/ A special place in hell

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 06 Feb 2019

Not mincing his words, is he...?

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/02/06/remarks-by-president-donald-tusk-after-his-meeting-with-taoiseach-leo-varadkar/pdf

anyone still think that the E.U. is going to back down on the back stop? 

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Eric9Points - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I'm beginning to warm to Donald.

No they're not going to renegotiate. May will fail again. She'll lose her vote in Parliament and after that, eventually, she'll call another referendum.

Not long before she's run out of options.

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Oceanrower - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Go Donald!

One more nail in the coffin for this debacle. Bring on Ref2.

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jkarran - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Oh for even 10% of that from someone in our parliament capable of leading a resistance to this nonsense.

jk

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wbo - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs: Hilarious.  I don't think he take the PM seriously any more

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Oceanrower - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to wbo:

I don't think anybody does...

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wercat on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to jkarran:

He specifically mentioned the people in the UK who did not want this - at last a politician who can speak for rather than betray the nearly 50% of voters who voted Remain.   Contrast to the Void() here

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stevieb - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Not mincing his words, is he...?

> anyone still think that the E.U. is going to back down on the back stop? 

Bizarre to see him ratcheting up the vitriol, is there any obvious reason why he has? 

Is it meant to be uncompromising to people who assume a last minute EU deal? 

Is it a petulant outburst having run out of patience?

is it a deliberate smokescreen to take attention away from the deal? 

Surely he could have mocked the complete absence of a plan in more diplomatic language. 

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Oceanrower - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to stevieb:

> Surely he could have mocked the complete absence of a plan in more diplomatic language. 

And, if he had, do you think it would have had anywhere near the same impact or would it have been just another statement?

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Toccata on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to stevieb:

I agree with the idea he's done it for a reason, whatever that might be. However my suspicion is that he's just tipped half a million wavering voters in the next referendum back to Leave.

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stevieb - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Toccata:

> However my suspicion is that he's just tipped half a million wavering voters in the next referendum back to Leave.

yes, that’s my concern. I know Farage, Johnson, Francois etc have all used very ludicrous insulting language too, but for the most part the EU have played the grown up. Not sure how this helps

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Ian W - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to stevieb:

> Bizarre to see him ratcheting up the vitriol, is there any obvious reason why he has? 

Its plain speaking honesty. Admittedly completely devoid of the usual diplomatic niceties, but I think he is now showing the EU have run out of patience completely.

> Is it meant to be uncompromising to people who assume a last minute EU deal? 

Obviously. A message ahead of mays visit tomorrow that all this bluster and following parliamentary instruction from Bradys amendment to go get a better deal is a waste of time. The UK governments representative (May) negotiated a deal that was acceptable to all. Then parliament said no it isnt. This is the EU saying take it or leave it.

> Is it a petulant outburst having run out of patience?

He cannot understand why the UK parliament, (on all sides) seems incapable of controlling small, viciously destructive elements within itself. The EU have always said that article 50 could be revoked anytime. They dont want us to leave. And I think they are getting so exasperated at the UK politicians failing to show any kind of leadership whatsoever. 

> is it a deliberate smokescreen to take attention away from the deal? 

No. If anything, the opposite. It is intended to focus the UK on  "THE" deal. The only one available.

> Surely he could have mocked the complete absence of a plan in more diplomatic language. 

He could. He has done in the past. Maybe the lack of reaction to all the previous rhetoric and comment has forced him into the "words of one syllable" type explanations.

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Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Well worth reading the complete statement to put the "Special place in hell" in context", coming as it does at the end of a wholly and admirably principled and statesmanlike summary of the EU's position. 

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stevieb - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Oceanrower:

Would be nice to know what impact it was meant to have. Not clear how this improves negotiations, but maybe he has a cunning plan. Or maybe he just wants it all to end. 

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Harry Jarvis - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I'm not altogether persuaded that this was a helpful intervention. Trenches are being dug deeper as we speak. 

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Oceanrower - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

Isn't that the same statement as the one quoted at the top of the thread?

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Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Oceanrower:

> Isn't that the same statement as the one quoted at the top of the thread?

Yes

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stevieb - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

So, do you think what he has said is helpful to the process?

Up to now, the EU have just been standing behind the existing deal, and trying to avoid doing anything which puts the blame at their door. This is a huge departure from this, so I assume it is deliberate, but I'm struggling to see why.

As an aside, I quite liked the Sun's take on it - Yowsers. Donald Tusk says there will be a special place in hell for those who advocated brexit without defining what it really meant. I suspect he might mean you Boris.

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John Stainforth - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

His statement seems very clear to me, and I don't think it is "digging trenches". His last sentence simply expresses his sheer frustration in having to deal with our clueless Brexiteer negotiators. I think any normal, intelligent person in Donald Tusk's position would be nearly tearing their hair out.

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

It could be read another way...

that they are starting to crack under pressure as it is now becoming more obvious that there will be no second referendum and that they are going to have to budge on the backstop to avoid no deal. Hence his choice of words, slipping mask...

I know nobody will agree with that analysis on here and I am not saying it is right....just an alternative viewpoint  

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mullermn - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> I'm not altogether persuaded that this was a helpful intervention. Trenches are being dug deeper as we speak. 

Which is just further evidence, if any were needed, of what a stupid idea letting the general public be involved in this process is. 

One old crusty guy (albeit in a position of power) says mean things to us in the playground and we resolve to shoot ourselves in the foot even harder in revenge. FFS, he must be knocking on 70. He’ll be dead and cold before the full impact of Brexit has taken effect. 

Edit: had him confused with someone else, he’s not that old. He is however 61 so the point is still fairly valid. 

Post edited at 14:28
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Trangia on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

It's being made very clear in the News that Tusk's "special place in hell" comment is aimed at those who advocated Brexit without having any plan in place, NOT at those who voted for Brexit. Those who led the Brexit campaign should be hanging their heads in shame at the mess they have created. But the likes of Farage, Rees Mogg, Johnson etc won't - they are too arrogant.

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summo on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

The caring polite side of eu, respecting all viewpoints with equal measure. He could have played the adult game and looked more civil than many UK MPs, but he chose to sink to their depths or lower. Imagine if May as a remainer had said that about Corbyn. There'd be a riot by now by the ukc, but tusks comment seems acceptable here. 

Post edited at 14:30
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blurty - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Not helpful I think. The Taoiseach will be behind it.

I've dealt with Leo Varadkar when he was transport minister, he behaved like a consummate professional politician I thought at the time.

I think he's over-played his hand in these negotiations though, and the likelihood of a hard brexit is higher now.

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Bob Kemp - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

Why on earth would he have to respect the viewpoint of our Brexiteers without a plan? They are a menace to this country and a source of huge bemusement to anyone outside of it. 

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Bob Kemp - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

The role of the BBC is interesting here. It seems they originally tweeted that Tusk had referred to all Brexiteers, then backed down on that after the inevitable backlash from the Brexidiot MPs and journos who couldn't actually be bothered to read what he'd really said.

https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck-donald-tusk-4479666-Feb2019/

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

I wonder if there are other factors at play here that have caused this?

There is a lot of bad news out today in the eurozone. The shock plunge in Germany factory orders, down 7% yoy, the eurozone now on the brink of recession, one which it absolutely cannot withstand with the insolvency of the Italian banking sector, the 2.5 trillion euros already spent on QE and the current negative interest rates.

No growth is not a recession, but the eurozone only has inflation as a weapon against it's huge debts so no levers there then. The target 2 system as a sleight of hand accounting trick can keep the plates spinning only until a county defaults (Italy?) at which point the German tax payer will realise in no uncertain terms what a naked emperor looks like.

All these headwinds with a stubborn, awkward UK who will not re vote on Brexit and threatening no deal....must be unbelievably stressful at the top of the EU. Looking at it like that, he was pretty controlled in my view. 

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jkarran - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to stevieb:

> Bizarre to see him ratcheting up the vitriol, is there any obvious reason why he has? 

> Surely he could have mocked the complete absence of a plan in more diplomatic language. 

I suspect the last line is putting the game playing tories with their time wasting amendment on notice that the EU will not by meekly taking the blame, that they will be held accountable one way or another.

jk

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Sir Chasm - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> The caring polite side of eu, respecting all viewpoints with equal measure. He could have played the adult game and looked more civil than many UK MPs, but he chose to sink to their depths or lower. Imagine if May as a remainer had said that about Corbyn. There'd be a riot by now by the ukc, but tusks comment seems acceptable here. 

You really can't keep off your Corbyn hobby horse can you? But Corbyn doesn't need a plan (which is handy because I don't think he's got one anyway), it's May who is leading us (the UK, not Sweden) out of the eu, she is the chief brexiteer now.

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paulh.0776 - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Sounds like he’s just qualified from the “Donald Trump international diplomacy school” 

looks to me like the EU didn’t have a plan either of how to handle a leave situation by one of its members. Hey ho that’s politicians for ya.. 

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jkarran - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> The caring polite side of eu, respecting all viewpoints with equal measure. He could have played the adult game and looked more civil than many UK MPs, but he chose to sink to their depths or lower.

It's the first time I can recall in nearly 3 years I've heard a senior politician acknowledge the existence of the (now majority) remain constituency. Please, don't talk to me about 'respecting all viewpoints', there has been nothing respectful about the 'we won, you lost, get over it!' brexit debacle to date.

jk

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Ian W - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to stevieb:

> So, do you think what he has said is helpful to the process?

> Up to now, the EU have just been standing behind the existing deal, and trying to avoid doing anything which puts the blame at their door. This is a huge departure from this, so I assume it is deliberate, but I'm struggling to see why.

> As an aside, I quite liked the Sun's take on it - Yowsers. Donald Tusk says there will be a special place in hell for those who advocated brexit without defining what it really meant. I suspect he might mean you Boris.

No, not really. I just think the various factions are too entrenched for there to be any normal process. I think he is paying hardball to an extent, pointing out that virtually everyone has agreed the terms of a WA that completely satisfies the referendum result, and that the tiny minority who havent agreed to it are going to leave the EU in a worse position than before, and the UK in a VERY much worse position than before, all to try to make their petty political points, and I think its a very strong hint that it is not the EU that will move on this one.

And I'm also sure Boris was one of his intended recipients of that part of the message........

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Ian W - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

> Sounds like he’s just qualified from the “Donald Trump international diplomacy school” 

> looks to me like the EU didn’t have a plan either of how to handle a leave situation by one of its members. Hey ho that’s politicians for ya.. 

In 2016, that was true. However they havent wasted the last (almost) 3 years grandstanding and arguing amongst themselves, they have very much worked out how they will cope.

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summo on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

The problem for the eu is comments like that might sound great to other eu beurocrats, but they also feed anti sentiment across Europe, not just the UK. You'd think a clever politician, wouldn't feed them sound bites. 

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summo on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> In 2016, that was true. However they havent wasted the last (almost) 3 years grandstanding and arguing amongst themselves, they have very much worked out how they will cope.

Not exactly, without at least part of the 39billion(which was always due to be paid over several years), they can't balance their books next year. 

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Yanis Nayu - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to stevieb:

Can you imagine dealing with the U.K. over this? They must be heartily sick of us. Surprised they haven’t given us a deal just to make us f*ck off. 

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jkarran - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> Not exactly, without at least part of the 39billion(which was always due to be paid over several years), they can't balance their books next year. 

This is the thing quitters never get, the money isn't the ace in our sleeve, it's an irrelevance. Not least because it is in large part payable whether we deal or don't, the only thing that differs is the point in the process at which intolerable pressure can be applied to ensure we pay our bills.

jk

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> The role of the BBC is interesting here. It seems they originally tweeted that Tusk had referred to all Brexiteers, then backed down on that after the inevitable backlash from the Brexidiot MPs and journos who couldn't actually be bothered to read what he'd really said.

Yes, here’s a bit of what he said, for those that didn’t get past the headline:

“The EU itself is first and foremost a peace project. We will not gamble with peace; or put a sell-by date on reconciliation. And this is why we insist on the backstop. Give us a believable guarantee for peace in Northern Ireland, and the UK will leave the EU as a trusted friend. “

It’s a clear restatement of the E.U. position and the reason for taking it, set out in diplomatic terms- ‘a trusted friend’

And having watched the E.U. programme on the beeb the last two weeks, it’s entirely in keeping with how he operates- after all he told the Greek prime minister, after he dropped a referendum on them without any warning, that he was ‘in the shit’- and he was. Have the ERG not been watching this? 

(Incidentally, probably the most compelling piece of television I’ve watched in years, track it down on iplayer if you missed it)

Post edited at 15:34
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cb294 - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

IMO that would be reading it wrongly. Tusk is an absolute professional, don't for a second believe that this was a rash, uncalculated outburst. This would be as naive as believing that a professional footballer "accidentally" clips his opponent. Of course it is deliberate in both cases!

Instead, this should be read in the context of another EU statement today specifically intended for EU consumption (but obviously also accessible in the UK) specifying the three most urgent aims for the EU in the ongoing negotiations. These were 1) maintaining the GFA at all costs, 2) preparing for the negative economic impact of a possible no deal Brexit (including setting up emergency funds for Irish businesses likely to suffer most from the subsequent economic disruption).

Importantly, point 3) was that, in the light of the upcoming EU elections, it should be made clear that the blame for any potential hardship affecting anyone on the rEU side following a no deal Brexit should be laid at the door of those in the UK promoting Brexit (note that is does not say backing).

This is entirely about heading off any campaign advantage that anti EU parties might gain from playing the blame game. Tusk was therefore deliberately getting his revenge in early.

That he was presumably also getting frustrated by negotiating with a government signing off a deal and then agitating against its ratification in parliament back home is beside the point, even if May's behaviour is the epitome of negotiating in bad faith.

CB

edit: fixed the third para that should now make sense....

Post edited at 15:38
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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

They get that anyway, even in a no deal

UK/EU trade negotiations, 30th March 2019, 09:01:

UK delegation- ‘we’d like to talk about a comprehensive trade deal’

EU delegation- ‘yes, that sounds good. But, first- about that 39bn...’

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Ian W - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> Not exactly, without at least part of the 39billion(which was always due to be paid over several years), they can't balance their books next year. 

Do you really think the loss of £39bn over a few years is going to cause them to come to a full stop? Contigency planning, scenario planning, call it what you will; the EU has access to adequate funds from within to cover this. I do this type of thing all the time in my day job (at a smaller scale, obviously) and I dont even have access to QE........

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cb294 - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

See my reply to BiS, I think the calculation was made that the opposite was likely. 

Also, the 39G€ are largely payable anyway, WA or not, and there will be even less leverage for the UK to negotiate that number once they have to secure emergency arrangements after a no deal exit. It will be whatever the EU says it is.

CB

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Stichtplate on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Can you imagine dealing with the U.K. over this? They must be heartily sick of us. Surprised they haven’t given us a deal just to make us f*ck off. 

Agreed, which makes it even more bizarre that they've decided to make a stand over the backstop.

Rational for the backstop- to avoid the imposition of a hard border in the event of no deal.

But everyone involved has said they'll be no hard border in Ireland whether there's a deal or not.

So what's the rational for the backstop again? 

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cb294 - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

The backstop makes sure that the UK government cannot simply illegally ditch the GFA just because it is propped up and can thus be blackmailed by a party that was always against it. 

As for trusting May's promises, some leaver Labor MPs or earlier the Tory remainers may fall for it, but certainly not the rEU negotiators,

BC

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timjones - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to wercat:

> He specifically mentioned the people in the UK who did not want this - at last a politician who can speak for rather than betray the nearly 50% of voters who voted Remain.   Contrast to the Void() here

Have you watched any of the proceedings in Westminster?

Post edited at 15:43
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Ian W - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Agreed, which makes it even more bizarre that they've decided to make a stand over the backstop.

> Rational for the backstop- to avoid the imposition of a hard border in the event of no deal.

> But everyone involved has said they'll be no hard border in Ireland whether there's a deal or not.

> So what's the rational for the backstop again? 

To make sure, in writing, that there can be no hard border. As detailed above and in other places, the UK govt do not exactly have a good recent record of keeping to their word in negotiations........and I cant imagine the current and continued in fighting presents a picture of solidity to those they are negotiating with. As the saying goes, a verbal contract isnt worth the paper its written on.

Post edited at 15:45
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Ian W - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> The problem for the eu is comments like that might sound great to other eu beurocrats, but they also feed anti sentiment across Europe, not just the UK. You'd think a clever politician, wouldn't feed them sound bites. 

How on earth does this feed anti Europe sentiments across europe? There was a very specific target audience for those remarks, and they all know who they are.

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Robert Durran - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

> Looks to me like the EU didn’t have a plan either of how to handle a leave situation by one of its members.

This is nonsense. The EU has been consistent throughout in its approach. They didn't want this and didn't ask for it. It is not the EU's fault that they are still, at this late stage, waiting to find out what the UK's position is.

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Stichtplate on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to cb294:

> The backstop makes sure that the UK government cannot simply illegally ditch the GFA just because it is propped up and can thus be blackmailed by a party that was always against it. 

> As for trusting May's promises, some leaver Labor MPs or earlier the Tory remainers may fall for it, but certainly not the rEU negotiators,

Admittedly, it was incredible (and incredibly nauseating) when May got into bed with the swivel eyed religious fanatics in the first place, but do you really think they have even a fraction of the leverage necessary to ditch the GFA?

It's a wonder the Tories haven't already imploded, if they managed to throw away peace in Ireland they'd be finished electorally for the foreseeable future. And they know it.

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summo on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> How on earth does this feed anti Europe sentiments across europe? There was a very specific target audience for those remarks, and they all know who they are.

It's basically rude to anyone who doesn't like the eu. It's also a very teenage playground level comment from the mouth of one of the most senior staff in the eu. 

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Stichtplate on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> To make sure, in writing, that there can be no hard border. As detailed above and in other places, the UK govt do not exactly have a good recent record of keeping to their word in negotiations........and I cant imagine the current and continued in fighting presents a picture of solidity to those they are negotiating with. As the saying goes, a verbal contract isnt worth the paper its written on.

Ok, so from the UK perspective what's the driver for putting in place a 'hard border'. In itself it isn't a definable legal term, it's infinitely available for fudging and all the government has to do is the minimum necessary to keep the WTO (paper tiger that it is) off its back.

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summo on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> Do you really think the loss of £39bn over a few years is going to cause them to come to a full stop? Contigency planning, scenario planning, call it what you will; the EU has access to adequate funds from within to cover this. I do this type of thing all the time in my day job (at a smaller scale, obviously) and I dont even have access to QE........

The eu contingency... going to member nations mid way through the year asking for money. It's happened before. 

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Sir Chasm - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> It's basically rude to anyone who doesn't like the eu. It's also a very teenage playground level comment from the mouth of one of the most senior staff in the eu. 

No, it's rude to people who promoted brexit without a plan of how to carry it out. And probably people who can't read properly. 

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stevieb - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> How on earth does this feed anti Europe sentiments across europe? There was a very specific target audience for those remarks, and they all know who they are.

The 300 million voters of Europe? To be honest, I think CB's idea that this is a election message for the rest of Europe sounds the most convincing explanation so far.

Tusk's intemperate words were manna from heaven for Farage and Johnson. They now only have to whip up patriotic hysteria regarding his insults, and pretend he insulted the voters, rather than answer the specific questions about why they still don't have the first semblance of a deliverable plan.

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to cb294:

You make a good point in regards to trying to deflect blame for the likely May election results....that is another headwind I hadn't thought of that is buffeting them. What a mess eh?

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Mike Stretford - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Ok, so from the UK perspective what's the driver for putting in place a 'hard border'. In itself it isn't a definable legal term, it's infinitely available for fudging and all the government has to do is the minimum necessary to keep the WTO (paper tiger that it is) off its back.

Everything Ian said is right but add to that that the EU don't want an open border into their single market.

Now, I pointed that out on the other thread and you adopted pretty Borisesque language.... basically they could go whistle (but with mention of Honnold and chips).

It was a good discussion to have because the more I think about it the more an open border into another customs regime is a headache for the EU. If that's not going to be sorted with the backstop, they probably think it's not worth doing a deal... and Sabine has said as much.

Remember, in a no deal scenario there are pros for the EU... lots of re-locations of employer from the UK back into the EU. For the UK, there's just cons.

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Ian W - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> The eu contingency... going to member nations mid way through the year asking for money. It's happened before. 

or the ECB. Its happened before. 

So it can happen again.

That other bloke who got into handbags with you on the other thread was right. You do shoot down your own arguments readily enough.

Post edited at 16:13
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Ian W - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Ok, so from the UK perspective what's the driver for putting in place a 'hard border'. In itself it isn't a definable legal term, it's infinitely available for fudging and all the government has to do is the minimum necessary to keep the WTO (paper tiger that it is) off its back.

I have no idea. It just seems to be an invented obstacle in order to allow the idiots a bit more potential for arguing.

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wercat on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to timjones:

yes, but a lot of what is said in those debates, often with few MPs present than we would wish, goes unreported and therefore has little effect.  I'm talking about prominent politicians, party leaders and that ilk.  Corbyn is a void and May is running in an unmodifiable loop with too many constants and too few variable and input values.

Cheering though watching BBC Parliament may be it has not proved effectual yet and the likes of Klaura simply pick and choose what they report as suits them.

Post edited at 16:19
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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to stevieb:

I don’t think that Brexit voters who support Farage and Johnson care whether there’s a deliverable plan or not at this stage. If they did, you’d expect to have noticed by now.

Indeed, having a deliverable plan is starting to look increasingly like traitorous undermining of the purity of the One True Brexit, ie a no deal one, in the eyes of the Faithful.

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jkarran - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Admittedly, it was incredible (and incredibly nauseating) when May got into bed with the swivel eyed religious fanatics in the first place, but do you really think they have even a fraction of the leverage necessary to ditch the GFA?

If by 'ditch' you mean misunderstand and fatally undermine: yes. Isn't that already evident?

> It's a wonder the Tories haven't already imploded, if they managed to throw away peace in Ireland they'd be finished electorally for the foreseeable future. And they know it.

