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May's Brexit Plan

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2 hours ago, AB|W said:

I am amazed by the number of occasions when on EU matters, the spokesperson seems to have been Angela Merkel who I did not realise held any EU position of authority but who seems to decide on many of the EU's policies, As Orwell wrote "..all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.." a relationship far too cosy for comfort.

As Chancellor of Germany she has a seat on the European Council (not to be confused with the Council of Europe..), as does May.  This is pretty much the most authority you can get to decide on EU policy.  Alongside this Germany is among what's known as the G4 which are the 4 largest/most influential countries in the EU so she has more say on EU matters than say the Prime Minister of Malta.

Policies are proposed by the Commission to both the EU Parliament (where the elected MEPs are) and the EU Council (where the elected heads of state are).  Both have the power of veto and both need to agree before any EU legislation is passed.  There's a bit more to it than that in reality but that's the basic mechanism.  

From memory I think the Parliament requires majority votes to pass/reject things, the Council has slightly different rules - maybe a majority of 65% or more to pass but if more than 3 or 4 of the 28 disagree then it goes to a kind of tribunal/reconciliation phase.

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Emough of politicians. Is now the time to trade in the Franco-Romanian Duster and buy a used 4x4 from Japan, Korea. Or wait for a Chinese cheapo ? Decisions, decisions...

Somehow I doubt Renault-Dacia UK has six months of spares in UK.

Peter

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Peter,

I thought you would be stockpiling  a cheap BMW or three and a couple of iffy Mercedes for breaking, After Brexit it will be like Castro's Cuba and spares will be at premium prices.

Alan

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You are worrying about spares availability for your European built car enough to consider replacing it and you still think Brexit is a good idea......

I can’t think of a polite response!

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Nick, Gotta fight Brussels whatever the inconvenience incurred car-wise.

Alan, Good idea, but the frenchies go wrong too often for a stockpile to work.

Peter

 

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Whatever the inconvenience?

Have you considered, even a little bit, that for some (very many actually) it may be more than an inconvenience?

Those who don’t have the luxury of being retired, those whose employment involves the sale and distribution of imported goods, or making things with a proportion of imported components (and that is a lot of people), will be more than inconvenienced.

No coincidence that a big chunk of the pro-brexit lot are retired. Need to look outside the rose-tinted, nostalgic bubble. The empire is long gone and we are in fact just a small island with delusions of grandeur.

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19 hours ago, PeterC said:

Paul,  The economy is not uppermost in my support for brexit. This century is going to be fraught with environmental pressures beyond poltical control and without tech answers. When the UK regains its own sovereignty it stands a better  chance of minimising its impact. Southern europe is going to be hammered, with consequent mass migration northwards. UK must be able to  resist that. UK also nees to grow a greater fraction of its own food and can exploit its plant technologies banned by EU greens. In a rapdily changing climate a nation needs to be able to amke rapid decisions ( eg closure of airports in a pandemic) and not wait for 27 other nations to agree. Brexit is far from solely a economic issue, survival of an equable way of life is at stake.   The UK has a huge advantage - it is an island. And a refuge we can manage to ride the storms of cc. UK must not throw away that huge geographical advantage by continueing to allow 27 other states impede UK planning ahead.

Peter

John, if the UK economy is under pressure post Brexit, the first thing will be to delay any environmental legislation that might be coming in that places financial pressures on business (much like the US is under Trump). While the EU is slow to move (having 27/28 members to get to agree to anything), once legislation is passed members are still bound by its terms regardless of their economic situation. Just look at the Packaging Waste Producer Responsibilities regulation - as a member the UK had to implement it in full. Would the UK have added this significant financial burden on business if the economy was struggling? Or would they hold off if they had the option?

