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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 Rocinante:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I wonder what on earth David Davies is actually saying in negotiations about this issue. I simply can't see a tenable negotiating position. No wonder the EU are talking about the need for greater coherence.

I'm increasingly sure that his plan is to bat out time on the negotiation, then blame the EU for its failure and the resulting chaos.
Having recently met someone who has been on the other side of the table from David Davies, what I've heard about him would suggest that planning ahead that far would be out of character. Too much like hard work for someone who is too lazy to read briefing notes in advance of a meeting.

Though, it's quite possible someone else could plan ahead like that, and rely on the ineptitude of Davies to manage to avoid getting anything done in negotiations.

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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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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
as we've been reminded again this week, Article 50 can be revoked. It would be politically difficult for the UK government to do so (possibly the understatement of the year)

What UK government would do so? I can't see anybody close to power advocating that. It's fiendishly hard to know what Labour's position is, but Corbyn appears to be committed to leaving.
Whether any UK government would is different from whether the government could.

quote:

Besides, once again you seem to be forgetting the other side of the negotiating table - you're assuming the EU-27 will take a similar view about the possibility of Article 50 being revoked. That possibility looks politically unworkable to me too.

The UK leaving the EU is certainly damaging to the latter, but sending a message (by allowing Article 50 to be revoked) that Member States can dither indefinitely about whether they have decided to leave or not strikes me as even more damaging. The EU-27 have taken the UK's decision as definitive pretty much since the referendum result.

I'm not sure there can be much dithering. If democratic principles are followed and the UK population, either directly through another referendum or through their representatives in Parliament, reject the plan that the UK government proposes then that kills that plan. The government can produce another plan for leaving the EU, or decide not to leave. But, the people will have had a chance to have their say and that generally concludes things for a generation.

Of course if we're denied the opportunity to have a say on the government's plan then we will get a say in subsequent elections. It won't be long before a party stands on a platform including regaining EU membership - some parties already have that aim. Does it count as dithering if there is a strong movement within the UK to rejoin?

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

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I'm not sure there can be much dithering.

As far as I can see, the reasons for envisaging the (remote) prospect of Article 50 being revoked are multiple. Some people seem to think that doing so would effectively annul Brexit, others think it simply means more time to negotiate what sort of Brexit will happen.

With such a huge difference of expectations even before anything happens, the potential for chaos, confusion, further weakening of institutions, loss of stability and loony parties emerging à la Catalonia is to my mind even higher than going ahead on the current basis.
quote:
But, the people will have had a chance to have their say and that generally concludes things for a generation.
I think that already happened. I know you don't think people had a properly informed opportunity to have their say, but what makes you think things would be any different on another occasion?

quote:
Does it count as dithering if there is a strong movement within the UK to rejoin?
No, but I note you used the word rejoin. Contrary to your previous posts, that implies acceptance of the fact of leaving.

Leaving and rejoining later on other terms is another question altogether, but on the face of your own assertion above it wouldn't be for another generation.

Dithering is what's going on now.

As so often when it comes to the EU-27's perception of the UK's behaviour, thinking article 50 can be revoked at the UK's whim comes across as wanting to have your cake and eat it (or at the very least, deciding the terms on which the cake is to be eaten unilaterally): seeking to prolong the state of not quite being sure whether the UK wants to leave or not for as long as it sees fit.

Once again, this is unreality. Even if it were realistically possible, deciding on its own whether Article 50 can be revoked is not, in realpolitik, a decision that can be taken by the UK alone. The EU-27 cannot afford to accept such behaviour and rightly so to my mind. Economic decision-making has moved on, albeit without full clarity, on the assumption that the UK is leaving.

Again, it's like Catalonia where so many companies have lost no time in relocating their headquarters outside the region since the "declaration of independence". The longer you wait, the more instability it creates.

[ 12. November 2017, 15:29: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

Again, it's like Catalonia where so many companies have lost no time in relocating their headquarters outside the region since the "declaration of independence". The longer you wait, the more instability it creates.

