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How a no deal Brexit could happen

by Frank Schnittger Tue Oct 17th, 2017 at 06:49:41 PM EST

Helen and others have expressed scepticism as to whether a "no deal" Brexit could actually happen in reality. Surely the leaders of the UK and EU couldn't be so incompetent or irresponsible? I have been gaming out the possible outcomes in my mind for quite some time now. The most plausible "no deal" scenario runs something like this:

The Brexit negotiations plod on for almost two years sometimes making progress and sometimes getting stuck. Some specific areas are almost put to bed, but as always, "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed". The negotiators home in on the outstanding areas of disagreement where the gap between the two sides seems bridgeable. Other areas, where the gap appears impossible to resolve are abandoned altogether. The ambition to craft a deal covering all areas of major mutual interest is ditched in favour of agreeing on what we can, while we can. "Nice to haves" are abandoned in favour of focusing on the absolute "must haves" of any deal.  

Keeping some form of "Blue skies" agreement in operation is vital if planes are to be able to fly between the UK and EU. Mutual recognition of regulations and their enforcement is vital if non-tariff barriers are not going to stymie efforts to keep trade and just-in-time multi-national production processes flowing.

Deadlines are set and pass without full agreement.

The EU27 leaders are called in to knock negotiators heads together. Everyone gets nervous as Brexit day end March 2019 approaches. The window of opportunity to ratify any deal done before Brexit gets narrower and narrower. Negotiators are keenly aware that a Brexit deal requires weighted majority support on the EU Council. They can afford to upset one major and a few smaller EU members, but any more than that and a "blocking minority" on the Council can stymie any agreement.

But worse than that, if no deal is agreed by March 2019, unanimity between the EU27 is required to agree an extension of the A50 deadline or any deal thereafter. Some EU27 members have already signalled their unhappiness with aspects of the deal that is emerging. Whatever chance there is of winning a weighted majority vote on the Council, the chances of gaining unanimous support are slim to non-existent. Huge pressure is exerted on the UK to agree something - anything - before the March deadline if any sort of deal is to be reached.

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Jumping off the Brexit Cliff

by Frank Schnittger Mon Oct 16th, 2017 at 10:26:38 AM EST

Many here at the European Tribune have been predicting a hard Brexit almost from day one, convinced that the UK government was being almost totally unrealistic in what it expected to achieve out of the negotiations.  Ministers seemed to be negotiating with themselves and each other as to what they really wanted, with any consideration of why the EU might actually want to concede such things barely an afterthought, if that.

Conscious that the Brexit negotiations were going to be difficult and complex, Theresa May quickly came up with another cliche to rival her famous "Brexit means Brexit" mantra.  Now it was "No deal is better than a bad deal" in an effort to put the wind up the EU negotiators and force concessions. Apparently Germany was supposed to act as the adult in the room and bring both sides to their senses and force a deal at the denouement.

But the gradual hardening of the UK negotiating position has had the opposite effect to what was perhaps intended. Instead of softening their position the EU side has looked on with increasing incredulity at the shifting sands across the Dover straits. Could the UK really be serious? Trade talks before a financial settlement is reached? An invisible Irish border despite the UK leaving the Single Market and Customs Union? EU citizens in the UK being used as bargaining chips and threatened with deportation despite their importance to the UK economy? A Transition deal with no quid pro quo?

But what perhaps no-one has anticipated was that a hard Brexit might actually become the UK policy objective. Political commentators have moved slowly from an initial position where a deal was seen as inevitable to one where the risks of a 'no deal' Brexit were seen to increase, if only because of the incompetence of the negotiators. Now Chris Johns in the Irish Times has come to the conclusion that far from being a result of a negotiating failure, a "Cliff Edge" Brexit is becoming the desired outcome for many on the UK side. Far from falling off a cliff, the UK may be getting ready to jump.

