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  • Brexit 2020+
  • tjagain
    Full Member

    Its my opinion.  am I not entitled to it?  I gave you my reasoning.  It makes as much sense as any other opinion on here.  Its a view shared by many commentators, politicians and economists.  Of course the UK and EU will diverge year on year – the EU will develop and deepen

    It makes more sense than some of the wishful thinking on here

    frankconway
    Full Member

    TJ – take a break before your head explodes; why don’t you…go on a long bike tour?

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    BruceWee – honestly mate take a break, you’re not making sense.

    I literally copied and pasted what you wrote.

    If it doesn’t make sense to you, now you understand how your entire argument sounds to the rest of us.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    Ok – well, you know best. Have you considered popping him a note?

    The key point you absolutely refuse to acknowledge is that Starmer’s only priority is to maximise the number of Labour MPs returned at the next election even if it’s at the expense of the well being of the UK.

    He has different priorities to us (unless you have some vested interest in as many Labour MPs as possible being on the payroll that includes you too).

    More Labour MPs does not automatically translate into being better for the country, especially if Starmer has ruled out a CU/SM/Swiss deal in the name of maximising those seats.

    Why is the idea of Starmer having a different priorities to the rest of us so difficult for you to understand?

    dudeofdoom
    Full Member

    Anyway moving on from a scanners moment.,,

    On my last order from the u.k the ‘handling’ fee of DHL was €50 which was 10% of the total bill on top of vat, delivery.

    There’s no way that’s viable for small companies.
    (Still waiting for the delivery but express isn’t anymore)

    I’m used to this when I’ve bought stuff from the other side of the globe but not your closest market which is a vast 21 miles(ish) crossing.

    Like I’ve said I’ve had parts delivered to fix the car whilst on holiday,you wouldn’t attempt that now.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    The key point you absolutely refuse to acknowledge is that Starmer’s only priority is to maximise the number of Labour MPs returned at the next election even if it’s at the expense of the well being of the UK.

    I acknowledged that is is his priority, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing at this stage. Let’s see what happens.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Good article in the guardian about Lammy running a charm offensive which is of course a good thing.  More cordial relations can only help – but it ( and remember the guardian is totally uncritical of anything Starmers team does)

    Some EU experts believe Labour is underestimating the difficulties it will face in forging a new relationship with Europe, or the determination of Brussels to protect the integrity of the single market

    Which is what my point is.  The room for improvement in trade is very limited without SM. CU and the four freedoms.  those who think or say otherwise are either being disingenuous or engaging in wishful thinking

    good article otherwise and nice to see someone actually being an adult

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/jan/23/labour-reconnect-tarnished-uk-european-allies-david-lammy

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    All just feelgood word salad though, no explanation of whether and how my tax paying business will be able to start up again, taking part in the Horizon2020 and other international science programs and visiting other EU members for working visits.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    So I listened to that Starmer interview on the news agent podcast while out on my run. Complete softball interviewers, obviously hugely sympathetic to him and they gave him every opportunity to say something meaningful….and he just ducked it all. Not the SM, not like Switzerland, not like Norway, not alignment, just “better” in some completely undefinable and intangible way.

    I find it hard to believe that anyone is remotely convinced by him. How can you vote for someone who can’t even provide a hint as to what they might do?

    He talked about “high standards” but didn’t come up with a single example as to what that might mean.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    How can you vote for someone who can’t even provide a hint as to what they might do?

    That’s what happens every frigging time!

    But anyway – it’s not voting time yet, you don’t have to vote for anyone.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    No, I don’t accept that is true at all. Of course no-one delivers the entire manifesto and there’s a bit of room for debate over the details but Blair certainly promised a minimum wage, and Cameron promised a ref on the EU. Just to take two random examples. It’s hard to find any Tory policy that Starmer is prepared to repudiate. He just claims he’ll do the same stuff only better.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    It’s hard to find any Tory policy that Starmer is prepared to repudiate. He just claims he’ll do the same stuff only better.

