Are we sleep-walking out of Europe ?

So Simon, can I ask you a few questions.

Do you believe that we have made the right decision, no matter what the financial consequences? Will it be worth it no matter what the financial outlook for the next 5 years or so, just to get our 'sovereignty' back?

The pound has fallen and is predicted by most people to continue falling up to the middle of next year. Will it recover, or will it then remain roughly on parity with the Euro? Does this matter? Maybe not to some people who voted to leave, but it will matter a great deal to many. Inflation will almost certainly rise quite significantly. Does this matter? It certainly will for many at the bottom end of our wage structures. Nissan are now talking about the possibility of moving car production out of the UK into Europe. Is this just scaremongering or posturing in order to get a 'better deal' for themselves with our Government, or are they serious? Who knows at the moment, but if they (and others like them) are serious, then the consequences for the British economy and the lives of the workers who are employed there will indeed be severe, even life changing. Some of the International banks are also looking at the possibility of moving their Headquarters out of London into other financial centres in Europe. Are they serious, or are they just posturing? I know it's not at all popular to say anything positive about Banks and the Banking system, but like it or not, the Banking and the Financial Services sector brings in large amounts of revenue for the British economy.

Irrespective of how you feel about Europe and how dangerous it is, you and others who voted to leave must surely have some concerns about what will happen to Britain, its economy and its people over the coming years. You may claim that things will get better in the long term, and that what is happening now, and is likely to happen in the near future is just a short term glitch. Fine, but when do you believe the long term benefits will be realised? How long a period of uncertainty and short term pain will be acceptable before we see the light at the end of the tunnel?

Frank, and Simon, I take it that you are in favour of what is normally termed a 'Hard Brexit', that is pulling completely out of the single market. DO you think that there is a mandate for demanding that this happens. UKIP certainly will continue to 'campaign' (in this case, a euphemism for 'lie') for this, but I certainly don't feel the Conservative Government is united behind this viewpoint? Do you really think that all those who campaigned for an exit, and those who voted to leave had any idea of what sort of Brexit would result from a vote to leave. I am sure that you did, but do you not think that a sizable percentage of those wo voted had the remotest idea of the complexity of the exit process. Is there really a mandate for a so called 'HARD BREXIT'? The whole bedrock of the 'Leave' campaign was founded on a litany of lies, half-truths and unfulfillable promises, and almost no discussion about what a Brexit would really constitute.

Lastly, but certainly not least. The EU may feel dangerous to you. It did not feel dangerous to me, but I guess that is a matter of personal opinion. What does feel dangerous to me is the vitriolic division in the British social fabric and political institutions that has resulted from this referendum. The Labour party has imploded, potentially rendering it an ineffective counter to our current Government for years to come. The Conservative Government has been hijacked by  a right wing clique, and with the support of the UKIP party (if they survive their recent infighting) will continue to drive the party to the right.

Did you happen to watch Question Time on the BBC last week? I can't believe that any reasonable person who witnessed the event could be anything but appalled at the vitriol spouted by a number of those people voicing support for a Hard Brexit in the direction of Ken Clarke, who was a highly respected former member of the Tory party.

Simon, you may well have felt threatened by Europe. I am concerned about the very social fabric of the UK. Scotland will hold another referendum on continued membership of the UK unless Theresa May decides to veto this option. If she does, then where will this lead us? The outcome of this referendum could well mean the break up of the UK. Plaid Cymru is already beginning to campaign for a so called soft rather than hard Brexit, because of the likely impact of a hard Brexit on the Welsh economy. Will they gain ground, or do you think that they are a lost cause and that it is impossible that Wales could go the way of Scotland. Of course neither of these things might happen, but has it been worth the risk? What does a hard Brexit from a single market mean to Northern Ireland and the borders between the North and South. Can we have a hard Brexit without reinstating the border checkpoints between Northern Ireland and Eire? No matter what the outcome of our Brexit talkx, it is imperative that the UK Government does whatever it takes to ensure that borders between the two countries remain open.  

I have witnessed Britain at its worst over the last few months, egged on by the divisive campaigning of the UKIP party who appear to me at the fringes to be taking on the mantle of the BNP. 'Hate' crimes have escalated dramatically since the leave vote, since some of those people on the fringes of the Brexit campaign appear to have taken the vote as a mandate to indulge their hatred. I do know of course, that the vast majority of the 'Leave' voters will genuinely be appalled by these events, but the UKIP campaign has pandered directly to these very people.

So, I see Britain with a very uncertain future, both economically and socially, and much more divided than ever before.  I suspect that many others feel the same as me.

   

 

Brilliant write-ups, Eloise and Hmack.

The whole subject of our future is too complex to comprehensively cover in a single post on this forum, but you have both managed to convey essential points in a clear, consise and measured way.

QT from Hartlepool last week, more or less covered the case for a "Hard Brexit". It was not a pretty sight !

