/ If yer brexit, yer fix it!

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Baron Weasel - on 13 Oct 2016
This is exactly the level of scrutiny needed right now. I'm pleased to see coherent opposition at long last. Imagine if you had to come up with plausible answers to all of these without making it look like you had no plan whatsoever...we're waiting David.

http://labourlist.org/2016/10/labours-170-questions-for-david-davis-on-brexit/
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George Ormerod - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

Yes, marvelous. And 6 months too late.
4
BnB - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

It would be potentially disastrous for the UK should the government betray their fall-back stance in an answer to any one of those questions in public but they should consider each point soberly as they frame their stance.

It's a decent stunt by Labour in that, by doing the right thing and refusing to answer, the Tories look potentially clueless. And I'm delighted that there is a parliamentary voice providing some balance to the media.

Is it the right strategy to attack the Tories for being clueless rather than too hardline? I wonder. Could it push them further right?
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ian caton on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to BnB:

"Potentially disastrous"

Only if the EU is seen as some sort of foe, in some sort of yesteryear vision of negotiation as gaining maximum advantage at the expense of the relationship.

The 100's of millions of individuals in the rest of the EU have been our closest friends and allies and this approach of treating them as some sort of enemy is likely to lead to the worst possible outcome for the UK.

The three Brexiteers are all bright and know this, therefore their obfuscation is a clear sign they have no idea what to do.
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Pete Pozman - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply

> The three Brexiteers are all bright...

Where's your proof?

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BnB - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to ian caton:

Your idealism does you credit but in case you hadn't noticed the game being played out in the European press (all politics is local) reads very similar. It all looks like a typical negotiation with, at the outset, entrenched positions and significant division, but in which neither party actually wants too extreme an outcome.This has been done to death on a number of threads so I won't bore you by repeating what's been said.
Rob Exile Ward on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to BnB: The way that the rest of the EU respond to Brexit is life and death to the EU project: if the UK is seen to 'get away with it' then that will be the end of the EU, it will unravel as every member state clamours to receive the benefits but not obey the rules. (Which aren't arbitrary, they are a necessary precondition of how the EU works as a trading entity.)

Hollande and Merkel know this; the best outcome for them is for the UK economy to tank, even if there is a short term hit to their own. Right now, that seems pretty much on track, as predicted.
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BnB - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> The way that the rest of the EU respond to Brexit is life and death to the EU project: if the UK is seen to 'get away with it' then that will be the end of the EU, it will unravel as every member state clamours to receive the benefits but not obey the rules. (Which aren't arbitrary, they are a necessary precondition of how the EU works as a trading entity.)

> Hollande and Merkel know this; the best outcome for them is for the UK economy to tank, even if there is a short term hit to their own. Right now, that seems pretty much on track, as predicted.

You could just as well argue that a hard line for the UK entrenches rising opposition to the EU right across Europe while stifling a welcome opportunity to tweak pan-European migration policy. Hollande and Merkel know this.

There is only hard evidence of the UK economy outperforming referendum-centred predictions and none to the contrary. The rest is all guesswork.
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Dave Garnett - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to George Ormerod:

> Yes, marvelous. And 6 months too late.

Yes, frustrating isn't it? Still, looks as if the League of Gentlemen may be along shortly to make us all feel better...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37629080
Moley on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

With Tesco struggling to negotiate with Unilever to keep Marmite on their shelves, I'm not sure who I trust with any Brexit negotiations.
jkarran - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> The way that the rest of the EU respond to Brexit is life and death to the EU project: if the UK is seen to 'get away with it' then that will be the end of the EU, it will unravel as every member state clamours to receive the benefits but not obey the rules. (Which aren't arbitrary, they are a necessary precondition of how the EU works as a trading entity.)

> Hollande and Merkel know this; the best outcome for them is for the UK economy to tank, even if there is a short term hit to their own. Right now, that seems pretty much on track, as predicted.

Totally agree.

As I see it probably in our collective interest to 'fail' in this negotiation, to take punitive terms. A tanked economy of our own making we can recover from alongside a stable functioning EU, even burned bridges can be rebuilt. A disintegrating EU on our doorstep will sure enough tank our economy whatever deal we get, will take decades to settle out and brings far greater dangers than the purely economic.
jk
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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Rob Exile Ward: "he way that the rest of the EU respond to Brexit is life and death to the EU project:"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/10/12/if-europe-insists-on-a-hard-brexit-so-be-it/

AEP makes some interesting points in this piece

".... is the open intimidation by a number of EU political leaders. "There must be a threat," said French president Francois Hollande. "There must be a price... otherwise other countries or other parties will want to leave the European Union."
These are remarkable comments in all kinds of ways, not least in that the leader of a democratic state is threatening a neighbouring democracy and military ally. What he is also admitting - son insu - is that the union is held together only by fear. He might as well write its epitaph."

