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Brexit: Get on with it already?

by Bernard Sun Jun 26th, 2016 at 08:46:57 PM EST

Until last Friday, when Brexit was just a possibility and European governments were drawing contingency plans, there was a consensus that, should it come to pass,  within a week or so, David Cameron, or his successor, would arrive at a special European summit to officially announce UK's intention to start the leave process and trigger the famous article 50.

At least, this is more or less what most people were expecting.
Well, it looks like the British leadership will eventually start negotiations with the EU27, but they're going to take their sweet time doing so.

David Cameron resigns after UK votes to leave European Union | Politics | The Guardian

Cameron said it would be best for his successor to negotiate the terms of Britain's exit - and to trigger article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, which begins the formal process of withdrawal, adding that he had already discussed his intentions with the Queen.

The prime minister promised to stay on until the autumn, to "steady the ship"; but suggested a new leader should be in place by the start of the Conservative party's conference in October.

In October?

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger


You could almost hear the collective WTF among European capitals (probably followed by something like: you gotta be f*ck*ng kidding...").

Martin Schulz was not amused:

EU parliament leader: we want Britain out as soon as possible | Politics | The Guardian

Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament, told the Guardian that EU lawyers were studying whether it was possible to speed up the triggering of article 50 of the Lisbon treaty - the untested procedure for leaving the union.

As the EU's institutions scrambled to respond to the bodyblow of Britain's exit, Schulz said uncertainty was "the opposite of what we need", adding that it was difficult to accept that "a whole continent is taken hostage because of an internal fight in the Tory party".

He was not alone: reactions among EU politicians ranged from surprise to outright irritation. EU leaders issues a statement calling to Britain to "get on with it already".

EU governments pile pressure on UK to leave as soon as possible | Politics | The Guardian

EU governments have piled pressure on the UK to leave the union as soon as possible, saying talks on the exit must begin promptly and urging that a new British prime minister is installed quickly.

Even Mark Rutte, whom the Torygraph has been gushing about, calling a great Anglophile, is siding with his colleagues:

Brexit: Joint Statement By EU leaders Martin Schulz, Donald Tusk, Mark Rutte And Jean-Claude Juncker - Eurasia Review

President Schulz, President Tusk and Prime Minister Rutte met this morning in Brussels upon the invitation of European Commission President Juncker. They discussed the outcome of the United Kingdom referendum and made the following joint statement:

"In a free and democratic process, the British people have expressed their wish to leave the European Union. We regret this decision but respect it.

We now expect the United Kingdom government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty. We have rules to deal with this in an orderly way. Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union sets out the procedure to be followed if a Member State decides to leave the European Union. We stand ready to launch negotiations swiftly with the United Kingdom regarding the terms and conditions of its withdrawal from the European Union.

But why would the Brexiters be dilly-dallying?

After all, you'd almost expect BoJo to proudly show up at the next European summit to slam UK's "resignation letter" on the table, in front of the other leaders, as in the opening sequence of The Prisoner.

So why?

The Economist explains: What happens now that Britain has voted for Brexit | The Economist

Mr Cameron has promised that Britain would immediately invoke article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, which sets a two-year timetable to agree the terms of departure. But uncertainty about his own position could raise questions about this. If he steps down and a Brexiteer takes over as leader of the Tory party and as prime minister, he or she is likely to argue that Article 50 is biased against the interests of a country leaving the EU. Under Article 50, the terms of Britain's departure would be agreed by the other 27 EU countries, without a British vote. So Brexiteers would prefer to negotiate informally, without invoking Article 50.

There you have it: the Brexiters may never ever invoke article 50, because it is "biased", and would try to negotiate their own sweet deal.

How well will this play out on the Continent? Not too well, it seems...

Again, The Economist, with a very British sense of understatement: "The other 27 countries are unlikely to go for this."

