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Last Ditch Attempt - Proposal for a Customs Union

by Oui Mon Feb 11th, 2019 at 09:56:17 PM EST

A fatal last straw that will just anger her Brexiteers as all ideas slowly evaporate as in a mirage ...

(Image credit Financial Times)

Theresa May's Brexit overture to Labour is a high-risk move | Sky News |

    With exit day looming, and the prospect of negotiating changes to the backstop still elusive, Theresa May has made an overture to Jeremy Corbyn.

    In a conciliatory letter, the prime minister offered fresh talks, alongside concessions on workers' rights, the environment and even financial support for deprived communities, all designed to win over wavering Labour MPs to support her deal.

    Depending on which newspaper you read, it is being interpreted either as Mrs May opening the door to a soft Brexit - at the risk of a cabinet split - or as a rejection of Jeremy Corbyn's proposals for a permanent customs union.

Brexit: EU's Barnier says customs union idea 'interesting' | DW |

The European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday appeared to welcome the idea of a customs union arrangement with Britain.

In a letter to May, UK opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn suggested a "permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union" with the EU.

Corbyn's suggestion appears to envisage Britain being part of a separate customs union, rather than part of the EU Customs Union (EUCU) itself. How this would be established or agreed upon in a matter of weeks is not clear.

The Labour leader envisages common external tariffs on goods from the rest of the world.

Continued below the fold ...

It also aims for Britain to have a say in future trade deals made by the EU.

Barnier's comments came ahead of a meeting with the UK's chief negotiator, Stephen Barclay, for an update on how British Prime Minister Theresa May intends to win parliamentary support for a withdrawal agreement.


However, May -- who has suggested talks to build more cross-party support for a withdrawal agreement -- appeared to dismiss Corbyn's proposal.

May said she would prefer an arrangement where Britain strikes its own independent trade deals, rather than having a say on those negotiated by the bloc.

Double-talk as stress level reaches feverish pitch ...

Theresa May 'not considering' Jeremy Corbyn's customs union plan on Brexit | Sky News |

    A spokesman for Mrs May also said the PM would make a statement in parliament on Tuesday to update MPs on the latest Brexit developments.

    It comes after Mrs May accepted an offer of further talks with Mr Corbyn, saying their teams should meet "as soon as possible" and offering concessions in a number of areas.


Not so sure this is the last of the last ditches...
by asdf on Wed Feb 13th, 2019 at 05:50:13 PM EST
Luckily for all time is running out ... or should we say May is running down the clock.

Having a drink at a bar after a day's hard work:

Exclusive: UK chief Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins warns MPs the choice is May's deal or extension

BREXIT - Corbyn: PM 'playing chicken with people's livelihoods & running down the clock'

Seeing this Sinn Féin lady quite often on teevee these days ...

'Regardless of Brexit, there will be a unity referendum'- Mary Lou McDonald calls for a vote on Irish unity

"Regardless of" can be replaced by "..." Sinn Féin has been sitting outside the playing field and coming on with blinking eyes as a faction of casket bearers. Strange ways of the Irish. Theresa May still relying on the DUP Unionists?

Meanwhile Arlene Foster is quite busy retweeting news of a long gone era ... or is it??

by Oui on Wed Feb 13th, 2019 at 06:37:27 PM EST
Reversing globalization due to right-wing extremism demanding closures of borders and protectionism ... identity politics trumps all. We've seen it all ... Mark Carney flip-flopping?

Mark Carney: Brexit is the first test of a new global order  | The Guardian |

Brexit is an acid test of whether it is possible to reshape globalisation in a way that offers the benefits of trade while allaying public fears about the erosion of democracy, the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has said.

Speaking in London, Carney said the ramifications of the UK's departure from the EU would be felt around the world and would determine whether it was possible to shrug off rising protectionism in favour of a new era of international cooperation.

The governor cited trade tensions and the result of the 2016 referendum as examples of fundamental pressures to reorder globalisation.

"It is possible that new rules of the road will be developed for a more inclusive and resilient global economy. At the same time, there is a risk that countries turn inwards, undercutting growth and prosperity for all."

Carney's recent comments about Brexit have highlighted the short-term risks to the economy of leaving the EU next month without an agreement in place, but he used his speech on the state of the global economy to provide a more upbeat assessment.

by Oui on Wed Feb 13th, 2019 at 07:36:09 PM EST
Her last friend from a Western European nation who was a diehard conservative and PM May supporter ... a sign of the times. :))

Mark Rutte: "Basta ya de quejarse de Trump, Europa tiene que trabajar con él" | El País |

All the UK has left are the Visegrád group of nations and perhaps a neighbor or two.

Central Europe: Taking up Where the U.K. Left off | Strafor - July 2016 |

Forecast Highlights

  •     The Central European states of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary -- known as the Visegrad Group -- will become increasingly vocal and active in shaping the post-Brexit EU reform process.

  •     The four countries will advocate the repatriation of powers from Brussels to national parliaments and will push for an "intergovernmental Europe" rather than a "supranational Europe."

