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Is Brexit without invoking Article 50 possible?

by Frank Schnittger Sat Aug 6th, 2016 at 11:49:22 AM EST

In a long an spirited discussion over The Brexit Negotiation Process, Colman made a point which has not been adequately addressed:

Colman:

Brexit without article 50 is also possible.

So is some sort of face-saving operation for the UK (which would, if it was anti-immigrant, fit nicely into the agenda of a lot of EU leaders).

Is this really the case?

A few preliminary points need to be made:


  1. The Lisbon Treaty which contains article 50 is an international Treaty binding the EU and all its member states to a particular process, defined in Article 50, should a member wish to leave. Yes, of course, International Treaties have sometimes been broken, often in the context of war. But what is the point of negotiating a new Treaty between the EU and the UK, if an existing one can be breached in such a cavalier fashion?  So it seems to me, that any formal process of Brexit has to involve the invocation of Article 50 at some stage in the process, even if any post Brexit EU UK agreement has been negotiated largely outside the context of Article 50 and before it has been formally invoked.

  2. If often fissiparous EU leaders have been unanimous and consistent in one thing, it has been their determination that there can be no substantive talks on Brexit prior to the invocation of Article 50.  Perhaps to the chagrin of UK politicians, some of who may have felt that a Brexit vote would strengthen their hand in any negotiations with the EU, most EU leaders have indicated that the invocation of article 50 can't come quickly enough. Please leave, leave quickly, and don't let the door slam behind you on your way out the door could well be a way of characterising the EU response to the Brexit vote.

  3. There are perhaps two main reasons for this response. Firstly, the EU has tired of UK accusations that it is one vast, anti-democratic bureaucratic conspiracy. "If you want to go, go. You've had your vote.  We recognize your democratic decision, now get on with it.  Let's not let the resulting economic uncertainty carry on for two long" might be another way of characterising this response.  But there is also a more substantive reason for the response: The EU elite and many of its citizens have tired of continuing UK attempts to renegotiate its relationship with the EU, starting with the Thatcher rebate negotiation, and continuing right through to the last Cameron deal, all of which have chipped away at EU ideals of solidarity and ever closer Union. The Brexit vote will not be allowed to become the latest chapter in this ongoing saga. Theresa May is not the only one to say that "Brexit means Brexit".

But let us suppose, for a moment, that Colman is right and that there are a number of EU leaders who are not at all unsympathetic to the anti-immigration rhetoric of Leave leaders, and who would be more than happy to cut the UK a back room deal whereby the EU's freedoms to travel and work anywhere are fundamentally constrained.  What is to prevent them from entering into informal talks with the UK government designed to fundamentally re-cast what the EU is all about? The outcome of those talks could then be presented to the UK people in a new referendum as a major victory for British diplomacy addressing the main concerns of the leave camp.

The answer is: nothing at all.  If the political will is there, it can be done. But there are a number of problems with this scenario: Firstly, the outcome of those talks would have to be agreed by the EU Council, some of whose members might be extremely miffed at being by-passed by the negotiation process, and many of whom might disagree fundamentally with the substance of what was agreed.

But there is also a much more fundamental problem:  Insofar as any agreement between the UK and those dissident members differed from anything enshrined in existing Treaties, any agreement would have to be ratified by every member state in accordance with their own constitution. In Ireland that would mean a popular referendum. And why would, say, Latvia, ratify an agreement the primary purpose of which is to deny its citizens the opportunity to work in the UK?

So yes, in theory it could be done, and article 50 would never be invoked, and the UK would never actually leave the EU.  Instead the EU would be recast in the UK's image. But to answer Colman's assertion: No, Brexit without Article 50 is not possible. The Brexit vote would become just yet another chapter in the long process of the UK seeking to re-model the EU into something more to it's liking.  The UK wouldn't actually leave the EU.  The EU would effectively leave behind what were previously part of its founding principles.

Even in an era where demagoguery and extreme nationalism are in the ascendant, I just can't see that happening.  Yes, some informal talks may take place behind closed doors despite all public assertions to the contrary.  The broad shape of of the UK's future relationship with the EU might be agreed before Article 50 is formally invoked. Key interests on both sides will be safeguarded. The big players will get their way.  But for Brexit to actually happen, there is only one game in town, and it is called Article 50.

Display:
Suppose it's June 2017, and Article 50 has still not been invoked. Theresa May's government is saying that its because the EU has still not clarified important matters to its satisfaction. The EU responds that article 50 is perfectly clear and there is nothing to clarify. Leave campaigners are getting worried that the May government is dragging its feet and trying to weasel out of its Brexit commitment. Remain campaigners are openly trying to delay the process to the point where they can claim that "circumstances have changed" and that the referendum vote may have to be revisited.

Prominent leavers propose a motion in Parliament that article 50 be invoked immediately. The government claim that "the time is not yet right" and that "the UK is still preparing its negotiating position". Labour, newly assertive after Corbyn's re-election, support the Article 50 motion on the grounds that the government is "reneging on its democratic mandate". The Scottish nationalists fail to get an assurance that a new Scottish Independence referendum would be held on Brexit and support the opposition. With a majority of only 12, the Government loses the vote when dozens of Leave MP's vote against it or abstain.

A general election is called.  The Tories campaign on the unusual proposition that its predecessor Cameron Government failed to prepare for Brexit properly, and that it needs more time to maximise the UK's negotiating position. They are laughed at by all and sundry.  The Tories lose when droves of their voters abandon them for the UKIP.  Having trailed for most of the campaign, Labour win with only 35% of the vote because of the UK's antiquated first past the post voting system.  They form a Government with Scottish Nationalist support with a promise to a call a Scottish referendum if Brexit happens.

Corbyn opens talks with key EU leaders and proposed an entirely different set of "reforms" to those proposed by previous UK governments. EU leaders are wrong-footed and surprised to discover that they can agree with much of what Corbyn proposes. The focus of the deal is the inclusion of those on the margins of society by greater social spending, a much better funded regional policy and fiscal transfers to disadvantaged areas. A new EU UK deal is agreed, and Corbyn calls a new referendum, campaigning on the basis that the EU will now do a much better job of addressing immigration and pressure on social services, and that Brexit would also mean a break-up of the UK.

To the surprise of many, Corbyn wins the referendum and everything is once more "all quiet of the western front".

