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Is The May's Deal Worse Than The Status Quo?

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Khandro | 22:03 Sat 09th Feb 2019 | News
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I watch Jeff Taylor most evenings, he is a trained lawyer and UKIP supporter, occasionally he says things like "in my opinion", but mostly he deals in straight-forward facts.

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This god awful deal will be acceptable if parliment isn’t able to get thier stay/extend amendments through.

They are planning all sorts of amendments to not deliver Brexit and they actually have ‘plenty’ of
time to fiddle with getting thier way.

I wouldn’t be so sure they will run out of time and automatically go to no deal.
Any desl would be worse than the status who as would no deal, which would be even worse.
That is why Brexit has failed: some form of it may go ahead, but it is obvious now to all or should be just what the consequences of it are. What is not yet obvious to many, tragically, are the consequences of no deal, because “no deal” can’t be written out in the same way.
A look at what WTO trading rules really are all about should be a start though
‘It would be a huge betrayal of us all’ erm......yes..... ‘us all’. But some seem not to realise it yet, nor understand that ignoring democracy in a country that likes to claim it is a democracy, is a bad thing.
// ... there have now been 19 democratic votes in various member states that have objected to numerous treaties over the last few decades. All 19 democratic votes have been successfully overturned by forcing those individual member states to vote again and each time the EU has ultimately got the result it wanted by a combination of political intimidation and mainstream media [MSM] sponsored propaganda. //

This is a massive misrepresentation of what happened, and I suspect that birdie knows this.

The most significant losses to date are:

1. Ireland, 2001, rejecting the Treaty of Nice. After this loss, minor changes were made and greater emphasis made on the fact that Ireland was not obliged to join the Common Defence Policy. After this, a fresh referendum was held and the Treaty was accepted with an increased majority on an increased turnout.

2. Ireland, 2008, rejecting the Lisbon Treaty. The Irish government then again obtained guarantees that their rights on defence matters, taxation, and abortion law would be respected, and the Treaty was again passed with an increased majority on an increased turnout.

3-4. Denmark, 2000, and Sweden, 2003, rejecting membership of the Euro. Neither country uses the Euro to this day.

5. Denmark, 1992, rejecting the Maastricht Treaty. Denmark then negotiated four additional opt-outs on various matters, and the new version of the Treaty was accepted later by an increased majority on an increased turnout; in a later referendum (6, 2015) the Danish again chose to retain control of matters related to Justice and Home Affairs.

7. Greenland, 1982, rejecting EU membership. Greenland then left the EU in 1985.

8-9. France and Netherlands, 2005, rejecting the EU Constitution. The Lisbon Treaty was introduced in place of this, which was not nearly so far-reaching as the rejected Constitution.

In each case above the EU has responded by taking on board the concerns of the Nations and their people, and made changes to address those concerns. In cases where a second vote has been held, the people have always accepted the amended matter for debate with an increased majority and an increased turnout.

* * * * * *

As an aside, at the moment I can only count 17 referendums that have gone against the EU, and this count includes referendums in Norway (two separate votes) and Switzerland (three) on joining; to date, neither country has joined the EU, again in accordance with the result. If I've missed some then I'm happy to be corrected on this count. My count of 17 also includes the 2016 referendum, one in Greece about bailout conditions, and one in Hungary about migrant quotas. The Hungarian referendum had too small a turnout to be constitutionally valid, and the Greek referendum on bailout conditions, that ended up backfiring owing to the economic reality of Greece's large national debt.
deal at 11.58 on the negotiation clock - it's just the same as any other large deal - game plays right to the edge and they'll all emerge smelling of roses and sporting brown tongues.
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jim; you are going back a long way (in one case 1982), What has to be focused on is the the EU from its beginnings as a purely trading arrangement between the Benelux countries, when the iron curtain was still in place, and when 'Europe' was much smaller, has incrementally increased its control over the member states and a continually aimed towards its target of federalism and its ideological dream of a united states of Europe.
If that is what you want, then I think you will find, apparatchiks and those few countries who at this moment are profiting very well out of the arrangement, that you are in a substantial minority.
For the purposes of my post, what I was deliberately focusing on was a specific and highly misleading (read: wrong) claim in birdie's post. I'm aware that the EU has grown beyond its original set-up, but then again the Treaty of Rome has always implied this from the very beginning: for what else could "ever closer Union" mean? But whether or not that is the aim, then it still has to be reached only with the consent of the States and of the Peoples of the EU, and that is what the history I have cited demonstrates.

