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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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3821 Postby Alan H » October 13th, 2018, 5:31 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Brexit will be just fine. As long as you're not ill... Health department cannot guarantee 'supply of medicines' after Brexit, MPs warn
Vital drug shortages could become more likely when the UK quits the European Union, MPs are warning after health ministers were unable to give guarantees on how they would prevent fallout from a ”no deal” Brexit.

A report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on medicines shortages last year found no evidence that the government was adequately prepared for similar disruption from leaving the EU.

The report said it was “worrying” that the Department “could not assure us of its plans to safeguard the supply of medicines after the UK has exited the European Union”.
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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3822 Postby Alan H » October 13th, 2018, 11:38 pm

We're definitely going to run out of :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: Exclusive: Tory Eurosceptics write open letter in major show of strength ahead of Brexit backstop decision
heresa May is attempting to placate a growing rebellion over her plans for Brexit as 63 Tory Eurosceptics issued a major new challenge to her authority and a Government aide said her proposals could cause Leave voters to “lose faith in our democracy”.

The Prime Minister’s advisers are attempting to craft new language for the Brexit withdrawal agreement amid signs the Cabinet will otherwise refuse to agree to her proposals for a “backstop” plan that would “temporarily” keep the UK in the EU’s customs union.

On Saturday night Brexiteer MPs sought to dispel claims by allies of Mrs May that they could be railroaded in the Commons with the help of rebel Labour votes.

In a highly unusual show of strength, a letter attacking the Government over its Brexit forecasts was signed by 63 Conservative MPs, including David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chairman of the European Research Group of Eurosceptic backbenchers, and Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister.

Separately, writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, a pro-Leave MP who is parliamentary private secretary at the Department for Education, said remaining in a “temporary customs arrangement” after the end of the transition period in December 2020 “means simply delaying Brexit and causing the 17.4 million people who voted for it to lose faith in our democracy, and in our democratic and legal institutions”.
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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3823 Postby Alan H » October 15th, 2018, 8:22 pm

This Brexit thingy is all going tickety-boo, isn't it? AstraZeneca halts UK investments due to Brexit uncertainties
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has suspended investments in Britain due to the lack of clarity over the country's departure from the European Union.

With less than six months to go, Leif Johansson, non-executive chairman, told France's Le Monde newspaper precautions had to be taken.

"If a transition deal does not make clear what will happen in the future, we will maintain our decision not to invest," Mr Johansson said.

"A Brexit agreement will need to ensure that Britain does not become an isolated island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean."

Providing the certainty and stability businesses need...
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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3824 Postby Alan H » October 17th, 2018, 6:55 pm

But it's what we voted for, isn't it? Reverse Brexit with second referendum to save your economy, OECD tells UK
Economic experts have made an explosive suggestion of a further referendum to reverse Brexit, to avoid the crippling of the British economy.

The influential Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said the deadlock in the exit talks now threatened a “disorderly Brexit”, with severe consequences.

Its report controversially puts the case for a dramatic rethink on the agenda – suggesting halting EU withdrawal is a route to avoiding that fate.

“In case Brexit gets reversed by political decision (change of majority, new referendum, etc), the positive impact on growth would be significant,” the report said.

The suggestion is certain to infuriate Brexiteers, but will bolster campaigners calling for the British public to be given a second vote, when the “facts of Brexit” are known.

The report was immediately seized on by one pro-EU group as the “final nail in the coffin for the already long-buried notion that Brexit will benefit our economy”.

The OECD analysis suggests a “no-deal” Brexit would wipe up to a staggering £40bn off UK economic growth by 2019.
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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3825 Postby Alan H » October 17th, 2018, 11:05 pm

This Brexit thingy is all going tickety-boo, isn't it?NHS cannot be 'confident' about medicine supplies after a no-deal Brexit, senior official admits
England’s most senior health official says he cannot be “confident” that essential medicines will still be available after a no-deal Brexit – describing the task as “extremely difficult”.

