Brexit Negotiations

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I was pleased to see that, on account of holding all the cards, the UK were able to strike a deal with the EU in which the EU got everything it wanted and the UK looked like silly-billys.

Baffle2:
I was pleased to see that, on account of holding all the cards, the UK were able to strike a deal with the EU in which the EU got everything it wanted and the UK looked like silly-billys.

The UK will be allowed to negotiate but not start other trade deals during the transition period. Something that was going to happen anyway.

Baffle2:
I was pleased to see that, on account of holding all the cards, the UK were able to strike a deal with the EU in which the EU got everything it wanted and the UK looked like silly-billys.

Be fair now. The UK was looking for a two-year transition period and basically got it; pretty much all the concessions pertained only to that transition period so it hasn't had to give up on anything important in the long term. Although sure, it does clearly identify that the UK appears to operating as the weaker party.

* * *

I was also doing some reading up on the intentions of Free Trade Britannia that the Brexiters were looking at.

The summary executive is that the EU is about the ninth freest trade area in the world, with only the USA and Japan as major economies less protectionist (and in the case of the USA, by not much and with Trump eyeing up serious protectionism). The UK, by current negotiation aims is looking at ~50% of its trade going from next to zero tariffs to about 3% average when it exits the EU.

This therefore means that most of the world that Brexiters are looking at for future free trade partners to replace EU trade are in a few cases no real improvement, and in most cases significantly worse. As the author puts it: "...most of the world is significantly more protectionist than the EU. This isn't a paradise, it's a shark pool."

So what's the latest news going on with Brexit?

Is a Hard Brexit anywhere close to happening?

Or is it not gonna happen at all.

Or is it VERY comprimised?

Samtemdo8:
So what's the latest news going on with Brexit?

Is a Hard Brexit anywhere close to happening?

Or is it not gonna happen at all.

Or is it VERY comprimised?

In less then a year the Brexit will happen, 29 March 2019 to be precise. From that point onward a transitional period will start of 21 months, though it seems there is some discussion because May seems to want it to be longer. The British have agreed to pay a certain amount of money to the EU, and most of the other issues are still up in the air. We are probably looking at a rather hard brexit though. To my knowledge there still isn't an agreed upon way to deal with the NI border, let alone with trade issues. We still have some 30 months or so though (including the transitional period), so maybe something can be figured out in the meantime.

As a deal sweetener, we've agreed to shoot all our fisherfolk at no extra cost, and are offering a free bag of Haribo to anyone prepared not to break into fits of giggles when our negotiators leave the room.

Pseudonym:

Samtemdo8:
So what's the latest news going on with Brexit?

Is a Hard Brexit anywhere close to happening?

Or is it not gonna happen at all.

Or is it VERY comprimised?

In less then a year the Brexit will happen, 29 March 2019 to be precise. From that point onward a transitional period will start of 21 months, though it seems there is some discussion because May seems to want it to be longer. The British have agreed to pay a certain amount of money to the EU, and most of the other issues are still up in the air. We are probably looking at a rather hard brexit though. To my knowledge there still isn't an agreed upon way to deal with the NI border, let alone with trade issues. We still have some 30 months or so though (including the transitional period), so maybe something can be figured out in the meantime.

And how this will affect the country from an economic stand point? Perticularly in the World Market? Will British products be heavily taxed now? Like the Total War game franchise is made by a British Studio, The Creative Assembly (though their games are published by SEGA) so are thier prices gonna get jacked?

And how will immigration, specifically immigrants seeking become full national citizens of the UK be affected by this because so far the right wingers and alt right youtubers are using Brexit as a way to stop Muslims from entering the UK and/or deport Muslim migrants out of the UK.

During the transition period, the UK will remain subject to EU market rules and regulations, thus trading with EU countries as before. However, as the UK will not be a member of the EU, trade agreements between the EU and third countries won't apply to the UK, reverting to WTO rules. The UK will be allowed to negotiate but not finalise its own trade agreements during this period. Afterwards depends on what is agreed later.

What I described above may not happen as that requires agreement by every EU member state. The relationship afterwards may not happen as that also requires agreement by every EU member state. Yep, that's 37 different countries with effective power of veto and the UK isn't the darling of the European club.

Samtemdo8:
And how this will affect the country from an economic stand point? Perticularly in the World Market? Will British products be heavily taxed now? Like the Total War game franchise is made by a British Studio, The Creative Assembly (though their games are published by SEGA) so are thier prices gonna get jacked?

And how will immigration, specifically immigrants seeking become full national citizens of the UK be affected by this because so far the right wingers and alt right youtubers are using Brexit as a way to stop Muslims from entering the UK and/or deport Muslim migrants out of the UK.