Display:
So what do you think? Article 50, or not Article 50?
by Bernard on Sun Jun 26th, 2016 at 08:47:46 PM EST
article 50.
by IM on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 11:03:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU's countervolley is reportedly to refuse any informal talks until Article 50 is triggered. Meanwhile the uncertainty + the leadership contest(s) cause either a trickle or drain for the UK economy. Usually, it would be beneficial for both sides find a pleasant divorce settlement. Both parties are still in the same boat. But then again they aren't anymore and the water doesn't have the promised Caribbean temperature.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 12:41:29 AM EST
But, if you actually go through with an exit, then you can't campaign against the EU any more.  That would be inconvenient.  Can't you just keep having a Brexit vote every few years, without actually doing anything?
by Zwackus on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 12:54:04 AM EST
That strategy has already played out - see Clear Leadership from the EU

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 01:10:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So long as Article 50 is not complied with or, were the Parliament pass a resolution to the effect that the outcome of the referendum will be ignored - on whatever grounds, they could keep on doing this until the people tired of the farce. For the UK elites the danger is that someone, even if not Corbyn, WILL start discussing the reasons that 90% of the people are unhappy and hurting. And I don't even know if that would resonate with any significant part of the electorate.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 02:57:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Never mind the politics - the psychological effect of the referendum has been incredibly poisonous. It was going to be poisonous whatever the outcome, but now it's double-plus super poisonous because it has become clear to at least some of the Leave voters that the leaders they trusted were simply conning them.

The press are trying to play this down by concentrating on the Labour/Corbyn story, which conveniently has distracted everyone from WTF just happened.

That will run for a while. But sooner or later, the UK has to face up to the fact that the class and orientation divides can only be bridged by a genuine political genius. And there certainly aren't any of those in or around Westminster.

So I suppose we're going to see increasing extremism and right-wing violence as the UK descends into poverty and a fascist police state.

The poverty will start a lot more quickly if the UK can't reassure RoW that it's credit worthy. We're already seeing a run on the pound, and it's not clear when that will stop.

It's an impossible situation. The best outcome is mitigation, and that's going to enrage at least some of the population.

The worst outcome is hyperinflation within the next year or so. A huge jump in import costs for a country that has limited export potential - because we've just thrown away London's position as the prime European financial centre - is a classic set-up for a full blown inflationary crisis.

If that happens, we'll back where we in the mid-70s asking the IMF for a bail-out - on god only knows what terms, because there's precious little valuable industry left, and hardly anything left to sell.

I'm seriously considering converting my savings into Swiss Francs, or some other haven currency - not so much for profit, but to guarantee I have money for food.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 07:41:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of poisonous:

Family rifts over Brexit: `I can barely look at my parents' | Life and style | The Guardian

The EU referendum result has thrown many thousands of people, particularly young adults, into bitter conflict with the closest members of their families - divisions that `won't heal any time soon'

The article contains several examples of Remain-voting kids confronting their Leave-voting parents (and one counter-example).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 09:24:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but now it's double-plus super poisonous because it has become clear to at least some of the Leave voters that the leaders they trusted were simply conning them.

You think this is fun? Wait till Trump ascends to his throne and his gun-toting idiot supporters realized they've been played ... no new jobs, pitting state against state in a race to the wage cellar. Those guns will come in handy when it's time to flush the USA down the toilet. 😷

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 10:22:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hesitate to say it, but the US$ is likely to be the refuge of choice for a while at least. Among other things we still have the least bad economy and at least some prospects for counter cyclical spending in January. Just keep an eye on how Trump is doing.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 03:24:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the analogy of a divorce, both sides show up with their lawyers, smile wanly to everyone, and think "I'm taking whatever isn't nailed down". In this case, the EU feels this way but the UK had it's bluff called and is,  like, "Divorce? What divorce? That whore I was banging ... no big deal." Why doesn't the EU do the equivalent of changing the locks on the doors? Get the wheels turning for the formal Brexit ... they know it's coming.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 09:59:39 AM EST
I've got the solution ... it's soooooo simple.

They find hundreds of boxes of Remain votes that didn't get counted ... a simple clerical error. A few underlings get sacked and viola ... problem solved.

I really should charge you Brit fuckers ... always depending on us Yanks to save your bacon.  😭

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 11:26:24 PM EST
It has been argued that if Article 50 was not committed to in the first 24 hours, then it is never going to be initiated.

various legal commentators beforehand were suggesting that it might not actually be this easy,  

 the UCL constitution unit pointed out in February that the wording of article 50 was that article 50 could only be invoked by the country, there are no provisions to expel a country (this had been noticed during the Greek crisis, but it would need a treaty change to force this through, and the chances of smaller countries ratifying the changes after seeing Greece  shredded by the banking crisis  seem somewhat slim.

