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Getting out of the EU

Surely now, no-one can doubt that the EU is so much more than a set of laws regulating trade and commerce?  Why did so many UK politicians try and pretend this was just a business or commercial arrangement? As this declaration reminds us in a timely way, at the heart of the EU is the strong desire to create a single country. It will have common borders, one currency, one foreign policy and one social policy. It will have its own energy policy, its own transport policy. Indeed, it has much of that already. It is only those who refuse to read EU documents who can think otherwise.

John Redwood MP, referring to “The Rome Declaration” of EU states drawn up a week ago, which he says shows a clear intent to create a single European state, from which the UK has today, via the Article 50 process, begun to extricate itself.

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31 comments to Getting out of the EU

  • Mr Ed

    The reported draft response of the European Parliament to the notification of the UK’s departure clearly shows what they are thinking of. H/t to Order-Order

    it is the duty of all remaining Member States to act in unity in the defence of the European Union’s interests and its integrity

    To which I say, there is a nice song by Sabaton, ‘Back in Control‘ about the Falklands War but much of the lyrics apply to today.

  • bob sykes

    How does the EU/German immigration policy conform to “unity in the defence of the European Union’s interests and its integrity”? Just how delusional are Europe’s leaders? Or Scotland’s for that matter.

  • Regardless, the dagger has been wielded and Article 50 has been served, despite the fantastical belief of the pro-EU idiots who said the referendum result should be ignored or that the government would never actually deliver on Article 50.

    It is done.

    The point raised by Mr. Ed is unsurprising, but also quite telling. Article 50 existed as a pretence of freedom, never to be used (which is indeed why there was virtually no guidance on it prior to the reality of BRExit), but once wielded successfully by the UK others will consider it.

    The USSR lasted 70 years from cradle to grave and last week the EU celebrated it’s 60th birthday.

    I fully expect that the EU will be in rags and tatters in 10 years and gone within 20. Mostly because the Germans cannot and will not pick up the budgetary slack of losing the UK’s contributions.

    The horse is already dead. Time to quit flogging it.

  • Stephen W. Houghton

    What I don’t understand is this. People act like the EU has the upper hand. May should just privately tell the EU that is they do not negotiate and fair deal in good faith, she will make an offer of free trade with sovereignty to all the member nations of the EU and let the chips fall as they may.

  • Mr Ecks

    Where’s Staghounds?

    Altho’ in fairness we have no grounds for being complacent or dropping our guard. The shower that is BluLabour can’t be trusted as far as they can be thrown.

  • Stephen W. Houghton

    May should just privately tell the EU that if they do not negotiate a fair deal in good faith,

  • May should just privately tell the EU that is they do not negotiate and fair deal in good faith, she will make an offer of free trade with sovereignty to all the member nations of the EU and let the chips fall as they may.

    Time and again, even under David Cameron’s clearly pro-EU regime, the EU elite (including Angela Merkel) have failed to appreciate that the UK will act in our own interests regardless of the impact this has on the European Union.

    I remember Angela Merkel being shocked at David Cameron’s decision to use the UK’s veto power in 2011 and similarly shocked after BRExit, despite treating David Cameron’s EU renegotiation with contempt.

    So during the negotiations I DO believe that they will overplay their hand, because they DO NOT understand that the UK will act in its own rational self-interest during negotiations and if this means that the interests of the remaining EU 27 can go hang, that is what will happen.

    The EU believes that representing 27 other nations gives it strength, but the reality is that it is 27 nations each of which is pulling in different directions. There is no unanimity among the EU 27, just a very broad consensus.

    Even if a deal does get negotiated and accepted by both negotiating teams and the UK and EU leadership, getting it ratified will be another matter entirely, especially if the French government is playing its usual games.

    As Harold Macmillan knew well “The French always betray you in the end”.

  • bob

    From a Yankee,

    Hooray for the UK!

  • Fred Z

    From a 1st generation Canadian with German parents-

    Hooray for the UK, and,

    Tough luck Kraut-boys, ‘third time lucky’ by stealth and fraud didn’t work any better than brute force.

  • Chris

    From another yankee,

    Well done UK!

