Except the British are not leaving in any meaningful sense. That much is quite obvious to all now surely.
The Scots voted to remain in Britain and the EU, and try telling the Catalans about EU support for small ‘nations’.
But yes, there’s a lot of trash-talk coming out of England about our chances of EU solidarity. Well, we have that solidarity, the border one is one of EU principle; the UK can commit to hard borders and tear up the backstop, but let them make that move.
But it would also be folly to ignore that the majority of the EU population – over 70% – comes from just six countries: Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Poland. And the first five of those contribute over 70% of the EU budget. The EU probably wouldn’t survive losing a second of its top five members. Hence why the treatment of the UK will be diplomatic but unflinching.
But the weighting in the EU parliament is firmly in the small nations favour. I think I worked it out before that Malta had something like 6-8 times more MEP representation than Germany!
A century ago Europe was a quarter of the worlds population, now it’s around 8% I think in a time of rising competing economic blocs. It’s in the larger EU nations self interest to be part of a large bloc or be isolated at the mercy of such blocs, just as the UK will be.
En route to her pointless Sharm El Sheikh meet-up, Theresa May just announced that this week’s “meaningful vote” is cancelled. She’s now saying it will take place by March 12th, a fortnight before B-Day. Will be interesting to see if Parliament attempts to shunt her sideways this week anyway, or if she can mollify enough of the Tory anti-No-Dealers.
Sigh…if only Angela Merkel hadn’t invited the whole world into Europe without consulting any of her EU counterparts. If only Bataclan, Brussels, Berlin, Nice, London, and Manchester terrorist slaughters hadn’t swiftly followed. If only the French had dismantled The Jungle* before* rather than after the Brexit vote.
Makes you wonder who are the real loons in all of this…
Brexit is about immigration and open borders - and little else.
Correct, it’s about the importation of cheap foreign labour that is used to completely undermine the wages for the average working people in many parts of the UK.
The point that is often missed is, who are the people allowed these migrants in in the first place (since the 1950s).
Many of those who voted leave did vote to leave to spite these people who they see as depriving them of a chance to earn a living doing low or unskilled jobs while earning a living wage.
It must added that it’s not the EUs fault that the UK didn’t restrict entry to its labour market in 2004 as most of the EU 15 did. In fact I remember Tony blair berating Germany and France for being uneuropean for not doing so.
If immigration was the key then Brexit isn’t solving it.
Yes, many of the leave voters saw immigration as a big issue and this was the only way they were able to register their protest, they don’t really care about the EU.
And as for the leave process and consequences, these issues were never thought about, you must remember that no one really thought a Leave vote had a realistic chance of winning.
It was a deliberate policy of the pro-leave campaigners and specifically Dominic Cummings in Vote Leave to not have a post-Brexit plan as any specific plan would only result in intra-leaver arguments and would be picked apart by remain.
As to no one thought leave would win, the opinion polls had it very close for much of the campaign, all be it probably slightly pro-remain, and I know pro-remain people in Northern Ireland who had links with England were very worried by the mood music coming from there in the lead up to the vote.
I’ll shoehorn in a point that often gets over looked of a little semantic shift in Brexit terminology.
Immediately after the vote “soft Brexit” meant retain single market and customs union membership while “hard Brexit” was for the UK adopting its own trading policy at the price of access to Europe.
Today, “soft Brexit” is closer to the old definition of “hard brexit” but with the caveat not to diverge too much from the EU while the new definition of “hard brexit” is sever all relations with the EU.
The Lancaster House speech in January 2017, in which May announced she’d would seek to exit the SM, CU and the CJEU seems to be the turning point.
It’s also interesting that whatever the terminology, few before or in the aftermath of the referendum ever advocated a complete breach with the EU.
Yet that’s the proposition unless the UK parliament agrees to the Withdrawal Agreement, or agrees with the EU to extend Art 50 or unilaterally decides to revoke the decision to leave.
Yes and no. Lancaster House was the beginning of the journey, but was also at a time when Leaver “cakism” was alive and well. Theresa May realised that abandoning the “four freedoms” was incompatible with Single Market membership but she thought the new deal could include “elements of current single market arrangements in certain areas”. She acknowledged in the speech that “full membership of the customs union prevents us from negotiating our own trade deals” but still wanted some sort of customs arrangement to facilitate frictionless tariff-free trade.
It wasn’t until a year later that the ERG wrote to her, anticipating that negotiations might not go as well as hoped and wanting to remind her of her commitment to leave the SM and CU. I think that’s when she realised that she could be triggering a stand-off between the ERG and the wider Tories.
Corbyn says Labour open to people vote, whatever that might be about.
A rerun even if it reverses the last result won’t undo a lot of the damage. At least the border issue won’t be such a looming problem. If there is a rerun it will be interesting to hear the DUPs economic arguments this time round for supporting a Leave vote.
Thats interesting…although some might suggest that a people who are possibly the most insular on earth with one of the most restrictive immigration regimes dont really get to lecture anyone else about freedom of movement/labour. If anything, Japan, being a highly succesful stand-alone island economy, is actually the model on which the more optimistic post-Brexit scenarios are modelled!
Anyway, in much the same way that the anti-Brexit brigade are citing the Honda closure as being caused solely by Brexit uncertainty, the other side are citing the biggest recorded UK Exchequer returns since the 1990s as evidence of the imminent success of the decision to Brexit
The reality is that vested interests on both sides have, are and will be spinning every piece of positive and negative news as evidence of the strength of one side or other of the argument for the forseeable.
This just kicks the can down the road. However thankfully a no deal exit on 29th March now seems very unlikely. And the possibility exists that the EU would only agree to a quite lengthy extension to Brexit and during that long extension things could change big time in the UK. “Events, my dear boy, events”.