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Thread: The battle of Brexit!

  1. #751
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    With us or US? Barnier challenges May on the kind of society UK wants

    The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has challenged Theresa May’s beleaguered government to address the fundamental question of whether Britain wants to deregulate and follow the US social and economic model or stay within the European mainstream.
    Speaking in Rome, Barnier voiced his concern over recent comments by the US commerce secretary on a visit to London, with whom the trade secretary, Liam Fox, is in discussions over a future trade deal.
    “When I hear the US secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross call, in London for the British to diverge with Europe to better converge towards others – towards less regulation, environmental, sanitary, food, probably also financial, fiscal and social – I’m wondering”, Barnier said. “The United Kingdom has chosen to leave the European Union. Will it also want to move away from the European model? That’s another question.
    “There is behind this European regulatory framework the fundamental societal choices we hold: the social market economy, health protection, food security, fair and efficient financial regulation … it is up to the British to tell us whether they still adhere to the European model.
    “Their answer is important because it directs the discussion on our future partnership and the conditions of its ratification.”
    During his visit to the UK earlier this week, Ross said he was hopeful an initial scoping exercise on a UK-US trade deal could bear fruit, but that he would want to see the British government drop regulations that he believed did not have scientific foundation, such as the ban on US chlorinated chicken. Ross had also described the EU as protectionist.
    Speaking as the EU and British Brexit negotiating teams resumed talks in Brussels without their principle negotiators, Barnier said the EU would not allow Britain to undercut the bloc’s regulatory standard in place. “There will be no close commercial relationship without a level playing field’, he said.
    He also emphasised that it was high time for the UK to provide clarity on how much of its estimated €60bn (£53bn) divorce bill it is willing to pay.
    Germany is leading EU27 states in pressuring their negotiating team to take a stricter line in Brexit talks, offering the British government no hope of discussions on a future relationship with the bloc unless a definitive concession on the financial settlement is made in the next few weeks.
    At a meeting of ambassadors on Wednesday evening, the EU27 states told Barnier of their “disappointment and surprise” at the UK government’s failure to offer any further details on the budget commitments it was willing to honour on the leaving the EU.
    One senior EU diplomat said Barnier was “under a bit of pressure” by the member states to ensure discussions do not develop beyond the unpicking of the opening withdrawal issues.
    “The member states want to be careful. We are not going to swim into the UK’s net,” one source said, on condition of anonymity.
    London insists there should be at least some talks on future arrangements at this stage in order help settle the opening withdrawal issues of the financial settlement, citizens’ rights and the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
    The UK is making a fresh push for bilateral talks with member states on the future right of UK nationals to vote in their adopted home nations in municipal and European elections.
    It is within the power of each of the member states to decide on its policy, but the European commission is blocking bilateral discussions on the subject, UK government sources said.
    Jacqueline Foster, the deputy leader of Conservative MEPs, said: “The UK set out a fair and reasonable offer on citizens’ rights which is nearly ready to be signed. One of the remaining issues is the right to vote and stand in elections, but there seems to be a catch-22.
    “The commission say it’s for the member states to sort out, but tell the member states they shouldn’t talk to the Brits”.
    The commission denies that it is blocking the British from discussing voting rights with the member states, while insisting it remains in its power to do so.
    The latest round of talks kicked off as the European commission said the UK would have almost the slowest economic growth of any EU country when it leaves the bloc in 2019.
    According to the commission’s autumn forecast, the British economy will grow 1.1% in 2019, only slightly ahead of Italy, and far behind the 1.9% expansion across the eurozone.
    The forecast is based on the theoretical assumption the EU and UK will maintain the status quo after Brexit day, but takes into account business uncertainty that is choking off investment.

  2. #752
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    At last an intelligent discussion...thank you Mr Barnier! 18 months almost of listening to crap propaganda and complete shit mind numbing bollocks from a gang of air heads!

  3. #753
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    No British foaming at the deadline yet?

    (well, the Daily Express kinda is)

  4. #754
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Moscow just took back what belonged to them ...Crimea was never really part of the Ukraine, which is why they didn't put any fight up after their Usurper took control.
    Amusing that you try to tell me the history of the region my family has lived in for hundreds of years. Shame you do not know it better.