Hi Hmack, the danger to me is to when governments don't want to listen to the voices of the populations and carry on regardless. There are those that want to evolve and develop the EU - but there also appear those that don't. To me i did not feel comfortable with the lack of flexibility and willingness to evolve. You were either in or out... The world is not black and white.  I have worked in the past for EU and prior to that EEC funded initiatives and my feel is that the EU has become more administrative, centralising and controlling over the years, I might be wrong and in my personal and professional world I might've been unlucky with the EU institutions I worked with - but I expressed my view with a ballot. It might not be the same as others reasons for the same ballot - but I suspect are is rarely the case anyway.

To me the EU  appearing  not to  listen to many of its peoples is dangerous - it will encourage a disenfranchisement   and a backlash and will damage itself badly. I wish it well but - until the two factions - the common market - and the common federal project  are aligned and accommodated -  I feel it will be a tinderbox waiting to explode. I felt this long before our referendum and Cameron's attempts.

I don't subscribe to the more 'divided' argument - I suspect we are exactly the same - its just that many of these voices and feelings had no outlet - and  now they do- that is healthy - it lets the pressure out before it explodes. We, you, I might not agree with them but they have a right to be spoken and aired rather than suppressed. Suppression of thought and expressing one serve should not be confused with criminality which seems to be the argument of some who who prefer suppression.

I think many in the UK value the common market - but not the common European federation project - and seemingly there was little space and willingness to work  through that - and it will be interesting to see how our exit negotiations unfold - that will be the real acid test on whether the EU is grown up enough to adapt to a nation that sees things, albeit on a 52% majority, in a different way that they do.

Personally I am looking forward to the opportunities of working with Europe and elsewhere rather than being overly centred by the EU - I am envious of some of our younger generation who can look more confidently out to the world rather than overly relying inwardly on Europe. I hope the EU evolves with us - fingers crossed.

 

Eloise, I agree with much of your summary - and I hope you are right - and the willingness and professionalism to support out future relationship with the EU will be the real acid teuton both sides. It will be interesting to see if the low skilled become better off post EU - I suspect many may be...  I think the EU has helped - or has perceived to help - the well off, the London centric populations, big business, the establishment and institutions - it was too distant and non accountable to many. To me that was and continues to be its biggest challenge - as I posted above - I hope it evolves - and  accommodates those that value common market - but not at the expense of needing to align with the  Federation project. It was the latter that was the tipping point for many I know who decided to vote to cancel our membership... and it was also the dilemma for many I know who wanted to remain in a somehow evolving EU.

S

 

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Eloise, I agree with much of your summary - it will be interesting to see if the low waged become better off post EU - I suspect they may be... I think the EU has helped - or has perceived to help - the well off, the London centric populations, big business, the establishment and institutions - it was too distant and non accountable to many.

Your assessment of the current situation in a many ways mirror mine, but I see a very different outcome.

Yes, the EU benefited the "London centric populations, big business, the establishment and institutions" ... but by doing so it also offered a big boost to our economy.  It is up to the UK government to ensure that the benefits are felt across the country and they - the current administration particularly but also the Labour government before - failed to do that.

I can't see how removing "big business" from the UK will help the low waged.  Inflation is going to rocket as a result of low exchange rates and while there may be a small rise in absolute wages, that will likely be wiped out by price rises.

To me that was and continues to be its biggest challenge - as I posted above - I hope it evolves - and  accommodates those that value common market - but not at the expense of needing to align with the  Federation project. It was the latter that was the tipping point for many I know who decided to vote to cancel our membership... and it was also the dilemma for many I know who wanted to remain in a somehow evolving EU.

I think an "ever closer union" is actually needed to make the EU work.  But for me (born in the 70s) an ever closer union wasn't something to be feared but embraced.

But is ever closer union required to make a common market work? I don't see it has to - and it didn't used to. The ever closer union makes accountability and democracy more difficult in my opinion and fosters disenfranchisement. When you have diverse populations with differing challenges, needs and expectations as well as common ones - having too much commonality is going to stifle the less representative and less dominant/powerful. Its bad enough with national politics - multiply that by 20 something and the problem has significantly gown. However a common market is surely a pre agreed trading arrangement that relies only on only limited social commonality. We should embrace diversity including national differences, not dumb it down and suppress it in my opinion... 

S

Until May has had more time to consider the UK options, it will remain unclear whether she will negotiate to remain part of the Single Market, Leave the Market but set up an independent Trade Agreement, or simply leave the Market (or any one of dozens of intermediate options). It will also remain unclear what her position will be regarding the free movement of people within the EU to/from the UK.

Apart from the Single Market, there are probably a hundred or more European Agencies in one form or another, from which we might wish to be dis-engaged or remain part of. And our role therein if we remain.

I don't consider the Referendum gave a clear mandate for any specific "degree" of Brexit. I hope (but am not confident) that she will seek sound council before she starts negotiations with the EU and that she manages to get broad support from all four parts of the UK and Members of Parliament, all of whom have a duty to secure what's best in the UK interest.

At the moment, I don't really trust her to do what's right. I hope I am wrong.

