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Rabies Brexplained

by Frank Schnittger Wed Dec 2nd, 2020 at 12:18:02 PM EST

British readying for Brexit: They never saw it coming, mate

Sometimes our vocabulary has to expand to encompass new realities. Covid, for example, has added "lockdown", "social distancing" and "flattening the curve" to our daily lexicon. Likewise, the UK's departure from the European Union has already given us words such as "Remainers", "Leavers" and "cake-ism" as well as, of course, the word "Brexit" itself. Phrases about "unicorns" and "cherry-picking" have been given a new resonance.

But Brexit, set to take full effect on January 1st, now requires the urgent invention of another word to capture the simple reality that the self-harm inflicted on the British people, across so many areas of their lives, is the direct effect of Brexit itself and of the hard version of it pursued by the Johnson government. Many people, of course, understand this well both in Britain and around Europe. But if this elementary reality has to be explained every time that British tabloids express astonishment at the latest materialisation of the bleeding obvious, we may lose the will to live.


For example, in recent days alone, the British public has been informed, shock horror, that British ski instructors are set to lose their seasonal jobs on the continent, that British owners of second-houses in Europe will only be able to reside there for a limited period every year, and that European spouses of British citizens will no longer have an automatic right to reside in the UK.


Stories like these are merely a tiny tip of the massive Brexit iceberg that is floating in the direction of the British public. Just wait until long lines of traffic are approaching British ports and lengthy queues at European airports are growing tetchy, not to mention the thousand other Brexit "shocks that flesh is heir to".

It would be unfair to our forests to cut down enough trees to explain in response to each and every cry that the sky is falling down that, on a particular day in 2016, a majority of British voters voted for that very sky to fall down; or that, in the UK general election last December, a prime minister who was insouciant about maximising the damage was given a parliamentary majority.

So here is my modest proposal. We should agree on a single word we can use to set the record straight, in jig time, whenever it is implied that the consequences of Brexit are as mysterious as the Third Secret of Fatima or as inexplicable as the changing seasons were to our Neanderthal forebears. The new phenomenon that the word needs to capture is Rejecting All Brexit's Inevitable Effects Syndrome. The acronym may work better: Rabies.

Bobby McDonagh is a former Irish ambassador to London, Brussels and Rome and now an occasional commentator in the Irish Times. He is too diplomatic and fond of the British to be insulting, but may have stumbled across a new meme.

The British have form here. I have lost count of the number of times I have had it brexplained to me that the British only ever joined a Common Market and that the European Union is a vast political conspiracy foisted upon them by scheming Eurocrats to take away their freedoms. Most seem blissfully unaware that the very first line of the preamble to the founding Treaty of Rome (1958) is "DETERMINED to establish the foundations of an ever closer union among the European peoples", and that all subsequent amendments to that Treaty have been formally approved (and sometimes inspired) by Her Majesty's Government on their behalf.

This is where the limitations of British democracy are perhaps most brutally exposed. In Ireland, any Treaty which alters in any way the provisions of the Irish Constitution must be approved by popular referendum after a prescribed period of public debate. There have been nine such amendments related to the development of the EU including two, on the Nice and Lisbon Treaties, which were only passed in slightly modified form at the second attempt.

There is thus much public awareness of the minutiae of the development of the EU and the pooling of sovereignty this inevitably entails. Debate on the Treaties has often been fractious and divisive, but informed by an independent judicial referendum commission which must by law publish an authoritative guide to precisely what each amendment means and how it will effect Irish people. This means there is much public awareness and ownership of the ongoing evolution of the EU.

In Britain, on the other hand, such Treaties are passed by acts of parliament with often minimal and misinformed public debate. Governments which had championed various Treaty changes in Europe disowned them to their domestic electorate. The British people were treated, instead, to myths about straight bananas and attempts by scheming Eurocrats to ban prawn flavoured crisps.

Another example of Rejecting All Brexit's Inevitable Effects Syndrome (Rabies) is the current attempt, by UK owned and based supermarket chains operating in N. Ireland to obtain a special exemption from Single Market and Customs Union rules governing the importation of foodstuffs, in particular. Quite apart from the fact that such imports may attract tariffs, absent a trade deal, there is also the not insignificant matter of ensuring they conform to EU standards, especially if the UK accepts foreign imports from countries such as the USA which operate to very different standards.

