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Westminstenders: 30 days to save us all!

(971 Posts)
RedToothBrush Fri 23-Aug-19 00:28:10

It's quite remarkable to watch the British press atm.

It's like it doesn't understand English. Well only if its English spoken by foreigners.

Merkel made the observation that the UK had spent two years looking at the Irish border but had failed to come up with a workable solution, and now Johnson has waltzed in and made statements about how the backstop must go, and only has 30 days in which this can be achieved.

The British press writes this up as Merkel giving the UK a deadline to come up with a new solution.

Which is nonsense. The UK have a deadline to save itself, from itself and that's 31st October. This is a self imposed deadline.

Meanwhile comes out with the Brexiteer smack down that he didn't think the UK wS leaving the EU to regain its sovereignty only to become a vassalage or junior partner to the US.

Both these ideas being the result of leaving the EU have long been key issues. From before the ref. Both have been the UK's to solve in order to get the terms the UK wants from a deal.

The referendum was about choosing to align with the EU or to ditch that and rights and align closely with the US. Then Trump happened and the sell on this got harder, but still essentially the same. And it continues.

And then there was the Irish border. The magic solution to Brexit that doesn't break the GFA. I personally think there isn't one as long as the DUP have their red lines about the Irish sea.

So here we are. More than 3 years after the ref.

Leavers still have no plan. Apart for charge headlong over the cliff. Remains still have their heads wedged up their own backsides and also, after spending months criticising every one else on social media anyway who makes a stand again this bull shit.

Yet the newspapers fail to report what Merkel said or why the UK has this issue in the first place. Its an ongoing exercise in national delusion and self denial.

OP’s posts: |
Inniu Fri 23-Aug-19 00:37:57

Leavers came up with their plan a few days ago. Ireland gets special status stays in the EU, single market etc but follows U.K. regulations.
What’s not to like? No hard border, no breaking the GFA. Perfect.

Missed out entire that Ireland is an independent nation, that has sovereignty too and will absolutely not be rejoining the UK after spending years fighting to get out.

I am sure as far as the Tories are concerned those 100 years of independence are an aberration and Ireland will come to its senses and be delighted to rejoin this new UK.

AwdBovril Fri 23-Aug-19 00:40:56

30 days to save us all
30 days to find them (answers to the WA conundrum)
30 days to bring them all (to help, because the government is all out of ideas & now scrabbling about for help)
And in the darkness bind them (together, as if we were on the Titanic).

prettybird Fri 23-Aug-19 00:40:57

Regal Cat Pose wink

Can't believe how the UK MSM keeps on mistranslating what is said because they hear it through the filter of what they think should be said (and of course because they can't understand MFLs themselves hmm).

Plus they confuse courtesy with diplomacy.

AwdBovril Fri 23-Aug-19 00:44:59

30 years would be more realistic to sort this bloody mess out. The current lot of politicians shouldn't be allowed in charge of a henhouse.

Defenbaker Fri 23-Aug-19 01:38:26

@prettybird - beautiful cats. We have had several siamese cats over the years, and I loved them all. I'd love to have another, but I've developed allergies so it's not an option now.

What do you mean, when you say "Plus they confuse courtesy with diplomacy." Surely these are similar things, both involving being polite so as not to alienate people? Or am I being a bit dense here?

Anyway, they seem to be just going round in circles. Bojo doesn't seem too daunted by the task in hand. I wonder if that's because he's just too arrogant to think he could fail to get a decent deal out of the EU, or because maybe he kmows something we don't? As in, perhaps there is a lot of bargaining and horse trading going on behind the scenes, in secret talks with powerful people. There are many rich people whose businesses depend on good trading relations between UK and EU, so I imagine that their greed and self preservation instinct will come into play and they will work together to find a solution. This could be one of the few situations where that famous line from Wall Street, "Greed is good" may ring true, as they ensure their share prices and profit margins are proctected.

They mentioned on the news today that there could be issues with exporting recyclable waste abroad after Brexit. Apparently some of it gets burned in the UK to produce energy, but we export some as we don't have enough plants in the UK to process it ourselves. It seems crazy to export our waste abroad, when we have technology to turn it into energy here. Hopefully the government will divert some money into building more energy plants of this type, so that we won't have to waste resources sending it abroad in years to come. Obviously this can't happen overnight, but I am hoping that our government will invest in this sort of project, alongside supporting the UK farming industry, so that our country can be as self sufficient as possible. If climate change is indeed upon us, many parts of the world will become uninhabitable and it will become vital that we maximise the potential of our farming and energy industries. Deal or no deal, leave or remain, I feel that the world is going to become a much scarier place in the next few years, and resources of all kinds will be stretched to the limit. Sorry, to sound like a drama llama, but I do think things are going to get tough, and the more self sufficient the UK can become, the better.

wheresmymojo Fri 23-Aug-19 02:28:30

Article from the Torygraph on the Border....thoughts???

EU leaders have got it wrong, there are plenty of solutions to the Irish border problem


Boris Johnson has made a strong opening bidin his negotiations with the EU. During this process, several things are strikingly different from the previous government. First, there is no requirement to achieve “frictionless trade”, only “as frictionless as possible” which is the goal of every free trade agreement.

