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The battle of Brexit!

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  • They have six more days to kick Johnson out of office and pretend it never happened in order to reinstall the previous self-serving limbo.


    • Brexit: What happens at midnight on Friday January 31? Not a lot | Euro News | Jan 27 2020

      A 11 month adjustment period

      The Withdrawal Agreement, negotiated by Theresa May and renegotiated by Boris Johnson, becomes a binding treaty between the EU and Britain, enforceable with penalties.

      Britain is no longer part of EU decision-making structures; ministers, including Prime Minister Johnson, will not attend EU summits unless invited, Britain’s 73 MEPs will no longer sit in the European Parliament, and its finance ministry must settle its ‘divorce bill’.
      “We will play the sound of Big Ben chiming, you know that wonderful sound, loudly through our excellent speaker system,” said the group’s director and Brexit Party Chairman and MEP, Richard Tice. “I think it'll be a huge roar of excitement.”


      • Mission accomplished!


        • Looking forward to having access to British markets again
          In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



          • You always could.


            • The independence of self governance being relished.


              • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
                The independence of self governance being relished.
                There is still 11 months to renegotiate. So that's a repeat after May.

                Whether they can get a better deal this time around


                • As one hurdle (NI border) disappears, another (regulatory alignment) shows up. The EU doesn't want a "Singapore-on-Thames" 200 miles off the French coast, and wants a "level playing field" between it and the UK. If the UK maintains (or increases) its current working and environmental regulations, this shouldn't be a problem. I don't see why British workers would want to lower them.

                  But the government is dead set on getting the right to deregulate. Like a prudent teenager who wants the right to get a full body tattoo, will they actually do it? They're not afraid to tank their economy with the introduction of tariffs. Many Brexiteers are retired and won't feel a thing. That's the thing about net-importers like the US and UK. You can't kill them on trade.

                  On the other hand, if Boris isn't bluffing, will the EU jeopardise exports to its biggest trading partner? I imagine it would love to strip Britain of its manufacturing assets and move them to the continent. Trump wanted to do the same to Germany's high-tech car industry. Long term, it might be beneficial to replace UK suppliers with EU ones in the supply chain, but short term, Germany would be looking at a recession.

                  A simple solution could be "if the UK deviates, the EU imposes tariffs." The UK has a deficit in goods, but a surplus in services going to Europe. So why they're hell-bent on a CFTA is beyond me. Maybe services will be a hush-hush deal once Boris brings back a "triumphant" free-trade deal within his self-imposed deadline of December 31st.

                  Any rules signed, well they're just paper. Economic strength, not the WTO or paper is what decides the rules of trade, as we've seen over the past 3 years with the US.


                  • Johnson just decreed that all petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles will be banned by 2035. I think it is safe to say he does not care about tanking the car industry if No Deal (or Australia-style deal, as he's calling it now) happens. Let's be honest, these cars will be imported, so he's just setting the requirements for future importers.

                    Sure, this can be reversed. No past parliament can bind a future parliament's hands. But I think it's short sighted. I got my thoughts from this video: In summary, do we have the battery capacity for fully electric vehicles? Is it better for 10 people to drive hybrids than 2 to drive EVs and everybody else petrol?


                    • The EU’s final words to the UK as it departed the union after nearly half a century were “thank you, goodbye, and good riddance”.

                      The misspoken farewell, spoken by the Croatian ambassador to her UK counterpart Tim Barrow last week, perhaps sums up 47 years of the Britons being lost in translation in Brussels.

                      Irena Andrassy, the Croatian ambassador, was chairing the UK’s final meeting of EU envoys as a member state because her country holds the six-month EU presidency.


                      • Originally posted by Chips1 View Post
                        In summary, do we have the battery capacity for fully electric vehicles?
                        Let's consider that the battery market for electric vehicles is basically in the hands of three countries: China, Germany and the USA. In that order.


                        • "Irena Andrassy, the Croatian ambassador, was chairing the UK’s final meeting of EU envoys as a member state because her country holds the six-month EU presidency. She assumed “good riddance” was akin to “good luck”, said diplomats present in the room."
                          My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                          • Yeah, that's the diplomatic way of saying it - "good luck, you'll need it".


                            • Originally posted by kato View Post
                              Yeah, that's the diplomatic way of saying it - "good luck, you'll need it".
                              I don't really see it that way. "Thank you, goodbye and good luck", put that in way, in that order etc, is a pretty straightforward sentiment of best wishes. Similar to "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen"
                              My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                              • There has been a 'Cabinet reshuffle' in the UK which has had some unforeseen infighting. In principle 'Cabinet reshuffles' are no big news - every Government has them every couple of years, young up and coming MPs are brought in and some older Ministers are moved out traditionally so they can 'spend more time with their families' etc and in some cases this dubious excuse may even be true.

