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Thread: Why did Brexiteers make such a mess of Brexit?

  1. #1
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    Default Why did Brexiteers make such a mess of Brexit?

    The reason why Brexit is such a painful process for the UK and may even result in the UK being torn apart in the end is that, the Brexiteers still refuse to accept a simple truth about Brexit. That truth is that Brexit isn't easy and never will be easy. It's a highly complicated disentanglement process between two partners that are hopelessly inequal. We saw this again recently when the UK indicated that it needs to go full rogue state on the protocol for northern Ireland. The question is: are British foodstuffs safe enough to be traded in the EU. The simplistic answer to that would be: well yes of course, the British rules effectively are the EU rules, shouldn't be a problem. But the real answer is that it is very difficult to establish are foodstuffs from the UK are safe; maybe they are, that would be the case if the UK would not diverge from EU rules. But the UK has very clearly stated that it has every intention of not being bound any longer by EU rules. Some British ministers have expressed their lack of concern with chlorinated chicken. So with this stated intention of divertion, how can the EU be certain that as some point in the future the food imported from the UK no longer meets the EU standards? The answer is that we the UK agrees to either not diverge, or give complete insight in how they intend to keep their food standards at least as high as those in the EU. So far that answer is lacking. And divergence remains the golden standard.

    So, the word simple really shouldn't be used in relation to Brexit. But Brexiteers keep thinking that Brexit is simple.

    And that's why they make such a mess of Brexit.
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  2. #2
    The argument that the British might change the rules in the future so therefore it can't be certain in the present is facetious bullshit.

    The UK is aligned with EU laws and has no divergence forthcoming. The UK had agreed with the EU that we would give notice of any change of regulations, which would then enable the EU to review such changes and react accordingly. None has happened. This is on the same basis that other countries that export with the EU and are recognised 3rd parties operate.

    The UK laws are all public domain, if we were to diverge then that would be public domain too along with us giving notice to the EU.

    So no, no mess. The EU got frustrated that the UK wasn't conceding on talks as easily as we did when led by May so overreached and threatened to use this as a weapon. The UK didn't back down and escalated as a result. Oops, that backfired on you didn't it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    The argument that the British might change the rules in the future so therefore it can't be certain in the present is facetious bullshit.

    The UK is aligned with EU laws and has no divergence forthcoming. The UK had agreed with the EU that we would give notice of any change of regulations, which would then enable the EU to review such changes and react accordingly. None has happened. This is on the same basis that other countries that export with the EU and are recognised 3rd parties operate.

    The UK laws are all public domain, if we were to diverge then that would be public domain too along with us giving notice to the EU.

    So no, no mess. The EU got frustrated that the UK wasn't conceding on talks as easily as we did when led by May so overreached and threatened to use this as a weapon. The UK didn't back down and escalated as a result. Oops, that backfired on you didn't it?
    Here we go again, a Brexiteer thinking he can discuss away not being in the EU any longer.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    The argument that the British might change the rules in the future so therefore it can't be certain in the present is facetious bullshit.

    The UK is aligned with EU laws and has no divergence forthcoming. The UK had agreed with the EU that we would give notice of any change of regulations, which would then enable the EU to review such changes and react accordingly. None has happened. This is on the same basis that other countries that export with the EU and are recognised 3rd parties operate.

    The UK laws are all public domain, if we were to diverge then that would be public domain too along with us giving notice to the EU.

    So no, no mess. The EU got frustrated that the UK wasn't conceding on talks as easily as we did when led by May so overreached and threatened to use this as a weapon. The UK didn't back down and escalated as a result. Oops, that backfired on you didn't it?
    The EU has no faith in this sort of bumbling ad hoc approach. It requires a greater measure of political and above all legal/regulatory certainty, both now and in the future. Consequently, it requires not only agreement for things here and now, but also on a good, reliable process moving forward. This is an effective and reasonable way to deal with situations where there is a deficit of trust, which is necessarily the case when dealing with a third party—esp. one as demonstrably untrustworthy as the UK.

