Brexiting the EU

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 am, July 24th, 2018 - 75 comments
Categories: capitalism, conservative party, Donald Trump, Economy, International, Jeremy Corbyn, Judith Collins, labour, uk politics - Tags: ,

It has been a hell of a month for the UK.

The conservative party is imploding.  Theresa May is stuck squarely in the middle between Conservative MPs who think that BREXIT will be a disaster for the economy and Conservative MPs who do not care.  This speech from Anna Soubry captures the mood well.

Boris Johnson is riding the wave. He resigned as a Minister on the basis that May was not being staunch enough.

The resignation seems very calculated.

Here is his resignation speech to Parliament.

And after receiving a ringing endorsement from Donald Trump the sky must be the limit for Johnson’s plans.  Just what the world needs, another idiotic right wing male leader.

Then there was a vote in Parliament where Conservative MPs put up a hard Brexit amendment. It was passed, just, thanks to the support of four Labour MPs. This was a potentially Government ending vote and four Labour MPs voted to preserve May’s reign. The UK could have had a vote of no confidence and a general election instead.

The Liberal Democrats went missing. Literally. And the Conservatives broke all sorts of Parliamentary conventions to get their vote over the line.  They were that worried they broke the convention on the pairing of votes and falsely represented to Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson that she could skip a crucial vote to look after her new baby.  When you add on the missing votes of Lib Dem MPs Tim Farron and Vince Cable who both were inexplicably missing that three vote majority looks very slim.

Then Jeremy Corbyn faced an attack by pro Israeli MPs because the Labour party was still grappling with a definition of anti semitism in a policy. The timing was extraordinary. It is as if some people do not want him to be Prime Minister and will use whatever weapon they have. I hope they face a Momentum inspired re-selection battle soon.

And some of those involved in the Vote Leave campaign face the prospect of prosecution. The organisation was fined £61,000 and referred to the police after the Electoral Commission found that it had broken electoral law by exceeding its £7m spending limit through funnelling £675,315 to the pro-Brexit youth group BeLeave.

Then to really top things off a poll was released yesterday suggesting that the electorate is deeply divided between those who want to BREXIT now and those who don’t.  From the Week Day:

Voters opposed to Theresa May’s Brexit plan would be prepared to turn to a far-right party in protest, a major new poll into the mood of the nation has found.

The Sunday Times says the YouGov survey, “will spark unease in Downing Street”, coming after a tumultuous couple of weeks in Westminster that saw the prime minister lose two senior members of her cabinet before narrowly avoiding defeat on a customs union backstop amendment that could have led to a full-blown leadership challenge.

Reuters says “May’s political vulnerability was exposed by the survey” which found voters would overwhelmingly prefer Boris Johnson, who resigned as foreign secretary in protest at the Chequers Brexit White Paper, to negotiate with Brussels and lead the Conservatives into the next election rather than the current prime minister.

Despite his star fading somewhat over the past year, Johnson remains a popular figure both within the Tory party and among prospective voters, with his support likely to grow if he is seen by MPs as someone who could prevent votes leaching to populist parties.

This threat is highlighted by polling which found around 38% of people would vote for a new party on the right that was committed to a Hard Brexit, while 24% are prepared to support an explicitly far-right anti-immigrant, anti-Islam party.

One in three voters, meanwhile, are prepared to back a new anti-Brexit centrist party.

“On this evidence” says Politico, “the conditions look perfect for a fundamental realignment of the British party system”.

It is as if the two tribes are realigning themselves in a somewhat disorganised fashion behind both slogans (remain or leave) without thinking too much about the reasons.  The political difficulty for the left is that there are a significant number of conservative working class voters who agree whole heartedly with the anti immigration nature of the proposal.  For too many Brexit means giving the middle finger to immigrants whereas for some in the Conservative Party they can see that hindering free trade and capital flows is not conducive to Globalisation and will in all likelihood cause major economic disruption.

And Judith Collins thinks it is all very interesting.  I wonder what she is planning?

75 comments on “Brexiting the EU”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    “On this evidence” says Politico, “the conditions look perfect for a fundamental realignment of the British party system”.

    not under FPP it isn’t.

