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In or out?

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2681 Postby Alan H » November 12th, 2017, 11:24 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

It becomes even more of a shambles every day: UK government tensions rise after leak of Johnson-Gove letter to May
The tensions in Theresa May’s government intensified on Sunday night ahead of this week’s vital votes on the Brexit bill, as ministers accused Boris Johnson and Michael Gove of sending an “Orwellian” set of secret demands to No 10.

As an increasingly weakened prime minister faces the possibility of parliamentary defeats on the bill, government colleagues have said they are aghast at the language used by the foreign secretary and the environment secretary in a joint private letter.


Keir Starmer Tweeted:
I have written to PM. The only way to face down her Brexit extremists, who will drive us to 'no deal', is to accept Labour's amendments to the Withdrawal Bill. Act now in the national interest; not party interest.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
Posts: 5943
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#2682 Postby animist » November 13th, 2017, 12:28 pm

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n18/swati-dhi ... rade-deals

much the same analysis as Ian Dunt in "Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now?" BTW, Alan, what did you think of the Kenneth Armstrong book "Brexit Time"?

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2683 Postby Alan H » November 13th, 2017, 12:52 pm

animist wrote:https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n18/swati-dhingra/how-not-to-do-trade-deals

much the same analysis as Ian Dunt in "Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now?" BTW, Alan, what did you think of the Kenneth Armstrong book "Brexit Time"?

Not as good as Dunt's and a bit dry, but it does give a lot of interesting background to the vote and the politics behind it. You?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
Posts: 5943
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#2684 Postby animist » November 13th, 2017, 2:52 pm

I am lost for words!

https://www.forbes.com/sites/francescop ... 6c59b74d45

now I have just remembered a younger Redwood also being lost for words!
https://www.google.co.uk/search?source= ... QAa-c5rVPI

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2685 Postby Alan H » November 13th, 2017, 3:12 pm



You couldn't make this shit up. Blind - except when it comes to lining their own pockets.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22036
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2686 Postby Alan H » November 13th, 2017, 5:04 pm

Twitter comments from Ian Dunt on today's Mad Hatters' Tea Party:
The joy is unfinished. David Davis now up in the Commons to update House on Brexit talks.
Like a man living in another world, talks about progress towards trade phase & how talks have now "narrowed" on a "few" unresolved issues.
"Creativity". DRINK.
Davis says will pursue EU cits voting rights bilaterally with EU member states. Interesting.
NEWS: Specific primary legislation on "withdrawal agreement and implementation bill".
That's DD caving in ahead of expected defeat on amendment to repeal bill. This ensures a parliamentary vote on the deal.
But it is NOT a meaningful vote, unless govt commits to petitioning to extend A50 & going back to table in case of a no vote.
As I've said before, in any choice between a deal and no-deal, the deal is always better. Only a psychopath would vote no-deal. But still. Baby steps.
Starmer rubbing it in. 'This is recognition from govt that it is about to lose a series of amendments. They've used cloak of report back from Brussels'.
Starmer wants the Commons to get a vote in event that there is no deal. This is crucial.
No answer from Davis. Dreadful response to Starmer from the Brexit secretary, devoid of any meaning.
Ken Clarke gets up to press same point. Parliament must be able to approve of disapprove of any agreement, or lack of agreement.
Davis promises a meaningful vote, and over and above that there will be legislation putting it into effect. That doesn't answer the question.
DD asked if parliament can amend the bill. Presumably yes, it's primary legislation.
DD confirms that yeah, it's primary legislation so yes amendments possible.
Fuck me that bill is going to the most almighty horror story.
What fun. If only it was happening in another country.
Sit down. IDS has made a valid point. If the amendment goes against the agreement with EU, that's rather a problem.
DD says yes. "House is welcome to express it's view... [but there will obvs be] consequences."
As @WJBarter says, Henry VIII powers in repeal bill wld presumably allow ministers to undo anything Commons says in a vote on withdrawal agreement.
DD says it is "principle policy aim" to bring this bill before the Commons before Brexit day. Madness.
Soubry: "It's all very interesting." Repeats Starmer/Clarke question. Will there be vote in case of no deal?
DD: "If we don't have a withdrawal agreement we can't have a withdrawal agreement bill." So that's a no.
Quite incredible. MPs will be not be given a say over no-deal. They will be given a vote on a deal but can only chose between that and the abyss.
If they amend it, it would undo the deal. And they might only get to vote on it after Brexit has happened.
Tell you what lads this parliamentary sovereignty thing is a bit weird.
Dominic Grieves: Welcomes move."Anxiety heightened" by insistence on Brexit date in bill and idea House could vote after Brexit day.
DG: This surely makes it obvious that in those scenarios Article 50 would need to be extended. DD replies saying that requires universal Council approval.
True, but hardly a viable counter-argument, given the scenarios DD raising are insane.
Oliver Letwin wants a "comprehensive and convincing account" from DExEU of how UK would manage to leave EU without a deal.
There have been lots precise, forensic questions in the Commons today. Many MPs thinking several steps ahead. Really impressive.
Phillip Davies, insufferable, says govt "won't be forgiven" if it pays too much on divorce bill. Makes a shit joke. DD laughing along heartily.
Link Here
You can tell a lot from who DD attacks, who he seems encouraged by and the journos he chooses to call regularly.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22036
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2687 Postby Alan H » November 15th, 2017, 12:57 am

