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Discussion point: the Brexit deal

Brexit: ‘Breakthrough’ deal paves way for future trade talks

In the spirit of 1066 And All That, is this a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

N.B. Do not attempt to answer more than one question at a time. (An exception may be made for the Irish Question.)

30 comments to Discussion point: the Brexit deal

  • JadedLibertarian

    I’m absolutely* livid.

    Why, why, why would you capitulate to a foreign power against the demonstrable interests of your own land? I mean, I know the political class didn’t want to leave, but given that decision was made on their behalf you’d think they’d show some patriotism. It’s as though our leaders actually joined the other side during the negotiations and our political class and the EU political class both ganged up on the British people.

    I’m angrier about this than I’ve been about anything political, ever. If I assume I’m average (a reasonable assumption) then about 50% of leavers will be more serene then me, and the rest are about ready to riot.

    * – substitute any dozen swear words to achieve my true meaning

  • Mr Ecks

    We don’t even know what the bitch has “agreed” to. In commas cos no deal is really possible with treacherous scum like the EU.

    No hard border. –Thanks DUP! That’s one down for the Euro-scum then.

    The cash is the real bugbear. What has the stupid cow promised them?

  • Lee Moore

    She has a piece of paper….

  • Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, whose opposition on Monday led to talks breaking down, said there was still “more work to be done”

    It reads to me like May and Tusk have agreed to pretend there has been no breakdown of talks.

  • She has a piece of paper….

    Indeed, it will probably have the same value and purpose as the last time appeasement of the enemy was government policy (q.v. Munich Agreement)

    For myself, I’m not too worried at this stage, still early days. There is a long way to go between now and the end of March 2019, plenty of time for those who do support our view (like the inestimable Jacob Rees-Mogg) to dig up the most egregious of the treasonous details and wave them under the nose of Dress Up like week old fish.

    That what are essentially “talks about talks” have had all of the high drama of September 1938 shows the difficulty of negotiating in good faith with the faithless.

    While neither Donald Tusk nor Jean-Claude Drunkard have the level of insanity of the Austrian Corporal, they are nevertheless attempting to undermine the UK’s future prospects with post-2019 regulations as well as carpetbagging us for the necessary funds to avoid EU bankruptcy for another few years, both of which should be refused and denied.

    The correct diplomatic response to all of this should have been something along the lines of “We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram.”

  • The thought occurs that Tusk may have foreseen May’s ceasing to be PM if talks broke down, and was worried about whom he might have to face next. I certainly hope he has good cause to be thus worried.

    If I had a higher opinion of May I’d expect her to exploit this ‘strategy of the weak negotiating position’; as it is, I suspect any benefit she gets from it will be accidental.

  • staghounds

    So, no Brexit as far as borders or immigration are concerned. Or am I reading the article incorrectly?

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    My take is same as Galt’s. I don’t like the bullyboy tactics, but the direction of travel is that we are getting out. Whether we like to admit it or not, keeping the dimmer parts of the middle class on side makes sense in the UK, if only to make it harder for Corbyn and mischief-makers to get in. I hate to say it, but the biggest threat to our prosperity right now, and in the near term, is Corbyn in Number 10, not what sort of Brexit deal we get. This was always going to be a process involving a lot of haggling.

  • Mary Contrary

    It’s a complete sell out. I did some detailed analysis of the specific clauses in Liquidtext, then found that that app’s “Export to PDF” function doesn’t work properly.

    So I put some screenshots on Imgur.

    Short answer: if this agreement sticks, UK is staying in the Customs Union and the Single Market, because of Northern Ireland.

    UK goverment also agreed to the “Shanghai status” for EU citizens in the UK, where they get rights UK citizens don’t have, interpreted and enforced by a foreign court.

    A disaster.

  • Mary Contrary

    The process for coming out of the Single Market and Customs Union is now:

    1. The UK proposes a FTA;
    2. If EU doesn’t accept that, the UK proposes specific arrangement for Northern Ireland;
    3. If UK doesn’t accept those either, the UK is bound to “maintain full alignment with the rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union”.

    Actually, the last only relates to “those rules of IM and CU that support North-South Cooperation, the whole island economy and the GFA”, but if you think the EU will accept that any rules of the SM and CU are irrelevant to the “whole island economy”, then I’ve a bridge to sell you.

    The UK has also conceded the principle that EU law “provides the framework” that underpins the Good Friday Agreement, and commits in that context not diminish any rights available in EU law. This effectively converts a breach of EU law into a breach of the Good Friday Agreement.

  • Derek Buxton

    I thought I had heard her say that we would be under the rule of the EU justice system still. If so, it kills all thought of us getting out of the corrupt, lying and thieving EU, a group who even break their own rules on a regular basis with impunity! We have been badly let down and betrayed by our own parliament, none of whom realise just how evil the EU is.

