/ Brexit strategy isn't working.

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Spartacus on 02 Oct 2017

As the title says the current negotiation strategy of appeasement with EU officials is not working and we are going to get shafted.

Can I suggest 2 alternatives?

1. Far more robust defence of our position including breaking off negotiations and becoming more militant if needed.
2. Forget Brexit and remain in EU.

Because what are doing will lead to disaster.
Post edited at 07:40
ian caton on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

Not sure I would call it appeasement. That implies cogency where there is none.
summo on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

I'd ignore what we see and hear, it's a show. A show for Brexiteers, remainers, but chiefly the rest of the eu so they don't copy. It was never going to be made to look smooth and simple, regardless of who does the negotiating or how much they prepared.
Shani - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> I'd ignore what we see and hear, it's a show. A show for Brexiteers, remainers, but chiefly the rest of the eu so they don't copy. It was never going to be made to look smooth and simple, regardless of who does the negotiating or how much they prepared.

I can buy this argument, that it is a 'show' to fool 'the people'. But how do you know that you and I are not being fooled?
jimtitt - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:


> 2. Forget Brexit and remain in EU.

You mean beg the EU27 to negotiate a deal so they allow you to remain in the EU. Best of luck and don´ t forget to keep smiling.
baron - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to jimtitt:

Can they, the 27, make the UK leave?
Or is the triggering of Article 50 it, the end, goodbye?
jkarran - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

> Can I suggest 2 alternatives?
> 1. Far more robust defence of our position including breaking off negotiations and becoming more militant if needed.

Achieving what, how?

> 2. Forget Brexit and remain in EU.

Not currently possible. It needs to get worse yet before the public can lead the 'leaders'. Chances are thought this will be spun by those poised to increase their power and profit from the chaos as plucky little Britain against the evil EU and we end up with option 1 by default.

> Because what are doing will lead to disaster.

Yep.
jk
jkarran - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> Can they, the 27, make the UK leave?

They didn't. You did.

> Or is the triggering of Article 50 it, the end, goodbye?

Au revoir hopefully. In time the generation you've shafted might be able to undo some of this.
jk
baron - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

And a good morning to you too!
Are you here to join the debate or just hurl a few insults?
summo on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:

> I can buy this argument, that it is a 'show' to fool 'the people'. But how do you know that you and I are not being fooled?

I think we are all fools if we believe the only negotiations that occur are between the two chief negotiators and what they each say in their own respective news conferences is the only thing that is happening from day to day.
jkarran - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

Good morning.

I have earache so yeah, I suspect today I'll mostly be grumpy.
jk
Shani - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> I think we are all fools if we believe the only negotiations that occur are between the two chief negotiators and what they each say in their own respective news conferences is the only thing that is happening from day to day.

Yep. Confidence is hugely important. We are pissing so much economic and business confidence away with the behaviour of Davis, Fox and Johnson that I fear our reputation will be damaged for a generation. Self inflicted damage like this is unforgiveable.
pasbury on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

> As the title says the current negotiation strategy of appeasement with EU officials is not working and we are going to get shafted.

> Can I suggest 2 alternatives?

> 1. Far more robust defence of our position including breaking off negotiations and becoming more militant if needed.

Unfortunately we need them more than they need us, to suggest otherwise is fantasy (one that many people have)
What is militancy - putting forward some demands? The 27 will say no sorry can't do, against our constitution, against what and how we agreed to negotiate. And with a shrug they'll leave us to our sorry (downward) trajectory.
Lusk - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> I have earache so yeah, I suspect today I'll mostly be grumpy.

Probably best not to read and get involved in any political discussions on UKC then!

jkarran - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:

> Self inflicted damage like this is unforgiveable.

Except of course it will be forgiven or more to the point forgotten in a heartbeat after Labour get their term at the helm presiding over the worsening fallout of this mess. We're simple creatures easily lead.
jk
summo on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:

Agree, the politicians should be left to their games. The civil servsnts and no doubt several consultants doing the real work, should issue monthly bulletins of what they've been reviewing or discussing. Not the details of course, but enough so people have faith things are moving and we aren't totally reliant on the Brexit bulldog.
davidbeynon on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Of course in a democracy the people on the winning side of a vote have to take their share of the blame for negative consequences. This is especially true if they were clearly spelled out in advance.

They won't of course. It's all the evil EUs fault.
Postmanpat on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:
> As the title says the current negotiation strategy of appeasement with EU officials is not working and we are going to get shafted.

>
Why do you describe it as "appeasement" when most of their critics in the UK would say they have been (mistakenly) fighting for a "hard brexit". It looks more like they are simply being rolled over. It's like playing poker in which the EU says "we can't start the game until you show us your cards" and the UK is gradually handing over its cards.

But you're right. They might as well cut all the crap and go straight to one of your options.
Post edited at 12:04
jimtitt - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:
> Or is the triggering of Article 50 it, the end, goodbye?

That is unknown territory legally both in the UK and the EU.
Politically nothing is irrevocable but " "... a revocation needs to be subject to conditions set by all EU-27 so they cannot be used as a procedural device or abused in an attempt to improve the actual terms of the United Kingdom's membership" gives an indication of what it is going to cost the UK. Note it says conditions, not negotiations.
Post edited at 12:12
john arran - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to jimtitt:

That suggests to me that conditions would be possible only to prevent better terms for the UK, not to insist on worse terms than present. But then I'm not a lawyer.
jkarran - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to john arran:

> That suggests to me that conditions would be possible only to prevent better terms for the UK, not to insist on worse terms than present. But then I'm not a lawyer.

Whatever is legally possible, politically it's going to cost our rebate at the very least. Probably still a price worth paying if the opportunity presents itself but it does ultimately just add fuel to a fire nobody seems willing and able to fight.
jk
Malarkey on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

I don't understand how we are being shafted?

We wanted to leave. We lose the rights of membership.

Did you really believe all this have cake and eat it nonsense?
Spartacus on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Malarkey:
I didn't want to leave. The goalposts have moved so far from the original Brexit sales patter it's not true.
Nobody is talking about advantages and a golden future, it's now all about damage limitation and getting the best deal we can.
We have entered a process where the best result we can achieve is very likely to be worse than our current situation.
Why on earth would you enter negotiations under these conditions or start them in the first place, it no win.
captain paranoia - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

There's a strategy...?
ian caton on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

I would love to buy into this, and even a sliver of evidence would be great. Have you seen any?

I really am no lefty, but stand back and look at Johnson, Fox and Davis. In a different environment would you way them up as anything better than daft?

I don't believe they have covert conpetance.
summo on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to ian caton:

> I really am no lefty, but stand back and look at Johnson, Fox and Davis. In a different environment would you way them up as anything better than daft?

But the thought of abbot, thornberry, Watson, McDonnell is far worse.

BnB - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:
> But the thought of abbot, thornberry, Watson, McDonnell is far worse.

Abbott is well out of her depth and McDonnel is plain dangerous but Thornberry and Starmer strike me as a stronger pair than any two you could perm out of that Tory trio
Post edited at 20:12
ian caton on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

Watson was very good at tearing into the Murdochs, better than anyone. Abbot and McDonnell, I agree are in the same class as Johnson and co.
Thornbury I know nothing of.

But they don't matter they are not running the show.
James Meredith - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to jimtitt:

> Or is the triggering of Article 50 it, the end, goodbye?

>Politically nothing is irrevocable but " "... a revocation needs to be subject to conditions set by all EU-27 so they >cannot be used as a procedural device or abused in an attempt to improve the actual terms of the United Kingdom's >membership" gives an indication of what it is going to cost the UK. Note it says conditions, not negotiations.

This is a quote from the EU negotiators, so whilst it does describe a political position, it is not the law

1) Lord Kerr (who wrote article 50!) says it is unilaterally revocable
2) Jolyon Maugham QC was planning a legal test to prove it was but timetabling etc meant it was unlikely to resolve anything in time
3) There is also the question of whether notice was properly given under article 50. Art 50 says something about a decision should be made under the constitutional arrangements of the country who wants to leave. The Miller et al. case held that this means, for the UK, that this means a vote in parliament. The '...notification of withdrawal bill' had really vague wording on this, suggesting that it gave the PM the power to *notify the EU of a decision that had already been made*. Yet parliament has never voted on that decision, so perhaps it has not been made. Confusing, but enough to mount a legal challenge and kick the whole thing into the long grass if you wanted to.

So the answer to how you revoke article 50, is you apply all of that, start some legal cases, muddy the waters, get an extension, bore the whole EU to death and then agree it would be better if you carried on how you were.

Not expressing an opinion on whether we should, but we certainly could. And if we couldn't revoke, we could certainly spoil article 50.
Pete Pozman - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

The incompetence of Davis Fox and Johnson is the main obstacle to a satisfactory outcome for Brexit. What, for instance, does Fox actually know about international trade? What does Johnson know about diplomacy? A doctor and a journalist. Their block colour approach is just padding without any actual framework. Lord help us. I was given a ruler with the names of all the prime ministers on it, a souvenir from the houses of parliament. All Johnson cares about is getting his name on that ruler.
oldie - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

> The goalposts have moved so far from the original Brexit sales patter it's not true. <

> Nobody is talking about advantages and a golden future, it's now all about damage limitation and getting the best deal we can. <

We are obviously in a situation where many support Brexit, even if it is "hard", but many feel they are being carried helplessly towards an impoverished future. As the results of Brexit, good or bad, become more apparent a second referendum should be held....if the result was the same then perhaps more people would accept it. However both main parties are committed to the last result as it was the "voice of the people" and are too frightened to suggest another vote: rather illogical as democracies do have general elections every few years to reflect any changes in public opinion.

MargieB - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to oldie:
If it gets so bad with the current conservative approach I presume soon we could have" no confidence" in the present situation. Does that trigger a general election? Will this be the way a democracy deals with such a crisis? or rather isn't that the advantage of a democracy in the way it can respond to a crisis of this magnitude? So another referendum in effect occurs by virtue of a no confidence position- another democratic mechanism but effectively another referendum reflecting a response to events? I s this how it could work?
Post edited at 09:03
Kevster - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

If we grew some, and offered business a confident and favourable environment, the rest would follow. Might pissed the eu off, but we were never truly their mates anyway.
Tyler - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Kevster:

> If we grew some, and offered business a confident and favourable environment, the rest would follow.

What does that mean, low regulation and low corp tax?

john arran - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:

It means cake, and eating it.
Rob Exile Ward on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

'Brexit Strategy' is the next great oxymoron, like 'Military Intelligence.'
Kevster - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:

I am not an economist, politician, financial sector whizz. So details are a little vague....

But why not offer favourable conditions? We already have a sizable financial sector with a large £s turnover. Keep it and profit from it.
And yes, low corporation tax would be great. Especially as I have a Ltd company. ....
Whatever the solution, we do need to plant our flag with confidence and stick to our commitment. Doing this with politicians involved may be a tough one.
Tyler - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Kevster:

> I am not an economist, politician, financial sector whizz. So details are a little vague....

> But why not offer favourable conditions? We already have a sizable financial sector with a large £s turnover. Keep it and profit from it.

> And yes, low corporation tax would be great. Especially as I have a Ltd company. ....

> Whatever the solution, we do need to plant our flag with confidence and stick to our commitment. Doing this with politicians involved may be a tough one.