The thing is they won't. They're propped up by a constituency of voters who wouldn't vote for anything but the blue one, even if she's 'you know, one of them' except perhaps that nice man Nigel Farage, he knows what he's talking about...

Sure they'll lose some marginals but they'll gain others where MP's are out of step with their constituents on brexit. It's not going to deliver a thumping win but the idea that their blithering incompetence, infighting, the wilful damage to our economy, national unity and security is a serious barrier to them returning ~300MP's (or donkeys with the right rosette)... I don't buy it.

jk

Post edited at 16:22
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Lord_ash2000 - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Not mincing his words, is he...?

> anyone still think that the E.U. is going to back down on the back stop? 

Very hard to say, most things are last moment with the EU, they love a bit of brinkmanship. Doesn't look great though, neither side want the UK to leave the EU without a deal in place, yet we won't accept what they are offering and they aren't budging on a compromise so it looks ever increasingly like a no deal outcome. 

Personally I still reckon a last min compromise will be reached but I could well be proven wrong. That's when things will get interesting. 

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wercat on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Perhaps they all look to and believe in Army Group Steiner for relief as the end comes

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Stichtplate on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Everything Ian said is right but add to that that the EU don't want an open border into their single market.

No they don't, but Barnier has already explicitly stated that in the event of no deal, the EU won't force a hard border.

> Now, I pointed that out on the other thread and you adopted pretty Borisesque language.... basically they could go whistle (but with mention of Honnold and chips).

No room on UKC for any sort of nuance anymore is there? Thanks for likening me to Boris, but the point of the analogy wasn't 'that they can go whistle', the point was that you can't take two opposed positions and expect them both to be satisfied. ie, the EU don't want an open border, but they don't want a hard border either.

> It was a good discussion to have because the more I think about it the more an open border into another customs regime is a headache for the EU. If that's not going to be sorted with the backstop, they probably think it's not worth doing a deal... and Sabine has said as much.

Of course it's a massive headache.

> Remember, in a no deal scenario there are pros for the EU... lots of re-locations of employer from the UK back into the EU. For the UK, there's just cons.

You don't have to remind me. I'm not pro-Brexit, I'm anti becoming engaged in a mutually destructive quasi-trade war over an issue that doesn't have to be an issue.

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cb294 - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Don't know, as I am not privy to the actual negotiations. However, from the regular rEU briefings is was clear that the rEU negotiators decided that they wanted something in writing that would suffice to keep the Irish border open. The rEU suggestion at the time was a special status for NI effectively keeping it in the SM, which I am sure would have been acceptable to anyone but the DUP (especially since NI voted remain).

The extension of the backstop to the entire UK was the suggestion of the UK side. So yes, at the time the DUP tail was able to wag the dog, who says it could not do so again? Nota bene, at the time this was OK with the DUP, but apparently not any longer. Give them a finger, and they will try and rip off your hand.

CB

edit for typo

Post edited at 16:30
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lorentz - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I like his style... Just pricking the pompous assumption that we have any room for any further negotiation...

Anyone else reminded of the French guard on the ramparts in Monty Python The Quest for the Holy Grail...

"Your mother was un'amster and your father smelled of elderberries!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9DCAFUerzs

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Stichtplate on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> If by 'ditch' you mean misunderstand and fatally undermine: yes. Isn't that already evident?

Fatally undermine? Is it dead already?

> The thing is they won't. They're propped up by a constituency of voters who wouldn't vote for anything but the blue one, even if she's 'you know, one of them' except perhaps that nice man Nigel Farage, he knows what he's talking about...

People in this country are increasingly and monumentally pissed off at our politicians, of whatever colour. You might be right, but the idea that these monolithic voting blocks are still in place seems unlikely.

> Sure they'll lose some marginals but they'll gain others where MP's are out of step with their constituents on brexit. It's not going to deliver a thumping win but the idea that their blithering incompetence, infighting, the wilful damage to our economy, national unity and security is a serious barrier to them returning ~300MP's (or donkeys with the right rosette)... I don't buy it.

Honestly, the only thing I can see keeping the current shower of shit in team blue in power, is the current shower of shit in team red.

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wintertree - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

There might be a special place in hell but I doubt anyone in government or opposition could find it with a map and a flashlight.

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Re last minute compromise- well from the documentary last night, the Greek bale out plan was finally agreed as the markets opened on the Monday morning, so yes I expect that it’ll get pretty frantic on the 28th... 

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Mike Stretford - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> No they don't, but Barnier has already explicitly stated that in the event of no deal, the EU won't force a hard border.

Which, to them, may be little different to a deal without the backstop........gettit? Either way they still have that headache.

> No room on UKC for any sort of nuance anymore is there? Thanks for likening me to Boris, but the point of the analogy wasn't 'that they can go whistle', the point was that you can't take two opposed positions and expect them both to be satisfied. ie, the EU don't want an open border, but they don't want a hard border either.

They want an open border with a region in their customs union. They realise their normal policy (and the international norm) is politically unacceptable, so are trying for an alternative that is acceptable for them. If that is the most important part of the deal to them, and it may be, then that explains their intransigence on this.

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to wintertree:

I have just listened to his quote and he clearly says "Special place in Hull"

Not much difference to be fair

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Mike Stretford - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate: Oh, and we are also forgetting May's motives in this. For all I don't like the ERG and their ilk, they are correct...... May wants the backstop as it does keep us in the customs union for the foreseeable. She has promised foreign firms in the UK their supply chains won't be disrupted.... she knows very well this ticks the box for an indefinite period.

Post edited at 17:11
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Stichtplate on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Which, to them, may be little different to a deal without the backstop........gettit? Either way they still have that headache.

> They want an open border with a region in their customs union. They realise their normal policy (and the international norm) is politically unacceptable, so are trying for an alternative that is acceptable for them. If that is the most important part of the deal to them, and it may be, then that explains their intransigence on this.

Yeah, and if you remember on the other thread there was much talk of normal policy, immutable rules and how international legal constraints meant that in the event of No Deal, it would be unavoidable that our border controls would increase. Rom even went so far as to insist (with much use of the caps key and the word wrong) that not only would the UK have to tighten its borders but we'd probably have to call in the army to implement it. Lo and behold, a week later HMRC announce that in the event of a no deal, import customs would be considerably relaxed for a transition period likely to stretch to a year.

The more complicated the issue, the more room for fudge and compromise, and if I was going to bet, that's what I'd put my money on in this instance.

Post edited at 17:23
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myserable old git - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

He was obviously discussing the self seeking insignificants  who promote this corrupt farce whilst squirrelling their own money out of the country they claim to represent!

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Toby_W on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Maybe he means that Hull is the only place Boris, Rees Mogg and Farrage will be able to go on Holiday (if they are lucky).  The EU will be telling 300 million Europeans that it was all Bojo's fault and they won't be welcome anywhere on the continent.

This could be the big plus of brexit, that , what ~1/4 of the planet is suddenly off limits to them after they are tarred and feathered by furious brexit voters and tossed into the North Sea and can never come back to the UK or mainland Europe.

Cheers

Toby

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balmybaldwin - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Trangia:

Not in all news.  The BBC have been spectacularly poor this afternoon in perpetuating the idea that he said brexiteers (and not the promoters of brexit) even to the extent of cutting clips from the commons to avoid having to broadcast immediate corrections, not to mention rolling out just about every government minister they could find to equally obfuscate

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summo on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> or the ECB. Its happened before. 

> So it can happen again.

The euro equivalent of just raiding the savings. Although the ecb only has 11billion, which is actually held as capital stock in the individual banks/treasuries of all 28 nations, not Frankfurt. Like all money it's just promissory.  

So if the ecb want 10 billion to keep the wheels on the wagon while it fights the UK over deal/ payment, it will have to approach the 27 member nations for funds either way. It can't just bacs transfer it. Like in 2014 or 15 when it ran out 9mths into the year because it didn't consider some invoices that were due in. 

Taking money from the ecb is just borrowing from itself, countries still have to pay. 

Post edited at 18:12
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Ridge - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> I have just listened to his quote and he clearly says "Special place in Hull"

> Not much difference to be fair

At least it wasn't “Your mother sells whelks in Hull”, or we'd need an exorcist

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Bob Kemp - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Donald Tusk doesn't need to wonder whether there is a special place in hell for Brexiters without a plan - as someone on Twitter pointed out, Dante identified just the place -the Eighth Circle of Hell is reserved for fraudsters, hypocrites, corrupt politicians, false prophets, evil counsellors and advisors, and divisive individuals, amongst others. 

https://historylists.org/art/9-circles-of-hell-dantes-inferno.html

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

When the Greek crisis hit, the EU was prepared to commit 700 billon euros to protect the single  currency. If the future of the EU is at stake, I expect they’ll find the cash if needed

Though, as per my post of 15:32, if we have any expectation of striking a trade deal with the EU this side of the end of time, our liabilities are an issue that is going to need to be resolved 

Post edited at 20:28
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Ian W - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Just read this on the Newsthump facebook page.

"The genius of the Donald Tusk "special place in Hell" insult is that to be offended by it, you have to admit to having no plan for delivering Brexit, despite being full-throated in your support of it. You can't be offended without proving yourself ignorant at best, fraudulent at worst."

Sums it up fairly well, especially since reading the reactions of the targets......

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

A very informative link!

but which Bolgia would Boris be consigned to- 4,5,6,7 or 9....?

so many sins, so many options... and Lucifer could probably find space in the second and third circles too, if he wanted, just to spice things up...

Post edited at 20:27
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Trangia on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Calls for Tusk to apologise for his comments are unfounded. Why should he apologise for telling the truth? 

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Trangia:

I have a vision of Boris, with the flames licking round his ankles, singing, “Bee-al-ze-bub...has a devil put aside...for meeeeeeeeee......!!!!!!’

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jimtitt - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

Well 526bn reserves in the eurozone in reality, the EU would get it back from the UK somehow anyway if the UK want to do business.

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HansStuttgart - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

From my point of view: the target of the message was probably the Irish. The magic word at the end of his sentence is "leaving safely". I expect this resonates quite well with the Irish public. He is saying that for brexiteers to consider leaving the EU without preparing for Northern Ireland is a disgrace. Annoying brexiteers is just collateral.

The behind-the-doors-conspiracy-theory point of view: It is a favour to Teresa May. It nicely distracts the brexiteers for a bit, while making clear to all remain-minded MPs that the EU27 considers the remain case hopeless and that they's better vote for the deal in the next round.

Post edited at 21:59
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Jim Fraser - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to mullermn:

> Which is just further evidence, if any were needed, of what a stupid idea letting the general public be involved in this process is. 

Representative democracy is a generally moderating constitutional mechanism which is why it is an essential part of the fragile British constitutional house of cards. The referendum tends to kick a hole right through all this. 

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l21bjd - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

It's a level of trolling we can only aspire to.

Post edited at 22:13
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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 06 Feb 2019
Tringa on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

A succinct and accurate comment from Donald Tusk.

It highlights all political parties should have been talking among themselves and with the EU what leaving would mean and especially the Leavers should have produce a plan before we ever thought about having a referendum.

Dave

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bouldery bits - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to l21bjd:

> It's a level of trolling we can only aspire to.

I'm working on it kid. 

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Trevers - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

My first thought was that although I agree with the sentiment, it's neither diplomatic nor terribly helpful at this time.

The more I think about it, the more I realise how brilliant it is. To be insulted, you have to effectively admit to having deliberately misled the voting public. The strength of the statement means that the media, which has done all it could to avoid engaging with the deliberate misleading of the voting public, cannot ignore it. And it appeals to a wry British sense of humour.

Turns out the Brexiteers are rather a sensitive bunch.

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Gordon Stainforth - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Trevers:

Or, as James O'Brien put it rather brilliantly and succinctly in a tweet today: 'He was only talking about the ones with no plan. Why are they all taking it so personally?'

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Trevers - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Bercow's take down of Peter Bone was magnificent:

https://twitter.com/Channel4News/status/1093148562928685056

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Gordon Stainforth - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Trevers:

Yes, I saw that. What was so shocking was how (like so many of them) Bone was just blatantly lying. Tusk was NOT talking about all Brexiters or Brexit voters. Most of his speech was about that. But truth means nothing to these blinkered fanatics.

Post edited at 01:12
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Gordon Stainforth - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Trevers:

PS. I think Bercow will go down in history as a great Speaker, despite what many Conservatives think.

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summo on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to jimtitt:

> Well 526bn reserves in the eurozone in reality, the EU would get it back from the UK somehow anyway if the UK want to do business.

I agree. Yes the eu will get the funds, it's money the uk are due to pay anyway.

But this name calling by either elected politician or unelected beurocrats isn't very grown up and certainly no way to conduct business. If the eu is allegedly a peace project, Tusk seems pretty good at building hatred and burning bridges. He's probably in the wrong job. He should get a job on the trump administration. 

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HansStuttgart - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Tusk's cellphone now:

Merkel: Nice

Macron: Thumbs up emoji

Rutte: Well said

Conte: thanks for that!

Sanchez: good job

etc etc

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summo on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> Tusk's cellphone now:

> Merkel: Nice

> Macron: Thumbs up emoji

> Rutte: Well said

> Conte: thanks for that!

> Sanchez: good job

> etc etc

What about the phone call to the UK from head eu commissioner tusk eating humble pie in 15 years time, when a senile Putin is stacking his forces on Europe's border and they want some British military support because trump killed nato. Imagine if one of those British mps in hell happened to end up as PM. Impossible to predict the future. Tusk should know better. 

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jimtitt - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> But this name calling by either elected politician or unelected beurocrats isn't very grown up and certainly no way to conduct business.

I didn´t see any names mentioned but anyway I thought it was a comment from a Catholic expressing concern about the final destination of a particular group of people, a laudable Christian act of charity

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HansStuttgart - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> What about the phone call to the UK from head eu commissioner tusk eating humble pie in 15 years time, when a senile Putin is stacking his forces on Europe's border and they want some British military support because trump killed nato. Imagine if one of those British mps in hell happened to end up as PM. Impossible to predict the future. Tusk should know better. 


EU strategic autonomy is now indeed required. De Gaulle was right. Germany should increase its army.

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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> The euro equivalent of just raiding the savings. Although the ecb only has 11billion, which is actually held as capital stock in the individual banks/treasuries of all 28 nations, not Frankfurt. Like all money it's just promissory.  

> So if the ecb want 10 billion to keep the wheels on the wagon while it fights the UK over deal/ payment, it will have to approach the 27 member nations for funds either way. It can't just bacs transfer it. Like in 2014 or 15 when it ran out 9mths into the year because it didn't consider some invoices that were due in. 

> Taking money from the ecb is just borrowing from itself, countries still have to pay. 

Thats why you have savings.........and glad to see you now accept , via JimTitts post that they will be able to acess the funds. Thats what happens when countries cooperate, you know, rather than put up barriers and sulk.

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Toby_W on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo: We’ll only have the scouts left by then and there’s no way you’ll get all the parental permission slips back in time for the trip ;-)

cheers

Toby

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summo on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to jimtitt:

Brexit supporting mps. It's pretty likely the eu will at some point have to deal with them in the future. He is entitled to his view, but there is a time and place for it. 

Post edited at 08:39
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summo on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

Eu cooperate..  Greece was only bailed out to save the euro.. not for greeces sake. Eastern European cooperation over migrants? Italy.. ?

Plus it's the banks and individual governments that raised a lot of the funds. That's why Germany is balls deep in southern European debt. It's stuck, call in the debt, they collapse etc..  

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summo on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Toby_W:

> We’ll only have the scouts left by then and there’s no way you’ll get all the parental permission slips back in time for the trip ;-)

> cheers

> Toby

Plenty time then for some countries to order a job lot of white flags. 

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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> Brecut supporting mps. It's pretty likely the eu will at some point have to deal with them in the future. He is entitled to his view, but there is a time and place for it. 

Which is a huge worry for all of us; the possibility that enough of us will be stupid enough to continue voting them back into office........

my problem with them is not that they have had a bad idea, or implemented something badly, or had a swift dose of incompetence; we all cock things up from time to time. My problem with them is they are fundamentally dishonest. They have been willing from the start to say things in public that they know to be false, and despite being caught out again and again, are willing to continue to promise things thy know cannot be delivered, and continue to say things they know to be untrue. 

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Stuart (aka brt) - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> What about the phone call to the UK from head eu commissioner tusk eating humble pie in 15 years time, when a senile Putin is stacking his forces on Europe's border and they want some British military support because trump killed nato. Imagine if one of those British mps in hell happened to end up as PM. Impossible to predict the future. Tusk should know better. 

So we wouldn't want to get involved because? What? Putin wouldn't have us in his sights next? Your scenario seems to me, to argue for better and closer ties with our neighbours. It's us that's doing the pulling away.

Another straw being clutched... 

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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> What about the phone call to the UK from head eu commissioner tusk eating humble pie in 15 years time, when a senile Putin is stacking his forces on Europe's border and they want some British military support because trump killed nato. Imagine if one of those British mps in hell happened to end up as PM. Impossible to predict the future. Tusk should know better. 

After the damage these loons (brexit plan-free hell-bound promoters etc) are about to inflict on the UK, to you think for a second that the only thing they will remember is Donald Tusk making a pointed barb at them 15 years ago? That just about sums up the small minded, small nation stance of brexiteers........

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elsewhere on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> Which is a huge worry for all of us; the possibility that enough of us will be stupid enough to continue voting them back into office........

Few of us have any choice under FPTP as no new party can break the duoploy in maybe 450 constituencies and realistically a monopoly in 250-300 safe Labour and Tory seats.

Post edited at 09:16
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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

What funds can they access? are we assuming that because the ECB has provided QE before, that it can just continue to do so? I'm not sure that will work.

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Yes.

Number of Russian attacks resulting in fatalities on U.K. soil in last 15 years: 2

number of Russian attacks resulting in fatalities on other EU nations in last 15 years: 0

who is more likely to be asking for help from whom? 

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summo on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Yes.

> Number of Russian attacks resulting in fatalities on U.K. soil in last 15 years: 2

> number of Russian attacks resulting in fatalities on other EU nations in last 15 years: 0

> who is more likely to be asking for help from whom? 

You seem to have forgotten about an airliner that was shot down over the Ukraine. 

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Stuart (aka brt) - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

Yes or no. If in 15 years time, the Russians were amassing forces against European borders, would it be in our interest to join them (European forces)? 

Post edited at 09:20
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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

FYI, Ukraine is not in the EU.

Maybe thats why it was brought down there?

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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

It cant continue to do so just for fun; there has to be a reason. In this case its probably more likely to take the form of loans or additional contributions from other member states.

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

As has been pointed out, Ukraine not in EU. So no, I hadn’t forgotten. Fatal attack  count on EU nations remains zero

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Andy Johnson on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> You seem to have forgotten about an airliner that was shot down over the Ukraine. 

Ukraine isn't an EU nation.

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Graham Booth on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I love Donald Tusk

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Robert Durran - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Graham Booth:

> I love Donald Tusk

Yes, if only we had people of the calibre of him and Guy Verhofstadt running this country. My admiration for them has only increased as they have had to deal with the inept idiots supposedly in charge or pulling the strings here. In the circumstances I think their comments about hell are admirably measured.

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summo on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> As has been pointed out, Ukraine not in EU. So no, I hadn’t forgotten. Fatal attack  count on EU nations remains zero

Eu citizens? 

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Sir Chasm - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> Eu citizens? 

Don't forget to mention that the eu didn't solve the Balkan strife, you haven't brought that up for a while.

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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

While FPTP isnt ideal, we dont have to get rid of all of the Lab Con MP's. I'm perfectly happy for the likes of Starmer / Soubry / Umunna etc to be reelected, just not Davis / JRM / BoJo etc etc.

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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> Eu citizens? 

relevance?

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d_b on 07 Feb 2019
Graham Booth on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

Must have the patience of a bloody saint. Our politicians are a bunch of clueless imbeciles 

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jkarran - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> Brexit supporting mps. It's pretty likely the eu will at some point have to deal with them in the future. He is entitled to his view, but there is a time and place for it. 

Yes, long since passed. We're owed a healthy dose of realism about this unfurling disaster and those responsible must be held to account.

What good does brexit do? Why do you still support it in light of the clear harm it is doing?

jk

Post edited at 10:21
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oldie - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> No they're not going to renegotiate. May will fail again. She'll lose her vote in Parliament and after that, eventually, she'll call another referendum. <

First bit seems likely.

Unfortunately I'm not sure about the likelihood of a second referendum from our spineless politicians.

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d_b on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to oldie:

All but one of the possible outcomes require parliament to make a decision.

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wercat on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Trevers:

And the SNP correction to Peter Bone's lack of honesty about what Tusk said. 

> Bercow's take down of Peter Bone was magnificent:

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wercat on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

The Dutch people killed when the Russians arranged the shooting down of an airliner?

> relevance?

Not that it changes the case as the EU is not a military alliance yet, though if NATO shrinks or retreats it may have to become so

Post edited at 11:21
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JimR - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

If there is no deal then there will be a hard border in Ireland. The UK wants to protects its borders and the EU wishes to ensure noncompliant goods or people do no not enter the EU. No deal = hard border. 

Post edited at 11:54
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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to wercat:

And the British, and no doubt others. Still not relevant to the point made; the nationalities of the dead are not relevant to the issue of where the attack took place. 

NB - doesnt make the incident any less horrendous.......

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JimR - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> What about the phone call to the UK from head eu commissioner tusk eating humble pie in 15 years time, when a senile Putin is stacking his forces on Europe's border and they want some British military support because trump killed nato. Imagine if one of those British mps in hell happened to end up as PM. Impossible to predict the future. Tusk should know better. 

https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.asp

France now outranks the UK in military might. In a few years I suspect a weakened England with a separate Scotland, Wales and Ireland after having suffered years of cutbacks during long recessions would'nt have much to bring to the military power table.

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Robert Durran - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to JimR:

> If there is no deal then there will be a hard border in Ireland.

Isn't the UK bound by the Good Friday agreement to avoid a hard border? Presumably, in the event of no deal, the correct thing to do would be to immediately put a border down the Irish Sea and keep the Irish border open. But of course this would involve shafting the DUP ...........

