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mormont

UK Politics: Time Marches On

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The hostile environment 'right to rent' checks suffer a legal defeat:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47415383

Who could have foreseen that this policy would lead to racist behaviour, exactly as it was intended to?

Meantime, the tuition fees review (remember that?) is likely to become the latest thing to fall by the wayside because all the Parliamentary time is eaten up by Brexit.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-47405054

I was at a conference yesterday where we discussed how the 'good work plan' had fallen into exactly the same problem. A little-discussed downside to Brexit.

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The "ferry contract given to ferry company with no ferries" story continues to get even more incompetent, with the Government now giving £33 million pounds of our money to Eurotunnel to stop them suing the Government over being excluded from the original contract. I wonder if one of their main motivations for settling it to stop a public court case leading to the publication of embarrassing details about how incompetent Grayling's department is.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47414699

The end of the article does give a hint about this could get even more ridiculous:

And Andrew Dean, from law firm Clifford Chance, warns this may not be the end of the matter.

Mr Dean, who used to advise DfT and is a procurement specialist, says: "If Eurotunnel were required to develop or redevelop infrastructure that delivers or supports a public function as part of this settlement, there is a risk it could be construed as another piece of public procurement without open and transparent competition.

"In which case the government would be back to square one, with other potential providers able to challenge the process."

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From the previous thread:

Quote

 

1. What reforms do you want?

2. Why do you think anyone else would be in the mood to make reforms to their union because a nation that almost quit and has zero idea of what it wants pushes for them?

 

I think the EU would be well shot of us, to be honest!  They must be so fed up of the UK.  We have moaned for over 40 years instead of joining in and trying to improve a fledgling union.  We've got more opt outs and exemptions than any other member state.  And now Brexit.  And only lately are they voicing some of the frustration they must feel.

As much as I admire Donald Tusk in particular, and the good will and genuine belief in making Europe prosperous and better  from most involved in general, I still wouldn't want the UK to join the Euro.  I'm no economist, but the single currency seems inherently flawed to me.  So the main reforms I would like to see would be in regards to that.

But, to be honest, I think the EU would be better off without us.  We hold them back.

 

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12 minutes ago, Mosi Mynn said:

But, to be honest, I think the EU would be better off without us.  We hold them back.

 

I don't know if that is true, but it is true that the direct the EU needs to head in to succeed is not the same direction that the UK would want the EU to head in for its own reasons.

The EURO mess can really only ever be sorted out by closer political and economic integration between the Euro nations, in its current state the Euro simply doesn't work and is close to being a disaster that could fall apart. Obviously Britain doesn't see the EU in the same way, Britains preference is mostly for a loose touch trading relationship. The EU has made nods to say that Britain wouldn't have to join in that closer union, but its unlikely that would be the same forever.
 

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1 minute ago, Heartofice said:

I don't know if that is true, but it is true that the direct the EU needs to head in to succeed is not the same direction that the UK would want the EU to head in for its own reasons.

The EURO mess can really only ever be sorted out by closer political and economic integration between the Euro nations, in its current state the Euro simply doesn't work and is close to being a disaster that could fall apart. Obviously Britain doesn't see the EU in the same way, Britains preference is mostly for a loose touch trading relationship. The EU has made nods to say that Britain wouldn't have to join in that closer union, but its unlikely that would be the same forever.
 

I think this is the crux of it.

Whether it's due to being an island, our obsession with history (we really need to address this as a nation: it's actually hindering progress at this point), our media, or our Euro-skeptic politicians, we have never had the commitment to  the EU that other member states do.  

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13 minutes ago, Mosi Mynn said:

I think this is the crux of it.

Whether it's due to being an island, our obsession with history (we really need to address this as a nation: it's actually hindering progress at this point), our media, or our Euro-skeptic politicians, we have never had the commitment to  the EU that other member states do.  

I’m not sure how Britain has hindered the EUs progress, it’s done a good job of that on its own. It’s also debatable that other countries are willing to be further integrated economically or culturally.

Either way I think it’s a pretty reasonable position for the UK to not want further political union with the EU. Why should it?

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9 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Either way I think it’s a pretty reasonable position for the UK to not want further political union with the EU. Why should it?

I think it's reasonable too.  And in that case, we should leave and let them get on with it.  They are clearly moving toward greater integration - they seem committed to that.  I don't think the UK is ready for that.  Cameron did negotiate an opt-out of further integration, I think, but what would that mean for either the UK or the EU going forward?

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Of course, the best way for the U.K. to prevent further political integration within the EU is to be in the EU so we can veto it.

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9 hours ago, Maltaran said:

Of course, the best way for the U.K. to prevent further political integration within the EU is to be in the EU so we can veto it.

But the purpose of the EU is ever closer union. Sir Humphrey jokes aside ("we got into Europe so we could mess it up!"), being a member of an organisation whose raison d'être you are opposed to is inherently silly.

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Posted (edited)

It is far from clear to what extent the rest of Europe is committed or even moving to further integration.

One of the few things that Cameron did get from his stupid attempt at renegotiation in the run up to the Brexit referendum was a explicit opt out for the UK from the "creating an ever closer union".

The full EU phrase is usually quoted as "creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen". This is not quite the same thing as an aspiration to create a European super-state, and as far as I am aware has never been cited as an argument for giving more powers to Brussels. See for example this EU declaration: The European Council noted that the concept of ever closer union allows for different paths of integration for different countries, allowing those that want to deepen integration to move ahead, while respecting the wish of those who do not want to deepen any further.

And yes, the UK, having negotiated a whole set of opt outs, had already got the ultimate soft Brexit, one in which it had been largely able to cherry pick which bits of the EU it wanted to adopt and which it didn't, while still having a great deal of influence. Post Brexit, the deal the UK will need to make with the EU is very unlikely to be so good.