So what your saying is you've now idea how we can get out of this mess but you're pretty sure everything will be ok if we do something?
Kevster - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:

I believe that doing something (sensible) with purpose is better than just bumbling along with blind hope. Which path to follow will always have some uncertainty, and many paths will eventually lead to the same destination.
Whatever is happening at the moment, what is being reported and what the situation feels like on the ground may all be mutually exclusive, but I have the impression that whatever is going on needs more committed positive progress or we'll be even worse off.
But you would be right in saying that I have no qualification to make policy with, unqualified as I am, I am one of the voting public and ultimately it'll all be partially my fault one way or another.

elsewhere on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Kevster:
Bumbling along in blind hope seems to be a reasonable summary of how others view us.

https://www.ft.com/content/b57f6e56-a9cd-11e7-93c5-648314d2c72c

German companies operating in the UK should make provisions for a “very hard Brexit” because the British government lacks a clear strategy on leaving the EU, Germany’s largest business lobby has said.



baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to elsewhere:
Doesn't matter what the strategy is, if we have one, as we're not going to get past the 'sufficient progress' stage.
alastairmac - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

There is no Brexit strategy. Just an incompetent Tory party unable to confront the jingoists and British nationalists on the right wing of their party..... and too paralysed by fear to do the right thing and reverse the catastrophic momentum building behind what will be an enormously damaging exit from the EU.
elsewhere on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> Doesn't matter what the strategy is, if we have one, as we're not going to get past the 'sufficient progress' stage.

"if we have one" - rather harsh but realistic
wercat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to alastairmac:

we definitely need "A New Hope" against the Brexit tyranny being foisted on the population dishonestly in their own interests by self seeking politicians of some flavours
summo on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:
> Doesn't matter what the strategy is, if we have one, as we're not going to get past the 'sufficient progress' stage.

Of course. The UK could have planned for a decade and sent a shipping container load of documents to Brussels. The eu would still turn round and bad mouth negotiations. Everything is perfect in eu land, just like in Spain, what catalan vote, all is well, keep the eu ship sailing towards closer ever union no matter what the passengers say.

EDIT 3 dislikes proves my point. oh 4. Nothing to see here, keep moving on. All is well in eu land.
Post edited at 16:18
Trevers - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

But you don't know that at all. As it stands, our negotiations efforts are farcically bad and the EU is completely right to point this out. There's no evidence for your assertion that we could be making a good job of it and the EU would still turn their backs because we're not.

I'm not sure how dislikes on your post prove anything, unless you're suggesting Michel Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker are regular posters on UKC ;)
baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:
I voted leave.
It's the EU refusal to recognise 'significant progress' that is the problem for us and their trump card.
The EU doesn't need to do anything but delay until time runs out.
While this was to be expected of the EU it was the lack of strategy and the capitulation by the UK team that allowed this situation to happen.
You are right that no matter what the UK tried to do the EU was never going to enter into reasonable negotiations, hence them plucking 3 things out of fresh air to begin the negotiations.
Post edited at 16:39
BnB - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Trevers:

Our negotiating position isn't necessarily "bad" as you put it. It's simply not what the EU would prefer to hear. They want a big cheque before they give anything away. And who can blame them? But that doesn't make the UK's objectives, which have been laid out, wrong or ill-conceived.

As Baron points out, the only weakness we've shown was in accepting to negotiate in series rather than in parallel. The lack of progress is almost entirely down to the EU's intransigence, which I agree could be foreseen.

The natural progression is that we will walk away soon and call the EU's bluff. It's the logical approach while there is plenty of time to get talks on track. The German chamber of commerce is getting very jittery and putting the squeeze on Merkel already.
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> You are right that no matter what the UK tried to do the EU was never going to enter into reasonable negotiations, hence them plucking 3 things out of fresh air to begin the negotiations.
>
Has the EU given any clear idea of what they would like the ultimate to deal to look like?

summo on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Trevers:
> But you don't know that at all. As it stands, our negotiations efforts are farcically bad and the EU is completely right to point this out. There's no evidence for your assertion that we could be making a good job of it and the EU would still turn their backs because we're not.

Why would the eu want to make a well prepared exit from a net contributor go well?

They aren't even capable of chastising Poland or hungary.
Post edited at 18:23
Tyler - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:
> I voted leave.

> It's the EU refusal to recognise 'significant progress' that is the problem for us and their trump card.

> The EU doesn't need to do anything but delay until time runs out.

Do you think? They want a trade deal as well don't they?
Post edited at 18:32
summo on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> I voted leave.

Sorry, should have made it clearer that I was agreeing with your post; not going against it.

summo on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:

> Do you think? They want a trade deal as well don't they?

What the eu needs most is money. They have a funding gap in 18months time to bridge. They can either cut their budget (which isn't in their blood), or increase what they demand from remaining nations, at the risk of increasing anti EU sentiment.
Tyler - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

At the expense of a trade deal?
baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:
Likewise.
The joys of internet debate!
baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:
I've come to the conclusion that the EU or whoever is pulling the strings is happy for there to be no deal.
Hence picking three points that were going to take up huge amounts of negotiating time and probably delay any further talks to the point of no deal being done.
Or the UK public demanding a return to the EU.
Or a transition stage to keep the UK in the EU.
There is no ultimate deal as far as the EU is concerned.
I think.
summo on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:

> At the expense of a trade deal?

I think so. To ask other nations for more money or show some fiscal prudence isn't likely. They'd prefer to buy some time getting as many billions off the UK as possible.

The eu can't afford to have another nation exiting, it would be the beginning of the end.
baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:

I used to think that economics would ensure a trade deal but now I think the EU is willing to see no deal.
summo on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> I used to think that economics would ensure a trade deal but now I think the EU is willing to see no deal.

Their chief negotiator, has a nice salary, nice expenses, nice pension... what does he care if private businesses in the eu suffer afterwards... he's going to show those brits how tough he can be.
bouldery bits - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

I didn't realise we had a brexit strategy.

Every day's a school day!
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> I've come to the conclusion that the EU or whoever is pulling the strings is happy for there to be no deal.

>
It's rather the conclusion I have reached.
BnB - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

No way. They're just stringing us out and testing our nerve. They badly want a deal. But one they can sell as "bad" for Britain. The more agitated we get in the face of an impending deadline, the easier it becomes to sell the deal within the EU as a victory.
summo on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to BnB:

I have no doubt people like Merkel know that there has to be a show, to please crowds on both sides. Let's just hope the eu commissioners are not taking it a little too personally. Victory at all costs etc..
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to BnB:

> No way. They're just stringing us out and testing our nerve. They badly want a deal. But one they can sell as "bad" for Britain. The more agitated we get in the face of an impending deadline, the easier it becomes to sell the deal within the EU as a victory.

Well, I hope you are right. But what sort of deal do you think they want?
MG - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

So all those patronising pre-referendum claims about how desperate the EU would be to trade with us and how this gave us huge power were, err, yet more bull shit, as repeatedly pointed out by remainers. Thanks for the further reminder of what clueless delusional selfish xenophobic morons brexiteers are.
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to MG:

> So all those patronising pre-referendum claims about how desperate the EU would be to trade with us and how this gave us huge power were, err, yet more bull shit, as repeatedly pointed out by remainers. Thanks for the further reminder of what clueless delusional selfish xenophobic morons brexiteers are.

I don't think I ever made any such grandiose claims but obviously the foolishness of the EU has surprised even me.
Your britophobia is distorting your brain.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

Why foolish?
baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to MG:

All 17 million of us?
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Why foolish?

Cutting off their nose to spite their face. There's a sensible deal to be done which works economically for both sides and doesn't undermine the EU but it appears they don't want to do that.
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> All 17 million of us?

Yes, because the only reason all 17 million people voted to leave is because they hate "shifty foreigners".
baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

Bastard!
You've seen right through me!
And the other 16 million +
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:
> Bastard!

> You've seen right through me!

> And the other 16 million +

I can't claim to be so insightful. The credit goes to MG......

Edit: it's apparently not just because they are "shifty foreigners" but "nasty, shifty, foreigners"
Post edited at 20:37
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

is there?

perhaps. but the EU will have its red lines, and ensuring that the 27 do not lose out financially during the divorce settlement appears to be one of them. as does ensuring rights of citizens post brexit.

we appear to have assumed that they were bluffing when they said this, and continue to bleed time away when its obvious that the 27 would prefer to see no deal than compromise to the extent we want.

is it foolish for them to take that line? these seem to me matters of priorities and values. they've decided what theirs' are, and what they are willing to see go by the way to achieve them. we might consider that foolish, but that will be cold comfort on 1st april 2019.
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> is there?

> perhaps. but the EU will have its red lines, and ensuring that the 27 do not lose out financially during the divorce settlement appears to be one of them. as does ensuring rights of citizens post brexit.

> we appear to have assumed that they were bluffing when they said this, and continue to bleed time away when its obvious that the 27 would prefer to see no deal than compromise to the extent we want.

> is it foolish for them to take that line?
>
They could easily hold those red lines but discuss or at least indicate what it is they envisage on other issues or the final deal. That's how negotiations work.

MG - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:
You all tick at least one box, yes.
baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to MG:

I suppose if you put enough insults in a sentence you'll find most people tick at least one box.
MG - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Your britophobia is distorting your brain.

Am I an enemy of the people? You just get more and more pathetic.
MG - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

I'll retract morons, the rest are just descriptions, not insults.
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to MG:

> I'll retract morons, the rest are just descriptions, not insults.

Of course, your logic is perfect, as long as you refuse to listen to any other explanations. Perhaps your pedestal is so high you can hear what people are telling you?
andyfallsoff - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> They could easily hold those red lines but discuss or at least indicate what it is they envisage on other issues or the final deal. That's how negotiations work.

Sorry, why is it for the EU to decide what we want the final deal to look like? We're the ones leaving - isn't it for us to say what we want instead?
baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:

It's pretty hard to tell them when they won't let us past the first stage.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:
they've decided that for them, these issues as of sufficient importance that there is no point discussing other matters until they have been dealt with. many negotiations have preconditions that have to be satisfied.

since we have been so unwilling to put specific proposals on the table in the areas identified- and i think its for us to come up with the proposals, we're leaving them- i can't imagine why they would want to engage in discussions about what they consider are 'downstream' issues. i think the british performance so far will leave them feeling vindicated in the stance they took.

it does indicate where the power balance in the negotiation lies though.
Post edited at 20:58
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:

> Sorry, why is it for the EU to decide what we want the final deal to look like? We're the ones leaving - isn't it for us to say what we want instead?

No, both parties are in a new relationship. Both parties should indicate how they want it to work. I note, incidentally that you conflated the terms "decide" and "say". Both should "say" and then both should "decide" on a compromise.
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> they've decided that for them, these issues as of sufficient importance that there is no point discussing other matters until they have been dealt with. many negotiations have preconditions that have to be satisfied.

> since we have been so unwilling to put specific proposals on the table in the areas identified- and i think its for us to come up with the proposals, we're leaving them- i can't imagine why they would want to engage in discussions about what they consider are 'downstream' issues.
>
We have obviously put suggestions to them and they have simply batted them back. That is not a negotiation, unless, as BnB suggests, they have a plan B.

You know as well as I do that if the UK agrees to their financial demands then it's game over.
Post edited at 21:05
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

its seemed to me that we have made as few suggestions as possible, as vaguely as possible.

and why would it be game over? not to agree to all the demands, but to get a bit closer to them than they are just now?
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> its seemed to me that we have made as few suggestions as possible, as vaguely as possible.

> and why would it be game over? not to agree to all the demands, but to get a bit closer to them than they are just now?

We've sent them boatloads of suggestions for discussion and compromise. If we sent them hard demands we would no doubt be accused of "demanding" the unreasonable.

Because it's our strongest card.

