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Non GAA Discussion => General discussion => Topic started by: seafoid on February 26, 2019, 11:07:01 AM

Title: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on February 26, 2019, 11:07:01 AM
"This is absolutely fantastic"  - Trailer
"Thank you so much bud" - Hound
"You don't even understand it " OmaghJoe

To kick off here is a really interesting line from William Hague

"The whole landscape of British politics is at stake over the coming weeks – whether the referendum can be honoured, whether government can be carried on, whether a great political party can stay together."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/02/25/labour-imploding-brexit-balance-tories-need-stick-together/

With Labour imploding and Brexit in the balance, the Tories need to stick together
•   
William Hague
25 February 2019 • 9:30pm



 Brexit is within sight, but Conservatives must find a greater sense of unity than in recent weeks CREDIT: LEON NEAL /GETTY IMAGES EUROPE 
While I think the three MPs who left the Conservative Party last week were wrong to do so, their departure should alarm every sensible Tory in the land. I have known quite a few defectors over the decades but, until now, they have been lone individuals leaving for personal ambition or after an agonising change in their own beliefs.
These three acted together and left in order, as they see it, to stick to their guns. Whatever you think of them, they are people who believe in an enterprise economy, individual freedom and a well-defended country – in other words, they are basically Tories. When Tories start leaving the Tory party, we should be very worried. Their loss cannot be shrugged off just because the Labour Party is in an even worse state.
Their act of leaving without changing their views is a poor reflection on the Conservative Party, but it isn’t great news for the new Independent Group either. That group now mixes real Tories with social democrats, without knowing if anything enticing can be created out of such an exotic cocktail.
Their ability to present themselves as a centre-Left alternative to an extremist Labour leadership has been damaged at the outset by bringing in the centre-Right. The defections of Anna Soubry, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston might therefore be the first in history to weaken both the party they left and the one they joined at the same time.
Whether the Independent Group can be made into a viable party that threatens the existing party system remains to be seen. It faces more than the well-known hurdles of our electoral procedures and the conundrum of how to co-exist with the Liberal Democrats without merging into them.
Its challenge is actually global in scale – to create a centrist philosophy and programme at a time when everyone from US Democrats to President Macron is struggling and failing to do so. When those 11 MPs sit in a room and think, they will have to come up with an electorally appealing centrist message, something that has eluded Hillary Clinton and most European leaders, and that Vince Cable has shown no sign of discovering.
Their most immediate problem will be if an orderly Brexit happens on schedule, leaving the one policy they have in common – stopping Brexit – irrelevant. The immediate threat to the Conservative Party is the exact opposite: that Brexit either doesn’t happen or is not at all orderly. Unfortunately, the Tories are about to face a terrible choice between those two unpalatable alternatives unless they find a greater sense of unity than in recent weeks.

With less than five weeks to go to Brexit day, and no sign of an agreement that can both pass the Commons and be agreed in Brussels, Theresa May’s famous reticence about her intentions, should all her efforts fail, is an important asset. If the EU is going to make any meaningful concession, it will only do so at the last minute and because it fears the consequences of a no-deal exit. And if the Commons is ever going to pass a deal, it will only be because time has run out for all other ideas and because people on both ends of the argument fear the worst from their own point of view.
The best approach for a cohesive governing party in this situation is to keep its collective nerve for another few weeks, extract a change to the legal durability of the Irish backstop allowing the deal to be voted through, and delay Brexit for only as long as needed to pass the legislation to implement it.

That unity may actually be easier to achieve now that the opposition seems to be discussing a second referendum more seriously.
We could then proceed to deliver Brexit, enter the transition period, open negotiations on a free trade agreement with the EU, and provide the country in the meantime with a steady government. Labour would be left to be deservedly consumed in its own flames of hatred, extremism and anti-Semitism, and the Tories could focus on finding the right leader and direction for the 2020s.
This is essentially what Mrs May is trying to do. If her whole party joined with her, behaving like a single giant poker player, she would have a reasonable chance of pulling it off. But that would need mutual trust, a quality political parties require to function and that is now in short supply. Inside Labour, trust has collapsed. Among the Conservatives, the departure of the three defectors shows how much it is already evaporating.

Tory ministers and MPs who are horrified at the practical implications of a no-deal Brexit no longer trust the ardent Brexiteers, the ERG, to vote for an improved deal even if it can be negotiated. Hence the desire among many of them to vote this Wednesday for the move by Yvette Cooper, enabling Parliament to seize the power to prevent a no-deal Brexit on 29 March, by passing a law to that effect in defiance of the Government.

Yet if this is passed, Mrs May’s efforts to win any improvement to the backstop will be undermined. And if ministers defy their Prime Minister to vote for it, the full-scale disintegration of the Government will be underway. The whole landscape of British politics is at stake over the coming weeks – whether the referendum can be honoured, whether government can be carried on, whether a great political party can stay together.
How can the Prime Minister keep negotiating effectively with her options still open, but give those Conservatives who think a no-deal Brexit would be a disaster the chance to prevent that happening? How can she avert the collapse of her administration if it has to choose between no-deal and delay?

The best way, of course, is to reach agreement with the EU that the backstop will only ever be temporary, and then for her whole party to vote the deal through. But the Cabinet could make clear now that in the absence of that happening, the Commons would have a free vote on the choice between no deal and asking for the delaying of Brexit day, with ministers able to vote as they wish.
Without some such safety valve in prospect, March is quite likely to see Parliament take control from ministers to delay Brexit anyway, and the Government begin to break up. The three defectors would think themselves proved right. There isn’t much time left to prove them wrong.

Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on February 26, 2019, 02:30:13 PM
Daily Telegraph editorial

The Torygraph is rabidly pro Brexit, the harder the better

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2019/02/24/brexiteers-must-stand-firm-not-panic/

24 February 2019 • 6:00am


The old political order is in its death throes: Brexit has finally forced MPs to rethink their labels and even break from their party. The new Independent Group, although also a revolt against Labour’s disgusting anti-Semitism, is largely a Remainer bloc; more may yet resign their whips to sit with it. But the creation of the Group doesn’t actually change the mathematics in Parliament and will eventually help the Brexiteers in the country. Every MP who allies with the Independents was always against Brexit and will continue to be – and pro-Brexit MPs should not be spooked by all this political excitement into thinking that the advantage has moved to the Remainers.

To use a phrase popular with Theresa May, nothing has changed. Her Withdrawal Agreement is still a terrible document, it needs serious rewriting (at best) and a no-deal should not and cannot be ruled out. If anything, any further defections from Labour that genuinely give the Independent Group some momentum will split the Left and deliver a majority to a pro Brexit Conservative Party at the next election, strengthening the hand of the next prime minister when it comes to our future negotiations with Brussels.

Therefore, even though this week will probably see the most dramatic attempt yet by Remainers to block the whole process, this is not the time for Brexiteers to panic. A group of MPs and ministers is trying to pressure the Prime Minister by backing a Commons move to take no-deal off the table and delay the Brexit date. This would be the equivalent of being caught in a “Hotel California” arrangement, whereby Britain never quite leaves. Of course, a new prime minister could force yet another showdown with the EU, but it would be even harder. As the Northern Ireland minister John Penrose writes, ruling out trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms would completely undermine negotiations because Brussels would know we could never walk away without an agreement. It could and would impose on us the worst terms possible: remember what happened to Greece in 2015.

As for the idea that Parliament should take over the process, the rise of the Independent Group is a depressing reminder that MP numbers do not reflect the strength of pro-Brexit opinion across the country. The voters are watching. MPs who are Leavers or, like Mr Penrose, have reconciled themselves to the referendum result, know that there is mounting anger at the mismanagement, delay, even sabotage of Brexit – so they must vote against any attempt to weaken Britain’s position or to dilute our withdrawal.
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on February 26, 2019, 02:35:48 PM
https://www.ft.com/content/7d973c06-39c5-11e9-b72b-2c7f526ca5d0

   Theresa May opens way to a Brexit delay if her deal is rejected
      
      
               Prime minister says if meaningful vote fails, MPs will have choice of no-deal or extension
Theresa May said that MPs and business were worried that 'time is running out', adding that parliament needed to have its voice heard on the way forward
Theresa May has told the House of Commons that if her Brexit deal is rejected on March 12, MPs will be given the choice between a no-deal Brexit or extending the Article 50 exit process from the EU.It is the first time that the UK prime minister has openly accepted that Brexit could be delayed, having insisted for months that the UK would leave the EU on March 29 without a deal if necessary.The move — which Mrs May suggested could ultimately delay Brexit for up to three months beyond the scheduled date of March 29 — is aimed at heading off resignations by about a dozen pro-EU ministers who are determined to prevent the economic harm of a chaotic departure from the bloc.Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Mrs May said that MPs and business were worried that “time is running out”, adding that parliament needed to have its voice heard on the way forward.The prime minister, whose initial Brexit package was rejected by a record 230-vote margin last month, said the “meaningful vote” on a revised deal with the EU would take place by March 12.If the Commons still rejects the deal, there will be a vote by March 13 to decide whether parliament instead endorses a no-deal Brexit.

“The UK will only leave without a deal on 29 March if there is explicit consensus in the House for that outcome,” she said.She added that if parliament rejected no-deal, MPs would then be asked by March 14 whether they wanted a “short limited extension to Article 50”. If they did, the government would subsequently seek the EU’s agreement for a delay and bring forward the necessary legislation. Theresa May offers vote on Brexit extensionSome business groups welcomed the shift but called for much greater reassurance that Britain would avoid a no-deal Brexit.“While this is a giant political leap for the prime minister, this is only a small step towards the clarity and precision that businesses need to chart their future direction,” said the British Chambers of Commerce. “The overriding priority is still to assure businesses and communities that an unwanted no-deal scenario will not happen by default on March 29.”The Institute of Directors added that “while an extension is not an end in itself, it may become a necessity to achieve an orderly exit”.

However, Mrs May warned that no extension should last beyond the end of June, since otherwise the UK would need to participate in elections to the new European Parliament, which will take its seats at the beginning of July.“I do not want to see Article 50 extended,” she added, arguing that the only way to take no-deal off the table would be to either revoke the UK’s request to leave the EU — an option she excludes — or to agree a deal.“Ultimately the choices we face would remain unchanged,” she added. “Leave with a deal, leave with no deal or leave with no Brexit.”Only a minority of MPs in the Commons would back a no-deal Brexit while there is thought to be a majority for extending Article 50 if necessary.

But Mrs May’s strategy risks a split with the pro-Brexit European Research Group of Tory MPs as well as Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party, which provides her government with a majority in parliament.Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, told Bloomberg: “I don’t think an extension is going to solve any of the issues that are already there. Often in negotiations you need that compression of time to come to a deal.”Responding to Mrs May, Jeremy Corbyn said the government was “grotesquely reckless”, suggesting Downing Street was deliberately running down the clock.

The Labour leader said his party would back amendments designed to rule out the “reckless cliff edge” of a no-deal Brexit.“She promises a short extension but for what?” Mr Corbyn asked. “If the government wants a genuine renegotiation it should do so on terms that can win a majority of this House.”Labour has proposed a softer Brexit, involving a permanent customs union with the EU. A Labour amendment setting out such a goal is widely expected to be rejected in a vote on Wednesday, after which the party is due to swing its support behind a second referendum that would have an option to remain in the EU.But Mr Corbyn hinted that Labour would only offer a second referendum if the Commons passes a deal. “If it [a deal] somehow does pass in some form at a later stage, we believe there must be a confirmatory public vote to see if people feel it is what they voted for,” he said.
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on February 27, 2019, 08:47:02 AM
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/may-using-nixon-s-madman-theory-to-play-chicken-with-brexit-1.3807003


May using Nixon’s ‘madman theory’ to play chicken with Brexit
Threat of UK crashing out of EU having profound impact on unfolding events

Bobby McDonagh


 
Former US president Richard Nixon’s reported strategy was to put it about that he was volatile and irrational. This would in turn, the theory went, make hostile leaders bend to his will since they would be afraid of provoking him.
 
Michel Barnier is a busy man these days. The Brexit endgame probably allows him little time for reading. Nevertheless, I would recommend that, as he seeks to negotiate with a UK government behaving in an increasingly irrational way, by insisting that “no deal” is on the table, he should at least dip into the “madman theory” of negotiation.
Richard Nixon’s administration, in its approach to the Soviet Union and others, was a proponent of the “madman theory”. Nixon’s reported strategy was to put it about that he was volatile and irrational. This would in turn, the theory went, make hostile leaders bend to his will since they would be afraid of provoking him. The proximity of Nixon’s finger to the nuclear button was a crucial ingredient in the strategy.
The “madman theory”, of course, did not begin or end with Nixon. Machiavelli argued that sometimes it is “a very wise thing to simulate madness”. More recently, Donald Trump’s approach to North Korea, and to arms control generally, bears hallmarks of the strategy.
The appearance of madness requires a high degree of verisimilitude and is all the more effective if its proponent really is wired to the moon
Brexit clock
As the Brexit clock runs down, the time for pussyfooting around has passed. Most people must now take it as a given that Jacob Rees-Mogg and his cohorts are stone-cold crazy.
The urgent question which should now be asked is whether Theresa May herself, although sane, has built the “madman theory” into her negotiating strategy. To put it another way, is the British bulldog showing symptoms of the rabid tail that has been wagging it?
•   Brexit Borderlands: The Irish Times maps Ireland's border crossings
•   Brexit: An idiot's guide to the United Kingdom leaving the European Union
•   Brexit: Political movement in Westminister as clock ticks down
 
BREXIT: The Facts
Read them here
The “crazy guy” strategy, as it is sometimes called, is of little value in the UK’s negotiating approach towards the EU. The major flaw is that the “no deal” button over which May’s finger now deliberately hovers would, if triggered, rain down its destruction principally not on the EU-27 but on the UK itself. For the EU to give any credence to the threat of volatility and irrationality, it would have to believe that the UK government is not only completely mad but also colossally stupid.

Blue Billywig Video PlayerCentral UK threat
There would, it is true, be some fallout beyond Britain’s shores from a no-deal Brexit. But the central UK threat is that, if it doesn’t get its way, it will punish itself. The EU naturally hasn’t the slightest intention of undermining the insurance policy for the Belfast Agreement which was painstakingly negotiated with the full input of the UK government . The EU may be willing to provide further reassurances about what the withdrawal agreement means but, even on that, they are conscious that nothing will satisfy Mogg’s European Research Group pipers who have been calling the tune.
Nevertheless, elsewhere the “madman theory” is having a profound impact on unfolding events. The threat of the UK crashing out of the EU is a vitally important weapon on the second front in May’s war, namely her campaign to compel a majority in the House of Commons to support her deal.
The madman theory does not wash with Brussels. But, it continues to shape the debate at Westminster
Most MPs, including many of those who voted for Brexit, care deeply about their rightly beloved country, not to mention the voters in their much-beloved constituencies. They understand well the havoc a no-deal Brexit would wreak on Britain. They probably also get it that the implied threat of mutually assured destruction, a policy captured perfectly by its popular acronym, MAD, would in this case be MUSH: Mad Unnecessary Self-Harm.
Immense damage
However, where the “madman theory” comes into the parliamentary calculations is not the assessment that May, in the privacy of her own mind, would consider inflicting the immense damage of a “no-deal” Brexit on her country.
Rather , it is brought into play by the not unreasonable fear among many MPs that the clock will be run down so far, the atmosphere so febrile, the tabloid press so irresponsible, the parliamentary procedures so complex and the lunatic minority so loud of voice, that a combination of confusion, incompetence and the unpredictability of the battlefield, rather than deliberate government policy, could lead to national catastrophe.
The “madman theory” does not wash with Brussels. However, it continues to shape the debate at Westminster. May can’t get the EU to play chicken; the game only works if your opponent shares your fear. In parliament, however, chicken is now pretty well the only game in town.
Bobby McDonagh is a former Irish ambassador to the EU, Britain and Italy
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on February 27, 2019, 10:15:44 AM
Senior Conservative Party hurling


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/02/26/cabinet-descended-vitriol-brexit-delay-remainers-accused-appalling/
Tears of rage, 'appalling disloyalty' and kamikaze Remainers: Inside the remarkable Brexit Cabinet meeting

 Theresa May leaves a 'bruising' Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the details of which were leaked to The Telegraph CREDIT:  WIKTOR SZYMANOWICZ / BARCROFT IMAGE
•   Steven Swinford, DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR
27 February 2019 • 6:57am


Andrea Leadsom could barely conceal her anger. Turning to Remain ministers around the Cabinet table who had campaigned publicly for a Brexit delay, she said their behaviour was "appalling and disloyal".The Leader of the Commons appeared close to tears as she accused Amber Rudd, David Gauke and Greg Clark of breaching collective responsibility, damaging the reputation of Cabinet and the Conservative Party in doing so.


It came after the Prime Minister was forced to bow to pressure over Article 50 after the trio of ministers threatened to resign over the issue along with as many as 15 other Remain ministers.
In a microcosm of the clashes in Cabinet that resulted, Ms Leadsom was seated next to Claire Perry, the Energy minister and a prominent Remain minister.
That very morning Ms Perry had penned a joint article in which she had threatened to quit the Cabinet unless the Prime Minister committed to extending Article 50.
Ms Perry wasted no time in hitting back at criticism over her article. She insisted that former Remainers had supported the Prime Minister throughout.
According to one source, Ms Perry argued that she and her Remain colleagues had been the ones publicly defending the Prime Minister's deal on shows like Question Time, describing their appearances as some of the "worst nights of our lives".

The rifts erupted around the Cabinet table. Liz Truss, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, hit out at the "kamikaze" activities of Remainers in undermining the Prime Minister by attempting to rule out a no-deal Brexit.
She said that their behaviour was not helpful to Brexit negotiations or the "credibility" of the nation as a whole.
Another source said Mr Hammond appeared to take exception to Ms Leadsom's suggestion that Remain ministers had been "disloyal.

The Prime Minister made clear to her Cabinet that she did not want to extend Article 50, and believed that doing so would only create more problems.
She suggested that a delay would only serve to create a "bigger cliff edge" at a later date and increase the risk of a no deal Brexit.
However in a bid to avert mass resignations by Remain ministers she committed to offering the Commons three votes.
The first, a meaningful vote on her deal by March 12. The second, should her deal be rejected a vote on a no deal Brexit. The third, should the Commons reject no deal a vote on extending Article 50.

Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, warned Britain risked losing control if it committed to extending Article 50 and that the delay could end up being significantly longer than expected.
While the Prime Minister suggested that there would be a maximum three month delay until the end of June, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Commission, is said to be considering a two year extension
The Defence Secretary is said to have suggested that a two month extension to Article 50 could turn into two years, putting Brexit at risk. Mr Hammond also warned of the risk of a lengthy extension if Article 50 Mrs May's deal is defeated.
A total of eight Cabinet ministers were said to have warned against delaying Brexit including Mrs Leadsom, Ms Truss, Mr Williamson, Alun Cairns, Jeremy Wright, Julian Smith, Brandon Lewis and James Brokenshire.

One source told The Spectator magazine that Mr Brokenshire was "as angry as he has been at Cabinet" over the behaviour of the three Remain Cabinet minsters.
Mr Lewis, the chairman of the Conservative Party, told Ms Rudd that the Conservatives need to be "careful" in warning against no deal. He said that many party members do not believe warnings about no deal.

There were also rifts about the purpose of the extension. Cabinet Remainers including Ms Rudd are said to have argued a 90-day extension should be used to build a "new coalition in Parliament" to secure a deal.
Mr Hammond is said to have suggested that the Prime Minister should hold "indicative" votes to determine the type of Brexit the House is willing to pass in the event that an extension is needed. A source said the Prime Minister "slapped down" the suggestion.
However Mrs Leadsom and Ms Truss are said to have argued that the time should be used to prepare Britain for a no-deal Brexit.
For their part Mr Gauke, Ms Rudd and Mr Clark were relatively brief in their comments, highlighting the risk of no deal but significantly less provocative than in previous weeks.
Gone were the suggestions that a no deal Brexit is a "unicorn" that needs to be slayed. "They were trying to be magnanimous in victory," said one. "They got what they wanted. They knew it was going to be bruising".
While the Prime Minister has committed to a vote on extending Article 50, for both ministers and backbenchers significant questions remained.
Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, asked in Cabinet whether the vote on extending Article 50 will be whipped. He did not receive an answer.
The Daily Telegraph understands Downing Street is yet to decide. "We're focusing all our efforts on trying to win the meaningful vote," a source said.
The Cabinet meeting lasted until shortly before midday, which some ministers speculated was part of a bid to stop details of the meeting from leaking.
However details of Mrs May's briefing to Cabinet were leaked to The Daily Telegraph half an hour before it formally broke up.

Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on February 27, 2019, 02:57:20 PM
This is very good

https://www.ft.com/content/d69fe31e-38f0-11e9-b856-5404d3811663

   A second Brexit referendum is now essential

If democracy means anything, it means a country’s right to change its mind

Martin Wolf

Theresa May’s aim is to convert fear of a no-deal Brexit into acceptance of her bad deal, which would leave the UK at the EU’s mercy. In the end, the rhetoric about “taking back control” has come down to a choice between suicide and vassalage. This march of folly needs to be stopped, for the UK’s sake and Europe’s. The only politically acceptable way to do this is via another referendum. That is risky. But it would be better than sure disaster.Let us count the ways in which what is now happening is quite insane. In just over a month, the UK might suddenly exit from the EU. But the government and business are unprepared for such a departure: to take one example, the government is still fighting over what farm tariffs to impose. Such a no-deal Brexit would damage the UK — and the EU. If a no-deal exit did happen, negotiations would need to restart at once, but in a far more poisonous and, for the UK, more unfavourable context. Even if the prime minister’s deal were ratified, a new set of negotiations would have to start over the future relationship. The UK is unprepared for such negotiations. These new negotiations would also inevitably end up with an unsatisfactory outcome, because the UK has never confronted the trade-offs between access and control inherent in all trade negotiations. Finally, this entire mess would make only the EU’s enemies — Russian president Vladimir Putin, above all — happy. Britain has, in brief, launched itself on a perilous voyage towards an unknown destination under a captain as obsessed with delivering her version of Brexit as Ahab was with Moby-Dick. Has a mature democracy ever inflicted such needless damage on itself? Why has the UK done so? The simple answer is the marriage of the widespread dissatisfaction of the British people to copious Brexit illusions.One illusion was that the meaning of Brexit was obvious. In practice, it could cover anything from a high degree of integration to very little. The decision to leave did not determine the destination.Another illusion was that Brexit could mean unbridled sovereignty. In practice, the deeper is a trading relationship, the more it must compromise with its trading partners on the exercise of national sovereignty. If the UK negotiates trade deals with the US, China or India, it will also be forced to accept many limitations on its sovereignty.A further illusion is that it would be easy for the UK to trade on the terms laid down by the World Trade Organization.

 In practice, a no-deal exit would worsen the terms of access to markets that account for about two-thirds of total UK trade. Yet another illusion is that the WTO covers most of the things the UK cares about. Alas, it does not. What it fails to cover includes road haulage, aviation, data, energy, product testing, including of medicines, fisheries, much of financial services and investment.It was a dangerous illusion to suppose that it would be simple to strike a trade deal with the EU, because we started from full convergence. The opposite is true. The UK is leaving in order to diverge. Such divergence is precisely what EU rules exist to prevent. The EU would never allow a country the right both to benefit from EU rules and to diverge from them, at its discretion.
A really big illusion was that if the UK were tough with the EU, the latter would come swiftly to terms. But, as Ivan Rogers, former UK permanent representative to the EU, argues, the EU would not — partly because preservation of the EU is, naturally, the EU’s dominant priority, and partly because the EU is sure the UK would be back the day after that no-deal Brexit. It is surely right on that.So right now, parliament faces a choice between the impossible — no deal — and the horrible — the prime minister’s deal. If accepted, the latter would be followed by years of painful trade negotiations, with, at present, no agreed destination. At the end, the UK would be worse off than under membership of the EU. Its people would be as divided and dissatisfaction would remain as entrenched as they are today. Is there a better way than this? Yes. It is to ask, once again, whether the people want to leave, now that the reality is clearer. There should be a second vote.Some will argue that this would be undemocratic. Not so. Democracy is not one person, one vote, once. If democracy means anything, it is the right to change a country’s mind, especially given the low and dishonest referendum campaign. It is nearly three years since that vote. Much has happened since then, in both the negotiations and the world.

As Ngaire Woods of the Blavatnik School of Government has noted, since 2016 Donald Trump has been assaulting the EU and the WTO, western relations with China have become more problematic and the extent of Mr Putin’s assault on our politics have become more obvious. This is not a time for Europe to inflict the wound of Brexit on itself.If, as seems plausible, parliament cannot stomach the vassalage of the prime minister’s deal, then the sane options are to ask for a lengthy extension of departure or, better, to withdraw the Article 50 application altogether. Both would give the time needed to discuss how to organise such a referendum. Mrs May’s suggestion of a direct vote on no deal might get us there.It is now clear that the UK has no consensus on Brexit, but only division and confusion. In order to get her bad deal through, the prime minister has been reduced to threatening parliament with something worse. That is mad. If a country finds itself doing something sure to damage itself, its neighbours and the fragile cause of liberal democracy on its continent, it needs to think again. Now is the last chance to halt the journey to ruin. It is parliament’s duty to do so.
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on February 27, 2019, 03:20:33 PM


The great Brexit betrayal is nearly complete – but Theresa May still has the chance to be a national heroine 
•   
Nigel Farage
26 February 2019 • 5:02pm
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Save


 Has there ever been a time in British history when the political and media class around Westminster has been more out of touch with ordinary voters? CREDIT:  JACK TAYLOR/GETTY
Has there ever been a time in British history when the political and media class around Westminster has been more out of touch with ordinary voters? If so, I am not aware of it. I have been writing about the great Brexit betrayal since July 2017. Now it is nearly complete. And the ramifications of the endless broken promises to which the people of this country have been subjected could have a catastrophic effect on our politics for years to come.
First, let’s focus on the Labour Party. Despite Jeremy Corbyn’s years as a Bennite anti-EU campaigner, often making comments about Brussels that were even stronger than some of my own, he has capitulated. Labour now backs a second referendum.
There are two reasons for this U-Turn. The Parliamentary Labour Party is dominated by a North London metropolitan elite whose outlook is overtly Remain. And, furthermore, Labour is terrified of more defections to The Independent Group from its pro-EU MPs and those sickened by Labour’s anti-Semitism problem.  Even if this second referendum idea fails in the House of Commons, it will be Labour’s policy until the next general election.
This is astonishing. It’s as though Labour’s chiefs don’t realise that five million members of the electorate who backed Leave in 2016 went on to vote Labour at the 2017 election. This group is intensely Eurosceptic. Many had previously voted for Ukip. They insist that immigration must be drastically cut. Now, any bond that existed between them and Labour has disintegrated.
This is a big problem for Labour. Two thirds of Labour seats in England and Wales are in Leave-voting constituencies. More importantly, the vast majority of marginal seats in the Midlands and the North of England that Labour need to win to form a majority also voted Leave.
If the Conservative Party can hold itself together – not a given by any means – Labour has just lost the next general election. Moreover, Chuka Umunna and his chums in The Independent Group will discover that the second referendum ground in British politics, which they had to themselves for about a week, is now somewhat overpopulated.
The disconnect between parliament and the people is becoming more obvious in the Conservative Party too, however. Theresa May’s endless assertions that she will deliver the Brexit the people voted for is beginning to look as if it was a deceit from the start.
Article 50, which parliament backed overwhelmingly, states that the UK will leave the EU on March 29 with or without a deal. The no-deal option is crucial to any negotiating position in Brussels. To remove it from the table would be like fielding a football team without a goalkeeper. Yet when cabinet ministers openly defy the government position and demand that no-deal is ditched, no action is taken. How Mr Juncker must be enjoying his booze-filled lunches in Brussels this week.
There is now no prospect of the appalling Withdrawal Agreement, the worst deal in history, being changed, and the argument for the extension of Article 50 has come to the fore. The moment that decision is made, all trust between Tory voters and their party will be broken too.
The ludicrous suggestion that an extension could be for just two to three months misunderstands that there would be no-one to negotiate with during this period. Brussels closes down in April as the European elections campaign begins. After that, the elite European Commission will be replaced. If we extend once, we will extend again and again. Voters’ fury in this scenario should be not underestimated.
The only way Brexit can now be delivered, and faith kept in our democratic system, is to leave on March 29 on WTO terms. If we apply to the WTO, and Article 24 of the GATT Treaty is used with both the consent of us and the EU, we would have a minimum of two years with no tariffs and quotas during which a trade deal could be concluded. More importantly, we would be outside the EU, the single market and the customs union. If May holds her nerve and keeps the current legislation in place, we will leave on the due date. She still has a chance to be a national heroine, albeit a slim one.
Another possibility is that the government and parliament are stupid enough to request a very short extension of article 50 which is vetoed at the EU Summit on March 21. By then, time would have run out, there would be no other alternative.
Those of us who want Britain to be an independent country again must accept that Westminster’s politicians are about to betray us. But we can beat them and win this great prize if we are prepared to stand up and fight.
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on February 27, 2019, 03:27:01 PM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/02/27/theresa-may-has-sparked-beginning-end-conservative-party/

Theresa May has sparked the beginning of the end for the Conservative party
•   
Andrew Lilico
Follow the author of this article
27 February 2019 • 1:21pm
Yesterday, for Theresa May, the prevarication was over. The appointed time of choosing was here. Was the Conservative Party to be surrendered to the likes of Margot James, Richard Harrington and Claire Perry, the three fearsomely pro-Remain ministers who had threatened to resign if she didn’t take no-deal off the table?
Or was it to be the party of its mainstream members, over 70 per cent of whom want to leave the EU either with no deal or with a straightforward Free Trade Agreement? People like me. People like the 117 MPs who voted against Theresa May in December’s no confidence vote.

In the end she sided with the Remainer MPs, a group whose obsession with remaining in the EU at all costs is so great that they are content to see the largest democratic vote for anything in UK history overthrown, the British political system smashed, the Conservative Party rent and the country return, humiliated, to the EU begging to be let back in.
On the Ides of March, she will cross the Rubicon and begin the process of cancelling Brexit and with it destroying a party to which she has given her life.
The first step will be seeking a two month delay, an outcome which is likely to be put to Parliament on March 14. The EU may not grant that — it might insist on a longer delay from the off. But it matters little. That delay will not make her deal pass, it will not make the EU offer any change to the backstop and it will not give the two Labour Parties (the Corbynites and the TIGgers) any reason to shift from their own commitments to cancel Brexit.
Conservative MPs committed to actually leaving the EU could have accepted some sort of delay if this is what it took to deliver a proper break with the EU. After all, it would be silly to quibble over whether we leave at the end of March or the end of May.
The problem is that, given nobody thinks two months will be long enough to make any material difference to the political situation, the short delay has only one purpose: to make clear to Theresa May's Conservative opponents that they really will have to choose between her appalling deal and no Brexit (in the form of a second extension so long it essentially means leaving the EU is, for now, over).