Edited by A wilding
(Edited to fix link)

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Quote

 

I think it's reasonable too.  And in that case, we should leave and let them get on with it.  They are clearly moving toward greater integration - they seem committed to that.  I don't think the UK is ready for that.  Cameron did negotiate an opt-out of further integration, I think, but what would that mean for either the UK or the EU going forward

 

"They" in this sense usually means "France and Germany", which is not the same thing as "Europe". In fact, one of the amusing ironies of the situation was the constant complaining about the EU being a Franco-German project which everyone else kind of got swept up in, with Britain in particular highly dubious of that relationship. Then that relationship foundered because of Hollande and the Germans suddenly taking a lot of inspiration from British economic efficiency (apparently) and the dynamic changed and Britain had a lot more influence in the EU, especially the relationships cultivated with the Eastern European countries. 

The rise of populism in the EU, of which Brexit is seen as a symptom, of course is one of the things that drove France to electing Macron and a swift return to the Franco-German axis of control of the EU, which is the one thing Britain wanted to avoid. Oh well.

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An interesting survey result suggests the UK is now rather positive about immigration.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47428515

The key thing is that this seems to be a trend that began before the Brexit referendum, but at that time opinion was still overall negative. Now, it's positive. 

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10 hours ago, Werthead said:

"They" in this sense usually means "France and Germany", which is not the same thing as "Europe". In fact, one of the amusing ironies of the situation was the constant complaining about the EU being a Franco-German project which everyone else kind of got swept up in, with Britain in particular highly dubious of that relationship. Then that relationship foundered because of Hollande and the Germans suddenly taking a lot of inspiration from British economic efficiency (apparently) and the dynamic changed and Britain had a lot more influence in the EU, especially the relationships cultivated with the Eastern European countries. 

The rise of populism in the EU, of which Brexit is seen as a symptom, of course is one of the things that drove France to electing Macron and a swift return to the Franco-German axis of control of the EU, which is the one thing Britain wanted to avoid. Oh well.

I was thinking of Jean-Claude Juncker in particular as someone who wants greater integration.  I don't know if France or Germany do - the French people seem quite skeptical, and Merkel is very conscious of Germany having to prop up the EU at times, financially and in a leadership role.  

Are the EU due new Presidents later this year, or can Juncker and Tusk be re-elected?  Some speculate that Merkel might take become President of the European Council.  

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As far as I know Tusk could be re-elected. Juncker isn't running again. Right now Manfred Weber of the EPP (German Christian Democrats, Bavarian CSU) has the best chances to get elected by the European Parliament. That of course means there is no way Merkel could run for the post of president of the European Council. Not sure how Tusk's chances are. His own government didn't want him last time around but that didn't stop the council from electing him then.

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I rather begrudge 1.6 billion being spent on mostly brexit voting towns in the north. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Loge said:

As far as I know Tusk could be re-elected. Juncker isn't running again. Right now Manfred Weber of the EPP (German Christian Democrats, Bavarian CSU) has the best chances to get elected by the European Parliament. That of course means there is no way Merkel could run for the post of president of the European Council. Not sure how Tusk's chances are. His own government didn't want him last time around but that didn't stop the council from electing him then.

Correct. However, arithmetics could (at least theoretically) change a bit, depending on what the conservatives parties do with Victor Orban and his party. Which in turn impacts Weber's chances.

If they expel them (long overdue imo) they lose sizeable bit of their faction in the European Parliament, and they would be as a result no longer the biggest faction. Orban himself has hinted he considers his party leaving the conservative block and join the right wing populists in parliament. Then Frans Timmermans would be the frontrunner for succeeding Juncker. Needless to say I am rooting the Dutch guy (and self-proclaimed male feminist).

Of course the Social Democrat bloc around Timmermans also have their party they really should thinking about expelling. The Romanians are on top of their list, their fight against anti-corruption comes to mind.

5 hours ago, Mosi Mynn said:

I was thinking of Jean-Claude Juncker in particular as someone who wants greater integration.  I don't know if France or Germany do - the French people seem quite skeptical, and Merkel is very conscious of Germany having to prop up the EU at times, financially and in a leadership role.  

Macron is extemely pro European. Merkel is void of any visions or strong opinions, but is as far as one can tell with her also rather pro multilateralism (thus pro EU). That is to various degrees also consensus among the major German parties (ironically Weber's CSU ***** being on the more or EU critical side of things), exception being the so-called Left (in which there are some deep divions over the EU, not sure which wing is stronger there) and obviously the don't-call-us-racsits-racists from the AfD. The AfD also being the only party wanting to give in to British unicornism. The rationale being, if Brexit works out well for Britain, they can then go on to campaign for Dexit.

 

Edited by A Horse Named Stranger

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26 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

I rather begrudge 1.6 billion being spent on mostly brexit voting towns in the north. 

Eh. It's over 7 years, so basically only £230m per year. By the time you divide that up, it's peanuts. May can't even bribe people right. 

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6 hours ago, Loge said:

As far as I know Tusk could be re-elected.



Pretty sure Tusk is planning to end his time on the European stage and try to rescue Poland from those PiS fuckers. Thought his time was up anyway though?

 

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11 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

Pretty sure Tusk is planning to end his time on the European stage and try to rescue Poland from those PiS fuckers. Thought his time was up anyway though?

I'll sapre you the lame pun about the Polish anthem, and just say, I think it's a little too late for that.

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4 hours ago, mormont said:

Eh. It's over 7 years, so basically only £230m per year. By the time you divide that up, it's peanuts. May can't even bribe people right. 

She bought a government for less. 

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