Regarding the immigrants. As far as I understand: those from the EU will have a significantly harder time going to Britain, as they can't rely on their EU citizenship to grant them access to britain just like that. They'll be subjected to the same rules as though they came from some random other country. Immigrants from different countries will not be affected directly. Some EU rules regarding immigration might not apply anymore giving britain more sovereignty on that count, and refugees entering the EU won't be distributed to Britain anymore. People already living in Britain, the brits are probably mostly stuck with. As for muslims specifically, whilst refugees towards Europe (many of whom are Muslims) are unlikely to land in Britain, muslim immigrants from countries like Pakistan will be unaffected, I think.

Regarding taxes and the economy, I've heard conflicting accounts. I have my thoughts on it but I don't know enough about those matters to give a coherent answer there.

Samtemdo8:
And how will immigration, specifically immigrants seeking become full national citizens of the UK be affected by this because so far the right wingers and alt right youtubers are using Brexit as a way to stop Muslims from entering the UK and/or deport Muslim migrants out of the UK.

Thats not going to happen no matter how much the far right YouTubers want it. Brexit shouldn't really change much with regards to immigration from countries outside the EU. What it does mean though is that someone from France or Poland or The Republic Of Ireland who wants to come to the UK will be treated the same as someone from America or China or Pakistan. This is kind of the problem with Ireland though as part of the agreement that stopped the violence over there was the freedom of movement between the two Irelands, so this needs to be sorted out before Brexit actually happens so it could still all be different.

Is there a fear that other EU countries will follow Britain's example and pull out of the EU aswell?

What country has been doing such?

Samtemdo8:
Is there a fear that other EU countries will follow Britain's example and pull out of the EU aswell?

What country has been doing such?

Well there's been rumblings of "Irexit" but mostly by people too dumb to even understand "Brexit" as word play, never mind as an economic and political decision with consequences. Who for some reason blame all of Ireland's woes on a cabal of insidious liberals even though the last time a left leaning party was in charge of this country was the 1920's. Who don't seem to remember that Ireland was a third world country engaged in a civil war when they start waxing lyrical about how great Ireland used to be. The right in Ireland are so retarded they don't even realise they're the ones in charge right now and keep on blaming liberals and progressives for all of the country's woes.

CheetoDust:
The right in Ireland are so retarded they don't even realise they're the ones in charge right now and keep on blaming liberals and progressives for all of the country's woes.

Which is worse, that the Right think Varadkar's identity is proof of left-wing prominence, or that the "Left" agrees? Then again, most of the the noise is the English and Americans...

Ninjamedic:

CheetoDust:
The right in Ireland are so retarded they don't even realise they're the ones in charge right now and keep on blaming liberals and progressives for all of the country's woes.

Which is worse, that the Right think Varadkar's identity is proof of left-wing progress, or that the "Left" agrees? Then again, most of the the noise is the English and Americans...

The man literally called criticism against him fake news and people on the "left" still don't see any parallels. It's mind blowing. The fancy socks must distract from the blue shirt.

CheetoDust:
The man literally called criticism against him fake news and people on the "left" still don't see any parallels. It's mind blowing. The fancy socks must distract from the blue shirt.

I'd like to ask him if the racial nonsense he hears makes for a break from being called a West Brit.

Samtemdo8:
Is there a fear that other EU countries will follow Britain's example and pull out of the EU aswell?

Given the UK humiliating themselves over the past year and half, and the outlook of the UK being somewhere in the realm of a train going of a cliff, the rest of the EU has had a view of just how mindless the current wave of Europhobia is, to say nothing of the laughing stock the US is becoming.

CheetoDust:
The right in Ireland are so retarded they don't even realise they're the ones in charge right now and keep on blaming liberals and progressives for all of the country's woes.

Ireland does not have the monopoly on that sort of thing, sadly.

Thaluikhain:

CheetoDust:
The right in Ireland are so retarded they don't even realise they're the ones in charge right now and keep on blaming liberals and progressives for all of the country's woes.

Ireland does not have the monopoly on that sort of thing, sadly.

We're in a strange space though, since most of this is being brought in from the US/UK, if you were go out and poll the public on the most important issues, it's all economic and infrastructural.

The reaction to Varadkar's appointment as the Fine Gael leader was only met with praise/anger based on his background outside of the country largely. Domestically he's largely hated for his track record.

Thaluikhain:

CheetoDust:
The right in Ireland are so retarded they don't even realise they're the ones in charge right now and keep on blaming liberals and progressives for all of the country's woes.

Ireland does not have the monopoly on that sort of thing, sadly.

Ninjamedic:

Thaluikhain:

CheetoDust:
The right in Ireland are so retarded they don't even realise they're the ones in charge right now and keep on blaming liberals and progressives for all of the country's woes.

Ireland does not have the monopoly on that sort of thing, sadly.

We're in a strange space though, since most of this is being brought in from the US/UK, if you were go out and poll the public on the most important issues, it's all economic and infrastructural.

The reaction to Varadkar's appointment as the Fine Gael leader was only met with praise/anger based on his background outside of the country largely. Domestically he's largely hated for his track record.

