - that the UK will not get a good trade deal with the US unless they weaken ties with the EU is practically worthless, he could change his mind at any time.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Vlad_Inhaler

His claim - substantiated or not - that the UK will not get a good trade deal with the US unless they weaken ties with the EU is practically worthless, he could change his mind at any time.

Not quite ... that the UK will not get a good trade deal with the US unless they weaken ties with the EU is certainly true. It's only everything he says about what they will get if they do weaken ties that is practically worthless.

Keet

That the US/Trump doesn't want the UK to have a close relationship with the EU has absolutely nothing to do with trade deals. What he wants is an ally/puppet he can use close to the EU with as few as possible formal connections.

Replies:   Ross at Play  Wheezer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Keet

That the US/Trump doesn't want the UK to have a close relationship with the EU has absolutely nothing to do with trade deals.

What he's been talking about in the past few days has everything to do with trade deals.

The US and EU attempted to negotiate a trade deal during the Obama administration. Those talks failed, largely because the EU would not relax some of its standards for food.

Up until the meeting at Chequers, the UK government was saying it would insist on a form of Brexit which freed Britain from the EU's standards, thus opening up the possibility of the UK offering the US a trade deal they would accept. That position was changed at Chequers which substantially reduces the potential scope of any future US-UK trade deal.

I would not doubt Trump has also viewed meddling in Brexit as an opportunity to undermine one of America's major "enemies", the EU, but that's not the specific point he's been talking about in recent days.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ross at Play

What he's been talking about in the past few days has everything to do with trade deals.

The US and EU attempted to negotiate a trade deal during the Obama administration. Those talks failed, largely because the EU would not relax some of its standards for food.

Up until the meeting at Chequers, the UK government was saying it would insist on a form of Brexit which freed Britain from the EU's standards, thus opening up the possibility of the UK offering the US a trade deal they would accept. That position was changed at Chequers which substantially reduces the potential scope of any future US-UK trade deal.

I would not doubt Trump has also viewed meddling in Brexit as an opportunity to undermine one of America's major "enemies", the EU, but that's not the specific point he's been talking about in recent days.

The talk about trade deals seems more like a curtain to me. He wants to force some very bad items to the EU, one very important one indeed the standards for food. In short, we don't want the same crap some Americans consider "food".
Trump is just disappointed (afraid?) that what was to be a hard brexit now has a possibility of a soft brexit. I personally don't care about brexit, I just don't want to see some of the low standards of the US coming here with the only advantage for the big companies to make more profit. As it is I think some standards here are already way to low (planned obsolescence should be marked as a crime in my opinion).

StarFleet Carl

@sunkuwan

The second issue: He is insinuating that the EU is an enemy of the United States and is sanctioning anyone doing trade deals with the EU.


He's not insinuating it. He's flat out saying it.

And that's what people don't seem to get. Saying stuff like this is EXACTLY why he was elected. Americans WANT him to say stuff like this. After 8 years of watching what was supposed to be the President of the United States bow down and kiss ass and say we couldn't have jobs here anymore and we had to do whatever the rest of the world would allow us to do ... having someone now tell the rest of the world to fuck off and either play our game or we're taking the ball home ... and yes, we OWN the fucking ball, is a bit refreshing.

President Trump is not trying to appease the E.U., the Soviet Union, or China. He is trying to do what is best for HIS country, and the rest of the world can kiss OUR ass. He's NOT a politician, he's a businessman. Never forget that. He WILL push people, he will make them uncomfortable, he'll make them sweat.

I negotiate deals worth tens of thousands of dollars every single day. I can appreciate what he's doing - he's the consummate professional negotiator in the REAL world, where dollars are on the line. I need this job done by this point in time or you will pay a penalty for non-compliance, but if you get it done by this point in time, you get a bonus for fast performance. I need x amount of money to make this work because I have the product you want. You want to give me y amount of money, and now we start talking. And sometimes you have to get up and walk away from the negotiating table, to see if the other guy will blink.

Wheezer

@Keet

That the US/Trump doesn't want the UK to have a close relationship with the EU has absolutely nothing to do with trade deals.

Don't confuse what the US wants with what Trump wants. His base of followers is a minority of the population. He was only elected with Putin's help and through a quirk of our antiquated Electoral College.

Vlad_Inhaler

@StarFleet Carl

he's the consummate professional negotiator in the REAL world, where dollars are on the line.

This has very little to do with Brexit, but: Trump is a poor negotiator and an outrageous liar. The two come together in that he simply lies about what was agreed or what he said. In the case of the Sun interview they released the audio and he had said exactly what they had published.
He also pulled another Brexit porker claiming (and getting his wife to back it up) that he had forecast the result of the referendum when he was in Scotland to open the Turnberry golf course. He arrived the day after the vote.
None of this "his word is his bond" garbage with him, and he still has a bankruptcy behind him.

sunkuwan

@StarFleet Carl

He is an idiot and a very bad businessman. I mean he had to be bailed out several times from bankruptcy.
He couldn't even run a profit with a Casino. A CASINO! That thing just normally prints money where you open the door and hold your palm open to get profitable.

How is it best for America to do a trade war with over half the World?

He is a traitor that is a puppet of Putin and belongs behind bars.

awnlee jawking

@StarFleet Carl

If you look at the lessons of history, in times of peace large blocs fragment into smaller units with more democracy (the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia) then the cycle switches and empire building resumes. The bloodiest wars result from Empire Building. At the moment, the most aggressive empire builders, and therefore the greatest threats to peace, are China, the EU and Russia.

Trump has good reason to be worried about the EU.

AJ

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Vlad_Inhaler

@awnlee jawking

The EU? An invitation-only club? I am not a shrink but still . . .

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Vlad_Inhaler

The EU? An invitation-only club? I am not a shrink but still . . .


Poor countries are clamouring to join because of all the subsidies they'll get. It's pretty much a given that Turkey and former communist East European countries will be hoovered up in the next decade of so.

It's going to be fun when Ukraine and Georgia apply to join.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play  madnige
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

It's pretty much a given that Turkey ... will be hoovered up in the next decade of so.