In any case, why should the EU hand a competitive advantage to large UK supermarket chains operating within the Single Market, and allow them to bypass regulations all other retailers in N. Ireland will have to observe?

This has not prevented Newton Emerson, Irish Times columnist and unionist commentator from using his columns to lobby on their behalf. He even seems to believe that President Elect Joe Biden could be supportive of unionism's stance on Brexit, as in: Joe Biden's Brexit remarks show an opportunity for unionism (subscriber only). I have written an unpublished letter to the Editor in response:

A Chara, - Newton Emerson writes that unionists should be reassured that President elect Biden will not "push for difficult change" in Ireland and appears to have "a surprisingly British understanding of Brexit as an issue". (Unionists should declare Ireland is worked out, Biden can keep it that way, Opinion & Analysis, 26th. November).


Your columnist makes much of two phrases in Biden's 70-word comment this week in an unscripted reply to a television reporter and perhaps misinterprets their meaning. Biden's comment, "we've worked too long to get Ireland worked out," is perhaps no more than a reference to all the hard work which went into ending the troubles culminating in the Good Friday Agreement.

Biden's statement "we do not want a guarded Border" may mean no more than reiterating that there is no chance of customs controls being imposed within Ireland. Far from endorsing the unionist supported status quo this means that the border between the EU Single Market and Customs Union and the UK must be "down the Irish sea" - as provided for in the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement.

President elect Biden is therefore unlikely to come to the aid of Northern Ireland Supermarket chains lobbying to be given a special exemption from the food standard and customs controls between Britain and Ireland required by the fact that Britain is moving outside the Single Market and Custom Union areas.

UK backsliding on the Withdrawal Agreement, and particularly on implementing its provisions aimed at preventing a need for a hard border within Ireland, may well draw a fairly fierce response from Washington. Biden may not be appointing "the more aggressive Irish-Americans" to top level positions, but neither does he have any interest in offending them,.

President elect Biden's hostility to Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage for cosying up to Trump is well known. Indeed, for Biden and his team, Boris Johnson is the British Trump, and can expect to be treated with similar deference.

In another TV clip, when asked for a short comment by a reporter shouting "BBC", Biden's response was "I'm Irish". Mr. Emerson may want to ponder on the significance of that casual remark.


Display:
A Chara, - Your sometime correspondent, Bobby McDonagh, former Irish ambassador to London, Brussels and Rome, suggests that we need a neologism to describe the phenomenon of Brexit supporters expressing shock and surprise at the always obvious and inevitable consequences of Brexit. He suggests RABIES, an acronym for Rejecting All Brexit's Inevitable Effects Syndrome, as an apt descriptor of this increasingly common occurrence. (British readying for Brexit: They never saw it coming, mate, Opinion, Ist. December).

A recent example in your pages is Newton Emerson complaining that UK owned and based supermarket chains operating in N. Ireland will have to conform to Single Market and Customs Union rules governing the importation of foodstuffs into N. Ireland. Quite apart from the fact that such imports may attract tariffs, absent a trade deal, there is also the matter of ensuring they conform to EU standards, especially if the UK accepts foreign imports from countries such as the USA which operate to very different standards.

In any case, why should the EU hand a competitive advantage to large UK supermarket chains operating within the Single Market by allowing them to bypass regulations all other retailers operating in N. Ireland will have to observe?

To coin another neologism, I have lost count of the number of times I have had it brexplained to me that the British only ever joined a "Common Market" and that the European Union is a vast political conspiracy foisted upon them by scheming Eurocrats to take away their freedoms. Most seem blissfully unaware that the very first line of the preamble to the founding Treaty of Rome (1958) is "DETERMINED to establish the foundations of an ever closer union among the European peoples", and that all subsequent amendments to that Treaty have been formally approved (and sometimes inspired) by Her Majesty's Government on their behalf.