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A Terrible Beauty is Born in Catalonia

by Frank Schnittger Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 10:46:09 AM EST

When the 1916 rising against British rule in Ireland took place, many of the defeated insurgents were booed on the streets of Dublin as they were being led to imprisonment: Such was the popular anger at the damage their ill-planned adventure had caused to many lives and the city's infrastructure.

And then the British started to execute some of the leaders, and the tide of public opinion turned.

It is doubtful whether Catalonian independence had the support of a majority of Catalonians prior to the referendum on the First of October 2017. But the sight of peaceful citizens seeking to vote being baton charged, beaten and shot with rubber bullets by riot police will change all of that.

Despite deploying 15,000 police mostly from outside Catalonia and injuring over 800 people, the Spanish state managed to close only about 300 out of 2,300 polling stations and could not prevent 2.3 Million people from casting their vote - a 42% turnout - despite confiscating many ballot boxes. Many Irish referenda have been passed with less.

90% voted for independence, a resounding response to the violence.

In one ill-considered act the Spanish state has ensured its own disintegration. Catalonia will now declare independence.  If the Rajoy government seizes control and organises new elections, they will be won by separatists. In the words of W.B. Yeats all is "changed, changed utterly: a terrible beauty is born."

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A Tale of many Referendums

by Frank Schnittger Sat Sep 30th, 2017 at 10:38:06 AM EST

As the Catalonia referendum crisis reaches it's apotheosis the Irish Government has proposed to hold no fewer than seven referendums in the next couple of years which has even friendly commentators questioning their necessity. More hostile commentators regard the plan as nothing more than a stunt pulled by a weak minority Government trying to prove it has vision and durability.

But some of the proposed referenda are very important and likely to prove extremely controversial and difficult to pass. The proposal to remove or amend the Eight Amendment to the Constitution which prohibits abortion in almost all circumstances is one such issue. There is a broad consensus that access to abortion in Ireland needs to be liberalised, but little consensus on precisely to what degree.

The Eight Amendment was originally passed in 1983 (with a 54% turnout) at the height of the Catholic Church's powers and guaranteed "the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn child". It has proved controversial then and ever since, but conservative forces will not give up without a fight.

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Catalonia open thread

by fjallstrom Fri Sep 29th, 2017 at 12:29:37 PM EST

In the absence of a thread from someone more knowledgeable about Spain, an open thread to collect links and impressions.

First out, Eurointelligence from this morning:


Things are coming to a head in Catalonia

The Spanish government has disrupted the Catalan referendum, but is likely not to be able to stop millions of Catalans from casting votes anyway despite a massive police deployment;

this undermines the authority of the state and still leaves the initiative with the Catalan regional government and parliament, which will decide on Tuesday whether to declare independence;

Víctor Lapuente argues that the credibility of a democratic state depends on the predictablity of its enforcement actions, which has been absent in Spain, while Guillem Martínez writes that "Leviathan" and "midget Leviathan" are both unpredictable and so unsettling;

Andrés Boix i Palop reviews in Verfassungsblog the increasingly widespread opinion among Spanish legal experts that the Spanish government is violating the constitution in order to protect it;

Front paged - Frank Schnittger

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German Elections Open Thread

by Frank Schnittger Sun Sep 24th, 2017 at 09:38:15 PM EST

Some discussion of the German election results has already taken place here buried deep within the 18 - 24 Sep 2017 discussion forum. However I think it merits a discussion forum all of its own. How will the results effect Germany, Europe and Merkel's continued leadership?

Historic rupture?

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has won the German federal election and a likely fourth term in office, amid a dramatic voter swing to the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

The four-year-old populist party will enter the German Bundestag as its third strongest party with around 90 seats, after tapping voter concerns over immigration and security to secure 13 per cent of the vote.

Support for Dr Merkel’s centre-right CDU collapsed eight points to around 33 per cent, according to preliminary results, the party’s worst result in almost 60 years.