  • bobby b

    The EU sees Brexit as the beginning of the end. If GB leaves, the EU only dwindles and sails off into nothing.

    So they’re doing everything possible to avoid an agreement. If an agreement exists, Exit will certainly happen. The very best outcome for the EU in these talks is to string them out for two years and then fail. Then, there remains at least a possibility that Exit will be seen by GB as too costly, and it might be avoided.

    This is like watching a (non-no-fault) divorce case in which one party – the Remainer – doesn’t want a divorce. The only strategy possible for that party is to simply keep escalating demands and making it too costly for the other party to proceed – no agreed-upon divorce unless the Remainer gets everything.

    But if you push it too far, and the Exiter really wants a divorce, the Exiter finally throws up their hands and says, let’s just take it to court and let the judge split everything up – a hard divorce, as it were. It’s a fine line in negotiations. So long as May doesn’t sign anything, she retains that option.

    (Nice Imgur analysis, MC.)

  • morsjon

    As the EU itself says ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’. It was always dumb to have the ‘issue of Ireland’ as a precondition for negotiations, as it bound up so tightly with whatever the final agreement is regarding regulation of goods. This fudges the issue and it can be dealt with later.

    Ultimately a hard border with RoI will be necessary if the UK is to leave the single market. Just building the necessary infrastructure to make this as painless as possible will take several years. (The ideal solution would be to have Ireland treated as part of the UK for these purposes. That would move the hard border to the ports on the continent.)

  • It was always dumb to have the ‘issue of Ireland’ as a precondition for negotiations, as it bound up so tightly with whatever the final agreement is regarding regulation of goods.

    If, however, you are a putative European superstate, then doing exactly this demonstrates how hard it is to secede and therefore not only does it provide a disincentive to other secessionists, it provides such a barrier for the UK that various alternatives which are really various forms of “Leaving in name only” start getting discussed by people who should know better.

    I suspect that the only reason the Chairman of the 1922 hasn’t paid Dress Up a visit yet is the fear of her taking the government down with her (and leaving the door wide open for Jeremy Corbyn) *shudder*

    Remember – There is a reason for the saying “Always kill a traitor before an enemy”.

  • Paul Marks

    We should have walked away – no more money to the European Union, and no more accepting of European Union REGULATIONS. Do not “incorporate the regulations into British law” return to the COMMON LAW (the non aggression principle).

  • JadedLibertarian

    You know what gets me? The way Barnier et al treat Ireland as if it’s a bargaining chip. It’s like it’s a big joke to them, when it wasn’t so very long ago that blood was literally flowing in the streets of London and Belfast over this.

    They either don’t know, or don’t care, how much this issue is capable of kicking off. It shows a compete disregard for the sanctity of human life.


  • Edward

    To be honest, both sides got what they wanted today. The EU wants Theresa May; a pathetic figure who has less authority than any PM I can remember, less even than Heath, Callaghan, Major, or Brown, to stay in that office.

    Theresa May, for whatever reason, no matter how many humiliations she endures, wants, needs, to stay PM. It’s her precious. So both sides get what they want.

    I previously thought she was Ted Heath in a skirt.

    Now I know better; She’s Gordon Brown in a skirt.

    She desperately clings to an office she’s manifestly proven her total lack of ability to hold. But in her dreams, she’s the Bestest PM EVAR.

    Well, at least the stage we have now is effectively a punt. There’s time yet. But, the kind of battle needed to take Theresa out of our misery might let Jezza in.

    Boris, Michael, you have a lot to answer for…

  • the other rob

    We should have walked away…

    Yes, you* should have. I still hope that you will. bobby b’s divorce analogy seems very apposite.

    *I say “you” rather than “we” because, while I’m still eligible to vote in the UK, I don’t consider it proper to do so, now that I’m an American. I’d still like to come back for a visit, which would include enjoying the food that I grew up with, but they won’t let me bring my Glock 17**. I’d be willing to meet them halfway and conceal it, but apparently that’s not an option. I wonder whether it might be in Ulster?

    ** Important because any devout Muslim is required by his or her “religion” to kill me on sight.

  • Lee Moore

    Boris, Michael, you have a lot to answer for…

    For some reason the system ate my previous comment, so I’ll have another go. Apologies if the earlier one turns up later.

    I think all you Eurosceptics / phobes are worrying overmuch about the short term. The most important thing is to escape. Indeed it’s the ONLY thing that matters. Once we have escaped there is room for manoeuvre. These new agreements can be revisited, resiled from, renegotiated. Yes we’ll be 50 billion down but this argument is not about 50 billion. It’s about national independence. Independence with all sorts of nasty treaties restricting what we can do is so much better than being a province. We won’t need another referendum to adjust these new treaties. We’ll be able to negotiate with other countries. We’ll actually have some trained negotiators – which we’ve done away while we’ve been with in the belly of the whale.