He then goes on to say how the four freedoms are barely paid lip service by most of the EU which is a very interesting point to consider.
wercat on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Moley:
oops, should have been a reply to Dave Garnett:

strange that they don't mention it being a radio series for a year or two before it made it to TV, just like HHGTH
Post edited at 09:02
Baron Weasel - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to George Ormerod:

> Yes, marvelous. And 6 months too late.

All the makings of a Daily Mash classic:

Keyboard hero uses hindsight to tell everyone what should have happened six months ago.
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Moley on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to wercat:

> oops, should have been a reply to Dave Garnett:

So you don't care about Marmite? That is the sort of attitude that will see us all doomed for sure
jkarran - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

The idea is not that the EU is held together by fear, it's held together by value, value provided in exchange for the costs and responsibilities that come with membership. This is completely reasonable, we accept this in every walk of life from our jobs to our gym memberships. It isn't a 'threat' to recognise and state the fact that allowing a former member to have the value without the responsibilities will destabilise the remaining union as each member seeks, using Britain's model to improve their lot at the expense of the others.
jk
Post edited at 09:44
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baron - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to jkarran:
Except some countries e.g. The U.K. have far greater costs than most other countries e.g. Hungary.
Some voted leave to remove these costs.
The EU would be seen by some as a greater benefit to the UK if it was seen to be a fairer organisation.
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jkarran - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:

> Except some countries e.g. The U.K. have far greater costs than most other countries e.g. Hungary.
Some countries have far bigger economies than most e.g. UK (we also had an exceptional 'rebate')

> Some voted leave to remove these costs.
AND the benefits that are associated.

> The EU would be seen by some as a greater benefit to the UK if it was seen to be a fairer organisation.
Seen to be fairer. The key word here is seen, for the last 30+ years we've seen the world through a prism held up to us by a tiny handful of unaccountable self interested men in control of our media.

Specifically which unfairness do you refer to and how is it improved or removed by leaving the EU?
jk
Post edited at 09:42
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MonkeyPuzzle - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to BnB:

> There is only hard evidence of the UK economy outperforming referendum-centred predictions and none to the contrary. The rest is all guesswork.

How is it doing that, seeing as we haven't left yet?
baron - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to jkarran:
Like the UK having to pay whatever the actual cost is to be a member while most countries take money out of the EU.
Why does having a larger economy mean we pay more?
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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to jkarran:

Continuing your gym analogy....the UK only uses the running machines and is fed up having to pay for a gym where there are only a few running machines and lots of free weights and exercise bikes. It says it would like a different membership that only allows it to use the running machines. The gym says "No chance. Everyone only wants to use the running machines but we have all this other equipment nobody wants. If we let you cut your membership fee and just use the running machines then everyone else will want the same and we will be stuck with all this redundant equipment we paid for that nobody wants"

;-) (don't take that too seriously)

What's your opinion on the lack of adherence to the "four freedoms" by a lot of the EU , specifically the services statistic? Maybe we should just say we will accept the freedoms, get free access to single market and ignore the ones we don't like? Lets be honest, it would probably work
andyfallsoff - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:

Much the same way that a higher rate taxpayer probably pays more in tax compared to the services they use, compared to a low or no income person.

Everyone pays in according to personal (read: country's economic) circumstances; then the distribution is calculated on the basis of need (rather than divvying up money on a state by state basis according to the size of the contributions, which would be pointless).

The aim of this is to promote all members of the EU so that it functions better for all members - the same way that society functions better when we look after those who are less fortunate, rather than letting them starve.
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GrahamD - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:

How much do you think we pay into the EU ? its just over 10% of the city of Birmingham's budget alone. Its not a lot.
Trevers - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to jkarran:

> Seen to be fairer. The key word here is seen, for the last 30+ years we've seen the world through a prism held up to us by a tiny handful of unaccountable self interested men in control of our media.

One of whom is now our foreign secretary
baron - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to andyfallsoff: While the supporting of fellow citizens is an ideal to aspire to it isn't what many people want in the European context.
I believe that it's this social experiment side of the EU that some people dislike.
Personally I support free trade with the necessary legislation on standards, etc but without free movement of labour, etc.
I'm sure if I was a Hungarian I might have a different view.

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Jim Hamilton - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Moley:

> With Tesco struggling to negotiate

or playing "hardball" with their suppliers?
baron - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to GrahamD:
Do you have an actual number for this. Not being awkward but couldn't find a total for Birmingham's budget - Google skills not working today.
Rob Exile Ward on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:

This is the point people miss: without free movement of labour you can't truly have free trade, if only on practical grounds.

Let's suppose I want to start exporting to France. Right now, what could be easier? I might choose to go and work there for a few months, selling to my first customers, setting up distributors, meeting possible partners and so on.