It might have made more sense to have sketched out a deal and then have negotiated the price for it as opposed to demanding the money without us even knowing what the product is.
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to MG:
> Am I an enemy of the people? You just get more and more pathetic.

I'm simply adopting your weird logic. If you don't believe the logic then don't use it.

You told gridnorth that regarding the EU leadership as "unaccountable and unelected" and that their proposals included an element of "punishment" was by definition "xenophobia"

It's therefore obviously logical therefore to describe equivalent claims about the UK leadership as another form of xenophobia.

Equally obviously your premise is bollocks.
Post edited at 21:33
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> We've sent them boatloads of suggestions for discussion and compromise. If we sent them hard demands we would no doubt be accused of "demanding" the unreasonable.

that's a matter of opinion.

> Because it's our strongest card.

well, maybe. but it doesn't seem to be working for us. we can stick to this card and hope for the best, but it strikes me that the 27 mean it when they say that satisfactory progress must be made. and as its clear that they get to decide when that is made, then i think we might as well have a look at some of the other cards in our hand and hope they are better.

> It might have made more sense to have sketched out a deal and then have negotiated the price for it as opposed to demanding the money without us even knowing what the product is.

but its not money for a product; its settling accounts. they've decided that's important to them. we're not going to win this bit; but its a one off and what matters more to us in the ongoing position after march 19. if we do want a deal, i think we need to move to the bit where we talk about it sooner than later
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> but its not money for a product; its settling accounts. they've decided that's important to them. we're not going to win this bit; but its a one off and what matters more to us in the ongoing position after march 19. if we do want a deal, i think we need to move to the bit where we talk about it sooner than later
>
That is their claim. We presented them with a detailed analysis which destroyed the basis for much of their claim. So although, as we have openly acknowledged, there are legally required accounts to be settled, the extent of these is a matter for debate, as is the artificially inflated sum lumped on top.
Post edited at 21:33
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

but our 'artificially inflated' is their 'fair contribution based on commitments given'. and if we've made a viable proposal for the NI border, i've missed it.

and we might think that we've destroyed the basis for much of their claim, but we would do, wouldn't we...?

to me its just reinforcing where the power balance lies. we can rage against that, or stubbornly stick to our position, and wait for them to cave in; but it just looks like we're wasting time at present. i guess we will find out if no deal really is better than a bad deal.
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Well you appear to be coming around to baron and my way of thinking: that either we accept the EU's terms without even knowing what they are, or play for time whilst preparing for WTO rules.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

no, i dont think that's a fair summary.

they've said 60-100bn; we've offered 20bn. get closer to their position and there may be some room for discussion. i can't seem them holding out for the last billion, so we can make it harder for them to refuse to deal than we are at present. there will be pressure to deal, but we're making it too easy to resist at present.

i think its the NI border issue thats the real problem tbh. that's gordian knot stuff.
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> no, i dont think that's a fair summary.

> they've said 60-100bn; we've offered 20bn. get closer to their position and there may be some room for discussion. i can't seem them holding out for the last billion, so we can make it harder for them to refuse to deal than we are at present. there will be pressure to deal, but we're making it too easy to resist at present.

>
We've explained in detail why their 60-100bn has no legal basis. We have said £20bn (not officially, I acknowledge). The ball is in their court. If you are buying a house that you believe is worth £200k but the vendor wants £1mn would you just say, "OK, let's say £500k"?No, you'd explain why valuation didn't make sense and wait for them to come up with a more realistic price as the basis for a negotiation.
I assume both sides genuinely want a resolution to the Irish question but that is partly concomitant on the trade and movement of people issues. It might make more sense therefore to sort them out in parallel.
Post edited at 22:11
baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
The EU picked the three most contentious issues to begin the first round of negotiations.
They know that the government can't pay them all of the money that they seem to want.
They know that the government can't agree to the ECJ having jurisdiction over EU migrants in the UK.
And for what other reason than wanting to drag out negotiations did they choose the Irish border to discuss?
None of these are going to lead to 'sufficient progress ' except maybe the Irish border.
So no progress equals no trade talks.
A cunning plan and one the UK should have seen coming.
Time to plan for the hard Brexit which was probably the only real choice in the first place.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:
well, yes; and they've rejected our analysis and said that our proposed amount is insufficient. just telling them that they are wrong (in our opinion) isn't proving a particularly effective strategy. and the ball is in our court; we're leaving them. its up to us to make a better offer.

or not. its fair enough for us to decide the price is too high and walk away. but if we do, blaming it on malevolent intransigence from the 27 will just be sour grapes. we'll have gone into a negotiation as the weaker party and expected the other side to move much further, and against its own interests, than we are prepared to move. if we really want a positive outcome, then we're going to have to give ground whether we think that's justified or not.

NI- so we haven't made any serious proposals then. once more, we can say that the world should be different from what it actually is, but its not, and the longer we pretend to ourselves that if we hold out a bit longer they'll cave in, the less time we'll have to sort out a deal when we finally do.
Post edited at 22:34
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> The EU picked the three most contentious issues to begin the first round of negotiations.

> They know that the government can't pay them all of the money that they seem to want.

of course it can. it doesnt want to for political reasons- that's not the same thing

> They know that the government can't agree to the ECJ having jurisdiction over EU migrants in the UK.

of course it can. it doesnt want to for political reasons- thats not the same thing

> And for what other reason than wanting to drag out negotiations did they choose the Irish border to discuss?

> None of these are going to lead to 'sufficient progress ' except maybe the Irish border.

i think the contrary; i can't see any way this is made to work.

> So no progress equals no trade talks.

> A cunning plan and one the UK should have seen coming.

> Time to plan for the hard Brexit which was probably the only real choice in the first place.

or to accept our position as the weaker partner and in no position to dictate terms. a deal for the next generation is worth more than a one off payment of another ? 30 bn. if we were to offer 50bn, and they refused to progress for the want of another 10bn, i think the unity of the 27 would start to come under real pressure. of course, that means the current tory leadership losing face and getting roasted by the press; but that's what leadership is meant to be about.

would that we had this.

Shani - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> The EU picked the three most contentious issues to begin the first round of negotiations.

> They know that the government can't pay them all of the money that they seem to want.

Yet Leave was premised on the EU bill. £350m a week.

> They know that the government can't agree to the ECJ having jurisdiction over EU migrants in the UK.

> And for what other reason than wanting to drag out negotiations did they choose the Irish border to discuss?

Your ignorance on this matter is astonishing. It's one of the most sensitive borders in the World. Policing it is fraught. It's not the EU's job to solve a problem WE have created.

> None of these are going to lead to 'sufficient progress ' except maybe the Irish border.

> So no progress equals no trade talks.

> A cunning plan and one the UK should have seen coming.

It's as if we had no plan from the outset....

> Time to plan for the hard Brexit which was probably the only real choice in the first place.

Great work. Its all the EU's fault. Brilliant. Not sure which rational politicians were ever in to hard Brexit.
Postmanpat on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> well, yes; and they've rejected our analysis and said that our proposed amount is insufficient. just telling them that they are wrong (in our opinion) isn't proving a particularly effective strategy. and the ball is in our court; we're leaving them. its up to us to make a better offer.

>
We have indicated why we disagree with their analysis and roughly where we are. We haven't walked away. We await their counter-offer and justification for it.

> NI- so we haven't made any serious proposals then. once more, we can say that the world should be different from what it actually is, but its not, and the longer we pretend to ourselves that if we hold out a bit longer they'll cave in, the less time we'll have to sort out a deal when we finally do.
>
Which is why we have to prepare for Plan B.

Incidentally, I'm not pretending our negotiators are doing everything right. Far from it. But I don't see the EU trying to get a sensible deal. I see them thinking that any sign of compromise is a sign of weakness and will undermine the EU itself. ie.cutting off their nose to spite their face.

baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
Politically no government can agree to what the EU wants.
That's the point of the EU position, no agreement and no trade deal.
We can concede every point but there'll just be another set of hurdles to overcome.
We're wasting valuable time in pointless negotiations while the EU knows we're leaving and is getting on with their business.
Timmd on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> Can they, the 27, make the UK leave?

> Or is the triggering of Article 50 it, the end, goodbye?

Technically, article 50 doesn't have to be followed through with once triggered. There's a clause in it allowing this to be the case.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> We have indicated why we disagree with their analysis and roughly where we are. We haven't walked away. We await their counter-offer and justification for it.

we'll be waiting a while then. we're leaving them- its pretty clear they expect us to be making the offers and coming up with the proposals. fair enough, to my mind

> Which is why we have to prepare for Plan B.

> Incidentally, I'm not pretending our negotiators are doing everything right. Far from it. But I don't see the EU trying to get a sensible deal. I see them thinking that any sign of compromise is a sign of weakness and will undermine the EU itself. ie.cutting off their nose to spite their face.

well, you see that, but that doesn't make it what's happening- other perspectives are available. it looks to me that they have decided what a bad deal would be, in their terms, and that they have decided that no deal is preferable to a bad deal. now where have i heard that before?

Sir Chasm - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:

It was always going to be someone else's fault if brexit didn't go according to (a non-existant) plan https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/brexit/2016/08/top-10-reasons-brexit-isnt-working-according-br...
But it's great really, think of all the plus points.
baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:
Why would we leave the EU just to pay them shed loads of money?
I'll back my practical experience of how sensitive the Irish border is against yours any day.
I didn't blame the EU for the present situation, their negotiating position suits their agenda perfectly.
We've tied ourselves in knots trying to figure out what they want when we should have been concerned with our needs. That's the UK's fault.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:
> Politically no government can agree to what the EU wants.

of course it can. just saying something on here doesn't make it a truth about the world.... yes, it would be damaging, but this is largely because there has been absolutely no expectation management to this point. the public has been told repeatedly that we'll get everything we ask for and have to concede nothing- 'we'll have our cake and eat it'. turning round now and saying that thats not the case would be damaging; but since T May is toast anyway, she can do it, and then her successor can blame her and claim a fait accompli.

> That's the point of the EU position, no agreement and no trade deal.

> We can concede every point but there'll just be another set of hurdles to overcome.

you are making things up to justify your position. the EU27 position has been entirely consistent, no moving of goalposts. its just we've gone to a poker match with a hand with two 4s and are behaving like we've got a royal flush. if we connect with the reality of the relative power balance, and make a serious offer- not everything, but a lot more than now- then that puts the pressure on the 27. they are not a monolithic bloc, there are competing desires and pressures, lets make it hard for them to keep a line together. the sort of time-waster offer we've made so far is just gifting the initiative to them

> We're wasting valuable time in pointless negotiations while the EU knows we're leaving and is getting on with their business.

well, we certainly are wasting time at present, and will continue to do so until we start making credible offers. if we actually did that, then things would get very interesting.
Post edited at 23:28
baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
You seem to have forgotten that 17 million voted to leave.
Any political party that ignores that will find itself out of power for a long time.
That's not me making things up.
The 27 , especially those who benefit most from the UK, will weaken when they realise how our leaving without a dealwill affect them not when we agree to whatever they want.

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:
> You seem to have forgotten that 17 million voted to leave.

> Any political party that ignores that will find itself out of power for a long time.