This Brexit thingy is all going tickety-boo, isn't it? Honda UK warns MPs of consequences of leaving EU customs union
Honda UK warns MPs of consequences of leaving EU customs union

The devastating impact of a hard Brexit on the UK car industry was laid bare on Tuesday to MPs, who were told every 15 minutes of customs delays would cost some manufacturers up to £850,000 a year.

Presenting the industry’s most detailed evidence yet to the business select committee, Honda UK said it relied on 350 trucks a day arriving from Europe to keep its giant Swindon factory operating, with just an hour’s worth of parts being held on the production line.

The Japanese-owned company said it would take 18 months to set up new procedures and warehouses if Britain left the customs union but that, with 2m daily component movements, even minor delays at Dover and the Channel tunnel would force hundreds of its trucks to wait for the equivalent of 90 hours a day.

Remind me again why the fuck we're doing this?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22036
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2688 Postby Alan H » November 15th, 2017, 1:07 am

As the Tory Brexit fight club slugs it out, do they even care about Ireland?
Ego-wrestling British cabinet ministers seem willing to risk their neighbours’ hard-won peace and prosperity. And the rest of Europe can see that
They all act as if Brexit is something the Conservative party will claim from Brussels and bestow on a grateful nation. They do not appear to recognise that the gift is not theirs alone to give. It will be shaped by the generosity of the other side in the negotiation. That goodwill was depleted from the start.

Before a penny of Britain’s EU budget contribution has been recouped, the decision to leave the club inflicts costs on its members. It is a tax on their economic stability and diplomatic cohesion. May insists her intent is benign, but the process itself damages everyone. Those closest to the source of grief are hurt most.

The biggest loser by a mile is Ireland. In March, the European parliament published an assessment of Brexit’s impact on EU states. “The most striking result is that Ireland suffers the same magnitude of losses as does the UK,” the authors note. This was true in optimistic and pessimistic scenarios. Whichever way you slice it, Brexit looks like economic aggression across the Irish sea.
Yes, Gove, Johnson, Davis and May – they can see you. The rest of Europe is watching your absurd, panic-stricken squabbles and listening to your bluster. They notice how oblivious you are to the consequences of your actions for countries that once counted as your friends. They form judgments on the character of the regime with which they are dealing: its reliability, its sense of responsibility. And this affects the talks. They see a country fast degenerating from trusted ally to nightmare neighbour.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22036
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2689 Postby Alan H » November 15th, 2017, 11:19 am

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22036
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2690 Postby Alan H » November 15th, 2017, 12:32 pm

Looks like it wasn't Fields' day to use the Brexiter's brain cell: Exit the EU at midnight European time? Not on Frank Field's watch
Finally the nitty-gritty. With just eight days to go line by line through 200 pages of amendments, time was of the essence as the Commons began its committee stage reading of the government’s EU withdrawal bill. So Labour’s Frank Field chose to focus on the big issue. The timing of Britain’s exit from the EU.

