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Brexit and free trade

by Frank Schnittger Sat Sep 17th, 2016 at 11:59:12 AM EST

For anyone still unsure of what complexities await the UK as it tries to negotiate a good Brexit agreement, Nick Clegg and Peter Sutherland, the founding Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, have produced a good outline. In summary, they find that:


  1. A free trade deal with the European Union will be impossible to agree within two years
  2. That, therefore, an interim deal will need to be agreed to avoid a dangerous and extended period of uncertainty for British companies
  3. And that a new trade deal will result in significantly more red tape for British companies exporting to the EU as British exporters will also have to comply with complex `rules of origin' which require UK exporters to obtain proof of origin certificates from their national customs authorities and are estimated to increase trade cost by four and 15 per cent.

And the above is only achievable with a great deal of good will and cooperation on the part of all 28 current members of the EU. Their 8 page report can be found here and is well worth a read in its own right.  Although primarily intended to describe the difficulties of negotiating a good Brexit deal which does as little harm as possible to the UK economy, it is also a systematic and detailed refutation of just about every claim made by the Leave campaign and by the UK Government ministers now leading the UK Brexit negotiating team.  In particular it describes the disastrous economic effects of the "hard Brexit" which will result if some sort of interim arrangements can't be agreed by the UK and all 27 remaining members of the EU on the expiration of the post A50 two year negotiating period.


Display:
Charles Grant was writing something similar with regards to the "interim" agreement:

The European Commission has taken a hard line by saying that work on the FTA should not start until the UK has left the EU. This would extend the period of uncertainty afflicting the UK economy. But Germany and several member-states suggest that the UK be allowed to work on the FTA concurrently with the divorce settlement. This softer line will probably prevail, but the FTA would still take many more years to negotiate and ratify than the Article 50 deal.

That gap requires a third negotiation for an interim deal to provide temporary cover to the British economy. Anand Menon and Damian Chalmers suggest that Britain should be able to repeal EU laws and shun European Court of Justice rulings, but face the prospect of countermeasures from the EU. They want to limit free movement only to those with job offers, excluding families of EU migrants unless the wage-earner's income passes a certain level. Britain would stop paying into the EU budget but make direct payments to poorer member-states. However some of the 27 would find such an interim deal too soft--they don't want the exit process to be seen as painless--and there will be much haggling over the details.

http://www.cer.org.uk/in-the-press/six-brexit-deals-theresa-may-must-strike

by Prospero on Sat Sep 17th, 2016 at 05:06:46 PM EST
  1. Time will pass (Duh! Tough one.)

  2. "Cooler heads will prevail" ... always a favorite.

  3. Economic shit will drip-drip-drip hit the fan.

  4. Another Brexit vote opportunity will be given to the Brits and they will vote ... TA DAAAAA ... to stay in the EU. All this bullshit for absolutely NOTHING!

Welcome to Britain, run by the Royalty and the wealthy Tories. Not even a hint of democracy, and the US Empire is following suit.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 17th, 2016 at 07:44:22 PM EST
they won't offer another referendum. The first was to prevent the Tory party splitting and a second will be refused for exactly the same reason.

But yes, the waste product will be re-distributed by the air-conditioning. Liberally.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 04:20:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only way I can see that happening is if Theresa May finds enough excuses to delay triggering A50 long enough ("Don't have an agreed negotiating position yet") so that the two year negotiating period coincides with the next general election. The next general election will then effectively become a plebiscite on the outcome of the negotiations to date. The electorate should, by that stage, be a lot clearer on what the precise implications of Brexit actually are and might vote accordingly.

The trouble with that scenario is that the 48% remain voters currently only have the Lib Bems and the Scots Nationalists to vote for given that Labour has formally adopted a Leave policy. The only way I could see Remain parties winning that election would be if Labour formally switched to the Remain side when confronted with the outcome of the negotiations.

And even if Remain parties actually did win that election, they would then have to persuade the EU to allow them to rescind the A50 application, something not formally provided for in A50 itself, and therefore, presumably, at the discretion of the EU Council. It would be a huge irony if the EU then turned around and said No - you can bugger off anyway. We've had enough of your shenanigans...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 05:09:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tbh, even without A50, the EU is organising its future without the UK and imagining better days.

Another year of this and I think the EU will begin passing legislation very much not to the UK's liking, the sort of thing we'd be vetoing if we were in the room anymore.

Even if we turned around before 2020 and said it was all a silly mistake, I very much doubt we'd get the same deal we have now cos they'd have to swallow everything agreed.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 05:20:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll still be vetoing it, I assume, since the UK will still be members with full voting rights.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 05:52:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought UK had declared that it will not participate in Council meetings?

Hard to veto if one is not there...

by fjallstrom on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 06:50:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I missed that one. Where did they say that?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 06:53:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And have they actually missed any meetings? Other than the informal ones they weren't invited to?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 07:54:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't believe so.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 09:09:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was stated in the aftermath of the referendum. I believe there was also reporting about staffers who run the day-to-day business being called home.

Here is what I find now:
"The UK remains a full member of the EU until it leaves, although it will not take part in all European Council meetings."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-36746087

But I did not remember the qualifier "all".

by fjallstrom on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 09:58:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But there may well be a raft of stuff ready to go when/if the UK actually leaves.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 05:54:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well its probably pretty much a given that the Thatcher rebate is gone. Originally given just for two years while the UK recovered from a recession now maintained out of petulance and to keep the UK as members. strangely due to the inventive mathematics of the Brexit camp, their bus side savings figures could only be reached if the EU carried on paying the rebate after the UK left.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 07:11:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder if the Commission would have been quite as robust in pursuing Apple if the Brexit vote hadn't happened. Ireland is now in a very isolated position in appealing that decision.  So things are changing even without A50 being triggered.  The EU simply doesn't care what the UK thinks any more, and the UK will be loath to veto anything while it is still hoping to get a good Brexit deal. Basically the UK has lost almost all goodwill and leverage.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 06:11:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK is reaping what Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown and Major have sown. Not to mention BoJo (heard of him recently?) and his ilk. All goodwill for the UK has evaporated as the May government is starting to find out.
by Bernard on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 07:00:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the Apple ruling is unrelated.

I'm not sure what the intrigue is there, but one story that fits the facts is that French and German oligarchs want the EU to go after transfer pricing scams in a selective manner to knock out competition or (incl.) as a vehicle for plundering wealth currently residing in peripheral states.

Another story that fits the facts is that the oligarchs are willing to tolerate the EU going after transfer pricing scams as long as the enforcement is sufficiently selective. But I'm not sure what the motive would be then. Holdover EU deep state reasserting itself against hostile transnationals? A vestigial survival instinct among the EU bureaucracy reminding them that they need at least some populist scalps to wave in front of the electorate?

