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Labour has said it will negotiate "access to" the CUSM without saying what it will concede in order to persuade the EU27 to agree to this. They know the EU27 won't agree to this without at least a "level playing pitch" of UK businesses signing up to the same rules and regulations as the rest of the EU27.

But as an opposition they don't have to spell out their negotiating strategy. They remain free to criticize the May government even if they know they wouldn't get any different deal themselves. That's politics.

As for taking back the railway's, the railway's in Ireland - as well as many other infrastructural utilities - are run by semi-state organization (read nationalised entities). I'm not sure there is any specific EU directive or Treaty outlawing this. EU directives are mainly aimed at preventing "unfair competition" whereby one state backed company in one country puts a private enterprise out of business by leveraging it's state subsidies.

I don't think the UK, and in this instance the Labour party, has ever fully explored the potential scope of implementing their policies within an EU context, even where this might involve putting their own private companies out of business. The point of EU "state aid" restrictions is to prevent a company in country A putting a company in country B out of business by utilizing its state backing.

To me, that seems a fair restriction, even if I am in favour of public utilities being run by state companies, especially where they involve "natural monopolies" like electricity, telecommunications, public broadcasting, water, gas, and even broadband.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 14th, 2018 at 04:48:08 PM EST
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Legal opinion seems to be that the contention that EU rules require nationalisation is just justification for policies that UK parties wanted to implement.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2018 at 01:58:16 PM EST
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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 15th, 2018 at 02:50:01 PM EST
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Yes : governments all over Europe sell up natural monopolies and squander the money, while claiming "Brussels made us do it" and trying not to smirk.

That said, the EU directives are framed in such a way as to favour this "solution", by demanding that utilities be run like a business... And what business does government have running businesses? Eh?

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

by eurogreen on Thu Nov 15th, 2018 at 02:57:59 PM EST
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Yes, sorry.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2018 at 04:39:32 PM EST
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