> That's not me making things up.

of course i haven't.

but there was nothing on the ballot paper about leaving and then refusing to honour our obligations.

of course, we are free to dispute these, or even walk away from commitments that our partners think we made, that's our choice. but its then their choice not to deal further with us. thats not them being unreasonably obstructive-

> The 27 , especially those who benefit most from the UK, will weaken when they realise how our leaving without a dealwill affect them not when we agree to whatever they want.

once again you are misjudging

a/ the relative power balance between the two sides- a hard brexit hurt the EU, but not as much as it will hurt us

b/ the political will on the EU side to make sure that those leaving the club don't get the same benefits as members of the club.

of course, you can complain that that's not fair, and that their 'cutting off their noses to spite their faces', as pat did. but that's seen from our perspective, the weights and importances they have set on different parts of the equation are different and unsurprisingly they will come up with different priorities. they are allowed to do that; and we can't say they didn't tell us, theyve been holding that position from day 1.

edit- and what is it with the straw men- "when we agree with everything they want"- i've explicitly said that that should not be our position, so its an irrelevant line of argument to run. we should not give them everything they want- but we should make a serious offer, close enough to it to drive a wedge into any fault lines that may exist there. at present, the only wedges we are driving are into our own foot.
Post edited at 23:26
baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I think the EU is far more concerned with holding the union together than with the effects of Brexit on either the UK or itself.
This is an understandable position for them to take.
Each of the 27 countries will have to calculate the effects in their countries and decide whether to tie the party line or break ranks.
Meanwhile the UK needs to pay what it owes - I'm sure we can work that out ours - and move on.
As in concentrate on a no deal plan.
By all means go through the motions of pretending to negotiate with the EU but prepare for WTO.
We've moved on from the blame game and need to look towards making Brexit work.
Usually you'd want your major trading partners to share this vision but they've got one of their own to pursue.
baron - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
'Everything they want' accurately describes the EU position.
They, understandably, have stated that their four freedoms are non negotiable and so they can't back down, nor should they.
Unfortunately some of these freedoms are not compatible with the idea of leaving the EU.
So we should in theory have a stand off where negotiations lead to a compromise and both sides get some of what they want.
This isn't what happens when one side doesn't want a compromise.
Again it's not a blame game, just where events have led us.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

You’re still blaming other people for not seeing the world the same way that you do. Yes, they have calculated that a hard brexit is not the worst case scenario; that would be giving us our cake and letting us eat it. They will be prepared to take a financial hit to avoid the worse option, but would still prefer a deal that allows both sides to salvage something.

Given that they’ve been saying pretty much that from the start, and that we are the ones sitting on the ticking clock, it is inexplicable that our negotiation strategy appears to be ignoring it.

But then our negotiation strategy seems to have taken the same philosophy as yours- ‘tell them what they’re getting and that’s that.’ That’s not really how negotiating works....

Yes, we do need to prepare for WTO; but it needn’t have been so, had our negotiators not been more concerned with looking bad on the front page of the newspapers than on making the sort of offer that would have really tested EU unity.

And as for the blame game- it hasn’t even started; and if WTO is half as bad as most predictions suggest, it’s going to get very nasty indeed.
baron - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
I can't see where you think I'm blaming the EU for the present position.
They've taken an understandable stance and are sticking to it.
The UK, as I've said previously, has allowed itself to be caught in a difficult position which it should have been able to avoid. That's me blaming the UK.
But the fact remains that the EU wants what no UK government can realistically deliver.
That's not me blaming the EU.

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

That’s not what I said though- you’re broadening it out, we were just talking about the preconditions. Two should be perfectly straightforward, though not politically for a Tory party that has told people that they won’t budge an inch: make a serious offer, below the 60bn but close enough to peel off the waverers; and set up a new court, with input from uk and eu judges to deal with citizens rights.

As to the other stuff- there are off the shelf models (Norway etc) we could use, or negotiate a bespoke deal- the only thing the eu will insist is that it needs to be a bit worse than what we’ve got at present. A clever strategy would be to aim for something that is just worse enough to satisfy the need to say, look they’re worse off, but close enough to the current position to disrupt trade as little as possible

All this would be possible if only the tories dropped their delusional cake and eat it nonsense.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> I can't see where you think I'm blaming the EU for the present position.

> They've taken an understandable stance and are sticking to it.

> The UK, as I've said previously, has allowed itself to be caught in a difficult position which it should have been able to avoid. That's me blaming the UK.

> But the fact remains that the EU wants what no UK government can realistically deliver.

> That's not me blaming the EU.

Ok, I see what you’re saying

But it’s only undeliverable because of the approach uk politicians have taken in talking about it to us. There is a tolerable deal can be done, see my post above

And I don’t think it *is* undeliverable- may is in the perfect position to do it now, unless she actually believes that nonsense about going on to the next election. She is not going to be brought down by her party, because the risk of a Corbyn win in the subsequent election is too high. If she’s going after brexit anyway, then she can take the flack for delivering a good one. It’s her only chance of history redeeming her otherwise catastrophic premiership.
baron - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Jeez you type quickly!
What you describe isn't really leaving the EU.
It's the worst nightmare for leavers.
The negotiations are going nowhere and that suits the EU. Not to be confused with individual countries who have their own agendas.
While the conservative government is overseeing this fiasco there's little hope a Labour government would be able to do anything different.
I still maintain that the EU has played a blinder and completely outfoxed the UK by setting the agenda for negotiations and getting the UK to agree to said agenda.
How that plays out for the individual countries concerned we shall see.
jkarran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Incidentally, I'm not pretending our negotiators are doing everything right. Far from it. But I don't see the EU trying to get a sensible deal. I see them thinking that any sign of compromise is a sign of weakness and will undermine the EU itself. ie.cutting off their nose to spite their face.

It's not cutting off the nose to spite the face from a European perspective. It's protecting the more precious of the things they stand to lose, unity (or Britain's economic connection). Makes sense really without that connection they stand to gain much of our economic activity anyway in time.

If only people had warned of this before the vote.

When does bexit stop making me poorer?
jk
Postmanpat on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> It's not cutting off the nose to spite the face from a European perspective. It's protecting the more precious of the things they stand to lose, unity (or Britain's economic connection). Makes sense really without that connection they stand to gain much of our economic activity anyway in time.

>
Do you believe that being prepared to negotiate a compromise is going to put EU unity at risk? There is a reasonable case to make that, on the contrary, it would be a sign of their underlying strength. They can, if they so wish, have their cake and eat much of it as well but they appear to have chosen not to.

jkarran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:
> They know that the government can't pay them all of the money that they seem to want

Do they? I bet we do eventually. Expectations have been not only poorly managed but crimianlly inflamed by the leave campaigns lies but when faced with the choice of pissing off the fraction of the 51% who still believe the lies and having their names forever associated with the ruin of a once great nation you're going to be the one who gets let down.

> They know that the government can't agree to the ECJ having jurisdiction over EU migrants in the UK.

Do they? I bet we do eventually.

> And for what other reason than wanting to drag out negotiations did they choose the Irish border to discuss?

Because Ireland as a member of the EU stands to suffer terribly for our choice. Would you seriously prefer and expect the EU favoured the leaving party over the one remaining? Also because our decision if poorly handled could reignite a civil war on the EU's border.

> None of these are going to lead to 'sufficient progress ' except maybe the Irish border.

And how's that going to be resolved, the technology solution is bollocks and basically constitutes a transfer of responsibility (with associated bureaucratic burden and potential for abuse) from customs and excise and the border force to individuals and businesses. Chances are as things stand that NI ends up with a fence around it again if we leave the EU then the people of the island of Ireland have a stark choice to make too early in their ongoing process.

> So no progress equals no trade talks.

Surprise surprise.

> A cunning plan and one the UK should have seen coming.

49% of them did like a huge day-glo wrecking ball.

> Time to plan for the hard Brexit which was probably the only real choice in the first place.

How do you plan for another 20 years of self inflicted stagnation and the erosion of vital services? Leaving with our skills and education for somewhere less backward seems the obvious choice for the young and mobile.
jk
Post edited at 09:12
neilh - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Good question JK. I keep asking Brexiteers the same point.
jkarran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Do you believe that being prepared to negotiate a compromise is going to put EU unity at risk? There is a reasonable case to make that, on the contrary, it would be a sign of their underlying strength. They can, if they so wish, have their cake and eat much of it as well but they appear to have chosen not to.

I don't think your vision of compromise looks much like compromise in Brussels. We'll see how this plays out of course but I don't think you'll be getting any cake.

The infuriating thing is you're blaming them for making a perfectly logical and foreseeable choice, not yourself for voting to allow them to at our expense.
jk
Shani - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> I'll back my practical experience of how sensitive the Irish border is against yours any day.

Which makes me wonder why you'd think that the EU would do anything other than make it both a priority and Britain's responsibility to sort out.
jkarran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> So we should in theory have a stand off where negotiations lead to a compromise and both sides get some of what they want.
> This isn't what happens when one side doesn't want a compromise.

When one side doesn't have to compromise.

> Again it's not a blame game, just where events have led us.

Oh yes it is and it isn't the EU I blame for the hardship we have coming.
jk
Postmanpat on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> I don't think your vision of compromise looks much like compromise in Brussels. We'll see how this plays out of course but I don't think you'll be getting any cake.

> The infuriating thing is you're blaming them for making a perfectly logical and foreseeable choice, not yourself for voting to allow them to at our expense.
>
It's not a logical choice. The logical choice is for them to search co-operatively for a deal that protects their unity (as a priority) but also does as little harm as possible to their economy.
If they real feel that their unity and raison d'etre is so fragile that any sign of compromise is a sign of weakness and puts it at risk then clearly they have a problem.

baron - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

There's no deal good enough to suit the EU except that the UK goes begging to be let back in and is given a worse deal than we had before.
The EU remains intact and a message is sent to any other country thinking of leaving the union.
Brexit isn't on the agenda for many of the 27 remaining countries.
They know that we're leaving and they're moving on.
That's what we need to do and not spend any more time faffing about with a set of negotiations designed to go nowhere.
The Irish border is a problem of the EU's making, you'll have noted that it (the border) existed and functioned before 1973.
Good luck finding a job in many parts of the EU, especially if your young.
baron - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:

There was a border between Ireland and the UK before 1973.
While always a matter of some dispute it functioned perfectly fine.
Any future issue will be at the door of the EU who seem to be insisting on a hard border to protect the EU from whatever.
jkarran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> It's not a logical choice. The logical choice is for them to search co-operatively for a deal that protects their unity (as a priority) but also does as little harm as possible to their economy.

Which is what they're doing but failing to recognise or acknowledge the power and need imbalance across the negotiating table then getting petulant about being in the weaker position achieves little except transparently attempting to shift the blame off those of you who put us in this position onto those who didn't.

> If they real feel that their unity and raison d'etre is so fragile that any sign of compromise is a sign of weakness and puts it at risk then clearly they have a problem.

The problem that if by leaving we get or are seen to get a better deal the union will inevitably crumble with dire consequences? No way, really!
jk
Ridge - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> As to the other stuff- there are off the shelf models (Norway etc) we could use, or negotiate a bespoke deal- the only thing the eu will insist is that it needs to be a bit worse than what we’ve got at present. A clever strategy would be to aim for something that is just worse enough to satisfy the need to say, look they’re worse off, but close enough to the current position to disrupt trade as little as possible.

I'd like to hope that is the case, but I'm not seeing a hint of that from the EU side. It seems very much a case of "Here are our terms, there will be no negotiations, you either accept them or crash out."

I'd like to believe both sides are working towards the deal you describe, but as you say:

> All this would be possible if only the tories dropped their delusional cake and eat it nonsense.

The EU might also have to show a degree of flexibility too.
jkarran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> There's no deal good enough to suit the EU except that the UK goes begging to be let back in and is given a worse deal than we had before.

So given you acknowledge that I'll ask the question, why did you vote to put us in that lose lose position?

