Jeebus people, stop being idiots

The UK’s full participation in European Union security and intelligence co-operation will be critical to the fight against terrorism after Brexit, leading British security experts have said, as Theresa May announced wide-ranging new plans to counter extremism.

The growing demands for the prime minister to face down anti-EU forces in the Tory party and make membership of bodies such as Europol, the EU’s criminal intelligence agency, a top priority, came amid fears that Brexit could leave the UK with inferior access to key European databases and deprive British police forces of vital tools in high-level, pan-European anti-terror probes.

They’re not going to stop cooperating with us about Rasim and Ibrahim just because we no longer want to pay for the French farmers.

This is not entirely unexpected

The European court of justice has raised a ray of hope for British trade negotiators with a surprise ruling that will make it harder for national parliaments to block key components of any future post-Brexit deal between the EU and the UK.

In a long-awaited test case that had been expected to complicate the Brexit process, the court instead ruled that EU officials had exclusive powers to negotiate international trade deals without ratification by national and regional parliaments.

Ratification is still required in specific areas, such as inward investment and dispute resolution, but the definition of the EU “competences” is much broader than had been expected.

It’s pretty much what the EU itself has been insisting for decades now. Trade is a sole EU compotentcy.

That the let everyone vote on the Canadian deal is just because they decided to let everyone vote on it.

These people really are idiots

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is set to pave the way for a hard Brexit by handing 38 national and regional parliaments the power to veto trade deals.

In a move that further clouds the prospects of a swift and comprehensive UK-EU deal, the European Union’s highest court is expected to extend the veto rights to regional parliaments through a ruling on the EU’s 2014 trade agreement with Singapore.

No, leave Brexit out of it.

So, the WTO is a trade organisation where every single member has a pure and perfect veto over everything. One of the reasons for the EU is that the 28 (currently) can speak as one voice in that organisation. For trade agreements are a sole competence of the EU.

Now the insistence is that each of the 28 should again (and down to regional parliaments as well) have a veto over trade agreements. At which point there’s no point in the EU being the WTO member is there? Might as well all sign up individually again.

Sigh.

You’ll go bust most likely

What will happen to farmers like me when Brexit turns our industry upside down?

But the laddie’s still not understanding, is he?

The other biggest impact will come from trade deals. We are blessed to live in an era of accessible and cheap food. Outside the single market, with no trade deals, it is hard to see how there can be no knock-on effect to the price of food – either imported or home-grown. Though higher food prices would appear a good thing for us farmers, input costs would rise for currently tariff-free items such as feed, fertiliser, pesticides and agricultural machinery.

Why would we impose import tariffs?

Paul Mason does project, doesn’t he?

Elected politicians have little power; Wall Street and a network of hedge funds, billionaires and media owners have the real power, and the art of being in politics is to recognise this as a fact of life and achieve what you can without disrupting the system. That was the offer. Varoufakis not only rejected it – by describing it in frank detail now, he is arming us against the stupidity of the left’s occasional fantasies that the system built by neoliberalism can somehow bend or compromise to our desire for social justice.

Varoufakis is actually talking about the EU. Hardly a hotbed of neoliberalism.

This is right though:

The first revelation is that not only was Greece bankrupt in 2010 when the EU bailed it out, and that the bailout was designed to save the French and German banks, but that Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy knew this; and they knew it would be a disaster.

This charge is not new – it was levelled at the financial elite at the time by leftwing activists and rightwing economists. But Varoufakis substantiates it with quotes – some gleaned from the tapes of conversations and phone calls he was, unbeknown to the participants, making at the time.

Even now, two years after the last Greek election, this is of more than academic interest. Greece remains burdened by billions of euros of debt it cannot pay. Because of the actions taken in 2010-11 – saving private banks by saddling north European states with massive debts – it is French and German taxpayers who will pay the price when the Greek debt is inevitably written off.

With one slight correction. The money has already been lost. The only question is when people get told.

This amuses

It Is To Laugh At Their Mistake – EU’s Brexit Bill Claim Now At €100 Billion

The higher the divorce bill gets then the higher would have been the cost of staying in. For they are only asking for what we would rightfully have paid anyway, right?

Makes £350 million for the NHS look like small beer, doesn’t it? And the ever higher that divorce bill goes, the more righteous Brexit itself is, right?

“So, Michel and Jean-Claude, if we’d stayed in it would have cost us €100 billion, yes?”

“Oui!”

“Good thing we’re leaving then, eh?”

I wonder how many will actually understand this point

The problem for our prime minister is that at every turn her head hits the hard wall of law and the role of the European court of justice (ECJ). Theresa May has cornered herself by insisting that the UK withdraw totally from the court and its decisions. Nobody explained to her that if you have cross-border rights and contracts you have to have cross-border law and regulations. And if you have cross-border law you have to have supranational courts to deal with disputes.

Call it what you like, but in the end you need rules as to conduct, and arbiters for disagreement. Even the World Trade Organisation has a disputes court.

That’s why trade treaties like TPP and TTIP have arbitration courts too.

But the entirety of the left is up in arms about them, isn’t it?

I’m a very important bureaucrat I am

Brexit will likely top the agenda on the election campaign trail today as the European Commission’s lead Brexit negotiator is set to face the media.

Michel Barnier will likely face questions on Wednesday about Theresa May’s role in talks amid reports that the EU will not allow the Prime Minister to negotiate Brexit directly with her European counterparts.