    It is evidence that whoever of the major two parties can cling to more of it’s vote will score a landslide victory, and this is what is driving their Brexit strategies.

    Also, I have given up using the Guardian (along with the rest of the highly polarised and partisan British press) as a source for the mood of the British public on Brexit or even for any common sense on Brexit or Corbyn. The paper is basically the voice of pink neoliberals, the very serious people of the Blairite “centre” who represent no one but have a platform to be Cassandras about any threat to the status quo.

    Because of the political paralysis in Westminster – which BTW accurately reflects the wider crisis of identity in the UK and the deep divisions of British society at the moment – Britain will crash out of the EU with a hard Brexit by default.

    • Gosman 1.1

      People on the Left have an amazing ability to overestimate the level of support for their particular brand of politics. The reason there is not a harder left Newspaper than the Guardian is because the market for such a newspaper would be very small.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        Yes, on the face of it the evidence supports that assertion. The interesting question is why, why is it that this distribution of political support seems so fixed over time. It may have much less to do with actual parties and policies than we’d like to think.

        • One Two 1.1.1.1

          ‘Fixed’ over time – 44.4

          38
          33

          Fixed!

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1

            And yet at the same time most commenters here lament a Labour Party that is far too centrist for their tastes.

            Unfixed!

      • The Mirror has a circulation 5 times that of the Grauniad and is arguably to its left. There’s also the Morning Star, which while niche, is both well red and well read.

      • Sanctuary 1.1.3

        The Guardians problem is that it insists in painting Brexit purely in terms of outdated middle class identity politics, and it utterly refuses to contemplate the costs of EU membership has had on low income Brits.

        It’s solutions are equally outdated – a Blairite contempt for democracy by continually re-litigating the referendum result and/or demanding an autocratic refusal by parliament to implement the result.

      • Bill 1.1.4

        Advertising revenue Gosman. Without advertising revenue to bring down the cover price, any paper promoting a sensible position (read: “social democratic” in this day and age), would have a very short existence in that supposedly neutral arbitrator of supply, demand and preference (ie – the market).

        • dukeofurl 1.1.4.1

          Newspapers like the Guardian mix their news stories and opinion very freely in their digital version. The printed version will probably show more separation so you know for sure you have moved from opinion to news to sport etc. So often people will think ‘this is what the Guardian is saying’- they do have a hard to find part where they do editorials- why its just a talking head really. Click bait comes into to with headlines that demand ..demand I tell you,this or that

          The Guardian probably has a bigger audience outside Britain than in for its online audience ( Same goes for NY Times , its biggest online audience is in India but its most popular section is recipes – which explains it commonly has them on its ‘digital front page’)
          I think the Guardian gets quite a bit of revenue from its syndicated opinion writers hence the natural selection favours those writing for a middle class milieu.

  2. marty mars 2

    Thank you Micky. Your post is informative and is valuable – you’re really great at these posts.

    I like finding out what’s happening around the world and I also don’t care much – apart from Armageddon, injustice, and the like. But many here will be listening as intently to their devices as their grandparents did to the radio in the day. Good on them.

    • cleangreen 2.1

      Says; ‘ Marty the wise man from mars.’ – bullshit I say to this;

      “But many here will be listening as intently to their devices as their grandparents did to the radio in the day. Good on them.”

      Open-up your narrow mind.

      We all seacjh for the ‘truth channels’ now; – dont you know?

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE PEOPLE FROM MARS AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A PLANET THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!

        • cleangreen 2.1.1.1

          Nutter you are for sure ‘nasty – marty’.

          I was banned for using upper case etalics watch out be careful you wont’ also eb banned using upper case wording to show aggression.

          [Marty’s comment was funny and topical – MS]

  3. Bill 3

    You missed the bit about Labour and Conservative MPs suggesting the UK ought to form a “government of national unity” a la WW2. (One way to keep Corbyn’s social democratic policies out of government 😉 )

    But anyway.

    Was it only just over a hundred years ago that Britain had this empire the sun never set on, and that Britain could set the terms of trade it preferred with who-ever it wanted off the back of its military might? And to think, that in a few months it will have no terms of trade with anyone.