In fact the hardline Brexiters can - in their day jobs - see this as a fact, even as they push for disaster capitalism for the rest of us:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/francescoppola/2017/11/12/british-lawmaker-advises-investors-to-take-their-money-out-of-the-uk/# 52edb88f4c1e

Redwood isn't on the cabinet, but he appears to have been all over the news like a rash recently.

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Rocinante
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I wonder what on earth David Davies is actually saying in negotiations about this issue. I simply can't see a tenable negotiating position. No wonder the EU are talking about the need for greater coherence.

I'm increasingly sure that his plan is to bat out time on the negotiation, then blame the EU for its failure and the resulting chaos.
Having recently met someone who has been on the other side of the table from David Davies, what I've heard about him would suggest that planning ahead that far would be out of character. Too much like hard work for someone who is too lazy to read briefing notes in advance of a meeting.

Though, it's quite possible someone else could plan ahead like that, and rely on the ineptitude of Davies to manage to avoid getting anything done in negotiations.

Davies should know, better than any of us, that Brexit is unmanageable and hard Brexit is inevitable, so he won't waste energy on actually trying to get a deal. The only thing up for grabs is who to blame for the inevitable mess, and he'll be lining up plausible reasons (plausible to Mail readers, anyway) as to why it's not him.

Yes, he's a lazy, vacuous, egotistical chancer, but he probably considers himself a likely successor to May when she eventually resigns/ is forced out.

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lowlands_boy
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Davis has just announced that

quote:
the agreement will only hold if Parliament approves it.
as he revealed a binding vote on the final deal

Which certainly makes it interesting. Does that mean if the deal is rejected in parliament, that we leave with no deal, or we don't leave?

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I thought I should update my signature line....

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Eutychus
From the edge
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I have a terrible feeling Rocinante's right, and that this is just a way of being able to share out the blame on other people when it all goes pear-shaped.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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The BBC report says the vote by Parliament would be before the EU nations get to vote on it. That makes it theoretically possible that the government could go back to the EU and try to negotiate another deal that would be satisfactory to Parliament. Though the time frame would be incredibly short. My best bet would be that a deal on EU nationals, "divorce bill" and the Irish border needs to be bashed out very soon - that could be put to a vote and passed quite easily (though the nutters at the right will object to even a penny as a divorce bill, and may object to guarantees on rights of EU nationals, the majority of the House isn't that stupid). Then as long as there's an agreement that there will be an interim transitional period, and an indication of a sensible aim, then a vote on that could pass as well ... and, if the House votes for attempting to reach a different end point after transition then there's all the time during the transition to get that negotiated.

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Barnabas62
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I think Rocinante is probably right. Pass the buck is a totally cynical strategy, but what else is there?

There was a line in 'Yes Prime Minister' about getting into the EU to make a complete pig's breakfast of the whole thing. We'll, a pig's breakfast is what we've now got.

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
My best bet would be that a deal on EU nationals, "divorce bill" and the Irish border needs to be bashed out very soon - that could be put to a vote and passed quite easily

What sort of deal on the Irish border do you see being made and passed quite easily?

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
What sort of deal on the Irish border do you see being made and passed quite easily?

I know this isn't really answering the question that you asked - but David Davis indicated yesterday that he thought it would be achieved with some kind of preferential-importer, electronic tagging and small business wavers.

I assume what he means is that there will be checks at the border but that those with some kind of special ticket/pass will not face duties.

The problem with this seems to me to be the risks to the EU. Once again, it appears that the British government is deliberately stoking this problem to make it even worse, then sitting back to watch for the EU response, on the basis that they (the EU) have too much invested in NI to allow the border issue to destroy the Republic.

The problem for the EU is that the Republic is away from the rest of continental Europe with the UK in the way. If the beliefs of the UK Brexit believers are realised, then the UK will have a massive increase in trade with partners elsewhere in the world. One worry for the EU is that these imports will slip into the EU via a border in NI. There seems less of a worry about the reverse happening.

