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Source: (consider it) Thread: Shake it all about: Brexit thread II
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
While waiting for an answer from mr cheesy, I went looking for statistics on net contributions to the EU budget. They proved harder than expected to find.

I'm not dancing to your drum. I've said what I've said, if you can't be bothered to read it then I can't be bothered to respond.

quote:
The EU-27 contributions from 2007-2013 on this page are confusing: net contributions from a country to the EU appear to be shown as negative numbers. If I've got that right, it seems to me that for that period the UK was not the largest net contributor in either proportional or absolute terms.
I never said that UK was the largest contributor. I simply said it was a contributor within a union where about half the members are not.

If you can explain to me how the EU is going to cope with a net loss of income, given the likely ongoing economic crises in Greece and elsewhere, I'd be interested to hear it.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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This really isn't difficult information to find.

Try this from the European Commission, click button top left select operating budget balance.

Negative numbers are net contributions.

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arse

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Eutychus
From the edge
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I have no idea. I agree with Barnier that everyone is worse off after Brexit. But I think that as of now, the EU has been galvanised into some form of unity of purpose and sense of solidarity by events. The same cannot be said for the UK.

I would still like to know what you think the EU-27 "giving ground" looks like, and whether you think the responsibility for any lack of a deal should be split 50-50.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
The UK currently has precisely what as bargaining chips, aside from the remnants of that mouldy mostly finished portion of fish and chips currently being swept out of the last carriage of the Brussels Eurostar?

It appears that the only bargaining chips that the UK has are that refusing to negotiate would cause damage to the EU - both in a reduction in trade from the UK and a reduction in overall net payments in the EU budget.

If the UK says that it refuses to accept the judgements of the European courts (which appear to be the last resort of the European Commission with regard to the "divorce bill" that they've said the UK must pay) then there appears to be nothing that can be done to force the UK to pay it.

Which is a bit stupid, but then if the EU doesn't offer some kind of trade deal, then there isn't much of an incentive to send money to Brussels and a lot of internal pressure within the the UK not to.

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arse

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ThunderBunk

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
The UK currently has precisely what as bargaining chips, aside from the remnants of that mouldy mostly finished portion of fish and chips currently being swept out of the last carriage of the Brussels Eurostar?

It appears that the only bargaining chips that the UK has are that refusing to negotiate would cause damage to the EU - both in a reduction in trade from the UK and a reduction in overall net payments in the EU budget.

If the UK says that it refuses to accept the judgements of the European courts (which appear to be the last resort of the European Commission with regard to the "divorce bill" that they've said the UK must pay) then there appears to be nothing that can be done to force the UK to pay it.

Which is a bit stupid, but then if the EU doesn't offer some kind of trade deal, then there isn't much of an incentive to send money to Brussels and a lot of internal pressure within the the UK not to.

Oh look. That would be the UK's nose amputated flush with the skull, amputated by its own stupidity. Blood everywhere, stench of rotting foreign trade apparently now undetectable. And there's the tip of the EU's, bleeding admittedly but functioning adequately and already healing.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I have no idea. I agree with Barnier that everyone is worse off after Brexit. But I think that as of now, the EU has been galvanised into some form of unity of purpose and sense of solidarity by events. The same cannot be said for the UK.

It sounds to me like the EU is quite split on this, with some in the West trying to sound nonchalant about the likely impacts whereas those in the East and South, where any cuts in the EU budget would be felt hardest, sounding increasingly like they want to cut a deal.

quote:
I would still like to know what you think the EU-27 "giving ground" looks like, and whether you think the responsibility for any lack of a deal should be split 50-50.
As I said above, if the EU wants to fill in the budgetary hole then the simplest solution is to arrange some kind of deal with the UK whereby it (the UK) continues net contributions to the EU. Even smaller net contributions would be better than a UK sized-hole in the budget.

Now, obviously the political problem for the EU negotiators is that too sweet a deal makes membership more difficult to justify for countries like Germany who are already paying for a large part of the budget. But, on the other hand allowing the UK to walk away with no-deal would be really bad for the union.

I suspect that the most sensible compromise would involve something like an extended version of the 3-month rule (which has never been enforced in the UK) so that EU migrants only came to the UK if they had a permanent job, together with freeish trade in markets where there is an overall bilateral benefit (ie neither the UK or the EU benefit from the existence of free trade in those areas) together with some kind of trade barriers in other areas to prevent the UK sending cheap products to the EU (not very likely, admittedly) or the reverse.