    I wonder how that one works – no access to agreed international trading mechanisms?

    • Grafton Gully 3.1

      Invisibles and BAE

      • Exkiwiforces 3.1.1

        Who the hell would want to buy from Big And Expensive unless you are oil/ gas rich country or you have very deep pockets.

        Their ships and subs are overpriced and break down, The Typhoon Jet is a half ass design and land warfare systems division isn’t much chop either apart from some legacy Armoured Vehicles. The UAVS division are are good but are stave of money to really make a good fist of it.

        They no longer build civilian airliners and they only do bits and pieces for Airfarce (Airbus) and anyone else much like the rest of its Military Aircraft division apart from the Hawk which I think is still built at Bough once home to Blackburn Buccaneer and the worlds first flying brick the Blackburn Firebrand (One test pilot said it was built like a battleship and it flew like a battleship). Also they managed to well truely stuff up the Nimrod MR4 Project which would’ve given the Boeing P8 a run for its money.

        The only thing worth buying is the Hawk Jet, but even then the KAI T50 from South Korea is still cheaper and more capable than the Hawk. Their missile and radar division is world class and little bit on the expensive side.

        But then again Boeing and Lockheed Martin are just as bad with Boeing P8 problems, the 767 tanker program and Lockheed’s JSF their version of the flying brick.

        • feijoa 3.1.1.1

          They do make very good whisky though…..

          • Exkiwiforces 3.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t know that BAE aka Big And Expensive was into Whisky as well making big shitty and expensive defence products.

            2 Mates and I, plus a few Cuban cigars knock off a 100yr old Aldberg single malt which I brought after one my Middle East/ Africa deployments for my med discharge Party which was followed by an even excellent 50yr port from Oporto.

        • Mike Smith 3.1.1.2

          Tell us more about the P8 please EKF

    • dukeofurl 3.2

      ‘– no access to agreed international trading mechanisms?

      WTO is the default mechanism, very low tariffs mostly . The EU has high tariffs on agriculture imports but they have most to lose as Britain is big market for Agriculture from northern France, Netherlands, Denmark and especially Ireland.

      EU is a large grab bag of other entities apart from trade. They cover Medicines, patents, aviation , Cyber crime, work safety, environment, IPO, etc
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agencies_of_the_European_Union

      They are all distinct ‘legal personalities’ from the EU itself, and some Britain isnt a party to.

      • Bill 3.2.1

        I’m not so sure that Britain has any clear cut or defined membership of the WTO.

        (So, I did a very quick search, and got…)

        The UK is already a WTO member, but its membership terms are bundled with the EU’s. Re-establishing the UK’s WTO status in its own right means both the UK and the EU would negotiate simultaneously with the rest of the WTO’s members to extract their separate membership terms. Agreement on the UK’s terms is unlikely before those of the EU.

        https://www.ictsd.org/opinion/nothing-simple-about-uk-regaining-wto-status-post-brexit

        • Gosman 3.2.1.1

          Joining the WTO shouldn’t be a problem. It is kind of a default position unless you want to opt out.

          • Bill 3.2.1.1.1

            Default? Really? And all those “bundled terms” surrounding the UK’s current membership just get kind of ignored? I don’t think so. Pretty sure the WTO would be keen enough to kind of ‘fast track’ things, but still….

            From WTO pages…

            Third, “let’s draft membership terms”. Once the working party has completed its examination of the applicant’s trade regime, and the parallel bilateral market access negotiations are complete, the working party finalizes the terms of accession. These appear in a report, a draft membership treaty (“protocol of accession”) and lists (“schedules”) of the member-to-be’s commitments.

            Finally, “the decision”. The final package, consisting of the report, protocol and lists of commitments, is presented to the WTO General Council or the Ministerial Conference. If a two-thirds majority of WTO members vote in favour, the applicant is free to sign the protocol and to accede to the organization. In many cases, the country’s own parliament or legislature has to ratify the agreement before membership is complete.

            https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/org3_e.htm

  4. ianmac 4

    Was the photo at the top accidental? Ha.

