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In or out?

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2321 Post by Alan H » September 11th, 2017, 3:34 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

The UK’s faith in a ‘sweet Brexit’ isn’t just deluded – it’s dangerous
s the UK political class zigzags towards the abyss, saying one thing about Brexit today and another thing tomorrow, any illusions in EU capitals that the summer holiday may have brought British MPs to their senses must now be put to rest. Indeed, the daily British displays of hope for a sweet “soft Brexit” deal illustrate not only the tenacity of British self-delusion. More than that, they lay bare a persistent and dangerous ignorance of the internal logic of the EU.

Talk in British media and politics is still too often of the need for a “tough negotiator” who can deliver a great deal for Britain, keeping the benefits of single market membership without any (or many) of the obligations and costs. What is required, so the thinking goes even in most remain circles, is an acceptance on the part of the EU that it is in nobody’s interest to “punish Britain” in order to “discourage other countries from leaving”.

The first problem here is the term “single market”. Brexiteers and remainers alike seem to cling to a 19th-century notion of separate nations making their own products and trading them with other countries. The chief political project is then to lower or ideally abolish tariffs so that the so-called comparative advantages of free trade kick in.

Last week chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier called this view “nostalgic”, and for good reason. The EU is rapidly evolving into something far more ambitious than just a free trade area: it is in the process of becoming one huge economic zone governed by a single set of rules and standards and overseen by a single European court of justice, striking trade deals with the rest of the world and deriving its logic and coherence from the four famous freedoms of goods, capital, services and labour. Products such as cars, computers or aeroplanes are now built from components made in factories and production units scattered across the EU, with employees moving seamlessly between them. For this reason “single economy” is a far better term than “single market”.

The refusal or inability to see this goes a long way towards explaining the British misreading of the EU’s position on Brexit. It is true that in the context of Brexit, EU member states want to discourage one another – but not from leaving the EU. There is not a single other EU country that wants to leave, because each believes the benefits of membership to far exceed its costs. But this is not to say that each member state would not love to tweak a few rules it finds irksome, to claim a few extra benefits and rebates for itself, and to shirk some obligations.

What EU countries as well as EU officials in Brussels therefore do want to prevent at all costs is member states using a sweet deal for Britain to claim their own version. With 27 countries demanding exceptions, special arrangements and opt-outs, the unravelling of the single market or economy would be all but assured.

This is what the EU means when it insists that the “integrity” of the single market trumps all else. The EU’s refusal to cut Britain a deal and protect it from itself is not about punishment. It is about self-preservation. For this reason most European business groups support the EU’s position, with the loudest voices in this camp often coming from the German car industry – the very sector that Brexiteers promised would push like no other for Britain to get a sweet deal.

Brexiteers are right to argue that the EU will let political considerations be trumped by economic self-interest. Where Brexiteers go hopelessly, disastrously wrong is to think that EU countries’ economic long-term self-interest is served by a special deal for Britain.

The fact that on a rainy day in June 2016 millions of British citizens voted for a “have our cake and eat it” option that simply isn’t on the menu is terrible. But it is not the EU’s fault. Britain’s political establishment failed those voters miserably by never laying out for them the options that were actually on the menu before asking them to vote. Yes, doing so would have meant open war with the billionaire-owned press. But then again: what is a politician worth who does not dare to speak truth to tabloid power?

To be sure, the EU will be damaged if in 18 months Britain crashes out of the EU, the way your suit is ruined with blood stains if the person standing next to you decides to shoot themselves in the foot. But does the British political class genuinely believe that EU member states are going to jump in front of that bullet and undermine the very existence of their single economy in order to safeguard the privileges of a country that over the past decades has lost no opportunity to disparage, undermine and blackmail them? Britain already had a sweet deal – it’s not getting any sweeter.

In spite of its recent bout of ignorant irrationality Britain still has many friends and admirers across the continent, and friends don’t let friends drink-drive. But what if the inebriated party insists that you are no longer friends in any case?
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?