Maintaining supplies would be “very complex” if the UK crashes out of the EU, Sir Chris Wormald told MPs, adding: “I never use words like confident.”

Sir Chris, the department of health's permanent secretary, warned there were also major concerns about staff shortages and the treatment of British travellers to the EU after Brexit.

“Those are the three things that keep me awake on this subject,” he said – telling the inquiry that was the case whether the UK and the EU strike a withdrawal deal or not.
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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3826 Postby Alan H » October 19th, 2018, 12:41 pm

Ian Dunt's Friday email:
Never meet your heroes, that's what they say. But in Brexiters' case, it may also be helpful to never meet the leaders of countries whose trading arrangements you want to emulate.

First Justin Trudeau, who leads the country with the name they literally use to describe their trade plans, warned that Brexit was turning the UK "inwards". Now, the prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, has disparaged the idea that Britain should adopt his own state as its post-Brexit standard.

The city-state is one of the poster boys for the Global Britain brand. "If we are to thrive, our post-Brexit model should exactly be Singapore," former Cabinet secretary Owen Paterson wrote last year. Daniel Hannan is also a fan and so is James Dyson.

Loong not so much. He's just spent eight years negotiating a deal with the EU securing reciprocal market access, alongside some government procurement arrangements and acceptance of the EU' Geographical Indicator system. He's even happy to roll-over the deal to Britain when it's out the EU in advance of a more thorough negotiation further down the line. What he won't do is pretend that Brexit is a good idea.

"From an economic point of view, it's hard to make the argument that you'll be in a superior position outside the EU than in," he told Radio 4.

The difference between Singapore and the UK is location. One of them is in Europe and the other one is in Asia. This may seem a simple point but it is apparently incomprehensible to many leading Brexiters. What it entails in terms of trade with the EU is quite obvious. It is the Father Dougal trade rule: this trading entity is close, but that trading entity is far away.

"Singapore is in a very different position," he said. "We're not on the European doorstep. We have very good relations with EU, we have deep and considerable trade, but we are on the other side of the world in Asia."

At this point he sounded like he was trying to explain things to a very young child. It must be absolutely baffling for world leaders to come what they always presumed was an advanced country and experience the level of debate that currently dominates here.

"We also have trade in our region, with south-east Asia, with China, with the United States. So I don't know that it is possible to model Britain on the same basis as Singapore."

Loong's comments remind you of that regular Brexit refrain that 'we're leaving the EU, not Europe'. It is just noise now, a platitude to guard against accusations of xenophobia. But actually it contains a quite direct geographic truth with trade implications. They cannot actually pick the islands up, much as one suspects they want to, and deposit them somewhere across the Atlantic, where there are more English speakers. Regardless of our EU membership, it will remain the world's largest regulatory superpower. And regardless of our EU membership, we will be right next to it. That's why Britain is going to have to abide by its rules no matter what happens. It doesn't even matter what the government says. Businesses will do it simply to trade.

Leavers have insisted that Britain will go its own way, establishing its own standards and regulations and the like. It will not, simply as a question of scale. It is stuck between two big trading regimes - the EU and the US. It will pick one of those and snuggle in it. The one closest to it makes the most sense, because that is where it does the most trade. Again, it isn't complicated.

"It's an enormous market," Loong said gently. "If you can't influence it you may not have strengthened your influence in the world." His precise use of wording became more and more depressing as he went on. "They will certainly influence you and you will hope to influence them."

It's in those subtle choices of words that you can hear world leaders gradually downgrade Britain's status in the world. It gives the phrase Global Britain a cruel irony.
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?

#3827 Postby animist » October 20th, 2018, 12:35 pm

we already know that borders are not usually frictionless (that is because they are borders) and even the one between two members of the Single Market, ie Norway and Sweden, is not. Anyway, here is yet another example:

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/e ... -1.3666645

"The checkpoint at Dorohusk is a chastening throwback to how things used to be before EU open borders and a sobering reminder of how things are beyond the bloc."