* * * * * * *

With respect to the video, I was surprised that it took him until the end of his presentation to break out of a monotone delivery, but that aside I agree with his claim that the Withdrawal Agreement is worse than the Status Quo, and it was right for Parliament to reject it.
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More from Jeff today; another referendum anyone?
I was always very anti ‘another referendum by any other name’ quite simply because we’ve been there, done that. Question asked and answered.

However I’m leaning more towards another vote because parliment are so fractured and self interested that they will never come to a reasonable compromise therefore it should NOT in any way, shape or form include remain.... again. See above

Leave on the negotiated deal or leave on WTO terms.

But remainextremists are hell bent on forcing their agenda and will inevitably get what they want.

Anyone who can’t see that that’s a travesty of democracy to pretend to be democratic while ignoring the democracy they signed up for.
Thank you to Jeff Taylor for repeating what he read in the Telegraph. That saves me the need to buy that 'paper, although their crossword is my favourite among the dailies.

I will say immediately that I am in favour of remaining in the EU, so that anyone with a visceral objection can click away from this post now. All of my arguments have been expressed before, and I have no gift of augury to make statements of guaranteed truth. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to preface every sentence for the rest of my post with the words "I believe ..." as it will save my typing finger.

Many people feel that the current EU is different to the organisation we joined way back in the 1970s. That does not surprise me one bit. The police now record interviews, schools do not use corporal punishment, very few people have doorstep milk deliveries, Donovan and Black Sabbath no longer provide new songs as the soundtrack to my leisure time, cars have seat belts, people who think that a pack of dogs accompanying a bunch of people on horseback taking on a single fox in mortal combat have to pretend they no longer do it, there are slightly more than three TV channels. It is what we call progress, and so far the UK has played a vital part in shaping the development of the EU. So important, in fact, that other members have accepted that we do not agree with them on every single point and have agreed a Thatcher-negotiated rebate and opt-outs on Schengen and the Euro, as they have made concessions to other members. Hardly the actions of a bullying autocrat.

The world has changed in other ways, too, and we face significant trading deficits with countries that were way behind us a few decades ago. China produces far more steel than it uses, for example, so is happy to dump it on other nations in the same way that some High Street shops have semi-permanent sales. The United States is currently on the brink of a significant trade war and would be happy to offload the produce China is no longer willing to buy from them. Some developing countries manufacture shoddy goods masquerading as trusted brands, including pharmaceutical items. A large trading bloc is better able to stand up to bullies and police the counterfeiters than a single nation, sharing the cost of enforcement methods.

The EU is the biggest trading bloc in the world. Other nations fear it, for reasons far removed from the anxieties of many UK citizens. They need to do business with the EU; it is too powerful and too diverse to ignore. Presidents of various other large nations are willing to resort to underhand methods to weaken its position by, for instance, advising prime ministers of member states to leave without negotiating a deal, hinting that they feel such affinity with us that they would put aside their own interests as a favour when it is clear that their priority is an arrangement with the bigger players. Another president might think it prudent to fund clandestine attempts to undermine UK democracy by subtler means: social media campaigns, cyber warfare, illegal funding of political campaigns.

