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messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by Alan Medic September 15, 07:22AM

diable rouge Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Boris Johnson savaged by Ed Milliband in HoC
> debate, he won't even make it to Christmas at this
> rate...

That was so enjoyable to watch. Waffle outsmarted by facts. I wonder how his demise will unfold?

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by j.a. September 15, 07:26AM

keano77 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There’s talk of possible life on Venus. If
> confirmed God help ‘em. There’ll be an E.U.
> delegation trying to charge them billions a year
> and telling them what do.


I suppose it depends on whether the microbes on Venus actually read the agreement before they sign it?
Presumably if they do that, and they realise it’s not in their interests, they’ll tell the EU to do one?
That all assumes they don’t agree to something first, of course.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by Sephiroth September 15, 08:02AM

"keano77 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There’s talk of possible life on Venus. If
> confirmed God help ‘em. There’ll be an E.U.
> delegation trying to charge them billions a year
> and telling them what do."


a better analogy would be Venus asking Earth if they could join their trading group and after years of memberhip, deciding they didn't need Earth, but wanted all the benefits anyway and then blaming Earth for not being able to access, I dunno, seawater or something

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by diable rouge September 15, 11:21AM

From Twitter...

ALIEN FROM VENUS: Greetings, Earthling!

EARTHLING: I will take you to our leader

ALIEN FROM VENUS: * Leaves *

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by JohnL September 15, 01:32PM

It's strange how there could be basic life on Mars and Venus but no life appears to have advanced enough to want to contact us. Scientists are worried about this as they think there could be a universal law that kills civilisations before they get to that stage...

..or maybe they watch us, see what we are and say no thanks, don't talk to them.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by rahrahrah September 15, 02:10PM

Alan Medic Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> diable rouge Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Boris Johnson savaged by Ed Milliband in HoC
> > debate, he won't even make it to Christmas at
> this
> > rate...
>
> That was so enjoyable to watch. Waffle outsmarted
> by facts. I wonder how his demise will unfold?

They'll keep him on for a while yet. When the brexshambles really unfolds, they'll need him as a fall guy. I give him until next summer, maybe a little longer.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by Sephiroth September 15, 02:18PM

he'll be long gone by summer

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by Alan Medic September 15, 02:56PM

Irish writer Fintan O'Toole wrote this (cut and pasted as behind paywall).

What has brought the UK to the point of openly declaring its intention to break international law is not just English nationalism. It is the strangely contradictory nature of that nationalism. It is the motive force of a genuine political revolution. Yet it dare not speak its own name.

It will not acknowledge itself and thus does not know itself. It is everywhere and nowhere, shaping the whole course of Brexit, but itself barely articulated. Because it cannot even admit its own existence, its limits cannot be mapped and its consequences cannot be weighed.

The big problem with English nationalism is that it is naďve. Because it has been buried for centuries under two layers of disguise – the United Kingdom and the British Empire – it has no knowledge of what, through bitter experience over those bloody years, most of the rest of us have had to discover about nationalism. What other countries (Ireland very much included) have learned the hard way is that nationalism is petrol: a combustible political fuel that can drive you forward or, if you do not control it, drive you off a cliff.

Three aspects of this dangerous innocence are at play in the determination of the toxic troika – Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove – to tear up the withdrawal agreement the UK signed with the EU only nine months ago.

The first is that the Brexiteers can’t acknowledge that theirs is a post-imperial nationalism, so they have to frame it as an anti-colonial nationalism. An honest account of the re-emergence of the idea of England as a political entity would say that this is a last stage of the end of empire. England was folded into empire and now that empire is gone, England returns.

For reasons we will come back to, however, this can’t be said. So what we get instead is a double displacement. England is emerging, not from its own empire, but from an imaginary empire of the EU. And (with a certain comic magnificence) the nearest example of this process to hand is Ireland’s struggle for independence from the UK. Hence the Brexiteer Sir Bernard Jenkin explaining on BBC’s Newsnight last week why it was okay to renege on the withdrawal treaty: “The deal leaving the EU is a one-off exceptional treaty – it’s like an independent country leaving an empire.”