Field wasn’t at all happy with the fact that the government had agreed to leave at midnight European time on 29 March 2019. In fact, it was an outrage. Field was fed up with the EU getting all the good stuff, like Christmas, an hour before us. So what he wanted was to bloody well make the Europeans wait an extra hour until midnight British time for the pleasure of us telling them to sod off. That would show them.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22036
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2691 Postby Alan H » November 16th, 2017, 12:08 pm

When will this madness end? Brexiters are retreating deeper into fantasy land
As the realities of Brexit become ever more apparent, Brexiters are retreating ever further into a fantasy world of their own. To take just a couple of the many examples this week we had, first, Christopher Chope MP who amongst other things railed against the EU for making membership of the single market and customs union a “pre-requisite to having a frictionless border between Ireland and Northern Ireland”. This, which is becoming a recurrent complaint from the Brexit Ultras, shows a quite extraordinary degree of ignorance. It seems not to have occurred to Chope that it is the UK which is choosing to leave the single market and customs union and that means, by definition, creating a border. Once you leave a common customs and regulatory regime there have to be border checks – you can’t go an acting as if, somehow, you haven’t left those regimes. To pretend that this consequence arises from EU intransigence rather than UK choice is either to lack knowledge of the most basic of facts or to be deliberately misleading voters.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22036
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2692 Postby Alan H » November 16th, 2017, 12:44 pm

Leader: The Brexit betrayal
After the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU, Brexiteers spoke gleefully of the golden age that awaited. “Within two years,” wrote the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, on 14 July 2016, “we can negotiate a free trade area massively larger than the EU”. A new agreement with the EU would be “one of the easiest in human history”, promised the International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox. Europeans would be desperate to sell us their cars and wine and cheese, we were told. Such hopes, to put it mildly, have not been fulfilled. Five months after the Brexit negotiations began, Britain has yet to open trade talks with the EU. Leavers have been forced to concede that there will be a transition period of two years from March 2019 during which little will change – and which will bar the UK from signing trade deals with other countries.

Over the same period, Britain has gone from being the fastest-growing G7 economy to the slowest. Real wages have fallen for the past six months (owing to the spike in inflation) and Leavers have been forced to disown most of their campaign promises. Rather than reaping an extra £350m a week for the NHS, the UK is forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility to lose nearly £300m a week because of Brexit.

In an extraordinary leaked letter to Theresa May, the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, and the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, denounced the unnamed Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, for refusing to rule out an extended transition period and for failing to prepare for “no deal”. Until recently enemies, Mr Johnson and Mr Gove are plotting together again – and have been denounced by colleagues for forming “a government within a government”.

In truth, two years may well prove insufficient for Britain to reach a new trade agreement with the EU (it took seven years for Canada to achieve a notably less ambitious deal). The technocratic Mr Hammond is far from being a flawless Chancellor. He has rejected the £50bn of housing investment that Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, has demanded, and has resisted Mrs May’s attempts to introduce tougher corporate regulation. However, Mr Hammond is entirely correct to warn that money set aside for no deal would deprive public services of much-needed resources.

Though the Brexiteers wish to pretend otherwise, the risks of no deal are significantly greater to the UK than the EU. Failure to reach an agreement would deprive Brussels of Britain’s budget contributions but, spread across the other 27 member states, each country would have to contribute just 0.1 per cent of GDP more a year. By contrast, though the UK would save 0.4 per cent of GDP, economists estimate no deal would lead to a loss of between 3 and 6 per cent of GDP. With good reason, the only country that currently trades with the rest of the globe under World Trade Organisation rules is Mauritania.