With this scenario sketched out in front of them, true Leaver Conservative MPs must now know that their time in the Tory party is running out. It has split like this before, in the 1840s, when most of its MPs rejected Robert Peel’s repeal of the Corn Laws. His small front bench joined the Liberal Party after his death and it was only then that his Protectionist opponents re-named themselves the Conservatives once again.
Leavers today will, at the latest, have to quit the party when May cancels Brexit. They could go earlier, and hope to collapse the government, forcing a general election and a no-deal Brexit, although this strategy carries risks. Corbyn’s Labour is only on 23 per cent in the latest opinion polls and we could end up with four fairly evenly sized parties. In that scenario, it’s plausible that some sort of coalition in favour of rejoining the EU could be stitched together.

They may be better off waiting until the end of May, when the Prime Minister announces the second "extension" of Article 50 which would decisively herald Brexit’s cancellation. By then, with the right preparation, Conservative MPs who believe in Brexit would be in a far better position to split off and form a new True Leavers Party. Such a party could win a General Election in due course.
Remainers continue to dwell under the delusion that if they manage to engineer a situation where Britain reneges on the referendum it will mean us staying in the EU. They're wrong. We are not leaving because of the referendum result. Rather, we held the referendum because it was clear we were going to leave the EU and we needed to decide when. That fundamental logic will re-assert itself quickly if May cancels a 2019 Brexit, and when it does so, a new True Leavers Party could reap the electoral rewards.
The Conservative Party was a magnificent institution. For nearly 190 years it strode majestic upon the political stage. It helped create our mixed constitution and to protect it and British liberties for centuries. It saw off enemies of freedom, both domestic and international, and promoted peace, order and prosperity. I am proud to have been a part of it.
However, realistically, nothing lasts forever. By taking the first steps towards cancelling Brexit, May has made her choice. Now, or very soon, alas, those Conservatives that believe in Brexit will have to make theirs.
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: mouview on February 27, 2019, 03:48:36 PM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/02/27/theresa-may-has-sparked-beginning-end-conservative-party/

Theresa May has sparked the beginning of the end for the Conservative party
•   
Andrew Lilico
Follow the author of this article
27 February 2019 • 1:21pm
Yesterday, for Theresa May, the prevarication was over. The appointed time of choosing was here. Was the Conservative Party to be surrendered to the likes of Margot James, Richard Harrington and Claire Perry, the three fearsomely pro-Remain ministers who had threatened to resign if she didn’t take no-deal off the table?
Or was it to be the party of its mainstream members, over 70 per cent of whom want to leave the EU either with no deal or with a straightforward Free Trade Agreement? People like me. People like the 117 MPs who voted against Theresa May in December’s no confidence vote.


Remainers continue to dwell under the delusion that if they manage to engineer a situation where Britain reneges on the referendum it will mean us staying in the EU. They're wrong. We are not leaving because of the referendum result. Rather, we held the referendum because it was clear we were going to leave the EU and we needed to decide when. That fundamental logic will re-assert itself quickly if May cancels a 2019 Brexit, and when it does so, a new True Leavers Party could reap the electoral rewards.
The Conservative Party was a magnificent institution. For nearly 190 years it strode majestic upon the political stage. It helped create our mixed constitution and to protect it and British liberties for centuries. It saw off enemies of freedom, both domestic and international, and promoted peace, order and prosperity. I am proud to have been a part of it.
However, realistically, nothing lasts forever. By taking the first steps towards cancelling Brexit, May has made her choice. Now, or very soon, alas, those Conservatives that believe in Brexit will have to make theirs.

More insanity. What world do these people live in?
Andrea Leadsom would be deadly dangerous had she but a brain. Thankfully, she reminds one of the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on February 27, 2019, 03:58:03 PM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/02/27/theresa-may-has-sparked-beginning-end-conservative-party/

Theresa May has sparked the beginning of the end for the Conservative party
•   
Andrew Lilico
Follow the author of this article
27 February 2019 • 1:21pm
Yesterday, for Theresa May, the prevarication was over. The appointed time of choosing was here. Was the Conservative Party to be surrendered to the likes of Margot James, Richard Harrington and Claire Perry, the three fearsomely pro-Remain ministers who had threatened to resign if she didn’t take no-deal off the table?
Or was it to be the party of its mainstream members, over 70 per cent of whom want to leave the EU either with no deal or with a straightforward Free Trade Agreement? People like me. People like the 117 MPs who voted against Theresa May in December’s no confidence vote.


Remainers continue to dwell under the delusion that if they manage to engineer a situation where Britain reneges on the referendum it will mean us staying in the EU. They're wrong. We are not leaving because of the referendum result. Rather, we held the referendum because it was clear we were going to leave the EU and we needed to decide when. That fundamental logic will re-assert itself quickly if May cancels a 2019 Brexit, and when it does so, a new True Leavers Party could reap the electoral rewards.
The Conservative Party was a magnificent institution. For nearly 190 years it strode majestic upon the political stage. It helped create our mixed constitution and to protect it and British liberties for centuries. It saw off enemies of freedom, both domestic and international, and promoted peace, order and prosperity. I am proud to have been a part of it.
However, realistically, nothing lasts forever. By taking the first steps towards cancelling Brexit, May has made her choice. Now, or very soon, alas, those Conservatives that believe in Brexit will have to make theirs.

More insanity. What world do these people live in?
Andrea Leadsom would be deadly dangerous had she but a brain. Thankfully, she reminds one of the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.
The last 3 years have been insane in the UK

This is from 2016

“There are two significant strands of thinking in government,” said one person who had attended the Whitehall meetings. “One strand is gung-ho and wants to drive on without fully understanding the consequences, the other is more measured.”

And it has been like that ever since
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on February 28, 2019, 08:55:04 AM

The Tories have a historic opportunity to destroy Labour once and for all
 
By

Allister Heath

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/02/27/tories-have-historic-opportunity-destroy-labour-could-still/

 Allister Heath

 27 February 2019 • 9:30pm   



Utter, abject incompetence is the new normal in British politics, and that could yet prove the Conservative Party’s saving grace. Not since Lord North was prime minister in the 18th century has Britain been governed so appallingly, and yet the Tories could paradoxically still end up crushing Labour and winning the next election with a massive majority. As Friedrich Nietzsche put it in Beyond Good and Evil, “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”

For now, at least, Jeremy Corbyn’s failings as a political strategist are proving to be even more crippling than Theresa May’s. His first misjudgment was to have underestimated the potency of what he wrongly calls “Blairism” – in reality, European-style social-democracy of a kind practised by Gordon Brown.

Corbyn also confused the increasing distrust of capitalism caused by the housing crisis and stagnant wages with an embrace of his own toxic brew of radical socialism, cultural Marxism, tolerance of anti-Semites and support for enemies of the West such as Shamima Begum, the jihadi bride. The fact that many voters want to renationalise the railways doesn’t mean they aspire to live in a council home or want the police to be soft on crime. The public is simultaneously more Left-wing and more Right-wing than those used to traditional ideological divides tend to realise.






Just as critically, Corbyn’s cowardly quest to have his cake and eat it on Brexit was always going to be exposed as a sham, alienating both sides. Corbyn has run out of time: he cannot be ousted, but faced for the first time with real competition on the centre-Left he will struggle to hold on to much more than a quarter of the electorate, despite the strength of Labour’s brand.

The early polling is crystal-clear: The Independent Group’s (TIG) pro-Remain, social-democratic identity will dramatically split the Leftist vote. YouGov puts the TIGs on a hypothetical 18 per cent were they to field candidates nationally, with Corbyn’s Labour on 23 per cent (down from 40 per cent at the election) and the Tories on 36 per cent (down from 42.4 per cent). Such numbers need to be taken with buckets of salt: the TIGs aren’t even a real party yet. But the fact that Labour now half-supports a second referendum doesn’t mean that everything will suddenly go back to normal. The rupture is upon us, as it was when the SDP was formed in 1981.

So far, so astonishingly good for the Tories. But their present leadership specialises in blowing historic opportunities, so this 13-point lead (and the dozens of extra seats it implies) could easily come to nought. The main threat to their ability to divide and conquer – Brexit – is also their greatest opportunity. The Tories must be the party of those who want to leave the EU for real, or they are nothing. If the “Left-wing” vote can split, so can the “Right-wing”. A cancellation, a permanent delay or a Brexit in Name Only will infuriate at least a fifth of voters, who will then peel off to whatever new Vote Leave-style party is created, just as pro-Remainers will embrace the TIGs.



The Tory vote would collapse, putting Mr Corbyn back into contention. One can win majorities with 25 to 30 per cent of the vote in a multi-party system under first past the post, so anything would be possible. We would be back to a more embittered, nastier version of where we were before Nick Clegg fatally trashed the Lib Dem brand and when Nigel Farage was riding high.

So far, Mrs May appears to have misunderstood all of this, and could therefore be poised to ruin her party’s extraordinary (and undeserved) lucky break. Delaying Brexit by a couple of months is ominous but manageable; betraying it would be calamitous.

She is desperate to prevent more defections from among her Remainer MPs and Cabinet, but she is placating the wrong side. There are not that many more Tory votes to be lost to the TIGs, and just a handful of seats at worst. The big hit took place in 2017, where Remain strongholds with lots of students and graduates shifted to Labour. Almost all current Tory voters are pro-Brexit. She needs to prevent more resignations, of course, but not at the cost of compromising Brexit, which would destroy her party.

Mrs May is wrong in another way. Her domestic agenda lacks any distinguishing features; she seems broadly aligned with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s world view, and its distaste for commerce, capitalism and conservative values. A focus on fighting “injustices” may sound caring but amounts to reheated Milibandism, minus the mansion tax. It will be no different to whatever policies the TIGs come up with and, as such, will do nothing to appeal to the aspiring classes who don’t consider themselves to be “victims”. There will be nothing in the Tory package for those who want to get on in life.

A U-turn is urgently required. The Tories need to focus on creating and spreading wealth, including among the “somewheres” who are ready to vote for a pro-Brexit party: the stress should be on housebuilding, an enterprise revolution, empowering consumers, providing a hand up and, yes, lower taxes and cheaper goods and services, harnessing competition, deregulation and free trade.

The Tories should be targeting at least 40 per cent of the electorate, a Brexit coalition of centre-Right middle-class voters (there are plenty left, especially in the shires and suburbs), the patriotic working class, and aspiring immigrant communities. They should forget about prosperous uber-Remainers in Islington or Wimbledon – with the arrival of the TIGs, the Left-wing, “progressive”, self-righteously metropolitan component of the middle class is now a lost cause – and target instead those groups that should be voting for a Brexit Tory party but aren’t.

More ethnic minorities backed Brexit in 2016 than voted Tory in 2017, according to Runnymede Trust research. Why not court such voters? Ditto in London, where 40.1 per cent of the electorate voted Brexit, but Mrs May’s lot are on just 30 per cent.

With the Left split, this is a historic opportunity for the Tories, but they will lose everything if they betray Brexit and turn their back on their core values. Is anybody listening?
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: johnnycool on February 28, 2019, 09:14:41 AM


The great Brexit betrayal is nearly complete – but Theresa May still has the chance to be a national heroine 
•   
Nigel Farage
26 February 2019 • 5:02pm
•   
•   
•   
•   
Save


 Has there ever been a time in British history when the political and media class around Westminster has been more out of touch with ordinary voters? CREDIT:  JACK TAYLOR/GETTY
Has there ever been a time in British history when the political and media class around Westminster has been more out of touch with ordinary voters? If so, I am not aware of it. I have been writing about the great Brexit betrayal since July 2017. Now it is nearly complete. And the ramifications of the endless broken promises to which the people of this country have been subjected could have a catastrophic effect on our politics for years to come.
First, let’s focus on the Labour Party. Despite Jeremy Corbyn’s years as a Bennite anti-EU campaigner, often making comments about Brussels that were even stronger than some of my own, he has capitulated. Labour now backs a second referendum.
There are two reasons for this U-Turn. The Parliamentary Labour Party is dominated by a North London metropolitan elite whose outlook is overtly Remain. And, furthermore, Labour is terrified of more defections to The Independent Group from its pro-EU MPs and those sickened by Labour’s anti-Semitism problem.  Even if this second referendum idea fails in the House of Commons, it will be Labour’s policy until the next general election.
This is astonishing. It’s as though Labour’s chiefs don’t realise that five million members of the electorate who backed Leave in 2016 went on to vote Labour at the 2017 election. This group is intensely Eurosceptic. Many had previously voted for Ukip. They insist that immigration must be drastically cut. Now, any bond that existed between them and Labour has disintegrated.
This is a big problem for Labour. Two thirds of Labour seats in England and Wales are in Leave-voting constituencies. More importantly, the vast majority of marginal seats in the Midlands and the North of England that Labour need to win to form a majority also voted Leave.
If the Conservative Party can hold itself together – not a given by any means – Labour has just lost the next general election. Moreover, Chuka Umunna and his chums in The Independent Group will discover that the second referendum ground in British politics, which they had to themselves for about a week, is now somewhat overpopulated.
The disconnect between parliament and the people is becoming more obvious in the Conservative Party too, however. Theresa May’s endless assertions that she will deliver the Brexit the people voted for is beginning to look as if it was a deceit from the start.
Article 50, which parliament backed overwhelmingly, states that the UK will leave the EU on March 29 with or without a deal. The no-deal option is crucial to any negotiating position in Brussels. To remove it from the table would be like fielding a football team without a goalkeeper. Yet when cabinet ministers openly defy the government position and demand that no-deal is ditched, no action is taken. How Mr Juncker must be enjoying his booze-filled lunches in Brussels this week.
There is now no prospect of the appalling Withdrawal Agreement, the worst deal in history, being changed, and the argument for the extension of Article 50 has come to the fore. The moment that decision is made, all trust between Tory voters and their party will be broken too.
The ludicrous suggestion that an extension could be for just two to three months misunderstands that there would be no-one to negotiate with during this period. Brussels closes down in April as the European elections campaign begins. After that, the elite European Commission will be replaced. If we extend once, we will extend again and again. Voters’ fury in this scenario should be not underestimated.
The only way Brexit can now be delivered, and faith kept in our democratic system, is to leave on March 29 on WTO terms. If we apply to the WTO, and Article 24 of the GATT Treaty is used with both the consent of us and the EU, we would have a minimum of two years with no tariffs and quotas during which a trade deal could be concluded. More importantly, we would be outside the EU, the single market and the customs union. If May holds her nerve and keeps the current legislation in place, we will leave on the due date. She still has a chance to be a national heroine, albeit a slim one.
Another possibility is that the government and parliament are stupid enough to request a very short extension of article 50 which is vetoed at the EU Summit on March 21. By then, time would have run out, there would be no other alternative.
Those of us who want Britain to be an independent country again must accept that Westminster’s politicians are about to betray us. But we can beat them and win this great prize if we are prepared to stand up and fight.

Like all good middle Englanders our Nige skirts over the border issue and assumes the EU are only too willing to play ball on Article 24 of the GATT treaty on WTO terms for another two years of British bullshittery.
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on February 28, 2019, 09:16:03 AM
https://www.ft.com/content/55d0b260-3aa6-11e9-b856-5404d3811663

   Britain has a chance to think again on Brexit

But first Parliament must reject Theresa May’s fraudulent deal

Philip Stephens

In the ever more cynical effort to salvage her Brexit deal, Theresa May has notched up one victory. For the prime minister, the splits and swerves at Westminster have served as a useful diversion. Her proposed settlement with the other 27 EU member states has gone largely unexamined. Yet the one constant in the present political chaos is that Mrs May is still determined to sign up Britain to a truly rotten agreement. A week ago she was insisting that parliament had to choose between her deal and no deal. Now, under pressure from some of the saner members of her cabinet, she presents another binary choice. MPs can opt for her deal or they can ask for a strictly limited extension until June of the Article 50 negotiations. The first of the prime minister’s propositions was transparently fraudulent. The second is equally so. If they seize the moment, MPs now have a range of options from which to choose. These reach from a short extension to a long timeout or revocation. Britain can actually restore to itself the space for the careful deliberation and consensus building that has been blithely disdained by Mrs May. And, yes, if it so decides, parliament has the unilateral right to revoke Article 50 and allow voters an informed choice in a second referendum.

Stopping the clock, of course, requires the consent of the EU27. All the signs are that they would concur, in spite of the problems this would throw up for this summer’s elections to the European Parliament. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, has said as much. Even before Mrs May’s latest U-turn, senior figures in Berlin could be heard talking about an extension lasting quite possibly until the end of 2020. For all their fully-justified exasperation with the prime minister’s duplicitous antics, Britain’s biggest partners still want it to stay in the EU. With a lengthy timeout, parliament could make time both for a general election and a referendum that would present the people with the facts denied to them in 2016.To the extent there has been any debate about the agreement with the EU27 struck by Mrs May, it has been the wrong one. The arrangements in the withdrawal treaty to retain an open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are a necessary contingency to underpin peace on the island of Ireland.

 The charge laid by the Democratic Unionist party and by kamikaze Tory Brexiters that the EU has a secret plan to imprison Britain in a permanent customs union is palpable nonsense. Such an outcome would privilege the UK over the EU27 by conferring rights without responsibilities. No, the real fear of Brexiter opponents of the so-called backstop is unconnected with concern for Northern Ireland. It is that the provisions might be deployed at some future date by those who want to preserve a sensibly close economic relationship with the bloc after Brexit.


All in all, there is nothing remarkable about the withdrawal treaty. Alongside the Irish border question it settles Britain’s EU membership bills and safeguards the rights of British and EU citizens after Brexit. The stunning failure of Mrs May’s bargain lies in the document setting out the proposed future relationship.

Beyond the normal diplomatic niceties and expressions of good intent, the agreement does nothing to assure Britain of privileged access to its most important market, of access to the co-operation vital to underpin national security and law enforcement, and of a voice in shaping Europe’s approach to shared regional and global challenges. Instead the framework promises years more of uncertain negotiations. Hidebound by the red lines drawn by Mrs May to appease her party’s English nationalists, the agreement foresees the break-up of supply chains by new barriers to trade in goods, and offers nothing to the services businesses now dependent on a place in the European market. Any concessions that might be secured would rest entirely at the discretion and goodwill of the EU27. The essential truth about the Article 50 process is that it gave Britain precious little by way of negotiating leverage. Once it has actually left the Union, the government in London will be left entirely dependent on the choices of the EU27. At every turn they would know that an agreement was more important for the UK than for the union.
All this has been to a single, selfish end — to satisfy Mrs May’s desire to redeem her premiership with a place in history’s footnotes as the leader who presided over Brexit. The interests of the nation — whether its prosperity, its security or its standing in the world — are to sacrificed to her chosen epitaph
.

The horrifying thought is that she might yet succeed. The threat of a delay could win over both Tory Brexiters and those backbench Labour MPs who have been running scared of the voters in their Brexit-backing constituencies. Mrs May has offered the House of Commons three consecutive votes during the second week of March. In the first of these MPs must seize the opportunity to throw out for a second time the prime minister’s wretched bargain. Then they should decide by an even larger margin to rule out a no-deal Brexit. In the last and final vote they should back a lengthy extension of Article 50 so that the nation can think again before inflicting upon itself the terrible act of self-harm that is Brexit.
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on February 28, 2019, 09:22:26 AM


The great Brexit betrayal is nearly complete – but Theresa May still has the chance to be a national heroine 
•   
Nigel Farage
26 February 2019 • 5:02pm
•   
•   
•   
•   
Save


 Has there ever been a time in British history when the political and media class around Westminster has been more out of touch with ordinary voters? CREDIT:  JACK TAYLOR/GETTY
Has there ever been a time in British history when the political and media class around Westminster has been more out of touch with ordinary voters? If so, I am not aware of it. I have been writing about the great Brexit betrayal since July 2017. Now it is nearly complete. And the ramifications of the endless broken promises to which the people of this country have been subjected could have a catastrophic effect on our politics for years to come.
First, let’s focus on the Labour Party. Despite Jeremy Corbyn’s years as a Bennite anti-EU campaigner, often making comments about Brussels that were even stronger than some of my own, he has capitulated. Labour now backs a second referendum.
There are two reasons for this U-Turn. The Parliamentary Labour Party is dominated by a North London metropolitan elite whose outlook is overtly Remain. And, furthermore, Labour is terrified of more defections to The Independent Group from its pro-EU MPs and those sickened by Labour’s anti-Semitism problem.  Even if this second referendum idea fails in the House of Commons, it will be Labour’s policy until the next general election.
This is astonishing. It’s as though Labour’s chiefs don’t realise that five million members of the electorate who backed Leave in 2016 went on to vote Labour at the 2017 election. This group is intensely Eurosceptic. Many had previously voted for Ukip. They insist that immigration must be drastically cut. Now, any bond that existed between them and Labour has disintegrated.
This is a big problem for Labour. Two thirds of Labour seats in England and Wales are in Leave-voting constituencies. More importantly, the vast majority of marginal seats in the Midlands and the North of England that Labour need to win to form a majority also voted Leave.
If the Conservative Party can hold itself together – not a given by any means – Labour has just lost the next general election. Moreover, Chuka Umunna and his chums in The Independent Group will discover that the second referendum ground in British politics, which they had to themselves for about a week, is now somewhat overpopulated.
The disconnect between parliament and the people is becoming more obvious in the Conservative Party too, however. Theresa May’s endless assertions that she will deliver the Brexit the people voted for is beginning to look as if it was a deceit from the start.
Article 50, which parliament backed overwhelmingly, states that the UK will leave the EU on March 29 with or without a deal. The no-deal option is crucial to any negotiating position in Brussels. To remove it from the table would be like fielding a football team without a goalkeeper. Yet when cabinet ministers openly defy the government position and demand that no-deal is ditched, no action is taken. How Mr Juncker must be enjoying his booze-filled lunches in Brussels this week.
There is now no prospect of the appalling Withdrawal Agreement, the worst deal in history, being changed, and the argument for the extension of Article 50 has come to the fore. The moment that decision is made, all trust between Tory voters and their party will be broken too.
The ludicrous suggestion that an extension could be for just two to three months misunderstands that there would be no-one to negotiate with during this period. Brussels closes down in April as the European elections campaign begins. After that, the elite European Commission will be replaced. If we extend once, we will extend again and again. Voters’ fury in this scenario should be not underestimated.
The only way Brexit can now be delivered, and faith kept in our democratic system, is to leave on March 29 on WTO terms. If we apply to the WTO, and Article 24 of the GATT Treaty is used with both the consent of us and the EU, we would have a minimum of two years with no tariffs and quotas during which a trade deal could be concluded. More importantly, we would be outside the EU, the single market and the customs union. If May holds her nerve and keeps the current legislation in place, we will leave on the due date. She still has a chance to be a national heroine, albeit a slim one.
Another possibility is that the government and parliament are stupid enough to request a very short extension of article 50 which is vetoed at the EU Summit on March 21. By then, time would have run out, there would be no other alternative.
Those of us who want Britain to be an independent country again must accept that Westminster’s politicians are about to betray us. But we can beat them and win this great prize if we are prepared to stand up and fight.

Like all good middle Englanders our Nige skirts over the border issue and assumes the EU are only too willing to play ball on Article 24 of the GATT treaty on WTO terms for another two years of British bullshittery.
He will say the people were stabbed in the back if Brexit is stopped
It's a complete mess
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on February 28, 2019, 10:30:51 AM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2019/02/28/lettersthe-brexit-debacle-means-death-conservatism-trust-democratic/


SIR – They gave the nation a referendum. The nation voted Leave.
They promised to execute the result, and put it in an election manifesto. The nation voted for it again.
But the Parliamentary Conservative Party has another idea. Not to leave.
With Tuesday’s announcement by Theresa May of the three votes opening the way to delay Brexit, the Conservative Party has died.
Iven Chadwick
Poynton, Cheshire
 
SIR – They gave the nation a referendum. The nation voted Leave. – What we are witnessing is something far worse than “appalling and disloyal behaviour” (of which Andrea Leadsom was reported yesterday to have accused rebellious Cabinet ministers) or a threat to the Conservatives’ credibility. The Tory party lost credibility long ago, and none of us, I suppose, much cares whether Amber Rudd and David Gauke are loyal to Mrs May or she to them.
What is truly being destroyed is faith in the British political system and in the dogma that ultimate power rests with the people. All my life I have seen the same establishment types effectively dictating what “the people” ought to want, or should be made to want – on no subject more relentlessly than on Europe.
They have invariably had their way; they never met a rebuff; and hitherto they were able to pretend that they spoke for “the people”. On June 23 2016 that mask was torn away, and they reacted with all the incredulous resentment of a spoilt child.
Having lost the argument and the verdict in the country, they have laboured ever since to undo the decision, to deny the right of the people to decide at all, endlessly complaining (like the pampered child) of the “unfairness” of a contest they had failed to win.
Now, at last, they scent success and are indecent in their triumphalism.
The appalling disloyalty is to us, the people.
Dr M R Maloney
London N3
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 01, 2019, 09:22:30 AM


   https://www.ft.com/content/09bfe7ca-3bae-11e9-b72b-2c7f526ca5d0

   US takes tough line with UK on post-Brexit trade talks
      
               Donald Trump’s trade representative to demand greater access for agricultural goods
         The office of the US trade representative, led by Robert Lighthizer, released its 'negotiating objectives' on Thursday © Bloomberg
               James Politi in Washington

         The Trump administration has taken an aggressive posture towards the UK on post-Brexit trade talks, demanding greater access to the UK market for its agricultural products and guarantees that London would not manipulate its currency. The office of the US trade representative, led by Robert Lighthizer, on Thursday released its “negotiating objectives” for a possible trade agreement with the UK, suggesting Britain is unlikely to get softer treatment than other US allies. In the 18-page document, Mr Lighthizer’s office said it was seeking “comprehensive market access for US agricultural goods in the UK” through the reduction or elimination of tariffs, a request that has already soured Washington’s trade relations with the EU. Furthermore, the US is looking for the UK to remove “unwarranted barriers” related to “sanitary and physiosanitary” standards in the farm industry.

For years US agricultural groups have complained that European countries have unnecessarily limited American exports of meat and grains based on fears they are unsafe for consumers. Access to the British agricultural market could end up being the most politically sensitive request made by the Trump administration. The EU has said it was not willing to include agriculture in its own trade negotiations with the US, given that it could trigger a big public backlash in a wide range of member states. Other demands could also be highly problematic for London. On currency, the US wants to “ensure that the UK avoids manipulating exchange rates in order to prevent effective balance of payments adjustment or to gain an unfair competitive advantage”. Currency matters have traditionally been excluded from trade negotiations, but the Trump administration has injected them into talks, including with China and Japan. Another provision that could raise eyebrows would constrain the UK’s ability to secure a trade deal with a “non-market economy” — such as China — by creating a “mechanism to ensure transparency and take appropriate action”. This could allow the US to ditch its trade deal with the UK if it does not like the terms of any agreement London strikes with Beijing. The tough US demands are only an opening gambit, but they highlight the difficulties the UK could face in negotiating a trade deal with Washington, in contrast to claims made by leading Brexit proponents that it would be a smooth exercise.On Thursday a UK government spokesperson said negotiating an “ambitious free trade agreement” with the US was a priority and Washington’s move to publish its objectives “demonstrates their commitment to beginning talks as soon as possible”.She added: “As part of our open and transparent approach to negotiations, we will publish our own negotiating objectives in due course.”The US negotiating objectives for the UK deal are similar to the wish lists published in recent months by Mr Lighthizer’s office for talks with the EU and Japan.

On industrial goods, the US said it was aiming for “comprehensive duty-free access” and stronger “disciplines to address non-tariff barriers” from the UK. In digital trade, which is rapidly expanding, the US wants “secure commitments not to impose customs duties on digital products”, such as software, music, video and ebooks, and “non-discriminatory treatment” of content. In commercial partnerships, the US is asking the UK to “discourage politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel”.
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Rossfan on March 01, 2019, 10:53:17 AM
Does fkn Israel run the US ?
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: trailer on March 01, 2019, 11:42:32 AM
Does fkn Israel run the US ?

If you want to get elected you need the Jewish vote. Jews like Israel.
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: johnnycool on March 01, 2019, 11:45:46 AM
Does fkn Israel run the US ?

If you want to get elected you need the Jewish vote. Jews like Israel.