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Dr.S at work - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

Or put a border down the English channel? If its ok to split the UK common market, surely its just as fine to split the EU one?

(not that I support any of this nonsense)

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jkarran - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Isn't the UK bound by the Good Friday agreement to avoid a hard border? Presumably, in the event of no deal, the correct thing to do would be to immediately put a border down the Irish Sea and keep the Irish border open. But of course this would involve shafting the DUP ...........

Which will require an election which might go some way toward explaining stories of conservative election preparation and campaign spending being ramped up. Other explanations exist.

jk

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Stichtplate on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to JimR:

> If there is no deal then there will be a hard border in Ireland. The UK wants to protects its borders and the EU wishes to ensure noncompliant goods or people do no not enter the EU. No deal = hard border. 

Very good. So who's going to build it? In the event of no deal the UK say they won't, the Irish say they won't, the EU won't, and further, have said they won't insist on it.

Do you think it'll spontaneously manifest itself through Devine intervention?

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Robert Durran - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Or put a border down the English channel? If its ok to split the UK common market, surely its just as fine to split the EU one?

But it is the UK which chose to leave the EU and caused the problem, so, if we don't want to be in  a customs Union, then it is the UK which should be paying the price of solving the problem, not the EU and the Republic of Ireland who never wanted any of this to happen.

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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

Yup, it is. Both to being bound by the GFA, and to it being the correct / sensible thing to do.

I was going to say that shafting the DUP is just a welcome side benefit, but thats unfair on them. I may despise their politics, and religious leanings, but it isnt their fault they are in the limelight so much; it was the tories who offered them the chance of such power and influence over the UK government. Its almost as if they (the tories) didn't think it through properly........

Post edited at 12:21
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jkarran - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Or put a border down the English channel? If its ok to split the UK common market, surely its just as fine to split the EU one? (not that I support any of this nonsense)

I think the argument would boil down to:

a) the (dis)UK initiated the action causing the problem, responsibility for resolving it would fall on us

b) relative power and need

People who want to know what the EU ever does for us... watch and learn from the outside what the EU does for Ireland.

jk

Post edited at 12:29
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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Or put a border down the English channel? If its ok to split the UK common market, surely its just as fine to split the EU one?

> (not that I support any of this nonsense)

It may have escaped your notice that there is going to be a hard border in the english channel anyway as a reasonably direct result of leaving the EU..........

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BnB - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Isn't the UK bound by the Good Friday agreement to avoid a hard border? Presumably, in the event of no deal, the correct thing to do would be to immediately put a border down the Irish Sea and keep the Irish border open. But of course this would involve shafting the DUP ...........

Wouldn't it be for the EU to erect a border in that circumstance, to protect their customs union? The logical position for the UK is not to impose one (except in the sense that it would need to respond to new border infrastructure on the EU side of the line). Therefore a no deal Brexit might, counter-intuitively, produce a EU/UK trade deal rather faster than an exit via the withdrawal agreement, bridged by a "quick and dirty" transitional arrangement that obviates the need for a short-term hard border.

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jimtitt - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to BnB:

> Wouldn't it be for the EU to erect a border in that circumstance, to protect their customs union? The logical position for the UK is not to impose one (except in the sense that it would need to respond to new border infrastructure on the EU side of the line). Therefore a no deal Brexit might, counter-intuitively, produce a EU/UK trade deal rather faster than an exit via the withdrawal agreement, bridged by a "quick and dirty" transitional arrangement that obviates the need for a short-term hard border.


The UK will need a border as well otherwise anyone can ship anything into the UK from any country in the world, duty and tax free. It would merely travel through the EU as transit goods.

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girlymonkey - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to BnB:

> Wouldn't it be for the EU to erect a border in that circumstance, to protect their customs union? The logical position for the UK is not to impose one 

But what about the Brexiteers favourite mantra of protecting our borders and reducing immigration. What will stop anyone from coming in through Ireland? 

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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to BnB:

> Wouldn't it be for the EU to erect a border in that circumstance, to protect their customs union? The logical position for the UK is not to impose one (except in the sense that it would need to respond to new border infrastructure on the EU side of the line). Therefore a no deal Brexit might, counter-intuitively, produce a EU/UK trade deal rather faster than an exit via the withdrawal agreement, bridged by a "quick and dirty" transitional arrangement that obviates the need for a short-term hard border.

The legal position under the GFA is for neither the EU or UK to impose one, hence the idea of a (temporary) border in the Irish sea. 

The only ones this is unacceptable to are the hardliners, apparently. Its already been agreed to by the UK govt and ratified by 27 EU states. Its only the UK parliament that is out of step.

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wercat on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to JimR:

Liam Fox, according to  Richard Dannatt and others, was so intent on balancing the books he left (apart from his security disgrace) our the reliability of our Armed Forces as allies being questioned by the Americans.

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pasbury on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

> But what about the Brexiteers favourite mantra of protecting our borders and reducing immigration. What will stop anyone from coming in through Ireland? 

It's a good point either you have an open border or not, so any policing of it 'as a border' stops it being an open border. Therefore any EU citizen can travel to Ireland and just walk over the border.

Non EU migrants face the problem of getting to Ireland first.

Whether any will actually want to bother coming here is another question.

Maybe they'll have to worry more about UK citizens escaping!

Post edited at 13:23
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girlymonkey - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Whether any will actually want to bother coming here is another question.

> Maybe they'll have to worry more about UK citizens escaping!

Indeed, escaping is where my thoughts are going!! We desperately need the immigrants already, and will need them even more once the brain drain sets in and those who can leave, will do so! 

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cb294 - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

No, this is not what was agreed, as the DUP did not like it. Instead, as requested by May and reluctantly agreed to by the EU - as it would offer considerable advantages to UK businesses if activated - the backstop now applies to the entire UK.

Of course, this is in turn considered unacceptable by the Tory brexiters, which was of course not predictable beforehand... Hell its, then, for Juncker.

CB

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Bulls Crack - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Maybe he meant  a special place in Hull.......

Although that amounts to much the same thing

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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to cb294:

> No, this is not what was agreed, as the DUP did not like it. Instead, as requested by May and reluctantly agreed to by the EU - as it would offer considerable advantages to UK businesses if activated - the backstop now applies to the entire UK.

ah, I missed that bit; I thought it was Ireland only still.

> Of course, this is in turn considered unacceptable by the Tory brexiters, which was of course not predictable beforehand... Hell its, then, for Juncker.

So we've kept the DUP happy, but pissed off the ERG etc? And therefore two even smaller factions of the "same side" are holding everyone to ransom?

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cb294 - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

Exactly.

CB

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Oceanrower - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Do you think it'll spontaneously manifest itself through Devine intervention?

Doubt it. James Devine hasn't been an MP (Labour, Livingstone) since 2010 when he got locked up. Doubt he'll have much say in the matter...

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MonkeyPuzzle - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Oceanrower:

Wahay!

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Stichtplate on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Oceanrower:

> Doubt it. James Devine hasn't been an MP (Labour, Livingstone) since 2010 when he got locked up. Doubt he'll have much say in the matter...

You never know, perhaps he moves in mysterious ways?

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GrahamD - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

One man's unelected beurocrat is another man's civil servant - an employed expert that actually makes things work.

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Mike Stretford - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Lo and behold, a week later HMRC announce that in the event of a no deal, import customs would be considerably relaxed for a transition period likely to stretch to a year.

I don't know why you keep bringing this one up... that's the 'shit....hit the panic button response'. At that stage worries about trading arrangements and disputes will have been superseded by 'keep food on the shelves' and maintain civil order concerns.

The EU would have different concerns and will implement their own measures. As I've said before I reckon their main concern would be to get investment back into the EU without any concern for the UK economy.

It really isn't a situation we want to find ourselves in, I'll be saying that to my MP tomorrow night.... who IMO is taking the brinkmanship a bit too far.

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Stichtplate on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> I don't know why you keep bringing this one up... that's the 'shit....hit the panic button response'. At that stage worries about trading arrangements and disputes will have been superseded by 'keep food on the shelves' and maintain civil order concerns.

The only reason I've brought it up is because many posts on this issue seem to revolve around 'rules is rules', they clearly aren't. Especially so considering the amount of shit about to hit the UK's fan, it's also worth all parties remembering that a sizeable portion of said shit is bound to fly in the EU's direction

> The EU would have different concerns and will implement their own measures. As I've said before I reckon their main concern would be to get investment back into the EU without any concern for the UK economy.

I'm sure the EU's position would be much simpler if they could take such a view. The small matter of £341,000,000,000 of annual EU exports into the UK market makes such a black and white stance hard to justify.

> It really isn't a situation we want to find ourselves in, I'll be saying that to my MP tomorrow night.... who IMO is taking the brinkmanship a bit too far.

Of course. The whole thing is a nightmare.

Edit: for the sake of the pedants.

Post edited at 16:59
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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to cb294:

> Exactly.

> CB

Oh good.

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Mike Stretford - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I'm sure the EU's position would be much simpler if they could take such a view. The small matter of £341,000,000,000 of annual EU exports into the UK market makes such a black

Yeah and UK exports to the EU at £274,000,000,000, they'll be looking to get a large chunk of that relocated. If we do get to that stage it would be clear we aren't going to get reasonable (or don't have system of government capable doing so).

Post edited at 17:08
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Stichtplate on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Yeah and UK exports to the EU at £274,000,000,000, they'll be looking to get a large chunk of that relocated. If we do get to that stage it would be clear we aren't going to get reasonable (or don't have system of government capable doing so).

I agree. If some sort of deal isn't sorted everyone loses and the UK more than most.

...but consider the EU's two big hitters, France and Germany; Merkel has serious problems with a resurgent right, voter unrest at the funding of bail outs and an export market to the UK that accounts for 1 in 7 of the cars they build. Macron is currently weathering the worst civil unrest France has seen in 50 years and just looking at agriculture, his farmers export 14% of their produce to the uk. I think we all know what pissed off French farmers are capable of.

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JimR - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to jimtitt:

Worth a read, BBC's analysis of a no deal Irish border.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46546295

Basically for a pernament soft border between NI & Eire then NI needs to be in a customs union with the EU. If NI is in a customs union and the rest of the UK is not then there needs to be a hard border between NI & the rest of the UK. What is not feasible long term is for NI not to be in a customs union of some sort with the EU and the existence of a soft border. A no deal Brexit means no customs union therefore a hard border will have to be created to monitor the passage of goods and people between the EU and the UK.

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Mike Stretford - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate: 

> I agree. If some sort of deal isn't sorted everyone loses and the UK more than most.

Great, we agree, but just not by how much worse  it will be for the UK. As I've said a few times, they'll be looking to recoup losses in exports to the UK, with likely relocations from the UK. The UK just don't have that option.... time to get real.

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Stichtplate on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Great, we agree, but just not by how much worse  it will be for the UK. As I've said a few times, they'll be looking to recoup losses in exports to the UK, with likely relocations from the UK. The UK just don't have that option.... time to get real.

I don't quite know what you base your analysis on as to 'how much worse' I think  it'll be for the UK. I've said it'll be worse, I've said the whole situation is a nightmare. 

The only difference between my position on this and that of many posters on here, is that I see it as a disaster for all involved parties. This seems to taint me as anti-EU as far as many are concerned. 

Post edited at 17:44
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summo on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

> One man's unelected beurocrat is another man's civil servant - an employed expert that actually makes things work.

Is it considered normal for very senior civil servants to bad mouth other countries MPs? 

What if the head of the UK civil service publically laughed as they said a place was reserved in hell for barnier? Acceptable behaviour? 

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d_b on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

On this continent we have free speech, so yeah.  At least as acceptable as MPs ranting about D-Day and Hitler every time they don't get their way anyhow.

[edit] Oh dear I seem to have upset some delicate little leaver snowlfakes.  How perfectly beastly of me!

Post edited at 18:14
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Robert Durran - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> What if the head of the UK civil service publically laughed as they said a place was reserved in hell for barnier? Acceptable behaviour? 

If Barnier were a demonstrably appalling and destructive f*ckwit and the civil servant had spent a couple of years on the receiving end of their f*ckwittery, then yes, I think it would be both understandable and acceptable.

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Mike Stretford - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

You don't seem to be acknowledging the one way relaxations of industry. Do that and we're on the same page. I'm acutely aware of this as I'll be affected. I'll be offered a move but I'm not in a situation to take it up. Getting worried. 

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Dr.S at work - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

sigh... yes, that border could encompass Ireland as well.

Given all of the trade between the rEU and Ireland and GB is via planes or trucks, its in many ways most sensible to put the hard bit of any border at the points where things load up to leave or arrive on the island of ireland for both intra EU and intra UK trade. Perhaps by making the whole island a special case all sides could be satisfied - and I'd imagine it could have excellent effects for the irish economy.

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HansStuttgart - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> Is it considered normal for very senior civil servants to bad mouth other countries MPs? 

> What if the head of the UK civil service publically laughed as they said a place was reserved in hell for barnier? Acceptable behaviour? 


Tusk is president of the Council, he is a politician.

It is not normal, but these are not normal circumstances.

If Barnier had been trying to trick the UK into not obliging its obligations towards the Irish with respect to the GFA, then yes, I would think such behaviour of the head of the UK civil service acceptable.

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summo on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> If Barnier were a demonstrably appalling and destructive f*ckwit and the civil servant had spent a couple of years on the receiving end of their f*ckwittery, then yes, I think it would be both understandable and acceptable.

Given how badly throughout the whole exit process is, the tight timescale and complete absence of structure in the eus article 50 procedure. I'd say UK staff have cause to be grumpy. The eu believed their own hype and never thought it would happen. So didn't consider it. 

You'd expect a 5 year tiered exit. Different agreements coming into force and others ceasing at say annual intervals. Ratified as it goes along. 

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summo on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> Tusk is president of the Council, he is a politician.

> It is not normal, but these are not normal circumstances.

> If Barnier had been trying to trick the UK into not obliging its obligations towards the Irish with respect to the GFA, then yes, I would think such behaviour of the head of the UK civil service acceptable.

If only tusk spoke out so harshly towards polish mps who are not honouring eu agreements over refugees. A bit selective. 

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Stichtplate on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> You don't seem to be acknowledging the one way relaxations of industry. Do that and we're on the same page. I'm acutely aware of this as I'll be affected. I'll be offered a move but I'm not in a situation to take it up. Getting worried. 

I'm sorry to hear you'll be impacted so directly, it's bad enough just standing at the peripheries.

It is not necessarily so that economic investments will all flow away from the UK and towards the EU. This is in no way any sort of an upside. The UK is no longer tied to the EU's desire to clamp down on tax havens and UK industry is now unfettered from EU environmental restrictions and labour laws. All in keeping with the desires of the right of the Conservative party.

The ensuing economic chaos the UK is likely to endure can be manipulated into an excuse for a race to the bottom all in the name of attracting foreign investment.

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jimtitt - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I agree. If some sort of deal isn't sorted everyone loses and the UK more than most.

> ...but consider the EU's two big hitters, France and Germany; Merkel has serious problems with a resurgent right, voter unrest at the funding of bail outs and an export market to the UK that accounts for 1 in 7 of the cars they build.

It'll probably work out, after all the UK wont be exporting cars to the EU so the Euros will be buying Beemers instead of Nissans.

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Robert Durran - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> Given how badly throughout the whole exit process is, the tight timescale and complete absence of structure in the eus article 50 procedure. I'd say UK staff have cause to be grumpy. 

Bollocks. May has had two full years to sort something out but has squandered it and her negotiating position by prioritising the appeasement of the extremist scum in her own party rather than serve the interests of the country she represents. She too deserves to rot in hell. 

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Mr Lopez - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> Given how badly throughout the whole exit process is, the tight timescale and complete absence of structure in the eus article 50 procedure. (...)

> You'd expect a 5 year tiered exit. Different agreements coming into force and others ceasing at say annual intervals. Ratified as it goes along. 

You'd have thought the imbeciles running this shitshow could have outlined a workable proposal for a 5 year tiered exit and only then thump down article 50 and getting the clock running. Turns out the red-white-and-blue-have-your-cake-and-eat-it-brexit-means-brexit-++ deal plan wasn't quite up to scratch when the clock was started.

Who would have thought it, uh?

Post edited at 18:49
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Harry Jarvis - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> Given how badly throughout the whole exit process is, the tight timescale and complete absence of structure in the eus article 50 procedure. I'd say UK staff have cause to be grumpy.

Good grief, you are quite ridiculous sometimes. The deadline we are facing is all a result of an inept PM invoking A50 before any kind of plan was developed by the Cabinet, and the difficulties faced in negotiating the WA are a direct result of the red lines laid down by the same inept PM in her Lancaster House speech. If anything has been badly thought out, it has been the entire behaviour of the Government, although that might be over-estimating the amount of thought that has been applied. If one reviews the utterances of the idiots Johnson, Davies and Fox, it is hard to believe they have expended a great deal of mental effort on understanding and dealing with the issues. 

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summo on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> Good grief, you are quite ridiculous sometimes. The deadline we are facing is all a result of an inept PM invoking A50 before any kind of plan was developed by the ..

I'm seem to recall lots of remainers complaining they waited too long and prolonged the instability? 

Plus it doesn't matter when you put it in.. the 2 year process is still void of any structure regardless of when you start it. Sone kind of all or nothing 2 year spell of arguing, that means everything is left to the last minute. 

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summo on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Mr Lopez:

> You'd have thought the imbeciles running this shitshow could have outlined a workable proposal for a 5 year tiered exit and only then thump down article 50 and getting the clock running. Turns out the red-white-and-blue-have-your-cake-and-eat-it-brexit-means-brexit-++ deal plan wasn't quite up to scratch when the clock was started.

> Who would have thought it, uh?

It's the eus article 50 that states it is 2 year process. Nothing to do with the UK. 

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Dave Garnett - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> If Barnier were a demonstrably appalling and destructive f*ckwit and the civil servant had spent a couple of years on the receiving end of their f*ckwittery, then yes, I think it would be both understandable and acceptable.

And if he self-identified as having not even a sketch of a plan.

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Stichtplate on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to jimtitt:

> It'll probably work out, after all the UK wont be exporting cars to the EU so the Euros will be buying Beemers instead of Nissans.

That’s very similar to the logic Brexiteers employ when they say we won’t miss Eu trade as we’re now in a better position to sell to the rest of the world.

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Harry Jarvis - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> Plus it doesn't matter when you put it in.. the 2 year process is still void of any structure regardless of when you start it. Sone kind of all or nothing 2 year spell of arguing, that means everything is left to the last minute. 

That it was 2-year process was not a secret. I believe it was reasonably well-known at the time to those who were paying attention. I realise that may exclude some of the dimmer members of the Cabinet. That being the case, it is hard to believe that the UK's blundering into the A50 process with no idea of where they wanted to go was an altogether wise plan of action. 

Post edited at 19:06
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Mr Lopez - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

Not quite. The EU's article, which the UK had strong a hand in drafting and signed it off so A50 itself actually has a lot to do with the UK, says that from the moment you hand in the letter triggering article 50 you have a maximum of 2 years to finish the negotiations.

All these posturing, back stabbing and shit slinging that passes as politics in this country could have been done at leisure, and then when, or rather if, they get their act together and can find a suitable proposal plus a back up proposal, and a back-back up one, and a third and fourth and 20th back up plan, then A50 goes on its way, deal gets agreed, and the UK can go on its merry way down the river towards those waterfalls on a red white and blue ToysUrUs inflatable dinghy named Boaty McBoatFace

Post edited at 19:11
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Ian W - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> Is it considered normal for very senior civil servants to bad mouth other countries MPs? 

> What if the head of the UK civil service publically laughed as they said a place was reserved in hell for barnier? Acceptable behaviour? 


Come on, keep up at the back! Summo, have you actually seen the speech? You're as bad as Peter Bone when it comes to your grasp on what was actually said and how. Tusk has a fairly grave expression when delivering the immortal line. The laughter was at Leo Varadkers comment regarding the reaction of the press.......

So, he isnt a civil servant, he didnt restrict his target to MPs, and he didnt laugh when you said he did..........apart from that, your two lines worth were perfectly accurate.

Post edited at 19:30
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wbo - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo: I'm betting that any plan devised upfront for the two years won't include a general election for opportunistic party reasons.  

Wasting most of the first year ain't Jeremy Corbyn a fault, nor the EU's either

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EarlyBird - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

I agree that a different approach to the exit process would have been wise. I don't think the problem lies with  Article 50 - I think the problem around timescales is being caused by the fact our Government triggered it before we had any clear plan for the exit process. This was entirely within our control and we chose to squander that advantage. We did it to ourselves. Truly the worst Government in my lifetime and I'm old enough to remember a few.

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jkarran - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> If only tusk spoke out so harshly towards polish mps who are not honouring eu agreements over refugees. A bit selective. 

Big follower of the Polish press are you?

Jk

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tev on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> "The genius of the Donald Tusk "special place in Hell" insult is that to be offended by it, you have to admit to having no plan for delivering Brexit, despite being full-throated in your support of it. You can't be offended without proving yourself ignorant at best, fraudulent at worst."

It's a very effective sieve. Honest brexiters can only agree with him.

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pasbury on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> It's the eus article 50 that states it is 2 year process. Nothing to do with the UK. 

Except that we triggered it with full knowledge of the two year limit, bastardly EU for making us do it eh!

You really do come across as exceptionally dim witted.

Post edited at 00:29
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birdie num num - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I think what Donald Tusk is saying is not that the general public who voted for Brexit will have a special place in hell... (the hottest bit)... because they didn't really know what they were doing....they were just led along a garden path by a bloke with a fag and a pint of bitter assisted by Lord Snooty and Smiffy. They were all hoodwinked, seduced by the promise of shiny things. 

But, there is still time, even at the eleventh hour, to reserve a special place in heaven....(the comfiest bit) alongside him, Donald, resplendent in shimmering halo, hob nobbing with God on a white cloud, twanging a harp and being fed grapes by an undecided flunky with a beard and dandruff who hovered until the last moment then jumped the right way. 

There's still time to repent folks, see the error of thy ways, otherwise there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

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summo on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> You really do come across as exceptionally dim witted.