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

Re: In or out?

#3828 Postby Alan H » October 20th, 2018, 5:18 pm

On the People's Vote march today. 700,000 of us all demanding we take back control and have a vote of whatever deal the Tories manage to negotiate (if any).
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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3829 Postby Alan H » October 20th, 2018, 5:21 pm

The Observer view on the urgent need for a fresh vote on Europe
The way the hard Tory Brexiters told it, Europe’s leaders should have been begging for mercy by now. Instead, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron popped out for a convivial beer or two in a Brussels brasserie after last week’s supposedly make-or-break EU summit. If they were worried about the latest failure to complete a Brexit deal, they were hiding it well. The contrast with Theresa May, who dined alone after her nervy plea for help was met with embarrassment and pity by the other 27 leaders, was stark. Humiliating does not begin to describe the situation the government has got itself into.

What has happened to all those German car manufacturers whose panic at the prospect of losing British sales would force the German government to bow to Brexiters’ demands? David Davis, the former Brexit secretary who quit while he was behind, is still peddling this fantasy. The reality is that Europe’s exporters would rather preserve the single market, which has massively benefited them and us. And just in case Boris Johnson wonders, Italian prosecco-makers are also holding their nerve with true Brit grit.

The sorry truth of the matter is that the hard Tory Brexiters, and a large chunk of an ageing, out-of-touch, predominantly southern English Conservative party, do not understand Europe or the EU or what it means to be European. They cling doggedly to a grossly distorted, sentimental view of history that portrays this country as a unique exemplar of enlightened governance, swashbuckling enterprise and imperial endeavour that rose, by right, to be first among nations. They believe Britain (by which they really mean England) could lead the world again, if only freed of Europe’s jealous embrace.

They do not grasp, nor do they value, the collective peace and security that increased European co-operation has brought. Their myth is that Britain “saved” Europe in 1945 and was repaid with ingratitude. They do not understand how business is done these days, by multiple actors serving international clienteles, regardless of national borders. They do not see that on a planet of finite resources, sharing is a necessity, not a choice. They do not realise the British are Europe’s citizens, too. In short, hard Tory Brexiters worship a past that never existed while hailing a future that will never materialise.

The legions of People’s Vote supporters who marched through London, and the millions who back their call for a second referendum, understand the idea and importance of Europe very well. For them, it means the chance to travel, study, work and live abroad. For them, Europe means inclusiveness, shared values and laws, mutual tolerance and a joyful openness to the majestic richness of myriad lifestyles, languages, traditions and beliefs.

Europe is where many of our young people, this country’s future, already dwell, spiritually, culturally, politically and aspirationally. For them, Brexit is a wanton act of family separation, brutally wrecking the European home where they were raised. Unrealistic claims have been made about civil unrest if Brexit is thwarted. Yet if it goes ahead willy-nilly, the prospective backlash among our younger generations at seeing their future opportunities and prosperity so cruelly curtailed should alarm everybody. Many of Britain’s best and brightest may simply up and leave.

Shame on these hard Tory Brexiters who would sacrifice our children’s futures for an illusion. They know very well what they don’t like, these stick-in-the mud reactionaries. They don’t like the single market, the customs union and the European court. And, polls show, they don’t give a fig about the union, Scotland’s wishes or peace on the Irish border. What do they like? A return, perhaps, to an imagined nirvana at the apogee of the Victorian age? And how will they achieve it? On this, for more than two years, they have never, ever been clear or honest.

Whenever Theresa May tries to turn the Brexit wishlist into binding words on paper, they scream betrayal. Every time her impractical ideas are rebuffed by a unified EU, they plunge back into denial. Every time the prime minister hints at a concession, they turn rebellious. May has only herself to blame, as we have said before. The appeasement of such dogmatic critics never works. They will never be satisfied – because all they seem to know, and what they seem most to enjoy, is whingeing from the wings.