I'd say the Jewish vote isn't a big number but you need their financial backing and media buy in the get anywhere, hence why Corbyn gets it rough from the UK press.
Title: Re: Feckin brutal copy and paste relentless disaster porn re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 11, 2019, 02:04:54 PM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/11/no-deal-brexit-simple-principle-fiendishly-tricky-manage-smoothly/

A no deal Brexit is simple in principle, but fiendishly tricky to manage smoothly
•   
Adam Cygan PROFESSOR OF EU LAW
11 March 2019 • 12:30pm

 MEP and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage speaks at a political rally entitled 'Lets Go WTO' hosted by pro-Brexit lobby group Leave Means Leave in London CREDIT: TOLGA AKMEN /AFP
As the law stands, the UK leaves the EU on 29 March, deal or no deal.  If Parliament wants to prevent a no deal Brexit MPs must vote for this. Should the Prime Minister lose another meaningful vote, as is looking increasingly likely, MPs will be given the opportunity to take ‘no deal’ off the table this coming Wednesday.
But why do so many MPs oppose no deal when there are many things to commend about it, not least that it avoids a delay to Brexit and delivers on the result of the referendum?  A no deal Brexit would also be a ‘clean Brexit’, no need to fulfil those obligations the EU will impose on the UK which are within the Withdrawal Agreement.
A no deal Brexit means no Irish backstop. Both sides have said they don’t want a hard border anyway, so that’s taken care of without the need for an Agreement. No deal means no Transition period during which the UK becomes a ‘rule taker’ and abides by EU rules but has no representation in the EU institutions.
Without a deal, new trade agreements that symbolise ‘Global Britain’ become a reality sooner. Missing tariff-free access to our market, German car manufacturers will put pressure on the Commission to quickly agree a UK-EU free trade deal to help fend off the impending economic downturn facing the Eurozone.
Looked at this way, no deal sounds appealing and delivers exactly what has been promised, a Brexit on time that gives the UK everything and without the continuing regulatory shackles of a Withdrawal Agreement.
However, before those who support no deal get carried away, they should pause and reflect on what a no deal Brexit entails.  Above all, it means the UK entering a legal and regulatory vacuum, with no Transition period and existing rules immediately cease to apply without Parliament having replaced them with UK laws. To address this scenario the government has introduced Bills covering trade, agriculture, fisheries, immigration and financial services, but these Bills face major parliamentary hurdles and will not be on the statute book by 29 March, making a Transition all the more important.
Even in the event of a no deal and without this legislation it would be wrong to assume that MPs would suddenly be won over to cooperating with the government and deliver a ‘managed no deal’. The UK would cease to function as a state. Without a parliamentary majority and no agreement amongst MPs on the way forward there will be paralysis in Parliament. Legislation which controls our borders or access to fishing rights, which would be required immediately, is unlikely to be passed by MPs, undermining the argument that a no deal Brexit is the easiest way to take back control.
Perhaps the most important piece of legislation, in the event of a no deal Brexit, is the Trade Bill which would provide the legal basis for the UK’s future trade agreements.  For UK trade, a no deal Brexit means a cliff edge Brexit. There is no Transition and the UK immediately abandons 45 years of rules-based cooperation which governs our trading relationship with the EU and encompasses 36 free trade deals, spanning more than 60 countries.  As things stand, the UK has rolled over less than £20bn out of £117bn total value of these trade deals.
The frequent response of those who advocate a no deal Brexit is that the absence of UK trade laws or failing to roll over existing trade deals will not present a problem as the UK can simply fall back on WTO rules.  But even this logic fails to grasp the point that the WTO, like the EU, is a rules-based trading organisation. As The Telegraph reported on the 6 March, the cabinet is split on how to respond to a no deal Brexit after which the UK would be trading on WTO rules. 
Liam Fox has been accused of keeping “secret” a government plan which would cut up to 90% of tariffs from all WTO countries in the event of a no-deal Brexit. A sensible policy, in the short term, no deal supporters may say, and they may be right.  This would keep goods moving and consumer prices would remain stable. It also demonstrates the UK’s free trade credentials. However, a cautionary note should be sounded because such unilateral liberalisation of tariffs would be likely to have significant impact upon sectors of the UK economy, such as farming, which would struggle to compete against cheaper imports. 
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However, when it comes to negotiating future trade deals, unilateral liberalisation, as a knee-jerk response to a no-deal Brexit, will become a real obstacle. Those short-term benefits of tariff liberalisation would come at the longer-term cost of undermining the UK’s negotiating position in any future trade talks. Having already removed tariffs on a large range of goods, there will be little left for the UK to use as a bargaining chip.
Replacing EU laws with UK legislation within the Article 50 period was always going to prove challenging. Once the PM lost her parliamentary majority the task became monumental and with less than three weeks to Brexit day, the UK is missing key legislation, not just in trade, but in immigration, fisheries and agriculture. UK legislation in these policy areas, for the first time since 1973, has come to symbolise the mantra of Parliament ‘taking back control’, but taking back control was never meant to be this problematic, was it?
In the coming days, MPs are faced with difficult choices. If MPs believe no deal remains a viable option then they must explain how, without a Withdrawal Agreement and the necessary UK laws in place, the UK will meet its international obligations over the Irish border or how the UK will conduct trade relations on WTO terms.
But, MPs who want to take no deal off the table should also pause. Yes, extend Article 50, but be clear to the voters for what purpose?  The Withdrawal Agreement has many faults, but as the EU repeatedly states, it is the only show in town. Above all, it avoids a regulatory cliff edge and provides for a Transition essential to an orderly Brexit and getting through Parliament the legislation still required.
The advice to MPs should be ‘vote for the Agreement and leave the EU in an orderly manner’. Then, MPs across the Brexit divide can regroup for the next stage of negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship, because this is when things will really get tough.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 11, 2019, 02:24:54 PM
https://www.ft.com/content/046006ec-41bd-11e9-9bee-efab61506f44

   Norway shows the UK a better way to Brexit
      
               If May’s deal is defeated again, this option at least offers a smooth transition
      
         Wolfgang Münchau
Right after the Brexit referendum, I endorsed the idea of the UK joining Norway in the European Economic Area and European Free Trade Agreement. This option respects both the vote to leave and its narrow victory. At the very least, the Norway model would have made a good transition for some five to 10 years. Subsequently, Theresa May managed to get a better deal than I thought possible, under which the UK would be able to restrict immigration, strike third-country trade deals and yet remain closely aligned with the EU. The Norway option is a softer version of Brexit than Mrs May’s deal, easier to reconcile with the Irish backstop, and preferred by some for those reasons. But it breaches the prime minister’s red lines: a member of the EEA must accept freedom of movement. Inside EFTA, members cannot strike meaningful third-country trade agreements.Contrary to rumours, Norway is not a vassal state of the EU. It is not in the customs union, not in the common agricultural and fisheries policy, and not subject to the Lisbon treaty. The border is not, therefore, frictionless. But Norway accepts EU regulation. So its service industries, including in the financial sector, have the right to operate freely throughout the EU.The Norway option offers the UK more than just a smooth transition. It could also act as a gateway to other post-Brexit relationships — all the way from a clean break to a fast-track re-entry into the EU. The Norway option is different from the Labour party’s preferred outcome — a customs union — in several important respects. What they have in common is that you cannot conduct third-party trade agreements under either. Unlike Norway, the customs union would allow the UK to restrict immigration, which parts of the Labour party believe is now politically necessary.

But its biggest advantage is that it would be less disruptive to industrial supply chains. It would favour industry over services. But there is no majority for Labour’s plan in the House of Commons. Nor do enough MPs back a second referendum. For Norway, there just might be. If Mrs May’s deal is defeated again this week, I would expect the UK parliament to hold indicative votes on alternatives. Among those, Norway is the frontrunner, but it may still fall short if the current supporters of a second referendum or the customs union cling to their first choices. What will happen if there is no majority for any positive alternative to Mrs May’s deal? I would then expect Mrs May to represent a cosmetically amended version of her deal for a third strike. She could hold the final vote in the last few days of the month, perhaps even on Brexit day, March 29.

At that point, but not before, I would advise Norway supporters to endorse her deal. Think long-term. By the time of the next general election, scheduled in 2022, bilateral trade talks with the EU will not have been concluded. Opposition parties could campaign for Norway, (or the customs union for that matter) as an alternative. The very worst outcome for Norway supporters would be a no-deal Brexit. The chances of that happening are higher than many assume because I believe the EU is limited in its ability to extend Article 50. EU leaders want to ensure a clear time period between the day Britain leaves and the EU-wide elections, which will take place between from May 23 to 26. If the EU was to agree a three-month extension until the end of June, there is a risk that the UK government might be forced to participate in elections to the European Parliament. A legal committee of the Bundestag, the lower chamber of the German parliament, concluded that a failure to hold elections would violate the rights of UK residents. The falling out between the European People’s party, the centre-right grouping of EU political parties and Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, might also complicate the political dynamic, favouring a super-short extension of four or five weeks at most. In the light of this constraint on any Brexit delay, I see the UK’s choices narrowing to three — Mrs May’s deal, a Norway compromise, or no deal. Norway deserves consideration. It may be the only way to avoid no deal.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 11, 2019, 02:26:36 PM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/11/pms-deal-would-betray-leavers-divide-conservative-party-shatter/

The PM's deal would betray Leavers, divide the Conservative Party and shatter parliamentary democracy
•   
Owen Paterson
11 March 2019 • 12:00pm

 The PM must hold her nerve, continue her efforts to improve the deal, but be prepared to leave on the 29th March without one
Given that the political situation in Westminster remains so fluid, it is worth taking stock of why we are where we are.
In 2015, the Conservatives promised that, if elected, we would hold a decisive in/out referendum on the UK's EU membership. The party was returned to Government with more votes and MPs. The EU Referendum Act was subsequently passed by a ratio of six to one in the Commons, with Parliament deliberately and voluntarily giving responsibility for the final decision on our membership of the EU to the British people.
A Government leaflet (costing the taxpayer over £9 million) confirmed that this "once in a generation decision" was "...your decision. The Government will implement what you decide." 17.4 million people then voted to leave the EU – more than have ever voted for any issue or party in British history.
In 2017, the Conservatives stood on a Manifesto pledge that "we will no longer be members of the single market or customs union." At the top of page 36 – and since repeated by the Prime

Minister over 100 times – it said, "no deal is better than a bad deal". The Conservatives won more votes than any party for 25 years. Labour gave the same message, so that 85 per cent of the votes cast in the election were for parties which defined Brexit as leaving the Single Market, the Customs Union and the remit of the ECJ.
In its commitment to deliver on that promise, the Conservative Party is not divided. My own Association voted unanimously last month that Brexit, as defined in the Manifesto, must be delivered on time and in full. The National Conservative Convention–- the senior body in the voluntary party – passed a similar motion by an emphatic ratio of five to one, which also stated that: "Another referendum, a delay beyond the European elections, taking 'no deal' off the table or not leaving at all would betray the 2016 People's Vote and damage democracy and our party for a generation."
Many party donors have made their continued support conditional on the Manifesto being honoured or have stopped giving already, infuriated by the Government's dither and delay. That is why it is so bizarre that the Prime Minister has now opened the door to extending Article 50, caving in to troublemaking Remain Ministers publishing articles attacking the Manifesto and Government policy, who are far outliers on the Conservative spectrum. The Liberal Democrats, Greens, SNP, Plaid Cymru, TIGgers and now even Labour are standing on a platform of overruling the largest democratic verdict in British history, so the Remain market for votes is becoming very crowded.
In contrast, the market for the 17.4 million Leave votes and all the votes of Conservative members loyal to the Party's manifesto commitments are up for grabs. They are not simply going to go away and forget about it. The genie cannot be put back in the bottle. The Conservatives can be their natural home, but only if we are genuinely committed to honouring the result of the 2016 referendum.

But how ludicrous will Conservative MPs – in fact, all MPs – look if we usher in a deal that ties us, perhaps perpetually, to EU rules with no say as to how those laws are made or how we end this arrangement?
I can picture the spectacle. The EU goes ahead with a ban on glyphosate, which some Member States have advocated but the UK has resisted. I rise in the House of Commons to argue that without glyphosate, fighting weeds will be more expensive and more complicated, forcing farmers to resort to extensive ploughing. I say that it is the most effective herbicide available and that, by using it, farmers in my constituency have been able to develop environmentally-friendly no-till practices to promote heathier soil and improve biodiversity, leading to a big increase in barn owl numbers.

I ask the Minister what can be done. He replies: "Nothing. But the Rt Hon Gentleman has no right to complain. After all, he voted for the deal." Another MP wants to see the Government make gas and electricity bills VAT-free, giving a boost to those on the lowest incomes. But these fall foul of the "level-playing field" agreements. What can be done, Minister? "Nothing, but the Rt Hon Lady has no right to complain. After all, she voted for the deal."
On and on this would go. It would be utterly intolerable. It would be a complete affront to parliamentary democracy. Yet it is exactly what could await if the Prime Minister brings back the same deal she had before and "takes no deal off the table." The only way forward is for the Prime Minister to hold her nerve, continue her efforts to improve the deal, but be absolutely determined to leave on March 29 without one, as the law currently demands. That way, she will do so with her party, and the country, behind her. 
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 11, 2019, 02:43:27 PM
   https://www.ft.com/content/dceee028-43ca-11e9-a965-23d669740bfb

   Downing Street admits Brexit talks deadlocked
      
               Theresa May faces heavy defeat in Tuesday’s parliamentary vote
George Parker in London, Alex Barker and Mehreen Khan in Brussels and Arthur Beesley in Dublin
      

         Downing Street admitted on Monday that Brexit talks in Brussels were deadlocked, leaving Theresa May facing a heavy defeat if she presents her largely unchanged deal to MPs for parliamentary approval on Tuesday.The UK prime minister spoke to Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president, on Sunday night but made no headway in her efforts to amend the deal to ensure that Britain could not be “trapped” indefinitely in a customs union.On Monday ambassadors from the remaining 27 EU states were briefed on the deadlock by Michel Barnier, the bloc’s chief negotiator, and Martin Selmayr, the EU’s top civil servant. The commission told diplomats the mood with the UK was “turning confrontational” and warned that any House of Commons “meaningful vote” on Mrs May’s deal was destined to fail, according to a diplomatic note of the meeting seen by the FT. The EU27 ambassadors were told that Brexit could be delayed until May 24 — the day after European elections are due to start. Any extension beyond this date would require EU leaders to clarify the legal consequences of Britain not participating in the poll, as the UK would still be a member state. Downing Street insisted that the apparently doomed meaningful vote would take place on Tuesday and that Mrs May had not given up hope of last-minute progress in talks in Brussels.“Talks are ongoing and we continue to focus on making progress so we can win parliament’s support for the deal,” Mrs May’s spokesman said. However, the idea of an eleventh-hour breakthrough was flatly discounted in Brussels.Margaritis Schinas, European Commission spokesman, said it was now up to Westminster whether or not to endorse the Brexit deal. He added that no further meetings between Mr Juncker and Mrs May were scheduled, although both sides would “remain in close contact this week”. Stephen Barclay, the UK’s Brexit secretary, was expected to make a statement to MPs on Monday afternoon to set out how the government intended to proceed in the face of the stalemate in Brussels and Westminster.Mrs May is considering whether to give MPs a “conditional” vote on Monday on the deal that she would like to agree in Brussels — rather than the one on the table — although such a move would be fraught with danger.There would be a risk that MPs would reject what one minister described as the “fantasy deal”, while one EU diplomat said: “If they vote for something which we cannot accept, then it is a vote for a no-deal exit.”Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s prime minister, was scathing of the idea. “It’s far too late for the UK to tell us what they want,” he said. “The withdrawal agreement requires a compromise and this withdrawal agreement is already a compromise.”He added: “I think if there is going to be an extension [to delay the date of Brexit past March 29], it has to be an extension with a purpose. Nobody across the EU wants to see a rolling cliff-edge where tough decisions just get put off until the end of April and then to the end of May and then maybe until the end of July.”Mrs May had been ready to travel to Brussels on Monday to meet Mr Juncker to finalise changes to the deal; instead she spent the morning in Downing Street holding crisis talks with advisers and cabinet colleagues.The uncertainty pushed the pound down to a three-week low, falling as much as 0.5 per cent to $1.2947.
UK officials say that draft legal changes on the table after a weekend of negotiations in Brussels were nowhere near strong enough to take back to the House of Commons on Tuesday.Geoffrey Cox, UK attorney-general, made it clear that recent proposals would not allow him to change his legal advice that the Irish backstop contained in the exit treaty — which would force the UK into a temporary customs union as a last resort to prevent a hard border with Ireland — could “endure indefinitely”.Mrs May lost the last “meaningful vote” on her deal by 230 votes in January and the substance has changed little since then, apart from a promise to MPs that Britain would uphold existing EU labour laws.Mrs May has faced mounting pressure to quit as Conservative Eurosceptic rebels claimed she might have to sacrifice her premiership to win them over ahead of the Brexit vote this week. Several cabinet ministers have said Mrs May should announce her plans to resign to win the support of Tory Brexiters, who believe that a change in Number 10 would signal a more robust approach to talks on a future UK-EU trade deal. Nicky Morgan, former education secretary, said that if Mrs May lost the latest vote on her Brexit deal on Tuesday her time would be up. “I think it would be very difficult for the prime minister to stay in office very much longer,” she told the BBC.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 11, 2019, 05:01:42 PM
This is very good

https://www.ft.com/content/0645066a-43de-11e9-a965-23d669740bfb

   Brexit backstop could save Britain from the Conservatives
      
               The party has been captured by demagogues, economic illiterates and wild-eyed free marketeers
      
         
Robert Shrimsley


Theresa May might not see it this way but there is reason to thank Michel Barnier for the hated Irish backstop that now threatens to destroy the prime minister’s Brexit deal. The EU chief negotiator’s backstop not only saves the island of Ireland from a hard internal border. It may also protect Britain from the Conservative party.Under the terms of the backstop, if a frictionless border between the Republic and Northern Ireland is not secured in the next round of negotiations, then the UK is bound into an inescapable customs union (and Northern Ireland into aspects of the single market) with the EU until such time as all sides agree it is no longer necessary. It is, in many respects, an outrage that may well lead a future government to break an international treaty. But the happy side-effect is that it limits the ability of a future Tory government to do even more damage to the British economy. However bad the next stage gets, the backstop puts a floor on the disruption.This matters because the saga of Brexit has, from the start, been a crisis of the Conservative party. The route to Brexit has marked, at every stage, the party’s path from being economic rationalists and upholders of the existing order back to the narrow economic and political nationalism that helped destroy it in the 1840s and again in the early 1900s. The Tories have been most successful when keeping a balance between these two poles.

Now the narrow nationalists are taking over.Initially, the crisis was containable — at first because the Conservative leadership protected the country from its hardliners and then because Tony Blair’s Labour government kept them from power. But the Brexit referendum and Mrs May’s leadership have brought the party close to the final surrender. Having ceded ground to secure the premiership, it is only lately that she has tried to restrain the zealots. The politics of Brexit has been a story of the Conservative party. Nearly three years after the referendum, the tussles with Brussels remain almost a sideshow. For all that time, the prime minister’s real negotiations have been with her own party. With just 18 days to go (18 days! I have planned drinks with friends that had more certainty this far in advance), Mrs May is still negotiating with her party on how to resolve the biggest constitutional and economic change to hit the UK in modern history. The country watches on helplessly like a guest at the outbreak of a marital row. Mrs May’s own premiership is effectively over even if she lingers in office a little longer. For months, she has been less a leader than a convener. Now she is not even that. The country needs a prime minister who can negotiate across parliament and find a common position. Mrs May cannot negotiate across her own cabinet. The only thing that keeps her in place is the conviction that it is possible for things to get worse.Nonetheless, we are probably into her final weeks and all the likely successors — even the “compromise candidates” like Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary — herald a tighter grip for the hardliners. The government is falling into the hands of those who claim to “speak for the people”. These so-called supporters of parliamentary democracy, the Catiline conservatives, use their voice to whip up a mob, against which they then proclaim themselves the only bulwark.

 Brexit is only what they say it is. They alone are the voice of the 17.4m.The Conservative party has been captured by demagogues, economic illiterates, provincial nationalists and wild-eyed free marketeers. Power is passing to those who think diplomacy means shouting at foreigners. Their revolution is every bit as fervid as Jeremy Corbyn’s on the left. Personally cushioned from the economic impact, they admit they would see GDP fall as the price of “freedom”. The UK’s economy will always be second to their ideological fixations. Only a lengthy spell out of office will restore the Tory equilibrium.It is understandable that those seeking a second referendum or a softer Brexit balk at backing Mrs May’s plan. They should still see the value of the backstop. Other Brexit options, including the Norway route of single market membership, or a customs union cannot at this stage be reached without it. More importantly, a future government is limited in the further economic damage it can do in the name of nationalism. And so, outrageous infringement to sovereignty that it is, we should be grateful for the backstop. If this deal ever passes, we may one day build statues to Mr Barnier. He will not only have saved Ireland from a hard border and Britain from the Tory zealots. He may ultimately have saved the Conservatives from themselves.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Rossfan on March 11, 2019, 07:27:18 PM
May on way to Strasbourg
Leo calls a sudden Cabinet Meeting and delays his junk....err...  very important trip to Washington.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: armaghniac on March 11, 2019, 09:04:45 PM
May on way to Strasbourg
Leo calls a sudden Cabinet Meeting and delays his junk....err...  very important trip to Washington.

NI to remain in the Single Market, except Sammy's house.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: GJL on March 11, 2019, 09:28:13 PM
May on way to Strasbourg
Leo calls a sudden Cabinet Meeting and delays his junk....err...  very important trip to Washington.

NI to remain in the Single Market, except Sammy's house.

Fingers crossed. 🤞🤞
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Rossfan on March 11, 2019, 09:31:18 PM
Sammy to be appointed Ambassador to Papua New Guinea.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: HiMucker on March 11, 2019, 09:51:29 PM
Sammy to be appointed Ambassador to Papua New Guinea.
Ian og to be appointed ambassador to Sri Lanka
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: armaghniac on March 11, 2019, 11:43:22 PM
Sammy to be appointed Ambassador to Papua New Guinea.
Ian og to be appointed ambassador to Sri Lanka

Make him resident governor of Tristan da Cunha.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 12, 2019, 09:14:08 AM
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/watch-mays-brexit-deal-falls-short-of-her-promises-says-dups-sammy-wilson-37904026.html

 May's Brexit deal 'falls short of her promises,' says DUP's Sammy Wilson

By Jonathan Bell

March 12 2019
The DUP's Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson has said the latest agreement between the EU and the Prime Minister Theresa May "seems to fall short" of her promises. May promised unicorns per Sammy.
 However, he said they were being careful not to give an indication of how they would move until they had fully considered the new documents and taken advice.

He was speaking after Theresa May said she had got "legally binding changes" to the withdrawal agreement.

Speaking to radio station LBC, East Antrim MP Wilson said: "We had made it quite clear we expected legally-binding changes which would ensure our government solely had control over any backstop that those legally-binding changes would ensure that in the future arrangements with Europe we would have control over our trade, laws and money. And that those legally-binding changes would ensure the integrity of the union.
I have got to say if you look at what the prime minister has said so far it seems to fall short of what she herself had promised. She is simply saying it reduces the chances of us being kept in the backstop.

Mr Wilson said he wanted to give "due diligence" to what changes had been made and they would take advice from the "best people" and listen to the Attorney General on what he says late on Tuesday.

"But we want to hear the views of others," he said.

He also said he could not understand why the government appeared to be rushing the deal through.

Asked if he was minded to not support the deal, Mr Wilson said they have been careful not to give any indication as to what the DUP may do late on Tuesday in the meaningful vote.

"We have simply said this is what we expect and if it does not deliver that it will not have our support."
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 12, 2019, 09:28:49 AM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/11/brexit-table-take-run-still-chance/?li_source=LI&li_medium=li-recommendation-widget

Brexit is there on the table. Take it and run, while there's still a chance
•   
William Hague
As human beings, we have a natural tendency to blame others for landing us in a mess. And now, with British politics on the verge of the most complex, intractable, emotional and all-consuming muddle since the Civil War, preparations to blame everybody else are in full swing.
If Brexit doesn’t happen on March 29, disappointing or enraging the 17 million people who voted for it, blame will be flung everywhere. Leavers will blame Remainers for undermining negotiations and Remainers will blame Leavers for not taking the deal in front of them. Many will blame the Irish for taking a hard line, and the EU in general for being so intransigent. Tories will blame each other for not uniting, and virtually everyone will blame Theresa May for not finding the genius solution.
Unfortunately, there will be some truth in all of this, giving scope for all sides to whip up resentment and stoke division. For anyone who wants to hate the Establishment, or despise the majority, or split a party, or just rubbish their opponents, it will be a field day like no other.
There will be more reasons than ever not to listen to each other. Instead we will all revel in the reinforcement of our existing opinions and know that we were totally right but disgracefully let down.
In any forthcoming general election or second referendum – and the chances of one or both happening are higher than many people think – our great democracy will have entered the age of the angry crowd, the abusive tweet and the violent incident.
This will be a tragedy in a country hitherto known throughout the world for its free speech, tolerance of different opinions and its disdain for extremism.
While we cannot know for sure what will happen if Mrs May cannot get a deal through the House of Commons in the coming days, we do know that every alternative course of action will exacerbate that national slide into intensified bitterness. A delay to Brexit – which is the most likely consequence of her impending defeat – will extend the argument and the uncertainty for longer. Eventually that would lead either to a more acrimonious split from the EU, or to staying in it after all. These are outcomes that will destroy an otherwise sensible government in the short term but poison our politics for the long term.
Show more
The British political system is this week teetering on the edge, close to falling into that abyss, with no one even in control of the descent. This is all the more frustrating given that the prospects for the country would otherwise be reasonably good. When the Chancellor stands up tomorrow to deliver his updated assessment of the economy, he will be able to point to a buoyant jobs market and very healthy tax revenues. It is a time at which we could offer one of the best homes for businesses in the world if we were not so busy falling into permanent disarray.
So, if you stand back and look at the bigger picture, there is a compelling case for getting this deal through, leaving the EU on schedule, starting to negotiate the future free trade agreement, and letting some calm flow back into the political scene. For all those who want to see the referendum result honoured, the choice now is over whether they think the deal is so bad that it is worth the risk of throwing that prospect away and gambling on what will happen if it is voted down.
Is it so bad then? To answer that question, we have to switch from the big picture to the contents of the deal. Should the so-called backstop be a deal-breaker? Its details are certainly not a triumph of British negotiating. But the idea that the backstop – even if unamended – would leave this country in a kind of vassalage to the EU is not borne out by examining the detail, and I doubt convinced Brexiteers such as Michael Gove and Liam Fox would be out there promoting the deal if they thought it did.
Let’s assume the worst – that the UK has to enter the backstop after the transitional period finishes at the end of 2020, and has to remain part of the EU customs area. Would we be able to take control of our own immigration policy and decide, ourselves, who comes to this country? Yes, we undoubtedly would, and that was one of the main reasons people voted Leave.
Would we have to pay budget contributions to the EU while in the backstop, payments that were another main grievance that produced the referendum result? No, absolutely not.
Would we have to sign up to any new areas of EU law, or go along with any of the ideas for closer integration in Europe? After all, the fear of this was another major reason for Leave supporters to vote the way they did. No, not at all.
Would the whole economy have to comply with EU rules? No – the great majority of the British economy is made up of service industries, and they would no longer be constrained by EU rule making.
The backstop would mean that we would still have to apply EU tariffs on manufacturing and agricultural goods, and apply some of the other rules affecting those industries. The downside of that is that we would not be able to negotiate new free trade deals, but while that situation continued those industries would have the upside of zero-tariff access to EU markets.
Is that really so bad a deal? It is, of course, a compromise, but there is no orderly way out of a 46-year relationship without a compromise of some kind. It delivers an end to uncontrolled migration, and payments into the EU budget, and the ratchet of “more Europe”. It gives some advantages to British businesses until a trade agreement takes its place. It has its faults, but it does not warrant plunging our country into months or years of entrenched bitterness and unknowable consequences.
Brexit is right there on the table, ready for the taking. It’s potentially just 400 hours away. I would take it and run with it while there is a chance. If that doesn’t happen, a much longer nightmare for our democracy may be about to begin.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 12, 2019, 10:09:36 AM
https://www.ft.com/content/02dd3e98-41ef-11e9-9bee-efab61506f44

   Ballooning US debt piles put investors on guard
      
               Fears over ‘wall of maturities’ are weighing on stocks that have weaker balance sheets
               Richard Henderson in New York


         The classic “fortress balance sheet” made famous by JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon is back in vogue. Increasingly, investors are rewarding sober companies that largely sat out the big borrowing binge of the post-crisis period.Companies with strong balance sheets — those with low debt levels or strong cash flows which can quickly ratchet down leverage at the first signs of trouble — began to outperform weaker rivals when the Federal Reserve started tightening monetary policy in 2015.But the divergence deepened last year, when the US central bank kept raising interest rates even as economic growth slowed, and investors grew fearful that the post-crisis bull run was coming to an end. A Goldman Sachs index of US stocks with strong balance sheets has returned 11 per cent in the past 12 months, compared to just 2 per cent for the counterpart index of weaker balance sheet stocks.Of all the challenges confronting the US stock market, corporate debt levels are the biggest, says Rob Almeida, global investment strategist for MFS Investment Management, a Boston-based firm with about $430bn in assets. “It’s number one for us,” he said. “Leverage matters, especially for those that do something unsustainable. The gross amount of leverage which has increased since 2007 is problematic.”Mr Almeida argues many companies have loaded up on debt through dubious acquisitions to stem the disruption to their businesses from smaller, nimbler competitors. He is especially worried by the growth of bonds rated triple-B, the lowest rung of investment grade debt, which have swelled from $750bn in 2007 to $2.7tn today.The need for companies to refinance all this debt in a less benign environment is magnifying investors’ unease. In the next three years, a third of US triple-B rated bonds will come due — a “wall of maturities” that will test the balance sheets of highly levered companies, predicts Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist for Invesco, the $888bn-in-assets Atlanta-based fund manager.“This is a potential crisis that could evolve,” Ms Hooper said.

“We could see a situation where companies are not able to cover debt service or, when debt matures, obtain new funding at higher levels, squeezing profit margins.”As a result, many investors are now urging companies to buttress their balance sheets by paying down debt and conserving cash, before circumstances force them to act. More than half of 218 investors representing $625bn in assets polled by Bank of America Merrill Lynch last month listed reducing leverage as the best use of company cash flows — the highest level in a decade.The ballooning debt pile has fanned fears it will exacerbate the impact of the next economic downturn, as stretched triple-B rated companies see their debt tip into junk territory. The Bank of International Settlements last week warned that such a scenario would ripple through the corporate debt market and trigger fire sales by investors bound by strict investment mandates prohibiting them from holding debt rated below investment grade.The fixed income industry has become increasingly preoccupied by the triple-B threat, but it is a major issue for equity investors as well, argues Inigo Fraser-Jenkins, a senior analyst at Bernstein in London. He estimates that only half of the stocks in the MSCI US index now have a credit rating above triple-B, down from 90 per cent two decades ago.“We have never before seen a corporate sector with such low-grade debt. For this reason equity investors will have to focus a lot more on this topic over the next year,” he said.Some investors also worry companies have squandered the borrowed money on repurchasing their own shares and unsound acquisitions, rather than investing in their core businesses or preparing for tougher times.US companies last year bought back more than $800bn of their own stock, a new record. The concern is that as the cost of debt becomes more onerous, it will damp the pace of share repurchases at precisely the time when markets could do with the support.Yet not all Wall Street analysts and investors share the fears that corporate leverage is a threat to the 2019 stock market recovery.

We could see a situation where companies are not able to cover debt service or, when debt matures, obtain new funding at higher levels
Kristina Hooper, Invesco


Bankim Chadha, chief US equity and global strategist for Deutsche Bank, argues that the fears of triple-B debt, in particular, are overblown. He highlights an improvement in the ratio of corporate profit to debt as an indicator that companies are becoming better placed to service their borrowings.Moreover, the Fed has become markedly more cautious this year, damping concerns over US interest-rate increases that could hurt more indebted companies. As a result, the outperformance of Goldman Sachs’s index of strong balance sheet companies has narrowed lately.Nonetheless, given the scale of the corporate debt build-up of recent years, equity investors will probably remain sensitive to any renewed hints of trouble from the bond market.“The numbers are pretty stark,” said Jim Smigiel, head of the portfolio strategies group at SEI Investments. “Credit is the canary in the coal mine — it tends to lead equities toward the end of the cycle.”
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 12, 2019, 03:11:15 PM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/12/dup-risk-self-destruction-pms-deal-fails-can-still-trust-put/
The DUP risk self-destruction if the PM's deal fails, but we can still trust them to put Brexit first
•   
Ruth Dudley Edwards
12 March 2019 • 12:25pm
Its leadership will not cave in and accept a bad deal
Cricket has nothing on politics when it comes to being a funny old game. Who could have thought that Nigel Dodds, MP for Belfast North, could - for at least one bright shining moment - be the most important person in the Westminster parliament?
Now that the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has delivered his verdict on the legal assurances that Theresa May secured from Brussels last night, it will be Dodds whose voice counts most today in the eight-person Star Chamber set up by the European Research Group.
The Chamber is set to advise later today on whether the proposals agreed in the latest round of negotiations constitute a sell-out or a compromise that Brexiteers should be prepared to stomach as the least worst option.
His colleagues will be deferring to him as the key voice on the implications for Northern Ireland of the backstop.
It isn’t just that the DUP controls 10 key votes that makes its Westminster leader so influential.  It’s that Northern Ireland has no other voice in the House of Commons, since Sinn Fein - traditionally anti-EU but now (following the old Republican precept that “England’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity”)  -is almost hysterically anti-Brexit. However the party is left powerless with its nose pressed to the Westminster sweetie shop as it is banned by the hard-line IRA veterans who control it from the shadows from taking its seven seats.
There are compelling Northern Irish voices in the Lords, though, and recently  some of them have been involved in what could be a game-changing exercise over the backstop.
Like Sinn Fein, the Irish government and most nationalists insist that Brexit undermines the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and threatens the peace, but David Trimble - once leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and now a Conservative peer - who won a Nobel Prize for his role in negotiating the Agreement, as well as the distinguished historian Lord Bew,  have turned the argument on its head.
They believe that as it stands, the backstop threatens the integrity and stability of the Agreement because of the failure of both governments to use the agreed mechanism to negotiate an Anglo-Irish deal. Crowd-funded, first-class legal advice confirms that unless the backstop Protocol is appropriately amended there will be excellent grounds to take a judicial review. Geoffrey Cox and Nigel Dodds are among those who are well aware of those legal arguments.
Fashionable opinion reviles the white, Christian and socially conservative DUP and dismisses it as stupid, bigoted and easy to buy off. In fact the party leader, Arlene Foster, is a solicitor, and Nigel Dodds, her deputy, not only took a first-class law degree from St John’s College, Cambridge, where he won a scholarship, a studentship, and the Winfield Price for Law, but in addition to having practised as a barrister, worked at the Secretariat of the European Parliament.   
Like all too many of Northern Ireland’s politicians, both have been toughened by experiences few British politicians have had to endure. 
When she was a child, the IRA almost killed Arlene Foster’s father, drove the family from its home and blew up her school bus. In 1996, when Nigel Dodds was visiting his seriously ill son in hospital, gunmen fired several shots at his police guards;  he also had a bomb at his constituency office left by dissidents in 2003 and was concussed in 2013 when hit by a brick thrown by a rioter. These people are not push-overs.
So while the DUP don’t want to bring down the government, as a general election would be most unlikely to leave it with the power it now has, its leadership will not cave in and accept a deal that they believe weakens the union and would appall their electorate. There are key local elections coming up in May and Northern Irish politicians have as many names for betrayal as Eskimos have for snow.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Rossfan on March 12, 2019, 03:21:21 PM
Unionists good everyone else bad ::)
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 12, 2019, 04:01:57 PM
https://www.ft.com/content/bbb893a6-44b8-11e9-b168-96a37d002cd3

   Theresa May heads for defeat on her revised Brexit deal

   Eurosceptic MPs seize on UK attorney-general’s admission over Irish backstop

Theresa May appeared to be heading for a major parliamentary defeat on her revised Brexit deal on Tuesday, after Eurosceptic MPs seized on an admission by the UK’s attorney-general that the country could be unable to leave the controversial Irish backstop without the EU’s consent. The British prime minister had hoped that additional assurances, agreed with the European Commission in Strasbourg late on Monday, would win over Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party, as well as pro-Brexit Tories, to allow her to overturn the 230-vote defeat on her original deal in January. But on Tuesday afternoon the DUP said that “sufficient progress has not been achieved at this time”. A party official confirmed its 10 MPs would vote against the government. Large numbers of the pro-Brexit European Research Group of Tory MPs are also expected to vote against the deal, after a group of lawyers advising the faction said the government had failed to meet its own tests. The Eurosceptics’ stance was in response to legal advice from Geoffrey Cox, UK attorney-general, which warned that, despite the new assurances, Britain faced an “unchanged” risk of being trapped in the so-called backstop to avoid a hard Irish border. Mr Cox, himself a Brexiter, concluded in previous legal advice in November that the backstop could endure “indefinitely”, enraging Eurosceptics who fear the arrangement would lock Britain into a permanent customs union with the EU and prevent the UK from striking trade deals after Brexit.Some MPs had expected the attorney-general to soften his position after the latest negotiations between the UK and Brussels, in which he was a key player.

