Author Topic: Brexit Negotiations.  (Read 30113 times)

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Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #540 on: June 11, 2018, 02:57:53 AM »
You're right, the whole situation is not funny. A lot of people, including many politicians, are completely clueless....

In the hope to cheer you up: I think a hard brexit is unlikely for the simple reason that it doesn't carry a majority - not in public opinion, not in parliament and not even in the Conservative party....

The best reflection of the referendum result - and probably current public sentiment as well - would be a (very) soft Brexit (customs union + internal market = "Norway plus").

The problem is that May's government will be unable to deliver that. And due to Corbyn, there might insufficient support in parliament to force her hand...

My prediction will be the collapse of the Tory govt and new general elections, on which occasion the EU will offer an extension of negotiations. Another option would a 2nd referendum, which would offer eurosceptic Corbyn a chance to wash his hands of the whole issue.... ::)

Q

A hard Brexit would obviously be a disaster, but that's never stopped the Tory right before and it won't stop them now. If May sticks to her red lines then one version or another of hard Brexit is what we'll get: it would mean either a really bad deal, or no deal at all. If she gets something more like a soft Brexit that will lead to cries of betrayal and the ERG will probably trigger a leadership election in the hope of replacing her with someone more to their liking  - i.e. someone who would tear up a soft Brexit deal and give us a hard Brexit instead. If that means we crash out with no deal the ERG are fine with that.

What's so alarming is that we leave in nine months and the government is still negotiating with itself and its MPs rather than with the EU. It's easy to overlook the fact that the default position of A50 is that at the end of March we're out, whether we have a deal or not. If the current farce continues we won't even be close to concluding a deal in time, especially bearing in mind that in practical terms any deal needs to be concluded by around October to give the member states' parliaments and regional parliaments time to ratify it. In fact we're probably too late now anyway, having utterly wasted the two years since the referendum. I had thought that sanity might have started to assert itself by now, but there's no sign of it.

Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #541 on: June 11, 2018, 02:11:30 PM »
Even by current standards, today has been a stellar one for Brexit-related lunacy. Remember Crispin Odey, the Brexiteer hedge fund manager who recently said it was time to "have the self-confidence" to breach EU rules because that's what Elizabeth I would have done? Well he's been showing his confidence in Brexit by, er, betting against British businesses (it's a sign of how bad things are getting when you see a story like this in the Mail):

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/investing/article-5824697/Brexiteer-Odey-bets-500m-AGAINST-British-businesses.html

Quote
Odey’s apparent lack of confidence in flagship British firms stands in marked contrast to his fund’s investments in other countries, including France, Germany and the US, where he is mainly backing shares to rise.


The flamboyant fund manager, who once spent more than £100,000 on a chicken coop dubbed Cluckingham Palace at his Gloucestershire mansion, has given hundreds of thousands to campaigns backing Britain’s separation from the European Union including Global Britain and the Democracy Movement.

He is a longstanding supporter of fellow Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, funding the Conservative MP’s Election campaign in 2015. In 2007, he also helped Rees-Mogg set up an investment firm of his own, Somerset Capital Management, which has virtually no investments in the UK, but large holdings in Russia.

In addition to its short positions against British shares, Odey Asset Management has taken a £150 million bet against the value of Government bonds.

Why can't these people just believe in Britain?


Then we had Jacob Rees-Mogg showing that Peter Bone isn't the only Brexit fanatic who doesn't seem to understand the very WTO rules they're apparently so keen on:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jun/11/rees-mogg-no-need-for-customs-checks-at-dover-in-no-deal-brexit

Quote
Jacob Rees-Mogg has said that there would be no need for customs checks at Dover on EU imports in the event of a no-deal Brexit, suggesting that any delays for exports to Europe would be France’s responsibility.

The leading Conservative party Brexiter said checks would not be needed because EU goods could be trusted.

However, his vision was immediately dismissed by legal experts as a breach of World Trade Organization rules because it would amount to discriminatory practice.

This was followed by an interview on LBC radio with Arron Banks, the financial backer of the Leave.EU campaign, on the subject of possible links between the campaign and Russia. Clearly, that's a serious subject which required an impeccably impartial interviewer. And who was that interviewer? Step forward Nigel Farage, friend of Arron Banks.

