UKC

/ I did say that Brexit would not happen.

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The Ice Doctor - on 09 Jul 2018

Remember my prediction a few months back?

A few of you were smug enough to state 'never' and laugh me off.

Watch as the Brexit that will not take place and the Tories implode.

A general election in October?

jkarran - on 09 Jul 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

> Watch as the Brexit that will not take place and the Tories implode.

Don't count your chickens, both major parties still stand firmly behind the idea of leaving, one of them has to be moved before this is over and today's scheming and tantrums don't do that.

It's still quite possible it won't happen, perhaps ever more so but it's very very far from a foregone conclusion, indeed we could tilt the other way and crash out in horrible chaos if the infighting eats up our remaining months.

> A general election in October?

Christ I hope not, this trainwreck is a Tory project through and through, they get to own this mess.

jk

Post edited at 19:33
ClimberEd - on 09 Jul 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

How about internal Tory implosion. Referendum part 2. Vote to remain. Remainer Tories sail off into gvt control.

Pekkie - on 11:33 Sun
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

I predicted that we wouldn’t leave too. A Tory commentator recently identified the impossible dilemma: you can’t get a hard Brexit through parliament yet any kind of soft Brexit wouldn’t be as good as full membership. Hmm..????

 

Bob Kemp - on 12:11 Sun
In reply to jkarran:

I wonder if a growing awareness of the fragility of the global political situation in the government will result from Trump's visit. As in, Trump's divide and rule policy means the EU will become an essential safeguard. That could tilt the balance. 

earlsdonwhu - on 14:09 Sun
In reply to Bob Kemp:

That may be very logical, but so many people hadn't got a clue about the implications of voting leave or they were simply obsessed by the immigration question that the nuanced implications of a Trump visit will pass them by.

Tringa on 14:10 Sun
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

Because politicians will never admit any mistake the chances of Brexit not going ahead seem low, but it is going to be very difficult.

I haven't read all of the White Paper but it includes -

"1.4.1 Ending free movement of people
73. In future it will be for the UK Government and Parliament to determine the domestic immigration rules that will apply. Free movement of people will end as the UK leaves the EU. The Immigration Bill will bring EU migration under UK law, enabling the UK to set out its future immigration system in domestic legislation."

Just how is the ending of free movement of people going to be achieved without a border between Ireland and Northern Island which has check points to stop people entering the UK that the government does not want? 

Dave

GridNorth - on 14:26 Sun
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

"We've spent the last 40 years half in and we will spend the next 40 years half out."

Al

Bob Kemp - on 14:31 Sun
In reply to earlsdonwhu:

> That may be very logical, but so many people hadn't got a clue about the implications of voting leave or they were simply obsessed by the immigration question that the nuanced implications of a Trump visit will pass them by.

You may be correct, although as has often been pointed out in these Brexit threads not all Brexiters are ignorant of these things. My point is really that as those in the government wake up to the subservient hell that awaits them in Trump-world they themselves will want to pull the plug on Brexit.  

hokkyokusei - on 15:07 Sun
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

I don't remember it, no, though I'm not saying you didn't say it. Not sure I believe it won't happen though. Two biggest parties still committed to it. Tory melt down seems possible, so a general election isn't out of the question.

If it did happen, I'd like to see a "brexit election". Basically come up with some brexit manifestos, that would each gather their own cross party support, campaign on that basis. MPs that supported the winning brexit manifesto get elected to a short term (as long as it takes to enact what ever form of brexit wins) cross party coalition to implement what they campaigned for. 

FactorXXX - on 15:58 Sun
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

> Watch as the Brexit that will not take place and the Tories implode.
> A general election in October?

If May decided to cancel Brexit on the grounds that it would be in the UK's best interest, then shouldn't she be hailed as the greatest and bravest PM in living history and Parliament and the UK in general would not see the need for a General Election?
That's the impression I get from UKC. Or, would those same UKC posters turn and say that it shows that she is 'Weak and Feeble' and that Parliament should push for a vote of no confidence and a subsequent General Election?
Undoubtedly, Corbyn and her internal enemies would attempt to rip her to shreds over it in the hope of gaining power.  I'm assuming again, that those UKC posters would reward her for reversing Brexit and would support her despite any political differences they might have.

 

Robert Durran - on 16:56 Sun
In reply to FactorXXX:

> If May decided to cancel Brexit on the grounds that it would be in the UK's best interest, then shouldn't she be hailed as the greatest and bravest PM in living history and Parliament and the UK in general would not see the need for a General Election?

I would applaud her for a correct and courageous decision, but I think she would have to resign and call an election - for which I would applaud her again for putting country before self and party.

FactorXXX - on 17:27 Sun
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I would applaud her for a correct and courageous decision, but I think she would have to resign and call an election - for which I would applaud her again for putting country before self and party.

Which is why she won't cancel Brexit, because she knows that there are people circling like vultures to make political capital out of any mess that can be attributed to it.  If she could actually cancel Brexit without having to fall on her sword, then wouldn't that be a bitter pill worth swallowing for all those who don't like her either as a person, or for her political allegiance? 
I suspect that that is why Corbyn is staying in the background.  He's hoping that an election can be forced in the immediate aftermath and that the electorate will elect him on the basis that May has to go for the mess of Brexit.  To Labour, it's perfect in that they might not have to do anything as the Conservatives will self-destruct themselves out of contention.

FactorXXX - on 17:35 Sun
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I would applaud her for a correct and courageous decision, but I think she would have to resign and call an election - for which I would applaud her again for putting country before self and party.

May couldn't unilaterally call an election.
It would either have to be through a Vote of no Confidence. Or, by two thirds of Parliament agreeing to one.
 

tripehound - on 19:23 Sun
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> You may be correct, although as has often been pointed out in these Brexit threads not all Brexiters are ignorant of these things. My point is really that as those in the government wake up to the subservient hell that awaits them in Trump-world they themselves will want to pull the plug on Brexit.  

Even if we do everything Trump wants of us in "Trump World" i.e. Hard Brexit does anyone really believe he will give the uk anything but an extremely bad deal.

If he sees a weakness ( uk adrift from Europe) he will have us like a Great White Shark.

Stuart en Écosse - on 19:26 Sun
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

I hope you are correct. Though Trump may invade us to preserve democracy and rid Scotland of sissy boys and thespians.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 19:50 Sun
In reply to Tringa:

> Just how is the ending of free movement of people going to be achieved without a border between Ireland and Northern Island which has check points to stop people entering the UK that the government does not want? 

The Home Office will hassle the f*ck out of everyone foreign looking whether or not they are here legally or not.    People will get capriciously detained/ have NHS tratement refused/ get refused accommodation/ have bank accounts blocked for speaking in foreign languages or having the wrong colour skin.   The less competent the Home Office are the better it works at getting the headline immigration number lower because legal immigrants who can just as easily use their skills somewhere else will leave with a lot less provocation than desperate people with no options.

The Irish border doesn't make much difference.  If you want to get into the UK you can just as easily fly into Heathrow as a tourist.

 

 

Stuart en Écosse - on 20:02 Sun
In reply to GridNorth:

> "We've spent the last 40 years half in and we will spend the next 40 years half out."

That sounds like a very British bedroom boast.

 

Rob Parsons on 21:48 Sun
In reply to FactorXXX:

> May couldn't unilaterally call an election.

> It would either have to be through a Vote of no Confidence. Or, by two thirds of Parliament agreeing to one.

Or - she just introduces legislation to temporarily suspend the fixed-term Parliament Act. Etc.

I assume you remember that the 2017 election took place, 'well before schedule'? The fixed-term Act really is the most useless (and misleading) piece of legislation that's been passed in this country for a long time.

Post edited at 22:02
Rob Parsons on 21:51 Sun
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> I wonder if a growing awareness of the fragility of the global political situation in the government will result from Trump's visit. As in, Trump's divide and rule policy means the EU will become an essential safeguard. That could tilt the balance. 


Trump won't be around forever; basing long-term decisions on what he personally says and does would be a mistake.

Of course, one might argue that Trump is merely a symptom and not the cause. If you take that view, the picture might seem different.

FactorXXX - on 22:03 Sun
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> I assume you remember that the 2017 election took place, 'well before schedule'? The fixed-term bill really is the most useless (and misleading) piece of legislation that's been passed in this country for a long time.

May announced her attention to ask for an election on 18/04/17.
It was voted for on 19/04/17 with a 509 majority in favour and thus surpassing the two thirds majority required.
There wouldn't have been an election if the required majority hadn't been reached. 

 

Rob Parsons on 22:26 Sun
In reply to FactorXXX:

Sure. But this was well rehearsed at the time: the Opposition will always vote in favour of an election, and, even if they chose not to, the governing party can force one simply by introducing legislation to temporarily suspend the fixed-term Act.

In practice, that Act is meaningless.

FactorXXX - on 22:54 Sun
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Sure. But this was well rehearsed at the time: the Opposition will always vote in favour of an election, and, even if they chose not to, the governing party can force one simply by introducing legislation to temporarily suspend the fixed-term Act.

If the Opposition thought they had absolutely no chance of winning an election, why would they vote in favour of it when they could easily block it?  Makes no sense.
As for the 'legislation to temporarily suspend the fixed-term Act' where does that come from?  As far as I can tell, the only two ways to call an early election is via a two thirds majority in favour, or a vote of no confidence.

 

Rob Parsons on 22:56 Sun
In reply to FactorXXX:

> As for the 'legislation to temporarily suspend the fixed-term Act' where does that come from?

They'd just create new legislation, and pass it.

FactorXXX - on 23:13 Sun
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> They'd just create new legislation, and pass it.

Do you really think that would happen?
Do you really think that the Opposition, the Media and the Public would allow that to happen without any questions being asked about what they were doing?
Could it be done fast enough anyway?
Would the House of Lords block it?
If they did force it through, wouldn't there be a massive danger of people voting against them in protest at them doing it?
I personally can't see that ever happening and the only thing that could possibly happen is that a sitting Government tries to reverse the Fixed-term Parliament act and then calls for an election.  Not sure how long that would take though.  

Bob Kemp - on 23:28 Sun
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Trump won't be around forever; basing long-term decisions on what he personally says and does would be a mistake.

That would make Brexit even more of a long-term long-odds bet then. "Brexit will give us back control  - eventually, after the damage Trump's done is undone."

> Of course, one might argue that Trump is merely a symptom and not the cause. If you take that view, the picture might seem different.

Especially if you buy into the view that there is a larger extreme right-wing movement in action at the moment. 

 

Rob Parsons on 08:05 Mon
In reply to FactorXXX:

> I personally can't see that ever happening and the only thing that could possibly happen is that a sitting Government tries to reverse the Fixed-term Parliament act and then calls for an election.  Not sure how long that would take though.  

 

It could be (and would be, if the governing party wanted it) guillotined through Parliament in days

Don't forget that the 2017 election (called three years in advance, despite the intention of the Fixed Term Act) was a highly cynical ploy by a PM who - along with all of the commentariat - thought she would get a landslide.

The Fixed Term Act is a complete waste of time and effort; in practice it's meaningless.

Rob Parsons on 08:09 Mon
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> That would make Brexit even more of a long-term long-odds bet then. "Brexit will give us back control  - eventually, after the damage Trump's done is undone."

I'm not arguing for or against Brexit here; just making the point that reacting to Trump's current disruptions seems a poor way to formulate long-term policy.

(Mind you, Trump seems correct to me in his criticism of NATO: that's a Cold War edifice which seems to have no current justification, and which wouldn't be invented now if it didn't already exist.)

Bob Hughes - on 08:09 Mon
In reply to FactorXXX:

> If the Opposition thought they had absolutely no chance of winning an election, why would they vote in favour of it when they could easily block it?  Makes no sense.

The problem is, it’s very difficult for the leader of the opposition to pass up the chance - however small - of a change in government. It would be like Croatia turning up in Moscow, taking one look at Mbappe warming up and the coach saying, “you know what lads, I think we’re better off sitting this one out”.

In April 2017, everyone - including most Labour MPs - expected Labour to get a proper shoeing. If ever there was a time to pass up the chance at an election that was it but the Labour leadership couldn’t credibly ask their MPs to vote against it. The situation today is completely different and Labour would have a good chance at winning. Actually if TMay did try to call an early election now I think she’d face more resistance from her own side. They’d probably force a vote if no confidence and leadership contest rather than early election.

 

Michael Hood - on 12:09 Mon
In reply to Bob Hughes:

I always thought that Labour should have voted against an election so that TM would have to have called a motion of no confidence in her own administration. Would have been much more fun.

RomTheBear on 12:17 Mon
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

Brexit will happen. It might end up being an EEA type of Brexit (however this is very unlikely) but it will happen. Next March. 

One possibility though is that the transitiom period goes on for a longer time than planned. But not undefinitely. It's not really sustainable.

Post edited at 12:23
Rob Parsons on 12:26 Mon
In reply to Michael Hood:

> I always thought that Labour should have voted against an election so that TM would have to have called a motion of no confidence in her own administration. Would have been much more fun.

They'd indeed be shameless enough to do that (citing 'the national interest', or some such), but there's no need: the legislation can be worked around easily enough.

The Fixed Term Act is another legacy of the Cameron years. (Yes I know: Cameron? Who?) I am sure that he will be judged as one of the worst Prime Ministers this country has ever had.

FactorXXX - on 12:36 Mon
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> The Fixed Term Act is another legacy of the Cameron years. (Yes I know: Cameron? Who?) I am sure that he will be judged as one of the worst Prime Ministers this country has ever had.

We're obviously not going to agree on the implementation of the Act, but it was Clegg that introduced it. 

 

Rob Parsons on 12:54 Mon
In reply to FactorXXX:

> We're obviously not going to agree on the implementation of the Act, but it was Clegg that introduced it.


Sure - he was the Deputy PM in Cameron's government.

Look at Cleggs's quote- "by setting the date that parliament will dissolve, our prime minister is giving up the right to pick and choose the date of the next general election - that's a true first in British politics" - and then reflect on what happened in 2017! Muppet!

Bob Hughes - on 13:04 Mon
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Look at Cleggs's quote- "by setting the date that parliament will dissolve, our prime minister is giving up the right to pick and choose the date of the next general election - that's a true first in British politics" - and then reflect on what happened in 2017! Muppet!

In fairness, 2017 was the next but one election. That’s plenty of wiggle room for a politician to claim they were right 

 

FactorXXX - on 13:10 Mon
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Look at Cleggs's quote- "by setting the date that parliament will dissolve, our prime minister is giving up the right to pick and choose the date of the next general election - that's a true first in British politics" - and then reflect on what happened in 2017! Muppet!

To labour a point, in 2017 Parliament could have voted against an election which wasn't an option before.
I'm guessing that the reason that Labour said "Yes" was that Corbyn is either mad, or he felt he had a good chance against May.  If he personally felt that he would have been slaughtered in the election and therefore lose his leadership, then do you think he would have so gladly voted for it?  I don't. 

 

Tringa on 13:16 Mon
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The Home Office will hassle the f*ck out of everyone foreign looking whether or not they are here legally or not.    People will get capriciously detained/ have NHS tratement refused/ get refused accommodation/ have bank accounts blocked for speaking in foreign languages or having the wrong colour skin.   The less competent the Home Office are the better it works at getting the headline immigration number lower because legal immigrants who can just as easily use their skills somewhere else will leave with a lot less provocation than desperate people with no options.

> The Irish border doesn't make much difference.  If you want to get into the UK you can just as easily fly into Heathrow as a tourist.


I think the Irish does make a difference. Heathrow, other airports and ports have immigration officers and border control.

After Brexit, anyone whose qualification for entering the UK is dubious risks those immigration officers deciding they are lying about their reasons for coming to the UK and refuse entry. However, without border controls between Ireland and Northern Ireland they could enter Ireland legally as a EU citizen and walk over the border into the UK.

Dave   

Rob Parsons on 13:17 Mon
In reply to FactorXXX:

> To labour a point ...

> I'm guessing that the reason that Labour said "Yes" ...

Bob Hughes covers all that above.

 

jkarran - on 13:22 Mon
In reply to FactorXXX:

> I'm guessing that the reason that Labour said "Yes" was that Corbyn is either mad, or he felt he had a good chance against May.  If he personally felt that he would have been slaughtered in the election and therefore lose his leadership, then do you think he would have so gladly voted for it?  I don't. 

I think his leadership would have been over the day he was seen to be afraid of leading Labour into an election whatever their perceived standing at that time. Two ways to lose, only one of which can provide a win.

jk

FactorXXX - on 13:45 Mon
In reply to jkarran:

> I think his leadership would have been over the day he was seen to be afraid of leading Labour into an election whatever their perceived standing at that time. Two ways to lose, only one of which can provide a win.

Possibly.  One extra, but perhaps significant factor is that May sold it as a 'Brexit Re-set election' and it sort of made sense to do that. 
I wonder what would have happened if it was more of a 'Falklands Factor' type scenario? 

 

Ian W - on 13:48 Mon
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Possibly.  One extra, but perhaps significant factor is that May sold it as a 'Brexit Re-set election' and it sort of made sense to do that. 

> I wonder what would have happened if it was more of a 'Falklands Factor' type scenario? 

Just be thankful it wasn't........

FactorXXX - on 13:53 Mon
In reply to Ian W:

> Just be thankful it wasn't........

Obviously, but I'm assuming that the concept of Fixed Terms is to stop sitting Governments calling early elections at will when they know they're at a high due to 'Good News' events.

Pekkie - on 13:56 Mon
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Brexit will happen. It might end up being an EEA type of Brexit (however this is very unlikely) but it will happen. Next March. 

> Trouble is, all those soft Brexit options are worse than full membership - and without a say!