The only thing you can be sure of is that it is not being driven by an activist commissioner who has had an attack of public service ethos. Vestager is either a pro-oligarch ideologue or an empty suit, depending on where you put her on the malice vs. stupidity scale.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 08:46:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But she's smart.

Evidence of this : each time she hammers a US-based multinational, she nails a Euro-big biz very soon after. After Apple, currently she's going after Engie (better known as GDF Suez), for transfer pricing funny business based in Luxemburg. Other Vestager pairings : Fiat and Starbucks; Google and Gazprom. And this week she's in the US, engaging with Elizabeth Warren on tax policy.

Call me a simpleton (go ahead), but in the absence of any actual evidence of oligarch arse-kissing, I'm inclined to see her as an activist Commissionner, delivering some desperately-needed good PR and thus backed to the hilt by Juncker and the rest.

And just maybe, stimulating enough public pressure that the EU parliament and governments may one day have to address the urgent need for an EU tax policy.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Sep 21st, 2016 at 06:04:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm going by her tenure in Danish politics, where she was the most bankster-friendly hack in a party of bankster-friendly hacks.

Of course she might have had a change of heart, or a change of perspective. Or she might actually believe all the neoclassical fairie tales about free markets. I admit that I had discounted that possibility at first, because to within a rounding error of everyone who talks like a neoclassical is a crook. But I guess it is possible.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Sep 21st, 2016 at 08:42:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 Hard brexit looks more and more likely:
EU states set to veto any Brexit deal threatening free movement
Four central European countries are prepared to veto any Brexit deal agreed between the UK and the European Union that restricts their citizens' rights to live and work in Britain, the prime minister of Slovakia has said.

In a stark reminder of the challenge Britain faces at the negotiating table, Robert Fico said Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia - known as the Visegrad, or V4, group - would not hesitate to block any future trade accord that threatened the key EU principle of free movement of workers.

And, according to Van Rompuy, key talks will not start before the end of 2017:
Key Brexit talks unlikely to begin until late 2017, says Van Rompuy

Britain and the EU are unlikely to get started in earnest on the "political amputation" of Brexit until the end of next year, after federal elections in Germany, Herman Van Rompuy, a former president of the European council has said.

Van Rompuy told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that, while initial negotiations on the broad outline of a deal could begin as soon as the British government triggered article 50, the more difficult negotiation phase would have to wait until late 2017.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat Sep 17th, 2016 at 10:46:24 PM EST
Especially as there are many senior political figures beginning to organise to push for it, but inside and outside the Cabinet.

Theresa May still hasn't shown her hand with regard to what she thinks brexit will look like, but she may yet choose party unity over the well-being of the country.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 04:22:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thus fallowing in a long national tradition that resembles, on a national level, a phenomenon analog to what, on a personal level has been called a "repetition complex.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 12:48:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also:
EU countries in scramble to `steal' UK-based research centres
Romano Prodi, who led the commission between 1999 and 2004, told the Observer that EU negotiators were being put under pressure to make decisions on transferring key centres, which are both major employers and hubs of expertise. He revealed details of the behind-the-scenes manoeuvres as the leaders of two major organisations voiced their fears over the future.

The European medicines agency's executive director, Guido Rasi, has written to former health minister Norman Lamb about his "concerns" over the "repercussions of so-called Brexit on science and medical research". He added that his agency's future - and that of his 890 employees - was in the balance and depended "on the future relationship between the UK and the EU".

Professor Ian Chapman, the newly appointed chief executive of the UK nuclear fusion programme at the Culham centre in Oxfordshire, which hosts the EU's flagship research project called the Joint European Torus - the largest magnetic fusion experiment in the world - said that, while the commission had been "positive" in talks about the medium term, there was a lack of clarity over the future.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 11:12:53 AM EST
One interesting comment:
"We are currently putting together an application for funding for a major europe-wide health-related IT project. Potential savings of many millions to national Health providers..
we have been advised "For the time better not to include the UK. No-one in London or Brussels knows what is going to happen"
That's what they meant by "sovereignty"?


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 02:13:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can report the same. We are not including UK partners in applications to European funding at the moment, it will most likely go wrong at some point or other. Even if we have good partners there.

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 Sep 27th, 2016 at 11:31:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can see that being rolled into CERN. That way the funding streams remain

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 04:24:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't the Swiss having trouble as well?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 04:39:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Switzerland is in a different framework, it does not share the EU research budget. There is an agreement by which Swiss research institutions can take part in European consortia, but with a dedicated budget provided directly by the Swiss National Fund. This will all come an halt next February if in the meantime there is no backtrack on the immigration referendum of 2014.

In anticipation, the federal government announced a research budget of 6 thousand million CHF for the 2017-2020 period to keep the research critical mass from leaving. This is likely the highest research investment per capita in the world.

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 Sep 27th, 2016 at 11:38:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see that happening, but if it did the faction fights within the merged organization would be hilarious.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 08:50:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC - Visegrad Group of EU states 'could veto Brexit deal'

A group of Central European EU members known as the Visegrad Four is ready to veto any Brexit deal that would limit people's right to work in the UK, Slovakian PM Robert Fico says.

In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Mr Fico said Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia would be uncompromising in negotiations.

His comments come a day after the EU's first major meeting without the UK.

Brexit, though not formally discussed, overshadowed the Bratislava summit.

At an end of the summit on Friday, Mr Fico said that he and other Central European leaders whose citizens make up much of the EU migrant population in Britain would not let those people become "second class citizens".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 11:29:31 AM EST
The UK and EU labour long and hard over an exit agreement which involves significant compromises on all sides.  Then some polish workers in the UK get attacked or abused at a Leave rally. The Visigrad four decided to veto any exit deal so long as their citizens are treated as second class citizens and the whole deal goes belly up - leading to a hard exit.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 05:17:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"polish workers in the UK get attacked or abused"

Already happened:
Six teenage boys arrested over death of Polish man in Essex

As I have repeatedly argued, freedom to travel and relocate to work in the UK is a red line for many Eastern Europe states, so the V4 reaction comes as no surprise to anyone who's been paying attention.

As Colman wrote: "stop free movement and full single market access" are "mutually incompatible aspirations".

by Bernard on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 07:14:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know, but I was commenting on how easy it would be to derail a painstakingly put together a Brexit agreement if something similar were to happen around the time of the EU Council vote on such an agreement.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 07:36:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ah no, its not the exit. thats done on Qualified Majority Voting. So a majority of countries say OK the agreement is all sorted. but trade deals cant be part of that negotiation, they have to be done seperately, once the country has completed article 50 negotiations. Once you're out then you get to make a new trade deal, and that needs unanimity, so every country with a grudge gets to derail 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 Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 08:24:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good thing that all British PM since Thatcher have been careful not to grow any grudge among their EU partners then...
A Pandora box has been opened, and not only in the UK. Next year's elections in France and Germany could make things even worse.
by Bernard on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 08:38:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are suggestions that if Article 50 is not activated by February, then it will be Impossible to activate it till next October due to the scheduling of French and German electoral process.  as calling it during these elections would be seen as an interference in those countries national elections.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 07:30:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems like wishful thinking to me. I'd say both French and German establishments would welcome some noise from the Brits in their election campaign since they are both threatened by anti-EU groups and the UK makes the whole sentiment look bad.
by generic on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 08:54:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Visigrad 4 already go some way towards constituting a blocking majority on the Council.