Yup, Ireland is largely a pretty progressive country in social terms, first country in the world to enshrine marriage equality in it's constitution via popular vote. We have pretty concise but effective anti-discrimination laws. Apart from the 8th Amendment referendum the largest feminist issue in this country is the #ISTillBelieveHer movement which most supporters don't seem to realise has nothing to do with the Republic's legal system. But it's such a hot button issue that it's great for distracting from the massive glaring issues that actually face this country. You know, like how poverty, homelessness and suicide rates are higher now than when we had a civil war.

Ninjamedic:

CheetoDust:
The man literally called criticism against him fake news and people on the "left" still don't see any parallels. It's mind blowing. The fancy socks must distract from the blue shirt.

I'd like to ask him if the racial nonsense he hears makes for a break from being called a West Brit.

Samtemdo8:
Is there a fear that other EU countries will follow Britain's example and pull out of the EU aswell?

Given the UK humiliating themselves over the past year and half, and the outlook of the UK being somewhere in the realm of a train going of a cliff, the rest of the EU has had a view of just how mindless the current wave of Europhobia is, to say nothing of the laughing stock the US is becoming.

This, of course, isn't true.

There has been no humiliation (beyond the mental contortions remainers have gone through to try to justify a second referendum of course :) ), although the UK's left wing press, which is extremely aggressive, has tried its hardest to give this impression, with significant assistance from the State broadcaster, the BBC (the BBC and one of the most biased news sources in the UK, the Guardian, have a very close relationship).

In reality, the EU faces significant problems but probably won't fall apart.

Up to 2015 UK was one of 9 net contributors to the EU, the second net largest after Germany. This will cause significant issues with the EU's budget as is the main reason the EU was so keen to secure money from the UK. Having secured this will help it to maintain for the short to medium term but it cannot continue to shift wealth East at the rate it does. Many of the new markets it offered the larger developed Western nations are now becoming saturated and the low cost labour (both in terms of manufacturing in the less developed nations and exporting, and in terms of immigrant labour into developed markets is no longer so low cost as wealth rises). It will be interesting to see how the smaller nations react when the money stops flowing so freely.

The "Europhobia" the poster above speaks about is of course the usual left wing attempt to characterise all dissent as some sort of irrational, neurotic condition. There is however significant, perfectly rational discontent with the EU.

Much centres in Eastern Europe and stems from the markedly more conservative attitudes in these countries, which, on the whole, tend to also be quite staunchly Catholic. Hungary, Austria and to a much lesser extent Slovakia faced the brunt of the refugee wave from Merkle's baffling decision to extent an open invitation for people to settle in Germany. The countries are small and ill equipped to deal with the demand of housing immigrants from such a different culture and religion. When wider demographic pressures, Hungary's population is shrinking hugely, 22,000 less people a year, are taken into account, it's pretty clear why Hungarians are so hostile to the wide spread dilution of their culture at this time. An interesting sub-plot is playing out in Poland, with the EU threatening to remove Poland's vote in the council (the biggest sanction, never used) just to judicial interference. It will be interesting to see how the EU reconciles the free market liberal socialism fostered by the Franco-Germanic heart of the EU, which has driven much of its policy, with the more conservative nationalism of Eastern Europe.

Dissent doesn't just focus on Eastern Europe, Italy, also Catholic, and beset by a similarly uncontrolled influx of North African immigrants, which it has had to house, with very little assistance (the EU tried to order each Eurozone country to accept a "quota" of immigrants and many simply refused), just voted for a party which ultimately just rails against the established parties.

It's not all one way traffic, the Dutch were tipped to vote in a really quite unpleasant piece of anti-EU (but mostly anti-Islam) work, Geert Wilders and his PVV party, but in the end the party can a distant second and was ham strung by all the other parties refusing to go into coalition with it.

There are other complications that leave the EU significantly weaker, such as the UK has the key part of the professional standing army the EU deploys; the MHRA is the leading authority for medical trials, for example.

In conclusion, while the UK leaving doesn't in anyway threaten the EU existentially it certainly raises unique challenges that can't be completely dismissed and highlights some of the ideological differences that seethe under the surface.

ErrrorWayz:

In conclusion, while the UK leaving doesn't in anyway threaten the EU existentially it certainly raises unique challenges that can't be completely dismissed and highlights some of the ideological differences that seethe under the surface.

image

CheetoDust:
Apart from the 8th Amendment referendum the largest feminist issue in this country is the #ISTillBelieveHer movement which most supporters don't seem to realise has nothing to do with the Republic's legal system. But it's such a hot button issue that it's great for distracting from the massive glaring issues that actually face this country. You know, like how poverty, homelessness and suicide rates are higher now than when we had a civil war.

I'm guessing the tactic now is to keep attention of the SDs and any possible change in Labour to keep Left-Wing alternatives off the table for the next election year, then get SF into a coalition to kill them off.