Not while Sultan Erdogan still lives. :(

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Vlad_Inhaler

@Ross at Play

I don't think Turkey would have much chance in the current climate, even without Erdogan. They have no chance at all with him in power.
Most of the former communist E-European countries are already in there, the exceptions being Albania and some of the post-Yugoslavia states. One of the original aims of the then "Common Market" was to build up trading ties between former enemies to make war a losing proposition in the future, something which the Balkans need. This is on the table.
The Ukraine is very interested in being part of this but the most they can home for at present is some kind of associate membership. Georgia were looking towards NATO and the US at one point but were disillusioned 10 years ago.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Vlad_Inhaler

I don't think Turkey would have much chance in the current climate, even without Erdogan.


Turkey are on a 'fast track' towards membership, and the EU feels it deserves a reward for accepting back millions of migrants.

The EU is quite happy to bend its rules when it wants to cf its disastrous decision to allow the Club Med countries to join the Euro, despite not meeting the economic criteria.

The deciding factor may well be Germany. It has close links with Turkey, using cheap Turkish labour to fill its low paid jobs, and nowadays co-opting their best footballers into the German team in lieu of Poles.

AJ

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
madnige

@awnlee jawking

It's pretty much a given that Turkey ... will be hoovered up in the next decade o[r] so.


Thus giving the whole of the EU a land border with Syria, Iraq and Iran.

awnlee jawking

@madnige

But just think of the diversity that will bring to European society!

AJ

Vlad_Inhaler

@awnlee jawking

I'm not sure what Fast Track Turkey is supposed to be on but they have been on it for decades now and the chances of it actually happening have dropped to practically zero since Erdogan started positioning himself as a dictator. They had been dropping for a while before that but - I spend quite a lot of time in Germany and speak the language - the only people in Germany now pushing for Turkey to join the EU are some of the non-Kurdish ethnic Turks.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Vlad_Inhaler

@madnige

Not going to happen in the forseeable future.

awnlee jawking

@Vlad_Inhaler

Turkey believes it is on course to join the EU within 5 years, despite popular anti-EU sentiment following the Brexit vote.

Whether the EU thinks the same is a different kettle of fish.

AJ

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Vlad_Inhaler

@awnlee jawking

I'm pretty sure Erdogan does not really think that, he has complained a few times about the way things are going.
Oh, and I forgot to say earlier that several countries have been admitted while Turkey has been waiting.

Ross at Play
Updated:

It's likely to an "interesting" week coming up in Westminster.

It's the last week before parliament goes on a six-week recess, and after that it's only back for a week or so before another month off for party conferences.

The government will try to get both a Trade Bill and a Customs Bill passed. Hard-liners on both sides will be trying to sabotage both bills.

Then May will probably face a vote of no confidence within the Tory Party.

ETA: Perhaps not. I just found out that a vote of no confidence would mean there could not be another challenge for the next twelve months. They might hold off if they think they'll have a better chance of getting rid of her later on.


About time, I think. Appeasement is over; let the real war begin.

Or should that be: let the phoney civil war begin? Another round of talks will start in Brussels on Monday. That's the real war ... and I can think of half-a-dozen things in the Chequers "plan" that the EU is as likely to accept as it is to ask Russia to join their bloc sometime soon.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ross at Play

phoney

I checked dictionary.com when the SOL spellchecker flagged 'phoney'. It recognises that spelling but suggests 'phony' should be preferred.

Ngrams suggests this is another British-American variation. It suggests about 90% of Americans use 'phony', while 'phoney' is narrowly preferred by British, less than 60%

If I'm to be consistent with previous statements here I will need to start advocating writers using BrE should prefer 'phony' in stories - on the grounds it's acceptable to British readers and avoids needless irritation of American readers.

Naturally, I'll continue using 'phoney' in forum posts for the same reasons. :-)

Ross at Play

Newspapers are reporting that May will accept some (or most) of the amendments proposed by hard-line Brexiters to the bills coming before parliament today.

After 'drawing a line in the sand' at Chequers, those who shout loudest have now convinced her to move the beach! Why am I not surprised by this?

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Ross at Play

A tory civil war is imminent The Remainer tories are furious.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@sunkuwan

A tory civil war is imminent The Remainer tories are furious.

I agree, but Remainer Tories may only have about another 7 hours to find their cojones - and get their act together.

I think the hard-line Leavers are actively trying to engineer a no-deal Brexit. They know the EU cannot, rather than will not, ever offer a deal they'd find acceptable. Their plan is get legislation through which prevents the UK from offering anything the EU could accept, then dictates the UK drops into a no-deal Brexit once negotiations inevitably collapse. The only option for Remainers might then be new legislation to reverse the Article 50 withdrawal request.

The legislation as now proposed by the government just about does that - unless the Remainers can overturn the amendments the government has just agreed to support.

This is serious for those who think - know - a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous for Britain.

The pound dropped by 2 Euro cents immediately after the announcement was made. :(

ETA: Whoops. That was 0.2, not 2, Euro cents. Hardly anything, really. But that drop was very sudden. The markets did not like the news.

Keet

There is an important other reason the EU is playing hard ass: they are deadly afraid more countries will separate if they make it "too easy".

Replies:   Ross at Play  sunkuwan
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Keet

There is an important other reason the EU is playing hard ass: they are deadly afraid more countries will separate if they make it "too easy".

Hm? I think you're seeing the EU's actions as motivated by conspiracy when common sense leads to similar choices.

There can be no doubt the EU would prefer the consequences of withdrawing will be sufficiently dire for the UK to discourage others from attempting the same.

However, I don't see the EU attempting to make those consequences more dire. I see their actions as the logical consequence of justified decisions to remain steadfast on two principles:
* They will not fundamentally change the way they function on account of the UK leaving.
* They will not facilitate actions by the UK which abrogate on its obligations under an international treaty with one of their members, i.e. they will not do anything which assists the UK undermining the Good Friday Agreement.