    It's much easier to deal with messy, exceedingly complex relationship problems when there's a high level of trust between all parties. Failing that, there must at least be a high level of trust in the rules and in the process. Neither is true of the relationship between the EU and the UK. There are other reasons for this mess—reality, for starters—but that is the reason for the seemingly absurd way in which this entire farce has played out.
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    Brexiteers are like people who are roughly aware of the maintenance of a combustion engine who think they can approach maintenance of an electric car in exactly the same way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    The EU has no faith in this sort of bumbling ad hoc approach. It requires a greater measure of political and above all legal/regulatory certainty, both now and in the future. Consequently, it requires not only agreement for things here and now, but also on a good, reliable process moving forward. This is an effective and reasonable way to deal with situations where there is a deficit of trust, which is necessarily the case when dealing with a third party—esp. one as demonstrably untrustworthy as the UK.

    It's much easier to deal with messy, exceedingly complex relationship problems when there's a high level of trust between all parties. Failing that, there must at least be a high level of trust in the rules and in the process. Neither is true of the relationship between the EU and the UK. There are other reasons for this mess—reality, for starters—but that is the reason for the seemingly absurd way in which this entire farce has played out.
    It's a bit more principled; in international agreements you have two or more independent and sovereign entities hammering out the rules by which they commit themselves to act. Since there is no World Prosecutor making certain that all parties stick to what they have agreed you need safeguards and conflict resolution built in in the deal. Trust only comes in after that (and I agree Trust in the UK is a scarce good these days).

    Brits have the misconception that their doctrine of Parliamentarian sovereignty can play a relevant role in the system of safeguards and conflict resolution. More than that they think it can play this role unilaterally. Now we could point to article 27 of the Vienna Convention, but Brexiteers in general don't understand legal niceties very well. Before you know it they are talking of Brexiteering out of the UN to be truly sovereign. But, as the US ratio for not ratifying the Vienna Convention, but still applying its principles, shows us there is something deeper than a written rule for nations to allow infringements on their day to day execution of sovereignty. That ratio is that what the VC enshrines is longstanding practice already anyway.

    There is a reason for this longstanding practice; if we would not live by rules as in the VC and every party would have the right to unilaterally change the rules, then you would have ask yourself the question why you bother with striking deals at all. If one side can retro-actively change the mandate for an international agreement you will have to assume as opposite party that whoever is sent doesn't have an actual mandate to negotiate at all. With so much uncertainty built in into the system the system no longer makes any sense. And once sides realize the system no longer makes sense, they revert to the default of international relations; the right of the strongest.

    Brexiteers think that they stand a chance against the EU without the protections of a legal framework. That is another grave misconception. A clean Brexit makes them more subservient to the EU than any deal they could strike.
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    Another lesson for Brexiteers; Brexit and everything surrounding it isn't something that makes it to the main news bulletins or front pages. Even the probability of a no deal end to the year didn't attract attention.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    The EU has no faith in this sort of bumbling ad hoc approach. It requires a greater measure of political and above all legal/regulatory certainty, both now and in the future. Consequently, it requires not only agreement for things here and now, but also on a good, reliable process moving forward. This is an effective and reasonable way to deal with situations where there is a deficit of trust, which is necessarily the case when dealing with a third party—esp. one as demonstrably untrustworthy as the UK.

    It's much easier to deal with messy, exceedingly complex relationship problems when there's a high level of trust between all parties. Failing that, there must at least be a high level of trust in the rules and in the process. Neither is true of the relationship between the EU and the UK. There are other reasons for this mess—reality, for starters—but that is the reason for the seemingly absurd way in which this entire farce has played out.
    Its not a bumbling ad hoc approach, it is what other third parties already do. The law is already defined and notification would be given both to the EU and the WTO if the law were to be changed.

