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Westministenders. Forget Boris. This is where Brexit starts to get real.

(981 Posts)
RedToothBrush Mon 05-Sep-16 13:26:09

There is no plan.

Or is there?

Certainly Douglas Carswell seems to think there is, and that its being ignored by people.

Robert Peston, has apparently been reliably told that May’s Brexit means Brexit equals:

1. discretionary control over immigration policy;
2. discretionary control over lawmaking;
3. no compulsory contributions to the EU budget.

It would mean we could not be a member of the EU’s single market or the EEA like Norway. Nor could we have a Swiss type deal because of the requirements of free movement of people and contributions to the EU. This means we are headed to ‘Hard Brexit’ and a model closer to the yet to be concluded Canadian free trade deal.

He and others then went on to dismiss the idea based on other legalities, the time taken to get agreement and the fact it doesn’t include services.
The way in which trade deals are current done with the EU is that they are agreed by majority consensus unless they don’t fall within the current parameters of negotiation scope, which including services would do, and would therefore require the unanimous agreement of all 27 remaining members.

Not including services such as banking, lawyers and architects would leave us close to bust.

Certainly though, it looks like we are headed towards 'Hard Brexit' rather than a softer option. I wonder how many people voted for a hard exit? It is undeniably a minority...

The solution?
Well possibly the Off The Top Of The Cliff Plan or ‘Unilateral Continuity’ which apparently the Tory Right are getting all excited about as its being seriously considered.

It would effectively see us trigger a50 and then declare we were keeping everything the same. Minus paying into Brussels and Free Movement of People and EU law. It is actually currently the only option that fits with Peston’s report of May’s Three Pillars.

It would assume that we could assume our WTO status and this would be accepted without dispute by all 164 WTO members. Or at least with minimum renegotiations needed.

We would then declare our current trade agreements would stay the same in a ‘take it or leave it situation’ and taking the belief that law is on our side, meaning no one is likely to challenge it leaving us to just carry on trading as we are.

The problem with this is plan is not law but politics.

The plan would make us terribly popular as a nation (both with the EU and the rest of the WTO members) and ultimately could lead to the failure of the plan or bankrupt/destroy us in the process.

And Brussels insiders have already dismissed the plan, insisting it is illegal and would take it to court. The WTO yesterday also said the same thing when May said that the UK would become a 'free trader'.

There’s the rub. It might well be the case that the law is on our side in all respects. The truth is the EU really have no option but to challenge it. To not do so, would be crazy in terms of the continuation of the EU. What would be the point in making contributions to it, if you could get all the benefits without the apparent drawbacks? Surely it would at some point inevitably lead to the end of the EU?

What would happen in the meantime is the big question. We could get stuck in a battle where all trade to the EU was disrupted by a legal dispute. It would cause massive uncertainty for all concerned. And for how long.

What else could the rest of the EU do? They are entering the land of Shit Creek just as much as us.

Of course the threat of doing this, probably is our Big Bargaining Chip. Threaten the very existence of the EU and test the rest of Europe’s real commitment to it. The trouble is that of course the EU can’t be seen to give us a deal that good willingly so maybe it is the only option that the
UK has to achieve May’s pillars.

Interestingly this previously mentioned article directly refers to Unilateral Continuity as option b.

I do think this back up the idea that this is the leverage idea to give us a hand to bargain with as in theory it means that the EU would be forced into a scenario where they either have to:

1)Accept the deal of unilateral continuity or propose one just as favourable to the UK which potentially might threaten the EU and undermines their own national interest (most likely reached through an EU Treaty of some description to avoid a50 and the hazards it raises for all parties) or
2)Allow the UK to go ahead with unilateral continuity and then challenge it in the courts – or force us to challenge a trade blockade - in the hope it would destroy the UK but might save the EU, however they might lose anyway getting burned in the process themselves by undermining their own national interest, and the EU might still be at risk of collapse.

It is a high stakes gamble. All or nothing. Quite literally. It’s very much British Imperialism returned. Irony of ironies.

The trouble is, looking at a50 we don’t have much room to do much else but grab the gun in the hands of the EU and wrestle them for it. Who, of the two of us, will end up being the death of when they get shot?

I note here, it means that we possibly don’t need as many negotiators as suggested nor possibly senior civil servants. It would mean 2 years or slightly longer is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Of course, we wouldn’t be THAT CRAZY? So say all the people who said we wouldn’t be that crazy to vote for Brexit in the first place forgetting we now live in the land of the crazy.

The only ray of light? The EU commission, France and Germany realise that creating a legal precedent is a worse option than making the case that the UK is somehow a ‘special case’ and they should therefore give us all our sweets and unicorns afterall. Thus proving that all us Remainers really were wrong all along.