I don't see EU intransigence as the cause of the UK being unable to achieve what the Leavers want. I think the cause is the UK's internal political reality that they won't accept any type of border on the Irish Sea. The UK electorate effectively voted for something the country is unwilling to do. If not for the Irish border conundrum, I think the EU would be quite willing to allow the UK to shoot itself in the backside.

Replies:   Keet
Keet
Updated:

@Ross at Play

On the long run I am not sure the UK is shooting itself in the backside seeing as where the EU is going. I'm not against the EU, it has done a lot of good en still does but on other subjects it lacks. Currently immigration is one of the biggest problems and it seems as if the EU just sits back while it escalates. From what I understood that is also one of the main items why Brexit was made possible.

My opinion is that the old EEG worked great and it could have been extended to achieve much of what the EU has achieved but without killing of each countries sovereignty. I think that would have been way better then the current money slurping EU.

Replies:   Ross at Play  sunkuwan
sunkuwan
Updated:

@Keet

There is an important other reason the EU is playing hard ass: they are deadly afraid more countries will separate if they make it "too easy".


They are not afraid, a recent poll shows that EU wide, remain would win with 72% on a binary choice. Even Greece has remain at 56%

They play hard ball because of their believe in the 4 freedoms and the different FTA they have. In some of those FTA is the "most desired partner" clause that would automatically give any benefit in a specific sector that a new trading partner gets.

Ross at Play

@Keet

the EU ... has done a lot of good ... but on [the other hand] ...

Yep. Sigh!

Decision-making by committees inevitably leads to unsatisfying, lowest-common-denominator decisions. And the EU has one of the worst multiple and overlapping committee structures imaginable. Effectively, members of their committees cannot even act on their self-interest because of competing objectives from the countries they represent.

It is awful and it's impossible to fix; I just don't believe that leaving will be any better for the UK.

I suppose the only thing worse than being ruled by committee is being ruled by a dictator.

sunkuwan

@Keet

On the long run I am not sure the UK is shooting itself in the backside seeing as where the EU is going. I'm not against the EU, it has done a lot of good en still does but on other subjects it lacks. Currently immigration is one of the biggest problems and it seems as if the EU just sits back while it escalates. From what I understood that is also one of the main items why Brexit was made possible.


Bullshit. Immigration is currently lower than 2014, when the "crisis" began. Immigration is a scapegoat, we are currently battling the problem of the immigrants who are inside our borders. Also, the UK has a bigger immigration from outside the EU and had the "sovereignty" to do what they want with them all along.

On the long run, UK will be a tiny fish in the pond while USA; Russia, China, EU, India, and Brazil overshadow everything else economically.

I give the UK at maximum 2 decades outside the EU before they break up into their 4 states. (maybe not Wales)

Replies:   Ross at Play  Keet
Ross at Play

@sunkuwan

Immigration is a scapegoat

I have a solution for the EU's chronic economic under-performance. I suggest they follow the example of Australia, a country which has not had a recession in the last 27 years.

My solution? ... large increases in net migration, up to over 1% of the population per year.

Excuse me while I run away and hide.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@sunkuwan

Bullshit. Immigration is currently lower than 2014, when the "crisis" began. Immigration is a scapegoat, we are currently battling the problem of the immigrants who are inside our borders.

I never said new immigrants are the problem. I totally agree that the currently present immigrants are a big problem. If they had vetted the real refugees from the gold diggers from the start there would have been no problem at all. I understand that everyone wants to find a place where he has a better standard of living but it is obvious that the receiving place can not support the high numbers that have already entered and provide for them for free.

Keet

@Ross at Play

I have a solution for the EU's chronic economic under-performance. I suggest they follow the example of Australia, a country which has not had a recession in the last 27 years.

My solution? ... large increases in net migration, up to over 1% of the population per year.

Australia was created with immigrants but isn't the current policy that makes it much harder to enter then what is happening in the EU?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Keet

Australia was created with immigrants but isn't the current policy that makes it much harder to enter then what is happening in the EU?

No. Net immigration into Australia is similar to that of the UK, but we have less than half their population. It's been at similar levels for decades, and under both Conservative and Labor governments.

A large number of those immigrants are selected by a points system which favours younger people and those with skills we want. We have a right-wing anti-immigration party, One Nation, but I doubt it's ever achieved a vote of 10% in a Federal election. That's despite the fact we use the instant alternative vote which allows someone to give their first preference to a minor party but ultimately still have their preference between the two major parties counted.

You might be thinking our policies towards those who arrive in Australia by boat and then apply for refugee status. Those policies are very harsh; they are often locked up indefinitely. In contrast, we accept among the highest number of pre-approved refugees for resettlement in the world on a per-capita basis.

Replies:   Keet  PotomacBob
Keet

@Ross at Play

we accept among the highest number of pre-approved refugees for resettlement in the world on a per-capita basis.

You're doing it right. The key word is "pre-approved". Large numbers are no problem if they can participate in the economy and social environment. That is the biggest problem in the EU, nothing is pre-approved. The majority of the current immigrants in the EU from the last 5-10 years are useless because of lack of skills, education and no effort to integrate, the last mostly because of a muslim background.

Replies:   sunkuwan  Ross at Play
sunkuwan

@Keet

They also have a very big ocean around them

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Keet

I understand your opinions. I disagree with some of them but do not want to have a discussion about them.

My initial post was a little mischievious but I was only trying to have a bit of fun.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ross at Play

I understand your opinions. I disagree with some of them but do not want to have a discussion about them.

My initial post was a little mischievious but I was only trying to have a bit of fun.

No harm done. This is not the place for such discussions although its tempting since this is one of the very rare places with civilized people.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

Well, Theresa May managed to survive one more day yesterday without the sky falling down. Today is another day.

The Trade Bill was passed by parliament but two amendments from Rees-Mogg's loonies scraped through with only a 3 vote margin.

It could have been much closer. :) Two LibDems were away from the parliament giving speeches. They have said they expected Labour to abstain so the vote would not be close.

In all, 14 Tories voted against those amendments but 3 Labour MPs supported the government.