> The Irish border is a problem of the EU's making, you'll have noted that it (the border) existed and functioned before 1973.

But the situation is now significantly more complex and time being what it is we can't go back to 1973. You were told this before you voted.

> Good luck finding a job in many parts of the EU, especially if your young.

Thanks. I don't much fancy my chances here in 18 months time either.
jk
baron - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Because it's only a lose position if we seek to rejoin the EU.
The EU made it's position on the teatment of the UK very clear when it declared that if the UK wanted to remain in the EU it would lose its rebate and any other opt outs that we had.
In doing so many people who might have been having second thoughts about leaving probably thought ' sod you, we're off!'
The Irish border is not a major problem, no more than in times past, but one which the politicians are making a big deal out of for their own reasons.
It's not included in the initial negotiations because it's important but because it will delay the talks, exactly what the EU wants.
Shani - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> The Irish border is a problem of the EU's making, you'll have noted that it (the border) existed and functioned before 1973.

The irony of Tory accusations that it is JC that wants to take us back to the1970s! It is the Brexiteers that wish this I see! ;)

> Any future issue will be at the door of the EU who seem to be insisting on a hard border to protect the EU from whatever.

Actually it is the Leave campaign which placed border control at the heart of the Brexit debate.

http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/why_vote_leave.html
Post edited at 09:55
baron - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:

You know full well that we leavers want the UK to return to the 1950's!

GrahamD - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:
The EU doesn't want to 'delay talks'. The remaining members of the EU simply prioritise Brexit far lower down their 'to do list' than we do. If I were French or German I'd see this as entirely sensible behaviour.
baron - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Agreed.
We should adopt the same approach.
Bob Hughes - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> The Irish border is a problem of the EU's making, you'll have noted that it (the border) existed and functioned before 1973.

This completely misses the point. Ireland and the UK joined the EU at the same time so there has never been a time when the rep Ireland / Northern Ireland border was also an EU border. That is what is creating the problem - the Irish common travel area and free movement of goods will straddle an EU border.

Since this raises a question on the integrity of an EU border, it is entirely normal that the EU would want to resolve it first. On the other hand, it will be very difficult, if not impossible to resolve wihtout knowing the future relationship.

summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
> The EU doesn't want to 'delay talks'. The remaining members of the EU simply prioritise Brexit far lower down their 'to do list' than we do. If I were French or German I'd see this as entirely sensible behaviour.

You know they are deliberately kicking the can down the road, when the eu holds talks, to decide when the talks will be.

All these slow half hearted eu gestures won't help it deal with problems that could cause it's demise. Finance, refugees, various problems in the piggs or eastern bloc nations aren't going to fix themselves if you ignore them.
Post edited at 10:14
baron - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:

And that is my point.
How can you resolve a border issue when you don't know the future trading arrangements?
You can't.
So, no 'sufficient progress' and no moving on to trade talks.
The EU plan in all its glory and we walked right into it.
(The EU is well capable of accepting a deal on the border even if it's a typical EU fudge.)
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:


> Since this raises a question on the integrity of an EU border, it is entirely normal that the EU would want to resolve it first. On the other hand, it will be very difficult, if not impossible to resolve wihtout knowing the future relationship.

Could the eu really suggest that the UK/ Ireland border would be weaker and more mismanaged than southern and eastern Europe already is?

MG - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:


> So, no 'sufficient progress' and no moving on to trade talks.

> The EU plan in all its glory and we walked right into it.

No. *You* and all the other brexit voters walked right into it, after willfully, sneeringly ignoring all the warnings raised by those trying desperately to avoid catastrophe. Now that reality is hitting, rather than acknowledging the complete f*ck-up you have cause, you try and run away and blame absolutely everyone but yourselves.
baron - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to MG:

I was refering to the brexit negotiations when I said 'walked right into it' and not brexit itself.
Your allegations of 'running away and blaming everybody else' would seem to be aimed at the wrong person.
jkarran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> Because it's only a lose position if we seek to rejoin the EU.

Which is the lesser loss. You're ignoring the other lose position, the one you appear to be advocating without acknowledging the truly terrible consequences for the UK, the so called 'no deal hard brexit'.

> The EU made it's position on the teatment of the UK very clear when it declared that if the UK wanted to remain in the EU it would lose its rebate and any other opt outs that we had.

This much was obvious to anyone who's head wasn't filled with 350M sovereignty unicorns before it was ever publicly expressed. We don't get to have a little go at this, fail and go back to how things were or as some naively imagined be welcomed back with open arms on new 'better' terms. Your vote has already done significant harm but we have a choice still as to how much more it will do.

> In doing so many people who might have been having second thoughts about leaving probably thought ' sod you, we're off!'

To what? You can't eat petulance.

> The Irish border is not a major problem, no more than in times past, but one which the politicians are making a big deal out of for their own reasons.

Sorry to be blunt but if you believe that you simply haven't understood the issues.
jk
Bob Hughes - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> Could the eu really suggest that the UK/ Ireland border would be weaker and more mismanaged than southern and eastern Europe already is?

That's beside the point. They're hardly going to open up a gift to smugglers of people and things just because, well, it can't be as bad as Greece.

And the question isn't one of mismanagement - it is a question of creating a structure (legally and in terms of infrastructure) where it is even possible to manage it well. If there are no border checks, then no amount of good management will be able to control migration and smuggling.
Bob Hughes - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> And that is my point.

It looked like you were making a different point.

> How can you resolve a border issue when you don't know the future trading arrangements?

> You can't.

We had our chance to argue it but conceded the point on day 2.

> So, no 'sufficient progress' and no moving on to trade talks.
> The EU plan in all its glory and we walked right into it.

I think it is all theatre. They created a deadline of the October summit precisely so they could miss it. I think that something will start moving befoore the end of the year even if it is informal talks. This will allow Michel Barnier to go back to the EU 27 having shown that he applied sufficient pressure on the UK and that whatver deal is on the table is the best deal available.

> (The EU is well capable of accepting a deal on the border even if it's a typical EU fudge.)

Unfortunately i don't think this is an area that will fudge very well. Budget issues can always be fudged by playing with payment scheduyles, reclassifying funds etc. But whatever is agreed on the Irish border will have real-world implications that lie on a continuum from full-scale border checkpoints at one extreme and letting in smugglers and immigrants at the other.

Timmd on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:
> Could the eu really suggest that the UK/ Ireland border would be weaker and more mismanaged than southern and eastern Europe already is?

I know you're not a fan of the EU, but there's being mismanaged by design, and mismanaged due to crapness. I'm thinking that nobody would set out to similarly mismanage something like the Irish border, given the social and political implications.

Looking at southern and eastern Europe, and then seeing any lack of progress in Brexit negotiations because of the Irish border as some kind of double standard or hypocrisy, risks being less than clear sighted perhaps.
Post edited at 12:04
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Timmd:

Or distraction techniques by the eu? Oh look at the 'potential' Irish border problem... Meanwhile half the eastern block nations are building massive razor wire fences, watch towers, soldiers patrolling.... or the bribe to Turkey that went well didn't it?

The only comparable border I know of is Sweden/ Norway. It's pretty much problem free for freight, totally hassle free for people travelling. But it was only implemented once their trade agreement was done, not the opposite way around.
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:

Smuggling? Smuggling into the eu via Ireland, from the UK? How, what, why?
Timmd on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:
> Or distraction techniques by the eu? Oh look at the 'potential' Irish border problem... Meanwhile half the eastern block nations are building massive razor wire fences, watch towers, soldiers patrolling....

I get that you don't like the EU, and 'would say that' - perhaps, but surely you can see how something like that risks undermining the current openness in Ireland?

> or the bribe to Turkey that went well didn't it?

I'm not sure how closely Ireland and Turkey can be compared?

> The only comparable border I know of is Sweden/ Norway. It's pretty much problem free for freight, totally hassle free for people travelling. But it was only implemented once their trade agreement was done, not the opposite way around.

I see.

Edit: How is it comparable?
Post edited at 12:25
Sir Chasm - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> Or distraction techniques by the eu? Oh look at the 'potential' Irish border problem... Meanwhile half the eastern block nations are building massive razor wire fences, watch towers, soldiers patrolling.... or the bribe to Turkey that went well didn't it?

And how does that rant help our negotiating position?

> The only comparable border I know of is Sweden/ Norway. It's pretty much problem free for freight, totally hassle free for people travelling. But it was only implemented once their trade agreement was done, not the opposite way around.

It's not comparable, Norway and Sweden are both in the Schengen area and the UK and Ireland are not.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> The only comparable border I know of is Sweden/ Norway. It's pretty much problem free for freight, totally hassle free for people travelling. But it was only implemented once their trade agreement was done, not the opposite way around.

there are border controls between norway and sweden, with goods subject to scrutiny. the lorry drivers were complaining about how long it took, even on the lightly used rural route the report was filed from, and the border officials interviewed were skeptical that what they were doing was scale-able to the volumes of traffic that the NI/Eire border would handle; they certainly said that given lead-in times to implementation, the work to put it in place should have already started some time ago to have any chance of being ready in time.

Timmd on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:
It's quite depressing, how the Brexit people on here can seem to (often) post things which aren't factually true when they're being critical of the EU.
Post edited at 12:29
Ridge - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> Smuggling? Smuggling into the eu via Ireland, from the UK? How, what, why?

Hundreds of thousands of refugees flooding into the EU via the UK/Irish border apparently.
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> It's not comparable, Norway and Sweden are both in the Schengen area and the UK and Ireland are not.

Exactly. They are both secure countries. So they already have a relatively controlled border compared to mainland Europe so why the concern?
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> there are border controls between norway and sweden, with goods subject to scrutiny. the lorry drivers were complaining about how long it took, even on the lightly used rural route the report was filed from, and the border officials interviewed were skeptical that what they were doing was scale-able to the volumes of traffic that the NI/Eire border would handle; they certainly said that given lead-in times to implementation, the work to put it in place should have already started some time ago to have any chance of being ready in time.

Delays are actually minimal, trucks spend more time waiting at Dover or for the tunnel, than they do at the agreed Norwegian freight crossings. Freight is only allowed to cross at certain places.
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Ridge:

> Hundreds of thousands of refugees flooding into the EU via the UK/Irish border apparently.

Given that neither are or were in the schengen, it's a fictious problem?
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

so i can choose to believe:

the norwegian lorry driver who was being interviewed while actually in the process of crossing the norwegian/swedish border

or summo....

its not really relevant though; the point is that there is no border control now, and the parties in Eire + NI regard a solution where they return as unacceptable. Even taking your opinion on the Norway/Sweden border at face value, there is a border in place, marked by border controls, with staff enforcing them.

Someone is going to be disappointed, and the history of people being disappointed in Ulster is not great.
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> the norwegian lorry driver who was being interviewed while actually in the process of crossing the norwegian/swedish border

I've seen the same programme.

> its not really relevant though; the point is that there is no border control now, and the parties in Eire + NI regard a solution where they return as unacceptable. Even taking your opinion on the Norway/Sweden border at face value, there is a border in place, marked by border controls, with staff enforcing them.

I cross the Norwegian border many times a year. For people it's as noticeable as driving from England to Scotland.

jkarran - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:
> Or distraction techniques by the eu? Oh look at the 'potential' Irish border problem...

Bollocks.

> The only comparable border I know of is Sweden/ Norway. It's pretty much problem free for freight, totally hassle free for people travelling. But it was only implemented once their trade agreement was done, not the opposite way around.

