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Will a Brexit agreement require ratification by 28 Member states?

by Frank Schnittger Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 02:04:41 PM EST

Luis de Sousa raises an important point. Will a Brexit agreement require ratification by 28 Member states, or can it simply be agreed, by majority vote of the EU Council as provided for in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty? He quotes legal opinion to the effect that all 27 remaining member states would have to ratify any trading agreement post Brexit: EU Law Analysis: Article 50 TEU: The uses and abuses of the process of withdrawing from the EU

In this context, it should be noted that (contrary to what is sometimes asserted), there's no legal obligation for the remaining EU to sign a free trade agreement with the UK. The words `future relationship' assume that there would be some treaties between the UK and the EU post-Brexit, but do not specify what their content would be.


This point is politically significant because while the withdrawal arrangement would be negotiated by a qualified majority, most of the EU's free trade agreements are in practice `mixed agreements', i.e. requiring the consent of the EU institutions and ratification by all of the Member States. That's because those agreements usually contain rules going outside the scope of the EU's trade policy.  While it seems likely that in practice the remaining EU would be willing to enter into a trade agreement with the UK (see, for instance, the `gaming' exercise conducted by Open Europe), the unanimity requirement would complicate this.

In short, this legal opinion considers a Brexit agreement to consist of mainly transitional measures to facilitate the departure of the UK from the EU, which may or may not include special arrangements for ongoing free trade. I think we are in danger of confusing the process by which an exit agreement between the UK and EU might be reached, and the content of what it might contain.


The process is defined, in outline, in A50, and provides for an agreement to be ratified by the Council on a weighted majority basis, if reached within the two year time limit. The content, if similar to (say) the Free trade agreement between Canada and the EU, does not reach the status of a new Treaty.  Otherwise virtually every FTA negotiated by the EU would be subject to a referendum in Ireland, and so far, no FTA negotiated by the EU has been the subject of such a referendum.

The question, for the Irish Courts, of whether a new FTA requires ratification by Referendum, rather than simply a weighted majority vote of the Council, is whether or not the new FTA requires the delegation of new powers to the EU, which can only be done by Referendum. Thus TTIP may require such a referendum, since it makes the Irish Government subject to the rulings of arbitrators set up under the Treaty, over and above the Jurisdiction of Irish courts.  Effectively National Sovereignty is being replaced by global corporate sovereignty, insofar as the international arbiters could well be in a revolving door relationship with global corporates.

But insofar as the Brexit agreement provides for a pretty bog standard FTA between the EU and UK similar to many previous FTAs like that with Canada, it would seem that EU member states have already delegated the relevant competencies to the EU, and the EU can go ahead and agree such an exit agreement by weighted majority vote. An Irish Government, at its own discretion, might vote for or against such a FTA in the European Council, but it could be over-ruled by a weighted majority vote.

The main difference the UK is seeking in a FTA post Brexit appears to be that it also covers financial services and passporting rights. I do not know whether the EU already has the legal competency to grant such rights to a departing member, effectively a third party. I suspect the fact that it hasn't given such rights to any other third party would indicate that that is beyond the scope of existing Treaties pooling sovereignty in the EU.  So yes, in that case we are probably talking about a new Treaty, requiring separate ratification by all 27 member states.  I would love to see a legal opinion clarifying this point.

My (political) guess is that it would not be possible for the EU to craft an exit agreement with the UK that could achieve 27 distinct ratifications. Every other country would feel free to dump its wish list into the pot - raising all sorts of hares with Gibraltar, Northern Ireland, budget contributions, fishing rights etc.

My default assumption, therefore, would be that the exit agreement will be sufficiently limited in scope to avoid that scenario.  Effectively that means WTO rules and a FTA similar to Canada.  That means some tariffs, and no free trade in services.  That means much of the City will, at least formally, decamp to other EU capitals. It remains to be seen to what extent they will get away with this merely being a "brass-plate" relocation, and to what extent it means real jobs and real companies moving elsewhere.  Despite opposition from members such as Ireland, I suspect the EU will try to make the move as real as possible, and the UK will lose quite a bit of its GDP and tax take in consequence.

Within the UK, another rebalancing will also take place. Manufacturing and the regions, so long neglected, will benefit from devaluation offsetting the effects of any tariffs imposed.  However it could be a very long time before any increase in output there will offset the losses suffered by the City (and the exchequer). In other words, a world of pain awaits, at least for the medium term.

Astute readers will have noted I sometimes use the phrase 27 members, and sometimes 28. One intriguing possibility emerges: The UK will still be an EU member if the Brexit agreement is negotiated within the 2 year period provided by A50. Consequently, any Brexit agreement will also have to be ratified by the UK, as well as the other 27 members. Normally the UK ratifies trade agreements by Parliamentary vote, but what is to prevent the UK holding a second referendum to ratify the outcome of the negotiations? Indeed, the very gravity of the decision would seem to imply that recent precedent in the UK would require such a referendum.