#2322 Post by Alan H » September 11th, 2017, 4:53 pm

I won't copy it all here but please read this thread on Twitter by David Allen Green.
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?

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#2323 Post by Nick » September 11th, 2017, 5:44 pm

Alan H wrote:The Tory fallacy: that migrants are taking British jobs and driving down wages
At the heart of the politics of immigration is the belief, repeated by Theresa May as a fact, that immigrants, especially unskilled immigrants, depress wages. At first sight the argument seems plausible – and undeniably there is low-wage competition in some places. But there is no evidence that this is a general problem. When the coalition embarked on its review of EU competences in 2013, I commissioned a range of reviews and studies to establish the facts. They showed that the impact on wages was very small (and only in recession conditions). By and large, immigrants were doing jobs that British people didn’t want to do (or highly skilled jobs that helped to generate work for others). This research was inconvenient to the Home Office, which vetoed the publication of its results. I have now written to the prime minister to ask her to publish them as part of the current public debate.
Spectaculary stupid alleged analysis. Published by the tax-dodging Grauniad, where-else? Humumgous error in the analysis as reported. Thank goodness he's no longer in office.

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2324 Post by Alan H » September 11th, 2017, 6:03 pm

Nick wrote:
Alan H wrote:The Tory fallacy: that migrants are taking British jobs and driving down wages
At the heart of the politics of immigration is the belief, repeated by Theresa May as a fact, that immigrants, especially unskilled immigrants, depress wages. At first sight the argument seems plausible – and undeniably there is low-wage competition in some places. But there is no evidence that this is a general problem. When the coalition embarked on its review of EU competences in 2013, I commissioned a range of reviews and studies to establish the facts. They showed that the impact on wages was very small (and only in recession conditions). By and large, immigrants were doing jobs that British people didn’t want to do (or highly skilled jobs that helped to generate work for others). This research was inconvenient to the Home Office, which vetoed the publication of its results. I have now written to the prime minister to ask her to publish them as part of the current public debate.
Spectaculary stupid alleged analysis. Published by the tax-dodging Grauniad, where-else? Humumgous error in the analysis as reported. Thank goodness he's no longer in office.
:laughter:
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: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2325 Post by Alan H » September 11th, 2017, 6:04 pm

Brexit: workers' rights best secured by staying in single market, says TUC chief
Continued membership of the European Union single market is the best way to protect British workers after Brexit, the TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, will say on Monday, increasing the pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to shift Labour’s policy.

Speaking at the TUC’s annual congress in Brighton, as MPs in Westminster prepare for a debate on the EU withdrawal bill, O’Grady will say: “We have set out our tests for the Brexit deal working people need. Staying in the single market and customs union would deliver it.”

Her speech comes after the TUC’s general council, which represents about 50 trade union organisations, officially stated that it was in favour of remaining in the single market after a meeting on Thursday.

On Sunday night the Brexit secretary, David Davis, urged MPs not to vote for “a chaotic exit from the European Union” ahead of a vote on the repeal bill on Monday. “The British people did not vote for confusion and neither should parliament,” he said.
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: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2326 Post by Alan H » September 11th, 2017, 8:50 pm

ASA chairman, Lord Christopher Smith believes that political ads should be held accountable
Misleading political claims should be held to account the outgoing chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Lord Christopher Smith has said following some of the false promises made during the recent EU referendum.
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: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2327 Post by Alan H » September 12th, 2017, 10:46 am

Brexit: EU repeal bill wins first Commons vote
MPs backed the EU Withdrawal Bill by 326 votes to 290 despite critics warning that it represented a "power grab" by ministers.
The bill, which will end the supremacy of EU law in the UK, now moves onto its next parliamentary stage.

Ministers sought to reassure MPs by considering calls for safeguards over their use of new powers.

Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed the Commons vote in the early hours of Tuesday morning, saying the bill offered "certainty and clarity" - but Labour described it as an "affront to parliamentary democracy".
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: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2328 Post by Alan H » September 12th, 2017, 10:52 am

We might as well get used to it: even darker times ahead are highly likely, all because of the 'will of the people' and spineless and incompetent MPs. Inflation jumps to its highest level since Brexit
Inflation in August jumped to its joint-highest level since the vote to leave the European Union last year, as Brexit continues to push up the cost of living in the UK.

The UK's Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate — the key measure of inflation — was 2.9% in August, up from 2.6% in the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Inflation had been expected to climb to 2.8% from the 2.6% level seen in both June and July, according to economists polled before the release, but just exceeded those expectations.
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: 6522
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#2329 Post by animist » September 12th, 2017, 11:05 am

Alan H wrote:
Nick wrote:
Spectaculary stupid alleged analysis. Published by the tax-dodging Grauniad, where-else? Humumgous error in the analysis as reported. Thank goodness he's no longer in office.
:laughter:
how about some analysis of your own, Nick, rather than the usual ad hominem remarks about Cable and The Guardian?

Zeff
Posts: 142
Joined: August 6th, 2016, 2:13 pm

Re: In or out?

#2330 Post by Zeff » September 12th, 2017, 11:36 am

Nick wrote:From the Sunday Times
Yanis Varoufakis: The EU wants Theresa May’s total surrender — I should know...
You think Mr Varoufakis has any answers? I believe you also think the drop in £Sterling due to Brexit isn't large and damaging.

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2331 Post by Alan H » September 12th, 2017, 12:45 pm

This is the just the start of the Brexit attack on democracy
One of the ironies of Brexit is that a movement which defines itself by its commitment to democracy is really a unique danger to it. Last night's passing of the withdrawal bill, with no Conservative rebellions at all, was just the start. We are on a process which aggressively strengthens the powerful while claiming to represent the will of the people.
But this bill is far too dangerous, too arrogant and too scrappy to be dealt with by horse trading. The opening offer was too severe. It was like a guy starting at ten grand for a run-down old banger. As legal experts David Allen Green and Schona Jolly have shown, it is unprecedented in its scope and goes far beyond anything which could be considered reasonable, even given the magnitude of the task it is designed to resolve.
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: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2332 Post by Alan H » September 12th, 2017, 3:41 pm

Implementing Brexit: Customs
Introducing customs declarations after Brexit would affect up to 180,000 UK traders and could cost traders over £4 billion a year, according to the IfG analysis paper Implementing Brexit: Customs. The paper says that preparing the UK border for Brexit is a huge task with a hard deadline. Being ready for day one requires the Government to orchestrate change across more than 30 government departments and public bodies, as well as over 100 local authority organisations.

The paper also highlights the critical role played by organisations outside government. It shows the complex web of private sector organisations that must also be ready to ensure UK trade can continue to cross the border on day one after Brexit.

The authors say that while most people recognise the customs 'cliff edge' in the UK, not enough attention is paid to a similar cliff edge on the other side of the English Channel. Unless Calais, Dunkirk, Rotterdam and other European ports are also ready for Brexit, British exporters will face significant disruption to their supply chains. Preparation on both sides is particularly vital in the case of the Irish land border. They also note that the Government must successfully deliver its new customs technology programme to avoid disruption at the border after Brexit – but say the system is already facing significant issues because of constricted timelines.

Implementing Brexit: Customs offers recommendations to help the UK avoid the customs cliff edge, such as moving customs requirements away from the physical border, retaining access to key EU computer systems and establishing working groups with the private sector on implementation.
Report: https://www.instituteforgovernment.org. ... _WEB_0.pdf

Why is it we're doing this again?
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: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2333 Post by Alan H » September 12th, 2017, 3:45 pm

It's worth quoting a bit of the summary:
Summary

The Government has set out its objectives for Brexit: the UK will leave the jurisdiction
of the European Court of Justice, control immigration from the European Union (EU)
and pursue an independent trade policy. Meeting these objectives means that the UK
will leave the European Single Market and the EU Customs Union.

