European Union

Quite so Polly, quite so

Beyond economic damage, the greatest injury is and always was at the Irish border. No deal means that border must close: the EU single market can’t tolerate a flapping open back door.

That’s an EU problem for the EU to solve. Ain’t ours. We’ve left, remember?

Isn’t this fun?

The European Union is considering legal action against the UK after Boris Johnson pressed ahead with plans to override parts of the Withdrawal Agreement.

So, where could they sue?

After all, as the Gina Millar case proved, it is Parliament that is sovereign.

Seems unlikely

Last week an LSE economics professor, Thomas Sampson, said no deal could cost more than the economic shock of Covid, causing a £3.3tn decline in the value of the UK’s output.

Given the UK’s output is around the £2 trillion level we’d have to have a negative economy*. So, we gonna elect Jezza or summat?

* Yes, I know, but still….

Rejoin the EU in order to save the UK

This actually is Will Hutton’s latest argument.

What is Britain’s national project to counter this and about which we can all as citizens feel proud? What would give the unionist parties in Scotland something with which to fight next spring?

Quite why isn’t explained, but the thing to use?

The components of this big politics are becoming clearer: a combination of a vigorous contemporary patriotism, a new British federal constitutional settlement and a commitment to rejoin the EU validated by a national referendum. Only thus can the SNP be challenged.

So we should rejoin the EU to stop the demented porridge wogs leaving. At which point the question does become, well, is it worth it?

Oh dear, my word!

Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, had at one stage warned his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte, who led the way on reducing the level of grants, that he might become a hero at home but that he faced being blamed by the rest of Europe for his lack of solidarity.

So, what do you prefer? Being carried shoulder high by swarms of cheering cloggies or having the approbation of some few thousand federast tranzis?

Most gracious of you Michel

The European Union is willing to accept UK demands that post-Brexit fishing opportunities be divided using a scientific method that reflects the number of fish in UK waters, rather than the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy….

Vry, vry, kind.

Given that we’ve already left they’re having to rather play catch up on the terms of our leaving, aren’t they?


Jeebus Remoaners, get a grip:

Tourism and travel leaders have expressed disappointment and frustration after it emerged that the UK will not be taking part in an EU-led data-sharing project to reboot tourism as lockdowns lift.

The European commission has launched an app and website that provide travellers with real-time information about coronavirus rules and the status of infections in each European country. A commission spokesman told the Guardian the UK was not included as the government had not asked to be involved.

It’s an app. Onna phone. Which will be used by three and a half people. None of whom actually need that info on an app – even the most vigorous of tourists doesn’t change country more than once a day or so. All of the information will still be available online via Mr. Google anyway. And if you’re the data package to run an app then you’ve the ability to use Mr. Google.

But, you know, Wah, Wah, the UK isn’t joining an EU thingie, aren’t we terrible?

How cool

A no deal Brexit it is then:

The European parliament could veto any trade deal between the UK and the European Union that lacks “robust” safeguards to ensure fair competition and strong standards on the environment and workers’ rights, according to a leaked document.

A draft resolution, seen by the Guardian, which will be put to a vote on Friday, underlines the implicit threat to block the EU-UK trade deal. Urging the British government to “revise its negotiation position”, the text states that a level playing field is the “necessary condition for the European parliament to give its consent to a trade agreement with the UK”.

Given that the entire point is to be free of EU regulations on fair competition, workers’ rights and the environment. You know, to return to being a fully sovereign nation where the rules are made by us, for us, and not by some foreign parliament?

Why would we need any other reason to kill the EU?

Bletch. Stilton has been enjoyed by cheese-lovers for centuries, and now boasts Protected Designation of Origin status (PDO), which means it can only be produced in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

Huh. I would have imagined that you had to make it in Stilton. Stilton, the town that gave the cheese its name, is in Cambridgeshire. You’re not allowed to make stilton in Stilton.

The EU’s system of designated places of origin means you cannot make Stilton in Stilton.

What other evidence do we need to kill the EU?

How aptly this describes the basic situation

On Saturday, for the first time in almost 50 years, we observe Europe Day without the United Kingdom as a member state of the European Union.

Nobody in Britain has ever observed Europe Day. Not even in the sense of looking over and pondering what the wogs across the Channel are doing.

Which does rather neatly describe the relationship between the British and the European Union, doesn’t it?

Isn’t this nice of them?

British travellers will be welcome in the EU this summer if coronavirus restrictions are lifted in time, the European Commission said on Wednesday

Brussels is investigating ways to save the summer holidays by encouraging tourism between its member states. More than three quarters of trips made by EU citizens are to other EU countries.

Vera Jourova, a vice-president in the EU executive, called on the bloc’s member states to lift travel bans and border controls thrown up in response to the pandemic “as soon as possible” after it was deemed safe by scientific advice.

She moved to quash fears that Britons might not be able to benefit from EU moves to allow tourism this summer season because of, among other issues, the UK response to Coronavirus….

If nations allow travel then you’ll be allowed to travel. The EU having nothing to do with this as it doesn’t determine the rules about who a nation allows in. But it’s very nice of them to say that if they do they do, isn’t it?

For if they hadn’t said something then we’d all be wondering what the EU was for, wouldn’t we?

Probably not, no

The question being posed by events is whether there is enough of a sense of kinship among EU citizens for national governments to back the most radical of the burden-sharing plans proposed to rebuild the eurozone economy as one.

European has not much more emotional resonance as a self-description than “earthling” does.

We’re back with Adam Smith and the I bruise my finger and think it as, if not more, important than hundreds of millions of Chinee dying from some plague or pestilence. Somewhere between “me” and “everyone” my willingness to sacrifice for the sake of others vanishes. It also diminishes all along the spectrum towards that zero point. Me, children (possibly, for one’s own, reverse those two), family, clan, tribe, nation, etc.

Maybe that’s not the way it should be but that’s the way it is. And “fellow citizen of the European Union” as a motivator for sacrifice doesn’t really carry much weight.

Therefore, no.

This is a surprise, isn’t it?

Despite the warnings, the eurogroup of finance ministers could not agree on a common approach on providing credit for poorer countries or whether to share borrowing costs.

Italy, Spain, France and six others are demanding that the EU issue bonds to share the debt burden of recovery between wealthier countries in northern Europe and more indebted, often poorer, countries in the south.

Poor people in Germany must pay taxes to pay the salaries of very much richer bureaucrats in France, Spain and Italy.

Because those bureaucrats can’t squeeze any more money out of their own peons without being hung from the nearest lamppost.

All Hail European union!

Err, why?

To ensure that all EU countries can do what is necessary to fight the economic fallout of the pandemic, the fiscal costs of this crisis must be shared.

If all countries are being hit by the same problem then why must the fiscal burden be shared? If there were an asymmetry then sure, the better off – or more lightly hit – might well consider aiding the worse off. But if it’s the same for all then why run it through the centre?

Lucas Guttenberg
Deputy Director, Jacques Delors Centre