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Source: (consider it) Thread: Shake it all about: Brexit thread II
Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
AIUI, the question on the paper was "Should Scotland be an independent country?" Not all that different to the question asked on the EU referendum. And recent posts on this thread iare the first time you've raised wthe question of working in tandem, as it were.

The difference is that the 2014 question was in the light of a process that had, over the course of decades of discussion including 6 years of deliberation by Parliament, defined "independence" (or, rather what the Scottish government would try their hardest to obtain). In 2016 there was no corresponding definition of "Leave" - and no amount of repeating "Brexit means Brexit" changes that. We still won't have had the level of democratic scrutiny (in both Parliament and among the wider electorate) of what sort of arrangement the UK should seek with the EU even when the various signatories to a deal have agreed whatever comes out of the negotiations over the next 18 months that had happened before the Scottish government called the referendum held in 2014 - much less so than what we had had by the time we voted in 2014. That is the democratic deficit that Paul isn't seeing.

The question on the ballot is a very small part of the equation

quote:
You still need to deal with the point I raised about putting the mulltiple reasons for leaving on the referendum paper.
Well, in the Scottish example that was dealt with by the Parliamentary process and public consultation that winnowed the options down from many, through four then three then two. There's no reason, apart from undue haste, that such a process couldn't have dealt with the multiple options for the EU referendum. Of course, if that had happened we would still be discussing options and not have held a referendum - and, probably not having a referendum until after the 2020 election. But, that's the undue haste of trying to do a decade or more worth of careful deliberation in six months.

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
But Alan speaks as if there was some democratic deficit in the 2016 EU referendum and I don't see it.

See my answer to GeeD above.

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Gee D
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Leaving for church in a couple of minutes, so 2 very quick points. The first is that you're scientist and work in a world of rationalism. Politics is not in that world, it inclused irrationalism and emotionalism.

The second is that you're confusing an outcome (independence or exiting) with the means by which that outcome is to be achieved. The example I gave set out 3 of many possible reasons for wanting to leave. Very few of those choosing to vote for leaving would have given a more than a moments thought to the means; they were concerned with the outcome alone and voted for it.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Very few of those choosing to vote for leaving would have given a more than a moments thought to the means; they were concerned with the outcome alone and voted for it.

The UK is a representative democracy. Part of the representative is that the government inform its voters and the government failed to adequately do so.

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If it's not here soon, I might be done
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Gee D
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The extent to which the UK is a democracy, representative or otherwise, is debatable - think of the House of Lords. But seriously, this was not an event where the outcome beyond simply leaving could be said. The means largely depended, and still do, on whatever terms the remaining EU offers. And the clock's now ticking as in under 2 years, come what may with the negotiations, the UK will be out. The UK is in an extremely weak bargaining position.

Stupid of Cameron to promise a referendum and he could probably have obtained almost the same electoral benefit from the promise of a "wide-ranging public enquiry" or whatever is the current equivalent phrase being used.

[ 02. April 2017, 03:49: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
you're scientist and work in a world of rationalism. Politics is not in that world, it inclused irrationalism and emotionalism.

And, why shouldn't public consultations take that into account? Do you think the SNP success in building substantial public support in elections, two terms of majority government one of which was a landslide etc was based entirely on rationalism? Of course not, their success built upon a whole load of factors that can't be put in a test tube, and that emotional/irrational Scottish identity sentimentality made it's way into that 670 page document presented to the people as the outline of what the Scottish government would seek in negotiations for & after independence.

But, at the end of the day when you put a question to the people in a democracy, whether a referendum or an election where you ask them who they want to represent them, there needs to be a mechanism that ensures the number of votes recieved either way means something - which means a rational, objective approach. My contention is that the method adopted in Scotland to define the question satisfies that requirement, whereas in the referendum last year there were sufficient deficiencies that we can't know what people who ticked the leave box were actually voting for, the best we have is that they were voting against maintaining the current relationship between the UK and the rest of the EU.

quote:
The second is that you're confusing an outcome (independence or exiting) with the means by which that outcome is to be achieved. The example I gave set out 3 of many possible reasons for wanting to leave. Very few of those choosing to vote for leaving would have given a more than a moments thought to the means; they were concerned with the outcome alone and voted for it.
The means of achieving the end is actually (more or less) the same for each outcome. The government produces an argument for the end they want to achieve, the EU (or UK government in case of Scottish independence) produces a counter argument and the two sides sit down and discuss the issues to (hopefully) reach a mutually agreeable compromise.

