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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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Re: In or out?

#2761 Postby Alan H » November 27th, 2017, 12:21 am

Latest post of the previous page:

Ignorance of Irish history means Brexit talks will not end well
An awareness of Irish history – even a nodding acquaintance – would help British politicians appreciate what happened to Collins, the first and last Irish politician to sign up to a hard border. The idea that Leo Varadkar, or anybody else in this State, would under any circumstances sign up to another hard border displays so much ignorance, so much arrogance, so much stupidity that I am left wondering about all those stereotypes of my fellow Brits – stereotypes that I have wearily tried to reject and counter over the past 30 years.

Brexit has poisoned British political life and it now threatens something similar for relations between the UK and Ireland. Being a Brit in Ireland has mostly been a smooth experience for this immigrant. The cultural differences between the two islands run deeper than many of us care to admit, but Ireland does a terrific job of assimilation. It may be coincidence but I was, for the first time ever, the other day told to “F*** off back to where you come from” (I never lost the accent). Was this a small Brexit effect?
We have heard so much in recent days about how the British have been taken by surprise by the supposed hard line taken by the Irish. Similar expressions of astonishment and disbelief are heard whenever the EU reiterates it’s negotiating principles. Somebody should explain to UK politicians about EU law and Irish history. There is no other option open to Varadkar other than the line he is taking. Explain to Davis and May what happened after Collins signed up to a hard border. This isn’t going to end well.
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?

#2762 Postby animist » November 27th, 2017, 10:02 am

all very true, but many articles like this don't really explain the dilemma, or trilemma, about this border, and the DUP are not going to allow Northern Ireland to stay in the Customs Union. There are three things which are together incompatible, ISTM, and they are Brexit, Ireland's membership of the Customs Union, and a "soft" border in Ireland: any two are possible, but not all three. The weakest of the three (at present) is the soft border, and of course the Brits will see Ireland as in fact wanting a hard border, otherwise how can it stay in the CU? BTW, Kate Armstrong, of the IEA, pointed out (in the Sky News Press Review) something which I had not thought of at all. There could be an asymmetric (my word, not hers) border between the two Irelands whereby the Irish imposed customs checks but the British did not; that kind of half solves the trilemma.

On a different aspect of the mess, does May's determination to get the leave date into the legislation preclude any chance of an extension (as opposed to a "transition") to the original tw0-year period?

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2763 Postby Alan H » November 28th, 2017, 12:04 am

animist wrote:On a different aspect of the mess, does May's determination to get the leave date into the legislation preclude any chance of an extension (as opposed to a "transition") to the original tw0-year period?
I have no idea. I'm not sure I've seen any cogent explanation of the the fuck May thought she was doing.
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: 23405
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2764 Postby Alan H » November 28th, 2017, 12:06 am

MPs attack David Davis for handing over edited Brexit reports
David Davis has been told he could be in contempt of parliament after his department heavily edited government analyses on the impact of Brexit on 58 industrial sectors before handing them to a select committee.

Opposition MPs accused the Brexit secretary of leaving out “politically embarrassing” information after he refused to include anything deemed to be market sensitive or that he said could damage the UK’s negotiations with the EU27.

Davis said he was withholding the information because he had “received no assurances from the [Brexit] committee regarding how any information passed will be used”. But that triggered a furious reaction from MPs on the Brexit select committee who were supposed to be handed over the reports after a unanimous and binding vote of MPs. One option, they said, is to trigger contempt proceedings against the cabinet minister.

They will meet with their chair, Hilary Benn, to discuss whether the release is acceptable on Tuesday morning.

Seema Malhotra, a Labour MP and member of the committee who has spearheaded a drive to obtain the information, said publishing material that had been edited was “against the spirit and the letter of parliament’s motion”.

“It seems like the government has already decided what should and should not be seen by editing them before sending the impact studies to the select committee,” she said.

Pete Wishart, an SNP member of the committee, said there had been a promise of no “redaction or qualification” and said he had written to Benn about the issue. He warned that he was ready to pursue “contempt of the House” proceedings with speaker John Bercow if he was not satisfied.
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?

#2765 Postby Alan H » November 28th, 2017, 10:35 am

A thread by David Lammy on the mess the Tories are in over the Brexit economic impact assessments. It's not a question of whether the Tories are lying to us (again) but precisely what it is they are lying about.

As David Allen Green has just said:
So either Davis misled the Commons in February 2017 regarding the existence of impact assessments over 58 sectors or he is misleading the @DeXeu committee now.