                                Traditionally in the UK there are held be three Great Offices of State after the Prime Minister those being the Chancellor of the Exchequer (who actually lives next door to the Prime Minister at No 11 Downing St), The Foreign Office and the Home Secretary. Firing one of the Ministers who occupies one of these 'Great Offices of State' can be dangerous for a PM: Margaret Thatcher's downfall started when she fired Sir Geoffrey Howe as Foreign Secretary. He went on to make a scathing resignation speech attacking Thatcher's EU policy in the House of Commons "It is rather like sending your opening batsmen to the crease only for them to find, the moment the first balls are bowled, that their bats have been broken before the game by the team captain" and from then on the gloves were off leading Michael Heseltine (who was firmly pro EU and who had been fired before over a dispute about ownership of a helicopter company) to mount a leadership challenge. Thatcher did not win the first vote and John Major (who had briefly been Chancellor) was brought in as a 'stop Heseltine' candidate and became PM.

                                So in this 'reshuffle' the PM has somewhat clumsily lost his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javed. This dispute appears to have been about what in British political terminology are called 'Spads' by which they mean 'special advisors' to Ministers. These people are not civil servants but are specialist advisors brought in by Ministers. The most notable 'spad' to the PM being Dominic Cummings. Indeed the dispute seems to have been Dominic Cummings and those 'spads' advising the Chancellor, one of whom (Sonia Khan, a media advisor to the Chancellor) Dominic Cummings fired offhand last year and her escorted from No 10 by armed Police. See

                                So we knew Cumming didn't like the people advising Sajid Javed already and this apparently lead to No 10 'insiders' referring to the Chancellor as "Chino" (Chancellor in name only). So a great new idea was dreamt up; that a unified team of 'spads' should advise both the PM and the Chancellor but guess who would be in charge and who would not be welcome... So Javed was told he could his post as Chancellor but his 'spads' had to go since this new 'team' would be operating. This was a no go for the former banker and prompted his resignation. He is replaced by the former Chief Secretary to the Treasury (the No 2 job to the Chancellor, MP since 2015) and former Goldman Sachs analyst Rishi Sunak who in two weeks is due to deliver a budget.

                                Another surprising removal was that of Julian Smith as Northern Ireland Secretary in favour Brandon Lewis. Julian Smith had got the Northern Ireland Assembly working again and resolved a tricky abortion issue. According to the Belfast Telegraph Mr Smith intends to spend more time in the pub. The outgoing PM (Taoiseach) of the Irish Republic praised Smith as "one of Britain’s finest politicians of our time." It is said that Smith 'went behind No 10 back' on the issue of compensation for victims of the troubles and thus had to go.

                                As to the policy issues of this No 10/No 11 'spad spat' that has lead to the resignation of the Chancellor the basics of this the need for more money to fulfill Boris Johnson's expansive promises to "unchain the full potential of the UK" (which apparently the Tories have not yet managed to do despite having been in power for the last 10yrs) by hiring 20,000 new Police, 50,000 new nurses (which previous Conservative Governments had cut), 'build 40 new hospitals' (which it appears may not mean entirely new but rather additions of bits to existing hospitals), new buses (low carbon British built), High Speed 2 train line (which they signed off last week expected to cost 106bn) and sorting out the East/West train lines across the Pennines (Manchester to Leeds) etc... The latest 'Johnson plan' is a road bridge linking the British mainland with Northern Ireland as a sort of symbolic "We're not leaving you behind" although they have of course left N. Ireland in the EU Customs Union. In short 'unleashing the full potential of the UK' actually means the Government spending billions more for political effect. The problem is the money is not there and of course it the Chancellor who has the unfortunate responsibility of trying to balance the budget while faced with the political agenda of the PM. The impossibility of balancing the budget (a Treasury job) while funding these political promises of the PM are the basis of the issue at the heart of this 'spads spat' that has prompted what some of the British political press call a 'power grab' by No 10 on the Chancellorship. Some now refer to the Treasury as No 10a Downing Street.

                                Needless to say the left wing press is having a field day; "Johnson’s choice of pipsqueaks and placemen, yes-women and yellow bellies is the most under-brained, third-rate cabinet in living memory." I do not altogether to with Polly Tonybee but it is sad and economically dangerous to see the independence of the Treasury undermined.

                                Last edited by snapper; 14 Feb 20,, 19:58.