  • bobby b

    From the Draft Response:

    ” . . . it would be contrary to EU law for the United Kingdom to begin, in advance of its withdrawal, negotiations on possible trade agreements with third countries . . . ”

    and

    “Warns that any bilateral arrangement between one or several remaining Member States and the United Kingdom, that has not been agreed by the EU-27, on the issues included in the scope of the withdrawal agreement and/or impinging on the future relationship of the Union with the United Kingdom, would also be in contradiction with the Treaties . . . “

    What enforcement mechanism does the EU retain against its remaining members – or against the UK – that will keep them from negotiating their future relationships? Do these provisions have real teeth? If they do, a negotiated agreement becomes more likely, simply because no one will want to wait for two years to begin talking. If the UK could have a number of agreements already set to slide into place as the negotiating period expired, negotiating pressure would be squarely on the EU. If these Draft terms become contractual terms (which treaty terms are), do the UK and its would-be trading partners then become liable to the EU for damages to the EU defined by the savings set out in any new agreements?

    It just looks like the EU is trying to set up expectation damages – defined by amounts that the EU should rightly enjoy if the UK complied with its obligations – with these clauses.

    Feints within feints . . .

  • It just looks like the EU is trying to set up expectation damages – defined by amounts that the EU should rightly enjoy if the UK complied with its obligations – with these clauses.

    The EU are portraying this as a divorce and therefore a divorce settlement being due for rights enjoyed during the period of UK membership as well as payment for commitments made going out into the future.

    As with a divorce, there is no mention of the vast sums that the EU has enjoyed during the UK’s membership of the EU, only that there is an expectation of significant sums in compensation.

    The reality is that although the EU with its psychopathic desire for “Ever closer union” sees any reversal as impossible (and indeed Article 50 existed largely for appearances sake only), the UK joined the EEC as a trade organisation and a customs union.

    This was a business partnership only as far as the UK was concerned and the UK has always resisted the inevitable political union that the European elite saw as the end vision.

    As with the dissolution of any partnership any forward costs must be offset against an appropriate share of the EU’s assets based upon more than 40 years of significant UK contributions to the EEC and the EU.

    Talk of “bills” of €60 billion and more are clearly ludicrous and if talks were to break down (which I think unlikely at this stage), then what court would have jurisdiction to enforce them?

    Clearly much of the current rhetoric is just unfounded nonsense, simply negotiators placing extreme markers in the sand to achieve a reasonable end settlement. I suspect that Theresa May’s view of a settlement in the order of £3 billion will be much closer to reality and since that is a political rather than an economic or legal reality, I suspect she will be proven correct.

  • staghounds

    I’m here, and very pleasantly surprised. Still not convinced that it will happen, because there are a lot of things that can happen in two years. Still, it’s a good first step, 9 months late but better that than never.

  • Laird

    Ms. May’s Article 50 letter is straightforward enough (but it certainly could have used a bit more careful editing!), although the sentence “This legislation will, wherever practical and appropriate, in effect convert the body of existing European Union law (the “acquis”) into UK law” seems vaguely troubling.

    But the draft EU response (kindly linked by Mr Ed) seems to bear out John Galt’s prediction that they will overplay their hand. It gratuitously observes that a large number of UK citizens, including a majority in Scotland, voted against Brexit, as if that had any relevance whatsoever. It clearly lays down some markers which seem wholly out of proportion to the strength of their bargaining position. Thus they are angling for a continued role for the European Court of Justice even after the exit has been completed. Their attempt to pre-empt any negotiations by the UK over trade agreements with other countries during the withdrawal period, which seems utterly farcical, has already been noted here. It conditions any agreement on “continued adherence to the standards provided by the Union’s legislation and polices, in among others the fields of environment, climate change, the fight against tax evasion and avoidance, fair competition, trade and social policy”; in other words, the dead hand of Brussels must continue to rule even after withdrawal. They wish to preclude any “sectorial provisions”, so you can’t separately address financial services or any other business sector. And I especially liked the comment that “following the result of the referendum to leave the European Union the ‘United Kingdom Settlement’ of February 2016 is in any case null and void in all its provisions”, which if I understand it correctly means that the concessions negotiated by David Cameron are being declared void instanto. (During the withdrawal period the UK is expected to “fulfil all the obligations deriving from the Treaties” but apparently the rump EU is not). The character of the other side is on clear display here. You would be well advised to bear that in mind even if the final version of this document is softened a bit; this shows their true face.