There's another bill being voted on today which could go either way. It's intended to force the government to stay in the EU Customs Union if time runs out with no deal being agreed.

Brexit means nothing to me personally but it fascinates me. I'm an Aussie. I instinctively love seeing the "old enemy", Britian, self-destructing. I've seen their cricket team doing that so often. :-)

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Keet

this is one of the very rare places with civilized people.

Ya think??? Note that few of our American regulars are contributing to this thread. :-)

Replies:   Keet  richardshagrin
Keet
Updated:

@Ross at Play


Ya think??? Note that few of our American regulars are contributing to this thread. :-)


To know when not to comment. maybe that's what keeps it civilized ;)

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@Keet

To know when not to comment. maybe that's what keeps it civilized ;)


You people eat beans on toast...for breakfast! How is that civilized? ;)

But you're right, Brexit is not seen as directly affecting us. We have bigger things to worry about, such as losing our Democracy to Fascism.

PotomacBob

@Ross at Play

That's despite the fact we use the instant alternative vote which allows someone to give their first preference to a minor party but ultimately still have their preference between the two major parties counted.


Could you point me to a detailed explanation of how it works?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@PotomacBob

Could you point me to a detailed explanation of how it works?

It's quite simple, really.

Suppose there are six candidates for a seat. Voters do not mark just one box; they number all boxes from 1 to 6. If no candidate has more than 50% of total votes cast, the candidate with the lowest number of first preferences is eliminated. The second preferences on their all votes are used to decide which candidate gets each additional vote. And so on, until one candidate has accumulated more than 50% of the votes cast.

You may see an expression "two-party preferred" vote. That's the result of continuing the process of distributing preferences until only two candidates are left.

There are variations. The Australian Senate uses this method but in a way so that 6 members are elected from each state. One-seventh of the total votes is enough to secure one seat.

The overall effect is that the candidate elected has the concurrence of at least 50% of the electorate, even if they're not the voter's first choice.

In the long term the method has the effect of making major parties seek the support of the middle ground of the electorate, rather than just motivating their base supporters. It is actually the main reason I consider Australian politics is generally sane and moderate, compared to the insane and extremist politics in America. If I had the option of making one change to the American Constitution, this is what I would choose.

Replies:   Dominions Son
richardshagrin

@Ross at Play

civilized people

Lie civilly.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

In the US, it's called ranked choice voting.

http://www.fairvote.org/rcv_in_us_elections

It's used at the local level in around a dozen cities and/or counties around the US.

In 2016 Main became the first US state to adopt ranked choice voting in the US. It will be used for US Congressional elections in Main for the first time this November.

http://www.fairvote.org/spotlight_maine#maine_ballot_initiative

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

In 2016 Main became the first US state to adopt ranked choice voting in the US.

I can't resist this one and you did make the same "typo" twice. :-)

I'm surprised the state of Maine allowed another state to join the Union with a name so close to its own.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

Like all electoral systems, it has its faults. Although the successful candidate is 'hated' by less than 50% of the voters, that doesn't mean they're actually liked. And the system tends to produce governments which are effectively neutered because there's rarely any great impetus for change.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

And the system tends to produce governments which are effectively neutered because there's rarely any great impetus for change.

I suggest that change does tend to occur, by a the process of major parties changing their policies when minority interests become an electoral threat.

Certainly, there is no system that is suited for all situations.

Proportional voting systems tend to produce weak governments. Coalition governments may become inevitable. That can make it impossible to implement hard but necessary decisions because every decision ends up being the lowest common denominator the coalition can agree to. The recent spate of "Grand Coalitions" in Germany is an example of that.

First-past-the-post (FPTP) systems tend to produce tyrannies of one or two parties. Minor parties are stifled because votes for them are wasted. For example, Gore would have beaten Bush easily in 2000 with a preferential system. The small number of votes for Nader effectively gave the election to Bush, while those voters would have strongly preferred Gore.

FPTP systems tends to favour small regional parties but prevents new nation-wide parties with ideological differences winning substantial numbers of seats. For example, in the last UK election, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP won 9.2% of the total vote, but only 12 seats. The SNP, DUP, Sein Fein, and Plaid Cymru won 5.1% of the total vote, but 56 seats!

The thing I like about Australian politics is that it's very rare for any government, state or federal, to survive more than 10 years before they get tossed out. Both sides have some good ideas. If they gain power periodically they begin implementing their highest priorities. If they remain in power too long they tend to become corrupt or start implementing ideas from the lunatic fringes within their own party. That's when Australian electorates tend to toss them out and give the other lot a go.

* * *

This won't interest many here, but there's a federal election coming up in Australia in less than 12 months. Everything points towards the conservatives being tossed out and new Labor government with a massive majority. There's one odd aspect to this election: variations between the states. It's quite possible the conservatives could increase in their total vote but still lose the election badly!? They can only afford a net loss of 3 seats before losing power. They are doing relatively well in two states, NSW and South Australia. However, there's at most 3 seats they could gain in those states, even with a solid increase in their vote there. In two other states, Queensland and Western Australia, they are doing very badly. There are a massive number of seats they could lose with a moderate swing against them in those two states. Opinion polls suggest massive swings of over 5% in those states, which would produce utter carnage. The other state, Victoria, won't save the government. There are only 1 or 2 potential gains there but a handful of potential losses.

National-wide have been universally awful for the government. After scraping back in at the last election, polls showed a swing against then from the first opinions polls after that election. The difference grew to a wide margin very quickly and has remained there ever since.

This is a good site for anyone interested in the prospects for that election.

Midsummerman

@Ross at Play

I think it's us older people looking for just those donkeys we knew and hate, prior to the 'Common Market/ EEC/ European Union'; those in Brussels are a little too far away to launch half a brick at.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Midsummerman

I think it's us older people looking for just those donkeys we knew and hate, prior to the 'Common Market/ EEC/ European Union'; those in Brussels are a little too far away to launch half a brick at.

I don't get what you mean.