May is running out of road, both in the Brexit talks and as prime minister. To call all this a “shitshow”, as the Conservative MP Johnny Mercer did, is not inaccurate. His crudeness is on a par with the futility of May’s quest to hold her dysfunctional party together while achieving a deal that the entire EU, parliament and even the noisome Democratic Unionists can approve. Britain is on the brink of a historic calamity, for which the country’s entire political class must share the blame. Brexit, on any currently available terms, will be a disaster. No deal will be worse. The politicians have failed, so the people must take charge. We must have a second 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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3830 Postby Alan H » October 20th, 2018, 11:39 pm

People's Vote UK @peoplesvote_uk

"A #PeoplesVote is vital in order that they [the British people] be given the opportunity to reflect, and review how the referendum of 2016 has been altered." MUST-WATCH: Actor Brian Cox delivers a powerful message about why he's supporting a #PeoplesVote peoples-vote.uk/march


Video
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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3831 Postby Alan H » October 21st, 2018, 1:29 pm

Theresa May: providing the stability businesses need... UK firms near point of no return
Businesses are becoming exasperated at the lack of progress in Brexit talks and are pausing or cancelling investment in the UK.

A week that many had hoped would bring progress in the talks has now come and gone without a breakthrough.

Employers group the CBI says 80% of surveyed members feel Brexit uncertainty has already had a negative impact on investment decisions.

On Friday, Theresa May held a conference call with 150 top bosses.

She wanted to reassure them that she was still confident of striking a deal and that she recognised their concerns.

The chief executive of one company on the call told the BBC the PM had "done a good job and had a reassuring tone" while another said there had been "nothing new in her message".

Of the members surveyed by the CBI, 39% said they would trigger additional contingency plans if there was no further clarity by November, while a further 19% said it was already too late.

Nicole Sykes, the CBI's head of EU negotiations, says the situation is urgent, pointing to concrete examples of cancelled projects: "We heard from a fashion house that wanted to set up a new factory in the UK. £50m of investment, cancelled.

"But we're also talking about some small things. We heard from a Northern Ireland farmer who wanted to build a new machine to make their operations more efficient, grow competitive. Again, that's been cancelled. So we really are talking about real economic consequences."
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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3832 Postby Alan H » October 22nd, 2018, 11:36 am

Whitehall war-games second EU referendum
Civil servants have started secret contingency planning for a second referendum, it can be revealed.

Within the past fortnight they have responded to fears that Theresa May will struggle to get a Brexit deal through parliament and have been “war-gaming” a new vote.

Officials working for the Department for Exiting the European Union role-played the probable response to a fresh referendum by the prime minister and David Lidington, her de facto deputy. They also gamed the reactions of campaigners.

The Brexiteer MPs Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg were among the roles played, along with James McGrory, director of the People’s Vote, the march through London yesterday. The organisers claimed it was attended by 670,000 people.

“Civil servants have to prepare for every eventuality and with the prime minister’s ability to command the support of parliament looking shakier by the day, it is their job to make contingency plans for every possibility, however remote, including a second referendum,” a source said.

It is understood the group also considered whether it would be feasible for the country’s MEPs to stay on for an extra year after concluding that a second vote could not take place for at least a year to avoid clashing with European elections next May.

Yesterday’s demonstration is the start of what campaigners promise will be “the most co-ordinated lobbying effort ever conducted on a piece of legislation” as the People’s’ Vote shifts its focus from organising rallies in towns to persuading MPs to give the public a final say on Brexit.

Much of the focus will be on a group of up to 50 Conservative MPs, including five members of the government front bench, whom the campaign has identified as “reachable”.

Some MPs are already in direct talks with the People’s Vote about backing a second referendum and money has been made available, sometimes at the request of individual MPs, for constituency polling to show them if they are out of step with public opinion.

As part of the campaign, called #writethiswrong, 100,000 postcards, which have the words “Brexit has already become a dog’s dinner — the whole process is going badly wrong. And it’s only going to get worse.”

