It is a tale full of sound and fury,

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has challenged Theresa May directly over her claim that she would be willing to walk away from the negotiating table, saying that failure to reach a deal would have serious repercussions for the UK.

Told by an idiot, signifying nothing.

17 comments on “It is a tale full of sound and fury,

  1. As with all negotiations, start with something utterly ridiculous and scale back so that whatever you eventually agree looks like a good settlement.

    Michel Barnier is doing exactly what he should be doing as the EU negotiator, which is ramping up the value of his shoddy sale of goods so that an eventual payment of £5-10 billion seems reasonable.

    Personally I think that £0 is reasonable given that UK funding has paid for a substantial amount of EU assets, but suspect they might get a bit uppity if we send the liquidators in as would happen with the dissolution of any other “partnership”.

    The EEC/EU was never a marriage, it was only ever a trading partnership and expectations of huge divorce payouts are as likely as with Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger.

    My biggest concern is that politicians start believing their own bullshit and expectation becomes reality, because that is how wars, especially trade wars start out.

    A period of self-enforce purdah on behalf of both negotiating teams would probably be a good idea from now until the conclusion of negotiations.

  2. But, to a certain all-too-common breed of person, “no longer being in the EU” is a whole set of “serious repercussions for the UK.”

    If you start with that definition, you’ll have a broad river to cross before you reach any form of common taxonomy with most of us here.

  3. The EU has a fifth column in the UK. Especially among the political classes and they judiciary.

    I wouldn’t swear he was wrong.

  4. I was struck dumb by the rule (of which I was ignorant) that airlines may not fly intra-EU routes unless they are headquartered in the EU and have a minimum EU sharehder base.

    Yet the Europhiles will insist the EU is a vast free trade area acting in the interests of its people.

  5. Ironman,

    That hasn’t stopped Norwegian from becoming the 9th largest airline in Europe. Their headquarters are near the old Oslo airport, and they are listed on the Oslo stock exchange.

    How did they get around the rules? With a subsidiary in Dublin.

  6. And with shareholders in Norway thanks to their EEA membership?

    This isn’t me threatening this; it’s direct from Michel Barnier, threatening economic war by the EU protection racket.

  7. Ironman, slightly related, EU citizens can’t drive a non-EU car into the EU.

    This currently affects Germans and Brits, who can’t rent Swiss cars and drive them into France or Germany.

    After the UK leaves the EU, Brits will be able to do this. However, French people living in London who have bought a car in the UK will no longer be able to drive it to France.

  8. John, does that mean that Swiss citizens are not allowed to drive their own cars across the borders to Germany, France or Italy?

  9. “French people living in London who have bought a car in the UK will no longer be able to drive it to France.”

    Can they now? I checked up on this because I own a Spanish registered motorcycle, which for various reasons, ended up in the UK. And legally, as a UK national, I can’t use it on UK roads without re-registering on UK plates. Although it’s road tax paid in Spain & would have had a Spanish insurance green card cover.

  10. French people living in London who have bought a car in the UK will no longer be able to drive it to France.

    This is an urgent and absolutely necessary regulation to prevent France from ever going to war with Germany again.

  11. No, Barnier is right. If we really threw our toys out of the pram and walked away we’d be in deep,deep shit. Customs inspection would collapse and lorries would be stacked up the motorways from Dover to Dunstable full of putrefying food and corroded components.
    But there would be an equal and opposite queue from Calais in the other direction making it a kind of trade war Mutual Assured Destruction.
    So my bet is that sanity will prevail.
    [For an endless screed on what-will-go-wrong-if-we-just-leave-and-fall-back-on-WTO-rules try any of the last 9 months of blogging on eureferendum.com]

  12. “Customs inspection would collapse and lorries would be stacked up the motorways from Dover to Dunstable full of putrefying food and corroded components.”

    Bullshit. Stupid bullshit. With date certain departure, all will be worked out before or they won’t be on the road.

  13. “Don’t negotiate. Just leave.”

    Indeed. The Article 50 letter should say “and payments will stop in March 2019. If you have anything you’d like to discuss before then please feel free to send an email and we’ll give it some thought.”

  14. BiND,

    How about ‘Payments stop forthwith’?

    We’d then have £24 billion to negotiate with, AND we could take over all liabilities for projects in the UK already ‘funded’.

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