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  #61  
Old 02-08-2016, 01:36 PM
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It's a reasonable list but in my view just underlines (a) that Brexit will continue to be a divisive issue and (b) why the so-called protest votes are particularly ironic.

The Great British public decided to leave. Whether they bought the obviously undeliverable promises of the respective campaigns is open to conjecture. But stage two (the divorce settlement) and stage three (implementing any subsequent policies free of the EU) were always for the elected Government and have nothing to do with the remain or leave campaign. So whilst sections of society may think they've voted for immigration quotas or extra money for the NHS they haven't. They've just voted to leave the EU. To compound this the next two stages have reverted to the very politicians they may have protested against.

The initial shopping list in this thread, good though it is, underscores this point. People have their own view of what Brexit is. The reality is that it's completely undefined so the propensity for frustration is huge. Hence it will continue to be divisive.

NB Barnier acting for the EU doesn't fill me with confidence that this is going to be quick and straight forward.
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  #62  
Old 02-08-2016, 01:56 PM
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Obviously none of this has ever been implemented before but Barnier is acting for the Commission. He is not insignificant but reading article 50 the commission doesn't seem to have a direct formal role in negotiation which is led by heads of states, in form of the European Council, and approved by the legislature. So Barnier will only have the negotiating power that the Council allows him to have.

It's quite an interesting grab for power for the Commission to propose such a heavy hitter for a role which to be honest isn't constitutionally required. You have to assume it wouldn't have been announced if one of the heavy hitters like Merkel would have rubbished it.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:26 PM
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Correct Oisin. Council could still decide on someone else as lead negotiator, with Barnier just ensuring the Treaty is adhered to. Although, he did adopt one of my ideas (an EU social enterprise strategy) so clearly he's a fine fellow.
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  #64  
Old 03-08-2016, 04:49 AM
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Barnier seems like a qualified and capable negotiator. A much bigger heavy hitter than Davies or Fox. I'm sure the right wing press will crucify him for negotiating rather than just giving Davies what he says he wants.
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  #65  
Old 03-08-2016, 08:34 AM
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Two articles in yesterday's FT. I'll summarise for those that can't read the links.

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I'd left pensions of UK Commission employees off my list in opening post because I'd assumed, as Government does, that their employer is wholly liable but this seems to be open to argument. Unsurprisingly I guess as the liability is thought to be €60bn for all current & retired officials. The Commission's argument is that the EU Budget is the responsibility of the Member States, and if the UK is no longer paying in then it will have to cover this cost.

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This long piece is about the complications of & timetable for Brexit. The current state of play is being dubbed a 'phoney war'.

On timing: January-February 2017 is prime time to invoke Article 50 but insiders reckon Theresa May will struggle to get a consensus by then, trading between her Eurosceptics who want a 'hard' deal & others who want a soft Brexit; March-September 2017 sees a series of elections in EU countries with Germany being the last, & all this may harden attitudes towards the UK; 2019 is European Parliament elections with risk of a new assembly having a mandate to veto our exit terms; 2020 is our election (barring a manoeuvre to use or overturn the Fixed Term Act) when a final-year government may not have the authority to close a deal.

Complicating this is that regardless of whether Parliament or Government must invoke Article 50, any Government will need Parliamentary support so agreeing our core position needs to be done before triggering talks but even then the Council will need to agree it's position, which it can't do until formal application by the UK, and that could take as long as we are taking i.e. 3-6 months. It looks likely that this could mean delaying until Autumn 2017 at earliest but that then takes talks into the EP elections which is not good.

One quote from 'a senior European official' sums up where everyone is given the technical issues arising from A50: "we've not even worked out what all the questions are, let alone the potential answers".
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  #66  
Old 04-08-2016, 11:58 AM
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  #67  
Old 04-08-2016, 12:23 PM
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How much is their budget?
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  #68  
Old 04-08-2016, 01:53 PM
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How much is their budget?
According to my source in pub last night: no departmental budget as yet. A FCO EU Division has transferred to it & it's budget will transfer across but that's all for now.
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  #69  
Old 17-08-2016, 10:24 AM
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For the serious reader, analysis of the chances of a 'hard' Brexit. Particularly good for it's put down of Bernard Jenkin who is either very stupid or arrogantly aloof from reality. Actually, as some very good friends have the misfortune to know him well as their local MP, then he could well be both.

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  #70  
Old 17-08-2016, 10:32 AM
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For the serious reader, analysis of the chances of a 'hard' Brexit. Particularly good for it's put down of Bernard Jenkin who is either very stupid or arrogantly aloof from reality. Actually, as some very good friends have the misfortune to know him well as their local MP, then he could well be both.

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Not so sure a 'hard' Brexit would be so bad.

From what I am reading the only real sticking point, and I am under no illusions about how difficult it is going to be, is this issue of freedom of movement.

