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The chattering Irish Europhile class

by Frank Schnittger Wed Sep 8th, 2021 at 03:58:41 AM EST

Eoin Drea, a researcher at the EPP affiliated Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies in Brussels, has a go at the "The chattering Irish Europhile class" in his piece entitled "Ireland is no longer viewed as a credible voice on key issues in Brussels"(Sadly, subscriber only). In it he castigates Ireland's failure to sign up to the nascent OECD corporate tax reform involving a minimum 15% tax rate but totally misreads the Irish Government's reason for doing so.

Almost everyone in Ireland regards global corporate tax reform as desirable and inevitable and the proposed 15% tax rate is hardly a precipitous increase on Ireland's current rate of 12.5%. But as always, in tax matters, the devil is in the detail, and that detail will be determined in large measure by Biden's slim majorities in Congress, all the more so as many Democrats are as sceptical as Republicans about anything that might displease their major donors.

In the meantime, there has been almost no debate on what other measures smaller peripheral states can take to compete with larger central states for foreign direct investment on relatively equal terms. Without a tax advantage, all the major US corporations which have located their European HQ's in Ireland would instead have located their HQ's in Germany, France or the Benelux countries, and Ireland would be little more than a theme park for tourists interested in quaint provincial customs.

There is no denying that much higher global corporate tax rates are an urgent requirement if growing global inequalities are to be addressed. But a one sided policy which advantages the already rich and powerful central states at the expense of everyone else is not a solution any Irish government can be expected to take the lead on. Without much greater and permanent EU fiscal transfers to level the playing field between rich and poor, centralised and peripheral EU member states, small member states will have no incentive to reform what are, globally, very dysfunctional tax policies.

What global tax reforms eventually emerge will be determined by the major players, the US in particular, and by countries such as the UK, Germany and France. Nobody in Ireland is under any illusion that we will have any great influence on the final outcome, one way or the other. That does not mean we are in any hurry to dismantle an economic model which has worked well for us in he past until there have been at least some effective proposals, at EU level, to enable smaller peripheral member states to encourage their economic development by other means.

Eoin Drea does Ireland a disservice by not even considering those concerns, and by framing the problem as entirely one of Ireland not doing the right thing by Brussels. That is the sort of bombast that fuelled Brexit sentiment in the UK, and could yet fuel Euroscepticism in Ireland. In any case, his piece allowed me to have some fun at his expense, in a letter published by the Irish Times today:

`The chattering Irish Europhile class'

A chara, - As a self-confessed member of the "chattering Irish Europhile class" so disparaged by Eoin Drea ("Ireland is no longer viewed as a credible voice on key issues in Brussels", Opinion & Analysis, September 6th), I take umbrage at his implicit suggestion that Ireland should transform itself into a vassal state ready to ask "How high?" at every suggestion that we should jump in accord with the latest wheeze coming out of the EU institutions and think tanks.

Indeed, it is the mark of a mature, self-confident, and democratic sovereign state that it is not afraid to differ from its partners when the national interest demands it.

There is never a suggestion that Paris or Berlin should jump every time Brussels comes up with a bright idea, so why should Ireland?

With 75 per cent of our foreign direct investment coming from the US and UK, it is not surprising that our economic policies are more influenced by "Boston rather than Berlin" -- which contributes just 5 per cent.

Mr Drea appears to believe that tax harmonisation is the only EU integration policy worth discussing when that is explicitly retained as a national competency in all the EU treaties we have signed up for.

Perhaps the EU could add more value to the lives of ordinary citizens by pushing for more integrated public healthcare, pharmaceutical procurement, and educational opportunities rather than further encroaching on what few sovereign powers remain with member states?

In reserving its position on the corporate tax reform until the US Congress has had its say on the final shape of the reforms, Ireland is doing no more than refusing to buy a "pig in a poke". It would be outrageous for our Government to abandon the biggest single competitive advantage we have without knowing precisely what alternative arrangements will apply.