Perhaps the dim witted are those that have to resort to insults. You are not called Donald as well? Bit of a global trend with that name and rude comments. 

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cb294 - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

This post just proves that you have no clue at all, despite living in the rEU.

Assuming that you do not recall which national government most strongly opposed the nomination of Tusk to his current position, precisely because he called out their Euro politics in their national press, would be the friendly interpretation.

The alternative conclusion is that you are simply making up stuff that suits your agenda, and rely on others being so badly informed that they don't realize this.

CB

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summo on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to cb294:

It still doesn't justify his comments. Regardless of who he is for or against, his appointment etc.. in my view it's just not the right way to speak of other countries politicians. I'm sure he is more than capable, even in a second language, to get his point across with resorting to insults. 

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Sir Chasm - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

Which poor, delicate little flower do you think has been insulted?

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jkarran - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> It's the eus article 50 that states it is 2 year process. Nothing to do with the UK. 

'We' penned Article 50, ratified it then eventually triggered it at your behest. We have no one but ourselves to blame for this and it's not like the consequences were not forewarned, this shitshow was entirely inevitable.

jk

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d_b on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

I find fake offense offensive.  Please stop pretending to be upset.

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jkarran - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> I'm seem to recall lots of remainers complaining they waited too long and prolonged the instability? 

Funny thing memory eh.

> Plus it doesn't matter when you put it in.. the 2 year process is still void of any structure regardless of when you start it. Sone kind of all or nothing 2 year spell of arguing, that means everything is left to the last minute. 

See my previous reply. Your answer to everything seems to hinge on wishing the world wasn't as it is, on not on dealing with reality in the here and now.

jk

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summo on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to d_b:

> I find fake offense offensive.  Please stop pretending to be upset.

I'm not offended at all. I just think throwing pointless insults is a little childish as far as ukc goes and for eu diplomats counter productive to their goals. 

Of course, this being ukc everyone is allowed an opinion provided it conforms to the general consensus and must be pro remain. 

Ps. Ukc is full of fake outrage. 

Post edited at 09:25
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jethro kiernan - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

It’s not fake outrage, myself and others posting on here have made it quite clear that we will be adversely and directly affected by brexit, so the deafening silence when asking why why from brexit backing people (or poor arguments that are easily proven wrong)

are you at all surprised that there is a feeling of desperation and outrage from us, the Dutch company I work for really doesn’t know where I stand in 50 days, my guiding friends are uncertain about where they stand.

the annoying thing is you are aware from other brexit posts that some of us are at real risk from brexit so your “fake outrage” statement is typically thoughtless and stupid!

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summo on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> 'We' penned Article 50, ratified it then eventually triggered it at your behest. We have no one but ourselves to blame for this and it's not like the consequences were not forewarned, this shitshow was entirely inevitable.

> jk

No article 50, the process etc.. is part of the Lisbon treaty. It was penned as much by the UK then as the other 27 nations. Which Gordon Brown dodged signing himself as the then unelected PM and sent Milliband to sign instead during a meeting of foreign secretaries, it was signed in a side room during a lunch break without any media attention. 

No one considered then it would ever be used.

It was considered in peak Greece debt crisis but they realised it wouldn't work. Article 50 was written in a manner for a nation to hard exit in the event of a coup. When no side wanted connection with the other afterwards.That's why it's only 2 years and completely void of any structure, as it wasn't considered any negotiation was required. 

Post edited at 09:39
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Rob Exile Ward on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

I think his comments were bl**dy great. Heartfelt, sincere, deserved and carefully worded so only the most obtuse could mistake what he was saying or who his targets were.

This  - I was going to say farce, but it's far too serious for that - this sh*storm has been trundling on for best part of 3 years now, with one or two exceptions the EU has behaved with admirable restraint, courtesy and efficiency. They had a right to assume that we would do our best to organise and orderly exit; in fact they have been dealing with the greatest single fiasco and failure of government since God knows when.  We should thank Tusk for reminding us that we were led to this impasse by careless and malicious donkeys. 

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summo on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> It’s not fake outrage,

I can understand your anger. Tusks comment doesn't help the negotiation or people on either side(UK or eu). 

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Doug on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

Like you, I'm likely to personally affected and its possible that I'll have to bring my retirement forward by several months. And either we stay in France & I'll probably have a lot of extra, previously unnecessary, paperwork or we move to Scotland but then my French partner will have the same, assuming we pass whatever income threshold is set by UK immigration (unlikely with our expected pensions & estimates of 30000GBP per year). So the 'easiest' solution is to split

And still the Brexiters can't come up with any concrete benefits, just possible long term advantages which may never happen. And they wonder why we are angry.

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jethro kiernan - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

I’m angry at you not Tusk, article fifty was for the implementation of withdrawal not the planning of, we had as long as it took to come up with a plan which we could have discussed with the EU then sent our letter, 50 days to go and we don’t even have a plan Tusk is quite right to point this out 

For f£&@s sake we sent David Davies to the EU as our representative, we might as well have pulled our pants down and farted in their general direction it was that insulting

as for our foreign secretary at the time (face palm)

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Robert Durran - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> I just think throwing pointless insults is a little childish as far as ukc goes and for eu diplomats counter productive to their goals. 

Tusk's "insult" wasn't pointless - it was carefully and cleverly thought out and targeted.

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jethro kiernan - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Doug:

It’s “fake outrage”  ;-/

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Dr.S at work - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

I’m not sure we could have discussed the plan before A50 was triggered - I’d have to check but my recollection was that the EU would not allow any negotiation before A50 was triggered.

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jkarran - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> No article 50, the process etc.. is part of the Lisbon treaty. It was penned as much by the UK then as the other 27 nations. Which Gordon Brown dodged signing himself as the then unelected PM and sent Milliband to sign instead during a meeting of foreign secretaries, it was signed in a side room during a lunch break without any media attention. 

It was literally penned by a British diplomat John Kerr then ratified by the British government. To pretend it's a surprise trap snapped on the plucky little brexit boys is patently absurd!

> No one considered then it would ever be used.

No one? Surely you must have considered it when you voted for it to be used, after all you knew what you were doing, right?

> It was considered in peak Greece debt crisis but they realised it wouldn't work.

Yet recognising that just a couple of years later you thought it would be a good idea for us to to have a go. Curious. If you lived here and had to suffer the consequences of your actions I'd think you a fool.

> Article 50 was written in a manner for a nation to hard exit in the event of a coup. When no side wanted connection with the other afterwards.That's why it's only 2 years and completely void of any structure, as it wasn't considered any negotiation was required. 

The intention is quite clearly that those two years are used to define the structure and begin a process, to maintain flexibility, anyone with half a brain could see extricating ourselves was the hard work of a decade at least. It was not intended that those two years be pissed up the wall by the most incompetent government in living memory squabbling over what breed of unicorn we were going to demand.

jk

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DubyaJamesDubya - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> The role of the BBC is interesting here. It seems they originally tweeted that Tusk had referred to all Brexiteers, then backed down on that after the inevitable backlash from the Brexidiot MPs and journos who couldn't actually be bothered to read what he'd really said.

I expect better from the Beeb

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jethro kiernan - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Having a plan and consulting with our neighbors before triggering article 50 would have been possible, this would have ensured that the embarrassment that we are facing could have avoided.

Rather like a pair of grown ups separating we could have a talk about separation before you actually call the lawyers in.

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d_b on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

It's a cheap tactic when christian fundies do it, it's a cheap tactic when islamic fundies do it and it is a cheap tactic when you do it.  Generally shows a lack of a real argument or integrity.

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thomasadixon - on 08 Feb 2019
d_b on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to thomasadixon:

They could still have agreed their own position, but they didn't even bother to do that much.

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EarlyBird - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to thomasadixon:

The stumbling block here is that our Parliament has to reach a majority position on what Brexit looks like. It would have been useful for those arguments to have been played out before we triggered article 50. Granted that would not have been a speedy process but it might have taken some of the heat out of the debate and we might have been able to reach a rational position. But our idiot politicians went for the symbolism of enshrining the exit date in law instead. It was all within our control. 

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Stichtplate on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> Rather like a pair of grown ups separating we could have a talk about separation before you actually call the lawyers in.

But unlike a divorce, the ex has demanded the alimony before they'll even think about discussing visitation rights.

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EarlyBird - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Who are the children in this visitation rights analogy?

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Stichtplate on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to EarlyBird:

Trade.

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fred99 - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> sigh... yes, that border could encompass Ireland as well.

> Given all of the trade between the rEU and Ireland and GB is via planes or trucks, its in many ways most sensible to put the hard bit of any border at the points where things load up to leave or arrive on the island of ireland for both intra EU and intra UK trade. Perhaps by making the whole island a special case all sides could be satisfied - and I'd imagine it could have excellent effects for the irish economy.


But the Scots (for starters) in the person of Nicola Sturgeon have already complained about having one rule for NI and another rule for Scotland.

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jethro kiernan - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

No the ex has asked to honour the various joint HP purchases involved in until they run out.

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Stichtplate on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> No the ex has asked to honour the various joint HP purchases involved in until they run out.

Hmm... you could look at it like that, but since the ex has already been a net beneficiary to the tune of £400 billion (since 1973, in today's prices), and retains ownership of all fixed assets, their demand as a prerequisite to negotiations could be seen as rather grasping.

https://ukandeu.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Who-pays-for-the-EU-and-how-much-does-it-cost-the-UK-Disentangling-fact-from-fiction-in-the-EU-Budget-Professor-Iain-Begg.pdf

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Ramblin dave - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to EarlyBird:

> The stumbling block here is that our Parliament has to reach a majority position on what Brexit looks like. It would have been useful for those arguments to have been played out before we triggered article 50. Granted that would not have been a speedy process but it might have taken some of the heat out of the debate and we might have been able to reach a rational position.

The problem with that is that a lot of Brexiteer MPs were cheerfully insisting that as soon as we walked into the negotiating room looking like we meant business, the EU would cave in and give us everything we wanted. Hell, with less than two months to go until we crash out, some of them are still insisting that we just need to stay firm and something like that will happen. So the chances of parliament agreeing even roughly to what an acceptable realistic outcome would look like before we could demonstrate unequivocally what "realistic" actually meant were approximately zero.

Post edited at 11:44
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Dave Garnett - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> But unlike a divorce, the ex has demanded the alimony before they'll even think about discussing visitation rights.

If we are going to have matrimony-based analogy it's more like wanting to discuss your next marriage before having divorced your current partner.  You're not free to discuss the practicalities of how much money you'll be able to put towards the wedding, buying a house together or the arrangements for where all the kids will live until you've figured out what you have left after terminating your current marriage.  

Post edited at 11:48
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EarlyBird - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

All of which demonstrates the limitations of this analogy. What role does the NI back stop play in this scenario?

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EarlyBird - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I completely agree.

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Stichtplate on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to EarlyBird:

> All of which demonstrates the limitations of this analogy. What role does the NI back stop play in this scenario?

What? You point out the limitations of someone else's analogy and then ask me to stretch it even further?

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EarlyBird - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Good point.

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Dave Garnett - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to EarlyBird:

> All of which demonstrates the limitations of this analogy. What role does the NI back stop play in this scenario?

That's like the kids saying that, even after the divorce, they want to be able to spend as much time as they want want with both of you together, while you both act like a couple and as if nothing has happened.

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Ian W - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> I’m not sure we could have discussed the plan before A50 was triggered - I’d have to check but my recollection was that the EU would not allow any negotiation before A50 was triggered.

even more basic than the previous replies to this post - nobody, but nobody, ever prevented us having a plan to take to the negotiations, once they started. So the first part of your post - I’m not sure we could have discussed the plan before A50 was triggered - is only relevant because there was no plan to discuss. 

The very idea that you enter any negotiations, never mind something as important as this, without any kind of plan of how you can achieve your aims is ridiculous. One possible take is that, like Farage, the other brexiteer champions were so convinced the vote would be to remain that they didnt think any plans were necessary, and just used the referendum process for a bit of personal grandstanding.

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jethro kiernan - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to EarlyBird:

Middle aged man after a few pints down the Local gets chatting to his mate, bit of a posh wide boy with a camel hair coat and fag, he says his wife is always on his case, and he’s sure there are better alternatives out there.

Wide boy convinces him he’ll be fighting of the ladies off, he can get a nice bachelor pad, leather sofas and everything. No one will be able to tell him what to do, and I’m sure all his ex’s will be cueing up to date him. A few more pints and that’s it he’s going to take his new mates advice show the misses who’s boss.

Guy walks in at midnight loudly announces to his family he’s leaving first thing in the morning, spends the night flat on his back snoring noisily and dribbling.

Leave means leave throws his stuff in some plastic bags and leaves in his Volvo 

Down to the local travel lodge, that weekend his new mate isn’t available for a bit of clubbing, unfortunately all the young ladies just aren’t interested in a middle aged man no matter how many bottles of champagne he buys.

He sets his eyes on a more mature relationship with someone middle aged and middle income, unfortunately they all seem to be in stable relationship and they are all friends with his ex wife.

He gets out his little black book and phones round his ex’s they must be gagging to get together, they unanimously agree that their relationship was all a bit one sided and to be honest a bit abusive, they have moved on.

A few months later he’s in a bedsit above the local chippie, his tie’s got egg on it, his halitosis is bad and without his wife to point a few things out he’s been neglecting himself a bit and is getting a bit rough around the edges.

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Stichtplate on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

I think they did have a plan. It's just that in keeping with their campaign, it was solely based on bullshit and blather.

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EarlyBird - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

I would laugh...

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wercat on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

you do expect more, but Laura K the overpromoted "Political Editor" isn't going to deliver it - her large salary is payment for opinionated rubbish.  I prefer Peston, hugely

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john arran - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

He then finds out that his posh wide boy mate has been planning this for some time and had a substantial bet with other mates that middle aged man's would split up with his wife. 

He's also now found a tenant for the bedsit he owns above the chippie.

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jkarran - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> The very idea that you enter any negotiations, never mind something as important as this, without any kind of plan of how you can achieve your aims is ridiculous. One possible take is that, like Farage, the other brexiteer champions were so convinced the vote would be to remain that they didnt think any plans were necessary, and just used the referendum process for a bit of personal grandstanding.

Not just no plan, no coherent agreed objectives.

While my more charitable self is inclined to agree a fair few brexiter MP's inhabit bubbles so weird and small they genuinely thought this would all be easy and glorious my more cynical self suspects more through venal miscalculation have been caught up in a tidal wave of shite they expected never to trigger but cannot now escape. Then there are still more who know this process will be a disaster but also that it is an irreversible disaster, they just need to get it done as step one. Step two is reshaping the world in their image after the shock.

jk

Post edited at 12:44
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wercat on 08 Feb 2019
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Ian W - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I think they did have a plan. It's just that in keeping with their campaign, it was solely based on bullshit and blather.

You credit them with far too much. 

David Davies, the brexit secretary and member of the European Research Group (note the title, especially the second word) , knew so much about the structure and workings of the EU despite our 40+ year membership that he was quite happy to state publicly that he was going to ignore Brussels and go straight to Germany to negotiate "the easiest trade deals in history". 

thats the standard of political "leader" we have.

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jkarran - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to wercat:

I caught that on the radio this morning, gloriously weird eccentricity

jk

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Stichtplate on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> You credit them with far too much. 

> .... quite happy to state publicly that he was going to ignore Brussels and go straight to Germany to negotiate "the easiest trade deals in history". 

Holy Christ!... I'd entirely missed that. You'd think he'd be aware Germany has prior membership of a trading bloc. Rather puts Miss Abbott's comparatively minor gaffs into perspective.

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Ian W - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Here's some friday afternoon entertainment for you.....

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/minister-for-brexit-davis-davis-eu-european-union-germany-single-market-trade-deals-unaware-mistake-a7136121.html

And I'd also forgotten that his previous position was Europe Minister.........

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Ramblin dave - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Holy Christ!... I'd entirely missed that. You'd think he'd be aware Germany has prior membership of a trading bloc.

But Germany has a car industry that exports stuff to the UK, so they'd go to the EU and insist that they give us whatever we want so long as we keep buying BMWs, and the EU would have no choice but to go along with it, because Germany.

And this sort of thinking is the reason that "get everybody onboard with a plan before triggering article 50" was never really an option. Any suggestion that took a realistic view of what we might get and what sort of compromises we might have to make to get it would have been shouted down as "capitulating before we've even started" by the headbangers.

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Dr.S at work - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

Discussed with the EU, not discussed internally. Sorry not clear, I was replying to another post in which this was explicit.

The EU not allowing discussion prior to A50 being invoked, and their refusal to allow the future relationship to be discussed at the same time as the withdrawal agreement are two decisions that have played into the current situation.

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wbo - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W: As I recall the phrase used to describe the honourable gentleman was 'thick as mince'

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Ian W - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Discussed with the EU, not discussed internally. Sorry not clear, I was replying to another post in which this was explicit.

yeah, fair enough - there's a lot going on in this thread!!

> The EU not allowing discussion prior to A50 being invoked, and their refusal to allow the future relationship to be discussed at the same time as the withdrawal agreement are two decisions that have played into the current situation.

And both were known at the time. They have only contributed to the current situation because the UK govt didnt have a plan (as discussed). The WA should not have taken 2 years as it was based on how to deal with known, exiting) situations and events. The future relationship stuff, which i consider way more important than the WA, has been shuffled off to one side while the WA takes centre stage as a result of the complete lack of either a plan or a realistic end goal.

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Stuart (aka brt) - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> But Germany has a car industry that exports stuff to the UK, so they'd go to the EU and insist that they give us whatever we want so long as we keep buying BMWs, and the EU would have no choice but to go along with it, because Germany.

Or... the EU goes something like - you want the food? Take the cars too... Which is a priority do you think? Which of our home grown car manufacturers will take up the slack if our gambit is called? 

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Ian W - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

 i think Dave's post contained heavy irony.....

Anyway, I'm expecting the cold winds of recession to sweep across the car factories in germany as the EU hating brexiteers all switch to supporting our home based car manufacturers such as Jaguar / Land Rover.........if the 51.8% actually looked at the overall benefits of buying british, the picture might be different.....

Disclaimer - I'm heavily in favour of EU membership, so I'm obviously excused ownership of my Merc. And the wife's car is a British Astra. Bought before it was sold to Peugeot-Citroen.......

Post edited at 15:17
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Ian W - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to wbo:

> As I recall the phrase used to describe the honourable gentleman was 'thick as mince'

I believe you recall correctly. Maybe we can start a new brexit simile/metaphor thread.

As useful as a one legged man at an arse kicking contest.

As intelligent as David Davis.

etc

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RomTheBear on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to BnB:

> Wouldn't it be for the EU to erect a border in that circumstance, to protect their customs union? The logical position for the UK is not to impose one (except in the sense that it would need to respond to new border infrastructure on the EU side of the line). Therefore a no deal Brexit might, counter-intuitively, produce a EU/UK trade deal rather faster than an exit via the withdrawal agreement, bridged by a "quick and dirty" transitional arrangement that obviates the need for a short-term hard border.

Going further into la-la-land bnb ?

Of course not, a no-deal Brexit would be a total breach of trust, it would make it A LOT harder to negotiate anything for the UK. Not only with the EU but also with the rest of the world. The UK would be marginalised in the world markets for years to come.

Rather, what becomes a lot more likely is an united Ireland.

Post edited at 15:37
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Stuart (aka brt) - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

>  i think Dave's post contained heavy irony.....

Got that.  

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

It's interesting and possibly(?) very fortunate for the UK that the timing of Germanys slow down is now, and people are really starting to notice.

 https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/02/07/it-is-time-to-worry-about-germanys-economy

Tusk and Junker like to use the phrase "we, the 27...." but in reality out of that 27 there is only one 800lb gorilla, and that is Germany. There is already a large drop in sales of certain German marques in the UK (Audi and Porsche), could that also spread to BMW and VW?  In better times, Germany would probably tow the EU line and stand firm,...but, could this could be a good time for the UK to hold it's nerve re the backstop and let the pressure build over the channel as headwinds gain momentum?

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jimtitt - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> It's interesting and possibly(?) very fortunate for the UK that the timing of Germanys slow down is now, and people are really starting to notice.

> Tusk and Junker like to use the phrase "we, the 27...." but in reality out of that 27 there is only one 800lb gorilla, and that is Germany. There is already a large drop in sales of certain German marques in the UK (Audi and Porsche), could that also spread to BMW and VW?  In better times, Germany would probably tow the EU line and stand firm,...but, could this could be a good time for the UK to hold it's nerve re the backstop and let the pressure build over the channel as headwinds gain momentum?


Dream on, Germany has a Parliament as well and in December they voted overwhelmingly against re-opening negotiations so Frau Merkel can't and won't. She has told you so.

The opinion polls are equally bleak, the vast majority say no new deal and in a sensitive election year the German politicians are unlikely to change their position. While the Germans understand the importance of their car industry the majority also think they are conniving shitheads and deserve to join Farage and co in Tusks version of paradise.

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to jimtitt:

Thanks for the considered reply....lol. I get your gist though. German parliament sticks to it's guns...all good. UK parliament sticks to it's guns...bunch of wankers ;-)

Anyway, apologies that my contribution irked you so and I hope the fact it's friday cheers you up a bit

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Sir Chasm - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> It's interesting and possibly(?) very fortunate for the UK that the timing of Germanys slow down is now, and people are really starting to notice.

> Tusk and Junker like to use the phrase "we, the 27...." but in reality out of that 27 there is only one 800lb gorilla, and that is Germany. There is already a large drop in sales of certain German marques in the UK (Audi and Porsche), could that also spread to BMW and VW?  In better times, Germany would probably tow the EU line and stand firm,...but, could this could be a good time for the UK to hold it's nerve re the backstop and let the pressure build over the channel as headwinds gain momentum?

How does any of that make it better for us to be out of the eu?

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Sir Chasm:

It doesn't. The suggestion is that the negotiating position we are currently in *could be* enhanced with a "just smile and wave boys, smile and wave" as other factors outside of our control happen to distract and apply pressure to the other side of the table.

I was hypothesizing that if this were the case, the timing is very fortuitous.