    Catherine the Great defeated the Krimean Tatar Khanate in 1776, just after the destruction of the Zaporizhian Cossacks in 1775, shortly after the first Polish Partition in 1772. The Tatars being Muslim were often allied to the Turks and sometimes to the Ukrainian Cossacks, who at times allied with Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. You see there was a sort of 'balance of power' amid the changing alliances but once Poland vanished (literally) the independence of the others was lost. Before that it was Greek from ancient times (known in history as the Chersonesus peninsula - hence Kherson today and all the -pol endings... Sevasta - pol, Simfera - pol, Mariu - pol etc... There are still Greeks in Ukraine today). Jason and the Argonauts is basically an account of the first Greek expeditions into the Black Sea. To say it was "always Muscovite", as some have said (including Moscow) is just not true. To say "it belonged to them" is a bit like saying the Pas de Calais or Aquitaine belonged to England so it must be returned. The US and India would presumably also return to British rule if this precedent were followed. If Crimea belongs to anyone it belongs to the Tatars who have been there since Ghengis successor sent Batu Khan west in the 1230s. Stalin (well Beria) deported the Tatars en masse in 1944, killing hundreds of thousands. Hitler conquered Belgium but just because it once belonged to Nazi Germany does not make that right or mean it should be returned to Nazi control. Ukraine and the Tatars in Crimea have consistently fought against their occupiers - whether Polish or Muscovite. Today the Tatars fight in the Ukrainian army, good soldiers. I would not have a problem with Crimea being an autonomous Republic (as it was) or the Tatars setting up their own republic within Crimea. The point is the geography dictates their reliance and need for good relations with Ukraine.

    It remained in Muscovite hands until 1954 so it was 'Russian' for less than 200yrs. Khrushchev made it part of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic for a good reason; it is dependent on Ukraine water, electricity and nowadays gas as well (hence they needed the Seimens turbines) or "Taking into account the integral character of the economy, the territorial proximity and the close economic and cultural ties between the Crimea Province and the Ukrainian SSR..." in the Commie lingo of the decision. Moscow recognised Crimea as part of Ukraine after the Soviet state fell apart and repeatedly undertook to respect Ukrainian sovereignty - not least in the infamous Budapest Memorandum.

    Also amusing that try to tell me why we did not fight Crimea - when I was personally present at some of the NSDC meetings during the early 'interim Government'. The reason we did not fight Crimea - and there were many who wanted to - was because it was a trap. They wanted us to fight it because they had nearly 100k troops waiting at the border ready to come in. I was in Kyiv that February/March and at some of the meetings and arguments; we were cleaning the sewers preparing to fight as there was a real chance they would spark the response they needed and roll in. At that time we did not have an army capable of stopping them - they knew it because Yanukovych was there and had purposefully (some say) degraded the Armed Forces mostly to his own benefit. Make no mistake if we had fought Crimea we would have faced major incursion and a long partisan war against the occupiers before Ukraine rose again. Thankfully the trap was avoided but it was a close thing. Very rarely are wars 'won' by some great stratagem, most often they are lost by those who make the most mistakes - the Athenian expedition against Syracuse etc...

    But you are again avoiding the implications for British national security if the referendum was influenced by even raising this - 'whataboutism' is all I can get from you.
    Last edited by snapper; 10 Nov 17, at 19:41.

  5. #755
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    No British foaming at the deadline yet?

    (well, the Daily Express kinda is)
    Which deadline? The one to leave the EU an hour early due to brussels time? Or the 2 weeks to agree the financial settlement. Its beyond a joke that the quitter press keeps insisting we 'hold all the cards', despite us capitulating to Barnier on everything so far.

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  7. #757
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    I think it's pretty well accepted that Russia manipulated Social Media to aid both leave campaigns. The more explosive issue to my mind is the shady money that appears to be have channelled through dodgy sources to support the separatists. We all know Moscow heavily interfered in the US election and attempted to subvert the French and German ones. It would be astonishing if they were not involved in Brexit also.