    Simply not true. Show me a policy area (apart from Ukraine) where Labour haven’t said they’ll implement a different policy to the current government? They’re claiming some of the campaign promises, such as “levelling up” and “take back control” but hanging them on real policies that have come from Labour teams led by previous leaders and others committed to implementing Labour policies and undoing the damage of the last decade while being as forward looking as possible. On Europe in particular, keeping EU standards as a minimum to enable equivalence and harmonisation helps with the NI situation, and also helps manufacturers in the rest of the UK to rebuild trading links with the rest of Europe. Yes, it feels like a baby step compared to where we where before the vote of 2016… but the alternative is aggressive divergence with the Conservatives, as part of a race to the bottom on working conditions and environmental standards that will drive an even deeper wedge between the UK and our neighbours. Yes, things can get much worse still. Brexit isn’t over yet, there’s still more destructive expensive divergence coming… we haven’t even implemented UKCA and import controls yet… Brexit is still only half done.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    Starmer explicitly rejected keeping EU standards in that News Agents interview, having been repeatedly invited to confirm it. If he has ever said “keeping EU standards as a minimum” let’s have the quote please. I suspect you’ve just made that up but would genuinely love to be proved wrong as keeping EU standards would indeed be a progressive step.

    And just to take another topical example, he refused to say he would disagree with the govt’s stance on the Scottish GRC law, he claimed he would do better somehow by talking but didn’t repudiate their action. Hard to put a fag paper between them on most policy issues.

    There are a few differences where Labour is genuinely better, but on Brexit in particular, it’s just wishful thinking from people still desperately hanging on to this vain belief in the absence of any supporting evidence. They are 100% hard Brexit cultists at this point.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    In other news, the ever finger-on-the-pulse “The UK in a Changing Europe” (great name that, considering how the UK has changed while the EU just points and laughs) think tank has pronounced that Brexit will drag on and on for ever and ever.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jan/24/brexit-uk-eu-finance-britain

    Rather blows the “rejoining will take too much time and effort” argument out of the water. What is the “payback time” (as a previous poster put it) on *not* rejoining?

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Starmer explicitly rejected keeping EU standards in that News Agents interview

    No, he didn’t. He’s very careful how it words it.

    Here’s a quick transcription…

    KS: Well, I think that by being really clear about issues such as the standards that we would adhere to, we go a long way to removing the barriers so there…

    so you keep European standards

    KS: Look, high standards are something which the…

    not just high standards, but aligned with what Europe does

    KS: Yeah, right. But the first thing is to say high standards because there are high standards in Europe. Most of them, well many of them came from the UK. We have been a country of high standards for a very, very long time. I think it’s very important for a Labour government to be clear as we go to the election and obviously the other side of the election that we would maintain those high standards because the tension, you can see it in the Protocol, but it stayed with the deal, the tension is where this divergence obviously when it comes to how do you make sure that you maintain high standards. There’s a discussion to be had about the mechanism, I don’t want to get ahead of myself because that is a discussion, that is a two way discussion. But the first thing is to be clear that we wouldn’t be a government that wants to deregulate lower standards because that is fundamentally at odds with the approach that we would take as Labour government.

    oldbloke
    Free Member

    Rather blows the “rejoining will take too much time and effort” argument out of the water.

    Remember this argument sits with the EU too. Brexit has taken a lot of time and effort from the EU they could have spent on other activity. The idea they’d be interested in the UK rejoining without UK membership being a settled matter across all parties and at least a couple of parliaments is perhaps optimistic. To rejoin we’d need to be able to prove we intended to stay.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    kelvin, immediately prior he had ridiculed the Swiss model because they had changed it 200 times (um…to align with changing EU regs).

    He can say all he wants about high standards, but that rejection of repeated changes is explicitly ruling out any sort of alignment. Alignment very obviously means adjusting our regs to take account of changes in theirs. What he is saying is smoke and mirrors stuff to fool people who want to be fooled.

    Edukator
    Free Member

    Yeah, right. But the first thing is to say high standards because there are high standards in Europe. Most of them, well many of them came from the UK.

    Utter bollocks. 15 years of normes (standards) before Britain even joined. And once it joined it spent its time dragging it’s heels and opposing in a bizarre exceptionalism. I would argue that the US and Japan had more input into European normes than Britain during Britain’s membership. It then spent much time dragging its heels on the application of standards it had voted for. Euroscepticism dominated the UK’s approache to Europe whatever the government of the day.