The constitution unit argued that if the remain vote lost,  the only thing that could sensibly happen is that the prime minister not activate article 50, however they didn't see how they couldn't be forced to do this by the UK Parliament. Cameron by his resignation has sidestepped this, leaving the article 50 declaration for his successors

If a government attempts to make an article 50 declaration the next problem pops up,  an Article 50 declaration can only be made "in accordance with the countries constitution" Here we have an unwritten constitution problem, because there is no written rules then the  constitution is spread across multiple pieces of paper, One of these is the Scotland act, and there we have a problem, Scotland can refuse any changes to its legal system, leaving the EU would be a major change to the legal system so Scotland can say No.

The same problem appears to happen with Northern Ireland, although through the rather more indirect route of the Good Friday agreement. The EU is the Guarantor of various segments of the peace agreement,  several segments of the Northern Irish political system have indicated that there would be a legal challenge to any Article 50 decision through the constitutional courts.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 01:55:51 PM EST
several segments of the Northern Irish political system have indicated that there would be a legal challenge to any Article 50 decision through the constitutional courts.

So there's no negotiation until Art 50 is invoked, but Art 50 can't be invoked without constitutional challenges?

And there's serious talk of waiting until October anyway.

This gets better and better.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 02:08:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and the legal challenges can't happen till someone gets an article 50 vote through parliament

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 02:16:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guest post: The referendum now poses a serious threat to Parliamentary Sovereignty
The Scotland Act 1998 contains a provision that the Scottish Parliament cannot do any act inconsistent with EU law. Under what is still called the Sewel Convention (even though Sewel himself is only slowly recovering his reputation since he was photographed wearing an orange bra and snorting cocaine in the company of a prostitute) and is now S.28 (8) of the 1998 Act:

'it is recognised that the Parliament of the United Kingdom will not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.'

Withdrawing from the EU would affect 'devolved matters, thus any legislation to do so would (normally) require the Scottish Parliament's consent. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in very clear terms that she would encourage it not to give this consent, and indeed it seems inconceivable that Holyrood would do so if asked. Accordingly, runs the argument (if I have grasped it correctly), the UK Parliament could not lawfully pass the legislation that would be necessary for it to leave the EU.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 02:15:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The ultimate judgement of the linked article invokes Burke on the sovereignty of the conscience of the individual MP and his best judgement as to the risks or benefits to the polity as a whole, and that simply accepting the opinion, however expressed, of some or all of his constituents when his conscience tells him they are wrong would be to sacrifice the essence of the British constitution.

This might get the UK out of this particular dilemma, but is hardly likely to resolve the ongoing disaster that is governance in the UK. IMO, only a politician who can articulate a positive program that would benefit all, not just the top 10% of professionals, is the only way to move forward on a permanent basis. Just as in the US, demographic are in favor of such a development and leave voters are dying every day.

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 03:44:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
someone did a back of an envelope calculation with huge assumptions earlier that said if absolutely nobody changed their opinion, by the time the negotiations had ended over 1/2 a million out voters would have died off and at the bottom end of the spectrum an extra million remain voters would be added which would mean that leave would be a minority opinion by then

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 04:04:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And it is the future of the young that is being trashed by a bunch of drunk, bitter, misdirected racist bastards. But the conclusion about the demographics needs to get into the mainstream media, if only by LTE.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 06:01:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note: Not just by drunk, bitter, misdirected racist bastards. But very visibly so.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 06:07:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
looking at the vote distribution by education, you'd think that this was the high water mark too, every year seeing 50% of 18 year olds going to university

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 08:26:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
These considerations are the basis for a strong and coherent argument to remain. All that is left is to find the proper face to put on the decision. Probably the best is to maintain that legislation is required to trigger Article 50 and that successive attempts to pass that legislation has failed. After six months to a year of frustration have a general election.

If both the pro-business Tories and the anti-Blairite Labor can hold around 3/4 of the current membership of their parties the new government would likely also not be able to pass such a bit of legislation. This is not without risks, but it is preferable to preemptively capitulating to the UKIP and Boris. And if Labour can put forward a positive program to improve the lives of the 90% it might win the election outright.

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2016 at 01:36:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
photographed wearing an orange bra and snorting cocaine in the company of a prostitute

And people thought The Ruling Class was satire.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 04:58:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
God, these bastards know how to live, don't they?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 11:29:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ruling Class was actually an early docu-drama.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2016 at 01:38:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
he was photographed wearing an orange bra and snorting cocaine in the company of a prostitute....