    I think Aaron banks and the DUP money are the ones to watch.. if hard evidence emerges from the enquiries, (which the FBI are also looking into) it should be enough to nullify the referendum result in many peoples minds.
    Last edited by zara; 11 Nov 17, at 23:04.

  8. #758
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    I think you mean this; https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/bre...-afford-brexit See also https://www.the-american-interest.co...it-subversion/

    It is also now established that this Maltese Professor (Misfud) who was in contact with Papadopoulos (who went on to work for Trump) met with Boris Johnson. What is Thames House doing?
    Last edited by snapper; 12 Nov 17, at 13:35.

  9. #759
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Amusing that you try to tell me the history of the region my family has lived in for hundreds of years. Shame you do not know it better.

    Catherine the Great defeated the Krimean Tatar Khanate in 1776, just after the destruction of the Zaporizhian Cossacks in 1775, shortly after the first Polish Partition in 1772. The Tatars being Muslim were often allied to the Turks and sometimes to the Ukrainian Cossacks, who at times allied with Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. You see there was a sort of 'balance of power' amid the changing alliances but once Poland vanished (literally) the independence of the others was lost. Before that it was Greek from ancient times (known in history as the Chersonesus peninsula - hence Kherson today and all the -pol endings... Sevasta - pol, Simfera - pol, Mariu - pol etc... There are still Greeks in Ukraine today). Jason and the Argonauts is basically an account of the first Greek expeditions into the Black Sea. To say it was "always Muscovite", as some have said (including Moscow) is just not true. To say "it belonged to them" is a bit like saying the Pas de Calais or Aquitaine belonged to England so it must be returned. The US and India would presumably also return to British rule if this precedent were followed. If Crimea belongs to anyone it belongs to the Tatars who have been there since Ghengis successor sent Batu Khan west in the 1230s. Stalin (well Beria) deported the Tatars en masse in 1944, killing hundreds of thousands. Hitler conquered Belgium but just because it once belonged to Nazi Germany does not make that right or mean it should be returned to Nazi control. Ukraine and the Tatars in Crimea have consistently fought against their occupiers - whether Polish or Muscovite. Today the Tatars fight in the Ukrainian army, good soldiers. I would not have a problem with Crimea being an autonomous Republic (as it was) or the Tatars setting up their own republic within Crimea. The point is the geography dictates their reliance and need for good relations with Ukraine.

    It remained in Muscovite hands until 1954 so it was 'Russian' for less than 200yrs. Khrushchev made it part of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic for a good reason; it is dependent on Ukraine water, electricity and nowadays gas as well (hence they needed the Seimens turbines) or "Taking into account the integral character of the economy, the territorial proximity and the close economic and cultural ties between the Crimea Province and the Ukrainian SSR..." in the Commie lingo of the decision. Moscow recognised Crimea as part of Ukraine after the Soviet state fell apart and repeatedly undertook to respect Ukrainian sovereignty - not least in the infamous Budapest Memorandum.

    Also amusing that try to tell me why we did not fight Crimea - when I was personally present at some of the NSDC meetings during the early 'interim Government'. The reason we did not fight Crimea - and there were many who wanted to - was because it was a trap. They wanted us to fight it because they had nearly 100k troops waiting at the border ready to come in. I was in Kyiv that February/March and at some of the meetings and arguments; we were cleaning the sewers preparing to fight as there was a real chance they would spark the response they needed and roll in. At that time we did not have an army capable of stopping them - they knew it because Yanukovych was there and had purposefully (some say) degraded the Armed Forces mostly to his own benefit. Make no mistake if we had fought Crimea we would have faced major incursion and a long partisan war against the occupiers before Ukraine rose again. Thankfully the trap was avoided but it was a close thing. Very rarely are wars 'won' by some great stratagem, most often they are lost by those who make the most mistakes - the Athenian expedition against Syracuse etc...

    But you are again avoiding the implications for British national security if the referendum was influenced by even raising this - 'whataboutism' is all I can get from you.
    Very big paragraphs followed by inaccurate analogy...The Crimea fell to Russia in 2014 with no fight at all! Quite embarrassingly no fight!...sorry not in my street!......but with an an ethnic Russian majority I guess Ukraine decided it was a no win situation. Better fight elsewhere instead!