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 6th, 2016 at 01:47:42 PM EST
My best case scenario - clarified!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 6th, 2016 at 04:23:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there's an awful lot of coulda, woulda, shoulda mixed in with that wishful thinking there.

It's not at all clear that there is a majority for leave in Parliament. If I had to call it I reckon there'd be a majority of 100 to stay.

that's why the leavers wanted a referendum, they knew they'd never win in Parliament.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Aug 7th, 2016 at 02:15:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting plot trajectory!
Were tbe EU to do something radical to lift up the lives of the 99% in the next 3 months, then it's possible that many Brexiteers will come to their senses and would vote remain if given another chance.
The quality of leadership displayed by Boris and Dave has likely pushed more into Corbyn's camp, especially as May has not shown any capacity for new answers to the divisive issues that fissured public opinion recently.
After this slap in the face to Europe, it will take a complete volte-face of the old condescending, entitled demeanour Britain has always trolled the EU with.
Corbyn can start with the UK, but if he is successful in becoming PM then he will know how to come cap in hand to a reforming Brussels and restore dignity to the relationship.
The cockup can be justly blamed on media hysteria, buffoonish 'deciders', ignorance, Cameron's lack of political judgement and Tory appeasing gamesmanship. The rabid anti-EU-ers can irrelevantly howl from the long grass where their parochiality has led tbem.
But all this rosiness in the present Barroso-Goldman Sachs pigsty is premature!
 

'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 Sun Aug 7th, 2016 at 02:50:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The majority of Leave leaders don't seem in the least interested in uplifting the lives of the 99%.  They are more concerned that other people in Brussels are ruling their patch, and not them.  I expect them to follow extreme right wing policies if they get the chance - TTiP, anti-immigrant law and order policies, and lots of "entitlement reform" a la USA.

As for the EU, I don't expect anything to change quickly with Juncker in control. There was a report that Merkel had asked him to resign in the wake of the Brexit vote, but that was never confirmed.  You would think that now is a golden opportunity to recast the EU in a more caring image - given that the main neo-liberal marketista forces are leaving, but I haven't seen anything of substance yet.

A debt forgiveness deal for Greece would be a good start, but how about more Pan-European health, education, social welfare or employment policies which could indirectly direct more fiscal transfers to poorer areas?  The EP has dined out on eliminating roaming charges for far too long.  It's long past time EU citizen's saw more concrete benefits of membership in their lives.  

The EU, under Schauble et al seems more intent on stopping Governments doing stuff rather than actually delivering a better quality of life to its citizens. Screwing the UK over Brexit will be a hollow victory if they can't demonstrate what new benefits can now flow from membership.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 7th, 2016 at 03:16:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The most efficient fiscal transfer would be to solarise S.Europe.
But we knew that so well no-one even mentions it!
Employment and more energy independence, only an ignoramus with interests in fossil fuel folly would ignore it.
Oh, wait...
So to the bottom of the list it goes.
We could even be inviting immigrants to learn how to help spread solar in their countries when/if they return home.

'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 Sun Aug 7th, 2016 at 04:56:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Last I heard, the Spanish government was actively disincentiving solar panels,

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 7th, 2016 at 06:00:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're also doing it in the US, but in true, neolib fashion, we're having the private, "regulated" utilities do it.
by rifek on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 03:46:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Is Brexit without invoking Article 50 possible?
As for the EU, I don't expect anything to change quickly with Juncker in control.

Perhaps you underestimate him?
Jean-Claude Juncker's next big thing - POLITICO

The European Commission is quietly preparing to unleash a flood of policy initiatives to boost workers' rights across the EU, rebooting plans by Jean-Claude Juncker that were kept mostly out of sight during the Brexit debate.

With the U.K. preparing to leave, Juncker wants to give a new push to the "European pillar of social rights" -- a proposal he first mentioned nearly a year ago. The measures, aimed primarily at the eurozone but with non-euro countries able to opt-in if they wish, include rules on the minimum wage and to protect gender equality -- policies long considered out-of-bounds for Brussels.

They actually launched the process in March, and a consultation process is open until the end of the year.
No doubt it will turn out to be underwhelming, but it can't be denied that the UK's presence was a considerable handicap to any such initiative.

Perhaps Eurotrib should make a contribution?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 03:23:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not clear how such policies would generate large fiscal transfers from richer to poorer members/regions. A minimum wage applicable across the EU, for instance, would be opposed bu Unions and workers in countries with higher minimum wages currently, and opposed by employers in countries with lower minimum wages. At worst, it might make (say) Greece even more uncompetitive relative to Germany and exacerbate inequalities in the EU by creating structural higher unemployment rates in the periphery.

At some stage the EU has to figure out that the dynamics of global capitalism fundamentally favour large advanced urbanised areas at the expense of more peripheral, rural and poorer areas.  Ireland has overcome this competitive disadvantage through corporate tax competition and focusing on attracting global businesses in industries like ICT and Pharma where distribution costs are minimal.  But this strategy only works for so long as the major economies don't follow suit.  With the UK now threatening similar corporate tax rates (and Trump promising the same in the US), this model will probably stop working for Ireland as well.

The classical solution to this problem has been for states to structurally advantage peripheral areas relative to the metropolitan centres, but this is precisely the form of state intervention that neo-liberalism is designed to end. Even the EU has gutted its CAP, regional, structural, cohesion and social funds - partly due to pressure from UK inspired neo-liberalism. But I see little sign of those cutbacks being reversed, particularly if the UK's net contribution to the EU budget is lost.

Personally I would favour far larger net contributions to those funds for all participants in the Single market as a way of countering its centripetal tendency to pull all wealth flow towards the centre.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 12:57:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An EU wide unemployment scheme pegged to the minimum wage in each country might be feasible.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 02:53:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're just assuming away the lack of EU fiscal capacity. If we could just have the ECB, Germany or some central budget fund social programs or what not we wouldn't be in this mess.
by generic on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 03:06:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True, but it seems reasonable to do so. What Junker is proposing disregards the needs of countries on the periphery - more of the same.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 10th, 2016 at 02:49:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank:
EU leaders are wrong-footed and surprised to discover that they can agree with much of what Corbyn proposes.

And what would Corbyn propose that might get such a favorable reception in the EU?