In a three-page letter to Mrs May published on Tuesday, Mr Cox did say that the new Brexit assurances “reduce the risk that the United Kingdom could be indefinitely and involuntarily detained” in the Irish backstop because of bad faith on the EU’s part.But he added that “the legal risk remains unchanged” that, if there were “intractable differences” between the UK and the EU, rather than bad faith by the bloc, Britain would have “no internationally lawful means of exiting” the backstop without the EU’s agreement.The pound fell 1 per cent against the US dollar, to $1.3020 just after the release of Mr Cox’s letter, more than wiping out a rally late on Monday after Mrs May unveiled the Brexit assurances with the EU. Sterling had traded as high as $1.3288 after Monday night’s New York close.Geoffrey Cox speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday © AFPIf Mrs May’s deal is defeated on Tuesday, MPs will vote on Wednesday whether to rule out a no-deal Brexit and then on whether to request an extension to Article 50, the EU’s formal divorce process, beyond the scheduled exit date of March 29.It is unclear what substantive plan parliament would then agree to, with hardline Eurosceptics, hardline Europhiles and the Labour leadership all seeking different outcomes. The European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday that there would be no further negotiations if the deal were rejected. Mrs May’s position would come under pressure, although under Conservative party leadership rules she cannot be formally challenged until December. A few Conservative MPs who voted against the deal in January indicated they would support it on Tuesday. Government supporters emphasised the more upbeat parts of Mr Cox’s advice, including his “political judgment” that it was “highly unlikely” that an alternative to the backstop would not be found. The attorney-general, who was little-known in British politics until his appointment to the cabinet last year, had insisted he would not deliver politically convenient advice. “I have been a barrister for 36 years, and a senior politician for seven months,” Mr Cox told the Mail on Sunday newspaper last week. “My professional reputation is far more important to me than my reputation as a politician.” In parliament on Tuesday Dominic Grieve, the Europhile former Conservative attorney-general, praised Mr Cox for “speaking truth to power”. After rejecting Mrs May’s original Brexit deal in January, MPs passed a motion calling on Mrs May to “replace” the backstop. The legal documents presented by the EU and the UK on Monday evening fell short of that goal. Nor did they provide a fixed end date for the backstop, or a unilateral exit mechanism, which Mrs May had suggested could be negotiated.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: magpie seanie on March 12, 2019, 04:13:15 PM
RDE - God help the poor woman.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 12, 2019, 04:16:12 PM
Unionists good everyone else bad ::)
The collapse of Brexit is bad news for certain Sindo columnists
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: mouview on March 12, 2019, 04:17:59 PM
RDE - God help the poor woman.

Think she's gotten the heave-ho from Independent house. The appalling Eoghan Harris should too.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: armaghniac on March 12, 2019, 05:24:56 PM
Quote
It isn’t just that the DUP controls 10 key votes that makes its Westminster leader so influential.  It’s that Northern Ireland has no other voice in the House of Commons,

RDE telling porkies as usual, as Sylvia Hermon has been talking sense in Westminster all along. But she doesn't suit the agenda.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Farrandeelin on March 12, 2019, 05:50:37 PM
I literally laughed out loud reading Dodds being hit with a brick.  ;D
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 13, 2019, 09:22:48 AM
https://www.ft.com/content/33ad916e-4503-11e9-b168-96a37d002cd3

   Brussels takes hard line after second UK defeat for Brexit deal
      
               Co-ordinated warning to Westminster: ‘There is no more we can do’


Alex Barker in Brussels
Brussels heaped pressure on Theresa May on Tuesday night, saying there was “no more” the EU could do to rescue Britain’s Brexit deal after it suffered a second crushing defeat in the House of Commons. The co-ordinated warning to Westminster reflected a hardening mood in European capitals over the possibility of reopening negotiations or granting an extension that would delay Brexit without a clear purpose.After Mrs May’s revamped Brexit package crashed to a 149-vote defeat, several of the EU leaders and negotiators most closely involved in talks released near-identical statements warning of Britain’s drastically limited options in the days ahead. A spokesperson for Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, said that, given three sets of reassurances offered to the British prime minister since December, “there is no more we can do”. “If there is a solution to the current impasse it has to be found in London,” he said.A statement on behalf of Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council of EU states, stressed there was “little more” the EU could do and warned of a “significantly increased” risk of a no-deal exit in 17 days time, when Brexit is due to take place.
Even before the Commons defeat, exasperation with London was mounting rapidly in the EU, toughening the bloc’s approach to a likely extension request — particularly in Paris and Brussels. Unless Britain moves to call an election or a referendum, some senior diplomats favour only a short extension from the scheduled date of March 29, to allow for no-deal planning, or, alternatively, refusing a delay. Germany has been more open to a longer extension should Britain need it.Mr Tusk noted that any extension request would require unanimity among the 27 remaining leaders of the EU, who “expect a credible justification for a possible extension and its duration”. In a step co-ordinated with several EU capitals, Mr Juncker and Mr Tusk have also stressed the need for Britain to participate in the European elections on May 23-26 if it remains a member state beyond that date. Mark Rutte, the Dutch premier, tweeted that “the smooth functioning of the EU institutions needs to be ensured”.
The terms laid down in Brussels set the backdrop for a series of Commons votes this week, which Mrs May said would cover a no-deal exit, as well as a possible extension request. Outlining the “choices that now must be faced”, the UK prime minister said MPs would be given the choice of revoking the Article 50 exit notification, a second referendum on Brexit, and leaving with a yet-to-be-negotiated alternative exit deal. Most contentious in Brussels will be the option to renegotiate an exit deal, particularly relating to the withdrawal agreement or the so-called backstop for Northern Ireland, which seeks to rule out a hard border in Ireland. Senior EU officials are making clear to Downing Street that no negotiation will be possible at the summit of EU leaders next week.
Despite clear EU-assurances on the backstop, we now face a chaotic no deal Brexit scenario. And time is almost up
Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Danish prime minister

 “It’s always hard to say no to negotiations,” said one adviser to an EU leader. “But such talks can only be chaotic and dangerous for the EU. She [Mrs May] is basically asking us to put pressure on [Irish prime minister] Leo Varadkar. We will feel pushed against a wall. It would be a disaster.”Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, tweeted after the vote: “The EU has done everything it can to help get the Withdrawal Agreement over the line. The impasse can only be solved in the #UK. Our “no-deal” preparations are now more important than ever before.”France said that it regretted the vote against Mrs May’s deal and said the ball was in Britain’s court now that ”we have reached the end of negotiations over the conditions of the withdrawal”.The Elysée palace reaffirmed that an EU extension for the UK’s departure beyond March 29 would have to be agreed unanimously by the 27 remaining members and would be “totally unacceptable without a credible alternative strategy on the part of the UK”.Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, also said on Twitter that he was “deeply saddened” by the vote. “Despite clear EU-assurances on the backstop, we now face a chaotic no deal Brexit scenario. And time is almost up.”
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Rossfan on March 13, 2019, 09:57:28 AM
It's like dealing with an upset small child.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: johnnycool on March 13, 2019, 10:28:33 AM
I literally laughed out loud reading Dodds being hit with a brick.  ;D

Which IIRC was thrown by a Unionist rioter.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Insane Bolt on March 13, 2019, 12:02:52 PM
I literally laughed out loud reading Dodds being hit with a brick.  ;D

Which IIRC was thrown by a Unionist rioter.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4yyWZ3b5R6Q

It was the parades commission’s fault😂
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: johnnycool on March 13, 2019, 12:06:53 PM
I literally laughed out loud reading Dodds being hit with a brick.  ;D

Which IIRC was thrown by a Unionist rioter.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4yyWZ3b5R6Q

It was the parades commission’s fault😂

Nice of the peelers to give him a squirt of the water cannon when he hit the deck. Must have been a fenian copper.

Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 13, 2019, 12:08:14 PM
   https://www.ft.com/content/def3dae4-44d9-11e9-b168-96a37d002cd3

   Theresa May’s Brexit deal is dead — MPs must now take over
      
               Parliament must avoid political chaos and create space to explore other exit options
      
         The editorial board
         In other circumstances, a second humiliating loss on the government’s flagship policy would end in a prime ministerial resignation © Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament
After two years of tortuous negotiations, Theresa May’s strategy for taking the UK out of the EU lies in ruins. From the moment the stentorian attorney-general, Geoffrey Cox, pronounced that late legal changes won by the prime minister did not remove the risk of the UK being “trapped” in the so-called Irish backstop hated by Eurosceptics, her withdrawal agreement was headed for another crushing Commons defeat. The priority now must be to avoid chaos — chaos in parliament that could be exploited by extremists of left and right, and the chaos of a no-deal exit.
MPs must stabilise the political situation and create the space for a Brexit rethink.In other circumstances, a second humiliating loss on the government’s flagship policy would end in a prime ministerial resignation. Mrs May must bear most of the blame for the failure to secure a parliamentary majority. Her negotiating strategy was muddled and contradictory, and she continually put narrow party interests ahead of those of the nation. This premier, who prides herself on being no “quitter”, seems determined to try to soldier on. If she succeeds, against all odds, she must pursue a new strategy. This means ending the fantasy of bringing her deal to parliament a third time. EU officials have made clear there will be no further concessions on the backstop aimed at avoiding a hard border in Ireland. Mrs May should instead allow parliament to take control. She must work to promote and facilitate exactly the kind of cross-party co-operation in the national interest that she has so far stubbornly resisted.As a first step, MPs must vote on Wednesday to remove the risk of a catastrophic no-deal departure from the EU on March 29. Such an exit would do huge damage to UK jobs, prosperity and security. Bringing supply lines to a standstill, it could lead to shortages of foodstuffs and even medicines. It would destroy international trust in Britain when it most needs to forge new relationships.There should be no prevarication here. Letting Britain crash out of the EU — as the Brexit ultras advocate — is not fulfilling the result of the 2016 referendum. This is not what most Leave voters thought they were backing. Failure to remove this risk would be a dereliction of parliamentarians’ duty to exercise their judgment in the best interests of the citizens they represent.



MPs’ second priority is to vote on Thursday to seek from the EU an extension of the Article 50 withdrawal process. This needs to be longer than three months. It should allow time for a new approach to Brexit that tests MPs’ appetite for other forms of withdrawal. Indicative votes should be held on “softer” options including a permanent customs union with the EU — which this newspaper has supported — or a “Norway-plus” option of remaining in the single market and a customs union.If no option can garner the support of a majority of MPs, the Financial Times has advocated returning the issue to the British people in another referendum. Voters could be presented with a choice between Mrs May’s deal — the only negotiated Brexit option that currently exists — or remaining in the EU. MPs might favour a general election. But with Britain’s two biggest political parties both riven over Brexit, an election would resolve little. A new referendum would be divisive, but it would offer voters this time a real choice, instead of the illusory Brexit they were sold in 2016. A majority does not yet appear to exist in parliament for this route, either. Yet if MPs cannot unite around an alternative Brexit, they might start to see a new plebiscite as the only way out of the impasse.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 13, 2019, 03:14:34 PM
https://www.ft.com/content/4b3b5a24-4570-11e9-a965-23d669740bfb

   Ardent US capitalists should embrace ‘socialism’
They can contain anger at the market system by making pragmatic concessions to it

Janan Ganesh

Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for president, is unpopular on Wall Street because of her taste for wealth taxes © Bloomberg

In a country where “liberalism” means big government and “neoconservatism” implies utopian derring-do, the mangling of another abstract noun was probably due. What US politics has done to “socialism” over recent months is no less regrettable for that. Whether in the mouths of Democrats, who are warming to the word, or of Republicans, who still spit it out, it has come to mean something more familiar to a European as social (or Christian) democracy. Fiscal transfers, universal healthcare, powerful trade unions: not only do these things not add up to socialism — Denmark is no command economy — a true stickler for that creed would actively oppose them as efforts to buy off the revolution. They are not designed to replace the market so much as to stop the masses turning against it. All of which provokes a counter-intuitive thought. Hardened capitalists should vote for a Democratic president in 2020 — even a fairly leftwing one — rather than a Republican. The market system is under greater popular stress, after all, than at any time since the 1930s. One answer to the resentment is to give no quarter at all. A wiser one is to contain the anger by making pragmatic concessions to it. Donald Trump won the presidency by taking the second approach but has governed, mystifyingly, with the first. Having begun his White House campaign with a pledge to save not just Medicare (which serves the old) but Medicaid (which serves the poor), he has cut taxes and is now seeking welfare efficiencies to make up the budgetary shortfall. After all his vaunted “disruption” of GOP orthodoxy, he seems set to run on a platform of colour-by-numbers Republicanism, at least in domestic affairs.If this is the right’s plan to save the free-market system, then capitalists should take their chances with the left. There is a plausible future in which a more generous welfare state, funded by taxes on those who have been enriched by a decade’s asset inflation, drains some of the anti-capitalist pus from the body politic. There is no plausible future in which another round of unreconstructed supply-side economics does the same. One more presidential term of this stuff would be a tactical gain for free-marketeers, true, but what of the strategic risk? For the short-term pleasure of lower marginal tax rates and thinned-out regulations, they risk the further disillusionment of an electorate that already worries about the fairness of the system. Millennial attitudes to capitalism should keep them up at night. The transient nuisance of a “progressive” administration should not.

The priority of capitalists is not the election of Republicans. It is the maintenance of public support for capitalism. If this is best achieved through some redistribution and regulation, it would not be the first time.As ever in politics, the trick is to distinguish between lesser and greater evils. Not everyone can. Consider the sulphurous unpopularity on Wall Street of Elizabeth Warren. Even potential Democratic donors wonder what they will do if the Massachusetts senator becomes the party’s candidate in 2020. Her crime? A taste for wealth taxes and financial regulation. It is natural for bankers to worry about these policies. But they should also worry about the anger that will be stored up if somevariation of her reform does not happen. Ms Warren is “a capitalist to my bones”. She wants more, not less competition in the economy. If capitalists think that four or eight years of her leftish technocracy is the worst that can happen, they are not using their imaginations. Better her than a more severe reckoning with public opinion down the line. Better a controlled explosion than a random, all-engulfing one. Right now, the political debate concerns the excesses of capitalism. In no time at all, it will move on to the fundaments of the system itself. The preservation of capitalism through its moderation: there is no paradox here. Dwight Eisenhower understood it as basic statecraft, as did Richard Nixon and other Republicans who reconciled themselves to big government. Mr Trump reached a similar intuition in 2016. At least as far back as John Maynard Keynes, the truest friends of capitalism have understood that it cannot command an electoral majority in its purest form. Franklin Roosevelt turned out to be a better custodian of the system than those who cried philosophical betrayal at first whiff of the New Deal. He knew that an idea can die of purity. Too few now do. There is more to the defence of free markets than the resistance of all reform as a red menace. If Republicans have become dangerous to the cause, it is because they believe in it too much
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 14, 2019, 10:48:28 AM
https://www.ft.com/content/319fe848-458c-11e9-b168-96a37d002cd3

   Greece maps the long way back to a Brexit deal
Kamikaze Leavers who have wrecked Theresa May’s deal cannot win support for their own

Philip Stephens

Some time ago, I wrote that Britain was heading the way of Greece. The comparison caused (justifiable) offence in Athens and (unwarranted) indignation in London. The time has come formally to recant. Grexit is now a fading nightmare. Common sense and political leadership have seen Greece stabilise its economy and restore functioning government. In the meantime, Brexit has all but broken British politics.The heavy economic costs of Brexit were always obvious to all but the fantasists who imagine that “global Britain”, untethered from its own continent, will usher in a new Elizabethan age. The political stresses and strains — the absence of any consensus about what Brexit actually meant, the collision between the referendum outcome and the pro-European views of the majority of MPs, and deep divisions within parties — were casually overlooked. No one should be surprised that the nation’s politics now resemble a car crash. At once unimaginative and stubborn, Theresa May has squandered the respect of her cabinet and lost all authority within the governing Conservative party. The prime minister’s half-baked Brexit deal with the EU27 has suffered a second crushing defeat in the House of Commons. An unbridgeable chasm has opened up between the Conservatives’ English nationalists and a shrinking band who still pledge allegiance to “One Nation” Toryism. For her part, Mrs May clings against all logic to the idea that somehow she can get her agreement through.On the other side of the aisle, the largely pro-European Labour opposition is led by a Eurosceptic trapped in the time warp of 1970s socialism.

 Jeremy Corbyn commands the confidence of only a couple of dozen of his own MPs. Many consider him unfit to be prime minister. Brexit, Mr Corbyn tells centre-left leaders elsewhere in Europe, “is not my priority”. He sees himself as the carrier of a brighter flame. His mission, he boasts, is “building socialism”.The referendum outcome shocked and dismayed Britain’s many friends. The paralysis since in a nation once renowned for level-headed pragmatism has been all but incomprehensible. And, yes, it is truly shocking to realise that two weeks before its scheduled departure, Britain does not have even an outline as to how it can replace decades of economic integration and political collaboration with its nearest neighbours. For their part, European leaders have shown the patience of saints as Mrs May has run scared of her party’s nationalists. The likes of former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, soaked in delusions about past glory and continental conspiracies, have wrecked all attempts to reach an intelligent accommodation. Britain won the war, they want us to know. It can set its own terms.So no blame attaches to the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier or to French President Emmanuel Macron when they suggest that if Britain now wants an extension to the Article 50 process, it must first come up with a credible strategy to use the additional time. I have heard many others across the continent — most of them good friends of Britain — say much the same thing. What is the point of open-ended negotiations if they do nothing but postpone the cliff edge for a few months or so? And, by the way, the EU27 have other things on their minds beyond Britain’s determination to self-harm.As understandable as they are, such sentiments misread the political dynamics. Britain needs extra time — and a lot more than the three months often mentioned in Brussels — precisely because it does not have a strategy. The past two years have been entirely wasted. An orderly separation requires that the politicians start again. That will require time as well as imagination. Nor should fellow Europeans discount the possibility that such a process could end in a second referendum.A few things should be obvious by now. The Kamikaze Brexiters who have tortured Mrs May can wreck her plans but cannot win support for their own. For her part — and I fear even after two resounding defeats she still has not understood this — the prime minister cannot continue to treat Brexit as the sole property of the Tory party. The only deal with Brussels that will command sufficient support in the House of Commons is one that reaches across the partisan barricades.Impossible, some will say. The two-party system is immutable. I am not so sure. Brexit has pushed politics in the other direction. Just this week Mrs May was forced to offer a free vote to underscore the stupidity of the crash-out Brexit sought by her party’s hardliners. There could well be more such occasions in coming days as MPs test opinion on other, softer versions of Brexit. Nearly a dozen MPs have broken with the two main parties to re-establish a centrist voice in the nation’s politics. Talk of a second referendum is no longer the preserve of diehard Remainers. If Mrs May can demand a second vote on her deal, why should the people be denied a chance to think again?There is a long way to go. The process could throw up a general election as well as a promise of another referendum. It will be messy and could end in another failure. But it is surely worth the time. A series of rolling extensions of Article 50, guaranteed until the end of 2020, could be the game-changer. Britain does not deserve a bailout, the EU27 could reasonably say. Well, perhaps not. But some said the same about Greece.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 14, 2019, 11:31:43 AM
https://www.ft.com/content/1fb17b7c-4570-11e9-b168-96a37d002cd3

   Theresa May forces the fantasists to face harsh realities
The reason so many hate the prime minister’s deal is that it shows the perfect Brexit does not exist

Robert Shrimsley

The small solace from Tuesday’s vote was that Theresa May regained the backing of several noted diehards including David Davis, pictured right with Boris Johnson. Mr Davis resigned as Brexit secretary to oppose Mrs May's deal © Getty
You have to wonder if there are people in the British parliament who believe that if the House of Commons voted to rule out death, the Grim Reaper would be forced to recognise the strength of its conviction.It is possible to imagine the TV interview after the vote: “I think when Death sees the unity within the Conservative party around eternal life, he will be forced to come back to the table,” the chairman of the Mortality Research Group would tell the BBC. “This is a clear message to Death from the UK that it is time to put aside his scythe.”On Wednesday, having twice vetoed the only deal on the table, MPs voted to reject a no-deal Brexit as if the mere fact of doing so magicked away that outcome. On Thursday they will almost certainly vote to delay the Brexit date, even though that is entirely up to the rest of the EU and not a given.Finally — and most comically — some MPs attempted to resurrect the so-called Malthouse Compromise, a series of fantasy proposals around which Conservatives tried to unite even though it had been rejected by the EU. Its champions insisted a vote for these plans would “have to be taken seriously by Brussels”.All these high points from a chamber which often mistakenly styles itself “the mother of parliaments” underscore the UK’s detachment from external events, forces and opinions. Away from talks overseen by Theresa May, Tory ideas and demands have been designed almost entirely in a vacuum, with no effort to understand the other, stronger side of the negotiations.
            
               After Theresa May's Brexit defeat what happens next?
            
         What all this week’s votes will not have done is unite parliament around a workable alternative. It cannot be said often enough that simply stating opposition to no deal does not prevent it. An alternative may yet follow. For all the prime minister’s unease, the notion of holding indicative votes to see if MPs can find a majority for an alternative workable plan may now be unavoidable. Support for the so-called Norway option of remaining in the single market, permanent membership of a customs union or even holding a second referendum may soon be tested. It is possible that events may run away from Mrs May. The House may unite around an alternative, and a second referendum on her plan is certainly an option. Yet some fundamental facts are unchanged. Aside from the customs union it is not clear there is a majority for any other option. Even after two of the most thumping defeats in Commons history, Mrs May plans to return for a third effort next week. For there is a second consideration, namely that it is very hard to see how the government can hold together while carrying through legislation on any of the softer options. As one MP noted: “This government cannot legislate for Norway. We would be dependent entirely on [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn. It would pull us apart.” Mrs May is already stretching the elastic of her party to its limits. Asked to predict what would happen on Wednesday before the no deal vote, one ex-minister replied: “The PM and cabinet are going to vote with the opposition against the Conservative party.”The solidarity of the party is a minor concern in the wider scheme of things, but it is not a secondary issue to Mrs May or her party. As long as they cling to power, therefore, it cannot be irrelevant to the country.

   This is why even the second defeat for her plan is still not the end of it. The deal cannot be buried until something else replaces it and her control of parliamentary time allows her to keep trying. The small solace from Tuesday’s vote was that she regained the backing of several noted diehards including David Davis, who resigned as Brexit secretary to oppose her deal. She calculates that the more parliament leans towards a long delay or a softer Brexit, the faster the other hardliners will get back on board.Incredibly, Mrs May, the least politically agile premier in modern time, is still in office. She survives by granting free votes and surrendering all authority over her party and cabinet. She is still a long way from victory but hers remains the only currently viable plan, and one behind which Tories can ultimately just about unite. For all her numerous shortcomings, in Tory eyes Mrs May’s true crime may be that she forced her party to look outside the vacuum and to engage with the real world. The reason so many of them hate her deal is because it shows that their perfect Brexit does not exist. That is like asking a child to accept that Santa Claus is actually your parents. Tories will not forgive her for shattering their illusions, but they may yet be forced to bend to her will.

Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 14, 2019, 03:45:02 PM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/14/brexit-betrayal-turning-mild-mannered-people-unexpected-revolutionaries/

This Brexit betrayal is turning mild-mannered people into unexpected revolutionaries
•   
Rebecca Ryan
Follow
14 March 2019 • 3:20pm


 The electorate won't forget Parliament's betrayal of the popular will anytime soon
Last year, I co-founded a grassroots campaign group called Stand Up for Brexit. As its name suggests, our group aims to hold Conservative MPs accountable for their manifesto commitments by encouraging them to support the clean break from the EU for which 17.4 million people voted in 2016.
We have always tried to spread a positive and optimistic message, asking people to engage in the democratic process through traditional means, like writing to their MPs. So it was with a growing sense of anguish that I watched the extraordinary developments in the House of Commons last night. Yesterday, our MPs voted against an act of Parliament they themselves passed, which enshrined our departure from the European Union on March 29, regardless of whether any withdrawal terms had been agreed. In doing so, they aim to retroactively destroy a public decision - one that they themselves invited the people to make when they approved the referendum by a huge margin in 2015. Democracy is the key reason why the British people voted for Brexit; last night saw it torn down.
Millions view the chaos in Parliament with similar despair. Our democracy has always survived on fragile convention and popular consent. Yet our parliamentarians are systematically tearing up the social contract and centuries-old traditions for short term political gain. We see elected representatives ignoring the will of their constituents. The Speaker, John Bercow, brazenly favours amendments tabled by Remain MPs, yet shoots down popular amendments from Eurosceptics. Ministers like Greg Clark have rebelled against the whip, but so impotent is our PM that they can expect to remain snugly in their Cabinet posts for as long as they like.
This takes us into dangerous territory. Since last night, I have received countless messages from grassroots Conservative members expressing their costernation at this hijacking of democracy. Many feel that the usual levers ordinary people can pull to maintain their agency have broken.
Some will look towards new parties and movements for salvation. Who can blame them? In their disdain for the popular will and parliamentary convention, our politicians have sent a clear message that the existing rules of democratic engagement are now meaningless. If our elected representatives can trample on them, willy-nilly, then what does democracy even mean? Why bother voting for anything again?
This betrayal is turning mild-mannered people into unexpected revolutionaries. Though Brexiteers might be willing to tolerate some kind of short, technical extension, any unstructured, lengthy delay of this process will spark outrage. Many have asked me: “When are we marching on Parliament?” Although this probably wouldn’t resemble a gilets jaunes style violent uprising - we’re British, after all - I wouldn’t be surprised if people calmly took to the streets to express their outrage.
There is also severe disappointment at the lack of compromise shown by non-Brexiteers, exemplified by MPs voting down, by a large margin, the alternative proposed by Kit Malthouse which garnered support from all sides of the Conservative Party. As ever in this debate, Brexiteers are the only people who have been made to compromise, while the only thing that has been compromised is Brexit itself.
Of course, the seeds of this betrayal were planted long ago, when the Prime Minister and her team sidelined Eurosceptic Brexit Ministers, undermining their efforts for a ‘Canada Plus’ deal. Despite the Conservative Party overwhelmingly supporting Brexit, Remain MPs did their best to prevent members choosing a PM who would honour their 2017 manifesto and 2016 referendum. But we should not forget that 70% of Conservative members want Brexit, while two thirds of Tory constituencies voted to leave the EU. They will remember this betrayal at the next General Election.
At the same time, Remainers have been winning an important and overlooked PR battle. As Lionel Shriver noted on Newsnight last night, they have succeeded in reframing Leave as a position that is not only purely right wing, but also ‘extreme’. They have attempted to speak for Brexiteers, writing off their legitimate grievances as nativism or racism. ERG Members have been described as “extremists”, or Brexit “jihadis”, in the words of Claire Perry MP - just for wanting to fulfil their party’s manifesto with a clean break with the EU. This is an age-old trick, designed to smear the idea of Brexit through association, to discredit the vote before reversing it altogether.
The Government is now using the threat of ‘no Brexit’ to blackmail the people into accepting their deeply flawed deal. “If you don’t vote for this deal, which would tear up the United Kingdom and impose a state of vassalage on our country”, they are effectively saying, “then all will be taken away from you.” But this too is a breach of trust, designed to remove the Government’s responsibility for our lamentable situation and plant it on those who merely wish to fulfil their manifesto commitments. Elsewhere, clever men like Dominic Grieve use maxims like “Parliament is taking back control”, believing they can convince us that black is white, that ignoring the popular will is democracy, that the number 48 is somehow higher than 52. But just how stupid do they think we are?
Many view our decision to vote to leave the EU as a mistake, which has exposed malign forces in politics. I disagree. Brexit has enthused and engaged millions, giving them a real interest in the democratic process, some for the first time in their lives. The British people, if not its politicians, genuinely value having a sense of agency over the laws that govern us. But if our lawmakers succeed in reversing Brexit, democracy may never recover.
 