England-as-Ireland

This bizarre mental construct of England-as-Ireland leads to the adoption, in the minds of English nationalists, of the Michael Collins model – sign the damn treaty and then you can change it afterwards. The withdrawal treaty, like the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921, is not a terminus but a springboard.

Secondly, the big reason why English nationalism cannot articulate itself is that it cannot admit to its own most obvious consequence: the break-up of the UK. Toryism is supposed to be conservative and unionist, but it has become (in objective effect) radically anti-union. It is pushing through the most extreme possible version of a Brexit that both Scotland and Northern Ireland rejected.

But since this cannot be admitted, the blame for the consequences must be displaced. These people, of course, have a lot of practice at shifting the blame for their own failings on to their favourite scapegoat: the EU. Thus, it is not English nationalism that is wrecking the union. It is those damned foreigners. Hence Gove’s case for resiling from the withdrawal agreement: “the EU [is] disrupting and putting at threat the integrity of the United Kingdom”.

The third consequence of this naive nationalism is a rather infantile understanding of national independence. Leave aside the obvious truth that Britain is and always has been independent and sovereign. The Brexiteers, in seeking to “reclaim” its allegedly lost sovereignty, fall into the delusion that often affects early-stage nationalists: the idea that, once you are “free”, you can do whatever you damn well please. You enter a new world where the National Will is untrammelled by compromises, limits and pre-existing obligations.

Imaginary oppression

The particular problem of “freedom” in the Brexit project is that, as I’ve suggested before, you can’t free yourself from imaginary oppression. Countries that have been subjected to domination from the outside can (after they make all the mistakes) learn to settle for a negative freedom – we are no longer being dominated, so now we are free to make our own compromises and share our sovereignty with others. But Brexit cannot afford this satisfaction, because Britain was never being dominated in the first place.

Hence, it is driven towards a hyper-exaggerated notion of pure sovereignty, unadulterated by responsibilities and commitments. Liberty is replaced by libertarianism. The “nation” becomes a larger version of Cummings during the coronavirus lockdown, so special that it can give a fine old English “up yours” to the rules that apply to everyone else. The rallying cry of this “freedom” is “never apologise, never explain”.

The tragedy for England is that it is not unfettered, merely unmoored. Its unspoken nationalism is not a course charted towards a well-planned future. It is just the setting adrift of an ill-conceived nation. It floats under a false flag – not the cross of St George, but an increasingly tattered Union Jack. And it has just ditched its moral compass.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by JohnL September 15, 03:20PM

Sephiroth Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> he'll be long gone by summer

His Long Covid will flare up and he'll need to spend more time with his family.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by JohnL September 15, 03:25PM

Alan Medic Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Irish writer Fintan O'Toole wrote this (cut and
> pasted as behind paywall).

Strangely as a boy I remember being warned of English nationalism in a sort of "push them but don't push them enough to start that off" way.

At that time the Welsh Independence movement consisted of green pen over English place names (Meibion Glyndwr came later)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was september 15, 03:28pm by JohnL.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by Sephiroth September 15, 03:37PM

FoT has been consistently excellent throughout Brexit - cheers for that Alan

I do wish more British people would read more media from other countries.

Ireland for example consumes all of the media UK does as well as it's own - but very few Brits bother checking anything out from Ireland.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by Sephiroth September 15, 05:58PM

This is very good as welL

[flipchartfairytales.wordpress.com]

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by JohnL September 15, 07:52PM

Apparently Brandon Lewis answered the wrong question

It's so far unclear what question the NI secretary was answering.

[www.huffingtonpost.co.uk]

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by diable rouge September 16, 07:00PM

Sephiroth Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is very good as welL
>
> [flipchartfairytales.wordpress.com]
> 14/britains-reputation-trashed-for-the-sake-of-a-t
> hree-word-slogan/

Tom McTague in The Atlantic...

The Great British Humbling

“The cretinous stupidity of it!” snaps the tragic hero in Joseph Roth’s The Radetzky March as he faces up to his likely death in a duel over his wife’s honor. He did not want the fight and no longer loves his wife anyway, but the “stupid, steely law” of honor that bound his cavalry regiment left him no escape. In frustration, he sighs: “I don’t have the strength to run away from this stupid duel. I will become a hero out of sheer idiocy.”

