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Article 50.3
3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

Two years is the maximum period for negotiations unless extended by unanimous vote. There is no minimum. The UK could write a letter to the EU Council seeking to withdraw on 1/1/2018 and if the Council agreed to this, that agreement could constitute a withdrawal agreement within the meaning of A. 50.3. Article 50 is not prescriptive as to what a withdrawal agreement must contain. It could be little more than a glorified mutual Auf Wiedersehen.

But I agree, this scenario is somewhat far fetched. I raise it only to illustrate how rapidly the current unstable situation could spin out of control with mounting acrimony on both sides. Both sides are still shouting past each other with little sign of any gathering consensus - even on the UK side alone. If the united EU27 front crumbles, all hell will break lose. The stakes are high and getting higher with every ratcheting up of the rhetoric.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 19th, 2017 at 12:01:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ir is not in the EU's interest to agree to early exit.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 19th, 2017 at 01:31:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The current UK gov is patently not creditworthy and utterly unresponsive to EU accommodation through PR overtures or Irish intermediation such as it is. UK gov will not even guarantee its own port surveillance ("Irish Sea border") with prospective subsidy billed ("the settlement") by EU! UK gov will not even honor NI preference for EU participation!

18 months of UK-biased reportage has entrenched a common perception that UK gov is capable, if inept, of directing BREXIT unilaterally and with impunity.

Inter alia, EU ought cut losses and enforce statutory exit date. All EU resources ought be directed to mitigating EU transition to EU-27 economies with special attention to technical support circumventing IE-UK dependencies and PR addressing IE anxiety over exploitation to which rentiers in its midst are accustomed. No more equivocations. And that is indeed the position for which the EU indicates
it's already preparing.

That is not "punishment." That is serving UK gov and the useful idiot DUP exactly the hand it dealt itself.

Then EU can return to concessions.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Nov 19th, 2017 at 02:35:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not in anyone's interest, and neither is Brexit - bar a few few plutocrats who imagine it will enable them to turn the UK into a client state. But that hasn't stopped it from happening.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 19th, 2017 at 03:32:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is the EU inside man's last offer, and UK blew it off. And the UK is a "plutocrat" client state.

Since EU-27 is not dealing with rational actors whose interest does arresting BREXIT serve?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Nov 19th, 2017 at 05:54:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
to abandon the union.

It occasionally occurs to me that as time passes by 1998 with smack talk about "EUR design" diminishing the several ridiculously devalued currencies and squabbling over USD and GBP consumer demand that there fewer Europeans can easily recall "quality of life" before the struggle for their united share in SDR and market power over the "developing world". So accustomed now are these ersatz neo-liberals to quibbling instead over trade balances, or material surplus, within EU-27, one might imagine for an instant that nostalgia for 27 independent states, duties, banking authorities, generalized volatility, labor and SIM roaming charges and such were attractive.

It's not, not even in "post-communist" Poland which fiercely protects EU protection of its few "competitive" advantages which otherwise would evaporate were the "worst thing that could happen" did.

Liberating the UK is a small price to pay for a promise of parity, or at least cheaper sovereign fund rates.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Nov 19th, 2017 at 06:58:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[Early exit] is not in anyone's interest, and neither is Brexit - bar a few few plutocrats who imagine it will enable them to turn the UK into a client state.

I am having difficulty in seeing how ANY 'plutocrat' could see that they could benefit economically by Brexit. But I have had some hard lessons in just how far business people will go to preserve personal power - even at the expense of economic interest.

Forcing the Brexit vote seems, transparently, a badly miscalculated, opportunistic attempt to extend Cameron's term. What I cannot understand is how May, who supported Remain, can believe continuing on the course to Brexit will benefit her or anyone in the longer term. But perhaps she is just that blind and not that bright. But how does any UK plutocrat imagine that their economic interests will be benefited by Brexit?

Perhaps it it their fascist views that they want to see implemented into policy. But that was happening in No Trumps until the summer derailment. If the common sort can so easily be recruited to conspire against their own self interest in the name of cherished ideology, why not a plutocrat?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2017 at 04:15:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But perhaps she is just that blind and not that bright.

Perhaps? This is someone who thought that bringing back fox hunting was a winning strategy.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2017 at 04:18:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just checking. But is it not more than a bit Quixotic to risk all for a triumphant return of Country Tories and their values of which fox hunting is emblematic? But if the USA can elect Trump...

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2017 at 04:39:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tories were certain to win.
They thought they would wipe Labour out for a generation. So they included things in the manifesto to play to their base, thinking that it would be ignored and people would still vote for them. Plus that way they would have received some nice funding from landed gentry.

But they did not return a majority. And their incompetence is now on display.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2017 at 05:09:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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