Frank:

The focus of the deal is the inclusion of those on the margins of society by greater social spending, a much better funded regional policy and fiscal transfers to disadvantaged areas.
Social spending? Regional policy? Fiscal transfers? No longer a priority for the EU; budget deficits are.
by Bernard on Sun Aug 7th, 2016 at 02:57:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the EU needs to change direction, and the Brexit debacle could create an opportunity to do so.  National budget deficits are a current obsession, but that is partly due to a concern that national Governments, pursuing populist policies, don't game the Euro system and pass on the risks associated with excessive deficits onto other member states - chiefly Germany - which baulked at taking ownership of Greek deficits.  

However none of that is an argument against greater EU interventions and spending.  Some EU interventions could even save money all round - e.g. a Common EU Procurement policy for pharmaceuticals and other public goods which are currently hideously expensive and which could be purchased far more cheaply if the EU used it's collective buying/bargaining power with multi-national providers.

We currently have 28 national governments with their own administrative systems doing more or less the same things. Some costs are therefore increased by a factor of almost 28.  Why not identify some administrative activities which all do in more or less similar ways, and develop one system to support all.

Thus if say, Sweden, is identified as being particularly good at administering health care, why not designate it as lead country for developing a European wide medical record system which means that if you get ill in Greece your records are immediately available and the standard of care you are entitled to is equivalent to what you would get in Sweden?  Countries could opt in or out depending on their own needs or preferences, but at least their would be one Euro-wide model national systems could converge towards.

Similarly, their could be a Euro-wide Curriculum development, teaching materials, and examination system potentially replacing or complementing national systems. Does every European country need to have a different Physics or Geography, or history or French syllabus and examination system? Why not have common, or at least comparable systems?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 7th, 2016 at 03:37:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
e.g. a Common EU Procurement policy for pharmaceuticals and other public goods which are currently hideously expensive and which could be purchased far more cheaply if the EU used it's collective buying/bargaining power with multi-national providers.

I propose that that is a bad example for the kind of policies you are proposing. Here "Globalism" is entirely the problem. The EU is one of the main enforcers of the global IP regime causing the artificial shortage in the first place. Stop doing that and there is no great need for a united front.

I'm also not a big fan of your second suggestion. Sweden might be good at administrating health care systems but that that would still be true if transplanted in a different environment and absent the local feedback loops is anybodies guess.

by generic on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 03:41:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boost for Corbyn as Labour members win voting court battle

The governing body of Britain's Labour Party was not entitled to bar 130,000 people who recently became party members from voting in the upcoming leadership election, a high court judge has ruled.

The decision by the party's national executive committee (NEC) that only members who joined before January 12th were eligible had been challenged by five people who were excluded as a result.

A barrister representing the group has accused the NEC of unlawfully freezing them and many others out of the contest between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith.

A decision to allow the excluded members to vote was seen as more likely to benefit the incumbent, Mr Corbyn, in the increasingly bad-tempered leadership race.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 01:45:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, informal talks are possible and will happen; however:

Frank:

[...] a number of EU leaders who are not at all unsympathetic to the anti-immigration rhetoric of Leave leaders, and who would be more than happy to cut the UK a back room deal whereby the EU's freedoms to travel and work anywhere are fundamentally constrained.

Any idea who those leaders might be? I've tried to guess but I've come up blank. Anti-immigration rhetoric is strong in many eastern European governments, and also in many extreme-right parties in western Europe, all right; but this opposition is against African and Middle-Eastern immigrants, not from other European countries, except of course in the UK, where eastern European immigrants are one of the main targets of the pro-Brexit camp.

I don't see anyone in continental Europe (and certainly not in eastern Europe) willing to curtail the EU's freedoms to travel and work in another EU country. As you stated:

And why would, say, Latvia, ratify an agreement the primary purpose of which is to deny its citizens the opportunity to work in the UK?

The post-Brexit wave of abuse heaped at Polish residents is not helping the UK's cause in any way.

As for the A50 itself, I just don't see how it wouldn't be invoked at some point, unless the UK decides to remain in the EU after all. There could (and probably would) be plenty of informal talks so that all parties have pretty much agreed what the post-EU Britain's relationship with the EU27 will look like, but it would have to be agreed by all the remaining 27 countries.

by Bernard on Sun Aug 7th, 2016 at 03:40:04 PM EST
The full quote is:European Tribune - Is Brexit without invoking Article 50 possible?
But let us suppose, for a moment, that Colman is right and that there are a number of EU leaders who are not at all unsympathetic to the anti-immigration rhetoric of Leave leaders, and who would be more than happy to cut the UK a back room deal whereby the EU's freedoms to travel and work anywhere are fundamentally constrained

I am referencing the Colman quote (with which I disagree) copied at the top of the diary.  I do think he possibly conflates non-EU immigration with immigration from Eastern Europe which is primarily a UK concern.  However there are some other nationalist ideological similarities (and a common focus on opposing Russian expansionism which have, in the past, resulted in alliances between the UK and eastern European states on some issues which the UK might seek to exploit in pre A50 informal bilateral 'divide and conquer' talks with some EU members.

Another reason why the EU leadership opposes informal pre A50 talks.  They would want all talks to be channelled through Barnier, acting on behalf of the Council and Commission as a whole.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 7th, 2016 at 04:44:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't mean for you (or Colman) to answer this question, but to figure out what possible common agenda Brexit-UK and Eastern EU states might converge upon.

Immigration? As you wrote, it's a non starter since Slovakia, Hungary, Poland et al are targeting African and Middle-Eastern migrants whereas Brexit-UK is targeting Slovakia, Hungary, Poland et al.

Opposing Russian expansionism? How could the UK moving away from the EU could possibly reassure Eastern EU states in that regard?

Again, I really don't see what these possible common agenda might be. The main driving factor for the Brexit vote - curbing immigration from Eastern Europe - is precisely what the Eastern Europe leaders are not willing to give up.

by Bernard on Sun Aug 7th, 2016 at 05:30:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose the UK could try a bit of Trumpian blackmail: "Give us a good Brexit deal or we'll start making you pay for the NATO defence umbrella." Good luck with that.