The rules are defined in the Lisbon Treaty:
A Qualified Majority of countries: 55%, comprising at least 15 of them, if acting on a proposal from the Commission or from the High Representative, or else 72%, and of countries and 65% of total population.

A blocking minority requires--in addition to not meeting one of the two conditions above--that at least 4 countries (or, if not all countries participate in the vote, the minimum number of countries representing more than 35% of the population of the participating countries, plus one country) vote against the proposal.

See EU Council voting calculator here

Thus if all eastern European countries (the target of the UK's anti immigration measures) plus say Spain (Gibraltar) and Greece vote against a Brexit agreement, it is defeated.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 09:22:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leave Means Leave will oppose any deal with the EU short of a `hard Brexit'
Conservative Eurosceptics have set up a new lobby group to pressure Theresa May to take Britain out of the European single market and end free movement of people. The group, Leave Means Leave, will oppose any deal with the EU short of a "hard Brexit", arguing that any compromise would be a betrayal of June's referendum vote.

The group includes former ministers Dominic Raab, Owen Patterson and Gerard Howarth, along with veteran Eurosceptic Peter Bone. Richard Tice, a property tycoon who helped to bankroll the pro-Brexit campaign group leave.eu, will chair Leave Means Leave



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 09:02:29 PM EST
depends who joins it. Right now the prominent names are loonies and nutters, the deranged wing of the tory party that is the overlap with ukip.

May's problem is that she only has a majority of 12, so it depends on how brave she's feeling

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 09:28:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another difficult problem will be how to deal with European security after Trump wins (hate to say it, but he will), and the US begins to fade out of Nato. It's no longer politically feasible to ask the American people to pay for the EU's defense when they have over 500 million people and tons of money, and Russia has long since ceased to be any kind of a threat, so there are going to be some major headaches for the Europeans in this regard. The UK could find itself outside both the American and EU military umbrellas.  
by mikep on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 05:44:39 AM EST
I disagree with you abot the US election, but that's a discussion for another day.

However, it is not that europe doesn't spend enough on defense, mostly it does. It's just that, in comparison with US paranoid proligacy, nobody spends anything.

Also,the UK's problem is not that it doesn't spend money on defence, it's that the money it does spend is directed against the USSR which, the last time I looked, hasn't existed since 1992. I mean, £100 Bn for Trident in this day and age by a country that's enduring budget austerity is simply potty.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 06:36:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And how do you know what Trump will do when he wins? Remember the last time we had a racist who promised to keep American out of war? His name was Woodrow Wilson....

And if Russia has really "ceased" to be a threat, what is all this defense needed for?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 06:47:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what's it needed for?

No politician ever got punished at the ballot box for hyping up threats. then they actually have to enact policy based on the threat they claimed existed

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 07:00:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember W Bush running on being opposed to foreign adventures, in particular "nation building".
by fjallstrom on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 07:06:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"nation building"
True enough: he didn't do any of that.
by Bernard on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 07:51:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
not even in the US, iirc

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 08:30:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, Wilson was involved in the creation of ten new nation states in Europe alone out of what had been before WW I, and transferred territories betwen various other territories - though how wisely remains controversial.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 01:14:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU countries has a larger military than Russia. If the US would give up its empire NATO functions would most likely be taken over by EU countries or the EU (common security and all that).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_military_and_paramilitary_personnel

by fjallstrom on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 07:10:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, one of the main reasons holding back a common European defense agenda is the US insistence of roping everybody into NATO, under US leadership.
(and then complaining that Europeans rely too much on US protection and don't do enough for their own defense. Damned if you don't and dammed if you do; a common problem when dealing with overlords)
by Bernard on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 07:56:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though I'm not sure how much use all that hardware and manpower is. A lot of the recent purchases, the F35, British and French aircraft carriers, even the Eurofighter look like Turkeys.

Does anyone currently living in the West have experience with fighting a modern army? Russia - Georgia is really the only occasion that comes to mind.

by generic on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 09:05:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU has enough troops to defend itself, so does Russia. Neither has enough to conquer and certainly not to occupy the other. Both has enough to bomb smaller nations.

Besides, all war scenarios between EU and Russia ends up with MAD.

If the US left NATO (which I don't think it would even under Trump) very little would change, except the US loses influence and arms sales.

by fjallstrom on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 09:28:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There has not been a full-on clash of modern military forces since the Korean War, for obvious reasons.  Nobody knows how the hardware is actually going to work against real opponents, on either side. I think this is particualarly true of things like stealth, electronic warfare, and missile tech which have only been tested against incredibly unequal opponents.

European forces may be MORE unready than Russian or US forces, but nobody is really sure of anything.

by Zwackus on Sat Sep 24th, 2016 at 12:51:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We know how the most spectacular failures would play out, because a lot of this stuff failed even against the third-rate powers it's been used against.

Serbia managed to shoot down a stealth bomber in the Kosova war, and they are, uh, not the Imperial Sardaukar.

The counter-missiles will not work; they don't even work in a gratuitously favorable test environment. Which means the missiles will work. But they are terror weapons; they don't win wars by themselves.

Tanks still work, but only with proper infantry screens. Not so different from traditional doctrine, but the penalties for screwing up are much higher in an age of effective shoulder-launched anti-tank weapons. See, e.g. Kobane or the abortive IDF sally into South Lebanon.

Aircraft carriers die instantly to submarines and shore-based missiles and aircraft. Manned aircraft dies instantly to surface-based missiles and drones. Drone aircraft vs. drone aircraft and SAM would probably be decided by attrition.

And the nukes would come out within the first week, and that's the end of the Northern Hemisphere as an industrial civilization.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 24th, 2016 at 03:49:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Sat Sep 24th, 2016 at 05:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agree except for this part: Manned aircraft dies instantly to surface-based missiles and drones

Where does this come from? As far as I know drones currently have no interesting capacities that would make them aircraft killer and frankly they are the first thing I would expect to fail. Especially if communication lines become wobbly.

by generic on Sat Sep 24th, 2016 at 10:44:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Attrition and numbers. For the same investment of industrial capacity and raw materials, you can put more armed drones in the sky than the other guy can put hardpoints on their manned jets. And drones roll off assembly lines. Pilots require training.