    And you're right about there being an absence of trust on both sides already.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Its not a bumbling ad hoc approach, it is what other third parties already do. The law is already defined and notification would be given both to the EU and the WTO if the law were to be changed.

    And you're right about there being an absence of trust on both sides already.
    How is a law defined that you already have stated you don't want to necessarily stick to?
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    How is a law defined that you already have stated you don't want to necessarily stick to?
    The law is the law, it would take an Act of Parliament to change the law. Just the same as any other nation that you list as a third country.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    I have to say, while I see your point about governments being able to change agreements from previous governments (though note that it can come with consequences), I am still puzzled why you're so OK with reneging on, essentially, a contract signed by this very government. Which was touted as a good deal. If they thought it was a good deal and signed it to later find out it was not good, they're incompetent.. And if not, they were lying and signed in bad faith. Either is not exactly good coming from your government, and either means you can't trust things your government said, and signed and committed to, only a year ago. I cannot understand how you think that's a good functioning of government, even if you are agreeing with the final result.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    I have to say, while I see your point about governments being able to change agreements from previous governments (though note that it can come with consequences), I am still puzzled why you're so OK with reneging on, essentially, a contract signed by this very government. Which was touted as a good deal. If they thought it was a good deal and signed it to later find out it was not good, they're incompetent.. And if not, they were lying and signed in bad faith. Either is not exactly good coming from your government, and either means you can't trust things your government said, and signed and committed to, only a year ago. I cannot understand how you think that's a good functioning of government, even if you are agreeing with the final result.
    That is an excellent question.

    Basically the government is saying (and feel free to disagree of course) that the deal was good but that the EU are acting in bad faith in its interpretation. The deal committed both sides to good faith in seeking to agree a deal and to come up with a list of products that would need checks - and the UK which is still following EU laws getting third party certification for food trade really shouldn't be complex. But the accusation is that the EU, irritated perhaps that the negotiations aren't going as planned, are weaponising what was agreed and using it in bad faith to cause trouble.

    This is Boris Johnson's article justifying this. I have highlighted what I think is the relevant section.
    Let's make the EU take their threats off the table and pass this Bill

    'Let's remove this danger to the very fabric of the United Kingdom... and let's get this Bill through'
    Boris Johnson

    It is now more than seven months since this country left the EU on January 31, and since then we have been working hard to build what I am sure will be a great new future relationship.

    We want a thoroughgoing free trade deal. We want a deal like the one between the EU and Canada; and since we currently conform with every jot and tittle of EU regulation, and since we have been loyal and paid-up members for more than four decades, it strikes me that if the EU is willing to offer these terms to Canada then it makes sense to offer the same to us.

    Our partners know that, whatever happens, the UK is their friend, their biggest single export market and committed forever to the peace and security of the European continent. They know that there are ways in which we want to continue and even deepen our relations, not just in trade.

    As I have never tired of saying, we have left the EU, but we have not left Europe. But they also know – or at least they know now – that leaving the EU means the UK is serious about its new-found sovereignty.

    In forging our new relationships, we can't have our lives or our economy regulated by the European Court; we must have the right to devise our own laws and regulations. And we must have sole control of our spectacular marine wealth – our fisheries.

    Those are some of our conditions, and in the last few months I believe we have made considerable progress. If both sides want it, there is a great free trade deal there to be done.

    So I have become anxious in the last few weeks to discover that there is an obstacle. Our negotiators believe that there may be a serious misunderstanding about the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement that we reached last October.

    You may remember those days. They were torrid. We were negotiating with one hand tied behind our back, since Parliament had voted to deprive the UK side of the right to walk away. We had a deadline of October 31 – which Parliament decided to flout. MPs were in a state of constant turmoil and recrimination. And yet, provided it was applied in good faith, the Withdrawal Agreement we reached was extremely good.

