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Brexit: UK and EU Breakthrough In Strasburg

by Oui Mon Mar 11th, 2019 at 11:56:29 PM EST

WTF caught me blindsided ... a complete surprise.

More below the fold ...


Brexit: UK and EU hail breakthrough in talks | DW |

The United Kingdom has won legal guarantees from the European Union that would stop Brussels from forcing the country to follow EU rules indefinitely after it leaves the bloc on March 29.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the changes in Strasbourg on Monday ahead of a crucial vote in the British Parliament on Tuesday.

Juncker: There will be no third chance to pass Brexit deal  | The Guardian |

Several Tory MPs suggested the prime minister postpone tomorrow's vote by 24 hours to give the Commons more time to examine the changes to the withdrawal agreement. Charlie Elphicke said:

    "If it's such a great deal, why the rush? Why bounce the House into a vote tomorrow? If it's such a good deal why do we not take a few days to cogitate, reflect, look at the deal then come to the House and have the vote when we've gone across the detail and we have had that chance for full and frank consideration?"

Lidington said the House has "considered these issues on a number of occasions", saying that the public "want decisions taken" and to see politicians "get on with delivering the referendum result".

Peter Bone said there would "not be enough time to debate the motion" ahead of the vote at 7pm tomorrow, adding: "Can I suggest to the deputy PM... would it not be better to have a statement from the attorney general tomorrow, a statement from the prime minister tomorrow and a debate the following day?"

He added it was "ridiculous that Parliament should be bounced into it", but Lidington said we "cannot have further delay".  

May and Juncker agree 'legally binding' changes to NI backstop | Irish Times |

Display:
And the Tories once again demonstrate their personal and corporate brain death by asking if the air is any good when it's all there is to breathe.
by rifek on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 02:49:51 AM EST
The view from the Guardian
Finally, the Brexit crowd wanted the UK to have the unilateral right to exit the backstop whenever it liked. May did indeed get something unilateral - the right to issue her own unilateral declaration, in which she could freely state that "it is the position of the United Kingdom that there would be nothing to prevent the UK instigating measures that would ultimately dis-apply the backstop." This is rather like my son winning the right to declare that it is his position that he should get more pocket money. It doesn't mean I've agreed to give him more pocket money. The clue is in the word "unilateral." The EU is not bound by this UK declaration and has, in fact, conceded nothing.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 08:07:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Having some experience with negotiations with children, it strikes me more as this:

  • Ok, so now we have a deal?
  • Yes. But I also want a pony. A pony that is a unicorn!
  • I've told you there is no unicorns... No, don't pout. Ok, what about if we include that we will work towards getting a unicorn to the best of our abilities?
  • You say that all the time!
  • Fine, what if mom is the arbitrator and if she finds that I haven't been working towards getting you a unicorn, you can quit the deal?

Not as short and to the point, but I think it covers the contents of the Instrument.
by fjallstrom on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 12:15:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And so we have the obligatory Choreography whereby the EU makes a last minute concession thereby fulfilling Brexiteer mythology and promises to their own supporters.  Whether there is anything of substance in the concession is almost irrelevant - the EU has been made to bend the knee to cool Britannia.

Given any other time, the EU "concession" would immediately have been dismissed as meaningless and worthless, but now it fulfils the valuable function of giving those who want it, an opportunity to get off their high horses and vote for May's deal. Undoubtedly, many more may now do so, although most would be hard pressed to explain what has suddenly made her deal acceptable.

The Irish backstop has also fulfilled another valuable function. There are a million and one reasons why many don't like May's deal, it falls far short of the benefits of full membership and still leaves the UK scrabbling around for some kind of secure advantageous trading relationship in the future. But by focussing their ire on the Irish backstop, Brexiteers also made a one issue solution to their concerns possible.

For the EU, the last minute concession fulfils a tradition of kicking difficult decisions into the long grass, into a hypothetical future which may or may not come to pass. Certainly, by that stage the situation will be very different: The UK will be a third country desperately seeking to cling onto its current membership privileges. Also, the current DUP/Conservative government may no longer be in power and the UK ask might have changed. Who cares what the DUP think if they no longer hold the balance of power?

Overall I still expect this deal to be defeated in the House of Commons, albeit by a much closer margin. MP's will be under no illusion that this is the EU's final offer. It's this deal, no deal, or no Brexit. Ironically it might ultimately be defeated by a few Remainers who see the chances of no Brexit improving by the day. But the EU has done its work. These negotiations are over.

Until the parameters change and they start again...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 01:14:53 PM EST
You didn't read the EU documents, did you.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 01:31:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No. Which is why I didn't write a diary on the topic. But also, I expect the agreements to be voted down by the House of Commons, so they will end up being so much toilet paper by the end of today or tomorrow.

What matters in politics are the optics. I wrote my comment above before I had seen the Attorney General's advice to the effect that the latest deal adds no more legal certainty that the UK will not be "trapped" in a relationship it currently doesn't want - but will probably beg for later.

