Menu
Close

Brexit Means No Brexit

lse:lloy

#1

So say Bloomberg:

" “Brexit means Brexit,” British politicians have been saying for months. Now it seems like it may not mean anything at all.

As the third round of Brexit talks commenced on Monday, it’s absurdly difficult to identify specific changes that would actually affect people’s daily lives or the running of businesses before 2021 at the very earliest, and likely for many years after that.

Facing the deadline to leave Europe by 2019, both the U.K. government and the opposition Labour Party are looking to buy more time. Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, declared unambiguously that his party would push for a transition preserving the current economic arrangements, including the U.K.'s membership in the European Union’s common market and customs union.

The government is less unequivocal, but its position paper on the future EU-customs arrangement says, amid all the nebulous verbiage, that the transition’s goal should be to “ensure that businesses and people in the UK and the EU only have to adjust once to a new customs relationship.” That can only mean that the transitional deal should match the current one; otherwise at least two adjustments would be required.

Britain’s leaders have been fighting over Brexit for years. Now the difference between the Labour stance and the government one is simply rhetorical. Essentially, the government is trying to hold onto its base of Leave voters while seeking the same interim outcome as Labour.

For now, both the U.K. government and the opposition are talking about a finite transition period. Labour would like to see it last up to four years, potentially extending it beyond the next election, to be held in 2022. The most enthusiastic Brexiters in the government, such as International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, are talking about two years, with the cutoff before the next election.

In the context of U.K. politics, that difference is substantive rather than rhetorical – Fox and his allies want to deny the current opposition any control over the final, post-transition arrangement. But in reality, British leaders have little control over the length of the transitional period.

It will last as long as it takes the U.K. and the EU to agree on a new trade deal; otherwise, a transition is pointless. But the U.K. cannot dictate the pace of the negotiations, and the EU isn’t interested in dictating it as long as the transition period preserves current arrangements.

The EU, after all, didn’t initiate Brexit; it’s happy for the U.K. to stay on current terms, and if it loses its vote, too, that’ll only be a bonus.

More than ever, the EU has the upper hand. With the U.K. eager for a transitional period, chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier doesn’t need to back down on any of the initial issues, such as protections for EU citizens in the U.K., the eventual exit bill, or the EU’s demand that the European Court of Justice supervise any transition. The U.K. will have to accept Barnier’s terms to assure it doesn’t face a cliff edge in 2019.

Unless the U.K. government suddenly reverts to Prime Minister Theresa May’s earlier contention that “no deal is better than a bad deal,” the net effect of the Brexit vote and the resulting hullabaloo may just be that the U.K. will simply lose its vote in the EU. The rest will remain as it is now for an indefinite period during which a new trade deal will be discussed in the standard EU fashion – slowly, deliberately, with each of the 27 EU countries working through its own agenda until there’s a consensus.

Even then, the result may not be much different from the current one – or from Norway’s relationship with the EU, which includes an emergency brake on immigration (something the EU was willing to give the U.K. before it decided to leave, anyway) but not much economic or legal leeway."


#2

It is good to see Bloomberg agreeing with the more rational voices on this message board.

Clearly with May weakened, more extreme voices in HMG such as Fox are being marginalised. The message of the election is clear, Foxian Brexit is not a vote winner. The Tories need to dump him and his fellow travellers. I know that the Tories are formidable in protecting their own interests and the task this time is made all the more difficult due to the fact that the membership is predominantly retired, comfortable and very anti-EU. To protect the party by staying close to the single market they are going to have to make deep compromises on ECJ and migration. This will stick in the craw of lots of Tory Colonel Blimps.

I don’t know about you but I am noticing that May is keeping very quiet these days. Something will have to give by the Conference.

The Tory divisions are very damaging to UK interests. I am in France on holiday at the moment and the sympathy and bewilderment at the Brexit decision is, I feel, on the wane to be replaced by frustration at the lack of serious negotiating positions and lack of preparations. Some even say that the EU would be better if the UK just left.

To my mind, if we have to leave, then some variant on the Norway option would seem to be the best option to protect jobs and businesses. One interpretation of the HMG position papers is that we are headed in this direction. Still the problem remains that the position papers are not clear enough - they are trying to unify as many Tories as possible. Again, something will have to give. Labour has added pressure with is generally very clear position.

I think that Bloomberg could be right in that we may be heading towards a deal where the costs and benefits of our relation with the EU remain just as thay are now but without us having a vote or say in EU policy. We will be very much weakened politically and we could end up as a client state offshore and ignored at will.

I remain in favour of a second referendum as a democratic way of finalising whether or not Brexit goes ahead.

Cheers,

Frog in a tree


#3

Negotiations are going nowhere plus no trade talks with Japan as their priority is new deal with EU.


#4

TT…’ no trade talks with Japan as their priority is new deal with EU’…

I suspect they may have a more pressing ‘priority’ this morning, avoiding a nuclear armageddon, for example…

UB.