The question is entirely about how the UK(Scottish) government produces that opening argument, and also how they judge what would be a compromise too far. [Of course, the EU has the same issue but that's a different question - how do the negotiators on the EU side decide what they need to insist on? How do the people of the EU express their views such that those negotiating on their behalf know what they want out of Brexit? At the moment it looks like that takes place through the governments of EU nations, but some nations may put that to their people in a referendum as well.]

My position is that the means by which that negotiating position is derived is through a lengthy democratic process of deliberation and debate in Parliament and public consultation, leading to a referendum question where there is a clear summary of what that position would be if the people support it. Which is what we had in 2014 in Scotland, and we didn't have in 2016.

And, I thought we were talking about multiple options for a future relationship between the UK and EU, not multiple reasons for leaving (though they may be related). We have a referendum result which shows that a small majority of the 2016 electorate wanted to leave the EU, that result stands regardless of why they wanted to leave. In many ways the why they wanted to leave is irrelevant. What is relevant is that nowhere in the process was what they wanted to leave to defined. A marginally small majority wanted to change the relationship between the UK and EU, but was that to a position where the UK remained in the single market, where the UK leaves the single market, where the UK trades under WTO, where there is an attempt to form a bespoke trade deal (covering what sectors?), etc?

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
Dafyd, I'm really missing something from your reasoning here. The 30 thousand inhabitants of Gibraltar can never have a veto over a UK wide vote. Had the UK vote pushed the people of Gib to look to Spain for their future, then the UK would have to respect the change in Gibraltar's democratic status and allowing m. it. But Gib is as sure as ever that it's British, and yes I do blame the EU if this becomes an issue in Brexit

So if the UK wants to accept a deal from the EU but the EU won't offer that deal to Gibraltar then Gibraltar can never have a veto over a UK wide deal. You want Gibraltar to have a veto over the final deal.
Either Gibraltar gets a veto over whether we leave at all or it gets no veto at all. Those are the logical positions.

It's the same as the hypocrisy of the Leavers refusing EU-nationals residency rights because they want to guarantee UK residents in other EU countries residency rights; when the Leavers refused to give those same UK residents a vote at all.

quote:
Do I take it from what you say, Dafyd, that you think Spain should be given a veto on allowing Gibraltar to have the same deal as the UK?
I assume that if you think we should Leave you do so because you don't think the rest of the EU should dictate terms to the UK? So why should the rest of the EU dictate terms to Spain?

The fact is, we are leaving the EU. We no longer get a say in whether Spain should be given a veto on Gibraltar. That is a matter for the EU. We don't get to dictate anything.

If that is a stupid position to be in then it is entirely our fault.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
It's the same as the hypocrisy of the Leavers refusing EU-nationals residency rights because they want to guarantee UK residents in other EU countries residency rights; when the Leavers refused to give those same UK residents a vote at all.

Residency rights =/= right to vote. These UK residents didn't have full voting rights to start with. (And, by the by, I thought the UK government wanted to negotiate the status of EU residents in the UK early on to minimise uncertainty but Angela Merkel refused to talk until after Article 50 had been triggered.)


quote:
The fact is, we are leaving the EU. We no longer get a say in whether Spain should be given a veto on Gibraltar. That is a matter for the EU. We don't get to dictate anything.

If that is a stupid position to be in then it is entirely our fault.

Well, we could also point to the Spanish government for putting that line in the text...?

[ 02. April 2017, 07:45: Message edited by: Anglican't ]

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Gee D
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Alan Cresswell, I'm sorry, but you're not convincing me at all. I think that it boils down to this: the no vote was entirely emotional (and wrong for all sorts of reasons, but that's an aside) . The sort of process you're talking of is rational and that was not what the Leave vote was about. No matter how the pre-referendum process had gone, the Leave voters would have taken the same step.

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TomM
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
It's the same as the hypocrisy of the Leavers refusing EU-nationals residency rights because they want to guarantee UK residents in other EU countries residency rights; when the Leavers refused to give those same UK residents a vote at all.

Residency rights =/= right to vote. These UK residents didn't have full voting rights to start with. (And, by the by, I thought the UK government wanted to negotiate the status of EU residents in the UK early on to minimise uncertainty but Angela Merkel refused to talk until after Article 50 had been triggered.)