Interesting to read today that the economy has grown by 0.5% since Brexit was announced and that Nissan have today announced new cars to be made in the country along with the associated jobs.  No guarantee of what will happen post brexit but hardly the economic end of the world that we were promised an out vote would bring.

dayjay posted:

Interesting to read today that the economy has grown by 0.5% since Brexit was announced and that Nissan have today announced new cars to be made in the country along with the associated jobs.  No guarantee of what will happen post brexit but hardly the economic end of the world that we were promised an out vote would bring.

However, if you read past the headline you find :

"While growth in the services sector was robust, the construction sector contracted by 1.4% and industrial production fell 0.4%, with manufacturing output down 1%. "

"We don't know the details of the "support and assurance" that Nissan extracted from the UK government. But it was clearly enough to secure a commitment from Nissan to build not one, but two new cars at the Sunderland plant."

dayjay posted:

Interesting to read today that the economy has grown by 0.5% since Brexit was announced and that Nissan have today announced new cars to be made in the country along with the associated jobs.  No guarantee of what will happen post brexit but hardly the economic end of the world that we were promised an out vote would bring.

Yet we haven't yet left the EU and the government have had to give assurances and guarantees to secure Nissan (and if you read May's comments other Motor Manufacturers) continuing to invest in the U.K.

In the current climate, and after all the scare stories, I think it is reasonable for large manufacturers to ask for assurances on future strategy and appropriate for the government to give info to allow them to reach a decision.  They have clearly been able to provide assurances which is good for employment and investment in this country.  Both the government and Nissan have denied that there was any special treatment or incentivisation which is also proper although our cousins in Europe have been doing it in their countries for years.  Of course once outside the EU the government could, should it choose to do so as a sovereign state, offer whatever operating conditions that worked best for the UK.  What a pleasant change that will make

dayjay posted:

In the current climate, and after all the scare stories, I think it is reasonable for large manufacturers to ask for assurances on future strategy and appropriate for the government to give info to allow them to reach a decision.  They have clearly been able to provide assurances which is good for employment and investment in this country.  Both the government and Nissan have denied that there was any special treatment or incentivisation which is also proper although our cousins in Europe have been doing it in their countries for years.  Of course once outside the EU the government could, should it choose to do so as a sovereign state, offer whatever operating conditions that worked best for the UK.  What a pleasant change that will make

Maybe not unreasonable, but apparently it's unreasonable for MPs to ask for assurances and general details of what plans the government have.  As for scare stories, companies like Nissan were part of the sources of those scare stories...

Read carefully: Nissan and May have said there was not special treatment or incentivisation for Nissan, but what was said was "there is no offer of exchange. It’s just the commitment from the government to work with the whole of the automotive industry to make sure that the whole automotive industry in the UK remains competitive".  Pretty much meaningless platitudes when it comes to describing the arrangement.  

I'm not saying that Nissan's decision isn't good and a vote of confidence, but unless the government will reveal the details of what assurances have been made ... how can we (the people) say if it's a good thing or not ... remember the Prime Minister said the country should work for everyone.  Perhaps Theresa May has assured them that the UK will do what's necessary to stay within the Single Market (despite what Gove the Toad said today) and the customs union. What's more telling is what happens once more details are known about the direction of the negotiations.

As for what happens outside once outside the EU ... well there are still WTO regulations to consider.  Trade deals have to work for both sides, they are not a one way street.  And as part of the EU we had access to more trade deals that Switzerland or Canada.  A deal with South Korea was done quicker and on better terms as part of the EU than Australia managed.  Deals with power houses such as China and USA when done as part of the EU are on somewhat of a level playing field, with the UK the UK will be the underdog.

But no, those are thrown away for the abstract "taking control".

The government was never likely to put their negotiating strategy into the public domain before they commence negotiations with the EU, that would be foolhardy in the extreme.  They've committed to MPs viewing and voting on the deal before it is enacted, which is probably about as far as they can go without giving away their position in advance and that being used by the EU against them and by those who still try to avoid the will of the people in other parties within the UK.  We don't know what will happen after Brexit, for good or for worse, but this is a pleasant indicator in advance and after all the doom and gloom.  I'm sure there will be plenty more ups and downs along the way

dayjay posted:

The government was never likely to put their negotiating strategy into the public domain before they commence negotiations with the EU, that would be foolhardy in the extreme.  They've committed to MPs viewing and voting on the deal before it is enacted, which is probably about as far as they can go without giving away their position in advance and that being used by the EU against them and by those who still try to avoid the will of the people in other parties within the UK.  We don't know what will happen after Brexit, for good or for worse, but this is a pleasant indicator in advance and after all the doom and gloom.  I'm sure there will be plenty more ups and downs along the way

Sorry but that's BS.

MPs have a right, nay a responsibility, to be informed and to debate the direction this country is taken in.  Not a negotiating strategy, but a debate over the options and direction of the negotiations.  To debate the priorities in discussion, to debate the options.

"Viewing and debating on the deal" once it's been negotiated is too late.  Say 18months after Article 50 negotiations, what are the options?  Either accept the deal how bad or good it is for the country, or scupper it when there is then no option but go cap in hand to the 27 to beg for an extension.  No that's not going to happen ... it would be political suicide!