This inevitably means significant changes to the way the UK border operates, whether
it is the Irish land border or ports and airports around the country. This is true
regardless of whether the UK continues as a member of the Single Market, creates a
new customs union or signs a ‘deep and comprehensive’ free trade agreement.
Traders who are used to moving goods freely to the EU will need to adapt. They will
have new requirements for paperwork and their goods could face significant checks at
the EU border. Supply chains that are optimised for speed and fluidity will need to find
the space and time for customs authorities to carry out checks and inspections.
For the UK, ‘taking back control’ of its borders is likely to mean the introduction of
checks for goods arriving from the EU. For the Ports of Dover and Holyhead and the
Channel Tunnel, which have adapted to EU membership and between them account for
almost half of all the UK’s trade in goods by value, the number of customs checks could
increase by a hundredfold. International agreements mean that there are certain
requirements that the UK must meet at its border; there is no option of simply deciding
to give EU goods preferential treatment without a deal between the two. That also
makes a deal critical to managing the specific set of challenges faced at the Irish
border.

The introduction of border checks between the UK and the EU could happen overnight.
As the Government has recognised, customs is a cliff-edge issue. On the day of exit
from the EU, the UK authorities will need to perform new functions or face disruption
at the border. There will be new document checks and fiscal requirements, which is the
primary focus of the Government’s view of customs, but also a number of other key
activities that regulate goods crossing borders. This report takes into account the
broader spectrum of activities which relate to the cross-border movement of goods.
It needs to be made clear that the 'disruption' they mention could be a little bit more than a bit of a delay: it could easily be catastrophic.
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: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2334 Post by Alan H » September 12th, 2017, 4:51 pm

What’s next for the Brexit withdrawal bill
On Monday night MPs voted, in principle, in favour of the greatest shift in power from legislature to executive in modern British constitutional history.

The vote was for the “second reading” of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. A second reading vote in parliament is when there is a vote on the merits of a bill. Next will be a committee stage, when the measure is examined clause by clause and amendments are considered, and then a “third reading”. The same process is then followed in the House of Lords. So there is some time yet before the bill receives royal assent and becomes an act.

The withdrawal, or repeal, bill is likely to be heavily amended both at committee and by the Lords. The government will probably accept many amendments, partly to get the legislation onto the statute books by the expected exit date of 29 March 2019, and partly because it seems a number of MPs gave their votes for a second reading in return for assurances that things can be changed. The final act could look quite different from the initial bill.

But the bill is still a legislative monster. It provides for a range of discretionary powers by which ministers can make laws with equivalent force to primary legislation. These powers are intended to be time-bound (one extinguishes on exit day, the others linger for a further two years) and they cannot be used for certain purposes, such as to make new criminal offences or raise taxation. Parliament will have a limited rubber-stamping role to accept the delegated legislation (but not to fully amend or fully debate the laws).

Even with these safeguards, however, the law-making powers are extraordinarily wide. In a way their purpose is to place Prime Minister Theresa May in effectively the position she would have been in had she won the expected large majority at the general election. The legislative work needed for Brexit will be insulated from the inconveniences of hard parliamentary scrutiny.

That some legislation is required is beyond argument. There cannot be Brexit without substantial domestic legislative activity. And the government is right to place as much EU law into domestic law as possible, to provide continuity and certainty over the exit date. There is no serious objection to that, even though it ironically becomes the greatest single incorporation of EU law into domestic law. This is just one of the paradoxes of Brexit.

But the problem with the discretions proposed for ministers to make, change and abolish law goes further than what is necessary. These so-called “Henry VIII clauses” (which is a little unfair on the old king, under whom parliament became significantly more important as part of the English polity) are assaults on parliamentary democracy. They can be justified, perhaps, when they are essential. But they are never good or welcome in themselves.