If this displeases the panjandrums of Brussels, then so be it. It is not our Government's job to pursue the national interests of Germany or France. They are more than capable of doing so for themselves.

Mr Drea would do well to remind himself that Ireland is a democracy well able to take an independent view of its own national interests. If he is looking for member states which undermine European ideals, he need look no further than Hungary or Poland. If he is looking for tax avoidance on an industrial scale, he might find a closer look at Dutch and Luxembourgian tax practices instructive. Irish corporate tax laws and rates need to change and will do so, but in a manner which is consistent with our Constitution and national interests.

Insulting our national leaders or our "chattering classes" will get him and Brussels nowhere. - Yours, etc,

I am aware that supporting global corporate tax reform is an article of faith for ET and progressive people everywhere, and at a moral level I cannot but agree. But it is also more than a bit naive to believe that any tax reform proposed by the Biden administration and passed by Congress will be aimed primarily at reducing global inequality or increasing equity in international economic relations generally.

Ireland, more than most, has benefited from loopholes in current US corporate tax laws and is extremely vulnerable to any changes designed to repatriate more tax revenues to the US. We badly need to diversify our economic development policies to make us less dependent on a tax competition model of attracting investment, and that debate is ongoing and becoming ever more urgent.

Combined with Brexit, combatting climate change, dealing with structural inequalities in our own society and the potential costs of a united Ireland, Ireland faces a perfect storm of threats to its continued economic progression. Keeping a few bureaucrats in Brussels happy is the least of our concerns and Eoin Drea's piece is particularly blinkered in that regard.

The Irish Times is increasingly prone to publishing clickbait articles, but at least on this occasion, it has seen fit to publish my riposte...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 at 05:34:58 AM EST
an entirely justified response; your suggestions about other lines of inquiry are well set out and quite educative.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 at 07:25:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
International tax harmonization is meaningless unless it includes ALL aspects of national taxes especially incidence and avoidance. It would be best to forget dreams of rationality. Individual polities are ruled mostly by contests between powerful interests. How would even Solomon resolve these issues harmoniously on an international level? Perhaps by turning the baby into a puree and allocating that paste to each nation on a per capita basis? Even that would not do.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 at 03:15:19 PM EST
I think Biden's proposals are probably a sincere attempt to get global corporations to pay a greater share of US taxes and in this way to reduce the tax burden on the less well off in the USA, relatively speaking.

But essentially, on an international level, they are also an attempt to avoid "a race to the bottom" with different countries competing for FDA using lower tax incentives. So far so good.

But then how are smaller peripheral states to compete with larger central states  for global investment? The logic of global capitalism is the ever increasing centralisation of capital in the larger capitalist centres.

How is Latvia then supposed to compete with Germany for investment? There is virtually no redistributive force within the EU (max EU budget c. 2% GDP) to provide ongoing structural supports to the Latvian economy to level the playing field. How would Minnesota compete with New York without some Federal support?

There is a very good reason why national capitals have jealously defended their continuing sovereignty in taxation matters, even as they ceded some sovereignty in fiscal mattes as part of the European Fiscal Treaty.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 at 04:58:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll be interested in what Biden says on tax when he sorts out Delaware

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 at 06:47:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't look like he has any plans to do so in which case all this corporate tax reform plan talk is dead in the water. Why does the US not simply insist that any company doing business in the US must be tax resident there, and have a minimal Federal tax rate for all companies even those legally resident in Delaware?. The EU could do the same to eliminate tax shelters like Jersey or the Cayman's? Without that global capital will continue to migrate outside the EU.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 at 07:10:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An interesting parallell development is the GDPR interpretations. I was on a webinar this spring listening to Max Schrems on how to interpret the Schrems II ruling. In the Schrems II ruling the ECJ struck down the deal between the EU and US as insufficient, leaving much of the IT-sector in EU in an unclear situation as to wheter US plattforms can be used at all.