Where does negotiation come into that? These are people who are living entirely under the UK Government. Short of EU governments recalling their citizens, what does what the EU says on the topic have to do with whether or not these people can stay in the UK?
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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
But Gib is as sure as ever that it's British, and yes I do blame the EU if this becomes an issue in Brexit

Sure. The UK chest beats for months about what a good deal the EU will be forced to give them, appoints a trio of unqualified and undiplomatic buffoons to head the negotiation, talks about people as bargaining chips, but it's all the EU's fault.

For all the complaints about the left encouraging victim mentality, they have nothing on the right's actual efforts.

Couple of things; what is the rate of corporation tax in Gibraltar ? How many people cross the (for now internal) border for employment every day ?

Oh, and incidentally, Gibraltarians have been concerned for some time that informal talks between the FO and Spain presaged a willingness to try and use them as a means of separating Spain from the rest of the EU.

I had to smile over the double standards over bargaining chips. Spanish use of Gibraltar - a heinous and dastardly trick, typical of foreign perfidy. Brits' use of EU citizens and cooperation over security - a noble and strategic evolution of policy.

I bet both sides have some more chips to put on the table, sorry, I mean thoughtful strategic visions to bring to the negotiations.

I was going to say, does this fool anyone, but the answer is probably yes.

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no path

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:


I bet both sides have some more chips to put on the table, sorry, I mean thoughtful strategic visions to bring to the negotiations.


I reckon both sides have far more chips on their shoulders than they can usefully bargain with.
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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:


I bet both sides have some more chips to put on the table, sorry, I mean thoughtful strategic visions to bring to the negotiations.


I reckon both sides have far more chips on their shoulders than they can usefully bargain with.
Yes, good point. I hope the British side don't take the poker analogy too far, as in poker, usually there is one winner, and everybody else loses. I suppose you can recoup your losses at a later game. I wonder what thoughtful strategic vision Boris has in his locker? Something about darkies, maybe.

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no path

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
It's the same as the hypocrisy of the Leavers refusing EU-nationals residency rights because they want to guarantee UK residents in other EU countries residency rights; when the Leavers refused to give those same UK residents a vote at all.

Residency rights =/= right to vote. These UK residents didn't have full voting rights to start with.
There was no reason why they couldn't have been given a postal vote given that they had a clear interest in the question.
The Leave campaign might say that they didn't car that they had a clear interest in the question when it came to voting. But that gives them no right to use their interests as an excuse to mess about with the EU nationals in this country.

quote:
And, by the by, I thought the UK government wanted to negotiate the status of EU residents in the UK early on to minimise uncertainty but Angela Merkel refused to talk until after Article 50 had been triggered.
The UK shouldn't have wanted to negotiate the status of EU residents to begin with. The decent thing to do would have been to unilaterally announce that they had the right to remain.
Who knows? It might have been a token of good will and signalled that the UK doesn't view this as a hostile interaction in which each side is only out for what it can get.

quote:
quote:
The fact is, we are leaving the EU. We no longer get a say in whether Spain should be given a veto on Gibraltar. That is a matter for the EU. We don't get to dictate anything.

If that is a stupid position to be in then it is entirely our fault.

Well, we could also point to the Spanish government for putting that line in the text...?
If we insist on treating every issue as a self-interested negotating point then we have no right to be indignant when the EU nations respond in kind.
If we had any goodwill from the other EU nations I imagine they could have had a quiet word with Spain. (Spain appear to have decided that they can't push their luck on an independent Scotland joining the EU as well.) But I don't think our government could have exhausted any more good will from EU nations if it were trying.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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quetzalcoatl
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I keep hearing the line, Brexit is government of old people, by old people, for old people. Not completely true, of course.

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no path

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

If we insist on treating every issue as a self-interested negotating point then we have no right to be indignant when the EU nations respond in kind.
If we had any goodwill from the other EU nations I imagine they could have had a quiet word with Spain. (Spain appear to have decided that they can't push their luck on an independent Scotland joining the EU as well.)

And apart from the headbanging tendency within the Spanish PTB, there are real grounds for concern. Gibraltar is a tax haven-lite in all but name at even the moment, the Spanish government might not be entirely happy with a tax haven next door that has all the privileges that are extended to the UK on the basis of London's financial markets. Secondly, Gibraltar is dependent on outside labor to run its economy, which implies an open border - Gibraltar also has an international airport, again a situation which could be of legitimate concern to the Spanish government - and one that might well have to be handled differently to whatever agreement on movement that is reached between the EU and UK as a whole.