“We have to win back the AfD voters by solving problems and by addressing their concerns through good politics,” said Dr Merkel to supporters in Berlin.

Her outgoing grand coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), appears headed for the opposition benches after winning just 20.6 per cent in projections, its worst result since 1949.

“This government is over, this grand coalition was dropped,” said SPD leader Martin Schulz, calling the AfD’s arrival in parliament a historical “rupture”.

Dr Merkel’s most likely option to remain in power is a three-way alliance with the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), back in parliament with a projected 10.5 per cent, and the centre-left Greens on around 9 per cent.

However, such an untested alliance would be an uneasy option for Dr Merkel, and risk increased uncertainty for Germany’s European allies.

Comments >> (27 comments)

Dismissing misunderstandings on the EEA Agreement

by Luis de Sousa Fri Sep 22nd, 2017 at 04:07:00 PM EST

Much confusion - or outright misinformation - continues to circulate in the UK media regarding the exit of the country from the EU. Particularly affected is the difference and relationship between the EU, the political union, presently governed by the Lisbon Treaty, and the European Economic Area (EEA), the trade union, ruled by the EEA Agreement.

Days ago The Independent newspaper published an enigmatic article in which it is claimed, among other oddities, that article 127 of the EEA Agreement can stop the current process of exit from the EU. Reproduced below is a short note I sent the editors of The Independent clarifying some of the misunderstandings in the article.

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2034

by Frank Schnittger Sun Sep 10th, 2017 at 07:39:10 PM EST

Nobody had really expected Brexit to have quite the consequences it eventually had. For some it was simply an expression of a latent English nationalism that had been triumphant in the Second World War, and which had been overwhelmed by the peace which followed. Somehow the EU didn't quite give adequate expression to the enormity of British success in that war, or compensate adequately for the loss of empire which followed.

For others it was simply a domestic response to a domestic problem. Immigration was changing the shape of English life. Whole towns and cities were becoming dominated by an immigrant culture that might have had many merits, but it simply wasn't English. Ethnically Indian and Pakistani immigrants might speak with posh English accents and play cricket. Footballers and athletes of African origin might dominate the Premier League and bring Olympic success. But it wasn't quite the same thing as having Ethel or Timothy next door make it to the big time.

For still others Brexit was a rebellion against an establishment which had delivered years of austerity; at declining public services and rising prices for privatised public utilities. A protest at the bankers and financiers of London who grew wealthy while every other region of the United Kingdom declined. A rejection of the globalisation which seemed to benefit the third world more than the first. A resentment that so many decisions seemed to be made by faceless and unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels. A sense of powerlessness in the face of a world being moved by foreign forces, beyond English control.

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The Third Tribe of Ulster

by Frank Schnittger Sat Sep 2nd, 2017 at 09:56:33 AM EST

Newton Emerson asks us to remember the Third Tribe of Ulster - one that is largely of Scottish descent, Presbyterian beliefs, and prone to dreaming of an Independent Ulster rather than one tied to either England or Ireland. Politically it is represented by the Paisleyite Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), rather than the previously dominant and anglophile Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and holds the English (perfidious Albion) in almost as much suspicion as do Irish Nationalists, formerly represented mostly by the Social Democrat and Labour Party (SDLP) and now by Sinn Fein.

Historically, he certainly has a point, but there is a another more modern third tribe his analysis ignores: This third, and possibly fastest growing tribe in N. Ireland today is neither Scottish, English, nor exclusively Irish; neither Roman Catholic, Presbyterian nor Anglican. It is neither Unionist nor nationalist. It is secular, disillusioned with tribal politics, and just wants to get on with life, make a decent living, and not be bothered by all the religious and political fanatics who seek to divide and conquer.

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Labour grows up?

by Frank Schnittger Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 12:26:45 PM EST

At last the British Labour party has decided to do what oppositions are supposed to do and put clear blue water between its policy on Brexit and that of the Tories:

Labour is committing itself to continued UK membership of the EU single market and customs union during a transition period following the official Brexit date of March 2019.