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Ian W - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

But "we" haven't stuck to our guns. 

May came up with a workable solution, agreed to by EU27, ratified by all 27 parliaments. Only a disagreement within the tory party, and the noose held over the tories by the DUP prevented us ratifying it also. So despite being continually told that renegotiation of the WA is not possible, May goes back to brussels with some slightly different proposals on parts of the WA, and its somehow the EU's fault? The UK parliament need to realise that its their problem to sort out. Now is no longer the time for clever rhetoric and points scoring.

On a slightly differerent point; would it not have been better to agree / ratify the WA proposal in the HoC in advance of agreeing it with the EU27? If it couldnt have been , for all the reasons we are now dealing with, then we could have at least extended A50 to allow some breathing space. As it is, wiggle room is now severely limited. Maybe we should concentrate more on the political declaration, and accept the WA as it is......

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jimtitt - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Don't worry, I just look at the situation with bewilderment. Apart from a few financial inconveniences and regret my children won't have the opportunities they could have had there's nothing much to do but accept what's happening. It's going to cost you a lot of money and as a German company with over 90% exports a drop in the value of the € would be useful

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

"So despite being continually told that renegotiation of the WA is not possible.."

Until it is....;-) (that was the point of my post...will other forces make the EU reconsider it's stance on no renegotiation? Personally I think unlikely, but I felt it was worthy of adding to the debate)

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jkarran - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> It doesn't. The suggestion is that the negotiating position we are currently in *could be* enhanced with a "just smile and wave boys, smile and wave" as other factors outside of our control happen to distract and apply pressure to the other side of the table.

> I was hypothesizing that if this were the case, the timing is very fortuitous.

We have 64days assuming we extend A50, more like 6 if we don't. Good luck with waiting for Germany to come begging.

Jk

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BnB - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Enough of your speculation based on years studying economic forces working at the heart of the City. How dare you try to offer some balance

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Ian W - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

its always possible...........but given the necessary logistics, including UK delaying A50 to sllow the EU27 to agree and then take the new deal to be reratified by thier parliaments, its vanishingly unlikely.

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Paul King - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

So you're saying we do something about Poles sending £3 BILLION a year out of our economy back to Poland, on top of the £9 BILLION a year they get from us through the EU, and now we're not friends?

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john arran - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> "So despite being continually told that renegotiation of the WA is not possible.."

> Until it is....

Whatever gives you any reason to believe that it could be, to any substantive extent? Seems to me like a miniature unicorn (a.k.a. a lie) promoted without justification by Brexit proponents to keep the more gullible of the wishful thinkers on board while the clock continues to be run down.

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BnB - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Going further into la-la-land bnb ?

Rom, if you want a discussion, don't open with an insult. I don't think you're any better placed than the thousands of professional media commentators and economists (or UKC posters) who claim no certainty as to the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. So show some humility in the first place, politeness second and finally don't assume that any of my posts on Brexit reflect my personal affiliation.

I am analysing not cheerleading. And I sense that the majority of thoughtful contributors here have recognised that. I'm disappointed that you want to make this personal instead of addressing a range of possibilities that different voices have raised. Your arguments carry no weight with those whom you seek to dismiss.

For what it's worth, I think there is too much confusion over the Withdrawal vs Trade Agreement and the latter is not contingent on the agreement of the former. In the event of no Withdrawal deal, not just the UK but the member states (not just the EU), will be under considerably more pressure, from business and from voters, to accelerate a new trading relationship. Alternatively, the sudden need to erect a hard border in Ireland might very rapidly bring about a revised WA with a time-limited backstop. That is, after all, the game of blink being played today.

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to BnB:

I’m just not sure that the reaction of voters will necessarily be in the direction you suggest. 

If there is a disorderly exit, will we blame the consequences here on ourselves, our politicians, or the EU?

well, it’ll depend on who you ask, but my guess is the EU will bear the brunt of it. If so, will the pressure be to strike a reasonable trade deal, with all the compromises that will require; or will it be to make some sort of gesture to let the EU know ‘they can’t treat us like that’? Again, it’s a guess, but I’m not sure there’ll be much popular appetite for compromise to push politicians in that direction.

and I expect it’ll be much the same in Germany. If Brexit is seen to be disruptive, Tusk’s comments are likely to be mild compared to wider sentiment. 

If everyone behaved rationally, in their best economic interests, then a deal would rapidly emerge. But history suggests they usually don’t, and poison in the well of U.K. /eu relations seems more likely to me. 

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HansStuttgart - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to BnB:

> For what it's worth, I think there is too much confusion over the Withdrawal vs Trade Agreement and the latter is not contingent on the agreement of the former. In the event of no Withdrawal deal, not just the UK but the member states (not just the EU), will be under considerably more pressure, from business and from voters, to accelerate a new trading relationship. Alternatively, the sudden need to erect a hard border in Ireland might very rapidly bring about a revised WA with a time-limited backstop. That is, after all, the game of blink being played today.

FWIW, I don't see how the EU could possibly have a trade agreement without the withdrawal agreement being signed. This goes against two years of Council decision to sort the important issues out first. In a no-deal scenario, these will still be the important issues. Moreover, if the UK refuses to work together in a no-deal scenario to set up a customs/regulation border in the Irish sea (which the EU thinks the UK is obliged to do because of the GFA), I actually expect the EU to impose economic sanctions on the UK (after a couple of months of fudging the border).

Tusk's press statement was pretty brutal in this regard. He said:

"The top priority for us, remains the issue of the border on the island of Ireland, and the guarantee to maintain the peace process in accordance with the Good Friday Agreement. There is no room for speculation here. The EU itself is first and foremost a peace project. We will not gamble with peace; or put a sell-by date on reconciliation. And this is why we insist on the backstop. Give us a believable guarantee for peace in Northern Ireland, and the UK will leave the EU as a trusted friend."

If you are not a trusted friend, will you get a trade agreement?

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Gordon Stainforth - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I'm finding Rees-Mogg on LBC right now, absolutely terrifying. In fact I can't watch it any more.

https://www.facebook.com/LBC/videos/1450011455132999/?notif_id=1549649089374523&notif_t=live_video

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john arran - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I'm finding Rees-Mogg on LBC right now, absolutely terrifying. In fact I can't watch it any more.

It's genuinely baffling to me how anyone could be that mendacious over such a long period. Do you think he actually believes many of the things he says?

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

It's not a mini unicorn lie, it's just me putting something into the debate, no politician has mentioned it as far as I am aware.

This is the thing, all of these Brexit threads on UKC follow the same trajectory. A circle jerk echo chamber of everyone high giving each other on ridiculing the UK, the Tories, Theresa May the ERG, Corbyn...basically anything that is not EU. That's fine, and it a lot of cases deserved, but I have no real interest in joining in as it's not very interesting and entirely predictable. 

So I try and add something , admittedly not on hymn sheet and certainly not UKC party line to inject some alternative view points that might be interesting to someone reading the thread. I don't pretend to know I am right so you will notice that my posts are not preaching.

Anyway ... Germanys economic problems are a reality. There is a lot going on in the EU that is problematic (France Italy spat resulting in removal of ambassadors! Yellow vests...) that are nothing to do with Brexit but must be adding pressure at the top of the EU. I think this is interesting

Edited to add...Strictplates contributions to this thread have been far more interesting than almost anyone elses IMO mainly because he doesn't just swallow the narrative of "Brexit will be the end of everything". He has the ability to look at the issues  objectively, play devils advocate... even though he has to repeatedly admit he voted remain just to keep a lid on the abuse and to be taken half seriously. 

Post edited at 18:59
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birdie num num - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Hide behind your settee. We used to do that when Dr. Who was on. Just peep over the top every so often.

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Gordon Stainforth - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

Sadly, yes. And he has a great phalanx of hard-Brexit sycophants ringing in to support him. Really scary.

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Gordon Stainforth - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

I never thought of you as that feeble. Did Dr Who really scare you? It was, to me, the epitome of gentle, harmless British TV.

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Stichtplate on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> FWIW, I don't see how the EU could possibly have a trade agreement without the withdrawal agreement being signed. This goes against two years of Council decision to sort the important issues out first. In a no-deal scenario, these will still be the important issues. Moreover, if the UK refuses to work together in a no-deal scenario to set up a customs/regulation border in the Irish sea (which the EU thinks the UK is obliged to do because of the GFA), I actually expect the EU to impose economic sanctions on the UK (after a couple of months of fudging the border).

> Tusk's press statement was pretty brutal in this regard. He said:

> "The top priority for us, remains the issue of the border on the island of Ireland, and the guarantee to maintain the peace process in accordance with the Good Friday Agreement. There is no room for speculation here. The EU itself is first and foremost a peace project. We will not gamble with peace; or put a sell-by date on reconciliation. And this is why we insist on the backstop. Give us a believable guarantee for peace in Northern Ireland, and the UK will leave the EU as a trusted friend."

> If you are not a trusted friend, will you get a trade agreement?

When you put it like that Hans, it all seems so straight forward. Shame it isn't. You'll note that unlike you, Tusk doesn't specify a hard border in the Irish Sea (and the EU has said it won't insist on a hard border at all...you keep ignoring that bit). This is because the EU 'will not gamble with peace'.

Hard border in Ireland risks a resurgence of Republican terrorism. Meanwhile, hard border in the Irish Sea risks a resurgence in Unionist terrorism.

This is why the EU keeps batting the ball back to the UK. Brexit has provoked an intractable problem in Ireland. Any definitive, fudge free solution risks peace. 

Post edited at 19:04
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Stichtplate on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Edited to add...Strictplates contributions to this thread have been far more interesting than almost anyone elses IMO mainly because he doesn't just swallow the narrative of "Brexit will be the end of everything". He has the ability to look at the issues  objectively, play devils advocate... even though he has to repeatedly admit he voted remain just to keep a lid on the abuse and to be taken half seriously. 

Aww...I'm blushing. Full disclosure though; even people who know me refuse to take me half seriously.

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birdie num num - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Too right! I was only five and a half when the Cybermen appeared.

If Rees Mogg terrifies you.....dive behind the settee and tremble.

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Gordon Stainforth - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

No, I won't dive anywhere. I'm fighting against this very dangerous nonsense in any way I can.

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RomTheBear on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to BnB:

> Rom, if you want a discussion, don't open with an insult. I don't think you're any better placed than the thousands of professional media commentators and economists (or UKC posters) who claim no certainty as to the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

Actually, the vast majority of trade experts agree with me. People who actually have negotiated trade deals. I'm reading them daily.

> So show some humility in the first place, politeness second and finally don't assume that any of my posts on Brexit reflect my personal affiliation.

I was perfectly polite. Stop getting offended every time someone points out the flaws in your argument. As for humility, I am being humble, I'm listening to experts those with a track record of getting it right, instead of making things up.

> I am analysing

That's not analysing, that's making things up.

> not cheerleading. And I sense that the majority of thoughtful contributors here have recognised that. I'm disappointed that you want to make this personal instead of addressing a range of possibilities that different voices have raised. Your arguments carry no weight with those whom you seek to dismiss.

It's not personal, BnB.  And I don't really care whether you actually support what you are saying, I am just pointing out the flaws.
Your emotional reaction to its critique, though, certainly does not give the impression that you were detached from the argument !

> For what it's worth, I think there is too much confusion over the Withdrawal vs Trade Agreement and the latter is not contingent on the agreement of the former. I

That's just plain wrong. A trade agreement, in the short to medium term, will be contingent on the UK sorting out its exit. Including, amongst many other things, monies owed to the EU, and the Irish Border.
Even without even taking this into consideration, if the UK doesn't even have the political capacity to negotiate a WA, how could it even negotiate trade, which is ten times more difficult.

> In the event of no Withdrawal deal, not just the UK but the member states (not just the EU), will be under considerably more pressure, from business and from voters, to accelerate a new trading relationship. Alternatively, the sudden need to erect a hard border in Ireland might very rapidly bring about a revised WA with a time-limited backstop.

Again, more la-la-land. Please LISTEN to trade experts. Trade negotiations need time, trust, and political goodwill. If there is no negotiated exit, there will be none of that, for a long time.

And re the NI/Roi Border, the obvious solution that will creep up immediately is an United Ireland.

> That is, after all, the game of blink being played today.

You're late. Game of Blink has been over for a while. Every party involved is now not geared toward a solution, but towards avoiding being blamed from the fallout. Negotiations are now over, the ball is with the UK parliament to just vote the deal in, or go for no deal.

Post edited at 19:44
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RomTheBear on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> This is why the EU keeps batting the ball back to the UK. Brexit has provoked an intractable problem in Ireland. Any definitive, fudge free solution risks peace. 

The EU and UK government came up with a fantastic fudge, carved around UK redlines, called the backstop.
One could say that this backstop was actually a strategic win for the UK.

But yet, they can't even get that through parliament.

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HansStuttgart - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> When you put it like that Hans, it all seems so straight forward. Shame it isn't. You'll note that unlike you, Tusk doesn't specify a hard border in the Irish Sea (and the EU has said it won't insist on a hard border at all...you keep ignoring that bit). This is because the EU 'will not gamble with peace'.

Hi, thanks for a serious answer.

I'll try to explain in more detail the way I think the EU sees this.

First of all, I think it highly likely that a deal will pass that includes the current version of the backstop. The EU27 want it. May and at least 200 CON MPs have already voted in favour of this deal. Corbyn has said this week that LAB wants to tweak the political declaration, but accepts the current version of the withdrawal agreement as necessary. There is no majority for no deal and no interest in a second referendum or revoke in the house of commons (the latter is a shame for the remainers, but both LAB and CON are voted in on a brexit execution manifesto...). The EU will be willing to fudge the PD such that enough CON and LAB MPs can live with it and that will be it. As said, this is my expectation. a very ugly, but necessary compromise.

If this fails, another likely possibility is no deal (the only other I see is panic revocation of a50 at the end of March). In this case, I expect the EU to have a short term plan and a long term plan. In the short term the statement that the EU won't insist on a hard border in NI will apply. During this phase the EU will accept a hole in their border control in NI while keeping all other borders to the UK tight. The goal of this phase is that the ensuring disruption (both in the UK and in the EU, but the UK suffers more) will force the UK back to the table where the UK will sign the withdrawal agreement. And the backstop applies from then onwards. In the situation where the UK refuses to sign, the long term plan kicks in. Here the EU has to choose between its red lines of protecting the integrity of the single market and avoiding border infrastructure in NI. I expect that protecting the integrity of the single market will win this.

To put some numbers on it:

70% the deal will be accepted with some tweaking of the PD (maybe after some short extension).

19% no deal where the UK will finally sign the WA

1% no deal where the EU is forced to put up a border in NI.

10% panic revocation.

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RomTheBear on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> I actually expect the EU to impose economic sanctions on the UK (after a couple of months of fudging the border).

Correct

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RomTheBear on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> To put some numbers on it:

> 70% the deal will be accepted with some tweaking of the PD (maybe after some short extension).

> 19% no deal where the UK will finally sign the WA

> 1% no deal where the EU is forced to put up a border in NI.

> 10% panic revocation.

Not bad, my own very unscientific probability tracker would go as follows:

- 30% chance no deal
- 30% chance T May WA
- 20% chance May+Corbyn CU
- The remainder split between unlikely outcomes such as revocation, second ref, EEA etc etc.

Basically cannot predict but given the high chance of no-deal, everybody should now be planning actively for that outcome.

Post edited at 19:42
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RomTheBear on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> No, I won't dive anywhere. I'm fighting against this very dangerous nonsense in any way I can.

That's indeed what we should all do. Thank you.

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john arran - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

All of which is pretty reasonable as opinion, but doesn't answer my question, which was "

"Whatever gives you any reason to believe that [renegotiation of the WA] could be [possible], to any substantive extent?"

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john arran - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Dr Who was really scary when I was little, and diving behind the sofa would have been a reasonable plan. There are, however, two important differences between Dr Who and Brexit:

1) Dr Who was a fictional TV programme

2) There was a hero - the Doctor - that could be relied upon to save the day at the eleventh hour

I think it must be getting well past 11 now, there's still a monster at large, and hiding behind the sofa no longer looks to be a reasonable option.

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birdie num num - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

There is absolutely no difference between Dr Who and Brexit.

Jeremy Corbyn has been diving behind his settee for the last couple of years, and popping his head up every so often when folk have been puzzling about where he is.....

Just like me when I was five and a half. Normally I like to look brave. When folk are watching

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d_b on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

Are you sure he knows what a television is?

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birdie num num - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to d_b:

If Jeremy ever becomes 'PM'...It will be a telescreen

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d_b on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

You haven't been paying attention.  Modern TVs already are.

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to john Arran

> All of which is pretty reasonable as opinion, but doesn't answer my question, which was "

> "Whatever gives you any reason to believe that [renegotiation of the WA] could be [possible], to any substantive extent?"

The fact that the engine of Europe , Germany is about to enter a recession, one that has been building for months, and that being the 800lb gorilla of The EU , they *might* try and persuade the top brass to reopen the WA negotiations and show some pragmatism , And the top brass may listen because Germany is the 800lb gorilla and the engine of The EU. 

That was the reason. 

But you may well be right and the project is far more important than any individual countries concerns. And Germany might not be remotely concerned. But it’s likely they are. Anyway, not long to wait now to find out how it’s going to pan out. 

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john arran - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

There's one small (but critical) detail that makes such a wishful thinking scenario of Germany-led renegotiation somewhat less than likely. This, from Germany's Foreign Minister, only last month:

Heiko Maas told reporters at the European Parliament: 'The agreement stands, as it is. I doubt very much that the agreement can be fundamentally reopened. If there were a better solution, it would already have been put forward.' "

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-theresa-may-vote-deal-eu-negotiations-germany-maas-theresa-may-commons-a8728521.html

There's a recurrent theme to much of the Brexiter argument, which is that there surely must be a better solution that gives them everything they want without major drawbacks, even though nobody has a clue what such a solution could look like, and it's only a matter of time before somebody discovers it. I can understand the attraction of 'shooting for the moon' but if you don't yet have a rocket and your launch pad is on the top of a cliff, there's something to be said for reconsidering your space programme.

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to john arran:

Yes, but last month things didn’t look as bad  for Germany. 

Anyway, this new layout, if someone puts in a link to a website does the number in a blue circle at the end show how many people have clicked on it to have a look?

it seems that’s the case. Interestingly in my original post on this subject I included a link to an Economist leader from yesterday on the massive problem of Germany going into recession, and as of midnight when I went to bed it only had a 1 at the end of the link. Ergo  nobody was interested in reading it (fair enough I can take the rejection 😀) 

yet plenty argued the point  , I found that quite enlightening and supports the entrenched view of posters IMO as other links provided supporting remainer causes have much higher views .

(if that is not what the number means then ignore this last point)

BTW, there is a famous quote that gets attributed to various famous economists and is used quite regularly. “When the facts change (Germany is going into recession) I change my mind ( maybe we should consider re opening withdrawal agreement?)” 

yes you are right that everyone in EU is on point any towing company line. And you are also right that it could be described as wishful thinking. Because it’s only a possibility, and how slim is only guessed. I certainly wouldn’t be putting much money on it.

Post edited at 07:05
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john arran - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

I think that is what it means. And I presume that 1 was me

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BnB - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

What you say about the state of the EU's major economies is of course relevant. Daimler has issued three profit warnings in the past six months, BMW and VW too, German industrial production has slumped dramatically and Trump is on the verge of renewing his threat to introduce tariffs on all European autos. Meanwhile the protests in France have knocked the stuffing out of France's public finances by adding EUR11bn to the deficit, and Italy is in recession.

It's telling when you point out that next to no one has clicked a link that might have helped them to see the other side of the picture. Of course the EU27 will stay united while there is a chance that their solidarity will bring the UK to heel. But if that fails, and we are on the point of crashing out, how long will that unity persist? Not until the 29th March, I'd hazard a guess.

That isn't to advocate no deal, which would cause greater damage on this side of the channel. But I'm pretty sure that the leaders of all the individual EU states are clear-sighted enough to see beyond 29th March. One persistent theme of these discussions on UKC is to interpret the opposing sides of the negotiation differently. Everything the UK government says is to be viewed with suspicion, everything the EU says must be taken at face value. Anyone with greater distance can see that is a fallacy.

I don't have Rom's direct access to the world's top trade negotiators, so I have to rely on my advisers. Goldman Sachs most recently rated the odds of no deal at only 10%, no Brexit at 40%, and a WA at 50%. This was in the run-up to last week's Westminster vote, since when I feel that the odds of no Brexit have substantially weakened. Meanwhile and for some time, JP Morgan has insisted that a WA compromise will go through, paying almost no regard for other possibilities. Since the voting of last week I hold to the same view. Parliament indicated two key convictions. It will reluctantly see Brexit through but it stands ready to disrupt no deal. Crucial to this outcome is the freedom that several commentators interpret that Corbyn is signalling to his MPs to support the WA when it is presented a second time.

Post edited at 08:10
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Bob Kemp - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Economist links are usually paywalled so I often don’t click on them. Ditto the Times. 

Post edited at 09:26
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jimtitt - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Not everybody even needs or wants to read Economist leaders, we get reliable, factual information on the German economy from other sources instead of opinion pieces.

That Brexit (in whatever form) will have a negative effect on the EU and UK economies is highly likely if not a certainty, that the EU renegotiating in some form would change this is debateable, none of the previous downturns in the German and EU economies were caused by Brexit so to say it has caused this one is pure speculation. No-one (including the British government) seems to know what the terms of reference would be for any potential change in the exit agreement already agreed so the idea that renegotiation is some kind of golden bullet seems like clutching at straws rather than anything based on reality.

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BnB - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to jimtitt:

> Not everybody even needs or wants to read Economist leaders, we get reliable, factual information on the German economy from other sources instead of opinion pieces.

Then you will already understand how fragile the German economy is, buffeted between the rock of Trump's tariff threats and the hard place of a dramatic slowdown in Chinese consumption of German technology.

> That Brexit (in whatever form) will have a negative effect on the EU and UK economies is highly likely if not a certainty, that the EU renegotiating in some form would change this is debateable, none of the previous downturns in the German and EU economies were caused by Brexit so to say it has caused this one is pure speculation.

