Tag Archives: Brexit

Calvin the Brexiter

Following on from my previous post, this seems remarkably appropriate.

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Quote of the Day: A truly low point of post-shame politics

There is not a single figure in the government, the Treasury or the economics analysis department of any major bank or investment firm who considers this to be anything less than deranged.

Tom Peck on the latest attempt by the hardline Brexit bunch to justify their complete failure to come up with anything even approaching a coherent Brexit plan.

You’d think that, after 40 years of banging on about Europe, these people would have taken a moment to consider what they were trying to achieve. You’d be wrong.

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Be careful what you wish for

Rafael Behr makes an obvious point:

And it isn’t obvious that the Brexit ultras would want to be in control of the process now. Then they would have to negotiate, to own the compromises and explain the disappointments. They would no longer have the luxury of crying betrayal from the sidelines, which is all they really know how to do.

It’s long been apparent (to me) that, with the referendum, the Brexiters achieved what they campaigned for but not what they wanted.

Blaming the EU for all of your country’s ills is both easy and comforting. But once you’re out, you will have to start taking some responsibility.

This, of course, is the fundamental problem into which all populists eventually crash. Finding a scapegoat is easy, but when the scapegoat is gone and the problems still persist, who or what will you blame next?

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Money for Nothing

UK government paid consultants £680K for Brexit customs plan

Government records show the U.K. tax authority, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), spent £680,000 on a contract with consultancy firm McKinsey & Company to, among other things, assess the “commercial feasibility” of the “new customs partnership model.” That is one of two customs proposals put forward by U.K. Brexit negotiators last week in talks aimed at avoiding a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The customs arrangement designed by McKinsey was, of course, dismissed as unworkable as soon as the rest of the EU saw it.

Hiring consultants is like wishing really hard. It doesn’t mater how much you spend — or how much you wish — the impossible will remain impossible.

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Superficial, pointless and wrong

There has already been plenty of response to the news that British passports will[ be dark blue after 2019. For me, this story underlines wrong with the various claims made by the Brexit lobby.

Firstly, of course, there is the fact that this is yet another case of ignoring reality in favour of a bunch of symbols of a world that no longer exists — and probably never did.

Secondly, the claim that the burgundy passport was imposed on the UK is flat-out wrong. There is no requirement for passports to be burgundy and no-one would have batted an eyelid had the UK decided to issue dark-blue EU passports, just as no-one bats an eyelid Croatia’s dark blue EU passports. Indeed, Charles Powell has confirmed that it was the Thatcher government that chose to ditch the blue passport.

This Brexiter obsession with superficialities like passport colour sums them up perfectly. It is a pointless and illogical obsession based on a complete failure to understand where we are today and why. The previous passport layout was determined by the League of Nations back in 1920 and the size and layout of modern passports is determined by the needs of international airports (as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization, an agency of the UN).

Brexiters have nothing. Everything they have promised has been shown to be a lie and they are reduced to either clutching at nonsense like this or pretending that a referendum result is somehow inviolate and unchangeable.

As David Davis once said, if a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.

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Trust, once lost, is difficult to regain

In a surprise to no-one, the EU27 have “hardened” the language of a proposed Brexit resolution for this week’s European Council summit in following David Davis’ remarkably stupid comments on Sunday that last Friday’s Brexit deal with the EU was “more a statement of intent than a legally enforceable thing.”

The text now also says the U.K. will stay in both customs union and internal market for the time of a transition period, which includes the whole acquis (the body of EU law) and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. While that has always been clear to the EU side, it will be made explicit in the summit resolution “to avoid any ambiguity,” according to one diplomat.

Spelling out what transition means also include making it explicit that the UK will have no representation in any EU body or agency, “neither as a member nor as an observer,” the diplomat said.

And it doesn’t stop there. The European parliament’s main parties have drawn up an amendment to their Brexit resolution, on which MEPs will vote today, condemning the Brexit secretary personally for damaging trust.

Michael Roth, Germany’s minister for Europe, told German media he was “taken aback” that the language May had used in Brussels “differed somewhat” to what the prime minister had said in London since her return, referring in particular to the suggestion that Britain would only pay the final bill to the EU once a trade agreement had been reached. “She needs to be taking the same line in Brussels as in London,” he said.

The arrogance, incompetence and stupidity of the Brexit fantasists in Theresa May’s cabinet are undermining the future of the the UK and putting at risk the economy, jobs, services and the status of British citizens around the world. Their actions are liable to torpedo any deal with Europe and leave the rest of the World wondering why on Earth they would talk to us.

It’s way past time for some adults to step in, take charge and call a halt to this whole farrago.

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Idiocracy

Two days after signing an agreement, the UK government is already trying to welch on it.

Putting everything else to one side for the moment, this is a government that wants to strike new trade deals around the world. What makes them think that anyone is going to want to start negotiating with a country that can’t keep its word for more than two days?

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UK cabinet soon to hold debate about ultimate Brexit aims

According to The Guardian, the UK cabinet will soon meet for their first formal discussion over what the government should be aiming for at the end of Brexit discussions.

Sources said May would update her cabinet on Monday about the latest breakthrough, but admitted a wider meeting would be held within a fortnight.

That could pitch the demands of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove – who could be wary of too much regulatory alignment with the EU – against remainers such as Hammond and the home secretary, Amber Rudd.

Well, better late than never, I suppose, but it would have been a lot better all round if this ongoing joke of a government had given some thought to what they wanted to achieve before triggering Article 50.

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