This is where the limitations of British democracy are perhaps most brutally exposed. In Ireland, any Treaty which alters the provisions of the Irish Constitution must be approved by popular referendum after a prescribed period of public debate. There have been seven such amendments related to the development of the EU passed, including two, on the Nice and Lisbon Treaties, which were only passed in slightly modified form at the second attempt.

Debate on the Treaties has often been fractious and divisive but informed by an independent judicial referendum commission which must by law publish an authoritative guide to precisely what each amendment means and how it will affect Irish people. This means there is much public awareness and ownership of the ongoing evolution of the EU.

In Britain, on the other hand, such Treaties are passed by acts of parliament with often minimal and misinformed public debate and governments which had championed Treaty changes in Europe have sometimes disowned them to their domestic electorate. The British people were treated, instead, to myths about straight bananas and attempts by scheming Eurocrats to ban prawn flavoured crisps.

What must have seemed a merry jape at the time has gone on to have serious consequences, as has the career of their progenitor, but to call such an untruth a Boris is probably a neologism too far. He is far from alone in propagating such untruths.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 2nd, 2020 at 03:02:57 PM EST
Back in the late 1990s, I remember the frequent travels of George Mitchell to Belfast (also narrated in Colum McCann's novel TransAtlantic). I was reflecting that the then Bill Clinton's administration was expending a lot of effort, sending a freshly retired US Senator to solve such a seemingly intractable problem.

When Biden, who was chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee while Mitchell was Senate Majority Leader, is saying "we've worked too long to get Ireland worked out," of course, he's referring to the GFA: you'd have to be seriously deluded to think otherwise.

Frank: President elect Biden's hostility to Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage for cosying up to Trump is well known.

As The National (from Scotland) puts it:

Joe Biden remembers Boris Johnson's 'racist comments' about Barack Obama

BORIS Johnson will face an uphill struggle to win over Joe Biden because of the Prime Minister's "racist comments" about Barack Obama.

And it's not just the President-elect who's not too fond of the Eton-educated toff in charge of the UK, one source close to the new team told The Sunday Times: "If you think Joe hates him, you should hear Kamala."

by Bernard on Wed Dec 2nd, 2020 at 07:33:36 PM EST
The British people were treated, instead, to myths about straight bananas and attempts by scheming Eurocrats to ban prawn flavoured crisps
by none other than Boris Johnson.

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 Thu Dec 3rd, 2020 at 12:40:19 AM EST
It is truly unfortunate that there are no widely read newspapers to properly report on the damage done. (There is the Guardian, but just how wide is its circulation? Less than a million.) Much of the blame for the current state of affairs should be laid at the feet of Rupert Murdoch, just as in the USA.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Dec 3rd, 2020 at 02:31:52 AM EST
France preparing for a deal ...
Jean Castex in Boulogne-sur-Mer

French PM warns of 'new era' as Brexit talks enter decisive days | The Guardian |

by Oui on Thu Dec 3rd, 2020 at 05:51:53 PM EST
Banging heads last minute ... Johnson and Von Leyen will talk.

Brexit talks falter as UK claims EU is hardening negotiating stance | The Guardian |

by Oui on Fri Dec 4th, 2020 at 10:08:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France could veto ...

Reality check: Each and every one of the 27 EU country could veto a deal they oppose. Any deal would have to be agreed by all countries, not only by VDL (or Merkel for that matter).

In the alternate world of British "journalism", there are the grown-ups, Germans and British negotiating a last minute agreement, with a French poodle nipping at their heels. The other 25 EU countries? Chopped liver...

by Bernard on Fri Dec 4th, 2020 at 09:26:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexit: Johnson and Von der Leyen to take over with direct talks

Earlier in the day the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, stepped in to urge both sides negotiating in London to move past their red lines to strike a deal, even as the French government said it could wield its veto if the deal failed to match expectations.

Despite concerns being raised in Paris, The Hague, Copenhagen and Rome about the concessions already offered by Barnier, Merkel's government said that further compromise should be made if it would secure a trade and security deal.

by Oui on Fri Dec 4th, 2020 at 09:03:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no idea why anyone would believe that talking to Johnson is likely to help.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 4th, 2020 at 11:27:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's simple really. Boris is such an egotist he would never allow a mere underling to clinch the final deal. It has to come about through his amazing charm bamboozling the EU. The choreography always required a breakdown followed by last ditch cliff edge talks, if only to convince the rubes he got the best deal possible.