This may be close: I sometimes wonder how sad it will be for Britain after Brexit - when all you whingeing Poms no longer have Europe to whinge about.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

for Britain after Brexit


It hasn't happened yet. The Stockholm syndromists are still using every trick they can think of to reverse the referendum result.

when all you whingeing Poms no longer have Europe to whinge about.


The EU was always a long way behind the weather and our 'sports' teams as whinge fodder.

Interestingly I've just been reading a scientific article claiming that there's now too much information for humans to process so we should put our trust in technology, specifically AI and algorithms. Ironic considering the EU has just fined Google 4 billion for abusing such technology.

I'm not sure what the status is but the EU was proposing to introduce a right for people to have the reasons explained when 'the computer says no'. The UK govt was actually against it, but I see such a law as essential to protect against violations at the individual level.

The EU isn't all bad ;)

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

'the computer says no'

I can see it now. Brits going into travel agencies to book holidays on the Mediterranean and being told, 'The EU says no'.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I can see it now. Brits going into travel agencies to book holidays on the Mediterranean and being told, 'The EU says no'.


But Spain is where all the UK crime bosses go on the rare occasions that the police actually try to investigate them ;)

AJ

Harold Wilson

@Ross at Play

We can't competitively export steel, oil, cotton, or computers anymore.

We have to do something about our balance of trade.

So now we're exporting assholes...

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Harold Wilson

We have to do something about our balance of trade.

YES! That is like an anchor slowly dragging the country down the rankings of international prosperity.

I think Brexit is the wrong solution. It blames foreigners - every country cannot be right to blame foreigners for their own difficulties - and it looks for the "magic bullet" to fix everything.

I think the underlying problem is poor productivity growth. That's the only way to grow the number of jobs which pay a decent wage. But the real solutions take too long for politicians. It requires investments in education and infrastructure, for starters. The Tories don't invest in the future: they spend any available resources on tax cuts. Labour don't either: they spend them on social programs.

The UK has a particular problem with its two-speed economy, the expensive South-East and the under-resourced remainder. That limits the country's potential competitiveness and is even harder to solve than education and infrastructure.

The Brexiters claim that the burdens of excessive EU bureaucracy can be reduced after the UK leaves. I think the result will be the exact opposite. The government will spend a fortune on setting up and administering a new parallel bureaucracy, even if it cuts the number of rules. And many businesses will have not have less rules to cope with; they'll have to start dealing with two sets of rules instead of one.

The thing that would disturb me is that, no matter what the outcome, Brexit is producing a hiatus in investment which is damaging its productivity even more. For years, businesses and government are not going to devote any available time or resources to improving productivity. They'll devote all of those to the transition and planning for it. A country never catches back up after that kind of one-off hit to its productivity.

That's already happening. The UK dropped from the top of GDP growth among G7 countries to the bottom six months after the vote to leave. That's the opposite of what should happen after a sudden devaluation of the currency by over 10%. At the same time, unemployment is down. Employers aren't investing in improving productivity. As needs be, they're employing extra staff instead while investments are on hold. That cannot continue for long. Those jobs are inherently uncompetitive.

Ross at Play

A quote by Jim Hacker from Yes, Prime Minister

You know what they say about the average Common Market official. He has the organising ability of the Italians, the flexibity of the Germans, and the modesty of the French. And that's topped up by the imagination of the Belgians, the generosity of the Dutch, and the intelligence of the Irish.

Ross at Play
Updated:

I think that maybe, possibly, I see some method in The Ditherer's dithering - this time.

May dropped a bombshell (see this newspaper article) hours before the parliament was to rise for a break of six weeks. When they return, it's only for about a week before they're off again for the party conferences.

The announcement by May was the she is now in charge of the Brexit negotiations. It will be a civil servant from her office, Ollie Robbins, conducting the negotiations, not the new secretary of state for Brexit, Dominic Raab. Robbins will report directly to her, not Raab.

At a sitting of the parliamentary committee for Brexit, one Brexiter astutely asked whether Robbins and Raab should swap seats, Because - effectively - the civil servant is now the secretary of state and the secretary of state is his servant.

The timing of the announcement seems to be designed to make it impractical to organise an immediate party room revolt. Perhaps she's trying to stall that until just before the party conference before dropping the real and inevitable bombshell: the Chequers plan for a new "customs partnership" is a non-starter; the only option which avoids a hard border in Ireland, or an internal border at the Irish Sea, is to remain in the Customs Union.

I suspect she wants the party conference to choose between accepting the Customs Union, or dumping her and a no-deal Brexit.

The hard-line Brexiters will go ape-shit as soon as May explicitly says that. The only way to overcome their resistance is if they are voted down at the party conference.

A very sick joke ... I'm wondering if the explosion when the hard-liners simultaneously burst into spontaneous combustion will be bigger than anything the IRA ever managed to pull off.

Remus2

@awnlee jawking

All free(?) market media corporations around the world have owners. Those owners are to a fault biased. That bias rears it's head by way of editors employed by those owners. Be it overt, covert, or omission lies, a lie is a lie. The guardian is not immune to that by any stretch of imagination.

BlinkReader

For GB EU lovers:

There is no question that lot of you want back in EU.
But, are you sure that now EU wants you back?

As far as we can see from our dark spot in my small and forgotten hell of country, it seems that EU don't want you back :(

helmut_meukel
Updated:

@BlinkReader


There is no question that lot of you want back in EU.

But, are you sure that now EU wants you back?


Some of the original founders had a vision of an united Europe, the USE without the faults in the structure of the USA.

They knew this would be tedious to achieve and thought it would need a period of about 50 years to get there.

I think the most contraproductive decision was to admit the UK to the EU. The UK was always opposed to the idea of a close-knit federal european state and countered any attempt
to proceed in this direction. I'm fully aware that there were and still are many opponents against this goal in most other member states too, especially among some of the hastily admitted eastern and southern members.

The best chance to achieve the original goal would probably be to leave the EU and create a new group with only those countries who are willing to transfer sovereignty to a true democratic european state.

BTW, for Germany to get more clout within the existing EU it should simply desolve itself and split up into its 16 states.