You mean it was only changed once the deal was done, changed from an EU border to a slightly different EU border, not from what is essentially no-border to an EU border?
jk
Post edited at 13:09
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:
well, you'll be aware of the concerns that the people interviewed raised then- that the process was not that bad as border crossings around the world go, but that delays could form, and that was on a relatively quiet border. you'll also be aware of the official's view that we were going to have to go some to get the infrastructure in place to copy what they do, and his doubts over whether it would cope with the much higher volumes of freight that would be involved

interesting your point about non-freight; but i still find it hard to see how that can be squared with 'controlling our borders'. if you are an EU27 national who can't get in at dover because of the controls in place there, you just hop on a plane to dublin, take a bus to belfast, then jump on the ferry to cairnryan. you're then on mainland UK, and haven't had to pass through any immigration checks.

add to the likelihood of there being tariffed goods to cross the border- i presume even for personal consumption if we are outside the customs union with no deal?- and i'm not sure how that is managed if you can just drive across without any review.

perhaps there is a way; but give that we're 6 months in and no one has come up with it yet, then i'm guessing its not going to be that easy to find it.
Post edited at 13:13
Sir Chasm - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> Exactly. They are both secure countries. So they already have a relatively controlled border compared to mainland Europe so why the concern?

Exactly what? Schengen didn't exist when Norway entered a trade agreement with the EU.
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I'm sure a sound plan for the border could be developed, if the trade and movement agreements were negotiated in parallel. They are so interlinked it's impossible to develop them separately.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

well, the EU27 aren't; and we accepted that...

so no point crying over spilled milk, we agreed to the rules so if we want to win the game we'll just have to get on and play by them.
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Norway during decide what kind of border it wanted, then went to the eu to find a trade deal. The border arrangement came after they know the trade agreement.

How can any country plan how it will control it's border, without first knowing the details of freight and the people crossing it?
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> well, the EU27 aren't; and we accepted that...

> so no point crying over spilled milk, we agreed to the rules so if we want to win the game we'll just have to get on and play by them.

I think the UK has got itself in a position now, where it's better to call their bluff and prepare to walk away. The eu needs the uk's money on departure; more than an Irish border deal. The Irish border will suddenly become less important to it.
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Exactly what? Schengen didn't exist when Norway entered a trade agreement with the EU.

Exactly. The border set up, was designed around the trade agreement.
baron - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

Give it up mate.
Every time you come up with an idea they'll find something negative to throw back at you.
There's no constructive debate to be had here.
A bit like the brexit negotiations.
Sir Chasm - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> Exactly. The border set up, was designed around the trade agreement.

Exactly. All they had to do was agree to the free movement of goods, capital, services and people. Hang on a minute, I've got an idea!
Bob Hughes - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> Smuggling? Smuggling into the eu via Ireland, from the UK? How, what, why?

Exactly. Imagine import tariffs for T-shirts from China to the EU are 15% but to the UK are 0%. There is good business to be had importing T-shirts to Northern Ireland hopping them across the border and selling them at a 10% mark-up.
neilh - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

Not sure the Irish agree!
Malarkey on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

I don't know about constructive. But Norway border is only relevant if we choose to be in the single market like Norway and have free movement of people and goods.

Otherwise we have an Irish border. Thats your cake. Eat it.
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:
> Exactly. Imagine import tariffs for T-shirts from China to the EU are 15% but to the UK are 0%. There is good business to be had importing T-shirts to Northern Ireland hopping them across the border and selling them at a 10% mark-up.

There are significant price differences between many goods across the no/se border. It still works.

A quite a bit of tech in place on the freight crossings, xraying and the like. Even the unmanned snowy back roads through the hills have cameras(able, video etc) on them back to control room. The average tourist is oblivious to them of course.

The border across the channel is hardly simple, smooth or elegant. I'm sure a fresh look at the whole approach could make an Irish/ UK border smoother by comparison.
Post edited at 13:50
Malarkey on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:

Exactly. Leavers keep talking about "taking back control"... but seem to think that the EU should agree to a non-border with a 3rd country. Effectively losing control of their borders.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> I think the UK has got itself in a position now, where it's better to call their bluff and prepare to walk away. The eu needs the uk's money on departure; more than an Irish border deal. The Irish border will suddenly become less important to it.

yes, you may be right, as to the first bit anyway. i think we've handled the process badly, and have had the wrong strategy from the outset. we should have accepted that we were going to have to make substantial contributions financially (note- this is not the same as saying we should give them 'everything they want'), and done so quickly and with minimal game playing. we'd have then brought a reservoir of goodwill to the second phase, and have had more time to work through it. but we didn't and we are where we are, so some sort of brinkmanship may be the only way in the end.

the only trouble with that is that whatever hurts them is going to hurt us more; and they know that; and the people in charge of the EU27 side really do seem to be prepared to put the principle of 'nothing that compromises the future intergrity of the union' ahead of financial considerations, so even the 'nuclear option' may have limited traction, and could just deepen animosity and further sour dealings in whatever relationship follows.

all of which was entirely forseeable, since its just what they've been telling us since the start.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> Give it up mate.

> Every time you come up with an idea they'll find something negative to throw back at you.

> There's no constructive debate to be had here.

> A bit like the brexit negotiations.

so what is debate in baron land? where you say something, and everyone agrees with you?

as is often the case with people who complain about debates, perhaps your arguments are less convincing than you think they are....
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Malarkey:

> I don't know about constructive. But Norway border is only relevant if we choose to be in the single market like Norway and have free movement of people and goods.

Not quite.

Trade with Norway excludes all food and drink. Because it is subsidised in the EU (cap).

summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Malarkey:

> Exactly. Leavers keep talking about "taking back control"... but seem to think that the EU should agree to a non-border with a 3rd country. Effectively losing control of their borders.

Because other eu borders are amazingly secure. It's not as if a million people have travelled unhindered from war zones across europe, passing many borders and then announced their arrival in germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway.. .
Ramblin dave - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> Not quite.

> Trade with Norway excludes all food and drink. Because it is subsidised in the EU (cap).

I'm good with that. I mean, given we were confidently assured by the leave campaign (who wouldn't lie to us, would they?) that our farmers would continue to be subsidised to the same degree that they were inside the EU you'd think we might as well have free trade in food and drink as well, but I'd be okay with free movement of all other goods, services and people and an open border with Ireland.

Do you want to sell that proposal to the Brexiteers or shall I?
summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> I'm good with that. I mean, given we were confidently assured by the leave campaign (who wouldn't lie to us, would they?) that our farmers would continue to be subsidised to the same degree that they were inside the EU you'd think we might as well have free trade in food and drink as well, but I'd be okay with free movement of all other goods, services and people and an open border with Ireland.

My point was the open border with Norway, isn't strictly open. There are restrictions on some goods.

Norwegian farmers are subsidised by their own scheme, at taxpayers expense of course.

> Do you want to sell that proposal to the Brexiteers or shall I?

Why do you presume every Brexiteer would be against it?
Ramblin dave - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> My point was the open border with Norway, isn't strictly open.

Sure. And my point was that even that level of openness is based on conditions that the UK Government have loudly declared that they can't accept.

> Why do you presume every Brexiteer would be against it?

I don't. It's just that the ones who are seem to have their hands pretty firmly on the steering wheel at the moment.
Bob Hughes - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> There are significant price differences between many goods across the no/se border. It still works.

> A quite a bit of tech in place on the freight crossings, xraying and the like. Even the unmanned snowy back roads through the hills have cameras(able, video etc) on them back to control room. The average tourist is oblivious to them of course.

The British government has said they don't want any checks or infrastrucutre on the border. Even with checkpoints on major roads there is plenty of smuggling across the NO-SE border.



summo on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> The British government has said they don't want any checks or infrastrucutre on the border. Even with checkpoints on major roads there is plenty of smuggling across the NO-SE border.

What the government says they don't want, doesn't mean it won't happen in the future.

There certainly is smuggling; butter, cheese, meat and booze, being favourites. But, they also catch a fair few too.
pasbury on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

news just in: BAE Systems to axe 100 jobs due to lack of orders for Eurofighter.

What, in spite of Fox & Fallon PLC; pimps to notorious regimes worldwide?
wercat on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to pasbury:

just wait till you see the new Brexitfighter
John Stainforth - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to wercat:
Do you mean the one that is going to outstrip competition and win new markets all around the globe; designed by amateurs rather than experts, and built with no foreign materials?
Post edited at 01:56
wercat on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to John Stainforth:
The project certainly suffers from the usual defence procurement problem of a lack of final specification, continual revision of goalposts and deliverables, lack of agreement on the final requirements and of course over ambition!


Apart from the probllem that the project team are working for their own party political ends of which no one, even the team, is entirely certain and certainly not in the national interest
Post edited at 08:37
Pete Pozman - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> I voted leave.

> It's the EU refusal to recognise 'significant progress' that is the problem for us and their trump card.

> The EU doesn't need to do anything but delay until time runs out.

> While this was to be expected of the EU it was the lack of strategy and the capitulation by the UK team that allowed this situation to happen.

> You are right that no matter what the UK tried to do the EU was never going to enter into reasonable negotiations, hence them plucking 3 things out of fresh air to begin the negotiations.

But what is the UK trying to do? I have no idea. Do you?
Pete Pozman - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:
If we want a smooth frictionless border with the Republic of Ireland we shouldn't need to invent robots to make it happen. Why don't we come to some sort of arrangement, sign a treaty or something; that would do it.
Ahh...
Post edited at 11:04
tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to wercat:

> just wait till you see the new Brexitfighter


I have to admit it the new Brexitfighter does look good.

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/hawker-hurricane-fighter-plane-world-war-battle-britain-36049435.jpg
wercat on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

As you'd expect for an airframe from Hawkers!
tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> There certainly is smuggling; butter, cheese, meat and booze, being favourites. But, they also catch a fair few too.

The difference in Ireland is if there's an opportunity for large scale smuggling across the Ireland/Northern Ireland border the paramilitaries and armed criminal gangs who used to be paramilitaries are going to get in on it. Also a fairly large section of the population see the border as illegitimate.

It is a bit optimistic to think you can put cameras on that border to stop smugglers and they wont just get smashed or that anything other than semi-fortified border crossings will be safe for customs staff. It isn't the same as Norway/Sweden.

BnB - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Pete Pozman:

> But what is the UK trying to do? I have no idea. Do you?

Even to an inexperienced negotiator it's obvious, surely? They're trying to minimise the "divorce bill" by not immediately meeting the EU's exaggerated demands. Exaggerated because that's how a negotiation works. My daughter worked that out when she wanted a biscuit. "Please can I have 2 biscuits?"

It's taxpayers' money they're trying to save. Should they just hand it over because you disagree with their politics?

It's just a game of blink for goodness sakes.
jkarran - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to BnB:

> It's just a game of blink for goodness sakes.

Where only one party actually *needs* to blink before the ticking clock runs out.
jk
Malarkey on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to BnB:
>Even to an inexperienced negotiator it's obvious, surely? They're trying to minimise the "divorce bill" by not immediately meeting the EU's exaggerated demands. Exaggerated because that's how a negotiation works.

The only person May et al is negotiating with is the right-wing of the Tory party and editors of The Telegraph. She is just too weak to spell the truth out to them.

In actual fact she has as much as said she will pay up - now she cannot admit she is going to allow free movement and ECJ rulings during transition and there is no way we will be ready after two years for that to end.

No "creative solution" or magic technology union yet suggested will satisfy her allies the DUP and the EU over the Irish border. She cannot fess up to that either.

> It's just a game of blink for goodness sakes.