While the size and influence of the EU needs to be highlighted, it is probably wise to consider the size and influence of the UK too. It is true that a significant portion of our overseas trade is with the EU, but that is slightly misleading. 'The EU' actually accounts for a tiny fraction of our business. The bulk of it is instead with Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Austria, ... A change in our relationship with the EU as a whole would hurt the UK far more than it would any of those individual states. Naturally we will continue to trade with them, and with the other nations around the world with whom the EU has negotiated deals on favourable terms, but these sales and purchases would be subject to new rules, tariffs and taxes.

Oops! Word limit approaching. New box needed.



Part Two (With apologies for length)

The EU has sensibly prioritised deals with significant trading partners. Why negotiate with Vanuatu before Japan? The other major traders will do the same, so UK should not expect to jump any queues. We will be paying higher prices for the foreseeable future, even for goods we currently buy at a preferential rate.

Plans for a European defence policy would be prudent even if President Trump was not considering his country's contribution to NATO. The US has been locked into high defence spending since the beginning of the Cold War. Cutting the defence budget could bring a short-term dip in his populist support, but a long-term benefit to his spending plans.

In real terms, the US is the only nation so far to invoke the 'an attack on one is an attack on all' clause, and their President is a potential risk to security due to his apparent loyalty to Russia, insistence on keeping his discussions with Putin secret, delusional stance on North Korea, and demonstrated willingness to disclose details of intelligence sources. EU collaboration in defence is, far from a nightmare vision of the future, a long-established tradition exemplified by troop exchanges, officer placements, joint exercises and the Typhoon Eurofighter.

I agree with Churchill on democracy. The worst system apart from all the alternatives. My beliefs are rarely those of the majority, but our pluralist system of government ensures nobody is entirely sidelined. The question of EU membership challenges that principle.

Neither remainders nor leavers believe the current proposal is the best deal possible, but that is because no compromise works. To retain any semblance of influence on EU policy, we need to make a financial contribution. This is nothing radical. If we leave, no matter how much I do not want to, we should leave altogether. If we stay in any kind of arrangement but with no influence, we betray ourselves. If we stay, we must stay on current terms but retain the concessions we have already negotiated. There is no compromise that works. The rational options are no deal or stay.

("I believe" remember) No deal would be a disaster. That is why politicians are trying desperately to avoid it. Even the most ardent exponents of no deal are not promoting it as a bright future. Jacob Rees-Mogg says it could be fifty years before the average citizen sees any benefit (remind me how long we long we have been members of the EU or its precursors?), but he is able to keep his investments safe in Dublin, unlike the £8.26 in my piggy bank. Michael Gove now supports compromise. The strongest message I am hearing is "We should not fear WTO", not "WTO, the way to go". Hardly inspiring. The subtext seems to be "Yeah, most of us will be worse off, as will our children and grandchildren, but hey! Blue passports! Hilarious cucumbers!"

I accept that the democratic referendum result was 52:48. I question the wisdom of taking such a significant step on a bare majority, as Nigel Farage did. I believe there was a substantial protest vote, and that there was wrongdoing and misinformation, even illegality, from leavers, while I know of nothing vaguely comparable among leavers. I am also conscious that 32% voted to leave, 67% did not, and that the leave vote was not homogenous. It incorporated a wide range of beliefs, while a remain vote was just that: remain; status quo.

The leave campaign are preparing their defence now:"Civil servants sabotaged our deal", "Remoaners undermined the whole process", "Nobody said we actually WOULD spend £350m per week on the NHS, just that we COULD"

I am an unapologetic remainer. I accept the cost as a subscription to an international discount scheme. Worldwide Wowcher. The way this country is declining, we will soon become nett recipients of EU funds anyway. That is nothing to do with Brexit. It is a reflection on the warped priorities of our elected leaders.

Thank You.

