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#15142517
The UK has been signing Free Trade deals, left, right and centre by ceding sovereignty and agreeing on level-playing fields and arbitration mechanisms with other countries in the world. Apparently the only place the UK cannot do that is with the EU because only against the EU does the UK deploy the "national sovereignty" narrative but not with the US, Japan or anyone else.

The fishing demands of the UK are preposterous when the UK is seeking to punish European fishermen and disrupt their trade and industry while trying to agree on a deal that allegedly seeks to avoid disruption for trade & industry. European fishermen are apparently the children of a lower God and must be sacrificed in the altar of British nationalism and special feelings.If European fishermen are better at British ones all across European waters is because they have made better investments and decisions than their British counterparts. You would not expect a liberal capitalist nation like Britain to destroy their business while posing as the country who wants free trade & competition with the world and in the name of nationalism of all things.

Other British industries are better than their European counterparts and have been competing on the same basis as before, why should British fishermen be any special and why should European fishermen be punished? Where does British exceptionalism begin and end exactly?

It should be obvious to any rational British person that irrationally insisting on a deal that disrupts only European business, is not possible on any level by the EU. They will take no-deal anytime over a deal that secures all British industrial interests but at the same time dismantles an entire industry on the other side of the channel.
#15142518
Heisenberg wrote:You guys are hiding behind a technicality, once again, to justify behaving like children. Keep telling yourself otherwise as much as you want, but don't expect me to fall for it. :lol:

You may be right that after the fall of Trump the EU's totally uninterested in a deal right now, however, the only thing I'd still expect from you perhaps is that you admit, to yourself for a sane moment at least, that this whole Brexit bullshit has just proven itself to be a complete nonsense, even though you yourself fell for it too.
#15142520
noemon wrote:The fishing demands of the UK are preposterous when the UK is seeking to punish European fishermen and disrupt their trade and industry while trying to agree on a deal that allegedly seeks to avoid disruption for trade & industry.


Well they are preposterous because without the EU markets, there is no point in having better access to our own waters. So the UKs demand makes no sense unless you look at its objectively. It is a bargaining chip. And should a free trade deal be reached, this issue becomes no issue at all.

Listening to Leyen this morning, the EU are making more sense on their position than Johnson does on his. I can now see a path for a deal when before I saw none. And it really depends on the UK now. They need to respect the single market and compromise further. Because as you say, any deal is a loss of sovereignty anyway given you have to have common goals to achieve one.
#15142522
B0ycey wrote:@Heisenberg, the UK have travel corridors. That is not different given national states can decide for themselves. I don't understand why you have an issue with being a third nation, given that was the point of Brexit. And more importantly, you don't live here any more. So what the fuck has this got to do with America and how is this to effect you?

I'm in America temporarily for work, and I still work for a British company. I'm going to be here for, at most, about 18 more months before moving back to Britain. Am I barred from having any opinion on the only country of which I'm a citizen, and the only country in which I'm allowed to vote, in the meantime? :eh:

Beren wrote:You may be right that after the fall of Trump the EU's totally uninterested in a deal right now, however, the only thing I'd still expect from you perhaps is that you admit, to yourself for a sane moment at least, that this whole Brexit bullshit has just proven itself to be a complete nonsense, even though you yourself fell for it too.

If by "fell for it", you mean "explicitly and repeatedly advocated a Norway-style arrangement for Britain", then sure. Not once have I expressed any support for no deal, Farage, the Tories, or the Brexit party. :roll:

I simply will not accept the dominant narrative that in these negotiations, Britain is particularly intransigent, petty and small-minded, while the EU has been the picture of kindness and generosity. Barnier said pretty much from the start that the goal was a punishment deal.

@Atlantis, that post was utterly deranged. :lol:
Last edited by Heisenberg on 11 Dec 2020 14:32, edited 1 time in total.
#15142523
Heisenberg wrote:If by "fell for it", you mean "explicitly and repeatedly advocated a Norway-style arrangement for Britain", then sure.

By falling for it I mean considering it a necessary or even good idea, voting for it, and naively believing an ideal Brexit is actually possible in the real world.
#15142524
Heisenberg wrote:Am I barred from having any opinion on the only country of which I'm a citizen, and the only country in which I'm allowed to vote, in the meantime?