Varadkar played his vanity against him by offering him a "new deal" to overcome the backstop which had blocked Theresa May for so long. Varadkar replaced it with a "front stop" which was actually better from an Irish point of view, ensured there was no linkage between the N. Ireland protocol and a trade deal which might never be agreed, but allowed Johnson to sell it as different from May's deal.

Of course the DUP were outraged, but Johnson didn't care about them. He may even not have fully understood its implications, not being a details man. The main thing is he had got a deal which Theresa May hadn't, and could wave it in front of his backbenchers and the electorate as an oven ready solution to delivering Brexit.

The trade deal will be no different - a miserable limited document which he will sell as the greatest deal evah. He just needs to be able to wave a fish about the place to show GREAT BRITAIN has taken back control.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 5th, 2020 at 01:37:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So much for Boris talking directly to Ursula:

Brexit: 'Feasible' solution to deadlock eludes EU and UK after call - DW

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen discussed trade deal negotiations over a phone call on Saturday.

While welcoming the progress that had been made, a joint statement acknowledged that "significant differences" remained in regards to the questions of achieving a level playing field, governance, and fisheries.

Ursula von der Leyen tweeted a statement after the call saying that an agreement would not be "feasible" if these issues cannot be resolved and that both sides had ordered their negotiators to reconvene. Von der Leyen and Johnson plan to talk again on Monday.

The "pause" in negotiations announced by chief negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost will end on Sunday in an attempt to resolve the remaining disagreements.

by Bernard on Sat Dec 5th, 2020 at 07:14:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After four long years ... the basic principles for a trade agreement between UK and EU  have NOT been resolved ... crossing red lines and expect none of 26 members to veto!?  Main German oriented policy by Von der Leyen is skewed on security [US - NATO - GCHQ - Europol] and Deutsche Wirtschaft. Putting pressure on France and Macron to absolve Tory Brexit lies.

Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen open direct talks

EU sources said the negotiations had now come down to big political decisions on the three contentious issues: fisheries, fair competition and dispute resolution. Every other part of the treaty, which is expected to run to more than 600 pages, is in order, it is understood.

The European commission president and the UK prime minister, who is at Chequers, started speaking on the phone shortly after 4.30pm.

The negotiations had long been expected to end with arbitration between the two political leaders, but it is by no means certain that an acceptable way forward will be found.

Should the two sides see a way to bridge the gaps, it is likely negotiations will restart in Brussels on Sunday.

by Oui on Sat Dec 5th, 2020 at 06:35:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No-deal 'feasible' if differences not resolved, says EU after emergency call with Boris Johnson | The Independent |

'Last throw of the dice'

Pessimism abounds among Westminster-watchers tonight with various reports that the difficulties are "insurmountable" given that the UK is apparently determined not to give in on the "level playing field" issue.

The next phone call between Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen is set to take place on Monday evening - just as parliament considers the proposed sections of the Internal Market Bill which envisage breaking international law.

by Oui on Sat Dec 5th, 2020 at 07:30:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No trace of optimism ... going through the motions. Boris the Brexit man in a winning mood ... Scottish independence is getting closer ... truckers revolt as they get caught at the England border with perishables. The negotiations caught in a web of red lines.

by Oui on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 09:16:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
INCONGRUOUS

Boris wants full sovereignty ... EU principled on a level playing field.

* sovereignty as level with US food and environment standards

by Oui on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 09:30:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Tories Can't Square A Circle

It's a nation of repeated incompetence ...

The culture of incompetence that led to Grenfell still imperils us

Can we of the original six nations to start the EU project, return some former Soviet-bloc nations to Putin's Russian Federation? Starting with Austria, Hungary, Poland and placing Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania on probation? Need a united Europe based in 4-Freedoms and Brotherhood, Equality and basic human rights. Think in solutions, not sanctions! Why was Russia ousted as a non-member partner of NATO?

Budgets, vetoes, values, defence ... division and dithering shame the EU

by Oui on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 12:32:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A quick response 😄🔥

by Oui on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 09:43:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK races to deport asylum seekers ahead of Brexit

UK Parliament to vote on Internal Market Bill on Monday ...