The two statements cannot be reconciled.
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: 23405
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2766 Postby Alan H » November 28th, 2017, 10:40 am

Brexit impact reports: 'Row of their own making'
The Department for Exiting the European Union has found itself in a pickle thanks to a stash of documents that government sources claim don't really exist.

The opposition parties are indignant that they have not been given the full version of the documents that the government claims didn't exist in the first place.

And they are intent on pushing them back to parliament to force them to give more information about the things that don't exist, or do exist...

This is because tonight, the one thing that we can be sure of is that there is a cache of hundreds of pages of documents sitting in a safe somewhere in Westminster.

Lots of MPs are cross and the government, which already has its plate more than full, has just failed to close down a brouhaha that has already been going on for months.

So what on earth is actually going on? With a little bit of artistic licence, this is roughly and broadly what has happened - although given the above cocktail of Kafka and The Thick of It, do forgive me if it is hard to source a completely straight or official account that all sides agree on.
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?

#2767 Postby animist » November 28th, 2017, 2:52 pm

Alan H wrote:
animist wrote:On a different aspect of the mess, does May's determination to get the leave date into the legislation preclude any chance of an extension (as opposed to a "transition") to the original tw0-year period?
I have no idea. I'm not sure I've seen any cogent explanation of the the fuck May thought she was doing.
the answer is, yes, of course it does rule this out, as Ian Dunt's November 10 blog points out. So a sort of emergency brake has been cut. The other such brake is of course the so-called transition period in which we would have left the EU but not the SM or maybe the CU. But in fact does this not require than Britain rejoin the EEA, probably via Efta? And are we doing this? No, of course not

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2768 Postby Alan H » November 28th, 2017, 7:14 pm

Project Reality strikes again: UK bows to EU demands with breakthrough offer on Brexit bill
Britain has bowed to EU demands and agreed to fully honour its financial commitments as identified by Brussels, removing one of the biggest obstacles to a Brexit divorce settlement.

According to several diplomats familiar with the talks, the UK would assume EU liabilities worth up to €100bn although net payments, discharged over many decades, could fall to less than half that amount.

Prime minister Theresa May is expected to formally present the breakthrough offer next week as part of package deal if agreement can be reached on the other issues of citizen rights and the contentious question of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
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: 23405
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2769 Postby Alan H » November 28th, 2017, 8:00 pm

For those who were following - or missed - the Tory shenanigans in the House of Commons today, this Tweet by David Lammy sums it up:
Irony alert: Some MP's have today been saying we need to have a second vote in Parliament about the Government publishing the Brexit impact studies because they didn't like the result of the first one and they won't respect the will of sovereign Parliament demanding publication
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: 23405
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2770 Postby Alan H » November 29th, 2017, 7:19 pm

The unconvincing excuses for non-disclosure of the Brexit impact papers
The most plausible reason for the UK government’s non-disclosure of the full 58 sector impact assessments is not that they must be not be seen by the EU in the exit or any future trade negotiations. The EU has been negotiating trade deals on behalf of the UK for 44 years. It knows the UK’s strengths and weaknesses on all matters better perhaps than the UK government itself does. It knows already what it needs to know.

The real reason for non-disclosure is likely to be one of domestic politics. Either the government wants to hide how weak the data, methodology and analyses are of the 58 sectors of the economy. Or the analyses contain bad news for British people and companies. Maybe it is a mixture of both. In either case, the basis of the non-disclosure is to avoid embarrassment. No other explanation adds up.
And the common theme in all of this is a failure by the UK government and its Brexit supporters to accept that the task of leaving the EU is complex. Bluster, wishful-magical thinking and obfuscation are not enough for Brexit to go well, but they have been the main tactics of the UK government.

Brexit is coming. The UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 by automatic operation of law (unless something exceptional and not currently not on the horizon occurs). That outcome is still not in serious doubt. The Article 50 notification was a serious legal act.

But ministers want to hide from the people either that the impact of Brexit or that the government’s work on understanding the impact is inadequate. The public interest cannot in these circumstances be secrecy. These excuses do not wash and now need to stop. The government should trust the people to assess relevant information for themselves.
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: 23405
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2771 Postby Alan H » November 29th, 2017, 11:50 pm

The UK is reportedly planning to devolve powers to Northern Ireland to avoid a hard border after Brexit
Britain is considering devolving certain powers to Northern Ireland to avoid the possibility of a hard border with the Republic of Ireland after Brexit, according to a report from The Times.

UK negotiators have reportedly made a proposal to their European Union counterparts, opening the door to a possible transition deal for when Britain leaves the EU being agreed by January 2018.

The report comes hot on the heels of multiple reports that Britain is prepared to offer the EU around €50 billion in a Brexit "divorce bill," to be paid over several decades.