The PM would be prevented from joining Brexit discussions at future EU heads of government meetings, according to The Times.

The only person Mrs May would be allowed to hold such meetings with would be Mr Barnier, the newspaper reported.

And you’re also not a head of government Michel matey.

You are still the oily rag not the engineer.

Consider for a moment, the duly elected national leaders not being involved, only the appointed bureaucrat, shows how democratic the EU is, doesn’t it?

Seems entirely logical to the rest of us

For this is what you do in a negotiation:

Brexit negotiations began with a blazing row yesterday as Brussels flatly rejected Theresa May’s negotiating position and accused the prime minister of living in a “parallel reality”.

The other 27 EU member states took just four minutes to agree a hardline stance on Brexit at a summit meeting in Brussels before Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Commission, and Michel Barnier, the chief European Union Brexit negotiator, rounded on the prime minister.

They told EU leaders that May had used a meeting with them on Wednesday night to demand that a “detailed outline” of a future free trade deal be in place before the UK agrees to pay any money to Brussels as part of the Brexit divorce deal. An EU diplomat said: “This was a rather incredible demand. It seemed as if it came from a parallel reality.”

Everything’s on the table until nothing is.

They want 60 billion, eh well, we’d like free trade please. Hmm, no free trade? Then wave bye bye to the money. That’s just the way you do negotiate.

Think of trying to negotiate a software contract the EU way.

“We’ll settle the price first”

“Umm, the price for what?”

“Never mind, agree the price first”

It’s just so damn predictable, isn’t it? MOAR Europe!

Europe should create a new class of supranational MEPs after Brexit in order to demonstrate that the European project is “alive and kicking”, a high-level EU ministers meeting was told on Thursday.

Under the new plan, the 73 British seats in the European Parliament that will fall vacant after Brexit will be transformed into new seats representing a “a single European constituency”, according to a document submitted to EU’s General Affairs Council in Strasbourg.

The proposal over how to re-allocate the seats, which was tabled by the Italian foreign minister and has been seen by The Daily Telegraph, would enable all the “the European political families to contend them on a trans-national basis”.

First 10 seats on each of the major party lists will be jobs for life. At the disposal of the people running the parties and selecting the candidates of course. The voters won’t even get a look in.

But, you know, more Europe.

Nope, Owen doesn’t get it either

Labour will rip up Theresa May’s Brexit plan but respect the referendum result. The benefits of the single market and the customs union will be on the table. EU nationals will be protected from day one. Human beings won’t be bargaining chips. The great repeal bill will be scrapped; Labour will introduce a EU rights and protections bill instead. All workers’, consumers’ and environmental rights will be protected.

That repeal bill being, as we’ve noted, actually the enactment of all those protections into UK law….

Err, yes, and?

Britain will have to pay into the EU budget up until 2020 if it wants Europe to grant the UK reasonable terms on a Brexit transition deal, senior sources in Whitehall have told The Telegraph.

The idea, which is being actively discussed by British Brexit negotiators, would require a softening of British negotiation red lines in order to buy leverage and political goodwill in talks with the EU over a future trade deal.

Britain’s departure from the EU will leave a €10bn black hole in Europe’s finances which is causing significant anxiety in chancelleries across Europe, including in Berlin, which fears it will have to pick up the bill for any shortfall.

Err, no, we wouldn’t have to. We might agree to in return for something we think worth more than £10 billion of course….

And they’re not even thinking it through. £10 billion is the net figure. So, if we’re still paying in up to 2020 then they must still be paying out to us until then….

Idiot is idiot

Labour will today unveil plans to frustrate Brexit by scrapping the Tories’ Great Repeal Bill, raising the prospect of a second European Union referendum.

Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Exiting the EU secretary, will commit Labour to a new EU Rights and Protections Bill to ensure there is no change to workers’ rights, consumer rights or environmental protections.

Err, that’s what the Great Repeal Bill does. Enshrines all of those protections in British law.

Jeez, did we really have an idiot as DPP?

The terror, eh, the terror

The EU is set to inflict a double humiliation on Theresa May, stripping Britain of its European agencies within weeks, while formally rejecting the prime minister’s calls for early trade talks.

We leave an international bureaucracy and that means the international bureaucrats leave us?

Horrors, eh, the very terror of it.

Hurrah!

Britain is preparing to scrap EU green energy targets which will add more than £100 to the average energy bill as part of a bonfire of red tape after Brexit.

The UK is currently committed to getting 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020.

Because such targets always have been the wrong way of dealing with this.

Id there nothing Brexit cannot do?

Fun thought

Scotland could become part of Canada if its citizens were to vote for independence, according to a Canadian author.
Ken McGoogan, whose works include How the Scots Invented Canada, said that geographical boundaries could be irrelevant thanks to modern technology, so Scotland should find its new home with Canadian colleagues.

So it’s irrelevant that Britain is leaving that geographic polity called the European Union then….

Err, yes, that’s the point Nicky, a fundamental rupture

Now that the prime minister has triggered article 50, the biggest economic risk facing the UK would be leaving the European Union with no deal at all. Some members of the cabinet have said we should prepare for such an eventuality. I am concerned, as are MPs from across the political divide, that this extreme form of Brexit is being talked about with increasing fervour by those who favour a fundamental rupture with Europe.

That’s rather why we’re doing it.