But what is striking is how few cards the UK has to play with in any negotiation - for all the Leave campaign guff about the EU needing the UK more than the UK needs the EU.  Even at a personal level, the UK Government seems to have zero political capital in Brussels and elsewhere - as witnessed to by the reaction to Boris' appointment and the lack of visitors to Downing Street. Obama warned them they would be at the back of the queue for a trade deal. Have Commonwealth leaders rallied to their side? Maybe Gove's idea for a free trade agreement with Albania was a realistic target after all.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 7th, 2016 at 05:57:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tbh that weak hand was exactly why May appointed the most prominent Brexiters to prominent positions in the various neotiating teams. Their failure to achieve anything will give her the excuse to put A50 into the slow lane (aka file and forget)

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Aug 7th, 2016 at 09:07:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We can hope. Probably never occurred to these worthies that they might be put in charge of the process. Boris will likely be the first to self destruct. Like Trump he can't help himself.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 10th, 2016 at 02:54:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK gov has zero political capital anywhere.

The vote was incredibly damaging to the image of the UK as a sophisticated and competent - if annoying and self-absorbed - international operator.

We've kept the annoyance, but the veneer of sophistication has been brutally torn off.

Meanwhile May has pissed off the Chinese - one of the main contenders for a valuable trade deal - by dragging her (expensive) heels on Hinckley. It's the right decision overall, but the timing couldn't be worse.

And now Brexiters are proudly crowing that the interest rate cut - as opposed to a promised post-Brexit rise - proves that Project Fear was a lie, and everything will work out okay in the end.

This is what decades of far-right press lies do to a country - reduce it to delusion and insanity.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Aug 7th, 2016 at 11:06:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The hinkley deal is structured terribly from a financial standpoint. The UK government can currently borrow money at negative interest rates - guaranteeing very high prices for the electricity from a new power plant in order to get private actors to finance it is just crazy. Just outright own the thing, and hire EDF to operate it - it'd be much cheaper that way.
by Thomas on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 07:04:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, given the amount of generating plant that is going to reach end of life in the near future in the UK delaying any new capacity is probably a bad idea, even if the deal is shit. The AGR's are not nearly as easy to life-extend as pwr's. It'd be better to use the ridiculous finance terms the UK currently enjoys to start more builds. Solar is never going to work out for the UK, due to latitude and a supergrid tying wind into europe just got a lot less politically viable, so the UK needs a bunch more reactors, not to delay the one that's actually in motion.
by Thomas on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 07:15:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
except that a reactor takes 10 years to bring on line and I believe our power crunch happens a lot sooner.

If the govt got behind wind we could start installing capacity within 18 months as there are cancelled but otherwise shovel ready programmes ready to roll.

We seem to be able to inflict fracking over the heads of all rational objections, but wind falls fdown at the first irrational hurdle. It makes absolutely no sense from the viewpoint of responsible governance

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 07:41:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wind needs either truly epic storage, or large storage and a grid that is continental in scale. There have been proposals for storage systems on the needed scale, but noone has ever built one - or are even planning to.

Reactors can be built rather faster than a decade - especially if you skip the step where you spend several years finding funding and just go "Gilds yield is below zero. We're paying cash", and skip the step where you spend years picking a site and go "We're going to be shutting down the old reactors. Build it next to it".

I agree that the UK government is very unlikely to grow a pair of ovaries sufficiently brassy to actually do this, but that isn't because it's impossible, it's because actually formulating industrial policies is unthinkable to the Washington consensus.

by Thomas on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 09:21:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reactors can be built rather faster than a decade

Considering that the two newest European reactors in Finland and France have been under construction for respectively 11 and 9 years I'm not sure what you base this on. Nuclear reactors are huge and highly complex installation that take a lot of time not just ot build but to ensure safe running.

With regard to wind: the current examples of Germany and Denmark (amongst others) show that a significant share of electricity production can be achieved without large problems. Not to mention that the UK already has a significant amount of storage and interconnectors to other countries.

by Anspen on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 11:08:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The danish grid only works because it is immensely tied into those of Norway and Sweden, where hydro-electricity provides huge capability for buffering supply and demand. And it is still far more dirty than either of them, because it burns huge amounts of coal. The danish government's plan to fix this isn't more wind -because that isn't really an option, but wast imports of biofuels to burn in thermal plant. This idea makes me break out in hives, because it's simply a crime against nature.

The fact that people keep holding us up as an example to follow makes me despair.

by Thomas on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 11:47:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The point is not whether or not the Danish example is perfect, it's what has been achieved in a short amount of time. The need in the UK (and many other western countries) right now is triage: the quickest way to remove as much carbon production as possible. The short turn around times and small possible builds of wind and solar make much more sense in that situation than massive plants that take decades to build. The UK of course has its own hydro storage: Scotland.
by Anspen on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 03:05:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But Denmark hasn't achieved much of anything in the realm of reducing carbon intensity. We've managed to offshore a bunch of industry but the carbon intensity of the average kwh of electricity consumed in Denmark is still sky high.

It's currently pretty much exactly the same as what has been achieved by Kenya, and half of europe is doing better.

Does anyone hold up Kenya as a paragon of energy planning?

Denmark has achieved a truly remarkable victory in the realm of PR. Everyone believes we are green as can be.

 This is, however, just wrong.

Even worse to the extent that further advances will be made, they will be made by importing a very notable percentage of the global production of forestry waste, to solve the energy needs of less than a thousand part of the population of the world.

And that too is going to be heralded as an example to follow. It drives me up the wall with frustration.

by Thomas on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 03:41:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How many Navajo's are you willing to kill to power your reactors?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 03:49:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The current kill-rate per twh for nukes is lower than all other sources of energy, and that does include mining.
And they do all have a kill rate. People fall off windmills, mining sand and iron has a predictable fatality rate, and so on.
Nuclear and renewable energy works out to a very low number - so low that I'll actually go ahead and say that distinguishing between them on this basis is probably foolish, when all the fossil sources are several orders of magnitude worse.

As a matter of preference, it would be better if we moved onto breeders, because those can run on the immense stockpiles of metal we have already dug up without further insult to the earth, but frankly using the practices of WWII weapons programs in an argument about current and future energy is just arguing in bad faith.

by Thomas on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 04:21:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So your answer is: all of them.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 04:43:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the appropriate response to this would be to post an emotionally charged image from a respiratory ailments hospital ward. The status quo is murder on an industrial scale.

But that would almost certainly not persuade, so:

Life cycle studies tell us that all sufficiently large projects involve someone dying.
 Not having power results in catastrophic mortality rates. Even short power outages kill. Nations without reliable grids have shitty, shitty life-expectancy. This is not a coincidence.

Thus, having a grid.. of any type ... is a net positive on the "lives saved" front.