HM.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@BlinkReader

The EUocracy warned that signing Article 50 would mean the UK is out, and there would be no way back.

Now the moment of truth is approaching, the EUocracy is putting forward the possibility of another referendum and suggesting it might make compromises on freedom of movement.

There's so much manoeuvring and posturing that I'm pretty sure nobody knows exactly what is going on.

Meanwhile, The Ditherer is taking over negotiations personally, and with Davies and Johnson off the team, will probably end up with Philip Hammond's target Hotel California type exit.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@helmut_meukel

BTW, for Germany to get more clout within the existing EU it should simply desolve itself and split up into its 16 states.


Actually, IMO devolution of Germany is probably the second best option for the EU to avoid war, after admitting Russia.

However the 16 states would automatically be ejected from the EU (just like Scotland and Catalonia would be if they attained independence) and would have to apply for admittance.

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

signing Article 50 would mean the UK is out, and there would be no way back.

Not quite. The UK may ask to vary the two-year time period or even reverse the Article 50 request - but all 27 must agree to any change.

I strongly doubt they would agree to extend the leave date beyond the European parliament elections in May 2019. If they did the new members for the UK would continue to sit long after the UK had left the EU.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Catalonia would be if they attained independence

That's not going to happen.

Basque Country has a case they never accepted the Spanish Constitution - but Catalonia does not.

In the referendum which adopted the constitution, the Yes vote was 95% of those who voted, and 65% of the total electorate.

In Basque Country, the Yes vote was 75% of those who voted, but less than one-third of the total electorate.

Ross at Play
Updated:

The best headline I've seen in a British newspaper article about Brexit ...

Dominic Raab: the face that says, 'I need to take back control of my sphincter'

helmut_meukel

@awnlee jawking

However the 16 states would automatically be ejected from the EU (just like Scotland and Catalonia would be if they attained independence) and would have to apply for admittance.


Not the same. With 16 Germanies there would be no longer a German member state, instead 16 successor states, all of them legal successors of the Federal Republic of Germany.

HM.

Ross at Play
Updated:

Liam Fox opened his mouth over the weekend. THIS is what happened. :(

(Note this link will not display correctly after about 12 August.)

Replies:   sunkuwan  Ross at Play
sunkuwan

@Ross at Play

Farage: Things are looking pretty good.

Ross at Play
Updated:

This is something which should make any Brit terrified of a no-deal Brexit.

There's a lot of bravado by Brexiters making statements along the lines that the threat of withholding the "divorce settlement" will force the EU to compromise. It's actually not much more than pocket change in their calculations.

The payments would be spread over many decades, but they are front-loaded. I've seen a figure that about 60% would be paid in the EU's next seven-year budget starting soon after the UK leaves the EU. That's about 23B pounds, less than 30B euros. The EU's total budget for that period is about 1,500B euros. They'd need to fill a hole of less than 2% of total planned spending for that period.

And despite all the hysteria by Brexiters over the fortune the UK sends to Brussels every year – only to be wasted by their – bureaucrats contributions to the EU are only a modest line item in national budgets. The budgets of most European countries are about 40-50% of the national GDP, whereas the EU's budget is only about 1.5% of its combined GDP. The EU spends less than 4% of total government revenues.

So, what does this "terrifying threat" of withholding the divorce settlement really mean to the national governments of the EU27? They would need, on average, to find the money for a 2% increase to one line comprising less than 4% of their total budgets. Yawn!

All those threats in the media about withholding the divorce settlement aren't scaring the EU; they're being made entirely for consumption by the peanut gallery at home.

So, why should the media report I linked to make Brits feel terrified of a no-deal Brexit?

If things get messy, this is one way the EU will use so that tax payments in the future go to European governments instead of to the UK. These amounts are very significant.

The UK government receives about 75B pounds in tax receipts from the financial services sector. About 20% of that sector is exported to the EU27, producing about 15B pounds in taxes for the UK government. The EU has begun to target those taxes. Unless the UK knuckles under to ITS red lines in negotiations they'll make sure a large slice of those taxes start flowing to European governments.

And ... let's not forget the professional services sector, e.g. accountancy, legal services. That pays almost as much in taxes to the UK government as the financial services sector. The EU will surely target those just as hard.

And ... let's not forget that attempting to withhold the divorce settlement would be utterly futile: they VILL pay! Sooner or later.

If the UK drops out of the EU under WTO rules it will be desperate to reach to new trade deal with the EU - their largest market by far. The first thing the EU will say is "Give us the money you owe us first!" From the EU's perspective, it's not a ransom they extracted in exchange for a cooperative future relationship. To them, it's the UK fulfilling commitments it made and future obligations it had accumulated before seeking to leave the EU.

If the UK is stupid enough to try it, many of their services businesses will have been obliged to establish subsidiaries in the EU by the time any new trade deal is agreed. Most of that business would be lost to the UK forever - even if the new trade deal restores access by British services businesses to the EU.

And another thing … All those claims that the EU will be hurt more than the UK by a no-deal Brexit – because they export more to the UK than they import from it. That's one of those "lies, damn lies, and demagogues' rhetoric" things if ever there was one!

True, the EU exports about 50% more in goods to the UK than it imports from them. The imbalance for services is relatively small. However, the relevant statistics are about 40% of the UK's exports of goods go to the EU27 but only about 15% of theirs go the other way.

Comparing the two is like comparing apples and orangutans. The percentages of at-risk trade are 40% vs 15%, then the UK will lose a greater share of its at-risk trade because the economy of the EU27 is much more diverse.

Where could a business in the EU go instead if it considers switching its current imports from the UK? There are few things it could not get from somewhere else within the EU, and at a comparable price. (The only ones I can think of are whisky and wings for Airbus planes.) They've no reason to consider paying tariffs, filling out customs forms, and less certain delivery times by looking further afield. Most losses by UK's exporters will end up as gains for manufacturers in the EU.