So my earlier expectation that the deal would be defeated but that the vote could be quite close is now modified to an expectation of quite a wide margin of defeat - even if much closer than before.

Rest assured, that if the deal is accepted I will read the documents before pronouncing on them in diary form. I do not expect to have to do so.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 03:44:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should have gone to sleep after midnight ... I saw the first headlines appear on the news channels satellite reception: "Breakthrough".

Briefly this morning I saw the headlines in The Guardian and on DW ... also the statement by Juncker. So it was a PR camouflage and the pressure cooker tactic of Mrs. May. This will fail. Two years of illusion and misinterpretation of UK powers and the entity confronted, going the by name of the EU.



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 02:00:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first prerequisite for intelligent discussion of "legally binding" alterations to the Withdrawal Agreement is reading the agreed instruments in their entirety.

links from Junker's tweet (above) to 11 March 2019 documents, transmitted.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 03:07:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I trust UK MPs will read them before voting them down. All other discussion is moot.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 03:46:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
not all other discussion is moot, granted the conclusion to this one was foregone, like, 60 years ago.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 04:05:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well known expression from Lyndon Johnson on what makes a good politician: "Learn to count."

Nothing has changed - Geoffrey Cox delivers his legal advice in Parliament today
Brexit: DUP and ERG say they cannot support May as MPs debate deal - Politics live 15 min ago



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 04:03:31 PM EST
17 days and there's still no evidence Parliament has found a connection to reality.

The Deal they want is all the rights and privileges of EU membership without the duties, responsibilities, and cost of membership.  

That Deal is forever out of their reach.


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

by ATinNM on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 04:21:09 PM EST
No, if she continues to be obnoxious enough they will pay her to leave.

Zounds, foiled again!


'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 Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 06:51:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As you know I am no admirer of May. But at least the EU have been able to come to some agreements with her. It is the House of Commons which is completely dysfunctional with no majority for any positive proposal. Ultimately there are only two solutions to this:

  1. Take it out of the hands of the Commons and have a "people's vote" on May's deal.

  2. Have a general election fought on the specifics  of her deal, no deal, and no Brexit and hope the results throw up a clear majority for one of the above.

Either is a perfectly rational solution to the problem whereas a delay simply to prolong existing EU/UK negotiations will get absolutely nowhere.

I would imagine the EU Council would agree an A.50 extension only if the UK commits to 1. or 2. above.  So absent one of those two options, the EU Council could end up booting the UK out on 29th. March despite any requests for an extension that might have come from the UK.

Would May agree to hold a General Election/Second referendum if the UK was on the point of being booted out of the EU with no deal? Would Corbyn support a second referendum if he can force a general election?

I suspect those calls will only be made in the days/hours leading up to 29th. March. A general election might actually be the best option, because voters would have the choice of voting for parties supporting No deal (UKIP and half the Conservatives), May's Deal (half the Conservatives) or No Brexit (Lib Dems).

Labour would presumably try to have it both ways and campaign on the basis of giving voters a choice between a better (softer) Brexit deal (which they would negotiate) or to Remain in a subsequent referendum.

However the bottom seems to be falling out of the middle ground in UK politics. Is there a danger Labour could disappear down the middle? The winner might well be determined by which vote - Remain or Leave - is split least badly. My worry is the Remain vote would be split quite badly between Labour and the Lib Dems, while the Tories gain the lion's share of both the May's deal and no deal vote.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 07:41:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah but both of those options should have been done months (or years) ago. Sort of hard to have a public vote of any sort now.
by asdf on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 11:47:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No. There are reasons why the current psychodrama has to run its course. But yes, both would require an A.50 extension which I believe the EU should only grant subject to May saying she needed the time to hold "a major constitutional event".

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 09:45:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
2. Have a general election fought on the specifics  of her deal, no deal, and no Brexit and hope the results throw up a clear majority for one of the above.

I don't know what that looks like. Our FPTP elections are (at best) fought on manifestoes (for those who bother to read them). Given only two significant parties, both divided into multiple factions, how would you represent three definitive options in two GE manifestoes? The current Labour proposal is not even one of those three.

The chance of a GE resolving this chaos is, I believe, minimal. A referendum would be clearer, with those three options on the paper.

But a referendum that returned "Stay In" leaves the ERG to carry on the 50 year fight of their predecessors and leaves the UK disrupting the business and evolution of the EU, whatever that path is. With the damage already done to the UK economy and other global uncertainties of the next years, the inevitable UK further decline would be blamed by the Leavers on the EU and Staying In.

'No Deal' is not only looking more likely; it may be the only way to break out of the current delusions, albeit a very dangerous path and painful lesson. My impression is that a number of leaders of the EU27 have concluded that.

At least it will teach the proponents of WTO the difference between "WTO Rules" and "WTO Default Terms".

by oldremainmer48 on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 09:55:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is clear the EU is better off without the UK.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 03:39:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that has been clear for quite a while. The UK has been the epitome of 'perfidious Albion', trolling the EU from within and stepping it up on the way out.