But grids aren't equal. One gigawatt continuous of coal (western standards of filters, ect) kills a person every 3 days via poisoning the world.
Biomass, every 4
Oil - every 1.5 days
natural gas, every 10 days or so
solar rooftop: every 100 days (can't find the numbers for utility scale, but likely lots lower, as nearly all the deaths are installation and maintenance falls)

wind, hydro and nuke are all safer still.

This has lead me to the very reasonable position that we need to build grids that have no coal in them at all. Now. That can't be done with wind or solar currently, because we do not have the storage tech. If you want to change that, don't yell at me, become a civil engineer and work out how to store power for weeks of demand.

by Thomas on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 07:45:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A Diary on this, giving sources for Stats quoted, would be very welcome.

Personally, I am hopeful that battery technology can be improved to the point where nearly all vehicular transport can be electricity powered with sufficient capacity to facilitate overnight charging and usage and storage during the day, thus providing a large decentralised storage facility for the entire grid and helping to align the supply demand mismatches inherent in sustainable energy sources.

Development of sustainable sources on a sufficient scale to reduce retail costs might also facilitate the use of electricity for household and commercial space and building heating especially if combined with much higher insulation standards. Buildings could then also effectively become energy storage units utilising power at off-peak periods for slow release during the day.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 12:37:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That can't be done with wind or solar currently, because we do not have the storage tech. If you want to change that, don't yell at me, become a civil engineer and work out how to store power for weeks of demand.
We know how to do that.

You take a mountain, blow two holes in it - one on top and one at the bottom - and connect them with pumps and generators.

And of course, you overbuild on the generation side and use interruptible processes on the demand side for most of your load balancing.

(Oh, and this is the case irrespective of whether you want to use nukes or wind; their balancing needs are different by a factor of two, not an order of magnitude.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Aug 28th, 2016 at 06:17:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I live not more than 10KM from just such a mountain.  AFAIK it operates at c. 60% energy in/out efficiency.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 28th, 2016 at 06:38:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 29th, 2016 at 08:10:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, a common agenda could start with a common hatred of Muslims. Perhaps internal border controls to search for terrorists or something. A nuisance to the majority and a harassment of the minority. And even harsher external border controls, perhaps sharks with lasers in the seas.

Yes, it does nothing for actual problems or even perceived ones, but as long as somebody is blamed and it looks like government is doing something it's the basis for an understanding.

by fjallstrom on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 10:02:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the sort of thing I'm thinking of. And I'm not sure the photo-fascists are too fond of their people leaving their countries either - emigration tends to be viewed as a betrayal by rabid nationalists.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 10:10:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
protofacists. Photo-facists are something different.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 12:07:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm a proto-journalist myself

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 at 06:24:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All right: "common agenda", "understanding",...

What is still unclear to me is how these shared feelings vis a vis the brown hordes may translate into, say, Orban, Kiska or Duda supporting a Brexit deal that will allow the UK to close its borders to Hungarians, Slovakian or Polish people.

Nationalism is one thing; supporting another country's policy to keep your countrymen out or even expelling them is quite another. It just doesn't compute...

by Bernard on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 06:57:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not necessarily. The UK would not want to ban tourism, but restrict immigration.
Conversely, Eastern European countries (and others) would like to keep the benefits of, say, the doctors they train.

Of course, those doctors would like to be able to seek higher pay elsewhere, but it is easy to see how Hungary could welcome some restrictions of movement. Especially a regime that does not fear losing an election (and thus is not afraid of losing the middle-class vote).

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 07:10:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 
Of course, those doctors would like to be able to seek higher pay elsewhere, but it is easy to see how Hungary could welcome some restrictions of movement.
It may be "easy to see" from our post, but I would like to see the view from Hungary (paging Dodo...)
by Bernard on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 06:34:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But Hungary already forces students who have received state funding to stay in Hungary after graduating.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 07:17:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't have to be an effective policy, it just has to let May save face and oppress dark skinned people a bit.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 07:38:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't Orban and other populists east of Vienna have a face to save too?
I get your point, but what still bothers me with this line of argument is its rather "Anglo-centric" (with apologies for the dirty word) perspective. It may seem natural in the British media that such and such (insert some small continental country here) would naturally agree to our position. Real World may vary.
by Bernard on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 06:39:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Orban's was the "oppressing brown people bit".
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 07:11:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a month old but interesting nonetheless:
Theresa May takes Brexit's immigration message to eastern Europe | Politics | The Guardian
At the event in Bratislava, May spelled out that the UK's deal with the EU will have to take into account voters' views on immigration control.

However, Robert Fico, the Slovakian leader, said the "perception British voters have" of EU migration was "slightly different to how we perceive migration on the continent".

May repeated that message in Warsaw, saying the voters had sent a "very clear message that they do not want free movement to continue as it has in the past".

In response, Beata Szydło, the Polish prime minister, stressed that Poland sees the free movement of people as a key issue. "Any arrangement between the European Union and the United Kingdom in the future regarding freedom of movement is likely to be the most important part of the negotiations between both parties," she said. "It will not be easy. But I think both for Britain and the EU it is very important that this issue - one of the four freedoms of the internal market - is saved."

by Bernard on Mon Aug 29th, 2016 at 08:30:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the EU allows Brexit without Article 50, I think it would be a good sign the remaining core members will have thrown in the towel on the EU as a going concern.  Ignoring Article 50 here would set a bad precedent for protecting the EU in the face of other exits.
by rifek on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 03:52:11 PM EST
Why?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 05:17:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why a bad precedent?  Because you've just suspended a key provision of the Union.  It will get suspended again, as will others, at which point they become "treaties of convenience", which are nothing.
by rifek on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 05:26:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention that A50 is a legally enforcible part of the Lisbon Treaty and any attempt to allow a member to leave without at least formally invoking it at some stage in the process would be challenge-able before the ECJ by anybody unhappy with the deal.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 05:44:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On what basis, especially if the the exit was carried out by a new treaty?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 07:13:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A new treaty requires unanimous agreement of all member states, and quite a ew referenda. Article 50 is triggered by a member state alone and it then runs on autopilot for 2 years.

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 Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 09:13:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention the fact that any such new Treaty, if it reflects the |UK| desire to control immigration from the EU, would require the electorate in countries such as Ireland to vote in a referendum for immigration controls preventing it's citizens entering the UK (incl. N. Ireland) freely.  Given that the maintenance of a free travel area between Ireland and the UK is a core part of Ireland's negotiating position, I cannot see any Irish government even putting such a proposal to a vote.  It would be vetoed before it ever got off the ground.  

