Author Topic: Various bits re Brexit and Economics  (Read 11106 times)

seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #30 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."
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #31 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.
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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.
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #32 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.”
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #33 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.
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Rossfan

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2019, 03:21:21 PM »
Unionists good everyone else bad ::)
1 BIG CUP and 1 Cupeen so far....

seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #35 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.
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magpie seanie

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #36 on: March 12, 2019, 04:13:15 PM »
RDE - God help the poor woman.

seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2019, 04:16:12 PM »
Unionists good everyone else bad ::)
The collapse of Brexit is bad news for certain Sindo columnists
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mouview

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #38 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.

armaghniac

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #39 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.
If at first you don't succeed, then goto Plan B

Farrandeelin

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #40 on: March 12, 2019, 05:50:37 PM »
I literally laughed out loud reading Dodds being hit with a brick.  ;D
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #41 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.”
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Rossfan

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #42 on: March 13, 2019, 09:57:28 AM »
It's like dealing with an upset small child.
1 BIG CUP and 1 Cupeen so far....

johnnycool

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #43 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.

Insane Bolt

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #44 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😂