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Leo Varadkar Slams UK on Brexit

by Frank Schnittger Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 10:33:12 AM EST

Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney once famously characterised the polite Irish society approach to difficult or awkward topics as "whatever you say, say nothing" and Irish politicians have, in the main, practised that down to a fine art. Even sports coaches and players are quick to praise their opponents, lest any derogatory comments be pinned on the opposing dressing-room walls as motivational material for the battle ahead. "They think you're shite" the opposition coach would say: "Just look at what they said about you", pointing to the offending article pinned to the wall. "Now prove them wrong!".

One of the reasons Leo Varadkar stood out from a pack of fairly mediocre ministers to win the Fine Gael leadership and prime ministership was his willingness to buck the trend and come out with the occasional, usually well calibrated and orchestrated "outspoken comment" to demonstrate a fresh and open approach to politics. He would only be saying, of course, what many had been saying quietly for quite some time, but couldn't quite bring themselves to say publicly, for fear of causing offence...

Now he's gone done it again with Brexit: Defiant Varadkar tells British: we won't design Brexit border for you. Taoiseach says `if anyone should be angry, it's us.'

"What we're not going to do is to design a border for the Brexiteers because they're the ones who want a border. It's up to them to say what it is, say how it would work and first of all convince their own people, their own voters that this is actually a good idea," Mr Varadkar said.

Mr Varadkar said there was a political border between the Republic and Northern Ireland, but not an economic one.

"As far as this Government is concerned there shouldn't be an economic border. We don't want one," he said.

"It's the UK, it's Britain that has decided to leave and if they want to put forward smart solutions, technological solutions for borders of the future and all of that that's up to them.

"We're not going to be doing that work for them because we don't think there should be an economic border at all. That is our position. It is our position in negotiations with the British Government and it's the very clear position that we have when we engage with the task force that is negotiating on our behalf with the UK."

Mr Varadkar said an economic border would not be in the interests of the Republic, Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom, "and we're not going to be helping them to design some sort of border that we don't believe should exist in the first place".

---<snip>---

Meanwhile, asked if he was frustrated with the British approach to Brexit talks, Mr Varadkar said: "If anyone should be angry, it's us, quite frankly."

"We have an agreement. We signed up to the single European Act. We joined the EC alongside the United Kingdom. We have a Good Friday Agreement and part of the Good Friday Agreement...talks about working together and continuing to do so within the context of the EU."



Now that the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) holds the whip hand over the Conservative government, they have not been slow to flex their muscles. Criticising suggestions that the border could be moved into the Irish sea to facilitate customs checks at air and sea ports, DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said a border at sea plan was "utter madness". Varadkar was only backing up his Foreign Minister (and leadership opponent) Hugh Coveney, who had said:

"The objectives of protecting the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts and the gains of the peace process including avoiding a hard border are shared by all sides."

Mr Coveney told RTÉ's later he didn't agree with Mr Donaldson and denied that his efforts were "damaging" the relationship between Ireland and the UK. "I am a friend of Britain. I went to university there. I have friends there. We have to be honest with each other. Enda Kenny said this is a political matter not a technical matter."

Mr Coveney said that Britain had made its democratic choice to leave and "the onus is now on them" to ensure that they don't do any damage to Ireland.

He dismissed Mr Donaldson's assertion that a technological solution was possible in relation to the border. "The border is 500k long with 400 crossing points. It won't be possible to put cameras on all of them. I don't think that's the approach to take.

While the Irish government deny that the above exchanges mark any change in policy towards Brexit, there is no denying the change of tone. The Irish government has lost patience with it's UK counterpart, and what it sees as a cavalier and unserious approach to the risks that Brexit poses to peace and prosperity on the island. They don't believe the UK government has given any serious thought or priority to the issues and are not about to do their homework for them. Being lectured by the DUP on what can and can't happen was the last straw.

The reality is that any re-erection of a hard border on the island of Ireland is political poison for the Fine Gael led Government and a political godsend for Sinn Fein. It will cause huge upset to border communities and a lot of damage to the Irish economy both North and south. There is no way an Irish government is going to take ownership of the consequences. If the DUP want Brexit as much as they say they do, then they had better be prepared to pay a price, and that price will have to include an acceptance that N. Ireland won't simply be an integral part of the UK for customs and immigration control purposes.

What the Irish government is signalling is that it will not simply green-light a Brexit agreement that includes a re-enactment of border controls on the Island. It is up to the UK government to manage DUP expectations and attitudes in that regard. The Irish Government will not risk a re-creation of sectarian tensions by declaring open war on the DUP. That would simply lead to a re-entrenchment of defensive sectarian attitudes. There is also no point in giving the DUP motivational material to put on their canvassing cards and electoral posters. The DUP would wear any Irish government criticism as a badge of honour to show off to their loyalist supporters. Whatever proposal ultimately emerges will have to be sold to the DUP as a British led one, but one that is acceptable to the Irish Government.

In this regard, the recent UK Government decision that it will look for a "transition period" of up to three years post Brexit where existing arrangement will more or less apply is an interesting one. No where in the extensive British media coverage of the issue have I seen an acknowledgement that any such extension of the A50 period would require the unanimous, not weighted majority, agreement of all EU27 members. The UK government may yet have to decide what it needs and wants more: DUP support or a Brexit extension. It won't get both if it is still talking about rebuilding border controls within the island of Ireland.

Display:
Varadkar's comments on Brexit are a sharp message to London. Analysis: Taoiseach's extraordinary outburst signifies a distinct change of mood...
Varadkar's rocket is the most forthright statement of the Irish Government's position since the Brexit vote. It also marks a significant shift away from the essentially collaborative stance adopted by the Irish towards the British since the referendum. It will give relations between Dublin and London a jolt of the type not seen for many years.

But Varadkar's intervention is only a public outburst of a private frustration with the British that has been growing in Irish Government circles since last year.

A combination of Westminster's lack of clarity about what the UK wants from Brexit, as well as a growing trepidation in Dublin about the consequences of the hardening British stance on Brexit has led to the first cooling of relations between the two governments in decades.

And while relations between the two governments, both institutionally and personally, remain comparatively good, there is a growing chasm on Brexit.

Most people in the Irish Government believe that Ireland, North and South, is just not a priority for the UK. Looking at the behaviour of the British government since the referendum, it's difficult to quibble with that judgment.

That, more than anything, is what Varadkar's extraordinary intervention on Friday was about.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 12:09:30 PM EST
British government rules out moving Border to Irish Sea after Brexit
The British government has ruled out moving the Border to the Irish Sea after Brexit by imposing customs checks between Northern Ireland and Britain. The department for exiting the European Union said that, although finding a solution for the Border was a top priority, moving controls to ports and airports in the North was out of the question.
---<snip>---

The future of the Border has emerged as the point of strongest disagreement between the British and Irish governments over Brexit, with Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney expressing scepticism about the capacity of technology to ensure that customs controls would be frictionless. Mr Coveney met Brexit secretary David Davis in London earlier this month and the two men had an exchange which was described as "blunt and frank".

A few days later, Mr Davis told the House of Lords EU committee that the change of personnel at the top of the Irish Government had "slightly stymied" technical work that had started on making customs controls on the Border as unobtrusive as possible.

"I saw Mr Coveney, the new foreign secretary, the other day, and we started that discussion again, as it were, from scratch," he said.