That kind of deal is never going to happen if the EU continues to insist that it is their way or the highway, and is very unlikely to happen whilst the UK government is trying to play some kind of crappy Oxbridge-inspired Game Theory with trade negotiators who are better at it than they are.

Ultimately I don't think we can expect much from the Tories, because they're idiots, ideologues and ignoramuses - but one might expect the negotiators from the EU to realise that unless they back down from their take-it-or-leave-it approach, the whole EU is going to take a hit.

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arse

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
This really isn't difficult information to find.

Try this from the European Commission, click button top left select operating budget balance.

Negative numbers are net contributions.

The most recent numbers, including rebate and direct EU payments to UK government, is £156m per week. Which isn't really all that much, the loss of that to the EU would be noticed, but it's not likely to be a catastrophe.

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

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
Oh look. That would be the UK's nose amputated flush with the skull, amputated by its own stupidity. Blood everywhere, stench of rotting foreign trade apparently now undetectable. And there's the tip of the EU's, bleeding admittedly but functioning adequately and already healing.

I don't understand how you think the impact on the EU is just going to be a flesh wound.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
The most recent numbers, including rebate and direct EU payments to UK government, is £156m per week. Which isn't really all that much, the loss of that to the EU would be noticed, but it's not likely to be a catastrophe.

Not sure how you can say that. It is £8.1 b (probably more than that now given the changes in the exchange rate) and the most recent 2017 EU financial assistance to Greece was 8.5 billion Euro.

Whichever way you cut it, net UK contributions are more than the amount the EU is giving to Greece in 2017. If the UK doesn't contribute, where do you think this money is going to come from?

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arse

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ThunderBunk

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
Oh look. That would be the UK's nose amputated flush with the skull, amputated by its own stupidity. Blood everywhere, stench of rotting foreign trade apparently now undetectable. And there's the tip of the EU's, bleeding admittedly but functioning adequately and already healing.

I don't understand how you think the impact on the EU is just going to be a flesh wound.
The relative scales of the two economies, the proportions of the exports of each which rely on the other, the relative capacities of the two economies to replace the trade conducted with the other. I admit that the EU is losing a net contributor, and that this is going to require some painful adjustment for the 27, but there again, the price paid by the UK civil service and public service users will be every bit as painful, and more.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
The relative scales of the two economies, the proportions of the exports of each which rely on the other, the relative capacities of the two economies to replace the trade conducted with the other. I admit that the EU is losing a net contributor, and that this is going to require some painful adjustment for the 27, but there again, the price paid by the UK civil service and public service users will be every bit as painful, and more.

Well yes, those things are more complex than my argument allows. It seems to me that the best statistics do indeed show that the UK would be harder hit by a trade barrier between the UK and the EU.

I'm not trying to pretend that the UK wouldn't likely come out of no-deal very badly off, but I'm not at all convinced that the EU would come out of it with a minor flesh wound. In fact it seems that some individual countries would feel quite a lot of pain even if the overall impact on the EU as a whole was less than the impact on the UK.

The best option is clearly no Brexit. But fairly obviously a negotiation which comes out with no-deal and reverting to WTO rules would be pretty bloody bad for the EU as well as the UK.

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arse

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

Whichever way you cut it, net UK contributions are more than the amount the EU is giving to Greece in 2017. If the UK doesn't contribute, where do you think this money is going to come from?

It's going to come from France and Germany, who are bigger net contributors to the EU than the UK, and can afford it. Will it sting a bit? Sure, but they'll survive. On the grand scale of things it's not such a big effect.
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

It's going to come from France and Germany, who are bigger net contributors to the EU than the UK, and can afford it. Will it sting a bit? Sure, but they'll survive. On the grand scale of things it's not such a big effect.

Mmm. Interesting that you're all thinking this is a minor blow. I guess that might be interesting the next time there is an election in Germany or France.

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arse

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
The most recent numbers, including rebate and direct EU payments to UK government, is £156m per week. Which isn't really all that much, the loss of that to the EU would be noticed, but it's not likely to be a catastrophe.

