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So, Brexit....What's happening?

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1 hour ago, ozjohn said:

Someone needs to. From Australia you are looking like a weak country being pushed around by the EU mainly due to incompetent leadership by May who says one thing and then proceeds to do something else. When May said Brexit means Brexit her real agenda was staying in the EU at any cost. One thing that is obvious is the border between the UK and the Irish Republic is the business of the two countries NOT the EU. As for the divorce bill 29 B. Euros for  what not even a trade deal, no guarantee of leaving and no input into the EU laws after "Brexit". The best deal possible? All you have is the crumbs off the table. Shame on you. I thought the UK had some pride.

 

How very odd. And there was me thinking we voted to Leave rather than them pushing us out. Ah well. Must have been mistaken. 

(Pound to a 1933 penny that there are liberal Aussies who think nothing of the sort.)

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10 hours ago, Peckris 2 said:

That's a distortion of the actual real-world situation. NEITHER side wants the backstop to be invoked, as both sides want a good deal out of Brexit; if that happens it will include some kind of customs union which will preclude a border in Ireland.

But IF - and I do mean if - that doesn't happen, then the EU has no alternative but to protect the interests of a member state (Eire) by invoking the backstop for as long as it's necessary. It's not about having the UK over a barrel, it's about not seeing Eire disadvantaged. If it was the other way about, and Eire was leaving and we were staying, don't you think the EU would do exactly the same thing, but this time in relation to our interests?

The terms of the backstop are NOT about leaving the EU, they're about how long the backstop stays in place. Article 50 has been invoked - although it can be withdrawn, only we can do that, the EU can't do it or insist we remain. What the EU can do is to insist that the backstop cannot be unilaterally removed by the UK if it means a border in Ireland. That's why the DUP is so spooked - it could mean N Ireland remaining effectively in the EU unless or until a deal is reached that precludes a border.

The problem with the backstop is that it requires both sides to satisfy the criteria of no border whilst at the same time the EU insists that the UK is in a temporary customs union in order to protect its borders from unfair third state competition until it is possible to provide an alternative. This is likely to prove extremely difficult in its execution as it would require electronic scanning of lorries moving in either direction for the passage of conforming items, but any item that does not conform to agreed standards or is otherwise unregulated would need some method of customs inspection. i.e. Those two provisions are essentially mutually exclusive, so a prolonged and potentially open-ended customs union is not a fanciful distortion.

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 "This is likely to prove extremely difficult in its execution as it would require electronic scanning of lorries moving in either direction for the passage of conforming items, but any item that does not conform to agreed standards or is otherwise unregulated would need some method of customs inspection. i.e. Those two provisions are essentially mutually exclusive, so a prolonged and potentially open-ended customs union is not a fanciful distortion."

 

Anyone familiar with the Irish border issue Pre EU will understand that in comparison, a sponge is watertight. The two way traffic in commodities as diverse as butter, detergents, diesel of both colours, tobacco, all of this was facilitated by farms and warehouses that literally straddled the border. Drive in from NI, exit in the Republic.

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8 hours ago, Rob said:

The problem with the backstop is that it requires both sides to satisfy the criteria of no border whilst at the same time the EU insists that the UK is in a temporary customs union in order to protect its borders from unfair third state competition until it is possible to provide an alternative. This is likely to prove extremely difficult in its execution as it would require electronic scanning of lorries moving in either direction for the passage of conforming items, but any item that does not conform to agreed standards or is otherwise unregulated would need some method of customs inspection. i.e. Those two provisions are essentially mutually exclusive, so a prolonged and potentially open-ended customs union is not a fanciful distortion.