EU diplomatic sources told The Irish Times on Friday that the Government did not explicitly propose moving the Border to the Irish Sea at a recent EU summit. British officials are aware, however, that the Government's favoured option is to extend the EU customs union to include Northern Ireland, effectively moving the Border to the Irish Sea.

The proposal is unacceptable to the DUP, on whose 10 votes at Westminster the Conservative government depends for its survival. The DUP's leader in the Commons, Nigel Dodds, on Friday described the idea as untimely and unhelpful and made clear that his party would block it.

"The DUP will not tolerate a Border on the Irish Sea after Brexit that makes it more difficult to live, work and travel between different parts of the United Kingdom. The prime minister has already reiterated this. At Westminster we will continue to use the influence of our 10 MPs to ensure that respect for the integrity of the UK remains at the core of the negotiations process," he said.

So the two parties have now formally rejected each other's preferred option and some fudge will be required if a Brexit agreement is to gain Irish government support. I cannot see that happening while the Conservatives are dependent on DUP support and so the question in my diary is amplified: which do the UK government want more - a Brexit deal including a transitional period or continued DUP support. My guess is the Conservatives will cut and run for another general election once a Brexit deal is struck making continued DUP support redundant.

However if the Labour party opposes whatever Brexit deal is struck (on the grounds that it is less advantageous to the UK than what it currently has under EU membership) - then the Labour party will probably win the election and seek to re-open talks with the EU. What comes next is anyone's guess, particularly with EU27 unanimity required for an extension of the A50 period. Labour might try to withdraw the A50 notification in order to buy time, but would the EU Council agree?  And would that require the unanimous agreement of the Council?

I really can't see EU Council members wanting to face into another two years of negotiations, so a limited extension might be agreed instead of a withdrawal and re-submission of an A50 notification.  But would that mean the UK would have to hold elections to the next EU Parliament in May 2019 as it would still be a member? And what if UKIP/Tories refused to nominate candidates allowing Labour, Lib Dem and/or Green wins who might support continued "engagement"? It just gets messier and messier.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 12:38:37 PM EST
This is becoming a recurrent theme, and yet Theresa May is on 3 weeks holiday...
British lack of co-ordination on Brexit `beggars belief'
European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan has hit out at the United Kingdom's inconsistency and lack of co-ordination in Brexit negotiations.

Mr Hogan, a former Fine Gael government minister, said on Saturday he was "very disappointed" with the pace and content of the negotiations between the European Union and the British government on the UK's exit from the European Union.

Mr Hogan's comments come after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Friday said Ireland was "not going to design a Border for the Brexiteers" which was seen as the most significant difference yet between Ireland and the UK over Britain's exit from the European Union.

"It seems the United Kingdom still have to come to terms with their negotiating mandate", Mr Hogan said during an interview with RTÉ Radio One's Countrywide programme. "This is happening at a time when the clock is ticking.

"It's four months since Article 50 was triggered, we have about a year or a little more than a year to go because it has to be approved ... by the parliament and by the council of ministers by March 2019.

"It beggars belief to see the type of inconsistency and lack of co-ordination that we see at the moment from the UK side," Mr Hogan added.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier this week fired a diplomatic shot across the bow of his UK counterparts by warning that the pace of talks may not be sufficient to reach a critical milestone in October. Reporting to EU 27 ambassadors on the second round of talks last week, Mr Barnier suggested it may be necessary to move to more frequent than monthly negotiating rounds if the crucial benchmark of "sufficient progress" is to be met which will allow the opening of talks on the future EU-UK relationship, specifically trade.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 01:34:46 PM EST
There won't be coordination. The Brexit camp is a big tent. Good for winning an election, not so good for agreeing a strategy and policy goals. The camp has diametrically opposed worldviews: anti and pro-globalisation, open and closed society, etatist and libertarian. In all combinations. Whatever Brexit comes out won't be negotiated within the camp but be formed by the EU and the ugly reality that has begun to dawn on the populace.

So at best we can hope for the UK to stumble into a Norwegian style deal. It doesn't help that Labour is apparently headed by a duo of closet leavers. If they do make the PLP support the government on hard Brexit, then expect the youth surge of remainers that helped Labour in the election to turn into a youth revolt. Nick Clegg will have nothing on this.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 01:56:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour can always act as an opposition is supposed to - respecting the Referendum result but argue that the terms of the Tory deal are awful and must be opposed - that shouldn't be hard. Then if the Irish Government stand firm on no land border and the DUP hold firm on no sea border there will either be no deal, or the Tories will lose the vote on their deal resulting in a General election on whatever Brexit deal is negotiated.

Then, for the first time, the UK electorate will be confronted with the reality of what Brexit means and I think they will reject the deal. The new UK government will then be faced with the choice of

  1. Renegotiating the deal - this will probably require an A50 extension and with the EU disinclined to give more will result in a referendum rejection of the only Brexit deal on offer.
  2. Exit without deal = cliff edge
  3. Decide Brexit wasn't such a good idea after all and ask to withdraw A50.  The EU will require a guarantee they won't simply re-invoke A50, and if they do the EU may not bother to show up for the negotiations.

My guess is that everyone will be so sick of the whole thing by that stage that the incoming Government will regard the vote as being not only against the Tory deal but against Brexit per se as the EU will not negotiate another one. The whole thing will then be let slide after incalculable damage has been done to the economy, integrity and standing of the UK.

But who knows.  Sheer pride and cussedness may propel the Brits over the cliff.


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 02:53:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see no reason for the EU to let the UK off the hook re: Article 50.  The EU would be vastly better off without the UK and being able to point at the consequences of Brexit would be incredibly useful for Brussels.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 04:21:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Varadker is quite right to exercise Ireland's prerogatives in "the great game" (also known as Total World Domination). That is to reject the role of chambermaid for a project devised by one's "oppressor"; to "enable" failure, as the children might say, or supply "human shields" in combat to deflect enemy advances; to step aside of a collision; but more explicitly, to abrogate responsibility for the actions of the UK gov't alone.  "Extend and pretend" is not an option for either Ireland or the UK.

Not only did the UK gov't deal itself a losing hand from the beginning of its campaign to subvert EU members' cooperation, its "game strategy" continues to defy rudimentary SWOT analysis of the facts: "most players resign an inevitably lost game before being checkmated."

What had worked over centuries of predation across the THIRD WORLD --political and economic dissembling of the opponent's social structures-- will not prevail in the FIRST WORLD.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 05:51:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's Missing From "Dunkirk"
In other words, the story of Dunkirk, the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, is a story of how the Allies treated people they had some use for, and a demonstration of how they could have treated other people if they had had any use for them.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 06:12:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a Norwegian style deal

Looks very unlikely to me. Norway is not part of the EU, all right, but:

  • Norway does contribute to the EU budget, without having a say, since it is not a member.

  • Norway is part of the Schengen Area for free travel, just like Iceland and Switzerland, but unlike the UK - and Ireland.

How acceptable does the above look like to Brexiters?
by Bernard on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 06:00:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Especially when you add in that Norway also must accept free movement of workers and adjudication by the ECJ.

The UK is looking for a bespoke deal, rightly arguing that it is much larger than Norway or Switzerland.  But the trouble is it has still not decided what a bespoke detail could look like, and time is running out.