The really big sticking point as to why it won’t work? Northern Ireland (and to a lesser extent Scotland), the fact we need Free Movement of People whether we want to admit it or not (for NI and certain industries like agriculture) and the practicalities of registering all current EU citizens so we can keep the new unwanted ones out.

It always comes back to these 3 points doesn’t it?

Nor does it take into account the issue of acquired rights and the legal position of British citizens abroad. Strangely enough, today May has ruled out the possibility of an 'Australian Style Points System'. Which is understandable actually as its completely unworkable and unenforceable due to the number of unregistered EU residents we currently have.

Nor does it take into account what the actions of MPs and Lords might take in blocking a50 and not playing ball. Indeed Merkel may be quietly waiting to see what happens for this very reason. Let the British play it out, see what they find, see if people oppose it and block it. See if the government does collapse as a result. Afterall, this option, is better for Germany than either a new EU Treaty or the Off The Top Of The Cliff Plan.

She would come out of it with her hands clean.

This is also why May will not make any announcement nor make any promises over EU citizens in the UK. They simply aren’t part of the plan. Not at this stage at least. So why bother talking about such a sticky issue?

And it also explains the lack of an alternative plan to Off The Top of The Cliff Plan too, at this stage. It’s all about who will blink first.

RedToothBrush Mon 05-Sep-16 13:28:17


Parliamentary Debate on the EU Ref Petition: 5th September
High Court Hearing on two NI challenges to a50: 5th September
Croatian Parliamentary Election: 11th September
UKIP Leadership Result: 15th September
UKIP Conference: 16th September – 17th September
Liberal Democrat Conference: 17th September – 20th September
Labour Leadership Result: Saturday 24th September
Labour Party Conference: 25th September – 28th September
Spanish Regional Elections in Basque Country: 25th September
Italian Referendum on Constitutional Change: October
Czech Regional Elections: October
Austrian Presidential Election Re-Run: 2nd October
Hungarian Referendum on Migration Quotas: 2nd October
Conservative Party Conference: 2nd October – 5th October
Lithuanian Parliamentary Elections: 9th October
SNP Conference: 13th – 15th October
The Department for Exiting the European Union first question sessions in Parliament: Thursday 20th October
High Court hearing on a50: due 'no earlier than the third week in October'
US Presidential Election: 8th November
Romanian Parliamentary Elections: Nov/Dec
Suggested a50 date: Provisionally Spring 2017
French Presidential Election 1st Round: 23 April 2017
French Presidential Election 2nd Round: 7th May 2017
EU Budget talks for the next 7 years: Mid 2017
German Federal Election: Between 27 August and 22 October 2017
European Parliamentary Elections: June 2019
Suggested Brexit date: 31st December 2019

IrenetheQuaint Mon 05-Sep-16 13:32:08

Thanks RedToothbrush! And aargh.

The Tory party conference will be interesting this year...

Nightofthetentacle Mon 05-Sep-16 13:35:10

Wow, just wow. Hats off to you red for assimilating all this, and please God let 'Plan Cliff' fall by the wayside. That is a stunningly reckless plan.

Peregrina Mon 05-Sep-16 13:35:24

Just marking my place.

OrsonWellsHat Mon 05-Sep-16 13:37:16

......could end in a bun fight, here's hoping grin

Thanks for the new thread Red wine

TheBathroomSink Mon 05-Sep-16 13:37:36

Thanks, Red, excellent calendar!

TheNorthRemembers Mon 05-Sep-16 14:31:01

Thanks Red.

SwedishEdith Mon 05-Sep-16 15:07:05

Great (and depressing) summary Red.

Unicornsarelovely Mon 05-Sep-16 15:32:56

Thanks Red. In all of that, we also have to remember that May only has a majority of 17 which includes hard brexiteers, John Redwood, Michael Gove and a whole heap of pro-remain MPs.

Time to write to my local MP again!

Nightofthetentacle Mon 05-Sep-16 16:04:44

David Davis about to give statement on "Exiting the European Union"

Did not know til now that there is also an MP called David Davies. Bet that's caused all sorts of exciting email fun times.

prettybird Mon 05-Sep-16 16:08:57

....and unfortunately a fractured opposition sad

I was shouting at the TV doing a lot of that nowadays wink this morning when she said that the people of the UK voted Brexit because they wanted control over EU migration. angry

She doesn't know why people voted for Brexit. confused

Some wanted hard Brexit. Some wanted soft Brexit. Some wanted "sovereignty" (which interestingly was one of the quotes from one of the ladies that the BBC interviewed for its Brexit survey). Some believed that they were voting for extra money for the NHS. Some misguidedly wanted to give Cameron/the Establishment/Westminster/Sturgeon a bloody nose. Some of those actually believed in the EU but thought that could do a protest vote as they assumed Remain would winhmm

Nightofthetentacle Mon 05-Sep-16 16:21:16

If you want to REALLY shout at the telly, DD is giving his statement flanked by Fucks and Bozo and they look gloriously smug.