Even if the Treaty explicitly recognised the Free Travel Area between Ireland and the UK, such a vote would require Irish voters to vote in an explicitly racist way: denying the citizens of other EU member states the same rights that they expect to continue to enjoy. Good luck with that.

The central delusion of the Brexit campaign is that the free movement of citizens within the EU Single Market is somehow negotiable.  It is not, as even Norway will tell you.  BoJo has explicitly stated that he expects the final deal to include a trade-off between some access to Single Market, and some immigration controls on EU citizens.  It is not in the gift of the EU leadership to offer such a trade off insofar as free movement is enshrined in existing Treaties.

There is only one currently existing way for the UK to achieve partial access to the Single market with immigration controls, and that is via WTO rules, which involves tariffs on some products.  I haven't yet seen an analysis of how high, and on what products, those tariffs would be, and who would be disadvantaged most, given the mix of imports and exports between the UK and EU.  No doubt officials on both sides are busily doing their homework on this - as will many of the industries potentially effected.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 10th, 2016 at 09:33:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Even if the Treaty explicitly recognised the Free Travel Area between Ireland and the UK, such a vote would require Irish voters to vote in an explicitly racist way: ... Good luck with that.

LOL:

The Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland provided that children born on the island of Ireland to parents who were both foreign nationals would no longer have a constitutional right to citizenship of the Republic of Ireland.[1] It was effected by the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution Act, 2004, which was approved by referendum on 11 June 2004 and signed into law on 24 June of the same year.[2] It partially reversed changes made to the Constitution by the Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland which was passed as part of the Good Friday Agreement.[3]


...

 1° Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, a person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, who does not have, at the time of the birth of that person, at least one parent who is an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen is not entitled to Irish citizenship or nationality, unless provided for by law.
2° This section shall not apply to persons born before the date of the enactment of this section.

Of course, they won't be brown people effected by the proposed treaty, so you might be right.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Aug 10th, 2016 at 10:16:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the treaty won't create any brown people. But it might affect them.

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 Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 01:03:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
:-P
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 01:05:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the treaty won't create any brown people.

Are you sure?  I would assume such a treaty would give POCs a right royal screwing.

by rifek on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 01:23:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that WTO access is also subject to vetoes from all sorts of countries.

Whoops.

The only reasonable, sensible response is to back off the whole Brexit insanity. If that's not what happens then we're going down the bat-shit crazy rabbit hole.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Aug 10th, 2016 at 10:54:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the real question becomes which batshit-crazy rabbit hole we're going down.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Aug 10th, 2016 at 11:04:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK (and the EU) are already members of the WTO and subject to its rules absent other commitments (such as EU or EFTA membership).

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 11th, 2016 at 02:36:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WTO chief says post-Brexit trade talks must start from scratch | Business | The Guardian -
Negotiations about the shape of the UK's post-Brexit trade arrangements would have to start from scratch after a leave vote in the EU referendum, the head of the World Trade Organisation said as he admitted there had been no preliminary discussions with the UK government.

Roberto Azevêdo, the WTO director-general, said he expected any talks to be long and difficult, adding: "We haven't had any discussions about the process. We don't know what the process would be. We do know it would be a very unusual situation."

by generic on Thu Aug 11th, 2016 at 02:46:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WTO chief says post-Brexit trade talks must start from scratch | Business | The Guardian -
"Britain is a member of the WTO and will continue to be a member of the WTO. But it will be a member with no country-specific commitments. We have had no other situation like that," he said.

So what that means is anybodies guess.

by generic on Thu Aug 11th, 2016 at 02:56:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is becoming a familiar refrain, isn't it?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2016 at 03:02:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brussels rejects Boris Johnson 'pipe dream' over single market access | Politics | The Guardian

The Brexit leader, who is the favourite to succeed David Cameron as prime minister, claimed that Britain would remain a member of the EU's single market while introducing a points-based immigration system to limit the right of EU citizens to work in Britain.

British people would still be able to live, travel, study and buy homes on the continent but the same rights would not be automatically extended to EU citizens in the UK, he wrote. Britain would also be freed from sending "a substantial sum of money" to the EU budget, which he said "could" be used for the NHS.

Johnson insisted the only change - "and it will not come in any great rush - is that the UK will extricate itself from the EU's extraordinary and opaque system of legislation".

EU diplomats reacted witheringly to the idea that the UK could stay in the single market without following the rules.

"It is a pipe dream," said the EU diplomat. "You cannot have full access to the single market and not accept its rules. If we gave that kind of deal to the UK, then why not to Australia or New Zealand. It would be a free-for-all."



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 10th, 2016 at 09:36:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is over a month old, as the use of the present tense in the first sentence implies.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Aug 10th, 2016 at 09:51:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Has the UK negotiating position changed since?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 10th, 2016 at 09:56:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do they even have a negotiating position?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Aug 10th, 2016 at 10:01:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe currently it's "We're so awesome you're going give us whatever we want."
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 10th, 2016 at 11:07:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was a sop to the bloody British designed to be unusable, not a key provision of the Union. Good grief.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 07:12:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was a sop to the bloody British, and the bloody British decided to use it. So let them use 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 Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 09:12:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the UK pulls out unilaterally of the Lisbon Treaty (and other European treaties) there isn't much EU institutions can do about it.

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 11th, 2016 at 12:10:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except apply WTO tariffs on UK exports and withdraw the City passporting rights required to provide financial services within the EU...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 11th, 2016 at 02:39:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Norway could block UK attempt to access EU single market

Norway could block the UK if it tries to rejoin the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the small club of nations that has access to the EU single market without joining the EU itself.

Senior Norwegian government members are to hold talks with David Davis, the UK minister responsible for overseeing the UK exit from the EU, in the next few weeks.

---snip

Norway's European affairs minister, Elisabeth Vik Aspaker, reflecting a growing debate in the country following Brexit, told the Aftenposten newspaper: "It's not certain that it would be a good idea to let a big country into this organisation. It would shift the balance, which is not necessarily in Norway's interests."

She also confirmed that the UK could only join if there was unanimous agreement, thereby providing Norway with a veto. She added she did not know the UK's plans.