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19 hours ago, PeterC said:

Paul,  The economy is not uppermost in my support for brexit. This century is going to be fraught with environmental pressures beyond poltical control and without tech answers. When the UK regains its own sovereignty it stands a better  chance of minimising its impact. Southern europe is going to be hammered, with consequent mass migration northwards. UK must be able to  resist that. UK also nees to grow a greater fraction of its own food and can exploit its plant technologies banned by EU greens. In a rapdily changing climate a nation needs to be able to amke rapid decisions ( eg closure of airports in a pandemic) and not wait for 27 other nations to agree. Brexit is far from solely a economic issue, survival of an equable way of life is at stake.   The UK has a huge advantage - it is an island. And a refuge we can manage to ride the storms of cc. UK must not throw away that huge geographical advantage by continueing to allow 27 other states impede UK planning ahead.

Peter

Hi Peter

I'm not sure I agree with your scenarios or analogies.  I appreciate that climate change is a far more last and life-changing occurrence that the recent financial crisis, but that event did not precipitate a significant PIIGS exodus.  Forgive my cynicism, but I see little reason to support the contention that the UK can get anywhere near food self-sufficiency, even if it adopted a 'Dig for Victory' strategy (it's a little old, but Jay Rayner writes extensively about this approach here).  According to the Govt, Europe alone currently provides 30% of the UK's food needs.  That's a significant proportion to make up.  Current dependence on CAP payouts has heavily slanted agricultural production, with a large quotient of dairy/livestock farming, itself one of the most significant contributors to climate change.  The likelihood of the UK being awash with hormone- and anti-biotic-packed chicken and beef is now abating (oh, thank you, Mr Trump!), but I would have though that a common sense approach to European trade and a greater focus on energy self-sufficiency would pay a much bigger dividend.

Border controls - during the spate of terrorist attacks in France two years ago, the country effectively re-introduced entry control and police checks - I crossed the border several times when it suspended Schengen compliance and it would be a lot, lot easier for the UK to do this in an emergency.  Your scenario also assumes that a hard border is reintroduced between NI & Eire, correct?

I would also venture to suggest that planning ahead is not one of the UK's fortes, especially if preparedness for a No-Deal Exit is used as a benchmark.

 

19 hours ago, AB|W said:

Paul,

It's not where we are now, its where we will be in a few years time. The time to get off the runaway train is before it picks up speed and it is impossible to get off before it hits the buffers. I see an increasingly arrogant  dysfunctional EU leaders getting further and further from the people and centralising more and more institutions.  People have lost any power they may have had through the ballot box to feel as if they have a say in government. Now they are just one of many countries within the EU and each individual person or country is treated as insignificant, the glorious all consuming machine is omnipotent. Even now we are told that we do not have a right to our inalienable assets such as fisheries and the EU will decide on our behalf.

I am amazed by the number of occasions when on EU matters, the spokesperson seems to have been Angela Merkel who I did not realise held any EU position of authority but who seems to decide on many of the EU's policies, As Orwell wrote "..all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.." a relationship far too cosy for comfort.

A phrase from our history is " the gathering clouds of war" I would paraphrase that into the current EU's state  as " the gathering clouds of disenchantment".

A disenchanted, disenfranchised man is simply a terrorist waiting to be radicalised. (to be PC, or woman)

Yes the EU will soon need it's own army, but only to supress it's own peoples.

 

Alan

 

Hi Alan

Fine rhetoric, but is there any substance?  I understand your antipathy, but my question was about the aspects of EU administration that are seen as a hindrance to the UK exploiting its potential.  I suspect the concept of European influence and 'control' is something that has been inflated far, far out of proportion, just as it is being over here, because the EU has censured Poland for castrating judicial independence.  How dare they.

I think the disenchantment we see in Europe is attributable to a host of other, more local problems.  Each country has its issues, populist, fomenters, but I really don't see much that can be directly attributable to the EU per se.  Greece (understandably) railed against the ECB and the IMF as a factor of the Euro.  French farmers rail against the CAP, because they think they can bleed it for more cash, etc., etc., whereas in both the Scottish and Catalonian campaigns for independence, for example, continued membership of the EU was a prime factor.