One of the ways forward pointed out at the webinar is US companies forming EU daughter companies in an EU country that has strict rules against mother companies giving daughter companies direct orders to comply with US authorities. Absent a diplomatic deal between the EU and the US, this looks likely. If they have to split up the platform business for the different blocs, that should make them easier to tax.

by fjallstrom on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 at 08:49:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
GDPR created a host of operational barriers to market dominance by US IPC operators (telecom customers) and owners (telecom carriers), because the EC continues to "resist" US supremacy in common law and law enforcement of putative "privacy" protection and taxation (sales, royalty transactions).

Schrems II

archive Jul 17th, 2020, 3/03/2021Mar 3rd, 2021

by Cat on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 at 05:39:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then erryone--foreign and domestic-- move they/their/them (nominal) state of incorporation to Nevada or South Dakota in order to avoid (nominal) US corporate tax liability. Failing that, international "grey zones".

archived "jurisdiction of incorporation"

by Cat on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 at 04:00:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't the real tax rate on multinational firms - through various loopholes - close to 0%?

A common minimum headline tax is nice, but without addressing the ways that corporations doesn't pay 12,5% today, well it won't do much will it? Which maybe is the intention.

by fjallstrom on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 at 08:09:08 AM EST
Most of those loopholes have now been closed, and the Irish corporate tax take from global MNCs has been soaring. It is this tax take the US is very keen to claw back for its own coffers, even though the profits have been generated on sales throughout the world. Without some form of digital sales tax, those countries in which the sales/profits have actually been generated will continue to lose out - hence the US's very firm opposition to digital sales taxes which it sees as primarily directed at its own global behemoths and reducing their potential taxable profitability in the US.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 at 08:33:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of those loopholes have now been closed

What information led you to that conclusion?

by Cat on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 at 03:45:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Double Irish Base Erosian and Profit shifting (BEPS) tax avoidance tool was closed to new entrants from January 2015, with closure to existing users by 2020. Some companies have switched to using Single Malt, Capital Allowances for Intangible Assets (CAIA) and Knowledge Development Box (KDB) tools instead, but the last named is compliant with OECD guidelines.

Various tax experts have estimated the effective rate of Irish corporation tax to be anything from 2.2 to 14.4% depending on the methodology used.

11.1% Prof. Frank Barry Trinity College Dublin (using Devereaux methodology)
14.4% Mr. Gary Tobin Department of Finance (using European Commission/ZEW data)
12.5% Mr. Eamonn O'Dea Revenue Commissioners (using Irish Revenue Statistical Data)
12.4% Mr. Conor O'Brien KPMG (Ireland) (using Irish Revenue Statistical Data)
2.2% to 3.8% Prof. Jim Stewart Trinity College Dublin (using U.S. BEA Data)

Changes to UK and US tax laws introduced by the Obama and Trump administrations have stopped and in many cases reversed the practice of Tax Inversions which enabled US corporations to benefit from lower Irish Corporate tax rates.

The USA is the world's largest beneficiary of tax havens, which it has been so hostile to OECD attempts to curb Irish BEPS rules.

As a result of all these changes, the level of corporation tax collected in Ireland has been booming, increasing to €11.8 Billion last year, a 250% increase on 2014, and now represents 20% of all taxes collected in the state - up from an average of 12% a decade ago.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 at 08:24:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by Oui on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 at 08:57:41 AM EST
If the DUP continues to slide in the polls, it won't matter all that much what he thinks...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 at 12:02:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ulster says NO.

