Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It seems as if a lot of the discussion about "going back to the EU for further discussions" are based on the idea of re-negotiating May's deal to get something better.

But aside from the problem of the UK not knowing what "something better" actually means, the EU has so far said that while the frothy political words surrounding the agreement can be changed, the actual terms of the agreement are fixed. The existing terms capture the maximum limits the EU is willing to go as far as giving Britain a special case arrangement.

So if May goes back to the EU asking for an extension of the Article 50 timeline, the EU will say sure, we can extend it IF the reason is to try some more political pressure on your own parliament. But if the extension request is because of an expectation of changing the actual deal, the EU would, according to their position up to now, say no.

Maybe the ball is actually in the EU's court, because they can either play by the rules they have repeatedly described, or they can have a sudden attack of extra flexibility. If they play by their own rules, it will be a no-deal Brexit.


by asdf on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 03:09:51 PM EST
Really all sides agree to preserve the Union. The contradictio in terminis lies in the fact each is talking about their own union: the British Union Jack and the European Union Four Freedoms. These two are incompatible as all of us have known from the very beginning. I still hear Arlene Foster acclaiming the Irish border backstop has got to go! Foster and her 10 DUP votes kept the Tories in power and the DUP as a force May listens to. A build-in catastrophe jut to keep Theresa May in as PM after her election loss in 2017. An utter failure from the start to the bitter end.

A quick search on my computers got me these not so recent comments here @EuroTrib ...

Steve Baker, the ex-Brexit minister hell-bent on torpedoing May's Chequers plan

After the fiasco of David Cameron, Tory leader and PM Theresa May set red lines which blocked any reasonable deal with Europe.

GFA Implies No Hard Border

Brexit threatens Good Friday agreement, Irish PM warns | The Guardian - March 14, 2018 |

DUP leader Arlene Foster says scrap the backstop, the EU has guaranteed no hard border ...

More utter nonsense from Brexiteer and failed negotiator David Davies ...

'Now the EU HAS TO LISTEN' - David Davis claims Brexit deal is STILL ON

Related reading ...

Brexit: A look back at the journey two years since the vote

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 03:34:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Flexibility from the EU?

You mean unilateral concessions? Can you throw us some ideas on that?

Some have suggested that the EU could throw Ireland to the dogs by abandoning the "backstop", i.e. the commitment to maintaining an open Irish border. I think this highly unlikely, because it would be a betrayal by 26 heads of government of one of their own.

All the alternatives require the UK to move on from May's "red lines", to either staying in a customs union ("common market"), or leaving northern Ireland in the EU customs union.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 04:01:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or, (other May red line), permitting the free movement of persons.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 04:27:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"and", not "or".

There is no Brexit that doesn't leave Ireland as a customs union. Bottom line, and fuck the DUP.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 04:47:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It does seem as if May could throw the DUP overboard at this point. They didn't push her agreement over the line, they won't push the confidence vote over the line, they won't push the election over the line.

And an obvious way forward would be a united Ireland anyway. I don't suppose that could be effected in six weeks, but maybe it could.*

What's the point of keeping them on board?

*Note that this option is not included on the various Brexit process flow charts.

by asdf on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 05:01:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The DUP voted with the government this evening and were responsible for the defeat of the no-confidence motion. Without them, the Tories would have fallen short.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 08:09:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Welp, with the DUP firmly on board, the backstop issue isn't going away.
by asdf on Thu Jan 17th, 2019 at 01:22:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The existing terms capture the maximum limits the EU is willing to go as far as giving Britain a special case arrangement.
Given May's red lines.

If you had a different set of red lines, you might get a different result.

For instance, May is obsessed with curtailing free movement and getting out of under the umbrella of the European Court of Justice.

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 Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 06:29:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The point about those red lines needs to be... underlined in red?

May started out believing she could pull a Margaret Thatcher and impose her will. She could dictate the frame within which the "deal" would be negotiated. And so, red lines on movement of persons, customs union, EU law, etc.

From there, all discussion was set into narrow channels that could logically only end with the crappy "deal" she put before Parliament yesterday. The EU, in any case, had neither interest, obligation, nor other motive to bend over backwards to accommodate her. Barnier courteously held the paint-pot while she painted herself into a corner.

The extent to which this is not understood in British politics is mind-boggling. I just heard the leader of UK Conservatives in Paris say that a new agreement would be put together and applied "whether the EU likes it or not".

Words fail.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 08:33:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Typical Britain: thinking it can still impose its will on the world, whether they like it or not. The UK really needs to do something about its inbred establishment.
by IdiotSavant on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 08:52:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe reality will appear over the horizon after we've crashed out and the UK disintegrates with no food, no trade and thus no employment.

But I'm quite sure the tabloid press will be busy blaming sneaky Johnny Foreigners ganging up on poor plucky Blighty.

I am so sick of this Empire bullshit, it's so degrading. To listen to my sister tell me in all seriousness that the EU have treated Mrs May terribly. Yet when you ask what they've done that's so terrible it's just vague hand waving along the lines of "they didn't give us everything even tho we didn't know what we wanted, but they should have known"

It's just pathetic

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 09:37:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Top Diaries

Democracy on trial

by IdiotSavant - Feb 14

A Special Place in Hell

by Frank Schnittger - Feb 14

Ingeniería Una Revolución

by Oui - Feb 7


by Frank Schnittger - Jan 31

Occasional Series