A customs union is no bad thing. During the referendum campaign it was never mentioned, indeed most non-trading people had probably never even heard of it. However, if we have left the Single Market, then A customs union (as envisaged by Labour) would still allow us to pursue our own trade deals, albeit perhaps not quite so freely as Jacob Rees-Mogg would like (see picture below..). A prolonged and open-ended CU is exactly what Ireland should have, and it's probably only the homophobic climate change-denying religious fundamentalists of the DUP who seriously object. Yes, it threatens the integrity of the UK Union perhaps, but that's only been around a relatively short time.

956809545_JacobRees-Mogg.thumb.jpg.59ed9cb2bffd02518b938ec6f4bf65de.jpg

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12 hours ago, Peckris 2 said:

How very odd. And there was me thinking we voted to Leave rather than them pushing us out. Ah well. Must have been mistaken. 

(Pound to a 1933 penny that there are liberal Aussies who think nothing of the sort.)

Being pushed around  by the EU is not the same as being pushed out by the EU. Nobody said that the EU ever said thatThe whole point is the EU wants the UK to stay as leaving threatens the stability of the EU . Not because they love the Uk. I thought that was obvious right from the start.

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First, I applaud your appreciation of the splendid organ that is 'Private Eye'. That cover was worthy of inclusion in the 'Stuff that makes us laugh' thread.

Custom unions are ok as a decision of equals pulling similar weight, but not for a country as an outsider with no say in their formulation. The EU is a mature customs union with policy dictated by the Commission and rubber stamped by the European Parliament. The EU dictates the rules of any participation in that union and is not going to consider doing something which dilutes their position to accommodate the aspirations of potential members. Clearly it is easier to reach an agreement with fewer constituent members, but that is not the situation in this case. We would unambiguously be rule takers.

The problem with a customs union in this case is that it requires potential participants to sign up to all the other legislative baggage such as the freedom of movement, social legislation, state aid etc. that accompanies any joint intent to permit free trade. The EU would not change its own rules on a single point in the interest of a trade agreement. Now I'm not saying that all the baggage is necessarily wrong in principle, but as a country outside the decision making process, it is not in our interest to sign up to an agreement that requires religiously following rules set up by a body which (rightly) has no interest in satisfying the needs of a country over which it has no direct control.

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3 hours ago, secret santa said:

Vote of no confidence tonight. I suspect that the Tories are about to vote themselves out of power for the rest of my life.

I could handle Labour if they weren't led by the quasi communist Corbyn, and his bunch of loud mouthed, ignorant, abusive acolytes. 

Moreover, I still want to know what direct action Corbyn plans to deal with the Brexit crisis. He's been too busy telling all and sundry what May is making a mess of, to actually tell the public what he would do if the EU still won't budge. So Mr (apparently) Prime Minister in waiting, please tell us. I'm sure we're all ears.  

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3 hours ago, Peckris 2 said:

A customs union is no bad thing. During the referendum campaign it was never mentioned, indeed most non-trading people had probably never even heard of it. However, if we have left the Single Market, then A customs union (as envisaged by Labour) would still allow us to pursue our own trade deals, albeit perhaps not quite so freely as Jacob Rees-Mogg would like (see picture below..). A prolonged and open-ended CU is exactly what Ireland should have, and it's probably only the homophobic climate change-denying religious fundamentalists of the DUP who seriously object. Yes, it threatens the integrity of the UK Union perhaps, but that's only been around a relatively short time.

 

Mind, this country is full of the most breathtaking hypocrisy. Can you imagine the meltdown that would have occurred if an English MP had made the sort of comments about the gay community that Ian Paisley jnr and Iris Robinson made? Yet it's allowed to pass without too much fuss in their case. Why? - are they some sort of special case that is treated differently, or what?

Either let everybody give their uncensored views freely, or clamp down hard on all of them the same.  

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Opinions must be freely voiced whether you agree with them or not. Suppression of free speech is not a good route to go down as it hardens views within the ranks of the constrained and creates a bunker mentality. It also pushes grievances into the long grass without resolving any issues and allows them to fester, rarely for the better. Taboo or politically incorrect subjects need to be discussed because there are some with genuinely strong feelings, and simply saying shut up doesn't make for the case against. Minds will never be changed by maintaining silence, only by interactive debate. You will always get ideological clamouring for suppression from extremists on the opposing side, but this rarely commands the support of the middle ground. So, everything's ok then, until it all blows up........