One serious concern with the proposed powers is that there will not be adequate parliamentary scrutiny of the ministerial regulations before they come into force. The usual approach is that parliament can either approve or (rarely) reject such a statutory instrument as a whole: all or nothing. Most go through on the nod and in bulk.

The Lords select committee on the constitution addressed this problem in a sensible report in March. But instead of following their recommendations, Mrs May and other ministers sought to make out that the report supported their approach. The chair of the committee said last week:

“The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill represents an extraordinary transfer of legal powers from Parliament to the Government, with no additional oversight; we believe this is unacceptable.

“We acknowledge that the Government needs significant powers in order to deliver legal certainty after Brexit. However, we warned the Government that such powers must come with tougher parliamentary scrutiny mechanisms and we are disappointed that we have not only been misquoted by the government, but that our key recommendations have been ignored.”

That the government had wise advice to hand, but ignored it in substance and falsely made out that the advice supported the administration, is indicative of its clumsy approach to Brexit to date. It cannot pretend it could not have known better. This is just one example of why it is so disheartening to watch Brexit unfold in real-time.

MPs and lords will seek to amend the bill to adopt many of the enhanced scrutiny procedures recommended by the March report. But it would have been so much better had these been put in the measure straight away. Less valuable time would have been wasted. It is reminiscent of how the government insisted on litigating whether the Article 50 notification needed its own act of parliament all the way to the Supreme Court, rather than just passing the short necessary legislation straight away.

But there are perhaps limited grounds for optimism. MPs may have voted for the bill at the second reading, but many did not simply nod-along with it. The government’s assertions that Brexit itself was at risk were rightly dismissed as an attempt at project fear (the Article 50 notification has been made and so Brexit, like winter, is coming). Many MPs are alert to the problems of the measure.

Because the Conservatives lack an overall majority (other than when they can invoke the “supply and confidence” deal with the Democratic Unionist party) they cannot just force this bill through. So the role of parliament will be asserted not in the general votes on principle on second reading but in votes on detail as the measure proceeds.

Already there is a sign that the government is less cocky and strident. Importantly, the minister chosen to reply to the debate on Monday night was not one of the shouty and prominent pro-Leave cabinet ministers, or even a minister from the Department for Exiting the EU, which is responsible for the bill. It was instead the highly regarded and moderate justice secretary David Lidington, a former Leader of the Commons and European minister. His even-handed and open manner seemed to match the tone of the MPs’ debate: hints appeared to be taken and firm assurances to be given.

The UK electorate voted both in favour of Brexit (narrowly) and then for Brexit to be provided for by means of a hung parliament. And the combined effect of these two mandates may be beginning to show.
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?

#2335 Post by Alan H » September 12th, 2017, 5:18 pm

Well, cat, meet pigeons. Or as one person on Twitter said: "I believe we have now entered what, in less chaotic times, would have been called a Constitutional Crisis."

Scotland: LEGISLATIVE CONSENT MEMORANDUM EUROPEAN UNION (WITHDRAWAL) BILL
Given this fundamental difference of view on the future of the UK on withdrawal from the EU, the Scottish Government cannot recommend the Parliament consents to the Bill in its current form.
Wales: LEGISLATIVE CONSENT MEMORANDUM EUROPEAN UNION (WITHDRAWAL) BILL
This memorandum sets out the Welsh Government’s view of the requirement for the legislative consent of the Assembly in respect of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, and confirms that we will not be in a position to recommend consent unless the Bill is amended to address our concerns.
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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Tetenterre
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Joined: March 13th, 2011, 11:36 am

Re: In or out?