What about British businesses considering a switch of their current imports from the EU? Many products will not be made in the UK. Their choice wouldn't be whether or not to accept tariffs, forms, and uncertain deliveries. It would be whether the EU is still the best choice despite those new disadvantages. For many things they still will be.

I don't think the EU wants a messy divorce. They'd certainly take a hit if it happened, even if much less proportionally than the UK. But, I think they could be confident of being better off with the UK gone after about five years. Compare that to the UK, where Rees-Moggs said – in a rare moment of honesty – "Maybe we'll be better off after about fifty years"!

Ross at Play

The UK government plans to start releasing its position papers on a no-deal Brexit later this week. They've started leaking details of some and there appears to be a definite pattern to them.

Maybe Baldrick has a cunning plan?

One newspaper article includes this:

EU migrants living in Britain will be given the right to remain in the country in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to leaked cabinet office papers.


Another newspaper article says this:

The UK will continue to recognise regulations on key European Union imports under a "no deal" Brexit scenario in a bid to avoid the country grinding to a stand still, it has emerged.


A third article says this:

THE UK Government has made it easier for European Union financial services firms to access British markets than their UK counterparts will enjoy on the Continent in the event of a no-deal Brexit … according to a leading law firm … the UK's no-deal planning for financial services will enable EU firms to operate in the country without an agreement with Brussels


Perhaps the plan is effectively a unilateral declaration of BRINO, seeking to convince British voters the UK has done nothing to disrupt anything Europeans are accustomed to, so if the EU disrupts anything British are accustomed to they can says it's more of the EU's usual bastardry.

That would play well with Leave voters if new controls were introduced on entry into Britain by Europeans. That's the only thing a lot Leave voters really care about.

Well, that and the money. The government could also point to the fact that they've stopped contributing to the EU budget.

And there's the rub!

The EU would say – correctly – the UK was still getting all the benefits from membership of the Customs Union and Single Market without paying anything for those privileges.

What would the EU do? What could they do?

I cannot see them being the first to introduce any checks or tariffs on goods until there was some need to. That could happen once the UK started changing any standards and regulations they continued to apply after leaving the EU. It would happen if the first new trade deal the UK started using was with anyone other than the EU.

Conceivably the EU would be willing to maintain the status quo and hope to reach a trade deal with the UK before anything drastic happened.

If so, I'd guess that deals would be reached on how much the UK must contribute for access to things such as Europol and Galileo (with no more contracts to British firms in its development). More tricky – to sell to the voters, that is – would be the roughly 2.5B pounds per year which is the share of its VAT receipts that the UK currently forwards on to the EU. I cannot see the EU accepting the UK stopping those payments: the integrated VAT system is as essential to the frictionless trade in goods within the Single Market as the common external tariffs are.

That might leave the EU with only one option to recover their lost "euro of flesh". I think they'd start plundering as much of the British services industry as they can get. The EU wouldn't need a huge slice of that to get back the net 10B pounds or so per year Britain currently pays. I'd guess only 5% of the City's business (or a quarter of its current exports to the EU) would be enough to see them better off without Britain.

How could they do that? They could start by granting interim approval to any British finance, accountancy, etc. firms which apply to establish a subsidiary in the EU before the Brexit date. Then – as they have done with Standard Chartered – they could insist that subsidiaries must be more than "brass plate operations" for them to continue doing business inside the EU.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

So in light of a political essay/treatise somebody decided to write, which I don't know what kind of shelf-life it'll have. Some things to point out:

While "Eurocontrol" has a "significant" portion of it which is comprised of an EU entity, Eurocontrol itself is not a creature of the European Union.

Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurocontrol

The EU doesn't control accredidations for Air Travel in Europe, that's ICAO( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICAO -- administered by the UN), and ECAC( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Civil_Aviation_Conference ).

The "international driver's license" has nothing to do with the EU. Leaving the EU does not invalidate any of those. What does change is a UK Citizen might end up needing an international driver's license in order to drive in EU member nations "due to agreements changing." (cost: 5.50 pounds) So truck("lorrie") drivers won't be likely to end up stranded in strange places across the EU.

source on international license: https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad

Those were the ones that stuck out the most to me, beyond the "glaringly obvious" one about a certain UK Political Figure subsequently becoming PotUS, which barring a constitutional amendment, isn't possible, unless he was living in the United States while they still were Colonies of the British Empire.

edit: Then I learn he was born in the U.S. which makes it more interesting, aside from the matter of him renouncing his US citizenship which puts him in a grey area even if he should regain US Citizenship again.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Oh_Oh_Seven

@joyR

Why argue about borders? The leftists of the world have told us they are just for xenophobes.

Seems stupid to argue over something we have been told is evil.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Then I learn he was born in the U.S. which makes it more interesting, aside from the matter of him renouncing his US citizenship


That may not even be relevant. The effectiveness of renouncing a former citizenship is entirely dependent on the law/legal processes of the nation whose citizenship is being renounced.

For US citizenship:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renunciation_of_citizenship#United_States

United States law requires that an individual appear in person before a consular officer at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States and sign an oath or affirmation that the individual intends to renounce U.S. citizenship. Exceptions to this rule are permitted in times of war and under special circumstances.[24][25] During the expatriation procedure, the individual must complete several documents and demonstrate in an interview with a consular officer that the renunciation is voluntary and intentional. Depending on the embassy or consulate, the individual is often required to appear in person two times and conduct two separate interviews with consular officers over the course of several months.


Formal confirmation of the loss of U.S. citizenship is provided by the Certificate of Loss of Nationality (CLN) and is received by the renunciant a number of months later.


Renunciation of U.S. citizenship was free until July 2010, at which time a fee of $450 was established.[46] An increase to $2,350, effective September 12, 2014, was justified as "reflective of the true cost" of processing.[47][48] This followed a fee increase of approximately 220% in 2013.[49] The increase took effect in January 2015.[citation needed][50]


So unless the relevant UK political figure can produce a CLN issued by the US State Department, he's still legally a US Citizen.

Ross at Play

@Ross at Play

Liam Fox opened his mouth over the weekend. THIS is what happened. :(

'THIS' was a pretty continual slide in the value of the pound from 1.12 to 1.10 euros over the next three weeks.