Not sure how you can say that. It is £8.1 b (probably more than that now given the changes in the exchange rate) and the most recent 2017 EU financial assistance to Greece was 8.5 billion Euro.

Whichever way you cut it, net UK contributions are more than the amount the EU is giving to Greece in 2017. If the UK doesn't contribute, where do you think this money is going to come from?

It's also approximately the amount spent on National Lottery tickets every year in the UK. The loose change the people in one country can fritter away in hope of a payout. Which, in my book, means there's slack in the system to compensate for a relatively small cut in income - there'll be discomfort (especially in the nations like Greece that need that restructuring funds most), but the end of the EU is a big stretch. The "no deal" scenario will be a whole lot less disastrous to the EU than it is to the UK. Of course the rest of the EU is going to want a deal that will reduce the pain of Brexit to the EU, but if the game of chicken plays out the rest of the EU can afford to wait a lot longer than the UK before blinking. The UK is still entering negotiations with a very weak hand and a lousy poker face.

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

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Mmm. Interesting that you're all thinking this is a minor blow. I guess that might be interesting the next time there is an election in Germany or France.

10 billion euros (which is the approximate figure) is about 35% of the surplus the German government ran last year. It's not a small figure - but at the scale of multiple national economies it's not an overwhelming figure either.

Yes, I'm sure there are issues that will be caused as a result of this shortfall. On the other hand, it's bound up with a general issue that the EU (and the eurozone in particular) is going to have to face in the next few years anyway - that of how to organise its economy generally, and to what extent fiscal transfers are needed within the union, so I'm not sure that Brexit causes anything new there - it may even be a catalyst to a new settlement.

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Dave W.
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Here's another way to look at it:

For the UK, a country with a population of 66 million and a GDP of 2.5 trillion euros, a 10 billion euro net contribution (0.4% of GDP) is not a crushing burden and its relief won't be an incredible boon (bus slogans to the contrary notwithstanding.)

For the EU-27, with 6.7 times the population and 5.5 times the GDP, the same quantity of 10 billion euros (0.07% of GDP) is still less of an incredible boon now, and its loss will be still less of a crushing burden after Brexit.

It's a significant fraction of the EU budget, but frankly at 150 billion euros the budget isn't all that big compared to GDP or even the spending of national governments. (For comparison, the US economy is about as big as that of the EU, but US government spending last year was nearly 3.4 trillion euros.)

The EU will presumably cover the loss with some combination of spending cuts and increased contributions from the remaining members - it will be annoying, but not a disaster.

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
if the EU wants to fill in the budgetary hole then the simplest solution is to arrange some kind of deal with the UK whereby it (the UK) continues net contributions to the EU. Even smaller net contributions would be better than a UK sized-hole in the budget.

As far as I can tell this is only realistically possible with some form of access to the Single Market, and thus freedom of movement and at least some role for the ECJ, both of which are deal-breakers for the UK. In fact I think the ECJ jurisdiction is a worse sticking point than freedom of movement. How do you think the EU-27 could overcome this short of giving the UK better treatment than it gives its own members?

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
As far as I can tell this is only realistically possible with some form of access to the Single Market, and thus freedom of movement and at least some role for the ECJ, both of which are deal-breakers for the UK. In fact I think the ECJ jurisdiction is a worse sticking point than freedom of movement. How do you think the EU-27 could overcome this short of giving the UK better treatment than it gives its own members?

I don't know, it's a problem isn't it. However I suspect that the bilateral trade deals between the EU and China, Canada, Australia etc are not mediated by the European courts, are they?

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arse

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Eutychus
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I'm willing to be corrected on this, but AIUI trade deals between the Single Market and the rest of the world come under the jurisdiction of the ECJ. If you want access to the Single Market then you need to accept the jurisdiction of the final court of appeal for that market. You also have to agree, naturally, that you won't make side deals with countries the Single Market has trade agreements with.

The UK apparently wants maximum opportunities to trade with the EU-27 (but no freedom of movement), refuses absolutely the jurisdiction of the ECJ going forward, and wants to be able to make its own deals on the side. This is like wanting a car with automatic transmission and a stick-shift that runs on diesel and petrol and is both right and left-hand drive. What are the EU-27 supposed to offer?