 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 13:58 Mon
In reply to Tringa:

> After Brexit, anyone whose qualification for entering the UK is dubious risks those immigration officers deciding they are lying about their reasons for coming to the UK and refuse entry.

Maybe but it looks like in May's vision there will be a general 'no hassle' rule for EU citizens that say they are tourists and the same for UK citizens going to Europe.   The EU won't make a deal which allows the UK to treat some member states differently from others so if we don't want the immigration 3rd degree when we go to the EU we won't be able to apply it to the eastern European countries the Brexiters don't like.

 

pec on 15:04 Mon
In reply to Tringa:

> I think the Irish does make a difference. Heathrow, other airports and ports have immigration officers and border control.

So do  Irish airports and ports.

> After Brexit, anyone whose qualification for entering the UK is dubious risks those immigration officers deciding they are lying about their reasons for coming to the UK and refuse entry. However, without border controls between Ireland and Northern Ireland they could enter Ireland legally as a EU citizen and walk over the border into the UK.

Ireland is not part of the Schengen area, anyone entering at its borders (except with NI) has to show ID and as part of the common travel area between the UK and Ireland (since the 1920's)

http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/moving_country/moving_abroad/freedom_of_movement_within_the_eu/common_travel_area_between_ireland_and_the_uk.html

we effectively police each other's borders so that someone entering Ireland who isn't elligible to enter the UK can be refused entry.

Of course, as someone else has already pointed out, after Brexit any EU national wanting to come to Britain will just get on a plane or ferry and come here. We aren't going to stop them coming here, their right to reside and work will change in some way but that is not policed at the border. Its the same as if say an Australian wants to come to the UK, they can just come here. The problem for them arises later if they want to work or stay and haven't got a suitable work permit/visa but that isn't checked at the border, employers and landlords have to make those checks.

 

Post edited at 15:06
Ian W - on 15:14 Mon
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Maybe but it looks like in May's vision there will be a general 'no hassle' rule for EU citizens that say they are tourists and the same for UK citizens going to Europe.   The EU won't make a deal which allows the UK to treat some member states differently from others so if we don't want the immigration 3rd degree when we go to the EU we won't be able to apply it to the eastern European countries the Brexiters don't like.

And that is going to be a massive problem for the brexiters in general. Immigration is a red line for them, and TM has stated that her Chequers deal means the end of free movement, yet any of the stuff you mention about tourist visits kills that off at birth, and would be unacceptable to pretty well everybody.

Interesting to see Justine Greening on t'news this morning saying that a 2nd referendum should take place with 3 options - stay in, hard / no deal brexit, or TM's version. Her reasoning being that parliament cant agree on any version, and it must be put "to the people" again in order to at least tell the government what to do. A difficult choice for TM, as to do anything other than pursue her deal is the political equivalent of throwing your arms in the air and shouting "bollocks, do what you want then!" , and would spell the end for her. 

And if a relative moderate such as greening is coming out and saying this, then I can only imagine the plotting taking place in the minds of Gove / Johnson / Rees Mogg etc........ 

Bob Kemp - on 15:14 Mon
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> I'm not arguing for or against Brexit here; just making the point that reacting to Trump's current disruptions seems a poor way to formulate long-term policy.

Trump's current disruptions will have consequences that last longer than his term of office. And the mere fact that a US president can cause such disruption is surely a red flag for any future over-reliance on the stability of American presidents.

> (Mind you, Trump seems correct to me in his criticism of NATO: that's a Cold War edifice which seems to have no current justification, and which wouldn't be invented now if it didn't already exist.)

He has a point about the money - quite a few countries haven't stumped up yet. Obama was critical of this too. As for whether it's justified or not, he said it was obsolete soon after becoming president if I remember correctly and then said he'd fixed it. I'm not sure what his current position is. 

 

pec on 15:56 Mon
In reply to Ian W:

> And that is going to be a massive problem for the brexiters in general. Immigration is a red line for them, and TM has stated that her Chequers deal means the end of free movement, yet any of the stuff you mention about tourist visits kills that off at birth, and would be unacceptable to pretty well everybody.

The end of free movement is not the end of going on holiday. People will be able to jet off to Spain and drive to France etc and EU nationals will likewise be able to come here as tourists, nobody is trying to prevent that.

The end of free movement means an end to going to live permanently (or semi permanently) in other countries and being able to work without permits or receive benefits there.

People coming here on holiday or even making short buisness trips is not the same as immigration.

This is neither a pro nor anti Brexit argument, just a statement of reality.

 

Ian W - on 16:13 Mon
In reply to pec:

All agreed. What will cause the problem is that the intention seems to be to treat EU and non EU nationals differently. 

Bob Hughes - on 16:49 Mon
In reply to Ian W:

> ... to do anything other than pursue her deal is the political equivalent of throwing your arms in the air and shouting "bollocks, do what you want then!" , and would spell the end for her. 

More or less what she did in the commons today - accepted all the ERG's amendments on one condition: "that no one from the ERG crowed about it and that there was no triumphalism". 

 

 

Postmanpat on 17:28 Mon
In reply to Ian W:

> All agreed. What will cause the problem is that the intention seems to be to treat EU and non EU nationals differently. 


Why?

Ian W - on 17:37 Mon
In reply to Bob Hughes:

So she spent ages having this plan developed, lost 2 senior ministers and 2 party vice chairs over it, and then accepted any and all changes suggested by the far right idealogues.......

Top leadership.

Ian W - on 17:39 Mon
In reply to Postmanpat:

Because the whole idea behind brexit was to leave the eu and become independent. roving the globe to strike the best deals with all our global friends and partners, not just do things slightly differently to now....

Bob Hughes - on 17:51 Mon
In reply to Ian W:

What was, until yesterday, official government policy will soon be “unlawful”

RomTheBear on 18:22 Mon
In reply to Pekkie:

> Trouble is, all those soft Brexit options are worse than full membership - and without a say!

Indeed. None of them are realistically on the table though, as long as they stick to their red line on free movement, which seems to be the only thing that holds.

Ian W - on 18:23 Mon
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> What was, until yesterday, official government policy will soon be “unlawful”


I read your comment and thought "whats he on about?" Then had a bit of a read of the Beeb website, and another news website, and OMG, what is happening??

I can only surmise that JRM and chums have threatened a leadership challenge unless she does as they ask.......

mind you, Eeyore would provide better leadership.

Postmanpat on 18:26 Mon
In reply to Ian W:

> Because the whole idea behind brexit was to leave the eu and become independent. roving the globe to strike the best deals with all our global friends and partners, 

>

   And what is the connection of this to your post to which I responded?

 

Pekkie - on 18:36 Mon
In reply to Ian W:

> Because the whole idea behind brexit was to leave the eu and become independent. roving the globe to strike the best deals with all our global friends and partners, not just do things slightly differently to now....

Ah, that’s hard Brexit which won’t get through parliament and would be an economic disaster. And where are all those ‘great deals with our global friends and partners’? Hard Brexit would cost every person in the country thousands of pounds a year. So whose going to pay my share? Are all those Brexit voters going to chip in so I’m not out of pocket? ?

 

Post edited at 18:58
Ian W - on 18:46 Mon
In reply to Pekkie:

Unlikely; they are all busy offshoring as much as possible whilst warning their clients of the dangers of brexit, or using it as a convenient way of fulfilling their personal ambition of becoming PM.......

 

Post edited at 18:49
Ian W - on 18:47 Mon
In reply to Postmanpat:

I think your "why?" had picked up th wrong bit of a post to / from a different poster. If not, then what do you mean by "why?"

Pekkie - on 19:02 Mon
In reply to Ian W:

I see I’m getting dislikes to my post asking Brexit voters to chip in so that I’m not out of pocket. Please don’t panic, folks! Let me know what you can afford every month and we can come to an arrangement. Like in ‘Can’t pay? We’ll take it away’.

pasbury on 19:29 Mon
In reply to Ian W:

She cobbled together a go-cart without the assistance of any engineers.

She hasn’t asked any engineers whether it’ll work.

The non-engineers who designed it have fallen out over the design.

Some of them challenged her to drive it.

She deliberately drove it into a wall.

Post edited at 19:29
Ian W - on 19:43 Mon
In reply to Pekkie:

Oi greedy!

I want some as well.....

Pekkie - on 19:54 Mon
In reply to Ian W:

> Oi greedy!

> I want some as well.....

I can see this will take some time to pay off. I know I’m looking like a grasping bastard but I just want my money. Is that too much to ask? What I’m owed. After all, it’s a lot less than Mogg will make out of Brexit.

Gordon Stainforth - on 20:10 Mon
In reply to Ian W:

My god, it's looking grim tonight on both sides of the Atlantic, with crazy right-wing leaders (supinely supported by apathetic &/or ignorant electorates) moving us ever closer to fascist-fuelled aggression. I won't discuss this because I'm absolutely sick of it and, anyway, since I'm part of the vast 70% of middle-ground voters who no longer have any meaningful democratic say (only the 15% on the extreme left and right now having any political muscle) there's no point. I'm forced to watch it unfold in horror as a mere observer.

PS. Vast protest marches are of no avail against fascism.

Post edited at 20:13
john arran - on 20:16 Mon
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

You're right that it's looking grim, but I'm still confident that both of the major Western anomalies (Brexit and Trump) will be returned to some kind of normality within the next couple of years or so. I simply can't believe that reason won't prevail, once the horrors of the decisions already made become ever more apparent.

Gordon Stainforth - on 20:21 Mon
In reply to john arran:

I just wish you were right. I can't see any signs of reason prevailing at the moment. Rather the reverse. Breakdown of rationality fuelled by populist emotion. I fear it's going to go the very hard way, and those who supported this nonsense will not see their folly until it finally comes to smash them very hard, right in the face (after c. 5-10 years). Which is fair enough. But it's very tough shit on the silenced rational majority who saw it coming and have been forced to be dragged down with it.

pasbury on 21:15 Mon
In reply to Pekkie:

> Ah, that’s hard Brexit which won’t get through parliament and would be an economic disaster. And where are all those ‘great deals with our global friends and partners’? Hard Brexit would cost every person in the country thousands of pounds a year. So whose going to pay my share? Are all those Brexit voters going to chip in so I’m not out of pocket? ?

I’m afraid they’ll be dead, claiming triple locked pension or unemployed. No dice.

Pekkie - on 21:44 Mon
In reply to pasbury:

> I’m afraid they’ll be dead, claiming triple locked pension or unemployed. No dice.

OK, I’m not totally hard-hearted. I realise that many Brexit voters were pensioners or on benefits but actions do have consequences. Call me Mr Soft Lad but it’s got to be paid off. £10 a week.

baron - on 22:01 Mon
In reply to Pekkie:

Will you take 10 bags of Werthers?

Pekkie - on 22:05 Mon
In reply to baron:

> Will you take 10 bags of Werthers?

I’m afraid it’s got to be pounds sterling. OK, at a push I’ll take euros. 

Post edited at 22:05
Gordon Stainforth - on 22:35 Mon
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

The horror continues to unfold even as I speak. Parliamentary recess now being brought forward to this Thurs rather than next Tues. Everything is being done now to bypass and subvert Parliament. 

Bob Kemp - on 22:40 Mon
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

The early recess is more likely being done to stop Tory MPs plotting against the PM.

pasbury on 22:46 Mon
In reply to john arran:

> You're right that it's looking grim, but I'm still confident that both of the major Western anomalies (Brexit and Trump) will be returned to some kind of normality within the next couple of years or so. I simply can't believe that reason won't prevail, once the horrors of the decisions already made become ever more apparent.

On Trump I fear you are complacent. He’s stated he wants to run again as ‘everyone want him to’. He may very well win. Eight years of his influence will take a lot of undoing. 

pasbury on 22:48 Mon
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Does kind of look like they’re doing a big poo on the floor of the House of Commons and then running away though doesn’t it?

RomTheBear on 23:21 Mon
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

Given the amendments that have been passed, it is now quite clear that no deal has become the most likely outcome.

The EU won't take anything seriously now and will ramp up no-deal preparations. The U.K. government will also start building up the Blame-it-on-the-eu-rethoric.

The Commons is now proposed to sit for only 10 days between now and October 8. At risk of stating the obvious this is a Government sending MPs away to prevent humiliation.

Post edited at 23:27
Stuart en Écosse - on 23:32 Mon
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> The horror continues to unfold even as I speak. Parliamentary recess now being brought forward to this Thurs rather than next Tues. Everything is being done now to bypass and subvert Parliament. 

It's got a name. Coup.

Gordon Stainforth - on 23:35 Mon
In reply to Stuart en Écosse:

Well, I hope not (he says feebly). But it really is looking that scary.

cander - on 23:40 Mon
In reply to RomTheBear:

I’m thinking you’re right in your analysis, the only way a no deal Brexit can possibly be avoided is if the EU put together a Brexit deal that protects U.K. and EU trade and makes exceptions to their key principles, customs union etc. It seems to me that the ball is firmly in the EU’s hands, let’s see if they have the vision to preserve open trade in Europe even though it doesn’t meet their political or technical requirements but does have significant mutual benefit for everyone. 

RomTheBear on 23:44 Mon
In reply to cander:

> I’m thinking you’re right in your analysis, the only way a no deal Brexit can possibly be avoided is if the EU put together a Brexit deal that protects U.K. and EU trade and makes exceptions to their key principles, customs union etc. It seems to me that the ball is firmly in the EU’s hands, let’s see if they have the vision to preserve open trade in Europe even though it doesn’t meet their political or technical requirements but does have significant mutual benefit for everyone. 

It's not open trade in Europe at stake it's the single market. They have no intention of topedoing the single market because doing so would be to their detriments (and ours as well btw). So they won't.

 

Post edited at 23:46
cander - on 00:04 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

That’s the point the EU can preserve open trade (the single market, customs union etc is an EU technical construct that allows free trade - that’s all), they can make it happen - they have a choice whether they want to trade on WTO rules or not - the U.K. (it seems to me) has decided it is prepared to, the EU can chose not to. As I said the ball is in their hands now - let’s see if they’re up to being a European leader.

RomTheBear on 00:07 Tue
In reply to cander:

> That’s the point the EU can preserve open trade (the single market, customs union etc is an EU technical construct that allows free trade - that’s all), they can make it happen - they have a choice whether they want to trade on WTO rules or not - the U.K. (it seems to me) has decided it is prepared to, the EU can chose not to. As I said the ball is in their hands now - let’s see if they’re up to being a European leader.

What are you taking about the EU already trades on WTO terms by default with the countries it currently doesn't have a trade agreement with since it is s WTO member. This would be the default position in case of no deal.

 

Post edited at 00:14
Bob Kemp - on 00:22 Tue
In reply to pasbury:

My fear is that Trump is only one facet of a major extreme right offensive that will extend beyond him. One that involves Steve Bannon and Breitbart, Richard Spencer, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Dugin, Putin's mentor, and many others. 

(If you don't know about Dugin, there's a piece here which gives the gist: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/aleksandr-dugin-the-russian-mystic-behind-americas_us_59a1fca2e4b0d0ef9f1c14ac

I'm not particularly prone to political paranoia and conspiracy theories but I am beginning to wonder. 

cander - on 00:26 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

You’re willfully misunderstanding my point, the EU can chose to trade with any country any way it wants, no negotiations, it can chose. The U.K. looks like it has chosen WTO rules, the EU has the option to offer a better/different trade deal, WTO rules doesn’t have to be the default, it seems to be choosing not to want to offer a deal. Every dispute has two sides, one side has normally to offer concessions to get a resolution - the EU now seems to be in that place as the U.K. is intransigent.

pasbury on 00:30 Tue
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Also current political populism in Hungary, Poland, Turkey and Italy. Failed but influential campaigns in Holland and France. That’s just Europe. Then you get that bastard Bannon over here being interviewed by arch-cu nt Piers Morgan. Danger beckons.

RomTheBear on 05:22 Tue
In reply to cander:

> You’re willfully misunderstanding my point,

Sorry, not wilfully, it's a bit muddled to say the least. Never mind.

Post edited at 05:22
HansStuttgart - on 07:17 Tue
In reply to cander:

The EU is not free to trade whichever way it wants. It is bound by the WTO and this limits the options to bare WTO, Canada-like, Ukraine-like, and Norway-like. All these options have been offered to the UK, but they come with costs and responsibilities. UK so far has not been able to choose.

 

The discussions between EU27 and UK are going nowhere. I think EU27 will simply write a withdrawal agreement about the citizen's rights, settling the finances, and the Irish border. It will spell out that the UK can choose during the transition whether they want a Canada-like deal that implies a customs and single market border in the Irish sea or keep the UK completely integrated in the CU and SM. Then UK parliament can vote to accept this, take some time, look at public opinion and decide on the future relationship.

Ian W - on 07:44 Tue
In reply to cander:

> You’re willfully misunderstanding my point, the EU can chose to trade with any country any way it wants, no negotiations, it can chose. The U.K. looks like it has chosen WTO rules, the EU has the option to offer a better/different trade deal, WTO rules doesn’t have to be the default, it seems to be choosing not to want to offer a deal. Every dispute has two sides, one side has normally to offer concessions to get a resolution - the EU now seems to be in that place as the U.K. is intransigent.