Killing power has developed faster than countermeasures for decades, so the name of the game is small, cheap, single-use platforms, preferably unmanned. Because a lot of your platforms are going to die, no matter what technology you use.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 24th, 2016 at 11:03:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a bit hypothetical, but it's possible to imagine clouds of drones protecting areas, perhaps modified with some explosives, rather like flying mines.

Drones can be ludicrously cheap compared to manned aircraft, so sheer force of numbers is trivial. They're completely disposable, and they're easy to network.

A drone cloud would also be very hard to destroy. I doubt conventional air-to-air missiles would do much damage, even if they could aim and arm correctly. A smart cloud could disperse to allow a missile through, and regroup automatically.

If that's too unconventional, everyone already seems to be working on remote control of fighters and bombers. The advantages of not having a pilot are obvious - higher Gs in turns, lower costs, disposability, "suicide" runs, and so on.

Auomated air forces are probably ten years away. But the days of man-flown superfighters like the F-35 are already over.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 24th, 2016 at 08:49:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drone swarms aren't hypothetical.  The only barrier to engineering such a system is a couple of million of R&D funding and convincing the various Air Force generals to go off and play tiddlywinks and let the people who know what they are doing do it.    

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Sep 25th, 2016 at 04:47:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's no technical or engineering reason preventing drones from carrying and launching air-to-air missiles.  All the bits and pieces needed were worked-out decades ago.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Sep 25th, 2016 at 04:52:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The thing is that there is no engineering reason why the west can't build a solid combat aircraft either. And since drones are the new hot thing I fully expect the same process to do its work. Feature bloat into unusability to justify the shameless pricetag.
by generic on Mon Sep 26th, 2016 at 08:09:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But drones are not "the new hot thing." Air force officers don't like them, because (a) they are cheap, so the scope for corruption is more limited, even when you egregiously gold-plate them, and (b) drone operators are essentially interchangeable, while pilots are highly trained specialists. So it hits them on both the size of their paycheck and the level of competition for it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Sep 26th, 2016 at 05:47:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, once the JSF program finally is admitted to have failed there will be a scramble to replace it. I'm sure someone will think of drones since conventional fighter planes will be a hard sell by then. And if you try to design a stealth, horizontal liftoff capable mach 3 drone it won't be this much cheaper than a normal plane.
But point taken.
by generic on Tue Sep 27th, 2016 at 08:21:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You assume that the Joint Strike Fighter will ever be declared a failure. Even the F-104 "Flying Coffin" has an absolutely fawning Wikipedia article, blaming its rubbish performance on operator error and undertrained pilots rather than the fact that it was a rubbish airplane.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 27th, 2016 at 05:18:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A shame that Bob Calvert isn't about to musically comment on it

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Sep 27th, 2016 at 06:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lockheed F-104 Starfighter -
The safety record of the F-104 Starfighter became high-profile news, especially in Germany, in the mid-1960s. In West Germany it came to be nicknamed Witwenmacher ("The Widowmaker"). Some operators lost a large proportion of their aircraft through accidents, although the accident rate varied widely depending on the user and operating conditions; the German Air Force lost about 30% of aircraft in accidents over its operating career,[66] and Canada lost 46% of its F-104s (110 of 235).[67] The Spanish Air Force, however, lost none.[68][69]

That's a great article. For some half of all aircraft fell from the sky. For others none. Record is mixed.

by generic on Tue Sep 27th, 2016 at 08:08:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Makes you wonder how often the Spanish would take them out of the hangar and try to fly around in them.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 27th, 2016 at 08:52:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well from this article I can only conclude that the professionalism of the Spanish ground crews and their strict adherence to pilot training protocols made the difference.
by generic on Tue Sep 27th, 2016 at 09:43:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
according to this poor weather and lower than average training time were a major factor with German crashes. plus the way the Germans were trying to use the aircraft pushed at all the problems mentioned in here

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Sep 28th, 2016 at 12:05:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chuck Yaeger's autobiography suggests that the plane had certain flight characteristics that made it a bit of a beast for inexperienced pilots.

It was pitifully easy to put into an end over end spin if you raised the nose at bit too much, especially when landing or near stall speed, which meant that you were in trouble if you had an engine problem as the damn thing wouldn't glide with its small wings.

engine problems were likely because there was a necessary constriction in the airframe leading to the likelihood of the engine running too hot causing mechanical problems.

Yaegaer himself liked the plane but he was one of the most experienced and competent pilots of all time. That said, even he crashed one or two. He flew one up beyond 100,000 ft (30 km) with rocket assist but it went into a flat spin at the top  and he had to bail out on the way down (the final scene in The Right Stuff

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Sep 28th, 2016 at 06:59:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes the discussion in the Dkos article suggests that its design was fine for highly skilled pilots, however for those with less skill things weren't quite as rosy for the reasons you mention German pilots due to Northern europe weather only mnaged an average of 13 hours of flight per month, compared to a NATO average of 20 preventing people from reaching the necessary skill levels. Landing speed was incredibly high due to the size and shape of the wings, also in landing the wings were artificially fattened by bleeding air at the leading edge to bring the stall speed down on landing to something tolerable. if either side failed the aircraft would roll rapidly. Cockpit placement was at such a position in relation to the planes center of gravity that in a flat spin it was almost impossible to reach up to the ejector seat handle, and in early versions the ejector seat rockets would not clear the rear tail fin, so an alternative downwards ejection method was constructed. needless to say ejection below 1000 feet in such an arrangement with such a stall speed was considered a fatal event

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Sep 28th, 2016 at 02:12:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I gather from this, that it was a fair-weather aircraft... lucky the Russians never attacked on a rainy day

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Sep 28th, 2016 at 08:54:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think so, good job northern europe had such cloud free days

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 Sep 29th, 2016 at 03:40:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it is a pity Robert Calvert is no longer around to sing about the F-35. His record about the F-104G tells a very different story from those commercials at Wikipaedia. In his perspective Lockheed sold a big in a poke to the Germans.



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 Sep 28th, 2016 at 07:17:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Four years ago the Swedish MIC concluded that drones with air-to-air ability (unmanned super-JAS as they call it) will not be here until 2030.

In Swedish:

Försvaret: Obemannat Super-Jas först efter 2030 | Ny Teknik

Men den första uppgiften, att bedriva luftförsvar, kan militära drönare (obemannade flygplan) i dag inte utföra. De kan däremot attackera mål på marken och till sjöss och spana.

- Obemannade operativa system som kan flyga bedöms inte klara alla tre roller i luften förrän efter 2030, säger Dennis Gyllensporre.

NyTeknik is the engineering paper in Sweden.

by fjallstrom on Wed Sep 28th, 2016 at 07:11:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me put it this way: the Swedish MIC needs to stop doing the same thing, in the same way, and expecting a different result.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Sep 28th, 2016 at 03:39:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are doing new things, based on the same model: the government pays. Any actual weapons appear to be a coincidence.