Here we are, then, back to the cretinous stupidity of the Brexit conundrum—a conundrum created by a law as steely as Roth’s code of honor. The law is this: Because Britain is leaving the European Union’s economic zone at the end of the year, an economic border must be erected with the EU—and borders must go somewhere. This reality cannot be escaped.

Normally the requirement would not be a problem; borders usually go where one sovereign country ends and another begins. But the land where Britain must place this border with the EU, Northern Ireland, is not normal. Because of its particular history and demography, placing physical border controls between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, which is a separate country, could, it is claimed, upend the delicate political settlement that exists in this unique corner of the world. Whether this is true or not, the EU has, in any case, decreed that it will not sign any deal with Britain that creates a land border in Ireland. That leaves Britain with the painful option of creating a sea border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. In other words, Britain has to either institute an internal border or try to avoid one altogether by staying tied to EU rules in perpetuity, even after it has left the bloc.

For four years now, ever since the British public voted in the 2016 referendum to leave the EU, Britain has struggled with this inescapable law. And like some kind of tortuous finger trap, the more London has fought against it, the tighter and more painful the bind has become.

The upshot is that Britain is now staring at a diplomatic defeat that would have seemed almost unimaginable just a few years ago. Since the Brexit referendum, the country has somehow contrived to negotiate an economic border within its own territory and the possible loss of all preferential trading rights with its largest market. For a long time, most observers had taken for granted that Britain would end up paying one of these prices for Brexit—but not both. The cherry on top of this diplomatic-failure sundae is that the U.K. will also have to pay billions of euros for the privilege of divorcing the EU.

As if this scenario were not chastening enough, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government last week made it worse in an attempt to make it better by once again returning to its wrestling match with the finger trap. The British government published legislation, designed to limit the scale of the economic border with Northern Ireland, that it admitted reneged on key sections of the divorce treaty it had signed with the EU, which Johnson himself negotiated last year. Britain claimed that such a drastic step was necessary because the EU was not acting in good faith in the trade negotiations, and the bloc’s behavior risked turning what would ostensibly be a light, barely noticeable internal border into something much thicker. Johnson’s government has claimed that, should this happen, it would be a threat to peace in Northern Ireland, because it would not be acceptable to the unionist community there, which favors remaining part of the U.K.

Johnson’s brinkmanship may yet work and result in a more lasting political fix. One of his closest aides told me to withhold judgment, pointing out that Britain had not yet broken any treaty obligation and that negotiations over a trade deal were ongoing. Just the announcement that it was prepared to break the treaty, however, set off explosions of anger across Europe and the United States rarely seen in diplomatic relations. The EU warned that it was prepared to take legal action against Britain; the German ambassador to London said he had never experienced such a rapid deterioration of trust; and Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, cautioned that such a move would end any hope of a trade deal with Washington.

All of this marks a fitting finale to Britain’s catastrophic mismanagement of the Brexit process, which started with the resignation of the prime minister who called the referendum without any plan for what would happen if he lost it (David Cameron); continued with his successor triggering a two-year countdown to Britain’s final withdrawal without any plan for what future relationship she wanted to negotiate (Theresa May); and was followed by her successor signing an international treaty without any guarantee of a future trade deal, only then to rip up this agreement when its consequences began to reveal themselves (Johnson). Regardless of the merits of Brexit, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Britain’s leaders dealt themselves one bad hand after another—and proceeded to play them badly.

It is perfectly possible to defend many of the individual positions successive British governments took during this calamitous period of statecraft and, indeed, to criticize the positions taken by the EU and its member states. Was London right, for example, that too little heed had been paid to the concerns of unionists in Northern Ireland? Perhaps. And did the EU abuse its position of strength to force concessions out of the British that contributed to today’s breakdown in trust? Again, perhaps.