Rebecca Ryan is a co-founder of the group Stand Up For Brexit
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 15, 2019, 09:58:32 AM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/14/no-deal-table-mrs-may-could-pull-unlikely-triumph/

With no-deal off the table, Mrs May could pull off an unlikely triumph
•   
Fraser Nelson
14 March 2019 • 10:00pm
 Trust may have gone - but will Mrs May ultimately get her deal through? CREDIT: BOB MORAN
Who’s afraid of voters anyway? It was Jess Phillips, the refreshingly frank Labour MP, who said it first, in Wednesday’s debate. For the past two years, she said, MPs have been warned about not betraying the wishes of the 17.4 million people who wanted Brexit – but why are politicians all so terrified of them? Isn’t it time for them to lead? Anna Soubry, who recently deserted the Tories, declared that she, too, is unafraid of voters. Other MPs followed with similar points: saying (as one Lib Dem put it) that it is “finally time to bust the myth of ‘the will of the people’ ”. Time, in other words, for MPs to take back control.
The resulting chaos has only just started. The various amendments voted on last night were just the latest sign of a Government that has lost control.
We have seen four Cabinet members openly defy the Prime Minister in the voting lobbies, yet keep their jobs. We have seen the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, float his own rival Brexit plan in the middle of his Spring Statement. This is political anarchy. And the only way to end it might be to vote through Theresa May’s deal.
Given that it has been defeated twice, by fairly epic margins, it ought to be dead. But these are not normal times. Last night, an attempt to stop her calling a third-time-lucky vote was abandoned, once it became clear that MPs would quite like that option. It had been voted down when Brexiteers still held out for a better deal – but this was only ever possible with the plausible threat of the UK leaving with no deal. This option has now gone, removed by a rebel vote on Wednesday. “That’s when our goose was cooked,” one ERG member told me. “Now, it has all changed.”
Power now unquestionably rests with those who wish Brexit to be diluted, delayed or abandoned entirely. Brexiteers have accepted that they are outnumbered. The debate now is whether they wish to go down fighting, true to the cause, or salvage what they can by resurrecting the deal.
Let’s take Philip Davies, who was campaigning to leave the European Union at a time when it was seen as a lunatic’s obsession. When he launched Better Off Out in 2006, the attendees could have fitted into a taxi. He needs no lectures on the ideal purity of Brexit – but he now supports Mrs May’s deal.
As does George Eustice, a former Ukip member. Even the DUP might come around to it over the weekend. If it fails for a third time, perhaps on Tuesday, Mrs May might bring it back for a fourth time – after an EU summit that may lay down unappetising terms for extending the Brexit deadline.
The risk, to Brexiteers, is clear. A Parliament that has ruled out no deal under any circumstances is a Parliament that will do whatever the EU asks. It might agree to stay in the customs union, as Mr Hammond is now angling for. Or move to a Norway-style deal, forcing the UK to give up any hope of border control. Once Britain asks – or, rather, begs – for an extension, it’s hard to think of a condition that the opponents of Brexit, now running Parliament, would not agree to.
The political consequences of this are also obvious. If
Brexit is delayed much longer, or cancelled, it’s easy to see an uglier version of Ukip starting up – and marching along with the populist parties which have been menacing almost every other country in Europe. The democratic backlash would be hideous, and directed against the Conservatives and their broken Brexit promises. The party would never recover from this, and would not deserve to.
A no-deal Brexit could have worked. A radical stimulus, low tariffs, low taxes, immediate assurance granted to all EU nationals, accepting more high-skilled migrants: all kinds of options could have been open. But this would require not just a Tory majority but a decent leader, able to unite and inspire the country. The odds on one emerging any time soon are, to put it mildly, slim.
I received a message last night from a Tory making the principled case for holding firm: “How can I support a deal that isn’t Brexit? The consequences that follow will be out of my hands.”
This is quite logical. But so is the logic of the other Brexiteers: that the choice, realistically, is between May’s backstop – or a far-worse Brexit and political meltdown that might put Jeremy Corbyn in No 10 by Christmas.
“I was in the Army, I wasn’t trained to lose,” said the ERG’s Mark Francois this week. This is not quite true. Officers are trained to recognise when tactical retreat is better than outright defeat. And some of the hardest Eurosceptics in the Tory party, who have been fighting this battle for years, are making that retreat.
May’s deal, for all its awfulness, does not make Brexit a lost cause. The Tories might come to see it as an unwon cause. With the right leader (again, a rather bold assumption with the Tories in their current state) it ought to be possible to agree good relations and a decent free trade deal with a new European Commission.
What leverage would we have? That the dreaded backstop is not, entirely, a bad thing for Britain. It means low-friction access to the EU’s markets without having to accept free movement. We could not be forced to pay a penny more to the European Union: cash and migration are perhaps the two biggest priorities for Brexit voters. And there would be no chance of a second referendum to keep us in. Legally, we’d be out.
The flaws in the Prime Minister’s deal would, in any ordinary time, have sunk it. It gives no clue as to what a final Brexit deal would look like. New trade deals would be hard, almost impossible, to strike. Perhaps worst of all, there would probably be almost no (legal) way out of the backstop, without the EU’s agreement.
It’s a pale imitation of the Brexit that could have been, the Brexit a different leader might have been able to negotiate. It’s half a Brexit – but it’s better than no Brexit.
The Tories may well be persuaded that this is the only remaining choice.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 21, 2019, 12:32:25 PM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/21/new-brexit-extension-mps-must-finally-do-jobs-make-decision/

With a new Brexit extension, MPs must finally do their jobs and make a decision
•   
Nick Timothy
21 March 2019 • 7:00am
The choice is clear: May's deal or a softer Brexit
The Brexit showdown is often called a Mexican standoff. But it’s now apparent that MPs are not pointing guns at one another 
but peashooters, water pistols and bendy bananas. Attempts to force a no-deal Brexit have failed. The plot to impose a long delay has, for now, been thwarted. And without a longer delay, a second referendum is unlikely.
Donald Tusk, however, has shown that he has a gun and a barrel-full of bullets. His statement yesterday made clear Brussels will only accept Theresa May’s request to extend Article 50 until June if the Commons approves the Withdrawal Agreement.
He was addressing several audiences. Remainers in Parliament heard that Britain might leave the EU without a deal at the end of next week. After all, Tusk has made 
the acceptance of the only official request to delay Brexit conditional 
on the approval of a deal many Remainer MPs have previously opposed.
But note that he did not rule out a longer delay. He was replying only to what Theresa May asked the European Council in her letter yesterday. So Leavers cannot be sure that voting down the Withdrawal Agreement will lead to the no-deal Brexit many of them favour.
Voting against the deal might still lead to a lengthy delay, and with such a delay, the possibility not only of British participation in the European Parliament elections, but the danger of a second referendum and, with that, the risk we might not leave the European Union after all.
For these reasons, the Tusk intervention was a deliberate attempt to boost the Prime Minister’s chances of passing the deal. And it is time, now, for MPs to recognise the nature of the choice they face.
Leavers are right that the PM’s deal is awful, because it leads us into a trap we can escape only by subordinating our laws to those of the EU or sacrificing Northern Ireland to the Republic.
But they need to accept that there is no longer a better option on the table. Sometimes it is better to live to fight another day than fight hopelessly to the death.
Likewise, Remainers should know that their only chance of stopping Brexit is through a second referendum, and the only, narrow, chance of a referendum is if there is a longer delay.
There is no existing Commons majority for a second public vote, and the Europeans have not said they will agree a lengthy delay. So if Remainer MPs won’t back the PM’s deal, their best alternative is to vote for a customs union, or the Norway model, or both: options we know the EU would add to the Withdrawal Agreement in the political declaration.
MPs have plotted for months to try to find ways to wrest control of Brexit from the Government. But while the Commons cannot conduct international negotiations, and it cannot unilaterally decide what the EU will not agree, it has been in a position to determine the direction of Brexit all along.
Ever since Gina Miller defeated the Government in the Supreme Court, insisting that Parliament must legislate to invoke Article 50, and through the sorry saga of Grieve amendments, meaningful votes, and Cooper, Boles and Benn amendments, MPs could have taken control with each Brexit vote.
They could have voted for the PM’s deal, but they rejected it, twice. They could have voted for no deal, but they rejected that, twice. They could have voted for a second referendum, but they refused. They could have voted for a softer Brexit, meaning a customs union, a Norway-style relationship, or a combination of the two. But they refused to do that too.
All they have decided is to extend Article 50 if necessary.
The Prime Minister is often accused of kicking the can down the road, but she is not alone: that is all MPs can agree to do.
Even when MPs have had the chance to take control of the Commons timetable, which would allow them to find a way of expressing their preferred outcome, they have fluffed it. Whatever we think of the actions of the Speaker – as partisan as he is pompous, as venal as he is vain – his procedural chicanery is not really the issue.
The difficulty is that MPs, whose job is to decide on important matters, cannot make up their minds.
We have a Brexit Secretary who told the Commons to vote to delay Brexit, in the national interest, but then voted against doing so. MPs who back a second referendum refusing to vote for one, because they prefer other options to be ruled out first. And Brexiteers jeopardising Brexit itself because the PM’s deal is not what they wanted.
To be fair, this is a collective crisis, but the choices facing MPs have narrowed. So far, for reasons of obstinacy, vanity and whipping, and in many cases a fear of taking a position, MPs have refused to decide. But they are paid to make up their minds, and their choice is now clearer.
Whether they like it or not, they must decide between the PM’s deal and a softer Brexit.

Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 21, 2019, 01:49:01 PM
WTF

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/19/no-deal-better-brexit-delay-say-public-poll-finds-just-one-10/

No deal is better than Brexit delay, say voters – exclusive Telegraph poll


 Despite the Brexit shambles, Mrs May remains the most favourable politician with over one quarter of voters
•   Camilla Tominey, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
19 March 2019 • 6:00am
Follow
Nearly half of the British public is confident that the UK will ultimately thrive if it leaves the EU without a deal, according to a new poll.
The exclusive ComRes survey for The Daily Telegraph found that 46 per cent of adults think leaving without a deal would “briefly cause some uncertainty but ultimately work out OK”, compared with 40 per cent who support extending Article 50.
Three in 10 adults (30 per cent) think leaving the EU without a deal on March 29 will be the best possible outcome, according to the poll, compared with more than two in five who disagree (43 per cent). ComRes also asked on behalf of Leave Means Leave if taking no deal off the table has weakened our negotiating hand. Half (50 per cent) say yes, and 24 per cent no.
Asked if Mrs May’s deal delivers Brexit, just 14 per cent say yes and 54 per cent no. Just 18 per cent believe it honours the referendum result, compared with 33 per cent who think it does not. Thirty seven per cent say in 2016 they expected to leave with no deal, while 20 per cent expected to leave with a withdrawal agreement.
The Telegraph poll found the country split over whether Theresa May should put her Withdrawal Agreement to a third meaningful vote, with 38 per cent for and 39 per cent against.
Nearly two thirds of Britons (61 per cent) think Brussels is trying to punish the UK in the negotiations, while one in five disagrees (22 per cent).
The findings mark the first in a new series of regular monthly polls in a partnership between The Telegraph and ComRes to track voter attitudes. The poll puts Labour one point ahead of the Conservatives on 35 per cent – almost unchanged since the last ComRes voting intention poll conducted earlier this month. In a general election, it would leave the Conservatives 41 seats short of a majority.
Despite the Brexit shambles, Mrs May remains the most popular politician, with the backing of 27 per cent of voters. Asked if she should resign immediately, 34 per cent agree and 41 per cent disagree.
Although half (52 per cent) regard her as bad at negotiating Brexit, she is still the most popular choice with 29 per cent of voters, compared with 25 per cent who think Boris Johnson would do a better job and 21 per cent who would prefer Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Just 18 per cent of adults think Jeremy Corbyn would do a good job in negotiations, while 58 per cent disagree. He is also the least popular politician, with a 56 per cent disapproval rating, while nearly half have an unfavourable opinion of Mr Johnson (49 per cent).
Suggesting that public trust has eroded in politicians, three in five have an unfavourable view of MPs (59 per cent), compared with only five per cent who say they are doing a good job.
Only one in 10 British adults says they trust MPs to do the right thing by the country over Brexit (11 per cent), while seven in 10 disagree (68 per cent).
The Leave Means Leave poll found nearly half (44 per cent) of the public thinks the Government “seems to be in favour of remaining in the EU and has set out to thwart Brexit from the beginning”, with 27 per cent disagreeing.
ComRes interviewed 2,033 British adults online between March 15-17
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 21, 2019, 03:15:29 PM
https://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2019/03/21/black-thursday-britain-humiliated-on-global-stage-as-it-begs


Black Thursday: Britain humiliated on global stage as it begs EU for more time

Ian Dunt  By Ian Dunt 
Thursday, 21 March 2019 8:49 AM
    

We're not in the room when they decide what happens to us. First Theresa May will make a short speech. Then she leaves and the leaders of 27 other countries make a decision. We wait outside. That's how Britain finds out what happens to it. It's taken just three years - three years of nationalism and political puritanism - to reduce the country to this status.

May's previous speeches have often managed to turn otherwise sympathetic European leaders against her. They don't appear to be any better behind closed doors than they are in front of cameras. In both instances they lack charisma, or intellectual content, or even a hint of personal responsibility. She cannot think creatively about problems. She cannot lay out a convincing case for how to proceed with them. All she can do is blame other people - the EU, opposition parties, the House of Lords, or the institution of parliament itself - for her own failings. Expecting her to live up to the historical moment is like asking an old Casio calculator to log on to the internet.

As it happens, the EU leaders will probably reject the offer of a June extension and fix it to the month of May. It doesn't matter. The prime minister is unlikely to get her Brexit deal through next week, so it's largely academic. The crucial moment will come next week, if it is defeated, as we find out whether they will meet again and provide a longer extension. We expect the answer to be yes, but we are no longer in control of our fate. Other countries decide it for us.

This is the core fact of today: our fate in the hands of others. It is very real and genuinely profound. When else were we brought so low? Which other moment in our modern lifetime ever saw us so humiliated? Suez? That was nothing. A bad-tempered chat with the Americans which made it clear we couldn't run the world anymore. Denis Healey asking the IMF for an emergency loan? Black Wednesday? These were drops in the ocean next to what is happening to us here. We are living through history - and not the good kind. We're living the kind that even in 20 or 30 years' time, people will say: 'Well this is bad, but it's not as bad as Brexit.'
 


The causes of today's events are many and varied. The government wasted time it did not have. MPs were unable to accept the practical consequences of a theoretical course of action they were intent on pursuing. There was insufficient preparation. There was a preference for echo chamber reassurance instead of cold, hard calculation. We fiddled and bickered as the fire took hold.

Remainers want to blame everything on Brexit as a concept. Leavers want to blame how it was pursued. But the reality is that both ends and means have been terrible.

Brexit involves leaving a membership-based regulatory super-power, with huge trading strength, which functions according to the strict and unyielding implementation of law. You are always going to have less control outside than you do in. If Brexit happens, that'll be the case for all sorts of decisions, from the coding on driverless cars to best practice in medical trials. We'll do the same as they do, just to keep life ticking away as easily as possible. The only thing that will have changed is that we won't be in the room making the decisions anymore. Today is just a particularly dramatic, system-wide application of the basic principle which is set to govern our future as a nation: self-imposed exile from power.

But even if you did decide to pursue this project, there are good ways to do it and bad ways. The good way is to come up with a set of deliverable goals and a realistic timetable. The government did not do that. The goals it set were largely impossible - such as maintaining the exact same benefits as single market membership while leaving it - and the timetable was established on the basis of domestic political concerns rather than a disinterested assessment of what was required. This is what happens when you fixate on pleasuring the most hysterical and right-wing elements of your party instead of thinking about the good of your country.

Cooler heads warned about this moment for years: when the result came in, when Article 50 was triggered, when the government refused to be honest about the obstacles in front of it, when May wasted time on a pointless election or ran down the clock in the last few weeks. This is precisely the moment they feared: A proud country, reduced to begging. Brexit is an outrage to the status of Britain. It is an act of national mutilation.

But it is also a reminder, in these final pivotal moments of the Article 50 process, of what's at stake. The power, reputation and pride of the country is on the line. The primary argument against Brexit has always been a patriotic one. And today shows why that is. You can run from that truth. You can hide from it. But there's no place left anymore. It is plain for all to see. The bleak, drab, pitiless reality of what this project entails is now visible to the world. It can still be stopped, and it must be.

Ian Dunt is editor of Politics.co.uk and the author of Brexit: What The Hell Happens Now?
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Wildweasel74 on March 21, 2019, 05:40:26 PM
 Am glad you got a thread to yourself!
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 22, 2019, 09:05:15 AM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/21/britain-now-has-two-choices-no-deal-long-delay/

Britain now has only two choices - No Deal, or a long delay
•   
Bernard Jenkin
21 March 2019 • 6:20pm

 
There is no point in apportioning blame. The Prime Minister has a point about the House of Commons. However, let he (or she) who is without sin cast the first stone.
The 2016 EU Referendum result was the first time that the electorate's opinions differed from those of its politicians. But instead of humbly acknowledging that the country they governed wanted something significantly different, many MPs have invented all sorts of excuses for distorting the meaning of the result, or simply dismissing its authority. Leave voters were misled, they were too old, too stupid - or even racist. Some have argued that enough Leavers have now died or changed their minds since the referendum to discount the winning margin - an analysis which, funnily enough, is never applied to the 48 per cent. Then came the conspiracy theories. Did social media swing the vote unfairly? Or was it Putin?
But there are certain immutable facts. Parliament agreed the referendum and then accepted the decision. The Electoral Commission has never even hinted that the result was unsafe.
Parliament then gave the Government the power to invoke Article 50, which set the date of our departure. More than 80 per cent of the votes at the 2017 election were cast for parties with pro-Leave manifestos. Parliament enacted the EU Withdrawal Act, setting the exit date, with or without a withdrawal agreement. At no stage can any MP complain they did not know what they were voting for, or complain about a lack of Parliamentary process.
History will show how Parliament came to be offered the worst kind of damage-limitation Brexit. It would provide no rest for those who want to move beyond Brexit. It would become interminable, surrendering our country to the very lawmakers and judges whose authority the voters rejected. For the first time in our history, Britain would have its laws made by foreign powers and adjudicated by a foreign court. Even for a temporary period, this should be unthinkable, but aspects of this are intended to become permanent.
Some suggest that a new government could simply defy the agreement, but any PM would forfeit all integrity if they voted for the Withdrawal Agreement, and then declared, as part of their platform, that they would not respect its terms. Any choice Mrs May now makes will be a better compromise.
The Withdrawal Agreement will definitely not pass. Commons motions can convey the opinion of the House, but they have no legal force. By law, it is the Government's decision whether to choose a ‘no-deal’ Brexit next week or to extend Article 50. Despite attempts by some MPs to turn our system of parliamentary government into "government by Parliament", they now have little hope of changing that practical reality.  So long as the Government remains in office, the decision about what happens next rests with our Prime Minister and the other EU-27 heads of state.
A WTO Brexit is by far the least worst option. It ends uncertainty most quickly. It delivers the UK from EU lawmakers and judges, giving government freedom to respond and react to the new circumstances. The Chancellor has already made clear that there is a £20 billion Brexit dividend up for grabs, a sum that would be greater without the contributions to the EU that would continue under any other option. The sectors caught by the EU’s new tariffs or the protectionist regulatory regime can be helped and supported by the Government.  Most importantly of all, Parliament and Government could fulfil their obligation to honour the referendum decision.
Show more
The worst option is an extension. A short extension just kicks the can down the road.  Industry and others have built up stocks, cancelled holidays and spent money to be ready on 29 March. Delaying for three months would just add more cost and uncertainty. A longer delay is worse still. The costs of EU membership will continue for no long-term benefit. The EU will set conditions which are bound to constrain our rights and influence.
Any extension would be an abject denial of democracy, but at least if the UK is forced into an extended Article 50 period, then our country will not have compromised its ultimate right to leave the EU. Any future government must deliver Brexit and a far better outcome.


Why Britain should not fear a WTO Brexit | Lord Lilley's 30 reasons to embrace no deal
Lord Lilley sets out his arguments in favour of leaving the EU on WTO terms in a report to be sent to MPs on Monday. They are:
1.   It will allow the UK to cash in, not crash out - the UK will not have to pay the £39billion divorce bill
2.    It avoids the corrosive uncertainty which the transition period would bring
3.    The UK will be able to use administrative measures to solve Irish border issue, without the need for a backstop
4.   After resolving the Irish border issue, the UK as a whole will be able to enter a Canada +++ style free trade deal, such as the one suggested by Donald Tusk
5.   WTO is a safe haven, not a hard option. Six of the EU’s top 10 trading partners trade under WTO rules
6.   UK exports to countries trading on WTO terms have grown 3x faster than to the Single Market
7.   EU tariffs on exports from the UK would amount to less than half the UK’s current net contribution to the EU budget
8.   The UK is already a WTO member so would not need to rejoin it
9.   We can start to trade on the new tariff schedules as soon as we leave, without waiting for agreement from other WTO members
10.   The UK is making good progress in replicating the EU’s most important preferential trade arrangements. Switzerland has already agreed to carry over existing preferences
11.   The UK could take up Japan’s invitation to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership
12.   Bilateral trade deals do not have to take a long time to renegotiate. The average renegotiation time is 28 months
13.   “Micro” trade agreements will not be a big issue
14.   Scares about delays to imports are ‘ludicrous’, because Britain will control its borders
15.   There will be no medicine shortages
16.   There will be no food shortages
17.   Manufacturing supply chains and other goods deliveries will not be significantly affected
18.   The UK will not run out of clean water
19.   HMRC’s computer systems will be able to handle extra customs declarations, even if its new system is not fully online
20.   France is determined to prevent delays at Calais for fear of losing trade to Belgian and Dutch port
21.   A new traffic routing system will prevent serious delays to incoming lorries
22.   Planes will continue to fly to and from the EU
23.   Planes will continue to fly to the US and elsewhere
24.   Aircraft manufacturers will still be able to export parts, such as Airbus wings, despite claims to the contrary
25.   British haulage companies will still be able to operate between the UK and the EU
26.   Trade in animals, plants and food will continue after Brexit
27.   UK citizens will not face high mobile phone roaming charges when travelling to the EU
28.   UK car manufacturers have obtained approvals to sell their models to the EU
29.   New VAT rules will not affect the cash flow of importers
30.   British opera singers, musicians and other performers will still be able to tour the EU

Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 22, 2019, 09:35:19 AM
https://www.ft.com/content/cf1fe0ca-4c4c-11e9-bbc9-6917dce3dc62

https://www.ft.com/content/cf1fe0ca-4c4c-11e9-bbc9-6917dce3dc62

   How the EU leaders reached a decision on Brexit

Out of the fast exchange of ideas, April 12 emerged as a political ‘guillotine’
Emmanuel Macron was adamant that EU leaders should not return for a summit next week © AFP
The new April 12 date for Brexit was eventually decided in a 10-strong huddle of EU leaders, all desperately thinking of ways to avoid “a trap” laid by Britain. It was around 9pm on Thursday. The formal session of the Brussels summit had ended after almost five hours of meandering Brexit talks, but dinner was still on hold. A group stayed behind in the meeting room searching for answers to a vexing political puzzle: how to ensure Britain shouldered full responsibility for the historic decision to leave the union, whatever the date of its actual departure. Near the centre of the diplomatic scrum stood a jacketless Emmanuel Macron, the French president, to his side Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and in the background hovered Luxembourg’s prime minister, Xavier Bettel, sporting a cosy grey scarf. Out of the fast exchange of ideas, dates and complex conditions finally emerged a compromise: delaying Brexit to at least April 12 and using the date as a political “guillotine” for Westminster, when key decisions could not be avoided. This was alongside the option of a more simple “technical” delay until May 22 to finish the ratification of a Brexit treaty, if the House of Commons had backed the deal.

Earlier that evening Theresa May had “spooked” the room, in the words of one diplomat. Her answers left leaders unconvinced that her Brexit deal would be approved in Westminster, or that she had a realistic fallback plan. Facing more than an hour of questions, the British prime minister “was not able to give clear answers”, concluded one diplomatic note. Making his summit debut Krisjanis Karins, the Latvian prime minister, summed up the mood by asking Mrs May why she remained “so optimistic” given the circumstances. Once Mrs May left the room, the frustrations began to spill over. Charles Michel, the Belgian prime minister, said it would be “a miracle” if Mrs May’s deal won a House of Commons majority, adding that it may be better if the UK “just leaves”. One leader said the British prime minister had effectively “set a trap”, ploughing on with a ratification strategy that was set to fail and make the EU look as if it was calling time on Britain’s membership. Mr Macron was in turn adamant that EU leaders should not return for a summit next week. If Mrs May lost her vote in the Commons, it would leave the EU taking a crucial decision on extension in a “position of weakness”, with a no-deal exit possibly hours away on March 29. The French president was so insistent on the need to avoid a summit that Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, jokingly asked if he had planned a holiday that week. Diplomats had hoped leaders would quickly endorse a counter-offer: a May 22 exit date, on the eve of European Parliament elections, which would be conditional on the House of Commons passing an exit deal next week. As more and more leaders intervened, it quickly became clear this was not going to be a straightforward summit. Notes of the discussion describe it as “going in all directions”. Most notably António Costa, the Portuguese prime minister, proposed a radical plan, citing Portugal as the UK’s oldest continental ally. It involved Britain being able to decide to stay in the EU for “as long as the UK deems necessary”, as long as it held European elections in late May.

 A surprised participant at the summit speculated that Mr Costa may have been “confused”, having earlier spent time with Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour party.
Various other initiatives, often driven by Mr Macron, threw out a host of other end dates, including May 7, May 9 and June 1. The French president swung from tough positions — declaring at some points that Britain should leave by April 11 — to surprising some diplomats by dropping previous French demands for strict conditions on any decision. “I am stoical by nature,” Mr Macron said as he left the summit. “I do everything to be able to control what depends on us. What doesn’t depend on us, doesn’t depend on us.” Mrs Merkel, meanwhile, adopted a more cautious approach to the decision, counselling against closing off options, given the levels of uncertainty in London. This included the possibility of a long extension, should Britain be ready to ask for one and to hold European elections in May. Even some authors of the eventual compromise admit it was more “sophisticated” than first planned. But leaders left satisfied that a way had been found to keep all avenues open, protect key EU interests, while putting the onus on Britain to make a choice by April 12. After the breakthrough in the huddle, Mrs May was called from the nearby UK representation for her third meeting of the day with Donald Tusk, the European Council president. Only once that visit was over — at almost 10pm — could dinner begin.

 “Frankly speaking I was really sad before our meeting and now I am much more optimistic,” said Mr Tusk after the summit. The relief at the outcome came alongside some unmistakable concern among leaders at the chances of actually pulling off a deal. Michel Barnier, the chief Brexit negotiator, told some attendees his central scenario was a no-deal Brexit. Viktor Orban, the self-styled illiberal Hungarian prime minister, even made a rare intervention on the subject, noting the high probability of a hard exit. Recalling his experience of living in Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, he said every Conservative party leader only cared about one thing and that was the Conservative party. Mrs Merkel followed up to note the serious risks of a no-deal outcome, and the difficulties this would pose for maintaining an open border with Northern Ireland. She called on Mr Barnier to explore a fallback plan to uphold the Good Friday Agreement on Northern Ireland, according to diplomatic notes. One EU official said: “Tonight was the first time leaders tried to crystallise what a ‘no deal’ means”.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 22, 2019, 10:04:44 AM
https://www.ft.com/content/7175850a-4b08-11e9-bbc9-6917dce3dc62

Philip Stephens YESTERDAY 568
A national crisis risks tipping over into a national emergency. A week before Britain is due to leave the EU Theresa May, in the manner of a banana republic populist, is setting the people against parliament. Stubborn and weak, the prime minister has surrendered her claim to the respect that comes with the office. The Conservative party has fallen to civil war. Without the forbearance of its EU partners, Britain risks tumbling out of the Union.

The sane majority in the House of Commons — across government and opposition, Brexiters and Remainers — must now steer events. It should be as scornful of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s point-scoring as of Mrs May’s threats. A first, precautionary step is to seek a long extension of Article 50 Brexit negotiations. Next, MPs should be ready to withdraw, at least temporarily, Britain’s request to leave the EU.

This would be an unprecedented upending of the constitutional order. But the public officials charged with keeping the wheels turning say the present governance breakdown is also unprecedented. At worst, Mrs May is playing Russian roulette with the country’s prosperity and security. At best, she seeks to blackmail MPs into backing her half-baked Brexit — support me or Britain will crash out.


She could be bluffing — planning to ask for a long extension if her agreement is defeated for a third time before calling an end to her wretched premiership. Her approach so far — jealous of her own position and dismissive of the national interest — cautions against trust.

None of this, of course, makes life any easier for the European leaders at this week’s Brussels summit. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has asked a reasonable question. If they consent to a long extension of the Article 50 process, how could they be sure of not ending up “in the same situation as today”? The answer is they could not. British politics is broken. A protracted pause would be a blind leap of faith.

Mrs May has requested a delay of only three months. She told MPs that “as prime minister” she will not seek another timeout. This was the shabby ultimatum of a weak leader. Collective cabinet responsibility has collapsed. Tory party discipline is non-existent. When she addresses the summit, Mrs May speaks only for herself.

The irony is that, by disinterring the spectre of no deal, she has also reduced her chances of winning in the Commons. Why should Brexit fundamentalists vote for her if the promised alternative is the complete rupture they seek.

It is just possible Mrs May will prevail. Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party is being showered with offers of public money. Labour MPs running scared of Leave voters could lend a hand. I struggle, however, to see a majority for such a bad agreement.

Mrs May demands parliament respect “the will of the people”. Here, from the lips of a serving prime minister, are the sentiments of a demagogue rather than a democrat. “The people” are the 52 per cent who backed leaving EU. She assumes they all want her version of Brexit. The 48 per cent behind Remain are “citizens of nowhere” who deserve to be disenfranchised.

Other EU leaders know that a short delay could soon leave them facing again the same question: should they stick to the deadline even if it means a Brexit train crash. The alternative is to take a deep breath, put to one side Mr Barnier’s very fair question, and politely suggest Britain take a lot more time to recover its political balance.

They have every right, of course, to cut Mrs May loose. A long extension would disrupt elections to the European Parliament. Brexit was Britain’s choice. Mr Barnier’s scrupulous courtesy is repaid with insults. The EU is cast as a Soviet prison wrapped up in a German hegemonic plot.

There is another way, however, of looking at Britain’s plight. Do Paris and Berlin, Madrid and Brussels see advantage for Europe in pushing Britain over the edge into an economic as well as political abyss? What does it say of the cohesion of Europe if there is not an amicable settlement? These leaders owe nothing to Mrs May. I suspect, however, that at the eleventh hour they will be generous enough to consider what otherwise might become of Britain.

None of this lifts the responsibility from the House of Commons. Requesting a long extension would presumably trigger Mrs May’s departure. So be it. The clock, though, would still be ticking. Britain has at some point to confront the fundamental choice Mrs May has so stubbornly dodged. Where does it strike a balance between national sovereignty and access to the EU27. It will not be easy to find a sustainable point of balance. The process probably can start only after a general election.

The best strategy would begin with revocation of Article 50. This would not spell the end of Brexit. Instead, Britain would gain space to build a broad agreement around a deal acceptable at once to parliament and the EU27. The new accord could be put to a referendum. If voters still backed Leave, it would form the basis of a second, this time short and amicable, Article 50 process.