Put together a headbanging tendency, a couple of honest concerns on the part of the Spanish. A fear from the rest of the EU that should a trade deal be in place between the EU and the UK the resolution mechanism would rapidly get clogged up with Spanish-UK issues plus a lack of good will caused by the UK becoming a Ruritanian mix of nostalgia freaks with the anger management of a toddler at bedtime, and I can see why the EU might have just gone ahead with letting the Spanish have their clause.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Alan Cresswell, I'm sorry, but you're not convincing me at all. I think that it boils down to this: the no vote was entirely emotional (and wrong for all sorts of reasons, but that's an aside) . The sort of process you're talking of is rational and that was not what the Leave vote was about. No matter how the pre-referendum process had gone, the Leave voters would have taken the same step.

I happen to agree that the way people voted was very complex, and a mixture of reasons - many of which were not rational.

But, I haven't been discussing how people voted. I've been discussing how the political process framed the question on the paper, the associated political processes to define the options (or, not as the case may be), and how seriously the political structures took the process - is this a subject that deserves years of discussion, or a game that can be played in a couple of months.

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Gee D
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I understand that's how you're approaching the matter. I'm saying that such a process was irrelevant to the referendum. It's perhaps a process that a government should have undertaken before making a decision to have one in the first place. Cameron's announcement has all the hallmarks of policy on the run.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
And, I thought we were talking about multiple options for a future relationship between the UK and EU, not multiple reasons for leaving (though they may be related). We have a referendum result which shows that a small majority of the 2016 electorate wanted to leave the EU, that result stands regardless of why they wanted to leave. In many ways the why they wanted to leave is irrelevant. What is relevant is that nowhere in the process was what they wanted to leave to defined.

Given that the none of the conditions of leaving the EU can be unilaterally dictated by the leaving member, trying to include them in the referendum would have been deceptive. Especially since Article 50 seems to be written with an implicit 'no backsies' structure.

In other words, the referendum addressed the only question (Leave or Remain) that was actually within the power of the British government to act on. Trying to cram in "we'll leave if X, but not if Y" implies powers not available to a country leaving the EU.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:


In other words, the referendum addressed the only question (Leave or Remain) that was actually within the power of the British government to act on. Trying to cram in "we'll leave if X, but not if Y" implies powers not available to a country leaving the EU.

I have heard various opinions relating to Article 50 by people who ought to know (including the peer who apparently wrote it). Whilst some say it is now inevitable that we leave the EU, some also seem to think that triggering Article 50 is a statement of intention not a foregone conclusion.

According to some, May could get to the end of the 2 year period and say "nope, the terms offered by the EU are too crappy, I've decided that we're not leaving after all, we're staying".*

To me the wording seems ambiguous. Possibly intentionally, given it appears they thought nobody would ever want to leave the EU when the treaty was drawn up.

*this seems very unlikely to me, and AFAIU the EU position is simply to negotiate a divorce settlement within the period, not to deal with all the other issues until that is done. So there wouldn't be much to vote upon in a second referendum anyway.

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arse

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

According to some, May could get to the end of the 2 year period and say "nope, the terms offered by the EU are too crappy, I've decided that we're not leaving after all, we're staying".*

I gather that Mr. Donald Tusk shares the opinion that a country can rescind article 50 before the process has completed, and so remain an EU member.
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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
In other words, the referendum addressed the only question (Leave or Remain) that was actually within the power of the British government to act on. Trying to cram in "we'll leave if X, but not if Y" implies powers not available to a country leaving the EU.

I have heard various opinions relating to Article 50 by people who ought to know (including the peer who apparently wrote it). Whilst some say it is now inevitable that we leave the EU, some also seem to think that triggering Article 50 is a statement of intention not a foregone conclusion.

According to some, May could get to the end of the 2 year period and say "nope, the terms offered by the EU are too crappy, I've decided that we're not leaving after all, we're staying".

To me the wording seems ambiguous. Possibly intentionally, given it appears they thought nobody would ever want to leave the EU when the treaty was drawn up.

I'd argue that any ambiguity was deliberate to dissuade member nations from leaving, since most establishments are averse to uncertainty. In other words, the uncertainty of what would happen is a feature, not a bug.

At any rate, I happen to have Article 50 right here.

  1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
    -
  2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
    -
  3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
    -
  4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.
    A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
    -
  5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

The key bit is in Section 3, which would seem to pretty unambiguously say that if no agreement is reached ("the terms . . . are too crappy") the separation happens anyway without any specific agreement in place. There doesn't seem to be any mechanism for retracting a withdrawal once proffered.