    We excised the baleful presence of the Northern Ireland "backstop", which effectively kept this country locked in the EU's legal orbit, forced to accept EU laws, unable to do free trade deals. We made sure that Northern Ireland was explicitly recognised as part of the customs territory of the United Kingdom, and able to take part fully in new free trade agreements (such as the one Liz Truss has just done with Japan). And we also took steps to protect free movement at the all-important border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

    We agreed that, in some limited ways, Northern Ireland would continue to conform with EU law for four years. We agreed that this limited alignment would end, unless the Northern Irish assembly voted to continue it. We agreed to do some light-touch checks on goods arriving in Northern Ireland, in case they should go on to Ireland, in order to avoid checks at the North-South border.

    And on the basis of that excellent deal we left the EU – and so it is deeply regrettable that what seemed so simple and clear to us is seen very differently by our EU friends.

    We decided in the Withdrawal Agreement to create a Joint Committee, in which we would thrash out the details of these new arrangements. It is here that things risk coming unstuck. We are now hearing that, unless we agree to the EU's terms, the EU will use an extreme interpretation of the Northern Ireland protocol to impose a full-scale trade border down the Irish Sea.

    We are being told that the EU will not only impose tariffs on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, but that they might actually stop the transport of food products from GB to NI.

    I have to say that we never seriously believed that the EU would be willing to use a treaty, negotiated in good faith, to blockade one part of the UK, to cut it off, or that they would actually threaten to destroy the economic and territorial integrity of the UK. This was for the very good reason that any such barrier, any such tariffs or division, would be completely contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement.

    By actively undermining the Union of our country, such an interpretation would seriously endanger peace and stability in Northern Ireland. This interpretation cannot have been the real intention of those who framed the protocol (it certainly wasn't ours) – and it is therefore vital that we close that option down.

    We want an agreement in the Joint Committee on how we can implement the protocol. We have consistently shown that we are willing to help our friends – to the extent that is possible and reasonable – to protect the integrity of their Single Market and to keep a fluid North-South border.

    But we cannot leave the theoretical power to carve up our country – to divide it – in the hands of an international organisation. We have to protect the UK from that disaster, and that is why we have devised a legal safety net – in the UK Internal Market Bill – to clarify the position and to sort out the inconsistencies.

    This Bill protects jobs and growth across the UK by preventing barriers to trade between the nations and regions. It means that anything approved for sale in Scotland or Wales must be good for sale in England or Northern Ireland, and vice-versa.

    The Bill gives freedoms and certainties for businesses and citizens that were previously set out in EU law. That is why, as we now come out of the EU, it is absolutely vital. It is now also clear that we need this Bill to protect the free flow of goods and services between NI and the rest of the UK, and to make sense of that commitment in the EU withdrawal agreement – that NI is part of the UK customs territory. It is therefore crucial for peace, and for the Union itself. We must get this Bill through.

    So I say to my fellow parliamentarians that we cannot go back to the dark days of last year – the squabbling that so undermined our negotiators. If we fail to pass this Bill, or if we weaken its protections, then we will in fact reduce the chances of getting that Canada-style deal.

    As it happens, I believe that this country will prosper mightily in either event. We could do very well indeed if we left on Australian terms. But there is no doubt that, in the short term at least, the Canada deal would be better and smoother – and that is what we are pitching for.

    So let's end any potential for misunderstanding. Let's remove this danger to the very fabric of the United Kingdom. Let's make the EU take their threats off the table. And let's get this Bill through, back up our negotiators and protect our country.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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  13. #13
    We are now hearing that, unless we agree to the EU's terms, the EU will use an extreme interpretation of the Northern Ireland protocol to impose a full-scale trade border down the Irish Sea.

    We are being told that the EU will not only impose tariffs on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, but that they might actually stop the transport of food products from GB to NI.
    Do you have a source for this claim that goes beyond: "We are hearing now ..." or "We are being told that ..."?
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    That is an excellent question.