Activists are being encouraged to write a personal message on the other side of the postcard and send it to their MP.

In a separate move Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s Brexit secretary, today cranks up the pressure on the prime minister as he warns that she is “fast running out of road”.

Writing for The Sunday Times’s website, he declares there can be “no more failed summits”.

He added: “If she can’t command the support of her cabinet, her party, or parliament, fundamental change will inevitably follow.”

Downing Street said: “The prime minister has been clear. There will be no second referendum. We had a people’s vote in 2016.

“A second referendum would really be a politicians’ vote — politicians telling the people they got it wrong the first time and should try again. That would do lasting damage to faith in democracy.”

@cazjwheeler

Readers’ poll: Should the UK hold a second referendum on EU membership? To vote, go to thesundaytimes.co.uk/poll
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: 6477
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#3833 Postby animist » October 22nd, 2018, 12:25 pm

pretty well my own thoughts: http://jackofkent.com/

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Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3834 Postby Alan H » October 22nd, 2018, 12:51 pm

animist wrote:pretty well my own thoughts: http://jackofkent.com/

I disagree with this:
But the brute constitutional fact is that Brexit has now been approved by both parliament and the electorate.
I think this is equivocation. The referendum was most certainly just about the principle of leaving. The GE was a bit more about the Tories wanting to get some authority in the face of mounting evidence that Brexit was going to harm us for a generation. But it's (sadly) only now that we are beginning to understand the full horror of it. To blithely maintain that the referendum, the GE and a People's Vote would all be about the same thing - as if we were were being asked to simply repeat a previous decision - and that we've already approved Brexit is glaringly wrong - and a devious sleight of hand.

But the only reason we need a People's Vote on the deal is that politicians have failed us.
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
animist
Posts: 6477
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: In or out?

#3835 Postby animist » October 22nd, 2018, 1:01 pm

Alan H wrote:
animist wrote:pretty well my own thoughts: http://jackofkent.com/

I disagree with this:
But the brute constitutional fact is that Brexit has now been approved by both parliament and the electorate.
I think this is equivocation. The referendum was most certainly just about the principle of leaving. The GE was a bit more about the Tories wanting to get some authority in the face of mounting evidence that Brexit was going to harm us for a generation. But it's (sadly) only now that we are beginning to understand the full horror of it. To blithely maintain that the referendum, the GE and a People's Vote would all be about the same thing - as if we were were being asked to simply repeat a previous decision - and that we've already approved Brexit is glaringly wrong - and a devious sleight of hand.

But the only reason we need a People's Vote on the deal is that politicians have failed us.
they certainly have done so far, but there is still hope. I don't agree with all he says (I do wish he would frame paragraphs!) and certainly a further plebiscite is justified in principle, for the reasons you mention, but he is IMO right to say that Parliament is the place to change Brexit. What I find amazing is that he managed to omit other reasons against the People's Vote. For instance, what would it be on? How could it choose between more than one alternative? It is therefore likely that Parliament would have to interpret any vote, consequently, so what is the purpose? And a second vote to Leave would seal the issue in one sense and aggravate the mess

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

Re: In or out?

#3836 Postby Alan H » October 23rd, 2018, 12:14 pm

This Brexit thingy is all going tickety-boo, isn't it? Dyson chooses Singapore for new electric car plant

Even the most hardened of Brexiteers are abandoning the UK.
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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3837 Postby Alan H » October 23rd, 2018, 10:45 pm

This Brexit thingy is all going tickety-boo, isn't it? UK readies flotilla plan for supplies in no-deal Brexit
Britain is drawing up plans to charter ships to bring in food and medicines in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit next March, in a move greeted with disbelief at a stormy meeting of Theresa May’s cabinet on Tuesday.

The cabinet was told that the heavily used Dover-Calais route could quickly become blocked by new customs controls on the French side, forcing Britain to seek alternative ways of bringing in “critical supplies”.

