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No deal means no deal

by Frank Schnittger Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 09:55:29 AM EST

Minister for Justice Charles Flanagan and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney hold their press conference on the street after the British failed to provide a room following a meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference in London last month. Photograph: Kirsty O'Connor/PA

Update [2019-7-2 9:55:29 by Frank Schnittger]:First published Fri Aug 3rd, 2018, but is there anything of substance which has changed in the meantime?

One of the few things the UK government has done well is to summarise their position in a few pithy phrases even low information voters can understand. We are all familiar with the famous "Brexit means Brexit" catchphrase of Prime Minster May and Boris Johnson's famous "we can have our cake at eat it" which should really be "we can eat our cake and still have it"...

What Johnson means by this is that the UK will be able to carry on trading with the EU very much as before, taking all the benefits of access to the EU Single Market and all the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) the EU has negotiated with third parties without any of the costs and restrictions of EU membership. Apparently the EU would agree to this because "they need us more than we need them" and replicating EU FTAs would be a simple mater of replacing the letters "EU" with "UK" in all the FTAs the EU has negotiated to date.

The EU negotiating stance, on the other hand, has been one long slow process of disabusing the UK of such notions. Access to the Single Market will require agreement to "the four freedoms", and membership of the Customs Union will require compliance with the corpus of customs regulations the EU has built up over the years. The UK will not be allowed to achieve a competitive advantage by taking in cheaper, less regulated imports, or by reducing the scope of workers rights. And this is before we even talk about the UK making Norway style ongoing contributions to the EU budget in return for access to the Single Market.

As these realities have sunk in, debate in the UK has switched to negotiating a "Canada+++" style FTA which could include services and other elements not included in normal FTAs. "Just because this hasn't been done before shouldn't limit the scope of our ambition" according to Theresa May. The problem is that even standard FTAs tend to take many years to negotiate, and are subject to an EU requirement that they be ratified and approved unanimously by the EU Council, Commission, Parliament, 27 member Parliaments and some regional Parliaments. A big ask especially if EU/UK relations are not the best...

As a last resort the Brexiteers have been proclaiming their happiness to trade on just standard WTO terms in the event of a no deal Brexit - something they claim to be very relaxed about. They can point to the fact that the EU and UK have commenced the process of splitting their joint WTO trade schedules and making them available for consultation by other WTO members - where they too must achieve unanimous consent. Already 7 WTO members have voiced reservations.

But what ardent "No deal" Brexiteers may be forgetting is that "No Deal means no deal". The EU might halt the WTO schedule splitting process and not extend "Blue Skies" landing rights at EU airports to UK (non-EU) owned airlines. This doesn't require any active action "to punish Britain" on the part of the EU but is a simple consequence of the fact that only EU members are party to the agreement. The same applies to multiple EU agencies like Interpol, the Atomic Energy agency and the EU medicines agency currently decamping from London to Amsterdam.

Slowly, however, despite official attempts to suppress studies detailing the impact of a no deal Brexit on various economic sectors and everyday life, some details have been slipping through into public consciousness:

Keep calm and stockpile: An Irish parcel for Brexit Britain

The British government has revealed it is making plans to stockpile food and drugs in the event it crashes out of Brexit on March 29th without a deal, like a slightly chagrined drunk who ruins the party by throwing up over the sofa, and then slinks off home without a word.

It has been reported that the army and military helicopters may be called in to deliver food and supplies to far-flung parts of Britain (in this context, everywhere outside the southeast of England is “far-flung”). Generators could be flown home from Afghanistan in the event that electricity supplies between the Republic and Northern Ireland are cut off.

Prime minister Theresa May told people not to panic at the talk of stockpiling and blackouts – they should feel “comfort and reassurance”, she insisted. “It makes sense to put those things in place for no deal, because we’re in a negotiation,” she said. Quite right – who needs things such as water, fruit or lifesaving medicines when Britain is #takingcontrol?

Meanwhile, in better news, Jacob Rees-Mogg – the arch-Brexiteer who has just opened his second pension fund based in Ireland – said it will all be worth it… as quickly as around 50 years from now.