[ 03. April 2017, 14:40: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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mr cheesy
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As I understand Lord Kerr's position, I think he is arguing that Section 3 is to be read in association with Section 2.

The point being (according to this argument) that the 2 years are the limit that the EU is prepared to put into negotiating a deal with the departing nation - but ultimately it is down to that nation to decide whether or not to leave as per Section 2.

So, I guess, from this point of view there are three options available to a nation which has triggered Article 50 at the end of the period stated in Section 3:

1. Leave without agreement. I am guessing that the EU believed/believes that this is so bad that nobody would want to do it.

2. Leave with a basic agreement agreed with the European Council. This seems vague because obviously the UK is a full member of the EU until it leaves, and obviously has many members of the European Parliament. Personally, I still find it hard to believe that all of the EU will be able to agree to something anyway.

3. Decide not to leave.

I am not a lawyer and I might have misunderstood Kerr's views.

[ 03. April 2017, 14:51: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
As I understand Lord Kerr's position, I think he is arguing that Section 3 is to be read in association with Section 2.

The point being (according to this argument) that the 2 years are the limit that the EU is prepared to put into negotiating a deal with the departing nation - but ultimately it is down to that nation to decide whether or not to leave as per Section 2.

So, I guess, from this point of view there are three options available to a nation which has triggered Article 50 at the end of the period stated in Section 3:

1. Leave without agreement. I am guessing that the EU believed/believes that this is so bad that nobody would want to do it.

2. Leave with a basic agreement agreed with the European Council. This seems vague because obviously the UK is a full member of the EU until it leaves, and obviously has many members of the European Parliament. Personally, I still find it hard to believe that all of the EU will be able to agree to something anyway.

3. Decide not to leave.

I am not a lawyer and I might have misunderstood Kerr's views.

While I can understand everyone's desire for #3 to be an option (a preferred option, even) I don't see support for it in the text of Article 50. The decision to withdraw would seem to have already been made and submitted to the European Council in accordance with Section 2 of Article 50.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
While I can understand everyone's desire for #3 to be an option (a preferred option, even) I don't see support for it in the text of Article 50. The decision to withdraw would seem to have already been made and submitted to the European Council in accordance with Section 2 of Article 50.

Well, I've no idea. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm simply noting that there are credible opinions (including but not limited to the career diplomat Lord Kerr who wrote the section in question) which disagree with your assessment.

I think it is vanishingly unlikely that the UK will not leave, but it seems to me that the EU is going to say that it was the UK that walked away and that there was no element of pushing.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
In other words, the referendum addressed the only question (Leave or Remain) that was actually within the power of the British government to act on. Trying to cram in "we'll leave if X, but not if Y" implies powers not available to a country leaving the EU.

I think this is like saying that because no politician can guarantee to get their manifesto implemented there is no point in politicians having manifestos. I appreciate that a decisive proportion of the US electorate did indeed cast their votes on that principle; but I'm not sure the principle is justified by the result.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
In other words, the referendum addressed the only question (Leave or Remain) that was actually within the power of the British government to act on. Trying to cram in "we'll leave if X, but not if Y" implies powers not available to a country leaving the EU.

I think this is like saying that because no politician can guarantee to get their manifesto implemented there is no point in politicians having manifestos.
No, it's more like pointing out that voters are voting for a politician to take office, not for a manifesto to be enacted. The question being asked of the electorate is "which candidate should hold office", not "which manifesto should be enacted". You may be able to draw some conclusions about the latter from the former, but that doesn't change what question is actually being asked.

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PaulTH*
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quote:
Originally posted by Croesos:
Given that the none of the conditions of leaving the EU can be unilaterally dictated by the leaving member, trying to include them in the referendum would have been deceptive

Absolutely, which is why questions about how "hard" Brexit will be can't be decided by the British Government. An example already mentioned, if Spain insists on leaving Gibraltar out in the cold, Brexit MUST be very hard indeed. Most of us would accept that the UK must pay its obligations before leaving, but £50 billion? We own our share of EU assets to offset against that bill. And there are the voters to contend with. Any one of a number of issues, when put to 27 national parliaments, some regional parliaments and the EU parliament could derail the process in a way in which the UK Government couldn't accept the terms. It's a possibility.

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mr cheesy
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Well, if the Gibraltar issue is anything to go by, any state determining that they've got non-negotiable red lines could scupper both the EU exit negotiations and any future trade deal.

Presumably the British government can huff and puff about the unfairness, but if any EU state* refuses to co-operate on a point of principle then they can presumably scupper any deal.

