Gosh, I mean, gosh!

On the second day of detailed Brexit negotiations, the British team peppered the Brussels side with questions over how to pay for unwinding 44 years of the UK’s European Union membership.

An earlier session of talks on Monday was so intense officials did not take a coffee break and were running out of water.

Danger pay time, eh?

29 thoughts on “Gosh, I mean, gosh!”

  1. The UK seems to be playing a straight bat on this one.
    EU: We have a briefing paper with 240 points. What have you got?
    UK: One. We want out.

  2. I suspect that as the 2 year deadline approaches, the EU will sweat somewhat and become more…flexible.

    They clearly don’t want an exit under FTO 3rd country rules. But if they won’t negotiate that’s what they’ll get.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    “An earlier session of talks on Monday was so intense officials did not take a coffee break and were running out of water.”

    A fucking stupid way to negotiate, when people are tired they get short tempered and intransigent. You need to be clear headed and that means lots of breaks to let tensions drop and clear a few heads and that means regular, planned, breaks.

  4. An earlier session of talks on Monday was so intense officials did not take a coffee break and were running out of water.


    Rubbish. We’ll have them spinning they didn’t take toilet breaks next. Using the water bottles to pee into….

    Purely for us plebs to think they are going hard at it, which they may well be doing. But this is spin.

  5. With North Dorset on this too.

    In any case, anybody who negotiates something as drawn out and complex as this is should be planning to be in an optimum state all the time.

    The only excuse would be if the other side’s stamina is not as good and you think there is advantage to be obtained, but as we want a win-win I prefer both sides on top form.

  6. If they didn’t take a break they didn’t have an opportunity to discuss progress amongst their own team. Sounds very amateurish from both sides.

  7. The team with the biggest bladders wins.

    So as the nanny state keeps telling us that the British are the biggest binge drinkers, score another one to us!

  8. http://www.pnas.org/content/108/17/6889.abstract
    “Extraneous factors in judicial decisions”
    “We record the judges’ two daily food breaks, which result in segmenting the deliberations of the day into three distinct “decision sessions.” We find that the percentage of favorable rulings drops gradually from ≈65% to nearly zero within each decision session and returns abruptly to ≈65% after a break.”

  9. Also win-win?.

    I want us to win.

    Couldn’t give a rat’s arse about the other countries.

    And as for the EU nothing less than absolute annihilation should be our aim. Preferably with personal and individual punishment for its active supporters. Unlikely to be achievable practically–esp at so-called negotiations– but it is something to aim for.

  10. Ecks, that’s because you are at times a malevolent dickhead (or the whole thing is just a pose, I can’t tell). Sure, we want to win and I will personally love it (Keggan voice) if the top people at the EU get fired, and ultimately if the EU collapses. That’s because they deserve it. It would be righteous.

    But we also want to keep on selling shit to the Krauts and buying shit from the French, so we should hope they come out of it well, too, if only because if they’re all fucked that’s going to make life harder for us.

    Win-win is always best, all the time, everywhere. Don’t be a twat all your life?

  11. Interested: Still don’t care about the other countries. Their interests are up to them to look out for –not us. As you say we still want trade . That doesn’t mean we are all in some kind of club where we are all supposed to look out for each other. Raising their “share” in any deal means lowering ours. OK we WILL deal at some point. But we need no fuckwit “gentlemen and players” doing the “after you Old Boy” routine in these negotiations. With the EU we are fighting with scum who not only know the Book of Dirty Pool back to front but have added several chapters. Most of Europe’s nations aren’t even capable of looking out for their fucking selves either individually or in the face of EU attack. As witness the mass invite to the dross of the Mid-East. That includes the UK –but because of Camorons giant bungle the UK sane have been able to take a stand in one area at least. Or rather have forced our present crew of BluLabour fuckwits to TRY and do so.

    Already–as Raedwald points out–the EU “negotiators” are reaching in Felix the Cat style into their bag of dirty tricks and are in full flow on the job for the forces of evil and corruption.

    You are some kind of ex-squaddie are you not? Did they dispense with the “There is no substitute for Victory” lesson by your time?

  12. I wonder whether we’re being spied on? Seems to me a perfect recipe. Billions at stake. EU at stake. Plenty of civil servants who may take a different private line to the government approach, and either outright feel justified in the odd leak or just needs a judicious chardonnay applied to loosen their lips.

  13. Mr Ecks on this one Interested is right, it is not a war it is a negotiation handled with a minimum of skill and flair the result will be beneficial for both sides.

    To date it seems to have been handled with less than a minimum amount of skill and flair but i have no doubt that the rolls royce minds of the UK peerless civil service will eventually secure the most sensible possible arrangements \sarc

    Meanwhile back on planet earth let’s get the fuck out, with you on that; but let’s try not to fuck up our economy on the way out, and bear in mind that the fucking up of economies would be mutual, so once it gets going properly that is the incentive for both sides to be sensible once the dick waving phase (and the German elections) are over.

