European Union

Just think how terrible the place would become

Really:

French should be instated as the sole working language of the European Union instead of English because of Brexit, according to a plot prepared by almost 40 French MPs.

French was once the dominant language in the corridors of power in Brussels but English is now effectively the lingua franca.

That shift was accelerated by the accession of Eastern European countries to the bloc in 2004 and entrenched by the fact that many people speak English as a second language.

Only folks who speak French would be able to work there. That’s going to increase the talent pool they can draw from, isn’t it?

Read to the end

A Facebook outage that left billions of people without access to the social network, Instagram or WhatsApp shows that large tech firms should be broken up, the EU’s competition commissioner has said.

Margrethe Vestager said the incident yesterday highlighted the risks created when individual firms hold such dominant positions.

“We need alternatives and choices in the tech market, and must not rely on a few big players, whoever they are,” the Danish EU commissioner wrote on Twitter.

Of course, foreigners don’t get irony, do they?

Brexit, eh?

All about Brexit?

There’s a quiet panic happening in the US economy. Medical labs are running out of supplies like pipettes and petri dishes, summer camps and restaurants are having trouble getting food, and automobile, paint and electronics firms are curtailing production because they can’t get semiconductors. One man told me he couldn’t get a Whopper meal at a Burger King in Florida, as there was a sign saying “Sorry, no french fries with any order. We have no potatoes.”

Imagine that, no french fries in America.

The EU really are ghastly little shits, aren’t they?

Two examples from today:

The EU only deemed the UK’s regulatory regime for euro-denominated clearing to be equivalent to its own for a temporary period after Brexit.

That period is due to expire next June – raising the risk that financial institutions based in the bloc would be forced to find a clearing house in the EU after that date. About a quarter of the business carried out in the UK is denominated in euros.

By contrast the EU has deemed the US regulatory regime to be equivalent on a more permanent basis, despite the UK having identical rules to Brussels.

Can’t have euro-clearing in London, must be inside the EU. Can have euro-clearing in New York, despite the need to have euro-clearing inside the EU.

Plus:

Lobbyists in Brussels waged a campaign against the rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine by claiming it was insufficiently European, a new book by the jab’s inventors has said.

Opponents allegedly told politicians last year that they should not order doses of the injection because BioNTech, a German company, had teamed up with US behemoth Pfizer rather than working with another company based in Europe.

According to the book – written by journalist Joe Miller in collaboration with BioNTech’s founders Dr Ugur Sahin and Dr Özlem Türec – lobbyists branded Pfizer “the epitome of cold capitalism” and claimed: “If we give one euro to CureVac, or Sanofi, or a European company, it is one euro for Europe. If we give it to BioNTech, 50 cents will always end up in the US.”

Missing, of course, the point that the purpose of trade is to gain the goods, here a vaccine that actually works. As opposed to the Sanofi and whatever that one that begins with a V is.

What’s New, Pussycat?

“Pro-European” centrists such as Macron increasingly think of international politics in terms of a Huntingtonian “clash of civilisations” – but whereas Samuel Huntington saw the west as one civilisation that would find itself in conflict with China and Islam in the post-cold war period, they see Europe as a civilisation that is distinct from, and which must also assert itself against, the United States.

This has always been true. Vied such nonsenses as Quaero, a European rival to Google, because there must be a European rival, see?

Cultural stupidity.

When Macron became French president in 2017, he spoke of a Europe qui protège – “that protects”. This was initially, above all, about protecting citizens from the market;

Given that it’s the market that makes the citizenry rich why in buggery would you want to do that?

Economic stupidity piled upon top.

Ahahahahaha

Ryanair is to stop all flights from both Belfast international airport and Belfast City airport, in a further blow to connectivity between Northern Ireland and the rest of Europe.

The airline blamed government passenger duty and the absence of any Covid recovery incentives for the two airports.