Also Davis' comments don't seem to deal with the movement of people across the Irish border, which of course is currently completely free. Even if they can introduce some kind of customs arrangement without causing chaos (which, to be honest, is unlikely), what are they going to do about people and stuff they're personally importing/exporting.

Once again, this smacks of the Tories trying to play with Game Theory to get what they want: which presumably is no change whatsoever in the status of NI (with a convenient back-door into the EU). The problem is that it seems fairly clear that the EU cannot agree to that.

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arse

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
My best bet would be that a deal on EU nationals, "divorce bill" and the Irish border needs to be bashed out very soon - that could be put to a vote and passed quite easily

What sort of deal on the Irish border do you see being made and passed quite easily?
I've no idea. But, if the UK and EU negotiators come up with a solution that both sides are reasonably OK with (and that the Irish don't reject outright) then I can't see Parliament voting it down. Alternatively, if there is no such agreement then there won't be anything to vote on.

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

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Yes, he's a lazy, vacuous, egotistical chancer, but he probably considers himself a likely successor to May when she eventually resigns/ is forced out.

Don't you think his age would count against him? He's nearly 69. We're not talking about the leader of the :LibDems or the PotUS here!
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Eutychus
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The DUP, required by the current UK government for a parliamentary majority, will vote against a soft border and against any form of internal border. The Republic of Ireland is opposed to a hard border. Do I have that right?

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
My best bet would be that a deal on EU nationals, "divorce bill" and the Irish border needs to be bashed out very soon - that could be put to a vote and passed quite easily

What sort of deal on the Irish border do you see being made and passed quite easily?
Hard border with the mainland, soft border on the island itself - fudge on the customs union for N.I. Some kind of special status.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Eutychus
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I suggested that upthread: a kind of Hong Kong SAR. But the DUP appear to be dead against it, don't they? It can't pass "easily".

[ 14. November 2017, 07:31: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I suggested that upthread: a kind of Hong Kong SAR. But the DUP appear to be dead against it, don't they? It can't pass "easily".

My observation is that the DUP - and by extension the Tories, because the latter need the former - believe two equal-and-opposite things. They're dead against anything which erodes the status of NI as part of the UK. Which means they'll not stand for passport controls across the sea, they'll not have customs controls at the Irish sea ports etc.

But at the same time, they're saying that they want the closest possible relationship between NI and the Republic - largely (I think) because of the economics of the thing. There are many cross-border links in Ireland that only happen because of the border status, it seems.

I can't see how they can have both. But an arrangement like HK (whereby NI is neither in the EU nor the rUK for the purposes of customs) seems to be the worst of all worlds for the DUP. I really don't have any clue what it is that they want or think they can get.

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arse

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Eutychus
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I was just wondering whether an SAR NI might not have some attractions, a bit like HK or Macao. If NI were to play its cards right it could be the least bad place to be: a better arrangement with the EU than rUK plus privileged access to the UK market. The EU/NI border might start being the new Calais, though.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I suggested that upthread: a kind of Hong Kong SAR. But the DUP appear to be dead against it, don't they? It can't pass "easily".

If the deal gets the support of a significant number of Labour MPs it'll pass, and I expect most Labour MPs will recognise that a deal on the Irish border is far preferable to no deal and vote accordingly.

It's after that vote that the loss of DUP support will be felt by the government, and I can see the situation where the government collapses shortly afterwards as the DUP votes against them.

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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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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I was just wondering whether an SAR NI might not have some attractions, a bit like HK or Macao. If NI were to play its cards right it could be the least bad place to be: a better arrangement with the EU than rUK plus privileged access to the UK market. The EU/NI border might start being the new Calais, though.

I'm not totally familiar with the HK-China customs and passport situation, but I assume that there are some controls there.