Paul

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Paul, It is possible for the present UK population to become food sefl sufficient, providing diet changes away from animal protein, and tech solutions used eg greenhouses on large scale. But immigration would destroy that possibility. Energy self sufficiency can be done, providing consumption is minimised. It needs a change of personl repsosibility awatf rom growth and greed and adoption of a survival strategy. Dig for Victory....permanently. This is neither a social or political ambition, it wll be forced upon the UK population by the overwhelming impact of cliimate and population elsewhere on the planet, where humanitarian disasters will be beyond human control.

The only unsurvivable impact oin the UK is the AMOC current ( gulf stream ) If that stops or slows we are f8888d: Siberian wimter every years. However that is unlkely to happen thsi century. So it make sense to prepare the lifeboats. Brexit is a first but essential step.

Peter

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Ah, so you actually want to raise the drawbridge......

Not sure that the UK could become self-sufficient in food any time soon, even if we all live on porridge and potatoes. Especially not at a price that the poor and the newly-poor can afford, given that a large part of the food production chain lies in the hands of a few corporations, who will be unfettered by all those nasty EU controls about environment, working conditions and food standards - core reasons why those few rich right wing Tories are making so much noise as they think it would make them richer......

Also worth remembering that an awful lot of the labour in bulk farming is from eastern and Southern Europe - and a very hard working bunch they are too. I suppose those of us laid off due the collapse of the economy can pick the Vegas instead.......

I can agree with you on the Gulf Stream (though I read it as Siberian winter every year), but nowt else.....

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Peter

Surely I'm misreading something - you're not advocating that the UK reverts to an isolationist, agrarian society as the facility for exiting EU membership, are you?  As Richard pointed out earlier, the EU is forcing much wider-ranging environmental protection legislation than the UK alone would ever consider.  I fear that an 'independent' UK under the current govt would be focused first and foremost on easing legislation to appease its major sponsors (fossil fuels, chemicals, pharma, production, distribution).  I cannot foresee circumstances in which the UK's performance and behaviour would improve its environmental responsibility.

Paul

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Paul,

 

It is just such a dismissive point of view of the ruling classes that sets the wheels in motion, look to history. France, Russia,  UK, USA there is little national history in which the people are not rising up against their autocratic rulers. I see very little difference between scenarios then and now.

Greece - I believe that the EU & Euro have been at the heart of their problems which has not been solved just delayed. If not in the Euro the Drachma would have been devalued years ago, Greece would have been "cheap" both as a holiday destination and for exports and the country would have come through the crisis. As it is Greece has borrowed from the EU and delayed the inevitable day of reckoning. Floating currencies by definition go a long way to resolving  countries trade / financial difficulties.

By the same yardstick the quality and quantity of German engineering has led to massive exports, this should have resulted in the Mark rising in exchange rates  to maintain international trade equilibrium, however now that both Germany and Greece are part of the same currency union the falling exchange rate of  what I would term the Greek element of the Euro has held the total value of the Euro down to the benefit of German exports outside the Euro zone. My point is that Germany needs Greece and further, if you will forgive the expression,  troubled countries  within the Eurozone to maintain their volume of exports outside the EU. Each piece of German engineering sold into the UK at artificially low prices is yet another factor in damaging UK industries.  A win-win situation for Germany and so they keep the loans flowing to Greece. I had never heard that lending further monies to individuals with bad spending habits was the ideal way to resolve their problems, so why is it the preferred solution for countries in the same situation?

I am surprised by your assertion elsewhere that the UK should be grateful for EU projects in the UK. The majority of these of these have been funded from the UK rebate of EU contributions that the UK made so it is UK paying from these not the EU. However perhaps we should be grateful that the EU dictates how we should spend our own money, whilst insisting that each project is signed that it is funded by the EU. (touches forelock, Thank you m'lud)

I am not anti Europe, I voted for the EEC way back when, but I am against the political control and lack of accountability exercised by the EU over the UK and other sovereign states. One day when the internal tensions and pressure that rip countries apart settle then yes perhaps those countries should "amalgamate", perhaps it was the correct thing to do for some of the countries that form the EU that I believe is up to them. But I do not believe that the outright determination to include any country, often in breech of their own rules the EU set for itself political stability and financial parameters to form an ever larger EU within the lifetime of, and personal ambitions of, certain EU personalities is a recipe for success. It is no better that a form of pyramid selling where it becomes necessary to have more and more poor economies drawn in to feed the monster.