But this then raises another conundrum:  What if the UK electorate were to reject the Brexit agreement in a referendum? A50 makes no provision for it's invocation to be rescinded, so would the UK simply be thrown out of the EU without an exit agreement two years after A50 was invoked?  Again the legal opinion confirms this possibility:
EU Law Analysis: Article 50 TEU: The uses and abuses of the process of withdrawing from the EU

One important point is not explicitly addressed: would it be possible to withdraw a notification to leave the EU? In the absence of explicit wording, the point is arguable either way. It could be argued that since a notification to withdraw is subject to a Member State's constitutional requirements, the Treaty therefore leaves to each Member State the possibility of rescinding that notification in accordance with those requirements. On the other hand, it could also be argued that Article 50 only provides for two possibilities to delay the withdrawal of a Member State from the EU once notification has been given (an extension of the time limit, or a different date in the withdrawal agreement). There's no suggestion that this is a non-exhaustive list. Therefore the notification of withdrawal can't be rescinded.

Perhaps it can't be rescinded purely at the discretion of the putatively departing member, but is there anything to prevent the European Council agreeing to an A50 invocation being rescinded? And would the European Council not wish to respect the considered opinion of the UK electorate, if it voted to reject the Brexit agreement?

I think we could have the beginnings of a workable game-plan here:

  1. May appoints all the key Brexit proponents to Ministries where they will have to negotiate and stand over a Brexit agreement.

  2. Under increasing pressure from Brexiteers, May finally triggers A50 in 2017.  In the meantime the economy has gone into recession.

  3. The Brexit agreement negotiated falls horribly short of delivering on the Brexiteer's promises: No access to the Single market (without free movement of EU nationals), no passporting rights for financial services, tariffs on key export, no reductions in EU budget contributions, no mutual recognition agreement for regulatory bodies without full compliance with the EU legal acquis communautaire...

  4. The EU Council delivers a draft of what it states is its final offer prior to the 2 year period elapsing - to outrage in the UK.  "We are being held to ransom".

  5. May announces a new referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal. Brexiteers are gung-ho. "We will teach those Europeans we will not be pushed around"

  6. The Brexit deal is rejected in the referendum. The UK faces the prospect of being "out in the cold" in 2019 without any Brexit deal whatsoever.  There is confusion as to whether a no vote means that the UK should Remain, or that a more acceptable Brexit deal should be negotiated. The EU rules out the latter.

  7. Behind the scenes a new EU/UK deal is negotiated providing for the agreed withdrawal of the A50 invocation and a "new relationship" between the UK and the EU. It doesn't change much of substance, but perhaps heralds a new era of a more cooperative and positive relationship between the the EU and UK.

  8. The Tory party is hopelessly divided and loses the subsequent general election...

Discuss.

Display:
Frank, I believe you are mistaken. Any FTA requires ratification by each of the 27 (28?) member states. It just so happens that since it does not imply a new delegation of powers to the EU, a vote at the Dáil Éireann suffices for Ireland.

As you can read in the other documents I linked to, the Council negotiates the agreement on the basis of weighted majority, but its effective adoption will most likely require ratification at national Parliaments (at Euronews that take this as a given fact). Unless it is a very narrow scoped agreement, akin to the full Brexit demanded by the Leave campaign.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 03:12:15 PM EST
I actually agree with you on this.  However in the past FTA were never controversial and tended to be passed by the Dail on a routine basis without so much as a debate, and certainly no debate in the public sphere.  I doubt that would be the case if the Brexit agreement did include a comprehensive FTA and/or did not address concerns re: a hard border with N. Ireland. However technically, all that would be required for a narrow Brexit agreement is that the Government of the day is on board with whatever Brexit deal is negotiated, and that is generally not problematic because of the collegiality and solidarity of the Council.

However once a Brexit deal includes giving the UK some control over EU immigration, or failing to address concerns with the Border with N. Ireland, all bets are off, as it is simply not in the gift of the Council to grant such an exemption to the UK.  A new Treaty would be required to qualify the freedom of movement enshrined in existing Treaties, and I don't see winning a referendum on that as being politically feasible.

Effectively, therefore, given the centrality of controlling immigration to the UK Brexit debate, I don't see anything other than a "hard" Brexit being negotiable, one that includes no comprehensive FTA or special access to the Single Market for financial services.  Given that differs substantially from what most Brexiteers promised during the Brexit campaign, May would be justified in calling a referendum on these new terms, a referendum she might well lose.

The UK would then be faced with having no Brexit deal at all, or seeking Council agreement to rescind the A50 invocation together with some face saving "new deal" for the UK to remain within the EU. Either option will be politically unattractive for her, and risk dividing her party and the country. I can't see how her Government could survive this, so a new General election seems unavoidable.  The question is will there be a Labour party offering a coherent alternative?


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 06:26:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is will there be a Labour party offering a coherent alternative?
That's the only answerable question, and the answer is no.

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 Aug 21st, 2016 at 02:47:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A further thought occurs to me: When is an FTA not an FTA?

The answer is, when it is wrapped in an exit agreement negotiated under A50.  An exit agreement can include many things - A50 is not prescriptive.  So it may or may not include what amounts to a FTA. However, even if it does include an FTA, it is still an exit agreement negotiated under A50 and ratifiable by weighted majority vote on the Council.  

The only exception to this would be if the the exit agreement contained provisions, for example on freedom of movement, which are in conflict with freedoms already granted to EU citizens under existing Treaties. In that case, the Brexit agreement effectively becomes an amending Treaty requiring unanimous agreement, and in the case of some countries, a popular referendum to enable ratification.

That is what makes A50 unique. Any other FTA would have to be agreed unanimously by all 27 members. However once the 2 years specified by A50 runs out, any extension, or any agreement negotiated after that point, requires unanimous approval.