In a dramatic policy shift, the party's shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has announced that a Labour government would abide by "the same basic terms" of Britain's current EU membership during the transition, which some observers expect to last as long as four or five years.

And in an article for the Observer, he made clear that the party is open to the possibility of negotiating new single market and customs union terms which the UK could sign up to on a permanent basis.

At June's general election, Labour promised to seek to "retain the benefits" of the single market and customs union as part of a "jobs-first" Brexit, but leader Jeremy Corbyn has so far stopped short of committing to continued membership beyond the date of Brexit.

Read more... (57 comments, 850 words in story)

EU Position Papers

by Cat Tue Aug 22nd, 2017 at 06:31:45 PM EST

The United Kingdom triggered Article 50 on 29 March 2017. What has happened since then on the EU side?

29 April 2017, the European Council at EU27 published European Council (Art. 50) guidelines for Brexit negotiations (HTML)

3 May 2017, the European Commission published recommendation, organizing a negotiating task force and citing establishing law, delivered to the Council.

22 May 2017, the Council published authorisation for the opening of the Article 50 negotiations with the UK and EU agenda of priorities.

19 June 2017, the first round of negotiation with the UK concluded with agreement of the parties to Terms of Reference for the Article 50 TEU Negotiations (pdf)

The United Kingdom, and the European Commission, representing the EU, share the understanding  that  the  following, elements will  guide the negotiations under Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union
(TEU)
[...]
  1. Indicative dates for first sessions have been agreed as per paragraph 9 below . Each round will include discussion of each of the issues set out in Paragraph 3.
  2. Indicative dates are:
  • Second round: w/c 17 th July
  • Third round: w/c 28 th August
  • Fourth round: w/c 18 th September
  • Fifth round: w/c 9 th October

But you'd never know it to judge from Anglo-american press reporting on the series of non sequitors representing participation by UK gov't. agents in these A50 negotiations with the EU or their agreed, scheduled agenda.

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What the fall of the Sterling really means

by Luis de Sousa Mon Aug 21st, 2017 at 07:50:38 AM EST

Last Friday the Sterling closed at 1.094 to the Euro. Not only is it a remarkable figure for crossing below 1.1, it is the lowest weekly close since 2009. In effect, since the common currency was introduced to currency markets in 1993, the Sterling closed against it below this level only in eleven other weeks. They all took place between December of 2008 and October of 2009, at the height of the housing crisis, when European institutions failed to address financial markets with the haste seen in grown-up economies.

This brief note puts this monetary devaluation into a broader perspective, within the context of the UK's exit from the EU. Sterling is just a visible facet of an overall economic setting deteriorating in anticipation of the UK's shift into a new - and largely unknown - economic paradigm.

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Sterling devaluation: Cause and effect

by Frank Schnittger Sun Aug 20th, 2017 at 08:57:59 PM EST

My central expectation, repeated in numerous blog posts and comments since the referendum, is that we will see a hard Brexit (defined as one without a substantive Brexit or post Brexit trade deal) accompanied by at least a 30% devaluation of Sterling relative to the Euro.  

Faced with such a devaluation EU policy makers will have little option but to impose tariffs on imports from the UK, if only to preserve the competitiveness of the EU's own industries. If the UK retaliates with tariffs of its own, a hard Brexit will result in a trade war, even worse than the worst case scenario of "no deal" Brexit Pundits, all of whom seem to expect standard WTO tariffs to kick in at that stage.

My point has always been that WTO tariffs have to be negotiated, and there simply isn't any automatic process by which some default set of tariffs will kick in once the UK leaves the EU.