*Although I think the Article 50 agreement is by qualified majority voting. I'm not sure what that means in this context.

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quetzalcoatl
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This is an early period of bluffs and threats, isn't it? Thus, Gibraltar by the EU, and cooperation over terrorism, by the UK, can be filed here.

I expect both sides have more in reserve, including 'I'll go home with the ball, if you won't play properly'.

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no path

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
In other words, the referendum addressed the only question (Leave or Remain) that was actually within the power of the British government to act on. Trying to cram in "we'll leave if X, but not if Y" implies powers not available to a country leaving the EU.

I think this is like saying that because no politician can guarantee to get their manifesto implemented there is no point in politicians having manifestos.
No, it's more like pointing out that voters are voting for a politician to take office, not for a manifesto to be enacted. The question being asked of the electorate is "which candidate should hold office", not "which manifesto should be enacted". You may be able to draw some conclusions about the latter from the former, but that doesn't change what question is actually being asked.
I agree that the question being asked is 'which politician do want to elect to the office?' The point is that if a politician doesn't go to the trouble of producing a manifesto that constitutes a reason for not voting for that politician. If they're not going to go to the trouble of producing a manifesto out of office they're probably not going to go to the trouble of making workable laws and policies in office. Nor do you know for sure what if anything they say on the campaign trail should be taken seriously or literally. Naming no names.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
Absolutely, which is why questions about how "hard" Brexit will be can't be decided by the British Government. An example already mentioned, if Spain insists on leaving Gibraltar out in the cold, Brexit MUST be very hard indeed.

Really? Why exactly MUST it be very hard indeed? Should Spain resist giving Gibraltar giving access to some aspects of an eventual trade deal, why should the UK give up a trade deal with the EU?

Because the economic cost levied by the US or China in the event of any bilateral trade deal with the UK is going to dwarf the cost of further subsidizing 30K people living in a tax haven in the sun.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Presumably the British government can huff and puff about the unfairness, but if any EU state* refuses to co-operate on a point of principle then they can presumably scupper any deal.

*Although I think the Article 50 agreement is by qualified majority voting. I'm not sure what that means in this context.

A qualified majority is defined as:

quote:
On 1 November 2014, a new procedure for QM voting, the ‘double majority’ rule, was introduced. Here, when the Council votes on a proposal by the Commission or the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, a QM is reached if two conditions are met:
  • 55% of EU countries vote in favour - i.e. 16 out of 28;
  • the proposal is supported by countries representing at least 65% of the total EU population.

When the Council votes on a proposal not made by the Commission or the High Representative, a decision is adopted if:
  • there are 72% of EU country votes in favour; and
  • they represent at least 65% of the EU population.

Since the Brexit was proposed by the British government (i.e. not the European Commission or the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) a qualified majority is the stricter 72%/65% system I've bolded above. In other words, an agreement would require the approval of at least 20 of the remaining 27 EU nations that contain at least 65% of the remaining EU population.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
This is an early period of bluffs and threats, isn't it?

Makes sense.

Most of the time I'm inclined to optimism.

What does Britain want from these negotiations ? Pretty much what any sovereign country wants from a neighbour and close ally - trade, co-operation, fair treatment of its citizens abroad, and a close diplomatic relationship where countries listen to each other and try to jointly head off small disputes before they become big disputes. Is there anything there that isn't beneficial to both sides ?

Seems to me that it's in the economic interests of each individual EU country for the EU negotiating team to extract some small concessions and then say yes to the rest.

The downside is that the interests of the EU superstructure may not be identical to the interests of the constituent nations...

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
What does Britain want from these negotiations? Pretty much what any sovereign country wants from a neighbour and close ally - trade, co-operation, fair treatment of its citizens abroad, and a close diplomatic relationship where countries listen to each other and try to jointly head off small disputes before they become big disputes. Is there anything there that isn't beneficial to both sides?

Seems to me that this bland and somewhat vague list sounds a lot like the EU. In other words, given the U.K.'s ostensible desire to leave a system that facilitated "trade, co-operation, fair treatment of its citizens abroad, and a close diplomatic relationship where countries listen to each other and try to jointly head off small disputes before they become big disputes", either your assertion doesn't hold or there is some fine detail not included in your broad-brush litany that's problematic.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
or there is some fine detail not included in your broad-brush litany that's problematic.

Whispers: foreigners

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
This is an early period of bluffs and threats, isn't it?