    Yes, this process is off to a great start! Good luck to you all. You’ll need it.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    And how do Americans feel about the proposed ‘Calexit’, the plan for California to become a separate nation? Someone has hired Farage to help in the planning.

  • What enforcement mechanism does the EU retain against its remaining members – or against the UK – that will keep them from negotiating their future relationships? Do these provisions have real teeth?

    1. I vaguely recall looking at the provisions at the time of the original EU Constitution and my recollection is that the EU Parliament’s take is right – members aren’t allowed to negotiate separate from the EU, even to negotiate things that only take effect after departure
    2. This is obviously just part of the regulatory bindweed intended to make actual withdrawal impossible. Of course, you may leave the German Democratic Republic, but only blindfolded and through the minefield.
    3. The main enforcement mechanism is Article 7 which allows all sorts of punishments, including loss of voting rights, to be imposed on recalcitrant members. So once your voting rights have been taken, they can do anything they like to you. The main problem with Article 7 is that although the later stages of the procedure allow four fifths majority voting, you need to start with a unanimous finding in the European Council (excluding the accused country.) The practical problem for the EU is that Hungary and Poland know perfectly well that they are top candidates for Article 7 treatment themselves, and so it may be difficult to get them to provide the necessary unanimity.
    4. Enforcement against the UK, of any EU decision, is much easier than against most EU countries, because the British courts will enforce EU law.
    5. So the “real teeth” the EU has to stop British Ministers negotiating trade agreements with, say, the US is an Article 50 type case brought in the UK courts by Remainer lawyers, a friendly hearing by the wigged ones, and a UK court injunction on the British government requiring it to desist from negotiations. Politics ain’t beanbag.

  • Andrew Duffin

    I agree with Lee Moore. Any step out of procedural line will be pounced on by Gina Miller or some other pond life whose real aim is to sabotage the whole process; the UK courts will agree, and the UK government will respect the law.

    But we’ll still get there in the end.

  • PeterT

    Money talks and the UK can always dangle this carrot in front of them if we need to buy some time. They would feel they had had a victory of some sort, whereas we would know that we could stop the payments any time we feel like. The Germans and Dutch can’t relish the idea of being the only major net contributors left within the EU.

    As an aside, I wonder if thezman’s post on the ‘skins game’ has some relevance here. I think one of the points was that the white population was happy enough paying to support a 20% black population, but when the population changes to 10% black, 40% hispanic, 10% ‘other’, 40% white – and the remaining 60% all ‘feel black’, the 40% may well do a Cartman (‘screw you guys I’m off’). Where was I? Oh yes, the German and Dutch (etc) population may well also do a Cartman if they find themselves a minority supporting a majority (including their recent exotic imports).

    And there is also the wild card of a President Le Pen. Unlikely but not extremely unlikely.

    Interesting times ahead

  • bobby b

    ” . . . and a UK court injunction on the British government requiring it to desist from negotiations.”

    Thanks. That’s what I was wondering.

    So it’s time for the Private Commissions to step forward, in each EU country and the UK, to begin the discussions in which The States cannot directly participate, so that on day 731 The States can be handed a Draft Agreement to legislate into place within hours, all of which will have been negotiated without the official State Action over which the EU might have jurisdiction?

    Seems like too easy of a work-around for bypassing something as sophisticated and fey as the machinations of the EU, but . . . ?

  • bobby b

    ” . . . the sentence “This legislation will, wherever practical and appropriate, in effect convert the body of existing European Union law (the “acquis”) into UK law” seems vaguely troubling.”

    Doesn’t she have to say that to make it clear that the Withdrawal Notice makes no change to existing UK law and thus needs no further Parliamentary action to enact?

    Parliament of course retains the ability to later alter the UK version of any of those “existing EU laws” as it sees fit – and it certainly will alter them – but May has to walk a line here to maintain the Notice as a stand-alone measure needing no further Parliamentary action. It’s back to that discussion of “a bare automatic withdrawal is authorized by the Referendum, but a negotiated agreement, because it would involve changes to existing UK law, requires Parliamentary approval.”