    The reason our bargaining position is so bad at present is that we are bound hand and foot by the current rules. After our escape, we can write new rules. The absolute worst thing that could happen is something that delays our actual legal exit beyond March 2019. The fall of the May government and its replacement by a Corbyn government which, say, decides to have another referendum. Or the resignation of al the Out Ministers and a May In government backed by Labour to delay our exit. Or whatever. The essential thing is to get out. The Goves, Johnsons and Davis’s need to stay in the government till March 2019, because if they do, Mrs May won’t risk delaying exit (because their departure risks bringing her down.) After March 2019 and we’re out, then they can quit and be proper Sinn Feiners if they will. Until then no flouncing out. Flouncing out risks everything.

    We need to learn from the EU, which though it may be a disaster in terms of liberty and prosperity, is at least a proper student of Machiavelli. They didn’t bind us by direct assault. It was a string here, a rope there over forty years. We should escape as best we can. if we can’t manage to get rid of all the ropes immediately, then we’ll have to do it bit by bit.

  • Alsadius

    any devout Muslim is required by his or her “religion” to kill me on sight.

    You’re not very bright, are you?

  • bobby b

    “You’re not very bright, are you?”

    If I know that five percent of the people around me who are wearing blue shirts want to kill me, then, if I am smart, I assume that every person wearing a blue shirt is one of the five percent. I’ll live longer. To do otherwise isn’t very bright, is it? If that’s being unfair to the others with blue shirts, well, let them either get rid of the five percent themselves, or take off their own blue shirts. I’m not going to die just so they can feel good about themselves.

    Please continue to be PC. When you’re one of two people who encounter a bear, you don’t need to outrun the bear. You just need to outrun the other guy.

  • Alisa

    any devout Muslim is required by his or her “religion” to kill me on sight.

    It doesn’t say ‘any devout Muslim will kill me on sight’, only that they are required to do so (failing conversion, and under favorable conditions) – which they are.

  • John K


    I tend to agree with you. The important thing is to get out. Once we are out, we are never going to go back in.

    For the EU, this could be existential, and they are making it as hard as possible for the UK to leave. If a country can just up and leave the EU, no hard feelings, then what’s the point of it? They want to turn it into the United States of Europe. It’s very important to them. If a country of 60+ million people, the second largest net contributor, can just walk out without any pain, their whole world view is shattered.

    I remain hopeful that Brexit will be the first stage of the end of the EU, and Barnier, Juncker et al are fearful of Brexit for the very same reason.

  • Edward

    Lee Moore, well yeah.

    Ideal situation, if I’m Prime Minister with a majority in the Commons, is to sit back and take the default. I’m just fine with WTO rules, we pay the square root of bugger all in contributions, the ECJ can FRO, and as for the Irish border, well we’re not setting one up. You want one, Drunker, go set one up, and everyone will know whose fault it is. You want something else, EU? Make me an offer. I’m fine just where I am.

    But I’m not PM; May is. And this is about as good as we could possibly get given her blithering incompetence and utter lack of authority. And, yes, once we’re out, we can tear up whatever we want. Because we’ll be free… well, of the EU anyway.

  • Plus one to Lee, JohnK, etc., as regards the value of simply getting out, and the reasons for hoping the eurocrats’ greed and lust to punish us may yet be their undoing rather than their final insult. I was justly contemptuous of May before this latest evidence, but remain hopeful.

    As regards “any devout muslim is required by his or her religion to kill me”, two important contrasting points need to be recalled. On the one hand, there is the dialogue in Captain Brassbound’s Conversion (from memory):

    Minister Rankin: “Remember, my lady, every one of them believes he will go to heaven if he kills an infidel.”

    Lady Cicely: “My dear Sir, the people in England believe they will go to heaven if they give all they have to the poor, but they don’t do it.”

    On the other hand, giving all you have to the poor is unavoidably a very great personal inconvenience. In and of itself, killing an infidel inconveniences only one’s conscience, and the doctrines of islam urge its devotees to quiet any such over-kindly consciences. As always, George Bernard Shaw makes a witty point but one that crumbles under analysis.

  • tomsmith

    It is a total mess from May. She is so keen to maintain her position that she is prepared to concede anything and everything to the EU. We will end up back where we started, just by another name and with some punishments tacked on by a vengeful EU.

  • Tony Harrison

    I draw your attention to the film Fatal Attraction. In a moment of weakness Michael Douglas’s character “falls” for what looks new and exciting and spends the rest of the film trying to be reasonable in the face of escalating force and insanity.

    Moral? You cannot reason with a jilted and aggrieved bunny boiler. Luck with that.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Tony: 😆

  • the other rob

    Moral? You cannot reason with a jilted and aggrieved bunny boiler. Luck with that.

    Often paraphrased as, never stick your dick in crazy.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    What is this I read about amendments being used to defeat Brexit? Is it serious? Is it true? Is it time to burn Whitehall to the ground?