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1 hour ago, 1949threepence said:

I could handle Labour if they weren't led by the quasi communist Corbyn, and his bunch of loud mouthed, ignorant, abusive acolytes. 

Moreover, I still want to know what direct action Corbyn plans to deal with the Brexit crisis. He's been too busy telling all and sundry what May is making a mess of, to actually tell the public what he would do if the EU still won't budge. So Mr (apparently) Prime Minister in waiting, please tell us. I'm sure we're all ears.  

I don't think Corbyn has ever really been the 'Leader' more a front for Momentum, I believe they formed in 2015 to support his Bid as leader and supported him when challenged, since then they have effectively taken over the NEC. A report earlier this year said they had motioned an action that they could remove the Labour Leader and put in place a 'temporary' leader under their instruction until a suitable replacement was found. i.e. They could run the Party/Country in the meantime, Don't know if it ever got through though.

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4 hours ago, Rob said:

Opinions must be freely voiced whether you agree with them or not. Suppression of free speech is not a good route to go down as it hardens views within the ranks of the constrained and creates a bunker mentality. It also pushes grievances into the long grass without resolving any issues and allows them to fester, rarely for the better. Taboo or politically incorrect subjects need to be discussed because there are some with genuinely strong feelings, and simply saying shut up doesn't make for the case against. Minds will never be changed by maintaining silence, only by interactive debate. You will always get ideological clamouring for suppression from extremists on the opposing side, but this rarely commands the support of the middle ground. So, everything's ok then, until it all blows up........

100% agreed. We are a free speaking democracy, and whatever is said, we should be robust enough to deal with it and if necessary, argue back. The current trend towards shouting people down via accusations of bigot, racist, homophobe etc, is merely a left wing lever to shut down debate. Same with so called "safe spaces" in universities. 

We are all entitled to our opinions, whether others like them or not. That's what being a free country is all about. 

The arguments won't go away, they'll just go underground and fester, as you rightly point out.

 

Edited by 1949threepence

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Well, May managed to win the confidence vote 200-117. That's at least much better than Corbyn's confidence vote by labour MPs not so long ago 😀.

But she had to declare that she would not led the Tories into the next election which surely weakens her position somewhat. One wonders if she can make it to the meaningful vote without another major crisis. 

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FWIW, my wife expressed the opinion that we might be better off if she went back to Germany with me in tow. She thinks we would be better off getting out of the EU because the deal as it stands means this country gets screwed indefinitely. She also thinks Merkel could have helped in the past when the immigration issue was raised a few years ago and blames her in part for the mess we find ourselves in. Other musings include the backstop is an unacceptable imposition on this country and the deal must be rejected, May has to go, but anything that puts Corbyn in power would be an unmitigated disaster for the country.

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The result of the re-election of May solves nothing probably makes a bad situation worse. May is PM trying to sell a Brexit that no one will buy. The 117 who voted against her are unlikely to support Brexit in its present form and if it goes for a vote in the House of Commons it will be rejected  leaving the UK facing a general election. Perhaps May will want to abandon Brexit which I think was always her plan but it will leave the majority who voted  for Brexit wanting to vote May out paving the way for a Labor government lead by that maniac Corbyn. What a gutless bunch of w####ers the Tory MPs have proved to be.  Good luck to the good ship UK (Titanic?)

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All these various politicians pontificating on the deal not being acceptable, but leaving without a deal, unthinkable - I don't get them? If the EU won't budge (apart from some backstop conditions) what the chuffing hell would they do different for Christ's sake? How will their deal differ from this one? 

The circle is completely unsquarable.

