Can we kill this idiocy right now please?

The government will pay its top post-Brexit international trade negotiator, tasked with sealing deals from North America to New Zealand, more than the prime minister, according to a job vacancy advertised on an internal civil service website. “Soft” Brexit campaigners say the £160,000 salary is a sign of the struggle the government is having in attracting the skilled staff it needs after decades of trade deals being handled from Brussels. In particular, there are fears the UK’s much-vaunted move to “the front of the queue” for a deal with the Trump administration will see inexperienced officials overwhelmed by tougher US counterparts.

Critics also think the salary is a waste of money for the first two years of the five-year contract because the UK will be unable to reach agreements until the terms of divorce from the EU are finalised in 2019.

The is another of the Remoaner, well, lies isn’t too strong a word, floating around out there. Akin to that Clegg/Mandelson one about having to charge WTO import duties.

We do not have the sovereign right to bring into action new trade deals while part of the European Union. That’s entirely true. But we’re entirely at liberty to discuss whatever we want with whomever between now and then. We are absolutely allowed to set up conditional treaties – on the day we leave we’ll sign this agreement, even we can, if we so wish, sign agreements now that say “this comes into effect the day we leave”.

Article 50 doesn’t stop us negotiating. The Treaty in general does stop us having different legal arrangements for trade until we have left.

Is that all clear now?

32 comments on “Can we kill this idiocy right now please?

  1. Yes we can tit around with New Zealand butter but we aint gettin nuffin from Japan are we .Tell you who is though , the good old EU. We have been blocking direct access to the EU for years for their cars.
    Not blocking it any more are we so one way or another you have killed the British motor industry, soon or later , its finished.
    I can understand how the drooling droogs that comment here might think sticking it to Johnny Foreigner was worth being poor but you ?

  2. So what does the salary the top EU officials get mean? Thousands of them are paid more than the PM.

    The person employed will earn pretty much exactly what the EU equivalent would earn. Apparently that’s alright.

  3. Newmania – “Not blocking it any more are we so one way or another you have killed the British motor industry, soon or later , its finished.”

    Why would Japanese built cars be cheaper than British ones? It is not as if the Japanese are dirt poor and work for a bowl of rice a day.

    “I can understand how the drooling droogs that comment here might think sticking it to Johnny Foreigner was worth being poor but you ?”

    Sorry but you are defending the EU on the grounds that it was sticking it to the Japanese and you just said it was a bad thing for the British to stop doing so? Can you be consistent for even one paragraph?

  4. It doesn’t sound like vast money for the responsibility does it?

    Remoaner or not, the reaction will be interesting. Because the Graun’s target audience consists of the top 5% (or 2%, whatever it is nowadays), minus the 0.1%. Basically professional people on £80k upwards, who are deluded enough to believe themselves to be the “working poor”. Quite a lot of them would be taking a step down in salary for that job.

  5. The inexperience of our negotiators is a bit of a non-argument in any case. All it really does is point out the extent to which EU membership has infantilised us as a country.

    It’s like saying that you can never leave your parents’ house because you can’t cook – eventually you’ll either have to take the plunge or Remain a child forever.

    In any case, cautioning against bad trade deals is fair enough, but ultimately dishonest without the admission that continued membership of the EU had the aim of the dissolution of this country. What trade deal could have more onerous terms than that?

  6. I don’t understand Newmania’s point – If the UK remains in the Single Market but leaves the Customs Union ( my preferred option, similar to Norway, could happen, Farage said so, time will tell ) then the UK will still be able to make trade deals with countries outside the EU. So hiring a trade negotiator sounds a reasonable thing to do over a range of outcomes.
    I like Tim’s writings because he can translate what the incomprehensible journos are trying to say. I can’t translate from Newmania though.

  7. As PMs can make stonking amounts of money once they retire they should be paying us for the opportunity.

  8. So let’s clarify – we can be outside the Single Market but still inside the customs union, but not the other way around.

  9. NewRemainia: So bash the Japs while kissing French/German arse?

    Also– what British car industry–since we don’t own any of them anyway

    Not only are you traitor, you are a moron as well.

  10. …its top post-Brexit international trade negotiator, tasked with sealing deals…

    I agree completely. The use of ‘task’ as a verb is indeed an idiocy which must be destroyed as thoroughly as Carthage.

  11. Ironman – “What language are you attempting to use?”

    Too much punctuation for you? Too few obscenities? What is it? I am curious about why you can’t follow your fellow SJW’s prose.

    After all you both have that same semi-literate, politically correct, incoherent rage thing going on. Like a pink cream puff Incredible Hulk.