    Oh and I am now thinking that getting out completely with no deal is sounding really good..WTO is the way!!
    Last edited by Toby; 13 Nov 17, at 00:32.

  10. #760
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    Seems your english comprehension is somewhat lacking. We chose not to fight Crimea because if we had Muscovite tanks would have been at the gates of Kyiv within a week.

  11. #761
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    Gotta agree with Snapper here.. I know ziltch about strategy or war, but fighting Russia on this would have meant the end of the Ukraine. The 'little green men' in Donetsk were 'officially' not the Russian army according Moscow (obviously lies). But they made no such pretense in the Crimea. Directly engaging in Crimea would have invited full scale invasion, which the Ukraine could not hope to resist without NATO help which was not forthcoming.

    Ukraine used to have nukes remember, but a pact with the USA and Russia guaranteed their territory would be respected if they decommissioned them. What message does this send to states like North Korea and Iran?
    If you

  12. #762
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Oh and I am now thinking that getting out completely with no deal is sounding really good..WTO is the way!!
    Really good? You sure you've thought this through?

    Its true it would mean no financial settlement and no ECJ jurisdiction but have you examined the obstacles?

    There is a lot of mis-understanding about the WTO among leavers. You know although the UK remains a member in its own right, this is meaningless without a schedule? Every single member including those who would seek a price (like Argentina and Russia) have a veto over granting us a schedule. Even our friends (USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Thailand, New Zealand) have refused to allow the EU and the UK to simply split the quota. This means the price of a new schedule will be a hugely increased quota - which the EU will no doubt insist that the UK takes the lions share.

    WTO tariffs on agricultural products are extremely high and quotas very low which will be devastating for the republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland alike. Collateral damage you may judge, but the price for this will hit the treasury as huge subsidies will be required for Northern Ireland. It means a certainty of a hard border in Ireland.

    Until we get FTA's signed (and we will be extremely vulnerable) we are on the same footing as Mauritania, the only country in the world that trades exclusively on WTO rules. We will lose all access to to the 50+ free trade deals we currently trade with under the EU deals.

    And what about membership of EU programs we wish to participate in? Like EURASMUS or open skies?

    A bad tempered no deal scenario would leave us open to being sued at the International court for breaking our treaties. Whether this would be successful or not, it would certainty rule out a FTA with the EU in the near future.
    Last edited by zara; 13 Nov 17, at 13:37.

  13. #763
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    British groceries double in price when we entered the EEC....Tax went up to pay our contribution...and over time our democracy has been eroded. I can full well understand why peoples who have very little experience of running their own countries over the last century think its a great Idea to capitulate to an autocratic regime...since they have spent so much time being ruled by one. But not this Island!

  14. #764
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Seems your english comprehension is somewhat lacking. We chose not to fight Crimea because if we had Muscovite tanks would have been at the gates of Kyiv within a week.
    Of course we all knew who they were...But there were no insignias claiming to represent any country as I remember. Moscow completely denied any involvement initially. They even kept their faces straight just for TV when asked.

  15. #765
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    From todays Times
    ——————————————
    Sometimes the price of political failure has a human face and right now Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is that emblematic figure. The British mother, jailed in Iran, has become a symbol of the foreign secretary’s incompetence, the Brexiteers’ myopia and the prime minister’s weakness. The government should be doing everything in its power to bring this innocent woman home, but instead — for reasons of internal Tory party politics — ministers seem to be conspiring to make her situation worse.

    It is shocking that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is facing an extra five years in prison as a result of Boris Johnson’s suggestion that she had been training journalists in Iran, rather than on holiday as her family has always said. This is not a “gaffe” that can be laughed off like all the others but a catastrophic error of judgment by the man whose job is to protect British citizens abroad. Already Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is close to a nervous breakdown, after 19 months in an Iranian jail, with medical problems including lumps in her breasts.

    Her stress can only have been compounded when Michael Gove declared over the weekend that he did not know why she was in Iran, a bizarre brain freeze by one of the cleverest members of the cabinet. She is right to denounce the government’s handling of her incarceration abroad as a “shambles”. In a heartbreaking interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Richard Ratcliffe, who has been a brave and eloquent campaigner for his wife’s release, said he believed she was the victim of the “wider politics” now playing out in the government.