Utter bollocks. The EU cant impose deals without negotiations "any way it wants". It has offered a different / better deal than WTO rules to the UK; we are currently using that deal (you know, the tariff free one linked to EU membership). That deal is still on the table. The issue with agreeing a deal is that the UK, which has decided to leave the EU, cant decide what its opening position is wrt negotiating a future deal. If negotiations cant take place, then WTO / hard brexit is the only route available to the UK in its trade with the remaining EU countries.  

cander - on 07:44 Tue
In reply to HansStuttgart:

Once again - missing the point - Canada like, Ukraine like, Norway like - the EU offered a deal. Now they have to offer “UK like”, we know that “UK like” cannot have Customs union, open borders, and single market - The EU must offer the U.K. a bespoke deal that satisfies these conditions if it wants to preserve non WTO trade in Europe. Northern Ireland is a red herring IMO, an effective border between the EU and the U.K. will happen in Ireland, that border can be sensibly managed the same as the EU Swiss border is. 

If the EU is not interested in preserving non WTO trade in Europe as the single market, customs union and free movement is more important to them, then times up on the negotiations and we trade with WTO rules to the detriment of all parties with abject failure on the part of the negotiators (we know Davis has failed, looks like Barnier lacks the vision to succeed as well).

Ian W - on 07:50 Tue
In reply to cander:

> Once again - missing the point - Canada like, Ukraine like, Norway like - the EU offered a deal. Now they have to offer “UK like”, we know that “UK like” cannot have Customs union, open borders, and single market - The EU must offer the U.K. a bespoke deal that satisfies these conditions if it wants to preserve non WTO trade in Europe.

No. It must offer a deal if it wants to retain free trade between the EU and the UK. There will be no change between the remaining 27 nation members of the EU. You dont seem to understand that this is an issue with the UK only; relations between the other 27 will continue unchanged.

>Northern Ireland is a red herring IMO, an effective border between the EU and the U.K. will happen in Ireland, that border can be sensibly managed the same as the EU Swiss border is. 

You clearly arent aware that the swiss border differs from the Eire / NI border in the use of checkpoints and a police / military presence. You need to do some reading up on the history of the Irish border, and the political consequences of reimposing such a border.

> If the EU is not interested in preserving non WTO trade in Europe as the single market, customs union and free movement is more important to them, then times up on the negotiations and we trade with WTO rules to the detriment of all parties with abject failure on the part of the negotiators (we know Davis has failed, looks like Barnier lacks the vision to succeed as well).

As above, non-WTO trade in europe will contimue as before, with the exception of trade with the UK.

 

Post edited at 07:50
cander - on 07:54 Tue
In reply to Ian W:

There is no EU membership deal - the U.K. is leaving the EU - the discussions are about what happens once that occurs, as you should know. My argument is that the U.K. is unable to negotiate mainly to do with internal political tensions, so the EU who know the limits to the U.K. governments position (the red lines so to speak) can put together a deal that prevents the WTO rules trading - I understand that it’s the tail wagging the dog but sometimes to reach a mutually beneficial solution that happens, why won’t they do that - if it is to preserve the integrity of the EU’s red lines, so be it - the negotiations will fail because of lack of good will and common sense  on both sides (not just the U.K.).

john arran - on 08:05 Tue
In reply to cander:

How is it even possible to propose a deal to a government that has absolutely no idea what it wants nor what it would be prepared to accept? To pretend that the ball somehow is in the EU's court is delusion of the highest order, but I can see how the Brexit press may be trying to portray it that way as it does reduce the need for the Brexit infighters to actually agree on anything first.

cander - on 08:06 Tue
In reply to Ian W:

> No. It must offer a deal if it wants to retain free trade between the EU and the UK. There will be no change between the remaining 27 nation members of the EU. You dont seem to understand that this is an issue with the UK only; relations between the other 27 will continue unchanged.

Correct the EU must offer a deal to the U.K. to preserve non WTO trade in Europe - stop mixing up Europe and EU they’re different entities, the U.K. will remain in Europe not in the EU, one is geographical the other is political.

> >Northern Ireland is a red herring IMO, an effective border between the EU and the U.K. will happen in Ireland, that border can be sensibly managed the same as the EU Swiss border is. 

> You clearly arent aware that the swiss border differs from the Eire / NI border in the use of checkpoints and a police / military presence. You need to do some reading up on the history of the Irish border, and the political consequences of reimposing such a border.

of course I am - I crossed the Swiss France border every day for two years when I worked in Geneva, we still own a house in Annecy, do not conflate the good Friday agreement with the EU negotiations - if the Irish want to go back to sectarian violence because of that - well good luck to them - personally being from a Irish family I don’t think it will happen - it’s a red herring being used as a lever in the negotiations.

> As above, non-WTO trade in europe will contimue as before, with the exception of trade with the UK.

thats fine, it represents a complete failure for both parties - not just the U.K. the EU can fix this, they’re choosing not to at the moment - but there’s still time.

 

cander - on 08:10 Tue
In reply to john arran:

The ball has to be in the EU’s court, because they are now the only ones who can offer a deal, they know full well that TM’s government cannot complete a deal because of its internal political tensions. if the EU don’t offer a deal they may as well pack up and go home because the negotiations are dead.

.

Tringa on 08:30 Tue
In reply to pec:

Thanks Pec. I think I knew Ireland were not in the Schengen area but in all this excitement ......

Dave

wbo - on 08:32 Tue
In reply to Vander: who on the UK side will accept the deal.? There is no functioning government.  By your logic then the EU should offer the deal it wants. 

Much as you'd like to pin the blame on the EU it is very hard to do make that convincing.  

 

john arran - on 08:55 Tue
In reply to cander:

I love the logic: The EU will be to blame if no deal is agreed because the UK Brexiters have been so incompetent they never could have been expected to agree anything.

Can you not see that's just a little bit backwards?

cander - on 09:09 Tue
In reply to john arran:

It doesn’t matter, assigning blame is the least of the issues, that’s  what people who set out to fail do. Sorting out the deal is what matters.

Rob Exile Ward on 09:22 Tue
In reply to cander:

God you're beginning to sound like a certain D Trump.

We do not have a functioning government with regard to Brexit and the EU can't really do very much until we do.

john arran - on 09:24 Tue
In reply to cander:

But can't you see that there simply doesn't exist a deal that would be acceptable to all parties, given that some of them have been sold an impossible dream? Lots of people have been trying for two years now to come up with one and they all fail, for good reasons. At what point will you accept that any deal proposed by any party will not be acceptable to the others? If the EU were to propose a deal that was fair to its other members, it would be rejected immediately by cake-hungry Brexiters. Then it would be blamed by those same people for not being fair, desperate to persist the illusion that edible cake had been possible. The impasse would deepen, we'd crash out catastrophically on WTO terms and everyone would lose.

There is, however, a way to avoid this inevitability. The people need a chance to vote for it before our idiot politicians ruin everything for everyone.

 

Sir Chasm - on 09:27 Tue
In reply to cander:

> It doesn’t matter, assigning blame is the least of the issues, that’s  what people who set out to fail do. Sorting out the deal is what matters.

Absolutely. So what deal do we want? 

Bob Hughes - on 09:48 Tue
In reply to cander:

I expect that the EU will forget all but the most hand-wavy talk about the future agreement. A50 requires that the withdrawal agreement "takes account of the future reltationship". Its clearly impossible to get anything substantial on that agreed, so we'll agree some political text like "EU and UK will continue to discuss their continued and close relationship."

You might be right that the Irish border is a red herring - I personally disagree - but either way it has become an issue of key importance in the negotiations now that the backstop text is in the draft withdrawal agreement. That's the only - or at least the major - part that needs to be resolved before finalising the withdrawal agreement.

 

 

Bob Hughes - on 09:53 Tue
In reply to Thread:

Just pause a moment to reflect on the fact that Vince Cable and Tim Farron didn't turn up to vote last night. In the case of Vince Cable it was because he had another meeting and "didn't expect the vote to be close". 

The whole bunch of them are f*cking useless. 

 

pasbury on 10:01 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

But in March next year will we be in the single market or out, in the customs union or out?

There are urgent practicalities to sort out regardless of transition.

Bob Hughes - on 10:26 Tue
In reply to pasbury:

> But in March next year will we be in the single market or out, in the customs union or out?

> There are urgent practicalities to sort out regardless of transition.

If the withdrawal agreement is signed, the transition period covers this at least until 31 December 2020. Extract of the withdrawal agreement here:

"PART FOUR TRANSITION

Article 121 Transition period

There shall be a transition or implementation period, which shall start on the date of entry into force of this Agreement and end on 31 December 2020.

Article 122 Scope of the transition

1. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, Union law shall be applicable to and in the United Kingdom during the transition period."

There are a whole load of exceptions and caveats but basically we stay in the EU (including Single Market + Customs Union) until the end of 2020. 

cander - on 10:31 Tue
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

No I don’t - I’m articulate, sensible and able to put myself in the other guys shoes.

You’re right and wrong all at the same time - the EU can make a proposal - there’s nothing stopping them, we cant make a proposal because of the points I’ve made.

cander - on 10:32 Tue
In reply to Sir Chasm:

I want free trade with the EU, what do you want.

 

Edit - not that it matters because no one cares what you or I want.

Post edited at 10:33
RomTheBear on 10:35 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

The problems  is that the ratification depends on the NI/I customs backstop that the hard brexiteers don't want.

Seems to me the obvious solution is for NI to join the RoI

In fact breaking up the U.K. seems the obvious solution to all this :

With NI part of RoI, you eliminate the land border issues, and with an independent Scotland, without Scottish MPs, there would be a clear majority in Westminster for hard Brexit and England can do whatever the  they want and regain their "sovereignty", and Scotland would be able to apply to join the EU or to have a eea type relationship. Every country would get what they want.

Post edited at 11:01
baron - on 10:58 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

Have you consulted the Ulstermen on your unification plans?

Sir Chasm - on 11:00 Tue
In reply to cander:

> I want free trade with the EU, what do you want.

> Edit - not that it matters because no one cares what you or I want.

Is that free trade of goods and services? Do we want to remain in the CU and if we don’t what do we want to replace it with? Do we want to stay in the eea? What do we want to do about movement of people? And security?

Or it that it? You want to plonk a piece of paper in front of the eu negotiators saying "we want free trade". Simples .

RomTheBear on 11:02 Tue
In reply to baron:

> Have you consulted the Ulstermen on your unification plans?

They should be consulted indeed.

Ramblin dave - on 11:06 Tue
In reply to baron:

> Have you consulted the Ulstermen on your unification plans?

I'm sure we can find a technological solution that will keep them happy. I mean, how hard can it be? The doom-mongers are just pouncing on every trumped-up issue they can find with Rom's plan and acting like the sky's going to fall on our heads. Why can't they get behind the dissolution of the UK and help to make it work instead?

baron - on 11:11 Tue
In reply to Ramblin dave:

We could have independence referenda for all UK countries now but it's possibly better to wait until we see what actually happens with Brexit.

As a leaver I'm happy to see people have a say on their countries future.

Ian W - on 11:11 Tue
In reply to cander:

> - if the Irish want to go back to sectarian violence because of that - well good luck to them - personally being from a Irish family I don’t think it will happen - it’s a red herring being used as a lever in the negotiations.

Have you not seen the news this weekend? Serious tensions around the marching season, and a firebombing of Gerry Adams' house. Unrelated to Brexit, but the sectarian violence has surfaced again.

Post edited at 11:14
baron - on 11:14 Tue
In reply to Ian W:

None of which have anything to do with Brexit or the border.

They've been scrapping in Ireland for years and will do so for years to come.

 

cander - on 11:15 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

We’re Ulstermen - answer to your question is no.

cander - on 11:16 Tue
In reply to Ian W:

Shame they didn’t get Adams the bastard.

Ian W - on 11:21 Tue
In reply to cander:

> Correct the EU must offer a deal to the U.K. to preserve non WTO trade in Europe - stop mixing up Europe and EU they’re different entities, the U.K. will remain in Europe not in the EU, one is geographical the other is political.

Very sorry - two pedant points awarded. 

> of course I am - I crossed the Swiss France border every day for two years when I worked in Geneva, we still own a house in Annecy, do not conflate the good Friday agreement with the EU negotiations - if the Irish want to go back to sectarian violence because of that - well good luck to them - personally being from a Irish family I don’t think it will happen - it’s a red herring being used as a lever in the negotiations.

Who conflated the GF agreement with Brexit?? We currently have no effective physical border between rep of Ireland and NI. In your model one would be needed (well, subject to this fabulous, if non-existant technology we keep hearing about), and this would cause issues for various parties to the negotiations.

 

 

cander - on 11:26 Tue
In reply to Sir Chasm:

You already know the answer to your own question - free trade - no CU, no SM, No FM, No ECJ - that’s the sticking point, the U.K. cannot have any of these institutions or policies because it’s leaving the EU - the EU can make an offer, by placing trade above the political integrity of the EU - hard call to make I agree, but it’s the only way now there will be a non WTO deal.

john arran - on 11:45 Tue
In reply to cander:

>  the EU can make an offer, by placing trade above the political integrity of the EU

Amazing they haven't jumped at the chance to do this already, given that "they need us more than we need them" and all!

What you appear to be suggesting as a way to overcome the shameful and illegal deceit and then utter ineptitude of UK Brexiters, is a voluntary complete break-up of the EU into 28 competing fragments. Now I've heard it all.

 

Bob Hughes - on 11:46 Tue
In reply to cander:

> You already know the answer to your own question - free trade - no CU, no SM, No FM, No ECJ - 

The EU has already offered this, both formally and on Twitter (!)  

"EU offer = ambitious FTA + effective cooperation on wide range of issues, including a strong security partnership." 

The problems are:

a) the UK wants more than a free trade deal. Or, at least, some parts of the UK wants more than free trade

b) maintaining no physical infrastructure at the Irish border when the regulatory, legal and tax environments either side will be different. 

 

pasbury on 11:52 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> If the withdrawal agreement is signed

Isn't this the sticking point that might lead us to 'no deal'.

Bob Hughes - on 12:03 Tue
In reply to pasbury:

> If the withdrawal agreement is signed

> Isn't this the sticking point that might lead us to 'no deal'.

Yes but the point I was making above is that we don't need to decide whether we want to be in the Customs Union, Single Market, VAT Union (whoah, where did that come from all of a sudden...?) or just a Free Trade agreement before signing the Withdrawal agreement. We 'just' need to agree on the Irish border backstop. All that other stuff needs to be agreed but later. 

The one thing we do need to agree before March 2019 is whether we want to stay in the EU. Because once we're out, we're out. (I understand that for a great many people this has already been decided). 

 

cander - on 12:03 Tue
In reply to john arran:

You need a chill pill - no one has suggested breaking up the rEU, though now you mention it

cander - on 12:08 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

El Presidente may negotiate using Twitter the EU doesn’t. They haven’t offered the no CU, FM, SM, ECJ. 

I’m not bothered about the Irish border, put some customs sheds on there, as I pointed out above it’s pretty seamless in Switzerland and no barrier to trade - it’s not the iron curtain.

RomTheBear on 12:15 Tue
In reply to baron:

> We could have independence referenda for all UK countries now but it's possibly better to wait until we see what actually happens with Brexit.

we probably couldn't in the foreseeable future anyway.

> As a leaver I'm happy to see people have a say on their countries future.

Except when you find it inconvenient.

Bob Hughes - on 12:18 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Seems to me the obvious solution is for NI to join the RoI

Its certainly a radical solution... I think there are many, though, who wouldn't want to see that happen and if presented with the trade off might prefer to change their views on Brexit rather than see the Union broken up. 

If we exit the EU, it seems to me we have three options

1. Single Market, Customs Union membership, no hard border

2. Exit SM / CM, border infrastucture between NI and RoI

3. Rest of UK exits, SM / CM,  NI stays in, border between Island of Ireland and the UK

Option 3 actually sees the most pragmatically doable. As it is a sea border you have better control (although not perfect) over the entry points. There are already some customs checks on goods crossing from NI to rest of UK, these would need to be stepped up. NI would not need to become part of RoI; it would just follow EU rules in certain areas. 

 

 

RomTheBear on 12:19 Tue
In reply to cander:

> You already know the answer to your own question - free trade - no CU, no SM, No FM, No ECJ - that’s the sticking point

Facepalm... this has been in offer from the start. Barnier said so explicitely (see the famous slides).

The problem is that the UK wants more than a FTA and a FTA would create a border in NI and the U.K. governement said they didn't want any.

Post edited at 12:20
baron - on 12:24 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

 

> Except when you find it inconvenient.

You made that up didn't you?

We had a referendum, one side won (just) and so we are leaving.

That's the people having their say.

You're not happy with that result but that is the way it works, the people having their say, isn't it?

Unless you know of a way of  keeping two sets of people, with very different ideas, happy.

RomTheBear on 12:25 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> Its certainly a radical solution... I think there are many, though, who wouldn't want to see that happen and if presented with the trade off might prefer to change their views on Brexit rather than see the Union broken up. 

According to the polls this wouldn't change the views. Nobody really cares about NI in England anyway.

> If we exit the EU, it seems to me we have three options

> 1. Single Market, Customs Union membership, no hard border

No majority for that

> 2. Exit SM / CM, border infrastucture between NI and RoI

Most likely outcome now.

> 3. Rest of UK exits, SM / CM,  NI stays in, border between Island of Ireland and the UK

> Option 3 actually sees the most pragmatically doable. As it is a sea border you have better control (although not perfect) over the entry points. There are already some customs checks on goods crossing from NI to rest of UK, these would need to be stepped up. NI would not need to become part of RoI; it would just follow EU rules in certain areas. 

I agree but parliament just passed an amendment that ruled it out completely and DUP would never accept it either, at any cost.

 

Post edited at 12:26
RomTheBear on 12:28 Tue
In reply to baron:

> You made that up didn't you?

No, you said we should wait until Brexit is done. I say it should be up to the people. If say, Scotland, wants a referendum on independence tomorrow they should be able to do so without having to seek permission from their rulers.