But the 30% relative devaluation figure was always a "finger in the air" guess. It now looks as if I might have been too conservative in my prognostication. Sterling has already declined from 77P to the Euro to 91P to the Euro - a devaluation of 18% since the referendum. Morgan Stanley are now predicting that the euro will trade at £1.02 by the end of the first quarter of 2018 - a total devaluation of 32.5% - and that is before we even know the exact shape that Brexit will take...

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Now you see it, now you don't

by Frank Schnittger Wed Aug 16th, 2017 at 01:36:29 PM EST

The UK's Brexit secretary David Davis Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Leo Varadker's pre-emptive shot across the bows appears to have had the desired effect of scaring the British off any notions of re-imposing border controls on the island of Ireland. However in forcing the UK to discard discredited notions of a frictionless tech border he has done no more than inspire another bout of "having our cake and eating it" thinking on the part of the UK Government. Somehow the UK is going to leave the EU, Single Market and Custom's Union without imposing any sort of border controls within Ireland at all at all...

Clearly, the UK government wants to keep the Irish Government on side while also keeping the DUP sweet.  The result is that it is effectively seeking to cast the EU in the role of the bad boy seeking to re-impose hard border controls within Ireland. Trusted trader status for Irish companies and exemptions for small cross border traders may seem like music to the ears of business and political leaders, North and south, but why should the rest of the EU tolerate it?

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Brexit balance of power swings from UK to Ireland

by Frank Schnittger Tue Aug 8th, 2017 at 07:09:39 PM EST

Fintan O'Toole's "Brexiteers' foolishness gives Ireland control" has neatly summarised what I have been saying over a number of posts in the last few months:

Yes, those really are vague pink glimmers in the early morning sky. Reality is dawning on the Brexiteers. Once, they were going to walk away from the European Union in March 2019, whistling Rule Britannia and greeting queues of foreign supplicants begging for trade deals. Now, they are hoping to cling on until June 2022. They know they are going over a cliff and realise that it is better to climb down slowly than to plunge off the top.

But this climbdown also creates a crucial weakness - one that explains why the Irish Government's tone has changed so radically.

To understand this new weakness, we have to recall that there were two possible scenarios in which the Irish Government had very little power. One was that the UK would simply walk away from the EU without any deal, the car-crash Brexit for which British prime minister Theresa May's old mantra, "No deal is better than a bad deal", was meant to be the overture. If that happened, Ireland was completely impotent.

The other possible scenario was the straightforward one set out in article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. The UK and the EU would negotiate a full exit deal by March 2019. In this case, Ireland would have very little power either. Even if the deal was a betrayal of our interests, we could not veto it.

The deal would have to be ratified by the European Parliament and then by the European Council. But, crucially, the council has to accept the deal only by a qualified majority. In both bodies, therefore, Ireland could easily be out-voted.

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Leo Varadkar Slams UK on Brexit

by Frank Schnittger Sat Jul 29th, 2017 at 10:33:12 AM EST

Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney once famously characterised the polite Irish society approach to difficult or awkward topics as "whatever you say, say nothing" and Irish politicians have, in the main, practised that down to a fine art. Even sports coaches and players are quick to praise their opponents, lest any derogatory comments be pinned on the opposing dressing-room walls as motivational material for the battle ahead. "They think you're shite" the opposition coach would say: "Just look at what they said about you", pointing to the offending article pinned to the wall. "Now prove them wrong!".

One of the reasons Leo Varadkar stood out from a pack of fairly mediocre ministers to win the Fine Gael leadership and prime ministership was his willingness to buck the trend and come out with the occasional, usually well calibrated and orchestrated "outspoken comment" to demonstrate a fresh and open approach to politics. He would only be saying, of course, what many had been saying quietly for quite some time, but couldn't quite bring themselves to say publicly, for fear of causing offence...

Now he's gone done it again with Brexit: Defiant Varadkar tells British: we won't design Brexit border for you. Taoiseach says `if anyone should be angry, it's us.'

"What we're not going to do is to design a border for the Brexiteers because they're the ones who want a border. It's up to them to say what it is, say how it would work and first of all convince their own people, their own voters that this is actually a good idea," Mr Varadkar said.