Ninjamedic:

ErrrorWayz:

In conclusion, while the UK leaving doesn't in anyway threaten the EU existentially it certainly raises unique challenges that can't be completely dismissed and highlights some of the ideological differences that seethe under the surface.

image

"Given the UK humiliating themselves over the past year and half, and the outlook of the UK being somewhere in the realm of a train going of a cliff, the rest of the EU has had a view of just how mindless the current wave of Europhobia is, to say nothing of the laughing stock the US is becoming"

Where as your "train cliff" comment was solid fact, without any need for a citation? :)

If you can find a source that encapsulates exactly what is happening the EU right as an absolute truth, I'd be very impressed.

ErrrorWayz:

Where as your comment was solid fact?

I've spent my time on this thread alone going over the Northern Ireland border, an issue that should be obvious to solve given NI's vote in the referendum to stay in the EU, and how the UK still after all this time cannot devise a coherent let alone reasonable offer or case for the dispute.

This is only one topic in 40 years of deals and agreements, and I have yet to see any substance on any front for all of the rhetoric, it's been gaffe after gaffe.

ErrrorWayz:
The "Europhobia" the poster above speaks about is of course the usual left wing attempt to characterise all dissent as some sort of irrational, neurotic condition. There is however significant, perfectly rational discontent with the EU.

Much centres in Eastern Europe and stems from the markedly more conservative attitudes in these countries, which, on the whole, tend to also be quite staunchly Catholic. Hungary, Austria and to a much lesser extent Slovakia faced the brunt of the refugee wave from Merkle's baffling decision to extent an open invitation for people to settle in Germany. The countries are small and ill equipped to deal with the demand of housing immigrants from such a different culture and religion. When wider demographic pressures, Hungary's population is shrinking hugely, 22,000 less people a year, are taken into account, it's pretty clear why Hungarians are so hostile to the wide spread dilution of their culture at this time. An interesting sub-plot is playing out in Poland, with the EU threatening to remove Poland's vote in the council (the biggest sanction, never used) just to judicial interference. It will be interesting to see how the EU reconciles the free market liberal socialism fostered by the Franco-Germanic heart of the EU, which has driven much of its policy, with the more conservative nationalism of Eastern Europe.

My understanding of the situation is that while there is great irritation between Hungary and Poland on the one hand and other countries and EU institutions on the other hand, Hungary and Poland are not interested in leaving the EU at all or even having conflict on that front. Why would they, they are net receivers of EU taxes and their people benefit more from the internal open borders. Any conflict with the EU will be bad for them, more than for the rest of the EU. So they just do what they want whilst trying to minimise conclict. The refugees are a good example: they have simply refused to take in any and seem to be getting away with that. This allong with issues regarding free speech and independence of the judiciary has led to conflict with the EU, but Hungary and Poland have little reason to push the conflict at the moment.

ErrrorWayz:
Dissent doesn't just focus on Eastern Europe, Italy, also Catholic, and beset by a similarly uncontrolled influx of North African immigrants, which it has had to house, with very little assistance (the EU tried to order each Eurozone country to accept a "quota" of immigrants and many simply refused), just voted for a party which ultimately just rails against the established parties.

Again, Italy has little to win and a lot to lose by conflict with the EU. It is unlikely that leaving or frustrating the EU will decrease the amount of refugees they are stuck with, after all. Not only that, but due to internal corruption Italy is one of the few EU countries where public trust in the EU is quite high relative to public trust in internal political bodies. Just like with Hungary and Poland it is a mistake to think that rightwing, populist (or whatever we should call it) sentiments are neccesarily anti-EU. Even if they do lead to conflict with the EU, it'll be the EU and the Northwestern countries therein who will escalate it, not Hungary, Poland or Italy. Seeing how serious escalation would require unanimity of all member states but one and Poland and Hungary have reason to have eachothers back, I've got my money on this remaining relatively stable for now.

ErrrorWayz:
It's not all one way traffic, the Dutch were tipped to vote in a really quite unpleasant piece of anti-EU (but mostly anti-Islam) work, Geert Wilders and his PVV party, but in the end the party can a distant second and was ham strung by all the other parties refusing to go into coalition with it.

