17 comments on “Spud U Like

  1. Nobody ever listened to Cassandra either, but she at least had the consolation of being right.

    Please someone tweet his prediction back at him.

  2. It’ll be interesting to see how things pan out over the next few months. I have a sneaking suspicion that all the ‘Brexit negotiations will take decades’ crew will be proved as wrong about that as everything else they’ve said about it – I think now Brexit is real the grownups will take charge and get stuff sorted pretty sharpish.

  3. Like Jim, I’m mystified by all the talk about the æons it will take to nail down a FTA with the EU.

    “It took seven years for Canada and even then it wasn’t completed” seems to have little relevance to the UK/EU position.

    Since the UK is fully aligned with the EU as things stand, continuation should be straightforward. It’s only if extraneous details are made to bear on the trade arrangements – UK fisheries, or budget contributions, say – that the going will get tough and then a good dose of intransigence from the British team will be required.

  4. Jim

    The current position is where both sides line up their wishlists. The EU want money upfront with no strings, the UK wants a trade deal – basically standards recognition + no tariffs.

    The complexity is real – for industrial standards and regulatory regimes across swathes of industry the UK will need to be able to match the existing EU structures in order to gain recognition (it is generally believed that the paperwork rather than direct tariffs/taxes is more of a barrier to trade). Does this mean it will take 10 years? No, because much of the structure is already in place, but will need UK domestic replication. What is true is that the EU needs to decide how much flexibility they are willing to offer in trade in return for how much cash.

    The EU is not monolithic since the power in this negotiation is with the nation states and the EU Council. Eastern Europeans will fall in line because they want money. The Germans will because of their trade links. Could it break down? Possibly – although walkouts and spats as theatre are highly likely. The Commission will be useless – doing their best to sabotage a deal (just as they are useless when doing their best to force a deal on Greece and encouraging bad behaviour from the Greeks) – the Commission’s aim will be maximise cash and minimise concessions. If a deal fails it is likely to be because of either the Commission or the EUParl.

  5. @GlenDorran

    Good spot, although it will make no difference to spud. He is impervious to criticism. In fact I can already imagine his ripost;

    “I have of course read this blog post and I know everyone who is mentioned in it and the author too and they are all my friends and they respect me.

    But you do not mention that in the report is the word “uncertain”*. So it is not conclusive and I am still right. About everything”

    *It is in there, I am too busy to point out where or in what context.

  6. @Jim and TMB

    I rather suspect things will move quickly- the markets won’t stand for lollygagging, and all parties have an interest in keeping the city optimistic.

  7. Almost all UK standard are ISO (ie, international) standards, so are automatically recognised by the EU. For the EU to refuse to recognised ISO standards is to refuse to recognise global standards – and their own standards.

  8. It wasn’t just him. There was plenty of speculation that HMG wouldn’t be ready to meet the end of March deadline. Much of it aired on the unbelievably neutral BBC.

    Then, when it’s clear that the UK *is* going to do the deed at the end of March, it’s the EU that’s not going to be ready to start talking.

  9. Any claim that 29 March is early 2017 is just neo-liberal sophistry. 29 March is clearly mid 2017 if not late 2017. I’m right. You’re done here.

    As nothing gets done in the EU until the last minute I won’t be holding my breath. Certainly nothing major will be agreed before the German elections later this year and with the way Italy’s going it might be after their next elections. Certainly the EU has more distractions than us.

  10. A reminder that the £££ stop arriving on 2019-03-28 would probably concentrate a few eurominds.

  11. “Cassandra”

    Who was that mythological figure that made predictions that nobody believed, because they were always wrong?

  12. “Who was that mythological figure that made predictions that nobody believed, because they were always wrong?”

    Cassandra’s predictions were always right but she was cursed to never be believed. I can’t remember any mythological figures who were known for making wrong predictions though.

  13. Rather brilliantly I saw an assistant Professor of Economics at Strathclyde Uni describe Ritchie’s pronouncements as “the economics equivalent of the IndyCamp court defense”

    For those who missed the sheer comedic joy of the IndyCamp case, highlights included claims that the judges were not empowered by God to preside, reliance on the second coming, and (my favourite bit) not one but two people dressed as Jesus, each claiming to be the true Christ.

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