    Britain adopted EU standards because it had to and sought exceptions or watering down when it could.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/03/eu-dilutes-proposal-halve-air-pollution-deaths-uk-lobbying

    kelvin
    Full Member

    He can say all he wants about high standards

    And you’ll go and claim he said the opposite. If you come away from that encounter thinking that he’s ruled out keeping EU standards, then I feel you’re going to argue no matter what. Look, there is a clear choice between the Conservative and Labour parties and how they intend to handle Europe. Starmer is more aware of the problems and processes ahead than any of us… which is why he isn’t promising anything that’s impossible for any UK government to unilaterally deliver. A UK government can promise not to deregulate and not to increase divergence and the problems that come from that… which is what he is doing. And the current government is not. Where that leads in terms of agreements with the EU isn’t in the gift of the next government. Repair relationships, stop the rot, reject the race to deregulate and undercut the EU on standards. Basic uncontroversial step one. What unfolds from there… well… patience and lots of ally building ahead for the UK, rather than wishing for a magic undo button that is sadly really is not there, no matter how hard we wish that it was.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Oldbloke makes a good point.  It makes it all the more critical that the labour party show real support for rejoin in some form rather than the carefully chosen weasel words used that are clearly intended to give deniability and to allow people to read into them what they wish

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    If he thinks that the EU will agree to cutting checks on the basis that the UK has high but not aligned standards, that’s just more of the same cakeism. Otherwise, it’s alignment that will require repeated changes which he explicitly ruled out.

    If you came away from that thinking he’d promised to align to EU standards, in the very interview where he ridiculed Switzerland for their need to make repeated changes to align to EU standards, then I think you’re going to believe that no matter what he says and make up nonsense to convince yourself afterwards.

    Just a thought…maybe you genuinely didn’t realise that it’s not just about *deregulation* (which he can promise if he wants) but also the need to *raise* standards whenever the EU does? That’s what alignment means.

    (NB alignment also does not mean identical standards, it means meeting a level of minimum standards, via mechanisms and laws which may differ across countries according to their systems. It’s true that in some respects we had/have higher standards than other EU countries.)

    Edukator
    Free Member

    It’s true that in some respects we had/have higher standards than other EU countries

    I’m intrigued by that, such as? Possibly the British plug back when houses weren’t fitted with differential breakers but where does Britain have higher standards today?

    onewheelgood
    Full Member

    To rejoin we’d need to be able to prove we intended to stay.

    Exactly. Put yourself in the EUs position. They’ve just spent a fortune and diverted a lot of their best people on negotiating how we are going to leave. During that process, we’ve turned up unprepared, signed things in bad faith that we didn’t even understand, failed to implement most of the things we had agreed to, and constantly hurled insults their way. Starmer turns up, says ‘We’d like to rejoin please’ – they’re just going to piss themselves laughing. There is no way they are going to embark on a 5 year negotiation when it’s highly probable that the **** electorate is going to elect Bluekip again and the whole thing will be thrown out. We are going to have to show sustained enthusiasm for rejoining for many years before they’ll even consider starting the process. And for those of you who think that we can avoid complex negotiations by just rolling over and accepting unconditionally whatever deal the EU offers (looking at you TJ) , you’re living in cloud cuckoo land. You’d suddenly find that your majority for rejoin was now a bigger majority for staying out than the 52% we had last time.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    in the very interview where he ridiculed Switzerland for their need to make repeated changes to align to EU standards

    Switzerland’s repeated changes aren’t just caused by iterative raising of standards (only you have said, that Starmer did not), but also because of the way they enact their own legislation and the nature of their democracy and how they manage their relationship with the EU (and elsewhere). The UK/EU could choose a framework that bundles far more together, with less direct democracy involved. The UK wouldn’t chose to copy Switzerland’s way of dealing with the EU, as we have a very different form of government and approach to treaties.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    To rejoin we’d need to be able to prove we intended to stay.

    You can join the CU/SM without being full EU members.

    Edukator
    Free Member

    Whatever the mechanism, automatic or voting, Britain would still have to update its legislation everytime the EU does to maintain compliance just as Norway and Switzerland do, Kelvin. And Karmer just blabs about high standards in almost word for word Boris speak.

    At present the UK are drifting apart and there are number of hurdles approaching which will concentrate minds on the issue as the EU will have to decide whether to prolong or drop time-limited agreements. On current form I recekon it’ll be “no, you’re not playing fair”.