  12. Mr Ecks – the british car industry building cars in Britain.
    As for not owning them then go purchase some shares. You too can be a part owner of a company producing things in Britain.

  13. Tim: this is where a Venn diagram would actually be useful. EU/market/customs stuff is one of those things where I have to stop and think to remember which way around everything is. It’s like 20-odd years ago with the annoyingly similar construction “special measures” and serious weaknesses” in schools.

  14. “So let’s clarify – we can be outside the Single Market but still inside the customs union, but not the other way around.”

    Doesn’t that knacker our ability to do trade deals though?

  15. This is a nice here of EU, Customs Union, EEA countries. I think it could be improved by knocking out micro-states as they clutter up the diagram : AND, SMR and Monaco are in the Customs Union without being in the EU. So TUR is the only big boy in the Customs Union without EU member status therefore. And the jurisdictions of the ECJ and ECHR could be noted.

  16. Martin–They are companies whose interests coincide with our own for as long as it suits them. In any financial crash they would preserve their own in-country factories and shut the ones over here.

    Shares would have fuckall to do with it.

  17. PST:

    The use of ‘task’ as a verb is indeed an idiocy which must be destroyed as thoroughly as Carthage.

    Not to my taste either, but the ‘verbing’ of nouns in English goes back to the 17th century.

  18. Theophrastus

    I know, I know. Many of the verbs we take for granted these days were once only nouns. Hey ho, language changes. But sometimes my inner grumpy old fart overtakes my more rational self. “Task” is one of those trigger usages.

  19. British car industry = rather a lot of F1 teams, Lotus, Aston Martin, Caterham, some decent ones that are British but owned by foreigners – Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, Land Rover, – plus mass-production for the oiks too poor to read the Grauniad so it doesn’t count.

  20. Ecksy

    “They are companies whose interests coincide with our own for as long as it suits them. In any financial crash they would preserve their own in-country factories and shut the ones over here.”

    So are you against an open economy that encourages inward investment?

  21. But sometimes my inner grumpy old fart overtakes my more rational self. “Task” is one of those trigger usages.

    Amen to that.

  22. Bongo: that’s useful, but it doesn’t address practical effects.

    A bit of scribbling has given me this. What parts result from being in what in-group?

    So, being in the customs union* gives “unable to prevent us from buying in-group foreign stuff” but also “no legal restriction on buying in-group foreign stuff”. But also gives us “unable to prevent rest-of-world stuff being made artificially more expensive” (we are forced to impose import duties).

    *or is this being in the single market? See – if even the Remoaners and the Brexophiles can’t even make this clear, what hope is there for us mere humans?

  23. Steve – you’re dribbling again. Why not get over it and go and get yourself a proper job (and perhaps do something useful)?

  24. @ Mr Ecks
    You’re talking bullshit again – the companies will close those factories that will cause them least pain. A lot of American-owned car factories outside the USA survived the death of Detroit.

  25. @john77, January 29, 2017 at 5:31 pm
    “British car industry = … Lotus, Aston Martin”

    Lotus owned by Proton (Malaysia)
    Aston Martin owned by various inc 37.5% by Italian VC

  26. Theo: “So are you against an open economy that encourages inward investment?”

    Not at all. But lets not be pretending that a bunch of foreign-owned factories equates with the Golden Age of British car firms when there were God knows how many British car makers.

    John 77–Taliking bullshit is your area of expertise and I wouldn’t dream of interrupting your career.

    The Japanese still have regard for their own people and wouldn’t shaft their workers to keep ours in a job, economics or not.

    As for the US the state pushed their costs way up and jobs went overseas. The crash isn’t here yet and Trump wants to reverse that. So the state is the problem either way and foreign-owned factories represent no real degree of security. In a big crash where nobody is making money then overseas jobs will go before domestic–and that would be so worldwide in most industries let alone just cars.

  27. Why in buggery is the PM’s salary the benchmark? £160k seems low to me to run that kind of process – top commercial bods (with the kind of negotiating and deal making skills that are needed for trade deals) in the private sector earn plenty more of that when you take in to account incentive schemes.

    Why should I care what anyone in the public sector is paid compared to the PM, whose salary is an artifice driven entirely by political considerations (i.e. that voters will hate them if they vote to raise their pay by too much)? Given they are paid with my money, I care what they are paid compared to their responsibilities, any comparison with the private sector and their competence.

    I may be a little biased, as I left the civil service to go back in to the private sector (from whence I had previously some) as the pay sucked …….

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