Ireland has been a key subject in early Brexit talks, with fears that in the event of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal, a hard border could be erected between the North and the independent south, dividing communities and exacerbating tensions. A physical border could even make any border guards a "target" for terrorists, an Irish MP has warned Theresa May.

The Times reports that Britain's proposal tries to avoid "regulatory divergence" between Northern Ireland and the European Union by giving more power to the Northern Irish government so it can ensure "convergence" with the Republic of Ireland on issues like agriculture and energy.

It means Northern Ireland could end up following European Union regulations long after Brexit, even as the rest of the United Kingdom moves away from them.

Making progress on the question of the Irish border is crucial for the advancement of Brexit talks. The EU will not move on to discuss subjects like trade until there has been "sufficient progress" made on the issues of Ireland, Britain's Brexit bill, and the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

So the border will have to be in the Irish sea? The DUPlicitous party will love that...
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: 23405
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2772 Postby Alan H » November 30th, 2017, 11:43 pm

This Brexit thingy is all going tickety-boo, isn't it? UK to be kicked out of Europol after Brexit
Britain will be forced to leave Europol after Brexit, the EU’s chief negotiator has told a security conference in Berlin.

Michel Barnier accused the UK of abandoning the defence of Europe at a time of increased threats from terrorists both foreign and domestic, citing recent attacks in France, Belgium, Germany and the UK.

“Never had the need to be together, to protect ourselves together, to act together been so strong, so manifest. Yet rather than stay shoulder to shoulder with the Union, the British chose to be on their own again,” he said.

His comments will come as a blow to the UK Government. It has long said it wants the country to stay in Europol, which shares criminal intelligence data between EU police forces, and keep other EU security benefits such as the European Arrest Warrant and shared criminal databases.

The UK will also leave the European Defence Agency, The Independent reports, and “UK defence ministers and ambassadors [will] be excluded from international meetings with EU colleagues”.

In September, Theresa May vowed “unconditional” support for EU defence after Brexit, and the Home Secretary Amber Rudd said she hoped a “new legal framework” could “lock in” British access to Europol for years to come.

Politico reports that ministers view the UK’s military strength and security and intelligence expertise “as one of the country’s strongest hands in the Brexit negotiations”. Yet they appear to have once again underestimated the EU’s resolve, meaning the UK could find itself in a security limbo after March 2019.

Labour seized on the development, blaming the Government’s “inflexible approach” for delivering “a huge blow which threatens vital national security cooperation and risks critical information falling between the gaps”.
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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Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#2773 Postby animist » December 1st, 2017, 10:27 am

Alan H wrote:The UK is reportedly planning to devolve powers to Northern Ireland to avoid a hard border after BrexitSo the border will have to be in the Irish sea? The DUPlicitous party will love that...
ISTM that HM government has now yet again conceded important ground to the EU by agreeing to an exit bill of over £40 billion. This must indicate that ultrahard Brexit, ie walking away to the WTO option, is out of favour. If so, some sort of trade deal seems more likely than before, and the Irish problem is, or might be, the remaining impediment to this. All this would suggest, if things go well (a big if) that, despite the DUP's fortuitous position in propping up the government, it could be increasingly isolated, especially if Labour and the other opposition parties get in line with the government over a trade deal. We may end with a Brexit which involves Ulster's increasing isolation from the rest of the UK and with renewed links with the Irish Republic

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2774 Postby Alan H » December 1st, 2017, 2:33 pm

At every stage Brexiters fool themselves - and the public
As with the financial settlement issue, the worst aspect of this doltish refusal by Brexiter politicians to engage even minimally with reality is that it so profoundly deceives the general public. In the end reality will bite as it always does, but Brexiters will have misled the public to believe that they have been bitten not by reality but by the caprice of the EU, with all the attendant bitterness that will bring. Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I think that leaving the EU is a disaster for Britain, an epic and unprecedented act of economic and, no less important, geo-political and cultural self-harm. But as the months go by what I find almost equally grotesque is the sheer boneheaded incompetence with which Brexit is being pursued.

There is a line in the classic political sitcom Yes, Minister (or it may have been in Yes, Prime Minister) where Sir Humphrey says to Jim Hacker: “if you are going to do this damn silly thing, don’t do it in this damn silly way”. It applies perfectly to Brexit, and that should be a matter of concern to leave voters quite as much as to remainers.
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: 23405
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2775 Postby Alan H » December 1st, 2017, 6:10 pm

Tsk, tsk. Bob Spink: Former Ukip and Conservative MP found guilty of electoral fraud
Bob Spink, who served as Tory MP for Castle Point in Essex for five years before defecting to the pro-Brexit party in 2008, was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of four counts of submitting false signatures on nomination forms, a type of electoral fraud.