Over the weekend, as supermarkets warned that they won’t be responsible for stockpiling rations in the event of a no-deal Brexit, newspapers published advice for readers on how to put together a Brexit survival kit. “The imposition of tariffs and the likely collapse of sterling will mean that olive oil and wine will never again be as cheap. A middle-class way of life that began in the 1960s may be coming to an end,” wrote Ian Jack in the Guardian, suggesting people stock up on breakfast cereals, cat food, corned beef and HP sauce.

The Financial Times consoled its readers with the thought that advances in vacuum packaging means rationing can be a far jollier affair than it was in their grandparents’ day, urging them to fill their survival kits with “German wild boar salami … air-cured jamon from Spain and prosciutto from Italy … cheese from Franche-Comté or an Italian pecorino and Gorgonzola.” There’ll be no undignified racing around Aldi to buy up all the cat food and the Italian pecorino.

Perhaps the Gorgonzola vote will finally swing public sentiment away from Brexit...

The UK has been drawing up a "cherry picked" list of agencies and Treaties they do wish to remain members of, but there is no reason why the EU must agree to this in the absence of an overall Brexit deal, and particularly if the UK has defaulted on any Exit payments due. The UK fall-back position is to appeal over the heads of the Commission to national EU leaders stressing their long ties and proclaiming the need for "sensible arrangements" which are in both party's interests.

There may be certain things which are in the interests of two nation states, but it is not in the interests of the EU that any member or ex-member can be allowed to resile from previous commitments and yet maintain preferential access to the bits of the EU they still want to retain access to. This could be particularly difficult for a member state like Ireland which has a long land border with the UK and is most exposed to the damage a no deal Brexit will do to the most vulnerable parts of its economy.

Ireland exports a huge amount of agricultural produce to the UK which sustains employment in more rural parts of the country. Some companies have already closed because their tight margins were unable to cover the cost of Sterling devaluation. A further 20% devaluation post Brexit would kill off Irish agricultural exports entirely and make even domestic producers vulnerable to much cheaper UK imports.

Ireland is already suffering from hugely asymmetric development between the larger cities and more rural parts of the economy, and the migration of UK financial services jobs to Dublin will only exacerbate that situation. In addition the market for financial and IT jobs is pretty saturated at the moment while unemployment persists among manual, craft and technical workers, especially in more rural areas.

But it is the impact of a no deal Brexit on border regions and Northern Ireland that is of most concern. Ireland fought a bitter civil war in 1922/3 over the creation of that border and civil disorder has lingered intermittently in N. Ireland ever since. The British government has shown huge disrespect for the institutions established by the Good Friday Agreement and seems hell bent on wrecking what little cross-community consensus has developed in the years since that agreement was signed.

There seems to be no prospect of the N. Ireland assembly and Executive being re-established following a disagreement between the DUP and Sinn Fein over DUP corruption scandals and the corrosive effects the prospect of Brexit is having on inter-community relations. There seems little point in trying to negotiate new deals when older ones are allowed to lapse into neglect and disrespect. One way or another Ireland will survive the economic impact of Brexit, no deal or otherwise, but the continued existence of N. Ireland has been called into question.

There will be no deal on anything until the UK starts respecting the Good Friday Agreement and the Back stop on the border they agreed to last December in order to move the talks on to the present phase. The next time British and Irish ministers meet, it may be the British Ministers who are left out in the cold (or in a heatwave, depending on the time of year).

My slightly tongue in cheek comment on the linked story on food shortages
Sneer, sneer, sneer! Just you wait until glorious global GREAT Britain sucks in food imports from all over the globe and our humble EU quality controlled CAP subsidised food exports can't compete. We'll end up having to sell Irish Gorgonzola to the Italians and Camembert to the French.

Humble farm workers will have to become fintech workers in Dublin City and the roads to Rosslare will be blocked by UK exports trying to sneak past the EU blockade across the border from N. Ireland. Our housing crisis will be exacerbated by hoards of refugees crossing the Irish sea evading border controls in perilous 60 ft. yachts and a new potato famine will break out as supplies of our Tayto crisps run short.

Ryanair will be the UK's sole link with the outside world and even upper class people will have to use it confusing Priority boarding with first class.. Prime Minister Bojo will be heard to proclaim "let them eat cake" and ordering his troops to keep the Irish border open while bombing Teheran at the behest of President-for-life Trump.