Just the other year they finished their part in Neuron, the French-Swedish-Swiss-Spanish-Italian-Greek unmanned bomber that resulted in one single bomber. It appears to be halfway between UAV and AAV in that it is not directly controlled, but takes directions and then flies itself according to the directions.

According to Swedish authorities, it was never meant to result in any actual planes, but was purely 500 million euros spent for technological development. Apparently Spain, Italy and Greece also had money to spare in the years 2005-2015. Or maybe the Troika just didn't care as long as it did not go to anyone poor.

by fjallstrom on Thu Sep 29th, 2016 at 11:39:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the hypothetical scenario of a drone vs drone war without escalation to nuclear war, would it really be decided by attrition?

If you have two powers with drone technology and presumably high skills in communicating with drones, would they not arms-race to hack the other sides communications with the drones until one side wins the hacking war and the other sides drones all flies into the ground or something?

by fjallstrom on Wed Sep 28th, 2016 at 07:06:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends on if the drones are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (AAV.)  UAVs are waldos and are thus dependent on external Command, Information, and Control (CIC) channels that can be attacked.  AAVs CIC themselves and while they can be 'spoofed' through manipulation of their sensory array(s) they cannot be hacked.

UAVs exist.  AAVs could exist if the right people got the necessary funding.

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

by ATinNM on Wed Sep 28th, 2016 at 03:10:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With military money and a disregard for convenience this isn't necessarily true: we can build pretty damn reliable software and hardware, we just don't normally bother.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 28th, 2016 at 03:18:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Short of suborning the hardware at the manufacturing stage, I don't see it.

It should be possible to have the drones talk to the control tower using only one-time pads generated as part of the pre-flight preparation (maybe the video feed would be encrypted less securely, but certainly the command channel doesn't need that big a pad). It should also be possible to airgap the control tower hard enough that you can't take over the control tower without compromising the physical location. (And if you can do that, you can also just blow it up.)

We're talking about an enclosed military facility, not a commercial operation where the computers need to talk to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who might potentially be a prospective customer.

I could see something like that happen early in the war, while the belligerents were still being sloppy from decades of fighting people who can't shoot back. But I don't see any Enigma/Bletchley Park type hacker arms race.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Sep 28th, 2016 at 09:51:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe that's trivial but how would you deal with packetloss with one time pads? Try if the message makes sense with the next few thousand keys?
by generic on Wed Sep 28th, 2016 at 10:55:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are protocols for dealing with this sort of thing.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 29th, 2016 at 10:10:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not even that would be necessary to step up the ability of the combined EU militaries (note that I have avoided the term "EU army" :) )

Michel Barnier published a paper last year, on the importance of "pooling and sharing" and moving along the PESCO route for the joint defence capabilities at the EU level.


http://ec.europa.eu/epsc/pdf/publications/strategic_note_issue_4.pdf

...
Collectively, Europe is the world's second largest military spender. But it is far from being the second largest military power - a clear consequence of inefficiency in spending and a lack of interoperability.
...
Because of the current economic situation in Europe, increasing spending on defence can only go so far. To get more "bang for the buck", the EU should tap into the potential which lies in integrating its capabilities. Savings that could be made from integrating European defence are significant: an estimated €600 million could be saved from the sharing of infantry vehicles and €500 million from having a collective system of certification of ammunition. Another study estimates that the average cost of deploying a European soldier on missions abroad is €310,000 higher than that of a US soldier, meaning that common and fully interoperable European armed forces could lead to potential savings of €20.6 billion per year. Overall, the lack of coordinated spending means that, "at a cost of more than half of that of the US, Europeans obtain only a tenth of the capacity".
...

by Prospero on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 07:19:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One shouldn't overestimate the power of the presidency. Suppose Trump wins and really wants to extract the US from NATO commitments. How would he go about it? There'd be massive resistance from the Pentagon and Congress. Do you seriously think Trump has the patience to win in bureaucratic infighting?
Suppose the current US - Russia overtures are genuine. A few days before the agreement was to go into effect the airforce blew up a Syrian army base.
by generic on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 07:57:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They just did.
U.S.-led coalition jets bombed a Syrian army position at Jebel Tharda near Deir al-Zor airport on Saturday, killing dozens of Syrian soldiers, Russia and a war monitor said, paving the way for Islamic State to briefly overrun it.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 09:01:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite. And the most troubling interpretation is that someone in the Pentergon runs their own foreign policy.
by generic on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 09:59:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crikey, I never thought of it like that. I must be getting naive in my old age

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 10:28:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I must be getting naive in my old age

I noticed that...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 11:22:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As Dylan sang "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now"

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 11:34:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another difficult problem will be how to deal with European security after Trump wins

Why, Donald Trump of course. He's already admitted that he has no interest in either foreign or domestic affairs (those  minor concerns will be left to Pence) but will focus on "making America great again!". But what does that mean to a self-consumed liar? Very simple. He'll look at every situation as an opportunity for him to get richer, more powerful, with gaudier TRUMP monuments, etc. European security? Who cares. What's in it for him? If he teams up with Putin to sack Europe, what's his personal cut? Can he get a huge TRUMP banner running down the length of the Eiffel Tower?  (Hi Jerome! We haven't forgotten you.) Bottom line? All predictions that don't include Donald's ego are way off.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 05:30:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU leaders are actively worried about a Trump presidency, and they are fast-tracking an EU defense HQ (Germany wants it to be in Brussels apparently), and probably operational forces within a couple of years, based on the founder members no doubt.
British defence minister Michael Fallon has said the UK would veto the creation of EU military capabilities so long as it remained a member of the bloc.

Military comedy. Perhaps the UK will be forced to remain in the EU to prevent it forming an alternative to NATO.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 07:05:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's pretty bad message from the Brits and good part of it is that it's uninformed.

Eventual PESCO structure must ensure that it works around NATO and not undercut it. It's all in the treaties:

Lisbon Treaty, Protocol 10, Article 2:


Member States participating in permanent structured cooperation shall undertake to:
...
(d) work together to ensure that they take the necessary measures to make good, including through multinational approaches, and without prejudice to undertakings in this regard within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the shortfalls perceived in the framework of the "Capability Development Mechanism";
by Prospero on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 07:29:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Naked Capitalism
The only elements that differentiate Theresa May's latest move from a Monty Python skit is her lack of a pith helmet and safari jacket.

The British Prime Minister, per the Financial Times, plans to visit with top executives of major Wall Street firms to "canvass" them on "how Britain should structure its departure from the EU to reassure them that Brexit will not damage their UK business."

Mind you, she is not making this kiss-the-ring trip to New York to "reassure" the financial behemoths. That would mean the UK has a plan and is making the rounds to sell it and perhaps make cosmetic changes around the margins to make them feel important. Nor is it "consult," which is diplo-speak for, "We'll listen to your concerns but are making no commitment as to how much if any well take under advisement." No, "canvass" means they are a valued constituency she intends to win over and is seeking their input for real.