Yet for the Brexiteers, whose defining aim is to wrench the UK free from the EU at any cost, such facts are irrelevant. The higher food costs and job losses that would result from no deal are viewed as a price worth paying.

The true project of many Leavers is to remake Britain as a low-tax, low-regulation dystopia that relinquishes its historic obligations to the poorest. In an interview on The Andrew Marr Show on 12 November 2017, the billionaire entrepreneur James Dyson, a prominent Brexit supporter, called for it to be made “easier to hire and fire” workers and for the abolition of corporation tax (at 19 per cent, the UK’s main rate is already the lowest in the G7).

The Brexiteers can claim a mandate for EU withdrawal but this was not the vision that the public voted for. Many Leave supporters, lured by the chimerical promise of £350m a week for the NHS and an end to free movement, desired a bigger, more interventionist state, not a smaller one. They have been betrayed by mendacious mediocrities such as Mr Johnson.

Rather than reaching out to Remain voters, the Brexiteers have treated their narrow 52-48 referendum victory as though it were a landslide. There is so far no majority among the public for a new referendum or for halting Brexit. Yet as Leavers’ falsehoods are exposed, this option must be retained.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2693 Postby Alan H » November 16th, 2017, 4:34 pm

Another David Allen Green thread:
1.

Historians may one day say Brexit was won and lost in those three or so months between the referendum and May's October 2016 conference speech.

Everything after that has been an aftershock of the decisions made in that period.
2.

Before the October speech, there were no "red lines" and no absolutes.

There was only the referendum mandate that UK should leave the EU.

There were nothing more specific.
3.

In particular, the referendum question (and hence the mandate) was silent on:

- date of leaving
- method of leaving (Article 50 was not mentioned)
- whether UK would leave Single Market, Customs Union, Common Commercial Policy
- whether ECJ would lose jurisdiction

....
4.

(cont)
- whether UK would pay any amount to EU
- what would happen to EU citizens in EU, and UK citizens in EU
- whether UK left Euratom
- whether UK would have a Free Trade Agreement with EU
-whether UK went onto WTO terms

And so on.
5.

Not one of these issues were in the referendum question. There was no (express) mandate on any of these issues.

Between June and October 2016, all were still in play as issues yet to be determined.
6.

And then: the conference speech.

A red line for ECJ jurisdiction - as if from nowhere, as it had been hardly mentioned in the campaign or after the referendum. (See my post here on its genesis as a red line: https://www.ft.com/content/32cd1e87-c7d ... e5229711d1 )
7.

The referendum result was converted into the formulation of control over laws, money and borders.

What was an ultimate objective of UK leaving the EU also became three more concrete aims.
8.

But the crucial point is that the intended primary audience for the speech: Brexit political supporters and the Brexit supporting press.

The impact of these demands on the actual exit negotiations was not so important.
9.

At the time there was tomfoolery from Brexit supporters about "not revealing our hand" and "no running commentary".

But in fact, UK not only revealed its hand but played it.
10.

This is because the necessary implication of the lines in the crowd pleasing Conference speech was that the UK would have to leave the Single Market, the Common Commercial Policy, and the Customs Union.
11.

The open admission by May in her January 2017 speech at Lancaster House that UK would leave the Single Market, the Common Commercial Policy and the Customs Union was a foregone conclusion.
12.

So the die was cast in substantive terms.

But in terms of process, the priority given to domestic consumption meant that UK was undermined in preparation.

The Rogers resignation aloe in January 2017 was significant here.
13. By December 2016/January 2017, the EU had formulated a negotiating strategy which they have kept to since.

In contrast, the UK never had a negotiation strategy.

Improvisation and playing to the crowd.

Nothing more.
14.

The Article 50 notification was more of the same. Six pages of waffle and an implicit threat about security cooperation.

Euratom departure thrown in as well.