Great Britain will be a global power again while we are derided as a province of the Fourth Reich and ordered by Berlin to shut ze border... until the populace rises up and embraces the British Empire again..

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 3rd, 2018 at 04:55:06 PM EST
Generators could be flown home from Afghanistan in the event that electricity supplies between the Republic and Northern Ireland are cut off.

Better fly years worth of fuel home with them.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2018 at 01:21:50 AM EST
close 03.08.18 Yahoo!
1 Pound Sterling = 1.1239 Euro
Approaching Panic of '08 GBP:EUR level (see 10Y chart).

The Tory Anguish was muted today, but palpable beneath bi-lateral "talks" (Macron, Juncker) going into weekend. It is interesting to read how the island papers glossed Tory weakness. (SWOT viz. IE; I took a tour of IE's nationalized 'Big 4' current exposure plus NAMA to update myself. Surprised to find, NAMA may well lead the future.)

Belfast Telegraph, for example, took in the news to um probe further devolving wedge between unionists.
May meets Macron in bid to win support for Brexit plans
DUP row deepens as Robinson says `the battle for the union is on'. I expect to read more about these fluid, "Tory fact-finding, analgesic tours into the real in the months ahead.

The Times, for example, took in the news but added some detail to Sammy's earnest and principled stand (from inside East Antrim).
May meets Macron to seek support for Brexit blueprint

"It is not enough to say that a referendum is coming, so prepare the terms in case we lose," he said. "Churchill knew that the Nazis were coming after Britain when they defeated France in 1940 but he didn't prepare terms for the event of a successful invasion, he rallied the people by telling them to prepare to fight on the beaches and in laneways and in the street and to never surrender.

The Independent passed on all of it.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Aug 4th, 2018 at 01:35:59 AM EST
It's all too horrible. Made worse that my personal circumstances are subject ot abrupt change at some unspecified pooint in the future, so there's no point building a stockpile of food I won't be able to use

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 6th, 2018 at 08:31:23 PM EST
I hope you don't think my militant opposition to Brexit is without regard for the consequences for those most directly effected. A lot of people (in Ireland too) are going to lose their jobs, their way of life, and probably a lot of friends as well. I struggle to find any silver linings, especially in the short term.

I personally don't think that food/medicines availability is going to be a major issue - they can always be transported across the border from Ireland if there are hold-ups at channel ports. Prices will go up, possibly quite dramatically, depending on how far Sterling devalues.

Ireland is the only country with whom the UK has a significant trade surplus. It is simply not in the UK's interest to damage that trade through border controls. The EU, not so much.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 6th, 2018 at 11:18:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brussels will break its own laws if it refuses to compromise on Brexit, ministers have warned their European counterparts.

The EU "keeps stalling" and bringing the prospect of no deal ever closer, they say, even though the Lisbon Treaty requires it to do everything it can to find a workable arrangement with Britain.

Senior Whitehall sources said on Sunday that if the UK crashes out of Europe without a deal "we will make it clear whose fault it was".

They point to Article 8 of the treaty, which states that the EU must "develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union

Needless to say, the Torygraph forgets to point out that Article 8 has been completely ignored in the case of Russia.....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Aug 6th, 2018 at 09:12:15 PM EST
The UK can always take the EU to Court in the ECJ... oh wait... Why would the UK even try to rely on Treaties they have sworn to abrogate?

These comments have the flavour of the sort of comments people make when they have lost the battle and are preparing the ground for failure - starting with the inevitable blame games. This may work with the UK media, particularly the tabloids, but elsewhere it will matter not a jot. In the real world you have to reach a deal, or you lose.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 6th, 2018 at 11:07:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We live in the post-truth world now, where the corporate media are happy to boost the signal of rabble rousing right wing politicians because it suits the agenda of the corporate owners.

Boris Johnston has already learned that policy consequences are irrelevant to his career : He has been a serial disaster in every political post he's held, wastng hundreds of millions of pounds on vanity projects that were simply never going to work.

Yet each and every one has boosted his presence in the media. Even yesterday he made an inflammatory and overtly racist speech that, in previous years, would have ensured his political oblivion. Now, it simply projects him onto the front pages, the only bad news is no news now.