The crowning cherry on the idiot cake came on Newsnight, when Tory Brexiteer Andrea Jenkyns decried people "talking the country down" and said we should "make it clear we're willing to walk away with no deal". How could we do this? Well, Andrea thinks we have two trump cards to play: first, we tell the EU that over 17 million people voted for Brexit. Quite why the EU should be impressed by this, let alone why it would force them to change their position, is not clear. Second, we threaten not to pay the £39 million so-called "divorce bill", which is not a divorce bill at all, but an obligation to settle commitments already agreed to, which even the UK government has acknowledged. So if we shout "will of the people" at Michel Barnier while establishing a reputation as a country that can't be trusted to honour its commitments, we'll be fine.

Whoever said there's no plan? 




Offline Marc

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #542 on: June 11, 2018, 08:30:02 PM »
If there ever was a moment in this century that the UK and EU should be/remain united instead of divided, it would be right now.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #543 on: June 11, 2018, 09:40:37 PM »
If there ever was a moment in this century that the UK and EU should be/remain united instead of divided, it would be right now.
Totally agree with you.

Brexit is like turkeys voting for Christmas.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 09:44:20 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Que

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #544 on: June 15, 2018, 02:56:04 PM »
À chacun son goût.

Offline Que

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #545 on: June 16, 2018, 12:34:44 AM »
Royal Mail has been pushed by Brexiteers to issue stamps to commemorate Brexit.

It declined the idea, but look what happened to the newly issued series of stamps dedicated to the tv series "Dad's Army":










Well, the joke isn't lost on me - an epic display of British humour....  :D

Q
« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 12:36:47 AM by Que »
À chacun son goût.

Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #546 on: June 16, 2018, 01:51:33 PM »

Brexit is like turkeys voting for Christmas.

Stop talking down the slaughterhouse. Bloody Remoaner.

Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #547 on: June 19, 2018, 06:19:14 AM »
https://twitter.com/davies_will/status/1008998820754190336

Is there any price to pay for Brexit which would be too high? Apparently not.

Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #548 on: June 20, 2018, 04:40:19 PM »
To the surprise of no-one, many of the pro-EU Tory "rebels" backed down after "winning" a feeble non-concession from the government - that's the government who lied to them just a week ago, but whose word they're still prepared to accept. So the "meaningful vote" on the final deal will presumably be a choice between whatever rotten deal May gets (assuming she gets one), or crashing out with no deal at all. In other words, it will be a choice between the guillotine or a firing squad. Meanwhile, the EU summit is almost upon us and there appears to be little if any progress on the outstanding issues - you know, minor details like the Irish border.

Just found this elsewhere - I've bolded the last line, as it's a real gem which eloquently encapsulates the lunacy of the Brexit negotiations:


Quote
Just to give you an idea of the levels of ignorance, incompetance and stupidity we are talking about, with the entire aviation threatened to be grounded by March, the government are (only now) recruiting a:

Head of Aviation EU Exit Negotiations
Leading on the overall negotiating position on aviation for the Government, your duties will include:
• establishing, leading and managing the core aviation negotiating team, and ensuring its close coordination with existing policy and legislation teams
• overseeing negotiations with the EU on the future of our aviation safety and airspace relationships
• contributing to the formulation and implementation of the UK’s future aviation strategy and development of related legislation and policies
Prior knowledge of airspace and the aviation sector is an advantage but not necessary.

You really couldn't make this up.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 04:45:44 PM by Mr. Minnow »

Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #549 on: June 26, 2018, 02:02:20 PM »
It turns out the anti-Brexit conspiracy is even more widespread than we thought - even the US embassy is in on it too:

https://twitter.com/davemacladd/status/1011636382786314240

The analysis is both depressing and brutally accurate.

Offline Christo

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #550 on: June 27, 2018, 08:54:53 PM »
The analysis is both depressing and brutally accurate.
The whole documentary - Inside the American Embassy - looks fascinating. Also, because the Trumpian ''policy'' is to destroy European cooperation and support anti-democratic movements, but inside the American Embassy they openly discuss the disaster Brexit brings: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/inside-the-american-embassy
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Online k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #551 on: June 29, 2018, 05:56:08 AM »
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Offline Que

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #552 on: June 30, 2018, 11:49:28 PM »
My thoughts exactly:

Britain now has 3 Brexit options: capitulate, crash, or extend

Rumour has it that May wants to move towards a soft Brexit. But that might trigger her fall, since Tory Brexiteers evidently want to crash out of the EU...