Sent prematurely, just to please political and press supporters.
15.

But the fatal error was that Article 50 commenced a hard legal(istic) process.

The Article 50 letter was not a press release but a formal legal instrument. It mattered.

Handle with care, keep out of the reach of children.
16.

The EU knew this. They always knew this. They had prepared for it. They knew all the pressure points.

By April, EU27 had unanimous guidelines. They were ready.
17.

And the UK?

No preparation.

No strategy.

Red lines for domestic consumption that strangled any bespoke possible options re single market and customs union.

No agreed post Brexit position.

Could not have been worse.
18.

And why had the UK ended up in this predicament?

Because of the decisions made in the lead-up to the October 2016 speech and what was said in the speech itself.

Everything since is a ripple.
19.

The UK now will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 by automatic operation of law.

(Unless something exceptional and unexpected happens.)

Deal or no deal.

Beyond UK parliament's direct control.
20.

And the UK faces the offer of a mere Canada-style Free Trade Agreement, with no special carve-outs.

Just because of May's red lines on the Single Market, the Common Commercial Policy, and the Customs Union.
21.

Well.

/ends
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2694 Postby Alan H » November 16th, 2017, 9:07 pm

Another communique from the 'You Couldn't Make This Shit Up' department: David Davis warns EU not to put 'politics above prosperity' in Brexit talks
But Davis delivered a coded warning that Germany and other EU states should beware harming their own economies by putting political considerations first, such as the desire to punish Britain for leaving.

Listing the many economic ties between the UK and Germany, he said: “In the face of those facts I know that no one would allow short term interests to risk those hard-earned gains. Because putting politics above prosperity is never a smart choice.”
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Re: In or out?

#2695 Postby animist » November 17th, 2017, 12:06 am

Alan H wrote:Another communique from the 'You Couldn't Make This Shit Up' department: David Davis warns EU not to put 'politics above prosperity' in Brexit talks
But Davis delivered a coded warning that Germany and other EU states should beware harming their own economies by putting political considerations first, such as the desire to punish Britain for leaving.

Listing the many economic ties between the UK and Germany, he said: “In the face of those facts I know that no one would allow short term interests to risk those hard-earned gains. Because putting politics above prosperity is never a smart choice.”
so why is Britain doing just this, you stupid grinning nutcase?

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2696 Postby Alan H » November 17th, 2017, 1:04 am

animist wrote:
Alan H wrote:Another communique from the 'You Couldn't Make This Shit Up' department: David Davis warns EU not to put 'politics above prosperity' in Brexit talks
But Davis delivered a coded warning that Germany and other EU states should beware harming their own economies by putting political considerations first, such as the desire to punish Britain for leaving.

Listing the many economic ties between the UK and Germany, he said: “In the face of those facts I know that no one would allow short term interests to risk those hard-earned gains. Because putting politics above prosperity is never a smart choice.”
so why is Britain doing just this, you stupid grinning nutcase?

WOTP™, apparently.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
Posts: 5943
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#2697 Postby animist » November 17th, 2017, 10:34 am

Alan H wrote:Another David Allen Green thread:
19.

The UK now will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 by automatic operation of law.

(Unless something exceptional and unexpected happens.)

well, I for one expect that something unexpected will happen! How can such a crazy thing as Brexit not produce an increasingly frequent number of shocks as the deadline approaches. And after the deadline the shocks will continue

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2698 Postby Alan H » November 17th, 2017, 11:00 am

Ah, so that's what providing certainty to British people and British businesses means: [url=
https://twitter.com/davidallengreen/sta ... 7633920006]means[/url]:
"What the amendment does is provide certainty over our position that we are leaving the EU on March 29, 2019. We would encourage all MPs to support it."

As David Allen Green said:
This is pure bullshit from @Number10gov.

Absolute legal certainty is already there, by reason of Article 50.