Wilders wasn't hamstrung in the end by other parties refusing to go into coalition with it but beforehand. Anyone who thought he was going to be the Dutch PM beforehand simply doesn't understand Dutch politics (perfectly fair, we aren't that big, but I'd be careful with what you are told about it). The two (center)right parties who tried working with him last time were not pleased by the results. The CDA got crushed in the next elections, and the VVD (especially their leader, Rutte) doesn't trust them anymore after they bailed halfway through, triggering premature elections. Parties further to the left will certainly not work with them no matter what. That leaves them with a few tiny other parties who might work with them. Even if they had been the largest party, they'd have had significant problems getting into power. Besides nobody being willing to work with them, Wilders and his inner circle would barely have enough competent trustworthy (even internally) people to staff jobs on ministries and have acceptable speakers in parliament simultaneously. Because of this, the PVV relies crucially on Wilders and I expect them to crumble when he quits. The PVV is only effective by pulling the other parties rightward, not because they will ever have any direct influence. Even their minor ideas are voted down in parliament much more often than that of any other party. In the meantime though, they have been growing in every election. They are expected to lose seats next time (going by polls while the next election might be years away, so we can take that with a grain of salt) but this is partially because other far right parties (FvD, specifically) are taking away their votes. For now though, the situation with Wilders is, and was always going to be, a continuation of the status quo.

ErrrorWayz:
There are other complications that leave the EU significantly weaker, such as the UK has the key part of the professional standing army the EU deploys;

Despite what certain people want, at this time, military cooperation barely goes through the EU. We have NATO and various bilateral arrangements for that.

Whilst all of the things you brought up are legitemate concerns, I doubt they'll go anywhere soon. They might keep on brewing in the background, especially the eastern european thing, so in time it might become an urgent problem but for now nothing much will come of it. If it does become an urgent problem, the question is still 'for who?' It might not be the EU that will face the brunt of the discontent.

Pseudonym:

ErrrorWayz:
The "Europhobia" the poster above speaks about is of course the usual left wing attempt to characterise all dissent as some sort of irrational, neurotic condition. There is however significant, perfectly rational discontent with the EU.

Much centres in Eastern Europe and stems from the markedly more conservative attitudes in these countries, which, on the whole, tend to also be quite staunchly Catholic. Hungary, Austria and to a much lesser extent Slovakia faced the brunt of the refugee wave from Merkle's baffling decision to extent an open invitation for people to settle in Germany. The countries are small and ill equipped to deal with the demand of housing immigrants from such a different culture and religion. When wider demographic pressures, Hungary's population is shrinking hugely, 22,000 less people a year, are taken into account, it's pretty clear why Hungarians are so hostile to the wide spread dilution of their culture at this time. An interesting sub-plot is playing out in Poland, with the EU threatening to remove Poland's vote in the council (the biggest sanction, never used) just to judicial interference. It will be interesting to see how the EU reconciles the free market liberal socialism fostered by the Franco-Germanic heart of the EU, which has driven much of its policy, with the more conservative nationalism of Eastern Europe.

My understanding of the situation is that while there is great irritation between Hungary and Poland on the one hand and other countries and EU institutions on the other hand, Hungary and Poland are not interested in leaving the EU at all or even having conflict on that front. Why would they, they are net receivers of EU taxes and their people benefit more from the internal open borders. Any conflict with the EU will be bad for them, more than for the rest of the EU. So they just do what they want whilst trying to minimise conclict. The refugees are a good example: they have simply refused to take in any and seem to be getting away with that. This allong with issues regarding free speech and independence of the judiciary has led to conflict with the EU, but Hungary and Poland have little reason to push the conflict at the moment.

ErrrorWayz:
Dissent doesn't just focus on Eastern Europe, Italy, also Catholic, and beset by a similarly uncontrolled influx of North African immigrants, which it has had to house, with very little assistance (the EU tried to order each Eurozone country to accept a "quota" of immigrants and many simply refused), just voted for a party which ultimately just rails against the established parties.

Again, Italy has little to win and a lot to lose by conflict with the EU. It is unlikely that leaving or frustrating the EU will decrease the amount of refugees they are stuck with, after all. Not only that, but due to internal corruption Italy is one of the few EU countries where public trust in the EU is quite high relative to public trust in internal political bodies. Just like with Hungary and Poland it is a mistake to think that rightwing, populist (or whatever we should call it) sentiments are neccesarily anti-EU. Even if they do lead to conflict with the EU, it'll be the EU and the Northwestern countries therein who will escalate it, not Hungary, Poland or Italy. Seeing how serious escalation would require unanimity of all member states but one and Poland and Hungary have reason to have eachothers back, I've got my money on this remaining relatively stable for now.

Those countries indeed have much more to lose than to gain when coming in conflict with the EU but that doesn't have to be a problem for the ones in power. Currently all those countries have populist government who will gladly make bad decisions if it gets them a couple of votes. By his opposition to the EU institution Orban can paint himself as the defender of ''classical'' Europe who protects his people from dirty immigrants and who doesn't allow the Hungarians to be pushed around by those decadent, wimpy EU officials. Poland is in the same boat with their leadership.

And the EU is such a good target. Its foreign enough to serve as an ''other'' while divided and toothless enough to ensure little real problem can come from it. Poland for example can only get its voting right taken away if every single nation, including Orban's Hungary agrees which they won't.

As long as the populists get their votes its all good and if the country has to be damaged for those vote then so be it.