What it also hasn't figured out is why the EU should give it such a bespoke deal. The EU has a vested interest in make Brexit as painful as possible - to demonstrate the advantages of membership to all and sundry, and thus maintain the stability and cohesion of the EU.

What can the UK offer that the EU absolutely must have, and that it would be worth giving major concessions for? I wrack my brains on that one.  Sure, the UK has great expertise in financial services, commercial law, aeronautical engineering and arms - but these are precisely the areas in which the EU needs to build up its own capabilities in order to be taken seriously as a global power sans UK.

So the UK has almost no bargaining chips other than as a market for EU exports. Causing trouble for Ireland really doesn't cut it as a major bargaining chip. Ireland has only one vote at the table.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 10:07:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What can the UK offer that the EU absolutely must have, and that it would be worth giving major concessions for?
Nothing.

Britain is Egypt without the Suez Canal. And I don't see Egypt being given a preferential bespoke deal anytime soon.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 11:41:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The largest export market for the German car industry (about 18% of total German car exports), and... well, that's about it.

(By the way, it's good to have you back)

by Bernard on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 03:58:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK may be the biggest export market for cars made in Germany, but that doesn't include cars made by German marques outside Germany. BMW and Mercedes-Benz both have factories in the USA (to make SUVs in their biggest market) and in South Africa. Volkswagen is big in China because it has two joint ventures with Chinese manufacturers.
by Gag Halfrunt on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 11:58:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whatever way you look at it, there is no doubt that the biggest growth market for cars is not the UK. Sterling devaluation is already making Euro car makers less competitive in the UK.

However the biggest impact of a hard Brexit on the auto industry will not be loss of market volume in the UK, but the disruption of complex just-in-time supply chains which may involve several border crossing where delays could physically effect production.

The UK is the 13th. largest car manufacturer in the world. All the volume car manufacturers in the UK are foreign owned - Nissan, Vauxhall (Renault), Honda, Toyota, Mini (BMW), Jaguar Land Rover (Tata). The industry produces about 2 million cars/trucks p.a., generating turnover of c. £50 Billion (50% exported), employs about 150,000 people directly and another half million indirectly.

Proportionally, car manufacturing is almost as important to the UK as it is to Germany or France. Thus targetting car manufacturers, especially as they are almost all foreign owned, may not be a smart bargaining strategy for the UK.


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 12:58:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To be clear, I didn't mean a deal precisely mirroring  Norway/EEA/EFTA/etc. but a soft(er) Brexit - the very optimistic assumption being that an arrangement with the four freedoms intact would be acceptable to vast majority (80%) of the population while being sufficiently 'out' of the EU. The hard Brexiteers would be relegated to the margins of public opinion after causing (near) disaster. But that's all a big if.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 01:04:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think both the political and negotiating dynamics on both sides are making such an outcome increasingly unlikely.  May has been drifting steadily to the hard right hard Brexit camp in a bid to shore up her base which means immigration control, no ECJ, freedom to negotiate own treaties etc. That makes a soft Brexit impossible for both EU and UK. Hammond was on the point of being sacked until she failed to win the election and now the DUP will keep her hands to the fire.

I don't even see how ANY deal the EU can offer could be acceptable to the Brexiteers who will ride off happily into the sunset with no deal convinced that the EU will have no choice but to come crawling back begging for access to the UK market. They genuinely seem to believe that the EU needs the UK more than the other way around and that "common sense" will see the EU offering a "fair" trade deal sooner or later.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 01:24:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They genuinely seem to believe that the EU needs the UK more than the other way around

Key point.

Until this delusion is eradicated the hardest of hard Brexits is assured.  


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

by ATinNM on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 03:24:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the very optimistic assumption being that an arrangement with the four freedoms intact would be acceptable to vast majority (80%) of the population
Considering that the four freedoms include freedom of movement and residence, which is reportedly the main motivation for most Leave voters, this assumption looks very, very optimistic indeed.
by Bernard on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 03:49:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, optimistic to the point of wishful thinking. Freedom of movement has been thoroughly dragged through the mud and conflated with Schengen (even venerable newspaper editors seem confused about this), 'social benefits tourism', asylum seekers and what not. But even a majority of leavers accept FoM if it is phrased as free movement of labour, which it basically is. People can be told to leave if they don't have a job after three months. That rule is currently unenforced; those facts are -you guessed it- widely unknown.

So as the UK plays catch up on its basic education about the EU I wouldn't bet my life on the UK catching up THAT far. For basic facts about the EU there is an advanced level of ignorance.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 08:41:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Irish government ... [doesn't] ... believe the UK government has given any serious thought or priority to the issues ...

And they are right.  The UK government hasn't given any serious thought to any issue arising from Brexit including the fact of Brexit itself.  The UK is like a child walking into a court, after being arrested for killing his parents, and asking for mercy because he is an orphan.  

There are 608 days (as of time stamp) until Brexit and the UK government is still dicking around when they need to be engaged 24/7 in negotiating economic, social, and political treaties of brain destroying complexity.


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

by ATinNM on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 04:15:46 PM EST
by Cat on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 05:59:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Link is behind a way wall.
Relevance to topic at hand?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 06:17:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I. relevance to the topic in general

consequentialism, application of theory to practice, e.g. Varadker's determination of the consequential efficacy (rightness or wrongness) of interpreting, implementing, or enforcing UK gov't customs border policy purporting to benefit peoples of Ireland

II. relevance to the topic specifically

I added that link in response to ATinNM's comment (above):

The UK is like a child walking into a court, after being arrested for killing his parents, and asking for mercy because he is an orphan.

Similarly "Olympic star" Ryan Lochte lied about his criminal conduct and enjoyed the sympathy of a nation until the state of Brazil conclusively proved his lie. That event is one among many in recent years that exemplifies misplaced criteria of moral turpitude, discipline, and compassion that pervade discourse on exceptional personal and exceptional state responsibilities for harm to others.

To refresh your memory, you may find more lengthy reportage on the matter by searching keyword "Ryan Lochte".

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 07:11:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I used to come to the European Tribune to get away from the "on the one hand, and on the other" equivocation of the MSM. The determined centrism no matter how off-kilter the centre. Now it seems as if the MSM are beside themselves with rage and there is nothing left to say.  It's like commenting on Trump:  What can be said that hasn't already been said better elsewhere? Either the European Tribune has been mainstreamed, or the world is finally getting some inkling of just how mad our political "leaders" have become.

The Conservatives are criminally incompetent

The Tories are turning Brexit into a humiliating shambles. They called a referendum when they didn't have to, they accepted the result, they willed Brexit, they promised Brexit, and now they're comprehensively failing to organise it. You can't blame the voters, who quite reasonably assumed that the Tories would never have offered a referendum if they hadn't thought leaving Europe could be arranged. The fingerprints for this crime of mismanagement are Tory fingerprints.

    The coming years will be a permanent stain on my party's reputation

Thirteen months since the referendum and the Conservatives still can't decide even the broadest outline of the terms on which we hope to leave. The difference between a soft and a hard exit is greater than the difference between staying in and a soft exit, yet the prime minister is still insisting that government policy is for a hard exit, while the chancellor (in her absence) says the opposite.

Nobody really knows what the foreign secretary thinks and I doubt he knows himself. The Brexit secretary, meanwhile, seems to be trying to play it by ear, but with no guidance as to the melody at all. And the trade secretary seems recently to have reconciled himself to three (or, if the chancellor is to be believed, as many as four) further years without any job at all. Some ministers say we'll be taking back control of immigration when we leave in 2019, others that we will not.