The House of Lords have returned the Bill to the House of Commons with amendments. The amendments will be considered on the floor of the House on Monday 7 December 2020.

Breaching International Law Comes at a Price | Chatham House |

Why is the Internal Market Bill controversial? | BBC News |

by Oui on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 12:58:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Newspaper headlines: 'Cabinet backs PM over no-deal Brexit'

by Oui on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 01:10:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This will be the way in the UK until they realize not since WWII have they been able to fail upward.
by rifek on Thu Dec 17th, 2020 at 02:50:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Johnson has spent his whole career doing exactly that.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Dec 17th, 2020 at 03:31:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I meant internationally.  Failing upward domestically is always an option.
by rifek on Thu Dec 17th, 2020 at 04:43:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 10:02:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It looks like a deal will be agreed after the usual theatrics between Johnson, Van Der Leyen, Merkel and Macron in which the UK will cave on everything except fish, which is of huge symbolic significance to Boris even if it only represents 0.1% of the UK economy employing 12,000 people. The UK lost more jobs in a single day last week with the collapse of the Debenham and Arcadia retail chains and many hundreds of thousands more will be lost as a direct result of Brexit. But at least Boris will be able to wave a big fish in the air and shout "we won" just like his minions did on the Covid vaccine.

Whether Labour will be stupid enough to vote in favour of such a deal remains to be seen, but the signs are not good, with Labour leader Keir Starmer preparing to support a deal which will consign the Labour Party to irrelevance for the foreseeable future.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 4th, 2020 at 11:37:24 AM EST
I do not understand how this would work in practice. If the UK somehow successfully blocked the European boats, where would the fish for the British fish & chips shops come from? Would the UK just buy all the existing boats from the French, et al.? Who would work on them?
by asdf on Fri Dec 4th, 2020 at 08:52:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK fishing fleet is exporting most of its catch to other EU countries. The UK fishermen, who in majority supported Brexit, have long resented the "invasion" of French, Belgian, Dutch and Spanish fishermen, and enthusiastically supported the "take back control" agenda that would allow them bigger catches. It has recently dawned on some of them that, without their European export markets, or even with delays due to customs checks, they may indeed catch more fish and lobsters, but will have much less opportunities to sell them. Funny how that works.

On the other hand, the UK may import less beef from the continent, so the British people diet may very well evolve: more fish, less meat, just like the 1970s. On the plus side, New-Zealand lamb should keep coming.

by Bernard on Fri Dec 4th, 2020 at 09:37:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All true, but perhaps the bigger issue is whether the UK fishing fleet actually has the capacity to catch the extra fish it will be allocated. As I understand it, some of the UK's current quotas are already sold to "foreign"  trawlers because the UK industry hasn't he capacity to make use of them.

So we could have a situation that "UK waters" are under-fished - helping stocks recover - and those fish are only caught if they wander outside UK territorial waters. The net effect - at least in the short-term, may be negligible, and certainly not important enough to be the final sticking point in the talks.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 4th, 2020 at 10:09:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 01:41:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plenty at risk for Ireland in Brussels brinkmanship
Brexit has long had an almost unique ability to unite the European Union. But tensions arose both between member states, and between national governments and the negotiating team charged with arguing for their interests this week.

France and the Netherlands warned a deal should not be signed at any price. They see no deal as terrible but temporary, whereas a bad deal could have an impact for decades.

<snip>

Amid the rising anxiety, EU capitals summoned their chief negotiator Michel Barnier to update them on the state of the talks. Paris and the Hague warned him not to exceed his negotiating mandate, with Barnier suggesting that, if a deal was to be found, he might have to.

Ireland, meanwhile, is playing peacemaker, insisting to its EU counterparts that despite occasional appearances, the London government is sane and wants a deal, and that an agreement is there to be signed. This is partly driven by fear, due to emotional insight into what the consequences of no deal could be.

Some on the continent imagine no deal will teach London a lesson, and that Britain will be forced by economic necessity to return to the negotiating table, where it will find the EU waiting with the same demands as before.

Dublin fears that such an outcome could radicalise and estrange our friends across the water.