    Basically the government is saying (and feel free to disagree of course) that the deal was good but that the EU are acting in bad faith in its interpretation. The deal committed both sides to good faith in seeking to agree a deal and to come up with a list of products that would need checks - and the UK which is still following EU laws getting third party certification for food trade really shouldn't be complex. But the accusation is that the EU, irritated perhaps that the negotiations aren't going as planned, are weaponising what was agreed and using it in bad faith to cause trouble.

    This is Boris Johnson's article justifying this. I have highlighted what I think is the relevant section.
    That is nonsense. The implications of the protocol—in the event of a Brexit without an adequate trade agreement—were known when the agreement was concluded. The EU knew, and the UK's negotiators knew. Those consequences result from Brexit; if they are regarded as being against the letter and spirit of the GFA, it is because the version of Brexit pursued by your govt. is itself against the letter and spirit of the GFA (which, too, was a known possibility—even before the referendum itself). That the UK's recent actions wrt the protocol are an example of bad faith negotiating is not in doubt outside the UK, and the same goes for those actions' legal status (both within and outside the UK—it is a violation of international law by the admission even of some who have attempted to justify it); however, if it is the case (and I believe it is) that the UK knowingly signed an agreement it knew might well have implications it would not accept, that means the UK has acted in doubly bad faith, so to speak. When Johnson says "we never seriously believed", it can be interpreted as an admission of incompetence—but I think it mostly just shows that they were not serious negotiators negotiating in good faith.

    I think it's fair to describe the UK's approach as ad hoc and bumbling based on the constant rhetoric—on the UK side, and from RB—about fudges, the remarks to the effect of "we'll deal with it when it becomes an issue", and the repeated demonstrations of incompetence in the form of unforced errors and political dysfunction (such as the present situation, with the UK trying to pressure MPs from the governing party to support a violation of international law through threats).
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
    Do you have a source for this claim that goes beyond: "We are hearing now ..." or "We are being told that ..."?
    Think the only lie in his statement is the suggestion that they're only hearing it "now"; the consequences he describes are the expected consequences of the transition period ending without an adequate trade agreement in place. The protocol was constructed to cover precisely that scenario.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Think the only lie in his statement is the suggestion that they're only hearing it "now"; the consequences he describes are the expected consequences of the transition period ending without an adequate trade agreement in place. The protocol was constructed to cover precisely that scenario.
    Exactly, what we learn from this rubbish is how shocked De Pfeffel is that somebody is to actually going to keep him to his word. I am not the PM of the UK and yet I knew he'd given away NI for all intents and purposes.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
    Do you have a source for this claim that goes beyond: "We are hearing now ..." or "We are being told that ..."?
    Here's a source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics...ble-pass-bill/

    That's written by the Prime Minister not me. He knows the state of the negotiations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Here's a source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics...ble-pass-bill/

    That's written by the Prime Minister not me. He knows the state of the negotiations.
    Are you certain? Last time he first claimed to know (great deal) what he claims not to know now.
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  19. #19
    He's still saying it was a good deal, just accusing the EU of abusing it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Here's a source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics...ble-pass-bill/

    That's written by the Prime Minister not me. He knows the state of the negotiations.
    I am obviously not asking for a source for the prime minister quote.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    The EU got frustrated that the UK wasn't conceding on talks as easily as we did when led by May so overreached and threatened to use this as a weapon. The UK didn't back down and escalated as a result. Oops, that backfired on you didn't it?
    I'd like some support for "The EU ..... so overreached and threatened to use this as a weapon".

    Where, when and how did the EU threaten to use the protocol as a weapon? It must have been somewhen just previous to last week's decision.
    Last edited by Ziggy Stardust; 09-14-2020 at 04:10 PM.
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  21. #21
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    Of course, "We have a deal, we'll hold you to it and God help you if you try to break the GFA" must sound like a threat.