But in general, I'm not sure anyone is going to go for a solution whereby NI gets to have an open door both to the EU and the rUK. I can see that it might look workable on paper, but in practice it'd surely be an irregular source of imports into the EU (as per private jet imports into the UK via the Isle of Man).

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arse

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
It's after that vote that the loss of DUP support will be felt by the government, and I can see the situation where the government collapses shortly afterwards as the DUP votes against them.

Right. But what happens then? Do you think the EU-27 will put the clock on hold while a general election is held? I somehow doubt it.

quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I can see that it might look workable on paper, but in practice it'd surely be an irregular source of imports into the EU (as per private jet imports into the UK via the Isle of Man).

No, no, no. It would be "a key nexus for optimising the UK's trade links with the EU as we move forward with Brexit, and a valuable, transparent means of channeling the external investment our economy needs" [Two face]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
It's after that vote that the loss of DUP support will be felt by the government, and I can see the situation where the government collapses shortly afterwards as the DUP votes against them.

Right. But what happens then? Do you think the EU-27 will put the clock on hold while a general election is held? I somehow doubt it.

I wouldn't expect the clock to stop. The impact on negotiations with the EU is going to depend on timing. If that vote on the deal happens early in 2019 then the government will probably stumble past Brexit day before collapsing. If we get a vote early in 2018 on the first part of the deal (divorce bill, EU nationals, Irish border) then the government may be able to keep going for another 18 months, it depends on how soon the DUP want to take for their revenge. It's the sort of mess that's almost inevitable when the government attempts to enact a major constitutional change without the support of the majority of MPs and the electorate.

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

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Rocinante
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Yes, he's a lazy, vacuous, egotistical chancer, but he probably considers himself a likely successor to May when she eventually resigns/ is forced out.

Don't you think his age would count against him? He's nearly 69. We're not talking about the leader of the :LibDems or the PotUS here!
I saw an article on/interview with David Davies around the time of his latest appointment (can't remember where, may have been the i) where he said his age wasn't an issue for him. He's an ex-SAS reservist and very physically fit.

He came across as a man of action for whom policy detail (and politics in general, really) was a bit of a bore. An ideal pick for leading the most complex negotiations this country has ever entered into. [Roll Eyes]

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Alan Cresswell

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I don't think age is an issue, Davis is basically the same age as Jeremy Corbyn. Competence is an issue, Davis appears to be even less competent than Theresa May.

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

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Barnabas62
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The clock normally gets stopped if the absence of a timely solution is mutually damaging. I think that would happen if the multi billion dollar divorce settlement is contingent on everything else being sorted in time. While we're still in, we have to pay our dues. If we threaten to leave unilaterally, tell the EU to go whistle for the divorce settlement, the EU may blink, and offer to stop the clock. The alternative looks like a trade war, maybe also a European court legal battle.

So I suppose the clock might get stopped out of mutual fear of consequences

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:


So I suppose the clock might get stopped out of mutual fear of consequences

I don't think Davis is going to stop anything for anyone. He's not interested in the economic effects, the political effects in NI, the whys or even the wherefores. He has a glint in his eye and he is determined to ram through an exit from the EU and damn any other consequences or considerations. If the bloody EU won't give us what we want, then we'll give them the ol' two fingered salute and slam the door behind us.

I can only conclude that he's rationalising that it will all work out in the wash.

It won't. We're screwed.

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arse

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
So I suppose the clock might get stopped out of mutual fear of consequences

From this side of the channel, stopping the clock looks as bad if not worse in terms of the prospects for the EU-27 as not having the divorce bill settled.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
From this side of the channel, stopping the clock looks as bad if not worse in terms of the prospects for the EU-27 as not having the divorce bill settled.

I suppose the problem here is that none of us really have all the information to weigh the pros and cons to both sides (never mind the perception of the negotiating parties of the pros and cons).