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I'm willing to be corrected on this, but AIUI trade deals between the Single Market and the rest of the world come under the jurisdiction of the ECJ. If you want access to the Single Market then you need to accept the jurisdiction of the final court of appeal for that market. You also have to agree, naturally, that you won't make side deals with countries the Single Market has trade agreements with.

I don't think this is right. The ECJ is about mediating between the member states, it isn't the final court of arbitration between the EU and external countries. If anything, that's the WTO, see here.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

The UK apparently wants maximum opportunities to trade with the EU-27 (but no freedom of movement), refuses absolutely the jurisdiction of the ECJ going forward, and wants to be able to make its own deals on the side.

Isn't this exactly the situation for Canada? I'm not following your logic here.

Surely the problem is not that a non-EU country wants out of the ECJ and wants to be able to make its own side deals - but that it wants to do those things whilst having entirely free access to the common market.

That's the part that is basically impossible. But one would think that the EU can offer free access in particular goods and services without limiting side deals and without requiring ECJ oversight - as per various other states that have "free trade" with the EU in particular markets but without entirely free movement of people - like the relationship with Canada, China and other third countries with which the EU has trade deals.

[ 08. August 2017, 07:39: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

The UK apparently wants maximum opportunities to trade with the EU-27 (but no freedom of movement), refuses absolutely the jurisdiction of the ECJ going forward, and wants to be able to make its own deals on the side.

Isn't this exactly the situation for Canada? I'm not following your logic here.
The Canada option is number 5 in the Economist's lists of six "menus" referred to above, of which it is said:
quote:
The disadvantage is that free trade is not the same as frictionless trade. There would be customs controls and rules-of-origin checks, many services would not be covered and there would be non-tariff barriers thanks to differential regulation.
So it is "free" but not "frictionless", and I would think the physical volume of trade across the Channel is considerably more than that coming in from Canada.

The cost of escaping the ECJ appears to be customs controls: I don't know whether this would in practice amount to quetzalcoatl's queues of lorries on the border but quite possibly.

The immediate drawback I can see with this plan is that it sounds fiendishly complicated and likely to require a lot more than the time on the clock. Which is once again a reason for the UK to stop dithering and start generating some paper of its own.

Furthermore, the Economist says PM May favours this plan but does not say whether it is being pursued single-mindedly by her cabinet. Is it? The EU-27 can't start negotiating until they know what position they are negotiating with.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Eutychus
From the edge
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Also, I think it assumes that the UK can make up the inevitable decline of trade with the EU under this arrangement by trading elsewhere. My view is that this is a nostalgic delusion.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
So it is "free" but not "frictionless", and I would think the physical volume of trade across the Channel is considerably more than that coming in from Canada.

Absolutely.

quote:
The cost of escaping the ECJ appears to be customs controls: I don't know whether this would in practice amount to quetzalcoatl's queues of lorries on the border but quite possibly.
AFAIU if you want to be Norway (or possibly Switzerland), then you have to have the ECJ. I you don't, then the nearest example appears to be the Faroes - who have fairly free trade in particular products.

quote:
The immediate drawback I can see with this plan is that it sounds fiendishly complicated and likely to require a lot more than the time on the clock. Which is once again a reason for the UK to stop dithering and start generating some paper of its own.
Yes. And don't forget that the Canada deal took a really really long time.

quote:
Furthermore, the Economist says PM May favours this plan but does not say whether it is being pursued single-mindedly by her cabinet. Is it? The EU-27 can't start negotiating until they know what position they are negotiating with.
I cannot offer any insight into the mind of the Tories. I was thinking overnight that what appears to be happening is that they're attempting to be Yanis Varoufakis and trying to stare down the EU. Not going to work. But then if the EU doesn't back down then it is bad news for everyone IMO.

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arse

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Rosa Gallica officinalis
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# 3886

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

The UK apparently wants maximum opportunities to trade with the EU-27 (but no freedom of movement), refuses absolutely the jurisdiction of the ECJ going forward, and wants to be able to make its own deals on the side. This is like wanting a car with automatic transmission and a stick-shift that runs on diesel and petrol and is both right and left-hand drive. What are the EU-27 supposed to offer?

Would this fit the bill?

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Come for tea, come for tea, my people.

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
AFAIU if you want to be Norway (or possibly Switzerland), then you have to have the ECJ.

