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Media narratives on Brexit (Phase 1) deal

by Frank Schnittger Sat Dec 9th, 2017 at 07:04:18 PM EST

I'm beginning to wonder whether we have over-estimated the power of the Brexiteers and associated media.  Here is a selection of front page headlines in UK media:

THE TIMES: "May bounces back" - May's position actually strengthened??!!?

FT: 'May's triumph blunted by Tusk warning on tough choices ahead'  ... Triumph???

Daily Mail: "Rejoice! We're on our way" - little indication that a hard Brexit has been all but ruled out

DAILY MIRROR FRONT PAGE: 'Mrs Softee' - mildly critical

DAILY TELEGRAPH: "The price of freedom" - some indication of the compromises made

The Independent highlights just how much work there still is to be done on the post-Brexit relationship between the UK and the EU

Guardian:"Deal is done but EU warns of more delays"

EXPRESS: "Huge Brexit boost at last" 'nuff said

i:"Britain sets course for soft Brexit"

Saturday's Sun:  leads on an attack on EastEnders star Jessie Wallace - "Glass attack on TV Kat" - with a minor headline "Champagne Brexfast" welcoming an historic agreement

STAR: "Jungle `bully' Dennis gets record complaints" - no mention of Brexit

It seems as if most Brits/Brit media are still no more interested in what Brexit actually means than they were when they voted for it. The details are of no interest. May can do more or less what she wants so long as she meets her campaign pledge to leave the EU. Brexit can be hard or soft, or purely cosmetic, it hardly seems to matter.  

Can you imagine Corbyn getting a similarly easy ride if he were PM? Just as in the USA, IOKIYAR - It's OK if you're a Republican, it seems like any Brexit is ok if you are a Conservative ABOKIYAC. No wonder the EU sees no need to make any great concessions.

For an EU media perspective on the outcome see:

Suck it up, Britain: now you know how to negotiate with the EU

The announcement this morning that Britain and the EU are finally ready to start actual negotiations is welcome news for Europeans. Almost 18 months after the referendum, the Brits have done what every reality-based observer knew they would have to do eventually: they have buckled.

By giving in to each and every EU demand, the May government is showing that it is finally learning to behave like the junior partner it is. Brussels and EU member states are far too polite and constructive to say so out loud, but for the next decade or so the default position for Britain in its dealings with the EU is simple: you suck it up.


On Friday morning, major European news outlets such as Le Figaro in France and Die Zeit in Germany did not even lead their online editions with the breakthrough in Brussels. This reflects just how less important Brexit is for Europeans. But as Britain's preferences become clear this lack of interest may change and so might political tensions.


There is no wish to "punish" Britain; why would you punish somebody for cutting off their own arm? Feelings of denial, shock or anger in Europe seem largely gone, too, and, these days, sentiment in EU corridors is perhaps best described as genuine pity. You wish this degree of helplessness on your enemies only. And in spite of all the insults, blackmail, hostility and ineptitude over the past few years many in Europe still see the British as friends.

The big question is whether this will still be the case in five years, once the reality of Brexit sinks in on both sides of the Channel.

My expectation is still that the reality of Brexit will drive a huge wedge between the EU and UK, and that a comprehensive trade deal might still be a very long way off.

Apparently, all the breit newspapers received a pretty exxtensive briefing Friday afternoon about the "line", which Boris and Gove have also counter-signed up.

hich is that the phrase "regulatory alliance" or "regulatory complaince" have no actual legal meaning and so were just fudge words to enable the issue to be kicked down the road and enable the Tories to finesse around the Irish problem without actually agreeing anything that matters and then move on to the trade talks.

So, essentially, the media and senior Tory bigwigs think they've got a nice deal from which they can walk away at any time with no strings attached.

And tha'ts why they're not making much of a song or dance about it.

Even Gina Miller, interviewed this morning, thinks they got away with it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Dec 10th, 2017 at 03:03:36 PM EST
Ireland says it will hold UK to `binding' deal on post-Brexit border

David Davis: Deal was `more a statement of intent' than a `legally enforceable thing'

The Government has hit back at a British government suggestion that a deal reached on the post-Brexit Border was a "statement of intent" rather than "a legally enforceable thing".

The Government issued a statement on Sunday afternoon following the British comments, saying Ireland and the EU will hold the British government to the agreement made last week.