 

 

Post edited at 12:34
baron - on 12:34 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

I said it was possibly better to wait until Brexit was done so that the voters would have a better idea what they were voting for/against. The argument being that the Scottish referendum might have turned out differently if the Brexit vote had been held first.

 

Bob Hughes - on 12:38 Tue
In reply to cander:

> El Presidente may negotiate using Twitter the EU doesn’t.

They have offered it formally as well. Twitter was just a handy source. 

> They haven’t offered the no CU, FM, SM, ECJ. 

They have officially offered a Free Trade agreement with no CU, no SM, no FM. The languange is fuzzy on ECJ where they anticipate a role in governance of the free trade agreement.

Extracts from the official negotiating guidlines: 

"the European Council has to take into account the repeatedly stated positions of the UK, which limit the depth of such a future partnership. Being outside the Customs Union and the Single Market will inevitably lead to frictions in trade. Divergence in external tariffs and internal rules as well as absence of common institutions and a shared legal system, necessitates checks and controls to uphold the integrity of the EU Single Market as well as of the UK market."

No CU and no SM.

"As regards the core of the economic relationship, the European Council confirms its readiness to initiate work towards a balanced, ambitious and wide-ranging free trade agreement (FTA) insofar as there are sufficient guarantees for a level playing field. This agreement will be finalised and concluded once the UK is no longer a Member State. Such an agreement cannot however offer the same benefits as Membership and cannot amount to participation in the Single Market or parts thereof."

Free trade agreement.

"The governance of our future relationship with the UK will have to address management and supervision, dispute settlement and enforcement, including sanctions and cross-retaliation mechanisms. Designing the overall governance of the future relationship will require to take into account: i) the content and depth of the future relationship; ii) the necessity to ensure effectiveness and legal certainty; iii) the requirements of the autonomy of the EU legal order, including the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union, notably as developed in the jurisprudence."

Fuzzy language on ECJ 

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/33458/23-euco-art50-guidelines.pdf

Even if they aligned this with what I assume you want by suggesting a separate governance body, it would not break the impasse over the Irish border. 

> I’m not bothered about the Irish border, put some customs sheds on there, as I pointed out above it’s pretty seamless in Switzerland and no barrier to trade - it’s not the iron curtain.

Whether you're bothered or not, that is the principle sticking point to signing the withdrawal agreement. Rightly or wrongly, the UK government and the EU have both committed to no hard border. 

 

AJM - on 12:39 Tue
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

The bit I'm wondering is whether there's going to come a point where the EU feel confident enough in themselves to help us out of our mess, and if they did what they could actually do.

It seems fairly clear to me that Europe has won - European solidarity has essentially so far precluded any cherry picking, industry has picked the Single Market over British trade (no "BMW won't allow it!"), and so on and so on. We've very clearly been left with a range of options that look worse than membership did .

It also seems fairly clear that we don't have a clue what we want out of this that's actually achievable. There's almost certainly not a Commons majority for a no deal Brexit, especially if no deal also means no transition. But that doesn't mean we aren't so busy squabbling that we won't get it by virtue of being unable to agree. 

The EU doesn't want that either, I don't think, and they have the benefit of having a clearer view of what it is they do want and less squabbling to contend with. I think at the minute they're the only party to this whole mess with any vision beyond the immediate. They don't have to help, but I wonder if there'll come a point where our sorry predicament is so obvious that they can put aside their concerns and whether at that point there's enough goodwill left to try, somehow (I don't know how, of course!), to help us avoid a total car crash.

Ramblin dave - on 12:46 Tue
In reply to AJM:

They could reasonably say that they've offered us several ways out of it, and if we want to refuse all of them because we've tied ourselves in knots making up "red lines" and declaring things to be "unacceptable" or "not what we voted for" (despite the fact that what we narrowly voted for was leaving the European Union with no further detail provided) then that's our bloody lookout.

GrahamD - on 12:47 Tue
In reply to AJM:

> The bit I'm wondering is whether there's going to come a point where the EU feel confident enough in themselves to help us out of our mess, and if they did what they could actually do.

The bit I find interesting is that Brexit hardly makes it onto the agenda of EU summits.  Its only really a pressing issue for us - the soon to be rEU are getting on with things assuming we've gone.

RomTheBear on 12:54 Tue
In reply to baron:

> I said it was possibly better to wait until Brexit was done so that the voters would have a better idea what they were voting for/against.

Regardless of what is best, do you agree that this should be up to the people to decide when it is best ? And not up to Westminster ?

baron - on 12:57 Tue
In reply to GrahamD:

I think it's a pressing issue for the EU but as you say not their most pressing one.

Given the impact that Brexit could have on some EU countries its low ranking in the order of concern might indicate the large problems that the EU is facing.

Or could it be that the EU knows that the Brexit issue is solvable whereas migration, etc is not?

AJM - on 12:57 Tue
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Yes, of course they could. It's a sad state of affairs for my best hope to be that they don't choose to. And as you've alluded, they could have nothing more to offer.

I certainly don't think the onus is on them to do anything, more that I think they have the power to help us avoid a car crash in a way that I don't currently believe we do. 

Post edited at 12:59
baron - on 12:58 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Regardless of what is best, do you agree that this should be up to the people to decide when it is best ? And not up to Westminster ?

Yes.

Bob Hughes - on 12:58 Tue
In reply to AJM:

> The bit I'm wondering is whether there's going to come a point where the EU feel confident enough in themselves to help us out of our mess, and if they did what they could actually do.

Short term: 

  • Both sides could accept there will need to be border infrastructure between NI and RoI
  • The EU could extend the backstop solution to include all of the UK. (its not clear that the UK would accept this; not sure how it would sit with yesterday's amendments requiring the government to introduce primary regulation if they negotiate a customs union / inability to join EU VAT union)

Long-term there's nothing they can do until the UK has a stable government which can determine what it would find acceptable. 

baron - on 13:01 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

I have no idea why the government declared that there wouldn't be a hard border between the ROI and NI.

Talk about backing yourself into a corner!

RomTheBear on 13:06 Tue
In reply to baron:

> Yes.

Ok !

jkarran - on 13:07 Tue
In reply to cander:

> You already know the answer to your own question - free trade - no CU, no SM, No FM, No ECJ - that’s the sticking point, the U.K. cannot have any of these institutions or policies because it’s leaving the EU - the EU can make an offer, by placing trade above the political integrity of the EU - hard call to make I agree, but it’s the only way now there will be a non WTO deal.

Hard call? Sounds like a pretty easy one to me.

UK: We wan't free trade but on our terms, all the perks, no responsibilities, like the old days but you know, much better for us.

EU: No.

UK: Pretty please

EU: No.

UK: But, er, erm THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!!!!

EU: Enjoy your freedom, we'll see you in five years. We've that rebate to discuss.

RomTheBear on 13:09 Tue
In reply to baron:

> I have no idea why the government declared that there wouldn't be a hard border between the ROI and NI.

No idea ? Really ? Have you ever heard of the troubles ?

 

 

jkarran - on 13:12 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> Option 3 actually sees the most pragmatically doable. As it is a sea border you have better control (although not perfect) over the entry points. There are already some customs checks on goods crossing from NI to rest of UK, these would need to be stepped up. NI would not need to become part of RoI; it would just follow EU rules in certain areas. 

Pragmatically doable except for three little letters: D U P. So what now, we do appear to be approaching complete deadlock which may only be resolved by the collapse of May's government but likely not even then.

jk

Ramblin dave - on 13:13 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

> No idea ? Really ? Have you ever heard of the troubles ?

As you say, too many people in England don't care about Northern Ireland. They might say that they do, but when push comes to shove peace in NI is the first thing that they conveniently forget about.

Bob Hughes - on 13:16 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

agree - pragmatically doable but politically impossible. 

baron - on 13:18 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

> No idea ? Really ? Have you ever heard of the troubles ?

Where the border, despite often being a hotbed of violence, was never really an issue?

baron - on 13:22 Tue
In reply to Ramblin dave:

The link between the border, the Good Friday Agreement and the Troubles is a tenuous one.

While the border might be a subject of heated debate I don't remember it ever being given as a reason for the violence that took place.

jkarran - on 13:23 Tue
In reply to baron:

> You're not happy with that result but that is the way it works, the people having their say, isn't it?

You're well aware that democracy is a process, not an event. You're opposed to a ratification referendum because you fear the British people may choose not to go through with leaving, an idea you're still wedded to whatever the cost. A ratification referendum would be the people 'having their say' on their future, their actual future, not the smoke and mirrors bullshit of our last criminally subverted referendum. Your opposition on the basis of your fear the public may have changed their minds is profoundly anti-democratic. It's also profoundly stupid. You would today, tragically, win a resounding victory for a 'hard' no-deal brexit (in a three way Remain-May's Fudge-WTO vote) forcing us to move on decisively as a country with a hard-right Conservative government, closing the way back off for generations.

Left to fester half in half out suffering the consequences of indecision and weakened ties we'll be looking for a way back within a decade.

jk

Post edited at 13:27
Bob Hughes - on 13:32 Tue
In reply to baron:

> The link between the border, the Good Friday Agreement and the Troubles is a tenuous one.

> While the border might be a subject of heated debate I don't remember it ever being given as a reason for the violence that took place.

Its not that tenuous. The Good Friday Agreement worked because it allowed both unionists and loyalists to feel like they had got what they wanted. Citizens of NI could apply for both a RoI and UK passport, there would be no visible signs of a border etc. Its all a massive fudge based on blurring the lines between being part of the UK and being part of the RoI. As soon as border checks go up you start to scrape off some of the fudge. 

baron - on 13:32 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

I am not, given the state of affairs, against a second referendum.

You will need to consider how the referendum will be worded. We don't want anything as ambiguous as the last one.

Then, whatever the result, will there be a third one?

Given that nobody ever plays 'best out of two'.

I would, however, rather just tell the EU that we are leaving on WTO rules, thus removing any uncertainty and try to sort out how to make that work in the short time available.

Or we can remain in the EU and continue to disrupt from within.

What I don't want is a half in half out fudge.

baron - on 13:37 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

And it should be possible to continue the fudge by having a few customs posts and occasional checks between the two countries. We are, after all, not talking about a return to blocked roads and armed troops. (As an aside, I seem to remember driving between Luxembourg and Belgium in the early 1970's with almost no checks.)

Except the government said no hard border, no infrastructure, etc and now they are being held to that.

thomasadixon - on 13:38 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

Or, rather, two little words "self determination".  The people of NI want to remain part of the UK, it's not up to Westminster, the EU or ROI to make that decision for them.

We've been in deadlock since the start, nothing has changed.  The red line they and we won't cross is the ECj, it's the EU having control over UK law.  Assigning blame is daft, but it is a choice they're making in response to ours (we made ours in the referendum).  If they really have decided that we're either under their control or there's no deal then we're unfortunately not going to get one.  Shame, but not the end of the world (and yet more reason, for me, why we should have decided to leave).

Bob Hughes - on 13:40 Tue
In reply to thomasadixon:

"The red line they and we won't cross is the ECj, it's the EU having control over UK law. "

Where is this from? Both you and Cander have mentioned this but it doesn't fit with my understanding of what is on offer. It doesn't fit with my understanding of what is holding things up either. 

Ramblin dave - on 13:43 Tue
In reply to thomasadixon:

> We've been in deadlock since the start, nothing has changed.  The red line they and we won't cross is the ECj, it's the EU having control over UK law.  Assigning blame is daft, but it is a choice they're making in response to ours (we made ours in the referendum). 

Is that the referendum on whether, having left the EU, we'd accept the jurisdiction of the ECJ? When was that? I must have been on holiday or something...

RomTheBear on 13:48 Tue
In reply to baron:

> And it should be possible to continue the fudge by having a few customs posts and occasional checks between the two countries.

How naive. The reality is that if you have light custom posts, they'll be vandalised/shot at. So the response will be naturally to put more police to protect them. Who will also be shot at. So your put the army, etc etc...

And before you know it you've got a heavily defended fence guarded by armoured vehicles and soldiers armed to the teeth.

 

thomasadixon - on 13:50 Tue
In reply to Ramblin dave:

The ECj is the EU's top court, it's a central institution of the EU.

Bob Hughes - your post above - fuzzy language on the ECj.  What else does it mean that this isn't clear?

Post edited at 13:51
Andy Hardy on 13:54 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

May's way out? ensure there is no deal with the EU, first having been beaten in the commons https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/17/may-faces-brexit-defeat-as-labour-backs-customs-union-amendment

 

baron - on 13:58 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

There were many years, pre EU when that didn't happen.

Gordon Stainforth - on 14:05 Tue
In reply to baron:

> The link between the border, the Good Friday Agreement and the Troubles is a tenuous one.

> While the border might be a subject of heated debate I don't remember it ever being given as a reason for the violence that took place.

As John McEnroe used to say, 'You cannot be serious.'

Bob Hughes - on 14:11 Tue
In reply to thomasadixon:

> The ECj is the EU's top court, it's a central institution of the EU.

> Bob Hughes - your post above - fuzzy language on the ECj.  What else does it mean that this isn't clear?

That's not the current deadlock, though. The UK has already agreed to EUCJ jurisdiction during the transition.

RomTheBear on 14:13 Tue
In reply to baron:

> There were many years, pre EU when that didn't happen.

Well you had military checkpoints during the troubles and the other roads were blocked...

It's pretty clear you don't give a single fuck if these communities find themselves torn apart again. That's fine. Just stop pretending it's not a problem.

Post edited at 14:15
jkarran - on 14:16 Tue
In reply to baron:

> I am not, given the state of affairs, against a second referendum.

This is new.

> Given that nobody ever plays 'best out of two'.

It's not best of two, it's a separate vote to accept negotiated terms or reject them for one or more firm options.

> I would, however, rather just tell the EU that we are leaving on WTO rules, thus removing any uncertainty and try to sort out how to make that work in the short time available.

It doesn't work, it leaves Britain fu*ked, nothing gets better. So at what price, what are *you* willing to pay for that? What are you willing to make me pay? What makes you think people like me will pay, that we won't just leave?

jk

RomTheBear on 14:16 Tue
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> As John McEnroe used to say, 'You cannot be serious.'

It's hard to take the leavers on these forums seriously when you see such display of total ignorance...

Ian W - on 14:22 Tue
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Or, rather, two little words "self determination".  The people of NI want to remain part of the UK, it's not up to Westminster, the EU or ROI to make that decision for them.

> We've been in deadlock since the start, nothing has changed.  The red line they and we won't cross is the ECj, it's the EU having control over UK law. 

No. The EU has never had "control" over UK Law. This is one of the great brexit myths. And with astonishing irony, the first thing that happened post article 50 was the overwriting of UK law with EU law. We are now far more aligned with EU law than we ever were before article 50. 

 

thomasadixon - on 14:26 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

The deal May is trying to agree is for after we leave.

jkarran - on 14:29 Tue
In reply to Andy Hardy:

Tories openly fighting like cats in a bag as round after round of government resignations are announced as if they're now normal should be a rare treat to savour. The prospect of Hammond voting against his own government should be truly delicious but I just wish she'd smash some heads together and get a bloody grip. Too late for that now.

We the public will vote for 'no-deal' more readily than 'Canada' or 'Norway' when it comes to it (even if parliament can't) so the hardliners still have the advantage.

jk

pasbury on 14:30 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> 3. Rest of UK exits, SM / CM,  NI stays in, border between Island of Ireland and the UK

> Option 3 actually sees the most pragmatically doable. As it is a sea border you have better control (although not perfect) over the entry points. There are already some customs checks on goods crossing from NI to rest of UK, these would need to be stepped up. NI would not need to become part of RoI; it would just follow EU rules in certain areas. 

This option 'ought' to be greeted with wild enthusiasm in NI, they'd probably experience a bit of a boom (economic obviously).

 

jkarran - on 14:34 Tue
In reply to thomasadixon:

> We've been in deadlock since the start, nothing has changed.  The red line they and we won't cross is the ECj, it's the EU having control over UK law.  Assigning blame is daft, but it is a choice they're making in response to ours (we made ours in the referendum).  If they really have decided that we're either under their control or there's no deal then we're unfortunately not going to get one.  Shame, but not the end of the world (and yet more reason, for me, why we should have decided to leave).

My ballot paper didn't mention the ECJ.

No deal brexit will be the end of a lot of people's worlds, at least as their worlds as they know them, employed in a prosperous capable country in which their children have security and reasonable prospects.

jk

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 14:39 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

*hyperbole alert*

 

Ian W - on 14:39 Tue
In reply to pasbury:

Except that a significant proportion of the NI population are Unionists. Including the lot supporting the government, to whom this idea crosses a red line so red it would not be possible in their opinion to make it redder.

jkarran - on 14:45 Tue
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

You may think so but if you do it is in the face of the weight of expert economic opinion. No-deal is our worst possible outcome by some margin, none of the other leave options are predicted to make us better off.

If business flees people will lose their jobs and in a depressed job market they will lose their homes. I don't think it's hyperbole to describe that as losing the world as one knows it.

Now you might consider that a price worth paying, in which case I'd not think much of you as a human being but if you were willing to say as much I'd accept that at face value. To deny it's a significant possibility seems delusional.

jk

Post edited at 14:47
Ramblin dave - on 14:46 Tue
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

The official DExEU Impact Assessment for No Deal predicts 8% lower GDP than remaining and 2.8 million fewer jobs (out of a working population of about 25 million). So no, I'd say that was a fairly reasonable assessment to be honest.

Bob Hughes - on 14:48 Tue
In reply to thomasadixon:

> The deal May is trying to agree is for after we leave.

Yes and no. All these gyrations around maximum facility etc are ways to avoid a hard border in NI and get something more than a simple free trade agreement. They are not, so far as I can tell running aground because of the ECJ requirement.