You're entitled to an opinion. But perhaps you need to research it beforehand. It isn't a punishment policy. It is their policy for third parties.
#15142525
Beren wrote:By falling for it I mean considering it a necessary or even good idea, voting for it, and naively believing an ideal Brexit is actually possible in the real world.

Please show where I naively believed "an ideal Brexit is actually possible". A Norway-style arrangement is very clearly not an "ideal" Brexit, either for Remain or Leave voters, which is specifically why I think it is the best possible version. After such a close vote, the idea that fanatical Leavers should get absolutely everything they want - with no regard for the large minority who voted Remain - is abhorrent to me.

B0ycey wrote:You're entitled to an opinion. But perhaps you need to research it beforehand. It isn't a punishment policy. It is their policy for third parties.

I know it's their policy for third countries, and that it's ostensibly Covid-related. That's the "technicality" I'm talking about.

I think the way and circumstances in which it has been announced - particularly the fact there is "no proposal to include Britain as a safe country" - to be quite petty-minded. If the shoe was on the other foot, I have no doubt Britain would be being dragged through the mud as "little England" right now by the same people who insist this is purely health-related.
#15142526
Heisenberg wrote:Please show where I naively believed "an ideal Brexit is actually possible". A Norway-style arrangement is very clearly not an "ideal" Brexit, either for Remain or Leave voters, which is specifically why I think it is the best possible version. After such a close vote, the idea that fanatical Leavers should get absolutely everything they want - with no regard for the large minority who voted Remain - is abhorrent to me.

Okay, since "ideal" could be a debatable expression indeed, let's drop naivety and call it goodwill then.
#15142533
Heisenberg wrote:I simply will not accept the dominant narrative that in these negotiations, Britain is particularly intransigent, petty, and small-minded

You must accept that they are particularly stupid, though, surely. The had the best deal going of any EU member, before and after Cameron's jaunt to Brussels - no political union, a rebate, out of Schengen, a sovereign currency, a limit to EU immigration, etc., etc. - more opt-outs than you could shake a stick at, and they threw it away.


:lol:
#15142535
ingliz wrote:You must accept that they are particularly stupid, though, surely. The had the best deal going of any EU member, before and after Cameron's jaunt to Brussels - no political union, a rebate, out of Schengen, a sovereign currency, a limit to EU immigration, etc., etc. - more opt-outs than you could shake a stick at, and they threw it away.


:lol:


To be honest, if Johnson doesn't crash out now then in couple of years more it will be "Uhhhh, remember that Brexit thing, uhhhh, can we have our opt outs again please?"
#15142543
I'm struggling to understand what Johnsons position is here. We either have tariffs or we don't. But if we don't and we gain an advantage, we then have a tariff put on the sectors that counteracts the gain within the single market if we diverse from EU policy. And we can recipicate if they do likewise to us. So basically we aren't tied to anything. So sovereign. And it creates a level playing field. So pleases EU red lines. So what the fuck is the problem? That is unless you do want an unfair advantage of course. But either way, regardless whether you agree to a deal that can put tariffs on you or not - which you can also recipicate, the alternative is tariffs anyway. So you cannot lose and can only win.

Johnson. Worse PM ever!
#15142568
The Guardian wrote:Four navy ships to help protect fishing waters in case of no-deal Brexit
Exclusive: two vessels to be deployed at sea with two on standby in case EU fishing boats enter EEZ

Four Royal Navy patrol ships will be ready from 1 January to help the UK protect its fishing waters in the event of a no-deal Brexit, in a deployment evoking memories of the “cod wars” in the 1970s.

The 80-metre-long armed vessels would have the power to halt, inspect and impound all EU fishing boats operating within the UK’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which can extend 200 miles from shore.

Naval sources said the deployment had been long planned, but it comes after Conservative ministers quietly doubled the total fleet of patrol ships from four to eight, partly in case of a crisis caused by a no-deal Brexit. “We have done a lot of work to ensure we are ready for every eventuality,” one insider said.

Although the offshore patrol ships carry machine guns, they would not be expected to use weapons against EU fishing boats. Instead they would aim to run alongside a vessel believed to be breaking the rules, boarding it for inspection if deemed necessary.