It should also be said that Britain has had some achievements, however temporary, these past years. In November 2018, May persuaded Brussels to let the whole of the U.K. remain in the EU’s customs union, an attempt to circumnavigate the border conundrum by avoiding the need for a border altogether. This achievement, however, was refused by members of Parliament on the legitimate grounds that it meant Britain becoming an EU rule follower even after it had left the EU. And a year later Johnson persuaded Brussels to agree to a “consent mechanism,” giving the elected assembly in Northern Ireland the right to reject the new border regime. This breakthrough, while not circumventing the old border law of Brexit, gave the deal some democratic legitimacy.

Yet whatever the merits of such criticisms, and the successes Britain won, the central point remains: The EU is under no obligation to act in Britain’s interests, only its own. It can hardly be blamed for protecting its leverage and trying to negotiate the best possible outcome for its remaining members. If Britain did not like the position it found itself in, it has only itself to blame for voting to leave, for starting the countdown clock, for agreeing to the Johnson deal. No one else did that for the U.K.

After clinching his deal, Johnson took it to the country at large in a general election—and returned with an overwhelming majority to “get Brexit done.” With months to go before Britain’s departure from the EU’s economic zone, though, the prime minister has now decided to once again return to the border problem. And by claiming that the deal he reached last year amounts to a threat to the peace process in Northern Ireland, he risks undermining his most significant diplomatic achievement, the consent mechanism. It was designed for the very scenario he now warns about: in case the people of Northern Ireland find the practical application of the deal he agreed to intolerable.

Amid the growing fallout over Johnson’s move, a friend from the U.S. got in touch. Is Johnson’s decision theater or catastrophe? he asked. Is it, in other words, a tactic to wrestle concessions out of the EU, or an implicit acknowledgment of the scale of the diplomatic defeat that has occurred? I replied that, in some ways, the answer doesn’t matter: Both explanations reveal the real story underneath—that through its own choices, Britain has put itself in such a weakened position that it has finally resorted to either threatening or actually breaking international law to reassert some strength. Neither explanation is good.

The tragedy, of course, is that like Roth’s duel, this situation has no winners. Should the EU and the U.K. fail to reach a trade agreement and Britain renege on its treaty commitments, one of the most significant trading, military, security, and diplomatic relationships on Earth—between the major powers of Western Europe—will be materially damaged. Yes, Britain will be hurt harder, but that is hardly the point.

In The Radetzky March, the duel takes place. “The regimental doctor raised his pistol,” Roth writes. “He felt brave and free, yes, for the first time in his life, even a little exuberant.” A short distance away, the doctor’s friend awaits news of the outcome. “The Major stopped, half turned in his saddle, and merely said: ‘Both of them!’ Then, as he rode on, more to himself than to the Lieutenant: ‘Couldn’t be helped.’”

But it could.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by Sephiroth September 16, 07:09PM

Another cracker there

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by keano77 September 16, 08:59PM

... In other words, Britain has to either institute an internal border or try to avoid one altogether by staying tied to EU rules in perpetuity, even after it has left the bloc...

Tom McTague in The Atlantic...

Strange.

When I mention the E.U. trying to tie us to its rules in perpetuity (above) the usual suspects full of indignation all pooh-poohed the very idea.

However when a lad from County Durham who uses a curious mix of British/America spelling states the bleeding obvious you’re all swooning.

Pass the sick bag ...

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by Sephiroth September 16, 09:39PM

We don’t dismiss the notion. We have just tried to point out the realities.

Because The U.K. comprises a land border with the eu. It’s something people like you never have a moments thought to. We’ve been asking for answers for ages. You don’t have any. So those are the choices

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by j.a. September 16, 10:55PM

keano77 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ... In other words, Britain has to either
> institute an internal border or try to avoid one
> altogether by staying tied to EU rules in
> perpetuity, even after it has left the bloc...
>
> Tom McTague in The Atlantic...
>
> Strange.
>
> When I mention the E.U. trying to tie us to its
> rules in perpetuity (above) the usual suspects
> full of indignation all pooh-poohed the very
> idea.
>
> However when a lad from County Durham who uses a
> curious mix of British/America spelling states the
> bleeding obvious you’re all swooning.
>
> Pass the sick bag ...