My money is on an extension till end of 2020, basically "absorbing" the time that was designated to be a transition period into the negotiations.

Since neither Tories nor Labour seem able to resolve their internal divisions on Brexit, I am not ruling out the possibility of a 2nd referendum...

Q
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #553 on: July 01, 2018, 06:27:47 AM »
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #554 on: July 01, 2018, 11:11:17 AM »
I am reminded of Gregor von Rezzzori's book The Snows of Yesteryears.

One of the author's aunts, confronted with the Austrian/German post-1918-19 debacle, stated: Just do whatever you want, gentlemen, our world is doomed anyway, let the Devil take care of it all.





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Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #555 on: July 01, 2018, 02:17:21 PM »
My thoughts exactly:

Britain now has 3 Brexit options: capitulate, crash, or extend

Rumour has it that May wants to move towards a soft Brexit. But that might trigger her fall, since Tory Brexiteers evidently want to crash out of the EU...

My money is on an extension till end of 2020, basically "absorbing" the time that was designated to be a transition period into the negotiations.

Since neither Tories nor Labour seem able to resolve their internal divisions on Brexit, I am not ruling out the possibility of a 2nd referendum...

Q

I'm not even sure that "extend" will be an option for much longer, at least not if it means "kick the can down the road yet again". They've been doing that for the last two years, and the reason is simple: the divisions in the cabinet and the Tory party are so fundamental that it's pretty well impossible to see how the chasm could be bridged. Kicking the can down the road again seems pretty pointless, since it's not going to resolve that basic problem - they'd just waste even more time and still be faced with the same divisions. If the language used by Tusk and others after last week's summit is any guide, the EU is fast losing patience with this incessant prevarication.

Offline Que

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #556 on: July 02, 2018, 08:23:52 AM »
I'm not even sure that "extend" will be an option for much longer, at least not if it means "kick the can down the road yet again". They've been doing that for the last two years, and the reason is simple: the divisions in the cabinet and the Tory party are so fundamental that it's pretty well impossible to see how the chasm could be bridged. Kicking the can down the road again seems pretty pointless, since it's not going to resolve that basic problem - they'd just waste even more time and still be faced with the same divisions. If the language used by Tusk and others after last week's summit is any guide, the EU is fast losing patience with this incessant prevarication.

All perfectly valid points!  :)

The EU wouldn't want to be responsible for keeping the current UK govt in the saddle, because that has been and probably will be a recipe for disaster. And it wouldn't want to get this issue out of the way instead of dragging it any further. For the EU any (acceptable) deal is therefore preferable to an extension: Canada type or any other.

The problem is a no deal crash: that will be so economically damaging - to the EU - that a simple delay of one a half years could save millions, if not billions. Even if there still would be a crash at the end of the road. More time to prepare and divert lines of supply and demand. Meanwhile the UK economy will continue to slip down, as is already the case. Another advantage is that it will solve the problem of the current EU budget.

So yes, it will a big loss of face and continue the agony, but even the Germans are willing to swollow the pride...
Of course the EU is going to wait till the very last minute and the UK has to ask for it. And naturally the fall of the UK govt before that moment would be the preferable scenario, so that the extended negotiations could be conducted with a new govt.

Q
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 08:26:57 AM by Que »
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Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #557 on: July 02, 2018, 03:13:07 PM »
All perfectly valid points!  :)

The EU wouldn't want to be responsible for keeping the current UK govt in the saddle, because that has been and probably will be a recipe for disaster. And it wouldn't want to get this issue out of the way instead of dragging it any further. For the EU any (acceptable) deal is therefore preferable to an extension: Canada type or any other.

The problem is a no deal crash: that will be so economically damaging - to the EU - that a simple delay of one a half years could save millions, if not billions. Even if there still would be a crash at the end of the road. More time to prepare and divert lines of supply and demand. Meanwhile the UK economy will continue to slip down, as is already the case. Another advantage is that it will solve the problem of the current EU budget.

So yes, it will a big loss of face and continue the agony, but even the Germans are willing to swollow the pride...
Of course the EU is going to wait till the very last minute and the UK has to ask for it. And naturally the fall of the UK govt before that moment would be the preferable scenario, so that the extended negotiations could be conducted with a new govt.

Q

The damage that no deal would do to the EU would be significant, but for the UK it would be utterly catastrophic. That means the UK has a lot more to lose and the EU knows it, so they also know the UK will have to blink first (unless much of the Tory party is now completely insane, which is possible).