The warnings about the consequences of a disorderly British exit from the EU came at a cabinet meeting which saw ministers divided into two camps over how to unlock a deal in Brussels. One witness said there was “an almighty row”.

The prospect of Britain facing shortages of perishable food and medicines provided a bleak backdrop to the cabinet discussions, as Mrs May urged her ministers to back her attempts to secure a breakthrough.

The prime minister announced there would now be a weekly cabinet discussion on preparations for Brexit, whether under a deal or no-deal scenario. “The government’s priority is to secure a deal,” Mrs May told her cabinet.

David Lidington, Mrs May’s de facto deputy, briefed the cabinet that under a no-deal Brexit, the Dover-Calais route could be running at only 12-25 per cent of its normal capacity for up to six months.

“Whatever we do at our end, the French could cause chaos if they carry out checks at their end,” said one government official. “Dover-Calais would be the obvious pinch point. The French would say they were only applying the rules.”

If Britain left the EU under World Trade Organization rules, the UK and EU would be in different customs jurisdictions and would be expected to carry out checks on trade across the English Channel.

Chris Grayling, transport secretary, has discussed with government colleagues the possibility of chartering ships, or space in ships, to bring supplies into other British ports, thus avoiding the Dover-Calais bottleneck.

One person briefed on the plans said: “The idea of the government running ferry services is slightly farcical.”

Government officials say the idea would be to charter ships to use less congested sea routes. “We’re talking about bringing in critical supplies like food, medicines, maybe car parts,” said one official briefed on the plan.

Some 30 per cent of all Britain’s food requirements are met from imports from other EU countries; Dover is a key port of entry, with over 2.5m heavy goods vehicles passing through the port each year.

The Department for Transport said: “We remain confident of reaching an agreement with the EU, but it is only sensible for government and industry to prepare for a range of scenarios. We are continuing to work closely with a range of partners on contingency plans to ensure that trade can continue to move as freely as possible between the UK and Europe.”

Eurosceptic Tories claim that Paris would not allow the Dover-Calais route to be disrupted because of the economic damage and disruption it would cause in the Calais area of northern France.

In May 1982, the British government requisitioned numerous private vessels, including the transatlantic liner the Queen Elizabeth 2, for use during the Falklands War.

Government officials say they do not expect to have to use legal powers to requisition ships, although with only five months to go until Brexit on March 29, there is little time to charter ships on the open market.

Pauline Bastidon, head of European policy at the Freight Transport Association, said: “We are open to all kinds of ideas about how to keep supplies flowing in a no deal Brexit. But it’s hard to see where the extra ships would quickly be found. Nor can I see how other UK ports could possibly handle the huge volumes currently going through the Dover strait.”

Meanwhile the cabinet also heard Mrs May restate her opposition to any Brexit deal that included a “Northern Ireland-only” legal backstop plan for the Irish border that placed the region in a different customs and regulatory jurisdiction to the rest of the UK.
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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3838 Postby Alan H » October 24th, 2018, 12:34 pm

New report from the Office of National Statistics: The UK border: preparedness for EU exit
Key findings
10 The effectiveness of departments’ border planning and delivery has been affected by ongoing uncertainty and delays in negotiation
11 The Border Delivery Group (BDG) has improved government’s understanding of the changes that need to be put in place at the border but it has not been able to address all areas of its responsibilities
12 Planning for border operations in the event of a ‘deal’ is less developed than that for ‘no deal’ because of the ongoing uncertainty regarding the nature of the future relationship between the UK and the EU.
13 There is a high delivery risk attached to government departments’ border programmes for ‘day one of no deal’ due to their scale, complexity and urgency; this risk is magnified by the degree of interdependence between the programmes. In particular:
• Key system developments are at risk.
• Infrastructure identified by government departments cannot be built before March 2019.
• The additional resources required to operate the border may not be ready by March 2019.
• Delivery risk is increased by the high interdependence between government programmes.
14 Businesses do not have enough time to make the changes that will be needed if the UK leaves the EU without a ‘deal’.
15 The most complex issues relating to the border in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a ‘deal’ remain to be resolved
16 In the event of ‘day one of no deal’ the government has accepted that the border will be ‘less than optimal’.
17 To avoid a long period of sub-optimal border functioning following a ‘no deal’ scenario, the government will need to address some significant issues.
18 To manage potential disruption at the border after 29 March 2019, government departments have begun civil contingency planning.