I'm pretty sure the "offer" will include:
* The UK may stay in or leave the Customs Union. If they leave that cannot start until there is an operational system in place for the Irish border requiring no more than spot checks for compliance on a few percent of vehicles carrying goods.
* The UK can end Freedom of Movement, regulate its own financial services sector, and they'll get a sensible deal for security issues.

The things that'll have Johnson, Rees-Moggs, and their cohort spitting their dummies is all goods and almost all services (financial services being an exception) must remain under the EU's regulations and their court. There is NO OTHER WAY, assuming they won't accept a border on the Irish Sea, to have minimal checks at the Irish border AND not have progressively more checks as time goes on.

The Chequers plan for a customs partnership is a non-starter. The best the EU can offer is something like: Start out at zero tariffs for UK to EU trade, but if the UK offers a 5% tariff on something to anybody else, and the EU external tariff is 20%, then the EU will impose a 15% tariff for all goods of that class coming in from the UK.

Nobody in the UK government seems to get why the EU's single market exists: it puts every business within the EU on a level playing field. That's THEIR RED LINE. They'll never allow a business from the UK to operate inside the EU with some an advantage over their own businesses. May made the first move towards that when she agreed to a common rule book for goods. She's got a lot more backing down to do to reach a point the EU could conceivably accept.

There is an irony in May's predicament. There is a deal available which would satisfy the voters, but she can't accept it without having over half her party determined to crucify her.

Ross at Play

This is a quote from Barnier about the words he said which resulted in an over 1% rise in the value of GBP. I have inserted some extra words in bold font to clarify the context of what he means.

We respect all the red lines of the United Kingdom. [But we reject them because they] do not want to abide by the rules of the court of justice, they do not want to follow our legal framework, they do not want to pay, they do not want freedom of movement. All of these are the cornerstones of the single market and the EU. So we have to preserve and protect what makes us.

As I suggested before, May has a lot of movement left to do to achieve any deal and her party won't give her the freedom to do that.
* * *
I just came across an expression I've never heard before: 'squeaky-bum time'. It's the time when something is coming to an end with the result still in doubt and people are getting nervous - and shifting around in their seats a lot. Apparently it originated recently from English football, to describe the managers of two teams still fighting for the title in the last games of the season. I love it, but then, many Australians love any expression which uses any rude word.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Ross at Play

'squeaky-bum time'

Not to be confused with 'squishy-bum time'. That comes next.

Ross at Play
Updated:

Another recent quote from Barnier about the Chequers plan ...

He is usually restrained and polite in his critiques of proposals made by the Brits. For example, in the quote two posts up when he calmly explained the problems in the Chequers plan from the EU's perspective.

He has since described that plan as "illegal, insane, and impractical". I guess he approves of its grammar. :-)

Why did he call it "illegal"? This article explains at least one reason why.

ETA: What I said below is crap! The UK has said that it will continue on as a signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights.

The Good Friday Agreement is an international treaty, and the wording of it was approved overwhelmingly by the peoples of the North and South of Ireland. It "committed the UK government to enshrine the European Convention of Human Rights in law". The Republicans of NI - justifiably - cannot trust British governments to respect their human rights. There's no way they'd have signed on to anything which did not include their human rights being protected by European laws and courts! That's precisely what the lunatic Brexiteers are determined to end when they say Britain must take back control of their laws. May Johnson, Rees-Moggs, and all their cronies burn in hell if they succeed in getting their way!

Ross at Play

Have I got this right?

This is an article in today's Express newspaper.

Note that the Express is strongly in the Leave camp. You'll need to know that to decipher their propaganda spiel. They're not the most rabid Leavers, mind you. The Mail and the Sun engage in intense battles for that "honour".

So, the headline reads:

Brexit VICTORY? Barnier CRUMBLES as he signals first MAJOR EU concession to the UK

As far as I can see, what Barnier "conceded" was that there will no commitment by the UK to pay the £39 billion "divorce settlement" in the event of a no-deal Brexit. There will be no deals, period!

However, he also said:

the United Kingdom, through its Prime Minister, has agreed to honour its commitments ... to assume their responsibilities when it comes to participation in ... commitments vis-à-vis the European Union ... It is a very big responsibility.

I think that's saying there won't be ANY deals AFTER a no-deal Brexit either -- UNTIL the UK "assumes their responsibilities", i.e. it must pay up first once trading under WTO rules forces it to crawl back begging the EU for a new trade deal.

Ross at Play

The best line of the week is at the 3 minute mark of this.

Someone - not sure who or which party, but definitely a Remoaner - was asked by a journalist, "If Theresa May proceeds with Chequers, the Tory party could split in two?"

"Is it only two?" was the reply. :-)

Ross at Play

To AJ:

I don't consider this political ...

You may want to be watching a TV News channel in about 10 minutes, 1:45 PM your time.

Theresa May will be making a statement to the media then, apparently in response to what that lot did to her in Salzburg.

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille

@Ross at Play

Theresa May will be making a statement to the media then, apparently in response to what that lot did to her in Salzburg.


Did it involve a ballgag, padded handcuffs and a very large dildo?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@John Demille

Did it involve a ballgag, padded handcuffs and a very large dildo?

By the usual standards of international political negotiations, IT WAS the metaphorical equivalent of that!

Ross at Play

The most pertinent words in what May said were:

We need to hear from you ... until then there can be no progress.


I'm not going to post any more on this.

Ross at Play

I trust we're still allowed to post jokes about politics ...

Recently, Rees-Mogg was saying, "Chequers isn't really a dying duck. It's more like Count Dracula, getting up in the middle of the night and walking about--"

Someone interrupted him with, "Count Duckula?" :-)

Ross at Play
Updated:

This was a good line from Jeremy Corbyn at the party conference:

the Tory government envisions a "Britannia that both rules the waves and waives the rules".

My favourite among the bon mots I've come up with recently is:

The Tory Party has a collective death wish, except for the No Deal gang who wish for death.

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