Up until now, we have been discussing how A50 places the UK at a disadvantage.  In this particular instance, the UK is in a favoured position if it can negotiate a FTA as part of the Brexit deal within 2 years, as any such deal would then only require weighted majority support.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 06:54:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank, I find this comment merely speculative. There is nothing in Article 50 or any other document hinting at ratification of an FTA being dispensed in this case.

Note that in the wake of the TTIP negotiations, pressure is mounting on the institutions to take any such agreement as mixed by default:

EU-US trade deal must be approved by national parliaments

`...signatories to this letter believe that free trade agreements should be considered as mixed agreements, since they contain provisions that concern policy areas which are within the competences of the member states. For CETA, as well as TTIP (as well as can be foreseen at this stage), this is the case for certain elements of policy areas such as services, transport and investor protection. In the case of a mixed status, all Member-States, namely through their national Parliaments, have to ratify the agreement.'

The letter reflects the continuing tug-of-war between the Commission and representatives of Member States over where competences lie in relating to international trade agreements. Under the Lisbon Treaty new powers were provided to the Commission to negotiate trade deals, but there is disagreement with Member States as to how comprehensive and far-reaching those powers are.

Possibly because of this, the FTA negotiated with Canada will be ratified by member states individually:

Canada gets clarity on how Europe will ratify trade deal

The European Commission has decided the Canada-EU trade deal will proceed for ratification as a "mixed" agreement, recognizing demands from key members like Germany to vote not just in Brussels, but in each country's legislature.

[...] "Following a decision by the council, it will be possible to provisionally apply CETA," the commission's statement said. "Its full entering into force will be subject to the conclusion by the EU, through a council decision with the consent of the European Parliament, and by all member states through the relevant national ratification procedures."

I find it unwise to expect the UK to get a different treatment. If indeed it intends to obtain an FTA.


You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 07:44:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just an addendum: expect an FTA approved solely by the Council to end at the European Court. The implications of which are, I believe, the basis of the Council's and Commission's concession to national parliaments.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 07:47:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd be surprised if anything that comes out of Article 50 isn't subject to legal challenges  
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 08:05:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We are all in the speculation business at this stage, because as your quotes make clear, the precise legal status of FTAs, and whether they require unanimous or weighted majority approval is in dispute.

However two things do seem clear:

  1. A Standard FTA which does not require the ceding of additional sovereignty to the EU Commission or Council can be approved by national Parliaments.  It does not require a referendum in countries such as Ireland.  That makes it a lot more achievable.

  2. Whatever their legal status and ratification requirements, the political tide is turning against uncritical approval of trade agreements by national Governments. FTAs were always seen my the mainstream parties and media as an unalloyed good increasing GDP on all sides because of the the doctrine of "comparative advantage".

WTO | Understanding the WTO - The case for open trade
Simply put, the principle of "comparative advantage" says that countries prosper first by taking advantage of their assets in order to concentrate on what they can produce best, and then by trading these products for products that other countries produce best.

TTIP, which is less a trade agreement and more an attempt by IP rentiers to extract more revenue from their IP and to have this enforceable by corporate rather than national courts, has put an end to that "consensus". The rise of Trump, economic nationalism elsewhere, and even the Brexit vote has indicated that people no longer except that such deals are an unalloyed good, benefiting everyone.  One of the ways of understanding the Brexit vote is that it pitched the losers from globalisation against the winners.

So whatever the legalities, and these are in dispute, the political trend is all one way.  Any new FTAs are going to be subject to much more public scrutiny, and demands for national votes.

This is partly why I have been extremely sceptical of glib Leave Campaign suggestions that the UK will be able to chose from a menu of options post Brexit: The Norway, Switzerland, Canada, EEA or WTO options, as if these are ready made solutions it can just plug into. The EU might well decide that no third party will get any one of those deals from now on, because all have ramifications for existing EU members, and some, like TTIP, are of doubtful benefit to most people, and will simply fail to ever be ratified.

Would the EU give the same deal to Switzerland if it were being negotiated now?  I doubt it.  The tide is going out on FTA's and the UK will be lucky if it can obtain one before it is too late.

So the legal points you raise may well be moot. The political climate is changing, and they do not favour extensive FTAs, especially ones going beyond current FTAs to include financial services as well.

 

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 08:30:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now the City wants a special exception for passporting.

Which I suppose means the idea is that the City gets free access to Europe, and who the hell cares what happens in the rest of the economy.

"There needs to be a bilateral deal providing as full two-way market access as possible," said Anthony Browne, chief executive of the BBA, who has been part of Ms Vadera's task force. "Both sides have an interest in making this work, as it is not in the interests of the other EU countries to be cut off from their main financial centre, especially at a time they are all seeking to boost economic growth."

I'm not sure how many people in - say - Frankfurt and Paris realise that only the City can be Europe's main financial centre.

"Fog over Canary Wharf, continent cut off."

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 11:42:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The City is just as delusional as the other brexiters if they think for a moment that the EU is gonna come begging for a sweetheart deal cos they're just too damn essential.

Paris, Frankfurt and Dublin are gonna make sure there's going to be no such deal on offer. In fact, if anything, punitive barriers will be put in place to encourage companies to relocate back inside the EU.