Boris made his career writing lies about the EU in the Telegraph and they have realised there are no downsides to printing lies about the EU now. The onlypeople who care are Remainers and we no longer matter in any way whatsoever. A 52% mandate for a Constutional change that will weaken this country for generations means the right wing no longer have to care; on 30th March 2019 they ca do what they like and nobody can stop them.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 06:59:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And why is Corbyn going along with this? Does he not see the dangers? Or is he simply powerless to do anything about it now?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 08:58:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A belief that a glorious sovereign socialist utopia will rise from the ashes is the kindest interpretation I can put on his actions. Which means he's as deluded as the rest of the Brexiteers.

Possibly "Never interrupt an enemy when they're making a mistake", but I'm not sure that makes sense when they're burning down the house you both live in.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 09:07:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is something of that, although a lot less than a lot of people infer.

Mostly I see a somewhat naive belief that a democratic vote, however ill-informed and mistaken, once taken, cannot readily be put aside or challenged. There would have to be a notable shift in public mood for him to consider suggesting that we should perhaps forget about the whole sorry business.

As yet, that shift in public mood simply hasn't happened. You can get a 60/40 majority that we might vote on the final deal, but even that wouldn't be enough to actually get a vote cos the brexiteer ultras are still in control of all the levers of government and are determined to drive us over the cliffs into the unregulated low wage seas of Free-Market serfdom.

It would require an unholy alliance of MPs in the Commons to thwart this madness, but that would probably tear an irreparable hole in the fabric of the British Constitutional arrangement; to the extent I'm not sure it would be an improvement.

5 years after brexit I'm quite sure you'd get 95% vote in favour of returning. But there would first be a small and ruinous civil war to rid ourselves of the newly emergent alt-right who need to be put down again after 75 years. I'm rather hoping this would also be after several leading figures in the Tory party were publicly and deservedly burned at the stake for aiding and abetting.

I'm really not looking forward to what comes next.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 12:48:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is rather more than the ignorance of its constituents (or "subjects") the fly in the milk of "representational democracy" as you know it, isn't it? So not by coincidence constituents of Madame May's "government" are purportedly only members of parliament, themselves slavishly attentive to winds of "wealth building" around an ornamental monarchy.

What else is this "Constitutional arrangement" of Britain?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 01:42:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's so wrong with a majority of MP's from various parties who believe Brexit will be  a disaster voting down a government they believe is pursuing a very poor  deal or no deal Brexit? Is that not what "British" democracy in a Sovereign parliament is all about? Referendums, on the other hand, in the UK as a whole are a rarely used advisory device to try and overcome divisions within whatever party is currently in power.

I know Brits like to ridicule the Irish for having two referenda on a similar issue if the first result is very divisive, but what makes the second result any less valid than the first? We changed our minds on a couple of EU Treaties when apathy and a lot of misinformation led to very low polls the first time around and those results were over-turned in much higher turn-out polls subsequently.

We also changed our minds on Abortion between 1983 and 2018. What's so wrong with that? Electorates regularly change their minds on issues or voting preferences. Is that not the essence of a vibrant democracy? So I don't get this totally fatalistic acceptance of a result (which will have severe and long lasting consequences) as if it can never be changed.

I also get it that not many people have changed their minds. However the turn-out in a second referendum could be completely different, a lot more facts will be in evidence when people come to vote, and people will be voting for or against a very specific deal rather than on a very vaguely defined and poorly understood proposition.

Frankly, I think Corbyn has run out of excuses if he ever had any.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 02:22:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the MPs can only vote down a Government, I'm not sure they can force a PM to do its bidding.

Y'see, if a Government is defeated on a major policy issue, then the immediate response is that there is a vote of No Confidence. However, as many Tory Remain MPs consider their chances of being re-elected pretty slim, they would, in effect, be voting to lose their jobs. So they wouldn't do it.

Even if the Government won a NC vote, then if the original issue were re-voted, how would the Tory remainers. To vote against the govt would be wasting parliamentary time. To vote with it would be to signal their own defeat.

Politics is a dirty game and the Tory Remainers have few places of safety; forcing the issue is not one of them.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 02:38:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Similarly, short of assassination(s), the US Constitution grants the US Congress and the polity it is believed to represent --itself denied national referenda-- only impeachment verdict rendered by the chambers' members. And even this they are incapable of agreement on what conduct by a head of state is socially unacceptable, as is the custom.