  5. Wayne 5

    It is not true that a large number of Conservative MP’s who support Leave don’t care what happens to the economy. Instead they think the UK will do better outside the EU, facing fewer trade restrictions. The EU has notoriously high barriers to trade in agricultural products and widely excessive levels of regulation.
    Obviously you don’t agree with the Leave economic argument, but don’t pretend that there isn’t actually one.

    • AB 5.1

      “Instead they think the UK will do better”
      What’s this “UK” thing you are talking about? It’s an abstraction right? So instead of talking in abstractions, why not say exactly who will do better, who will do worse and how the former intend to (permanently) compensate the latter? Oh – and give the environment personhood by making it a ‘who’ too.

      • dukeofurl 5.1.1

        UK Industry ,manufacturing, fisheries was badly affected by joining the EU- who compensated them.

        Bryan Gould, who was a ministerial official before becoming a UK MP explains what it meant at the time
        http://www.bryangould.com/the-truth-about-brexit-as-seen-from-new-zealand/

        ‘ The Common Market could not have been more inimical to British interests. It required the British to give up significant competitive advantages; first, their access to efficiently produced Commonwealth food which made possible a cheap food policy at home – and therefore lower industrial costs – and, secondly, their preferential markets in Commonwealth countries for relatively expensive British manufactures.

        And so it proved in practice. British taxpayers found themselves subsidising inefficient French farmers, British consumers had to pay higher food prices and therefore required higher wages just to stand still, and British manufacturers and their workforces faced lost output and jobs as they were outgunned in their own market and in Europe by the post-war revival of German industry.

        • AB 5.1.1.1

          May be true – which is why arguments based on what is good for “the country” or “the economy” are just hot air deliberately designed to avoid any calculation or ethical reflection on individual benefit and harm.
          Abstractions do not bleed, get depressed or kill themselves.

        • Exkiwiforces 5.1.1.2

          Yes the wheels did certainly fall for the British Industry etc after entering EU and my UK mates have said along with my ex pat cousin in London “we/ the Brits only wanted to sign up the for “Common Market” not all this other shit that being force down our/ their mouths etc by our weak knee pollies at Westminster”.

    • mickysavage 5.2

      Obviously you don’t agree with the Leave economic argument, but don’t pretend that there isn’t actually one.

      Not sure that I do Wayne. I did include the video from Conservative MP Anna Soubry to show that at least on the Conservative side there are MPs who think that economically it is a bad decision.

      Any links to economic arguments that suggest that it will improve things? And I take anything said by the leave campaign itself with a rather large dose of salt.

  6. Ad 6

    If your opponent is tripping themselves and falling, order another pint.

    Corbyn is looking pretty wily by being deftly positional . So I find him slightly more convincing as a politician.

    But our own government has to do much better on our own EU equivalent trade+diplomatic+social relationship with Australia. So no room for schadenfreude here.

  7. Gosman 7

    The theory of free trade (which most people here certainly don’t seem to understand) is that reducing Trade barriers even unilaterally will benefit an economy. Therefore the UK could crash out of the EU without a deal and then decide to impose no restrictions of goods coming from the rest of the EU and it would benefit. It would be the EU that would be imposing restrictions on British goods at that point. This technically harms them more than the British as they aren’t able to get what they want at the price they previously got them at.

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      Theory of free trade ?

      There are probably many theories there, depending what you want

      The opposite of free trade, for NZ for a long time any way, was autarky
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autarky

      High employment, a stable economy, a standard of living similar/better to that of current ‘free trade’ position. Whats not to like for everyday kiwis ?. The high income earners wouldnt like it.

    • McFlock 7.2

      How does that work in practise? What countries have unilaterally removed all import and export duties on goods and services? Those would be the richest countries in the world, right?

      • Gosman 7.2.1

        Generally they tend to be better off than those with closed or restricted trade yes. What about the theory do you not understand?

        • McFlock 7.2.1.1

          How it works in practise, as per my question. To which countries do you refer?

        • Stuart Munro 7.2.1.2

          The problem is that presumption, which goes back to the likes of Adam Smith, is really based on English access to continental grain breaking the monopoly of large local grain growers.