The fuzzy language I posted above is so woolly that i find it hard to believe that is a hard red line for a simple Free Trade Agreement - and the Canada and Japan Free trade agreements do not have ECJ as governance. I think the problem has been that the UK keeps coming back to something more than a Free Trade agreement, where there is more clearly a problem for wrt the ECJ. 

Also, I think that time is quickly running out on getting anything detailed agreed on the future relationship in time for the withdrawal agreement. And May / EU would be better off limiting their ambition to avoiding crashing out next March. For that they can surely agree on some hand-wavy language about continued future partnership. But they would need to resolve the Irish border backstop text. 

pasbury on 14:48 Tue
In reply to Ian W:

Arguably not a majority though. The demographics are changing and it's easy to see sentiment changing in the future. What that means the Unionists and especially the hard liners would do about that is a worrying thought experiment.

baron - on 14:49 Tue
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> As John McEnroe used to say, 'You cannot be serious.'

You could post a serious reply to my post without having to resort to your shining wit!

Gordon Stainforth - on 14:52 Tue
In reply to baron:

I'm not being funny at all, just expressing my gobsmacked amazement at your comment. It doesn't sound as if you know very much at all about 20th century Irish history, i.e. the whole bloody background to the Good Friday Agreement.

baron - on 14:53 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

What do you know about my feelings towards the people of Ireland?

You lose a point in a discussion and then throw in an unfounded criticism of me to avoid answering the point in question.

We're talking about a few customs checks not the Iron Curtain.

jkarran - on 14:54 Tue
In reply to pasbury:

I think the civil war in Ireland/NI heating up again is now relatively likely. The current unrest can't all be related to the long hot summer. I think there's a whole generation now of young men who don't really know the value of peace having known nothing but. It's a dangerous time colliding head on with dangerous events.

jk

baron - on 14:57 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

Things progress or in this case don't.

You accused me of wanting Brexit at any cost.

That isn't how I see Brexit.

And how I see Brexit now isn't how I saw it 2 years ago.

We have little time to conclude a deal.

We either go under WTO, we stay in the EU or somehow we fudge it.

Neither of us wants the last option.

You might get your choice and I might have to settle for WTO.

baron - on 14:58 Tue
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I'll put my personal experience of the troubles and the Irish border against yours any day.

 

thomasadixon - on 14:59 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> Yes and no. All these gyrations around maximum facility etc are ways to avoid a hard border in NI and get something more than a simple free trade agreement. They are not, so far as I can tell running aground because of the ECJ requirement.

As far as I can tell the subject to the EU law bit is why we've had resignations, and it's what JRM, etc objected to and got amendments for.

> The fuzzy language I posted above is so woolly that i find it hard to believe that is a hard red line for a simple Free Trade Agreement - and the Canada and Japan Free trade agreements do not have ECJ as governance. I think the problem has been that the UK keeps coming back to something more than a Free Trade agreement, where there is more clearly a problem for wrt the ECJ.

What counts as something more than a Free Trade agreement?  When is there clearly a problem wrt the ECj?

> Also, I think that time is quickly running out on getting anything detailed agreed on the future relationship in time for the withdrawal agreement. And May / EU would be better off limiting their ambition to avoiding crashing out next March. For that they can surely agree on some hand-wavy language about continued future partnership. But they would need to resolve the Irish border backstop text. 

I agree time's running out, I think the EU is still playing brinkmanship in the hope that May will agree to ECj governance (this is what Boris et al think she was doing in the speech, which she's now rolled back on - I'm not sure that I agree with them).

I don't think she'll get a transition period without any agreed deal through Parliament (at least she won't get the support of her party).

baron - on 14:59 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

> It's hard to take the leavers on these forums seriously when you see such display of total ignorance...

The ignorance is yours.

 

jkarran - on 15:05 Tue
In reply to baron:

> You accused me of wanting Brexit at any cost. That isn't how I see Brexit.

News to me, we've discussed this many times and you've many times told me you're willing to be poorer for brexit and you've always refused to put a cap on how much poorer.

> And how I see Brexit now isn't how I saw it 2 years ago.

No, what's changed for you, how do you see it now?

> We either go under WTO, we stay in the EU or somehow we fudge it. Neither of us wants the last option.

Nope, I'd gladly vote for 'Norway' if the alternative was WTO. I have a life here, that's predicated first and foremost on us remaining economically viable. Least worst option every time, stuff the ideology, I can't eat that, it doesn't keep a roof over my head, pay for schools or hospitals.

jk

pasbury on 15:11 Tue
In reply to AJM:

> The EU doesn't want that either, I don't think, and they have the benefit of having a clearer view of what it is they do want and less squabbling to contend with. I think at the minute they're the only party to this whole mess with any vision beyond the immediate. They don't have to help, but I wonder if there'll come a point where our sorry predicament is so obvious that they can put aside their concerns and whether at that point there's enough goodwill left to try, somehow (I don't know how, of course!), to help us avoid a total car crash.

Take back control they said

 

baron - on 15:14 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

We've made little use of the last two years.

The government seems incapable of setting out a viable plan that suits either camp.

What's the point in leaving the EU and losing the advantages of being a member, whilehaving none of the advantages of being out of the EU and also, arguably, being poorer.

That was never the idea.

If I could be bothered I'd find the post where I stated, a long time ago, that I had a worry that the politicians could deliver a successful Brexit.

That worry looks like it is about to come true.

That's what's changed.

Still, given the ability of the EU to deliver a last minute deal, who knows what might happen?

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 15:43 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

"Nope, I'd gladly vote for 'Norway' if the alternative was WTO. I have a life here, that's predicated first and foremost on us remaining economically viable. ..."

Is that "us" the UK or you?

 

 

Mike Stretford - on 15:45 Tue
In reply to cander: 

> I want free trade with the EU, what do you want.

As others have said this has been on offer for a long time, May wants a better deal as she knows an FTA will lead to significant job losses in the UK.

NI seems to have been covered in detail but not UK manufacturing. The government wants to avoid a customs border as manufacturing now relies on just in time delivery. Many factories will relocate to the continent if we do have a customs border, and many jobs will be lost.

Your Swiss border example is not relevant here as the Swiss fudge means they are effectively in the single market. They have full regulatory alignment for goods, something you have ruled out as part of our leaving.

 

Post edited at 15:47
jkarran - on 15:56 Tue
In reply to baron:

> What's the point in leaving the EU and losing the advantages of being a member, whilehaving none of the advantages of being out of the EU and also, arguably, being poorer. That was never the idea.

That is quite the change of tone.. Does this mean you'd now vote remain over a 'soft' leave but that you'd still vote to wreck the economy in preference to either?

> If I could be bothered I'd find the post where I stated, a long time ago, that I had a worry that the politicians could deliver a successful Brexit.

There isn't a good deal to deliver, what we were sold wrecks the EU, the EU will never allow that. We have the best deal we can get, we've worked for it for 40 years, we're ripping that one up.

> Still, given the ability of the EU to deliver a last minute deal, who knows what might happen?

It's damage limitation at best, it has been ever since June 23rd.

jk

jkarran - on 15:57 Tue
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> "Nope, I'd gladly vote for 'Norway' if the alternative was WTO. I have a life here, that's predicated first and foremost on us remaining economically viable. ..." Is that "us" the UK or you?

While I live here my prospects are bound up with the broader economy's.

jk

Post edited at 16:07
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 16:24 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

Fair enough, it's not in my nature to be so gloomy, but my career has gone from strength to strength throughout the last 28 years regardless of what the UK economy was doing.  I have been made redundant in that time twice , have been in negative equity for a short period, wasn't ideal but always came back stronger. I fully understand that is not the case or even possible for everyone. I am actually far more gloomy about the prospects of the eurozone and the euro if (as will happen at some point) we have another global downturn. ECB has no dry powder left IMO and the colossal bail outs that will be required will never be agreed to. My money is the EU not surviving as a political union during the next global recession, due to its non fiscal sharing structure and the sums involved. 

 

When that happens I might be as woebegone as you. All part of the circle of life eh ;-)

Northern Star on 16:47 Tue
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

With the 'vote leave' campaign proved to have committed electoral fraud and with the promises they made proved to be nothing but lies, now could be the time to declare the referendum result null and void (in a similar way to they do in sports when an athlete is caught cheating).

Equally now with the political shambles here, now might be the perfect time for the EU (if they were smart) to give the UK some much needed concessions that would halt Brexit in it's tracks and keep us in the EU but with a bit more freedom in some key areas.  Good for them, good for us?

RomTheBear on 17:02 Tue
In reply to baron:

> That was never the idea.

But it was always the reality 

 

RomTheBear on 17:06 Tue
In reply to Northern Star:

> With the 'vote leave' campaign proved to have committed electoral fraud and with the promises they made proved to be nothing but lies, now could be the time to declare the referendum result null and void (in a similar way to they do in sports when an athlete is caught cheating).

This will never happen because parliament feels bound by the referendum result even if it's clear it was a total cheat.

 

HansStuttgart - on 17:10 Tue
In reply to cander:

Hi, the bespoke deal for the UK that satisfies these conditions is the one we call Canada-like. It is being proposed exactly because of the UK-gov's red lines. It comes at a price: the border in the Irish sea.

This price is a direct legal requirement because the UK and Ireland signed the good friday agreement and are in the WTO. One states no infrastructure at the border, the other that borders must be checked (unless you have an advanced trade agreement such as being in the EU).

This is also UK-gov policy.

For the EU, this border is more important than any trade deal.

"and we trade with WTO rules to the detriment of all parties with abject failure on the part of the negotiators"

there won't be much to trade without a deal. If the UK does not agree with the NI backstop, most trade between UK and the rest of the world will simply stop april next year.

baron - on 17:14 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

The reality was to try and negotiate a deal with the EU that took into account the understandable need of the EU to maintain the integrity of its union while addressing the desire of the majority of UK voters, who could be bothered to vote, to leave the EU.

It could be said that this reality died the moment that the UK began its feeble attempt at negotiating with the EU. 

L john yates55 - on 17:17 Tue
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Essential safeguard? Chocolate fire guard! 

L john yates55 - on 17:18 Tue
In reply to earlsdonwhu:

Those stupid voters again

L john yates55 - on 17:20 Tue
In reply to GridNorth:

Was it the Belgian PM who described the UK position as being /. When you were in you wanted opt outs/ when you’re out you want opt ins

ha

L john yates55 - on 17:23 Tue
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Bollocks. Total bollocks. 

HansStuttgart - on 17:23 Tue
In reply to GrahamD:

> The bit I find interesting is that Brexit hardly makes it onto the agenda of EU summits.  Its only really a pressing issue for us - the soon to be rEU are getting on with things assuming we've gone.


We do think it a waste of time, yeah.

But the main reason it is hardly discussed is that the UK's position is still so unclear that no new negotiation guidelines are needed. There has been barely any progress since December.

L john yates55 - on 17:25 Tue
In reply to Northern Star:

Lies all round I think. Remainers too. 

Northern Star on 17:37 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

Yes and that's the problem, cutting off the countries nose despite it's face, and all the time the referendum result is still advisory not mandatory. 

The problem that the government has is that the referendum was not specific enough.  It did not ask do you want a hard or soft Brexit, should we stay or leave in the single market/customs union, should we allow migration etc, etc.  So every minister with their own political agenda is now trying to use the excuse of 'yes but it's the democratic will of the people' to shut down their opponents and to get their crackpot schemes (and shameful career advancement) through, when no one really knew what the democratic will of the people really was, apart from of course the stay/leave question which was based on a pack of lies and electoral fraud anyway!  A second referendum now that we know more of the facts is essential.

It's a disgrace, an embarrassment and I feel ashamed of this countries voters, it's tabloid/right wing media and it's government.  Labour are no better, a complete shower of clueless muppets too!  We urgently need someone in power with drive, vision, youth and positivity like they seem to now have in France and Canada.

Post edited at 17:39
Bob Hughes - on 17:42 Tue
In reply to thomasadixon:

> As far as I can tell the subject to the EU law bit is why we've had resignations, and it's what JRM, etc objected to and got amendments for.

Yes but that's only an issue because we're trying to get something more than a Free Trade deal

> What counts as something more than a Free Trade agreement?  When is there clearly a problem wrt the ECj?

Good question which I don't right now have an answer for. Will look but it will take me a bit of time.

> I agree time's running out, I think the EU is still playing brinkmanship in the hope that May will agree to ECj governance (this is what Boris et al think she was doing in the speech, which she's now rolled back on - I'm not sure that I agree with them).

> I don't think she'll get a transition period without any agreed deal through Parliament (at least she won't get the support of her party).

I don't think she has any choice. Absolutely impossible to agree complete future relationship before December. The standard timeline would be closer to 5 or 10 years to negotiate. The best she can hope for is something that doesn't offend too many people.  

summo on 17:43 Tue
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> This price is a direct legal requirement because the UK and Ireland signed the good friday agreement and are in the WTO.

So it is for the WTO, Ireland and the UK to resolve and not the eu. The eu is glacial when it comes to resolving border problems elsewhere in Europe.

The UK could just bail out and leave the border. If the eu feels it needs check points and infra structure then they can put them there.

> One states no infrastructure at the border, the other that borders must be checked 

Which was a stupid phrase to include, only to appease the nationalist terrorist as it brings them a stage nearer uniting the two countries.

How many other countries have no infra structure and have promised never to in Europe. Most others in the eu have already rebuilt them and many are between schengen nations. 

> For the EU, this border is more important than any trade deal.

No. The border is leverage to give a dire deal, trying to discourage anyone else from leaving the eu. What is best for Ireland; NI etc is irrelevant.

>  If the UK does not agree with the NI backstop, most trade between UK and the rest of the world will simply stop april next year.

Really? Why? How many other countries in the world currently trade happily outside the eu? What percentage of global population? I'm not suggesting it would be ideal for either party, but to say trade stops is the kind of scaremongering bullocks that cost the remain campaign dearly in the run up to the actual referendum. 

Post edited at 17:44
cander - on 17:47 Tue
In reply to HansStuttgart:

The good Friday agreement is a bilateral agreement between the U.K. government and the Irish government - this agreement can be changed by these two governments - can it not? It is a relatively simple arrangement to alter it to a hard border but manage it as a porous border - exactly like the Swiss/EU border. 

Trade will not stop in April, higher tariffs will be due and consequently prices will increase, it is therefore in everyone’s interest to get a deal done to avoid having to trade on WTO terms. 

As an aside because the U.K. is an integral member of the EU will the trade deals struck by the EU and the rest of the world still be valid, I’d have thought that the U.K. leaving the EU membership would represent a material change to all the EU treaties and thus require at least a review and possibly a renegotiation.

Mike Stretford - on 17:52 Tue
In reply to cander:

>  It is a relatively simple arrangement to alter it to a hard border but manage it as a porous border - exactly like the Swiss/EU border. 

It is manage as a porous border because the Swiss are effectively in the Single Market, full regulatory alignment for goods, and free movement of people.

> Trade will not stop in April, higher tariffs will be due and consequently prices will increase, it is therefore in everyone’s interest to get a deal done to avoid having to trade on WTO terms. 

So why doesn't the UK agree to an FTA with the EU?

 

Post edited at 17:54
Mike Stretford - on 17:57 Tue
In reply to summo:

> The UK could just bail out and leave the border. If the eu feels it needs check points and infra structure then they can put them there.

UK would be applying zero tariff to EU goods without an FTA. Under WTO rules UK would have to extend that to all members of WTO.

 

All very complex, shame nobody pointed that out before the referendum.....

 

summo on 18:01 Tue
In reply to Mike Stretford:

 

> It is manage as a porous border because the Swiss are effectively in the Single Market, full regulatory alignment for goods, 

The Swiss trade deal on goods is complex, some are tariff free, others aren't. E.g. food carries tariff, unless it's organic/ecological.

Same with Norway. Food and drink carries a tariff. Other goods don't. 

 

 

summo on 18:04 Tue
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> UK would be applying zero tariff to EU goods without an FTA. Under WTO rules UK would have to extend that to all members of WTO.

> All very complex, shame nobody pointed that out before the referendum.....

Nothing that can't be solved through negotiation. As pointed out above the Swiss and Norwegian deals aren't all or nothing borders either. 

The point is it is in the EU's interest to have no deal to discourage followers. 

HansStuttgart - on 18:05 Tue
In reply to summo:

> So it is for the WTO, Ireland and the UK to resolve and not the eu. The eu is glacial when it comes to resolving border problems elsewhere in Europe.

Ireland asked the other member states to make the border a priority. They agreed. Therefore UK-gov has to deal with the EU about it

> Which was a stupid phrase to include, only to appease the nationalist terrorist as it brings them a stage nearer uniting the two countries.

No comment. I don't know specifics about Ireland....

> How many other countries have no infra structure and have promised never to in Europe. Most others in the eu have already rebuilt them and many are between schengen nations. 

> No. The border is leverage to give a dire deal, trying to discourage anyone else from leaving the eu. What is best for Ireland; NI etc is irrelevant.

It is not. It is in the self-interest of the large countries to help small countries. Without solidarity, the union will fail.

> Really? Why? How many other countries in the world currently trade happily outside the eu? What percentage of global population? I'm not suggesting it would be ideal for either party, but to say trade stops is the kind of scaremongering bullocks that cost the remain campaign dearly in the run up to the actual referendum. 

No other country will cut its trade agreements with its main trading partners and also 750 agreements with other countries in the world on a single day without preparing alternative systems. Without a withdrawal agreement with the EU all those will be invalid. Goods cannot move in or out of the country because nobody knows what forms need to be filled out. Without regulation the stuff will just be stopped at the border. Then in 5 hours the ports will be blocked, planes cannot fly anyway without the UK being in openskies, etc....