Conclusion
19 Effective management of the border is critical for the UK after it leaves the EU. It is fundamentally important to our national security, economy and international reputation. Leaving the EU will trigger some important changes to how the border is managed, but making such changes is not easy. It requires significant effort and the coordination of large numbers of organisations, many parts of government and millions of border users.
20 If the government reaches a withdrawal agreement with the EU, industry and government will have until December 2020 to design and implement any new arrangements. This could involve significant work, such as the
implementation of new customs arrangements, and the time available to meet these challenges is not long compared to many complex government programmes. However, the scale of this change will be nowhere near that required if the UK and the EU cannot reach an agreement.
21 If there is no withdrawal agreement, the government has recognised that the border will be ‘less than optimal’. We agree with this assessment, and it may take some time for a fully functioning border to be put in place. Individuals and businesses will feel the impact of a sub-optimal border to varying degrees. The government is putting in place coping responses where it can. How effective they will be remains to be seen.


It's all going tickety-boo, isn't it?
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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3839 Postby Alan H » October 24th, 2018, 7:02 pm

It's official: We've run out of time to prepare for no-deal
Today's National Audit Office (NAO) report on no-deal preparation reads like a horror story. It shows that we are now past the point of no-return on no-deal preparations. No matter what we do now, it's too late. We can't get the border systems online in time. That puts us completely at the mercy of our negotiating partner.

Reading the report is like watching the 18-rated version of a movie which the government had tried to bring out as a 12A with its impact statements over the summer. The delays in negotiations, and the ongoing uncertainty about whether we'd be able to agree on a deal at all, have meant that government departments - including Border Force, HMRC, Defra and the Department for Transport - have been unable to plan, because they don't know what they're planning for or when it'll happen.

The Border Delivery Group, set up by the Cabinet Office to coordinate the work, has understandably focused on what needs to be in place on day one of no-deal but quickly found itself swamped by the speed of events. Startlingly, it has only just started preparing for what would happen on the Irish border.

Eleven out of the 12 major projects to replace or adapt existing border systems to be ready for day one are now at risk of not being delivered on time. The cascade of failure is because so many of the systems are reliant on other ones. At its heart is the new customs declaration system, a massive nationwide IT project which has had its goal and timetable adapted, two conditions which should sound the alarm to anyone familiar with this kind of government programme. It currently has an amber warning in Whitehall.

When one problem emerges it quickly spreads, like a pandemic. For instance, the uncertainty in negotiating outcomes means departments have been unable to provide detailed information on the compliance regime they are expected to enforce, which means Border Force is uncertain of how many staff it needs, which leads to failures in recruitment and training. It is currently planning to recruit an additional 581 members of staff but thinks the eventual number could be as high as 2,000. They won't be available to deploy by March next year, so a 'readiness task force' of 300 is being set up instead as some kind of emergency triage.

As for infrastructure, it is simply too late. HMRC will not be able to track goods and Border Force will not have the space or facilities to examine them. Ports are not going to start pouring millions into building this infrastructure anyway, because they've no idea if it'll ever be needed.

Other businesses will need to be ready too if disaster is to be averted, but the time has passed for that too. HMRC estimates that between 145,000 and 250,000 traders who've never done so before would need to fill out customs declarations and they'll inevitably make mistakes, or simply not do it. That'll create bottlenecks immediately. But the government's own papers from this summer confirmed that it was already too late to train traders to do this.

There are no plans on what to do at the Irish border. There is no design or implementation programme for roll-on-roll-off ferry ports or Eurotunnel.