I don't know how, for example, to weigh the cost to the EU of getting the Irish border wrong. As it stands, a no-deal appears to involve not only the EU only receiving whatever exit payments the British government feels like giving then but also a huge hole in the finances going forward and a massive problem in Ireland.

Similar with the free-skys arrangement. We might think that the balance of pain is mostly on the UK if there is no agreement about planes landing in the EU. But I don't know how to assess the impacts of British tourists abandoning EU resorts because there are no cheap flights.

It seems unlikely now, but presumably it wouldn't be so tricky to have cheap flights going to other places outside of the EU if the local tourism industry (possibly in North Africa or the Middle East) saw it as an opportunity and pushed to develop the market for British tourists.

I still think that the major sword hanging over the British government is the British OAPs in the EU. Davis has been fudging this by talking about EU citizens in the UK, but I can't see that anything he says is really dealing with the issue of large numbers of British expats who are economically inactive inside the EU.

If there are fewer working EU citizens in the UK, there seems less urgency to continue to allow/encourage UK retirees to continue living in the Costa del whatever.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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But then I also see that the British government is basically doing a dump on the EU's doorstep, pointing at it and then folding arms whilst tapping feet - as if it is the EU's problem to sort out.

The problem is that if the EU doesn't sort it out, the UK ain't gunna.

What a nightmare.

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arse

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
What sort of deal on the Irish border do you see being made and passed quite easily?

I know this isn't really answering the question that you asked - but David Davis indicated yesterday that he thought it would be achieved with some kind of preferential-importer, electronic tagging and small business wavers.

His actual answer - when examined closely - was considerably vaguer.

Besides - the government has no hope in hell of speccing out and building an 'electronic tagging system for customs' in time.

Davis' tactic seems to be to repeatedly put on and take off his glasses while waffling.

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Eutychus
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I just read this news item.

Am I the only person to be even more confused at the end than at the beginning?

(And once again, to despair at the lack of any consideration at all of what is happening on the EU-27 side?)

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Barnabas62
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Perfidious Albion, Eutychus. We have a 500 year history of seeking to divide the French and the Germans, or the French and the Spanish, or, let's face it, the French and just about any other country. The inner meaning of the entente cordiale.

As Jim Hacker described it, following his visit to meet the US President "It went very well! We swooped briefs and spent the rest of the time rubbishing the French".

All this historical mutual mistrust is now coming back to bite us. Bloody David Davies. Bloody Redwood. Bloody Boris. Where's that Gunpowder?

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Eirenist
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1. The clock can't be stopped if the Brexit date (and time!) are set in stone in an Act of Parliament, as announced by Mrs May.
2. If the 'meaningful' vote of approval goes against any 'deal' the negotiators come up with, we leave anyway without a deal.
3. The light visible at the end of the tunnel is indeed an oncoming train.
4. But no worries, President Trump will save us.

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'I think I think, therefore I think I am'

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quetzalcoatl
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Interesting evidence yesterday from various car manufacturers to a parliamentary committee. The fears are often connected with 'no deal', but there is another problem - that leaving the Customs Union means that manufacturers have to secure 'type approval' for their goods. This could mean that production has to stop.

Some journalists express this as the EU 'threatening' the UK, but in fact, it seems to be an automatic consequence of being a third country. I wonder if MPs and ministers have got a grip of this?

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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quetzalcoatl
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Forgot link:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/14/honda-uk-warns-mps-of-consequences-of-leaving-eu-customs-union

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Rocinante
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I wonder if MPs and ministers have got a grip of this?

From what we've seen since the referendum, I'm guessing they haven't.

It seems that something like this comes out of the woodwork every few days, and the government response is always "they need us more than we need them, no deal is better than a bad deal, it's the will of the people, I can't hear you nanananana". no attempt is made to address specific issues, there is no grasp, or even acknowledgment of, detail.

Britain is being pushed over a cliff by fools who think we'll somehow sprout wings during the long plummet to follow.