Among pirates.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Aug 8th, 2018 at 12:51:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain recently had a change of government majority without a parliamentary election.

Just throwing this in the mix. I have no idea how that would work. It would seem to require a certain number of Tory MPs pledging not to vote against a Labour government.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 8th, 2018 at 03:36:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lots of countries has "national unity" governments in times of war or emergency generally made up of the major parties combining to form a government with a very large majority, and sometimes only a token opposition. The all-party coalitions of Herbert Henry Asquith and David Lloyd George in the First World War and of Winston Churchill in the Second World War were sometimes referred to as National Governments.

So if there is an anti-no-deal Brexit majority in Parliament, they could prevent that outcome and even takes the reins of government themselves - presumably under a leader acceptable to all factions - i.e not Johnson or Corbyn.

But I can't see it happening. Party allegiances are too strong, and there is no obvious alternate leader.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 10th, 2018 at 05:17:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that's not what happened in Spain. No war, no emergency. The government fell because it failed a confidence vote, and the opposition cobbled together a confidence-and-supply majority which contains a couple of right-wing parties (albeit separatist).

I'm not saying it will happen in the UK, but it's not unthinkable in terms of parliamentary democracy.

However we are in fact talking about a national emergency : a government paralysed by warring factions which is sleepwalking towards disaster. Just bringing down the government and calling new elections would not be enough, because of the delay. An emergency "technical" government would be required, to negotiate a halt to Brexit.

But I suppose you're right : there are not enough Tories with the requisite intestinal fortitude.

Unless... Boris's populist moves may make the continued existence of the Conservative party untenable, and facilitate the sort of rebellion required?

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

by eurogreen on Mon Aug 13th, 2018 at 08:58:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's nothing wrong with it. It's just one of the Stock Leaver Talking Points: "We won the vote so we're leaving, and no you don't get another vote even though Leave have been lambasted and fined by the Electoral Commission and referred to the police - and they've also parted ways with their defence lawyers who were appealing the fine, which is not suspicious at all, honest."

This has always been a stitch up. Always.

God only knows what the end game is, but it's unlikely to be fun to live through - which is why I left for sunnier climes, and why I'm encouraging everyone I know to do the same.

Considering there are articles in the Serious Papers about shortages of food and medicines, the only rational action at this point is to GTFO.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 03:49:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Missed that. Where are you based now?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 03:52:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can't get much sunnier that Britain these days.... I'm in London right now, making my last visit before the Continent is cut off, and I'm getting a bit tired of this continuous sunshine.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 03:58:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
we're all sick of it, but according to the weather, ths is the last day of it.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 04:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wish I could, but I simply cannot do so right now. I think I'm trapped here for the foreseeable

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 04:58:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's so wrong with a majority of MP's from various parties who believe Brexit will be  a disaster voting down a government they believe is pursuing a very poor  deal or no deal Brexit?

In general, nothing. In the context of a referendum saying that the government should do the stupid thing, and a widespread (and correct) view that the political establishment doesn't care for the views of the peasantry, its an invitation for political chaos and constitutional crisis. At best, you get an even greater loss of faith in the UK's already shaky democracy. At worst, you get MPs dangling from lampposts (and they've already had one MP murdered over this).

OTOH, given the expected consequences of Brexit (food shortages, civil disorder, and consequent political instability), they really have no good choices here.

by IdiotSavant on Wed Aug 8th, 2018 at 02:57:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Corbyn started to advocate for cancelling Brexit half his MPs would discover their inner swivel eyed Brexit loon. After all, the first thing they did once it was clear that the UK's trade relations with the rest of the world were on fire was the chicken coup. All those fluffy moderates had the chance to dominate the parties position on Brexit, since they controlled most of the apparatus and the membership mostly loath it, but they decided to rather use it to get rid of Corbyn.