And after the Brexit negotiations, THEN you start on the trade negotiations!  At this point negotiations aren't about the future relationship, the negotiations are on how the divorce is going to be handled.

How could you possibly expect the government to have aired it's negotiation strategies, choose its options and agree it's direction, in public before it then takes that into negotiations?  That would not be in the best interests of the country, to have those you negotiate with armed in advance with your strategy and objectives - no sensible person would expect that.  I don't know what the answer is, perhaps to have cross party involvement in producing strategy and in negotiations, but I do know that giving away your hand before you start playing the game doesn't help you win.

dayjay posted:

but I do know that giving away your hand before you start playing the game doesn't help you win.

I answered most of your comment in my previous post...

As for your card analogy ... no you don't give your hand away ... however it's a good idea to discuss with your allies what game you're playing!

Eloise posted:
dayjay posted:

but I do know that giving away your hand before you start playing the game doesn't help you win.

I answered most of your comment in my previous post...

As for your card analogy ... no you don't give your hand away ... however it's a good idea to discuss with your allies what game you're playing!

I'm not so sure that you did Eloise.  I'm not sure either that those attempting to avoid Brexit by all means possible could be considered to be the governments allies in this matter but we can, perhaps, agree to differ. Neither of us is in a position to change their view so it's academic anyway.  Hope you enjoy the rest of your night. 

dayjay posted:
Eloise posted:
dayjay posted:

but I do know that giving away your hand before you start playing the game doesn't help you win.

I answered most of your comment in my previous post...

As for your card analogy ... no you don't give your hand away ... however it's a good idea to discuss with your allies what game you're playing!

I'm not so sure that you did Eloise.  I'm not sure either that those attempting to avoid Brexit by all means possible could be considered to be the governments allies in this matter but we can, perhaps, agree to differ. Neither of us is in a position to change their view so it's academic anyway.  Hope you enjoy the rest of your night. 

I don't think anyone (well not many) in parliament is attempting to avoid Brexit, they are just trying to have a say in the direction the country takes now Brexit is inevitable.  This is about more than just the Conservative party fighting off the influences of the right wing tabloids and UKIP.  When it helps the Conservative cause they are willing to discuss and promote their "negotiating strategy": promising to keep up farm subsidies paid in a large part to wealthy landowners being a prime example.

They may not be allies to the government (though the Chancellor of the exchequer should be an ally), but they should all be allies in wanting what is best for the country, though sometimes their actions beg the question if they are really wanting what is bets for the country or just our to gain/keep power.

Simon posted:

"......I don't subscribe to the more 'divided' argument - I suspect we are exactly the same - its just that many of these voices and feelings had no outlet - and  now they do- that is healthy - it lets the pressure out before it explodes. We, you, I might not agree with them but they have a right to be spoken and aired rather than suppressed. Suppression of thought and expressing one serve should not be confused with criminality which seems to be the argument of some who prefer suppression."

I do firmly believe that the country is divided like never before. At the moment, we have the divide between the Brexit voters (and at the moment the 'Hard Brexit' supporters who have the loudest and most persistent voices, and who have adopted an almost evangelical stance and zeal in favour of  their particular view of what Brexit should be), and those people who voted 'Remain', or the "Remoaners" as many of those on the Brexit side like to refer to those of us who haven't wholeheartedly bought in to their perceived benefits of our exit from Europe.

Have the most vocal supporters of Brexit chosen to promote reconciliation by being magnanimous in victory? No, instead they have coined the term "Remoaners" to attach to those of us who are not so enthusiastic,. Why have they done so? It appears  to be designed to humiliate and irritate those people who voted to stay in the EU, to promote a sort of tribalism akin to what we see in football and in our confrontational House of Commons, and of course to amuse fellow Brexiteers and to gloat in an altogether unattractive and unhealthy way.

Is this effective? You are damn right it is. I feel very annoyed that many people feel that I do not have the right to continue to argue that it was, and still would be in the best interests of the UK and Europe as a whole for Britain to remain in the EU. I suspect I will continue to feel this way for a very long time. You may feel that this is something that Is pretty trivial, but it is one of countless little occurrences and nuances that serve to separate and divide.. I keep going back to the Scottish Independence referendum, This was every bit as passionate a debate, albeit a lot more reasoned, and with the exception of some unfortunate comments from the central Government side, so much less divisive. Perhaps this was because of the fact that fewer outright lies were peddled by either side during the lead up to the referendum.

You make the point that "many of the voices had no outlet, and it is now healthy that they do". I sort of get this, but one could then claim exactly the same for those who promote the BNP. Should they be allowed an outlet for their most divisive views and policies? I saw an interview on BBC News the a couple of nights ago related to Britain taking a number of unaccompanied children from the site in Calais. These children (and they were genuinely children) were being 'processed ' (a horrible word) in Devon, before being moved on to the parts of the country where they would be relocated. A BBC interviewer was asking local people how they felt about this. The first person to be interviewed stated that she thought that taking on these children was the right thing for Britain to do. However the 2nd interviewee, who was a man in his mid to late thirties made the comment that he thought this was "disgusting", and that they should be sent home, wherever that might be. When the BBC interviewer made the point that they would only be in Devon for 3 days and then be moved on, his response was "Well, that's 3 days too long, isn't it".