  14. Ecks – but it depends how you define ‘victory’. I define victory as killing the enemy and winning the war and (in a total war) taking over his territory and infrastructure and wealth in as good condition as possible.

    If the Allies could have defeated Germany in WWII by flat-packing Hitler and his twenty bezzies on their own in 1940, rather than by bombing the shit out of the place for the next five years, that would have been better, yes? Cheaper, fewer of your own blokes dead, fewer decent enlisted and forced-to-fight jerries dead, too. Plus you don’t have to spend billions on rebuilding the gaff, which we had to do (or the Yanks did) to allow us all to restart a decent trading relationship some time that millennium.

    You are defining victory as killing the enemy, not caring if you fuck up his entire country and piss away billions on a rebuild, which you have to do minus three toes on the left foot you yourself shot off just to show you don’t give a fuck.

  15. They’d likely do a better job if they fucked all these meetings off and just went to a bar and sorted it out over 10 pints or so.

  16. The Meissen Bison

    Mr Barnier is not worth talking to – not because he isn’t a nice sensible chap but because he has absolutely no room for manoeuvre and a prerequisite for negotiations is that there should be an ability to make concessions in order to exact concessions from one’s interlocutor.

    The “unanimity” amongst the EU27 is a straightjacket which restricts any sensible progress and the EU’s setting of the order in which matters are discussed is another pointless sideshow since the EU way of negotiations is that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

    By all means let the UK concede a substantial divorce bill in advance but subsequently claim the house, the car, the children the dog and all the soft furnishings.

    BiI is correct and that the resolution will ultimately be found in London and Berlin once Mrs Merkel is re-elected.

  17. Win-win applies–CAN only apply –with those of good intent and character. Attempting to apply it with the ill-intentioned and active wreckers does not work. Any more than it would with criminals.

    Now it might be possible to do deals with some European govts OUTSIDE the EU. Eastern Europe possibly Greece/Italy maybe. Certainly not the French/Germans. By cutting (or trying to cut) separate deals with individual European govts–those least far gone–we might all benefit. The EU of course would have a shit fit–but who cares?

    “You are defining victory as killing the enemy, not caring if you fuck up his entire country and piss away billions on a rebuild, which you have to do minus three toes on the left foot you yourself shot off just to show you don’t give a fuck.”

    If the enemy is the EU–and those under the control of the EU –most Euro-gubmints–then showing we don’t give a fuck and will bring the whole lot down if they don’t deal is essential. Those on the other side might qualify as players–but they are no gentlemen. Yes –wrecking Europe’s economy is a very bad idea. But if they are prepared to use that as a weapon so must we. And they must know we will press the button if the clocks hand’s reach midnight with resolution. Otherwise the cunts will end up dealing with us as they dealt with the Greeks/Italians–The Three Stooge Takeover. In practice if not in actual fact.

    It would make sense for Europe’s gubmints to make it want to work. But they are destroying their own countries already with only minimal help from the EU. They cannot be trusted to pursue a reasonable–or even a reasoned course. You and BiI are simply wrong when you say it will all be worked out. The only chance of that is the other side knowing that they are dealing with flint-hard cunts who won’t hesitate to smite hip and thigh at the drop of a hat.

    Hence I say let Europe’s nations–or at least their delinquent govts and those portion of their populations supporting the actions of those govts–receive minimal consideration from us. OK –I’ll concede that if they are willing to be genuinely reasonable that would alter circs for the better. But the antics of the first 2 days suggest they Eurotrash think they can buffalo and bully us as they did the Greeks and others.

    Were I DD I would instantly order a 3 day time out to allow the Eurogoons time to consider and amend their attitude. If they come back to the table with the same approach another 3 days etc. Until they learn or 3/2019 rolls around–whichever is first.

  18. Ecks

    ‘wrecking Europe’s economy is a very bad idea. But if they are prepared to use that as a weapon so must we’

    I agree with that, but that wasn’t what was originally said.

  19. I wonder whether we’re being spied on?

    Why bother? There are enough UK politicians and civil servants who believe Brexit is utter stupidity, and quite a few who are financially (pension) committed to the EU, that anything of any interest to the Brussels nomenklatura will be leaked within seconds.

    Hence we keep it simple. “Bye, we’re leaving. Oh, you have demands? Let’s see if any of those pass the snigger test.”

  20. “Couldn’t give a rat’s arse about the other countries”

    Was what I said.

    I am still indifferent to them. Maybe “rats arse” was a poor phrase choice. Perhaps implying the same hostility to them as to the EU.