    If the UK won’t play ball the way Switzerland and Norway do it will just become an adversary like the US, with punitive tarifs, retaliation, a simmering trade war… .

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Britain would still have to update its legislation everytime the EU does to maintain compliance

    Yes, but they don’t have to do so in the same piecemeal fashion that the Swiss do.

    just as Switzerland does

    There are other ways. The other EFTA countries handle it far better. You could argue that Switzerland retains more sovereignty and its people have more democratic oversight over it all… but I think they mostly waste time and cause confusion… although that’s what a lot of the Brexit sovereignty junkies seem to mean by that word.

    At present the UK are drifting apart and there are number of hurdles approaching which will concentrate minds on the issue as the EU will have to decide whether to prolong or drop time-limited agreements. On current form I recekon it’ll be “no, you’re not playing fair”.

    Absolutely agree.

    Oh, for what it’s worth… I still think the end game is the UK as an EEA country, or damn close to it, just as those that pushed for Brexit proposed back before they did their bait and switch. But it isn’t something that Labour can or should promise the voters at the next election. Step one is to stop the drifting apart, regain trust, and rebuild bridges. Starmer will be long gone before we are inside the Single Market again. It’s not a near term aim… well, it is for some, but they can’t deliver it.

    Edukator
    Free Member

    As you’ve split my sentence to change the sense of it I’ve modified it to remove the ambiguity, Kelvin. A stealth edit to counter an irritating interpretation. ;)

    But seriously, Starmer is just pandering to the Brexiteers and sticking his head in the sand with regard to the consequences of having “high standards” rather than “EU standards”. The EU doesn’t care what British standards are, if they don’t comply with European ones Britain will be (and is being) slowly shut out of the European market.

    Edit: I see you’ve been editting too and you are aware of the issues, you couldn’t have a word in Starmer’s ear could you ?

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Well, you’ve changed its meaning entirely. Yes, Norway is closer to what we could achieve, but they still go around in circles a lot, because of their carve outs for fishing and agriculture… we’d likely have similar problems. But I was addressing the claims about the Swiss/EU relationship directly, especially the frequency and disparate nature of how they change their legislation to “keep up” with EU standards.

    The EU doesn’t care what British standards are, if they don’t comply with European ones Britain will be (and is being) slowly shut out of the European market.

    Agreed. And listen to the interview, or read the messy transcript I posted… he agrees that we’d need to align, but he is absolutely talking about it in a way that is designed to keep everyone on side, not just those that know/admit that leaving the EU was a mistake. The need for remainers to have their egos stroked by a possible future UK PM is all a bit desperate. We need someone who’ll rebuild our relationship with all the European countries, not just the EU, but they don’t and shouldn’t need to be framing it in a way that tells people who voted Brexit “ha ha, we told you so”… that’s not in the interest of the UK, even if it would make some people feel a bit better about what they/we have lost because of other people voting for Brexit.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    I’m intrigued by that, such as? Possibly the British plug back when houses weren’t fitted with differential breakers but where does Britain have higher standards today?

    Parental leave is an obvious example. There’s plenty of wildlife/farm/enviro stuff too, like veal crates, hedgerow protection. The UK is (was) not quite the laggard it’s often made out to be, that’s a narrative that suits everyone to maintain but isn’t really true.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    Yes, but they don’t have to do so in the same piecemeal fashion that the Swiss do.

    LOL. Sorry, this is just desperate wishful thinking.

    We had all this before with brexit before it happened. Remember when it was all nudge nudge wink wink we know labour aren’t really pro-brexit, they just can’t say too much? And then “80% of people voted for pro-brexit parties” and they fell lock-step in with the tory brexit: “of course we are pro-brexit, didn’t you listen to a word we said?”

    He was repeatedly offered the chance to say anything positive about alignment and refused, he ridiculed other countries (both Norway and Switzerland) for their alignment, he just said he wanted high standards and wouldn’t deregulate, which is an obvious dodge designed to mislead as it avoids entirely the vital question of rising standards.

    After the election, when he says “of course I’m not planning to align, didn’t you listen to a word I said?” how will you respond?

    Fool me once, shame on him. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    “80% of people voted for pro-brexit parties”

    Well, if you fell for that bullshit from David Davies, that’s not Labour’s fault… they never said that.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    It’s not a matter of what I fell for, it’s what the parliamentary labour party whipped for, voted for in parliament. Which fortunately is a matter of public record and not subject to strained reinterpretation of words.