I sense that the Germans in particular want nothing to disrupt trade between it and the UK but that this freedom of movement 'principle' is going to be the one that causes the most disquiet in terms of getting the rest of the EU to fall into line behind it.

I struggle to understand why it is such an issue given that the UK will no longer be in the EU and find the EU stance on it to be bordering on the Imperious in that it feels it can dictate border policy on nations that are outside of its own area of control but I concede that this is a moot point really.

If it does come down to this single issue, then it will be a hard Brexit. No British politician can seriously acquiesce to it as part of a future agreement with the EU and still remain in power.

That is the real question in all of this. It is in nobody's interest to disrupt trade but the question is around how this freedom of movement issue can be resolved.
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  #71  
Old 17-08-2016, 04:26 PM
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Not so sure a 'hard' Brexit would be so bad.

From what I am reading the only real sticking point, and I am under no illusions about how difficult it is going to be, is this issue of freedom of movement.
Mat, freedom of movement won't figure in the withdrawal agreement under Article 50, as such. They may start discussions on that in terms of future relationship and obviously it'll figure in any trade deal. Otherwise it has little to do with unwinding the financial & legislative framework.
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  #72  
Old 17-08-2016, 04:48 PM
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Mat, freedom of movement won't figure in the withdrawal agreement under Article 50, as such. They may start discussions on that in terms of future relationship and obviously it'll figure in any trade deal. Otherwise it has little to do with unwinding the financial & legislative framework.
On a macro level though, in terms of our entire relationship with the EU in terms of our departure through to a future agreement, it is the Elephant in the Room with both sides of facing a potential log jam.

No UK politician can go to the British electorate with the status quo still in place with regards to open borders for EU citizens and the EU bigwigs seem to be making noises which suggest they are not going to back down either.

Everything else can be sorted out in the metaphorical smokey rooms that such matters are invariably dealt with but this one single, crucial, area of our future relationship with the EU needs to be faced up to.

And I suspect that notions of a hard or soft Brexit will come down to that. Nobody honestly wants trade not to continue, we both know that, and the technical details can be ironed out

But on this single issue, then I suspect that it is going to take something dramatic to happen to break the dead-lock.

For me it is rapidly becoming the deal make or break issue. Article 50 needs to be invoked and lots of little civil service squirrels set on the task of cracking all the nuts involved but ultimately it is going to come down to how this freedom of movement issue is resolved that dictates the real meat of any departure and future agreement.
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  #73  
Old 17-08-2016, 05:55 PM
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ultimately it is going to come down to how this freedom of movement issue is resolved that dictates the real meat of any departure and future agreement.
Sorry, but I don't see how that can play out in practice. The only way that would work on an A50 timeline is if the UK initiates talks on our trade deal and a future relationship all at the same time. But we are under no obligation or pressure to do so. We can start discussing, and indeed resolve, the issues I listed at the start without declaring anything on what future deal we seek once we stop being an EU Member.
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Old 20-08-2016, 09:03 AM
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Yesterday, rumours went around that the Government would invoke A50 around April 2017. The market reaction was to sell sterling on the basis that institutions feel we won't be sufficiently prepared by then and thus the fallout would be greater. I'm unsure how far the markets will affect any decision but Number 10 moved immediately to quash the rumours and in a form of words that suggested that A50 could be invoked even later (rather than claiming that we would be prepared).
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Old 25-08-2016, 11:51 AM
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More on the case before the Supreme Court on invoking Article 50

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Old 25-08-2016, 12:14 PM
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One piece on To view the link you have to Register or Login. For those who share my boring interest in the UK constitutional position, the article boils down to this: the Royal prerogative (of Government) can not be used to overturn a law made by Parliament, i.e. the European Communities Act, in this case.
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  #77  
Old 25-08-2016, 06:02 PM
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Remainers trying to change the rules again.
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Old 25-08-2016, 06:06 PM
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Remainers trying to change the rules again.
Erm, Al. The sovereignty of Parliament has been "the rules" for 500 years.

I think you mistyped "Brexiters" who wish to trump our representative democracy and replace it with a direct democracy.

Either that or you didn't read the article. You didn't did you?
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Old 25-08-2016, 06:17 PM
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Erm, Al. The sovereignty of Parliament has been "the rules" for 500 years.

I think you mistyped "Brexiters" who wish to trump our representative democracy and replace it with a direct democracy.

Either that or you didn't read the article. You didn't did you?
Only the first couple of lines got me!!
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Old 25-08-2016, 06:20 PM
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It begs the question of why the butt hurt Remainiacs never once went with this angle of attack during the long referendum campaign. Perhaps they were cool with referenda when they thought they would win. Now, they are scratching around desperately trying to rescue their highly amusing defeat.
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Remainers trying to change the rules again.
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