Spink, 69, of Benfleet in Essex, showed no emotion as the jury foreman returned majority verdicts on all four counts he faced.

He will be sentenced in the New Year.

James Parkin, 39, Ukip's election agent at the time, was found guilty of two counts of the same offence, and found not guilty of three. He had already admitted two counts.

Judge Ian Graham said: "These types of offences are taken very seriously."

Jurors heard Spink tricked "elderly and infirm" voters into signing the forms in April 2016, without making it clear what the documents were or which party he represented.

The court heard people in Spink's constituency signed forms believing they were petitions, and having no idea they were supporting the Ukip candidate in the Castle Point Borough Council elections.
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: 23405
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2776 Postby Alan H » December 2nd, 2017, 7:01 pm

We're doomed. We're all doomed. Theresa May reveals how her faith in God gives her confidence she is 'doing the right thing'
Theresa May has described how her faith in God makes her convinced she is “doing the right thing” as Prime Minister.
And this is particularly hilarious:
Asked if that was a “moral” approach, Ms May added: “I suppose there is something in terms of faith.

“I am a practising member of the Church of England and so forth, that lies behind what I do.

“It's not like I've decided to do what I'm going to do and I'm stubborn. I'll think it through, have a gut instinct, look at the evidence, work through the arguments, because you have to think through the unintended consequences.”
Give me strength...
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: 6437
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#2777 Postby animist » December 2nd, 2017, 7:27 pm

Alan H wrote:We're doomed. We're all doomed. Theresa May reveals how her faith in God gives her confidence she is 'doing the right thing'
Theresa May has described how her faith in God makes her convinced she is “doing the right thing” as Prime Minister.
And this is particularly hilarious:
Asked if that was a “moral” approach, Ms May added: “I suppose there is something in terms of faith.

“I am a practising member of the Church of England and so forth, that lies behind what I do.

“It's not like I've decided to do what I'm going to do and I'm stubborn. I'll think it through, have a gut instinct, look at the evidence, work through the arguments, because you have to think through the unintended consequences.”
Give me strength...
so when she voted Remain she was doing the right thing, then ditto when she said that Brexit was Brexit, ditto when she made the Lancaster House speech, ditto when she made the disastrous decision to hold a general election, ditto when she offered the EU a whole lotta money. Every twist and turn was doing the right thing, right

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Alan H
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Re: In or out?

#2778 Postby Alan H » December 2nd, 2017, 8:24 pm

animist wrote:
Alan H wrote:We're doomed. We're all doomed. Theresa May reveals how her faith in God gives her confidence she is 'doing the right thing'
Theresa May has described how her faith in God makes her convinced she is “doing the right thing” as Prime Minister.
And this is particularly hilarious:
Asked if that was a “moral” approach, Ms May added: “I suppose there is something in terms of faith.

“I am a practising member of the Church of England and so forth, that lies behind what I do.

“It's not like I've decided to do what I'm going to do and I'm stubborn. I'll think it through, have a gut instinct, look at the evidence, work through the arguments, because you have to think through the unintended consequences.”
Give me strength...
so when she voted Remain she was doing the right thing, then ditto when she said that Brexit was Brexit, ditto when she made the Lancaster House speech, ditto when she made the disastrous decision to hold a general election, ditto when she offered the EU a whole lotta money. Every twist and turn was doing the right thing, right
Yup.
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: 23405
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2779 Postby Alan H » December 3rd, 2017, 1:20 pm

Are there any Brexiteers who actually understand what Brexit means? Why Brexiters are flummoxed by the Irish border
What we are seeing in the Brexiter response to the Irish border issue is the familiar combination of denial and irony that characterises Brexiter thinking in general. On the one hand, there is a denial of the consequences of what they advocate. That goes right back to the referendum campaign when Boris Johnson and Theresa Villiers (then the Northern Ireland Secretary) told voters that Brexit would have no effect on the Northern Ireland border. On the other hand there is the irony that having campaigned so vociferously on the platform of ‘regaining control of our borders’ they rail against – indeed treat as a monstrous imposition by the EU – the fact that leaving the EU means border controls.


It seems even John Redwood and his cronies are utterly clueless: LEAVE MEANS LEAVE LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER

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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: 23405
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2780 Postby Alan H » December 4th, 2017, 12:15 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: 23405
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#2781 Postby Alan H » December 4th, 2017, 12:23 pm

I thought Brexit meant Brexit for the whole of the UK? UK to concede regulatory alignment on island of Ireland
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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