And almost everybody has started to talk of a "transitional" period after leaving, without any hint of a consensus on what we would be transitioning to.

Every Conservative MP bar Kenneth Clarke voted in February for the triggering of Article 50. It now appears they and their leader started the countdown to Britain's expulsion without even the vaguest plan for what we'd be aiming to achieve, let alone realistically likely to achieve. Worse, they pulled the trigger knowing very well that "Brexit" still meant different things to different members of the party and its government, and there was no reason to hope that divergent aims were ever likely to converge.

I call this criminal: irresponsible to the point of culpable recklessness towards their country's future. The Conservative Party just thought they'd give it a whirl and all but one of them voted for the adventure.

Even in bad times, even when we Tories messed up, I used to feel a pride in the party to which I owe so much. Often too slow, sometimes too rash, sometimes wrong, sometimes mildly corrupt, often missing the public mood, occasionally cowardly, it was still possible to trace through the party's long history a line of worldly common sense, a distrust of extremism, and a deep sense of duty to the nation. There was a certain steadiness there. Has this deserted us? Do we yet understand, has it yet been born in on us, that it is we and we alone who have led the whole country into the predicament it now finds itself in?"



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 10:51:31 AM EST
I used to come to the European Tribune to get away from the "on the one hand, and on the other" equivocation of the MSM. The determined centrism no matter how off-kilter the centre. Now it seems as if the MSM are beside themselves with rage and there is nothing left to say.  It's like commenting on Trump:  What can be said that hasn't already been said better elsewhere? Either the European Tribune has been mainstreamed, or the world is finally getting some inkling of just how mad our political "leaders" have become.

Nah, it just so happens that leftish internationalists' and centrists' anger is currently pointing in broadly the same direction. I warn against forgetting what vile scum they are.

by generic on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 08:14:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I must admit I didn't expect them to be this incompetent about leaving the EU. Ok, they didn't have a concrete plan before the referendum (to satisfy all flavours of Brexit), but that is the nature of things. I am sure there were many flavours of Bremain too. But not formulating a plan before sending in the Article 50 notification? Not having a plan while the clock is ticking? That is just to incompetent.

I still expect the EU to collapse. Not from Britain leaving, that might give a push in the right direction, but from an economic model that pushes pain from the federal level onto the states, and a political model where the easiest path to reaction is on the state level and reform of the federal level is nigh impossible. I had some hope that UK leaving would set a good precedent for leaving the EU while retaining as good relations as possible. The incompetence in the UK makes it more or less certain that it will instead set a very bad precendent, probably through a hard Brexit.

by fjallstrom on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 11:23:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexit may not be dead yet but it is certainly unwell
Is Brexit dying? It is tempting to say the UK government is in headlong retreat from its original Brexit plan. But that would assume there was a well-articulated vision in the first place. We now only hear faint echoes of the "no deal is better than a bad deal" as the penny seems to have dropped that any deal is likely to be superior to the "cliff-edge", whereby the UK ceases to be a member of the EU in 20 months' time with nothing agreed.

Talk of "transition" has been joined by suggestions of "implementation", with nobody quite sure of the difference between the two. It amounts to a realisation that it's all very complicated, all very damaging: so push out the date to the last possible moment - currently assumed to be the date of the next general election which most Tories hope will not be until 2022.

In one of her few good decisions, Theresa May has dispatched Boris Johnson to the furthest reaches of the ex-colonies where he can do least mischief. Her one other sensible move has been to take herself away from the UK, leaving policy to be made by the few adults left in Whitehall.
Bluster

But even in Australia, Johnson continues to bluster and demonstrate an utter disregard for both reality and detail.

The increasingly irrelevant and hapless trade secretary, Liam Fox, is bogged down by rows over potential imports of chlorinated chickens from the US: free trade with America opens up all sorts of possibilities including, apparently, ingesting the same amount of chlorine as swimming in a municipal pool with your mouth open. Perhaps Mr Fox should try it.

Curiously, lifelong Eurosceptic David Davis, now minister for Brexit, seems to have allied himself with the chancellor and is warming to both implementation and transition. Ditto the charmingly bonkers Michael Gove.

Home secretary Amber Rudd announced this week that immigration reform would heed the requests of employers. The new approach to immigration seems to involve allowing free movement after 2019 but calling it something else.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 03:04:35 PM EST
May's government depends on the DUP who want a soft NI border and the Tory Hard Exiters who want a hard border.  May can drift along buying-off the DUP with "development funds" (read: bribes) and sooth the Hards with rhetoric for a while.  At some point she has to stop the drift and start talking because the EU isn't going to negotiate Brexit with the EU, giving the UK a line item veto.

I'll let somebody who knows more than I predict what happens then.

 

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

by ATinNM on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 03:48:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU isn't going to negotiate Brexit with the EU, giving the UK a line item veto.

< wipes tears >

So true. Yet this statement summarizes the strategic folly of gov't expectations and press speculations in the UK from the very beginning of its campaign to exit that haunt "bargaining" constituents today.

2015 BTDT: The Norway option: what is it and what does it mean for Britain?

Let's recall: The absence of explicit, codified procedure to execute A50 (other than written notice to EU Council) paradoxically provided the fat for both jaws to chew.

The former promoted plans for a kind of parallel construction of UK "negotiations" -- bilateral lobbying for EU27 political and trade allies ("All will escape with us!") with ultimata presentation to EU council; the latter published "paths", "possible timelines", and  "bar charts" in which EU feedback at the table simply, literally did not figure ... unless one counts its casting in the role of PUNISHER.

Figure. n + 1, lede position

In review therefore, one might be left with the impression that Mr Tusk has not asserted, repeatedly, unequivocably on behalf of his peers, there would be no "negotiations" of terms before issue of A50; there would be no "negotiations" of trade bloc access until the UK cashiered.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 04:56:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In other words, the choice of "soft BREXIT" or "hard BREXIT" is a false dichotomy as the executable in the first instance is severing UK association with the EU, any and all benefits that may formally entail. In conclusion, then the UK gov't may elect not to restore benefits, but petition for a bilateral trade agreement with the EU27.

As Madame May infamously observed, "Brexit means Brexit."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 05:08:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The law will not tolerate "agile" project management. It demands "waterfall" order in precedence. heh.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 05:54:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, tourism has increased in Britain: the drop of the pound has helped. But not everyone is happy.
As touting for punt trips becomes a crime, is tourism overwhelming Britain's cities?  - Guardian
Punting on the river Cam may be a cliched activity, but it is not an obvious crime. Yet the toll of tourism on Cambridge has become so heavy that not only has touting for punt tours been made an offence, but moves are under way that could lead to lawbreakers being imprisoned.

Like Oxford, York and Stratford-on-Avon, Cambridge benefits hugely from being on Britain's tourist trail, but plenty of residents are beginning to believe a tipping point has been reached. The action against punt touts is just one symptom of the strains of coping with around 5.5 million visits a year.

Visits to Britain by international tourists are up by 9% so far this year, and they are spending 14% more than at the same time last year, a spree fuelled by sterling's post-referendum decline. Meanwhile, more Britons are holidaying in the UK, in part as a result of the extraordinary rise of Airbnb and other providers of competitively priced self-catering accommodation. It is all adding up to a mad summer for Britain's tourism honeypots.