#2336 Post by Tetenterre » September 12th, 2017, 5:35 pm

Some actual content:
Clause 7(4): "Regulations under this section may make any provision that could be made by an Act of Parliament"
Clause 8(2): "Regulations under this section may make any provision that could be made by an Act of Parliament"

... and to top it all:

Clause 9(2): "Regulations under this section may make any provision that could be made by an Act of Parliament (including modifying this Act)."
It's not just the last 4 words that are chilling; think about what provisions can "be made by Act of Parliament".
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2337 Post by Alan H » September 12th, 2017, 5:40 pm

Tetenterre wrote:Some actual content:
Clause 7(4): "Regulations under this section may make any provision that could be made by an Act of Parliament"
Clause 8(2): "Regulations under this section may make any provision that could be made by an Act of Parliament"

... and to top it all:

Clause 9(2): "Regulations under this section may make any provision that could be made by an Act of Parliament (including modifying this Act)."
It's not just the last 4 words that are chilling; think about what provisions can "be made by Act of Parliament".
Indeed.
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: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2338 Post by Alan H » September 12th, 2017, 6:46 pm

This Brexit thingy is all going tickety-boo, isn't it? UK Ports Can’t Deal With Even ‘Minutes’ Of Customs Checks Post-Brexit, Philip Hammond Reveals
When asked by former Conservative Chancellor Lord Lamont whether he believed the capacity of UK ports were “adequate” to handle the increase, Hammond replied: “No it’s clearly not. Anyone who’s visited Dover will know that Dover operates as a flow-through port and volumes of trade at Dover could not accommodated if goods had to be held for inspection even, I suspect, if they were held for minutes, it would still impede the operation of the port.
This afternoon, Hammond told peers the Treasury was putting in place contingency plans for no deal being reached, but admitted it would not be an ideal system.

He said: “We recognise that the timescales are very challenging and in a no deal scenario not everything we would want to put in place will be in place on day 1, but we will have a working system in place on day 1, I have had assurances by HMRC.”
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: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2339 Post by Alan H » September 12th, 2017, 7:38 pm

Right, so where are we now then?
When last we spoke, Keir Starmer had give us perhaps the first hint that Labour might be starting to back away from at least a “Hard” Brexit, if not (yet) Brexit altogether. Nothing much else (at time of writing) seems to have happened on that front; Labour appear now to be devoting most of their energy to relitigating last year’s “Traingate” incident. Good to see their sense of priority is as unmuddied as always.

Meanwhile, we’ve spent most of the last week reiterating what are now becoming Brexit clichés; the well-worn themes of the slow-motion car crash which continues to transfix us: the sheer lack of preparation or even basic competence of our “negotiating team”, and the ever-more slack-jawed disbelief this provokes on the part of their European interlocutors. In the last day or so, there have been rumours (perhaps substantiated by the time you read this, perhaps not) of some sort of delaying tactic about to be deployed by the Prime Minister herself in order to at least temporarily derail the Brexit talks for a couple of weeks, presumably to give herself and her colleagues a bit of breathing (and possibly firing) space.

Let’s contemplate the irony of that for a moment before we move on (I nearly said “delicious irony” but there’s been nothing delicious, or even slightly tasty, about this debacle at any stage): our own government, we are told, in order to make one last futile attempt to get its non-existent ducks in a row, is planning deliberately to upset and interrupt the most vital constitutional discussion for centuries. Now remind me, what was that name they’ve been calling us for the at few months?

Oh that’s it. Saboteurs.

Now that Labour have started to make vaguely sane-sounding noises with regard to Brexit, I find I’m not getting sucked into Twitterspats with glassy-eyed Corbynists quite so much as has been the case these last few weeks. Rather it’s the Brexiteers themselves that I’m running into again. I’m doing my best to be civil; I’m not trying to corner them on the big, by now unanswerable questions regarding their continued support for the insupportable. I’m not asking them if they can do the thing that I’ve been asking all Leavers to do since before the referendum and which not one of them yet has; specifically, to name a single actual tangible practical benefit that Brexit will bring. Part of the reason I’ve stopped asking this question is that nobody is even pretending to have an answer to it any more.