Blink is a game with even consequences on both sides. This is more like a rerun of the Greek crisis. Annoying for the EU, catastrophic for Britain.
Post edited at 14:48
tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to BnB:

> It's just a game of blink for goodness sakes.

Playing blink is an absolutely reasonable strategy when you are dealing with a car dealer. Much less so when you are trying to stay on speaking terms with a soon to be ex-wife or get asked about your tax return by the Inland Revenue. David Davis et al haven't figured that out.

summo on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Playing blink is an absolutely reasonable strategy when you are dealing with a car dealer. Much less so when you are trying to stay on speaking terms with a soon to be ex-wife or get asked about your tax return by the Inland Revenue. David Davis et al haven't figured that out.

If DD just paid the EU' s first figure, you would also be calling him an inexperienced mug, for not trying to force their offer down as low as possible?

Even a concession of £0.1bn, is worth it in terms of what it can then be spent on in the UK.
summo on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Malarkey:

> Blink is a game with even consequences on both sides. This is more like a rerun of the Greek crisis. Annoying for the EU, catastrophic for Britain.

Hardly, there was no blink for Greece, they had no choice. Economic collapse or more eu terms.

The UK, doesn't need to wait for the eu to blink, it can just walk away. It's the eu that is wanting the uk' s money. Obviously the UK wants something in return, that's the real blink topic.
summo on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The difference in Ireland is if there's an opportunity for large scale smuggling across the Ireland/Northern Ireland border the paramilitaries and armed criminal gangs who used to be paramilitaries are going to get in on it. Also a fairly large section of the population see the border as illegitimate.

That's why there will always be border, because both sides are Brexit as an opportunity to stir up trouble again. Plus the problems have never really gone away, just a temporary plaster. Schools are still generally divided, so the next generation will be too.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> If DD just paid the EU' s first figure, you would also be calling him an inexperienced mug, for not trying to force their offer down as low as possible?

He is an inexperienced mug - or more accurately a self serving populist moron - for getting into the situation in the first place.

As regards the negotiation, they should chuck it in completely or take us into the EEA.
oldie - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to MargieB:

> If it gets so bad with the current conservative approach I presume soon we could have" no confidence" in the present situation. Does that trigger a general election? Will this be the way a democracy deals with such a crisis? or rather isn't that the advantage of a democracy in the way it can respond to a crisis of this magnitude? So another referendum in effect occurs by virtue of a no confidence position- another democratic mechanism but effectively another referendum reflecting a response to events? I s this how it could work? <

Since both main parties are absolutely committed to Brexit (without another referendum) a general election would probably not alter anything except possibly the terms of exit, regardless of the opinions of either the population as a whole or majority of MPs.
Since a general election would not be about leaving the EU (or not) the only "fair" test of public opinion on this single topic would be a second referendum which would be in neither manifesto.
The likelihood of an election resulting in a majority of MPs which could be taken as a vote for a 2nd ref. (basically SNP, Lib Dems, Northern Ireland) is of course remote!

bouldery bits - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

I'm a little concerned about cornettos. Where will we get them?
summo on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

> I'm a little concerned about cornettos. Where will we get them?

How many do you want?
wercat on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

or Terry's Chocolate Orange or HP Sauce?
Tony Jones - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to oldie:
Given that there now seems to be a general acceptance from both sides that a post-Brexit Britain will be an economically poorer place, it would be interesting to see if that realisation would have changed the way anyone here voted (or if they would vote differently if there was another referendum).

My suspicion is that it probably wouldn't make much difference as I don't remember many people arguing for Brexit because of all the economic benefits it would bring (aside from the £350m for the NHS of course). It was all about 'taking back control' as I recall.

The world is in a bit of a mess right now: I'm not sure how a rudderless United Kingdom crashing aimlessly into icebergs is helping that situation.
Post edited at 09:51
oldie - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

> Given that there now seems to be a general acceptance from both sides that a post-Brexit Britain will be an economically poorer place, it would be interesting to see if that realisation would have changed the way anyone here voted (or if they would vote differently if there was another referendum). <
> My suspicion is that it probably wouldn't make much difference as I don't remember many people arguing for Brexit because of all the economic benefits it would bring (aside from the £350m for the NHS of course). It was all about 'taking back control' as I recall. <

FWIW just looked up recent You Gov poll: "...though the country is split down the middle over whether leaving the EU was the right or wrong decision, there is still a majority who think Brexit should happen. Overall, 70% think that the government should go ahead with Brexit,..."
My personal view is still that there should be a second referendum at some stage which would probably get more Remainers to be accepting of the result if the majority were again for Brexit. At present many are going along with "the will of the majority" but if this has changed (due to increasing clarity about the outcomes of Brexit, good or bad) then government policy should change accordingly as the future effects may well be immense. But of course another referendum is still highly improbable as both main parties are united in their opposition to it.
Tony Jones - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to oldie:
> At present many are going along with "the will of the majority"

Including almost all politicians.

Apparently, in their eyes, it absolves them of taking any responsibility for the ensuing mess.

Has there ever been an example of a government -- and its opposition, let's not forget -- using such an excuse in the past?

When one also considers how small that 'majority' was, it's a pretty poor demonstration of government and leadership.

Edit: For punctuation.
Post edited at 11:56
Lusk - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

> When one also considers how small that 'majority' was, ...

Just for comparison, do you remember the Welsh devolution referendum, 1997, (I don't!)?
Now, THAT was a small majority ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_devolution_referendum,_1997
I've no idea if there was mass uproar at the time.

Tony Jones - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Lusk:

In terms of government response, I suspect the main difference between the narrow yes majority in the Welsh devolution referendum and the current situation was that it was expected and, as a result, there was a plan in place to enact it.
oldie - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

While I may not like the result I do think that the government has to pursue Brexit, but I don't see the logic in not having a second referendum to confirm that this is still the wish of the majority, especially as the vote was so close and the effects will be so important to future generations.
Of course democracy and logic isn't the main factor. A fear of the political consequences in both main parties appears to outweigh social and economic considerations.
jonfun21 on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to oldie:
Totally agree on a 2nd vote where it is clear on what leave would actually mean (i.e. symmetry of clarity for both options rather than the first vote where 'leave' was not defined and 'remain' was)

Bet this won't happen as the majority of the Murdoch media and the more radical leavers don't want a situation where people are able to make an informed choice.

Oh and change the electorate to include 16 and 17 year olds along with EU nationals who live in the UK (i.e. people who will be impacted by the decision) and exclude those who do not live in the UK.
Post edited at 17:19
bouldery bits - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> How many do you want?

Atleast 5 summer's worth.
summo on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

> Atleast 5 summer's worth.

Greedy... most get by with just one cornetto....
bouldery bits - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> Greedy... most get by with just one cornetto....

You set me up perfectly. I cannot believe I missed that.

pec on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to jonfun21:

> Totally agree on a 2nd vote where it is clear on what leave would actually mean >

Why do you imagine that just because we know what the terms of our departure will be that will be be any wiser as to what that will actually mean for the UK's future? All we can do is refine the economic modelling on the basis of the deal but economic models are invariably wrong, even when we are operating in familiar circumstances. Brexit is without precedent which makes the modelling guesswork.
Furthermore, we don't really know what remaining will mean. Who thought the EEC would morph into the EU we know today when we voted to stay in 1975 and we knew exactly what the terms of membership were at the time.

> Oh and change the electorate to include 16 and 17 year olds along with EU nationals who live in the UK (i.e. people who will be impacted by the decision) and exclude those who do not live in the UK. >

You mean gerrymander the electorate to get the result you want?

oldie - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to pec:

> Why do you imagine that just because we know what the terms of our departure will be that will be be any wiser as to what that will actually mean for the UK's future? ... <
> Furthermore, we don't really know what remaining will mean... <

But we do surely know MORE now (both because the original exaggerations from both sides are more apparent and because, as you point out, some things have changed since the referendum). Is it right to be frightened that this might not still be what the majority want? Conversely more remainers would accept it as a fait accompli if there was a second reinforcing majority for Brexit.

> You mean gerrymander the electorate to get the result you want? <

Personally unsure about this, though the young are will live with the result for longer.... presumably partly why younger voters were included in the Scottish referendum.



pec on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to oldie:

> But we do surely know MORE now . . . . . . . if there was a second reinforcing majority for Brexit. >

We may know more about the deal but that doesn't mean we will be any more able to predict the future in 5, 10 or 15 years time let alone 40 or more and we certainly won't know more about the future direction of the EU so remaining is as uncertain as leaving in the medium to long term.
Holding a second referendum to "make sure we really meant it" is without precedent, in the UK at least. The EU does of course have form for this which is one of the many reasons why people are so cynical about it and voted to leave in the first place.
Of course if you want to see a resurgent UKIP and the return of Farage then keep pushing for a second referendum ;-)


> Personally unsure about this, though the young are will live with the result for longer.... presumably partly why younger voters were included in the Scottish referendum. >

16-17 year olds will indeed live with the result longest (on average) but they are also (on average) the least well informed and least experienced. Three year olds will live with the decision longer still but we aren't asking them to vote. There has to be a cut off point somewhere, in every other UK election it's 18, in most countries in the world it's also 18. The Scottish referendum was the anomaly in allowing 16-17 year olds to vote which was gerrymandering on the part of the SNP to try and get the result they wanted. It should never have been allowed.

summo on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

> You set me up perfectly. I cannot believe I missed that.

Brain malfunctioning due to lack of ice cream?
Postmanpat on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

> Brain malfunctioning due to lack of ice cream?

Vanilla, or chocolate dream?
jonfun21 on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to pec:

"You mean gerrymander the electorate to get the result you want?"

Nope, I mean asking all and only the people who actually live in the UK what they want....as opposed to a subset* of them and others who don't.

* acknowledging the exclusion of under 16's on the basis of not being able to form a considered opinion, though is a tricky area as plenty of 14/15 year olds who are probably more capable of this than some >16.

jonfun21 on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to pec:

So if the deal struck is all EU citizens living in the UK have to leave within 90 days and there will be a 30% tax on all UK exports we should just go with it?

This 2nd vote should always have been a feature of the process, what is unpresidented is how the ability to define what leave means sits with just a handful of people with no ability for the electorate to confirm this is what they actually wanted ever.
pec on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to jonfun21:

> So if the deal struck is all EU citizens living in the UK have to leave within 90 days and there will be a 30% tax on all UK exports we should just go with it? >

I live in the real world and will consider realistic scenarios. That is clearly not going to happen, even if people actually wanted it to happen it wouldn't, it can take us years to get rid of one convicted terrorist and WTO rules preclude such a tariff arrangement.
No constitutional change in the UK has ever required a second referendum, only in the EU where a country gave the wrong answer the first time.



Robert Durran - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to pec:

> No constitutional change in the UK has ever required a second referendum, only in the EU where a country gave the wrong answer the first time.

Well we're in the EU and we certainly gave the wrong answer the first time, so that sounds like an excellent precedent.

Pete Pozman - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> It's pretty hard to tell them when they won't let us past the first stage.

What is it we want to tell them?
I don't get why Leavers are so uninterested in this. I'm completely baffled. Its seems the conflict in the cabinet is based on two positions: some of them want the status quo, without the immigration bit, whilst the libertarian Ayn Rand types, want a bracing step into the open sea where "the market" will sort everything out eventually.
The EU just sit and wait for us to say what we want. And we , the people, do the same, completely in the dark. Keep calm and carry on won't do. I feel like a Tommy walking across no man's land in the fog just because someone blew a whistle. If I ask where we're going or why, the Leavers call me a traitor.
What the hell has happened to this country?
Tony Jones - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Pete Pozman:

That sums things up very nicely.