I don't think we should underestimate the extent to which a xenophobic, jingoistic and bellicose UK could act counter to its own interests and pursue "no deal" almost out of sheer spite - and to unify a fragmenting nation behind them.

In my future scenario, I paint such a stand-off going on for many years with a radical divergence and much rhetoric causing the rift to grow ever wider - with the political needs of the UK and EU to maintain internal cohesion trumping the obvious economic damage of such a "trade war".

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 4th, 2020 at 10:24:05 PM EST
Netflix currently is broadcasting La Révolution, a a serialize drama in which the guillotine's inventor (a physician employed in la Bastille) detects a disease (by applying crude microscopy and preternatural forensic analysis to a mauled homicide victim) circulating within aristocratic secret society, ie. Versailles. "It is similar to rabies," he murmurs to himself of the blue erythorcytes ravishing hemoglobin,"but of a different strain."
by Cat on Sat Dec 5th, 2020 at 12:30:58 AM EST
Down to the wire ...

Major breakthrough on fishing rights brings Brexit deal closer | The Guardian |

The talks are now going to the wire on the so-called "ratchet clause" under which the UK government would have to follow EU environmental, social and labour standards as they develop over time or face tariffs on British exports.

In an unwelcome development for Boris Johnson, France and Germany have instructed the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier that they are united on the need for the UK to face consequences over future divergence from the EU rulebook as policy changes.

The EU is proposing that it should have the power to unilaterally hit British exports with tariffs in the event that Whitehall fails to follow Brussels' upgrades its regulations.

UK sources said that the negotiations world collapse unless that demand was dropped within the next 48 hours.

Focus on the Paris/Berlin axis and their hand clap may force smaller nations like Belgium and The Netherlands to threaten a veto for overstepping their red line for a level playing field. Nothing has been resolved yet until all signatures of EU-27 are inked.

by Oui on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 09:01:00 PM EST
by Oui on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 at 11:09:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Michel Barnier gave a downbeat review of any possible deal with UK to EU ambassadors today.

Nothing has truly changed in past six months ...

Brexit trade deal appears 'unlikely,' says EU's Michel Barnier | DW - July 23, 2020 |

'The truth of Brexit'

Two essential areas were highlighted as being particularly contentious -- Britain's refusal to commit to a level-playing field to allow fair competition, and to compromise on a fishery agreement. Barnier went on to give a warning.

"If you do not reach an agreement on our future partnership, there will be far more friction. For instance, on trading goods. In addition to new customs formalities, there will be tariffs and quotas," Barnier said. "This is the truth of Brexit."

by Oui on Mon Dec 7th, 2020 at 07:36:08 AM EST
by Oui on Mon Dec 7th, 2020 at 11:25:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Dec 7th, 2020 at 01:07:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Joker ... Boris was never in it ... sovereignty based on US regulations and a trade deal with the EU is a non-starter. Major mistake by Labour leader Corbyn to enter Parliamentary election ... 12 months ago. Seems so much longer ... where has Corbyn gone?
by Oui on Mon Dec 7th, 2020 at 03:26:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As of Monday night:

UK willing to ditch controversial clauses in its Internal Market Bill

U.K. Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove and European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič met in Brussels for an unscheduled meeting of the EU-U.K. Joint Committee, which oversees the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement that was agreed by the two sides last year.

[...]

London added discussions "continue to progress" and final decisions are expected in the coming days. But the U.K. government signaled it is ready to back down on the controversial Internal Market Bill if the talks yield solutions for some of the U.K.'s concerns regarding the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol.

by Bernard on Mon Dec 7th, 2020 at 06:53:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK and EU reach agreement on Northern Ireland protocol
The agreement on the protocol covers outstanding issues including border control points for animals, plants and good of animal origin, medicine supply, the supply of chilled meats and other food to supermarkets, as well as state aid rules in Northern Ireland.

In addition, the two also reached "an agreement in principle" on decisions that the committee must make by the end of the year. This includes on an EU presence in the North to implement checks and controls, how to determine which goods are "not at risk" of moving in to the EU via Northern Ireland, the exemption of farming and fish subsidies from state aid rules, and details on how disputes can be solved on an arbitration panel.