EEA membership requires access to the four EU freedoms: free movement of persons, services, goods and capital. Norway, in need of extra labour, does not oppose free movement, though the subject of asylum seekers and refugees is controversial.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 9th, 2016 at 06:27:59 PM EST
Hi there Frank. Exit the common market was one of purposes of the Leave campaign. This is clearly stated in their propaganda: regain powers to conduct trade agreements independently and outside the EU framework, regain an autonomous seat at the WTO.

Even if access to EFTA comes to be possible, this will clearly go against the popular vote and mark a notable political defeat to those that campaigned for Leave. It would naturally be a political victory for the EU, whom would still regulate much of the UK's internal and external markets, while no longer being bothered by its representatives.

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 11th, 2016 at 12:23:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That may be where UKIP policy and the Tory dominated main Leave campaign differed.  The official position of the UK Government - insofar as it can be divined - seems to be to retain access to the Single Market.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 11th, 2016 at 02:33:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A random example from Twitter:



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 12th, 2016 at 06:34:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who cares? There's no way to satisfy that crowd, so why bother trying?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Aug 12th, 2016 at 09:44:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A lot of things were said by a lot of people, and much was disowned later.  I don't think voters had a clear idea of the distinctions between EU, Single Market etc.

However the position you describe has the merit of relative simplicity from a negotiation point of you - if not in its actual administration when compared to "partial Single market access with some immigration controls" which no one has yet defined.

It appears that although both the EU and UK are currently members of the WTO, that does not necessarily mean there are a default set of WTO rules which will automatically apply to both when the UK leaves.

the UK will also still require a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) (of regulatory bodies)  with the EU post Brexit - similar to what the US and other third parties have - as otherwise trade will grind to a halt with goods stuck in customs pending checks that they conform to EU or UK regulations.

I don't know which tariffs will apply to what goods under WTO rules,  whether these have to be negotiated from scratch or are already enshrined in WTO Treaties, how complex they are, and whether existing systems for third party trade can be adapted to cover EU/EU trade as well. But this could be beyond the current resources of customs and excise systems on both sides (but particularly the UK, as EU trade is much greater as a proportion of the total.

Surprisingly, I have seen no think tank or economic articles which delve into the complexities of the above, or which estimate what the economic and trading impacts will be.

In a sense, Sterling devaluation has already imposed a default tariff on EU to UK exports, and has therefore started the process of encouraging EU exporters to look to other markets if they want to retain their margins...

But the UK economy is heavily dependent on the City - and I cannot see why the EU would continue to grant it passporting rights  from outside the EU AND the Single Market without requiring a huge UK contribution at least on a par with Norway, and quite possibly greater.

Leave campaigners are in for a big shock if they think this will be granted lightly. (So are some of my former business associates in the UK who are very bright people but utterly clueless on all of this).

Without that, the UK economy simply implodes...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 12th, 2016 at 10:00:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From this distance, I only heard about this half-in/half-out option after the result. As you say, this is mostly a pink unicorn that has very little chance of ever materialising. Up until the referendum the discourse was all about fully leaving the EU. As pointed above, this is easily identifiable in the documents produced by the Leave campaign.

Moreover, what sense does it make to leave Parliament and the Council but still keep complying with EU regulation and EU law?

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 Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 07:11:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You persist in believing that there is any sense to any of this at all.

It appears that not even the leaders of Leave understood a damn thing about how the EU or the UK works, the campaign was a tissue of lies, distortions and racist dog-whistling and the promises nonsense and entirely insincere.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 09:44:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that, one there, there will be a fascinating book that teases out the strands of schoolboy rivalry, racism, insincerity, self-delusion and England-uber-alles Empire nostalgia that fuelled the Leave campaign.

And then there were the various screw ups that characterized the Remain campaign. There was a programme on BBC a couple of weeks back and the revelation of the failings of the Remain campaign was quite shcoking. I knew they'd got the tone wrong, but not realised they were quite that utterly clueless

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 12:10:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that's one day, not one there

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 12:11:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More likely than a book, a Monty Python or Mr. Bean sketch.

Black Mirror already did the pig-fucking in their pilot episode. The UK has the talent to pull this off.

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 Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 01:17:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The purpose of the Leave campaign was to unseat Cameron.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2016 at 02:48:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it was about much more than that.  It was a kick in the face for the entire London City/Political establishment which has defunded the regions and all the services they are dependent on. It marks a return to class politics in the UK after all the Blairite "third way" piffle. This is partly why I think that Corbyn is actually quite well placed to benefit from the turmoil I expect for the next few years.  But he has to get rid of most of his PLP first...

This is looking more and more like a revolution rather than the usual ebb and flow of a two party political system.  Getting rid of Cameron was only the first act.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 11th, 2016 at 03:32:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You seem to be talking about the Leave vote.

Colman is talking about the Leave campaign. I greatly doubt that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was engaging in class politics on behalf of the defunded masses.

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Aug 11th, 2016 at 05:20:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boris didn't expect to win. He was only trying to set himself up as the next Tory leader for whenever his "friend" Cameron retired.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 11th, 2016 at 05:31:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that not what Colman said?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Aug 11th, 2016 at 09:35:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think Boris was trying to push Cameron out immediately, merely to position himself as "leader-in-waiting".  There is a difference!  

Mind you we are all trying to speculate as to what have been in Boris' mind... which might have varied from day to day!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 12th, 2016 at 09:40:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexit could be pushed back until 2019: report - DW.COM

Ministers have warned that the UK could take longer to leave the EU than expected, even as May prepares to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would begin the process.

The prime minister has been expected to begin the negotiations in early 2017. However, the Sunday Times reported that some within the government are suggesting May might wait until autumn of that year to start the two-year process, effectively pushing back the UK's departure from the EU until late 2019.

by Bernard on Sun Aug 14th, 2016 at 07:01:39 PM EST
Someone on Twitter pointed out that the date for Brexit is accelerating into the future. (What does "Brexit" sound like red(blue?)-shifted?)
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Aug 14th, 2016 at 07:34:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What does "prepares to trigger" mean, if anything?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Aug 14th, 2016 at 10:35:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They don't want to be caught flat-footed when the European Council starts to apply article 50, so they are doing their homework on an EU they don't understand.

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 Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 12:59:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How can the European Council start to apply article 50? Is the European Council leaving? That would be something of a relief.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 01:04:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When Brexit triggers Art. 50 there will be a start of negotiations. Also the 2-year countdown to the treaties ceasing to apply in the UK.