This "canvass" is yet more proof of how out of its depth the UK government is in handling the supposedly still on Brexit. There's a decent likelihood that May is running to the US because her team is short on staff and ideas and those clever conniving Americans might have some useful ideas up their sleeves. After all, they don't want to go through the bother of getting more licenses and moving some staff to the Continent or Dublin. It's much simpler to keep everything in London, particularly since top New York execs might face a tour of duty there, and the housing, shopping and schools are much more to their liking. Mind you, most financial services would remain in London with a Brexit, but Euroclearing will require a restructuring (that will have to be done out of an EU entity).

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 09:51:42 AM EST
Mind you, most financial services would remain in London with a Brexit...

Given the on-going and rapid development of Fin-Tech and the cost differences between London and, say, Prague I seriously doubt it.

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

by ATinNM on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 03:40:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it sounds desperate to me. Blackadder casting around for a cunning plan to make going over the top less suicidal

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 03:51:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It really depends how the network effects shake out, and good luck predicting that. How far down the food chain do executives want to keep physically nearby?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 21st, 2016 at 08:55:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Significant' risk to UK firms if passporting rights lost after Brexit
A fresh warning about the impact Brexit would have on the City has been issued after a powerful committee of MPs published data showing that almost 5,500 UK firms rely on corporate "passports" to conduct business across the EU.

...

The Conservative MP published data provided by the Financial Conduct Authority showing 5,476 UK-registered firms hold at least one passport to do business in another EU or European Economic Area member state. Just over 8,000 companies authorised in other EU states use these rules to do business in the UK - which could be seen as a sign that the passporting rules are also important to non-UK firms.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 09:58:08 PM EST
Interesting data: while around 45% of UK exports go to the rest of the EU, on average 4.3% of the rest of EU exports go to the UK. Much less if you discount Ireland.


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Sep 21st, 2016 at 08:15:39 AM EST
but....but....we're the essential trading partner !!!!

Don't you read any brexit literature?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Sep 21st, 2016 at 12:03:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He says that 45% of UK exports go to the rest of the EU. That sounds pretty essential to me. How will the EU survive without British <fill in the gap; I can't>?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 21st, 2016 at 12:58:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
12% of those exports are motor vehicles, whose production will no doubt slowly move over to the other side of the trade barrier as plants come up for new model replacement. and 8% of the  exports are pharmaceuticals which no doubt largely moves to the continent with the  medicines agency.

https://www.uktradeinfo.com/Statistics/OverseasTradeStatistics/Pages/Commodities.aspx

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 at 05:36:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whisky?

Of course the solution is easy enough - scottish indepence.

by IM on Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 at 06:38:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sir Alan Duncan: Boris Johnson didn't want Brexit win - BBC News
Boris Johnson only campaigned to leave the EU to set himself up as the next Conservative leader, Sir Alan Duncan said the day before June's referendum.

Sir Alan said he believed the now foreign secretary, who is his current boss, wanted to lose narrowly and be the "heir apparent" to David Cameron.

The foreign minister's comments were made in a BBC Two documentary.

Meanwhile Mr Johnson has told the BBC the formal process of leaving the EU would "probably" begin early in 2017.

by fjallstrom on Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 at 10:40:01 AM EST
I think everyone had a pretty good idea that Boris was only supporting brexit to advance his career. Unfortunately, from his viewpoint, he succeeded too well and won the damn thing. Which completely bugered him.

Probably the only silver lining of the whole sorry affair.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 at 05:55:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK aims to trigger Brexit process in early 2017, says Boris Johnson
The UK government is likely to trigger article 50 and begin the process of the country's formal departure from the European Union early next year, Boris Johnson has said.

In a rare hint of the government's concrete plans for Brexit, the foreign secretary told Sky News that ministers would also set out the principles for departure at that time, and suggested the exit procedure could take less than the scheduled two years.

However, Downing Street pointedly declined to back up Johnson's contention. Theresa May has previously made clear her frustration with ministers expressing views on how a Brexit deal or process might look.

Best comment about stupidity of the brexiters: "we should have an Australian points based procreation system"

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 at 11:52:19 AM EST
Chatter seems to indicate this is more a sign of the infighting going on in the government rather than telling us anything about their plans.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 at 01:21:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, I think that some people are beginning to get a reality check and wondering how they can quietly ditch the whole sorry saga.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 at 06:09:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're trapped: May knows this is madness, but there's no way she's brave or strong enough to face down the hard brexiteers in the Tory party,  Labour are too busy infighting and endorsing faux democracy to resist.

So I'm guessing the hardest possible tumble out of the EU is a strong possibility.

Maybe the Lords will save us all.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 at 10:14:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thats not necessarily true, after all she was the Home secretary that started down the Met on several occasions and The Police Federation too, something no home secretary has dared to do in the preceding century

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 26th, 2016 at 04:52:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Johnson is hardly the person May will tell any of her plans. If she has any plans yet.

Watching May hanging the major brexiters out to dry is one of the darkly humorous aspects of the whole thing.

by IM on Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 at 06:33:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know I've been saying similar things, but I really hope that that is what she's doing

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 at 07:45:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I continue to see no evidence that May is that smart, or that calculating.

She has the strategic skills of a middle manager. She can do a bit of office politics, although her political skills are strictly limited to staying out of disputes when possible, and micromanaging otherwise.

She has some pet projects she'd quite like to promote.

But she has absolutely no clue about steering a company from the boardroom - especially not when there's an iceberg dead ahead.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 24th, 2016 at 08:55:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The office politics made her PM, so she seems to an skilled tactican. And saddling the leading brexiters with responsibility for Brexit was a clever move.

Strategy - who knows. How would you handle Brexit? How would I?

Because of toclever by half Cameron the iceberg has already been hit.

by IM on Mon Sep 26th, 2016 at 08:30:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with Titanic comparisons is that they mislead you into thinking that there is only one iceberg.....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 26th, 2016 at 09:08:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
David Allen Green identifies 18, there are more in comments, and no doubt not a few lurking under the water.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 26th, 2016 at 09:52:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The good thing about the ones lurking under the water is that Boris can't sail intentionally into them.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 27th, 2016 at 07:48:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Public rifts over Brexit show split in government, departure from convention - MLex

British diplomats are quietly urging European business leaders to ignore the statements of senior UK government ministers over Brexit, MLex has learned.

Only statements issued by the cabinet committee on Brexit, chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May herself, reflect UK policy, businesses have been told.

Companies with ties to the UK are clamoring for certainty over the country's plans once it gives up EU membership. But they have found only radio silence from May's office, and a cacophony of signals from her ministers.