Now, I have no idea of how typical this persons views were, but he, and others like him, is not part of a society of which I want any part of. Of course, I suspect that he, and others like him on the Brexit side are in the minority, but for the time being at least, people like this 'gentleman' (not the term I would like to use) feel empowered by recent events to vent their hatred and vitriol. I suspect that if he had been interviewed prior to the referendum, he wouldn't have responded in quite the same way. Is this a good thing? Not really, as far as I am concerned. My overriding gut feeling is that Britain has become an altogether less attractive country as a result of the referendum, and a less attractive place in which to live.

Unfortunately, it appears that quite a large number of people defected fro Labour to support UKIP in the referendum. Quite apart from the fact that I find that in itself vey sad, I suspect that a lot of those people a few years down the line will realise that leaving the EU wasn't the panacea it was claimed by some to be, and that this Government's lurch to the right hasn't resulted in an improvement to their lives and living standards. We will then be back with the sort of confrontational and divisive politics that typified Margaret Thatcher's reign at its very worst. Consensus politics will most definitely be out of the window.

My take on the Nissan announcement. I very much suspect that although the Government claims otherwise, Nissan will have been offered a number of assurances going forward. Possibly an assurance that if trade tariffs are introduced as a result of Brexit, then Nissan will not be responsible for meeting those tariffs. Would such an arrangement be defined as a 'Cash Inducement'? In my eyes, yes, but possibly those in the Government feel able to claim that it is not a direct cash inducement. I suspect many other similar deals will follow. Was the Government correct to come to such an arrangement, if indeed such an arrangement was made? In my opinion, yes they were, and they ought to continue to do so if necessary to save the large number of jobs at stake, but it will potentially be at a considerable cost to the economy.   

Will Scotland continue to be part of the UK four years down the line? I really don't know. Certainly, decisions taken by Theresa May's Government, such as the very recent out and out refusal to consider a post-study work visa system for international students based in Scotland are likely to sway opinion in Scotland more and more towards a vote for Independence.  

Again, just my own personal take on current events.

"Unfortunately, it appears that quite a large number of people defected from Labour to support UKIP in the referendum" I take offense at that. Voting out in the referendum was in no way a vote for UKIP or support for UKIP, nor was it a move away from supporting the Labour Party, it was a reasoned judgement that it was the best decision for the good of the country.  Remainers who assume that its not possible for sensible, normal people to vote out without them being raving racist supporters of UKIP are perhaps as annoying as those who refer to you as Remoaners.  Followed closely by that assumption that we will have all changed our minds now so we can ignore the vote. 

dayjay posted:

"Unfortunately, it appears that quite a large number of people defected from Labour to support UKIP in the referendum" I take offense at that. Voting out in the referendum was in no way a vote for UKIP or support for UKIP, nor was it a move away from supporting the Labour Party, it was a reasoned judgement that it was the best decision for the good of the country.  Remainers who assume that its not possible for sensible, normal people to vote out without them being raving racist supporters of UKIP are perhaps as annoying as those who refer to you as Remoaners.  Followed closely by that assumption that we will have all changed our minds now so we can ignore the vote. 

Perhaps that particular comment in my post was slightly over the top, and I can see why it might cause offense to some. For that, I apologise, although my apology is slightly muted given that the very existence of the UKIP Party is based on its campaign to force the UK out of the EU. It is after all, a one policy only party, or is it? It's not such a leap of faith, Is it, to suggest that voters who decided to vote 'Leave' in the referendum were siding with the party whose very existence was predicated on persuading us to leave the EU? You obviously believe UKIP to be something more sinister than what they simply claim to stand for. I am with you on that, but you may or may not be surprised to hear that I actually don't believe that the vast majority of those who voted to leave are raving racists, and I have never asserted, nor attempted to insinuate that they are. However, a not insignificant number of the Brexit supporters have shown themselves in this light in recent months by means of their words and actions, although I hasten to add I am not referring to anyone who has posted on this forum.  

I believe (although I may very well be wrong), that a) most (certainly not all) labour supporters who decided to vote against the party position probably did so because of a  dislike of free movement of workers, and of immigration in general, rather than for an abstract and vague idea of ' reclaiming sovereignty'. This of course does not constitute racism, but I did and do not share their views or concerns,  and b)  not a few people would change their minds were the referendum to be held again.

You have made it clear that you don't belong in either of these categories, and that is absolutely fine. You obviously believe that the UK will be better off outside the EU, and it was absolutely your right to vote accordingly, and the vote as a whole can certainly not be ignored.