  •     Because of their relatively small size and peripheral location, the Visegrad Group countries will look for allies within the European Union to advance their goals, aided by the growing Euroskepticism in the region.

The Visegrád Group in the EU: 2016 as a turning-point?

Dutch PM on Brexit: UK is a waning country too small to stand alone | The Guardian |

Britain is a "waning country" and too small to stand alone on the world stage, the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, has claimed in a withering assessment of the UK's exit from the EU.

Rutte, who has emerged as a key player in the talks over the past two years, also warned in an interview that the UK looked to be sliding off the "precipice" towards a "devastating" no-deal Brexit.

"Who will be left weakened by Brexit is the United Kingdom," he said. "It is already weakening, it is a waning country compared to two or three years ago. It is going to become an economy of middling size in the Atlantic Ocean. It is neither the US nor the EU. It is too small to appear on the world stage on its own."

Rutte, who also claimed the Dutch would replace the UK in the bloc as the pre-eminent voice for free trade, has been regularly consulted by Theresa May on progress in the Brexit negotiations.


Asked whether a Brexit deal was likely, Rutte said in an interview with European media outlets, including the Spanish newspaper El País: "My impression is that the ball is heading towards the precipice and everyone screams to stop, but nobody does anything to stop it, at least, from the British side."

Corporate Elitist Rutte Feels May's Pain
Goal for Next Decade: How to Harness Capitalism

Not unusual act on a day as Europe (Airbus) had to ditch the production line of the A380 ... outdated, so 20th century and its nephews are more lenient, versatile and fuel efficient.

A hard landing ... a no-deal Brexit just ahead.

by Oui on Thu Feb 14th, 2019 at 11:54:17 AM EST
That is a bad landing. But the airplane survived (after a trip to the maintenance hanger) and so did the passengers.

Question is whether Brexit will work out this well.

by asdf on Thu Feb 14th, 2019 at 06:40:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]

PM Theresa May wasn't there to witness her deepest defeat ...

UK's May handed another defeat in parliament | DW |

After two years of failing to get anything significant regarding Brexit through parliament, the government of Prime Minister Theresa May had launched a last desperate plea on Thursday.

The government's main motion:

  •    May hoping to have parliamentarians approve a motion that acknowledges her progress in negotiations with the European Union, voicing support for her to go back to Brussels seeking more amendments to the divorce deal, most likely related to the Irish border backstop.

  •   The motion was defeated, with 303 voting against and 258 voting in favor.

Now that the motion has failed, May will have almost zero credibility left to continue talks with the EU.

May lost support from both the hard-Leave and hard-Remain factions of her own party, leading to the motion failing.  


Defeated and withdrawn: the Brexit proposals MPs voted on | The Guardian |

A quick guide to Theresa May's failed motion and the other amendments MPs voted on this Thursday.

May's motion - DEFEATED

Theresa May's motion was defeated after ERG Tories refused to support her approach to leaving the EU. May's defeat, by 303 votes to 258, showed the prime minister once again losing control of her own party in the crucial final weeks before Brexit.

Labour's amendment to force another vote - DEFEATED

The Labour frontbench, including Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer, tabled an amendment that would force the prime minister to bring her deal back to the Commons or table another amendable motion by 27 February, just over a month before the UK is due to leave the EU. It was defeated 322 to 306.

The SNP's amendment to extend article 50 - DEFEATED

The amendment by the Scottish National party calls on the government to extend article 50 by at least three months. The amendment was defeated 315 to 93.

An amendment to force the release of no-deal cabinet briefings - WITHDRAWN

Anna Soubry has withdrawn the amendment she tabled with Labour's Chuka Umunna, both leading remainers. It demanded the government publish "the most recent official briefing document", which has been given to cabinet ministers on the implications of a no-deal Brexit on business and trade.

Corbyn to hold Brexit talks with Barnier and Verhofstadt | The Guardian |

by Oui on Thu Feb 14th, 2019 at 06:57:07 PM EST
Now she is another couple of weeks closer now to getting her deal through.
by asdf on Thu Feb 14th, 2019 at 08:04:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
43 days until March 29th and the lack of Critical Thinking Skills in the British Ruling Class continues to be exhibited.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Feb 14th, 2019 at 08:34:13 PM EST
Scrapping the A380 an act of kindness.

Airbus A380: End of the superjumbo era | Gulf News |

The company, a European economic powerhouse, is also girding for serious disruption to its cross-continental manufacturing from a likely chaotic British exit from the EU next month.

British Airways Brexit Debacle: The Airline Will Be EU Owned After Brexit.

British Airways owner stops selling its shares to non-EU citizens | CNBC |

by Oui on Sat Feb 16th, 2019 at 10:15:04 PM EST
by Cat on Sat Feb 16th, 2019 at 10:56:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

More EU-UK Brexit talks set after Cox sets out backstop changes | Reuters -  

HOPES of Brexit breakthrough rose last night as Ministers prepared to return to Brussels with new legal wording to fix the hated Irish 'backstop'. Sources said Attorney General Geoffrey Cox and Brexit secretary Steve Barclay will present Eurocrats with fresh proposals designed to reassure MPs in talks on Wednesday.