Twilight of the City. Can't wait. It'll totally screw up the economy of the UK, but it might make it a better place.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Aug 19th, 2016 at 07:52:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I started reading a science fiction alternative universe book once where The City cared about the rest of the economy.  I stopped reading.  Too far-fetched.
by rifek on Thu Aug 25th, 2016 at 01:37:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has the UK given a notice of intent?  I'm assuming that would require an act of Parliament.  As for the 50(1) agreement, it would seem to be all about the leaving.  It has to take into account "the framework of the future relationship," but that's fuzzy language even by diplomatic standards and in no way requires a trade agreement as part of the departure.  It would seem that any FTA would be separate and would be created by usual negotiation and ratification procedures.  If the UK gives notice, I could see the EU forcing a bare-bones Brexit and leaving the UK to twist in the wind over the FTA.
by rifek on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 08:11:11 PM EST
No formal notice has yet been given, as that would be by way of invoking A50, as far as the EU is concerned.

The question of whether invoking A50 would require an act of Parliament is due to be litigated shortly in the UK, with the litigants claiming in does, and the government claiming it has the power to do so "by Royal prerogative".

The legal opinion I quoted in the diary concurs with your view that an exit agreement doesn't necessarily have to include a FTA, although it may do so.

If the Brexit agreement doesn't include a FTA, it could be many years before one is actually negotiated and ratified by the 27 remaining members, if ever.

This may not just be a case of the EU playing hardball, but reflect the complexity of such agreements, and the difficulty of having them ratified separately by all 27 remaining members with differing national interests.

The irony here is that the UK has long complained about the lack of democracy and transparency in the EU. But in this case (as in many other cases) the fact is that the EU may be being too democratic, requiring unanimity rather than just a majority for many decisions to be approved.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 08:46:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My gut felling is that an FTA will be left outside an exit agreement. And for purely practical reasons. The FTA with Canada has been in negotiation for over 3 years and will be completed at best in 2017.

I find it more likely for the exit agreement to outline a sort of transition status to the UK, providing an extra couple of years for a de facto trade agreement to be cooked up.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Aug 19th, 2016 at 08:49:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One would think that the institution with the power to make the treaty would have the power to terminate it, but I know the issue has been debated here in the US since about 1798 and remains unresolved.
by rifek on Fri Aug 19th, 2016 at 04:08:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK, as you know, has an unwritten constitution, which means that it is sometimes a case of it being what the Government says it is, unless the courts determine otherwise, which they have been traditionally reluctant to do.  Even referenda are a relatively recent innovation, and lack constitutional force.  Ultimately it is a case of whatever a government can do without Parliament decreeing otherwise that matters. That is why it is so difficult to map out a coherent game-plan for the future; there are so many possible options and outcomes.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 20th, 2016 at 11:13:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we'll know more about the Tory party's intent after their conference in the first week of october.

Right now, the Ministers in charge of this process seem to be getting a painful dismantling of their fondest assumptions about the willingness of the EU to accomodate our whims. When this stage is over they may have reduced enthusiasm and a willingness to string this process out a bit.

At which point the EU may have to demand "is EU in or is you aini't?"

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 08:51:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think the EU can demand anything. It's up to the UK to work out its own fate.

But currently there seems to be an almost total absence of realism on the Tory side. May, Johnson, Fox and Davis seem equally clueless, in that they've decided to restrict immigration, while also aiming for access - even limited access - to the single market.

That circle can't be squared. And even if it could be, there's no reason to believe the EU has any interest in squaring it.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 11:47:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the UK is already a semi-detached member in that our leaders are being excluded from important meetings. Which means that, by simple legislative drift, we are moving further and further out of the EU.

Over time, this will begin to cause everybody problems, not least ourselves. So, I think the EU will be entirely within its rights to demand some clarity about what's happening. This year might be a little pushy, but if there is nothing by July next year I think patience will be sorely tested.

After all, the EU may not be able to make us go, but they can make things much more difficult if they feel they need to.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Aug 19th, 2016 at 07:46:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK started leaving the EU in 2011, when Cameron opted out of the ESM. This referendum was just the conclusion to a secular process of distancing from the EU.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Aug 19th, 2016 at 08:51:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But where is it in the EU interest to persecute Britain because of a few million stroppy little-Englanders who have to Google 'What is the EU?' the day after the vote?
Brussels has a passel of problems much bigger than  Brexit, and if it doesn't radically change a la Varoufakis in the next 6 months max (I know, I know) the whole shitshow is going to go tits up.
Italy's banking system is melting down and could make Greece look like just the aperitivo.
The muddled machinations of the UK are bad enough and certainly removing a rotten spar from a rotten hull is an improvement if you squint real hard... well probably not.
Same circus, different clowns.
Once the derivatives come fully home to roost we can be harmonious neighbours in Davy Jones' locker.
Oh wait, Boris is giving a hand bailing out the Titanic with his thimble, what can possibly go wrong?
The captain's at the Slivovitz, the orchestra badly out of tune.
It's Jerome K.Jerome time!

'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 Aug 20th, 2016 at 01:02:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
melo:
But where is it in the EU interest to persecute Britain because of a few million stroppy little-Englanders who have to Google 'What is the EU?' the day after the vote?

I don't think it is necessary to posit persecution or malice as a motive to come to the conclusion that this cannot end well for the UK in the short term, or the EU longer term. Britain, like Germany, has done very well out of the EU, but just didn't realise it or want to acknowledge it.