I ask y'all, who among us?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 11:41:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does the Queen have to be involved in the formal Article 50 statement?
by asdf on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 02:24:23 PM EST
Hi, asdf! I am so glad to see you after such a long absence. I will let the Brits answer the question about the Queen. Formally, I believe it is no. Practically, I suspect it may well be more complicated. Nor do I know which way she would come down on the issue.

Please ping me at my Eurotrib e-mail address.

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 03:10:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the prime minister can exercise powers "on her behalf" without involving her

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 03:19:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And what about the House of Lords?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 04:01:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no say either, it's the government of ministers acting on the Royal prerogative which would avoid the possibility of a Leave prime minister having to face a possibly remain house of commons or Lords

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 04:06:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or possibly not. I've seen informed chatter that since it invalidates an act of Parliament it's possible Parliament would have to authorise it. We could have the courts involved too. Wheeee.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 04:08:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a quite interesting debate of this question on Verfassungsblog, partly in German, partly in English.
http://verfassungsblog.de/tag/brexit/
by Katrin on Wed Jun 29th, 2016 at 10:43:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is precisely a question that interests me- the role of the House of Lords. It appears the Lords are used on occasion to get the commons off the hook, ie a law is deliberately worded and passed so that the Lords will trash it, saving face for all. but then we need a knowledgeable Brit to weigh in on this.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 10:08:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd think the problem with that is the age of the people in the lords is the age of people most likely to vote out.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2016 at 12:17:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've heard debate is far more informed there than elsewhere...
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jun 29th, 2016 at 12:33:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(which isn't saying much)
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jun 29th, 2016 at 12:34:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they did want to leave the EU because of its democratic deficit.....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 07:00:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Twitter
"The truly British solution would be never to invoke Article 50 to leave the union and hope everyone else was too polite to mention it."


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 03:21:13 PM EST
well, whatever the legal ins and outs or even the desirability of the situation, I don't think that Parliamentary credibility will survive if they ignore the referendum result.

Right now, we are in a Constitutional crisis, but if they try to ignore it then we will be in a crisis of democracy that will make the current state seem like a tea party.

That's why Boris has run. What is now broken cannot be re-made whole

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 09:10:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
National Parliaments Not Needed For CETA Approval, European Commission President Juncker Says -
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said today that the European Union would not include national parliaments of EU member states in the final decision on the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA).

Juncker is truly our Boris Yeltsin.

by generic on Wed Jun 29th, 2016 at 08:57:08 AM EST
BBC
The European Union's top trade official says the UK cannot begin negotiating terms for doing business with the bloc until after it has left.

"First you exit then you negotiate," Cecilia Malmstrom told BBC Newsnight.
After Brexit, the UK would become a "third country" in EU terms, she said - meaning trade would be carried out based on World Trade Organisation rules until a new deal was complete.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 12:28:04 PM EST
Financial institutions will be leaving The City over the next 2+ years.  They will not hang around waiting for the politicians to get their act together to Leave and then another unknowable number of years in trade negotiations.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 02:38:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup: I'd guess that if this isn't sorted by end September in some way, the fight will start - it'll take that long to get the institutional ducks in a row and decisions ready for sign-off.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 02:59:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
flight, not fight.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 03:00:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, this is going to be "interesting" (in the British sense): both May and Gove stated that article 50 may not be invoked before "the end of the year" or even next year.

Brexit cannot be cancelled or delayed, says Francois Hollande | UK Politics | News | The Independent

Michael Gove said that as Prime Minister he would only act after "extensive preliminary talks", and most probably not before the end of this year, while Theresa May said: "There should be no decision to invoke Article 50 before the British negotiating strategy is agreed and clear."
by Bernard on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 06:45:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tbh May is being realistic. There is absolutely nothing the rest of the EU can do to enforce the issue, but I imagine they can make it increasingly uncomfortable with legislative and regulatory changes

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 08:04:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile: No bendy bananas nor high power appliances for you. Oh, and who's in charge?

by Bernard on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 08:32:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be a wry twist of fate if the UK has stumbled into a sweet padded spot on the fence, finally!
Conversely equally twisted would be that the markets instability as the UK waffles and wavers wobbles the already fragile balance of EU finance off its Austerity Axis into the Keynesian (Keen for short) into the arms of Corbyn, Podemos, Syriza and MV5*...
Ben venga!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2016 at 12:12:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find myself compelled to agree with Liam Fox's description of Cecilia Malstrom's dictat as "bizarre, stupid, preposterous and ridiculous".