    The same way you feel "threatened" by a cop when he tells you: "No shoplifting, eh?"
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    He's still saying it was a good deal, just accusing the EU of abusing it.
    Abuse it by using it as intended? I think you just changed the definition of abuse.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Considering one party says they will break international law and one doesn't, I'm going to need something better than the PM's speech to say it's not the UK who aren't acting in good faith. And even what you quoted there, to be honest, sounds like he's saying he didn't know what he agreed to which would make him incompetent.
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  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    Considering one party says they will break international law and one doesn't, I'm going to need something better than the PM's speech to say it's not the UK who aren't acting in good faith. And even what you quoted there, to be honest, sounds like he's saying he didn't know what he agreed to which would make him incompetent.
    Exactly. So far all we have is the word of someone who is demonstratively acting in bad faith, accusing the other party of just that, with nothing to show for. If that is accepted as evidence, we're in bad shape.
    Which is why I asked for any indication or support for that claim. And I am thinking, if there had been such a thing, it would have been spotlighted by now.

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but it puts forward quite a weak case. And if you're going to accuse the EU publicly of acting in bad faith, I'm going to need a little more than: "Trust me, they are".
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  25. #25
    Johnson was given warnings on effect of Irish protocol


    Civil service briefing paper to ministers before Brexit deal became law pointed to onerous state aid provisions

    The UK government was explicitly warned in January that Boris Johnson’s Brexit divorce deal would leave Brussels able to claim jurisdiction over “large amounts” of UK state aid policy after the end of the transition period, documents seen by the Financial Times have revealed.

    A 10-page official briefing document shows the civil service issued clear warnings that Mr Johnson’s deal to avoid the return of a trade border in Ireland would impact not just subsidy decisions relating to Northern Ireland but could also “reach back” into the rest of the UK.

    The briefing document, marked “official sensitive”, shows that ministers were told about the onerous state aid provisions within the withdrawal agreement relating to Northern Ireland, which they moved to legally override with the internal market bill.

    [...]

    January’s civil service briefing document emerged after Downing Street this week moved to justify overriding sections of the withdrawal agreement that relate to Northern Ireland, with Mr Johnson’s spokesperson saying the withdrawal agreement had been “agreed at pace in the most challenging possible political circumstances”.

    [...]

    Under the Northern Ireland protocol, which was agreed to enable Brexit without creating a hard border on the island of Ireland, the UK agreed the region would follow EU state aid law for any matter that affected goods trade.

    However, civil servants warned ministers in the January briefing document that Article 10 of the Northern Irish protocol that covered state aid could give the EU power over state aid to UK companies operating outside Northern Ireland.

    “Depending on how the scope of Article 10 is interpreted, there is a risk that aid granted in the rest of the UK will be caught by the EU State Aid rules in certain circumstances,” states the document, which also formed the basis of advice given to David Frost, the UK’s Brexit negotiator.
    According to a person familiar with the matter, the content of the civil service briefing document was shared with ministers at least a week before Mr Johnson’s deal was signed into UK law on January 23 this year.

    The document further states that civil servants had received a “ministerial mandate to limit ‘reach-back’” from the Northern Ireland protocol into UK policy. This indicated ministers were also aware of the state aid issue as the deal was being concluded.

    The document further warned that the European Commission was expected to adopt “a wide interpretation” of Article 10 allowing Brussels to “claim jurisdiction over a large amount of GB aid” regardless of the terms of any future EU-UK free trade agreement.

    Mr Johnson has consistently said the EU is making unreasonable demands on the issue of state aid, despite the government’s internal advice warning the bloc would retain influence via the withdrawal agreement.

    [...]

    The paper warned ministers that the test of “effect on trade” set out in the protocol in practice set “a very low bar” for the commission to argue that it had jurisdiction.

    For example, UK-wide measures adopted by the government after Brexit — such as a tax rebate for manufacturers — could fall within the scope of Brussels oversight.

