Brexit, aka, the UK Shoots Itself


#2930

Not actually true. IAG (the parent company) is in all sorts of trouble because the EU has rejected its arguments about foreign ownership - most group level shareholders are non-EU27.


#2931

ahh, really?

Well I guess they’ll move HQs soon…


#2932

So Sir Ivan Rogers, he of “Brexit as a Revolution” and former UK representative to the EU, has held a couple more talks which really should be required reading for anyone who wants to discuss Brexit.

Nine Lessons of Brexit (from December)

  1. Brexit means Brexit.
    “[This is] a major regime change, with massive political, legal, economic and social consequences, [in which] the EU is negotiating with us, not as a member, but as a prospective soon-to-be third country… once you leave the EU, you cannot, from just outside the fence, achieve all the benefits you got just inside it… market access into what is now their market, governed by supranational laws and Courts of which you are no longer part – and not, as it used to be, yours – is worse and more limited than before…That is unavoidable. It is not, vindictive, voluntary, a punishment beating, or any of the other nonsense we hear daily. It is just ineluctable reality…And finally, the solidarity of the club members will ALWAYS be with each other, not with you. We have seen that over the backstop issue over the last 18 months. The 26 supported Dublin, not London. They still do…This may be the first Anglo-Irish negotiation in history where the greater leverage is not on London’s side of the table…just wait till the trade negotiations. The solidarity of the remaining Member States will be with the major fishing Member States, not with the U.K. The solidarity will be with Spain, not the U.K., when Madrid makes Gibraltar-related demands in the trade negotiation endgame.”

  2. Other people have sovereignty too. And they too may choose to “take back control” of things you would rather they didn’t.
    “The EU … is a global player – a global rule maker – able and willing effectively to impose its values, rules and standards extraterritorially… it does so quite as well as, probably more effectively than, Washington, in multiple critical regulatory areas – and using its pooling of internal sovereignty to impose its values and standards well beyond its borders… in “taking back control” over our laws and leaving the adjudication and enforcement machinery of what used to be our “home” market, we are privileging notional autonomy over law- making over real power to set the rules by which in practice we shall be governed, since departure from norms set by others when we are not in the room will in practice greatly constrain our room for manoeuvre.”

  3. Brexit is a process not an event. And the EU, while strategically myopic, is formidably good at process against negotiating opponents. We have to be equally so, or we will get hammered. Repeatedly.
    “…you set yourself a ludicrous, unachievable deadline for a complete regime change, don’t be shocked that others use the pressure of the clock and the cliff edge to dictate the shape of Brexit.”

  4. It is not possible or democratic to argue that only one Brexit destination is true, legitimate and represents the revealed “Will of the People” and that all other potential destinations outside the EU are “Brexit in Name Only”.

  5. If WTO terms or existing EU preferential deals are not good enough for the UK in major third country markets, they can’t be good enough for trade with our largest market.
    “… every version of Brexit involves a worsening of the UK’s trade position and a loss of market access to its largest market. As we strive to limit the extent of that worsening, public debate will have to be serious about what the real trade-offs are. Because the EU will be quite brutal in teaching us them.”

  6. The huge problem for the UK with either reversion to WTO terms or with a standard free trade deal with the EU is in services.
    “The reality, as I say, is that UK services’ industries needs have been sacrificed to the primary goal of ending free movement… Yet it is in services sectors where the U.K. currently has a sizeable trade surplus with the EU, whereas in manufactured goods we have a huge deficit…For all the imperfections of the Single Market, services trade between Member States is, in many sectors, freer than it is between the federal states of the US, or the states in Canada. The US Government is unable, even if it were willing, to deliver on commitments in many areas in international negotiations, just as it cannot bind its states on government procurement, on which many federal states are as protectionist as it gets…a substantial hit on the balance of trade and on the public finances of substantial relocations out of the UK’s jurisdiction is guaranteed, because we have rendered the best mode of supplying services across borders far harder.”

  7. Beware all supposed deals bearing “pluses”.
    “The “pluses” merely signify that all deficiencies in the named deal will miraculously disappear when we Brits come to negotiate our own version of it.”

  8. You cannot, and should not want to, conduct such a huge negotiation as untransparently as the U.K. has. And in the end, it does you no good to try.