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 09:17:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A suitable response would be: 'The UK will not produce an Article 50 request until and unless practical arrangements to negotiate the exit are agreed.' That would likely seem to unite Merkel and Hollande in agreement to provide such a framework, if for different reasons.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 09:22:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU may refuse informal Brexit talks until UK triggers article 50 | World news | The Guardian

London and Brussels appear headed for stalemate going into a European Union summit on Tuesday discuss Britain's vote to leave.

With Europe's leaders divided over how to negotiate Brexit and Britain apparently reluctant to initiate formal talks on leaving, an EU source said lawyers had concluded that a member state could not be forced to launch the process.

But a senior EU official stressed that, by the same token, Brussels could refuse overtures for even informal talks before the exit process is officially initiated - a course that prominent Brexit leaders including Boris Johnson want to pursue.

"As long there is no notification, there will not be any negotiations," the official said. Brussels has given up hope that Britain could be bounced into triggering article 50 - the untested procedure that governs how a member state leaves the bloc - at the summit starting on Tuesday.

The official said the UK was in "a significant crisis" and it would be unrealistic to expect such a move. But he insisted: "We are ready to enter into this process quickly. We are ready to enter into this process as soon as possible."

by Bernard on Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 at 11:27:22 AM EST
The Guardian view on Brexit and our partners: a letter to Europe | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

Some of you are angry. Britain was already seen as an unwilling partner, dragging our feet and demanding endless concessions. Many more now see us as a wrecker, too: gambling with a fragile European economy; imperilling an institution created to safeguard peace. Others feel pity or contempt for a nation that backed Brexit on a series of fantasies and lies, already retracted, or schadenfreude as the cost of the folly becomes evident. You may wish to punish us, or simply tell us: good riddance. Britain should not expect special treatment. Nonetheless, at this precarious moment, we ask you to pause - in all our interests.

Above all, we need time. Britain voted against membership; we did not vote for an alternative. The public has not fully confronted the choice it faces between turning its back on the single market, or accepting continued EU migration in whatever form. For sure, make it clear to Brexiters that they cannot have the rights that come with the EU without the obligations. Spelling out Britain's choices may help us to be more realistic. The country has decided against continuing down the same path, but our new route and eventual destination are unclear. There is a great deal to think through, and further decisions to make. They could involve parliament, perhaps even a general election. You hope for certainty and stability, but pressing too hard for the invocation of article 50 could force us to rush into choices that you may also regret.

This editorial has also been translated in German and in French (read what you want of it).

Sure, one can see some element of "let's punish them" and some "good riddance to bad rubbish" exasperation in many European reactions, but there's also a need to clarify Britain's relations with the EU, preferably sooner rather than later.

After all, isn't it a central tenet of the Very Serious PeopleTM that "uncertainty is bad for business"? Lingering uncertainty is not doing anybody any good.

Until negotiation get started in earnest, Britain is a full member of EU28, implementing EU directives diktats from Eurocrats and sending £350m every passing week to Brussels </snark>.

People may get impatient on the continent, but what about those who voted for leave, truly believing this would be Britain's glorious Independence Day? Will they sit idle, waiting for the Tories to make up their mind? How will this violence evolve?

Uncertainty is bad not only for business.

by Bernard on Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 at 08:56:37 PM EST
Five U.S. investment banks offer support for London after Brexit vote | Reuters

Five U.S. investment banks promised British finance minister George Osborne on Thursday that they would try to help London keep its top spot as a financial center, but gave no commitment on jobs following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

One banker at the meeting with Osborne told Reuters the banks wanted to see concrete moves to ensure firms based in London would retain access to EU markets, however, because "no one in their right mind" would currently invest in Britain."

If that's what "support" from US bankers looks like, I shudder to think what their wrath might be.

by Bernard on Thu Jul 7th, 2016 at 06:34:13 PM EST
Happy to be pallbearers -- that is.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jul 7th, 2016 at 09:19:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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