          When free trade instead licenses foreign monopolies to destroy local businesses to the extent that prices rise for want of local alternatives (for it is the availability of alternatives that controls price gouging) the benefits are no longer there.

          NZ economists, not being the sharpest pencils in the drawer (or they’d be working somewhere else) rarely go even that deep.

          The free trade of English textile mills with India or opium with China was no blessing to those countries.

          • Gosman 7.2.1.2.1

            While not disagreeing with you in relation to Opium’s impact on China the textile trade with India was not exactly free. The British imposed restrictions on Indian manufacturing to benefit their own production.

            • Stuart Munro 7.2.1.2.1.1

              You miss the point: that the beneficial character of free trade is not achieved if it destroys local industry irrespective of whether that destruction is accomplished by simple competition or the heavy-handed jackboots of colonial imperialism.

              • Gosman

                Except if people are working in an area that is noncompetitive then it is better that they are employed in a more productive sector of the economy. NZers should never have been employed assembling motor vehicles for example. Much better to retrain in some other area.

                • Stuart Munro

                  That presumes there are comparable industries available, which there generally are not.

                  Motor vehicle assembly plants were by no means unique to NZ, as most countries recognized the dangers of deskilling their work forces. What happened was a shift in culture among bureaucrats, called neo-liberalism, which stated: fuck the workers, let them eat cake and the country can go to hell in a handcart. And so it went.

                  • Gosman

                    What benefit did having highly skilled people bring to the NZ economy when they were employed in a sector where we were never going to be able to compete with more efficient producers?

                    The highly skilled people previously employed in Car assembly plants were not the people who generally became long term unemployed.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Shows what you know.

                      You just pushed the cost of adapting to your epic fucked up far-right fantasy onto the poorest members of society.

                      And then you pretend to be amazed at inequality growth. Perfidity thy name is Gosman.

                    • Gosman

                      Again, what benefit did these highly skilled people working in car assembly plants bring to the NZ economy long term?

                    • Macro

                      The question you should ask yourself before going off half cock is this:
                      “What is the economy for anyway?”
                      You quote the car assembly industry that is now pretty much defunct. There were thousands of people employed in support industries here as well. Not everything was made off shore. Tyres, seats, wheels, carpets, upholstery, all made here. Then there is the example of the clothing industry. Where did all those people go? The timber industry is only a fraction of what it used to be, as we now ship most of our logs off shore.
                      As those highly skilled workers moved onto other jobs, the less skilled lost jobs by the thousands. Is this what the economy is for?

            • McFlock 7.2.1.2.1.2

              That trade was unilaterally “free”.
              You said a nation unilaterally reducing trade barriers is, according to theory, better off.
              Where has this happened in actual practise?

              • Gosman

                https://policyexchange.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Unilateral-Free-Trade.pdf

                “In 1846, partly triggered by the ongoing famine in Ireland, Parliament
                unilaterally removed the Corn Laws, abandoning the precondition of
                reciprocity. This was followed by the phasing out of imperial preference,
                repeal of Navigation Acts and abolition of hundreds of other custom
                duties. ”

                “Inspired by the success of free ports like Hong Kong and Singapore and
                experiments with new Special Economic Zones like Shenzhen, from the
                1980s on China unilaterally dismantled much of its tight control over
                foreign trade. Average tariffs fell from a high of 56% in 1982 to 7.5% by
                Global Champion – 23
                2015, while the coverage of licensing requirements fell from around half
                of imports and two-thirds of exports to less than 4% and 8%
                respectively.22
                As a result, imports expanded from just 2.5% of the
                Chinese economy to over a quarter, while growth accelerated as China
                took advantage of cheap labour to ultimately become the world’s largest
                exporter. “

                • McFlock

                  lol

                  Reducing the starvation levels in Ireland have little to do with benefits for the English people – and then bilateral agreements occurred. All the repeal of the corn laws did was make life slightly less shitty for an occupied state.

                  As for China, decentralisation has as much if not more to do with it than any “unilateral” removal of conventional trade barriers (according to the reference in your link). But I’m not a communist, so that’s also irrelevant.

                  • Gosman

                    You asked for examples I provided them. You can dispute them all you like but that’s the theory and examples of how people believe the theory works.