But once I have to start applying for work permits, visas and all the rest, that becomes a massive non-tariff barrier to trade. And this will be true of any business - finance, car manufacture, catering, anything you like.

The free movement of labour isn't just a nice little optional add-on; it's intrinsic to the free trade project.
Sir Chasm - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

So now you've left the gym and saved the membership fee, great! But you haven't got a running machine. But you can buy one can't you? With all the money you're saving. So that's ok, in a few years you can get off your fat arse and start running again. And all those useful business contacts you made at the gym? Well, they still exist don't they? Except you don't make many new contacts when you're on your own running machine (that you can't yet afford) in your garage and your current contacts don't see you as often and find they prefer doing business with people they still see socially in the gym.

No, I won't take your analogy too seriously because it's poorly thought out. No surprise there.
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RyanOsborne - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> This is the point people miss: without free movement of labour you can't truly have free trade, if only on practical grounds.

> Let's suppose I want to start exporting to France. Right now, what could be easier? I might choose to go and work there for a few months, selling to my first customers, setting up distributors, meeting possible partners and so on.

> But once I have to start applying for work permits, visas and all the rest, that becomes a massive non-tariff barrier to trade. And this will be true of any business - finance, car manufacture, catering, anything you like.

> The free movement of labour isn't just a nice little optional add-on; it's intrinsic to the free trade project.

I'm totally pro free movement, but aren't there free trade agreements throughout the world that don't rely on free movement of people?
Post edited at 10:32
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BnB - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> How is it doing that, seeing as we haven't left yet?

Read my post. I was careful to write referendum-centred rather than Brexit. The economy has not reacted as predicted in the interim period we find ourselves in since June 23. In fact it has been far more resilient than expected and the hard data is abundant. Multiple vested interests are now seeking to sway policy much as the opposing sides of the debate sought to sway the electorate. None of the predictions lack an agenda and that includes currency valuations.

Remainers can't have their cake and eat it. The currency thread blames the drop in the pound on the same thing that hasn't happened. I'm a Remainer but I'm also an exporter and business owner and I'm bored of all the whining when most of that grasps at tendentious guesswork while ignoring the more logical demands of pragmatism and realpolitik which will inform the final negotiations.
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Baron Weasel - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Moley:

> So you don't care about Marmite? That is the sort of attitude that will see us all doomed for sure

I don't think it would be that hard to make. A mate of mine left a home brew fermenter un-cleaned when he went to Australia for three weeks and the dried up yeast cake wasn't that different from Marmite...
summo on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to andyfallsoff:
> Everyone pays in according to personal (read: country's economic) circumstances; then the distribution is calculated on the basis of need (rather than divvying up money on a state by state basis according to the size of the contributions, which would be pointless).
> The aim of this is to promote all members of the EU so that it functions better for all members - the same way that society functions better when we look after those who are less fortunate, rather than letting them starve.

but what if one country is only at the bottom of the economic table because they work less hours, retire early, employ a massive public sector, spend money on useless projects.... should the stable more fiscally astute country keeping sending them money indirectly, decade after decade. If the EU was so great and working, surely the exit of one country would not matter and it could be seen to give a fair deal. Or do the EU leaders know that just a few prosperous nations are holding it and the Euro together.

Is French farming in such a dire state that it needs CAP subsidies per hectare that average out way higher than the UK, or perhaps the rules are occasionally written in certain countries or industries favour. If can spare the time google about Tate & Lyle and their EU problems because they import cane from outside the EU, their boss is longing for the EU exit as the rules were written to benefit continental beet based manufacturers.

The EU ethos is great, but it doesn't play out that way.
David Martin - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> ".... is the open intimidation by a number of EU political leaders. "There must be a threat," said French president Francois Hollande. "There must be a price... otherwise other countries or other parties will want to leave the European Union."

Very easy to find such examples, especially given the snub Britain has given and the potential damage it does to the EU. For a bit of balance however, looking at the theatrics of Farage and Co. in Europe, the reactions of EU political leaders is surprisingly restrained.
GrahamD - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:

A shade north of 3 billion. You need to download the PDF from here:

https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/20155/council_budget/465/budget

Hell, the "others" category of expenditure is 200m. So it does seem really curious the level of scrutiny on a 350m budget nationally.
Sir Chasm - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to GrahamD:

350 million PER WEEK.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Clearly poorly thought out analogies are contagious lol

The gym that allows flexible membership could be the most successful gym on the block, and put the antiquated one fee/one gym model to the graveyard (i'm only going on the empirical evidence of the huge rise in gyms that are pay as you go and the struggling old style gyms which require a membership )

BTW, another reminder to not take my post too seriously ;-)
GrahamD - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Just call me Boris ! bloody multitasking...
Rob Exile Ward on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to RyanOsborne:

'I'm totally pro free movement, but aren't there free trade agreements throughout the world that don't rely on free movement of people?'