No one is saying that Brexit has delivered the current slump in German industrial output (see Trump, China). Bjatur's point is that Brexit comes at a time when the German economy is unusually ill-equipped to cope with another economic shock. The same goes for France and Italy, which, together with Germany, constitute the three largest economies of the Eurozone.

As I stated above, that is not to advocate no deal, but to recognise that its potential will be weighing on the minds of European leaders, not just the EU's executive.

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Ian W - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

This one isnt;

Its "correct", but a few too many ifs and buts in it (but this is economic forecasting and policy after all....). I would agree withit that protectionism is not the way forward, Germans tend to be very inward looking anyway, and it would be very difficult to sell many more german cars to germans (for example); they generally think it strange to buy a Nissan when a VW is available.........

One thing i found odd about germany, probably a symptom of their insular hature in these matters is their insistence on maintaining production plants in what appear to be the weirdest places; a friend out there eventually lost his job when the foundry he managed was basically forced to move. It was in bavaria, and their main product was wind turbine bearings (the big housings that attach the "propeelers" to the tower. These things weighed between 70 and 110 tonnes, and were not the easiest thing to move to thwir destination (offshore, mostly.....). But because that is ehere the foundry skills were, thats where the plant went.

What did strike me as worrying from the article is the speed with which this possible recession has come into being a serious possibility. Its only the last 6 months / 9 months figures that show any sign of being more than a blip.....heres hoping they dont react in too much of a panic mode.

And I'd agree with BnB that the WA is now more likely to go through, pretty much as it is - with labours support. Interesting to see what happens to the Tory rebels from the first vote.

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wercat on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

He is a new Lord Haw Haw.   My parents and grandparents told me about Joyce's broadcasts but till now I've only been able to imagine what it was like to hear real lies constantly being broadcast for reception in the UK.

I class him as being as well minded and disposed to my interests as Chemical Ali

Post edited at 10:35
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wercat on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I'm with Num Num.  I never hid behind the settee but I found the early stories very menacing and chilling hard drama.   The ideas behind the original daleks and Mondas cybermen were horrifying, races fighting thousand year wars and opting even to change themselves from human in a bid for all out victory, a race having to adapt to the coldness as their planet moves further from the earth by replacing parts and then most of their bodies with synthetic and cybernetic parts were pretty horrifying prospects in the early 60s when the white heat of technoloy made almost anything, even moon landings, look possible.

And the stories being reasonable length serials could develop with menace.  The horrors didn't generally appear in the first episodes,  just the effects of their presence.

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Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to wercat:

> He is a new Lord Haw Haw.   My parents and grandparents told me about Joyce's broadcasts but till now I've only been able to imagine what it was like to hear real lies constantly being broadcast for reception in the UK.

That's a brilliant analogy. 

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summo on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

The start of the decline does correlate with the end of nearly 3 trillion euros of QE.  Perhaps there wasn't any really post recession consolidating and recovery, they were just spending money they didn't have. Many other euro nations have made very little dent in their debt to GDP ratio, etc.. there is real pain yet to come.  

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to BnB:

I agree with everything you have said there. I too am in a fortunate position to have access to extensive research on all sorts of markets. Not all of it that interesting as you can imagine, but it is impartial which is key. 

I find the Eu economy pretty fascinating , particularly since 2008. How the strength of the euro has hugely benefitted some parts and not others and the power play between them. Since 2008 the US made huge changes in recapitalising their banks but the EU hasn’t. How the EU and the ECB plaster over the obvious flaws of the single currency but member countries regularly breach their fiscal compacts. It’s a car crash happening in slow motion for me , 

BUT open kimono time. I have predicted 35 of the last one recessions and have lost plenty of money betting against the euro 😀. Whenever I read the broken clock is right twice a day analogy I have a brief uncomfortable personal moment of introspection..then shake myself out of it and move quickly on lol. 

The economic landscape that is enveloping will be a factor in the decision making on all sides, of that I am sure. 

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elsewhere on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to BnB:

> Then you will already understand how fragile the German economy

Germany may have a recession which isn't the first and won't be the last and Germany is extraordinarily well placed for a recession due to budget surpluses of €34 Billion in 2017 and €48 Billion in the first six months of 2018.

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summo on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> Germany may have a recession which isn't the first and won't be the last and Germany is extraordinarily well placed for a recession due to budget surpluses of €34 Billion in 2017 and €48 Billion in the first six months of 2018.

That's probably what ever they made in profit from Greek debt!!! 

Plus with a GDP of 3-4 trillion, a 34billion surplus is but a rounding error and can disappear as quickly as it arrives. Not to mention their national debt currently sitting just under 2 trillion, they shouldn't be resting on their laurels rejoicing. Their saving grace is the debt to GDP ratio(at the moment). 

Post edited at 12:18
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elsewhere on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> That's probably what ever they made in profit from Greek debt!!! 

> Plus with a GDP of 3-4 trillion, a 34billion surplus is but a rounding error and can disappear as quickly as it arrives. Not to mention their national debt currently sitting just under 2 trillion, they shouldn't be resting on their laurels rejoicing. Their saving grace is the debt to GDP ratio(at the moment). 

True, a low debt ratio gives them even greater leeway to respond to a recession then the budget surplus alone.

Post edited at 12:33
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jimtitt - on 09 Feb 2019

> One thing i found odd about germany, probably a symptom of their insular hature in these matters is their insistence on maintaining production plants in what appear to be the weirdest places; a friend out there eventually lost his job when the foundry he managed was basically forced to move. It was in bavaria, and their main product was wind turbine bearings (the big housings that attach the "propeelers" to the tower. These things weighed between 70 and 110 tonnes, and were not the easiest thing to move to thwir destination (offshore, mostly.....). But because that is ehere the foundry skills were, thats where the plant went.

Schaeffler would have shut the works in Eltmann years ago but the unions didn't like it! The actual bearings were made in Schweinfurt and both works are directly on the main railway line and the Main so heavy transport is no problem. That FAG were founded in Schweinfurt is probably why there is a large works there!

They moved wind turbine bearing production to Slovenia or somewhere like that.

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RomTheBear on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> I agree with everything you have said there. I too am in a fortunate position to have access to extensive research on all sorts of markets. Not all of it that interesting as you can imagine, but it is impartial which is key. 

> I find the Eu economy pretty fascinating , particularly since 2008. How the strength of the euro has hugely benefitted some parts and not others and the power play between them. Since 2008 the US made huge changes in recapitalising their banks but the EU hasn’t. How the EU and the ECB plaster over the obvious flaws of the single currency but member countries regularly breach their fiscal compacts. It’s a car crash happening in slow motion for me , 

That’s true, unfortunately you may not have seen the even bigger potential car crash that is the US and UK economy.

As far as I can tell the level of risk that has accumulated is higher now than it was in 2007/2008, and this is NOT specific to the Eurozone.

Trick question: What type of crisis was the GFC ?

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Ian W - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to jimtitt:

I think we're on about different companies; this one was in Konigsbronn, Heidenheim, not Eltmann. I think its now SHW, but can check with said ex-employee...........

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

G = Global. In 2008 and 2009 there US banks were in real trouble. But they got huge support from the FED and have recapitalised themselves very well. European banks did not get the same support and were thought to be less effected. This was a miscalculation. 

I 100% agree that a new recession will have a big impact on other countries as well. But the nature of the Eurozone structure doesn’t lend itself well to handling another economic  shock especially when the ECB doesn’t have many bullets left and what they do have , have less and less effect ( same problem for other central banks) And each Eurozone country is tied together but with disparate issues which will need addressing at the behest of the others. So for example, if Italy and its banks really comes unstuck , how will the EU react the problem? How will Italy’s leaders react to the EU? I have no idea but it’s not hard to imagine how fractious it could quickly become. Here is obviously lots of scenarios that could play out. And without doubt the EU has managed to keep it together up until now , but I do think there are cracks appearing now. These things can bubble along for quite a while before something (Lehman’s Nick Leeson) suddenly explode out of nowhere. 

Anyway. , I am speculating and this has all come about from the background of Tusks hell comment 😀 ( just had to remind myself) Which is why I have focussed on the EU predicament rather than UK or US. 

Edit- typed on phone so apologies if it doesn’t read that well with auto correct and grammar issues 

Post edited at 19:28
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BnB - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

As you point out with your example of Italian banks, all financial crises start when debtor A cannot pay creditor B. Currently, and particularly with interest rates having risen rapidly stateside, there is mounting concern about the expansion of leveraged loans made to companies with poor credit history. These loans involve a laddered coupon (loan interest) that rises at a premium to central bank interest rates. The loans therefore get more expensive to service as inflation and interest rates build instead of becoming cheaper as inflation erodes their cost.

You are right however to draw a distinction between the expanding and flourishing US economy and the shrinking Eurozone. This matters because leveraged loans only become a problem (in theory) when profits start to fall and most of them are stateside. The recent halting of interest rate expansion in the US is helpful but it does not mean the problem is going away any time soon.

Apologies to any credit experts for the over-simplification in this post.

Post edited at 20:07
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jimtitt - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> I think we're on about different companies; this one was in Konigsbronn, Heidenheim, not Eltmann. I think its now SHW, but can check with said ex-employee...........


That'd be SHW CT or whatever they are now, cast huge engine blocks and stuff. Split up after bankrupcy somehow

You're right they are in the middle of nowhere, Baden-Wuttenburg though!

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RomTheBear on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> G = Global. In 2008 and 2009 there US banks were in real trouble. But they got huge support from the FED and have recapitalised themselves very well. European banks did not get the same support and were thought to be less effected. This was a miscalculation. 

Global, yes, due to the interconnected nature of the financial system.

But before all it was a DEBT crisis. Now the debt has been transferred from the banks to the taxpayers, but the problem hasn’t been fixed.

Now, tell me, is there less debt now than in 2008 ? And where is there less or more ?

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jkarran - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Economist links are usually paywalled so I often don’t click on them. Ditto the Times. 

Open them incognito or sign up for partial free access.

Jk

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Bob Kemp - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to jkarran:

I've found you can sometimes open them by searching for them in Google, then clicking on the link there. But my point was that there's a disincentive to click on them, which might explain the low number of clicks for the link in question. It doesn't take much to put us off in this fast-moving internet world!

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Certainly more debt around now. I would hazard a guess that the main problem is China and their shadow banking system. It is always fun to look at the numbers on the US debt clock as well http://www.theusdebtclock.com 

I agree tax payers take the burden, as they always do as the last source of real money. But, I would suggest that where there is more or less debt is irrelevant to the point we are discussing here though. Reason being that as you pointed out above, the financial system is so interconnected and so complex with derivatives and rehypothecation that when there is an earthquake ,in China for example, the ripples will be felt globally and the weakest chain link will break (Italian banks?), and then there could be a chain reaction which will be bad for everyone. 

However, China/USA/UK/Latin America/Australia/ME/Asia will all suffer, some worse than others, but not have to deal with a political union with neighbouring countries that share the same currency, but do not share fiscal debt . So there is that added layer of complexity and diplomatic risk that I believe makes the EU, as a political state of nations, very vulnerable to the next downturn (as in the harmony of the Union is vulnerable...not just the economies).

I don't think this is a controversial idea, and is the focus of the point I am arguing here. From your posting history it's clear to me you have a good handle on the inner workings of the EU  (and a better understanding than I do) so I would be interested in your thoughts on how you see the EU handling and coping with a very deep, protracted global recession?  

Post edited at 08:27
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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Certainly more debt around now. I would hazard a guess that the main problem is China and their shadow banking system. It is always fun to look at the numbers on the US debt clock as well http://www.theusdebtclock.com 

> I agree tax payers take the burden, as they always do as the last source of real money. But, I would suggest that where there is more or less debt is irrelevant to the point we are discussing here though. Reason being that as you pointed out above, the financial system is so interconnected and so complex with derivatives and rehypothecation that when there is an earthquake ,in China for example, the ripples will be felt globally and the weakest chain link will break (Italian banks?), and then there could be a chain reaction which will be bad for everyone. 

> However, China/USA/UK/Latin America/Australia/ME/Asia will all suffer, some worse than others, but not have to deal with a political union with neighbouring countries that share the same currency, but do not share fiscal debt . So there is that added layer of complexity and diplomatic risk that I believe makes the EU, as a political state of nations, very vulnerable to the next downturn (as in the harmony of the Union is vulnerable...not just the economies).

> I don't think this is a controversial idea, and is the focus of the point I am arguing here. From your posting history it's clear to me you have a good handle on the inner workings of the EU  (and a better understanding than I do) so I would be interested in your thoughts on how you see the EU handling and coping with a very deep, protracted global recession?  

I think that the E.U. will survive better a protracted recession, simply because it is not too centralised. There is a wide variation and large number of policies, sectors, politics, etc etcThis is kind of fractal organisation that makes it so resistant to shocks.

As for the euro issue, I don’t think it actually matters as much as people think. It’s easy to point the finger at it but it’s really far from obvious that you’d be in a better situation without. As far as I can tell it could be a lot worse.

Certainly not having the Euro hasn’t prevented the UK from suffering a worst recession that most eurozone countries in the last one.

If you look at the last crisis, some countries really suffered, but most fared pretty well,  it didn’t take down the whole, and those countries that have suffered the most, for the most part, have learned from mistakes - and to an extent are the ones now doing well, see growth in Spain for ex.

Put simply a policy mistake in one or two E.U. countries, doesn’t necessarily take down the whole E.U, on the contrary, it shows to the rest what doesn’t work, and makes it stronger. it’s a system that learns from error.

This is even truer now that the Franco-German motor is not as important as before to the E.U. economy.

But in the UK, a policy error in Westminster, for example a no-deal or hard brexit, will take down the whole country. 

In a nutshell, what you think is the EU’s weakness (political and economic union without risk/debt sharing), is what I think is actually its strength.

Post edited at 10:31
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summo on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> If you look at the last crisis, some countries really suffered, but most fared pretty well,  it didn’t take down the whole, and those countries that have suffered the most, for the most part, have learned from mistakes - and to an extent are the ones now doing well, see growth in Spain for ex.

What is youth unemployment in the med nations at present? How many left for work elsewhere over the past 10 years? They've improved, but they had sunk so low, there was only one direction to go. 

> Put simply a policy mistake in one or two E.U. countries, doesn’t necessarily take down the whole E.U, on the contrary, it shows to the rest what doesn’t work, and makes it stronger. it’s a system that learns from error.

Simply put. The countries that didn't make a policy mistake have to fund the countries that do, otherwise the currency goes down? You really think greeces debt agreement lasting until 2060 will work? 

> This is even truer now that the Franco-German motor is not as important as before to the E.U. economy.

Without Germany, greece would be out of the euro now and we aren't talking football.

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

“In a nutshell, what you think is the EU’s weakness (political and economic union without risk/debt sharing), is what I think is actually its strength.”

that is an interesting point and certainly is not without merit. One way or another it is likely the next 18 months might test the theories out. I am going to ponder on this rather than try and pick holes in it straight away. (I have to browse new kitchens most of the day as it happens 😟) I will come back to it later. Cheers

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

Summo, I will stop replying to you because

1) you never learn anything and have been repeating the same tropes for years now despite being proven wrong 100 times

2) I’m not learning anything from you

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to BnB:

> What you say about the state of the EU's major economies is of course relevant. Daimler has issued three profit warnings in the past six months, BMW and VW too, German industrial production has slumped dramatically and Trump is on the verge of renewing his threat to introduce tariffs on all European autos. Meanwhile the protests in France have knocked the stuffing out of France's public finances by adding EUR11bn to the deficit, and Italy is in recession.

> It's telling when you point out that next to no one has clicked a link that might have helped them to see the other side of the picture. Of course the EU27 will stay united while there is a chance that their solidarity will bring the UK to heel. But if that fails, and we are on the point of crashing out, how long will that unity persist? Not until the 29th March, I'd hazard a guess.

> That isn't to advocate no deal, which would cause greater damage on this side of the channel. But I'm pretty sure that the leaders of all the individual EU states are clear-sighted enough to see beyond 29th March. One persistent theme of these discussions on UKC is to interpret the opposing sides of the negotiation differently. Everything the UK government says is to be viewed with suspicion, everything the EU says must be taken at face value. Anyone with greater distance can see that is a fallacy.

> I don't have Rom's direct access to the world's top trade negotiators, so I have to rely on my advisers. Goldman Sachs most recently rated the odds of no deal at only 10%, no Brexit at 40%, and a WA at 50%. This was in the run-up to last week's Westminster vote, since when I feel that the odds of no Brexit have substantially weakened. Meanwhile and for some time, JP Morgan has insisted that a WA compromise will go through, paying almost no regard for other possibilities. Since the voting of last week I hold to the same view. Parliament indicated two key convictions. It will reluctantly see Brexit through but it stands ready to disrupt no deal. Crucial to this outcome is the freedom that several commentators interpret that Corbyn is signalling to his MPs to support the WA when it is presented a second time.

The complacency boggles the mind.

Those analysing Brexit from outside can clearly see that we have passed any reasonable point and need new direction. Yet in Parliament we see that tribal loyalties are considered more important than country.

This is how states fail.

Not there yet, but it’s quite amazing to see how many of the British commentators are not able to actually realise that they are inches away from disaster, and by disaster, I don’t mean economic disaster. There is a real danger that this country loses what’s left of its democracy.

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jimtitt - on 10 Feb 2019

There is a real danger that this country loses what’s left of its democracy.

While you are on the subject what does the old lady in her palace think about all of this? Will the new passports make us her subjects again?

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BnB - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus and Rom:

I don't personally see the Eurozone as substantially more vulnerable to the ongoing global slowdown than the other two major trading entities. Although I think that is more a measure of how psychologically the population of Europe is better prepared for the next downturn. Europe is flirting with recession and its financial sector is under-capitalised and crippled with bad southern European loans. But China's economic policy is trapped between a slowing economy and the need for financial discipline wrought by its vast shadow banking overhang; meanwhile the USA has built a mountain of junk debt and leveraged loans that will create pain when the economy stops growing.

However, it is possible to single out at least three factors that are unique to Europe and will likely act as a drag on economic well-being. The first concerns the well-understood drawbacks of a single currency operating across multiple economies without a coordinated fiscal and monetary policy. The second is that the ECB, in contrast to the Fed with 8 interest rate hikes delivered, has yet to tighten monetary policy leaving it without the traditional tools (interest rate cuts) to confront a recession. Germany can use its surplus balance sheet to soften hardship. Italy, France and Spain cannot. Finally, and this is the point that Brexiters would seize upon, no one can offer a convincing answer to the question: "Where is the growth coming from?" China is "in crisis" because GDP growth is "only" 6.4%. Meanwhile, the stock market is not the economy, and with this reservation in mind, a quick glance at the S&P500 underlines the concerns besetting the US economy in 2018. However, looking back 10 years it also reveals an astonishing run of corporate earnings growth, at twice the European rate. This mirrors US GDP 2019 increases running at twice that of the Eurozone today.

Also don't ignore demographics. The US is as vulnerable as Europe in this respect. Ageing working populations are becoming a substantial drag on economies. Surging India (now growing GDP at 7%) stands to be the biggest beneficiary of this trend.

Europe will muddle through. But it will likely also fall further behind Asian and US economies, the former because of its structural advantages, the latter on account of its entrenched hegemony.

Post edited at 14:20
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summo on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Summo, I will stop replying to you because

> 1) you never learn anything and have been repeating the same tropes for years now despite being proven wrong 100 times

> 2) I’m not learning anything from you

By that I read you aren't willing to admit that southern Europe is bring carried by northern Europe. None of the problems have been fixed in the last 10 years, just tinkering at the edges. National debt is high, personal debt is high, interest rates are low already, most national deficits haven't significantly improved, unemployment is only marginally better in some countries, growth and productivity slowing... you can as you say ignore me, but to me the visible data that even a mild recession could snowball is all around. There is nothing to celebrate. And that's before you consider trumps trade war and the chance he could at the moment win a second term. 

Post edited at 14:26
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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> By that I read you aren't willing to admit that southern Europe is bring carried by northern Europe.

No, summo, it’s just that your whataboutery is boring. You keep repeating the woes Southern Europe every single time.

As I’ve said, we don’t learn anything from you, you just repeat the same familiar tropes.

Post edited at 14:32
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summo on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> No, summo, it’s just that your whataboutery is boring.

No. It was you who claimed southern Europe, Spain was recovering or recovered. I just asked for some evidence? I imagine there will be many under 25 year olds there who aren't feeling the recovery you speak of? 

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Stichtplate on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> No, summo, it’s just that your whataboutery is boring. You keep repeating the woes Southern Europe every single time.

> As I’ve said, we don’t learn anything from you, you just repeat the same familiar tropes.

And anything that doesn’t fit in with whatever story you find yourself peddling just gets ignored, thread after thread. 

So, among your particular possible predictions for the UK Post Brexit, you’ve given us empty supermarkets, British soldiers manning customs posts, the end of British democracy and the UK joining the likes of Yemen and Somalia as a failed state.

I’ve got a 13 year old daughter who’s infinitely less prone to hysterical reactions.

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> No. It was you who claimed southern Europe, Spain was recovering or recovered. I just asked for some evidence? I imagine there will be many under 25 year olds there who aren't feeling the recovery you speak of? 

Spain has been growing at about twice the speed of the UK. But that’s hardly the point.

You seem to have been completely missing my point, as usual (you never learn). I was simply explaining that the decentralised and varied nature of Europe economy is what in fact makes it resilient.

Yes, some parts from time to time do badly, some do better, but as a whole, it doesn’t completely fail, in fact it improves.

Heavily centralised states, such as for example, the UK, or China are a lot more vulnerable. One policy mistake can be the end of them.

In Europe it’s different, there is a lot more variation, and therefore a lot more optionnality. Put simply it’s a lot more difficult for 27 countries with different policies to all get it wrong at once than one country with one policy.

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> And anything that doesn’t fit in with whatever story you find yourself peddling just gets ignored, thread after thread. 

It fits the story perfectly. It just is that you didn’t get it. Or did not try.

At least Barjtur did.