                    • McFlock

                      So examples of countries being better off after reducing trade barriers unilaterally include one country that decided to stop starving an occupied territory and signed some bilateral agreements afterwards (with no information about how either act made them better off), and a communist state decentralising some decisions before joining multilateral organisations and signing bilateral agreements?

                      So you don’t have any actual real-world examples that support your theory. Good to know.

                  • Mike Smith

                    Except it didn’t reduce stacation levels in Ireland. Corn that could have fed the Irish was all exported by the landholders. England may have benefited but the Irish population halved theough starvation and emigration. Some example.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah fair call

                      Basically gossie made a catechism of market faith and he assumed we’d take his word for it that the random cases he spouted supported his preaching. And thereby we would all become good corporate capitalists, I guess.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      The theory of free trade (which most people here certainly don’t seem to understand) is that reducing Trade barriers even unilaterally will benefit an economy.

      That’s not actually the theory of free-trade. It’s the lie of the capitalists that has seen the capitalists much better off while most other are worse off as their incomes stagnate at best.

      Therefore the UK could crash out of the EU without a deal and then decide to impose no restrictions of goods coming from the rest of the EU and it would benefit. It would be the EU that would be imposing restrictions on British goods at that point. This technically harms them more than the British as they aren’t able to get what they want at the price they previously got them at.

      And the UK manufacturing base would collapse along with UK incomes with it.

      Oh, wait, that’s what’s been happening with the UK as part of the EU.

      Perhaps it’s that your prefer simply doesn’t work the way you think it does.

      • Gosman 7.3.1

        Most of us are not worse off. People in the World are generally much better off now than at any time in human history as a result of freer trading relationships.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.1

          Nope.

          The Australian Aborigines were certainly better off without them. A forty thousand year old civilisation that didn’t know poverty.

          Many African tribes were much better off without the free-trade of slaves to the US/UK/France etcetera.

          And in NZ the tariff barriers that we once had helped decrease poverty whereas the lack of them has seen an increase in poverty.

        • KJT 7.3.1.2

          Extremely debatable.

          An increase in GDP of a third world country does not equal a reduction in poverty for one. Ask the Barrio/favela dwellers in South America what unlimited access for US agribusiness to their farm markets has done to them. For just one example.

        • greywarshark 7.3.1.3

          Gosman is one of the great Doubting Thomases of the blog. He will be still tapping or speaking on his death bed and then go quiet hopefully for ever. We should have an address that we can send wreaths to, though not for decades I think. It is being so mentally active that keeps him going.

          Do not go gentle into that good night
          Dylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953

          Do not go gentle into that good night,
          Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
          Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

          Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
          Because their words had forked no lightning they
          Do not go gentle into that good night.

          Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
          Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
          Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

          Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
          And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
          Do not go gentle into that good night.

          Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
          Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
          Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

          And you, my father, there on the sad height,
          Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
          Do not go gentle into that good night.
          Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

          https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night

  8. Cemetery Jones 8

    “It is as if the two tribes are realigning themselves in a somewhat disorganised fashion behind both slogans (remain or leave) without thinking too much about the reasons.”

    Now there’s some immense condescension. I prefer to understand why people don’t believe the same thing as me rather than convince myself I can minimise their reasons or pretend they have none. I recommend it.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Smart thinking.

    • cleangreen 8.2

      EU is now more about being a political pact than being an economic one nowdays.

      With the ECB and the Europoean Council all running the show with ‘NATO’ smug in the middle kept close by.

      NATO will be used to punish any errant EU member, should they step out of the grand order that the EU council decides is in their best interests.

      Then NATO will be used to make an example of any next errant member.

      Remember the ugly scenes over Greece?

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31125337

      Here are the players that dealt the poisoned rat to Greece.

      Mr Tsipras met the leaders of the three top EU institutions in Brussels – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

      At a joint news conference, Mr Schulz described their talks as “fruitful” but said there were difficult times ahead.

      In a newspaper interview with German daily Handelsblatt, Mr Schulz has warned that Greece risks bankruptcy if it does not honour its commitments.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    This speech from Anna Soubry captures the mood well.