I believe the Brexit referendum, and subsequent debate has shown that the UK is not a stable , pro EU country that will fit well into the EU family but one that is pretty evenly divided on Europe. The very fact that half of us are anti should automatically disqualify us from EU membership. Once the UK has come to see that the EU is indeed paradise on earth and we would be fools not to abdicate our sovereignty and self determination for  EU control then that would be the perfect opportunity for the EU to welcome the UK in. 

I am not anti-immigration as such. I believe that it is in everyone's best  interests that a certain level of exchange occurs between all countries, passing  on skills, knowledge, methodology whatever around the world. But not an uncontrolled stampede across the globe to whichever country has the best economic prospects for millions of migrants, for as Peter writes no country can sustain that pressure. Show me which area has not been damaged or destroyed by short term migration, or tourism as it is known.

Oh and seasonally tongue in cheek, if all is so wonderful in Europe why are there no migrant camps in Dover with the Pearly Kings and Queens diversifying into people smuggling into Europe?

Wishing you and yours all a very Happy Christmas,

Alan (Devil's advocate)

 

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Alan

Greece... I might climb on another of my hobby horses and wax lyrical about the disgraceful, despicable involvement of Goldman Sachs in the deception that led to Greek involvement in the Euro.  Lies, damn lies and banking statistics.

I'm no fan of the Euro and I understand the iniquities it has produced, but there is a real danger in conflating the ills of the Euro with the strengths that the EU provides.  As I rattled on about previously, whether the UK is in the EU or not, the impact of a (theoretical) collapse of the Euro will be more or less the same on the UK.

I'm really unclear where the belief that the EU is less democratic than the UK comes from.  It isn't.  It just suits Jacob Rees-Mogg & co. to portray it that way right now.

As for the immigrant camps in Dover... there are lots of us Brits working in the EU :wink:.  But surely the only difference after B-Day will be that, instead of allowing the free movement of economically productive immigrants, you will be letting in - dare I say it - non-contributing immigrants instead, no?

Likewise, a very Happy Christmas to you and yours.

Paul

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4 hours ago, PaulAA said:

Peter

Surely I'm misreading something - you're not advocating that the UK reverts to an isolationist, agrarian society as the facility for exiting EU membership, are you?  As Richard pointed out earlier, the EU is forcing much wider-ranging environmental protection legislation than the UK alone would ever consider.  I fear that an 'independent' UK under the current govt would be focused first and foremost on easing legislation to appease its major sponsors (fossil fuels, chemicals, pharma, production, distribution).  I cannot foresee circumstances in which the UK's performance and behaviour would improve its environmental responsibility.

Paul

Paul,   " Isolationist"    ....Its likely not an option, rather a necessity. Probably not in my life, but very likely its what a grandchild will have to do in late middle age. The single biggest risk today, recognised by COBRA, is a pandemic. That risk will escalte enormously as famines ravage under-developed nations, continents, made worse by mass migration. Countires that are nto prepared will inevitabely succumb. Brexit is a necessity in that forward planning.

I can make an argument, that in the event of impending global societal collpase, for UK ignoring all international environmental stricturess. For instance, UK has potential ofr exploitng coal  as a  local energy/chemical feedstock source: we should be doing feasibilty studies as soon as we brexit. If USA and the west, plus China, India, continue to go for growth, put economies fisrt, and do not get cc under control  then we will have a global disaster, no doubt about it. We will have s situation when small and self-sufficient, defendalbe nations stand a much better chance of survival ( yes survival) than the inter-dependent. As an island UK has potential for coming through to the other side of a global popualtion cull relativley unscathed.   Yes it is a bleak prospect but not unavoidable for the UK,

I see that Poland is hell bent on burning coal and Germany lignite. If that continues along with USA, then UK will at soem point -providing we brexit and have autonomy- we will ignore cc and start exploiting our several hundreds years of coal reserves. Behind our sea defences we will watch as europe is overun with pandemics and tens of milllions of ,overland migrants from famine. Yes dog eat dog..........but when animals are faces with existential threats that what we will do.