Diplomats are reassuring foreign investors that ministers airing divergent views on Brexit through British newspapers is a normal part of the policymaking process.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 26th, 2016 at 04:56:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
which is only confirmation that Johnson, Fox and Davis aren't the real negotiating team, but are merely out front to demonstrate that they're clueless and can be publicly humiliated as a warning to the Tory benches to stay in line.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 26th, 2016 at 06:08:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Schäuble offers to send @BorisJohnson Lisbon Treaty + explain in English after Foreign Sec says Single Mkt + Free movement were seperate

— Joe Lynam BBC Biz (@BBC_Joe_Lynam) September 23, 2016



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 at 05:51:17 PM EST
by Bernard on Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 at 08:44:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They'd probably have sent him the ladybird book of Europe (children's book) if it was available.

I think that they are really sending Theresa May the message that they think the man is an unimprovable buffoon and could she please replace him with a grown up.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 24th, 2016 at 07:34:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Article 50 litigation: Interested Parties' skeleton argument published - Monckton Chambers

Today, the People's Challenge Interested Parties have publicly released their skeleton argument for the Article 50 TEU litigation to be heard in the Divisional Court on 13 and 17 October 2016. The People's Challenge Interested Parties are the first to publish their arguments so that the general public can see the arguments in this historic and important piece of litigation.

The skeleton argument for the substantive hearing can be read here.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 26th, 2016 at 05:10:13 PM EST
This, from the Labour Party conference yesterday, seems to have slipped under the radar :

Seems like a slam-dunk, water-tight vote-winner to me. Now just watch them f**k it up...

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

by eurogreen on Wed Sep 28th, 2016 at 09:06:24 PM EST
The problem is that for it to work, the rest of EU needs to agree that article 50 activations can be withdrawn. Which would be an excellent question for talks about talks, but we are not having those.
by fjallstrom on Thu Sep 29th, 2016 at 10:21:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Make no mistake, Britain is not a world-beating economy - FT Martin Wolf
Failings include low investment, inadequate basic education and the innumeracy of the elites

British economic policymakers confront big challenges. They have to manage departure from the EU with the minimum damage. They also need to make the UK economy far more dynamic. The latter cannot be achieved if they do not abandon the myth that Britain is already an economic success, albeit one choked by the dead hand of an over-regulated European economy.

Simon Tilford of the Centre for European Reform provides a far more realistic picture in his Brexit Britain. Measured at purchasing power parity, the rise in the UK's gross domestic product per head between 2000 and 2015 was smaller than in Germany, Spain and France. Over this period, the UK outperformed only Italy, among the EU's largest pre-2000 members. In 2015, the UK's GDP per head was lower relative to the average of the 15 pre-2000 EU members than in 2000: its GDP per head was a mere ninth within this group.

The UK also has the highest income inequality among these countries. Furthermore, notes Mr Tilford, UK real wages fell by 10 per cent between 2008 and 2014, before a tiny uptick in 2015, while German and French real wages rose. In 2015, only London and the South-East had higher GDP per head than the average of the EU-15 countries. Other UK regions were at or below that average. In all, it is hardly surprising so many UK voters feel left behind, as shown in the EU referendum.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Sep 29th, 2016 at 02:15:37 PM EST
[No Shit, Sherlock!]

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 29th, 2016 at 08:22:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nissan demands Brexit compensation for new UK investment
Remarks made by Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's chief executive, reflect growing concern among global carmakers that Britain could be heading towards a so-called "hard Brexit", which would leave them paying tariffs to export UK-assembled cars to EU markets.

Nissan, which builds about a third of Britain's total car output at its plant in Sunderland, is due to decide early next year on where to build its next Qashqai sport utility vehicle.

...
Ghosn's ultimatum echoes concerns from fellow Japanese carmaker Toyota which said the imposition of duties as part of a Brexit deal would make running its English plant "very, very tough".



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Sep 30th, 2016 at 09:12:18 AM EST
Well, it's lucky that the EU hasn't signed the TTIP treaty. Because Ghosn could actually litigate, rather than simply blackmail, when the UK government changes the trading environment.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sat Oct 1st, 2016 at 08:21:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... of course, it Ghosn gets his promise of compensation from May before exiting the EU, she will be prosecuted for state aid...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sat Oct 1st, 2016 at 08:27:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian interviewed some bullish Nissan workers saying that the company was just trying to blackmail the government and get some free money.

They did find one man who voted to remain:

Ghosn's threats are not empty, he insisted. "I do believe Nissan would go if they don't get assurances from the government. The business in Sunderland is very modular. Everything can be put on the back of a wagon and shopped to Spain. They are a business trying to make profit. At the end of the day we are just a small cog in a very big machine."

They also spoke to a Unite rep at the factory, who said that more people would have voted remain if the company had explicitly said, before the vote, that they would move production out of the UK.
by Gag Halfrunt on Sun Oct 2nd, 2016 at 10:24:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It probably never occured to Nissan that its workers would be so politically illiterate that they'd vote brexit

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 2nd, 2016 at 06:00:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leaving the European Union would cost British consumers 9 billion pounds ($13.2 billion) in annual additional import tariffs, World Trade Organization chief Roberto Azevedo said in an interview published by the Financial Times on Wednesday.

Britain's exports would be also burdened with 5.5 billion pounds of new tariffs in overseas markets, the paper said, and leaving the EU would require a full reboot of Britain's trade relations, akin to joining the WTO from scratch.

That would mean renegotiating the terms of trade with 161 WTO members, and losing the low-tariff or tariff-free access to 58 countries covered by 36 EU trade agreements.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Sep 30th, 2016 at 09:55:13 AM EST
I forgot to post the link:
WTO sees Brexit costing UK billions in trade tariffs: FT

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Sep 30th, 2016 at 10:28:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could Brexit lead to comeback for pounds, ounces and yards? - BBC News
Not giving an inch, going the extra mile, entering the final furlong, piling on the pounds and doing the hard yards - the English language is rich with phrases derived from the units British people use to measure distances, sizes and quantities.

Known as imperial measures - because they were defined in law in the early 19th Century and spread across the British Empire - these units have a place in our collective vocabulary and history, but could they be about to make a comeback in every day commercial use following the vote to leave the EU?

Although steps towards metrication began nearly a decade before the UK joined the EU in 1973, the gradual adoption of a French measurement system has become synonymous with European integration in the eyes of many and Brexit a priceless opportunity to inch away from it.

For the International System of Units is a French measurement system ...
by Bernard on Sat Oct 1st, 2016 at 10:24:54 AM EST
It is interesting to note that Jeremy Corbyn was among those who opposed compulsory metrication in 1998...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat Oct 1st, 2016 at 10:49:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Been wondering about that for a while. In the US there was a drive to metrication in the 1960s and 70s, but then it failed. The only reason it didn't in the UK is EU membership.

