How badly can you misread politics?

Desperate for a hard Brexit, May has shown she has no time for democracy
Karan Bilimoria

May is a – weak – Remoaner. She also seems to think that the result of the referendum, the expressed will of the people, be accorded with.

Doing what the people say they want seems pretty democratic. Doing it against your own wishes seems pretty democratic. And she’s not in favour of, nor moving toward, hard Brexit anyway.

Well, it’s an interesting idea

Hatherley’s theory, which this book not so much tests as pummels furiously for signs of weakness, is that for all its evident problems, belonging to Europe means – or meant – committing to an idea that everyday life can be made better for the vast majority of people with planning, humility and a good measure of collective provision. Europe, he reckons at the outset, reminds him of fast, comprehensive public transport, generous and affordable rented housing and public spaces that you want to spend hours in rather than hurry through.

It’s also bollocks. There’s no need to be ruled from Brussels to have those things.

In fact Brussels has entirely scrotum all to do with any of them. Thus staying in the EU is irrelevant to whether we have them or not. Apparently Canada is a nice enough social democracy having those things. It’s also not in the EU. QED.

Europe cut off by Brexit

France is blocking Britain’s attempt to remain part of a European Union security system that helps to identify foreign criminals and is designed to keep the public safe.

The government wants a guarantee that it can continue to access and share vital DNA, fingerprint and vehicle information with other European countries after Brexit.

Ministers have said that Britain’s participation in the so-called Prüm Convention is “clearly in the national interest”. The system allowed French and Belgian authorities to identify the terrorists responsible for the Paris attacks in November 2015.

Britain has been rebuffed, however, with France leading the resistance at a recent meeting to its efforts to join a “Prüm 2”. A senior government figure said: “Normally France is quite helpful when it comes to security co-operation but on this they are being awkward.”

Trust the Frogs not to grok cooperation. Sure, we get access to their information – but they also get access to our.

Sigh.

That’s nice of them, isn’t it?

Mattarella’s decision set off a chain of events that roiled Italian markets: Conte resigned as prime minister-in waiting and new elections appeared to be imminent, worrying markets and officials in Brussels. Their concern was that new elections could strengthen populist gains in Italy, leading to even greater uncertainty about the country’s future in the eurozone.

If your finance minister threatens the EU and the euro then you can’t have him. But if having elections to sort this out threatens the EU and the euro then we’ll change tack so you don’t have them.

There’s a little batsqueak somewhere telling me this isn’t quite how democracy should work really.

Whose pension comes from the EU?

“Even contempt for ‘experts’ cannot obscure the evidence that the Johnson-led Brexit vote has already damaged and will inflict future harm on the NHS,” Kinnock said. “Meanwhile – vitally – Brexit has already diminished, and will continue to depress, the revenues on which the NHS depends.

“If Johnson really wanted the extra NHS spending, which is sorely needed, he wouldn’t be using the issue as a ploy to feed his lust for the Tory leadership but would be working to end Brexit.

“The truth is that we can either take the increasingly plain risks and costs of leaving the EU or have the stability, growth and revenues vital for crucial public services like the NHS and social care. Recognising that, we should stop Brexit to save the NHS – or, at very least, mitigate the damage by seeking European Economic Area membership.”

That Anglo Saxon Wave

The European Union will demand the right to raid financial services firms in Britain after Brexit and hand its regulators sweeping new powers, as Brussels moves to shackle the City of London with red tape after the UK leaves the bloc.

How colonialist that is. The natives can’t be trusted to run themselves, send the gunboats in.

You know, sovereign jurisdiction is sovereign or it ain’t…..

Well, boo hoo, eh?

Fruit and vegetable farms across the UK were left short of thousands of migrant workers in 2017, leaving some produce to rot in the fields and farmers suffering big losses.

More than 4,300 vacancies went unfilled, according to new survey data from the National Farmers Union (NFU), which covers about half the horticultural labour market. The survey, seen exclusively by the Guardian, shows more than 99% of the seasonal workers recruited came from eastern Europe, with just 0.6% from the UK.

Since the vote to leave the European Union in 2016, growers have warned repeatedly of damaging labour shortages, with recruiters reporting that Brexit has created the perception among foreign workers that the UK is xenophobic and racist.

The government, which has pledged to reduce immigration, has so far rejected calls to reinstate a seasonal agricultural workers scheme (Saws). Facing uncertainty over labour, some farmers have begun moving their production overseas.

The NFU labour survey found that an average of 12.5% of vacancies went unfilled in 2017, the first time there has been a shortfall since the survey began in 2014. The proportion of workers returning to work in the UK after previous years is also dropping fast, from 41% in 2016 to 29% in 2017. The fall in the value of the pound after the Brexit vote has also helped make the UK less attractive.

It’s the last sentence there which is important.

So farmers will have to raise the wages they offer. So sad, eh?

Tell ’em to bugger off

UK negotiators have been warned that the EU draft withdrawal agreement will stipulate that Northern Ireland will, in effect, remain in the customs union and single market after Brexit to avoid a hard border.

