The Beginning of the End?
The Beginning of the End?
I hasten to add that i’m not planning anything, but that’s my prediction.
I think this is going to be good for the EU. So much energy has gone on trying to appease an ungrateful guest.
Sometime to look back on is how the phrase “Broken Britain” was relentlessly used by The Sun etc in the decline years of Labour up to 2010, to signify Britain’s Social Pathologies. The Tory press then immediately dropped it when they took power.
Similarly the Tories will now seek to drop Brexit as a reason for any failures. They will attribute things to anything other than Brexit.
It’s tough because the Tories have spent 40 years blaming things on Europe.
Geri Halliwell has let herself go…
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. (look it up… )
The most ecstatic of Brexiteers have never really understood that Brexit is not an event, but a process and while they’re happy to set off on their march into the unknown, they still don’t understand that it’s not their eagerly anticipated unknown, but an entirely unknown unknown.
I wish them well, but they have absolutely no idea what they’ve let themselves in for.
…and perhaps not.
Yeah but Ann Widdicombe is still going strong by Geri’s side
I missed a few things, but I’m going to stand over what I said in October 2018.
To this I would maybe just add two things:
1. Having successfully insulated its constituent Member States from the very worst results of the transition period ending without a future relationship having been agreed (Irish border, future payments, citizens rights), the EU (institutions and constituent Member States) are now, perhaps, in a position to credibly threaten to allow it to expire.
In theory, any extension must be agreed by June of this year. We are told, that putting one in place after this date would be “legally difficult”. Most observers of the EU would say that “where there is a will, there is a way”, but if by June of this year the Johnson government is still openly and repeatedly denying the inevitable and automatic consequences of its own actions, the EU may rationally decide that the only way to effectively negotiate with such a counterparty is to let them have their own way, and then continue negotiations with them as they would with any third country. I don’t however believe this is likely, but it does, or at least should, have a bearing on the dynamics of the negotiations.
2. Disastrous and all as a “Canada style deal” would be for many sectors of the UK economy, it does not appear that this is even on the table. The EU (constituent member states), quite rationally, do not perceive it to be in their in their interests to allow the UK substantial access to their market, without strong oversight to ensure that the UK cannot undercut their industries through reduction in employment, environmental, state aid, regulations.
The EU, quite rationally, perceive themselves to be in a strong negotiation position, and perceive it in their interests to insist on the UK enter into an association agreement with far stronger oversight mechanisms than those contained in the Canada agreement (because, amongst other reasons, Canada is quite a bit smaller, much further away, in a significantly stronger negotiating position than the UK; and moving towards alignment with the EU, rather than away).
This is decried by UK commentators as variously “unfair”, “an outrage”, etc., when it’s merely a large group of nation states acting in cold rational self interest. You’d think the Oxbridge educated elites, the class who brought the world, and are clearly nostalgic for, the days of gun boat diplomacy, would understand that this is the way that the world works. A large part of the current mess is a result of these morons genuinely believing that 19th century Britain engaged in something that they call “free trade”.
So whilst item (b) above needs to be adjusted slightly, and the possibility of most of the UK finding itself in a position where the treaties cease to apply to them is now higher, I still think that item © is by far the most likely outcome. I don’t think this’ll be agreed by June, but where there’s a will there’s a way.
Sorry but that is not at all true.
Many posters on this board have consistently ignored the cards that the UK has to play in these negotiations. Two big ones are integrated supply chains which cut both ways and can cause massive disruption to EU companies, but much more important is the balance of trade that the UK has with the EU.
In 2018 the UK had an overall trade deficit with the EU of -£66 billion composed of a trade surplus of £28 billion on services that was massively outweighed by a -£94 billion deficit on goods.
The EU will want to keep trade going as smoothly as possible with the UK or face massive hits to important sectors such as the Irish farming or the German car industry. Essentially both sides are pointing tariff and regulatory guns at each other.
So at the end of the day you can expect to see a series of ongoing fudges on trade where free trade agreements will likely be agreed sector by sector, the EU will claim some regulatory oversight and the UK will claim that it is in charge of whatever oversight it has agreed to…
“Police believe dissident republicans were responsible.”