How original, that's practically the DUP motto and its entire policy platform. Sooner rather than later, the Ulster electorate has to start looking  for a more positive political agenda cos the 21st century is already happening

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 at 07:02:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what other measures smaller peripheral states can take to compete with larger central states for foreign direct investment on relatively equal terms.
You make it sound like "foreign direct investment" is an unalloyed good. In the case of Ireland it mostly distorts the national al statistics ("Leprechaun economics") to the point that Ireland had to come up with it's own aggregate distinct from GDP or GNP rather that question whether its economic model made sense. Ireland's investment figures have sometimes consisted almost entirely of intra-group IP transfers of Apple or Google. That is not Irish economics activity. That is Irish enablement of creative accounting. The Irish tax take on that is a cut on the profit from tax dodging.
Without a tax advantage, all the major US corporations which have located their European HQ's in Ireland would instead have located their HQ's in Germany, France or the Benelux countries,
I submit they would have located them in the UK and, after Brexit, a substantial fraction would have moved to Ireland anyway.
and Ireland would be little more than a theme park for tourists interested in quaint provincial customs.
Is that all Ireland has to offer beside tax advantages, in your opinion?

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 Fri Sep 10th, 2021 at 07:12:24 PM EST
Some fair points, but I submit you underestimate what FDI has done for Ireland since the 1960's. I lived through that period and Ireland was a small agriculture peasant society run by a petit bourgeousie with no ambitions beyond a steady job in the business for their sons and a good marriage for their daughters. There was almost zero entrepreneurship or even basic management competency. Anyone with any ambition beyond their station as a peasant had to emigrate.

US MNCs came in and brought in high technology, marketing skills, HR, training and development which over time created a cadre of skilled Irish employees many of whom went on to start their own businesses. Combined with EU membership from 1973, this resulted in rapid economic growth which in turn managed to fund (almost) free secondary and then third level education such that Ireland now has one of the highest percentages of graduates in the workforce in the world.

We still have a long way to go and are still far too dependent on FDI for growth compared to a similar sized economy like Denmark - but the number and size of Irish owned companies is growing all the time in tandem with the foreign owned sector. Yes GDP is inflated by 40% (and this impacts on our net contribution to the EU) but otherwise it's just a number. The economy continued to grow through the pandemic and will grow by 15-20% this year even without the distorting effect of IP transfers which have probably seen their heyday in any case.

If Irish tax laws prevented a large stock of US FDI going to the UK, we may have done the EU some favours, but even the lobbyists for the sector admit the days of tax competition are numbered and the government expects to lose at least €2 Billion in corporate tax revenues when the OECD proposals are implemented. With Brexit, climate change, continuing structural inequalities and a possible united Ireland all imposing huge costs down the line we are going to have to transform our indigenous sector as well. But at least now we have many people with the skills and experience to lead the process.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 10th, 2021 at 08:36:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was having similar reservations as Mig, so thanks to him for raising them 🙂

I understand that industrial FDI from big US businesses in the then mostly rural Ireland, has helped creating a professional class that is needed to run these industries (I have very competent colleagues in my employer's Irish branch). EC membership in 1973 was crucial in that respect since it was what triggered these FDI: Ireland was no longer the Irish market only, but an entryway to the whole EU market, particularly after 1992.

You are right to point out that over-reliance on foreign MNC can only get Ireland thus far, especially when it is increasingly difficult for the average citizens to feel the benefits of this outsized GDP figures; moving out of that model will be a slow process.

by Bernard on Fri Sep 10th, 2021 at 09:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we have to distinguish between Brass plate operations in the Irish Financial Services centre and companies with very substantial operations and thousands of employees in Ireland. Some of the latter may engage in financial engineering as well (Apple, Microsoft) but they all bring a level of technology we could only have dreamed of before (Intel, Google, Pfizer, Merck, Boston Scientific etc.). The brass plate operations are pretty close to indefensible and only cause Ireland reputational damage (and increase our net contribution to the EU through inflated GDP figures) and we would be well rid of them.