Mr Varadkar said there was a political border between the Republic and Northern Ireland, but not an economic one.

"As far as this Government is concerned there shouldn't be an economic border. We don't want one," he said.

"It's the UK, it's Britain that has decided to leave and if they want to put forward smart solutions, technological solutions for borders of the future and all of that that's up to them.

"We're not going to be doing that work for them because we don't think there should be an economic border at all. That is our position. It is our position in negotiations with the British Government and it's the very clear position that we have when we engage with the task force that is negotiating on our behalf with the UK."

Mr Varadkar said an economic border would not be in the interests of the Republic, Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom, "and we're not going to be helping them to design some sort of border that we don't believe should exist in the first place".

---<snip>---

Meanwhile, asked if he was frustrated with the British approach to Brexit talks, Mr Varadkar said: "If anyone should be angry, it's us, quite frankly."

"We have an agreement. We signed up to the single European Act. We joined the EC alongside the United Kingdom. We have a Good Friday Agreement and part of the Good Friday Agreement...talks about working together and continuing to do so within the context of the EU."


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Whistling in the wind...

by Frank Schnittger Mon Jul 17th, 2017 at 11:41:15 PM EST

Participating, as I do, in various discussion forums outside of the European tribune, I am always struck by how hostile Brexiteers are to the EU project as a whole, and then, in the next breath, still seem to expect the EU to cut them a generous deal in the Brexit talks.

As a general rule, if you are hoping to get a good deal from a negotiating adversary, it is not a good idea to keep telling them how much you hate them and wish them ill. Yet Theresa May has recently promoted a Minister who said that the EU has failed on its own terms and should be "torn down".

Increasingly, it seems, Brexiteers are also seeking to use Ireland as a Trojan horse with which to divide the EU and weaken the EU negotiating position. On the one hand you have Nigel Farage arguing that Ireland would be far better off throwing it's lot in with the UK and leaving the EU, and on the other hand the UK appears to be hoping to use Ireland's dependency on UK trade as a means to force the EU to concede generous free trade terms to the UK post Brexit.

So what is it the UK wants? Ireland leaving the EU with the UK to reinforce Brexit, or Ireland within the EU to weaken the EU's resolve to drive a hard bargain? Either way, the Irish Government has shown no sign of deviating from the common EU27 negotiating position.

Boris Johnson recently told the Commons that the EU can "go whistle" if it thought the UK were going to pay what he considered an extortionate exit payment - to which Michel Barnier replied that he could hear no whistling, merely the sound of a clock ticking...

Meanwhile normally reticent and discreet Irish Ministers express increasing frustration at the lack of a coherent plan for Brexit coming from UK Ministers, making planning for Brexit almost impossible.

This soap opera is going to run and run, and we're only into season 1!

Comments >> (147 comments)

Trump's Revival of anti-EU Sentiment in Warsaw

by Oui Thu Jul 6th, 2017 at 09:00:20 AM EST

Ahead of the G20 in Germany's Hamburg, Trump is expected to give a major policy speech. His White House team has made a judgment this will take place in Poland, a nation that suffered greatly under the boots of Nazi's and equally when the Red Army crossed borders and occupied the state during the 20th century.

Today's Poland is run by a fascist leadership with similar appeals to its citizens as Trump has in America: nationalist and anti-immigration rhetoric or rather against asylum-seekers from outside of the EU. Poland has welcomed a flow of migrants from neighbouring Ukraine which is suffering from economic woes and corruption.

    The Polish Prime Minister, in a speech in the European Parliament, claimed that Poland did not have the capacity to accept any Syrian refugees, as it has already accepted one million Ukrainian refugees (Chapman 2016). However, while the migration flow has indeed increased, neither the purported volume, nor the declared character of migration has been reflected by the official data. The vast majority of Ukrainians coming to Poland seek gainful employment and are not a burden on the Polish taxpayer, but rather contribute to the country's economic growth.