The agreement in principle will be followed by the development of a draft text by the EU and UK, which must then be formally adopted by a meeting of the joint committee to be held by the end of the year.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 04:49:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Mon Dec 7th, 2020 at 08:19:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]

WTF why will BoJo travel to Brussels to meet VDL? Quite ridiculous!

by Oui on Mon Dec 7th, 2020 at 10:03:32 PM EST
by Oui on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 03:45:11 PM EST
by Oui on Tue Dec 8th, 2020 at 04:31:29 PM EST
France far from isolated in tough Brexit stance | The Guardian |

In a meeting with Michel Barnier last Wednesday, France's EU ambassador, Philippe Léglise-Costa, was backed by counterparts from Ireland, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark in voicing concern that the EU's chief negotiator risked exceeding the bounds of his mandate.

"Plenty of countries are nervous," an EU diplomat said. "It's essential the substance of the deal takes precedence over the calendar. We cannot give in to the clock; we must get a deal that defends our collective interests. A bad deal poses fundamental risks to the EU in 10 years' time. We are all with the French on this."

Beaune conceded on Sunday there were "different concerns" within the EU27, saying it would be "naive to deny it". But he said Barnier's mandate was detailed and "we are sticking to it. The main players have all realigned behind the same position. There is unity on the message and on the strategy."

Merkel "also defends our demands", Beaune said. "She knows the European market well enough to guess how the German economy would suffer from a bad agreement. The UK's gamble on a split in the EU has failed."

by Oui on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 05:31:44 AM EST
Jon Henley, Europe correspondent for The Guardian, could explain this to his own colleagues at... The Guardian.
by Bernard on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 09:07:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PMQs ...

Opening statements by Boris Johnson illustrates his path to a no-deal ... answering questions by opposition leader Starmer ... Boris returns to his Eton College arrogance ... a total failure of statecraft ...

Sounds like he is already speaking about post-Brexit and a sovereign Great Britain ... with great opportunities across the globe.

Why enjoy a last supper with EU leader Von der Leyen.

by Oui on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 12:13:30 PM EST
Boris Johnson: no PM could accept trade terms offered by EU | The   Guardian |

by Oui on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 04:08:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wonder what Ursula is serving Boris this evening ...

Farewell to Four Freedoms and a project for Peace across the European continent ... Johnson's broken promises and deceit of Brexit ... no trust, defines no-deal... the return of the Empire (downsized) ...

Boris Johnson: no PM could accept trade terms offered by EU

Boris envisions a glorious return to Whitehall as a Churchill, not a Chamberlain.

by Oui on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 07:38:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OUI: Wonder what Ursula is serving Boris this evening ...

Brie, of course :)
(see below)

by Bernard on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 09:09:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cornish Brie?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 09:15:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what the Express is for.
With fishing quotas one of the biggest areas of dispute in the UK-EU trade talks, the Prime Minister and his team were served scallops and turbot at the head-to-head hosted by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The shellfish starter, accompanied by pumpkin soup, in particular risked being seen as a coded jibe given the so-called Great Scallop War clashes between British and French fishing crews in the English Channel in 2012.

[...]

For dessert, the leaders and their teams were served pavlova with exotic fruit and coconut sorbet.

Talking about the menu Sky News' Jon Craig said: "On the dessert menu is pavlova, which Australians say comes from there. And the PM has been talking about leaving on Australian trade terms - no deal.

No mention of Brie (or Cheddar). And no mention about whether the coconut is a reference to Carrie Symonds' asking stores to ban coconuts picked by monkeys.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 10:03:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The food sounds nice, but does Flinten Ushi actually have any input on anything Brexit related? Barnier reports to the Council, no? That dumb story has been running so long that I can't remember the old episodes at all. I guess emotional support for PMs is in the job description for Commission president?
by generic on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 10:27:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Worst Case Scenario

by Oui on Wed Dec 9th, 2020 at 07:40:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably the majority of the people who would be interested in brie will have been relocated to their financial company's branch in Paris anyway
by asdf on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 12:35:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 01:57:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the name 'brie' is not regulated by the EU/French
by asdf on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 05:34:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What about Stilton? Will it still be regulated by the EU after Brexit?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 05:55:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can call it Brie, you can't call it Brie de Meaux or Brie de Melun. Maybe it is because there are several French non-AOC bries?
by fjallstrom on Fri Dec 11th, 2020 at 08:26:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As William Shakespeare predictably would have written:

.. melts on your tongue with a sensuous feel unmatched ..