All we really know is that the government will claim on day one of no-deal that the risk assessment of goods coming in from Europe has not changed and that full agricultural and security checks are therefore not necessary. But this is a short-term fix, if indeed it's a fix at all. "Organised criminals and others are likely to be quick to exploit any perceived weaknesses or gaps in the enforcement regime," the NAO warns. "This, combined with the UK's potential loss of access to EU security, law enforcement and criminal justice tools, could create security weaknesses which the government would need to address urgently."

This is where things start to go dangerously wrong. There'd be a blockage of trade with Europe due to no-deal, and instant tailbacks at the border. We'd then throw open our borders in an act of desperation. And then other non-EU countries would close their borders to us because they'd know we were open to any kind of terrorist, or black market activity, or contaminated product. We'd be turning ourselves into a pariah state. "Government departments have begun civil contingency planning," the report says, blandly. "Plans are progressing to cope with issues such as queues of traffic in Kent, and to enable the continued supplies of essential goods and medicines."

The idea that a successful country would put itself in this kind of position is incomprehensible, even at this late stage. But what's truly shocking, whatever else you might think of the rights or wrongs of Brexit, is that Article 50 was triggered without having come up with a formal and deliverable plan for what would happen when it reached its default outcome, which is no-deal.

We knew at the start how this mechanism operated. The pitiless two years play out and then they eject you, no matter what has or hasn't been agreed. To activate it, in a drunken haze of reactionary self-congratulation, without even knowing what you would do, is an unconscionable act of national irresponsibility. And to have then wasted time on a general election and internal party squabbling instead of doing something about it is even worse. It's simply unforgivable.
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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3840 Postby Alan H » October 26th, 2018, 12:36 pm

Of course the Tories are in disagreement over Brexit. They always have been and always will be. That's what got us into this fucking mess in the first place: Brexit Talks on Hold With May’s Team in Disagreement, Sources Say
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Cabinet is not close enough to agreeing on a way forward for top level Brexit negotiations to resume, even as time is running short to reach a deal, according to people familiar with the matter.

There will almost certainly be no new plan put forward by the British side before next Monday’s budget, the annual statement setting out the government’s tax and spending plans for the next year, one of the people said.

The assessment followed a stormy meeting of May’s cabinet on Tuesday, when two factions battled each other over the question of how to avoid customs checks at the Irish border without tying the U.K. into the European Union’s trade regime forever.

A meeting that had been called to discuss the issue on Thursday was canceled because agreement within May’s team is still out of reach, according to a report in the Evening Standard newspaper.
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: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: In or out?

#3841 Postby Alan H » October 26th, 2018, 6:46 pm

I suspect the jokes will write themselves. It's a shit job but someone will have to do it: Brexit Panic as Brits Run Out of Toilet Paper
There is palpable sense of panic slowly developing in London. Each Brit consumes 110 toilet rolls a year—two and half time the European average. The United Kingdom is Europe’s biggest importer of loo paper and it is said that only one day’s supply of toilet paper exists in stock. If Britain leaves the EU Customs Union and Single Market in five months’ time and the trucks transporting toilet paper are held up at Calais or Dover, British bottoms will have to be wiped with torn-up newspapers as in bygone days.

Some 1,300 trucks carrying goods from the continent arrive every day just for the giant German-owned low-cost supermarket chain Lidl. Airbus imports a million components on a just-in-time basis, as do all U.K. automobile manufacturers.

Britain’s economy is now completely integrated in terms of supply and transport into the rest of Europe. There are no more checks and controls on goods, people, toilet rolls, or components going between the continent and Britain than there are on goods or people moving from California to Oregon.

This sense of panic—the highways of Kent in southern England becoming parking lots for trucks with toilets and canteens, manufacturing firms told to stockpile food, medicine, or components, and Eurotunnel slowing to snail’s pace for the 4,500 trucks using it every day as each fills in customs forms—helps to persuade public opinion and MPs that a no-deal Brexit would be very bad 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?


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