You're right that the EU will want an acceptable deal ASAP, but the problem is that even at this late stage the UK government doesn't seem to grasp what the EU defines as acceptable. It means a deal with no cherry picking, especially where the four freedoms are concerned, and nothing which undermines the single market, yet Friday's cabinet meeting is apparently going to be presented with a third customs option which proposes staying in the single market for goods but not services, while also leaving the customs union. The talk here is of whether May will be able to get her cabinet to sign up to it, even though the EU has already said it's not a runner. The usual response to that is "oh well they would say that, this is a negotiation, they'll back down at the last minute". Maybe, but I wouldn't put money on it. Meanwhile we have the Irish border issue to solve and Rees Mogg warning that May will split the party if she fails to deliver the One True Brexit. So it's all going smoothly.   

It would seem that the only realistic options are a hard Brexit, or Norway Plus, i.e. CU + SM membership. When May finally decides which one to go for the faeces will be on a collision course with the fan.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 04:22:28 PM by Mr. Minnow »

Offline Que

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #558 on: July 06, 2018, 09:42:37 PM »
So, May's so called "soft" Brexit is a UK-EU free trade area for goods.

Brexit: Theresa May, Cabinet agree to UK-EU free trade area for goods

It is basically the internal market minus the free movement - and regulatory  alignment - of services, capital and people (labour). Without supervision by the EU Court of Justice....

Oh, and according to the UK govt, this will resolve the NI border issue... I think not... ::)

The EU has defended the indivisibility and integrity of the internal market right from the start of the negotiations: no internal market à la carte, no cherry picking.... And what does the UK govt come up with?  ::)

Not only is it unlikely for the EU to agree with such a scheme, it leaves services as the biggest chunk of UK-EU trade relations out in the dark. This seems mainly to be designed to persuade car and plane manufacturers to stay and prevent empty supermarkets after Brexit day... I highly doubt if this scheme would persuade manufacturers to stay - the underlying principle of the internal market is that all its elements are economically interconnected.

Conclusion: another fudge, of which Brexiteers assumed that it will be rejected by the EU - so that they can put the blame there.

Q
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Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Brexit Negotiations.
« Reply #559 on: July 07, 2018, 05:12:15 AM »
So, May's so called "soft" Brexit is a UK-EU free trade area for goods.

Brexit: Theresa May, Cabinet agree to UK-EU free trade area for goods

It is basically the internal market minus the free movement - and regulatory  alignment - of services, capital and people (labour). Without supervision by the EU Court of Justice....

Oh, and according to the UK govt, this will resolve the NI border issue... I think not... ::)

The EU has defended the indivisibility and integrity of the internal market right from the start of the negotiations: no internal market à la carte, no cherry picking.... And what does the UK govt come up with?  ::)

Not only is it unlikely for the EU to agree with such a scheme, it leaves services as the biggest chunk of UK-EU trade relations out in the dark. This seems mainly to be designed to persuade car and plane manufacturers to stay and prevent empty supermarkets after Brexit day... I highly doubt if this scheme would persuade manufacturers to stay - the underlying principle of the internal market is that all its elements are economically interconnected.

Conclusion: another fudge, of which Brexiteers assumed that it will be rejected by the EU - so that they can put the blame there.

Q

Yes, it might be a soft Brexit for about 20% of the economy, but for the other 80%? Not so much. And even if we assume that the "plan" for the 20% is both workable and acceptable to the EU (two rather large assumptions to say the least), for the other 80% it's clearly cherry picking as usual, which the EU has been saying for the last two years is a non-starter. So either May agrees to SM + CU membership, ECJ jurisdiction and freedom of movement - either literally, or possibly rebranding those things with shiny new names but still amounting to the same thing in practice - or we get a hard Brexit.

Even if the EU were to accept this fudge - and like you, I'll be amazed if that happens given that it would contradict everything Barnier has said for the last two years - it's still unlikely it would get through the Commons. Most Labour MPs and the smaller parties would probably vote against it for not being a soft enough Brexit, while Bertie Wooster and his ERG chums are already saying that this isn't really Brexit, so they wouldn't support it either.

With delicious irony, the Daily Mail comments section currently appears to consist largely of hardline leavers crying betrayal and explicitly stating that they now hope the EU tells May where to stick it, so we can leave with no deal and trade on WTO terms!