Some will say it is too late for radical remedies. But if we have learnt anything since 2016 it is that Brexit cannot be short-circuited. Mrs May’s deal, even were it agreed, would foreshadow years of acrimonious argument. So too would any other plan within the present framework. Much better to start again.

philip.stephens@ft.com
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 26, 2019, 09:25:24 AM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/25/brexit-latest-news-theresa-may-meet-cabinet-amid-pressure-leadership/

MPs back indicative votes to take control of Brexit process leaving Theresa May's authority in shreds
•   Gordon Rayner, POLITICAL EDITOR
25 March 2019 • 11:45pm

Theresa May’s authority was in shreds on Monday night as Parliament seized control of Brexit with the help of three ministers who resigned to vote against the Government. MPs voted by 329 to 302 in favour of a plan by Remain-supporting MPs for a temporary takeover of the Commons that will enable them to decide their own way forward. Thirty Tory MPs defied the whip to back an amendment tabled by Sir Oliver Letwin that means MPs will vote on Wednesday on options such as staying in a customs union or single market, holding a second referendum or even revoking Article 50. The rebels included Richard Harrington, a business minister, who resigned and accused Mrs May of “playing roulette with the lives and livelihoods of the vast majority of people in this country”.
Alistair Burt, the Foreign Office minister, and Steve Brine, the health minister, also quit to vote against the Government. The Prime Minister could face further resignations if she does not allow free votes on Wednesday, after Remain-backing ministers warned her they would quit if they were ordered to vote with the Government. Mrs May will be powerless to stop the votes going ahead, and if she tries to resist the outcome, Parliament could overrule her again by tabling its own Brexit Bill. Mrs May had already cancelled plans to hold a third “meaningful vote” on her Brexit deal on Tuesday, after admitting it had no chance of winning a majority in the Commons.
But she refused to give up on her deal, telling MPs a “slow Brexit” was the only alternative, and tried to persuade MPs not to back the indicative votes amendment. However, her pleas fell on deaf ears as Sir Oliver’s amendment, tabled jointly with Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, and Hilary Benn, the Labour MP, was passed by a comfortable majority of 27. After Monday night’s vote, Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said: “I would like to congratulate the House for taking control. The Government’s approach has been an abject failure and this House must now find a solution.”Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, warned Mrs May during a Cabinet meeting on Monday that indicative votes could lead to a general election.
Government sources said the result set a “dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future” and Sir Bill Cash, the Brexiteer Tory, described it as a “constitutional revolution”.  Nicky Morgan, the former Cabinet minister, retaliated by saying that Mrs May, who blamed Parliament for not knowing what sort of Brexit it wanted, could not now fault them for taking steps to decide. Sir Oliver proposed a series of votes, beginning with a “plain vanilla” vote on MPs’ first preferences, but warned compromises would have to be made, because: “If we all vote for that which is our first preference, I think we almost know that we will never get to a majority solution.”
He said that once the most popular solutions were identified, Parliament could “zero in on something” that could secure a majority. Mrs May said she was “sceptical” of any one vote commanding a majority and made it clear the outcome would not be legally binding, provoking an outcry from Remain-supporting MPs. She said: “No government could give a blank cheque to commit to an outcome without knowing what it is. So I cannot commit the Government to delivering the outcome of any votes held by this House. But I do commit to engaging constructively with this process.”Nick Boles, the Tory MP and one of the architects of the Letwin amendment, told BBC Two’s Newsnight: “If Parliament refuses to listen to what Parliament has voted for, we will bring forward a Bill that will require the Government to reflect Parliament’s wishes. “I am going to wake up with a broad grin on my face. I am going to think I finally live in a parliamentary democracy where Parliament is sovereign.” Britain will leave the EU on May 22 if Mrs May’s deal is passed before the end of this week. But if the deal is not approved, the UK will leave without a deal on April 12 unless the Prime Minister asks the EU for a longer extension.
During an emergency Cabinet meeting on Monday, Eurosceptic ministers rounded on Mrs May’s dismissal of a no-deal Brexit. Mrs May said: “Unless this House agrees to it, no-deal will not happen. No Brexit must not happen. "And a slow Brexit, which extends Article 50 beyond May 22, forces the British people to take part in European elections and gives up control of any of our borders, laws, money or trade, is not a Brexit that will bring the British people together.”
11:32PM
Jeremy Corbyn congratulates the Commons. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "I would like to congratulate the House for taking control. "The Government's approach has been an abject failure and this House must now find a solution. "So I pay tribute to the Hon member for West Dorset, and the member for Leeds Central, and others, who have worked to achieve tonight's result. "The Government must take this process seriously. We do not know what the House will decide on Wednesday. But I know there are many members of this House who have been working for alternative solutions, and we must debate those to find a consensus. "And this House must also consider whether any deal should be put to the people for a confirmatory vote. "Where this Government has failed, this House must, and I believe will, succeed."
10:55PM
A 'dangerous precedent'
The Department for Exiting the EU said the vote on Sir Oliver Letwin's amendment set a "dangerous, unpredictable precedent" for the future. "It is disappointing to see this amendment pass, as the Government made a clear commitment to provide a process to find a majority in Parliament for a way forward this week," a spokesman said. "This amendment instead upends the balance between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future.
"While it is now up to Parliament to set out next steps in respect of this amendment, the Government will continue to call for realism - any options considered must be deliverable in negotiations with the EU. "Parliament should take account of how long these negotiations would take and if they'd require a longer extension which would mean holding European Parliamentary elections."
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 26, 2019, 09:44:58 AM
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/22/secret-cabinet-office-document-reveals-chaotic-planning-for-no-deal-brexit
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 26, 2019, 02:07:35 PM
•   https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/26/disappointing-mps-like-jacob-rees-mogg-lack-nerve-see-brexit/

Andrew Lilico
26 March 2019 • 1:08pm

 Was all that talk of how May’s deal was a “vassalage” just hot air?
But even an embarrassing Brexiteer climbdown can't saved  the PM's deal

Disappointingly, a number of pro-Brexit Conservative MPs, including most notably Jacob Rees-Mogg, are now apparently considering switching to backing May’s deal. That won’t make her deal pass. Even if every pro-Brexit MP had switched to backing May’s deal at the second vote, it would still have been defeated by its pro-Remain opponents. And since that time, the pro-Remain Conservative rebels’ ranks have expanded.

Last night 30 rebel Remainer Conservative MPs voted for the Letwin-Benn amendment, granting the House of Commons control of the “indicative votes” process this coming Wednesday. They now expect to be able to cancel or utterly neuter Brexit. Why would they want to switch to backing May’s deal now?
Similarly, why would Labour’s front bench now start to back May’s deal, since the Government is disintegrating under the pressure and the Conservative Party is on the point of splitting?
Of course, even if some more pro-Brexit MPs panic and switch to backing it, there will still be a hardcore of 20-30 Conservative pro-Brexit rebels who will not back the deal under any circumstances. They apparently call themselves “the Spartans”, alluding to the 300 Spartans whose glorious defeat at the famous battle of Thermopylae was the salvation of Greece, and indeed European civilisation more broadly, from the Persian invasion.
That is a pleasing historical reference, but I think a better name would be the “Old Whigs”, after the party that in 1679 supported the Exclusion Bill seeking to prevent James II becoming king. On that occasion the issue was whether England should be party of the pan-European political structure (in those days the Papacy). Those who said we should accept England falling under that pan-European structure were called “Tories”. Those who said England should be sovereign unto itself were called “Whigs”. Sound familiar?
Historical references aside, the right Leaver strategy now is as follows. Vote down May's deal. Force opponents of No Deal to revoke Article 50. By revoking they render themselves and their parties politically toxic, dooming their electoral chances. Win a general election with a Leaver party. Leave instantly with no deal and no negotiations. Job done.
But winning by forcing our opponents to render themselves politically toxic by overturning democracy, so in due course we win a general election, is not a strategy for which everyone will have either the nerve or the stomach. We have seen some of that overnight, with those switching to backing May’s deal for fear that Brexit being cancelled is the only alternative.
Such despair may indicate either a lack of faith in the voters — as if the 2016 majority to leave the EU was a freak never-to-be-repeated result, and this is the one chance ever to leave. It may also indicate a lack of stomach , because the way forward to victory will probably entail destroying the Conservative Party.
It is also frankly rather disappointing. For all that talk of how important the Union is and how we could never accept Northern Ireland’s people having their laws set by the EU with no say, when it comes to it apparently that’s not all that important.

For all the talk of how weak May supposedly was for backing down on the backstop in her deal, when it comes to it these pro-Brexit MPs are backing down too. For all the talk of how May’s deal was a “vassalage” worse than Remaining, when it came to it that and the rest was all just hot air.
Well, when I said May’s deal was worse than Remaining, what I meant was that May’s deal was worse than Remaining. When I said we’ll inevitably leave the EU regardless of whether Brexit is cancelled now, because there will be no place for a non-euro EU as the Eurozone integrates, I meant that. And when I said MPs should vote down May’s deal and force our opponents to cancel Brexit, if they must, rendering themselves and their parties politically toxic, I meant that as well.
The Spartan Whigs are right. Defeat here, in the form of Brexit being cancelled, will empower our cause, not finish it. Vote down May’s deal, and let the deluge commence.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 27, 2019, 03:11:56 PM

The Tory nightmare

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/27/promising-deliver-brexit-won-tories-legions-new-voters-must/


Promising to deliver Brexit won the Tories legions of new voters, we must not betray them now
Ben Bradley
27 March 2019 • 1:06pm
Save


 
The media descended on my Mansfield constituency in the Spring of 2017. It featured almost daily on the news or in the papers when the Conservative party were 20 points ahead in the polls, but as the national picture steadily declined the press grew increasingly sceptical about our chances there.
Despite the national swing, in seats like mine we still went on to secure unexpected victories. From the many days and weeks we spent out on the doorsteps talking to local residents I know that there were two reasons for wins such as mine: Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn. Those two things were the catalyst for a place like Mansfield, a seat that had been Labour for 100 years and literally never had a Conservative MP before, to make a huge shift in its politics.
Those issues overcame decades of emotive politics around Thatcherism and the mining industry, the closure of the pits and everything that came along with it. For the first time the Conservative Party was speaking to Mansfield in a way that Labour could not under Corbyn’s leadership.
My experience growing up just a few miles from Mansfield, and of all my career in North Nottinghamshire politics, is that these traditional working class communities are actually largely socially conservative. They agree with my party on issues like personal responsibility, on making work pay, welfare reform and supporting the military, and they’re generally a patriotic bunch. History rather than policy had led many of them to vote Labour, but Corbyn is anathema to those values. His Labour party flies in the face of everything they believe. In fact, I regularly heard it very directly: "I’ve always been Labour but I could never vote for HIM!"
Labour were out of touch, and where Labour had lost the respect of communities like these, we were promising to deliver for them. Mansfield voted 71 per cent leave in the referendum, and in 2017 I campaigned on a promise to deliver Brexit. It was hugely important to my community, who after decades of feeling that nobody listened had finally found a voice and been involved in shaking up the status quo. It was an issue and an outcome that had brought them hope that they could actually play a part in democracy. As David Cameron had said, "This is a once in a generation choice. The Government will implement what you decide."
This is what I fear ministers don’t understand. They focus on all of the economic angles of Brexit without considering the emotional ones. We made a promise to communities like Mansfield, that we would implement their decision and leave the European Union. We promised that we would leave on March 29, and we said that "no deal is better than a bad deal"’.
Whilst I and many colleagues have stuck by the commitments we made in our manifesto, the Government is currently reneging on those promises. As a result of decisions they have taken, we are now no longer leaving on that date, and the Prime Minister has not stuck to her word.
My voters trusted us for the first time ever to deliver for them, and if we don’t then they simply will not trust us again. In seats like mine we were elected because we promised to deliver Brexit. Pure and simple. Three years and much "can-kicking" later we seem no clearer about just how that will happen, and I have to say that near enough every single conversation I have with constituents ends with "just get us out".
They say they did not vote for a "deal" or a "fudge" or a compromise, and they certainly have no appetite for Parliament "taking control" or holding indicative votes. They voted to leave. Leave the institutions, stop paying them the money, stop taking their rules. A clean break. There were 11,500 Ukip voters in Mansfield in 2015, and now just 2,500. If ensuring Brexit is delivered is still the defining issue at the next election that will mean we have failed, and it means those voters will return from whence they came.
As a Tory MP, I find myself now in an invidious position, torn between voting through a deal that - as I have written before - is riddled with grievous flaws, and choosing to face an uncertain future in which Brexit will inevitably get softer and possibly will be scrapped entirely.
I understand the frustration of my constituents; they often say ‘’just leave with no deal’’ and I wish it were that simple, but the truth is that Parliament will bring the Government down before it allows that to happen.  Having been boxed into a corner in recent days by the Prime Minister, it is with a heavy heart - and against all of my instincts - that I feel the deal may be our only way out of this crisis. Delivering a clean Brexit is the priority, but I fear if we don’t get one foot out of the door now, to give ourselves the breathing space to reset and try again, then the whole thing will be lost. 
Ben Bradley is the Conservative MP for Mansfield
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 28, 2019, 04:29:59 PM
https://www.ft.com/content/efabc5ac-50d4-11e9-9c76-bf4a0ce37d49

   What’s behind the big bond rally?

Dovish central bankers and lukewarm economic data have driven debt markets higher
The bond market rally is fast gaining momentum

Robin Wigglesworth and Colby Smith in New York

The 2019 bond market rally is gaining momentum, pushing down yields and lifting the value of the fixed income universe by roughly $1.6tn since just the beginning of March. Why are debt markets on fire, and what does it say about the health of the global economy?Why are bond yields falling?Fixed income markets have been buoyant for much of the year, as bond investors remained fairly downbeat about economic growth, and therefore inflation and the likelihood of central banks raising interest rates. Rising bond prices mean lower yields.That pessimism has been largely validated by disappointing economic data in China, Europe and the US, and by a marked shift in the tone of the European Central Bank and Federal Reserve. Earlier this month both central banks surprised investors by just how downbeat they had become, with the former restarting a crisis-era bank lending programme and the latter dropping plans to raise interest rates this year and scaling back its balance sheet reduction programme.Indeed, the extent of the U-turn alarmed some investors, who rushed for the safety of highly rated government bonds such as Treasuries, and triggered hedging by mortgage investors fearful of a wave of refinancing, which then exacerbated the rally.“Why did the Fed need to out-dove themselves?” asked Seema Shah, global investment strategist at Principal Global Investors. “And if you put that with the ECB downgrading its growth forecast much more than people expected, you ask yourself, ‘What do they know that we don’t know?’”Did growth fears drive the global bond rally this week?The fading-growth narrative was reinforced by New Zealand’s central bank on Wednesday, when it unexpectedly hinted at forthcoming interest rate cuts and warned that “the global economic outlook has continued to weaken, in particular amongst some of our key trading partners including Australia, Europe, and China”. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that there are few central banks that want to be caught on the wrong side of the Fed,” said Brad Bechtel of Jefferies. “Meaning, why would you remain neutral or hawkish when the Fed is sitting neutral to dovish?” As a result, New Zealand’s 10-year government bond yield dropped to a record low of 1.74 per cent on Wednesday, a move that then rippled out to Australian, European and US bond markets. Yields continued to move lower across much of Asia and Europe on Thursday.“The trigger . . . is what happened in New Zealand with the central bank becoming much more dovish,” said John Taylor, co-head of European fixed income at AllianceBernstein. “Australia rallied in sympathy, and that mattered for the US because the 10-year note was sitting close to 2.40 per cent, an important technical level. When it broke through there, it had scope to rally.”Are central banks right to worry?The near-euphoria that surrounded the global economy a year ago has been replaced with gloom, as financial markets became more turbulent and a string of economic releases have come in well below expectations.The IMF in January cut its forecast for global growth this year by 0.2 percentage points to 3.5 per cent, and there has been little good news since then. Citigroup’s global Economic Surprise Index, which measures how often data comes in better or worse than forecasts, has been in negative territory for almost a year. That is its longest sub-zero stretch since 2008.At the same time, the US “yield curve” has inverted, a classic omen of a coming recession. The yield curve consists of Treasury yields of various maturities, and normally slopes upwards as longer-term US government bond yields are higher than short-term bill yields, to compensate investors for inflation and locking up their money for a long time. But when the curve flattens it indicates that investors think growth is slowing, and when it actually inverts — in other words, when yields on bills are higher than on 10-year Treasuries — it has proved an accurate predictor of downturns.The US yield curve inverted last week, as investors sharply marked down their expectations for growth, inflation and interest rates, and stirring concerns that the post-crisis economic expansion — which this summer will become the longest in history — is heading for a grisly end.
            What does this mean for stock markets?Equities have proven sensitive to higher interest rates, with last year’s turmoil initially kicked off by a sharp rise in US bond yields in early October. But falling bond yields are not necessarily good news either, given the message it sends about the global outlook for economic growth.Many analysts and investors remain sceptical that the yield curve’s current shape is meaningful, pointing out that whether it is inverted depends on what arbitrary maturities one picks. Moreover, they argue, the global bond market remains distorted by post-crisis quantitative easing programmes, which render redundant any discussion about the shape of the curve
.However, it is clear that stock markets are on edge, with the FTSE All-World index tumbling 1.4 per cent last Friday, when the US yield curve inverted. It fell another 0.4 per cent on Wednesday, its fifth decline in the eight trading days since last week’s Fed meeting and denting its 2019 recovery.“We think that the ongoing flattening, or outright inversion, of the US Treasury yield curve is a bad sign for equities, as it usually has been in the past,” Capital Economics said in a note. “While there is some evidence that post-financial crisis regulatory and monetary policy regimes are keeping the curve flatter than it might otherwise be, we are still wary of the idea that ‘this time is different’.”So is it time to head for the investment bunker?Probably not. Professor Campbell Harvey at Duke University, who wrote the seminal paper on the predictive power of the yield curve in the 1980s, points out that the curve needs to be inverted for at least a quarter before it is a reliable gauge of recession, and even then a contraction can take a year or two to materialise.

Moreover, there are reasons to believe that bond markets might be overreacting to cues from the global economy. China is slowing but in a gradual way, Europe is weak but still seems unlikely to face a recession and the Atlanta Fed’s “nowcasting” model indicates the US economy is expanding at an annual rate of 1.53 per cent.The Fed Funds futures markets indicate that traders think the US central bank will cut rates at least once this year, and possibly more, but some fund managers argue that looks excessive in the face of slower but still resilient growth.“The bond market is sniffing out a global recession, but a little too aggressively,” said Abhay Deshpande, chief investment officer at Centerstone Investors. “We’ll probably see a muddle-through, slower growth and some growth scares, but I think the Fed may have averted the worst-case scenario.”
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on March 28, 2019, 04:31:14 PM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/03/27/mario-draghi-has-let-deflation-take-hold-now-impotent-spectator/

A big bazooka that's turned into a popgun: The ECB has let deflation take hold and is now an impotent spectator
•   
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

27 March 2019 • 9:06pm



 Mario Draghi has lost his magic. The ECB withdrew stimulus too soon for political reasons and has tied its own hands as recession threatens
The European Central Bank has reached the end of the road. It no longer has the monetary levers or the political authority to launch another ‘shock and awe’ rescue if the eurozone tips into recession.
Mario Draghi tried valiantly to bluff his way through the ECB Watchers conference on Wednesday, laying out his surgical toolkit should the worst happen. “We are not short on instruments to deliver our mandate,” he said.
“What instruments?,” asked Ashoka Mody, the former deputy-director of the International Monetary Fund in Europe. “Aside from its jumble of words, the ECB has nothing else to offer.”
The eurozone’s 5-year/5-year forward inflation ‘swaps’ have collapsed over the last five trading days to 1.35pc. The contracts are pricing in a Japanese deflation trap as far out as 2024. Markets are screaming policy failure.
The 10-year Bund yield - the eurozone fear gauge - has fallen to minus 0.08pc. It is a headlong scramble for safe-haven assets. Risk spreads on Italian 10-year bonds have jumped to 260 basis points.
“The ECB has lost its ability to act as a normal central bank. Its forward guidance is meaningless since markets know that it cannot raise rates,” said professor Mody. The ECB has frittered away its firepower and allowed a deflationary psychology to take hold.
Prof Mody said that for the last six months it has refused to acknowledge the recessionary storm clouds in plain view. “Riven by conflicting national interests, it always acts late. This pattern of repeated denials, delays, and half-measures is the antithesis of risk management,” he wrote for Econbrowser.
Mr Draghi argued that the eurozone region has seen 50 “growth slowdowns” since 1970 that are comparable to the current dip. Only four of these led to recessions. “The euro area faced an analogous situation in 2016, when the economy also went through a soft patch triggered by a contraction in world trade,” he said.
What he did not say is that the eurozone was then firing on all four cylinders, enjoying a rare moment of self-propelled ‘endogenous’ growth as it closed the output gap after the Long Slump. An oil price crash - thanks to Saudi efforts to flood the market - was then acting as a ‘tax cut’ for European consumers. 
Above all the ECB was buying €80bn of bonds each month. This spigot has been turned off. The ECB halted quantitative easing in December for political reasons, justifying this violation of monetary science with Panglossian growth forecasts that were patently false even at the time.
It has effectively tightened monetary policy into the teeth of a eurozone industrial recession (as it did in July 2008, with dire consequences). This is a very dangerous step to take given that policy lending rates are still stuck at minus 0.4pc. 
“They pulled QE too soon,” said James Ferguson, a monetarist at MacroStrategy. “The underlying economy is not fixed and the banks are not fixed. The chances of a deflationary bust have increased massively.” 
Mr Ferguson said the ECB misread its own M3 monetary data. The institution does not strip out the distortion of ‘intermediate OFC’s’  - hedge funds, finance vehicles, etc, - that cause double-counting. The Bank of England’s M4x is a purer measure.
This means the ECB overstated M3 growth by roughly 1.5pc annually. It is the difference between escape velocity and economic stagnation.
Nor is the global picture remotely akin to 2016. As we learned again this morning, China is not coming to the rescue this time. The profit growth of Chinese industrial companies crashed to minus 14pc over the January/February period from a year earlier, the worst earnings since May 2009.
Nomura said its ‘credit impulse’ measure in China has risen just 2.5 percentage points in the latest burst of stimulus. This compares to 14 points in the reflation episode of 2015-2016, and 30 points in the aftermath of the Great Recession.
The ECB has proffered a fresh round of cheap funding for the banks (TLTROs) but that is life-support. It is not a monetary propellant. “The TLTROs are an admission that the banks are still broken. They still cannot get money from the market at viable cost,” said Mr Ferguson.
Mr Draghi knows - but cannot admit - that the ECB was forced to shut down QE prematurely under pressure from Germany and the northern bloc. The real motives were political, rooted in the dysfunctional character of Europe’s half-built monetary union and German fears of debt union by stealth.
The longer QE continued, the more it looked like an Italian bail-out. This was tolerable - up to a point -  so long as reformers held sway in Rome. It was intolerable once the insurgent Lega-Five Star alliance took power in open defiance of EMU budget rules.
The end of QE means that there is no longer a buyer-of-last resort standing behind eurozone debt markets or the Italian treasury. This too is dangerous. Bond vigilantes know that the ECB is not allowed to buy the debt of a country in distress without formal activation of the eurozone bail-out machinery (ESM-OMT), under strict conditions and requiring a vote in the German Bundestag.
The Germans, Dutch, Finns, and allies may ultimately agree to restart QE if the downturn spins out of control but by then it is too late. Nor is it clear whether much can be achieved by plain vanilla debt purchases when the bonds of core Europe are already trading at negative yields and the ECB’s balance sheet is nearing technical limits at 43pc of GDP.
It would take ‘helicopter money’ or people’s QE injected into the veins of the real economy to pull Europe out of a deflationary vortex in today’s circumstances. That would breach the Lisbon Treaty and precipitate a storm in the German constitutional court.
For now Mr Draghi is having to put the best construction on the miserable options left to him, a little tinkering here and there to separate the ‘refi’ and ‘depo’ rates to help banks, a twist or two in forward guidance. None of this has macro-economic significance.
Antonio Garcia Pascual from Barclays has spelled out the ECB’s final lines of defence if the storm hits. It can “actively manage” its €2.6 trillion QE portfolio, compress credit spreads, relaunch QE, and ultimately broaden the menu of assets to include equities. In my view, events on the ground would overrun such plans.
Europe’s only option is a fiscal stimulus but this brings us back to the elemental failings of a monetary union composed of sub-sovereign borrowers with vastly different levels of legacy debt, but with no joint budget, shared borrowing mechanism (eurobonds) or a common ‘safe asset’.
The Stability Pact and Fiscal Compact make it impossible to launch Keynesian counter-cyclical stimulus a l’outrance in an emergency. If weaker states go it alone they will be picked off by markets. As rating agencies discovered in the Greek saga - to their astonishment - these countries are no different from cities or private companies. They can spiral into bankruptcy.  That is the euro’s design-flaw.
The ECB says fiscal loosening this year amounts to 0.4pc of GDP across Euroland, mostly from Emmanuel Macron’s danegeld to the ‘gilets jaunes’, the much-reduced spending spree of the Lega-Five Star, and higher public wages in Germany (€30bn). This may cushion a soft patch. It is no defence against a global slump. 
It might be a stretch to say that a no-deal Brexit would bring these hopeless vulnerabilities to a head in short order but it is not a big stretch. Nobody knows whether EMU’s fragile edifice could withstand such a shock if Brussels really acted on threats of a quasi blockade. EU leaders should be thankful that Britain’s parliament is unwilling to test the matter.
In a sense Europe is paying the price for policy errors made almost a decade ago. The ECB should never have raised rates in 2011 and triggered EMU's double-dip recession. It should not have delayed QE for five years after the Fed had already  shown the way.  This inertia - or hubris - allowed 'Japanese' pathologies to take root. Now the task is becoming impossible.
Events have come a long way since Mr Draghi uttered the words “whatever it takes” in July 2012, and magically brought the eurozone debt crisis to a halt. It is of course a mythical episode. The real decision was made in Berlin when contagion threatened to engulf Spain and Italy - which is not to deny that Mr Draghi was skillful.
The Kanzleramt lifted its veto and allowed the ECB to act as a lender-of-last resort (subject to conditions). I know for certain it was pre-cooked because I was in the room three weeks earlier when the head of German finance ministry told a dinner group in London that something big was coming. He even stated - accurately - that “nothing flies in the eurozone without German permission”.
Seven years later Mr Draghi is little more than a spectator. Judging by the action this week in the bond markets, his words now have the potency of a popgun.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Denn Forever on March 28, 2019, 05:50:58 PM
So is a world wide recession a la 2008 in the offing?  How quick we forget.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 04, 2019, 12:27:37 PM
   https://www.ft.com/content/e4b113f0-5552-11e9-91f9-b6515a54c5b1

   Goodbye EU, and goodbye the United Kingdom
The invented identity of ‘Britishness’ is unravelling as English nationalism takes hold
Philip Stephens

During the spring of 1975 the Wall Street Journal ran a powerful headline. “Goodbye Great Britain”, the American business newspaper declared. The UK was known as the sick man of Europe. Investors were taking flight in the face of its ruinous economic performance and endemic industrial strife. Greatness had made way for spiralling decline.The prediction proved premature. Britain was bailed out by the International Monetary Fund and subsequently saved by North Sea oil and, some would say, by Margaret Thatcher’s economic revolution. In any event, a decade later Thatcher was dancing on the world stage with US president Ronald Reagan.Britain faces another existential moment. The Brexit story was supposed to be about leaving the EU. It has turned into a runaway national crisis. The forces driving Brexit look set to sweep away much more than the institutional machinery, economic relationships and political ties created during decades of EU membership. Goodbye to Brussels is shaping up as the first act in a two-part drama. The second may well wave goodbye to the UK.The other day I listened to Mervyn King say that the government should dispense with further talks with Brussels and opt for a no-deal Brexit, albeit after a six-month period of preparation. The costs, the former Bank of England governor said, would be manageable and temporary. Given Lord King’s complacency about the stability of financial markets before the 2008 crash, many will discount his economic judgment. What struck me, however, was his insistence that Brexit was really about identity and culture.Though he sits on the opposite side of the European debate, the former Conservative chancellor Kenneth Clarke agrees. The impetus for Brexit, Mr Clarke says, comes from a resurgence of the rightwing English nationalist wing of his party. The project reflects a strain of Conservatism that has never come to terms with the loss of empire.  Leaving the EU — Independence Day, the Brexiters call it — is rooted as much in nostalgia as in the populist revolt against elites and outsiders that has supplied the European debate with such visceral anger. Hence the Brexiters’ fantasy of a new “Global Britain” and the ubiquitous allusions to the second world war and Winston Churchill’s readiness to stand alone. The bluster conceals a cry of pain.
            
Brexit is an English rather than a British enterprise. More specifically, it belongs overwhelmingly to provincial England. With the exception of Birmingham, the nation’s great cities — London, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle among them — were on the side of Remain. They were outvoted by Leavers in smaller English cities and towns and in rural areas. Scotland backed Remain by a large margin. Pace the Brexiters of the Democratic Unionist party, Northern Ireland voted for continued EU membership. Wales followed England out.Scotland voted in 2014 to stay in the union of the UK. It is hard to imagine it would do the same in another referendum. Five years ago, unionism offered proud Scots two supplementary identities. They could be at once British and European. After Brexit it will be either/or. The 1707 union with England handed Scotland an international role as a partner in empire. Outside of the EU it will be cut off from the rest of Europe. Theresa May’s government insists that powers returned from Brussels will be hoarded at Westminster rather than shared with the Edinburgh parliament and other devolved administrations.