I do wonder, when all I hear about is this bloody 'will of the people', why it is so important that we don't ask them whether their will might have changed in light of recent developments.
wercat on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to pec:
the Stobart manager was considerably older than 18 on the day he asked the coin and the coin said leave!


The average 16-18 year old would certainly be better able and more justified in having a vote than such a dolt, unless they are being taught by dolts
Post edited at 10:32
wercat on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Pete Pozman:


> What the hell has happened to this country?

We're going to have Control, Halt, Delay ....
Doug on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to jonfun21:


> Nope, I mean asking all and only the people who actually live in the UK what they want....as opposed to a subset* of them and others who don't.

And what about those who are British but living elsewhere in the EU ? Brexit will have an enormous impact on our lives

john arran - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Tony Jones:

> I do wonder, when all I hear about is this bloody 'will of the people', why it is so important that we don't ask them whether their will might have changed in light of recent developments.

For fear of an answer that would remove completely their wafer-thin claim to democratic justification, of course.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to pec:

> No constitutional change in the UK has ever required a second referendum, only in the EU where a country gave the wrong answer the first time.

This is the second referendum about the EU.

It is also the first referendum where there was no official document defining what would happen in the event of 'yes' or any mechanism to make the 'yes' campaigners make a consistent and half-way honest proposal they could be held to account for. The Brexiters should have been forced to do things the same way as the Scottish Government with the Independence referendum i.e. first they need to make Brexit Tory party policy, then they need to fight a general election on it, then they need to define what Brexit would mean in a white paper (taking a position on the difficult things they would like to fudge) and only then they get their referendum.



MargieB - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
And because this process has not occurred we are in a position of muddle and the process has been left to party political infighting.Sickenly!
So we will only have confidence in the parties who first unify and come up with a strategy and we have no confidence in the parties who can't unify and produce a strategy ? So a parliamentary no confidence vote could very well be the next stage in this { I say this because the conservatives seem the most at odds with each other as regards their premises on single market access } Then a new general election would decide who leads the negotiations based on a clearer understanding of the direction a political party would ideally like to have with the Eu?Negotiations may alter that position- but at least the electorate would given a better say and would indicate our ( the electorate's} political objectives re the EU instead of leaving this up to party politics.

Interestingly the Eu have stepped up communication with Labour Party as they predict this may occur in British Parliament and in case an election occurs and in case Labour wins......
Post edited at 11:45
jkarran - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to pec:

> Why do you imagine that just because we know what the terms of our departure will be that will be be any wiser as to what that will actually mean for the UK's future? All we can do is refine the economic modelling on the basis of the deal but economic models are invariably wrong, even when we are operating in familiar circumstances. Brexit is without precedent which makes the modelling guesswork.

Why are you so desperate not to make or more to the point allow others a better informed choice about their long term futures, perhaps even to confer some legitimacy to and bring the currently divided public together behind a successful (or failed) project?

Clocks are invariably wrong but they're still incredibly useful. This don't believe the experts bullshit is going to ruin us.

We will know a lot more come the end of this stage of negotiation that we did 18 months ago. For example we'll have a good idea that the £350M figure is very likely to be negative so *from* not for the NHS.

> Furthermore, we don't really know what remaining will mean. Who thought the EEC would morph into the EU we know today when we voted to stay in 1975 and we knew exactly what the terms of membership were at the time.

We do or more to the point we have input into and a veto on significant changes we're not ready for so it is (or was) within our power to guide and arrest change. Now it isn't.

> You mean gerrymander the electorate to get the result you want?

That's one way of looking at it.
jk

MargieB - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to oldie:

Not remote what people may vote for - I think people are looking for other party representation and coalition politics. Two party politics is dying
jonfun21 on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Doug:

Fair point - more relaxed about inclusion of British Citizens living abroad (still find it baffling a relative who lives in a Australia and has no intention of coming back to the UK gets a vote on this and other stuff but there you go) than I am about EU citizens who are living here not being allowed a say.

Ultimately if brexit at all costs occurs there is going to be a severe backlash at somepoint. For example places like Wales where commentary suggests people though they were voting to “stick it to the establishment” and will now find out that the consequence is actually a massive reduction in subsidies by the “new establishment” and associated economic deprivation etc.
jonfun21 on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to pec:

...I should take as read that you won't be adverse to another referendum in a couple of years time if leaving hasn't worked out quite so well?

The question would be should the UK rejoin the EU? Yes/No

Clearly no details on what T&Cs we would rejoin on would need to be provided.
BnB - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Spartacus:

Some common sense in the press for a change.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41598453
Bob Hughes - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to BnB:

The FT is reporting that the EU won’t agree to moving to phase 2 but will begin internal discussions (I guess that means between the EU 27) on a future trade relationship.
Dave Garnett - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Pete Pozman:
> The EU just sit and wait for us to say what we want. And we , the people, do the same, completely in the dark. Keep calm and carry on won't do. I feel like a Tommy walking across no man's land in the fog just because someone blew a whistle. If I ask where we're going or why, the Leavers call me a traitor.

> What the hell has happened to this country?

I agree. Maybe it's because I've been a couple of thousand miles away for a few weeks but it increasingly seems to me that as a country we've lost the will, and certainly the leadership, to be a civilised first-world player. We just don't have the confidence to be a leading European nation, and are running away to find a smaller pond in which we can be a larger (and preferably the only) fish.

It's not that the EU was too restrictive a stage for our ambitions, it was too big, the spotlight too bright, the expectations of the audience too high. We were expected to be grown ups, and the EU is still waiting for us to at least leave gracefully as adults who are responsible for own decisions.
Post edited at 19:17
BnB - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> The FT is reporting that the EU won’t agree to moving to phase 2 but will begin internal discussions (I guess that means between the EU 27) on a future trade relationships.

The next moves are pretty obvious now. Either the EU starts talking trade pretty soon or we walk and the game of blink goes up a notch. But in the latter case, the in-fighting we've become accustomed to will start to spread across Europe.

That's why, in the background, the parties are just arguing over who gets custody of a few remaining disputed billions, while publicly we're still saying 20 and they 80!!

In fact, don't be surprised if that's what they're both still saying after we've met somewhere in the middle!!

Lusk - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> I agree. Maybe it's because I've been a couple of thousand miles away for a few weeks but it increasingly seems to me that as a country we've lost the will, and certainly the leadership, to be a civilised first-world player. We just don't have the confidence to be a leading European nation, and are running away to find a smaller pond in which we can be a larger (and preferably the only) fish.

I don't think it's got anything to do with Brexit, it's seven years of austerity which is REALLY starting to crush the will to live out of 10s of millions of people. Continually decreasing wages (in real terms), ever increasing expenses, cut backs after cutbacks after cutbacks, more people in poverty in recent history, 100,000 children living in emergency accommodation, ... the list goes on and on.
Not Brexit, The Tories.
summo on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to BnB:

A big bun fight. The 9 or 10 net contributors of northern Europe, not wishing to pay more and the recipients not wishing to lose money or become a net contributor themselves in the very near future. Given that funding is based on GDP they can all do the maths in advance to see where the pain will lie.
MargieB - on 09:10 Sat
In reply to Dave Garnett:
Our system of internal governance is not that grown up either but ironically one of the consequences of this process of Brexit is a play to reform the constitution and replace it with a greater federalism. This would occur in the process of repatriating the law making powers to the different regions. Although a hard Brexit is too high a price to pay for this evolutionary political process it may well be a consequence. i would like my cake and eat it by having both federalism and a soft Brexit, given we are committed by the referendum.
Post edited at 09:11
John Stainforth - on 16:46 Sat
In reply to Lusk:

The cause of our recent problems is not austerity OR Brexit but both. Because of the first we need the second like a hole in the head. And it is not a question of Brexit OR the Tories: the Tories label applies to both.
Big Ger - on 23:39 Mon
In reply to Spartacus:
Meanwhile, in Europe...

> A Spanish judge has remanded two key members of the Catalan independence movement in jail. Jordi Sánchez, who heads the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), and Jordi Cuixart, leader of Omnium Cultural, are being held without bail while they are under investigation for sedition. The men are seen as leading figures in organising a 1 October independence vote, which Spanish courts suspended.

> The People's Party was set to win more than 31%. It is so far unclear whether the Social Democrats or the far-right Freedom Party will finish second. Short of a majority, Mr Kurz's party could seek an alliance with the anti-immigration Freedom Party. Addressing his supporters, Mr Kurz said: "It is time for change in this country. Today is a strong order for us, to change this country, and I say thank you to you all who made this possible.

> Thousands of Italian school students are protesting nationwide over work placements which they say contribute little to their future job prospects. The students are calling it a "strike" in 70 cities. Student unions organised the protest via social media. Italy's Student Network says "no more exploitation through free labour".

> The journalist who led the Panama Papers investigation into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her home. Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday afternoon when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device which blew the vehicle into several pieces and threw the debris into a nearby field.
Post edited at 23:44
pasbury on 23:08 Tue
In reply to Big Ger:

I now understand what shitposting means.
Big Ger - on 23:10 Tue
In reply to pasbury:

Well done you, it does save you having to think about things, if you can just apply a label to a post and ignore the content, doesn't it?
pasbury on 23:22 Tue
In reply to Big Ger:

Go on then, what has Catalan secession struggles and the murder of a journalist in Malta got to do with our negotiating approach with the EU?
Big Ger - on 23:43 Tue
In reply to pasbury:
Very little directly, however it does serve to highlight that the EU isn't the utopia that some remainers would have us believe. Also that political changes, such as those in Austria, Catalonia, and potentially the forthcoming Italian elections, may destabilise the EU, in ways which would benefit the UK's position.
Post edited at 23:45
Sir Chasm - on 23:46 Tue
In reply to Big Ger:

You can't find a single remainer saying the eu is a utopia, just another of your lies.
Big Ger - on 23:55 Tue
In reply to Sir Chasm:

LOL!! If "Captain Paranoia" can claim that Brexiters think;


> Who cares about European farmers? They're foreigners. The whole point of Brexit is to stop having to care about foreigners.

> Isn't it...?

> On the other hand, if we can give Johnny Foreigner Farmer a bloody nose, it's worth all of us subsisting off gruel for the next thirty years. Hoorah for Boris!

Then I can indulge in unsubstantiated hyperbole too.

Or is it one rule for remainers and another for leavers?
Wicamoi on 00:17 Wed
In reply to Big Ger:

In an attempt to return to polite debate .... your examples of unrest in the EU probably all have roots in the global financial crisis. The Scottish Independence referendum and the Brexit referendum could have featured as similar examples. But your stories of unrest are taking place against a relatively stable backdrop - throughout the EU centre-right governments are being elected, the far right is defeated and Merkel is still Mutti.

It is only in the UK that we have - by a narrow margin - volunteered to counter the effects of the global financial crisis with an additional national economic crisis of our own. Are we fighting fire with fire, or throwing petrol on the flames? I know what I think.
Big Ger - on 00:18 Wed
In reply to Wicamoi:

Reasonable points mate, though Catalan independence predates that, as does Maltese corruption..
Wicamoi on 00:30 Wed
In reply to Big Ger:

Of course - likewise Scottish Independence and unrest about the EU in the UK - but the feeling of poverty and loss of confidence in the future always brings conflict to a head. It's like the way we only get into fights when we're drunk.
Big Ger - on 01:59 Wed
In reply to Wicamoi:

> It's like the way we only get into fights when we're drunk.

Speak for yourself! ;-)


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