In extreme cases, an EU boat could be impounded and taken to the nearest UK port. “Nobody is going to be firing warning shots against French fishermen; firearms are only used when there is danger to life,” the navy source said.

During the “cod wars” between British and Icelandic trawlers in the early 1970s, fishing nets were cut and boats on both sides were regularly rammed. In a handful of incidents, shots were fired.

Fishing remains one of the biggest sticking points in the tortuous EU-UK trade negotiations. The complex economic argument over quotas, timescales and the length of an industry-specific transition period has put Britain at loggerheads with France.

Without a deal, EU boats would be banned from fishing in the UK’s EEZ – although it would also mean that UK fishing boats would be barred from the waters of nearby EU member states.

This week, the EU proposed a one-year extension to the transition period for fishing to allow a deal to be negotiated, highlighting the significance of the crisis.

Speaking at the end of Friday’s European council meeting of EU leaders, Ursula von der Leyen, the European commission president, said: “We understand that the UK aspires to control its waters. The UK must, on the other hand, understand the legitimate expectations of EU fishing fleets built on decades and sometimes centuries of access.”

European and British boats have long fished in each other’s waters; today EU trawlers take around 60% of the catch from the UK area. A large part of the catch is mackerel and herring – not popular in Britain and so exported – while fish that is popular in the UK, such as cod, is usually imported.

It is unclear how effectively the navy can patrol the EEZ in practice – it may use satellite surveillance to help locate EU fishing boats – and how aggressively the UK government will want to act against French and other EU member states’ vessels when relations with the EU are so delicate.

Fishery patrol vessels have long operated in UK waters, but a no-deal Brexit would have a significant impact on the tasks their crews would be expected to undertake. Two of the patrol ships, from the navy’s river class, will be at sea at the turn of the year, while two others will be in port ready to deploy at a few hours’ notice, initially in English waters, because fisheries remain a devolved matter, but they are available for all of the UK. In theory, other warships could be called on if Boris Johnson wanted them to be used.

Chris Parry, a former rear admiral and chair of the Marine Management Organisation, said ministers should act assertively. “I would seek to make an example and take a [EU fishing] boat or two into Harwich or Hastings. Once you had impounded them, the others would not be so keen to transgress without insurance.”

But Tobias Ellwood, chair of the defence select committee, said he was concerned that the navy would be overstretched at a time when Russian submarines were increasingly operating around the UK. “Our adversaries will be smiling as the biggest European militaries spar against each other over fish.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “The MoD has conducted extensive planning and preparation to ensure that defence is ready for a range of scenarios at the end of the transition period.”
#15142631
I hope you guys moved your assets abroad because when markets open on Monday, the London stock exchange and the pound sterling could see some big falls if the no-deal Brexit scenario were to be confirmed.

No-deal Brexit: markets brace for big hit to UK company shares and sterling

While Johnson is mobilizing the fleet to combat continental Europe once again, there is one happy fellow sitting in the Kremlin.

Four navy ships to help protect fishing waters in case of no-deal Brexit

@B0ycey, I don't know if this sector-by-sector approach you are talking about is seriously being considered. I don't think it's workable. Barnier pointed out in the beginning that we can't have different rules for services and goods trade, as was floated at the time, because the two are interrelated.

It's clear that the UK is trying to get greatest possible access to the single market while planning to undercut EU competitors by deregulation. That would, for example, allow the UK to flood the single market with cheap Chinese products by claiming that parts of it were made in the UK or in one of the UK's planned industrial off-shore zones. I don't know what kind of hubris it requires to believe that the EU is stupid enough to fall for that. Say what you want about the EU, they have some very seasoned trade negotiators in Brussels.

Boris has tied himself to the mast of sovereignty that'll make it impossible to reach a deal. The only solution is to revert to WTO terms and see how they like it.
#15142759
Atlantis wrote:It's clear that the UK is trying to get greatest possible access to the single market while planning to undercut EU competitors by deregulation. That would, for example, allow the UK to flood the single market with cheap Chinese products by claiming that parts of it were made in the UK or in one of the UK's planned industrial off-shore zones. I don't know what kind of hubris it requires to believe that the EU is stupid enough to fall for that. Say what you want about the EU, they have some very seasoned trade negotiators in Brussels.