Also the UK's MMT faction argues that Labour's economic policy is dominated by pretty bad advice. I wouldn't be surprised if the thinking on the complexities of Brexit is also quite bad. Economics 101 would lead you to expect that the cratering of the Pound would lead to an improvement of the terms of trade. However, Economics 101 is worth shit all. I think Corbyn actually brought that up in a recent speech, the one that was shellacked by the Free Press™ for "touting the benefits of Brexit", where he correctly noted that there were none to be observed, as of now.
Investing too much hope in exchange rate adjustments is not a good gamble to take and I hope they keep an open mind. Though to be fair, it might be the only one available.

by generic on Wed Aug 8th, 2018 at 08:33:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's certainly true that there seems to be little thinking about policy going on within the inner circle.

I think the problem is that Corbyn's status as leader of the party has been under constant attack since the moment he won, with attempts to overthrow him being announced almost every 6 months (a new one seems to be underway now according to various sources).

This has led to a seige mentality which has made it resistant to ideas beyond mere survival. Which is a shame cos they will really need an awful lot of help to turn the country around when they take power.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Aug 8th, 2018 at 12:22:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, well, it seems to me that the hedge is in the joint letter of support for the EU Blocking Statute. So Tory gov has that sop going for it when proper negotiation of the "future relationship" begins. After 31 Dec 2020.

I shall hope for the best --that Tory gov does not renege again-- and prepare for the worst.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Aug 8th, 2018 at 12:42:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a hit piece on Corbyn in Politico. Is it the coup season in the UK?
by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Aug 8th, 2018 at 07:03:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Aug 8th, 2018 at 07:14:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
christ on a bike but that is bad. Recycling every BS attack that Fleet St and the BBC have mounted in the last 2 years plus a few I'd not heard before.

The trouble that most of these people have is that they protest too much, too often. It imly becomes ridiculous. Like the current anti-semitism thing; if they'd kept it low level and fact-based (yes there is some anti-semitism in the party and has been indulged/ignored for far too long) then they might have made a fist of it.

But by going completely over the top with a full 24/7 media onslaught throwing every crappy thing they can invent, they simply end up looking idiotic.

And so here we are again. It hasn't worked before and it won't work now

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Aug 8th, 2018 at 08:40:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't help when the FT publishes rubbish like this and this.
by rifek on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 01:25:33 AM EST
I don't have a subscription to the FT. Perhaps you could paraphrase or quote?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 01:41:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The EU is relaxing its red lines" - except it isn't. Not really.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 03:50:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU has almost no red lines it can relax.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 03:54:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
redlining, infamously brought into worldwide contemporary public lexicon by Mr Obama's frequent use of it (and embrace of "homeland" security), ironically.

Let's limit our etymology to wikiwtf origins, or claims to primacy, because one might as well render unto caesar until further notice.

UK-Eng. colloquial

The origin of the phrase in English traces back to the "Red Line Agreement" in 1928 between largest oil companies of Britain, the USA and France at the time of the end of the Ottoman Empire. At the time of signature, the borders of the empire were not clear and to remedy the problem an Armenian businessman named Calouste Gulbenkian, took a red pencil to draw in an arbitrary manner the borders of the divided empire.

The expression remained significant to global diplomacy and was reused during the UN's founding after the WWII, especially in the Anglophone world. Uniquely, in France one would "cross the yellow line" (franchir la ligne jaune).[3]...

US-Eng. colloquial

Although informal discrimination and segregation had existed in the United States, the specific practice called "redlining" began with the National Housing Act of 1934, which established the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).[10][page needed] Racial segregation and discrimination against minorities and minority communities pre-existed this policy. The implementation of this federal policy aggravated the decay of minority inner-city neighborhoods caused by the withholding of mortgage capital, and made it even more difficult for neighborhoods to attract and retain families able to purchase homes.[11][page needed] The assumptions in redlining resulted in a large increase in residential racial segregation and urban decay in the United States.

archived pwns
Divide and Conquer?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Aug 8th, 2018 at 03:32:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For an outstanding article on  the impact of a no-deal Brexit on UK food security, read Ian Dunt's excellent article here. (Ignore the silly trivialising opening paragraph which has apparently put some readers off - if you believe the comments).

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 12:03:34 PM EST
Politico has taken a more light-hearted analysis of this serious topic in how Brexit will kill the sandwich

Today the Guardian reports that UK would run out of food a year from now with no-deal Brexit, NFU warns

While this makes an attractive headline, given the JiT nature of our food supply, it is an exceedingly simplistic statement; less than a week, for major disruption and empty shelves, seems more likely.