Or rather, the ruling class in the UK was doing very well out of the EU, managing to blame the "foreigners" in Brussels and elsewhere for all the problems and making hay while the sun shone on the Single Market. Brits I speak to look askance when I say that the EU has only ever done what the British Government asked it to or used powers the UK Government specifically delegated to it.  When was the last time the UK was defeated in a majority vote on Council?

English has become the lingua Franca of the EU, Anglo-American neo-liberalism dominates all discourse, Thatcher got her Rebate, and Cameron his dirty deal. But the British ruling class, presiding over what is still the most class ridden society in Northern Europe, always need a bogeyman to blame for its misdemeanours, and who better than Jonny-Foreigner...

British class tensions, transmuted onto a European plane, have bedevilled the EU and have now led to Brexit and a certain emotional relief all round. The UK will have to deal with its class contradictions all on its own now, and then may be welcome back in the EU some day, if it is still around in some shape or form.


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 20th, 2016 at 07:40:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not persecution when the EU needs to function under various majority rules and the UK makes itself a nuisance and says it wants to leave.

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 Aug 21st, 2016 at 02:42:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
melo:
a few million stroppy little-Englanders who have to Google 'What is the EU?' the day after the vote?

That's a fun meme, except it's a misconception that millions of people suddenly went googling after the referendum:

No, Britons Were Not Frantically Googling `What Is The EU?' Hours After Brexit Vote

The problem with using Google Trends as an indication of anything other than a relative increase or decrease over previous norms is that it doesn't give the whole picture. Yes, there may have been a big spike in searches about what happens if the U.K. leaves the EU, but compared with what? Were there hundreds of thousands of people searching Google for these answers? Millions?

It turns out the figure is likely to be less than 1,000 people, or 0.001 percent of the population.


by Bjinse on Sun Aug 21st, 2016 at 09:02:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah yes... well, quite. ;)

'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 Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 08:54:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All that can be negotiated in two years is whether the UK wants to sign on to an existing boilerplate agreement. So, failing that as a "transitional regime" the UK will indeed be out in the cold.

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 Aug 21st, 2016 at 02:39:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After reading all this I wonder if anyone has fully grocked the size and scale of this cockup, this mad gamble to try and force weld the kipper voters onto a County/Telegr-arph old money toff base that not only didn't payoff, it's backfired like an old musket. No, a blunderbus.
80,000 pages of trade deals to scrutinise, review and then somehow fudge into a coherent trade policy.
Armies of bureaucrats tearing their hair out.

Humpty attaining maximal gravitational downward trajectory (accelerating pre-warp velocity).

Or as Drew would say: Wheee!


'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 Fri Aug 19th, 2016 at 01:44:43 AM EST
After reading all this I wonder if anyone has fully grocked the size and scale of this cockup

I know do I do not grasp it, and I seriously doubt anyone does.

Let me give you an example: the other day there was a discussion on Twitter about Air Traffic. If the UK loses access to the common market in any significant way, it will fall into a regulatory void from which no one knows how to come back. The present EU regulatory setting took years to build, it is very unlikely for the UK to reach the same level of detail in just 2 years. This article is well worth a read in its entirity:

Brexit up in the air: implications for aviation as the UK votes to leave the European Union


In summary, if the UK decides to leave the EU, the most likely outcome for aviation is that the UK will negotiate with the EU and other partners to maintain the status quo with regard to airline traffic rights, as far as possible.

However, this would likely require the UK to continue to accept a large proportion of EU rules and legislation, not only on aviation, but also on broader issues including its four fundamental freedoms.

Moreover, the UK would no longer have the same influence over these rules that its current status as an EU member state gives it. As Borge Brende, Norway's foreign minister, has observed, "Our arrangement . . . is that we have to implement all the EU directives. We are not around the table when these are discussed in Brussels."

...but there are important uncertainties and risks for airlines

If it wanted to be more selective about which rules to follow and which to reject, the consequences are unclear, but the situation could start to unravel, and this could threaten the UK's inclusion in EU markets, including the single aviation market.

This is a potential threat not only to UK airlines, but also to airlines from other EU states for whom the UK is an important market. Either way, the UK government will need to start planning for the exit the minute the referendum is concluded, if the outcome is a vote to leave the EU.

Now imagine you are the CEO of an airline seeded in the UK and Article 50 is triggered without you having a single clue if in two years time you can continue flying to/from the continent under the same regulatory framework ...


You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Aug 19th, 2016 at 09:06:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After reading all this I wonder if anyone has fully grocked the size and scale of this cockup

I know do I do not grasp it, and I seriously doubt anyone does.

The extent is pretty much unknowable: we'll be dealing with this shit on and off for decades, I suspect.

Here's a thought though: I have an idea that one of the hallmarks of right-wing/conservative/whatever thought is a tendency to ignore secondary consequences of actions in favour of taking a moralistic view: because  we intended an action to have consequence A, then we can assume consequence A will be the outcome and we can ignore any feedback loops, interactions, non-linear response etc.

If you apply that to Brexit, then you can see how it should work in their heads: say you're leaving, everything falls into place, presto! Complications can be waved away as not part of what you intended so they're not going to happen. Same with climate change, financial contagion. They just can't imagine the network effects being important.

[Sorry if this is even less clear than normal, I have a cold.]