For me, brexit is necessary first step in a survival strategy for grand children.

Peter

 

Edited by PeterC

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12 hours ago, Nick Jones said:

Might have to learn Russian first......

Russian, one of the Chinese Languages and Spanish

 

John

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21 hours ago, AB|W said:

 

Oh and seasonally tongue in cheek, if all is so wonderful in Europe why are there no migrant camps in Dover with the Pearly Kings and Queens diversifying into people smuggling into Europe?

 

Because at the moment we can all up sticks, and fly, drive, catch a train and go there (although unlike UK some EU states do insist that you actually do have a job/means of support before you can become a resident!)

Alan

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23 hours ago, PeterC said:

Paul, It is possible for the present UK population to become food sefl sufficient, providing diet changes away from animal protein, and tech solutions used eg greenhouses on large scale. But immigration would destroy that possibility. <snip>  Brexit is a first but essential step.

 

So latest figures show annual net migration in to UK at 270,000, 70,000 of which were from EU. So we fuck the economy with Brexit and the net migration figure falls to?

Alan

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5 minutes ago, oldtuckunder said:

Because at the moment we can all up sticks, and fly, drive, catch a train and go there (although unlike UK some EU states do insist that you actually do have a job/means of support before you can become a resident!)

Alan

And that, I think, is the reason why so many people are reported to be anti immigration. It is not necessarily immigration they are against it is uncontrolled immigration.

Dave

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1 hour ago, Dave M said:

And that, I think, is the reason why so many people are reported to be anti immigration. It is not necessarily immigration they are against it is uncontrolled immigration.

As mentioned above, that was a British decision (Blair/Brown) and not actually imposed by the EU.  Don't know whether it could be amended now - or where the limits on the principle of free movement lie.

There has been a tendency by British officialdom (more than our share of jobsworths?) to gold-plate EU regs (or at least interpret them to the nth degree) and then blame the whole thing on the EU when challenged.  Bent bananas "outlawed", weights in pounds and ounces........

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1 hour ago, Dave M said:

And that, I think, is the reason why so many people are reported to be anti immigration. It is not necessarily immigration they are against it is uncontrolled immigration.

Dave

But why blame it on the 70,000 from the EU that we do actually have some control over, but ignore the 200,000 from outside the EU many of whom if I dare say it are far more likely to be arriving on a family basis and far more likely to be a burden on the state. Its a bit like happily swallowing an Elephant and choking on a Nat. Or is it assumed that every non WASP face on the streets must be the fault of the EU freedom of movement. 

Alan

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19 minutes ago, oldtuckunder said:

WASP face

Urban dictionary to the rescue on that term, this bit made me chuckle though. Sorry bit of a thread drift :-)

 

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31 minutes ago, oldtuckunder said:

But why blame it on the 70,000 from the EU that we do actually have some control over, but ignore the 200,000 from outside the EU many of whom if I dare say it are far more likely to be arriving on a family basis and far more likely to be a burden on the state. Its a bit like happily swallowing an Elephant and choking on a Nat. Or is it assumed that every non WASP face on the streets must be the fault of the EU freedom of movement. 

Alan

Personally I don't Alan but I am sure many do. It seems to be a protest against the governments failure to have any sort of visible policy on controlling numbers coming in from all across the globe.

Dave

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53 minutes ago, Dave M said:

Personally I don't Alan but I am sure many do. It seems to be a protest against the governments failure to have any sort of visible policy on controlling numbers coming in from all across the globe.

Dave

Dave

Okay, I'll rise to the bait - your response suggests that the referendum question was too complicated for a fair proportion of the electorate, unable to distinguish between uncontrolled immigration (very much a home-grown political problem) and free movement (from which the UK has - and continues to - benefit)

Paul

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