The prime minister wants sharply to reduce immigration. Scotland wants more newcomers to oil the wheels of the economy. Why would that nation, with a political culture steeped in social market centrism, shackle itself to the rule of English nationalists?Nor can Northern Ireland’s place in the UK any longer be taken for granted. The DUP has made a great fuss about ensuring that a settlement with the EU27 does not differentiate between the province and the rest of the UK. But their hostility to the EU is a minority position in Northern Ireland itself. Nothing has done so much as Brexit to reopen the question of Irish unification. Britishness is an invented identity. It is deliberately expansive, calculated during the 19th century to cast empire as a joint project of the four nations of the UK. More recently, as the empire came home, it has provided a welcoming mantle for immigrants from former imperial outposts. British citizens of overseas heritage overwhelmingly identify as, well, British. Allegiance to England is seen predominantly as the property of the nation’s white communities.The Leave side understood this during the 2016 referendum. It made two promises: to spend more money on the National Health Service and to shut out an (entirely imagined) influx of migrants from Turkey. Better to spend money on the health service, the less than subtle message ran, than see hospitals overrun by foreigners. The distance between such sentiments and the overt racism of extremists such as the English Defence League is perilously short.To watch Britain’s descent into chaos in recent times has been to see the threads of Britishness, woven over centuries, unravel. Identity politics has elbowed aside common purpose. The tears in the fabric run alongside borders and within them. It is hard to imagine how they can be repaired. philip.stephens@ft.com
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 04, 2019, 12:42:37 PM
https://www.ft.com/content/e4b113f0-5552-11e9-91f9-b6515a54c5b1

   Marshfield Tory 5ptsFeatured19 minutes ago In 2030 Ulster will  have a Catholic majority.  Wages and salaries in the Republic are 60/70% higher.    That makes it likely that a referendum would pull Ulster southwards particularly because of the EU benefits.   The DUP are sitting on a timebomb.


   
   https://www.ft.com/content/e4b113f0-5552-11e9-91f9-b6515a54c5b1

   RePS 5ptsFeatured14 minutes agoAt the time of the partition of Ireland, Northern Ireland was among the wealthiest parts of the UK, indeed of the world. It was vastly more prosperous than the southern part of the island and this divergence was among the drivers for partition.Today NI is an economic basket case. Productivity is miserable even by UK standards. This is partly due to underinvestment but the poor work ethic also plays a role.The union has been a disaster for Northern Ireland. Combine this with changes in ethnicity and the disastrous handling of Brexit - change is inevitable.The DUP (and unfortunately most of the other political groups there) are unable to address the fundamental issues of the economy, remaining mired in yesterday's history.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: mouview on April 04, 2019, 02:30:13 PM
Why Tessie reached out to Jerry;

https://news.sky.com/story/why-did-theresa-may-ditch-a-no-deal-brexit-11683841
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 05, 2019, 08:33:34 AM
https://www.ft.com/content/9496494c-56da-11e9-a3db-1fe89bedc16e

   May’s Brexit talks with Labour make little progress
PM and Corbyn facing increasing opposition to cross-party initiative

George Parker and Jim Pickard in London and Alex Barker in Brussels

Theresa May’s hopes of securing a deal with Labour on Brexit before a crucial EU summit were fading on Thursday, after a second day of cross-party talks broke up without agreement and opposition to the initiative hardened.Downing Street said negotiations with Labour would continue on Friday and that both sides were “mindful of the need to make progress” ahead of the European Council meeting next Wednesday, where the prime minister is expected to ask for a delay to Brexit beyond the scheduled date of April 12.But while the initial talks between Mrs May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday were described as “constructive”, there was less optimism on Thursday as the two teams struggled to find common ground on a Brexit Plan B.The apparent lack of progress was reinforced when attorney-general Geoffrey Cox told the BBC that if the talks failed the prime minister would be forced by EU leaders to accept a “long” delay to Brexit. “I mean longer than just a few weeks or months,” he said.Mrs May announced talks with Mr Corbyn on Tuesday after she admitted her Brexit deal was deadlocked in parliament. Downing Street said she was approaching the talks in a “constructive spirit” and took care not to close down any plan B options.But the prime minister’s move has been fiercely criticised by Tory MPs, with threats of a full-scale revolt if she accepts Labour’s proposal for a customs union between the UK and the EU after Brexit.
Many Labour MPs believe Mr Corbyn should play no part in helping Mrs May to deliver Brexit, and the party is split on whether it should demand a second “confirmatory” referendum on any exit deal.“The government and the opposition hope to meet again tomorrow for further work to find a way forward to deliver on the referendum,” Downing Street said in a statement after senior Conservative and Labour figures held talks lasting more than four hours on Thursday.But one shadow cabinet member said the government had not proved it was “prepared to flex over any lines we have called for”.
Much focus is on whether Mrs May and Mr Corbyn can agree to a customs union as the basis of a future relationship between the UK and the EU.It is strongly opposed by Eurosceptic Tories, but Downing Street suggested it might be acceptable on the grounds that future parliaments “in generations to come” might decide to pull out of the customs union.Cabinet ministers are deeply divided on how to break the Brexit impasse at Westminster. Chancellor Philip Hammond said on Wednesday that a second referendum was a “perfectly credible proposition”, but health secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday he was “very, very strongly against”.Another cabinet minister said there was no way Mr Corbyn would help Mrs May out of her Brexit crisis “It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of Labour politics,” he added. “There’s a complete lack of strategy.” The shadow cabinet is also divided. Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer, backed by shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, wants a second referendum on any exit deal but others are opposed.Some 25 Labour MPs — including former minister Caroline Flint and others representing Leave-voting seats — wrote to Mr Corbyn on Thursday, saying another referendum should not be part of a deal.If the talks between Mrs May and Mr Corbyn fail to produce an agreed Plan B, she has promised to test parliamentary opinion for different forms of Brexit — including her deal — in a series of Commons votes, but time is now short before Wednesday’s EU summit.
   
         The earliest the votes could take place would be Tuesday. Such a step would be highly risky, not least because if Mrs May held indicative votes and no Brexit option received a Commons majority, she would arrive in Brussels with no agreed plan.Since the EU is demanding to know from Mrs May what she would do with any extension to the Article 50 divorce process, Downing Street hinted that she would hold in reserve the idea of asking for a new Commons process.“The European Council is likely to be looking for clarity on steps going forward in the UK parliament,” said Mrs May’s spokesman.
Ahead of the EU summit, Mrs May will have to formally request an extension to Article 50 in a letter to European Council president Donald Tusk, with Eurosceptics cabinet ministers opposed to a long delay to Brexit.The prime minister will stress that Britain must be able to terminate the extension when — or if — her withdrawal agreement is ratified.Senior EU diplomats are concerned that Mrs May will avoid explicitly requesting a long Article 50 extension to avoid upsetting Brexiters.But London has been warned by Brussels not to expect EU leaders to impose a long extension without Mrs May asking for one. One EU diplomat said he could see why Mrs May would “want Europe to set the date”. “That is very dangerous and will not work,” added the diplomat. “It is not possible.”
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 05, 2019, 08:45:55 AM
https://www.ft.com/content/ad283ac4-561c-11e9-91f9-b6515a54c5b1

   Opinion
   Brexit
A long Brexit extension offers a chance to think again
The withdrawal agreement does not command the needed support in parliament or country
Martin Wolf

Theresa May’s overture to the Labour leader shows, at least, a hideously belated recognition that crashing out without a deal would be utterly irresponsible © PA
            Having been rejected three times by her party’s Brexiter fanatics, Theresa May has at last decided to try something else. The prime minister’s overture to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn shows, at least, a hideously belated recognition that crashing out without a deal would be utterly irresponsible. But, having burnt her bridges with the hardliners, she has to go further. It is not enough to ask Mr Corbyn for help, which might well be unforthcoming. A reason has also to be given to the EU for asking for the long extension the UK clearly needs. That should be another referendum.Let us look not at today’s sorry spectacle in Westminster, but at the broad options available to the UK: a no-deal exit; a softer Brexit acceptable to the EU and the British public and parliament, for which an exit agreement is a necessary condition; and continued membership of the EU. Crashing out is unacceptable. The withdrawal agreement does not attract the needed support, for very good reasons.

That leaves EU membership as the one sane option.According to a recent paper from the Centre for European Reform, the UK economy is already some 2.5 per cent smaller than it would have been if Britain had not decided on Brexit. The knock-on effect on the public finances is, it argues, £360m a week, almost exactly the sum that the fount of economic wisdom, Boris Johnson, promised would be available after Brexit. The figure is in line with other reasonable estimates. Philip Hammond, chancellor of exchequer, used to say that the British people “did not vote to be poorer”. But they did. Alas, it could get far worse.Last week, Mr Johnson argued: “It is time for the [prime minister] to channel the spirit of Moses in Exodus, and say to the Pharaoh in Brussels — LET MY PEOPLE GO.” The view that the British people are enslaved by the EU is laughable. But the analogy is better than Mr Johnson knew. The freed Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. That was not the promise of the Brexit campaign. But it is probably accurate. A no-deal Brexit is likely to deliver a large negative shock, followed by decades of weaker growth in an economy with reduced access to its natural markets and shorn of global confidence.The prime minister is absolutely right to reject this option, though that has come far too late. The natural tendency then is to seek some sort of soft Brexit. But there is a problem with this, indicated by the reaction to the withdrawal deal itself. Any soft Brexit — staying in the customs union, staying in the single market, or staying in the customs union and the single market — requires the UK to accept a wide range of EU conditions, regulations and rules, without enjoying a say in them. The only exception would be a Canada-style free trade agreement. But the EU has made it clear that such a deal would only be possible if Northern Ireland were treated separately from the rest of the UK and so there would need to be a customs and regulatory border in the Irish Sea. But that has, in turn, been unacceptable to parliament.It is a reasonable judgment, supported by behaviour in parliament, that such a halfway house is very unlikely to be acceptable in the long run. The UK is not a small country, in the European context. It is most unlikely to accept such subordination to the EU political process in the long term. It will probably not accept it even in the medium term. It would indeed be “vassalage”. If no-deal Brexit is insane and a soft Brexit ultimately unacceptable, the only sensible option becomes staying inside the EU. But that would only be possible after another referendum, conducted on the basis of the options we know: a no-deal Brexit; the prime minister’s withdrawal deal; and withdrawing the application to leave. Such a referendum would be complex, but not impossible.How should the EU confront such a possibility? The starting point is that it only makes sense to offer a long extension if something might change. Another referendum would be such a change. A general election might also be such a change. But the crucial choice for the EU is this: should it be rid of this impossible, even unhinged, country, even though a no-deal Brexit could do significant harm to the bloc and perhaps even to the credibility of the European project? Or does it offer a lengthy extension in return for the UK’s willingness to rethink what it wants to do, including another referendum?Who, the EU must constantly have wondered, will rid us of this turbulent country? Happily, comes the answer, it is willing to do so itself. Yet think again: just as the UK will always be European, so will the EU always have the UK as a neighbour. This may be the last chance for the two sides to rethink. Take it
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 05, 2019, 09:20:23 AM
https://www.ft.com/content/a190dac8-576f-11e9-91f9-b6515a54c5b1

   Donald Tusk offers UK flexible extension to Brexit
      
               Proposal aims to overcome doubts over EU divorce delay in Europe and London

Alex Barker in Brussels and Henry Mance in London
Donald Tusk is offering Britain a one-year delay to Brexit that could be shortened if the House of Commons passes an exit treaty, a proposal aimed at overcoming reservations about a long extension in London and other European capitals.The European Council president has told colleagues the idea of such a “flextension” — which runs up to April 12, 2020 — is the “only reasonable way out” of the impasse over Brexit with Britain’s withdrawal treaty still stuck in parliament. Negotiators representing Theresa May, the prime minister, and the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are to meet again on Friday for a third day of talks, although there has been little sign so far that they are close to a Brexit compromise that could pass the House of Commons. A bill, led by Labour MP Yvette Cooper, compelling the prime minister to seek an extension to the Article 50 divorce process was delayed in the House of Lords on Thursday, and will now not become law until Monday at the earliest. Mr Tusk’s idea of a “flextension”, first reported by the BBC, remains controversial both in London and the EU. Brexiters fear the long extension is a ploy by pro-EU MPs to reverse Britain’s decision to leave. Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has warned Britain not to take a long extension “for granted”, saying the EU will not accept being held hostage to a Westminster crisis.Mrs May is expected to send a letter to Mr Tusk on Friday requesting an extension to Britain’s April 12 exit date. With cabinet divided over what end-date to put on the extension, EU diplomats are concerned it will only ask for a short delay to May 22 or June 30, the day before the new European Parliament is inaugurated. Mr Tusk’s proposal is aimed at finding a middle ground between those in the EU who are unwilling to approve a series of short extensions and Brexiters who want to leave the EU as soon as possible. Any change to Britain’s exit date requires unanimous agreement between the UK and the 27 remaining EU leaders, who will discuss the issue at a summit on Wednesday.
One senior EU official said Mr Tusk told colleagues: “We could give the UK a year-long extension, automatically terminated once the withdrawal agreement has been accepted and ratified by the House of Commons. And even if this were not possible, then the UK would still have enough time to rethink its Brexit strategy.” “Short extension if possible and a long one if necessary,” he added. “It seems to be a good scenario for both sides, as it gives the UK all the necessary flexibility, while avoiding the need to meet every few weeks to further discuss Brexit extensions.”There is no impediment to bringing forward Britain’s exit date in Article 50 of the EU treaty, which sets the terms for exit negotiations. It lays down an extendable two-year limit on negotiations but makes clear that a member state can leave “from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement”.Mr Tusk will face a bigger challenge convincing other EU leaders to demand a long extension, even if Britain is requesting a short delay. One senior EU diplomat said he could not see why Mrs May would “want Europe to set the date”. “That is very dangerous and will not work. It is not possible,” the diplomat said. Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president, has at the same time made clear that a short delay to Brexit would be dependent on the Commons passing a withdrawal agreement by the end of next week.
         Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is open to offering the UK more time, putting her at odds with Mr Macron, who has been vocal about his reservations.The French president wants Britain to offer a clear justification for any extension and would be expected to question why the EU would offer a longer delay if Mrs May is unable to make a case for it. The EU would require Britain to hold European Parliament elections if any extension goes beyond May 23. Downing Street has made clear it will continue with election preparations and issue an order for the election poll by April 11.Several member states also want assurances from the UK over how it would use its voting rights during a long delay, especially during negotiations over the EU budget or in selecting the leaders of EU institutions.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 08, 2019, 11:32:22 AM
https://www.ft.com/content/4e252d4c-579e-11e9-a3db-1fe89bedc16e

   Cross-party Brexit talks strengthen case for an extension
      
               May and Corbyn only need to agree on the political principles underpinning the UK’s withdrawal
      
         Wolfgang Münchau

A scent of compromise hangs in the air. The talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn could be the decisive moment. I have no idea whether the UK prime minister and the leader of the opposition will succeed. Maybe not. But they stand a good chance of accomplishing a critical immediate goal: an agreement on Wednesday by EU leaders in the European Council to extend Friday’s official Brexit deadline. At their last meeting, the council insisted on a political way forward as a condition for a longer extension. Here it is: a cross-party process. This has not been tried before.It reduces both the chances of a no-deal Brexit and of a second referendum simultaneously. Neither the UK nor the EU are prepared for a no-deal Brexit. Experts in the medical equipment sector fear critical supply shortages that would occur in both directions under no-deal.

Potential supply bottlenecks into the UK were well known, but I was not aware that the EU, too, was reliant on imported medical kit from the UK. It would be irresponsible for politicians to seek a no-deal Brexit given that such risks are not yet fully understood.The other extreme option would be a second referendum. It could have stood a chance if pitched against a no-deal Brexit once all the other options had been eliminated. But events have intruded. Mrs May is right to conclude that the preservation of Conservative party unity can no longer take precedence after MPs rejected the withdrawal agreement three times. Her leadership of the party and her time in office will end this year. She has concluded that she needs to co-opt the opposition leader to achieve a cross-party majority. What happened in the UK reminds me a little of Germany’s grand coalitions, which happen whenever it is impossible for one or the other large party to find a majority. It is deeply ironic that at the point of its departure the UK is becoming so very European in this respect.I would advocate either June, as suggested by Mrs May, or the end of December as extension dates. A June deadline makes sense because whatever needs to be decided now can be decided within a few weeks. Mercifully, there is no need for Mrs May and Mr Corbyn to agree on the specific contents of a soft Brexit. I liked the rather vague proposal by Kenneth Clarke, the Conservative MP and former chancellor, in favour of a permanent customs union. There is no point in discussing specifics at this stage because any agreement will take years of negotiations. All Mrs May and Mr Corbyn need to achieve is to find consensus on the political principles underpinning Brexit. Mrs May will have to remove one of her red lines. Labour will need to drop the second referendum, probably not a problem for Mr Corbyn personally. Both already agree on ending free movement. The hardest question will be: would a new Conservative leader and prime minister still respect the compromise?

This is why the extension date matters so much. The EU should consider carefully the consequences of a very long extension. The most logical long extension date would be end-December, with a final decision taken at the European Council’s December meeting. Mrs May cannot be removed by her party beforehand. A December extension would take EU leaders beyond a critical period in the autumn, during which they need to settle important issues: appointments of the presidents of the European Commission, European Council and European Central Bank. They will also need to deal with the aftermath of the European elections.If the European Council were to extend into 2020, they may find themselves with Boris Johnson as Conservative leader and a full voting member of their illustrious circle. EU leaders should treat December as the outer limit of Mrs May’s own departure date because they want to ensure they make the deal with her. An extension based on cross-party talks should satisfy Emmanuel Macron.

 The French president is right to oppose an unconditional extension. But he should agree to an intelligent compromise. As a quid pro quo he could insist that EU leaders commit not to extend the deadline again. This might also help focus confused minds in the UK parliament, and spare us from further silly amendments like those that seek to take no-deal off the table.Mrs May’s strategy is not foolproof. The cross-party talks might fail. There could be a political accident in the European Council. There could be a general election in the UK.The hardcore supporters of a second referendum will not support this. Nor will the no-dealers. What I do not know is whether those willing to compromise will outnumber those who do not. But what I am certain of is that a cross-party compromise is the only path towards an agreed Brexit this side of a general election.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 08, 2019, 04:36:11 PM
   https://www.ft.com/content/d9bba980-5794-11e9-a3db-1fe89bedc16e

Global economy enters ‘synchronised slowdown’
Disappointing indicators show similar picture in US, China and Europe

            Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, said the IMF would cut its growth forecasts © AFP
Chris Giles in London
yesterday
The global economy has entered a “synchronised slowdown” which may be difficult to reverse in 2019, according to the latest update of a tracking index compiled by the Brookings Institution think-tank and the Financial Times. Sentiment indicators and economic data across advanced and emerging economies have been deteriorating since last autumn, suggesting fading momentum in global growth and the need to resort to new forms of economic stimulus. The worsening outlook has sparked warnings from Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, who said the fund would cut its growth forecasts later this week, and the World Trade Organization which has said the continued threats of trade skirmishes had weakened forecasts. The findings follow generally disappointing economic indicators over the past six months that have shown a similar picture in the US, China and in Europe. Professor Eswar Prasad of the Brookings Institution said the slowdown did not yet appear to be heading for a global recession, but all parts of the world economy were losing momentum.
 “The nature of the slowdown has ominous portents for these economies over the next few years, especially given present constraints on macroeconomic policies that could stimulate growth,” he said. The Brookings-FT Tracking Index for the Global Economic Recovery (Tiger) compares indicators of real activity, financial markets and investor confidence with their historical averages for the global economy and for individual countries.The headline readings slipped back significantly at the end of last year and are at their lowest levels for both advanced and emerging economies since 2016, the year of the weakest global economic performance since the financial crisis.The index fell partly because hard data indicating real economic activity has been weaker, with countries such as Italy falling into recession and Germany narrowly avoiding one and with the US economy losing steam as the effects of Donald Trump’s tax cuts wear off. Although economic sentiment remains high in advanced economies, it has fallen from its peaks and has plummeted to well below normal levels in emerging economies, led by fears that China’s years of rapid economic growth are coming to an end. Athough China’s economy has been showing signs of improvement following government efforts to stimulate capital spending and the US Federal Reserve’s reversal of its plans for further interest rate rises this year has had a steadying effect, economic confidence has taken a knock over the past six months. Growth indicators in Europe have been disappointing, Prof Prasad said. Globally, only India stands out as an exception to the slowing trend, boosted by fiscal and monetary stimulus ahead of national elections starting later this month. Delays in the anticipated trade rapprochement between the US and China have also raised questions over the prospects for greater momentum in the world economy in the second half of the year. “Trade tensions and the uncertainty they have spawned are likely to leave a long-lasting scar on the world economy. This uncertainty is undermining business confidence and depressing private investment, which has implications for longer-term productivity growth,” Prof Prasad said, He added that any weakness might be amplified by policymakers’ inability to provide effective stimulus to boost prospects later this year. “High levels of public debt are likely to limit the ability of major advanced economies to counteract a slowdown with fiscal stimulus,” he said. “Conventional monetary policy remains constrained in many advanced economies where policy rates are close to or below zero, while any further unconventional monetary policy actions present significant risks and uncertain pay-offs.”
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 08, 2019, 06:03:42 PM
https://youtu.be/tg00YEETFzg

https://www.ft.com/content/d2708be8-59d6-11e9-9dde-7aedca0a081a

Conservatives will pay a heavy price for weaponising Brexit
      
               Letting hardliners frame the debate has exposed the UK to division and humiliation
      
         Robert Shrimsley
Robert Shrimsley
 “There must have been a time, in the beginning, when we could have said — no,” says one of the eponymous heroes of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead in the seconds before his execution. “But somehow we missed it. Oh well, we’ll know better next time.”When, before long, the Conservatives stand facing their moment of electoral oblivion, what will they identify as that missed moment of the Brexit process since the 2016 referendum that might have made everything different?This is not merely a historical inquiry. If the UK is now heading into a lengthy Brexit extension, we will be doing this all again, but under a different Tory leader who disavows Theresa May’s new consensus-seeking approach.The process has deepened division, seen decent MPs held in disdain, threatened and abused.

A recent poll shows voters tempted by the idea of a strong leader less beholden to parliament. At last, the prime minister has reached out to Labour to “break the logjam”. It may be far too late and far from certain to end well, but already her move has shown what might have been and thus the scale of Conservative culpability.So here, then, is the answer to the Guildenstern question. Mrs May’s crucial decision came in the months before her 2017 snap election: that her party would own and weaponise Brexit. This was a political calculation, first to secure herself the leadership, and then to create divisions for party advantage.The Vote Leave campaign had already brilliantly exploited voter anger by effectively offering Brexit as the answer to austerity.

The Tories tried to repeat the trick. Brexit became their differentiation from Labour, the answer to the cry for change; no longer a national challenge but a political weapon. The tactic crushed the UK Independence party and secured 42 per cent of the vote, but drove Remain voters to Labour. We can only guess how it might have played had Mrs May offered a gentler Brexit. She would have lost some votes but might have saved others in places that mattered more and prevented the demographic shift that is turning her party into the refuge of the old and angry. Before the election, when Mrs May seemed at her most powerful, was the moment for a new direction. She chose not to take it. Afterwards she was too weak to alter course.Hindsight is always 20:20 and there was a logic to her choices.
But by making Brexit an entirely Conservative conversation she framed the choice as between a hard and very hard Brexit. Mrs May was always going to face hardliners, but the larger, quieter mass of Tory MPs was ready to back any sensible proposition had it been pointed in that direction. What is now a split might have been only a splinter. Instead, she let Brexit be defined by preening ultras, unmoored from accountability, too visibly enjoying the media spotlight, whose idea of debate is saying “up yours” to the chancellor of the exchequer. One can see why Mrs May did not want to work with Jeremy Corbyn. Oppositions don’t tend to bail out governments and the Labour leader has been cynical, but Mrs May never challenged him to be otherwise.
Imagine if, having won the leadership, Mrs May had made a real effort to seek consensus. Britain’s position on Brexit would have been framed, not as a choice between two harsh exits, but as an accommodation that befitted a 52:48 outcome. On the day after the referendum, even leading Leave supporters were entertaining the compromise of remaining in the EU’s single market. It was only later that positions hardened.A joint commission on Brexit, including senior Labour moderates, could have shaped the UK’s position. The Brexit ultras would have been marginalised. The entire nature of the debate would have changed — focusing on models of co-operation, customs union versus the single market, perhaps.

Instead many Remainers who initially accepted defeat, have been pushed into fighting for a second vote. There is no longer any credit for the Tories in owning Brexit, not least because so many of its leaders decry what they may deliver. Instead they face an electoral reckoning for the damage done in trying to weaponise the process. It is a double blow for Britain that the result may be a Corbyn government.Maybe the alternative vision is too optimistic. The extremes of an argument often pull their sides away from the middle ground. But letting hardliners frame the debate has exposed the UK to more division, anger, humiliation and economic damage. So yes, there was a moment when things could have been different. Oh well, we’ll know better next time.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 09, 2019, 08:36:15 AM
https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2019/04/james-kanagasooriam-the-left-right-age-gap-is-even-worse-for-the-conservatives-than-you-think.html

It might not feel like it this week, but the Conservatives’ problem with younger voters is a bigger problem for them than Brexit. This morning, Onward publishes a big new report on the age gap in British politics – now the most important indicator of vote intention. The stark reality in the data is that the Conservative Party’s age curve is not only extreme – you now need to be 51 years old before you become more likely to vote Conservative than Labour – but worse than the age curve for Leave. This is often missed because support for Leave is higher amongst older voters than voting Conservative.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: haranguerer on April 09, 2019, 08:51:50 AM
In the graphics I've seen shared re this and the accompanying commentary, there seems to be a notion that the future will see a much more left wing slant. Fact is, every generation has been like that, as people age they move to the right. Also, longer life expectancy with every generation is more likely to mean it has even less effect. The only things that will really make a difference is young people voting in the same numbers as older people, and whether the birth rate continues to increase or not.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Jell 0 Biafra on April 10, 2019, 02:22:33 AM
In the graphics I've seen shared re this and the accompanying commentary, there seems to be a notion that the future will see a much more left wing slant. Fact is, every generation has been like that, as people age they move to the right. Also, longer life expectancy with every generation is more likely to mean it has even less effect. The only things that will really make a difference is young people voting in the same numbers as older people, and whether the birth rate continues to increase or not.

People say this a lot, but is it actually a fact?
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: haranguerer on April 10, 2019, 08:16:53 AM
It can't be a fact as it predicts future behaviour, but there is certainly a lot of evidence that it has been the case and will continue to be for some time. The below attempts to isolate the effect of age v later generations being more socially aware.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/03/do-we-become-more-conservative-with-age-young-old-politics
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 10, 2019, 09:09:27 AM
https://www.ft.com/content/683d5212-5ad3-11e9-9dde-7aedca0a081a

   Britain and EU wrestle with Boris Johnson question
      
               Cross-party talks and bloc focus on proofing deal against hard-Brexit government
Deep disdain for Boris Johnson among many European governmentswhich see him as leader of a Brexit campaign built on false promises, is offset by growing impatience with Theresa  May’s government © PA
Sebastian Payne in London and Alex Barker in Brussels
In London and Brussels, in talks that could determine Britain’s future, negotiators are homing in on a common goal: how to rein in the actions of a future pro-hard Brexit British government.The focus in discussions between the UK’s Conservative and Labour parties is on providing assurances that a new Tory prime minister does not rip up any cross-party accord on future relations with the EU.Diplomats in Brussels are concerned with a similar issue, as the EU’s 27 other member states consider Britain’s request to delay its departure from the bloc. A big preoccupation ahead of a crucial summit on Wednesday is how to prevent a more Eurosceptic UK government from disrupting the bloc’s affairs from within.Both sets of concerns are personified by one politician in particular: Boris Johnson, the former UK foreign secretary who led the triumphant Leave campaign in the 2016 EU referendum and who hopes to succeed Theresa May as prime minister in the near future.Labour is worried that a prime minister Johnson could discard any agreement by Mrs May that commits the UK to closer post-Brexit relations with the EU than the UK government currently seeks. Other EU governments — notably France — fret that if the UK is granted a lengthy delay to its Brexit date, the country could wreak havoc with decisions in the European Commission, the European Council of member states and the European Parliament, particularly if a full-blooded Eurosceptic is in Downing Street.But the problem for the Labour-Conservative talks, perhaps also for the deliberations in Brussels, is that restricting the conduct of a future British government is far more easily said than done, particularly if the UK decides to go down a more antagonistic path.“The idea of a ‘Boris lock’ is ridiculous,” said a senior Conservative MP. “Parliament can’t bind its successors, no matter what the prime minister might agree with Labour or the EU.”
The British government cannot give the EU a nod and a wink to promise good behaviour . . . If we are stuck in we must use the remaining powers we have to be difficult
Labour remains agitated about Mr Johnson as Westminster is absorbed by speculation that Mrs May’s last days as prime minister are approaching.Although Mrs May has said she would only resign once her Brexit deal is passed by parliament, most Conservative MPs believe she will leave office in the autumn. Others believe she will have been pushed out by the summerMr Johnson is the favoured candidate of the party’s grassroots, according to surveys by the ConservativeHome website. He is also the favourite in the betting markets — followed by former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and environment secretary Michael Gove. All three are strong Brexit proponents, and Mr Johnson and Mr Raab are fierce critics of Mrs May’s exit deal with the EU, although they voted for it in the House of Commons at the third time of asking. Hence Labour’s fear that, without strong guarantees, any deal with Mrs May might fail to last out the year.While Labour’s negotiating team acknowledges that a future parliament could renegotiate any agreement, it wishes to ensure that the next Conservative prime minister cannot change the deal before an election.
Rebecca Long-Bailey, Labour’s spokesperson on business, told the BBC at the weekend that any deal with the Conservatives must be “entrenched so that a future Conservative leader wouldn’t be able to rip up the changes that have been agreed”: in other words, “Boris-proofed”. John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, added on Tuesday that any protections to stop a deal being unpicked also had to be in a treaty. “It’s more than it being in legislation, it’s about the agreement we have with the EU,” he said.Meanwhile there is deep disdain for Mr Johnson among many European governments, which see him as the wayward leader of a Brexit campaign built on false promises. But that is offset by growing impatience with Mrs May’s government, which lacks the authority in Westminster to see through on agreements made in Brussels. “Give us anyone who has a majority,” said one senior EU diplomat, who hoped for a quick resolution to the Brexit saga, one way or another. The EU has moved to shield itself against a change of guard in London by making clear that the withdrawal agreement negotiated with Mrs May is now in effect untouchable, regardless of who is in Downing Street.
Fear over a “rogue” Brexiter government subverting EU business has played a big role in raising concerns about the costs to the EU of approving a long delay to Britain’s departure date. Eurosceptic MPs have already urged the UK to act as a wrecker from within, especially if restrictions are attached to a Brexit delay.At a meeting of Europe ministers on Tuesday, Greece noted that, while no deal might be damaging, it might be no worse than “being held hostage” to a war within the Tory party while Britain remained a member state. One EU diplomat suggested that the terms of an extension also needed to be “Bojo proof” — to allow the bloc to cut short UK membership if Mr Johnson “or anyone irresponsible is prime minister one day and threatens to wreak havoc within the EU”. Senior French officials have privately suggested review clauses — potentially at intervals of two or three months.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 10, 2019, 09:11:09 AM
It can't be a fact as it predicts future behaviour, but there is certainly a lot of evidence that it has been the case and will continue to be for some time. The below attempts to isolate the effect of age v later generations being more socially aware.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/03/do-we-become-more-conservative-with-age-young-old-politics
Usually that is reliable but I think the Tories are looking like they are going to collapse. People are not happy. It reminds me of FF in 2010.
Parties can collapse too. It also happened to the SDLP
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 10, 2019, 10:29:08 AM
Fermanagh and Omagh district or whatever is one of the 10 poorest according to UK Revenue

  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/791690/190402_National_Statistics_T3_12_to_T3_15a_publication_2016-17_FINAL.pdf

Another argument for a united Ireland
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Aaron Boone on April 10, 2019, 12:28:42 PM
Fermanagh and Omagh district or whatever is one of the 10 poorest according to UK Revenue

  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/791690/190402_National_Statistics_T3_12_to_T3_15a_publication_2016-17_FINAL.pdf

Another argument for a united Ireland

But they also rank highly in happiness charts.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Jell 0 Biafra on April 10, 2019, 02:34:27 PM
It can't be a fact as it predicts future behaviour, but there is certainly a lot of evidence that it has been the case and will continue to be for some time. The below attempts to isolate the effect of age v later generations being more socially aware.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/03/do-we-become-more-conservative-with-age-young-old-politics

I was asking whether it was factual that there is a historical tendency for voters to vote more conservatively as they age.  Thanks for the link.  Very interesting.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: armaghniac on April 10, 2019, 05:36:56 PM
Fermanagh and Omagh district or whatever is one of the 10 poorest according to UK Revenue

  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/791690/190402_National_Statistics_T3_12_to_T3_15a_publication_2016-17_FINAL.pdf

Only in terms of money declared to the Revenue!
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 12, 2019, 12:23:16 PM
https://www.ft.com/content/c68a235e-5ba5-11e9-939a-341f5ada9d40

Britain can now change its mind about Brexit
Macron’s emergence as a latter-day de Gaulle should not stop a second referendum

Philip Stephens

The workaday leader fashions every sound bite to immediate advantage. Seizing the microphone is what matters. The statesman plays a longer game. The strategic gain often lies in a quiet show of generosity. French president Emmanuel Macron by a margin is Europe’s most interesting politician. He has some way to go before claiming statesmanship.Mr Macron casts himself a leader of Europeans. British Europeans battling to overturn Brexit are apparently excluded from this definition. Much as the president styles himself as General de Gaulle, he was never going to wield the veto against perfidious Albion at this week’s Brussels summit. Instead of insisting an Article 50 extension be limited to six months, he would have done better to have been magnanimous. As it was, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, were the grown-ups.It is self-evident that the EU owes Britain nothing.
 The narrow opportunism that led the then prime minister David Cameron to call the Brexit referendum was arrogantly blind to the possible consequences. The failure of Theresa May’s government to win domestic support for her half-baked Brexit plan has imposed another unreasonable cost. Throw in former foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s Dad’s Army of little Englanders, forever re-fighting the second world war, and you see why Europe’s reservoir of goodwill has drained.
Exasperation is not a strategy, even when it is justified. Brexiters may be blind to the facts of geography, economics and geopolitical interest, but these realities demand that Britain and its neighbours eventually find a new point of co-operative balance. Expelling the Brits now would needlessly sour relations for years to come. It would also impose immediate costs on other EU members such as Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Mr Tusk put it well: “We should treat the UK with the highest respect, as we want to remain friends and close partners, and as we will still need to agree on our future relations.”Mr Macron has big bold ideas for the EU27. He wants an economic union to buttress the single currency, an EU-wide immigration and asylum policy and common European defence. These are laudable aims. It is more than faintly absurd, however, to claim that his grand plan is a hostage to Brexit. Berlin’s objections to debt mutualisation and joint defence exports are unconnected to the shenanigans at Westminster.A politician looking to claim leadership beyond France might also have noticed — as did Mr Tusk — the small shaft of light that has lately pierced the Stygian gloom at Westminster. For the first time since its (twice-vetoed) applications to join the common market during the 1960s, Britain has a pro-European movement. Nostalgists and nativists on the reactionary right face real opposition from those who see themselves as Europeans as well as Brits.
Last month hundreds of thousands — the organisers say a million — of British citizens gathered in London to say they want to hold on to their citizenship of Europe. At a minimum they want a second referendum before Britain leaves the EU. The 6m people who have signed an official petition have gone further — they are calling for the straightforward revocation of Article 50 so that Britain can stay in the union.Elections for the European Parliament offer these pro-Europeans an opportunity to solidify rising support for an entirely fresh assessment. If the past two miserable years have served any purpose it has been to expose the fraudulent choice presented in 2016. The cake-and-eat-it fantasies of Mr Johnson and we-hold-all-the-cards delusions of cabinet Brexiters have turned to dust. The trade-off between theoretical sovereignty and real jobs has been exposed. The billions promised for the National Health Service have turned into a massive exit bill. Xenophobic scaremongering about migrants has been shown to be just that. The economic costs of Brexit are already obvious in slower growth and tumbling investment. Big overseas investors make no secret of the threat to jobs.
 Anyone following the tortuous and thus far inconclusive debates in parliament can see they were offered a wholly false prospectus by the Leavers.Mrs May does not admit this, of course. She still wants to get her deal through parliament before calling an end to her dismal premiership. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, is concerned only with the electoral impact of any cross-party deal to break the parliamentary deadlock.Extra time, however, presents parliament — and the country — with an opportunity. Britain can change its mind about Brexit. MPs can and should agree to put any proposed settlement with the EU27 to a confirmatory referendum. The country could then be presented with the vote it was denied in 2016 — a choice between Remain and the best deal that parliament considers available to Britain outside the union.The trade-offs between prosperity and security and notional sovereignty would be there for all to see. The Kamikaze Brexiters who complain this would flout what they call “the will of the people” mistake democracy for the majoritarianism beloved of despots and demagogues. True democracy embeds the right of citizens to change their minds. As for Mr Macron, he would surely join Ms Merkel and Mr Tusk in applauding a victory for Britain’s Europeans.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 27, 2019, 09:13:41 AM
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/this-will-be-the-year-of-three-prime-ministers

It is highly likely that we shall have three prime ministers this year, and that by the end of it the Conservative Party as we’ve known it will have ceased to exist. It is also likely that by year’s-end we shall have either revoked our notification to leave the European Union or committed ourselves to a fresh referendum. None of these outcomes is certain but each is more likely than not.