Of the fifty top companies in Ireland, 22 are Irish, 25 are USA, and three have their main operational base in the UK. None are from the rest of the EU. Either EU companies do not do aggressive tax planning, or they do not see any compelling reason to locate a large part of their operations in a small market on the edge of the EU which has significant cost disadvantages due to the cost of shipping or transporting goods to the main EU markets. It is our peripheral location and lack of economies of scale which are always going to make Ireland as an investment location a hard sell in the absence of any tax incentive.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 10th, 2021 at 10:09:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Modern telecommunications means everyplace is as good as every other place when it comes to value-added services.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Sep 12th, 2021 at 03:55:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a reason why all the US companies locating here engage primarily in ICT services, or very high value/weight products such as microchips or pharmaceuticals because the cost of transport is then negligible as a % of total value.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 13th, 2021 at 04:27:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you were to take the GDP/capita figures, Ireland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. In reality, if you look at disposable income and cost of living figures, we are pretty close to the EU average. But that is a huge improvement on where we were pre-EU.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 10th, 2021 at 10:12:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Without mentioning me by name (presumably to deny me a right of reply) the Irish Times has published a letter in response to my letter and directly linked to it to mine in the online edition. It reads as follows:
Multinationals and taxation
Sir, - While a letter writer (September 8th) makes a case for not following the EU line on setting the minimum tax rate for multinational corporations perhaps he should consider the billions of tax revenues being lost to these companies which could contribute to the healthcare and other social services in the countries that they operate. Doubtless, it was a master stroke setting a low tax rate that encouraged the foreign investment to come here in the first place, leading to economic growth and a general higher standard of living. Nonetheless, time has moved on and perhaps it's time that our present generation of executives put on their thinking caps to seek out innovative opportunities for the future. Surely it is high time that foreign companies paid a fair level of tax. Why, indeed, should we wait for the US Congress to decide what taxes should be levied on businesses when we, along with our EU partners, are capable of making such decisions for ourselves. - Yours, etc,


I have drafted a response as follows:

A Chara, - David Murphy (Letters, 13th September) takes issue with my argument that we should await the decisions of the US congress on the final shape of corporate tax reform before implementing whatever rates and regulations are finally agreed at OECD level. He rightfully notes that any increased tax revenues accruing to the countries in which multinational companies operate could be well spent on healthcare and other social services. However, the reforms he advocates are already taking place and we are merely debating the details of what and how further corporate tax reforms are agreed.

Irish corporate tax revenues have increased by 250% since 2014 and August receipts set another record high. The infamous "Double Irish" corporate tax loophole has been closed, and the "Knowledge Development Box" scheme which replaced it is compliant with OECD guidelines. There is nothing to prevent any country implementing a digital sales tax in its territory to increase their revenues and thereby reduce corporate profits taxable anywhere. Nothing, that is, except the outright opposition of the US government, which, under Trump, threatened sanctions against France for proposing to do so.

Whether we like it or not, the final shape of any global corporate tax reforms will be determined by whatever the Biden regime can get passed by Congress and agreed at OECD level. It would be naive to believe a small country like Ireland will have significant influence on the process, or that its primary aim will be to increase global tax equity and reduce global social inequality.  The only reason US Congressmen and women and Senators might be persuaded to vote through increases in corporate tax often payable by their main donors is if it increases the US tax take generally and reduces the amount of tax payable by most of their voters.

Ireland will then have no options but to row in behind whatever is agreed by the major powers at OECD level or risk sanctions that would put our foreign direct investment at risk. The OECD corporate tax reform process is due to conclude by the end of this year, so at most, any differences between Ireland and our EU partners is a matter of timing. I fear David Murphy and many others will not be entirely happy with the outcome as it will have been decided by the main global powers in their own interests, and the degree to which they can withstand the lobbying power of global corporations. But the reality is that we are rule takers in this instance and will simply have to make the best of whatever new arrangements apply.

Hopefully, whatever is finally agreed will be a step forward in terms of global tax equity and reduced global social inequality, but just as in the case of climate change, we cannot solve these problems on our own.

Personally, I would have preferred that Ireland had taken a leadership role on corporate tax reform. As one of the beneficiaries of the current regime we would have had some moral authority for doing so. But I very much suspect that it would have had very little influence on whatever is agreed in Congress: that will be decided by what the big money donors will tolerate and what the Biden regime (with its narrow congressional majorities) can push through.