Poland is at the heart of criticism for EU capital Brussels and the role of giant economic power Germany.

Poland is also the point nation for neocon's New Europe and a special role in rekindling the Cold War 2.0 from president George Bush,  Defence minister Rumsfeld, NATO's General Breedlove to Obama's State Department with HRC and Victoria Nuland - Cheney's right hand on foreign policy vs. Russia.

More below the fold ...

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Appointing Judges in Ireland

by Frank Schnittger Sat Jul 1st, 2017 at 08:23:12 PM EST

Both the Irish Independent and the Irish Times (scroll down the page) have published my letter criticising the hypocrisy of Judges criticising elected politicians for commenting on the suitability of Judges on the grounds of the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of government, and then in almost the same breath seeking to influence the legislature in its deliberations:

Sir, - Chief Justice Susan Denham saw fit to rebuke Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin over his Dáil comments about former attorney general Máire Whelan and reminded us of the separation of powers between the branches of government and the necessity to maintain some distance between them.

Just days later, Mr Justice Peter Kelly is reported ("Leading judge says Government moves to reform judicial appointments `ill advised'", June 24th) as criticising Shane Ross's proposals for reforming the judicial appointments process as "ill conceived" and "ill advised", and the way in which they were being rushed through the Dáil when (in his view) other matters before the courts warranted a higher priority from legislators.

Could it be that our esteemed learned friends are trying to have it both ways, telling legislators how and when to do their jobs whilst being extremely sensitive about any comments directed towards them by our parliamentarians?

Whatever the merits of Shane Ross's proposals, surely it is right and proper that the process of appointing judges should be debated and decided by our democratically elected representatives at a time of their choosing, and not by those who are the primary beneficiaries of the process? - Yours, etc,

FRANK SCHNITTGER,

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LQD: Brexodus has begun

by Gag Halfrunt Sat Jul 1st, 2017 at 07:09:54 PM EST

I don't suppose this will surprise any regular readers.

Brexodus has begun. We EU nationals know staying on is too big a gamble | Joris Luyendijk | The Guardian | 30/06/2017

It will not happen in spectacular ways, so do not expect TV footage of hordes of well-heeled EU nationals making for Heathrow airport or the Channel tunnel. Rather it will be a steady, inexorable drip-feed. It has already started and as the true implications of Brexit sink in the number will swell. Call it the Brexodus: well-educated EU nationals with the global job market at their feet turning their back on a country they had thought of as a good and safe place to make their homes.

A Deloitte study, published this week, reveals that nearly half of all highly skilled EU workers could leave the UK within five years. This may have been news to many Britons, but not to the 3 million EU nationals in this country. Some of us have already left and others are actively making plans. Many know at least one EU national or family who have left already. Everybody is considering their options - and for good reason.

One thing I hadn't realised is that some EU nationals might have to sacrifice their original citizenships to get British citizenship because of their own countries' rules.
Highly educated EU nationals know that they have highly sought-after skills - many of us are not in British jobs taken by Europeans but in European jobs done in Britain. Why not take that job with us back to the EU? And why risk investing in a country that could turn on you at any moment? This question is even more urgent for those from Austria, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Estonia or Lithuania: countries that make it very difficult for their citizens to acquire a second nationality.

Front paged - Frank Schnittger

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News and Views

 14 - 22 Oct 2017

by Bjinse - Oct 14, 68 comments

Your take on this week's news

 2 - 8 Oct 2017

by Bjinse - Oct 3, 119 comments

Your take on this week's news

 Open Thread 2 - 15 Oct

by Bjinse - Oct 3, 25 comments

So many threads, so little time

 Open Thread 25 Sep - 1 Oct

by Bjinse - Sep 19, 31 comments

Within any thread, there are claims which are true but which cannot be proven to be true

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