DD "Brexit it means simply leaving the European Union". Only vague platitudes and jingoistic nonsense thus far.

whatwouldrondo Mon 05-Sep-16 16:36:30

I just clicked on Facebook to see David Davis being broadcast by ITN with the slightly surreal addition of the Facebook emoticons dancing along the bottom presumably in response to people clicking on them. A lot of people are clearly shouting, or indeed weeping, at the telly. When he said most remainers were now won over to Brexit there was a particular flood of angry and weeping faces......

Thank you Red for the continued excellent briefing

TheNorthRemembers Mon 05-Sep-16 16:38:59

Night I am not strong enough to shout at telly after reading Red's post about unilateral continuity. Is this really a thing? Do we really think all the other nations will continue to be grateful for the opportunity to be heaped abuse upon / looked down by us?

Peregrina Mon 05-Sep-16 16:53:36

How does David Davis know that Remainers have been won over to Brexit? Were we asked? Apart from the members of his own party who voted to Remain and are now loudly singing the Brexit tune?

A part of me hopes that the Japanese make good on their threat to pull their firms out, and then the answer will be, this is what you voted for. I would feel sorry for the people who were duped, thinking that the NHS would get more money, but won't have one ounce/gram of sympathy for anyone who voted out on racist grounds.

TheNorthRemembers Mon 05-Sep-16 16:58:12

Peregrina Because a lot of us do not grumble that much, just get on with it. My MIL thought that the Remainers in the family changed their tunes, but we just decided not to voice our concerns to her. She would not listen any way.

If Nissan leaves, there will be hell to pay in Sunderland.

Bearbehind Mon 05-Sep-16 17:10:54

I agree with hoping the Japanese make good their threats Peregrina

I'm horrified to have reached that point but, unless these Leave sheep begin to reap what they've sown, this mindless, brain washed flag flying will only continue.

prettybird Mon 05-Sep-16 17:14:31

I've not managed to find the wording of the BBC ComRes survey in which the majority surveyed are positive about Britain's future post-Brexit confused

There are some of us who might be positive but I would suspect for the majority, it's despite not because because of Brexit.

twofingerstoGideon Mon 05-Sep-16 17:14:42

Easyjet has moved its maintenance operation to Malta. reported in Malta Today
Quote from the article:
It is understood that EasyJet's decision to relocate its base maintenance to Malta was precipitated by the United Kingdom's decision to exit the European Union.

RedToothBrush Mon 05-Sep-16 17:25:50

I'm watching David Davies on BBC Parliament.

He is doing a decent job. He told Gove off for being 'too optimistic' at this stage Gove was being a smug twat. Davies is proving to be 100 times better than Gove ever would have been for that reason alone.

He has made a BIG acknowledgement about the legal issues being extremely complicated.

There was an implication that all EU law will made into British law after a50 somehow without Parliamentary scrutiny, and then will be reviewed at a later date.

There was an acknowledgement that a50 will not be triggered until ready (from this, I take it mainly relates to legal issues).

prettybird Mon 05-Sep-16 17:39:35

Found the link to the ComRes survey

Interesting that the question was indeed a "general" one and that only 87 came from Scotland I'd also be interested to see if the proportion of people who are "fairly" as opposed "very" positive about the future.

prettybird Mon 05-Sep-16 17:44:03

Just mentioned the Easyjet move to dh. He then said, "It'll be easier to Valletta plane" hmmgrin

RedToothBrush Mon 05-Sep-16 17:45:54

That said, he hasn't actually said what Brexit means...

His opening statement (which I missed) had MPs shouting 'Waffle' at him.
The Newstatesman has a piece on this

He did make an intriguing comment re NI saying the solution needed to be both political and 'technological'.

He has said that there will be no parliamentary vote on a50. Again this is interesting as the courts might decide otherwise yet. They are either VERY confident they will win, or they are protecting themselves from political fall out should the courts decide this.
Blog on whether the EU is planning 'dodgy access' to the single market.
Polish Ministers to visit the UK after violence against Polish nationals
UK under pressure to join the Paris Climate control agreement. Whether we do or don't will be interesting in terms of Brexit and how we intend to develop our industry and business.
David Allen Green has written a very good summary of whether Brexit will happen. It is well worth reading. It is very unbiased and just factual.
Interview with Joseph Stiglitz: “Leaving the EU is not going to immunise you against bad policies”
Lots of people who wanted Brexit wanted an Australian style points system. And now we aren't getting that. So how the buggery bollocks are we going to fill skills shortages whilst keeping people out?

DoinItFine Mon 05-Sep-16 17:55:07

I took August off worrying, or even thinking much, about Brexit.

I'm delighted to see that in that month so much has been clarified and worked out.

Feeling extremely confident that we are headed for a bright new sovereign future.


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