It's more acceptable when it happens in southern Spain...

by Bernard on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 at 08:07:06 PM EST
Brexit driving financial services players to Ireland
More than a dozen London-based firms have already agreed to set up or expand in Ireland due to Brexit, the IDA said. They include:

  • JP Morgan, which has bought a new office in Dublin with capacity for 1,000 employees that would double its current payroll here;

  • Bank of America, which will relocate for its principal legal entities to Dublin following the UK's departure from the EU;

  • Barclays, which has said it will use its subsidiary in Ireland for passported EU activity post-Brexit;

  • Citi, which is expanding operations in Dublin and three other European cities;

  • Insurer Legal & General, which is moving some of its investment management operations to Ireland, and;

  • Law firm Pinsent Masons, which is to open a Dublin office.

Other IDA announcements in the financial services sector this year included Northern Trust, Citadel, Tobam, AlterDomus, Fundrock, Chaucer, Kabbage, Willis Towers Watson, Bank of China and Beazley Re, Mr Shanahan said.


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 10:33:57 AM EST
The thought occurs to me that Leo Varadker might try to push for progress on an EU-India free trade agreement. Simply talking about it would be a great FU to the hardcore global free trade Brexiteers (and Empire nostalgics) who are banking on quick trade deals with India and other rising economic powers. I remember that Leave campaingers made much of the fact that the EU doesn't (yet) have a free trade agreement with India.

In any case, Indian companies see the UK as a friendly English-speaking base inside the EU. When it no longer serves that function, Ireland can take over.

by Gag Halfrunt on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 11:26:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's already been invited to visit India...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 03:12:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turns out Angela Merkel is way ahead of us. This is from late May:

Germany pushes for post-Brexit EU trade deal with India | Politico.eu | 5/30/17

The European Union will be trying hard to land a prize that Britain is also aiming for post Brexit -- a big free trade deal with India, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear on Tuesday.

Some analysts believe Brexit may make it easier for the EU to do such a deal as it will no longer have to take account of British concerns, such as those about granting visas to Indian workers and India's tariffs on Scotch whisky.

by Gag Halfrunt on Thu Aug 17th, 2017 at 11:13:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
`Just what is going on in Dublin?' asks DUP of Irish statements on Brexit
Fianna Fáil spokesman on Brexit, Stephen Donnelly, said the arguments being put forward by Mr Dodds [DUP] were "beyond preposterous".

"My main response to the statement is that it is a masterclass in irony. It's very hard to take talk of common sense co-operation seriously from a Brexiteer. The very act that has taken us backwards is Brexit."

Mr Donnelly said Fianna Fáil recognised the diplomatic efforts of the Government and the suggestion of having the Border in the Irish Sea was one of the options put forward by his own party in the event of Brexit occurring.

Sinn Féin spokesman David Cullinane said the only people who had been inconsistent and incoherent when it came to Brexit were the British government.

"The DUP strategy is to give a blank cheque to the British government. Nigel Dodds would be better served dealing with the negative consequence of a hard Brexit rather than throwing his rattle out of he pram," he said.

Earlier on Sunday, the DUP's Lagan Valley MP, Jeffrey Donaldson, faced criticism from Twitter users after he was critical of the Dublin administration.

He wrote on Twitter: "A country that uses electronic toll tag systems on 11 of its main roads can't claim there isn't a technological solution to a Brexit border."

Several Twitter users pointed out there is a huge difference between paying toll charges and immigration and customs checks.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 11:06:00 AM EST
"We want to have our dinosaurs and eat them!"
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 11:12:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Post-Brexit border customs checks could cost £1bn a year
Looking at the impact on Irish goods in transit, the report says: "Post-Brexit, adding four of those checks (at an Irish port, at two English ports, and then a French one) on to each consignment of Irish goods starts to look unpalatable."

It notes that up to two-thirds of all Irish exports to the continent move via the UK.

"The costs to logistics businesses and their customers, users of the road network and, eventually, jobs in the UK of a relatively limited increase in friction will be considerable," Mr Meaney notes. The report does not consider the impact on jobs in countries other than the UK.

Failure to do a deal on customs union would have "extremely serious consequences for the UK economy", says Mr Meaney, who added that providing policy direction in this area should be a priority for the British government when parliament returns from its summer recess.

Mr Meaney's report outlines four possible scenarios, ranging from low levels of regulation and enforcement, which is most similar the current system, to high levels of both - something the Port of Dover has described as "Armageddon".

As an example of the issues arising from any change to border protocols, the report refers to the planned replacement of the UK revenue's customs clearance IT system. The new system is due to come into operation in March 2019. That date was set before the decision was taken on Brexit.

"It's now due to be delivered just before we leave the EU and, having been planned to deliver 60 million clearances per annum, it will now need to deliver 300 million per year, with no understanding yet of what the customs deal with the EU looks like," the report says.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 11:13:53 AM EST
two-thirds of all Irish exports to the continent move via the UK.

The sensible thing is to by-pass the UK and move the goods directly to EU ports, upgrading the existing ports in Dublin and Rosslare as needed to handle the extra traffic.



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

by ATinNM on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 03:22:57 PM EST
Yup, inside a year.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 03:24:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What extra traffic? They would simply replace the British ports. It's the French that have to do the upgrading.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 03:32:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good question: I get the impression it's more difficult than that. Maybe specialised handling for different ships?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 03:37:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What Colman said plus any goods shipped to or through the UK will need to be UK-vetted for whatever weird-assed import controls they impose plus goods shipped from the UK will need to be EU vetted.

"Extra traffic" may have been a poor choice of words on my part.

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

by ATinNM on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 05:52:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They could have a duty-free part of the port for goods in transit. It's been done before ("could" does not mean that the British government will ever think of it, of course).
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 05:55:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For goods going from Ireland to rest-of-EU, it simplifies customs processing if they never leave the EU in the first place (and for goods going from Ireland to rest-of-world, if they only leave the EU once). This militates against transshipping through a UK port.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Aug 6th, 2017 at 09:38:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the goods already come through Irish ports and end up in France, it may just be some French ports (Le Havre, Cherbourgh) will gain traffic at the expense of others (Calais, Dunkirk etc.).  

Assuming they have the capacity, the main difference will be that more ships will be required, as the sailing time will go up from c. 4 hrs. to c. 20 hrs. Interestingly, a Cork to Santander route would be roughly as long as Cork to Le Havre, so a lot of driving through France could also be saved.

Perhaps some ferries could be transfered from Dunkirk/Calais to Le Havre/Cherbourgh, but some net additional ships will be required or a given volume of freight.

The good news is that Europe's carbon footprint will be reduced as well as road traffic from Holyhead/Fishguard to London and on to Dover. Drivers will get a good night's sleep and the overall time to market shouldn't increase by much.

However someone needs to have the foresight to buy/lease more ships.  I haven't heard that mentioned anywhere.  Perhaps I should be buying shares in Irish Ferries...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 06:54:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a glut of container ships at the moment so I wouldn't place a huge bet on Irish Ferries.

I know absolutely nothing about Irish trade routes.  According to this the UK accounts for $17,157,075,639 of export out of $124,671,389,183 total.  What I take from this is the UK is mostly a highway to the EU and can be bypassed which eliminates a whole bunch of future Brexit created idiotic crap.