I reach what may sound like three wild conclusions by the application of logic to the situation we’re now in. When logic produces weird predictions they should face rigorous scrutiny; so let me set out my reasoning.

I start from three premises. First, a clear majority of this (or probably the next) House of Commons is resolved to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Second, no majority can be found for any deal that leaves Britain as “rule-taker, not rule-maker”. Jacob Rees-Mogg calls this “vassalage”; I call it satellite status; others call it Brino (Brexit in name only). All agree, though, that by comparison with our present full membership of the EU, Brino offers many disadvantages and no advantage other than greater control over immigration, an issue of diminishing salience. The argument for Theresa May’s deal is about the will of the British people, not about the merits of the deal itself, for which no enthusiasm can be found in any quarter.

Third, a substantial minority of the parliamentary Conservative Party and the overwhelming majority of its grassroots members are opposed to anything other than a total “clean” exit from the EU, and are ready to break the government on the issue.


Such, then, are my three premises: no no-deal exit; no satellite status; no alternative to Tory disunity.

A (probably) dreadful result in next Thursday’s local elections will be followed (assuming Mrs May cannot reach any EU withdrawal deal with Jeremy Corbyn that her own MPs could accept) by the Tories going through with a European parliamentary election they don’t want, to an institution they’re pledged to get us out of. This is grotesque, as the Electoral Commission pointed out yesterday.

In such an election the Tories face, expect and deserve a massive bloody nose and they’ll get it. Many, perhaps most, Tory MPs know that the party has let the country down and are profoundly embarrassed, braced for the punch they know they’ve invited: third place at best, with Conservative MEPs down from 18 to single figures.

Can Mrs May survive that? The safest prediction about her has always been that she’ll carry on, but this time? Really? And with the party reeling, Nigel Farage crowing, a paralysed prime minister and her impotent administration floundering, cabinet discipline in tatters and a Brexit cliff edge approaching, the men (and women) in suits must surely come for her.

So: a leadership election before the autumn. Who would make it through the MPs’ hustings and on to the shortlist of two? Of course the Tories’ best hope of survival would be with a cleanskin: someone youngish, perhaps new to the public, as-yet untarnished and not too ideological, because voters would want to feel the party had turned a page.

Hard owever, I expect the candidates will be the usual suspects. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt: hooligan versus hologram. Dominic Raab: rabid with an extra a. Sajid Javid: a too-eager Uncle Fester. Michael Gove: Professor Branestawm . . . oh dear, it will probably be Boris, distrusted as he is by colleagues, and perhaps Hunt or Gove. But Mr Hunt is a deserter from Remain and deserters are not loved by those they join or those they leave. Mr Gove, head and shoulders above the others intellectually, will struggle with the Tory rank and file.

I never expected to write this, but Mr Johnson has a good chance with the Tories’ tiny, elderly selectorate. And if he wins he would have to call an immediate general election because a dozen or more of his outraged colleagues would resign the Tory whip, leaving him unable to assemble a working Commons majority. Mr Johnson would then lose the general election because he’s a shambles. His character, reputation and party would be torn apart during the campaign. Floating voters would want a good reason to like the Tories better than they did in 2017. I rest my case.

So, Mr Corbyn would become prime minister but probably without a working majority; the Brexit Party would still be strutting; the Tories would be broken and bleeding; and the Brexit deadline of October 31 would be thundering down the track towards us. What, by then, are we hearing from France and Germany? “Aw, shucks, give them a few months more?” I don’t think so.

Did President Macron ever really mean to push through his “revoke Article 50, have a second referendum or get out” ultimatum to Mrs May last month? I doubt it. He was putting down a marker of France’s intentions. Assuming we don’t get our act together by the end of October, we’ll be facing no-deal or asking for another extension. France, which has given everyone fair warning, would then bring Germany on board and confront us with revoke, referendum or get out. Whatever government we have by then, parliament’s answer would be the first or second option, and not the third. I believe Paris and Berlin will gamble on that and they’ll be proved right.

By Christmas, then, we could be on our third prime minister this year and still be in the EU. And the Tory party? The European Research Group’s Jacob Rees-Mogg (say), Steve Baker and Mark Francois are not in any meaningful way in the same party as liberal, pro-European centrists like (say) Alistair Burt, David Lidington, Sir Alan Duncan or Amber Rudd.

Something has to give. There was a time when a strong prime minister could have made an example of a couple of Brexiteer renegades by withdrawing the whip and scaring their comrades back into the fold but it’s too late for that; there are just too many of them.

Nor are they unrepresentative of millions of voters: about 20 per cent of the electorate. Britain (or England, anyway) needs a nationalist, nativist, reactionary party to represent these voters. So I would like to see Mr Farage’s new Brexit Party do well enough, and promise well enough, to attract a sizeable number of defectors from the Conservative Party. Otherwise it’s the moderate, liberal, 21st-century generation Conservatives who will have to start quitting and regrouping.

How, with whom, and as what, it is too early to say. One thing, however, it is not too early to say. The rabble in government who now call themselves the Tories are over, and must be put out of their misery.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on April 30, 2019, 08:40:12 AM
Independent News & Media  was sold for 10.5 cent per share.
The shares were worth almost 4 euro in 2008

https://www.inmplc.com/investor-relations/share-price-information

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/media-and-marketing/mediahuis-to-buy-independent-news-media-for-145-6m-1.3876014

Mediahuis to buy Independent News & Media for €145.6m

INM says shareholders would be entitled to receive 10.5 cent in cash for each of its shares



Eoin Burke-Kennedy
 Belgian media group Mediahuis has agreed to buy Independent News and Media (INM) for €145.6 million.

Under the terms of the deal, announced this morning, INM said shareholders will be entitled to receive 10.5 cent in cash for each of its shares.

The deal is conditional on INM’s largest shareholders, Denis O’Brien and Dermot Desmond, committing to the terms by 5pm today. Between them, they hold just under 45 per cent of the group’s shareholding.

The acquisition represents a premium of approximately of 44 per cent on INM’s closing share price of 7.28 cent on April 3rd.

“Mediahuis and Independent News & Media are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of a cash offer by Mediahuis, unanimously recommended by the board of INM, pursuant to which Mediahuis will acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of INM,” the companies said in a joint statement ahead of INM’s annual general meeting this morning.

INM, Ireland’s largest newspaper group, publishes the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, Sunday World, the Herald, Belfast Telegraph and several regional newspapers.

Founded in 2013, Mediahuis is a private European media group with a strong portfolio of news media and digital brands. Its titles include De Telegraaf and NRC Handelsblad in the Netherlands and De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad in Belgium.

It has grown rapidly through acquisitions to become a leading media player in Belgium and the Netherlands and currently employs more than 3,200 people. Last year it reported a turnover of €819 million.

INM chairman Murdoch MacLennan said: “We are pleased to be announcing this transaction today and believe it represents an excellent outcome for both the company and its shareholders.

“The offer from Mediahuis represents a compelling opportunity for shareholders to realise cash for their shareholding in INM, at a price which fairly reflects the company’s performance and standalone prospects.


“INM has a proud and illustrious history stretching back to the start of the twentieth century and the INM board believes that this offer from Mediahuis, if approved, will herald an exciting new chapter for our employees, readership and customers,” he said.

INM had hired US investment bank Lazard to advise it on a potential sale for the company, which had attracted the interest of at least two unnamed potential bidders, according to reports.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Rossfan on April 30, 2019, 09:46:00 AM
https://m.independent.ie/irish-news/record-demand-for-passports-ahead-of-brexit-leads-to-new-holiday-warnings-38063206.html
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on May 06, 2019, 03:52:29 PM
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/cliff-taylor-bombardier-destroys-bluster-of-brexiteers-1.3880043

Cliff Taylor: Bombardier destroys bluster of Brexiteers
Fantasy world meets reality of a UK industry deeply embedded in EU economy
Sat, May 4, 2019, 04:00
 
Cliff Taylor

   
 

 
Bombardier has put its Belfast plant up for sale, in the process putting a question mark against the 3,600 jobs in the North’s largest private-sector employer. It is difficult to know the extent to which Brexit influenced the Bombardier decision – the company said it didn’t. But it is certainly a vital factor in the efforts to find a new owner.
Airbus, the company’s main customer and one of only a few prospective buyers, has warned repeatedly about the risks of a no-deal Brexit and how it would force the company to make decisions to cut future investment in the UK.
Look at the market for aircraft parts and maintenance and you realise, yet again, the nonsense surrounding the free-trade delusions of the Brexiteers. Their case is that the UK can set its own standards and rules after Brexit and sail off to do profitable trade deals around the world. While still retaining access to EU markets.
This all takes place in the EU single market and so it is seamless – no bureaucracy and no delays. The Beluga opens its giant snout, and the wings enter in Wales and exit in France
The aviation industry shows how this is simply impossible. It is where the fantasy world of the Brexiteers meets the reality of a big UK industry deeply embedded in the EU economy and its regulatory processes and operating freely across Borders. It is where bluff and bluster meets thousands of pages of regulation, years of custom and practice and a web of international research funding and co-operation. And there is only one winner.
An Airbus A300-600ST, known as the Beluga – after the whale – lands regularly at the company’s plant in Broughton in north Wales to bring wings and other components manufactured there to its base in Toulouse. This all takes place in the EU single market and so it is seamless – no bureaucracy and no delays. The Beluga opens its giant snout, and the wings enter in Wales and exit in France.

Frictionless trade
After Brexit, no-one knows whether such frictionless trade can continue.If the UK leaves under a withdrawal agreement, then it will continue up to the end of 2020 at least. If the UK crashes out in a no-deal, the indications are that the EU may give a nine month leeway in terms of regulatory compliance – meaning it will continue to accept UK regulation in some areas for a period.
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Big manufacturers have been forced to apply for EU regulation and will in some cases require new EU bases. And as well as this uncertainty, there is the risk of new bureaucracy and delays.
Last year Airbus took a majority stake in the Bombardier C-series aircraft, for which the plant in Belfast manufactures wings using an advanced technology. It was seen as good news for Belfast. But while Airbus has acknowledged the Belfast plant as a “ key supplier”, it is not clear yet whether it will step in and seek to buy the plant.
This will all depend on its post-Brexit strategy for the UK. And with the risk of a no-deal Brexit in the autumn still very much on the table, huge uncertainty remains about the terms on which the UK industry will trade with the EU, the availability of future EU research funding and how the industry will be regulated.The aviation parts industry has its own specific peculiarities, but the story is repeated across the board. You can’t put Humpty Dumpty together again after a no-deal Brexit.
Let’s hope the Bombardier story works out and a buyer is found, for the sake of Belfast, the direct employees and those working in supply industries across the island. Some clarity on the UK’s exit plan would help, of course, but this still looks elusive, with mixed signals emerging from talks between the Conservatives and Labour to try to find a way forward. And even if a deal does emerge, whether it could get support in the House of Commons remains open to question. More time wasted over the summer and a fresh panic ahead of another deadline at the end of October remains a real possibility.
EU single market
We’ve all learned a lot about borders as Brexit has rolled on. Trade experts and businesses themselves have been shouting since the Brexit referendum about just how complicated and deep the EU single market is – and how breaking the links even over a prolonged period will be costly and difficult. Trying to reintroduce trade borders overnight would be lunacy.
What has happened in aviation and aerospace is instructive. The UK has indicated that post-Brexit it wants to remain part of – or closely aligned to – the EU regulatory regime, meaning it will accept EU rules.
It wants to remain – effectively – part of the single market for this sector and is willing to play by the rules. Whether the EU would agree, if future negotiations do get under way, remains to be seen.
The story differs a bit from sector to sector across the UK economy, but the bottom line is the same. If you want access to the EU market on something like exiting terms, then you have to keep playing by the rules.
The DUP will surely have recognised this, but still seems to reckon that following a different regime to the UK – and taking rules from the EU – must be resisted, despite the threat to jobs.
The point of following rules set by someone else clearly has a political importance , though if Brexit shows us anything it is that the opportunities for economy autarky in today’s world are small indeed.
Bombardier would be an easier sale if the North had committed to remain aligned to EU customs and regulatory rules post Brexit, as envisaged under the backstop plan in the withdrawal agreement. It illustrates clearly the choice faced by the North’s politicians. In today’s international economy, trying to write your own rules comes at a hefty cost.

Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on May 14, 2019, 09:49:17 AM
guardian

Senior Tories press May to abandon Brexit deal talks with Labour 
 
With a poll yesterday suggesting the Brexit party is on course to get more than three times as many votes in next week’s European elections as the Conservatives, one senior Tory has called for the two parties to form a pact at the next general election. This is what Crispin Blunt, a former chair of the foreign affairs committee, told Newsnight last night.

 

In my judgment, we are going to have to come to an accommodation with the Brexit party. The Conservatives, as a Brexit party again, being very clear about their objectives, are almost certainly going to have to go into some kind of electoral arrangement with the Brexit party, otherwise Brexit doesn’t happen.

Blunt said his preference would be for a pact involving the Tories standing in the seats they hold, and the Brexit party standing in all the other seats. He claimed that, if they united, the two parties could win handsomely.

 

Listen to what Nigel Farage said; he would “do a deal with the devil” to get Brexit over the line. The Conservative party is very far from being the devil in this. Eighty per cent of the membership of the Conservative party are very keen to make sure that Brexit happens, will be in a position to enthusiastically support leaving the European Union with no deal. If we are then able to agree a position to put to the country, I think we would hit the ball out of the park.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on May 23, 2019, 08:20:28 AM
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/life-after-theresa-may-fraught-with-danger-for-dup-1.3900756

Life after Theresa May fraught with danger for DUP
Renewing pact with hard Brexit leader would see it blamed for ensuring chaos in North
about 3 hours ago
 
Newton Emerson



 
There is no choice but to marvel at the confluence of complications now imminent in UK politics, the punchline to which will be the DUP-Conservative confidence-and-supply agreement.
British prime minister Theresa May has promised to bring her EU withdrawal bill to the Commons in early June, where it will almost certainly fail, triggering a Tory leadership contest. Such a contest typically takes two months, although most of that time is allowed for a ballot of party members, which could be shortened by several weeks.
June is also when the current parliamentary session ends, having been extended from its customary one year to two due to Brexit.
With no Commons majority for any form of Brexit, the likeliest outcomes ahead are no deal or no Brexit
There had been talk of extending it further but every other Commons party – including the DUP – has said that would be an outrage if done for Tory management purposes. So a new session needs to start, marked by a new programme of legislation set out in a queen’s speech, despite no new legislation being planned as Brexit has consumed everything.
Scheduled slap bang in the middle of all this is renewal of the confidence-and-supply agreement, without which the government cannot function. The agreement was signed on June 26th two years ago with an effective two-year lifespan. That was the deadline for spending most of its £1 billion of funding, nearly all of which has since been disbursed – the only delay is with £150 million for broadband.
There must also be a review of the agreement at the end of the parliamentary session. It can safely be assumed more funding will be demanded. The health and education sectors in Northern Ireland are already putting in unsubtle bids.
The DUP has always stressed its agreement is with the government, not the prime minister. May will linger on just long enough to renew the deal under her tenure, although her authority will be slipping away.
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Another complication
She might want to press on regardless, and give the DUP cause to co-operate, thanks to another complication. Stormont talks will conclude at the end of this month with a review by the British prime minister and the Taoiseach. May is reportedly keen to see devolution restored on her watch, if only to depart on one positive note. A scenario can just about be imagined where solid progress is announced, with more funding for Northern Ireland the icing on the cake. DUP gloating at this will be hard for other Stormont parties to stomach but they can hardly turn the money down.
However, the DUP might be forced by timing or tempted by circumstance to seek renewal under May’s successor. This would not be about money – it would be about Brexit. The confidence-and-supply agreement committed the DUP to supporting the government on Brexit, budgets, confidence votes and the queen’s speech. After the DUP fell out with May over the backstop, it reneged first on budgets and then on Brexit, claiming the government had reneged on its commitments to unionists.
Breakdown in relations
Renewing the agreement will require repairing this breakdown in relations. That will be most plausible under a prime minister who pledges to ditch or water down the backstop, as all the leading contenders – chief among them Boris Johnson – have promised to do.
What the next prime minister eventually ends up doing, or being able to do, is another matter. However, that is a problem for the next breakdown in DUP-Tory relations.
Keeping the Conservatives in power at the expense of the backstop is not something most other Stormont parties will be able to stomach, menacing what hopes there are of restoring devolution in the short to medium term. Johnson in particular seems guaranteed to antagonise nationalists.
The DUP, which badly wants Stormont back, will have to weigh that risk in the balance but the scales are heavily tipped. On one side is the kudos and influence on offer at Westminster for the next three years of the Conservative mandate; on the other, a northern Assembly that may never return.
Of course there are bigger risks to consider than the timescale for restoring devolution.
With no Commons majority for any form of Brexit, the likeliest outcomes ahead are no deal or no Brexit.
The DUP does not want the hard Brexit a no deal would involve and has consistently said so, but that has become the implication of demanding withdrawal without the backstop.
Renewing the confidence-and-supply agreement around this demand, as the party is politically trapped into doing, means it will appear instrumental in pushing for no deal and will get the blame for that outcome or no Brexit, either of which will place the union under strain, as the latter will antagonise nationalist England.
The DUP has been criticised for overplaying its hand by trying to kill the backstop. That is nothing to how badly it will have overplayed its hand if it succeeds
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on May 24, 2019, 08:57:36 AM
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/05/23/fed-warns-will-not-ride-rescue-wall-street/

The Fed has spooked markets with an ice-cold warning

 Fed Chief Jerome Powell has a difficult decision to make   
•   Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
23 May 2019 • 7:21pm
The US Federal Reserve has sent markets a sobering message. It will not bail out the Trump administration as the trade war expands; nor will it come to the rescue quickly if Wall Street wilts.
The proverbial “Fed Put” is a long way out of the money at this juncture. The outlook for the US economy will have to take a nasty turn before the Powell Fed cuts interest rates or halts quantitative tightening altogether.
“The hurdle for cuts is very high,” said Tom Porcelli, US strategist for RBC Capital and a former Fed official.
The Fed minutes released late on Wednesday are something of a shocker for investors who thought they had a monetary comfort blanket for the rest of this year. Futures contracts show markets have been pricing in 50 basis points of rate cuts.

The text revealed that “many” members of the voting committee had dismissed the recent soft patch in inflation as “transitory” and largely caused by “idiosyncratic factors”. This amounts to a warning by the world’s hegemonic central bank that it may raise rates. It is an ice-cold douche for fragile markets.
Markets reacted with alarm yesterday. The Dow Jones fell 1.6pc and the S&P 500 slid by 1.7pc. The US dollar index (DXY) climbed to a two-year high of 98.2. This has set off further tremors through Asian bourses already reeling from the contraction in global trade.
The Shanghai composite index is now down 15pc from highs just a month ago. The MSCI index of emerging markets is off almost 11pc. Secondary fallout is starting to reach Europe. “A rising dollar tightens global funding conditions,” said Hans Redeker and Gek Teng Khoo from Morgan Stanley. Offshore dollar loans and bonds have reached $12 trillion (£9.5  trillion) with further liabilities hidden in derivatives, according to the Bank for International Settlements.
Morgan Stanley said it is “increasingly bearish” as dollar liquidity dries up, warning financial markets have become unhinged from fundamentals. It has advised clients to retreat to the safe haven of the Japanese yen.


Much of the dollar debt is owed by Asian, Latin American, and Middle East corporations. It is often on short-term maturities – typically three months – and has to be rolled over at a higher cost on offshore funding markets as the dollar creeps up. The Fed’s broad dollar index is testing a 17-year high.
“We are going to get a crisis and when that happens the capital flows will reverse,” said William White, the BIS’s former chief economist. “It reminds me of what happened in 2008 to 2009 when European banks were financing long-term assets in the US with short-term dollar debt. They had a huge liquidity problem. This time the trouble is in Asia, and I am afraid that Asian banks might have to sell a lot of assets in fire-sale conditions.”
The Fed saved the day in 2008 by extending emergency dollar liquidity to fellow central banks through swap lines. “It is not clear whether Trump and Congress would let the Fed do that again,” said Prof White. “They think it is lending trillions to untrustworthy foreigners.”

What is raising eyebrows is the continued fall in the Chinese yuan. It has been sliding relentlessly over the last three weeks as relations between Washington and Beijing reach rupture. The yuan hit Y6.92 to the dollar yesterday. The Chinese authorities have defended this level in past episodes but there is concern this time that they may let the exchange rate break through the psychological line of Y7 – perhaps judging it too risky to squander foreign reserves trying to defend the currency. China’s $3 trillion reserves are not as big as they look under the International Monetary Fund’s adequacy rule.
Hong Kong regulators say foreign funds have been withdrawing money from the Chinese mainland at a torrid pace through the Shanghai-Hong Kong Connect pipeline. The net exodus has been $42bn (£33bn) so far in May. “Steady inflows have converted into sharp outflows,” said Mr Redeker.
Chinese companies have also been scrambling to raise dollars pre-emptively to cover $900bn of hard currency debt.
It is possible that China is orchestrating a stealth devaluation in order to claw back trade competitiveness and retaliate against the US. Any evidence that China is deliberately steering down its currency would further enrage US president Donald Trump.
Mr Redeker said such manipulation is highly unlikely. Beijing was traumatised by the exchange rate scare in 2015-2016 when the People’s Bank burned through $1 trillion of reserves trying to hold the line. The authorities will probably defend the exchange rate aggressively if turbulence sets in.

Mr Porcelli said the Fed is right to take a tough stand on rates. It is faced with “super tight labour markets” and capacity constraints in the US. There is a risk that cost-push inflation will become lodged in the system. The Fed may have to raise rates regardless of mounting stress in the rest of the world.
Yet the voting committee is starkly divided. Doves fret that the greater danger is a lurch downwards for the economy as Mr Trump’s fiscal stimulus fades and the profit cycle rolls over.
They fear a repeat of mistakes made last December when the Fed misjudged the severity of the global trade slowdown and raised US rates into the teeth of a market squall. The Fed was quickly forced to make the most dramatic policy about-turn since the late Nineties.
The US data is sending a blizzard of mixed signals, as often happens at key turning points in the cycle. Consumer optimism is running high and truck tonnage soared 7.4pc in April.
Yet trade wars have begun to hit capital expenditure by companies. Major appliance shipments in the US fell 17pc last month from a year ago, comparable to falls seen during the onset of the subprime crisis in 2008.
Fed chairman Jay Powell has a treacherous judgment call to make. Nobody ever said central banking was easy.

Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on May 29, 2019, 12:13:22 PM
With the capitulation of theresa May, No Deal shite is back


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/05/28/tory-leadership-contest-becomes-no-deal-battleground-esther/

Tory leadership contest becomes no-deal battleground as Esther McVey says it is 'the only viable option' for Brexit

 Esther McVey is running for the Tory leadership CREDIT: PAUL COOPER
•    Gordon Rayner, political editor
28 MAY 2019 • 10:00PM


A“clean break” from the EU is “the only viable and acceptable” option left, Esther McVey has said, as the Tory leadership race became a battleground over a no deal Brexit.
The former work and pensions secretary said the Prime Minister’s deal is “dead” and the only way to deliver Brexit “is to actively embrace leaving the EU without one”.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Ms McVey seeks to distinguish herself from other Brexiteer candidates by making clear that no deal would be her preferred choice, rather than simply an option she would be prepared to contemplate.
She also launches a direct attack on Jeremy Hunt - who had said attempting a no deal Brexit would be “political suicide” - by saying that “extinction” would only come about through failing to leave the EU on October 31.
Ms McVey, Boris Johnson, Andrea Leadsom and Dominic Raab have all said they would be prepared to take the UK out of the EU without a deal in October, but David Gauke, the Justice Secretary, and Rory Stewart, the International Development Secretary, both joined Mr Hunt in attacking the idea.
Mr Stewart, one of 10 Tory MPs who have declared their candidacy, said talking up no deal was “Wizard of Oz” thinking, while Mr Gauke, who is not currently running, said no deal would be too detrimental to the economy.
 
Kit Malthouse, the housing minister, became the 10th MP to join the race, saying it was time for “a new generation to lead the charge into our future”.  James Cleverly, a Brexit minister, is expected to announce his own candidacy on Wednesday.
Mr Hunt’s decision to come out against no deal in Monday’s Daily Telegraph appeared to have cost him support among MPs yesterday, with reports of some of his backers switching to Michael Gove after Mr Hunt was accused of flip-flopping on the issue. The Environment Secretary is now the bookies’ joint-second favourite with Dominic Raab to become the next Prime Minister, with Boris Johnson still well ahead.
Mr Gove said yesterday that Brexit had to be delivered before the next general election “Otherwise we will be punished at the ballot box, Corbyn will be in Number 10 propped up by the SNP, and Brexit may well be reversed altogether”.
 
Kit Malthouse has also entered the Tory leadership race

Yesterday Theresa May said Brexit was now a “matter for my successor” as she visited Brussels for a meeting of EU leaders to discuss who should take over from Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission President this summer.
Downing Street confirmed that Mrs May had given up hope of presenting her Withdrawal Agreement Bill to Parliament next week, meaning there is unlikely to be any progress on Brexit until a new Tory leader is in place in late July.
Mr Hunt said yesterday he would attempt to renegotiate the current Brexit deal and would include Tory Brexiteers from the European Research Group and representatives of the DUP, the Scottish and Welsh assemblies in his negotiating team.
However Mr Juncker insisted: “I was crystal clear. There will be no renegotiation.”

Ms McVey, who resigned from the Cabinet last year over Mrs May’s Brexit policy, says: “No government that I lead will ever seek an extension beyond 31st October.  It’s time for the Conservative Party to wake up, listen to the voters and embrace Brexit as a magnificent opportunity, not as a problem to be managed, mitigated and ultimately reversed.  Otherwise Jeremy Corbyn will become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.”
She says that the European election result showed that the public’s view on Brexit has “hardened” and so “we need to stop wasting time having artificial debates about re-negotiating backstops or resurrecting botched deals”.
She adds: “If they believe that tying us to thousands of Brussels’ rules and regulations during an implementation period and handing over £39bn without even a trade deal in return will now bring back the millions of voters we have lost to the Brexit Party then I fear they are in cloud cuckoo land.”
In a clear swipe at not only Mr Hunt but also Mr Johnson and Mr Raab, Ms McVey says: “Anyone who pretends that they will achieve in three months what Theresa May failed to do in three years simply through the force of their personality is not being straight with people…
“Messing about with this inadequate Withdrawal Agreement will just prolong the agony and cause yet more disruption and uncertainty for British business.”
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: Aaron Boone on May 29, 2019, 01:20:22 PM
Might as well have Esther Rantzen running than Esther McVey.
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: seafoid on May 31, 2019, 09:10:54 AM
https://www.cer.eu/insights/northern-ireland-and-backstop-why-alternative-arrangements-arent-alternative
Title: Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
Post by: quit yo jibbajabba on May 31, 2019, 09:15:24 AM
Seafoid the lads were just wonderin could ye not just copy and paste the thing and put her on here

Jibbajabba