Boris has tied himself to the mast of sovereignty that'll make it impossible to reach a deal. The only solution is to revert to WTO terms and see how they like it.


Boris had some legitimate concerns that can be overcome with common sense. I would still push for a tariff deal being as that retains the integrity of the single market. But even if we listen to Leyden’s approach which seems logical given the situation, then BoJo cannot sell ECJ as the mediator so a mediator with equal representation justices should be created instead. And all actions to counter unfair competition should have a ceiling to them so they cannot be seen as a punishment when applied but as a realignment of fair play. Because let's be frank here. The UK isn't going to be a banana Republic come 1st January. The alternative is tariffs which doesn't benefit anyone. Which means we should look at Leyden’s approach and then address the UK'S concerns and then if there is any, address the EUs concerns over the UK'S concerns and there then should be a concensus by Sunday. And then the UK should agree to another transition to implement the agreement.
#15142787
The level playing field is equal nonsense.

UK can have whatever standards it likes internally, but to export to another trade bloc then you have to meet the standards of that bloc.

The UK appears unable to accept that this will always be part of trading from outside the single market. If the standards change within the market then then standards of what you export will need to change as well.
#15142788
BeesKnee5 wrote:The level playing field is equal nonsense.

UK can have whatever standards it likes internally, but to export to another trade bloc then you have to meet the standards of that bloc.

The UK appears unable to accept that this will always be part of trading from outside the single market. If the standards change within the market then then standards of what you export will need to change as well.


Industrial standards are always determined by the biggest markets: the EU, the US or China, but not the UK. For UK manufacturers to produce according to two different standards (UK standard plus EU standard) adds on extra cost. That's why domestic producers will produce according to whatever standard is dominant. The UK had the opportunity to set international industrial standards as part of the EU. Now the UK counts for nothing. Your companies will produce according to standards determined without the UK.

The level playing field is important because the UK wants to deregulate to undercut EU competitors (unfairly subsidize domestic industry, reduce corporate tax, etc.). If that happens, the EU has to put up trade barriers to protect against unfair competition. That has nothing to do with punishment.
#15142851
Atlantis wrote:
Industrial standards are always determined by the biggest markets: the EU, the US or China, but not the UK. For UK manufacturers to produce according to two different standards (UK standard plus EU standard) adds on extra cost. That's why domestic producers will produce according to whatever standard is dominant. The UK had the opportunity to set international industrial standards as part of the EU. Now the UK counts for nothing. Your companies will produce according to standards determined without the UK.

The level playing field is important because the UK wants to deregulate to undercut EU competitors (unfairly subsidize domestic industry, reduce corporate tax, etc.). If that happens, the EU has to put up trade barriers to protect against unfair competition. That has nothing to do with punishment.


There are plenty of examples of the same product being produced with differences depending on the intended market. From plugs to which side the steering wheel is on.

If the EU increase standards unilaterally then UK producers will still be free to leave a product unchanged within the home market of it is cheaper to do so and there is no reason the UK should be able to prevent this.

However, the single market works on the basis of minimum agreed standards and EU countries are still able to go go for higher standards should they choose. If the UK really wants higher standards than the current single market standards there is nothing stopping them whether they are in or out.
#15142871
The Times wrote:We’re heading for a true believers’ Brexit

Matthew Parris
Saturday December 12 2020, 12.01am, The Times

If you feel the EU has been holding Britain back then no-deal makes sense. But most of the cabinet know that isn’t true.
They don’t believe in it. The tragedy and the ignominy of this cabinet is they don’t even believe in it themselves. They don’t believe in the painless Brexit or the sunlit future they’ve promised to deliver. You can hear it in their voices as they tour the studios and TV sofas ducking the words “no deal” and babbling about Australia. You can see it in their eyes as they try to reconcile their pledge to strain every sinew to get a deal, with their assurance that it will be fine if they don’t get one. You can sense it in their body language as swagger teeters on the edge of fear. That photograph of Boris Johnson standing beside Ursula von der Leyen said it all.

Whole political careers have been built on selling Brexit by men and women who don’t, in their guts, buy Brexit. And now, in the days ahead, they must make the sales pitch of their lives.