Just today, I heard an interview with a couple of Brexit voters. One of them claimed that she didn't believe that a 'Leave' vote wold mean exiting the EU, but that it would lend weight to future UK Government negotiations within the EU. The other simply stated that he voted 'Leave' because he did not want the 'Remain' vote to win too convincingly. Now these are just two individuals, and by themselves wouldn't sway a future vote. But I suspect that they are not alone, and that there are many other voters out there with similar misgivings. I also suspect that there are very few 'Remain' voters who would now change their minds and vote to leave were the referendum to be held again, and that the 'silent majority' who simply didn't vote at all because they felt that there was no need would be energised by the prospect of a second referendum. Of course, you may disagree with my suspicions, and they are in any case meaningless, since there is absolutely no prospect of a second referendum. We are where we are!  

However, I  certainly have absolutely no qualms about continuing to air my views about the whole sorry debacle, no matter how annoying my views may be to those who would like me and others like me to go away and be forgotten about.     

I think the likelihood of a second referendum low but not out of the question.  Consider these scenarios:

(1) HMG negotiates with the EU Commission and Other Member States but can't get enough of what it wants and there is insufficient support within the Cabinet to advocate 'the deal' to Parliament, devolved administrations and the electorate.   What then? Leave anyway with an exit package that HMG clearly thinks isn't in the UK's interests just because the people voted out on (a pretty blind) referendum?

(2) HMG negotiates a deal which it thinks is acceptable but - as seems to be the current plan - keeps the negotiations under wraps so there's a 'big reveal' just before the deal has to be presented to Parliament and it turns out there are too many downsides in the package for others and HMG can't muster a majority to get the bill through the House.  Constitutional stalemate.  What then? 

Giving the electorate another chance to vote on the issue would be a plausible and justifiable means of breaking the impasse in both scenarios.  

Willy,

I hasten to add that the term "Remoaners" was not coined by anyone on this forum although a couple of people in the forum have used the term in their posts. It was coined by a politician (I can't remember whom) on the 'Leave' side as a pejorative reference to those who had lost the referendum, but refused to actively support the act of 'Brexit' itself.  

 

Hmack posted:

Willy,

I hasten to add that the term "Remoaners" was not coined by anyone on this forum although a couple of people in the forum have used the term in their posts. It was coined by a politician (I can't remember whom) on the 'Leave' side as a pejorative reference to those who had lost the referendum, but refused to actively support the act of 'Brexit' itself.  

 

Hmack,

Wasn't suggested it had been, and I don't imagine "quitters" was coined here either. Just wished to make the point that the name calling is happening on both sides of the Brexit divide. 

On a personal level "quitter" is probably the least offensive offensive thing I've been called over the years. 

Willy.

MDS posted:

I think the likelihood of a second referendum low but not out of the question.  Consider these scenarios:

(1) HMG negotiates with the EU Commission and Other Member States but can't get enough of what it wants and there is insufficient support within the Cabinet to advocate 'the deal' to Parliament, devolved administrations and the electorate.   What then? Leave anyway with an exit package that HMG clearly thinks isn't in the UK's interests just because the people voted out on (a pretty blind) referendum?

(2) HMG negotiates a deal which it thinks is acceptable but - as seems to be the current plan - keeps the negotiations under wraps so there's a 'big reveal' just before the deal has to be presented to Parliament and it turns out there are too many downsides in the package for others and HMG can't muster a majority to get the bill through the House.  Constitutional stalemate.  What then? 

Giving the electorate another chance to vote on the issue would be a plausible and justifiable means of breaking the impasse in both scenarios.  

I think you will find that, by definition, once article 50 is triggered, the UK is out of the EU. From that point onwards it's about what relationships can be negotiated and agreed upon on the various levels. If agreements are not reached the UK still stays out. There is no option of parliament or the electorate to reverse the decision, the UK is then left with what's in place or not. The whole idea that the outcome of the negotiations can be put up for a vote / approval sounds good from a UK perspective but it doesn't change the fact that by that time the UK will have left the EU. A decision which is irreversible in the medium to long term. In order to enter the EU again, the UK would have to take up new negotiations for entering the EU, same as any other country that wanted to join. That process will likely take years too. Nor can a deal be voted upon before article 50 has been triggered because again, by definition, no negotiations can begin prior to triggering article 50. The only solution is to reverse the decision to leave before article 50 is triggered, which seems unlikely as no deal can be presented to vote on before triggering article 50.

Frank F posted:

The big problems with EU are the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Commission.  They all interfere with the existing National Standards which are much higher than the majority of  the Member States and appear to be out of control.

Do you mean to suggest the the UK national standards (laws) or workers rights (protection) are were higher in the UK before joining the EU or indeed will be stronger once the UK has left the EU? I'd be very surprised, if that were true.

Finally, I think (and correct me if I am wrong) that loosing the single market only means that UK will have to negotiate individually with each Member State (and the rest of the World).  In this way UKI can concentrate on buying good Spanish vegetables, excellent Polish apples and good produce from the rest of the World and then forget the inefficient common agricultural policy that supports poor standards and chemically grown produce.

The UK will not be able to negotiate separate bilateral agreements with EU member states. It can only negotiate with the EU as a whole, i.e. gaining access to the EU market or not. Same for any other country.