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 Sat Oct 1st, 2016 at 11:59:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sciences and technology industries in general are all metric for about two decades now. Including NASA (read The Martian), and its suppliers who learned the hard way.
by Bernard on Sat Oct 1st, 2016 at 01:14:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody in the UK has been taught about it really if they are under 50, any idea that imperial will all make a comeback should be a fantasy,

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 1st, 2016 at 10:35:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The USGS uses the metric system. I seem to remember that they were using it before the standardisation of the metre, and therefore they use one that is a big different from the rest of the world, but this may not matter in most cases.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Oct 1st, 2016 at 02:18:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pounds, yes! I hope they bring back shillings too. I always liked shillings. And threepences.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sat Oct 1st, 2016 at 08:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember florins and farthings, penny gobstoppers and two bob coins.
Tuppence ha'penny for a cuppa. Sixpence for greasy chips.

'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 Oct 2nd, 2016 at 03:10:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The British government is terrified that Brexit is going to be an absolute mess
Whitehall, which is recruiting over 500 new civil servants to ease the task of negotiating Brexit, is worried that Britain's departure from the 28-nation bloc could be disastrous, according to the Times.


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat Oct 1st, 2016 at 05:30:18 PM EST
Daily Mash - Can we please hurry up and commit economic suicide? ask Brexit Tories  
PRO-Brexit Tories have begged Theresa May to trigger the device that would blow Britain's economic brains out.

Right wingers are exasperated that Britain is still functioning and want out as soon as possible so the country can die an honourable death.

Bill McKay, chairman of the Conservative pressure group Suicide Means Suicide said: "Every week Britain stays in the EU is another week in which we're paying an imaginary £350 million to Brussels which could go to the NHS, except that it wouldn't, even if that wasn't a made-up figure. It is insane."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 1st, 2016 at 10:31:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolute mess seems baked-in.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Oct 2nd, 2016 at 11:04:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain just got its first concrete sign that Brexit will destroy the economy
Markit's flash PMI readings for the UK's economy showed that composite output fell to its lowest level since March 2009, during the tail end of the global financial crisis.

Here is the scoreboard:

Services PMI -- 47.4, down from 52.3 in June and at an 87-month low. The figure was well below the 49.2 forecast.

Manufacturing PMI -- 49.1, a 44-month low, and well below the expected 50 reading.

Composite PMI -- 47.7, a drop from 52.4 in June, and at an 87-month low.

Speaking about the data, Markit's chief economist, Chris Williamson, said (emphasis ours):

"July saw a dramatic deterioration in the economy, with business activity slumping at the fastest rate since the height of the global financial crisis in early-2009.

"The downturn, whether manifesting itself in order book cancellations, a lack of new orders or the postponement or halting of projects, was most commonly attributed in one way or another to 'Brexit.'"



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat Oct 1st, 2016 at 10:38:50 PM EST
We have the Tory party conference coming this week, May will have to give something to the Brexit faction. according to the Murdoch papers this is a suggested new law that will transfer all  EU law over to having a UK base (a grand repeal act) then the UK can remov EU powers at its leisure.

Legal commentators are wetting themselves over the naivete of this approach

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 1st, 2016 at 10:41:52 PM EST
Stay calm, Brexit-worriers: Liam Fox has a plan to sell `innovative British jams and marmalade'
Yes, Liam Fox has disclosed details of an audacious new idea to protect our economic fortunes, shutting down claims that Brexiteers had no plan at all for the referendum aftermath.

France needs high quality, innovative British jam, everyone - and we're going to sell it to them.

(link)

One small, er, pickle: France is the world's second largest exporter of jam (after Turkey), and a good part of it seems to end up by the good people of Britain.


by Bernard on Tue Oct 4th, 2016 at 07:29:43 AM EST
Don't worry. The tariffs will keep the boring French jam out, and the English will be stuck with the innovative ones.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Oct 4th, 2016 at 07:48:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, UK can export Marmite to France...



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 6th, 2016 at 12:51:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for keeping this thread going.  I've been away travelling with v. limit Wifi access and suffering form Dehli Belly for the past couple of weeks. Also, I am using a public library for wifi atm.

Wasn't Theresa May wonderful at the Tory Conference!  What a great success she is going to make of Brexit.  The Tories truly excel at reinventing themselves and selling the UK's anaemic economic performance as outstanding.

Meanwhile the poor Europeans just get on with .. making things...and stuff like that.  That will never work.

Given that the UK seems to electing to go for the Hard Brexit option of no Single Market access, I can see the post A50 talks just taking a few weeks.  After all, what is there left to talk about if you are going to reintroduce customs and immigration controls?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 4th, 2016 at 01:11:29 PM EST
I see the Indian air has done you good.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 4th, 2016 at 01:53:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wants I got over the Dehli Belly and the heavy cold I got from the aircon. This diary marks my first attempt at returning to the world of rational thought!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 7th, 2016 at 09:59:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome back.

But you're a bit late. We gave up rational thought last week.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 7th, 2016 at 03:35:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the obvious antipathy to immigration which, to a considerable extent, drove the brexit vote, I'm not sure what options she had.

Any chance of a sensible negotiated access to the single market evaporates the moment you control immigration. And I can't see the tory party surviving without immigration control.

The saying is that "if you break it, you bought it". So they've bought it. Now they're going to really smash it to bits

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 5th, 2016 at 05:14:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess this belongs here:

Britain will be fastest growing G7 economy this year, says IMF | Business | The Guardian

The International Monetary Fund has predicted the UK will be the fastest growing of the G7 leading industrial countries this year and accepted that its prediction of a post-Brexit-vote financial crash has proved to be overly pessimistic.

Of course, 1.8% growth did nott use to be something to brag about.

by fjallstrom on Wed Oct 5th, 2016 at 08:33:29 AM EST

No coherent Brexit outcome for Ireland Ex Justice minister (rightly) describes May & 3 Beexiteers as delusional  https://t.co/OF5ZqqtzAx

— (((Martin McKee))) (@martinmckee) October 6, 2016



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 Oct 6th, 2016 at 09:09:52 AM EST
Thanks. I have quoted and discussed Alan Shatter's comments in Brexit means Break-up.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 6th, 2016 at 10:24:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Government bars foreign academics from advising on Brexit
Leading foreign academics acting as expert advisers to the UK government have been told they will not be asked to contribute to any government analysis and reports on Brexit because they are not British nationals.


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 7th, 2016 at 01:38:19 PM EST
Should't they allow input only from native-born UK citizens?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Oct 7th, 2016 at 02:09:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you referring to:

Boris Johnson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Johnson was born on 19 June 1964 at a hospital on Manhattan's Upper East Side in New York City

by Bernard on Fri Oct 7th, 2016 at 06:36:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A natural born citizen unlike that Kenyan Obama!

Don't see the problem here.

by IM on Sat Oct 8th, 2016 at 02:25:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then the US should not elect a president that is indebted 100s million$ to Deutsche Bank and Russian oligarchs.
by das monde on Sat Oct 8th, 2016 at 07:50:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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