Thursday, 6 July 2017

Brexit reality bites

There is a saying that the two things you cannot avoid are taxes and death. Well, a third is reality. And reality can come up pretty hard, especially if you are say a Brexiteer making statements about things you really don't understand, because in their mind, that's what makes sense.

But reality, reality is beginning to close in, for example today Micheal Barnier made the following statements which have been widely retweeted.

UK leaving either single market or customs union means goods cannot move freely across borders. By choosing to leave the EU you are deliberately moving yourself outside that border and rules.

Only the combination of a Single Market and Customs Union allows goods to move around freely.

(EU Members) benefit from frictionless trade because they participate in a Single Market and Customs Union.

Some in the UK say that you can leave the Customs Union and build frictionless trade. That is not possible.

Some in the UK say you can leave the Single Market and keep the benefits. That is not possible. I am not sure that has been fully understood in the UK.

All 3rd party countries must accept our autonomy to set standards, so UK must accept EU rules to trade. In classical negotiation "no deal" would mean status quo. In Brexit "no deal" means a return to the distant past.

100% of farm goods will be subject to border checks. One of the fundamental challenges we face. Irish border.

If UK is outside Single Market will require a system of checks to ensure compliance with European standards. If UK is outside Customs Union will require checks to determine rules of origin.

The free movement of goods, services and capital are indivisible we cannot let the Single Market unravel. You cannot leave the Single Market then opt into the sectors you like, cars, finance..

The decision taken by the UK to leave the EU will have major consequences. It is my job to say so.

The lies, or the misunderstanding that those at the heart of the Brexit process, have and still do peddle means that they are either liars or incompetent. Or possibly both. In placing her red lines during various speeches at the end of last year, and coupled with the clear and unwavering red lines from the EU, there is only really a very narrow area towards the harder end of the Brexit spectrum that is open to negotiation. This is not the painless, easy negotiations, being forced through by German Car makers and Italian fizzy wine producers. What we have, as it always was going to be, is 27 EU countries, united, and a negotiating team well prepared, whereas David Davis and his team is like me cramming six hours before my physics O level exam. Hopelessly un and under-prepared. And having to concede on almost any point.

There is an interesting scenario I thought of this morning, after coming across the term "hard remain" in a reply to a blog; what about if in a year's time, the economy tanking further, jobs in decline, European Banks and global pharmaceutical companies relocating to mainland Europe, it becomes clear that the whole thing needs stopping, but the EU say, to stop Brexit you need to give up the rebate, adopt the Euro and join the Schengen area? A Brexit forces us to integrate even further with the EU. Might be a long shot, but starting a process that you don't know if or how it can be stopped, not being prepared for the talks or even knowing what your position or aims are?

Finally, one of the architects of the Leave campaign, Dominic Cummings, took part in an exchange of Tweets with David Allen Green (@davidallengreen) in which Mr Cummings agreed that maybe the Referendum and its timing were wrong, and what has taken place since under the leadership of the PM has not been, shall we say, adequate? For some of this it is no real revelation, but for the Mail and in particular The Express, they keep up their anti-immigration agenda just in case things might slip. And Mr Farrage is in the wings, blurting out his thoughts, but not wanting to get back into front line politics, because, well, he's already lost seven by-elections and elections.

1 comment:

jelltex said...

And there are rumours going round Westminster that the Government has taken legal advice on whether it can withdraw the article 50 notification. It has been told it cannot.