The EU recognises that completely frictionless trade can only be delivered by the Customs Union and Single Market, which is why Theresa May’s government was heading in that direction. By changing this, the Johnson administration is seeking a new settlement which is more readily understood by the EU (and indeed all trading partners).

In the words of Michel Barnier himself, it is a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the whole of the UK with Irish border facilitations, customs facilitations and regulatory cooperation. Since both parties want this, it should be relatively easy to amend the political declaration to reflect this fact by removing references to single customs territories and to the need to build on the backstop.

Similarly, it is now recognised that there will be regulatory divergence. If there is any alignment to be had, it will be alignment of goals. If our aims are aligned and the regulations put in place objectively achieve them then differences in regulation should not prevent mutual recognition.

Second, the Johnson administration has made it clear that the duty of sincere cooperation will be interpreted in a manner more favourable to the UK, one that actually comports with international law. They will no longer be scared of the EU’s shadow in this all important area. Already Liz Truss has advanced discussions with a number of countries, in particular with the US. All of this is consistent with a trade policy that culminates in FTAs with many countries, including the EU.

But the EU’s response has been disappointing. The Prime Minister’s letter to Donald Tusk, the EU’s spokesperson said, “does not set out what any alternative arrangements could be". This theme – that Mr Johnson has failed to set out any details or alternatives – was dutifully trotted out by everybody from Tusk himself all the way down to the chairman of the Irish Senate’s Brexit Committee.

The problem is that this could hardly be further from the truth. The Alternative Arrangements Commission, whose Technical Panel I chair, has proposed endless solutions, many of which are already operating in other countries and all of which take into account the need to maintain both the Good Friday Agreement and the Common Travel Area. These ideas were collected back in July into a 273-page report which was hailed as “a positive contribution to the Irish border debate” by Mr Johnson, who has quoted from our work extensively. If it’s detail the EU wants, they don’t have to go far to find it.

Our research has been widely credited with providing a clear and obvious way of delivering customs checks away from the Irish border and obviates the need for hard infrastructure. What we propose is a multi-layered approach with various different strategies deployed together to mitigate the need for at-the-border checks. None of this is “unicorn” thinking, we deliberately restricted the use of technological solutions to those which have already been deployed elsewhere.

A multi-tier trusted trader programme for large and medium sized companies and with exemptions for the smallest companies would cut the number of customs checks needed and ensure they could take place well away from the border. Integrating it with existing administration systems would make things more efficient for local traders. Mr Johnson has spoken about this before, and a similar scheme in Brazil has brought huge savings for business.

Increased use of conformity assessments and working to replace border checks on standards with checks carried out on goods once they have entered the marketplace are ways of limiting the disruption caused by the need for checks. This could be backed up by tough rules for companies caught flouting the relevant regulations.

The use of the Registered Exporters Platform (REX) has already shown that technology can help to ensure goods are compliant with rules of origin. How do we know that works? The EU already uses such a system with a number of its trading partners, including most recently the Canadians.

Perhaps the greatest challenge in the Irish context is the regulation of agri-food. The need for Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary measures, as well as the requirements for veterinary checks at Border Inspection Posts, are not so easily mitigated but could be solved by moving facilities away from the border and utilising mobile units wherever possible to carry out checks. We have also suggested that for this area, where there is an argument that an all-island economy truly exists, various common regulatory areas could be considered.

These few ideas, in case Mr Tusk is in any doubt, aren’t intended to be a definitive list of what needs to happen to prevent a hard border. They represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the range of potential solutions and the amount of research and preparation that has gone into each of them.

Don’t be fooled by the EU’s feigned ignorance. Its unbending commitment to the backstop is a product of political dogma, not a genuine lack of other options. This is short-sighted because, sooner or later, an alternative to either a hard border or the backstop will be needed.
Eliminating the backstop alone is not enough. The PM will also have to secure changes to the political declaration, but these have been on offer from the EU for months. At present this is packed with provisions agreed to by Theresa May as she tried to keep Britain in some sort of customs union. What she ought to have realised, and what Boris Johnson has realised, is that a Free Trade Agreement is the obvious end point for relations between Britain and the EU.

For that to function, however, Brussels needs to do one of three things: build a hard border in Ireland; cut the Irish off from the rest of the EU by placing a customs border down the English Channel; or work with us to deliver the alternative arrangements. They will face the same choice if Britain opts to leave with no-deal on October 31.

It is also particularly dangerous for Ireland. In the event that the UK exits without a Withdrawal Agreement, the only possible way Ireland can assure the EU it is protecting the EU’s single market and customs union will be a border between Ireland and the EU-26. This, coupled with the impact of “no deal” on the Irish beef industry, could be devastating for their economy.

With a Prime Minister who wishes to prioritise free trade and who is unwilling to countenance the “vassalage” of the backstop, it is time all parties realised that the game has changed and there is an obligation on everybody to look for a compromise.