The thing is I'm not sure the UK knows how to reach a compromise.

I think one of the fundamental divergences between the EU and the UK is the practice in the former of hammering out compromises between ad hoc cross-party coalitions to get legislation passed. This is a million miles from the winner-takes-all political system in the UK, epitomised by the "no deal is better than a bad deal" stance.

This inability or unwillingness to compromise also seems to be in evidence in the cross-party Brexit committee. Hardline Leavers apparently prefer to leave the meeting rather than preserve unity.

Talk in the white paper of the need to recognise "differences in the negotiating priorities of the different parts of the UK" looks overly optimistic when that, essentially, is what the UK failed to recognise within the EU.

[ 04. April 2017, 05:13: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
or there is some fine detail not included in your broad-brush litany that's problematic.

Whispers: foreigners
Yes. The British in general and the English in particular have never accepted that they are Europeans. Edward Heath, a small group around him, and the old Liberals did - virtually no-one else.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Jolly Jape
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
or there is some fine detail not included in your broad-brush litany that's problematic.

Whispers: foreigners
Yes. The British in general and the English in particular have never accepted that they are Europeans. Edward Heath, a small group around him, and the old Liberals did - virtually no-one else.
This somewhat broad brush generalisation got me thinking of where I might think of myself in identity terms. I live on the edge of what, in UK terms, is a Great City, which voted remain, where it meets a brexit-voting hinterland. For all that, most of my friends, relatives and acquaintances would consider themselves to be, to a greater or lesser extent, (western) Europeans. For myself, a hierarchy of identities, in descending order of importance, might be Christian, Northerner, Brit, European, and maybe, if push comes to shove, English, or more accurately, English speaker.I have always been in favour of the maximum possible degree of European integration, hoping ultimately for a Federal Republic of Europe. I don't think I'm that strange or that unique.

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
I have always been in favour of the maximum possible degree of European integration, hoping ultimately for a Federal Republic of Europe. I don't think I'm that strange or that unique.

I don't know - I think that puts you as far on the Remain wing as the sort of person who wants to bring back pounds and ounces is on the Leave one.

IME few are on either side are that far out, and even among British remainers I think "maximum possible degree of European integration"* and "Federal Republic of Europe" are extreme minority pursuits at best.

Not for me to say whether you're strange, but definitely niche. Probably over-indexes as a position on this board though!

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Rocinante
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:

IME few are on either side are that far out, and even among British remainers I think "maximum possible degree of European integration"* and "Federal Republic of Europe" are extreme minority pursuits at best.

Not for me to say whether you're strange, but definitely niche. Probably over-indexes as a position on this board though!

My personal position on that would be that if a convincing case was made that the people of Britain (and of Europe) would be best served by Britain becoming part of a federal republic of Europe, I would be in favour of it. I would guess that quite a lot of people would share that view.

It seems to me that as time goes on and globalisation sweeps all before it, it is increasingly clear that nation states are accidents of history and geography that will become obsolete, probably sooner rather than later.

Marx thought that the state would wither away; I don't recall him predicting that it would be replaced by Google, but I don't think Google would have surprised him that much.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
The thing is I'm not sure the UK knows how to reach a compromise.

I think one of the fundamental divergences between the EU and the UK is the practice in the former of hammering out compromises between ad hoc cross-party coalitions to get legislation passed. This is a million miles from the winner-takes-all political system in the UK, epitomised by the "no deal is better than a bad deal" stance.

I think you are right - but possibly for the wrong reasons.

While you are correct that the FPTP system makes things winner take all at the level of different parties, this doesn't necessarily mean that negotiations and compromise are off the table. The corollary of the FPTP system is that the parties themselves are large coalitions of divergent interests where compromise is often on the table, because the parties are the only route to power in a system where coalitions are rare.

OTOH, I do think that the current set of politicians have painted themselves into a corner, and because they are running scared of sections of the media their room to manoeuvre is very limited.

So in that sense compromise is hard, because it is not a particularly good tactic for an individual wanting to survive in front line politics.

[ 04. April 2017, 11:03: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
I have always been in favour of the maximum possible degree of European integration, hoping ultimately for a Federal Republic of Europe. I don't think I'm that strange or that unique.

I don't know - I think that puts you as far on the Remain wing as the sort of person who wants to bring back pounds and ounces is on the Leave one.

IME few are on either side are that far out, and even among British remainers I think "maximum possible degree of European integration"* and "Federal Republic of Europe" are extreme minority pursuits at best.