No
Thank YOU
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I didn't realise that Britain was going to be towed out into the middle of the Atlantic and cast adrift, nobody told me.
Please do post more often, JF85. That was quite a refreshing read.
Indeed
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jf85; Spoken like true Europhile (and at record-breaking length!) I'm sure the EU Commission would be proud of you, but have you considered that you might be nailing your colours to the mast of a sinking ship with a drunken skipper?
Thank you, from a proud Europhile. I didn't anticipate rambling on for that long, but ended up leaving out quite a few things. My poor typing finger (reserved for poor typing) is now twice as thick as the others, but I find myself constantly being challenged to justify my stance so thought I would. I had expected quite a bit of flak, if I'm honest, but maybe *** really does baffle brains.

Anyway, it was an adventure, as Brexit also promises to be. At least following Juncker is a leisurely meander, rather than a brisk step off a cliff. And so to bed.
//Please do post more often, JF85. That was quite a refreshing read//

Yes, an excellent piece of propaganda by an articulate partisan. With all the deceits, conflations and misdirections typical of good propaganda. That's an observation, by the way, not a criticism: the true believer wills the end, and, therefore, must will the means.

Would have been more refreshing, though, (because I started out believing he was honest) if JF hadn't posted "Kill Brexit Vol 2" where he repeats all the cynical rationalisations (with a few embellishments) which "explain" why my vote and that of 17 million of my fellow citizens no longer count.

It mainly comes down to the fact that we're stupid, doesn't it, JF? And we need nannies like you (and aren't we fortunate to be blessed by such a super-abundance of tough love) to sort us out - "for our own good", of course.
I'm glad you asked that question, because I always try to be fair in my comments. I do not think, and have never suggested, that people who voted differently to me are stupid, deluded or mistaken. That is the main reason that I set out my thinking so extensively: I do not believe a topic of this importance is well served by a flippant remark or twenty-word explanation. If only it were! I not only support the rights of people to differ from my view, I actively encourage it. You cannot change my belief unless you know what it is and are able to counter its foundations.

My position, arrived at after lengthy discussions with people who disagree, is that the Leave vote was a broad church. This is reflected in the divisions now seen amongst leavers. Some voted for a clean break, no deal, reneging on our existing commitments, such as those to research or infrastructure projects. Others believed we should honour our existing pledges but no new ones. Some thought we could pick and choose which EU provisions we would continue to enjoy, while another group felt it was a simple question of who makes UK law or how many people are allowed to enter the country, where from, and why. Possibly some just wanted to give David Cameron a bloody nose. None of these positions are wrong and all have their merits. I dare say there are even a tiny number who voted for the passport colour or cucumber shape arguments, but I confess I would not be so respectful of those few. My point was that there were many reasons to vote for Brexit but only one to vote against.

There have been significant attempts to undermine democracy, as shown by court convictions and consternation in Parliament at how easy it was. That is not my opinion; it is a matter of public record. I have tried to be convinced that Brexit will be beneficial for me or my children. I have read, watched and listened to media debate and talked to human beings.

Unfortunately, rather than persuade me, people seem to prefer reductive arguments that put me into a box they can label as snowflake, leftie, liberal, middle class, coward, intellectual, dullard or propagandist. I really would love to think we will all be better off, but nobody is willing to tell me how. I find I am damned simultaneously as a soft target for EU bullying and an advocate for 'tough love', as if I were the one saying "Yes, it will hurt, but in fifty years you might be feeling some improvement." I have not suggested that 17 million votes should not count, but I am disappointed that they represent a fraction over 32.3% of eligible voters (and there are people I love dearly who are now kicking hemselves for not bothering to turn out on the day), and this somehow means 67.6% of voters don't count. Any 'for our own good' arguments are more pertinent to those who think fewer than one third of the voting population should have a cast iron right to dictate what happens to the other two thirds.
‘I really would love to think we will all be better off, but nobody is willing to tell me how.’

I’ve been asking for months, JF85. When you try to get a leave voter to tell us exactly how we’ll benefit being out of the EU, they start to either talk esoterically about Sovreignty and Freedom of accuse you of your questions being akin to nailing jelly to a wall. Which is rather ironic.

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