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Britain is being pushed over a cliff by fools who think we'll somehow sprout wings during the long plummet to follow.

That's what happens when people live in cloud cuckoo land. They push everyone out of the nest before they can fly, then add a rather bizarre lemming twist by jumping themselves before they fledge.

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

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Eutychus
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If only the UK economy post-Brexit were powered by metaphor... [Killing me]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I wonder if MPs and ministers have got a grip of this?

From what we've seen since the referendum, I'm guessing they haven't.

It seems that something like this comes out of the woodwork every few days, and the government response is always "they need us more than we need them, no deal is better than a bad deal, it's the will of the people, I can't hear you nanananana". no attempt is made to address specific issues, there is no grasp, or even acknowledgment of, detail.

Britain is being pushed over a cliff by fools who think we'll somehow sprout wings during the long plummet to follow.

Some people speculate that May and Davis are deliberately taking their time, as they think that the EU will panic at the last minute, and give them their 'frictionless deal'.

I don't know if this is true, but if it is, it is an irresponsible gamble, because if the EU don't panic, then we are out, we are a third country, and we have no permission to export to EU.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Eutychus
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Unfortunately, it represents about the same level of cynicism displayed by Cameron. And while a week is a long time in politics, at the moment I absolutely can't see the EU-27 caving in.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
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It's a game of chicken with the UK negotiating team in a clapped out Morris Minor facing the EU negotiating team in a Mercedes articulated lorry. Who's going to come out worst if neither side flinches?

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

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quetzalcoatl
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What I find shocking is that we are all having to guess, because of the lack of information forthcoming. Perhaps they are playing chicken, perhaps not, but it's difficult to tell. Of course, I get that you can't advertise that you are playing chicken, but it leaves the UK public in the dark.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Rocinante
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Unfortunately, it represents about the same level of cynicism displayed by Cameron. And while a week is a long time in politics, at the moment I absolutely can't see the EU-27 caving in.

When Cameron went to Brussels in December 2015 he was effectively saying to the rest of the EU: "you have to give me some concessions because otherwise it's likely we'll vote to leave."

To which the EU response was along the lines of "we want you to stay, but not at the cost of severely limiting the freedoms and principles that are the foundation of the single market". He came back pretty much empty-handed, some minor technical changes to immigrant benefit entitlements dressed up as a game-changing victory.

Clearly nothing has been learned from Cameron's experience: that the EU doesn't consider continuing British membership or participation in the single market to be more important than the four freedoms. The juggernaut will just mow us down and carry on its merry way.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Some people speculate that May and Davis are deliberately taking their time, as they think that the EU will panic at the last minute, and give them their 'frictionless deal'.

Whether or not this is true of every person and on every issue - I think it is nonetheless true to say that this is the end effect.

I think what led here was a certain sense of hubris and exceptionalism [Throwing the problem of the NI back on the Republic just shows the extent to which exceptionalism pervades the whole thing
].

The Tory Brexiters assumed that everything was either fairly straight forward - or would be made to be so by a trade block that would be declining economically/politically and would be eager for a deal (Le Pen gets voted in, Euro blows up, Southern European block has a major split with the Central Europeans). I'm ignoring for a minute those who are either mad, bad or sophists (JRM, Redwood, Hannan etc).

In the event, the EU is doing well enough to paper over any fault-lines - and so they have gone for a de-politicised approach which hasn't so far allowed the UK to take advantage of any wedge issues.

Faced with this, the government can literally do nothing except play out the time and follow the strategy of Mr Micawber. The result is this weird limbo where they hope someone else can solve the issues, or that events overtake the negotiations. The problem is that the people in their own party won't settle for a longer negotiation period, or a transition arrangement that is long enough for circumstances to change.

In this situation, the only thing possible is hope and a fall back strategy of blame.

[ 15. November 2017, 19:28: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
the EU doesn't consider continuing British membership or participation in the single market to be more important than the four freedoms.