Not for me to say whether you're strange, but definitely niche. Probably over-indexes as a position on this board though!

Definitely niche. Personally I think the vote and its consequences are catastrophic because we are leaving the Single Market and because it undermines the western alliance. I also think that the Euro was a bad idea and the whole Federal Europe thing leaves me cold. Ironically, I suspect that the net result of Brexit will mean that my grandchildren are much keener on being members of a Federal Europe and embracing the Euro than I am. Think of yourself as a forerunner rather than an eccentric.

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quetzalcoatl
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You can see a clear way ahead now for the government. May is being conciliatory over Gibraltar, showing that she is going to try to neuter the zealots.

1. The idea of no deal is clearly disastrous, for example, for the City.
2. But the incorporation of EU law into British law provides an opportunity. Ministers can preach and prate about now being governed by British laws, while companies will be shadowing EU regulations, since they have no choice.
3. The various bluffs and threats will be smoothed over, e.g. EU citizens, Gibraltar, intelligence sharing.
4. The EU 'bill' might be a problem, but is probably less than 50 million, and can be spread over ten years or whatever.
5. Immigration - sectors will be allowed foreign labour if there are labour shortages.
6. Of course, Murphy's law applies, and May will be looking anxiously at the headbangers, and their spokesmen, Dacre and Murdoch. But I would think that various City figures will lean on them.

So it's not really win/win, but spin/spin. May will sell a deal as good for Britain, blah blah blah, and above all, hopes to win the next election. It is really associate membership, but those words will never pass her lips.

Of course, you might well say, what was the bloody point? I don't know, but then I'm not a philosopher.

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no path

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:

4. The EU 'bill' might be a problem, but is probably less than 50 million, and can be spread over ten years or whatever.

It might be less that 50 billion! I have seen reports of Britain receiving fourteen billion from the EU but that was in the Express.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:

2. But the incorporation of EU law into British law provides an opportunity. Ministers can preach and prate about now being governed by British laws, while companies will be shadowing EU regulations, since they have no choice.

Yes to a point - though the problems arise when they need to prove they have done, which is where even mild regulatory divergence starts to cause issues (and where re-locating manufacturing/assembly to a country where the regulatory authorities are part of those enforcing the real EU regulations starts to look more attractive).

The other problem with those steps is that in pandering to the Blue Passport/Invade Spain crowd, the government has set the direction of travel. They have to keep pandering to the hysteria they've whipped up in case it starts to eat them up. Expect many more 'NOW THEY ARE STEALING EASTER BECAUSE PLICKLE KERREKNESS' stories.

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Penny S
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And just what are they doing while that little squirrel (beg its pardon, pagan bunny)is occupying the headlines?
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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:

2. But the incorporation of EU law into British law provides an opportunity. Ministers can preach and prate about now being governed by British laws, while companies will be shadowing EU regulations, since they have no choice.

Yes to a point - though the problems arise when they need to prove they have done, which is where even mild regulatory divergence starts to cause issues (and where re-locating manufacturing/assembly to a country where the regulatory authorities are part of those enforcing the real EU regulations starts to look more attractive).

The other problem with those steps is that in pandering to the Blue Passport/Invade Spain crowd, the government has set the direction of travel. They have to keep pandering to the hysteria they've whipped up in case it starts to eat them up. Expect many more 'NOW THEY ARE STEALING EASTER BECAUSE PLICKLE KERREKNESS' stories.

Good points. On your first point, it's already happening as jobs connected with the euro, will presumably be taken to EU territory. I would think that May is hoping for a 5 year breathing space, so she can win the next election, based on spin-spin. That's what counts, isn't it?

On the zealots, Tresemme is good at smoke and mirrors, so I expect tons of the stuff, building up to the next election. British values, bulldog spirit, glorious victory over Gibraltar. Will Dacre buy this? I have no idea, but presumably, he will be put off by the idea of the cliff-edge, unless the zealots have serious suicidal impulses.

Correction, yes, should be 50 billion in the bill.

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no path

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mr cheesy
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On a sidenote, it is rather hilarious that Santamu and May condemn Cadburys on the basis that their founder was a Christian.

In fact he was a Quaker in an era when they steadfastly refused to celebrate religious festivals. The idea that he'd be bothered if the "meaning of Easter was lost" is laughable.

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arse

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quetzalcoatl
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See chris stiles' post. Now the EU are wrecking Easter, because they hate the English, and anyway, most of them are Muslims and Jews. (It doesn't have to make sense).

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no path

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