“Due to the UK government’s refusal to suspend or reduce APD [air passenger duty], and the lack of Covid recovery incentives from both Belfast airports, this winter Ryanair will cease operations from Belfast international and Belfast City airport from the end of the summer schedule in October, and these aircraft will be reallocated to lower-cost airports elsewhere in the UK and Europe for the winter schedule, which starts in November,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

You know what? I don’t believe them.

It will stop its flights from Belfast international to six destinations – Alicante, Málaga, Kraków, Gdansk, Warsaw and Milan – by 30 October.

Half the flights are to Poland – from Ulster? – and it really wouldn’t be all that much of a surprise if Brexit and the changes in free movement of labour had something of an effect now, would it?

It’s only the justification that changes

They’ve been trying to have these continental lorries and trailer arrangements for decades:

Extra-long “eco-friendly” lorries which cut down the number of freight journeys could be on the roads next year, the Government has announced, amid a shortage of long-haul drivers.

Longer-semi trailers (LSTs), which are up to 2.05m (6.8ft) longer than the current limit of 13.6m (45ft), could save up to one in eight journeys by fitting more freight in, according to a nine-year trial by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The Government had initially planned to conduct a 15-year trial until 2027, but last year consulted on ending the scheme early after it concluded that the experiment had yielded enough data.

Used to be “to be like the continent”. Now it’s “green”. Justifications change but not the desire.

Explaining Europe

For example, the Cafe Hawblik in Asaa has stayed open longer into August than it normally would because of the stream of curious visitors, and has even put a mermaid sandwich on the menu.

Asaa is really a little tourist village. And it takes a special moment for the cafe in the tourist village to open in August. August being the main tourism season in Europe.

Which does rather explain something about Europe.

Of course, the Danes are less bad than some others. They did at least keep the cafe open for longer to feed the crowds. Paris is near entirely closed in August, peak tourism season.

There does come that point, yes

Hungary could reassess its membership of the European Union by the end of the decade, according to the country’s finance minister.

Mihály Varga warned Hungary may rethink its position once it becomes a net contributor to the EU’s budget, reigniting the debate ahead of the country’s elections next year.

“When we calculate that we will already be net contributors to the EU, the issue could get a new perspective,” said Mr Varga, one of the more moderate members of Viktor Orban’s cabinet, in an interview with Hungarian media. “Especially if the attacks in Brussels are continuous because of the choice of values.”

Although it’s the values that have always been important in my opposition.

No, not over Teh Gays or whatever. But the ability of a group of folks to decide how that group of folks is going to live. Rather than being subject to some unelected technocracy x hundred or y thousand miles away.

But if having to actually pay for it leads to the rethink then bring on the rethink.

An interesting point I’d not realised

As and when it’s possible that we might be allowed to trade freely with the EU because we’re good little boys there’s an incentive to be good little boys. Sign up to their rules because, well, incentives, see?

But if, whatever we do, ew don;t get the sweeties then why in buggery play by their rules? Why not just let rip?

Now that we are out of the EU, and with no realistic prospect of the UK ever being granted access to the single market in financial services, the best move we could make would be to repeal all of it in one clean sweep.

They’re talking about MIFID II there but this applies to everything.

You’re going to continue pissing about with sausages into Ulster? Fine, OK, fuck you. We’re repealing MIFID II, Reach, COP thisnthat, CE markings, restrictions on vacuum cleaner engine size and all the rest of the 40 year accretions of nonsense.

Byeeeee!

Echoes of the Sudetenland

The argument then was that the people were being cruelly oppressed by the government. This meant that the guardian of the people was and would be right to tear the people away from that government.

The ruling prompted Guy Verhofstadt, a prominent MEP and former chief Brexit coordinator, to warn that Poland’s eurosceptic government was trying to drag the country out of the bloc.

“Against the wishes of the vast majority of Polish people who want an EU future, the populist governing PiS [Law and Justice] party is determined to take Poland out of the EU,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Will anyone act to stop them before it is too late?” he added, and claimed that the rule of law in Poland was breaking down.