This amendment instead limits any flexibility in the event EU27 and UK want to shift date.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22036
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2699 Postby Alan H » November 17th, 2017, 11:23 am

Everything you need to know about Lexit in five minutes
The EU is basically a social democrat project, based along German or Scandinavian lines. That's probably too right-wing for some people, and it's certainly too left wing for others. But it has a lot of space there for a wide range of political arrangements, covering the vast majority of political views in the UK. It doesn't always get the relationship right between abiding by EU rules and workers' rights, but you have to be a very stern observer to conclude from these fairly limited problems that we should take the massive risk of leaving the EU altogether, especially under such a right wing government. But still, we shouldn't write off left wing criticisms of the EU. Many of them are perfectly valid. Remainers would do well to address them, rather than dismiss them.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22036
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2700 Postby Alan H » November 17th, 2017, 3:30 pm

Ian Dunt's Friday email:
The chief obstacles to Brexit do not come from its opponents, but from the incompetence of those trying to deliver it. This fact has largely escaped Remainers, who often worry that there is no-one to lead their side of the argument. In reality, no political figure - regardless of how charismatic or principled they were - would be able to compete with the Brexiters' capacity to sabotage their own project.

This sabotage is mostly the result of a lack of planning. And that lack of planning is the result of purposefully-created Brexit echo chambers at the height of government. Industry leaders going to see David Davis when he became secretary of state were taken aside by civil servants ahead of the meeting and told to walk in saying that Brexit presented huge opportunities. Any who didn't were soon asked to leave.

Since those early days, Davis has avoided those who highlight the complications of Brexit or who insist on reporting the views about Britain's behaviour from the continent. Instead, he has surrounded himself with low-calibre ideologues and cultivated media contacts only with pathologically supportive columnists.

Echo chambers tend to rot the brain and Davis' echo chamber is no different. His speech to German business leaders yesterday was an unmitigated disaster, met with a mixture of bemusement and outright mockery.

What is extraordinary is how tone deaf it was. "Putting politics above prosperity," Davis said, "is never a smart choice". This was greeted with astonishment. After all, Europeans have spent the last 18 months watching Britain doing exactly that. But Davis does not really know this, because he has not been meeting with Brexit critics. He has been meeting with Brexit supporters. His own staff should plainly have been able to draft a speech which did not make such elementary tonal errors, but they are not competent or wise enough to do so.

Davis then elaborated at length about the kind of trade deal he wanted with Europe - one for a country which was "much closer than Canada, much bigger than Norway". This is a coded reference to the ultimate British policy aim, which is to secure a deal which offers frictionless trade but rejects regulatory harmonisation. This is not possible, because the frictionless trade is a result of the regulatory harmonisation. It is like trying to fly using a car. But Davis has not recognised this yet, because he is surrounded by fellow true believers, rather than those speaking accurately about what is possible and what is on offer.

Humiliatingly, his speech coincided with the leaking of Europe's sketch of a trade offer. It is miles away from the Brexit secretary's rhetoric. If Britain is outside the single market and customs union, the only offer available is a standard goods trade deal, along the lines of Canada. It has been clear throughout this is the case, because Europe has been saying it. But Davis seems blissfully unaware.

Another dose of cold reality was being delivered by the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, who today gave Theresa May a one month deadline to provide detailed proposals for avoiding a hard border in the island of Ireland. She cannot do this, for the same reason that Davis cannot secure frictionless trade without regulatory harmonisation. It is not possible. It is not on offer. But Westminster still seems hopelessly certain it can be avoided by 'creative' and 'high-tech' solutions. The reasons they believe this has much more to do with faith than reason.

Brexiters have not just misunderstood how customs borders work, they have also misunderstood the power dynamics of Bexit. Ireland knows that it has far less power in the second stage of talks than it does in the first stage, where the issue of the border effectively provides them with a veto. They are now using that leverage granted to them by the structure of the talks. Westminster seems shocked, but it was evident that they would do this throughout the process. The only way you can be shocked is if you failed to war game the structure of the talks before agreeing to them.