Shanker Singham is CEO of Competere and Chairman of the Technical Panel of the Prosperity UK Alternative Arrangements Commission

TokyoSushi Fri 23-Aug-19 05:04:41


JustAnotherPoster00 Fri 23-Aug-19 06:18:50


That was an interesting article in the last thread BCF

CrunchyCarrot Fri 23-Aug-19 06:22:09

I can only say that if there are really all those solutions to the Irish border problem, then why aren't they used for other borders elsewhere? As far as I'm aware there are no completely frictionless borders anywhere.

bellinisurge Fri 23-Aug-19 06:23:37

That Torygraph article shows the weary arrogance of that group. Talking about phytosanitary controls he says "various common regulatory areas could be considered." to protect the al-Ireland economy. Dictated by whom? A rather grubby attempt to carve Ireland off from the EU and make it conform to UK's requirements. Or an border in the sea making NI conform to EU standards. I suspect he means the former rather than the more sensible latter.

TheElementsSong Fri 23-Aug-19 06:30:14

PMK with my loyal furry companion.

borntobequiet Fri 23-Aug-19 06:30:45

PMK somewhat despairing but at least with good weather to look forward to over the holiday weekend.

bellinisurge Fri 23-Aug-19 06:36:02

We all need a copy of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which , according to the book, had the words "Don't Panic" " printed in large friendly letters".

mathanxiety Fri 23-Aug-19 06:39:05

Shanker Singham is an expert at blowing hot air out of his capacious arse, being a major theorist behind Leave and leading libertarian light formerly associated with the Chandler Brothers' libertarian think tank the Legatum Institute, and the Institute of Economic Affairs..
An organisation called 'American Friends of the IEA' had received $215,000 as of 2010 from the U.S.-based Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund, donor-advised funds which support right-wing libertarian causes.[34]

Think tank Transparify, which is funded by the Open Society Foundations, ranked the IEA as one of the three least transparent think tanks in the UK in relation to funding
Funds conservative and libertarian think tanks.

Of course he refuses to accept the inconvenient reality of the GFA.

Don’t be fooled by the EU’s feigned ignorance. Its unbending commitment to the backstop is a product of political dogma, not a genuine lack of other options.
This ^^ is absolute bullshit, as we all know.

mathanxiety Fri 23-Aug-19 06:40:40

And I think it smacks of desperation.

Sostenueto Fri 23-Aug-19 06:43:21


Lisette1940 Fri 23-Aug-19 06:47:09


NoWordForFluffy Fri 23-Aug-19 06:48:21

PMK. Thanks, Red.

I'm despairing too. But trying to remain hopeful that <something> useful will happen after the recess. While planning for crash out.

It's lovely weather today. I'm hoping for dry weather in Glasgow this weekend as we're going up on Sunday for the night.

lonelyplanetmum Fri 23-Aug-19 06:58:07

Regarding that Torygraph article..Am I the only one who finds it sinister that the brains behind Brexit -Shanker Singham is continually driving this behind the scenes and again there appear to be links to big money in the US? He is the constant who seemed to advise David Davis, Dominic Raab,Liam Fox etc.

The Torygraph article says he still chairs the Alternative Arrangements Commission, Technical Panel ? Are there actual technology experts on this? Who are the other members?

I thought that when David Davis floated Singham's trusted trader idea before it didn’t work because it would take 7 years to set up, cost billions and there’d still have to be some physical infrastructure? It would also only be the system for large companies, but actually most crossings are by small firms? - see second article.

Also Singham now seems to concede that some common regulation must be considered? So what's the point? I thought we were quitting because we don't like the jointly agreed food etc regulation?

I don’t really understand it all -the main constants behind the scenes seem to be Singham and that Crawford Falconer. Mr Johnson has added Cummings. All three of them
are hardly the highest calibre compared to people like Tusk who transformed the Polish economy during his era.

Why do the politicians echo Singham? On the one hand experts are no longer fashionable yet on the other those currently in power seem to hang on his every word. He’s been there every step of the way first st the Legatum Institute and then they followed or got him to move to the Institute of Economic Affairs

Good Irish press

Plus politics co article on
problems~with the trusted~trader~scheme

ImNotYourGranny Fri 23-Aug-19 07:01:01


Hoooo Fri 23-Aug-19 07:08:45

Weary pmk

DoctorTwo Fri 23-Aug-19 07:12:15

I'd love just one BBC journalist to ask the Prime Minister why his party is happy to see a return to violence in Northern Ireland. I won't hold my breath though.

Songsofexperience Fri 23-Aug-19 07:13:27

Thanks Red
So so tired of the ever increasing bullshit. The filth ridden article on Macron in the Fail this morning almost made me join the ranks of madambee. It's an ugly 500 word long insult, nothing more. Below the belt and arrogant.
Its author would have had a great career in Nazi Germany. He's nothing but a ball of phlegm. I am writing to the shit rag to complain. This must stop.

Frankiestein402 Fri 23-Aug-19 07:15:07

>All of this is consistent with a trade policy that culminates in FTAs with many countries, including the EU.

We can't get a better fta with any country that has a deal with the EU so which countries are left where an fta would be beneficial to us? Is it really only India and the USA?

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