Pseudonym:
... (epic snip)

Despite what certain people want, at this time, military cooperation barely goes through the EU. We have NATO and various bilateral arrangements for that.

Whilst all of the things you brought up are legitemate concerns, I doubt they'll go anywhere soon. They might keep on brewing in the background, especially the eastern european thing, so in time it might become an urgent problem but for now nothing much will come of it. If it does become an urgent problem, the question is still 'for who?' It might not be the EU that will face the brunt of the discontent.

Good responses, very thoughtful and you have a much more detailed understanding of the Dutch situation that I gleaned from the Guardian and the Times!

By and large, I'd agree, and I was trying to be balanced, it's very unlikely the EU will fall apart but I do wonder how they will reconcile the different ideologies.

My wife is Slovakian and perhaps that makes the different cultures and thinking seem more "real" for me, but she routinely says things that would make a certain type of Western "liberal" incandescent with rage. Visiting Slovakia and seeing first hand how tricky some of the EU laws are to implement in their culture as well, for example gay marriage, where the President was quite openly refusing to say he supported it because he'd never win a local vote if he did.

I think perhaps the safest thing to say is the days of rapid expansion are certainly over. I also wouldn't be surprised if new members were forced to adopt the Euro, for example.

Hades:

Those countries indeed have much more to lose than to gain when coming in conflict with the EU but that doesn't have to be a problem for the ones in power. Currently all those countries have populist government who will gladly make bad decisions if it gets them a couple of votes. By his opposition to the EU institution Orban can paint himself as the defender of ''classical'' Europe who protects his people from dirty immigrants and who doesn't allow the Hungarians to be pushed around by those decadent, wimpy EU officials. Poland is in the same boat with their leadership.

And the EU is such a good target. Its foreign enough to serve as an ''other'' while divided and toothless enough to ensure little real problem can come from it. Poland for example can only get its voting right taken away if every single nation, including Orban's Hungary agrees which they won't.

As long as the populists get their votes its all good and if the country has to be damaged for those vote then so be it.

This seems quite perceptive too. This is a good piece on Orban and his motivations: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/Viktor_Orban

Populism is on the rise across Europe and it's quite worrying. Corbyn (well the real power behind the throne, McDonnell) terrifies me in the UK.

ErrrorWayz:

There are other complications that leave the EU significantly weaker, such as the UK has the key part of the professional standing army the EU deploys; the MHRA is the leading authority for medical trials, for example.

These are both nothingburgers.

Firstly, the EU doesn't have a professional standing army - not least because the UK has staunchly blocked it. Ironically, of course, for precisely that reason departure of the UK may herald the nascence of some sort EU military force. None of it really matters that much either with the continuing existence and membership of NATO.

The MHRA is just neither here nor there. For all its expertise, it's really just a national regulatory agency, and Europe is not short of national regulatory agencies capable of doing a similar job. By analogy, one might claim Oxford and Cambridge are the leading universities in the EU, but matters not a jot to the EU's education levels if those two universities cease to be in the EU.

The money issue certainly is a more significant problem. Although as we have seen, the EU have already successfully secured themselves several years to adjust to the eventually disappearance of UK money anyway.

Ninjamedic:

ErrrorWayz:

Where as your comment was solid fact?

I've spent my time on this thread alone going over the Northern Ireland border, an issue that should be obvious to solve given NI's vote in the referendum to stay in the EU, and how the UK still after all this time cannot devise a coherent let alone reasonable offer or case for the dispute.

This is only one topic in 40 years of deals and agreements, and I have yet to see any substance on any front for all of the rhetoric, it's been gaffe after gaffe.

Well, there was no Northern Irish referendum, there was a UK referendum, so the result any single geographic areas is not really relevant.

It's also somewhat short sighted (to say the least) to think that loyalists in NI are going to allow NI to be treated differently from the rest of the unions.

I think when you say it's "obvious to solve" what you mean is you'd prefer it to be solved in a specific way and so you think it's "obvious"?

Personally, I'd love to hand NI back to Ireland or the EU tomorrow, it's a massive subsidy sink... but I think some of the folk there have strong feelings about that.

Agema:

ErrrorWayz:

There are other complications that leave the EU significantly weaker, such as the UK has the key part of the professional standing army the EU deploys; the MHRA is the leading authority for medical trials, for example.

These are both nothingburgers.

Firstly, the EU doesn't have a professional standing army - not least because the UK has staunchly blocked it. Ironically, of course, for precisely that reason departure of the UK may herald the nascence of some sort EU military force. None of it really matters that much either with the continuing existence and membership of NATO.

The MHRA is just neither here nor there. For all its expertise, it's really just a national regulatory agency, and Europe is not short of national regulatory agencies capable of doing a similar job. By analogy, one might claim Oxford and Cambridge are the leading universities in the EU, but matters not a jot to the EU's education levels if those two universities cease to be in the EU.