That insight ties in with my long-held conviction that as a Member State, the UK has never really understood, let alone signed up to, the ideological 'ever closer union' aspirations of the EU, or the reasons underpinning it.

It's never got beyond seeing it as essentially a trading partnership - the "Common Market". So much misunderstanding stems from that.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
the EU doesn't consider continuing British membership or participation in the single market to be more important than the four freedoms.

That insight ties in with my long-held conviction that as a Member State, the UK has never really understood, let alone signed up to, the ideological 'ever closer union' aspirations of the EU, or the reasons underpinning it.

It's never got beyond seeing it as essentially a trading partnership - the "Common Market". So much misunderstanding stems from that.

Absolutely. As someone remarked in the referendum: people on the continent see the EU as a church, the British see it as a supermarket.
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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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It's depressingly ironic that the more Remembrance Day has been promoted, even fetishised, the less people seem to remember about the history of conflict in Europe.

People,vote for far right parties in the context of a global financial down turn - and very long recovery period - as if this will solve a problem rather than replicate the problems of the early part of the 20th century.

How on earth do people not see this ?

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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May I ask a question, from across the Pond?

Do the people and countries of the EU like each other enough to be in a union? I gather that one purpose of the EU is to prevent another European war.

But, as was just mentioned, different EU member countries seem to have different ideas about what it all means.

It took the US a long time to put a union together, and a lot of hard work and arguing. I think our last state, Hawai'i, joined in 1959. And we still have places like Puerto Rico that are kind of half in and half out.

Theoretically, the colonies joined together to do things they couldn't easily do separately. States gradually joined the colonies-turned-states. A good chunk of that was probably due to wealthy individuals seeking more power. So it wasn't all clean, and happy, and honorable. And not necessarily due to a vision of peace and cooperation.

Sorry for meandering. I guess I'm saying that if the UK really wants in or out, I hope you get whatever's best. If it doesn't work out right now, maybe it's something that needs a lot more time?

And no, you don't need to be like the US. It's just that, from over here, the Common Market and the EU have formed comparatively quickly.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Eutychus
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The original impetus for the EU was "never again" to have a war in Europe. The signatory countries to the Treaty of Rome were all badly scarred either psychologically and/or physically by WW2 in a way that the UK - an island, never occupied - was not.

In the UK, WW2 was something "we won" (with a little help from the Americans). Elsewhere, it's more like something "we survived". It took me many years of living in France a) to realise I lived under the former assumption b) to realise it was not shared within Europe outside the UK c) to realise what a huge effect differing assumptions in this respect had on the various national psyches, with each of those realisations taking longer than the previous one.

I am convinced that the sense of entitlement that goes with the "we won" assumption explains a lot of why the UK government thinks the EU-27 will eventually cave in. They don't realise this isn't 1945 any more.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
the EU doesn't consider continuing British membership or participation in the single market to be more important than the four freedoms.

That insight ties in with my long-held conviction that as a Member State, the UK has never really understood, let alone signed up to, the ideological 'ever closer union' aspirations of the EU, or the reasons underpinning it.

I don't agree that this is the only reading of things - while there have always been aspirations for 'ever closer union' in some parts, this has been far from unanimous. It's far more true to say that the EU is a rule based organisation and as such has long ago decided (rightly in my opinion) that the Single Market as it is depends on the four freedoms being observed.

There are plenty of centrifugal forces within the EU - and at one point a lot of the smaller countries worked closely with the UK for just such a reason. Similarly, there is no serious convergence path on which Norway/Switzerland joins the EU and the Euro.

The UK's failure has been a failure to recognize the rules based nature of the arrangement, and thus try to go for something custom (doubly difficult as the acceptable range of custom options changes daily) or even to reinterpret existing rules more favorably[*], but then all the existing possible arrangements have already been ruled out by some vocal part of the Tory party.

[*] The UK could for a long time have operated on the basis of freedom of movement of labour which is all the directive requires.

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