But don't worry, this won't happen. UK will sign the EU proposal for the withdrawal agreement.

neilh - on 18:06 Tue
In reply to summo:

So you are 100% certain of this based on your vast experience as a trade negotiator who knows their way round WTO rules etc. 

Just what exactly is your experience of this?

Mike Stretford - on 18:14 Tue
In reply to summo:

> The Swiss trade deal on goods is complex, some are tariff free, others aren't. E.g. food carries tariff, unless it's organic/ecological.

Can you explain that further and provide links?

FT article says otherwise

https://www.ft.com/content/2d30482c-da7e-11e7-a039-c64b1c09b482

 

No applicable tariffs, it says.

Mike Stretford - on 18:19 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Nothing that can't be solved through negotiation. As pointed out above the Swiss and Norwegian deals aren't all or nothing borders either. 

> The point is it is in the EU's interest to have no deal to discourage followers. 

You didn't point anything out. The problem is that the UK cannot decide it's negotiating position. We've been offered an FTA but the government doesn't want to accept that for obvious reasons.

 

Post edited at 18:20
summo on 18:32 Tue
summo on 18:37 Tue
In reply to neilh:

> So you are 100% certain of this based on your vast experience as a trade negotiator who knows their way round WTO rules etc. 

I think with both sides willing, a common way ahead can be found. It is new territory, no one has left before, so there is no rule book on what has to be etc.. I think that's the problem, both sides blame each other. 

As there are no rules, no hidtory of agreemrnts, the eu can't say you must have b and c if you want a, it's just rhetoric with nothing in to writing to refer to. 

I'd prefer a customs union but the hard liners seem to be willing to risk a GE to try and avoid one. Time will tell. 

 

summo on 18:44 Tue
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> You didn't point anything out. The problem is that the UK cannot decide it's negotiating position. We've been offered an FTA but the government doesn't want to accept that for obvious reasons.

If you went to an auction to buy 4 different things, before the start during viewing would you tell the auctioneer how much money you had with you, or would you wait to see how the bidding went, what the reserve was, what the other 27 people at the auction wanted and how badly they wanted It? Thus by the end of the day, everyone feels they got the best they could. The question is, shouldn't the eu (the auctioneer) just be chairing the negotiation between the UK and the 27, not actually leading and demanding. 

Mike Stretford - on 18:51 Tue
In reply to summo:

I've found a more palatable link

http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/countries/switzerland/index_en.htm

"There are however significant tariffs on a number of agricultural products such as meat or on certain processed agricultural products."

You are right FT guy wrong, but how do they police that with a porous border, or do they not?

The Swiss undoubtedly get some brownie points for accepting free movement, but you do have a point, the EU claim that the the 4 principles are indivisible isn't quite true.

This may be all academic anyway, pro-EU rebels just lost their amendment, might as well just negotiate the FTA that was offered some time ago.

 

 

 

Bob Hughes - on 18:53 Tue
In reply to summo:

> If you went to an auction to buy 4 different things, before the start during viewing would you tell the auctioneer how much money you had with you, or would you wait to see how the bidding went, what the reserve was, what the other 27 people at the auction wanted and how badly they wanted It? Thus by the end of the day, everyone feels they got the best they could. The question is, shouldn't the eu (the auctioneer) just be chairing the negotiation between the UK and the 27, not actually leading and demanding. 

The whole point of EU for trade is to use access to its market as leverage to get better trade terms. If the EU was just a chairman of negotiations you lose all that because the other party starts doing side deals to divide and conquer.

Mike Stretford - on 18:54 Tue
In reply to summo:

> If you went to an auction to buy 4 different things, before the start during viewing would you tell the auctioneer how much money you had with you, or would you wait to see how the bidding went, what the reserve was, what the other 27 people at the auction wanted and how badly they wanted It? Thus by the end of the day, everyone feels they got the best they could. The question is, shouldn't the eu (the auctioneer) just be chairing the negotiation between the UK and the 27, not actually leading and demanding. 

That does miss the point. The UK government is not 'holding it's card close to it's chest'.... there is obvious and very public disagreement over what policy to follow.

On your second point, big NO. The 27 countries decided to negotiate as a bloc.

Post edited at 18:56
summo on 18:56 Tue
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Policing the border. All trucks stop. Paperwork processed, percentage searched. 

Not much different from goods coming from outside Europe, where customs is generally done in the country of departure. 

summo on 18:59 Tue
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> That does miss the point. The UK government is not 'holding it's card close to it's chest'.... there is obvious and very public disagreement over what policy to follow.

Catch 22. How do you ask the public in the UK without showing the eu your cards at the same time. I'm not suggesting that May and co. have done a sterling job, but the few lib dems didn't even attend the vote in parliament the other day. 

> On your second point, big NO. The 27 countries decided to negotiate as a bloc.

I suspect they were never asked. 

Mike Stretford - on 18:59 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Policing the border. All trucks stop. Paperwork processed, percentage searched. 

 

Ok, so not porous. Tell Cander, that's who I was replying too.

 

john arran - on 19:00 Tue
In reply to summo:

> If you went to an auction to buy 4 different things, before the start during viewing would you tell the auctioneer how much money you had with you, or would you wait to see how the bidding went, what the reserve was, what the other 27 people at the auction wanted and how badly they wanted It? Thus by the end of the day, everyone feels they got the best they could. The question is, shouldn't the eu (the auctioneer) just be chairing the negotiation between the UK and the 27, not actually leading and demanding. 

We seem to have gone to an auction and agreed to buy something, with almost no idea what it was we were agreeing to buy! It would hardly be surprising if people in other countries were to be taking us for idiots.

elsewhere on 19:02 Tue
In reply to summo:

> I suspect they were never asked. 

Yes because Merkel, Macron etc just jump when told. /s

 

Ian W - on 19:08 Tue
In reply to cander:

> As an aside because the U.K. is an integral member of the EU will the trade deals struck by the EU and the rest of the world still be valid, I’d have thought that the U.K. leaving the EU membership would represent a material change to all the EU treaties and thus require at least a review and possibly a renegotiation.

Nope. the UK is 1 of 28 EU members, accounting for very approx 12% of the population. There is absolutely no need to revisit any treaty or trade agreement between the EU and its trading partners.

 

summo on 19:10 Tue
In reply to john arran:

> We seem to have gone to an auction and agreed to buy something, with almost no idea what it was we were agreeing to buy! 

Makes a change from giving the money to someone else and waiting to see what they came back with. 

Ps. I do agree in essence. But that's the joke of article 50, it just presumed no one would ever leave. It sets a time frame of 2 years, but no real structure or framework. So how could they even say 2 years if they don't know what steps need to be carried out. Pointless. 

 

Ian W - on 19:11 Tue
In reply to summo:

> I suspect they were never asked. 

No need to ask - they have been members of the EU long enough to know that the EU negotiates as one.

neilh - on 19:13 Tue
In reply to summo:

You have no idea of the myriad of rules that apply across different sectors. 

Iit is not as simple as you - like a lot of punters -portray. 

cander - on 19:14 Tue
In reply to Ian W:

do you know that or are you just saying it - not criticising just trying to get clarity

Bob Hughes - on 19:14 Tue
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Switzerland isn’t a member of the CU or VAT area but do have pretty much full regulatory alignment on goods etc.

summo on 19:15 Tue
In reply to neilh:

> You have no idea of the myriad of rules that apply across different sectors. > Iit is not as simple as you - like a lot of punters -portray. 

There's thousands of em.

Of course any sane person know it's complex. I never said it was simple either. 

cander - on 19:19 Tue
In reply to summo:

True, but also not true - the main roads (motorways) have checkpoints all the rest don’t, they have flying customs who do spot checks. Taking a commercial load through was painless and quick as long as your documentation was in order - time for a coffee and that was about it. People movement across the border was seemless with (usually) no passport checks. I did it every day for two years from France to Geneva - the traffic jam started after the douane not before it.

john arran - on 19:22 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Ps. I do agree in essence. But that's the joke of article 50, it just presumed no one would ever leave. It sets a time frame of 2 years, but no real structure or framework. So how could they even say 2 years if they don't know what steps need to be carried out. Pointless. 

I'm genuinely impressed at how you managed to turn even that into a criticism of the EU. Being so good at seeing things with a massive slant you could get a job with Fox News!

summo on 19:23 Tue
In reply to cander:

> True, but also not true - the main roads (motorways) have checkpoints all the rest don’t, they have flying customs who do spot checks. Taking a commercial load through was painless and quick as long as your documentation was in order - time for a coffee and that was about it. People movement across the border was seemless with (usually) no passport checks...

Same on Norway/ Sweden. Freight has to go via main routes. Cameras on small roads. Queuing for freight is barely noticeable. 

 

summo on 19:24 Tue
In reply to john arran:

> Being so good at seeing things with a massive slant you could get a job with Fox News!

Isn't everything just fake news? 

Bob Hughes - on 19:33 Tue
In reply to Ian W:

> Nope. the UK is 1 of 28 EU members, accounting for very approx 12% of the population. There is absolutely no need to revisit any treaty or trade agreement between the EU and its trading partners.

Not strictly true. Quotas could present a problem. If a country has a quota for goods exported to the EU (as most WTO countries do), how do you deal with it post brexit? There was a bit of a fuss a while back when EU-UK agreed between them to split the quota proportionately between EU and UK  and WTO countries complained that (a) EU-UK can't do this without consulting the ohter party to the agreement and (b) the methodology doesn;t work  because if the UK market slumps, pre-brexit, they can make up for it by selling more in the rest of the EU but post brexit that won't be the case. I don't know what happened to the issue or whether it is still a problem. 

Ian W - on 19:34 Tue
In reply to cander:

Know it. While there hasnt been a precedent for a country leaving, those countries joining have not caused any agreement extant at the time of their joining the EU to be revisited. The agreements need no further scrutiny as all countries subject to the agreement qualify by definition through membership of the EU.

john arran - on 19:35 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Isn't everything just fake news? 

That's more false equivalence, the like of which has told us such gems as 'evolution is just another theory, among several', and 'both sides of the Brexit campaign weren't completely truthful, therefore they're both as bad as each other'.

a.k.a. bollox.

Bob Hughes - on 19:37 Tue
In reply to cander:

>  Taking a commercial load through was painless and quick as long as your documentation was in order - time for a coffee and that was about it. 

Compared to not stopping at all, that is quite a lot. Say 10 minutes for the 2.6 million lorriesthat pass through Dover every year is not nothing. 

 

summo on 19:39 Tue
In reply to Ian W:

> Know it. While there hasnt been a precedent for a country leaving, those countries joining have not caused any agreement extant at the time of their joining the EU to be revisited. The agreements need no further scrutiny as all countries subject to the agreement ...

Lisbon, Maastricht etc.. are all amendments of existing eu agreements, which each country agrees and signs, eventually in the uk's case, when Brown dodged it and sent Milliband to Lisbon. So agreements change with time. 

 

summo on 19:42 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> Compared to not stopping at all, that is quite a lot. Say 10 minutes for the 2.6 million lorriesthat pass through Dover every year is not nothing. 

But they stop anyway for passports and loading and departure isn't instant either. There is a turn around time, when trucks are in lanes and checks can be done? 

Bob Hughes - on 19:42 Tue

In reply to summo:

> Please don't both direct messaging me and then saying don't reply. 

> The UK hasn't created a border by leaving. The UK/Ireland border has existed for around a century. Prior to the recent troubles, the Good friday agreement and both countries joining the eu it was already an open border.

The UK and Ireland joined the EU at the same time so the fact they had an open border before they joined is not relevant. The requirement for the border comes from the fact that it is now an EU border. 

Ian W - on 19:43 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> Not strictly true. Quotas could present a problem. If a country has a quota for goods exported to the EU (as most WTO countries do), how do you deal with it post brexit? There was a bit of a fuss a while back when EU-UK agreed between them to split the quota proportionately between EU and UK  and WTO countries complained that (a) EU-UK can't do this without consulting the ohter party to the agreement and (b) the methodology doesn;t work  because if the UK market slumps, pre-brexit, they can make up for it by selling more in the rest of the EU but post brexit that won't be the case. I don't know what happened to the issue or whether it is still a problem. 


But see my reply to Cander; it has never been deemed necessary for joiners. But good point about quotas, although only an issue to anyone whose trade with the EU is heavily biased to the UK. So in all probability a very very small area.

so to clarify to Cander; I dont know with absolute 100% certainty, but I am pretty certain, and have precedent on my side.

Gordon Stainforth - on 19:45 Tue

In reply to summo:

I thought I sent you that as a private email (I may have made a balls-up, will check now), and if I find it is, I'll report you to Alan. When I said 'Don't bother to reply' I meant 'Don't feel obliged to reply'. Badly worded. 

Post edited at 19:48
summo on 19:45 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> The UK and Ireland joined the EU at the same time so the fact they had an open border before they joined is not relevant.

Yes it is because prior to joining they were independent trading countries and it worked. 

> The requirement for the border comes from the fact that it is now an EU border. 

Which makes it an eu problem? Not a UK one.

Ian W - on 19:46 Tue
In reply to summo:

But they were treaties affecting all EU members and how they interact with each other, not how they interact individually with the outside world. None of them were brought into being by any nation or nations joining or leaving.

Ian W - on 19:48 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Yes it is because prior to joining they were independent trading countries and it worked. 

> Which makes it an eu problem? Not a UK one.


Its a UK problem because the UK government signed the Good Friday agreement and have set it as a "red line".

summo on 19:48 Tue
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I thought I sent you that as a private email (I may have made a balls-up, will check now), and if I find it is, I'll report you to Alan.

If you send a message directly and put a snotty ending on it, and saying don't reply, then I will make your ill manners public. I don't believe that is what the ukc direct mail function is for. Feel free to report your misuse of it though. 

cander - on 19:50 Tue
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

And now Carney is saying the EU will be worse off than the U.K. with a no deal Brexit - even as a Brexiteer I’m pretty gobsmacked 

summo on 19:51 Tue
In reply to Ian W:

> Its a UK problem because the UK government signed the Good Friday agreement and have set it as a "red line".

So if hypothetically the UK has no trade agreement and leaves the border open. The eu wants to enforce the border, then the eu breaches the Good Friday  agreement?

Although, I imagine amending agreements in a manner that suits both sides is more desirable! 

Ian W - on 20:01 Tue
In reply to summo:

> So if hypothetically the UK has no trade agreement and leaves the border open. The eu wants to enforce the border, then the eu breaches the Good Friday  agreement?

Not sure how that would play out - the EU weren't signatories to it, so how could they breach an agreement they didnt sign up to. Anyway, extra difficult as the rep of Ireland wont agree to it, and they would be able to veto any attempt.

> Although, I imagine amending agreements in a manner that suits both sides is more desirable! 

You would think so, but a hard border between NI and the Republic is unacceptable to the Republic; the EU suggestion of a border in the Irish sea is unacceptable to the UK govt, and Satan will be in a down jacket before the DUP (who are propping up May) will ever accept a border between GB and NI.

 

Gordon Stainforth - on 20:04 Tue
In reply to summo:

Direct emails are to communicate with someone about something one does not want to discuss in public. The reason I did not want to discuss it was that I was then at work, so hadn't the time to enter into a discussion. As I said in the title of my email 'Can't enter this discussion now (because at work), but ...' You conveniently omitted this.

summo on 20:10 Tue
In reply to Ian W:

> the EU suggestion of a border in the Irish sea is unacceptable to the UK govt,

Does the eu have some power that allows it to redraw national boundaries? 

summo on 20:12 Tue
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Direct emails are to communicate with someone about something one does not want to discuss in public. The reason I did not want to discuss it was that I was then at work, so hadn't the time to enter into a discussion. As I said in the title of my email 'Can't enter this discussion now (because at work), but ...' You conveniently omitted this.

So you have the time to debate the debate then? Your presence here now would indicate that there was no reason to direct message me? 

pasbury on 20:14 Tue
In reply to summo:

Stop being so butthurt

Gordon Stainforth - on 20:15 Tue
In reply to summo:

I've stopped working now because I'm about to have supper. 

Bob Hughes - on 20:23 Tue
In reply to summo:

> But they stop anyway for passports and loading and departure isn't instant either. There is a turn around time, when trucks are in lanes and checks can be done? 

No doubt there are ways to mitigate but it is bound to slow the process down.

thomasadixon - on 20:24 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> Yes but that's only an issue because we're trying to get something more than a Free Trade deal

> Good question which I don't right now have an answer for. Will look but it will take me a bit of time.

I don’t know how you can say the first para if you don’t know what counts as an FTA - I’m not saying I do, I don’t know either, it seems to mean different things depending on who you talk to.

> I don't think she has any choice. Absolutely impossible to agree complete future relationship before December. The standard timeline would be closer to 5 or 10 years to negotiate. The best she can hope for is something that doesn't offend too many people.  

How does she do it?  Tories won’t back it, so she relies on labour, splits the party and gets a vote of no confidence...

I don’t think a full set out deal is necessary (or even possible, as you say), but agreement on red lines should be doable...and if it’s not then “no deal is better than a bad deal”.

balmybaldwin - on 20:27 Tue
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

There is some seriously worrying voting going on in parliament tonight including:

MPs have voted 315-285 against requiring the Government to publish texts of proposed trade agreements prior to ratification

MPs have voted 314-284 against an amendment to the Trade Bill calling for all free trade deals after Brexit to be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny and consent

MPs have voted 316-37 against giving devolved authorities a veto on Government trade negotiations after Brexit

 

Ian W - on 20:29 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Does the eu have some power that allows it to redraw national boundaries? 