Congressional leaders have already watered down Biden's proposals with further compromises sure to come. The debate is entirely internal to the USA and its interests, with the international implications barely meriting a footnote in the debate. It may very well be that the EU will have to take the lead on this issue, risking sanctions or other countermeasures if it is deemed to have targetted US digital giants unfairly. But that is a bridge we will have to cross when the OECD process is concluded, which it should be in the next few months.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 13th, 2021 at 05:23:43 PM EST
A glimpse of the post tax arbitrage, post tax world for Ireland? The UK owner of Speedo shifts its tax domicile to Ireland in €6bn move but claims the move offers it no tax savings but allows it to "benefit from the European Union's freedoms and regulatory environment" after Brexit.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 08:30:01 AM EST
The trouble with a relatively "small" country being so dependent from big multinational companies, is that the relationship becomes rapidly lopsided. Enforcing laws and regulations may be delayed and diluted: "regulatory capture", in short.

Max Schrems, the Austrian activist who has become a thorn on the side of Facebook and other digital giants in Europe, even when he was merely a law student, is becomingly increasingly vocal about the actions - or rather, lack thereof - of the Irish Data Protection Commission, who's been dragging their feet on cases against some of the major contributors to the Irish GDP.

Now the Irish Council for Civil Liberties has published a damning report on the DPC, calling it "the bottleneck of GDPR enforcement against Big Tech across the EU.".  They added that other countries DPC's have brought more cases with a lower budget.

by Bernard on Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 08:52:44 PM EST
Ireland might want to take a hard look at Iceland and the Kreppa.
by rifek on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 07:24:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Already been there in the Great Financial Crisis and its aftermath. There is an acute awareness of our economic dependency on global corporations and the risks that global corporate tax reform poses to our current economic model. It's very hard to legislate for increased innovation and entrepreneurship, and so the political system is struggling to come up with alternate sources of growth and job creation.

The pandemic hasn't helped, as its primary economic victims are likely to be smaller independent grocers, pubs, restaurants and hotels etc. rather than the big multinational chains.

Amazon is currently setting up a big distribution centre near me, largely to circumvent Brexit. But it will probably also devastate the smaller retailing sector. With Irish retail prices 38% above the EU average, it's hard to argue that more competition isn't necessary. The trouble is that nobody else has Amazon's scale and on-line market dominance at the moment.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 07:07:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Ireland enforces EU regulations on the Bezos Plague, especially workplace and employee regs, the profit margin will dwindle, and the Plague Rat will run whining back to the late-stage crapitalist pit that is the US.
by rifek on Sat Sep 18th, 2021 at 02:56:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Dominic Raab on the verge of the back door ...

by Oui on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 01:13:37 PM EST
Robert Buckland Justice and Northern Ireland

Opening of the Legal Year in Northern Ireland | 6th September 2021 |

Failure on the NI Protocol and the EU Agreement?

Robert Buckland's call for the courts to narrow their remit is misguided

by Oui on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 01:14:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

As Dominic Raab moves to post of Justice and deputy PM 😎 Brexit friendship taking a hit 😀

by Oui on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 02:24:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 03:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 03:42:12 PM EST

Note to RTÉ: Unlike in the UK, where it has been first and foremost every day for the past five years, Brexit is no longer page one in most EU countries, if it ever was (and moving fast to bottom of page five). Of course, we understand the unique situation of the only EU country with close to 500 km land border with the UK, but the EU as a whole does not give that much thought to Brexit: this is just one file among many for Commissioner Šefčovič.
by Bernard on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 07:06:14 PM EST
Thre are also some buffering issues between the UK and Ireland!

Indeed, I have often wondered why Šefčovič wastes so much time on it instead of appointing a mid-ranking civil servant to the post of Brexit relations manager and counterpart to Lord Frost. As a vice President of the Commission, he should be the counterpart to the UK Deputy Prime Minister (now Raab) or Gove who now has responsibility for the unity of the UK.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 at 08:49:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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