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

by ATinNM on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 01:41:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The port of Roscoff is already the largest French port for traffic to and from Ireland, both freight and passengers (Irish Ferries), but the capacity is limited and, more to the point, Roscoff is rather isolated at the end of a regional train line.

More traffic would be better handled out of Cherbourg or even Le Havre.

by Bernard on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 06:47:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Havre handle the big container ships up to 82 foot draft and Cork is a "deep water multi modal port, south coast of Ireland. Celtic Sea/Atlantic Ocean. The second biggest port in the world by geographic size."  So getting the goods out of Ireland and to France is a piece of cake.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 01:47:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually the issue is the time - especially for agriculture. Just take an example (taking times from Google maps) time from Athlone to Düsseldorf (centre of Ireland to centre of western Europe).

Via UK: 15 hours 10 minutes
Via Cork/Roscoff: 35 hours.

That's not even the major issue. A lot of Irish exports are sent via the UK for redistribution. For example, packages from the big delivery firms go to a central point in the UK and are then redistributed to different trucks for delivery on the continent. Ok, for air shipping this will not be an issue but for bulky items that go by road/sea, this adds a major cost. I read that they are expecting a €100 per truck per crossing so €200 per trip from Ireland via the UK.

Basically, there are no good solutions here.

by piobar on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 08:25:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, other fun one: a lot of products are managed for the Irish market by the UK distributor. How's that going to work post-diamond-hard-Brexit?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 09:13:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(And when do we get Amazon.ie?)
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 09:19:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The goods can still be managed by distributors in the UK.  Physically distributing them from the UK will end, sooner or later, due to the increased costs and delays of EU-UK-EU custom checks.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 02:54:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reminder: the existing trade network and distribution system will end in 604 days.  After March 29, 2019 Irish goods can either travel within the EU from Ireland to France or cross the UK border and then the EU border.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 02:49:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As long as you are just transiting through the UK, there are established procedures for tamper-proofing the trucks to the point where for customs purposes they count as never having entered the UK.

Shifting the consolidation point from Manchester to Dublin is not in itself expensive or particularly time consuming - the relevant buildings and infrastructure for a truck hub can be erected in 6-12 months from groundbreaking (so a total of 1-2 years including front-end engineering and regulatory approvals), though both the cost and lead time goes up if you want a multimodal facility. Rather, the cost comes from losing the scale offered by the British exports, but that is not really avoidable given Brexit.

But you really shouldn't be trucking most Irish cargoes to the Ruhr anyway. They should go on water to Rotterdam or Le Havre and on rail or barge from there to the deconsolidation point. Only very few cargoes require the kind of overnight delivery times that justify trucking halfway across Western Europe when an intermodal solution is available.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Aug 6th, 2017 at 10:16:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The connections shown above are for self-loading freight. Cargo would transship in Rotterdam (technically there are various other options, but Rotterdam is the obvious one). This would not require any great expansion - Rotterdam is Europe's largest port by volume of cargo crossing the quay; the Irish trade would be absorbed effortlessly.

One opportunity Ireland might find interesting is to expand its Irish Sea ports to take direct mainliner calls. Currently Liverpool is the port making a play for transshipment hub status, and in a world where the UK is inside the customs union that is that - if the Irish Sea is going to have a transshipment hub (and that is not obvious), it's going to be Liverpool.

But in a world where the UK is outside the customs union and Ireland is inside, I could tell a story about Dublin being the Irish Sea hub, at least for the trans-Atlantic trades.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Aug 6th, 2017 at 09:32:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cork might be a better option, since it doesn't need a big city backing it up.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 09:22:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You could do Cork, but the marginal ton-km of hinterland transportation is much more expensive (as in by orders of magnitude) than the marginal water transportation ton-km. That militates in favor of putting the hub port where it minimizes average road distance to market.

And given the volume of freight crossing through the Irish Sea, there's only going to be one hub if there is any at all.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 04:13:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jake: That militates in favor of putting the hub port where it minimizes average road distance to market.

Hence my remark above about Le Havre being better positioned than Roscoff who'll remain mostly a passenger ferry port.

by Bernard on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 06:48:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see Le Havre being all that useful for an Irish Sea rotation. For the Irish-French trade you can go upriver a bit to Rouen, and for everything else you have better connections from Rotterdam. Rouen is both closer to points inland and you're not jockeying for berthing windows with the ultralarge boxships on the intercontinental trades.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 07:04:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rouen has no heavy lifts and only 5M draught at its Cargo terminal.  It doesn't seem suitable for high volume container traffic from ships large enough to  traverse the Ireland France route. Rotterdam Dublin is quite a long sea route but might be the best option depending on ultimate cargo destination.  (Rosslare Santander is much shorter! - if only - it would suit me very well)

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 09:28:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The draft restriction in Rouen is identical to Dublin and Cork, so barring major reworking of the latter two it can accommodate any traffic out of Ireland. They have mobile and floating cranes, so I'd be surprised if they actually have no heavy lift and breakbulk capability, even if they don't list it as a standard service.

Santander might work for direct transit to the Iberian market, depending on how the hinterland behind it looks.

Le Havre, Antwerpen, and Zeebruge are all viable alternatives to Rotterdam on some trades; the real issue there is that calling a major hub port is expensive so including four of them in an Irish Sea feeder rotation is going to murder its unit cost. You could reduce the unit cost of the redundant calls with a butterfly loop (calling Rotterdam and Le Havre on half the rotations and Rotterdam and Antwerpen on the other half), but that sacrifices sailing frequency to the ports that are omitted half the time.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 09:44:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frankfurt Is the Big Winner in Battle for Brexit Bankers | Bloomberg |

Frankfurt has emerged as the biggest winner in the fight for thousands of London-based jobs that will have to be relocated to new hubs inside the European Union after Brexit.

London could lose 10,000 banking jobs and 20,000 roles in financial services as clients move 1.8 trillion euros ($2.1 trillion) of assets out of the U.K. on Brexit, according to think-tank Bruegel. The implications for the U.K. are substantial: finance and related professional services bring in some £190 billion ($248 billion) a year, representing 12 percent of the British economy.

MUFG: Amsterdam
JP Morgan: Dublin, Frankfurt en Luxemburg
HSBC: Parijs
Barclays: Dublin
Bank of America: Dublin
Goldman Sachs: Frankfurt
Morgan Stanley: Frankfurt
Standard Chartered: Frankfurt
Nomura: Frankfurt
Daiwa: Frankfurt
Sumitomo: Frankfurt
Mizuho: Frankfurt

by Oui on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 06:15:57 PM EST
The center of power for EU banking is quite clear.
by Bernard on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 06:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the Irish government would be very happy just to retain second place - 1% of UK GDP = 10% Irish GDP.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 07:17:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you imagine the mayhem if we did much better than that? There's no housing and massive rent pressure now.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 09:40:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're building loads of hotels to house all the high fliers flying in for a few days a month to maintain the fiction of being based in Ireland. For licensing purposes the key decision makers have to be based here, the license won't prescribe it has to be other than in a 5* hotel.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 10:03:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rest assured if the Irish property developers are as greedy, short-termed, and mentally retarded as the US and UK property developers they are - right now - planning to break ground on a vast number of residential units nobody but a multi-billionaire can afford.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 02:02:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lots of €600k builds being done around me.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 07:54:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shure you must be sitting on a goldmine!!! ;-)

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 02:30:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So long as I'm willing to go live in an exhausted one someone in the distant hills.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 02:34:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hey! the faraway hills ARE greener - so long as you can get away for some sunshine now and then!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 03:07:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IOW, things are working out just about as we expected.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 01:49:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think so far Eurotrib commentators have hardly put a foot wrong even with our darkest predictions. Even if Brexit never ends up happening, it has already been a giant clusterf*ck in terms of the UK's standing, prestige, economic prospects and political influence. Every strategy I can think of is about damage limitation from this point on, and overwhelmingly so on the UK side.