The money issue certainly is a more significant problem. Although as we have seen, the EU have already successfully secured themselves several years to adjust to the eventually disappearance of UK money anyway.

Ha ha, nothing burgers. I like that. :)

They weren't really the crux of my discussion, I intended them to be areas where the UK may have something to offer in any negotiations, perhaps I oversold it with "significantly weaker", as you say. Certainly, I'd agree the only real existential threats (and they are not really likely to break it up entirely) to the EU are the handling North African immigration (and the many other nations that have joined that influx on the quiet), local "populist" politics and funding.

ErrrorWayz:

Well, there was no Northern Irish referendum, there was a UK referendum, so the result any single geographic areas is not really relevant.

If there exists a strong vein of pro-independence thought in that geographic area, and efforts in the recent past to bring that independence into being, then it becomes quite strongly relevant.

The greater the divisions in democratic will between one constituent country and the nation as a whole, the less well represented the people of that country will feel by Westminster. Surely you can see the potential dangers in that scenario?

ErrrorWayz:

It's also somewhat short sighted (to say the least) to think that loyalists in NI are going to allow NI to be treated differently from the rest of the unions.

"Short-sighted" perfectly describes the efforts at negotiation by the Conservative party thus far.

This is why we had no serious thought put into the question of the Irish border by the Government or the Vote Leave campaign until much too late, with the deadline approaching. This is why we have some members of the government contradicting others on fundamental questions, such as the prospect of a hard border.

There is only so much pressure the loyalists can exert on the Conservative Party. The Party is already under intense pressure from powerful hardline groups within itself, and their equally-hardline media supporters.

It's not that the negotiators don't care (although I don't doubt that Johnson and Rees-Mogg do not genuinely care about this issue). They are torn apart by conflicting interests, conflicting pressure groups, and conflicting impossible priorities. In the end, they'll desperately cobble together an agreement which fails to fulfil their obligations in Northern Ireland.

Hades:
Those countries indeed have much more to lose than to gain when coming in conflict with the EU but that doesn't have to be a problem for the ones in power. Currently all those countries have populist government who will gladly make bad decisions if it gets them a couple of votes. By his opposition to the EU institution Orban can paint himself as the defender of ''classical'' Europe who protects his people from dirty immigrants and who doesn't allow the Hungarians to be pushed around by those decadent, wimpy EU officials. Poland is in the same boat with their leadership.

And the EU is such a good target. Its foreign enough to serve as an ''other'' while divided and toothless enough to ensure little real problem can come from it. Poland for example can only get its voting right taken away if every single nation, including Orban's Hungary agrees which they won't.

As long as the populists get their votes its all good and if the country has to be damaged for those vote then so be it.

Let me put it like this: Victor Orban has been prime minister for slightly less than 8 years. If Le Pen or Wilders, let alone Farage had been in power for such a time and with the kind of majoraties Orban has to back him up, they'd have taken their country out of the EU. Orban has not done so nor has he even seriously talked about doing so. I agree that there is some friction here, but it just doesn't compare to the kind of anti-EU sentiments found in western Europe.

ErrrorWayz:
Good responses, very thoughtful and you have a much more detailed understanding of the Dutch situation that I gleaned from the Guardian and the Times!

I imagine Dutch politics is more complicated than it's worth learning about for most outsiders. It also functions rather differently from the American or British system so I'd expect some simplistic renderings of the situation. Whenever I see news in the English language about Dutch politics it nearly always seems misleading. The most common error is the assumption that 'most votes=win' which is true, but only partially so and cannot tell you the whole story since parties with over even so little as a third of seats in parliament haven't been seen in decades. The relevant questions relate to what coalitions can realistically form, who will have the upper hand in negotiations, and who gained or lost the most votes since last election. This can get simplified to 'centrist (lol no) leader Mark Rutte has beaten rightwing populist Wilders' or something inane and silly like that. Really makes me wonder how poorly my newspapers render the political situation in places far away.

ErrrorWayz:
By and large, I'd agree, and I was trying to be balanced, it's very unlikely the EU will fall apart but I do wonder how they will reconcile the different ideologies.

My wife is Slovakian and perhaps that makes the different cultures and thinking seem more "real" for me, but she routinely says things that would make a certain type of Western "liberal" incandescent with rage. Visiting Slovakia and seeing first hand how tricky some of the EU laws are to implement in their culture as well, for example gay marriage, where the President was quite openly refusing to say he supported it because he'd never win a local vote if he did.

I think perhaps the safest thing to say is the days of rapid expansion are certainly over. I also wouldn't be surprised if new members were forced to adopt the Euro, for example.

Yeah, I think we pretty much agree there. There are some tricky issues and differences that will be hard to deal with. As for the Euro, in theory, law and recent practice, all EU countries besides Denmark and Britain are expected to adopt the Euro when possible and to move towards adopting the Euro otherwise. In some cases countries even adopted the Euro when it was way too early for that and that (allong with some other factors) has led to some rather bad situations, at least in Greece.