Yes, of course; but the absence of free movement of labour is a non-tariff barrier.

You can say to Country 'X', 'yes you can sell your goods here and we won't charge any tarriffs'; but if it takes workers from that country 6 months to get the necessary work permits, patently that trade isn't as 'free' as trade with a country whose workers can just drive here with their usual ID.
Sir Chasm - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Ah, I see, you're setting up your own gym. Well why didn't you say? As you only want running machines I'm sure you've carefully researched the market and found that's there's a demand for that sort of gym. And that's a big capital investment for someone who didn't even want to pay to use a gym. Still, interest rates are low and not many new businesses struggle, do they?

Lol?
wercat on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Moley:

> So you don't care about Marmite? That is the sort of attitude that will see us all doomed for sure

Oh but I do!
tom_in_edinburgh - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to BnB:

> It would be potentially disastrous for the UK should the government betray their fall-back stance in an answer to any one of those questions in public but they should consider each point soberly as they frame their stance.

I don't buy this 'keep your cards hidden and try and get advantage argument'. It's going to be so hard to get a deal at all when there are 27 different parties that can block it the best option is co-operative, cards-on-the-table negotiating towards a well understood outcome everyone can live with like EEA membership.


Bjartur i Sumarhus on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Sir Chasm:
I can only apologise for unintentionally trolling you.

But as it's fun. (did I say I was setting up my own gym?) No, but as you're engaged.. lets see if we can come up with a better model.... I am setting up a gym with all the equipment and you can pay for what you use. It's efficient and anyone can come and use what they want. If there is high demand for the running machines and no interest in the free weights, I think I might adjust my model to accommodate. (not sure where you got "not paying" from BTW). This is all about flexible membership. I wish I had started this gym analogy for EU membership...so original.

This post , whilst having pathos, humour and suspense, did not make me laugh out loud. But I am in a good mood.

Do you have a gym analogy for the EU?
Post edited at 11:44
MonkeyPuzzle - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to BnB:

> Remainers can't have their cake and eat it. The currency thread blames the drop in the pound on the same thing that hasn't happened. I'm a Remainer but I'm also an exporter and business owner and I'm bored of all the whining when most of that grasps at tendentious guesswork while ignoring the more logical demands of pragmatism and realpolitik which will inform the final negotiations.

People on the currency thread are saying that the drop in the pound is due to uncertainty caused by the vote, and the all the predictions I can recall from before the vote were re post-exit (I'm sick of the "Brexit", ugh). Obviously we couldn't have blamed such uncertainty post a remain vote, because there simply wouldn't be as much.

As a remain voter I should also point out that it doesn't fell like I'm getting any 'cake'.
Jim C - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> 350 million PER WEEK.

18,2 Billion a year, but they give us about half of it back (and tell us what to spend it on. )
We could therefore (if we wanted to) only spend 350 Million on the NHS for 6/7 months of the year not the whole year.
But we knew that;)

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Sir Chasm - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Jim C:

I was pointing out that Graham was comparing weekly figures with annual. But as you bring it up https://goo.gl/images/u3np71
Not that I would compare your honesty to Bojo's.
GrahamD - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Sir Chasm:

I'd seen somewhere a comparison between Birmingham's budget and our EU budget, as a sort of context setter. I tried to re-create the comparison from scratch in way too much hurry. The answer is, of course, that Birmingham's budget is similar to our net EU budget. Unless I've done that one too quickly as well....
andyfallsoff - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to GrahamD:

I think (as far as I recall) the comparison with Birmingham was the staffing levels, because the accusation that the EU was a huge gravy train with all sorts being paid out is nicely put into context when you see how few staff it has. The actual budget I would expect to be far bigger, just because of the scale of the payments in and out.
Moley on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

> I don't think it would be that hard to make. A mate of mine left a home brew fermenter un-cleaned when he went to Australia for three weeks and the dried up yeast cake wasn't that different from Marmite...

Aussies make Vegemite (some yeasty crap), they are not tough enough for the real deal - Marmite!
I daresay once we leave the EU our world trade deal will have us forging "close links" with Australia and importing tons of their bloody rubbish Vegemite.
GrahamD - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to andyfallsoff:

Glad someone else saw it (and remembered it a damned sight better than I did) !
JIMBO on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Moley:

I prefer British Bovril on my toast, not Marmite...
George Ormerod - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

> All the makings of a Daily Mash classic:

> Keyboard hero uses hindsight to tell everyone what should have happened six months ago.

So you thought Labour had a cracking referendum, holding the leave campaign to account? Can't say I did at the time.

By the way, I'm enjoying the Mash's piss taking of the whole Brexit fiasco.
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