Just stop squabbling, get on with it and accept the deal - end the uncertainty for business and the population. 

Edited by 1949threepence

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6 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

All these various politicians pontificating on the deal not being acceptable, but leaving without a deal, unthinkable - I don't get them? If the EU won't budge (apart from some backstop conditions) what the chuffing hell would they do different for Christ's sake? How will their deal differ from this one? 

A no deal will cause immediate issues for the UK and Europe. It's a game of chickens and the question is which side will budge first. This game might have to continue past March. But if our MPs declare that we must have a deal before the March deadline, then the EU will assume we will budge first. 

 

May certainly has to go and I don't think the Tory MPs are scare of getting rid of her. The only question is when. With hindsight, the confidence vote was probably too early I my view. They probably should have waited until the "meaningful" vote after Christmas.

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1 hour ago, Sword said:

A no deal will cause immediate issues for the UK and Europe. It's a game of chickens and the question is which side will budge first. This game might have to continue past March. But if our MPs declare that we must have a deal before the March deadline, then the EU will assume we will budge first. 

 

May certainly has to go and I don't think the Tory MPs are scare of getting rid of her. The only question is when. With hindsight, the confidence vote was probably too early I my view. They probably should have waited until the "meaningful" vote after Christmas.

Technically, she can't be challenged for another 12 months. 

The EU have made it very clear they are not going to budge, and will clearly lose a lot of face if they do so budge. So I don't think that will happen - ergo the ball is solidly in the UK court. Unless we want the WTO route, we are totally snookered. It's just going to take a little time for MP's to realise it.   

We might get a few sweeteners on the backstop, possibly even a legally binding one, as opposed to a merely politically binding one. But that will be it.  

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38 minutes ago, 1949threepence said:

Technically, she can't be challenged for another 12 months. 

The EU have made it very clear they are not going to budge, and will clearly lose a lot of face if they do so budge. So I don't think that will happen - ergo the ball is solidly in the UK court.

Exactly. The Tories "rebels" have wasted their challenge now. It might be better time to launch the challenge in the event of May's revised deal failing to get through parliament in January. In that situation, May cannot go back to EU to renegotiate for a second time. However, it is conceivable that a new leader might be able to do that (difficult task!) and get an extension to the March deadline if desirable. 

Politicians often make clear that they won't do certain things, e.g. delay the meaningful vote, raise taxes, get into certain coalitions or in this case, remove the backstop. Yet, they do U-turns without blushing. 

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On 12 December 2018 at 11:33 AM, Rob said:

First, I applaud your appreciation of the splendid organ that is 'Private Eye'. That cover was worthy of inclusion in the 'Stuff that makes us laugh' thread.

Custom unions are ok as a decision of equals pulling similar weight, but not for a country as an outsider with no say in their formulation. The EU is a mature customs union with policy dictated by the Commission and rubber stamped by the European Parliament. The EU dictates the rules of any participation in that union and is not going to consider doing something which dilutes their position to accommodate the aspirations of potential members. Clearly it is easier to reach an agreement with fewer constituent members, but that is not the situation in this case. We would unambiguously be rule takers.

The problem with a customs union in this case is that it requires potential participants to sign up to all the other legislative baggage such as the freedom of movement, social legislation, state aid etc. that accompanies any joint intent to permit free trade. The EU would not change its own rules on a single point in the interest of a trade agreement. Now I'm not saying that all the baggage is necessarily wrong in principle, but as a country outside the decision making process, it is not in our interest to sign up to an agreement that requires religiously following rules set up by a body which (rightly) has no interest in satisfying the needs of a country over which it has no direct control.

What you say is unarguable, so I come round to the point "Why leave" if it's to be rule takers not makers? Much of what's good about EU rules are things we helped to formulate, so there's a very strong UK influence in there. I cannot see anything wrong with the four freedoms, and I'd add that the areas who were most concerned about immigration in 2016 are the areas where there was least immigration. Tail wagging the dog.