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Aug 19th, 2016 at 10:07:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It also explains the rest of being right wing - if you don't think people a few steps away from you matter for your well being, why would you care about them?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Aug 19th, 2016 at 10:08:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For me the essence of RW thinking is 'I didn't ask you to have those babies, now don't ask me to pay for their welfare if it detracts one jot from my goals of avaricious world domination through dirty deals.'

Wars just don't mop up the excess testosterone like they used to when drones do a better job than boots on the ground at knocking off the bad guys (like the MSF/Doctors without Borders it would seem).
So what to do with all the useless feeders? The once-cosseted middle class is vaporising, consumer -lovely word, so rich with aspiration and noble intent- economy is tapped out, imploding banks sucking savings and homes into their black hole.
I think tbey're out of answers. Keynesianism is only permitted to boost the economy through deathwish industries, and guns don't melt deliciously on your warm baguette like butter does. It's probably too late to go Keynes anyway as we can't afford to change cars every 2 years and we'd need 5 planet Earths' resources UNLESS we    go full throttle into an energy policy that had wisdom and sustainability baked in from the beginning.
I think it's too late for the EU to save itself otherwise, we are backed right into a very tight corner and there are only so many industries we can hock or flog to the New Hegemon-on-the-block China seeing we're already dependent on gas from Russia.
Maybe Trump will come up with a wizard wheeze to set things shipshape again!

'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 Aug 20th, 2016 at 01:38:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe Trump will come up with a wizard wheeze to set things shipshape again!

Please tell me that's a joke.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 03:57:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
on top of that, virtually every law written by the UK parliament in the last 40 years has an EU component, Things are pointed at EU rules and EU court decisions. this all basically has to be redone. one estimate is that 10,000 laws need re-writing, which basically means parliament sitting and spending the next couple of decades doing nothing else, so not being involved in trade deals because they're busy trying to extract european legislation from housing law amongst thousand s of other things

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Aug 25th, 2016 at 03:06:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see point 7 at all. It would already be a concession to allow the UK to stay in the EU with the rebate and the Maastricht op-outs as opposed to being out in the cold. Cameron was already given a "new settlement" to try to prevent Brexit, and the British electorate rejected it.

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 Aug 21st, 2016 at 02:37:06 PM EST
Jon Worth quoted by Colman referred to a Bloomberg survey of the EU-27 to try to gauge "the Red Lines Europe Won't Cross in Brexit Talks".

This doesn't look good, especially for the Leave camp's pet demand of controlling intra-European immigration:

Worryingly for May and her Brexit minister, David Davis, several countries including Germany, Portugal and the Czech Republic insist that the U.K. adhere to rules on free movement of labor in return for access to the single market in goods and services. Many who backed Brexit did so in the belief it would mean fewer immigrants.

Just three fellow EU members -- Denmark, Austria and Bulgaria -- cited a shared concern with Britain over immigration, suggesting that May will find sympathy in short supply.

And as for passporting:

France signaled it is ready to go even further and link freedom of movement to Britain's ambition of retaining the passporting rights that allow the financial industry to sell services and raise money on the continent.

Although:

Romanian central bank board member Daniel Daianu also weighed into the debate on free movement today. Romania, whose citizens have flocked to fill U.K. jobs, should consider negotiating a bilateral labor deal with Britain if the final Brexit agreement doesn't allow free movement. Poland is already considering such an agreement, he said.

The Bloomberg folks also came up with a bulleted list of various items:

  • Belgium is concerned about the potential for populist and separatist sentiment spreading to its restive region of Flanders
  • The government in Dublin wants to prevent a hard border with Northern Ireland
  • France and Denmark are concerned with reciprocal access for fishermen to their respective waters
  • Spain will press to assume joint sovereignty over Gibraltar
  • Austria wants to stop the U.K. from awarding power subsidies for the Hinkley Point nuclear plant, if it goes ahead
  • Cyprus and Greece want to avoid further damage to the pound, which could keep British tourists away
  • Baltic and eastern European states want reassurances about security in the face of Russian aggression
  • Malta wants to keep preferential access to British universities for its young people

Like many EU negotiations, looks like this is going to be long and protracted.
by Bernard on Sun Aug 21st, 2016 at 08:33:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In this list, I am somewhat puzzled by the Austrian request.

How is it of particular relevance to them?

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 06:56:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anti nuclear crusades are popular here since the vote to not turn on the completed nuclear power plant in the 80s. It's also a topic the boulevard regularly campaigns on and the last Chancellor had a very open ear for their concerns.
by generic on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 07:33:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Austria also has tried taking UK to Court over the subsidies to Hinkley, with UK arguing that it is OK because it is nuclear, with reference to the EURATOM-treaty.

I haven't followed the case more than that, so I don't know if it has been decided by the Court yet.

by fjallstrom on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 09:57:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not. It's purely pandering to domestic anti-nuclear sentiment in Austria. Austria objects to other people building nuclear power plants routinely, which may have something to do with not wanting to look stupid for the Zwentendorf decision.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zwentendorf_Nuclear_Power_Plant

.. speaks for itself, really. Note that the production that plant would have provided has instead been provided 100% by black coal.

by Thomas on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 10:31:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Security is a NATO issue, not an EU one. UK will remain a member of nato whatever so brexit will not disturb that situation at all.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 07:45:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron was given a "new settlment", it just didn't feature any of the items he said were red lines for the UK electorate.