I'm now off to buy tinned Tuna.

by oldremainmer48 on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 01:15:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I missed the part where the whole of UK wholesale department refused to pay (and pass on) the premium added to the purchase price of imported commonwealth victuals so that the common man might live.

Do these people intend to save every digital bit of GBP "in case" its trading value, denominated as USD and INR, rises or falls?

Say, yes.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 07:21:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yep, that's about the size of it

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 01:16:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I apologize. I've missed the discussion of Ireland's constitutional arrangements several months now.

Where are they, and what preparations have the people of the "republic" implemented to mitigated "divorce" from the UK?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 01:48:22 PM EST
Brexit effect: What does sterling weakness mean for Irish consumers?

Let's assume it's still too soon to panic the savers holding GBP. Give it a Bal'more minute. The papers will start flogging holiday properties in the midlands.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 9th, 2018 at 06:10:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Claims made at first meeting of Belfast City Council's Brexit committee
The first order of business was a motion of support for the so-called backstop option. The EU has proposed a backstop which would mean the North remaining with the EU customs union, large parts of the single market and the EU VAT system.
The SDLP and Alliance Party backed the motion with minor amendments.
The motion was passed by 10 votes to 7, with Sinn Féin, the SDLP and Alliance voting for, while the DUP, UUP and PUP voted against.
while we're at it ...
Later in the meeting, Ulster Unionist councillor Jeffrey Dudgeon proposed that the committee review the role of Belfast's Port Health Unit following the UK's departure from the EU.

"The Port Health Unit at Belfast Harbour Estate is currently approved to act on behalf of the EU as a Designated Point of Entry," his proposal reads. ... Given the changes after Brexit when the Unit may have to inspect direct imports from all the current EU states, as well as non-EU countries, the proposed review of its role and options will need to involve forward planning for various outcomes."

The border dividing Ireland will be abandoned by one of two methods.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 9th, 2018 at 09:51:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dairy farms seek measures to offset €800m income hit
Irish dairy farmers need a fodder import scheme to help offset a drought-related [!] €800m income hit in 2018, said ICMSA president Pat McCormack.
Devenish Nutrition who?
The Department of Agriculture has been given permission by the EU to roll out some farm payments six weeks earlier than planned. The ICMSA said the basic payment scheme (BPS) has improved, but many farmers are still awaiting payments from the GLAS scheme.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 9th, 2018 at 10:12:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you actually implying that Ireland would veto a deal if the rest of he EU27 relaxed their demand for an Irish backstop?

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 Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Aug 12th, 2018 at 04:28:52 PM EST
We don't have a veto on the Brexit deal, only on any deals the EU/UK might conclude after a no deal Brexit. At that stage the disastrous effects of a no deal Brexit would put huge pressure on the UK to compromise. Also, as the Tory/DUP government is unlikely to survive a no-deal Brexit, the DUP wouldn't have a veto either. It's all about the border, as far as Ireland is concerned.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 12th, 2018 at 06:30:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, the withdrawal agreement is by qualified majority. Ireland then has a veto on the future relation, whether after a deal or after no deal.

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 Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Aug 12th, 2018 at 08:38:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain's richest person to leave UK for tax-free Monaco
Britain's richest person is quitting the UK for Monaco - just two months after he was knighted by the Queen for "services to business and investment".

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the founder and chief executive of petrochemicals company Ineos and a high-profile Brexiter, is preparing to move to the tax-free principality on the Côte d'Azur in order to avoid UK taxes on his vast wealth. His fortune is estimated at £21bn.


In the run-up to the Brexit referendum, Ratcliffe provided a fillip for the Leave campaign when he said Britain would thrive outside the EU.

In the aftermath of the vote he urged the government to adopt a tough approach to exit negotiations: "We must listen, we must be unwaveringly polite and retain our charm. But there is no room for weakness or crumpling at 3am when the going gets tough and most points are won or lost."