  • Laird

    That sounds about right, bobby b, which is why I called it only “vaguely troubling.”

  • Laird

    OK, the EU has just raised the stakes. Its president has just threatened the US because of Trump’s support for Brexit, saying that he would campaign here for the independence of Ohio and Austin, Texas! The gloves have come off.

    Now if he were talking about California, I could go along with it . . . .

  • bobby b

    Don’t know about Ohio, but Austin would definitely join Juncker in the EU if they could.

    Look for Juncker on one of the big stages next year at SXSW. He’ll pack ’em in!

  • Thailover

    From another Yank, UK I didn’t think you had it in you…anymore. That is, the “western world” is becoming a baby crib full of the weak minded and weaker spirit. That includes America and Canada of course. Brexit happened largely because the older generation came out to vote in nasty weather whilst the younger sheeple generation stayed at home, hoping others of their weak-disposition generation would pull their weight for them. They didn’t, and hence the Farage-inspired generation who actually CARE to fight for independence and freedom did their due. The nation of Churchill and the Iron Lady has become the nation of Cameron and Blair. Sorry if this sounds a bit like dour invectives in a time when we, the ones who give a shit about liberty, should be celebrating, but I simply cannot mask my severe derision, (dare I say spitting-hatred) of the sheeple who would choose to remain, blind, helpless, faceless, powerless, sheeple in the EU sheep pen.

    “That’s the kiss-ass generation we’re in right now. We’re really in a pussy generation.” ~ Clint Eastwood

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Thailover, the correct title for a citizen of Europe is Europeon.

  • Thailover

    Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray wrote,

    And how do Americans feel about the proposed ‘Calexit’, the plan for California to become a separate nation? Someone has hired Farage to help in the planning.

    Excuse the reification, but “California” hates the rest of the nation, with exception of NYC, because most other states live in a place I like to call reality, and these other states know that state fiscal solvency is more important than Leftist loony-tunes ideological claptrap programs that simply waste tax (i.e. other people’s) money. California would never separate from the US because they would be broke and begging like a street corner bum within 6 months. They do that now of course, but if they were actually separate, they would have less of a broken leg to stand on than they do now.
    But of course, this is a hypothetical. And hypothetically speaking, nothing would make me happier, other than a joint California and NYC-exit from the union. After all, what is it supposed to mean to be a part of the United States, by constitutional contract, whilst also advocating for open borders? That’s just more Leftist brainless hypocrisy.

  • Thailover

    “the correct title for a citizen of Europe is Europeon.”

    LOL

  • Thailover

    “And there is also the wild card of a President Le Pen. Unlikely but not extremely unlikely.”

    Much more likely than poll-fakers would have you believe. Le Pen is proof that at least someone in France has balls.

  • James g

    The only concern my EU loving friends have about Brexit is the loss of free movement. This deeply saddens them. They mimic other arguments, of course, but it is this loss that is at the root of their EU passion. The debate did not serve such people well. Presumably because Remain thought banging on about free movement was a net vote loser. But my middlclass southern friends love immigration and love free movement. It is only a good thing for them. And even if they don’t make use if it, they all assume their children will do for some reason. As a libertarian I have enormous sympathy for this position. And it is impossible arguing with them in anyway which they don’t interpret as being anti free movement, and, underlying this, xenophobic.

  • Alisa

    As a libertarian I have enormous sympathy for this position.

    Personally, I also have some sympathy for this position – but I’m afraid framing it as libertarian is a mistake. In an ideal libertarian state (a minarchy?) most land would be privately owned – which means movement would be anything but “free”.

  • Laird

    This thread is getting more than a little long in the tooth, but it seems to be the appropriate place to post this. It seems that the EU Commission (in the person of President Donald Tusk) is already stirring the pot by bringing up the issue of Gibralter, which of course should be a non-issue. And there has previously been some noise about the border with the Republic of Ireland. One might almost think that they don’t want to have a nice, fair negotiated separation agreement! But that would be cynical, wouldn’t it?