It was a sign of the utter irrelevance of the negotiations and the settlement that it was never mentioned during the referendum campaign

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 07:49:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was a classic Cameron moment - mumble "strong negotiation" mumble "Etonian statesman" mumble "this is all quite boring, oh well, never mind".
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 10:49:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a bit of hyperbole in saying it was never mentioned.
Despite not having TV (and thus being somewhat protected from constant exposure to the circus) I heard it mentioned several times by the Tory Remain campaign. Never going into the specifics, of course, but saying that he had managed to get a good deal that you should vote for.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 12:49:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For point 7 to happen would require a complete volte face in UK political opinion once the realities of a "cold exit" become clear. Only a second referendum or a general election where "Remain" supporting parties gain a majority and form a Government would enable that in the UK.  

How the EU would respond in that scenario is pure conjecture at this stage, but my guess would be that they would not stand in the way of an A50 invocation being withdrawn, together with some face saving joint intention to reform the EU on lines they were thinking of anyway.

I agree, the UK would be doing well to retain the Maastricht opt-outs and Rebate in that scenario. But the EU elite are deeply conservative and risk averse.   Keeping the UK in the EU might be worth it from their point of view.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 10:15:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexit X-men: how the prime minister's key negotiators are coping


Thus far, however, the May government has been unable to give clear and consistent answers on the single-market question, because the Tory party and the cabinet is split and the complexities are only now being grasped. Senior UK diplomats have been shocked by how little leading Tories in government - including Johnson - understand about the workings of the EU and its single market.

"It is staggering," said one top UK official. "They have not even got to base one in terms of knowledge." Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform in London, says some "very senior" people in the UK government are deeply ignorant about the single market, and adds that only now are the Brexit-backers beginning to grasp the difficulty of what faces them. "I think that two months down the line the senior Brexiters are beginning to realise that the whole process is going to be a lot more complicated, time-consuming and boring than they had imagined before, when they had presented it all as black and white. They are beginning to realise that this will occupy most of the energies of government for the next five to 10 years.

"That does not mean that Brexit is not going to happen. Of course it is going to happen. But it is a massively complex and lengthy business."

The most pressing question, in terms of the Brexit timetable, is when the UK will trigger article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, which will set the clock ticking on two years of formal negotiations on the UK-EU divorce. That period can, theoretically, be extended beyond two years, but only with the unlikely unanimous agreement of all the 27 other member states. But until the UK government decides the broad parameters of its approach, it is hugely difficult to name a start date.

by Bjinse on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 09:20:42 AM EST
If anything kills Brexit it's going to be boredom and the limited Tory attention span.

The fact that the entire government is going to have to work hard on this for the rest of May's term - and far into her next term, if she wins another one - is going to fill all those wise old Tory heads with unremitting horror.

There are going to be thousands, maybe millions, of petty little details, all of which will need ministerial decisions and strategies.

And none of them will spell easy money - which is the usual Tory motivation for being in government.

Welcome to hell, people.

It's not as if you don't deserve it.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 10:58:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My experience of top English managers is that they are "broad picture", "strategic" people who leave the details to the little people in their employ: little people they are not slow to throw under a bus if some of those details turn out not to be to their liking, although Standard Operating Procedure is to have moved on by the time the sh1t hits the fan...

It will be interesting to observe the slow transition from blaming Brussels for everything to blaming incompetence in Whitehall as this slow clusterfcuk evolves...  Of course first we have to go through the Anger stage of the bereavement process where everything will be blamed on intransigent eurocrats who "hate us for our freedom"...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 11:11:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I suspect that the way that Theresa May has set this up she's got Johnson, Davis and Fox in her sights as the primary recipients of all blame for what happens next.

With secondary targets including Gove, IDS and ukip.

I'm sure there are others she'd like to hang it on such as Andrea Leadsom, but she probably needs her onside.

But destroying the credibility of those main 3 is her primary focus. Not only must they fail, but they must be seen to fail catastrophically.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 11:45:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Leadsom has to tell the farmers they will lose their subsidies after 2020. You couldn't have picked a negotiating team with less goodwill in other European capitals.  The objective is obviously to fail miserably, but what then?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 02:12:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the objective iss to demonstrate brexit is economically impossible for the UK economy to the major influencers within the tory party before we get to invoking Article 50.

She doesn't care about the backwoods people like John Redwood and Jacob Rees-Mogg or even the Essex irregulars like John Baron (who aren't really tories anyway) because they have no influence. But if she can shame the big hitters back onside then she can officially abandon brexit as a manifesto plank going into the 2020 election.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 03:00:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I still think the more realistic interpretation is that May had to put these idiots in charge as the price for their support as PM. So it doesn't matter how impossible Brexit is - the good ship Torytanic is going to steer towards it anyway.

I may be wrong, and she really is playing 11-dimensional chess. But there's a kind of Occam's Razor that can be applied to Tory policy, which is that the feckless, most craven, and least flattering explanation of any policy is probably the most realistic one.

Johnson is an opportunist, and he was only playing the Brexit side because Cameron wasn't. He'd be just as happy talking up a new relationship with Brussels as may I say what a fantastic opportunity this is.