Only one more step for Verhofstadt to complete the logic circuit, isn’t it?

It’s also fun watching someone try to put populism and majoritarian democracy in opposition to each other…..

Glorious Bureaucracy!

Up to five million Britons face being locked out of European holidays because their vaccines are not recognised by the EU’s passport scheme, the Telegraph has learned.

Millions of vaccines administered here do not qualify for the European Union’s vaccine passport scheme, because the shots were manufactured in India and are not yet authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Hancock shagged because Brexit!

The world according to Will Hutton:

After five years, the biggest casualties of Brexit are in plain sight. Integrity and decency in public life are crumbling. Because so much of the case for Brexit is false, the political modus operandi of the Brexiters, now dominating our political culture, has become a refusal to accept responsibility for mistakes, overclaiming, deceit and sometimes outright lies to justify the unjustifiable. Once the electorate can no longer trust what they are told, democratic debate is denied. We have been robbed of a core right of citizenship.

Hancock’s shagging the bird because British public policy is no longer subject to veto by the German Defence Minister.

Well, it convinces the hell outta me.

Missing Alan Coren again

One of the founding fathers of the European Union was put on the path to sainthood by Pope Francis.

Robert Schuman, who called for a supranational community for coal and steel in 1950, was recognised by the Pope for his “heroic virtues”, the Vatican said.

Mr Schuman said cooperation on coal and steel, especially involving France and Germany, would make future wars impossible.

The Schuman Plan led to the European Economic Community in 1957, which evolved into the modern EU in 1993.

Climbing upon the butter mountain the Lord showed him the Promised Land of the technocratic state run by functionaires. He did then walk upon the wine lake before revealing, to the astonished worshipers of the Golden Market, all 1,252 pages of the duck egg regulations and said “There’s more of it where that came from!” and they turned from false idols and praise the Lord.

How petty

Under the protocol, which prevents a hard Irish border, Northern Ireland continues to follow EU rules for medicines and medical equipment, meaning new checks are due to be imposed when a year-long grace period expires at the end of 2021.

Medicines made in Britain – which account for the vast majority imported into the province – will also have to have separate licenses, testing and inspections before they can be used.

There is no reason to be doing this – other than to punish for the temerity in leaving. That they are doing it is reason enough to leave – who wants to be in political union with slime like this?

Why the EU is rubbish, pants, no good, worthless

A lawyer for the EU executive Commission told the Brussels court hearing that the bloc was seeking immediate deliveries from all factories listed in its contract, including those in Britain, which is no longer a member of the European Union.

OK, immediate, very important, action this day!

A lawyer representing AstraZeneca told the hearing, which is public and is being conducted under an emergency procedure,

Emergency procedure!

It’s in an EU court as well. So, stat!

In the court, the first session ended in just over an hour on Wednesday and the parties agreed to hold two hearings on May 26. The judge aims for a decision in June.

These people have no fucking clue, do they?

Things that are important

At the start of the Ankara meeting, Mrs Von der Leyen – the first female president of the Commission – was left visibly perplexed as Mr Michel and Mr Erdogan took the only two chairs available in the centre of the room.

Video footage picked up the German politician saying “erm?” as Mr Michel, without hesitation, took his place at Mr Erdogan’s side. Eric Mamer, Mrs Von der Leyen’s spokesman, said “the protocol level of our president is exactly the same as that of the president of the European Council” and she “should have been seated in exactly the same manner as the Council and Turkish presidents”.

He added: “The president of the Commission was clearly surprised. She does consider that these issues are important and need to be treated appropriately, which they clearly were not.”

Which chair to sit upon – clearly, vastly important. As opposed to, say, vaccinating against a pandemic sweeping the continent.

Which is why we should deal with Brussels in the Cato manner, I’ve some salt here, I know some deconstruction experts for the buildings and £500 will rent us some time from Moseley fils‘ expert in bondage.

Other than that we’ll have to take off and dust ’em from orbit, it’s the only way.