    She says that the MP’s and the government’s job is to provide frictionless trade but that is not their job. Their job is to put in place rules that determine if trade with another nation is beneficial or not and from there put in place tariffs and/or outright bans on trade with that country in accordance with those rules.

    She makes the same mistake as most politicians and economists who believe that free-trade is about allowing trade no matter what and it isn’t.

    The politicians and the people need to ask if the country that we’re looking to trade with have the same standards as us:

    Do they have the same working conditions?
    Do they have the same respect for human rights?
    Do they have the same minimum wages after taking into account exchange rate and/or purchasing power?
    Do they have the same environmental protections as us?
    Do they have a floating exchange rate or do they manipulate it?

    The list goes on and it’s really important because a market system simply cannot work unless all costs are appropriately accounted for.

    Of course, if we did that then we’d come to the conclusion that we don’t need FTAs and that FTAs get in the way of actual free-trade as they remove the willing buyer/willing seller basis of free-trade.

    She goes on that jobs will be lost with Brexit but it’s also possible that more jobs will be created as jobs that are now done in the EU get on-shored into the UK.

  10. the other pat 10

    i like the photo at the beginning…..” A BITTER FUTURE”….sums it up methinks.

  11. SPC 11

    As I see it, it was inevitable that attitudes would harden during the two year period – due to a natural support for nationalist positions during the negotiating phase.

    Those in favour of a hard Brexit have exploited this to undermine a soft Brexit. They see the UK as a new Singapore off Europe, an ambition for an end to environmental and labour regulations required by the EU so as to advantage capital and also a government that acts in a nationalist way for local corporate business advantage. Which can either do better under WTO rules or make better bi-lateral trade arrangments.

    It’s about 1/3rd for this hard Brexit and one third for a soft Brexit and one third fior staying in the EU. The middle third splits down the middle, if its either a hard Brexit or staying in.

    This is all a nightmare politically.

    Given the narrow margin (and the demographic – where the margin of victory is eroded within a decade by the death of older voters), the best response is to offer to stay in the customs zone and single market for that time (suspending payment of any Brexit bill, enjoying the end of payments into the EU budget, and making no welfare payments, housing or family tax credit support to EU workers in the EU). What Cameron wanted for staying in the EU and more. Financially better off, but not part of the EU management process for a decade. And it gives the UK a decade to look at its options.

  12. greywarshark 12

    Overseas trade with whom, for what goods, at what prices and can we get advantage from opening our barriers of tariffs to match our love of imported goodies, greedy and uppish as we are about what we should have against what we deserve related to our actual country earnings?

    The emphasis went onto exports in the late 1980s? and off our domestic market. Was this a piece of sleight of hand, a bit of derring-do, a ‘trust us we know what we are doing’, a bullrush at the trade barriers to us, reckless in its unconcern for a Plan B? Now we have opened the gate and let the herd in to trample our veggie garden and eat our roses, can we gather anything viable from our Smashed Palace?

    I think the same type of people are behind Brexit, without an inch of safety net just-in-case (they will probably go off metrics now and match up with the USA which is still on imperial or was till recently.)

    https://www.mscnewswire.co.nz/news-sectors/reporters-desk/item/16002-trade-shortfall-tops-4-billion-in-june-year.html

    Trade shortfall tops $4 billion in June year
    Wednesday, 25 July 2018 11:03

    Trade shortfall tops $4 billion in June year
    The value of annual imports rose $374 million more than exports, pushing the June 2018 annual trade deficit to $4.0 billion, Stats NZ said today. This is the largest trade deficit for a June year in a decade.

    Compared with the June 2017 year, the trade deficit this year widened as all major import and export groups increased.

    “The last June year surplus was in 2014, driven by high dairy export values,” acting international statistics manager Dave Adair said. “Exports dipped in 2015 leading to a deficit, which has widened since due to steadily rising imports.”

  13. greywarshark 13

    Micky Savage
    Thanks for this truly awful bunch of facts about the political machinations around Brexit. It is interesting how right wing fables and personal cliques can triumph in Britain in place of reasoned and far-seeing political planning. Perfidious Albion – nobody should shake a Brit polly by the hand without donning sterile disposable gloves.

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