For all its many faults, and I acknowledge them, the EU provides a better trading environment for the UK then any alternative. If only a tiny part of the Brexit energy had been directed into its improvement and reform so much could have been achieved.

Cameron went naked into that negotiating chamber. And said, C’mon, give me something. Anything. Just a teensie bit I can take home and wave as a note promising peace in our time.

He was offered nowt.

We were going to achieve a lot by arguing for reform were we?

25 thoughts on “Rilly?”

  1. Has anyone pointed out that the EU only takes about 8% of UK trade? What proportion of the EU is made up of countries that are close to 3rd world status with, therefore, little need for the stuff we produce? And not much chance of developing further if the EU has any say in the matter

  2. The thing about WTO only terms- it seems to me politically precarious. It’s ripe for being striken with a flourish of the manifesto writer’s quill. Very easy to imagine a one liner- like , We’ll sign a trade deal with EU. Ok then it’s a manifesto commitment, and you have to sign it or Robin Day will skewer you. But even if its not an EU deal could be done anytime, just by accepting their terms- and that won’t be reversible or cheap. So if Boris has decided he wants his legacy to be independence then it’s tricky to see how he nails it down for his successors, but if he just wants a legacy and a secure one will do the temptation would be to sign with EU on less than ideal terms.

  3. Hallowed Be

    “… to see how he nails it down for his successors…”

    PM’s, like Parliaments, cannot bind their successors. Deal, or no deal, future governments will do what future governments want to do.

  4. ‘For all its many faults, and I acknowledge them, the EU provides a better environment for giving me the title of professor and a fat salary than any alternative. If only a tiny part of my energy had been directed into getting a proper job so much could have been achieved.’

    Corrected it for Ritchie

  5. “For all its many faults, and I acknowledge them, the EU…”

    Pure Shysterism from the Spud trying desperately to crawl back out of the hole he dug for himself..

    Wasn’t this the same EU-sponsored Tre-Professori who maintained Brexit was the death of the UK, and the EU the Bees’ Knees for Humanity, able to cure all woes at a mere touch-and-glance by an appropriately appointed committee ( with him in it, of course..) ?

    Such loyalty. Such principle…

  6. @Recusant

    While you can’t bind your successors, you can change the political dynamics in a way that makes some future paths less likely than others. I think @Hallowed Be is correct on this point – if there’s no trade deal at all, then there’s a big incentive for some future government (most likely Labour but maybe a more pro-big business, self-declared “technocrat” incarnation of the Conservatives) to come to power on the back of a promise to sort out a full-fat “trade deal with Europe” that ends up binding Britain to EU regulations for example. Either Boris needs to entangle the UK in a new global economic web that would make realigning back to EU terms a tricky job (but that means a major transformation of the economy, probably after signing major US and Asian trade deals first which will take years in itself, so is unlikely to occur within the lifespan of his government) or alternatively sign a pretty weak trade agreement that would be more of a pain to renegotiate than would be worth the political price of pursuing.

    One thing that seems difficult to prevent occuring in future is for a future government to seek an EFTA type arrangement. Opinion polls have consistently shown that to be a reasonably popular approach even among Brexit voters and it would be less politically explosive for a Labour leader to propose than rejoining. My guess is that the main protection against this is time and trends – the proportion of overseas trade Britain has with the EU is dipping as trade with developing countries grows, which in principle makes this approach less worthwhile – but in five or ten years I think it will be seen as still a live option. Moreover, if in the long run we end up in a world dominated by trade disputes and big players kicking off aggressively (not implausible – the WTO is getting increasingly toothless, global trade liberalisation talks have been ever more bogged down and the 90s/00s optimism about them has dissipated, and China’s rise seems likely to make it more assertive, with the potential for India and other large emerging markets to follow suit) then there will be voices saying we need to get back inside a bigger bloc regardless of the fact we don’t do an overwhelming majority of our trade with them.

    I do think rejoining the EU becomes less likely if it means adopting the euro and an increasing range of federalised impositions. Protecting Britain’s independence, such as it is in an interconnected world, in a more broad sense might not be a one-off task though and I suspect Boris would like to steer the UK onto a course his successors find it hard to deviate from.

  7. MBE- exactly.

    Recusant- You can’t bind but the question is how sticky you can make it before someone else takes up the reins.