I'm not a fan of French cheeses, but the Brie de Meaux is a favorite 😉

by Oui on Fri Dec 11th, 2020 at 11:46:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Originally, Brie cheese was produced in the Brie region, East of Paris (main cities being Meaux and Melun). There are brie cheeses produced elsewhere in France, in Europe and even in Wisconsin or (Northern) California, but only Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun are registered as "Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)" by the European Union register, along with hundreds of foods and drinks from Europe.
by Bernard on Fri Dec 11th, 2020 at 06:05:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

NO SURRENDER - NO DEAL

by Oui on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 06:20:17 AM EST
by Bernard on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 11:14:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"FREEDOM" GAINED - PEOPLE LOSE

by Oui on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 06:24:08 AM EST
NO TRUST - NO COMPROMISE

Negotiations with no end in sight ... whom are they fooling?

by Oui on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 06:28:35 AM EST
by Oui on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 03:10:28 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 03:14:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 03:19:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 06:29:25 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 06:42:24 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 06:46:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 06:57:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 06:59:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PM says he cannot accept UK being 'locked in EU's orbit' | The Guardian |

But he said the EU's current offer was unacceptable because the UK could not be treated like its twin.

"It was put to me that this was kind of a bit like twins, and the UK is one twin the EU is another, and if the EU decides to have a haircut then the UK is going to have a haircut or else face punishment. Or if the EU decides to buy an expensive handbag then the UK has to buy an expensive handbag too or else face tariffs," he said.

"Clearly that is not the sensible way to proceed and it's unlike any other free trade deal. It's a way of keeping the UK kind of locked in the EU's ... regulatory orbit."

Johnson's language echoed his condemnation of Theresa May's Brexit deal. After he resigned as foreign secretary in 2018, he told that year's Tory party conference that Britain must not be "locked in the tractor beam of Brussels".

Calling Boris a twin with Ursula? Oh horror 🤡

'Chuck Chequers', Johnson challenges May on Brexit | Reuters - Oct. 1, 2018 |

by Oui on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 08:51:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Definitely not twins:

by Bernard on Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 09:01:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jump forward 20 years when (merged) Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, et al. have joined the EU. Then England will indeed be locked in the EU's orbit.
by asdf on Fri Dec 11th, 2020 at 12:34:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still think the future of England can be seen in the history and present of Macao: sex, drugs, and gambling center with more than a bit of money laundering on the QT.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Dec 11th, 2020 at 08:08:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At Last They Agree: "No Deal!"

PM and EU say trade deal unlikely by Sunday | BBC News |

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said no deal was the most probable end to "difficult" talks.

And the UK prime minister argued the EU needed to make a "big change" over the main sticking points on fishing rights and business competition rules.

...
The EU has rejected Mr Johnson's request to bypass the European Commission and speak directly to French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Angela Merkel about the unresolved issues.
According to EU officials, he was told discussions could only take place through the bloc's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.

Speaking on a visit to a vehicle battery factory in Blyth, Northumberland, Mr Johnson said: "We're always hopeful and... our team is still out there in Brussels.

"If there's a big offer, a big change in what they're saying, then I must say that I'm yet to see it."

If there was no deal, the situation would still be "wonderful for the UK", as the country could "do exactly what we want from 1 January", he added, even if this was "different from what we set out to achieve".

What is an 'Australia-style' EU trade deal?

by Oui on Fri Dec 11th, 2020 at 07:17:19 PM EST
Brexit: 'We don't want the no-deal outcome, but we have to prepare for it,' says Irish Taoiseach

by Oui on Fri Dec 11th, 2020 at 07:36:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We said it would be a No Deal as soon as May sent the silly letter.

So ....

Yay us.


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

by ATinNM on Fri Dec 11th, 2020 at 08:07:11 PM EST


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