> So, among your particular possible predictions for the UK Post Brexit, you’ve given us empty supermarkets, British soldiers manning customs posts, the end of British democracy and the UK joining the likes of Yemen and Somalia as a failed state.

You think it cannot happen because you are just naive and complacent. But history is full of such examples. In fact it is dominated by such events.

And yes, I think there is a very distinct possibility of no deal, which would lead to all sorts of disruptions and shortage, that the army would be needed, and more importantly parliament would be forced to hand most of the legislative power to the executive in order to deal with the crisis. Combine that with the usual betrayal narrative, and that could be the end of parliamentary democracy.

those who dismiss it simply because it hasn’t happen before need to clean the shit out of their eyes.

As for Brexit predictions, so far I’ve done a lot better than those who were predicting with absolute certainty half in half out, Norway plus, EU caving in on UK demands, or no Brexit or second referendum.

If you had listened to summo the Germans should now be begging us for a trade deal to sell their cars, the eurizone would be dead, and if you had listened to BnB we should be currently easing our way into a Norway plus type relationship after some jolly business negotiation.

You may not like my style. And that’s fine, but look at who has been systematically proven wrong by the events. This is what matters.

Post edited at 15:23
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summo on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Spain has been growing at about twice the speed of the UK. But that’s hardly the point.

Twice the speed of slow, is still slow?  

> You seem to have been completely missing my point, as usual (you never learn). I was simply explaining that the decentralised and varied nature of Europe economy is what in fact makes it resilient.

No you said southern Europe, Spain in particular was recovering well? Now QE has ended we will see what fuelled the growth and if it is sustained, or if forecast have to been reduced. 

> Yes, some parts from time to time do badly,

Some parts, all of southern Europe? 

> Heavily centralised states, such as for example, the UK, or China are a lot more vulnerable. One policy mistake can be the end of them.

The eu is vulnerable, because many fudged their figures to enter the euro and are flexible to this day in their administration, other saw their currency devalued etc.. the euro isn't a level playing field. 

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> The eu is vulnerable, because many fudged their figures to enter the euro and are flexible to this day in their administration, other saw their currency devalued etc.. the euro isn't a level playing field. 

You still completely missed the point even though it’s been explained to you twice. Now you revert to your usual tropes.

as I’ve said, you learn nothing, and we learn nothing new from you.

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summo on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> You still completely missed the point even though it’s been explained to you twice. Now you revert to your usual tropes.

> as I’ve said, you learn nothing, and we learn nothing new from you.

I asked you to back up a claim you made, twice, you either can't or won't. So at least I've learnt something about your claim.

Ps. Major editing and expanding of your posts even after people have replied to them, isn't entirely helpful or even genuine. As folk may have given a different response.  

Post edited at 15:27
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Stichtplate on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> You think it cannot happen because you are just naive and complacent. But history is full of such examples. In fact it is dominated by such events.

> those who dismiss it simply because it hasn’t happen before need to clean the shit out of their eyes.

Anything is possible Rom, but it doesn't make it probable. I know you consider yourself an expert in many things continually thwarted in your desire to teach the World but I'm afraid a major stumbling block is that your predictions are so often in conflict, not only with common sense, but also the real experts. 

Your claim that the Uk is in danger of becoming a failed state...

The UN's 2018 fragile state index puts 15 EU countries as more at risk than the UK, of more pressing concern to you perhaps, Cyprus is in a more fragile condition by a full 38 places.

> As for Brexit predictions, so far I’ve done a lot better than those who were predicting with absolute certainty half in half out, Norway plus, EU caving in on UK demands, or no Brexit or second referendum.

Bull Rom, other people getting stuff wrong is not the same as you getting stuff right. Can you evidence the last prediction you got right? Your last solid prediction was that the UK would absolutely have to tighten border controls after a No Deal, even if it necessitated bringing in the army. A week later HMRC announced they'd relax border controls in the event of No Deal, probably for at least a year. 

When this was pointed out, you still insisted that you were right!

> If you had listened to summo the Germans should now be begging us for a trade deal to sell their cars, the eurizone would be dead, and if you had listened to BnB we should be currently easing our way into a Norway plus type relationship after some jolly business negotiation.

Unlike yourself, I can't remember either of those posters insisting they were right. In keeping with most sane individuals, they both proffered possibilities they considered likely.

> You may not like my style. And that’s fine, but look at who has been systematically proven wrong by the events. This is what matters.

The events are still in play, the full extent of the Brexit disaster is unlikely to be revealed for at least a decade. You continually make claims of foresight and advanced knowledge that most genuine experts would shrink from, what's more your claims aren't backed by anything you've ever posted.

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BnB - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> If you had listened to summo the Germans should now be begging us for a trade deal to sell their cars, the eurizone would be dead, and if you had listened to BnB we should be currently easing our way into a Norway plus type relationship after some jolly business negotiation.

This an outcome I've never predicted* since it is perfectly obvious that free movement is TM's ultimate red line. I would like to see it happen however which is another complete misapprehension you've made about my views.

> You may not like my style. And that’s fine, but look at who has been systematically proven wrong by the events.

The events you refer to above haven't yet transpired. We aren't even at the stage of embarking on the definition of a trade agreement that would finally define the shape of our future relationship. How you can claim to be right in advance of the facts is nothing but desperate ego.

> This is what matters.

Actually no. What matters is treating your fellow conversationalists with respect and encouraging thoughtful debate with polite and well-informed observations. Despite your intelligence and erudition, In this regard you fall well short.

* happy to be proven wrong and please prove otherwise by searching past listings but I think you'll find in so doing that what some have called Canada + is the closest to what I have suggested (rather than hope) will transpire. The withdrawal agreement, if passed, as I now expect, would complicate this outcome owing to the distinction between goods and services so it'll be an ugly hybrid, a classic EU fudge, and no surprise there.

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BnB - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Heavily centralised states, such as for example, the UK, or China are a lot more vulnerable. One policy mistake can be the end of them.

> In Europe it’s different, there is a lot more variation, and therefore a lot more optionality. Put simply it’s a lot more difficult for 27 countries with different policies to all get it RIGHT at once than one country with one policy.

FTFY

I think you also ought to consider the unequal playing field. "When the US sneezes, the world catches a cold". You have this most starkly illustrated by the GFC, a crisis exported from the US to the rest of the world,. Do please identify in which of the 10 years following the collapse of Lehman, Europe has outperformed both of China and the US. Now invert the circumstances and question how badly China or the US was hit by the Euro Sovereign Debt crisis. No doubt a minor itch was felt here and there. But little more.

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neilh - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

There have been about 11 major economic crises in my life time. Ranging from devaluation in the 60’s, the oil crises,black Wednesday and so on.

Plenty  of horrendous major policy mistakes, I doubt it will be the end!

Wish somebody could tell me what my tariffs will be post 31 March. It would stop me getting nervous. 

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to neilh:

> There have been about 11 major economic crises in my life time. Ranging from devaluation in the 60’s, the oil crises,black Wednesday and so on.

> Plenty  of horrendous major policy mistakes, I doubt it will be the end!

I’ll add to that list WWI. Completely unpredicted. (WW2 was just volume 2)

What they all have in common is that almost everybody failed to predict them, but they were extremely important.

So what do you do when you can’t predict ? You make sure you hedge your bets, and you make sure you have optionality. So that whatever happens, you will survive.

So my advice would be, don’t try to predict what your tariff will be, it’s useless, instead set up your business so that whatever happens to tariffs, you will survive. 

What one shouldn’t do is just hope for the best naively, which seems to be the approach the likes of BnB or Stitchplate would like us to take, the problem is that they are always wrong.

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Ian W - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to BnB:

Indeed. The EU isn one economy, its 27 different economies, some of which operate the same currency, and will react to the same issues in slightly different ways.

Edi for slight slip - its 28 at the moment....

Post edited at 19:14
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summo on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> What one shouldn’t do is just hope for the best naively, which seems to be the approach the likes of BnB or Stitchplate would like us to take, the problem is that they are always wrong.

You hope for the best whilst planning for the worst. No one expects personal disasters, but hopefully most of us have some form of insurance etc. 

You're self employed or a business owner aren't you? You must be optimistic to some degree, even if you also plan counter measures. 

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Stichtplate on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I’ll add to that list WWI. Completely unpredicted. (WW2 was just volume 2)

> What they all have in common is that almost everybody failed to predict them, but they were extremely important.

Wrong again Rom. The major powers were all involved in arms races up until the outbreak of war. This wasn't because everybody was predicting peace.

> So what do you do when you can’t predict ? You make sure you hedge your bets, and you make sure you have optionality. So that whatever happens, you will survive.

Wow... for somebody so avowedly averse to risk you seem determined not to practice what you preach...

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/global-peace-index-2016-there-are-now-only-10-countries-in-the-world-that-are-not-at-war-a7069816.html

If you look at the map you'll notice that you've moved from one of the most peaceful regions in the world to an area that's been a global flashpoint for decades.

> What one shouldn’t do is just hope for the best naively, which seems to be the approach the likes of BnB or Stitchplate would like us to take, the problem is that they are always wrong.

My continual acknowledgement that Brexit is likely to be an economic disaster for the UK could hardly be framed as 'hoping for the best'.

Still waiting for evidence of all these correct predictions you've made Rom.

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Wrong again Rom. The major powers were all involved in arms races up until the outbreak of war. This wasn't because everybody was predicting peace.

Yes we are very good a finding reasons in hindsight. But the reality is that it was completely crazy and unpredictable. History is full of those.

> Wow... for somebody so avowedly averse to risk you seem determined not to practice what you preach...

You got it completely wrong. I am not averse to risk. On the contrary. I take very risky bets but none that can wipe me out. I compensate with optionality.

I have a residence in three different countries, and three passports. I believe I am more insulated to the risk of war than most, although you can never be sure !

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> You hope for the best whilst planning for the worst. No one expects personal disasters, but hopefully most of us have some form of insurance etc. 

No, you don’t hope for the best. You make the best happen.

> You're self employed or a business owner aren't you?

Both.

> You must be optimistic to some degree, even if you also plan counter measures. 

I am very optimistic. 

I believe deeply that if I work hard, tomorrow will be better.

It’s not so much about counter measures, because you can never predict what counter measures you will need. It’s about having options.

What I don’t do, though, is believe tomorrow will be better just because things have gone well so far. That is just an illusion.

Unfortunately it’s a behaviour I recognise in many baby boomers and our generation of leaders. It’s not surprising , really, if since you were born everything got better without you having to do much about it, it easy to become blinded by this belief that it will continue.

Post edited at 19:56
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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> My continual acknowledgement that Brexit is likely to be an economic disaster for the UK could hardly be framed as 'hoping for the best'.

no, but you have dismissed the disaster scenario of dictatorship, military men on borders, and food shortages as hysteria.

I genuinely think it is complacent. It doesn’t mean that I think these scenarios are the most likely, BTW. All I am saying is, discount them at your peril.

Post edited at 20:00
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Stichtplate on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Yes we are very good a finding reasons in hindsight. But the reality is that it was completely crazy and unpredictable. History is full of those.

This is just so typical of you. You just can't find it in yourself to backtrack or reconsider even slightly. You wrote...

>I’ll add to that list WWI. Completely unpredicted. (WW2 was just volume 2)What they all have in common is that almost everybody failed to predict them,

This is just completely wrong, as has already been pointed out. Not only did many people in the Allied nations predict war, the Japanese and the Germans were actively planning the outbreak of war. Pearl Harbour wasn't an unfortunate navigational error! The invasion of Poland wasn't an unfortunate misunderstanding!

Post edited at 20:04
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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> Indeed. The EU isn one economy, its 27 different economies, some of which operate the same currency, and will react to the same issues in slightly different ways.

Exactly. And that’s what makes it, in the long run, more resilient than centralised countries. Such as China or UK.

US is a bit different because it’s a federal system.

However they have heavily centralised in the past decade.

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Lusk - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

You just can't stop posting your hysterical, Armageddon, doom ladened nonsense, can you?

I'll wager you £100, here and now, that 29th March 2019 will come and go as if sod all had happened.

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> This is just so typical of you. You just can't find it in yourself to backtrack or reconsider even slightly. You wrote...

> >I’ll add to that list WWI. Completely unpredicted. (WW2 was just volume 2)What they all have in common is that almost everybody failed to predict them,

> This is just completely wrong, as has already been pointed out. Not only did many people in the Allied nations predict war, the Japanese and the Germans were actively planning the outbreak of war. Pearl Harbour wasn't an unfortunate navigational error! The invasion of Poland wasn't an unfortunate misunderstanding!

No, you misunderstood or I wasn't clear. I was talking about the start of WWI, which was completely unpredictable. WW2 was predictable indeed but only because it was just the continuation of WWI (that’s what I meant by volume 2)  Hope that helps.

Post edited at 20:09
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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Lusk:

> You just can't stop posting your hysterical, Armageddon, doom ladened nonsense, can you?

Its not histerical. Look at history. PLENTY of states have failed. 

I still regard it as highly unlikely. But possible - and dismissing it is plain stupidity.

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Stichtplate on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> no, but you have dismissed the disaster scenario of dictatorship, military men on borders, and food shortages as hysteria.

I'd put dictatorship in a similar category of realistic risk as alien invasion. The army manning customs posts as likely as Trump getting a third term. Food shortages provoked by Brexit (as opposed to panic buying)... about the same likelihood as you holding your hand up and saying; "You know what chaps, I got that completely wrong".

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I'd put dictatorship in a similar category of realistic risk as alien invasion.

You are so, so wrong. In fact I see many clues indicating that this is already a major risk, see how much power has been handed to the executive as part of art 50, see how dysfunctional parliament is.

> The army manning customs posts as likely as Trump getting a third term.

And yet, the government is spending money on such contingency plans.

> Food shortages provoked by Brexit (as opposed to panic buying)... about the same likelihood as you holding your hand up and saying; "You know what chaps, I got that completely wrong".

Abd yet, supply chains experts and retail experts have warned of such risks.

And again, I am not predicting this will happen. As I’ve said it’s unlikely. But still a possibility we should prepare for.

To dismiss it is irresponsible.

Post edited at 20:21
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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Lusk:

> I'll wager you £100, here and now, that 29th March 2019 will come and go as if sod all had happened.

It depends what odds you give me. I’ve already made quite a bit of money on bets on no deals I’ve taken months ago at 10x which I have resold at 2x...

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Stichtplate on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> No, you misunderstood or I wasn't clear. I was talking about the start of WWI, which was completely unpredictable. WW2 was predictable indeed but only because it was just the continuation of WWI (that’s what I meant by volume 2)  Hope that helps.

No Rom, it wasn't 'completely unpredictable', Britain had been in an arms race with Germany in the preceding years and a fair few notables had indeed predicted the war.

https://militaryhistorynow.com/2017/03/15/storm-warnings-five-writers-that-predicted-the-horrors-of-ww1-with-uncanny-accuracy/

Now, if you can link to just one credible source warning of 'troops on our borders' or 'dictatorship in Britain', then I'll concede that you aren't a complete lunatic.

Edit:... about that evidence of all those correct predictions you've made on here?

Post edited at 20:53
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Ian W - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Exactly. And that’s what makes it, in the long run, more resilient than centralised countries. Such as China or UK.

> US is a bit different because it’s a federal system.

> However they have heavily centralised in the past decade.


No not exactly. There are structural differences between the 28 economies; pretty well all of the problems experienced by Greece and Spain (for eg) are / were for completley different reasons, and because ofthe different strucure of different economies, some nations would not have the same problems / issues.

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summo on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:.

> US is a bit different because it’s a federal system.

> However they have heavily centralised in the past decade.

Which is precisely the eu's long term goal. Full Financial control of euro member nations budgets, eu army etc. The eu is progressively reducing the very flexibility you claim is it's strength. 

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to summo:

> .

> Which is precisely the eu's long term goal. Full Financial control of euro member nations budgets,

Wrong. Another familiar trope.

> eu army etc.

Eu army, yes, and that is good. This is the one thing where centralisation is actually needed and good.

> The eu is progressively reducing the very flexibility you claim is it's strength

That is simply not the case. The EU is extremely flexible. It’s the nation states which aren’t.

For ex, the UK government has pretty much full effective control of say, Yorkshire, but the EU however, has very little control over the UK.

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> No not exactly. There are structural differences between the 28 economies; pretty well all of the problems experienced by Greece and Spain (for eg) are / were for completley different reasons, and because ofthe different strucure of different economies, some nations would not have the same problems / issues.

Yes. That is what I am saying.

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> No Rom, it wasn't 'completely unpredictable', Britain had been in an arms race with Germany in the preceding years and a fair few notables had indeed predicted the war.

yes, in hindsight, it’s easy to find people who had seen it. But the vast majority did not. I suggest you go to the library and read newspaper archives . A fascinating past time which I found extremely instructive.

> Now, if you can link to just one credible source warning of 'troops on our borders' or 'dictatorship in Britain', then I'll concede that you aren't a complete lunatic.

A google will give you plenty of credible opinions. But that is pointless. I am just pointing out that this is a credible possibility. Not taking it into account is complacent. That’s how every dictatorship starts: with complacency.

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Stichtplate on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> yes, in hindsight, it’s easy to find people who had seen it. But the vast majority did not. I suggest you go to the library and read newspaper archives . A fascinating past time which I found extremely instructive.

It's bloody hard to look at anything from a century ago with anything other than hindsight. 

> A google will give you plenty of credible opinions. 

OK. Done that...Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I can only conclude that you're making shit up.

>That’s how every dictatorship starts: with complacency.

Nah. Most dictatorships start with some half coherent, partially plausible lunatic, trying to convince everyone that they've got all the answers and that they're never wrong.

Not considering a career in politics are you Rom?

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wercat on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Not quite true about hindsight and WWI.   Hindsight and the American Civil War gave foresight about WWI.   The American Civil War has long been called "The First Industrial War" in which men died with wounds inflicted on an industrial scale by enhanced infantry weapons and horrifically as a result of advances in artillery.   It has also long been claimed that the darker colours of the uniforms of that war were in part to render troops less conspicuous than the uniforms of earlier decades.

Of course that is all relative as the rate and nature of casualties in ship to ship actions had typically been very harsh long before that time.

So it wouldn't have required any genius to spot what would happen with even more efficient weapons produced by Messrs Maxim and Armstrong and their fellows, not  to mention the chemical industries.

And in the popular press the theme of the threat from Germany was mainstream with spy stories etc.

Post edited at 22:18
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Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Sometimes I wonder if you're just taking the piss for the sake of being provocative. Searching newspaper archives is incredibly easy:

https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

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Ian W - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Yes. That is what I am saying.


OK, I read it wrongly then.......

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> It's bloody hard to look at anything from a century ago with anything other than hindsight. 

Actually it's easy. Just learn history from what people said and thought at the time, rather from what we think of it now. It's quite a different picture.
Especially with WWI. In hindsight you get several historian giving you each their own reason and logic for what had happened (many different and contradictory). But when you read newspapers from the time, you realise most had no fecking clue, and it came out of nowhere.
It is I guess a human thing to want to tell a story about events which are pretty much random.

> OK. Done that...Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I can only conclude that you're making shit up.

You are terrible at googling.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/no-deal-brexit-military-police-leaked-document-a8529401.html

https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2018/10/18/the-uk-is-heading-towards-a-frightening-constitutional-crisis-over-brexit

But it doesn't matter. You can just use your brain. In case of no-deal Brexit there is no doubt in my mind that massive hand overs of power to the executive will be needed to pass the legislation required. If not it will take years of parliamentary time to get anything done.

> >That’s how every dictatorship starts: with complacency.

> Nah. Most dictatorships start with some half coherent, partially plausible lunatic, trying to convince everyone that they've got all the answers and that they're never wrong.

It's the simplistic view that dictatorship are just the result of some lunatic dictator. In reality they are often the result of whole population drifting into them in total indifference. 

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Stichtplate on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Sometimes I wonder if you're just taking the piss for the sake of being provocative. Searching newspaper archives is incredibly easy.

Re-read the relevant post. The googling wasn't with regard to WWI. As to the piss taking; nothing else gets through to him so I may as well.

Sticht > Now, if you can link to just one credible source warning of 'troops on our borders' or 'dictatorship in Britain', then I'll concede that you aren't a complete lunatic. 

Rom >A google will give you plenty of credible opinions. But that is pointless. I am just pointing out that this is a credible possibility. Not taking it into account is complacent. That’s how every dictatorship starts: with complacency.

Post edited at 22:31
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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> As to the piss taking; nothing else gets through to him so I may as well.

Sensible, reasoned arguments do. Such as some of the points Bnb made and most of what Bartjur said.
Nothing of value from you yet. Mostly whataboutery.

Post edited at 22:34
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Stichtplate on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Actually it's easy. Just learn history from what people said and thought at the time, rather from what we think of it now. It's quite a different picture.

> Especially with WWI. In hindsight you get several historian giving you each their own reason and logic for what had happened (many different and contradictory). But when you read newspapers from the time, you realise most had no fecking clue, and it came out of nowhere.

> It is I guess a human thing to want to tell a story about events which are pretty much random.

> You are terrible at googling.

> But it doesn't matter. You can just use your brain. In case of no-deal Brexit there is no doubt in my mind that massive hand overs of power to the executive will be needed to pass the legislation required. If not it will take years of parliamentary time to get anything done.

> It's the simplistic view that dictatorship are just the result of some lunatic dictator. In reality they are often the result of whole population drifting into them in total indifference. 

Neither of those links mention UK dictatorship or soldiers manning UK borders. Weak Rom, very weak.

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Stichtplate on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Sensible, reasoned arguments do. Such as some of the points Bnb made and most of what Bartjur said.

> Nothing of value from you yet. Mostly whataboutery.

Fourth time of asking. Are you going to produce any evidence of your claims to accurate predictions on here? Or even acknowledge that you've been asked to pony up?

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Stichtplate on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to wercat:

> And in the popular press the theme of the threat from Germany was mainstream with spy stories etc.