  9. Real honesty with the public is the best – the only – policy if we are to get to the other side of Brexit with a healthy democracy, a reasonably unified country and a healthy economy.

But really, go read (or watch) the lot. It’s absolutely worth it.

The follow-up talk from a few days ago also takes a look at how the current situation has come about: Where did Brexit come from and where is it going to take the UK?

Long, but also worth reading/watching, although it naturally reiterates a lot of the point from the earlier speech.


#2933

It’s not about moving HQs, it’s about shareholder nationality. They’re trying to avoid forcing shareholders to divest or lose voting rights, but it’s looking like they’ll have to, or at least create some complicated, “inefficient” EU27 ownership structure to get over the 50% line.


#2934

Thanks for that.


#2935

In the eyes of post-Brexit UK the EU likely will become a “big bad bogeyman”. What kind of shenanigans are Brexiters going to try to pull in opposition to the newly minted evil bullies across the Channel post-Brexit?


#2936

Brown people, LGBTs etc will replace the EU as the enemy within. The EU is merely a scapegoat and target for their inherent bigotry and hate.


#2937

Take it from America: it’s easier to hate people for how they look.

We used to hate the Irish, Poles, Jews, but really at the end of the day it’s too hard to spot them at a distance. So go after people with different skin color, easy to ID and unite similar racists without making the mistake of accidentally cutting out potential supporters. I mean what if a dude is really racist, but also a Freemason?


#2938

They’re going to paint a target on the EU, of course, and use that for what it is worth (because the comparison to a revolution is apt - you either point the revolution at an external enemy, or get eaten by it yourself). But I’m not sure there really is much shenanigans that the Brexiters can do against the EU, other than to force a no-deal hard exit.

The UK is not going to be able to out-negotiate the EU. The EU has decades of experience negotiating international treaties; the UK are - as demonstrated during the past couple of years - amateurs (This is not unique for the UK. One of the side-effects of the common market, is that all of the best talent end up working for Brussels, rather than their national governments). And even if that was not the case, the EU pretty much has every card in it’s hands, as Rogers points out. It’s pointless to try and outbluff someone who is sitting with a Royal Flush.

And I think May has already tried shenanigans … and failed resoundingly. I think Rogers is right that the only way this is going to go well, is with a much more transparent and honest process. Unfortunately, I don’t think either May or Corbyn are able - or willing - to deliver that.

But obviously as/when the negotiations fail and Brexit is completely unable to deliver on what it promised, the “traitors within” are going to be the distraction used for Johnson et al. to escape retribution. PoC and eastern european immigrants first and foremost, of course, though I wouldn’t feel too happy living in Britain if I were Scottish or Irish to be honest. It would be easy to craft a narrative where it’s the fault of the perfidious Irish that Britain didn’t get the Brexit it wanted, for instance.


#2939

Indeed. Brexit can never be said to have failed, it can only be said to have been failed. It will be the knife in the back all over again.


#2940

It’s already happening.


#2941

Tory MP: D-Day, the day we broke alliance and started a war with Germany

I hate them. I hate them so very, very much.


#2942

What in the fuck kind of statement is that?! The rot in our nations is grotesque.


#2943

We live in a Scumocracy. We’ve found the worst scum in our country, and put them in charge.


#2944

No bullying by any German? Well, the Royal Family would be most displeased, I’d think…


#2945

Help we are being oppressed by the Scottish and Irish and need independence.

The Royals have deep ties to Scotland going back to Victoria they are committed too and I could see Betty wishing she still had access to a Headsman with these people.


#2946

I wouldn’t oppose such a move on the part of Scotland. But what should we call it? Scotlexit? Scexit?


#2947

I think that if the Scottish had an out (i.e., the EU agreed to let them leave the UK and remain a part of the EU), the likelihood of this happening would be extremely high - especially after the past two years of rubbish.

Unfortunately for the Scots, there isn’t really any legal way to do this - and there are several countries who would oppose fast-tracking Scottish entry into the EU due to the precedents that would set for other European “independence” movements.


#2948

I feel more or less the same about the Basque region of Spain. But I’m not a Spaniard.

And I have to admit that if US states started shuffling around (e.g. Northern California/Oregon/Washington State) I would start to feel squeamish.


#2949

Screturn? To the EU, that is. Or Scremain.