Don Atkinson posted:

 

I consider the Belgian Region that is blocking the Ceta deal is acting democratically. However, I consider it a stupid arrangement whereby  c.3m people can bugger up the sensible wishes of c.508m + c.33m, but hey-ho that's the way the EU goes !

In order for CETA to be ratified all 28 EU members have to approve and sign the treaty. In the case of Belgium its decentralised federal system means that the Belgium government needs the support from all of its five regional authorities before it can sign off any deal. This is an issue pertaining to the form of government in Belgium and has nothing to do with the EU as such.

Whether signing CETA is a sensible wish, let alone the wish of the majority of the EU population is an entirely different question. I am not so sure the answer here is yes. One of the reasons the Walloons decided to vote agains CETA is the whole issue surrounding Investor State Dispute Settlements. If not addressed, it will enable Canadian and US corporations to sue any EU member state or the EU as a whole through the usage of arbitration courts for loss of earnings due to political decisions taken or laws passed, which have had or might have a direct or indirect influence on their investment. Ultimately this will lead to a dilution of the strong environmental, health and social standards that presently exist across the EU. It could also easily lead to a situation where certain laws are not passed because Canadian or US lobby groups are threatening to sue in case they are passed, thereby influencing the political decision making process across the EU. 

Personally, I think it was a good thing for the Walloons to withhold their support as it led to a renewed focus on this issue and hopefully to a more stringent amendment of this particular area. I don't believe it's a good thing for multinational corporations to be able to sue governments for wanting to improve or protect the lives of their citizens. Others might disagree.

Eloise posted:

The UK has never wanted to embrace the EU project.  Its always wanted the advantages without playing a full part.  The whole "£350 million to EU each week" was a classic example.  The EU as a whole has been looking to improve Europe for the whole - the UK has always been what can the EU do to improve us and now we are seeing less concrete advantages its like "right you've helped us get back on our feet, now we're happy you can go **** yourselves cause you don't do exactly what we want you to".  There was (however) more chance of the EU reforming to be better for the UK when we were part of the EU. 

At least this seems to be the view of most continental Europeans. Mine too. When has any UK government ever praised the advantages of being part of the EU, its values, goals and vision for Europe? What being a part of it has done to the growth of the UK since joining, what disadvantaged areas have been supported by and benefitted from the EU regional development policy and fund? First Cameron spent the majority of his time criticising the EU and then expected people to vote remain. A strange concept. 

Frank F posted:

"The UK has never wanted to embrace the EU project.  Its always wanted the advantages without playing a full part.  The whole "£350 million to EU each week" was a classic example.  The EU as a whole has been looking to improve Europe for the whole - the UK has always been what can the EU do to improve us and now we are seeing less concrete advantages its like "right you've helped us get back on our feet, now we're happy you can go **** yourselves cause you don't do exactly what we want you to".  There was (however) more chance of the EU reforming to be better for the UK when we were part of the EU."

Eloise - substitute Germany where you wrote UK and that is nearer the mark.

 

Honestly, I'd be interested in your reasoning here.

Frank F posted:

To change the perspective, I met met a colleague from Greece last night and we talked about the Crisis that is continuing.  The main reason for the lingering crisis was corrupt politicians being seduced by certain influential industries to buy major products such as arms.

He now calls Greece - Merkelistan.

FF

In a nutshell, the main reason for the crisis in Greece was that by joining the EU in 2001 (something Greece should never have been allowed to do as they faked their financial accounts with the help of Goldman Sachs to get below the 3% of GDP deficit target) Greece was able to borrow money at roughly 5% interest rates, whereas in the years prior to joining that cost was at double digits. That cheap money went everywhere, increases in government salaries, public spending, etc. leading to salaries across the country that had no relevance to the country's actual productivity. The deficit was up at 12.6% of GDP in 2009 as opposed to the 6% the Greek government had previously stated. Confidence within the financial markets dropped, interest rates for government bonds (cost of borrowing) shot up to over 30% starting in 2010 as a result. The euro crisis had arrived. So a lot of Greek mismanagement there. Add to that a complete inability or should I say non existent ability to collect taxes from the entire Greek population, particularly the rich, and you have the recipe for a bankrupt Greek state. 

But hey, let's blame Merkel. Of course it's her fault that a whole series of Greek governments were incompetent at best, if not downright criminally corrupt. And just for the record, I am no friend of Merkel. What I do agree on, though, is that the Greek national debt has to be slashed, otherwise the country will not be able to recover. I am pretty sure that those negotiations will come, probably at some point after the 2017 general election here in Germany. As usual the tax payer will once again have to pick up the bill when it should have been the banks. 

 

totemphile posted:

I think you will find that, by definition, once article 50 is triggered, the UK is out of the EU. From that point onwards it's about what relationships can be negotiated and agreed upon on the various levels. If agreements are not reached the UK still stays out. There is no option of parliament or the electorate to reverse the decision, the UK is then left with what's in place or not.

The wording of Article 50 is clear to me. A Nation deciding to leave shall notify its intention to do so. The use of the word intention is such that a change of intention is possible. This is the view also expressed by Donald Tusk.