It is all coming apart for the Leavers. And the manner in which it is coming apart would be entirely predictable to anyone who had been following events and reading into the complications they brought with them. Instead, the ministerial team has closed itself off to complication. That may be emotionally comforting, but it does nothing to reveal the hazards ahead. They are now stumbling into precisely the pits their critics warned were ahead of them.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22036
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2701 Postby Alan H » November 17th, 2017, 5:51 pm

A thread about Brexit and medicines regulation. Funny that this is something else that wasn't mentioned on the ballot paper...
Okay, then peeps. LONG THREAD. Put down your union flag for a moment and just take some information in. I will try to explain the approaching #Brexit nightmare using a single, calm, factual example, so far largely ignored. I urge you to think, share and talk about this. Ready?

The UK has no structures or agency of its own for approving and licensing medicines. It relies almost exclusively on the European Medicines Agency. The MHRA is an ancillary organisation. In precisely 15 months UK access to the EMA ends; abruptly if the "no deal" voices prevail.

Where are the UK's preparations for replacing this vital framework? The answer is: Non-existent. Not even embryonic. Just a statement by Hunt this summer that the UK "will look to continue to work closely” with the EMA, but we're ready "to establish our own system if necessary".

The EU started planning to relocate the EMA (currently in London) the week after Art50 was notified to much tabloid chagrin, the idea that EU agencies should be located in the EU having come as a shock. That's just RELOCATING. We, who actually need to REPLACE it, have done nowt.

Having worked for a similarly sized gov't agency for most my professional life, I estimate that in order to "establish our own system" and have everything in place to take over March 2019, we needed to have started two years ago. And even that would be tight. I'm deadly serious.

The setting up will require complex, technical, primary legislation, which will be hotly contested between strong counter-pulling lobbies and interests (big pharma, NHS, patient groups, ethics cmtees) and require extensive consultation, expert advice and debate.

Only at THAT point, can you start looking for a CEO, a board, expert staff, support, training, a building etc. In all honesty, 15 months isn't even enough time if you were ONLY looking at the recruitment of such technical staff. Especially in such a niche area.

Then there's cost. Even by Eurosceptic estimates the UK pays a fifth of an agency like the EMA. It would need to set up the UK equivalent for a fifth of the cost *just to break even*. This is fantasy of course. Testing, assessing and licensing a new drug is inelastic, cost-wise.

This exposes the myth of "saving lots of money by leaving the EU". Much of the money we paid was to centralise essential tasks, like the medicines regime, with huge efficiency and time savings. Not dealing with multiple authorities also reduces costs for pharma cos, ergo prices.

This simple example also puts to bed any "they need us more than we need them" nonsense. Yes, we are an important contributor to the EU. Yes we are also an important market. They *want* us, for sure. But we *need* them. Structurally. Desperately. Not forever, but certainly now.

The day the UK leaves, everything in the EU27 will function PRECISELY as it does now. Money will be tighter. Some of their sectors will face challenges. But none of their rules or processes change. They face no transition. We do -in a myriad ways- and are totally unprepared.

Because medicines is only one of a 100 such regimes that need replacing which will fall on the same unfathomably stretched civil service to do; the same exhausted people trying to also do the other 99 things, as well as renegotiate 700 treaties, on TOP of their ordinary duties.

So, what happens if there's "no deal", in this, as in a thousand other areas for which the UK has simply made NO preparations? This isn't fluff. It's life and death. Sick people will end up waiting for years for available treatments, stuck in a bottleneck of unapproved meds.

Does your faith and patriotism have the magical power to make technical legislation and multidisciplinary agencies just spring into being? Is it unpatriotic to raise the #Brexit alarm or quite the reverse? Am I a remoaner for thinking about this? Or are you a fool for not?

END
PS. Please understand: I'm not suggesting that leaving the EU is impossible. I'm saying it is impossible to do without major trauma, within such an insanely short timeframe, especially for a govt that seems unaware of the complicated fallout and uninterested in mapping it out.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?


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