It's always about the benjamins for the Brits, a nation of shopkeepers. The idealism, however ingenuous, felt in the EU for a closer unity has had its share of pragmatism for sure, but for the UK that's all there is.

A cynically insular posture that completely misses the point of having an EU at all.

Tawdry and embarrassing... and not over yet!

'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 Fri Mar 15th, 2019 at 08:32:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Leading Tory backbencher hits out at May's government | The Guardian - Oct. 18, 2019 |

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

by Oui on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 05:04:57 PM EST


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 07:20:11 PM EST

unprecedented. inconceivable.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 07:38:54 PM EST
A loss by less than 150 votes! That must count as a win in today's political climate in the UK!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 07:46:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And you have been saved by the House of Commons from  reading the document.

VICTORY!

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

by ATinNM on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 08:28:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I exercise considerable discretion and judgement in my choice of reading material. Sometimes for the benefit of my dear readers I wade though some turgid tomes, but only when convinced it could be for your edification. Incredible as it may seem, I do have a life to lead, and unlike some here, I do not delight in the abstruse and obscure...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 08:47:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
unlike some here, I do not delight in the abstruse and obscure...

Scratches noggin.

'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 Fri Mar 15th, 2019 at 08:37:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian
Theresa May has confirmed that she will vote to block a no-deal Brexit, as she faced renewed pressure from Jeremy Corbyn to abandon her "dead" departure plan and instead embrace Labour's customs union alternative.
As PM, she could call a vote to remove the Brexit date, and hence, no-deal exit, from the laws. Why doesn't she do so?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 02:46:52 PM EST
uh, how's that?
Even T. May has been moved to state honestly:
May told Bone that this was not realistic: "The EU have made it clear there will be no transition period without a withdrawal agreement, and that includes what we have already negotiated on citizens' rights, a financial settlement and a Northern Ireland protocol."
Vote to request extension of the deadline from EU is the bill for tomorrow, and just about no one in EP or Council is contemplating a deadline anywhere near EP election dates.

What few people in UK understand is, the EU can and will enforce Brexit. The UK does not have the means to circumvent the whole of EU law enforcement.

The date is not UK's to choose.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 03:37:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Once the law is repealed, May still has a few days to withdraw A50.....Normally this would mean that she wouldn't survive, but these days, who knows?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 03:45:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the date of 29th. March is baked in the cake by her A.50 notification. The only way the UK could change that unilaterally is by revoking the A.50 notification "in accordance with their own constitutional requirements" (ECJ) which in the UK's case means a of vote of Parliament. The hard Brexiteers will hardly agree an A.50 revocation, so without Corbyn's support (most unlikely) that is not going to happen. A hard, no deal Brexit is the DEFAULT unless the UK government & Parliament can agree on something else...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 03:54:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 04:20:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"UK government & Parliament can agree on something else"

There is no "something else" beside revoking, which ECJ handed to them on a silver platter of sophistry.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 04:23:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They can REQUEST an A.50 extension, but the European Council may put some conditions on granting it.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 04:58:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, yeah.
"Vote to REQUEST extension of the deadline from EU is the bill for tomorrow"

good lord, frank. work with me. I'm trying not to bust your balls...

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 05:15:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 07:51:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Incidentally, Farage has let on that he intends to lobby EU27 for one veto.

Here's ostensible purpose for delay to requesting a delay from EU?
British lawmakers overwhelmingly vote in favor of delaying Brexit

May will only ask for the short-term extension if lawmakers approve the Withdrawal Agreement she agreed with the EU. British lawmakers have already rejected May's divorce deal in two prior votes by record margins.
[...]
Should MPs vote to support the deal by Wednesday March 20, May will request the short-term extension when she heads to an EU leaders summit in Brussels, which is taking place on March 21 and 22.
Sooo they vote to accept the WA and an extension?
If her deal is rejected a third time, the prime minister will still try to secure a short-term delay, although she will be heading to Brussels without a clear reason for the extension -- something that EU leaders have said is a must in order to secure a delay.
Otherwise, she has legal UK permission to request, but no reason to request. No wonder Barnier has no immediate reaction to this event.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Mar 14th, 2019 at 09:31:11 PM EST
What reaction does anyone expect from him?

(Other than genuflection and fawning obeisance, that is.)

Doesn't he realise he's in the presence of master negotiators?

It really has become the epitome of farce, a la Gilbert and Sullivan, with hints of 'Carry on' and Monty Python.

All that's missing is George Formby, and maybe Tommy Steele.

(Englebert Humperdink for encore.)

The English always had a thing for nonsense, Hillair Belloc, etc.

All in good fun, eh Teresa!

'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 Fri Mar 15th, 2019 at 08:51:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm trying to remind myself, we're only gossiping about the "elite" in EU27. Only they would put up with this... golden shower.

While airing they're laundry, DO NOT be surprised if a 3, 6, 12, 18, or 24 month "extension" falls out.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Mar 16th, 2019 at 01:17:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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