No it most certainly doesn't. However it wouldnt be doing so. The 4 nations making up the UK would still exist, there would be a "virtual border" in the irish sea. Not acceptable to a lot of parties, but its the only suggestion made so far to avoid a hard border between NI and the Republic.

RomTheBear on 20:33 Tue
In reply to Ian W:

> No it most certainly doesn't. However it wouldnt be doing so. The 4 nations making up the UK would still exist, there would be a "virtual border" in the irish sea. Not acceptable to a lot of parties, but its the only suggestion made so far to avoid a hard border between NI and the Republic.

It would be indeed the easiest solution, which in fact is already widely accepted, as as photo ID is required when you travel from NI to Britain.

RomTheBear on 20:36 Tue
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> There is some seriously worrying voting going on in parliament tonight including:

> MPs have voted 315-285 against requiring the Government to publish texts of proposed trade agreements prior to ratification

> MPs have voted 314-284 against an amendment to the Trade Bill calling for all free trade deals after Brexit to be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny and consent

> MPs have voted 316-37 against giving devolved authorities a veto on Government trade negotiations after Brexit

And they have just effectively voted against a custom union (after effectively voting against the EEA, which happened a few months back). Everything now points to either hard Brexit or no deal.

Post edited at 20:38
RomTheBear on 20:44 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Same on Norway/ Sweden. Freight has to go via main routes. Cameras on small roads. Queuing for freight is barely noticeable. 

Not so much according to the locals: 

https://www.politico.eu/article/brexit-ireland-border-customs-norway-sweden/

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 20:45 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

Yes. Does that make a second referendum more likely? MPs are fully aware of the likely consequences of this, and save for JRM and his merry band, unlikely to want to be remembered by history as responsible for it. There is a gun being loaded and pointed at our foot; I imagine most MPs would prefer it if the public pulled the trigger rather than them 

Bob Hughes - on 20:47 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Yes it is because prior to joining they were independent trading countries and it worked. 

> Which makes it an eu problem? Not a UK one.

It makes it a problem for both of us, surely.

RomTheBear on 20:53 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Yes it is because prior to joining they were independent trading countries and it worked. 

Well no they had customs posts (and lots lots of criminality and smuggling). Up to the point customs checks were abolished between EC members.

 

summo on 20:53 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Not so much according 

That article is about alcohol smuggling due to the price differential between Norway and eastern Europe. 

Unless the UK moves towards an alcohol tax and pricing scheme similar to Norway then I don't see the relevance. 

Ps. Because Norway doesn't have free trade on any food or drink; steak, butter and cheese smuggling has occurred in the past. 

 

RomTheBear on 20:55 Tue
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Yes. Does that make a second referendum more likely? 

No. Not at all. It's now very clear that there is a majority in Parliament for a no-deal if necessary.

Laura Kuenssberg and David Henig (two of the key commentators and analyst I've been following) are concluding the same as me on Twitter just now.

 

 

Post edited at 21:00
john arran - on 20:56 Tue
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> MPs have voted 315-285 against requiring the Government to publish texts of proposed trade agreements prior to ratification

Ah but they have to tell parliament in advance about proposed trade deals ...

... unless a minister decides it isn't necessary!

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2017-2019/0122/amend/trade_daily_rep_0716.pdf

Have I misunderstood this, or is it as ridiculous as it sounds?

 

summo on 20:59 Tue
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> It makes it a problem for both of us, surely.

Totally agree. It is up to the UK, NI and Ireland to find an agreement and the eu should respect it, as it brings stability for both sides of the border.

It isn't for the EU to start dictating what it thinks is acceptable or not. If they are that bothered about borders there are plenty other border issues to deal with in the schengen that they are dragging their heels over. 

john arran - on 21:01 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Unless the UK moves towards an alcohol tax and pricing scheme similar to Norway then I don't see the relevance. 

So as long as the UK maintains the same tax structure and the same duty levels as the rest of the EU, there should be no problem with smuggling? Remind me again what control we're to be 'taking back'? 

RomTheBear on 21:05 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Totally agree. It is up to the UK, NI and Ireland to find an agreement and the eu should respect it, as it brings stability for both sides of the border.

 

> It isn't for the EU to start dictating what it thinks is acceptable or not.

They are not dictating anything. It's free organisation of willing members. Ireland wishes to stay in it.

> If they are that bothered about borders there are plenty other border issues to deal with in the schengen that they are dragging their heels over. 

The lack of border would also be a problem for the UK as no other country will do trade deals with the U.K. if they have a massive smuggling lane in NI, and ultimately this would lead to WTO exclusion.

Bob Hughes - on 21:08 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Totally agree. It is up to the UK, NI and Ireland to find an agreement and the eu should respect it, as it brings stability for both sides of the

i meant uk and eu, but yes should have included Ireland and NI

> It isn't for the EU to start dictating what it thinks is acceptable or not.

Of course it is. The customs union and single market only works because the framework allows the members to trust that all the other members are enforcing the rules properly.

elsewhere on 21:09 Tue
In reply to summo:

> It isn't for the EU to start dictating what it thinks is acceptable or not.

They can put any conditions they like on a deal. Just like we can.

Then it's up to the other side to accept, reject or negotiate. 

HansStuttgart - on 21:52 Tue
In reply to cander:

> The good Friday agreement is a bilateral agreement between the U.K. government and the Irish government - this agreement can be changed by these two governments - can it not? It is a relatively simple arrangement to alter it to a hard border but manage it as a porous border - exactly like the Swiss/EU border. 

In principle yes. In practice both the UK-gov and the RoI-gov have stated that they do not want it changed.

> Trade will not stop in April, higher tariffs will be due and consequently prices will increase, it is thereforein everyone’s interest to get a deal done to avoid having to trade on WTO terms. 

It is not the tariffs, it is the associated paperwork and the additional checks (safety etc...). Now there is no paperwork. Once a tariff needs to be paid, there needs to be a procedure such that an importer pays the tariff to the government and that this gets documented. This requires a system. Without a system and manpower in place, the border points cannot handle the traffic.

It is much more in the UK's interest to prevent this from happening than the EU. For the UK it amounts to a much larger fraction of its economy, there are no alternative trade partners close by to replace EU trade with, and the EU can compensate part of the damage by luring UK companies to the EU. So the UK will sign.

 

>As an aside because the U.K. is an integral member of the EU will the trade deals struck by the EU and the rest of the world still be valid, I’d have thought that the U.K. leaving the EU membership would represent a material change to all the EU treaties and thus require at least a review and possibly a renegotiation.

The treaties between EU and other countries do not depend on the memberlist. So when new members are admitted to the EU, they and EU's trade agreement partners directly benefit from the agreements. UK leaving is a loss. If everybody is nice about it, it can in principle continue as before. But the third partners have to agree. And most countries are not nice when it comes to trade deals. So UK-gov has the task to convince all these countries (about 100) to continue trading with the UK like before. EU wil help with this, but it is essentially the job of Liam Fox. UK just has to hope that the third countries think renegotiation will not be worth their time.

HansStuttgart - on 22:05 Tue
In reply to summo:

> Catch 22. How do you ask the public in the UK without showing the eu your cards at the same time.

The EU has been negotiating trade deals on behalf of the UK for the last 40 years. They know pretty well what the strategic priorities of British business are.

RomTheBear on 22:36 Tue
In reply to summo:

> That article is about alcohol smuggling due to the price differential between Norway and eastern Europe. 

> Unless the UK moves towards an alcohol tax and pricing scheme similar to Norway then I don't see the relevance. 

Use your brain for a minute ffs. If the U.K. adopts a different trade policy that means different tarrifs/regulations hence opportunities for smuggling.

 

Pekkie - on 23:10 Tue
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

 I resurrected this thread by asking who was going to pay me what I’m going to lose from Brexit and it’s turned into just another Brexit talking shop. I’m getting really worried now. It’s late in the day and I can see what’s going to happen. I just want me money...

Post edited at 23:12
pasbury on 23:38 Tue
In reply to HansStuttgart: 

> The treaties between EU and other countries do not depend on the memberlist. So when new members are admitted to the EU, they and EU's trade agreement partners directly benefit from the agreements. UK leaving is a loss. If everybody is nice about it, it can in principle continue as before. But the third partners have to agree. And most countries are not nice when it comes to trade deals. So UK-gov has the task to convince all these countries (about 100) to continue trading with the UK like before. EU wil help with this, but it is essentially the job of Liam Fox. UK just has to hope that the third countries think renegotiation will not be worth their time.

Chilling.

 

baron - on 23:41 Tue
In reply to Pekkie:

The cheques in the post!

pasbury on 23:41 Tue
In reply to Pekkie:

Follow what Rees-Mogg is investing in, Somerset Capital for a start.

Bob Kemp - on 00:06 Wed
In reply to john yates55:

> Essential safeguard? Chocolate fire guard! 

Content-free cheap shot. How about making an argument?

 

summo on 06:55 Wed
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Use your brain for a minute ffs. If the U.K. adopts a different trade policy that means different tarrifs/regulations hence opportunities for smuggling.

Do you think goods are the same price now across the free trade area? There are vast differences, especially in food and drink. Especially as many countries apply VAT differently. There isn't much here that doesn't cost 10-20% more than most other places in Europe, just because taxes are higher for employers and lowest staff are paid a bit better. 

Even here, people travel to Denmark or Germany to shop. Norwegians travel to Sweden. There are specific border shops and ferries. So to imply that a very marginal price difference would change smuggling on the Irish border is nonsense. People already cross the Irish border to shop or tank up their car because of the price difference at the moment. 

Post edited at 07:09
summo on 06:59 Wed
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> The EU has been negotiating trade deals on behalf of the UK for the last 40 years. They know pretty well what the strategic priorities of British business are.

Exactly, but the eu isn't just about trade is it. If it was these negotiations would be simple in comparison. In those 40 years it has stuck it's tentacles into every aspect of life. 

Post edited at 07:09
RomTheBear on 07:31 Wed
In reply to summo:

> Do you think goods are the same price now across the free trade area? There are vast differences, especially in food and drink. Especially as many countries apply VAT differently. There isn't much here that doesn't cost 10-20% more than most other places in Europe, just because taxes are higher for employers and lowest staff are paid a bit better. 

> Even here, people travel to Denmark or Germany to shop. Norwegians travel to Sweden. There are specific border shops and ferries. So to imply that a very marginal price difference would change smuggling on the Irish border is nonsense.

Duh, yes, and it currently legal to go to Germany and import cheaper food and drink, once it isn't that's where it creates an opportunity for smuggling.

Unless you are suggesting the U.K. should stay perfectly aligned, apply the same tarrifs as the EU and the same regukation, in which case, what is even the point to leave the customs union ?

 

summo on 07:40 Wed
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Duh, yes, and it currently legal to go to Germany and import cheaper food and drink, 

Only for personal consumption, hence your. link up thread about people smuggling a 1000 litres of this and that... 

I wasting suggesting anything. I was pointing out that your notion that pricing and taxation of goods across the eu is currently equal was wrong. 

 

Rob Exile Ward on 07:50 Wed
In reply to summo:

'In those 40 years it has stuck it's tentacles into every aspect of life. ' Yes they're beggars aren't they? Insisting on the rule of law, social justice, workers rights, environmental protection,  overseas aid, scientific cooperation, free movement - what are they trying to do, civilise us? B*stards!

summo on 08:32 Wed
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> 'In those 40 years it has stuck it's tentacles into every aspect of life. ' Yes they're beggars aren't they? Insisting on the rule of law, social justice, workers rights, environmental protection,  overseas aid, scientific cooperation, free movement - what are they trying to do, civilise us? B*stards!

and plenty countries were doing that before the eu and to a higher standard. They didn't invent any of them. 

Andy Hardy on 08:36 Wed
In reply to summo:

> and plenty countries were doing that before the eu and to a higher standard. They didn't invent any of them. 


Could you name 27 of them?

summo on 08:50 Wed
In reply to Andy Hardy:

Many countries have better workers rights. The Nordic better environmental measures. UK overseas aid has generally been well ahead of most. It's only a few isolated countries that were dire at all of them. 

summo on 08:52 Wed
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Could you name 27 of them?

Curiously the only party in the UK that were pushing to improve all of them was the lib dems and look what the people sadly thought there. 

Doug on 09:06 Wed
In reply to summo:

> Even here, people travel to Denmark or Germany to shop. Norwegians travel to Sweden. There are specific border shops and ferries. So to imply that a very marginal price difference would change smuggling on the Irish border is nonsense. People already cross the Irish border to shop or tank up their car because of the price difference at the moment. 

Common for people living near Andorra to go there for shopping as the taxes are much less than France or Spain. But, at least on the French side, there are customs checks & anyone with more than the tax free allowance gets charged tax. Nothing similar when coming back into France from Spain although prices in Spain are cheaper in general & many cross the border to shop. I guess UK/EU would be similar to France/Andorra with an incentive to smuggle across the border, especially for alcohol & tobacco

Gordon Stainforth - on 09:09 Wed
In reply to summo:

Gosh: are you implying you're a Lib Dem supporter? If not, what are you sad about?

summo on 09:18 Wed
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Gosh: are you implying you're a Lib Dem supporter? If not, what are you sad about?

Surprisingly yes. I could forgive them their eu stance, as they seem the only party willing to admit that improving services will cost more in tax and they are not just focussed on one demographic or social class unlike the other two parties. Sadly 99% of the uk want and expect the best whilst paying very little. 

Post edited at 09:18
summo on 09:22 Wed
In reply to Doug:

>  I guess UK/EU would be similar to France/Andorra with an incentive to smuggle across the border, especially for alcohol & tobacco

It comes to down to pricing and is a solvable problem. But it shouldn't be ignored as smuggling was part of the financial arm of the terrorist groups. I can not see Irish or UK pricing changing so significantly that it became a wholesale problem. The chance of NI adopting a Norwegian style alcohol pricing scheme is pretty slim. 

Post edited at 09:22
Gordon Stainforth - on 09:28 Wed
In reply to summo:

> Surprisingly yes. I could forgive them their eu stance, as they seem the only party willing to admit that improving services will cost more in tax and they are not just focussed on one demographic or social class unlike the other two parties. Sadly 99% of the uk want and expect the best whilst paying very little. 

The last opinion poll that I can find (26 June) puts the Lib Dems at 9% (not 1!). Shockingly, Labour only 40%, still one point behind the Conservatives.

Andy Hardy on 09:30 Wed
In reply to summo:

> Many countries have better workers rights. The Nordic better environmental measures. UK overseas aid has generally been well ahead of most. It's only a few isolated countries that were dire at all of them. 


Can you think of another bloc of 27 countries that, as a collective endevour, is trying to raise standards in unison?

Also, how many countries have better workers rights than the EU, and how many of those are not in EEA?

 

summo on 09:33 Wed
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> The last opinion poll that I can find (26 June) puts the Lib Dems at 9% (not 1!). Shockingly, Labour only 40%, still one point behind the Conservatives.

But without PR they have no influence, but then apparently both Cable and Farron failed to attend the last vote on Brexit, so they are hardly out to please their few remaining voters or try and get the party back on it's feet. I don't think the UK is ready for the concept of coalition politics and it could be years before the lib dems wake up. Two party shouting matches are hear to stay. 

summo on 09:40 Wed
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Can you think of another bloc of 27 countries that, as a collective endevour, is trying to raise standards in unison?

> Also, how many countries have better workers rights than the EU, and how many of those are not in EEA?

Nz, Canada..  pretty strong on workers, legislation, environmental stuff, foreign aid etc.. zero EU influence. 

How is the eu helping the thousands if not millions on zero hours contracts in Europe? It won't of course, as many are HQ'd in juncker's tax haven homeland. 

Or look at medical things, antibiotic use in both people and animals is off the scale in southern Europe. You can just by them over the counter and self prescribe and whole herd dosing is standard practice. This is and will have serious consequences for everyone globally. 

The eu is so heavily lobbied by industry to suggest it is there for the people is false.

Have a look. 

https://lobbyfacts.eu/reports/lobby-costs/all/0/1/1/1/11/0/

Bob Hughes - on 09:45 Wed
In reply to thomasadixon:

> I don’t know how you can say the first para if you don’t know what counts as an FTA - I’m not saying I do, I don’t know either, it seems to mean different things depending on who you talk to.

Didn't get chance to look anything up so this is speculation but... I suspect there isn't one definition of a Free Trade Agreement so hard to draw an explicit line to say where that ends and Single Market begins. They started as tariff-only then evolved to include alignment on standards, rules of origin, government procurement and the rest of it. 

The EU's position is that the level of alignment required to enable an open border with no infrastructure puts us well beyond Free Trade agreement territory and into Single Market territory. 

Not sure if that gets us any further or whether it is just a restatement of where our opinions differ.

> How does she do it?  Tories won’t back it, so she relies on labour, splits the party and gets a vote of no confidence...

> I don’t think a full set out deal is necessary (or even possible, as you say), but agreement on red lines should be doable...and if it’s not then “no deal is better than a bad deal”.

I can't see how we can even come to an agreement on red lines since (a) they keep changing (b) UK red lines are not consistent with EU red lines and (c) UK government does not agree on its own red lines. 

If the Tories won't back a very high-level political statement on the future relationship then the only other options I see is crashing out with no withdrawal or a time extension. 

If I was a betting man I'd say it will go to the wire and the UK government will agree to a high-level political statement which the Tory party will be forced to accept.

 

summo on 09:49 Wed
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Can you think of another bloc of 27 countries that, as a collective endevour, is trying to raise standards in unison?

Hungary, Poland, Romania, Austria etc.. all one happy bunch striving for the common good of Europe... or just there for the hand outs with absolutely no interest in playing ball and the eu leadership not capable of doing anything about it. 

