Brexit, aka, the UK Shoots Itself


Despite the party name actually being ‘Conservative and Unionist Party’ it’s remarkable how keen it’s members are, and in particular, Brexiteers are, to throw the union under a bus. I’d suggest that’s mainly because they don’t give a crap if you’re from outside the home counties.

It’s like a contest between Cameron and May about who wants to be seen as Lord North’s successor.


Spain is not happy with the Gibraltar language, or lack thereof, apparently.


The reading of the current deal is correct. The UK would be subject to almost all (excluding fishing) EU regulations with no say in the EU.
But the deal is not what the EU is demanding, it’s what they are -offering-.

For the purpose of these negotiations and general EU policy the UK has already left. The deal is just for the extension of the negotiation time for the future relation.
IF the UK wants more time to negotiate and avoid a hard Brexit in March it has to follow almost all EU rules for the time of the extended negotiation period AND it has to agree to a separate Northern Ireland approach that reaches beyond that extension (with a joint committee deciding if and when to end it).

If the UK does not want that offer they can refuse it and everything will simply and automatically progress into no deal Brexit. Bad for everyone but if nothing else is done the “natural”, automatic and intended outcome of the policies the UK initiated and pursues within the EU framework.

This current deal is not on the table as punishment for the UK or to show strength from the EU side.
This deal is just close to the maximum the EU is willing to concede to provide more time to negotiate the future relation while keeping some membership benefits frozen in place.
It’s not an EU demand but an offer to utilize the fact that the UK is still aligned with EU rules. Single market access for a couple of years as long as the UK doesn’t diverge. Something no third nation could hope to even get offered.


I’m not sure “you must agree to these terms to guarantee a soft border in NI as part of ANY withdrawal agreement” can be interpreted as anything other than a demand, in this context where the EU and UK are legally obliged to attempt to conclude a reasonable withdrawal agreement.

I am becoming very frustrated with the obsession posters here have in pivoting from discussion from the NI protocol to the agreement as a whole. I might suspect it indicates a guilty conscience…


I’m confused, what’s the difference? Border control is a key component…one might say the most important component…of the Brexit agreement. You can’t separate it out, as far as I can see.


This strikes me as semantics. First, the UK is not legally obliged to actually conclude a withdrawal agreement, otherwise no-deal would be off the table.

Since everyone acknowledges that the UK can still walk away from negotiations, “demand” doesn’t seem appropriate. It’s simply a non-negotiable part of the EU’s offer. There are likewise non-negotiable parts of the UK’s offer.

After all, when someone demands something from me, ignoring them usually threatens a change for the worse in the status quo. In this case, the status quo is no-deal in March, the final and foreseeable outcome of a choice freely initiated by the UK itself. The UK is still free to ignore the EU’s offer and proceed to no-deal.


The EU will not sign any withdrawal agreement that does not require guarantees of a status for NI that accepts an extraordinary degree of permanent(*) extraterritorial control by the EU without representation.

The consequences of no withdrawal agreement are bad for the EU, very bad for Ireland and very very bad for the UK.

Do you dispute either of those facts, or are you going to persist in the efforts by multiple people to somehow make them disappear through careful choice of words or context?

Whether that is a “demand” or not is, as you say semantics. I find it odious in either case.

(*: The permanency is key. Turkey can leave its customs union with the EU. Norway can leave EFTA. There would be no legal mechanism under international law for NI to leave the backstop protocol. UK could presumably leave its portion of the backstop protocol by establishing a customs border with the EU+NI )


I don’t dispute either of these. The EU recognizes the relative advantage it has over the UK, and it is trying to extract the maximum possible concessions from the UK. That’s not odious, that’s the goal of a self-interested negotiator.


There is more behind those words than just semantics though. The important part is that the EU neither initiated nor wants Brexit.
The consequences you mention are both caused and pursued SOLELY by the UK. The EU is just reacting within it’s legal framework and providing alternatives, offers, on how to utilize the very same EU rules and future agreements so as to minimise those very consequences.

Yes the semi-permanency of the NI border is exceptional but so are many other national interactions that are coloured by history.
NI is probably bigger than most but that doesn’t make it somehow sacrosanct and it certainly doesn’t imply either side is somehow legally or politically obliged to ignore its own interests at the expense of the other party.

If the suggested handling of the NI border is unacceptable to the UK it is absolutely free to refuse it. Your listed consequences are consequences of initiating and actively pursuing Brexit not of refusing this offer.


UK: Fuck it, we’re leaving the EU!
EU: Kay, g’bye.
UK: You cruel bastards!


I fail to see why on earth we’re obliged to engage in an agreement that leaves us worse off than before in pretty much every way.

It’s like the exact opposite of what the Brexiteers wanted.

Sovereignty reduced and economy damaged.

Like seriously, what the actual fuck?

How fucking stupid can people get?

I almost wish the Queen would exercise her powers and prorogue or dissolve parliament and just say we’re not going through with it, and push a new general election.

The deal as it stands is utterly shit.


There was no other possible outcome. You can’t renegotiate a deal to keep what you like and get rid of what you don’t. But I guess a little over half your citizens didn’t think about that, unfortunately.


2019: “Hold my beer”


Heh, I think it’s perfectly valid to want to leave the EU, as long as the people who choose to leave the EU do so knowing what that means.

If politicians tell the voters we’re going to leave, and that means we’re not going to have the same access to the EU market, but that’ll allow us to stop EU immigrants from coming over here / make our own trade agreements / align closer with the USA / try and start a Just The Parts We Like Commonwealth / whatever, and voters still vote for it, it is what it is.

Not what happened though, but I doubt stopping the process now would lead to happiness and sunshine, it might stabilize stuff for a bit, but I very much doubt it would fix it.


Well to give you my straight answer. I think the Good Friday agreement trumps Brexit. By trumps I mean the Good Friday agreement is much more important to the short and long term interests of the UK and the Republic. So making sure it is not broken by Brexit is rightfully front and center.

That doesnt come from weakness by either side imho, just a recognition that unlike Brexit the Good Friday Agreement and the relationship between the UK & ROI enjoys wide spread support across both nations and every major political party.


Which is why Brexit campaigners lied their asses off as to what would happen. It never would have passed had people known the truth.


Well, back to news. The DUP abstained on budget votes today, which is pretty much against the Supply and Confidence Agreement.

Or to put it another way:

“The former chancellor described his party’s confidence-and-supply pact with the DUP as a “bit irregular”.”

Tomorrow is the key vote. Since Labour isn’t contesting it, nothing exciting will happen. But it’s interesting to watch the warning shots being fired.


A smart man. Interesting he notes the DUP have not seen the promised investment into NI yet either.


Yep. Basically this.

I still don’t get where all this “Perfidious EU” stuff comes from, but repeating it over and over ad nauseaum does not make it true.

As has already been said: Ireland is not going to accept a deal which abrogates the Good Friday agreement. Any deal must satisfy everyone in the EU - or no deal. So in short - satisfy the Irish - or no deal. The current proposal resolves the problem, until a better solution can be found.

If the UK is unhappy with that, it’s up to them to propose a deal with which the Irish are willing to agree. But so far, the only proposals have been either obviously unacceptable (i.e., effectively allowing the UK to unilaterally decide when to break the “no border security” proviso of the GFA), or based on non-existent technological solutions. Unsurprisingly, EU negotiators have been less than impressed.


We can stop the process…