I think the problem is that the UK government have allowed the public to believe that in effect the UK can be Norway without the ECJ. They might argue "because of course we are much more important/larger than the Faroes or San Marino or wherever, so they will have to concede something", but this essentially economic argument obscures the legal fact that no matter how big or small you are this would entail coming under the jurisdiction of the ECJ. There is simply no way round that.

quote:
And don't forget that the Canada deal took a really really long time
That's my point. I think that throughout this farce the UK has expected the EU-27 to put everything on hold until such time as the UK is ready to make an alternative arrangement. This is a) arrogant and b) cloud-cuckoo land. Real-world decisions on the basis of Brexit started the day after the referendum. The longer this drags on the more people will start to plan, and invest, on the basis of the cliff-edge scenario.

quote:
I was thinking overnight that what appears to be happening is that they're attempting to be Yanis Varoufakis and trying to stare down the EU. Not going to work. But then if the EU doesn't back down then it is bad news for everyone IMO.
I don't think so. I don't think the UK has firmly decided on a menu option (i.e. a starting-point for negotiations). The only way they can be said to be "staring down" the EU is to say "we don't have plan: deal with it".

The only thing I can see the EU could possibly "backing down" on in the absence of a negotiating position on the part of the UK is the deadline, but I doubt this would be politically acceptable on either side for any length of time - in the meantime the UK still has all the responsibilities of EU membership, including legal and financial responsibilities, and none of the privileges.

[ 08. August 2017, 08:34: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Also, I think it assumes that the UK can make up the inevitable decline of trade with the EU under this arrangement by trading elsewhere. My view is that this is a nostalgic delusion.

At present it's unclear what other nations would want to negotiate a trade deal with the UK. The old days when nations like India or Australia would automatically want an agreement with the UK because the UK was the colonial power have died with the last vestiges of Empire. Nations will want trade deals with the UK if, and only if, they are good for them. And, of course many of those other nations (eg: Canada) already have trade deals which we will be backing out of. Backing out of one deal and then seeking to renegotiate another deal never seems to be a position of strength.

And, that's before you figure out how to negotiate a trade deal with, say India, when your foreign secretary states that this would be good because we can export "clinky clinky". If you don't enter negotiations looking like you're taking this seriously then you're unlikely to be taken seriously.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
But one would think that the EU can offer free access in particular goods and services without limiting side deals and without requiring ECJ oversight

Which particular goods, which particular services? Okay, so it's a bespoke trade deal you want? That takes time. It also doesn't necessarily solve the customs union issue.

The argument that 'surely <complicated thing> should be trivial to do', is part of what led the UK into this mess in the first place - and is also a large part of what keeps it in this mess, as it's the line taken by the hard line Brexiters on the right of the Tory Party.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:


The argument that 'surely <complicated thing> should be trivial to do', is part of what led the UK into this mess in the first place - and is also a large part of what keeps it in this mess, as it's the line taken by the hard line Brexiters on the right of the Tory Party.

Agreed. Although to be fair, their argument is that this should be a lot easier than any other trade discussion given that the UK is an EU member and is already meeting the various requirements for trade - which third countries are not.

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Alan Cresswell

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But, what the UK currently doesn't have is a mechanism to ensure continuation of those conditions post-Brexit. Does any UK-EU trade deal need to specify that the UK would enact all and every relevant EU regulation in the future?

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
But, what the UK currently doesn't have is a mechanism to ensure continuation of those conditions post-Brexit. Does any UK-EU trade deal need to specify that the UK would enact all and every relevant EU regulation in the future?

Not unless the UK wants to be Norway. Which is obviously doesn't if it can't stomach free movement.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
But, what the UK currently doesn't have is a mechanism to ensure continuation of those conditions post-Brexit. Does any UK-EU trade deal need to specify that the UK would enact all and every relevant EU regulation in the future?

In other words, submit to the jurisdiction of the ECJ without a say in it?

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
But, what the UK currently doesn't have is a mechanism to ensure continuation of those conditions post-Brexit. Does any UK-EU trade deal need to specify that the UK would enact all and every relevant EU regulation in the future?

In other words, submit to the jurisdiction of the ECJ without a say in it?
Apparently not. But it still sounds fiendishly complicated, and again the UK is not Singapore.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Apparently not.

But then again (this was my first thought: a forum for dispute resolution).