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Aug 13th, 2018 at 08:18:54 PM EST
all the leave rats abandoning ship

Redwood is advising his investors to avoid UK companies
Rees-Mogg has moved his businesses to Ireland
Lawson is applying for French residence
Farage is applying for a german passport
Aaron Banks has allegedly already got his Russian passport
No doubt Boris Johnston (who had to renounce his joint US citizenship) will re-discover his trans-Alantic roots, as will Gove.
I'm sure Liam Fox will try but I suspect he will end up in the far East as filth (Failed In London, Try Hong Kong).

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Aug 14th, 2018 at 01:49:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New assignment for Germany's top Brexit negotiator Peter Ptassek ... sent to Bogota!

Europe's Brexit Task Forces: The Who's Who Guide

Germany is possibly the most critical country for the UK in the upcoming negotiations.

A task force, attached to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and led by Peter Ptassek, Director for Community Policies and Strategic Coordination at the German Foreign Office, has been established to lead on the negotiation. The Finance Ministry, led by the ever powerful Wolfgang Schäuble [has stepped down last year - Oui], is certain to influence the negotiations, and has established a task force of its own.

However, as EU affairs have been managed by the Chancellery (Prime Minister's office) since the days of Chancellor Helmut Kohl, it is Merkel's own office that will steer Germany's approach. Uwe Corsepius, Merkel's Chief EU adviser, will play the key role in the task force, thus ensuring close central oversight of the negotiations. Corsepius is an experienced diplomat who has worked for a long time on EU matters, most recently as the Secretary General of the EU Council Secretariat in Brussels. He will provide the task force and Merkel with great insight and advice into the politics and process of the negotiations. As a strong supporter of the EU, he will want to minimise the prospect of damage to the overall EU project.  

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Aug 13th, 2018 at 08:35:28 PM EST
Change of Ownership of HSBC Bank plc European Branches, Operations and Subsidiaries

As political and regulatory change in Europe continues, it is important that HSBC organises its business in a way that supports its pan-European proposition for customers. To achieve this, HSBC France:

    - Acquired on 1 August 2018 two European subsidiaries, HSBC Polska Bank SA in Poland and HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Ireland) DAC in Ireland, direct and indirect subsidiaries of HSBC Bank plc respectively;

    - Will acquire the activities of seven European branches (in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain) from HSBC Bank plc. The acquisition of these activities is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2019.

These HSBC businesses currently service both Global Banking and Markets and Commercial Banking customers. In particular, HSBC businesses in Ireland and Luxembourg provide securities services to fund and corporate customers.

These changes have been and will be approved by the appropriate supervisory authorities and the relevant Boards of Directors.

All entities and activities acquired and to be acquired had a combined profit before tax of US$203m (EUR168m) in 2017, and a total balance sheet of US$15.1bn (EUR13.0bn) at 31 December 2017.

HSBC France is a 99.99% subsidiary of HSBC Bank plc. This restructuring, internal to HSBC Bank plc, will not impact the capital ratios of HSBC France.

HSBC profits and revenue rise due to strong Asia performance despite Trump trade war fears
HSBC to move seven offices from London to Paris amid Brexit uncertainty | France24 |
Brexit Record: Banking

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 14th, 2018 at 10:56:55 AM EST
Barclays issued a similar "acquisition" story between Barclays Ireland and several UK "subsidiaries" which do no retail banking.

I am slightly disappointed that the EU "passport" fee structure has collapsed without even a whimper.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Aug 14th, 2018 at 12:45:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here you go: Barclays shifting ownership of European branches to Irish unit ahead of Brexit - sources

(GAAP is an annoying subject for those of us straddling the UK-USA fence these many years, but I do detect a change in the farce: the locution "indirect and direct" ownership, formerly known as controlling interest measured in shares held by persons, either natural or "institutional," ie. corporate. Regardless of private, public, or consolidated reporting status of a gov-regulated "entity" (database engineering or religious mystic data type definition lingo), in the USA ≥10% outstanding, in the EU (airline only?) ≥50% outstanding, in the UK ... wtf.)

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Aug 14th, 2018 at 01:46:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FYI: Elon Musk controls 20% of TSLA shares outstanding. He is in a bit of bother with the SEC and TSLA investors (formerly short sellers) since he launched his capital raising (LBO) scheme last week (by tweet) claiming he had secured financing with a KSA sovereign fund.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Aug 14th, 2018 at 01:52:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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