#5

Some absolute gems here:

“I remain in favour of a second referendum as a democratic way of finalising whether or not Brexit goes ahead.”

That’s right, nothing more democratic than having another vote when the first vote doesn’t give you the answer you want. Straight out of the EU playbook that one.

“We will be very much weakened politically and we could end up as a client state offshore and ignored at will”

That’s right folks, we are so inept that we might “negotiate” ourselves into a position where we are locked in to all the EU institutions but have no voting rights. I wonder how many times the government has to say we are leaving the single market and the customs union before it sinks in that we actually are.


#6

Outside the single market and customs union is a cold lonely place. Everyone knows we are desperate. x-(


#7

Cracks me up reading how much in denial the minority are…We haven’t even left yet !


#8

Are you related to Frazer from Dad’s army, “we’re all doomed Captain Mainwaring”.

For goodness sake, stop running us down, have some faith in your country and just remember, nobody actually knows what’s going to happen except that we will not cease to exist outside the union, it’s not a UK extinction event, the market of 70M people will still be there. Maybe we’ll have to try harder and be better at many things, become more agile, improve efficiency, find some common sense. Maybe this is the catalyst, maybe not but until we actually do it we won’t know and at least WE will take the decisions rather than a committee of 27 self seeking neighbours.

However, in truth, anybody who REALLY wants to make a difference, should spend their energy away from this forum and getting elected!!


#9

“become more agile” jumping all the way down to the job centre x-(


#10

listen to the advice of the Japanese…stop turning your country into a crisis


#11

Reader61, "For goodness sake, stop running us down, have some faith in your country "

Its exactly because people here have voiced zero faith in British expertise, media and establishment that I posted up a foreign media view. It isn’t me running the country down, its neutrals looking on that are commenting on the mess we have got ourselves into. Neutrals from the USA in this case.

I can add neutral views from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Indonesia, Brazil and others if you so wish, but they all say more or less the same thing. That may change given time, of course, but right now, no one is giving us much chance.

reader61, "However, in truth, anybody who REALLY wants to make a difference, should spend their energy away from this forum and getting elected!! "

Well, I agree with that. But don’t forget the government is using the Brexit as an excuse to circumvent our democratic processes and there’s every chance that your democratic approach wont even get the chance to have a say, I’m ashamed to have to point out.


#12

Huw, "That’s right, nothing more democratic than having another vote when the first vote doesn’t give you the answer you want. "

Its called democracy, Huw. We have a vote every 5 years to elect our parliament (well, half of it anyway. Obviously we’re not THAT democratic).

Why are you so afraid of another referendum being such an advocate of democracy?


#13

“Why are you so afraid of another referendum being such an advocate of democracy?”

This is actually quite funny. The single most repetitive whine you will hear from our Remoaner friends is this;

“It’s all Cameron’s fault, he should never have held the referendum in the first place”

Yes, the very same people who now bang on about democracy and a second referendum are the very same mob who thinks its a crime we had one in the first place. I can’t wait to hear how that circle gets squared.


#14

HA - good points.
Just imagine if the pro EU group had won the referendum - there is no chance they would be calling for a second vote!

One of the biggest ironies is that the prime advocates for a referendum ‘rerun’ are the BBC (who get funding from the EU but strangely never declare this as an interest when pushing its anti-Brexit line and their political wing (the strangely titled Liberal Democrats), - who have such distain for democracy that they want to keep having a referendum until they get the result they want.


#15

That’s right, nothing more democratic than having another vote when the first vote doesn’t give you the answer you want. Straight out of the EU playbook that one.

Why are you afraid of a 2nd vote IF as you say you (brexiters) are the majority IF you won again especially by a bigger majority It would silence the rest of us ??? Especially if we all know the deal ( and effects of )this loony Gov was getting us into…


#16

Just imagine if the pro EU group had won the referendum - there is no chance they would be calling for a second vote!..

If a pro EU group had won narrowly and were sure that public opinion was with them they would accept another vote.

You guys must be starting to see the weight of evidence going the other way now or are you so biased by all the lies in the tabloids that you just dont want to admit you were duped.
Even Boris saying we will pay exit fees. No mention of cash for NHS.

In the long run if we stay on the same path its Leavers who will be most dissapointed


#17

Not a crime, simply opening pandora’s Box was utter stupidity, especially making no plans whatsoever for what to do if Leave actually won.

The fact you think everything has been fantastic since the referendum shows just how deluded Brexit voters are and why they should never have been allowed near the ballot box on an issue that so fundamentally affects do many people so deeply.


#18

Oh dear, is this turning into Brexit Wars 4, have you all gecome bored on BW3 when the rest of our community learnt of the ignore function.

Change the title to BW4 please regardless so we know to put it on ignore.

Edit: Sorry I mistakenly thought this was Lloyd’s is going to fly thread.


#19

Oh dear @swamp_rat ! Losing it?

Frog


#20

He has a point, in fairness.