ETA:
quote:
Even in the ‘hardest’ possible Brexit scenario, ECJ case law will continue to matter because for UK businesses to sell their products and services in the EU single market they will have to respect the standards set by the ECJ. This operates as a permanent limit to the control that Britain can take back and degree of sovereignty it can restore.


[ 08. August 2017, 10:05: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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fletcher christian

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There's a very odd self destructive element to the hard line Brexiteers, which does get reported outside the UK (presumably also inside it, but I guess that's no longer a given). They appear on TV and on the radio and seem top positively relish the idea that Britain will create a domino effect throughout Europe and bring the whole thing crashing down. The phrases they use and the choice of language always paints the EU in the vein of the language used about the cold war, as if the EU were old communist Russia. Then there is also the dangerous talk of delighting in the idea that far right parties might gain increased sway and influence in Europe; and not in small countries, but in major players like France and Germany. This is what people in the EU outside Britain are seeing and hearing coming from Britain currently. This, and a PM who seems to be pandering to it and stalling negotiations at the same time.

Needless to say, the rest of Europe is looking at all this aghast. It is hard to believe that a once great nation which so embodied democracy and seemed to be emerging positively and constructively from the history of colonialism and empire is now throwing everything it has gained away. It's quite the horror show to watch and for many it is deeply, deeply worrying. I know I get heated at times and I know I can make it unnecessarily personal, but where I live there is so much at stake here that if I were to think on it too long I'd lose sleep. The UK government on the other hand doesn't seem to care and even recently has made moves to make things even worse. I've lived through what people can do to each other when the wood is green. It doesn't bear thinking about what will happen when it's dry.

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mr cheesy
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It is fairly scary what the EU is saying about the RoI - it seems to be suggesting that the impact on the Irish economy will be similar to that of the UK (ie higher than that of the rest of the EU) and that unless some deal is struck with regard to UK-RoI trade, then it'll be worse.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Agreed. Although to be fair, their argument is that this should be a lot easier than any other trade discussion given that the UK is an EU member and is already meeting the various requirements for trade - which third countries are not.

.. and as soon as they are able to agree to a mechanism for continuing to meet those requirements and a mechanism for dispute resolution over whether they meet those requirements .. and all this is part of the problem.

The other issue is that the governing party are very far from speaking with one voice. In effect there are multiple attempted negotiations going on, all with an eye to what the tabloids are saying, and a particular minister's standing at the end of things. Oh, and they reserve the right to switch at the last minute should they think that they can get a better deal.

This is not a recipe for getting a good deal, it's a recipe for pissing off the other side. And I'm not sure what you think the EU should offer that they aren't?

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
It is fairly scary what the EU is saying about the RoI - it seems to be suggesting that the impact on the Irish economy will be similar to that of the UK (ie higher than that of the rest of the EU) and that unless some deal is struck with regard to UK-RoI trade, then it'll be worse.

Once again I think the impact Fletcher Christian is worried about, and the UK government seems to be blithely ignoring, is above all the political one. There is so much more than a "common market" at stake here.

[ 08. August 2017, 10:11: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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fletcher christian

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Posted by Mr Cheesy:
quote:

It is fairly scary what the EU is saying about the RoI - it seems to be suggesting that the impact on the Irish economy will be similar to that of the UK (ie higher than that of the rest of the EU) and that unless some deal is struck with regard to UK-RoI trade, then it'll be worse.

Very possibly. The RofI does a very significant proportion of its trade with the UK. Currently that is shifting; in fact its been shifting very quickly since the vote. There are also new opportunities being presented too. Dublin city is furiously building commercial and financial sector properties in preparation for moves (a number of UK banks and institutions have already made commitments). There is almost manic expansion on the freight sector as Ireland will likely take up all the slack from the UK losses. Some here are predicting a significant hit to the economy, others suggest a temporary bad spell and others have claimed that it will all be cheques and balances and we'll hardly notice the difference. I guess without any deals on the table it's almost impossible to know how things will work out.