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 Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 01:14:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They could say that they regard the referendum as being an invocation of Article 50. It would be fun watching some Remain politicians being forced to take the side of the Council against their own government
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 02:08:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They could say that a non-binding fancy opinion poll is an invocation of Article 50 but they'd rapidly crash and burn.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 02:10:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Working out how to avoid actually triggering it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 01:19:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
te advantage of 2019 is that it pushes the consequences into the next parliament.

But I reckon they're gonna go for 2050, which is the usual stated date for anything the UK govt doesn't want to do

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 11:58:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The real strategy now is to figure out they can saddle Labour (with or without Corbyn) actually owning the whole process. I have no doubt Corbyn was sincere in his luke warm endorsement of the Remain campaign and also sincere in his belief that democracy now requires that the decision of the people be honoured.

However the Tories harbour no such delusions.  If Brexit has to happen, it must be somehow made to happen on Labour's watch, so that the Tories can claim it was all a Corbynista plot and that the subsequent fiasco is all Corbyn's fault.  So, by definition, it can't happen during the lifetime of this parliament.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 01:52:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds about right. Except Corbyn won't be the next Prime Minister unless there's a snap election.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 15th, 2016 at 02:05:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why not actually? Sure he would be pretty old but I don't see how he can leave in the next few years even if he can beat the plotters. There is a lot of personal loyalty in the activist base being built through adversity right now. I wouldn't want to risk that. The best time to find a successor might be halve way through his term.
by generic on Thu Aug 18th, 2016 at 05:57:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is an alternative view on how Brexit could unfold without Article 50:

Could a `reverse Greenland' arrangement keep Scotland and Northern Ireland in the EU?

The Brexit referendum results in England and Wales contrasted sharply with those in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Gibraltar. Taking these differences into account - and combining them with prospects of Scottish independence, renewed troubles in Northern Ireland, and potentially severe isolation in Gibraltar - the UK could refrain from activating Article 50. Instead, negotiations could aim at a territorial exemption of England and Wales from UK membership.

The UK would still be a member state - voting rights reasonably reduced to match the population of Scotland and Northern Ireland. The question of who would represent this member state, on what mandate, and following what procedures of coordination would have to be solved within the UK. Possibly, the role of Scottish ministers and bureaucrats from Northern Ireland would have to be central.

Another opinion issued more or less in the same sense in this video.

It might just be the case that it all boils down to a negotiation for a new UK Constitution, and not exactly for an exit 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 Tue Aug 16th, 2016 at 07:00:31 AM EST
I don't quite see how that simplifies things. England and Wales will still need to figure out trading agreements and so on.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 16th, 2016 at 10:28:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It simplifies things because the trade agreement aimed at by England + Wales is naturally different from the full access to the common market aimed by Scotland.

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 Wed Aug 17th, 2016 at 01:25:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And at the same time the constitution of the UK is being rewritten. Easy!
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2016 at 01:38:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you say so.

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 Wed Aug 17th, 2016 at 01:44:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that "Easy" sounds like a leave campaign promise to me

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Aug 17th, 2016 at 04:50:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was an homage.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2016 at 05:21:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hah !!!

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Aug 17th, 2016 at 05:59:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem isn't just that Emgland and Wales would have a new trading regime with the EU, it is that they would have to negotiate 100+ trading agreements with third party countries from scratch, to replace those agreements those countries currently have with the EU.  And all the while having subcontracted the experience and skills of doing so to the EU for the past 40 years.

The Leave campaign seemed to think this was a marvellous opportunity to negotiate far more advantageous trading deals for the UK.  But why should, say, China, give the UK a better trading deal than it gives to the EU?  Wouldn't it be far more likely that China would seek to rebalance its terms of trade with the UK in its favour, now that it is dealing with a far smaller trading partner?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 17th, 2016 at 05:24:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, all those who think we're going to have our own super-fantastic deals are in the Daniel Hannan/ukip area of delusion, the whole "England still has an empire blah blah, england's green unpleasant land gawd save the queen a third of the globe is rightfully pink."

They honestly think that the Commonwealth will come riding to the rescue, eager to resume the subordinate position of ancient times.

In reality it means that the US is gonna come riding in with TTiP doubple plus ungood and a straight "assume the position cos this is gonna hurt you far more than it's gonna hurt us" kinda attitude. And our buffons in charge will grab it like a drowning sailor and thank them even as the lead weight drags them down

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Aug 17th, 2016 at 06:06:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is an argument for allowing an independent Scotland to effectively "inherit" the UK's EU membership, and not have to apply for membership from scratch.  After all Scotland is fully compliant with all EU Treaties as part of the UK now. This possibility was previously mentioned here.

However there is no sense in which Scotland, N. Ireland and Gibraltar could be said to constitute a new entity named UK. Gibraltar is an oversees territory, not an integral part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland would object to N. Ireland being granted quasi- statehood in it's own right.  It's either part of the UK or part of a United Ireland; N.I. Independence did have some political support in N. Ireland at one time, but it would be a totally unviable entity. Spain would also object to avoid copper-fastening the position of Gibraltar, and setting a precedent for Catalonia.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 17th, 2016 at 08:30:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, like every other approach it is subject to assorted  probably insurmountable obstacles. Isn't it fun?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2016 at 08:55:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
reality is crashing in hard and fast on all the leavers who actually have to do the thing. Of course, there's still ukip and certain parts of the Tory party, ie Daniel Hannan and a few other loons, who think that they're too rich to have to care about consequences of leaving the EU cos England still has an empire blah blah, england's green unpleasant land gawd save the queen. But I think even people like Boris and Michael Gove are having a crash course in clue-gathering.

The way things are going I'm beginning to suspect the Tory party are just gonna quietly bury the result.

The party conference in October will be revealing. If they announce talks about talks, they're gonna punt.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Aug 17th, 2016 at 11:39:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The reason that works for the Atlantic dependencies is that they are small enough that they fall under the umbrella of "quaint but materially insignificant local customs" (like our licorice and France's unpasteurized cheese and Sweden's chewing tobacco).

As fun as it would be to relocate the British parliament from Westminster to Holyrood, a Greenland type arrangement is not going to work with a dependency of 50 million rather than 50 thousand people.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Aug 28th, 2016 at 06:39:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PN: You don't chew snus, you put the "moist powder tobacco" (Wikipedia) under the upper lip.

Until you get lip cancer, that is. But less increase in mortality then with smoking.

by fjallstrom on Sun Aug 28th, 2016 at 10:02:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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