Quite right, the threat of war with Germany was a common a pre-occupation in the decade before the war. To take just one example the novel Riddle of The Sands was huge. Outside the realms of fiction Germany's support and arming of the Boers was still fresh in the public mind and the naval arms race was the subject of much newspaper speculation. The idea of war with Germany was nowhere near as outlandish as Rom is making out.

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Neither of those links mention UK dictatorship or soldiers manning UK borders. Weak Rom, very weak.

Instead of dwelling in childish pedantry, use your brain for one minute. Or your eyes.

Post edited at 23:23
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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Quite right, the threat of war with Germany was a common a pre-occupation in the decade before the war. To take just one example the novel Riddle of The Sands was huge. Outside the realms of fiction Germany's support and arming of the Boers was still fresh in the public mind and the naval arms race was the subject of much newspaper speculation. The idea of war with Germany was nowhere near as outlandish as Rom is making out.

And back then, you would have been the guy telling to the few raising the risks that they were crazy lunatics. 

Complacency.

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RomTheBear on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Fourth time of asking. Are you going to produce any evidence of your claims to accurate predictions on here?

Can you quote those claims ?

I’ve made very few predictions.

The main ones I can recall having stated repeatedly are:

- Brexit will happen.

- it will be a hard Brexit because of UK red lines

- there won’t be a second referendum

- Many EU citizens will be pushed out or kicked out of the UK

I still stand by those. These I am much pretty certain. For the rest, as I’ve said, I’m not discounting more catastrophic outcomes either.

Post edited at 23:22
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summo on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Eu army, yes, and that is good. This is the one thing where centralisation is actually needed and good.

Good? The eu is supposedly a peaceful body organised around a trading agreement? Or is there another agenda?

> That is simply not the case. The EU is extremely flexible. It’s the nation states which aren’t.

Flexible in the sense that many countries just do as they wish and the eu ignores it? 

> For ex, the UK government has pretty much full effective control of say, Yorkshire, but the EU however, has very little control over the UK.

why would you want Yorkshire doing things completely differently to neighbouring counties, that would be madness. 

But many aspects are regional; health, education, police, fire etc.. so local decisions are made in Yorkshire. The scale of the decision varies between central government, county and district council. It might be a national policy, but it's local councils that decide how it is applied, which can be both good and bad. 

Post edited at 06:21
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Stichtplate on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Instead of dwelling in childish pedantry, use your brain for one minute. Or your eyes.

Rom, according to you there are loads of people who agree with you. I believe many of your claims amount to little more than outlandish hysteria. I asked you at half eight last night if you could provide just one source who agreed with you..

>Now, if you can link to just one credible source warning of 'troops on our borders' or 'dictatorship in Britain', then I'll concede that you aren't a complete lunatic. 

With the whole internet at your disposal, you've failed to provide a single link. I note that I'm still the only person whose bothered to click on your links so it's safe to assume everyone else is as bored with your 'end of the world' ramblings as I am

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MG - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

I thought Rom's point was that it is possible, not that he was predicting it. Looking at the state of democracy around the world (e. g Trump, Orban) , I think its reasonable to be concerned. 

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Rob Exile Ward on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

I don't think it's too fanciful or ridiculous to consider worst case scenarios. We narrowly avoided revolution in the 1820s, in 1910-13: we went to war  -twice- with a country who were mostly so close we shared the same royal family.

Anyone who thinks you can shake up the international order in a major way and assume it will always work out for the best just hasn't learnt from history.

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BnB - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to MG:

> I thought Rom's point was that it is possible, not that he was predicting it. Looking at the state of democracy around the world (e. g Trump, Orban) , I think its reasonable to be concerned. 

I think people's issue is not that Rom's predictions aren't possible, it's that the possibilities floated by others are "wrong", indeed so wrong that it justifies personal insult*, while he claims to be "right" about events that have yet to run their full course.

* For balance, not ignoring that others may have sleighted Rom himself along the way.

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Oldnick on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> I don't think it's too fanciful or ridiculous to consider worst case scenarios. We narrowly avoided revolution in the 1820s, in 1910-13: we went to war  -twice- with a country who were mostly so close we shared the same royal family.

> Anyone who thinks you can shake up the international order in a major way and assume it will always work out for the best just hasn't learnt from history.

Never said things will work out for the best. I believe that outcome to be just as fanciful Rom’s assertion that the UK faces the possibility of a dictatorship.

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neilh - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

BnB will have it planned in his businesses, he is too astute.

40% tariffs on my products if we revert to WTO rules and there are  no most favoured nation status deals in place.I have a slash and burn worst case plan in case of that.

Other than that you cannot do much apart from keep your fingers crossed and stop employing new hires  and investing until after the 31 March.

Meanwhile still getting  export orders confirmed and placed ....

If you plan it will never happen, if you do not plan then it will,

Post edited at 08:57
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wintertree - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> the problem is that they are always wrong.

It must be exhausting always being right when everyone else is wrong.

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BnB - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to wintertree:

> > the problem is that they are always wrong.

> It must be exhausting always being right when everyone else is wrong.

For balance, Rom did go on to moderate his original assertion by offering that I occasionally have something useful to contribute.

I appreciated that observersation, Rom, and if you would do so more widely, I think others would too.

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elsewhere on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to neilh:

> Meanwhile still getting  export orders confirmed and placed ....

I'm genuinely curious about how you have got this to work.

If it's not too commercially sensitive, can you say roughly how does the price/contract agreed between you and the customer change when neither side knows if an extra 40% tariff might apply?

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jkarran - on 10:21 Mon
In reply to Lusk:

> I'll wager you £100, here and now, that 29th March 2019 will come and go as if sod all had happened.

I wouldn't take that but because we probably won't be leaving on the 29th. May's plan to pass her withdrawal deal is to keep pushing MPs well into March ramping up pressure which doesn't leave time to pass the legislation needed, likely it'll work then an extension will be required. If she fails then a break in the process is still a possible outcome at her behest or someone else's.

jk

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BnB - on 11:19 Mon
In reply to neilh:

> BnB will have it planned in his businesses, he is too astute.

> 40% tariffs on my products if we revert to WTO rules and there are  no most favoured nation status deals in place.I have a slash and burn worst case plan in case of that.

> Other than that you cannot do much apart from keep your fingers crossed and stop employing new hires  and investing until after the 31 March.

> Meanwhile still getting  export orders confirmed and placed ....

> If you plan it will never happen, if you do not plan then it will,

Firstly Neil good luck with your outcomes. Yours sounds like a good, strong business enjoying  high levels of demand and I’m sure that you’ll prevail with your strategy.

From my point of view I’m more investor than entrepreneur nowadays and I have moved, in the language of investing, from underweight to neutral UK equities (reflecting their Brexit-battered valuations), with an overweight medium term view. Accordingly, in 2019, I’ve increased investment in medium to large UK businesses, both internationally- and locally-focused. This also reflects a short-term negative, 12 month positive outlook for GBP, ie a currency-hedged approach to earnings.

No deal would not be helpful to those investments so the direction may be positive but the approach is cautious. Suggestions in the press that a crash in GBP would support the FTSE 100 are not borne out by the trajectory of Unilever, Reckitt or Shell during the recent fall in GBP. The UK is deemed uninvestable at the moment!

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neilh - on 11:54 Mon
In reply to BnB:

A crash in GBP is my best case plan with 40% tariffs. Reckon £$ rate will be parity in that case.

Not good for UK plc though. 

My god I use to think the Tories were the party for listening to business.long gone.  

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neilh - on 12:00 Mon
In reply to elsewhere:

Well it adds another 40% onto the price. So who pays? You or the customer. Depends on contract. 

But either way it’s not good for either party. 

At the moment it’s 0% in most of my markets. Just to give you an idea of the cost difference. 

This is of course worst case scenario 

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BnB - on 12:07 Mon
In reply to neilh:

> A crash in GBP is my best case plan with 40% tariffs. Reckon £$ rate will be parity in that case.

> Not good for UK plc though. 

> My god I use to think the Tories were the party for listening to business.long gone.  

Currency experts see the floor for GBP at USD 1.20. But these are uncharted waters. However, my view is that, in the event of no deal, the bigger the fall in GBP, the quicker the government is forced to move to resolve our trading relationship with the EU.

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Ian W - on 13:25 Mon
In reply to neilh:

> A crash in GBP is my best case plan with 40% tariffs. Reckon £$ rate will be parity in that case.

> Not good for UK plc though. 

> My god I use to think the Tories were the party for listening to business.long gone.  

What was it friend Boris said?.............

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wercat on 15:06 Mon
In reply to Ian W:

> What was it friend Boris said?.............


"Listen to my good friend Vlad .... You know it makes sense"

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 15:41 Mon
In reply to RomTheBear:

I know the thread has moved on but I said I would reply to the point you made much further up.... I have been giving some thought to your proposal that the EU is better equipped to handle an economic shock than individual countries outside of the Eurozone. I have to concede that the premise of this argument has a decent foundation, mainly because a decade since the GFC the EU, eurozone and the euro are all still intact and the many predictions of imminent doom have not come to pass. Having said that, it has suffered a lot of pain (as have other countries) and we could debate until the cows come home who has suffered more or less. You listed its strengths in this regard as decentralized with a wide variation of sectors and policies. Ergo, 28 diverse countries (19 in the euro) have the strength in numbers to support the currency and the banks throughout a period of economic uncertainty and withstand shocks. Without wanting to analyze this too deeply, this seems fair and recent history supports this. But is it better equipped?

My first thought was Iceland. It was decimated by the GFC, arguably more than any other country. All its main banks defaulted but it managed to come out the other side as a result of crisis management decisions made in 2008 which would not have been available as a member of the Eurozone. (Would Greece be in a similar position had it not been in the Eurozone?) Had Iceland been in the Eurozone, I would suggest the banks would not have been allowed to fail due to fears of contagion, and they would have been put in a similar position to Greece and not be as far out the other side as they currently are. (I am not stating this as fact, just putting it forward for discussion)

Then looking at the problems facing the EU today. Are they comparable with 2008? Back then, the main problem was mainly with smaller Eurozone economies as the GFC hit them hardest and the ECB had a full cupboard of weapons at its disposal and an EU wide electorate bemused by this US imported disease of subprime mortgages CDOs and CDSs. A decade later things are different.

I would suggest that the ECB is now virtually out of ammo and the electorate is less forgiving as demonstrated by a rise in voting for populist parties. The ECB is stopping QE which could be a big issue for Italy. The ECB has been buying the net issuance of Italian bonds for the last three years via QE, but recently stopped its asset purchasing program for not unreasonable reasons. The obvious side effect is this has caused the Italian bond market yields to spike and the country needs to service 400 billion euros of debt this year whilst handling a recession. It appears this debt is going to become more expensive to service for the Italians, already governed by a semi Eurosceptic coalition and with their own banks very long potentially non performing govt debt. A precarious position. The ECB could turn QE back on again if forced to of course. If Italy was not in the EU, it would likely be doing just that and using any tool to weaken its currency. OK, nothing earth shattering here, and certainly not something the EU does not have good experience in handling…except…the macroeconomic outlook may look awful for Italy, but its microeconomic outlook could be a lot different. Individual levels of wealth are actually higher in Italy than in Germany, personal debt is low and the real domestic economy at local level is dominated by family run businesses that have a large amount of discretion over what they declare. As a consequence, real economic activity across the country is almost definitely a lot higher than official figures show. For this reason, Italy is harder to push around from the EU perspective because the real economic activity throughout the country is much higher than official figures suggest. (to use that great DR quote...this is a "known unknown" in the EU). So an incalcitrant Italian government that refuses to bend its knee is a different beast to Greece, for example, for the EU to control.

I obviously mentioned Germany in my original post. I don’t know how this will play out. Clearly I am more in the “glass half empty” camp in regards to the Eurozone than yourself   I wonder if the EUs dominant engine having a splutter could be more damaging than you may think? Weaker German growth has big implications for the continent as loads of companies are tied to its vast export machine. As BNB mentions, where is the growth coming from for the Germans to export to? How quickly can they adapt? Obviously this is a global problem, not an EU problem, but we are discussing the EU (and you have definitely challenged my usual train of thought on this, so thanks for that) 

So? What do you reckon? Can the EU take this all in its stride?Do you think it will actually come out stronger ?

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Mike Stretford - on 16:15 Mon
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus: There's a lot of analysis of Eurozone there but not much of the UK. My overriding thought is that there are a lot of global firms invested in the UK as a gateway to Europe, and some EU country firms who could easily relocate. If the EU is heading into recession they will definitely encourage that! That is the key weakness I see in UK. Unlike Iceland we have populous post industrial areas that need these big employers.

Also, what are the policy implications of your posts? Would you suggest we should take it to the wire as they will blink first?

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Dr.S at work - on 16:23 Mon
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Perhaps the weakness the BiS identifies makes it harder for the EU27 to blink - admiting that you are weak might be blood in the water for the financial speculators?

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 16:26 Mon
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Originally I posted about the bad German economic news and asked could the timing be fortuitous for the UK in negotiations and could it (with other factors) be a reason for Tusks "hell" comment...pure speculation. This evolved to Rom saying he felt the structure of the EU makes it stronger to handle economic shocks than individual countries to which I have replied just above.

I have avoided discussing the UK in this exchange because the topic (for me) was the EU

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Mike Stretford - on 16:27 Mon
In reply to Dr.S at work: I'd say there's something to that... I can't see a shift from the EU now. In which case restating how bad it will be for the EU don't help us much!

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Mike Stretford - on 16:48 Mon
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Originally I posted about the bad German economic news and asked could the timing be fortuitous for the UK in negotiations 

To answer that question you have to have some understanding of the UK's current economy. Due to nature of our economy I'd say it isn't fortuitous as the Germans in particular will see the answer as taking as much global investment from the UK back into the EU as possible... gloves off.

Rightwingers will say slash taxes to attract but I just can't see that working here, we're in no position to slash taxes and borrow more.

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Mike Stretford - on 16:51 Mon
In reply to Dr.S at work: There's seems to be some bemusement from Brexiteers that the EU would stick to principle even though it is economically damaging..... look in the bloody mirror!

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neilh - on 16:58 Mon
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Good analysis of Italy. 

The economic heartland is around Milan and the north. Runs rings around the rest of the country. Most companies have 4 sets of accounts. The ones in Switzerland are the ones you want to see and reflect true economic activity. 

So its very difficult to judge. 

But this is all reasonably well known so is probably factored in.

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 09:02 Tue
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Interesting point. Different circumstances but Black Wednesday 27 years ago would be a good case study

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cb294 - on 10:04 Tue
In reply to Mike Stretford:

This. I think the timing of Brexit is a particularly bad piece luck for the UK.

Not having predicted that at the end of the two year deadline economic conflict between the US and China would drive down global demand (and investment) is one of the few things one cannot in fairness attribute to brexiter incompetence. 

Now, as for not having a clear plan (and plans B to X ) before handing in the Art. 50 notice....

CB

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 10:21 Tue
In reply to cb294:

True that the timing of the US china slowdown is no good for UK. But apart from the commodity exporters who are most effected by China, I think Germany France and Italy are more exposed than the UK to shrinking exports to China. In fact, I think 10 European countries export more to China than the UK does. Likewise exports to USA, UK is not top. Germany is.

So, in reality the timing is unfortunate full stop. Who adapts most quickly? No idea

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 11:02 Tue
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Just to clarify "In fact, I think 10 European countries export more to China than the UK does"  This refers to % of their exports which go to China, rather than hard numbers.

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subtle on 11:09 Tue
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> There's seems to be some bemusement from Brexiteers that the EU would stick to principle even though it is economically damaging..... look in the bloody mirror!

Indeed!

Tick tock, not much time left and no change has been agreed, yet MP's just have to hold their nerve as the deadline approaches

Tick tock

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krikoman - on 11:24 Tue
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> There's a lot of analysis of Eurozone there but not much of the UK.....

I'm still waiting for May to tell us whether we'll be better off staying in, or with her plan. She's constantly failed to answer this question, whenever it's been put to her, which isn't often enough.

She keeps telling us how much better her plan is compared to crashing out, not there's never any comparison of her plan versus staying put.

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cb294 - on 11:25 Tue
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Absolutely, but my point was that this may harden the Brexit negotiating stance of the EU, without it being the fault of the UK negotiators (supporting the point MS made above).

CB

edit: Thinking about it again, it is not so much a drop in global demand, but the overall uncertainty caused by the Trump/China conflict. This is bound to make the EU do anything to increase certainty where it can. There is nothing much they can do globally as long as Trump is around, but at home they can make sure that the internal logic of the single market and the GFA are not compromised. 

Post edited at 11:45
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jkarran - on 11:29 Tue
In reply to krikoman:

> I'm still waiting for May to tell us whether we'll be better off staying in, or with her plan. She's constantly failed to answer this question, whenever it's been put to her, which isn't often enough. She keeps telling us how much better her plan is compared to crashing out, not there's never any comparison of her plan versus staying put.

It's a fair and eminently sensible question but who do you think would be listening to the answer that doesn't already know it?

jk

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 12:23 Tue
In reply to cb294:

"This is bound to make the EU do anything to increase certainty where it can. There is nothing much they can do globally as long as Trump is around, but at home they can make sure that the internal logic of the single market and the GFA are not compromised. "

There is an interesting article in todays Telegraph about Peter Altmaier (German Economy Minister) and his National champion 2030 strategy . It's behind a paywall so here are some snippets to get the gist

"He plans to support key industries and an overhaul of competition law to make it easier for European companies to merge with one another. He also wants to restrict foreign takeovers and even venture capital investment from outside Europe." 

Telegraph columnist suggests they will re look at Siemans Alstom merger which was turned down before and Deutsche Bank Commerz Bank merger

"Continental leaders will be chosen in each targeted industry, favoured with state-sponsored contracts, and backed with plenty of cheap money. Political leaders are recognising there is a problem but both France and Germany, while successful in their own ways, have models that are starting to look very tired."

The Telegraphs columnist goes on to suggest that this form of protectionism may not the right way forward. How to pick the future winning sectors? Lack of competition does not make a company stronger, turning away venture capital money from the US will cut off expertise in areas Europe is weak in.

What it doesn't make clear is if this strategy is just a proposal, or will actually come into force very shortly. (By the way this story was hidden deep in the Business section, not a dramatic Brexit inspired story)

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Sir Chasm - on 12:33 Tue
krikoman - on 12:38 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

> It's a fair and eminently sensible question but who do you think would be listening to the answer that doesn't already know it?

> jk


It would be just nice to hear the answer.

You're probably right that no one would be listening, at least those that might need to be listening, but still, I'd like to hear her say what she thinks.

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cb294 - on 12:41 Tue
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Makes you wonder why Labour does not strongly come out pro remain / second ref, as their agenda appears to gain traction in the EU...

It also confirms my impression from the EU that Brexit is essentially dealt with, that just the few designated negotiators continue to go through the motions while the heavyweights move on to different (presumably more important) topics. 

CB

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Mike Stretford - on 12:58 Tue
In reply to cb294:

> Makes you wonder why Labour does not strongly come out pro remain / second ref, as their agenda appears to gain traction in the EU...

I'm a member and it's evident how divided Labour are at constituency meetings. Can't see Labour getting behind anything with much conviction.

> It also confirms my impression from the EU that Brexit is essentially dealt with, that just the few designated negotiators continue to go through the motions while the heavyweights move on to different (presumably more important) topics. 

This. It must look to observers like no deal is inevitable at some stage - even if the withdrawal agreement went through we'd be straight back into deadlock on our future trade deal - they may well be thinking if we have to go through no deal than best to get it over with sooner rather than later.

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neilh - on 13:03 Tue
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Of the Danish lady who is in charge of the competitions office at the EU gets in as president, then this proposal is dead in the water.  I can never spell her name, but you will know who I mean.

Well worth reading up on her. Fascinating piece in the Economist about her background and beliefs.

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jkarran - on 13:12 Tue
In reply to krikoman:

> It would be just nice to hear the answer. You're probably right that no one would be listening, at least those that might need to be listening, but still, I'd like to hear her say what she thinks.

That's more than reasonable but her evasion is your answer.

jk

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cb294 - on 13:37 Tue
In reply to neilh:

Vestagher, but she won't become president...

CB

edit: the back story is of course the Siemens-Alstom merger. It is inevitable that there are conflicts between the aims and priorities of different branches of any administration, and here Vestagher may have overplayed her hand, leading to a restriction of her powers in the mid term.

second edit: To become president of the commission you have to first be nominated as the number one list candidate of your party block during the EP elections, so it will likely be Weber or Timmermans.

Post edited at 13:44
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HansStuttgart - on 17:22 Tue
In reply to cb294:

> Vestagher, but she won't become president...

> second edit: To become president of the commission you have to first be nominated as the number one list candidate of your party block during the EP elections, so it will likely be Weber or Timmermans.

I can live with a ALDE-PES deal where Timmermans becomes president and Vestagher vice president....

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RomTheBear on 19:16 Tue
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Many thanks for a really thoughtful and interesting response. 
I broadly agree with most of your analysis, I don't have much time on my hands to reply in more details just now but will come back to you soon.

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HardenClimber - on 19:51 Tue
In reply to cb294:

When we handed in the Art 50 notice it was clear where Trump / US was going (and thus trade with China).... so on don't think Bretiters can avoid that one either.

I suppose the info was in MSM so would not have been believable...

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cb294 - on 09:14 Wed
In reply to HansStuttgart:

Me too, even though "President Keller" sounds even better. Won't happen, though, unfortunately..... 

That said, Weber is not that bad for a CSU guy.

CB

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PanzerHanzler on 18:36 Thu
In reply to summo:

...on Europe's border and they want some British military support because trump killed nato. Imagine if one of those British mps in hell happened to end up as PM. Impossible to predict the future. Tusk should know better...

Another nut job who thinks the GB won the war single handed, blind folded and jumping on one leg. The day of Rouke's Drift, the stiff upper and red coated soldiers is long gone.  

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d_b on 21:39 Thu
In reply to PanzerHanzler:

The French have nuclear weapons, the Germans and Swedes have mature nuclear industries and could probably develop them in a year if they really wanted them.  Nobody is going to be launching major land invasions of Europe, no matter how hot and bothered you get at the thought of JRM dominating the foreigners.

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