    Similarly, a decision to subsidise British companies servicing Northern Ireland clients might fall within the scope of the agreement, or granting aid to any company in Great Britain exporting to Northern Ireland or with a subsidiary in the region.

    The paper is clear that the Northern Ireland protocol would have a serious impact on the coming EU-UK free trade agreement negotiations and the amount of freedom on state aid that such a deal would hand the British government.

    “We do need to bear in mind the interaction with the FTA negotiation. It could limit the EU’s willingness to even discuss a less aligned regime as ‘reach-back’ would mean that the rules would apply anyway,” the document concludes.

    [...]

    senior EU officials say that the terms of the so-called Northern Ireland “frontstop” that required goods entering the region from Great Britain to follow the EU customs code and state aid rules were made “crystal clear” at the time.

    EU observers say the UK’s decision to seek an increasingly basic free trade agreement — throwing into stark relief the extent to which Northern Ireland is being left in the EU’s orbit — cannot be an excuse to rewrite the Northern Ireland protocol.

    David O’Sullivan, a former EU ambassador to the US who has also served as the EU’s top trade official, said it was “disingenuous in the extreme” for Mr Johnson’s government to say that the speed of the “all-weather” agreement somehow justified the government’s move to unilaterally overwrite the terms of the withdrawal agreement.

    “Negotiating a duty and quota-free FTA would eliminate some paperwork and the vexed issue of tariffs for goods entering Northern Ireland, but the fundamentals of the architecture, including border checks and state aid were never dependent on an agreeing an FTA.

    “It is disingenuous in the extreme to now turn around and say the deal was ‘agreed in haste’ and therefore needs to be unilaterally reinterpreted.”
    The English Trump doesn't have a lot of credibility outside Little England.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  26. #26
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    The English Trump doesn't have a lot of credibility outside Little England.
    After Milliband's attack it turns out that the changes he wants aren't even related to the socalled threats of the EU.
    Trump: Lock him up.

  27. #27
    After all the talk of a major rebellion brewing the Government's majority was reduced from 78 officially . . . all the way down to an actual vote of 77.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  28. #28
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    After all the talk of a major rebellion brewing the Government's majority was reduced from 78 officially . . . all the way down to an actual vote of 77.
    See how easy it is to lie for a brexiteer; in reality 32 conservatives did not vote with their government.
    Trump: Lock him up.

  29. #29
    I didn't lie, the government's official working majority is 78 and the actual majority recorded was 77. 340 to 263 is a majority of 77. That 32 Conservatives didn't vote with the government is not the full story. Its less than the Tories majority and less than a tenth of their MPs even if they all voted against, but they did not.

    For one thing it is not allowed for all Conservatives to vote with the Government - under Parliamentary rules the Speaker and Deputy Speakers do not vote. The Tories have 2 Deputy Speakers so they are ineligible to vote. Also under Parliamentary rules 2 MPs from each side are the "tellers" and do not vote either. So that means in every division 4 Tory MPs are forbidden from voting (though 4 opposition MPs including the Speaker aren't allowed to vote either so it balances out). That is 1/8th of the difference is simply due to that.

    Furthermore some MPs were away so didn't vote because they were away. That happens in almost every non-crucial vote and normally leads to "pairing" with an opposition MP to cancel each other out. Of course for some like Theresa May being away could have been "convenient" so they didn't have to either back the government or rebel, but the fact is they were away.

    Only 2 Tories actually voted against the Government.

    Finally 9 non-Tories voted with the Government including 8 DUP MPs.

    Hence the net reduction from the official working majority of 78 to the actual majority of 77.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    The English Trump doesn't have a lot of credibility outside Little England.
    I think Rand said it best when he said
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Oops, that backfired on you didn't it?
    I could have had class. I could have been a contender.
    I could have been somebody. Instead of a bum
    Which is what I am

    I aim at the stars
    But sometimes I hit London

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