    I have the same hostility to most of Europe’s govts as I have for the EU as most are cut from the same or similar cloth including ours. The nations are more than the state obviously. However I still see no reason why we should have any care for those nations when their own leaders don’t. And we have our own to look out for at a trying time.

  21. ‘A fucking stupid way to negotiate’ – BiND

    Reminds me of a pending strike at my plant 35 years ago. The union told us that they were prepared to start negotiations with us at 12:00 midnight Sunday. We said, “Nah. We’ll meet with you from 2 to 4, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.” The law required that we meet with them, and stipulated only “reasonable hours.” Management’s lack of concern over meeting was a key point in getting the union to cancel the strike.

    I had been trained on running some machinery, in an area where I had been a supervisor. I was rather looking forward to running it, somewhat sorry that I didn’t get to. It all seemed like an adventure to me.

  22. HB “I wonder whether we’re being spied on?”
    SE “why bother?”

    I expect there’s a fair chance unprompted leaks will happen as you say.

    As it gets down to details though, there’s a mighty temptation to actually task someone to find out a specific thing. Of course if discovered the damage done could be far greater to the cause so it would be a risk tolerant leader who gave it the green light (Macron?).

    It;s going to be interesting because Barnier has been given a wish list with not much room to manoeuvre. The EU parliament as far as i can see are likely to vote against anything that departs from the ideal wishlist. A wishlist that is drawn up on the basis that it will allow subsidies to continue for a bit longer once a large net donor has left. Yet somehow it’s been pretty successfully spun that HMG is woefully in cloud cuckoo land for thinking its even up for negotiation at all.
    “Bye, we’re leaving. Oh, you have demands? Let’s see if any of those pass the snigger test.”

    HMG still has to pass the British public opinion test, not to say houses of parliament opinion test. Somehow this idea of a ‘divorce bill’ has taken hold. It kind of sets the mind that we have to pay a tribute to leave. When in reality certain transitional payments and the benefits could make for a smooth exit for all parties. That’s the reason why you would continue to pay into a kitty, not because it’s the ‘price’ of being allowed to exit. As for legal responsibilities, sure, those should be paid. But Barnier hasn’t been asked to get what’s legally required, he’s been tasked with getting as much as possible hence Boris’s pooh-poohing comments, but somehow it doesn’t get reported that way.

  23. Bloke in Costa Rica

    “An earlier session of talks on Monday was so intense officials did not take a coffee break and were running out of water.”

    What? Are we supposed to believe they were all locked in a fucking dungeon and not allowed out until they’d made some progress? If you are running out of water, you send one of the flunkies that I’m sure are infesting the place like flies on shit to go out and fucking get some. Get some carafes of coffee made (perhaps, mirabile dictu. with an assortment of biscuits). These are apparently the people who are tasked with negotiating the economic accommodations of half a billion people and they don’t seem to have the gumption of a parish council. Jesus wept.

  24. How I picture the negotiations:

    EU – Here is the bill for €100 billion, just like was reported months ago.

    Blighty – Here is a bill for £100 trillion, the estimated value of our share of EU assets. Sorry we couldn’t get it in the papers but we wanted to thoroughly review the figures before we made any promises to our citizens.

    EU – sputters

    Blighty -Of course, as we have a bit of an impasse on currency clearing, we expect payment in pounds.

    EU- furiously chugs water as a delaying tactic

    Blighty – Moving on then, If you turn to page 532 of Appendix 17C, you will find the valuations for administrative facilities in [Head EU negotiator’s home town] …


    Blighty – In conclusion, we’ve already given a generous discount on the estimated market value of EU holdings. We simply can’t accept any less.

    EU – But you’re still going to pay us €100 billion, right?

    Blighty – We are willing to concede this point o lng as our valuations of EU assets are accepted. We do require this to be in writing within 24 hours however. Based on historical trends we expect estimated market values to increase significantly over the coming months, see section 847, subsection H, table C, which would require an increased contribution from the EU.

    EU – It will take months for the bureaucracy to review this.

    Blighty – We look forward to your response tomorrow.

    Yes, this is complete fantasy. Then again my opinion of the EU’s competence has gone from acceptable in 2008 to can they define the word today.

  25. @ LY
    Love that
    Yeah – my current (actually near-future) encounter with an European organisation includes “you must check-in to get your “Accreditation documents” and then use those to “Declare””.
    You must “Declare” before 9 am for events after 12 noon on that day. You cannot get your “Accreditation Documents” until after 9 am.
    That information is supplied months after people book their flights and accommodation.
    I am told the system is *improved* from last time because those who miss their event because the organisers have illegally changed the date now get a refund of their entry fee (but not their flight or accommodation costs).
    There is *now* – in response to heavy lobbying – also a concession that those who fly in after the check-in closes on the day before their event can get a team member to get their Accreditation pack – but one needs to present one’s passport in order to collect the Accreditation pack ….
    I am NOT making this up.

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