    Edukator
    Free Member

    Parental leave is an obvious example.

    What, you mean congé parental. Not so obvious when other countires have it too.

    There’s plenty of wildlife/farm/enviro stuff too

    Like sewage in the sea. ;)
    Veal crates are banned in the EU.
    Hedges etc. In France that’s:

    Textes de référence

    Articles L. 123-8, L. 126-3 à L. 126-5, et R. 126-12 et suivants du code rural et de la pêche maritime (CRPM) ;
    Arrêté du 28 avril 1995 pris pour l’application du décret n° 95-488 du 28 avril 1995 relatif aux boisements linéaires, haies et plantations d’alignement susceptibles d’être protégés et complétant le code rural ;
    Circulaire DERF/ SDEF/ n°3016 du 27 septembre 1995 relative aux formations boisées hors forêt et au bénéfice des aides attachées à la forêt.

    I’m intrigued by the other farm/enviro stuff ? I suggest having a look at other countrys’ non-EU legislation before claiming Britain does more.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    80% of people voted for pro-brexit parties

    Labour had ‘Trigger Article 50’ in their election manifesto, as did the Tories. Hence, Theresa May was able to say that 80% of people voted for parties that supported triggering Article 50.

    That’s why it’s so dangerous to assume that when political parties say something they actually mean something completely different.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    what the parliamentary labour party whipped for, voted for in parliament

    Ah, well that’s something else, and I agree. If you want to go back that far. A right mess.

    That’s why it’s so dangerous to assume that when political parties say something they actually mean something completely different.

    If you mean Starmer ruling out joining the Single Market. I take that to mean the UK won’t join the Single Market after the next election if he becomes PM. No-one should expect that to change. When he says he’ll stop the divergent lowering of standards that the current government are set on, and be more constructive towards the rest of Europe, I hope he means that as well.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    I’m not saying UK is the best overall. But the parental leave example still stands, you can look it up if you want, many countries are way lower.

    Hedges TBH I was talking specifically about the hedge trimming to protect nesting birds, which dates back to Thatcher. I know that farmers in the UK have ripped up a lot. Veal crates were banned in the UK in 1992 and subsequently throughout the EU at the end of 2006.

    It’s fair to say some of my knowledge is rather out of date as while I was a union rep in the 1990s I was subsequently out of the country for over a decade and haven’t bothered keeping up. I thought you were making a general point about the historical trajectory.

    A bit of googling finds that sow stalls is a current example. Banned in UK, allowed for 4 weeks in EU. Numerous further examples here:

    https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/sourcing/how-do-uk-food-standards-differ-from-the-rest-of-the-world/645635.article

    Edukator
    Free Member

    So you thought very hard and found a few exceptions, thecaptain. I’ll take it from the other side and point out that where the UK has had the liberty to decide it’s own laws it is well below what other EU countries have decided for themselves.

    As an ex-union rep what do you think of zero-hours contracts and the ease of hire and fire in the UK?

    Edit: having gone through your examples and the grocer article it’s clear that Britain adopted the relevant bans when forced to do so by EU wide legislation with the exception of the veal crates – it was a follower not a leader.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    Edukator,

    Back at the turn of the century my (govt-controlled, but not official civil service) employer did a very fair and reasonable job of implementing EC Directive 1999/70/EC

    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:31999L0070&from=EN

    which purported to control/outlaw short contracts in many situations. It was genuinely a big step forward that gave a much-needed degree of job security to a cohort of my colleagues.

    I honestly don’t know how the backsliding and evasion has subsequently become so widespread. Seems to be a combination of “self-employed” gig workers and “permanent contract but no guaranteed work”. A willingness to turn a blind eye at all levels to an undermining of the intent of the directive which is still well worth reading for the principles it outlines. I think the current situation in the UK is terrible. I don’t know specifically about my ex-employer, I suspect (and hope) it may have kept the same system as I saw.

    Del
    Full Member

    I really hope no one is advocating for a Norwegian or Swiss style deal because there are very clear borders for goods crossing between those countries and the rest of the EU. Much like the one that would be necessary between the rest of the UK and an independent Scotland that became an EU member…

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