Speaking separately on Monday evening, the head of the EU's executive, Jean-Claude Juncker, said "no one in Europe would oppose it" if London asked for a Brexit delay beyond the current date of March 29 to get more negotiating time.

He also suggested Britain could go for a longer extension of the so-called Article 50 legal time limit on agreeing divorce terms if it decided to organize European Parliament elections on its soil in May.  

Has Juncker been drinking again so late in the game ??

by Oui on Tue Feb 19th, 2019 at 12:17:38 AM EST
Brussels has no more appetite for the UK ... if an EU leader makes this comment, it really is hurtful ... geez

Brexit breakthrough is in God's hands, says Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU's most senior official, declared that Brexit was "in God's hands" on Monday, as he said Brussels would be open to delaying Brexit if it avoided a 'no deal' scenario.

In an interview with German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung, the eccentric European Commission president said that Brexit was now being dictated by higher forces.

"When it comes to Brexit, it is like being before the courts or on the high seas; we are in God's hands. And we can never quite be sure when God will take the matter in hand," Mr Juncker said.

by Oui on Tue Feb 19th, 2019 at 12:21:03 AM EST
French ports cut out of EU trade route after Brexit

Between 2021 and 2027, a proposed €30.6 billion could be available from the EU's major infrastructure fund -- the Connecting Europe Facility -- for such upgrades across the EU.

UK Portugal Freight Statistics - 2017 [pdf]

by Oui on Sat Feb 23rd, 2019 at 05:49:07 AM EST
spelling checker "Port-ugal" should read "Port".
by Oui on Sat Feb 23rd, 2019 at 05:51:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French ports cut out of EU trade route after Brexit
This story is seven months old (August 2018).
Some discussion on shipping (with insights from Jake) here.
by Bernard on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 07:35:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For people's democracy called for in a referendum ...

Brexit 'must not, will not' be blocked  

Theresa May has vowed to Tory grassroots activists that she will not allow the referendum vote for Britain to leave the EU to be frustrated.

The Prime Minister is flying to Egypt for an EU-League of Arab States summit where she is expected to hold talks with key EU figures as she battles to break the deadlock in the Brexit talks.


Ahead of her departure, No 10 released details of her speech to a closed meeting of the National Conservative Convention (NCC) in Oxford on Saturday, when she told supporters the Government's focus on delivering Brexit must be "absolute".

Her comments came after three pro-EU Cabinet ministers signalled they could back moves in Parliament to delay Britain's withdrawal to prevent a "disastrous" no-deal break.

The intervention by Amber Rudd, Greg Clark and David Gauke led to calls for their resignations by furious Tory Brexiteers - comments said to have been echoed in private by some Cabinet ministers.

Northern Minister John Penrose warned taking no-deal off the table could undermine Mrs May's efforts to secure concessions on the backstop.

"It could torpedo Brexit completely, leaving us in a 'Hotel California' Brexit, where we'd checked out but could never leave," he said in an article for The Sunday Telegraph.

The Elephant Trap

"We'd have built an enormous elephant trap for ourselves, and there'd be no way to climb out."

by Oui on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 11:55:00 AM EST
by Oui on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 12:00:26 PM EST
Prophetic words from many ...

Theresa May is giving the final blow to the United Kingdom

... this was done by the government of David Cameron, who arrogantly, also because of his blatant re-election and the failure of the referendum in Scotland, underestimated the danger that those sly of the "Pro-Brexit" could get something.

And, immediately after the disaster the consequent Cameron resignation, and Theresa May's arrival at Downing Street, she chose the wrong policy, thinking that the only way to regain the trust of voters and stay in power was to practice the same thesis as the movement "Pro-Brexit", stubbornly insisting. with her head down, in applying the result (slightly over the half) of the referendum, without listening to those who suggested to check if the population still really agreed and was approving such a radical step.

After painting with reassuring public speeches the ideal world in which the United Kingdom was moving forward without the "chains" imposed by the "bad" European Union, negotiations with the latter to define the way out have started and the cold shower has arrived both onto the government and onto the population.

The Scottish Devolution Referendum: Failure in 1979 and Success in 1997 [large pdf]

by Oui on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 12:08:36 PM EST
Scots would have to be completely 'effin stupid to stay tied to England after Brexit.  Yet the odds for Scottish independence is 6/5 and pick 'em.  

Over riding factor:

"Referendum" is shorthand for "how the hell did we end up in THIS mess?"

(op.cit Brexit)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 10:24:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On their way out of the EU the Tories have definitely sandbagged SNP momentum for a civil solution. But of course they weren't about to let the "devolved" charade play out with "their" money off shore so to speak. Then Sturgeon-Salmon scandals topped off ambivalence in the middle-classes. Even WoS is discouraged.
Craig Murray went on about it in Dec.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Feb 25th, 2019 at 12:35:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 06:52:41 PM EST

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