Wat concerns people here most is the question of a hard border. If the UK decides it wants a hard Brexit then it would appear that a hard border is almost inevitable. That will require a re-write of the GFA and nobody wants that because currently the political parties in the north are entrenched, polarised and have both drifted very far to the right in recent years. The GFA would be dead in the water. The only sensible options - which has already been mooted by the EU - is to have a sea border. This would create an economically united Ireland and throw the politics of Northern Ireland into utter chaos leaving the paramilitaries to run the country in the vacuum, and presumably murder each other. A civil war is not out of the question.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:

If the UK decides it wants a hard Brexit then it would appear that a hard border is almost inevitable.

The problem is that the Tory party are currently fighting a leadership election by competing over who can get the harder and worse exit deal. I suspect consideration of the national interest is a stretch, and considerations beyond the UKs borders are non existent.
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Eutychus
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So Hammond and Fox (who as I understand it represent the two ends of the spectrum in the cabinet) say today
quote:
We are both clear that during this period the UK will be outside the single market and outside the customs union and will be a 'third-country' not party to EU treaties
So if I've got this right, this narrows down the menu options to 5 or 6. 6 is effectively "cliff-edge" Brexit, which they also say they don't want, so only 5 is left.

This (whatever it is) is to be achieved by means of a "transitional period". Does anyone have any ideas how a "transitional period" could apply to customs controls, the single market, the four freedoms...? It reminds me of the joke about Ireland switching to driving on the left but doing so gradually, starting with HGVs.

Apparently the UK government's position on the NI border is also due out this coming week.

[ 13. August 2017, 06:39: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Doublethink.
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The new LSE study ¹ may be concentrating minds. Though it is notable that they did not include a remain scenarios in the choices offered.

---

¹ Buzzfeed

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Eutychus
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How does it concentrate minds?
quote:
Finding the public's view on what Brexit should look like has proven a tricky task for pollsters and politicians, as many of the technical issues and tradeoffs are not well understood. As an example, one poll showed 88% of the public supporting free trade with the EU post-Brexit, while 69% wanted customs checks at the border – a directly contradictory position, meaning at least 57% of respondents had said they supported both open and closed borders.

The academics tackled this by forcing respondents to choose between different plausible Brexit scenarios, then analysing the huge dataset this produced to find Leave and Remain voters' priorities for Brexit.

Sure, you can aggregate responses to determine a hypothetical set of priorities, but that's a billion miles from implementing actual policy.

As far as I can see, this analysis is in danger of concentrating minds to produce a fudge in which everyone thinks they are in "aggregated" agreement until the very last minute when it all falls to pieces in their hands.

[ 13. August 2017, 07:36: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Doublethink.
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I think they are casting around for an approach, and this allows them to try to pick the combination with the broadest support - where wants are directly contradictory they will go with the one which will fit most coherently with the other options.

Doesn't necessarily mean it will work though.

[ 13. August 2017, 07:47: Message edited by: Doublethink. ]

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Doublethink.
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Also, I do wonder how they define custom checks to the respondents. It would not surprise me if people are thinking of physical checks for people trafficking when they endorse both positions.

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Eutychus
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As far as I can see the cabinet is united in insisting there will be no customs union, so I think that point is moot.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
As far as I can see the cabinet is united in insisting there will be no customs union, so I think that point is moot.

It's not moot re: what the public want. It's only moot in the sense that the cabinet have picked an ideology position regardless of the public interest, and are sticking to it the face of common sense, reality and any shred of national interest.

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Eutychus
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On that point the LSE survey does I think make a valid point to the extent that it seems to show a majority on both sides want the referendum result to stand. Which is perhaps more important, in the very long term, even than any bad outcomes in the medium term.

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MarsmanTJ
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IME, what this shows is that a lot of Remain voters have seen so little change so far that they are willing to support the Leavers in having a good go at getting the result they wanted from the Referendum, while reserving the right to say 'I told you so' when it all goes pear shaped.
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chris stiles
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It is fairly clear that there was a large amount of mis-reporting of this particular report, and the percentages - didn't in fact - translate directly to levels of support for particular options.

Ben Chu has written up the majority of these criticisms here:

http://www.independent.co.uk/infact/brexit-report-latest-remainers-deport-eu-citizens-uk-back-hard-european-union-study-expla ined-a7892216.html

So I don't think that the conclusions drawn by the last few posts necessarily apply. Even the preference for some sort of Brexit was driven by the particular set of scenarios that the researchers chose to present, and the particular ways in which these were framed.

So the study shows us the preferences people have from that particular set it doesn't necessarily have any wider application.

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