European Union

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.


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.

Define fair

What exactly, is the fair share?

It came hours after Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, threatened to block vaccine exports to the UK unless Europe “gets its fair share” of jabs.

That which you have manufactured? The amount you have ordered under the terms you have ordered them? What is that fair share, Ursula?

Ursula von der Leyen was accused of acting like a dictator on Wednesday after she threatened to seize factories, waive patents and ban vaccine exports to the UK unless Boris Johnson surrendered British coronavirus jabs to the EU.

Ahh, fair is whatever saves your sorry political arse then. Just so we know.

Mrs von der Leyen said the fears over blood clots proved the EU was right to use a slower authorisation process than the emergency one used by Britain.

Not really, no. The fears over blood clots appear to have been manufactured in order to explain the slower approval process….

Umm, Polly?

It should shake the government to the core, but voters are well protected from this unwelcome news by our largely pro-Brexit press.

As someone who actually did pro-Brexit PR for a time that isn’t quite how I recall it. We were the nutters, off there over the edge of allowable opinion. Sure, we might have been wrong – I don’t think we were but let’s be reasonable about knowledge – but the idea that the British press was pro-Brexit is absurd.

Sam Bowman’s missed trick – we should add “Nigeday”

Sam Bowman suggests that we should celebrate the victory over the coronavirus with a double Bank Holiday:

There is a charm in celebrating that we can all go back to work by taking two days off.

However, there’s a trick being missed here. June 23 rd should be “Nigeday“. For that is the anniversary of that EU referendum.

You know, one’s a foul pandemic that crushed Europe and all we hold dear and the other was a virus. Worth celebrating victory over both.

I’m exorbitantly happy that such people exist

Jon Worth is one of those people who ended up in the blog reader for some or other reason and have just stayed there over the decades. For many years it has been a series of complaints about cross border train tickets within the EU. Well, someone’s got to worry about such things.

I’m exorbitantly happy that such people do exist as well. Without them we’d not have detailed maps of every Eiffel Tower copy in the world. We don’t in fact need such maps but civilisation is made richer by their existence.

One other thing I recall is that Worth attempted to get selected as a candidate by the Labour Party. Can’t recall, MP or MEP. Probably the second. I tend to be happy about his not succeeding.

On the grounds that the world is made richer by having people who make maps of every extant Eiffel Tower copy but not necessarily by being ruled by people who will make maps of every extant Eiffel Tower copy. As with myself – the monomanias are different – I like to mutter that I occasionally add to the gaiety of nations but I think it would be a category error having me running one of them.

So, Nigel’s retired from politics then

So he tells the Telegraph. But the one big thing did get done, as Matt Ridley reminds us:

Not now, not after the vaccine fiasco; now it is easy to explain Brexit. Britain signed up early to buy the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine and approved it swiftly. The EU’s leaders: first, accused us of cutting corners on safety, thus encouraging anti-vax nonsense; second, found themselves at the back of the queue after incompetently negotiating a bad deal; third, took an age to approve it in a display of astounding bureaucratic lethargy; fourth, castigated AstraZeneca for failing to give in to pressure to allow them to jump the queue; and fifth, tried to impose a hard border in Ireland just to stop the Northern Irish getting vaccines. These are not the actions of an ally and friend.

In part two, despite wanting the vaccine so badly they were prepared to tear up contracts and treaties, in a fit of pique at the fact that it was British, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel started speculating falsely that the Oxford vaccine was ineffective in the elderly, thus putting their population off it so much that millions of doses accumulated unused. And now Mario Draghi stops exports of this supposedly unsafe and ineffective vaccine. Has there ever been a more petty – and contradictory – display of populist isolationism? Donald Trump must be open-mouthed with envy.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that we’ll mess things up on our own. But it was right that we left that nonsense.

Well, yea, sorta

“The left and the right have gone further out towards the edges, both in politics and in media,” he says.

“In the centre is an opportunity for something less dogmatic, less old-school politically and more interested in ideas for progress.

“Now is the time for a constructive conversation about how we make the best of Britain. We have got to have a dialogue.”

The New European was forged when former Archant boss Jeff Henry backed Kelly’s plans for an unabashedly Europhile title shortly after the Brexit vote.

Two things are necessary for a dialogue. Firstly, some readers. Secondly, publishing people who disagree. The paper doesn’t have either which is a bit of a blow to the idea of a dialogue.


Brexit Britain’s victory over the EU on Covid vaccination is not what it seems
Jean Quatremer
The bloc’s joint vaccines strategy – far from being a fiasco – is delivering a better outcome than the UK’s

The argument is that by being slow, late and silly they’ve done better.

We can spot the real reason here

The EU risks violating international law if it continues to deny the UK “equivalence” in financial services already granted to a string of other countries.

Selective treatment of one state for political reasons breaches the non-discrimination principle of the World Trade Organisation. It is strictly forbidden.

Lorand Bartels, an expert in international trade law at Cambridge University, said: “A good lawyer would reach for Article VII of General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). It is not a slam dunk but it would be a good case.”

Well, hmm.

The EU says its ties to the UK are fundamentally different from ties to any other third country,

Which is the real reason. If someone who leaves the club thrives outside the club then why wouldn’t others decide to leave the club?

Therefore everything must be done to try and stop the leaver from thriving…..