It's not even the UK banking industry I am concerned about - it was always a very mobile business anyway - it's every other UK industry that requires access to EU markets and procurement opportunities. We have as yet gotten no idea how deeply existing EU/UK economics links will be shattered by tariff and non-tariff barriers.

That is not to absolve the EU of all blame or responsibility for putting it's own house in order. The sooner Brexit is complete, the sooner we can focus on other pressing issues such as saving Greece and developing a fiscal capacity to overcome shocks. Comparisons with how bad things are going for the UK outside the EU will not cut much ice with those not doing well within the EU.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 02:43:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand why people keep thinking Brexit isn't going to happen.  UK filed the paperwork, it was accepted, no procedure to retract.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Aug 2nd, 2017 at 06:12:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not quite that simple.  EU Leaders have been quite clear that they would welcome a change of heart on the part of the UK (and would therefore presumably agree to a retraction of an A50 notification should it be offered).  The improbability of a retraction arises from the UK political dynamic where, if anything, attitudes have hardened since the referendum and a recent poll showed that many leavers would still want to leave if Brexit cause considerable economic damage to the UK up to and including losing them their own job. The hatred of the EU is quite visceral for most leavers and it is difficult to construct a scenario where they would lose the political initiative and advantage.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2017 at 06:47:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt all 27 EU members would give the UK a mulligan on Brexit.  I concede I could be wrong.

"Considerable economic damage" is pretty much certain no matter how 'hard' or 'soft' the exit.  Given the recent Daily Wail's hysteria about EU border controls before exit leavers losing their jobs will only increase the visceral hatred of the EU.  

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

by ATinNM on Wed Aug 2nd, 2017 at 09:19:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Preferably someone else's job. The age group who was largely willing to have Brexit at the cost of "their job or a family member's" was the over 65. Pure class, stellar empathy.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2017 at 09:20:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait till it hits their pensions...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2017 at 10:14:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stephen Bush
The baby boomer is one of the few mammals that eats its own young. For the most part, in Western Europe and the States, politicians who are popular among the young tend to do badly at the ballot box, unless they can add the votes of the old, who vote reliably and in greater numbers.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 at 04:54:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The hatred of the EU is quite visceral for most leavers and it is difficult to construct a scenario where they would lose the political initiative and advantage.

And that's exactly the scenario that needs construction.
And if that scenario were constructed, would it be gestated by the likes of present day EU leaders, yer Schulz, Padoan, Draghi, Rajoy, Dissenbloem,Jungker, Merkel, Tusk crew?
Is there even a glimmer of common sense you can point to reflected in recent legislation, in the non-resolution to the Mediterranean refugee crisis, the Erdogan band-aid, the resurgence of Greece, the continued austerity, the trade surplus of our local hegemony, the continued compliance with sanctions, wars and nuke-tipped bases and hardware, need I go on?
What in the recent behaviour of Brussels can Brexiteers look at and regret?
Or Remainers envy?
Just a lot of confusion both sides of the Channel, missed opportunities, cherished illusions and governmental (especially financial) incompetence.
I had hoped so much that after the horror show of Greece there would have been a change of heart.
That the UK wanted to leave too (for all the wrong reasons) would be the necessary goad perhaps?
Which of our neighbours (Russia, the ME, and America over the ocean) really wish Europe well, gain by her unity and commitment to human, civil and political rights so proudly vaunted and lauded at her inception?

We loved the convenience of one currency, Schengen gave such ease of travel, Erasmus taught our children the value of entering other cultures while young and learning how much in common European youth has.

The many, many good laws written to enhance quality of democratic life, to protect the environment, to promote handicap access, to legalise gay marriage, support the countryside so the cities are less choked, so many good thing the EU brings us that show us the whole really can be more than the sum of its parts.
I salute all the -usually unfamous- people who beavered away to try to make the EU what it could be. An alloy, an ally.
All blown away by the financialisation of economies, the machinations of hidden gremlins treating cultures,  nations, workers and the helpless as profit spreadsheets. All services to be privatised!
(...with much of the problem stemming from the UK trolling Europe so long, purposely undermining its ideals and trying to create a continent of shopkeepers.

Centuries of alternating aloofness and bellicose intervention culminating in an Empire of global military, industrial manufacturing and commercial power, eroded and gutted by the near-success of the third Reich only a few short years after the bloodbath of WW1.
Then globalisation with its Faustian bargain of cheap goods in exchange for pretty much everything, most notably the stability and continuity granted by history past and relative freedom from onerous, odious debt.

Yes we live longer.

Many whose demographics lined up with the boom years, who rode the property wave, who became the postwar  middle class had few complaints. Now they hold on to the idea that past could be magically recreated by leaving the EU, or not leaving it. By kicking UK ass in a hard Brexit, or gentling it out like a mad aunt out of the parlour as she starts to spout nonsense poetry or threaten go full Tourette's in public.
The EU was needed to stand up to Soviet Russia, much Gladio blood was spilled (yesterday the anniversary of the Bologna bombings) so the people didn't get seduced by the utopian promises of turning Europe into one big Bulgaria, yet now we can see it's futile in a world of increasing transport costs to depend on US fracked gas to keep us warm in winter and our factories humming, (those that haven't been transferred abroad).
As if there weren't enough misery created by centuries of colonisation and then complicity with the Globocop Hegemony in bombing countries into rubble for profit.

Europe seems rudderless, caught between the two waves of Russia's aspirations and America's bullying 'free market' (and control of the UN/IMF/International law courts). Anyone think Macron will make anything better for the average person?
The EU is corrupted by multinational lobbying and greedy corporations of her own. Banks, arms factories have politicians in a half-Nelson to keep taxpayers' money flowing to already full coffers, German troops are doing military exercises on Putin's borders and Hungary and Poland are reminding us why we needed an EU in the first place!

After centuries of religion causing horrendous oppression and wars we finally have separation of church and state, and some meagre progress in women's and children's rights, now we are accepting millions of brainwashed adherents to Sharia law and tribal dreams of Caliphate, whose ideas threaten to take us back a few centuries, while noted humanitarians like the Saudis finance mosques, and Zionists and Masons run our finances.

Flailing... birthrates plummeting, sperm counts falling, dependent on immigrant semi-slave labour, chlorine chickens and glysophate to keep food on the table.
On the bright side, (gotta love optimism as soupe du jour) Cinque Stelle are still topping polls in Italy with their reformist fire, and Corbyn is reminding young people how age can be a positive quality in a leader, supplying familiarly avuncular socialism like Tony Benn did to our generation and keeping hope alive for a fairer society for all, where Labour leaders aren't wearing Savile Row or swanning around like overgrown, Machiavellian yuppies.

Or Mephistolean muppets.