 

Bob Kemp - on 10:39 Wed
In reply to summo:

> Nz, Canada..  pretty strong on workers, legislation, environmental stuff, foreign aid etc.. zero EU influence. 

Ah yes, Canada... https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-earns-d-grade-on-environmental-record/article29705154/

 

Gordon Stainforth - on 10:54 Wed
In reply to summo:

> But without PR they have no influence, but then apparently both Cable and Farron failed to attend the last vote on Brexit, so they are hardly out to please their few remaining voters or try and get the party back on it's feet. I don't think the UK is ready for the concept of coalition politics and it could be years before the lib dems wake up. Two party shouting matches are hear to stay. 

Sadly that is probably the case. As you say, it was extraordinary that neither Cable or Farron bothered to turn up for such an important vote. They're half asleep.

 

Stuart en Écosse - on 11:14 Wed
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I'm don't know much about Farron other than his god-bothering ways, but my disappointment with Cable is off the scale. The very idea that they didn't think the vote would be so close beggars belief. Have they never heard of Brexitref, Indyref or even the last general election FFS!

Post edited at 11:16
Andy Hardy on 11:19 Wed
In reply to summo:

Lobbying is a problem which is not made any better (and could well be made worse) by leaving the EU.

https://survey.ituc-csi.org/ puts us on tier 3 for workers rights, and notably, with the exception of Uruguay, all the other tier 1 rated countries are EU/EEA

Medical abuse of antibiotics is drifting off the point and occurs throughout the world, so cannot be attributed to our membership of the EU

jkarran - on 11:24 Wed
In reply to summo:

> Curiously the only party in the UK that were pushing to improve all of them was the lib dems and look what the people sadly thought there. 

The LibDem's problem is they shafted the only geographically clustered element of their support base (academics and students) leaving them with much the same vote share as ever but as usual, totally diffuse, without the little hubs of voters required to tip them over the edge and return MPs. It's a failing of Clegg's strategy and our broken electoral system, not their policy. It'll probably take a re-brand to detoxify them.

jk

Post edited at 11:25
krikoman - on 11:27 Wed
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Sadly that is probably the case. As you say, it was extraordinary that neither Cable or Farron bothered to turn up for such an important vote. They're half asleep.


Yes, this doesn't bode well for either of these two.

One the other hand maybe they we "paired", not that that works when dealing with the tories, as Jo Swinson has found out to her peril.

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2018/07/did-tories-screw-over-new-mother-jo-swinson-pairing-if-so-things-are-going

He seemed to remember 7 out of 9 that she wouldn't be there!!

tom_in_edinburgh - on 11:34 Wed
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> If the Tories won't back a very high-level political statement on the future relationship then the only other options I see is crashing out with no withdrawal or a time extension. 

Apparently the UK is allowed to withdraw it's Article 50 notification.  If it looks like there's no extension being offered I could see the UK withdrawing Article 50 to stop the clock.  

That would give a 'time out' to have a second referendum and potentially resubmit the Article 50 notification with a clearer plan as a result of a 3 option referendum and a more practical timetable to negotiate exit if the second referendum came back as leave.

Post edited at 11:35
Ian W - on 11:50 Wed
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Apparently the UK is allowed to withdraw it's Article 50 notification.  If it looks like there's no extension being offered I could see the UK withdrawing Article 50 to stop the clock.  

> That would give a 'time out' to have a second referendum and potentially resubmit the Article 50 notification with a clearer plan as a result of a 3 option referendum and a more practical timetable to negotiate exit if the second referendum came back as leave.

That seems to me eminently sensible. All sides need breathing space; the second ref could be run with much greater clarity on all sides, so the result would hopefully be more acceptable to the "losers" given the greater knowledge of the issues all round. t would also give parliament time to basically sort its shit out; the place appears to be out of control.  

Bob Hughes - on 12:02 Wed
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Interesting.  Sounds sensible but I don’t see that getting past JRM or even a great many more moderate MPs. It would also be a massive pain in the arse for the EU. Perhaps a new source of leverage for a concession?

Dave Garnett - on 12:12 Wed
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Apparently the UK is allowed to withdraw it's Article 50 notification.  If it looks like there's no extension being offered I could see the UK withdrawing Article 50 to stop the clock.  

For me, this would be the best possible outcome but, given the massive disruption we've already caused, I would imagine the EU would only agree on the condition we wouldn't trigger it again for some minimum period (at least 5 years?) and on the understanding that there would be some greatly accelerated and rather more unsympathetic exit process if we did.

 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 12:27 Wed
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> Interesting.  Sounds sensible but I don’t see that getting past JRM or even a great many more moderate MPs. It would also be a massive pain in the arse for the EU. Perhaps a new source of leverage for a concession?

The UK definitely has far more leverage in the negotiations if it establishes the ability to stop and restart the Article 50 process.  

I think the EU might be persuadable because it is an easier way of preventing a hard Brexit than getting 27 countries to sign off on an extension.   Also if withdrawing Article 50 is a legal right, even if they don't like it they couldn't stop it.   If it isn't clear legally whether it can be withdrawn the clock would probably be stopped while the European Court decided.

 

 

jkarran - on 12:30 Wed
In reply to Bob Hughes:

I can't see us getting a three-way referendum, we don't have one clear plan to offer up let alone three and the outcome would potentially lack any semblance of legitimacy since the minimum winning threshold could be as low as ~34% of the electorate, roughly 15% of the population. Even with STV (and the very idea seems too radical to consider) the risk remains if voters are unwilling engage with it and consider compromise.

That said, I can't see parliament as-is being able to resolve this without destroying both big parties in the process and at the very moment of our greatest peril. Self and national interest suggests our MPs won't opt for that option so my bet is we will be getting a referendum of some sort at some point before the trigger is pulled but the timeline is getting very very tight now. The alternative possibility is it all goes to worms with parliamentary infighting, nothing gets resolved and come our glorious independence day PM Gove will simply be presented with two documents to pick from: a withdrawal agreement largely already agreed but robustly protecting Ireland's interests plus an out-but-in, rules-as-they-are transition period or, alternatively a revocation of Article 50. The remaining option, flouncing out spells ruin but always remains possible in these ridiculous times.

jk

summo on 12:31 Wed
In reply to jkarran:

> The LibDem's problem is they shafted the only geographically clustered element of their support base (academics and students) leaving them with much the same vote share as ever but as usual, totally diffuse, without the little hubs of voters required to tip them over the edge and return MPs. It's a failing of Clegg's strategy and our broken electoral system, not their policy. It'll probably take a re-brand to detoxify them.

Only they didn't shaft anyone. They made a promise in their manifesto if they won, they didn't and were a minority party in a coalition. If the academics and students are so intelligent they should know the difference. 

jkarran - on 12:54 Wed
In reply to summo:

> Only they didn't shaft anyone. They made a promise in their manifesto if they won, they didn't and were a minority party in a coalition. If the academics and students are so intelligent they should know the difference. 

Tell that to students eyeballing the thick end of 40 grand of debt for a degree, they let down their most important group of supporters, however pragmatic it was faced with choices in coalition it was also suicide for the party in parliament, I don't believe they took that possibility seriously enough or that they would make the same choices again knowing what they know now.

jk

Post edited at 12:56
Rob Parsons on 13:19 Wed
In reply to summo:

> Only they didn't shaft anyone. They made a promise in their manifesto if they won, they didn't and were a minority party in a coalition.

The pledge which Clegg publicly signed reads as follows:

'I pledge to vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative.'

No one forced him to sign.

His breaking of that public promise was as egregious as these things can get. He should either have kept his promise, or resigned.

 

Post edited at 13:20
thomasadixon - on 13:20 Wed
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> Didn't get chance to look anything up so this is speculation but... I suspect there isn't one definition of a Free Trade Agreement so hard to draw an explicit line to say where that ends and Single Market begins. They started as tariff-only then evolved to include alignment on standards, rules of origin, government procurement and the rest of it. 

> The EU's position is that the level of alignment required to enable an open border with no infrastructure puts us well beyond Free Trade agreement territory and into Single Market territory. 

> Not sure if that gets us any further or whether it is just a restatement of where our opinions differ.

I don't think we're really disagreeing there, the terms are fuzzy.  The EU is repeatedly insisting that it's four freedoms are indivisible, but it's clear (see discussion of Norway and others up thread) that this just isn't true.  There's no concrete dividing line - and where we (probably) disagree is that the EU's "red lines" are real red lines.

> I can't see how we can even come to an agreement on red lines since (a) they keep changing (b) UK red lines are not consistent with EU red lines and (c) UK government does not agree on its own red lines.

(a) I'm not sure that they do.  May's insisting her agreeing the brexiters' amendments is no change.  The requirement for no ECj, has been there right from the start and hasn't changed.

(b) Right, and if that remains the same there can be no agreement.

(c) That's to be expected - and it's certainly the case that this is true within the EU as well, it's just that they're keeping it under wraps far more successfully.

> If the Tories won't back a very high-level political statement on the future relationship then the only other options I see is crashing out with no withdrawal or a time extension.

Don't disagree.  The argument is about what that statement will contain.

> If I was a betting man I'd say it will go to the wire and the UK government will agree to a high-level political statement which the Tory party will be forced to accept.

I wouldn't take the bet!  That's why this stuff is happening now rather than in 8 months of course, because it's harder to resist last minute/would do more damage last minute.

girlymonkey - on 13:30 Wed
In reply to Ian W:

> That seems to me eminently sensible. 

Which, sadly, makes it unlikely to happen. I can't see anything eminently sensible happening for a long time

 

summo on 13:39 Wed
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> 'I pledge to vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative.'

I think the current tory government indicates just how much the lib dems were watering down tory policy during the coalition years. But you can't change history, they are where they are and not showing up in parliament to represent their constituency and party should really be unforgivable. 

 

 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 13:58 Wed
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> For me, this would be the best possible outcome but, given the massive disruption we've already caused, I would imagine the EU would only agree on the condition we wouldn't trigger it again for some minimum period (at least 5 years?) and on the understanding that there would be some greatly accelerated and rather more unsympathetic exit process if we did.

I don't see how the 'EU' could change the Article 50 law to add new conditions without unanimity between all the signatories to the treaty of which Article 50 is a part.  For as long as the UK is a member state it could block changes.  So the question is does the UK have a legal right to withdraw article 50 or does it need the consent of the other states of the EU to do so.

 

 

Post edited at 14:00
Dave Garnett - on 14:19 Wed
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I don't see how the 'EU' could change the Article 50 law to add new conditions without unanimity between all the signatories to the treaty of which Article 50 is a part.  For as long as the UK is a member state it could block changes.  So the question is does the UK have a legal right to withdraw article 50 or does it need the consent of the other states of the EU to do so.

I haven't looked it up again but my recollection was that the treaty was silent on these details and we were rather making it up as we went along.  In practice, I would have thought it was in the interests of all concerned to make clear that no member state could exist in the kind of in/out superposition we currently occupy by repeatedly invoking and then withdrawing an Art 50 application.

Rob Parsons on 14:20 Wed
In reply to summo:

> I think the current tory government indicates just how much the lib dems were watering down tory policy during the coalition years.

Whether or not that's true is irrelevant in the context of Clegg breaking his publicly-signed and completely unambiguous pledge. He's a liar, and a phoney. A better - no, just normal - man would have either honoured his pledge, or immediately resigned.

 

Post edited at 14:21
Mike Stretford - on 14:55 Wed
In reply to thomasadixon:

> I don't think we're really disagreeing there, the terms are fuzzy.  The EU is repeatedly insisting that it's four freedoms are indivisible, but it's clear (see discussion of Norway and others up thread) that this just isn't true.  There's no concrete dividing line - and where we (probably) disagree is that the EU's "red lines" are real red lines.

It's clear there can be minor concessions on free movement of goods, if the non-EU country writes a fat cheque to the EU and/or accepts free movement of people. Thing is it clearly isn't relevant to  the UK. 

It is becoming clear that the Brexiteers who seem to be pulling the strings are hell bent on a hard Brexit, basically the FTA the UK was offered at the start. The only things to discuss is this notion that we can be outside the single market and customs union but still have a smooth free flowing border.  I agree with commentators from EU countries who think it's fantasy.... any hiccup around Dover-Calais and we have queues on the M25. Oh, then there's NI.

 

Post edited at 14:56
Ian W - on 15:16 Wed
In reply to thomasadixon:

> (a) I'm not sure that they do.  May's insisting her agreeing the brexiters' amendments is no change.  The requirement for no ECj, has been there right from the start and hasn't changed.

If May admitted they meant changes, that means her Chequers document is dead in the water, and political suicide for her. However, if it means no change, why did the brexiteers insist on them, and why has it led to such uproar?

And just because May insists something doesn't mean its true. Her credibility is hanging by a thread. I'm sure there are other world leaders with lower credibility, but can only really think of one.........

 

Michael Hood - on 15:54 Wed
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Clegg could have got the lib Dems to abstain. He could have said, as a party we are against tuition fees, but as the junior partners in a coalition we cannot vote against the government.

The vote would have still passed but he wouldn't have been in such a bad position.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 17:01 Wed
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> I haven't looked it up again but my recollection was that the treaty was silent on these details and we were rather making it up as we went along.  In practice, I would have thought it was in the interests of all concerned to make clear that no member state could exist in the kind of in/out superposition we currently occupy by repeatedly invoking and then withdrawing an Art 50 application.

It seems like it can be argued both ways and the ECJ would need to rule on it.  Various news reports have said that the UK government's legal advice is that it can be withdrawn.  Lord Kerr who was involved in drafting the clause says he believes it can be withdrawn.   This article provides arguments in both directions but interestingly the professor making the 'can't be withdrawn' case states the predominant legal opinion in the UK is that it can.

http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.com/2018/01/can-article-50-notice-of-withdrawal.html

The ability to withdraw and then re-invoke obviously reduces the EU negotiating leverage but it also makes it more likely that the leaving member state will change its mind and stay in by giving an opportunity for a last minute change of direction.    The UK dropping out without a deal as a result of Article 50 timing out also has costs for the EU and maybe they'd think kicking the ball down the road another two years and a chance of Brexit never happening was a better outcome and not fight it.

Post edited at 17:02
tom_in_edinburgh - on 17:28 Wed
In reply to Ian W:

> If May admitted they meant changes, that means her Chequers document is dead in the water, and political suicide for her. However, if it means no change, why did the brexiteers insist on them, and why has it led to such uproar?

I think she knew the Chequers document would never fly with the EU.  It was supposed to move a little in the direction she wanted but have enough for the Brexiters to let her stay in charge a little longer.   Since it's not going to fly with the EU anyway she's not that worried about Brexiting Tories adding another reason why it won't fly.  

I think her game is being in power in the last few days before the time runs out.  That's when the public will be most scared of economic chaos and therefore in terms of UK politics the safest time to make concessions.

Ian W - on 18:07 Wed
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I think she knew the Chequers document would never fly with the EU.  It was supposed to move a little in the direction she wanted but have enough for the Brexiters to let her stay in charge a little longer.   Since it's not going to fly with the EU anyway she's not that worried about Brexiting Tories adding another reason why it won't fly. 

I think she hoped it would last more than 72 hours - including a weekend! And I think you hit a nail with particular accuracy with the bit about the brexiteers letting her stay in charge a bit longer.........

> I think her game is being in power in the last few days before the time runs out.  That's when the public will be most scared of economic chaos and therefore in terms of UK politics the safest time to make concessions.

Strong and stable, Tom, strong and stable.

 

Dr.S at work - on 18:10 Wed
In reply to Ian W:

> I think she hoped it would last more than 72 hours - including a weekend! And I think you hit a nail with particular accuracy with the bit about the brexiteers letting her stay in charge a bit longer.........

> Strong and stable, Tom, strong and stable.

metastable?

Jim C - on 19:05 Wed
In reply to Tringa:

We may have to allow 'free movement' during transition out of the EU , but as we hear that we have as a country we have had a very lax interpretation of the free movement rules, whilst implementing the actual   free movement (of workers)  

So there could still be a noticeable tightening of 'free movement' whilst still being within the transition agreement with the EU.

The question is then why did Cameron and May not follow the letter of the law   interpretation before the referendum to try and neuter the immigration argument of the leave campaign ?   

Dr.S at work - on 20:13 Wed
In reply to Jim C:

Mostly because it would have required ID cards, and a change in how the U.K.s existing population access services.

HansStuttgart - on 20:14 Wed
In reply to Jim C:

> The question is then why did Cameron and May not follow the letter of the law   interpretation before the referendum to try and neuter the immigration argument of the leave campaign ?   

 

To do that, the government would need a citizen registration system. Home office doesn't have one and cannot get one of the ground in at least 5 years (large government IT projects...). UK always had the policy that not registering people is cheaper.

Bob Hughes - on 21:05 Wed
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 21:35 Wed
In reply to Bob Hughes:

That was one of the most useful and informative things I’ve read about Brexit- thanks for the link...

 

second referendum comes up in a number of the future scenarios- I still think this is a likely outcome; I just can’t see enough MPs signing up for a hard Brexit. Like Pilate, they will want to wash their hands of the deed, and hand responsibility to the crowd 

Stuart en Écosse - on 22:28 Wed
In reply to Jim C:

> The question is then why did Cameron and May not follow the letter of the law   interpretation before the referendum to try and neuter the immigration argument of the leave campaign ?   

I doubt it would have made much difference to the outcome. The voting public understands the immigration argument as presented to them by the very pervasive pro-brexit media. 

Michael Hood - on 06:31 Thu
In reply to Bob Hughes:

Good article, summary in four words...

 

What a f***ing mess.


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