Keano, when you’re done chucking up your indignation, could you tell us please where you think the border should go?

No deflection, no fudging, just a straight answer.

There has to be a customs border *somewhere*. If David Frost whatsapped you tonight to get your view on it, what would you tell him to do? Where would you advise the border should go?

Because we have to have one somewhere. Unless you *like* smuggling?

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by keano77 September 16, 10:59PM

As you well know, given that I’ve tried to explain it to you numerous times, the only body that would impose a border there is the E.U. to protect its taxes - ad infinitum

I’m sorry Sephiroth, you just can’t grasp that, and I cannot make it any easier for you

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by j.a. September 16, 11:03PM

So you’re saying that the UK would, and indeed should, have no customs border of any kind in between the EU and us?

Have I misunderstood?

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by Sephiroth September 16, 11:04PM

Brexit is all about U.K. taking control of its borders. It’s you who is obsessed with borders.

The eu isn’t imposing a border. Brexit and leaving single market and customs union require jt. Like breathing requires oxygen. And the U.K. signed and voted for the border in the Irish Sea

It’s literally what happened.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by keano77 September 16, 11:12PM

J.a and Sephiroth

No sane person would give two damns whether a chlorinated chicken left Belfast and arrived in Monaghan or Co Cavan, especially as it might be more hygienic than salmonella infected E.U. standard fayre.

But the E.U. (algorithms on legs therefore not sane) will take issue and insist on a border.

Therefore EU’s fault. What’s difficult to grasp about that?

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by Sephiroth September 16, 11:13PM

That’s enough now child.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by keano77 September 16, 11:16PM

Still waiting for that letter from your mother to start your deprogramming treatment Sephiroth.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by j.a. September 16, 11:19PM

keano77 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> J.a and Sephiroth
>
> No sane person would give two damns whether a
> chlorinated chicken left Belfast and arrived in
> Monaghan or Co Cavan, especially as it might be
> more hygienic than salmonella infected E.U.
> standard fayre.
>
> But the E.U. (algorithms on legs therefore not
> sane) will take issue and insist on a border.
>
> Therefore EU’s fault. What’s difficult to grasp
> about that?

So you’re saying that we don’t have to ‘police’ (for want of a better word) goods that cross the border from the Republic to UK territory? We just wave them through?

(Also, not for nothing, but chicken has to be hit with chlorine when the basic butchering process is not sanitary enough to guarantee safety. You might want to think about that.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was september 16, 11:21pm by j.a..

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by j.a. September 16, 11:19PM

keano77 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Still waiting for that letter from your mother to
> start your deprogramming treatment Sephiroth.


Stop being a @#$%&. Don’t bring people’s family into it. Not cool.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by keano77 September 16, 11:42PM

j.a. Wrote:
-----------------------------------------------------
>
> So you’re saying that we don’t have to ‘police’
> (for want of a better word) goods that cross the
> border from the Republic to UK territory? We just
> wave them through?
>
Au contraire j.a. (See what I did there, I’m pro-funny foreign languages).

I’m saying UK goods going from NI to RoI should be waved through given our superior standards.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by keano77 September 16, 11:44PM

j.a. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> keano77 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Still waiting for that letter from your mother
> to
> > start your deprogramming treatment Sephiroth.
>
>
> Stop being a @#$%&. Don’t bring people’s family
> into it. Not cool.

Another 15 hour day j.a?

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by Alan Medic September 17, 06:42AM

> I’m saying UK goods going from NI to RoI should be
> waved through given our superior standards.

I think just replying 'bullshit' covers this one. If you want to act like a troll just use twitter.

messageRe: EU Trade Talks Thread
Posted by j.a. September 17, 07:53AM

keano77 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> j.a. Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> ---
> >
> > So you’re saying that we don’t have to ‘police’
> > (for want of a better word) goods that cross
> the
> > border from the Republic to UK territory? We
> just
> > wave them through?
> >
> Au contraire j.a. (See what I did there, I’m
> pro-funny foreign languages).
>
> I’m saying UK goods going from NI to RoI should be
> waved through given our superior standards.

I asked you about ROI to UK.

You dodged the question.

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