But Davis, Fox, and IDS are true believers in Queen, Greed, and Empire, and as such they're beyond rational persuasion. No amount of dramatisation of the danger will convince them, because they truly believe the socialist jackboot of Brussels has been crushing the entrepreneurial windpipe of plucky brave England - er, the UK - and only a violent divorce can restore the country's honour, integrity, and bank balance.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 07:03:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in terms of Tory Party politics?  BoJo, DD and Fox fail to come up with a realistic negotiating strategy. Pressure mounts to invoke A50 anyway.  I can't really see how May can survive until 2020 without invoking it. A split develops within the party between the hard Brexiters and the soft Brexiteers who cling onto a dream of limit access to Single Market for limited immigration controls.  The latter policy is increasingly seen as non-negotiable or unworkable (take your pick).  So the hard Brexiteers win the argument?  Does May run to the country early seeking a mandate to avoid invoking A50 prior to an agreed strategy being adopted by all?

I can't see this ending well for the Tories, and Corbyn's approach of respecting the will of the people as expressed in the referendum will start to look more and more principled by comparison.  But would Labour really go into a general election promising to invoke A50 immediately? Or would Labour present a series of policies and principles which, if adopted by the EU, would cause them to negotiate with the EU for changes in EU policies without invoking A50 - and leave A50 as a background threat if the negotiations don't yield an outcome they can stand over?  

Would the EU negotiate with a Corbyn Government if he had a mandate to negotiate changes to the EU which did not violate the 4 freedoms?  If the changes involved tackling inequality and improving public services for all? An EU wide NHS? Policies to facilitate the development of Eastern European economies so less of their citizens would want to emigrate?

At least Labour could then claim that they were negotiating changes in the EU to lesson the impact of inequality, immigration and poor public services within the UK - all factors behind the Brexit vote.  Corbyn could put the results of the negotiation to a new -in/out referendum, where OUT meant immediate invocation of A50 and a hard exit, and where IN meant full membership of an EU which had changed to address socialist (and regional) concerns. It would have a certain political consistency and democratic integrity which the Tories currently simply can't offer.  But does Corbyn have that vision and ability?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 07:48:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right now, Corbyn is in crisis management mode. He will see of Smith quite readily, but I suspect that Blairites have other tricks up their sleeve to cause him problems. His chances of focussing on anything beyond party management are very slim.

And frankly, the Tories would have to be in truly riotous mode for them to lose in 2020 and they like power far too much to do that openly.

The UK's relationship with the EU is, for the foreseeable future, subject only to the machinations within the Tory party

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 08:12:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the biggest risk going forward is that there seem to be quite a few cronies in the judicial system raising the prospect that splitters could sue for the name an assets of the party.
by generic on Tue Aug 23rd, 2016 at 06:39:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also how big of a deal is the Mayor of London taking sides in the contest? I suppose less important than it seems since the UK is not a federal system?
by generic on Tue Aug 23rd, 2016 at 08:53:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well yes. I really don't know how that plays out. It's a bridge we will have cross when we come to it. Planning for the myriad legal wrangles is a bit hopeless.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Aug 23rd, 2016 at 04:41:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank you are a grand strategist, I wish you were advising him.

'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 Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 08:45:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Would the EU negotiate with a Corbyn Government if he had a mandate to negotiate changes to the EU which did not violate the 4 freedoms?

I don't think so. Remember that none of the 4 freedoms were in play in the Greek negotiations. Except in the sense that the Council were quite relaxed about abolishing free capital transfers. I think Corbyn would be received similarly to Tsipras. While he is the leader of a traditional member of the European Social Democrats the people with personal connections at government level are the Blaiarites. He also represents both a vision of social democracy very few self-described social democrats are still comfortable with and a population that repeatedly "voted the wrong way."

by generic on Tue Aug 23rd, 2016 at 11:40:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
YouGov | The leadership effect - how leaders can shift perceptions of parties

YouGov has been tracking public perceptions of where the political parties and leaders stand on the left-right spectrum since 2002. The results are plotted on a 200 point scale, stretching from -100 (very left wing) to 100 (very right wing). The political centre sits at zero. Combining our data on public perceptions of both leaders and parties for the first time has provided some fascinating comparisons between leaders, and the effect they can have on the way the public sees their parties.

...

Jeremy Corbyn has had the effect of driving the public's view of the Labour party leftwards, with the party now standing at -50 on the scale. He still remains far to the left of his party though, sitting some 20 points further to the left on the spectrum than Labour in the public eye, and that is after he himself has shifted eight points rightwards since he took over.


by Bjinse on Tue Aug 23rd, 2016 at 11:54:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Define "political centre". Also, please take into account how far the political centre has drifted to the right. In the 1950s the conservative government were campaigning on policies that are now considered impossibly left wing, eg social housing.

The political centre of the parties in Westminster is quite far to the right of the political centre of the UK public if their politcal prefernces are interrogated rather than their tribal allegiance.

EG Re-nationalisation of the railways is immensely popular with the public, but at Westminster it is considered so far to the left as to be completely un-possible. Cannot be discussed, too weird, too communist.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Aug 23rd, 2016 at 04:40:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course Johnson doesn't understand the complexities of brexit; he's famously lazy about detail and is very much a seagull manager in that he flies in, makes a noise, shits on everything and flies out again with the press hopefully trailing headlines in his wake.

But fortunately, negotiating with Brussels isn't his job, there's an entirely separate ministry been created to do that. Sadly David Davis, who heads it up, is just as clueless, but not as lazy

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 at 10:59:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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