They’re not even responding in the abstract like they used to, throwing up concepts like “sovereignty!” and “control!”, whatever those words actually mean in a country where a government can, as the Conservatives did in 2015, win 24% of the available vote (37% of a 66% turnout) and nonetheless form an administration with absolute executive power over the whole nation, including regions where they came fourth. In that sort of set-up, when people say things like “we need our sovereignty back!” or “we must take back control!” the most obvious reply is “who the hell is WE?”

The nearest thing anyone has left to a pro-Brexit argument is an attempt to repudiate or minimise the anti-Brexit case. To point out that the damage might not be as profound or long-lasting as the Remoaners claim. Nobody is denying that there will BE damage, nor is anyone claiming that there will be any actual benefit. And yet onwards we march, acting as if Brexit is some sort of asteroid of inevitability hurtling towards us which we can do nothing to avert or avoid, some natural disaster to be survived, rather than – as is the case – an incredibly stupid thing we are choosing to do to ourselves. And, indeed, could choose NOT to do to ourselves.

The conversation one has with the few remaining (ironic) Brexiteers comes not from a question we’re asking them, but from the question they’re now all asking us. Namely, “Why aren’t you helping?”

That’s what they ask us these days. Yes, they say, we know you voted Remain but that’s all in the past now; surely what matters is that we accept the result and all work together to make a SUCCESS of Brexit! Isn’t it? Eh?

To this oft-posed question, my response – and the response of most of my fellow Remoaners is... one I’m not sure I can say in a newspaper. Hang on, I’ll check.

Editor, can you say “piss off” in The New European?

Ah. Looks like I just did.

Because that, in an expletive nutshell, is my response. That’s a ridiculous question. We didn’t vote against Brexit as some sort of intellectual exercise, or because we thought it was “trendy”; we voted against it because we recognised it for the suicidally bad idea that it was. And it still is a suicidally bad idea, referendum or no referendum. We voted against it because we didn’t want it to happen, and we STILL don’t want it to happen.

Besides, how has this suddenly become our responsibility? How has making a “success” of Brexit suddenly become OUR job? We’re the saboteurs to be “crushed”, remember? The enemies of the people to be scorned and left behind on the glorious road to the sunlit uplands of isolationist utopia. They didn’t need or want us then; why do they need us now?

Is it perhaps because even the most delusional Brexiteers are beginning to understand that they voted for the impossible? That one way or another, they’re not getting the isolationist utopia? Isolationism yes, but isolationism at the cost of a fractured economy, a shattered society and no audible voice in global affairs? Has making a success of Brexit suddenly become our job because the Leavers have finally realised it’s an impossible job, and they’d better start looking for someone else to blame?

Keep resisting.
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?

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#2340 Post by Nick » September 12th, 2017, 7:42 pm

animist wrote:how about some analysis of your own, Nick, rather than the usual ad hominem remarks about Cable and The Guardian?
Do you not see the problem with the analysis, at least as reported by the Graun? I'll explain it to you if need be, but as no-one seems to be posting any more, and all get out of Aan is an imoji, I didn't think it was really worth it.

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: In or out?

#2341 Post by Nick » September 12th, 2017, 7:52 pm

Zeff wrote:
Nick wrote:From the Sunday Times
Yanis Varoufakis: The EU wants Theresa May’s total surrender — I should know...
You think Mr Varoufakis has any answers? I believe you also think the drop in £Sterling due to Brexit isn't large and damaging.
I have plenty of disagreements with Varoufakis, but I think his analysis of the attitude of the EU is spot on. How about you?

As for the drop in sterling, the amount of damage or benefit remains to be seen. We saw a similar drop after White Wednesday when we left the ERM, which was followed by continuous growth, right up until the Credit Crunch, And sterling recovered to a higher level than the level at which we left the ERM. In a few months the one-off reaction to the Brexit vote will fall out of account, we may see a rise in interest rates, so who knows?

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