However, I accept that Lawyers in UK Courts are arguing this matter and the UK view as I understand will need to be decided by The Supreme Court. I'm not clear whether any EU Organisation has expressed a view as to how these words are to be interpreted.

These things are never as clear-cut as they should be.

totemphile posted:
Don Atkinson posted:

 

I consider the Belgian Region that is blocking the Ceta deal is acting democratically. However, I consider it a stupid arrangement whereby  c.3m people can bugger up the sensible wishes of c.508m + c.33m, but hey-ho that's the way the EU goes !

In order for CETA to be ratified all 28 EU members have to approve and sign the treaty. In the case of Belgium its decentralised federal system means that the Belgium government needs the support from all of its five regional authorities before it can sign off any deal. This is an issue pertaining to the form of government in Belgium and has nothing to do with the EU as such.

I was well aware of the process that you outlined, but thank you anyway.

Whether signing CETA is a sensible wish, let alone the wish of the majority of the EU population is an entirely different question. I am not so sure the answer here is yes. One of the reasons the Walloons decided to vote agains CETA is the whole issue surrounding Investor State Dispute Settlements. If not addressed, it will enable Canadian and US corporations to sue any EU member state or the EU as a whole through the usage of arbitration courts for loss of earnings due to political decisions taken or laws passed, which have had or might have a direct or indirect influence on their investment. Ultimately this will lead to a dilution of the strong environmental, health and social standards that presently exist across the EU. It could also easily lead to a situation where certain laws are not passed because Canadian or US lobby groups are threatening to sue in case they are passed, thereby influencing the political decision making process across the EU. 

Again, thank you for highlighting the reason the Walloons withheld their support. Fortunately it appears the issue has been resolved. I'm not convinced that ALL the Wallons were in agreement on this issue, or any other aspect of Ceta, but it does illustrate however, just how a very small section of the EU community can (and in future could) disrupt the reasonable wishes of the rest of the Community.

Personally, I think it was a good thing for the Walloons to withhold their support as it led to a renewed focus on this issue and hopefully to a more stringent amendment of this particular area. I don't believe it's a good thing for multinational corporations to be able to sue governments for wanting to improve or protect the lives of their citizens. Others might disagree.

 

totemphile posted:
MDS posted:

I think the likelihood of a second referendum low but not out of the question.  Consider these scenarios:

(1) HMG negotiates with the EU Commission and Other Member States but can't get enough of what it wants and there is insufficient support within the Cabinet to advocate 'the deal' to Parliament, devolved administrations and the electorate.   What then? Leave anyway with an exit package that HMG clearly thinks isn't in the UK's interests just because the people voted out on (a pretty blind) referendum?

(2) HMG negotiates a deal which it thinks is acceptable but - as seems to be the current plan - keeps the negotiations under wraps so there's a 'big reveal' just before the deal has to be presented to Parliament and it turns out there are too many downsides in the package for others and HMG can't muster a majority to get the bill through the House.  Constitutional stalemate.  What then? 

Giving the electorate another chance to vote on the issue would be a plausible and justifiable means of breaking the impasse in both scenarios.  

I think you will find that, by definition, once article 50 is triggered, the UK is out of the EU. From that point onwards it's about what relationships can be negotiated and agreed upon on the various levels. If agreements are not reached the UK still stays out. There is no option of parliament or the electorate to reverse the decision, the UK is then left with what's in place or not. The whole idea that the outcome of the negotiations can be put up for a vote / approval sounds good from a UK perspective but it doesn't change the fact that by that time the UK will have left the EU. A decision which is irreversible in the medium to long term. In order to enter the EU again, the UK would have to take up new negotiations for entering the EU, same as any other country that wanted to join. That process will likely take years too. Nor can a deal be voted upon before article 50 has been triggered because again, by definition, no negotiations can begin prior to triggering article 50. The only solution is to reverse the decision to leave before article 50 is triggered, which seems unlikely as no deal can be presented to vote on before triggering article 50.

I don't think it is that binary, totemphile.  The UK's referendum to leave takes the EU into unknown territory (I think Iceland's previous decision to leave isn't comparable ).  If there were the prospect of the UK changing its mind, given the size of its economy and that it is a net contributor to the EU, I'm pretty confident that the other member states and the EU commission would move heaven and earth to find a device to enable the UK to withdraw from its activation of Article 50.  Politicians are nothing is not pragmatic and would surely be able to adjust the Treaty to accommodate what all the member states want. 

fatcat posted:

Can somebody tell me who decided on my behalf to ratify the CETA agreement.

Probably the EU Parliament or the Council of Ministers on the recommendation of the Commission. But someone who knows about these thing will provide a more useful and hopefully correct statement.

You might (or might not) have voted for an MEP in some form of PR ballot and an MEP was selected on your behalf, depending on just how many other people voted the way you did. Quite a lot of people voted for UKIP MEPs, but they weren't the MEPs that represented me.

Add Reply

Likes (4)
ResurrectionjprJockymacwanderer
×
×
×
×