  8. Thanks Ken but I was thinking of the proportion of UK GDP that is international – roughly 20%, of which 40% is with the EU. I think people are not generally aware that the UK economy is 80% domestically focussed. If you think in those terms, the media obsession with trade deals starts to look peculiar. as does their obsession with Dover, which barely scrapes into the top 10 UK ports by tonnage

  9. “Grikath

    “For all its many faults, and I acknowledge them, the EU…”

    Pure Shysterism from the Spud trying desperately to crawl back out of the hole he dug for himself..

    Wasn’t this the same EU-sponsored Tre-Professori who maintained Brexit was the death of the UK, and the EU the Bees’ Knees for Humanity,”

    Spud was a critic of the EU up until the point he got his EU sponsored gigs. That was when he found his love for the EU.

  10. @andrew c – yes spud didn’t think much of the EU until it started shovelling money to him.
    With regards to reforming the eu – thats been tried and failed on several occasions. Remember Tony Blair giving up part of our rebate for a vague promise to reform CAP. That was a waste of our billions. How they must have laughed in Brussels and Paris.

  11. If a company in Coventry wants to sell a toaster through a store in München, what does the EU add?

    Murphy wants government involved in all commerce, at the transaction level.

  12. If a company in Coventry wants to sell a toaster through a store in München, what does the EU add?

    Murphy wants government involved in all commerce, at the transaction level.

    Murphy wants the government to be the sole arbiter of whether the citizen gets a toaster or not. If the citizen picks the wrong day of the week, then his desire for a toaster is sheer consumerism and will be denied. If he’s lucky and it’s a Tuesday the government can just create all the toasters it wants to.

  13. A 1% per year tax rate could be imposed for five years on wealth of more than £1m per two-person household…would include all assets such as main homes and pension pots, as well as business and financial wealth

    That’s basically anyone who owns a property in London. I wonder if it would include public pensions? Any NHS staff over 50, who owned their own house and lived in the South would probably be included, especially if they were married with a working partner.

    I remember the days when the ‘wealthy’ used to be people who drove Rolls Royces and lived in huge houses. Now it is a couple in the South who own their home, who both work and who have saved or have a public pension pot.

  14. Still, in London at least these people are the vanguard of Progressive policy and stupidity, so it is good to see the forest fire starting to approach their fence. Perhaps they’ll realise the sort of people they encourage and reality will reassert itself, but I’m not holding my breath.

  15. Mr Ecks
    Sadly I think you are correct. All this nonsense in the press, last minute flights etc is nothing more than political theatre to distract us from the sell out. The remainiac press will go overboard on eg a ‘win’ in fishing, but miss the bit where we agree to be subservient to EU whims for ever more. Johnson is a cowardly, opportunistic, pussy-whipped bitch.

  16. Every time I think Spud has reached peak pompousness, he outdoes himself:

    “…the [Wealth Tax] Commissioners did not say tax rises are appropriate now. And I know that this is because they heard my representation that overall this is not the time to raise tax.”

  17. The excellent Andrew C and Moqifen complementing the also excellent Grikath

    ‘For all its many faults, and I acknowledge them’

    I’ve not seen him certainly since Brexit acknowledging any faults on the EU’s part. ALthough I do, in Noel_Scoper like fashion recall in the more distant past the EU was ‘neoliberal’ or some suchlike insult as well as a haven for tax evasion largely due to the activities of Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

    However, I have never seen any Remainer, and certainly not feeble shrills like Newmania (for example) present me with a single example of successful EU reform to decentralise or reverse the tide of Federalism. If anyone here can provide me a concrete example, happy to send a prize their way.

    It’s not surprising Murphy has no idea about the EU. He doesn’t have the first idea about anything of consequence. However, the comment does speak to a serious lack of understanding more generally from people about what the EU is and what it represents.

  18. I have never understood so many Brexiteers objections to EU technical standards and banning state investment in failing industries. The first saves consumers money (e. G. car parts) and the second saves the taxpayer money. I remember the Cameron incident. It was that which convinced me that there would never be a deal

  19. EU technical standards also say that you cannot have a vacuum cleaner with a large enough motor to actually work, that all kettles must be slow, and that it’s illegal to make apricot marmalade.

    Not wholly a good idea then.

  20. Banning State investment in failing industries – good idea. Don’t see why it needs to be a centralised decision though.
    Making it compulsory to subsidise successful industries – bad idea, but it’s the EU’s 2nd biggest budget item after landowner handouts. Don’t see why this foolishness needs to be centralised either.

  21. Technical standards for things like car parts – and most other physical and, increasingly, virtual products – are set globally. Few of us voted Leave in order that gasket thicknesses could be specified in Imperial* rather than metric units.

    * I haven’t looked, but I bet many still are Imperial – most things are

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