The uncompromising legal language of the draft agreement is likely to provoke a major row, something all parties to the negotiations have been trying to avoid.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is still, just, a sovereign nation.

In which case bugger off mateys.

The correct answer here is, as I’ve been saying, to lie.

“And sure enough, this is a border, can’t you see it? We’ve road signs and all saying it’s the border.”

And then carry on much as we do right now. Anything less than an artic going through is just local people doing local things*. Larger cargos get “randomly” checked. And we’re done.

*Adjust according to local intelligence.

The Anglo Saxon Wave for Brussels

Brussels is demanding that Theresa May submit to powers allowing the European Union to ground flights, suspend single market access and impose trade tariffs on the UK during the Brexit transition period.

Under the proposals, the EU would have unprecedented legal powers — without the oversight of European courts — to punish Britain unilaterally if it breached the terms of the transition.

Oh Aye?

A five-page legal text drafted by the European Commission and seen by The Times yesterday will infuriate Tory backbenchers who regard transition arrangements as reducing Britain to a “vassal state” after Brexit. The text calls for “a mechanism allowing the union to suspend certain benefits deriving for the UK from participation in the internal market where it considers that referring the matter to Court of Justice of the EU would not bring in appropriate time the necessary remedies”.

About time we told them to simply fuck off and die, eh?

For those are, quite literally, dictatorial powers being demanded by an unelected bureaucracy. For the temerity of our having decided to leave their embrace. Better to bugger off and rely on the courts than that, eh?

The correct answer is bugger off you idiots

Britain will have to pay money to Brussels’s coffers to pay for single market access for the financial services, according to reports.

London’s booming City contributes billions of pounds to the EU economy but some in Brussels have threatened to limit its access to the single market.

EU diplomats are said to be plotting a ‘pay per access’ model for the UK’s financial services sector.

Under the plans, the sector would be allowed access to the EU’s single market but only if the British taxpayer continues to pay into the EU budget.

Who benefits from the provision of financial services? The people provided with financial services.

So, the demand is that the UK should pay into the EU budget so that EU citizenry can benefit from UK financial services.

No.

They can also bugger off on this:

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the EU is drawing up plans to slap the UK with sanctions if Britain takes a drastically different path on the economy after Brexit.

Brussels is scared that if the UK liberalises its economy and slashes taxes to bring in new investment it might be left unable to compete.

So under the plans, revealed in the Financial Times today, the bloc is plotting to bring in ‘non-regression clauses,’ sanctions, ‘tax black lists’ and penalties against state-subsidised companies in a future trade deal with Britain.

That the EU follows one socio-economic model is just fine. But rather the point of not being in the EU is the freedom not to follow that socio-economic model.

My own preference would be that they do try to impose such sanctions and restrictions. We then go full Hayek on them. A few decades later we’ll be able to tot up who won then, won’t we?

To fail Chesterton’s Fence

The EU is to oblige national governments to provide greater access to drinking fountains, encourage restaurants to offer free tap water, and raise the standards required of suppliers, as part of a move to clamp down on plastic waste and improve the health of Europeans.

Millions of Europeans, largely from impoverished groups, such as Roma communities in central eastern Europe, do not have ready access to drinking water. Yet analysis by the European commission finds that even where member states have a high standard of tap water fountains in public spaces and buildings are lacking, leading to an overuse of plastic bottles.

On Thursday the vice-president of the commission, Frans Timmermans, will announce changes to the drinking water directive to put further obligations on national governments.

More public drinking fountains then. OK.

But, erm, why did we stop having them?

In South Yorkshire, a spokesperson for Sheffield council revealed that all its fountains “were taken out a few years ago due to health risks and damage”.

I see, we’ve cracked that problem then, have we?

Well, we must have done, given that the law now says we’ve got to do again what we gave up doing because of that problem. Just be nice to see some evidence of it, that’s all.

Would be interesting to see this government paper on Brexit

Brexit would leave the UK worse off under three possible scenarios: a comprehensive free trade deal, single market access and no deal at all, according to a leaked government analysis of the economic impact of leaving the EU.

The document was meant to be shown confidentially to cabinet ministers this week but was leaked in an embarrassing development for Theresa May and David Davis, the Brexit secretary.

It said national income would be 8% lower under a no deal scenario, around 5% lower with a free trade agreement with the EU and about 2% lower with a soft Brexit option of single market membership over a 15-year period.

Because the outcome of such studies always, but always, depends upon the assumptions made.

My prediction – based upon no evidence at all of course – is that the WTO option will assume that we charge the maximum WTO tariffs allowed upon imports. Something we don’t have to do and something which would be stupid to do. But they’ll assume that we will…..

Err, yes, that’s why we’re leaving

Brexit threatens European social progress – leftwingers must speak up

Not, actually, because it’s lefty nonsense being imposed. But because of the imposition. Democracy means the peeps get to decide. A system which imposes certain values and or policies, which the peeps cannot over rule, is thus not democratic, is it?

Do the British want farm subsidies? 50% import tariffs on certain foods? The inability to deport foreign rapists? Sure, all of these are arguable either way but then so are certain definitions of social progress. Who, whom, rather goes to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it?