On 12 December 2018 at 1:05 PM, 1949threepence said:

I could handle Labour if they weren't led by the quasi communist Corbyn, and his bunch of loud mouthed, ignorant, abusive acolytes. 

Moreover, I still want to know what direct action Corbyn plans to deal with the Brexit crisis. He's been too busy telling all and sundry what May is making a mess of, to actually tell the public what he would do if the EU still won't budge. So Mr (apparently) Prime Minister in waiting, please tell us. I'm sure we're all ears.  

I agree about many of Corbyn's acolytes (I have little time for Momentum). However, to call Corbyn a quasi Communist is well wide of the mark. He's probably not as left as Tony Benn was and he was in government until the mid 70s.

What disappoints me though is that he shuffles around Brexit, secretly approving of it, but not daring to upset his MPs and membership who are largely Remainers (and possibly a majority of his voters by now).

On 12 December 2018 at 1:19 PM, 1949threepence said:

Mind, this country is full of the most breathtaking hypocrisy. Can you imagine the meltdown that would have occurred if an English MP had made the sort of comments about the gay community that Ian Paisley jnr and Iris Robinson made? Yet it's allowed to pass without too much fuss in their case. Why? - are they some sort of special case that is treated differently, or what?

Either let everybody give their uncensored views freely, or clamp down hard on all of them the same.  

Only because the hate speech laws which we - rightly - have in Great Britain, don't seem to apply in N Ireland?

On 12 December 2018 at 9:12 PM, Sword said:

Well, May managed to win the confidence vote 200-117. That's at least much better than Corbyn's confidence vote by labour MPs not so long ago 😀.

But she had to declare that she would not led the Tories into the next election which surely weakens her position somewhat. One wonders if she can make it to the meaningful vote without another major crisis. 

I had to laugh though. Rees-Mogg cannot see the irony of not accepting the leadership vote of 2016 and having another one to see if he 'gets the right result this time'!

On 13 December 2018 at 10:33 AM, 1949threepence said:

All these various politicians pontificating on the deal not being acceptable, but leaving without a deal, unthinkable - I don't get them? If the EU won't budge (apart from some backstop conditions) what the chuffing hell would they do different for Christ's sake? How will their deal differ from this one? 

The circle is completely unsquarable.

Just stop squabbling, get on with it and accept the deal - end the uncertainty for business and the population. 

I've been bordering on almost that view of late - the bad deal is nowhere near as bad as 'no deal' would be. It really does seem like an unsquareable circle. We live in "interesting times".

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22 hours ago, Peckris 2 said:

I agree about many of Corbyn's acolytes (I have little time for Momentum). However, to call Corbyn a quasi Communist is well wide of the mark. He's probably not as left as Tony Benn was and he was in government until the mid 70s.

What disappoints me though is that he shuffles around Brexit, secretly approving of it, but not daring to upset his MPs and membership who are largely Remainers (and possibly a majority of his voters by now).

I've been bordering on almost that view of late - the bad deal is nowhere near as bad as 'no deal' would be. It really does seem like an unsquareable circle. We live in "interesting times".

This is a guy who went on a motorbike holiday through the then communist East Germany and Czechoslovakia in 1974, with Dianne Abbott. So I'm not personally convinced it is wide of the mark. 

Corbyn is in almost as bigger jam as May. He's vacillating on calling a commons vote of no confidence in the government, because he will probably lose it, and if he does, he's then left only with option B, which is a second referendum. He doesn't want that because it means he will have to give an official Labour party policy on leaving the EU which he knows will upset many of his supporters, who, unless they're incredibly thick (a distinct possibility if you actually hear them babbling on), should already know his feelings on the EU. 

We do need to get this issue resolved urgently though. Currently, parliament in general (both sides) are so busy arguing that they are seriously neglecting their responsibility to the country and the population. Nero fiddles while Rome burns.  

 

  

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