Silvanus:

ErrrorWayz:

Well, there was no Northern Irish referendum, there was a UK referendum, so the result any single geographic areas is not really relevant.

If there exists a strong vein of pro-independence thought in that geographic area, and efforts in the recent past to bring that independence into being, then it becomes quite strongly relevant.

The greater the divisions in democratic will between one constituent country and the nation as a whole, the less well represented the people of that country will feel by Westminster. Surely you can see the potential dangers in that scenario?

Well, I can see how it would be attractive to play up pockets of pro-EU sentiment as support for a personal preference. The point, really, is that the vote was held under certain rules and these did not allow for multiple regional results. I also can't help feeling you wouldn't be pouring over regional breakdowns arguing for the (regional) will of the people to be recognised if we'd voted to remain?

ErrrorWayz:

It's also somewhat short sighted (to say the least) to think that loyalists in NI are going to allow NI to be treated differently from the rest of the unions.

Silvanus:

"Short-sighted" perfectly describes the efforts at negotiation by the Conservative party thus far.

This is why we had no serious thought put into the question of the Irish border by the Government or the Vote Leave campaign until much too late, with the deadline approaching. This is why we have some members of the government contradicting others on fundamental questions, such as the prospect of a hard border.

There is only so much pressure the loyalists can exert on the Conservative Party. The Party is already under intense pressure from powerful hardline groups within itself, and their equally-hardline media supporters.

It's not that the negotiators don't care (although I don't doubt that Johnson and Rees-Mogg do not genuinely care about this issue). They are torn apart by conflicting interests, conflicting pressure groups, and conflicting impossible priorities. In the end, they'll desperately cobble together an agreement which fails to fulfil their obligations in Northern Ireland.

Well, yes, they will cobble together a result because (as you, yourself point out, it's an impossible situation) that's all that can happen.

You seem keen to bash the Conservative Party and downplay the loyalist influence but even if People's Saviour Corbz the Magnificent and his Momentum Shock Troops had assumed full control of the bourgeoisie scum there would be no different result.

They are just as riven by conflicting influences and just as susceptible to the two distinct ideologies in NI.

Like Brexit, it's not really a party political issue.

ErrrorWayz:

Well, I can see how it would be attractive to play up pockets of pro-EU sentiment as support for a personal preference. The point, really, is that the vote was held under certain rules and these did not allow for multiple regional results. I also can't help feeling you wouldn't be pouring over regional breakdowns arguing for the (regional) will of the people to be recognised if we'd voted to remain?

I think you're missing what I'm arguing. I'm not arguing that the referendum allowed for different regional results; it transparently did not. I'm saying that large differences between the priorities of a constituent country and the nation as a whole have implications for its position in that nation. They impact the dialogue surrounding independence. Such would be the case with any great discrepancy, including if the UK had voted to remain and N.I. had voted to leave.

Well, yes, they will cobble together a result because (as you, yourself point out, it's an impossible situation) that's all that can happen.

You seem keen to bash the Conservative Party and downplay the loyalist influence but even if People's Saviour Corbz the Magnificent and his Momentum Shock Troops had assumed full control of the bourgeoisie scum there would be no different result.

They are just as riven by conflicting influences and just as susceptible to the two distinct ideologies in NI.

Like Brexit, it's not really a party political issue.

Labour is riven by conflicting influences and interests, yes. But it does not have a significant number of hardline Leavers among its MPs. Labour MPs voted by a much wider margin to Remain, and even the Leavers-- such as Gisella Stuart-- do not support a hardline, no-deal position.

Labour must satisfy various influences. Hardline Brexiteer MPs are not one of them.

ErrrorWayz:

Well, there was no Northern Irish referendum, there was a UK referendum, so the result any single geographic areas is not really relevant.

It is when it's a disputed territory on a separate landmass that has the only land border with another EU state.

It's also somewhat short sighted (to say the least) to think that loyalists in NI are going to allow NI to be treated differently from the rest of the unions.

And of the rest of the population? Are you assuming hardline Loyalism is the majority view? Or is this fealty to the Orange threat of violence I see again?

What if Irish Nationals are discriminated against?

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/only-british-passport-holders-can-apply-for-brexit-border-force-jobs-in-belfast-36810389.html

Because this just happened, the border recruitment will now discriminate against anyone in NI who claims Irish nationality. (EDIT: re-read it and the issue is that it requires British Identification as opposed to every other State post in the UK, in NI of all places!?) This also casts major aspersions over the Common Travel Area. But I have nothing to worry about at all, now do I?

I think when you say it's "obvious to solve" what you mean is you'd prefer it to be solved in a specific way and so you think it's "obvious"?

A sea border would preserve GFA, be far more enforceable, and require far less resources compared to one of the more porous borders per length in all of Europe.

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