   

'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 Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 at 12:55:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great to see you in full figurative flow again Melo!  I don't think there is anything the EU could do to overcome the visceral hatred of Leavers, and trying to do so would result in entirely retrograde "reforms".

I also don't think there is much the EU could do to strengthen the political position of remainers, other than continuing to grow steadily, reduce unemployment, avoid further banking/fiscal/Greece style crises, and refusing to be cowed by Trump/Putin/Erdogan and assorted motley bullies and war mongers.

But that is essentially a long term process, and remainers need help now if a rock hard Brexit is to be avoided. Only a complete implosion of of the May led government, allied to a sudden economic crisis, might just about provide an opportunity for Labour to plead for time to consider alternative options. Even that unlikely scenario could falter if only one EU state refuses an A50 extension.

Pessimistic as I am about the medium/long term prospects for the post-Brexit UK economy, and astonished at the incompetence of the May Government, I just don't see it happening, partly because Corbyn is , at best, ambiguous and ambivalent in his attitude to the EU, and at worst only slightly better than May herself.

So the prudent and pragmatic course is to prepare for a hard Brexit, as more or less everyone bar the UK public seem to be doing. The Brexiteers see this as the dawn of wonderful new opportunities for a newly enfranchised and resurgent UK. It will take a decade to fully expose their delusions, and by that time it will be far, far, too late to salvage anything from the wreckage.

With luck and a lot of political skill Scotland and N. Ireland may escape the devastation.  But a lot, too, will have to go right for that to happen. I remain, as ever, the incorrigible optimist...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 at 08:01:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cross channel supply chains are severed right now.
  • 32% of UK businesses who use EU suppliers are looking for British replacements
  • Nearly half (46%) of European businesses expect to reduce their use of UK suppliers
  • 36% of UK businesses plan to respond to Brexit by beating down supplier prices
  • The UK's "weak negotiating position" is seen as the biggest hurdle in trade talks
Given the planning cycles, this work will accelerate after people come back from their summer holidays. Autumn of reality?! Then Merry Christmas?!

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 at 12:15:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
36% of UK businesses plan to respond to Brexit by beating down supplier prices

Good luck with that with Sterling devaluing on an ongoing basis, increasing the cost of all components sourced outside the UK. And this before any tariff or non-tariff barriers enter the picture.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 at 08:05:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No.10 announcement on free movement completely without meaning - Ian Dunt - politics.co.uk
Or perhaps Downing Street really means it and we're back in the pre-election days of Theresa May's self-harming reactionary lunacy. ...

Or the prime minister's spokesperson could be conflating discussion of the transitional arrangements with those of the final deal. ...

Or maybe they just don't know what the hell they're talking about. There is a real risk here that we spend hours analysing the comments from Downing Street and ministers for clues as to policy, when they have consistently shown an inability to grasp the systems and dynamics under which they are operating. We're like those people who believe their dog is a genius because it looked at them like it understood what they were saying that one time. ...

The hardest thing about our new political culture is working out when they're being cynically ambiguous and when they're just being stupid.



Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Mon Jul 31st, 2017 at 10:36:28 PM EST
Brexit is beginning to look like a net WIN! for Ireland.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Aug 1st, 2017 at 01:56:22 AM EST
Road to Brexit: Sectarian wounds reopen | DW |

There are still 99 'peace walls' in Belfast ...
They divide nationalist Catholic neighborhoods from unionists Protestant ones.

by Oui on Wed Aug 2nd, 2017 at 06:40:00 PM EST
A return to sectarian violence in NI and eventually spreading to the Republic is likely post-Brexit IMO.  None of the root causes of the Troubles have been solved, they've been salved by EU money.   £12.9bn or something there abouts IIRC.
 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Aug 2nd, 2017 at 09:07:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not just the money. Devolution, cross-border institutions and EU integration provide a degree of constructive ambiguity about sovereignty and identity that helps both communities accept the status quo.
by Gag Halfrunt on Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 at 12:13:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexit: Adams says Foster `disrespecting' will of Northern Ireland
On Wednesday Ms Foster said that Mr Varadkar, in hoping Brexit would not happen, was "disrespecting the will of the British people". On Thursday Mr Adams responded by accusing the DUP leader of "disrespecting the will of the people in the North, who voted to remain within the EU in last year's referendum".

The bottom line is that the Good Friday Agreement protects the people of N. Ireland from constitutional change without their express consent. Given that Brexit was rejected by the majority of voters in N. Ireland, it should not be imposed on N. Ireland by the DUP which campaigned for Brexit and lost the vote.

Their claim is that the Irish government should respect the wishes of the people of the UK as a whole. However the Good Friday agreement does not give the UK people "as a whole" any direct say over the future of N. Ireland.  Any such change must be approved by a majority of the people of N. Ireland AND a majority of the people of the Republic of Ireland in two referenda. It grants no similar role to the people of Great Britain, other than through the actions of the UK government which has stated it will not stand in the way of the expressed will of the people of N. Ireland and the Republic.

Foster's claim is that the Irish Government should be working with the British government to develop relatively frictionless border controls rather than engaging in "megaphone diplomacy".  This is rich coming from a party which has never engaged with Irish attempts to devise more more inclusive solutions to the governance of N. Ireland.  In any case, why should the Irish Government assist in devising border controls which it believes should never exist?  For one thing, it would be poisonous for any government to attempt to do so. The public won't wear it, especially if the Irish government is seen to have collaborated with it.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 at 08:51:05 PM EST
Brexit to impact `every aspect of life' in Northern Ireland: Irish PM
"They are the ones who want a border -- it is up to them to say what it is, to say how it would work and to first of all convince their own people, their own voters, that this is actually a good idea," he said then.
[...]
In his speech at the university, Varadkar also called for the immediate restoration of local government in Northern Ireland, which has been suspended since power-sharing collapsed earlier this year amid bitter divisions between the pro-British DUP and Irish nationalist Sinn Fein.

well, yeah.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Aug 4th, 2017 at 08:13:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Without Irish unification, a hard Brexit is impossible | Simon Jenkins | The Guardian

If that prospect [Irish unification] is too much for northern unionists to stomach, they had better get working. Hard Brexit is not just bad for the UK; in their case it is unworkable. Additional border controls around Northern Ireland - wherever drawn - would further isolate the province's struggling economy. The DUP should fight for a single market and an open border. For once, it is in a parliamentary position to make a British government listen to it. But time is short.
by Gag Halfrunt on Fri Aug 4th, 2017 at 10:10:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not Varadker's job to "respect" or implement the will of the UK people as the DUP demand. That is the job of the UK government. His job is to respect the will of the Irish people, which, North and south, is that there should be no Brexit and no border controls on the land border.

If that presents a problem for the DUP, then so be it. There will be other elections, and the DUP may then no longer hold the balance of power. If necessary, the Irish government may just have to wait until the electoral mood in the UK changes. The A50 deadline is a problem for the UK government, but less so for Ireland. Boarder controls are for the long haul and cannot be changed with each change of government, so we should be wary of agreeing permanent changes in response to the exigencies of the current political environment.

If the DUP want to implement Brexit in the north against the will of the N. Ireland and Irish electorates, then they will have to pay a very considerable price indeed, and the cheapest option available to them is to implement controls at air and sea ports. Otherwise it is a united Ireland or no Brexit deal for the UK, and good luck with that.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 5th, 2017 at 10:33:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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