The Government statement pointed to article 46 of the agreement made on Friday, which states: "The commitments and principles . . are made and must be upheld in all circumstances, irrespective of the nature of any future agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom. "

A Government source said that because it assumed that the British government would honour its word, it expected the commitments on the Border to be implemented.

The deal reached by European Union and British negotiating teams on Friday set out guarantees that there would be no "hard border" between the Republic and Northern Ireland when the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.

Ireland secured a commitment that there will be no hard border, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. A previous agreement had been reached on Monday guaranteeing "regulatory alignment" between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Technically the UK government may be correct. In the absence of an overall Brexit deal one could argue that "Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, "although the Irish government is insisting that the agreement applies even in the absence of an overall Brexit agreement.

However at a more general level, Davis' claim can be said to apply to most Treaties.  Even the Good Friday Agreement, an international Treaty registered with the UN is only legally enforceable in extremis: Who would or could enforce it if the UK reneged on it?

Most international law and Treaties depend on all parties adhering to their commitments with little by way of direct enforceability. However if a state gets a name for reneging on agreements, who will agree further treaties with them in future? In practice, Ireland could probably rely on the EU27 to take retaliatory action if the UK blatantly broke a deal.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 10th, 2017 at 09:43:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
we aren't called "perfidious albion" because we keep our word

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Dec 10th, 2017 at 10:18:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I read this morning that "An Englishman's word used to be his bond" and thought exactly that.

Well, after the initial "what?!?", of course.

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 10:03:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a really great way to start the negotiations on Phase 2 - by indicating your agreement to anything isn't worth the paper it's written on.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 11:12:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Davis has been rapidly paddling up the stream again this morning.

This morning, Mr Davis told LBC radio in London that the media had twisted his words. He said the UK intended to prevent a hard border after leaving the European Union whatever the outcome of Brexit talks.

"What I actually said yesterday in terms was we want to protect the peace process, want to protect Ireland from the impact of Brexit for them, and I said this was a statement of intent which was much more than just legally enforceable," Mr Davis said.

"Of course it's legally enforceable under the withdrawal agreement but even if that didn't happen for some reason, if something went wrong, we would still be seeking to provide a frictionless invisible border with Ireland."

I believe Varadakar has magnanimously welcomed his remarks this morning.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 11:25:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's always a fallback isn't it? Get caught out repeating a stupid lie and they just go and claim they were misquoted.

David Davis is lazy and stupid and lacks even the poltician's saving grace of low cunning. Didn't do his homework over the brexit negotiations and so the UK were humiliated and ended up up having to concede even more than they imagined possible.

So now, to cover up their embarrassment, they're running around the colluding UK press telling everyone who'll listen what a fantastic deal they got and how it'll all work out in the end cos they're just gonna bullshit, lie and cheat. Just like they always do

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 01:58:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To be fair, under a cliff edge departure all bets are off. If the UK falls out of the EU with no deal at all then it's going to a 360 degree clusterfuck with entirely unpredictable consequences.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 10:26:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... then it's going to a 360 degree clusterfuck with entirely unpredictable consequences.

I'll go out on a limb and make a prediction.  The wealthy will make out fine and the rest of you can fight over the scraps.  All this ... and without my brother's Tarot cards!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 12:52:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that the rich being fine, and probably a lot richer, while the rest of us get competely screwed, is pretty much exactly what's going to be the result of any thing the tories touch.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 01:42:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, do you blame them?  Seriously. Look at the way WE treat chickens/cattle.  That's how the wealthy see us, except we're dangerous.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 09:44:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this perhaps what May meant with making Brexit a success? Maybe she doesn't care about the actual content of the negotiations as long as she can claim victory in the papers.
by fjallstrom on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 10:50:28 AM EST
as they say in civilized corporate culture to July 2017
Whistling in the wind..., for example,
in order to reflect on specific predictive powers of eurotrib spectators and the utter predictability of UK gov. I for one am as tired of UK gov and Trump gov propaganda leading discussion of UK gov and Trump malice as if unintended "chaos", as if any unbalanced equation resembled a negotiation between equals, as if humiliation were the only operand of negotiation. Ask yourself: Knowing what I know now, how shall I act?

Confidence is needed to prepare for future, possible events.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Dec 13th, 2017 at 11:44:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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