    He is right that an awful case has got muddled up with the ideological manoeuvrings, leadership failings and vain ambitions of Brexit-obsessed Westminster. One minister describes Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe as “collateral damage” of the cabinet’s Europe wars. “Boris’s whole reckless, slapdash, unserious approach to diplomacy has put her in a worse position,” he says. “The government is paralysed by Brexit which means our entire foreign policy position is in a mess. Because of the weak prime minister and the personality of the foreign secretary, other countries feel they can push us around.”

    Another senior MP claims the situation is yet more evidence of Mr Johnson’s unsuitability for the role of foreign secretary. “At best he hasn’t read the brief, at worst he is somehow complicit with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. It points to a man who is so callous and egotistical that he simply doesn’t understand the consequences of his actions. It’s narcissism to the point of absurdity.”

    There is, of course, usually a “cock-up” rather than a “conspiracy” explanation for political disasters. I am willing to believe that the foreign secretary made a simple mistake in his comments about Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, as he has now admitted, but the point is that for the man who is responsible for protecting British citizens abroad to mis-speak about such an important matter is unforgivable.

    What makes the situation worse is that, even if this were purely a diplomatic cock-up, there is still a political conspiracy underlying it. Mr Johnson is not the foreign secretary because he is the best man for the job but because he is the most politically expedient holder of that great office of state. Appointed by a Remain-supporting prime minister to tie the leading Brexiteer into her government, he keeps the job — despite being hopelessly ill-suited to a role that requires a grasp of detail as well as diplomatic skill — only because she feels too weak to sack him. This is nothing to do with what is right for the country or British citizens abroad and everything to do with a prime minister trying to survive in No 10 and hold her party together. The fact that the Brexiteers, who see everything through the prism of their paranoia, blame a Remainer plot for the whispers against Mr Johnson is itself revealing: the issue is his competence not his Euroscepticism.

    The foreign secretary displays ‘narcissism to the point of absurdity’
    Meanwhile, Mr Gove’s allies insist that he did not understand the significance of the question when he was asked what Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing in Iran and had absolutely no intention of further undermining her position. I am sure this is true, but again the problem is that even if the environment secretary’s comments were an innocent cock-up he is also involved in a wider conspiracy with the foreign secretary.

    As part of their Brexit bromance, the two men recently sent an extraordinary memo to the prime minister stressing that they were “profoundly worried” at the “insufficient energy” being shown by some parts of government about the UK’s departure from the EU. They urged Theresa May to ensure her senior team fell behind their Brexit plans by “clarifying their minds”, a phrase described as “Orwellian” by some of their colleagues. Having fallen out over the Tory leadership contest last year they are now such close allies that Nicky Morgan, the Tory chairwoman of the Treasury select committee, accused them of acting like a “government within a government”. If this is how their own Conservative colleagues see things, it is not entirely surprising that Mr Ratcliffe is left wondering where their loyalties lie.

    Other ministers are convinced that they are more committed to each other than to a British citizen unfairly locked up in a foreign prison. “They’ve just been busy conspiring for their own advancement on the back of Theresa May’s weakness,” one says. “They’re destroying the country trying to promote their own careers. Now Nazanin has become the victim of their ambition.”

    Of course, the real villains of this story are the Iranians, who have thrown Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe into jail for no reason, but there is a vacuum in No 10 that has allowed ambiguity to thrive both in this country and abroad.

    Every appointment is made on the basis of balance, not of talent
    As one Conservative MP puts it: “The reason the Iranians can get away with it is because they perceive us as weak, and we are. Apart from anything else we are distracted. Theresa May is just incapable of leading anything any more.”

    With every ministerial appointment made on the basis of Brexit balance rather than talent, the cabinet is frozen in its indecision and there is a human cost to that.

    Yesterday Mr Ratcliffe told the foreign secretary: “I want you to solve this mess created in your name.” He and his family deserve nothing less. It is appalling that a woman’s life hangs in the balance because of the failings of this distracted and divided government.

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