Who are their customers? Until you understand which gallery Boris Johnson is playing to, you will never understand the crafty logic beneath his superficially ignorant performances. Johnson knows his audience. Like every good journalist, he never forgets which side his bread is buttered on. Throughout his career the prime minister has mined one rich vein in modern Britain. It got him his readers, it got him his party’s support and it got him his voters last year. Boris Johnson would be nothing without it.

It was English exceptionalism that made Johnson’s career as a Brussels-bashing newspaper columnist. He saw early what so many on my side of the argument have been slow to understand. Tens of millions of people in Britain really believe that we British are much, much better than the rest and that, since the Second World War, history has been selling us short. They have persuaded themselves that it is the European Union that has shackled us and that, unbound, we shall leap.

I don’t for a second think Johnson believes this himself. In his lonely soul he is darkly cynical. I don’t hold with the now widely-expressed view that Johnson is the truest Brexit believer in his cabinet. But what with all his heart he does believe — and knows beyond question — is who his most enthusiastic readers always were, what brought his speeches the biggest cheers, and on how many doorsteps “Get Brexit done” delivered last year’s Tory landslide.


Johnson owes these people big time. They know he’s a charlatan but they need to be confident he’s their charlatan. His support on the Tory back benches does not run deep: lose his Brexiteer MPs and the letters calling for a leadership election would soon start going in. So, hard deal or no deal at all, the PM will not let these people down.

And the second thing we former Remainers should understand, as hopes for a deal fade, is that there never was a good reason to leave the EU unless you believed in a clean-break Brexit.

The Brexiteers’ logic is impeccable, as I’ve argued on these pages before. The true believers have the only rational case for Brexit: you just have to share their confidence that it’s the EU that has been holding us back, that’s all. If you don’t believe that then you shouldn’t want Britain to leave. If you do, then of course we cannot tie ourselves to evolving European regulation! What would be the point of that? The whole idea of Brexit was to cast it off.

That is why we waste our time lamenting the death of the “soft” Brexit some of us once hoped for. It’s probably true that with better handling Britain might have been steered towards something like the halfway-house “Norway” option, but such an outcome would only have reopened the wound of Eurosceptic anger. It never was sustainable for long that, after Brexit, the United Kingdom should bind itself to taking the rules that our former EU partners continued to make. That sort of damage-mitigation Brexit would have bought only a few years’ peace. Why should the true believers have accepted it? And why should they accept, now, that we must bind ourselves to a perpetually re-levelled playing field of EU regulations, when competitive advantage was one of the biggest prizes that Brexit seemed to promise?

In the end there’s only one question, and it’s the same question that haunted the 2016 referendum campaign and has haunted our attempts to find an acceptable route out of the EU ever since. Do you believe that membership of the European Union has been holding Britain back and that, after removing these supposed chains, we shall be richer, happier and more free than we were before?

I don’t; most former Remainers don’t — so far, so unsurprising. But here’s the truth that shocks. The British government doesn’t believe it either, not really. The prime minister doesn’t. Very few in his cabinet do. Most of his ministers don’t. Can there be a sadder disgrace, personal as well as political, than for those in power to pursue a project for which they have no enthusiasm, in which in their secret hearts they do not believe, and which most of them suspect, and some of them know, will damage the nation they lead, the ordinary men and women who placed their trust in them?

We all get things wrong, and honest politicians often do. But most of this feeble cabinet are not guilty of a mistaken belief in the benefits Brexit will bring; they are guilty of something worse: knowingly taking their country down a rocky road. What an indictment of a modern British cabinet, that we should define the good men and women as the ones who at least look queasy as they collude with the bad ones.

In my years of being conscious of politics, I’ve observed many terrible mistakes. Suez was a catastrophe, but Anthony Eden and many of his cabinet did believe it was the right thing to do. Labour’s nationalisations of industry — pretty disastrous — were pursued in the belief that socialism would work. The Tory poll tax was an awful idea but its cabinet and parliamentary cheerleaders honestly thought it would prove fair and workable. The Iraq and the Afghan occupations were a costly blunder but I’ve never doubted that Tony Blair believed he was taking the morally right course. David Cameron really expected we could make Libya a better place.

But there is something infinitely depressing in the picture of a British cabinet avoiding the eyes of history even as they make it. Shame on the whole damn lot.
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